Mother Russia’s Medal for Mothers


Most of us are aware that population growth is a problem, and we are familiar with population control techniques employed by governments and suggested by economists and doctors to limit the dangers of overpopulation.  Case in point: China employs an infamous one child policy that limits urban couples to having one child.  This is part of the reality of the world we live in today – population is growing at an astronomical rate, and this growth has caused grave concern the world over about the Earth’s ability to support the continued addition of humans across the globe.  Alas, that is a topic for a different post on a different day.

The point is, overpopulation is a very recent concern and development.  Not so long ago, the bigger someone’s family was, the better.  When society was mostly rural and agrarian, more children meant more bodies to help around the house, raise crops, go hunting, etc.  As we moved from the country to the city thanks to the Industrial Revolution, large families became less important as an economic tool and transitioned to be more of an economic burden.  However, it appears this memo was never received in good old post-World War II Soviet Russia. Continue reading

Will North Korea Strike? Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jong


(If you don’t get the title reference…get cultured.)

Missile launchers near the borders. American warships chugging towards the Korean Peninsula. A cartoonish North Korean guy threatening to wipe everyone else off the map. Once again, it seems like we are closer than ever to a second Korean War. Actually, it would technically be the same war since a peace treaty was never signed to end the first one, but I digress. To someone who is only moderately familiar with the situation, things look bad: North Korea, or Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as it is formally known, almost certainly has nuclear technology as well as rockets to deliver it with; they have the largest army by number of personnel in the world; and they have a young leader with something to prove. But are things really as bad as they think? Let’s face it; diplomatically, things with the DPRK are always screwed up to one degree or another. So let me offer a few considerations from a military perspective that will hopefully let you breathe a sigh of relief.

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Beer Lovers Unite!


Take heed and heart fellow worshipers of this most glorious of sudsy beverages – beer not only tastes like an elixir of the gods (or demons, depending on your poison), but it also has some fantastic health benefits according to this infogram by our friends at WearYourBeer.com – although I do notice that “beer gut” is auspiciously absent from the benefits.  After all, what lady doesn’t like an man with a healthy beer gut, and how else are we supposed to fill the shopping malls of this country with passable Santa Clauses in December???  Important concerns that demand answers…  Nonetheless, please enjoy this fascinating glimpse in to the world of beer!  Continue reading

Not Otay – The Little Rascals Curse


We love our mysticism and intrigue. Everyone loves to point to curses to explain behavior and why bad things happen to beloved icons. Case in point: The Sports Illustrated and Madden Cover curses are two of the most discussed and most believed-in curses. Whenever someone goes down with an injury, it is that old Madden/SI curse rearing its ugly head again.

So today I have a treat for you – the melding of two of our most loved institutions in this country: The Little Rascals Curse.

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The $1.5 Million Vacation


For many of us, the dream vacation may consist of a few weeks on a private island, a trek across Northern Europe, or climbing the Andes to gaze upon ancient Incan ruins. But what if you could do all of this in one vacation? One company can make it happen for only $1.5 million and two years of your time.

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The Meteor Procession of 1913


On the evening of February 9th, 1913, one of the greatest meteoric events of the modern era occurred when tens of millions of people witnessed dozens of brilliant meteors moving slowly across the sky. Beginning somewhere in western Canada and extending all the way to the Atlantic Ocean just east of Brazil, the meteors followed one after another on an almost identical flight path and extended from horizon to horizon, with individual ones being visible for more than 30 seconds. The entire procession took five full minutes to travel all the way across the sky.

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US Presidents by the Numbers


Happy Presidents’ Day America! On every third monday in February, we take time (sometimes a full day if you’re lucky) to relax and appreciate the great – and not so great – men who have led our country through the good times and the bad. This day was originally a federal holiday in honor of George Washington’s birthday, until President Nixon declared that it should recognize all US Presidents. So in honor of this day, and because we here at *AT* love all things presidential, here are some fun facts about some statistical records among the leaders of the free world.

For reference, check out this list of US Presidents to refresh your mindgrapes.

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The Tunguska Event


Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Instead of posting about how this day brings people together blah blah commercialization blah blah The Notebook, I though’t I’d address another meeting of heavenly bodies – and those are the Earth and asteroid 2012 DA14. As you may have seen in the news this asteroid will set a record for near-misses after it passes within 15,000 miles of Earth. This obviously begs the question, “what if it hit us”? As it turns out, we experienced something which caused an effect similar to what would happen in 2012 DA14 hit us: it happened near the Tunguska River in Siberia in 1908.

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The Bizarre History of Cargo Cults


The native Polynesian tribe had occupied these same islands for a centuries. They had maintained the same culture, religion, language, and customs, making no significant leaps in technology as they lived in perfect harmony with the land. All they had ever known were those small islands; in fact, those islands were their known world. Then one day, the tribe spots an object in the sky. It looks like a bird, but it doesn’t flap its wings; it makes the sound of thunder, but there isn’t a cloud in sight; it reflects the light of the sun, but it is not made out of water, nor any other material known to them. The only possibility is that it must be a god.

Imagine how if would feel to be one of those tribesmen and women who were seeing an airplane for the first time ever and you’ll be ready to learn about the fascinating phenomena known as cargo cults.

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Three Famous Presidential Inaugurations


Happy MLK and Inauguration Day! Today, Barack Obama was sworn in for his second and final term as President of the United States – at least, it appeared that way. He was actually sworn in yesterday, January 20th, as dictated by the Twentieth Amendment to the US Constitution. However, since that fell on a Sunday, the inaugural ceremony took place today with all the pomp, hype, and glamour that can only be found during the biggest moments of American political history. In honor of this day – and because we here at *AT* love all things presidential – we would like to share the stories of three other inaugurations that stand out from the rest.

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