Friday, October 27, 2006

The weird, the whacky and the wonderful

Just a few tidbits that have been floating around on my computer.

The Weird

Try and figure out what this is...photographed under an electon microscope.

A snowflake!

The Whacky

What's the inevitable result of detonating a nuclear bomb? Sex, of course.

A surge in condom sales and bookings at South Korea's ubiquitous pay-by-the-hour "love motels" suggest the country's nervous citizens may be seeking solace in each other's arms after North Korea's nuclear test.

A leading chain of convenience stores reported Thursday that their condom sales rose to an average of 1,930 a day in the week after Oct. 9, compared to 1,508 a day for the year to Sept. 30.

A popular online reservation site for business hotels and the infamous "love motels" — the popular name for lodgings built for clandestine rendezvous — also reported a sharp rise in bookings after Oct. 9 and has no vacancies until next month.

The Wonderful

Charles Darwin's writings are being published online courtesy of the University of Cambridge.

This site contains every Darwin publication as well as many of his handwritten manuscripts. All told there are more than 50,000 searchable text pages and 40,000 images. There is also the most comprehensive Darwin bibliography ever published and the largest manuscript catalogue ever assembled. More than 150 ancillary texts are also included, ranging from reference works to contemporary reviews, obituaries, descriptions of Darwin's Beagle specimens and important works for understanding Darwin's context.

Most of the works on this site appear online for the first time such as the first editions of
Journal of Researches, Descent of Man, Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle and all six editions of the Origin of species (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th). There are many never before published manuscripts such as Darwin's Beagle field notebooks and complete images of his early theoretical notebooks.

Many of the books belonged to Darwin's family or are signed by him. See for example
The life of Erasmus Darwin, Coral reefs or Variation.

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