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July 05, 2011

Poll finds San Francisco is the sluttiest city in America, surprising no one

San Franciscans have more sex partners than residents of other cities : City Insider
Another day, another set of national rankings placing San Francisco quite literally on top. We admit this one piqued our interest more than most: The average San Franciscan has had 30 sexual partners, more than residents of any other city. Poor Chicago. It ranked lowest with 11. So says the Trojan U.S. Sex Census. And if you can't trust a survey by a condom company, what can you trust? The online survey was conducted in 10 cities; 200 people from each city were counted. But back to the results, and there are many. San Franciscans are the least likely to believe in abstinence before marriage (24 percent); the most likely to have learned about sex in school (52 percent); the least likely to have had sex in rural areas (5 percent) and the most likely to say they've masturbated (86 percent).

July 03, 2011

Cassette tapes make a come-back in Zimbabwe

Pause and rewind: Zimbabwe's audio cassette boom - CNN.com They...

June 29, 2011

Beware the pistol shrimp, my son!

Alpheidae - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Short version: This tiny...

Continue reading "Beware the pistol shrimp, my son!" »

June 20, 2011

On the voluntary Poison Squads of the 19th century

Death in the Pot - Lapham’s Quarterly
The following menu for a 1902 Christmas dinner party stands—as far as I know—as one of the most unusual ever printed. And also one of the least appetizing. Apple Sauce. Borax. Soup. Borax. Turkey. Borax. Borax. Canned Stringed Beans. Sweet Potatoes. White Potatoes. Turnips. Borax. Chipped Beef. Cream Gravy. Cranberry Sauce. Celery. Pickles. Rice Pudding. Milk. Bread and Butter. Tea. Coffee. A Little Borax Unless, of course, one happens to enjoy meals spiced up by the taste of borax—a little metallic, sweet and unpleasant, or so they say—a preservative used to keep meat from rotting in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. This particular menu grew from a series of federal experiments that ran from 1902 to 1907 and were designed to test the toxicity of food additives. In these tests, groups of volunteers—popularly known as “Poison Squads”—agreed to dine dangerously in the interests of science, working their way through a laundry list of suspect compounds. Borax came first on the list, partly because it was so widely used by meat processors. Derived from the element boron, it slowed decomposition but could also react with proteins and firm them up, giving rotting meat a more shapely appearance. Borax had thus figured in the “embalmed beef” scandal of the Spanish-American War, in which officers in the U.S. Army accused their suppliers of shipping tins of refrigerated beef that was treated with “secret chemicals” and canned beef that was no more than a “bundle of fibers.” “It looked well but had an odor similar to that of a dead human body after being injected with preservatives,” an Army medical officer wrote of the refrigerated meat, adding that when cooked, the product tasted rather depressingly like boric acid. . . .

June 19, 2011

WordWatch: Boom Car

It's a car with a booming sound system. Word Spy - boom car
boom car n. A car equipped with an extremely powerful stereo system that is being played with the volume and bass levels turned up and the car windows rolled down. Example Citation: The acoustic terrorism fostered by boom cars runs counter to the desire of most Americans for peace and quiet. The Census Bureau notes that noise is Americans' No. 1 complaint about their neighborhoods. Noise levels have risen sixfold in major U.S. cities in the past 15 years, and automobiles are the largest source of noise. Peace-loving citizens need to reclaim the streets. Some have already begun: In Chicago, boom cars that can be heard from 75 feet are subject to seizure and their owners may be fined $615. Buffalo, Cleveland and Pittsburgh also are cracking down on boom cars. In Papillion, Neb., owners of car stereos that can be heard from 50 feet away can earn themselves three months in jail. —Ted Rueter, "Today's boom cars are nothing if not acoustic terrorism," Los Angeles Times, March 27, 2002

June 15, 2011

Sergeant Stubby, the most decorated dog of World War I

He saved lives and caught a German spy. He is the only dog in America to be promoted to sergeant via combat. Sergeant Stubby
He even caught a German soldier mapping out the layout of the Allied trenches. The soldier called to Stubby, but he put his ears back and began to bark. As the German ran, Stubby bit him on the legs, causing the soldier to trip and fall. He continued to attack the man until the American soldiers arrived. For capturing an enemy spy, Stubby was put in for a promotion to the rank of Sergeant by the commander of the 102nd Infantry. He became the first dog to be given rank in the United States Armed Forces. Later, Stubby was injured during a grenade attack, receiving a large amount of shrapnel in his chest and leg. He was rushed to a field hospital and later transferred to a Red Cross Recovery Hospital for additional surgery. When Stubby became well enough to move around at the hospital, he visited wounded soldiers, boosting their morale.