20 September 2015


A gif of a remarkable jump by a dog.

For Blade Runner fans - an interesting article with still photos and brief videos.

If you've never listened to Radiolab, try opening this podcast in another window and playing it while you continue browsing.

A critique of collegiate football.  "When we cheer for our schools and our teams, we’re also supporting a powerful and autonomous entertainment business that monetizes every aspect of the game, an operation that is not only divorced from the mission of higher education but that often undermines it."

The world's oldest "message in a bottle."   A recently-found one was thrown into the ocean over a hundred years ago as part of a research project.

A German man died after eating courgette stew.  "Cucurbitacins can be recognised by their bitter taste. Any courgette that has a strong unpleasant smell or tastes particularly bitter should be avoided.
Cucurbitacins are toxic at high levels, but they are so bitter that it is almost impossible for anyone to eat sufficient quantities of the toxins to cause significant harm."

Feelthebern.org is the official website detailing Bernie Sanders' stand on important issues.   And this site compares the stands of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

An English professor  writes about the "trigger warning myth."

Deadspin offers a scathing, acerbic commentary on the most recent Republican "debate" (trigger warning: political diatribe).

The oldest-known living orca is 103 years old.  "Granny doesn't simply represent an impressive feat of nature; she embodies what's wrong with SeaWorld by being a living example of what's right in the wild."

Thousands of Germans were massacred after WWII ended.

A recent figure shows 442 people running for President of the United States.

Selfies result in more teenagers with head lice.  “Teenagers don’t usually get lice because they’re not sharing hats and things like that. And lice can’t jump, so the only way they can transmit lice is touching their heads together, and that’s happening with all these photos.”

A National Geographic video explains how rats are able to get into your toilet from the sewer system.

A Presurfer post notes that a group of raccoons is called a "gaze of raccoons."  Here are some other collective nouns (I've heard them referred to as "venereal nouns", but I'm not sure that's correct).

Why state laws should penalize people for negligent storage of guns.

"There was outrage this month when some of the country’s best known restaurant chains including Pizza Express, Strada, Zizzi, Ask Italian and Giraffe were accused of keeping all or part of the service charges automatically added to bills rather than passing them on to staff... It emerged last week that high street restaurants were routinely holding back tips which customers had thought were heading straight into the pockets of waiters and waitresses..."

The Atlantic has an essay entitled "The Life and Death of the American Lawn."

Counterarguments, with Biblical citations, relevant to the Kentucky clerk/marriage license brouhaha.

Proof that a man can prepare a delicious meal even when his wife is out of town.

"...experts say most people engage in self-injury as a way to cope with their emotions, particularly negative ones. And most self-injurers report that it works – it calms them and brings a sense of relief.
These soothing feelings most likely result from the release of endorphins, brain chemicals that relieve pain and can produce euphoria."   Discussed here.

This article will be of interest to (and probably only to) anyone who has played video poker in a casino.  It's about beating the system.

The NFL's love affair with the military.

"A woman who tried to kill her husband by spiking his Christmas cherry Lambrini was caught after she misspelled a fake suicide note which claimed he wanted to "die with dignaty"."

Der Spiegel reports that young activists are disappearing in Egypt.

gif of a beluga intentionally spraying a child with water.

The danger of the use of liquid nitrogen in nightclubs.

"Hillary Clinton campaign puts the 'moron' into oxymoron."

The embedded photos for this linkdump depict the Governor's Mansions in the states of (top-to-bottom) Minnesota, South Dakota, Oregon, New York, New Mexico, New Hampshire, and Iowa, harvested from a gallery of all the mansions at imgur, via Neatorama.


  1. Excellent roundup! Lots of good content to mine here.

  2. > try opening this podcast in another window and playing it while you continue browsing.

    unless it is music, i have a hard time listening to podcasts while browsing the web.


  3. Radiolab !!! Got as far as 2 adverts, then my spam finger somehow hit delete.

    1. 'radiolab' is like a jumpy 'this american life'. it is just so hard to listen to because of all the jumps.

      p.s. yes, i know the holder of this blog has expressed his extreme likednessity of radiolab. for me, it is way too jumpy. like the program 'a way with words', which is interesting, except that the hosts speak so fast, you miss half of what they are saying.


    2. I quite understand. I've given up on several other podcasts for exactly those reasons. Unlike websurfing, audio programs are "linear" and have to be consumed as presented (I can skip around using iTunes on my computer but not easily on my car radio), so presentation is key.

  4. Re: Self Injury - Notice once again how the other explanations of the correlation are completely ignored. They jump immediately to "self injury trains you for suicide" and ignore the perfectly reasonable "people in so much psychological pain that they need to self-harm to manage it might be more likely to commit suicide in the first place"

    1. Didn't see that part of the discussion. But nice to see actual (and some former) sufferers chime in on what was going on.

      Deep psychological and mental pains make much more sense when they have a physical representation!

  5. I am leaving the majority of links unread this month, especially those about specifically American issues. But I liked the jumping dog GIF.

    Here's a video starring a dog belonging to my sister and her husband, and co-starring the daughter of a cousin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFO-UOzJrrA

    1. I emailed the GIF to my sister, who replied: "We think Molly would have a go at that one. She wouldn't mind if she landed in the water!"

  6. "Newly released 9/11 footage"... video uploaded in 2010.

    1. Noted. And deleted. Thanks for the heads-up.

    2. ... Sorry, that was worded a bit bluntly. Still a haunting clip, and of a surprisingly high quality.

    3. Agreed on both points. But there's enough 9/11 material out there that I don't need to recycle it here.

  7. Venery from the term for hunting:


    There's a great book(cheaper than the one from the 1400's):

  8. Thanks for the links,
    re "massacred after WWII ended"; you might be interested in the Book 'Other Losses', wiki review https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Other_Losses

    I don't listen to RadioLab, but that's where I first read an article by Robert Krulwich who does several interesting blogs.

    best wishes another phil

  9. Something you might be interested in, Stan. I had to suffer listening to CNN at the airport yesterday and they were talking about how "Clinton's lead over Sanders grew after her talk show appearances" even though polls are clearly showing the exact opposite. I fear the masses of voters who don't fact check...

    1. "voters who don't fact check..."

      That would be... 99.7% or so....

  10. Update: Hillary today came out against the Keystone pipeline. I recently got my 20-year-old granddaughter to register to vote for the first time, as well as my just-turned 18-year-old grandson. My 31-year-old grandson, who has in the past few years received treatment for his schizophrenia that makes him almost completely normal, insists that people his age don't vote because they don't believe their votes will be counted. Makes me wonder if his meds are really effective, or if young people can possibly be that disaffected.


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