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Saturday, February 6, 2016

How to Deliver a Baby

I hadn't seen any of them before, but check out the youtube channel for Epic How To. Subjects include how to fight a bear, start your own country, be a ninja, break out of jail, start a religion, fake your own death, and/or survive the zombie apocalypse.

This baby-delivering video was posted on February 4, 2016, which is the same day that my new granddaughter was born. ;-)

Anyway - enjoy:

h/t Neatorama

Friday, February 5, 2016

The physics of perfect pancakes, and why it applies to glaucoma treatment

This is quite fascinating, especially since the underlying geometry/physics of pancakes apparently have a lot in common with the geometry/physics of glaucoma. The hope is that better understanding the textures and patterns of pancakes could improve surgical methods for treating glaucoma.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Blogging will be light for a few days while I welcome my new granddaughter to the world ;-)

It is not a slight thing when those so fresh from God love us.

On February 4, 2016, my younger daughter Amanda and her husband Scott brought forth into this world their third child (and first girl) Miss Adelaide Sandra Virginia White, aka 'Addie', at 12:40 PM. She weighs 6 pounds and 9 ounces, is 19 inches long, and has the appropriate number of body parts.

Infant Sorrow by William Blake

My mother groand! my father wept.
Into the dangerous world I leapt:
Helpless, naked, piping loud;
Like a fiend hid in a cloud.

Struggling in my fathers hands:
Striving against my swaddling bands:
Bound and weary I thought best
To sulk upon my mothers breast.

Song To Be Sung by the Father of Infant Female Children 

by Ogden Nash

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky;
Contrariwise, my blood runs cold
When little boys go by.
For little boys as little boys,
No special hate I carry,
But now and then they grow to men,
And when they do, they marry.
No matter how they tarry,
Eventually they marry.
And, swine among the pearls,
They marry little girls.

Oh, somewhere, somewhere, an infant plays,
With parents who feed and clothe him.
Their lips are sticky with pride and praise,
But I have begun to loathe him.
Yes, I loathe with loathing shameless
This child who to me is nameless.
This bachelor child in his carriage
Gives never a thought to marriage,
But a person can hardly say knife
Before he will hunt him a wife.

I never see an infant (male),
A-sleeping in the sun,
Without I turn a trifle pale
And think is he the one?
Oh, first he'll want to crop his curls,
And then he'll want a pony,
And then he'll think of pretty girls,
And holy matrimony.
A cat without a mouse
Is he without a spouse.

Oh, somewhere he bubbles bubbles of milk,
And quietly sucks his thumbs.
His cheeks are roses painted on silk,
And his teeth are tucked in his gums.
But alas the teeth will begin to grow,
And the bubbles will cease to bubble;
Given a score of years or so,
The roses will turn to stubble.
He'll sell a bond, or he'll write a book,
And his eyes will get that acquisitive look,
And raging and ravenous for the kill,
He'll boldly ask for the hand of Jill.
This infant whose middle
Is diapered still
Will want to marry My daughter Jill.

Oh sweet be his slumber and moist his middle!
My dreams, I fear, are infanticiddle.
A fig for embryo Lohengrins!
I'll open all his safety pins,
I'll pepper his powder, and salt his bottle,
And give him readings from Aristotle.
Sand for his spinach I'll gladly bring,
And Tabasco sauce for his teething ring.
And an elegant, elegant, alligator
To play with him in his perambulator.
Then perhaps he'll struggle through fire and water
To marry somebody else's daughter.

It is a pleasant thing to reflect upon, and furnishes a complete answer to those who contend for the gradual degeneration of the human species, that every baby born into the world is a finer one than the last. 

~ Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby, Ch. 36 

Thursday links

February 5th is World Nutella Day - here's a canonical list of Nutella recipes.

Some Super Bowl reading:
Football during WWII, when almost all able-bodied men joined the military: The combined Steelers/Eagles team called the Steagles.
Were footballs ever actually made of pigskin?
The Lost Tribe of Gypsy Harlots: The Mythical Invasion of the Super Bowl Hookers.

We're the Only Animals With Chins, and No One Knows Why.

ICYMI, Tuesday's links are here, and include lots of groundhog stuff, outrunning a tyrannosaur, ridiculous (but true) tabloid headlines, ranking movie psychopaths, and experimental WWII aircraft.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Football during WWII, when almost all able-bodied men joined the military: The Strange Story of the Steagles

When the US first entered WWII, almost every able-bodied man volunteered for the military or was drafted. That included the rosters of all of the NFL teams. The resulting diminished rosters led, among other things, to a combined Steelers and Eagles team called the Steagles.

Read the whole thing at Priceonomics - excerpts below:

On December 8, 1941, the day after Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt delivered his famous “Infamy” speech to a radio audience of 100 million Americans. Thirty-three minutes later, Congress officially declared the United States’ entry into World War II.

The previous year, the U.S. Government had signed into law the Selective Training and Service Act, which required all men between the ages of 21 and 36 to register for one year of military service, as selected by a national lottery. Following Pearl Harbor, this act was amended: eligible ages expanded from 18 to 64, and the required service became “the duration of the war, plus six months.”...

As teams' rosters diminished in size, a serious question arose: should professional sports continue during a time of conflict and war? Here's FDR's response to baseball commissioner Kenesaw Landis's when that question was raised: it's since become known as the “Green Light Letter”, and the NFL figured that it applied to them, too:

When the 1943 season began, some 600 players and coaches — more than half of the entire league — had joined the armed forces. As a result, the Cleveland Rams, which had lost not only most of its players, but its majority owner to the draft, suspended play for the season, leaving an uneven 9 teams in the NFL, many of which were shorthanded.

As a result, one of the strangest things in NFL history happened: two interstate rival teams -- the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers -- were merged. The result? A gaggle of World War Two draft rejects dubbed the “Steagles.”
Bill Hewitt was excused from military service for a “perforated eardrum” and served as the Steagles’ defensive end during the 1943 season... Other Steagles players faced more pressing medical problems: Tony Bova, the receiver, “was completely blind in one eye and partially blind in the other. Two of his teammate, Ed Michaels and Ray Graves, were entirely deaf in one ear. John Butler, who, as tailback, was required to run dozens of offensive lines per game, had arthritis in his knees. In a wide variety of respects, the Steagles team was riddled with ailments.
“There were guys with bad eyes, bad knees, bad backs, punctured eardrums -- things that could get you out of service, but not an NFL game,” retired player Joe Horrigan told ESPN. “A manpower shortage caused teams to hire players who were old, overweight, not otherwise qualified to be professional athletes.”
Here's a brief video:

And an un-embeddable longer video at

Read the whole thing at Priceonomics.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

'Super Bowl Babies' Come Together to Sing About Being Conceived After Super Bowl Victories

Super Bowl 50 will be played this coming Sunday, February 7th To celebrate, kids and adults from around the country who were conceived after Super Bowl games (aka "Super Bowl Babies"), came together to sing a Super Bowl-themed version of Seal's Kiss from a Rose,

For Super Bowl 50 the NFL and Seal brought together some actual Super Bowl Babies to recreate one of the greatest love songs of all time to celebrate the greatest game of all time.

Tuesday links

Don't like what the groundhog has to say? It's probably wrong - Punxsutawney Phil has been correct just 39% of the time since 1887. And here are way too many Groundhog Day links, including an analysis of how long Bill Murray was stuck (spoiler - at least 34 years).

Psychiatrists studied 400 movies to find the most realistic psychopath.

Docs Removed My Brain For Nothing: Ridiculous Tabloid Headlines That Are Totally 100% True.

New York Public Library menu collection, from the 1850s to the modern day.

ICYMI, Monday's links are here, and are all February and Groundhog Day related.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Why the traffic's backed up...

Docs Removed My Brain For Nothing: Ridiculous Tabloid Magazine Headlines That Are Totally 100% True

“Real Life” Headlines:

More at Pleated Jeans and Really Real Life.


Not The Onion: Onion-like Real Headlines.

A massive, abandoned freighter is drifting towards the French coast and will run aground today or tomorrow

The Panama registered – now abandoned ship – Modern Express is headed for the French coast, France's Marine Nationale reported. Authorities have been attempting to right the vessel before it runs aground, but have not been successful due to bad weather conditions.

The vessel started keeling on January 26 and the 22 crew members were immediately airlifted by Spanish rescue helicopters. The ship continued to drift through the Bay of Biscay and is nearing the resort town of Arcachon in France. It is predicted to run aground between February 1 and 2 in the Landes administrative department near Arcachon.
Modern Express was transporting 3,600 tonnes of wood along with construction machinery from Gabon to France. The carrier holds 300 tonnes of diesel but according to a report by the Maritime Prefect, the fuel is currently secure and there have been no signs of a leak.
Maritime officials believe the vessel may have tilted to one side after cargo stored on it moved due to rough weather conditions.