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New Census Study Finds That 40% Of U.S. Population Is Filler

WASHINGTON—Saying that a sizable cross-section of Americans exist solely to round out the nation’s general population, a new study released Wednesday by the Census Bureau found that a full 40 percent of U.S. citizens are just filler. “Our data indicates that roughly 126 million people in this country essentially serve to just take up some space between the others,” said Census Bureau spokesperson Olivia Johnson, adding that at least 15 states have functioned as nothing more than cushioning for the rest of the country from the moment they were admitted to the union. “The United States is a large country, and our research shows that two out of every five Americans are really just fluff to fill in the gaps around more valuable citizens.” Johnson went on to say it was unclear whether the U.S. as a whole was doing anything more than padding out North America.

From the Onion.


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Gustave Courbet | La Bacchante | c.1847


Moss Balls of Lake Myvatn and Lake Akan

Moss Balls or marimo (Japanese for “ball seaweed”), also known by various names such as Cladophora ball and Lake ball, is a species of filamentous green algae named Aegagropila linnaei that grow into large green balls with a velvety appearance. These balls grow to sizes of 12 to 30 cm across, depending on where you find them. Marimos are rare and is known to occur only in Iceland, Scotland and Japan, primarily Lake Akan in Japan and Lake Mývatn in Iceland. Recently, moss balls appeared in a large numbers on Dee Why Beach, in Sydney, the first such spotting of this algae in the southern hemisphere.
—Marimo doesn’t grow around a core, such as a pebble. Instead, the algal filaments grow in all directions from the centre of the ball, continuously branching and thereby laying the foundation for the spherical form. Surprisingly, the ball is green all through, although light only reaches very short distance into the ball. The chlorophyll inside the ball remains dormant in the dark, but becomes active when exposed to light if the ball breaks apart. Moss balls are found submerged in the lake’s bed where the gentle wave action frequently turns them over maintaining its spherical shape, at the same time ensuring that they can photosynthesize no matter which side is turned upwards.

moss balls

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