13 November 2012

Miscellaneous links.

A 12-year-old boy in Texas has been ruled "too big to play PeeWee football."  He's six feet tall and weighs 300 pounds.  News video at the link.

Winners have been announced for the 2012 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

If you like TED talks, their website now has a listing for the 20 most-watched TED talks.

A WSJ article reports on the high salaries being offered to nannies for children. "A British staffing agency called Imperial Nannies cited a Russian client who wanted to poach a nanny from another family. Their salary offer: $200,000 a year."

"Rob McLeod of Calgary set a new quadruped world record in Denver, Colorado earlier this month when he threw a Frisbee 116.5 yards to quick-footed canine Davy Whippet."  Video at the link.

Superlinguo offers some guidelines on how to write (and translate) ERMAHGERD memes.

"Randy Lee Tenley, 44, of Kalispell, Montana was killed yesterday while reportedly attempting to stage a Bigfoot hoax. Tenley was walking on a highway wearing a hunter's ghillie suit, likely similar to the one seen here, when he was struck by two different vehicles driven by teenagers..."

"The leader of a far-right anti-semitic political party in Hungary, who was notorious for his incendiary comments against Jews, discovered that he's actually Jewish himself."   More details here.

Silver coins have been found on Mars.

An op-ed piece in the Journal of Medical Ethics asserts that pursuing aggressive but futile life-extending procedures on children in hopes of a miraculous recovery via divine intervention is ethically wrong.

If you have a seizure disorder that can be triggered by flashing images, do not wiggle your mouse violently back and forth above this website.

Some ATM skimmers are now so wafer-thin that they can be fitted entirely inside the card-insertion slot.  ATM users beware.  (for more re skimmes, search TYWKIWDBI).

"Women and children first" on a sinking ship is nonsense in real life.  "They studied 18 different maritime disasters, including 16 previously unstudied shipwrecks, between the 1850s and 2011...  the average survival rate across the 16 other unstudied wrecks was less than 30 per cent for women and closer to 40 per cent for men. And while children fared better than men onboard the Titanic, this wasn't the case in the majority of shipwrecks. "Children appear to have the lowest survival rate," write Elinder and Erixson."  Also: "The most stunning finding from the other shipwrecks is of course the low survival rate of women and children, but also the relatively high survival rate of crew members and captains." (Of course that doesn't prove that lack of chivalry is the driving factor).

An explanation of memory leaks with Firefox 15 (the problem that was plaguing my Mac before I finally installed more RAM).  Also here.

An article in the Paris Review discusses the prevalence of "coitus more ferarum" ("sex in the manner of beasts') in the television series Game of Thrones.  With photos that are marginally NSFW.

"In her book Big Sister, photographer Hana Jakrlova explores an internet sex club in Prague where the clients get to have sex for free as long as they agree to let their exploits be filmed and broadcast live across the web." 

For wordsmiths only, an interesting post at The Guardian looks at the different styles of cryptic puzzles.  (Jack Fitzgerald Kennedy becomes FLAGELLATED - clever!)

A Reddit discussion thread on the LIBOR scandal.

In a Guardian column, Glenn Greenwald notes that the media is becoming unreservedly and inappropriately obsequious with Obama: "But in exchange for such access, Lewis, unbeknownst to readers of his profile, had agreed to a journalistically corrupt practice - now banned by many large media outlets - whereby the only quotes he was permitted to use were ones the White House approved in advance. Unsurprisingly, the profile was pure hagiography that left Obama's most devoted media fans gushing with ecstacy.

How to make your own lapidary equipment, including a tumbler, a rock saw, and - most interesting - an elutriator which will allow you to reuse grit.

A video about the so-called "can-opener" bridge that removes the tops of trucks.

A quiz for you - you have five minutes to name all the letters in the Greek alphabet.  (I got 19.  You can do better than that).

For football junkies - a defensive player intercepts the snap between the center and the quarterback and returns it 76 yards for a touchdown.

A gene required for the regeneration of nerve cells has been identified.

Advice from a disabled woman to other disabled women on how to maintain one's femininity.

Video of an otter who jumps onto a fishing boat to escape killer whales (but calls out to her lost offspring).

In 2005 a documentary movie was made in which a homeless person was given $100,000 and followed to see what he did with it and with his life. 

Dillian Warden was fined $2,500 for urinating within view of the public even though it was on his own property (in his home's front yard).  Dillian Warden is 3 years old.

Israel has allowed medical marijuana use for the past seven years. "Unlike in the United States and much of Europe, the issue inspires almost no controversy among the government and the country's leadership. Even influential senior rabbis do not voice any opposition to its spread, and secular Israelis have a liberal attitude on marijuana."

A message to the Republicans who said they would move to Australia if Obama won.

Outtakes from the scene in which James Bond jumps over crocodiles in "Live and Let Die."

At Poemas del río Wang, a nice photoessay about the Georgian military road (which may have been used by Alexander the Great, and has been much used by the Russian military).

While fighting fires in Australia, a helicopter mistakenly drew up raw sewage rather than fresh water, and dumped it on the fire - and on the firefighters.

Did Jesus have long hair, or short hair?  It's not really "important," but it is interesting.

The first cheerleader in history was a male student at the University of Minnesota - in 1898.   And the first chant was ""Rah, Rah, Rah! Ski-u-mah, Hoo-Rah! Hoo-Rah! Varsity! Varsity! Varsity, Minn-e-So-Tah!"

Caterpillarblog presents a photoessay on entomophagy.  "I will save the “reasons why you should eat insects” post for another time – here I will give my reviews of the dishes I made, and how my students reacted! (they got extra credit points for trying every dish, which greatly enhanced enthusiasm)

General Petraeus and Paula Broadwell used a cybertrick to communicate their intimate messages secretly via e-mail.  "The trick has achieved notoriety as a tactic of terrorists who are rightly wary of espionage."  You can do it, too.  It's easy.

The (totally unrelated) photos are of pet beds, from a much larger group assembled at Marinni's often-fascinating LiveJournal.   They seem to be mostly dog beds (I guess cats tend to sleep mostly on human beds).  (Sources via the link).


  1. Link for football boy goes to splash site of endless stories. This link might work better: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/politics/2012/08/week-bans-texas-boy-too-big-play-pee-wee-football/2978/

    1. Link works fine for me when I restested it now. Give it 20 seconds to load the appropriate video.

  2. I don't want to watch it because I'm afraid of what I'll see: is the otter video the one where the momma has to leave her kits behind and cries out to them? If so, could some kind of warning be put on the video? If not, perhaps a note differentiating this video from that video?

    Or not. Whatever. Not my site. :)

    1. Yep - it appears to be the incredibly depressing video; quite the opposite of a feel good video.

  3. I missed: eta, iota, lambda, nu, omicron, psi, tau, upsilon, and xi.
    I can't believe I missed lambda.
    lambda, lambda, lambda.

    1. i got all of them, with 3:33 remaining!

      Never studied greek but having studied physics and statistics helped quite a bit =)

    2. I came up with 21, but missed Omega....

    3. I got all of them! I'm in middle school and we were studying Greece just a couple of weeks ago.

  4. Good stuff here. Enough to keep one busy and amused for a while.

    When I was in college as a fraternity pledge I had to learn to recite the greek alphabet while holding a lit match. For some reason, it stuck with me. So not only can I do it, but I can do it fast.

    I especially enjoyed the piece about Jesus' hairstyle. Fascinating.

    1. That's an interesting anecdote; thanks for sharing the story.


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