18 February 2018

Divertimento #146

So, you pay a helicopter pilot to carry you to the top of a mountain.  Your ski hits a rock.  Then this happens...

Granny flats and zoning regulations.

Google can create panorama photos for you.  They don't always come out right.

In The Shawshank Redemption, Andy hides his hammer in the book of... Exodus.

Arctic musk oxen succumb to an ice tsunami.

When asked about its color, 52 percent said a tennis ball is green, 42 percent said it’s yellow, and 6 percent went with “other.”

If you encrypt personal photos before storing them in the Cloud, you should know that there are programs that allow them to be unencrypted by other people.

"A 15-year-old gained access to plans for intelligence operations in Afghanistan and Iran by pretending to be the head of the CIA to gain access to his computers."

A gallery of photos along Norway's Highway 69.

A meme generator for "Pepperidge Farm Remembers."

The Doomsday rule can determine the day of the week for any date in history.  In case you want to know if the Battle of Hastings was fought on a weekend.

"Just days after the House passed its version of the federal tax law slashing corporate tax rates, House Speaker Paul Ryan collected nearly $500,000 in campaign contributions from billionaire energy mogul Charles Koch and his wife, according to a recent campaign donor report."  The Koch companies, in turn, will receive billions of dollars in tax relief.  They would like you to understand that all of this money will eventually trickle down to you.

Video of a farrier trimming the hooves of a draft horse.

"A US appeals court debated whether or not a monkey can own the copyright to a selfie..."

A compilation of bloopers from a televised fishing program.

IKEA furniture is built with cardboard (inside the particle board).  "They use the particle board for the parts that need to hold screws."

The best "icebreaker questions" for starting a new relationship: #1: What was your first job? #2: Have you ever met anyone famous? #3: Do you read TYWKIWDBI? #24: Do you collect anything?...

In a high-rise building, don't overfill a tub or pool on a windy day.

Copper isn't magnetic.  But it affects magnets.

"Parents are making their children drink industrial bleach to “cure” them of autism, with the potentially deadly practice traced back to a cult in the United States."

The National Security Agency has removed "honesty" from the core values listed on its website.

A "porch bandit" steals a package.  "On her way back to the car, she trips and falls. She can't get up. It looks like she broke her leg, because her foot is at a weird angle."

What ever happened to those kids who used to knock on people's doors and then run away before anyone could answer?  They got jobs.

"According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the median four-year cost to attend public medical school exceeds $240,000."

"Over the past four years, some members of [Baltimore's] Gun Trace Task Force stole more than $300,000, at least three kilos of cocaine, 43 pounds of marijuana, 800 grams of heroin and hundreds of thousands of dollars in watches from suspected drug dealers and civilians, according to officers’ plea agreements and statements in federal court. They admit to putting illegal trackers on the cars of suspected dealers so they could rob their homes and sell off any drugs and guns they found."

Cellphone in a 1919 cartoon.

"Chickens raised in India for food have been dosed with some of the strongest antibiotics known to medicine, in practices that could have repercussions throughout the world. Hundreds of tonnes of an “antibiotic of last resort” – only used in the most extreme cases of sickness - are shipped to India each year to be used, without medical supervision, on animals that may not require the drugs but are being dosed with them nevertheless to promote the growth of healthy animals."  For fox ache.

A tree that weighs several tons will not be held in place by a rope when you cut it down.

The famed Nazca lines were damaged this month "when a trucker intentionally drove his tractor-trailer off a roadway that runs through the protected historic area..."

Scandinavians are no longer the world's best non-native English speakers.  That title has recently been gained by the Dutch.

A graph depicting a child's age vs. his/her willingness to help.

"Dye from the cochineal bug was ten times as potent as St John’s Blood and produced 30 times more dye per ounce than Armenian red, according to Butler. So when European dyers began to experiment with the pigment, they were delighted by its potential. Most importantly, it was the brightest and most saturated red they had ever seen. By the middle of the 16th Century it was being used across Europe, and by the 1570s it had become one of the most profitable trades in Europe..."

A discussion thread about bringing your own food into movie theaters.

Young boy watches little girl tumble, imitates her.

The photos embedded in today's linkdump come from a gallery posted at HistoryDaily, depicting rural librarians of the 1930s.  "In Kentucky, they had isolated mountain communities which could only get their books and reading material from one source… librarians on horseback." (via BoingBoing)


  1. mount skimore (the pano photo)


  2. Hey, this is really off topic but since the readers of this blog seem to be some of the most-knowledgeable of any sites I frequent (and many are about the right age) . . .
    does anyone know what the set up was for the boys who were manual pin setters at bowling alleys in the 40s/maybe early 50s? My dad always said he was one but I don't know what such a set up looked like.
    I'm hoping there was a bit more protection from flying pins than in 1909/10, which were the only photos I could find of pinboys: http://www.historybyzim.com/2014/07/pinboys-in-bowling-alleys/

    1. This link should get you started, Elagie -


      Then maybe explore here:


  3. Youpee for us Netherlanders and our good speaking English! I had it always already thought, how can it that this is now only just recognized? Look what a good sentences I write!

    1. I am an American who lived overseas for 20 years. I have a very good ear for accents and what country they come from. In my experience in general the Dutch speak English better than any ESL speaker and often better than many native speakers, esp. the British. The Scandinavians are good but, like the French they always seem to have a slight tinge of their native tongue. In spite of their arrogance that they invented the language the British seem to have the most difficulty with English. They have a hard time pronouncing Rs, a BR combination, As on the end of a word come out as ERs, ERs come out as As, three syllable words are pronounced as two syllable, four get reduced to three, and multi-syllable words get stressed on the wrong syllable. Other than that they do OK.


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