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Installment #31: After the Russian and French general staffs met in Paris in July 1912, French Prime Minister Raymond Poincaré (above, at right) followed up with a trip of his own to St. Petersburg, where he met Tsar Nicholas II and Russian foreign minister Sergei Sazonov. Poincaré’s overriding goal during his visit to St. Petersburg was to further secure the Franco-Russian Alliance, for domestic as well as foreign policy reasons
Sadly I don't read as many books as I used to. I grew up an incorrigible bookworm, but so much time now is taken up with TV and internet (forsooth!). This tongue-in-cheek article on how to read a Victorian novel, however, has reminded me of their joy and made me want to settle down again with my old friends. * Play the game of evolution. The controls are pretty complicated (or, can be), but there's a ton to observe within it! * Check out this beautifully eerie short film that spawned Beasts of the
An interesting article as the NFL season starts to rev up about why it's getting harder and harder to watch and support football. As a die-hard Falcons fan, it's a difficult question to wrestle with. Though overall I think its dominance in our culture is underestimated in this article. * Cool stuff here-- "The Guardian Eyewitness app for iPad has seen nearly a million downloads since its launch in April 2010. As the app relaunches, we list the top 10 most popular and most shared images from the past
An October surprise is any bit of news that breaks right before an election that has the capability to help determine the outcome of the race. Since voters are often swayed by these revelations, the right October surprise can swing a losing campaign right into White House. Here are a few notable examples.1968: LBJ calls off the bombs.The 1968 race between Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey looked like it would be an electoral rout. Nixon successfully ferreted away Southern Democrats who
Shark Week might be over, but the truly horrific creatures in the bottom of the sea don't need a week of TV to remind people how scary they are. With such massively deep and large oceans spread across the globe, it's no wonder there are so many mysterious and strange creatures lurking below the waves. In fact, some species we thought were extinct, like the frilled shark at the top of the montage, have actually just gone unseen for long periods of time. For photos and information on more great, and
In case you weren't obsessively refreshing all week, here's what you
The World Mobile Phone Throwing Championship took place yesterday in the small town of Savonlinna, Finland. In this international, no-holds-barred competition, people from across the globe throw phones as far as possible to win the sought-after grand prize – a new phone. The Rules Contestants can’t actually use their own phones (which is probably for the best). Instead, they must select one of the models provided by the organizers. Choosing the perfect phone requires a lot of strategy. There’s a
Ah, sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.
This week, Nintendo released "New" Super Mario Bros. 2. But "Old" Super Mario Bros. 2 isn't what you think it is. Here's the odd story of how Nintendo crammed Mario into places he was never meant to be. Super Mario Bros. 1
Back to School Boot Camp. Pay attention: do not eat paste, and do not take your pants off. * Fight Songs: Eleven Great Musician-Politician Campaign Feuds. Before selecting your campaign music, better check out the politics of the musicians. * Finally, an honest trailer for The Hunger Games. I learned more about the story from this than I ever did from my kids. * Tips for backing up your Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, and why that's something people should do. * A couple of three-week-old
Eugenol, the active ingredient in clove oil, is the culprit. Clove oil has been used to numb toothache pain since Medieval times. The ancient Chinese also routinely chewed cloves to freshen their breath before talking to the emperor.Cloves are the unopened, dried buds of the myrtle tree. The bud oil is the premium product and is used as a food seasoning and in perfumes. The leaf oil is not usually used in its crude form, but is further processed to isolate the eugenol. Eugenol is still used as a
The Good, the Bad, and the Jedi Star Wars posters are given a spaghetti western twist. * Jon Daly = John Daly The hilarious comedian Jon Daly is slowly morphing into famous golfer/gambler/partier John Daly. And he hopes Google will take note. Also, years ago I took an improv class from Jon Daly and he’s a helluva nice guy. * Magic Spells & Potions Go Poof From eBay, that is. I know one website that’s going to start having hexes placed on it rather
There’s a reason it’s called Death Valley. This vast expanse of the Mojave Desert gets less than 2 inches of rain per year, the daytime temperatures can reach upwards of 120 degrees, and the landscape is so salt-laden and windswept that it’s nearly impossible for anything to take root. But there’s more life in Death Valley than you’d imagine. Here are 10 stubborn plants and animals that refuse to retire to greener pastures. 1. The Rat with a Drinking Problem Like many Death Valley
If you’re looking for an excuse to host an impromptu Monday get-together, why not throw a birthday bash for America's last bearded president? Today happens to be Benjamin Harrison’s 179th. Here are 11 party-planning tips that’ll help you set the scene for an epic celebration. 1. Leave the Lights On It is imperative that your rave be well-lit. Benjamin Harrison was the first president to have electricity installed in the White House. He was so afraid of being electrocuted that he refused to touch
Facebook celebrated 8 years this February, and in that time it has become a household name. As with any cultural phenomenon, it's the subject of songs and parodies. While some of these scenarios are now out-dated (Facebook has changed a lot in 8 years!), these are still some of our favorite videos about the social networking site. Warning: Some of these videos contain adult/foul language. Facebook Manners The sex and relationships site YourTango created this retro video to humorously illustrate
Pioneer comedian Phyllis Diller died yesterday at age 95. If you're not familiar with her schtick, be thankful there are plenty of recordings like this 1969 clip of Diller with Liberace. * What games did you play as a kid? I bet you played quite a few of these. * Forrest Fenn is a real-life Indiana Jones character, except much wealthier. His bizarre scheme to turn his own burial into a treasure hunt may bring him more fame than anything else he's done. * Any Day Is A Good Day For A Bill Murray
While I may be a tattooed professional blogger, I’ve never been driven to get a tattoo of something related to the internet—especially given how fast things fizzle out online. These folks don’t seem to mind the short shelf-life of most websites, though. Here are 11 people with internet-related tattoos.1. Reddit Star
Over the years, you've been subjected treated to tales from my garden. We've had posts about tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, pumpkins (actually two about pumpkins), and corn. Well, not about my corn, but my corn didn't do too well this year. What did well this year was beans. I hadn't grown beans in quite a few years because the rabbits in my old neighborhood loved them. They probably would have enjoyed the beans, but they couldn't wait that long and ate the plants as soon as they sprouted. But the only
Maybe you’ve heard a bad bottle of wine being described as “corked.” This is the fault of TCA, a chemical compound that contaminates wine barrels and corks, giving vino an odor similar to Grandma’s dirty basement or a wet dog. Corked wine isn’t pleasant, but it certainly sounds more appealing than a bottle filled with witch pee—reportedly a common problem in 16th century Italy, when people thought that witches, after retiring from their midnight parties on the Satanic Sabbath, would break into