10 April 2013

Another linkdump

Because I have to get away from the blog and finish my tax paperwork...

The best link of the day is probably Top Ten Medieval Articles of 2012.  Fascinating stuff about the dancing epidemic of 1518, medieval prostitution, the death of Richard the Lionhearted, the plants used in Viking gardens, and more.  The blurbs at the link are linked to the original articles.  I wish I could blog each in detail, but there's just no time...

All 256 games of the last NFL season, ranked by watchability ("the best NFL games are close, high-scoring, meaningful, and have an unexpected result.")

A collection of about a dozen photos of necklaces made from human teeth - from a surprising variety of cultures.

In Russia, people were invited to be strapped inside a giant inflatable ball and rolled down a ski slope.  "The transparent plastic ball – known as a zorb – veered off course and sailed over a rock ledge in the rugged Caucasus Mountains of southern Russia. The ball picked up speed as it flew down the steep slope, rolling and bouncing. One man was killed and the other badly injured."  Video shows the ball rolling, but no gore.

A liquor store sets itself on fire. "...sunlight coming through the window turned the vodka bottles into a magnifying glass, slowly starting the cardboard on fire while a ceiling fan above fanned the flames."  Surveillance video at the link.

You probably don't want to know that "Vietnam was even more horrific than we thought."

An immense compilation of Ole and Lena jokes.

"An unidentified man who climbed a 375-foot radio tower fell to his death as the lightning rod he had grabbed after a slip bent and sent him plunging... Television footage showed the man leaning into the wind and taunting the crowd as he stood on the tower’s platform for about 90 minutes, though the crowd largely couldn’t hear him because of the wind. For a time he straddled a cone-shaped device topping the tower. Then he appeared to make a misstep as he attempted to move about the tiny platform. He grabbed the lightning rod on which he had hung his jacket, but the pole bent under his weight and the man, still gripping a reddish scarflike cloth in one hand, fell to his death."  (warning: death)

A new BMI calculator.  Under the new criteria, I'm slightly more normal than I used to be.

Because of military drills, members of an elite German batallion are experiencing unilateral gynecomastia.  "The constant slamming of the rifles against the left hand side of the chest is clearly a significant factor."

Right-wing rocker Ted Nugent accused of being a draft dodger.

Massages to induce G-spot orgasms are legal in California.  It's considered to be different from prostitution.

The nation of Zimbabwe now has only $217 in the bank.  It may need to print more.

"A Brazilian man has accused his wife of trying to kill him by putting poison in her vagina and inviting him to have oral sex with her."  And she confessed.  The source links are in Spanish.

Most internet surfers have already seen video of the Scottie pinwheel.  If you haven't, you should.


  1. I'm browsing the medieval articles from the first link. Right now I have articles #2 and #8 marked to examine more closely later, but I've finished with the others.

    Article #6 ("Middle Earth from Middle Europe: Medieval Manuscripts and an Inspiration for Tolkien") seems to contradict received wisdom regarding the history of racism. We are usually told that racism is a modern phenomenon that didn't take hold until well after the medieval period. Yet the aforementioned article casts the medieval mindset in an explicitely racist light. This is incidental to the main point of the article, though, and one would have to examine the references in order to evaluate it.

    1. Considering how poorly the Jews were treated in the Middle Ages (they were the butt of many jokes in Western Europe) and how the ancient Greeks looked down on everyone else so much that we now use their term for non-Greeks (barbarian) to mean someone rough and uncouth...no...racism is not a modern invention. We just have a word for it now.

  2. Dallas Jerry (No, I'm not from Norway)April 11, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    I absolutely could not finish the Ole and Lena jokes entry -- I was laughing myself blind with tears.

    1. They're even better if you hear them told by someone using a strong Norwegian accent, after you've had a couple glasses of akvavit.

  3. This is probably not blog-worthy, but you might find it amusing, Stan.
    The University of Iowa has a webcam on the central part of campus at all times. On Wednesday, a kestrel decided to photobomb it while posing as the tigerhawk (the university's logo).

    1. Cute. But I'll wait for a gopher photobombing the U of M.

  4. I was doing field work in a clear cut at the Great Dismal Swamp. I had set down my backpack, which had a water bottle in the side pocket, while I wandered around collecting data. I kept getting brief whiffs of smoke. Walking back to my backpack I saw that the water bottle, acting as a magnifying lens, had started a piece of logging slash smoldering. Thankfully it was a log and not grass so there were no actual flames.


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