My back's playing up today, but at least it means that rather than going around doing something useful, I can just lie here digging up stuff like this
- The Last Unknown Man - "He appeared out of nowhere. He had no name, no memory, no past. He was the only person the FBI ever listed as missing even though they knew where he was. How could B.K. Doe remain anonymous in the modern age’s matrix of observation?" The strange story of a man found unconscious who didn’t know who he was, and didn’t find out for nearly fourteen years.
- How much beer can I legitimately drink in my lunch hour before I get fired? - "The pint at lunch: as much as part of British office culture as sad Pret sandwiches and arguments about the air-con. It makes everything better. But, according to a recent YouGov poll, 74 per cent of the British public consider drinking at lunchtime ‘unacceptable’ - so what if we, ol’ beer-at-lunch Joe Public, have been wrong all this time?" Sam Diss attempts to find out by drinking one pint on Monday lunchtime, two on Tuesday, and so on while his boss assesses whether he should be sacked yet
- Did Leonard Nimoy Fake His Own Death So He Could Seize Control of the Illuminati? - It’s an utter nutjob site, so of course this is one of those headlines-in-the-form-of-a-question to which the answer is “Yes!” according to author Henricus Institor: ”However, it is clear that Nimoy’s March 26th birthdate does anticipate his future role in New World Order propaganda for it was on that day in 1484 that William Caxton printed the first translation of Aesop’s Fables and also, in 1830, when the Book of Mormon was published in Palmyra, New York. (Star Trek has long been accused of being a palimpsest of these two works.)” Includes a guest appearance by Zeity!
- Tiksi Bay - Another triumph of Soviet planning: ”The Tiksi settlement, at the mouth of the Lena River on the shore of the Laptev Sea, is located beyond the 72nd parallel north. It’s the northernmost settlement in Russia with a regular transport link… One schoolgirl, smiling drunkenly, tells me that her father drowned a couple of days ago while on his way to save someone. For locals, it’s not uncommon for a drinking binge to continue for about a year.” N.B. the controls aren’t obvious but those photos that have “n/x Images” above them, where n and x are positive integers, are slideshows: clicking or tapping on the left and right of the photo will move back and forward respectively.
- Clerical Detectives - "I take clerical detectives to mean any detective with a significant church or religious background, so I include not only priests (male and female), ministers, monks, nuns, ex-nuns, a Shaker, two rabbis (and rabbis' widows and ministers' wives), a church administrator, and a clerk of a Quaker Meeting, but choirmaster/organists, religously inspired policemen, Buddhists, Muslims, and even a few witches." If you’re trying to remember the name of that fictional clergyman who “starts off by being a murderer rather than a detective” or you fancy a story featuring “the nun who uses a huge candlestick as a weapon”, Philip Grosset has you covered
- Take a Course or Two with Professor Sagan - "Most Americans know Carl Sagan best as a public figure and science communicator. Alongside those roles, he taught college courses for more than thirty years, first at Harvard University and later at Cornell… Materials for two of his courses have been digitized and are now available online as part of the online collection, Finding Our Place in the Cosmos. Items from the first course on planetary science give you a sense of the rigors of this field of research. Items from the second, a course on scientific thinking, illustrate how Carl Sagan’s passion for science communication and argumentation translated into the classroom.”
- Checking Out - Librarian porn! ”Porn books and librarians have always had a passionate, mutually defining relationship—it was, in fact, a prudish French librarian in the early nineteenth century who coined the word pornography. So it comes as no surprise that the sexy librarian, a fixture of the pornographic imagination, is most at home in books.”
- A 4-bit Calculator made in cardboard and marble - "LOGIC is a fully functional 4-bit calculator made entirely out of cardboard, hot glue and marbles. I built it with my little sisters for a science activity, it can add numbers from 0 to 15 for a maximum computable number of 30. We made it from scratch and at the time I didn’t see any of the various kind of calculator that have been made using Lego, wood and other, so it’s a completely new model!" Cool little project
- The Battle for the Great Apes: Inside the Fight for Non-Human Rights - The ongoing campaign around the world to gain legal recognition for the rights of simians, such as orang-utan Sandra: ”Last year, to the delight of animal-rights advocates, a Buenos Aires judge ruled that Sandra is a “non-human person” and a “sentient being” — a bearer of legal rights. Just what that means is still a matter of dispute. But, in the meantime, the case has been hailed by activists as a milestone in civil rights — another sign that human society may be ready to expand its embrace, recognizing great apes and perhaps other species as more than just things.”
- Looking Inside the Abandoned Schools of the Irish Countryside - Enda O'Flaherty: "On most weekends for the past year I have been visiting abandoned elementary schools in rural Ireland. Due to a long-term tradition of emigration, and changing demographics, there are a surprising number of derelict school houses scattered around the Irish countryside… I have visited almost 150 abandoned school houses in the past 12 months."