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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Daily Drift

Thursday is a modern spelling and pronunciation of Thorsdag or Thorstag meaning Thor's day in the old Germanic and Scandinavian cultures. Suck on that all you religious nut jobs.

Today's readers have been in:

Singapore, Singapore
Groningen, Netherlands
Lomonosov, Russia
Taipei, Taiwan
Bangkok, Thailand
Jakarta, Indonesia
Karachi, Pakistan
Ampang, Malaysia
Zagreb, Croatia
Athens, Greece
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Vantaa, Finland
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Antwerp, Belgium
Zurich, Switzerland
Cape Town, South Africa
Dublin, Ireland
Tbilisi, Georgia
Bern, Switzerland
Limerick, Ireland
Taoyuan, Taiwan
Puchong, Malaysia
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Sampaloc, Philippines

Today in History

1540 Afgan chief Sher Khan defeats Mongul Emperor Humayun at Kanauj.
1630 Italian Jesuit Niccolo Zucchi sees the belts on Jupiter's surface.
1681 Louis XIV sends and expedition to aid James II in Ireland. As a result, England declares war on France.
1756 Britain declares war on France.
1792 Merchants form the New York Stock Exchange at 70 Wall Street.
1814 Denmark cedes Norway to Sweden.
1863 Union General Ulysses Grant continues his push towards Vicksburg at the Battle of the Big Black River Bridge.
1875 The first Kentucky Derby is run in Louisville.
1881 Frederick Douglass is appointed recorder of deeds for Washington, D.C.
1940 Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium and begins the invasion of France.
1954 The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rules for school integration in Brown v. Board of Education.
1973 The Senate Watergate Committee begins its hearings.

Is Earth Alive?

Researchers at the University of Maryland have discovered a way to identify and track sulfuric compounds in Earth's marine environment, opening a path to either refute or support a decades-old hypothesis that our planet can be compared to a singular, self-regulating, living organism - a.k.a. the Gaia theory.

Proposed by scientists James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis in the 70s, the Gaia theory likens Earth to a self-supporting singular life form, similar to a cell. The theory claims that, rather than being merely a stage upon which life exists, life - in all forms - works to actively construct an Earthly environment in which it can thrive.

Occupy footage exonerates journalist

Cop lied under oath

Photojournalist Alexander Arbuckle, arrested while covering Occupy Wall Street protests, was acquitted Tuesday after a short trial. Moreover, footage shown in court suggests that police lied about what happened.
Arbuckle was charged with disorderly conduct when police rounded up New Year's Day protestors near Sixth Avenue. The arresting officer claimed that he was blocking traffic in the street—a version of events repeated under oath.
Nick Pinto at The Village Voice:
There was a problem with the police account: it bore no resemblance to photographs and videos taken that night. Arbuckle's own photographs from the evening place him squarely on the sidewalk. All the video from the NYPD's Technical Research Assistance Unit, which follows the protesters with video-cameras (in almost certain violation of a federal consent decree), showed Arbuckle on the sidewalk. And in an indication of the way new media are transforming the dynamics of street protest, a clip from the live-stream of journalist Tim Pool showed that not only was Arbuckle on the sidewalk, so were all the other protesters. The only thing blocking traffic on 13th Street that night was the police themselves.
The arrests begin about 32 minutes into the clip embedded above.

Geoff Shively writes:
This is the first win in a series of cases where the NYPD is accused of manufacturing false accounts to make arrests of journalists, activists and legal observers. I asked an NLG observer in Chicago yesterday if its likely the police officer could be charged for perjury and he replied "Unfortunately, police are rarely rarely rarely held accountable for false arrests". We hope Arbuckle can change that and bring a case to court against this officer so that police understand that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.

Kodak had weapons-grade uranium

For three decades, camera company Kodak had a secret deep inside an underground lab in its Rochester, New York research facility: weapons-grade uranium and a californium neutron flux multiplier. (No, not a flux capacitor.) They stored 3.5 pounds of the uranium, apparently not enough to make a nuclear weapon but still not something you'd expect to find in most corporate research labs. The Union of Concerned Scientists are, well, concerned.

From CNN:
Nuclearkodak Kodak turned the material over to the government in 2007, under heavy security. But for more than 30 years, the company had a device called a californium neutron flux multiplier, or CFX, in a specially built labyrinth beneath Building 82 at its labs near Rochester, New York. The device was about the size of a refrigerator. It was not a reactor, but rather a hunk of metal emitting radiation. Its purpose was to create a beam of neutrons to use for scanning and testing other materials. The device's primary source of neutron radiation was the radioactive element californium, but the stream of neutrons produced by the californium was multiplied by passing it through a lattice of highly enriched uranium U-235, whose nuclear fission released additional neutrons.
According to a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Kodak's uranium was highly enriched -- to a level approaching 93.4%. That is the type of weapons-grade material that U.S. government agencies are trying to prevent terrorists from getting their hands on…
Kodak says it never intended to hide the CFX, and it was licensed by both state and federal officials. But the fact that the company was handling highly enriched uranium was never widely publicized.

Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to return their medals to protest war on terror at Chicago NATO summit this weekend

Iraq Veterans Against the War is bringing veterans to the NATO summit in Chicago on May 20 to ceremonially return the medals they were awarded for serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. The group's statement -- which will be reiterated to NATO's representatives -- is:
We were awarded these medals for serving in the Global War on Terror, a war based on lies and failed polices. This endless war has killed hundreds of thousands, stripped the humanity of all involved, and drained our communities of trillions of dollars, diverting funds from schools, clinics, libraries, and other public goods.
They are calling on supporters to rally with them:
Iraq Veterans Against the War calls on fellow service members, veterans, Chicagoans, and everyone who believes in justice, dignity, and respect for all peoples to join us in the streets on May 20th. On this day, we will hold a nonviolent march to the site of the NATO summit where we will ceremoniously return our military service medals. We will demand that NATO immediately end the occupation of Afghanistan and relating economic and social injustices, bring U.S. war dollars home to fund our communities, and acknowledge the rights and humanity of all who are affected by these wars. We wish to begin a process of justice and reconciliation with the people of Afghanistan and other affected nations, fellow service members, veterans, and the American people.

Nine year old takes stand against Westboro baptist church

Josef Miles was walking with his mother when he saw the group protesting ...

By Nina Mandell

 Josef Miles, 9, was walking with his mother near the Washburn University campus late last week when he spotted the extremist church protesting with signs about god’s hatred of homosexuals and other groups.

via Topeka Capital-Journal

Josef Miles, 9, was walking with his mother near the Washburn University campus late last week when he spotted the extremist church protesting with signs about god’s hatred of homosexuals and other groups.

His sign may have been smaller than the Westboro baptist’s hate-spewing placards, but one Topeka boy’s counterprotest is gaining support around the world.
Josef Miles, 9, was walking with his mother near the Washburn University campus late last week when he spotted the extremist church protesting with signs about God’s hatred of homosexuals and other groups.
His mother told The Topeka Capital-Journal that he asked if he could make his own sign.

Using a small sketchpad and a pencil — contrasted with Westboro’s larger, multicolored signs — he wrote “God Hates No One.”
Miles is seen holding his sign in one photo that has started circulating the Internet. In it he wears a pair of shades next to a Westboro protest sign that reads, “God Hates Fags.”
“He’s growing up to be a fine young man,” his proud mother told the newspaper.

Miles also received praise from church groups and commenters.
“9 year old Josef Miles wins an awesome kid award,” one person posted on Twitter.

The Westboro baptist church, which is based in Topeka, often pickets public events to gain notoriety and attention.
It is not recognized by mainstream christian groups. Or any other group for that matter
Good for him!

War Crimes trial for Ratko Mladic begins in The Hague

By Jasmina Tesanovic
Photo: Jasmina in a former prison. "Despite the scale of the facility, it was densely crowded once." Shot by Bruce Sterling.

The Hague tribunal commenced the trial of Ratko Mladic, ex commander of the army of the Serbian republic in Bosnia. Mothers of the slain gathered in front of the court.
Twenty years ago, Mladic started his criminal activities, while still an officer of the army of disintegrating Yugoslavia. A year ago, Mladic was arrested, after years of concealment, mostly within Belgrade. Today Mladic, aged 70, is sitting in the court neatly dressed as a civilian, without his legendary military cap.
As the judge reads the indictment, Mladic cheerily waving to the audience and even applauds certain parts of the recitation. "The wolf loses his hair but not his character," as the Serbian proverb puts it.
The indictment precisely proceeds as a short elementary lesson of the bloody fall of Yugoslavia.

Ratko Mladic is facing 11 charges: ethnic cleansing, genocide, crimes against humanity, torture, sexual violence, the wanton destruction of the urban fabric of Sarajevo, and so forth.
The maps of the indictment are a trail of blood. The borders of these maps were the major outcome of the Dayton peace treaty of 1995, signed a couple of months after the genocide of Srebrenica.
A witness appears to describe the concentration camp where she was systematically raped. I didn't even look at their faces when they would enter the room or go out. They had killed my whole family: I was the only survivor. I was just asking the same question day after day: why?
These people lived together for centuries, and then, in a burst of bloody disaster, some became criminal nationalists when their neighbors, now demonized as Others, had to be annihilated at their hands. There is little going in the Hague courtroom that wasn't described by Hannah Arendt during Eichmann’s trial in Jerusalem in 1963.
It outdoes Hollywood, though. Angelina Jolie’s recent movie, "In the Land of Blood and Honey," is a pale replica of this horror reality-show, live from the Hague.
This trial of this soldier is haunted by the conspicuous absence of the late Slobodan Milosevic, the civilian leader. It was Milosevic who transformed General Mladic's Yugoslav army into an instrument of ethnic cleansing.
This much-respected people's army, which had defeated the Nazi genocide and the Fascist occupation, had stabilized Yugoslavia for decades. But, thanks to the machinations of Milosevic, the remnants of this once honorable force, now a micro-state Serbian militia, were liquidating civilians en masse in Srebrenica. Eight thousand ex-Yugoslav men and boys were executed there in three days. The UN protected enclave fell, Mladic raved, lied, and had the Moslems rounded up, confined and shot, while the "international community" turned its attentions elsewhere.
A host of movies, books, and heaps of material evidence didn’t bring justice to that dismal place, which today is a tourist center of crime, but also, still, an ethnic-Serb territory within the Dayton maps. Those who were killed there dwell only within the vast cemetery, so to that extent, Srebrenica was a lasting Mladic victory.
The JNA, once a popular national army, became experts at black operations. Special forces of paramilitary killers, the shadow forces of intelligence services and the mafia, took on themselves the worst burdens of cruelty. Their policy was raiding, arson, robbery, killing, expulsion and rape -- to terrorize all civilian populations that weren't Serbian, leaving a Greater Serbian nation to expand where the victims had fled for their lives.
The capital of this expansionary scheme was Belgrade, but the Bosnian Serb militias headed by Mladic were always formally autonomous and plausibly deniable.
In Belgrade, I lived in the same street with a couple of those notorious criminals: we shopped at the same bakers, and our children went to the same schools. In Belgrade, we were not sniped-at, shot or shelled, we looked peaceful; and the covert war did not touch our streets until it fell from distant jets in the air, in the NATO bombing.
Twenty years later, today, I can ponder the dreadful fates of people I knew, or saw, or lived with, who ripped their country apart to march to power over the bones of their neighbors.
The central mastermind died behind the bars in the Hague. Two major stars are under trial now. A bunch of minor ones are serving sentences. My neighbor, the professor turned war profiteer, committed suicide as a Shakespearean antihero. But there were thousands of others whose activities were just as bloody and sinister, who still live in Belgrade, shopping, sometimes reminiscing over the bad old days.
The Serbian population is still living in denial, and other nations have learned to let this new nation do that. Twenty years have passed, a period longer than the distance between Eichman's Nazi crimes and Eichman's trial. There are other wars nowadays, other covert, armed operations, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, the Sudan, where the lessons of destabilization, pioneered in the Balkans, have been fully modernized.
Even the political party of Milosevic has managed to rehabilitate itself nowadays. They did well in the recent Serbian elections, mostly through ignoring their heritage and talking about Serbia's modern troubles, which are many.
As for me, I follow the trials, and I sometimes write about them.
After twenty years, a new generation has arisen on the bloodily divided ground. They are innocent, but to live in peace with each other in the region will require an understanding of the past.
That past lives in the details of the Hague court's indictment: the snipers in Sarajevo, civilians mortar-blasted in the marketplaces, women raped, children killed, and much of this mayhem cynically described by the killers in their own documents, a host of private conversations and public interviews exposed to the world.
In the dock, Mladic is industriously taking notes as his prosecutor describes his war-crime strategies. I wonder what Mladic has to say to himself? His diaries have been published and translated: his daughter committed suicide during her father's battles. What does this 70 year old have to say to history? One of his favorite quotes is well-known in the record: “Whenever I come to Sarajevo, I kill.”
The word is power and the silence of the dead is loud.

Mladic taunts survivors at start of genocide trial

By Anthony Deutsch and Ivana Sekularac, 

Former Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic attends his trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague May 16, 2012. Mladic, 70, appeared on Wednesday for his genocide trial looking confident, flashing a thumbs-up and clapping his hands as he entered the courtroom. REUTERS/Toussaint Kluiters/Pool
Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic made a throat-slitting gesture to a woman who lost her son, husband and brothers in the Srebenica massacre at the start of his trial on Wednesday for some of the worst atrocities in Europe since World War Two.
Mladic, now 70, flashed a defiant thumbs-up as he entered the courtroom - the last of the main protagonists in the Balkan wars of the 1990s to go on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
A hero to Serb nationalists, the "Butcher of Bosnia" to his Muslim and Croat victims, the pugnacious general eluded justice for 16 years until his capture in a cousin's farmhouse in Serbia last May.
The list of 11 charges stemming from his actions as the Serb military commander in the Bosnian war of 1992-95 ranges from genocide to murder, acts of terror and crimes against humanity.
He is accused of orchestrating not only the week-long massacre of 8,000 unarmed Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica but also the 43-month siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, in which more than 10,000 people were killed by snipers, machine guns and heavy artillery.
Mladic, who refused to enter a plea, cuts a much frailer figure now than his bullish, strutting wartime persona - his defense lawyer said he had suffered three strokes and a heart attack. But he appears to have lost none of his defiance.
In the public gallery, Munira Subasic, whose 18-year-old son, husband and brothers were killed in Srebrenica, stared at him from behind a glass barrier, crossing her wrists to imitate handcuffs.
Mladic stared back and drew a hand across his throat. Presiding judge Alphons Orie promptly called a brief recess and ordered an end to "inappropriate interactions."
"I thought I would see at least some remorse in his eyes when I came here," Subasic said. "But instead I saw his bloodthirstiness. I don't know how he can live with what he did, with killing so many people."
The proceedings were broadcast live on big screens in Sarajevo, where thousands were killed by snipers or artillery while queuing for water or bread, or crossing the street.
Hasna Hadzic, a pensioner who survived the siege, stopped off on her way from the market, visibly shaken.
"I feel like crying when I think of what he has done to us: killed 8,000 in Srebrenica alone, killed people in Foca, Visegrad, our children in Sarajevo," she said, wiping away tears.
"They shouldn't have put him on trial. They should have liquidated him immediately."
But in Pale, the mountain stronghold from which Serb forces orchestrated the siege and bombardment of the capital 16 km away, applause broke out in cafes every time Mladic appeared on the television screens.
"Crimes were committed by all sides," said Serb student Mladen Mancic. "This is just an honourable man who defended the Serb people. If it wasn't for him we wouldn't be here today."
Mladic was in command of the Bosnian Serb army when, over several days in July 1995, Serb fighters attacked the Srebrenica enclave in eastern Bosnia, theoretically under the protection of Dutch U.N. peacekeepers.
Video footage shot at the time showed Mladic mingling with Muslim prisoners. Shortly afterwards, the men and boys were separated from the women, stripped of identification, and shot.
Prosecutor Dermot Groome, beginning a two-day opening statement, said Mladic and other Bosnian Serbs had been implementing a grand plan to eliminate non-Serbs from large areas of Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia.
"The prosecution will present evidence that will show beyond a reasonable doubt the hand of Mr Mladic in each of these crimes," he said.
Bosnian Muslim leader Bakir Izetbegovic said he hoped the trial could at least start closing a gulf between Bosnia's Serb and Croat-Muslim halves that shows little sign of closing, 17 years after the war ended.
"Half of Bosnia was cleansed of non-Serbs ... They wanted to erase all traces and evidence of the existence of others from this part of the territory, and under the command of Ratko Mladic they succeeded," he said.
"Many people in Bosnia are still not ready, 16 years after the war ended, to face the truth ... This is the first step in the process of reconciliation."
In court, prosecutors screened footage of bodies piled up on the streets of Sarajevo and people running in terror from the Serb onslaught.
"There can be no doubt that Mladic controlled the shelling of Sarajevo," Groome said.
"Mladic participated in a campaign of sniping and shelling against the besieged city of Sarajevo in order to spread terror among its civilian population."
Mladic is also held responsible for the imprisonment of non-Serbs in a system of camps, including Omarska, Prijedor and Keraterm, where they were raped, abused and murdered.
The horrors of Sarajevo and Srebrenica eventually galvanized world opinion in support of the campaign of Western air strikes on Bosnian Serb targets that brought the conflict to an end.
Mladic was indicted in 1995 along with Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serbs' political leader, who is also on trial in The Hague. Yet both remained free in Serbia for more than a decade before being tracked down.
Mladic has dismissed the charges as "monstrous" and says he is too ill to endure a trial that may last two years or more. At the end of the hearing he looked tired and was given medication.
Some victims fear that time and failing health could help him avoid judgment like his mentor Slobodan Milosevic, the architect of the Balkan wars, who died in detention in 2006 - a few months before a verdict in his trial for genocide and other war crimes in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo.
Defense lawyer Branko Lukic said that after his strokes and heart attack, Mladic "will never be ok", but that his health had been improving thanks to treatment in detention.
The prosecution case alone is projected to last 200 hours, with testimony from 411 witnesses, and defense lawyers say they have not had have enough time to review the huge case file.
The judges said on Wednesday that prosecutors had made "very significant errors" in disclosure of evidence, and that they would consider giving the defense more time.

Healthy eating can cost less, study finds

This undated handout photo provided by the Agriculture Department shows a plate showing portion sizes of 100 calories worth of strawberries, broccoli, potato chips, bread and M&Ms.
Is it really more expensive to eat healthy?
An Agriculture Department study released Wednesday found that most fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods cost less than ...

Random Celebrity Photo


The Boss's Sign

The boss was complaining in our staff meeting the other day that he wasn't getting any respect.
The next day, he brought a small sign that read:

"I'm the Boss!"

He then taped it to his office door.

Later that day when he returned from lunch, he found that someone had taped a note to the sign that said:

"Your wife called, she wants her sign back!"

Space Meal, 1969

To commemorate the May 18, 1969 launch of Apollo 10, our friends at the Smithsonian are celebrating the launch by sharing this photo of a meal package from the Apollo 10 mission:

The Apollo 10 spacecraft launched from Cape Kennedy at 12:49 p.m. EST with commander Thomas Stafford, command module pilot John Young and lunar module pilot Gene Cernan. This liftoff marked the fourth Apollo launch in seven months. Its purpose was to serve as a complete dry run for the Apollo 11 mission, the first mission to land humans on the Moon.
Each crew member was supplied with three meals per day, which provided approximately 2,800 calories. This photo shows John Young’s Meal B lunch for mission Day 9. The mission only lasted eight days—he did not eat this food, but astronauts were provided extra supplies if they had to stay in space longer. It contains cocoa, salmon salad, sugar cookie cubes, grape punch and hand wipes. Meals were sorted by day and designated for each astronaut with a corresponding piece of Velcro—white for mission commander, blue for command module pilot and red for lunar module pilot.

Disputing All You Can Eat

This story reminds me of the joke about a customer who was upset that a waitress cut him off the buffet after two plates. “That’s ALL you can eat for ten dollars!” she said. But this is a real story out of Thiensville, Wisconsin, where a man says all-you-can-eat doesn’t mean just until the restaurant runs out of food.
At 6’6″ and 350 lbs, Bill Wisth admits he’s a big guy who can pack it away more than most.  And he wants one restaurant to make all-you-can-eat, all he can eat too.
“It’s false advertising,” said Wisth to TODAY’S TMJ4.
Wisth has a beef with the all-you-can-eat fish fry at Chuck’s Place.  He was there Friday when the restaurant cut him off after he ate a dozen pieces.
“Well, we asked for more fish and they refused to give us any more fish,” recalled Wisth.
The restaurant says it was running out of fish and patience; arguing Bill has been a problem customer before.  They sent him on his way with another eight pieces, but that still wasn’t enough.
He was so fired up, he called the police.  “I think that people have to stand up for consumers,” said Wisth.
And he wasn’t done.  He came back two days later with a picket sign.
Wisth says he plans to protest at the restaurant every Sunday. A restaurant employee says Whisth still owes for food he’s already eaten.

The Root of American Obesity Problem Explained by a Mathematician

Americans have been wringing their hands about the problem of obesity for decades (for some of us, while munching on snacks), but never before has the problem been attacked from the perspective of ... math!
In 2004, mathematician and physicist Carson Chow was tasked with figuring out why more and more Americans are getting fatter. When he started, Carson said that "[he] knew almost nothing of obesity. [He] didn't even know what a calorie was."
But he could clearly see a trend: Since 1975, the average weight of Americans jumped by about 20 pounds and the national obesity rate went from 20% to 30%. So what gives?
Claudie Dreifus interviewed the math whiz for The New York Times:
Did you ever solve the question posed to you when you were first hired — what caused the obesity epidemic?
We think so. And it’s something very simple, very obvious, something that few want to hear: The epidemic was caused by the overproduction of food in the United States.
Beginning in the 1970s, there was a change in national agricultural policy. Instead of the government paying farmers not to engage in full production, as was the practice, they were encouraged to grow as much food as they could. At the same time, technological changes and the “green revolution” made our farms much more productive. The price of food plummeted, while the number of calories available to the average American grew by about 1,000 a day.
Well, what do people do when there is extra food around? They eat it! This, of course, is a tremendously controversial idea. However, the model shows that increase in food more than explains the increase in weight.

Now Available In Maximum Strength

Catholic school would rather kill kids' insurance than comply with rules

This is par for the course with the Catholic church.  Why choose Option A when you can choose Option B and hurt someone vulnerable at the same time.
It's the way the Catholic church has mishandled the pedophilia scandal (putting children last), it's the way they're handling compliance with non-discrimination laws in DC, Illinois and Massachusetts (rather than simply not discriminate, the Catholics have chosen to stop helping parentless kids all together), and it's the way the church is handling this latest controversy (even though most Catholics agree with President Obama and not the church - who does the church leadership actually represent in America, anyone?).

Oh yeah, and the second golden rule is do whatever you can in an election year to get a repugican elected.  It won't be long now until we heard of Catholic parishes refuses to given communion to Democrats.  Every four years it starts like clockwork.

llinois Approves The Use Of Mini Horses As Service Animals

Miniature horse fans rejoice! Thanks to a Senate vote, miniature horses have now been approved for use as service animals in the state of Illinois.

Here’s why mini horses make awesome guides:
According to the Guide Horse Foundation, miniature horses can be useful for people with severe allergies or phobias to dogs, or people who want an animal likely to live longer than a dog. The horses are strong enough to provide support when handlers need to lean on them, and they are not easily distracted by crowds.
So, the next time you see a mini horse on a leash, sporting a fashionable vest and some oh-so-cute little shoes, don’t panic!
They’re here to help, and they’re not just in it for the free carrots.

Mind Control

Fawns Have Escape Plans

"It's a lion*, run!" strategy doesn't seem to work out very well for white-tailed deer fawns.
What works, it turns out, is an escape plan:
Fawns often bypass the nearest "escape cover" to seek out better habitats for shaking off predators, new research has found.
Baby deer are more likely to survive if they use this selective technique rather than simply fleeing to the closest refuge.
The study in the journal Animal Behavior, followed white-tailed deer fawns in the Great Plains of the US.
The fawns' behavior was a surprise to the research team, they said.
"We expected them to look for cover as soon as possible and try to take that cover… (but) they actually went to a better cover rather than the first available," says Jonathan Jenks, distinguished professor of wildlife and fisheries sciences at South Dakota State University.

Ok, now that is something you don't see everyday

Coffin in convertible

A Transparent House

A house in Tokyo, Japan, by Sou Fujimoto Architects stands out because it’s completely transparent, made from a plastic frame, some transparent panels, and lots of open space. The idea was inspired by our distant ancestors who lived in trees and could never expect privacy. The split-level house has minimal furniture and, as far as I can tell, no bathroom. It looks pretty in daylight, but imagine all the people staring at the occupants at night! However, this concept may never have permanent residents. Completely open walls above the ground floor wouldn’t adhere to building codes for residential structures. See more pictures at Bored Panda.

The train to Versailles is decorated like the palace of Versailles

The folks who run the French Chateau of Versailles, the former palace of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, who were executed following the French Revolution, have redesigned a few of the regional trains that take passengers from Versailles to Paris.  The design mimics various rooms at Versailles, including the king's library and the queen's bedroom.

Daily Comic Relief

'Ring of fire' solar eclipse to occur

 Annular Solar Eclipse Mosaic
'Ring of fire' solar eclipse to occur Sunday, May 20
Skywatchers in East Asia and the western United States should circle Sunday on their calendars.

Chocolate and diamonds

Why volcanoes could be a girl’s best friend

Scientists from the University of Southampton have discovered a previously unrecognized volcanic process, similar to one that is used in ...
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Awesome Pictures

The Cyclops

Did the legend originate with a fossil ?

In Greek mythology and later Roman mythology, a cyclops was a member of a primordial race of giants, each with a single eye in the middle of its forehead. The classical plural is cyclopes [you learn something every day...]. The name is widely thought to mean "circle-eyed".

Given their penchant for blacksmithing, many scholars believe the legend of the Cyclopes' single eye arose from an actual practice of blacksmiths wearing an eyepatch over one eye to prevent flying sparks from blinding them in both eyes...
There is another possible origin of the legend:

...prehistoric dwarf elephant skulls – about twice the size of a human skull – that may have been found by the Greeks on Crete and Sicily... the large, central nasal cavity (for the trunk) in the skull might have been interpreted as a large single eye-socket. Given the inexperience of the locals with living elephants, they were unlikely to recognize the skull for what it actually was...

Science and Animals

Biologists produce potential malarial vaccine from algae

Biologists at the University of California, San Diego have succeeded in engineering algae to produce potential candidates for a vaccine ...
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Crayfish have substance covering teeth astonishingly similar to human enamel

A team of Israeli and German scientists from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and the Max Planck Institute of ...
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Animal Pictures

tumblr_llj3nkZeJL1qauf25o1_500.jpg (JPEG Image, 500 × 500 pixels)