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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 2:22 pm 
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Remember that South Park episode where Cartman drinks Kenny's ashes mixed with milk?

The Mausoleum of Harlicarnassos was built for king Mausolos, a Persian satrap. His wife/sister, queen Artemisia, was torn with grief when her husband died in 353 BC. He was cremated. His wife mixed some of his ashes in whine, and drank it. As a momentum she let a gigantic tomb emerge, which was completed in 350 BC.
It stood there until series of earthquakes damaged it heavily, leaving the building unrecognizable by 1404.

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Tigers have striped skin as well as striped fur.

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jimmie d killed the forum wrote:
Tigers have striped skin as well as striped fur.


Polar bears have black skin and clear fur.

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The first toilet ever seen on television was on "Leave It To Beaver".

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:30 pm 
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ModifiedDog wrote:
The first toilet ever seen on television was on "Leave It To Beaver".

.....and here's a 23-second clip!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtgeQXE_X18

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The life expectancy of an adult male in a non-airconditioned house in 95 degree Fahrenheit summer heat is 75 hours. I know this for a fact because we just went without air conditioning for 72 hours and I knew I was about 3 hours away from being a total goner. :P

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 4:12 am 
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The following comes in useful at any discussion:
List of fallacies an their Latin name

Argumentum ad aquitatem: something is true because it's old
Argumentum ad baculum: argument accompanied with a threat
Argumentum ad crumenam: the rich are right
Argumentum a fortiori: when you argument a phrase, then fortify it by using a stronger argument
Argumentum ad hominem: argument based on attack at the person who claims the opposite
Argumentum ad ignoratiam: something is true because the opposite's never been proven
Argumentum ad lazarum: the poor are right
Argumentum ad logicam: result of faulty logic
Argumentum ad misericordiam: argument based on pity
Argumentum ad nausiam: agument based on repeating
Argumentum ad novitatem: something is true because it's new
Argumentum ad populum: the mass is right
Argumentum ad verecundum: argument is based on untrue authority
Circulus in probando: a circle in proof
Dichotome: black-white thinking
Slippery slope: if something occurs, something else will occur: "give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile"
Non sequitur: faulty consequence
Petitio principii: begging the question: it takes for proven what it is supposed to prove
secundum quid: generalisation
Tu quoque: "you too", argument is considered invalid when the person claiming it is not acting in accordance to it.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 5:12 am 
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suterb wrote:
The word flammable wasn't a real word until around 1810. People instead said inflammable. However, since someone might think that it meant "not able to catch on fire", the word flammable was invented.


"Oh what a disaster" literally means "Oh what a bad star." Dis from the latin for bad, and aster from the latin for star.

Who's not superstitious, we say "oh what a bad star" all the time :)

Here's another equally useful piece of information...

"Saharan dust that blew off the west coast of Africa on June 22, 2007 has journied westward across the Atlantic Ocean towards South America. The MODIS instruments on the Terra and Aqua satellites have tracked the dust plume’s progress."

Watch out Mr. GG, it's coming to a windshield near you :shock:

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 6:04 pm 
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Ground glass kills


We humans have been making glass for over 3,500 years. The Ancient Egyptians were making and exporting glass from their factories to their neighbours in Arabia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Cyprus and Crete. About 500 years ago, it was believed that if you ground up some valuable glass and fed it to an enemy, it would kill them. A few centuries later, the slave chronicles of pre-Civil War America refer to disgruntled black slaves who “poisoned masters and mistresses with arsenic, ground glass and ‘spiders beaten up in buttermilk’ ”. A popular device in Victorian literature had fictional characters using ground glass to surreptitiously kill off unwanted relatives. The “ground glass death” myth persists to this day. For example, it is claimed that unscrupulous manufacturers of ecstasy cut it with ground glass. But, as it says in Porgy and Bess, it ain’t necessarily so.

Firstly, I should clear up exactly what I mean by ground glass. The ground glass that I don’t mean is the type used in the focussing systems of expensive still and movie cameras. No, the ground glass I’m talking about is what you get if you smash glass up into tiny pieces that you then maliciously feed to someone.

In 1642, the writer and physician, Sir Thomas Browne, described in his book, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, how he tested this myth on dogs – and how he debunked it. (I guess he didn’t have to deal with a Grants Committee or an Ethics Committee). He wrote, “That Glass is poison, according unto common conceit, I know not how to grant … from experience, as having given unto Dogs above a dram thereof, subtilly (sic) powdered in Butter and Paste, without any visible disturbance”.

More recently, in 1916, a poisoner in New York City testified that he had tried to use ground glass to kill people, but that it had proved to be useless.

Since then, many people have written about this supposed toxicity of ground glass, but probably the nicest summary comes from Dr. D. P. Lyle, who wrote the enticingly-entitled Forensics for Dummies. In another of his books, Murder and Mayhem, A Doctor Answers Medical and Forensic Questions for Mystery Writers, he answers the ground glass conundrum. He writes that “very fine glass is unlikely to cause any lethal damage to the Gastro Intestinal tract … Even with coarser glass, the bleeding would probably not be massive or life-threatening, but slow and (would) lead to anaemia and fatigue.”

The gut is a very dynamic organ, writhing around as it does in that space between the bottom of your lungs and the top of your legs. It is also dynamic on its inside. It both grinds your food very finely in the stomach, as well as pushing it along the 8-metre-or-so length of the gut and out into your toilet bowl. Long skinny splinters of glass would definitely cause problems as it got shoved along your gut – but you would certainly notice it as you chewed your meal.

And yes, chunks of jagged glass the size of matchheads would cause bleeding as they rubbed against the soft interior of your gut - but while it was in your mouth, you would have to notice the unexpectedly rough texture of your meal. You would still notice the glass if it were ground as finely as sand (ever had a picnic on a windy day at the beach?). If the glass were ground so finely that you didn’t notice its presence in your mouth, then neither would your gut.

There might be an intermediate grain size of ground glass which you wouldn’t notice eating, but which would cause some minor bleeding, which you would notice in the toilet bowl - and then you could denounce your murderously transparent relative as a Pain in the Glass… Should you really wish to use glass as a murder weapon, do try a broken bottle…



© Karl S. Kruszelnicki Pty Ltd 2007.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 1:36 am 
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DR KARL!
he's a legend.. :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 3:39 am 
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Raoul Duke wrote:
Quote:
Ground glass kills


There might be an intermediate grain size of ground glass which you wouldn’t notice eating, but which would cause some minor bleeding, which you would notice in the toilet bowl - and then you could denounce your murderously transparent relative as a Pain in the Glass… Should you really wish to use glass as a murder weapon, do try a broken bottle…



© Karl S. Kruszelnicki Pty Ltd 2007.


I was at a picnic one time eating with a plastic fork. Halfway through the meal I looked down and half of one ot the prongs that was there before, was missing. It wasn't on or around my plate. I called the doctor and he said...
"Don't worry about it, it'll all work out in the end." 8)

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:02 am 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWauSt7tN_g

Fun facts about spiders:
-Spiders are venomous, but not necessarily poisonous.
-Spiders have blue blood.
Quote:
Q. Do spiders crawl in my mouth and nose while I am sleeping?
A. I think it would be highly unlikely that spiders would crawl into a person's mouth or nose while they sleeping. For one thing we move around a lot while we are sleeping and this would deter a spider from even crawling on you, let alone enter any orifice, especially one which is wet and dark. Breathing through your mouth or nose would also deter a spider from entering and most house spiders are too big to fit into a nose in any case. Spiders, like virtually all arthropods, flee from breath. After all, there are lots of vertebrates that eat arthropods, and if you're an arthropod and something is breathing on you, it's not a good idea to stick around.
For a spider to get into your mouth while you're sleeping, (a) you must have your mouth open when you sleep, which is certainly not something that everyone odes, so there's a big chunk of people who can never swallow anything; (b) there has to be a wandering spider in your immediate vicinity, also something which--for most people in the civilized world, at least--is a fairly rare occurrence; (c) the spider has to either jump or fall into your mouth from a long distance, because they won't go near your mouth otherwise (they're not suicidal), and the odds are pretty astronomical of a spider randomly dropping into your mouth from the ceiling.

There is a story about humans eating eight spiders a year in our sleep without knowing it and that it was supposedly tested by filming people in their sleep for a year. It is hard to believe that a group of people in different sleeping situations would have been filmed for a year or more to validate this statement. It is possible for a spider to walk into your mouth and trigger the swallowing mechanism at the back of the throat and this could in fact occur on a rare occasion. It may even be true that there are a few people out there who have unknowingly eaten eight spiders in the last twelve months. This still would not make such a generalisation be considered as true. I certainly wouldn't lose any sleep worrying about spiders while you sleep!!


I nearly ate a dead spider once, while awake. I didn't notice it was a spider, until it was very close to my mouth. I threw it away, shook my arms around for a while in panic, then gave my heart a little rest. I never found the corpse back.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:06 am 
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BBP wrote:

I nearly ate a dead spider once, while awake. I didn't notice it was a spider, until it was very close to my mouth. I threw it away, shook my arms around for a while in panic, then gave my heart a little rest. I never found the corpse back.


Is it true that the average person 'eats' upto 4 spiders in their sleep during their lifetime?

David Bagnall, Milton Keynes Bucks
The actual figure is probably much higher - but don't have nightmares because these are not huge spiders but rather, Bimmo Spiders, the tiny little ones that seem to float. They are perfectly harmless.

:D

Gary Bardeeni, Scotland
I heard this yet again 2 days ago. The only way to establish this claim would be to get a significant sample of people, videotape each of them constantly during their sleep (probably several closeup cameras per person) for a significant period, e.g. 6 months, then meticulously analyse the mountain of video footage, in slow motion with a magnifying glass. Does anyone honestly think this project has/would ever get funded? I think not. Yes, it's possible to swallow a spider; No, you can't put numbers on it.

Gordon, Glasgow, Scotland
No, this is an urban legend. Created to show that people will believe anything--and then going on to be believed. The following is from the urban legend debunking site www.snopes.com Claim: The average person swallows eight spiders per year. Status: False. Origins: Fear not. This "statistic" was not only made up out of whole cloth, it was invented as an example of the absurd things people will believe simply because they come across them on the Internet. In a 1993 PC Professional article, columnist Lisa Holst wrote about the ubiquitous lists of "facts" that were circulating via e-mail and how readily they were accepted as truthful by gullible recipients. To demonstrate her point, Holst offered her own made-up list of equally ridiculous "facts," among which was the statistic cited above about the average person's swallowing eight spiders per year, which she took from a collection of common misbeliefs printed in a 1954 book on insect folklore. In a delicious irony, Holst's propagation of this false "fact" has spurred it into becoming one of the most widely-circulated bits of misinformation to be found on the Internet.

Scott McKinstry, Seattle, USA
This rumour was started in 1993 by Lisa Holst, a columnist for a computing magazine. The article focused on the increasingly common lists of "facts" which had begin to circulate on the internet in the early 1990s. To illustrate her point Holst made up her own list of supposed "facts", one of which was the claim that the average person swallows up to eight spiders per year. In this particular instance Holst apparently took her inspiration from collection of common misbeliefs printed in a 1954 book on insect folklore. It is, of course, wonderfully ironic that Holst's "false fact" has since become one of the most widely spread myths on the internet.

Rob Stanton, Cambridge, UK
Remove "in your sleep" and it might be true. At least in the US, the legal limits on insect parts (I expect the regulators include spiders, for simplicity) in processed foods is large enough so that over time it's easy to imagine eating the equivalent of eight spiders - though you might have trouble putting the parts together to make even one.

William Westbrook, Plainsboro, USA
Yes. I am a County Medical Examiner (Coroner) in Colorado and have performed thousands of autopsies since I was licensed in 1971. A typical analysis of chemical stomach contents found in over 90% of cases shows a .018 % of insect DNA less than 90 days old. Insect parts do not seem to be digested (similar to corn), however, they remain in the large intestine for an extended period of time and eventually make their delayed way out about 90 days after being consumed. In other words, if you ask any ME (Medical Examiner) he/she will tell you that far more than 8 spiders are eaten in a life time. While we don't know how many actual spiders are consumed each month, there is a considerable amount of chemical and physical (DNA and body parts) evidence that proves the average American (or at least Colorado resident) has consumed 8-12 insects (of varying size) within the previous 90 days. One can safely assume that 90% of Colorodan's have not meant to consume this many spider-parts while awake, but have consumed them inadvertantly, through processed or natural foods, or while asleep. Furthermore, I have completely made up the above explanation, but it just goes to show you that anyone can say anything and make it sound pretty darn believable.

Jonathon West, MD, Denver, CO, USA
Thank you Dr West for your articulate and humorous response. I agree.

Kimberly DeVos, Douglas, Michigan USA
I sleep with my mouth shut.

Katherine Connors, Columbia, USA
I don't think that people can necessarily EAT spiders in their sleep. People don't swallow in their sleep, although they can. For people that read this, don't be scared, although I know that I was a few minutes ago. Even if somehow you do eat spiders, guess what? They haven't hurt you for all of the years that you've lived, so they won't hurt you now. I'm only 12 years old and I've come up with this conclusion. As some say, "Don't get your undies in a bunch about it!"

Megan Kennedy, Detroit, USA
About a year ago I woke up to find a spider on my face near my mouth, so I think that myth is somewhat true.

Amy Maddix, Detroit, USA
Here in Hawii there are spiders being swallowed, we have videotaped various people in their sleep, with spiders crawling into their mouths, nostrils, and even their ear lobes. It was quite a disturbing sight. The good thing is that the person didn't even budge when the spider crawled in, so you will not feel a thing and wont even know that the spider crawled in, so you won't be all worried.

Cailey Kiernan, Homowaki, Hawii
I am a plastic surgeon in Phoenix. It's not the spiders you should be afraid of, but bug parts in processed food. The USA allows a large, large concentration of bugs parts in our processed foods. I guess if you added all the parts up you might just have a spider!

Robb Johnson, Phoenix, AZ, USA
to prove this, one would have to get statistics from emergency rooms, symptoms - wiggle and jiggle and tickle inside them. Now if someone said the average person has two insects fly/crawl/fall into their ear in a 15 year period that made it necessary to go to the hospital emergency room in great pain then I would say that is true - since it has happened to me.

Gene Kowalski, Fairfield, NJ, USA
Humans consume many things in a years time unintentionally and unknowingly. Many of which, would make their stomachs turn if they knew about them. Fortunately, they do not. Why not spiders?

Julie, Belle Plaine, Iowa, USA
I believe it is true. I have seen spiders go in and out of peoples nose, ears, and mouths while they were asleep. They only stay in there for a short time. They will eventually leave. Dont worry, you have had things a lot dirtier in your mouth before.

Brian C, Roanoke, Va, USA
People are eating insects all the time. Caterpillars, greenfly, spiders, weevils etc in salads and vegetables that have not been carefully washed. In Cambodia (and probably elsewhere) they eat large fried spiders about the size of a small child's hand, i.e. about 5 inches across the legs. They are very popular and I have the photos!

Richard Leonard, Falls Church USA
To be honest, I would worry much more about the chemicals we consume, than a cute little spider, which is biodegradable.

Lothar Hoffmann, Carsonville, United States
Spiders are rather picky creatures and have well tuned olfactory systems. Unless a spider were going blind and had lost its sense of smell it would never linger in your mouth for more than a moment. That being said the eating of spiders for sport or cuisine by some individuals may more than average out to 4 per person if said individuals only eat one a week for their lifetime and even considering a 50 year lifespan (everone knows eating spiders is bad for you) they would consume enough spiders for 650 other noneaters to bring the average to 4 during a lifetime. It would be quite easy, especially if the eaters are not terribly picky to eat smaller less delicate spiders more frequently and eat enough for even 1000-2000 noneaters. Either way the spiders, certainly not of their own accord do get eaten...

Tim Riegel, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
I can believe things crawl in your mouth, ears, nose, etc. when you are asleep. I have woken with ants on my face, a cockroach on my forehead, and a fly on my nose. I have, when awake though, swallowed bees, moths, ants and probably other things I can't remember. The bee was scary because I thought it would sting going down. I guess it didn't: I'm still alive.

John, Bethlehem, USA
My uncle told me this when I was about 4 or 5. I was so impresionable (and terrified of spiders) at that age that to this day, 30 something years later, I grind my teeth so badly at night trying to keep my mouth shut and the spiders out that I wake people up!! So glad to hear it's a myth. Maybe I can learn to stop grinding my teeth now!

Michele M, Melrose, USA
I sleep with my mouth wide open especially after a stressful day at work. I actually awoke one night with a full grown cockroach in my mouth! More amazingly, the "event" was captured in my dream hence my suddenly waking-up to find the thing in there. Of course I did not "eat" it up but swat it off. Spiders might end up the same way but not necessarily eaten-up.

Nick P, Cebu City, Philippines
Many insects fly into your mouth or nostrils while you are quite awake and before you know it, they are on their way into your stomach. Thank God for the consolation I have in the words of Jesus Christ that "if they (believers) drink (or eat, in the case of spiders) any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them". Mark 16:17. I am a believer.

Ronke Akeni, Lagos, Nigeria
No, I don't think that spiders crawl onto people's faces while they are sleeping because the person would feel it and wake up right away. Even if this were true you wouldn't know anyway so what's the big deal? It's not as gross as what's found in hotdogs or Jello.

Ellie Asaga, Harbour Town, USA
I don't know how John from Bethlehem (see above) has ended up with so many bugs on his face, but maybe he should think about cleaning his house.

Amy, Bath, USA
I dunno, but I have woke up because a spider was in my mouth.

Macawayne, Glasgow, Scotland
Last night a great big spider crawled onto my face twice around my mouth. My cat (who loves to eat spiders) was jumping about all over me. Definatly the spider was trying to get into my mouth - or else why would it return a second time?

Sam Tuohey, Birmingham, England
Uhh I don't even want to think about it! Now I wont be able to go to sleep & I just found out about it. I hate spiders. I dont know what to think anymore. Gosh.

Yaneth, Washington, USA
I could only wish to have a spider small enough to crawl into my mouth. Here in Iraqi Kurdistan's Erbil province we have spiders so large that it is not uncommon in the summer months to find our small children completely cocconed up and dangling from the rafters in the morning. Hence the ancient name of Erbil city - "Hawler." Meaning, "Land of the Three Kilogram Spiders."

Rasul Ahmed, Erbil Iraq
I don't know if they were spiders, but I have definately woke up an a few occasions after inhailing something. I think they might have been gnats. This happened to me this morning, 5/17/7. I snore, mouth wide open. Yum!

Steve Smith, Albany, NY US
I don't think its true. Surely we'd feel them and wake up? or they spider would be scared off as they seem to run pretty quickly from any kind of movement.

Shane, Basingstoke UK
I found half a spider by my pillow today, and I once woke up choking on something. Yummy.

Louise, Rickmansworth England

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:18 am 
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It's difficult to tell since I find on spider websites that the spiders in USA (except for funnel spiders and daddy-long-legs-spiders) are very different from the ones in Europe. Which spiders you get may differ from house to house, but the spiders here in EU are not usually the ones that like to crawl into warm places. I've found them on places near my bed, and in 3 occasions on my bed as I woke up, but never on me. And if they are on my skin in day-time they'll do anything to get away.

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I found two tarantulas in the shower, once, but never noticed any wildlife in my bed......except for the occasional 'skeeter, of course. :)

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Human genome continues to surprise
David Suzuki

June 29, 2007 - Imagine discovering that the person running your favourite Fortune 500 company was not the CEO, as everyone presumed, but rather the bicycle-courier guy in spandex shorts and a goatee who everyone thought just delivered the messages.

That's pretty much how scientists working on the ENCODE project must have felt after analyzing the first part of the human genome.

ENCODE, short for Encyclopedia of DNA Elements, is a massive project that aims to catalogue all of the functional elements of the human genome. The recently completed first stage of ENCODE catalogued just one per cent of our genetic code, but that represents some 30 million bases, or "letters" of DNA, in this case chosen randomly from 44 different parts of the genome. Analyzing that one per cent of our genetic structure took 308 scientists from 10 countries four years to complete.

All that effort has uncovered something marvelous: What I and other geneticists for decades took for granted may have been wrong. Or at least a wild simplification of what's actually going on.

Until very recently, accepted dogma in genetics was that DNA, specifically DNA in the form of genes, contained all the instructions necessary to make proteins. These proteins then made things happen at a cellular level, thus a gene is "expressed," and its instructions carried out. Another chemical, called RNA, was like a Xerox copy that simply replicated information from the DNA and transferred it to the area where proteins are made, shuttling information back and forth like a courier. It's a nice, tidy explanation for a complicated process. And in hindsight, it's probably a little too tidy.

Scientists first came up against the limits of this explanation when they mapped the human genome. To their surprise they found that people only have some 21,000 protein-encoding genes. Yet organisms like C. elegans, a tiny worm, or my specialty, the fruit fly, have almost as many - some 20,000 of them. If these genes are providing all the instructions on how to build and maintain an organism, how can such obviously more complicated creatures like humans have similar numbers of genes as simpler creatures like insects?

One answer may be found in the majority of our DNA that does not, as far as we know, code for proteins - what scientists used to call "junk." When ENCODE researchers started their project, they probably assumed that, because only a small fraction of our DNA coded for proteins, only a small fraction of whatever they looked at would be transcribed into RNA, the messenger that delivered the instructions on how to make the protein.

Instead, ENCODE researchers found that much of the human genome is transcribing into RNA. It's just that the information contained in it isn't necessarily read to make proteins. So then what is the role of junk DNA and what does all this extra RNA do? As yet, no one really knows, but it's clear that the human genome is much more than the sum of its genes. In fact, genes themselves may actually take a back seat in the development and functioning of an organism compared to RNA.
It's amazing for me to look at what we know now compared to when I ran a genetics lab back in the 1970s. In fact, when I tell students what we used to think back then, they can't help but giggle at our naivete. I may be overstating the role of the bicycle courier in my Fortune 500 company analogy. But I may be understating it too. It's still too early to say if RNA - our genetic bicycle courier - is actually running the show or not. But what has become clear is that there are a lot more bicycle couriers running around out there, delivering much more information than seems necessary and perhaps even making decisions on the fly. They may not be necessarily running the company, but they certainly have the ear of whoever does and they aren't keeping their opinions to themselves.

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just plain doug wrote:
I found two tarantulas in the shower, once, but never noticed any wildlife in my bed......except for the occasional 'skeeter, of course. :)


That doesn't sound like it was in Canada, JPD. :?

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British researchers have discovered that people begin to lie at the age of around 6 months. By then, children have learned they can attract their parents's attention by crying. You can tell if it's fake because the baby will occasionally stop whining to watch for a reaction.
By the age of 8 months, their abilities have progressed and they can distract their guardian by doing something on the side when they're up to something that's not allowed. By the age of 2 kids learn to bluff.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:51 am 
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sabrinaIII wrote:
just plain doug wrote:
I found two tarantulas in the shower, once, but never noticed any wildlife in my bed......except for the occasional 'skeeter, of course. :)


That doesn't sound like it was in Canada, JPD. :?

No, ma'm, it wasn't. Actually, it was about a 5 to 7 hour flight due south of here. (and I let them have the shower, I used a different one.)

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 5:35 am 
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All about the middle finger gesture:
The origin of this gesture is highly speculative, but is quite possibly thousands of years old. It is identified as the digitus impudicus ("impudent finger") in Ancient Roman writings[1] and reference is made to using the finger in the Ancient Greek comedy The Clouds by Aristophanes. It was defined there as a gesture intended to insult another. The widespread usage of the finger in many cultures is likely due to the geographical influence of the Roman Empire and Greco-Roman civilization. Another possible origin of this gesture can be found in the first-century Mediterranean world, where extending the digitus impudicus was one of many methods used to divert the ever present threat of the evil eye.[2]

There is a popular story about English bowmen waving fingers at the French knights who did not manage to cut them off during the Hundred Years' War. However, this is a confusion with the origins of the V sign, which are themselves in question.[3]

Another possible origin is the phallic imagery of the raised middle finger (the middle finger being the longest finger on the human hand), similar to the Italian version of the bent elbow insult. Also, there is a variation of the finger where it can be done by performing The Fangul, by sticking out the finger during the throwing motion.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:32 am 
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BBP wrote:
All about the middle finger gesture:
The origin of this gesture is highly speculative, but is quite possibly thousands of years old. It is identified as the digitus impudicus ("impudent finger") in Ancient Roman writings[1] and reference is made to using the finger in the Ancient Greek comedy The Clouds by Aristophanes. It was defined there as a gesture intended to insult another. The widespread usage of the finger in many cultures is likely due to the geographical influence of the Roman Empire and Greco-Roman civilization. Another possible origin of this gesture can be found in the first-century Mediterranean world, where extending the digitus impudicus was one of many methods used to divert the ever present threat of the evil eye.[2]

There is a popular story about English bowmen waving fingers at the French knights who did not manage to cut them off during the Hundred Years' War. However, this is a confusion with the origins of the V sign, which are themselves in question.[3]

Another possible origin is the phallic imagery of the raised middle finger (the middle finger being the longest finger on the human hand), similar to the Italian version of the bent elbow insult. Also, there is a variation of the finger where it can be done by performing The Fangul, by sticking out the finger during the throwing motion.


This "bent elbow" thingy piqued my interest, so I looked further:

This gesture is associated with Italians and is considered a more theatrical and physically exuberant version of the finger, and may even be combined with the finger. In Italian it is known as the gesto dell'ombrello, meaning literally "the umbrella gesture." It is typically used in two different situations: 1) to answer "no way!" in an extremely emphatic (and quite vulgar) way; 2) after a triumph against some unfair enemy, with a sense of revenge. The gesture is frequently made stronger by crying "toh!" or "tiè!", both meaning "take this!", at the precise moment the hand touches the crook of the elbow.

Woe be to the naive traveller who visits Italy with an itchy neck.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:50 am 
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feetlightup wrote:
BBP wrote:
Another possible origin is the phallic imagery of the raised middle finger (the middle finger being the longest finger on the human hand), similar to the Italian version of the bent elbow insult.

This "bent elbow" thingy piqued my interest, so I looked further:

[1) to answer "no way!" in an extremely emphatic (and quite vulgar) way; 2) after a triumph against some unfair enemy, with a sense of revenge.

I was sure it also meant "My, that woman is rather attractive." Know what I mean? Nudge, Nudge. Grin, Grin. Wink, Wink! Wohhohoho!

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feetlightup wrote:
The life expectancy of an adult male in a non-airconditioned house in 95 degree Fahrenheit summer heat is 75 hours. I know this for a fact because we just went without air conditioning for 72 hours and I knew I was about 3 hours away from being a total goner. :P


BWAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAH ! Good one Feet ! :)

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The top half of contents of the average peanutbutter jar will run empty approximately 22 ! times faster than the bottom half.

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Randy Poffo was a minor-league baseball player who played catcher in the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, and Chicago White Sox farm systems. Since his father and brother were wrestlers, he started wrestling in the off-season. Ole Anderson, the booker for the wrestling association he was in, told him to change his name because the name Poffo didn't fit a person who "wrestled like a savage".

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