14 January 2018

Divertimento #144

Bet you can't guess what kind of creature this is in the first ten seconds.  (pine trees in foreground the best clue).

In ten seconds this gentleman illustrates all you need to know about black ice.

Recreation in Rotorua (click the fullscreen icon)

Spinning triple-kick.

Sibling prank.

Illustrating a lack of situational awareness.

Graphic illustration of Pythagorean theorem.

Sandbag-filling machine.

Flying with your family.

Gaussian distribution.

That thing on your leg is called a jumping cactus.  I'll get it off for you.

Office velociraptor.

Tiled access panel.

Trampoline fun.

Incorporating a shadow into graphic design.

Failure to factor in backward movement of the chair.

I wouldn't be eager to eat this pizza, but he's fun to watch.

Australian driver pulls to the side of the road?


Children

Child discovers antigravity.

Child loves his Christmas present.

Hearing-impaired girl learns she's going to become a big sister.

The pure joy of stacking blocks.

Shoveling snow on the deck :-)

Toddler and kitten.


Cats, dogs and other animals.

Nope.  Nope.

Lovin' the beach.

Likes the view.

Making a snow angel.

Carpet snake!!!

Get a cat, they said.  It'll be fun, they said.

Group snuggle.

Shower for a pet bird.

Ski dog totally loves his job.

Rooster hurries to meet his little girl.

If this is a quick brown fox, what does that make her?


Not much time to blog today (very important football game this afternoon); perhaps I'll add pix later.  Gotta go.

Countershading


Superb example of countershading on a Southern right whale dolphin

Photo source.

13 January 2018

Severed foot in the Garden of Earthly Delights


It has been almost two years since I've been able to add any material to the 29 posts in TYWKIWDBI's category of severed feet.   So, a tip of my blogging cap to Miss Cellania at Neatorama, who found one in Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights.

A quick search led me to a claim that "the severed foot is one of the most repeated in the Bosch's panel paintings, appearing in several works, as in the Garden of Delights and in the central panel of the Temptation of St Anthony triptych in Lisbon." Although this is offered as support for the premise that Bosch was depicting sequelae of ergot poisoning, the one pictured above appears to me to be traumatically severed, not withered by occlusive vasculitis.

And speaking of severed feet, by an improbable coincidence, the Washington Post is reporting this week that severed feet continue to wash ashore in the Pacific Northwest.  Those were the odd events that prompted me to create this category for TYWKIWDBI back in 2008.
Sixteen of these detached human feet have been found since 2007 in British Columbia, Canada, and Washington state. Most of these have been right feet. All of them have worn running shoes or hiking boots. Among them: three New Balances, two Nikes and an Ozark Trail.

The most recent one turned up earlier this week.
More information and a video at the link, but no explanation for the phenomenon.

Reposted from 2016 to provide some addenda:
I continue to encounter the odd report of severed feet (and longtime readers occasionally send me links of such incidents).  Rather than put new reports on the front page of the blog, I'm going to convert this post into a linkdump.

Via Nothing to do with Arbroath:
"Three severed human feet found in and around a park are likely to have been educational medical exhibits or from a private collection, an investigation has concluded. The first foot was found by dog walkers in Weston Park East Bath, Somerset, in February. A second was discovered in the garden of a property in Weston Park in July and a third in a garden in nearby Cranwells Park a month later. Avon and Somerset Police said they found no evidence of foul play..."
 A website that sells severed animal feet (dried, salted, or preserved in alcohol).

Severed feet as a theme for Cake Wrecks.

At Rio's 2016 summer Olympics: "A beach goer Wednesday discovered human body parts that had washed up on the shore, right in front of the Olympic Beach Volleyball Arena on Rio's famed Copacabana beach. A dismembered foot and another body part still unidentified was found..."

"The freelance journalist told the Bath Chronicle: "It was just like CSI. There were a few of us out walking our dogs and then a lady came running over to find us and said there's a foot in the hedge."

"The Sonoma County coroner's office is investigating a foot in a shoe that washed ashore at Doran Regional Park south of Bodega Bay" (Feb 2017)

"After a shoe with a human foot inside turned up on a dock in Charleston, South Carolina, investigators are trying to figure out whose it was and how it got there." (May 2017)

A severed foot in a tennis shoe was discovered in a county park in St. Louis, Missouri.  The park was adjacent to the Mississippi River, so it could have come from an aquatic incident.

A tip of the blogging cap to long-time readers Phil and Bub, who remembered this series of posts and sent me a link about yet another foot washing ashore in Canada (13 since 2007...).  This one was remarkable for having the tibia and fibula still attached (photo at right).

I was pleased to see in Neatorama today a link to a Wikipedia page that provides comprehensive coverage of this topic (at least as it relates to the Pacific Northwest.).

Optimal car routes


Not of any practical use, but quite interesting in and of itself.

Via the Data Is Beautiful subreddit.

The rivers of Wales


Via the Map Porn subreddit.

"Water transfer painting"


TMI (14 minutes), so you'll need to skip through the video.  The technique facilitates the transfer of detailed images onto complex surfaces.  Interesting.

Computer-generated waterfall images

In case you were curious what an "arm vagina" is

From an op-ed in The Guardian:
It’s hard for women to keep track of which specific body part is currently being shamed to death, when it seems to be open season on all of them. But even by the demented standards of female self-flagellation, the emergence of “arm vagina” – aka the slight fold of flesh created where the average arm meets the average body – is a low point.

If you’re reading this in a public place and unable immediately to check whether you have arm vagina, then let me help; you almost certainly do. Everyone does. It’s basically a normal human armpit, which tends to involve some spare capacity in the flesh department, what with it being difficult to raise your arm otherwise.

But in Hollywood, having a freakishly fat-free underarm, as taut and smooth as a plastic Barbie doll’s, is apparently the new goal...

From size zero to the “thigh gap”, or having legs so stick thin they don’t touch in the middle, today’s freaky A-list neurosis so easily becomes tomorrow’s fitness blogger’s goal, and next week’s impossible aspiration for your daughter. This stuff is infectious, and it stops being a frivolous issue when over half of British teenage girls say they’re unhappy with their looks, and when a smaller but still heartbreaking number feel driven to starve and punish the flesh that they have begun to see as repulsive.

Somehow we need to get across to girls that this is bonkers, unreal, insane: twisted norms that have nothing to do with their own lives or with the boys they will encounter...
Sample pic here.

Fifteen children age 17 or under


 And what's truly remarkable is that none of them were multiples -


The New York Times story said the father won a prize.  Seems the prize should have been awarded to the mother.

Reminiscent of a Monty Python sketch.

Via BoingBoing.

12 January 2018

Marble run with magnets


Reposted from 2016 to add this awesome marble run choreographed to music:


With a hat tip to Miss C at Neatorama.

I wish Earth had rings


Stay with the video past the 1 minute mark to see how the rings would look from the surface.

Reposted from 2012 because it's still a cool video (I hadn't thought about the rings lighting up the nighttime sky).  It's low-res but still looks pretty good in the fullscreen mode.

Dramatic ice deposits on Mars

The slope rises as high as London's Big Ben tower. Beneath its ruddy layer of dirt is a sheet of ice 300 feet thick that gives the landscape a blue-black hue... Planetary scientists located eight of these geological features, called scarps, on the Red Planet...

Open University's Matt Balme, a planetary scientist in Britain who did not participate in this study, said the key findings were the color images of a bluish tint. That indicates a sub-layer that is “somehow compositionally different” than the red dirt. It is unlikely that the frozen sheets are a mix of water and soil. “If the conclusions of the paper are correct,” he said, “you’re looking at something that's almost pure ice.”

The scarps exist along the planet's middle latitudes, ruling out glaciers that migrated from the poles. The study authors propose that these ice sheets formed when thick snows blanketed Mars.
More at The Washington Post.

Pigs vs. dogs as truffle-hunters

"According to the few truffle hunters I’ve talked to, sows are actually better truffle hunters than dogs, but dogs can be more easily trained not to eat the truffle they find. Prodan told me the reason for porcine superiority is that the truffle contains the steroidal pheromone androstenone, which also happens to be produced in the saliva of male pigs. Thus, female pigs, particularly when they’re in heat, go hog-wild when they pick up the scent of a truffle."
More at the BBC.

Introducing the "pelican spider"



As explained by Smithsonian:
Formally known as Archaeids, the creatures are perhaps best described by their common name: “pelican spiders.” Each spider in this group boasts an extended, arching carapace and two extra-long mouthparts (called chelicerae), creating the illusion of a “neck” and “beak.” The resemblance to pelicans is uncanny.
They live in Madagascar and eat other spiders.  And as the "Archaeid" family name suggests, this is an ancient lineage, probably dating back 180 million years to before Madagascar was an island.  More at the link.

09 January 2018

Divertimento #143


I let my boyfriend choose a shower curtain and now we have this.

A list of the longest plays in NFL history.  In 2016 the longest was 141 yards run by Odell Beckham on a 4-yard punt return.   There is also a list of the fastest ball carriers.  And the longest tackles and fastest sacks.

A lake trout caught in Lake Superior is at least 46 years old.  "... the fish has been tagged eight times in the past four decades."  It was tagged again and released.

"Mikayla Holmgren made history this weekend when she became the first woman with Down Syndrome to compete in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, and as far as pageant officials know, the first in the country."

A brief anecdote about interacting with small children.

"Police say two people were accidentally shot at a church in Tellico Plains Thursday afternoon during a discussion about the recent church shooting in Texas."

Airless bicycle tires.

"A pair of Queensland paramedics made a detour to the beach for a palliative care patient who wanted to see the ocean again. The unidentified patient was being transported to the palliative care unit of a local hospital when she mentioned her desire to see the beach. The paramedics decided to take a detour to the hospital, propping the patient up in the stretcher so she could see the ocean stretching out from  Hervey Bay."

Fire pit made from an old clothes washing machine.


"Between 1,200 to 1,400 calls are made every year to the [Mackinac] bridge's Drivers Assistance Program that provides motorists with a crew member to drive them across if they're too afraid to drive themselves."

Coyote climbs a tree to eat the fruit.

Mind-boggling photos of landfills.

"Calculated destruction" as a police tactic.

"A pair of amateur explorers in Canada have found a vast underground passage stretching hundreds of metres underneath the bustling streets of Montreal whose formation dates back more than 15,000 years ago to the Earth’s last ice age."

A dog and an orphaned fawn grooming each other.

Extremely well-camouflaged snow leopard.

How Scott Walker and the Republican party are dismantling environmental regulations in Wisconsin for the sake of an industrial development by Foxconn.  "Foxconn can fill in wetlands that are regulated by the state, change the course of streams, even build in a stream running through the property if it wants to. In addition, the plant will use potentially polluting chemicals to manufacture an array of super-high-definition display panels. Yet no environmental impact statement will be required by state officials for one of the largest economic development projects in U.S. history."

Most Extreme Elimination Challenge (Japanese "fail-video" game program) overdubbed a la MST3K. 


"The US Department of Education's Free Application for Federal Student Aid program requires any student applying for federal aid for college or university to turn over an enormous amount of compromising personal information, including current and previous addresses, driver's license numbers, Green Card numbers, marital details, drug convictions, educational history, tax return details, total cash/savings/checking balances, net worth of all investments, child support received, veterans' benefits, children's details, homelessness status, parents details including SSNs, and much, much more. If you have the Social Security Number, data of birth, and full name of anyone who's applied for college grants or loans, you can then feed it into the Free Application for Federal Student Aid website and it will show you all this data."

Lake Chad is "The World's Most Complex Humanitarian Disaster" (a longread to spoil your day).

Most people by now have heard about the conundrum posed by the "Do Not Resuscitate" tattoo,

Rex Tillerson "was a debacle, pure and simple, the worst Secretary of State in living memory (and there has been serious competition) not because of ineptitude, but because of the semi-intentional demolition job he was doing on his own department even as he fell out of presidential favor."

It is now possible to transplant vascularized lymph nodes to treat lymphedema.

"Enough Is Enough. We Need to Elect More Scientists to Congress."

"Yet perhaps the greatest thing in this scene [the singing of La Marseillaise in Casablanca] is that most of the people in it weren’t actors at all; rather, director Michael Curtiz filled the scene with actual French refugees. Keep in mind, this movie came out in 1942 and was filmed at the height of World War II, at a time when Germany looked nearly unbeatable and Nazi occupation of France was indefinite. And here was a group of refugees from that occupation, given the chance to sing their anthem with defiant pride. For one brief moment, this wasn’t a movie. It was real life, and it was tragic, and it was brave. Reports have said that extras were crying on set during filming, and the passion is evident any time you look past the main actors to the background singers."


The images in today's linkdump come from a review at Collector's Weekly of match holders and match safes (see also here).
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