16 June 2010
An essay at The Telegraph celebrates the history of the English lawn, with a special acknowledgement of the contribution of Edward Budding, who in 1830 invented the cylinder lawnmower. "In the 18th century, lawns were cut by scythes-men, using made-to-measure scythes (adjustments to the height of the grass being made by strapping blocks of wood to the soles of their boots)."
The Smoking Gun offers an extreme example of drunken sorority girls trashing an establishment after a dinner dance.
The National Literacy Trust (U.K.) surveyed 17,000 schoolchildren ages 7-16, and found more of them owned a mobile phone than owned books.
If you have a blog, you can embed a counter that shows the total cost of wars since 2001. Reading the previous sentence takes 5 seconds; during that time the counter increases by $20,000.
I saw Canada geese flying in a "V" this week. It's a common sight here in the spring and fall, but it seemed unusual at this time of the year, until I read that geese migrate four times a year. The current one is the "molt migration" of the giant geese that usually begins around Memorial Day.
Artifacts have been found which suggest that Amelia Earhart and her navigator made it to a remote island called Nikumaroro, where they died as castaways.
The Sunday Times reports that Japan has been bribing the small nations in the International Whaling Commission for votes allowing them to slaughter more whales.
I usually deplore "infographics," but this one depicting the earth's surface from Mt. Everest to the Mariana Trench is interesting because it includes the Deepwater Horizon drilling information.
It used to be called "The Learning Channel." Now it's just TLC, probably because the content continues to deteriorate. The latest addition: "Extreme Poodles." I sadly kid you not.
This photo looks like a set of USB cables. It's actually a Google Map image of the Waubra wind farm in Australia.
A Florida attorney was not allowed to visit her client in a jail because the bra she was wearing had underwires. So she stepped into a bathroom and took it off. Then they wouldn't let her visit her client because she wasn't wearing a bra.
A New York Times article explains the close correlation between cruelty to animals and domestic/interpersonal violence.
Have you read about "tests" on the man in India who "lives without food or water." It's all baloney - debunked in this Guardian column.
If you're not already totally bummed out by the Gulf oil spill, the Los Angeles Times offers this tantalizing bit of information re the legal shenanigans to come: "The Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico was built in South Korea. It was operated by a Swiss company under contract to a British oil firm. Primary responsibility for safety and other inspections rested not with the U.S. government but with the Republic of the Marshall Islands — a tiny, impoverished nation in the Pacific Ocean." And the Marshall Islands outsourced their responsibilities to private companies...
A German woman was stopped by police because she was driving her car while nursing her baby.
A pet-waste-scooper found $58 in dog poop. He cleaned it up and returned it to the dog's owner.
Image credit: 18th century, Anonymous (who comments on this blog a lot...) "Herr an einem reich gedeckten Tisch in einem holländischem Interieur, Öl auf Leinwand."