July 15, 2017: Illuminated Site of the Week: When Human Resources Isnít Getting The Job Done
On the outside, it looks like your everyday private-detective agency. On the inside, though, they advertise any number of things to help you with those most pernicious bugs: the ones the government implants in your body and doesn't have the decency to tell you about. Advanced Electronic Security Company, about as straightforward a name as anything in this world, helps its patrons avoid electronic surveillance and keep the latest mind-control lasers (orbital or otherwise) from finding their victims and erasing them memory by memory. There are costs, of course, but if you do call them for help, they ask you not do it from a compromised phone or device.
Keeping the wolves at bay no matter what portal they pry at is big business, and this digital-age harassment is just the tip of the iceberg. The Daily Beast has the story in greater depth.
-- Suggested by Ben Radford
July 2, 2017: Illuminated Site of the Week: We Already Made Change For That Dollar
So you won't be flipping it to determine heads or tails; it's still a fascinating bit of history. What do you do when money is barely worth the metal it's stamped on? Add value. Literally. Do as the Texas banks did, back before laws and standards became currency events: Hammer some additional coins onto it. Never mind the odd looks you'll get on the bus when they ask for exact change, or the phone calls tellers at your local bank branch will make with their hands cupped over the receiver. Just remind them necessity is the mother of invention and our faith in the system is the heart of our economy. (And you thought coin collecting was dull.) Numismatics.org has the pictures.
-- Suggested by Steve Jackson
June 18, 2017: Illuminated Site of the Week: Pony-Trekking Or Camping
What if there were no such place as Finland? More to the point, is there such a place as Finland? Looks like a lot of folks presented some pretty convincing evidence that it doesn't exist. Skeptoid podcast, whether in a fit of pique or out of a desire to maintain a favored vacation spot, urges you to clap your hands and keep it on the maps. Why, they ask, would people eat up the suggestion that an entire landmass isn't there? How do these things get going and what keeps them going? Brian Dunning writes and talks about it at the site.
He doesn't do it from Finland, mind you, but there's probably good reason for that.
-- Suggested by Andrew Hackard
May 6, 2017: Illuminated Site of the Week: Arenít Unicorns More . . . Fluffy?
Called the unicorn of mollusks, the long-sought, living-giant shipworm has been corralled. The three-foot black critter in a shell, once found only as dead specimens in musty labs, may offer insight into how these bivalves evolved from eating the decaying wood of shipwrecks to surviving on a resulting hydrogen-sulfide chemical bath, much like their biological kin who live near thermal vents on the floor of the sea. You can read the paper "published ahead of print" from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (in Honolulu) at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Buried in the sand, they've been said to resemble elephant tusks growing from the bed. That's a little like a unicorn horn, yes? Anyway, the resemblance ends there. The Washington Post has the story.
-- Suggested by Steve Jackson