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The world has an abundance of "Devil's Bridges"

The one in the photo above (that doesn't look real...) is the Rakotzbrücke at the Azalea and Rhododendron Park Kromlau (Germany).  (summer photo) Devil's Bridge is a term applied to dozens of ancient bridges, found primarily in Europe.

Is this the "worst ever" legend for a bar graph?


Ásatrú - the religion of the Vikings

Excerpts from an article at Iceland Magazine: The religion of the original Viking settlers of Iceland, the old Norse paganism Ásatrú, is not just still alive and well in Iceland, it is undergoing something of a renaissance...

Long-distance macro photography

Due to hit the shops next year, the Laowa 24mm f/14 Relay 2x Macro lens has a rather long lens barrel that Laowa says can be used to shoot shy subjects at difficult spots without scaring them.

Even more on the Equifax horror story

You know about the security breach affecting 143 million Americans.  You probably didn't know (perhaps don't want to know?


Via the Hmmm subreddit.

Bespoke porn

Bespoke: In sense “custom-made”, 1755, from earlier bespoken (c. 1600), form of bespeak, in sense “arrange beforehand” (1580s).  Primarily used for tailoring, now also used more generally, as fancier term for custom-made, notably for software, as in a “bespoke solution”.Most people are familiar at least with the concept of bespoke clothing custom-tailored to the individual.  Most probably are not aware that the pornography industry offers bespoke products.

Divertimento #134

An interesting jigsaw puzzle. "An 11-year-old Minnesota girl is recovering from bone-deep lacerations to her foot after being bitten, apparently by a large fish, on Island Lake north of Duluth.  Island Lake is home to large muskies and northern pike." Annoying floor tile.


Via the Pics subreddit.

"Worker shortage" in Wisconsin

I first became aware of worker shortages in the Midwest earlier this summer when I was visiting the Minnesota north woods - an area whose economy is heavily dependent on tourist trade to fishing resorts.  Owners of those resorts rely heavily on immigrant labor for what amounts to seasonal employment.  The positions do not require skilled labor - waiting tables in restaurants, cleaning cabins, servicing the docks.  Few Americans want such jobs for a six-month period, but lots of students in Scandinavia for example are (were) glad to come to northern Minnesota for a modestly-paying job in a pleasant and familiar environment.  When immigration controls were tightened, many employers found such applicants less available.

Failing the "robot test"

Abstract expressionism vs. Minimalism

  YouTube link. You can place me in the category of people who think a lot of "art" is bunk, but having said that, I have to admit that in this video Elisabeth Sherman from the Whitney explains the opposite viewpoint quite lucidly and persuasively.

Visitation stones

Photographed while walking past the historic Forest Hill Cemetery* in Madison, Wisconsin.  I had to look up some background on the custom.

Totally bizarre ice cream commercials

  YouTube link. YouTube link.    YouTube link. Via Reddit and Miss Cellania.

Best summary of Hurricane Irma status

  YouTube link. I don't know who this guy is, but he's good.  This is not an official NWS presentation; he appears to be a well-informed enthusiast on tropical weather.  His presentation is fast and concise.

Freezer corn

"Dandelion wine. The words were summer on the tongue. The wine was summer caught and stoppered."            --Ray Bradbury, Dandelion WineFor Ray Bradbury, summer was preserved in dandelion wine.  Here in Wisconsin and Minnesota, we preserve summer in freezer corn.

Plastic-wrapped smoke detector

Photographed in a hotel room in Turkey.  "I let the guy know and he was really apologetic and hadn't realised." This explanatory observation from the discussion thread: "That’s a dust cover.

Getting out of Dodge


"Airplane!" vs. "Zero Hour"

  YouTube link.

Celebrity pagophagia

Many years ago I used to give lectures about pagophagia (the consumption of clay).  I saw the phenomenon mostly among urban impoverished women in the Dallas area.