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Christina's World (Andrew Wyeth, 1948)


Image via the Museum of Modern Art.  Text from an article in Mental Floss: The 31-year-old Wyeth modeled the painting's frail-looking brunette after his neighbor in South Cushing, Maine.

Famous poliomyelitis survivors

Wikipedia has an extensive list, from which I've extracted some of the names I recognize: Alan Alda born 1936 An actor most famous for his role as Hawkeye Pierce in the television series M*A*S*H.

Van Gogh's ear


The Art Newspaper reports on an Amsterdam exhibition about Vincent van Gogh’s medical problems: The exhibition also reveals new evidence discovered by the writer Bernadette Murphy, as revealed in her book Van Gogh’s Ear: The True Story (Chatto & Windus).

How to blow a cow

I learned about this subject matter from a recent podcast of No Such Thing as a Fish: Cow blowing, Kuhblasen, phooka, or doom dev, is a process used in many countries according to ethnographers, in which forceful blowing of air into a cow's vagina (or sometimes anus) is applied to induce her to produce more milk.

Hillary Clinton channels Richard Nixon

An article written several months ago in Salon describes Hillary Clinton as being ideologically closer to Nixon than Donald Trump is: Part of the problem is definitional and historical, and maybe even epistemological.

"Trump that bitch"


From a story in the Washington Post: As thousands of Donald Trump supporters streamed out of an evening rally here this week, they walked past a handful of vendors from Ohio selling simple white T-shirts featuring Hillary Clinton, Monica Lewinsky and a vulgar joke.

"Ancient bottom wipers"


After writing posts about politics, it seems appropriate to consider the topic of "bottom wipers." Some bamboo sticks with scraps of grimy cloth wound around them have been identified as bottom wipers from a latrine pit in a 2,000-year-old Chinese relay station on the Silk Road.

Mike Pence: "Smoking doesn't kill"


"Time for a quick reality check.  Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn't kill.  In fact 2 out of every three smokers does not die from a smoking related illness, and 9 out of ten smokers do not contract lung cancer..." 

Monitoring the upcoming election via electoral votes


Personally,  I'm sick and tired of American politics.  Sick and tired of the way it is conducted, and sick and tired of reading about it.

Timgad - a Roman colony in Algeria


Photo via the Pics subreddit.

Grandmothers as wedding flower girls


What a nice idea. The bride Maggie Wakefield, 22, explained that she and her groom wanted to do something special for their grandmothers, who both influenced their lives.

How to catch sea turtle egg poachers

"A conservation group has created 3D printed sea turtle eggs containing GPS trackers. The eggs are set to be deployed this fall in Central America during an arribada, or mass nesting event when 90 percent of eggs will be poached from certain beaches...

Be careful if you clean your barbecue grill witih a wire brush


"When Deborah Zvosec fished around in her mouth during dinner and pulled out a small grill brush bristle one recent evening, there was a terrifying moment around the table as her two guests looked down and found their own metal fibers sticking to the chicken and potatoes...

That apple you just bought in a grocery store is a year old

YouTube link. TL;DR viewers will probably want to speed-browse through the 5-minute video, but the concept is important.

Millenials are not afraid of socialism

A recent Reason-Rupe survey found that a majority of Americans under 30 have a more favorable view of socialism than of capitalism.

Kudos to this Wisconsin sausage maker


Jose Moreno had serious concerns when he arrived for work on May 15. He and his wife just had a baby and now his job appeared in jeopardy after an early morning fire destroyed the Johnsonville Sausage factory here where Moreno had worked for the past eight years.

I seem to have entered the "dying role"

An excerpt from Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End,  by Atul Gawand: Technological society has forgotten what scholars call the “dying role” and its importance to people as life approaches its end.

Half the population of Mongolia


"The population of Mongolia is just under 3 million. The northernmost dot is the city of Ulaanbaatar, with a population of over 1.3 million.

How tennis balls are manufactured

YouTube link. There is something mesmerizing about watching machinery in a video.

Melania Trump channels Michelle Obama

YouTube link. A mashup compiled by CNN.  This has gotten so much coverage in the media that I'll defer comments and close the post to comments.


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