Monday, August 05, 2013

Stories below the fold

The man who took various technologies and made them into fracking wells, a technique that could change the geopolitical shape of the world, has died, 

The son of Greek immigrants to the US, he worked as a "wildcatter" in Texas drilling speculative holes in areas where oil had not formerly been found. Small-scale fracking was going on in Kansas in the 1940s but Mitchell perfected the technique, which enabled him to go much deeper into the shale holding the gas. During his career it was estimated that he had drilled 10,000 oil wells but had enough success to make a $2bn (£1.3bn) fortune, much of which he gave away through his own charitable trust.

of course, in today's world, that isn't enough to give you your own webpage obit: They put his obit in a list along with an aging actress and the boy who stole the Stone of Scone.

"everyday hero" story of the day:

A man who lived his whole life in a hospital.

I'm old enough to remember the polio epidemics (two of my friends had mild cases in grade school, and later I knew two older doctors who had caught polio from patients). The article mentions his friends dying...usually pneumonia, but one of the problems we docs are seeing is a secondary deterioration in those who had polio.

Wikipedia article here.

factoid: article mentions Arthur C Clark had polio in 1962 and developed post polio sydrome and spent his last 20 years in a wheelchair.


TehranLive has some more good photos of daily life "for those who think we don't live peaceful". Photo link

other photos include the local motor car racing club, tulips, a lazer show, a concert, and a photo of chinese tourists...


Oh HI. I wants to be a butterfly...

TYWKIWDBI discusses this one: the American lady and adds

photos in the 2010 post on the life cycle of this butterfly). ...

More information on this butterfly is available at Mike Reese's Wisconsin Butterflies website.  Those with more than a passing interest may want to peruse the University of Iowa's Red Admiral and Painted Lady Research Site.

also via TYWKIWDBI:

NPR article says that the origin of the word cracker goes back before the days of Shakespeare...

Ste. Claire pointed me to King John , published sometime in the 1590s. One character refers to another as a craker — a common insult for an obnoxious bloviator.
What craker is this same that deafs our ears with this abundance of superfluous breath?


Julian Stockwin on English historical authors blog has a story on the restoration of the HMS Victory.Nelson's ship in the Battle of Trafalgar.

the article also explains why the British rum ration was called "Nelson's blood"...a story not for the faint hearted....


YUM. Lab grown burgers.

after the Chinese baby milk tainting scandal, a lot of folks switched to New Zealand milk...alas, now that country has recalled milk tainted with botulism spores from a leaking pipe...

Here, most of our milk is imported from New Zealand, but we usually drink local milk from water buffalo dairies. Very high in cream (but we use it mainly for coffee).


what? You don't have a kareoke channel on your cable TV?

Why Kareoke remains big here in Asia.

More than four decades since its invention in Japan, karaoke -- a Japanese phrase meaning 'empty orchestra' -- remains Asia's most treasured pastime.

"Hong Kong is so busy, it's a little crazy," says media worker Ho. "Karaoke is my way of releasing the pressure.

"When I'm here I forget about the stress of life," explains her friend Nora Chung. "Chinese people can be very quiet and serious but here we express ourselves....we are free."

Often shy and retiring, people across Asia can be seen suddenly throwing off their chains and belting out a number in front of a room full of people, all waiting their turn. And they're often completely sober.

here, they not only are in bars but in restaurants and in the mall...and people own and rent out kareoke machines for private parties.
One western reporter mocked a poor man who took the money given to him for "donating" his kidney and bought a kareoke machine. You could almost see the reporter rolling his eyes, not realizing that renting out this machine would give his family a steady income.


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