Thursday, May 31, 2018

Coffee and Provocation

When Drinking Coffee Was Punishable by Death
Under Ottoman Sultan Murad IV being caught drinking coffee in public would get you beaten for the first offense, while a second offensive meant death. Murad was afraid that discussions while people waited for the coffee to brew might lead to plots against him.

Should We Import Feral Radioactive Dogs from Russia?
Because that's what we are doing.  This is not a metaphor. Yes, Ukraine is now an independent country, but it wasn't in 1986 when Chernobyl went critical. 

Beagle Lives Matter
Rehomed research dogs now have a shirt.

Would You Like Fries With That?
The CIA says North Korea won't give up their nuclear weapons, but they could open a burger chain.

Speculative Biology Book Getting Republished
A new edition of After Man by Dougal Dixon, a landmark piece of speculative biology which influenced a generation of palaeontologists, has been released.

Giant Flatworms Invaded France
Giant flatworms invaded France, and no one noticed for 20 years despite the fact that they were foot-long toxin-secreting predatory hammerhead flatworms.

Sentient Plants?
Seedlings of the parasitic plant Dodder can detect nearby plants (i.e. potential victims) and grow toward them.

Spiderman Gets What's Coming to Him
The Spiderman hero from Mali who free-climbed a building to rescue a baby  has not only gotten world-wide celebrity, and been fast-track for citizenship in France, he has been offered his dream job as a fire fighter.

Jesus Wept
Louisiana televangelist Jesse Duplantis, 68, is asking his followers to buy him a $54 million jet. Duplantis says: "I really believe that if the Lord Jesus Christ was physically on the Earth today, he wouldn’t be riding a donkey. He’d be in an airplane flying all over the world."

The Beginning of the End of Oil?
Norway may have moved past peak oil thanks to the rise of electric cars.

Top 100 Stories That Changed the World
The BBC has compiled a list of top fiction stories that changed the world. The top five in reverse order: Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe, 1958); Nineteen Eighty-Four (George Orwell, 1949); Frankenstein (Mary Shelley, 1818); Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1852); The Odyssey (Homer, 8th Century BC). Harry Potter is among the top 20 stories listed. The Bible and the Koran are not to be found.


Jennifer said...

The BBC would confront a few problems if it declared the Bible and/or Koran to be fiction.

Chas Clifton said...

THINGS FALL APART is a powerful story, but how did it "change the world"?
We are just supposed to take their word for it, apparently.