While I was on holiday, the Internet was working hard. Here’s what I found when I plugged back in:
(“Hi Dad” on Flickr — probably by Banksy)
I love map quizzes like this one, where you have to place all the countries onto map using only their outlines. Europe was much tougher than I expected.
Among the “50 Things We Know Now (That We Didn’t Know This Time Last Year)” are:
1. U.S. life expectancy in 2005 inched up to a record high of 77.9 years.
25. Women gain weight when they move in with a boyfriend because their diet deteriorates, but men begin to eat more healthy food when they set up a home with a female partner.
26. Some 45 percent of Internet users, or about 60 million Americans, said they sought online help to make big decisions or negotiate their way through major episodes in their lives during the previous two years.
45. During the past five years, the existence of a peanut allergy in children has doubled.
47. A python was the first god worshipped by mankind, according to 70,000-year-old evidence found in a cave in Botswana’s Tosodilo hills.
This collection of comics brought me great joy: A special tribute to Calvin, Hobbes and the Underappreciated Art of the Snowman.
But this picture of the Pope at Christmas Mass is unfortunately creepy:
I’m sure he’s trying to look kind and approachable…
A very useful Wordie list: Watch Your Language, Young Man
If you’re looking to read the Iraq Study Group Report, but don’t find the .pdf appealing, check out the version the Institute for the Future of the Book has created. Their online edition is not only broken down into appetizing chunks, but also features commentary by a handful of experts.
Finally, the biggest buzz of late is the NRA’s “secret graphic novel,” a too-good-to-be-true piece of propaganda entitled Freedom In Peril: Guarding the 2nd Amendment in the 21st Century. After Wonkette’s post on Friday, and Boing Boing’s take shortly thereafter, it’s no longer a secret. Skeptics thought it was sure to be a hoax — but the detail and quality of the drawings (you can download the full .pdf on the links above) suggest otherwise. Seems it’s real. And it’s scary: