Amazon Deals

New at Amazon

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday links

Tomorrow (June 24) is the birthday of Ambrose Bierce, author of The Devil's Dictionary.

Caterpillars Recruit Friends with Anal Scraping. If you know of others who use the same method, feel free to discuss in the comments.

Lincoln Memorial Undercroft - A cavernous three-story, 43,800-square-foot basement that was forgotten about for 60 years. 


How Much Businesses Pay To Get On Those Big Blue Exit Signs

These Massive Tunnels Were Dug By Giant Sloths.

ICYMI, Wednesday's links are here, and include the history of the Aloha shirt, the first day of summer, why it's called Area 51, the rural mail carriers who count wildlife on their routes, and how cats used humans to conquer the world.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wednesday links

Summer started this morning at 12:24 EDT - here's some solstice science, history, poetry and music. Related: Fridgehenge: to celebrate the solstice, British guy recreates Stonehenge using old refrigerators

 
Hawaiian Style: The History of the Aloha Shirt.

How to Have a Healthy Summer: Advice from 1656.

You've Got Quail: Why Thousands of Rural Mail Carriers Count Roadside Wildlife Every Year.


ICYMI, Friday's links are here, and include the science of whiskey flavors, the anniversary of Waterloo (with a Lego re-enactment), the art of Soviet children's literature, and, for Father's Day, a selection of parenting advice from Homer Simpson.

Summer solstice science, quotes, poetry and music

Whatever is dreamed on this night, will come to pass...

Walking around the grocery store on a hot day always reminds me of this Shakespeare quote:
For men, like butterflies, show not their mealy wings but to the summer.
~ Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida Act III, Scene 3

Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
That rheumatic diseases do abound;
And through this distemperature we see
The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose.

ShakespeareA Midsummer Night's Dream, Act II, Sc. 2

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.

~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

In early June the world of leaf and blade and flowers explodes, and every sunset is different.

~ John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent

Green was the silence, wet was the light,
the month of June trembled like a butterfly.

~ Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.

~ Shakespeare, Sonnet 18

Thou orb aloft full dazzling,
    Flooding with sheeny light the gray beach sand;
Thou sibilant near sea, with vistas far, and foam,
    And tawny streaks and shades, and spreading blue;
Before I sing the rest, O sun refulgent,
    My special word to thee.

~ Walt Whitman, A Summer Invocation

Shine on, O moon of summer.
Shine to the leaves of grass, catalpa and oak,
All silver under your rain to-night.

Carl Sandburg, Back Yard

Today is the summer solstice (wiki): at the solstice (from the Latin solstitium, from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop)), the Earth reaches the point in its orbit where the northern hemisphere is most tilted toward the sun, which puts the latter higher in the sky at noon than at any other time of the  year.*  This is also the day of the year with the longest daylight period and the shortest night.  In prehistoric times, the summer solstice was of great importance to aboriginal peoples. The snow had disappeared, food was easier to find, and crops already planted would soon be harvested in months to come. From then on, however, the days would begin to shorten, indicating the inevitable return of the cold season. 

Here's a brief explanation on the mechanics of solstices and equinoxes:



The two revolutions, I mean the annual revolutions of the declination and of the centre of the Earth, are not completely equal; that is the return of the declination to its original value is slightly ahead of the period of the centre. Hence it necessarily follows that the equinoxes and solstices seem to anticipate their timing, not because the sphere of the fixed stars moves to the east, but rather the equatorial circle moves to the west, being at an angle to the plane of the ecliptic in proportion to the declination of the axis of the terrestrial globe.


Here's Nigel Kennedy playing the last movement of Vivaldi's "Summer" concerto from The Four Seasons:



Here's the view from Stonehenge.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

How To Steal Pizza Without Anyone Knowing

This would work with anything round (think cake or pie):



Related: The Scientific Way To Cut A Cake (or pizza...):

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Here's a compilation of all 150,966 deaths so far on Game of Thrones (NSFW - violence)

WARNING - Not safe for work due to violence.

I suppose it's possible, if you're a Game of Thrones fan, that you enjoy these violent death scenes so much that you want to be able to see them all again. I barely made it through the first time.



Related posts and links (I haven't check all of the old links - apologies if any have died):

Very cool visual effects reel from season 5 of Game of Thrones: Mastering the Dragons

Game of Thrones season six: three latest leaks from on set (spoilers).





For $20K, Game of Thrones Author Will Write You Into Future Novel Then Kill You Off

Valyrian steel, length of the seasons, dragon biology: The Science of Game of Thrones, bonus geological map.

If Game Of Thrones Characters Were Drawn By Disney

Game of Thrones infographic chronology: 4 seasons of the 4 main families and the Night’s Watch.



Video: Hodor (Kristian Nairn) Describes His Awkward Game of Thrones Nude Scene.


Game of Thrones Wine Map: The Wines of Westeros.

Supercut of pithy quotes from Game of Thrones, Seasons 1-3.

Fallen behind on Game of Thrones, or want a refresher before Season 4? All 3 seasons recapped in 9 minutes.



Friday, June 16, 2017

Do you want to see a men's romper with a giant Kim Jong Un face on it? Of course you do!

A romper featuring a gigantic image of Kim Jong-un's face is the latest sartorial trend to stir up men's fashion.

The bizarre onesie was unsurprisingly on sale for $79.99 – reduced from its original price of $99.99 - despite winning five star reviews on the website where it is advertised. Surprisingly, there are several other rompers on the website that are out-selling Kim (they have a LOT of them), although, actually, they all appear to be pre-orders. 


This pineapple romper is their top-seller:



I like this one:


And this:

Bacon!:


And, if you're the patriotic type:


I'd tend to go a bit cheaper, assuming that this will, after all, be a joke gift - Amazon has these starting at $7.99, so you can get 10 of them for the price of one of those above:


h/t Daily Mail

Friday links

For Father's Day, parenting advice from Homer Simpson: “Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try". Related: here are some Father's Day lessons from Walter White, Don Draper and Tywin Lannister, and one of my favorite Dad stories (NSFW- language).


A scientific meta-analysis of whiskey flavors and quality.

June 18 is the anniversary of the 1815 Battle of Waterloo: history, quotes and video (including a Lego re-enactment).

The Artful Propaganda of Soviet Children’s Literature.


ICYMI, Wednesday's links are here, and include Flag Day, how lemons gave rise to organized crime in Sicily, embarrassing landmarks by state, the ships buried below San Francisco, and works of art recreated using Marvel action figures.

“Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.” Parenting advice from Homer Simpson

For fellow Simpsons fans:

“No, no, no, Lisa. If adults don’t like their jobs, they don’t go on strike. They just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That’s the American Way.”

“OK, son. Just remember to have fun out there today, and if you lose, I’LL KILL YOU!”

“You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.”

“The code of the schoolyard, Marge! The rules that teach a boy to be a man. Let’s see. Don’t tattle. Always make fun of those different from you. Never say anything, unless you’re sure everyone feels exactly the same way you do. What else…”

“Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.”

“When I look at the smiles on all the children’s faces, I just know they’re about to jab me with something.”

“I have to work overtime at work instead of spending time with my wife and kids, which is what I want.”

“Kids are great, Apu. You can teach them to hate the things you hate and they practically raise themselves now-a-days, you know, with the internet and all.”

“I think the saddest day of my life was when I realized I could beat my Dad at most things, and Bart experienced that at the age of four.”

“Don’t eat me. I have a wife and kids. Eat them.”

“Marge, don’t discourage the boy! Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It’s what separates us from the animals! Except the weasel.”

“What do we need a psychiatrist for? We know our kid is nuts. “

“It’s not easy to juggle a pregnant wife and a troubled child, but somehow I managed to squeeze in 8 hours of TV a day.”

“Remember as far as anyone knows, we’re a nice normal family.”

“Marriage is like a coffin and each kid is another nail.”

“The key to parenting is don’t overthink it. Because overthinking leads to … what were talking about?”

Related:

Funny signs from The Simpsons (and links to lots more).

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ulysses fan? June 16 is Bloomsday - here's my favorite quote from Joyce's obscenity trial

Today is Bloomsday, a celebration of James Joyce's Ulysses (wiki), a novel about a day in the life of Leopold Bloom as he wanders about Dublin. The festivities generally involve reading the novel aloud (generally a group project, and it takes a loooong time) and drinking.

Zoomable version here.
My favorite bit of trivia about Ulysses comes from Joyce's obscenity trial (the book was banned in various places for quite a while):
 “[i]n respect of the recurrent emergence of the theme of sex in the minds of [Joyce's] characters, it must always be remembered that his locale was Celtic and his season Spring.”
Final lines from Ulysses are from Molly Bloom, who is lying in bed with her lover: 
" ...I was a flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes."
Here's an interesting article on the background of the obscenity trial against the book - the publisher went to a LOT of trouble to force a trial: The Worst (And Most Important) Smuggling Job in the History of Literature.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wednesday links

June 14 is Flag Day and the birthday of the U.S. Army.

How 'OK' took over the world.

How lemons gave rise to organized crime in Sicily.

Famous Works Of Art Recreated Using Marvel Action Figures.

A New Map Reveals Ships Buried Below San Francisco.

Most Embarrassing Landmark From Every State.

ICYMI, Monday's links are here, and include Anne Frank's birthday, technologies that replace super powers, the finalists for Shed of the Year 2017, and a selection of Adam West's Batman fight scenes.