Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
A barn owl has been entrusted with a very special task at a wedding - flying in the rings for the bride and groom.
Three-year-old Casber will swoop down the aisle to give the rings to the best man at the wedding of bird owner Islwyn Jones's daughter Jenni in Denbighshire.
Posted by Alan & Ty at 3:51 PM
Posted by Alan & Ty at 10:28 AM
Posted by Alan & Ty at 10:18 AM
War pigs, also known as incendiary pigs, are those pigs speculated to have been used at most rarely in ancient warfare as a countermeasure to war elephants. The pigs were allegedly covered with tar, pitch, olive oil, or other flammable materials, set on fire, and driven towards enemy war elephants, with the intention that the elephants, terrified by the piercing squeals and oncoming flames, would flee in panic through the lines of their drivers' own army. Obviously, a burning pig is difficult to command and thus easily could quickly turn into a loose cannon and cause harm to friendly soldiers. However, the hope of stopping war elephants was enough to make war pigs a desirable tactic.
Pliny the Elder reported that "elephants are scared by the smallest squeal of a pig" (book VIII ch. 9). Antipater's siege of Megara during the Wars of the Diadochi was reportedly broken when the Megarians poured oil on a herd of pigs, set them alight, and drove them towards the enemy's massed war elephants. The elephants bolted in terror from the flaming squealing pigs often killing great numbers of the army the elephant was part of (Aelian, de Natura Animalium book XVI, ch. 36). The Romans would later use the squeals of pigs to frighten Pyrrhus' elephants, thus winning a great victory (ibid., book I ch. 38). Procopius, in book VIII of his History of the Wars, records the defenders of Edessa using a pig suspended from the walls to frighten away Khosrau's siege elephants.
Posted by Alan & Ty at 10:12 AM
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Posted by Alan & Ty at 10:23 AM
Monday, August 18, 2008
Posted by Alan & Ty at 10:44 AM
Friday, August 15, 2008
Posted by Alan & Ty at 9:53 AM
Posted by Alan & Ty at 9:49 AM
Posted by Alan & Ty at 9:47 AM
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Posted by Alan & Ty at 11:38 AM
- "You may be surprised by the number of people that there are and they all seem to be rushing around everywhere," the guide says.
- "Even though some may look like they have a frown on their face, they are very friendly people - many of them just work in offices, jobs they don't enjoy, and so they do not smile as much as they should."
- "You cannot rely on the sun to tell the time accurately and will have to rely on clocks and watches. The sun will rise and set at different times."
- "Whereas at home for you it is acceptable to spit, in England it is not but, if you have to, you must do so in a sink or in some trees when no one is looking."
- "If you see something that someone else has, like a bracelet, and you like it, then the person will find it very unusual if you were to take it and wear it."
- "You may see . . . animals in a field, seemingly left alone. It is important to remember that these animals are owned by someone and are being looked after."
- "You will see many people who are wearing only small clothes and you will wonder why they are cold and may think they are being disrespectful. This is normal for England, especially when it is sunny or in the evening. However, it is illegal to show certain parts of the body and for this reason it is important that you wear underpants if you are wearing your blankets."
Posted by Alan & Ty at 10:31 AM
Tree Hugger reports:
The Brazilian “Copaifera langsdorfii” can be tapped just like rubber trees, but instead of rubbery latex, this tree it gives up a natural diesel.
“One hectare will yield about 12,000 litres annually,” says the nurseryman selling the trees.
It doesn’t need any complex refining, so once it’s filtered, it can go straight into a diesel tractor or truck. A single tree can continue to produce fuel oil for 70 years. It seems the only negative is this particular form of diesel has to be used within three months of extraction.
Posted by Alan & Ty at 9:44 AM
Ben Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette , like any good eighteenth-century document, makes liberal use of the "long s" -- the one that looks like an f -- amusingly in this case. The difference between a long s and an f is that the cross-stroke doesn't go all the way through the s.
Posted by Alan & Ty at 9:35 AM
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
"In the year 1284 on John and Paul's Day, the 26 of June -- 130 children born in Hamelin were seduced by a piper, dressed in all kinds of colors,and lost at the place of execution near the koppen (probably a hill)."
The street that runs alongside the Rat-catcher's House is called Bungelosenstrasse, meaning "Drumless Street," or the Street without Music. Tradition has it that no music has been played on that street since the children were led down it and away from the city by the piper.
Posted by Alan & Ty at 4:37 PM
Friday, August 8, 2008
Posted by Alan & Ty at 11:03 AM