Friday Four

Friday, July 25, 2014

1. At the age of one year, Little Man is what you might call a "late adopter" of solid food. He's been catching up lately, and I finally noticed something that might help. If he wants something, he'll reach to pick it up. If not, he swats at it.

2. If your kids like Lego, there's a beach in Britain with your name on it:

A container filled with millions of Lego pieces fell into the sea off Cornwall in 1997. But instead of remaining at the bottom of the ocean, they are still washing up on Cornish beaches today - offering an insight into the mysterious world of oceans and tides.
By coincidence, lots of marine-themed toys were among the pieces.

3. In 2012, DNA testing had become inexpensive enough that cryptobiologists began using it to verify a group of scientists offered to test fur samples thought to come from a Sasquatch. Oddly, the results from the thirty most promising samples didn't make big news:
The resulting sequences were then fed into the massive GenBank database of previously characterized sequences. Two of the samples--those from India and Bhutan--had sequences matching those of fossilized polar bears. Every other sequence matched extant animals including raccoons, sheep, black bears, cows, and even a porcupine.
Somehow, I doubt that this will end the hunt for Bigfoot.

4. The escapist hobby of a five year old boy has led to fame and fortune in adulthood:
Willard Wigan makes tiny art. His sculptures are so small that they're often presented literally in the eye of a needle; the painstaking work requires him to work late at night, when traffic vibrations are minimal, and to slow his own pulse so he can sculpt between hand tremors.
There's more, including a video of the sculptor and some of his work, at Futility Closet

-- CAV


Anonymous said...

Hi Gus,

I'm sure you may have seen this at the Futility Closet, but I thought it was one of the more bizarre sports competitions that I'd heard of.

c. andrew

Gus Van Horn said...



Yes, and I'd heard of that before seeing it there.

I'm torn between mentioning it here some time and emailing it to Ann Coulter so she can bone up for a "Soccer: Part Trois" column in time for the next World Cup.

If Luiz Suarez biting someone else is representative of the sport, then this surely is!


Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, you write, "I'm torn between mentioning it here some time and emailing it to Ann Coulter so she can bone up for a "Soccer: Part Trois" column in time for the next World Cup."

I wish I could find the details, but I remember a decade or so ago when Iran, Tajikistan, and some island nation were in a bracket together. Iran and Tajikistan each scored over 30 goals against their hopeless outmatched opponents. Perhaps even Coulter would enjoy such a set of games.

Incidentally, I finally remembered what Coulter's brand of humor reminds me of: That abyssmal movie An American Carol, which was not only painfully stupid but painfully unfunny. A good review of the same is here, by Nathan Rabin, the man who created the term Manic Pixie Dream Girl. That movie and Coulter provide an interesting corollary in the special case of humor to Bastiat's maxim, "The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is not to be attacked successfully, it is to be defended badly." That is, you know, maybe something along the lines of, "The best thing that can happen to a bad cause is to be ridiculed by humorless, mean-spirited cretins who happen to be right by sheer accident."

Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, pursuant to the preceding, read "(when they're right)" as added to my little quip, because goodness knows Coulter and company are often not even right.

Gus Van Horn said...

From the review: "Considering how many legitimate reasons there are to hate Michael Moore, it’s almost impressive that *An American Carol* goes 14 sweaty, joyless rounds with one of the easiest targets in pop culture without laying a glove on the guy"

Heh! You're to be congratulated for giving me a way to be impressed with Ann Coulter.