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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Artist Creates Impossible Towers Of Balanced Rocks To Meditate

We’re having a hard time deciding whether Michael Grab is an artist or a magician, because he creates stunning structure from finely balanced rocks that seem to defy the law of physics.

These seemingly impossible structures require intense concentration and meditative focus. In the video below, Grab spends several minutes nearly frozen, making tiny adjustments until he gets all of the rocks’ centers of gravity just right.

“Over the past few years of practicing rock balance, simple curiosity has evolved into therapeutic ritual, ultimately nurturing meditative presence, mental well-being, and artistry of design,” writes Grab in his artist statement.

many more


Squirrel Halloween

British photographer Max Ellis is a pro at capturing brilliantly staged shots of wild squirrels. When he noticed that the suspended Jack O’ Lantern in his backyard was attracting the attention of a squirrel, he got to work snapping these delightful photos.

Ellis gets the squirrels to post for photos like these by leaving them treats in places that will force them to interact with his props. In his previous interview with Bored Panda, he stressed that the squirrels were never harmed in his photos and that they were probably “much better fed than any other wild squirrels on the planet!”


Friday TOON Roundup 4 - The Rest


Coming Out

The Issue



Friday TOON Roundup 3 - The Party of Fear and Loathing

Friday TOON Roundup 2 - Out-Ebola'd

Friday TOON Roundup 1 - Dark Money

Ancient Stone Circles in Mideast Baffle Archaeologists

by Owen Jarus

Huge stone circles in the Middle East have been imaged from above, revealing details of structures that have been shrouded in mystery for decades.

Archaeologists in Jordan have taken high-resolution aerial images of 11 ancient "Big Circles," all but one of which are around 400 meters (1,312 feet) in diameter. Why they are so similar is unknown but the similarity seems “too close to be a coincidence" said researcher David Kennedy.

The Big Circles (as archaeologists call them) were built with low stone walls that are no more than a few feet high. The circles originally contained no openings, and people would have had to hop over the walls in order to get inside.


Cassini Sees Sunny Seas on Titan

This near-infrared, color view from Cassini shows the sun glinting off of Titan's north polar seas. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. Arizona/Univ. Idaho

As it soared past Saturn's large moon Titan recently, NASA's Cassini spacecraft caught a glimpse of bright sunlight reflecting off hydrocarbon seas.

In the past, Cassini had captured, separately, views of the polar seas and the sun glinting off them, but this is the first time both have been seen together in the same view.

The image is available at:


Also in the image:

-- An arrow-shaped complex of bright methane clouds hovers near Titan's north pole. The clouds could be actively refilling the lakes with rainfall.

-- A "bathtub ring," or bright margin, around Kraken Mare -- the sea containing the reflected sunglint -- indicates that the sea was larger at some point, but evaporation has decreased its size.



Charles P Pierce- Things in Politico that make me want to guzzle antifreeze...

Oh, Maggie, Maggie, Maggie. Maggie Haberman. Get out of there before they fully activate the microchip.

Haberman's campaign coverage is often the best thing to be found in Tiger Beat On The Potomac. Consequently, it is more than kind of a drag to see her name atop one of that publication's substance-free horse-race clickbait exercises. I know she doesn't write her own headlines. But she should seek out whoever wrote this one and whale on them, because there isn't a smidgen of a scintilla of a drop of evidence in the piece that suggests that Senator Professor Warren is "vexing" Hillary Clinton at all. The kidz in the Village desperately want this catfight, and most of them grew up as writers and thinkers during the extended run of Cirque du Clinton in Washington. They missed out on the really good stuff -- Cattle futures! Billing Records! Fort Marcy Park! -- and, lo and behold, here's another chance to pretend that they're back in the good old days. Also, it would tax the view from nowhere if the Democrats smoothly nominated Clinton while the Republicans had another demo derby in the locked ward like they had in 2012. The kidz might actually have to notice this time. And also, catfight! Mrrrrowwwwrrrr!

Anyway, as I said, this entire piece is based on the fanciful notion that SPW's ferocious campaign against the plutocrats is putting her crossways with Clinton.

Even without running, Warren has made clear she's not interested in seeing a Clinton coronation. In Boston, when the two spoke at a rally Friday for Martha Coakley, the Democrat running for governor, Warren barely mentioned the former secretary of state in her remarks. In the past, the Massachusetts Democrat has criticized Clinton as too close to Wall Street.

Point The First: Warren is the senior senator from Massachusetts. Martha Coakley is running for governor of same. What in the hell difference does it make if SPW "barely mentions" the other superstar on the platform. The point was to rally the folks for Martha, not drop veiled hints about 2016. As to the second thing, so what, squared? Almost every Democratic liberal has made that same point since Clinton first ran in 2008. It doesn't seem to have hurt her standing with the party's base. SPW didn't get a job at Harvard Law by being stupid enough to lie down in front of a train, and Clinton didn't get where she is by being stupid enough to pick a fight she doesn't need. They will get along splendidly.

But this is the part of the story that really broke my heart. Oh, Maggie, I shouldn't have tried...

Warren's speeches, in contrast, are untempered and raw. They hit a visceral chord with people living in the post-recession period, who've heard repeatedly that the economy is improving but don't feel it in their own lives and who believe the game was rigged and other people benefited. That sentiment exists with both parties' bases, but Warren has become the avatar for it among Democrats.

I've seen SPW give almost 100 speeches in her life, and the one thing she's never been is "untempered," let alone "raw." Reading this, you'd think you were seeing an outtake from All The King's Men. Warren's great gift is to be plain, but never to be simple. She does folksy and funny, not fire and brimstone. She does loud, not raw. If the people respond to her as though they were getting fire and brimstone, that's because she's right about so damn much, and is able to say it in a way that neither talks down to people, nor confuses them. And I'd like anyone still clinging to the notion that there is a substantial constituency on the right where this sentiment exists to please show me the Republican superstar arguing for a new Glass-Steagall Act, or radical relief on student loans. Clock's ticking...


Eleven countries studied, one inescapable conclusion – the drug laws don’t work

Alan Travis, home affairs editor

The Home Office comparison of international drug laws, published on Wednesday, represents the first official recognition since the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act that there is no direct link between being “tough on drugs” and tackling the problem.

The report, which has been signed off by both the Conservative home secretary, Theresa May, and the Liberal Democrat crime prevention minister, Norman Baker, is based on an in-depth study of drug laws in 11 countries ranging from the zero-tolerance of Japan to the legalisation of Uruguay.

The key finding of the report, written by Home Office civil servants, lies in a comparison of Portugal, where personal use is decriminalised, and the Czech Republic, where criminal penalties for possession were introduced as recently as 2010.

“We did not in our fact-finding observe any obvious relationship between the toughness of a country’s enforcement against drug possession, and levels of drug use in that country,” it says. “The Czech Republic and Portugal have similar approaches to possession, where possession of small amounts of any drug does not lead to criminal proceedings, but while levels of drug use in Portugal appear to be relatively low, reported levels of cannabis use in the Czech Republic are among the highest in Europe.

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