Smuggling Dinosaur Bones, and More

The Black Market for DinosaursThe New Yorker

“Facing a possible seventeen years in prison, Prokopi started talking. In the seventeen months since he pleaded guilty, he has helped to widen the U.S. investigation into fossil smuggling, providing details about specific specimens, dates, and locations. “There is probably not an active fossil investigation at this point that doesn’t owe, on some level, to information that Mr. Prokopi has furnished law enforcement,” Martin Bell, an assistant U.S. Attorney, told the U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein last week, when Prokopi returned to the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan for sentencing. The case has pushed federal authorities to get their “act together” with respect to “the policing of this admittedly obscure area,” Bell said, adding, “The government’s only recently realizing the contours of that black market, and what it is.””

The rise and fall of Australian slangBBC News

“Aussies can also have a charming turn of phrase. The recent Australian budget was recently branded “as popular as a Polly Waffle in a public pool”. A Polly Waffle was a marshmallow chocolate bar on sale in Australia until 2009 – but because it was brown and cylindrical the term also came to refer, with lavatorial humour, to something else. A Polly Waffle in a pool is not popular at all.”

Don’t Expect to See a Triple Crown Anytime SoonFive Thirty Eight

“California Chrome is now the 13th horse to have won the first two races but failed to win the Belmont since Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978. Of the 13, one was scratched the day of the race, and eight lost to horses that didn’t even run in the Preakness.”

The secret lives of lost shipping containers–and the lives they supportBoing Boing

“Shipping containers like this one are lost in the ocean all the time, as many as 10,000 fall overboard every year. While they still float, those containers create hazards for smaller boats. When they settle on the seafloor … well, nobody really knows exactly what happens. At least, not in the long term. And that’s what makes the shipping container lost in Monterey Bay special. Falling within the boundaries of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, it was found by scientists, who have been studying it ever since.”

Pin-Up Queens: Three Female Artists Who Shaped the American Dream GirlCollector’s Weekly

“It’s easy to think of pin-up art as a charming relic of the old boys’ club—images that might line the walls of a Mid-Century smoking room where Don Draper and Roger Sterling slap each other on the back. And the names of the artists that come up over and over again are men: Alberto Vargas, George Petty, and Gil Elvgren. So you might be surprised to learn that, according to pin-up art expert Louis K. Meisel, three of the most talented pin-up painters from the Golden Age, roughly the 1920s to the early 1960s, were women. “Pearl Frush, Joyce Ballantyne, and Zoë Mozert were terrific, as good as any of the men—in fact, better than many of them,” Meisel says.”

What It’s Like to Deliver Bad News for a LivingThe Atlantic

“At first her job had entailed awarding vacations and prizes to top sales performers. But on the verge of filing for bankruptcy protection, the company promoted her to inventorying assets in district offices (down to the pencils and staplers)—a sure harbinger of pink slips.”

Why You Hate Workthe New York Times

“The way we’re working isn’t working. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a job, you’re probably not very excited to get to the office in the morning, you don’t feel much appreciated while you’re there, you find it difficult to get your most important work accomplished, amid all the distractions, and you don’t believe that what you’re doing makes much of a difference anyway. By the time you get home, you’re pretty much running on empty, and yet still answering emails until you fall asleep.”

Photo courtesy of chiappaintta.


This is a test