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Friday Night Open Thread | Main | Saturday Morning Open Thread
April 18, 2014

Overnight Open Thread

Thanks to Niedermeyer's Dead Horse and the cobs for helping me put this together.

Do you think your kids would appreciate having their Easter baskets stuffed with healthier items? Well sure they would!!! What kid wouldn't love to find an Easter basket stuffed with plastic eggs, inside of which are dried fruits??!!

But the best suggestions have to be: Tea, and Stationery.

Yes, stationery. Because children love quality writing paper.

You know, if you give your kid tea and stationery for Easter, you're kind of giving them permission to kill you in your sleep.

Might as well go whole hog and give your kid a Pet Fart (TM) as a gift.

And while you're breaking your children's hearts with gag gifts for Easter, you might keep in mind that some people treat even rats better than that:

A type of insect has been discovered in which the female has the penis -- well, the "intromittent organ," the thing that gets stuck into the other organ.

It's not really a penis, of course. It's just something she sticks inside of the male to painfully leech the sperm out of him.

A study of four species of the Neotrogla genus showed that the penis-like structure of the female, called a gynosome, is inserted into males and used to receive capsules of nutrient and sperm.

Once within a male, part of the gynosome inflates and projects spines which anchor the two insects together.

The scientists found it impossible to pull coupling males and females apart without causing injury.

The insect has been named "Paul Begala," from the Latin for "fivehead twatmuffin."

To save money, and to like be "green" or whatever, the Netherlands is attempting an experiment on a length of road whereby they take down all the streetlights and provide illumination instead only via glow-in-the-dark paint used for the road lines.

Here's a mock-up (I think) of what that might look like:


You might not think the basic design of the axe could be improved upon after... what, gotta be like 40,000 years of constant human use, right? But these Finns say they've done just that.

The traditional axe is simply a heavy wedge that is swung at the wood. If it has enough momentum, it penetrates into the wood, spreads it and thus splits the wood.

In designing the traditional axe the challenge is to find the optimal wedge shape which both penetrates into the wood and splits it. Too shallow an angle and the axe will not split the wood and too wide and the axe will not penetrate.

In practice, everybody who has tried splitting wood with a traditional axe knows that it takes a lot of power to penetrate and split the wood. Consequently, women and children may have serious trouble operating the traditional axe.


When using a traditional axe the work is quite slow. It happens quite often that the axe penetrates into the wood but does not have enough energy to split it. The reason is that there is an enormous amount of friction when the wedge penetrates the wood and tries to split it and this friction consumes the axes energy. As a result, you have a log that has the axe stuck firmly inside it. Removing it can be quite challenging at times.

So basically the axe is designed to be used by a powerful man using brute force, and only a small amount of mechanical advantage, to split wood.

The "Leveraxe" is built oddly-- the center of momentum isn't in the middle of the blade, but off to the side. So when it strikes wood, it turns, and in turning, it uses some of the momentum you've given it to split the wood apart.

This video shows what I'm talking about:

So, they built the axe "wrong," making it wiggly and wobbly in the hand instead of straight and solid, deliberately engineering a lot of girlish flopping around into it, to allow a weaker, more feminine sort of man to achieve good results with it.

Gee, I wonder where they got that idea from.

They're showing off new composite photographs from the Hubble space telescope.

Below, a movie of a zoom in from the night sky to a cluster called CLASS B1608+656. I'm not sure if they're implying this is real or really real -- that is, is this actually just a video of the zoom in, or is there CGI animation inserted to make the movement smooth?

I don't know. Cool, though.

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posted by Ace at 09:03 PM

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