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‘Sailing rocks’ mystery finally solved

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Scientists have finally solved the mystery of how rocks can move across the flat ground of a dry lake bed in Death Valley, California.

Visitors have long been puzzled by the sight of boulder tracks criss-crossing a dusty bowl known as the Racetrack Playa in Death Valley National Park. But two researchers now say the rocks – which can sometimes be heavy and large – are propelled along by thin, clear sheets of ice on breezy, sunny days. They call it “ice shove”. “I’m amazed by the irony of it all,” paleobiologist James Norris tells the LA Times. “In a place where rainfall averages two inches a year, rocks are being shoved around by mechanisms typically seen in arctic climes.”

The findings are based on a lucky accident by James Norris and his cousin Richard Norris – while they were studying the sliding rock phenomenon. They actually witnessed the boulders moving in December when they went to check their time-lapse cameras in the valley. “There was a pop-pop-crackle all over the place in front of us and I said to my cousin, ‘This is it’,” Richard Norris says in the science journal Nature. They watched some 60 rocks sail slowly by, leaving the well-known snaking trails in the ground. “A baby can get going a lot faster than your average rock,” Norris notes. The rocks also don’t slide around very often – scientists estimate only a few minutes out of a million – which is why the event has not been noticed before.

Source: BBCNews

Hello Kitty is not a cat

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- she’s a British school kid

You would be forgiven for having thought for your entire life that Hello Kitty was a cat.

After all, she does kind of look like one – and she is called Kitty.

But her creators Sanrio are adamant. She is a British school kid called Kitty White and she lives just outside London (although no-one is saying exactly where).

In fact, she has a whole life story and a family that includes a twin sister called Mimmy.

Earlier this month Hello Kitty was pictured in space for the first time, celebrating her anniversary

Although Sanrio has a whole website dedicated to Kitty’s biography, her appearance has suggested that she is animal rather than human – an assumption that also fooled Christine R Yano.

She is an anthropologist from the University of Hawaii and is curating an exhibition about the cartoon character.

“That’s one correction Sanrio made for my script for the show. Hello Kitty is not a cat,” she told the LA Times.

“She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat.

“She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature.

“She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it’s called Charmmy Kitty.”

Yano claims a lot of people don’t know Kitty’s really a person and that many of her fans who are aware “don’t care”.

And the reason Kitty is British?

“Hello Kitty emerged in the 1970s, when the Japanese and Japanese women were into Britain,” said Yano.

“They loved the idea of Britain. It represented the quintessential idealized childhood, almost like a white picket fence.

“So the biography was created exactly for the tastes of that time.”

So now you know – Hello Kitty lives in the suburbs of London, is approximately five apples tall and was born on 1 November. And she’s certainly not a cat.

Source: BBCNews

Bog Snorkelling

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New bog snorkelling record set at championships in Wales

Capture from BBC video

Capture from BBC video

The 29th international bog snorkelling championships took place in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales, on Sunday. One hundred and fifty-five participants from around the world competed in time-trials for the green frog trophy by swimming up and down a 133m bog. This year, swimmer Kirsty Johnson set a new record for the sport with a time of 1min 22sec

Source: TheGuardian see the video

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I didn’t even know there was such a thing…

Nepal’s living goddess

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…who still has to do homework

Samita Bajracharya is a 12-year-old Nepalese girl who lives with her family, studies hard, and enjoys playing a Nepali version of the lute. But until recently she was also worshipped by people who believed she was a reincarnated goddess.

Along a busy thoroughfare in Lalitpur, near Kathmandu, a passageway leads into a large, open-air courtyard. In the back corner, there’s a modest home, with a red sign outside that simply reads, “Living Goddess”.

A narrow wooden staircase leads up to the second floor, where the goddess spends much of her childhood. She’s called a Kumari, which means “young, unmarried girl”.

She’s worshipped by both Hindus and Buddhists in Nepal, who believe she’s a reincarnation of the Hindu goddess Durga.

I got to know the mother of this Kumari – Nepal has a few of them – after several visits to her house.

How did it feel when her daughter, Samita, was chosen to be a Kumari, I asked?

“I felt both happy and sad,” she says. “On one hand, I felt happy because when your daughter becomes god, having a god in the home is a delightful thing. But I also got scared because I wasn’t sure if we would be able to follow all the rules.”

There are many rules. For one, Samita’s mother has to apply special makeup to her daughter’s face in intricate designs. The girl isn’t allowed to go outside except for festivals. On those occasions, her feet must not touch the ground. That means someone has to carry the young goddess.

Furthermore, the Kumari is not permitted to speak to anyone besides her family and close friends.

The best way to find out what life is like for a child goddess is to talk to a former Kumari. I call Samita’s predecessor, Chanira Bajracharya (no relation), and she agrees to an interview in her home.

We sit on the floor of the dark chamber where she spent a decade praying and blessing visitors.

Chanira Bajracharya in 2007

I expect we’ll do the interview in Nepali, but when I ask her a question, she starts speaking fluently in English. She tells me that she learned the language by reading newspapers during her Kumari days.

“When I was a goddess, I used to peek through the holes of windows,” Chanira says.

She’s now a 19-year-old business student, and looks like any ordinary teenager in her fashionable green T-shirt and black trousers. She became a Kumari when she was just five years old.

“Being a goddess is just like being a princess and you get everything at home,” she says. “I never missed going outside, but rather enjoyed staying at home and being part of the divine life.”

This divine life ended abruptly when Chanira was 15, on the day she first menstruated. Suddenly she was no longer the Kumari. She says the transition was difficult.

“When I had to step out of my house for the first time, I didn’t know how to walk properly,” she says. “My mom and dad, they used to hold my hands and teach me how to walk.”

During her Kumari years, private tutors taught her at home. All of a sudden, she started going to school with other children.

“It was a big challenge for me,” Chanira says. “All of the classmates were so afraid to talk to me because I was an ex-goddess and I was treated a little bit differently.

“They even used to say that I’m an alien. They said that to me.”

Believers no longer bowed down to her or touched her feet as they’d done for years.

“I lost that respect,” she says. “I never imagined that my life would be so changed in such a sudden way.”

As soon as Chanira’s tenure ended, local priests chose a new Kumari. Her successor, Samita, happened to be a close friend, almost like a younger sister.

“When I was a goddess, she used to come here and we were friends so she knows about the Kumari life,” Chanira says.

The Kumari’s life of prayer also includes homework. When I go back to the current Kumari’s home, her mother allows me to enter her room and watch a private tutoring session.

For the first time, I see her as a normal girl as she sits quietly at her desk, and carefully takes notes.

“There wasn’t a tradition to educate the Kumaris in the past,” her teacher Rachna Upreti says. “Their world was in the four corners of their rooms.”

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Kumari

Kumari child
  • Kumari Devi are pre-pubescent girls, believed to be the reincarnation of the Hindu goddess Durga – also called Taleju in Nepal
  • They are chosen based on several physical characteristics, but also have to pass a series of tests
  • There are several Kumaris in Nepal – the most important, in Kathmandu, lives in a royal dwelling called the Kumari Bahal
  • The goddess is believed to vacate the Kumari’s body when she first menstruates
  • The Kumari is selected from the Shakya or Bajracharya clan of Kathmandu’s Newari community

Source: BBCNews Read and see more

 

Satireday on Tomus

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funny-lol-mystery-photography-Favim.com-601202

History is Not Boring

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Reblogged from Set the Tempo

piss pot

piss pot

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & Sold to the tannery…….if you had to do this to survive you were “Piss Poor”

But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot……they “didn’t have a pot to piss in” & were the lowest of the low

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:

To ward off the smell

To ward off the smell

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell . …… . Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting Married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.. Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the Bath water!”

Want to read more, then hit the link above..

Myanmar’s mysterious Dhammazedi Bell

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The search

As Jonah Fisher reports, some people doubt the bell ever existed, whilst others think the search is cursed

As Jonah Fisher reports, some people doubt the bell ever existed, whilst others think the search is cursed

The fate of the Dhammazedi Bell is one of Myanmar’s murkiest mysteries and for some Burmese a lifelong obsession. Four centuries after the world’s biggest bell was last seen, a new salvage attempt is under way in Yangon (Rangoon), and it’s attracting large crowds.

Cast in the 15th Century, the Dhammazedi Bell was according to popular legend placed alongside the gleaming gold Schwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist site in Myanmar(also known as Burma).

Said to have been made of copper, gold and silver, the bell is said to have weighed nearly 300 tonnes (661,400 pounds).

It’s mindboggling figure, about the same as 25 double-decker buses.

Then in 1608 disaster struck.

The Portuguese adventurer and mercenary Filipe de Brito seized the bell with the aim of melting it down to make cannons.

The Dhammazedi Bell was said to be housed at the Schwedagon Pagoda before it was taken

The Tharawaddy Min bell is the biggest one at Schwedagon but is a fraction of the size of Dhammazedi

He had it dragged to the Pegu (now Bago) River and loaded on to a raft, at which point, not entirely surprisingly, it sank.

In the years that followed the legend of the bell has endured, and recovering it has become a point of both Buddhist and Burmese national pride.

There have been at least seven serious attempts in the last 25 years.

Some have involved international teams and sophisticated underwater equipment, but to date no one has been able to accurately pinpoint where the huge bell is.

That’s not diminished enthusiasm among the public.

Source: BBCNews Read and see more about the search

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