BBC's 100 Things...

Just noticed this buried in the middle of a Groklaw entry. 100 things we didn't know this time last year is the year end almanac of BBC's 10 things we didn't know last week.

Among the best include:

12. Until the 1940s rhubarb was considered a vegetable. It became a fruit when US customs officials, baffled by the foreign food, decided it should be classified according to the way it was eaten.

19. The = sign was invented by 16th Century Welsh mathematician Robert Recorde, who was fed up with writing "is equal to" in his equations. He chose the two lines because "noe 2 thynges can be moare equalle".

35. The name Lego came from two Danish words "leg godt", meaning "play well". It also means "I put together" in Latin.

48. A quarter of the world's clematis come from one Guernsey nursery, where production will top 4.5m plants this year alone.

73. One in six children think that broccoli is a baby tree.

74. It takes a gallon of oil to make three fake fur coats.

88. A single "mother" spud from southern Peru gave rise to all the varieties of potato eaten today, scientists have learned.

Snow Fighting, the Alaskan Way

While digging out the 3 inches of slurpee on my driveway this morning, from our 6 - 12 inch storm that only dropped a couple inches of sleet, a friend sent me Snowfighting on the Alaska Railroad.

I think my favorite pictures is that of the Russell Car (shown right). Now this is a machine that is wonderfully designed for a single purpose. Unfortunately it was designed for a purpose that didn't actually work in Alaska, because the tracks are too curved. The Russel Cars all derailed very easily.

... but they still look really cool ...

Exploring and discovering how things are more complicated, with a focus on climate and software