17 October 2010

Sunday smörgåsbord

Gotta hurry this morning; need to clean leaves out of the gutters, then a Packers game and a Vikings game...  Fortunately I haven't bookmarked much this week.

Why does a narwhal have such an immense and elaborate tusk?  To impress mates?  Acquire food?  Battle foes?  Fool unicorn believers?  Canadian dental researchers have discovered that the tusk is extensively innervated and is therefore probably utilized to detect gradients of temperature, pressure, and suspended particles in the seawater.  Isn't evolution amazing?

The chief scientist at Israel's Education Ministry has questioned evolution: ""If textbooks state explicitly that human beings' origins are to be found with monkeys, I would want students to pursue and grapple with other opinions."  He has been fired from his job.

The best optical illusion I have seen in months.  I can't embed it; you'll need to view it at the link (where you can fiddle with the parameters if you want to).  Trust me - it's worth viewing.

If you're not already tired of reading/hearing about bedbugs, an article at the Washington Post discusses the problem.  More useful is a brief video which explains how to examine your hotel/motel room for bedbugs.

Talk about ethical conundrums - a Canadian couple has discovered during the first trimester that the fetus is likely to have Downs Syndrome, and they are in favor of abortion; the fetus, however, is being carried by a surrogate mother.

The Image Error Level Analyzer claims to be able to detect Photoshopped and otherwise altered images by looking at the pixels more closely than you can.  Just paste the url for your suspect image and see the result.

TYWKIWDBI has been riding the "ban the disposable plastic bag" bandwagon since the beginning.  Treehugger says the movement is gaining momentum.  It has been so successful that there is now a "save the plastic bag" coalition.

A man used his Dell laptop to protect his head when a tornado demolished his home.  Dell gave him a new computer.

ESPN The Magazine reports on length on a thoroughly unpleasant but important complication of extreme endurance sports - involuntary defecation during competition.

Image: The Lancelot romance, France, 15th century

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