Mandelbrot

Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line.
Mandelbrot, in his introduction to The Fractal Geometry of Nature

Dark Flow

Patches of matter in the universe seem to be moving at very high speeds and in a uniform direction that can’t be explained by any of the known gravitational forces in the observable universe. Astronomers are calling the phenomenon “dark flow.”

The stuff that’s pulling this matter must be outside the observable universe, researchers conclude.

When scientists talk about the observable universe, they don’t just mean as far out as the eye, or even the most powerful telescope, can see. In fact there’s a fundamental limit to how much of the universe we could ever observe, no matter how advanced our visual instruments. The universe is thought to have formed about 13.7 billion years ago. So even if light started travelling toward us immediately after the Big Bang, the farthest it could ever get is 13.7 billion light-years in distance. There may be parts of the universe that are farther away (we can’t know how big the whole universe is), but we can’t see farther than light could travel over the entire age of the universe. wow! More here .

Bedbugs.

This was posted on a mailing list. Some people have way to much
time on there hands:

Bedbugs. They’re now in the best hotels in North America and Asian.

And they are really terribly horribly hard to get rid of – especially
if you bring them home. A tenant down the hall from me did that on one
of his trips and it resulted in me having to toss out my entire bed and
guest bed, doing more than 40 loads of laundry, sticking a *lot* of my
stuff in clear plastic bags for months on end (including daily-use
clothes, towels, unused pillows, etc.) and it was *months* of agonizing
sleepless nights because I would get, literally, eaten at night by the
things. And this wasn’t even considered an ‘infestation’ because *I*
caught on to what the bites were long before the other signs (marks on
bedsheets and along mattress seams).

Oh, my household insurance didn’t cover the costs (opver $1,000),
either. The only blessing is that my landlord was quick and the
exterminators must have done really well in ‘calm clients down’
class… .

So now when I travel, I make sure everything gets zipped up in those
zip-loc bags, the luggage is *never* around the bed or put *on* the bed
(since that’s always the epicentre of bedbugville), I only take out
when I need when I need it and everything stays packed in those
zip-locs… including knapsacks, camera bags, etc. before things get
dark at night or if there’s not a lot of light in the room during the
day. Bedbugs move around at night mostly and darned if I’m going to be
giving them a lift when they crawl into seams and the interiors of
available bags.

If I have even the remotest thought that I’ve been bitten, I notify the
hotel staff and check out and TAKE PRECAUTIONS before checking into a
new hotel (I won’t bore you with those).

Zip-locs! They come in a variety of sizes (including some big enough
for mid-sized backpacks) and they’re sanity-savers.