Category Archives: Curiosities


We lost. I don’t know quite what to say about that just yet. I thought that just maybe this nation could pull the nose up before it was too late, but I guess it wasn’t to be. Brace for impact. Nothing to be ashamed of, though. We had a couple of pretty good centuries there. […]

There It Is Again!

Recent events remind us, once again (with a hat tip to James Taranto), of the enduring mystery of the number 47. More here.

Whence The Moss Piglet?

Six years ago I scribed a breezy little item about the tardigrade, one of our planet’s commonest, yet most exotic, microfauna. I haven’t thought much about them since, I’ll confess, but I just ran across a charming short video about the tim’rous wee beasties, featuring an affable philotard by the name of Mike Shaw. Here.

A Hard Rain Gonna Fall?

Interesting item here: as calls to disarm the citizenry grow louder, why is the National Weather Service stocking up on .40-caliber jacketed hollow-point amunition?


Here’s something worth having a look at: a lightning strike at 7,207 frames per second. See also here.

A Remarkable Coincidence

One thing connects to another in unexpected ways. Last Friday I had lunch with a well-known conservative blogger. We didn’t meet to talk about politics, though: I had noticed, in some of this writer’s posts, references to the “Fourth Way” teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff and his pupil, P.D. Ouspensky — and having both a personal […]

Brooklyn’s Premium Community For the Previously Living

I live not far from Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery (which, as mentioned in this breezy and highly informative little post from 2006, contains Brooklyn’s highest point, Battle Hill). It’s a beautiful cemetery, and a lot of notable folks are buried there. Who, exactly? Well, I’ve just found a list, courtesy of the fantastic website Have […]

That Which Survives

From Letters of Note: an exchange between Isaac Asimov and Gene Roddenberry that began when Asimov wrote an item for TV Guide criticizing inaccuracies in televised science fiction. The first letter in the series, from Roddenberry to Asimov, contained the following: In the specific comment you made about Star Trek, the mysterious cloud being “one-half […]

Cheap Date

Here’s a remarkable critter: a plant-animal chimera called Elysia chlorotica. Once it has dined on enough algae to prime its photosynthetic pump, it lives on nothing but sunlight, and never needs to eat again. Amazing. More photos here.

One Damn Thing After Another

I’m still sweating bullets this weekend trying to solve a baffling work-related technical problem, so here’s a new site for you to have a look at: Lists of Note. I’ll start you off with this list of predictions for the year 2000, made in 1949 by Robert Heinlein. You can take it from there. Heinlein […]


We’re all familiar with the importance, in Oriental cultures, of “saving face”. Now a Japanese outfit offers consumers a new way to do so. Note: the linked page is in Japanese; you may want to have Google translate it for you.



Benthic Bafflement in the Baltic

Here’s a curious item: a strange, roughly circular object, about the size of a 747, found last July at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. It even comes with what some are calling “drag marks”, hundreds of feet long. It looks like this: What is it? A UFO? Kvenland? I’m dead boring when it comes […]

The Deprong Mori

Here’s a curious item for you: the only recorded capture, in the Tripiscum Plateau of the Circum-Caribbean region of Northern South America, of the exotic Piercing Devil.

Tower Of Babel

Here’s a page that shows a live stream of Wikipedia edits. You can filter the stream by language version and edit size. It’s curiously fascinating, for a minute or two at least.

Shadow Portrait

Here’s a clever idea.

The Sound Of Mucus

I was looking at this website’s administrative “dashboard” yesterday, and noticed that I’ve accumulated 438 entries in the “Drafts” folder. I suppose it’s not uncommon for daily bloggers to build up a back-log in there; we’re always on the lookout for something to write about, and tend to become packrats. Whenever I get the germ […]


Among the more interesting feeds to follow on Twitter is @GreatDismal, which belongs to William Gibson, the visionary sci-fi author and founder of “cyberpunk”. Today he linked to a story in Wired about something I’d never heard of: the enigmatic Soviet-era short-wave transmitter known to aficionados as “The Buzzer”. Learn more here.