Monday, September 30, 2013


The average amount owed in student loans for a college student who graduated in 2013 was $37,000 according to the Wall Street Journal.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


This date in Jewish history: 

September 29, 1941. The Nazis start massacre of Kiev Jews in the Baby Yar ravine during which 33,771 Jews were killed in a single two-day operation. 

Photo: Women waiting for execution in Baby Yar.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


Look at this marvelous dragon that is selling in Etsy for only $5,300.

The description:

Meet Freya. She's a fairly young dragon with lots of attitude. She's very protective of children and loves to be petted. You might say she's all bark and no bite, or in dragon terms, all smoke and no fire! Her belly is hinged and houses a fog machine that is plumbed up through her neck and allows her to bellow smoke on cue from the accompanying remote. Perfect for entertaining the grand kids or drawing attention to your business, everyone who meets her falls in love!

Freya won the People's Choice Award in 2012 at the Vancouver Recycled Arts Fair. Read her story here:

The steel was long since forgotten and forsaken from its original purpose, so we salvage it to create one-of-a-kind pieces to treasure for many years to come. Upon close observation, you can see Freya's shapely figure is comprised of steam pipe, tire irons, an old 50's Chevy truck hood, exhaust pipe, plow tines, scrap rebar, industrial springs and even metal from an excavated underground shelter. Her natural rusty patina will continue to darken to a rich brown as she ages, causing the welding and grinding marks to blend nicely. No rust protector is necessary, but can be applied, if so desired. She stands 9' tall, has an 8' wingspan and is about 7' long. She comes with custom made glass eyes in either a fierce red with small pupils or a friendlier amber color and larger pupils.


The price is without shipping (or with shipping inside Oregon only), and they won't  ship to Alaska.  But my roommates were just in Oregon.  I sent this the information.  They could have just bought her in Oregon and brought her home with them.  But did they buy her?  NO!

Friday, September 27, 2013


$3.70 is currently the average amount left by the tooth fairy per tooth (according to Time Magazine).

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Aevin Dugas' hair entered the Guinness Book of Records at 52 ins (132 cm) around. 37 year old social worker from Napoleanville, Louisiana has the world's largest afro.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013


 Lance Armstrong, in 2003, at the age of 31, became the 2nd person ever to win the Tour De France 5 times consecutively, beating the runner-up Jan Ullrich by 61 seconds.

2003, 31, 2, 5, 61 are all prime numbers, which add up to 2102, which is not prime.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


The accepted height of Denali, the tallest mountain in the US, had been lowered by 83 feet.  It had been 20,230 but now the mountain is believed to be 20,237 feet above sea level.  The adjustment came from using photogrammetry, a more accurate method of measuring the height.

to read more about Denali:

to read more about photogrammetry:

Friday, September 20, 2013


The professor is having me write a sonnet.
This is line number two.
All I know about sonnets
Is they have fourteen lines.
This is line number five.
I know there is a rhyme scheme
I should be following
But I don't know it
So I will not even bother
Trying to rhyme.
Line number eleven
This is the fourteenth and final line

  -  written by me.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


This year every Alaskan resident will get a Permanent Fund dividend check of $900.

For a bunch of boring information:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Al Capone estimated that he spent $30 million PER YEAR to pay off judges, police, elected officials, and newspapermen.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


If you had your way – and your health – what age would you like to be for the rest of your life?

According to a recent Harris interactive poll, the magic number is 50.

The online poll surveyed a total of 2,252 American adults which included men and women of all ages, all geographical regions, and all political bents. Some had children; some did not.

The question: If you could live forever in good health at a particular age, what age would you like to be?

Not surprisingly, younger people chose younger ages. Echo boomers, ages 18 to 36, thought the perfect age was 38. Gen Xers, ages 37 to 48, wanted to stay put at 49. Baby boomers, ages 49 to 67, thought 55 was pretty awesome. While mature adults, ages 68 and older, were happy to hold steady at 67.

On average, men wanted to be younger than women, choosing 47 over the average perfect age for females of 53. Those with kids in the household thought staying 45 forever would rock; those without children around opted for 53.

“You have almost every opportunity,” says Barbara Becker Holstein, a psychologist with a private practice in Long Branch, N.J. “You’re young enough to be famous or start an organic farm and still have the muscle tone to work eight hours a day. You’re old enough to have wisdom but young enough that your parents are still alive so you have a generational experience. If you’re tired, you can ask the young man on the bus to get out of his seat for you. Or you can date the young man.

Holstein says research shows that as we age, we tend to be less depressed, less anxious and more optimistic than our juniors. And we also become more comfortable with ourselves and our bodies.

A similar survey conducted 10 years ago found 41 to be the perfect age.

actors Johnny Depp, Jodie Foster and George Clooney are at the half century mark

for more information:

Monday, September 16, 2013


Many people won’t be aware of Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia in 1895, but one man doesn’t just know about the battle – he claims to have lived through it.

Retired farmer Dhaqabo Ebba, from Ethiopia, says he is a staggering 160 years old, which would make him the world’s oldest living man.

He claims to have clear memories of Italy’s invasion of his country in the 19th century – however, there is no birth certificate to prove his age.

In a statement to Oromiya TV, he provided so much detail on the history of his local area that reporter Mohammed Ademo became convinced that Mr Ebba must be at least 160 years old.

This would make him 46 years older than the oldest ever recorded man.

‘When Italy invaded Ethiopia I had two wives,and my son was old enough to herd cattle’, said Mr Ebba.

He then recounted his eight-day horseback rides to Addis Ababa as a child – a journey that takes only a few hours today.

As Mr Ebba grew up in an oral society, there is no paper trail and no living witnesses to verify his age.

However, if his claim can be medically confirmed, he would oust 115-year-old Misao Okawa, who is currently recognized by the Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest living person.

He would also overtake French woman Jeanne Calment as the oldest person to have ever lived.

Ms Calment died in 1997 at the age of 122.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Today is the 50th anniversary of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, a Black church in Birmingham, Alabama.  Four girls, ages 11-14, died in the blast.  The blast was from dynamite, set by 4 members of the KKK.  An additional 22 people were injured.  (My 4 is for the 4 girls, not the 4 bombers.)

Clockwise from top left, Addie Mae Collins, age 14; Cynthia Wesley, age 14; Carole Robertson, age 14;  and Denise McNair, age 11.   

for more information:

Saturday, September 14, 2013


$1.5 million paid for world’s most expensive dog

Genghis Khan had one, legend says. So did the Buddha.

And now, the prized red Tibetan mastiff, thought to be one of the world’s oldest and most venerable breeds, has another distinction: One of the massive, fluffy dogs has become the most expensive dog ever sold.

An 11-month old pup named Big Splash (“Hong Dong” in Chinese) recently sold in the Chinese city of Qingdao for 10 million yuan — about $1.5 million in U.S. dollars.

The 3-foot-tall, 180-pound dog is one of a breed that has been around since time immemorial. Tibetan mastiffs are said to have guarded nomad camps and monasteries, and are rarely seen outside of Tibet.




Friday, September 13, 2013


233,000 gallons of molasses were spilled into Honolulu harbor on Monday.  It has killed all the marine life.

When oil spills, the oil floats on top of the water, and is relatively easy to clean up.  Molasses sinks to the bottom of the ocean, is impossible to get to, sucks up all the oxygen, and kills everything.

People are advised to stay out of the water.   The molasses in the water does not pose a threat by itself.  But the dead sea animals may attract sharks.

The company responsible, Matson Inc., says it "regrets that the incident impacted many harbor users as well as wildlife. We are taking steps to ensure this situation does not happen again."

for more information:

Thursday, September 12, 2013


A Las Vegas family of six nearly doubled in size in less than five minutes after ushering in a set of quintupletsEvonne Derrico, 33, her two newborn boys and three baby girls were recovering Wednesday at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, Ariz.  The parents did NOT use fertility drugs.

The father, Deon Derrico, says that everyone is doing well.

Deniko (b), Dariz (b), Deonee (g), Daician (g), and Daiten (g) each weigh less than 3 pounds and were being cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit.

They're joining an already-full house that included the Derricos' seven-year-old daughter, Dai, a three-year-old son, Deon Jr, and one-year-old twin boys, Dallas and Denver.  

(If this blog was "Letter of the Day", today's letter would be D.)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

about 300,000

Superman addict Herbert Chavez has about 300,000 pesos (about $6764.40) on 13 surgeries to make him look like the comic book superhero.

The dress maker has transformed himself from scrawny to superman - thanks to the operations which include nose jobs, skin whitening, lip liposuction, jaw realignment, pec implants and even bum implants.

The 35-year-old from Calamba City, Phillipines first fell in love with the super hero - famed for his red cape and 'S' logo - when he was five-years-old while watching him on TV.

Over the past 30-years he has splashed around 300,000 Pesos (£4,400) on his obsession - the average hourly wage in the Phillipines is a meagre 90p.

Herbert regularly takes to the streets around his home dressed in full Superman costume, with his hair gelled in distinctive fashion.

Monday, September 9, 2013


There are only two people who can speak the native Mexican language Ayapaneco.  However, they are not speaking to each other.

Though it is not clear what lies behind their mutual avoidance, Manuel Segovia (in picture below), 75, and Isidro Velazquez, 69, live 500 metres apart in the village of Ayapa in the the southern state of Tabasco. The two have reportedly never enjoyed each other's company.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

110 ( 73 + 37 )

Sheldon Cooper feels that 73 is the best number:

"73 is the 21st prime number. Its mirror 37 is the 12th prime number."

But what he says about 73 is also true about 37.
"73 is the 21st prime number. Its mirror 37 is the 12th prime number" can also be put as
"37 is the 12st prime number. Its mirror 73 is the 21th prime number".

(This is listed under 110 because the real beauty is  37 and 73 together.)

OK, 73 is a palindrome in binary (1001001) and 37 isn't (100101).

but they are both palindromes in morse code:  
37 is     . . .  - -    - -  . . .      while 73 is  - - . . .    . . . - -

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Genetic 'Adam & Eve' Chromosome Study Traces All Men To Man Who Lived 135,000 Years Ago 

Almost every man alive can trace his origins to one man who lived about 135,000 years ago, new research suggests. And that ancient man likely shared the planet with the mother of all women.

The findings, detailed today (Aug. 1) in the journal Science, come from the most complete analysis of the male sex chromosome, or the Y chromosome, to date. The results overturn earlier research, which suggested that men's most recent common ancestor lived just 50,000 to 60,000 years ago.

Despite their overlap in time, ancient "Adam" and ancient "Eve" probably didn't even live near each other, let alone mate.

"Those two people didn't know each other," said Melissa Wilson Sayres, a geneticist at the University of California, Berkeley, who was not involved in the study.

for more information:

My comment - They say that "Adam" and "Eve" probably did not mate with each other, or even live near each other.  But they used to say that they lived thousands of years apart, and they changed on that. - Amy

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Ellen and I covered 618 miles on a 3 day photography trip up to the Denali highway over Labor Day weekend.  We went from Anchorage to Paxson to Cantwell, back to Anchorage.  We took pictures all along the way.

Actually, Ellen probably did 620 miles, since she began by driving from her house to pick me up, and after dropping me off, she drove home.

Monday, September 2, 2013


In 2010, the onyx and diamond panther bracelet that was once owned by Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor and most famous American for whom King Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry, was auctioned at Sotheby's in London for $12.4 million.

Sunday, September 1, 2013