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Admirals of the Nebraska Navy

In 1930, Governor Charles W. Bryan went on vacation and left Lieutenant Governor T.W. Metcalfe in charge. In the absence of the governor, Lt. Gov. Metcalfe decided to form the Great Navy of Nebraska.

Nebraska is landlocked. In fact, it's triply landlocked. That means that all states that border it are landlocked, as well as all of the states that border those states. That, of course, does not preclude a nation from forming a navy. Nebraska does, after all, have rivers and lakes.

But Great Navy of Nebraska is not a military organization. It is an honorary society to which the Governor appoints people who have distinguished themselves. Appointees become Admirals (there are no junior ranks) along with a decorative certificate suitable for display. The certificate, which is signed by the Governor, reads:

Know ye, that reposing special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, fidelity and abilities of [name of recipient] and knowing him to be a good fellow and loyal friend and counselor I have nominated and do appoint him an Admiral in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska. He is therefore called to diligently discharge the duties of Admiral by doing and performing all manner of things thereto belonging. And I do strictly charge and require all officers, seamen, tadpoles and goldfish under his command to be obedient to his orders as Admiral--and he is to observe and follow, from time to time, such direction as he shall receive, according to the rules and discipline of the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska. This commission to continue in force during the period of his good behavior, and the pleasure of the Chief Admiral of the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska.

Many Admirals join the Nebraska Admirals Association, which exists to:

To promote education and educational activities throughout the state. 
To promote tourism in the state. 
To promote Nebraska products. 
To enhance Nebraska's agricultural industry. 
To seek and save Nebraska's sea. 
To develop and maintain ports throughout the state. 
To enjoy fun activities such as "walking the plank". 
To build Nebraska pride and esprit de corps. 
To recycle Nebraska's assets. 
To increase the fleet of flagships of the Nebraska Navy.
To continue efforts to have U.S. Naval ships named after Nebraska, its people and places.

Photo: US Air Force/Josh Plueger


The “Uncanny Valley” Phenomenon

With the advancement of technology, humans are able to create artificial agents that are life-like such as robots and computer graphics. However, this can be a double-edged sword. 

Do you ever feel a cringe of creepiness when you see robots that look like humans? Well, you are not alone. The phenomenon behind this feeling is called the Uncanny Valley. Scientists have now identified the brain mechanism behind this phenomenon.

By studying brain patterns of 21 healthy individuals using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers found out that some people are more weirded out by human-like agents than others.

This is the first study to show individual differences in the strength of the Uncanny Valley effect, meaning that some individuals react overly and others less sensitively to human-like artificial agents,” said Prof Astrid Rosenthal-von der Pütten. “This means there is no one robot design that fits—or scares—all users. In my view, smart robot behaviour is of great importance, because users will abandon robots that do not prove to be smart and useful.”

Image: Comfreak/ Pixabay


Heavy Metal Knitting Championship Held In Finland

Some countries host sport tournaments to show off their country’s athletic prowess, but not Finland. Oh no, not the Finns.

They do something much stranger: they held a heavy metal knitting championship.

The world’s first ever  Heavy Metal Knitting Championship was held in Finland last July 2019. In that strange competition, people knitted while heavy metal played. This competition might sound ridiculous to one’s ears, as performer Heather McLaren told the Associated Press:

"I think it's great. And as ridiculous as it is, everybody is behind you and enjoying themselves and everyone is cheering and getting into it. It's ridiculous but it's so much fun. Everyone should do this."

Now that’s something to try out one’s free time, right? Fancy knitting to heavy metal?


The Abuse Inside St. Joseph’s Orphanage

In an edition of Buzzfeed News’ Investigations, senior contributor Christine Kenneally describes the traumatic, dark, and tragic history behind St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Burlington, Vermont. Ran by nuns, this now shut down orphanage has been home to many  children over the years, most of them now living their own lives- with a dark emotional baggage:.

St. Joseph’s in Burlington, Vermont. It had been a dark and terrifying place run by an order of nuns called the Sisters of Providence. Joseph Barquin recalled a girl who was thrown down stairs, and he remembered the thin lines of blood that trickled out of her nose and ear afterward. He saw a little boy shaken into uncomprehending shock. He saw other children beaten over and over.
Some of the women recognized each other not by name but by number: Thirty-two! Fourteen!
Barquin told everyone about the nun taking him into the closet. Roger Barber spoke next. Sally Dale remembered him saying that a nun told a group of older boys to rape him.
Then one woman spoke about how nuns wiped her face in her own vomit, and Sally started to remember that the same thing had happened to her. She could hear the voice of one sister telling her, after she threw up her food, You will not be this stubborn! You will sit and you will eat it.A woman said she’d watched a nun hold a baby by its ankles and swing its head against a table until it stopped crying.

The orphanage has been long shut down, legal action filed turned into settlements - however, the children that survived still live with their dark past haunting over them. Some of them weren’t able to leave the orphanage alive.

image credit : Ian MacLellan for Buzzfeed News


Wine Experts Pick What Rosé You Can Try This Summer

Looking for  drinks with lower alcohol content? A rosé might be the one for you. Known for its pinkish hue, fruitiness, and low alcohol content- this might be your next summer drink. However, with lots to choose from, how does one choose? Don't worry, because The Huffington Post asked wine experts for recommendations :

  1. Château La Mascaronne Quat’ Saisons Côtes de Provence, Wines With Attitude, £17.50
  2. Graham Norton Pink By Design Rosé 2018, Tesco, £7.50
  3. 2018 Rosamati IGT, Fattoria Le Pupille, Tuscany, Armit Wines, £21.50
  4. Domaine Thibert’s Coteaux Bourguignons Rosé, Wines With Attitude, £17
  5. Greyfriars Vineyard 2018 Rosé, Greyfriars, £13.50

Enjoy your summer with your glass (or glasses, no one is here to judge) of rosé!

image credit : via The Huffington Post


What Is The World’s Most Vertical City?

Vertical city, as the name implies, look vertical. This kind of cities focus mainly on accommodating large populations on a small piece of land. Characterized by high rise structures, a lot of cities in the world today can be classified as a vertical cities.

With the rise of vertical cities all across the globe, our curiosity is piqued: what is the world’s most vertical city? The answer to this, is currently open to debate - with a lot of different standards to consider. The Guardian details some potential candidates for the title of Most Vertical City in the World:

According to building data research company Emporis, Seoul in South Korea has more high-rise buildings, with 16,359. Emporis defines a high-rise as a building at least 35m, or 12 storeys tall. In second place is Moscow, Russia, with 12,317 high-rises, followed by Hong Kong in third place, with 7,913.
When it comes to the world’s tallest buildings, Hong Kong doesn’t even make the top 10. Dubai’s Burj Khalifa takes top spot, at 828m. Dubai has 50 skyscrapers under construction, more than any other city. These include the 1,300m-tall Dubai Creek Tower, expected to be completed in 2020 and will be the tallest structure ever built.

image credit : Sungjin Kim/Getty via The Guardian

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