03 July 2020

"Put on a Happy Face" parody

In the past I've buried Randy Rainbow's parodies in the "Trump clumps," but now with the gloves off I'll go ahead and offer this one in a full post.

For those new to these videos, there are dozens more here.

02 July 2020

Hotels (including Hyatt, Trump) don't change sheets or clean rooms

I've always thought this was the case, and have see several anecdotal reports from people leaving or finding things between sheets - but it's better to see the faults professionally documented.

And you know the public blaming will go to the poor staff, whitewashing the roles of management and ownership.  I'm sure this has been going on for decades.

An example of a protest that goes way too far

"Protesters apparently outraged by the killing of a popular singer in Ethiopia stopped traffic on Interstate 94 in St. Paul [Minnesota] during Wednesday evening’s rush hour. 
One protester told KSTP-TV they are telling the U.S. government to stop letting fake leaders run Ethiopia after the killing of singer Hachalu Hundessa. 
State Patrol spokesman Lt. Gordon Shank said after 8 p.m. the protesters had left the freeway, and no arrests have been made."

$1 BILLION amphetamine drug bust

Those bins are full of the pills, which were produced by ISIS and seized in Italy.  Video at CNN shows the train of those carts, which weighed 15 U.S. tons.

Supposedly a coincidence

Discussed at BoingBoingI haven't found confirmation that this shirt is being marketed by the Trump campaign itself.  Several readers have confirmed that this shirt is being sold at the official Donald Trump campaign website.

"Museum glass" illustrated

The discussion thread focuses on the problems when this glass is used for doors.

01 July 2020

Coronavirus testing problems ahead

As reported in The Atlantic:
The United States is once again at risk of outstripping its COVID-19 testing capacity, an ominous development that would deny the country a crucial tool to understand its pandemic in real time.

The American testing supply chain is stretched to the limit, and the ongoing outbreak in the South and West could overwhelm it, according to epidemiologists and testing-company executives. While the country’s laboratories have added tremendous capacity in the past few months—the U.S. now tests about 550,000 people each day, a fivefold increase from early April—demand for viral tests is again outpacing supply.

If demand continues to accelerate and shortages are not resolved, then turnaround times for test results will rise, tests will effectively be rationed, and the number of infections that are never counted in official statistics will grow. Any plan to contain the virus will depend on fast and accurate testing, which can identify newly infectious people before they set off new outbreaks. Without it, the U.S. is in the dark.

The delays have already started. Yesterday, Quest Diagnostics, one of the country’s largest medical-testing companies, said that its systems were overwhelmed and that it would now be able to deliver COVID-19 test results in one day only for hospitalized patients, patients facing emergency surgery, and symptomatic health-care workers. Everyone else now must wait three to five days for a test result...
More at the link.

Mass die-off of elephants in Botswana

As reported in The Guardian:
More than 350 elephants have died in northern Botswana in a mysterious mass die-off described by scientists as a “conservation disaster”. 
A cluster of elephant deaths was first reported in the Okavango Delta in early May, with 169 individuals dead by the end of the month. By mid June, the number had more than doubled, with 70% of the deaths clustered around waterholes... 
The Botswana government has not yet tested samples so there is no information on what is causing the deaths or whether they could pose a risk to human health. The two main possibilities are poisoning or an unknown pathogen. Anthrax – initially considered the most likely cause – has been ruled out.
More at the link.

Shame on her

Via facepalm.

30 June 2020

How to solve the coronavirus pandemic

I'll just add here that Donald Trump has not attended a meeting of his coronavirus task force since April.  He has apparently been busy with other things he considers more important.

29 June 2020

New word of the day: Uterine didelphys

"Kelly Fairhurst, 28, only learned she had uterus didelphys, a condition where a woman has two wombs, when she went for her 12-week scan. She was also told she was carrying twins, one in each womb... Fairhurst, who was also surprised to be told she had two cervixes... Doctors have told Fairhurst, who lives in Braintree, Essex, that she might have two separate labours and the plan is for her to have both of the babies by cesarean section."
More details at The Guardian, via Neatorama.  The terminology was new to me, so I had to look it up:
Uterus didelphys (sometimes also uterus didelphis) represents a uterine malformation where the uterus is present as a paired organ when the embryogenetic fusion of the Müllerian ducts fails to occur. As a result, there is a double uterus with two separate cervices, and possibly a double vagina as well. Each uterus has a single horn linked to the ipsilateral fallopian tube that faces its ovary. 
Most non-human mammals do not have a single uterus with no separation of horns. Marsupials and rodents have a double uterus (uterus duplex). In other animals (e.g. nematodes), the term 'didelphic' refers to a double genital tract, as opposed to monodelphic, with a single tract.
The "di" part is easy to understand in a duplicated system.  What about the "delphys"/"delphic" part?  That's directly from the Greek for "womb."

Which leads us to "Delphi" -
In myths dating to the classical period of Ancient Greece (510–323 BC), Zeus determined the site of Delphi when he sought to find the centre of his "Grandmother Earth" (Gaia). He sent two eagles flying from the eastern and western extremities, and the path of the eagles crossed over Delphi where the omphalos, or navel of Gaia was found.  
The name Delphi comes from the same root as δελφύς delphys, "womb" and may indicate archaic veneration of Gaia at the site. Apollo is connected with the site by his epithet Delphinios, "the Delphinian". The epithet is connected with dolphins in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo (line 400), recounting the legend of how Apollo first came to Delphi in the shape of a dolphin, carrying Cretan priests on his back.
So the word "dolphin" is also related:
The name is originally from Greek δελφίς (delphís), "dolphin", which was related to the Greek δελφύς (delphus), "womb". The animal's name can therefore be interpreted as meaning "a 'fish' with a womb". The name was transmitted via the Latin delphinus (the romanization of the later Greek δελφῖνος – delphinos), which in Medieval Latin became dolfinus and in Old French daulphin, which reintroduced the ph into the word. The term mereswine (that is, "sea pig") has also historically been used.
And from "dolphin" we get "delphinium":
The genus name Delphinium derives from the Ancient Greek word δελφίνιον (delphínion) which means "dolphin", a name used in De Materia Medica for some kind of larkspur. Pedanius Dioscorides said the plant got its name because of its dolphin-shaped flowers.
From there we could probably go to Philadelphia, and to other "delph" words. And for those interested, there is a condition called diphallia (two penises), but we're not going there today.

Door stacks, AKA "the gates of hell"

The top one appears to have been modified; the second is apparently a more conventional (?) recruitment (?) video.  There is a compilation of them here, filmed with the annoying vertical format, a discussion of them at Reddit, and some explanatory notes at Atlas Obscura and at Neatorama.

I'll defer any personal commentary, since this phenomenon appears to occur in a separate reality with which I am not familiar.

Reposted from 2016 for reasons that escape me.

Movies may make use of "scale doubles"

On the left Gandalf's "stunt double."  On the right the "scale double" for scenes where Gandalf interacts with hobbits.  You learn something every day.

28 June 2020

Not what you think

Just soapy water going down a drain.

Dumpster at a grocery store

Via Wellthatsucks, where the title "coolers down for a few minutes" may or may not be precise, but the result is apparent.  Informed commentary at the link by various people who have worked in the food industry.
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