Out of the ordinary

My apologies if subscribers received a post that looked like nonsense earlier today. I was configuring something new on the blog and it went haywire. Sorry. Let me make it up to you. How about a list of interesting and amusing tidbits that have nothing to do with international aid or development? Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

First, I’d like to share a photo (right) that I snapped in suburban Virginia a few weeks ago. No commentary needed, except to note that it wasn’t the first time I’d seen that combination of bumper stickers.

Second, here are a few how-to guides on topics you probably didn’t expect.

Finally, the miscellaneous links and videos.

  • Patient Zero — The RadioLab podcast is consistently fascinating. This episode tells the true story of Typhoid Mary, HIV patient zero, and the origin of the high five.
  • 2011 Ig Nobel Prize Winners — Improbable research that “makes people laugh and then think.” My favorite from this year is the Chemistry Ig Nobel Prize, which went to a team of researchers in Japan for determining the ideal density of airborne wasabi. (Also check out the Science Friday podcast of the award ceremony.)
  • LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar — In what galaxy does this product make sense? Nothing makes me more pessimistic about the future of our country than watching the continued decline of LEGOs. Remember when they were just blocks?

Moran Cerf: A neuroscientist discusses his past life as a bank robber

(Ht Chris Albon)

Jay Smooth: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race