Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Sunday, May 21, 2017

holy shit

While the popularity of the Bible continues to decline (and that is great news), over two-thirds still believe the Bible is "God-inspired". Wow. In 2017. That's depressing. Or, it's bullshit. Kinda hard to know in polls.

Biblical skeptics outpoll literalists for first time, survey shows

Americans who see the Bible as fable now outnumber those who believe it to be the literal word of God.
Gallup announced the shift in a survey it released Tuesday titled “Record Few Americans Believe Bible is Literal Word of God.”
“This is the first time in Gallup’s four-decade trend that biblical literalism has not surpassed biblical skepticism,” the organization said online.
The survey found that 24 percent of adult Americans hold a literalist view of the Bible, while 26 percent see Scripture as “a book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man.”
However, 71 percent of Americans believe the Bible to be a sacred document that is “God-inspired if not God’s own’s words,” Gallup said.
Many who believe Scripture to be inspired by God say it need not be taken literally, Gallup reported in its Values and Beliefs poll, which was conducted May 3-7.
But there are groups in which these statistics do not hold true. Among non-white adults 50 and older and with no college education, the Bible is viewed as the true word of God.
However, among white adults aged 18 to 49, and who are college educated, tend to be more skeptical about Scripture.
“Still, in all of these age groups, the largest segment takes the middle position, believing the Bible reflects the inspired word of God,” according to the Gallup report. “
In its summary of the poll, Gallup noted that its findings reflect the downward trend in the number of Christians in the U.S. since the 1970s and 1980s. During that period, nearly 40 percent of Americans believed the Bible to be the literal word of God.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

hottest pepper

Jalapenos are hot enough for me!

from Thrillist


Meet dragon's breath. Its creator expects it to be crowned the world's hottest pepper. That's far hotter than the revered Carolina reaper, which is the current Guinness World Record-holder for hottest chili pepper. In fact, dragon's breath is so intense it could kill you, according to its St. Asaph-based developer Mike Smith. He says dragon's breath clocks in with a Scoville rating of 2.48 million. That's almost one million units higher than a Carolina reaper, which has an average of 1.57 million. (Tabasco sauce rates between 2,500 and 5,000 on the Scoville Scale.)

The Carolina reaper was already so spicy it reduced mortals to tears. Don't believe it? Ask this person or this couple or these people or these guys or these girls who looked like they were going to die. If dragon's breath truly has a Scoville rating of 2.48 million, it's basically not food. Aside from some idiot on YouTube who is definitely going to try it, there's really no reason to put this in your body.

However, calling it useless would be hyperbolic. The chili pepper wasn't developed to be eaten in some kind of sadistic horticultural prank. Dragon's breath was "born out of a trial of new plant food developed by Nottingham Trent University which aims to increase the quality and resistance of plants," according to the BBC. Smith says the intended usage will, in fact, be medical. Oils from the tiny pepper are so potent it can be used as an anesthetic. 

"This was developed because a lot of people are allergic to anesthetic, and this can be applied to the skin because it is so strong it numbs it," Smith told the Daily Post. He also notes it could be a cheap alternative to expensive anesthetics in developing countries.

No one has attempted to swallow the pepper yet, but someone took a bite without swallowing. Their mouth went numb for two days according to Smith. With a Scoville rating this high, it could cause a seriously upset stomach and make an alarming exitfrom your body. Though, Smith alleges the effects could be even worse than that. "We have had a caution from the University," Smith said. "It could cause anaphylactic shock in some people."

Smith is currently awaiting confirmation from Guinness that he's officially overtaken the reaper, according to the BBC.

Friday, May 19, 2017

hurricane season

As we approach June 1, the official start of the hurricane season in our part of the world, *gulp*.

NOAA predicts above normal hurricane season

GALVESTON – The nation's climate agency Thursday predicted an above-normal 2017 hurricane season with 11 to 17 named storms, five to nine of them hurricanes and two to four Category 3 or higher hurricanes.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted a 45 percent chance of the hurricane season that begins June 1 being above normal, a 35 percent chance of a normal season and a 20 percent chance of a below normal season. An average season is 12 named storms, six hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.

"The outlook reflects our expectation of a weak or non-existent El Nino, near- or above-average sea-surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that same region," said Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.

Bell said a strong El Nino causes more intense wind shear, which tends to break up tropical disturbances before they can grow into a hurricane. He cautioned that chances were 50-50 that a stronger El Nino could develop later in the hurricane season, which ends Nov.  30.

2017 names


Thursday, May 18, 2017

total embarrassment

#45 continues to embarrass himself and this nation just about whenever he opens his ugly mouth. What a horrid, crass, and uncouth ass this man is. Worse still is that so many Americans still support this jackass.

Somehow I had not heard of the last item in this clip, where #45 went to Yad Vashem.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Top 10 New Species?

Science marches on, regardless of the idiot in the White House.

Top 10 new species 2017

Thousands of new species are discovered each year. To celebrate the new finds, the International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE) compiles a top 10 new species list of notable discoveries made during the previous year.
The annual list is released around May 23 to honor of the birthday of Carl Linnaeus, the botanist and physician who developed our modern binomial classification system for naming organisms.
Here are the top 10 for 2017:
(In alphabetical order by scientific name)
“Sorting Hat” Spider (Eriovixia gryffindori). Location: India 
This tiny spider, less than 2 mm (a tenth of an inch) long, takes its name from the bewitched Sorting Hat in J.K. Rowling’s beloved Harry Potter books. Image via IISE.

Unexpected Katydid (Eulophophyllum kirki). Location: Malaysia
This spectacular new species of katydid was discovered while researchers were looking for tarantulas and snakes in Borneo. Image via IISE.

Omnivorous Root Rat (Gracilimus radix). Location: Indonesia
In what appears to be an evolutionary reversal, the newly discovered Sulawesi root rat dines on both plant and animal matter, making it unique among its strictly carnivorous relatives. Image via IISE.

414-legged Millipede (Illacme tobini). Location: United States
With 414 legs, this new species has not yet broken the record number for millepedes, but that could change. These animals continue to add body segments — and legs — throughout their lives. Image via IISE.

“Dragon” Ant (Pheidole drogon). Location: Papua New Guinea
With their spiny backs reminding scientists of a dragon, this new species of ant is named for Drogon, the fierce black dragon commanded by Daenerys Targaryen in the epic fantasy, Game of Thrones. Image via IISE.

Freshwater Stingray (Potamotrygon rex). Location: Brazil
This large, strikingly patterned freshwater stingray is endemic to the Tocantins River in Brazil. Image via IISE.

Swimming Centipede (Scolopendra cataracta). Location: Laos, Thailand and Vietnam
This new centipede is black, has 20 pairs of legs and is up to 20 cm long (about 8 inches). It is the first species of centipede ever observed to be able to plunge into water and run along the bottom in much the same manner as it does on dry land. Image via IISE.

Bush Tomato (Solanum ossicruentum). Location: Australia
The name of this new species was chosen with help from 150 seventh-grade life science students in Pennsylvania. Young fruits stain blood red when cut before maturing into a dry, bony state; therefore, the final choice combines the Latin “ossi” for bony and “cruentum” for bloody. Image via IISE.

Endangered Orchid (Telipogon diabolicus). Location: Colombia
The new species of critically endangered orchid, Telipogon diabolicus has a reproductive structure derived from the fusion of male and female flower parts into one that bears a striking resemblance to depictions of the devil’s head. Image via IISE.

“Churro” Marine Worm (Xenoturbella churro). Location: Mexico
Discovered deep in the Gulf of California, 1,722 meters (about 5,600 feet) below the surface, Xenoturbella churro is a 10 cm-long (4-inch) marine worm, one of half a dozen species now known in the genus. It is representative of a group of primitive worm-like animals that are the earliest branch in the family tree of bilaterally symmetrical animals, including insects and humans. Image via IISE.

Bottom line: The IISE has released the list of top 10 new species for 2017.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

slow TV

Out of Norway comes "Slow TV". It seems a natural reaction to our hyper-active, fast-cutting, zoom-in! zoom-out! high-speed TV culture. 

I think that a raging fireplace with dogs and/or cats playing in the foreground could be the smash hit of the new TV season!

Norway’s Slow TV Goes Global

One of the most curious things about watching TV in Norway is the popularity of ‘slow TV‘. The simple concept is the total opposite of the instant gratification style of reality TV. Producers pick a topic and spend hours, days, even weeks digging into it in excruciating detail.
State broadcaster pioneered the concept in 2009 with the live broadcast of the famous Oslo to Bergen railway journey, filmed from the perspective of the driver at the front of the train.
The famous 500km railway reaches over 1,200 metres above sea level as it crosses the Hardangervidda plateau in central Norway. When the scenic views were interrupted by the 182 tunnels on the line, the show broadcast interviews with passengers, former workers and historians.
It is estimated that at least 25% of Norwegians watched at least part of the broadcast!
Since then, shows have included the full length of the Hurtigruten coastal ferry journey, a knitting marathon, and an oddly compelling all-night bonfire.

Slow TV is coming to a TV set near you!

Those outside of Norway have struggled to access some of the biggest hits of slow TV, even though British Airways recently included the Oslo to Bergen railway journey on their long-haul flights. But now, the full range of Norway’s slow TV hits are available on Netflix in the United States, and several other countries.
The full list of available slow TV shows:
    • National Firewood Evening
  • National Firewood Morning
  • National Firewood Night
  • National Knitting Evening
  • National Knitting Morning
  • National Knitting Night
  • Northern Passage
  • Northern Railway
  • Salmon Fishing
  • The Telemark Canal
  • Train Ride Bergen to Oslo
I do hope you enjoy one of Norway’s cultural treasures! For those unable to access the shows at the moment, here’s a little teaser: