NPF: BY THE HAMMER OF THOR

Posted in No Politics Friday on July 12th, 2013 by Ed

My sixth sense is tingling, letting me know that this is one of those special Fridays wherein you feel like doing even less real work than usual. It would only be fair under those circumstances for me to provide as many amazing distractions as possible. In no particular order:

1. Here is a great "science for stupids" level video on how transistors work:

And now you know how transistors work. So that's cool, I guess.

2. Reuters posted a hilariously bad "travel postcard" on how to spend 48 hours in Minneapolis-St. Paul. This is not a joke, despite the fact that it details just about the worst two-day itinerary one could imagine. It advises readers to eat at chain restaurants, spend many hours at the Mall of America, and to take in a Twins game (helpfully noting that "matches normally last three-and-a-half hours but the possibility of overtime can mean a late finish."

3. In the category of "things in Ed's wheelhouse" we have a staggering gallery of 201 images of space art from the Soviet magazine "Tekhnika-Molodezhi" – roughly the equivalent of Popular Mechanics. The Russian title can be translated as "Technology of the Young Generation." The gallery includes both cover art and various illustrations from space-related articles.

Soviet

I was born in the wrong decade.

4. Read the tale of a family's quest to get Thor's Hammer on the military tombstones of their deceased loved ones as a symbol of Odinism. Oh, by the way, apparently Odinism is a thing that exists. Sure enough, the Veterans Administration now includes Thor's Hammer as one of the 58 approved religious/spiritual "symbols of belief" available on military tombstones:

hammer

That list is fascinating. I consider myself fairly well informed about religions, but there are at least 15 or 20 there that I've never heard of. I'm sure some are very small (it only takes one service member past or present to request adding a symbol, although not all requests are granted). So many unanswered questions. Why the sandhill crane? What the hell is Eckankar? When did atheism get a logo?

Enjoy.