1. A Scientific Analysis of the 5-Second Rule*

On surfaces that had been contaminated eight hours earlier, slices of bologna and bread left for five seconds took up from 150 to 8,000 bacteria. Left for a full minute, slices collected about 10 times more than that from the tile and carpet, though a lower number from the wood.

Suggested revision:

If you drop a piece of food, pick it up quickly, take five seconds to recall that just a few bacteria can make you sick, then take a few more to think about where you dropped it and whether or not it’s worth eating.

* The old adage that if you drop food on the floor but pick it up within five seconds, it’s okay to eat it.

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2. How Your Brain Is Like Facebook

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3. World’s Smartest Dog Knows More Than 1,000 Words

If you thought Rover or Sparky was smart, think again: Chaser just took him to school.

A border collie named Chaser has learned the names of 1,022 individual items — more than any other animal, even the legendary Alex the parrot. But it’s all in a day’s work for these researchers.

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4. 15 Cute Animals That Will Cause You Horrible Harm

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5. From the Archives: David Hambling on the government’s Cold War-era nuclear shelters :

Until 1988, [Mount Pony Federal Reserve Bunker’s] main 23,500 square foot hall held enough cash - shrink-wrapped, and stacked nine feet high on wooden pallets - to replace all the circulating currency north of the Mississippi. (It even included a quantity of rare $2 bills.) This would be essential in the aftermath of any war; as previous experience showed, hard cash is vital for any rebuilding plans. Bizarre as it may seem, cities might burn but the heaps of greenbacks would sit out any conflict securely in air-conditioned comfort.

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6. Color of the Week: Blue Wins Out As The Most Popular Color Crayon and Colored Pencil

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7. Weird News of the Week: Pearl Removed from Ear After 41 Years

For 41 years, the Athens man had a pearl from his mother’s necklace stuck in his ear canal. ER staff at St. Mary’s Hospital discovered it when Wright came in suffering from bronchitis this month.

“The nurse was checking my ear and said, ‘Do you use Q-Tips?’” Wright said. “I said yes, and she said, ‘you’ve got one in your right ear, I’ll get it out.’ She tried getting it and then she was like, ‘Whoa, this is hard. This is not a Q-Tip. Looks like you got a pearl in your ear.’”

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8. Top 10 Military Field Tacticians

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9. In Defense of Bounty Hunting

Most people don’t realize how many fugitives from the law there are. About one-quarter of all felony defendants fail to show up on the day of their trial. Some of these absences are due to forgetfulness, hospitalization, or even imprisonment on another charge. But like Luster, many felony defendants skip court with willful intent. The police are charged with recapturing these fugitives, but some of them are chased by an even more tireless pursuer, the bounty hunter.

Bounty hunters and bail bondsmen play an important but unsung role in a legal system whose court dockets are too crowded to provide swift justice. When a suspect is arrested, a judge must make a decision: set the suspect free on his own recognizance until the court is ready to proceed, hold the suspect in jail, or release the accused on the condition that he post a bail bond. A bond is a promise backed by incentive. If the suspect shows up on the trial date, he gets his money back; but if he fails to show, the money is forfeited. We don’t want to deprive the innocent of their liberty, but we also don’t want to give the guilty too much of a head start on their escape. Bail bonds don’t solve this problem completely, but they do give judges an additional tool to help them navigate the dilemma.

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10. 12 Tips From The Stupidest Criminals of 2010

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11. What if we tested laws before passing them?

If only there were a scientific way to determine the real impact of taxation on industriousness, labor supply, and innovation.

According to some scholars, there is. Randomly assign a representative sample of the population — say, 10,000 taxpayers — a lower tax rate, and see what happens. Did these Americans, on average, behave any differently than their counterparts? Did they work longer hours or more jobs, start more businesses, hire more employees?

In other words, test government policies using the same technique — randomized controlled trials — used to test new drugs. A growing chorus of legal scholars, economists, and political scientists believes that such trials should be conducted to evaluate a wide range of laws: gun control, safety and environmental regulations, election reforms, securities rules, and many others.

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12. Image of the Week: Snowflakes under the microscope

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13. The 14 Worst Travel Destinations of the World

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14. John Lennon wasn’t the pacifist we’ve turned him into

No doubt the tendency to remember Lennon in this way arises, at least in part, from a desire to underscore the tragedy and senselessness of his death. The idea that John Lennon, a man who stood for peace, was gunned down by a lunatic certainly makes for a powerful narrative. For many baby boomers, his assassination was a generation-shattering event (all the more so because it came about a month after Ronald Reagan was elected president). There is also no denying that in some of its iterations, the pacifism that Lennon championed can seem truly beautiful. So long as the world is plagued by hate and war, people are going to look fondly upon those who proselytize for peace and love.

Nevertheless, all of these well-intended tributes and vigils are off the mark. It isn’t just that they extol a naive style of pacifism (though there is that). They also ask us to genuflect before a highly idealized and simplified version of the slain Beatle. During his lifetime, Lennon was ambivalent about pacifism, and his public enthusiasm for the peace movement was fleeting and capricious.

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15. 10 Creatures With Crazy Faces

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16. Owners Rent Flocks For Bored Collies

They are not content to be lap dogs and require homes that can indulge their herding instinct. This breed needs to exercise their athleticism, intelligence, and strong work ethic. If owners cannot run the dogs frequently they can rent a flock of sheep to keep them occupied and to short circuit the boredom that can lead to destructive behavior. Fido’s Farm in Washington allows the dogs to practice on the farm’s 200-head flock of sheep for a $15.00 fee per dog.

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17. Infographic of the Week: An illustrated history of the Batmobile

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18. The 10 best cars of 2010

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19. The 10 Greatest Cars From TV Shows

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20. Man charged with felony for reading his wife’s e-mail to track an affair

A Michigan man faces up to 5 years in prison for reading his wife’s e-mail to find out if she was having an affair, the Detroit Free Press reports.

The newspaper says Leon Walker, 33, of Rochester Hills, has been charged with a felony after reading Clara Walker’s GMail account on a laptop the now-divorced couple shared. He goes to trial in February.

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21. 10 websites to watch in 2011

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22. HistoricalLOL of the Week

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23. CIA Codebreaker Decodes Civil War Message 147 Years Too Late

The glass vial stopped with a cork contained a coded missive to Lt Gen John C Pemberton, who was besieged in the Mississippi city by Union forces led by Ulysses S Grant.

After nearly six weeks people in Vicksburg had resorted to eating cats, dogs and leather, and making soup from wallpaper paste.

The encrypted, six line message was dated July 4, 1863, the date of Pemberton’s surrender, and would have offered no hope to him. It said: “You can expect no help from this side of the river.”

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24. The 50 Worst Sports Movies of All Time

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25. Law & Order: UK – Lessons in British Justice

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26. 10 Foods That Can Help You Sleep

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27. Better Book Titles of the Week - The Epic of Gilgamesh

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28. How-To of the Week: Fold and Pack a Suit Coat the Right Way

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29. NASA Calls ‘2012’ Most Flawed Sci-Fi Film Ever

The 2009 film “2012” depicted an ultimate end-of-the-world scenario based on an ancient Mayan calendar that ends on Dec. 21, 2012. But does NASA believe the film accurately portrays something that will really happen? Absolutely not.

In fact, NASA scientists say the doomsday “2012” is the most ridiculous sci-fi film ever.

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30. The History of the TV Dinner

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31. Poker’s most revealing and misinterpreted tell

So, add the suddenly shaking hand as something many poker players interpret backwards. I’ll say it again: It’s not nervousness, it’s not fright, it’s not weakness, and it’s not a bluff. It’s almost always a very powerful hand.

Therefore, when you see a player (who was previously steady) suddenly bet with a trembling hand, don’t call unless you have a huge hand also.

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32. The Secret Life of the Banjo

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33. The Scrollwheel


Articles by Joe Carter

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