Happy Grab Bag Random Lazy No Prepared Post Monday!
1)Is it June? I could have sworn it was June already. That means it’s the summer time and I want sunshine! The average June temperature in Minneapolis ranges from about 63-83°C in June and 2010 seems to be on the lower end of that scale, but can I at least have some sunshine? Brrrr….I wore a coat yesterday! In June!
2) Happy Flag Day!
In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened that day by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777.
Cool poster from June 14th, 1917:
3) On last week’s Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe I heard about the unfortunate side-effect of a brand of mumbo-jumbo being exacerbated by the South Africa World Cup in the story “Vulture Threatened by Pseudoscience”.
Apparently there is a type of South African traditional medicine called muti which relies on natural products from trees and other vegetation. Some South African cultures integrate other natural products into their treatments, namely, body parts. The body parts may come from animal or even human sources.
In the case of this story, the body part in question is the brain of South African vultures, an animal that is already in danger of extinction (7 of 9 South African vulture species are classified as endangered). Gamblers are smoking the dried vulture brain in hopes of foreseeing the winner of the World Cup. From Scientific American:
In addition to dreams of winning lotto numbers or sports teams, practitioners say the practice can give users an edge on taking tests or help their business attract more clients.
Don’t eat me, I’m a pretty African White-backed Vulture that eats icky dead things so you don’t have to deal with them!