Under the 1729 Treaty of Seville, the British had agreed not to trade with the Spanish colonies. To verify the treaty, the Spanish were permitted to board British vessels in Spanish waters. After one such incident in 1731, Robert Jenkins, captain of the ship Rebecca, claimed that the Spanish coast guard had severed his ear. The British government, which was determined to continue its drive toward commercial and military domination of the Atlantic basin, used this incident as an excuse to wage war against Spain in the Caribbean. In 1738 Jenkins exhibited his pickled ear to the House of Commons, whipping up war fever against Spain. To much cheering, the British Prime Minister, Robert Walpole, reluctantly declared war on 23 October 1739.
last.fm is great, but I think this screencap says a lot about the geekiness of their target users
Speaks for itself. How much hassle would it be to change my name by deed poll?
The Schmidt Sting Pain Index or The Justin O. Schmidt Pain Index is a pain scale rating the relative pain caused by different Hymenopteran stings. It is mainly the work of Justin O. Schmidt, an entomologist for whom the index is named. Schmidt has published a number of papers on the subject and claims to have been stung by the majority of stinging Hymenoptera.
Notably, Schmidt described some of the experiences in vivid and colorful detail:
- 1.0 Sweat bee: Light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm.
- 1.2 Fire ant: Sharp, sudden, mildly alarming. Like walking across a shag carpet & reaching for the light switch.
- 1.8 Bullhorn acacia ant: A rare, piercing, elevated sort of pain. Someone has fired a staple into your cheek.
- 2.0 Bald-faced hornet: Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy. Similar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door.
- 2.0 Yellowjacket: Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine W. C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue.
- 2.x Honey bee and European hornet: Like a matchhead that flips off and burns on your skin.
- 3.0 Red harvester ant: Bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail.
- 3.0 Paper wasp: Caustic & burning. Distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of Hydrochloric acid on a paper cut.
- 4.0 Pepsis wasp: Blinding, fierce, shockingly electric. A running hair drier has been dropped into your bubble bath (if you get stung by one you might as well lie down and scream).
- 4.0+ Bullet ant: Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch nail in your heel.
This blog hasn’t seen so much excitement since… well… ever. Though to be honest, if you class this as excitement, you need to get out more.
(Note to self: Get out more)
So I’m sure WordPress 2.3 is wonderful and all (ooh, tags. how Web 2.0) but it takes too long to install. At least for me. Maybe it wouldn’t if I was actually as technically competent as I like to think, and if I actually updated my web stuff enough to start learning my way round. As it is I spend most of my time trying to remember/guess usernames and passwords that I never use. Hint: don’t pick an online pseudonym with a space in, it only causes headaches jumping between “the wub”, “the_wub”, “the-wub”, “thewub” and whatever other manglings you come up with to fit various username limitations.
While installing wp 2.3, I found that backing up my old directory took aaages. Turns out I’d installed about 6 gazillion themes while trying to select one before (and stuck with the previous boring one, I know *rolleyes*). Anyway ironically this new one isn’t one of them, I just found it on a website. It suits me fine though, or at least does in my current vaguely optimistic mood. And I really can’t be bothered to design my own theme at the moment, it’ll certainly never look this good. (As I said, only vaguely optimistic)
Well, that’s new software and a new theme. What else is new on the blog? Well, this post, but I can’t say much about that because I’m still writing it. I hope it thrills and amuses everyone who reads it. So that means web spiders. I think more blogs should cater specially to web spiders. They must get pretty bored browsing the web all the time, and coming across all this human focused blogging. Hello web spiders, here is some friendly binary: 100101110001010101110101101. I hope that didn’t inadvertantly insult your mothers.
I can’t believe the amount of comment spam this blog is getting. Here are some gems:
- “Hello Sirs, I’m very sorry for my post” followed by a tonne of links. I like the idea that some guy out there is being forced to post these links against his will and is actually remorseful.
- “Hello. TFXVRA5 [url=http//www.tTFXVRA3.com] TFXVRA6 [/url] Thanks”. Shame. I wanted a TFXVRA7.
- “cheep checks… Shoots assortment of cheep checks from supercooled nitrogen to superheated liquor….” I have no idea, but it does sound pretty cool.
- “power transformer cooling design… This is the head stretch in my entity that power transformer cooling design board has invoked feelings of sexual draw from unfathomable within my loins….” Oh dear. See also Quantum Fetish Mechanics
Fascinating article from Wired about hacking senses to create new ones.
One ape discovered that eating the fresh brain of one’s own kind increases the sexual impulses. He and his descendants became addicted to brains and hunted for them. It was not until later that they noticed that their intelligence increased as a result. The outcome of this process is HOMO SAPIENS.
– The Beginning was the End, p. 37