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May 18, 2014

Welcome to the restricted Russian village of Dikson

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From EnglishRussia:

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"Dikson is the most northern port in Russia and one of the northernmost settlements in the world. It is located so far north that one may experience complete darkness with no... twilight from the 8th of December to the 5th of January. In most major settlements north of the Arctic Circle, there is still substantial twilight during the polar night at midday. Dickson is also one of the most isolated settlements in the world. The village was named after a Swedish explorer."

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The most common transport is a cross-country vehicle (above).

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The easiest way to travel to Dikson is by helicopter.

"Dikson's inhabitants informally call their settlement the 'Capital of the Arctic,' a name taken from a popular Soviet song."

"Common citizens of Russia can't go there without a special pass."

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Many more pictures and descriptions here.

May 18, 2014 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ultra-Portable Sleeping Bag

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"Turn any location you visit into an impromptu campsite with this ultra-portable sleeping bag. Apart from being lightweight, the sleeping bag features a unique design that allows it to be bundled into a packet small enough to fit in the palm of your hand."

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$319.

May 18, 2014 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Let us now praise Bill Knott

John Williams, in the March 28 New York Times Book Review, had this to say about him:

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Remembering a Playful Poet

The mischievous poet Bill Knott, who died on March 12 at 74, had died at least once before. In 1966, Knott circulated fake news of his suicide. Two years later, a book of poems published under the pen name Saint Geraud included an introduction that explained the author was really Knott, who was "alive and writing today (although the poet tells me that he would rather have this not known)."

Knott made all his work available online at no cost; kept a blog [entitled "a few hundred of the thousands of rejection slips I've gotten over the years"] showing dozens of the rejection letters he received over the years;

Cream etcet reject

and posted readings of his poems on YouTube, the shaky camera showing pages rather than Knott's face. ("Nobody needs another stupid poem about humanity or humankind's estrangement from nature," he says in one clip, before reading "Ant Dodger" [top], a poem he describes as just that.)

His early poem "Death," in its entirety: "Going to sleep, I cross my hands on my chest. / They will place my hands like this. / It will look as though I am flying into myself."

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His Amazon page is here.

Below, the late poet.

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May 18, 2014 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Abraham Lincoln Penny Portrait

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From the website:

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Honor the 16th U.S. President with a portrait of Honest Abe himself made entirely from one cent coins.

The Penny Portrait includes a poster template that guides you in creating a strikingly accurate portrait using only four shades of pennies.

Simply gather $8.46 worth of pennies and glue them to the included poster to create a unique and sparkling tribute.

The set includes detailed instructions, a 12-page booklet of Lincoln trivia, and a genuine 1943 steel penny (produced for only one year to conserve copper during WWII).

The completed Lincoln Penny Portrait is 18" x 24".

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$19.99 (just so it's crystal clear, the 846 pennies required to create your masterwork are not included).

May 18, 2014 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Most popular names in Sweden in 2011

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Yo Pippi, they're playing your song.

[via Behind the Name]

May 18, 2014 at 04:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

DNA Time Capsule

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From The Green Head:

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Cryogenically freezing your body after death probably won't bring you back in the future and it's obviously super expensive, but you can store and preserve your DNA for over a hundred years inside this cool new DNA Time Capsule. If humans, asteroids, supernova, supervolcanoes, or something worse doesn't destroy the planet in the next hundred years, it's very possible that your perfectly preserved DNA — your genetic fingerprint — inside this little capsule can be used to clone your body (with upgrades) so you can sort of live again, let family remember you in a more unique way than a jar of ashes, be used as the missing key in some utterly disturbing future biotech breakthrough, or maybe for something incredible that is yet to be discovered.

To use, it requires a blood sample which is then stored inside the triple-sealed time capsule using a synthetic chemical matrix that stabilizes DNA at room temperature. This innovative matrix formulation is based on the natural principles of anhydrobiosis — AKA Life Without Water — and should keep the blood sample preserved for up to 100 years. It's not quite as effective as the legendary carbon-freezing technique employed at Cloud City on planet Bespin but here on Earth, it's good enough for now.  

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From Hammacher Schlemmer's website:

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This patented triple-sealed time capsule securely stores your genetic fingerprint for use by future generations. Preserving one's DNA in the present enables future scientific advances to reveal any predispositions to disease — currently undetectable by today's methods — a family's genetic makeup may bear. Dispensing with the need for long-term refrigerated storage in a lab, a chemical matrix of dissolvable compounds stabilizes DNA within a blood sample at room temperature (blood provides a higher quality and quantity of DNA than samples taken from cheek swabs), preserving the sample for over 100 years. A blood sample can be taken at your preferred medical facility or using the included kit. Once a sample is secured within the capsule, it can be stored within a home or bank lock box for decades until one's progeny submits it for genetic analysis.

4"H x 3-1/2" diameter.

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$299.95 (blood not included).

May 18, 2014 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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