Daily Dispatches

Web Reads: How many tentacles does it take to unscrew a jar?


God’s wonders. The heavens declare the glory of God, and video allows us to see His wonders. One entertaining video shows an octopus in a jar with a screwed-on lid. Using its tentacles, the octopus  unscrews the lid from the inside and lets itself out. Kids will enjoy watching the eight-tentacled Houdini. Another video shows a  super cell forming in Wyoming.

Drug resistance. Megan McArdle writes about why drug companies are finding it so difficult to discover new classes of antibiotics to fight antibiotic-resistant bacterias: “If we knew how to find lots of great new antibiotics, this wouldn’t be a policy argument; we’d have lots of great new antibiotics, and we wouldn’t need to worry about resistance. The very existence of a policy issue tells you that it is difficult to solve, either politically or technically.”

Pomp and circumstance. NPR has compiled links to 300 commencement speeches going back more than two centuries. David Brooks wins with three included speeches, beating out other notables like President Barack Obama, actress Meryl Streep, President John F. Kennedy, and writer Kurt Vonnegut, each with two.

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Lost interviews. What do journalists do with all their old interview tapes? PBS archives those “lost” interviews and makes them available on the website blankonblank.org. Animations accompany segments taken from longer interviews, as illustrated by this snippet featuring Johnny Cash talking about the gospel.

Crazy ants. Strange critters in the Lone Star state: A New York Times reporter encountered an invasive species, the Raspberry crazy ant, that is blowing out air conditioners and other electronic equipment: “Soon ants were spiraling up the tongues of my sneakers, onto my sock. I tried to shake them off, but nothing I did disturbed them. Before long, I was sweeping them off my own calves. I kept instinctively taking a step back from some distressing concentration of ants, only to remember that I was standing in the center of an exponentially larger concentration of ants. There was nowhere to go.” But there was: “I got in my car and left.”

Susan Olasky
Susan Olasky

Susan pens book reviews and other articles for WORLD as a senior writer and has authored eight historical novels for children. Susan and her husband Marvin live in Asheville, N.C. Follow Susan on Twitter @susanolasky.


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