Sunday, July 8, 2012

Partial Paws & Claws ~ July 1, 2012 ~ Happy Birthday to Kennedy Space

Science sells itself.
It needs no polish or varnish or manufactured appeal
to be attractive to women.
To imply otherwise is an insult.
To science and to women.
reacting to a European Commission ad titled
“Science: It’s a Girl Thing!”
decaturjim:  All earthquakes since 1898 Need a reminder of the relationship between earthquakes and plate tectonics? Look no further than this map of the world’s earthquakes since 1898, providing a beautiful glowing outline of Earth’s tectonic boundaries. Created by data visualisation company IDV Solutions, this map highlights all 203,186 earthquakes that have occurred, of magnitude 4.0 or greater.  Ring of Fire, anyone?
All earthquakes since 1898
Need a reminder of the relationship between earthquakes and plate tectonics? Look no further than this map of the world’s earthquakes since 1898, providing a beautiful glowing outline of Earth’s tectonic boundaries. Created by data visualisation company IDV Solutions, this map highlights all 203,186 earthquakes that have occurred, of magnitude 4.0 or greater.Ring of Fire, anyone?
Science: it’s a people thing. Alice Bell is spot on about “Science: it’s a girl thing” fiasco. Plus: three actual ways of getting kids into science

Science, a people thing

On friday, the European Commission released a teaser video for its new campaign to recruit young women into science. As their press release says, they were concerned that stereotypical images of science were putting girls off studying the subject and wanted to show science as “a girl thing”.

Shall we just say they didn’t handle it very well? See, for example, coverage of outrage at Wired UK, the Telegraph, Nature, the Washington Post and New Statesman. It’s hard to describe how bad this is. Watch it for yourself:

What the Supercool Arctic Ground Squirrel Teaches Us about the Brain’s Resilience. By Ferris Jabr.
How a Chinese man in space chatted to one in the deep ocean & what it means for science
Fibonacci Sequence

BLOG: What Will Rogers Would Have Said about a Dinosaur in San Juan
Thanks Steve, love the comment
Meanwhile, In Canada…
Canada Day is celebrated on July 1st across the country. July 1st marks the anniversary of the formation of the union of the British North America provinces in a federation under the name of Canada – that’s the technical explanation, but Canada Day also means fireworks and the year’s biggest national party. The Canada Day holiday is akin to the U.S. July 4th celebration but on a more Canadian scale.
Happy Canada Day to our Canuckian friends.
Happy Canada Day!
Domino artist FlippyCat (who brought us Vincent van Dominogh) uses his dominoes for an animated Canada Day greeting. -via The Daily What
Incredible post from Craig McClain on how presidential elections are affected by a 100 million year old coastline
In December 2010, Charite hospital in Berlin, Germany documented a woman giving birth in real-time with a specially-designed open high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner made by Philips. While images were available in 2010, the video from that birth has just been released.
"The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining." - John F. Kennedy
This short video by Mike Bok shows the chromatophores of Longfin Inshore Squid in action. Chromatophores are pigment-containing cells that allow the squid to change their skin color. One World One Ocean has more on how squid and other cephalopods change color: The skin of cephalopods has chromatophores, special pigment-filled cells that come in a range of colors. The pigments can be black, brown, red, orange, or yellow. These cells are each independently controlled by nerves and muscles, which expand or contract the cell. When the muscles contract, the cell stretches, allowing the pigment to cover a larger area. When the chromatophore shrinks, the pigment is hidden.
UW, UCLA researchers develop birth control gel for men
Gel may prove capable of reducing sperm count sharply
A birth control gel for men sharply lowered sperm counts with few side effects, researchers reported Tuesday. The gel, containing testosterone and a synthetic progestin called Nestorone, will require substantially more testing, but it has the potential to become the first effective chemical birth control agent for males.
littleBits (2008)
Ayah Bdeir (Lebanese, born 1982) Ayah Bdeir’s littleBits are a hardware library of preassembled circuit boards that connect to one another with magnets. Like Legos, which allow anyone to understand how to build structures without a complex engineering education, littleBits make a complex process intuitive, in this case assembling prototypes by snapping together electronic components. Thus littleBits allow non-experts to engage with electronics, letting anyone get a feel for working with circuits. Users have made, for instance, a garage-door opener, a coffeemaker, a pair of blinking shoes, and a joystick.
How You Feel What Another Body Feels
Empathy’s surprising roots in the sense of touch
I honestly don't know if this is "safe for work" or not - it probably depends on where you work. You'll have to take a peek and decide for yourself.
Taco Bell to the Rescue of Alaska Town
When residents of the remote town of Bethel, Alaska, learned that the news of a Taco Bell opening was a hoax, their hearts were crushed.
But when Taco Bell learned of the story, it came to the rescue:
Taco Bell executives learned of the mix-up and arranged an enormous feast for Sunday. They plan to fly enough ingredients in from Anchorage to make 10,000 tacos.
"It'll be a big event for our community," Mayor Joe Klejka said.
Taco Bell will offer its fare for free. There will be 950 pounds of seasoned beef, 300 pounds of lettuce, 150 pounds of cheddar cheese, 500 pounds of reduced fat sour cream and 300 pounds of tomatoes.
The chain is accustomed to feeding large groups of people in far-flung places.
"If we can feed people in Afghanistan and Iraq, we can feed people in Bethel," company CEO Greg Creed said, declining to discuss the cost of the feast.
Leap Second Disrupts Internet Sites
<img class="alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-69398" title="clock" src=""; alt="" width="150" height="223" />We told you about the one-second adjustment to the world’s clocks that brought our measurements in line with the actual rotation of the earth. That was last night, about 8PM EDT. And although it has happened before, and there were warnings, not every website was ready for a temporal disruption that caused older Linux-based systems to crash.
The Pirate Bay was affected.
So was Twitter.
Other sites that went down were Reddit, Gawker media sites, StumbleUpon, Yelp, FourSquare, LinkedIn, and Meetup.
Strangely, Fark was down, but it was a planned outage to move equipment. It just coincided with the leap second crash.
Most of the websites that were affected are back up, or will be soon.
Here Are the 1960s Science Fiction Novels Everyone Should Read
How to cure a hangover — with science!
It's Saturday night and your drunken conversation has turned to the subject of hangover cures. Unfortunately, this is also probably the time when you are least equipped to separate fact from fiction (and let's face it, when it comes to talk of hangover prevention, the former is often in woefully short supply). Let the folks at AsapSCINECE walk you through some of the empirically tested facts of preventing and treating the morning after dizzy-sicks. They call it "The Scientific Hangover Cure." [AsapSCIENCE]
Sometimes it seems like new drugs suddenly appear like magic. Have you ever wondered if there was something special going on behind the scenes? Earlier in Clinical Trials for Beginners, we looked briefly at why drug studies came into being, then at how a drug is developed, from test tube to your tissues. Let’s take a look behind the hype and the hoopla, at the hard work and the drudgery that create the magic.

BTTF clock
A clock withan actual totally made up screenshot not from the original Back to the Futuremovie.
As a matter of fact when you click the link it will display the current date and time. But don’t tell anyone.
One thing to remember is to talk to the animals. If you do, they will talk back to you. But if you don't talk to the animals, they won't talk back to you, then you won't understand, and when you don't understand you will fear and when you fear you will destroy the animals, and if you destroy the animals, you will destroy yourself.
~Chief Dan George~
TicTac came up with a new version of the flash mob for its viral filmed in France. On a square a person is asked for directions. As soon as the person starts speaking, something strange happens. Watch La Pire Haleine du Monde (The Worst Breath in the World) yourself to find out what occurs.
A cat is fascinated by a Kitty Coin Bank.
Instructions on making a 4th of July pinwheel. You'll need: card stock, printer, scissors, glue, straight pins with a head, pliers and paper lollipop sticks.
Motorcyclist Receives Slithery Surprise
When you're riding your motorcycle at 164 miles per hour, the last thing you want to see is a live animal appear from within the dashboard. Well, that's exactly what happened to one unsuspecting motorist:
Props to this guy for handling this calmly. When snakes show up in random places, it doesn't always work out so well. And for those of you deeply concerned for the welfare of the snake, don't worry, in the comments of the video, the rider claims he would never kill the snake and it is still alive and well, ready to torment more motorcyclists.
4th-grader explains haikus with a haiku
Eric K. Carr posts a picture of a haiku one of his fourth-graders at Tolson Elementary made. He writes: "The leaders of tomorrow aren't just intelligent, creative, expressive, and driven, but have a wicked sense of humor too. ;)"
Henri the Existential Cat is taken by his caretakers to the vet, proves that since we last saw him, his state of mind and views on life in general haven't suffered much alteration.
With a complete disregard for his badass-ness, Samuel L. Jackson spoofs Nicki Minaj, wearing a pink wig, in this promotional video for the BET Awards, that he will be hosting on July 1st.
How to Kill a Parasitic Worm Living Inside of You
Parasitic worms are the stuff of nightmares — worms as big as twelve feet long can rummage through your intestines, and then leave in the middle of the night. Urban legends tell tales of tapeworms carried by diet pills. Some of the weird schemes for removing these parasites include a combination of duct tape, candy bars, and bodily orifices. What is the reality behind these parasites? And how can you really get rid of one, without the need for extreme measures?
Bob the cat demonstrates how he can do what any other trained dog can do.
Blood From A Stone
Blood From A Stone Doesn’t that look delicious? No? Where you’re clearly not from Chile. This is Pyura chilensis, a “sea squirt” invertebrate that resides inside of a stone-like outer shell, and a delicacy along certain parts of the South American Pacific coast. Pyura feeds by filtering algae out of seawater, has both male and female gonads, can mate with itself in isolation, and whose meat contains 10 million times the concentration of the rare element vanadium as the ocean around it (maybe as a toxin? Maybe some new chemistry we don’t understand?). Life doesn’t always look or act how you expect it to, eh? (↬ Running Ponies)
Blood From A Stone
Doesn’t that look delicious? No? Where you’re clearly not from Chile. This is Pyura chilensis, a “sea squirt” invertebrate that resides inside of a stone-like outer shell, and a delicacy along certain parts of the South American Pacific coast. Pyura feeds by filtering algae out of seawater, has both male and female gonads, can mate with itself in isolation, and whose meat contains 10 million times the concentration of the rare element vanadium as the ocean around it (maybe as a toxin? Maybe some new chemistry we don’t understand?).
Life doesn’t always look or act how you expect it to, eh? ( Running Ponies)

There are times when splitting is not just permissible but obligatory... If the quantity you are measuring more than doubles, where do you put your infinitive? ... [instead of] "to more than double", what would you suggest? "We expect it more than to double" or "We expect it to double more than"? The first is weird; the second is even weirder. From an op-ed piece at The Telegraph.

"Some things just aren't funny. Beatings aren't funny. Mimes aren't funny. But beating a mime - why is that so hilarious?" --Dave Attell
In 1988 Martine Tischer proposed a novel way to add interest to a gift: wrap it in sheets of uncut U.S. currency: First of all, currency, particularly U.S. paper currency having the color green, is very attractive and suggests power and wealth … If desired, the package can be framed. Also if desired, the recipient of the package can deposit the whole sheet in a bank or exchange it at a bank for cut bills. The wrapping itself can be used as a medium of exchange, since it is money. See Gotcha.
Health discussion
What do you think?

A Sunday school teacher was teaching her class about the difference between right and wrong. "All right children, let's take another example," she said. "If I were to get into a man's pocket and take his billfold with all his money, what would I be?"
Little Johnny raises his hand, and with a confident smile he blurts out, "You'd be his wife!"


Rainbow-colored Oreo provokes sweet controversy

Despite some calls for a boycott, Kraft Foods may have bitten off just what it meant to chew when it posted a gay-pride-themed picture of an Oreo cookie on Facebook.
The post pictured an Oreo filled with six layers of frosting in the colors of the rainbow flag that symbolizes diversity in the gay community. The picture is headlined “June 25 | Pride,” and an accompanying text reads “Proudly support love!”
Basil Maglaris, Kraft’s associate director of corporate affairs, said the graphic was in recognition of Pride Month in the United States.
More than 150,000 Facebook users “liked” the post and 22,463 had commented as of Tuesday afternoon. Not all the comments were supportive…Maglaris said positive comments have “far outnumbered” negative ones…
“As a company, Kraft Foods has a proud history of celebrating diversity and inclusiveness. We feel the Oreo ad is a fun reflection of our values,” Maglaris said…
Don’t look for the rainbow cookie in stores. Fine print under the picture reads: “Made with creme colors that do not exist.”
The people who will boycott Oreos because of their homophobia are probably exactly the individuals who could do without the extra sugar in their lives, anyway. Eating sweets doesn’t make your politics palatable. But, caring about your fellow human beings surely does.

Kudos to Kraft.
Thanks Ed ~ I'm looking for my OREO cookie recipe ~ you know I have to try to make some as unicorn bait ~ rainbows are also for the unicorns ~
Muppet Movie Camera Test From 1979

Here’s a delightful behind the scenes video showing Kermit and Fozzie hanging out in a tree waiting for The Muppet Movie director Jim Frawley to get his angles and lenses all worked out, and later Kermit and Piggy discuss their relationship, and what their offspring might look like… *grin*
It sure is fun to see these fleece friends banter back and forth, Fozzie’s real bear status in question, Kermit discovering that he has rods coming out of his arms, and Miss Piggy letting her jealous nature get the better of her as usual. This video proves that Muppet improv is the best kind of improv! –via i09
No underwear
n. a teetotaler
A Dutch Company Wants To Colonize Mars By 2023
Some people aren’t content with merely taking pictures on the surface of Mars–they want to plant their flag and colonize the red planet as soon as possible.
And by some people I mean the Dutch company behind the project Mars One.
Led by Bas Lansdorp and Arno Wielders, they propose establishing a human colony and using it as a media spectacle to create mad profits and kickstart mankind’s adventures into the cosmos.
What do you guys think–is this an interesting and feasible idea, or the maniacal ravings of a madman?
Assume that these statements are true:
  1. Not all Futility Closet readers are U.S. residents.
  2. All walrus veterinarians who are not U.S. residents are not Futility Closet readers.
  3. Do 1 and 2 imply that
  4. Not all Futility Closet readers are walrus veterinarians?
In studying metabolism in the early 1600s, Santorio Santorio undertook a unique study: He conducted his daily activities on a platform attached to a steelyard scale. After years of readings, he learned that his food always weighed more than his excretions, and concluded that the rest was lost through “invisible perspiration,” the loss of matter through the pores and breath.
Santorio’s conclusions remained the state of the art for more than a century. When Ben Franklin wrote in 1742, “If thou art dull and heavy after Meat it is a sign that thou hast exceeded due measure,” he was essentially repeating Santorio’s aphorism of 150 years earlier, “Meats which promote Perspiration bring Joy, but those which obstruct it Sorrow.”
Behold the mighty Dinosaur,
Famous in prehistoric lore,
Not only for his weight and strength
But for his intellectual length.
You will observe by these remains
The creature had two sets of brains –
One in his head (the usual place),
The other at his spinal base.
Thus he could reason a priori
As well as a posteriori.
No problem bothered him a bit:
He made both head and tail of it.
So wise he was, so wise and solemn,
Each thought filled just a spinal column.
If one brain found the pressure strong
It passed a few ideas along;
If something slipped his forward mind
‘Twas rescued by the one behind;
And if in error he was caught
He had a saving afterthought.
As he thought twice before he spoke
He had no judgments to revoke;
For he could think, without congestion,
Upon both sides of every question.
Oh, gaze upon this model beast,
Defunct ten million years at least.
– Bert Leston Taylor, A Line-O’-Verse or Two, 1911
Highlights from the championship of the World Egg Throwing Federation (it's real).
Staff at the Smithsonian describe the steps they followed in preparing a box of Wheaties featuring Jim Thorpe for conservation and display.
A companion article briefly discusses Jim Thorpe's career and the reasons his Olympic records are not officially recognized.
Jack and Jackie

It appears that two attractive young people wandered into a photo booth together in 1953. You can see more pictures of the young Kennedys taken in another photo booth session at Retronaut. Link -via Nag on the Lake
Portland On The Web: Wall Street Journal, Examiner, Spokesman & More

Preparations for a zombie apocalypse proved useless this week as not one, but 15 UFO's were spotted near Portland International Airport. It will only be a matter of time before the 'How To Please Your Alien Overlords With DIY Crafts' workshops start popping up at local community centers.

Casting agents from Portlandia are looking for next season's cast of quirky extras (I'm looking at you, unicycle-riding, bagpipe-playing
Darth Vader).

And finally, Portland proves to be the center of the internet (as we've always suspected) as Wired correspondent Andrew Blum publishes a book about the wirey underpinnings of the web, including a section on the historic Pittock Block's massive underground server.

Exploring the internet in Portland with Andrew Blum author of 'Tubes'
KGW: 'Portlandia' looking for extras in Portland
Examiner: Oregon witness reports 15 UFOs near Portland airport
OregonLive: President Obama may pay a visit to Portland next month
Sports Illustrated: With two top picks, Portland emerges as latest hoops hotbed
Wall Street Journal: Portland, Oregon's green garbage plan (Video)
The Source: The Transit Tourist - Portland, Oregon
Spokesman Review: Rare red fox may be on Mt. Hood
Our minds are surprisingly active during deep sleep, capable of cementing memories we learned while awake
After looking closely at a pair of meteorites that originated on Mars, researchers now believe the planet likely holds vast reservoirs of water deep underground
Upside down skyscrapers. Vacuum tubes whisking away trash. Welcome to the future of cities as they begin exploring the next urban frontier.

Bikinis may have been illegal in 1900, but they were all the rage in ancient Rome
Think Fast:
Which state was the first to select a state insect?
A. Florida
B. Colorado
C. California
D. West Virginia
(Think Fast Answer: California) California was the first state to select an official state insect. The Dogface Butterfly was chosen as the state insect in 1929 after a statewide poll of active entomologists.
eBay Warning
If you buy stuff on line, check out the seller carefully.

Be careful what you purchase on eBay.

A friend spent $50 on a penis enlarger.
Bastards sent him a magnifying glass.
Instructions said, “Do not use in the sunlight”
For Your Inspiration: 11 Imagination-Jarring Tips From Creative Geniuses
There are plenty of competing theories for how to boost your creativity: paint your room blue, work someplace noisy and distracting, complete a bunch of silly sentences Mad-Libs-style. But there’s no better source for creativity advice than a creative genius. Here are 11 tactics practiced by big thinkers, artists and innovators.
How Drinking Can Solve All Your (Word Association) Problems
Here’s a gem for your next round of barstool trivia: a recent study shows that people who have a couple drinks solve brainteasers faster—and get more correct answers—than their sober peers.
Somehow I found a link that sneaks you directly into Level 3 of this Europe map game. I’m not sure I would have qualified for it otherwise. How far did you get?
Brush up on your knowledge of string theory by watching The Elegant Universe with Brian Greene online via

For fact lovers, these Quick Facts provided by the US Census page are a great reference.
Marine Mammal Experts Work Round-the-Clock to Save Orphan Baby Beluga
Alaska SeaLife Center Bottlefeeding 2b
Four accredited U.S. aquariums have come together in an effort to save a newborn Beluga whale calf which was found stranded in South Naknek, Alaska last week - this is the first time in history that a live calf has been found and rescued in U.S. waters. Marine mammal experts with a combined 125 years of experience from Shedd Aquarium, SeaWorld and Georgia Aquarium immediately answered the Alaska SeaLife Center’s call for assistance to provide around-the-clock care for the calf during this rehabilitation period. The male, 112-pound calf is touch-and-go at this point and considered in critical condition – especially due to his immature immune system, and remains under 24-hour observation.
Red, Gold and Nude Germans
Nude Germans turn out by the hundreds painted red and gold to kick off the German Opera Season and to participate in another of Spencer Tunic’s projects. A few more pics here
Phlax ~ here's your new screensaver

Edward Lear once overheard a gentleman in a railway station saying that his children had been reading the Book of Nonsense. He maintained that Edward Lear did not exist, and said that Lord Derby had written the book.
Says I, joining spontaneous in the conversation — ‘That is quite a mistake: I have reason to know that Edward Lear the painter and author wrote and illustrated the whole book.’ ‘And I,’ says the Gentleman, says he, — ‘have good reason to know, Sir, that you are wholly mistaken. There is no such person as Edward Lear.’ ‘But,’ says I, ‘there is — and I am the man — I wrote the book!’ Whereupon all the party burst out laughing and evidently thought me mad or telling fibs. So I took off my hat and showed it, with Edward Lear and the address in large letters — also one of my cards, and a marked handkerchief: on which amazement devoured those benighted individuals and I left them to gnash their teeth in trouble and tumult.
Related: In October 1812, Trinity and St. John’s Colleges, Cambridge, ordered that students appearing in hall or chapel in pantaloons or trousers should be considered absent.
Censored cock
A story in the New York Times details an alternative solution to caring for an infirm elderly parent.
They ordered a MEDCottage — a prefabricated 12-by-24-foot bedroom-bathroom-kitchenette unit that can be set up as a free-standing structure in their backyard. It’s more than a miniature house — it’s decked out with high-tech monitoring and safety features that rival those of many nursing homes...

The cottage is laid out as an open-plan apartment with a kitchen area (equipped with a microwave, small refrigerator and washer-dryer combo), a bed area and a bathroom large enough in which to maneuver a wheelchair. The utilities and plumbing connect to the primary residence.
It's very expensive, but so is nursing home care:
The cottage costs about $85,000 new; Mr. Dupin’s distributors will buy it back for about $38,000 after 24 months of use. “If you compare it to nursing home costs, which can run $6,000 to $8,000 per month in Virginia, even higher in New York, that’s cheap,” said Mr. Dupin.

Of course, unlike nursing homes, granny pods don’t come equipped with 24-hour professional care and three meals a day. Hiring a health care aide (around $19 an hour) just during weekdays can easily add another $39,000 per year. But a growing number of elderly people — 88 percent of those over 65 — say they want to live in their own homes, in their own communities, as they age.
More details at the link, and at the company's home page.
My doctor wants to establish a dosage for a new drug, so he gives me a bottle of 48 pills and tells me to take them throughout the month of June. I can take as many or as few as I like on any given day, so long as I take at least 1 pill each day. Show that there’s a sequence of consecutive days during which I take exactly 11 pills.
This is truly impressive. To dislodge a seal from an ice floe, they don't bump into the floe (at the risk of even a minor injury to themselves), but rather create a wave that accomplishes the end result. And they do so in perfect synchronicity. How do they learn when to dive in order to maximize the wave crest? Wow.

OUTDOOR SCENESAnother World: This is the great Japanese maple tree in the Portland Japanese Gardens. I tried to bring a different perspective of this frequently photographed tree. (Fred An/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest) #
The 24th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is in full swing. The entry deadline has been extended until July 11. The four categories include: Travel Portraits; Outdoor Scenes; Sense of Place and Spontaneous Moments. Last year's contest drew nearly 13,000 images from all over the world. The pictures are as diverse as their authors, capturing an assortment of people, places and wildlife - everything that makes traveling so memorable, evoking a sense of delight and discovery. The following post includes a small sampling of the entrant's work, taken from the editor's picks in each of the categories. (The captions are written by the entrants, some slightly corrected for readability.) And for fun, take a look back at the winners from 2011 at National Geographic Traveler. -- Paula Nelson (54 photos total)

"No man ever listened himself out of a job." - Calvin Coolidge


"You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun." - Al Capone


The Top 10 Signs That It's Time To Do The Laundry
1. You're wearing your last pair of underwear in the shower consistently.
2. You've worn your sheets to school because you can't get them off of you.
3. Your socks act like a shirt does when its heavily starched and emit a serious funk.
4. Your roommate walks around wearing a full body medical suit like they did in the movie "Outbreak" to avoid catching the Ebola virus.
5. The Snuggle Bear on the softener bottle officially died last week.
6. The DEA's drug sniffing dog is always coming by to sniff your laundry because the strong stench makes him think you have 28 tons of pot in your closet.
7. Even after sewing 28 spring scented dryer sheets to the inside of your shirt, your friends still say you reek.
8. The phrase "Wash Me" is visibly written in your jeans.
9. Your red T-shirt is now green.
10. The boss pulls you aside to remind you that your company's casual days does not include your college graduation gown and scuba diving fins.
(From: Aha! Jokes)


A generous parent would have said, 'if there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

As reported by the BBC: Archaeologists excavating an Anglo-Saxon cemetery in Cambridgeshire say the discovery of a woman buried with a cow is a "genuinely bizarre" find...

At first it was thought the animal skeleton was a horse. Student Jake Nuttall said: "Male warriors might be buried with horses, but a woman and a cow is new to us." Co-director of the excavation, Dr Duncan Sayer, from the University of Central Lancashire, said: "Animal burials are extremely rare, anyway.

"There are only 31 horse burials in Britain and they are all with men. This is the first animal to be discovered with a woman from this period - the late 5th Century - and it's really interesting that it's a cow, a symbol of economic and domestic wealth and power...

"The cow burial is unique in Europe which makes this an incredibly exciting and important find.Via Arbroath.

A photoessay at English Russia makes note of the longstanding project at Perm to interbreed wolves and domestic dogs. Attempts to cross dogs and wolves have been made since the time of the Ancient Rome. And only the project of the Perm wolf-dogs can be called successful... It started 13 years ago when Vyacheslav at his own risk and for his own money bought a two-years-old wolf Naida from the man who had been going to stuff her... The professor had been looking for a partner for Naida for 4 years. Eventually it became a male German shepherd... The hybrids were stronger, of greater endurance, they rarely fell ill and had an incredible scent. For example they can find a trace three days old while for ordinary dogs 6-8 hours is a limit. They live 25-30 years, the wolf-dogs are easily trainable [the Wikipedia entry on wolves as working animals disputes the latter assertion]...Many of them already serve in the police, army: in Chechnya, Gelendzhik, Samara, Ural cities…

"I hate driving, and I hate when people honk at me. Unless I'm making a left turn. Then I like it because that's how I know it's time to turn." --Rita Rudner
A deck contains 52 cards, 12 court cards, 4 suits, and 13 ranks.
A year contains 52 weeks, 12 months, and 4 seasons of 13 weeks.
If A=1, J=11, Q=12, and K=13, then the values in a deck of cards total 364.
See Apropos.

"I had surgery this year. Nothing serious, thank God. But just before I went under I heard the one thing you don't want to hear, 'Where's my lucky scalpel?'" --Jonathan Katz

We are no longer speaking Old English or Latin, with their single-word infinitives... Ænglisc-speakers could not have said "to boldly go", since the infinitive was a single word, "gān". They'd have had to say "gān bealde", or something like that. Similarly, Latin speakers wouldn't have had the option: they'd have had to say "ire audacter". (Forgive the probably awful Latin and Old English there.) But we're not speaking Latin or Ænglisc, so it's just silly to limit ourselves to the grammatical options available to them...

The Web’s Hand-Written Thank You Note Service
Perhaps you don't have a pen or do not practice the long-lost art of handwriting (how quaint!) in the age of keyboards and smartphones anymore, but don't let that turn you into an uncivilized savage.
Thanks to the InterWeb, you too, can send a handwritten letter and thank you note without ever having to touch a pen :) Take a look at the handwriting service of Epistly: Link-
Digital Circlism

Ben Heine, the artist behind the famous Pencil vs. Camera project (previously on Neatorama), has more art tricks up his sleeves. This one above is his modern take on pointillism, which was made famous by Georges Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.
Ben called it "Digital Circlism" and wrote:
This portrait is only made with "flat circles" on a black background. Every circle has a single color, a single tone and a single size. I placed each circle one by one. It's a time consuming method. Please see some details, the work in progress and other portraits here below. If you wish, you can also view this making of my portrait of Elvis Presley (video) to understand how I'm exploiting this technique with circles...
Link | His full Digital Circlism gallery over at deviantART
As we bid farewell to Lonesome George, the last of his Galapagos tortoise subspecies, remember that plenty of other species have been declared extinct pretty recently.
Energy drink logic

A stop-motion animated film about farming commissioned by Chipotle Mexican Grill. It shows the life of a farmer as he slowly turns his family farm into an industrial animal factory, before seeing the errors of his ways and opting for a more sustainable future. Willie Nelson was commissioned to record a cover version of Coldplay's song, 'The Scientist', for the film's soundtrack.

In 1992, Nickelodeon got together with the Kids World Council to decide what was most important to kids at the time. Then they assembled those items, put them in a big orange time capsule, and buried it in front of the Nickelodeon Studios.

The time capsule was removed in August 2006 and was replaced with a concrete slab. It is now buried outside the entrance of Nickelodeon Suites Resort where it is set to be opened in April 30th, 2042. Here's a list of everything inside.
Lego struck gold when they started releasing collectible minifigures 1978. They have become hugely successful, with over 3.7 billion produced in both limited edition waves and in blind packaging. These figures are highly detailed and imaginative, and include very specific character types, many that wouldn't otherwise fit in standard Lego sets.

The selection has been amazing and revolutionized the very concept of the ever-popular Lego minifigure. Here are the 21 best collectible minifigures that Lego has released thus far.

Norihiko Terayama's Awaglass is an hourglass filled with soapy water - the magic happens when you shake it a little. The Book of Joe has the video clip of the mesmerizing bubbles that arise: Link [embedded vimeo clip]

The Valedictorian Lawsuit
Straight A's and a 4.50 GPA, accepted to Stanford with an engineering internship at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to boot but that's not enough for some parents. No, they wanted their daughter to get the top honor of valedictorian ... even if they have to sue for it:

And to Elisha’s mother, Carol, the second-place finish means that her daughter's "sleepless nights" were essentially “for nothing.” "It's flawed. It's wrong," Carol told The Times. "All her hard work is not being recognized. All she had was straight A's. Not a B, ever." Nelson said his family is considering suing LAUSD for failing to award their daughter the honor of valedictorian. Link

The Art Of Arm Contortion
This video features the Turf Dancers showing off their “bone breaks”, arm contortions that are almost painful to watch. I have a feeling that these guys are part puppet, either that or they’ve had their joints replaced by rubber bands! –via Stuff I Stole From The Internet
Car horn

Always Blow Dry Your Pets After Cleaning
Those long hairs take forever to dry. Fortunately, this air conditioner fan also works as a multi-pooch hair drier.
Via Cute Overload
That Peculiar Subway Step
Dean Peterson noticed that the tenth step up on the staircase at his subway stop in Brooklyn was a fraction of an inch taller than the other stairs. That’s just enough to make everyone whack it with their foot, because by the time you reach it, your feet know how tall it should be. According to the comments at vimeo, the stairs have been cordoned off with caution tape just today. Maybe this video had something to do with it. -via Metafilter
1,143,839,622,748,050,000,000,000,000 Computer Generated Anagramic Sonnets
<img src=""; alt="" title="sonnet" width="323" height="254" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-69449" />
Click on the button on Mike Keith’s page, and you’ll be presented with two out of a potential one octillion sonnets, both of which are anagrams of each other. Here’s how:
The two poems above each have the form of a classical English sonnet with fourteen lines of iambic pentameter and a rhyme scheme of abab cdcd efef gg. In addition, these sonnets are anagrams: each one can be formed by rearranging the letters in the other one. Every time you click the button above (or reload this page) you will see a different pair of mutually-anagrammatic sonnets – one of a grand total of about one octillion (1027) available.
This is made possible by having, behind the scenes, a text consisting of 14 sets of 10 lines of iambic pentameter. For each number n (from 1 through 14), we choose two different lines (say A and B) from set n then assign line A to the nth line in the left sonnet and line B to the nth line in the right sonnet. The resulting poems always have reasonable grammar and sense, as a result of the way the lines are worded; in addition, the fact that the sets as a whole obey the sonnet rhyme scheme (all lines in set 1 rhyme with all lines in set 3, and so on) ensure that the sonnets rhyme properly. Finally, the two poems are always anagrams because of this fact: all 10 lines in each of the 14 sets are anagrams of each other.
Read more math stuff about it at the link. Link -via TYWKIWDBI

"The flight attendant will always tell you the name of your pilot. Like anyone goes, 'Oh, he's good. I like his work.'" --David Spade

"Correspondence schools are full of it. I saw an ad where they claimed they could teach you veterinarian medicine thought the mail. Hate to be a dog in that house. "Mail's here!" "Yip, yip, yip!" Talk about being a regular in the pet store, "Hey, didn't I already sell you a puppy?" --Drew Carey

"I like to think of my behavior in the sixties as a "learning experience." Then again, I like to think of anything stupid I've done as a "learning experience." It makes me feel less stupid." --P. J. O'Rourke

It was just another day at the DMV. I had taken a woman out on her driving test when a police cruiser came up behind us--sirens wailing, lights flashing.
"Was I speeding?" she asked the officer, after both cars pulled over.
"No," said the officer. "But you are driving a stolen vehicle."
Smiling awkwardly, the woman turned to me. "Does this mean I failed my test?"


While carpenters were working outside the old house I had just bought, I busied myself with indoor cleaning. I had just finished washing the floor when one of the workmen asked to use the bathroom.
With dismay I looked from his muddy boots to my newly scrubbed floors. "Just a minute," I said, thinking of a quick solution. "I'll put down newspapers."
"It's all right, lady," he responded. "I'm already trained."


Random Facts:

The border between North and South Korea is one of the most militarized areas in the world, according to the State Department, with a combined total of almost two million military personnel under the control of Pyongyang (1.2 million), Seoul (680,000) and foreign powers including the United States (28,000).

North Korean arms outnumber those in the South by about two to one, including offensive weapons such as tanks, long-range artillery, aircraft and armored personnel carriers. However, much of the military equipment in North Korea is obsolete.

Three Old Men

Three old men are sitting on the porch of a retirement home. The first says, "Fellas, I got real problems. I'm seventy years old. Every morning at seven o'clock I get up and I try to urinate. All day long I try to urinate. They give me all kinds of medicine but nothing helps."

The second old man says, "You think you have problems. I'm eighty years old. Every morning at 8:00 I get up and try to move my bowels. I try all day long. They give me all kinds of stuff but nothing helps."

Finally the third old man speaks up, "Fellas: I'm ninety years old. Every morning at 7:00 sharp I urinate. Every morning at 8:00 I move my bowels. And every morning at 9:00 sharp I wake up."
Q and A Quickies

Q: How did the blonde break her leg raking leaves?
A: She fell out of the tree.

Q: Why don't blind people skydive?
A: It scares the crap out of the dog.


QUOTE: "Golf is so popular simply because it is the best game in the world at which to be bad."

HINT: (1882-1956), English author, best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh and for various children's poems.

ANSWER: A.A. Milne.

Golf club names rarely used in the game today include baffy (a four wood), brassie (a two wood), cleek (a two iron), mashie (a five iron), niblick (an eight iron), and spoon (a three wood).

Jack Nicklaus's nickname, "The Golden Bear," has nothing to do with his blonde hair and stocky build. He earned it while playing golf in high school for the Upper Arlington (Ohio) Golden Bears.

Before good-quality synthetic materials were developed, the "carpet" at miniature golf courses was typically made from green-dyed felt made from goat hair.

In most of the world, scoring a two on a par-five hole is called an albatross; in the United States, it's known as a double eagle.

Althea Gibson was a multisport star who not only became the first African American woman to compete in tennis at Wimbledon but also the first to join the Ladies' Professional Golfing Association.

Bing Crosby decided against the role of TV detective Columbo, fearing that it would interfere with his true passion: golf. Peter Falk took the job instead.

Bad Golf

Comedic actor Leslie Nielsen takes his love for the game of golf to the average weekend golfer to show them a hilarious lesson in appreciating bad golf while still shaving strokes off your game.
If you don't mind convulsions and symptoms similar to a drug overdose you might be able to save yourself a felony conviction for drug possession if you find yourself in a situation like Ronald Loyd Hall, Jr. did.

Oklahoma trooper Robert Roebuck stopped Hall for a minor traffic violation and noticed he appeared to be very nervous. A search of the vehicle revealed a clear baggy with what appeared to be a "crystal substance" in it and a baggy with a "green leafy substance" in it. Officer Roebuck placed Hall under arrest.

When a wrecker arrived to tow Hall's vehicle, Roebuck said he placed the drugs on the center console of the police unit.

While speaking to Hall's passenger, the officer noticed Hall was leaning over the console of the vehicle. When Roebuck returned to the cruiser, he noticed the bag with the suspected drug was gone.

Hall then reportedly started to convulse and had symptoms of what police believed to be an overdose.

Coal County District Attorney Preston Harbuck said Hall is expected to be charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

"Since we didn't have any actual product to send to the lab, we are unable to file a felony at this time," Harbuck said.

Of course, in order for this plan to work you have to be arrested by an officer who will leave you alone in a cruiser for several minutes with the evidence.

Woman complains after haircut punishment

PRICE, Utah - A Utah mother said she filed a formal complaint against a judge who had her slice off her 13-year-old's ponytail as punishment for cutting a 3-year-old's hair. Valerie Bruno said she has filed a formal complaint against 7th District Juvenile Judge Scott Johansen, who told her he would cut the 276-hour community service sentence imposed on her daughter, Kaytlen Lopan, by 150 hours if the mother cut off the teenager's ponytail in his courtroom, The Deseret News reported Monday. Lopan had been sentenced in Johansen's courtroom in May after she was convicted on an assault charge for cutting several inches of hair from the head of a 3-year-old girl they met at a McDonald's in Price. "I guess I should have went into the courtroom knowing my rights, because I felt very intimidated," Bruno said. "An eye for an eye, that's not how you teach kids right from wrong." Colin Winchester, executive director of the Utah Judicial Conduct Commission, said a complaint against a judge can take several months to be resolved.

Spoiled Children
Elizabeth Kolbert wrote an overview of parenting books and research at The New Yorker, in which she marvels at the Matsigenka tribe of Peru and their helpful unspoiled children. She give examples of how spoiled modern American children are, and then gives examples from her own life.
Not long ago, in the hope that our sons might become a little more Matsigenka, my husband and I gave them a new job: unloading the grocery bags from the car. One evening when I came home from the store, it was raining. Carrying two or three bags, the youngest, Aaron, who is thirteen, tried to jump over a puddle. There was a loud crash. After I’d retrieved what food could be salvaged from a Molotov cocktail of broken glass and mango juice, I decided that Aaron needed another, more vigorous lesson in responsibility. Now, in addition to unloading groceries, he would also have the task of taking out the garbage. On one of his first forays, he neglected to close the lid on the pail tightly enough, and it attracted a bear. The next morning, as I was gathering up the used tissues, ant-filled raisin boxes, and slimy Saran Wrap scattered across the yard, I decided that I didn’t have time to let my kids help out around the house. (My husband informed me that I’d just been “kiddie-whipped.”)
Well there’s your problem. There is no reason a teenager cannot pick up shards of glass that he himself caused. Other, worse examples are given, like the boy who demanded his father untie shoes for him or the 8-year-old girl who sat down at the table to find no silverware at her place setting and said, “How am I supposed to eat?” Those stories come from a study done by Anthropologist Elinor Ochs and her colleagues at UCLA in which they recorded an entire week of activity in 32 middle-class families in Southern California.
It isn’t that the kids were unable to do the tasks or that their parents didn’t express a need for help, say the researchers. Rather, the studied children didn’t seem to view it as their routine responsibility to contribute, the researchers say.
Read more about this research at the Wall Street Journal. Link -via Metafilter

How To Eat Chocolate

National Geographic’s “Digital Nomad” Andrew Evans investigated Swiss chocolate by visiting a factory in Broc, Switzerland, in which tourists can take part in an all-you-can-eat sampling. There are guides to help participants rein in their tendency to overdo it, because the enjoyment comes from the quality, not the quantity. Swiss chocolate expert Michel Baud tells us step-by-step how to get the most out of chocolate.

* Begin by snapping the chocolate in half. Inhale and ponder the aromas you can sense: cocoa, vanilla, smoke, malt, etc.

* Let the first bite be small to “warm up” the tongue, which can only taste sweet, sour, salty, bitter. Some chocolates can hit all four tastes.

* The second bite is the one that counts. Suck on the chocolate and feel how it melts, sense the texture (grainy or smooth?). Is it sweet or dry?

There’s more to the process, which you can read at NatGeo’s Intelligent Travel blog. Link

Rise of sea level on the United States’ East Coast accelerating faster than oceans in other parts of the world
As you might automagically presume, the response from conservative legislatures is to pass laws which will tell the water to stop rising. North Carolina has a bill in the hopper to ban the use of the latest science and improved methods to base forecasts on these changes. As noted in the article, this is “human nature trying to outwit Mother Nature, and Mother Nature usually wins that battle of wits.”

In the case of climate deniers, we face half-wits.
Love your comments Ed

MESS TEST: Smear peanut butter on the sofa and curtains. Now rub your hands in the wet flower bed and rub on the walls. Cover the stains with crayons. Place a fish stick behind the couch and leave it there all summer.

TOY TEST: Obtain a 55-gallon box of Legos. (If Legos are not available, you may substitute roofing tacks or broken bottles.) Have a friend spread them all over the house. Put on a blindfold. Try to walk to the bathroom or kitchen. Do not scream (this could wake a child at night).

GROCERY STORE TEST: Borrow one or two small animals (goats are best) and take them with you as you shop at the grocery store. Always keep them in sight and pay for anything they eat or damage.

DRESSING TEST: Obtain one large, unhappy, live octopus. Stuff it into a small net bag making sure that all arms stay inside.

FEEDING TEST: Obtain a large plastic milk jug. Fill it halfway with water. Suspend from the ceiling with a stout cord. Get the jug swinging. Try to insert spoonfuls of soggy cereal (such as Fruit Loops or Cheerios) into the mouth of the jug while pretending to be an airplane. Now dump the contents of the jug on the floor.

NIGHT TEST: Prepare by obtaining a small cloth bag and fill it with 8 to 12 pounds of sand. Soak it thoroughly in water. At 8 PM begin to waltz and hum with the bag until 9 PM. Lay down your bag and set your alarm for 10:00 PM. Get up, pick up your bag, and sing every song you have ever heard. Make up about a dozen more and sing them until 4:00 AM. Set alarm for 5:00 AM. Get up and make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.

PHYSICAL TEST (WOMEN): Obtain a large bean-bag chair and attach it to the front of your clothes. Leave it there for 9 mo. Now remove 10% of the beans.

PHYSICAL TEST (MEN): Go to the nearest drug store. Set your wallet on the counter. Ask the clerk to help himself. Now proceed to the nearest food store. Go to the head office and arrange for your paycheck to be directly deposited to the store. Purchase a newspaper. Go home and read it quietly for the last time.

FINAL ASSIGNMENT: Find a couple who already has a small child. Lecture them on how they can improve their child’s discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet training, and table manners. Suggest many things they can improve as well. Emphasize to them that they should never allow their children to run riot. Enjoy this experience. It will be the last time you’ll have all the answers


Window Pain

Simon’s Cat’s latest adventure involves making sure the window is there, even when you can’t see it. Another cute animation by Simon Tofield. -via The Daily What

Previous: More Simon’s Cat.

Clock enthusiasts take note: A leap second has been scheduled for June 30, 2012. A leap second is an adjustment to the atomic clock-based Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) to bring it more closely in line with Universal Time (UT), which is based on the rotation of the earth. The two time standards do not agree because the earth’s rotation is ever so gradually and unpredictably slowing down. Yes, really.
So in the last minute of June 30, a leap second will be added to UTC, giving us the strange time of 23:59:60 (pictured). A total of 24 leap seconds have been added at irregular intervals since 1972 by the awesomely named International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service.
Celebrating 50 years: 1962-2012. Take a look at Kennedy Space Center’s rich legacy as the spaceport celebrates its 50th anniversary on July 1, 2012. This is where dreams are made, where the impossible became possible and the minds of men conquered the cosmos.

Nothing here, just lights and clockwork"

An autonomous quadrotor light show that will knock your transistors off…
Stop what you’re doing, and experience this stunning intersection of robotics and creativity. The folks (geniuses, really) at KMel Robotics put together this futuristic light show for the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. I’d like to think that if Skynet becomes self-aware, this would be their theatre company.
You may remember KMel Robotics and their spunky little quadrotors from back when they blew us away by playing the James Bond theme. These guys also wowed the TED audience this year with their demonstration of autonomous flying robotics. That’s what amazes me so much about their technology - these robots are not fully scripted!
Instead, they are following a more general set of instructions, like those designed by human choreographers. But the robotic performers are constantly reacting to one another, making fine adjustments, tracking the lights to ensure a perfect reflection off those tiny mirrors, just like living dancers would. This technology isn’t just for art, either. They hope to create fully autonomous flying robots that can map out disaster sites and toxic emergency areas without human intervention.
Creative or practical, the sky is the limit for these guys. Pun intended. Simply amazing. (via io9)
Tied for an Olympic Slot
<img class="alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-69296" title="the-third-place-photo-finish-of-the-womens-100-meter-final-shows-allyson-felix-and-jeneba-tarmoh" src=""; alt="" width="150" height="187" />Imagine that the dream you’ve nurtured for a lifetime came down to a coin toss. The U.S. Olympic trials saw a tie for third place in the 100-yard dash this past weekend as Allyson Felix and Jenebah Tarmoh both crossed the finish line in 11.068 seconds. Since only one of them can be in the top three and race in the Olympics, they will have to break the tie one way or another.
It took nearly 24 hours after the 11-second race ended for USTAF to announce its ruling that Felix and Tarmoh will be given the option of breaking the tie with a coin toss or a runoff. And it’s not as simple as it sounds, explains the Associated Press: “If both athletes choose the same option, [that option] will determine the tiebreaker. If the athletes disagree, the tiebreaker will be a runoff. If both athletes decline a preference, the tiebreaker will be a coin toss.” The runners have not been given a timeline to announce their decisions, but it’s expected they’ll wait until after they compete in the 200 meters race later this week.Link
New to Baseball
Coming home from his Little League game, Billy swung open the front door very excited. Unable to attend the game, his father immediately wanted to know what happened. “So, how did you do son?” he asked.
“You’ll never believe it!” Billy said. “I was responsible for the winning run!”
“Really? How’d you do that?”
“I dropped the ball.”
A first-grade class is having a game of Name That Animal.
The teacher held up a picture of a cat."What animal is this?" she asked.
"A cat!" said Eddie.
"Good job! Now, what is this animal?"
"A dog!" said Eddie.
"Good! Now what animal is this?" she asked, holding up a picture of a Deer. The class fell silent. After a couple of minutes, the teacher said, "It's what your mom calls your dad."
"A horny bastard," called out Eddie.
Age of consent
My yearly physical exam
During my yearly physical examination, my doctor asked me about my physical activity level.
I described a typical day this way:
“Well, yesterday afternoon, I took a five hour walk through some pretty rough terrain.
I waded along the edge of a lake.
I pushed my way through brambles.
I got sand in my shoes and my eyes.
I climbed several rocky hills.
I took a few ‘leaks’ behind some big trees.
The mental stress of it all left me shattered.
At the end of it all I drank a bottle of wine”.
Inspired by the story, the doctor said, “You must be one hell of an outdoors person!”
“No,” I replied, “I’m just a terrible golfer”.
Partial Paws & Claws because:
I had a wonderful & busy weekend,
I have an important interview tomorrow, &
I am hosting a meeting tomorrow night:
I am busy.
I hope to edit & send the rest soon ~


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