Saturday, July 14, 2012

July 14, 2012 ~ Bastille Day ~ Omnia dicta fortiora si dicta Latina

“Observe from a distance,
but do not join the fray.
Make a fray of your own.”
2012 July 8
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.

Volcano and Aurora in Iceland
Image Credit & Copyright: Sigurdur H. Stefnisson

Explanation: Sometimes both heaven and Earth erupt. In Iceland in 1991, the volcano Hekla erupted at the same time that auroras were visible overhead. Hekla, one of the most famous volcanoes in the world, has erupted at least 20 times over the past millennium, sometimes causing great destruction. The last eruption occurred only twelve years ago but caused only minor damage. The green auroral band occurred fortuitously about 100 kilometers above the erupting lava. Is Earth the Solar System's only planet with both auroras and volcanos?
2012 July
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.

Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails
Image Credit & Copyright: Babak Tafreshi (TWAN)

Explanation: Engraved in rock, these ancient petroglyphs are abundant in the Teimareh valley, located in the Zagros Mountains of central Iran. They likely tell a tale of hunters and animals found in the middle eastern valley 6,000 years ago or more, etched by artists in a prehistoric age. In the night sky above are star trails etched by the rotation of planet Earth during the long composite exposure made with a modern digital camera. On the left, the center of the star trail arcs is the North Celestial Pole (NCP), the extension of Earth's axis into space, with Polaris, the North Star, leaving the bright, short, stubby trail closest to the NCP. But when these petroglyphs were carved, Polaris would have made a long arc through the night. Since the Earth's rotation axis precesses like a wobbling top, 6,000 years ago the NCP was near the border of the constellations Draco and Ursa Major, some 30 degrees from its current location in planet Earth's sky.

You know about Otzi the Iceman, a naturally preserved mummy found frozen in the Alps. Now the full story of Otzi comes out, thanks to this animated video from Evan Red Borja. Read more about the idea behind the film at Cartoon Brew. Link -via Geekosystem

A bluestocking is an educated, intellectual woman. Until the late 18th century, the term had referred to learned people of both sexes. However it subsequently was applied primarily to intellectual women, and the French equivalent bas bleu had a similar connotation. The term later developed negative implications, and in some instances such women were stereotyped as being "frumpy". The reference to blue stockingsmay arise from the time when woollen worsted stockings were informal dress, in contrast to formal, fashionable black silk stockings. Curiously, the most frequent such reference is to a man, Benjamin Stillingfleet, who reportedly lacked the formal black stockings, yet still participated in the Blue Stockings Society.
Golden poison frog
Phyllobates terribilis, the golden poison frog or the golden dart frog, is a poison dart frog endemic to the Pacific coast of Colombia. The optimal habitat of P. terribilis is the rainforest with high rain rates (5 m or more), altitude between 100–200 m, temperature of at least 26 °C, and relative humidity of 80–90%. In the wild, P. terribilis is a social animal, living in groups of up to six individuals; however, captive P. terribilis can live in much larger groups. Terribilis frogs are often considered innocuous due to their small size and bright colours; however, wild specimens are lethally toxic.

The golden poison frog's skin is densely coated in alkaloid poison, one of a number of poisons common to dart frogs (batrachotoxins), which prevents nerves from transmitting impulses, leaving the muscles in an inactive state of contraction. This can lead to heart failure or fibrillation. Alkaloid batrachotoxins can be stored by frogs for years after the frog is deprived of a food-based source, and such toxins do not readily deteriorate, even when transferred to another surface. Chickens and dogs have died from contact with a paper towel on which a frog had walked.
The golden poison frog is not venomous, but poisonous; venomous animals have a delivery method for the toxin, such as fangs or spines, poisonous animals and plants do not have a delivery method and rely on transference of the toxin. Like most poison dart frogs, P. terribilis uses poison only as a self-defense mechanism and not for killing prey. The most venomous animal is the box jellyfish, which is only slightly less toxic than P. terribilis.

P. terribilis
The average dose carried will vary between locations, and consequent local diet, but the average wild P. terribilis is generally estimated to contain about one milligram of poison, enough to kill about 10,000 mice. This estimate will vary in turn, but most agree this dose is enough to kill between 10 and 20 humans, which correlates to up to two African bull elephants. This is roughly 15,000 humans per gram.
This extraordinarily lethal poison is very rare. Batrachotoxin is only found in three poisonous frogs from Colombia (genus Phyllobates) and three poisonous birds from Papua New Guinea: Pitohui dichrous, Pitohui kirhocephalus and Ifrita kowaldi. Other related toxins are histrionicotoxin and pumiliotoxin, which are found in frog species from the genus Dendrobates.
The golden poison frog, like most other poisonous frogs, stores its poison in skin glands. Due to their poison, the frogs taste vile to predators; P. terribilis poison kills whatever eats it, except for a snake, Liophis epinephelus. This snake is resistant to the frog's poison, but is not completely immune.
The poisonous frogs are perhaps the only creatures to be immune to this poison. Batrachotoxin attacks the sodium channels of the cells, but the frog has special sodium channels the poison cannot harm.
The other day I was at the pharmacy. (I was actually going to write "drug store" instead of "pharmacy". And if I would have I then would have referred to the pharmacist as the druggist. I'm 30, but I talk and write like it's 1930.)

So, I was at the pharmacy awaiting the refilling of a prescription when I noticed a mother and her 5-year-old son. They were stopped in front of that carousel of reading glasses near the counter. The little boy asked his mother what kind of glasses were on the display. She told him that they were reading glasses. And then the little boy asked, "Oh, so you put them on and then you can read?" And then he put a pair on his face.

In my head I said, "What's wrong with that kid? Reading glasses don't help you to read, they help you to see. You learn to read first, then, as you get older, you may need to get reading glasses to help you to see small type and then be able to read it, much like when you were young and had better vision. This kid doesn't know what the hell he's talking about."

Then I realized what a stupendous ass I was in thinking what I thought about what this tot was talking about... or aboot, if you're from Canada.

I feel horrible that I made such a blatant snap judgment like that. I know deep down that that wasn't what he meant. Sorry, little guy. It was a simple misunderstanding.

Then he asked his mother if anti-itch cremes can only be used by aunts or could uncles use them too. Then I really lost it.


That Monkey Stole My Beer

A man walks into a bar and orders a beer. He takes his first sip and sets it down. While he is looking around the bar, a monkey swings down and steals the pint of beer from him before he is able to stop the monkey.
The man asks the bartender who owns the monkey. The bartender replies, "The piano player."
The man walks over to the piano player and says, "Do you know your monkey stole my beer."
The pianist replies "No, but if you hum it, I'll play it."


Q and A Quickies

Q: Why is a fish easy to weigh?
A: Because it has its own scales!

Q: Why do elephants wear "tennies"?
A: Cause ninesies are too small and elevensies are are too big.
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hope of its children…This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

Sounds like health food to me.


Some of my male friends were asking me today why women still wear thongs. I thought I’d just clear the air on this one.Their guesses were along the lines of women wanting to be super-duper sexy for men. Some women will say it’s because it’s more comfortable or because it keeps them from having panty lines. Though these are true and good reasons, there is a bigger benefit.

Wearing a thong makes farts perfectly silent. I’m not kidding. Creates a barrier between the cheeks that prevents that slapping sound. It does nothing for the smell, of course, but I’ve been getting away with public farts for years. So while you men have to pray for the best and rip one, we toot in confidence. Sorry to taint your idea of the perfect grace that women supposedly have, but hey, the truth is the truth. From via


August Gussler was persistent. Convinced that Costa Rica’s tiny Cocos Island hid the loot of generations of pirates, the German adventurer set up camp there and in 1889 started digging.

The island occupies only 9 square miles, but it’s crowded with the ghosts of wealthy criminals, including English buccaneers Edward Davis and Bartholomew Sharp, Portuguese pirate Benito Bonito, and Captain William Thompson, who, entrusted with $60 million during an uprising in Lima in 1820, had turned criminal and kept it for himself. All of these, it was said, had hid their loot in the caves of Cocos, whose location 500 miles off the coast had made it an ideal haven for pirates plying the South Seas.

To aid in his search, Gussler had made himself a student of the island’s history. Bonito, he told one visitor, had buried “three hundred thousand pounds’ weight of silver and silver dollars, in a sandstone cave in the side of the mountain. Then he laid kegs of powder on top of the cave and blew away the face of the cliff. In another excavation he placed gold bricks, 733 of them, four by three inches in size, and two inches thick, and 273 gold-hilted swords, inlaid with jewels. On a bit of land in the little river, he buried several iron kettles filled with gold coin.”

Alas, it was hidden remarkably well. In 1908, when Gussler gave up his quest, he had found six gold coins.


The main court used for Wimbledon is called Centre Court. It seats 15,000 spectators and is used exclusively for Wimbledon tennis matches

A thoroughly unique championship trophy is presented to the women's singles winners at Wimbledon. Known as the Venus Rosewater Dish, it resembles a salver and is covered in decoration related to Greek mythology. The trophy is made from sterling silver and is 18 3/4 inches in diameter.

Five 500-pound bombs struck Centre Court during WWII and destroyed 1,200 seats in the stadium. The damage was not fully repaired until 1949.

Each year, approximately 250 ball boys and ball girls are used at Wimbledon to ensure a smooth operation of the tournament. Each court is manned by crew of six ball boys and ball girls. Two work the nets and four work each corner.

Before 2007, Wimbledon awarded greater prize money to the men's event winners than the women's event winners. Venus Williams and other notable players protested this policy and Wimbledon finally changed it in 2007 so that both men's and women's champions were awarded the same amount of prize money at the end of the tournament.

One unusual quirk is that Wimbledon takes a breather during the tournament on the middle Sunday. Play begins on a Monday and lasts for a period of 13 days. The middle Sunday is a designated rest day.


Random Facts:

An asteroid is a relatively small, inactive body composed of rock, carbon or metal, which is orbiting the Sun, whereas a comet is a relatively small, sometimes active object, which is composed of dirt and ice. Comets are characterized by dust and gas tails when in proximity to the Sun.

A meteoroid is a small particle from an asteroid or comet orbiting he Sun; a meteor is a meteoroid that is observed as it burns up in the Earth's atmosphere; "shooting star." Finally, a meteorite is a meteoroid that survives its passage through the Earth's atmosphere and impacts the Earth's surface.

Helping me sort old clothes into "save" and "give away" piles, my six-year-old daughter came across a garter belt. "What's this?" she asked.
"It's a garter belt," I said. Seeing that meant nothing to her, I added, "It's for holding up stockings."
"Ah," she said, carefully placing it in the "save" pile, "we'll use it next Christmas Eve."

QUOTE: "Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go."

HINT: (1889-1981), American publisher and author, based in Cleveland, Ohio.

ANSWER: William Feather.

Al Jubayl, Saudi Arabia at Night
The city of Al Jubayl (or Jubail) is located on the coast of Saudi Arabia, along the Persian Gulf. The city has a history extending back more than 7,000 years, but since 1975 it has been associated with the petrochemical, fertilizer, and steel industries. At night, these industrial areas form a brightly lit region (image center) to the south of the residential and commercial center of Al Jubayl (characterized by green-gray lighting). An artificial peninsula extending into the Persian Gulf to the northeast hosts supertanker docks and petroleum storage facilities.

The Persian Gulf to the north and northeast is devoid of lights; likewise, the open desert to the south-southeast provides a stark contrast to the well-lit urban and industrial areas. A bright circle of light located within the heavy industrial area (image center) cannot be resolved in this astronaut photograph, but is likely a concentration of lights associated with ongoing processing or construction activities. The approximate scale of the feature—100s of meters in diameter—is consistent with multiple stationary light sources, particularly if the light from those sources is accentuated due to the camera’s low light settings.


Medical Marijuana Without the High

Let me boil down the medical marijuana controversy into a single sentence: instead of helping people with serious medical conditions, medical marijuana is an excuse for other people with dubious ailments to get high*.

But what if you can get the health benefits of cannabis without the high? That's what the Israelis are working on:

Situated in an undisclosed location near Tzfat, northern Israel, is a government-approved medical marijuana plantation which was founded in 2004 by a retired biology teacher. Named Tikun Olam, the plantation has created a new cannabis strain which contains very low traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main constituent in cannabis responsible for making people feel "stoned". By virtually eliminating THC in the new strain, Tikun Olam can now offer the drug's medicinal benefits to those patients who wish to keep a clear head.

Adam Williams of Gizmag has the story: Link
But, Ed has a much juicier title:

The Cats of The Hermitage
The Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, has been officially guarded by cats since 1745. About 65 stray cats live on the property and keep rodents away from the priceless artworks. Link -via Nag on the Lake


“Frankenstein” Bog Mummies

Ten years ago, archaeologists removed a couple of 3,000-year-old skeletons buried in a peat bog in Scotland. Recent DNA tests have determined that the male and female bodies, which were buried in a fetal position, were actually made up of body parts from at least six people -and that they had died hundreds of years before they were buried!

Terry Brown, a professor of biomedical archaeology at the University of Manchester, said there were clues that these bog bodies were more than they seemed. On the female skeleton, “the jaw didn’t fit into the rest of the skull,” he said. “So Mike [Parker Pearson, of Sheffield University] came and said, Could we try to work it out through DNA testing?” Brown sampled DNA from the female skeleton’s jawbone, skull, arm, and leg. The results show that bones came from different people, none of whom even shared the same mother, he said. The female is made from body parts that date to around the same time period. But isotopic dating showed that the male mummy is made from people who died a few hundred years apart. The reasoning behind such a scheme might never be known. It may have been symbolic or esthetic, or someone may have fancied themselves a “Dr. Frankenstein” of the era. Link (Image credit: Mike Parker Pearson, University of Sheffield)

Refurbishing Luke’s Home

The structure that was used as Luke Skywalker’s boyhood home on the planet Tattooine in Star Wars is actually in Tunisia. Over 35 years after the filming, it had fallen into pretty rough shape. Belgian Star Wars fan Mark Dermul organized a project to save and restore the prop home. With funds raised from fans and the blessing of Lucasfilm, Dermul and a group of fans went to work in May. Their eight-day restoration project will be the subject of a book, from which proceeds will go to the ongoing preservation of “The Igloo.” You can follow the entire project at the Save The Lars Homestead site, or read the shorter article at GeekDad. Link


Do Tiny Ponies Have Tiny Dreams?

If this little guy’s reaction to his dream is any indication, I think we can safely say that tiny ponies still dream big.

Predictors of 3-D Breast Kinematics during Bare-Breasted Running
When you have a science graph labeled “Breast velocity” on one axis and “Cup size” on the other, you can bet that the underlying research is covered by our friends at Improbable Research. Link -via Ed Yong


It’s itsy-bitsy. It’s teeny-weeny. It comes in wild patterns and in string variations. And according to its French creator Louis Reard it must be small enough to be pulled through a wedding ring.

The two pieces bathing suit, better known as the bikini turned 66 years old on Thursday. In 1946, Reard was inspired to create something explosive — the bikini was named for the nuclear bomb tests on Bikini Atoll.
Little did he know how much his stylish experiment would change the world of fashion. The rest is history.
For the Game of Thrones fans (if you aren’t caught up, don’t click!) – a 16-Bit RPG of Game of Thrones‘ second season. Hilarious and accurate.
Hush about where this link came from and enjoy the video (I’m linking to the article rather than just the vid to give you the whole story!): Super Moonwalking Stunt Defies All Laws of Physics.

RIP Society of the Day

Former Duke Energy CEO Bill Johnson made out like a bandit after resigning from his position with the company -- 24 hours after assuming the head honcho role. Johnson submitted his letter of resignation the first day on the job, and is now qualified to receive up to $44.4 million in compensation, as long as he doesn't disparage the company and the board decides he resigned for "good reasons." That list of reasons probably contains about 44.4 million bullet points. [thinkprogress]

"China is now expected to surpass Japan as the 2nd richest country in the world. They could become the richest, but that's only if we pay them the money we owe them, and that's not going to happen." -Jay Leno

"In a survey of 35 cities, Los Angeles ranked second-to-last in intelligence. Residents of L.A. were outraged after the report was slowly explained to them." -Conan O'Brien

United Shapes

Busy, busy, busy" –
what a Bokononist whispers whenever he thinks about how complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is.
(Also, my favorite thing to mutter)
Bokononism is a fictional religion invented by Kurt Vonnegut and practiced by many of the characters in his novel Cat's Cradle. Many of the sacred texts of Bokononism were written in the form of calypsos.
The title of Vonnegut's collection Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons refers to several Bokonist concepts, and his short book A Man Without a Country uses several illustrated quotes from Bokonon – drawn from Cat's Cradle – to introduce some chapters.
wampeter – the central theme or purpose of a karass. Each karass has two wampeters, one waxing and one waning.
foma – harmless untruths; lies that, if used correctly, can be useful.
granfalloon – a false karass; i.e., a group of people who imagine they have a connection that does not really exist. An example is "Hoosiers"; Hoosiers are people from Indiana, and Hoosiers have no true spiritual destiny in common, so they really share little more than a name. Another example is a Cornellian, a student or graduate of Cornell University.
karass – group of people who, often unknowingly, are working together to do God's will. The group can be thought of as the fingers that support a cat's cradle.
Birth control idia

The drone blowback delusion

Recent revelations that the White House keeps a secret terrorist kill list, which it uses to target al Qaeda leaders, have spurred a debate over drone warfare…As the political drama unfolds in Washington, however, the United States is intensifying its drone campaign in the arid mountains and remote plateaus of Yemen

Tales of an Arctic garden boy

A delightful story, full of life-in-the-village anecdotes that make me miss living in rural Alaska. Thanks for sharing! Let's hope if other rural Alaskans catch your love for gardening.

Coca-Cola soon to be sold in bottle-shaped plastic bags

Coca-CoBesides being cheaper to produce, and probably even cheaper tIron Man

Iron man

viao ship, the Coca-Cola bags are supposedly more eco-friendly than plastic bottles, and even glass bottles and cans which require quite a bit of energy to recycle.

la soon to be sold in bottle-shaped

Coca-Cola soon to be sold in bottle-shaped plastic bags

Coca-Cola soon to be sold in bottle-shaped plastic bags

Read mor here:

Besides being cheaper to produce, and probably even cheaper to ship, the Coca-Cola bags are supposedly more eco-friendly than plastic bottles, and even glass bottles and cans which require quite a bit of energy to recycle.

Man in SWAT standoff demands pizza, marriage to Paris Hilton

See what happens when Oregonians stray from the rodinia?

Iron man
16 Fiction Book Characters' Myers-Briggs Personality Types

You may remember the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator from your high school homeroom class, or that crazy ex who said your opposite psychological preferences made you doomed to fail. If not, here's the run-down:

It's a personality quiz based on Carl Jung's typological theories that divides people into 16 types based on these four variables:

Introvert (I) versus Extravert (E) Are you invigorated by office gossip or do you hide out in the nap room?

Intuitive (N) versus Sensing (S) If someone asks you what time it is, are you likely to say "3ish" or "3:04"? In other words, are you a big picture thinker, or detail-oriented?

Thinking (T) versus Feeling (F) Are you a people person, or a "How It's Made" person?

Judging (J) versus Perceiving (P) Is your desk covered it receipts, Starbucks cups, silly putty (?), and half-finished knitting projects, or a simple to-do list with every item checked off?

You may find Myers-Briggs to be about as accurate as astrology or fortune cookies orthis seriously nihilistic color quiz. To you I say, how very INTP.

For everyone else, we've created a mostly entertaining list of the book characters best associated with each type. Interestingly, many protagonists and authors are INFPs due to the type's creative, introspective nature, so don't take offense if you're matched up with a villain or a sidekick. If you don't know your type, there's a boatload of online quizzes to choose from, but this is our favorite (Be prepared to waste your entire day categorizing yourself and your friends. Don't say we didn't warn you!).

This is not a Jackson Pollock painting. It’s a painstaking replica by Chicago artist Mike Bidlo, who titled it, aptly, Not Pollock.

“My work is perhaps an extreme example of this strain of art which references other art because it directly mirrors the image, scale, and materials of the original,” Bidlo told Robert Rosenblum in 2003. “Whatever differences appear in my work are a consequence of my working method and not an attempt at projecting a personal style.”

Is this art? If not, why not?

(Pollock himself had an uphill fight — he received this letter in August 1949:)

Dear Mr. Pollock,

Just a few lines to tell you that my seven year old son Manning couldn’t get over your picture Number Nine. Frankly, it looked like some of his fingerpainting at school to me. However, he insisted that I write you to tell you that he cut it out of the ‘Life’ and put it in his scrap-book — the first painting that he has ever cut out –

He really has quite good taste as you can tell by the Cocker — Snafu — he is holding. He wanted you to have his picture in exchange for his copy of No. 9 — which he loves –


Mrs. Helen K. Sellers
… and how to open a bottle without a bottle opener.

"It's Take Your Dog to Work Day. Or as they call it in China, 'Bring Your Own Lunch Day.'" -Jimmy Fallon


Three guys are discussing women. "I like to watch a woman's tits best, " the first guy says. "I just love the way they bounce."
The second says "I like to look at a woman's ass. I love the way it jiggles."
He asks the third guy, "What about you?"
"Me? I prefer to see the top of her head."

"Police in Georgia are looking for people who stole 400,000 toothpicks from a warehouse. Fortunately, one of the suspects has a clear alibi: a tiny piece of spinach in his teeth." -Jimmy Fallon
Why do blondes like blonde jokes?
It makes them feel popular.
What's a blonde's mating call?
I think I'm drunk.
Answering Machine Recording:
"You have reached the breast self-examination hot line. Please press 1 now.......Now press the other one."
Did you know that Jeffrey Dahmer was the only man in America whose bologna really did have a first name?
Geniuses do not think more than other people. They think less. --Len Cool
Easy Crockpot “Apple Pie” Sauce

Yield: approximately 6 cups

Easy Crockpot “Apple Pie” Sauce

  • 10-12 medium-to-large crisp organic *apples
  • 1 1/4 cups 100% pure unfiltered organic apple juice
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. Peel and core apples. Cut into one-inch chunks and place in crockpot.
  2. In a 2-cup glass measuring cup (or small bowl), whisk together apple juice, water, maple syrup, lemon juice and cinnamon. Pour over apple chunks.
  3. Cover crockpot and cook on low about 4 hours, until apples are very soft and easily fall apart when mashed with a fork.
  4. Mash apples to desired consistency using a potato masher, an immersion blender, or pulse-puree in batches in a food processor. (If using the food processor, transfer applesauce in batches to a large bowl.)
  5. If applesauce is too thick, add a few tablespoons of filtered water and stir well. Continue adding a couple of tablespoons of water at a time until you reach desired thickness. (I usually need to add about ¼ to ½ cup of water to thin it out a bit.)
  6. Note: Applesauce will become sweeter as it cools. We prefer just a hint of cinnamon, but feel free to season to taste with additional ground cinnamon, if desired.
  7. Place applesauce in airtight containers and store in refrigerator. Makes a delicious snack, or side dish for virtually any meal!


*Recommended apples: Fuji, Jonathan, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Pink Lady or McIntosh. A mix of apples works nicely! And of course, free apples from your own (or a neighbor's) tree are the best!

(Special thanks to Carla, for supplying us with an abundance of delicious apples to enjoy!)
The Throw & Grow Vending Machine
Seed bombing might just be the kindest form of graffiti ever created -after all, what could be nicer than throwing a bunch of flower or grass seeds on an otherwise empty plot of land? That’s why these seed bomb vending machines, made by Greenaid are so fantastic:

Made from a mixture of clay, compost, and seeds, “seedbombs” are becoming an increasingly popular means combating the many forgotten grey spaces we encounter everyday-from sidewalk cracks to vacant lots and parking medians. They can be thrown anonymously into these derelict urban sites to temporarily reclaim and transform them into places worth looking at and caring for. The Greenaid dispensary simply makes these guerilla gardening efforts more accessible to all by appropriating the existing distribution system of the quarter operated candy machine. Using just the loose coins in your pocket, you can make a small but meaningful contribution to the beautification of your city!

Have any of you ever tried your hand at seed bombing?

‘Well, do you know the one,’ I began, ‘in which two geologists converse in a cafe? One of them says: ‘Yes, unfortunately fifteen billion years from now the Sun will cool, and then all life on Earth will perish.’
A card-player nearby has been half listening to the joke, and turns in terror to the geologist: ‘What did you say? In how many years will the Sun cool?’
‘Fifteen billion years,’ the scientist replies.
The card-player lets out a sigh of relief: ‘Oh, I was afraid you said fifteen million!’

– László Feleki in Impact of Science on Society, 1969

“Even if I could be Shakespeare, I think I should still choose to be Faraday.” — Aldous Huxley

The link to the test is here.
If you cruised through European geography,
try this much more difficult test.


Moths and butterflies have a behavior called “puddling”. Males (some females do this as well) will suck up liquids to gain nutrients such as sodium. Butterflies and moths can be observed puddling around puddles, ponds, mud, dung, damp concrete… and apparently, some are also attracted to saliva. Males are the usual suspects because they will offer these extra nutrients to females as a sort of nuptial gift along with their spermatophore during mating.

This moth was fed sugar water while in his enclosure, but apparently the allure of sweat and saliva were too much to resist.

Second photo and text credit to the caterpillar wrangler at Caterpillarblog.

puddling on a dead frog, on raccoon scat, and lachryphagy

And this
incredible fact: " Butterflies that "puddle" at muddy spots or collections of animal dung are seeking sodium, which is rarely found in plants (potassium is the principal cation in vegetation). "In extreme cases a moth may imbibe an amount of fluid 600 times its own weight in a single puddling session, expelling the excess water as it drinks and retaining only the precious [sodium]."

Gloves That Translate Sign Language into Speech

Photo: EnableTalk
Among the finalists at Microsoft’s Imagine Cup, a student technology competition, is EnableTalk. These gloves, built by students in Ukraine, assess what the wearer is expressing in sign language and then communicates it through sound:
The few existing projects that come close to what EnableTalk is proposing generally cost around $1,200 and usually have fewer sensors, use wired connections and don’t come with an integrated software solution. EnableTalk, on the other hand, says that the hardware for its prototypes costs somewhere around $75 per device.
Besides the cost, though, another feature that makes this project so interesting is that users can teach the system new gestures and modify those that the team plans to ship in a library of standard gestures.
Link -via io9

Omnicorp Product Line

“We’ve got the future under control.” Omnicorp is the world’s leading security corporation -in the futuristic world of Robocop! The movie won’t be in theaters for another year, but the fictional Omnicorp has a website in which it shows off its products: security robots, like the ultra-scary ED-209. Link -via The Week

shoelace puzzle

A shoelace is lying on the floor, and I’m too nearsighted to see how the lace crosses itself at points A, B, and C. If I pull on the ends, what’s the probability that it will produce a knot?

CNN is reporting that it is revisiting the outcome of the CIVIL WAR. It appears that it was too close to call and the South may still have a chance. Documents were found that support the fact that some people joined the wrong side-apparently they weren't aware that their states were part of the South and they were fighting for the North.
The line between the North and South was "just too confusing" for some. A recount of all the battles is being simulated with new populations via computer to see who would have actually won.
Right now it's just too close to call.

Clam Licking Salt off the Table

Clam agility competitions aren’t as exciting as dog agility competitions, but they have their moments. Here’s one champion doing the only event in the sport. -via Geekosystem


Tigger Finally Apprehended
Oh, bouncing is indeed what Tiggers do best. But you can bounce only so many times before the law catches up with you. This Tigger was caught while playing an escaped tiger at a zoo in China during an emergency drill:
June 2nd, Sichuan Chengdu Zoo, a tranquilized “tiger” being carried away by workers, as a caged Chinese tiger watches through the glass. That day, the Chengdu Zoo conducted a escaped dangerous animal training drill/exercise. The training exercise simulated 2 Siberian Tigers escaping from their cages, with zoo workers working together with forestry police conducting an emergency response.
Note the guard’s good trigger discipline.
Previously on Neatorama: Paper Mâché Rhino Escapes from Zoo

Red Sunburn is RNA Damage

Did you get a sunburn this summer? Know this: that redness you got is actually RNA damage to skin cells.

Using both human skin cells and a mouse model, Gallo, first author Jamie J. Bernard, a post-doctoral researcher, and colleagues found that UVB radiation fractures and tangles elements of non-coding micro-RNA -- a special type of RNA inside the cell that does not directly make proteins. Irradiated cells release this altered RNA, provoking healthy, neighboring cells to start a process that results in an inflammatory response intended to remove sun-damaged cells.

We see and feel the process as sunburn. "The inflammatory response is important to start the process of healing after cell death," said Gallo. "We also believe the inflammatory process may clean up cells with genetic damage before they can become cancer. Of course, this process is imperfect and with more UV exposure, there is more chance of cells becoming cancerous." Link

Why can't a man eat like a bird?
Have you ever tried to pick up food with your pecker?

Game of Thrones in Minecraft

Now this is fantastic: WesterosCraft is building the entire world of Game of Thrones in Minecraft. The level of details is astounding! Link- via Kotaku

The Chap Olympiad

Photo: Matthew Lloyd
Forget the Olympics! The fun is at the annual Chap Olympiad [self-starting video clip], which celebrates "eccentricity and athletic ineptitude with the emphasis on panache and style over sporting prowess."

Events include cucumber sandwich discus, ironing board surfing, and umbrella jousting. The Guardian has the pics: Link


1) What is a KISS?
It’s an upper PREPARATION for a lower INVASION that will lead to further PENETRATION with fast ACCELERATION that will build next GENERATION.

2) Latest Statistics: What men do after sex? 2% eat. 3% smoke cigarettes. 4% take shower.5% go to sleep. 86% get up and go back home to their wives.

3) Why is your dick better than a credit card?
1.Once spent recharges itself.
2.It is accepted worldwide.
3.You can let your wife use it as much as she wants.

4) LITTLE GIRL: Mommy, I just found out that our neigh bor’s son has a penis like a peanut!
MUM: You mean it’s small?
LITTLE GIRL: No it’s salty!!!

5) A couple recently married was happy with the whole thing.
He was happy with the hole, and she was happy with the thing.

6) A man was carrying 3 babies in a train.
The lady sitting next to him asked: Are they your babies?
MAN: No,I work in a condom factory and these are customer COMPLAINTS.

7) Women top 5 lies:
5. I am a virgin.
4. It is so big.
3. I can’t do that to my best friend.
2. I won’t gain weight after marriage
1. I am coming! I am coming!!!

8) A guy goes up to a girl in a bar and says: You want to play magic.

She says: What is that?

He says: We go Home, screw, and then you disappear.

9) What is the closest thing to a woman’s period?

Your SALARY… It comes once a month, lasts 4 or 5 days, and if it doesn’t come, you are F*CKED!!!

10 ) Teacher asked: Which part of the body goes to heaven first?

A Kid replied : The legs…because everynight I see my mum’s legs up high and screaming “OH GOD! I’M COMING”.

11) Teacher: Why did you bring your cat to school?
Pupil : Becaus e I heard my sister’s boyfriend say, “TONIGHT I WILL EAT YOUR PUSSY”.

12) What’s the difference between a panty and a stage curtain??
Answer : When you pull down the stage curtain, show is over, but when you pull down the PANTY… IT’S SHOWTIME.


-16 to 19 BRAND NEW.

14) MUM: Didn’t I tell you if stranger touches your breast say “DON’T”. And if he touches your pussy say STOP!
GIRL : But mum, he touched both, so I told him DON’T STOP!!!!”


9 INCHES – Oh Shit, pain!!
7 INCHES – Oh, I’m in heaven

62. DOUGLAS ADAMS: A good time to be alive
The Furby is Back
If you were a child in the late 1990s, you may have owned a Furby. If you were older, you probably wondered why anyone would ever want one. Nostalgia is reason enough the second time around! Hasbro is bringing the Furby back, with modern hi-tech electronics like apps and LCD eyes. They will respond to human voices and other Furbys, and like the originals, you can only turn them off by removing the batteries. Look for them in stores around Christmas time, or in a video at Mashable.
Link -via the Presurfer



$31M Ferrari Involved in World's Most Expensive Car Accident

American owner collides with another vehicle during Ferrari 250 GTO motorcade to Le Mans.

By Joshua Condon 1 hour ago
An example of a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Scaglietti, seen at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Photo by Perry Stern.Crashing any car is traumatic; crashing a Ferrari is traumatic and pricey; crashing one of the most prized Maranello models ever, valued at upwards of $31 million, in what some are speculating could be the most expensive crash in history ... well, even contemplating that particular scenario makes our man-bits retract just a bit.

American businessman Christopher Cox was involved in a collision with another car last week during a motorcade of legendary Ferrari 250 GTOs through France en route to the Le Mans Classic, held this past weekend at the iconic race track in the northwest part of that country. His wife, Ann Cox, suffered a broken leg, while two passengers from the other vehicle were also sent to the hospital. Luckily, no fatalities were reported.

No news yet whether the car -- a blue-and-yellow Ferrari similar to the one pictured above -- can be salvaged, though Cox's model was involved in a collision once before, in 1976, and the full restoration that took place before Cox bought the car in 2005 likewise restored its ultra-rarefied price.

The model in question is one of only 39 Ferrari 250 GTOs in existence, as Ferrari produced the model for a mere handful of years during the 1960s. Last month, a mint-green 250 GTO sold for more than $35 million, setting a new record for a Ferrari sold at auction. [Source: Chicago Tribune via Metro UK.]
People with more money than brains.....

A woman and her ten-year-old son were riding in a cab in New York City.

It was raining and all the hookers were standing under the awnings.

“Mom,” said the boy, “what are all those women doing?”

“They’re waiting for their husbands to get off work,” she replied.

The cabbie turns around and says, “Geez lady, why don’t you tell him the truth? They’re hookers, boy! They have sex with men for money.”

The little boy’s eyes get wide and he says, “Is that true, Mom?”

His mother, glaring hard at the cabbie, answers in the affirmative.

After a few minutes, the kid asks, “Mom, what happens to the babies those women have?”

“Most of them become cab drivers,” she said.

World Heritage Sites in Danger
UNESCO has a list of 38 World Heritage Sites that are endangered. The reasons vary, from political to environmental to financial. National Geographic News shows us five sites that have been recently added to the list, and two that have been removed as their condition and security has improved. Two of the newly-listed sites are in Mali.

The World Heritage Committee’s decision to add Timbuktu to the danger list reflects growing international concerns about the looting and destruction of its historical sites after the city was taken over earlier this year by the armed groups MLNA and Ansar Dine.

According to Voice of America, Ansar Dine said the shrines at Timbuktu are idolatrous and un-Islamic.

In June, UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova expressed dismay over reports that three sacred tombs at Timbuktu had been destroyed.

Shown here is the 500-year-old Tomb of Askia in Mali. Link

(Image credit: Florin Iorganda, Reuters)


Standing on the tee of a relatively long par three, a confident golfer said to his caddy, “Looks like a four-wood and a putt to me.”

The caddy argued with him a bit and suggested that he instead play it safe and hit a 4-iron then a wedge.

The golfer was insulted and proceeded to berate the caddy on the tee telling him that he was a better golfer than that and how dare he under estimate his game.

So, giving in the caddy handed the gentleman the four-wood he had asked for.

He proceeded to top the ball and watched as it folled about fifteen yards off the front of the tee.

Immediately the caddy handed him his putter and said, “And now for one hell of a putt…”


Kitten Reacts to Sneeze

A videographer’s involuntary actions will sometimes affect the outcome of the video project in a major way. In this case, Wilbur was thrown for a loop, resulting in a viral kitten video. -via Say OMG


On Being Obvious

T This is a good example of Something that Seems Fantastically Obvious Not to Do but is Really Quite Necessary obviousness:
This post contains an illustrated alphabet about being obvious. If you don’t understand why, well, dangit, it should be obvious to you! Link -via Everlasting Blort

That’s the Spot!

Can you get that itch for me? Oh yeah, there it is, right on the nose -litterally.

Via I Can Has Cheezburger

How To Create A Fire Tornado In Your Own Backyard

This video demonstrates a rather simple way to create a fire tornado right in your own backyard, so please keep your drunken friends from getting their hands on this video.

Fire tornado is so pretty, so deadly, so…..flamey! It’s the next best thing to having the natural version sweep through your yard and singe off your eyebrows! –via Obvious Winner
True to Her Name, Zelda Loves Gaming

Of course, being a modern kitten, Zelda’s too hip for old NES games. Instead, she prefers the iPad app “Games for Cats.” Via BoingBoing


I used to work in an art supply store. We sold artists’ canvas by the yard, and you could get it in either of two widths: 36 inches or 48 inches.

Customer: “Can you please cut some canvas for me?”

Me: “Certainly, what width?”

Customer: (confused and slightly annoyed) “Uh, Scissors?”


Cardboard Children’s Furniture
Japanese company Tsuchinoco produces whimsical children’s furniture made out of corrugated cardboard panels, perfect for the playroom of a kid who’s a bit rough on the furniture.

Their furniture kind of looks like a three day weekend DIY project, or something that belongs on the shelves at IKEA, but the fun shapes and rough edged style make these pieces simply delightful.


Try Not To Lose Your Mind While Watching This Slit-Scan Video

Slit-scan is a form of video processing that results in some rather mind blowing effects. Here’s how it’s done:

1. record a video of your action
2. extract each frame as an individual image (the opposite to what you would do for a time lapse)
3. extract a vertical single pixel wide line from each image (for example a line from the center)
4. stack those lines horizontally from left to right to form an actual “slit scan” image

Sounds easier than sitting through an entire slit-scan video! And I know that this video is about a year old, but if you haven’t seen it before it’s new to you! –via Gizmodo


From a description of Hawaiian amusements by first lieutenant James King on James Cook’s third expedition to the Pacific, 1779:

But a diversion the most common is upon the Water, where there is a very great Sea, & surf breaking on the Shore. The Men sometimes 20 or 30 go without the Swell of the Surf, & lay themselves flat upon an oval piece of plank about their Size & breadth, they keep their legs close on top of it, & their Arms are us’d to guide the plank, they wait the time of the greatest Swell that sets on Shore, & altogether push forward with their Arms to keep on its top, it sends them in with a most astonishing Velocity, & the great art is to guide the plank so as always to keep it in a proper direction on the top of the Swell, & as it alters its directs. If the Swell drives him close to the rocks before he is overtaken by its break, he is much prais’d.

On first seeing this very dangerous diversion I did not conceive it possible but that some of them must be dashed to mummy against the sharp rocks, but just before they reach the shore, if they are very near, they quit their plank, & dive under till the Surf is broke, when the piece of plank is sent many yards by the force of the Surf from the beach. The greatest number are generally overtaken by the break of the swell, the force of which they avoid, diving & swimming under the water out of its impulse. By such like excercises, these men may be said to be almost amphibious. The Women could swim off to the Ship, & continue half a day in the Water, & afterwards return. The above diversion is only intended as an amusement, not a tryal of Skill, & in a gentle swell that sets on must I conceive be very pleasant, at least they seem to feel a great pleasure in the motion which this Exercise gives.

This is believed to be the first written account of surfing.

The most fun you can have with your clothes on
SenseMotion LylaThe SenseMotion™ Lyla was created with the purpose of taking your couples’ play public – and with greater wireless range and more power, the gorgeous new Lyla™ 2 makes that even easier.
Don’t worry though; we’re not talking about getting exhibitionist here!
The beauty of Lyla™ 2 is it’s so incredibly quiet and discreet that it allows you to get up to some al fresco action without anyone around you being any the wiser. Worn inside, you can use it anywhere; at a party, in a restaurant or even while you’re travelling. The more risqué the situation, the greater the thrill.
Ladies, try surprising your partner by secretly wearing Lyla™ 2 and presenting him with the remote (switched on) – without revealing what it is. Because Lyla™ 2 is motion-sensitive, as he turns the remote this way and that it will trigger exquisite vibrations and an incredible response from you… see how long it takes him to guess what the remote in his hand is controlling!
With the secret only the two of you know, you can both head out for the evening, being prepared to expect the unexpected. Giving him the remote puts him firmly in control of turning on YOUR pleasure… at the touch of a button or simply the flick of a wrist!
Now you know why so many girls smile in the streets :)
Only $139 here
Fidel dies and goes to heaven. When he gets there, St. Peter tells him that he is not on the list and that no way, no how, does he belong in heaven. Fidel must go to hell. So Fidel goes to hell where Satan gives him a hearty welcome and tells him to make himself at home.
Then Fidel notices that he left his luggage in heaven and tells Satan, who says, "No problema, I'll send a couple of little devils to get your stuff."
When the little devils get to heaven they find the gates are locked - St.Peter is having lunch - and they start debating what to do. Finally, one comes up with the idea that they should go over the wall and get the luggage.
As they are climbing the wall, two little angels see them, and one angel says to the other, "My goodness! Fidel has been in hell no more than ten minutes and we're already getting refugees!"

This should offend just about everyone.

Reading porn
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world:

indeed it's the only thing that ever has!" -- Margaret Meade


We went to a presentation of: Oregon Wild Wednesday ~ 'Wolves' by Carter Niemeyer: expert trapper, and key member of the federal wolf reintroduction team.

Note from a friend:

Here is a link to photos that I took over the last couple of years of the descendants of the Yellowstone wolves that Carter helped reintroduce (plus a few other wildlife photos from the area). I spend time in Yellowstone each fall & winter hanging out with the wolf watchers.


Near-complete human ancestor in an ignored fossil rock

Click on image to enlarge

South African scientists say they’ve discovered the most complete skeleton ever of an early human ancestor – in a rock that had lain unnoticed in a lab for years.

It was only when a technician noticed a tooth protuding from the stone last month that an investigation revealed significant parts of Australopithecus sediba, discovered in 2009 at the Malapa site in South Africa, and identified as a new hominin in 2010.

The new additions to the original find make the skeleton – dubbed Karabo – astonishingly complete. Once the remains, encased in a rock about one metre across, were noticed, they were examined with a CT scanner.

“We have discovered parts of a jaw and critical aspects of the body including what appear to be a complete femur (thigh bone), ribs, vertebrae and other important limb elements, some never before seen in such completeness in the human fossil record,” says Professor Lee Berger of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

This discovery will almost certainly make Karabo the most complete early human ancestor skeleton ever discovered. We are obviously quite excited as it appears that we now have some of the most critical and complete remains of the skeleton, albeit encased in solid rock. It’s a big day for us as a team and for our field as a whole.”

The university now plans to build a lab at the site where the public can observe archaeology in action…


Thanks, Ed


Healthy Living from

Summer brings a wealth of fresh produce and the opportunity to fire up the grill. You can make these 8 filling seasonal meals easily and quickly, giving you plenty of time to enjoy sun and fun!

6 ways to host a better barbecue

Surfing goats spotted in California
SAN DIEGO - California beach-goers were surprised to see two goats riding the waves on a tandem surfboard in San Diego. Goat owner Dana McGregor, from Pismo Beach, met up with tandem surfing duo Mark and Debbie Gale Wednesday to see if his goats, Goatee and Pismo, would get on a surfboard together, The Orange County (Calif.) Register reported. "They look pretty happy. Thinking this is going to be a little bit easier than surfing with the wife," Mark Gale said of the challenge. McGregor has been bringing the goats surfing for a while now, but has never put them on the same board. On Wednesday the pair of goats had a few rides together before Goatee, the older one, swam to shore. "Oh my gosh. That was hilarious. I never thought I'd see the day," said surfer Po Carbal, 22. "Goats on a surfboard -- I've seen it all. I think it's probably one of the oddest and coolest things I've ever seen at the beach."
What makes us musical animalsis it an adaptation?
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
Researchers from the University of Amsterdam argue that at least two, seemingly trivial musical skills can be considered fundamental to the evolution of music: relative pitch — the skill to recognise a melody independent of its pitch level — and beat induction — the skill to pick up regularity (the beat) from a varying rhythm. Both are considered cognitive mechanisms that are essential to perceive, make and appreciate music, and, as such, could be argued to be conditional to the origin of music.
Cool article Ed ~ I'm humming along
The question to ask yourself here is;
would you let someone suck your toes for a hundred bucks?
That seems like a pretty fair price to me, but apparently it wasn't for one 18-year-old Georgia woman.
According to a man posing as a representative of "America's Funniest Home Videos" tricked the girl into allowing him to suck her toe inside a Walmart. Gullible? Maybe, but the poor girl is unemployed.
According to the sheriff's report, the teen was shopping when approached by the middle-aged suspect, a 43-year-old registered sex offender whose rap sheet is littered with foot-related crimes.
After asking the teen if her toenails were painted, the man said, "I know this sounds crazy, but have you ever heard of America's Funniest Home Videos?" When the woman said she had, the man replied that he would pay for her purchases (of about $100) if she agreed to cooperate with a 'prank.'
"I know this is crazy," the suspect said, "but can I kiss your foot?" The victim agreed under the impression it was a TV prank, but when the pervert guided the woman behind a clothing rack and put her big toe in his mouth and began sucking on it, she started screaming.
Before bolting from the store the man reportedly said, "Oh, it tasted so good though."
The incident has been classified as simple battery involving hands, feet or teeth.

Behind the scenes there will be a high-tech, high-stakes competition between Olympic athletes who use banned substances and drug testers out to catch them.

A rigorous experiment revealed that on a hot, dry day, drinking a hot beverage can help your body stay cool.


Q: Why do meteor showers occur about the same time every year?— Jennifer Uthoff, Pflugerville, Texas

A: Meteor showers occur only when the Earth's orbit intersects that of a specific comet, and those intersections occur at fixed intervals.
The Leonid meteors take place when the Earth intersects the orbit of Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, and the Perseid meteors happen when the Earth intersects the orbit of Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. It may be helpful to imagine all those diagrams we saw in science class of the solar system from above the plane of the planets. The Earth's orbit was drawn in as an almost complete circle. A comet orbit was often drawn in as a long, elegant ellipse. If we imagine the meteor shower occurs when the orbit of the Earth intersects the cometary orbit, we can see that these showers would not only occur at the same time each year, but also that their duration would be very short. Keep in mind that it is very rare for the orbit of any body in space to intersect the orbit of the Earth. There are hundreds of known short-period comets, and only a handful of meteor showers.
— Timothy B. Spahr, Astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Think Fast

Which aircraft was the first to travel faster than the speed of sound?

'Spirit of St Louis'


'Glamorous Glennis'

'Winnie Mae'

(Think Fast Answer: 'Glamorous Glennis') In 1947, Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager piloted the Bell X-1 'Glamorous Glennis' aircraft and reached a speed of 967 miles per hour at an altitude of 70,140 feet. The speed of sound is about 761 miles per hour. The aircraft was presented to the National Air and Space Museum in 1950.


In the 18th century, French architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux conceived an ideal city — perhaps too ideal. It contained no hospitals or theaters but included a “shelter of the poor man,” a “Pacifère” where quarrels could be settled peaceably, and, most notably, an “Oïkéma,” or house of sexual instruction, which Allan Braham calls “one of the most extreme instances of Ledoux’s gift for architectural metaphor.”

While we’re on this subject: In William Wycherley’s 1675 comedy The Country Wife, the word china becomes a bawdy metaphor, which makes the dialogue livelier than it first appears:

Lady Fidget: And I have been toiling and moiling, for the prettiest Piece of China, my Dear.

Mr. Horner: Nay, she has been too hard for me, do what I could.

Mrs. Squeamish: Oh, Lord, I’ll have some China too, good Mr. Horner, don’t think to give other People China, and me none, come in with me too.

Mr. Horner: Upon my Honour I have none left now.

Mrs. Squeamish: Nay, nay, I have known you deny your China before now, but you shan’t put me off so, come –

Mr. Horner: This Lady had the last there.

Lady Fidget: Yes indeed, Madam, to my certain Knowledge he has no more left.

Mrs. Squeamish: O, but it may be he may have some you could not find.

Lady Fidget: What d’ye think if he had had any left, I would not have had it too? for we Women of Quality never think we have China enough.

Mr. Horner: Do not take it ill, I cannot make China for you all, but I will have a Roll-waggon for you too, another time.

Mrs. Squeamish: Thank you, dear Toad.

Lady Fidget: (to Horner, aside) What do you mean by that promise?

Mr. Horner: Alas, she has an innocent, literal Understanding.

(Thanks, Stephenson.)


Q and A Quickies

Q: Who does the ocean date?
A: It goes out with the tide.

Q: What do you get if you cross two punsters with a hen?
A: Two comedians who lay eggs with a lot of bad yolks.

Q: Why did the cross-eyed teacher lose his job?
A: Because he couldn't control his pupils.

Q: What did the boy say after his math teacher assigned four pages of homework.
A: Boy, do I have problems.



The Fish With a Penis On Its Head

A newly discovered fish in the Mekong River in Vietnam has a, how shall we say this, unique male anatomy: its penis is on its head.

And the weirdness doesn't stop there:

Male priapiumfish don't have a penis like humans and other mammals. Instead they have a unique organ called a priapium, which faces backwards and looks like a muscular nozzle. It's actually a modification of the fish's pectoral and pelvic fins.

The priapium of P. cuulong has two attachments, both of which look frankly dangerous. At the bottom near the tip, there is a forward-facing serrated saw, or ctenactinium. Further forward, right under the head, there is a forward-facing rod called the toxactinium.

No one has seen P. cuulong mating, but based on observations of other species it's likely that the saw and rod are used for grasping the female during mating. One goes on either side of her head, holding her still while the male transfers his sperm.

Michael Marshall of New Scientists explains: Link

Previously on Neatorama: 30 Strangest Animal Mating Habits


The Name Game

In an age when everyone seems to be playing the name game of glorifying job titles, the man in charge of the meat department at a grocery store in Wisconsin deserves a round of applause.

On his weekly time card he describes his position as: Meat Head


Authorities say a Wichita, Kansas woman stripped nude in a police car and kicked out of a window.

It happened Friday night when police responded to report that a 35-year-old was exposing herself to residents at an apartment complex.

A police spokesperson said the woman was partially clothed when officers arrived. She was arrested, handcuffed and placed in the back seat of a patrol car. She then somehow managed to take the rest of her clothes off, because at that point why not?

She then kicked out a side rear window.

The woman was arrested on suspicion of public nudity and criminal damage to property. Police said there is "no indication" whether the woman was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Other than all of the public nudity, of course.


I was over at my dad's house last night to have dinner and visit for awhile. While we were eating, my dad's cell phone rang but he didn't answer it and the call went to voicemail.

Apparently, when there's a new voicemail message, the phone alerts with a loud doorbell noise. Well, the phone went "ding dong" and my dad's dog went crazy.

My dad doesn't even have a doorbell, but apparently the pup has lived in a home before where there was one, because he knew exactly what it meant.

He jumped up and ran to the front door, barking all the way, ready to greet the visitor. The poor dog kept running from the front door to the back door, waiting for someone to be at either door. It took a few minutes before he realized that it was a false alarm!

Ah, pets - always a great source of entertainment!


Gift-Giving is the Secret of Successful Firefly Matings

The secret to mating, according to male fireflies (and undoubtedly applicable to many humans), is to give gifts to females. And now, scientists have found out the why:

Male fireflies, known for attracting mates with a flash of light, also seduce with a gift, say scientists. This gifts comes in the form of a spermatophore: a package containing sperm and nourishment for the female. Researchers from Tufts University in Boston, US, found that females preferred males that had the largest, most nourishing gift. Link (Photo: Shutterstock)



When she was 15 years old, Jane Austen wrote a history of England:

Henry the 4th ascended the throne of England much to his own satisfaction in the year 1399, after having prevailed on his cousin and predecessor Richard the 2nd, to resign it to him, and to retire for the rest of his life to Pomfret Castle, where he happened to be murdered. It is to be supposed that Henry was married since he had certainly four sons, but it is not in my power to inform the Reader who was his wife. Be this as it may, he did not live for ever, but falling ill, his son the Prince of Wales came and took away the crown; whereupon the King made a long speech, for which I must refer the Reader to Shakespear’s Plays, and the Prince made a still longer. Things being thus settled between them the King died, and was succeeded by his son Henry who had previously beat Sir William Gascoigne.

She signed herself “a partial, prejudiced, & ignorant Historian.” “There is … in considering even her crudest early experiments, the interest of looking at a mind and not at a mirror,” observed G.K. Chesterton. “She may not be conscious of being herself; but she is not, like so many more cultivated imitators, conscious of being somebody else.”


adj. unmelodious


stover calendar trick

A calendar curiosity by Canadian magician Mel Stover:

Offer any month’s calendar to a friend and have him outline a 4×4 square of dates. Ask him to circle any date in that square and cross out the other numbers in its row and column. Have him do this three more times and then add the circled numbers.

You can predict his answer by totaling the numbers in either pair of diagonally opposite corners in the square and doubling that number. Why does this work?


Game On, World

How would you make an ad for athletic shoes go viral? Just add Donkey Kong, like Nike did for this "Game On, World" ad. Hit play or go to Link [YouTube] - via Forbes


Kindergartners recount Rosa Parks’ story, from Vivian Paley’s 1981 collection Wally’s Stories:

Wally: My mom said Martin Luther King was smart and he decided about having white people to sit in the front and black people in the back. Wait! That was what they decided. And then he decided to throw off that sign and so you could sit anywhere.

Eddie: You forgot to say about Rosa Parks. See, she came on the bus and gave the bus driver some money and she sat in the chair and the bus driver said, “No, you’re not white.” And she said, “I don’t care. I want to sit because I’m tired and also I gave you a dime.” Was it a dime or a nickel?

Tanya: Maybe a quarter.

Eddie: Maybe a dime. So she said, “I’m not going to leave.” So they put her in jail.

Wally: Now you can sit wherever you want. Also Martin wasn’t allowed to go to any water fountain or any bathroom and he also had to have only a black grocery-store man to pay. He was separated. My mom knows all about that. She even used to be separated. …

Jill: That reminds me. Why do we have to always sit at the same lunch table?

Teacher What would you rather do?

Jill: Sit anywhere we want. That’s more fair.

Teacher: That might become confusing. Most people would rather know exactly where they sit, Jill.

Deana: I don’t would rather know.

Eddie: Me neither.

Teacher: How does everyone else feel about this? [There is unanimous approval.] Well, then, it’s okay with me.

Jill: Free at last!


How to Make Tortilla Bowls

Here’s a great tip from The Garden Pantry. To make a tortilla bowl, just flip a muffin pan over, grease it, then bake tortillas in the open spaces. By the way: homemade flour tortillas fresh off the griddle are freakin’ amazing.


Why zombies, robots, clowns freak us out Pennywise the clown is downright terrifying. But take away the fangs and penchant for haunting the dreams of New England youth, and a large portion of adults would still find the circus performer-turned-gore-freak purely terrifying. Zombies and humanoid robots fall into the same category: They just give some people the willies. Why is that? Clowns are supposed to be funny. Zombies aren’t real. Data was the best character on Star Trek: TNG. We’ve known for a while that as a creation gets more and more humanlike, our comfort level goes up for a while, and then suddenly drops into what we call the “uncanny valley” (illustrated above). Some new research out of UC San Diego may have put a little neuroscience behind this phenomenon. People viewed androids and people while being imaged by fMRI:  They hypothesized that, at least in part, the effect might result from a violation of the brain’s predictions. When we anticipate one thing but see another, we get an error, and that error makes us shy away from the thing we’re viewing. … ”Your brain’s gonna be like, ‘Hey, wait a minute, you told me this was a human, and now this area told me that this is not moving like a human. So, I have to really compute that,’ ” [Ayse Sagin] said. “That’s what we think the uncanny valley might be partially caused by, and we have seen some brain activity that looks like that.”  The dissonance between what your brain expects to see and what it does see may be at fault. The tiny movements that don’t match, the slightly different facial ratios, Tom Hanks’ weird porcelain skin in The Polar Express … they all make your brain uncomfortable. Other researchers think that our keen perception of “healthy humans” might be an evolutionary adaptation to take care of our fellow living humans, and perhaps it even plays into our fear of death. Quickly recognizing human faces and features may be so core to our brain’s function that we can track it to the single cell (sort of). All I know is that my wife punches me if I make her get within 50 feet of a clown. Remember, in the uncanny valley … they all float. (via

Why is that? Clowns are supposed to be funny. Zombies aren’t real. Data was the best character on Star Trek: TNG. We’ve known for a while that as a creation gets more and more humanlike, our comfort level goes up for a while, and then suddenly drops into what we call theuncanny valley” (illustrated above).

They hypothesized that, at least in part, the effect might result from a violation of the brain’s predictions. When we anticipate one thing but see another, we get an error, and that error makes us shy away from the thing we’re viewing.

The dissonance between what your brain expects to see and what it does see may be at fault. The tiny movements that don’t match, the slightly different facial ratios, Tom Hanks’ weird porcelain skin in The Polar Express … they all make your brain uncomfortable. Other researchers think that our keen perception of “healthy humans” might be an evolutionary adaptation to take care of our fellow living humans, and perhaps it even plays into our fear of death. Quickly recognizing human faces and features may be so core to our brain’s function that we can track it to the single cell (sort of).



Regarding Yodeling

To hear authentic Swiss yodeling, you need to go to the mountains of Switzerland …or watch a video by someone who did. NatGeo’s Digital Nomad Andrew Evans recorded Swiss yodeler Amadé Perrig, a cowherd who grew up yodeling in the Alps. He also learned quite a bit about the art.

Read a lot more about yodeling in Switzerland at National Geographic’s Intelligent Travel blog. Link


QUOTE: "Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves."

HINT: (1899-1980), American naturalist, photographer, and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.

ANSWER: Edwin Way Teale.


Tesla vs. Edison on the Big Screen

It could be a while before we really see it, but Tesla, Ruler of the World is in development from Serbian screenwriter Vladimir Raj?i? and Croatian producer Branko Lustig. It’s about the fascinating but largely unknown life of Serbian-American scientist Nikola Tesla.

Besides the biography, a second film is in the works about the FBI trying to steal Tesla’s plans for a death-ray weapon. Read about both films at Wild Rooster. Link -via The Daily What


The Saddest Vegetable

From Endless Orgami, a webcomic you should be following. Link


First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy wasn't a regular hat wearer until her husband became president. When Halston designed a bone wool pillbox hat for her to wear at her husband's inauguration, she found the style so flattering that she made it her trademark.

The story of a 10-gallon hat being so named because it could hold that much water is a myth. Galon is the Spanish word for "braid," and back in the day, it was a tradition to have a tall-crowned hat that left room for several rows of braided hatbands. English-speaking cowboys heard "galon" and thought "gallon."

Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster) starred in an unlikely Saturday morning Krofft TV production called Lidsville. The show was set in a netherworld populated by oversized hat puppets, with Charles Nelson Reilly as the ringleader.

The pork-pie hat is similar to a traditional Fedora but
has a flat crown. It had been traditional headgear for
British men-about-town for years, but also became popular in America thanks to silent film star Buster Keaton.

In the 1980 motion picture The Blues Brothers, Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) is never seen without his sunglasses, while younger brother Jake (John Belushi) never takes off his hat.

The term "hat trick" originated not with hockey, but with cricket. A bowler tricky enough to take three wickets on three consecutive balls was often rewarded by his club with a rather heady gift: a new hat.


Skippy, the Stone-skipping Robot

When I saw this cute robot that can skip rocks, I thought, “Great, now they automated a lazy summer human pastime.” But you can control this robot to skip rocks for you through the internet! It’s an ad campaign from Sun Valley, Idaho, that runs only through Friday, and only during daylight hours. Link -via The Daily What


AKA: Running of the Idiots

Once again the festival in Pamplona, Spain, which dates to the16th century and is known worldwide for the controversial bullfights and harrowing Running of the Bulls over the city's cobbled streets is underway. More than a dozen people have been reported injured or gored in the five runs held so far. The nine-day San Fermin festival kicked off in the packed city square with people dousing one another with wine and water. It concludes on July 14th at midnight with singing by candlelight. -- Lloyd Young (41 photos total)

Vs the grace & style of a dance ~


To publicize and honor her feminist fantasy novel launching on Kickstarter, The Girl Who Would be King, Kelly Thompson has been collecting images of kickass heroines for 30 days – the duration of her Kickstarter.

On July 8th, day 14 of her 30-day heroine binge, she featured our favourite khaleesi. And she’s gathered some pretty stunning stuff. check out the full collection at the link below. [Collection on 1979 Semi-Finalist | Support Kelly's novel at The Girl Who Would be King Kickstarter | Via The Mary Sue]

Woman continued watching NASCAR with dead friend

Linda Chase knows what she did sounds morbid. She is ashamed of it and figures she will likely go to prison for keeping her friend’s dead body inside a Jackson house for months, and cashing his benefit check. She kept him in his chair after he died, keeping him dressed and cleaned. His body did not stink, she said. She would talk to him and watch NASCAR races on television with him.


Why Do People Say Geronimo When Jumping?

Even kids jumping off of playground equipment scream Geronimo before they let loose, but have you ever stopped and wondered why people do this? Well, Mental Floss has the story:

In the early 1940s, the United States Army was testing the idea of parachuting from planes as a way of deploying troops. The first group to really experiment with it and begin developing paratrooper techniques was a unit of 50 men known the Parachute Test Platoon.

…When training was done for the day, the troops liked to loosen up and cool down a little. Usually, most of the guys went to the air-conditioned Main Post Theatre in the evenings to see whatever movie was playing. One night in August 1940, that movie happened to be the Paramount western, Geronimo, about the Apache chief.

Read the rest of the story over at the link. Link


Tongue-in-cheek, mildly offensive views on politics, culture, economics and … well, human anatomy surveys. More maps available at the link above, along with calendars to buy. (by Alphadesigner, via Coudal)


Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist Hangs Out on Street Corner Answering Questions from Passersby

What’s great about this video is that no question is too simplistic for Dr. Leon Lederman to take seriously. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics, but he’s not above helping ordinary people grasp the wonders of the universe.


Harbor the Rescue Raccoon
<img src=""; alt="Harbor hanging out" width="500" height="375"Harbor the raccoon was kept in a small cage for four years and become almost completely blind before wildlife rehabilitator MaryEllen Schoeman took him in. She washed, fed, and cuddled him, then introduced him to his new custom-made enclosure, where he can run, climb, and play in water. His recovery was amazing, and he now an active and joyful raccoon.

“I have worked with raccoons for many years, and I can honestly say that I have never encountered one who greets each day with such happiness, and who loves so fully and so deeply. He loves his pool, his toys and every single person he meets.” -MaryEllen Schoeman

See photos, videos, and more links about Harbor at Buzzfeed. Link



New illustrations depict how researchers believe dinosaurs mated

New illustrations depict how researchers believe dinosaurs mated.

Get ready for some earth-shaking dinosaur debauchery — these bizarre scientific illustrations imagine how 30-ton prehistoric behemoths had sex.
In case you were wondering, paleontologists believe T. Rex and friends mated much like dogs do.
“All dinosaurs used the same basic position to mate,” Beverly Halstead, an English researcher considered a pioneer in the subject of dino sex, told the Daily Mail. “Mounting from the rear, he put his forelimbs on her shoulders, lifting one hind limb across her back and twisting his tail under hers.”

Previously: All we need to do is find some copulating fossils like these turtles and we’ll know if we’re right!

Which makes me think of my favorite dragon cartoon.....


Fantastic Delites Must be Good

An Australian snack called Fantastic Delites has an advertising campaign centered around what people are willing to do to get a free pack. This vending machine won’t take money, but it will make you pay. How far will they go? I honestly think it becomes more about fulfilling a challenge than eating a …well, I went through three pages of the company website and I think it is some kind of chip. -via The Daily of the Day

Update: commenter beerad advises that these are crackers, and “A DAMNED FINE CRACKER INDEED!!!!!”


Piranha Scissors

Okay, you need to cut something, but you’re in the Amazon rain forest with no scissors. What to do? Just grab a friendly neighborhood piranha and let him do the cutting for you! -via Arbroath


Caste divisions are defined before birth at a local sperm bank

“It’s almost like tubes in our sperm banks are labeled with ‘Brahmin,’ Bhumihar,’ ‘Yadav,’ ‘Rajput’ and several other caste stickers,” said the doctor, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the issue. In Bihar, caste plays a large role in society and culture, but many people are reluctant to discuss caste preferences openly out of concern that it would make them appear to be prejudiced


Happy Birthday Nikola Tesla!

Here’s some Tesla posts to keep you occupied.

I hear Tesla’s birthday party was awesome, except Edison stole all his cake.


The Toilet Paper Factory

A clip from the Sesame Street instructional video Elmo’s Potty Time, featuring music from nerdcore rapper MC Frontalot. He made it a fun factory tour! -via Bits and Pieces


Random Facts:
Each year, on average there are approximately 5,000 UFO sightings reported to the National UFO Reporting Center.

The first well-known UFO sighting occurred in 1947, when businessman Kenneth Arnold claimed to see a group of nine high-speed objects near Mount Rainier in Washington while flying his small plane.


"Either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool or you go out in the ocean."
- Christopher Reeve


CDC’s Wedding Day Survival Guide

After warning the public about the dangers of zombies, the CDC decided to tackle something even more dangerous: weddings!

Emergencies could range from a tear in your wedding gown, tornado, health issues, monster-in-laws, or bridezilla on the loose. It’s important to be aware of the possible issues and to do your homework. Just like you know the risks of putting feuding family members in one room, you should also know to check the weather report.

You never know when Bridezilla might pop up. When dealing with an emotional bride, try to remember your loved one is probably stressed out and will soon return to her caring self after the wedding is over. Be supportive and have some bottled water from your emergency kit and a box of chocolate on hand.
Link- via NPR's Shots blog


Animated Short – What Is Dead May Never Die

What Is Dead May Never Die is a techno trip in the way back machine, with oodles of retro charm and an electro-pop soundtrack to match.

Created by experimental animator Kadavre Exquis, this is an homage to the warm glow of old computer screens tempered with bits of video footage and lovely cascading pixels. –via JazJaz


A half-size replica of the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000, used on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, made out of LEGO. On display at Farnborough International Airshow 2012 and made out of 152,455 LEGO blocks


I’ll Buy All The Games You Have, Thanks

Remember when you were a youngster and you told yourself that it was ok that just just spent all of your savings on a video game because it was an “investment?” Well, for most of us, that was just a lie, but for one collector, that ended up being the truth -he just made $1.2 million for his gaming collection.

Of course, this was no ordinary collection. In fact, it actually contained every game ever made for every Sega, Nintendo and NEC system -a total of around 7,000 games, all of which came in the box complete with their instruction manual. Some of the games haven’t even been opened.

It puts your childhood collection to shame, doesn’t it? Link Via The Consumerist


They can conquer who believe they can.--Virgil


The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd nations – and may be too complex to enjoy

By now you’ve probably read about the paper which reports that there seem to have been three waves of humans migrating into the New World prior to the arrival of Europeans. A major aspect of this result is that it does not emerge out of a vacuum, but rather comes close to settling an old question in linguistics…
The late Joseph Greenberg generated a series of audacious phylogenies of languages of the world. Greenberg’s attempts received mixed reviews. It seems that there is little controversy about some of his classifications of African languages, but linguists of American native dialects rejected his division of the languages of the New World into three broad families, Eskimo-Aleut, Na-Dene, and Amerind…The linguistic trichotomy also lent itself to a narrative of three migrations…
Despite all this drama, the scientific isn’t too hard to understand. Aside from the nifty statistics one problem is that many of these native groups have European and African admixture, but there are workarounds to that (e.g., just pull out genomic segments which are indigenous, and use those)…
On a big picture note this puts the lie to the idea that before agriculture hunter-gatherer societies were subject purely to differentiation in situ. The Eskimo-Aleut and Na-Dene erupted into a settled landscape, and dispossessed the indigenous groups of their lands…The First Americans “struck back” in this case, shoving aside the pioneers of northern living who had likely originated more recently from the margins of eastern Asia. Of course, the Eskimo-Aleut and related peoples were not First Americans only, rather, it was the old (First American) and new (Asian) ganging up upon the not so old or new (Asian).
At which point I will leave it up to more diligent readers to wander through this article – and/orthe slightly deeper stuff – to sort it out to your own satisfaction.
TY Ed ~ I knew it ~ We are all mutts ~


The thing about denial is that it doesn't feel like denial when it's going on. --Georgina Kleege, Sight Unseen


The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.--Confucius


QUOTE: "I've been on a diet for two weeks and all I've lost is two weeks."

HINT: (1930-1978), American comedienne.

ANSWER: Totie Fields.



America is the ice cream capital of the world, producing more than 1.5 gallons of ice cream per year.
Vanilla is the most popular flavor in the United States, pulling in 20-29 percent of all ice cream sales.
Ice cream sandwiches and fudge sticks are the most popular ice cream novelties.
Pecans are the most popular nut and strawberries are the most popular fruit added to ice cream.
About 9 percent of all the milk produced in the United States is used to produce ice cream.
Premium ice cream is the most popular with consumers, but it has a higher fat content than regular ice cream.


"The U.S. Army says it's developing a new body armor for female soldiers inspired by "Xena: Warrior Princess." In related news, everyone at Comic-Con just joined the Army." -Jimmy Fallon


How computers are made


There are lots of examples of animals displaying affection for an individual in another species. This video is a rather well-known one from forty years ago:

Using three iPods like magical props, Marco Tempest spins a clever, surprisingly heartfelt meditation on truth and lies, art and emotion.


The Dead Sea, also known as the Salt Sea, borders Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. It's a hypersaline lake that is truly one of Earth's unique places. This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which animals cannot flourish, hence its name. Here are 10 things you didn't know about the Dead Sea.


Angels are found in many religions around the world. Their purpose varies from one tradition to another, but these transcendental beings usually act as messenger from God. Whether you believe in them or not, these contemporary images of angels (as seen mostly through the Christian tradition) provoke a variety of emotions.
Give some thought for the loneliness of angels! When we see them, are we simply looking in a mirror to our own hopes and dreams or is there even more to it? And whence come angels?


Magic mike



Extreme Lies Ever Told to Get Out of Something

Get your own Zimbabwe 100 Trillion Dollar Bill It’s real and it’s cheaper than you think

Humame – We’re all people of color


Trivia Tidbits:

Pumice is the only rock that floats in water. ***

Snails have teeth. ***

Director-actor Woody Allen won’t use a shower if the drain is in the middle. ***

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Americans consume seven billion hot dogs. ***

A horse’s teeth take up more space than its brain.


Hungary’s Red Sludge Disaster Zone Two Years Later

There’s a section of Hungary known as the red sludge disaster zone, where the land was ravaged by toxic waste in 2010 and now looks like a surreal martian landscape devoid of human life.

The photos in this series were taken by Palíndromo Mészáros for American Photo, and they capture the colorfully barren nature of the ruined Hungarian landscape.

Hit the link below if you want to see the rest, they make a rather clear statement about the devastating effects a toxic waste spill can have on the environment.

Link–via Gizmodo


Take the entry for the Indian word dam. The dictionary defines it as: "Originally an actual copper coin. Damri is a common enough expression for the infinitesimal in coin, and one has often heard a Briton in India say: 'No, I won't give a dumree!' with but a vague notion what a damri meant."
That is the etymology of dam. But Yule and Burnell have more to say.
"And this leads to the suggestion that a like expression, often heard from coarse talkers in England as well as in India, originated in the latter country, and that whatever profanity there may be in the animus, there is none in the etymology, when such an one blurts out 'I don't care a dam!' in other words, 'I don't care a brass farthing!'"

From an article at the BBC discussing English words which originated in India.


6 Famous Misquotes & Where They Came From

You’ve probably heard most of these misquotes aren’t accurate already, but what you might not know is where they actually originated and how they ended up getting associated with certain famous people and characters. Here’s your chance to learn how misattribution and miswording can become someone’s longest lasting legacy.

1. “Let Them Eat Cake”

2. “Elementary, My Dear Watson”

3. “Play It Again, Sam”

4. “I Disapprove of What You Say, But I Will Defend to the Death Your Right to Say It”

5. “I Can See Russia From My House”

6. “First They Ignore You. Then They Laugh At You. Then They Attack You. Then You Win.”

Neighbors upset over fake testicles

TONAWANDA, N.Y. - A battle between neighbors in western New York intensified when one woman put a pair of fake testicles in her back yard. Shirley Draper, of Tonawanda, put the fake testicles in her yard in June, The Tonawanda (N.Y.) News reported Thursday. Her neighbor, Peter Diliberto, called the Tonawanda Police Department June 27 to complain about the lawn ornament, but was told the police could not handle the issue, as displaying fake testicles is not considered illegal. In response, Diliberto and his wife took a picture of Draper's fake testicles and made a laminated yard sign that points to Draper's yard. Draper tried to rip the picture out of the Dilibertos' yard July 4, police Lt. Nick Bado said. She wasn't arrested at that time, but will be served criminal summons for fourth-degree criminal mischief and trespassing.
Sorry ~ couldn't find a picture ~

Naked man crashes his truck into Dallas mall — tries on clothes
He drove a quarter-mile through the mall before he stopped to try on some clothes

Police say a naked man crashed a pickup truck into a Dallas mall, then drove over a few kiosks before stopping to try on clothes.

Dallas police were called to the Southwest Center Mall around 7:30 a.m. Friday. Officers say the man was apparently covered only in a blanket when he drove his truck through the glass entrance doors, then crashed through several kiosks before driving into a Champs Sporting Goods store.

Once inside the store, police say he left his blanket in the truck and started putting on clothes and a pair of Air Jordan shoes…

A police statement identifies the man as 35-year-old Arthur Walker of Dallas. He’s jailed without bond on a burglary charge.

Impulse shopping at a level rarely seen among the sane or sober.

Love it Ed ~ did they say if alcohol or drugs were involved?


The Best (or Worst) of Useless Inventions

1. Solar Powered Flash Light
2. Waterproof Sponge
3. Smooth Sandpaper
4. Fireproof Matches
5. Inflatable Dartboard
6. Battery Powered Battery Charger
7. Braille Drivers Manual
8. Glow-in-the-dark Sunglasses
9. A Pedal Powered Wheelchair
10. Ejector Seats for Helicopters
(From: Aha! Jokes)


Did you know the Ford company experimented with making car bodies out of a type of plastic made from - wait for it - yes, hemp, all the way back in 1941?
The material was lighter than steel but was able to with-stand TEN TIMES the impact.
Still not convinced about the amazing possibilities offered by hemp?
A rational, thinking person almost has to believe there is a conspiracy to keep this incredible, versatile, renewable, nonpolluting, completely biodegradable product from being mass produced in the United States.

Conventional plastic is not biodegradable. This means that our landfills will grow and grow. Plastic materials are based on a finite resource that will not be available to future generations. Plastic has many uses, from packaging of food and industrial products, to insides of cars, casings of electronic items, film, storage bottles, containers and within a myriad of other industries.
Bio-Based Plastics and Composites can be, and are used already to a great extent by industry, especially by the automotive, packaging and building industries. Estimates give a figure of about 500,000 tons a year and a two digit growth in the European Union.
Hemp Plastics can be five times stiffer and 2.5 times stronger than polypropylene, it will not cause wear and tear to the screw and the mould like glass fibres do, and unlike glass fibres, it does not pose safety and health risks. Its recoverable component comes from these natural plants and can occupy over half of its weight, up to 80 percent. All these features make it suitable for the production of durable products.
Hemp history is well documented. Hemp has been used for thousands of years for food, clothing, fuel and paper. Hemp is the non-drug form of cannabis. This industrial hemp is becoming known as the crop of the future. We are making it the crop of the present. In 1997 a company, a university, professors and other industry developed a 25% Hemp plastic product called 'high fly'. This product was developed using unique expertise and resourceful corporations. Today, various grades of hemp plastics are available.



On June 5, a pair of Victoria Crowned Pigeons, Violet & Ozzy, hatched a healthy chick for the first time at Colchester Zoo. The chick was first seen with its head peering out of the nest by keepers on the June 9. The chick will be tended to by both parents until it is 13 weeks old, when the chick becomes independent. "A thief broke into a house in Alaska and found $100,000 but only took $20,000. Police are searching for a man with simple dreams." -Conan O'Brien

Posted for the music by Vangelis. performed by Dick Morrissey. Beautiful, haunting music.

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
[pause] Time to die.

I suppose I watched Blade Runner two or three times before I finally came to view this very brief soliloquy by the replicant as one of the key thematic moments of the film. Hauer, director Ridley Scott, and screenwriter David Peoples asserted that Hauer wrote the "Tears in Rain" speech... In his autobiography, Hauer said he merely cut the original scripted speech by several lines, adding only "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain" although the original script, displayed during the documentary, before Hauer's rewrite, does not mention "Tanhauser Gate"...

Hauer said that
these final lines showed that Batty wanted to "make his mark on existence... the robot in the final scene, by dying, shows Deckard what a real man is made of."

When Hauer performed the scene, the film crew applauded and some even cried. This was due to the power of the dying speech coming at the end of an exhausting shoot.



If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do. If some one maintains that two and two are five, or that Iceland is on the equator, you feel pity rather than anger, unless you know so little of arithmetic or geography that his opinion shakes your own contrary conviction. The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. Persecution is used in theology, not in arithmetic, because in arithmetic there is knowledge, but in theology there is only opinion. So whenever you find yourself getting angry about a difference of opinion, be on your guard; you will probably find, on examination, that your belief is going beyond what the evidence warrants. – Bertrand Russell, “An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish,” 1943


Watermelon Dragon

Shawn Feeney refers to his creations as “edible alchemy.” I like that. The FBI-trained forensic artist makes fanciful sculptures from fruits and vegetables. This dragon sculpture is composed of 14 watermelons and 2 pineapples. Link -via Geekologie


"A new study ranked the people in Minneapolis as the smartest people in the U.S. New York didn't even rank in the top 10. That is so 'non-good.'" -Jimmy Fallon

"One town in Alaska is called Deadhorse. Another one is called and I'm not making this up Manley Hot Springs. Which is also the name of a club here in West Hollywood." -Craig Ferguson


Tour bus gets lost on first official tour of London Olympic Park

An official tour of the Olympic Park in London for the world’s media got off to an inauspicious start this morning when the buses taking journalists from the stadium to the athletes’ village managed to get lost. Granted, the Olympic Park covers a vast area, more on the scale of an airport than a village, but the sight of two double-decker buses having to execute awkward three-point turns does not bode well with barely a fortnight to go to London 2012.


The New York Yankees saw an unusual trade in 1972: Pitchers Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson traded families. Kekich traded his wife, Susan, two children, and a Bedlington terrier for Marilyn Peterson, the two Peterson children, and a poodle. “We didn’t trade wives, we traded lives,” Kekich said.

“They were really close, and their families were close,” remembered Yankees catcher Jake Gibbs, who had played with both men. “I guess we just didn’t know how close. Of course, they were both left-handers. You can never tell about lefties.”

The storm of attention that accompanied the trade began to erode the players’ friendship — Yankees executive Dan Topping quipped, “We may have to call off Family Day this season” — and Kekich was traded to the Indians later that year.

Marilyn Peterson and Mike Kekich eventually ended their relationship, but Fritz Peterson married Susanne Kekich in 1974 and raised four children with her.

The two friends were never close again. “All four of us had agreed in the beginning that if anyone wasn’t happy, the thing would be called off,” Kekich said. “But when Marilyn and I decided to call it off, the other couple already had gone off with each other.”


Human Kaleidoscope

The agency WE ARE Pi created this advertisement for the Tedx Summit this past April in Doha, Qatar. There’s also a “making-of” video. -via Buzzfeed



This Imaginary Foundation Stardust art print, inspired by the words of Carl Sagan, can be yours. A limited run of 500 was made, available for $75 at the link! (via Boing Boing)


A co-worker returned after lunch carrying a dress from the cleaners. "Pretty," said one of the guys. "Big date tonight?"
"I picked it up for a friend," she replied, adding, "Do you really think I could fit in a tiny thing like this?"
Jerry smiled and said, "Do you really think Ive lived this long by answering questions like that?"


Our son lived at home all four of his undergraduate years. He moved out only when he went to grad school and got an apartment. The first time my husband and I went to see his new place, Matt greeted us, saying, "I'm glad to finally be the host."
As we walked in the door, my husband whispered to me, "Instead of the parasite."


Everything must justify its existence before the judgment seat of Reason, or give up existence.
--Friedrich Engels

[Here, Engels would be comfortable in quant marketing!]


May you live your life as if the maxim of your actions were to become universal law. ~ Kant


Loophole to McDonald’s Olympics Fries Monopoly

Want chips (French fries to us Yanks) at the Olympics? You're out of luck: McDonald's has got the monopoly on that.

But, there is a clever loop hole. Find out how athletes can get their carb-laden fries over at The Daily What: Link


Pale Blue Southwest

Your moment of Zen, timelapse images of the American Southwest set to Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot”. There’s no bad time to remember these words, our place on Earth, and our place in the universe.


At the climax of the 1934 film The Black Cat, Boris Karloff recites a “black mass” over a swooning Jacqueline Wells:

Cum grano salis. Fortis cadere cedere non potest. Humanum est errare. Lupis pilum mutat, non mentem. Magna est veritas et praevalebit. Acta exteriora indicant interiora secreta. Aequam memento rebus in arduis servare mentem. Amissum quod nescitur non amittitur. Brutum fulmen. Cum grano salis. Fortis cadere cedere non potest. Fructu, non foliis arborem aestima. Insanus omnes furere credit ceteros. Quem paenitet peccasse paene est innocens.

This sounds marvelous in Karloff’s portentous baritone, but it’s weaker in translation:

With a grain of salt. A brave man may fall, but he cannot yield. To err is human. The wolf may change his skin, but not his nature. Truth is mighty, and will prevail. External actions show internal secrets. Remember when life’s path is steep to keep your mind even. The loss that is not known is no loss at all. Heavy thunder. With a grain of salt. A brave man may fall, but he cannot yield. By fruit, not by leaves, judge a tree. Every madman thinks everybody mad. Who repents from sinning is almost innocent.

He might have added Omnia dicta fortiora si dicta Latina: “Everything sounds more impressive in Latin.”


The outfits they will be wearing for the opening and closing ceremonies were made in China.

More at the Washington Post. Too bad Jon Stewart is off for the summer. And if for some bizarre reason you want to dress like this yourself...

$598 for the women’s blazer and $498 for the silk skirt. The men’s blazer is a staggering $795, flat front trousers $295 and nubuck shoes are $165. And that damn beret? $55.

Outrageously priced, outsourced clothing. To complete the image they should have deferred payment for it to the next generation.


When the London Olympics open on July 27th, the Parade of Nations will be our introduction to the 2012 athletes. What each team wears to the Opening Ceremonies is the stuff of much conjecture, drama, pride, gossip, and criticism. Let’s see what some of the teams will be wearing.

Before heading to the 2012 London Olympic games, the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team stripped down for ESPN. From a gallery of 28 images in ESPN's "Body Issue" posted in the NY Daily News.


If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.
--Thomas Edison


Watch A Clam Use His Foot to Get Back in the Water

Earlier, Alex posted a video of a clam “licking” up salt off of a table. As it turns out, the poor clam was actually trying to use its foot (they don’t have tongues) to climb back to safety. Here’s what it looks like when the creature isn’t just seasoning himself for someone’s dinner. Via BoingBoing

How to catch a Razor Fish / Clam

Giant hermit crab in a huge conch shell


Antilia, Ara, Carina, Columba, Dorado, Fomax...

Who, what, or where are these words?

... Grus, Lacerta, Mensa, Norma, Pavo, Pictor, Reticulum, Sculptor, Triangulum, Vela, Pictor, Norma, Fomax...

Those are the names of some of the 88 constellations used in modern astronomy.

And those who are picky about word choices should note that "
constellations properly speaking are not patterns of stars, as in the common use of the word, but areas of the sky (the celestial sphere).

Various other unofficial patterns have existed alongside the constellations. These are known as "
asterisms." Examples include the Big Dipper and the Northern Cross.


Happy Homes

Each home has its unique personality, and its own face. This ad for NEST thermostats shows some of the happiest homes. -via Swiss Miss


Man Finds His Car for Sale on eBay 42 Years after It Was Stolen
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In 1970, Bob Russell’s ’67 Austin Healey 3000 disappeared after a date with the woman he’d eventually marry. But he never gave up on her and kept searching for the beauty for 42 years. Suspecting that the rare collectible car would be sold multiple times, he scoured online auctions for it. Finally, one morning, he saw his car for sale on eBay.

That was only the beginning of Russell’s struggle. Next, he had to convince the dealer that it was indeed his Austin Healey and that the dealer had to give it back to him:

Russell said the car’s vehicle identification number matched that of his Healey. In addition, he still had the original key and car title, as well as signed affidavits from friends, including the original owner, indicating that Russell had never sold the auto.

But one legal roadblock remained: He didn’t have a copy of the stolen-car report he filed back in 1970. [...]

Turns out the original stolen-car report he filed in Philadelphia wasn’t showing up at the National Crime Information Center because one VIN letter was entered incorrectly into the FBI’s computerized index of crimes.

But thanks to persistent detectives in Philadelphia, Russell said, the report finally was located.

Once he got his hands on a copy of the report, Philadelphia police were able to reactivate the file. That enabled the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to impound the car.

Russell and his wife, Cynthia, drove to LA on June 16 and took possession of the car two days later after paying roughly $600 in impoundment fees.

Link -via Jalopnik | Photo: Michael Ainsworth/AP


Game of Thrones for Math Nerds
If you are both a math nerd and a Game of Thrones fan, you’ll love this “song of ice and statistics” from Josh Sundquist. It’s a Vi Hart-style breakdown by numbers of the book series and the HBO show. -via The Daily What Geek


Learn all of the details of the Japanese tradition of sushi. Done by a group called Rahmens. It's a parody. Do not try this at home.


Scientists are using the world’s biggest telescope, buried deep under the South Pole, to try to unravel the mysteries of tiny particles known as neutrinos, hoping to shed light on how the universe was made.

The mega-detector, called IceCube, took 10 years to build 2,400 meters below the Antarctic ice. At one cubic km, it is bigger than the Empire State building, the Chicago Sears Tower - now known as Willis Tower - and Shanghai’s World Financial Center combined.

Designed to observe neutrinos, which are emitted by exploding stars and move close to the speed of light, the telescope is attracting new attention in the wake of last week’s discovery of a particle that appears to be the Higgs boson - a basic building block of the universe.

“You hold up your finger and a hundred billion neutrinos pass through it every second from the sun,” said Jenni Adams, a physicist at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, who works on IceCube.


20 Weird and Fantastic Fungi
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Fungi are simply amazing in general, but these 10 species are so uniquely fascinating, they’re certainly worth reading about. For example, the false morel may look brainy like a morel and taste unbelievable when prepared correctly, but when it’s cooked wrong, the results can be deadly. Link


With a price tag of $1,010 'The Golden Phoenix' was unveiled at the launch of the Dubai Mall's Bloomsbury bouquet café, making it the world's most expensive edible cupcake. It was made with edible gold dust.


Tunnels are mostly human creations that commonly pass through the mountains and hills. But there are tunnels that have a very unusual purpose, appearance or location.
This is a list of tunnels that you can not see often, because they are rare or unique. That is why some of them have become very popular tourist attractions.


"The big difference between sex for money and sex for free is that sex for money costs less." -Brendan Francis


A businessman and his secretary, overcome by passion, go to his house for an early afternoon quickie. "Don't worry," he assures her, "my wife is out of town on a business trip, so there's no risk."
As one thing leads to another, the woman reaches into her purse and suddenly gasps, "We have to stop! I forgot to bring birth control!"
"No problem," he replies, "I'll get my wife's diaphragm." After a few minutes of searching, he returns to the bedroom in a fury. "That bitch!" he exclaims. "She took it with her! I always knew she didn't trust me!"


"The White House is telling Americans not to 'read too much' into Friday's bad jobs report. Or as Americans put it, 'You had me at 'don't read too much.'" -Jimmy Fallon

"Road kill is now legal to eat in Illinois. It's part of their new 'Meals Under Wheels' program." -Jay Leno

On a trip to CERN, David Gabriel Marks snapped these photos of physicist-artist(!) Michael Hoch with the Large Hadron Collider made from LEGOs.

On a totally new level of nerdery, scientists at CERN use LEGOs for logistics purposes, using them to create miniature models of experiments.

Mind = blown.

Photo by David Gabriel Marks.

Photo by David Gabriel Marks.


"A new study shows that monkeys can look at photos and recognize other monkeys they know. However, the study also shows that monkeys are terrible with names." -Conan O'Brien
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A co-worker was telling us about her sister who was coming to visit her for the holidays. Someone asked how old her sister was, at which she paused, thought for a bit, and then answered, "She's half as old as I am, that's how I always remember."
So someone else (okay, it was me) said, "That's neat... So every year that you age, she only ages half a year?" My co-worker thought about that, and then said, "Oh, yeah, I guess it only works on even years."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I walked into a coffee shop on Halloween to find the woman behind the counter with a bunch of sponges pinned to her uniform.
"I'm assuming this is a costume, but just what are you
supposed to be?" I asked.
The waitress responded proudly, "I'm self-absorbed."
To regret one's own experiences is to arrest one's own development. To deny one's own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one's own life. It is no less than a denial of the soul. --Oscar Wilde, De Profundis

To celebrate the 50th year since the first LEGO block landed on their chunk of the world, Australia is going all out with a year-long “Festival of Play.” They’ve got a whole heap of activities going on for the celebrations, mostly based in Sydney, including an awesome complete LEGO brick scale model of Rome’s Colosseum!

But the first major event, and the one that was probably the coolest, was the LEGO Forest built at Martin Place in Sydney. The forest then quickly migrated to Western New South Wales to Broken Hill. The flowers and trees are to scale from the iconic LEGO pieces, enlarged 66 times. They’re set to remain at Broken Hill till the 12th of July.

Nice to have something physical to experience, in this world of augmented reality and constant digital innovation isn’t it?


Bob Marley gets his own specieson Caribbean reefs

Good News for Baby Sea Turtles

The Sierra Club's Puerto Rico Chapter
notched a huge victory when the island's governor signed a bill protecting nearly 2,000 acres of the Northeast Ecological Corridor from development. For more than 15 years, a proposal to build two megaresorts loomed over the Corridor, which includes one of the most important nesting grounds on Earth for the endangered leatherback sea turtle.

Listen to the Higgs Boson

When I visited CERN last year, I was blown away not only by the science, but by the incredible amount of artistic creativity in the people that live and work at the biggest science experiment in the world. We met people in bands, people who painted murals, videographers, and so much more. So this little project by the folks at ATLAS to ‘sonify’ the Higgs finding just has me grinning. They assigned notes to data points and what came out was this lovely little habanera rhythm that corresponds with the Higgs. It’s such a fun piece of music.


Professional Snuggler Will Cuddle for Money

Jacqueline Samuel’s business, dubbed The Snuggery, is the best place to go for a good cuddle: Jackie started thinking about a business centered around cuddling at the start of grad school, and says she and her sisters even tried selling hugs on the street for $1 each, making up to $80 per day. And although she hasn’t been able to get certified as a professional cuddler, the University of Rochester graduate has studied the “Cuddle Sutra” and is versed in over 100 non-sexual positions. Still most of the time, she and her clients start out by spooning. Some of her affection-seeking customers (all men) have questioned her about getting some extra attention, but Samuel says most of them respect her boundaries. Video at the link.


Why Does Getting Hit in the Testicles Hurt So Much?
if you don’t have testicles, you’ve probably seen enough nutshots, in real life or on the ‘net, that you know better than to cause one intentionally. You’ll pay for that sin, in guilt if not in kind. Men know how painful it can be.

And the pain doesn’t just stay down there in the scrotum. It insists on radiating throughout the groin and up into the abdomen (and, psychically, out to every other dude standing within a few feet), leading to a weird stomach ache. This is the work of a phenomenon known as referred pain, which is when a sensation originating at one spot travels along a nerve root to other parts of the body and is perceived as happening there, too. It’s the same thing that’s going when you get an ice cream headache. In this case, the pain starts in your balls and travels up the perineal and pudendal nerves and the spermatic plexus, which cover real estate in the groin and abdomen, around the spine and even a little ways down into the anus, to make it feel like death has come for most of your lower body. There are several reasons why testicles are so sensitive. Matt Soniak tackles the questions and the answers at mental_floss. Link



A man is skydiving, enjoying his free-fall, when he realizes that he has reached the altitude where he must open his parachute. So he pulls on the rip cord, but nothing happens.

“No problem,” he says to himself, “I still have my emergency chute.” So he pulls the rip cord on his emergency parachute, and once again, nothing happens.

Now the man begins to panic. “What am I going to do?” he thinks, “I’m a goner!”

Just then he sees a man flying up from the earth toward him. He can’t figure out where this man is coming from, or what he’s doing, but he thinks to himself, “Maybe he can help me. If he can’t, then I’m done for.”

When the man gets close enough to him, the skydiver cups his hands and shouts down, “Hey, do you know anything about parachutes?”

The other man replies, “No! Do you know anything about gas stoves?”


How do you outgeek the creation of a motion-control TV remote that operates like a magic wand? Why, you turn it into a Sonic Screwdriver.

The BBC’s commercial arm has announced a deal with The Wand Company to produce a Sonic Screwdriver Universal Remote.


Cow Dance

The street dance troupe Boadicea will be performing at the Olympic Opening Ceremonies in London later this month. Here they are cows, dancing for Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, in support of the Supporting Better Dairy campaign. Link


How To Shoot Liquid Flow Photographs

Photograph Corrie White shoots beautiful pictures of liquid flowing in liquid. She posted a tutorial on how it’s done, from dying the liquid to clean up. And guess what? This picture is actually upside down! Read it all at PetaPixel. Link -via the Presurfer


A Tour of the Moon
NASA takes us on a tour of the moon, courtesy of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. -via Geeks Are Sexy


Digg Sold

Once upon a time, the news aggregator site Digg was valued at $160 million. Yesterday, Digg confirmed that the site has been sold to Betaworks for $500,000. Some say the decline of Digg can be traced to the rise of Facebook and Twitter, while others blame mismanagement and a switch to support of sponsors over users.

A series of redesigns, some of which weren’t well-received by users, also hurt the company. A site relaunch in the summer of 2010 triggered a backlash, with most users saying they preferred the old Digg. By the end of 2010, Digg’s audience had fallen by more than half, according to ComScore.

Newer social-news website Reddit Inc. also stole some of Digg’s thunder. Last December, Reddit drew more visitors than Digg for the first time, according to comScore, and since then it has maintained that lead.

In March of last year, Mr. Rose, the founder, resigned from the company. He is now a venture capitalist with Google Ventures. Betaworks intends to fold Digg into Inc., a digital media start-up that Betaworks launched in April 2011. sends users links to news articles that their connections on Twitter and Facebook are reading and talking about., which uses an iPad and iPhone app and daily email newsletter, has about 10 employees. None of Digg’s remaining employees will be retained. Read more about the deal at the Wall Street Journal. Link -via Metafilter


Joey in the pouch


Click to enlarge

Upside down world




In Scientology, the concept of thetan (/ˈθtən/THAY-tən) is similar to the concept of spirit or soul found in other belief systems. The term is derived from the Greek letter theta, which in Scientology represents "the source of life, or life itself." In Scientology it is believed that it is the Thetan, not the Central Nervous System, which commands the body through communication points.

Thetans have been described in the Church of Scientology in a number of ways.

  • A "thetan is an immortal spiritual being; the human soul."
  • "The being who is the individual and who handles and lives in the body."
  • "A thetan is not a thing, a thetan is the creator of things."
  • A thetan is "the person himself — not his body or his name, the physical universe, his mind, or anything else; that which is aware of being aware; the identity which is the individual. The thetan is most familiar to one and all as you."


Fans have been speculating what characters from A Storm of Swords might appear in the upcoming season of Game of Thrones. At today's San Diego Comic-Con panel, George R.R. Martin revealed new cast members for Season 3.


Balloonist discovers hidden memorial from a farmer to his wife

He laid out the fledgling trees in a six-acre field but left a perfect heart shape in the middle – with the point facing in the direction of her childhood home.

“I thought it was a great idea – it was a flash on inspiration – and I planted several thousand oak trees.

“Once it was completed we put a seat in the field, overlooking the hill near where she used to live. I sometimes go down there, just to sit and think about things. It is a lovely and lasting tribute to her which will be here for years.”

Winston Howes, who owns an 112-acre farm near Wickwar, South Gloucestershire, decided to seed housewife Janet’s legacy after she died from heart failure in 1995, aged 50…

He created with the wood using small oak trees next to his farmhouse in the months after her death – marking out an acre-long heart with a large bushy hedge…

“The heart points towards Wotton Hill, where Janet is from.

“We plant daffodils in the middle that come up in the spring – it looks great. I go out there from time to time and sit in the seat I created…

Mr Howes’s memorial was shown in all its glory after keen hot air balloonist Andy Collett, 42, from Wotton-Under-Edge, Glos., soared over the wood last week…The transport businessman could not believe his eyes when he discovered the symbol of love hidden among the trees.

He said: “I have my own balloon and am quite a regular flyer – but this was the most amazing sight I have ever seen from the sky.

“It was a perfect heart hidden away from view – you would not know it was there…”You can just imagine the love story.”

I don’t get to blog very often with my eyes filled with tears of love and hope. In a world filled with turmoil and greed it’s easy to forget we are a species who believe in love.

Thank you Winston Howes.

Thank you Ed ~


Friday the 13th in 2009: 10 reasons the number 13 is unlucky.

After decades of being wasted on catching dangerous criminals, DNA technology can finally be put to good use.

Treating erectile dysfunction with spider bites? Apparently there’s more to these
crawly critters than we realized.

It’s kind of like being trapped in some inescapable time loop doomed to forever repeat itself. But now, psychologists are beginning to uncover the cognitive process that causes déjà vu. You know, that feeling of being trapped in some inescapable time loop doomed to forever repeat itself.


1. Track Bird Populations
9. Find Good Homes for Redwoods


This Is One Sharp Looking Ruler

This machete shaped ruler by Palehorse is strictly for hardcore measuring, and not for settling schoolyard arguments. It has a deadly cool style and the lovely warmth of natural wood, one sharp looking inch at a time.

It won’t help you cut a path through the jungle, but it’ll make it easy to measure the length of the spider latched onto your face! Link –via Gizmodo


You might think Napoleon was a playboy, sleeping with the world’s most beautiful women. But his heart, head, and masculinity belonged to one woman: Josephine. The letters Napoleon wrote to her resemble the desperate, angry, and pathetic e-mails, texts, and voicemails you might see today. Here are ten excerpts.

1. In a letter to Josephine a few months after they married, Napoleon wrote, “I don’t love you, not at all; on the contrary I detest you – You’re a naughty, gawky, foolish slut.” And that was just the first sentence.
2. He ends the same letter by saying, “I hope before long to crush you in my arms and cover you with a million kisses burning as though beneath the equator.”
3. In April 1796, Napoleon begs Josephine to join him in Milan when he wrote, “I shall be alone and far, far away. But you are coming, aren’t you? You are going to be here beside me, in my arms, on my breast, on my mouth? Take wing and come, come… A kiss on your heart, and one much lower down, much lower!” It’s 18th-century sexting.

4. Napoleon continues to shower her with compliments in a July letter: “Your tears rob me of reason, and inflame my blood. Believe me it is not in my power to have a single thought which is not of thee, or a wish I could not reveal to thee.” A little clingy.

5. “I write you, me beloved one, very often, and you write very little. You are wicked and naughty, very naughty, as much as you are fickle. It is unfaithful so to deceive a poor husband, a tender lover!” Now the jealous husband is in full force, and playing the sympathy card.

6. Napoleon goes on to let her know that he is nothing without her. “Without his Josephine, without the assurance of her love, what is left him upon earth? What can he do?” We should note that he was the Emperor of almost all of Europe.

7. After not receiving word from Josephine, Napoleon goes nuts. “You don’t write to me at all; you don’t love your husband; you know how happy your letters make him, and you don’t write him six lines of nonsense…”

8. Back to the dirty talk! “How happy I would be if I could assist you at your undressing, the little firm white breast, the adorable face, the hair tied up in a scarf a la creole.”

9. Just like a jealous husband or boyfriend, Napoleon threatens Josephine that he will “surprise” her one day, “Adieu, adorable Josephine; one of these nights your door will open with a great noise; as a jealous person, and you will find me on your arms.”

10. Napoleon wrote to his brother of his failing love for Josephine. “The veil is torn…It is sad when one and the same heart is torn by such conflicting feelings for one person… I need to be alone. I am tired of grandeur; all my feelings have dried up. I no longer care about my glory. At twenty-nine I have exhausted everything.”

What makes this one so embarrassing? The British intercepted it and published it in all their newspapers, humiliating Napoleon. Like a teacher reading your note out loud to the class for shock value.

Felt like a hero


Fancy Diving

The Olympics begin in two weeks. This diving sequence will help get you into the mood, although it was not taken at an official meet. I would give this guy an eight for style, but his technical score would only be a two or so. -via reddit


When game designer Jane McGonigal found herself bedridden and suicidal following a severe concussion, she had a fascinating idea for how to get better. She dove into the scientific research and created the healing game, SuperBetter. In this moving talk, McGonigal explains how a game can boost resilience — and promises to add 7.5 minutes to your life


The 100% Bacon Burger Sounds Gross and Delicious

If obesity is a truly American characteristic, then Slater’s 50/50 new ‘merica Burger is the perfect tribute to our great country. Only available in the month of July, this burger features a patty made from 100% bacon, thousand island dressing with bacon in it, bacon cheddar cheese and a strip of bacon on top.

I’m simultaneously disgusted and hungry. Link Via Geekosystem



Sorry, Liver. It's Friday.


Ukrainian artist Yvan Degtyariov created football (“soccer”) emblems for each house in Westeros!

The swordplay and battles on the HBO show are epic and all, but I wouldn’t mind seeing the Lannisters take on, say, the Targaryens in a game of foot-to-foot coordination…to the death, natch.


Bizarre plans to transform the The Gherkin into The Penguin could see a giant Humboldt penguin towering over Londoners this summer. Bosses at ZSL London Zoo commissioned a production team to draw up a dramatic redesign of the landmark to remind visitors to the capital not to miss the zoo’s Penguin Beach in 2012.

I have friends who thought this was a new Angry Birds advert.

Love your comment Ed ( I think it is Angry Birds in disguise) Where's my slingshot?


How to catch a kangaroo. It's not as difficult as you think.


Liven Up Your Ice Cubes

You can make ice cubes out of almost anything, I see, and looking through these gorgeous pictures and tasty recipes makes me wish I drank something besides hot coffee and tea. See nineteen ways to make ice cubes at Buzzfeed. Link

7. Chocolate Ice Cubes in Milk (or Coffee)

Chocolate Ice Cubes in Milk (or Coffee)

- 200ml milk
- 50ml water
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee (optional)
- 70g dark chocolate (66%)

Finely chop chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl.

Pour milk and water in a saucepan, add sugar, cocoa and instant coffee and mix carefully to avoid lumps. Bring to a boil over medium heat then remove from heat.
Pour mixture over the chocolate, melt 5 minutes then mix gently with a wooden spoon to get a cream smooth and creamy.

Cool and pour into an ice cube tray and freeze.

This recipe courtesy of Sandra Kavital's blog.


Straddling the border of Poland and Belarus, there is a reminder of what Europe used to look like before the arrival of man. Bialowieza Forest is the largest remaining part of a vast primeval forest that stretched for thousands of miles from corner to corner of the European plain. Something very large and very rare still stirs within the forest.

Little has changed here for thousands of years. It is still home to Europe's heaviest land mammal - the Wisent. Yet the area has been witness to tumultuous social and political changes, one of which was to see the wisent eradicated from the confines of the forest. Bialowieza saw little peace in the twentieth century.



The new father ran out of the delivery room and announced to the rest of his family who were waiting for the news: “We had twins!”

The family was so excited they immediately asked, “Who do they look like?”

The father paused, smiled, and said, “Each other!”