Wednesday Links


My dad grew incredible roses, and every season would pick the most perfect one for my mom and put in a pickle jar in the middle of the kitchen table. A Pollack's version of romance. My mom loved it.

Video- Dan Pink's travel tips

Scientists are developing an 'electronic nose' app for smart phones

Report: female farmworkers suffer sex abuse

Video- Russian soft-drinks explained: tastes like forests, rye bread, licorice, bubblegum

New exhibition at the V&A to chart the glitz and glamour of formal gowns over the decades

3D printed chess set whose pieces form a "Chess Giant"

Traditional English flower makes a comeback after gardeners fall out of love with exotic blooms

Carlos Fuentes, eminent Mexican writer, dies at 83

Rewired nerves allow paralysed man to use hand

Video- Animated Russian "Winnie the Pooh" from 1972 is quite the Nietzschean bummer

Women with supportive families are not pressurised by 'thin and beautiful' ideal

Younger Cuban-American voters shift away from the GOP and toward an independent outlook

Hilarious pictures of the pets who just couldn't keep out of the picture

GOP shoots down civil unions in Colorado

Earliest ever limestone carvings dating back 37,000 years believed to depict female private parts (if you have a vivid imagination)

How to: Make a unicorn

Kodak's New York HQ housed secret underground nuclear reactor

Senators see ballooning national crisis: helium shortage

  • Bose

    The limited coverage of helium-related issues has bugged me ever since my partner used it to end his life.  Yes, helium is toxic, in the same fashion as carbon monoxide.  When inhaled, it binds up oxygen receptors in the bloodstream. 

    The tragic death of a 14-y/o in Oregon (Feb, 2012) is an exception.  In this case, instead of a suicidal teen, it was a party where the helium was a party favor, and the parents have become activists.

    I've wondered if toxicity is discussed so little, at least in part, to avoid publicizing that it can be used to achieve relatively quick, painless, nonviolent death.

    Regardless, I get angry when I see Jimmy Fallon's show (and others) using it.

    The Armenian balloon explosions earlier this month also only hit the weird-news segments.  Over 150 people were hospitalized after hundreds of balloons caught fire above a crowd at a political rally.  Speculation is that they were filled with hydrogen, not helium.  Even though helium is less toxic, though, the question sticks with me: Why do we continue to use a toxic, non-renewable resource as a cheap party icon?