03 November 2017

Divertimento #138

Cleft lip dog ("Clefford") rescued and repaired.

Man arrested and put in jail for spending $2 bills.

"...giant salvinia, an aquatic fern capable of doubling its biomass in mere days. Scientists call it the world’s worst weed."

Scott Adams is reportedly a climate change skeptic.  This Dilbert cartoon expresses that view. 

"A Staffordshire bull terrier that killed its owner by crushing his larynx in its jaws in front of a BBC documentary crew had probably taken crack cocaine."

"...during the past 106 years, over 800 feature films received support from the Department of Defense."

"The study, published in JAMA Dermatology this week, surveyed a nationally representative sample of 3,316 women, 84 percent of whom reported engaging in some form of pubic hair removal by scissor, razor, wax, tweezer, depilatory cream, laser, or electrolysis."

The history of corduroy begins in Egypt with the creation of fustian.

Wired offers a requiem to the iPhone's home button.

"Steve Wilhite created the Graphics Interchange Format, or GIF, while working for Compuserve in 1987. On Tuesday, he received a Webby Award for it and delivered his five-word acceptance speech... "It's pronounced JIF, not GIF.""

Things you didn't know about papercuts.

The CEO of Dunkin' Donuts says a $15 minimum wage is "outrageous."  He makes $4,889 per hour.

"In the depths of the ocean, life can extend far beyond its usual limits. Take the tube worm Escarpia laminata: living in an environment with a year-round abundance of food and no predators, individuals seem to live for over 300 years. And some may be 1000 years old or more – meaning they would have been around when William the Conqueror invaded England..."

California has reinstituted a ban on foie gras.

Photograph an "empty" city (or tourist destination) by stacking and compositing multiple images.

"The men are among the thousands of detectorists across eastern Europe hunting for relics of the Red Army, the Third Reich and Imperial Russia. Beneath ploughed field and remote woodland is buried treasure from a turbulent, vanishing past. Even today, the war dead lie in these lands. Sometimes bodies are found."

Common mistakes people make when charging their iPhones.

Carcass of an elk pinned to a tree by an avalanche (a discussion thread suggested that the skull was replaced manually or digitally for the photo, but still impressive).

The second Blade Runner 2048 prequel short.

A man caught on video (and subsequently jailed) for dumping his dog.  Here's the rescue video.

A functional fishwheel on the Yukon river.

Railroad worker does not get squished.

Bounty hunters captured the wrong woman.  A jury awarded her $950,000.

Whether or not modern teenagers are having less sex depends on how you phrase the question.

T shirt demonstrates that "intelligence is the ability to adapt to change."

Amazing carved hobo nickel.

Brian Dozier of the Minnesota Twins bunted, resulting in a "Little League Home Run."

The difference between a "Broadway show" and an "off-Broadway show" does not depend on the location where it is performed.

"Octlantis" is an octopus "city" - never before documented.

Consumer Reports advice re the Equifax breach.  Also here.

Fake demonizing of liberals documented.

"Protesters banned at Jeff Sessions' lecture on free speech."

Showerthought:  "Charging $99 for a $15 case of water is considered price gauging, but charging $800 for an $8 bag of saline is considered “Healthcare.”"

Today's embedded photos depict child labor in the U.S. at the turn of the last century.  From a gallery of over 30 images by Lewis Hine, assembled at Flashbak, where captions explain the content.


  1. More info on the $2 bill arrest is here in a Snopes article. See 4th paragraph:



    1. Snopes doesn't specify whether either the Taco Bell or the Best Buy event is valid. The Baltimore Sun appears not to have retracted their print story -


    2. There's also this:



  2. Re: The dog on cocaine that killed its owner - the article mentions that the attack happened when the owner had a seizure. I'm not clear on what causes it, but it's an observed Thing that even well-behaved, non-aggressive dogs will often attack other dogs that are having a seizure. A dog having a seizure is somehow frequently interpreted by other dogs as a Thing That Must Be Destroyed. (I don't buy the common theory that they attack because the seizing dog is showing sickness/weakness. Other types of injury and illness don't provoke the same response.) I've never heard of a dog attacking a human having a seizure before - in fact dogs are frequently trained as service animals to help predict and deal with human seizures - but that + the drugs would explain this particular attack.

  3. I really hate it when people try to paint those with opposing views as something that they are not. Argue the true substance of the issue, but be honest. There are plenty of issues about which I disagree with liberals. However, I never want to misrepresent their arguments. I'm sure if you see "fake news" demonizing conservatives that you will share that as well? ;)

  4. A dream job a mere 100 years ago.

  5. Cocaine is cocaine. Referring to the crystallized form as "crack" is simply sensationalism (or at worst, and more often, racist signaling). It is disappointing, yet telling, that supposed documentarians would offer such speculation.

  6. In my opinion there are a lot of words which nicely frame any further discussion and, confirmation bias or not, the non-left seems to be better at that game. Long story short, "climate change skeptic" implies there's some valid doubt while "climate science denier" is more to the point. A step further would be to call it "climate catastrophe", which is really will turn out to be.

  7. Scott Adams is a bit of a nutter. I've seen several of his cartoons that misrepresent the way science works, in ways similar to the one you linked to. At the end of his book The Dilbert Future he endorses a claim that writing down a goal repeatedly can cause it to actually happen -- a sort of magic, basically. From that whole section of the book it's clear that he doesn't understand science.

    He's a very talented cartoon satirist, but that doesn't make him an authority on anything else, any more than pop singers and suchlike are.

    1. In one of his books he writes that he's not doing a lot of work on his comics any more these days. He wanted to get to the point of earning a load on money and achieved said goal. In the same book, he talks about doing flapjacks in an open bathrobe.

  8. I recall receiving two dollar US bills while working in a restaurant in Vancouver British Columbia in 1964. The customer was in military uniform and tore the bills from a packet as you would a travellers cheque, as they were perforated on one side. The explanation, probably apocryphal, was that the military wanted to see where soldiers spent their money and this was an aid in that endeavour. Only time I ever saw them. Canada also had twos, since discontinued.


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