Droplet

March 5, 2006

droplet

By: csp

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Now here is an interesting species. The number of Bonobo chimpanzees, a close primate relative of humans that inhabits the Congo region, have declined in numberchimp from over 100,000 to less than 5000 in the last 20 years. The reason? Trade in Bonobo meat is a lucrative business in this region of Africa. The meat from a single animal provides the equivalent of two month’s worth of income which has led to extensive poaching.
What a shame it would be to lose the Bonobo chimp. Their method of conflict resolution is truly revolutionary:

Bonobos are known for greeting rival groups with genital handshakes and sensual body rubs. Bonobo spats are swiftly settled — often with a French kiss and a quick round of sex.

It kind of makes you wonder who followed the better path down the evolutionary tree. We can all learn a lesson from these gentle animals. The next time your boss gives you sh*t, just try a genital handshake and see if his/her inner Bonobo comes out.

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They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist. . . .
Killed in battle during US Civil War.
– General John Sedgwick, Union Commander, d. 1864

Source: corsinet.com

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A random draw from the Wikipedia archives:

Kingston is a small town at the southernmost end of Lake Wakatipu in New Zealand’s South Island. It is 40 kilometres south of Queenstown by a road which winds between the lake to the west and The Remarkables mountains to the east. It is 70 kilometres north of Lumsden, and close to the headwatersfern of the Mataura River.

It is also the most inland town in New Zealand and the sign is proudly displayed over the entrance to the town’s only bar.

The Kingston Flyer historic railway service is closely associated with the town. It operates over a 14 kilometre long preserved section of the former Kingston Branch, which provided a rail link to Kingston for over a century, opening in 1878 and closing in 1979. In its heyday, this line was considered to be one of the most important in New Zealand.

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Auto Porn

March 4, 2006

Bruce Gain is moblogging from the Geneva Motor Show and Wired has the photos…

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flowerdrops

By: tdenham

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swallowtailedmothA random draw from the Wikipedia archives:

The Swallow-tailed Moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria) is a moth of the family Geometridae. It is a common species across Europe and the Near East.

This is a large (wingspan 50-62 mm), impressive moth, remarkably butterfly-like. All parts of the adult are bright white marked with faint buffish fascia. The species gets its common name from pointed projections on the termen of the hindwing with brownish spots at their base. It flies at night in June and July [1] and is attracted to light, sometimes in large numbers.

The brown, twig-like larva feeds on a variety of trees and shrubs including elder, hawthorn, honeysuckle and ivy . The species overwinters as a larva.

  1. ^ The flight season refers to the British Isles. This may vary in other parts of the range.

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Nice A**!

March 4, 2006

Jon Katz extols the virtues of the donkey in Slate:

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Time magazine released the full transcripts (pdf: 366k) of an interrogation of “the 20th hijacker”, Mohammad al-Qahtani while in custody at Guantanamo Bay. Most speculate that al-Qahtani was to be the fifth hijacker aboard United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed into a field in Pennsylvania on 9/11.
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Hands

March 4, 2006

handsinair
By: Datarac

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Everyone knows that blondes have more fun, but did you know that the development of blonde hair color was actually an adaptation to attract a big furry Cave Man?hairclip So says a recent study:

According to the study, north European women evolved blonde hair and blue eyes at the end of the Ice Age to make them stand out from their rivals at a time of fierce competition for scarce males.

 

The study argues that blond hair originated in the region because of food shortages 10,000-11,000 years ago. Until then, humans had the dark brown hair and dark eyes that still dominate in the rest of the world. Almost the only sustenance in northern Europe came from roaming herds of mammoths, reindeer, bison and horses. Finding them required long, arduous hunting trips in which numerous males died, leading to a high ratio of surviving women to men.

Brunettes out there shouldn’t fret, at least for their distant offspring. ‘Natural’ blondes are due to become extinct over the next 200 years.

A study by the World Health Organisation found that natural blonds are likely to be extinct within 200 years because there are too few people carrying the blond gene. According to the WHO study, the last natural blond is likely to be born in Finland during 2202.

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Random Pick from the New York City Craigslist Missed Connections Category:

To the nutritionist that gave me that advice in Starbucks today, thanks. I would have been more chatty, but I was coming off a really bad night.


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A random draw from the Wikipedia archives:

keyboardArfa Karim is a girl from Pakistan, who in 2005 at the age of 9, was one of the youngest Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs) in the world. In 2005, she was invited to visit the Microsoft headquarters in Washington and met with Bill Gates.


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A random draw from the Wikipedia archives:

Rowan Robertson (born November 22, 1971 in Cambridge, United Kingdom) is an english guitarist

Rowan Robertson took up guitar at the early age of five. From an early age he took an interest in the band Dio as he started learning Dio songs in 1984 from the The Last in Line album. Robertson’s influences on the guitar were Jimi Hendrix, Steve Vai, Randy Rhoads, Vivian Campbell and Eddie Van Halen. His musical influences in general included AC-DC, The Beatles, Deep Purple, The Police and many others.

Robertson heard that Dio were looking for a new guitarist. He send a tape to the record company phonogram. After six months he got the reply that, at the moment, they were not interested in him. After which guitarsHe then called the Dio Fan Club who asked him to send his demo tape to them.

Robertson got a good response from Dio and in late January or early February 1989 he was flown to Los Angeles for an audition with Dio. He was auditioned twice and right after the second audition he was invited to the band. The press-release of the joining was dated on July 18th, 1989 and the press was invited to see the guitarist on July 20, 1989 at Oliver’s Pub in New York City, USA.

The first Dio album he started working on was Lock Up The Wolves together with Jimmy Bain, Vinny Appice and Jens Johansson. The band had started writing and recording when Jimmy Bain and Vinny Appice were fired from the band. They were replaced Teddy Cook and Vinny Appice was fired and former AC-DC drummer Simon Wright. Recordings do exist from the sessions with Bain and Appice but were never released.

In 1990 Lock Up The Wolves was released and the band set out touring. Live Robertson played the fastest out of all the Dio guitarists and covered the classic Dio songs perfectly. Lock Up The Wolves became a live favourite on the tour. Dio’s voice was in it’s prime as well as they played four Rainbow songs…Man On The Silver Mountain, Tarot Woman, Stargazer and Long Live Rock N Roll.

Robertson stayed in Dio until Ronnie James Dio rejoined Black Sabbath in 1991. Ronnie and Robertson had been writing songs for an album to be released in May 1991. When Dio was put “on ice” – or more or less disbanded – Robertson started to work on an instruction video for guitar players. After it was released on Star Licks in July or August 1991, supposedly only in the USA – he teamed with vocalist Oni Logan (ex Lynch Mob) and drummer Jimmy Paxson (ex Triangle) and started to record on an album together on Atlantic Records. Their band should be called Freedom, but its status is unknown at the moment.

In April 2005 Robertson embarked in a short West Coast tour with his new band Happy Birthday, supporting Jimmy Chamberlin’s band, The Jimmy Chamberlin Complex.

Currently Rowan is working with Finish Bassist/Composer Marko Pukilla on a new hard rock band. The band may be called Wicked Outlaw. They are still looking for a drummer and singer and plan to tour the U.S and release an album when the band is put together.

Robertson lives these days in Los Angeles.

Bands

Discography

  • Dio- Hey Angel(CD Single)- 1990
  • Dio- Wild One(CD Single)- 1990
  • Dio- Born On The Sun(CD single)- 1990
  • Dio- Excerpts from Lock up The Wolves(E.P)- 1990
  • Dio- Lock Up The Wolves- 1990
  • Dio- Diamonds :Best Of Dio- 1991
  • Dio- Master Series- 1998
  • VAST- Visual Audio Sensory Theater- 1998
  • Dio- The Very Beast Of Dio- 2000
  • Dio- Anthology Vol Two- 2001
  • Logan/Robertson- Revisited- 2001
  • Dio- Anthology – Stand Up And Shout- 2003
  • Dio- The Collection- 2003


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Randompedia

March 2, 2006

In honor of the 1 millionth Wikipedia article, Randompedia is born!

wikipediaCongratulations to the Wikimedia gang and all of the contributors to Wikipedia for their efforts on constructing one of the most useful and impressive collections of knowledge around. Yesterday, the Wikimedia Foundation announced that Wikipedia published its 1 millionth article in the English language.

So, of course you want to know what the article was about. (Drumroll…) The Jordanhill Railway Station in Glasgow, Scotland complete with a historical overview, services, nearby attractions and a photo gallery! For those who would like to dig even deeper into the story of the station and related topics, there are references and external links.

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george_washingtonIn yet another sad commentary on the American public, a recent study has found that we know more about the “Simpsons” than the freedoms granted us by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Americans apparently know more about “The Simpsons” than they do about the First Amendment.

Only one in four Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances.) But more than half can name at least two members of the cartoon family, according to a survey.

For god’s sake, turn off your television and click this link to learn the First Amendment.

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A bit of commentary from Salon’s Tim Grieve:
“But it’s not like Americans are ignorami or anything: While only 28 percent of those polled could name two or more rights protected by the First Amendment, 41 percent could name two out of three “American Idol” judges, and 52 percent could name two or more characters from “The Simpsons.”

Aside from the end-of-the-world aspect of it all, we’re not sure what it all means — except that maybe Democrats who hope to win back the White House ought to spend a little less time on the separation of powers and the unitary executive and a little more on power ballads and fart jokes.”


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cellphoneAs it turns out, the use of electronic equipment while in flight may actually disrupt components critical to in-flight navigation and landing. A group at Carnegie Melon University studied emissions from electronic equipment while on board commercial aircraft.

Researchers noted that there is no definitive instance of an electronic device used by a passenger causing an accident. However, they said their data support the conclusion that use of devices like cell phones “will, in all likelihood, someday cause an accident by interfering with critical cockpit instruments such as GPS receivers.”

And here’s an interesting statistic:

… despite the ban on cell phone use during flights, the researchers discovered that on average one to four cell phone calls are made from every commercial flight in the northeast United States

And those laptops and portable gaming systems?

In the past, the FAA has found nothing to indicate that the use of passive devices like laptops or game-playing electronics poses a threat to the aircraft.

However, the CMU study concluded otherwise. While the researchers looked primarily at cell phone use, they also discovered that emissions from other portable devices proved “problematic.”

“We found that the risk posed by these portable devices is higher than previously believed,” researcher Bill Strauss said in a release announcing the findings.

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birdThe deadly bird flu virus, H5N1, was found in a German housecat near an area where over 100 infected wild birds were recently discovered. It is believed that the transmission occurred through ingestion of one of the infected birds. While officials caution that it is too early to determine the implications for human transmission, there is increasing concern that the wide range of mammalian species that have been infected may portend future genetic changes that would allow transmission between mammals. The consequences of human to human transmission of the virus could be of pandemic proportions.

In related news, US military physicians issued a call for a surveillance network of rapid-response laboratories in developing countries in order to identify human to human transmission of the virus at the earliest possible point in time to head off further spread. A similar approach was used to protect U.S. service personnel from infectious diseases while serving overseas following World War II.

Link – German Housecat story (Yahoo News)
Link – Flu Network story (BBC)


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squidA rare 28-foot giant squid was caught by a trawler off of the Falkland Islands. The creature, which is one of the sea beasts of mariner lore, is due to be displayed in the London Natural History museum. Link to a photo of the massive creature in its display case.
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Related Links:

  • Slate article on the first sighting of a live giant squid by Japanese scientists (Sept. 28th, 2005)
  • National Geographic article on the first sighting of a live giant squid by Japanese investigators (Sept. 27th, 2005)

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