Sunday, August 30, 2009

Senator Kennedy remembered

A remembrance at Senator Kennedy's memorial service at the Kennedy library from former Iowa Senator John Culver, a classmate of Kennedy's at Harvard, that brought great laughter and tears.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Computer program helps decode ancient texts

By Eric Bland
updated 4:14 p.m. ET, Thurs., Aug 27, 2009

"An ancient, indecipherable text from the Indus Valley region is slowly being decoded with the help of a computer program, according to recent research.

Though it has yet to decrypt this mysterious language, the program may help to decipher other ancient texts whose meanings have been long since forgotten.

...Roughly 5,000 seals, tablets and amulets, filled with about 500 different symbols, were created somewhere between 2600 and 1900 B.C. by a people living in the Indus River Valley. "

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A nib in action

An interesting side view of a Pilot nib, flexing in action! Who said we didn't have an exciting hobby!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Miniatur Wunderland -- largest model railway / railroad in the world

Growing up, my next-door neighbor had a similar set-up (a bit smaller). I spent many wonderful hours there as a child.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Elvis Presley - Can't Help Fallin' in Love -- with fountain pens!

Hmmmm. The 'King' and fountain pens. Since we share crowns, and the same birthday -- January 8th -- perhaps there *is* a connection! :-)

Friday, August 14, 2009

You're Bob Dylan? NJ police want to see some ID

Aug 14, 6:29 PM (ET)

"Rock legend Bob Dylan was treated like a complete unknown by police in a New Jersey shore community when a resident called to report someone wandering around the neighborhood.
Dylan was in Long Branch, about a two-hour drive south of New York City, on July 23 as part of a tour with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp that was to play at a baseball stadium in nearby Lakewood.
A 24-year-old police officer apparently was unaware of who Dylan is and asked him for identification, Long Branch business administrator Howard Woolley said Friday.
"I don't think she was familiar with his entire body of work," Woolley said.
The incident began at 5 p.m. when a resident said a man was wandering around a low-income, predominantly minority neighborhood several blocks from the oceanfront looking at houses.
The police officer drove up to Dylan, who was wearing a blue jacket, and asked him his name. According to Woolley, the following exchange ensued:
"What is your name, sir?" the officer asked.
"Bob Dylan," Dylan said.
"OK, what are you doing here?" the officer asked.
"I'm on tour," the singer replied.
A second officer, also in his 20s, responded to assist the first officer. He, too, apparently was unfamiliar with Dylan, Woolley said.
The officers asked Dylan for identification. The singer of such classics as "Like a Rolling Stone" and "Blowin' in the Wind" said that he didn't have any ID with him, that he was just walking around looking at houses to pass some time before that night's show.
The officers asked Dylan, 68, to accompany them back to the Ocean Place Resort and Spa, where the performers were staying. Once there, tour staff vouched for Dylan.
The officers thanked him for his cooperation.
"He couldn't have been any nicer to them," Woolley added.
How did it feel? A Dylan publicist did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment Friday."

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A fun little animation entitled 'Pen'.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Zombie ants controlled by fungus

"In a bizarre parasitic death sentence, a fungus turns carpenter ants into the walking dead and gets them to die in a spot that's perfect for the fungus to grow and reproduce.

Scientists have no clue how the fungus takes control of the brains of ants so effectively. But a new study in the September issue of the American Naturalist reveals an incredible set of strategies that ensue.

The carpenter ants nest high in the canopy of a forest in Thailand, and they trek to the forest floor to forage. The fungus, Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, prefers to end up on the undersides leaves sprouting from the northwest side of plants that grow on the forest floor, the new study showed. That's where temperature, humidity and sunlight are ideal for the fungus to grow and reproduce and infect more ants."

Read the full article on MSNBC by clicking the title bar

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dolphin Speak Relies on Brevity

"Among the words we use most often, short ones like "I," "a" and "the" top the list. It turns out we're not the only ones who strive for this type of efficiency in the way we communicate. Dolphins, found a new study, do it, too.

It's the first evidence that another species follows one of the basic rules that defines all human languages: the law of brevity."

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Monday, August 03, 2009

Bookworm Abstract series of fountain pens -- Part 2

A couple of thoughts I left out of part 1! :-)

Bookworm Abstract series of fountain pens

Bookworm has come up with another winning design in the Abstract series of pens. The cap and barrel are lacquer-over-brass design and the pen has a sleek torpedo-shape overall, with a colorful midsection.