Sunday, October 28, 2012

Paws & Claws ~ October 21, 2012 ~ BOOOO ~ Time for Hanted Corn Mazes & spooky parties ~

"Nothing defines humans better
than their willingness to do irrational things
in the pursuit of phenominally unlikely payoffs.
This is the principle behind lotteries, dating, and religion."

~ Scott Adams
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2012 October
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.
A View from Next Door
Illustration Credit: European Southern Observatory, L. Calçada, N. Risinger (skysurvey.org)
Explanation: Located just next door, Alpha Centauri is the closest star system to the Sun. A view from our interstellar neighbor a mere 4.3 light-years away is shown in this illustration. The Sun is at the upper right, a bright star against the background of the Milky Way. The crescent in the foreground is an artist's rendering of a planet now reported orbiting Alpha Centauri B, making it the closest known exoplanet. Discovered by astronomer Xavier Dumusque et al. using the planet hunting HARPS instrument to measure minute shifts in the star's spectrum for more than four years, the planet has approximately the same mass as Earth. But it orbits once every 3.2 days, about 0.04 times the Earth-Sun distance from its parent star. That puts it well outside the habitable zone, much too close to Alpha Cen B, a star only a little cooler than the Sun. Still, estimates indicate that planetary orbits would be stable within the habitable zone of Alpha Cen B, at about half the Earth-Sun distance ...
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The Aurora Australis (southern lights) as seen from the International Space Station on July 15, 240 miles above the Earth's surface. Image by astronaut Joseph Acaba.
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2012 October
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.
Aurora Over White Dome Geyser
Image Credit & Copyright: Robert Howell
Explanation: Sometimes both heaven and Earth erupt. Colorful aurorae erupted unexpectedly earlier this month, with green aurora appearing near the horizon and brilliant bands of red aurora blooming high overhead. A bright Moon lit the foreground of this picturesque scene, while familiar stars could be seen far in the distance. With planning, the careful astrophotographer shot this image mosaic in the field of White Dome Geyser in Yellowstone National Park in the western USA. Sure enough, just after midnight, White Dome erupted -- spraying a stream of water and vapor many meters into the air. Geyser water is heated to steam by scalding magma several kilometers below, and rises through rock cracks to the surface. About half of all known geysers occur in Yellowstone National Park. Although the geomagnetic storm that created these aurorae has since subsided, eruptions of White Dome Geyser continue about every 30 minutes.
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It’s almost that time of year when underaged kids get into costume and traipse around the neighborhood ringing doorbells and begging for treats. When you think about it, trick or treating is kind of a weird thing. Where did it come from anyway?
Today I Found Out discovered that the practice began with the Celtic tradition of celebrating the end of the year by dressing up as evil spirits. The Celts believed that, as we moved from one year to the next, the dead and the living would overlap, and demons would roam the earth again. So dressing up as demons was a defense mechanism. If you encountered a real demon roaming the Earth, they would think you were one of them.
Fast forward to when the Catholic Church was stealing everybody’s holidays and trying to convert them. They turned the demon dress-up party into “All Hallows Eve,” “All Soul’s Day,” and “All Saints Day” and had people dress up as saints, angels and still a few demons. Today I Found Out writes:
As for the trick or treating, or “guising” (from “disguising”), traditions, beginning in the Middle-Ages, children and sometimes poor adults would dress up in the aforementioned costumes and go around door to door during Hallowmas begging for food or money in exchange for songs and prayers, often said on behalf of the dead. This was called “souling” and the children were called “soulers”.
You might think that this practice then simply migrated along with Europeans to the United States. But trick or treating didn’t re-emerge until the 1920s and 1930s. It paused for a bit during World War II because of sugar rations, and it’s now back in full force.
The term “trick or treat” dates back to 1927. Today I Found Out explains:
The earliest known reference to “trick or treat”, printed in the November 4, 1927 edition of the Blackie, Alberta Canada Herald, talks of this,
Hallowe’en provided an opportunity for real strenuous fun. No real damage was done except to the temper of some who had to hunt for wagon wheels, gates, wagons, barrels, etc., much of which decorated the front street. The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word “trick or treat” to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.
The British hate Halloween, apparently. In 2006, a survey found that over half of British homeowners turn off their lights and pretend not to be home on Halloween. Yet another reason by the United States is happy to be free from British rule. No funs.
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A man is in a hospital bed completly wrapped up in a body cast. One of the nurses gave him a rectal thermometer and said, "Don't move -- I'll be right back."
When she returned the thermometer was in his mouth. She asked in amazement, "How did you get that in your mouth, you can't even move?"
"I hiccupped."

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A man and a boy go into a barbershop.
After his haircut, the man says, “Now cut the boy’s hair too. I’ll be back soon.”
When he’s finished cutting the boy’s hair, the barber says, “When is your father coming back to pay?”
The boy says, “He’s not my father. He met me in the street and asked if I wanted a free haircut.”
– From Sion Rubi, Intelligent Jokes, 2004.
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The other day my house caught fire. The insurance agent said, "Shouldn't be a problem. What kind of coverage do you have?" I said, "Fire and theft."
Insurance agent frowned. "Uh oh. Wrong kind. Should be fire OR theft."Apparently, the only way I can make a claim with this coverage is if the house is robbed while it's burning down.
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Fun fact:every drop of water you have ever drunk had been pissed out by someone or something else in the not too distant past.
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ATTACKNIDS by Combat Creatures - The Ultimate in Battling Robotics - Official Commercial

Combat Creatures New Advert is finally complete. Please share with everyone and help us get lots of views!!
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How many blondes does it take to make chocolate-chip cookies?
Three...one to mix the batter and two to squeeze the rabbit.
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A fellow in a bar notices a woman, always alone, who comes in on a fairly regular basis.
After the second week, he made his move. "No thank you," she said politely." "This may sound rather odd in this day and age, but I'm keeping myself pure until I meet the man I love."
"That must be rather difficult," the man replied.
"Oh, I don't mind too much," she said. "But, it has my husband pretty upset."
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analphabet
n. one who cannot read
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This one's for you Rally.
Stream-of-consciousness ~ A friend told me that he is going through the last stages with his beloved dog. In searching for something comforting to say, I found 'The Knucklehead Stories' that I wrote after Knucky died. And I reminisced about my daughter's Quaker parrot Buddy (Buddy, Buddy Love). Buddy thought that stealing my earrings was such great fun, that I had to buy a lot of belly rings (screw tops) so that he couldn't pull them out. The 'Pink Panther' was always my favorite. So, this week, I am wearing the pink panther in honor of lost pets.
This one's for you Rally.
I've always bonded with birds ~ lost parrots & parakeets seem to seek me out. When my last feathered friend passed, I found comfort in writing and sharing some amusing anecdotes from his life. (The attached Knucklehead stories, written in my grief, right after Knucky had a heart attack and died in my hands).

Buddy, (Buddy, Buddy Love) my daughter's last feathered friend, a Quaker parrot.
Best Buddy story:
Quaker parrots are known for their intelligence: they pick up words and their meanings. Buddy knew his name, bird, toy, good, bad, cookie, please, thank you, laughs, kiss, etc.
He showed his ability to create sentences early on. A tasty treat (like a banana peel) became a 'good cookie'. When he was misbehaving, he used to shout out 'bad bird, bad bird, hahahaha'.
One day I was cooking, and Buddy was supervising. I was chopping onions. Buddy kept insisting that it was a 'cookie'. Shouts of 'cookie' became demands for 'cookie please'. I tried to tell him the onion was 'not a cookie', but, he wouldn't listen.
Finally, he swooped down, grabbed a sliver of onion and flew back to his cage. Staring at me with a beady eye, he took a giant bite of it.
And, immediately spat it out. And yelled 'BAD cookie'.
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Portland On The Web: Business Journal, OregonLive, Mother Nature Network & more

You can feel good about your increased beer consumption as the weather cools this month, Portland. Oregon brewers took home a total of 23 medals at this year's Great American Brewers Fest. No word on which of our brewers won the PBR shotgunning contest.
In other news, no one can call us cheap anymore for using two-wheeled transportation. A study released this week showed how bike lanes increase consumer spending in neighborhoods. And finally, if you have a nice place in inner Southeast Portland, plan on dying there as vacancy rates drop to 3.6 percent this week.

Here is a round-up of the goings-on in Portland this week:
Portland Business Journal: Oregon brews win big at beer festival
Mother Nature News: Bike lanes tied to increased consumer spending
OregonLive: Portland apartment rents continue to rise as vacancy falls
KOIN: Ukrainian man headed to Portland accused of disturbing flight
CBS: Oregon private casino proponents drop campaign
OregonLive: Portland Mercado slated to open in summer 2014
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It’s that time again…the 2012 National Geographic Photo Contest is in full swing. The contest has reached his midpoint but there is plenty of time to enter before the November 30, 2012 deadline. Photographers of all skill levels - from professional to amateur - across the globe, submitted more than 20,000 entries from 130 countries in last year’s competition. The photographs are judged on creativity and photographic quality by a panel of experts in the field. There is a first place winner in each of three categories: People, Places and Nature, and a grand prizewinner as well. The following images are a samplingof the competition thus far – twelve images in each category. The caption information is provided and written by the individual photographer. – Paula Nelson ( 36 photos total)
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Gotye ft. Kimbra - Somebody that I used to know with lyrics

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Maroon 5 She Will Be Loved lyrics

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Titanium - David Guetta (ft Sia) [Lyrics]

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A Globally Recognized Avatar
Your Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums, so why not on any site?
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Joan said her ex husband would still come by after their split to do the garden, clean the house.
I came home one day to find him there and we had a fight. He sat on the couch and I stood, and we yelled back and forth about how he was no longer welcome in the house. Finally, we calmed down.
He apologized for yelling and I apologized for not telling him his right testicle was hanging out of his shorts the whole time we were fighting.
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I regret to say that we of the F.B.I. are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way obstructed interstate commerce. - J. Edgar Hoover
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Image by Dorota Pankowska (Dori the Giant) as part of a poster series for VSAUCE.
And only 45g of that is porn.
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Ooooh, Mr. Important Cartoonist ~ Gav ~ Zen Pencils
The theme of the event was ‘From little things, big things grow’ and it allowed me to reflect on the growth of Zen Pencils
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What Should I Read Next:
Enter a book you like and the site will analyse our huge database of real readers' favorite books to provide book recommendations and suggestions for what to read next.
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Missouri Pastor’s Fiery Speech Against Equal Rights for Homosexuals Has Stunning Twist Ending
From: George Takei's FB page
This is worth a listen. Be sure to listen to the end.
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Beep beep MF
via
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With the presidential election coming up soon, both candidates have been talking a lot about taxes. But whether taxes go up or go down, we can all be certain that just like death, they are a sure thing.


Random Facts:

The first income tax was created in 1861 during the Civil War to finance the war effort.

In 1913 the Sixteenth Amendment was ratified to the Constitution, granting Congress the power to collect taxes on personal income.

Up to 1.2 million tax preparers make a living navigating the labyrinth US tax code for taxpayers. We have more professional tax preparers in the United States than law enforcement officers (765,000) and firefighters (310,400) combined.
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QUOTE: "Make all you can, save all you can, give all you can."

HINT: (1703-1791), Anglican cleric and Christian theologian.

ANSWER: John Wesley.
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Lewis had just finished telling me how smart pigs are.
"Maybe that's why we're not supposed to eat them," I said.
He said, "Trichinosis is probably the main reason."
"I don't know," I said. "I wouldn't want to eat any smart animal. Would you eat an ape?"
He said, "No. Too much like eating my cousin. How about you?"
"I guess it would depend on how good looking your cousin is."

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A grandmother overheard her 5-year-old granddaughter playing "wedding." The wedding vows went like this: "You have the right to remain silent, anything you say may be held against you, you have the right to have an attorney present. You may kiss the bride."

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Burlesque dancer Georgia Sothern, nicknamed “The Human Dynamo”, performs her signature frenetic dancing striptease which seems a bit awkward today but was probably much more titillating back in 1942.
More from Pin Curl magazine:
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"A farmer in Oregon was eaten by his pigs. The pigs ate the farmer. But in the overall race, humans are still way ahead." -Jay Leno
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"A company just came out with a car that will retail for only $3,000. They are calling it the 1997 Corolla." -Conan O'Brien
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RANDOM TIDBITS

In "The Wizard of Oz," the dog who played Toto's actual name given to it by its master was Terry.

Only one state in the United States contains only one syllable - the state of Maine.

There are 722 miles of subway track in New York city.

The color of a hens earlobes will usually determine the color of the egg shell. Farmers know hens with red or darker colored earlobes are most likely to lay brown eggs and hens with lighter colored or white earlobes will usually lay white eggs.

People who apply sunscreen to themselves generally apply 50-75% less than the recommended amount according to the Archives of Dermatology.

During world war II, the Oscar award given out by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was made of wood because most common metals were very scarce.
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"Nobody in the debate talked about today's big story out of Europe: the big art heist at a museum in Rotterdam. You have to hand it to these thieves. It is not easy sneaking up in the Netherlands. Usually your wooden shoes give you away." -Craig Ferguson
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While in the checkout line at my local hardware store I overheard one man say to another, "My wife has been after me to paint our shed. But I let it go for so long she got mad and did it herself."
His friend nodded. "I like women who get mad like that."
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After years of using the same perfumes, I decided to try something different and settled on a light, citrusy fragrance. The next day I was surprised when it was my little boy, not my husband, who first noticed the change.
As he put his arms around me, he declared, "Wow, Mom, you smell just like Froot Loops!"
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As long as enough people can be frightened, then all people can be ruled. That is how it works in a democratic system and mass fear becomes the ticket to destroy rights across the board. --James Bovard, Author and lecturer
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Derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal.--Warren Buffett
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Photo: Wow! I love these pics.

Amazing Shot..!

Visit: http://amznature.blogspot.in
.
Nice hat
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The real menace to our republic is the invisible government which, like a giant octopus, sprawls its slimy length over our city, state and nation. At the head is a mall group of banking houses, generally referred to as the international bankers. --John Hylan, NY City Mayor in 1922
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Like other sets of habits, emotions had to be learned. So, fear was not an instinctive reaction to phylogenetically predetermined objects or events, but was a learned response occurring on 'signals' or conditioned stimuli.... Consequently it came as no surprise ... that children shared their mother's fears. This shared community of fear within the family was not due to inheritance of psychic mechanisms: it was learned. After all, the behaviorists pointed out, there was no direct relationship between fear and vulnerability. Indeed, the most defenseless of all human beings (the new-born child) was the least fearful of all God's creatures. --JOANNA BOURKE, Fear: A Cultural History
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Midway, Tragic Film on the Mass Starvation of Baby Albatross Due to Plastic Garbage
Midway, Message from the Gyre
Midway is an upcoming documentary about an ecological tragedy unfolding on Midway Atoll in the Pacific: tens of thousands of baby albatross lay dead and dying, victims of starvation after mistakenly eating plastic trash from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (trailer). Photographer Chris Jordan began documenting the plight of the albatross back in 2009 with a heartbreaking photo series “Midway: Message from the Gyre.” Jordan subsequently began expanding the project to a feature length documentary, and raised more than $100,000 via a Kickstarter project this summer (donations are still being accepted on the film website). The film is currently in production, and is expected to be released in 2013.
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If we let things terrify us, life will not be worth living. --Seneca
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Do you know that our soul is composed of harmony?
~ Leonardo da Vinci, Notebooks (1451-1519)
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The Demanding World of High-End Competitive Horseshoe Throwing
At the highest level of every sport, you will find completely dedicated athletes. Brian Simmons is the one of them. He's the greatest horseshoe thrower in the world:
This is what Simmons is thinking about as he stares down a 14-inch tall stake. He is thinking about the slippery clay, and how he might adjust his release point, and as these thoughts slip into his brain, he has lost without even pitching the shoe.
“This whole game is mental,” Simmons says. “It’s all upstairs. It’s a mind game.” [...]
For Simmons, he wants to think about one thing and one thing only. Making sure his eyes are locked onto his right hand as he releases the shoe. He does not look at the stake, at least not at the most important part of his throw. He starts by looking at the stake, but then his eyes let go of that target and start looking for his right hand, which should end up right in his line of sight at the exact moment the shoe leaves his hand.
And now he’s moving his hand around to compensate for the fact the shoe is slipping out of his gloved hand. Pitching horseshoes is a mind game, and for what seems like the first time in his life, it’s getting to him.
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FABULOUS—
This imprint was actually left by a sleeping elephant at an Oregon Zoo.
Via
JD Rucker on Gplus
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Dogs as food in early America

Whether by habit, preference, or necessity, dogs have been a part of many cultures' diets... Excavations at the site of Porden Point, Devon Island, Canada, have revealed that the people of the Thule culture (ancestors of the modern Inuit) were using dogs both for work and food from the 12th to 15th centuries. The Aztecs, whose ancestors were called the Chichimec, or "Dog People," are known to have bred a hairless dog they called a Xoloitzcuintle to serve at royal feasts. And at Halliday, a site near Cahokia, the mound center north of modern-day St. Louis, which was the largest pre-Columbian city north of Mexico from A.D. 1050 to 1400, butchered dog bones have been found in great quantities, suggesting they formed a significant part of the diet of the Mississipian culture...

The study shows that that the Olmec dogs only ate maize, whereas humans ate a diverse range of foods. Perhaps the dogs were being deliberately fattened up to make them a more valuable form of tribute...

"Unlike in the Old World, where you have many different domesticated animals, in the New World, dogs are one of the only domestic animals that can provide a ready source of animal protein," says anthropologist Robert Rosenswig of the University at Albany...

Rosenswig believes there may have been a change in the use of dogs at approximately 1400 B.C. Prior to this, dogs were buried along with humans—one dog burial that he excavated at the Cuauhtémoc site about six miles from the Guatemalan border contained grave offerings similar to those in human burials, including a pot that looks like a dog's bowl. After this point, all known dog remains indicate that they were consumed as food, since the bones are only found in garbage middens, not in graves with people.
From the September/October issue of Archaeology, which has several more articles on the history of dogs and humans.
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*(Gone With the wind is mine)
Salem Witch Trials: The Fungus Theory from Uncle John's Bathroom Reader.

Mental-floss magazine gave us 10 Places to See Before They Die.
The Neatorama Halloween blog had videos of a musical Halloween, a scary Halloween, and a funny Halloween (among others), plus a video tour of Knott's Scary Farm, and the latest holiday costumes, decorations, and food!
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Today is National Archaeology Day. At the website of the Archaeological Institute of America you can search for events in your community or region.
I'd also like to put in a good word for a program called Passport in Time.
Passport in Time (PIT) is a volunteer archaeology and historic preservation program of the USDA Forest Service. PIT volunteers work with professional FS archaeologists and historians on national forests throughout the U.S. on such diverse activities as archaeological survey and excavation, rock art restoration, archival research, historic structure restoration, oral history gathering, and analysis and curation of artifacts. The FS professional staff of archaeologists and historians will be your hosts, guides, and co-workers.

Over the years, volunteers have helped us stabilize ancient cliff dwellings in New Mexico, excavate a 10,000-year-old village site in Minnesota, restore a historic lookout tower in Oregon, clean vandalized rock art in Colorado, survey for sites in a rugged Montana wilderness, and excavate a 19th-century Chinese mining site in Hell's Canyon in Idaho.
Passport in Time projects require only enthusiasm, not prior experience. Professional archaeologists are on hand to guide the process, and "old-timers" teach noobs the techniques. It's not always digging - some projects include restoration of historic buildings or mapping of sites.
You can set up a tent for free at a beautiful Forestry Service campsite overlooking a lake and enjoy the sunsets each evening: Alternatively one can stay at local motels etc (at one's own expense in that case). The "season" is over now, so if you go to the "current projects" link at the Passport in Time website, it will be empty. New ones will be posted in the late winter/early spring as projects are developed and approved, so check back at the website then (and apply early because many of them are oversubscribed).

The other volunteers you will encounter at the projects are some of the nicest people you would ever want to meet, and the Forestry Service rewards the work by adding relevant educational experiences at each location.
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the Dreamer by final toto
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A building just 36 inches wide at its narrowest point was opened in Warsaw on Saturday as an artistic installation that will be a home from home for Israeli writer Edgar Keret.
Keret, who told news channel TVN24 he would live there when he visits Warsaw twice a year, said he conceived the project as a kind of memorial to his parents’ family who died in the World War Two Holocaust.
Wedged into the narrow gap between two existing central Warsaw blocks of flats on the edge of the former Warsaw Ghetto, the several-level structure was designed by Polish architect Jakub Szczesny and is never more than 60 inches wide.
It contains all necessary amenities such as a micro-kitchen, mini-bathroom, sleeping cubicle and tiny work area, all accessible via ladders,” Szczesny explained.
Thanks, Ed
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Banana Boat Sunscreen Recalled After People Burst Into Flames
Most people use sunscreen to prevent burns, but unfortunately, that's exactly what some people get after applying a line of Banana Boat spray-on sunscreen: they burst into flames!
From CBS News:
After applying Banana Boat Sport Performance spray-on sunscreen before barbecuing, Brett Sigworth's body caught on fire.
"I sprayed on the spray-on sunscreen, and then rubbed it on for a few seconds. I walked over to my grill, took one of the holders to move some of the charcoal briquettes around and all of a sudden it just went up my arm," Brett Sigworth of Stow, Mass., told CBS Boston.
"I went into complete panic mode and screamed," he said. "I've never experienced pain like that in my life."
Now, Energizer Holdings, the maker of the Banana Boat sunscreen, is recalling 23 varieties of the spray-on sunscreen products: Link
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Credit: Galerie Beckel Odille Boïcos
When William Utermohlen learned in 1995 that he had Alzheimer's disease, the artist embarked on an artistic project unlike any other he'd done before: Over a period of 8 years, he drew a series of self-portraits where he adapted his artistic style to the growing limitation of his perception and motor skills.
The result is a unique artistic insight into one man's descent into Alzheimer's: Link | NY Times article in 2006
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Dubstep violin. How has this not been a thing until now? I mean I do love classical music (not kidding in the least) and I like dubstep- so why wouldn’t they go well together? Like bacon and peanut butter or salt and chocolate milk, just a winning combination. The artist is Lindsey Stirling and you can find her new album on iTunes. Apparently she is not that new to the scene, the 26 year old has over 149 million Youtube views on her channel and in 2010 was a quarter-finalist on America’s Got Talent. -Via Unique Daily
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Deus Ex Machina
Living in Los Angeles, it’s hard not to notice the motorcycles. Whether it’s the loud choppers rolling down Sunset, or the rocketing crotch-rockets dodging in and out of traffic on the 405- they are everywhere. If I was invincible, a motorcycle would by my primary mode of transportation- but alas much to my chagrin I am not and therefore too afraid of bodily injury to own one. I find this bike to be beautiful, awe-inspiring, and awfully dangerous. The video is quite nice though. -Via PreSurfer
When members of the band Young Rival wanted to get the internet's attention, they knew just what to do. They approached facepainting artist James Kuhn and asked him to create more of his marvels for the music video for their song "Two Reasons." It's stunning, amusing and the neatest thing you'll see all day.
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Meet the sarcastic fringehead!
Found in the Pacific ocean off of North America, these ferocious fish are fiercely territorial and very aggressive.
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For the people of Newcastle it doesn’t take much to play Beethoven. Press a few keys here and there and viola, a beautifully orchestrated sonata. I mean, I guess it does help to have someone else playing all the tough parts for you, but hey it’s still beautiful. This took place in the Haymarket Bus Station in Newcastle England and was funded by The Arts Council of England and Nexus Art.
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Burning Man in Texas
Big Tex, the 52-foot-tall mascot of the Texas State Fair, burned to the ground today. Big Tex had stood over the fair every year since 1952.
Fair spokeswoman Sue Gooding says she doesn't know the cause of the fire but did note electrical controls move Big Tex's mouth and head. Gooding says no one was injured in the fire and added that she expects Big Tex to be back for next year's state fair.
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The secret ingredient that gives ancient Chinese mortar its legendary strength is sticky rice. An analysis of samples from the Ming Dynasty (A.D. 1368-1644) city wall in Nanjing showed why the rice is such an effective additive to lime mortars. Amylopectin, the rice compund in the mortar, provides mechanical strength and stability, and inhibits the growth of calcium carbonate crystals, resulting in a more compact and resilient binding material. Chinese scientists re-created the mortar and determined that it is ideal for restoring ancient structures. (Wikimedia Commons)
A curious anecdote from the September/October 2010 issue of Archaeology. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Larger image at imgur
When Josiah Moore got married, he and his lovely bride had their photographer snap a shot of everyone in their best zombie pose. Then, with a little bit of photoshoppery, he created this zombie wedding masterpiece:

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Reflection

Reflection
Flipped…
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A frozen, saturated sponge in a bag makes an icepack that won't drip all over when it melts
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Ronald Brown stepped on a land mine while on a mission in France in August 1944. The blast peppered his left leg with red-hot fragments and he was forced to crawl two miles to safety.
But because of medical conditions of the day it was thought safer to leave shrapnel in his body. He survived the war but only ever told his family the basic story and said the accident had left him with a 'bad knee'...
But when he died last week aged 94 his family had him cremated and were stunned when staff handed them back a big bag of shrapnel. The bag contained a whopping 6oz of bomb shrapnel that he had been carrying around for 60 years.
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Blood Ivory
Despite a global ban on the ivory trade, elephants are still being killed just for their tusks. In most developed countries, the use of ivory (outside of antiques) is about as chic as clubbing a baby seal. So who is buying ivory these days? Bryan Christy of National Geographic looks for answers in the Philippines.
My goal in meeting Garcia is to understand his country’s ivory trade and possibly get a lead on who was behind 5.4 tons of illegal ivory seized by customs agents in Manila in 2009, 7.7 tons seized there in 2005, and 6.1 tons bound for the Philippines seized by Taiwan in 2006. Assuming an average of 22 pounds of ivory per elephant, these seizures represent about 1,745 elephants. According to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the treaty organization that sets international wildlife trade policy, the Philippines is merely a transit country for ivory headed to China. But CITES has limited resources. Until last year it employed just one enforcement officer to police more than 30,000 animal and plant species. Its assessment of the Philippines doesn’t square with what Jose Yuchongco, chief of the Philippine customs police, told a Manila newspaper not long after making a major seizure in 2009: “The Philippines is a favorite destination of these smuggled elephant tusks, maybe because Filipino Catholics are fond of images of saints that are made of ivory.” On Cebu the link between ivory and the church is so strong that the word for ivory, garing, has a second meaning: “religious statue.”
But it's not just the Philippines. Read more about the continuing global ivory trade at NatGeo. Link
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Now this is a fun way to cross a river! The conceptual Bouncy Bridge is the brainchild of the architect firm AZC. It's definitely the most in-seine-ly fun way to cross the Seine:
An inflatable bridge equipped with giant trampolines, dedicated to the joyful release from gravity as one bounces above the river. Installed near the Bir-Hakeim Bridge, it is formed of inflatable modules, like giant life-preservers, 30 meters in diameter. In the central part of each ring, a trampoline mesh is stretched. The floating buoys, fabricated in PVC membrane, are attached together by cord to form a stable and self-supporting ensemble. Each module under tension - filled with 3700 cubic meters of air - develops in space with an arch-like form.
Let's get started to make this a reality, okay, Paris? Link- via The Atlantic Cities
See also: 10 Most Beautiful Bridges in the World
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5 Crazy Ways the Colors Red and Blue Control Your Life
http://www.cracked.com/article_20039_5-crazy-ways-colors-red-blue-control-your-life.html
This article is as interesting as it is scary. Who knew that two colors could wield so much power? Think about it - Elmo, Swedish Fish, Viagra, Weezer's 1st Album...
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Babies Taste Lemons for the First Time
http://www.evtv1.com/Search.aspx?s=Babies+Taste+Lemons+for+the+First+Time
Chances are you don't remember your first taste of lemon, but nowadays, parents are capturing such moments for posterity and sharing them.
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"We learned a lot about Joe Biden's policies last night. As you know, he has come out very, very strongly against malarkey." -Jay Leno
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h(Image credit: Jim Grant)
A six-foot-tall fork appeared in Carlsbad, California, at the intersection of Levante Street and Anillo Way on Tuesday. The unnamed artist is a 62-year-old retired teacher who said he was impressed by the joke in The Muppet Movie in which Kermit and Fozzie encounter a giant silverware fork when they are looking for a fork in the road. Thirty years later, he had the time to make the joke a reality. Carlsbad residents got a kick out of the sculpture, but a city crew removed it on Wednesday. You might say they got the fork out of there.
g(Image credit: Jim Grant)
Another resident erected a sign in its place that says "Why the fork not?" which the city also removed. Then locals began taping real, normal-sized forks to a nearby sign in protest. A spokesperson for the city said the sculpture is a code violation. Link -via Fark
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The Green Ruby Pumpkin is a delightful (but still scary) Halloween tale told in rhyme. The short film was produced by visual effects artists Miguel Ortega and Tran Ma. You can see a making-of video as well. -via the Presurfer
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Scholarly Journal Agrees to Publish Computer-Generated Article Filled with Gibberish
math is hard
Well, of course not.
math is very hard
Like, duh.
Marcie Rathke of the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople submitted a manuscript to the peer-reviewed journal Advances in Pure Mathematics. It was a long string of fake mathematical reasoning created with a computer program:
The paper was created using Mathgen, an online random maths paper generator. Mathgen has a set of rules that define how papers are arranged in sections and what kinds of sentence make up a section and how those sentences are made up from different categories of technical and non-technical words. It createsbeautifully formatted papers with the conventional structure, complete with equations and citations but, alas, totally devoid of meaning.
Nonetheless, the editors of Advances in Pure Mathematics, after receiving favorable reports from reviewers, agreed to publish Rathke's manuscript. Link -via Marginal Revolution
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An old sawmill, powered by the steam engines of two tractors, slices through logs. Watch these men turn trees into lumber while Death mercilessly spins just a few feet away. Gerard Van der Leun comments:
And then.... at the end.... he jumps up on the last log with a chain saw just to make me feel small and weak and all girly.
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The Achaemenid Empire (4th century B.C.)

By ensuring peace and promoting trade, the Achaemenids ushered in an unprecedented period of prosperity in a vast area half a millennium before Rome reached the apex of its power. At its peak, the empire covered three million square miles—more than that of either Rome or the Chinese Han Dynasty at their largest in the first century A.D.

The taxes gathered from conquered peoples allowed the Achaemenids to create monumental cities, build dependable roads stretch­ing from Anatolia to Afghanistan, and construct caravan stops to protect and encourage merchants, as well as to ensure royal couriers could travel quickly across long dis­tances. The Royal Road, from Sardis in today’s Turkey to Susa in today’s Iran, provided regular way stations through territory “free from danger,” says the fifth-century b.c. Greek historian Herodotus.
From the September/October 2011 issue of Archaeology [online is not fulltext], via the author's website. [which is fulltext with photos].

And this from the Wikipedia entry:
In 480 BCE, it is estimated that 50 million people lived in the Achaemenid Empire or about 44% of the world's population at the time, making it the largest empire by population percentage.
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For emergency use only!
If you have an erection lasting more than 4 hours and you can’t get to your doctor immediately, then click the link below:
Remember this is for emergency use only!

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When officials busted into an abandoned warehouse in Dover, New Jersey, they discovered an unusual counterfeiting operation. No, not luxury goods or other things you'd normally think about when you think of things being knocked off - the police stumbled upon a strange tomato ketchup counterfeiting scheme:
It looks like a grisly murder scene. Red splotches pooling on a warehouse floor. A rotten smell. Insects swarming. Crates knocked to the ground.
But no one died here.
This wasn't carnage. This was condiment.
Inside a privately owned Dover warehouse are the remnants of an abandoned Heinz Tomato Ketchup counterfeiting scheme.
The ketchup appears to be real but the labels on the plastic bottles are a fraud, according to a Heinz spokesman.
Dan Goldberg of The Star-Ledger has the story: Link
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Oskar the Blind Cat is all grown up now, and gets around as well as a sighted cat. He has even learned to open a door! -via I Can Has Cheezburger
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Bell Labs Proves Existence of Dark Suckers


For years it has been believed that electric bulbs emitted light.
However, recent information from Bell Labs has proven otherwise. Electric
bulbs don't emit light, they suck dark. Thus they now call these bulbs
dark suckers. The dark sucker theory, according to a Bell Labs
spokesperson, proves the existence of dark, that dark has mass heavier than
that of light, and that dark is faster than light.

The basis of the dark sucker theory is that electric bulbs suck dark.
Take for example, the dark suckers in the room where you are. There is
less dark right next to them than there is elsewhere. The larger the dark
sucker, the greater its capacity to suck dark. Dark suckers in a parking
lot have a much greater capacity than the ones in this room. As with all
things, dark suckers don't last forever. Once they are full of dark, they
can no longer suck. This is proven by the black spot on a full dark
sucker. A candle is a primitive dark sucker. lA new candle has a white
wick. You will notice that after the first use, the wick turns black,
representing all the dark which has been sucked into it. If you hold a
pencil next to the wick of an operating candle, the tip will turn black
because it got in the path of the dark flowing into the candle.

Unfortunately, these primitive dark suckers have a very limited range.
There are also portable dark suckers. The bulbs in these can't handle all
of the dark by themselves, and must be aided by a dark storage unit. When
the dark storage unit is full, it must be either emptied or replaced before
the portable dark sucker can operate again.

Dark has mass. When dark goes into a dark sucker, friction from this
mass generates heat. Thus it is not wise to touch an operating dark
sucker. Candles present a special problem, as the dark must travel in the
solid wick instead of through glass. This generates a great amount of
heat. Thus it can be very dangerous to touch an operating candle. Dark is
also heavier than light. If you swim deeper and deeper, you notice it gets
slowly darker and darker. When you reach a depth of approximately fifty
feet, you are in total darkness. This is because the heavier dark sinks to
the bottom of the lake and the lighter light floats to the top. The
immense power of dark can be utilized to mans advantage. We can collect
the dark that has settled to the bottom of lakes and push it through
turbines, which generate electricity and help push it to the ocean where it
may be safely stored. Prior to turbines, it was much more difficult to get
dark from the rivers and lakes to the ocean. The Indians recognized this
problem, and tried to solve it. When on a river in a canoe travelling in
the same direction as the flow of the dark, they paddled slowly, so as not
to stop the flow of dark, but when they traveled against the flow of dark,
they paddled quickly so as to help push the dark along its way.

Finally, we must prove that dark is faster than light. If you were to
stand in an illuminated room in front of a closed, dark closet, then slowly
open the closet door, you would see the light slowly enter the closet, but
since the dark is so fast, you would not be able to see the dark leave the
closet.

In conclusion, Bell Labs stated that dark suckers make all our lives
much easier. So the next time you look at an electric bulb remember that
it is indeed a dark sucker.
"Sister Ann, aren't you putting on a little weight?"
inquired Father Dan during his visit to the convent, suspiciously
eyeing her bulging stomach. "Why, no Father," answered the nun
demurely, "It's just a little gas."
A few months later Father Dan put the same question to the nun
noticing her habit barely fit across her belly. "Oh, just a bit of
gas," said sister Ann, blushing a bit.
On his next visit Father Dan was walking down the corridor when he
passed Sister Ann wheeling a baby carriage. Looking in, the priest
observed, "Cute little Fart!"
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Restroom for women
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One day I was out milking the cows. Mr. Dave come down into the field, and he had a paper in his hand. ‘Listen to me, Tom,’ he said, ‘listen to what I reads you.’ And he read from a paper all about how I was free. You can’t tell how I felt. ‘You’re jokin’ me.’ I says. ‘No, I ain’t,’ says he. ‘You’re free.’ ‘No,’ says I, ‘it’s a joke.’ ‘No,’ says he, ‘it’s a law that I got to read this paper to you. Now listen while I read it again.’
But still I wouldn’t believe him. ‘Just go up to the house,’ says he, ‘and ask Mrs. Robinson. She’ll tell you.’ So I went. ‘It’s a joke,’ I says to her. ‘Did you ever know your master to tell you a lie?’ she says. ‘No,’ says I, ‘I ain’t.’ ‘Well,’ she says, ‘the war’s over and you’re free.’
By that time I thought maybe she was telling me what was right. ‘Miss Robinson,’ says I, ‘can I go over to see the Smiths?’ — they was a colored family that lived nearby. ‘Don’t you understand,’ says she, ‘you’re free. You don’t have to ask me what you can do. Run along, child.’
And so I went. And do you know why I was a-going? I wanted to find out if they was free too. I just couldn’t take it all in. I couldn’t believe we was all free alike.
Was I happy? Law, miss. You can take anything. No matter how good you treat it — it wants to be free. You can treat it good and feed it good and give it everything it seems to want — but if you open the cage — it’s happy.
– Former slave Tom Robinson, 88, of Hot Springs, Ark., interviewed by the Federal Writers’ Project for the Slave Narrative Collection of 1936-38
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“The opposite of play is not what is serious but what is real.”
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“Ahh… we went to collect the Moon milk.”
Beloved Italian writer Italo Calvino (1923-1985) — who originated these 14 timeless definitions of what makes a classic — would’ve celebrated his 89th birthday today. To mark the occasion, here is an exquisite animated short film by Israeli children’s book author, and illustrator Shulamit Serafy, based on Calvino’s short story The Distance of the Moon.
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Franciscan priest Father Sime Nimac disappeared after withdrawing the money he had made from selling a piece of Church land near Split without authorisation from the local diocese.
“The property was sold without the explicit written consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority,” the local Catholic Church said in a statement, adding that it had filed a lawsuit to nullify the sale…
The 34-year-old priest reportedly had a reputation for living the good life, with a love of fast cars, good clothes and was often seen with a woman.
“He wasn’t trying to hide it; he went out quite openly with his girlfriend,” Lisana Ostrovickih, a resident of Father Nimac’s former parish in the town of Baska Voda, told the Sata24 news channel. “He was often seen on the beach with her. It was an open secret.”
His ‘girlfriend’s’ identity is a mystery, although local reports said she is a married employee of the bank where the money was withdrawn from.
Sounds like the perfect story line for Saturday Night Live – or an endless Telenovela.
Ed ~ It writes itself
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Meet Gustave, the Killer Croc of Burundi


The infamous male Nile crocodile living in Burundi, is over 20 feet long, weighs 2,000 pounds, and stands accused of devouring hundreds of people with one estimation claiming that he killed over 300 humans in the past 20 years.
Gustave is around 60-70 years old, and was last reportedly sighted in February 2008. He is surely not the largest crocodile as a
crocodile in India is currently the largest known croc at 23 feet, and holds the Guiness record. But there is none like Gustave.

Apart from being unusually large among the Nile crocs, Gustave can also be easily identified by a few distinct bullet scars that cover his body: one on his head and three on his right side.

Gustave was named by Patrice Faye, a French resident of Burundi and self-taught naturalist who has been pursuing the crocodile since 1998. Faye and a documentary team attempted to capture Gustave in 2002 using an enormous trap. First they tried using live chicken as bait, but later decided to use a live goat instead. One stormy night, the camera installed in the cage to film Gustave's capture went out due to the weather conditions. The next day, the cage was found destroyed and partially submerged in the water and we have no evidence over what happened but we can guess.


According to a Mr. Faye, "He is enormous. He is three times as big as the other crocodiles in Burundi. He is not very fast and cannot feed on what other crocodiles in Burundi eat - fish and small mammals. He attacks slow prey which are easy to capture. He is very dangerous when he gets out of the Ruzizi River to mate with females. He travels all the way to the areas of Rumonge and Minago and eats fishermen and bathers en route. He can eat 10, 15 or 20 people along the bank. One year, I followed the path he took on one of his forays and 17 people had been eaten between Kanyosha and Minago, and Kabezi and Magara."" (Source 3, BBC news)

He even inspired a movie: 'Primeval' (2007).

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5cnvkHYqLg

Source:
1) http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/2005/03/gustave-crocodile/michael-mcrae-text
2) http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/man-hunts-crocodile-that-has-eaten-over-200-people.html
3) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/2520815.stm

Image credit: http://www.dinosoria.com/reptiles/crocodile-gustave.jpg
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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Braid_final.jpg
The standard braid has a curious property: If we remove any one of the three strands, the other two are seen to be unconnected. If we remove the black strand above, the blue and red strands simply snake along one above the other. Similarly, removing the red or the blue strand reveals that the remaining strands are not braided together. See Borromean Rings.
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This is mathematics. Shiver in awe
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Felix Baumgartner Completes 24-Mile Freefall Space Jump. See some pictures from the record-breaking stunt.
Enjoy this re-enactment rendered in LEGO.
The Greatest Event in TV History is the title to an overhyped special segment aired by Adult Swim
The cost of getting the flu. After reading this, you might think about getting that flu shot you’ve been putting off.
10 First Ladies Who Never Wanted the Title. And considering the loss of privacy, can you blame them?
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Identity
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Household Hacker is back with a 4th edition of his life-altering tip collections.
Previously: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
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World's most expensive cocktail
Watch world renowned mixologist Salvatore "The Maestro" Calabrese break the Guiness World Record for the world's most expensive cocktail, priced at £5,500 ($8,800) a glass, by combining the following:
- Two parts 1788 Clos de Griffier Vieux Cognac
- One part Kummel Liqueur from 1770
- One part Dubb Orange Curacao from 1860
- Two dashes of 100-year-old Angostura
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The Stratosphere jump gets recreated in LEGO
http://youtu.be/yFU774q6eVM
Felix Baumgartner's record-setting jump gets the LEGO minifig re-enactment treatment, at a 1:350 scale, in this video made by the Vienna's ModelMaker Fair which takes place October 25-28.
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Probably the tensest 1.17-min. video of a man feeding a crocodile you will see all week.
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Tusya the cat gets herself in a bit o trouble while experimenting with a jar.
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LEGO enthusiasts Carlyle Livingston II and Wayne Hussey have worked over 800 hours and used 20,000 blocks to build their LEGO Batcave project, which is nothing short of epic.

It's complete with lights and motors and it has everything that Batman needs for his Batman activities.
Check out more pics of the awesomeness - here
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Just a couple of Tesla coils playing Lynyrd Skynyrd's Sweet Home Alabama.
Previously, in Tesla coil music: Dueling Tesla Coils
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Top Things To Do At A Drive-thru

1. Drive through the drive thru in reverse and let your passenger order.
2. Ask prices of everything on the menu then order something that you did not ask the price for.
3. Laugh sadistically when asked if you would like ketchup.
4. Tell them you have to use the bathroom.
5. Order a cup of water and two napkins. That's it.
6. When they hand you your food, hand them a bag back with all the trash from your car in it.
7. Pretend like your car broke down. Ask for assistance in moving it. When they come out, drive away.
8. Demand to speak to the manager. When he comes on, complain that you did not like the way the employee said, "May I take your order?"
9. Just stare at them when you pay and get your food. Don't break your stare.
10. Honk your horn the whole way through the line.
(From Aha! Jokes)
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"He who hesitates is a damned fool." - Mae West
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"Measure not the work until the day's out and the labor done." - Elizabeth Barrett Browning
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"A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something." - Wilson Mizner
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"On Saturday the Empire State Building went dark for an hour to draw attention to climate change. Of course, 10 endangered eagles then crashed into the building." -Jimmy Fallon
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"China has overtaken the United States as the world's biggest food and grocery market. That means they buy and consume more food than we do. Which when you think about it of course they do. A half hour after they eat, they're hungry again. It's Chinese food." -Jimmy Kimmel
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Plitvice Lakes National Park.


Situated in the Karst area of Croatia, and founded in 1949, Plitvice Lakes National Park, is the oldest recognised national Park in South East Europe, and the largest National Park in Croatia.
The Park is famous for its lakes, which are arranged in such away that they "cascade" into each other, and currently 16 lakes can be seen on the surface of the Park. The Lake
s are all connected by water flow, but are separated by natural dams, formed by algae, bacteria and moss, and these dams grow at the rate of around 1cm per year. Aside from the stunning beauty of the Lakes, the area is also famous for the colour of the lakes. Depending on the season, and therefore the amount of bacteria in the lakes, as well as the mineral content, the colour can change from blues to greens to grey.
To find out more about the lakes, head to the links below.
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A teacher was finishing up a lesson on the joys of discovery and the importance of curiosity. "Where would we be today," she asked, "if no one had ever been curious?"
One child quietly spoke up from the back of the room. "Still in the Garden of Eden?"
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The man who is anybody and who does anything is surely going to be criticized, vilified, and misunderstood. This is a part of the penalty for greatness, and every great man understands it; and understands, too, that it is no proof of greatness. The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure contumely without resentment. --Elbert Green Hubbard
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Excellence is not a destination; it is a continuous journey that never ends. --Brian Tracy
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It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
--Teddy Roosevelt
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I can't believe that God put us on this earth to be ordinary.~ Lou Holtz
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Recipe for greatness? To bear up under loss, to fight the bitterness of defeat and the weakness of grief, to be victor over anger, to smile when tears are close, to resist evil men and base instincts, to hate hate and to love love, to go on when it would seem good to die, to seek ever after the glory and the dream, to look up with unquenchable faith in something evermore about to be, that is what any man can do, and so be great. --Zane Grey
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Fear sells. Fear makes money. The countless companies and consultants in the business of protecting the fearful from whatever they may fear know it only too well. The more fear the better the sales. --DANIEL GARDNER, The Science of Fear
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Thanks Cindy
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I read somewhere that Americans waste, on average, a pound of food a day. Somebody must be wasting most of my share, because I can't remember the last time I threw out a leftover. But even still, that is a lot of waste. Wouldn't it be easier if food just lasted forever, like Twinkies? Well, some foods actually do...

Random Facts:

White rice, wild, jasmine, arborio and basmati rice all keep forever so there's no need to throw them out. Brown rice is the one exception because it has a higher oil content so store it in the refrigerator or freeze it to maximize its shelf life. Once you've opened a bag or box of rice, move it to an airtight container or resealable freezer bag to keep it fresh.

Honey. Whether you use it in your tea, on your toast or as an alternative sweetener, that jar of pure honey is good forever. It may get grainy or change color, but it's still safe to eat - and delicious - because its antibiotic properties keep it from spoiling.

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"A handwritten letter written by Albert Einstein suggesting that there is no God went on sale on eBay starting at $3 million. When the owner heard how much the letter was worth, he said, 'Thank you, Lord.'" -Jay Leno
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"Earlier tonight was the vice-presidential debate. A lot of people say who cares, but let me tell you something. One of these two gentlemen will be walking the White House dog." --Dave Letterman
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Slippery

Slippery forecast
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In the woods a saw a rabbit with a candle making shadows of people on a tree. - Steven Wright
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Two Lightsabers

2 Lightsabesr
I may be going to hell for this,
but you are coming along too !
for laughing.....

I do believe you call this thing a Barka
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"Because President Obama and Mitt Romney went way over their time limits, they put safety measures in place for this debate to make sure it didn't happen again. I think they got this idea from award shows. Biden didn't even have time to thank his agent." --Jimmy Kimmel
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Aunt Rose was in the garden tending to her flowers when she got an uncontrollable urge to pee. So she did and wiped off the dew on a rose.
Uncle Fred came along later, picked up the rose, sniffed it, then ran to phone the newspaper editor.
"I found a rose that smells like a woman's vagina!"
The editor said, "That's nothing. Call me when you find a woman's pussy that smells like a rose."
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What is the difference between frustration and panic?

Frustration is the first time you discover you can't do it the second time.
Panic is the second time you discover you can't do it the first time
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Diary entry by journalist Sydney Moseley, Aug. 1, 1928:
… I met a pale young man named Bartlett who is Secretary to the new Baird Television Company. Television! Anxious to see what it is all about … He invited me to go along to Long Acre where the new invention is installed. Now that’s something! Television!
Met John Logie Baird; a charming man — a shy, quietly spoken Scot. He could serve as a model for the schoolboy’s picture of a shock-haired, modest, dreamy, absent-minded inventor. Nevertheless shrewd. We sat and chatted. He told me he is having a bad time with the scoffers and skeptics — including the BBC and part of the technical press — who are trying to ridicule and kill his invention of television at its inception. I told him that if he would let me see what he has actually achieved — well, he would have to risk my damning it — or praising it! If I were convinced — I would battle for him. We got on well together and I have arranged to test his remarkable claim.
(Later) Saw television! Baird’s partner, a tall, good-looking but highly temperamental Irishman, Captain Oliver George Hutchinson, was nice but very nervous of chancing it with me. He was terribly anxious that I should be impressed. Liked the pair of them, especially Baird, and decided to give my support … I think we really have what is called television. And so, once more into the fray!
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Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Greatest Science Sermon Ever
Just because religion and science don’t always get along doesn’t mean that isn’t okay to shout the both of them from the mountaintop. Here’s Neil deGrasse Tyson, delivering a stunning and inspirational sermon (like he is prone to do) on science inspiration from 2006. When you look up, and realize that the iron in your blood is the same iron that makes up the core of a meteor … don’t feel small, feel tall!!! Watch that and tell me you don’t just want to lasso the Moon! (from YouTuber playd76)
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How to Order 43 Chicken McNuggets
I don’t know why you’d want to, but this does teach a bit of a math lesson. The guys at Numberphile asked what the largest number of McNuggets is that you can’torder (depending on where you live). Restaurants and retailers everywhere deal with math problems like this as a question of efficiency and product design. It’s a lesson in Frobenius numbers, which are really just a fancy application of the coin problem: What combinations of counting units (coins or nuggets or whatever) must you provide in order to allow for the most eventual combinations? Don’t try this at home, because no one needs even 1 McNugget.
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How does math guide our ships at sea?
This TED Ed lesson teaches you the risks of dead reckoning, and how simple math can guide ships around the world, and how cross-pollination is the key to creative progress..
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The Origin of Quantum Mechanic
MinutePhysics explores the origin of quantum physics, from the 19th century to today. Featuring Neil Turok, director of Canada’s Perimeter Institute. For more awesome from Turok, check out his TED talk about empowering talented young Africans through science and math education.
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A puzzle by Henry Dudeney:
dudeney lodging-house difficulty
The Dobsons secured apartments at Slocomb-on-Sea. There were six rooms on the same floor, all communicating, as shown in the diagram. The rooms they took were numbers 4, 5, and 6, all facing the sea.
But a little difficulty arose. Mr. Dobson insisted that the piano and the bookcase should change rooms. This was wily, for the Dobsons were not musical, but they wanted to prevent any one else playing the instrument.
Now, the rooms were very small and the pieces of furniture indicated were very big, so that no two of these articles could be got into any room at the same time. How was the exchange to be made with the least possible labour? Suppose, for example, you first move the wardrobe into No. 2; then you can move the bookcase to No. 5 and the piano to No. 6, and so on.
It is a fascinating puzzle, but the landlady had reasons for not appreciating it. Try to solve her difficulty in the fewest possible removals with counters on a sheet of paper.
The shortest possible way is to move the articles in the following order: piano, bookcase, wardrobe, piano, cabinet, chest of drawers, piano, wardrobe, bookcase, cabinet, wardrobe, piano, chest of drawers, wardrobe, cabinet, bookcase, piano. Thus seventeen removals are necessary. The landlady could the move chest of drawers, wardrobe, and cabinet. Mr. Dobson did not mind the wardrobe and chest of drawers changing rooms so long as he secured the piano.
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Thanks, Ed
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Our culture runs on coffee and gasoline, the first often tasting like the second. - Edward Abbey
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~88. WALT WHITMAN: When I heard the learn’d astronomer
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Women will forgive anything.
Otherwise, the race would have died out long ago. - Robert A. Heinlein
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Doing for people what they can and ought to do for themselves is a dangerous experiment. In the last analysis the welfare of the workers depends on their own private initiative.
- Samuel Gompers, 1915, President, American Federation of Labor 1886 - 1924
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The Tatra T87: Streamlined, Fast and Mostly Unknown
Designed to resemble German airships
"Tatra" Car & Other Aerodynamic Marvels, Part 2
Futuristic Shape and Radical Design in the 1930s-1950s
Monstrous, Angelic, Unusual Bridge Sculptures
Griffins, trolls, hamsters of all sorts
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Ever wonder just how fast your brain works in an emergency? Let’s just say thank goodness that our cars are smarter than us these days. Check out the link above for an amazing timeline of car crash events. There’s things like “7 ms - Crash computer confirms a serious crash” and “45 ms - Occupant and airbag move together with deforming side structure”. But the part where your brain figures out what happens? Everything’s pretty much over by then. Synapses are fast, but they’re not that fast. And now, some car crash-related music for your listening pleasure (Tune #1 or Tune #2). (via Mind Hacks)
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“Stacks” in the Starhttp://vimeo.com/51499009
Here’s your daily “must-watch” from Christoph Malin. Instead of lacing together photos from the ISS into a nice smooth time-lapse, he has “stacked” the images in order to draw out patterns of movement as the ISS races through low-Earth orbit at nearly 5 miles per second. Star trails are drawn out into Tron-like paths, and Earthly lights become digital roadways of light. If you look really closely, you can see trails that don’t follow the stars (like the satellite around 2:40!!) Stunning work, and some welcome brain-candy. (via io9)
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How to Make Candy Corn on the Cob
candy corn on the cob
I loooooove corn on the cob. This is the only way it could be improved. After experimenting with different materials to serve as a core, Instructables member alaskantomboy found that raw cookie dough provided the structural strength that she neede Link -via Foodiggity
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Here's a nifty party trick, courtesy of physics: how to bounce droplets of water on the surface of water.
Typically, when a droplet of water plunges into a pool of water, it will bounce slightly and then coalesce with the rest of the water. But there's a way to keep the bounce going indefinitely.
If you put the pool of water on top of a loud speaker, you can vibrate the surface. This vibration can cause water droplets to continuously bounce and levitate atop the liquid surface.
Physicists Pablo Cabrera-Garcia and Roberto Zenit from National Autonomous University of Mexico conducted the experiments and filmed them with a high-speed camera for your viewing pleasure.
Hit play or go to Link [YouTube]
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Approaching Lake Vostok - fifth update


Ever since I learned the Russians were drilling into Lake Vostok, I've had a vague sense of unease that the procedure would be screwed up and the lake would be contaminated in the process. I am now a little more reassured after reading an account cited at Wired about the precautions being taken:
Lake Vostok, which has been sealed off from the world for 14 million years, is about to be penetrated by a Russian drill bit.

The lake, which lies four kilometres below the icy surface of Antarctica, is unique in that it's been completely isolated from the other 150 subglacial lakes on the continent for such a long time. It's also oligotropic, meaning that it's supersaturated with oxygen -- levels of the element are 50 times higher than those found in most typical freshwater lakes.

"Once the lake is reached, the water pressure will push the working body and the drilling fluid upwards in the borehole, and then freeze again." The next season, the team will bore into that frozen water to recover a sample whose contents can then be analysed.

The drill bit currently sits less than 100 metres above the lake. Once it reaches 20-30 metres, the mechanical drill bit will be replaced with a thermal lance that's equipped with a camera...

The conditions in Lake Vostok are very similar to the conditions on Europa and Enceladus, so could also strengthen the case for extraterrestrial life.
More at the link and at New Scientist. I have a family member who studies extremophiles and will be most interested in the results of the probe, but personally I like this Reddit comment: "What's 14 million years of divergent evolution in a lightless, freezing, high oxygen environment going to look like? I don't know, but I kinda hope it eats people."

Image from the images page of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research's Subglacial Antarctic Lake Environments website (lots more information there).

Update January 28: A report at BBC indicates that "time is running out" for the Russian team because "With the Antarctic summer almost over, temperatures will soon begin to plummet; they can go as low as -80C." The drillers are within about 50m of the water, but are progressing slowly and will need to terminate operations by February 6. Details at the link.

Update February 11, 2011: Drilling has been halted.

Update February 1, 2012: The Washington Post now says that penetration is imminent:
If microbes are found in Vostok, the discovery would have particular significance for astrobiology, the search for life beyond Earth. That’s because Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s moon Enceladus have deep ice crusts that scientists think cover large amounts of liquid water warmed by sources other than the sun — just like Vostok...
Because of the stakes involved, the Russian effort has drawn criticism for its extensive use of kerosene, Freon and other chemicals to enable the drilling and to keep the borehole open during the long winter...

...the lake is part of a complex system in which ice sheets bring in meltwater at their bottoms and later carry refrozen water elsewhere. She said that although the lake has not “felt the wind” in 20 million to 30 million years, the water in it is not as ancient — in the 100,000s to low millions of years old. The only ancient water present, she said, is probably in the sediment at the bottom...

Vostok, which is about the size of New Jersey, is the world’s third-largest lake by volume of water. Priscu said the gas in the lake makes it like a can of carbonated soda: Open it under high pressure, and it will spurt out.

He said the doomsday scenario for the Russian breakthrough would be if the suddenly released water pushed its way past machinery to block it and shot up the borehole, which is six to eight inches in diameter at the top. The result, he said, could be an enormous geyser that could empty a quarter of the lake. Priscu said he didn’t expect that to happen, but if it did, the sudden addition of substantial water vapor to the antarctic atmosphere could change the continent’s weather in unpredictable ways.
See also "Ice volcanoes on a moon of Saturn."


Fourth update February 2: An anonymous reader found this headline today:

Russian scientists seeking Lake Vostok lost...

I thought it was from The Onion, but it comes from FOX News, where the story begins thusly...
A group of Russian scientists plumbing the frozen Antarctic in search of a lake buried in ice for tens of millions of years have failed to respond to increasingly anxious U.S. colleagues -- and as the days creep by, the fate of the team remains unknown.

"No word from the ice for 5 days," Dr. John Priscu professor of Ecology at Montana State University, told FoxNews.com via email...
I suppose that means the creature is loose. Stay tuned.


Fifth update October 19, 2012: Initial microbiology results underwhelming.
A first analysis of the ice that froze onto the drillbit used in last February’s landmark drilling to a pristine Antarctic lake shows no native microbes came up with the lake water, according to Sergey Bulat of Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute (Russia). The very uppermost layer of Lake Vostok appears to be “lifeless” so far, says Bulat, but that doesn’t mean the rest of it is.

Bulat reported what he calls his team’s “very preliminary results” on Tuesday, at the 12th European Workshop on Astrobiology (ENEA 2012), in Stockholm, Sweden, at the AlbaNova University Center.

Bulat and his colleagues counted the microbes present in the ice sample and checked their genetic makeup to figure out the phylotypes. They counted fewer than 10 microbes/ml — about the same magnitude they would expect to find in the background in their clean room. And three of the four phylotypes they identified matched contaminants from the drilling oil, with the fourth unknown but also most likely from the lubricant.
They will nextbe testing "cleaner" water from deeper below the borehole (in May 2013).
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A Series of Tubes
6
This is a series of tubes at the Google Data Center in The Dalles, Oregon. But it's not the internet; rather, these pipes carry water in and out of the center. They are painted in coordinating Google colors to indicate which is in, which is out, and the water used to carry heat away from the electronics is cooled and reused. Google's data centers are just as obsessively organized in all their systems, as you'll see in a gallery of photographs of their eight locations. Link -via Colossal
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The Battle of Jericho is the first entry in a massive project that sees the dates, locations, and brief descriptions for thousands of human conflicts overlaid on a scrollable, zoom-able map
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Scientists are mostly a humble bunch, as they spend a big part of their lives in search of knowledge or teaching it to others without much hoopla. And while incompetent people often don't know they are incompetent, professional scientists are often smart enough to think they don't quite measure up. And while winning a Nobel Prize is exciting and comes with perks such as cash and recognition for your subject, it can also lead to feelings of inadequacy.
Some prize winners may let the award go to their heads, but others are almost paralysed by insecurity after being singled out for doing no more than their day job. In 2001, Tim Hunt at Cancer Research UK shared the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine with Paul Nurse and Leland Hartwell, for discovering proteins that control cell division. "I found it pretty hard to bear at first, and was extremely nervous that the Swedes would realise their mistake and rescind the prize at the last minute," Hunt says.

Weeks after the 2001 announcement, Hunt ran into Paul Nurse, now President of the Royal Society. The encounter went something like this: "Oh Tim," Nurse said. "I've just had the most ghastly weekend – I felt so inadequate." Take a long look at those who have received the honour and no other response makes as much sense.
And there are some other problems that can come with the prestigious award. Read about them at The Guardian. Link -via Not Exactly Rocket Science
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How to Drink a Rainbow
In this experiment, you can literally "taste the rainbow," especially if you use Skittles. What you do is make colored water of different densities by dissolving Skittles. A microwave helps. Then you carefully layer the different colors of water, with the most sugary solution on the bottom. If I were to try this, I'd use sugar water with some Kool-Aid powder instead of Skittles. Get more detailed instructions at io9. Link -via Fark
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What happens when a cat becomes YouTube famous. Which is what might have been, if producer TomSka had a camera ready that one day a cat walked in while he was playing a video game. -via a comment at Metafilter
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YouTube cat mixer ignoramusky offers a compilation of cats whose reach exceeds their grasp. The use of the tune "Ride of the Valkyries" makes this compilation all the more effective. The very last kitten is the best, even though (or maybe because) the kitten does not "fail." -via The Daily What
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A new analysis of rock samples collected during the Apollo missions provides a clearer picture of how the moon was formed
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A mother takes two strides to her daughter’s three. If they set out walking together, each starting with the right foot, when will they first step together with the left?
Never. After the mother’s first four strides and the daughter’s first six, they will again step together with the right foot, and the cycle repeats. Nowhere in that interval do they step together with the left foot.
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“Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.” — George Jean Nathan
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Did you know that you can grow another complete celery stalk from the bottom piece that you cut off and throw away?
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When you feel powerless
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Click to enlarge
Cutaway
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How'd You Make Your Money?

A young man asked an old rich man how he made his money.
The old guy said, "Well, son, it was 1932. The depth of the Great Depression. I was down to my last nickel." "I invested that nickel in an apple. I spent the entire day polishing the apple and, at the end of the day, I sold the apple for ten cents."
"The next morning, I invested those ten cents in two apples. I spent the entire day polishing them and sold them at 5:00 pm for 20 cents. I continued this system for a month, by the end of which I'd accumulated a fortune of $1.37."
"And that's how you built an empire?" the boy asked.
"Heavens, no!" the man replied. "Then my wife's father died and left us two million dollars."
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Abraham Lincoln’s former law partner, William Henry Herndon, published a biography of the president in 1889. While gathering material for the project, he received this letter from a colleague:
Dear Herndon:
One morning, not long before Lincoln’s nomination — a year perhaps — I was in your office and heard the following: Mr. Lincoln, seated at the baize-covered table in the center of the office, listened attentively to a man who talked earnestly and in a low tone. After being thus engaged for some time Lincoln at length broke in, and I shall never forget his reply. ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘we can doubtless gain your case for you; we can set a whole neighborhood at loggerheads; we can distress a widowed mother and her six fatherless children and thereby get for you six hundred dollars to which you seem to have a legal claim, but which rightfully belongs, it appears to me, as much to the woman and her children as it does to you. You must remember that some things legally right are not morally right. We shall not take your case, but will give you a little advice for which we will charge you nothing. You seem to be a sprightly, energetic man; we would advise you to try your hand at making six hundred dollars in some other way.’
Yours, Lord
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A patrician young fellow named Lear
Used to wash off his bollocks with beer.
Said he, "By the gods,
This is good for the cods---
It will lengthen my fucking career.
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George the Third said with a smile,
“Seventeen sixty yards to a mile.”
This gives two unrelated pieces of information: the date of George’s accession and the number of yards in a mile.
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On July 18, 1917, the U.S. Navy gunboat Yorktown called at Clipperton Island, a tiny coral atoll in the eastern Pacific. The ship’s commander, Harlan Page Perrill, sent two men ashore and was surprised to see them return with a complement of women and children. When his men made their report, Perrill later wrote, they revealed “a tale of woe absolutely harrowing in its details.”
The three women and eight children were the only survivors of the island’s original colony, which had once numbered 100. The last ship had visited the island three years ago, and their supplies had given out six months after that. Since that time they had survived on fish, fowl, and eggs. Scurvy and starvation killed much of the population; others died at sea while attempting to escape in a whaleboat. By 1917 lighthouse keeper Victoriano Álvarez was the only man on the island; he declared himself king and began terrorizing the women, threatening, beating, and sadistically raping them, even killing two.
Álvarez had promised to kill Alicia Arnaud, the governor’s wife, when help finally arrived, to prevent her talking to the authorities, but an odd quirk saved her. That very morning, finally determined to act, she and fellow survivor Tirza Randon had confronted Álvarez in his hut, where Randon had killed him with a hammer. Only minutes later, Arnaud’s son had spotted the Yorktown. “What if we had been an hour earlier!” Perrill reflected. “It is almost certain that the man would have killed Señora Arnaud.”
Risking court-martial, Perrill left Álvarez’s body to be devoured by crabs and omitted any mention of him in his official report, and he and the entire crew of the Yorktown kept the secret for 17 years. He later explained that “I was afraid of the effects it might have upon the fortunes of Tirza Randon.” “Had Perrill not sanitized his reports and included titllating details of Álvarez’s reign of terror,” wrote Jimmy Skaggs in his history of the island, “the story undoubtedly would have received far greater attention.”
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Q and A Quickies
Q: Why isn't your nose 12 inches long?
A: Because then it would be a foot!

Q: What did the digital clock say to the grandfather clock?
A: Look, grandpa, no hands!
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The sea has mystified and terrified humankind for ages. There is just so much of it. And it's dangerous, unpredictable and indomitable, not to mention bizarre! Ancient man attributed all sorts of fantastical creatures to the sea.

The Bible, in the book of Revelation, describes a monster with seven heads and ten horns that rises from the ocean. In the book of Job you meet Leviathan, a massive sea-monster who's impervious to human weapons, breathes fire, and emits smoke from his nostrils.
And we can almost forgive the ancients their wild imaginations when we consider some of the incredible things the actually do live in the oceans like narwhals, whale sharks and giant squid...and some creatures that have yet to be discovered in the unexplored depths. Like creatures with giant, softball-sized eyeballs.

Word that a giant eyeball washed up on a South Florida beach has created a buzz on the Internet and in the marine biology community.

A man found the eyeball while taking a morning stroll along Pompano Beach just north of Fort Lauderdale. He contacted state wildlife officials, who took possession of the specimen.
The huge, blue eyeball may have come from a deep sea squid or a large sword fish, said Heather Bracken-Grissom, an assistant professor in the marine science program at Florida International University in Miami.
The professor and her colleagues concluded that the eyeball's lens and pupil are similar in shape to that of a deep sea squid. She noted that a deep sea squid's eyeball can be as large as a soccer ball and can easily become dislodged.
The mystery likely won't be solved until testing on the eyeball is completed at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg.
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You’re watching four statisticians play bridge. After a hand is dealt, you choose a player and ask, “Do you have at least one ace?” If she answers yes, the chance that she’s holding more than one ace is 5359/14498, which is less than 37 percent.
On a later hand, you choose a player and ask, “Do you have the ace of spades?” Strangely, if she says yes now the chance that she has more than one ace is 11686/20825, which is more than 56 percent.
Why does specifying the suit of her ace improve the odds that she’s holding more than one ace? Because, though a smaller number of potential hands contain that particular ace, a greater proportion of those hands contain a second ace. It’s counterintuitive, but it’s true.
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Preschool teacher crams 19 kids into car
PRETORIA, South Africa - Police in South Africa said they pulled over a preschool teacher who was found to have crammed 19 kids into her car for a trip to a shopping center. Pretoria police said Melanie Minnie, a faculty member at Rietfontein Nursery School, was pulled over in her Renault Clio and officers found she was driving 19 children back to the school from a local shopping center, The Mirror, London, reported Monday. Police said three children were in the front seat, 10 were in the backseat and six were found riding in the boot of the car. It was unclear whether any of the children were wearing seatbelts. The woman told officers she had already ferried a carload of 10 children back to the school. "It was the first time we went on an outing, and the last. I'll never do it again," Minnie told police. Minnie was fined about $160 for overloading her car
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Cant sday im not gay
Cant say2
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On our last vacation, my wife and I saved some money by staying in a cheap hotel. Just as we were falling asleep, we heard the sounds of mattress springs and a banging headboard from the next room.
At first we were amused by the amorous couple.
After five minutes it had lost its charm.
After ten minutes we were getting pretty annoyed, in that it was keeping us awake.
After fifteen minutes, we were just plain ticked off.
After half an hour we were pretty damned impressed.
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Healthy Living from Health.com
http://health.chtah.net/a/tBQfuotBFYNexB8un-0CFNC1EB2/top2

30-DAY COLD- AND FLU-PREVENTION CALENDAR
http://health.chtah.net/a/tBQfuotBFYNexB8un-0CFNC1EB2/top23
Achoo! Follow these tips to boost your chance of staying healthy during cold and flu season, and minimize your downtime if you don't.

HAVE FIRMER SKIN FOREVER
http://health.chtah.net/a/tBQfuotBFYNexB8un-0CFNC1EB2/top24
Look younger with these anti-aging secrets

SAVE MONEY!
http://health.chtah.net/a/tBQfuotBFYNexB8un-0CFNC1EB2/top25
13 ways to cut your medication costs

REV UP YOUR RELATIONSHIP
http://health.chtah.net/a/tBQfuotBFYNexB8un-0CFNC1EB2/top26
How to spice up your love life in 6 easy steps
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Super friends
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In Larry Niven's science fiction novel 'Ringworld' he describes how a yeast evolved on Earth which lived on polyethylene. It was literally eating the plastic bags off of the grocery store shelves...according to the novel.
While that sounds disastrous, the idea of an organic organism which could biodegrade a non biodegradable material would be an eco engineering miracle. If only we could discover something like that...

This week we're talking about fungus two ways. One that can survive exclusively on polyurethane and another that can replace Styrofoam. Both polyurethane and styrofoam are not biodegradable, so without a solution, all the plastic bottles and old toys we throw out every year will be sitting in landfills for centuries. Yes, you can recycle plastic, but that just means turning it into another product and recycling hasn't sufficiently slowed the production of new plastic. According to a Yale study, globally we produced 245 million tons of plastic in 2006, compared to only 1.5 million tons in 1950.
One of the fungi we're looking at is called pestalotiopsis microspora. It was discovered by a group of Yale researchers on an expedition in Ecuador and can subsist on polyurethane alone in airless environments, like the bottom of a landfill.
The other comes from a couple of college friends who discovered that the sticky substance on the bottom of mushrooms called mycelium could be turned into a glue and when that glue is combined with corn husks and other food byproducts it takes on a form similar to Styrofoam. Their company, Ecovative wants used Styrofoam to become mulch, not waste.
A future with less plastic and more mulch, all thanks to fungus.
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I went to the wood, and I caught it,
Then I sat me down and sought it,
The longer I sought,
For what I had caught,
The less worth catching I thought it.
I would rather have sold it than bought it,
And when I had sought, Without finding aught,
Home in my hand I brought it.
What Am I?

A splinter.
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QUOTE: "There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."

HINT: (1918-), South African politician who served as president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

ANSWER: Nelson Mandela.
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Twin Sooty Owls Ace Training at Taronga Zoo

Sooty two
Taronga Zoo has got a new pair of Sooty Owlets that are charming those who have seen them. The chicks arrived at the zoo in August and have grown tremendously since then. From tiny, almost down-less chicks, they are now really beginning to look like owls, developing their distinctive heart shaped faces-- and showing individual personalities too.
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RANDOM TIDBITS

No other animal has a longer pregnancy term than that of the elephant which is documented at an average of 22
months.

On December 16, 1811 the mighty Mississippi river began to flow backwards due to a powerful earthquake.

Dead skin is the root cause of most of the dust in your house.

Ants can pull about 30 times their own weight and lift about 50 times their own weight.

A person eats around 60,000 pounds worth of food during his life which is the equivalent of six elephants.

Did you know a slug has not only one nose but four? What a lot of people call a nose on a slug is actually a breathing pore called a pneumostome.
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Spotted on the door of the control room of the LHC-b at CERN.
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They pay close attention and learn well until they decide it's time to eat the experiment! Next up: the lesson on Schroedinger's Cat. -via Buzzfeed
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44 cans of beer on the keyboard, 44 cans of beer ... We bloggers know that we shouldn't drink and blog, but this new keyboard from Robofun Create sure makes it hard! Behold, the Beer Keyboard, which is built with cans of Staropramen beer, Arduino board and Raspberry Pi computer.
Link - via Engadget
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A dead seashell surprised National Geographic explorers when thousands of octopus larvae suddenly emerged.
Octopus larvae that came out of a dead sea shell. Photo: Enric Sala
Octopus larvae that came out of a dead sea shell. Photo: Enric Sala
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An Air Canada passenger flight bound for Sydney has helped locate a yacht in distress in waters between Australia and New Zealand…Flight AC033 was diverted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) after it spotted an emergency beacon activated in the Tasman Sea.
Pilots descended to 1,800m altitude and used a passenger’s binoculars to find the vessel.
The boat and its lone sailor was found about 500km east of Sydney.
The yachtsman reportedly left the Sydney area about two weeks earlier and had been drifting for about one week after losing his mast and running low on fuel… The Air Canada flight from Vancouver, with 270 passengers and 18 crew aboard, was diverted about 12 hours into the flight. It flew an additional 400km as a result of the diversion…
We’re really pleased we could help,” spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said, adding that weather conditions – and not the diversion – had been the main cause of delay. Later, an Air New Zealand Airbus 320 en route to Sydney from Auckland was also diverted before an Australian rescue plane arrived and dropped a life raft and satellite phone down to the stranded seaman. A merchant vessel was also asked to shield the boat from strong winds until a police vessel could reach the sailor.
An AMSA spokesman told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the help of the passenger jets had been needed because of the remote location of the yacht.
“The location of the beacon was within a flight path, so we needed to assess the situation and the Boeing 777 was the closest asset available to us,” Jo Meehan said.
Bravo! Lots of good stories about people aiding people in need, lately.
Thanks, Ed ~
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http://youtu.be/Q0zyTzwQ2fE
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The Discovery Channel is promoting the new season of Mythbusters with a super cut of their best crashes, explosions, and general destruction. After all, that's the reason we watch the show, isn't it? -via The Daily What Geek
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Bonus points if you can spot Christopher Boykin from Rob & Big.
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The Granddaddy of Daddy Longlegs

Image: Senckenberg Research Institute
Now that's a daddy longlegs! Arachnologist Peter Jäger of the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt, Germany, discovered a new species of harvestmen with a leg span of about 13 inches in the caves of Laos.
Surprisingly, it's actually not the record holder of its species. That distinction belongs to a species of harvestmen from South America: Link
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When I'm good, I'm very good. But when I'm bad I'm better. - Mae West
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This is a cheap-shot comedy sketch, and I'll lay you odds the frog wrote it. - Miss Piggy, The Muppet Show
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Nobody has so many friends that he can afford to lose one.- Edward Abbey
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Does God have a navel?
(Florida State University)
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Ms potato head chooses
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The missus bought a Paperback,
Down Shepton, Saturday.
I had a look inside her bag;
T’was “Fifty Shades Of Grey”.
Well I just left her to it,
And at ten I went to bed.
An hour later she appeared;
The sight filled me with dread…
In her left she held a rope
And in her right a whip!
She threw them down upon the floor,
And then began to strip.
Well fifty years or so ago.
I might have had a peek.
But Mabel hasn’t weathered well,
She’s eighty four next week!!
Watching Mabel bump and grind,
Could not have been much grimmer.
And things then went from bad to worse,
She toppled off her Zimmer!
She struggled back upon her feet,
A couple minutes later.
She put her teeth back in and said
I must be the dominater!!
Now if you knew our Mabel,
You’d see just why I spluttered.
I’d spent two months in traction,
For the last complaint I’d uttered.
She stood there nude and naked,
Bent forward just a bit.
I went to hold her, sensual like,
and stood on her left tit!!
Mabel screamed, her teeth shot out,
My god what had I done!?
She moaned and groaned then shouted out:
“Step on the other one”!!
Well readers, I can’t tell no more..
About what occurred that day.
Suffice to say my jet black hair,
Turned fifty shades of grey.
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Consider the following: Female guitar player shouting at her boyfriend in a crowded shopping mall:
"Don't forget, sweetheart, I need a new G string!"
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Son : Mom, when I was on the bus with Dad this morning, he told me to give up my seat to a lady.
Mum : Well, you have done the right thing.
Son : But mom, I was sitting on daddy's lap.
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"Why do you look so glum today?", the teacher asked young Johnny.
"I didn't have no breakfast," Johnny mumbled.
"You poor dear," said the teacher. "Now, to return to our geography lesson, Johnny, where is the French border?"
"In bed with my mom. That's why I didn't have no breakfast."
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Q: What did O.J. say to Goldman when he found him with his ex-wife?
A: Hey pal, mind if I cut in?
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“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.” — G.K. Chesterton, “On Running After One’s Hat,” 1908
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This litigious humour is bad enough: but there is one character still worse — that of a person who goes into company, not to contradict, but to talk at you. This is the greatest nuisance in civilised society. Such a person does not come armed to defend himself at all points, but to unsettle, if he can, and throw a slur on all your favourite opinions. If he has a notion that anyone in the room is fond of poetry, he immediately volunteers a contemptuous tirade against the idle jingle of verse. If he suspects you have a delight in pictures, he endeavours, not by fair argument, but by a side-wind, to put you out of conceit with so frivolous an art. If you have a taste for music, he does not think much good is to be done by this tickling of the ears. If you speak in praise of a comedy, he does not see the use of wit: if you say you have been to a tragedy, he shakes his head at this mockery of human misery, and thinks it ought to be prohibited. He tries to find out beforehand whatever it is that you take a particular pride or pleasure in, that he may annoy your self-love in the tenderest point (as if he were probing a wound) and make you dissatisfied with yourself and your pursuits for several days afterwards. A person might as well make a practice of throwing out scandalous aspersions against your dearest friends or nearest relations, by way of ingratiating himself into your favour. Such ill-timed impertinence is ‘villainous, and shows a pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it.’ – William Hazlitt, “On the Conversation of Authors,” 1820
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Man gets charged by a gorilla...
WHERE DO RED-HEADED BABIES COME FROM?

After their baby was born, the panicked father went to see the Obstetrician. 'Doctor,' the man said, 'I don't mind telling you, but I'm a little upset because my daughter has red hair. She can't possibly be mine!'
'Nonsense,' the doctor said...'Even though you and your wife both have black hair, one of your ancestors may have contributed red hair to the gene pool.'
'It isn't possible,' the man insisted. 'This can't be, our families on both sides had jet-black hair for generations.'
"Well," said the doctor, "let me ask you this. How often do you have sex?"
The man seemed a bit ashamed. 'I've been working very hard for the past year. We only made love once or twice every few months.'
'Well, there you have it!' The doctor said confidently... "It's Rust!!"
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QUOTE: "Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door."

HINT: Was a pioneering French couturier whose modernist philosophy, menswear-inspired fashions, and pursuit of expensive simplicity made her arguably the most important figure in the history of 20th-century fashion design.

ANSWER: Coco Chanel
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RANDOM TIDBITS

Nebraska's state motto: Equality before the law.

Hawaii was the 50th state admitted to the union on August 20th, 1959.

The name Utah comes from the Native American Ute tribe and means people of the mountains.

Montana is the only state with a triple divide allowing water to flow into the Pacific, Atlantic, and Hudson Bay. This phenomenon occurs at Triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park.

Rhode Island has no county government. It is divided into 39 municipalities each having its own form of local government.

A treaty between the United States and Spain established the current southern border between Oregon and California. The treaty was signed in 1819.
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I went to the wood, and I caught it,
Then I sat me down and sought it,
The longer I sought,
For what I had caught,
The less worth catching I thought it.
I would rather have sold it than bought it,
And when I had sought, Without finding aught,
Home in my hand I brought it.
What Am I?
A splinter
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Worried About the Old Widow

Worried because they hadn't heard anything for days from the widow in the neighboring apartment, Mrs. Silver said to her son, "Timmy, would you go next door and see how old Mrs. Kirkland is?"
A few minutes later, Timmy returned.
"Well," asked Mrs. Silver, "is she all right?"
"She's fine, except that she's angry at you."
"At me?" the woman exclaimed. "Whatever for?"
"She said 'It's none of your business how old she is,'" snickered Timmy.
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Q and A Quickies

Q: Where does a judge eat lunch?
A: At the food court.

Q: Why do bees have sticky hair?
A: They use honeycombs.
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Let me ask you all a question.

I just read a story on the Internet about a Georgia cop who was caught having sexual relations with an underage teen in the girl's own bedroom.
The girl's father came home early from work to find an unoccupied police car parked in his driveway. Since a squad car is an unusual thing to find in one's driveway at 5:30 in the morning, the father began investigating around the yard and eventually the house to find out what was going on.
What he discovered was the 28-year-old officer in his teenaged daughter's bed. Apparently they had met last year when the officer (excuse me...ex-officer) volunteered at the girl's high school as a coach and have had an ongoing relationship since. The officer was immediately terminated as an employee of the police department.

Now my question is...if you're going to have illegal relations with a minor, and if you're going to do it in her own home in her very own bed...could you possibly attract any more attention to yourself than by parking your marked police car right in the driveway! I'm surprised he didn't leave the lights flashing.
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Life-sized 'Mousetrap' teaches physics
Life Size Mouse Trap
DEARBORN, Mich. - The creator of a life-sized version of the Hasbro board game "Mousetrap" said in Michigan the goal is to teach physics -- and crush a car. Mark Perez, who brought his creation to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, said his Rube Goldberg device is based on the Hasbro game, but instead of ending with a mouse in a cage it concludes by crushing a junked Hyundai, CNN reported Thursday. Perez said it took him 13 years and 50,000 pounds of objects to build his "Life Size Mousetrap" and the machine takes five days and a crew of 10 to assemble each time it is moved to a new location. "One of our major goals is to teach kids and adults about the physics that surround us," Perez said. "Give us the really unplugged vision -- you know it's not wired in. It's the real thing with counterweights and science and engineering."
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Schools ban Flamin' Hot Cheetos

CHICAGO - Schools across the United States are banning Flamin' Hot Cheetos out of concern for the popular snack food's lack of nutrition. The Noble Street Charter School Network in Chicago and the Rockford, Ill., school district said they have banned the snacks -- which were created 20 years ago by the Frito-Lay company -- due to high content of salt, fats and artificial coloring with very little fiber or other nutritional benefits, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday. Renita Weiskircher, director of nutrition services for Rockford Public Schools, said the district used to sell about 150,000 bags of Flamin' Hot Cheetos each school year, but students "have learned to adjust" since the ban was imposed in 2010. Rita Exposito, principal of Jackson Elementary School in Pasadena, Calif., said faculty members at her school specifically target the snacks. "We don't allow candy, and we don't allow Hot Cheetos," she said. "We don't encourage other chips, but if we see Hot Cheetos, we confiscate them, sometimes after the child has already eaten most of them. It's mostly about the lack of nutrition."
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How Ants Communicate (And Learn)
http://www.evtv1.com/video/How_Ants_Communicate_And_Learn.aspx
A scientist tracks ants with microchips and observes them as they teach friends where a potential new home is.
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The Lone Ranger - Trailer
http://www.evtv1.com/video/The_Lone_Ranger___Trailer.aspx
"The Lone Ranger," a thrilling adventure infused with action and humor, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes.
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An Eagle is circling at about 5,000 ft. when he spies a field mouse down
below him. He dives down and eats the mouse. After a little while the
mouse works his way out the eagles butt. Proceeding to look around the
mouse says: "Tail gunner to pilot...Tail gunner to pilot.."
The eagle says "what do you want?"
The mouse asks how high up they are.
The eagle thinks for a moment and then says "ohh about 5,000 ft."
The mouse then replies "You wouldn't be shittin me now would ya??"
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"El Nino taught me that some of the most beautiful things in nature are also the most dangerous. Like 30 foot waves, giant thunderstorms, and topless blondes driving on rain-soaked highways."- Mark Schmidt
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In September 1924, the wheels of a truck sank into the ground behind the Pelham Courts apartments in Washington, D.C. On investigating, the building’s manager and janitor discovered a mysterious brick-lined passageway that led to a bizarre network of concrete tunnels extending as much as 32 feet underground.
The discovery put Washington into two days of wild speculation. Was this a German plot? A relic of the Civil War? But then Smithsonian Institution entomologist Harrison G. Dyar came forward to admit that he had dug the tunnels when had lived in the capital 10 years earlier. From Modern Mechanix, August 1932:
http://blog.modernmechanix.com/tunnel-digging-as-a-hobby/
Dyar’s obsession had begun innocently enough. He told the Washington Star that in 1906 he had dug a flowerbed for his wife, and “When I was down perhaps six or seven feet, surrounded only by the damp brown walls of old Mother Earth, I was seized by an undeniable fancy to keep on going.” He had continued the project in secret for 10 years, stopping only in 1915, when he moved out of the area.
“I did it for exercise,” he told the New York Times. “Digging tunnels after work is my hobby. There’s really nothing mysterious about it.”
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Oh, you knew they were odd birds, but they are even stranger than you knew. I had no idea they can change colors to impress the opposite sex!
When pelicans are courting, they open and close their bills to make their gular sacks ripple, strut around, and toss sticks and dried fish up into the air. Their bills and pouches also change color. For example, an Australian’s pelican’s pouch will turn bright pink, the throat turns yellow, and parts of the bill turn bright blue. Different species of pelicans display different color changes, but they are all vivid and beautiful.
Read more about pelicans, and see some great pictures at Environmental Graffiti. Link
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Sure it always starts with small talk, but just wait until she starts regaling you with tales of treacherous nights at sea -this otter has better stories than most sailors. Via I Can Has Cheezburger
Previously: More videos of Nellie.
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Like Firefly? Like booze? Then you'll love combining the two by adding these great Firefly alcohol labels that allow you to spruce up your boring old Earth beer and whiskey. Just print them out from Empty Samurai's DeviantArt page, glue them to your beverage of choice.
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How Do You Use To, Too, and Two?

These three words cause some of the most common grammar problems as they are commonly misspelled or used wrong. Their usage can be difficult to understand. Welcome to the easiest way to learn how to use to, too, and two! See the grammar rules below, then test yourself with the quiz at the link. You should also master the use of there, they're, and their!
If you want to learn how to tell the difference between to, too, and two, then look at the definitions and examples below. The differences between To vs. Too, To vs. Two, and Two vs. Too can completely change the meaning of a sentence. Or worse, it can make a sentence completely meaningless due to not following english grammar rules. This website aims to provide a simple, clear explanation on how to properly use to, too, and two.

To

Use to as a preposition before a noun or as an infinitive before a verb. To and Too can be tricky!

Examples

"Please take me to the dance"
"We don't need to buy that right now."

Too

Use too as a synonym for also or to indicate excessiveness before a verb. Usually, if you can replace too with also in the same sentence, and it still makes sense, then you are using it correctly.

Examples

"I am going to the mall, too."
"I had too many tacos for lunch."

Two

Use two to spell out the number 2. If you can replace two with 2 in the same sentence, and it still makes sense, then you are using it correctly. This should be the easiest one!

Examples

"I have two hands and two feet."
"Can you give me two dollars?"
People seldom mix “two” up with the other two; it obviously belongs with words that also begin with TW, like “twice” and “twenty” that involve the number 2. But the other two are confused all the time. Just remember that the only meanings of “too” are “also” (“I want some ice cream too.”) and “in excess” (“Your iPod is playing too loudly.”). Note that extra O. It should remind you that this word has to do with adding more on to something. “To” is the proper spelling for all the other uses.
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One thick sausage
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The Knucklehead Stories
I think the reason our critters have such unusual personalities, is that they are given so much freedom. Knucklehead was given to us with a lot of his personality already set: he talked to feet & to shoes, he was sociable, he was curious, and he was used to being out of his cage.
He lives in my daughter's room in his cage (at night). During the day, he hangs out on top of his cage (where he whacks off in front of the window), on her top bunk (his condo), and anywhere else his little birdbrain takes him. He has constructed a massive warren of spaces on the top bunk between boxes. He tears the boxes up to pad his nesting spaces ... his condo (currently about 2' by 3'). He sits up there, muttering to himself a lot of the time. I think he's trying to attract a mate (if you build it, they will come).
One day we heard him muttering, but it sounded different... like an echo. We went into Jenny's room to see what he was doing. He was on the top bunk, inside a box, sitting on the arm of an M&M character (the M&M sitting in a chair... about 12" tall), talking away to the M&M. Then, he saw us thru the clear front panel, squawked, and raised his wings. It was only then that he realized he was caught in a box... he screamed until we undid the top of the box & set him free. He had chewed away at the bottom corner of the box, then entered it & climbed up onto the M&M's arm. Just having a good old time.
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This is a sad tale, as Wump is no longer with us.

As I said in part 1, Knucklehead supposedly lives in Jenny's room (actually, he thinks of it as his room, and that Jenny is one of his pets). His favorite pet was Mugwump, a guinea pig.
Mugwump was a beautiful pig. He was all white on one side with a 2" brown-black strip down his middle. The other side was the exact opposite: all brown-black, with a 2" white stripe down his waist. He had a great Zigzag design down his face; otherwise his colors were perfectly separated down the middle of his back. He was the runt of the litter, so he only grew to be about 8" long.
Mugwump lived in Jenny's room, in a large clear plastic bin (about 2' x 4' x 16" tall). He lived a very happy life, being allowed to run around every day, browsing for fresh veggies in his own veggie patch (yes, I grew him his own veggies in a large gardening tray), lots of love, massages: especially chin massage, baths, and a nice large cage with sawdust on the floor and a shoe-box bedroom in the back.
He would squeal with delight and dance around on his back legs when he heard our voices. He would run in circles oinking when he was excited. He would purr when you petted him. He would settle down & fall asleep next to you on the couch. He would jump in the air & flip around when he was really excited (one minute you see a dark guinea pig running one way, then flip, there's a white guinea pig running the other way.) He would stand on his hind legs and beg for his favorite foods: corn, carrots, or bell pepper innards.
Naturally, Knucklehead was interested.
Pretty soon we saw Knucky standing on the edge of the cage, looking down at Wump, checking him out. Wump would lie there looking up at Knucky. Then, Knucky started talking to Wump, and Wump was answering with squeals, oinks, and purrs. An unusual friendship, but what the heck, Knucky didn't really bond with birds (more about Birds-a-lot in another tale).
One day we couldn't find Knucklehead. We called and whistled and searched the house. We listened for his answer. No Knucky. The only sound was Mugwump fretting. We went to his cage & looked in, but couldn't find a reason for him to be upset. Then we heard a hissssss... Knucky was in Wump's box, nesting there, and trying to keep Wump out of his own bed., hissing at him.
We had to bring Knucky out, and have a talk with him. He kept flying back to Wump's cage. Wump started defending his box by standing or sleeping in front of it. They had stand-offs, but never hurt each other.
They finally worked out a living arrangement where Knucky could nest in the box some of the time. Wump even shared his veggie patch with Knucky: they would browse through the sprouting veggies together, eating until Wump was full and fell asleep in the midst of his bounty. They spent a lot of their daylight hours together. Knucky even groomed Wump. They never hurt each other.
When Wump was out on the floor running around, Knucky would fly down there and play with him (maybe that is why Knucky forgets to fly sometimes, and runs instead. We have often wondered if Knucklehead even knows that he is a bird.).
Wump is gone now (he lived over 6 years...a long life for a guinea pig). The vet attributed his long life to the good care and to his diet of guinea pig pellets and fresh veggies everyday. I think a big part of his long life was that he had a best friend to share life with.
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We couldn't find Knucky one day, and apparently he had fallen asleep, so we couldn't hear him chirp. We looked in all his known favorite spots, but couldn't find him. We gave up looking, and started to make dinner, chopping veggies, and preparing foods. When we threw the trimmings in the trash, we heard a startled squawk. Knucky had fallen in the trashcan, made himself a little nest in a bunch of paper towels, and fallen asleep.
Another day we followed his chirps to find him in the bookcase, on top of a bunch of books. He had somehow gotten into the space above the books that was only about 2" tall.
One day we couldn't find him (again). It was later in the day, when I went in to make my bed, and pulled the comforter up, that we found Knucky sound asleep under the comforter. I must have covered him up when I flung the covers back in the morning
Another time; I was awakened from a deep sleep, with the feeling that I was being watched. I opened one eye, to see Knucky peering down into my eye from no more than an inch away. He said "Hi Pretty Dimwit".
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PBS Newshour has a Facebook app in which you can customize your own political ad. You just slot in a few pictures (from your Facebook page) and a slogan and voila! A generic political candidate ad, just like most of the ones you see on TV. You can make your own. Link -via mental_floss
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This is a cute and simple idea for entertaining guests. Use a squirrel cookie cutter--or any other shape that has a hook built into the design--to make cookies that hang from tea cups. Serena's cookies are made with maple syrup. You can find her recipe at the link.
Link (Google Translate) -via Tasteologie
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If you're already tired of the never-ending marathons of Halloween horror films on TV, maybe you'd like to celebrate the season by some reading. Flavorwire has some suggestions in a reading list that ranges from Hamlet (yes, it's a ghost story) to Aim For the Head: An Anthology of Zombie Poetry.
Maybe it’s just us, but we always consider poetry as a form (barring, you know, limericks) to be naturally a little more highbrow than prose. Which balances out the fact that zombies are probably the most lowbrow of popular monsters. So if you’re a poetry buff looking for a little excitement on a cold October night, or just someone who’s felt the incomprehensible urge to compose a poetic ode to The Walking Dead, we suggest this anthology, which takes itself seriously, but not too seriously.
You're sure to find something intriguing in the list of 10 books. Link
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http://youtu.be/MBeNVD327mU
When Sampson the corgi has to go up stairs, he transforms into bunny mode and hops.
One thing that I learned from owning dogs and rabbits at the same time: dogs love the taste of rabbit poop. So much so that buying real dog food is almost a waste of money. -via Daily of the Day
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One day many years ago, a fisherman's wife blessed her husband with twin sons. They loved the children very much, but couldn't think of what to name their children. Finally, after several days, the fisherman said, "Let's not decide on names right now. If we wait a little while, the names will simply occur to us."

After several weeks had passed, the fisherman and his wife noticed a peculiar fact. When left alone, one of the boys would also turn towards the sea, while the other boy would face inland. It didn't matter which way the parents positioned the children, the same child always faced the same direction. "Let's call the boys Towards and Away," suggested the fisherman. His wife agreed, and from that point on, the boys were simply known as TOWARDS and AWAY.

The years passed and the lads grew tall and strong. The day came when the aging fisherman said to his sons, "Boys, it is time that learned how to make a living from the sea." They provisioned their ship, said their goodbyes, and set sail for a three month voyage.

The three months passed quickly for the fisherman's wife, yet the ship had not returned. Another three months passed, and still no ship.

Three whole years passed before the grieving woman saw a lone man walking towards her house. She recognized him as her husband. "My goodness! What has happened to my darling boys?" she cried.

The ragged fisherman began to tell his story:
"We were just barely one whole day out to see when Towards hooked into a great fish. Towards fought long and hard, but the fish was more than his equal. For a whole week they wrestled upon the waves without either of them letting up. Yet eventually the great fish started to win the battle, and Towards was pulled over the side of our ship. He was swallowed whole, and we never saw either of them again."

"Oh dear, that must have been terrible! What a huge fish that must of been! What a horrible fish. What a horrible fish."

"Yes, it was, but you should have seen the one that got Away...."
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For those of you/us up late Friday night or early Saturday morning, when there was a break in the cloud cover, the meteor shower was stunning!!!!
Today, it's a beautiful Fall Sunday ~
I am finally finishing(?) my 'Vanilla Extract project' which turned into:
1 Quart of double-strength Madagascar Vanilla Extract
1 C (2 4 oz bottles) of Tahitian Vanilla Extract (flowery, light)
1 C (2 4 oz bottles) of Mexican Vanilla Extract (bold, cinnamon)
2 Cups (2 8 oz bottles) of Spearmint Extract*
1/2 Cup of Pineapple Sage Extract* (I may make more, but, right now the beautiful red lipstick-shaped flowers are feeding the hummingbirds)
1/2 Cup of Peppermint Extract*
*from my garden
My fingers smell good enough to eat, my house smells like a bar, but it's a great feeling to have this project done. Now, the bottles will age, and be ready for Christmas presents.
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For my birthday, I asked some friends to help me re-populate my 'heart-line bear' collection. (A few years ago a woman stole most of my jewelry). This year my friends added 2 more bears (center & right) to the sleuth.

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