Friday, February 22, 2013

Paws & Claws ~ February 10, 2013 ~ Mardi Gras is Tuesday & Love Blooms this Thursday

Love means to commit oneself without guarantee,
to give oneself completely
in the hope
that our love will produce love in the loved person.
Love is an act of faith,
and whoever is of little faith is also of little love.
~Erich Fromm
2013 February
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.
The Great Meteor Procession of 1913
Image Credit & Copyright: RASC Archives ; Acknowledgement: Bradley E. Schaefer (LSU)
Explanation: One hundred years ago today the Great Meteor Procession of 1913 occurred, a sky event described by some as "magnificent" and "entrancing" and which left people feeling "spellbound" and "privileged". Because one had to be in a right location, outside, and under clear skies, only about 1,000 people noted seeing the procession. Lucky sky gazers -- particularly those near Toronto, Canada -- had their eyes drawn to an amazing train of bright meteors streaming across the sky, in groups, over the course of a few minutes. A current leading progenitor hypothesis is that a single large meteor once grazed the Earth's atmosphere and broke up. When the resulting pieces next encountered the Earth, they came in over south-central Canada, traveled thousands of kilometers as they crossed over the northeastern USA, and eventually fell into the central Atlantic ocean. Pictured above is a digital scan of a halftone hand-tinted image by the artist Gustav Hahn who was fortunate enough to witness the event first hand. Although nothing quite like the Great Meteor Procession of 1913 has been reported since, numerous bright fireballs -- themselves pretty spectacular -- have since been recorded, some even on video.
Namibian Nights
Video Credit & Copyright: Marsel van Oosten; Music: Simon Wilkinson
Explanation: Namibia has some of the darkest nights visible from any continent. It is therefore home to some of the more spectacular skyscapes, a few of which have been captured in the above time-lapse video. Visible at the movie start are unusual quiver trees perched before a deep starfield highlighted by the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy. This bright band of stars and gas appears to pivot around the celestial south pole as our Earth rotates. The remains of camel thorn trees are then seen against a sky that includes a fuzzy patch on the far right that is the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small satellite galaxy to the Milky Way. A bright sunlight-reflecting satellite passes quickly overhead. Quiver trees appear again, now showing their unusual trunks, while the Small Magellanic Cloud becomes clearly visible in the background. Artificial lights illuminate a mist that surround camel thorn trees in Deadvlei. In the final sequence, natural Namibian stone arches are captured against the advancing shadows of the setting moon. This video incorporates over 16,000 images shot over two years, and won top honors among the 2012 Travel Photographer of the Year awards.
The Author Himself Was a Cat in the Hat
I've just installed strobe lights in the bedroom.
It makes the wife look like she's moving during sex.
Come on, evolution, you cannot be serious with this sh— Oh, wait. OH. Ha! I get it. Clearly the red-lipped batfish is a work of satire, not meant to be taken as a literal “animal,” which would of course be ridiculous. Sorry, I can be a bit slow sometimes. Nice one.
Come on, evolution, you cannot be serious with this sh—
Oh, wait. OH. Ha! I get it. Clearly the red-lipped batfish is a work of satire, not meant to be taken as a literal “animal,” which would of course be ridiculous. Sorry, I can be a bit slow sometimes. Nice one.
Only time can heal what reason cannot. --Seneca

One cannot be deeply responsive to the world without being saddened very often. --Erich Fromm

Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes and it may go. How can I judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgment and decision. --Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

If other people do not understand our behavior-so what? Their request that we must only do what they understand is an attempt to dictate to us. If this is being "asocial" or "irrational" in their eyes, so be it. Mostly they resent our freedom and our courage to be ourselves. We owe nobody an explanation or an accounting, as long as our acts do not hurt or infringe on them.

How many lives have been ruined by this need to "explain," which usually implies that the explanation be "understood," i.e. approved. Let your deeds be judged, and from your deeds, your real intentions, but know that a free person owes an explanation only to himself-to his reason and his conscience- and to the few who may have a justified claim for explanation.
--Erich Fromm, The Art of Being

"According to reports from a journal called Psychological Science, people eat more junk food and gain weight during tough economic times. How ironic is that? The biggest obstacle to Michele Obama's war on obesity is President Obama's economic policy." -Jay Leno

"The Canadians got rid of their penny today. There are no more one-cent coins in Canada. So now if you're in Canada, and say to someone 'a penny for your thoughts,' that is now illegal. They will put you in jail." -Craig Ferguson

"A French tattoo artist met a young lady and less than 24 hours after they met, she allowed him to tattoo his name on her face. That means she either really loves him or really hates her parents." -Jimmy Kimmel

Upset over a newlywed squabble with my husband, I went to my mother to complain. Trying to console me, my dad said that men are not all like this all the time.

"Nonsense," I said, inconsolable. "Men are good for only one thing!"

"Yes," my mother interjected, "but how often do you have to parallel park?"

I have to hand it to my wife. She really puts up well with my eccentricities. Like the other morning for example; I had just gotten out of the shower when I discovered that once again one of my considerate daughters had used my towel and left it wet on the towel rack.

Standing there naked, trying to dry myself with a wet towel, I saw my wife's hair dryer.

A couple minutes later she walked into the bathroom to see me standing there naked, with one leg up on the toilet seat, blow-drying my pubes (I had just finished my armpits).

"Just what in the hell do you think you are doing?" she asked.

Since she asked me one of those questions with a completely obvious answer she practically forced me to be a smart-ass, so I said, "Heating up your breakfast."

In hindsight that might not have been the best answer.

"A new study found out that having money and good looks does not make you happy. On the other hand, being broke and ugly is no day at the beach either." -Jay Leno

A woman said to her friend, "I don't know what to do. My husband is such a mess maker that you can't imagine. He doesn't put anything in its place, I am always going around the house organizing things."

The friend says, "Take a tip from me. The first week after we were married I told my husband firmly, 'Every glass and plate that you take, wash when you are done and put back in its place.'"

The first woman asked, "Did it help?"

Her friend said, "I don't know. I haven't seen him since."

"Today, President Obama honored more than 20 researchers for their contributions to science and technology. Unfortunately, it was overshadowed by the football game ~ or as those researchers put it, 'Man, high school never ends, does it?'" -Jimmy Fallon

"What kind of music do you sing?"
"Don't you mean 'a cappella', singing without instrumental accompaniment?"
"Nope. I mean 'aqua-pella', singing accompanied only by the water coming out of the shower-head."

February 3 was the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment, that is the income tax. Americans for Tax Reform commemorated the occasion by publishing a few fun facts about the income tax.

Random Facts:

The initial top tax bracket was only 7 percent, and it didn't kick in until income reached a whopping $11.6 million in 2013 dollars. Only 358,000 people had to fill out 1040 forms at first, because the standard family deduction was an adjusted $93,000.

Over the past hundred years, the tax code has swelled from 400 pages to almost 74,000, and the top rate is now 39.6 percent. In it's first year the income tax brought in a paltry $16.6 billion, adjusted for the past century of inflation. Today that revenue equals $2.7 trillion.
"If laughter be the alternative to violence then GET A FUCKING SENSE OF HUMOR! "

-The Unknown Shakespeare
Trust no one.
Only those who you trust can betray you.
-- Robert Goodkind --
Trust everyone.
It's not like you have any really important secrets.

The Pope took a philosophy professor (an atheist at that) out fishing on a large lake. As they drifted on the still lake, the philosopher accidentally dropped an oar and watched it float away. The pontiff stepped out of the boat, walked across the water to the oar, grabbed it and walked back to the boat.
The next day at the university, a colleague asked the philosopher if he had enjoyed fishing with the Pope. "It was
okay, but would you believe that guy can't swim?"

Spotted Lake (British Columbia)

Most of the water in the lake evaporates over the summer, leaving behind large “spots” of minerals. Depending on the mineral composition left behind, the spots will be of white, pale yellow, green or blue in color...

During the First World War, minerals from the lake were harvested for manufacture of ammunition...

Known as Kliluk to the natives of the Okanagan Valley, the lake is a sacred and culturally significant site whose potential for commercial exploitation recently generated much controversy. The therapeutic quality of the waters has been known for millennia - the Native Indians used the mud and waters of the lake to heal aches and ailments...
The lake and surrounding land were purchased by the First Nations and Indian Affairs Department in 2001.

Text from Amusing Planet, via NPR's tumblr. Photo credit Fred Schaad.
Can someone please tell me these are urban legends:
(A) Local licensing authorities outlawed soap in pre-school bathrooms for fear that children might suddenly start drinking it. Now kids must come out and ask an adult to squirt some soap in their hands.

(B) Unaccompanied children under age 12 were banned from the Boulder, CO, library, lest they encounter “hazards such as stairs, elevators, doors, furniture…and other library patrons.”

(C)The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall of certain fleece hoodies sold at Target because of lead paint on the zipper, which presumably could raise blood lead levels if the zippers are eaten.

(E) A New Canaan, CT, mom was charged with “risk of injury to a minor,” for letting her 13-year-old babysit the three younger children at home for an hour while the mom went to church.

(F) A Tennessee mother was thrown in jail for letting her kids, aged 8 and 5, go to the park without her, a block and half away from home.
Found at Cato Unbound without links to the sources of the stories, via The New Shelton wet/dry.
"A company announced they are now selling waffle-flavored vodka. Who is this for, the drunks that still think breakfast is the most important meal of the day?" -Jay Leno

"Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis once again denied using the banned substance deer antler velvet extract. Before you kids start using the deer antler spray, there are a couple of side effects. Number one, skittishness. And number two, freezing in headlights." -Dave Letterman
QUOTE: "There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day."

HINT: American critic and commentator for The New Yorker magazine and a member of the Algonquin Round Table.

ANSWER: Alexander Woollcott.

Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger bought the first Hummer manufactured for civilian use in 1992. The vehicle weighed in at 6,300 lbs and was 7 feet wide.

Britain's first escalator was installed in Harrods in 1878.

Cheerios cereal was originally called Cheerioats.

False eyelashes were invented by film director D.W. Griffith while he was making the 1916 epic, "Intolerance." He wanted actress Seena Owen to have lashes that brushed her cheeks.

G.I. Joe was introduced at the annual American International Toy Fair in New York on Feb. 9, 1964.

The word vaccine comes from the Latin word "vacca," which means cow. This name was chosen because the first vaccination was derived from cowpox which was given to a boy.

Weekly Mind-Scrambler

I'm pleasing to the eye
A tool for many absent of mind
A tapestry of fickle lies
Blind to even the most pensive spies
I'm often the breeder of fervent lust
But I am by far one you shouldn't trust.
What am I?


In a telling demonstration of their lack of faith in the future of the U.S. dollar, lawmakers in Virginia are considering minting their own state coinage. But could the dollar really fail?

National currencies have failed before, and it has happened more frequently and more recently than you probably think.

Random Facts:

The most famous example in the 20th century is Germany's Weimer Republic of 1922-1923. When Germany was unable to pay the war reparations imposed after WW I the government began printing unbacked currency.

Too much money was circulated, and the money was soon considered worthless. In 1922, the largest denomination of the Papiermark was 50,000. A year later it was 100 Trillion. This means that by December 1923, the exchange rate with the US Dollar was 4.2 Trillion to 1. It is estimated that by November 1923, the yearly inflation rate was 325,000,000 percent.

The most recent example is Zimbabwe. When Zimbabwe became an independent African state in 1980, the Zimbabwe dollar was actually valued higher than the US dollar, at a rate of 1 to 1.25. Through a series of questionable race-based land seizures and rampant money-printing, the Zimbabwe dollar began to experience rampant inflation. By 2006 it surged to 1,730 percent. In August 2006, the currency was replaced with a New Zimbabwe dollar at a rate of 1 to 1,000. By mid-2007, inflation reached a yearly increase of 11,000 percent. By May 2008, 100 Million and 250 Million New Zimbabwe Dollars (ZWD) denominated notes were released. Eventually the government was printing 100 Billion denomination notes.

Horses under the Whispering Stars
A Yakut herder riding one of his horses in the winter at Korban.Verkhoyansk Yakutia, Siberia, Russia.
A Yakut horse herder riding in the winter time near Verkhoyansk. Yakutia, Siberia, Russia.
Horse herders playing cards inside a 100 year old Yakut "Yurt" at Tarhana. Yakutia, Siberia, Russia.
Welcome to ArcticPhoto
If you are looking for Stock photography from the Arctic or Antarctica we can offer a fast and well informed service. With 40 years of experience in Polar Regions we have a unique collection of images backed up by extensive knowledge. If you need additional information contact us. Bryan regularly travels to Northern Siberia, Greenland, Alaska, Arctic Canada and Arctic Scandinavia to document the lives of the native peoples who live in these remote places. The groups he has photographed include Inuit, Innu, Cree, Komi, Khanty, Nenets, Dolgan, Nganasan, Evens, Evenki, Yakut, Chukchi, Sami, Selkup, and Yupik.
We are continually adding new pictures to our files. As well as our core collection of Indigenous Peoples of the Arctic we have photographs that illustrate Global Warming, Antarctica, Norway, Finland, Sweden, the Kola Peninsula, Svalbard, Taymyr, Yakutia, Chukotka, Yamal Peninsula, snow and ice, landscapes, wildlife, Polar Bears, Walrus, Penguins, as well as ice roads, heavy industry, oil and gas exploration in Siberia, tourism, pollution, weather and both the North Pole and the South Pole.
Having Fun With Puns

- I changed my iPod name to Titanic. It's syncing now.
- I tried to catch some fog. I mist.
- When chemists die, they barium.
- Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.
- A soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
- I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop any time.
- How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.
- I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.
- This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I'd never met herbivore.
- I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I can't put it down.
- I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.
- They told me I had type A blood, but it was a type-O.
- PMS jokes aren't funny, period.
- Why were the Indians here first? They had reservations.
- Class trip to the Coca-Cola factory -- I hope there's no pop quiz.
- The Energizer bunny arrested and charged with battery.
- I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
- Did you hear about the cross eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn't control her pupils?
- When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.
- What does a clock do when it's hungry? It goes back four seconds.
- England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.
- I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx.
- All the toilets in New York 's police stations have been stolen. Police have nothing to go on.
- Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.
- Velcro - what a rip off!
- Cartoonist found dead in home. Details are sketchy.

Q and A Quickies

Q: What do potatoes wear to bed?
A: Their yammies!

Q: What did the grape do when it got stepped on?
A: It let out a little wine!
In August 1857, 13-year-old Narcisse Pelletier left Marseilles as a cabin boy aboard the Saint-Paul, a three-masted ship bound for Sydney. The ship struck a reef in Papua New Guinea, and Pelletier was feared dead. His parents mourned him for 17 years, until July 21, 1875, when they received this letter:
papa mama i am not dead i am living narcisse I was on board the saint paul of bordeaux I had been shipwrecked in the rock of the savage of the island the chinese in the island stayed and died killed I came in a little boat to an island of savages I had looked for water to drink the captain left in the little boat I looked for water in the woods I stayed in the woods I then see the savages who live on its coast come who had found me the savage gave food and drink he did not kill I give my hand he did not hurt me I stayed in the wood for a very long time I was almost dead I had o great hunger and great drink I was in a lot of pain
Pelletier explained that after the sinking he, the captain, and the surviving crew had crossed the Coral Sea in an open boat to Cape York in northern Australia, where Pelletier was somehow left behind and discovered by a community of aborigines, with whom he lived until he was discovered that year by a landing party from pearling boat. He returned to France, where his thanksgiving mass was celebrated by the same priest who had baptized him 32 years earlier. He married and lived quietly as a lighthouse-keeper until his death in 1894.
102. TIMOTHY LEARY: You aren’t like them
Timothy Leary (1920-1996) was a psychologist, author and pioneer of psychedelic drugs. While working as a professor at Harvard, he explored the potential benefits of psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. His later experiments with LSD made him a key figure and hero during the counter-culture movement of the 1960s.

QUOTE: "A puck is a hard rubber disc that hockey players strike when they can't hit one another."

HINT: (1909-1973), sports journalist inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame for his coverage of the sport.

ANSWER: Jimmy Cannon.


The earliest hockey games were played with chunks of frozen cow dung. This dates back to the game's outdoor roots. For understandable reasons, modern athletes prefer the vulcanized rubber disc we all know today.

In space travel, the threat of free-floating equipment drifting off is a very serious one. Houston's Johnson Space Center prepares astronauts for this problem at the Precision Air Bearing Facility (PABF), which works like a gigantic air-hockey table and includes what the Center officially describes as a set of "two-ton hockey pucks" hovering over the floor. These are pushed around by aspiring astronauts.

The first rubber hockey pucks were made from sliced-up lacrosse balls. When the sport moved indoors, whole balls were originally used, but rink owners soon found it preferable to cut them into thirds and keep the middle section. This basic design was the standard by 1885.

The word "puck" was first recorded in the February 7th, 1876 edition of the Montreal Gazette, so the NHL regards this date as the hockey puck's birthday-even though they'd already been used for decades by then.

In 2000, the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation urged the country's citizens to protest their government's $12 million bailout of domestic NHL franchises. How? By mailing oodles of hockey pucks to then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien. According to group president Walter Robinson, "When the rubber hits the Prime Minister's office in a shower of hockey pucks, Mr. Chretien might have some sense knocked into him and respond." The Prime Minister never revealed how many pucks he'd actually received.

"Smart pucks" were released by Fox television in 1996. Also known as the "FoxTrax," these high-tech gizmos sported a hidden microchip that transmitted an infrared signal to a series of computers which superimposed blue and red halos around the puck on television screens during play, making them easier to see.

Read the full text here: --brought to you by mental_floss!
To provide the best practices medical care to all species of sick, injured, and orphaned Bats. To create an environment that educates and inspires the general public to accept Bats and other native fauna as part of our lives.
We do not inherit the world from our Ancestors----We borrow it from our Children. (Kenyan Proverb)
The tippe top is a round top that, when spun, tilts to one side and leaps up onto its stem. This is perplexing, as the toy appears to be gaining energy — its center of mass rises with the flip.
How is this possible? The geometrical center of the top is higher than its center of mass. As the toy begins to topple to one side, friction with the underlying surface produces a torque that kicks it up onto its stem. It does gain potential energy, but it loses kinetic energy — in fact, during the inversion it actually reverses its direction of rotation.
Entire treatises have been written on the underlying physics, and the toy has occupied at least two Nobel Prize winners — below, Wolfgang Pauli and Niels Bohr play with one at the inauguration of the Institute of Physics at Lund, Sweden, in July 1954.
German astronomer Karl Reinmuth discovered and named more than 400 asteroids. Among them are these eight:
1227 Geranium
1228 Scabiosa
1229 Tilia
1230 Riceia
1231 Auricula
1232 Cortusa
1233 Kobresia
1234 Elyna
Their initials spell G. STRACKE, for Gustav Stracke, a fellow astronomer who had asked that no planet be named after him. In this way Reinmuth could honor his colleague without contradicting his wish.
University of Michigan mathematician Norman Anning offered this “non-commutative soliloquy of an introspective epistemologist” in Scripta Mathematica in 1948:
[(N + H)ow + (T + W)hat](I know).
Expand the expression and you get Now I know how I know that I know what I know.
The modern pentathlon comprises five events: show jumping, fencing, 200-meter freestyle swimming, pistol shooting, and a 3-kilometer cross-country run.
Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games, conceived the sport to reflect the skills needed by a Napoleonic cavalry officer: He must ride across unfamiliar terrain; engage an opponent at swordpoint; swim a river that his steed cannot cross; exchange fire with his enemies; and run across country.
Coubertin believed that this event, more than any other, “tested an athlete’s moral qualities as much as their physical resources and skills, producing thereby the ideal, complete athlete.”
In 1927, Eleanor Roosevelt composed a seven-point “ethics of parents”:
  1. Furnish an example in living.
  2. Stop preaching ethics and morals.
  3. Have a knowledge of life’s problems and an imagination.
  4. Stop shielding your children and clipping their wings.
  5. Allow your children to develop along their own lines.
  6. Don’t prevent self-reliance and initiative.
  7. Have vision yourself and bigness of soul.
“The next generation,” she wrote, “will take care of itself.”
“Fashion is something barbarous, for it produces innovation without reason and imitation without benefit.” — George Santayana

Amateur uses the Hubble Space Telescope to produce the most beautiful galaxy photograph ever

When are we going to start teaching kids that war is not the answer?
Take, for example, an incident that happened at a California high school where a group of students were playing a "war game", specifically tug-of-war, during a Spirit Week celebration.

During the "game" two teenagers had several of their fingers ripped off!

The boy and girl, both under age 18, had stable vital signs after undergoing hours of surgery. The teens lost four fingers each from their right hand, and the girl also lost the thumb on her left hand.

The rope was wrapped around the students' hands, and it snapped, amputating their fingers. After the incident officials said they will review all planned Spirit Week activities "that could even possibly have a risk of going wrong."

"I've never heard of anything like this happening," School District Superintendent Nick J. Salerno said. "It's unbelievable to me, it's shocking."

But things like this have happened before. In 2007, two students at a high school in Parker, Colo., had their right hands partially severed during a tug-of-war at a pep rally, and in 2008, an 8-year-old girl nearly lost four fingers the same way when her hand got tangled in a rope in Minnesota.

Meanwhile, in Miami woman was jailed on contempt charges after giving a judge "the finger" during a drug possession hearing, but at least she got to take her finger to jail with her.

Man shoots self in groin with flare gun
LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. - Authorities in Florida said a man was hospitalized with burn wounds after accidentally shooting himself in the groin with a flare gun. The Lee County Sheriff's Office said deputies responded to a medical assistance call Sunday in Lehigh Acres and arrived to find Jorge Perez, 23, with multiple burns and lacerations on his genital region, WZVN-TV, Fort Myers, reported Tuesday. Perez told deputies he had loaded the flare gun and set it down Sunday. He later picked it up and, forgetting he had loaded it, fired it at the ground. The man said the flare bounced off the floor and struck him in the genitals.
Wondering ~ if alcohol and/or drugs were involved

I had a random thought that I'd like to share with you now. Here we go...

Whomever or whoever originally uttered the phrase "fight fire with fire" was probably a pyromaniac.
One Right Answer

It was time for the final and the student depending upon getting at least one right answer on the chemistry test.

The question was "If H2O if water, what is H2O4?"

This was a quick question for most, but it took the student some thinking time.

Finally, he wrote down his answer: For drinking, washing, and cleaning.

Think About It

Feathers are light.
The sun gives off light.
Therefore, the sun gives off feathers.

Q and A Quickies

Q: Why did the burglar take a shower?
A: He wanted to make a clean getaway!

Q: Where do snowmen go to dance?
A: A snowball!

Give your woman jewelry this Valentine’s Day (Gif)
On June 28, 2009, Stephen Hawking hosted a party for time travelers, but he sent out the invitations only afterward.
No one turned up.
He offered this as experimental evidence that time travel is not possible.
“I sat there a long time,” he said, “but no one came.”
On Sept. 8, 1863, two boys discovered a legless man struggling on the beach at Sandy Cove, Nova Scotia. Coughing violently and suffering from exposure, he appeared to be in his late teens or early 20s, and he seemed unable or unwilling to respond to their inquiries.
As the villagers nursed him back to health they found him angry and gloomy by nature, keeping his identity to himself. Rumors began to circulate: He was a Civil War veteran, a pirate, a spy, an exiled Habsburg, a murderer, a mutineer. His soft hands seemed to suggest high birth, but he had been found with only a tin box of hardtack and a jug of water, and he spoke neither English, Spanish, French, Italian, nor Latin. His legs had apparently been amputated by a skilled surgeon. As all attempts to communicate with him were unsuccessful, he came to be known simply as Jerome, after a response he had mumbled when asked his name.
That’s the whole story. For the next 50 years Jerome was lodged with various local families, maintaining his silence despite endless inquiries from curiosity seekers. His identity was never discovered. When he died, finally, on April 15, 1912, the Halifax Morning Chronicle wrote, “The people in this vicinity have given up the solving of the great mystery that closed today in death, thus ending one of the greatest secrets that ever occurred on this continent.”
Decadent Rum Balls
Decadent Rum Balls :)  Main Ingredients: 3 1/4 cup vanilla wafer cookies, finely crushed 3/4 cup powdered sugar 1 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (whatever your favorite nut is) 3 tablespoons light corn syrup 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon instant coffee 1/2 cup rum  Once you have assembled your rum balls you can roll them in lots of fun toppings. Here are some ideas of how to dress your balls: (GIGGLES ):D cant help it no other way to word it :D coconut cocoa finely chopped nuts sprinkles colored sugar confectioners sugar cinnamon & sugar crushed candy cane Directions Crush wafer cookies in a large zip lock or food processor. Once finely crushed, mix crumbs in with sugar, nuts and cocoa powder. Add instant coffee granules to rum; stir until coffee granules are dissolved. Add corn syrup to instant coffee mixture and add into the cookie crumb mixture. Mix well. Let stand 15 minutes. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls; roll into desired topping. Place in airtight container with sheet of wax paper between each layer of balls. Store at room temperature.  YUM! ~Frisky
RUM! Thats where it Went

Main Ingredients:
3 1/4 cup vanilla wafer cookies, finely crushed
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (whatever your favorite nut is)
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1/2 cup rum

Once you have assembled your rum balls you can roll them in lots of fun toppings. Here are some ideas of how to dress your balls: (GIGGLES )~ cant help it no other way to word it ~

finely chopped nuts
colored sugar
confectioners sugar
cinnamon & sugar
crushed candy cane

Crush wafer cookies in a large zip lock or food processor. Once finely crushed, mix crumbs in with sugar, nuts and cocoa powder.
Add instant coffee granules to rum; stir until coffee granules are dissolved. Add corn syrup to instant coffee mixture and add into the cookie crumb mixture. Mix well. Let stand 15 minutes.
Shape mixture into 1-inch balls; roll into desired topping. Place in airtight container with sheet of wax paper between each layer of balls. Store at room temperature.
The work of "environmental artist" Tony Plant will not be appreciated by pragmatic utilitarians.
Anamorphosis is a distorted projection or perspective requiring the viewer to use special devices or occupy a specific vantage point to reconstitute the image. The word "anamorphosis" is derived from the Greek prefix ana-, meaning back or again, and the word morphe, meaning shape or form.

There are two main types of anamorphosis: perspective (oblique) and mirror (catoptric). Examples of perspectival anamorphosis date to the early Renaissance (fifteenth century). Examples of mirror anamorphosis were first created in the late Renaissance (sixteenth century).
More details at Wikipedia, which also has pictures of other anamorphic illustrations, and a link to a commercially-available toy you can purchase to make your own.
Civil War baseball

Very very cool. Not just a Civil War era baseball, but one used in a battle zone:
During the War Between the States, the game was played on the battlefields and even in wartime prison camps. Baseball was, after all, portable, and even amid the horrors of war, soldiers sometimes found opportunities to play on the vast open fields where they needed only a bat, a ball, and a few willing participants.

This ball was found and retrieved in 1862 in Shiloh, in southwestern Tennessee, on the grounds of one of the Civil War’s bloodiest battles. The ball is inscribed: “Picked Up on the Battle Field at Shiloh by G.F. Hellum.” Giles Hellum was an African-American who worked as an orderly for the Union Army at Shiloh. He later enlisted as a soldier in the 69th Colored Infantry. The artifact is a “lemon peel ball,” looser and softer than today’s baseballs, and it is hand-stitched in a figure 8 pattern with thick twine.
From The Vault (Slate's history blog), via Neatorama.

Selections from a compilation of 76 things, several of which are punishable by death:
3.Eating fat (3:17)
4.Eating blood (3:17)
12.Letting your hair become unkempt (10:6)
13.Tearing your clothes (10:6)
17.Eating – or touching the carcass of – any seafood without fins or scales (11:10-12)
20.Eating any animal which walks on all four and has paws (good news for cats) (11:27)
22.Eating – or touching the carcass of – any creature which crawls on many legs, or its belly (11:41-42)
23.Going to church within 33 days after giving birth to a boy (12:4)
24.Going to church within 66 days after giving birth to a girl (12:5)
36.Having sex with a woman during her period (18:19)
39.Having sex with a man “as one does with a woman” (18:22)
42.Reaping to the very edges of a field (19:9)
48.Holding back the wages of an employee overnight (not well observed these days) (19:13)
50.Perverting justice, showing partiality to either the poor or the rich (19:15)
54.Mixing fabrics in clothing (19:19)
56.Planting different seeds in the same field (19:19)
58.Eating fruit from a tree within four years of planting it (19:23)
60.Trimming your beard (19:27)
61.Cutting your hair at the sides (19:27)
62.Getting tattoos (19:28)
65.Not standing in the presence of the elderly (19:32)
66.Mistreating foreigners – “the foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born”(19:33-34)
72.Working on the Sabbath (23:3)
73.Blasphemy (punishable by stoning to death) (24:14)
75.Selling land permanently (25:23)I have not cross-checked these with the Biblical referents, so its possible some are overstated, but the general sense is probably correct.
I seem to have been guilty of 13 of these (I'm wearing mixed fabrics at this very moment). I'm posting this not to mock, but to inquire how a modern, sensible Christian should reconcile the realities of daily life with the admonitions of the Old Testament. Personally I ignore things like many of those listed above as historically valid but now outmoded. This attitude of course then falls right into the criticism that "the Old Testament doesn't apply except for those parts we say do apply (so we create whatever Bible and religion we want) and the ludicrous stuff doesn't apply because of Jesus." But then Jesus said "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I didn't come to destroy them, but to fulfill them." And how could his coming erase some guidelines, but not others. There doesn't seem to be an easy way out.

Me hearties Let us Play a Game What is your Pirate name?
and the name of your Ship
My real name ~
Pirate Eve the Well-Tanned
Yarr olde name be ursa rodinia. But we'll now call ye:
Fartin' Azriel Sparrow
Me hearties Let us Play a Game What is your Pirate name?
and the name of your Ship

Healthy Living from

A healthy lifestyle, from the food you eat to the exercise you do, can make you
look and feel better, and improve your sex life, too. Here are some foods that
can put some sizzle (or fizzle) in your love life.

Secrets of people who never get sick

31 ways to get more of the good stuff in your diet

At-home exericses that burn a ton of calories
WD-40 has never been patented. The ingredients are a trade secret.
  • To frustrate eavesdroppers, Herbert Hoover and his wife would converse in Chinese.
  • Asteroids 30439, 30440, 30441, and 30444 are named Moe, Larry, Curly, and Shemp.
  • How is it that time passes but space doesn’t?
Webster’s Third New International Dictionary gives no pronunciation for YHWH.
from DRB
Wookie Monster
It isn't the first time this joke has been made, but there's something very appealing about the image. Does anyone know who created it? Link -via Geeks Are Sexy
Love Your Wife Day in Japan
Thanks, Ed

Rethink Breast Cancer presents: Your Man Reminder

"Which painting in the National Gallery would I save if there was a fire? The one nearest the door of course."
-- George Bernard Shaw
On Nov. 8, 2005, Candace Dickinson was pulled over for driving in the carpool lane on Interstate 10 in Phoenix. When police sergeant Dave Norton asked how many people were in the car, “she said two as she pointed to her obvious pregnancy.”
Dickinson argued in court that since Arizona traffic laws don’t define when personhood begins, she and her unborn child constituted a carpool. Judge Dennis Freeman favored a “common-sense” interpretation of the statutes in which a person occupies a “separate and distinct … space in a vehicle.” He upheld Dickinson’s $367 fine.
California courts have encountered the same argument — it appears on the frequently asked questions page of the California Highway Patrol. The answer: “California law requires that in order to utilize the HOV lane, there must be two (or, if posted, three) separate individuals occupying seats in a vehicle. Until your ‘passenger’ is capable of riding in his or her own seat, you cannot count them.”
Eternal nothingness is okay if you're dressed for it. ~ Woody Allen in Getting Even

Tony Hillerman’s Landscapes: Southwest Map & Guide

Spider Woman's Daughter, Anne Hillerman
A magician asks you to shuffle a pack of cards and to take some quantity of them. He takes a larger packet for himself. The magician counts his cards and says, “I have as many cards as you have, plus four cards, and enough left to make 16.”
You count your cards and find that you have 11. The magician counts 11 of his cards onto the table, sets aside a further four, and then continues counting: 12-13-14-15-16. The 16th card is the last, as he predicted.
He can repeat the feat as often as you request it. The number of cards that he sets aside sometimes varies, but he always arrives at the predicted quantity. How does he do it?
There’s actually no trick here. In the example above, the magician counted 20 cards in his own packet, subtracted four and predicted 16. In effect all he’s doing is counting out his own cards, but he disguises this fact by inquiring about your own quantity and setting aside an arbitrary number.
I felt a kinship with him. It was my first clue that atheists are my brothers and sisters of a different faith, and every word they speak, speaks of faith. Like me they go as far as the legs of reason can carry them - and they leap.

I’ll be honest about it. It is not atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics. Doubt is useful for awhile. We must all pass through the Garden of Gethsemane. If Christ played with doubt, so must we. If Christ spent an anquished night in prayer, if He burst out from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” then surely we also are permitted doubt. But, we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.
Yann Martel's Life of Pi.
The quotation above suggests that atheism is not the absence of religion, but a religion all to itself, with its own creation story, its own (scientific) laws, its own intrinsic (though varying) ethical standards and practices, and the application of faith when all else fails.
John E. Karlin died two weeks ago at the age of 94. He was a pioneer in the field of using psychology in product design. Specifically, he was responsible for devising many elements of the telephone:
Telephone company executives wondered whether the standard cord, then about three feet long, might be shortened. Mr. Karlin’s staff stole into colleagues’ offices every three days and covertly shortened their phone cords, an inch at time. No one noticed, they found, until the cords had lost an entire foot.
From then on, phones came with shorter cords.
Mr. Karlin also introduced the white dot inside each finger hole that was a fixture of rotary phones in later years. After the phone was redesigned at midcentury, with the letters and numbers moved outside the finger holes, users, to AT&T’s bewilderment, could no longer dial as quickly.
With blank space at the center of the holes, Mr. Karlin found, callers no longer had a target at which to aim their fingers. The dot restored the speed.
Continue reading
Which Would You Choose: Prom or Water Balloon Fight?
When Cincinnati's Withrow High School principal Sharon Johnson found that high school seniors were planning a massive water balloon fight at lunch, she made them choose between that and prom.
Guess which one the students chose:
“I didn’t think they were going to do it. I really thought they valued their prom,” said Johnson.
But toward the end of the lunch period, one student stood up and the water fight was on.
“I think that was the signal. They went haywire,” she said. “They had them in backpacks and duffel bags. There was water everywhere, running down the hallway. Kids were getting upset, kids were slipping and falling on the staircase.”
About 150 to 175 students were involved, she said.
So Johnson stuck to her guns and canceled prom. Letters were sent home to parents. Johnson said she’s only received about three phone calls from parents upset about the issue.
Flowcharts are supposed to help you in making step-by-step decisions to reach a particular goal. Now here's a flowchart from College Humor to help determine whether you know what you're doing when you read a flowchart. If you're not, it won't help you at all. Link-via the Presurfer
At the height of the cold war, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev gave a speech in which he uttered a phrase that interpreted from Russian as "we will bury you." It was taken as chilling threat to bury the U.S. with a nuclear attack and escalated the tension between the U.S. and Russia. However, the translation was a bit too literal. The sense of the Russian phrase was more that "we will live to see you buried" or "we will outlast you." Still not exactly friendly, but not quite so threatening.
I find that very interesting, because in the 50+ years I've heard the story of Khruschev's speech, I've never heard this interpretation of it. I am however aware that a similar thing may have happened during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech to the United Nations several years ago:
..this was the man who, in 2005, generated wide outrage in the West for suggesting that Israel should be "wiped from the map." But even that case said as much about our limited understanding of him and his context as it did about Ahmadinejad himself. The expression "wipe from the map" means "destroy" in English but not in Farsi. In Farsi, it means not that Israel should be eliminated but that the existing political borders should literally be wiped from a literal map and replaced with those of historic Palestine. That's still not something likely to win him cheers in U.S. policy circles, but the distinction, which has been largely lost from the West's understanding of the Iranian president, is important.
In 2008 Hillary Clinton was less vague in her pronouncement:
Yesterday, as the BBC reports, she "was asked how she would respond if Iran launched a nuclear attack on Israel. She replied that: "If I'm the president, we will attack Iran... we would be able to totally obliterate them."
And this from President Theodore Roosevelt speaking of Cuba:
"I am so angry with Cuba that I would like to wipe its people off the face of the earth."
Khruschev quote from Mental Floss, via Neatorama.

Meet the World's Biggest Bat

"Love is my Sword, Goodness my Armor, And Humor my Shield."
Ice Castles
Forget sand castles! Ice castles are much, ahem, cooler.
It all started one winter day when Brent Christensen was searching for a new outdoor winter activity for his children. He experimented with building ice skating rinks, ice caves, and other ice creations. Then, Brent decided to build an fort in his front yard using only ice - he started by using icicles as the base structure and built it up into an "ice castle." Word spread, and Brent started building ice castles all over the country.
Find out more over at the official website of Ice Castles - via Oddity Central
Diamonds Are A Sperm's Best Friend
In a petri dish, sperms become sluggish. Indeed, "poor sperm performance" is a common problem in IVF or in vitro fertilization.
Turns out, the polystyrene in the petri dish is toxic to the sperms - so what we do to help the sperms? Enter diamond:
Coat a quartz petri dish with a nanolayer of diamond, however, and you've created a cellular safe haven. A much higher percentage of sperm survived for 42 hours in diamond-coated petri dishes than in the polystyrene containers usually used for IVF, researchers will report in the Online Proceedings Library of the Materials Research Society.
Seal Killed and Ate Sharks
All those seals that were killed by sharks? They're being avenged by this one crazy Rambo seal that killed and ate five sharks. Divers Chris and Monique Fallows of Apex Predators told GrindTV:
"In more than 2,000 expeditions working with sharks over the last 21 years, this is the only time I have ever seen a seal kill several sharks and I can find no record of such an event happening elsewhere."
The seal consumed the stomach and livers of the first two sharks, before killing three others.
Read more over at GrindTV: Link (Photo: Chris Fallows | More at Apex Predator's Facebook page)

Actually, it's quite complex. You see, Simply Orange, which is made by Coca-Cola, is a highly industrial product engineered according to a complex algorithm called the "Black Book":
Revenue Analytics consultant Bob Cross, architect of Coke’s juice model, also built the model Delta Air Lines (DAL) uses to maximize its revenue per mile flown. Orange juice, says Cross, “is definitely one of the most complex applications of business analytics. It requires analyzing up to 1 quintillion decision variables to consistently deliver the optimal blend, despite the whims of Mother Nature.”
The Black Book model includes detailed data about the myriad flavors—more than 600 in all—that make up an orange, and consumer preferences. Those data are matched to a profile detailing acidity, sweetness, and other attributes of each batch of raw juice. The algorithm then tells Coke how to blend batches to replicate a certain taste and consistency, right down to pulp content. Another part of Black Book incorporates external factors such as weather patterns, expected crop yields, and cost pressures. This helps Coke plan so that supplies will be on hand as far ahead as 15 months. “If we have a hurricane or a freeze,” Bippert says, “we can quickly replan the business in 5 or 10 minutes just because we’ve mathematically modeled it.”
Duane Stanford of Bloomberg Business News has the post that'll go perfectly with a tall glass of orange juice: Link
An Oscar-nominated short film. Watch in full-screen if possible.
The farther a society drifts from truth,
the more it will hate those who speak it.
~ George Orwell
In 1994, in the one time he played golf, Kim Jong Il made 11 holes-in-one in the process of shooting a 38-under-par 34 over 18 holes. It had to be true because the feat was witnessed and attested to by Kim's 17 bodyguards.Note that was the first and only time he ever played golf. I did a quick search of the web for other reports of this remarkable feat; some of them say that he got 5 holes-in-one on that round of golf, so the claim of eleven holes-in-one in 18 holes might be slightly exaggerated.
Miguel Alonso has figured out the key to creating a unique Rubik's cube. The only problem? Once you enter the game, there's no ESC. It completely CTRLs you.
Hit play or go to Link [YouTube] - Thanks Michael!

It's called that because it weighs the same as a small child.
Consisting of a dozen sausages, 12 bacon rashers and enough eggs to be produced from a coop of chickens in a week, Jesters Diner's fry-up in Great Yarmouth contains more than 6,000 calories and weighs in at 9lb (4.08kg).

But despite hundreds being sold after it was first put on the menu 18 months ago, only one person has managed to eat "the baby".
The restaurant "invites contestants to eat the breakfast in 60 minutes, with no additional help, to get it free of charge. Its price if you fail is £15." The restaurant acknowledges that offering it is a stunt: "It is what it is. It was done as a laugh and 99% of the population understands that."

The other 1% want it banned. I would think you'd take five friends and divvy it up for breakfast.
Story at the
BBC. Video here.
Things You Don’t Say To Your Wife
10 Spectacularly Misspelled T-Shirts
A Simple Brain Test
Simple brain test
Marimba Movie Magic – A Cappella
A 14-year-old plays movie tunes A Cappella on a marimba (John Williams Is The Man Tribute).
The biggest weather events have names that seem quite innocuous, considering the destruction. Hurricane Sandy reminded us of the Olivia Newton-John character from Grease. Winter storm Nemo brings up a cute little Disney fish. "Snowpocalypse" was good, but it wasn't official. Happy Place came up with a list of names that inspire a more appropriate level of dread, including YouTube Commenter, Facebook is Down, and others that are frankly quite internet-centric. I think we can do better. How about winter storm Lucifer? Winter storm Zuul? Of course, a medium-sized storm could be something like Nellie Olson or Biff Tannen. Can you come up with others? Link
How about a killer storm simply called 'My ex'?
How Curiosity Got a Personality
After earthbound humans fell in love with the Mars explorers Spirit and Phoenix, NASA knew Curiosity could be a star. Curiosity's Twitter feed is curated by Veronica McGregor, Courtney O'Connor, and Stephanie L. Smith of the public information office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. McGregor tells how even she was in tears when Phoenix stopped transmitting.That experience convinced her that she and her media team had hit upon a great way to get people engaged in the science of the Mars missions. By turning the robot rovers into characters, they emphasized the way these missions are just another version of the Moon landing — it's just that we're landing people on Mars via remote. Still, for all intents and purposes the robots are extensions of the NASA science teams. They are our eyes, ears, hands, and science equipment on another world.

When you read what Curiosity is doing in the first person, McGregor said, you're also more forgiving when things go wrong. You realize that this is basically a lone creature on another world, doing things that nobody has ever done before, and things are bound to go wrong. It's hard to drill a rock on another world when you have no idea how the lower gravity will affect your instruments — drilling might cause a kickback that could toss the rover on its side. Hearing on Twitter that the rover is feeling cautious and worried, just the way its scientist drivers are right now, helps people understand better how science is done. It's just a bunch of people trying the very best they can, in an utterly new situation on an alien world.
It's no wonder that Curiosity's Twitter feed has 1.2 million followers. Read how these three women create Curiosity's distinctive voice at io9. Link -via Not Exactly Rocket Science
World's Most Unfortunate Butt Dial
PROTIP: When smuggling a cell phone in your butt to prison, turn it off. Or you'd get the most unfortunate butt dial ever:
A prisoner at Welikada jail in Colombo, Sri Lanka, got into trouble this week, after he attempted to hide a smuggled cell phone in his rectum.
The Agence France-Presse reports that the 58-year-old convict had concealed the phone, along with a hands-free headset, in his body cavity. The items were discovered when prison guards heard a suspicious ringing.
"Guards knew he had a phone at the wrong end," an unidentified guard told the AFP.
An X-ray taken of the prisoner in a local hospital reveals the phone and handset in all their glory. No word on what happened to the phone in question.
This guy makes very difficult maneuvers look simple. Interesting even for those not into motorcycles.
Why the White House Loves Your Death Star Petition
"Genius is nothing more nor less than doing well what anyone can do badly."
"Never take a mean advantage of anyone in any transaction, and never be hard upon people who are in your power."
Chris and Laura King take their children's manners seriously. They insist that the kids behave themselves in public. This was greatly appreciated by the servers at the Sogno di Vino restaurant in Poulsbo, Washington, who gave them an unsolicited discount as an expression of their appreciation:
Owner Angela Scott, who was also serving that night, and the two other servers were so impressed with the kids' manners that they wanted to congratulate them somehow.
"You would never even know that children were in the dining room," Scott said. "We just wanted to say, 'Awesome! You guys were so good!'"
So they agreed to give the kids free ice cream. [...]
Soon after, the picture exploded in popularity. By Feb. 4, the friend contacted King and told her that people were asking for more information about the receipt.
"They are always pretty well-behaved so it wasn't anything out of the ordinary from them," she said.
But the night was somewhat extraordinary for Scott who still recalls how much easier three polite children made her job that evening.
"We see the opposite a lot of time," Scott said. "Sometimes children are not the most well-behaved. It was nice especially because they are so young."
Link -via Daily of the Day | Photos: Laura King
Here was the scrambler:

I'm pleasing to the eye
A tool for many absent of mind
A tapestry of fickle lies
Blind to even the most pensive spies
I'm often the breeder of fervent lust
But I am by far one you shouldn't trust.

What am I?

ANSWER: Appearance.
The car was small, but the road was tiny. A motorist in Naples, Italy, tried to turn around and avoid parked cars on both sides, but became stuck sideways in the street. Cars wanted to pass both ways. Then a motorcycle gang showed up. Then a church procession. Then the police. Then everyone in the neighborhood, all laughing and loudly offering their opinions. A good time was had by all -except for the driver stuck sideways. Link
It was so cold, the town flasher ran up and described himself.
The Red Elephants of Kenya
You probably thought that elephants are gray -except sometimes in a Disney movie they may be pink. But this elephant is red! No, it's not Photoshop. Plenty of elephants in Tsavo National Park in Kenya are red. Find out why at Ark in Space. Link

(Image credit: Flickr user Fagasam)

Uncle John gave Amy this challenge: "In the hallway there are three light switches," he said. "And in the library there are three lamps. You may enter the library only once -the lamps must be turned off when you do. At no time until you enter can you can you open the door to see into the library. Your job is to figure out which switch corresponds to which lamp."

"Easy," said Amy.

How did she do it?


Brian works at a place with thousands of products, some of them very expensive. People take his products without paying for them -as many as they can carry- and then just walk out. All that Brian requests of his customers is that they keep their mouths shut.

Where does Brian woirk?

Uncle John stood on one side of a river; his dog, Porter, stood on the opposite side. "Come here, Porter!" said Uncle John. Although there were no boats or bridges, Porter crossed the river without getting wet. How?


Math usually stumps Thom, but when Uncle John showed him this number, he knew right away what makes it unique. Do you?



"Everyone knows that the sundial is the timepiece with the fewest moving parts," Jay told Julia. "Do you know what timepiece has the most moving parts?" She did. Do you?


"Weird Nate sent me this list of words," said Uncle John. "He says there's something unusual about them. But what?" Jay figured it out. Can you?

revive, banana, grammar, voodoo, assess, potato, dresser, uneven
Continue reading if you are ready to check the answers.

Highlight the text after the riddle title to see the answer.
Standing in the hallway, Amy turned on the first light switch. She waited two minutes and then turned on the second light switch. Then after another minute she turned them both off. When she walked into the library, one light was very hot, the other was slightly warm, and the other was cold -making it easy for her to tell Uncle John which switch turned on which lamp.
Brian works at a library.
The river was frozen.
8,549, 176, 320 It contains each number -zero through nine- in alphabetical order.
An hourglass. It is filled with many thousands of grains of sand.
If you remove the first letter of each word and place it on the end of the word, it will spell the same word backwards.


Photo: Andrew Brookes/National Physical Laboratory
It doesn't look like much, but you're looking at the heart of the world's most accurate clock. Jacon Aron of New Scientist explains:
This super-accurate timekeeper is an optical atomic clock built by the UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and its tick is governed by a single ion of the element strontium.
The ion is trapped in an electromagnetic field within the small cube at the centre and cooled with lasers to just a fraction above absolute zero. The lasers are fired through three of the glass shafts emanating from the cube, but must be carefully directed out of the other side to prevent them scattering within the clock, which is why there are six shafts in total.
Once the ion is cooled, another laser makes it resonate between two energy states with an incredible regularity governed by quantum mechanics. It gives off a regular pulse of optical radiation exactly 444,779,044,095,485 times per second.
Many sled dog races that are qualifiers for the annual Iditarod have been cancelled or postponed this winter due to lack of snow.
The John Beargrease sled dog race, a trek of some 400 miles in northern Minnesota, postponed its start to March 10 from Jan. 27. In Alaska, the Don Bowers Memorial 200/300, the Sheep Mountain Lodge 150 and the Knik 200 have been canceled. The Copper Basin 300 in Glennallen, Alaska, had to cut its trail for several teams by 25 miles because there was not enough snow at the finish line; the mushers finished the race with their hats and gloves off and jackets unzipped.

“That was crazy with the warm weather,” said Zack Steer, one of the race’s organizers. “It was such a drastic change from last year, but the trail at the end was dirt. It wasn’t safe.”

Blake Freking, a musher who trains Siberian huskies on the north shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota, said he planned to compete in the Beargrease race in January. “With global warming, it’s hard to deny that there are some big changes going on right now,” he said. “We’re in it. It isn’t looking good.”

During last year’s snow season, defined as July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012, Anchorage had 134.5 inches of snow, according to Jake Crouch, a climate scientist with the National Climatic Data Center. This season’s tally in Anchorage was 39.2 inches through Wednesday. North of Fairbanks, another area where mushers train, snowpack is 21 percent of average.
The cancelled qualifiers are especially hard on new mushers, who must have a certain number of race miles before tackling the Iditarod. Link -via Digg
Proven by science: couples that share the same drinking habits actually tend to stay together, except when both are heavy drinkers:
Researchers reviewing data collected from 19,977 married couples in one county in Norway reported that spouses who consume about the same amount of alcohol were less likely to divorce than pairs where one partner is a heavy drinker and the other is not — especially when the wife is the one doing the drinking. [...]
They found that divorce was generally more common in couples with high rates of alcohol consumption, but that the highest divorce rates were found in couples where only the woman was a heavy drinker. Among couples where the wife reported being a heavy drinker (a measure that including admission of an indication of "hazardous drinking") and the husband a light drinker, the divorce rate was 26.8%; when the positions were switched and the husband was the heavy drinker, the divorce rate was 13.1%.
In couples where both members were heavy drinkers, the divorce rate was 17.2%. Link
Unusual nail art? Pardon us if we say that they, well, um, "nailed" it. Competitors go talon-to-talon (or is it mano-a-mano?) in trying to outdo each other's manicures at this year's Nail Olympics (yes, there is such a thing).
Photographer Alessandra Tarantino gave us a behind-the-scenes look. Read on over at The Week: Link
StoryCorps brings us another wonderful story of family love, from Bonnie Brown and her teenage daughter Myra. Bonnie is intellectually disabled with a low IQ. For the past 18 years she’s worked at the same Wendy’s.
Here, her daughter asks her about being a mom. Myra is enrolled in gifted and talented classes at her high school. She hopes to attend Cambridge University when she graduates.
Go listen to Bonnie and Myra tell their story (it's not long), and bring a hankie. Link
If people who do not believe in evolution got mad at the notion that humans descended from apes, then they'd absolutely love this bit of news: turns out, according to new research, all mammals - us humans included, descended from rats.
Say hello to Protungulatum donnae, your new rat grandpa:
Humankind’s common ancestor with other mammals may have been a roughly rat-size animal that weighed no more than a half a pound, had a long furry tail and lived on insects.
In a comprehensive six-year study of the mammalian family tree, scientists have identified and reconstructed what they say is the most likely common ancestor of the many species on the most abundant and diverse branch of that tree — the branch of creatures that nourish their young in utero through a placenta. The work appears to support the view that in the global extinctions some 66 million years ago, all non-avian dinosaurs had to die for mammals to flourish.
Scientists had been searching for just such a common genealogical link and have found it in a lowly occupant of the fossil record, Protungulatum donnae, that until now has been so obscure that it lacks a colloquial nickname. But as researchers reported Thursday in the journal Science, the animal had several anatomical characteristics for live births that anticipated all placental mammals and led to some 5,400 living species, from shrews to elephants, bats to whales, cats to dogs and, not least, humans.
John Noble Wilford of The New York Times has the post: Link

Scientists Finally Confirm the Asteroid that Killed the Dinosaurs
There has been a great deal of speculation over the years and substantial evidence that an asteroid is likely what extinguished all dinosaur life. Science could never prove what asteroid may have triggered the extinction. One of the most likely candidates, the 9-mile-wide asteroid that impacted Chicxulub, Mexico, was believed to have occurred 300,000 years prior to the extinction.
Now, however, European and American scientists have re-tested debris from Chicxulub using state-of-the-art equipment and narrowed the asteroid impact down to a period of 11,000 years, between 66.03 and 66.04 million years ago — almost simultaneous with the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction.
The collision, which left behind a 180-kilometer (110-mile) crater, released 420 zettajoules of energy — 100 teratonnes of TNT. The impact created a huge dust cloud that blocked out the Sun, starting the extinction ball rolling by killing off much of the world’s plants, and thus the herbivores soon after. Due to high levels of oxygen in the Cretaceous atmosphere, the impact may also have caused intense, global firestorms that killed off many other species. Because the asteroid landed in the ocean, megatsunamis would’ve swept the world’s coasts, too.
Heck, it's faster than flying! Here's a video clip of a pigeon hitching a ride on a car. Hit play or go to Link [YouTube] and let me know if you'd do the same thing this driver did ... Via Arbroath
Warning Labels
Some things in life should go without saying, but there's always the occasional genius who needs to be told not to use a vacuum cleaner to pick up something that's on fire.

On a bottle of dog shampoo: "Contents should not be fed to fish."

On a baking pan: "Ovenware will get hot when used in oven."

On a blanket: "Not to be used as protection from a tornado."

On a fishing lure with a three-printed hook: "Harmful if swallowed."

On a 12-inch CD rack: "Do not use as a ladder."

On a carpenter's drill: "Not intended for use as a dental drill."

vOn a knife set: "Never try to catch a falling knife."

On a package of earplugs: "These earplugs are non-toxic, but may interfere with breathing if caught in windpipe."

On a Japanese food processor: "Not to be used for the other use."

On a cocktail napkin with a mini-map of Hilton Head, South Carolina: "Not to be used for navigation."

On an insect spray: "This product not tested on animals."

On a box of birthday candles: "DO NOT use soft wax as ear plugs or for any other function that involves insertion into a body cavity."

On a child's scooter: "This product moves when used."

Inside a six-inch plastic bag: "Do not climb inside this bag and zip it up. Doing so will cause injury or death."

On a paint remover that heats up to 1,000°: "Do not use heat gun as a hair dryer."

On a shower cap: "Fits one head."

On a can of pepper spray: "May irritate eyes."

On a toilet: "Recycled flush water unsafe for drinking."
Title image by Warning Label Generator.
Bathroom Reader series: Warning Labels.
Bathroom Reader series: Jay Newman's Brainteasers
The Annals of Improbable Research The Gentle Art of Political Taxidermy: Charles Waterton, Squire of Walton Hall. It had to be be quite embarrassing to recognize your own face on an artwork made of dead animals.
Without an actual female alien around for breeding purposes, you'll need to make your own eggs. Fortunately, Chris-Rachael Oseland, the Kitchen Overlord, is here to show you how. They're basically Chinese tea eggs that have been shelled and placed inside a rupturing cucumber cocoon.
There's no wrong way to consume coffee. Well, actually, scratch that. There is definitely ONE wrong way. Meet Mike and Trina, a couple who get their caffeine fix at the wrong end of the digestive system:
Mike and Trina swear by their coffee. He enjoys a "saturated" blend, which is "on the cold side"; she prefers a fine espresso grind that is "warm and thicker."
The St. Petersburg, Fla., couple refuses to drink the caffeinated beverage, which they say is bad for their health. Instead, they use it as an enema. They each have at least 100 coffee enemas a month, 6,000 in all since their addiction began two years ago.
ABC News has more: Link [Warning: auto-starting video clip]
Belgian cabinet member, Johan Vande Lanotte, has introduced a planning proposal for a man-made atoll placed in the North Sea to store energy.
The idea is to place the island a few kilometers off shore near a wind farm, according to Vande Lanotte’s office. When the wind farm produces excess energy for the local electricity grid, such as off-peak times in the overnight hours, the island will store the energy and release it later during peak times.
Veggie haters, rejoice! There's finally scientific proof that your fastidious avoidance of eating leafy greens is paying off. You see, instead of being good for you, vegetables are actually dangerous and may kill you:
According to a new study by the CDC, the greatest number of foodborne illnesses in the U.S. are not caused by raw cookie dough or undercooked meat or questionable shellfish, but by leafy green vegetables.
Of the 9.6 million cases of food-borne illness reported each year, 51 percent are caused by contaminated plants; leafy greens alone contribute 23 percent of the total, more than any other commodity. All the meat and poultry commodities combined--beef, game, pork, and poultry--were responsible for 22 percent of illness, and dairy carried 17 percent.
Now, celebrate by eating a pound of bacon! Link
QUOTE: "Our own physical body possesses a wisdom which we who inhabit the body lack. We give it orders which make no sense."

HINT: (1891-1980), American writer and painter, known for breaking with existing literary forms

ANSWER: Henry Miller.
They're everywhere! Spiders are falling out of the sky! There's one on your shoulder right now!
These spiders have spun webs across telephone wires. Just stay inside and hide.
Surprise Parking Violation
Hila Ben-Baruch parked her car on the street outside her home in Tel Aviv, Israel. Later the same day, she was shocked to find that her car had been towed away, and the parking spot was now designated as a handicapped parking space! Apparently, the lines had been painted while her car was still parked in the spot. When she called the municipal call center about it, they accused her of lying and said she would have to pay 350 shekels ($95) to get her car back, plus the fine for parking in a handicap space.
Ben-Baruch's Facebook post about the incident went viral. Refusing to give up, Ben-Baruch went to an office building overlooking the parking spot and obtained security camera footage.

In the footage, a pair of Tel Aviv municipal workers are seen painting the spot with Ben-Baruch's car still there. Shortly thereafter, a tow truck comes to take Ben-Baruch's car away.
Confronted with the evidence, city officials rescinded the fine and towing fee, and apologized. Link-via Arbroath
Under a half-mile of Antarctic ice, there's a cold and dark lake sealed off from the rest of the world for hundreds of years - and when scientists drilled through, they found bacteria living happily there:
“It transforms the way we view the Antarctic continent,” said John C. Priscu of Montana State University, a leader of the scientific expedition. [...]
Dr. Priscu said that every precaution had been taken to prevent contamination of the lake with bacteria from the surface or the overlying ice. In addition, he said, the concentrations of life were higher in the lake than in the borehole, and there were signs of life in the lake bottom’s sediment, which would be sealed off from contamination.
Much more study, including DNA analysis, is needed to determine what kinds of bacteria have been found and how they live, Dr. Priscu said. There is no sunlight, so the bacteria must depend on organic material that has drifted into the lake from other sources — for instance, decaying microbes from melting glaciers — or on minerals in the rock of the Antarctic continent.
James Gorman of the New York Times explains: Link


The word "blood" dates to the oldest English, circa 1000 AD. The word is derived from Middle English, which is derived from the Old English word blôd, which is akin to the Old High German word bluot, meaning blood.

In classical Greek medicine, blood was associated with air, with Springtime, and with a merry and gluttonous (sanguine) personality.

In Hippocratic medicine, blood was considered to be one of the four humors, the others being phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile.

The term blood is used in genealogical circles to refer to one's ancestry, origins, and ethnic background as in the word bloodline. Other terms where blood is used in a family history sense are blue-blood, royal blood, mixed-blood and blood relative.

Bloodletting and leeching were common unvalidated interventions used until the 19th century, as many diseases were incorrectly thought to be due to an excess of blood, according to Hippocratic medicine.

Mythic references to blood can sometimes be connected to the life-giving nature of blood, seen in such events as childbirth, as contrasted with the blood of injury or death.
One hundred and one years on the planet isn't enough for Peng Xiuhua. The centenarian from a Chinese village "died" after a stumble but woke up at her own funeral:
When the coffin was ready the next day, Peng was carefully wrapped in a cloak. However, the moment people laid her in the coffin, at about 3:00p.m., she suddenly opened her eyes and smilingly said, "Hello, there." Bystanders were dumbfounded and could not believe their eyes and ears until they saw the old woman as hale and cheerful as ever before.
The villagers continued their preparations for a true treat, yet they were no longer arranging a funeral, but instead a celebration of Peng's longevity.
Word riddle
Now that marijuana is legal in Colorado and Washington state for recreational use, what is standing in the way of hemp?

We have discussed this topic in Living Green before, but the potential environmental benefits of hemp are so great, it bears repeating.

Canada is investing in hemp production as well as the United Kingdom, and they aren't the only political and economic partners of the United States who are.

Hemp has literally thousands of uses, from food and medicine to textiles and construction, and practically all of those uses are more economic and environmentally friendly than their current alternatives.

Why is America last in this when we should be the first?
Hemp - What Are We Waiting For?

There are thousands of uses for hemp and it is time to legalize the growing of hemp so that we may benefit economically from this truly amazing plant.

Click here to watch the video
We've come a long way
What’s next?
We've seen wild animals caught on camera traps, and we've seen kittens see their first mirror image. But now we've got a pair of curious young leopards encountering a large mirror on the side of an empty road near Nyonié in Gabon. This sequence was edited down from a 20-minute encounter. French videographer Xavier HUBERT-BRIERRE set up 29 camera traps, but unfortunately is having a hard time getting repair work done on those the animals have damaged. Metafilter has links to his other wildlife videos. Link
My arteries are clogging just by looking at this, the Heart Attack poutine from Quebec's Poutineville. Yan of Geeks Are Sexy explains:
... the Heart Attack is a 15-pound mess of fries, chicken, bacon, wieners, ground beef, ham, onions, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese curds, and mozzarella, all smothered in a delicious sauce that will make your taste buds scream for more ... and your heart scream for mercy! Link
There’s fast thinking and there’s slow thinking, and if your consciousness mistakes one system for the other, you might come to the wrong conclusions.
Pole vaulter Bob Seagren ~
my first love's roommate at an amazing house on Mulhulland Drive during their senior year at USC.
Next door to this house:
Pole vaulter Bob Seagren ’69 set an Olympic record when he won the gold in Mexico City in 1968. He had to settle for silver at the Munich Olympics in 1972, when a controversial decision banned a new model of pole used by the leading vaulters — marking the first time a U.S. athlete had not won the Olympic pole vault competition since the beginning of the Games. Seagren is also remembered for playing the character Dennis in the television series Soap, and for co-hosting the Los Angeles edition of P.M. Magazine.
Today, he is CEO of International City Racing, which specializes in the development, management, and implementation of road racing, endurance, and fitness events, including the Long Beach International City Marathon.

There should be a better way to start a day than waking up every morning!

Kris Kristofferson On Writing For — And Outliving — His Idols

Thanks, Dana S
How to win her love
Little Tommy is at the zoo on a school visit and he spots a deer. Being a city kid he's never seen one before and so he asks his teacher, "What's that, Miss?"
Miss decides to play a word game with him and says, "That's what your Daddy calls Mummy, Tommy."
Tommy thinks for a moment and then says, "I'm not stupid Miss, I know that ain't a fucking pig!"
What's the worst thing about having to kiss Grandma?
When the damn coffin lid falls and hits you in the head.


If you grew up in the South , then you can relate. I grew up with this belief, but did not know the real reason. My mother always served black eyed peas on New Year's Day, and she said it would bring good luck in the new
year. I've carried this tradition forward, but never knew the reason behind it. It became a way of remembrance of my mother and grandmother.
"Black Eyed Peas: The Real Story," is much more interesting and has gone untold in fear that feelings would be hurt. Its a story of war, the most brutal and bloody war in US history. Military might and power pushed upon
civilians, women, children and elderly. Never seen as a war crime, this was the policy of the greatest nation on earth trying to maintain that status at all costs. An unhealed wound remains in the hearts of some people of the
southern states even today.
The story of THE BLACK EYED PEA being considered good luck relates directly back toSherman's Bloody March to the Sea in late 1864. It was called The Savannah Campaign and was led by Major General William T.
Sherman. The Civil War campaign began on November 15, 1864, when Sherman's troops marched from the captured city of Atlanta, Georgia, and ended at the port of Savannah on December 22, 1864. When the smoke cleared, the Southerners who had survived the onslaught came out of hiding. They found that the blue-belly aggressors had looted and stolen everything of value, and everything you could eat, including all livestock was stolen or killed.
Death and destruction were everywhere. While in hiding, few had enough to eat, and starvation was now upon the survivors. There was no international aid, no Red Cross meal trucks. The Northern army had taken everything they could carry and eaten everything they could eat. But they couldn't take it all. The devastated people of the South found for some unknown reason that Sherman 's blood-thirsty troops had left silos full of black eyed peas. At the time in the north, the lowly black eyed pea was only used to feed livestock. The northern troops saw it as the thing of least value. Taking grain for their horses and livestock and other crops to feed themselves, they just couldn't take everything. So they left the black eyed peas in great quantities, assuming it would be of no use to the survivors, since all the livestock it could feed had either been taken, eaten or killed.
Southerners awoke to face a new year in this devastation and were facing massive starvation if not for the good luck of having the black eyed peas to eat. From New Year's Day 1866 forward, the tradition grew for true
Southerners to eat black eyed peas on New Year's Day for good luck .
Confessions of Crafty Witches
Best thing about Wearing a Kilt It lets the Boys Breathe
Jill, a love-starved spinster, was so desperate that she went to a local newspaper office and inquired about putting an advertisement in the 'Lonely Hearts' column.
"Well, madam," the assistant said, "we charge a minimum of $1 per insertion."
"You don't say," said the spinster "Well then, here's $20 and to hell with the advertisement!"
A fellow was shipwrecked with six lovely women who in a short time were fighting over his attentions. They held a meeting to resolve the problem and decided that each would have his services on a different day of the week, with Sundays off for him.

In due time the guy was dragging himself through the week, looking forward to Sunday.

As he lay an the beach one day he saw a dot floating on the sea which as it got closer turned out to be a
man on a raft. With his last ounce of strength he swam out, pulled the raft ashore, gave the occupant CPR and as he came around said to him; "Oh man, am I ever glad to see you!

"Goodness gracious, am I ever glad to see you too"said the raft rider in a swishy way.

With a shrug of resignation the guy said... "Oh damn,there goes my Sundays!"
she is a bitch......

We fight not to enslave, but to set a country free, and to make room upon the earth for honest men to live in.
--Thomas Paine

Innovation is often ascribed to big theories fomented in universities and research parks: thus Stanford's engineering school stands at the center of Silicon Valley's creativity, and the National Institutes of Health underpin innovation in the pharmaceutical industry.

But the truth is that innovation frequently depends less on grand academic breakthroughs than on humble trial and error--on a willingness to go with what works, and never mind the theory that may underlie it.
--Sebastian Mallaby, "More Money Than God"

Begin by creating within you a zone of silence, a habit of recollection, a will of renunciation and detachment which puts you entirely at the disposal of work; acquire that state of soul unburdened by desire and self-will which is the state of grace of the intellectual worker. Without that you will do nothing, at least nothing worthwhile.
--Antonin-Gilbert Sertillanges, French Catholic philosopher

As has been pointed out, the secret of victory lies not wholly in knowledge. It lurks invisible in the vitalizing spark, intangible, yet as evident in the lightning-- the warrior Soul.
--George S. Patton

For those who want to understand what Zionism is all about...

A voluntary reconciliation with the Arabs is out of the question either now or in the future. If you wish to colonize a land in which people are already living, you must provide a garrison for the land, or find some rich man or benefactor who will provide a garrison on your behalf. Or else-or else, give up your colonization, for without an armed force which will render physically impossible any attempt to destroy or prevent this colonization, colonization is impossible, not difficult, not dangerous, but IMPOSSIBLE!...

Zionism is a colonization adventure and therefore it stands or falls by the question of armed force. It is important... to speak Hebrew, but, unfortunately, it is even more important to be able to shoot - or else I am through with playing at colonizing.
-- Vladimir Jabotinsky, The Iron Wall, 1923

"Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. - Ronald Reagan

"Mustard's no good without roast beef." - Chico Marx
"Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress." - Mahatma Gandhi

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Quiz: Indie Rock Frontman Or Random Guy In Brooklyn?
Take a look at these dudes and figure out whether they are an Indie Rock Frontman Or Random Guy In Brooklyn. It's simple. It's fun. Tell your friends.

Visit: Quiz: Indie Rock Frontman Or Random Guy In Brooklyn?
"A lot of people make money off of weddings, such as caterers, photographers, and divorce lawyers." -Craig Ferguson

The Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies.
1 box cake mix,
1 8oz Cool Whip,
1 egg.
Roll into balls and roll in powdered sugar. Bake @ 350 for 13-14 minutes. WINNER! Amazing cookies.

Edit by Daw
you can use organic Cake mix Organic lemon or Strawberry
use organic cool whip like Truwhip or make your own coolwhip and use organic eggs
Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip-Bacon Cookies
YES you Heard that Correct BACON!!!
It is that Time of year again when we Rush to find the perfect gift before Valentines day and Time for overpriced candy and Terrible Valentine Candy hearts
But I find this more Comical and funny and more

True to Valentines day

so how do you make them?

Materials needed:

box of your favorite Valentine candy hearts
food coloring markers

First step, sand the pre-existing text off of the candy hearts.
Brush off the powdery sugar residue and pen your own sayings with food coloring markers. The traditional color of ink for Conversational Hearts is red, however, fun could be had mixing up the colors of your text.

"Hard to believe it's February. The Super Bowl is over. The football season is over. You know what that means guys... It's time to take down those Christmas lights." --Jay Leno

"A new study found that running for two minutes is just as good for you as working out for 90 minutes. That doesn't sound like a study it sounds like something a chubby guy says after being on the treadmill for two minutes." -Jimmy Fallon

One cold night my furnace died, so I went to my parents' house. In the morning, a neighbor called to tell me that my water pipes had burst and flooded my town house and hers. I raced home~and on the way got a speeding ticket.

Then the furnace repairman arrived and told me he didn't think he had the proper fuse but would check in his truck. Meanwhile, the plumber cut holes in my bathroom wall to locate the leak.

When the furnace repairman returned, he held aloft a fuse. "I had the right one after all," he said triumphantly. "This must be your lucky day."


Hygiene is in the eye of the beholder, I have decided. One lunchtime I watched the woman in the sandwich shop spreading mayonnaise on my bread, and noticed part of her grubby work shirt was dragging across it. "Excuse me," I ventured, "your sleeve is in the mayo."

"No problem," she reassured me. "I need to wash it anyway."
Make your own Taco Shells using fresh tortillias
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place each shell on the rack until desired crispiness is attained and enjoy.
Just read & click
A young man from the city went to visit his farmer uncle. For the first few days, the uncle showed him the usual things - chickens, cows, crops, etc. After three days, however, it was obvious that the nephew was getting bored, and the uncle was running out of things to amuse him with.

Finally, the uncle had an idea. "Why don't you grab a gun, take the dogs, and go shooting?" This seemed to cheer the nephew up, and with enthusiasm, off he went, dogs in trail.

After a few hours, the nephew returned.
"How did you enjoy that?" asked the uncle.
"It was great!" exclaimed the nephew. "Got any more dogs?"
A driver, who crashed into the side of a 3000 ton wheat train and was dragged in his car more than a kilometre before being slammed into a pylon at the edge of a cliff, fell to his death as he walked for help.
How to make a Celtic Heart Knot Necklace
Thanks Maniac Mike & Louise

"Damn T.V.... Ruined my imagination and my ability to... ummm... ya... you know..." -Bart Simpson
Pandigital Primes
The digits 123456789 can be arranged to form 362,880 distinct 9-digit numbers.
How many of these are prime?
None. The sum of the digits of each of these numbers is 45, so all are divisible by 9.
Disabled Not Allowed in Disability Court
This may be the weirdest story of British bureaucracy gone wild yet. Occasionally, disabled people must go to court to prove their disabilities or face losing benefits. However, someone decided to put the disability tribunal on the fourth floor of the Acorn House building in Basildon, England. Therefore, health and safety officials barred people in wheelchairs from attending because exit would be difficult in the event of a fire.
Sylvia Middleton, from Wickford Place in Pitsea, was turned away last Wednesday.

She said: “They said they couldn’t guarantee my safety and they didn’t let wheelchairs upstairs.

“Why are they holding disability tribunals in a building disabled people aren’t allowed in?”

The 65-year-old has been told she has to wait two months for a new hearing 12 miles away at Southend.

Officials had originally ordered she attend the court or risk losing her disability benefits.
Court officials claim the ruling is in error and are trying to work out a policy in which no one will be turned away. Link -via Arbroath
BMW Designs a Car to a 4-Year Old's Specifications
Eli, the four-year old nephew of a Jalopnik reader, devised an incredible car with, among other features, 42 wheels, 19 engines and a huge toy storage area. BWM immediately moved into this market by coming up with the BMW 4219Eli, the greatest car ever designed. There's no word yet on when it will be available for sale, but save up your pennies for that frabjous day.
Supersonic Ping Pong Ball
How do you get a ping pong ball to go at supersonic speed? And what what will happen if you try to smack such ball with a paddle?
Purdue University physics professor Mark French created a cannon that can shoot a ping pong ball at 900 mph (Mach 1.2) onto a paddle. But first, physics:
You may have seen the weird mating display of the Superb Bird of Paradise before, but now you can see how he does it. This video is part of the Birds-of-Paradise Project from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
It took 8 years and 18 expeditions to New Guinea, Australia, and nearby islands, but Cornell Lab scientist Ed Scholes and National Geographic photographer Tim Laman succeeded in capturing images of all 39 species in the bird-of-paradise family for the first time ever.
At the project site, you can explore lots more videos of the different species and their amazing colors, sounds, shapeshifting displays, and mating dances. Link -via Metafilter
Monopoly's New Cat Token
Go directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. If you were the iron Monopoly token, that is. In fact, skip jail and go to oblivion.
Nothing will ever be the same again now that the 76-year-old Monopoly has changed EVERYTHING by axing the iconic iron token and replacing it with (surprise, surprise) a cat, as voted by the Interwebs:
The feline piece conquered its own competition in a separate vote on the Monopoly Facebook page, winning over four other proposed tokens — a toy robot, guitar, helicopter and diamond ring — with 31%.
"We know that cat lovers around the world will be happy to welcome the new cat token into the Monopoly game," said Eric Nyman, senior vice president and global brand leader for Hasbro Gaming, in a statement. "While we're a bit sad to see the iron go, the cat token is a fantastic choice by the fans and we have no doubt it will become just as iconic as the original tokens."
Mark my words, wheelbarrow. You're next: Link
Found: Largest Prime Number with Over 17 Million Digits
Quick: what's the larest prime number that you know? Well, computer science professor Curtis Cooper (that's him on the left) of the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg has just found one that has 17,425,170 digits.
All he had to do was run 1,000 computers non-stop for 39 days:
On January 25th at 23:30:26 UTC, the largest known prime number, 257,885,161-1, was discovered on Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) volunteer Curtis Cooper's computer. The new prime number, 2 multiplied by itself 57,885,161 times, less one, has 17,425,170 digits. With 360,000 CPUs peaking at 150 trillion calculations per second, 17th-year GIMPS is the longest continuously-running global "grassroots supercomputing"[1] project in Internet history.
Link | Want to learn more about the largest prime numbers? Here you go.
Ah, that classic video game! Which is better, adulthood or childhood? Well, let me just share with you this bit of bad news: there are no cheat codes for adulthood.
That's a minimoon, actually. And while there's one big Moon that everyone knows and loves, it's not the only natural satellite that orbits the Earth:
Scientists believe that at any given time there are about a thousand larger-than-a-softball minimoons in our planet's gravitational pull, and about one or two of those are the size of dishwashers. They stay around Earth for between six and 18 months before heading off, back in thrall to the sun's gravitational pull.
Larger minimoons arrive too, but less frequently. A minimoon about the size of a school bus probably comes and hangs out every half century or so; one the size of a football field may come about once every 100,000 years. "A hundred thousand years is about the time frame that human beings have been doing things like leaving their handprints on cave walls, so maybe in that time frame somebody once actually looked into the sky and saw a mini-moon moving across the sky," Robert Jedicke, who studies these minimoons, told National Geographic last year.
More from The Atlantic: Link
How’s this for a “willing buyer”? Toyota is going to recycle nickel-metal hydride batteries from old hybrids into energy management systems and will then sell those systems to Toyota dealerships in Japan.
I have long believed that education is the solution to many of the social problems we face; drugs, teen pregnancy, crime, recidivism, racism, even unemployment. All can be addressed in large part (not completely, of course) with education.

But education is not what it used to be. It is not even close to what it should be. Because young people entering higher education are faced with the following educational choices, which are real, actual classes that people pay money and get class credits for:

Zombies in Popular Media

This class at Columbia College in Chicago traces the history of zombies in movies and literature and explores how zombies relate to themes of capitalism, individuality and xenophobia.

Learning from YouTube

Professor Alexandra Juhasz of Pitzer College has said this class is a "pedagogic experiment focusing on the potentials and limits of digital-media culture." All class work, assignments and discussions must take place on YouTube.

Daytime Serials: Family and Social Roles

Students in this class watch daytime soaps, analyze their themes and study the social impact of gender roles on the family and the workplace.

Underwater basket weaving

Underwater basket weaving actually involves making baskets by dipping reeds into water and letting them soak - at least that's how Reed College of Portland in Oregon, and University of California in San Diego taught it.

Philosophy and Star Trek

Georgetown University's Philosophy and Star Trek course is every college Trekkie's dream. In addition to watching episodes of "Star Trek," the class also reads philosophical writings and wrestles with such questions as "Is time travel possible?" and "Could reality be radically different from what 'we' think?"

Cyberporn and Society

State University of New York's undergraduate students in this class survey Internet porn sites and examine issues of obscenity and what causes cultures to define pornography in different ways.

The Science of Superheroes

How do you transform physics into a more exciting subject? The University of California at Irvine does so by studying the science behind superheroes like Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman.

Popular 'Logic' on TV Judge Shows

The University of California's Arguing with Judge Judy: Popular 'Logic' on TV Judge Shows course isn't quite what you'd expect. This class is concerned with the illogical arguments made by the shows' entertaining litigants.

Fat studies

Professor Jacqueline Johnson's course Fat Studies at George Washington University is just one of many that are popping up on college campuses across the nation. The class teaches students to think of body size critically and politically, and it aims to promote weight awareness and acceptance among people of all shapes and sizes.

Simpsons and Philosophy

The University of California at Berkeley's two-unit course Simpsons and Philosophy is described as a "fairly rigorous" philosophical course that asks weighty questions like "Can Nietzsche's rejection of traditional morality justify Bart's bad behavior?"

Armed with these classes under their belts, a whole new generation of baristas and bartenders will be prepared to make horrible personal decisions, vote, and eventually raise a whole new generation of brainless cultural zombies.

Kind of makes you want to pick up a book, doesn't it?
People of Timbuktu save Manuscripts from Invaders
The Ahmed Baba Institute of Higher Learning and Islamic Research in Timbuktu, Mali, holds a collection of 30,000 of the world's most precious ancient manuscripts. Or it did until recently. On January 23rd, al-Qaida-linked extremists, who invaded Timbuktu almost a year ago, ransacked the library and set it on fire. The fire raged for eight days straight. What the extremists did not know was that only about 2,000 of the hand-written documents had been moved to the new library building.
However, they didn't bother searching the old building, where an elderly man named Abba Alhadi has spent 40 of his 72 years on earth taking care of rare manuscripts. The illiterate old man, who walks with a cane and looks like a character from the Bible, was the perfect foil for the Islamists. They wrongly assumed that the city's European-educated elite would be the ones trying to save the manuscripts, he said.

So last August, Alhadi began stuffing the thousands of books into empty rice and millet sacks.

At night, he loaded the millet sacks onto the type of trolley used to cart boxes of vegetables to the market. He pushed them across town and piled them into a lorry and onto the backs of motorcycles, which drove them to the banks of the Niger River.

From there, they floated down to the central Malian town of Mopti in a pinasse, a narrow, canoe-like boat. Then cars drove them from Mopti, the first government-controlled town, to Mali's capital, Bamako, over 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) from here.

"I have spent my life protecting these manuscripts. This has been my life's work. And I had to come to terms with the fact that I could no longer protect them here," said Alhadi. "It hurt me deeply to see them go, but I took strength knowing that they were being sent to a safe place."
It took two weeks in all to spirit out the bulk of the collection, around 28,000 texts housed in the old building covering the subjects of theology, astronomy, geography and more.
The 2,000 documents that were in the new library were digitized, so the information survives even if the parchment does not. Link -via Metafilter
Help me understand
Mom passes drugs with open-mouth kiss

PENN YAN, N.Y. - Authorities in New York state said a mother used an open-mouth kiss to smuggle Oxycodone to her son in a jail. The Yates County Sheriff's Department said Kimberly Margeson, 54, put the prescription pills "into her mouth and brought them into the jail when she visited her son," William Partridge, 30, who was arrested on a weapons charge, reported Friday. Margeson allegedly passed two pills "from her mouth to her son's mouth when she kissed him." Deputies said they believe the pills were for Partridge's personal use and not to sell inside the jail. Margeson was arrested on a felony drug charge and a misdemeanor charge of promoting prison contraband. Partridge was also charged with the contraband count. Margeson pleaded not guilty Tuesday and was released after posting $2,000 bail.
No longer need Parisian women fear being arrested by venturing outside in pants. A law dating back to the French Revolution forbidding them has been repealed:
The law required women to ask police for special permission to "dress as men" in Paris, or risk being taken into custody.
In 1892 and 1909 the rule was amended to allow women to wear trousers, "if the woman is holding a bicycle handlebar or the reins of a horse."
The law was kept in place until now, despite repeated attempts to repeal it, in part because officials said the unenforced rule was not a priority, and part of French "legal archaeology." [...]
The restriction focused on Paris because French Revolutionary rebels in the capital said they wore trousers, as opposed to the knee-breeches, or the "culottes," of the bourgeoisie, in what was coined the "sans-culottes" movement. Women rebels in the movement demanded the right to wear trousers as well, but were forbidden to do so.
Women wearing pants? What's the world coming to?! Next, they'll probably start agitating for the right to vote.
Forget Smartphones: Cuddlebot has Smart Fur
Forget smart phones, here comes smart fur! Anna Flag and Karon MacLean at the University of British Columbia have created Cuddlebot, a furry animal-like machine that intelligently recognizes touch gestures like strokes and tickles and responds to them.
Cuddlebot incorporates smart fur, a conductive fur which incorporates conductive threads sewn into faux animal-like fur, creating a "stroke sensor" circuit. When someone touches the fur, the hand motion changes the resistance in the circuit, which can be analyzed and classified as different kinds of gestures.
Flagg's ultimate goal is to design emotional "haptic creatures" that can be therapeutic in helping people recover emotionally from illnesses and trauma, but we just can't wait till she brings Tribbles to life.
Portland On The Web: Neighborhood Notes, NBC, KGW & more
We gripe about the rain a lot in Portland, but meanwhile the rest of the state is poised to feel the wrath of a magnitude 9 earthquake sometime in the next...well we don't really know. What we do know is the quake would result in
$30 billion in damage and could knock out utilities for months, maybe years. So you should probably forget all the kale and start eating all the nachos because it could all be over at any moment.

On the bright side, Portland is in the running to be the new home of NHL's Phoenix Coyotes. Let's hope they can get along with these guys.

Here is a round up of the goings-on in Portland this week:
KGW: Big Ore. quake would cost $30 billion
NBC: Add another city to the Coyotes rumor mill - Portland
OregonLive: Whitaker site proposal in Northeast Portland could be model for urban farming
Neighborhood Notes: Nachos - 7 Portland takes on the crunchy, cheesy combo
Portland Monthly: Slide Show - Japanese Garden paving
Portland Business Journal: Oregon skiers, snowboarders send $482M into economy
Man quits over 666 on tax form
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee man who quit his job after receiving a W-2 tax form stamped with the number 666 said he was trying to save his soul. Walter Slonopas, 52, resigned as a maintenance worker at Contech Casting LLC in Clarksville, Tenn., last week because accepting the form stamped with 666 -- believed by some to be the "number of the beast" associated with the apocalypse -- would be a one-way ticket to hell, The Tennessean, a newspaper in Nashville, reported Thursday. "If you accept that number, you sell your soul to the devil," he said. Slonopas said he was initially given the number 666 to clock in when he was hired in April 2011 but his complaints led to it being changed to 668. He told the newspaper he resigned after the number reverted to 666 when the company changed time clock systems three months later but he returned to work a few days later when the company apologized. Bob LaCourciere, vice president of sales and marketing for the Revstone Corp., which owns Contech Casting, said he was shocked the mistake was repeated with a stamp on Slonopas' form. "I am completely at a loss for words," he said. LaCourciere said Slonopas will be issued a replacement form and he hopes the worker can be convinced to return to the company. However, Slonopas said he will not return to Contech. "God is worth more than money," he told The Tennessean.
The Wattle Cup Caterpillar
wattle cup caterpillar
"Don't hate me because I'm beautiful." We don't, Wattle Cup Caterpillar. But we are a bit envious of the splendor that this creature in Australia's Karawatha Forest sports. You can view more photos at the link.
Link -via WTF, Evolution? | Photo: Brisbane Insects
5 Obsessive Weirdos Who Made the World a Better Place
Cracked has another list of interesting historical figures who did some bizarre things that led to the world as we know it. For example, we assume that the food we eat doesn't have a lot of dangerous additives, but it wasn't so before chemist Harvey Wiley had a crazy idea about testing food.
In 1902, Department of Agriculture chief chemist Harvey Wiley got $5,000 from Congress to figure out what was up with the preservatives getting stuffed into food. Only a few years earlier, soldiers fighting in the Spanish-American War complained that their tinned beef tasted like embalming fluid and smelled like human cadavers -- and they would know, on both counts. Soldiers suspected that the meat was laced with boric acid to hide the fact that it was as putrid as the word "putrid" when you say it like this: "peeeeewtrid."

So Wiley gets his $5,000 and sets up a lab full of chimps to systematically study the effects of eating a diet of food filled with additives. WRONG. He asks a regular crew of volunteers from the Department of Agriculture to ingest poisoned food every day for five years -- just to see what happens. Despite having jobs, salaries, and access to regular not-poisoned food, a dozen otherwise sane men volunteered to eat meals laced with borax, salicylic acid, sulfuric acid, sodium benzoate, and formaldehyde. And the meals were just the beginning of the crazy: Each man also had his poop and pee tested daily to see what was coming out. And each volunteer promised not to hold the government liable, no matter what kind of sludge came out of his tear ducts when he cried himself to sleep at night.
He actions led to the birth of the FDA, which we depend on. Other stories tell of the crazy guys who gave us the our dictionary, rubber, and forensic psychology, with the expected hyperbole and language warning from Cracked. Link
Miscellaneous Notes and Queries published a surprising find in November 1897: “a letter written by Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, found under a great stone sixty-five years after his crucifixion.” The stone, “both round and large” and engraved Blessed is he that shall turn me over, had been found “eighteen miles from Iconium, near a village called Mesopotamia.” “There came a little child, about six or seven years old, and turned it over without help, to the admiration of all the people that stood by, and under this stone was found a letter written by Jesus Christ … signed by the Angel Gabriel, ninety-eight years after our Saviour’s birth”:
Whosoever worketh on the Sabbath Day, shall be Cursed; I Command you to go to Church, and keep the Lord’s Day holy, without doing any Manner of Work. You shall not idly mispend your Time in bedecking yourselves with superfluities of costly Apparel, and vain Dresses, for I have ordained it a Day of Rest. I will have that day kept holy, that your Sins may be forgiven you; you shall not break my Commandments, but observe and keep them, written with my own Hand, write them in your Hearts, and steadfastly observe, this was written with my own Hand, spoken by my own Mouth. You shall not only go to Church yourselves, but also your Man-Servants and your Maid-Servants, and observe my words and learn my Commandments; you shall finish your Labour every Saturday in the Afternoon by six of the Clock, at which Hour the Preparation for the Sabbath begins. I advise you to fast five Fridays in every Year, beginning with Good-Friday, and to continue the four Fridays immediately following, in Remembrance of the five bloody Wounds I received for all Mankind; you shall diligently and peaceably labour in your respective Vocations wherein it hath pleased God to call you. You shall love one another with brotherly Love, and cause them that are not baptized to come to Church and hear the holy Sacrament, viz. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and be made Members thereof; in so doing I shall give you long Life and many blessings, and your Land shall replenish and bring forth Abundance; I will bring you many Blessings, and comfort you in the greatest Temptations, and surely he that doth to the contrary, shall be cursed and unprofitable. I will also send Hardness of Heart upon them, till I have destroyed them, but especially upon hardened and impenitent Unbelievers; he that hath given to the Poor, he shall not be unprofitable. Remember to keep holy the Sabbath-Day, for the seventh Day I have taken to rest myself.
It’s unfortunate that the Saviour had hidden his letter under a stone, as he was particularly eager that it be shared among the faithful:
He that hath a Copy of this Letter written with my own Hand, and spoken with my own Mouth, and keepeth it, without publishing it to others shall not prosper, but he that publisheth it to others, shall be blessed of me, and tho’ his Sins be in Number as the Stars in the Sky, and he believe in this shall be pardoned, and if he believe not this Writing and my Commandments, I will send my Plagues upon him, and consume both him and his Children and his Cattle; and whosoever shall have a Copy of this Letter written with my own Hand, and keep it in their Houses, nothing shall hurt them, neither Pestilence, Lightning nor Thunder shall do them any Hurt: and if a Woman be with Child and in Labour, and a Copy of this Letter be about her, and she firmly put her Trust in me, she shall safely be delivered of her Birth. You shall have no News of me, but by the Holy Spirit, till the Day of Judgment. All Goodness and Prosperity shall be in the House where a Copy of this Letter shall be found.
The editors note that the letter had originally been printed in London, and was later reprinted and sold in Boston “by I. Thomas, near the Mill-Bridge.” They offered it “as a curiosity,” noting that “it bears on its face a fraud.”
DIY Pinhole Camera
Are you always on the lookout for fun and functional art projects to do with your kids? You need the DIY pinhole Camera from the NeatoShop. The kit includes step-by-step instructions and materials to build your own working pinhole camera. The completed camera is able to take real photographs using 35 mm film (sorry film not included).
I think I’ve posted this before, so here it is again.
What can you say? People love their pets.
My disabled goldfish scooting around in her newly redesigned sling. She has trouble maintaining buoyancy on her own. She looks a little silly, but it is better than lying at the bottom of the tank all day!
I think it's sweet. And this goldfish is lucky to have an owner concerned with its quality of life instead of flushing a defective fish down the toilet. -via Arbroath
A penny for your thoughts? Not if you're Canadian! Soon, there'll be no penny in Canada.
Canada's iconic penny is slowly but surely going out of circulation, as the Royal Canadian Mint is officially stopping distributing the coins and businesses are rounding cash transactions to the nearest five-cent:
Slowly but surely, 82-million kilograms of steel, nickel and copper plating will travel in patrons’ pockets to stores and banks. The pennies themselves will remain legal tender indefinitely, but it’s at the discretion of individual businesses if they’ll accept the coins. From there, businesses can hand them over to banks, who can pass them on to the Canadian Mint. The coin’s last stop after the Mint will be a foundry, which will melt the pennies down and recycle the metal. Canada's National Post has the story: Link
How to repair anything

A few years ago, when the Catholic church reform began to be much in the news, Mrs. Moskowitz said to Mrs. Finkelstein, "Tell me, Becky, have you heard by chance what's going on in Rome?"
"No," said Mrs Finkelstein. "I haven't. What's going on in Rome?"
"A meeting of high Catholic churchmen has, among other things, decided that the Jews are not responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus."
Mrs Finkelstein raised her eyebrows. "Indeed? And who is responsible, then?"
"I'm not sure," said Mrs. Moskowitz. "I think they suspect the Puerto Ricans."

Put a little Love in your life ~
Ursa ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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