Friday, October 5, 2012

Sun, Sep 23, 2012 10:01 pm Paws & Claws ~ September 23, 2012 ~ Celebrating the Autumnal Equinox ~

Maturity is a bitter disappointment
for which no remedy exists,
unless laughter could be said to remedy anything.

~ Kurt Vonnegut
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2012 September

See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.
Orbiting Astronaut Self-Portrait
Image Credit: Expedition 32 Crew, International Space Station, NASA
Explanation: Is it art? Earlier this month, space station astronaut Aki Hoshide (Japan) recorded this striking image while helping to augment the capabilities of the Earth-orbiting International Space Station (ISS). Visible in this outworldly assemblage is the Sun, the Earth, two portions of a robotic arm, an astronaut's spacesuit, the deep darkness of space, and the unusual camera taking the picture. This image joins other historic -- and possibly artistic -- self-portraits taken previously in space. The Expedition 32 mission ended yesterday when an attached capsule undocked with the ISS and returned some of the crew to Earth.
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2012 September
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.
A Solar Filament Erupts
Image Credit: NASA's GSFC, SDO AIA Team
Explanation: What's happened to our Sun? Nothing very unusual -- it just threw a filament. At the end of last month, a long standing solar filament suddenly erupted into space producing an energetic Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). The filament had been held up for days by the Sun's ever changing magnetic field and the timing of the eruption was unexpected. Watched closely by the Sun-orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory, the resulting explosionshot electrons and ions into the Solar System, some of which arrived at Earth three days later and impacted Earth's magnetosphere, causing visible aurorae. Loops of plasma surrounding an active region can be seen above the erupting filament in the ultraviolet image. If you missed this auroral display please do not despair-- over the next two years our Sun will be experiencing a solar maximum of activity which promises to produce more CMEs that induce more Earthly auroras.
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The composition teacher asked the class to write about an unusual event that happened during the past week. Little Johnny got up and read his essay.
It began, "Daddy fell into the well last week..."
"My goodness!" the teacher exclaimed. "Is he all right?"
"He must be," said the boy. "He stopped yelling for help yesterday."
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A Football Question
Last year.....after the Packers / Bills game, Buffalo released quarterback Trent Edwards.
During the Packers / Eagles game, the Packers injured Philadelphia quarterback Kevin Kolb.
Philadelphia then had to play backup quarterback Michael Vick.
During a playoff game against the Eagles, the Packers injured Michael Vick and another backup was needed.
After the Packers / Cowboys game, Dallas fired Wade Phillips and most of his staff .
After the Packers / Vikings game, Minnesota fired Brad Childress and most of his staff.
Four weeks after losing to the Packers, the 49er's coach Mike Singletary and most of his staff were fired and replaced.
During the Bears Playoff game, the Packers injured Jay Cutler and backup Todd Collins forcing the
Bears to go with 3rd string quarterback Caleb Hanie.
Is it just me, or did the Packers create more jobs last year than Obama?
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Chicago-based social worker Elizabeth D. Ormesher Salcedo invented the Everpurse, a small zippable purse that charges your smartphone all day (it fits within a bigger bag), after always running out of battery charge on her cellphone. Now, with the help of entrepreneur Daniel Salcedo, the Everpurse team and a successful fundraising campaign , the Everpurse will soon come to market. There is still time to pre-order an Everpurse through their Kickstarter campaign.
Ever notice that your smartphone dies JUST when you need it most? We set out to build something so powerful and easy to use, it would make charging your phone an afterthought. To charge, all you have to do is slip your phone into the special charging pocket inside the purse! Whether you’re at work or out on the town, your Everpurse will keep your phone charged all day long. You can carry your Everpurse inside a bigger bag, or by itself. When you get home, simply drop your Everpurse on the white charging mat for wireless charging!
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A wife says to her husband, "You're always pushing me around and talking behind my back."
He says, "What do you expect? You're in a wheel chair!"
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Because I'm a man, I can be relied upon to purchase basic groceries at the store, like milk or bread. I cannot be expected to find exotic items like "cumin" or "tofu." For all I know, these are the same thing.
And never under any circumstances expect me to pick up anything for which "feminine hygiene product" is a euphemism.
(F.Y.I. guys--cumin is a spice and not a bodily function)
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Goat testicles
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A fellow at Windsor, who lately ate a cat, has given another proof of the brutality of his disposition — an instance too ferocious and sanguinary, almost, to admit of public representation.He was at a public-house at Old Windsor, one day in the course of last week, and, without apparent cause, walked out of the house, and with a bill-hook severed his hand from his arm. His brutal courage was strongly marked in this transformation; for the inhuman monster made three strokes with the instrument before he could effect his purpose, and at last actually made a complete amputation. He asigns no other reason for this terrible self-attack than his total disinclination to work, and that this step will compel the overseers of his parish to provide for him during the remainder of his life.
General Evening Post, Jan. 30, 1790
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Bedridden for months because of massive breasts
A MUM-OF-FOUR was trapped in her bed for SIX MONTHS by her massive boobs.
Julia Manihuari’s chest grew to a gigantic N cup after the birth of her third son seven years ago – leaving her unable to move.
The 29-year-old said: “It was awful. If I tried to get up I would faint because my breasts were so heavy.”
The pint-sized farmer’s wife, who lives in northern Peru, was finally helped when local media paid for her to take a three-day boat trip to the nearest town for medical help.
Doctors diagnosed an extreme form of Bilateral Gynecomastia – an illness where the mammary gland keeps growing.
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"McDonald's announced they're going to start posting for the first time ever the calorie count of their menu items. Not to be outdone, Cinnabon announced they will start announcing their death toll." -Conan O'Brien
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"A new poll claims that 58 percent of Americans believe Barack Obama would beat Mitt Romney in a fistfight. I didn't realize that was an option. Maybe we can wrap this election up tonight. Make it a pay-per-view event. We could wipe out the national debt in one night." -Jimmy Kimmel
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"A new survey found that the tooth fairy left about 42 cents less in 2011 than it did the year before. When kids lose teeth now, they're like, 'Ehh, I'm gonna hold onto this until the market improves.'" -Jimmy Fallon
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Bus Stop – with swings and music
21 Balançoires takes over a newly open space in front of Université du Québec à Montréal’s Science Faculty. Together with Luc-Alain Giraldeau, an animal behaviour professor from the faculty, we explored the topic of cooperation which states that together we achieve better things than separately.
The result is a giant collective instrument made of 21 musical swings; each swing in motion triggers different notes, all the swings together compose a piece, but some sounds only emerge from cooperation. The project stimulates ownership of the new space, bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds, and creating a place for playing and hanging out in the middle of the city centre.
We owe the musical interpretation of this playful experiment to composer Radwan Ghazi-Moumneh.
Bravo!
Thanks Ed ~ I didn't know about the music ~ tres cool!
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anacronym
n. an acronym whose derivation few can remember
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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Benham%27s_Disc.svg
Cut out this disc, pierce it with a pencil, and spin it like a top. The colors that appear are not entirely understood; it’s thought that they arise due to the different rates of stimulation of color receptors in the retina. The effect was discovered by the French monk Benedict Prévost in 1826, and then rediscovered 12 times, most famously by the toy maker Charles E. Benham, who marketed an “artificial spectrum top” in 1894. Nature remarked on it that November: “If the direction of rotation is reversed, the order of these tints is also reversed. The cause of these appearances does not appear to have been exactly worked out.”
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For a romantic touch, I washed our sheets with lavender-scented fabric softener. When my husband got into bed, he sniffed. "What's this?" he asked.
"Guess," I said coyly.
"I have no idea," he said. "It smells like the stuff you use to line the hamster's cage."

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The dogs next door get a little noisy, so one day somebody called animal control to complain. When the officers arrived, I heard my neighbor tell them, "Hey, dogs bark. It's human nature."
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The streets are safe in Philadelphia. It's only the people who make them unsafe.
-- Frank Rizzo, ex-police chief and mayor of Philadelphia
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Weather delayed Tuesday night’s Pirates-Cubs bout at Wrigley Field for several hours, and by the end of the 3-0 Pittsburgh win there weren’t many fans left in the ballpark. There was, however, one guy who really wanted to get on TV.
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Is this us?
Thanks Mike, I fear it is...
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Learn a lesson from your dog:
No matter what life brings you, kick some grass over that shit and move on.
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Alternative Medicines
As nonconventional medical treatments become increasingly mainstream, we take a look at the science behind some of the most popular.
Alternative medicines are becoming more popular every day, in spite of the (sometimes incredibly) shaky science behind them. This article discusses the evidence behind some of the most popular - including probiotics, acupuncture, medical marijuana, psychedelic drugs and herbal remedies.
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The Drake equation was devised in 1961 by Frank Drake, the Emeritus Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He devised it as a means of predicting the number of other intelligent civilizations in our galaxy, and it is used by the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute for this purpose.
Using his equation, Drake calculated initially that there are a minimum of 1,000 intelligent civilizations in our galaxy alone.

For more information on the Drake equation, check out SETI here: http://bit.ly/VkOig5
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Move over shark week, we've got a sea creature that will kill you with cuteness! From September 23-29 the Oregon Zoo will be hosting Sea Otter Awareness week http://bit.ly/Qxoeew
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This gorgeous creature is Chrysolina cerealis, also known as the rainbow leaf beetle. They're found throughout Eurasia, and are about 8mm long. Typically, the females are larger than the males.
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Continue to look into the eyes of this 3D cat, until your soul and mind turn into subatomic transcendent mush
6 Small Math Errors That Caused Huge Disasters
Believe it or not, this is an image of salt and pepper (via topdesignmag.com)
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Did you know that giraffes have 20 inch long blue tongues? The tongue is prehensile, and spends a lot of time hanging out so it's generally thought that the colour protects it from sunburn.
Dalai Lama tells his Facebook friends that religion “is no longer adequate”
This past Monday, people who have the Dalai Lama as a Facebook friend found this little gem in their newsfeed.
All the world's major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether.
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The Great Geek Sexism Debate
Over the past few months, three of the most influential conventions in geekdom - Readercon (for science fiction writers), The Amazing Meeting (for skeptics), and DefCon (for hackers) - have been at the center of very public discussions about sexism and sexual harassment in their communities.
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This week's entry in the 'Keeping Portland Weird' contest
StumpTown Kilts (fb feed)
Thanks Andrew Rohr for the picture of you and your friends in your StumpTown Kilts at "Race for the Cure".
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26 Beatnik Slang Words and Phrases We Should All Start Using http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/141912#ixzz26haDhNxV
Plenty of phrases from the first self-described hipster generation have lasted into modern conversation: people still get bent out of shape, annoying people bug us and muscular guys are still built, just to scan the b-words. Here are 26 words and phrases that don’t get much use today, but are worth sneaking into conversation.
1. A shape in a drape
A well-dressed person. “Usually she just wears jeans, but she sure is a shape in a drape in that dress.”
2. Bright disease
To know too much. “He has bright disease. Make sure he doesn’t rat us out.”
3. Claws sharp
Being well-informed on a number of subjects. “Reading Mental Floss keeps your claws sharp.”
4. Dixie fried
Drunk. “It’s Friday and the eagle flies tonight. Let’s go get dixie fried.”
5. Everything plus
Better than good-looking. “He wasn’t just built, he was everything plus.”
6. Focus your audio
Listen carefully. “Shut your trap and focus your audio. This is important.”
7. Gin mill cowboy
A bar regular. (A gin mill is a bar.) “Cliff Clavin was the _flossiest gin mill cowboy of all time.”
8. Hanging paper
Paying with forged checks. “I hope that chick who stole my purse last week goes to jail for hanging paper.”
9. Interviewing your brains
Thinking. “I can see you’re interviewing your brains, so I’ll leave you alone.”
10. Jungled up
Having a place to live, or specific living arrangements. “All I know is that he’s jungled up with that guy he met at the gin mill last month.”
11. Know your groceries
To be aware, or to do things well. (Similar to Douglas Adams’ “know where your towel is.”) “You can’t give a TED Talk on something unless you really know your groceries.”
12. Lead sled
A car, specifically one that would now be considered a classic model. “His parents gave him their old lead sled for his sixteenth birthday.”
13. Mason-Dixon line
Anywhere out of bounds, especially regarding personal space. “Keep your hands above the Mason-Dixon line, thanks.”
14. Noodle it out
Think it through. “You don’t have to make a decision right now. Noodle it out and call me back.”
15. Off the cob
Corny. “Okay, some of this old Beat slang is kinda off the cob.”
16. Pearl diver
A person who washes dishes. “I’m just a pearl diver at a greasy spoon, but it’s a job.”
17. Quail hunting
Picking up chicks. “I’m going quail hunting and you’re my wingman.”
18. Red onion
A hole in the wall; a really crappy bar. “I thought we were going somewhere nice but he just took me to the red onion on the corner.”
19. Slated for crashville
Out of control. “That girl’s been in college for five minutes and is already slated for crashville.”
20. Threw babies out of the balcony
A big success; interchangeable with “went down a storm.” “I was afraid the party would suck, but it threw babies out of the balcony.”
21. Used-to-be
An ex, a person you used to date. “I ran into my used-to-be in Kroger’s and I looked terrible.”
22. Varicose alley
The runway in a strip club. “Stay in school or you’ll be strutting varicose alley, girls.”
23. Ways like a mowing machine
An agricultural metaphor for impressive sexual technique, from the song “She’s a Hum Dinger” by Buddy Jones. “She’s long, she’s tall / She’s a handsome queen / She’s got ways like a mowing machine.” (Let us know if any of you ever successfully pull this one off in conversation.)
24. X-ray eyes
To understand something, to see through confusion. “That guy is so smart. He’s got x-ray eyes.”
25. Yard
A thousand dollars. “Yeah, it’s nice, but rent is half a yard a week. Let’s jungle up somewhere else.”
26. Zonk on the head
A bad thing. “It stormed all night and we lost power, but the real zonk on the head was when hail broke the bedroom window.”
These were collected from Straight From the Fridge, Dad: A Dictionary of Hipster Slang by Max Décharné and A Historical Dictionary of American Slang. The first is exceptional in its completeness and worth purchasing if you love dictionaries, and the second is free online and easily searchable. Try them both!
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Meet a serious contender for the title of worlds ugliest fish - the blobfish.
The blobfish grows to about 12 inches long, and is found in the waters of south eastern Australia up to depths of 800 metres. They are inedible, but are often dragged up alongside other more palatable ocean dwelling creatures, such as crabs and lobsters. Because of this, their numbers are declining fast.
The flesh of the blobfish is only slightly less dense than water, meaning that it floats above the sea floor without needing to spend energy on swimming. It has relatively little muscle and spends its time bobbing along the sea floor swallowing whatever happens to float in front of it.
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Cute Kittens Fly in Slow Motion to Hip Hop Dubstep

Before you go all crazy on me for "hurting" cats, you should know that the cats were handled with GREAT care. We decided to keep the shot tight on the cats so that they did not need to be airborne very long. The cats were tossed a few feet into an enormous and ultra soft sheepskin blanket. The cats were treated like royalty. They were fed gourmet cat food and lots of water. We took many breaks where the kittens rested and played in the shade. They were full of energy the entire shoot which lasted a mere one hour. This video was shot six months ago and the cats are alive and in perfect health today. I love cats and would never even consider harming them...so please stop sending me death threats.
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Rehearsal for the Bergamo fashion shoot
Bergamo: A Cut Above
Project Energy Photo Shoot!
Bryson Andres photo shoot
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It takes a big man to cry, but it takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man. - Jack Handey, Saturday Night Live
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Olin Miller:
"You probably wouldn't worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do."
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At bedtime, when my wife asks "Is everything shut-up for the night ?"
I always patiently reply, "Everything 'else' is, dear."
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There was a young lady named Clair
Who possessed a magnificent pair.
Or at least so I thought,
Till I saw one get caught
On a thorn, and began losing air.
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Dont forget to rinse
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You can distinguish a raw egg from a hard-boiled one by spinning it.
The reason for this was puzzled out only in 2002 by mathematicians Keith Moffat of Cambridge University and Yatuka Shimomura of Keio University. Friction between the egg and the table produces a gyroscopic effect, and the egg trades some kinetic energy for potential energy, raising its center of gravity. The raw egg can’t do this because its runny interior lags behind the shell. Moffat wrote:
Place a hard-boiled egg on a table,
And spin it as fast as you’re able;
It will stand on one end
With vectorial blend
Of precession and spin that’s quite stable.
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“The Value of a New Point of View”

Sailing westward from the Island of Fata Morgana, I came upon Pierrot in his little white boat. We were old acquaintances, and I asked him if the gods were still using him kindly, and how things were looking on the Moon, his home.
‘I have been away from home for some time,’ he replied, but am just about to return. Will you come with me?’
So I clambered into his little boat, and told my own ship to return to the Island of Fata Morgana. We sailed on and on, Pierrot enlivening the dim hours with his strange Moon-songs, until at last he brought the boat to anchor in a little bay, and I landed, for the first time, at the pale country of the Moon.
‘You know,’ I said to Pierrot, as we wandered among the fantastic green shadows, ‘I have always longed to visit the Moon. The World is so dull, now, and the Moon always seemed to us such a mad and merry place.’
Pierrot stared — ‘That is very strange! Up here we have always believed the reverse of that. And with good reason. Look for yourself!’ and he led me to the edge of the Moon; we peered over, and there, far below, was the great shining World, looking as big as ten Moons, and a hundred times madder and merrier.
‘Pierrot,’ I cried, ‘I have mis-judged the World! Good-bye, my friend!’ and I leaped into space.
I landed on the roof of the Headquarters of the Society for the Extension of Commercial Careers for Women.
– J.B. Priestley, Brief Diversions, 1922
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Football action
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Dutch artist Diddo created a work called The Cure For Greed, consisting of a gold-plated syringe containing ink collected from U.S. currency. Read the artist's statement and see photographs at his site. Link
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First, boil the onions to soften them. Then core them down to one or two layers. Don't go too thin, or you'll later suffer a containment breach. Fill them with the soufflé mix and bake for 30 minutes at about 400°F.
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Dog cops
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http://youtu.be/akfQUe0LagU
During a high-speed chase, alleged bank robbers threw handfuls of money out their vehicle’s window, before police caught two armed suspects in front of several hundred bystanders on Wednesday.
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Muhammad Ali - The Greatest Tribute
http://www.evtv1.com/video/Muhammad_Ali___The_Greatest_Tribute.aspx
Honoring the greatest boxer of all time, the US Olympic Team and DJ Steve Porter compiled this music video in 2012.

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Save the chemicals. Safer and cheaper household products can often do the job of poisonous chemicals like drain cleaners. And even if they don't you can always fall back on the commercial products...but no reason not to try this first!
Unclog your drains almost instantly! Drop a couple of Alka- Seltzer tablets down the opening, then pour in a cup of vinegar. Wait a few minutes and then run the hot water at full force to clear the clog. This is also a good way to eliminate kitchen drain odors
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QUOTE: "I get mail; therefore I am."

HINT: (1957-), American creator of the Dilbert comic strip.

ANSWER: Scott Adams.
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RANDOM TIDBITS

In 1978, the USPS began offering first-class stamps marked with a letter code "A" instead of its denomination, 15 cents. The code advanced with rate increases as follows: "B" (18 cents, in 1981), "C" (20 cents, later in 1981), "D" (22 cents, 1985), "E" (25 cents, 1988), "F" (29 cents, 1991), "G" (32 cents, 1994), and finally "H" (33 cents, 1999). The series was then discontinued.

Few Americans take advantage of the Media Mail rate available at the local post office. Media items (books, audio, and video recordings, CDs and DVDs, and more) that are not considered advertising materials may be sent at a much cheaper rate than first-class mail.

By sending an envelope and money for postage to the postmaster at a post office where a stamp is being issued, you can receive free First Day Covers, which are specially postmarked "first day of issue" and are considered collectible.

In 1975, a unique tie-in allowed post offices in both the United States and the Soviet Union to sell two pairs of
stamps with the same design. They were issued in honor of the Apollo-Soyuz space mission that year, in which crafts from the two nations linked together and shared time in space.

Canada uses two-letter postal abbreviations just like the United States. Here's the list: Alberta (AB), British Columbia (BC), Manitoba (MB), New Brunswick (NB), Newfoundland and Labrador (NF), Northwest Territories (NT), Nova Scotia (NS), Nunavut (NU), Ontario (ON), Price Edward Island (PE), Quebec (PC or QC), Saskatcheswan (SK), and Yukon Territory (YT).

Flat-rate Priority Mail is a bargain for items that fit the post office's requirements. If a 70-pound item fits into one of the two flat-rate box sizes provided by the USPS, you can send it cross-country for under $10. Using Priority Mail to send a larger item of the same weight will cost many times as much over the same distance.
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Playing catch
Skeletons made of light cavort like you and I do -sort of. They do seem to have a lot of fun! The 65 photographs called "Afterlife" are the creations of light sculptor Darius Twin. The rest are posted at Flickr. Link
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In the autumn of 2007, a team of Southern Adventist University's animation students set out to create a short film based on a simple parable. Intended to be completed during the course of a year, the project turned into a five year journey. The result is 'Rock in the Road,' a twelve-minute animated mix of 3D and 2D animation that tells the story of strength of character in a faraway kingdom. Fed up with his lazy and selfish civilians, the King sets out a small challenge for his people. A young boy is faced with the challenge and triumphs in the test that values others.
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With an ad like that, who doesn't want to ride the bus? Danish public transportation agency Midttrafik commissioned this spot by agency M2Film to make riding the bus sexy and exciting again.
Hit play or go to Link [YouTube] (Don't worry, SFW) - via Co.Exist
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Scientists at CERN have smashed together various particles for the first time, moving closer to learning what was in the super-hot plasma wonderland that formed right after the primeval Big Bang
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The first running of the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy was on September 14, 1904, the oldest and craziest road race in the world. Today, we think of the Tourist Trophy race as one of the most insane sporting events on the globe. It's a motorcycle race that takes place on the Isle of Man, a 221 square mile rock between England and Ireland. Motorcycles of all shapes, sizes and configurations race over a 37-mile course made up of everyday public roads at speeds that most people would consider crazy at best, and suicidal if they were trying to be accurate. The course is laid out on normal roads that are narrow, tight, twisty and in various sections, lined with fence posts, rock walls, stone building, gas stations and the like.
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"As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is, to use it as sparingly as possible; avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts, which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burthen, which we ourselves ought to bear."
-- Farewell Address, Sep. 17, 1796
"However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion."
-- Farewell Address, Sep. 17, 1796
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There's just one sculpture in the photograph, seen directly and reflected at an angle in a mirror.

Artist: Francis Tabary, via Mighty Optical Illusions.
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How To Draw A Cartoon Pirate
One of the biggest made-up holidays we love to celebrate on the internet, if not in real life, is Talk Like a Pirate Day, which is this Wednesday! You don't have to be an "Arrr-tist" to leave your mark with a little pirate cartoon. It's easy to draw, thanks to a tutorial by Mark Anderson of Andertoons. Link
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Animated Tower
http://youtu.be/DG20nWOb7Ks
This animation was made by people opening and shutting window shutters on the 11-story HESAV (Health High School Vaud) in Switzerland. It was produced by Guillaume Reymond for NOTsoNOISY. The second half of the video shows what making this was like from the other side. -via The Dailiy What
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On The Origin of Success
A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. A blog of a thousand posts starts with a single word. But what about successful people, companies, and inventions? How did they get their start? What happened on their (often long and winding) road to success?
That's the focus of Neatorama's newest blog, On the Origin of Success, where you'll find the story of what famous people did before they become famous, how entrepreneurs build iconic companies, how ordinary things we use every day often have extraordinary beginnings.
The title of the blog, On the Origin of Success, is inspired by the seminal work of Charles Darwin, so in his honor, we will inaugurate the blog with a look into the life of the English naturalist, before he became the Father of Evolution. Let's start. We'll have fun along the way: How Charles Darwin Got His Start
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Droplet of Water Inside a Droplet of Water in Space

Photo: André Kuipers/Flickr
On his last day aboard the International Space Station, Dutch astronaut André Kuipers decided to have a little fun with antibubbles.
So what's happening with the refraction of his face being flipped? Bad Astronomy explains: Link
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Police Install Cameras to Watch Cameras
The police in Prince George's County, Maryland, are tired of people vandalizing its speed cameras, so they've decided to do something about it: they're installing cameras to watch those cameras!
So, can someone tell us the obvious flaw in this logic? Ari Ashe of WTOP has the story: Link
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Look Sir, Dapper Stormtroopers!
Our pals over at Geeks Are Sexy went to the Montreal Comic Con 2012, and though they didn't find the droids they were looking for, they did find the most dapper Stormtroopers this side of the Galactic Empire!
Check out the rest of Geeks Are Sexy's photos of cosplayers at the Montreal Comic Con 2012: Link
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That's Not How It's Supposed to Work
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15 Crazy Hangover Cures from Around the World
There's a good chance a few of you have a hangover this morning. If your standby Alka-Selzer-and-cheeseburger remedy isn't doing it for you, you'll be happy to know that there are other options. Well, you'll be happy until you see them. (Sorry in advance for that rabbit-poop tea.) Link -via NerdBastards | Photo
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At 150 meters (492 feet) in height the Monument to African Renaissance dominates the skyline of the Senegalese capital of Dakar. Its scale is quite breath-taking: new monuments of this size are rare and this is the largest statue in Africa. Yet although it was billed as a celebration of the continent's renaissance it has become something of a scandal in the economically distressed African republic. The statue has offended a large part of the population of the country. Unveiled in 2010, it may be a couple of lifetimes before this symbol of a desired renaissance is rehabilitated.
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Butterfly Swarm Sculptures
Artist Tasha Lewis has spent the last month traveling around the US to install her ephemeral butterfly swarms onto metal objects in public urban spaces. Each of her butterflies were made by printing double sided cyanotypes on cotton fabric. After cutting the images, she stiffened them with glue, before hand sewing a small but powerful magnet on the bodies of the butterflies.
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Photography Resources
A comprehensive set of links to some of the best photography resources on the Internet. Great tutorials, photography tips and interesting blogs.
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From the This Is Probably a Bad Idea files, here is a collection of Fifty Shades of Grey tie-in products that maybe should have been considered more carefully before actually hitting production. From onesies of questionable taste to seemingly themed cooking classes (what??), here they are. (SFW unless you're just not allowed to be online at work.) Link | Image
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The Astronomical Unit now has a fixed value
If, for whatever (sad, sad) reason you were taking bets on where the Very Official measure of one Astronomical Unit (AU) would land, it’s time to pony up some cash or buy yourself a new fancy calculator. The new standard measurement was adopted by the International Astronomical Union as 149,597,870,700 metres — no more, no less. Formerly, the AU was an equation derived from the radius of “an unperturbed circular Newtonian orbit about the Sun of a particle having infinitesimal mass, moving with a mean motion of 0.01720209895 radians per day (known as the Gaussian constant).” And now it’s a nice, normal, totally uniform number. You’re welcome Geeks, and thank you, Science. Was that so difficult?
For the wobbly history of the Astronomical Unit’s value (which is far more interesting than it reads here), check out the full story on [Nature].
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Martian "blueberries"

This mosaic image shows spherules, or 'blueberries,' partly embedded and spread over the soil on Mars. The image is from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity at Meridiani Planum. The image is a mosaic of three separate images; each image is approximately 2.5 cm (1 inch) across. (Image courtesy NASA/JPL/Cornell University.)
They may be markers of former life on Mars.
One such tantalising hint was discovered by the NASA Opportunity Rover, which found small spherical hematite balls, dubbed ‘blueberries,’ in the Martian soil...

Now researchers from the University of Western Australia and University of Nebraska have found that such iron-oxide spheroids, when they appear on Earth, are formed by microbes...

On Earth, such spherical iron-oxide concretions are commonly found on beaches and deserts around the world. Similar examples to those discovered on Mars have been found in the Jurassic Navajo Sandstone near the Colorado River, Utah, where the concretions range in size from small marbles to cannonballs and consist of a hard shell of iron oxide surrounding a softer sandy interior...
First “Panoramic” Self Portrait of Mars Curiosity Release
Revisiting this Mars Curiosity Rover self-portrait, after seeing this one again. But really it’s to call attention to this new interactive panorama from the Martian surface, which includes a special surprise if you know just where to look.
Source: jtotheizzoe

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http://youtu.be/jlCj9zRzzeg
Check it this totally mind blowing sci-fi short by the two amazing animators @ the Enspire Studio.
Based in Jakarta, Indonesia, Enspire Studio was founded by two individuals who has been in the industry for years.Their portfolio on feature films includes : Transformers : Revenge of the Fallen, Iron Man 1 and 2, Star Trek, Terminator : Salvation, Sanctum, Priest, and Rango, to name a few.
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11 Historical Geniuses And Their Possible Mental Disorders
Studies have shown that there are much higher instances of mental disorder in political leaders and creative geniuses than in the general population. And while it's impossible to be completely sure of a correct diagnosis of a historical figure, that hasn't stopped researchers from making educated guesses. Here's a speculative look at the mental health of 11 of history's big thinkers.
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I only now realized that “Sherlock” is like “Blue’s Clues” for adults…
(Language is NSFW! Wear headphones!)
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bar
Healthy Brains for Children, a non-profit organization in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, wants to reduce the incidence of fetal alchohol syndrome. So it plans to put 100 vending machines in bars to sell pregnancy tests. The idea is that women who suspect that they may be pregnant can check before taking a drink and potentially harming a child's development. There's already one at a bar in Mankato:
Pub 500 co-owner Tom Frederick told ABC News that all proceeds go directly to the organization.
"I don't make a dime on the machine," he said. "We just gave them wall space." Pub 500 supports their dedication to reducing the number of children born with learning disabilities owing to prenatal alcohol exposure.
"It was another worthy cause," he said.
A sign posted above the pregnancy test dispenser warns about the dangers of drinking while pregnant. "A pregnant mother should not be drinking, and there are many cases where she may not even know that she is pregnant," it reads.
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If Star Wars was given a Macross treatment, this is about how it would look.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmyxmvJBjRk
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Ever wonder why you keep seeing Fry from “Futurama” popping up in internet memes? Or Captain Picard expressing his disdain? Or why Boromir from “The Lord of the Rings” keeps on warning you that One Does Not Simply do something? Well, YouTuber hatinhand edited a 4 1/2-minute video depicting some of teh interwebz’ most popular and prolific memes.

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How to think about gravity, animated.
I think that in life, it’s important to remember that everything is attracted to everything else.
What gooooes up, must coooome down …
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Pole in eye
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I think I just fell head-over-heels in love (or at least “really strong like”) with Bunpei Yorifuji’s Wonderful Life With The Elements book. Each element becomes a character, giving a cartoonish face to their particular chemical properties. Sure, some aren’t wearing pants … but minerals do as minerals want (peek through the book preview if you don’t believe me). Periods are divided by their odd haircut choices, and the age of the element since discovery via facial hair. Other physical and chemical characteristics are evident by attire and appearance.
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And this is why you shouldn’t introduce a new species to an established ecosystem
Thanks a lot, people in the 1940s. A totally great idea to introduce a new variety of bird-eating snake to the isolated rainforest of Guam back in the 40s has resulted in a weird imbalance in local fauna, specifically a boom in spider populations. The island is now home to FORTY times as many spiders as neighboring islands, which are not home to the alien snake. (Is anyone else reminded of that episode where the Simpsons go to Australia?) [Discovery News]
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cientists Can Now 3D Print Blood Vessels in Just a Few Seconds • 50 minutes ago • 1
The Future hasn't yet made good on that promise of hoverboards, but we do now have the capability to create new blood vessels quickly, thanks to 3D printing and some innovative techniques. It seems 3D printers, while great for making custom 20-sided dice and tiny companion cubes, is good for more than just churning out knick-knacks.
Nanoengineering professor Stephen Chen and his colleagues have figured out a way to print biological materials like blood vessels in mere seconds. The new process is called Dynamic Optical Projection Stereolithography, or DOPsL, and it actually works a bit like 3D sculpting. Unlike previous techniques of printing blood vessels which required a sugar-based scaffold to be printed first and then covered in stem cells layer-by-layer, this new approach takes a solution of photo-sensitive biopolymers and cells that scientists zap with a laser. When the light hits the cells, they harden, and in a matter of seconds, a form emerges.
For more about 3D printing's current capabilities, including the new vessel-printing technique, check out the rest on Motherboard. Link | Image UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering
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Simultaneously cold and hot, Steve's popsicles will give you a delicious if confusing experience. They're made of just cucumbers, peppers, sugar and lime juice Link -via Tasteologie
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A blackjack dealer and a player with a thirteen count in his hand were arguing about whether or not it was appropriate to tip the dealer.
The player said, “When I get bad cards, it’s not the dealer’s fault. And, when I get good cards,the dealer obviously has nothing to do with it. So, why should I tip him?”
The dealer replied, “When you eat out, do you tip the waiter?”
“Yes, sure I do,” responded the player.
“Well then, he serves you food, and I’m serving you cards. So you see, you should tip me.”
“Okay, I see your point,” agreed the player. “But, the waiter gives me what I ask for … I’ll take an eight.”
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Hyenas Are As Bright As Primates
They were depicted as slobbering, slow-witted beasts by Disney in the hit movie The Lion King, but hyenas are far more intelligent than they have been given credit for. New research has revealed the African carnivores are adept at solving problems and can even 'count.' Scientists now believe the animals may have intelligence levels that match some primates. Hyenas, which are highly social, have been found to assess the size of a competing pack which is invading their territory, by listening to their calls. They will only confront the intruders if the 'count' shows they have a numerical advantage.

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The best way to die
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My Florida friend Sonya went to the Elton John concert in Tampa last night. She said he was good but the opening act “BLEW ME AWAY”.
2 Cellos became an overnight hit by posting a video of themselves playing their own rendition of the song “Smooth Criminal”. They were discovered by Elton John and they are also currently on tour with him.
Here is their original video….
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25 Unfortunate Local News Interviewee Descriptions
True story: One of my friends was once interviewed by the local news during a Black Friday shopping spree. The caption under her name simply read "Woman," which we laughed about for a few minutes and I never remembered until I came across this post. It seems local news interviewees are often labeled unflatteringly, as evidenced by this huge collection on Warming Glow. Link
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San Jose State University students have built a prototype chassis for an omnidirectional motorcycle — which will eventually allow them to not only move sideways and have the bike balance itself, but do total 360′s while driving! The students hope to have their prototype complete and fully operational by the end of the year. You can follow their progress and concepts here.
[Via Geekologie]
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Murphys law for moms
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A little weekend session of Amazing Facts to Blow Your Mind by AsapSCIENCE.
There’s enough “wow” in here to tickle all of your 1,500 Milky Way galaxies worth of synapses.
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http://youtu.be/jTizCBVConA
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Leo Parente and ShakeDown visit the location for all the wet traction and noise control testing that Pirelli does for all its street tires and many of its race and rally tires.
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Dresden, Germany, Test Drives Longest Ever Bus
Dresden in Germany has unveiled the Autotram Extra Grand, a long bus meant to revolutionize public transport systems, combining the capacity of a train with the manoeuvrability of a bus. It's 30 metres (98 feet) long and can carry 256 passengers along busy urban streets anywhere. Designed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems, the bus is currently undergoing tests in special facilities outside the city, but is set to make its debut in Dresden traffic - on normal routes with real passengers - in October.
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They're so cute when they're too small to maul you to death. According to The FW, YouTube user pennywhelan took the footage in her backyard. It's not terribly uncommon — if you live in the right area — but it never hurts to add another video of baby animals doing something adorable to the internet. Link
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Truck accidents usually make a mess on the road, but this truck roll over in the Brazilian town of Manaus made a particularly colorful mess. The truck was carrying about 28,000 pounds of paint when it tipped over: Link - via Bored Panda
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Perhaps the world’s most ambitious flowchart, a diagram of future discovery, never realized. Super hi-res PDF version here, for your perusal and inspiration.
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We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but is somewhat beauty and poetry.
Maria Mitchell (1818-1889), astronomer and first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (via ikenbot)
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Cymbals
The anatomy of the cymbal plays a large part in the sound it creates. The hole is drilled in the center of the cymbal and it is used to either mount the cymbal on a stand or straps (for hand playing). The bell, dome, or cup is the raised section immediately surrounding the hole. The bell produces a higher "pinging" pitch than the rest of the cymbal. The bow is the rest of the surface surrounding the bell. The bow is sometimes described in two areas: the ride and crash area. The ride area is the thicker section closer to the bell while the crash area is the thinner tapering section near the edge. The edge or rim is the immediate circumference of the cymbal.
Cymbals are measured by their diameter often in inches or centimeters. The size of the cymbal affects its sound, larger cymbals usually being louder and having longer sustain. The weight describes how thick the cymbal is. Cymbal weights are important to the sound they produce and how they play. Heavier cymbals have a louder volume, more cut, and better stick articulation (when using drum sticks). Thin cymbals have a fuller sound, a lowered pitch, and faster response.
The profile of the cymbal is the vertical distance of the bow from the bottom of the bell to the cymbal edge (higher profile cymbals are more bowl shaped). The profile affects the pitch of the cymbal; Higher profile cymbals have higher pitch.
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According to a top religion scholar, this 1,600-year-old text fragment suggests that some early Christians believed Jesus was married—possibly to Mary Magdalene
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Portland On The Web: Guardian, Los Angeles Times, Conde Nast Traveler

Bastion of chic Conde Nast paid a visit to humble Portland town this week to sample our fair-trade coffee beans, artisanal cheeses and 'nineteen-century-style facial hair'. The author notes a distressing abundance of the use of the word 'rad' by locals.

In other unfair news, in what twisted universe does Seattle win out over Portland as the new shooting location for Top Chef? Meanwhile, we're stuck with The Real World cast ruining everyone's Pizza Schmizza.

It's not all bad though, just ask the Oregon Zoo's resident sea otters Eddie and Thelma who are helping to bring sea otters back to the Oregon Coast using an effective combination of fuzzy bellies, wet noses and cute little flippers.

Here is a round-up of the goings-on in Portland this week:
Conde Nast Traveler: Puttin' on the Portlandia
Georgia Telegraph: Is Portland really where young people go to retire?
KGW: Oregon Zoo steps up for sea otter preservation
OregonLive: Hoyt Arboretum unveils 250 trail and interpretive signs
Eater: Talk Show 'The Chew' to film in Portland next week
Los Angeles Times: Pittock Mansion: French Renaissance showplace in Portland, Ore.
Guardian: Ocean Drive: A trip around Portland, Ore.
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This is the Blue Lagoon Spa located close to Reykjavik, Iceland.

The pools are heated by geothermal energy, and the temperature averages 37-39°C.

The source of the energy comes from the processes associated with the opening of the Atlantic Ocean and the MOR which stretches across Iceland, and the spa and pools themselves are formed in a solidified lava field.
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"A 66-year-old deputy U.S. attorney general in South Carolina lost his job after police discovered him at a cemetery with an 18-year-old stripper, a bag of sex toys, and a bottle of Viagra. To be fair, people do grieve differently." -Jay Leno
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Rosy, posing thoughtfully in the mirror, says to Nina, "I think I'm going to see a dietician."
Nina asked, "Why?"
Rosy answered, "'Cause I need to know once and for all, how many calories are in sperm."
Nina replied, "I really have no clue, but if you're swallowing that much of it, no guy is going to care if you're a little chunky."
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"I read that the Apple executive who designed the iPhone just bought a new $17 million mansion in California. And if there's any justice at all, he'll find out the new house isn't compatible with any of the furniture from his last house." -Jimmy Fallon
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"A lot of people make money off of weddings, such as caterers, photographers, and divorce lawyers." -Craig Ferguson
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"Arnold Schwarzenegger has written a new book about his affair with his Hispanic housekeeper, and the book is actually called 'Total Recall.' In response, she's written a book about their affair called 'Alien vs. Predator.'" -Conan O'Brien
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I suppose it speaks volumes about the state of my marriage when I admit to nodding knowingly at a remark made by a colleague. She was telling me about the death of another co-worker's spouse, when she commented, "How sad. They'd been married only five years, so I imagine she still loved him."
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On the way back from a Cub Scout meeting, my grandson asked my son the question. "Dad, I know that babies come from mommies' tummies, but how do they get there in the first place?" he asked innocently.
After my son hemmed and hawed awhile, my grandson finally spoke up in disgust. "You don't have to make something up, Dad. It's OK if you don't know the answer."
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Whoever does not regard what he has as most ample wealth, is unhappy, though he be master of the world.
--Epictetus
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Think Fast
How many words are in Picasso's full name?
2
4
5
23

(Think Fast Answer: 23) He was baptized with the name Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso, a series of names honoring several saints and relatives.
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If the past, by bringing surprises, did not resemble the past previous to it (what I call the past's past), then why should our future resemble our current past?
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Thetrouser snake

Note: not a trouser, and not a snake. Or a penis for that matter.
This bizarre amphibian was Brazil after the Madeira River was drained to make way for a new dam. At the bottom, they found six of these strange creatures wriggling about in the mud. Around 30 inches long, they look bizarrely like huge grey penises - or perhaps that's just my dirty mind?
Many news sources have reported this as a new discovery, but it was actually first found and described in 1968.
After study zoologists have confirmed that these were a new species of caecilian (a type of legless amphibian) with no lungs. Named Atretochoana eiselti, biologists are currently not aware of any living populations.

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Remember that you are a Black Swan.
--Nassim Taleb, Author and Essayist
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Discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.
--Thomas Edison
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It is my great hope someday, to see science and decision makers rediscover what the ancients have always known. Namely that our highest currency is respect. --Nassim Taleb, Author and Essayist
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All clownfish start out as males. Then as they mature, some become females. Clownfish live in small groups with a very strict hierarchy - only the dominant male and female are allowed to mate and have offspring. When the female dies, the dominant male becomes a female and replaces her. All the other males move up one rank in the hierarchy.
So in Finding Nemo II, we might see Nemo become Nemina!
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"We used to have to pay for music or make it ourselves; playing, hearing and experiencing it was exceptional, a rare and special experience. Now hearing it is ubiquitous."

— David Byrne of the Talking Heads, How Do Our Brains Process Music?
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Sex With Watermelons Certified to Be 100% Safe
It’s a great day for grotesque, socially inept men who need a sexual release using something other than their hand. The American Medical Safety Board (AMSB) released findings today that prove that having sex with a very watermelon will likely be sexed up tonight watermelon is perfectly safe and it can be assumed that thousands of watermelons will be punished tonight.
Gallagher is known for pounding melons in more way than one.”We couldn’t be happier,” declared comedian Gallagher, who is the world’s leading expert on the fruit. “Watermelons have always held a special place in my heart. But for years, I feared that my aggressive sexual behaviour would eventually lead to a severe injury. I truly feel blessed today.”
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Good HEADline
Penis headline
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NSFW iPad
Ryan Kelly sexy avec son iPad
Lorsque Ryan Keely utilise son iPad pour montrer ses seins, ça donne une publicité très chaude et gratuite pour le dernier objet tendance d'Apple.
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Green dream farmhouse: 8 ideas
Get inspired by a super-efficient, solar-powered home with passive heating and cooling.
If you’d like to know more about Richard and Susan’s farm, visit Susan’s charming blog, The Shambles Under Highland Butte,. She has posted photos of the design and construction with some background, like the entry on their giant attic beam.
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How a Parrot Learns its Name in the Wild

Biologist Karl Berg asks the question, "How do parrots learn their names?" Are they genetically encoded or are the learned from their parents? In this video, Producer Marc Dantzker delves into Karl's work and explains how this simple question is shedding light on one of nature's most complex communication systems.
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Quick Thinking
A singular incident occurred in the last run of the Fitzwilliam Hounds, which affords another illustration of the cunning of the fox, and which placed the pack in considerable peril. The ‘find’ took place at Wadworth-wood, and the fox after heading for Rossington Station at a rattling pace, suddenly turned in the direction of Loversall village, where he sought concealment in a bed of rushes near the Carrs. He was, however, speedily compelled to quit his hiding place, and then made again for the railway, where he deliberately lay down on the permanent way and refused to budge. An express train was rapidly approaching, and the pack, being in imminent danger of getting upon the line and being cut to pieces, the huntsman reluctantly and with considerable difficulty drew off the hounds. The fox maintained his position until the express got within a short distance and then quietly made off. – Times, Dec. 24, 1884
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Fuck moderation
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How you can be tracked by your car or cell phone

First, re your car. A Salon column explains that automated license-plate readers tied to data analysis and storage capability allow your movements to be tracked:
The inconspicuous devices are sometimes installed at fixed points, as the DEA has been doing in several border states, but they’re most often mounted on local police cruisers, where they automatically scan and record every license plate that comes within range of their optical sensor.

When they pass an LPR-equipped police car, drivers both innocent and guilty have their whereabouts recorded and tagged with GPS coordinates, along with a color photo and a time stamp. The resulting information is often kept for years, allowing law enforcement to engage in a kind of retroactive surveillance to find out who was where, and at what time.

The data is collected and accessed without the need for warrants or probable cause, because courts have so far held that a license plate – which, after all, is posted very clearly on every driver’s bumper – can’t be considered private information. Privacy advocates think the courts may reevaluate that stance, as LPR systems become so widespread that they allow for tracking on a massive scale.
There's discussion at the link as to whether or to what extent this is an invasion of privacy. For the cell phone, see Cory Doctorow's post at BoingBoing:
Cell phones are tracking devices that make phone calls. It’s sad, but it’s true. Which means software solutions don’t always matter. You can have a secure set of tools on your phone, but it doesn’t change the fact that your phone tracks everywhere you go. And the police can potentially push updates onto your phone that backdoor it and allow it to be turned into a microphone remotely, and do other stuff like that. The police can identify everybody at a protest by bringing in a device called an IMSI catcher. It’s a fake cell phone tower that can be built for 1500 bucks. And once nearby, everybody’s cell phones will automatically jump onto the tower, and if the phone’s unique identifier is exposed, all the police have to do is go to the phone company and ask for their information...

...remember that whatever governments can do with technology, organized criminals can do too (this is doubly true of back-doors that governments mandate in telecoms equipment and software to make spying easier -- they can be used by anyone, not just "good guys").
More info at the link, and many useful reader comments.
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If you have ever been in college, chances are you have pulled an "all-nighter" at some point in your academic career, but you may not know that cramming all night reduces your ability to retain information by up to 40 percent. Enter the power of the nap.


Random Facts:

Studies have found napping raises your stamina 11 percent, increases ability to stay asleep all night by 12 percent, and lowers the time required to fall asleep by 14 percent.

A little group called NASA discovered that just a 26-minute nap increases performance by 34 percent and alertness by 54 percent. Pilots take advantage of NASA naps while planes are on autopilot.
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A masked streaker gets away from an exhibition at a Florida High School football game.
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QUOTE: "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future."

HINT: (1885-1962), Danish physicist, first to apply the quantum theory, won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1922.

ANSWER: Niels Bohr.
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Example of socialized medicine
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Every day, one-third of the people of Copenhagen ride their bikes to work or school. Collectively, they cycle more than 750,000 miles daily, enough to make it to the moon and back. And city officials want even more people to commute, and over longer distances. So a network of 26 new bike routes, dubbed "the cycling superhighway," is being built to link the surrounding suburbs to Copenhagen...

One of the first things you learn about these bike lanes is that you have to move in fast. This is not leisurely biking — this is serious stuff in Copenhagen... Each mile of bike highway will cost about $1 million. The project is to be financed by the city of Copenhagen and 21 local governments. And in a country where both right- and left-leaning politicians regularly ride bikes to work, it has bilateral support...

Several innovations are being tested, like "green wave" technology, which times traffic lights to suit bikers. If you maintain a certain pace, you can ride all the way through into the city without stopping. There are also footrests with bars to lean on at traffic lights, and a bike pump every mile in case you have a flat...

Once the highway network is completed, an estimated 15,000 additional people will switch from driving to biking. And that, say officials, will have a direct impact on the environment, public health and finances.
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Two bygone amusements that we’re well rid of:
In fox tossing, popular in the 17th century, foxes would be released into an arena in which slings were laid between pairs of participants. If a fox crossed a sling, they would fling it into the air, usually killing or severely injuring it. The highest toss won the contest.
In goose pulling, a live goose was tied by its feet to a rope stretched over a course, and each competitor would ride under it at full speed and try to pull off its head.
“This pastime is not one to be commended on the score of humanity,” noted Baily’s Magazine of Sports & Pastimes in 1902, “but it did something to test horsemanship; the goose we may be sure did not hang in a state of resigned quietude, and if the horseman had not a good seat he ran an excellent chance of coming a heavy cropper in his attempt to seize the writhing neck.”
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While diving in the semi-tropical region of Amami Oshima, roughly 80 ft below sea level, Ookata spotted something he had never seen. And as it turned out, no one else had seen it before either...

On the seabed a geometric, circular structure measuring roughly 6.5 ft in diameter had been precisely carved from sand. It consisted of multiple ridges, symmetrically jutting out from the center, and appeared to be the work of an underwater artist, carefully working with tools...
Underwater cameras showed that the artist was a small puffer fish who, using only his flapping fin, tirelessly worked day and night to carve the circular ridges. The unlikely artist – best known in Japan as a delicacy, albeit a potentially poisonous one – even takes small shells, cracks them, and lines the inner grooves of his sculpture as if decorating his piece. Further observation revealed that this “mysterious circle” was not just there to make the ocean floor look pretty. Attracted by the grooves and ridges, female puffer fish would find their way along the dark seabed to the male puffer fish where they would mate and lay eggs in the center of the circle. In fact, the scientists observed that the more ridges the circle contained, the more likely it was that the female would mate with the male.
The lower embed shows how small the fish is in comparison to his artwork. I've seen tiny little scooped-out nests in the sand made by freshwater fish, but never anything this elaborate. It reminds me of the creations of bower birds. Photo and text from Spoon and Tamago, via BoingBoing.
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RANDOM TIDBITS

In 1966, Time Magazine predicted, "By 2000, the machines will be producing so much that everyone in the U.S. will, in effect, be independently wealthy." In that year too CoCo Chanel said about miniskirts: "It's a bad joke that won't last. Not with winter coming."

In 1954, a concert manager fired Elvis Presley, saying, "You ought to go back to driving a truck." In 1962, Decca Records rejected the Beatles, "We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out."

In 1894, A.A. Michelson, who with E.W. Morley seven years earlier experimentally demonstrated the constancy of the speed of light, said that the future of science would consist of "adding a few decimal places to the results already obtained."

After the invention of the transistor in 1947, several US electronics companies rejected the idea of a portable radio. Apparently it was thought nobody would want to carry a radio around. When Bell put the transistor on the market in 1952 they had few takers apart from a small Japanese start-up called Sony. They introduced the transistor radio in 1954.

Irish scientist, Dr. Dionysius Lardner (1793-1859) didn't believe that trains could contribute much in speedy transport. He wrote: "Rail travel at high speed is not possible, because passengers 'would die of asphyxia' [suffocation]."

In 1943, Thomas Watson, the chairman of IBM forecast a world market for "maybe only five computers." Years before IBM launched the personal computer in 1981, Xerox had already successfully designed and used PCs internally... but decided to concentrate on the production of photocopiers. Even Ken Olson, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, said in 1977, "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."

(Courtesy of didyouknow.org)
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Pinned Image
Soldiers in Belarus found a little squirrel and brought it to the Warrant officer. The squirrel was very weak and about to die, so the officer took care of it, fed it like a baby every 4 hours. 3 months ago the guy left the army and now works as a taxi driver - and the squirrel is always in his pocket no matter where he goes!
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Sex matters – Guys recognize cars and women recognize birds best
Women are better than men at recognizing living things and men are better than women at recognizing vehicles.
“These results aren’t definitive, but they are consistent with the following story,” said Isabel Gauthier. “Everyone is born with a general ability to recognize objects and the capability to get really good at it. Nearly everyone becomes expert at recognizing faces, because of their importance for social interactions. Most people also develop expertise for recognizing other types of objects due to their jobs, hobbies or interests. Our culture influences which categories we become interested in, which explains the differences between men and women…”
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Think About It

I am reading a most interesting book about anti-gravity. I just can't put it down.
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In 1604 sky watchers were astonished to see the sudden appearance of a "new star" brighter than the planet Jupiter. One of these witnesses was Johannes Kepler, who viewed the object first on October 17, 1604, and started to systematically study it. As a result, this object is now called Kepler's Supernova in his honor.

Astronomers believe that Kepler's Supernova marked the sudden thermonuclear explosion of a white dwarf star that was pushed over its limit, a so-called "Type Ia" supernova. These explosions are important since they provide astronomers with a way to study the expansion of the Universe over enormous cosmic distances and times. Such studies have led to the conclusion that the Universe has expanded faster than it should have, due to a mysterious force called "dark energy". Because of this, understanding the way in which these Type Ia supernovae occur is an active area of astronomical research.

The image below, from the Chandra X-ray Observatory, shows the complex X-ray glow of the ejecta produced by Kepler's Supernovae as it slams into material in the space around it. The Chandra observation shows a blue arc around one edge of the remnant, suggesting that the entire remnant may be speeding through space, producing a bow shock similar to a boat speeding on a lake. Detailed analysis of the Chandra data also suggest that the explosion may have occurred at a greater distance from earth than previously thought, and was much more powerful.

Image and text courtesy of HEASARC, original found here:http://1.usa.gov/RrKJAA

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“The function of the imagination is not to make strange things settled, so much as to make settled things strange.” — G.K. Chesterton
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  • SOUTH CAMBRIDGE, NY contains 16 different letters.
  • Dorothy Parker left her entire estate to Martin Luther King Jr.
  • STONE AGE = STAGE ONE
  • “You cannot be both fashionable and first-rate.” — Logan Pearsall Smith
  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    So, it turns out that my awe of crows might not be so crazy after all. Do you have any idea how clever these things are? They can use tools. they can make tools. They can recognize faces - and now they can work out the actions of people who are hidden. Someday they will take over the world, and I for one welcome our crow overlords.
    For info on the latest study on these scarily clever birds:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    10 Celebrities Who Spied on the Side
    http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/142262#ixzz26tFDfXsn
    For some of these big-name personalities, spying taught them the skills that made them famous; for others, being famous made them the perfect spies.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Monsters on Antique Maps - [great article]
    The Art of Ironing - [very cool video]
    Carlton Beer Police Chase - [funny video ad]
    Pigeons were once briefly used to carry stock market price reports between Paris and Berlin in the early beginnings of the Reuters news agency. Now, with a world connected by fiber optics and satellite beams, aficionados still train, keep and race pigeons for sport. The membership of Britain's Royal Pigeon Racing Associated is declining, but tens of thousands remain. This year, the 40th annual British Homing World Show of the Year, held in Blackpool, had 2,500 pigeon entries from around the world. -- Paula Nelson ( 27 photos total)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Eight billion years ago, rays of light from distant galaxies began their long journey to Earth. That ancient starlight has now found its way to a mountaintop in Chile, where the newly-constructed Dark Energy Camera, the most powerful sky-mapping machine ever created, has captured and recorded it for the first time.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Beer is the second most popular beverage in the world, right behind tea. It's not surprising since beer, in one form or another, has been around since at least 3100 BC where evidence of brewing was found in western Iran. And there are even more fun facts about the golden nectar.


    Random Facts:

    The first consumer protection law ever written was enacted over beer by Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria in 1516. It was a purity law limiting the ingredients of beer to barley, hops and water.

    American beer is made partially by rice, unlike the beers of other countries. This was invented to give American beer a lighter taste and tap into the market of women buyers.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    QUOTE: "A poem is never finished, only abandoned."

    HINT: (1871-1945), French poet, essayist, and philosopher.

    ANSWER: Paul Valery.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    RANDOM TIDBITS

    Stanley Kunitz, Billy Collins, Louise Gluck, Ted Kooser, and Donald Hall are the men and women who have held the position of U.S. Poet Laureate since the year 2000.

    While the title of the Lydia Child poem "The Boy's Thanksgiving Day" might not ring a bell, it's very likely the work's opening line will: "Over the river and through the woods/to grandmother's house we go..."

    Nipsey Russell was referred to as "The Poet Laureate of Television." The game show regular was known for his witty four-line verses. He said writing them was easy; he began with the punch line and went backward from there.

    The Book of Counted Sorrows is a poetry collection that Dean Koontz regularly refers to in his novels. This book didn't exist until 2003 when, after thousands of requests from readers, he published it in a limited edition.

    Haiku is old, but not as ancient as you might think. While much of Japan's culture and tradition can be traced back as much as 2,500 years, five/seven/five-syllable haiku poetry only dates back to the fifteenth century.

    Oddly, syphilis got its name from a poem. In 1530, physician Girolamo Fracastoro wrote a poem titled "Syphilis" about a young shepard who was the first person afflicted with the disease, and the title became the common name for the STD.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Today, I'm going to fill your head with a little bit of knowledge. I call this - Did you know...?

    Did you know... underwear was originally known as overnads?
    Did you know... it's better to be overhung than hungover?
    Did you know... both your nose and your feet smell?

    That's all I got for you. I told you it was "a little bit of knowledge."
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Two cartons of yogurt walk into a bar. The bartender, who was a tub of cottage cheese, says to them, "We don't serve your kind in here."
    One of the yogurt cartons says back to him, "Why not? We're cultured individuals."
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Q and A Quickies

    Q: Why do hens lay eggs?
    A: If they dropped them, they'd break.

    Q: Why do elephants have trunks?
    A: Because they would look silly with glove compartments.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Mark Lucas Thompson of Alum Creek, West Virginia was charged with animal cruelty and petit larceny in an incident involving his neighbor's pygmy goat.

    Police arrested Thompson in May of last year after neighbors found him in his room standing next to the dead goat and dressed in women's clothing. It was determined that he was high on bath salts when he 'kid' napped the goat and allegedly sexually assaulted it.

    However Circuit Court Judge James Stucky recently ruled that Thompson will not be held criminally responsible for the incident. The decision came after several mental evaluations. Thompson will instead get six months of treatment at a mental hospital.

    Maybe it was the dress that really weighed the decision.

    Almost heaven, West Virginia. Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River...
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Quiz: Test your knowledge of space
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    My Lucky Day

    "This morning I felt that today was going to be my lucky day. I got up at seven, had seven dollars in my pocket, there were seven of us at lunch and there were seven horses in the seven o'clock race - so I backed the seventh."
    "Did he win?"
    "No, he came in seventh."
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Proper technique for examining an undergraduate, from a letter from Lewis Carroll to Henrietta and Edwin Dodgson, Jan. 31, 1855:
    It is the most important point, you know, that the tutor should be dignified and at a distance from the pupil, and that the pupil should be as much as possible degraded.
    Otherwise, you know, they are not humble enough.
    So I sit at the further end of the room; outside the door (which is shut) sits the scout; outside the outer door (also shut) sits the sub-scout: half-way downstairs sits the sub-sub-scout; and down in the yard sits the pupil.
    The questions are shouted from one to the other, and the answers come back in the same way — it is rather confusing till you are well used to it. The lecture goes on something like this:–
    Tutor. What is twice three?
    Scout. What’s a rice tree?
    Sub-Scout. When is ice free?
    Sub-sub-Scout. What’s a nice fee?
    Pupil (timidly). Half a guinea!
    Sub-sub-Scout. Can’t forge any!
    Sub-Scout. Ho for Jinny!
    Scout. Don’t be a ninny!
    Tutor (looks offended, but tries another question). Divide a hundred by twelve!
    Scout. Provide wonderful bells!
    Sub-Scout. Go ride under it yourself!
    Sub-sub-Scout. Deride the dunder-headed elf!
    Pupil (surprised). Who do you mean?
    Sub-sub-Scout. Doings between!
    Sub-Scout. Blue is the screen!
    Scout. Soup-tureen!
    “And so the lecture proceeds. Such is Life.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    One way to look wise is to sit on the corner of your desk, chew on the stem of your glasses, and gaze ruminatively into the middle distance. But this can grow tedious as you wait for people to notice you. This improvement, suggested in 1990 by Adam S. Halbridge, might help:
    It is believed that many adult wearers of eyeglasses … would enjoy having a desirable flavor imparted to them when they chew or suck upon the ends of the temple arms. … [M]any younger children and teen-agers … would also enjoy having a desirable flavor imparted to them if they chew on the temple arms of their sunglasses.
    He proposes adding a chewable cap to each arm — flavored like cinnamon, jalapeno, licorice, or taffy for grownups, fruit or candy for children.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Photo: Ireena Eleonora Worthy/Flickr
    Photographer Ireena Niewenhuis-Worthy snapped this gorgeous photo of a tree that grew out of a dead log in the waters of Fairy Lake, British Columbia, Canada. It's remarkable in that ol' circle-of-life sort of way, where the death of one tree gives live to another.
    Link - via Twisted Sifter and reddit
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    When the Irish say that St. Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland,
    what they don't tell you is that he was the only one who saw any snakes!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Antique is just another word for second-hand.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "Maybe there is no actual place called hell.
    Maybe hell is just having to listen to our grandparents breathe through their noses when they're eating sandwiches." ~ Jim Carey.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    In this animated Taiwanese video, Next Media Animation TV humorously explains the ‘mile-high masturbation’ issue found in Cathay Pacific’s business class section. Apparently, it has to do with the flat-bed seats, the hot flight attendants and the in-flight TV entertainment. Cathay Pacific Business Class: There is no other way to fly, especially on long-haul routes to Europe and the US. But has Hong Kong’s flagship carrier designed its Business Class section to accommodate perverts? On long-haul flights, it’s not uncommon to spot male passengers masturbating under their blankets as they recline in their flat-bed seats.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Man goes to see the Rabbi. "Rabbi, something terrible is happening and I have to talk to you about it."
    The Rabbi asked, "What's wrong?"
    The man replied, "My wife is poisoning me."
    The Rabbi, very surprised by this, asks, "How can that be?"
    The man then pleads, "I'm telling you, I'm certain she's poisoning me, what should I do?"
    The Rabbi then offers, "Tell you what. Let me talk to her, I'll see what I can find out and I'll let you know."
    A week later the Rabbi calls the man and says, "Well, I spoke to your wife. I spoke to her on the phone for three hours. You want my advice?"
    The man anxiously says, "Yes."
    "Take the poison," says the Rabbi
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Assuming you have any left over from your weekend debauchery, there are a few good ways to put your booze to use. Ways that won't result in arrest or texting your ex at 3am. (You really shouldn't do that.) From moisturizer to deodorizer, alcohol has at least ten alternative applications, all of which are arguably better than its intended use. Link | Image
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I really don't care if you're going to be late for work. I'm chillaxing on this spot and I'll move when I'm ready.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Restrooms Users Watched from Street
    The public facilities at the Standard Hotel in New York City offers a breathtaking view. But don't assume that those floor-to-ceiling windows can't be looked into as well!
    Restroom users at the Boom Boom Room club on the 18th floor are completely visible from the street below as they do their business, thanks to 10-foot, floor-to-ceiling windows.

    The toilet-sitters get wondrous skyline views. But the windows work both ways — much to the chagrin of relief-seekers after they’re told what could be seen from the street.

    “The view outside is exciting, but the view inside is frightening,” said David Langdon, 55, from Melbourne, Australia. “I saw people waving at me! Sitting on the royal throne, you don’t expect a public viewing!”
    The hotel offers no warning and no explanation for the restroom design. Is it meant to be a free peep show? Is it design mistake? Or is it a subtle way to encourage guests to use the restroom somewhere else? Link -via Arbroath
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Q and A Quickies

    Q: What doesn't a ghost need in his house?
    A: A living room!


    Q: What is the surest way to double your money?
    A: Fold it!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    An Aerial First Person View of Burning Man 2012 Shot From a Radio-Controlled Aircraft
    Experimental Airlines flew a hand-constructed radio-controlled aircraft over Black Rock City to film their Black Rock City Aerial Tour, a first person view (FPV) of Burning Man 2012. The aircraft, called the “Ozone”, was piloted using DragonLink UHF control and FatShark Predator video goggles.
    FPV is “first person view” flying of a radio controlled aircraft using a video image from the plane transmitted wirelessly to a viewing station on the ground, using video goggles in my case. This allows safe operation of a small, quiet, electric airplane while taking high-definition video while piloting the plane as if one were sitting in the cockpit. I flew at about 50kph (30mph) at an altitude of of 30m (100ft) over the playa and the city to obtain video for this production, then landed safely right on the inner playa. The plane was operated using the DragonLink long-range UHF system which gives highly-secure control for up to 10 miles range.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "When in doubt, tell the truth." - Mark Twain
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    "I don't think anyone should write their autobiography until after they're dead." - Samuel Goldwyn
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation." - Plato
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    'Martyrdom is the only way in which a man can become famous without ability'
    George Bernard Shaw

    The Top 10 Signs Your Dentist Is Crazy --*

    1. Keeps trying to sell you extra teeth.
    2. His restrooms are labeled "Bleeders" and "Non-Bleeders".
    3. Pumps gas into the waiting room in advance.
    4. Does an extensive search for cavities...dental and body.
    5. He...ummm..licks his tools clean.
    6. Gets mad when you mention that 4 out of 5 dentists surveyed line.
    7. When you come to from being under the gas, he's quick to insist that you wore your pants backwards when you came into his office.
    8. Wears a necklace made of human teeth.
    9. Has a grindstone in the office for his tools.
    10. Insists that a Novocaine shot is something that he'll buy you at a bar if you just go out with him.
    (From Aha! Jokes)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    This is actually a vegetable growing in Brazil called"Chuchu" pronounced shoo-shoo.
    Well well well....They DO grow on trees~

    Look how happy she is!
    No wonder she has lost her front teeth !!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Important Things I Learned From Watching Beetlejuice!
    http://www.i-mockery.com/minimocks/beetlejuice/
    You can't watch Tim Burton's classic '80s horror-comedy without learning a few things. Check out what I-Mockery.com learned with its latest viewing of "The Ghost with the Most, Babe!"
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "A man in Pennsylvania was arrested for planting marijuana on the property of a church. People could tell something was up because instead of communion wafers, the priest was just handing out Barbeque Pringles." -Jimmy Fallon
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    "A man in Albuquerque has registered his dog to vote. Apparently the dog likes the current administration but he's not sure he wants another 28 years of Obama." -Conan O'Brien
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    "Pseudoscience describes theories that sound like science but are actually just made up, like aromatherapy or biorhythms or love." -Craig Ferguson
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    I arrived home to find the place ransacked. Fortunately, my niece and her husband, PJ, were with me.
    Grabbing a golf club out of the trunk, PJ searched the house to make sure the robber was gone. Then he looked at the club a three iron.
    "I should have taken the wedge," he said.
    "Why?" I asked.
    "Lately I've been having trouble hitting anything with my three."
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic
    state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Woman, 102, dotes on 82-year-old car
    Ms. Dunning, left, with her 1930 Packard 740 roadster at the Keels & Wheels concours event last weekend.
    A PAIR Margaret Dunning of Plymouth, Mich., is 101 and her Packard 740 roadster is 81.
    CANTON, Ohio - A 102-year-old woman who brought her 1930 Packard 740 Roadster to an Ohio car show said she still changes her own oil and spark plugs. Margaret Dunning of Plymouth, Mich., said at the 18th annual Glenmoor Gathering of Significant Automobiles at Glenmoor Country Club in Canton the car was in rough shape when she bought it in 1949 but it has since been restored with four upholstery jobs and 22 coats of hand-rubbed lacquer, the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal reported Monday. Dunning said she still often finds herself crawling under the car, which was the first vehicle to ever receive a 100-point score by the Classic Car Club of America, with a funnel and an oil pan. "I love the old cars," she said. "I love the smell of gasoline. It runs in my veins." "The lines of a Packard car are very artistic as far as I'm concerned. My family drove Packards, and I was very proud of the fact. I guess I got indoctrinated," she said. Dunning, who has been driving since she was 8 years old and was about 20 when her Packard rolled off the assembly line, said motoring in her everyday car, a 2003 Cadillac, sometimes gets her in trouble for speeding. "I have lead in my feet," she quipped. "It disturbs the policemen very badly, but it doesn't bother me at all."
    More stories about this amazing woman:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.--Benito Mussolini
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    I cannot escape the objection that there is no state of mind, however simple, that does not change every moment.--Henri Bergson


    I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.
    --Abraham Lincoln
    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Heroes are heroes because they are heroic in behavior, not because they won or lost.
    --Nassim Taleb, Author and Essayist
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    German Shepard on Golf Course

    A golf pro was helping this attractive young woman with her swing when his zipper got caught in the rhinestones on the back of her skirt. Needless to say this was embarrassing to both of them since their relationship had been purely platonic.
    They decided to walk together in this lock-step back to the clubhouse where certainly a pair of needle-nosed pliers would fix the problem.
    Just as they turned the corner to the clubhouse a German Shepherd ran up and threw a bucket of water on them.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The most virtuous are those who content themselves with being virtuous without seeking to appear so.~ Plato
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Fraggle Rock Music Video

    http://thedailywhat.cheezburger.com/tag/fraggle-rock-music-video

    The Fraggles are back courtesy Ben Folds Five and "Do It Anyway, " the first track from their new albumThe Sound Of The Life Of The Mind.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Golden-Possum-with-Baby

    Bailey, WILD LIFE Sydney's Golden Brushtail Possum, may not be a very recent arrival, but he is the first of his kind to appear on ZooBorns, and we just had to share his baby pics! By March of this year, this then 6-month-old, tree-dwelling marsupial and native to Tasmania, had become the zoo's star attraction. The third Golden Brushtail Possum born at the zoo since 2008, Bailey is a testament to WILD LIFE Sydney’s successful breeding program.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Technically speaking, naked implies that a person is unprotected or vulnerable. It also describes something that is unadorned or without embellishment, as in the oft-mentioned naked truth. Nude, on the other hand, means one thing: unclothed.
    Think of it this way: if you doff your duds to pose while descending a staircase for a tasteful painting done by a respected artist, then you’re nude. If a bunch of paparazzi suddenly burst in through the studio door and take your picture without permission, you are suddenly naked.
    And as the late great humorist Lewis Grizzard once pointed out, “Naked is when you ain’t got no clothes on. Nekkid is when you ain’t got no clothes on and you’re up to something.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I don’t want to go off on a tangent or anything …
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PHD Comics takes a look at the post-Higgs usefulness of the Large Hadron Collider. Now that the boson’s been found, it’s gott be worth more than just a big, circular hole in the ground, right? Extra dimensions, anyone? (via Open Culture)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    What happens if you give a scientist some liquid nitrogen and 1,500 ping pong balls?http://i.imgur.com/EYno0.gif
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Oxygen is Killing You
    Hank introduces us to oxygen - the element that makes it possible for most animals to live, but which is simultaneously responsible for a lot of bad things going on in our bodies.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Bilby2
    Two Bilby joeys were born at Perth Zoo in April 2012. The twins, both females, spent around 73 days developing in the safety of their mother’s pouch before she deposited them in the burrow in their exhibit in June. They weighed 242g each at that stage. Once deposited in the burrow, they soon began venturing outside of the burrow. This is the second year in a row Perth Zoo has bred Bilbies. Perth Zoo’s breeding program is part of regional recovery efforts to safeguard the Bilby from extinction. Major threats to the Bilby include foxes and cats, competition from rabbits, and habitat loss.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Led by Kevin Macko, a San Francisco-based space exploration team of engineers and designers, known as the Astronewts, launched a balloon into the sky in June 2010 from Davenport, California that was carrying two GoPro HD Hero cameras. At the peak altitude of 80,000 feet, the balloon burst causing it to fall back to Earth, all the while, the cameras wre capturing footage to its landing spot 70 miles away in Crows Landing. In this video, watch that amazing footage that the cameras caught on their way up and down.
    The Astronewts are a dedicated motley crue of engineers from various disciplines and interests. In particular, we are all balloon enthusiasts, eager to push the boundaries of near space videography. The products of this site are a culmination of many hours of tinkering and testing, from machine shops to rooftops.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Another shot of Endeavour flying over Austin today. I didn’t see it with my own eyes, but I sensed its spacey presence, like a disturbance in the Force. It was as if somewhere, suddenly a great explorer had been grounded. Hope you didn’t miss this epic shot from this morning. (via Statesman.com)
    Another shot of Endeavour flying over Austin today. I didn’t see it with my own eyes, but I sensed its spacey presence, like a disturbance in the Force.
    It was as if somewhere, suddenly a great explorer had been grounded.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    What would an animated map of all the moisture in the world’s atmosphere at this moment look like?

    Something like this (more at the link):
    This is basically all of the water that could precipitate out of the air at any given moment.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The UK’s Royal Observatory has announced their awards for the best astronomy photographers of 2012. There’s an indescribable amount of stellar majesty on display over at their gallery, and I recommend taking a look at the whole collection.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The Science of Procrastination - And How To Manage It
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nBwfZZvjKo
    Another
    vid by the AsapSCIENCE guys that you should only watch if you don’t have something better to do
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`
    It’s one of those classic questions that have tickled the human brain for ages. Let’s take something whose scale we have no way of reconciling, like the number of stars, and compare it to something else whose scale is completely neuron-warping, like the number of grains of sand on every beach.
    Which is bigger?
    This likely isn’t the first time you’ve heard this mind-bender. So I won’t be spoiling it by telling you that stars win … big-time. The universe is a very large place.
    But we don’t have to go big to beat the stars. You’ll never guess how little of a certain common liquid it takes to beat both of those numbers … I’ll leave that to Robert
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The clerk showed the man the store's most expensive perfume. "This is called 'Perhaps'," said the sales clerk. "It's $285 per ounce."
    "Listen," the man shot back, "for $285 an ounce, I don't want something called 'Perhaps'; I want something called..."You Can Bet Your Sweet Ass You'll Get Some !!"
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Healthy Living from Health.com
    SUPERFOODS THAT FIGHT COLDS
    http://health.chtah.net/a/tBQWdAHBFYNexB8uJdHCFNC1EsA/top23
    Sniffles and sneezes may be everywhere, but healthy eating can help you fend off
    germs and build immunity. From oysters to sweet potatoes, these foods can help!
    BANISH DRY SKIN
    Get healthy, moisturized skin with these derm-approved tips
    http://health.chtah.net/a/tBQWdAHBFYNexB8uJdHCFNC1EsA/top24

    A SPOONFUL OF COMFORT
    12 healthy soup recipes to warm you up
    http://health.chtah.net/a/tBQWdAHBFYNexB8uJdHCFNC1EsA/top25

    SMART CHOICES AT THE GROCERY STORE
    What to pick, what to skip when food shopping
    http://health.chtah.net/a/tBQWdAHBFYNexB8uJdHCFNC1EsA/top26
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Little Johnny is in class. The teacher is going through the alphabet, having each child think up a word that starts with a letter. They get to "W", and the teacher figures Little Johnny can't think up anything dirty with a "W" so she calls on him.
    "Womb!", Little Johnny says.
    "That's a good word, Johnny", teacher says. "Is that as in where babies come from?" she asks.
    "No", says Johnny, "That's the sound elephants make when they're screwing... you know, "Womb! Womb! Womb!"
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Tourist guide at zoo: "Ladies and gentlemen, this is the elephant, the largest animal to roam the lands. Every day the elephant eats 3 dozen bunches of bananas, 6 tons of hay, and 2000 pounds of assorted fruits.
    Madam, please don't stand near the elephant's backside.... Madam, PLEASE don't stand near the elephant's backside ... MADAM ... MADAM ..., too late; George, dig her out."
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The State of Florida had a problem. The drug bust over the years had filled their storage areas with Marijuana. It was decided the only option was to burn all of the Marijuana on hand. The eventful day a huge mound of Marijuana was torched. The fire raged and the smoke of the weed raised in a large cloud.
    At this time a flock of Tern's flew through this cloud.
    A group of forest rangers (aka Their environmental watch dogs) were sent out to assure the well-being of the Terns . They followed this flock until they finally landed. The rangers sneaking upon the terns were able to observe and issue a report that read: Not a Tern was left unstoned.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Mowed the lawn today, and after doing so I sat down and had a couple nice cold beers. The day was really quite beautiful, and the brew facilitated some deep thinking on various topics. Finally I thought about an age old question: Is giving birth more painful than getting kicked in the Nuts?

    Women always maintain that giving birth is way more painful than a guy getting kicked in the nuts. Well, after another beer, and some heavy deductive thinking, I have come up with the answer to that question. Getting kicked in the nuts is more painful than having a baby; and here is the reason for my conclusion. A year or so after giving birth, a woman will often say, "it might be nice to have another child." On the other hand, you never hear a guy say, "You know, I think I would like another kick in the nuts." I rest my case.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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