I may not update for a couple of days because of real life visitors.
Mind the gap. Tales from the London Underground. "To the gentleman wearing the long grey coat trying to get on the second carriage, what part of 'stand clear of the doors' don't you understand?"
It really is like this, you know. Thanks to Lukelog for this one.
Remains of ancient brewery discovered at Chedworth Roman Villa, near Cheltenham in Gloucestershire. I was there only the other week! Via Ancient World Web.
A heartwarming tale from a weblogger in Minnesota (I think). I will be sure to send Mr. Whitaker a card.
BBC - 'Robot learns to reproduce.' An experiment in the US involving robots that can design and construct other robots 'evolving' over a number of generations.
Times - 'Real RoboCop shatters Asimov rules for robots.' A worrying development, if you ask me. A scientist in Thailand has devised a robot which can shoot unwanted intruders. Apparently, the inventor of the 'Roboguard' sees it as a cheap alternative to armed police.
Just in case you haven't read the books, here are Asimov's laws of robotic behaviour.
New Scientist has an article about the Roboguard too.
Just one more robot story - apparently, robots that cooperate to find food are more successful than those that don't. Link via Honey Guide.
Global warming threatens one third of natural habitats, according to the BBC. Visit the Rainforest Site today. Meanwhile, the hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica seems to be expanding.
Satire Wire - new satire for the new economy. And very funny it is, too.
Antique classic collectible vending machines.
The Nutlog likes the look of nuttysites.com.
The Hindustan Times on the English language in India.
'I spied in a newspaper this week the word "hoopster" for a basket ball player. "Willow Warriors" is a charming nonsense for cricket stars. I was lost on "history sheeter" until it was explained to me it was someone with a criminal record.'
Amusing roadsigns from around North America. Part of the Roadtrip America website, which is well worth a look too; a web magazine published from the road.
Sun and Moon phases. Potentially useful.
Astronomy pictures from the Hubble Heritage Project. Definitely useful.
The Daily Telegraph carries an interesting article discussing whether abortion causes pain to unborn foetuses. Not that I'm taking a position on the issue or any of the other ethical considerations surrounding it; just check out the article.
More on the newly discovered underground carnivorous plant in Florida. Coverage from ABC.
UPI - 'Meat-eating underground plant found.'
'The species of utricularia grows underground and eats nematodes and other tiny underground creatures with a nodule that sucks the meat into the plant.'
More great photos from Japan - check out Photo Japan's gallery of dolls and statues.
In Transit : Interviews and photographs of people on the bus. 'What has fascinated me most is the incredible depth and richness of the people I've met. Everyone is passionate about something, and everyone has a story to tell. What's more, a lot of people would like to tell you that story, if only you ask.'
Thankyou, Spinning Jenny, for this link.
Fossil points me to the lovely shiny weblog belonging to Countess Cara Van Parke.
Have a go at the Old Testament text adventure.
Humorous translations of medieval into modern English.
The Australian Museum Online - positively encyclopaedic.
Last night I saw the first part of Beyond the Fatal Shore, Robert Hughes' series about Australian identity. It was quite interesting; the first part focusing on the tension between the Australian archetypes of the larrikin (anti-authoritarian, rowdy, irresponsible young hedonist) and the wowser (a puritan who can't stand to see anybody enjoying themselves; often a religious fundamentalist). I especially enjoyed the Old Sydney Town Museum, which is devoted to the white Australia's convict origins, and Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (the biggest gay event in the world, although a lot of straight people enjoy it too). Being the dominant and interesting character that he is, Hughes has a bit of an unfortunate tendency to overshadow the Australian types that he presents; but it was still a good show. Hughes is an Australian art critic who left Australia many years ago, with very strong opinions about most things. Hughes comes from the same generation of Australian exiles as the brilliant feminist Germaine Greer.
Visit, if you would, Jemima Gold's fine weblog from Australia.
I very much approve of the Australian Aboriginal flag. Thankyou, Feline, for reminding me of it.
Farewell to Carl Barks, who drew Donald Duck.
Strange and unique photos from Japan. The artistic sewer cover is my favourite.
Capuchin monkeys test their friends by sticking fingers up their noses. Via Honey Guide.
Dolphins greet each other with individual whistle signatures.
It's going to be a busy weekend for me - I have visitors again. Updates may be sporadic. Don't forget to visit the many fine news sources and weblogs linked to at the top of this page, and especially the Hunger, Rainforest and Landmines Sites.
Boycaught asks, 'You are about to be put into a time machine and sent back 1,100 years, never to return. You must make your way in a hostile, alien environment, armed only with your wits and three books. You can choose any books you like -- as long as you've actually read them sometime in the last five years. What three books do you take?'
I would choose :-
'Vindication of the Rights of Woman' - Mary Wollstonecraft.
'The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches' - Basho.
'Complete Fairy Tales' - Jakob and Wilheim Grimm.
Which Harry Potter house are you?
Discovery - 'Tasmanian tiger cloning underway.'
The Pulp Zone, complete with lurid cover images.
More evidence in support of the theory that Europa may have salty oceans beneath its surface.
The Complete Bushisms. Quotes from George W. Bush.
'I'm gonna talk about the ideal world, Chris. I've read-I understand reality. If you're asking me as the president, would I understand reality, I do.'
Suffering from Big Brother overload? Take a look at Big Banana, with surviving contestants Melon-y, Ban-anna, Pear (who has been genetically modified to be curvier than the average fruit), Thomato, Damson and Grape.
Rock art links - incredibly comprehensive.
Take a trip through roadside America - lots of offbeat stuff.
Name that candy bar!
Why not send someone an Australiana virtual postcard?
Fossilised dinosaur tracks lend credence to the theory that Italy was once joined to North Africa.
A page of dinosaur links.
Ancient temple found beneath Lake Titicaca, on the border between Peru and Bolivia.
From Ancient World News - 'Ruins may be Sweden's oldest pre-Christian temple.'
More feline humour - including 'Rules for cats who have a house to run'.
Salon reviews what looks like an interesting book on the 'Guilt of Nations' by Elazar Barkan. The book covers ideas such as restitution and making amends for past atrocities, truth commissions, reparations, and so on. Public apologies for past wrongs are really in vogue at the moment, from Washington to the Vatican to the Swiss banks and beyond.
'One doesn't compare Nazi atrocities with the rapes and enslavements committed by the Japanese in World War II, or Hawaiian grievances with those of the Maori. One simply asks: Where are the oppressors and where are the oppressed today, and what can be done? If politics is truly the art of the possible, then Barkan, as this incisive book demonstrates, is its most devoted acolyte.'
Britney Spears becomes BBC Online agony aunt. She will be giving out advice on the So... website for teenagers.
Kura - a Maori fantasy story. Part of the Maori Organisations of New Zealand website.
Japanese kitsch postcards. Nicked from GMT+9.
Burning Man is coming soon!!!
Remember you're a Womble. What a great show; fun for kids with an environmental theme, and it had Uncle Bulgaria too!
Answer to the Nutlog Challege (see entry for 14th August) :-
'Remember not to put too big a space between 'Coach' and 'And' and 'And' and 'Horses' when you are painting the new pub sign.'
BBC - 'North Pole ice 'turns to water'.'
Just what we all need, a fridgecam. Via GMT+9.
BBC - 'Cave becomes artist's 'des res'.' 'A three-roomed cave with no electricity or running water has been bought by an artist for more than three times its guide price of £10,000.'
The cave in question is part of a larger complex of caves in the sandstone hills of Worcestershire, very near where I grew up. It is really a beautiful part of England, with impressive views of the hills and the Severn Valley, and I could imagine it would be the perfect kind of place for an artist, or perhaps someone just seeking peace and contemplation.