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This woman saves children

A woman from Denmark named Anja Ringgren Lovén has spent three years in Nigeria saving children from the worst cases of abuse.

Hillary Clinton at Donald Trump's wedding

I'll defer commentary.  Via Reddit, where the discussion thread includes plenty of commentary.

Thought for the day

Severed foot in the Garden of Earthly Delights

It has been almost two years since I've been able to add any material to the 29 posts in TYWKIWDBI's category of severed feet.   So, a tip of my blogging cap to Miss Cellania at Neatorama, who found one in Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights.

The destruction of Lisbon, 1755

In 1755, an earthquake of magnitude 8.5 -9.0 or greater struck in the Atlantic just west of Lisbon.  Three separate quakes caused many of the great buildings in Lisbon to collapse to the ground.  Shortly thereafter a set of three tsunamis crashed ashore and destroyed the shipping in the Tagus river.  After the waters receded, fires from candles and furnaces in damaged churches and workshops broke out and spread uncontrollably throughout the city.  “One of the first structures to catch fire was the stately palace of the Marques de Lourical… it was a repository of countless treasures, including a collection of over two hundred paintings by such masters as Titian, Correggio, and Rubens, and a renowned library of eighteen thousand books, which contained a history composed by the Emperor Charles V in his own hand, a collection of preserved plants (a herbarium) once owned by King Matthias Hunyadi of Hungary, and a priceless assemblage of original manuscripts, maps, and charts from the Portuguese Age of Exploration… [at the Riverside Palace] “The fire burned all of the galleries, halls, rooms, antechambers, and offices of the palace, with all of its rich decorations and furniture covered in gold, silver, and rich jewels of inestimable value,” wrote Portal.

Portugal's Reign of Terror

Most educated people are familiar with the Reign of Terror that accompanied the French Revolution.  I was not aware that a similar tragedy had previously taken place in Portugal.   The events unfolded in the aftermath of the tragedies (earthquakes, tsunamis, great fire) of 1755.  In the social turmoil that followed, several shots were fired into a carriage, wounding the king.  Pombal, the Secretary of State, rounded up "several of the most powerful and prominent nobles in Portugal.

Well, that settles that

Via Bad Newspaper.

James Garfield - president for only 200 days

I have a new favorite president. Before reading this book, literally the only things I knew about James Garfield were that he was featured on the 20c prexie stamp (because he was the 20th president) and that he was assassinated while in office.


Secret doors and hiding places in homes. Introducing the New York Public Library's erotica collection.  "For decades, they were kept in locked cages, accessible only with special permission and viewed in a small, secured area in the main research library.


I never heard this word until encountering it at Futility Closet.  It wasn't even in my Random House - had to dig out the OED and get the magnifying glass: Apricate.  v.

Jurassic lacewing vs. modern butterfly

"A study out today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society: B that features IU paleobotanist David Dilcher as a co-author identifies a Jurassic-age insect whose behavior and appearance closely mimic a butterfly — but whose emergence on Earth predates the butterfly by about 40 million years.

I know what you meant to say, but...

Via Bad Newspaper.

Baby monitors can be hacked

Predictably enough, accounts are now surfacing of voyeurs and griefers who are using these capabilities to spy on, and taunt babies.

"Never have I seen a more beautifully kept toilet..."

A selection of photos of the toilet at John Wesley’s Chapel. "There is a sepulchral light that glimmers as you descend beneath the chapel to enter the gleaming sanctum where, on the right hand side of the aisle, eight cedar cubicles present themselves, facing eight urinals to the left, with eight marble washbasins behind a screen at the far end.

If I had shoes like this...

View post on ...maybe I could dance like her.


In a recent interview, Kate Winslet has agreed that there was room on the door for Jack.  A WaPo article discusses the issue and the Mythbusters investigation of the buoyancy of the plank.

"The ego has landed"

I am trying to minimize politics in this blog, but some political cartoons just beg to be reproduced.

"What are the chances?"

One out of 64.  (Although I have read reports that it was 6 flips out of 7 - if so, some reader can calculate those odds for me).

"Catching Kayla"

YouTube link. "Tom Rinaldi tells the remarkable story of Kayla Montgomery -- who, despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, has become one of the best young distance runners in the country."Here's your inspirational video for the week.

Girl with a pearl headdress

I've been unable to find details about this painting, except that it is entitled "Girl with a Pearl Headdress" and is attributed to the "Central European School" in 1625-1635.