News No One Can Use

In a fit of whimsy I thought I would give my readers some news that means nothing to anybody.

First up is the news that in the UK research is being done to see if dogs can spot Covid-19…..

Dogs are to be trained to try to sniff out the coronavirus before symptoms appear in humans, under trials launched with £500,000 of government funding.

Dogs have already been successfully trained to detect the odour of certain cancers, malaria and Parkinson’s disease, and a new study will look at whether labradors and cocker spaniels can be trained to detect Covid-19 in people.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will carry out the first phase of a trial in collaboration with Durham University and the charity Medical Detection Dogs.

In my state there are churches that have been fighting the stay at home thing….now one has been torched…..

A Mississippi church that defied coronavirus restrictions was burned to the ground early Wednesday in a suspected arson case. “Bet you stay home now you hypokrits,” read a spray-painted message on the ground near the doors to First Pentecostal Church in Holly Springs, a city of 7,600, Maj. Kelly McMillen of the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department tells the New York Times. The graffiti also included an atomic symbol with the letter “A” in the middle, which the Times notes is used as a symbol for atheism. The church had sued the city in April over its stay-at-home order, arguing it interfered with officials’ right to free speech and ability to worship. A church lawyer says police cited the pastor for holding an Easter service and later closed a Bible study. A video shows church members confronting city officials at a local Walmart on Easter.

Personally I think these people were idiots and a bit ridiculous….but to burn down the church is a bit extreme…..

Our oceans and landfills and wilderness are all chocking from plastic….now there may be a solution…..

Beer and soft drinks could soon be sipped from “all-plant” bottles under new plans to turn sustainably grown crops into plastic in partnership with major beverage makers.

A biochemicals company in the Netherlands hopes to kickstart investment in a pioneering project that hopes to make plastics from plant sugars rather than fossil fuels.

The plans, devised by renewable chemicals company Avantium, have already won the support of beer-maker Carlsberg, which hopes to sell its pilsner in a cardboard bottle lined with an inner layer of plant plastic.

We now have electric cars, buses….but what about planes?

A prototype jet engine can propel itself without using any fossil fuels, potentially paving the way for carbon-neutral air travel.

The device compresses air and ionizes it with microwaves, generating plasma that thrusts it forward, according to research published Tuesday in the journal AIP Advances. That means planes may someday fly using just electricity and the air around them as fuel.

Enough of the news you cannot use…..

Be Well….Be Safe….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

BUSTED! (Again)

Stealing is despicable…..but the theft of culture is unforgivable…..

Looks like the Green Family of Hobby Lobby fame has been caught again with stolen artifacts….this time one of the oldest sagas in history….the Epic of Gilgamesh….and must return it to where it belongs….

A 3,500-year-old clay tablet bought by the Hobby Lobby for display in the Museum of the Bible should be returned to Iraq, US federal prosecutors said in a civil complaint Monday. The cuneiform tablet is inscribed with a portion of the Epic of Gilgamesh, hence, its name: the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet. NBC News reports Hobby Lobby purchased it for $1.6 million in 2014 by a major auction house that is unnamed in the complaint. That auction house allegedly told Hobby Lobby the tablet, one of 12 bearing the creation story, was acquired in San Francisco prior to 1981. The complaint details a different backstory. One part of it, per NPR: In 2013, the person who possessed the tablet at the time allegedly got in touch with the auction house’s London office with an offer to sell it.

But the auction house’s antiquities department head was reportedly told the tablet’s provenance was not iron-clad, meaning a public auction wouldn’t be possible. Hobby Lobby acquired it in a private sale that next year. Three years later, in July 2017, the company agreed to pay a $3 million fine over thousands of artifacts it acquired without verifying their provenance; federal authorities said they had been smuggled out of Iraq. In October 2017, a Museum of the Bible curator doing provenance research on the Gilgamesh tablet reached out to the auction house. A press release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations division notes “the Auction House withheld information about the tablet’s provenance,” leading the museum to realize something was amiss. Agents from the HSI division seized the tablet last year.

I have written about all the problems this family has had with their Museum of the Bible… seems it is full of stolen artifacts and fakes…..which cost the family millions to acquire.

Desperation leads to stupidity and that leads to loss of money……and yet this group has been caught many times with stolen artifacts and yet they pay a fine and go on stealing the culture and history of other people….all in the hope of proving a premises….if it were anybody other than some religious twats they would be under a jail.

Time for people like these to be taught a valuable lesson and made to pay dearly for their crimes.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Saturday’s FYI

On weekends I try to provide an FYI service for my readers that may not read the same stuff as me….and plus this virus has the news reports pretty much sown up and little else gets through…..

Let us bring our FYI day….

First, one of those probing questions……why are legal pads yellow?

Comic Jerry Seinfeld, former national security adviser John Bolton and the late American author Pat Conroy are just a few of its millions of devotees. We’re talking about the quintessential office supply the legal pad. It’s simple, professional, cheap and instantly recognizable.

Part of its lure is the unwritten rule that legal pads are for adults only; some people describe a feeling of satisfaction when they finally reach the point where they’re “sophisticated” enough to use them. After all, legal pads equal important business.

The most recognizable characteristic of a legal pad? The yellow color. But why are they yellow? Good question. To answer it, though, requires a brief explanation of its history first.

The legal pad was invented by a paper mill worker, Thomas Holley, in Massachusetts around 1888. Holley came up with the idea of collecting the tons of paper scraps off the floor of the mill and stitching them together to make pads of paper.

Most of us history nerds know of the Gutenberg Bible as  one of the first books published…..but there is another (to quote Yoda in “Return of the Jedi”)

The Gutenberg Bible went to press in the year 1454. We now see it as the first piece of mass media, printed as it was with the then-cutting-edge technology of metal movable type. But in the history of aesthetic achievements in book-printing, the Gutenberg Bible wasn’t without its precedents. To find truly impressive examples requires looking in lands far from Europe: take, for instance, this “Sino-Tibetan concertina-folded book, printed in Beijing in 1410, containing Sanskrit dhāranīs and illustrations of protective mantra-diagrams and deities, woodblock-printed in bright red ink on heavy white paper,” whose “breathtakingly detailed printing” predates Gutenberg by 40 years.

Do you ever suffer from “Aphantasia”?

The term “aphantasia” comes from the Greek words a, which means “without,” and phantasia, meaning “a capacity to form mental images.” The phenomenon was first described by psychologist Francis Galton – one of the pioneers in the science of eugenics – in 1880. The term, which denotes the lack of a “mind’s eye,” or inability to visualize in the mind, was coined to describe the phenomenon in 2015 by neurologist and University of Exeter Medical School professor Adam Zeman.

While Zeman believes that heredity and environment both are likely to be relevant causes, the exact cause of aphantasia is still unknown. Aphantasia could potentially occur in different ways in different people. Neuroimaging has shown that mental imagery is definitely associated with the left temporal lobe and requires an extensive series of pathways in the brain to occur. Scientists are still studying why these pathways might work in different ways in different people. Zeman theorizes that, while people with a functional ability to see things in the mind’s eye use visual circuitry, some people use non-visual paths to process visual data.

Now on to the absurd…..

Recent revelations that the Pentagon had an actual alien-hunting division have rocked conspiracy theorists everywhere, adding fuel to the long-held beliefs of many that the government is hiding the truth from us. Luis Elizondo, the military intel official who headed the now-defunct “Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program,” which ran from 2009 until 2012, was so convinced by what he saw that he continued his search for E.T. until this day. He now has a UFO-research startup and alerted CNN that there’s “compelling evidence” we are not alone.  

While Elizondo’s evidence may be based on being privy to a number of unexplained encounters with flying objects, the aliens haven’t made their presence very clear. If the universe contains at least two trillion galaxies full of billions of stars like our sun, shouldn’t there be other complex life forms out there by now? It would only make sense. So “where is everybody?” as the Nobel laureate physicist Enrico Fermifamously asked about the absence of evidence and the high probability of alien existence.

Then there is the story from my home state of Mississippi…..

Two Saucier residents are charged with five counts each of animal cruelty.

Wednesday, Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson arrested 57-year-old Sharon Bertok and 50-year-old Daniel Bertok after animal control officers found several species of animals living in deplorable conditions at their home on Wright Road in Saucier.

A total of 108 animals were taken from the property including 69 dogs, seven cats, one pale fox, one hedgehog, one skunk, 15 birds, one monkey, one pig, five goats, a miniature donkey, and six miniature horses.

The dogs, cats, the hedgehog, and the birds are in the care of the Humane Society of South Mississippi and are reportedly doing okay.

Some are expected to be up for adoption within the next few days.\


That about sums up the FYI portion for the day…..thanx for stopping by…..

Be Well….Be Safe….Enjoy Your Weekend…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”