The Missing Links: Feel That Solstice In the Air

Butterfly In the Sky, I Can Go Twice As High...
If you know how to complete this sentence, then man do I have an iPad app for you.


Bill Murray: He Came, He Saw, He Got Elected to the Minor League Baseball Hall of Fame
Most people don’t know that Bill Murray has long been the part owner of several minor league baseball teams. Because of this, and because he’s Bill Freaking Murray, he was inducted into the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame this week. His speech was typically awesome:

(Via Buzzfeed)


The Number of the Day: 114,000,000,000 to 1
Those are the odds that a roulette wheel could land on the same number seven times in a row. Bet your 19s people, bet your 19s.


5 Misconceptions About Teaching Math and Science
"The fact that we score poorly now does not mean that our educational system has deteriorated. In fact, it was always bad."


Summer Starts Today
You know what that means - sunshine, surf, and everything that comes along because of the Earth’s north-south axis being tilted 23.4 degrees relative to the ecliptic

For a little more Summer goodness, check out the odd jobs that kept famous people busy during those hot few months.


Shameless Plug of the Day: Get This Book
This Tuesday (6/26), McSweeney’s is releasing a brand new book called The McSweeney’s Book of Politics and Musicals, which, through what can only be referred to as a gigantic lapse in judgment on their part, contains one very short piece of humor I wrote for them.

But, you shouldn’t pick this book up because of that. I don’t stand to profit no matter how many copies are sold. You should pick it up because it’s going to have a ton of funny, witty, whimsical humor written by a lot of really talented folk. I promise.

OK, shameless plug over.

Why Tiny 'Hedgehog Highways' Are Popping Up Around London

Hedgehogs as pets have gained popularity in recent years, but in many parts of the world, they're still wild animals. That includes London, where close to a million of the creatures roam streets, parks, and gardens, seeking out wood and vegetation to take refuge in. Now, Atlas Obscura reports that animal activists are transforming the city into a more hospitable environment for hedgehogs.

Barnes Hedgehogs, a group founded by Michel Birkenwald in the London neighborhood of Barnes four years ago, is responsible for drilling tiny "hedgehog highways" through walls around London. The passages are just wide enough for the animals to climb through, making it easier for them to travel from one green space to the next.

London's wild hedgehog population has seen a sharp decline in recent decades. Though it's hard to pin down accurate numbers for the elusive animals, surveys have shown that the British population has dwindled by tens of millions since the 1950s. This is due to factors like human development and habitat destruction by farmers who aren't fond of the unattractive shrubs, hedges, and dead wood that hedgehogs use as their homes.

When such environments are left to grow, they can still be hard for hedgehogs to access. Carving hedgehog highways through the stone partitions and wooden fences bordering parks and gardens is one way Barnes Hedgehogs is making life in the big city a little easier for its most prickly residents.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

Big Questions
Where Should You Place the Apostrophe in President's Day?

Happy Presidents’ Day! Or is it President’s Day? Or Presidents Day? What you call the national holiday depends on where you are, who you’re honoring, and how you think we’re celebrating.

Saying "President’s Day" infers that the day belongs to a singular president, such as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, whose birthdays are the basis for the holiday. On the other hand, referring to it as "Presidents’ Day" means that the day belongs to all of the presidents—that it’s their day collectively. Finally, calling the day "Presidents Day"—plural with no apostrophe—would indicate that we’re honoring all POTUSes past and present (yes, even Andrew Johnson), but that no one president actually owns the day.

You would think that in the nearly 140 years since "Washington’s Birthday" was declared a holiday in 1879, someone would have officially declared a way to spell the day. But in fact, even the White House itself hasn’t chosen a single variation for its style guide. They spelled it “President’s Day” here and “Presidents’ Day” here.

Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Maybe that indecision comes from the fact that Presidents Day isn’t even a federal holiday. The federal holiday is technically still called “Washington’s Birthday,” and states can choose to call it whatever they want. Some states, like Iowa, don’t officially acknowledge the day at all. And the location of the punctuation mark is a moot point when individual states choose to call it something else entirely, like “George Washington’s Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day” in Arkansas, or “Birthdays of George Washington/Thomas Jefferson” in Alabama. (Alabama loves to split birthday celebrations, by the way; the third Monday in January celebrates both Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert E. Lee.)

You can look to official grammar sources to declare the right way, but even they don’t agree. The AP Stylebook prefers “Presidents Day,” while Chicago Style uses “Presidents’ Day.”

The bottom line: There’s no rhyme or reason to any of it. Go with what feels right. And even then, if you’re in one of those states that has chosen to spell it “President’s Day”—Washington, for example—and you use one of the grammar book stylings instead, you’re still technically wrong.

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