Ancestry of First Americans   …   The genes of a boy who died 12,600 years ago show that all indigenous people in the Americas seem to be descended from the same group of ancestors.



YIKÁÍSDÁHÁ   …   Navajo for Milky Way or “That Which Awaits the Dawn.”  A great bit of video, with matching soundtrack.  Turn the Kids loose with a camera, Folks.

Aurora, Meteors, Planets, Stars, and Space   …   ‘The Alpha Capricornids are active from July 11 through August with a “plateau-like” maximum centered on July 29. This shower is not very strong and rarely produces in excess of five shower members per hour. What is notable about this shower is the number of bright fireballs produced during its activity period.’ (AMS)


Geologic Map of Meteor Crater, Arizona

Swedish space rock may be piece of early life puzzle   …   About 515 million years ago, our planet was going through an evolutionary slump. A burst of diversity that happened during the Cambrian period had tapered off, and few new types of animals were emerging. Mysteriously, about 25 million years later life sprang back into action in the early part of the Ordovician, generating loads of species. So what triggered the second explosion?

Fossil meteorites from the quarry suggest that during this time, impacts were tens to hundreds of times more frequent than they are today. The meteorites may have been born when two asteroids collided and broke apart between Mars and Jupiter. The larger object spawned the cloud of L chondrites that bombarded Earth for about 10 million years. According to one popular idea, this intense meteor shower caused just enough destruction to open up ecological niches and drive life to diversify into a richer assortment. But the fate and identity of the smaller asteroid has long been a mystery.



Charles Darwin’s Beagle Library   …   “As a research vessel HMS Beagle may not have had the internet, but she did have an impressive state-of-the-art library of about 400 volumes.

The library was housed in book cases in the poop cabin at the stern of the ship, which was also Darwin’s cabin.  Thus, Darwin lived and worked in the Beagle library for five years.” [This site presents the books that Darwin read on the Beagle voyage, and much more.]



ICA Commission on Map Design   …   See the world in a different way.

England, Edwardian Era around 1900   …   Take a trip back in time.  The music is “Chanson du Soir” and “Arco Noir” from Harvey’s Strings of Sorrow album.


The Crypt of Civilization   …   Sealed in 1940.  To be opened in 8113.  The Crypt of Civilization chamber is positioned on Appalachian granite bedrock…..  The chamber is under a stone roof seven feet thick and lies over a two-foot stone floor.[2] It is sealed with a stainless steel door welded in place.[1]


Looking for something for the Kids to do on a rainy day?  Make a time capsule.  A well cleaned paint-can makes a sturdy, air-tight, container.  Use the handle to hang it up in the rafters of a house, or at a Mine Camp.  Guaranteed to make the day of those who find it.  (Grandkids, maybe?)

Time In A Bottle (Jim Croce)



The Golden Record on Voyager 1 & 2   …   Perhaps the ultimate Time Capsules.  Certainly the farthest away.

Spacecraft electrical power is supplied by Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) that provided approximately 470 w of 30 volt DC power at launch. Due to the natural radioactive decay of the Plutonium fuel source, the electrical energy provided by the RTGs is continually declining. At the beginning of 2008, the power generated by Voyager 1 had dropped to ~ 285 w and to~ 287 w for Voyager 2. Both of these power levels represent better performance than the pre-launch predictions, which included a conservative degradation model for the bi-metallic thermocouples used to convert thermal energy into electrical energy. As the electrical power becomes less and less, power loads on the spacecraft must be turned off in order to avoid having demand exceed supply. 

Voyager Theme (Jerry Goldsmith)

For Debate   …   Do YOU have an opinion?  (This is a “rhetorical” question.)  Do you know the facts?  Can you be persuasive?  Could you be … mistaken?

Weird News   …   You know you wanna know.

Ig Nobel Awards for Improbable Research

  • PEACE PRIZE: Richard Stephens, John Atkins, and Andrew Kingston of Keele University, UK, for confirming the widely held belief that swearing relieves pain.  Reference: “Swearing as a Response to Pain,” Richard Stephens, John Atkins, and Andrew Kingston, Neuroreport, vol. 20 , no. 12, 2009, pp. 1056-60.


The Opinion Pages   …   Read some outlandishly wacky opinions, and then submit your own. 

Writing Resources


Bear Mountain Trails Project:  Stone Masonry

  • Which communities in northern Saskatchewan have stone supplies suitable for masonry?
  • How much would it cost to run a Basic Stone Masonry Training Program in these communities?
  • To what extent would Stone Masonry knowledge and skills be transferable to Mining Occupations?  


Amazing Stone Masonry   …   How to split a stone block in 60 seconds, using hand tools.  [How many OHS concerns can you identify?]

Songs of the Stonemason   …   Get rhythm, and get happy.

Stone Mason Builds Traditional Walls   …   Dry Fit Masonry uses no mortar, and will outlast YOU.

Stone Project   …   Wondering what else can be done with stone, and how to do it?  Check this out.



Balikligol Statue   …   One of the oldest known statues at 13,500 year old. This 2m-tall cream-coloured limestone effigy with obsidian eyes, is the oldest human statue in the world, dated at 10,000 BC. It was officially named the Balikligol Statue (nicknamed the Snowman by the press) and had been neglectfully displayed on a out-of-the-way shelf in a local museum for some years before its full importance was recently recognised. It was first discovered in 1993 in the ancient Kurdish city of Sanliurfa in central southern Turkey, when foundations were being laid for a new bank, right next to an historic city attraction ,the Balikli Gol, a beautiful fishpond surrounded by mosques and gardens.



Time to kick cigarette butts – they’re toxic trash   …   By one estimate, around two-thirds of the 6 trillion cigarettes smoked worldwide every year end up being dropped, flicked or dumped into the environment – around 750,000 tonnes in total.     …one cigarette butt soaked in a litre of water for 96 hours leaches out enough toxins to kill half of the fresh or salt water fish exposed to them.     The environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy reported a 43 per cent increase in cigarette littering in England after an indoor smoking ban was introduced in 2007.

Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)  (Asleep at the Wheel)


Comic Strip Library   …   Goofing off that looks like studying History.

Flash Fiction (Singapore)   …   Goofing off that looks like serious Reading.

Periodic Table of Comic Books   …   Goofing off that looks like learning about Chemistry.

Euclid: The Game   …   Goofing off that looks like doing Math.

Best Illusion of the Year Contest   …   Goofing off that looks like Goofing Off.

Super-strong neodymium magnets crushing a man’s hand   …   Goofing off that looks like Danger.

Sleep may help memories form by promoting new synapses   …   This article suggests to me that Workers should have a nap after Training.  Supervisors:  Please schedule your Crews accordingly.  (And slot yourself in for some Training, too.)



Life: Magnified (Online Gallery)   …   This human T cell (blue) is under attack by HIV (yellow), the virus that causes AIDS.  The virus specifically targets T cells, which play a critical role in the body’s immune response against invaders like bacteria and viruses.


Blackfly Song (Wade Hemsworth)   …   Get outside and enjoy the summer, Folks.


In a world full of uncertainties, I trust this finds you well and safe, and enjoying your day.