31 July 2011

Sunday smörgåsbord

I haven't done one of these linkdumps for months, so there's a boatload of accumulated material.  And much of it is old, so may not be "tywk," but at least this post will help me clean out some bookmarks.

After Dirk Nowitski's superb performance in the NBA playoffs (48 points with only 3 missed shots), a writer has suggested "points per miss" as a new statistic reflecting offensive efficiency.

Wikipedia has a list of dinosaurs with almost a thousand entries.

Posted for reference because the term so often comes up during arguments about politics: a list of fourteen defining characteristics of fascism.  I can't vouch as to whether this list is accurate or not.

Here's a technique to find out which vendors etc. are selling/sharing your email address to spammers.

One of the windows at Grossmunster Cathedral created by embedding slices of agate into the glass.

English is the only major language to capitalize the first-person singular pronoun "I."

Move your mouse over this and see what happens.

A manhole cover "dances" on a windy day.

The last video footage of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, taken in 1956 at the home of Stan's daughter.

Via Google Images, a photospread of albino animals and two-headed animals.

Administrators in Portland, Oregon drained a reservoir because a man peed in it.

A spreadsheet with over a thousand TED talks.  Also here.

A pastry undergoes mitosis.

Twin babies exhibit synchronized sneezing.

Ontario's Highway 401 is one of the most complicated and busiest highways in the world.

A website has been created to dump Michele Bachmann.

If for some reason you want to see/hear an immense donkey fart interrupting an interview, then you should view this video.  Otherwise skip it.

The butterfly in the photos at the top is one of the "skipper" butterflies.  I can't identify or distinguish most of them, but this one is not too hard.   It's a Least Skipper, one of the "grass skippers" and one of the smallest such butterflies.  This one and dozens more were "skipping" over the grass along the trails in the UW Arboretum during a field trip last month.


  1. Re: "English is the only major language to capitalize the first-person singular pronoun "I.""

    In German, the "I" (ich) is lowercase, but "Du/Sie" (informal/formal "you") is uppercase - how very polite

  2. A butterfly question:
    I live near St Cloud, Mn. In the past week or two I keep seeing what looks like bright yellow monarch butterflies. This is new, I think--friends have mentioned them, too: that they're as plentiful as monarchs used to be, tho the orange and black butterflies are more plentiful this year too.
    What are the yellow ones, do you know?

  3. Marlys, if they are smaller than Monarchs and bright yellow, they are probably "Sulphurs." If they are big like Monarchs and sort of yellow-orange, they are probably "Fritillaries."

    Here's an excellent link for looking up butterflies (it's for Wisconsin, but St. Cloud would be pretty much the same) -


  4. Oh my- the fascist link goes to rense, which I haven't seen since my old Fortean Times days.

    Check the site out, it is craziest of the crazy conspiracy theory (and some nice anti-semitism). NOT a reputable source.

    Interesting about "I". Makes me wonder about how/when all-caps latin script evolved upper and lower cases. Did it happen before it was applied to european alphabets? German seems to stand out in using capitals for all nouns; most of the latin-based orthographies are pretty consistent in their usage. Odd we don't have some offshoot written in all-caps. Lucky, or everyone would think they were shouting all the time.

  5. Pastry mitosis.


    So, that is where Bismarks come from!

  6. I drive the 401 nearly every day.

  7. The man who advised the Pope on sexual-abuse matters has been arrested on pedophilia charges.

    Wrong! It's a priest (Father Riccardo Seppia) in the diocese of the adviser (Archbishop Angelo Bascagno) who was arrested, not the adviser himself. Seppia hadn't been doing any advising, and Bascagno (as far as we know) hadn't been engaging in pedophilia.

    Really need to fix this one, 'Stan.

    --Swift Loris

  8. Fixed via deletion. Thanks for noticing this and letting me know, Swift!



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