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Divertimento


Windblown ducklings (all eventually made it to safety). Video shows complication of shooting Dragon's Breath incendiary rounds with a shotgun.

Real Life


A look at Bulgaria's "bride's market"

YouTube link. Every year young Roma women attend "bride markets" with the intention of getting married to the highest bidder.  "If you have gold jewelry and shoes that match your dress...

Snark-hunting map


"He had bought a large map representing the sea,     Without the least vestige of land: And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be     A map they could all understand.

Brexit returns surprising so far...

This evening many sources, including the American BBC broadcast, admitted that the outcome of the voting was too close to call, but that insiders, pundits, and bookmakers were cautiously predicting a "remain" victory.

"To the manner born"


I spent the evening of the summer solstice sitting outdoors with a recreational beverage, reading the only first edition I own - a copy of John Dickson Carr's Speak of the Devil.

"Enhance the reflection"

YouTube link.

Adobe Flash Player critical update recommended

As reported by Krebs On Security: Adobe on Thursday issued a critical update for its ubiquitous Flash Player software that fixes three dozen security holes in the widely-used browser plugin, including at least one vulnerability that is already being exploited for use in targeted attacks.

Amazing marble machine

YouTube link.

Ca'n't, wo'n't, and sha'n't


This week I was doing one final reread of Alice in Wonderland (a 1962 paperback version) and was struck by some archaic spelling: "I've had nothing yet," Alice replied in an offended tone; "so I ca'n't take more." "You mean you ca'n't take less," said the Hatter: "it's very easy to take more than nothing."Elsewhere the same style was applied to wo'n't and sha'n't.

Is Donald Trump a "Manchurian candidate" ?


YouTube link. An excerpt from the Washington Post this morning: THE BIG IDEA: Salman Rushdie floated last fall that Donald Trump is a Democratic plant whose ultimate goal is to get Hillary Clinton elected president.

"Gaudeamus Igitur"

YouTube link. Time to say goodbye to graduation season. "De Brevitate Vitae" (Latin: "On the Shortness of Life"), more commonly known as "Gaudeamus Igitur" ("So Let Us Rejoice") or just "Gaudeamus", is a popular academic commercium song in many Western countries, mainly sung or performed at university graduation ceremonies.

"Hamboning" demonstrated

YouTube link. "This amazing Hambone performance by Samuel Hicks starts out at a normal pace and then increases in tempo to a blazing finish.

Cordyceps on a tarantula


I've previously posted a David Attenborogh-narrated video of cordyceps in ant brains and emerging from a leaf-roller.  Now here it is affecting a tarantula, via BoingBoing.

Shallow roots


A striking visual reminder that the roots of trees do not extend deeply into the earth.  Cartoons and illustrations of trees often portray the root system as a mirror image of the above-ground branches.  Some species in arid climates can send down deep tap roots, but for the most part tree roots spr

"Kiss me, you fool"


After I laughed at the cartoon, the classic line in the title for the post popped into my head and I wondered where it came from.  I found the answer at SFGate: After all, catchphrases have been a major part of people's enjoyment and contemplation of cinema for almost 100 years.

Helping the osprey


For as long as I can remember, when I've driven past a certain intersection in north-central Minnesota, I've looked up to view an osprey's nest located on top of a barren crag (residuum of a storm-damaged red pine, I think).  This year I did a double-take because it looked so different.  I had to stop the car to study it, and realized that the crag was still there (on the left), but a new structure had arisen, with a huge nest atop it: A quick search of the 'net after I got back home led me to a news story about the response of some volunteers in the Walker, Minnesota area: A 30-year-old osprey nest destroyed by high winds last year was successfully replaced March 11 on Onigum Road.

Cockfight chair


As eighteenth-century English printers produced increasing numbers of books and members of the upper classes read more, the private study or library and its furnishings became an important part of the domestic interior.

Hope for a cure for multiple sclerosis

Twenty-three patients improve after being treated with stem cells: The trial, which is the first in the world to show complete long-term remission from the debilitating disease has been hailed by experts as ‘exciting’ ‘unprecedented,’ and ‘close to curative.’...

World temperature data since 1850


Found in the Data is Beautiful subreddit, where there is some discussion. I thought of sending this to a friend of mine who is a climate change skeptic, but I know his response will be that the changes reflect 1) instrumentation error and 2) normal cyclic variation.  *sigh*


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