Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Coffee and Provocation

We're Number One in Dogs

The U.S. has more dog than ever before.  The Atlantic reports that: "The U.S. remains the paragon of dog love, with the world's biggest pet pooch population in both absolute and per capita terms (one dog for every four Americans)."  Despite America's love of dogs, it has no love for the American Kennel Club. More than half of all American dogs come from rescue, and less than 7 percent are AKC registered. Both the number and percent of  AKC-registered dogs has been in sharp decline for 25 years.

Magic and Movement in a Cup of Coffee
In Edward Humes's new book, Door to Door we are told that: "We live like no other civilization in history, embedding ever greater amounts of miles within our goods and lives as a means of making everyday products and services seemingly more efficient and affordable. In the past, distance meant the opposite: added cost, added risk, added uncertainty. It’s as if we are defying gravity.”  Hume notes that sending a ton of iron ore halfway around the world now costs only $10, white sending a $50 bottle of Scotch the same distance costs only 15 cents. "The average American coffee-drinking household. . . never has less than 572,000 miles of travel pass through its coffeemaker every year.”

Solar Power More Efficient Than Nature?

Harvard has debuted a bionic leaf which contains hydrogen-eating bacteria that produces liquid fuel, and more energy, than plants.

There are Only 35 Animal Phyla
And most of them are pretty weird.

Faking an Epidemic to Save Lives

During World War II, two Polish scientists used the fact that one bacteria triggers a positive response for the presence of another bacteria, to trick the Nazis into thinking a large section of Poland was being hammered by lice-borne typhus.

The God King's Blade Came from Outer Space
King Tut's dagger was forged from a meteorite.

Canned Haggis 
This is what I'm getting you for Christmas.

Gravedigger Pride
Gravediggers in Hungary have just completed their country's first national gravedigging contest at a cemetery in Debrecen.  The contestants dug very professional-looking holes!  We doff our cap in honest respect.

The Last Ground Zero Dog
The last Search and Rescue dog that worked the 9-11 World Trade disaster has been put to sleep at age 16.

Mother Nature's Information Storage
DNA can store petabytes per gram.  What's that mean?  Consider this:  all of the information under the umbrella of the Big Four (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft) would weigh somewhat less than a kilo.

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