It's official: absolutely nothing is safe on Russian roads. Their traffic accident footage is epic. I still can only guess that it's an insurance quirk that sees so many of these cameras in use on Russian roads.
Sometimes more efficient communications just means you screw up faster. Bonus: the article notes the photo of soldiers guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns was taken in a summer shower in September.
Scientists have described nine new species of tree tarantula. Now there are 16 different kinds of terror that crawl in the trees. Of jungles. Which is yet another reason why I have no plans for visiting any rain forest anywhere. Ever.
Per usual, scratch a "radical progressive" movement hard enough and the red will always shine through. No, it's not what progressives want. It never is. It's just what we end up with, and we always do.
And now, a fully-functional Tetris game built into a pumpkin. I guess that'd make for some interesting soldering practice, but can't say I'd have that much fun taking it apart after it'd rotted. Maybe a plastic pumpkin would've been a longer-lasting choice?
By using a giant genetic dataset, a group of scientists has determined that vision likely evolved around 700 million years ago. The conclusion was reached after comparing all the relevant genetic information responsible for the creation of opsins, a substance vital to vision. And by "all," they apparently mean creatures as diverse as sponges and, well, people.
A team of Japanese scientists believe they have found evidence for what actually caused the famous "man in the moon" features. If you said, "big giant rock smacks moon upside the head," collect your prize!
Of course I sent her out in the hurricane for these shots. It cost me two Monster High dolls.
The newest B-52 on inventory is now old enough to be harassed by the AARP. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the BUFF ends up being the first weapon system of the modern era to be in operation continuously for a full century.
So. If they grey lady herself is finally waking up to Europe's "problem" with Jews, does that mean everyone else will? Specifically, will those sitting on the left side of our own peanut gallery allow a contrary thought or two to creep in? Like the man said, "The dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe."
A nurse in Brazil is accused of manslaughter after she killed someone with a coffee injection. That's right, coffee straight into an IV line. This one doesn't even pass the smell test for me, and I'm more gullible than most. Something tells me it was time for gramma to go and someone "arranged" this little accident. But that's just my opinion.
Forget oil rigs and nukes. What saves us from an asteroid impact may be as simple as paint balls. If you think this is a classic case of scientific understatement, you'd be correct. It seems we'll need to get five tons of them heading toward a rock big enough to be a major threat. Still, if it keeps that damned Aerosmith song from being played one more time, I'm all for it.
Scott: If I showed you to the Ellen I knew 16 years ago she would not believe any of it.
Me: You are probably right. I need more ink.
17 tattoos later...
A new, exceptionally well-preserved hominid fossil is revealing new details about how our earliest ancestors may have lived. At first I stumbled over the idea that they could tell if a three year-old juvenile was female, because in humans there aren't any good tell-tales in the skeleton to reveal this. Then I remembered A. afarensis was actually not THAT human, so it probably matured a lot faster than we do.
A bird fossil found in an unexpected place has led to a re-thinking of why feathers evolved in the first place. I mean, something had to make those things look better. Couldn't get much worse!
Problem: the gold a bank robber stole twenty years ago has risen in value so much that, now that it's recovered, it more than compensates the insurance company that covered the initial loss. What to do with the recovered cash? Well, it looks like in this particular case crime really does pay. Historic coincidences, FTW!
Best. Street camera placement. EVAR!
Funny, I always thought it was like when my kid spits water: scientists have, finally?, worked out how the archer fish manages to knock even firmly-attached prey into the water. It's an Italian study, so it's not like any of our tax dollars were used. Science is cool!
Boeing have announced a new weapon that can zap electronics without touching anything else. The demo seems to indicate it can be targeted at specific buildings, instead of a particular area. It's not clear to me if the damage is permanent, or if everything starts working once the weapon turns off.
Ever wonder what the magazines on the stands in the Blade Runner movie actually said? Wonder no more! Back then, I was actually reading the magazine that "MONI" is referencing. I think it folded about ten years later.
"Ok... a little to the left... Now two steps forward... One step to the right... Now, hold still!" Subtlety has never been the strong suit of "Best Korea."
The secretive private space company Blue Origin has successfully tested the crew escape system of its upcoming manned capsule. Unlike the comment on the video, I think it hits with a pretty hefty thump at the end. I do like the weird way the parachutes gradually deploy, though.
I only thought this sort of thing happened in the South: a pee-wee football game in central Massachusetts saw five players out with concussions, two coaches fired, and all the officials suspended. Ta-da! There's definitely something weird going on here. I have a feeling we're not hearing the entire story.
By using algebraic equations MIT scientists have figured out a way to increase bandwidth speeds ten-fold. The increase does not require more transmitters, power, or anything else but math. I was told there would be no math.
21st century relationships: a "failed lesbian" and a "transitioning man" seem to be doing well in a relationship with each other. It meets my four rules, so I officially don't care. But I do find it interesting, in the same way I find any other sort of people who are so different interesting. More a David Attenborough sort of thing. Education is good!
Sometimes the quote is all you need: My vagina is watching you from the other side. It will know if you stray. (SFW).
That's a mighty large parrot: scientists have discovered that "white whales" have the ability to mimic human speech. Didn't they used to call them beluga whales? At any rate, it seems the capability was documented more than thirty years ago, but the research was buried and forgotten until recently. Or, something to that effect. The article isn't particularly clear about that, IMO.
Let the snarky jokes begin: using a new camera installed at the Keck observatory, scientists have captured the most detailed pictures of Uranus' atmosphere made to-date. The near-infrared images reveal complex details that were invisible to earlier probes like Voyager or even the Hubble telescope.
Ok. You can start giggling now. Good job hanging on this long!
Jeff gets a no-prize that'll be welcome at any Oktoberfest for bringing us news of the latest Great American Beer Festival. Bonus: the winner is brewed somewhere here in Virginia. We might actually have it at our local super-store! Time to take some notes...
And we though fostering kittens was bad: Meet the lady who's fostering a baby elephant. The article includes a lot of "squee-inducing" photos. No, Ellen, you can't have one.
Using a new scanning system Oxford scientists are hoping to finally decipher and translate one of the last remaining caches of unknown ancient writing. The scanner allows them to see the more than five thousand year-old words far more clearly, and by posting the results online it's hoped "crowdsourcing" can provide a valuable resource to make the final translation.
Yes, that's a black belt, a little bit more than four years later. Woot!
Experiment: dump 100 tons of iron dust in a remote part of the ocean, and watch what happens when the algae come a'callin'.
Observation: Climate change scientists should stop relying on press releases from interest groups to get their news. And I thought anthropologists were the ultimate reactionary turf warriors.
Update: link fixed!
By using sediments from a lake in Japan, scientists are planning on pushing carbon 14 "calibration" back much further than it was before. The initial theories around C14 dating assumed carbon absorption was constant, but it was later discovered this was not the case. Tree rings were used to account for variations but only went back about 14k years. The new data promises to push that marker back all the way to 50k+ years.
Today's "wheel o' sensationalism" brings us news that... [spins]... crows are gonna kill us. Well, ok, this particular article is actually on the low scale of "ZOMG!!!", but really. If crows actually were a deadly threat, you'd think they would've killed us all long before now.
Another year, another record-breaking Roman coin find in Britain. They occupied a big chunk of Europe for a darned long time. You'd think these things would be at least as common on the continent. Then again, the rules are different, so maybe people are finding them just as frequently elsewhere, and not reporting it.
This collection of 77 "creepy" old photos seems to be heavy on the Russian stuff, which will pretty much automatically make them seem weird to us. That said, there are definitely some strange things going on in there. Two are very marginally NSFW.
Those three-score Spitfires found buried in an Asian jungle have taken another step toward seeing the light of day. Even if they were in terrible shape, the parts haul alone would probably make digging them up worth it. If the crates really have protected them well all these years? Fabrujous day!
More details about the find are here.
See, if they'd traveled faster it would've been a lot more interesting to watch. Of course, I'm not sure they would've made the turns as cleanly, but that's part of the fun! I bet that neighborhood they drove down had one helluva block party that day.
Using the ol' Doppler method scientists have confirmed an Earth-sized planet exists orbiting one of our closest stellar neighbors. It's only a little more massive than our planet, but unfortunately orbits much, much closer to its star, Alpha Centauri-B.
Passenger jets: great for moving people around, also useful for the occasional rescue effort. The article itself needs another pass by the proofreaders. Bonus: The Air Canada jet had to call home base, who were then able to call back to Australia, to get the rescue started.
A new scientific paper has described a specific sort of crystal that i symmetrical in time instead of space. I think. There's some sort of folderol about perpetual motion in there, and quantum computers, too. This sort of physics makes my head hurt.
I'd completely forgotten European rally racing is routinely held at night. Yeah, I know, they're covered with lights for a reason. I just never really thought it through.
The things college-aged writers do for money: Let's see how well cereal holds up after its expiration date has passed, sometimes by more than twenty years. Said author seems to have made it through with flying colors, although I wonder how many extra trips to the bathroom may have resulted the next day.
What better way to celebrate an aviation milestone than by hopping in an F-15 and re-enacting it? It's great to see Mr. Yeager going strong at such an advanced age. From what I've read he's supposed to still have amazing eyesight, but has been deaf as a post for decades.
All those times your mom said your room was a pigsty? Now you have a few counter-examples. Who the heck just drops cigarette butts on a keyboard, anyway? I've actually run into a few keyboards about that nasty. None of them were mine. Ellen doesn't gross them up, she just destroys them, usually 2-3 per year.
Today's entry in the "women will put anything on their face if it's called a beauty product" comes to us courtesy of a Frenchmen's favorite mollusk. I dunno. Your money, your face. Put whatever you want on it. And someone please pick Ron up. It's so annoying when he passes out giggling.
If it lives up to expectations Christmas next year may very well be the most spectacular one for generations to come. It's a big "if," and boy would it be disappointing to prepare a celebration only to have the sun eat it. Still, something to mark your calendars for.
A young, straight, Christian fundamentalist who decided to pose as gay for a whole year has written an account of his experiences. Black Like Me for the 21st century? Perhaps. Anything that helps people understand we're all just people is a plus for me. But I'm one of those wacky libertarians. I'll let you get away with just about anything.
Just when you thought nature was done being all weird and stuff, along comes a turtle that pees through its mouth. I think it's at least as interesting that scientists are only figuring this out right now. Useless information? Who knows. Seems worth it just for the "ick" factor.
No, Ellen, you can't have one.
A never-before-seen type of red giant star is providing insight into what the final stages of our own sun may be like. It also provides us a way-cool picture of a really weird-looking celestial object.
ERMRGRD!!! METAW ON MARS! Me, I'm thinking it's gonna be a screw or something from the rover, which will probably give a contractor somewhere heartburn. Locktite, people! Locktite!
Recently declassified documents seem to reveal that the US Air Force really was working on circular flying aircraft back in the 1950s. Bonus: the Canadians were helping us do it. Nobody's sure if they ever actually built anything, other than a scale model that was already well-known in the aviation community.
A recently-completed laser scan of everyone's favorite enigmatic set of lumpy stones has revealed more previously undiscovered details about Stonehenge. This time, they were able to resolve hundreds of small decorations that have long since weathered away to invisibility to the naked eye. It also revealed which stones were the most heavily worked, which provided new insights into how the monument may have functioned.
A man involved in a live roach eating contest has subsequently died. Grim death with a macabre twist that doesn't actually make sense and would probably make you sick if you thought about it too much? You'll just have to guess which US state this happened in.
SpaceX has released video that illustrates the engine failure they experienced with the recent Falcon 9 test flight. Reading between the lines of the article, it seems the rocket is designed to withstand the occasional engine explosion without even impeding the mission all that much. Still, it'd be nice if they fixed whatever made that happen before plopping some for-real folks onto its nose.
Having solved all other animal cruelty problems, PETA is taking on the abusive, slavish relationship pokemon have with their trainers. Because, as you all know, stuffing magical fantasy creatures into red-and-white balls and tossing them at things is the height of animal cruelty.
This is why you don't want cheap cookware: a man was treated and released at the scene after his wife hit him twice in the head with a frying pan. If anyone got hit in the head with our cast-iron Lodge, they would absolutely not be treated at the scene. Well, unless it was for prepping the body's trip to the morgue. I'm just sayin'...
A partial Black Adder script thought to have been lost turns out not to have been. I remember hearing about their "too offensive" unproduced Christmas show I can't remember how long ago. It's nice to know at least some of it will see the light of day. And Black Adder as the owner of the inn where Joseph and Mary try to find a place to stay? It would've been epic, I think I can at least say that.
Funny. From the media reports, I thought all they talked about was Big Bird?
It appears that, after something like sixty years of trying, the international community has finally come up with sanctions that work. Like the author, if it means Iran gives up the bomb without anyone firing a shot, I'm all for it. Of course, since it's also helping "JOOOS!!!" there's bound to be somebody out there working to undermine it. We'll see.
Using new techniques scientists have created healthy mice from eggs made from skin stem cells. The feat is (apparently) a technical tour-de-force, but practical applications in human medicine are still a long way off.
Today's "ERMERGERD, DANGUR!!!" warning will be (spins Wheel o' Sensationalism) ... too much caffeine. It's as if millions of adults suddenly cried out in terror, and then grumbled through the rest of their day. Or, you know, just went blind anyway.
Scientists have announced the discovery of a very early, very small, VERY ugly kind of dinosaur. The fossil itself was collected nearly fifty years ago, and was examined by scientists nearly thirty years ago, but its significance wasn't understood until very recently. Slow scientist is slow.
You know time has marched on when a pop singer outbids NASA for a ride. Assuming it's true, of course. TFA doesn't seem to mention how long she'll be staying up there. For 53+ mil, hopefully it'll be for a couple of days, at least.
Scientists have announced their intention to retrieve fresh samples of the Earth's mantle for the first time. They'll have to figure out how to drill a hole not quite four miles deep using a ship floating who knows how high over a specific, as yet undetermined, spot in the Pacific Ocean. Who says big science is restricted to physics?
You know when they say a risk of hoarding is the fire hazard? They're not kidding. As long as cats don't burn well, Ellen's future life as a hoarder will likely be safe.
Today's "freaky teen recreating an anime look" comes to us from the Ukraine. At first I thought she was using the old "giant eyes painted on the eyelids" technique, but the included video makes me think she's using contact lenses. When they're that much bigger than the iris, they're supposed to be really really uncomfortable.
I'm thinking this one falls into the "yes" category: are there risks in becoming a 'bagel head?' Bonus: apparently this has all come to the attention of the MSM because of an episode of a National Geographic documentary series, Taboo. Which Ellen has on season pass. Probably going to give it a pass, anyway. Oh, and there's a video clip featured with the article. Blech...
Using a new computer model and data from two lunar probes, scientists believe there may be many more places on the Moon to hunt for ice. They haven't exactly found the stuff, just craters much closer to the equator the the original polar locations. Like we need another reason to go back.
I think that'll be a closed casket service: police are facing an uphill battle to try and figure out what killed a local farmer. The investigation is complicated by the fact his pigs ate most of his body. Yeah. I'm calling it "revenge bacon" now.
It would seem, if this report is to be believed, illegal logging is earning big bucks for organized crime. Which, in my horrible libertarian mind, means we need to stop prohibiting the practice, legalize it, and tax it. Sell the land to the people making money off it so they'll have a vested interest in preserving it, and the problem will take care of itself. But nobody listens to me anyway. I'll be over in the corner. No, thanks, I already have a "pity party here" sign.
Scientists have worked out a way to create a black hole laser. The article almost certainly oversimplifies it and it still doesn't make complete sense to me. There seems to be some way to create teeny-tiny black holes and their time-reversed equivalent to create a channel that can be used to create laser light. I think. I'm gonna be over in the corner soaking my head.