23 May 2015


During the Great Depression in the United States, and again during WWII, many families in the United States coped with shortages by making clothing out of used feedsacks.  Some of the feed companies responded by printing decorative patterns on the sacks.  The photos in today's divertimento come from a large gallery at imgur (but I've been unable to TinEye the original source and would appreciate any info in order to give proper credit).  There is a review of this subject at Etsy,

Even Australians can't understand a strong Australian accent. (brief funny video at the link).

A map showing a state-by-state relative frequency of the use of "the n-word" in Google searches.  States with "much more than average" use are not where you might expect...

A gif of an impressive team juggling routine.

How to block an earworm.  "The data support a link between articulatory motor programming and the appearance in consciousness of both voluntary and unwanted musical recollections."

According to the QI elves, "in 1965 a US Senate Committee predicted that by the year 2000 the average working week would be 14 hours." (sourced from The Atlantic)

It is not mandatory for a chrysalis to be kept upright (or suspended) for a butterfly to develop normally - as long as the newly eclosed butterfly can climb somewhere to suspend his/her wings after emergence.  I was delighted to read this, because my wife and I have spent hours trying to tie the cremasters of errant chrysalises to a hanging position.

 "Alberta just elected a bunch of Keystone XL-hating socialists into office."

Donkey milk (and salmon hatchery water) are being touted as beauty ingredients:  "...this milk 'soothes sensitive skin and eczema,' thanks to its high protein and vitamin content."

"Rosen, 73, began his philanthropic efforts by paying for day care for parents in Tangelo Park, a community of about 3,000 people. When those children reached high school, he created a scholarship program in which he offered to pay free tuition to Florida state colleges for any students in the neighborhood.  In the two decades since starting the programs, Rosen has donated nearly $10 million, and the results have been remarkable. The high school graduation rate is now nearly 100 percent, and some property values have quadrupled. The crime rate has been cut in half, according to a study by the University of Central Florida."

"Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly."  At this moment I can't remember why I bookmarked that phrase from Proverbs 26:11.  It was relevant to something.   Perhaps politics.

A dashpot is "a mechanical device, a damper which resists motion via viscous friction."  That's the word for the doohickey that lets a door close slowly rather than slamming shut.  You learn something every day.  They are also common components of automobile shock absorbers.

How to tie your running/walking/hiking shoes to prevent your heel from slipping (use those extra two holes to make a "lace lock.")

"What's wrong with electric bicycles." (batteries, motors, mass distribution...)

A woman who flew Spitfires in WWII has an opportunity to do so again.  At age 92.  (video of a very happy lady at the link)

"The ten biggest lies you've been told about the Trans-Pacific Partnership."  There is another story at Rolling Stone explaining why Elizabeth Warren and many Democrats are opposing President Obama and the Republicans on this matter: "TPP could empower big companies to challenge the laws of sovereign governments  — including tough U.S. environmental regulations — through trade tribunals. The so-called "investor-state dispute settlement mechanism" could put taxpayers on the hook for paying out billions to multinational corporations who successfully make their case before trade arbitrators. "The only winners will be multinational corporations," Warren has written."

"Great minds discuss ideas.  Average minds discuss events.  Small minds discuss people."  A quote attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt.

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters writes an open letter to Dionne Warwick: “You are showing yourself to be profoundly ignorant of what has happened in Palestine since 1947.″

 The Telegraph offers what they call "the world's hardest geography quiz" (about obscure world capital cities).  I only scored 60% (9/15).

Amazing gif of what can happen when a lithium phone battery is punctured (for discussion scroll down in this Reddit thread).

"Brontology" is the study of... (if you don't know, try to remember the etymology of "brontosaurus.")

The Soviet Union developed "spy dust" for tracking people.  "...powder containing both luminol and a substance called nitrophenyl pentadien (NPPD) had been applied to doorknobs, the floor mats of cars, and other surfaces that Americans living in Moscow had touched. They would then track or smear the substance over every surface they subsequently touched."

There is a medical entity colloquially referred to as "bicyclist's vulva" (explicit photo at the British Medical Journal).  Interestingly it is not simple edema, but rather lymphedema.

Photos of fifteen celebrities when they were cheerleaders in school.

A "vindshield viper."

Showerthought for the day:  "Vampires are pretty well groomed considering they did it all without a mirror."


  1. just FYI Stan, that is not a thick Australian accent ;)

  2. Quiz Not that hard :)

    Thank you for completing this quiz.
    You scored 87%!


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