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Cirque Berzerk

Thanks to a tip from our intrepid writer Lori, I recently checked out the Cirque Berzerk website, and is it wild!  They inform us:

It’s been called everything from “a circus on acid” to “French burlesque meets Sweeney Todd.” Cirque Berzerk’s unique flavor of adult psychedelic vaudevillian tomfoolery returns to the Los Angeles State Historic Park.… Read the rest

Uighurs in Palau

There are various reports that the tiny Pacific nation of Palau will take in 17 Chinese Muslims from the U.S. prison in Guantanamo.  The ethnic Uighur prisoners had been previously cleared of wrongdoing and ordered to be released, but could not be resettled in their native region in western China due to fear of reprisals from the Chinese government.… Read the rest

A Few Good Blogs

In the spirit of not planning ahead, combined with an unexpected (but extremely welcome) house guest and the damnable hours of the French Open, today I have a few suggestions for other excellent websites.


The Daily Revolution’s own Lori maintains an excellent blog. … Read the rest

Little House on the Prairie

I have been re-reading Laura Ingalls Wilder‘s “Little House on the Prairie” series. People of my generation may be familiar with the books, but probably remember the television series better.


The books follow a young girl and her family in the latter half of the nineteenth century, through various moves across what is now the northern Midwest, and through many trials and triumphs.… Read the rest

Chinese Pottery

The world’s oldest known pottery has been discovered in China, according to a report from the BBC. The pottery, in fragments, was estimated at about 18,000 years old and found in a cave that had previously yielded the oldest kernels of rice.… Read the rest

Baked DNA

Forensic scientists led by University of New Haven’s Dr. Heather Coyle have discovered a new way to extract DNA from ancient bones, using heat instead of freezing:

Standard DNA procedure for bones is to freeze them. When Coyle and her team re-examined the mummy remains they realized the Gobi desert created a natural bone baking process.… Read the rest

Creature Comforts

I have written previously about the wonderful benefits we can gain from the presence of companion animals in our lives. For years I have supported a multitude of animal welfare charities and done occasional volunteer work. One of my greatest frustrations has been how to better contribute to animal welfare, particularly through employment.… Read the rest

Bilingual Advantages

Science Daily reports that bilingual people have a strong advantage over monolingual speakers in learning new languages. According to the article:

“People who can speak two languages are more adept at learning a new foreign language than their monolingual counterparts, according to research conducted at Northwestern University.… Read the rest

Contemporary Musician: Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson is a singer/songwriter in the soft rock genre, as well as a filmmaker, activist, and surfer. He’s well known among the under-40 crowd, particularly for his work on the Curious George film soundtrack and his 2008 CD Sleep Through the Static.… Read the rest

Visit Your Own Country!

I have not traveled the world as much as I would wish (who has?), but I have been lucky enough to see parts of Canada, Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, and Spain. I have also been lucky enough to grow up with a mother who thought that traveling my own country, the United States, could be equally edifying.… Read the rest

Cell Phone Virus

Most of us are aware of the dire threat of a computer virus, but did you know that you can get a virus on your cell phone? Daily Science, via a study from a team at the Center for Complex Network Research, tells us that this is a possibility as well:

“The researchers used calling and mobility data from over six million anonymous mobile phone users to create a comprehensive picture of the threat mobile phone viruses pose to users.… Read the rest

Wily Whales

Science Daily reports on interesting developments in the field of whale studies. Scientists have wondered how and why sperm whales feed from deep sea fishermen’s “longlines.” Researchers from Scripps and the Southeast Alaska Sperm Whale Avoidance Project deployed acoustic and video recorders near Sitka, Alaska, and recorded some surprising results:

“The resulting video, recorded using ambient light at 100 meters (328 feet) depth, not only successfully gave the fishermen a clear idea of how the thieving whales were stealing the fish—they pluck the line at one end to jar the black cod free at the other end, somewhat like shaking apples from a tree—but it gave scientists a chance to match the animal’s acoustics with video depictions of its physical features.”… Read the rest

Daydreaming reports that daydreaming is a healthy and normal use of the brain. According to the study:

Until now, scientists had thought that the brain’s “default network,” which is linked to easy, routine mental activity, was the only part of the brain that remains active when the mind wanders.… Read the rest