08 February 2015

"Beware the fury of a patient man." - John Dryden

The photo above is of the parking entrance at the Estonian State Opera in Tallinn.   The batons are also visible on Google Street View.  Clever - although I'm not sure why in the first photo they seem to be in series rather than in parallel.

If you enjoy eating it, be aware that it is possible to be poisoned by black licorice - "It contains glycyrrhizin, which causes the candy to taste sweet. The ingredient is made from licorice root, consumption of which can prompt the kidneys to release too much potassium, disrupting cardiac function and sometimes causing palpitations. Glycyrrhizin is not present in red licorice or in some licorice-flavored candy that uses a sweetener other than licorice root."

The right is abandoning Sarah Palin.  Her recent speech was described thusly in the National Review: “The foreordained culmination of a slow and unseemly descent into farce."

An article explains how women can sell their used underpants for cash. "...more than half of those who participated in our survey only averaged between $50 – $100 a week, with those earning between $100 – $150 making up about 20%."

If for some reason you need taser-resistant clothing, buy a fencing jacket (video at the link).

Michelle Obama's lack of a headscarf while visiting Saudi Arabia was not a fashion glitch; it was intended as a deliberate snub of Saudi policy.

Several pix of the remarkable geography of Monemvasia, Greece.  Embedded photo at right cropped for size from the original panoramic view here.  Other pix here and here.

A clever way to cut a bell pepper.

Criminals in Britain are plundering ATMs by flooding them with flammable gas (acetylene and oxygen) and then exploding them.  "The combined take of almost £250,000, or about $375,000, was the group’s biggest score in a single night yet. Their MO, using cheap, common, and legal gas, was nearly impossible to trace, and they left precious little forensic evidence for the police. To stop the rampage, there was little Britain’s banks could do."

Andrew Sullivan is retiring from The Dish.  The first of several farewell posts is here.

Bloomberg Business explains "The Economics of being a U.S. ambassador."  "Just filling the flower vases for the embassy in London is very expensive.”

What do British nuclear engineers eat? Mouse over this for the answer:  Fission chips!!

There is no such thing as nacho cheese.

Sea lion pups are starving off the coast of California.

The Telegraph has a gallery of photos of extreme body modifications from a show in Caracas.

The map at the left shows which states are best and worst in terms of children receiving the full set of recommended vaccines (darker color = better).

A brief video explains how to clean copper cookware with salt and vinegar.

Anti-circumcision activists have developed techniques and tools for reversing circumcision.

A New Mexico toddler outdid the Walmart kid from last month.  The 3-year-old removed his mother's gun from her purse and wounded both his parents with one shot. "Police believe the shooting to be accidental."

Hotels can now track towels to find out if you are stealing them.  Microchips can now detect when a towel enters an elevator or goes out the door.  The data is currently used mostly for inventory control/restocking rather than for prosecution.

The history of quotation marks.

Many herbal supplements sold by national retailers contained none of the advertised product or were contaminated with other material.  We are shocked, shocked.

The airline advertising on this escalator is either egregriously badly placed or is just photoshopped (via Neatorama).

If you're tired of TSA horror stories, don't read this one.

You can't make things like this up.  "A shopper buying a pot of fruit at Tesco was asked for ID - because it could ferment and turn into alcohol... Miss Lancaster, from Plymouth, Devon, sent an email and was told a new policy meant "fruit will be age verified in case natural fermentation takes place".  A clever way to prevent children from buying fruit.

Bald eagles in Florida are being accidentally poisoned.  The carcasses of pets euthanized with phenobarbital were being dumped in locations where the eagles scavenged them.

A nice article at BoingBoing lists and discusses the best adventure books for children written in the 1960s.  Many adults who missed their chance then would like to read their way through this list now that they have the leisure time to do so.

Phthiria relativitae was a species of bee fly.  The name is pronounced \theory o’relativity\.

You really don't need to know that sometimes gastroenterologists find cockroaches during screening colonoscopy.

A list of the 86 Best Picture Academy Award winners.  With pix, data, and commentary.

The Morning Glory pool at Yellowstone National Park looks like this now:

Which seems spectacular - until you realize that in 1966 it looked like this:

The coloration change reflects in part an alteration in the microbial flora as a result of temperature change in the water, which may have resulted from tourists throwing coins and other debris into the pool.


  1. > There is no such thing as nacho cheese.

    oh, no-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-oooooooo!!! don't say that!


  2. Well, thanks for that - reviewed 'a clever way to cut a bell pepper' and then spent a good part of the next hour reviewing all this guys videos ... the best way to spend a Sunday night!

    1. A comment like that is music to a blogger's heart.

  3. The Spanish way of indicating quotes is so much more user friendly. To indicate dialogue -- at the beginning of the quote. Nothing at the end. Just a space for the next line.

  4. Note: the change in color in the Morning Glory Pool is due to a temperature change. The color of the bacteria in the pools in Yellowstone are temperature dependent. As in, the bacteria that happen to live in different temperature zones happen to have different colors. Blue bacteria live in the hot areas (deep down) whereas red bacteria live in the colder zones (near the top). Oddly, this is exactly opposite from what we humans made up as a color scheme for temperature: blue is usually cold, whereas red is hot. Nature does not care.

    Now, that does not say that the crap that idiot tourists dumped in there did not cause the change in temperature. So, the color change shows that the pool cooled down. Probably because the junk clogged up the source of the hot water.

    Note II: These bacteria are Nobel prize winning. Thanks to these bacteria, the PCR method got developed.


    1. Thank you for that explanation, Nepkarel. I hadn't looked into it very deeply. I've modified the explanation in the post accordingly.

  5. The Michelle Obama thing is way off -- and was proven so a month ago. To quote CNN: "Saudi law does not require foreign visitors to wear a hijab, the Muslim headscarf. This was no protocol breach, and it was also not an unusually courageous move on her part. Countless prominent women have appeared in public meeting Saudi royals without wearing headscarves. We've seen Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, Angela Merkel, among others, visit the kingdom in Western attire."

  6. Not a comment about this particular post but more of a FYI (and you may already be aware of this via monitoring of your incoming links):

    In response to a recent blog post about Shakespeare and related issues, I posted a comment linking to your blog, basically saying that I disagree with your stance on the subject but am interested in what you have to say. It's the third comment from the top that isn't a reply.

    At the time, of course, I had no notion that a few days later there would be over 200 comments. I make one or two more small contributions later in the thread.

    1. Greetings, Adrian.

      You are correct in your assessment that I am an "Oxfordian." I began monitoring the Shakespeare authorship debates about twenty-five years ago when it was written up in The Atlantic. I joined the Shakespeare-Oxford society at that time, attended some lectures on the debate when I lived in Indianpolis, and subscribed to the Shakespeare Oxford Newletter for many years until it got too expensive for my pocketbook. I've bought several hardback books on the subject, one of which is still at my bedside.

      As you note in your comment at The Skeptic, I have briefly alluded to the controversy in a few posts here at TYWKIWDBI (and even created a category for it in the right sidebar). The readership of this blog is - predictably - split on the matter, with some committed Stratfordians whose opinions I value and respect.

      The reason I haven't blogged more about the subject is that I'm not trying to proselytize on the matter. I don't feel a need to convince others that my opinion is correct. I'm secure in my belief and don't feel any compulsion to defend it when I hear the error in others speech or writings. (I wish more people on this planet would treat their religion in the same way !!!)

      The other reason is that discussions of this matter do not lend themselves to quick summaries or brief blogposts. To explain to people thoroughly for example how the writings attributed to Shakespeare contain a huge number of references to Italy that could only be known to someone who had personally traveled to Italy requires long documentation. Unfortunately most of the material I would like to reference (from scholarly textbooks and small newletters) is not available online in a format that I can copy and paste into a blogpost. I have file folders-full of material in my desk drawer - much of it awesomely documented by researchers who have devoted their lives to the matter - but I just don't have the time to retype this just for the benefit of readers here.

      So it would take a lot of time for me to write an Oxfordian post, and then the well-considered and sincere replies would come (as they did on the Skeptic post you replied to), and I would need to take time to reply intelligently to them, and that would take time too. I just don't have time for that. I try to limit my blogging to just a couple hours each morning and I know the majority of readers here are not interested in the controversy, which I find fascinating but not necessarily blogworthy.

  7. With regard to Shakespeare, I have often believed that William Shakespeare really did write almost everything attributed to him, but with a difference; he based a lot of what he wrote on what someone else wrote. In much the same way that Disney has taken a lot of material from the Brothers Grimm without any confusion on anyones part.

    For example, I have seen people writing about elements of the play HENRY V, and explain elements of it from the fact that he lived at a certain place, rather then from the truth. Fact, in the play HENRY V, there is a French Herald by the name of Montjoy. During the negotiations surrounding the battle of Agincourt, one of the participants was a French Herald by the name of Montjoy, though he played only a small part in real life. Some people have tried to explain Shakespeare‘s use of that name by pointing out that Shakespeare had a relationship with someone whose name was Montjoy.

  8. Perhaps for the next link dump: burning methane bubbles on a lake


    1. Been there, done that six years ago:


  9. For those who want the taser-proof jacket, what you want to search/ask for is a sabre lame. (That's la-MAY, not LAYm.) If you get a 'fencing jacket' you'll get a white canvas jacket. You need to specify sabre, too, because the lame for foil only covers the torso, not the arms.


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