Warm Winter Will Wreck Summer: DNews Nuggets

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March 9

Warm Winters = More Bites: These last balmy days of winter may be some of the best days of the next few months, according to The Week. Some of the side effects of the warm weather are truly horrific. They include: more mosquitoes, ravenous and sleepy bears, lots of deer and ticks and tornadoes. (3:50 p.m.) via the Week

Driving Mr. Dead Guy: Two men find their buddy dead of alcohol and drug consumption. Do they call 911? Nope. They drive around Denver with the corpse and the corpse's debit card. They get some Mexican (on the corpse, not with it) and drink some more. Then they dump the body at home and go to a strip club, withdrawing $400 out of an ATM there. THEN they report their friend's death. They're arrested for abuse of a corpse and given probation. Sounds like a movie, except it's true. (1:10 p.m.) via MSNBC

Uncle Dave: For centuries the young man in the Confederate uniform was an anonymous face from a long-ago war. But when Karen Thatcher, a retired federal worker, saw a Washington Post feature that included the 1860s Civil War portrait, the face immediately looked familiar. “That’s Uncle Dave!” she realized, matching the man’s face with another image she had at home of her husband’s uncle. It turns out the young man in the photo was 19-year-old David M. Thatcher from Martinsburg who enlisted in Company B, Berkeley Troop, First Virginia cavalry, and was killed in battle outside Warrenton in 1863. Now the Library of Congress, which was given the photo last year, will be able to give a name to at least one formerly anonymous victim of America’s bloodiest war. (10:30 a.m.) via via Washington Post

Mmmm, Algae Ice Cream: Renewable algae oil company, Solazyme, produces biofuel from algae. Lately the company has started to branch out into chemicals, cosmetics and nutrition. They've developed an algae-derived flour that has similar fats as olive oil, and is being used to make ice cream, crackers, milk and condiments. The flour is low in fat and high in fiber and protein. Initial tasters say it's not bad at all. (8:35 a.m) via Co.Exist

March 8

Gifs Get Rebirth: The first GIF was created 25 years ago. They are one of the oldest image formats used on the web. Like skinny jeans, they are experiencing a new, reborn popularity.   This video below explores the history of the GIF and how to pronounce it — like the peanut butter or like a gift? (5:26 p.m.) via YouTube

Go Emote Yourself: How many of us have wondered — you know, now and then — how to make those little thingies at the bottom of emails? Like the school of fish, or a bird, or the finger. Wonder no longer. This very informative table at Emojicons tells you all you need to know to create a koala bear, a look of disapproval, a Homer Simpson and so, so much more. Can you say higher learning? (2:00 p.m.) via via Emojicons and Holy Kaw!

Thanks to Clara…: Happy International Women's Day! In case you were wondering what started this annual marking of respect for women and their achievements, here's the deal: Clara Zetkin, a German Marxist and women rights activist started the holiday, marking the first Women's Day in 1910. Zetkin's lover, with whom she had two sons, was a Russian revolutionary and in its early incarnations, Women's Day had a marked political flavor, inspired by the socialist movement. Following the October Revolution, Lenin made the day an official holiday in the Soviet Union. The holiday's theme this year is "Empower Women — End Hunger and Poverty" and there are events across the country and the world to mark women's efforts. (9:03 a.m.)

Thanks to Clara…: Happy International Women's Day! In case you were wondering what started this annual marking of respect for women and their achievements, here's the deal: Clara Zetkin, a German Marxist and women rights activist started the holiday, marking the first Women's Day in 1910. Zetkin's lover, with whom she had two sons, was a Russian revolutionary and in its early incarnations, Women's Day had a marked political flavor, inspired by the socialist movement. Following the October Revolution, Lenin made the day an official holiday in the Soviet Union. The holiday's theme this year is "Empower Women — End Hunger and Poverty" and there are events across the country and the world to mark women's efforts. (9:03 a.m.)

March 7

Crazy Cool Skyscrapers: As the world population multiplies exponentially, there will only be one way to go: up! Building skyscrapers is nothing new for condensed urban areas, but with a few exceptions the design of these buildings hasn't really changed in the last 100 years or so. You’ll understand what I mean when you take a look at the winners of the 2012 Skyscraper Competition. These far-out futuristic will overturn your notion of “city” living. (5:36 p.m.) via Evolo

A Loose String: Tennis racket technology has blossomed in the last twenty years. A game that was once played with simple, wooden rackets is now home to blinged-out titanium, carbon things of beauty and control. But all this new technology has made pros do the unexpected. According to the Wall Street Journal, tennis elites are using "a trick that's extremely rare, if not unprecedented, in tennis history: They're playing with rackets whose strings are about as taut as a bowl of pad thai." The rackets apparently contain "more punch when they're strung loosely because the ball dwells on the string bed longer, creating a trampoline effect." (3:40 p.m.) via Wall Street Journal 

A Loose String: Tennis racket technology has blossomed in the last twenty years. A game that was once played with simple, wooden rackets is now home to blinged-out titanium, carbon things of beauty and control. But all this new technology has made pros do the unexpected. According to the Wall Street Journal, tennis elites are using "a trick that's extremely rare, if not unprecedented, in tennis history: They're playing with rackets whose strings are about as taut as a bowl of pad thai." The rackets apparently contain "more punch when they're strung loosely because the ball dwells on the string bed longer, creating a trampoline effect." (3:40 p.m.) via Wall Street Journal 

Bat Invasion: Forget “The Birds,” it may be time to worry about “The Bats.” A town in northern Australia has been overrun by more than 250,000 fruit bats. The nocturnal fliers arrived late last month in Katherine and may have been attracted to the area’s exotic flowering plants. In an effort to avoid the spread of a bat-borne virus and rabies, local officials have closed a large sports field and advised residents what to do if bitten (wash the wound and seek medical help immediately). Bat invasions of this scope are thought to happen only two or three times every 10 years. (10:00 a.m.) via BBC

March 6

8 Kindes of Drunkenness: Turns out it's not just the Internet that craves lists. In the 16th Century a "listicle" — that is an article that is essentially a list – was written by Thomas Nash in 1592 describing the '8 Kindes of Drunkennes:'

  • The first is ape drunke; and he leapes, and singes, and hollowes, and danceth for the heavens;
  • The second is lion drunke; and he flings the pots about the house, calls his hostesse whore, breakes the glasse windowes with his dagger, and is apt to quarrell with anie man that speaks to him;
  • The third is swine drunke; heavie, lumpish, and sleepie, and cries for a little more drinke, and a fewe more cloathes;
  • The fourth is sheepe drunk; wise in his conceipt, when he cannot bring foorth a right word;
  • The fifth is mawdlen drunke; when a fellowe will weepe for kindnes in the midst of ale, and kisse you, saying, "By God, captaine, I love thee. Goe thy wayes; thou dost not thinke so often of me as I doo thee; I would (if it pleased God) I could not love thee as well as I doo;" and then he puts his finger in his eye, and cryes;
  • The sixt is Martin drunke; when a man is drunke, and drinkes himselfe sober ere he stirre;
  • The seventh is goate drunke; when, in his drunkennes, he hath no minde but on lecherie;
  • The eighth is fox drunke–when he is craftie drunke, as manie of the Dutchmen bee, that will never bargaine but when they are drunke.

Had there been twitter in the late 1500s Nash would have had tonnes of RTs. via The Atlantic

Drill, Baby, Drill!: Gone are the days of questioning deep-water drilling, something that was popular just after the BP oil gusher in the Gulf in 2010. The outcry that followed didn't last long; a year after the Obama Administration lifted its moratorium on drilling new wells in the Gulf's deep waters, The Week takes stock. Among their findings: about 50 percent more active rigs in the U.S. part of the Gulf than a year ago; 61 deep-water drilling permits approved in the last 12 months, compared with 67 before the spill; the same number of oil rigs operated by BP in the Gulf today as a year ago — five — with three more planned this year. (4:55 p.m.) Find out more at The Week

Spiders Drape Wagga Wagga: The town of Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia, is mostly submerged in flood waters. More than 9,000 people have been forced to evacuate the town. A surreal effect is an ocean of spider webs draping the area. These images here show the webs in their glory. (4:00 p.m.)  via BBC

Purple Wonders: Strawberry lovers looking to expand their pallets have a new option at their fingertips: the Purple Wonder. Fruit breeders at Cornell University came up with the sweet, burgundy berries, which ooze purple juice and the variety made its debut this week at the Philadelphia International Flower Show. The deep color of the berries runs through the whole fruit and promises a higher level of healthy antioxidants and a sweeter taste than paler, more traditional strawberry varieties. It’s also easier to plant on fire escapes since it doesn’t sprout many horizontal runners – so it’s content to be contained within a small pot. (3:00 p.m.) via Cornell Chronicle

Spider Silk Conducts Heat: Spiders have it made in the shade. The silks they spin conducts heat a little better than copper, 800 times better than other organic tissue like skin and 1,000 times better than woven silkworm silk. There are lots of interesting applications aside from webs, including heat-dispersing parts for electronics or more breathable clothes for hot climates. (2:41 p.m.) via Futurity

Gaming Is Good for You: Great news, gamers. Your World of Warcraft days are not numbered. Scientists are finding more and more evidence suggesting that gaming improves creativity, decision-making, hand-eye coordination, memory and perception. This is also fantastic news for the $25 billion-a-year computer gaming industry. The only thing gaming seems really bad at is making you a sandwich right before the epic battle. (1:07 p.m.) via Wall Street Journal

Angry Turkey Bird: This is one angry bird. The Detroit Free Press reports that 69-year-old Edna Geisler of Commerce Township, Mich., has been held hostage by a tom for about a month. Nicknamed Godzilla, the bird lurks by her car and house for 12 hours a day and attacks her whenever she tries to come out. Needless to say, she's fed up, but doesn't really want to eat it. Finally, Edna took a wildlife expert's advice and chased the turkey around some, showing it who's boss. (12:13 p.m.) via The Daily Wh.at

Robotic Cheetah Breaks Speed Record: At 18 mph a four-legged robot dubbed 'Cheetah' still has a long ways to go to match the real thing, but it is now 'living up' to its namesake with honor as the fastest robot runner on land. The previous record holder ran 13.1 mph. US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency funded the Massachusetts robotics company Boston Dynamics to build the machine and raced it on a treadmill. (7:30 a.m.) via BBC

March 5

Controllers Tug You: Your next video game controller might be more precise than just a vibration handle. Researchers at the University of Utah have created a controller that stretches your thumb-tips to simulate a number of real-world situations. According to an associate professor of engineering familiar with the project, it can simulate "recoil from a gun, the feeling of being pushed by ocean waves or crawling prone in a first-person shooter game" (5:51 p.m.) via ScienceBlog

Japanese Tsunami, One Year Later: MSNBC has a great slideshow up today showing 29 before-and-after images from the Japanese countryside affected by last year’s tsunami. Scenes are shown on a split screen, with the left half of the screen an image of the devastated landscape and the right side of the screen an image of the exact same area one year later. An interactive slider lets you reveal more or less of the images presented. Excellent stuff. (3:22 p.m.) via MSNBC

'Poticrete': Where do old toilets go when they die? In Bellingham, Wash., some end up in the street. Four hundred discarded toilets were ground up into a concrete-like mixture, dubbed "poticrete," and then used to pave about 22 miles of sidewalks. The crushed ceramic came from the Bellingham Housing Authority's toilets. That group approached the City of Bellingham Public Works in early 2011 because they had just renovated three large housing buildings and didn’t know what to do with their 400 used toilets. The cost to pave the streets with toilets? About the same as a regular concrete job of the same size — $850,000. (2:03 p.m.) via ABC News

Lava Claims Last House in Neighborhood: After years of watching lava flows take out his neighbor's houses, Big Island's Puna district resident Jack Thompson finally had to sway to the powers of Kilauea on Friday as lava poured down a hill and across his back door as he was leaving out the front. "I've been preparing for this for years. You're hoping for the best, but in time expect the inevitable," he told the the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. via USA Today

NFL Shocker: A shady side of the National Football League has come to light, and it's pretty shocking. What was supposed to be a bonus pool of $50,000, the New Orleans Saints actually used as a "bounty pool" to pay players for hurting valuable opponents. Defensive players could earn up to $6,000 in a playoff game for hurting targets like Brett Favre and Kurt Warner so badly that they had to leave the field. But wait, it gets better: retired players say this has been standard practice for decades. The NFL has hopped to it and will hand down punishments that could involve big fines, suspensions, or draft pick penalties. (10:33 a.m.) via Associated Press

Photo: iStock

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