Sarah Palin's presence in the lower 48 means the Arctic ice cap can finally return.

calendar   Wednesday - October 23, 2013

Hypnotizing animations created by 19th century phenakistoscopes

For your entertainment ....

The Victorian version of Vine?  Hypnotizing animations created by 19th century phenakistoscopes are captured as gifs

Phenakistoscope was created in Belgium as a predecessor to the flip book
Images were spun round an axis in such a way that they appeared to move
The gif-style results include couples dancing and leaping clowns
Artist has now turned a selection of these images into mesmerising gifs

By Victoria Woollaston

Vine videos are a relatively new phenomenon but the idea of making short moving pictures dates back as far as the early 19th century.

In 1829, a Belgian physicist invented the phenakistoscope, or ‘spindle viewer’ as a toy for his sons. It spun images around an axis making them appear to move when looked at in a mirror.

The images depicted traditional scenes, including couples dancing and horses jumping, to more abstract clips such as men diving into the mouths of lions, and now artist Richard Balzer has created digital versions of these stunning animations. 

These are truly worth seeing.  I wanted to post an example here which is possible except .... it starts and runs automatically as a GIF, which would consume as I understand it, a HUGE amount of broadband.

So .... catch this link and take a look. I think you’ll be glad you did.

Meanwhile ... Drew is out there someplace seeing this. Perhaps he can perform some tech magic to embed one of the examples here without the down side mentioned.  ???

Hypnotising animations step right up folks and see amazing stuff from another world.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 10/23/2013 at 07:37 AM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesFun-Stuff •  
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calendar   Thursday - July 11, 2013

Porn is good for you!

So writes the female entertainment editor at The Daily Caller.


As soon as you start to feel the crushing weight of the world creeping down on you, look at some porn.

According to new research from Carnegie Mellon University (and dudes in office cubicles across the nation), porn reduces stress and makes you more productive, Men’s Health reports

Read more:

So the next time the boss catches you looking at naughty pictures while on the job, direct him/her to this article.


Posted by Christopher   United States  on 07/11/2013 at 07:53 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and Discoveries •  
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calendar   Friday - April 12, 2013

Somewhere, Otto von Chriek Is Smiling

Music viz rocks in!

Dark Lightning Discovered

Thunderstorms contain ‘dark lightning,’ invisible pulses of powerful radiation

A lightning bolt is one of nature’s most over-the-top phenomena, rarely failing to elicit at least a ping of awe no matter how many times a person has witnessed one. With his iconic kite-and-key experiments in the mid-18th century, Benjamin Franklin showed that lightning is an electrical phenomenon, and since then the general view has been that lightning bolts are big honking sparks no different in kind from the little ones generated by walking in socks across a carpeted room.

But scientists recently discovered something mind-bending about lightning: Sometimes its flashes are invisible, just sudden pulses of unexpectedly powerful radiation. It’s what Joseph Dwyer, a lightning researcher at the Florida Institute of Technology, has termed dark lightning.

Unknown to Franklin but now clear to a growing roster of lightning researchers and astronomers is that along with bright thunderbolts, thunderstorms unleash sprays of X-rays and even intense bursts of gamma rays, a form of radiation normally associated with such cosmic spectacles as collapsing stars. The radiation in these invisible blasts can carry a million times as much energy as the radiation in visible lightning, but that energy dissipates quickly in all directions rather than remaining in a stiletto-like lightning bolt.


Yonder lies ze kestle!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/12/2013 at 10:10 AM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and Discoveries •  
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A Belated April Fool’s?

I’ve had fun in the past on a couple other blogs with the monthly magazine released by the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. In their infinite wisdom, they named their publication

the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

and refer to it by the acronym. In short (ahem), it’s PNAS magazine.


And I’ve noted lately in another blog, how filling up the hungry maw of the ever hungry 24/7 News Cycle often leads to news stories that seem to be nothing more than the blatantly obvious ... which is wryly amusing ... but sometimes things seem to go a bit too far.

Like this one. A big long one in this month’s PNAS magazine, on big penises. Hey, it’s science! Show respect!

Penis size interacts with body shape and height to influence male attractiveness


Compelling evidence from many animal taxa indicates that male genitalia are often under postcopulatory sexual selection for characteristics that increase a male’s relative fertilization success. There could, however, also be direct precopulatory female mate choice based on male genital traits. Before clothing, the nonretractable human penis would have been conspicuous to potential mates. This observation has generated suggestions that human penis size partly evolved because of female choice. Here we show, based upon female assessment of digitally projected life-size, computer-generated images, that penis size interacts with body shape and height to determine male sexual attractiveness. Positive linear selection was detected for penis size, but the marginal increase in attractiveness eventually declined with greater penis size (i.e., quadratic selection). Penis size had a stronger effect on attractiveness in taller men than in shorter men. There was a similar increase in the positive effect of penis size on attractiveness with a more masculine body shape (i.e., greater shoulder-to-hip ratio). Surprisingly, larger penis size and greater height had almost equivalent positive effects on male attractiveness. Our results support the hypothesis that female mate choice could have driven the evolution of larger penises in humans. More broadly, our results show that precopulatory sexual selection can play a role in the evolution of genital traits.

It took a team of four scientists to do the research. Amazingly, it was not the team of Wang, Peters, Johnson, and John Thomas, but the team of Wong, Peters, Mautz, and Jennions. Translating the above abstract of their research from Scientese to English, with the aid of an analytical third-party peer review article that goes to reasonable, but not painful, length to understand the thrust of their reasoning ... and we get the earth shattering news that Chicks Big On Dicks, and the 24/7 news cycle is once again satisfied. But never satiated.

Science proves women like men with bigger penises

The human male possesses the Italian designer faucet of penises. They’re pretty big, the biggest of any primate’s relative to body size. And they’re showy, too, right out there, front and center on our upright bodies (i.e., they don’t retract), as if they were meant to be seen as part of the décor. Why?

A study released today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) offers an explanation: Women are attracted to penises, and the bigger the better.

“Penis size does affect attractiveness,” lead author Brian Mautz, a University of Ottawa post-doctoral researcher said in an interview.

Past research has seemed to indicate that women, as a group, are drawn to larger male members. But those results have been disputed as sexist, or scientifically flawed, or both.

So Mautz and his team, working at the Australian National University, designed an experiment in hopes of settling the controversy. They created 49 unique, computer-generated, nude, life-sized male figures. Each figure varied in three traits: height, shoulder-hip ratio and flaccid penis size.

The researchers then displayed all the figures to 105 Australian women with an average age of 26. The women, who were not told which traits varied, were asked to rate the attractiveness of the figures as sexual partners on a scale of 1-7. The women were alone in the room and their responses were anonymous.

As past studies have shown, women prefer tall men with broad shoulders and narrow hips, like an Olympic swimmer. But when Mautz controlled for those variables, it turned out that penis size (overall length and girth) was about as important as stature.

“As you increase penis size, the amount of attractiveness scores gets bigger” in a linear fashion, he explained, until 7.6 centimeters, or 3 inches. After three inches, attractiveness still increased, but in smaller increments.

Not only were the ratings higher, but the women also spent more time gazing at the generously endowed figures, a sign they preferred looking at them as opposed to figures with smaller penises.

Women with a greater body mass index held stronger preferences for big penises. And size was most critical in tall men, perhaps, Mautz speculated, because “a taller guy must have a disproportionately larger penis to sort of make it clear” he’s endowed.

So there you have it. You would assume that such a study would also point out the statistically most popular male height given that they already knew the most popular male body shape. A little cock-up perhaps, or else the researchers just wanted to stay true to the thesis in hand.

Or as Mautz puts it in his paper, “Our results support the hypothesis that female mate choice could have driven the evolution of larger penises in humans.”

Of course, this is the 21st century. Most men wear pants – or at the very least, kilts. Mautz was quick to soothe men by saying that his study did not include other proven mate choice factors like money, intelligence, hair or whether a guy drives a 1997 Chevy Astro.

Hey, how about a 1997 Saturn? LOL


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/12/2013 at 08:47 AM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesHumorNews-BriefsNo Shit, SherlockSex •  
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calendar   Sunday - February 24, 2013


I give the hippo a ‘10’ for reverb and sustain:


Posted by Christopher   United States  on 02/24/2013 at 09:43 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesFun-StuffNatureOUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT •  
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calendar   Thursday - January 31, 2013

fraudulent behaviour was in effect saving the government money? yeah. go figure.

‘Her fraudulent behaviour was in effect saving the government money. It is the most ridiculous mitigation I have ever had to bring before a court - quite ridiculous.’

The term, “One for the books” comes to mind here.
I was tempted to file it under humor. What an odd system in place.
But I suppose it works for the Brits, so who am I to question things?

Take a look at this.

Benefits cheat mum, 23, now £64 a week better off after officials rule she is entitled to MORE than the amount she was actually stealing

· Claimed £66 ($104) a week illegally but is told she can now receive £130 ($205)

· Her lawyer described mitigation as ‘most ridiculous’ he had ever brought

· Ordered to do 80 hours community service and pay £100 court costs

By Richard Hartley-parkinson

A young mother who illegally claimed benefits while working has been told she is legally entitled to more than the amount she had been stealing. 


Joanne Gibbons, 23, from Upton Priory, Macclesfield, was convicted of unlawfully pocketing £3,140 ($4,964) in income support while holding down two jobs.

She originally claimed benefits legally but failed to notify the Department for Work and Pensions that she had a job at a shop and for East Cheshire NHS trust.

When she was caught out, the mother-of-one was reassessed and told she could actually claim more money for family tax credits and child benefits.
She can now receive £130 a week, £64 a week more than she claimed fraudulently.

When she worked for clothing shop Strawberry Moon and the NHS trust between February 2011 and January 2012, Macclesfield Magistrates’ Court heard she would not have qualified for any payouts.

Gibbons’ lawyer Mr Julian Farley said: ‘This case is extraordinary and perhaps an indictment of the benefits system.

‘If you work out what the overpayment was on the income support over 11 months, it’s about £66 per week of overpayment.

‘Immediately after the fraud was found the income support stopped and her benefits were adjusted. Miss Gibbons was then entitled to make a claim for family tax credit and child benefits.

‘She’s now receiving £130 per week - £64 more than she was fraudulently claiming in the first place.

‘Her fraudulent behaviour was in effect saving the government money. It is the most ridiculous mitigation I have ever had to bring before a court - quite ridiculous.’

see more


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/31/2013 at 09:35 AM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesFinance and InvestingHumorInflation and High PricesUK •  
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calendar   Friday - November 02, 2012

is a drug to cure baldness really on the way?

Yeah well, way too late for me.  That’s one of so many damn problems one encounters in my generation. These things will one day come to pass, but too late for us.  Hey, I confess it. I HATE being bald on top.  There were some guys that didn’t actually look all that bad minus hair. Telly Savalas is one and another late actor was Yul Brynner. I didn’t think they looked bad at all.  But I know I do and that’s the truth.  At least as I see it.
So anyway I happened to spot this and thought I’d share it. Maybe some of you lucky younger guys who’ve lost it will have something like this in your future. 

How eye drops could stop you going bald - thanks to an unusual side effect

Glaucoma eye drops found to stimulate eyelash growth
Early clinical trials suggest drug could help follicles to produce a third more scalp hair than usual

By Jenny Hope

A drug that helps to stop blindness could soon be used to combat baldness.

Lumigan eye-drops are an established treatment for glaucoma, a condition caused by excess fluid in the eye.

But it has a side-effect that has excited scientists – it can stimulate the growth of eyelashes.

Now research suggests the active ingredient in Lumigan, called bimatoprost, could have the same effect on the scalp.

Preliminary trials are underway to see whether bimatoprost can reverse hair loss in both men and women.

If successful, the drug could get a new lease of life as a baldness treatment. Lead scientist Professor Valerie Randall, from the University of Bradford, said: ‘Bimatoprost is known to stimulate eyelash growth and is already used clinically for this purpose.

‘We wanted to see whether it would have the same effect on scalp hair, as the two types of follicle are very different.

‘Our findings show that bimatoprost does stimulate growth in human scalp hair follicles and therefore could offer a new approach for treating hair loss disorders.’

Findings from the laboratory research appear in The FASEB Journal, published by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. The drug was tested on living scalp tissue obtained from volunteer donors undergoing cosmetic surgery.

Follicles treated with bimatoprost grew a third more hair than untreated samples in just nine days.

Scalp follicles were found to contain exactly the same molecular receptors responsive to bimatoprost as eyelash follicles.

‘This means that – so long as the drug can be applied in such a way that it can reach the follicle – it should stimulate hair growth in patients,’ said Professor Randall.

Results from the next phase of the clinical trials currently taking place in the United States and Germany should be available before the end of the year.

They involve 220 men with male pattern baldness and 172 women with female pattern baldness.

Participants are undergoing six months of treatment with either a solution of bimatoprost, applied to the scalp, or an inactive placebo (dummy treatment).

A comparison with the well-known baldness treatment minoxidil is also being assessed.

Professor Randall acts as a consultant to Allergan Inc which manufactures Lumigan.

The well-known effect of Lumigan on eyelashes also comes with its own side-effect, it causes darkening of eye colour and eyelid skin, which may not be reversible.

It is not known if this side-effect will occur on the scalp.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 11/02/2012 at 05:24 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesMedical •  
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calendar   Thursday - July 19, 2012

bra and undies found in castle vault, thought to be 500 yrs old.

Whatcha think people?

I enlarged this to a point where I could hardly go any more, to try and see the threads and the stitching and I’m still not sure.  The stitches could have been made by machine. (?)

Question for anyone who might know.
Is it possible to fake carbon dating?  These items look .... not fake maybe.  If you go to the site and enlarge the top photo and see the stitching, wouldn’t you wonder how they’d have managed to make a needle that fine to produce that kind of stitch?

Okay, if this is all for real, it’s a heck of a find and story.

Discovered in a castle vault, the scraps of lace that show lingerie in use 500 years ago


It is hardly racy by today’s standards but this skimpy lingerie has certainly shocked historians.

The lace and linen undergarments date back to hundreds of years before women’s underwear was thought to exist.

They had lain hidden in a vault beneath the floorboards of an Austrian castle since the 15th century.

Despite their state of decay, the knickers bear more than a passing resemblance to the string bikini briefs popular today, while the bra has the fitted cups and delicate straps of its modern-day counterparts.

While it was known that medieval men wore undergarments like modern-day shorts, it was thought that women simply wore a smock or chemise.

It was thought that knickers didn’t make an appearance until the late 18th century.

Bras were thought to be an even more modern invention, not appearing until around 100 years ago.

Hilary Davidson, fashion curator at the Museum of London, said the discovery ‘totally rewrites’ fashion history, adding: ‘Nothing like this has ever come up before.’

She believes it is ‘entirely probable’ that something similar was worn by Britain’s medieval women.

‘These finds are a very exciting insight into the way people dressed in the Middle Ages,’ she continued.

‘It’s rare that everyday garments of any kind survive from this period, let alone underwear.’

The undergarments were among almost 3,000 fragments of clothing and other detritus found in Lengberg Castle in East Tyrol during recent renovations.

It is thought that they were buried when the building was extended in 1480 and that the exceptionally dry conditions stopped the fragile garments from disintegrating over the centuries.

Beatrix Nutz, of Innsbruck University, who made the find, initially faced scepticism but radiocarbon-dating tests confirmed her suspicions.

The haul included four bras and two pairs of pants. Two of the bras resemble modern counterparts but the others are described rather bluntly as ‘shirts with bags’, the August issue of the BBC History Magazine reports.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 07/19/2012 at 09:04 AM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesArcheology / Anthropology •  
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calendar   Monday - July 02, 2012

More Than Possible; It’s Probable

Did Pharaoh Eat “Chocolate” Ice Cream In An Air Conditioned Palace?

A nice thought for a hot summer’s day. And while there is no proof of any positive answer to my question, it is certainly possible.

After all, the Egyptians had cows, goats, and sheep ... therefore they had milk and cream. And probably a butter churn, which is really not much more than a couple of cross boards on a stick. The same kind of design as a the paddles in an ice cream maker. They had fruit and spices for flavoring. And not only did they have honey for sweetening, they had locust beans, which are used as a thickener in ice cream today. Locust beans are also known as Carob, and Carob is a chocolate substitute for allergic folks. And dogs. Has been, since always. Vanilla beans come from Madagascar, a bit down the coast. Certainly within trading distance. The Egyptains had some really decent metal working ability, enough to make a copper or a bronze bucket. Or a solid gold one. The observation that salty ice water is colder than plain old ice water is probably as old as time, and with the north end of their country being a sea shore, they certainly had salt.

So they had everything necessary to make ice cream, from the ingredients to the machinery.  “Oh no”, you say, “you’re missing the most important thing! It was Egypt. Aegypt!! Hot. Desert. Hot. Sand. Hot. Camels! Did I mention hot? They didn’t have ice!!”

Wanna bet?

See this thing?


Take a guess what it is. It’s a design that dates back to ancient Persia, at least 500 BC.  Maybe 1000 BC. Persia; Egypt’s neighbor and occasional conqueror, just a short reed boat ride across the Red Sea away.
So what’s this pile of stone? It’s the ultimate Green Kitchen Accessory. It’s made out of mud brick ... and it’s a giant wind powered refrigerator. An ice box, bigger than a house. One that may have had a built in ice maker, albeit one that only works at night. When it gets really cold in the desert.

I’ve got a lot of reading to do on this, but I wanted to toss the question out to give everyone something new to think about. More fun than reacting to today’s political nonsense, or tomorrow’s, or yesterday’s.

Ok Drew, how would it work?

First off: the air conditioning part. That we know existed, and still exists. Readers from the southwest will be familiar with an old form of A/C called a Swamp Cooler. Evaporative cooling. Blow hot dry air across some water and it cools right down. Take that concept and build it on a massive scale. City size. Several dozen miles long if necessary. But to get there, you’ll need water. Lots of nice, cold water. Here’s your shovel. Start digging.

If you live in a hot dry climate and you need to get water from the spring way over there to your city and farm fields over here, you don’t go and build a canal or an aqueduct. Too much evaporation. No, you build a qanat ("kwaa gnat"). That’s an underground water channel built between a spring somewhere in the mountains and a city somewhere near by. There are tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of the things across the Middle East and the Far East, from Tunisia to Iran to China. They’ve been around for about 3000 years. Most of the water in Iran is still collected this way even today. Digging a water tunnel underground is kind of difficult, so the qanat builders put in an air shaft every 100 feet or so; the lines of these shafts dimple the desert surface by the millions, mile after mile after mile.


Ok, now that you’ve got you qanat built, and your village is getting water ... nice cool water too, from deep underground, but not so deep it starts getting hot again ( about 100 yards or so maximum ). Your tunnel digging slaves have finished, so you cap off the access/air shafts to the qanats. This cuts evaporation to a minimum, and keeps the stupid sheep from falling down the holes.

But you leave one air shaft open. And then you build a building over one of the last air shafts. Make it out of nice heat resistant clay brick, with walls 6 or 9 feet thick. Pretty good insulation right there. Now put a tower on top of the building, with a doorway on the leeward side. A hole in the floor on every level lets air flow from the top of the roof all the way to the basement, all the way down the air shaft, to the cool water flowing in the qanat deep underground.

Except the air doesn’t flow that way. Due to Bernoulli’s Principle, the wind blowing past the tower and past it’s door on the downwind side creates a pressure differential. A partial vacuum. This pulls in hot desert air into the open air shaft (don’t forget to put a sheep filter across it first), and pulls that air underground and across the cold flowing water in the qanat tunnel, and then up into your building. So you get a nice steady cold damp breeze blowing in from the basement. Natural air conditioning.


It works. It’s another ancient design, but largely forgotten by the West. There are lots of these in Spain that still function. You can read all about them, about how they are wonders of Islamic Science from the Golden Age of Islam ... but they aren’t much more advanced than the ones that the Persians built under Sargon I, somewhere around 1000-800 BC. The design was used by the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, and even those barbarians living in Libya. Older than the Profit, may bees pee upon him. Merely copied and brought north by his minions 1000 or so years after it was invented.

Ok, back to our mud refrigerator. Anybody who understands Bernoulli’s principle and the Venturi Effect, or who owns a perfume sprayer, knows that you can pull liquid up a tube with just air flowing across the top of the pipe. See the picture of the big mud fridge and the wall next to it? It’s built above a qanat, and the air shafts run up inside the wall. Really thin ones probably. The wind blows, gets deflected over the top of the wall ... which pulls water up the narrow shafts ... which then runs in a channel near the top of the wall, just like in an aqueduct ... and then flows off the end of the wall onto the spiral stepped surface of the beehive shaped ice box, around and around, cooling the outside. The builders figured out how to make waterproof mud brick (duh, it’s called a kiln, right?), the walls are very thick and well insulated, it gets cooled from the outside by running water all day long, cooled from the inside by evaporative cooling from the subterranean qanat water, and filled with ice or snow gathered during winter. And who knows, perhaps refreshed with any ice made during those cold desert nights. So it IS a giant refrigerator, and it could be an ice maker too.

The one in the picture is about 110 years old, and was built in Sirjan, Kerman Province, in Iran by the first Shah, Pahvli I. The design however is almost as old as Persia.

So it is entirely possible that the Egyptians, always hot to copy a good new idea like the sandal and the horse and the wheel, had these things. Gone now, because even waterproof mud brick doesn’t last forever. And their king, the Pharaoh - at least the later Pharaohs, who spoke Persian or Greek - could have enjoyed a double scoop cone in his cool and moist palace. The technology existed. Mock-chocolate and vanilla flavored.

All I have to do is find some ancient Eastern version of the waffle cone, and my thesis is good to go. grin


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/02/2012 at 01:11 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesArcheology / AnthropologyArchitecture •  
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calendar   Tuesday - June 19, 2012

submarine found after 94 years

Heck of a discovery and I can’t think of anything to add. Worth sharing though I hope.

First World War British submarine found 94 years after being abandoned

By David Blair
A British submarine which executed one of the most daring raids of the First World War, penetrating the Dardanelles to sink a small flotilla of Turkish warships, has been found 94 years after being abandoned.


HMS E14 was located intact by Turkish documentary-makers on the ocean bed of the Dardanelles after a search that began in January.

In 1915, Lt-Cdr Edward Courtney Boyle was decorated with the Victoria Cross after steering E14 through these heavily defended straits at the height of the Gallipoli campaign.

Boyle sailed beneath a minefield and evaded the guns and searchlights arrayed along the Narrows. Having defeated the supposedly impregnable defences of the Dardanelles, E14 reached the open waters of the Sea of Marmara on April 27 1915.

Boyle then “cruised about at will” for the “next three weeks,” wrote Alan Moorehead in “Gallipoli”, brazenly surfacing off the Golden Horn beside Istanbul itself.
During this time, E14 sank two warships and a White Star cruise liner packed with 6,000 Turkish troops bound for Gallipoli. After inflicting more damage than any submarine commander before him, Boyle escaped through the Dardanelles, evading the minefields for a second time.

The citation for his VC praised his “conspicuous bravery” for overcoming “great navigational difficulties” and the “hourly danger of attack from the enemy”. E14’s entire crew of 30 received Distinguished Service Medals. Boyle, aged 27 at the time of his decoration, was run over by a lorry and died in 1967.

A later captain of E14, Lt-Cdr Geoffrey Saxon White, also won the VC in the Dardanelles. But he was decorated posthumously after an operation in these waters resulted in the submarine being abandoned in January 1918. Its location remained unknown until this month, when the vessel became the first “E” class submarine ever to be discovered intact.


See More Below The Fold


Posted by peiper   United States  on 06/19/2012 at 10:02 AM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesWar-Stories •  
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calendar   Saturday - June 09, 2012

A Winning Formula

Yay Math!!


Florence Colgate has the most mathematically beautiful face in the UK

Leonardo Da Vinci spent a lifetime trying to paint one. Scientists and mathematicians have puzzled for centuries over what makes one, while cosmetic surgeons have amassed fortunes striving to create one.

And Florence Colgate? Well, she simply has one. The 18-year-old student is blessed with what is described as the perfect face. It matches an international blueprint for the optimum ratio between eyes, mouth, forehead and chin, endowing her with flawless proportions.

In theory, that needn’t necessarily cause her to appear anything more than symmetrical (in which department, incidentally, she is also faultless).

But the blue-eyed blonde’s mathematical dimensions have just added up to success in a competition to find Britain’s most naturally beautiful face.

Florence, who has a Saturday job in a seaside chip shop in between studying for her A-levels, beat 8,000 entrants to win the title. Contestants were judged without make-up and were barred entry if they had had plastic surgery or chemical enhancement.
But it is the scientific definition of beauty – not to mention a healthy portion of beauty genes from her mother – which gave Florence the crown.

A woman’s face is said to be most attractive when the space between her pupils is just under half the width of her face from ear to ear. Florence scores a 44 per cent ratio. Experts also believe the relative distance between eyes and mouth should be just over a third of the measurement from hairline to chin. Florence’s ratio is 32.8 per cent.

So I guess that makes her the UK’s “closest fit” to the formula. If her eyes were a tiny bit further apart and her mouth a hair lower (or her head was a tad thinner and shorter) she would match the formula exactly.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I think the girl is perfectly lovely just the way she is. Fresh, warm, wholesome. But, beauty being in the eye of the beholder, I think she lacks that certain little bit of edge, a touch of sharpness or a bit of planar angularity that turns a very pretty face into a classically beautiful one; one that could be carved in marble and thousands of years later be recognized as outstanding.  But let’s give Ms. Colgate a tiny break; she’s just 18 and really hasn’t finished growing. We’ll come back to her when she’s 24 or 27 or 33 and see how she fares then.

Is the formula correct? I used a graphics tool to narrow and shorten her face a little in the next pictures, which results in her eyes being relatively wider, and the eye to mouth distance being relatively just a bit longer. Is she more beautiful that way, or just a bit harder looking? Granted, this was a quick attempt: the graphics quality is lowered, and I didn’t run the numbers to find the exact pixel counts that matched the formula. I just took a little off the top and sides each time. What’s your reaction?



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/09/2012 at 11:01 AM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesEye-Candy •  
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calendar   Monday - May 28, 2012

Junk Stats From Junk Scientists

“Global Warming Skeptics Slightly Better At Science Than True Believers”

To their amazement, the greenies ran some quiz, and found that nay-sayers knew just as much science and statistics as the worshipers of the Goreacle. To my non-amazement, both sides utterly bombed a squat-simple quiz, proving neither side knows much about anything.

Are global warming skeptics anti-science? Or just ignorant about science?

Maybe neither. A study published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change finds that people who are not that worried about the effects of global warming tend to have a slightly higher level of scientific knowledge than those who are worried, as determined by their answers to questions like:

“Electrons are smaller than atoms—true or false?”

“How long does it take the Earth to go around the Sun? One day, one month, or one year?”

“Lasers work by focusing sound waves—true or false?”

The quiz, containing 22 questions about both science and statistics, was given to 1,540 representative Americans. Respondents who were relatively less worried about global warming got 57 percent of them right, on average, just barely outscoring those whose who saw global warming as a bigger threat. They got 56 percent of the questions correct.

If those 3 examples are representative, I’d have to drive cross country to kick any of my readers in the nutz if they got less than an 80. ["ansers": 1) true; 2) one year; 3) false as you darn well already knew!] A red-assed baboon could score an 80 on this test I think. So I know I won’t be wasting a drop of 87 octane, because you’d all do way better than a pathetic 57.

Oh, and the statistics folks will notice that a score difference of 1% from a poll of 1540 is at the very fringy edge of meaninglessness. By which I mean that the differences are too close to call. Maybe they should have made it a 200 question exam instead.

“As respondents’ science literacy scores increased, their concern with climate change decreased,” the paper, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, notes.

Yale Law Professor Dan Kahan, the lead author of the study, cautioned that the survey results are not evidence for or against climate change.

“This study is agnostic on what people ought to believe,” he told “It just doesn’t follow to say this finding implies anything about what people should believe on this issue.”

That statement is pure organic compost. This was not a literacy exam, this was a science and statistics quiz ... unless there was some other exam, or some kind of educational level admission on the application form? This doesn’t jibe at all with what the examples purport to show; neither does an average score of 57% support any kind of claim to increasing literacy, unless half of the test takers were drooling imbeciles more likely to eat the test paper than to check off the boxes.

Kahan said that he thought another finding of the study was more important: That people’s cultural views – how much they value things like individualism and equality—affect their views on global warming much more than actual knowledge about science. Regardless of how much they know about science, individualists were relatively unconcerned about global warming, whereas those who value equality were very concerned.

AH HA. Now we get to the meat of things.
There HAD to be more to this study than just an analysis of a 22 question science quiz. And what the REAL take-away is, is that people who can think for themselves - individualists - are far less likely to buy into the scare=scam than are groupists - hive minded members of the Borg Collective, another pathetic sheep following the herd. Mentally lazy folk who need to be told what to do, what to wear, where to go, and what to believe in. Hypnotards.

And that’s the whole thing, in a nutshell.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/28/2012 at 06:46 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesClimate-Weather •  
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calendar   Thursday - May 24, 2012

Oh Nikki You’re So Fine

An Ode To My Hero

The Oatmeal pens a paean to Nikola Tesla, as only The Oatmeal can. And along the way gives little Thomas Alva E. several righteous smacks for the scuzzmeister that he was.  Liar, thief, animal torturer, perhaps even guilty of murder by indifferent negligence. New Jersey’s finest!

Read, enjoy, and realize that historical revisionism is nothing new. Don’t miss the fine green print that’s hard to see.

Why Nikola Tesla Was The Greatest Geek Who Ever Lived

Ever heard of RADAR?
AKA that awesome technology that lets us detect objects like cruise missiles and latte-sipping SUV-driving imbeciles who do 85 in a 45
An English Scientist by the the name of Robert A. Watson-Watt was credited with the invention of radar in 1935.
Can you guess who came up with the idea in 1917?
18 years before Watson-Watt
He pitched it to the US Navy at the beginning of World War I when the world was getting its butthole forcibly imploded by German U-boats.

Thomas Edison was head of R&D for the Navy at the time and he managed to convince them that it had no practical application in war.
NICE JOB, EDISON! You bloated, misguided ass.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/24/2012 at 08:21 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesHumor •  
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calendar   Thursday - May 10, 2012

Frozen in the sands of time: Plane of Second World War discovered in the Sahara desert

Doesn’t need words. The photos at the link, lots of em, tell the tale. Sad end to a young life.

Frozen in the sands of time: Plane of Second World War pilot discovered in the Sahara desert… 70 years after it crashed

Pilot of the Kittyhawk P-40 was thought to have survived crash, but died trying to walk out of the desert
Aircraft was found almost perfectly preserved, unseen and untouched, after it came down in 1942
Historian describes find as ‘an incredible time capsule’ and ‘the aviation equivalent of Tutankhamun’s Tomb’


A Second World War plane crashed by a British pilot in the Sahara desert, before he walked off to his death, has been found frozen in time 70 years later.

Unseen and untouched, the Kittyhawk P-40 has been described as an aviation ‘time capsule’ after it was found almost perfectly preserved in the sands of the western desert in Egypt.

After coming down in June 1942, the pilot is thought to have survived the crash and initially used his parachute for shelter before making a desperate and futile attempt to reach civilisation by walking out of the desert.

The RAF airman - believed to have been Flight Sergeant Dennis Copping, 24 - was never seen again. The crash site is about 200 miles from the nearest town.

The single-seater fighter plane was discovered by chance by Polish oil company worker Jakub Perka, who was exploring a remote region.

Despite the crash impact, most of the aircraft’s cockpit instruments are intact. Its guns and ammunition were also still intact before being seized by the Egyptian military for safety reasons.

There are also signs of the makeshift camp made by the pilot alongside the fuselage.

However there are fears over what will be left of it after locals began stripping parts and instruments from the cockpit for souvenirs and scrap.

Historians are now urging the British government to step in and have the scene declared as a war grave so it can be protected before the plane is recovered.

Historian Andy Saunders, from Hastings, East Sussex, said: ‘The aviation historical world is hugely excited about this discovery.

‘This plane has been lying in the same spot where it crashed 70 years ago. It hasn’t been hidden or buried in the sand, it has just sat there.

‘It is a quite incredible time capsule, the aviation equivalent of Tutankhamun’s Tomb.

‘It is hundreds of miles from anywhere and there is no reason why anyone would go there.

‘It would appear the pilot got into trouble and just brought it down in the middle of the desert.

‘He must have survived the crash because one photo shows a parachute around the frame of the plane and my guess is the poor bloke used it to shelter from the sun.


No human remains have been found but it is thought the pilot’s decomposed body may lay anywhere in a 20-mile radius of the plane.

The RAF Museum at Hendon, north London, has been made aware of the discovery and plans are underway to recover the aircraft and display it in the future.

A search will also be launched in the slim hope of finding the lost airman.

The defence attache at the British embassy in Cairo is due to visit the scene in order to officially confirm its discovery and serial number.




Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/10/2012 at 09:59 AM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesWar-Stories •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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GNU Terry Pratchett

Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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