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Return of the Weekend Linkdump


Gotta do this.  Otherwise the links accumulate and multiply like coathangers in the closet. Video of massive numbers of mullets (fish, not hairdos) becoming prey during their annual migration.

I'm shutting down TYWKIWDBI

Not permanently, but for an indefinite time period, probably extending through the holiday season. On Tuesday, shortly after I wrote that last post, I received a phone call informing me that my 95-year-old mother had fallen and injured herself.  Evaluation at the University Hospital here confirmed that she fractured her humerus when she landed on her elbow, driving the shaft into the head at an angle.  She is now stable in an assisted living facility, but this combined with her dementia results in a variety of medical and social needs that require my attention.

"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe."


Archaeologists in Bulgaria have uncovered another "vampire grave" dating to the first half of the 13th century: "The skeleton, thought to be of a man aged between 40 and 50, had a heavy piece of ploughshare – an iron rod, used in a plough – hammered through its chest.

The "drinkable book"

YouTube link. From the outside, "The Drinkable Book" looks like a normal book. It's about an inch or two thick, with 20 pages.

Card manipulation

YouTube link. Not card tricks - just (literally) manipulation of the cards by people you wouldn't want to play poker with.

Black members of Congress


Found at The Washington Post.

The "salmon cannon"

YouTube link. This week John Oliver presented a rather funny send-up of the "salmon cannon."  I think the original deserves to be appreciated in its own right.

The downnside of terraforming

Consider this scenario: A large number of humans have been prenatally genetically modified to live and work in a nonterrestrial location (they require subzero temperatures for comfort, need a different atmospheric gaseous composition, etc).  Then the planet they were destined to live on is vaporized by a supernova; there is no equivalent alternate planet in the known universe.

What constitutes proper subject matter for postage stamps?


A couple weeks ago the Washington Post made note of some turmoil in the stamp collecting community regarding the selection of images to be used on forthcoming commemorative stamps in the United States: As the U.S.

Luxembourg tax shelters exposed

From The Guardian: An unprecedented international investigation into tax deals struck with Luxembourg has uncovered the multi-billion dollar tax secrets of some of the world’s largest multinational corporations.

American plutocracy


A new paper by Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley, and Gabriel Zucman of the London School of Economics suggests that, in America at least, inequality in wealth is approaching record levels...

How the 0.1% spend their money

YouTube link. Sotheby's expects the bidding for this watch to reach $17,000,000.

Photos by Gordon Parks


Parks' resulting work appeared in a 26-photo spread in [Life] magazine. "The Restraints: Open and Hidden" stood out among photography of the era because it used color photos to document the day-to-day impact of Jim Crow segregation on an otherwise anonymous extended family, the Thorntons, rather than focusing on the heroes and flash points of the Civil Rights Movement.

17th century witchmarks


As reported in the International Business Times: Witch markings dating to the 17th Century have been uncovered by archaeologists at a stately home in Kent and are believed to have been created to protect King James following the gunpowder plot of 1605.

Interesting things about chickens

Excerpts from an article in the November issues of Harper's: Before World War I, the majority of eggs came from people keeping a few chickens in their backyards in the suburbs.

Relevant demographics of the mid-term elections


Two graphs from a Washington Post article.  The first shows the age of people who voted in the last ten mid-term elections: The second shows that this trend of an older populace will continue for our lifetimes: A major question is what percent of each cohort will vote in future elections?

So you think you know a lot about music?

For the final exam in this course:  "Define, compare, and contrast five of the following musical genres.  Be specific."  Canterbury scene rock gaucho Lithumania vegan straight edge technical death metal black sludge filthstep deep orgcore fourth world grave wave fidget house shiver pop contemporary

Long-neck beer


Posted at Reddit, where there is a photo of another one:

Fake bomb detectors


Last year The Guardian carried a story about a UK businessman who sold fake bomb detectors to the Iraqis: A jury at the Old Bailey found Jim McCormick, 57, from near Taunton, Somerset, guilty on three counts of fraud over a scam that included the sale of £55m of devices based on a novelty golfball finder to Iraq.

The hands of Jane Seymour


This is a detail from a 1536 portrait of Jane Seymour by Hans Holbein.  Posted not for the hands per se, but rather to marvel at the exquisite detail the painter (or his assistants) incorporated into the depiction of the fabric.


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