1. The 50 Most Extraordinary Churches of the World

The Church of Hallgramur is a Lutheran parish church which is also a very tall one, reaching 74.5 meters (244 ft) height. It is the fourth tallest architectural structure in Iceland.

It took incredibly long to build it (38 years!) Construction work began in 1945 and ended in 1986.

(Via: The Presurfer )

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2. 100 Best First Lines from Novels

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3. What happens if you put your hand in front of the beam in the Large Hadron Collider?

Physicists don’t know for sure. The responses range from “don’t know” to “nothing” to “you’d die for sure, instantly.”



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4. Top 10 Greatest Violinists of all Time

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5. God Save the Queen—from the chill of the palace


Even with a $38 million taxpayer allowance, the aging monarch’s budget won’t cover the price of heating palaces and keeping lights on, so her treasurer tried to dip into state poverty money in 2004 to pay for heating fuel and electricity.

According the The Independent, the price of these expenses combined was about a million pounds at the time, which would equally pay for an average London flat’s utilities for two and a half centuries. It’s likely because Buckingham Palace ranks miserably in terms of efficiency, with energy surveyors awarding it a rank of 0 out of 10. Heat simply races out between cracks in the walls, the tall glass windows and roof, because the building emerged some time before Leeds Certification.



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6. Weird News of the Week: Bow and arrow used to send phones into Brazil jail

Police say a 17-year-old teen was detained after he shot arrows with cell phones attached over the walls of a prison in southern Brazil to inmates waiting on the other side.

Authorities say the boy was caught after one of the arrows he launched struck a police officer on the back. The officer was not seriously injured because the cell phone was tied to the tip of the arrow and softened the impact.



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7. Catch-22 Brassiere

Attorney Brittney Horstman was scheduled to visit a client in the Miami, Florida, Federal Detention Center. But when she went through the metal detector her underwire bra set it off, and guards refused to let her in. She reminded them that federal officials sent out a memo a few years ago specifically telling guards that they must allow attorneys wearing underwire bras in. But they wouldn’t relent. So she stepped into a restroom and removed her bra. They still refused to let her in. This time because prison dress code requires women to wear a bra.


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8. Quote of the Week: “Any entity – no matter how many tentacles it has – has a soul.” — Guy Consolmagno , one of the Vatican’s astronomers, on whether he would baptize an alien.

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9. The Pirates Are Winning!

The pirates of Somalia have an entire country nearly the size of Texas to use as a sanctuary. They hijack ships, sometimes as far out as one thousand miles from shore, and then steer them to well-known pirate dens where they dine on freshly slaughtered goat while conducting ransom negotiations.

For the hostages, it can be a long, hellish wait. Paul and Rachel Chandler, a retired British couple, have been held in a thorny, sweltering village a few miles from the Somali coast for almost a year, since their sailboat was seized in October 2009 during what was supposed to be their “trip of a lifetime.” In 2008, when more than a dozen hijacked ships, with more than three hundred hostages, were anchored off the coast of Somalia, Pottengal Mukundan, director of the International Maritime Bureau in London, told me, “You can see the images of these ships on Google Earth. Nowhere else in the world would this be tolerated.”



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10. Map of the Week: NASA’s Global View of Health-Sapping Air Pollution

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11. Hares Can Get Pregnant While Pregnant

The idea that you could conceive a second pregnancy while already pregnant is definitely weird (and probably creepy for any woman in her last trimester). This is all but impossible in humans, but what about other species? Aristotle suggested more than two thousand years ago that the hare—the rabbit’s relative—could do this . . .

Now scientists in Germany have confirmed that Aristotle got it right: the European brown hare (Lepus europaeus) can get pregnant while it’s pregnant.



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12. Image of the Week: Porcelain Pistol

The Porcelain Pistols are replicas of James Bond’s Walther PPK and its contemporary sister, the P99,with friendly permission of Carl Walther Inc.The fragile weapon, hand-painted in the style of classic tableware motifs, liesnext to your coffee and cake, asking to be picked up. Its coolness andcomfortable grip increase the qualms of the user, leaving him in a quandary between the pleasure of luxury and violence.


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13. 11 biggest complaints actors have had about superhero costumes

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14. Car of the Week



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15. Why does Malthus appeal to novelists?

The fact is that Malthusian thought has exerted a disturbing, and sometimes deranging, fascination since Thomas Robert Malthus published his original treatise An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798). With what looked like irresistible logic, Malthus argued that population growth, which people had regarded as a sign of human flourishing, was a harbinger of “misery and vice.” That’s because humans would, unchecked, breed like blowflies, and their “redundant population” would exhaust whatever subsistence was available. There was ample reason to dread what Malthus, courting another sort of redundancy, called “the future fate of mankind.”


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16. Infographic of the Week: The chosen research areas of mad scientists, 1810-2010

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17. America’s True History of Religious Tolerance

In the storybook version most of us learned in school, the Pilgrims came to America aboard the Mayflower in search of religious freedom in 1620. The Puritans soon followed, for the same reason. Ever since these religious dissidents arrived at their shining “city upon a hill,” as their governor John Winthrop called it, millions from around the world have done the same, coming to an America where they found a welcome melting pot in which everyone was free to practice his or her own faith.

The problem is that this tidy narrative is an American myth. The real story of religion in America’s past is an often awkward, frequently embarrassing and occasionally bloody tale that most civics books and high-school texts either paper over or shunt to the side. And much of the recent conversation about America’s ideal of religious freedom has paid lip service to this comforting tableau.



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18. 10 Fascinating Phobias

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19. In 1971, World War III began during a Partridge Family song

In 1971, the National Emergency Warning Center accidentally told US radio stations to suspend all broadcasts, presumably because the world was ending in a nuclear fireball. It took them 40 minutes to correct this apocalyptic gaffe.

Conelrad Adjacent has documented the remarkable 40 minutes the world ended. Some stations simply went off the air in shock while others, like WOWO-AM in Fort Wayne, Indiana, aired the Emergency Broadcast warning. WOWO-AM had the unique distinction of airing this dire message during a Partridge Family song.



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20. What do scientists think about seeing their fields of research represented in science fiction?

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21. George Washington, Hottie

Washington wasn’t always the old, white-haired patriarchal Founding Father we know and love. At six feet three inches, the young Washington had the ladies of pre-Revolutionary Virginia swooning. On closer introduction, they were enchanted by his magnetic gray-blue eyes and auburn ponytail.

And he was ripped: modern experts who reconstructed Washington’s appearance using techniques from forensic anthropology say he had a quarterback’s physique, weighing 220 pounds with wide shoulders, a narrow waist, and muscular legs. Legs were a particularly important feature in colonial America, where styles favored breeches and knee stockings so women could admire men’s calves. In 1759, at the age of 27, Washington’s masculine wiles snared Martha Custis— the young, beautiful, and spectacularly wealthy widow of a Virginia planter.

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22. HistoricalLOL of the Week

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23. What Should Count As Nutty?

. . . I fall back on the observation that most of what most of us, perhaps all of us, believe, is based not on evidence directly available to us but on what the people around us tell us. Not only is it so based, it has to be. Nobody has the time and energy to check enough of the facts for himself—to be sure that Australia, and New Zealand, and Antarctica, and Orford, N.H., actually exist by going and looking at them, rather than by believing what he is told or reads.

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24. 32 Great Sports Illustrated Covers?

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25. The 50 Stadiums to See Before You Die

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26. Worst movie contest ever

Four lucky (or not so lucky, depending on how you look at it) people were picked to be blindfolded, have a burlap sack put over their head, then silently driven 30 miles outside of the city. There, they were put in coffins and only then were they allowed to remove the blindfolds, where they’d see an LCD screen that would show [the new film] Buried .


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27. How-To of the Week: Create the Ultimate Exercise Playlist

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28. 7 Ways To Get What You Want According to Napoleon

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29. The Tea Party Movement Is a Women’s Movement

To the extent that it is run by anyone, the Tea Party movement is—like all great social movements—largely run by women.

Many of the movement’s most important political figures, like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Minnesota GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann, are women. Many of its important writers, bloggers, and commentators—like S.E. Cupp, Dana Loesch, Kathleen McKinley, and Michelle Moore—are women. And you are more likely than not going to see a woman like Jenny Beth Martin of the Tea Party Patriots, Amy Kremer of the Tea Party Express, or FreedomWorks’s Tabitha Hale out front leading rallies, organizing activists, and driving the point home that the American people are fed up with the government in Washington

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30. 5 Things Conservatives Should Be Wary of in the Tea Party

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31. Echoes of William Jennings Bryan in the ‘Tea Party’ debate

In the Boston Review, William Hogeland counsels liberals not to dismiss the ‘Tea Party’ movement as a surge of know-nothing-ism and thinly disguised prejudice. Both the left and the right have their share of moronic extremists, he argues; the charge of extremism cannot explain away the concerns of populists, whether of the right-wing or left-wing variety. In fact, he continues, the conflict between today’s liberals and today’s Tea Partiers mirrors, in many respects, the tension between late-19th- and early-20th-century leftist populists and progressives (i.e., the “liberals” of their day). Progressives mocked the “sheer lowbrow idiocy” of the populists. Meanwhile, the likes of William Jennings Bryan dismissed the coastal elites, much as Sarah Palin does today with her constant invocations of “the heartland” (despite living somewhat north and west of same).


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32. Another 33 Things

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33. Steven Johnson on “Where Good Ideas Come From”

Additional sources: Boing Boing , The Daily What , Neatorama

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