Representation Through Humiliation


Diet Posting

Posting will be lighter than usual, being, that I am on vacation in VA; not that posting on The Fry is heavy, or anything like that.

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Jesus Walked on Water. So what???

The New Testament says that Jesus walked on water, but a Florida university professor believes there could be a less miraculous explanation -- he walked on a floating piece of ice.

Professor Doron Nof also theorized in the early 1990s that Moses's parting of the Red Sea had solid science behind it. Nof, a professor of oceanography at Florida State University, said on Tuesday that his study found an unusual combination of water and atmospheric conditions in what is now northern Israel could have led to ice formation on the Sea of Galilee.

Nof used records of the Mediterranean Sea's surface temperatures and statistical models to examine the dynamics of the Sea of Galilee, which Israelis know now as Lake Kinneret. The study found that a period of cooler temperatures in the area between 1,500 and 2,600 years ago could have included the decades in which Jesus lived.

A drop in temperature below freezing could have caused ice thick enough to support a human to form on the surface of the freshwater lake near the western shore, Nof said. It might have been nearly impossible for distant observers to see a piece of floating ice surrounded by water. Nof said he offered his study -- published in the April edition of the Journal of Paleolimnology -- as a "possible explanation" for Jesus' walk on water.

"If you ask me if I believe someone walked on water, no, I don't," Nof said. "Maybe somebody walked on the ice, I don't know. I believe that something natural was there that explains it. We leave to others the question of whether or not our research explains the biblical account." When he offered his theory 14 years ago that wind and sea conditions could explain the parting of the Red Sea, Nof said he received some hate mail, even though he noted that the idea could support the biblical description of the event.

And as his theory of Jesus' walk on ice began to circulate, he had more hate mail in his e-mail inbox.

"They asked me if I'm going to try next to explain the resurrection," he said.

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Black Holes in Love

Two supermassive black holes have been found to be spiraling toward a merger, astronomers said today.

The collision will create a single super-supermassive black hole capable of swallowing material equal to billions of stars, the researchers said.

Mergers between black holes are thought to be one way they grow. A handful of similar setups have been observed in which black holes appear inevitably on a merger course. This pair, at the center of a galaxy cluster called Abell 400, was known to be close but their fate hadn't been determined.

"The question was: Is this pair of supermassive black holes an old married couple, or just strangers passing in the night?" said Craig Sarazin of the University of Virginia.

"We now know that they are coupled, but more like the mating of black widow spiders. One of the black holes invariably will eat the other."

Black holes can't be seen. Their presence is inferred by their gravitational effects on their surroundings and by radiation from near the black hole, where a feeding frenzy superheats gas so much that it emits X-rays.

Determining that these two black holes will collide involved other indirect evidence, drawing data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Each of the black holes in Abell 400 is ejecting a pair of oppositely directed jets of superheated gas called plasma. The movement of the black holes through gas in the galaxy cluster causes the plasma jets to be swept backward.

"The jets are similar to the contrails produced by planes as they fly through the air on Earth," Sarazin said. "From the contrails, we can determine where the planes have been, and in which direction they are going. What we see is that the jets are bent together and intertwined, which indicates that the pair of supermassive black holes are bound and moving together."

When the objects merge several million years from now, Einstein's theory of relativity predicts they will emit a burst of gravitational waves. Similar mergers could soon be detected by NASA's planned Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA).

The results will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

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Random Facts of the Day

April 5, 2006

• While 73 percent of elevators have a "door close" button, the button only works in eight percent of those elevators.

• Over the course of American history, more of the consumed saturated fat has been from peanuts than any other source.

• Prolonged erections are the leading cause of hypoxic brain damage among men.

• The FBI estimates that six percent of government workers are foreign spies.

• It would take an ant 500 feet tall to lift the Empire State building.

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Random Facts of the Day

April 4, 2006

• The Great Wall of China is 2,800 times more massive than the Great Pyramid of Giza.

• According to the biography Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich by David Irving, Joseph Goebbels (Nazi Germany's Propaganda Minister) had acquired the nickname "gerbils" while studying at the University of Heidelberg.

• The French Parliament recently passed legislation mandating that cell phone ring tones used within France must be of either culturally-neutral tones or of songs either performed by or written by French citizens.

• Two of the three founding members of the Blue Man Group were previously in the '80s new-wave band Devo.

• While cardboard is of course "naturally" brown, post-recycled cardboard is actually off-white due to the bleach used during the pulping process and must be dyed brown to be acceptable to consumers.

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Random Facts of the Day

April 3, 2006

• Eight percent of "gunk" removed during a routine dentist appointment is bone matter.

• Nine state Departments of Motor Vehicles will skip a sequentially generated license plate if it contains the number "666."

• In 2004, three members of the Army Corps of Engineers created an electronic speaker which measured 150 feet around. The speaker was never used at full volume for fear of causing internal hemorrhaging to the developers.

• 62 percent of Oscar winners can be genealogically traced to a common great grandmother who was born in 12 A.D.

• Since 2000, the average price of a movie ticket has increased yearly by four times the rate of inflation.

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Random Facts of the Day

April 2, 2006

• In a 2004 study by OSHA, it was discovered that people who will "usually" eat food that they've accidentally dropped on the floor report having 18 percent fewer sick days from work than those who "never" do that.

• The oldest continuously-played Dungeons & Dragons character is believed to be a 237th level magic-user named Kirin Blade. Tom Darcy started his character in 1979, and has played the game every weekend since then for an estimated total of 22,500 hours.

• Windows NT was so named because the letters "NT" follow "MS", which is an abbreviation for Microsoft. Windows XP follows a similar convention, where the letters "XP" follow "WN", being an abbreviation for Windows.

• Due to the damming of the Yangtze River in China, the freshwater umber whale (which is roughly two-thirds the size of its saltwater cousins) has been added to the endangered species list.

• The Popeye's "New Orleans style" chicken restaurant chain saw their nationwide revenue increase by 27 percent in the two months following Hurricane Katrina.

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Living on Earth: 3/31/06

Pick up your free audio (mp3 format) copy of this week's Living on Earth program

Living on Earth (LOE) with Steve Curwood is the weekly environmental news and information program distributed by National Public Radio (NPR). Every week approximately 300 National Public Radio stations broadcast Living on Earth's news, features, interviews and commentary on a broad range of ecological issues. The show airs in 9 of the 10 top radio markets and reaches 80% of the US.

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Harvard says "Prayers Don't Work"

A study of more than 1,800 patients who underwent heart bypass surgery has failed to show that prayers specially organized for their recovery had any impact, researchers said Thursday.

In fact, the study found some of the patients who knew they were being prayed for did worse than others who were only told they might be prayed for -- though those who did the study said they could not explain why.

The patients in the study at six U.S. hospitals included 604 who were actually prayed for after being told they might or might not be; another 597 patients who were not prayed for after being told they might or might not be; and a group of 601 who were prayed for and told they would be the subject of such prayer.

The praying was done by members of three Christian groups in monasteries and elsewhere -- two Catholic and one Protestant -- who were given written prayers and the first name and initial of the last name of the prayer subjects. The prayers started on the eve of or day of surgery and lasted for two weeks.

Among the first group -- who were prayed for but only told they might be -- 52 percent had post-surgical complications compared to 51 percent in the second group, the ones who were not prayed for though told they might be. In the third group, who knew they were being prayed for, 59 percent had complications.

After 30 days, however, the death rates and incidence of major complications was about the same across all three groups, said the study published in the American Heart Journal.

Will I stop praying? No. How about you? Take the poll below!

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SurfControl: Access Denied

Posting on The Daily fry is going to be much lighter than it has been because my high school has re-programmed SurfControl, the lovely internet usage filter and content blocker, blocking and all sites derived from the site (i.e.:

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Random Facts of the Day

• A cat is twice as likely to be fatally injured if it falls between two and six stories, than if it falls seven to 32 stories.

• In the 1893 case Nix v. Hedden, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the tomato is a vegetable.

• The chocolate chip cookie was invented in 1930 by Ruth Wakefield. It gained renown when it was featured on the packaging for Nestle chocolate.

• Originally, Twinkies were produced with banana filling, but this was replaced with a vanilla filling due to the rationing of bananas during World War II.

• In a race for Virginia House of Burgesses, George Washington's campaign gave away 160 gallons of alcohol on election day, about a quart and a half per voter.

All facts are provided by

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