Archive for October, 2012

New research has revealed that Tyrannosaurs would tear the heads off of Triceratops to get to the tender neck meat.

As Fowler and his colleagues examined the various types of bite mark on the skulls, they were intrigued by the extensive puncture and pull marks on the neck frills on some of the specimens. At first, this seemed to make no sense. “The frill would have been mostly bone and keratin,” says Fowler. “Not much to eat there.” The pulling action and the presence of deep parallel grooves led the team to realise that these marks were probably not indicative of actual eating, but repositioning of the prey. The scientists suggest that the frills were in the way of Tyrannosaurus as it was trying to get at the nutrient-rich neck muscles.

“It’s gruesome, but the easiest way to do this was to pull the head off,” explains Fowler with a grin. The researchers found further evidence to support this idea when they examined the Triceratops occipital condyles — the ball-socket head–neck joint — and found tooth marks there too. Such marks could only have been made if the animal had been decapitated.

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Story: Matt Kaplan, Nature | Photo: Nate Carroll

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beginning with the happy ending

Posted: October 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

The essence of comedy is the triumph of “la forza di natura,” nature over intellect. And the happies tale of all is the odyssey that ends with…Laughter in the house…

…Homer’s Iliad concludes with a funeral, the initial event in what will be the complete disintegration of a society. The flames that consume the pyre of Hector preconfigure the burning of Troy. The odyssey ends with a complete integration of society. Odysseus becomes a father again, embracing Telemachus by the light of the swineherd’s fire, then a husband again, as Penelope joins him at his own hearth. Finally, after a symbolic remarriage, Odysseus fully re-enters the family structure when he again becomes his father’s son. Appropriately, when he reveals himself to the aged Laertes, they embrace and then go into the house- to have dinner. This comic resolution contrasts sharply with what doubtless took place in Achilles’ homeland, for old Peleus was never to see his son again, nor Neoptolemus his father.

The humorous masquerade costume design grotesqueries, for three 1620s French royal ballets, were sketched by Daniel Rabel and are available (in modest size only) via the website of Réunion des musées nationaux et du Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées.–Read More:

the odyssey explicitly rejects Iliadic values, especially the notion that otherworldly glory is in any way glorious. Even Achilles changes his mind. In Book 11, when Odysseus hails him as mightiest among the dead, Achilles retorts bitterly that there is “nthing” in death, that he would rather be a live peasant than a dead king. He then immediately asks about his son and about his father. The Odyssean Achilles speaks the philosophy of the entire poem, which, simply stated, is “Give me Life.”

Not coincidentally, these are the words Falstaff uses to justify his hasty retreat from the battle at Shrewsbury Field. In comedy, where hedonism replaces heroism, Falstaff is a genius, and Hotspur, so like Achilles in his search for glory, is a fool. As Fat Jack reasons:

No. Honor hath no skill in surgery, then? No. What is honor? A word. What is in that word “honor”? What is that “honor”? Air. A trim reckoning. Who hath it? He that died o’ Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. ‘Tis insensible, then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it. Therefore, I’ll none of it. Honor is a mere scutcheon. And so ends my catechism.

—’Henry IV, Part I’, Act V, Scene 4, Falstaff and the Dead Body of Hotspur
by Robert Smirke—Read More:

If the tragic hero dies for what is nobler in the mind, the comic hero lives for what is nobler in the flesh. Hotspr cares for such intangibles as “bright honor,” and would rather dies than see his reputation sullied:

“I better brook the loss of brittle life / Than those proud titles thou hast won of me”

(to be continued)…

—Act Two: Mistress Quickly attempts to have Falstaff arrested for fraud, but he manages (yet again) to talk his way out of it by renewing his promise to marry her, even persuading her to pawn her silver to raise cash. In the meanwhile Hal worries about his father’s illness, but is diverted from attending to state business when Falstaff sends a letter slandering Poins. Poins denies the allegations, and the pair resolve to spy on Falstaff and find out what he is up to. They sn

into the Eastcheap tavern and overhear Falstaff complaining about the Prince while cavorting with Doll Tearsheet. When confronted, Sir John attempts to convince them that he has Hal’s best interests at heart.—Read More:

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Between the years 1750 and 1760 there lived in Kyoto a great painter named Okyo-Maruyama Okyo. His paintings were such as to fetch high prices even i… Read story


June 12, 2012

Hitchcock. Are you kidding me? Oh, hells yes. I will see this. Based on Stephen Rebello’s 1990 classic Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho – a literary deep-dive into Hitch’s low-budget (intentionally budgeted and shot for under $1M because he wanted to one-up the B-movie movement of that time…), black & white (because Hitch knew the film would simply be too damn gory for viewers and censors alike if shot in color…) menacing masterpiece. Scheduled for release on the big screen sometime in 2013 — and starring Sir Anthony Hopkins. You’ve got time, so I recommend that you bone-up now and check out the book beforehand. It’s a great read for Hitchcock (and classic cinema) fans.

Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller “Psycho” was covertly referred to as “Production 9401″ or “Wimpy” — the name Wimpy coming from cameraman, Rex Wimpy, who appeared on clapboards, production sheets, and studio stills. Cast and crew (Hitch borrowed his same crew from his TV series, “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”) were forced to raise their right hand and sworn not to utter a word about the film. Hitchcock even guardedly withheld the climactic ending from the cast all the way up until it was actually shot. via

Alfred Hitchcock had a vacant cast chair marked “Mrs. Bates” placed eerily on the set of his 1960 “Psycho” throughout shooting, and even falsely reported to the press that he was auditioning for the role of Mrs. Bates to further add to the mystery around the film. – Image by © Sunset Boulevard/Corbis

Actress Janet Leigh and Director Alfred Hitchcock on the set of his chilling 1960 masterpiece, “Psycho”. The much-talked-about Janet Leigh bra scenes had a definite method to their mammory madness. In the film, prior to swiping 40K for her lover, the bra is white– symbolzing innocence. After the dirty deed, the bra is black– symboling her crossing over to the dark side. Same with her purse…

A young Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, the role that dogged him for the rest of his acting career. When asked decades later if he would have turned down the role in retrospect, he noted that he’d absolutely do it all over again. “Pyscho” had many bird references– for example, Norman Bates was into stuffing birds (taxidermy, people…), Janet Leigh’s character was named Marion Crane, etc. “The Birds” would be Hitchcock’s next film.

Scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” based on the novel by Robert Bloch, shows Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) by the Bates’ family home. — Image by © Underwood & Underwood/Corbis

The Bates’ house in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film “Psycho” was modeled after Edward Hopper’s 1925 oil painting “House by the Railroad” — shown above in black & white, and hung at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.   

A very young, and handsome Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates in a Paramount Studios still– looking right through the camera with an extremely “Psycho”, cold, and vacant stare.

Director Alfred Hitchcock and actor Anthony Perkins on the set of the 1960′s chiller, “Psycho”.

Actress Janet Leigh on the set of “Psycho” directed by Alfred Hitchcock and released in 1960.

Alfred Hitchcock on the set of his 1960 masterpiece, “Psycho” during the unforgettable shower scene.

The actor, Sir Anthony Hopkins, in makeup as “Psycho” Director extraordinaire– Alfred Hitchcock.

“Ina et Hitchcock Harper’s Bazaar, Hollywood” by Jeanloup Sieff — shot in 1962 with model Ina Balke

“Ina et Hitchcock Harper’s Bazaar, Hollywood” by Jeanloup Sieff — shot in 1962 with model Ina Balke

“Ina et Hitchcock Harper’s Bazaar, Hollywood” by Jeanloup Sieff — shot in 1962 with model Ina Balke

The official “Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho” movie facebook page 

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could you repeat that question?

Posted: October 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

How accurate are polls? ( see link at end)…According to John McLaughlin most polls that favor Obama are based on random calls, not even registered voters, let alone likely voters. He accuses the Obama campaign of pressuring pollsters to produce false results, a tactic that almost won Gore the election in 2000:

The Democrats want to convince [these anti-Obama voters] falsely that Romney will lose to discourage them from voting. So they lobby the pollsters to weight their surveys to emulate the 2008 Democrat-heavy models. They are lobbying them now to affect early voting….Major pollsters have samples with Republican affiliation in the 20 to 30 percent range, at such low levels not seen since the 1960s in states like Virginia, Florida, North Carolina and which then place Obama ahead. The intended effect is to suppress Republican turnout through media polling bias….

—See more Tarantula graphic goodies from Jesse Marinoff Reyes: and David Cowles:—

I think somewhere in the middle is the truth. We have definitely lost the concept of citizenship as a nation. That makes us bad voters. How many have lost it to the point where they’ll vote for a free stuff over the health of the nation is another issue that will be settled in a couple months.( Read More:

…Internal emails between senior officials at The Gallup Organization, obtained by The Daily Caller, show senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod attempting to subtly intimidate the respected polling firm when its numbers were unfavorable to the president.

After Gallup declined to change its polling methodology, Obama’s Department of Justice hit it with an unrelated lawsuit that appears damning on its face.

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Border patrol agents in Patagonia have stumbled across two pieces of ancient pottery which date back 1,000 years.

The agents found one intact ancient pot and a piece of another pot while patrolling in the rugged Patagonia Mountains last week, according to a news release form Customs and Border Protection. Agents notified U.S. Forest Service officials, who took the artifacts to a local facility for further study.

After initial inspection, the Forest Service believes the pot is genuine, and could date back to as much as 1,000 years.

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Story: News 4 Tucson | Photo: News 4 Tucson

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The largest number of skulls found in one offering have been uncovered at Templo Mayor in Mexico City.

The 50 skulls were found at one sacrificial stone. Five were buried under the stone, and each had holes on both sides — signaling they were hung on a skull rack.

Archaeologist Raul Barrera of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History said the other 45 skulls appeared to have just been dumped on top of the stone.

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Story: USA Today | Photo: Ronaldo Schemidt, AFP

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