Who needs an atlas when you have an algorithm? Data tinkerer Randy Olson, who is now known across the internet for developing the optimum search path for Where’s Waldo books, has used this same algorithm to compute the optimal American road trip.
At the urging of Tracy Staedter from Discovery News, Olson set out to find the quickest driving route that would stop at a national natural landmark, national historic site, national park or national monument in all of the lower 48 states. He also included Washington, D.C. and added another stop in California to get to a total of 50 stops. Read the rest of this entry »
‘King of the Blues’ Legend B.B. King Dead in Las Vegas at Age 89
Miracles Protected by the Virgin Mary — Churches and Christian Sites in Nagasaki runs at the Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture until April 15
KYODO – Shinichi Koike reports: More than 500 items confiscated from Japanese Christians during their brutal persecution in the 19th century from the late Edo Period to the early Meiji Era are back in Nagasaki for the first time in about 150 years.
“The exhibition is taking place because the central government has recommended that churches and other Christian locations in Nagasaki be listed as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites.”
Some 550 items are on display in the special exhibition “Miracles Protected by the Virgin Mary — Churches and Christian Sites in Nagasaki,” which runs at the Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture until April 15. They include 212 important cultural properties loaned by the Tokyo National Museum, which rarely loans so many important objects at one time.
“It shows the history of Christianity in Japan from the introduction of the faith by Francis Xavier in 1549, to the birth of the “hidden Christians” caused by brutal crackdowns and the confession of their beliefs to a foreign priest by a small group of Japanese in 1865.”
“We made a special decision to loan them because this is a well-planned exhibition,” said Toyonobu Tani, chief curator of the Tokyo museum, which received an application for the Nagasaki Prefectural Government last June.
The exhibition is taking place because the central government has recommended that churches and other Christian locations in Nagasaki be listed as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites. It shows the history of Christianity in Japan from the introduction of the faith by Francis Xavier in 1549, to the birth of the “hidden Christians” caused by brutal crackdowns and the confession of their beliefs to a foreign priest by a small group of Japanese in 1865.
“The last crackdown aroused fierce protests from European countries, prompting the Meiji government to lift its ban on Christianity in 1873.”
Satoshi Ohori, head of the Nagasaki museum, said the availability of the national treasures makes the exhibition “epoch-making” because it shows the proud history of Christianity in Japan and the highly spiritual nature of the Japanese.
Crosses, rosaries and other items on display were confiscated from Christians in the village of Urakami and never returned. A Tokyo museum official described them as “negative heritage,” and there are calls in Nagasaki for their return.
The exhibition, which includes a portrait of Xavier and Pope Gregory XII, who met four young Japanese boys sent by Christian Lord Otomo Sorin in 1585 as part of the first Japanese embassy to Europe, is thus seen as a step toward conciliation between descendants of persecuted Christians and the central government.
Members of a cultural committee formed by descendants belonging to St. Mary’s Cathedral, better known as Urakami Cathedral, in the city of Nagasaki, were invited to a private viewing of the show on Feb. 19.
“We saw proof of our ancestors’ belief,” said Katsutoshi Noguchi, one of the members. “I hope (the exhibition) will enable lots of people to share recognition that this sad history should not be repeated.”
The confession of faith by a small group of hidden Christians was seen as a miracle overseas, but the Tokugawa shogunate carried out a series of brutal crackdowns on them in Urakami.
The last and biggest of four crackdowns, triggered by the arrest of the whole village by the Nagasaki magistrate in 1867, expelled some 3,400 villagers to various parts of Japan. The crackdown also resulted in the deaths of more than 600 through torture, execution and other methods used to force people to renounce their faith. Read the rest of this entry »
Originally posted on KTLA:
Workers at a Henderson laundry facility were startled Tuesday morning to find two stillborn babies in a shipment of linen from an area hospital.
A Henderson official told the Review-Journal that workers found the babies in a laundry truck at the Angelica Corporation, 1080 Mary Crest Rd., at about 10 a.m., and called police.
Henderson police spokeswoman Kathleen Richards said detectives determined that the twin babies were born at Spring Valley Hospital Medical Center. It’s unclear how the babies were mixed with the linen, she said.
No immediate comment was forthcoming from a hospital spokeswoman.
Further details, including the time of birth or gender of the babies, was not released. Richards declined to release a police report on the incident, saying the investigation is ongoing.
Even though police do not suspect a crime was committed, the investigation will remain open until the Clark County coroner’s office confirms what caused the…
View original 39 more words
Edgar Degas. Study of contrebassist
James P. Duff – Dangerous to Know
Ace Books D-361, 1959
Originally posted on Book History, Illuminated:
Also known as “The Devil’s Bible,” this 13th-century Bohemian manuscript is believed by some to have been produced solely by a monk called Herman the Recluse. The book is enormous; it has 310 parchment leaves (in other words, 620 pages), and it measures 89 x 49 centimetres and weighs approximately one hundred and sixty-five pounds. The first half of its text includes the Old and New Testaments, while the second half includes Josephus Flavius’ “The Antiquities of the Jews and the History of the Jewsish War,” St. Ididore of Sevilla’s Etymologies, a medical textbook, and “The Bohemian Chronicle of Cosmas of Prague.”
Japan Ground Self Defence Force Tanks Take Part in an Exercise at its Higashi-Fuji Training Ground in GotembaPosted: August 18, 2014
— Patty (@littlebytesnews) August 19, 2014
Tear gas was being fired at crowds as police stood in the streets holding shields at crowds chanting “don’t shoot” while holding up their arms, which has become a symbol of protest in the police shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Demonstrators threw rocks at police and kicked tear gas canisters back at them.No word of injuries of arrests yet.
“Police attempted to push the demonstrators back by firing tear gas, shouting over a bullhorn that the protest was no longer peaceful.”
Crowds holding picket signs were running through the streets, while others retreated from the police. Residents were told to clear the area by police. It was unclear what set the activity off, but it was similar to what happened Saturday night when police fired tear gas at demonstrators then.
Police attempted to push the demonstrators back by firing tear gas, shouting over a bullhorn that the protest was no longer peaceful, the Associated Press reported. Many of the marchers retreated, but a group of about 100 stood defiantly about two blocks away until getting hit by another volley. Read the rest of this entry »
BREAKING PHOTOS: Rocket fired from Gaza moments ago hits a gas station in Ashdod, causing fire, 3 injured 1 seriously pic.twitter.com/PkfhQc73RG
— Israel News Feed (@IsraelHatzolah) July 11, 2014
[VIDEO] Anger Management in Houston: Surveillance Cameras Rolling, Female Driver Plows into Two Men in Gas Station Parking LotPosted: July 2, 2014
“When I turned around it was a lady coming full speed to take us out.”
— Marcus Chukuwuu, one of the two men struck by the motorist
HOUSTON – The surveillance cameras were rolling outside the Fuel Depot gas station in the 11500 block of Bissonnet when a driver hit two men and kept going. “When I turned around it was a lady coming full speed to take us out,” said Marcus Chukuwuu. “She took off. (She) hit us both and just kept going.” Chukuwuu told Local 2 he and his boss stopped at the gas station to fill up after work.
“He was like, ‘Don’t kill me.’ And she was like, ‘If I wanted to kill you I’d shoot you, I won’t run you over.”
They were standing at one pump when a female driver tried backing into the space next to them. The video shows she came close to men, and they said they thought she was going to hit them. So one of the men told her to be careful.
“I walked across to give him the change and that’s when she just ran both of us over.”
The woman was mad, Chukuwuu said, and her comment scared him. So the 21-year-old walked away and went inside the store to get some change. He came out less than one minute later and that’s when the two men were hit.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 13, 2014
No matter how fast export facilities for liquefied natural gas are approved, it will be years before the U.S. can challenge Russia’s position as a dominant supplier.
Mike Orcutt writes: The crisis in Crimea has prompted calls for the U.S. to ramp up natural gas exports to Europe by quickly approving new facilities capable of liquefying the fuel and sending it overseas. The argument is that this could undermine Russia’s strategic power by reducing Europe’s heavy reliance on Russian gas.
The numbers on natural gas exported to Europe show just how simplistic this argument is. Russia dominates the market, and regardless of the speed of the approval process, it will take several years and tens of billions of dollars of investment for the U.S. to come close to Russia’s exports.
In 2012, pipelines carrying Russian gas supplied 34 percent of all the natural gas sold in the European Union by non-E.U. countries. Several nations, including Bulgaria, Lithuania, and the Czech Republic, rely on Russia to supply over 80 percent of their natural gas needs. Around 80 percent of the gas exported to Europe travels by pipeline; the rest arrives as liquefied natural gas (LNG).
HONG KONG — The police in Xinjiang, the ethnically divided region in far western China, fatally shot eight people on Friday after what the state-run news media described as an attack by assailants armed with bombs made from gas cylinders. Three other attackers died in an explosion they set off, the reports said.
The official accounts did not identify the bombers, but it was clear that they were Uighurs, a Turkic people who have grown increasingly resentful of the growing numbers of ethnic Han Chinese in the region and of state controls on their culture and Muslim religion. The accounts called the assailants terrorists, as have many previous official reports describing clashes with Uighurs.
The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter module consisting of the spacecraft structure, thermal control and propulsion systems was handed over by OHB System to Thales Alenia Space France at a ceremony held 3 February 2014 in Bremen, Germany.
Comprising two missions that will be launched to Mars in 2016 and 2018, respectively, ExoMars will address the outstanding scientific question of whether life has ever existed on Mars by drilling the surface of the planet and analysing in situ the samples.
A startup called Siluria thinks it’s solved a mystery that has stymied huge oil companies for decades.
For MIT Technology Review, Kevin Bullis writes: At a pilot plant in Menlo Park, California, a technician pours white pellets into a steel tube and then taps it with a wrench to make sure they settle together. He closes the tube, and oxygen and methane—the main ingredient of natural gas—flow in. Seconds later, water and ethylene, the world’s largest commodity chemical, flow out. Another simple step converts the ethylene into gasoline.
The white pellets are a catalyst developed by the Silicon Valley startup Siluria, which has raised $63.5 million in venture capital. If the catalysts work as well in a large, commercial scale plant as they do in tests, Siluria says, the company could produce gasoline from natural gas at about half the cost of making it from crude oil—at least at today’s cheap natural-gas prices.
If Siluria really can make cheap gasoline from natural gas it will have achieved something that has eluded the world’s top chemists and oil and gas companies for decades. Indeed, finding an inexpensive and direct way to upgrade natural gas into more valuable and useful chemicals and fuels could finally mean a cheap replacement for petroleum.
‘Like a Pimp Who Thinks He’s Helping Women in the Workforce’
The Five was not amused by big-time Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein saying he’s going to make a movie that basically trashes the NRA, calling him out as a typical Hollywood hypocrite who makes money off violent films. Greg Gutfeld in particular was bothered by Weinstein’s “fundamental hatred of people who have to protect themselves” and called him a “jackass.”
Eric Bolling brought up movies like Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained, violent movies that Weinstein was involved in the production of. Bolling said Weinstein’s just talking out of his ass, and clashed with Bob Beckel over the NRA itself, with Beckel calling them “right-wing jerks” who run a “horrible” organization.
For our latest mission we recreated the famous fake orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally with 20 women in Katz’s Deli. This was staged without the knowledge of the restaurant, though thankfully they all seemed to love it.
This project is part of our new series, Movies in Real Life. Every Tuesday, we’re releasing a new video that brings an iconic movie moment to life in the real world.
Here’s some behind-the-scenes footage of our rehearsal:
Enjoy the videos first and then go behind the scenes with our mission report and photos below.
First off, I need to say that I’m incredibly thankful for all of the awesome ladies (including my wife!) who were game to help out with this project. They had the hard part, and they all did it fearlessly.
We met in a park near Katz’s Deli and went over the game plan. When you’re doing something in a place of business without their permission, things can get really complicated. We needed to get some very specific tables for cast and crew members. Katz’s is always crowded and it’s often hard to get ANY table, much less a bunch of specific spots. The Deverge guys created a map of the tables and we went over our seat assignments at the meeting point. We staged this in the late evening on a Sunday, so the crowd had thinned out a bit. That said, it still took us over an hour to get all of the seats we wanted. Fortunately we had delicious deli food to eat while we waited to begin.