But what about splinters???

I’m intrigued by several reports that scientists have succeeded in transforming wood into bone, suitable for use in sheep at present, and hopefully to be used in humans in future. Discovery News reports: A new procedure to turn blocks of wood into artificial bones has been developed by Italian scientists, who plan to implant them into large animals, and eventually humans. Wood-derived bone substitute should allow live bones to heal faster and more securely after a break than currently available metal and ceramic implants. The researchers chose wood because it closely resemble the physical structure of natural bone, “which is

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First warm-and-fuzzy post for 2010

Just to get you in a romantic mood for the New Year weekend, here’s a video of a rather unique proposal. Kim Perez, an announcer on the Weather Channel, probably expected her on-camera appearance that evening to be the normal sort of thing. However, her boyfriend, Marty Cunningham, had other ideas. He arranged with the Weather Channel to have appropriate music played and some special video backdrops displayed, and popped the question on the air! All together, now . . . Awwww! Peter

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What’s the straight skinny on eggs and cholesterol?

I like eggs. I could eat a couple of dozen a week, given free rein. However, I’ve always restrained myself because many people – including doctors – insist that eggs in quantity are bad for you, boosting the production of the ‘bad sort’ of cholesterol. After my heart attack in October, I was put on a strict ration of no more than two eggs per week, for precisely that reason. Now, however, I find an article from earlier this year on the BBC Web site debunking the ‘egg myth’. A University of Surrey team said their work suggested most people

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What makes people do stuff like this???

A few weeks ago I wrote about two sexual deviants, and pointed out the potential dangers of their behavior. One, in particular, was a repeat offender with a horse. Today comes a report of another ‘rapscallion with a stallion’ – or, at least, a series of fillies. Erick Rivera just couldn’t take his mind off those fillies next door. At least a dozen times since July, the 18-year-old man crept from his rented room in an inn overlooking the Goshen Historic Track and had his way with his equine neighbors, Village of Goshen police have concluded after a six-month-long investigation.

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Happy 2nd birthday to this blog!

On January 1st, 2008, at 8.11 p.m., the first entry was made on this blog. In its first year, it grew slowly but steadily. On its first anniversary last year, it had received 288,711 visits. Over the past year, growth has been fairly explosive. As of 8.11 p.m. this evening, January 1st, 2010, this blog has had 922,718 visits and 1,377,298 page views. At that rate, the millionth visitor will arrive within a few weeks. I must admit, I never expected so rapid a growth in readership when I started this blog: but I’m very pleased to have had your

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When ideology becomes a disease

Via PawPaw’s House, I learned of a letter in the Boston Globe that simply flabberghasts me. I’m going to quote a few paragraphs from it (printed in italics), and respond to each in turn. Current school security procedures lock down school populations in the event of armed assault. Some advocate abandoning this practice as it holds everyone in place, allowing a shooter easily to find victims. An alternative to lockdown is immediate exodus via announcement. Although this removes potential hostages and makes it nearly impossible for the shooter to acquire preselected targets, it unfairly rewards resourceful children who move to

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Seventy-five years of the swept wing

Seventy-five years ago (from 2010), the technology of swept wings was first mooted in Germany. The German Aerospace Center reports: In the 1930s, the fastest aircraft of the time hit an invisible limit: the sound barrier. As soon as aircraft came anywhere near this barrier, they became increasingly difficult to control. The rudders stopped responding, the wings began to vibrate and the whole aircraft was thoroughly shaken up. Aircraft frequently crashed as a consequence. Because of this, many researchers believed that sustained flight speeds of 800 to 900 kilometres per hour, commonplace today, were impossible. In 1935, Adolf Busemann, who

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When taxes mean dying later – or earlier

I’m bemused by a report in the Wall Street Journal. Nothing’s certain except death and taxes — but a temporary lapse in the estate tax is causing a few wealthy Americans to try to bend those rules. Starting Jan. 1, the estate tax — which can erase nearly half of a wealthy person’s estate — goes away for a year. For families facing end-of-life decisions in the immediate future, the change is making one of life’s most trying episodes only more complex. “I have two clients on life support, and the families are struggling with whether to continue heroic measures

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