22 May 2011

Sunday smörgåsbord

Police in London pulled a headless body from a river.  It was badly decomposed and riddled with maggots.  Following standard protocol, they then called in a medic to confirm that the person was dead.

A bill before the legislature of the state of Vermont would establish single-payer health care for residents of the state.  IBM is lobbying in opposition to the bill.  This op-ed piece speculates about the reasons for their opposition and its implications.

The Congressional Record is not a verbatim transcript of proceedings in our government.  In point of fact, Senators can delete comments they regret having made, and can add material they never said.

Google Blacklist is a list of words that Google Instant won't "autofill" when you begin entering the term in the search box.  Most of them are sexual terms.

BP "scored a nearly $10 billion dollar credit on their 2010 federal tax return, by writing off their "losses" incurred from the tragedy."

Since Paul Ryan is often in the news now, this Wisconsin Magazine article from 2010 provides some extensive background information on him.

Should animals participate in a "Pet Passover?"  Is it lighthearted humor, or is it intrinsically offensive?

US Representative Danny Rehberg (R-MT), whose net worth is $31,000,000 and is the 14th richest member of the House, said at a town hall that he's "struggling" like everybody else and that he's "cash poor."

A photoessay on London's underground Post Office Railway.

Gold mines in Wales provided the material for the ring in the recent royal wedding, and for previous rings worn by members of the British monarchy.

Bin Laden's will stipulates that his children must not join al-Qaida.

The snowpack in the Rocky Mountains is breaking records. "So much snow has fallen this year that in the month of April the 16 foot tall gage used to measure water content was covered by snow. They had to add an extension to continue measuring for the rest of the season."

A gallery of photos celebrates the 190th birthday of The Guardian.

A column at Salon provides an interesting history of tequila, which surprisingly dates to the arrival of Filipino sailors aboard Chinese merchant ships.

A Michigan woman declared herself a candidate for a local school board.  One vote would have been sufficient to get her the seat.  She got no votes.  She didn't bother to vote for herself...

Infanticide was common in the Roman empire.  Archaeological digs are now revealing the bodies.

Medical bills are the most common cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States - and most of those declaring bankruptcy have medical insurance.

A list of 100 opening lines from books

Deadspin offers "Everything You Wanted To Know About Porn, Weed, And Toilets In Afghanistan, Courtesy A Platoon Leader."

A medical condition I had never heard of: aquagenic urticaria (itching in response to contact with water).

'Tis not the season yet, but here is a Flickr collection of toy and Christmas catalogues from the 1970s to the 1990s.  You can look up what your parents didn't give you.

The embedded photos were taken recently in the woodland garden behind our house.  Bleeding hearts at the top, trillium below that, and then a view of the ferns, hosta, bluebells, and vinca.  And that's where I'm heading now, because it's a beautiful spring day in the Midwest.  Bye...


  1. I've actually heard of the headless corpse story myself. Hard to believe that actually happened though...

  2. We're moving to the US in 3 years and the one thing that freaks us out is the idea of not having full cover for medical bills. Single payer healthcare is not without flaws, but by jaysus I'd take it over the threat of bankruptcy!

  3. Ah! Trilliums again! Thanks, you know I loves my Trilliums.


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