8th October

News and features

Rothschild caricatured by Spy for Vanity Fair, 1900The Rothschild’s tasty snacks:

They live in your loft, breed like rabbits, go bump in the night, gnaw through wiring, strip fruit trees in your garden – and you can’t touch them because they’re a protected species.Meet the glis glis or edible dormouse, which is causing havoc in homes across 200 square miles of England.

There are estimated to be hundreds of thousands of the furry pests across swathes of the Home Counties – all descended from six imported from mainland Europe by the Second Baron Rothschild, an amateur naturalist, in 1902 and let loose in woods on his land in Tring, Hertfordshire.

Householders in the county and neighbouring Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire are plagued by the bushy-tailed, 8in-long glis glis, which resemble small grey squirrels and have litters of up to 11.
Invasion of the glis glis

 

 

I heard about this on Radio 2 yesterday. Following the item they played “Light My Fire“, by the Doors. A link in with dormouse supposedly  – but that Jim Morrison was known as ‘the Lizard King‘ didn’t go unnoticed.

 

A couple weeks ago, Twitter etc. went wild when a new book revealed allegations that UK Prime Minister David Cameron had, during an initiation ritual while at Oxford, inserted “a private part of his anatomy” in the mouth of a dead pig. To an cameronpigentire nation, it was a hilariously obvious permutation of Charlie Brooker’s disturbing debut episode of his Black Mirror series four years earlier, which centered on a British Prime Minister being blackmailed to have sex with a pig on live television, focusing specifically on the role of social media in compelling the leader to carry out the deed.
…precognitive “plagiarism from the future” …I feel confident that enterprising grad students in some future department of Precognitive Media Studies will one day go back and scrutinize the whole archive of network TV from its inception, comparing dates teleplays were written with subsequent news headlines, and will turn up some pretty mind-blowing correlations.
Altered States of Reading (Part 3): A Private Part of Time’s Anatomy

 

turinshroudThe case isn’t closed yet on Christendom’s most famous relic. A team of investigators from the Università di Pavia got a second crack at the Vatican’s dirty laundry, opening up a whole new can of worms.

Back in 1988 an international team announced the Shroud of Turin was 600-700 years old with 95% certainty. The niggling 5% lay in science’s inability to duplicate the image, and the shroud’s cloth.

CSI Turin: The Shroud’s DNA

 

frank watlingtonIn 1966 military sound engineer Frank Watlington heard something weird while recording underwater explosions.

Whale song.

Frank passed the recordings off to biologist Roger Payne. After a few listenings, he discovered these weren’t random sounds but complex vocalizations by creatures possibly as smart as humans. Recordings weren’t the only data Payne shared with the world, He printed out sonograms of whale song, illustrating their structure as units, phrases, and themes.

Ever since Payne’s discovery of whale song’s properties, humans fascination with whales has flourished. If it wasn’t for his discovery, these great beasts could’ve become a fond memory, hunted to extinction. Fortunately whales still swim among us, singing to each other, tantalizing us with the prospect of interspecies communication.

The Secrets of Cetacean Communication Revealed

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