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From today's featured article - Solar flares

Magnificent CME Erupts on the Sun - August 31.jpg

Solar flares are inexplicable fiery eruptions that occur on the surface of the Sun and make for some pretty cool desktop wallpapers. A single solar flare can release up to 6 × 1025 joules of heat into the vast vacuum of space, enough energy to power the city of Baltimore for far too long. The phenomenon is one of the leading wasters of energy in the universe, second only to people who forget to turn off the lights when they leave a room. Currently, nobody knows for certain how or why solar flares occur, although several theories have been developed by the American Astronomical Society and the very vocal scientific experts that comment on Yahoo! News articles.

One of the most widely accepted explanations for the phenomenon is that solar flares are actually maritime distress signals launched by astronauts floating in the Sun's vast oceans, which would explain their name. After the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated while reentering the Earth's atmosphere, neither the crew nor their flare guns were recovered, leading some to believe that the ship's crew escaped on a life boat to the Sun and now sets off flares periodically in hopes of signaling NASA scientists. Some have gone as far as to say that other forms of extraterrestrial life have also become stranded on the Sun's surface after crashing their flying saucers, but those people are just crazy. (Full article...)

Did you know...

Henryhigh.jpg
  • ... that President Hoover (pictured) was an actual hoover?
  • ...that food is probably the most addictive substance known to man?
    • ...that withdrawal symptoms include nausea, hallucinations and possibly death?
      • ...that the reason the government does not ban it is because of the tax money it gets from the food industry?
  • ...that Alaska's principle exports include snow, ice, frozen water, and permafrost?
  • ...that you can always pay your credit card bills using your credit card?
  • ...that prune juice is the world's brownest juice?
  • ...that I like cats, but could never eat a whole one?
  • ...that [Wiki|wiki formatting]] is perfect]? It never malfunctions'!

In the news

On this day...

Sharks can be very dangerous... and apparently they also sometimes play in bands.

October 25: Shark Awareness Day

  • 625 - Pope Boniface V eaten by a blue shark.
  • 1147 - The Portuguese, under Afonso I, and Crusaders from England conquer Lisbon after a four-month siege. They decide to celebrate by going for a swim, and then all get eaten by tiger sharks.
  • 1655 - Shark arrives from the future, is promptly killed by puzzled Welshman.
  • 1936 - The Rome-Berlin Axis is created by Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and a bunch of great white sharks (the sharks wanted to ally with Hitler, because they were great white supremacists).
  • 1946 - The secret vote was held by the British parliament to enact the 1946 Gay and Lesbian Slavery Act
  • 1977 - Renegade child eats dozens of sharks at Miami Beach. Panicked King Tritan declares State of Emergency and suspends Civil Liberties.
  • 1979 - Green Peace activist dies after trying to train the first vegetarian shark.
  • 1988 - The Gardners are cloned
  • 1993 - Vincent Price dies.
  • 1994 - Vincent Price's tomb found empty and a series of bizarre murders occur. Sharks are prime suspects.
  • 1997 - Charge of the White Van Men an infamous fight during the Battle of Balaclava
  • 2006 - All travel to Australia banned; shark eats young child at beach.
  • 2007 - Jim Toomey, writer of the comic strip Sherman's Lagoon, is given honorary Cambodian citizenship.
  • 2008 - (Morning) I could not find my keys. Sharks were to blame.
  • 2008 - (Afternoon) It was discovered that I forgot they were on the table. Sharks were to blame.
  • 2008 - (Evening) The goddamn car wouldn't start. An alliance of sharks and malicious little green men is to blame.

Today's featured picture

Aoushot1.jpg

A screenshot from Age of Umpires II: Age of Cricket. In this example, we see the classic "Shotgun-Seven" formation being used to maximum effect. Any good Umpire would note that this places a good deal of emphasis on the left side, making it easy enough to sneak in the stray foul wicket.

Image Credit: Hindleyite
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