Daily Archives: October 20, 2009

The Bible says “If ye take a man’s rifle and beat him to death with it, ye shall be put to death” … in Texas.

Back in the 1990s, Khristian Oliver (that’s an interesting name) was robbing a man’s home. That man had a rifle to defend his home from robbers, but Khristian took the rifle from him, shot him in the face, and then used the rifle to beat him to death. In this way, the murdered man became one more example of how useful it is to own guns to defend yourself.

But that’s not the interesting part of this story.
Continue reading The Bible says “If ye take a man’s rifle and beat him to death with it, ye shall be put to death” … in Texas.

Dispatches from the International Robotic Explorers League

Consisting of the many and varied robotic spacecraft exploring our Solar System and parts beyond, the IREL soldiers on tirelessly, often in obscurity and in conditions that would make even the most hardy of human beings question their resolve, all to provide us with the data necessary to enhance our understanding of the Universe. They may only be robots, but they give every ounce of circuitry in the service of completing their missions, in many cases going above and beyond the call of duty to return useful measurements long after their designed operational lifetimes. Join me now as we take a look around the league.

… and Essay at Quiche Moraine.

Bees Make Elephants Beat It


I took this photograph not using a telephoto lens, and not using angry bees for protection. But there was a 5 meter high electrified concrete and steel fence.

But for how long? Consider this report on PhysOrg:

Elephants’ fear of angry bees could help to protect them from PhysOrg.com
At a time when encroaching human development in former wildlife areas has compressed African elephants into ever smaller home ranges and increased levels of human-elephant conflict, a study in the October 9th issue of Current Biology suggests that strategically placed beehives might offer a low-tech elephant deterrent and conservation measure.

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Continue reading Bees Make Elephants Beat It

How Young is the Grand Canyon?

To answer that question briefly, it is really really old if you mean “how old are the oldest rocks that are exposed by the Grand Canyon,” and it is probably just a few million years old (5 or 6 by some estimates) if you mean “how long did the canyon itself take to form.”


An African peneplain elevated by doming along the Eastern Rift Valley. The original surface, once flat but now raised as “mountains” in the distance, is shown by the dotted line.

Continue reading How Young is the Grand Canyon?