02 February 2018

Divertimento #145

A practical use for a fitted sheet at the beach.

In The Wizard of Oz movie, the snow in the poppy field scene was chrysotile asbestos (also the Wicked Witch's broom and the straw man's entire outfit).

A proposed sticker for Intel (because the CEO sold millions of $ of his shares before the company publicly announced a design flaw.

"Troll the ancient Yuletide carol..." explained thus: "Trolling a carol might sound like some obnoxious attempt to undermine it, but it’s actually a great way to get in the holiday spirit. According to the OED, one of the meanings of “troll,” in use since the 16th century, is “to sing in a full, rolling voice; to chant merrily or jovially.” It’s related to the sense of rolling, or passing around..."  There are five other grammar lessons from Christmas songs.

Wisconsin's bald eagle population has hit a record high (1,600 occupied nests).

A logo for a the "Dairy Air" ice cream company features a cow's rear end, and has caused some controversy in a New Jersey community.

An article about the potential toxicity (or not) of silver dragées used to decorate Christmas cookies.

LED traffic lights are energy-saving.  BUT... they don't emit enough heat to melt the snow that sometimes coats or plugs them.

While the Trump administration is shrinking the national park system, Iceland is heading the other direction: "National Parks, protected areas and nature monuments now cover 21.6% of the surface area of Iceland, according to the Environment Agency. This could expand dramatically in the next years..."

One opinion on which minority is destroying America.

Campbell's Soup responds to a hater.

Hungarian Mangalica pigs are so wooly they look like sheep.

Staircase modified to accommodate a small dog.

"Scientists examined the stomach contents of gulls that foraged on landfills and found most of the birds were filling their bellies with human detritus. It wasn’t just plastic, either—the birds’ stomachs were packed with glass, metal, and even building materials..."

Hair clip.

Lidar technology dramatically reveals old Roman roads in the English countryside.

"It took three weeks for Cincinnati Premier Youth Basketball League to kick out a Kings Mills area team due to their disgustingly racist jerseys with phrases like "Coon" and "Knee Grow" emblazoned on the back. "

Squirrels have lots of defense mechanisms.  They can turn their feet 180 degrees, and they can heat up their tail when they confront a heat-sensing rattlesnake (but not other snakes).

"Spamnesty is a simple service: forward your spam to it and it will engage the spammer in pointless chatbot email chains, wasting their time."

The 28 shortest men in Hollywood.

"As a 19-year-old university student, Carl Størmer used a hidden camera to photograph life in Oslo, Norway from 1893 to 1897."

Northern pike attacking a grebe (video)

Totally inept arsonist (video)

Best movie adaptations (video)

High-school basketball teams wins on a last-second shot.

Engineer explains the "steam hammer" effect in pipes (similar to the more familiar water hammer).

The State of Oregon has passed a bill that allows some residents in rural counties to pump their own gas at a gas station.  Many of them don't know how to do so.

Partially opened whipping cream container resembled John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.

What to do with a slice of deli meat that has a metallic sheen.

"Good news everyone: Scott DesJarlais, a strident anti-choice congressman and beloved Tea Party hero from Tennessee, says God has forgiven him for having sex with his patients when he was a doctor and then pressuring them to get abortions."

How to cope with frost in the attic of your home.

Bear lays out in a dive.

Which animal can hold it's breath the longest underwater - a sloth or a dolphin? (hat tip to the elves at No Such Thing As A Fish).

The city of Houston has a program to train citizens and authorize them to issue parking citations to vehicles improperly parked in spaces reserved for the disabled.

That elaborately interwoven brick sidewalk?  It's not.

The photos embedded in this post were selected from a group of 10 beautiful ceilings posted at the BBC.  Locations and photo credits at the link.


  1. "Campbell."

  2. High-school basketball teams wins on a last-second shot. -no link-

  3. #2 ~ the link about the chrysotile asbestos in the Wizard of Oz redirects to the spy camera link ~

    1. This was not my best day of blogging ever.

      Fixed. Thank you, bobbie.


  4. Californian ground squirrels, not squirrels generally

  5. Trolling carols ... is that from a song that's reasonably well-known in some parts of the English-speaking world? Because I've never heard of it.

    1. I bet you've heard of it, Adrian:

      Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la la la la!
      'Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la!
      Don we now our gay apparel, Fa la la la la la la la!
      Troll the ancient Yuletide carol, Fa la la la la la la la!


    2. Huh. But if I haven't paid attention to the lyrics beyond the first few lines, it's a safe bet others haven't either.

  6. That pike had to lose an eye to eat that grebe. It flubbed it's attack roll.

  7. While I love the "Campbell's" response itself, that's not actually a representative of the company. It's one of a group of trolls who respond under "Customer Service" names to FB posts on brand pages in this fashion.



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