Monthly Archives: June 2011

“Would you like a cancer vaccine?” “Oh, no thanks.”

I do not get this. Some years ago, one of the nastier cancers humans can suffer from was found to have an easily targeted cause: the sexually-transmitted human papilloma virus, or HPV. HPV is usually fought off by the immune … Continue reading

Posted in culture, science | 15 Comments

Drama at the Italian opera

Italy has been making an unfortunate name for itself lately: piles of uncollected garbage in Naples, unrestrained persecution of Roma (gypsies), and a prime minister known more for corruption and “bunga bunga” parties with underaged girls and prostitutes than for … Continue reading

Posted in culture, Europe, politics | 6 Comments

Don’t start that engine

Guess what happened to this car? To find out, and to see spectacular photos of a certain spot in Chile that is currently in the news, go here. (The photos of the light-flushed clouds and lightning are particularly awe-inspiring.)

Posted in event | Leave a comment

Subtle discrimination

FOUR SAME-SEX ‘MARRIAGE’ DIVORCES IN FIRST YEAR That’s the headline on page 7 of this week’s Portugal News. The lead paragraph reads: As Portugal’s first same-sex married couple prepare to celebrate their first anniversary it has been revealed that of … Continue reading

Posted in culture, politics, Portugal | 18 Comments

Wallpaper Monday

Just for a change of pace, from the macro to the micro: here is the scenic view off Flores Island, Indonesia. (Who says scenery has to be above water?) Featured in National Geographic’s coral series, this arresting image shows a … Continue reading

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HOW many tons??

Back in March I wrote a post about the prevalence of dog poop in Portuguese cities. I have since learned, via Spiegel, that the dog poop issue in Berlin is apparently even worse. [I]n contrast to many other major European … Continue reading

Posted in culture, Europe | 13 Comments

Portuguese trail kilometers

Back in the western US, we had a joke about how there were miles, and then there were Forest Service miles. If you were hiking a trail in a national forest, and the Forest Service sign said the trail was … Continue reading

Posted in Portugal | 3 Comments

A packaging rant

Having recently acquired a new camera with a faster memory card than my old USB card reader could handle, I ordered a Belkin ExpressCard reader from Amazon UK. Yesterday the package finally arrived. My first thought was, “Wow, Amazon sure … Continue reading

Posted in tech | 7 Comments

A rare photo, a last flight

(Click on the image to massively embiggen. It’s now my wallpaper.) If you read astronomy blogs or even straight-up science news, you’ve probably already seen this photo. But for readers who don’t frequent those sites, here is one heck of … Continue reading

Posted in science, tech | 4 Comments

We need a new word

While driving down a rural highway yesterday, I saw a large truck turning left out of a side road. It was clearly going to require both lanes to complete the turn, and I assumed the driver had not seen me … Continue reading

Posted in life, Portugal | 7 Comments