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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.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Daily Drift

Stones at Culloden, Scotland

Some of our readers today have been in:
Centurion, South Africa
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Bucaramanga, Colombia
Cape Town, South Africa
Karachi, Pakistan
Kuantan, Malaysia
Johannesburg, South Africa
Muar, Malaysia
Cimahi, Indonesia
Zagreb, Croatia
Bayan Lepas, Malaysia
Willemsted, Cruacao
Barranquitas, Puerto Rico
Southampton, England
Caracas, Venezuela
Sofia, Bulgaria
Moscow, Russia
Makati, Philippines
Rusanj, Serbia
Khulna, Bangladesh

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Today in History

902The Aghlabid rulers of Ifriqiyah (modern day Tunisia) capture Taormina, Sicily.
1096The crusaders under Peter the Hermit reach Constantinople.
1464Piero de Medici succeeds his father, Cosimo, as ruler of Florence.
1664The Turkish army is defeated by French and German troops at St. Gotthard, Hungary.
1689James II's 15-week siege of Londonderry, Ireland, ends in failure.It was a shaken and demoralized English column that returned to its northern Irish base at Newry on the evening of May 28, 1595.
1740Thomas Arne's song "Rule Britannia" is performed for the first time.
1759British and Hanoverian armies defeat the French at the Battle of Minden, Germany.
1790The first enumeration by the U.S. Census Bureau is completed. It shows a population of 3,939,326 located in 16 states and the Ohio territory. Virginia is the most populous state with 747,610 inhabitants. The census compilation cost $44,377.
1791Robert Carter III, a Virginia plantation owner, frees all 500 of his slaves in the largest private emancipation in U.S. history.An 1839 mutiny aboard a Spanish ship in Cuban waters raised basic questions about freedom and slavery in the United States.
1798Admiral Horatio Nelson routs the French fleet in the Battle of the Nile at Aboukir Bay, Egypt.
1801The American schooner Enterprise captures the Barbary cruiser Tripoli.Often venturing into harm's way, America's most famous sailing ship, the Constitution, twice came close to oblivion.
1834Slavery is abolished throughout the British Empire.
1864Union General Ulysses S. Grant gives general Philip H. Sheridan the mission of clearing the Shenandoah Valley of Confederate forces.After nearly 10 months of trench warfare, Confederate resistance at Petersburg, Virginia, suddenly collapsed.
1872The first long-distance gas pipeline in the U.S. is completed. Designed for natural gas, the two-inch pipe ran five miles from Newton Wells to Titusville, Pennsylvania.
1873San Francisco's first cable cars begin running, operated by Hallidie's Clay Street Hill Railroad Company.
1880Sir Frederick Roberts frees the British Afghanistan garrison of Kandahar from Afghan rebels.
1893A machine for making shredded wheat breakfast cereal is patented.
1914Germany declares war on Russia.
1937The Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany becomes operational.The Nuremberg Trial brought high-ranking Nazis to justice.
1939Synthetic vitamin K is produced for the first time.
1941The Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo plane makes its first flight.
1942Ensign Henry C. White, while flying a J4F Widgeon plane, sinks U-166 as it approaches the Mississippi River, the first U-boat sunk by the U.S. Coast Guard.
1943Over 177 B-24 Liberator bombers attack the oil fields in Ploesti, Rumania, for a second time.
1944The Polish underground begins an uprising against the occupying German army, as the Red Army approaches Warsaw.
1950Lead elements of the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division arrive in Korea from the United States.
1954The Geneva Accords divide Vietnam into two countries at the 17th parallel.
1964Arthur Ashe becomes the first African-American to play on the U.S. Davis Cup tennis team.

Today is Lughnasadh

Also called
Lúnasa (Modern Irish)
Lùnastal (Scottish Gaelic)
Luanistyn (Manx Gaelic)
Observed by
Historically: Gaels
Today: Irish people, Scottish people, Manx people, Celtic neopagans
Pagan (Celtic polytheism, Celtic Neopaganism, Wicca)
Beginning of the harvest season
Northern Hemisphere: Sunset on July 31
Southern Hemisphere: Sunset on January 31
Northern Hemisphere: Sunset on August 1
Southern Hemisphere: Sunset on February 1
Offering of First Fruits
Related to
Calan Awst, Lammas
Lughnasadh (pronounced LOO-nə-sə; Irish: Lúnasa; Scottish Gaelic: Lùnastal; Manx: Luanistyn) is a traditional Gaelic holiday celebrated on 1 August in the northern hemisphere and 1 February in the southern[dubious ]. It originated as a harvest festival, corresponding to the Welsh Calan Awst and the English Lammas.


In Old Irish (or Old Gaelic), the name was usually spelt Lugnasad (pronounced [luɣnəsəð]). Later spellings include Luġnasaḋ, Lughnasadh and Lughnasa.
In Modern Irish (Gaeilge), the spelling is Lúnasa, which is also the name for the month of August. The genetive case is also Lúnasa as in Mí Lúnasa (Month of August)[1] and Lá Lúnasa (Day of Lúnasa).[2][3] The word násadh means a feast, fair, assembly, or celebration, but is unstressed when used as a suffix on Lughnasadh.[1]
In Modern Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig), the festival and the month are both called Lùnastal.[4]
In Manx (Gaelg), the festival and the month are both called Luanistyn. The day itself may be called either Laa Luanistyn or Laa Luanys.[5]
In Welsh (Cymraeg), the day is known as Calan Awst, originally a Latin term,[6] the Kalends of August in English.[1]

In Irish mythology

In Irish mythology, the Lughnasadh festival is said to have been begun by the god Lugh (modern spelling: Lú) as a funeral feast and sporting competition in commemoration of his foster-mother, Tailtiu, who died of exhaustion after clearing the plains of Ireland for agriculture. The first location of the Áenach Tailteann gathering was at Tailtin, between Navan and Kells. Historically, the Áenach Tailteann was a time for contests of strength and skill and a favored time for contracting marriages and winter lodgings. A peace was declared at the festival, and religious celebrations were held. The festival survived as the Taillten Fair, and was revived for a period in the 20th century as the Telltown Games.[7][8]
A similar Lughnasadh festival was held at Carmun (whose exact location is under dispute). Carmun is also believed to have been a goddess of the Celts, perhaps one with a similar tale as Tailtiu.[8]

Historic Lughnasadh customs

In 1962 The Festival of Lughnasa, a study of Lughnasadh by folklorist Máire MacNeill, was published. MacNeill drew on medieval writings and on surveys and studies from throughout Ireland and Britain. Her conclusion was that the evidence testified to an ancient Celtic festival on 1 August that involved the following:
[A] solemn cutting of the first of the corn of which an offering would be made to the deity by bringing it up to a high place and burying it; a meal of the new food and of bilberries of which everyone must partake; a sacrifice of a sacred bull, a feast of its flesh, with some ceremony involving its hide, and its replacement by a young bull; a ritual dance-play perhaps telling of a struggle for a goddess and a ritual fight; an installation of a head on top of the hill and a triumphing over it by an actor impersonating Lugh; another play representing the confinement by Lugh of the monster blight or famine; a three-day celebration presided over by the brilliant young god or his human representative. Finally, a ceremony indicating that the interregnum was over, and the chief god in his right place again.[9]

People climbing Croagh Patrick on "Reek Sunday"
Lughnasadh celebrations were commonly held on hilltops. Traditionally, people would climb hills on Lughnasadh to gather bilberries, which were eaten on the spot or saved to make pies and wine.[10] It is thought that Reek Sunday—the yearly pilgrimage to the top of Croagh Patrick in County Mayo in late July—was originally a Lughnasadh ritual.[11] As with the other Gaelic seasonal festivals (Imbolc, Beltane and Samhain), the celebrations involved a great feast.[12] In the Scottish Highlands, people made a special cake called the lunastain, which was also called luinean when given to a man and luineag when given to a woman. This may have originated as an offering to the gods.[13]
Another custom that Lughnasadh shared with the other Gaelic festivals was the lighting of bonfires and visiting of holy wells. The ashes from Lughnasadh bonfires would be used to bless fields, cattle and people.[14] Visitors to holy wells would pray for health while walking sunwise around the well. They would then leave offerings; typically coins or clooties (see clootie well).[15]
In Gaelic Ireland, Lughnasadh was also a favored time for handfastings — trial marriages that would generally last a year and a day, with the option of ending the contract before the new year, or formalizing it as a lasting marriage.[7][16][17][18]

Modern Lughnasadh customs

In Ireland, some people continue to celebrate the holiday with bonfires and dancing. The Catholic Church in Ireland has established the ritual of blessing fields on this day. In the Irish diaspora, survivals of the Lúnasa festivities are often seen by some families still choosing August as the traditional time for family reunions and parties, though due to modern work schedules these events have sometimes been moved to adjacent secular holidays, such as the Fourth of July in the United States.[7][16]


Lughnasadh and Lughnasadh-based festivals are held by some Neopagans. As there are many kinds of Neopaganism, their Lughnasadh celebrations can be very different despite the shared name. Some try to emulate the historic festival as much as possible. Other Neopagans base their celebrations on other unrelated sources, Gaelic culture being only one of the sources used.[19][20][21]

Celtic Reconstructionism

Like other Polytheistic Reconstructionist traditions, Celtic Reconstructionists (CRs) emphasize historical accuracy. They base their Lughnasadh celebrations on traditional lore and from historic texts that describe the festival. Celtic Reconstructionists who follow Gaelic traditions tend to celebrate Lughnasadh at the time of first fruits, or on the full moon nearest this time. In the Northeastern United States, this is often the time of the blueberry harvest, while in the Pacific Northwest the blackberries are often the festival fruit.[16][22]
In Celtic Reconstructionism, Lughnasadh is seen as a time to give thanks to the spirits and deities for the beginning of the harvest season, and to propitiate them with offerings and prayers not to harm the still-ripening crops. The god Lugh is honored by many at this time, as he is a deity of storms and lightning, especially the storms of late summer. Gentle rain on the day of the festival is seen as his presence and his bestowing of blessings. Many CRs also honor the goddess Tailtiu on this day, and may seek to keep the Cailleachan ("Storm Hags") from damaging the crops, much in the way appeals are made to Lugh.[16][22][23][24]


Lughnasadh or Lammas is also the name used for one of the eight sabbats in the Wiccan Wheel of the Year. It is the first of the three autumn harvest festivals, the other two being the Autumn equinox (also called Mabon by Wiccans) and Samhain. It is seen as one of the two most auspicious times for handfasting, the other being at Beltane.[25] Some Wiccans mark the holiday by baking a figure of the "corn god" in bread, and then symbolically sacrificing and eating it.[26]

Top 7 August Festivals in the U.S

Ready for a road trip? Hit up one of these fun August fests, where everyone from foodies to music lovers can have their day(s) in the sun.
By Kristine Solomon 

The Nest

1. Maine Lobster Festival:
Get your nutcrackers and bibs ready, because this event celebrates everything about your favorite crustacean, from feasting to cooking contests to lobster crate races and more. August 1 to 5. Tickets range from $5 to $25. www.mainelobsterfestival.com

2. Burning Man: About 50,000 people attend this annual arts festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. The organization itself, a nonprofit, even has trouble articulated what the Burning Man festival is, but suffice to say it's an event where freedom of expression is embraced and just about anything goes. First-timers: leave your inhibitions at the door. August 27th through September 3rd. $390 per ticket. www.burningman.com

3. Telluride Film Festival: Head to the cozy mountain town of Telluride, Colorado to check out this famous movie fest, now in its 39th year. This year, Geoff Dyer is the event's guest director, who pick a series of films to be shown, and author Dave Eggers is the featured artist of the festival's official poster. August 31st - September 3rd. $390 - $3900 per pass. www.telluridefilmfestival.org

4. Outside Lands: The second biggest music festival in California (Coachella, in April, is the biggest), takes place in San Francisco and this year, headliners include Muse, Phish, Arcade Fire, The Black Keys and Erykah Badu. August 12th - 14th. Available tickets range from $225 to $495. www.sfoutsidelands.com

5. Fremont Festival of the Arts: The largest free arts and music festival west of the Mississippi takes place right on the streets of Freemont California. It usually draws over 350,000 attendees and about 650 artisans. August 4th - 5th. www.fremontfestival.net

6. Minnesota Renaissance Festival: With seven themed weekends, sixteen stages of live entertainment, jousting, artisan booths - plus food and drink - this festival is your Renaissance dream come true. August 8th - September 30th. Tickets range from $6 to $80. www.renaissancefest.com

7. Elvis Week: Strap on your blue suede shoes and head over to Graceland in Memphis, TN for the 35th anniversary of Elvis Week, baby! Die-hard fans will find Elvis tribute concerts, fan meetups, Elvis film viewings and lots more. Ticket prices vary by event. August 10th - 18th. www.elvis.com/elvisweek/ewschedule.aspx

August Will Be a Blue Moon Month

Two full moons will hang over the night sky in the month of August.  
Read more
full moon

Is Twitter censoring Tweets on behalf of corporate partners?

Kind of looks that way.

 From Dan Gillmor in the Guardian:
This time, Twitter has suspended the account of a British journalist who tweeted the corporate email address of an NBC executive. The reporter, Guy Adams of the Independent, has been acerbic in his criticisms of NBC's (awful) performance during the Olympics in London.

Adams has posted his correspondence with Twitter, which claims he published a private email address. It was nothing of the kind, as many, including the Deadspin sports blog, have pointed out. (Here's the policy, which Adams plainly did not violate, since the NBC executive's email address was already easily discernible on the web — NBC has a firstname.lastname@ system for its email, and it's a corporate address, not a personal one — and was published online over a year ago.)

What makes this a serious issue is that Twitter has partnered with NBC during the Olympics. And it was NBC's complaint about Adams that led to the suspension. That alone raises reasonable suspicions about Twitter's motives.
In essence Twitter is banning traditional advocacy where you post the email address of corporate execs and ask people to contact them. It's hard to understand why such behavior is okay on Web sites, but not okay on Twitter? After all this was a corporate email, and of a top guy. He's got computer people to filter out the emails, if not a secretary. Any in any case, people have been publishing actions with corporate emails for years. Why did Twitter do this, if not for its corporate benefactor?

And why did NBC?

Non Sequitur


Harry Reid: Bain Investor Told Me That Mitt Romney 'Didn't Pay Any Taxes For 10 Years'

Ryan Grim and Sam Stein have the story over at HuffPo:
A month or so ago, he said, a person who had invested with Bain Capital called his office.

"Harry, he didn't pay any taxes for 10 years," Reid recounted the person as saying.

"He didn't pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that's true? Well, I'm not certain," said Reid. "But obviously he can't release those tax returns. How would it look?

"You guys have said his wealth is $250 million," Reid went on. "Not a chance in the world. It's a lot more than that. I mean, you do pretty well if you don't pay taxes for 10 years when you're making millions and millions of dollars."

Romney aide swears at site holy to Polish people

And here we all thought today's gaffe would be Romney telling a Polish joke.  And there's video too, via Jonathan Martin at Politco:
As Romney was walking away from Pilsudski Square toward his vehicle, reporters asked him about his string of gaffes and whether he had any comment for Palestinians, some of whom took offense at the Republican’s suggestion Monday in Jerusalem that Israel’s economy is superior because of cultural advantages Israelis enjoy. Romney ignored the questions and got in his car.

But his traveling press secretary was furious.

“Kiss my *ss; this is a holy site for the Polish people,” said aide Rick Gorka. “Show some respect.”

Gorka then told a reporter to “shove it.”
Guess the pressure has gotten to be a bit too much for Team Romney. Perhaps they should stay at home next time and stick with kindergartens. I understand "My Pet Goat" is a good read.

Romney praises socialized medicine in Israel that includes government mandate

It's socialized medicine that covers everyone in the country. And Romney just praised its amazing ability to keep health care costs down.
"When our health care costs are completely out of control. Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? 8 percent. You spend 8 percent of GDP on health care. And you’re a pretty healthy nation," Romney told donors at a fundraiser at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, speaking of a health care system that is compulsory for Israelis and funded by the government. "We spend 18 percent of our GDP on health care. 10 percentage points more. That gap, that 10 percent cost, let me compare that with the size of our military. Our military budget is 4 percent. Our gap with Israel is 10 points of GDP. We have to find ways, not just to provide health care to more people, but to find ways to finally manage our health care costs."
Well, Mr. Romney, here's how Israel does it - with nationwide government mandated health care.

From The Jewish Daily Forward:
Health care provision in Israel is made through not-for-profit health maintenance organizations. Six months after the Jewish state was established, in 1948, just 53% of the population had HMO insurance. Israel steadily increased its financial contribution to HMOs, making membership more affordable, and in 1973 it obliged employers to pay contributions toward employees’ policies.

But HMOs were still free to turn away people who they regarded as too high-risk, so in 1995, when 4% of the population was uninsured, the government made coverage universal by passing the National Health Insurance Law. It meant that everybody had the right — and obligation — to be covered by one of the country’s four not-for-profit HMOs. Residents of the country pay from income-related contributions collected through the tax system, which cover around 40% of HMOs’ costs. The state pays the remaining 60%.

People are allowed to choose which HMO to join and are allowed to change once a year, but the differences are mostly superficial: By law they are obliged to provide a standardized “basket” of services and medicines, from emergency to preventative. Except for some consultations and tests for which the patient makes a contribution to the cost — usually less than $10 — HMOs transfer funds to clinics, health centers and hospitals to cover all services. There are only a handful of completely private hospitals.
To some degree he can't help himself. His entire campaign is based on a lie - that he's a repugican, let alone a wingnut - so now he keeps speaking the truth, like about health care in Israel, and then finds himself up against his earlier lies.

Romney gets Palestinian GDP per capita wrong

Sure, most Americans don't know what the GDP per capita is in the Palestinian territories. But then again, most Americans are visiting the region as a presidential hopeful who just got scores of briefings on the matter.
Let me put it this way: IF you didn't know what the GDP figures were in the region, you wouldn't be stupid enough to mention them in a speech without double-checking.

Romney's just not ready for prime time, is he. Obama is.

The truth be told

Did you know ...

We're on the verge of another dust bowl

The five things you don't know about food stamps

Here are 14 reasons why this one is worst congress ever

Lush Dimbulb: "We shouldn't remind people on welfare when the election is"

This is the most powerful man in the repugican party.

Why not, they have everything else

Exonerated man charged in shooting

A Florida man who spent more than two decades in prison before he was exonerated of rape and paid more than $1 million has been charged with attempted murder.

Next Scare: Seal Flu?

Deadly Seal Flu Virus Poses Threat To Humans
Seals may have caught a deadly viral strain from birds -- and now humans may be vulnerable. Read more

The EPA was right, meat'll murder you

Not that I don't eat meat.  I love meat.  But with all the recent (and not so recent) news about how red meat can help lead you to an earlier death, I've been trying to cut back on it myself.  I like the idea of living longer.  Not so sold on the idea of dying earlier.
So, the repugicans flipped out at the USDA for urging its employees to celebrate Meatless Mondays.

I'm not surprised.  The repugican party "is" all about special interests, and farming in America is one of the biggest special interests around.  So naturally, the repugican party would yet again find a way to help kill more Americans sooner.  Too bad we don't have a national system to guarantee good health insurance.

Free at last (to talk in a very limited and constrained way about NSA crimes)

Hey, hooray, senators are finally legally allowed to mention the fact that the NSA has been breaking the law and spying on Americans! Freedom!

Egypt president sends 1st letter to Israeli leader

Egypt's new Islamist president has sent his first letter to an Israeli leader, Israel said Tuesday, in which the Egyptian leader expresses his hopes that the Mideast peace process can be restarted and that the "Israeli people" can achieve security.

NY couple, 85, to remarry after 48-year divorce

They got hitched while still in their teens, divorced 20 years later and are getting remarried after nearly a half-century apart.

Obama orders new sanctions on Iran

President Barack Obama is leveling new sanctions on banks in China and Iraq that the White House says have helped Iran evade international sanctions.

Kim Jong-Un Marries Minnie Mouse

Kim Jong-un has long been a fan of Disney. A When he was a little boy, his father, Kim Jon II, had him watch Disney cartoons for hours every day.

Sword-wielding knights rob medieval festival

A gang of thieves dressed as knights and armed with a sword and axe robbed the organizers of a medieval festival in France. The medieval thieves made off with 20,000 euros (£15,600), according to police.
The theft took place in the early hours of Monday as organizers were counting revenues from the festival in Bitche, near France's border with Germany, a spokesman for regional police in Lorraine said.

"According to witnesses, there were three or four individuals, masked and wearing medieval attire," the spokesman said. They struck one of the organizers with the handle of the axe and escaped with the cash.

Police have opened an investigation and interviewed several witnesses, he said. The "Medievales Europeennes de Bitche" is one of France's largest festivals of medieval culture and last year was attended by more than 11,000 people.

Islamists in Mali stone couple to death for having kids out of wedlock

It's not about Islam. It's about any religion, including Mormons, Catholics, and Evangelicals who not only think they own the copyright on God, but who vigorously shove their faith down the throats of non-believers.
I suspect things like this don't happen in America not because the far-right is more humane than the Islamists in Mali, but rather because we have laws against such things and they'd never get away with it here.  Then again, it's not particularly safe in American movie theaters either.

From NYT:
Islamists in control of a town in northern Mali stoned a couple to death after accusing them of having children outside of marriage, a local official who was one of several hundred witnesses to the killings said Monday.

The official said the bearded Islamists, armed with Kalashnikov rifles, brought the couple into the center of the town of Aguelhok from about 12 miles away in the countryside. The young man and woman were forced into holes about four feet deep, with their heads protruding, and then stoned to death at about 5 a.m. Sunday, the official said.

“They put them into the holes, and then they started throwing big rocks, until they were dead,” the official said, speaking by satellite phone from the remote desert town near the Algerian border.

Blackout: 600 million people without electricity after world's biggest ever power cut in India

The outage sparked travel chaos across the country with people evacuated from trains and hundreds of miners getting trapped in a mine.

Retro Photo


by Oscar Van Alphen

Apollo Flags on the Moon Still Standing

Flags at the Olympics may come and go, but there's one U.S. record that remains unchallenged.
 Read more

Apollo Flags on the Moon Still Standing

Warrior King Statue Found in Mediterranean City

The statue dates to 1000 B.C. and depicts a curly-haired man gripping a spear and a sheath of wheat. Read more

Leaning Colosseum of Rome?

Rome's Colosseum is tilting so its south side is 16 inches lower than the north side and may require some reinforcement. Read more
Leaning Colosseum of Rome?

When Rainbows Embrace Global Cities

Surreal Rainbow Over Istanbul
Give your eyes a rest and a reward: photographs of rainbows over cityscapes all over the world. Take note of where the pot of gold in Los Angeles hides! Shown here is a rainbow over Istanbul.
See the rest at Environmental Graffiti.

The Incredible Mountain City Of La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz, whose full name is Nuestra Señora de La Paz, is the administrative capital of Bolivia and the second largest city in the country after after Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Bolivia has two capitals - while the official capital of Bolivia is Sucre and it is the seat of Justice, La Paz has more government departments, hence the 'de facto' capital of the country.

The World That We Normally Do Not Notice

Nice macro photographs of a guy whose nickname is d-a-ck9. More

Random Photo


Victoria Lee for VS

Megalodon the Whale Killer

What better enemy to have than a giant killer shark?  
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Megalodon the Whale Killer: Gotta-See Videos

Presenting the World's Slowest Shark

The Greenland shark is no Ryan Lochte -- thanks to frigid waters, this shark swims at top speeds of only 1.7 miles per hour.
  Greenland shark

Cat triggers 24-hour blackout in Delhi

It was a power cut that seemed never-ending. Several areas in Delhi, India had to endure a power cut that lasted more than 24 hours on Saturday after a cat was electrocuted at the BSES grid station in Kondli and the ensuing fire caused damage to the system.

According to a BSES spokesperson, a cat jumped into the 66-kV Kondli sub-station late on Friday night and was electrocuted by an 11-kV outgoing panel. “The cat must have been wet. When it got electrocuted, some sparks caused a fire that ended up damaging multiple panels. This led to a power cut in the area.”

While the company said changing the damaged panels was a “time consuming process”, power department officials blamed BSES for not making adequate arrangements to back feed the area and make supply power from alternate sources.

“There has been no electricity since late last [Friday] night. Even the inverter stopped working after a couple of hours. The BSES helpline said the supply will resume by noon, but no such thing happened. It has been a horrible day for us,” said a resident of East End Apartment in Mayur Vihar.

Do Spiders Need All Eight Legs?

Why do spiders have so many legs (besides giving us the creeps)? Alain Pasquet and colleagues noticed that more than 1 in 10 spiders caught in the wild are missing one of their eight legs, so they decided to see whether spiders with fewer limbs suffer any disadvantage when it comes to spinning webs:
Based on the findings, the authors propose that spiders have legs that they don’t really need—an advantage when it comes to escaping a predator that’s put the bite on a limb, for example.
Yet there does appear to be a limit to how many legs a spider can lose. In the wild, the team found few spiders missing more than two legs. And in the lab, these five-legged spiders built shoddy webs.

Bigger is better

The male rhinoceros beetle

Does size matter? Is it better to be bigger? This is a question we continuously argue about. The question is ...
Continue Reading

Animal Pictures