Cardellino says that the egg was both "edible and delicious." More importantly, we've all learned an essential survival skill that could mean the difference between life and death if we're ever besieged by zombies in a hair salon.
Imagine your address as not, say, 750 Bel Air Road, Bel Air, California, but instead block.horse.happy.
It could be if the founders of the app what3words are successful. Their system divides the entire world into 57 trillion 9-square meter areas. It assigns 3 random words to each section. The sequences are unique for all 57 trillion sections. April Joyner describes it at The Week:
An algorithm generates each three-word phrase. It filters out profanity, avoids homophones to reduce the chances for mistakes when an address is spoken (hear vs. here), and safeguards for slip-ups with singular and plural words. If you accidentally type engine.door.cubs instead of engine.doors.cubs, you'll get a location halfway around the world — your mistake should be obvious.
what3words co-founder Chris Sheldrick says that the system is already in use:
It's key that the three-word phrases are easy to memorize, because many of the people who are served by what3words' system don't have a smartphone to look them up. Instead, Sheldrick says, once they've been given their address by an aid worker, or a neighbor who has a smartphone on hand, they can simply make note of the phrase for future reference. He gives the example of Rocinha, a slum in Rio de Janeiro, where residents are beginning to use what3words as an alternate address system to receive mail.
A group of industrial design students at California State University in Long Beach wanted to develop a people-powered means to transport gear over short distances. Bicycles are too big and cumbersome, so they invented the Nimble: a kick scooter with a cargo platform.
The Nimble comes with a removable basket for loose items and a sturdy rack for larger objects. There's a kickstand to help it stay upright. You can see more photos at Core 77.
What's really important for women to look for when searching for a man to marry? The most popular and growing characteristics are mutual attraction, dependable character, and maturity.
Chastity used to be important, but that's taken a nosedive since 1939, as did housekeeping skills and neatness.
Max Roser, an economist, recently created a series of charts to illustrate a study published in 2008 about what men and women look for in a spouses, and how these values have changed over time. It's explored in depth at the Washington Post.
We've looked at what women want. Let's check in with the men. The above chart shows that men increasingly search for mutual attraction. There were also sharp increases in the importance of good looks and sociability.
The importance of chastity plummeted over the intervening 69 years. Emotional stability, though, is still very important.
Paglia was recently interviewed by Tyler Cowen, an economist and polymath. In that conversation, Cowen asked Paglia about a line she had written about her intellectual development during the 1970s. While other people had psychedelic experiences from LSD and other drugs, she was eating Indian food. Specifically, she ate lamb vindaloo to open her mind. She explains to Cowen:
COWEN: You once wrote, I quote, “My substitute for LSD was Indian food,” and by that, you meant lamb vindaloo.
COWEN: You stand by this.
PAGLIA: Yes, I’ve been in a rut on lamb vindaloo.
COWEN: A rut, tell us.
PAGLIA: It’s a horrible rut.
COWEN: It’s not a horrible rut, it may be a rut.
PAGLIA: No, it’s a horrible rut. It’s a 40-year rut. Every time I go to an Indian restaurant, I say “Now, I’m going to try something new.” But, no, I must go back to the lamb vindaloo.
All I know is it’s like an ecstasy for me, the lamb vindaloo.
COWEN: Like De Quincey, tell us, what are the effects of lamb vindaloo?
PAGLIA: What can I say? I attain nirvana.
Good Indian food will do that.
You can read or watch the rest of their conversation here, which includes Paglia's thoughts on the movies Ben-Hur and Star Wars Episode III.
What lies in your baby's future? He can't think beyond the present, so do your parental duty and read out his horoscope. Cartoonist Jim Benton has helpful scanned the stars and made mystical calculations for the next week.
Whenever Greg Baskwell needs a helping paw, he can count on Finley. Finley will do anything to contribute. Need to wash the car? Finley is there. Need a helicopter landing pad? Count on Finley. Need bail money? You're on your own. Sorry, but there are limits.
Fifteen years ago, when Mike and Angela Hovak Johnson of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada got married, they ate food from Kentucky Fried Chicken. Since that time, they've always celebrated their anniversary by eating at KFC.
Then the local Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant shut down.
Mike Johnson didn't see that a a problem. He and his son drove to the nearest KFC in High Level, Alberta, ordered 15 buckets of chicken, then drove back. The trip was 870 miles long. That's a long way, but it's how the couple keeps their relationship fresh and crispy. CBC News reports:
"This year was the most difficult one to plan," said Angela. "But my husband didn't hesitate. He wanted to drive all the way to…
"High Level," said Mike, finishing her sentence. "So during March break, me and my son got up early one morning, drove 700 kilometres, picked up 15 buckets of KFC and drove 700 kilometres back — in one day."
According to Mike, his unusual to-go order got him a bit of a weird look in High Level, Alta.
"When I ordered 15 buckets, they said: 'uh, it might take a little while,'" he said. "I said: 'no problem,' so they cooked it up right away."
Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Austin, Texas is named after the famous Confederate general with that name. As the Confederate States of America was founded for the explicit purpose of preserving slavery, many people think that it is inappropriate to keep Lee Elementary's name. The school board has voted to rename the school and has asked the public for suggestions.
Among the potential new names are Donald J. Trump Elementary, Harper Lee Elementary, and Schoolie McSchoolface--a reference to the British ship that was to be named Boaty McBoatface.
Jaime Primak Sullivan wants her three young children to learn good manners. So when they didn't thank a Dairy Queen server for giving them ice cream, she threw it in the trash. She writes on Facebook:
The young lady (maybe 17) handed each child their ice cream. Not one looked her in the eye. Not one said thank you. Not to her, not to me... So I waited. I counted to 10
in my head as they dug into their ice cream and the young lady just looked at me (probably because she thought I was hearing voices) and I watched as my children strolled out the door. I followed them outside where I calmly collected their ice creams and my kids watched in horror as I deposited them into the nearby garbage can. All 3 launched into mass hysteria. I waited. Quiet. Calm. When they realized I had something to say, they quieted down.
I explained that one day, if they were lucky, they would work a job like that young lady. And I would hope that people would see them. Really see them. Look them in the eye and say thank you. We are too old at 8/7/5 to move through our days without exercising manners and honestly basic human decency.
So today, I am the meanest mom in the world.
Sullivan's post has gone viral, gaining 49,000 shares so far. Some commenters think that she did exactly the right thing, giving her kids some tough love about being polite. But Ronda Robinson at PJ Media disagrees:
Good parenting does not include setting your children up to fail or engaging in public humiliation. Punishment should be reserved for crimes. It shouldn't be a punishable offense to not say "thank you" or to fail "see" a teenager behind the ice cream counter. These are traits of childish behavior at best, or failed parenting skills at worst, depending on the children.
When your package has to get to someone immediately, call the Royal Norwegian Air Force.
The patient in the town of Bodø was dying. Doctors needed to perform a specialized procedure to save his life, yet they didn't have the necessary equipment to do it. But a hospital in Trondheim, 280 miles away, did have that equipment.
Hospital officials in Trodheim went to the nearby Air Force base. The Guardian reports that the officers there didn't hesitate and immediately fired up an F-16 fighter jet:
“They didn’t ask any questions, except for what size the machine was,” Anders Wetting Carlsen, chief doctor at Trondheim’s Saint Olaf hospital, told AFP.
In a further stroke of good luck, one of the fighter jets was equipped with an external hold that allowed it to transport equipment. The machine was loaded on to the aircraft, which made for Bodø at top speed.
The trip normally takes 35 minutes. But the pilot pushed hard and got there in just 25 minutes. This quick delivery saved the patient's life.
This is PuiPui, a Holland Lop and celebrity in the rabbit world. He's a fashion model without equal, dressing in only the most perfecty designed and crafted outfits. Whatever PuiPui wears is guaranteed to be the new look, so pay close attention.
This is Poldi, a pet owl. He's just one and a half years old.
Poldi lives with Tanya Brandt, a photographer. Recently, when Poldi and Brandt went out together, it started to train. Poldi sought shelter under a mushroom. The resulting photo is like something out of a fantasy movie!
You can see more photos of Poldi at play at Bored Panda.
This surgery reduced her ability to enjoy dancing. She couldn't dance en pointe--that is, on tip toes--until she got a custom prosthetic leg. This prosthetic slips over her right leg. When she flexes her ankle, it acts as her knee. Now 14, Gabi is back dancing, cheerleading, and inspiring others to overcome their challenges.
Brooklyn Andracke gets very excited when the garbage truck rolls through her neighborhood. It's a chance to meet the driver and her friend, Delvar Dopson. They wave at each other and Dopson honks the powerful horn on his truck.
So when Brooklyn had her third birthday party, she saved a cupcake for Dopson. Brooklyn's mother writes on Facebook:
Brooklyn and I wrapped up one of her birthday cupcakes and waited for him. When he came down our street, she ran to the corner. We were waving like usual and I motioned for him to come over by us. He pulled over, got out and gave us his BIG smile. Brooklyn was instantly speechless as she handed him the cupcake. I explained to him that he makes our day every Thursday, and we really appreciate the honking and waving, and how special of a day it is for us.
Then... (melt my heart)... he explained that he looks forward to seeing us every Thursday as well. He said that he has a meeting every Thursday morning and always tries to get out of there in a hurry so that he can make sure to see us every week. He said he doesn't have any kids of his own, but he mentors several children and just loves them. I can't believe that I never got his name, so for now he will continue to be "our favorite awesome smiley garbage man".
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele of the famous comedy duo Key & Peele bring us this promotional video for their new movie Keanu. The roughest, toughest, most muscle-bound and tatted thugs face off against the cutest kittens in a staring contest. Who will prevail?
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rims at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen? Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come; make her laugh at that.
For example, there’s John Reed, who worked as a stagehand at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia in the 19th century. As the theater’s website explains, he stated in his will that he “wanted his skull separated from his body, duly prepared, and used to represent the skull of Yorrick in Hamlet. His wish was granted, and the skull is signed by many famous actors of the day who performed in Shakespeare’s play.” Macy Halford in the 2009 article “Skullduggery” for the New Yorker, noted that another man named Juan Potomachi in 1955 “promised two hundred thousand pesos to the Teatro Dramático in Buenos Aires, on the condition that his skull be used as Yorick in any future productions of Hamlet,” a proposition that was apparently accepted.
Hannah, the Domestic Gothess, made these simply perfect eclairs with a toasted marshmallow cream filling. She dipped the tops in melted chocolate, then added gourmet marshmallows. For a special treat, she covered the tops with craquelin, which is a type of French pastry dough. This give her s'more eclairs an extra crunch and sweetness. You can find her full recipe here.
Rocket News 24 tells us about English Vocabulary Not on Any Test. This is a new guide for native Japanese speakers who would like to learn English as it is actually used in conversation in the Anglosphere. The book describes ordinary people in daily activities, using both English and Japanese. You can view more pages here. They are, I cannot understate, extraordinarily funny.
This is Will You Be Here Tomorrow?, a 1994 workplace safety video sold by the United Safety Council. It imagines the worst case scenarios for industrial and warehousing jobs. It is extraordinarily blunt, using somewhat subpar visual effects to illustrate nails being driven into eyeballs, severed limbs, crushed skulls, and, at the 2:10 mark, a acetylene tank turned into a missile.
I worked in a warehouse to put myself through graduate school. It was filled with sleep-deprived people driving 13,000-pound forklifts as fast as they could to make impossible production quotas. It's amazing that people weren't killed there every day. Perhaps it's funny, but I could also see this safety video making an effective impression on workers.
Circu is a Portugese company that makes "magical furniture" with a creative flair. The whole catalog is worth exploring. There you can see sofas that look like hot air balloons and chairs that look like rockets. They're fantastic starting points for imaginative play.
Sgt. Joseph Serna of the US Army Special Forces served 3 combat tours in Afghanistan. He had a very rough time there, experiencing the full horrors of war.
When Serna got out of the Army, he took those horrors with him.
Serna was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He got probation and entered a treatment program. He had to regularly report to the court on his treatment. During one of those court appearances, he confessed to Judge Lou Olivera that he had lied about a recent urine test.
Judge Olivera was himself a veteran, having served during the Gulf War. He understood that though Serna had broken the law, he was not a criminal by nature.
But he had to do his duty, so Judge Olivera sentenced Serna to spent 24 hours in jail. Then he took off his robe and joined Serna in his cell for the full 24 hours. The Fayetteville Observer reports:
"Where are we going, judge?" Serna asked.
"We're going to turn ourselves in," Olivera said.
"He said he was going to stay with me," Serna said. "I couldn't process a judge being my cellmate.
"They take me to the cell, and I'm sitting on my bunk. And, then, in walks the judge.
And then the two veterans talked:
Mostly, from five in the afternoon on April 13 until 6:30 a.m. the next day, the judge and the veteran talked about their respective military service, Serna's post-traumatic stress disorder from three tours of duty in Afghanistan and how the inmate could turn around his downward spiral that had resulted in a driving-while-impaired charge and other serious traffic offenses. […]
"We talked for hours about our families and our military service," Olivera says. "Our dreams for us and our families, and the road to take us there."
The judge wanted to help Serna climb out of the hole:
"I thought about a story that I once read," Olivera says. "It talked about a soldier with PTSD in a hole," he says. "A family member, a therapist and a friend all throw down a rope to help the veteran suffering. Finally, a fellow veteran climbs into the hole with him.
"The soldier suffering with PTSD asks, 'Why are you down here?' The fellow veteran replied, 'I am here to climb out with you.'
When European explorers wandered the most remote regions of the world, they brought back stories of strange creatures. One of those stories was of a bizarre hybrid animal from Australia that appeared to be part bird, part mammal, and had venomous spurs.
The platypus was just made-up, like unicorns and dragons, right? Natalie Zarrelli writes at Atlas Obscura:
In his laboratory study in 1799, biologist George Shaw stared down at his new specimen in disbelief. The creature from the colony of New South Wales came preserved in pungent alcohol, and he carefully snipped the thick, brown pelt around the creature’s beak, sure he would soon reveal the stitches where an expert taxidermist had fused the bird and beast together. It was like nothing he had seen before: the creature had the body of a furry brown cat, four short legs and sharp claws over webbed feet; the tail of a beaver, but the beak of a duck.
Shaw had met his first platypus, and did not for a moment believe it was possibly real.
Despite the preserved specimens returning from Australia, many scientists continued to believe that the platypus was a hoax. Some suspected that it was an accident of nature brought about by breeding between species. It would be a century before they definitely confirmed that the platypus was indeed real and, in fact, a mammal:
In the late 1800s, Scottish zoologist William Hay Caldwell finally managed to dissect fresh platypus eggs and confirmed once and for all that the animal did in fact lay them, though the embryos partially developed inside the platypus’s body, which also nursed its young. The platypus was classified as a mammal—one of five that are known to lay eggs, in the order Monotremata.
Routine infant circumcision used to be the norm in the United States. In the 1960s, about 83% of newborn boys were circumcised. That's fallen to about 24% as of two years ago.
One of the arguments against infant circumcision (and the practice in general) is that removing the foreskin reduces the sexual sensitivity of the penis. It thus directly impacts the pleasure of sex for men.
But now a study of men who were circumcised as babies finds that circumcision does not lead to significantly reduced penile sensitivity. Nicholas Bakalar writes for the New York Times:
The scientists tested the men for tactile and heat sensitivity of the penis at four points: the midline shaft, the area next to the midline, the glans and, for the uncircumcised, the foreskin. As a control, they also tested a site on the inside of the forearm.
Uncircumcised and circumcised men did not differ in sensitivity to touch or temperature at any of the four sites tested, and sensitivity at the forearm was lower than any penile site for both groups. [...]
“Neonatal circumcision doesn’t make the penis less sensitive,” said a co-author of the study, Caroline F. Pukall, a professor of psychology at Queen’s University in Ontario. “We can conclude that there are no significant differences in sensitivity between the circumcised and uncircumcised groups.”
What do you need to complete your look before heading out for that first date? Perhaps it's a fez that looks like the TARDIS because fezes are cool. Or maybe it's BB-8 top hat or a Wonder Woman crush cap. Whatever your fancy and your fanbase, the Etsy shop The Blonde Swan can accomodate you. It makes leather and felt caps for a vast variety of interests and fashions.
The Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus) is not only Africa’s largest lizard but also one of the continent’s most voracious predators (3). Stout-bodied and powerful, this formidable reptile has an elongated snake-like head, sharp claws, and a long, compressed tail which it uses to great effect when under threat (3) (4) (5).
These dangerous predators can grow up to 2 meters long. So, naturally, people want to keep them as pets.
Wildlife experts in the United States are worried. They're looking at Florida, the Australia of America, which is already packed with animals that want to kill you, including alligators, snakes, and spiders. It's also the adopted home of many invasive species, such as cane toads and Burmese pythons.
Florida is prime real estate for invasive reptiles and amphibians. And pet Nile monitors, should they ever escape or be set free by terrified owners, would like the place. Then they could sweep across the United States. Ed Yong of The Atlantic talked to biology doctoral student Stephanie Dowell:
It can survive through the cold and frosty winters of southern Africa by hibernating. If it got into the U.S., Dowell’s simulations predict that it could make itself comfortable across the eastern and western seaboards, especially if the climate continues to warm.
“If, for example, we decided to crack down on the trade in West Africa, and the exploitation shifted to south Africa, that lineage could spread very quickly,” says Hekkala. “Its invasiveness is much greater. It is so pre-adapted to the North American climate that it could spread almost to Chicago, even without climate change.”