Do something cool Marital Measures [via Cacciatore]

   Life's Demerit System 

Image result for marital bliss images
In the world of romance, one single rule applies:

Do something she likes, and you get points.
Do something she dislikes, and points are subtracted.
You don't get any points for doing something she expects. 

Sorry, that's the way the game is played.
Here is a non-exhaustive guide to the point system:

You make the bed. (+1)
You make the bed, but forget the decorative pillows. (-10)
You throw the bedspread over rumpled sheets. (-3)
You go out to buy her what she wants (+5) in the rain (+8)
But return with Jack Daniels. (-5)

You check out a suspicious noise at night. (+1)
You check out a suspicious noise, and it is nothing. (0)
You check out a suspicious noise, and it is something. (+5)
You pummel it with an iron rod. (+10)
It's her pet Schnauzer. (-20)

You stay by her side for the entire party. (+1)
You stay by her side for a while, then leave to chat with an old school friend. (-2)
Named Tina (-10)
Tina is a dancer. (-10)
Tina has breast implants. (-40)

You take her out to dinner. (+2)
You take her out to dinner, and it's not a sports bar. (+3)
Okay, it's a sports bar. (-2)
And its all-you-can-eat night. (-3)
It's a sports bar, it's all-you-can-eat night, and your face is painted the colors of your favorite team. (-10)

You take her to a movie. (+1)
You take her to a movie she likes. (+5)
You take her to a movie you hate. (+6)
You take her to a movie you like. (-2)
It's called 'Death Cop.' (-3)
You lied and said it was a foreign film about orphans. (-15 )

You develop a noticeable potbelly. (-15)
You develop a noticeable potbelly and exercise to get rid of it. (+10)
You develop a noticeable potbelly and resort to baggy jeans and baggy Hawai ian shirts. (-30)
You say, "It doesn't matter, you have one too." (-80)

She asks, "Do I look fat?" (-5)
(Yes, you lose points no matter what)
You hesitate in responding. (-10)
You reply, "Where?" (-35)
You give any other response. (-20)

When she wants to talk about a problem, you listen, displaying what looks like a concerned expression. (+2)
You listen, for over 30 minutes (+50)
You listen for more than 30 minutes without looking at the TV. (+500)
She realizes this is because you have fallen asleep. (-4000)

Send this on to all of the gentlemen you know to refresh them on the point system.
(and to the ladies you know with a good sense of humor!)

Taking the long view [via Nina Reznick]

There are colonies of clonal trees that have lived for tens of thousands of years, but there's something majestic about a single tree able to stand on its own for millennia. These ancient trees have borne witness to the rise and fall of civilizations, survived changing climates, and even persevered through the fervent development of human industry. They are a testament to the long view that Mother Nature takes in tending the Earth. With that in mind, consider these, 10 of the world's oldest living trees.

This ancient olive tree is located on the Greek island of Crete and is one of seven olive trees in the Mediterranean believed to be at least 2,000 to 3,000 years old. Although its exact age cannot be verified, the Olive Tree of Vouves might be the oldest among them, estimated at over 3,000 years old. It still produces olives, and they are highly prized.

The Alerce is a common name for Fitzroya cupressoides, a towering tree species native to the Andes mountains.To date, the oldest known living specimen is 3,646 years old and is appropriately called Grand Abuelo.

This incredible yew resides in a small churchyard of St. Dygain's Church in Llangernyw village, north Wales. About 4,000 years old, the Llangernyw Yew was planted sometime in the prehistoric Bronze Age — and it's still growing! 

Sarv-e Abarqu, also called the "Zoroastrian Sarv," is a cypress tree in Yazd province, Iran. The tree is estimated to be at least 4,000 years old and, having lived through the dawn of human civilization not far away, it is considered an Iranian national monument. 

Until 2013, Methuselah, an ancient bristlecone pine was the oldest known non-clonal organism on Earth. While Methuselah still stands as of 2016 at the ripe old age of 4,848 in the White Mountains of California, in Inyo National Forest

A 1:60-Scale Boeing 777 Built Entirely from Paper Manilla Folders by Luca Iaconi-Stewart [via Nina Reznick]

Inspired by high school architecture class where he was assigned to create simple paper models using cut paper manilla folders, San Francisco-based designerLuca Iaconi-Stewart went home to begin construction on an extremely ambitious project: a 1:60 scale reproduction of a Boeing 777 using some of the techniques he learned in class. That was in 2008, when Iaconi-Stewart was just a junior in high school.





Unbelievably, the project continues five years later as he works on and off to perfect every aspect of the plane. Relying on detailed schematics of an Air India 777-300ER he found online, he recreates the digital drawings in Adobe Illustrator and then prints them directly onto the paper manilla folders. But everything has to be perfect. So perfect, that Iaconi-Stewart says he’s actually built two airplanes, the one you see here and the numerous failed attempts including three tails, two entire sets of wings, and multiple experiments to ensure everything is just so.

The paper plane-making wunderkind hopes to finally wrap up the project this summer and isn’t quite sure what will happen next, but thinks an even larger 20-foot model could be an interesting next step. So far there are no plans for the completed model to go anywhere, but it would look great in an aeronautical museum or in the lobby of a certain aircraft manufacturer’s lobby. Just some suggestions. All photos courtesy Luca Iaconi-Stewart.
 (via Wired)

Andrea Bocelli in China

On May 15th, by the invitation of President Xi and First Lady Peng Liyuan, Andrea Bocelli performed at the Beijing National Stadium in front of over 1.7Billion viewers on live TV and streaming.

Andrea Bocelli and Frankie Nasso

This portion of the program was produced by Frankie Nasso, Nova Entertainment, working throughout China, Italy, the US and the UK to deliver Maestro Bocelli to a live audience filled with Presidents and Leaders from 48 Asian Nations, from Australia to Israel to Japan and beyond. 

 This was the largest government-sponsored entertainment event ever hosted in China, with over 8,000 performers on stage throughout the evening. 

The Voynich Manuscript

There are still several ancient languages modern scholars cannot decipher, like Minoan hieroglyphics (called Linear A) or Khipu, the intricate Incan system of writing in knots. These symbols contain within them the wisdom of civilizations, and there’s no telling what might be revealed should we learn to translate them. Maybe scholars will only find accounting logs and inventories, or maybe entirely new ways of perceiving reality. When it comes, however, to a singularly indecipherable text, the Voynich Manuscript, the language it contains encodes the wisdom of a solitary intelligence, or an obscure, hermitic community that seems to have left no other trace behind.
Composed around the year 1420, the 240-page manuscript appears to be in dialogue with medieval medical and alchemical texts of the time, with its zodiacs and illustrations botanical, pharmaceutical, and anatomical. But its script only vaguely resembles known European languages.

Recording 900 years of graffiti in Orkney's cathedral

Exterior of St Magnus cathedral

Image captionSt Magnus is a pink cathedral built by the Vikings in Orkney

St Magnus Cathedral is a giant pink building which dominates the centre of Kirkwall.
It is a much loved building, at the centre of church and community events.
But for almost 900 years, people have been expressing their affection for the place by literally leaving their mark there.
Now Orkney Archaeology Society is training up volunteers to make the first full record of all the graffiti in the building.

East window
Image captionThe east window of the cathedral features carved stonework
Skull and hourglass on a memorial
Image captionMemorials lining the nave include grotesque reminders of death and decay
Image captionInscriptions like this are what you might expect to see in a church or cathedral

There are spectacular carvings in the cathedral that are supposed to be there - from the detail of stonework in the stained glass windows, to the inscriptions and grave markers in the nave.
But it is now becoming clear that there are hundreds - maybe thousands - of much more informal marks, which have been left in the fabric of the building over centuries.
It is a tradition which started with the stone masons who built it, and who cut their symbols into the blocks of stone they carved.
And it continued through the 19th Century and until World War Two when sailors based in Scapa Flow scrawled their names, and the names of the ships they served on, on to masonry in the galleries and upper levels of the building.

Image captionSome of the graffiti is easy to spot, and carved with great skill
Image captionOther carvings become visible if you shine a torch onto them, or they are caught in a beam of sunlight
Pencil note recording grave
Image captionThis pencil note, in the choir, seems to record the position of a grave - seven feet from the pillar and two feet four inches deep

Examples of graffiti which are already known about - but which have not been fully recorded - include a carved circle, thought to be a charm to protect from harm; peoples' initials; and a pencil note on a pillar in the Choir which appears to record the position of a grave.
The plan now is for archaeologists from the University of the Highlands and Islands in Orkney to train volunteers with the skills to find and note down every piece of graffiti in the building.
It is hoped that it might be possible to publish a record of them - either as a book, or as an online resource.

Circular charm
Image captionThis carefully carved circle featuring six petal shapes is thought to be a medieval charm
Double V graffiti
Image captionDouble V carvings like this are quite common in medieval church buildings, and are thought to refer to the Virgin Mary
Poster on stonework
Image captionAttempts by the authorities to stop people leaving graffiti have not been successful
Fake graffiti
Image captionNot all the graffiti in the building is what it claims to be. This inscription says it was left by Leif Ericson in the year 1156. Experts think it almost certainly wasn't.

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