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July 2, 2019

Pripyat Amusement Park

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Yesterday's "Abandoned Amusement Parks" post engendered one (1) comment, that of Flautist, to wit.:

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Above and below, Pripyat Amusement Park.

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According to Atlas Obscura,

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"The eerily abandoned Pripyat Amusement Park

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was only open one day:

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April 27, 1986, as entertainment

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for those preparing to evacuate the Ukrainian city

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following the April 26 Chernobyl disaster."

July 2, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why birds can sleep on branches and not fall off

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From the Atlantic:

You ever see a bird clutching onto a branch high in a tree and wonder, "What happens if it falls asleep? How could it hold on?" 

The avian talon works through a "pulley system of tendons," according to the animal morphology blog Ars Anatomica, and it can lock into place. 

"The bird's foot closes and grasps automatically as the ankle and knee joints are bent," we read. "This grasp cannot be released until the limb is straightened again."

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So, instead of expending precious energy holding the muscles tight — as you would if you were hanging onto a branch with your fists/arms — the system simply physically locks in place. 

A 1990 paper in Zoomorphology goes into more depth about the biomechanics of the lock, which results from the placement of the tendons and evolved specializations of their texture. 

And, of course, this wondrous anatomical system doesn't just come in handy on telephone wires, but also during attacks:

Raptors swoop down on prey with talons/legs outstretched.

The impact with the prey folds the raptor’s legs against its body, causing the talons to clench automatically, tearing into the prey.

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The automatic grip is strong enough to kill, and is what allows many hawk species to catch and kill other birds in midair.

July 2, 2019 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Worldwide Driving Orientation by Country (2019)

 

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[via Wikipedia]

July 2, 2019 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Time Travel: What Shakespeare really sounded like 400 years ago

From Open Culture: "Linguists reconstruct a 400-year-old accent with remarkable results."

July 2, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Experts' Expert: Cherry Pitter

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Wrote Genevieve Ko, cooking editor of the Los Angeles Times:

I hate cluttering my kitchen with specialty tools, but I'll make space for OXO's cherry pitter.

Sure, you can pit by hand, but I don't want crimson under my nails.

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Or you can try the trick of using a straw to poke out the pit.

I've done it in an effort to not spend $15 on a cherry pitter and ended up staining a $20 shirt with cherry juice.

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I've tested other pitters, but OXO's is the best.

The mechanism shoots out the whole pit with a satisfying bit of violence, like a heavy-duty stapler.

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It works fast and, best of all, has a splatter guard that keeps your kitchen and clothes spotless.

Mine is over a decade old and makes pitting pounds of cherries every summer so enjoyable.

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Red or Black: $13.

July 2, 2019 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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