From the collections of the Musée "Bible et Terre Sainte" -
This stone mask from the pre-ceramic neolithic period dates to 7000 BCE and is probably the oldest mask in the world.Happy Halloween to all.
Via Unexplained Spoopies.
A new class of insecticides first introduced in 1994 that is relatively harmless to people and animals — neonicotinoids. Now added routinely as a coating on seeds, neonicotinoids provide additional insurance against soil pests. And, like the genetic traits, they become an intrinsic part of the plant as it grows.This week they report that the state is considering a ban on neonicotinoids:
“It started in 2002,” said Chuck Benbrook, a professor who studies sustainable agricultural systems at Washington University. “By 2006 neonicotinoids had cornered the market.”..
When it comes time to buy seed, farmers have a dwindling number of alternatives. Three corporations control more than half of the world’s commercial seed market, and the top 10 control three-fourths...
But the amount of land devoted to those seeds has exploded. Today in Minnesota, about 24,000 square miles — a third of the state — are devoted to growing either corn or soybeans...
Dozens of studies have now found that low doses of neonicotinoids may not kill bees outright, but can cripple their highly sophisticated navigational and communication skills, and hamper a queen’s reproduction. Scientists have also warned that crops take up only a small portion of the insecticide, leaving the rest behind in the soil. If the toxins spread from fields into streams and wetlands, they may ripple through the food system...
But from where Ehrhardt sits, between the big seed companies and the end of their pipeline at the farm, it appears that the fate of pollinators in rural Minnesota will come down to demand, markets and economics. He sells all kinds of seeds to all kinds of farmers. He’s keenly aware of the market for organics and the rising demand among farmers for non-GMO seeds — the fastest growing segment of his seed business. Both of those types of crops command a considerably higher price at the local elevator than the genetically engineered crops.
Farmers, he said, would be happy to grow bee-friendly corn. “But there have to be consumers willing to pay for that.”
Minnesota regulators, for the first time, are considering banning or restricting a controversial class of insecticides that has been linked to honeybee deaths.The possibility, disclosed this week by the state Department of Agriculture in a revised outline for a study of the chemicals, followed an outpouring of public concern over the dramatic decline in honeybee populations in recent years...A revised outline published this week states that the range of state action could include “restrictions on or cancellation of products.”..Horan said the backlash against neonicotinoids was heightened by a recent EPA finding that neonicotinoid seed treatments in soybeans provide little or no overall benefits to soybean production for most farmers.
Fears are growing for the 300 Yazidi women reportedly kidnapped by Islamic State fighters last week amid claims they would be used to bear children to break up the ancient sect's bloodline. The minority group is originally Aryan and has retained a fairer complexion, blonde hair and blue eyes by only marrying within the community. But in a furious bid to convert all non-Muslims, ISIS jihadists have vowed to impregnate the hostages.This week The Dish notes that "the plight of the Yazidis still isn't over."
On Mount Sinjar there are two Yazidi militias resisting the IS push. They told Rudaw that they had not received supplies for weeks. There are also YPG, PKK, and peshmerga fighters in the area as well. IS has cut off the supply routes to the mountain and the Yazidi forces are desperate for weapons and ammunition.I found out more about the Yazidis from Wikipedia:
The Yazidis are a Kurdish ethno-religious community whose syncretic but ancient religion Yazidism (a kind of Yazdânism) is linked to Zoroastrianism and ancient Mesopotamian religions...
The Yazidis are monotheists, believing in God as creator of the world, which he has placed under the care of seven "holy beings" or angels, the "chief" (archangel) of whom is Melek Taus, the "Peacock Angel."...some followers of other monotheistic religions of the region equate the Peacock Angel with their own unredeemed evil spirit Satan, which has
Yazidism is not an offshoot of another religion, but shows influence from the many religions of the Middle East. Core Yazidi cosmology has a pre-Zoroastrian Iranian origin, but Yazidism also includes elements of ancient nature-worship, as well as influences from Christianity, Gnosticism, Zoroastrianism, Islam and Judaism....
"Anne is on the left with Emily in the centre and Charlotte on the right. Originally, their brother, Branwell, had begun painting himself in the picture but ultimately decided to paint himself out by replacing his image with a 'pillar'. This must have been done before the painting was completed as recent x-rays, which clearly show his image, indicate that it is incomplete. Badly mixed oil paints can have a tendency to become translucent with age, and as a result of Branwell's inexperience in this area, his own ghostly image can now be seen 'in the pillar'.The original is on display in the National Portrait Gallery, London
What have these CT scans revealed about King Tut’s life and death? Not much that wasn’t already known, actually...
King Tut was probably ill for most of his life. The autopsy reveals he probably had a clubfoot or Kohler disease, which prevented him from participating in vigorous activity (such as chariot-riding). He also suffered from genetic illnesses and malaria...
...they studied the 130 walking canes buried with the Boy King. Many archaeologists thought these canes were symbols of the pharaoh’s power, but the new “virtual autopsy” research indicates he actually needed them for walking.
(Reuters) - The U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly for the 23rd time to condemn the decades-long U.S. economic embargo against Cuba, with many nations praising the island state for its response in fighting the deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa.
In the 193-nation assembly, 188 countries voted for the nonbinding resolution, titled "Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial and Financial Embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba."
As in previous years, the only countries that voted against the declaration were the United States and an ally, Israel...
While the General Assembly's vote is nonbinding and symbolic, it serves to highlight U.S. isolation regarding Havana. It is one of very few issues where all of Washington's Western allies part ways with the United States...
Washington broke diplomatic ties and imposed a comprehensive trade embargo on the Communist-run Caribbean island more than half a century ago during the Cold War. Its policy today appears to be influenced by domestic politics in Florida, where Cuban exiles have opposed any conciliation with former President Fidel Castro or current President Raul Castro, who took over for his brother in 2008.
In an interesting test of the “boys will be boys” hypothesis, the New Zealand Herald decided to re-create the Hollaback video on the streets of Auckland, recruiting a model named Nicola Simpson to star. As in the New York video, Simpson walked around the city for 10 hours behind a hidden camera chronicling her trip. And guess what happened? She received zero catcalls. None. Not one.Video at the link.
Claims made about the percentage of donations going to charity are not the only contradictions AIP found when investigating DVNF. "For 35 years we have been putting service to others before ourselves," says one DVNF solicitation. This is an interesting statement considering the charity was not incorporated until November 2007, according to its 2008 tax form...In fairness, I'll note this evaluation was posted in August of 2010, so there may be newer data. But I'll give this one a pass.
According to that AIP member, DVNF first sent a large plastic envelope containing a calculator and planner which she had not requested, along with a contribution form. They later sent her a follow-up solicitation asking "Did you receive the Patriotic Calculator and Planner Set I sent you?" This statement was printed in red letters above her name and address on the envelope next to a photo of an injured soldier being carried into a helicopter on a stretcher. Charities that mail unrequested gifts while at the same time requesting contributions are trying to guilt you into giving, in AIP's opinion. Donors should be aware that they are under no legal or, for that matter, moral obligation to send contributions in response to gifts they have not requested...
The language in this solicitation could lead potential donors to believe that the charity seeks funds primarily for direct assistance to veterans, which is not the case. According to DVNF's 2008 audit, only $127,421 or less than 1% of DVNF's $16.3 million budget could have been spent on grants or aid to individuals. Except for this amount and a $40,000 unrestricted grant to a related party, all the rest of DVNF's reported program expenses of $4.5 million were direct mail related.
A national charity that vows to help disabled veterans and their families has spent tens of millions on marketing services, all the while doling out massive amounts of candy, hand sanitizer bottles and many other unnecessary items to veteran aid groups, according to a CNN investigation.
The Disabled Veterans National Foundation, based in Washington, D.C., and founded in 2007, received about $55.9 million in donations since it began operations in 2007, according to publicly available IRS 990 forms.Yet according to the DVNF's tax filings with the IRS, almost none of that money has wound up in the hands of American veterans.Instead, the charity made significant payments to Quadriga Art LLC, which owns two direct-mail fundraising companies hired by the DVNF to help garner donations, according to publicly available IRS 990 forms...DVNF specifically cited a small veterans charity called St. Benedict's. But the charity's executive director said most of the donations from DVNF could hardly be classified as "badly needed.""They sent us 2,600 bags of cough drops and 2,200 little bottles of sanitizer," J.D. Simpson told CNN. "And the great thing was, they sent us 11,520 bags of coconut M&M's. And we didn't have a lot of use for 11,520 bags of coconut M&M's... "In one instance, the DVNF claimed more than $838,000 in fair market value donations to a small charity called US Vets in Prescott, Arizona. CNN obtained the bill of lading for that shipment, which showed that, among other things, hundreds of chefs coats and aprons were included in the delivery, along with a needlepoint design pillowcase and cans of acrylic paint. The goods listed in the two-page shipping document were things "we don't need," a US Vets spokesman said.
"Todd is the most typical of American men. His proportions are based on averages from CDC anthropometric data. As a U.S. male age 30 to 39, his body mass index (BMI) is 29; just one shy of the medical definition of obese. At five-feet-nine-inches tall, his waist is 39 inches."From The Atlantic, where this body habitus is compared to those derived from databases in three other countries (Japan, France, and The Netherlands). Here the average American is compared to the average man in the Netherlands:
"Americans are also losing ground in height. For most of two centuries, until 60 years ago, the U.S. population was the tallest in the world. Now the average American man is three inches shorter than the Dutch man, who averages six feet. Japanese averages are also gaining on Americans'.More information and images at The Atlantic.
The long hundred, a unit of count = 120, appears to have arisen out of an ancient Germanic way of counting, one which is echoed in modern English. The “teen” suffix, as in four-teen, six-teen, etc, is not applied to one plus ten or two plus ten (they aren't one-teen and two-teen). Eleven and twelve are treated the same way as the first ten numerals; the break is after twelve, not ten... Note that this is not a duodecimal numeric system.The use of the word in this manner lingered for a long time in England:
This reckoning of one hundred as six score still holds good (or did to my knowledge ten years ago) in Leighton Buzzard, Beds. If one ordered there 100 plants, for example, one received, and also had to pay for, 120: a hundred being always reckoned as six twenties. If one required simply 100, it was necessary to order five score.
So also here in Cardigan and around, taking eggs, for example, the dealer picking up three eggs in each hand, reckons that twenty times this makes one hundred.Emily M. Pritchard (writing on 21 July 1906).
Archaeologia Cambrensis. 6th series, vol. 6, page 352.
When medieval binders knew that the object they were processing would be placed on a lectern, for example in a chained library, they often added tiny feet like the ones seen here. They made sure that the lower edge of the binding and the bottom part of the pages would not be damaged by the rough wood of the lectern - notice the shiny bottom of the feet.More photos at the link, and more details here of a chained library
When Poe died, he was buried, rather unceremoniously, in an unmarked grave in a Baltimore graveyard. Twenty-six years later, a statue was erected, honoring Poe, near the graveyard’s entrance. Poe’s coffin was dug up, and his remains exhumed, in order to be moved to the new place of honor. But more than two decades of buried decay had not been kind to Poe’s coffin—or the corpse within it—and the apparatus fell apart as workers tried to move it from one part of the graveyard to another. Little remained of Poe’s body, but one worker did remark on a strange feature of Poe’s skull: a mass rolling around inside. Newspapers of the day claimed that the clump was Poe’s brain, shriveled yet intact after almost three decades in the ground.I don't believe a brain tumor or any other body tissue would calcify after death (unless there were some unusual mineralogical conditions in the soil), but some neoplasms such as meningiomas and various metastases do calcify during life. Interesting.
We know, today, that the mass could not be Poe’s brain, which is one of the first parts of the body to rot after death. But Matthew Pearl, an American author who wrote a novel about Poe’s death, was nonetheless intrigued by this clump. He contacted a forensic pathologist, who told him that while the clump couldn’t be a brain, it could be a brain tumor, which can calcify after death into hard masses.
In Maine, an elementary school teacher was recently put on paid leave for up to three weeks after parents complained that the teacher had traveled to Dallas, where there have been a few Ebola cases. On Sunday, a similar precaution was taken at a high school in Phenix, Alabama, after an employee flew on the same plane as a person who contracted Ebola -- even though the employee flew a day later, long after the aircraft had been cleaned...What they should sell are the sunglasses described in Hitchhiker, which, at the first sign of danger... go totally black.
In Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, Ebola is killing business at a local Liberian
restaurant. "We have had customers coming in and actually standing in front of us at the counter saying, 'do you have Ebola?'"
On the upside, the business of protective gear is booming. David Scott, president of LifeSecure, told The Chicago Sun-Times that his business recently sold out of a kit that includes "disposable eyeshields, biohazard bags, protective masks, vinyl gloves and hand sanitizer."
(Reuters) - U.S. stock futures tumbled while safe-haven assets such as the yen and U.S. bonds gained on Friday after media reported that a doctor who returned to New York City from West Africa has tested positive for Ebola.*sigh*
Claire Smith, spokesperson from the Department of Health Services said the number of babies born in Wisconsin declined for the sixth year in a row last year.Note that what is being reported is not a decline in population (because of people moving to Florida or baby boomers dying), but a decrease in new births.
The department recorded 66,566 live births to residents of Wisconsin in 2013, 633 fewer than the previous year. The teen birth rate also declined, with a crude rate of 19.7 births per 1,000 females aged 15 to 19, compared to 21.9 births in 2012.
Until August, the university had resisted going back further than 2007 to investigate other potential academic problems in the department, so it’s difficult to assess exactly what was happening before then.
Difficult, that is, except in the case of Julius Peppers, whose transcript sat unnoticed on UNC’s website until this summer. Peppers had D’s or F’s in 11 of 30 classes, the transcript showed, and was barely eligible for football and basketball only because of a string of better grades in courses he took in the AFAM Department.
A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, encompassing about 1,500 athletes who got easy A's and B's over a span of nearly two decades, according to an investigation released Wednesday...The NCAA is pondering what to do with this information.
Many at the university hoped Wainstein's eight-month investigation would bring some closure. Instead, it found more academic fraud than previous investigations by the NCAA and the school...
The focus was courses that required only a research paper that was often scanned quickly by a secretary, who gave out high grades regardless of the quality of work. The report also outlined how counselors for athletes steered struggling students to the classes, with two counselors even suggesting grades. Several knew the courses were easy and didn't have an instructor...
An archaeological discovery of 13 Conehead-shaped skulls in Mexico has people recalling the famed Saturday Night Live sketch. The bones, which are about 1,000 years old, dating back to 945 A.D. to 1308 A.D., were discovered accidentally during a dig for an irrigation system in the northwest state of Sonora in Mexico. While it’s not unheard of for archaeological sites to be unearthed during modern excavations, the misshapen skulls discovered on the site are fairly uncommon, especially as far north as Sonora. “This was a Hispanic cemetery with 25 skulls, and 13 of them have deformed heads,” Cristina Garcia Moreno, who worked on the project with Arizona State University, told ABC News. “We don’t know why this population specifically deformed their heads.”Some news videos of the discovery have described the procedure of cranial deformation as a "rite of passage into adulthood," but clearly deformation to this degree has to be undertaken on a pliable skull of an infant.
Early examples of intentional human cranial deformation predate written history and date back to 45,000 BC in Neanderthal skulls, and to the Proto-Neolithic Homo sapiens component (12th millennium BCE) from Shanidar Cave in Iraq. It occurred among Neolithic peoples in SW Asia. The earliest written record of cranial deformation dates to 400 BC in Hippocrates' description of the Macrocephali or Long-heads, who were named for their practice of cranial modification.Reposted from 2012 to add information from a new BBC article about cranial modification in Australia:
...they owe their strange appearance not to the blind hand of evolution but to the guiding hand of humanity. Australia's ancient inhabitants were among the first in the world to deliberately transform the shape of their own skulls...The modern counterpart to this occurs when parents place babies on their backs to minimize the chances of SIDS:
H. erectus had a wide skull and a small braincase, while the unusual Australian skulls are narrow and have large braincases, just like today’s humans do. This makes it highly unlikely that their flat foreheads were shaped by ancient H. erectus genes - and far more likely that they were actually sculpted by human hands...
Encouraging parents to routinely putting babies to sleep on their backs before their soft skulls harden led to a dramatic increase in cases of plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome. A study published last year found almost half of a sample of 440 healthy young babies attending two clinics in Calgary, Canada, showed signs of it.More at the links.
[In 1972] They found a 2,000-square-foot location on Lovers Lane in Dallas. It was a ratty old laundromat. The monthly rent was $174. We cleaned it up, built our own shelves, and painted it. We’d load the trucks, unstop the toilet, everything...Kudos to this lady and her management team. More at the link.
There weren’t many bookstores at all back then. Ours was an original concept. Pat and Ken wanted to make sure there were affordable reading options for everyone in a comfortable, inviting place to shop. By buying all the items people brought in, they weren’t censoring anyone. We’d pay cash for anything printed or recorded except yesterday’s newspaper, which meant we had current offerings to sell. It was different from other used bookstores, where you traded for books, or high-end antiquarian stores, which intimidated people. We did so well, we opened our second location eight months later in a former meat-storage place... But we never were fancy people, so I don’t think we would have noticed any hardships. We ate ravioli out of a can and hamburger casseroles...
I became president and CEO. I was scared to death. It was 1995, and I was 37... In 1995 we had 55 stores, with $50 million in sales. I had had no formal education... We only did what we could afford to pay for, so we always operated on a cash basis... Because we are private and don’t have to answer to shareholders, we can expand at our own pace. Plus, our inventory is different than most traditional book retailers’ and is lower in cost, so that gives us a different customer base. We’re trying to be a bookstore, record store, antiquarian store, and comic-book store...
I could have been filthy rich many times over if I’d sold the company. But I didn’t because I would have left the people who did all the work to suffer.
Sotheby's currently has auctions for several beautiful pocket globes from the 1790s and early 1800s. If you have a few grand lying around, one of these 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch beauties could be yours. Globemaking required the precise printing and placing of each gore, or strip of printed material shaped like the rind surface of a lemon wedge. In the miniature globe above, each gore represented thirty degrees of longitude and were hand-colored. The outer case was notched to hold a metal pin running through each pole for easier spinning.Image and text from BoingBoing, where there is a link to the Sotheby's auction.
"In an effort to bring more diversity to the artistic offerings in Carrizozo, Warren and Joan Malkerson, along with David Mandel, the past curator of the Hubbard Museum and all of its photographic shows, will host an open house celebrating the grand opening of the Tularosa Basin Gallery of Photography Saturday, Oct. 25 ...
The gallery also will be the headquarters for the newly formed Tularosa Basin Photographic Society. The space boasts 7,500 square feet on the first floor.Further details at Ruidoso News.
"We have 14 photographers as members as of opening night," Malkerson said. "We hope to grow to more than 50 members and also then occupy the basement floor of that building as well, thereby having a total of nearly 15,000 square feet of showroom/sales floor space. This would make it the largest photography-only gallery in the entire state of New Mexico. The subject matter of all the photography will be New Mexico. All the shots have to be taken within the state aligning the gallery with the new big push by the tourism board of the state for New Mexico True. We will be the only photography gallery in the state to so dedicate itself."
Something interesting is happening in Carrizozo, a rustic town of just under a thousand residents set at the intersection of US 54 and US 380, about 40 miles northwest of Ruidoso. It has to do with art, and exploration, and renewal in its many forms, and with the participatory spirit that can take hold when a community discovers its own potential. An effort is under way here to revitalize this town, bring in new ideas and new opportunities, grow the population to a self-sustaining level by appealing to potential residents like artists and retirees—and to do it all while preserving the town’s historic character. But more interesting still is what’s behind all this. Or, rather, who: in this case, a diverse set of talented people united by their love of place...Further information at the link.
Lured by the collegiality here and by the opportunities that Carrizozo offers to both established and
emerging artists, like gallery shows and inexpensive studio space, a number of talented individuals are choosing to make this their home. In the past 10 years, some 20 artists have moved here, bringing talents ranging from painting to sculpting to illustration to movie-making. I decide my first day’s mission will be to explore the breadth of that range...
A 1968 contest to name the city’s new baseball franchise attracted proposals such as “Mules” and “Cowpokes.” A now-deceased Kansas City engineer named Sanford Porte proposed “Royals,” in honor of what he called “Missouri’s billion-dollar livestock income, Kansas City’s position as the nation’s leading stocker and feeder market and the nationally known American Royal parade and pageant.” Mr. Porte’s entry prevailed...
Soon after the team’s 1969 debut, livestock references fell silent. This coincided with a civic effort in the 1970s to dissociate Kansas City from its stockyards, where 64,000 cattle a day once transformed into steaks and packaged meat...
Today, the baseball team’s connection to a livestock show is unknown even to team members... To some American Royal supporters, the team’s forgotten livestock link reflects persistent anti-cow sentiments... The American Royal is a nonprofit that raises money for agricultural-related scholarships, in part via champion-livestock auctions...
There are signs the baseball team is rediscovering its roots. In 2009, it opened a Royals Hall of Fame at Kauffman Stadium, including an exhibit detailing how the team got named. “I don’t think the livestock heritage bothers people much anymore,” says Curt Nelson, the hall of fame’s director.
Molecular gyroscopes are chemical compounds or supramolecular complexes containing a rotor that moves freely relative to a stator, and therefore act as gyroscopes. Though any single bond or triple bond permits a chemical group to freely rotate, the compounds described as gyroscopes may protect the rotor from interactions, such as in a crystal structure with low packing density or by physically surrounding the rotor avoiding steric contact... the rate for inertially rotating p-phenylene without barriers is estimated to be approximately 2.4 x 10^12 per second (2,400,000,000,000 RPS)...The human mind (at least mine) is not capable of conceiving of such behavior.
The derivation of the story is confused, but it first arises in the 1930s. It was published in Reader's Digest in 1940 as a letter from a naval officer who had supposedly received it from an enlisted man explaining his late return from leave. Hoffnung first saw the story in The Manchester Guardian in 1957; the version printed there is identical with the text used by Hoffnung, except for the location, which he changed from Barbados to Golder's Green. Hoffnung used the piece to warm up the audience before each recording session of One Minute, Please. In these performances he perfected the timing before the Oxford Union speech. The story was part of his speech in a debate called Life Begins at 38 and was recorded by the BBC. The tale itself was not, Ingrams comments, especially funny, but "[Hoffnung's] manner and delivery reduced his audience to hysterics".I don't remember how I, as a Minnesota teenager in the 1950s became a fan of Hoffnung, but I was a reader of Punch and a fan of British comedy (Flanders and Swann, St. Trinians, The Goon Show) at the time, and thus had his interplanetary music festival records, which is where I first heard this presentation.
lt was an act of regicide that catapulted Europe into war - an act that not unexpectedly took place in the Balkans. The region had been in a state of ferment for years, and the assassination of the heir to the Hapsburg Empire, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, by a Serbian nationalist, was the culmination of a train of events leading inexorably to war.Boldface and italics added. Sound familiar?
Yet at first the monarchs of Europe did not take the incident too seriously. lt was expected that the Hapsburg Emperor, Franz Josef of Austria-Hungary, would demand and be given an apology from Serbia. By now, however, Europe's leading nations were locked in alliances - there was Serbia with Russia, Russia with France, France with Great Britain, Great Britain with Belgium on the one side, and Germany and Austria-Hungary on the other. With Serbia's apology not proving abject enough, relations between Serbia and Austria-Hungary were broken off. This finally alerted Europe's family of kings to the danger that threatened them.
As the alliances clicked inexorably into place, a positive snowstorm of telegrams between the crowned heads tried to avert the inevitable. Kaiser Wilhelm II (Willie) was particularly assiduous in keeping touch with his cousins Georgie and Nicky. But by now there was nothing they could do. Their constitutional powers counted for almost as little as their cousinhood. Although, technically, Franz Joseph, Nicholas II and Wilhelm II could perhaps have curtailed the coming hostilities, they were at the mercy of more powerful forces: the generals, the politicians, the arms manufacturers, and the relentless timetables of mobilisation. Ultimatum followed ultimatum. In the face of national pride, imperial expansion and military glory, the protestations of the crowned heads were swept aside. On such giant waves, they could only bob about like so many corks.
“It was a floating museum, carrying works from various periods; one bronze statue dates from 340 B.C., another from 240 B.C., while the Antikythera Mechanism was made later. This was when the trade in works of art started... Researchers believe the vessel may have been carrying treasures from Roman-conquered Greece to Italy." See also Return to Antikythera.The title is the opening line from Kurt Vonnegut's 1969 novel, Slaughterhouse Five.
"In surface navigation, a cross sea is a sea state with two wave systems traveling at oblique angles. This may occur when water waves from one weather system continue despite a shift in wind. Waves generated by the new wind run at an angle to the old, creating a shifting, dangerous pattern. Until the older waves have dissipated, they create a sea hazard among the most perilous."
A cross swell is generated when the wave systems are longer period swell, rather than short period wind generated waves
So what's the costume flap of the year? It might just be Ebola, as in Ebola zombies, bloody Ebola patients and faux protective gear.Image credit: AP Photo/Brands On Sale, Inc.
Twitter and other social media were abuzz leading into the holiday with talk of hazmat suits and respirators. Too soon? How about just "no"...
If searches on Google are any indication, the Ebola crisis doesn't match the Top 10 popularity of Elsa from "Frozen," or even your basic Wonder Woman, among searches for DIY costumes.
Regardless, the costume site BrandsOnSale went there. It's selling an "Ebola Containment Suit Costume" for $79.99, complete with white suit emblazoned with "Ebola," face shield, breathing mask, safety goggles and blue latex gloves...
"We don't stray away from anything that's current or controversial or anything like that," Weeks said from his 127,000-square-foot warehouse in Banning, California. "If I told you we had a toddler ISIS costume in the works, your mouth would drop."
"I will definitely let you know when that goes on sale," Weeks said. "I can tell you it will come complete with a fake machine gun."
...two random Icelanders have about as much in common as second cousins, once removed, according to Dr. Kári Stefansson, CEO and co-founder of deCODE Genetics...
In early 2013, deCODE Genetics and the University of Iceland’s School of Engineering and Natural Sciences challenged the nation’s university students to design a smart phone app for the online genealogical database Íslendingabók for its 10th anniversary.
The Íslendingabók website takes its name from the Book of Icelanders, a 12th century historical text which details the Icelandic settlement. Currently, the database contains 810,000 genealogical records of “the inhabitants of Iceland, dating more than 1,200 years back.”..
...one of the novelty features of the winning ÍslendingaApp: the Sifjaspellspillir or “Incest Spoiler” alarm which alerts a user if the person she plans on going home with is a near relation. Using the app’s “new bömp technology,” users can tap their phones together and see how closely they are related. If the alarm has been activated—it’s turned off in default settings—it will either erupt with a discouraging siren, or issue a gleeful “No relation: go for it!” message...
Quilling or paper filigree is an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs. The paper is rolled, looped, curled, twisted and otherwise manipulated to create shapes which make up designs to decorate greetings cards, pictures, boxes, eggs, and to make models, jewellery, mobiles etc.
During the Renaissance, French and Italian nuns and monks used quilling to decorate book covers and religious items. The paper most commonly used was strips of paper trimmed from the gilded edges of books. These gilded paper strips were then rolled to create the quilled shapes... In the 18th century, quilling became popular in Europe where gentle ladies of quality ("ladies of leisure") practiced the art.The word "quill" as an avian appendage dates back to Middle English. Presumably early artists used to wrap their paper strips around quills.
The researchers suggest that autism may be rooted in an impaired ability to predict events and other people’s actions. From the perspective of the autistic child, the world appears to be a “magical” rather than an orderly place, because events seem to occur randomly and unpredictably. In this view, autism symptoms such as repetitive behavior, and an insistence on a highly structured environment, are coping strategies to help deal with this unpredictable world...More at the link. I don't have the PNAS link, but it's a high-quality journal.
“At the moment, the treatments that have been developed are driven by the end symptoms. We’re suggesting that the deeper problem is a predictive impairment problem, so we should directly address that ability,” says Pawan Sinha, an MIT professor of brain and cognitive sciences and the lead author of a paper describing the hypothesis in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week...
This hypothesized deficit could produce several of the most common autism symptoms. For example, repetitive behaviors and insistence on rigid structure have been shown to soothe anxiety produced by unpredictability, even in individuals without autism. “These may be proactive attempts on the part of the person to try to impose some structure on an environment that otherwise seems chaotic,” Sinha says.
Impaired prediction skills would also help to explain why autistic children are often hypersensitive to sensory stimuli...
Well, I'm not the world's most masculine manVideo via Reddit.
But I know what I am and I'm glad I'm a man
And so is Lola, L-L-Lola, L-L-Lola
Lola, L-L-Lola, L-L-Lola
...sociolect: a language variety that’s spoken within a social group, like Valley Girl–influenced ValTalk or African American Vernacular English. (The word dialect, by contrast, commonly refers to a variety spoken by a geographic group—think Appalachian or Lumbee.) Over the past 20 years, online sociolects have been springing up around the world, from Jejenese in the Philippines to Ali G Language, a British lingo inspired by the Sacha Baron Cohen character.
He was a business man, honest, selfish, and ambitious; and the collapse of his worldly position was paramount to the collapse of the universe itself - his universe, at any rate. This "crumbling of the universe" was the thought he took out with him. He left the house by the path that led into solitude, and reached the heathery expanse that formed one of the breathing-places of the New Forest. There he flung himself down wearily in the shadow of a little pine-copse. And his crumbled universe lay down with him, for he could not escape it.
Taking the pistol from the hip-pocket where it hurt him, he lay upon his back and watched the clouds. Half stunned, half dazed, he stared into the sky. The perfumed wind played softly on his eyes; he smelt the heather- honey; golden flies hung motionless in the air, like coloured pins fastening the sunshine against the blue curtain of the summer, while dragon-flies, like darting shuttles, wove across its pattern their threads of gleaming bronze. He heard the petulant crying of the peewits, and watched their tumbling flight. Below him tinkled a rivulet, its brown water rippling between banks of peaty earth. Everywhere was singing, peace, and careless unconcern.
And this lordly indifference of Nature calmed and soothed him. Neither human pain nor the injustice of man could shift the key of the water, alter the peewits' cry a single tone, nor influence one fraction of an inch those cloudy frigates of vapour that sailed the sky. The earth bulged sunwards as she had bulged for centuries. The power of her steady gait, superbly calm, breathed everywhere with grandeur undismayed, unhasting, and supremely confident.... And, like the flash of those golden flies, there leaped suddenly upon him this vivid thought: that his world of agony lay neatly buttoned up within the tiny space of his own brain. Outside himself it had no existence at all.