Jeremiah Heaton's 7-year-old daughter Emily expressed interest in being a real princess. While most dads would explain how the world actually works, Heaton found 800 square miles of disputed land in Africa, planted a flag, and "claimed" it. Emily now wears a crown and is called "Princess Emily".
There are no words.
Submitted by: (via Huffington Post)
What happens when a video game character can't move either forward or backward in a side-scrolling game? This comic reveals the answer—and just might make you cry.
(Source + merci à Robin pour la suggestion)
Space owl is especially adorable! I keep finding myself smiling back at her. If you want one for yourself, go to my Redbubble store!
Terrible Real Estate Agent Photographs is a Tumblr devoted to “inexplicably bad property photographs."
The US government loves Twitter. For NASA, it's a public relations goldmine. For the State Department, it's a bizarre weapon in the fight on terrorism. For the CIA, it's a chance to revel in kitsch. The agency, which somehow did not yet have a real social media presence, has just posted its first tweet.
We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.— CIA (@CIA) June 6, 2014
The Twitter launch comes a few days after the CIA opened a Facebook page, where it recently honored D-Day. The agency will post job listings, photos, trivia from the CIA World Factbook, and "reflections on intelligence history." It's part of what looks like a larger online overhaul, which will include event livestreaming.
The agency will also participate in Throwback Thursday.
The CIA has mostly escaped ire during the Edward Snowden leaks, but social media is still a clear way for the agency to humanize itself, drawing attention to tweets instead of drones. That doesn't mean organizations are immune from criticism online, though, and it should probably be careful about its hashtag campaigns. The Defense Department's research wing, meanwhile, has responded with its own quip, linking to a call for "vanishing" electronics that destroy themselves.
Update June 6th, 2014 3:15pm: Added followup tweet from DARPA.
In 1987, paleontologist Tom Rich was leading a dig at Dinosaur Cove southwest of Melbourne when student Helen Wilson asked him what reward she’d get if she found a dinosaur jaw. He said he’d give her a kilo (2.2 pounds) of chocolate. She did, and he did.
Encouraged, the students asked Rich what they’d get if they found a mammal bone. These are fairly rare among dinosaur fossils in Australia, so Rich rashly promised a cubic meter of chocolate — 35 cubic feet, or about a ton.
The cove was “dug out” by 1994, and paleontologists shut down the dig. Rich sent a curious unclassified bone, perhaps a turtle humerus, to two colleagues, who recognized it as belonging to an early echidna, or spiny anteater — a mammal.
Rich now owed the students $10,000 worth of chocolate. “It turns out that it is technically impossible to make a cubic meter of chocolate, because the center would never solidify,” he told National Geographic in 2005. So he arranged for a local Cadbury factory to make a cubic meter of cocoa butter, and then turned the students loose in a room full of chocolate bars.
“It was a bit like Willy Wonka,” Wilson said. “There were chocolate bars on the counters, the tables. We carried out boxes and boxes of chocolate.”
Fittingly, the new echidna was named Kryoryctes cadburyi.
In science it often happens that scientists say, ‘You know, that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken,’ and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.
– Carl Sagan, in a 1987 address, quoted in Jon Fripp et al., Speaking of Science, 2000
Library patrons are always asking for books with “romantic” episodes, so in 1964 librarian Robert George Reisner finally gave them what they wanted. Show Me the Good Parts: The Reader’s Guide to Sex in Literature catalogs the racy parts of hundreds of books, giving precise page numbers and summarizing each scene:
RICE, ELMER. Imperial City.
New York, Coward-McCann, 1937. 554 pp.
Holding hands in the movies, a few drinks in his apartment, some small talk about books, and then down to business.
He gets as far upscale as For Whom the Bell Tolls (“History has proved that the good guys do not always win, but we still have the sweet memory of Loyalist fighters, Maria and the American Robert Jordan, making love in a sleeping bag”) and as far down as John B. Thompson’s 1953 novel Sandy (“Sandy finds her true love as they are lashed by bolts of ecstasy, fires that consume them, surges of blinding passion, and other hack literary physiological descriptions”). The entries are arranged in categories ranging from “Normal Heterosexual Intercourse” to “Mixoscopic Zoophilia,” and Reisner includes a section on “Unwarranted Reputations” — he just can’t find anything scandalous in The Decameron, Moll Flanders, The Art of Love, or The Satyricon.
Unfortunately he focuses mostly on popular novels of the 1950s, and no one seems to have carried on the work. But perhaps it’s not too late. “I have examined 2,000 books and kept a list of the tomes that produced nothing,” he writes. “This list I have given to my publisher so that anyone who wishes to go on with this research may not have to go over the same ground.”
"Type I" and "Type II" errors, names first given by Jerzy Neyman and Egon Pearson to describe rejecting a null hypothesis when it's true and accepting one when it's not, are too vague for stat newcomers (and in general). This is better. [via]
With Pixar's attention to the natural world, this short film would be a great fit for them. Someone hire this fellow to make a whole series of animated animal shorts.
Tonight’s comic is having a weird day.