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The Van de Graaff Generator

Invented in 1929 by American physicist Robert Van de Graaff, the Van de Graaff generator is a device in which electrically charged particles are sprayed on a moving belt and carried to an insulated terminal in a hollow metal sphere, building up to create a lightning-like discharge. The first model was made using an ordinary silk ribbon from a five-and-dime store, but later models proved capable of generating millions of volts. Where is the world's largest Van de Graaff generator on display?
 
Museum of Science, Boston, MA
 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/sy05B32XTYY

 

http://images.metroscenes.com/2013/best-of-boston/2425/van_de_graaff_generator_at_the_boston_museum_of_science/

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Street Food

Street food is found in cities around the world, and because it usually features intensely local culinary staples, the dishes served vary widely with geography. It is typically cheap and meant to be prepared and eaten quickly. Street food may be sold from carts, huts, trucks, or stands. It can be hot or cold and can consist of entire meals or little snacks. In northern China, scorpions on skewers are a popular street food. What other interesting street foods are found around the world?

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Street Food

Street food is found in cities around the world, and because it usually features intensely local culinary staples, the dishes served vary widely with geography. It is typically cheap and meant to be prepared and eaten quickly. Street food may be sold from carts, huts, trucks, or stands. It can be hot or cold and can consist of entire meals or little snacks. In northern China, scorpions on skewers are a popular street food. What other interesting street foods are found around the world?
 
As a pre-teen in Philly it was soft pretzels.
 
On the west side of Chicago it was hot dogs and gyros. 
 

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Street Food

Street food is found in cities around the world, and because it usually features intensely local culinary staples, the dishes served vary widely with geography. It is typically cheap and meant to be prepared and eaten quickly. Street food may be sold from carts, huts, trucks, or stands. It can be hot or cold and can consist of entire meals or little snacks. In northern China, scorpions on skewers are a popular street food. What other interesting street foods are found around the world?
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As a pre-teen in Philly it was soft pretzels.
On the west side of Chicago it was hot dogs and gyros. 
 

 

Yes! Maggie's and Luke's were my favorite. There's even a Luke's out here Dom that I frequent on Indian School and 16th st in Phoenix. Owners cousin moved out here originally to start it. Don't forget about China town on the South side, they don't make food like that out here.

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Being a well-traveled salty sailor of 23 years I ate lot of street food.  My favorite liberty port was Subic Bay Philippines.  Returning to the ship with a belly full of beer my friends and I always ate the street vendor's delicacies.  My favorite was chicken or beef on a stick.  At least I think it was beef.  We called it "monkey on a stick".  Fried egg sandwich was another favorite.  The rest on the cart did not mix well with the beer or my pallet, i.e.,  BBQ chicken feet.  Korea had the stickiest and oddest food.  Most memorable was Hibachi roasted grubs in a rolled up news paper cone.  Don't ask, I never partook.

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Time!  Gentlemen, if you please!
 
I used to hear that a lot when I lived in London and the pubs were closing down.  That meant only one thing to me; Off to Mickey's Fish Bar for the traditional British fish-n-chips.  Mickey rolled up the butcher paper in a cone, threw in the chips and two fillets.  After a good dousing of vinegar and salt I'd begin the short stagger home. 

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Street Food

Street food is found in cities around the world, and because it usually features intensely local culinary staples, the dishes served vary widely with geography. It is typically cheap and meant to be prepared and eaten quickly. Street food may be sold from carts, huts, trucks, or stands. It can be hot or cold and can consist of entire meals or little snacks. In northern China, scorpions on skewers are a popular street food. What other interesting street foods are found around the world?
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As a pre-teen in Philly it was soft pretzels.
On the west side of Chicago it was hot dogs and gyros. 
 
 
Yes! Maggie's and Luke's were my favorite. There's even a Luke's out here Dom that I frequent on Indian School and 16th st in Phoenix. Owners cousin moved out here originally to start it. Don't forget about China town on the South side, they don't make food like that out here.
 
And don't forget the Chicago pizza, it's pretty good too!!!

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I really liked the schwarma's they sold on the streets in Saudi Arabia & Bahrain.

 

I've eaten just about anything that can be eaten in Turkey (yes, let your dirty minds wander!) as I was stationed there for 4 years & didn't hold back on experiencing everything I could.  Among my favorites was mercamek (lentil) soup.

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A little Humor for a change with a prophetic end.
 
This is long but worth the time reading, enjoy.




In the year 2013, the Lord came unto Noah, Who was now living in America and said:
"Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see the end of all flesh before me."
"Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing along with a few good humans."

He gave Noah the blueprints, saying:
"You have 6 months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights."

Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard - but no Ark."Noah!," He roared, "I'm about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?"

"Forgive me, Lord," begged Noah, "but things have changed."
"I needed a Building Permit."
"I've been arguing with the Boat Inspector about the need for a sprinkler system."

"My homeowners association claim that I've violated the
Neighborhood by-laws by building the Ark in my back yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the local Planning Committee for a decision."

"Then the City Council and the Electricity Company demanded a shed load of money for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark's move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear none of it."

"Getting the wood was another problem. There's a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the Greater Spotted Barn Owl."
"I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls - but no go!"

"When I started gathering the animals, PETA took me to court. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodations were too restrictive and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space."

"Then the Environmental Protection Agency ruled that I couldn't build the Ark until they'd conducted an environmental impact study on Your proposed flood."

"I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I'm supposed to hire for my building crew."

"The Immigration Dept. Is checking the visa status of most of the people who want to work."
"The labor unions say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire only union workers with ark-building experience."

"To make matters worse, the IRS seized all my assets, claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species."
"So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this ark."

"Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine and a rainbow stretched across the sky."

Noah looked up in wonder and asked, "You mean you're not going to destroy the world?"

"No," said the Lord. " The Government beat me to it."

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Confused?
 
I become confused when I hear the word "Service" used with these agencies:
 
Internal Revenue 'Service'
US Postal 'Service'
Cable TV 'Service'
Federal, State, City, & public 'Service'
Customer 'Service'
 
This is NOT what I thought 'Service' meant.
 
But today, I overheard two farmers talking, and one of them said he had bought a bull to 'Service' his cows.
 
BAM !!! It all came into focus. Now I understand what all those agencies are doing to us. You are now as enlightened as I.

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"Nessie" Reported for the First Time (1933)

More than 700 ft (213 m) deep, Loch Ness is the largest freshwater lake in the UK by volume. This makes it the perfect hiding place for a prehistoric creature—or so believers say. Though the legend of the Loch Ness Monster dates back to at least 565 BCE, modern accounts of "Nessie" date only to 1933, the year a local newspaper began reporting sightings of a fearsome, dragon-like creature in the lake. What natural phenomenon, known as a seiche, may be responsible for some of the sightings?

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"Nessie" Reported for the First Time (1933)

More than 700 ft (213 m) deep, Loch Ness is the largest freshwater lake in the UK by volume. This makes it the perfect hiding place for a prehistoric creature—or so believers say. Though the legend of the Loch Ness Monster dates back to at least 565 BCE, modern accounts of "Nessie" date only to 1933, the year a local newspaper began reporting sightings of a fearsome, dragon-like creature in the lake. What natural phenomenon, known as a seiche, may be responsible for some of the sightings?
 
Think of a seiche ("saysh") as the large scale equivalent of what happens when you get out of the bathtub. Water rushes in to fill the void your body had displaced causing it to slosh back and forth for a while. 
 
Seiches are commonly caused by weather like a sustained wind that pushes the water to one side of a lake. When the wind stops, the water tries to return to equilibrium and begins sloshing from one end to the other. Seiches are also caused by distant seismological events (earthquakes, land slides) that may be imperceptible locally. 
 
Once started, seiches in large bodies of water may last anywhere from a few minutes to more than a week. Unseen movement of large bodies of dense, cold bottom water can add to surface movement. Interactions between surface and bottom water, bottom topography and surface winds can produce localized "peak waves". It has been suggested that those peak waves are responsible for many of the Nessie sightings.
 

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Happy Birthday James
 

James Brown, the Godfather of Soul (1933)

One of the original inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and one of the most influential entertainers of the 20th century, "Godfather of Soul" James Brown evolved a highly personal style that combined gospel and blues elements with a spectacular stage presence. During his five-decade career, “the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business" had numerous chart-topping singles and albums. What trademark feature of Brown's stage shows was inspired by professional wrestler Gorgeous George?

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Happy Birthday James
 

James Brown, the Godfather of Soul (1933)

One of the original inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and one of the most influential entertainers of the 20th century, "Godfather of Soul" James Brown evolved a highly personal style that combined gospel and blues elements with a spectacular stage presence. During his five-decade career, “the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business" had numerous chart-topping singles and albums. What trademark feature of Brown's stage shows was inspired by professional wrestler Gorgeous George?
 
Muhammad Ali and James Brown acknowledged that their own approach to flamboyant self-promotion was influenced by George. A 19-year old Ali met a 46-year old George at a Las Vegas radio station. During George's radio interview, the wrestler's promo caught the attention of the future heavyweight champion. If George lost to Classy Freddie Blassie, George exclaimed, "I'll crawl across the ring and cut my hair off! But that's not gonna happen because I'm the greatest wrestler in the world!" Ali, who later echoed that very promo when taunting opponent Sonny Liston, recalled, "I saw 15,000 people comin' to see this man get beat. And his talking did it. I said, 'This is a gooood idea!'" In the locker room afterward, the seasoned wrestler gave the future legend some invaluable advice: "A lot of people will pay to see someone shut your mouth. So keep on bragging, keep on sassing and always be outrageous."
 
In September 2008, the first full length biography of Gorgeous George was published by HarperEntertainment Press. The title of the 304 page book is Gorgeous George: The Outrageous Bad Boy Wrestler who Created American Pop Culture by John Capouya. In the 2005 book, I Feel Good: A Memoir in a Life of Soul, James Brown said he used many of Gorgeous George's antics to "create the James Brown you see on stage".
 
Bob Dylan said meeting George changed his life. In Dylan's book The Chronicles: Volume One, Dylan recounts a story of meeting Gorgeous George in person. He wrote, "He winked and seemed to mouth the phrase, `You're making it come alive.' I never forgot it. It was all the recognition and encouragement I would need for years."
 
The 1951 Warner Brothers Merrie Melodies cartoon Bunny Hugged featured the one-shot character "Ravishing Ronald", modeled after Gorgeous George. The Bowery Boys also lampooned Gorgeous George (with Huntz Hall as a much-heralded wrestler) in the 1952 feature No Holds Barred. Musical performers such as Liberace, Little Richard, Elton John and Morris Day show signs of the George meme. Some consider George to have been an early example of camp.
 
The 1978 motion picture The One and Only starring Henry Winkler was loosely based on his career.
 
The Simpsons episode "Gorgeous Grampa" was partially based on Gorgeous George's career. 
 

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IRS Data Web Snares Mostly Low- and Middle-Income Taxpayers
 
A woman walks out of an Internal Revenue Service office in New York April 18, 2011. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Reuters - A woman walks out of an Internal Revenue Service office in New York April 18, 2011. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

 
The Internal Revenue Service relies on technology more than ever to sniff out tax cheats using robo-audits and data mining--but so far it has caught lot of minnows, and big fish are still eluding detection.
 
Even as millions of people's accounts are screened online and matched against their digital files elsewhere, the IRS's data-detection tools come nowhere close to collecting the $400 billion in tax dodges estimated to take place each year. The area in which its robo-audits have had the most impact is on tax returns for low-income taxpayers who try to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit. In total, fraudulent claims totaled $2 billion, just 0.01 percent of the total of individual taxes. The EITC was the biggest single compliance problem cited.  
 
The IRS's next phase in high-tech tax collection will be to create a "real-time" check of tax returns to "match them to third party information," said U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George in testimony before Congress. Starting this year, the IRS tools will be able to track all credit card transactions, for starters. The agency has also instructed agents on using online sources such as social media and e-commerce sites including eBay, as well as the rich data generated by mobile devices. In one controversial disclosure in April, the ACLU showed documents in which the IRS general counsel said the agency could look at emails without warrants, but the IRS has said it will not use this power.
 
"Real time" audits of electronic tax returns.
That amount is expected to rise in the tax year ahead as the IRS extends the use of data mining to include the personal data of millions more taxpayers. Its sophisticated data-matching and pattern-recognition technology, largely developed by IBM over the past decade, will reach up the income ladder to include more middle-income and small-business filers who itemize deductions, although it is unlikely to have any impact on the complicated filings of high-net-worth taxpayers in the top 5 percent of income earnings, say tax experts who have studied the IRS plans. 
 
While the agency has declined to give details about what third-party personal data it will use in robo-audits and data mining, it has told government and industry groups that its computers are capable of scanning multiple networks at the same time to collect "matching" comprehensive profiles for every taxpayer in America. Such profiles will likely include shopping records, travel, social interactions and information not available to the public, such as health records and files from other government investigators, according to IRS documents.
 
The IRS did not respond to written requests for information on its program. But George gave Congress an outline last April of the ambitious aims of its $1 billion "modernization" that gave it access to dozens of databases it has not previously used. "This capability is designed to feed into a single, consolidated taxpayer-account database that will support the deployment of the next generation of taxpayer service and enforcement functions," George said in testimony.  
 
But the many problems encountered already with the relatively simple screens used for Earned Income Tax Credit filers suggest there may be greater problems ahead for taxpayers. Already, independent advisers to the IRS have publicly warned that the agency is not prepared to take the next big step. "Little has been accomplished to remove the confusion and uncertainty related to these rules," said a report from an IRS Tax Advisory Committee group that studies emerging issues such as use of third-party networks and data mining. Other IRS advisers have cautioned that the lack of transparency and secretiveness of the IRS could undermine the credibility of the tax-collection system.
 
Big problems with small robo-audits. History shows that public convenience and even-handed service is not a high priority for the IRS when it launches new technology. The robo-audits targeting the Earned Income Tax Credit have caused problems for millions of low-income working people, the population least prepared to appeal tax cases and one that lacks the lobbying clout of major accounting firms that help draft tax legislation for high-end individuals and corporations. The result is that hundreds of thousands of legitimate filers have had their tax returns frozen since the program began--and the number keeps rising each year, says National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson, who leads an organization of some 2,000 advocates who help U.S. taxpayers resolve problems and work with the IRS .
 
Increased auditing of the EITC recipients has real consequences for low-income Americans. The credit represents 25 percent of income for the average filer who claims it, IRS records show. Delayed refunds have led to a cash crunch for millions of filers, and "rapid return" high-interest lenders raced to fill the void for those expecting EITC cash sooner, routinely charging interest rates of 35 to 100 percent before the government altered its rules to prevent abuses.
 
Olson says the IRS has not done enough to educate taxpayers about how to claim the credit, which involves calculations based on progressive income levels and a phase-out formula that has confused even professional tax preparers. Because it involves family members, for example, differences arise over who can claim the credit in cases of joint custody for divorced or estranged parents.
 
The IRS says it targets this credit because it is widely abused. Those who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit are audited twice as often compared to the average for all taxpayers, the National Taxpayer Advocate reports. Olson says the aggressive pursuit of tax cheats has intimidated some from appealing audits or even filing for the credit. The IRS itself says that as much as 25 percent of people eligible do not claim it. And unlike other classes of audits, returns are frozen as soon as questions are raised and refunds are not issued until the case is cleared. Many who appeal do win their cases, but the lack of professional help is a barrier. A study by the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate found that those who manage to bring representatives to an IRS appeal were twice as likely to win.
 
The IRS launched a huge publicity campaign when it went after identity theft, but has said next to nothing about this much larger program involving "real time" audits using third-party networks including such information as credit card charges. The agency has disclosed so few details that some tax experts who have worked closely with the IRS suggest that its intent seems to be a "gotcha" strategy aimed at trapping tax cheats rather than deterring bad behavior and encouraging compliance. The IRS's own advisory committee, made up of high-level tax professionals and managers, says people are operating in the dark even when it comes to basic issues. For the tax community to understand how to comply, a clear understanding of a "third party payment network must be defined," the committee said in a November report.
 
"Are they being too secretive? Probably," says Joel Slemrod, a University of Michigan business economics professor who studies the impact of government policy on consumer behavior. "They can't tell the public everything they do, but I don't know why they are being as secretive as they are. "
 
What's known is that the IRS has gradually moved to a system of electronically "scoring" returns, according to tax experts who worked closely with the agency. Points are assigned for unusual deductions, inappropriate credits, math errors and other suspicious items on tax returns. Most importantly, the screening program assigns a score for how likely the success of an audit will be and how much time it might take an agent to close a case. It even estimates the number of hours a hearing might require. Agency cutbacks mean fewer agents are available to follow up on audits. The result is that "low-hanging fruit" gets picked for audits. When the program was launched in the mid-2000s, the IRS testified that such cases would not be the priority. Budget constraints have shifted that view.
 
"There is a cost-benefit analysis applied in the scoring," says Eric Toder, an economist who is co-director of the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center. He has worked as a consultant to the IRS and its overseers in the past on issues of tax collection.
 
Hidden income remains invisible. At the opposite end of the income spectrum, it's far more expensive to chase down high-income tax dodges. A low-income family might be flagged by the robo-audit for a math error on a $1,500 student loan credit that can be collected with a simple letter from the IRS. A questionable $5 million investment in a euro debt swap involving unlisted derivatives and having no clear economic purpose beyond tax avoidance, even if it is detected, might require a trip to a Liechtenstein bank to meet with a team of lawyers and accountants. Often, this kind of tax action amounts to a multimillion-dollar bet of the IRS's thin resources with low odds of paying off.
 
The IRS has become more proactive in targeting banks and financial institutions that aid in illegal tax dodges using offshore accounts. But its technological push is largely focused on domestic filers. Meanwhile, a report by former McKinsey & Co. economist James Henry estimates that 100,000 super-rich individuals worldwide have $9.8 trillion stashed in offshore accounts.
 
That means a large portion of the $15 trillion of U.S. investment in the global economy generates income that is increasingly out of the reach of U.S. tax authorities, said Inspector General George in his testimony. Private estimates suggest there may be as much as $125 billion in tax evasion, he said. That's on top of the IRS's $400 billion "tax gap," which is estimated largely by auditing and following up on existing tax returns and checking the validity of audits, but not touching "unreported" or hidden income. George told Congress that global tax dodges are not targeted because "identifying hidden income in international activity is very difficult and time-consuming."
 
The expansion of IRS technology was heralded for its potential to bring more tax cheats to justice. But Toder says, "It's unlikely they can move that number very much." The likeliest group to be caught, Toder says, will be small businesses, filers of Schedule C "side business" expenses and independent contractors whose income is not backed up by a W2 wage report. This group is believed to make up the largest portion of the so-called "tax gap."
 
Avoiding controversy, IRS stealth strategy.
Going forward, many more people will feel the intrusive pinch of IRS robo-audits and personal data mining--although they may not know for sure what personal data is being used. Legal and privacy experts, as well as the IRS National Taxpayer Advocate, have called on the agency to share detail on what documents it examines in audits. By working in collaboration with taxpayers, it will be more likely win cooperation and compliance, they argue. The IRS has told Congress such disclosures might hamstring its efforts. The agency prefers a "stealth" approach of not informing taxpayers about what information is used, which Acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller told Congress is "less intrusive."
 
The IRS is following the philosophy of former Obama regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein, who advocates using technology tools and behavioral science policies to "nudge" people to do the right thing. In the case of the IRS, that policy so far has fallen most heavily on lower-income taxpayers and has done little to collect substantially more tax revenue.
 
Ultimately, the agency's legacy could be measured in lost privacy, says Harry Surden, a University of Colorado--Boulder Law School associate professor and former fellow at Stanford's Center for Computers and Law, who has done in-depth studies on the use of technology by government. He has found that data mining and new technology make possible a level of government intrusion into personal lives that few realize is possible. At a hearing this month, Iowa Republican Senator Charles Grassley said IRS Acting Commissioner Miller has not done enough to explain the agency's stance on "abusive intrusion of privacy," adding that "the IRS has to take this issue seriously, and a casual explanation is inadequate." He called to "clarify the true policy in writing" on how and why it uses private electronic communication in tax work.
 
"You could get the tax gap down close to zero, but it would certainly not be a good policy to spend that much," says Michigan policy expert Slemrod. "Nor is it advisable in the same way that it is not good policy to put someone on every corner of every street to eradicate street crime." Technology and law experts say that for such major expansions of government into people's lives, simply doing what is legal could have unintended effects that could be detrimental to a system that requires cooperation from taxpayers and the legal community.
 
"When technological change in the ability to analyze and aggregate data allows activities that are different, not just in degree, but in kind, we as a society should have the ability to think about whether or not we should go down that path," says Surden, who worked as a programmer for Cisco Systems before studying law at Stanford University. "As a publicly accountable agency," he says, "the IRS should make the public aware if technology is allowing them to analyze data in ways that were not possible in the past. That should be an open discussion we all participate in." 

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Hadaka Matsuri

Hadaka Matsuri—literally, "naked festival"—is a Shinto tradition observed all over Japan, usually not long after New Year's Day. Rituals related to its observance vary, but one custom that remains consistent is the dress code. For the most part, participants wear nothing more than a traditional white fundoshi, or loincloth. One particularly unusual ritual involves them chasing a fully naked man who has been specially selected for the event. What is this intended to accomplish?

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Hadaka Matsuri

Hadaka Matsuri—literally, "naked festival"—is a Shinto tradition observed all over Japan, usually not long after New Year's Day. Rituals related to its observance vary, but one custom that remains consistent is the dress code. For the most part, participants wear nothing more than a traditional white fundoshi, or loincloth. One particularly unusual ritual involves them chasing a fully naked man who has been specially selected for the event. What is this intended to accomplish?

 

 

Perhaps the most famous and widely attended of these Hadaka Matsuri is the one held in the city of Inazawa in Aichi Prefecture on the south-central coast of Honshu near the metropolis of Nagoya. On the thirteenth of January, nearly 300,000 people converge upon Konomiya Shrine to witness the spectacle of 10,000 men in loin cloths and wooden sandals, each one hell-bent on touching the Shin-otoko, a naked man chosen by the townspeople to act as a scapegoat to divest them of all evil.

 

Considered a great honor, the Shin-otoko is but one of more than a thousand chosen ones who have walked, or rather fled pell-mell, naked, through the streets of Inazawa every year for more than 12 centuries. In preparation for the event, the Shin-otoko must undergo many sanctifying rites and shave all the hair from his body. Participants in this event, all of whom must be locals or invited guests, believe that touching the Shin-otoko will bring them good luck in the year to come.

 

Along the parade route, clusters of men in loincloths anxiously await in the brisk winter air for their turn to lay hands on the Shin-otoko. While they wait, they drink hot sake and write prayers on strips of cloth, which they tie to bamboo fronds for offerings at the temple later in the day. Fortunately, the Shin-otoko has a phalanx of bodyguards to accompany him as he makes his way through the streets of Inazawa. The guards use pails of cold water to ward off overly-eager touchers, but nevertheless, by the time the Shin-otoko reaches the temple gates, the poor guy is pummeled with bruises and reeling from exhaustion.

 

The Inazawa Hadaka Matsuri culminates in the arrival of the Shin-otoko at Konomiya Shrine, where he spends the final hour of his torment being jostled about by the crowd. At long last, he is allowed to get dressed and relinquish his duties for the day.

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Electricity

Electrical phenomena, caused by the presence and flow of electric charge, have been studied since antiquity. Static electricity was the first of them to be recognized and investigated. As early as 600 BCE, certain cultures had discovered that rubbing amber with fur caused it to attract light objects such as feathers. Some 2,200 years later, English scientist William Gilbert coined the term "electricity" to describe the electrification of substances. How did he come up with the word?

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Electricity

Electrical phenomena, caused by the presence and flow of electric charge, have been studied since antiquity. Static electricity was the first of them to be recognized and investigated. As early as 600 BCE, certain cultures had discovered that rubbing amber with fur caused it to attract light objects such as feathers. Some 2,200 years later, English scientist William Gilbert coined the term "electricity" to describe the electrification of substances. How did he come up with the word?
 
The English word "electricity" was first used in 1646 by Sir Thomas Browne, derived from Gilbert's 1600 New Latin electricus, meaning "like amber".  The term had been in use since the 13th century, but Gilbert was the first to use it to mean "like amber in its attractive properties".  He supposed that friction with these objects removed a so-called "effluvium", which would cause the attraction effect in returning to the object. However, he did not realize that this substance (electric charge) was universal to all materials. 
 

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Refraction

When an object, such as a pencil, is partly immersed in water and viewed from above, it appears to bend underwater. This illusion is caused by refraction, the change in direction of a wave as it leaves one medium and enters another. Waves travel with greater velocity in some media than in others, and when a wave enters a new medium at a certain angle, the change in speed occurs sooner on one side of the wave than on the other. What other optical phenomena are caused by refraction?

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Refraction

When an object, such as a pencil, is partly immersed in water and viewed from above, it appears to bend underwater. This illusion is caused by refraction, the change in direction of a wave as it leaves one medium and enters another. Waves travel with greater velocity in some media than in others, and when a wave enters a new medium at a certain angle, the change in speed occurs sooner on one side of the wave than on the other. What other optical phenomena are caused by refraction?
 
Rainbows!
 
yosmite-double-rainbow-8-jan-2010.jpeg
 

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Frank Russell Capra (1897)

One of the preeminent Hollywood directors of the 1930s and 40s, Capra produced idealistic populist movies that celebrate the virtues of the common American. At age six, the Sicilian-born future director immigrated with his family to the US. After holding various jobs in the film industry, he emerged as a major director in 1928. Within years, he had won his first Oscar. Which of his films is now considered one of the best American films ever made—despite having initially been a box office flop?

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