Starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan.
The farther away from valentines day it gets the funnier it is
"Scar tissue has no character. It’s not like skin. It doesn’t show age or illness or pallor or tan...."
- girl interrupted, 1999 (via psych-facts)
This is actually the seed pod of a Banksia, a kind of Australian shrub. This picture is a great because it shows how important fire is to the plant (that black is not its natural color). Fire stimulates those “singing” follicles to pop open and release the seeds so they can germinate.
I still want to put googly eyes on it…
Of COURSE Australia has a plant that requires it to CATCH FIRE in order to germinate.
Australia also has trees that spontaneously combust. And another that sheds hair with an unbearably painful toxin that lasts for years.
Redwoods also require fire to germinate. Fire is avtually a pretty big factor in the health of many plants, which is why in a lot of places controlled burns are started to give the plants what they need without it turning into a deadly wildfire.
Controlled burns are so much fun! There are a lot of East Coast North American plants that rely on fire to thrive. Sarracenia get overgrown very quickly without fire. In fact, the East Coast used to be on fire all the time until colonization. Hopefully I’ll have some more burn photos next spring. We skipped this year to allow seed set of S. flava at Joseph Pines.
What does a pretty girl like you want a book on black magic and necromancy for?
Dammit Facebook, this has been a comedy goldmine.
Facebook is already an unbearable enough place as of late, at least in my case. Awful national and international news stories continue to appear in my personal feed alongside friends' amateur political commentary and personal quibbles, and that mix makes the occasional ray of satirical, hilarious sunshine from off-kilter sites like The Onion welcome. Sadly, Facebook has begun trying to ruin even these fun articles by appending their titles with a "satire" tag.
The major catch to this auto-tagging is that it only appears in a "related articles" box. Here's how it works: If a friend posts an Onion link to his or her Facebook feed, click on it for a laugh. Once you're done at The Onion and come back to your desktop or laptop browser, Facebook will have generated three related articles in a box directly below whatever you'd clicked on. In the case of an Onion link, that box will usually contain at least one article from the same site, only that article's headline will begin with the word "satire" in brackets. As of press time, we were able to duplicate this result on three different computers from different accounts, one of which is shown above.
We can only assume this was implemented as a reaction to users believing that Onion links are nonfiction reports (you can lose hours flipping through Literally Unbelievable, a site that catalogs such boneheaded moments), but we're not sure what compelled Facebook to go so far as to assert editorial control. Maybe the company still feels bad about how users reacted to its intentional News Feed manipulation from 2012.
Have you looked in the greenhouse lately? Susanne Ussing
From the Guardian link: "In general, the men did not want to speak about who they were or how they had come to be involved in the convoy. One said he was a volunteer from a non-governmental organisation, but clammed up when asked for the name of the organisation.
"I'm being paid to do a job here, not to stand around talking to journalists," he said when pressed, and then looked sheepish when reminded he had just claimed to be an unpaid volunteer.
Others said they were military veterans but claimed not to be serving currently. It is possible the convoy was assembled using the semi-official method Russia has used to find volunteers to fight for rebel separatists in eastern Ukraine – phone calls from military veterans' organisations offering work."
Reporters from The Guardian and The Telegraph say they saw "23 Russian armoured personnel carriers, supported by fuel trucks and other military logistics vehicles, crossing into Ukrainian territory" Thursday after nightfall. Russia denies it, but now Ukraine says that it must have existed, because they destroyed part of it.
According to the website of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, the "given information" from the British papers "was trustworthy and confirmed because the majority of that machines had been eliminated by the Ukrainian artillery at night." Poroshenko discussed the event with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Separately, a Ukrainian military spokesman said Ukrainian forces had tracked the Russian armored column as soon as it crossed onto Ukrainian soil.
"Appropriate actions were undertaken and a part of it no longer exists," military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told journalists.
NATO accused the Kremlin on Friday of escalating the conflict in Ukraine, following reports of the overnight crossing.
"If confirmed, they are further evidence that Russia is doing the very opposite of what it's saying. Russia has been escalating the conflict, even as it calls for de-escalation," NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said.
Update: Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul tweeted that "If Ukrainian forces did indeed destroy regular Russian military forces in Eastern Ukraine, then this war has escalated in a major way," and that similarly the "Russian-Georgian war started in August 2008 [as] a Kremlin 'response' to an attack on Russian soldiers in South Ossetia." End of update.
Secretary of State John Kerry was hopeful earlier this week that peace would come soon to eastern Ukraine, which has been a warzone for over four months. The Obama administration's handling of the situation has very low approval, even among Democrats.
This week, Russia has been trying to send what it claims to be 280 trucks worth of "humanitarian aid" across the Ukrainian border. For days, no one knew what was inside the vehicles, which have military guards. Today, the Russians allowed press to view the interiors of some trucks and, strangely, "a lot of them [are] mostly empty," notes the Financial Times' Courtney Weaver who snapped photographs.
The trucks are trying to get into the rebel-held cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, which are now surrounded by Ukrainian government forces.
The rebel hierarchy appears to be collapsing. A chief military commander Igor Girkin, a.k.a. "Strelkov" ("The Shooter"), quit yesterday. He was a colonel and intelligence officer for Russia before taking up arms for the "people's republics" of Donetsk and Luhansk. Girkin is perhaps most notorious for taking responsibility for the downing of the Malaysian passenger plane before finding out that it was not a Ukrainian military plane. Russian media reported earlier this week that he was badly injured in Donetsk, but other separatists denied is as just a rumor.
The Moscow Times notes that two self-appointed political leaders have also resigned in the last week.
E.U. officials today suggested that if the situation stabilizes, the E.U. would consider ending sanctions against Russia. But if Ukraine's claim about defensive artillery strikes against invasive Russian fores proves true, stability may be a long way off.
Read more Reason coverage of Ukraine here.
The Savage Sword of Conan (No.20, 1977)
Cover Art by Earl Norem
Yes, good, I can't believe this took so long.
Trapdoor Technologies is very close to making the first true digital Dungeons & Dragons experience, with the help of and Wizards of the Coast.
Five Night’s At Freddy’s is the new horror game everyone is talking about. Kid’s and parents alike come to the this new place for entertainment (like a Chuck E Cheese). At the night, it’s a completely different story.
Can you survive five night’s at freddy’s?
You may also like Sound of Silence, a game that adapts to a person’s greatest fear