Sunday, April 25, 2010
Excalibur is the legendary sword of King Arthur, sometimes attributed with magical powers or associated with the rightful sovereignty of Great Britain. Sometimes Excalibur and the Sword in the Stone (the proof of Arthur’s lineage) are said to be the same weapon, but in most versions they are considered separate. The sword was associated with the Arthurian legend very early. In Welsh, the sword is called Caledfwlch.
There are two swords that appear in Arthurian legends: the Sword in the Stone, which only Arthur could wield, thereby proving his rightful kingship; and the sword given to him by the Lady of the Lake. In some versions there is only one sword, while in others, the Sword in Stone is broken and later Arthur receives Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake. Having a magical origin, the sword was unbreakable and its scabbard protected the king from physical harm. Morgan Le Fay, Arthur’s half-sister, stole the sword. It was recovered but the scabbard was lost, hence allowing King Arthur to be mortally wounded in the Battle of Camlann. Arthur orders one of his knights to throw back the sword in the enchanted lake, and when done so, a hand appeared from the waters to catch it, taking it beneath the water from where it had first emerged.
Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi (is a legendary Japanese sword as important to Japan’s history as Excalibur is to Britain’s, and is one of three Imperial Regalia of Japan. It was originally called Ama-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi (“Sword of the Gathering Clouds of Heaven”) but its name was later changed to the more popular Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi (“Grass Cutting Sword”).
It was discovered from the body of a giant serpent. In the reign of the XII Emperor, the sword was gifted to Yamato Takeru, who was led into an open grassland as a trap by a warlord. The plan was to ignite the grass and burn Yamato to death. In desperation, Yamato started cutting the grass with his sword and discovered to his amazement that he could control the wind. Using this power, Yamato expanded the fire in the direction of his enemies, defeating them. It was after this incident that Yamato named the sword as “Grasscutter Sword”. Yamato was later killed in a battle by a monster when he ignored his wife’s advice to take the Grasscutter sword with him. The moral of the story: Always listen to your wife. However, In The Tale of the Heike, a collection of oral stories transcribed in 1371, the sword is lost at sea after the defeat of the Heike clan in the Battle of Dan-no-ura, a naval battle that ended in the defeat of the Heike clan forces and the child Emperor Antoku at the hands of Minamoto no Yoshitsune. In the tale, upon hearing of the Navy’s defeat, the Emperor’s grandmother led the Emperor and his entourage to commit suicide by drowning in the waters of the strait along with the three Imperial Regalia, including Kusanagi. Although the Minamoto troops managed to stop a handful of them and recovered two of the three regalia, Kusanagi was said to have been lost forever.
The Sword of Damocles
Damocles is a figure featured in a single moral anecdote concerning the Sword of Damocles which was a late addition to classical Greek culture. The figure belongs properly to legend rather than Greek myth. Damocles was a courtier in the court of King Dionysius.
The Damocles of the anecdote was an obsequious courtier in the court of Dionysius II of Syracuse, a fourth century BC tyrant of Syracuse. Damocles exclaimed that, as a great man of power and authority, Dionysius was truly fortunate. Dionysius offered to switch places with him for a day, so he could taste first hand that fortune. In the evening a banquet was held where Damocles very much enjoyed being waited upon like a king. Only at the end of the meal did he look up and notice a sharpened sword hanging directly above his head by a single horse-hair. Immediately, he lost all taste for the amenities and asked leave of the tyrant, saying he no longer wanted to be so fortunate.
Dionysius had successfully conveyed a sense of the constant fear in which the great man lives. Cicero uses this story as the last in a series of contrasting examples for reaching the conclusion he had been moving towards in this fifth Disputation, in which the theme is that virtue is sufficient for living a happy life. Cicero asks
“Does not Dionysius seem to have made it sufficiently clear that there can be nothing happy for the person over whom some fear always looms?”
A slightly different moral to the story of the Sword of Damocles is that, “The value of the sword is not that it falls, but rather, that it hangs.”
1) You Only Use 10 Percent of Your Brain
We've often been told that we only use about 10 percent of our brains. Famous people such as Albert Einstein and Margaret Mead have been quoted as stating a variation of it. This is probably one of the most well-known myths about the brain, in part because it's been publicized in the media for what seems like forever. Here's the thing, though; it's not really true. In addition to those 100 billion neurons, the brain is also full of other types of cells that are continually in use. We can become disabled from damage to just small areas of the brain depending on where it's located, so there's no way that we could function with only 10 percent of our brain in use. Brain scans have shown that no matter what we're doing, our brains are always active. Some areas are more active at any one time than others, but unless we have brain damage, there is no one part of the brain that is absolutely not functioning.
2) Alcohol Kills Brain Cells
Just one observation of a drunken person is enough to convince you that alcohol directly affects the brain. People who drink enough to get drunk often end up with slurred speech and impaired motor skills and judgment, among other side effects. But are a few drinks on the weekend, or even the occasional long drinking session, enough to kill brain cells? Not so much. Even in alcoholics, alcohol use doesn't actually result in the death of brain cells. It can, however, damage the ends of neurons, which are called dendrites. This results in problems conveying messages between the neurons. The cell itself isn't damaged, but the way that it communicates with others is altered. According to researchers such as Roberta J. Pentney, professor of anatomy and cell biology at the University at Buffalo, this damage is mostly reversible.
The Singularity is a term coined by futurists to describe that point in time when technological progress has so transformed society that predictions made in the present day, already a hit-and-miss affair, are likely to be very, very wide of the mark. Much of Mr. Kurzweil's book consists of a closely argued analysis suggesting that the Singularity is, well, near: poised to appear in a mere three or four decades.
A third of U.S. teenagers with cellphones send more than 100 texts a day as texting has exploded to become the most popular means of communication for young people, according to new research
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/section/tech/#ixzz0m8qwhvZL
The latest survey claim is that male users of iPhone are luckier in love
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/section/life/#ixzz0m8pwnSVr
ASHLAND, Wis. — Representative David R. Obey has won 21 straight races, easily prevailing through wars and economic crises that have spanned presidencies from Nixon’s to Obama’s. Yet the discontent with Washington surging through politics is now threatening not only his seat but also Democratic control of Congress.
Mr. Obey is one of nearly a dozen well-established House Democrats who are bracing for something they rarely face: serious competition. Their predicament is the latest sign of (more)
"The President had a private prayer and conversation with Rev. Graham," said White House spokesman Bill Burton. "He is extraordinarily gratified that he took the time to meet with him."
Obama had been supposed to meet Graham during the 2008 campaign when he was at a nearby resort preparing for a debate with Republican John McCain. But Graham, in frail health, was not well enough that day to meet Obama and the visit was put off. Obama did speak to Graham by telephone on his birthday last November.
The Myths—Hair of the Dog and Other Not So Great Ideas
In every culture with access to alcohol, myths abound about how to cure a hangover. In Ireland it used to be said you should bury your friend up to his neck in wet sand to help him through his hangover. A Haitian myth has it that turning the cork of the hangover-causing-bottle into a voodoo doll and sticking 13 pins in it will keep the hangover at bay. Other strange remedies from around the globe include breathing in the smoke from a coal fire and rubbing limes on your arms. We won't spend any time debunking why rubbing fruit on your body isn't going to cure a hangover, but we will look at the most common remedy claims. Photo by Eustaquio Santimano.
Drinking More Alcohol, aka Hair of the Dog: This is quite likely the most heavily toted hangover cure in the boozin'-recovery handbook. Unfortunately it's completely ineffective. Drinking when you're suffering from a hangover makes you—temporarily!—feel better simply because alcohol dulls your senses. You could just as easily prescribe a double-shot of Tequila as a "remedy" for bashing your thumb with a hammer.
What Works—The Night Before and The Slow Crawl to Sobriety
Just because drinking a gallon of orange juice and jamming pins into the cork from a bottle won't cure your hangover doesn't mean you're out of luck. Like we pointed out above, the only fail-safe to a hangover-free life is to drink little or no alcohol. For those times that a good time and a good bottle get the better of you, you can armor up with these tried and tested tips. Photo by glennharper.
Drinking Water: Water is a magical elixir that makes your body function. You can never go wrong drinking lots of it and it's the absolute best thing to keep yourself from getting hungover and speeding up hangover recovery. Even better than just drinking a lot of water after the fact is drinking water throughout the prior night.
Would anyone really do 20 shots in an evening if they had to drink around 2 gallons of water to go with them?
Emergen-C is a dietary supplement drink mix which is sold as an energy booster. It is manufactured by Alacer Corp. of Foothill Ranch, California. It contains more than 1600% of the USDA recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, 416% of the recommended vitamin B12 daily value, and 500% of the recommended vitamin B6 value based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Last Sunday, 32 year-old Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax was stabbed while coming to the aid of a woman being attacked by a knife-wielding assailant. He bled to death on a Queens sidewalk as almost 25 pedestrians walked by.
Fancy British Historian Caught In Amazon Review Row
British superstar historian Orlando Figes has admitted to leaving scathing Amazon reviews about fellow historians' books. His brilliant pseudonym: "orlando-birkbeck." (He teaches at Birkbeck, University of London.) This sparked a massive historian fight and lawyers were called. Historians!
Israeli researchers develop small, lightweight hydrogen storage tech
Researchers in Israel say they've come up with a very novel way of storing hydrogen. Gone are the bulky, super-insulated tanks that can keep coffee hot for 28 days. The Israeli team has figured out a way to pack hydrogen into glass filaments that, once completed, will be slightly thicker than a human hair. The glass hairs, or "capillaries," are then bundled into a glass tube, 370 at a time, forming a "capillary array," about the width of a drinking straw. The scientists say that 11,000 of these arrays will fuel a car for 240 miles. Not bad considering they'll also take up less than half the space and weight of a conventional hydrogen storage tank. "We have shown new materials that can store more hydrogen than any other system," says Dan Eliezer, chief scientist of C.En Ltd., the company based in Geneva, Switzerland, where the Israelis are developing their invention.
The average woman dates 24 men and spends more than £2,000 before finding “Mr Right”, research has shown.
According to research the average woman dates 24 men and spends more than £2,000 before finding Mr Right
A single date can set a woman back £85.38, according to the study conducted by the website UKDating.com.
The science that stops us looking older
A new generation of clinically approved 'cosmeceuticals’, which alter the DNA in your hair and skin, could change for ever the way we look at make-up – and the ageing process itself
Scientists can now produce cosmetics that, rather than simply delivering moisture to the skin or making hair look superficially shinier, can induce physical, biological changes in the body?s DNA
This is another example of the gov’t picking winners. It will always favor the old and established. That is who has lobbyist.
Reihan Salam says we’re heading into a decade-long economic buzz saw. “We are propping up the most rotten sectors of the economy and diverting talent that would otherwise shift into the new interrelated systems that are slowly emerging—and this emergence will prove very slow indeed once the inevitable tax burden required to prop up aging yet politically powerful sectors hits.”
Re South Park, The Silence Of The Media Lambs Continues. “That’s right: an American-born Muslim convert with ties to a small extremist group operating openly in the United States of America can affect the programming policy of a cable comedy network whose headliners — Stone and Parker, and Jon Stewart — pride themselves on their fearless irreverence.”
Funny how all those talking-heads who solemnly warned us about the danger of violenct speech don’t have anything to say about, you know, actual threats
Sports Radio Host Calls Tim Tebow's 'Lily White' NFL Draft Party A 'Nazi Rally'
A Boston sports radio host on Friday called Heisman Trophy-winning football star Tim Tebow's "lily white" NFL draft party a "Nazi rally."
For those unfamiliar, 98.5 FM "The Sports Hub" in Boston is home to the NFL's Patriots and the NHL's Bruins.
The morning drive-time program between 6 and 10 AM is called "Toucher and Rich" as it's hosted by Fred “Toucher” Toettcher and Rich Shertenlieb.