The Ultimate Unwanted Relatives

“We have found an unknown branch of the tree of life that lives in this lake. It is unique.”

via Oldest Human Ancestor Found in Lake Sludge : Discovery News.

Mayhem, as Long as the Power Is On

The benefits of lasers are many, the authors claim. For one, DE weapons don’t constantly run out of ammunition…

via Study recommends deploying lasers on ships, bases and planes – Stripes Central – Stripes.

‘Saratoga’

Saratoga: Turning Point of America’s Revolutionary WarSaratoga: Turning Point of America’s Revolutionary War by Richard M. Ketchum
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Occasionally, frayed. For instance, you find yourself wondering why Ketchum is bringing up, say, some rube of a farmer, who is tucked in the back ranks of whichever army. But the loose ends always lead somewhere interesting. Ketchum’s threads tie everything together, from mealy, bone-tired conscripts on up to the generals, their buttons bulging and claret glasses tinkling.

Perhaps the highlight (definitely the highlight) is Ketchum’s learned, almost exasperated, criticism of the main characters. Looking back through the centuries, you find yourself, too, asking, What were they thinking?

View all my reviews

You Might Actually Have to Listen to Someone

So it’s useful to avoid jumping to conclusions not only by questioning narratives after all, just about everything is plausibly a narrative, so avoiding them can be pretty overwhelming, but by exposing yourself to multiple narratives and trying to integrate them as well as you can.

via The Irrationality of Irrationality: The Paradox of Popular Psychology | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network.

Those Are Some Balls

One colleague called him an “evil genius,” another called him “a cobra,” and Nixon said that he “would do anything. He’s got the balls of a brass monkey.”

via David Greenberg: In Remembrance Of A Lifelong Political Thug | The New Republic.

The End Is Near

…only 22 percent of workers 55 or older have more than $250,000 put away for retirement. Stunningly, 60 percent of workers in that same age bracket have less than $100,000 in a retirement account.

via My Faith-Based Retirement – NYTimes.com.

Chelsea 6, Q.P.R. 1 (Zagat-style)

Fernando Torres hit a hat-trick as Champions League finalists Chelsea boosted their hopes of a top-four finish and deepened QPR’s relegation worries.”

“After dispatching Spurs,” “there were high hopes,” but “QPR showed up without an ounce of fight” and “continued [a] bit of slow torture for … supporters.”

“The opening half-hour was played in a party atmosphere.” “As it poured goals in the first half, four within 26 minutes, Chelsea fans were singing in the rain,” referring to the Champions League: “We’re going to Germany, you’re going to Barnsley.”

“Rangers were a mess at the back and this was underlined by the fourth goal, which came when [Paddy] Kenny was unable to hold Nedum Onuoha’s poor back-header and Torres was on hand to tap in.”

“Victory here thrust Chelsea back into contention for a top-four finish.” The loss did little “for the Hoops, whose inadequacies were woefully exposed by their rampant hosts.”

via Telegraph; The Guardian; BBC Sport; Yahoo! Sports; West London Sport; Kilburn Times; and ESPN Soccernet

It’s a… Baryon!

In a paper submitted to Physical Review Letters, the CMS collaboration described the first observation of an excited, neutral Xi_b baryon, a particle made up of three quarks, including one beauty quark.

via symmetry breaking » Blog Archive » CMS collaboration discovers its first new particle.

The major newswires and news outlets havent covered this discovery, perhaps because theyre trying to decide how to spell, typeset, and explain the particles name.

via Language Log » Neutral Xi_b^star, Xib^{0}, Ξb0, whatever.

The Tears of Elizabeth Taylor

New analysis of a sculpture from the Egyptian Museum reveals that it depicts Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene, the twin children of Mark Antony and Cleopatra.

via Putting Faces to Roman Egypt’s Royal Twins – Bible History Daily.

On the Ground in Haiti

I want to tell them they are pathetic. I want to tell them that you shouldn’t tell someone to go fuck themselves one day then come groveling to them the next asking for a job or money or food or a house. I want to tell them they are the problem with this fucked up country. I want to, but I don’t, because I know, despite the anger, that while they are ignorant, and they do deserve to get called on their shit, they don’t deserve to be shamed for their condition.

via These New Boots: Day 326: Questions & (No) Answers (The Aid Bitchslap).