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An Astronomy Photo of the Day from last year, explained as follows: Why would the sky look like a giant fan?

Sign of the times

Credit to the Memphis Public Library, via the Funny subreddit.


I have probably never before reposted anything from another source in toto here.  My policy is to excerpt and refer the reader to the source material.  I'll make an exception today in order to transcribe the totality of an item in the January 22 issue of Harper's Magazine.  The information presented is not new - all of it has been published in readily available sources and most of it is well-known to the American (and world) public.  But the compact and comprehensive presentation here is just overwhelming.

First humans in North America

One of the most popular posts in the history of TYWKIWDBI was "New evidence supports/denies the "Solutrean hypothesis" (30,000 views,  over 100 comments).   We'll revisit the topic now with excerpts from a report in Science News Journal: Until now, it was believed that the earliest settlement date of North America was 14,000 years ago.

"Mechanically stabilized earth" is more interesting than it sounds

YouTube link.


Perfect.  Credit to Tom Janssen at, via Jobsanger.

A possible way to stop Donald Trump on Friday

It's worth a try... From the archives of The New Yorker.

Record low water levels in Venice

As Venice works on the €5.4 billion 'Mose' floodgate to counteract the eventual effects of rising sea levels, they face an interim problem of record low water levels.

Very interesting construction - updated

This photograph was in "Death on the Hippie Trail," about events in rural parts of India and Nepal.  What most interested me was the structure the boys are leaning against (click photo for larger image).

Nose in a book

From the archives of The New Yorker.

Kate McCormick (1854-1875)

Kate McCormick Seduced and pregnant by her father's friend Unwed, she died from abortion, her only choice.

Why books sometimes have blank pages at the front or back

Two explanations from the Explain Like I'm Five subreddit: "Imagine I took a standard piece of paper.

Ransomware taken to the next level

Krebs on Security reports that now paying ransom to cybercriminals does not ensure that the database will be restored: Tens of thousands of personal and possibly proprietary databases that were left accessible to the public online have just been wiped from the Internet, replaced with ransom notes demanding payment for the return of the files.

Modifying public streets to assist the visually impaired

YouTube link. Via Neatorama.

Scary photo of an Indian tea plantation

Don't know why it's scary?  More info here. Photo via the Pics subreddit, cropped for emphasis.

Arab and Berber pirates abducted and enslaved Icelanders

Events from the 17th century that are generally not known, and do not enter discussions of the history of slavery: In 1627 Barbary corsairs from Algiers and Salé descended on Iceland in two separate raids, taking around 400–900 prisoners (Iceland's population at the time has been estimated to have been about 60,000).

The Weather Channel calls out Breitbart

YouTube link. "Earth is not cooling, climate change Is real and please stop using our video to mislead Americans.

Save the date: 2022

That's when a new star will rise in the east and dominate the sky.  This is the result of a collision of two stars that happened 1800 years ago.

Recycling wind turbine blades

It's not easy - Unfortunately, one of the largest components of a wind turbine —the blades— are completely unrecyclable.

Martin Luther King's "street sweeper" speech

YouTube link.