23 February 2018

Divertimento #147

Interesting packaging for Spiderman Kleenex.

A mass grave in England apparently contains 300 skeletons from the Viking Great Army.

The near-Ice-Age younger Dryas period (13,000 years ago) was probably caused by the impact of fragments of a 62-mile-wide comet. "“A number of different chemical signatures – carbon dioxide, nitrate, ammonia, and others – all seem to indicate that an astonishing 10 percent of the Earth’s land surface, or about 10 million square kilometers, was consumed by fires."

Hospital room in Romania, 2018, discussed here.

Thomas Morris is a website dedicated to "making you grateful for modern medicine."

During the Superbowl, an advertisement for Ram Trucks superimposed the voice of Martin Luther King over images of their product (this was done with the permission of his estate).  A modified version dubs in what MLK actually thought about advertising. "In fact, the quote used during Sunday's Super Bowl commercial was taken from the very same sermon in which King warned the audience about the way advertisers manipulate feelings of groupthink, loneliness and a need for conformity masquerading as individuality."

Autonomous (self-driving) cars have difficulty detecting and recognizing bicycles and their riders.

For golfers only:  a group of pros are challenged to get closest to the hole on a 200-yard putt.

From the NYT: FEMA Contract Called for 30 Million Meals for Puerto Ricans. 50,000 Were Delivered.

From Minnesota Public Radio:  "How a urine test after back surgery triggered a $17,800 bill."

Tesla spends nothing on advertising.

A harsh rejoinder to those who complain about immigration.

"The toad’s reaction to the explosion deep in its stomach is not instantaneous. But in time the body shakes, the mouth opens, and the culprit is expelled: a mucus-covered beetle that will live to fight another day."

Monaco has the highest concentration of millionaires of any place in the world (over 30% of the residents). House pricesare  between €53,000 ($67,000) and €100,000 ($142,000) per square metre.  So the country is adding 15 acres offshore in the Mediterranean.

A photo of $20,000,000 hidden under a mattress.

Some high schools in Oklahoma are closed on Mondays so teachers can work second jobs.  "Teacher pay is the third-lowest in the country and has triggered a statewide shortage, as teachers flee to neighbouring states like Arkansas and Texas or to private schools. “Most of our teachers work second jobs,” says Darlene Adair, Wagoner’s principal. “A lot of them work at Walmart on nights and weekends, or in local restaurants.”  Other state agencies are doing similarly badly.  Details at the Economist link.

There is a "Pile of Puppies" program for children with special needs.

For an interesting longread, try the multipart series at Reuters on "Body Brokers" (the buying and selling of body parts).  It explains who cashes in when you donate your body "to science."

"With 15 years of competitive jump rope experience, 2 world records, multiple World and European Jump Rope Championship wins and even a Cirque du Soleil membership, it's safe to say that no one is better at jumping rope than Adrienn Banhegyi." (3-minute video at the link)

One way to prevent the spread of the flu is to use Far-UVC light to kill the virus.  That spectrum of light is both carcinogenic and cataractogenic, but it could be employed freely in ventilation ducts.

Waiting for the Uber driver.

"Cardistry" is playing card artistry.  Demonstrated in the video.

Video on how Criterion Collection restores old movies.

"The Queen has declared war on plastic, banning straws and bottles from the Royal estates... It is thought that the Queen became personally interested in the problem of plastic after working with Sir David Attenborough on a conservation documentary dealing with wildlife in the Commonwealth."

Video of the newest robot from Boston Dynamics.

A group of runners completed 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents.

Ever wonder how many calories Olympic athletes consume?  A chart for the winter Olympics shows cross-country skies at the top (4,000 - 7,000 calories per day).  (Curlers are not listed)

The most enjoyable obituary I've read in as long as I can remember.

The photos embedded in today's divertimento come from Skeetmotis, a blog created by a TYWKIWDBI reader as a place to store photos of interesting things seen while walking.


  1. I'm just starting to explore the great finds in this post, but I've got to say that the obituary listed was truly a joy to read. And I'd never have heard of this man without your blog. Thanks.

  2. Love, love, love the obit ~ I plan to write my own, and will use this as a guide ~
    Thanks so much for the diversions!

    1. For me the link seems to go to a general listing of obits. Can you tel me the specific one intended? Thanks.

    2. For me (iMac via Foxfire) the link is still valid. The destination is Geisen Funeral Homes, deceased Terry Ward.

    3. It was a mobile-device-specific issue. Thanks for the putting me in the right direction!

  3. Thank you, TYWKIWDBI. I am stunned, and humbled, to see my photographs here. I hope that your readers enjoy them.


  4. For much more on the Dryas strike and how it affected humanity and human history, I highly recommend my friend, Graham Hancock's, book "Magicians of the Gods." It's good to see the overwhelming evidence for what happened showing up more now in mainstream science. We are, as Graham has said, a species with amnesia, mostly due to what happened in that event.

    1. I enjoyed reading his "Heaven's Mirror" fifteen years ago. I've requested this new one from the library.

  5. I've come across Thomas Morris' site before. Fascinating reading, but not for the weak of stomach.

    I always love your linkfests!

    1. Oooooh. "Linkfest" is so much better than "linkdump." I'll try to remember to change my language. Thanks!


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