Monthly Archives: March 2009

Yeti Found, Verified

The authorities of the Russian town of Kemerovo arranged a special expedition to find the yeti habitat which was discovered by Google maps.

Recently there have been more than 20 claims from the local hunters who said they had seen strange creatures in the forests. These creatures resembled yeti. After the claims from the local hunters Kemerovo authorities decided to create the team of scientists for yeti searches.

The expedition turned to be successful. Scientists managed to find ‘fresh’ yeti footprints in the Azassky cave.

Scientists found two identical yeti footprints. One of them was left on the rock and it dates back 5,000 years ago, and the other footprint which was left not long ago was found at the bottom of the cave.

“They are absolutely identical. Five thousand years ago yetis settled down in this cave and now their descendants are still living here.

Source: Pravda

Sudden movement in the Franken-Coleman Senate Race Recount

The judicial panel that has been off somewhere deciding what to do about the Coleman election challenge has ordered 400 additional ballots opened and counted on April 7th.

If (and we do not know this for a fact) these are THE remaining ballots to count, them Coleman would have to get a statistically unlikely majority to overtake Franken’s lead of 225 votes. I suppose this is possible. So I suppose we’ll be sitting on the edges of our respective seats for the next week.

There does not seem to be any systematic meaningful bias in which candidate is likely to come out ahead in this group. The mix of 400 ballots includes both Coleman-supported and Franken supported absentee ballots.

I understand that there is a news conference being held right now, and I’m checking on that … will report back if anything new developes.

UPDATE: From the Franken Lawyer’s news conference: It turns out that the court intends to look at a subset of the ballots and THEN determine which will be opened. We do now know what percentage of the ballots make up this subset, or what their characteristics might be.

This is important: There are at least two other issues that have not addressed by the court and that the court may still chose to address. So this may be complicated.


What do these 400 votes have to look like for Coleman to win? If we assume that they represent a random subset of votes, we can guess that 60 are Barkely votes (the third party candidate). This leaves 340 votes.

Then, Coleman has to get 225 votes, which is about 66 percent. Coleman would have to win this tiny mini election by a landslide.

So, if he does win it by a landslide, that would pretty much mean that he cheated.

We’ll see how this goes…

sources: MN progressive, Strib

It may not be safe to drink the water

Polycarbonate water bottles have received plenty of bad press for releasing potentially toxic compounds into unsuspecting drinkers, but there may be another culprit: everyday plastic packaging.

A German study of commercially-available bottled water found contamination by chemicals that mimic natural sex hormones. When the researchers raised snails in the water, they bred with extreme rapidity — a warning sign that the chemicals were active. Contamination levels were twice as high in brands packaged in plastic instead of glass, suggesting that plastic was the culprit.

Wired Science

Six Bonobos Die in Sanctuary


Six bonobos, a species of chimpanzee, have died from a flu epidemic in a month at the Lola Ya Bonobo in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Ten more have contracted the flu.

These are apes in a rehab center, and apparently the flu (we’ll assume for the moment that the diagnosis is accurate, but keep in mind that the term “flu” has different meanings in different parts of the world) hits hard and the animal dies in a few days after showing symptoms.

Details here.

What you ‘get’ is what you see.


The caption of this photograph at The Guardian says only, “Nowruz celebrations in Afghanistan.” Nowruz is the name of the Iranian New Year, which is celebrated in a number of countries by people of several faiths. The baskets of dried fruits eaten during the holiday provide the only visual connection to the colorful festivities, and you have to know more than the paper tells you to see that. For many viewers, this will a thoroughly conventional image of the Middle East.

How do you view a photograph when the ethnicity represented is the context? How do you view a photograph when the ethnicity is unexpected? For instance, if you were told that this photograph was taken in Des Moines Iowa, or if you were shown a photo of people putting chicken skewers on the barbie and told it was from Iran?

Read this interesting piece by Robert Hariman on “The Street, A Park, and the Unseen Middle East.”