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Beware of caramel apples at room temperature: "researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Food Research Institute conclude that the sticks used to dip caramel apples are the most likely culprit [for transmitting Listeria], and that apples stored at room temperature pose the highest risk." How to get back into an inflatable rubber dinghy.

A plausible rationale for the Ultimate Answer

From a column at The Guardian: On a Sunday in the spring of 1981 Douglas Adams was typing a letter. "Dear Ken," he began.

A tour of Badger Prairie Community Garden

Some readers of this blog may be unfamiliar with community gardening.  So I thought today I'd walk everyone around the Badger Prairie Community Garden where I'm working a plot.

Real Life Adventure

Reaching out

Last year I planted pipevine (Aristolochia macrophylla) in our back yard.  My goal was to attract the fabulously beautiful but rarely-seen (at our latitude) Pipevine Swallowtail to the garden, hopefully to deposit eggs on the pipevine.  In the Summer 2001 issue of American Butterflies, an article called “The Pipe-dream Project” suggests that planting pipevines could help in increasing the distribution and abundance of this species, in a similar manner in which Bluebird houses have aided that species.

The surface of Europa

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day, from NASA: An enhanced-color view, this image covers a 350 by 750 kilometer swath across the surface of Jupiter's tantalizing moon Europa.

When a Peacock lands on your eyebrow

YouTube link.

Should tourists have special license plates on their rental cars?

"Holidaymakers wishing to take a road trip in New Zealand should be required to take a driving test and display “T-plates” on their vehicle to warn other drivers of any potential danger.

"If anyone can save humanity, it is Donald Trump"

YouTube link. Hindu nationalists in India support Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton's policy positions

YouTube link.

Immigration to the United States

I've seen many immigration charts; this is the first one I can remember that plots the data as a percentage of the population at the time.  It's interesting how each group was reviled at the time and how each then resented those in the subsequent wave.

Thoughts re refugees

A poignant excerpt from the transcript of "Streetwise" - the second act in episode 572 ("Transformers") at This American Life: Ira Glass:  "Monday of this week, she rode a bus as the next of those many steps that she has to do to become an American.

Reality bites

Photo via Reddit.

America's "drunkest" cities

"The findings were compiled by online financial news outlet 24/7 Wall St. The group analyzed self-reported data from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a joint program with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

Mercury transit music video

YouTube link. Brought to you by NASA: The Solar Dynamics Observatory obtained an uninterrupted vista recording not only in optical light but also in bands of ultraviolet light.

Student late for graduation. Faculty wait for her.

"Though the ceremony [at University of Northern Iowa] in Cedar Falls finished around 7 p.m., after hearing about Johnston's plane issues, President Bill Ruud, along with other administrators and staff, decided to wait nearly an hour for her arrival and to give Johnston her own personal commencement

Liberal Christianity

Discussions of modern American politics often assume that references to "Christians" refer to "conservative Christians."  That assumption overlooks the fact that for decades various Christians and Christian groups served as prominent forces in liberal/progressive agendas.

Teecher excepted this lettar

"A 7-year-old Houston girl managed to get out of an after-school program with a fake excuse note that she wrote herself...

If you like music...

... Polygraph offers a fun link for bringing back fifty years' worth of memories.  The page is user-friendly and fully intuitive.  Have a go.

Eisenhower, LeMay, Nimitz: "Hiroshima bombing unnecessary"

"All the watches found in the ground zero were stopped at 8:15 am, the time of the explosion."President Obama's planned trip to Hiroshima has triggered a series of memorial articles, some of them revisiting the question of the necessity of the bombings.