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A vampire overslept on this bench this morning

Image cropped for size from the original here.

"Brumation" illustrated

YouTube link. "Brumation is a term used to refer to dormancy of reptiles, which is metabolically somewhat different from mammalian hibernation.

Meet the Denisovans - updated

YouTube link. Bence Viola from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig discovered the tooth fragments together with Russian colleagues in the Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains.


 Photo taken by Tobias Messerli in the Canton of Bern.  Awesome composition.

The ecology of driftwood

Logs the size of telephone poles drift along the shore of the Salish Sea. Erik Hammond turns the wheel of his aluminum skiff and closes in.

The fate of golf balls in the ocean

About 1.2 billion golf balls are manufactured every year, according to a 2017 report in Chemical & Engineering News, and more than half may be lost in the environment.

Coming in November

YouTube link.

Potter wasp

Impressive not just for the "pot" but for the classical "wasp waist."  More info here. Via the NatureIsFuckingLit subreddit.

TMI about wedges

This post will be of interest only to golfers.  I researched it after receiving this message in an email from a local public golf course advertising a preseason sale: These $100 wedges are simply phenomenal and retailed in 2017 for $150.

Which U.S. household do you belong to ?

Golf Carts and Gourmets Colleges and Cafés Modest Metro Means Status-Seeking Singles Footloose and Family-Free Settled and Sensible Diapers and Debit Cards Babies and Bliss Kids and Cabernet Digital Dependents Full Pockets, Empty Nests Town Elders Generational Soup Booming and Consuming Birkenstocks

Dwarf Kingfisher

Via the Pics subreddit.

Neonatal surgery without anaesthesia

In 1986, the world was shocked when reports of infants undergoing major surgery with out anesthesia arose in both the USA and UK.

Cable cars as mass transit

YouTube link. Known as the Mexicable, the 3-mile, $90 million gondola system opened to great fanfare in late 2016, an ambitious effort to improve public transportation in this suburb of more than 1.6 million.

The mystery of the "cotton" in the window frame - updated

The arrival of September at our latitude marks the time when windows closed all summer can be opened to admit cool night air.  As I opened the window on our guest room, I was startled to see a wad of cotton-like material tumble from the upper window frame (above, placed on the concrete driveway for imaging).

Ruby and Rosie

Ruby Loftus Screwing a Breech Ring is a 1943 painting by the British painter Laura Knight depicting a young woman, Ruby Loftus (1921–2004), working at an industrial lathe as part of the British war effort in World War II.

U.S. Electricity demand has been flat for ten years

The chart above shows no increase in electricity sales (the blue line) in the U.S. since 2007 despite a growing economy (GDP upper line).  Discussed at Vox: The US electricity sector is in a period of unprecedented change and turmoil.

Subtypes of Goth - updated

Traditional, Romantic, Cyber, Victorian, Medieval, Vampire, Geek, Gothabilly, Stempunk -- and a dozen more stereotypical variations explained at Blackwaterfall.

The story of the "Broccoli Tree"

YouTube link. Via Neatorama.

Nine familial exterminations

Last evening I finished watching the absolutely superb PBS series The Story of China.  In the final episode, Michael Wood makes reference to an ancient form of extreme punishment: The nine familial exterminations or nine kinship exterminations...

Seasonally-variable fuel efficiency

Data collected over a 2.5 year period and posted at the Data Is Beautiful subreddit, where some of the variables are discussed.