Man Looking For A Wife In 1865

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Sep 072017
Man Looking For A Wife In 1865

We don’t know the provenance of this delightful newspaper ad posted at reddit. We can assume that it was published around 1865, as the young man was a fan of Andy Johnson, or president Andrew Johnson, who served from 1865 (upon the death off Lincoln), was impeached in 1968, and remained in office until 1969. For an 18-year-old, the writer seems to have his life together, but was probably working too hard so far to meet many young woman. When he says he wants to buy waterfalls, he is most likely referring to a waterfall bustle, as was the style at the time. I would bet that he got responses to this ad. The last line makes him seem cute as well as successful.


The South Pole Of Jupiter

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May 282017
Jupiter's South Pole

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Betsy Asher Hall/Gervasio Robles

NASA’s Juno probe entered orbit around Jupiter a year ago, and has been gathering data ever since. Now the space agency is releasing spectacular images, such as this one showing Juptier’s south pole. It is a composite of several images, and shows multiple cyclones up to 600 miles in diameter raging around the pole.

From NASA:

Early science results from NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter portray the largest planet in our solar system as a complex, gigantic, turbulent world, with Earth-sized polar cyclones, plunging storm systems that travel deep into the heart of the gas giant, and a mammoth, lumpy magnetic field that may indicate it was generated closer to the planet’s surface than previously thought.

“We are excited to share these early discoveries, which help us better understand what makes Jupiter so fascinating,” said Diane Brown, Juno program executive at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “It was a long trip to get to Jupiter, but these first results already demonstrate it was well worth the journey.”

Juno launched on Aug. 5, 2011, entering Jupiter’s orbit on July 4, 2016. The findings from the first data-collection pass, which flew within about 2,600 miles (4,200 kilometers) of Jupiter’s swirling cloud tops on Aug. 27, are being published this week in two papers in the journal Science, as well as 44 papers in Geophysical Research Letters.

“We knew, going in, that Jupiter would throw us some curves,” said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. “But now that we are here we are finding that Jupiter can throw the heat, as well as knuckleballs and sliders. There is so much going on here that we didn’t expect that we have had to take a step back and begin to rethink of this as a whole new Jupiter.”

Among the findings that challenge assumptions are those provided by Juno’s imager, JunoCam. The images show both of Jupiter’s poles are covered in Earth-sized swirling storms that are densely clustered and rubbing together.

“We’re puzzled as to how they could be formed, how stable the configuration is, and why Jupiter’s north pole doesn’t look like the south pole,” said Bolton. “We’re questioning whether this is a dynamic system, and are we seeing just one stage, and over the next year, we’re going to watch it disappear, or is this a stable configuration and these storms are circulating around one another?”

Another surprise comes from Juno’s Microwave Radiometer (MWR), which samples the thermal microwave radiation from Jupiter’s atmosphere, from the top of the ammonia clouds to deep within its atmosphere. The MWR data indicates that Jupiter’s iconic belts and zones are mysterious, with the belt near the equator penetrating all the way down, while the belts and zones at other latitudes seem to evolve to other structures. The data suggest the ammonia is quite variable and continues to increase as far down as we can see with MWR, which is a few hundred miles or kilometers.

Prior to the Juno mission, it was known that Jupiter had the most intense magnetic field in the solar system. Measurements of the massive planet’s magnetosphere, from Juno’s magnetometer investigation (MAG), indicate that Jupiter’s magnetic field is even stronger than models expected, and more irregular in shape. MAG data indicates the magnetic field greatly exceeded expectations at 7.766 Gauss, about 10 times stronger than the strongest magnetic field found on Earth.

“Juno is giving us a view of the magnetic field close to Jupiter that we’ve never had before,” said Jack Connerney, Juno deputy principal investigator and the lead for the mission’s magnetic field investigation at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Already we see that the magnetic field looks lumpy: it is stronger in some places and weaker in others. This uneven distribution suggests that the field might be generated by dynamo action closer to the surface, above the layer of metallic hydrogen. Every flyby we execute gets us closer to determining where and how Jupiter’s dynamo works.”

Juno also is designed to study the polar magnetosphere and the origin of Jupiter’s powerful auroras—its northern and southern lights. These auroral emissions are caused by particles that pick up energy, slamming into atmospheric molecules. Juno’s initial observations indicate that the process seems to work differently at Jupiter than at Earth.

Juno is in a polar orbit around Jupiter, and the majority of each orbit is spent well away from the gas giant. But, once every 53 days, its trajectory approaches Jupiter from above its north pole, where it begins a two-hour transit (from pole to pole) flying north to south with its eight science instruments collecting data and its JunoCam public outreach camera snapping pictures. The download of six megabytes of data collected during the transit can take 1.5 days.

“Every 53 days, we go screaming by Jupiter, get doused by a fire hose of Jovian science, and there is always something new,” said Bolton. “On our next flyby on July 11, we will fly directly over one of the most iconic features in the entire solar system — one that every school kid knows — Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. If anybody is going to get to the bottom of what is going on below those mammoth swirling crimson cloud tops, it’s Juno and her cloud-piercing science instruments.”

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, manages the Juno mission for NASA. The principal investigator is Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. The Juno mission is part of the New Frontiers Program managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, in Denver, built the spacecraft.

More information on the Juno mission is available at:

As the New Horizons spacecraft approached Jupiter en route to Pluto in February 2007, Chandra took exposures of the gas giant. In this composite image, Chandra data from three separate observations were combined, and then superimposed on an optical image of Jupiter from the Hubble Space Telescope. The purpose of the Chandra observations is to study the powerful X-ray auroras observed near the poles of Jupiter.



The Hollow Earth: The Greatest Geographical Discovery In History Made By Admiral Richard E. Byrd


Whiten Your Teeth By Wrapping Them In Aluminum Foil

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Mar 222017

Now you don’t have to spend a fortune on expensive appointments at the dental hygienist! Just repeat this simple process twice a week and watch as you get whiter teeth.

The internet is full of life hacks people swear by even though they don’t really understand how the hacks work, and at first glance many of these tricks seem like they won’t work as advertised.

So I was naturally a bit skeptical about a tip involving whitening your teeth by wrapping them in aluminum foil, as anybody who has ever chewed foil would be.

But apparently if you mix some baking soda together with toothpaste, apply the paste to your teeth then wrap your teeth tightly in aluminum foil twice a week the combo will whiten your teeth.



The Psychology Of Creepiness

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Jul 052016

Creepiness ratings by occupation.

Clowns… of course, are at the very top.

The Psychology of Creepiness

What does it mean to be creepy? We recently looked at cartoon illustrations. Now let’s look at the science of creepiness. Francis T. McAndrew and Sara S. Koehnke of Knox College recently published an article on the subject in New Ideas in Psychology. They define creepiness as not obvious danger, but the ambiguity of danger:

A mugger who points a gun in your face and demands money is certainly threatening and terrifying. Yet, most people would probably not use the word “creepy” to describe this situation. It is our belief that creepiness is anxiety aroused by the ambiguity of whether there is something to fear or not and/or by the ambiguity of the precise nature of the threat (e.g., sexual, physical violence, contamination, etc) that might be present. Such uncertainty results in a paralysis as to how one should respond. In the mugging situation, there is no ambiguity about the presence or nature of threat.

You know what the stranger pointing a knife at you wants. But you aren’t sure about the guy at work who touches you just a bit too much. In modern civilized life, you can’t simply punch him. But neither can you ignore what’s going on. You don’t know how to respond, which is the core problem in creepiness:

It would be considered rude and embarrassing to run away from an odd person who has done nothing overtly threatening, but, on the other hand, it could be perilous to ignore your intuition and remain in an interaction that is dangerous. This ambivalence leaves you frozen in place, wallowing in unease.



Rock ‘N’ Roll Neighbourhood

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Apr 142016

A Map of the Land of Rock and Roll.

rock ‘n’ roll neighbourhood

You begin at your door and journey on a long and winding road. Avoid the boulevard of broken dreams because there are so many potholes. And the traffic on the highway to hell is jam-packed at this time of day. Stay for a while at the Hotel California, which is such a lovely place.



Movie Plot Generator

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Feb 082016

Movie Plot Generator

We talk about recurring themes in blockbuster movies, because new stories feel as if they pull elements out of a hat and just combine them in new ways. John Atkinson at Wrong Hands put together a chart that makes new movie ideas a cinch, Mad-Libs style! Out one from each column together: Adjective, subject, verb, clause, and you’re very likely to say, “I’d go see that!” Of course, there’s a good chance you’d also realize, “I’ve seen that movie!”



How To Of The Day: How To Wake Up In The Morning

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Aug 152015


Yep. It’s the morning. You have to get up. You don’t want to. None of us want to. But we all have to.

Have you ever slept through an alarm clock going off? One common solution is to set a second alarm clock further away from your bed. This forces you to get up to turn it off. French comedian DaniiL Le Russe takes the idea just a step further to make sure that he doesn’t sleep in and miss work.


How To Wake Up In The Morning DaniiL Le Russe


Bigfoot Bundt Cake

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Apr 262015

Bigfoot Bundt Cake


Big news! Bigfoot has been found…inside a bundt cake! Jenn Fujikawa over at Nerdist used a Bigfoot cookie cutter to make him appear inside this tasty treat.

Sasquatch. Yeti. Bigfoot. He goes by so many names, yet he’s still an enigma. He could be behind that tree in the woods, or perhaps in the icy mountain of a theme park ride, but most likely you’ll find him… in a bundt cake.


Bigfoot Bundt Cake
(serves 10)

– pre-made chocolate cake
– 3 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
– 2 cups sugar
– 3 eggs
– 1 cup buttermilk
– 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cut out pieces of the chocolate cake using the Bigfoot cookie cutter. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar, then add the eggs one at a time until combined.

Alternate the flour mixture with the buttermilk and vanilla just until combined.

Generously grease a bundt pan. Pour a layer of batter along the bottom of the pan, then place the Bigfoot cake pieces upside down, randomly around the cake pan. Carefully pour in the rest of the batter over and around the cake pieces until they are just covered.

Place the filled bundt pan on a baking sheet (in case of spillage) and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer test comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan until the pan is cool to the touch, then turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Slice the cooled cake to reveal the hidden Bigfoots.



Tree Fights Back

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Apr 212015

A man on a tractor tries to uproot a tree, the tree fights back.

Send this tree to Washington D.C.!

This video, allegedly from Slovenia, shows a man trying to pull up a tree using a tractor. The tree is not going to die without a fight. Maybe the man will think twice before taking on another tree.


Tree Fights Back


Brain Divided

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Apr 042015

Brain DividedCheck out this incredibly well done CGI animated short film, by the talented Josiah Haworth, Joon Shik Song and Joon Soo Song! A guy meets a blind date in a restaurant and his brain goes into overdrive, with an epic struggle between the logical and inhibited left side and the emotional, impulsive right side.



A guy meets a blind date in a restaurant and his brain goes into overdrive, with an epic struggle between the logical and inhibited left side and the emotional, impulsive right side. This animated short from Josiah Haworth, Joon Shik Song and Joon Soo Song of Ringling College of Art and Design is part of Cartoon Brew’s 4th annual Student Animation Festival.



19 Amazing Facts About Bells That Will SHOCK You!

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Mar 312015



Number 7 will make you cry.

Hey, I didn’t come up with that title- it was attached to the video already. We shouldn’t call these “facts,” as that implies a certain intersection with the truth. But you know, I often come across “facts” on the internet that turns out to be quite wrong, and now Joel Veitch of Rathergood and David Shute are doing their best to contribute to that mass of disinformation. It’s good that they made it go so fast, because if this were slow enough that your crazy great-aunt could understand it, she’d forward it to all her friends.



19 Amazing Facts About Bells That Will SHOCK You


26 Fascinating Founding Fathers Facts

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Jan 232015

Mental Floss host John Green shares some interesting facts you probably didn’t know about the founding fathers.


It couldn’t have been easy for John Green to come up with such tantalizing tidbits about our Founding Fathers that we haven’t heard before. Who knew Samuel Adams was ugly? That John Jay got a new job every time he left home? That Paul Revere was drunk during his famous ride? Of course, Benjamin Franklin gets the biggest share of trivia,because that man was a never-ending font of awesomeness.



26 Fascinating Founding Fathers Facts


What is Aging?

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Jan 212015

Why do we grow old? Integrative Biologist Joao Pedro de Magalhaes explains what aging is and how we can extend our lifespan.

You don’t have to get older. There’s a traditional alternative, but it’s unpleasant.

Aging may appear to be inevitable, but Dr. João Pedro de Magalhães, a biologist at the University of Liverpool, disputes that. He’s devoted his scholarly life to studying the process of aging.

The artists behind Ph.D. Comics, a funny webcomic about the graduate school lifestyle, produced this video. They illustrate a talk by Dr. Magalhães on the subject of aging. What is the process of aging at the cellular level? We don’t know for sure, but Dr. Magalhães explains three major hypotheses. He also describes what we may be able to learn from age-resistant animals, such as the naked mole rat.



What is Aging


The Check That Paid For Alaska

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Jan 072015

With this check, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million. For less than 2 cents an acre, the United States acquired nearly 600,000 square miles of what many considered to be worthless land. Oh boy were they wrong!

In 1866 the Russian government offered to sell the territory of Alaska to the United States. Secretary of State William H. Seward, enthusiastic about the prospects of American Expansion, negotiated the deal for the Americans. Edouard de Stoeckl, Russian minister to the United States, negotiated for the Russians. On March 30, 1867, the two parties agreed that the United States would pay Russia $7.2 million for the territory of Alaska.

For less that 2 cents an acre, the United States acquired nearly 600,000 square miles. Opponents of the Alaska Purchase persisted in calling it “Seward’s Folly” or “Seward’s Icebox” until 1896, when the great Klondike Gold Strike convinced even the harshest critics that Alaska was a valuable addition to American territory.

The check for $7.2 million was made payable to the Russian Minister to the United States Edouard de Stoeckl, who negotiated the deal for the Russians. Also shown here is the Treaty of Cession, signed by Tzar Alexander II, which formally concluded the agreement for the purchase of Alaska from Russia.




Steaks 101

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Jan 042015

Here is everything you wanted to know about steaks.


There are no recipes in this video. Instead, Pat LaFrieda explains the differences between the different steak names you’ve heard. Frankly, I knew the difference between these as a matter of price, not what part of the cow they come from or what characteristics they have.



Steaks 101