March 16, 2017

Miscellany #61: Bananas, umbrellas, Wyatt Earp & John Wayne, Eagle Cam, Oxford comma, Hipster junk food, alcohol & caffeine, goldfish in a wheel chair

Smoking Banana Peels Is the Greatest Drug Hoax of All Time  They called it mellow yellow.

Umbrella Trees


The city-state of Singapore is located in a tropical rainforest climate, getting 92 inches of rain every year. But in Singapore’s Little India, on the aptly named Hindoo Road, locals and tourists alike can get protection from the frequent downpours by sitting beneath one of the neighborhood’s unique Umbrella Trees.  Part of art installation created by local artist Marthalia Budiman, the Umbrella Trees have transformed a small public park space into an oasis of color, beauty, and protection from the elements.

Wyatt Earp Hung Out With A Teenage John Wayne

Wyatt Earp was one of those guys who wasn't satisfied sticking to one job for too long -- over the years he was a lawman, buffalo hunter, brothel keeper, miner and boxing referee, among others. But obviously he was best known for being an infinitely badass cowboy dude. Earp took part in the most famous shootout in the history of the American Wild West, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral -- a 30-second gun battle that has inspired dozens of feature-length films.

Towards the end of his life, Earp settled in California and tried to break into Hollywood. Earp did get to befriend some Hollywood actors -- including a 17-year-old nobody called Marion Morrison. You might know him under his somewhat manlier fake name, John Wayne.

 Teen-Age John Wayne
Marion Morrison later known as John Wayne

While hanging out on movie sets, casually choreographing historical gunfights for directors like John Ford, Earp would share stories from the Wild West with the actors. The future Wayne, then a lowly extra/prop man, soaked them up. He also paid close attention to the way Earp talked and carried himself. ...once he went on to star in westerns of his own -- to the point that, according to his son, whenever Wayne had to play a tough cowboy, he just channeled Wyatt Earp

World watches nesting eagles fight storm to save eggs

Mr. President and The First Lady, a bald eagle pair nesting at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., hunkered down in the snow and cold to save their two eggs, which are expected to hatch later this month...The determined duo’s battle was watched live from around the world thanks to the DC Eagle Cam Project.

 Dc Eagles Protect Eggs

The First Lady covered the eggs with her body as she allowed herself to be covered by snow and ice. Mr. President joined her, partially covering her body with his wings as snow and ice accumulated on him. They continued to keep their bodies close, exchanging warmth and attempting to protect their future eaglets.

A court’s decision in a Maine labor dispute hinged on the absence of an Oxford comma

A US court of appeals determined that certain clauses of Maine’s overtime laws are grammatically ambiguous. Because of that lack of clarity, the five drivers have won their lawsuit against Oakhurst, and are eligible for unpaid overtime...The profoundly nerdy ruling is also a win for anyone who dogmatically defends the serial comma.

Artist Shows How To Repackage Junk Food So That Hipsters Would Buy It

 Slim Jim

How Alcohol and Caffeine Built Civilization

Chelsea Follett, managing editor of, a project of the CATO Institute, explained exactly how "alcohol and caffeine created civilization" in a recent USA today column....Consuming alcohol likely gave early humans a survival edge. "Before we could properly purify water or prepare food, the risk of ingesting hazardous microbes was so great that the antiseptic qualities of alcohol made it safer to consumer than non-alcoholic beverages — despite alcohol's own risks," she wrote.

"The domestication of plants [was] driven forward by the desire to have greater quantities of alcohol beverages," archaeologist Patrick McGovern told National Geographic. If alcohol inspired agriculture, caffeine jumpstarted progress.

"The impact of the introduction of coffee into Europe during the seventeenth century was particularly noticeable since the most common beverages of the time, even at breakfast, were weak 'small beer' and wine."  Those who drank coffee instead of alcohol began the day alert and stimulated, rather than relaxed and mildly inebriated, and the quality and quantity of their work improved....Western Europe began to emerge from an alcoholic haze that had lasted for centuries."

German Scientists Grow Tomatoes in Urine in Anticipation of Future Space Expeditions

Sick Goldfish Couldn’t Stay Afloat, So 19-year-old Taylor Dean Built Him A Tiny Wheelchair


Posted by Jill Fallon at March 16, 2017 1:13 AM | Permalink