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Friday, August 16, 2019

Friday links

August 18 is the anniversary of the death of Genghis Khan: founder of the Mongolian Empire, prolific spreader of DNA, and climate change hero. Related: Why Genghis Khan’s tomb can’t be found.

Cancer Treatment in the 19th Century.

Building the Middle Ages one LEGO Brick at a time.

National Geographic shows you how easily rats can swim up through your toilet.

Florida company offering 'alien abduction insurance' has sold nearly 6,000 policies.

The surprisingly interesting history of the lightbulb.

ICYMI, most recent links are here, and include the anniversary of the battle of Thermopylae, washing machine history, Churchillian and Shakespearean insults, underwater wine cellars, and why only some people remember dreams.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

The World War of the Ants – The Army Ant

Ant bridge - source
Interesting videos on army ant (wiki) behavior - army ant colonies consist of the queen, the queen’s brood (her eggs), soldiers, and the workers. Army ants are nomadic, making temporary nests as they travel. The nest is made up of the army ants themselves. They form walls and fasten onto each other by using their mandibles (jaws) and their claws. This way, they can hang from a log or another surface while the nest encloses the queen and her brood.

The name army ant (or legionary ant or marabunta is applied to over 200 ant species in different lineages. Due to their aggressive predatory foraging groups, known as "raids", a huge number of ants forage simultaneously over a certain area.
Another shared feature is that, unlike most ant species, army ants do not construct permanent nests; an army ant colony moves almost incessantly over the time it exists.

More at and DK Find Out

Friday, August 9, 2019

Friday links

The Secret History of Washing Machines.

Why Do Some People Always Remember Their Dreams, While Others Almost Never Do?

ICYMI, most recent links are here, and include the birthdays of Aldous Huxley and Milton Friedman, the economics of airport food, Beatrix Potter's botanical drawings, and protecting cows from predators by drawing eyes on their butts.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Tom and Jerry Concerto

The Tom and Jerry cartoon The Cat Concerto (wiki) has Tom giving a concert performance of Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, which Jerry keeps interrupting. 

The same year (1947) that MGM produced The Cat Concerto, Warner Bros. released a very similar Bugs Bunny cartoon (see below) called Rhapsody Rabbit (wiki), with Bugs against an unnamed mouse. Both shorts used near identical gags, the same piece by Franz Liszt, and had similar endings.

Here's 16 year old pianist Yannie Tan:

Rhapsody Rabbit - I can't find a better version - please share if you find one. 

Related: Yannie Tan plays Snowbody Loves Me - Tom and Jerry - A Chopin Medley:

Piano arranged version of the following pieces by Frederick Chopin:
- Grande Valse Brillante in E-flat major
- √Čtude Op. 25, No. 9 in G-flat major
- Fantaisie-Impromptu in C♯ minor Op. posth. 66
- Scherzo No. 2 In B-Flat Minor Op. 31