Author Archives: postroad
Some of these architectural and historic artefacts can be truly elaborate works of art, some possess hidden (arcane, esoteric) meaning, which often has to do with spiritual passages, or opening of magical doorways in the otherwise un-yeilding and uncaring world. Today we are going to see the most interesting, ornate, unexpected ones – send us more examples of these fascinating objects that you found around of world.
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Moss Balls or marimo (Japanese for “ball seaweed”), also known by various names such as Cladophora ball and Lake ball, is a species of filamentous green algae named Aegagropila linnaei that grow into large green balls with a velvety appearance. These balls grow to sizes of 12 to 30 cm across, depending on where you find them. Marimos are rare and is known to occur only in Iceland, Scotland and Japan, primarily Lake Akan in Japan and Lake Mývatn in Iceland. Recently, moss balls appeared in a large numbers on Dee Why Beach, in Sydney, the first such spotting of this algae in the southern hemisphere.
—Marimo doesn’t grow around a core, such as a pebble. Instead, the algal filaments grow in all directions from the centre of the ball, continuously branching and thereby laying the foundation for the spherical form. Surprisingly, the ball is green all through, although light only reaches very short distance into the ball. The chlorophyll inside the ball remains dormant in the dark, but becomes active when exposed to light if the ball breaks apart. Moss balls are found submerged in the lake’s bed where the gentle wave action frequently turns them over maintaining its spherical shape, at the same time ensuring that they can photosynthesize no matter which side is turned upwards.
Neurological evidence for chaos in the nervous system is growing.
WASHINGTON — Islamic State militants are raking in money at a remarkable rate, earning about $1 million a day from black market oil sales alone, a Treasury Department official said Thursday.
—David Cohen, who leads the department’s effort to undermine the Islamic State’s finances, said the extremists also get several million dollars a month from wealthy donors, extortion rackets and other criminal activities, such as robbing banks. In addition, he said the group has taken in at least $20 million in ransom payments this year from kidnappings.
—“With the important exception of some state-sponsored terrorist organizations, (Islamic State) is probably the best-funded terrorist organization we have confronted,” Cohen, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. “It has amassed wealth at an unprecedented pace.”
The 2008 arrest of Antonio Iovine, a Camorra boss who reportedly ran the Casalesi family’s hugely profitable waste-disposal business. Illustration by Jacob Everett
—In the American imagination, being involved in organized crime means living in beautiful mansions, having beautiful cars, and being surrounded by beautiful women. Nothing could be further from the truth. The life of a mafioso is horrendous, bleak, and almost monastic. What people don’t realize is that being a mafioso, even a boss, means living like a rat in a sewer. They are forced to hide the riches they have earned, risking their own lives and those of their relatives. They become fugitives, dwelling in tiny underground bunkers just a few square feet in size, and rarely see daylight or their loved ones. They understand, from the moment they go down that road, that it ends in two possible ways: Either they’ll be in prison, or their enemies will murder them.
—I’m speaking specifically of today’s mafiosi, the current generation of powerful, rich, and influential Italian criminals. They live in pursuit of only two objectives: power and money. That doesn’t mean, however, that they immediately get whatever they want.
The high heritability of exam grades reflects many genetically influenced traits such as personality, behavior problems, and self-efficacy and not just intelligence. The study looked at 13,306 twins at age 16 . The twins were assessed on a range of cognitive and non-cognitive measures, and the researchers had access to their GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) scores.
The researchers found that the heritability of GCSE scores was 62%. Individual traits were between 35% and 58% heritable, with intelligence being the most highly heritable.
Credit: © Rido / Fotolia
—New research, led by King’s College London finds that the high heritability of exam grades reflects many genetically influenced traits such as personality, behaviour problems, and self-efficacy and not just intelligence.
—The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), looked at 13,306 twins at age 16 who were part of the Medical Research Council (MRC) funded UK Twins Early Development Study (TEDS). The twins were assessed on a range of cognitive and non-cognitive measures, and the researchers had access to their GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) scores.
Writer and Portland resident Mike Vogel spotted this wheatpaste poster of an older Calvin daydreaming about his childhood and the good times he had with his pal Hobbes. The street artwork was spotted at the corner of 7th Avenue and Salmon Street in southeast Portland.
A German dispatch dog carries messages to the front line during a German offensive in January 1918 -
Stenothermal Waters and the Remorseless Flow of Time…Outside, May 1986, Reprinted from THE FLIGHT OF THE IGUANA (1988).
—I’VE BEEN READING Heraclitus this week, so naturally my brain is full of river water.
—Heraclitus, you’ll recall, was the Greek philosopher of the sixth century B.C. who gets credit for having said: “You cannot step twice into the same river.” Heraclitus was a loner, according to the sketchy accounts of him, and rather a crank. He lived in the town of Ephesus, near the coast of Asia Minor opposite mainland Greece, not far from a great river that in those days was called the Meander.
—He never founded a philosophic school, like Plato and Pythagoras did. He didn’t want followers. He simply wrote his one book and deposited the scroll in a certain sacred building, the temple of Artemis, where the general public couldn’t get a hold of it . The book itself was eventually lost, and all that survives of it today are about a hundred fragments, which have come down secondhand in the works of other ancient writer. So his ideas are known only by hearsay. He seems to have said a lot of interesting things, some of them cryptic, some of them downright ornery, but this river comment is the one for which Heraclitus is widely remembered. The full translation is: “You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters are continually flowing on.” To most people it comes across as a nice resonant metaphor, a bit of philosophic poetry. To me it is that and more.
A woman cries in shock as she searches for her children, minutes after a car bomb exploded in a crowded neighborhood of mainly-Muslim West Beirut on 08 August 1986. The bomb killed 13 people, including three children, and injuring at least 92 –
room with a view, nakanyane safari lodge, south africa
A medical photograph of a young girl from the archives of Utrecht’s university hospital. In the early days of medical photography clinical standards had yet to be formulated for photographic images. Consequently, many images were more poignant than scientific. Holland. 1890.
On Sunday, we asked a very handsome guard for a picture with my friend visiting from Cali – RIP Nathan Cirillo
Ebola has come to be described in horror-movie terms as an affliction, in the words of the journalist David Quammen, that “seems to kill like the 10th plague of Egypt in Exodus — the one inflicted by an angel of death.” With a mortality rate as high as 90 percent, it kills painfully and swiftly, with a seemingly remorseless calculus. There is even an article on the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that compares Ebola to the ghastly scourge in “The Masque of the Red Death,” the Edgar Allan Poe story that begins: “The ‘Red Death’ had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous.”
—In “Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus,” Mr. Quammen puts the frightening reality of Ebola — and the heightened language and hyperbole surrounding it — into perspective. This slender book is an expanded extract from his 2012 book “Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic,” and it does a nimble job of situating this year’s unnerving events in historical context, going back to the first recorded occurrence of the virus in 1976 and chronicling the scientific and medical efforts to understand it since.
The ichthys symbol, or “Jesus fish”, typically used to proclaim an affiliation with or affinity for Christianity, has many variations. Some of these are made by Christians in order to promote a specific doctrine or theological perspective, such as evolutionary creation. Other variations are sometimes intended for the purpose of satire. Both the traditional Ichthys fish, as well as its variations, often are seen adorning the bumpers or trunks of automobiles, often in the form of adhesive badges made of chrome-colored plastic. While the ichthys symbol dates back millennia, the satirical images known today are quite recent in origin.
This is an excerpt from Mother Jones contributing writer Ted Genoways’ new book, The Chain: Farm, Factory, and the Fate of Our Food.
For months on end, pork producers across the Midwest had been struggling against record-low prices per head, but Becker had taken steps to protect his family’s farm against contractions of the market. He had signed a producer agreement with Hormel Foods, maybe the one company with a recession-proof demand for pork, and he had planted enough of his own corn to sustain his herd for the next year, insulating his operation from skyrocketing feed prices. With another Minnesota winter already in the air, Becker was out walking his fields one last time before starting the harvest. “When I got in and checked the answering machine,” he told me later, “there was a message from Matt Prescott with PETA.” Becker was soft-spoken but bristled with nervous energy. His jitters, together with his work-honed physique and fair hair, made him seem much younger than forty. But he insisted that the four years since receiving the call from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had aged him by more than a decade. “They had ‘damning evidence,'” he said haltingly. “Undercover. Of animal abuse. On a farm that we own.”
Most boys of the Pokot tribe in Alale, Kenya, are unable to attend school due to their daily duty of cattle herding and their role as “warriors” to protect against cattle rustlers of the neighboring Turkana tribe. Dinah Hellen Chebitwey, a 52-year-old early childhood education officer, teaches Pokot boys the game of archery in an attempt to transform their skills into a means of peace-building. Chebitwey hopes to engage her counterpart in Turkana to create a program where boys from two rival communities can compete in the game of archery to deepen exchanges and learn to embrace peace. –By European Pressphoto Agency
What happens when an aircraft is no longer needed? In the desert dry of the south-western US, vast ‘boneyards’ are homes to thousands of aircraft, Stephen Dowling writes.
George Orwell’s 1984 opens with Winston Smith carving out a pocket of privacy by crouching in a corner of his apartment where the telescreen—and thus Big Brother—can’t see and writing a diary entry. These days, that Stalin-inspired nightmare seems quaint.
We carry our personal telescreens around with us, and take it for granted that if someone wants to watch us, they can.There is nowhere to hide, even in the Hong Kong hotel room where Laura Poitras filmed Edward Snowden talking to Glenn Greenwald about the revelations about the NSA the whistleblower unleashed on the world. At one point in Citizenfour, Poitras’s film about the surveillance state and Snowden, an impatient Snowden yanks the hotel phone’s plug from the wall. All VoIP phones can be bugged, he explains, tossing away the cord. The NSA could know what he ordered from room service.
Betting big on marijuana futures with the Wolf of Weed Street.
So there I was in Mexico, wintering away in the tiny, stray-dog surf town of Punta de Mita, bored out of my skull, not a single rideable wave predicted for the next week, my time mostly spent in mind-numbing internet excursions, when all of a sudden I wound up on Twitter, reading posts from a guy named the Wolf of Weed Street. It seems that the Wolf and his followers – 21,000 of them, known collectively as the Wolf Pack – have been making a fortune trading stocks tied to the marijuana industry. So far, more than 20 states have approved pot for medicinal purposes, with more on the way. Since last January, when Colorado opened itself up to recreational toking, pot stocks have been on a tear. By March, the Wolf himself had parlayed $22,000 into $640,000, trading companies with names like American Green, Vapor Group Inc., and Hemp Inc. And there are, so says Twitter buzz, more gains to come. In fact, according to ArcView Market Research, the U.S. market for legal weed will reach $2.6 billion this year and $10.2 billion within five years, which has opened up an equally major-bucks-boffo opportunity for investors.
Planning for control of your personal information after you die used to be as simple as telling someone about the desk drawer or the fireproof box or the safe deposit box at the local bank.
—But in the era of smartphones and cloud computing services, that same stuff may be stored in digital formats on servers scattered across the globe. You may keep documents online or use email as a catchall for paperless receipts, insurance information or financial transactions. And don’t forget the photos, videos and musings left behind at social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Flickr.
—So how do you make sure all that information — protected by who knows how many passwords — is handled the way you would like after you’re gone? Two words: Plan ahead.
—Providers that store digital content are restricted in how they can disclose it to someone other than the account holder. Much of it is protected by privacy laws. And terms of service agreements for things like free email may prevent companies from disclosing that material to anyone without a court order.