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I'm tired of blogging, and I'm scheduled to give a lecture next weekend, so I'll plan to use much of this coming week to get materials ready for that.  You guys are on your own for a while.

Nazi-grave robbers are not Nazi grave-robbers

  The distinction is explained at Bloomberg Business Week: “In Latvia, it is normal for you to have dead soldiers on your yard,” Esmits said.

Metabolic markers for chronic fatigue syndrome. Fascinating.

Excerpt from an abstract at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science: We targeted 612 metabolites in plasma from 63 biochemical pathways by hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography, electrospray ionization, and tandem mass spectrometry in a single-injection method.

Bees are endangered. Or not.

First, from USA Today: A bumblebee is now on the endangered species list for the first time in a "race against extinction," the U.S.

"Flash in the pan" explained

The flash pan or priming pan is a small receptacle for priming powder, found next to the touch hole on muzzleloading guns.  A small amount of finely ground gunpowder is placed in the flash pan and ignited.

The power to arrest peaceful demonstrators

Claiming people are being paid to riot, [Arizona] Republican state senators voted Wednesday to give police new power to arrest anyone who is involved in a peaceful demonstration that may turn bad — even before anything actually happened...

Golf: 25 hours. Foreign relations: 21 hours

Donald Trump regularly assailed President Barack Obama for playing golf, then spent the first weekends of his own presidency doing just that.

Goodbye to "Arbroath"

I started TYWKIWDBI in 2007, and within a couple months I had found my way to Nothing To Do With Arbroath, one of the best-known and best-loved blogs on the internet.  Kevin Norman Gray harvested the news sites of the world to collect oddities and ephemera.  In the last ten years I've used Kevin's blog as a "via" for over 200 posts, because his material was very much "things you wouldn't know." Readers of "Arbroath" were startled last November to see a personal post from a blogger who was always very private; he reported having an illness which would hamper his blogging.  Sadly, he wrote a final post in January detailing a terminal illness, and shortly thereafter a blog reader found and posted a link to a death notice, which was later confirmed by the family.

Locate structurally deficient bridges near you

The Washington Post offers an interactive map which lets you click on your county and then zoom in to identify bridges that have been deemed structurally deficient (and others that are "functionally obsolete.")

"Megachiropteran cinematographer"

Wordsmiths interested in anagrams will find an interesting study at the Universe of Discourse.  Examples of some of the more interesting long ones include - 7 admirer married 7 admires sidearm 8 negativism timesaving 8 peripatetic precipitate 8 scepters respects 8 shortened threnodes 8 soapstone teaspoons 9 earringed grenadier 9 excitation intoxicate 9 integrals triangles 9 ivoriness revisions 9 masculine calumnies 10 coprophagist topographics 10 chuprassie haruspices 10 citronella interlocal 11 clitoridean directional 11 dispensable piebaldness 11 endometritria intermediator That source also provices a link to an apparently comprehensive list of 38,333 anagrams.

"Biotwang" emanating from the Mariana Trench

YouTube link.  Discussion: After months of speculation, scientists have finally identified the most likely source of a creepy audio recording from the deepest part of the ocean...

Credit only where credit is due

In his chapter on word choice, Harold Evans rightly takes issue with the misuse of the term “credit” in news media.

The making of Planet Earth II

YouTube link. I watched the first episode ("Islands") last night.  Excellent. Via Neatorama.

Donald Trump may have dyslexia

YouTube link. This video presents a very interesting proposition: that Donald Trump has difficulty reading.


Snopes confirms that Mencken did make such a pronouncement in 1920 (using the term "downright moron").

Introducing Zealandia

Some geologists argue that this area should be acknowledged as our world's eighth continent.  It has not previously been recognized because most of it is under water.

"Swanga" illustrated

Many more pix here.  This is part of SLAB culture in Houston: Like most automotive hobbies, the Houston SLAB scene starts with the belief that the factory’s work needs improvement...

Save the frogs !

Amphibian survival can be a natural biomarker for subtle environmental changes.  A poster promoting a frog exhibit at the Vancouver Aquarium reminds everyone why frogs are important.

Early humans didn't just "walk across Beringia"

Most well-informed people understand that the Americas were populated by early humans who crossed from Asia via the glacial-age land-bridge at Beringia.  But too many people have the misconception that once the land bridge formed (when sea levels dropped because oceanic water was tied up in glaciers), humans just marched across to the new world.  The process of crossing probably extended over thousands of years - and a new paper reports that this may have been long enough for the human genome to have evolved during the process.

Every picture tells a story...

Image cropped slightly for size from the original at the WTF subreddit, where the location is reported to be Renaissance Festival near Charlotte, North Carolina.  (although I prefer the comment "Which Walmart is this?