Picture of New Iwo Jima Silver Dollar

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“The silver dollar, featuring Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal’s historic flag-raising photograph, was released during a ceremony at U.S. Marine Corps Base Quantico.” (Seattle Post Intelligencer)

Blinks to this item often describe it as pictures of the “new U.S. silver dollar,” but the impression I take from the article is that this is a commemorative coin and not meant for general circulation.

Does anyone ever see any Susan B. Anthony or Sacajawea dollar coins anymore? There is a change-making machine where I work that dispenses dollar coins in change for large-denomination bills. Several times a week, I go there and get as many as I can bear carrying around in my pockets and use them for general transactions. They are often not recognized for what they are, and cashiers think I have given them quarters instead of dollars, as they are not too much bigger. Others are surprised and delighted to get the coins. Rarely, a shopkeeper is annoyed.

By the way, I have heard that the Joe Rosenthal photograph was staged after the fact.


Colour of the Day

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“Does each day of the week have its own colour? This question has long intrigued the designer Johanna Balušikova, culminating in the Colour Of The Day project: an investigation into colour associations and their relationships to specific days of the week. A survey was conducted where the following question was posed to 75 creative field workers from 20 different countries: what colour do you associate with each day of the week? The result is a series of t-shirts, one for each day of the week, the colour of each having been selected by majority vote. The shirts could either be worn according to the calendar days, or more intuitively, according to the actual mood of the wearer.” (Typotheque)

I am somewhat synesthetic, so for me of course every day of the week has always had a color (as do the letters of the alphabet, the digits, the months of the year etc…). However, my colors are nothing like the consensus ones!


Chronic fatigue is not all in the mind

“At long last, we are beginning to get to grips with chronic fatigue syndrome. Differences in gene expression have been found in the immune cells of people with the disease, a discovery that could lead to a blood test for the disorder and perhaps even to drugs for treating it.

The symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome have been compared to those of a really bad hangover: extreme weakness, inability to think straight, disrupted sleep and headache. But unlike a hangover, the symptoms linger for years, devastating people’s lives.

While nobody doubts CFS exists, just about every aspect of it is controversial. Some say it is the same as myalgic encephalomyelitis, or ME; others disagree. Many specialists are convinced it does have a biological basis, but pinning down physical abnormalities common to all patients has proved tough. People with CFS have often received little sympathy from doctors who dismiss it as ‘all in the mind’.” (New Scientist)


British police kill Brazilian in bomb probe blunder

“…Police hunting four men who tried to bomb London’s transport system chased and shot dead a man on Friday who had been under surveillance and refused orders to halt.

…Police expressed regret for the tragedy and named the innocent victim as Jean Charles de Menezes, a 27-year-old electrician who had been living in London for three years.

…Anti-terrorism expert Robert Ayers of the Royal Institute of International Affairs said police have “demonstrated that they are operating on the premise right now that if they suspect that someone is a bomber, and that the public is going to be endangered by him, they have shoot-to-kill orders.”” (Boston Globe)


Children As young as 7 display ability to take what they are told with a grain of saltt

Kids are Cynics, Too? Yeah, Right: “As a generally cynical society, we tend to assume that the only innocent minds worth cherishing are those of children. However, that idyllic thought could be dashed to pieces because as early as first or second grade, children can show definite signs they are gaining the lifelong skill of taking some information they hear with a grain of salt.” (American Psychological Society)

Safe at Home?

What’s in Your Medicine Cabinet?: “The next-best thing to keeping a family doctor in your medicine cabinet is to make advance plans for dealing with home medical emergencies.

Emergency medicine begins at home, say disaster preparedness experts. Every household should have some basic first-aid supplies on hand to cope with minor emergencies.” (MedPageToday)


Only A Big Deal in An Uptight, Sick Society

Recriminations fly back and forth between a game manufacturer which left ‘vestigial’ code for a raunchy scene in shipping verions of its game, supposedly inaccessible to consumers, and the modder who developed a downloadable hack to unlock the scene. Calls for a government investigation ensue!

“Rockstar’s parent company, Take Two Interactive, was quick to blame the modder and disavow responsibility for the racy content. In a July 13 press release, the company claimed that ‘a determined group of hackers’ had gone to ‘significant trouble to alter scenes in the official version of the game,’ a process that the company said involved disassembling, recompiling and ‘altering the game’s source code.’

But on Wednesday, an investigation by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board concluded that Take Two was, in fact, responsible for the sex content, which was found in all three versions of San Andreas: the PC, Xbox and PlayStation2 discs. Wildenborg’s Hot Coffee download merely made the scenes accessible.

The industry group revoked the game’s M rating, which labeled it appropriate for players 17 or older, and re-filed it under AO for ‘adults only’ — raising the minimum age to 18, the year at which a delicate teen becomes less susceptible to the harmful influence of computer-generated cartoon sex.” (Wired News )


Souter in Roberts’ Clothing

Ann Coulter, Ann Coulter, says Bush’s nomination of Roberts concerns her.

“After pretending to consider various women and minorities for the Supreme Court these past few weeks, President Bush decided to disappoint all the groups he had just ginned up and nominate a white male.

So all we know about him for sure is that he can’t dance and he probably doesn’t know who Jay-Z is. Other than that, he is a blank slate. Tabula rasa. Big zippo. Nada. Oh, yeah … We also know he’s argued cases before the Supreme Court. Big deal; so has Larry Flynt’s attorney.

But unfortunately, other than that that, we don’t know much about John Roberts. Stealth nominees have never turned out to be a pleasant surprise for conservatives. Never. Not ever. “