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Exercise Tiger at Slapton Sands

"To the north from here stretches a duney expanse called Slapton Sands, so similar to the beaches of Normandy that they used it for a dress rehearsal for D-Day in the spring of 1944.

One of Dogbert's better ideas

So sad

"Richard T. Ramsey and Sue Ramsey hold hands while looking at the skyline from the remains of their house of 41 years, Thursday, Dec.

Kleptocracy and kakistocracy explained

Kleptocracy (from Greek: κλεπτοκρατία, klépto- thieves + -kratos rule, literally "rule by thieves") is a government with corrupt rulers (kleptocrats) that use their power to exploit the people and natural resources of their own territory in order to extend their personal wealth and political power.

Did a Hugh Williams survive a wreck in Wales yesterday?

"On December 5, 1664, a ship sunk in the Menai Strait, a stretch of water with tremendous tidal swings off the coast of Wales.

Rose light bulb

This is a vintage Aerolux neon lightbulb, probably from the 1940s.  A video shows it to flicker at a frequency of 60 hz.  More information at Neatorama.

"We can't have 18-year-olds reading about masturbation..."

Resident Rick Ligthart read from a prepared statement the changes he wanted in the school district’s policy.


A kronkåsa (Swedish: crown cup, plural kronkåsor) is a drinking vessel where the handles are exaggeratedly long and elaborate, thus forming a kind of crown above the cup, hence the name.

Why you can't swim in molasses - updated

Most readers here are probably at least vaguely aware of Boston's Great Molasses Flood of 1919.  This week I found an article at Scientific American discussing the relevant physics: A wave of molasses does not behave like a wave of water.

Do you know someone with Parkinsons?

YouTube link. Or any other intention tremor or arm weakness?  Consider gifting them a "self-leveling spoon" for Christmas.

"Bycatch" explained

"Bycatch, in the fishing industry, is a fish or other marine species that is caught unintentionally while catching certain target species and target sizes of fish, crabs etc.

Chechen wedding

What a lovely photo.  Credit Valery Sharifulin/Tass, via a gallery at The Guardian.

"They" as a replacement for "he or she"

That's how today's headline in The Telegraph was phrased.  I know there are several copyeditors who follow this blog.  I'd appreciate your comments.

Offered without comment

A tongue-in-cheek poster from Scarfolk, via Replaces and cancels the previous Johnnythehorse..

Democracy is not an inherently stable form of government

Political scientists have a theory called “democratic consolidation,” which holds that once countries develop democratic institutions, a robust civil society and a certain level of wealth, their democracy is secure.

1938 Alfa

Image via The Age of Diesel.

Bullets from the Battle of Gallipoli

An evocative image of war, though not quite a case of res ipsa loquitur, as explained at the source.  I believe similar artifacts have been found at American Civil War battlegrounds.

If a retailer sends you too much stuff...

... you don't have to return it. To put it simply: you can keep it. According to the Federal Trade Commission, you have a legal right to keep unordered merchandise and consider it a free gift.


As the top commentor at Reddit Pics said, "At what point does it stop being "cake" and just become "a sculpture made of fondant?

Water can freeze at 100 degrees Celsius

If it's inside a carbon nanotube: "... a team at MIT has found a completely unexpected set of changes: Inside the tiniest of spaces — in carbon nanotubes whose inner dimensions are not much bigger than a few water molecules — water can freeze solid even at high temperatures that would normally set it boiling.