Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Stuff below the fold

Want to visit Archie, the giant Squid?

AtlasObscura has the details and photos.

Held in a custom-made acrylic tank filled with a 10% solution of formol-saline, the giant squid at the center of the London Natural History Museum Spirit Collection was caught off the coast of the Falkland Islands in March of 2004.
The 8.62 meter long creature is an Architeuthis dux, or giant squid, and known at the museum as "Archie."
StainlessSteelDroppings takes a breather from his SciFi reviews to discuss the Little Mermaid.

Compare and contrast her choice with Arwen's....

No, there is not a "hobbit" language, but they do speak a dialect of the common tongue. The article discusses the origin of placenames in the Shire.

Paleoglot discusses why we outlasted the Neanderthals.

And corrects a WSJ article implication that gutteral languages don't have nuances.

I wonder where ASL or other sign languages would fit into the discussion. I thought it was interesting that Jean Auel's series has the Neanderthals not speaking many words, but using a sign language in it's place.

Sense of Events corrects a previous post claiming that the USGovt was buying "billions" of bullets.

They only ordered a couple hundred thousand bullets.


I heard several doctors were killed by Islamacists for daring to vaccinate children against disease, but AJ reports they were from North Korea !?
more at the UK Guardian:
He told journalists that the three men were from North Korea and had lived in the state since 2005 as part of a medical programme between Yobe and the Pyongyang government.
There are more than a dozen other North Korean doctors posted to the state under the scheme, which also includes engineers, Mamman said. He said all will receive immediate protection from security forces. "It is very unfortunate," he said of the killings.

and before you point at Islam for being the cause of these nut cases thinking vaccinations are a western plot, maybe you should blame the vaccine deniers who get oodles of publicity for pointing out minor problems of vaccines in the press, which are then picked up and magnified by the crazies.

Bookmarked for later reading: Fairy tales across cultures. 

includes this factoid:
That's because when immigrants from a particular cultural group move into a new one, they bring genetic diversity that, if the immigrants have children, get mixed around, changing the new population's gene pool. But the new population's culture doesn't necessarily change.


Two blogs with photos of beautiful blue doors. LINK LINK

what is interesting is that this custom, common in the southern US, is so widespread. Blue keeps the spirits out.

And then there are the "blue Bottle Trees"
That belief in the power of colors also explains blue doors and blue porch ceilings -- both are so painted to keep evil from crossing the threshold into a home. Blue-bottle trees prevent the spirits from even getting that close.
Some say the blue-bottle trees did a fair job of ridding homes of more terrestrial nuisances -- bugs.
According to the blogger The Lazy Gardener, the lime once used to make blue bottles also is an insect repellent that keeps skeeters and noseeums out of your house. This doesn't work anymore, though -- apparently, lime no longer is used to turn things blue.

Read more here: http://www.islandpacket.com/2009/12/11/1066748/blue-bottle-trees-a-throwback.html#storylink=cpy

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