01 September 2016


 Iron Range meat and potatoes

How to break zip tie restraints on your wrists.  (Or, conversely, How Not to Restrain Your Victim...)

Clever sign in front of a progressive church.

A gene favoring obesity may have helped ancient Samoans conquer the Pacific. "By studying the genomes of more than 5,000 Samoans, researchers have uncovered a single gene that boosts a person’s obesity risk by upwards of 40 percent. Remarkably, this gene—which appears in a quarter of all Samoans—may have arisen in the population as they colonized the South Pacific."

Spam sushi

Why the United States didn't adopt the metric system in the 18th century: "In December 1793 [Joseph] Dombey was commissioned by the [French] Committee of Public Safety to journey to the United States in order to deliver the standards for the new metric system and purchase grain for the French Republic, but while on his way to America he was captured at sea by the British and died in a prison on Montserrat."

Seniors should understand that there can be significant differences in coverage between Medicare and private Medicare Advantage plans.

"Texas man filmed beating turtle to death with hammer says it was self-defense."

Watermelon kombucha

A gif of Donald Trump as President of the United States.

Fulltext of Michelle Obama's convention speech.

GoFraudMe provides information on fradulent GoFundMe campaigns.

Global warming has released anthrax in Siberia, killing 1500 reindeer: "For the first time since 1941, anthrax struck western Siberia... the outbreak is thought to stem from a reindeer carcass that died in the plague 75 years ago. As the old flesh thawed, the bacteria once again became active. The disease tore through the reindeer herds." [on behalf of all the copyeditors and grammar Nazis on board here, we'll note that it should be "the carcass of a reindeer that died," not a "carcass that died." *sigh*]

Candied bacon BLT

"Pablo Escobar had so much wealth that he spent $1,000 a week on rubber bands just to keep his mountains of cash neat." (video at the link)

"Death from space." A brief video explains gamma-ray bursts.

Maps that show what country is directly across the ocean from you when you're are the seashore (taking into account the curvature of the earth...).

BBQ shrimp tacos

"Bondi management consultant Gareth Clear, 36, said his iPhone was in his back pocket and ignited after he had a fall from his bike while riding on Sunday afternoon.  "I just saw smoke coming out of my back pocket...and then all of a sudden I felt this surging pain," he said, adding that he felt a "searing heat" as the phone burnt through his riding shorts in a matter of seconds. "I just remember looking at my leg and I had this black discharge all down my leg and this smell of phosphorus​," he said." [he incurred third-degree burns.  Pix at the link.]

"The “full-bush Brazilian” is a new term when it comes to pubic hair trends, and it’s unique in the fact that, by definition, it’s a complete oxymoron..." [no pix at the link]

"A prison program called Paws for Life temporarily took in a group of deaf dogs in need of shelter as a wildfire burned its way up the California coast."

Water slide + dog (safe for work; not injured)

Deep-fried Spam curds

Discussion thread about Obama shortening some prison sentences.

"From 1958 to 1962, [Mao's] Great Leap Forward policy led to the deaths of up to 45 million people – easily making it the biggest episode of mass murder ever recorded."

An unexplained hole in the glass of a greenhouse.  Video here.

A Washington Post article details the plummeting participation in the game of golf.  Nike is "transitioning" out of the sport ("closing its main golf division and waving the white flag, saying it can’t make money off the game.")

"...a self-described Dallas stay-at-home mom who spent $100,000 in legal fees to expose a culture of corruption in the U.S. Secret Service.  She filed 89 Freedom of Information Acts (89!) and discovered enough Secret Service scandals and cover-ups that even Bob Woodward would be impressed."

Ghost Pepper cheeseburger quesadilla

A 41-shot table tennis rally.

Margaret Ives Abbott... was the first American woman to win a gold medal in an Olympic event. She won the women's golf tournament, consisting of nine holes, with a score of 47, at the 1900 Paris Games. Abbott won a porcelain bowl for first place in golf. (The 1900 Games were the only Olympics at which winners received valuable artifacts instead of medals.)

A slice of uncooked bacon that still has the nipple on it.  (You have to decide whether that's safe for work.)

"The Enduring Legend of the Girl Who Died in Odessa's Catacombs."  Pix at the link, including one that can be clicked to show the decomposing corpse.

2016 winners in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.  Quality of the submissions, in my view, not as good as in previous years.

Bacon-wrapped Tater Tots

"Musician prevented from travelling on flight because her cello needed a visa.'"

"Born Free USA" collects old furs and donates them to wildlife centers, where they are used as objects of comfort for orphaned baby animals.

"Flood Destroys Home Of Hate Group Leader Who Claims God Sends Natural Disasters To Punish Gays."  Perkins claims that God sent this deadly flood not to punish the gays but rather “as an incredible, encouraging spiritual exercise to take you to the next level in your walk with an almighty and gracious God who does all things well.” In fact, he urges Christians to rejoice that God considers them “worthy of suffering for his sake." 

A happy Olympic victory celebration.

Cracker Jack caramel sundae

The embedded photos are selections from Star Tribune restaurant critic Rick Nelson's gallery of new food at this year's Minnesota State Fair.  (The reason you don't see the walleye-on-a-stick or buttered-corn-on-the-cob-on-a-stick is that those aren't new.)


  1. I've been in the Odessa catacombs in 2012. A small part of them are open to the public (though you can only go in with a guide). The description on the link is quite apt. They're very disorienting and it's quite easy to get lost.

  2. My oldest grandson is headed for the Minnesota State Fair tonight. I'll let you know what he thinks of the food, or if he had any of these.

  3. this might be the link to all the new foods



    1. considering what they are made with, the prices for some of those foods are REALLY high. great profit margins.


    2. Oops. I didn't realize my link was broken. Fixed. Thanks.

      BTW, re prices and profit margins: some years ago I worked with a secretary whose family had a side business providing food at state and county events. In those settings prices are high because of the logistics and the often-unpredictable response of the public re how much food to stock and/or prepare (or waste). Also the ephemeral nature of the employment counteracts the "high margins" you speak of. It's not a type of work to enter to get rich.

    3. why do it if it is so haphazard, in almost all aspects?


  4. Just to add further bit of info I heard about before on Maos Great Leap Forward. I had a post-rock album which "told the story" of the Sparrows that were killed in this period to help crop yeilds, it did work but it turned out that the year after that came a plague of locust, since their main predator the sparrow was not around anymore, so the plan ended in a catastrophy for the crops and people. Here is a link to the album description, the titles of the songs contain the story, the album is instrumental: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Every_Red_Heart_Shines_Toward_the_Red_Sun


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