Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around "as high as a kite". Sounds fun to me. Street View solves Dutch mugging. See? Useful. Random chance, but still useful.
Next up, researchers do study that finds obvious finding. Except it's not obvious, because if it were, you wouldn't still have idiot politicians the world over trying to pretend the exact opposite is true :-( Professor Kelly Musick and Dr Ann Meier of Cornell University have carried out a study of children whose parents stay together for the sake of the kids:
parents who can't stand each other, but have made a hard-headed decision to stay together nonetheless ... It turns out their children do worse than any other group – including those of divorcees or single mums. If you are raised by arguing parents who stayed together only for you, then you are 33 per cent more likely to become a binge-drinking teen than if you have a single parent, for example. Having parents locked in live-in combat damages children more than having separated parents, or just one single parent.This does of course make perfect sense to me, having just had amazing_holly collected by her Dad so she can stay with him for the weekend, I strongly suspect she's much better off now than she would've been if he and miss_s_b had tried to stay together unhappy. What matters is the quality of the parenting and the attitude they inculcate to opportunity, not whether they pretend to be happy for the kids sake.
Neologism of the Day—Huxleyed:To have died with a degree of fame or notoriety that would have guaranteed extensive media coverage, save for the death of someone even more famous or notorious immediately afterwards. From Aldous Huxley, who died an hour before President Kennedy was assassinated. Usage: "Farrah Fawcett was completely Huxleyed by Michael Jackson."
And on that subject, this comic is particularly apposite:
One of my favourite authors is, as many of you know, Charles Stross, also known as autopope, he's up for the Hugos, again, this year, and has been writing an auto-biographical series of blog posts for the last week or so that I've been meaning to link to as they are, frankly, quite funny, and also count as a nice little rundown of the history of how the web came to be—you can blame the need for a robots.txt file on him, and his time working for a Demon subcontractor where part of my official job description was to keep Danny the tomcat from pissing on the modem rack is also amusing.
This is really cool to know, assuming that they're on the button: All of Earth's people, according to a new analysis of the genomes of 53 populations, fall into just three genetic groups. Unlike in many other species, we have multiple possible mutations that could make us, for example, short, and populations famous for small stature, like pygmies, simply have a large number of them instead of one specific key change. Same applies to things like the ability to tolerate cows milk.
Now, simple little question, how many colours are there in the following pattern (via):
Yup, that's right, there are three colours there, funny how our mind tricks us by filling in assumed blanks, full explanation at Bad Astronomy.
Not sure about this one: science explains why Yorkshiremen like pies so much. Um, I like pies, and I only moved up here 18 months ago (SRSLY, a whole 18 months). Shame that decent non-meat pies are a pain to get hold of. Still, really happy about this one: Alastair Reynolds scores unprecedented 10-year, 10-book deal from Gollancz for his 'mean line in alien cultures and technology'. Completely different writing style to Charlie, but one I also really like, and it's nice to see grand sweeping plots with a background that seems to make sense. In 'so obvious now you think of it' mode, I concur with rhodri, I really hope that the designer of The folding plug makes lots and lots of money, especially the multi-plug adapter design. I wants them I does...
Slightly more seriously, denise got interviewed for American NPR, and it's another case of stating the obvious until people listen—social networks that try to make money from ad revenue are going to be in trouble, much better to provide a service people actually want (in DW's case, damn fine blog hosting with a good feed aggregation service bolted on) and charge users for it in some way. By the way, no link for this one, Livejournal is soon going to allow people to host their own adverts on a revenue-sharing model; I personally have less of a problem with this than the way they're plastered all over the dormant basic accounts now, but some of you might like to know...
On the subject of blogging, one of its principle strengths has always been what's called "the long tail"—the large number of bloggers (LJers, etc) with a small readership mostly made up of friends. They write stuff, link to stuff, share stuff, it gets spread around and heads up to the "top" blogs. Thing is, as many longer-time bloggers (especially LJ users) will have noticed, this tail is getting a lot shorter. Charles Arthur at The Guardian explains why. I mostly agree—lots of formerly frequent users of LJ now almost entirely post to Facebook or Twitter, you still get the shared links, and because it's on Facebook you can ignore the silly quiz memes putting the signal ratio up. I don't think it's a problem, but it does explain why, for example, your LJ friends list might seem quieter than it used to.
Back to silliness. The US economy was too reliant on crap made by General Motors. Have a look at this: Ten Vehicles That Bankrupted GM. Seriously, these things sold? Ouch.
Now, it can't have escaped the notice of most of you that have met me that my wardrobe is, shall we say, a little bit monochrome. susannah_banana claims I'm not a goth because I'm not goth enough. She's one of the DJs at one of the top goth nights in the UK, but she's wrong, here's why: About Goth [stereo] Types - All Types. I am #19, and I claim my £5. (created by sinju, a now defunct journal that was very very cool while she was still documenting her time in Japan).
More sciency stuff: Flourescent lightbulbs are not the saviour they're being sold as and incandescents have still got some light in them yet. Personally, I can't stand reading by the horribly light they output (we use candles by the bed) and they set of my photic sneeze reflex something chronic.
One of the best uses of animation within a webcomic I've seen, very cleverly done.
Royal British Legion to Nick Griffin
OK, that's loads. I've cut the images and longer explanations, but left the rest open for easy clicking—if I do a post this long again is that still the best plan?
ETA: I'm getting a massive pile of spam comments on this specific entry, all in Japanese script from what I can see, so I've set anonymous comments to be screened and turned off notification emails, if you want my attention for this post email me directly?