Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Paws & Claws ~ May 13, 2012 ~ Mother's Day Weekend

All men dream but not equally.
Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds
wake in the day to find that it was vanity;
but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible.

~ T.E. Lawrence
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2012 May
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.
Supermoon Over Paris
Image Credit & Copyright: VegaStar Carpentier
Explanation: Did you see that full Moon Saturday night? Dubbed a supermoon, the latest fully illuminated moon appeared slightly larger than usual because it occurred unusually near the closest point in its orbit to Earth. Pictured above, the supermoon was captured Saturday night rising behind the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Of course, the angular extent of the moon in comparison to foreground objects can be adjusted just by changing the observer's distance to the foreground object. When compared to nearby objects the moon may appear tiny, but when compared to distant objects -- the moon may appear huge. Next month yet another full moon is expected, this one appearing about one percent smaller.
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2012 May
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.
Shuttle Enterprise Over New York
Image Credit: NASA, Bill Ingalls
Explanation: What's that in the background? Two famous New York City icons stand tall in the above photo taken last week. On the left looms the Statue of Liberty, a universal symbol of freedom, while on the right rises the Empire State Building, now the second largest building in the city. What's unique about this once-in-a-lifetime photograph, though, is the third icon that appears to Lady Liberty's left. High in the air and far in the background flies the space shuttle Enterprise -- perched atop a 747 jet -- on the way to its new home. New Yorkers and visitors to the Big Apple can visit the test space shuttle at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on the West Side of Manhattan starting July 19.
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Rex Barker here with "Why Be A Mentor?"
An old man going a lone highway,
Came at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and deep and wide,
T through which was flowing a swollen tide.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
T that swollen stream held no fears for him,
But he paused when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man", said a fellow pilgrim near,
"You are wasting your strength in building here.
Your journey will end with the ending day.
You never again must pass this way.

You've crossed the chasm deep and wide,
Why build you the bridge at the even tide?"
The builder lifted his old gray head,
"Good friend, in the path I have come..." he said,

"There followeth after me today,
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This swollen stream which was naught to me,
To that fair haired youth may a pitfall be.

He too must cross in the twilight dim.
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him."

This is Rex Barker, reminding you that your life truly lives on when you spend your time helping and teaching others.
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Joe walked into the office whistling happily.
"Good morning," he said. "How are you this fine day?"
"Apparently not as good as you," I said. "What're you so happy about?"
He leaned in close and whispered, "I got some sweet lovin' last night."
"Really?" I said clapping him on the back. "Me, too! I must've just missed you."
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If you really want to get better at golf, go back and take it up at a much earlier age.
Since bad shots come in groups of three, a fourth bad shot is actually the beginning of the next group of three.
No matter how bad you are playing, it is always possible to play worse.
When your shot has to carry over a water hazard, you can either hit one more club or two more balls.
A golf match is a test of your skill against your opponents luck.
Every time a golfer makes a birdie, he must subsequently make two triple bogeys to restore the fundamental equilibrium of the universe.
You can put “draw” on the ball, you can put “fade” on the ball, but no golfer can put “straight” on the ball.
Don’t buy a putter until you’ve had a chance to throw it.
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It’s Big Drummer Girl!
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My grandpa had his third stroke stroke of the month this morning…
Cant believe he’s still wanking at his age. Dirty bastard.
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How can we be moved by the fate of Anna Karenina when we know she’s not a real person?
In order to have an emotional response to a character or event, we must believe that it really exists. We know that this belief is lacking when we read a work of fiction. Yet we’re commonly moved by such works. Why?
It can’t be the case that we’re simply “caught up” in a story and forget that it’s fiction. If that were true then the fear, sadness, and pity we feel should be unpleasant rather than enjoyable. (Also, we’re not moved to intervene and help a fictional character.)
University of Kent philosopher Colin Radford concludes that our emotional responses to fiction are ultimately irrational, that “our being moved in certain ways by works of art, though very ‘natural’ to us and in that way only too intelligible, involves us in inconsistency and so incoherence.” See Push and Pull.
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My wife and I attend a party with four other couples. When we arrive there’s a certain amount of hand-shaking, but no one shakes his own hand and no husband shakes his wife’s hand. I ask the nine other guests how many hands each shook, and I get nine different answers. How many hands did my wife shake?
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Picture of the Week: Stephen Hawking in Zero Gravity

For his 65th birthday, Stephen Hawking took a ride in zero gravity. Photo: Associated Press
On January 8, 2007, scientist Stephen Hawking did something special for his 65th birthday—he took a trip up into zero gravity. He rode in the Zero Gravity Corporation’s modified Boeing 727 jet, which traveled up to 24,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida and performed a series of dips that let Hawking experiene a total of about four minutes of weightlesness. Because Hawking suffers from a degenerative nerve disease related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a medical support team was on hand to monitor his blood pressure and cardiac readings. But the renowned physicist held up even better than expected, negotiating for two additional 30-second rounds of weightlessness while in flight.
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As reported by Boston.com:
A $1 billion city without residents will be developed in Lea County near Hobbs, officials said Tuesday, to help researchers test everything from intelligent traffic systems and next-generation wireless networks to automated washing machines and self-flushing toilets. Hobbs Mayor Sam Cobb said the unique research facility that looks like an empty city will be a key for diversifying the economy of the nearby community, which after the oil bust of the 1980s saw bumper stickers asking the last person to leave to turn out the lights...
Bob Brumley, senior managing director of Pegasus Holdings, said the town will be modeled after the real city of Rock Hill, S.C., complete with highways, houses and commercial buildings, old and new. No one will live there, although they could as houses will include all the necessities, like appliances and plumbing. The point of the town is to enable researchers to test new technologies on existing infrastructure without interfering in everyday life. For instance, while some researchers will be testing smart technologies on old grids, others might be using the streets to test self-driving cars. A billion dollars. I don't understand what can be tested in this town that can't be tested with computer modeling. I thought it was a pork-barrel earmark project, but it seems to be privately funded. I don't understand.
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Janitor Graduates from Columbia University After 12 Years of Classes and Full-time Job
It took him 12 years of balancing classes with his fulltime job as a janitor but Gac Filipaj, an immigrant from the former Yugoslavia, is graduating from Columbia University with honors. Nearly 20 years ago. This man left his family in the former war-ravaged yugoslavia, heading to america with no money, no job, and no english speaking skills. [...] He landed a job at Columbia University , mopping floors. cleaning mirrors, and emptying the trash. That job turned into an education in the classics, and now an Ivy League degree. [...] ... the 52 year old was accepting into columbia school of general studies back in 2000 and took advantage of free courses for employees. He said juggling a full-time job and one or two courses a semester got exhausting at times. He typically took morning classes so he could work the night shift until 11:00 p.m ., then he had to commute home.
The next time you think that college is too hard and you want to drop out, think of this story: Link
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Good News: The Mayan Doomsday is Delayed
Archaeologist William Saturno has discovered a mural in a Mayan ruin that contradicted the Maya Doomsday of December 21, 2012:
Working with epigrapher David Stuart and archaeologist and artist Heather Hurst, the researchers noticed several barely visible hieroglyphic texts, painted and etched along the east and north walls of the room. One is a lunar table, and the other is a "ring number"—something previously known only from much later Maya books, where it was used as part of a backward calculation in establishing a base date for planetary cycles. Nearby is a sequence of numbered intervals corresponding to key calendrical and planetary cycles. The calculations include dates some 7,000 years in the future, adding to evidence against the idea that the Maya thought the world would end in 2012—a modern myth inspired by an ancient calendar that depicts time starting over this year. Link
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Waffle Jello Shots Are Part of a Nutritious Breakfast ???
Michelle of Jelly Shot Test Kitchen made these adorable and intoxicating waffle shots. They’re a mixture of orange juice, lemon juice, maple syrup, gelatin and vodka. Pour the mixture into ice cream sandwich pans and let them sit overnight so they’ll be ready in time for breakfast. Link -via Geekosystem
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Hungry, Angry Bird
Feed 'im before he launches himself with a catapult! Hit play or go to Link [YouTube] - via I Have Seen The Whole of The Internet
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The Hashtag Tower
Now this is something to tweet about: Danish architects BIG have designed an apartment tower complex that looks like a hashtag.
“The Cross # Towers constitute a three-dimensional urban community of interlocking horizontal and vertical towers. Three public bridges connect two slender towers at different levels – underground, at the street and in the sky. Catering to the demands and desires of different residents, age groups and cultures the bridges are landscaped and equipped for a variety of activities traditionally restricted to the ground. The resultant volume forms a distinct figure on the new skyline of Seoul – a “#” that serves as a gateway to the new Yongsan Business District signaling a radical departure from the crude repetition of disconnected towers towards a new urban community that populates the three-dimensional space of the city.” Take a look at the rest over at BIG: Link - via Dezeen
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If gravity is so attractive, why doesn’t the earth just crash into the sun? Or the moon into the earth?
The answer: Stable Orbits
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Years after she founded Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis was dining at the Tea Room at Wanamaker’s department store in Philadelphia. She saw they were offering a “Mother’s Day Salad.” She ordered the salad and when it was served, she stood up, dumped it on the floor, left the money to pay for it, and walked out in a huff. Jarvis had lost control of the holiday she helped create, and she was crushed by her belief that commercialism was destroying Mother’s Day. http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/126538#ixzz1uiogq8OL
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Graham's Number - Numberphile
A number so epic it will collapse your brain into a black hole! Yet Tony Padilla and Matt Parker take the risk of discussing its magnitude. Watch with caution.
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As I wandered through displays at South by Southwest, I saw a table with a a few containers of water and a couple of guys in black suits. It was a rather unassuming table and I nearly passed by until one of the guys took out his iPhone and put it into a bowl of water. Completely. I had a look reminiscent of a deer in headlights until he explained that it had been waterproofed with Liquipel.
Liquipel works by bonding with your phone on a molecular level both inside and out. The nano-coating can’t be felt and won’t scratch off over time. Treatment costs $59 plus shipping and when it’s done, your phone looks and feels exactly the same. This is both cool, because your phone is still shiny and perfect, and unsettling because you can’t see anything that shows it really is waterproof.
I shipped my phone out to Liquipel’s offices in California and couldn’t wait to have it safely back in my hands. It came back to me packed in a snazzy, foam-lined Liquipel tin. Inside the tin the phone was in a little black bag just like you’d expect a jewel thief to use for stolen diamonds. I slipped it from the bag and it didn’t look or feel the least bit different. Now, I had to face the tough part and actually test it out.
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This month’s Printable Fun is Mother’s Day pencil flowers. Make a bouquet of these pencil flowers for your Mom and not only will she delight at the arrangement but she’ll never have to hunt around for a pencil again!
© Brigid Ashwood 2012
Download the PDF file, print, color, decorate, cut and assemble a bouquet for your favorite Mom (or aunt or neighbor or other maternally minded individual). Included in the PDF is a black and white version for the creatively inclined, and full color flowers for those with printer ink to spare. Add glitter or other embellishments to the flowers, then assemble them according to the photos and instructions in the PDF.
Not only do these flowers look great in a coffee mug, but they discourage pencil drift – that annoying phenomenon where pencils and pens seem to disappear around the house. ( They are probably hanging out with a bunch of missing socks!)
These pencil flowers also look great tucked behind an ear, inside a shirt pocket or threaded thru a lapel button hole.
Happy Mother’s Day!
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The answer to each clue is the name of a flower.
1. Dressed up jungle king
2. Of two parts, seen on tea table
3. Road traffic suggests our country is this
4. In shepherd’s care
5. Get rich quick
6. Sugared letters
7. A sad girl

Solutions are:
1. Dandelion
2. Buttercup
3. Carnation
4. Phlox
5. Marigold
6. Sweet Pea
7. Bluebell
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“This is the most random, mindless entertainment I’ve found on the Internet.”
Check out Nick Veasey’s amazing X-ray photography of plants and animals and all manner of things (that are not human).
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st_photo_wolves_f
Image: Katie Haase/USGS
The wolf population in Yellowstone National Park is facing a vicious new predator: sarcoptic mange. It’s a form of scabies that causes canines to lose their hair, which translates into lost calories as the body tries to keep itself warm with holes in its shaggy coat. “If the wolves can’t replace the calories they lose, they die,” says Paul Cross, a disease ecologist at the Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center.
Scientists don’t know how to halt mange, and they don’t even know the full impact of the disease on the wolf population. But they’ve discovered a powerful tool for finding out: infrared cameras. Because heat is escaping through bald patches, these spots show up on thermal images of wolves wandering the wilderness. “We can see the color change with the infrared and estimate how much heat they’re losing,” Cross says. Using infrared is less invasive than traps, radio collars, or injections. The cameras enable scientists to collect body surface temperatures for each sick wolf, which helps them determine how many calories the mangy canines are losing relative to healthy wolves and therefore how long they have to live. Of course, the price of thermal cameras—left in the field with heat-sensitive triggers—remains something of a barrier. “They cost four to five grand apiece,” Cross says. “If a grizzly bear trashes one, we’re bummed.”
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Sensational Japanese Contemporary Art
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Pork With Ham
That’s what the label says: “pork with ham.” Is there a difference? According to the USDA, ham is the hind leg of a pig that’s been preserved, colored, and flavored through a process known as curing, while pork is just “meat from hogs.” According to Hormel, the pork in Spam is usually shoulder meat. What’s certain is that the pig flesh is vacuum-sealed in the can while still raw and then cooked for three hours. Hormel says this gives Spam an indefinite shelf life, making it the go-to food for Depression-era Okies and would-be subterranean nuclear holocaust survivors. (The company concedes that the flavor may change after three or more years on the shelf.)
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Mexico may be behind the rest of North America in a lot of ways, but in one area they are excelling; child porn. Here in the United States, for example, someone has to put in the time to find the children to be exploited, then there is the investment in candy and Jesus Juice and a safe location has to be found. Meanwhile in Mexico, a group of sixth graders have skipped all of these steps and gone straight to producing a porno themselves. Even so far as putting it up on the Internet.
Campeche State Education Department spokesman Omar Kantun said the video was apparently made in an empty classroom during recess. "It is real, the case is real, the video exists," Kantun said. "The Education Department is very concerned."
Kantun said the teacher who uses the classroom did not appear to have been present when the video was made. He said no disciplinary action has been taken against any students or teachers as of yet. However, some filmmaking credits may be transferable toward secondary education.
Three boys are seen on the video engaging in various kinds of activity recorded on a cellphone by a fourth person, apparently another student.
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Man pulled over for truck's testicles --*
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Authorities in South Carolina said a motorist was pulled over for an anatomically correct pair of false testicles hanging from his truck's rear bumper. The Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office incident report said the deputy pulled the silver truck over Sunday evening due to the flesh-colored decoration hanging from the bumper and the motorist agreed to remove the faux testicles, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal reported Tuesday. The driver, who moved to South Carolina from Mexico about six months ago, was arrested and charged with driving without a license. He was also issued a warning for the "obscene display."
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Lava Lakes & Lava Pools
http://www.evtv1.com/player.aspx?itemnum=1877&aid=
Lava is one of nature's most beautiful and dangerous creations. Watch as a scientist attempts to collect a sample from the Afar Triangle, located in Africa.
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Baseball Manager Flips Out And Is Ejected
In a bizarre incident at a minor league baseball game, the manager of the Mississippi Braves disputed a call and proceeds to act like an idiot by covering the infield and doing various, weird acts of defiance.
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My second is performed by my first, and, it is thought, a thief by the marks of my whole might be caught. What am I?

ANSWER: Footsteps.

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QUOTE: "Life ought to be a struggle of desire toward adventures whose nobility will fertilize the soul."

HINT: (1892-1983), English author, journalist, literary critic and travel writer.

ANSWER: Rebecca West.

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RANDOM TIDBITS

A recent study indicates when men crave food, they tend to crave fat and salt. When women crave food, they tend to desire chocolate.

Aztec emperor Montezuma drank 50 golden goblets of hot chocolate every day. It was thick, dyed red and flavored with chili peppers.

Bittersweet chocolate is what is usually called for in baking. It contains more chocolate liquor (at least 35%) and less sugar than sweet chocolate. Semisweet chocolate contains 15% - 35% chocolate liquor.

Chocolate syrup was used for blood in the famous 45 second shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's movie, Psycho, which actually took 7 days to shoot.

Chocolate was introduced into the United States in 1765 when cocoa beans were brought from the West Indies to Dorchester, Massachusetts.

The melting point of cocoa butter is just below the human body temperature -- which is why it literally melts in your mouth.
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Dark Chocolate (Super Foods!)http://www.evtv1.com/player.aspx?itemnum=12412
Chocolate lovers rejoice - this super food is good for you!
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Prince Charles, Weatherman
And he ain't bad, either (at least he's not invisible!):
Against a backdrop of the BBC's weather map, Prince Charles delivered a specially written script which included references to royal residences in Scotland. Looking directly into the camera, he said: "The best of the bright and dry weather will of course be in the northern isles and the far north of the mainland. So, a little hazy sunshine for the Castle of Mey in Caithness. "But a cold day everywhere with temperatures of just 8C and a brisk northerly wind. Thank God it isn't a bank holiday." View the clip over at the BBC: Link
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Exoplanets: Home Planet of Aliens?

If there is alien life, then they'd live in an exoplanet like these four that scientists have found. Visual.ly has the scoop of the four candidates in this nifty little infographic: Link
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Chimp Devises Increasingly Complex Attacks Against Zoo Visitors
And so the ape uprising has begun.
Researchers discovered that a male chimp at Furuvik Zoo in Sweden named Santino has been devising increasingly complex attacks against zoo visitors:
At first Santino was famous for throwing rocks and other projectiles at visitors who annoyed him. Now he has improved his technique, which requires spontaneous innovation for future deception. Researcher Mathias Osvath, lead author of a paper about Santino in PLoS ONE, explained what the clever chimp did:
"After a visitor group had left the compound area, Santino went inside the enclosure and brought a good-sized heap of hay that he placed near the visitor's section, and immediately after that he put stones under it," Osvath said.
"He also appeared to have placed projectiles behind, just before he went in after the hay. After this, he sat down beside the hay and waited. When the visitors came back, he waited until they were close by and, without any preceding display, he threw stones at the crowd." [...] The calculated surprise attacks on visitors demonstrate very advanced thinking usually only associated with humans. Link
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This Bears Repeating
One good head-licking deserves another, until before you know it, you’ve got a conga line of bears! There’s no word on where this video was taken, or how many bears are there altogether. -via Buzzfeed
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Bomb Disposal Robot is Ring Bearer
The bride is a mechanical engineer who helped design the Dragon Runner unmanned ground vehicle (UGV). So when Laura got married, it was only appropriate for the little robot to take part. As the ring bearer! The Dragon Runner wore a tiny tuxedo and carried the ring in while the song “Mr. Roboto” played. A grand time was had by all. You can see a video about the robot (but not the wedding) at Electronic Design. Link -via Gizmodo
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Usa-vs-russia
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What language do people born deaf think in?
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Vidal Sassoon dead at 84

World renown hairdresser Vidal Sassoon died of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles on Wednesday at the age of 84. Read all about it
Straight from the B&P Newswire…
Vidal Sassoon to be buried..
With extra body.
RIP Vidal Sassoon… a sad parting – he was head and shoulders above the rest.
Legendary Hair Stylist Vidal Sassoon has died.
I remember when I first used one of his hairdryers…I was blown away.
Vidal Sassoon’s death came as a huge shock to me today.
As hairdressers go, he was head and shoulders above the rest.
Dull limp and lifeless,
It’s not the new L’oreal product range.
It’s Vidal Sassoon
Vidal Saasoon. Hair today gone tomorrow
Why’s Vidal Sasoon being buried with a plastic turd from a joke shop?
He always loved having his own sham poo.
So, it’s a Permanent Wave goodbye to Vidal Saasoon
It just shows the temporary nature of our existence; Vidal Sassoon, one minute he was fine, lively and full of bounce, the next minute he just curled up and dyed!
Apparently Vidal Sassoon wanted to be cremated.
Coming soon Vidal Sassoon’s new range…
Dead and Smoulders.
I’ve just read that Vidal Sassoon’s son will receive nothing from his father’s will.
I can’t believe that he’s cut off his own Heir.
I’m not surprised Vidal Sassoon left a small fortune in his will.
He crimped and saved all his life.
via
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Egg surprise
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1. Ratio of an igloo’s circumference to its diameter = Eskimo Pi
2. 2000 pounds of Chinese soup = Won ton2. 1 millionth of a mouthwash = 1 microscope4. Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement = 1 bananosecond5. Weight an evangelist carries with God =1 billigram6. Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour = Knotfurlong7. 16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Sterling8. Half of a large intestine = 1 semicolon9. 1,000,000 aches = 1 megahurtz10. Basic unit of laryngitis = 1 hoarsepower11. Shortest distance between two jokes = A straight line12. 453.6 graham crackers = 1 pound cake13. 1 million-million microphones = 1 megaphone14. 2 million bicycles = 2 megacycles15. 365.25 days = 1 unicycle16. 2000 mockingbirds = 2 kilomockingbirds17. 52 cards - 1 decacards18. 1 kilogram of falling figs =1 FigNewton
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2012 World's Most Ethical Companies
The World's Most Ethical (WME) Companies designation recognizes companies that truly go beyond making statements about doing business "ethically" and translate those words into action. WME honorees not only promote ethical business standards and practices internally, they exceed legal compliance minimums and shape future industry standards by introducing best practices today.
This year, a record 145 companies made the list, which includes more than three dozen industries, from aerospace to wind power, with 43 of the WME winners headquartered outside the U.S.
Since the list's inception, 23 companies have made the list all six years including: Aflac, American Express, Fluor, General Electric, Milliken & Company, Patagonia, Rabobank and Starbucks, among others.
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Olympics Preview
 - Olympics Preview of the Day

The countdown to the start of the Olympics has officially begun, what with the Olympic torch on its way to London, and Nike’s new cutting-edge track and field unis making the rounds…
About those oddly dimpled track suits: They’re highly engineered to help reduce aerodynamic drag, and ostensibly to help American, German, Chinese, and Russian sprinters break records that have stood now for several years. Nike claims that the TurboSpeed technology could boost times by as much as .023 seconds, which would have been the difference between a personal best and a world record for the 2008 100-meter men’s winner, Usain Bolt.
The time also meant the difference between Beijing’s fourth- and third-place finishes, which means the new unis could have major medal implications for runners come August. [gizmodo]
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The insanely popular BBC version of a modern day Sherlock Holmes returned this past Sunday, and while its lead star made an oversight claiming the new Sherlock was more popular than Downtown Abbey, what has received more attention was an apparent typo by Washington Post columnist Lisa de Moraes. In the article discussing Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, she calls him Bandersnatch Cummerbund and the internet noticed.
But now we find out that de Moreas did not fall mercy to a spell checker that knew better, but rather the name was an intentional nudge at the star. De Moreas’ writing style is rather cheeky, and much like I often refer to George Lucas as Flannel Papa Smurf, de Moreas name drops Mr Cumberbatch as Bandersnatch Cummerbund.
So all’s well that ends well. No hard feelings, but now we know the misspelling wasn’t a typo and we can join in the joke.
Benedict Cumberbatch continues to star in Sherlock on the BBC, and soon to be seen on the big screen in Star Trek 2, and will be heard as the Dragon Smaug in the upcoming Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit.
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Humpback whales intervene in orca attack on gray whale calf
The hunt: A group of transient orcas was witnessed trying to separate a gray whale calf from its mom, a common hunting behavior. All of a sudden, two migrating humpback whales appeared. As the gray whale mother attempted to save her calf, the humpbacks splashed and trumpeted to scare away the orcas, often within a body length of the other whales.
Unfortunately, the baby whale was killed, but a total of five humpbacks harassed the orcas for hours, perhaps trying to keep them away from feeding on the carcass.
It’s difficult, if not impossible to equate this kind of behavior as “feelings”, in the human sense, but there’s certainly empathy here, and between two species to boot!
Whatever the answer, it’s touching proof of the intelligence of whales, and perhaps we can take this as a reminder that defending other species from destruction (or extinction) is a natural, core value of intelligent creatures like ourselves.
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…don’t ever forget that!
And don’t say “I’ll never be good”. You can become better! and one day you’ll wake up and you’ll find out how good you actually became. Neil deGrasse Tyson
He really just makes me smile.
Remember, you can. I got your back, folks.
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Now that you’ve added those 19 distinctly American words to your vocabulary, here are 11 more phrases from different linguistic regions around the country—courtesy of the wonderful Dictionary of American Regional English.
Keep in mind that these phrases are representative not only of a geographic region, but also of certain linguistic subsets, which split down generational, racial, ethnic and socioeconomic lines. So if you’re a 25-year-old, chances are you may not have heard every phrase uttered by an octogenarian living across the state.
1. Stew the Dishrag
2. Feel Like a Stewed Witch
3. Vomiting One’s Toenails
4. On the Carpet
5. Sonofabitch Stew
6. Democrat Hound
7. That Dog Won’t Hunt
8. That Cock Won’t Fight
9. Buck Beer
10. (Not Enough Sense to) Pound Sand Down a Rathole
11. Whoopity Scoot
What words or phrases from your neck of the woods should the rest of us start using?
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The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It's the monster. Men made it, but they can't control it.
--Chapter 5, Grapes of Wrath
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Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.--Pamela Vaull Starr
The power of imagination makes us infinite.--John Muir

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.--Epictetus

More on the New World Order dressed up in flowery language...
If we do not follow the dictates of our inner moral compass and stand up for human life, then his lawlessness will threaten the peace and democracy of the emerging new world order we now see, this long dreamed-of vision we've all worked toward for so long. --President George H. Bush (January 1991)
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Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.~ Harriet Tubman
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"These days, teachers have it rough. Kids can be hyperactive, disobedient, and obnoxious. It must feel like being locked in a room of drunk midgets." -Craig Ferguson
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Last June, my friend told me about her plans for our upcoming prom. "I'm renting a stretch limo and spending $1,000 on a new dress, and I've reserved a table at the most expensive restaurant in town," she said.
Our teacher overheard her and shook her head. "I didn't spend that much on my wedding."
My friend answered, "I can have three or four weddings. But a prom you do only once."
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"Strange development in the Secret Service prostitution saga. They issued new rules of conduct on Friday, and on some trips they will send chaperones to make sure the rules are enforced. Am I nuts, or is this weird? We have to give the Secret Service chaperones to make sure they don't get drunk and have sex? We should make the agents travel with their moms." -Jimmy Kimmel
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"There's a new dating site aimed at matching up women who like to travel with men willing to pay for their trips. It's part of a new dating trend called prostitution." -Jimmy Fallon
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"Today is the 20th annual Bring Your Child to Work Day. It's a great opportunity to show your kids why you come home so miserable every day." -Jimmy Kimmel
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"Last week, a hunter in Kansas shot his friend twice because he mistakenly thought he was a turkey. After the first shot, the guy said he wasn't a turkey. But, come on, that's exactly what a turkey would have said." -Jimmy Fallon
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Kill with kindness
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The middle-aged married couple finally moved into the Condo of their dreams, but right next door to a very sexy fashion model. The husband had taken to borrowing this or that from their neighbor and it seemed to the wife that it always took him way too long to return.

One time the wife had had enuff and actually pounded on the wall between the two apartments. There being no response she telephoned, only to get the answering machine. Finally she went to the model's door and just kept ringing the bell.

When the model answered, the wife fumed,"I would like to know why it is my husband takes so damn long to get something over here."
"Well sweetie," the model purred, "all these interruptions sure ain't helping none either."
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"Scientists are saying that the triceratops may never have existed. Next will be the brontosaurus and the stegosaurus and the next thing you know, my pajamas are covered in lies." -Craig Ferguson
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While visiting Annapolis, a lady tourist noticed several students on their hands and knees assessing the courtyard with pencils and clipboards in hand.
"What are they doing?" she asked the tour guide.
"Each year," he replied with a grin, "the upperclassmen ask the freshmen how many bricks it took to finish paving this courtyard."
When they were out of earshot of the freshmen, the curious lady asked the guide: "So, what's the answer?"
The guide replied: "One."
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RIP Maurice Sendak. Here’s a tribute from us scientists.
( PsiVid, this video was created by the MIT biology dept. in 2009 for their Halloween party)
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QUOTE: "When I tell any truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do."

HINT: (1757-1827), English poet, painter, and printmaker.

ANSWER: William Blake
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A series of videos give a history lesson and backstory on different facets of the Game of Thrones world. They’re from the Blu-Ray discs, but are also available to all of us online.
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What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.
There is something about holding an organized pile of wood pulp and dried ink that gives the reader a shared stake in the author’s experience, some small part-ownership of a piece of information. “This is mine, and although the words in it are not, the experience is purely personal.” Where will this take us with e-books? I am a huge fan of their accessibility and their rich creative potential, but will the magic persist? (via Brain Pickings)
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sciencepopularis:  A magnetic field visualized  Love simple, effective demonstrations like this! Speaking of magnetism, have you seen this amazing ferrofluids video yet?
A magnetic field visualized
Love simple, effective demonstrations like this!
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RANDOM TIDBITS

In 2001, a Hooters waitress sued the restaurant chain after she won a company sales contest. The promised prize had been described as a Toyota, but when she was led blindfolded out to the parking lot to collect her prize, it turned out to be a "Toy Yoda" - a Star Wars action figure.

During the 1950s, the majority of contests were "jingle-based" - companies inviting customers to create rhyming advertisements for their products. Evelyn Ryan of Defiance, Ohio, had such a knack for verse that she managed to keep her family home from foreclosure and keep her 10 children fed and clothed via her contest winnings. She was even the subject of the 2005 film The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio.

The Canadian Competition Act bans all games of chance, with the exception of provincial lotteries and those held at licensed casinos. As a result, most U.S.-based sweepstakes mention in the fine print that "Canadian residents will be required to answer a skill-testing question."

After winning the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest six years in a row, Takeru Kobayashi was finally defeated in 2007. The younger and larger Joey Chestnut won the July 4 event by downing a world-record 66 franks (with buns) in 12 minutes.

In 1984, MTV sponsored a contest in conjunction with John Mellencamp's hit song "Pink Houses" - the grand prize being a little pink house in Bloomington, Indiana. Susan Miles of Bellevue, Washington, was ultimately awarded the deed. She spent two nights in the house, held on to the title long enough to get a tax credit, and then sold it.

McDonald's first offered a Monopoly collect-and-win stamp game in 1987 and has continued it annually since 1991. While a scandal involving prizes later caused quite a ruckus, some "real people" did win larger prizes.
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Sticky Wall Challenge - Japanese Game Show
http://www.evtv1.com/player.aspx?itemnum=12783
It never fails to amaze. That is what will pop into your mind after viewing this clip from a Japanese Game Show that features Velcro walls, rope swings, a see-saw and a television studio filled with baking soda.

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Wonder how damned dumb people are?
1 in 7 thinks the world will end in their lifetime. 1 in 10 thinks it ends this year!

Oops!
Nearly 15 percent of people worldwide believe the world will end during their lifetime and 10 percent think the Mayan calendar could signify it will happen in 2012, according to a new poll…
“Whether they think it will come to an end through the hands of God, or a natural disaster or a political event, whatever the reason, one in seven thinks the end of the world is coming,” said Keren Gottfried, research manager at Ipsos Global Public Affairs which conducted the poll for Reuters.
Responses to the international poll of 16,262 people in more than 20 countries varied widely with only six percent of French residents believing in an impending Armageddon in their lifetime, compared to 22 percent in Turkey and the United States and slightly less in South Africa and Argentina…
About one in 10 people globally also said they were experiencing fear or anxiety about the impending end of the world in 2012. The greatest numbers were in Russia and Poland, the fewest in Great Britain.
Gottfried also said that people with lower education or household income levels, as well as those under 35 years old, were more likely to believe in an apocalypse during their lifetime or in 2012, or have anxiety over the prospect.
RTFA for a list of countries polled. I don’t need to know which religions had the lead in apocalyptic paranoia. I still have problems dealing with the fact that these people get to vote.
Thanks, Ed
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I was just thinking...
Why are sleeveless t-shirts still identified as t-shirts?
Why is chicken, as far as I know, the only food that comes in a bucket?
Why don't people smoke cigarettes with their nostrils rather than their mouths? Cigarettes were made to be stuck up one's nose.
Why does Winnie the Pooh wear a shirt, but he doesn't wear pants?
Why is the plural for cheese "cheeses" and not "choose"? You know, kind of like geese and goose.
These are a just a few of the things that I was thinking about while I wait for my arm to be freed from the soda machine.
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My Little Lizard --*

A man walks into a bar with a little salamander-looking creature in his hand. The barman looks at the creature and asks the man what he calls it.
"Tiny," replies the man.
"Why's that?" asks the bartender.
"Because he's my newt!"
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Q and A Quickies --*

Q: Why did the cat sit on the computer?
A: To keep an eye on the mouse.

Q: Where do American cows come from?
A: Moo York.

Q: How can you tell if a woman's wearing pantyhose or knee-high's?
A: If her ankles swell when she farts.

Q: How do you know when you're really a loser?
A: When a nymphomaniac tells you, "Let's just be friends."
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Random Facts:

Elektro, the world's first humanoid robot, debuted in 1939. Built by Westinghouse, the seven-foot-tall walking machine "spoke" more than 700 words. Elektro later appeared in the 1960 B movie Sex Kittens Go to College.


Leonardo da Vinci drew up plans for an armored humanoid machine in 1495. Engineer Mark Rosheim has created a functional miniature version for NASA to help colonize Mars.
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TIKKE !!!! The perfect way to have a second childhood!
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A gloss (from Latin: glossa, from Greek: γλῶσσα glóssa "tongue") is a brief marginal notation of the meaning of a word or wording in a text. It may be in the language of the text, or in the reader's language if that is different.
A collection of glosses is a glossary. A collection of medieval legal glosses, made by so-called glossators, is called an apparatus. The compilation of glosses into glossaries was the beginning of lexicography, and the glossaries so compiled were in fact the first dictionaries. In modern times a glossary, as opposed to a dictionary, is typically found in a text as an appendix of specialized terms that the typical reader may find unfamiliar. Also, satirical explanations of words and events are called glosses. The German Romantic movement used the expression of gloss for poems commenting on a given other piece of poetry, often in the Spanish Décima style.
Glosses were originally notes made in the margin or between the lines of a text in a Classical language, in which the meaning of a word or passage is explained. As such, glosses vary in thoroughness and complexity, from simple marginal notations of words one reader found difficult or obscure, to interlinear translations of a text with cross references to similar passages.

Marginalia (or apostil) are scribbles, comments, and illuminations in the margins of a book.
The scholia on classical manuscripts are the earliest known form of marginalia. Fermat's last theorem is the most famous mathematical marginal note.
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Five Fingers of Evolution (by TEDEducation)
Having trouble remembering the 5 processes that impact evolution (small population, non-random mating, mutations, gene flow, adaptation)? Learn the five-finger trick, and you’ll always have them at your fingertips (see what I did there?)!
TEDEducation is knocking out of the park, which is pretty much exactly what I expected they would do. Maybe they’re juicing?. We should have them tested.
Put some smiles on those genes, turn them into jeans, and get shufflin’ … you’ll have the principles of natural selection down in no time.
Previously: TEDEd on How Small Is An Atom? And don’t miss their jaw-dropping visual journey The Secret Life of Plankton.
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National Geographic
Fish Tank Kings
Healthy Living from Health.com
Good news: You're not stuck with your mom's slow-mo metabolism. Take these simple steps and you can burn more calories without (necessarily) adding workouts. Phew!

HOW TO TELL IF YOUR KILLER HEADACHE IS A MIGRAINE18 symptoms that mean it's more serioushttp://health.chtah.net/a/tBPqrHPBFYNexB8i4tACFNC1EIp/top25
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A very, VERY unusual ocean creature
Watch the video first and decide what you think this is - reportedly filmed by a ROV, perhaps at an oil drilling platform. Then peek below the fold for clarification as to whether this is -
a) real or fake,
b) plastic or organic,
c) living or dead.
It's real, organic, and living. At the Reddit thread, after some preliminary comments that it was a plastic sheet or other debris, or perhaps the placenta of a whale, it was identified as a Deepstaria enigmatica. It's a cnidarian. ( A jellyfish)
You learn something every day. I am repeatedly gobsmacked to discover the amazing creatures we share this planet with.
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A semi and a bus found themselves at a hairpin turn in Trollstigen, Norway - what do you think will happen next?
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In Case of Emergency, Eat This Book
After you've foolishly walked away from your Land Rover to explore a mirage in the Arabian desert, you've found yourself lost. What to do? Thank goodness for this survival guide that explains how to keep yourself alive with tips on dealing with scorching temperatures, building shelters, lighting a fire and so on. The best thing is: you can eat the book!
Actually the whole thing is a clever ad campaign by Y&R Dubai ad agency for Land Rover:
Y&R Dubai researched every indigenous animal and plant, people could encounter in the Arabian Desert and how they could be used to survive. They studied the topography of the region to guide people to safety. The agency used a reflective packaging similar to army rations, which could be used to signal for help, and bound the book with a metal spiral, which could be used for cooking. Finally, the agency even took an extra step so that in case of emergency, people could always EAT the book. It was made out of edible ink and paper, and it had a nutritional value close to that of a cheeseburger. Link - via DesignTaxi
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Reporter: "What do you say to parents who think the Wild Things film may be too scary?"
Sendak: "I would tell them to go to hell. That's a question I will not tolerate."
Reporter: "Because kids can handle it?"
Sendak: "If they can't handle it, go home. Or wet your pants. Do whatever you like. But it's not a question that can be answered.... This concentration on kids being scared, as though we as adults can't be scared. Of course we're scared. I'm scared of watching a TV show about vampires. I can't fall asleep. It never stops. We're grown-ups; we know better, but we're afraid."
Reporter: "Why is that important in art?"
Sendak: "Because it's truth. You don't want to do something that's all terrifying. I saw the most horrendous movies that were unfit for child's eyes. So what? I managed to survive."
I distinctly remember seeing Welles' War of the Worlds as a child; during the scene in the farmhouse when the head enters the basement I watched the movie from the floor, peering between the backs of the seats in the row ahead of me. It probably helped contribute to my development as an adult in some convoluted way...
More details re the Sendak comment and a (very) long discussion thread at the San Francisco Chronicle's
SFGate. Via Fark. Reposted from 2009 to mark Maurice Sendak's recent death.
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Here's a good idea; keep a gun in your house for protection. Here's a bad idea; keep it loaded and unlocked next to your bed while you sleep. That was the unfortunate decision of Arizona resident David Jennings who woke up in the middle of the night to find his own pistol being pointed at his head.
"Don't move," said the intruder, who was silhouetted by the glow of the television set which Jennings had left on.
Realizing the stupidity of his thoughtlessness, Jennings had to make an instant decision. Thinking about his wife lying next to him and his children down the hall, he decided to defend himself and his family.
Fortunately, with experience as a bouncer and training in mixed martial arts, Jennings was better prepared than most. He immediately tackled the intruder and began screaming for his wife to wake up and call 911.
His gamble paid off. He was able to disarm the intruder, and when police showed up they tried to arrest Jennings because by that time he looked like the attacker, having the intruder subdued and bouncing his head off the floor.
Well, if you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough. Jennings said that he has since bought a trigger lock for his gun.

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dalmatian photo
What is this? Most people see a mass of black blobs and then gradually recognize a photograph of a Dalmatian.
“What is interesting is that the outline shape on the picture surface that is experienced as resembling that of a dog is not seen as an outline shape at all unless the dog is seen in the figure,” writes University of British Columbia philosopher Dominic McIver Lopes. There’s no dog-shaped outline to notice; the contour of the dog’s body is invisible. To see the contour we must first see the dog … but how do we see the dog without the contour?
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Driving drunk with your kids strapped to the hood of the car
This adventure started, not so surprisingly, at a liquor store yesterday — Belmont Beverage in Fort Wayne, Ind. Witnesses say they saw the car leave the parking lot with four children (ages 4-7), not just not secured in car seats (which would be bad enough), but instead strapped to the hood of the car…
Witness Tom Nowak told station INC: “With one of those straps you crank on a semi to hold down lumber, they were strapped with that thing, wiggling and wobbling down the street.”
I’m stunned; seriously stunned. The kids, of course, were all for it, and told the station that Aaron Stefanski (the father of three of the children) and Jessica Clark (who is mother of the fourth child) asked them if they wanted to do it, and they said, “yes, because it sounded like fun.”
Why these parents thought it would be fun or a good idea is anyone’s guess. I’m sure the alcohol didn’t help, but wow. The things that could have happened to these children are unimaginable.
Fortunately they’re fine as plenty of witnesses saw it happening (how could you miss such a spectacle?) and called the police before anyone got hurt. A U.S. Marshall pulled them over after a few blocks, and Stefanski was arrested. He’s been charged with Operating While Intoxicated and Neglect of a Dependent, which doesn’t sound nearly severe enough for something that could have killed four children.
Why am I not surprised? Having spent a brief – but truly stupid – portion of my youth investigating the result of drinking way too much of various alcoholic beverages, I recall some of the dumb things I did. Sometimes I wish I didn’t remember.
Ditto, Thanks, Ed
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Dear Optimist, Pessimist & Realist,
While you guys were arguing about the glass of water,
I drank it.
Sincerely,
The Opportunist
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IBM sees a boom in cost-effective retrofits for skyscrapers
Getting a building in shape is a lot like eating right. Under this approach, dubbed “the physiology of buildings,” a heating and cooling system is akin to the respiratory system; elevators and corridors are a circulatory system; and a building’s smart sensors with sophisticated computer monitoring are the nervous system.
Each system affects others: water meters in bathrooms work together with security systems to analyze occupancy, affecting how quickly the building breathes in fresh air. Lighting, by heating a space, affects how much power is used for cooling. With the right data, an owner can decide whether replacing air conditioners makes better sense than a new roof.
The interaction of those systems adds up to an ecosystem that can be measured and improved, like a visit to the doctor or a gym membership. Bartlett, who studied biology, eventually sees buildings forming part of a wider ecosystem that brings nature into cities, making them more literally “green.”
That 'Environmental Engineer Program' that I was selected for was about this topic.
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Pacific garbage patch changes insect mating habits — what’s next?
I bet you wouldn't be at all surprised that Scripps was once my dream (when we were in high school, we met Jacques Cousteau through my brother's SCUBA diving club)
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One More Day by Diamond Rio - The Last Time
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Cross River gorillas hold the unfortunate distinction as the most endangered African ape. There are less than 250 of them left. In this rare sighting from a motion-activated camera in Cameroon, a group of 8 strolls by under a thick jungle canopy.
It includes an amazing example of silverback male chest-thumping (much different than you see it in the movies)! He charges past the camera around halfway through, asserting his dominance to the group, and to us (unbeknownst to him, of course). But sadly, one of them also appears to be missing a hand. This could be a result of gorilla combat, or it could be a reminder of the damage that we humans have inflicted on this great ape species.
Will this be one of the last times we capture footage of these gorillas? Or a call to action to save a species?
Previously: Gorillas in your midst: A tourist and gorillas connect as fellow primates. Terrified, about to pee their pants out of fear fellow primates, that is. Enthralling cross-species interaction!

Carl Pyrdum's 2010 essay on the internal logic of Gothic manuscript illuminations uses a delightful series of illustrations and sprites from Super Mario Brothers. History at its finest:
If you look carefully (the image above–and all the images in this post–should expand if you click it), you can see that the two initial capitals on the page form separate platforms, not quite touching.
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Brewers for Boobs - presented by The EastBurn and Migration Brewing
Migration Brewing Company challenges other Oregon brewmasters to a friendly competition that raises much-needed funds for the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer early detection and local patient service programs at the 3rd Annual Brewers For Boobs Saturday, May 12th ...from 12 a.m. – 9 p.m. at The EastBurn (1800 East Burnside).

$10 minimum donation at the door earns your wristband, commemorative pint glass and 5 tasting tickets. Additional tickets for $1 each.

The fundraising event allows beer lovers to make a donation to the American Cancer Society to taste a selection of local brews and mingle with the brewers who make them. The brewery that raises the most money for the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer gets to issue the next year’s challenge. This year Migration has challenged Portland newcomer Gigantic Brewing as well as Double Mountain, Breakside, Lucky Lab, Natian and 2010 Brewers For Boobs champion Lompoc.

The Brewers For Boobs who compete at the Battle of the Breweries donate their time, beer, and swag to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. The American Cancer Society fundraiser provides resources for local breast cancer patients, mammography for those without access, funds a cutting-edge research program and raises awareness about prevention and early detection.

Learn more about Making Strides online at www.portlandstrides.org.
Sneak preview of the Brewers for Boobs Cupcakes (all ethnicities, shapes and cup sizes - pun TOTALLY intended) being provided by Sweet Chaos. Hope to see you there next weekend!
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We’re playing Russian roulette. The revolver has six chambers, all empty. I put bullets in two adjacent chambers, spin the cylinder, hold the gun to my head, and pull the trigger. It clicks. Now it’s your turn. Before pulling the trigger, you can choose to spin the cylinder again or leave it as it is. Which is better? Click for solution …
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This guy was watching TV as his wife was out cutting the grass during the hot summer. He finally worked up the energy to go out and ask his wife what was for supper.
Well, his missus was quite irritated about him sitting in the air conditioned house all day while she did all the work, so she scolded him. “I can’t believe you’re aking me about supper right now! Imagine I’m out of town, go inside and figure dinner out yourself.”
So he went back in the house and fixed himself a big steak, with potatoes, garlic bread and tall glass of iced tea.
The wife finally walked in about the time he was finishing up and asked him, “You fixed something to eat? So where is mine?”
“Huh? I thought you were out of town.”
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The Bumbling, Crawling Sperms
In the movies, sperms have been portrayed as swimming elegantly up the female reproductive tract to inseminate the egg. What baloney. The truth is that they're much more like bumbling male drivers who refuse to stop to ask for directions:
When Dr. Petr Denissenko of the University of Warwick first saw sperm cells crashing as they negotiated the tight turns of channels en route to a woman's egg, he couldn't help but chuckle. "I couldn't resist a laugh the first time I saw sperm cells persistently swerving on tight turns and crashing head-on into the opposite wall of a microchannel," he said. [...] Despite so many images of sperm swimming like fish, researchers found that sperm rarely swim in the central part of the female reproductive tract. Instead, they avoid the "middle lane" and crawl along the sides of the walls. Link
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What a name (scientifically, its Neoclinus Blanchardi). What an impressive mouth. More information here.
"...a
ferocious fish which has a large mouth and aggressive territorial behaviour. They can be up to 30 centimetres (12 in) wide and are mostly scaleless with great pectoral fins and reduced pelvic fins. With highly compressed bodies, some may be so widened as to appear eel-like. They tend to hide inside shells or crevices. After the female spawns under a rock or in clam burrows the male guards the eggs. They are found in the Pacific, off the coast of North America, from San Francisco, California, to central Baja California and their depth range is from 3 to 73 metres (9.8 to 240 ft)."
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The Physics of Spilled Coffee
Scientists are concerned about spilled coffee, because long hours of research require coffee, and a spill can ruin your train of thought, if not your valuable notes. Mechanical engineer Rouslan Krechetnikov of the the University of California, Santa Barbara, and graduate student Hans Mayer did some experiments after noticing coffee being sloshed at a fluid dynamics conference (of all places).
Back at the lab, Krechetnikov and Mayer set up an experiment: They asked a person to walk at different speeds along a straight path with a filled coffee mug in hand. The volunteer did this in one of two ways-either focusing on the coffee mug, or looking straight ahead. A camera recorded the person’s motion and the mug’s trajectory, while a tiny sensor on the mug recorded the instant of spillage.
A fluid’s back-and-forth movement has a certain natural frequency, and this is determined by the size of its container. In their paper published last week in Physical Review E, Krechetnikov and Mayer show that everyday mug sizes produce natural frequencies that just happen to match those of a person’s leg movements during walking. This means that walking alone, without any other interference, is tuned to drive coffee to oscillate in a mug. But the researchers also found that even small irregularities in a person’s walking are important: These amplify the wilder oscillations, or sloshing, which bumps up the chance of a spillage.
“This is a very cool study,” says Lei Ren, a specialist in the biomechanics of walking at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. “It reveals the sophisticated interplay between human body dynamics and the fluid mechanics of spilling coffee.”
Their advice? Don’t walk too fast while carrying coffee, don’t fill the cup to the brim, and watch what you’re doing. There’s more, which you can read at Science Now. Link -via reddit
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Using only a 4-minute hourglass and a 7-minute hourglass, how can you measure 9 minutes?
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Giant otters sunbathing - Wildlife on One - BBC
The incomparable David Attenborough narrates the video.
I've previously reported about
lachryphagous moths, including this interesting cited observation:
"The highly specialized Lobocraspis griseifusa does not wait for an animal’s eyes to moisten. When it has landed, it sweeps its proboscis across the eye of its unfortunate host, irritating the eyeball, encouraging it to produce tears. It can even insert its proboscis between the eyelids, ensuring it can feed even while its host is sleeping. Whereas a moth of the genus Poncetia goes to the opposite extreme. It’s proboscis is so short it must cling to the eyeball itself to drink. But it must be careful. If its weeping host blinks, the moth is often crushed to death.”
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Psst! Your Vascular System is Showing!
Painted blood donors at St Pancras
Actually, they're just painted on. UK's National Health Service is worried that the upcoming summer Olympic Games would mean that blood donors are too busy watching the games that they'd forget to donate. So it embarked on a publicity stunt to raise awareness of the need for blood donation in Britain.
Metro has the pics: Link (Photo: Adrian Brooks/PA) - via Notcot
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Stop, Breathe, and Watch Kites
You’ve got a big day ahead of you and a lot to do during it. Stop for five minutes and center yourself. This relaxing video by Patrick Colpron shows a six-sail kite built and flown by Steve Polansky. It dances across the sky and beach, accompanied by “Lighthouse”, a song by Patrick Watson.
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IV Drips for Chinese Students Cramming for College Entrance Exam

Passing the national exam is so competitive in China that students resort to finding an edge - any edge - that can help them pass.
This photo, purportedly of high schoolers given "amino acid" IV drips while cramming, has gone viral:
Mr. Xia, director of Office of Academic Affairs, said that what is delivered to the students intravenously is nothing but amino acids to restore their health. “The state grants a 10-yuan subsidy for amino acids to each graduating senior that will participate in the gao kao (National College Entrance Exam). Any student that feels not well can go to the infirmary and take amino acids on the IV drip,” Mr. Xia explained. He said that some students had been below par recently due to the sudden weather changes in the city of Xiaogan, and the school infirmary had been packed with students. In order to spare students the trouble of running back and forth between the infirmary and the classroom and save their time, the school decided to arrange IV drip sessions right in the classroom. Link - via Boing Boing
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Yogurt Makes Mice Slimmer and Sexier
Put down that Viagra and reach out for some yogurt instead. New studies by Eric Alm and Susan Erdman of Massachusetts Institute of Technology revealed that yogurt not only make mice slimmer, it makes them sexier as well.
“Maybe it has to do with the healthy bacteria that live in our guts,” said Alm, an evolutionary biologist, explaining how there are 10 times more bacteria in the body than human cells. “Maybe probiotics in the yogurt have something to do with the effects on weight.” To test the theory, Alm and Erdman fed one group of mice a normal mouse diet and another group the same diet with a mouse-sized serving of vanilla yogurt. “One of the first things we noticed was their fur coat,” said Erdman, assistant director of comparative medicine at MIT. “It was so thick and shiny; shockingly shiny.” But shiny fur wasn’t the only thing that set the yogurt-eating mice apart from their siblings: They were also slimmer, and the males had “swagger.”
And what causes this newfound sexual confidence? “She noticed their testicles were protruding out really far,” Erdman said.Swaggerin', yogurt-eatin', slim mice with a sexy strut and huge testicles. Yogurt, what can't it do? Link
BRB, going to the market to get me some yogurt!
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Lies Told About Caramelizing Onions
Tom Scocca is upset with celebrity chefs and recipes that tell you to caramelize onions in ten minutes. You can sauté onions in ten minutes, but caramelization takes around 45 minutes, meaning “the best time to caramelize onions is yesterday.”
Here, telling the truth about how to prepare onions for French onion soup, is Julia Child: “[C]ook slowly until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Blend in the salt and sugar, raise heat to moderately high, and let the onions brown, stirring frequently until they are a dark walnut color, 25 to 30 minutes.” Ten minutes plus 25 to 30 minutes equals 35 to 40 minutes. That is how long it takes to caramelize onions.
But if you take the time to do it right, you’ll be rewarded with some mighty delicious cooked onions. The article at Slate looks into how chefs come up with their timetables, which are different from what goes on in your kitchen. Link -via Metafilter, where you can find a lengthy but helpful discussion on onions.
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See-Through Caterpillar
This jewel caterpillar (acraga coa) is dressed to perfection. Gerardo Aizpuru spotted it in a mangrove area on the Yucatán peninsula. You can find more pictures of it at the link.
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Ben Franklin’s “rules for making oneself a disagreeable companion,” 1750:
  1. If possible engross the whole Discourse; and when other Matter fails, talk much of your-self, your Education, your Knowledge, your Circumstances, your Successes in Business, your Victories in Disputes, your own wise Sayings and Observations on particular Occasions, &c. &c. &c.;
  2. If when you are out of Breath, one of the Company should seize the Opportunity of saying something; watch his Words, and, if possible, find somewhat either in his Sentiment or Expression, immediately to contradict and raise a Dispute upon. Rather than fail, criticise even his Grammar.
  3. If another should be saying an indisputably good Thing; either give no Attention to it; or interrupt him; or draw away the Attention of others; or, if you can guess what he would be at, be quick and say it before him; or, if he gets it said, and you perceive the Company pleas’d with it, own it to be a good Thing, and withal remark that it had been said by Bacon, Locke, Bayle, or some other eminent Writer; thus you deprive him of the Reputation he might have gain’d by it, and gain some yourself, as you hereby show your great Reading and Memory.
  4. When modest Men have been thus treated by you a few times, they will chuse ever after to be silent in your Company; then you may shine on without Fear of a Rival; rallying them at the same time for their Dullness, which will be to you a new Fund of Wit.
“Thus you will be sure to please yourself,” he concluded. “The polite Man aims at pleasing others, but you shall go beyond him even in that. A Man can be present only in one Company, but may at the same time be absent in twenty. He can please only where he is, you where-ever you are not.”
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“Those who wish to appear wise among fools, among the wise seem foolish.” — Quintilian
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A Famous Filched Ford

Ruth and Jesse Warren of Topeka, Kansas, bought a 1934 Ford Fordor Deluxe Sedan. They hadn’t owned it very long when on April 29th, 1934, Ruth noticed the car was missing. A month later the Warrens were informed the car was in Louisiana, with 160 bullet holes in it after Texas lawmen shot and killed Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. The Warrens had to go to federal court to take back possession of their car, as the sheriff wanted to keep it for his trouble. Even then, they had to pay a $70 storage fee! The Warren car became more famous every year after that, as people flocked to see a part of history. You can follow its story through lots of links to tons of pages full of photographs and newspaper clippings. Link -via Everlasting Blort
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Suppose I switch on my reading lamp at time zero. After one minute I switch it off again. Then I switch it on after a further 30 seconds, off after 15 seconds, and so on.
James Thomson asks: “At the end of two minutes, is the lamp on or off? … It cannot be on, because I did not ever turn it on without at once turning it off. It cannot be off, because I did in the first place turn it on, and thereafter I never turned it off without at once turning it on.”
What is the answer? Would the final state be different if I had switched the lamp off at time zero, rather than on? What if I carry out the experiment twice in succession?
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PDX Pipeline Newsletter: Running for 92 straight weeks since June 2010!
Portland On The Web: ABC News, Wall Street Journal, Forbes & More

In this week's edition of article round-ups, lions are attacking babies dressed as zebras, we are America's art capital, Dallas tourism is on its way, and drinkspirits tells you how to imbibe locally.

Wall Street Journal:
Our Next Art Capital: Portland?
Forbes: Team Evil Geniuses Manager Anna Prosser (Portland native, Miss Oregon) Believes More Female Gamers Will Turn Pro

Dallas News: Finding 'Portlandia' in Portland, OR

Portland Online: Our Road Map for the Next 25 Years

ABC News: Baby's zebra hoodie attracts hungry lion at Oregon Zoo

DrinkSpirits: Spirits from Portland, Oregon - DrinkSpirits Podcast
Pipeline is now hosted locally and sustainably

We moved our hosting to Canvas Dreams yesterday. Canvas Dreams operates its own wind-powered data facility in Portland, Oregon and uses 100% sustainable wind energy. 99% of people can see the site now but some of you may get an error when going there. If so, it should be resolved within a couple hours.
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Treehoppers are truly awesome creatures. See also here.
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Smithsonian Magazine Online
Were the last dinosaurs thriving or declining just before Tyrannosaurus and kin disappeared?
The S. Dillon Ripley Center hosts an exhibit of more than 300 of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' patents since 1980.
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National Geographic
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Pictures: Cheetahs of the Kalahari
You won't have any trouble "spotting" these big cats trying to survive in the extremes of the Kalahari in this photo gallery.
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Giraffe Freaks Out
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A remarkable advertisement for the Canadian Paralympics that was filmed in one take with no special effects.
Update:
How it was done
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I’ll never look at that movie poster the same way again.
Lion king
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A quick tour of Alaska's capital city Juneau.
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I need to think before I answer
The wife asked me, “When you’re on a boys only trip away, do you think about me?”
…. Apparently “Only to stop myself from coming too quickly” wasn’t the right answer.
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Cube is a Google Maps game that runs in your browser. The game places players on a giant, six-panel cube whose faces spin when generating each of eight new levels. Players are given a series of tasks that all require you to tilt the cube to move your marker to a number of targets in cities like York, San Francisco, Paris, London, Tokio and Las Vegas.
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Beijing jianbing is a kind of breakfast crepe widely sold in Beijing, China. The motorized cooking plate speeds up the process for larger crepe.
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Cockroaches. Just the word makes you cringe, doesn't it? But recently discovered social traits of cockroaches might change your mind. Or maybe not. They're still creepy-crawlies, aren't they? Here are some interesting findings about cockroaches from research published by French and U.S. biologists in the journal Insect Sociaux.
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Nutcracker
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Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson claims the title “scientist” above all other “ists.” And yet, he says he is “constantly claimed by atheists.” So where does he stand? “Neil deGrasse, widely claimed by atheists, is actually an agnostic.”
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Here is the most insane juggling .

Need something to help you procrastinate all week?
A Google A Day may be just what you’re looking for.

The
37 Saddest Failed Kickstarters. I have so much second-hand embarrassment scrolling through these …
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Things your Mother would NEVER say…
– Yeah, I used to cut class a lot too.
– Go ahead and keep that stray dog, honey. I’ll be glad to feed and walk him every day.
– That outfit isn’t sexy enough, here, unbutton your blouse.
– Why don’t you hitchhike? It would totally be cheaper.
– The curfew is just a general time to shoot for. It’s not like I’m running a prison around here.
– Don’t clean your room so often. It makes the rest of the house look bad.
– Can I borrow your new speed metal CDs?
– Naw, you don’t have to call me, I’ll eventually figure it out if you’re in trouble.
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Colbert Vs. Miracle Whip
Last month, Stephen Colbert tore apart Miracle Whip's stupid new advertising campaign aimed at hipsters. Today, the bold marketing team at Miracle Whip responded by running this full page ad in several newspapers. Your move, Colbert.
Miracle Whip ran this full page newspaper ad bragging about how they were going to buy up all the ad time during The Colbert Report yesterday. Last night, Stephen Colbert responded by pointing out their flawed logic.
In response to Stephen Colbert's merciless mocking of their campaign, on Thursday Miracle Whip ran newspaper ads threatening to "dominate the airspace" on his show to expose his viewers to "hardcore Miracle Whip attitude and revelry." And indeed they did! During Thursday night's episode of The Colbert Report, Miracle Whip ran three new commercials that reworked footage of hipsters partying on a roof, directly needling Colbert. From one of them: "To Stephen Colbert, mayo-lover, an invitation to come over to the other side. Where all is sweet and tangy. Come on Stephen, doesn't this roof look fun?" As a form of meta-advertising, it really requires viewers to be in on the joke, and sure it's generated some buzz, but will it really make people want to give up mayonnaise?
Colbert, at the opening of the show, thanks Miracle Whip, saying, "I could certainly use the money to buy more delicious mayonnaise."
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Miracle Whip vs. Mayonnaise
Ever since Kraft Miracle Whip made its debut in 1933 at the Chicago World's Fair, it has been labeled a "dressing" rather than a mayonnaise. Although it looks like mayo, it actually isn't. Here's why.
Why Miracle Whip isn't mayo: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that anything labeled "mayonnaise" contain a minimum of 65 percent vegetable oil by weight. And though Kraft keeps Miracle Whip's exact oil content a secret, the company confirms that it is too low to meet the mayo standard.
What makes it different: While it contains mayo's key ingredients (
egg, soybean oil, vinegar, water), Miracle Whip sets itself apart with a sweet, spicy flavor that some folks prefer. First introduced during the Depression, when its cheaper price made it alluring to people who couldn't afford more highfalutin mayo, it's now caught up, costing about the same amount per ounce as the real thing. At any price, Miracle Whip still has legions of devotees: According to Kraft, it's currently among the grocery industry's 20 top-selling brands.
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The Dilemma: Two thick white dressings with similar flavor in similar-looking jars are bearing down on you from your refrigerator, and you’re asking yourself just one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?
People You Can Impress: deli-goers and anyone killing time in the checkout line.
The Quick Trick: Taste them both side by side. The sweeter one is Miracle Whip.
The Explanation: In 1756, the French under Louis François Armand de Vignerot du Plessis, duc de Richelieu, captured Mahón on the Spanish-held island of Minorca. In honor of this victory, the duc’s chef created a new dressing for his master: Mahonnaise. It wasn’t until 1905, however, at Richard Hellmann’s New York deli, that Americans got to taste the goods. But boy, did it catch on! Within seven years, he’d mass-marketed the condiment as Hellmann’s Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise.
To be frank, mayo is one of those love-it-or-hate-it things. The lovers know that, in its most authentic form, mayo’s a pretty simple affair: raw egg yolks, oil, lemon juice or vinegar, and spices. Not much room for improvement.
But in 1933, Kraft Foods though differently. Inventor Charles Chapman’s patented emulsifying machine allowed regular mayonnaise to be evenly blended with cheaper dressings and more than 20 different spices (plus sugar). The result was Miracle Whip, which debuted at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Promising to create "Salad Miracles with Miracle Whip Salad Dressing," the Whip was an instant hit (Note: It’s not known if the dressing is responsible for any non-salad-related miracles.)
The main difference between Miracle Whip and mayonnaise are the sweeteners: high-fructose corn syrup and sugar are the fourth and fifth ingredients, respectively, of Miracle Whip.
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Basic Mayonnaise
Makes 1 cup| Hands-On Time: 05m | Total Time: 05m

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Place the egg yolk and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the lemon juice and mustard; blend well. With the motor running, add the oil, drop by drop. This will take a few minutes. Don't rush it or the mayonnaise may "break," meaning the oil will separate from the egg. (Note: If your food processor has a small hole in the feed-tube pusher, pour the oil in there and let it drip through.)
  2. Once you've added the oil, sample the mayo and add more salt or lemon juice to taste. Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Stir before spreading.
By Melissa Clark, May 2004
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Princess Peach Cleans Up The Mushroom Kingdom
Princess Peach stopped smelling the roses long enough to institute sweeping reforms throughout the Mushroom Kingdom, which have been set to music and accompanied by animation that looks like it was drawn by a nervous Koopa.
It’s more fun than having a plumber jump on your head, and it’s so cute and catchy that the tune will lurk around inside your head like a Shy Guy stalking around Bowser’s castle!
–via The Mary Sue
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Stop Motion Animated Music Video Destroys the Games of Your Childhood
Hungry Hungry Hippos…Battleship…Pick-Up Sticks…Rubik’s Cube — all destroyed and turned into paste by a ruthless and relentless chef. Watch Ian Robertson’s excellent stop motion animated music video for Delta Heavy’s “Get By.”
Delta Heavy‘s Website -via Colossal
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Paralyzed Woman Completed London Marathon in a Bionic Suit
Sixteen days after the London Marathon began, 32-year-old Claire Thomas completed the race.
Before you think that's awfully slow, be assured that it's quite a remarkable achievement: See, Claire is paralyzed form the chest down and wore a bionic suit for the marathon race.
The £43,000 ReWalk suit she used for the marathon, designed by Israeli entrepreneur Amit Goffer, enables people with lower-limb paralysis to stand, walk and climb stairs through motion sensors and an onboard computer system. A shift in the wearer's balance, indicating their desire to take, for example, a step forward, triggers the suit to mimic the response that the joints would have if they were not paralysed. Link - via Gizmodo
My mother was in a car accident in 1960 and ended up paralyzed from the hips down.
She would have loved this ReWalk suit ~ but, she would have danced.......
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A walk through mathematics!
A film for a wide audience!
Nine chapters, two hours of maths, that take you gradually up to the fourth dimension. Mathematical vertigo guaranteed! Background information on every chapter: see "Details".
Take a look at the contents of the film, or jump to the film's guide.
Free download and you can watch the films online!
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In Slate, Lindy West has an engaging and intriguing review of Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History, a new book by Florence Williams on the science, history, and future of breasts. The review concludes with "Five Things I Learned About Breasts From Florence Williams' Breasts" (not excerpted here), which I found fascinating:
Williams' journey begins when, alarmed by a news article about toxins in breast milk, she decides to get her own milk tested. And, surprise! It's packed with toxins—specifically, chemical flame retardants—that Williams is funneling directly into her baby. ("Well, at least your breasts won't spontaneously ignite!" her husband jokes, because that's exactly what you want to hear when adjusting to the news that you're a human baby-poison factory.) This sends her down a rabbit hole in search of deeper understanding of her own anatomy— into the evolutionary history of mammals, to Peru to investigate nursing and weaning, back to the first breast augmentation surgery, and all over the world to interview more boob experts than you can shake a pasty at.
And she discovers that breasts are complicated. Impossibly so. She learns that it’s the breast’s permeability that make it such an evolutionary powerhouse (lots and lots of estrogen receptors help human puberty occur at the optimal time; nutrient-rich breast milk makes for giant brains)—but that same permeability is also, partially, what causes one in eight women to develop breast cancer. Our breasts make us great but they also make us vulnerable, and you can’t help but come away from Williams’ book feeling a bit helpless. (Self-examinations! Self-examinations are key!) While she makes the story as dynamic as possible, there’s no escaping that this is science journalism—there are lots of PBDE levels and octa-203 and penta-47 and dioxin and “lobule type 4” and other such enemies of lively prose. But that’s OK—there are enough surprises and genuinely horrifying learning moments to keep a reader (especially a lady-reader), uh, latched on.
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201205091500
Here's a puzzle we talked about in the Gweek 050 podcast (we discuss it at the 1:07:26 mark). It's from a coin given to me on my visit to the Stupid Fun Club in Berkeley. What is the secret message?
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My wife sez that I'm too extravagant; that if anything ever happens to her, I'll have to beg. I told her I'd be fine. I mean -- look at all the experience I've got.
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Collector of anomalies, esoterica, and curiosities.
Back in 2003, pioneering weird news curator Chuck Shepherd made a list of stories that were once weird but became so common that they don't impress him anymore. I agree with most of his picks, but there's always a place on Boing Boing for Africa's magically vanishing penises. From Chuck Shepher's "No Longer Weird" list:
31. postal worker hoards mail because he's behind in delivering it
32. bank robber hails taxi or municipal bus for getaway
33. the annual student cheating riots in Bangladesh
34. criminal on the lam goes on national tv talk show and mentions that he's wanted
35. dog steps on gun, shooting the master
36. pack of animals breaks into liquor cabinet or fermenting vat, get drunk
37. a loved one died at home, but the relative never gets around to burying him or her
38. school zero-tolerance policies for "weapons" that are purely, obviously ornamental
"NO LONGER WEIRD"
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By means of insightful hand-drawn diagrams, Eric Sloane gives the best explanation I’ve ever seen of how weather works. Originally created to help sailors 50 years ago, it works for pilots, outdoor explorers, and anyone else dependent on a change of weather.
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The drinker announced to the bartender, "It seems I've been informally named advisor on 'Sexual Matters' at my company."
"That sounds interesting. Does this mean you'll be counseling the big bosses on relations with their secretaries?"
"I'm not sure yet," he answered. "During a staff meeting, I popped up to suggest a reduction in executive expense accounts and it was after that I was told if they ever wanted my fucking advice, they'd let me know."
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85-year-old Holland Cokeley found a turtle in his back yard. He picked it up, and recognized it as his son's turtle. “I picked it up, and I thought ‘Oh geez, this is Jeff’s turtle!’” said Cokeley. “It’s been here for 47 years, and it still has the same the same markings on it!” Jeff was 13-years-old in 1965 when he carved “JC” and “1965″ on the turtle’s bottom shell and then released it back into the wild.
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How to Go Green: Sex
This how to go green guide contains mature content that might be unsuitable for younger readers.
Whether you're single and playing the field, settled down with that special someone, or someplace in between, most of us consider good, satisfying, sexy sex an important part of this complete breakfast.
It might not be the first thing we think of while working towards a sustainable and graceful life on this fragile planet, but there's a lot we can do to make our sex lives greener. In the process of greening the ecological footprint of our love making, we might also open up some new doors to deeper pleasure, satisfaction, and romantic connection.
Read on to learn how to make your sex life greener.
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What Gets Longer When Pulled, fits Between your Boobs, Inserts Neatly in a Hole, AND works best when it is jerked?
A Seatbelt.

"A team of British engineers have developed a car that runs on human waste. I'll bet that new car smell doesn't last very long." -Jay Leno

"The federal government has a new plan that will let people send texts to 911. Yeah, it's a little frustrating when you try to text, 'Burglar! Please hurry!,' and it auto-corrects to, 'Burger, please. Hungry.'" -Jimmy Fallon


"The original Avengers comic has a superhero called Ant-Man. They didn't put him in the movie, but Ant-Man would have been awesome. He could solve any problem, right any wrong, provided it took place at a picnic." -Craig Ferguson~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

'Writing: For the Sell of It' was the theme of our community college's annual writers' conference. When I called a widely published author and asked him to be our keynote speaker, my request was met with a long silence. He finally said, "I don't know what I would say to that audience."
"You're just being modest," I replied. "I'm sure you're extremely qualified to speak on that subject."
He suddenly broke into laughter. "I thought you said, 'Writing for the Celibate!'"
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Inspiration: "The World's Best Quotes in 1-10 Words."
Love. —The Prophets
Jesus, Gandhi, Buddha. All the world's religious saints and prophets hold love as a central value, the glue that anchors the universe.
We hear, "Love makes the world go round," and "Love heals all wounds." These are familiar themes: love of friends, ideas, and self. Love of God and of country. Even love of life itself. If I could only have one word for all eternity, love would be my choice.
Know thyself. —Socrates
In college I studied philosophy under Professor Don Crosby, and met Socrates early. In career development, self-knowledge is everything. In a career, you can be two or three degrees off course and walk into a wall, instead of through a doorway. You don't have to be far off to have it fail.
Career unhappiness often results from lack of focus, and lack of focus stems from limited self-knowledge. But self-knowledge takes time, introspection, and effort. So it's easy to avoid.
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National Geographic
Fish Tank Kings
Healthy Living from Health.com
Good news: You're not stuck with your mom's slow-mo metabolism. Take these simple steps and you can burn more calories without (necessarily) adding workouts. Phew!

HOW TO TELL IF YOUR KILLER HEADACHE IS A MIGRAINE18 symptoms that mean it's more serioushttp://health.chtah.net/a/tBPqrHPBFYNexB8i4tACFNC1EIp/top25
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SMITHSONIAN
The question was not "Should you eat human flesh?" says one historian, but, "What sort of flesh should you eat?"
Think Fast
The Red Cross made its first foray into peacetime disaster relief to aid survivors of which natural disaster?
  1. Peshtigo Fire of 1871
  2. Johnstown Flood of 1889
  3. San Francisco Earthquake of 1906
  4. Galveston Hurricane of 1909
(Think Fast Answer: Johnstown Flood of 1889) In 1889, the Johnstown Flood and ensuing fires killed more than 2,200 people. Clara Barton's American Red Cross came to the aid of some 25,000 survivors.
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One More Day by Diamond Rio - The Last Time
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"... doing what men do normally... bonding... endlessly congratulating each other... and wandering around in small groups looking for something to break.." ~ Robin Williams, World Series Debating, "That there is life beyond Earth"
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"You have to run as fast as you can just to stay where you are.
If you want to get anywhere, you'll have to run much faster."

- Lewis Carroll
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Boeing 787 flies overhead on final approach to DCA
Boeing provides this photo for the public to share. Media requiring a high-resolution version of this or a similar photo for publication should email BoeingMedia@boeing.com. Users may not manipulate or use this photo in commercial materials, advertisements, emails, products, or promotions without licensed permission from Boeing. If you are interested in using Boeing imagery for commercial purposes, email imagelicensing@boeing.com or visit www.boeingimages.com.
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"The deathstalker scorpion just might have the coolest name in the animal kingdom...Often described as 'very aggressive,' it hammers its stinger into many people every year, killing several." The bite of a Goliath bird-eater is hardly worse than a bee sting to a human---but this beast is among the nastiest things that could skitter across your face in the dark night of the Amazon.
Give me a rainstorm in the night, a herd of pigs trampling past, even a bear—but if I’m camping without a tent, spare me the bugs. Because it’s the little things in the woods that creep many of us out the most, and the thing is, not all of them are so little—and worse, some have fangs and a hundred legs. Centipedes that can overpower a snake, spiders a foot wide, rodent-sized scorpions and other creepy crawlers of the forest floor offer good reason to sleep inside a tent.
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An elderly lady was walking on the golf course on the island of Martha's Vineyard . She slipped and fell.Obama who was behind her by chance, helped her to get up promptly. She thanked him and he answered.

It was a pleasure to help you. Don't you recognize me? I am your president. Are you going to vote for me in the next election? "

The elderly woman laughed and replied: ‘You know ... I fell on my ass, not on my head
!"
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On Sept. 9, 1942, a lookout on Mount Emily in Oregon’s Siskiyou National Forest reported a plume of smoke near the town of Brookings. The Forest Service contained the fire easily, but investigators turned up something odd at the site: fragments of an incendiary bomb of Japanese origin.
It turned out that a Japanese submarine had surfaced off the Oregon/California border and 31-year-old navy officer Nobuo Fujita had piloted a seaplane into the forest, hoping to start a fire that would divert U.S. military resources from the Pacific. Recent rains had wet the forest, so the plan failed, but it marked the first time the continental United States had been bombed by enemy aircraft.
Fujita returned safely to Japan, where he opened a hardware store after the war, and he became an agent of amity with the United States. In 1962 he accepted an invitation to return to Oregon, where he donated his family’s samurai sword to Brookings, and he invited three local students to visit Japan in 1985. The city made him an honorary citizen shortly before his death in 1997, and his daughter spread his ashes at the site of the bombing.
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Art and Commerce

In 1896 the U.S. Treasury introduced some beautifully high-minded currency — instead of American presidents, the “educational series” of silver certificates bear neoclassical allegories:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1896$1obv.jpg
On the $1 note, the Goddess of History instructs a youth, pointing to the U.S. Constitution, a panorama of Washington D.C., and a roster of famous Americans, including Franklin, Longfellow, Hawthorne, and Emerson.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1896$2obv.jpg
On the $2 note, Science presents Steam and Electricity (as children) to Commerce and Manufacture. The reverse bears portraits of Robert Fulton and Samuel Morse.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1896$5obv.jpg
The almost impossibly glorious $5 note depicts Electricity Presenting Light to the World. She is flanked by Strength, Fame, and Peace. The New York Times wrote, “The arrangement of this composition, the grace of pose in each figure, and the idea connected with the designs of this artist entitle it to a place beside the finest allegorical designs in the world.”
Unfortunately, the Treasury got a new secretary the following year, one who favored simple, clear designs, and he canceled more than $54 million in certificates as they came into the Treasury. “It can be said authoritatively … that no more of the so-called ‘new certificates’ will be printed,” the Times reported sadly in May 1897. “Neither will fresco painters be called in to make designs for the substitutes.”
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‘All the world loves a lover.’ But in Venezuela, they do something about it. T.R. Lahey, in the Catholic periodical, Ave Maria, is responsible for the statement that the postal authorities there allow love letters to go through the mails at half price! But there is a condition. The letters must be mailed in bright-colored envelopes (pansy-blue for loving thoughts, and pink cloud effects; there would be a place for yellow and green to express the feelings of envious suitors and jealous lovers). These bright tints are intended to help the postal clerks and postmen to recognize the nature of the missives; but what a temptation to the carriers to open the letters and cull precious thoughts and phrases! – The Lutheran, Nov. 6, 1940
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The Diamond Sutra: The World’s Oldest Copyleft Book
In 1907, archaeologist Sir Marc Aurel Stein discovered the Diamond Sutra, a 16-foot scroll containing the Chinese translation of the Sanskrit Buddhist text, from the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas in Dunhuang, China (the discovery in itself is fascinating, but that's a different story). The Diamond Sutra has the colophon at the inner end that reads:
Reverently made for universal free distribution by Wang Jie on behalf of his two parents on the 15th of the 4th moon of the 9th year of Xiantong. That date translates to May 11, 868, which makes the Diamond Sutra not only the world's oldest surviving copy of dated printed book, but also the oldest copyright-free /public domain work as well!
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Four Colour Theorem
Imagine any simple map, where there are many countries bordering each other, every which way. It takes at most four colours to colour the map such that no two adjacent countries have the same colour.
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Collision and convergence in Truth and Beauty at the intersection of science and spirituality.
On July 14, 1930, Albert Einstein welcomed into his home on the outskirts of Berlin the Indian philosopher Rabindranath Tagore. The two proceeded to have one the most stimulating, intellectually riveting conversations in history, exploring the age-old friction between science and religion. Science and the Indian Tradition: When Einstein Met Tagore recounts the historic encounter, amidst a broader discussion of the intellectual renaissance that swept India in the early twentieth century, germinating a curious osmosis of Indian traditions and secular Western scientific doctrine.
The following excerpt from one of Einstein and Tagore’s conversations dances between previously examined definitions of science, beauty, consciousness, and philosophy in a masterful meditation on the most fundamental questions of human existence.
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Kids Today vs. Kids in 1982
An interesting infographic ( full version is here) for many reasons, including smoking, safe sex and graduation rate stats. But pay special attention to that “career aspirations” section there. We’ve got some work to do yet, science fans. The importance of STEM jobs in our economy is only growing. We can’t let a generation slip away. (via PR Daily)
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This is where the circus meets science? I’ll stick to two-wheeled pedal-contraptions for the time being, but I like this MIT/Khan Academy collaboration explaining basic physics through an accessible example: The unicycle.
Basic principles of Newtonian physics are drawn out, and it answered a question I’ve had for a long time: How do you turn on one of those things? Plus, bonus points for the Etch-a-Sketch intro filming this guy falling in the snow.
Strangely, no effort was made to explain the Law of Universally Looking Ridiculous on a Unicycle.
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Artful Edwardian-era erotica at the intersection of the whimsical and the macabre
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.Somewhere between Henry Holiday’s weird paintings for Lewis Carroll and Edward Gorey’s delightfully grim alphabet fall Harry Clarke‘s hauntingly beautiful and beautifully haunting 1919 illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination — a collection of 29 of Poe’s tales of the magical and the macabre.
Live Webcam of tourists and the drivers who hate them at the famed Abbey Road crossing. Abbey Road Studios - Crossing Webcam(via @chris_carter_)
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Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign demonstrated a robotic bird that lands perched on someone's hand. From UIUC: Perching is routinely used by birds to land on objects such as tree branches, power wires, or building ledges. According to the researchers, there are two factors that make perching challenging to engineer: 1) the maneuver’s duration is very short, on the same order as the aircraft dynamics, and 2) a high level of position accuracy is required for a successful perched landing.
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Want to know about commerical spaceflight? Wired has you covered with this extensive package
In which bits of you leaked into your mum and stayed there.
Atul Gawande writes about 200 years of surgery! A perfect blend of writer and topic.
An astonishing, gruesome series about the federal dept that kills invasive animals.
Octopus eats gull. With photos. Go Team Mollusc!
The nine stages of Story, as told by some plants. This, by Paige Williams, is just wonderful.
This might be the most awe-inspiring Wikipedia page of them all: a timeline of the far future
“He is, for all intents and purposes except for his own, genetic material that comes in the handy form of semen.” Alexis Madrigal’s wonderful opus about Big Dairy, featuring a cow called Badger-Bluff Fanny Freddie
“The stories of the elements are the story of our own lives.” Amazing project where pro filmmakers create films showing how each element affects people. This needs your support.
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It would be a spoiler to say why. Just read the post.
You wouldn't know it, not right away, but there is something strange about this picture. It's a sunset, yes, but notice the blush of color right above the sun. It's blue. And as you look up, the blue fades into a faint rose or pink.
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Since Seinfeld went off the air in 1998, many guest stars have gone on to enjoy rather impressive careers of their own. Can you match the actor to the Seinfeld character he or she portrayed?
Take the Quiz: Seinfeld’s Guest Stars
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68 Photos Of Badly Dressed Celebrities, Large Hats, And Drunk People At The Kentucky Derby. Which is the stuff we really tune in to the Derby for, anyway.

Now we have an alcohol breath spray that makes you instantly drunk for only a few seconds. Let us count the ways this could possibly go wrong.
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Have you heard about the latest Polish parachute?
It opens on impact.
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Sign in a Paris hotel elevator
Please leave your values at the front desk.
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A young sky diver named Sherm
jumped out with his cock long and firm
two jerks and a spasm,
he had an orgasm
and spelled out "I love you" in sperm.
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"God wanted to have a holiday, so He asked St. Peter for suggestions on where to go.
'Why not go to Jupiter?' asked St. Peter.
'No, too much gravity, too much stomping around,' said God.
'Well, how about Mercury?'
'No, it's too hot there.'
'Okay,' said St. Peter, 'What about Earth?'
'No,' said God, 'They're such horrible gossips. When I was there 2000 years ago, I had an affair with a Jewish woman, and they're still talking about it.'"
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One of the images in the remarkable Wellcome Collection:

Anatomical fugitive sheet (Viscerum...1539) bound at the end of Valverde, Vivae imagines partium corporis humani...1566. Part of the engraving is composed of printed paper flaps that, when lifted, reveal the internal organs of the figure. This is one of a pair of male and female figures... The work was originally published in Rome, 1556.
Four additional images (the male and the female, unlifted and lifted) at the link.
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Vocal Version of the Star Wars Theme
After creating more than 90 tracks, vocal performer Nick McKaig was able to duplicate the Star Wars main title theme. He merged the tracks, but insists that the sound is “100% vocals and 100% my own voice.”
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Owner of killer bear chokes to death on sex toy
Found dead handcuffed to water bed; death likely accidental, coroner says
Sam Mazzola, 49, was found dead in his Columbia Station home on Sunday, face down on a water bed. He was bound to the bed with handcuffs, chains and padlocks. Mazzola had a sex toy in his throat, which apparently obstructed his breathing. He was also wearing a leather mask with the eyes and mouth zipped shut and a two-piece metal sphere covering his head, the coroner told The Morning Journal. It appeared Mazzola died from an "accident during sexual role play".
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A Colorado bear falls from a tree after being tranquilized on the University of Colorado's campus (© Andy Duann/CU Independent, http://bit.ly/K0KWM7)

Falling bear killed a week after gaining global fame

related links

The world completely fell for a 280-pound black bear last week that had its photo famously taken while it plunged from a tree after being tranquilized on the University of Colorado's campus. The poor thing was relocated 50 miles away but was apparently trying to make its way back to its home range when it was hit by two cars on a highway Thursday morning and died. One car was totaled and the other was towed away. You'll be missed, Falling Bear.
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Continuing our "Women are Crazy" theme, this story concerns a Charlotte, North Carolina woman who is accused of faking a pregnancy and hatching a plan to steal a baby. Investigators said the suspect started the scheme at the Beacon Hill Apartments weeks ago, befriending a mother just to get her baby girl. The suspect lied to her boyfriend about being pregnant, she even had family members throw her a baby shower. Then, when the time was right, she lured the victim with promises of employment, and when she had her alone pulled a knife on her and took her infant.
Police say the 24-year-old woman brought the one-month-old infant to her boyfriend's apartment. "When she brought the baby inside the apartment," reported a police spokesperson, "she said, 'here is our baby.'" Since the victim was familiar with the kidnapper police were able to track down her and the infant within hours. So not the most carefully thought-out plan. She remains in custody, charged with kidnapping and attempted murder.
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'Redneck' couple wed in mud pit
PALATKA, Fla. - A pair of Florida mud-bogging enthusiasts married at the same mud pit where the groom proposed a year ago. Kodie Umphenour, 24, and Carina Pasco, 31, were wed Saturday at the Hog Waller Mud Bog & ATV mud pit in Putnam County in a ceremony described on the invitations as "Our Big Ol' Muddy Redneck Wedding," The St. Augustine Record reported Wednesday. The wedding was preceded by several minutes of mud tossing among guests and independent visitors to the mud pit. ATV riders were asked to silence their engines during the ceremony. The wedding blended the families of Umphenour, who has two children, and Pasco, who has four. Umphenour said the wedding doubled as a honeymoon. "I've got to get back to work Monday," he said. "This is our honeymoon."
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Edison's Electric Light Bulb
http://www.evtv1.com/player.aspx?itemnum=6110&aid=
At the turn of the Century, the greatest inventor was Edison as he creates the electric light bulb AND movie projector. Both brought the country out of the dark age!

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Seabiscuit Actual Radio Broadcast: 1940 Santa Anita Handicap
http://www.evtv1.com/player.aspx?itemnum=6339&aid=
Seabiscuit was a champ thoroughbred race horse. From an inauspicious start, Seabiscuit became an unlikely champion and a symbol of hope to many Americans during the Great Depression. Watch and listen to an actual radio broadcast from 1940.

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I can go up or down, but I never move. What am I?

ANSWER: Stairs.
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QUOTE: "If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

HINT: (1892-1973), English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor.

ANSWER: J.R.R. Tolkien.
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RANDOM TIDBITS
One of the four areas of taste on our tongue is salt, which has been used as a food preservative since pre-refrigeration days. Scientists have also determined that the human body requires at least three grams of salt per day for things like proper temperature regulation, so we've developed a certain craving for salt as a matter of evolution.

Black pepper is indigenous to India but found its way to Rome in the first century B.C.E. Prior to that time, much of the available food was on the bland side, so a sprinkle of pepper gave otherwise plain fare a new zest. A heavier dose of pepper helped to camouflage the taste of spoiled food, which was a common problem in warm climates.

Ketchup originated in Asia as a pickled fish sauce called "ke-tsiap" and was comprised of anchovies, mushrooms, walnuts, and kidney beans. When British seamen brought the stuff home with them, they Anglicized the name first to "catchup" and then "ketchup." When the recipe made its way across the Atlantic in the late 1700s, New Englanders added tomatoes to the mix.

Mustard gas doesn't contain any mustard; the weapon is made up of chemicals that give it a mustardy smell and a brownish-yellow color, which is how it got its name.

When Best Foods bought the Hellman's brand in 1932, the latter already had solid name recognition in the eastern states. As a result, today the company's mayonnaise west of the Rockies is labeled Best Foods, while east of that area, it's still known as Hellman's.

Edmund McIlhenny originally packaged his famous Tabasco Hot Pepper Sauce in old cologne bottles capped with sprinkler-type fittings. The sauce was so hot (for that time) that he wanted to make sure folks sprinkled small amounts of it on their food, rather than pouring it on.

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Heinz Ketchup With Matt Leblanc - Commercial
http://www.evtv1.com/player.aspx?itemnum=8087

Everybody has to start somewhere. This commercial for Heinz features a young Matt Leblanc setting his ketchup bottle on top of a building so he can run downstairs and catch the dripping condiment on his hotdog. Classic.
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Astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson was asked by a reader of TIME magazine, “What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the Universe?” This is his answer.
When you take something great, like the musings of the mind of Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, and combine it with something else great, like stunning images of life and wonder on and off of Earth … you get this.
It’s the sort of video that makes you prop your chin up in your hand, with your head tilted just so (yeah, like that), as you stare at your computer screen mumbling things like “Ahhhand “Wooahh” and other unintelligible noises that mean “I approve of this, and it makes me feel good.
Watch it once, then twice, then with a friend.
The Big Bang Theory - 'Neil deGrasse Tyson'
Neil Tyson rebukes Richard Dawkins;-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dxff0k_TEzI&feature=related
We Stopped Dreaming
I thought Neil was just a brilliant man, but he's also a great force for reason and an awesome debater.
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"Neil deGrasse Tyson @neiltyson

"@marycucumber What are some problems with visiting Mercury? Is it just the temperature?"
No. You need a space program too."
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"One of the most anticipated movies of the year comes out tomorrow. It's Marvel's 'The Avengers.' All the super heroes gathered together. It's kind of cool to see all the characters responsible for my virginity together in one film." -Jimmy Kimmel
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Dreams are the touchstones of our character.--Henry David Thoreau
Commitment leads to action. Action brings your dream closer. --Marcia Wieder

You cannot dream yourself into a character: you must hammer and forge yourself into one.--Henry D. Thoreau

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly. --Lanston Hughes
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Apropos of item posted below, and just because I could find it online, here is Paul Revere's engraving of the Boston Massacre.
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Puzzle maven Noboyuki Yoshigahara noticed this sign on the glass door of an Osaka restaurant:
secret entrance puzzle
What is its meaning?
The words PULL and PUSH were painted on opposite sites of the door.
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A "radio historian" with a lifelone fascination with old radio programs amassed a huge collection. "In 1974, he drove to Washington in a rented van and handed several thousand recordings over to an affable and knowledgeable archivist named Leslie Waffen."
In 2010 he noted that an eBay seller offered "a broadcast radio interview with baseball legend Babe Ruth as he hunted for quail and pheasants on a crisp morning in 1937" and realized that that was one of the recordings he had donated to the National Archives. He decided to investigate:
Goldin purchased a recording from “hi-fi_gal,” though not one of his donations. When it arrived in the mail, Goldin ran the return address — Saddle Ridge Lane in Rockville — through a reverse directory. It came back to Leslie Waffen, who had retired the previous June as chief of the Archives’ audiovisual holdings...
Over the next 18 months, Goldin helped authorities build their case, reviewing documents, submitting his original receipts from Waffen and offering up experts to help sort and appraise the cache of 6,153 recordings seized from the retired archivist’s home.
When Waffen, 67, pleaded guilty in October to theft of U.S. government property, he admitted that he stole 955 items from the Archives – among them were original recordings of the 1948 World Series, which Goldin had donated, and a rare recording of the 1937 Hindenburg disaster.More details at the
Washington Post.
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"You know what Portland has lot of? Microbreweries. I think they are like regular breweries, but only serve midgets." -Craig Ferguson
"A new study found that eating healthy adds $380 to your grocery bill every year. Or as Americans put it, 'Cool, I saved $380 this year!'" -Jimmy Fallon
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My 7-year-old daughter came home from school one day, held up her middle finger, and asked me what it meant. I was so shocked that I could say only, "Shame on you," followed by, "If anyone does that to you, just say, "Shame on you" to that person.
Next week we were at the dinner table when my husband let out a huge belch. I reprimanded him by saying, "Shame on you."
Imagine my husband's shock when my daughter held up her middle finger, showed it to him, and exclaimed, "Mom, you forgot to give Daddy the 'shame on you' sign."

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A New York retail clerk was suffering from aching feet. "It's all those years of standing," his doctor declared. "You need a vacation. Go to Miami, soak your feet in the ocean and you'll feel better."
When the man got to Florida, he went into a hardware store, bought two large buckets and headed for the beach.
"How much for two buckets of that seawater?" he asked the lifeguard.
"A dollar a bucket," the fellow replied with a straight face.
The clerk paid him, filled his buckets, went to his hotel room and soaked his feet. They felt so much better he decided to repeat the treatment that afternoon. Again he handed the lifeguard two dollars. The young man took the money and said, "Help yourself."
The clerk started for the water, then stopped in amazement. The tide was out. "Wow," he said, turning to the lifeguard. "Some business you got here!"
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This photo of sand dunes on Mars was posted at NASA's Astronomy Photo of the Day: Visible on the above image right are two flat top mesas in southern Mars when the season was changing from Spring to Summer. A light dome topped hill is also visible on the far left of the image. As winds blow from right to left, flowing sand on and around the hills leaves picturesque streaks. The dark arc-shaped droplets of fine sand are called barchans, and are the interplanetary cousins of similar Earth-based sand forms.You can search some similar pictures from earth dunes, but what I thought was more interesting when I searched was that the snow equivalents also have a name: sastrugi (or zastrugi):
The photo is from the South Pole (via The Big Picture), but could just as well be Minnesota.

Both words are apparently of Russian derivation.
Barchan is also listed as being Turkic or Kazakh, and sastruga is via a German transliteration of the Russian.
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Oops, I invented the rocket! The explosive history of serendipity
Velcro, Vaseline, Teflon, penicillin, and now perhaps the rocket – they were all happy accidents
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Black Hole Eating a Star
Nom nom nom, said the black hole, which was caught eating a star by a team of astrophysicists:
Usually when we get to see a star being swallowed by a black hole, we’ll end up turning to take a look at it only after the destruction has already begun. “What makes this so special was the fact that they actually caught the black hole as it was ripping the stellar core apart,” says Dr. David Floyd from the Monash Centre for Astrophysics in Melbourne. The fact that we’ve managed to observe this event from beginning to end means that there is a lot more information available than ever before. We know the size of the black hole (approximately the same as the Milky Way’s central black hole), the fact that the star was probably a late-stage Red Giant and that it suffered its terrible fate because it got to within about 150 million kilometres of the supermassive black hole (about the same distance from the Sun to the Earth).
Geeks Are Sexy has the video clip: Link
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The Anniversary of Coca-Cola
John Pemberton earned a medical degree when he was only 19 years old -and then worked as a pharmacist, trying to invent new drugs. He particularly needed a new kind of pain relief, as he was badly wounded in the Civiil war and had become addicted to morphine for relief. After the war, Pemberton settled in Atlanta, where he began work on a beverage combining coca leaves and cola nuts. His objective was to create a pain reliever but when his lab assistant accidentally mixed the concoction with carbonated water on May 8, 1886, the two men tasted it, liked it, and decided it might make a profitable alternative to ginger ale and root beer. Pemberton sold the rights to Coca-Cola (twice, actually, but that’s another story) as his behavior became more erratic. He died only two years after his accidental invention and only a few months after the Coca Cola Corporation was incorporated. The Coca-Cola that you may be drinking right now has been reformulated a bit over the years, but the basic beverage is 126 years old today. Link
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The caterpillar of the Wavy Emerald Moth (Synchlora aerata), family Geometridae, a species found throughout much of North America. The larvae feed on many plants in the family Asteraceae (like Liatris spp. and Rudbeckia spp.) as well as a variety of other flowering plants. They are known to pluck the petals from the flowers of their host plants and affix them to their backs using silk. Once the petals begin to wilt and discolor, the caterpillar discards the old petals and picks new petals, which camouflage the animal.
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Disneyland’s Club 33 Reopens for Membership


The main dining room at Disneyland's Club 33
Good news, Neatoramanauts: For the first time in decades, Disney has reopened membership to its secretive Club 33.
The bad news? It costs $25,000 to join, with annual dues of $10,000.
Disney officials announced that a limited number of memberships would be offered in honor of Club 33's 45th anniversary and the completion of a major, five-year expansion project at California Adventure. Less than 500 people are rumored to be on the Club 33 roster, and interest in membership grew to such staggering levels that, about a decade ago, even the waiting list was closed. But now — for an initial price tag of $25,000 and annual dues of $10,000 — new members will once again have access to the New Orleans Square restaurant, get sneak peaks at new attractions and other perks. The Los Angeles Times has the details: Link
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Romanians Not Amused at Naked Founding Father Statue
With much ballyhoo, the Mayor of Bucharest unveiled a statue of Emperor Trajan, the forefather of the Romanian people when he fused the Roman empire with the ancient tribes of Dacia.
But the public response was anything but flattering:
"I have never seen anything so grotesque, a wolf with a pitbull's head, a lizard's tail and a tumour on its neck, carried by a guy who is visibly embarrassed by his nudity," said one woman passer-by. [...] Satirical website Times New Roman (in Romanian) commented that "Bucharest's mayor has just inaugurated the first monument dedicated to Romania's stray dogs". Other commentators have wondered why "the dog is levitating", and why the animal wears a scarf "while the emperor isn't even wearing any underwear". Link - via News of the Weird
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Cat-lift: Russian Edition (Кошачий лифт по-русски)
Some people install cat ladders and others go high-tech with self-serve cat elevators. YouTube user Ignoramusky shows us a quick-and-inexpensive way to construct an elevator for your cats, providing them easy access to the second floor. At least, easy for the cats. Or maybe it’s a way to steal first-floor cats! -via reddit
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Ruger is coming out with a new pistol in honor of the United States Senate and The House of Representatives. It will be named the “Congressman”.
New pistol
It doesn’t work and you can’t fire it.
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The film Rendezvous from 1976 shows an eight-minute drive through Paris in the early hours of the morning, accompanied by sounds of a high-revving engine, gear changes and squealing tires. Pedestrians are passed, pigeons sitting on the streets are scattered, red lights are ignored, one-way streets are driven up the wrong way, center lines are crossed, the car drives on the sidewalk to avoid a rubbish truck.

While the car was later revealed to be a Mercedes Benz 450SEL 6.9 V8 and the soundtrack dubbed with the Ferrari V12 engine sound. Due to the content of the film it has become somewhat infamous for rumors surrounding the making of it and its exposition. Upon release it was not known who was driving the car and rumors circulated that it was an unnamed F1 racer. Most people belive it was Lelouch who was behind the wheel.
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An orangutan mother lets her newborn baby go for its first climb. Filmed at the Los Angeles Zoo.
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Cracking The Credit Card Code
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Photographer Taylor Weidman was given special permission by the government of Nepal to travel in the restricted area of Mustang, an area hidden in the rain shadow of the Himalaya in one of the most remote corners of Nepal. Hemmed in by the world's highest mountain range to the south and an occupied and shuttered Tibet to the north, this tiny Tibetan kingdom has remained virtually unchanged since the 15th century.

Today, Mustang is arguably the best-preserved example of traditional Tibetan life in the world. But it is poised for change. A new highway will connect the region to Kathmandu and China for the first time, ushering in a new age of modernity and altering Mustang's desert-mountain villages forever.
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Victorian Street Life in London
In 1876, six years after the death of Charles Dickens, the streets of the English capital still looked very much like the famous author had described. Poverty, disability and filth were everywhere: people lived a precarious and marginal existence working on the streets of London. Two men became determined to document this – and the book they produced shocked a nation.
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Saxon bed burial
A teenager was the subject of a rare "Saxon bed burial," as is nicely detailed in the video.
http://youtu.be/yNAPP0NFgUs
The girl, aged around 16, was buried on an ornamental bed -- a very limited Anglo-Saxon practice of the mid to later 7th century -- with a pectoral Christian cross on her chest, that had probably been sewn onto her clothing. Fashioned from gold and intricately set with cut garnets, only the fifth of its kind ever to be found, the artefact dates this grave to the very early years of the English Church, probably between 650 and 680 AD.
Here's a photo of the "incredibly rare" gold-and-garnet pectoral cross:
All of the bed burials that have been found were of high status people, primarily women, and she was found with particularly valuable grave goods. Most notable is the gold cross, 1.4 inches square, inlaid with red garnets in the same style as the weapon fittings from the Staffordshire Hoard. The four other pectoral crosses that have been discovered in Britain were all pendants, hung from a loop on the top arm. This one has loops on the back of each arm, three of them rubbed shiny, indicating that it was sewn into an article of clothing and worn daily.
Further details re the findings and re early Christianity in Britain at The History Blog.
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"Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.
(Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound.)"
-- fortune

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ptarmic
n. that which causes sneezing
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Sticketmaster
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In 1976, Queen Elizabeth College chemist Leslie Hough asked graduate researcher Shashikant Phadnis to test a certain chlorinated sugar compound. Phadnis, whose English was imperfect, “thought I needed to taste it! … So I took a small quantity of the sample on a spatula and tasted it with the tip of my tongue.”
To his surprise, Phadnis found the compound intensely and pleasantly sweet. When he reported his discovery to Hough, “‘Are you crazy or what?’ he asked me. ‘How could you taste compounds without knowing anything about their toxicity?’” After some further cautious tasting, Hough dubbed the compound Serendipitose. It became the artificial sweetener Splenda.
“Later on, Les even had a cup of coffee sweetened with a few particles of Serendipitose. When I reminded him that it could be toxic (as it contained a high proportion of chlorine), he simply said, ‘Oh, forget it, we’ll survive!’”
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American sonic weapon being deployed in London during Olympics

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed a sonic device will be deployed in London during the Olympics. The American-made Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) can be used to send verbal warnings over a long distance or emit a beam of pain-inducing tones.
Anyone placing bets on which function the MOD is looking forward to testing on London crowds?
The equipment was spotted fixed to a landing craft on the Thames at Westminster this week…Royal Marines operating in patrol craft from HMS Ocean are also heavily armed with conventional firearms…
Oh, good. I was worried they might not be equipped to kill anyone the old-fashioned way.
The piercing beam of sound emitted by the device is highly directional. Some versions of the LRAD are capable of producing deafening sound levels of 150 decibels at one metre…
LRAD Corporation has previously sold the device to the US Army, which deployed them in Iraq for crowd control. They have also been bought by the US Navy and Air Force as well as a number of police forces worldwide.
Thanks, Ed
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What has four legs, is big, green, fuzzy, and if it fell out of a tree would kill you?

A pool table.
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Italian helps his buddy run for mayor — gets elected instead!

The new mayor of a mountain town in northern Italy has been voted in almost completely by accident.
Fabio Borsatti, 50, stood in Cimolais as a last-minute favour to the only candidate, worried not enough people would vote if he stood unopposed. But, despite even Mr Borsatti’s own family voting for his rival, the unlikely candidate won the poll.
He only realised he had become mayor when people telephoned him, as he was watching football, to congratulate him…
“I wanted Gino [Bertolo] to win. Even my relatives voted for him…My daughter, my sister, my father and my mother – they all voted for him.”
But in the poll, Mr Borsatti obtained 160 votes – securing almost 58% of the vote – compared with just 117 votes for his good friend, Mr Bertolo.
Mr Borsatti has said he has no plans to resign and intends to carry out his duties for the 507 people who make up the population of Cimolais, in Friuli Venezia-Giulia.
Thanks, Ed
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Apple's 1984 spoof of 'Ghostbusters' goes after IBM
This is a 4-minute, uncut version of "Blue Busters", a 1984 takeoff on 'Ghostbusters' that Apple produced to show at the opening of its worldwide sales staff meeting in Hawaii in October 1984. The video includes a cameo appearance by Steve Wozniak. Our thanks to Craig Elliott, former Apple employee now CEO and co-founder of cloud-computing startup Pertino Networks, for giving us access to this video.
Also shown at that meeting was another film in which Steve Jobs impersonates FDR. That film can be seen here:
http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/watch-steve-jobs-play-fdr-apples-l...
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Shape-shifting dinosaurs.
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Carroll Shelby: Car world farewells a legend
Carroll Shelby stands next to the 2006 Ford Shelby Cobra GT500 at the New York motor show. Photo /

Carroll Shelby stands next to the 2006 Ford Shelby Cobra GT500 at the New York motor show.

Decades after a heart condition forced him to retire from racing, Carroll Shelby still loved to drive muscle cars. Well into his 80s, the legendary car designer spent hours testing his last Mustang Shelby GT500, which sets a new record for horsepower and hits a top speed of more than 320 km/h.
A one-time chicken farmer, Shelby had more than a half-dozen successful careers during his long life: champion race car driver, racing team owner, automotive consultant and safari tour operator. His fabled Shelby Cobra sports car became an automotive and cultural icon, and he was later credited with injecting testosterone into Ford's Mustang and Chrysler's Viper.
When Shelby died on Thursday night in a Dallas hospital, he also was one of the nation's longest-living heart transplant recipients, having received a heart on June 7, 1990, from a 34-year-old man who died of an aneurysm. Shelby also received a kidney transplant in 1996 from his son, Michael.
Shelby first made his name behind the wheel of a car, winning France's gruelling 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race with teammate Ray Salvadori in 1959.
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Top Ten World Records of Sex
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Portraits Of 38 Badasses Drawn On Whiteboard Shirt
Okay, I have to get my hands on one of these awesome whiteboard shirts! However, I’m guessing it’s pretty hard to draw upside down, at least until your brain gets used to it. Become a master like Phil Hansen, who quickly sketches 38 different portraits of cinematic badasses on his shirt, and you too can have the fame and critical acclaim afforded to those who keep the interwebs entertained. Yay for creativity! Link –via JazJaz
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One day a boy asks his dad, "What's the difference between a pussy and a cunt?"
Dad thought for a minute and said, "Come with me." He took his son to his mother's bedroom, where she was sleeping nude. "Son," he whispered, "see that brown soft furry patch? That is a pussy."
The boy asked, "May I touch it to see how soft and furry it is?"
"No!" replied his father. "That might wake up the cunt."
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Sex After Death OK
It’s called Farewell Intercourse.
Sex after death
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How Many Times do You Need to Fold a Piece of Paper to Get to The Moon?
Let's find out! Adrian Paenza schools us in the lesson of exponential growth with this enjoyable TED-Education video clip about folding a piece of paper. Previously: Fold a Paper in Half More Than 8 Times
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Portland On The Web: ABC News, Tech Crunch, Men's Health & More
Portland lived up to its smuttier moniker, Pornland, this week, coming in at #16 on a list of America's Porn Capitals. More importantly, we're still sexier than Seattle who came in at #42, of course. Former Blazer Greg Oden said in a rare interview that when a young lady sends you 100 naked photos, it would be un-gentlemanly not to send at least one back. And, we still love pot, even going so far as to cook it into Mongolian barbecue. Here's a round-up of what the internet said about Portland this week.
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Once thought to be the most densely populated place on Earth, with 50,000 people crammed into only a few blocks, these fascinating pictures give a rare insight into the lives of those who lived in the Kowloon Walled City. The city was a phenomenon with 33,000 families and businesses living in more than 300 interconnected high-rise buildings, all constructed without contributions from a single architect.
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Another great color feature from the BBC: Future site, which also brought you the feature earlier today about whether we all see the same colors. This latest piece asks where the names for colors come from.
Unlike so many other language-based classifications (like having dozens of words that describe snow, or not having a word for “war”), colors are thought to be arise from a natural need to classify a sensory input. In other words, the spectrum is the spectrum and we all see it … every language should have to fill in the names, right?
Wrong. Not only do some cultures just not recognize certain colors (like the fact that blue and green are often not differentiated in Vietnamese), but pre-literate languages seem to adopt colors into their lexicon in a very particular order! Looks like you can’t get a word for “green” without several other steps happening first (like black, white and red).
A fascinating look at where the cultural and neurological aspects of language intersect.
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First Rule of History:
History doesn't repeat itself -- historians merely repeat each other.
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Brian received a phone call:
"HI, I'm phoning on behalf of the ????? Children's Workshop where we can help you with special offers, ....etc"
I interrupted her and informed her that I didn't have any children.
"Do you have any grandchildren???", she then asked.
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Is an 8-hour sleep a modern artificial construct ?
In 2001, historian Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech published a seminal paper, drawn from 16 years of research, revealing a wealth of historical evidence that humans used to sleep in two distinct chunks.
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Debbie Does Cakes: bizarre realistic cakes made by Debbie Goard
Tree frog cake, 2012
Tree frog cake, 2012Picture: Debbie Does Cakes / Rex Features
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Do we all see colors the same way? Imagine the two of us, arm in arm, looking at a sunset, where the horizon is fretted with golden fire and the deep blue night encroaches from the opposite side of the sky. “What beautiful colours”, I say, and you agree. And then, in the space of the following silence, I am struck by a worry. I can point at the sky and say it is blue, and you will concur. But are youreally seeing that blue the way I am seeing it? Perhaps you have just learnt to call what you see “blue”, but in actual experience you are seeing nothing like the vivid, rich, blue I see. You are an imposter, calling my blue by the same name as yours, but not really seeing it the way I do. Or, even worse, perhaps I am the one seeing a pale imitation blue, while you see a blue that is infinitely richer and more splendid than mine.
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Most cities have a seedy underbelly - hidden dangers that lurk below the surface out of every day sight. Certain places, however, are plagued by dangers so great the warning signs are clear. Take a look at the most hazardous places in the world.
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In the betting game known as craps, the player starts by rolling two dice and combining their values. On the first roll, 7 or 11 is an automatic win (a “pass”), while a roll of 2, 3, or 12 is an automatic loss (“craps”). Every other roll is called a “point” and allows the roller to keep rolling in an effort to match that point.
On the first roll of the dice, what are the odds of a craps roller rolling a point instead of a pass or craps?
Here is the SOLUTION.

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What exactly do people do in a think tank?

The 13 Loneliest Outhouses on Earth. I understand you want them located away from the main house, but these are far away from anything!

10 Memes That Originated from TV Shows. With examples and guidelines for proper usage.

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The Linguistic Association Between Testicles and Valor: the connection between ballsy and courageous.Bizarre nested Klein bottles Does this path have an infinite length? [animated gif]
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The study of stupidity is called ‘monology’.
When Albert Einstein died, his final words died with him. The nurse at his side didn’t understand German.
There are 240 white dots in a Pacman arcade game.
Custer was the youngest General in US history, he was promoted at the age of 23.
It costs more to send someone to reform school than it does to send them to Eton.
It is illegal to play tennis in the streets of Cambridge.
In parts of Malaya, the women keep harems of men.
Sir Winston Churchill rationed himself to 15 cigars a day.
People in Siberia often buy milk frozen on a stick.
The two highest IQ’s ever recorded (on a standard test) both belong to women.
Marie Currie, who twice won the Nobel Prize, and discovered radium, was not allowed to become a member of the prestigious French Academy because she was a woman.
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Mansion Used in 1970s Porno Film Deep Throat Listed For Sale

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If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.

-Gloria Steinam
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This coming Solstice on June 21st is "World Peace and Prayer Day" as called for by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, the Present Chief and Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe of the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Nation of the Sioux.

The exact... time of Solstice is Monday June 21 4:28am PDT.
Please join in by adding your prayers, meditations and ceremonies on this day to help stabilize our collecti...ve situation in this time of great challenge.

So let us unite spiritually, All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer. Along with this immediate effort, I also ask to please remember June 21st, World Peace and Prayer Day/Honoring Sacred Sites day. Whether it is a natural site, a temple, a church, a synagogue or just your own sacred space, let us make a prayer for all life, for good decision making by our Nations, for our children’s future and well-being, and the generations to come.

Onipikte (that we shall live),
Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe
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i walk the red road by first asking permission of the First People of Turtle Island where ever I maybe. I am a person of mixed heritage. I love the earth and I am listening to the wisdom of the elders.Raven Redbone10-19-2010
Description
I am here to contribute and give another voice to the “The First Peoples” who have and continue to give to our world. It is my honor, privilege and a great blessing to highlight and serve all our ancestors. I continue to work at educating, promoting and highlighting our ancestral pasts and make a contribution to Indian Country Today! To me its my responsibility to educate and show the Indian Persp...ective that until recent years has not been allowed. The world needs to move forward in an Indigenous mind set in my opinion to continue! I have been honored and blessed to be part of a wonderful people whose whole way of living is harmonious with Our Earth and all life. Each Day I walk in reverence on Mother Earth and live an ecologically sound lifestyle in reverence to Mother Earth. I live by the ancestoral ways, respecting each other, loving each other and our Mother. My family and I celebrate all the old ceremonies in honor of the Ancestors. We recycle, walk, and cherish her. We are the next generation of ancestors. – Raven

All who join this group promise to conduct themselves with honor and decency, and to maintain a respectful attitude towards others. Racist comments of any nature will not be tolerated. The administrators of this page reserves the right to remove anyone who does not abide by these standards. This includes, but is not limited to any post that is sexist, racist, negatively directed towards another individual and/or group, inflammatory or otherwise inappropriate.

People are asking about the the photos. If you are respectful and use proper references I do not see why not. I ask that of all the photos. All things in a good way.
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"A very great vision is needed for the future! The human being who has it must follow it as the great eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky."

Tȟašúŋke Witkó, Chief Crazy Horse
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A tourist is visiting New York City when his car breaks down. He jumps out and starts fiddling under the hood. About five minutes later, he hears some thumping sounds and looks around to see someone taking stuff out of his trunk! He runs around and yells, "Hey, bud, this is my car!"
"OK," the man says, "You take the front and I`ll take the back."
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How can you tell if a blonde is a redneck?

If she can chew tobacco and suck dick at the same time
and still know which one to spit out.
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The Chork is a utensil set that cleverly combines chopsticks with a fork. The Chork can be used in three ways: as a standard fork, as a trainer set of chopsticks, or as chopsticks. They are made of food grade hi impact polystyrene and come in either red or black. Currently, they are available to purchase at Fab.
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Eiffel or eyesore? London's Orbit tower completed
ArcelorMittal Orbit
Orbit tower: a drunken party animal of a building
Colossal and imperfect, Anish Kapoor's sculpture at the Olympic Park is the body of us all, writes Jonathan Jones
London got a towering new venue Friday, as authorities announced completion of the Orbit, a 115-meter (377- foot) looped and twisting steel tower beside London's new Olympic Stadium that will give visitors panoramic views over the city.
LONDON – Critics say it looks like a roller coaster gone badly awry. Fans say it's a landmark to rival the
Eiffel Tower.
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How to Count Infinity
“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.” - Hazel Grace Lancaster
Are there really more numbers between 0 and 1 than there are integers? MinutePhysics explores, in typically wonderful fashion. (by minutephysics)
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DIY The Avengers Bookmark Craft Project
Here's a cute idea from the blog Crafts by Amanda: a DIY Avengers bookmark using a bit of paint and jumbo craft sticks. I'm partial to the Hulk one: he just looks so irasicbly cute! Link - via Nerd Approved
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12 of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World
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The Las Vegas Sign:
When the now 88-year-old Betty Willis came up with the design for Las Vegas’ iconic “Welcome” sign, it was almost by accident, but even so, she knew she wanted it to be special. As the ever-candid graphic desinger revealed in an interview back in 2005:
“That sign was the result of an all-night bull session in which one of the first drawings was retrieved from the wastebasket. Everything you could flash or spin, we did it. We thought the city was fabulous, so we added the word.”
As she recalled in an earlier interview, back in 2002, “I wanted to create something that people would remember, so I tipped the square on its side and curved the ends. The lettering and everything about the sign went against the designs of that time.”
Vegas signNo bells or whistles were to be spared, so silver Roosevelt “dollars” were added behind the letters that spell out “WELCOME” as a nod to Nevada’s status as the Silver State. “We knew the sign would be recognizable because of the odd shape. We wanted people to remember the town and come back. The circles were expensive. So we put in a lot of them,” explained Willis to the New York Times.
Apparently, it still irks the ever-feisty designer that the hand-drawn lettering of the word “fabulous” looks amateurish to her. “I sweat blood when I take a good hard look at it,” she says.
The sign was sold to Clark County for $4,000 and erected in 1959, but the design was never copyrighted, since Willis felt the city needed as much free publicity as it could get. “When a logo is successful, people remember it. It’s a pretty good job that sign has done.” The only time we’re aware of its designer, who now lives on Social Security, earning a dime in later years from her much-reproduced creation was in 2008, when she hosted an autograph session signing prints of the sign photographed at night.
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One Holi Mess: India’s Incredible Color-Soaked Festival
The Hindu Holi festival may be a mess, but it makes for some vivid pictures!
The spring festival of Holi, celebrated across many parts of India, but especially in the north, is a time when barriers are torn down and the usual rules, if not entirely broken, are at least well and truly bent. It’s a time when adults can be children again, and children can get away with all kinds of mischief. The air is full of laughter and joyful shouts as brightly colored powders and water fly. See photographs, and read about Holi at Environmental Graffiti. Link
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Nintendo Dominoes
ShanesDominoez and Dieckdomino put together 30,000 dominoes that fall and evoke classic Nintendo products. And they have some pretty elaborate structures to knock down! -via Geeks Are Sexy
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Looking at Mom with Love
A tender mother-child moment, brought to you by the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. This picture was taken at Camp Leakey, Tanjung Puting National Park in Indonesia. The contest is open for entries until June 28, or even later with an additional fee, but oy, look at the competition! Link (Image credit: miranda rachellina)
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How Full Grown Trees Are Dug up and Transplanted
http://youtu.be/1IV10M1RbEA
It’s called a tree spade — a piece of heavy equipment previously unknown to me but apparently widely available. Here’s one in Berwick, Australia slicing into the earth several feet below the surface, then carrying then entire mass down the road.
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Magnetic Implant to Hold iPod Nano
Tattoo artist Dave Hurban of Dynasty Tattoo in Newfield, New Jersey, likes to have his iPod Nano handy, so he decided to attach it to his wrist with magnets: Hurban explained that the technique he used to get the four magnets under his skin to hold the iPod in place is actually a fairly typical one in the world of body piercing. “Those magnets are actually called micro-dermal anchors,” Dave explained, “and in body piercing they are very common. The tops are actually just 5 millimeter magnetic tops.” If you check out the admittedly cringe-worthy video of the process that the design firm Kaleidoscope Kreative shot, you can witness Hurban planting those very anchors, with a look of placid concentration on his face. “I took the ends of magnets and actually adhered them to the back of the iPod, and that’s how they click into my skin.” Jeff Saginor of Digital Trends has the story: Link
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Man Stole Own Bicycle Back After Spotting it on Craigslist
Danny Lesh noticed that his stolen bike ended up for sale on Craigslist. When police declined to intervene, Danny decided to take justice into his own hands (or feet, in this case): After haggling over the Craigslist price, Lesh says, he asked for a test ride. The vendor agreed, and Lesh pedaled around the block back to the waiting cab. He tossed the Cannondale in the trunk and rode off. The vendor called about half an hour later, demanding Lesh return the bike and threatening to notify the police himself, though it appears that call never materialized.
The DCist has the story: Link | Video Clip over at NBC4 Washington
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Teacher Used “Cone of Shame” to Discipline Teens
Pasco County high school teacher Laurie Bailey-Cutkomp has a unique way to discipline her misbehaving ninth graders: with the "cone of shame". Now, she's in trouble for treating students like dogs:
In the movie, the character Dug (a dog) wears the "cone of shame" as a punishment for being disobedient. Bailey-Cutkomp, who reportedly worked previously in the veterinary field, brought a cone into her classes after students asked about them. Bad idea or effective tool to enforce teenage discipline? Link
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Real Life Robinson Crusoe
For many of us, moving to our own private tropical island of paradise is a fantasy, but not for Brendon Grimshaw. In 1962, bought an island in the Indian Ocean for £8,000 and replanted it with 16,000 trees, grasses and then he invited a few friends ... BBC's Simon Reeven paid him a visit: Hit play or go to Link [YouTube] - via Boing Boing
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On a deserted industrial estate in the commuter town of Newark, Nottinghamshire, there is a graveyard. But this is no ordinary resting place for the dead. Few know of its existence; even fewer come to pay their respects... Welcome to the graveyard of decommissioned BT phone boxes. This warehouse, run by payphone specialist X2 Connect, is home to more than 150 of them – from a rare 85-year-old red kiosk to state-of-the-art three-cornered machines...

Since last month, when BT announced plans to sell off 60 of its classic red phone boxes, X2 Connect has been busier than ever. For the first time in 25 years, private buyers have the chance to own one of the K6 boxes, designed in 1935 for King George V’s Silver Jubilee, for a starting price of £1,950 – and demand has been huge...

Some 70,000 K6s were installed across Britain as part of the first nationwide programme of public telephone kiosks. Now, just 10,770 remain, including two in Normandy, France, that were installed for the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landings, and a few in Malta, Bermuda and Gibraltar. But as payphone use declines thanks to the spread of mobiles, 60 per cent of kiosks are losing money, with an 80 per cent drop in the number of calls made in the last five years. In 2002 there were 92,000 BT phone boxes on our streets; now there are 51,500.
More information at The Telegraph.
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City of (Sunspot) Lights Sunspot AR1476 (photographed above over the Eiffel Tower) has been monitored all week, as the Jupiter-sized coronal “active region” has been pointed squarely at Earth, ready to release a wave of magnetic energy in the form of a solar flare or coronal mass ejection. Last night, a CME was detected, racing toward Earth at over 1,000 km/s. This awesome animation from the Goddard Space Weather Lab demonstrates the forecasted wave and glancing blow we await on Earth (we aren’t in any danger, but satellites may be disrupted):  Above, the sunspot is photographed Thursday evening over the Eiffel Tower by VegaStar Carpentier. (↬ SpaceWeather.com)
City of (Sunspot) Lights
Sunspot AR1476 (photographed above over the Eiffel Tower) has been monitored all week, as the Jupiter-sized coronal “active region” has been pointed squarely at Earth, ready to release a wave of magnetic energy in the form of a solar flare or coronal mass ejection. Last night, a CME was detected, racing toward Earth at over 1,000 km/s.
This awesome animation from the Goddard Space Weather Lab demonstrates the forecasted wave and glancing blow we await on Earth (we aren’t in any danger, but satellites may be disrupted):
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Robert Puelo, 32, was apparently being disorderly in a St. Louis market. When the clerk threatened to call police, Puelo grabbed a hot dog, shoved it in his mouth, and walked out without paying for it. Police later found him unconscious in front of the store: paramedics removed the six-inch wiener from his throat, Where it had choked him to death.
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Mapping the Wonder Inside Every Cell Behold the biochemical pathways of the cell. For decades, these wall charts have adorned the hallways and laboratories wherever biochemists are at work. They are at once both reference and art. The version pictured above (click here for the holycraphuge version) is state of the art, a subway map of interacting pathways, intersecting reactions, and a road map for the journey to make any building block our cells need. Each node is an enzyme or product, separated by color into metabolic subdomains. You really must head over to KEGG and play with the interactive version, where each dot comes alive, an interactive chemical structure. I’m also a big fan of Gerard Michal’s legendary wall charts of yesteryear. Watching the evolution in design from his 1974 version to a later 1993 map, his layouts are chock full of vintage German aesthetic.
Behold the biochemical pathways of the cell. For decades, these wall charts have adorned the hallways and laboratories wherever biochemists are at work. They are at once both reference and art.
The version pictured above (click here for the holycraphuge version) is state of the art, a subway map of interacting pathways, intersecting reactions, and a road map for the journey to make any building block our cells need. Each node is an enzyme or product, separated by color into metabolic subdomains. You really must head over to KEGG and play with the interactive version, where each dot comes alive, an interactive chemical structure.
I’m also a big fan of Gerard Michal’s legendary wall charts of yesteryear. Watching the evolution in design from his 1974 version to a later 1993 map, his layouts are chock full of vintage German aesthetic.
Behold the biochemical pathways of the cell. For decades, these wall charts have adorned the hallways and laboratories wherever biochemists are at work. They are at once both reference and art.
The version pictured above (click here for the holycraphuge version) is state of the art, a subway map of interacting pathways, intersecting reactions, and a road map for the journey to make any building block our cells need. Each node is an enzyme or product, separated by color into metabolic subdomains. You really must head over to KEGG and play with the interactive version, where each dot comes alive, an interactive chemical structure.
I’m also a big fan of Gerard Michal’s legendary wall charts of yesteryear. Watching the evolution in design from his 1974 version to a later 1993 map, his layouts are chock full of vintage German aesthetic.
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Beautiful Images Of Earth, Taken From A Satellite 450 Miles Up
The U.S. Geological Survey curates the most remarkable satellite imagery, and offers it for sale.
Since 1972, NASA’s Landsat program has been constantly monitoring Earth from above. Hundreds of images are beamed back from the Landsat satellite from 450 miles above Earth, providing visual data for everything from climate studies to Google Earth.
Here’s a tribute video from NASA, showing how our regular observations of the planet can track geographical changes, natural disasters, and man’s impact on the planet. Viewed from far or near, we have a beautiful home, and one that we still struggle to fully understand.
Bonus: Check out Landsat’s Earth As Art collection! You won’t be sorry, and it should make for some pretty good dashboard fodder, Tumblr friends.
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Trekkies and We Know It
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Herman the hypochondriac began sobbing before a doctor. "I'm sure I've got a liver disease, and I'm gonna die from it."
"Ridiculous," said the doctor. "you'd never know if you had the disease or not. With that ailment there's no discomfort of any
kind."
"Right," said Herman, "those are my exact symptoms."
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A new wind energy concept
Apparently only at the concept stage now, but one advantage over wind turbines is that it eliminated the rotating blades, with their consequent noise and risk to birds:
New York design firm Atelier DNA has an alternative concept that ditches blades in favor of stalks. Resembling thin cattails, the Windstalks generate electricity when the wind sets them waving...
The proposed design calls for 1,203 "“stalks," each 180-feet high with concrete bases that are between about 33- and 66-feet wide. The carbon-fiber stalks, reinforced with resin, are about a foot wide at the base tapering to about 2 inches at the top. Each stalk will contain alternating layers of electrodes and ceramic discs made from piezoelectric material, which generates a current when put under pressure. In the case of the stalks, the discs will compress as they sway in the wind, creating a charge.Further details at Discovery News.
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Angry Birds Theme Park
Love Angry Bird but wish that there's a bit more you can do than fling digital birds around on your smartphone? Well, now you can fling your body around in this Angry Birds Land theme park in Finland. Angry Birds Land includes 12 rides, an adventure course and themed food outlets (lots of pig?). It's aimed at families and young children. Angry Birds developer Rovio helped the park's staff design the experience. Finnish-ing touches are still being put in place: gamers will soon be able to visit the "Magic Place" attraction, where guests can somehow upgrade their mobile Angry Birds games. Tom Phillips of EuroGamer has the story and more pics: Link - via Geekosystem
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Scenes from a Cactus Shop in Japan
Kohei Oda’s specialty shop is the place to go when you’re in great neat of a cactus in Hiroshima. Write that down just in case you should ever find yourself in that situation. In the meantime, look at the unusual and often monstrous-looking cacti that he’s collected for customers. Link (Google Translate) -via Spoon & Tamago
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Why A Lot of Asian Kids Wear Glasses
All those long hours studying make Asian kids really good at school, but that academic accomplishment comes at a steep price - ophthalmically speaking: Up to 90% of school leavers in major Asian cities are suffering from myopia - short-sightedness - a study suggests. Researchers say the "extraordinary rise" in the problem is being caused by students working very hard in school and missing out on outdoor light. The scientists told the Lancet that up to one in five of these students could experience severe visual impairment and even blindness.
BBC's science reporter Matt McGrath has the report:Link
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When it comes to outlandish new design ideas, Dubai is certainly ahead of the curve. The glittering emirate has already got the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, and even the Earth itself - in the form of dozens of man-mad islands just off its coastline. So it is no surprise to hear that architects are set to take on a new challenge - building a half-submerged hotel, complete with underwater rooms offering views of life below the surface of the sea. The 'Water Discus Hotel' - a spaceship-shaped building perched in the water and looking not unlike a Jame Bond villain's lair - is set to be the first of several planned across the region.
Water Discus Hotel is a design concept for a hotel that is partially underwater. The hotel consists of two large disc-shaped structures, one above and one below water. The 21 guest rooms are located in the underwater disc, with floor to ceiling windows providing a view of life undersea. Water Discus Hotel was created by Polish firm Deep Ocean Technologies. The first hotel is in early development for construction in Dubai.
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Five children, scions of the frosty bite
Dire wolves that hunt in the dead of the night
House of Stark, Winterfell, now the winter’s come
King in the North, bow down, now a war is on
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A whole mess of awe from Wikipedia.
A look into events of the distant future, as calculated from today.
Such as:
  • 36,000 years from now, Ross 248 becomes the closest star to the Sun.
  • 11 million years from now, the Martian moon Phobos will collide with the surface of Mars.
  • On Sunday, December 4th, 292,277,026,596 A.D. the 64-bit Unix time stamp will exceed the limit of a 64-bit number.
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he-star-stuff:
I AM STARSTUFF necklace :)
(Submitted by meganleestudio)
The pain of having a J in my name. No amino acid coding for me.
But this? This is something special. Buy it for the neck that supports a brain you love.
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Even Monkeys Can Sense a Raw Deal
Are animals moral? It’s an ongoing debate, and one that is prone to anthropomorphizing animal behaviors. But scientists have been able to track down cases of moral judgment in certain species. Here’s a pretty hilarious example.
Capuchin monkeys love grapes. But they’ll also eat cucumbers if you give them one. They just really prefer grapes. This team had the monkeys complete a task, simply putting a stone in the handler’s palm, and then they got their food reward. Only they could see what the other monkey was getting. The first round goes fine, and one gets a grape while the other is given only cucumber. Next round? Well, that’s in the video :)
The researchers concluded that the monkeys were, in fact, weighing the deal they got, and responding with feelings of envy and frustration. Even more, when both get cucumbers, they are perfectly happy with that snack! It seems to be all about fairness and cooperation for them. It fits with the social nature of primates, as cooperating groups would be biologically rewarded.
While pretty funny, it definitely shows signs that some of our core emotions may have very basic neurological roots!
Here’s a link to the full videotaped talk on monkeynomics and moral behavior in animals by Frans de Waal.
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Image of the Day Gallery
 Testing the Webb Telescope
Teenaged girls use make-up to feel older sooner.
Their mothers use make-up to feel younger longer.
No job is so simple that is can't be done wrong.
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NASA was interviewing professionals to be sent to Mars. Only one could go, and he couldn’t return to Earth.
The first applicant, an engineer, was asked how much he wanted to be paid for going. “A million dollars,” he answered, “because I want to donate it to M.I.T.”
The next applicant, a doctor, was asked the same question. He asked for two million dollars. “I want to give a million to my family,” he explained, “and leave the other million for the advancement of medical research.”
The last applicant was a lawyer. When asked how much money he wanted, he whispered in the interviewer’s ear, “Three million dollars.”
“Why so much more than the others?” the interviewer asked.
The lawyer replied, “If you give me $3 million, I’ll give you $1 million, I’ll keep $1 million, and we’ll send the engineer.”
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Don't like me?? Hilarity!!
Ursa ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ursarodinia@aol.com

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