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Herewith three selections from a gallery of iceberg photos at The Telegraph.  Top photo credit to Steppes Travel.

Emma Thompson - tax protester

She and her husband are protesting not about paying taxes per se, but to the selective enforcement of the rules and the coddling of corporate entities such as HSBC: Greg Wise, the actor married to Oscar winner Emma Thompson, has said he and his wife will refuse to pay tax until those involved in the HSBC scandal go to prison.

"Southern Cross" (Crosby, Stills, Nash)

YouTube link.

Texas sportscaster speaks out about race relations

YouTube link. "Kids have to be taught to hate."  The speaker is Dale Hansen - In 1987, Hansen was honored with the George Foster Peabody Award for Distinguished Journalism.


If you have never seen a weasel riding on the back of a woodpecker before, you can read the explanation at The Telegraph, where there is a video interview with the photographer.

A shiny spot on the dwarf planet Ceres

Even more impressive on the gif of planetary rotation. The latest images from Nasa’s Dawn spacecraft reveal a pair of bright spots on Ceres, a 590-mile-wide dwarf planet, with the brightest of the two reflecting at least 40% of the sunlight that falls on it.

St. Bernards prefer spaghetti to salad

YouTube link. The pseudo-stop-action technique reminds me of some Naked Gun closing credits.  This one is well done and must have required remarkable restraint on the part of the four actors.

The location of Jeopardy! daily doubles

The distribution should be intuitive to anyone who regularly watches the show.  This table offers a little more precision.

A Royal Flycatcher - before and after

Via Reddit.

U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe tosses a snowball

YouTube link. The travesty is detailed at ABC News: Sen. Jim Inhofe, a devoted climate change denier, tossed a snowball at someone on the Senate floor today as he tried to debunk climate change.  “In case we had forgotten because we keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record, I ask the chair: You know what this is?

A global rainfall/snowfall map

YouTube link. Created by NASA: "The map covers more of the globe than any previous precipitation data set and is updated every half hour, allowing scientists to see how rain and snow storms move around nearly the entire planet....

Perhaps he was thinking of a fistula

BOISE -- An Idaho lawmaker received a brief lesson on female anatomy after asking if a woman can swallow a small camera for doctors to conduct a remote gynecological exam.

Why you "stave off" a cold

From the Language Corner of the Columbia Journalism Review: Nowadays, “stave off” means to keep at bay, fight off, or defend against.

The reasons you have eyelashes

I had always assumed that eyelashes evolved simply to keep particulate matter out of the eyes. Now a study published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface reports that particulates are only half the story; eyelashes also divert airflow to prevent drying of the eyes.

High school spends $662,000 on sports upgrades

This story comes from rural Wisconsin: An anonymous donor's gift has come to fruition at Arrowhead. In August 2014, the school board approved the renovation of the North Campus girls and boys basketball locker rooms after an initial $275,000 donation from a donor.

17th century wearable technology

This is a relic of the Chinese Qing Dynasty, and is made of pure silver. Inlaid in a ring like a decoration, the size of the abacus is 1 cm × 0.5 cm.

"Consider the prison-phone industry"

From an article explaining how the prison system in the United States has been corporatized into profitable ventures: The profits generated by the corrections economy have not been definitively calculated, and a comprehensive audit would be a staggering accounting task.

The seacoast of Bolivia

You learn something every day.  Bolivia used to have a seacoast.  That territory was lost in the War of the Pacific (1879-83): "...

YouTube anniversary video compilation

YouTube link. I'm not officially "back" at the blogging desk, but I wanted to post this brief compilation of excerpts from approximately 200 videos to keep you busy until I do come back.


Lots of conflicting demands for my time.   Need to get this stuff done now, while we're still gripped by the polar vortex, because as soon as spring arrives, outdoor activities will beckon.  If you need something to read this week, try browing the "categories" in the right sidebar.