Saturday, August 10, 2013

Stuff around the web

If you are interested in Mongolia (which I am not), the Penn Museum has a series of films about that land, past and present.


I usually like fantasy, but was bored with the early Harry Potter films, which alas meant unlike LOTR or Percy Jackson I can't discuss the series with my granddaughter...
 Bruce Charlton explains he had a similar problem, and says they should release the later books with backstories....


Yes, Virginia, there are such things as sprites and elves...
.and there are even carrot, angel, and broccoli sprites....

Sprites are usually reddish-orange in colour and they come in various shapes (carrot, angel, and broccoli) but with hanging tendrils below. They often occur in clusters of three or more.  Sprites generally occur high in the atmosphere at altitudes of around 65 to 75 km, but their tendrils can extend down to altitudes as low as 40 km. They are also very large; clusters of them can cover horizontal distances of 50 km across.
Related item: How does it feel to be struck by lightning?

Includes this factoid:

'Lightning trees'

  • Lichtenberg figure - also known as "lightning tree" or "lightning flower" - is red, branching electric discharge pattern that occurs on the skin of strike victims
  • Marks formed when delicate capillaries beneath skin rupture from shock of electrical discharge
  • Usually appear within hours of incident and disappear within days; tend to occur on upper body
  • Named after 18th Century physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg who described similar pattern while experimenting with static electricity
Source: APS Physics
A man's back with lightning injuries that look like flower or tree branches


Gadgets for your webpage here...


The Oprah "racism" incident in Zurich is getting headlines but the question no one is asking: What kind of person pays $38 thousand for a handbag?

an Australian news site says that such high prices are not uncommon for the pricy market...
A $42,000 handbag? For most people, it's unthinkable.
But for the richest sliver of the global population, it's a realistic option - and buyers aren't short of choices.

In the upscale boutiques of Singapore, New York or Zurich - where Oprah Winfrey claims a sales clerk refused to show her a $US38,000 ($42,000) bag - purses priced in the four figures are common. In fact, they're so common that a higher level of luxury exists to set the super-rich apart from the merely affluent.

A budget of about $1,000 to $2,000 will buy one of the cheaper bags by luxe labels such as Prada, Hermes, Fendi, Chanel or Louis Vuitton.
Heh. And I feel guilty using my Dooney&Burke bag (ten dollars at a used clothing store) or the Coach bag Robin bought me at an outlet....both have lasted me for years...

But I rarely carry one: Too easy for motorcycle thieves to snatch, and they search them if you take them to the mall.  So usually I use a small Lacoste purse (counterfeit, of course: Two dollars at the mall)...

Alan Lee's Hobbit illustrations.

compare and contrast to the film.

And John Howe's illustrations here.

and blog here
discusses the problems of working on location...such as pub cats that crawl on your lap.


Speaking of cats, I saw two kids playing in the vacant lot, constructing a cage to protect some half grown kittens. I gave them ten pesos and brought one home for Lolo....not yet eating, so back to the bottle feeding of kittens.

This one looks like Greyson,  Ruby's cat who disappeared three months ago...


Is test-tube meat kosher?

some stuff about a new malaria vaccine on the news...sounds very preliminary...

Could it help Africa/Asia economically?


BBC on ten things we didn't know last week:

did you know Chimps swim the breast stroke?

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