This panorama is a composite made from a lot of photos taken of a 3,200 year old, 247′ tall tree called The President, in California’s Sequoia National Park, about five hours southeast of San Francisco. Note the people at the top and bottom of the tree.
The President, a giant sequoia. Photo by Michael Nichols/National Geographic
The President is the second largest tree in the world by volume (45,000 cubic feet), and the largest is another sequoia in the same park: a 275′ tall one named General Sherman (52,500 cubit feet).
The tallest tree in the world is a 379′ tall coast redwood named Hyperion, in another California park — Redwood National and State Park, about five hours north of San Francisco.
Finally, the oldest tree in the world is a newly-discovered, yet-unnamed Great Basin bristlecone pine, which has been living in the White Mountains of — you guessed it — California for a little over 5,000 years. The second-oldest one is the same kind of tree in the same mountains: the 4,800 year old Methuselah.
From National Geographic, via Neatorama
College Humor has these and other cards on their website, which would have been very popular with the ascetic Puritans.
From College Humor, via Laughing Squid
Few major events have produced more ridicule than the first pope to quit his job in 600 years. Daily Theology and Religion Dispatches have some great serious pieces on the matter, but here’s the lighter side:
Pretty clear the Pope was just using the church to build up his Twitter following. — @yoyoha
Citing his advanced age, the Pope is stepping down, adding, “Protecting pedophiles is a young man’s game.” — @FrankConniff
The Pope is really setting a high bar for giving something up for Lent. — @kjhealy
This is just a classic Pope negotiation tactic. He’s just looking for a pay day. — @seanoconnz
“Mouthpiece of God, 2005-2013″ -Pope’s Resume — @weismanjake
Happy Place, which found the above tweets, also came up with a preview of what else is coming from the first Pope to be on Twitter:
And finally, the BBC is reporting that God followed the resignation announcement with a lightning strike on the Pope’s church a few hours later:
From imgur, Happy Place, and BBC, via Neatorama
It’s things like this that help us realize that people are the same everywhere and in any era. We may think they were a more noble breed back in the ’50s, before cable TV and the Internet, but here’s proof that the creepy, middle-aged, Sarasota business man that tried to recruit you for a threesome with a water buffalo could just as easily have lived 50 years ago. It’s actually kind of a wonder that more PlentyOfFish profiles aren’t exactly like this. But then, just as you get a little faith in humanity, you remember Craigslist exists.
From imgur, via Happy Place
Save it to your phone for easy reference at the bar.
From The Roosevelts, via FAIL Blog
Conrad Heyer in 1852
The man above was born in Maine in 1749 and was 103 years old when this picture was taken. Over that span of time, he had fought in the Revolutionary War, crossed the Delaware with George Washington, then bought a farm and settled down in his native Maine. When he was born, the world population was a thousand times less than it is now, and in his lifetime the steam engine was invented, along with railroads, the telegraph, and of course, the photograph. His birthdate, like most people’s in that time, is hardly certain; but if true, he would likely be the earliest-born person ever photographed.
From Doug’s Darkworld, via Neatorama
Now it takes less than two hours — that’s 600x faster. The map below, from the 1932 Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States shows how long it took to get from New York City to the various parts of the country.
This was before railroads were an option. By 1830, the trip from New York City to Chicago was halved to three weeks, and by 1857, it was down to two days. Sixty years later, it was halved again to one day — still by rail. Now, you can get to any major city in the world in less than a day, and to almost any point on the planet. Back in 1800, that day would get you to New Jersey. In fact, now, you could theoretically get to the moon in just a couple of days — something literally unimaginable when Thomas Jefferson was alive. Whereas 200 years earlier than that, in Shakespeare’s time, the top speed was exactly the same: the speed of horse.
Mother Nature Network has a couple of more maps from the atlas.
From Mother Nature Network, via Laughing Squid