Monthly Archives: April 2011

Birdhouse man has a friend

 Birdhouse man has a friend

Via Super Punch.

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It’s likely that a third of leprosy-infected Americans got it from armadillos

Leprosy researchers have found genetically-similar strains of leprosy in humans and armadillos.

Until now, scientists believed leprosy was passed only from human to human. Every year, 100 to 150 people in the United States are diagnosed with the malady, also known as Hansen’s disease. Though many have traveled to countries where the disease is relatively common, as many as one-third don’t know where they picked it up.

Most of those cases are in Texas and Louisiana, where leprosy-infected armadillos live.

Also, I’m guessing it would be in bad taste to call these people lepers.

From The Seattle Times, via The Morning News.

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It’s a dick in a logo

 Its a dick in a logo

What do you need to store?

From Logo Design Love.

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Lois Lane can’t even use the phone in peace

 Lois Lane cant even use the phone in peace

From Hark, A Vagrant.

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Dr. Henry Oakeley explains that plants are trying to kill you, not cure you

Dr. Henry Oakeley is the garden fellow at London’s Royal College of Physicians, oversees a garden of hundreds of plants used in herbal medicine, and thinks that herbal medicine is basically crap.

But if plants are, for the most part, as medicinally useless as he believes, how does he explain their centrality to the beliefs and practices of medical practitioners for centuries?

“Because they believed in the tooth fairy,” he says matter of factly. “They had no concept of illness or of chemistry or biochemistry. They believed all plants had been put on the earth by the creator for mankind’s use. So if the plant had a particular shape, it indicated that the creator had put it on the planet for a particular use.”

Citing as an example the use of blue liverwort, Hepatica nobilis , once cultivated as a liver tonic because its three-lobed leaf form mirrored the shape of the liver, he says, “It was absolute rubbish. They had no idea how the body worked.”

From The Irish Times, via Boing Boing.

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Wendy, are you serious about your unbelievably crispy chicken nuggets?

 Wendy, are you serious about your unbelievably crispy chicken nuggets?

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The primary purpose of reasoning isn’t to figure out what’s true but to win arguments.

Reasoning is generally seen as a means to improve knowledge and make better decisions. However, much evidence shows that reasoning often leads to epistemic distortions and poor decisions. This suggests that the function of reasoning should be rethought. Our hypothesis is that the function of reasoning is argumentative. It is to devise and evaluate arguments intended to persuade. Reasoning so conceived is adaptive given the exceptional dependence of humans on communication and their vulnerability to misinformation.
Skilled arguers, however, are not after the truth but after arguments supporting their views. This explains the notorious confirmation bias. This bias is apparent not only when people are actually arguing, but also when they are reasoning proactively from the perspective of having to defend their opinions. Reasoning so motivated can distort evaluations and attitudes and allow erroneous beliefs to persist. Proactively used reasoning also favors decisions that are easy to justify but not necessarily better.

Via The Intersection.

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The revolutionary Xerox 914 was pretty much expected to burst into flames

The Xerox 914 copier was introduced in 1959 and went on to enormous success.

One disadvantage of the Xerox 914 was that it had a tendency to catch fire when overheated (Ralph Nader claimed that a model in his office had caught fire three times in a four month period). Because of the problem, the Xerox company provided a “scorch eliminator”, which was actually a small fire extinguisher, along with the copier.

From Wikipedia, via Boing Boing.

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The Sperm Bike doesn’t just look like sperm. It carries sperm.

 The Sperm Bike doesnt just look like sperm. It carries sperm.

This is the Sperm Bike, devised by a fertility clinic in Copenhagen. The giant sperm on the bike is actually insulated storage for transporting… biological materials.

Via Neatorama.

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Koran-burner Terry Jones accidentally shoots his own car

Koran-burning pastor Terry Jones is in Michigan to protest Sharia law or something, and he’s insisted on traveling armed.

The outspoken pastor, 59, of Gainesville, Fla., was getting in the passenger side of his car at 11:10 p.m. after an interview when the Taurus handgun went off, sending a bullet into the floorboard, Southfield Police Lt. Nick Loussia said today.

Jones says he was just really tired and didn’t mean to shoot his own car.

From The Detroit Free Press, via Talking Points Memo.

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