Posted: July 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Animals and Nature | Tags: | No Comments »

One day old giraffe

A particularly cynical quote reads “We are born naked, wet and hungry. Then things get worse.” But they get worse much more quickly for a baby giraffe, whose mother gives birth standing up. That means it is jounced into existence by a harrowing six foot drop to the ground — and it usually lands on its head.

Jounce (rhymes with bounce)

A jarring impact, or to cause to move with bumps and jolts.


Giraffes up Close |   Photo Credit


Posted: June 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Mind and Psychology | Tags: | No Comments »

Late morning risers tend to get a lot of flak; early birds may even see them as lazy slugabeds. But brain studies show that night owls actually have more staying power. Researchers who tested the alertness of both early birds and night owls at 1.5 hours and 10.5 hours after waking found that, at 10.5 hours, the night owls had greater activity in two brain regions indicative of greater attentiveness.

Slugabed (SLUG-ə-bed)

Someone inclined to stay in bed out of laziness.

[Derived from “sluggard“, a habitually lazy or idle person.]


layabout, laggard, lie-abed


Discover Magazine: Night Owls… |   Photo Credit


Posted: June 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Society | Tags: | 6 Comments »

Principality of Hutt River

The Principality of Hutt River is another interesting micro-nation. This small nation of farmland seceded from Australia when its founder, Leonard George Casley, decided to fight against Australia’s harsh wheat production quotas. When Australia threatened him with prosecution, he styled himself “His Royal Highness Prince Leonard of Hutt”, noting that monarchs were immune to all charges under Australian law . When the Australia Post stopped handling Hutt River mail, this nation of about 20 residents officially declared war. Australia soon resumed delivering their mail and ceased demanding an income tax.

Secede (sih-SEED)

To formally withdraw from an organization, association, or alliance.




Wikipedia: Principality of Hutt River |   Photo Credit


Posted: June 28th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Oddities, Society | Tags: | No Comments »


Sealand is the world’s strangest nation. Located off the coast of England, it was originally built as a defense platform during World War 2. Years later, Major Paddy Roy Bates arrogated it for his personal use. He introduced a constitution, national flag, anthem, currency, and passports.

About a decade later, this island saw a full out coup. A German lawyer named Alexander Achenbach hired mercenaries to storm the platform with speedboats and helicopters, capturing Bates’ son and holding him hostage. Somehow, Bates regained power and held Achenbach a prisoner of war. The German and Austrian governments petitioned the British government for his release, but it was not until Germany sent a diplomat to Sealand, who negotiated with Bates for several weeks, that Achenbach saw his release.

Arrogate (AIR-ə-gayt)

To take or claim for oneself without right or justification; appropriate.


Wikipedia: Sealand |   Photo Credit


Posted: June 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Science and Technology, Society | Tags: | 5 Comments »

Tsar Bomba replica

If the Soviet Union would have launched an attack with Tsar Bomba, it would have been history’s most heinous massacre. Tsar Bomba was the largest and most powerful atomic bomb ever detonated. They tested it in 1961 on an archipelego in the Arctic Ocean, where it produced a mushroom cloud 40 miles high and 25 miles wide. The explosion released 1,400 times more energy than the combined bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War 2. Shock waves made three complete rounds around the earth, reportedly breaking windows in Norway and Sweden on the first passage.

Heinous (HAY-nəs)

Grossly wicked or reprehensible; abominable: a heinous crime.


flagitious, nefarious, iniquitous, execrable


Wikipedia: Tsar Bomba