13 March 2014

"In your rocking-chair, by your window dreaming, shall you long, alone. In your rocking-chair, by your window, shall you dream such happiness as you may never feel."

The Life Battery depicts your predicted remaining lengh of life in the format of the battery icon used on computers. "Modal age of death is used rather than life expectancy, to filter out early deaths and give an optimistic result."  Optimistically calculated or not, a memento mori is seldom a pleasant experience to view.

Curious about the explosive potential of WWII mines?  This video shows the controlled detonation of one recently found on the Dutch shoreline.

This leech can survive for years in liquid nitrogen and thus is pre-adapted for interplanetary travel.  "Only two other known species can survive being immersed in liquid nitrogen--water bears and the larvae of one type of drosophilid fly--but previously the maximum recorded length of submersion was 1 hour." 

A touching open letter To The Woman and Child Who Sat at Table 9.  You can read the rest at the link.  It's worth one minute of your time.
"I know what I was supposed to say when I went to your table. I was supposed to politely tell you to please not have your daughter yell. I was supposed to offer to move you to another area. I was supposed to offend you by not offending you...

I did not do any of that.

Instead I just told you I hoped your meal was awesome. I high-fived your daughter and then I told you that your meal was on us tonight. It was only $16. It meant more to me than that. I do not think the other guests I spoke to were happy about it. At that moment it did not matter to me."
How to prevent outside faucets from freezing.  Too late for this winter for many of you, but worth bookmarking if you live at a northern latitude (but note newspaper links do not last forever).

How marijuana causes the munchies:
If mice are an accurate model for humans, one of the ways that THC increases appetite is by making us more sensitive to the smells of food. Because scent and taste are so closely related, it likely allows us to better taste flavors as well. 
A video camera falls from an airplane into a pigpen; the pigs investigate.

There is an annual spelling bee for seniors.  Here is the word list for the 2012 competition.

A dozen photos from the first winter Olympics, in 1924.

Mothers produce different breast milk depending on whether their child is a boy or a girl.  The variation is in both quantity and content.

There have been recent advances in drug treatment of Down syndrome.

Pentecostal preacher Jamie Coots, who handled venomous snakes for church rituals, recently died as a result of snakebite.
Coots said then he needed the snakes for religious reasons, citing a Bible passage in the book of Mark that reads, in part: "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."
The Roving Typist is a 10-minute video about "C.D. Hermelin [who] was broke when he decided to bring his typewriter to a park and type unique, one-of-a-kind stories for any passersby with a few dollars to spare. And people responded."

A Darwin Award candidate: "The girlfriend told authorities that the man had been drinking all day and was explaining to her that his three handguns are safe when they aren’t loaded, according to Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe. He demonstrated by placing the guns against his head and pulling the trigger. When he pulled the trigger on the third handgun, it discharged. The man was pronounced dead at the scene."  The article notes that "alcohol appears to have been a factor in the shooting."

A lengthy article documents how hog farms in Iowa contaminate local drinking water.

A "graveyard of fossilized whale skeletons" has been discovered in Chile.

A photoessay at imgur documents the hand-raising of a baby songbird.

Video of water snakes performing a mating dance of dominance.  This is NOT a mating dance.

There are seat-fillers at the Oscars:
"...whose job it is to make sure that not a single Dolby Theatre seat is left open when actors and actresses excuse themselves from the three-hour awards show for the bar or loo... seat-fillers are expected to be “very stoic, like a model,” as to not rouse any at-home viewers’ suspicions that they do not know the person they are sitting beside."
(The title of this post is the last two sentences of Sister Carrie)


  1. The water snakes are not performing a mating dance.

    Both of the male rat snakes in the video are performing the "dance of dominance": http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2287753/Male-snakes-charming-mating-ritual-prove-strongest-pack.html

    1. I've amended the post accordingly. Tx.

  2. Actually, the last 2 sentences of Sister Carrie


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