Even a light blow to the chest - equivalent to being hit by a cricket ball - could cause a fatal heart attack.
However, scientists are now a little closer to understanding what causes these freakish sporting deaths.
An article in New Scientist reveals that a ball must hit the unlucky person at exactly the wrong point in their heartbeat cycle for death to ensue.
Chest protectors worn by sportsmen offer little protection, it is claimed.
Read entire article here.
He drives around all over the town, it's TooNces the driving cat!
A woman who switched beds to be closer to the window died after she was given the wrong type of blood during surgery at Inova Fairfax Hospital. A technician had taken a blood sample from her roommate, hospital officials confirmed this week.
Hospital leaders described the transfusion death as the first at the Falls Church hospital, the only trauma center in Northern Virginia. The 753-bed facility performs about 57,000 transfusions a year, officials said.
Good thing I did not have my baby at Inova Fairfax Hopsital.
This would be rather disapointing if true.
CAIRO (Reuters) - The mummy a British Egyptologist says could be the ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, renowned for her beauty, is much more likely to be a man, Egypt's antiquities chief Zahi Hawass says.
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - A woman in Cambodia has given herself up to authorities after accidentally killing her husband in a scuffle in which she squeezed his testicles until he fainted, a newspaper reported Friday.
Thanks to CrAzY Aunt Maru! You get SquEEzalbe No Prize!
Love hotels throughout Japan are apparently rushing to carry out repairs to improve their image.
Anyway, this young woman came in with a guy in his 60s. After a while, we got a call at the front desk asking for help. It was the old man. He was almost crying as he begged us to save him. They'd been doing it doggy style and got stuck together.
One guy came in with a woman he didn't know had a death wish. They had stripped off and were getting down to business when the woman suddenly pulled out a knife she'd hidden under her pillow, held it up at the guy and told him it was time for them to die together.
Go read the entire thing!
Errm... I don't think I would want to stick my hand in this kind of purse .
What happens at a Japanese zoo when a donkey and zebra get it on?
You get a Zeneky!
Volcanos are cool... from a distance .
OK! my turn to answer questions from Jim.
1. Should I take the cheap shot?... well, of course I should... How in the hell did a nice girl like you get all mixed up with Scott??
WOW!? A nice girl like me? Actually Scott and I met on an internet chat room. *EEEK!!* Yeah, he was shopping around for women and apparently I was the only one that he could have a "normal" conversation with. It escalated from there. As Scott would say, "Yes, you can actually find someone on the internet, you just have to go through a few psychos, one chick who's husband drops by, and a 14 year old in a wheelchair to find them."
2. What one thing haven't you told people on the website that you want them to know?
Hrmm... that is a good question. Other than being a sophisticated veterinary technician, a marvelously successful homemaker, and the mother of a future nobel-prize winner, I'm also the CEO of a nationwide chain of "discount adult entertainment" stores (the "Wal-Marts of Porn" -- Washington Post)
Just kidding... about the nobel prize thing I mean.
3. Now that you have a baby girl, are you going to let her act like you did when you were a teenager? (examples required)
I was the most BORING teenager ever! I wore all gray and black and didn't talk to anyone. Or maybe no one wanted to talk to me. Some asinine group of kids always called me "Death". Why? I have no fucking clue. I really had no friends in high school at all, I studied all the time. In my senior year I had so many credits I wasn't allowed in school after 11 am.
Would I want Olivia to be like me? Hell No! I think half of my problems were that I wasn't outgoing enough. If she wants to take a dance class, by all means she gets to do it. Same with sports and a musical instrument if she wants it. I really would like her to be her own person.
4. If you could never, ever have a cat, dog, fish (or whatever other pets you currently have) (... the horror!), what pet would you have and why?
I would want a Sugar Glider! They are too cute for words! Plus you can keep them in your pocket. I would always have my pet with me! Scott says, "then they'll call you the crazy squirrel lady instead of the crazy cat lady... some trade." Buttmunch.
5. How much time DO you spend surfing the net for porn? Actually I don't surf for porn on my computer. If I wanted porn I'd use Scott's computer... he has much better bookmarks.
I only look for the weird shit. I have learned the hard way to stay away from porn that says 'barn yard animals', 'old people', and of course ALWAYS stay away from the porn that says *shocking!*. So ok, back to the origional question. I surf maybe and hour a day for weird porn stuff.
Ok, so, as required:
1. If you want to participate, leave a comment saying "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions (not the same as you see here).
3. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
I hate flying in bad weather. Once we went to NY to visit my family and got stuck in this 10 passenger turbo prop airplane. OK, not bad, until we flew through a thunderstorm. I thought I was going to puke. Good thing the ride was only an hour.
This plane was not so lucky!
Joshua gets a spun-silk no-prize for bringing this Scientific American article to our attention:
Scientists have long envied the lowly silkworm's ability to spin the strongest natural fiber known to man. Now they are one step closer to understanding just how the creature manages the feat. In a paper published today in the journal Nature, researchers reveal that the key lies in the animal's ability to carefully control the water content in its silk glands. The findings should help improve future artificial silk-making techniques.
While the stuff about empire is wrong and, IMO, more than a little slanted, this article does a decent job of articulating what I think a "good" conservative is... someone concerned primarily with active, aggressive foreign policies. Someone not at all interested in the moral agendas of the fundo-wackies. The summary is nice:
Any regime that is outwardly hostile to the US and could pose a threat would be confronted aggressively, not "appeased" or merely contained. The US military would be reconfigured around the world to allow for greater flexibility and quicker deployment to hot spots in the Middle East, as well as Central and Southeast Asia. The US would spend more on defense, particularly for high-tech, precision weaponry that could be used in preemptive strikes. It would work through multilateral institutions such as the United Nations when possible, but must never be constrained from acting in its best interests whenever necessary.
Date check time... how many of you out there remember "Kaptain Kool and the Kongs?"
Oh God, c'mon, more than that. Geeze. It's sad when a 35 year old gets nostalgia.
At any rate, while I was doing a google search for them just so I could show all you youngins just how weeeiiirrddd Saturday morning TV was in the 70s, I found a real jem: TVParty.com, which seems to make a living selling all these old programs.
Of much more interest to me, and therefore of course I assume you (since we all know the world revolves around this website, right?), was their summary of Saturday morning cartoons. Unfortunately, they don't seem to have created a summary page for them, so I'll just hit the highlights:
Well, there you have it. Some of you probably said, "oh my god! I remember that!" just like I did, others will shake their head and wonder, "what the hell?!?"
I'll just go on record saying Captain Marvel could kick a smurff to the moon and back. 80s cartoons just weren't the same.
At least I hope this is a joke. I'm not completely sure you can even drive with it on. Ok mom, when we say "ricers", this is what we're talking about.
The teenager that still lives inside me got a vicarious thrill while I read this article about a guy who decided to get every single answer on the SAT wrong.
Note: Site goes into excruciating detail, especially at the beginning. If you're eyes start to glaze as he describes how scores work, just scroll down like I did.
Slashdot featured it awhile ago, no idea how I missed it then, must've been on a weekend or something.
There's just something so thrilling to me, taking one of "the man's" tests with the express intent of screwing it up, and known there will be no serious repercussions for your action. Especially while in college, the urge to simply get up and walk out of a test room just as the test was handed to me could be palpable. And, like the guy says, by the time you finish even undergrad school you've taken hundreds of tests.
To this day I still have "school panic" dreams. You know, it's finals day and you suddenly remember you never actually dropped German III, you just stopped showing up, and now you're walking into that class for the first time in three months to take a test that'll torpedo your college career? Or you wander aimlessly through the halls of your highschool trying to find Senior English, but the room numbers keep changing and you can't read them anyway?
Well, those are mine anyway. I sometimes wonder if I'm the only one who has them...
Joshua gets his second no-prize of the day for bringing this article about new "micro" motors to our attention:
The motor is about 500 nanometers across, 300 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. While the part that rotates, the rotor, is between 100 and 300 nanometers long, the carbon nanotube shaft to which it is attached is only a few atoms across, perhaps 5-10 nanometers thick.
Instapundit linked up this article written by a former green beret with some interesting observations I myself have noticed:
The wonder to those of us who trained to be guerrillas is not that there is so much activity right now in Iraq but so little. If the situation was reversed and our special ops guys were advising the resistance, the entire country would be aflame. A well-trained, organized force supported by a significant percentage of the Iraqi population would have scores of bombings daily along with dozens of assassinations.Read the whole thing, very interesting.
Criticism is surfacing that President Bush has turned Iraq into a battleground for terrorists. If that is truly the case then, well, good: better to fight them in Iraq where they are isolated, vulnerable and the rules of engagement permit our professionals to engage and eliminate them, than to have to fight them here. If Iraq is the catalyst that is bringing these vermin out of their holes in Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and Palestine, then, hooray, we have achieved yet another tangential benefit by fighting the war.
Also from Space.com, this interesting bit about what Earth-ish planets might be like if they were tilted more or less than the Earth. Turns out it gets hotter the further over you tilt, until you pass about 54 degrees, then it gets colder again. Planets are weird.
You weren't the only one sitting outside looking at Mars last night. The Hubble got busy too. Of course, a huge mirror in orbit has some advantages over your eyes, so the results were impressive.
Joshua gets another spun-glass no-prize for bringing us this update on the discovery of sponges that can make glass fibers finer than any industrial process. This time with pictures of said critters.
By now most of you have probably seen that startling sattelite image of the '03 blackout. Very cool, yes? Nope, turns out it's a hoax. Also includes some *real* photos of the blackout. I did notice the blacked out area didn't look like the "regular" blacked out areas, but figured it had something to do with some funny photography thing. Ah well...
I guess I shouldn't be surprised that a version of the Army's basic survival manual is on-line, but I found it interesting anyway. Especially fun was Chapter 8: Food Procurement.
Food aversion would be my #1 impediment to surviving outdoors. I get naseous just looking at bugs (which is why I think the Survivor-like shows are stupid... 90% of it is just food aversion of one form or another). Still, I have a talent for closing my eyes and doing what has to be done, so maybe I would make it.
Personally, I'd rather not have to try.
Just when you thought it was safe to take your gaming books out of the closet, something like this pops up. The amount of energy the fundie right wastes on this sort of thing completely amazes me. Stop telling smart kids what to do with their lives, and start trying to actually help the poor like you're supposed to.
They'll never do it though because you know that most poor people are [whisper]those kids of people*[/whisper].
* i.e. anyone undesirable or difficult from their narrow point of view. Insert black, hispanic, asian, single mothers, etc. in the blank.
1. I know you have a (VERY, VERY) strange obsession with the Alpha Romeo. Excluding that inferior automobile, what is your dream car?
Inferior?!? Alpha?!? What are you, some sort of Ford freak? Don't worry... one day you too will see the light... all of you will see the light one day, come, hold hands and wait for this glorious moment, and watch for the next comet...
Ahem... anyway... Actually a pretty decent question. I'd say of modern cars that are actually drivable on the street and have a modicum of a chance of being insurable, I'd pick the Ferrari 575M. If I could pick any non-Alfa ever produced I think I'd settle on the Ferrari 275 GTB. While this makes me seem like a Ferrari freak, I'm really not. There are dozens of other past and present cars I'd be tickled to have someone hand me the keys to. Most are, however, produced in Europe.
2. Being a sci-fi/car/strange things/computer geek, which of those is your "dominant geek" and why?
Ellen's the "strange things" nut, I just provide a lot of the links. You should see the stuff she finds and doesn't put on the site. Or maybe not... most of the time I'm not all that happy to have seen them myself.
I make a living being a computer geek, so it's unusual for me to play with them much at home. But, if you judged by time, computer geek would probably win.
SF is something that entertains me, and I'm always worried about screwing up my car.
I guess the big secret is I'm actually an airplane geek. I don't talk about it too much on the blog, not sure why, but Things with Wings have always been a big part of my life. I love pretty much everything about them, how they work, how to make them work, they way they look, the way they sound, on and on and on.
3. What's the biggest adjustment you've made in being a new dad?
Learning to deal with screaming. When someone else's kid has a meltdown, mommy and/or daddy come to the rescue, usually well before things get completely out of control. When it's your kid, you're the one who has to do the rescuing. And, at this stage in their life, the parent can do everything right and still have this twisted up monster ramming sonic knitting needles in their ears. I've more than once had to deal with a near-physical urge to leave this bi-pedal hand grenade at the Dulles ticket counter and run gibbering out the terimal doors.
But I don't. I know it will get better, it's just a real damned challenge right now.
4. Who is your hero and why are they so heroic?
My dad, for teaching me to accept people just as they are. Not a perfect hero by a long shot, but there ya go.
5. Is there a book you've read more than 10 times? (if not, what book have you read the most and why?)
Not sure. I tend to read more books once instead of few books more often. I guess the one I've read most often of all would be The Big E, essentially an ethnograph of a WWII aircraft carrier. It's an amazingly well-written account of the crew of a ship that saw combat in basically every major battle in the Pacific. Most of the readings happened back when I was a kid. Our small-town libraries were a joke, and the nearest bookstore was 45 minutes away. I had to read something. However, I haven't read the thing in probably ten years or more. Maybe it's time to buy another copy...
Ok, so, as required:
Take the eye test "everyone" fails and let us know how many you got.
I actually got it right the first time through, but I've seen this sort of thing before and knew what to look for.
Yesterday the Post carried this article about the findings of two scientists studying why, exactly, some writing systems die out while others live on. Their conclusion? When writing is seen as something only powerful people do for obscure reasons, a system is not long for this world.
Those crazy Japanese will do anything!
*NSFW due to the XXX pop up ads.*
Well, probably not, but definitely leaning out somewhere to the right of Darth Vader. What brought this on? This story about fat and government:
The left's view is that the food industry and advertisers are big bullies that practically force-feed people with gimmicks and high-calorie treats. They say Ronald McDonald is the cousin of Joe Camel.
The right's argument has been dubbed: You're fat, your fault. They say people can make their own choices about food and exercise.
It's gotten so bad that some legislators are introducing legislation to protect the food industry from obesity-related lawsuits. And you know what? I support them 100%. I completely, utterly, and unapologetically believe the only reason you are overweight is because of what you voluntarily put in your mouth.
Look folks, there's only one absolutely guaranteed way to lose weight, and it doesn't involve fancy diets, weird pills, or meditation. I know it will be real hard for some to hear, but the ultimate secret to losing weight is this, and only this:
Eat less. Exercise more.
I really do think the only reason we're even having this discussion is a collision between trial lawyer greed and the permissive "nobody's fault" liberal culture foisted on us by left-wing academics, overpaid and undereducated entertainment celebrities, and a democratic party more interested in making sure every single individual is happy than in helping anyone actually take responsibility for their own lives.
You might think the next thing I'd write would be, "and if we'd all just turn to Jesus and go back to church this'd be a much better place." Certainly far too many on the right do exactly that. I'm not that kind of conservative. Just as I think government has no damned business determining who I sleep with or how I worship, I also think they have no damned business trying to protect me from myself.
Look, I don't care if you're considered overweight by this image-obsessed culture. I have good friends, beautiful people, who most definitely fall into the "botticelli" range of body types. I think that's just fine, not that they'd care (and good for them too!) As long as you're happy with yourself, and can pay your own way, they can use a crane to move you around and all I'm going to do is ask if I can work the levers. I only have a problem with people who are unhappy with the way they look and think someone else owes them an apology for it.
And don't give me any of this "oppressed poor" crap. The first two things I look at when a homeless person is standing on a roadside holding a sign is their belly and their shoes. If they have either, and most have both, they are not in need of my help.
There are people out in the world who really are poor, who watch their children's bodies consume themselves as they die because there simply isn't enough to eat, who walk the streets naked or nearly so because they cannot afford clothes. None of them live here. I think people who drive themselves to protests wearing pants with waists larger than their inseams to scream about their poverty and plight are obscene.
The only things I find more revolting than a three hundred pound woman suing McDonald's is the lawyer who talked her into it and the blathering wing-nuts who think it's her right.
" Rubber Duckie, you're the one, You make bathtime lots of fun, Rubber Duckie, I'm awfully fond of you; (woh woh, bee doh!) Rubber Duckie, joy of joys, When I squeeze you, you make noise! Rubber Duckie, you're my very best friend, it's true! (doo doo doo doooo, doo doo) CHORUS: Every day when I Make my way to the tubby I find a little fella who's Cute and yellow and chubby (rub-a-dub-a-dubby!) R ubber Duckie, you're so fine And I'm lucky that you're mine Rubber duckie, I'm awfully fond of you. (repeat chorus) Rubber Duckie, you're so fine And I'm lucky that you're mine Rubber duckie, I'm awfully fond of - Rubber duckie, I'd like a whole pond of - Rubber duckie I'm awfully fond of you! (doo doo, be doo.) "
And you thought rubber duckies were just a kid's toy.
The dinosaurs were 25-30ft long, had a horn above their skulls, were relatively heavy and walked on two legs.
They preyed on long-necked herbivorous dinosaurs on the Indian subcontinent during the Cretaceous Period at the end of the dinosaur age, 65 million years ago.
Picture included! It looks like a T-Rex on steroids.
Can't you just grow one in a petri dish ?
Doctors have grown a new penis on a Russian boy's arm after he lost his old one in a bizarre accident.Say it with me people. DON'T PEE ON AN ELECTRIC FENCE! *with picture!*
The 16-year-old, named only as Malik, lost his penis after receiving an electric shock while urinating on an electric wire.
See Scott! I TOLD you bag pipes were evil!
Half of those surveyed reported hearing loss and repetitive strain injuries after years of playing.
Some 10 per cent also reported that their passion for the pipes had led to the break-up of marriages, while 84 per cent claimed to know pipe-band members who are alcoholics.
The media once again shows us its utter lack of institutional memory by rediscovering that, hey, there's a lot of black folks that don't particularly like Jesse Jackson. Perish the thought! They've only been discovering this for, what, the past thirty years or so?
I also liked the extremely careful "we-can't-say-we-don't-like-him" tone of the report. After all, this guy's a founding member of the liberal establishment, and that's a pantheon who's membership makes tenured professors envious. Far be it from us to imply Jackson might be just a wee bit irrelevant... we'll just let these crackers from the south take that bullet for us. Oh, and by the way, the only people who don't know what "cracker" means in that context are your UCLA-journalism-graduate friends.
It does puzzle me, however, that there aren't more (any?) black folks in racing. Willie T. Ribbs was the last serious contender that I can recall, and that was way back in my high school days. Of course, there are only a handful of women race car drivers (and only one that I know of outside of drag racing), so if discrimination is playing a factor it's not just skin color they're using.
I think it's probably a lot more complicated than just discrimination. Motor sports is an extremely challenging field to break into. It's no coincidence that the best and brightest race car drivers run in families... it's not the genetics, it's the connections. It's also damned expensive, and the squirrels that run corporate sponsor programs are always looking for the safest, most comfortable fit for their corporate dollar.
Oh, I don't doubt there's discrimination of some sort out there. This is America after all, and NASCAR in particular has a culture that dates back to a time and place in American history we'd all as soon put behind us. But it's all a lot more professional today than it was even ten years ago, and my own opinion is that if a black guy or a woman were to race and "trade paint" as hard as everyone else, and win a few, they'd be accepted as readily as anyone else.
While the recent appearance of a new Bugatti at Pebble Beach was quite noteworthy, I can't help but note that an equally impressive Bugatti premiered there about ten years ago. That older car never saw any production (that I know of), and I can't help but doubt this one will see any either. Just another way for a marketing weenie with some engineering talent to separate some really rich fools from their deposit money.
Ok, I admit it, at one point just out of college I was forced to move back in with my mom. Trust me, there's nothing quite as conductive to a grown man's social life as, "let's go to my place... my mom works nights!" Ah, lonely times indeed.
There was definitely a learn curve involved. Take the time I set the oven on fire...
My mom cooks about three things really well, once, maybe twice a year, and the rest of the time does takeout and microwave food. I had learned in college that ingredients were cheaper than pizza, and was actually cooking, if only a bit. So, trying to be the good roommate in addition to the prodigal son, one Friday I decided to cook us dinner. I set the oven on preheat and commenced to fixin'.
It took a bit, but after awhile I noticed this, well, burning smell, like smouldering newspapers. A bit of sniffing tracked it to the oven, wherein I found the culprit... old pizza boxes. A big ol' stack of 'em too. Merrily smoking away in the oven like a bum with a cheap cigar.
"Well of course I put them in the oven... it was the only place they'd fit!" was the only answer I got.
So that's why mom will never have a gun:
A 22-year-old woman was wounded when a handgun that had been hidden inside an oven discharged when she opened the door, police said.
And neither should yours! :)
This was always a favorite of mine. I had the poster of it when I was in college above my desk.
Kris and Damion are always telling us about Freak Day at Kings Dominion here in VA.
Apparently now you can go to Goth Day aka Bats Day in the Fun Park at Disneyland!
For the fifth year in a row, Disneyland will be creeping with mobs of black-clad death-rocker types for what organizers officially bill as Bats Day in the Fun Park, but what most people just call Goth Day.
Ok, we have a TiVo, a newborn, some wine, and let's just say we're not the most socially adjusted people in the world to begin with. All right, I'll admit it... [whisper]we watch "America's Funniest Home Videos"[/whisper]. Laugh our asses off at it too. I only realized that something was wrong when we had our best friends over and watched "AFV", and they just sorta looked at us like we were retards.
So anyway, there we were sitting watching our favorite mindless check-brain-at-door-and-watch-asses-get-busted show, when all of a sudden Ellen looks over and, swear to god, her eyes go "boiiiing!!!" No, really, they even made that noise, I swear.
Sitting not six inches from her right elbow (she was sitting on the floor holding the baby), and absolutely square in front of me on the couch, was the World's Largest Cat Vomit Snake. Looked like a pale yellow-green snake-shaped twinkie.
That's right. We were so totally, utterly fixated on our TV show, some cat (we're not sure which) sat in front of us, crossed their eyes, and played reverse-digestive bingo on our carpet, and neither of us even noticed. We literally have no idea which one did it.
Yeah, ok, no more Arbor Mist wine blenders for us tonight. Even Olivia looked at us with disapproval.
Oh shut up. Shut up. You know you've done stuff like this. Oh yes you have. Don't make me start talking about time you left your kid on the roof of your car...
As if shark week weren't bad enough, we now have whales jumping on sailboats:
A British family's holiday was rudely interrupted when a 30-foot (9-meter) whale crashed onto their sailing boat off the east coast of Australia.
In America I'm sure the family's cell phone would be dead from all the lawyers ringing them, but that's just us. Ah, the good ol' US-sue-ya-till-ya-die-A.
Damion gets a 'scooped & 'winged no-prize for bringing this ... um... "car"... to our attention. All those things I said about that ricer with the big wing on the ass of his car? I take them all back.
Well, ok, not really.
Yeah, I know, Indonesia. Them furriners sure gots some funny ideas about cars.
Just a simple, silly little thing to distract you from your Friday, Darth Vader vs. the Snowmen. Hint: To turn the page, click the bottom-right corner and drag.
First Outlaw Volleyball, now Half Life 2. Yup, the sequel to one of the best games ever created for the PC will eventually be coming to a big green "X" near you. The key is, of course, eventually. But, since the PC version isn't even due out until November, who knows?
This New Scientist article, about the Global Hawk unmanned aircraft receiving permission to routinely fly in civilian airspace, is pretty, well, routine until you get to the "accident report":
The USAF has only ever lost three Global Hawks, says Northrop Grumman. The first was during the plane's development, when someone accidentally tested the self-destruct program. As a result the plane flew to a pre-programmed, remote location and nose-dived into ground as its operators looked on helplessly.
I don't know... I just keep getting an image of Ren and Stimpy flying this thing, with Ren telling Stimpy, "You EEEdiot... don' push dis button, ever EVER EVER!"
There's not a one of you out there in the US who didn't wonder at some point, "if I'm under age, and if the other person is under age, is it still statutory rape?" Well, it would seem it is in Wisconsin:
When an Oak Creek woman found her 14-year-old daughter nude in the woman's bed with a 14-year-old boy, the teens didn't strike her as being overly concerned.
"They both freely admitted that their intention was to 'have sex,' " records quote the woman as saying. They "were confrontational and remorseless."
The teens even "challenged" the woman to call police. So she did.
Of course, they picked a real pair of winners too:
The boy is being held in secure detention on a charge of attempted second-degree sexual assault, a felony that carries a possible juvenile prison term.
The girl pleaded guilty to fourth degree sexual assault, a misdemeanor, but is charged with violating her probation; a warrant has been issued for her arrest.
Trailer trash yankee joke from Ellen in 3... 2... 1...
Those clever Japanese are at it again, this time creating a "walking suit" that will help the elderly and disabled make it around town. I'm sure my mom would figure out how to fall down in it (or flood her apartment with it), but maybe we can armor plate it or something for her. And, of course, make her wear a football helmet. :)
Does anyone out there know of a book that contains translations of ancient Egyptian heiroglyphic inscriptions and/or texts? I'm trying to research an essay, but have run into a blank wall while searching the internet.
Yeah, I know, library. So happens I live within driving distance of one of the largest in the world. Only problem is they don't let you take books home from that one (unless you're a Congressman, and really, how useful is that?), and you have to wait 2 hours or more for them to bring your book to you. Much easier to just order something from a book store.
Of course, something this obscure will probably lead to some $75+ academic tome with a print run measured in the dozens. Still, it'd be good to know the title.
Personally I'm amazed it took this long. We finally have a peer-to-peer file sharing utility built & run by people outside the USA, and it seems they know exactly what it'll be used for and don't give a flying crap. I wonder if Nina knows about this one...
BBCnews is reporting the discovery of a new, and very strange, cousin of humans. Well, humans and every other vertebrate that ever lived at least. Turns out a really weird worm-like thing found at the bottom of a Swedish lake is the closest invertebrate relative of humans found to date. No, we didn't evolve from them; it's just that, like all cousins, we share a common ancestor.
Jeff gets a spun-glass no-prize for bringing this interesting development to our attention:
Scientists say they have identified an ocean sponge living in the darkness of the deep sea that grows thin glass fibers capable of transmitting light at least as well as industrial fiber optic cables used for telecommunication.
We're not saying they didn't land on the moon, we're saying you didn't hear everything that was said.
Note: Use headphones if at work.
If you thought slasher horror movies were just an American thing, you were wrong. Be sure to check out the trailer. Warning: Probably not safe for work. No boobies, but lots of freaky bloody stuff going on. Joshua and Richie will probably love it.
I'll not mention any names (other than to say it's not Ellen), but I know of at least one person out there who can't jump on trampolines or laugh particularly hard because they'll pee themselves. Well, looks like there are new treatments that could solve the entire problem. Just in time for us to get that big 12 foot trampoline for Olivia...
It doesn't get much more tabloid than this:
Don Johnson, star of U.S. television show ``Miami Vice,'' may sue Germany's Finance Ministry after news that customs officers found $8 billion when they stopped and searched his car was made public in March, Stern magazine said. [emphasis added]
That's right folks. Especially if you read the whole article, it sure does sound like our favorite 80s TV action hero was caught with more cash than most countries handle. But, whenever something really crazy comes along, it always pays to read the comments:
This article is wrong, likely because the original articles that popped up about it were wrong. Johnson wasn't carrying $8Billion in cash because it would be a physical impossibility. And he wasn't carrying $8Billion in notes because of the security risk involved.
It was cleared up shortly after the shiat that came out originally that Johnson and his business associates were carrying FINANCIAL RECORDS of $8Billion dollars in holdings because they wanted to show they had the ability to handle large sums money and equities to get backing to handle more. They had no large sums of cash, and no bonds.
When asked, Johnson allowed them to photocopy the records that they were carrying and they were detained at the border no longer than it took to do that. The news stories that came out later made it sound like he was caught with 8 kilos of cocaine and large sums of cash on him that weren't the case and was being held in jail.
And the reason why he's suing is because his reasonably 'good' reputation has been publicly slandered by what can only be described as tabloid journalism. Hell, I wonder why Bat Boy wasn't involved in this! He'll get his day in court and he'll win. --GodBlesssTexas
You'd think the Germans would at least be immune to this sort of predatory tabloid journalism. Ah well, looks like "media ethics" needs to be placed up on the same dusty, ignored mantle as that of "business ethics".
This is cool!
Archaeologists believe they may have found the site where the Donner Party camped during their fateful journey through the Sierra Nevada more than 150 years ago.
Scientists also said they may have uncovered the first physical evidence that the group engaged in cannibalism to survive the harsh winter of 1846 that trapped them in the mountains 30 miles west of Reno.
At least one person who reads this used to be in the Army, so I bet they and everyone else out there in the services will appreciate this bit about how one soldier thinks a certain kind of port-a-potty could be improved.
I distinctly recall a conversation with my mom when Jeff was in basic all those years ago:
Mom: "He called me and said he was terrified."
Me: "What, of the drill seargents?"
Mom: "No. He said he was freaking out that the Army was giving loaded guns to teenagers who didn't have any idea what to do with them. He swears he saw one kid from Brooklyn trying to point the butt end at the target."
Me: "Tell him to keep his head down."
I don't think any of the recruits managed to shoot my brother, but apparently more than a few were capable of it, if only accidentally.
Also from the same Wired issue, this article about life in the trenches as one of the new federally-mandated luggage screeners.
The Skyray, a high-speed wing package that lets you fly around as you skydive. Now, I'm not one to support jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, but it sure does look cool in the pictures.
It's that first step that would stop me.
Joshua gets a spinning no-prize for bringing this Scientific American article to our attention:
Scientists are using CD players to do a lot more than just play the latest top-40 hit. A paper published online this week by the journal Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry describes a method of using the machines to detect molecules in solution by monitoring their interactions with a modified CD. The researchers hope the innovation will lead to less expensive medical diagnostic tests.
Sometimes I like my tax dollars at work. :)
From the "interesting-question-you-never-bothered-to-ask" file, we have the answer to: Do swimmers slow down or speed up when swimming through something thicker than water? Turns out, makes no difference. Weird.
Instapundit linked up this op-ed from a Marine in Iraq:
[T]here is another Iraq that the media virtually ignore. It is guarded by the First Marine Division, and, unlike Baghdad, it has been a model of success. The streets are safe, petty and violent crime are low, water and electrical services are almost universally available (albeit rationed), and ordinary Iraqis are beginning to clean up and rebuild their neighborhoods and communities. Equally important, a deep level of mutual trust and respect has developed between the Marines and the populace here in central and southern Iraq.
The Marines as a whole seem to be more flexible and responsive in their occupation duties than the army or the civilian administrators. I wonder if that's just an institutional thing, or if there's just not enough communication, or if the Marines got lucky and ended up with an easier area to patrol?
For several decades, researchers tracked more than 2,000 people - most of them born within minutes of each other. According to astrology, the subject should have had very similar traits.
The scientists failed to find any evidence of similarities between the "time twins", however. They reported in the current issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies: "The test conditions could hardly have been more conducive to success . . . but the results are uniformly negative."
There's a reason they put horoscopes next to the comics, and it isn't because that's the only place they'll fit.
Joshua gets an... um... "well equipped" no-prize for bringing us this update on recent discoveries about hermaphroditic animals.
I know it's been around awhile, but this is the first time I've seen it: How to ask hackers smart questions. I wish I could tatoo this on the ass of 75% of the people that work around here:
The first thing to understand is that hackers actually like hard problems and good, thought-provoking questions about them. If we didn't, we wouldn't be here. If you give us an interesting question to chew on we'll be grateful to you; good questions are a stimulus and a gift. Good questions help us develop our understanding, and often reveal problems we might not have noticed or thought about otherwise. Among hackers, "Good question!" is a strong and sincere compliment.
Despite this, hackers have a reputation for meeting simple questions with what looks like hostility or arrogance. It sometimes looks like we're reflexively rude to newbies and the ignorant. But this isn't really true.
What we are, unapologetically, is hostile to people who seem to be unwilling to think or to do their own homework before asking questions. People like that are time sinks they take without giving back, they waste time we could have spent on another question more interesting and another person more worthy of an answer. We call people like this "losers" (and for historical reasons we sometimes spell it "lusers"). (emphasis added)
Arrogant? Absolutely. In the hacker world, I'm at best on the top of the lower 3rd of the ladder (I only know three programming languages, two of those are "toys", and I can't do discreet math in my head). I've been on the short end of the hacker stick at least as many times as I've been able to whack a newbie on the butt with it.
Especially in the open source world (OS), everyone expects you to learn (and be interested in!) how their pet project works before they'll help you in actually getting it to work. The dark secret of the OS community is if you don't make them feel appreciated, stroke their egos, you're usually not going to get much help. The bigger the community, the worse this tendency gets.
The ultimate lesson of the FAQ is probably one of the ultimate lessons in life: if you follow all the steps exactly, do all the research you can, and read all the instructions available, you usually won't even need to ask a question.
What's not often understood in the hacker community is that if they actually wrote good software instead of interesting software, extensive documentation instead of minimal comments, and worked from the assumption that people are only interested in what it does and could care little to nothing about how it works, they wouldn't need to deal with most of these stupid questions. They simply would never be asked.
I wonder if there's a FAQ out there called "How to write software that doesn't require a hacker to use." I'm sure the reflex answer from the community would be "it's called college", but judging by the very existence of this FAQ, that's the wrong answer.
The Washington Post carried this story about an innovative line of research into the origins of clothing this morning. By comparing the DNA of human head lice, which lay their eggs only on hair, with human body lice, which lay their eggs only in clothing, these scientists claim to have been able to triangulate just when, exactly, we started covering ourselves up. Turns out, if this line of research is accurate, to have only ocurred about 75,000-150,000 years ago.
A giant black rainbow encircles the Earth, sucking all oxygen from the atmosphere. The air returns shortly thereafter, but only after millions die from asphyxiation. On the bright side, the survivors go on to build a utopian civilization. It all happens precisely as predicted in the 1950s by Criswell, the TV psychic immortalized in the movie Plan 9 from Outer Space.
From one of my favorite sites, Rotten.com
I'd known the Enola Gay had been assembled because the tail of the bird can quite clearly be seen in this picture, which has been on the NASM website for about a month now.
The progress of the Enola Gay has been something I've been fortunate enough to witness first-hand, if only briefly. During my very first visit to the DC area in 1993 myself, my brother, and a friend visited* the now-closed Paul Garber Storage Facility in Suitland Maryland. The Enola Gay had just started its restoration project, and was in several large (and many thousand small) pieces all over several different workshops. The entire plane was an oxidized gray, the fuselage looked like a giant chainlink fencepost that'd been left in the weather a few years. Only a few small spots had been polished up, I guess just as a way to test things out.
When they finally put the finished nosepiece (all that they could fit) on display "downtown" five years later, the transformation was staggering. What had been a sad, bedraggled bonyard refugee was now a gleaming trophy. It even smelled new! The detail of the restoration was just amazing.
The Air Force Museum in Dayton will literally let you walk up and touch Bock's Car. I can only hope the Enola Gay display will at least let you get closer than the downtown museum ever could.
Oh, and the Concorde is already inside too. I caught this partial exchange a few weeks ago on my radio scanner:
Controller: I'll bet you're wondering about that Air France at the end of 1 Right
Pilot: Ummm, yeah, what's up with that?
Controller [laughing]: They're moving it into the new Smithsonian museum today. You'll see it just beyond 1 Left as you depart.
Robert H. receives a wordy no-prize for bringing us news of what good ol' one-ten-ium actually got named. It's called darmstadtium. Even more proof scientists choose weird names just to throw people off.
Ok, yeah, yeah, I know, was named after where it was discovered. I still like "Cyril".
On this day in 19XX (ha! I'm not that stupid!) my sweetie was born. Love ya girlie!
Now to fetch the presents...
Update: This marks our 3000th entry on AMCGLTD. WoOt!
According to this Science article, we've got a new element. Unfortunately, I guess we'll have to wait until Monday to find out what, exactly, that element's name is. Personally, I vote for "Cyril" (old Beatles reference).
Jeff gets a very low-flying no-prize for bringing this winning example of the "how low can you go?" contest. Good thing the announcer wasn't wearing a toupe.
Note: Video link. Be patient, it's worth it.
The demand for increasingly bizarre cosmetic surgery has taken a new twist, with women undergoing genital operations in order to boost their sex life and their self-esteem.Read entire article here .
More than 100 women over the past year have been to private clinics around the UK to undergo surgery which is aimed at improving their relationships, particularly after childbirth.
A doctor was killed today at Christus St. Joseph Hospital when an elevator malfunctioned, decapitating him, authorities said.
See entire article here .
All I have to say is OUCH!!!!!
Men are extra stoopid!
Armed with inexpensive, mass-produced gems, two startups are launching an assault on the De Beers cartel. Next up: the computing industry.
See entire article here.
Mama Smurff, you should find this article very interesting.
Remember that cargo (literally) ship with all the new automobiles that sank awhile back? They're actually raising it now, apparently to prevent liability if some enterprising diver decided to salvage something and put it on a new car. No-prize to jeff for sending us this message thread that contains several pictures of what the soggy salvage looks like.
Apparently this flash game has been around awhile, but I'd never seen it before. Something to keep Kris busy during her long work days :).
Trust me, anyone who's seen American Pie will see the humor in this story. Too bad the editor didn't. Oh, and if you don't know, just do a google search for MILF. When you're at home.
If you don't listen very closely to this NPR story about "opposition to the Iraq occupation" you might feel a little down, a bit discouraged, when you're done because it sure does make it seem as if they don't like us, a lot.
But listen more closely. Did you catch who they picked? In order:
"Tell me Mr. Fallwell, just what do you think of Hillary Clinton?"
"If you have some time, Ms. Streisand, could you talk a few minutes about your opinion of the Bush administration?"
I'm not saying that Iraqis don't dislike our occupation of their country. I would be quite surprised to find if any "regular" Iraqi liked it one little bit. But by picking such obviously and totally biased subjects for this story I can't help but wonder what, exactly, Ann Garrels really hoped to accomplish?
I don't think any journalist is actually capable of outright sedition, the few who are smart enough to understand the term covet their careers too highly. Far more likely, I'll wager, these were people who were wandering near the al-Rashid hotel (because you know it's just too hot to walk around this damned city. The listeners back home will never know where they came from anyway. You know most can't read a map) and were willing to have a microphone stuck in their face by an Infidel too old to still work her original TV news beat.
Slashdot linked up this long but very interesting article about what could potentially power a future generation of airplanes: pulse engines. Vaguely like the motor that powered the V-1 glide bomb of WWII, the design uses supersonic explosions to achieve very high thrust at very great effeciency, all using a much simpler design than current turbofans.
An older article, yes, but one still quite interesting: A Rough Trade is yet another (British, this time) look inside the porn industry. Blue language, but no pictures to get you in trouble.
I often wonder what I would do if my kid came up to me at 18 (or 21, or whenever) and said, "Daddy, I'm going to work in porn." I've researched the industry a lot. I'm not in it, but I know from reports what it's like to be in it. After explaining just how unpleasant the back-office of that lifestyle purports to be, I'd like to think I'd be able to recognize that 1) she's an adult, and I can't just say "no", and 2) I should support her no matter what. I've never, ever understood parents who simply hack their kids out of their lives just because, as adults, they've made decisions the parents don't agree with, even if they're dumb ones.
But I'm also honest enough to know that at this point I really don't have any idea how I'd react.
Before 18? Well, that's a different story. I don't think there'd be a hole deep enough to toss whatever human garbage was getting my kid involved in such things.
BBCnews is carrying this report on the successful germination of one of the world's largest seeds... the Coco de Mer palm tree seed. The fact that it looks a bit, well, naughty, doesn't hurt it's press either.
As ham sandwiches go, it was perfection. A thick slab of ham, a fresh bun, crisp lettuce and plenty of expensive, light brown, gourmet mustard. The corners of my jaw aching in anticipation, I carried it to the picnic table in our backyard, picked it up with both hands but was stopped by my wife suddenly at my side.
"Hold Johnny (our six-week-old son) while I get my sandwich," she said.
I had him balanced between my left elbow and shoulder and was reaching again for the ham sandwich when I noticed a streak of mustard on my fingers. I love mustard. I had no napkin. I licked it off. It was not mustard!
No man ever put a baby down faster. It was the first and only time I have sprinted with my tongue protruding. With a washcloth in each hand I did the sort of routine shoeshine boys do, only I did it on my tongue.
Later (after she stopped crying from laughing so hard) my wife said, "Now you know why they call that mustard 'Poupon.'"
Thanks to Pat for passing this on!
Remember when I told you all about these ?
Remember when I told you to go a put your name in on the site to win a free pair of nipple jewelry? OK, well today in my mail box was a tiny box. And inside that tiny box was my very own pair of Nipple Huggers!
Not only that, I am on their website as the weekly winner. Pretty neat huh?
What are you waiting for!? Go to that site! Enter the contest! You may just win your own pair.
I'm always amazed at how depraved a certain subset of men (and they're nearly all men) can be. Witness this "way too personal" on-line personals feature (Warning: no pictures to get you in trouble, but contains a lot of "racy" language).
When Ellen was heavy into on-line chats ("talkers", which were quite popular before AIM and other instant message systems stomped the crap out of them) I was amazed at how crude and brazen guys were to girls. "Let's netsex!" was the nicest thing I ever saw... far more common was "wanna f---?" Now, these are strangers coming out of nowhere mind you. It got really amusing when she became the admin of one of these talkers. Asking "wanna f---?" to an admin is sort of like asking, "would you please move your bag... I need to store this bomb in the overhead compartment" to an air marshal. The results were about the same.
Way back in the day, when talkers didn't even allow you to list a real description, I once was very sweetly romanced by a guy who quite patently thought I was not ("SilverSpider" apparently says "chick" to a lot of guys, dunno why). I was actually kind of disappointed when I told him the truth. I really could've used those roses...
Now, I've been mad at my mom before (not now mom, everything's fine!), but this is a little ridiculous:
French police held a 62-year-old woman in custody Wednesday on suspicion of manslaughter after discovering the skeletal remains of her mother hidden at her home.
Sealed her up in a room and never went back in. It doesn't get much more "Edgar Allen Poe" than that.
We just need to make sure Ellen's grandmother doesn't clue in to the technique for room sealing. "G-rizzle" (a name given to her by, no surprise, the grandkids) has already stated on several occasions that if diagnosed with something nasty she's just going to kill herself. As a retired registered nurse, we have no doubt she'd do it. Of course, Suzanne, her daughter, my mother-in-law, and the "queen mother" of my child, has simply requested notification so as not to disturb the neighbors. If "rizzle" sealed the room it'd be weeks before anyone knew.
No, my extended family isn't quirky... why do you ask?
Slashdot linked up several articles (this is one of them) detailing a recent study that claims my grandchildren will probably end up with an arctic ocean that is ice-free in the summer.
However, I do think the quote, "the total melting of the ice cap would set free a massive flow of cold water" is somewhat specious. It's not like the thing will snap one morning and transform from solid ice to water. I would imagine the effect would be quite gradual. More interesting will be how, or even if, wind and water currents will change and therefore affect the climate of northern Europe.
BBCnews is carrying this article summarizing a recent confirmation of what many astronomers already suspected... one day (admittedly a very long time from now), the entire universe will slowly fade into darkness. Unless we can find enough "hidden mass" to trigger a cosmic collapse (the "big crunch"), at that point it will keep expanding forever, a whole lot of gradually cooling nothing.
Just a little something to lighten your Thursday with!
Bears do it, Babies do it, apparently even big honking whales do it. Ah, the risks of research. With pic!
WoodThatWorks.com is a site that offers really interesting wood constructs that move in all kinds of strange ways. Be sure to check out the flash animations!
Jeff gets a no-prize for bringing this CNN article detailing the discovery of a new Aleutian Islands volcano. Apparently if it erupts one more time it'll become the newest island in the chain.
New Scientist is carrying this article detailing what must be one of the weirder side effects of a drug I've ever heard of... a new Parkinson drug apparently causes a spike in uncontrollable gambling. No, really!
From the same guys who brought you "right vs. wrong driving," we have the way Europe does it, and the way Italy does it. Long, but very funny!
Jeff gets a no-prize for this CNN bit detailing recent archeological discoveries in one of the Roman Forums (Fora?), where Caligula's palace has been the subject of a new dig. Turns out that, yes, he may just have been as crazy as everyone said he was.
I've had few doubts in my readings about how nutty Caligula was, but I do have some doubts about Nero. It took Caligula a little less than 4 years before he managed to get his throat cut in a tunnel on his way to watch a play, yet Nero lasted a full 14 years before his secretary "helped" cut his. It's been suggested more than once that Nero was excoriated by later historians not because he was a monster, but because he courted the commoners at the expense of the elite.
ABCnews is carrying this report on what could possibly be a future spy platform in the US arsenal... a blimp. Well, a blimp with a really wicked set of sensors anyway.
I'd just pity the poor bastards who had to sit up there for 15+ hour shifts waiting for something interesting to happen. Especially when one of the interesting things that could happen is a SAM launch. Blimps do some things very well, but they don't dodge.
Joshua gets a leisure-suited no-prize for this exceedingly screwball flash animation involving none other than GW himself. I'm almost afraid of what'll happen when mom sees it...
Superman (well, white stick-figure superman) meets Donkey Kong in this simple but surprisingly challenging flash game.
If I hear enough of this sort of thing it will change my vote from Republican to Democrat, even if I do think most dems are tree hugging policy wonks jonesing to give my paycheck to some welfare mom so she can have another two or three:
In recent months, President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress have missed no opportunity to heap richly deserved praise on the military. But talk is cheap — and getting cheaper by the day, judging from the nickel-and-dime treatment the troops are getting lately.
In the never-ending battle of the hard right trying to explain how stupid the hard left are, we have this:
How, then, can decent and often very smart people hold liberal positions?
There are many reasons, but the two greatest may be naivete and narcissism. Each alone causes problems, but when combined in the same person, they are particularly destructive.
He actually scores a few points, and starts out with quite a reasonable tone. Unfortunately toward the end of it the iron fist of the religious right starts to tear through the velvet glove of reason:
A good example of liberal narcissism is the liberal position on abortion. For the liberal, the worth of a human fetus, whether it is allowed to live or to be extinguished, is entirely based on the feelings of the mother. If the mother wants to give birth, the fetus is of incomparable worth; if the mother doesn't, the fetus has the value of a decayed tooth.
Hence the liberal attempt to either erase the Judeo-Christian code or at least remove its influence from public life. Nothing could provide a better example of contemporary liberalism than the liberal battle to remove the Ten Commandments from all public places. Liberals want suggestions, not commandments.
As a conservative with mostly very liberal or essentially apolitical friends and relations, I often wonder... do people who claim to speak for them occasionally make their toes curl? Are they ever grateful for an opposition strong enough to keep their fringe in check? Do they sometimes worry that choosing a moderate leader will lead to the placement of lunatics in positions of power?
As I watch the Democratic presidential race, I have a feeling I know the answer. Oh, by the way, anyone who thinks the left doesn't have a fringe is patently a part of it.
Frieda gets a wordy no-prize for bringing this test (NY Times, free reg, blah blah blah) to our attention:
If the total score [of certain words] (after adding and subtracting as indicated) is greater than the total number of words in the document, then the author of the document is probably a male. Otherwise, the author is probably a female.
Too math-y for me, but I wonder...
Blood from one person was found on the back of Otzi's cloak, and blood from two people was found on the same arrow in his quiver. Blood from a fourth person was found on the knife [once clutched in his hand].
Went down swinging, and died with his boots on. Be sure to mark your calendars for the new Discovery special, apparently airing August 24th.
While cruising this Consumer Reports article on child seats, I came across this illuminating tidbit:
Car-seat instruction manuals may be part of the problem [of children being injured in accidents even when in car seats]. Such manuals are written at a 10th-grade reading level, on average, according to a study from researchers at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. As such, the study says, the manuals are too hard for many parents to understand.
So, let's let that sink in for a bit. The reason why kids are getting hurt and killed, according to this study at least, is because people can't f-ing read at a high school level?!?
The tragic thing is, I can understand this. 80% of the people around here expect me to read the manual so I can teach them how to use a piece of software (which I, of course, have no other use for). Studies everywhere are showing something like 75% of VCR users don't even know how to set the clocks on the things. Yesterday I actually heard this conversation at a gas station:
Chick: "You want me to do what?"
Guy: "Pump the gas in your car while I fill up mine"
Chick: "But I don't know how to do that! How do I do it?"
Open up a book people. Read the letters. Those squiggly lines mean something. If you get confused, that means there's something wrong with YOU, not the instructions. Stop being stupid and start figuring shit out. Ok, just so we can all be clear on exactly how this works, let's do a little review here:
How to learn to read baby seat instructions in 7 easy steps
And don't give me any of this [whine]"I tried really hard but it just didn't make any seeeeeeense"[/whine]. You didn't try hard enough you mouth breathing sack of sh*t! Missing "All My Children" because you're holding the instruction sheet upside down is one thing, but this is your kid here. Go to the damned "Babies R Big Bux" and find out when the next car seat inspection happens. If you ended up with one LATCH hook in your ear and the other in your ass, they'll get you all sorted out for free.
While you're at it, go read a book. One without pictures this time.
Also from New Scientist, this update on the first test flight of SS1, Scaled Composites's entry into the private spacecraft race. SC is Burt Rutan's company, competing for the 10 million dollar X-prize.
New Scientist is carrying this report on a lady who is attempting to windsurf across the Pacific ocean. Highlight: An emergency device designed to right the surfboard that uses rockets designed for the Arian 5 space vehicle.
It's one thing to be told "I shot a 1200 lb. grizzly bear." It's quite another to realize just exactly what that means.
Warning: Contains trophy-style pictures of a very large, very dead bear. If you don't like that sort of thing, well, don't go there!
The Post ran this story on the guy who designed the wall system that surrounded the WTC complex. They want to make it part of the memorial, but because the thing was engineered to be supported from the inside it may not happen exactly as they want it.
No, Ellen, the south really isn't like this.
Well, most of the time.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the hairdresser! Fab Hairdos!
Hey, I'm just pointing them out. My sister-in-law ran around with the bottom half of her hair colored, depending on her mood, black or bright pink. I got no place to talk about this stuff...
Or: Yet Another Urban Legend.
Sometimes managing our spam pile can be entertaining. In addition to the various Nigerian money scams and penile enlargement drugs, you get an occasional legitimate but extremely gullible user forwarding something so many times the filters catch it anyway. That's how I learned about The Legend of the Ball Pit, relating how a kid died from a) a bite from a snake hidden in the balls or b) a heroin overdose from a hidden hypodermic needle.
It never ceases to amaze me how otherwise rational, functional people can take this sort of ridiculous pap as gospel. And don't even try to convince them otherwise. I've been labeled a rude troublemaker more than once for trying to point out the logical inconsistencies in, say, someone getting their leg cut by a mugger hiding under a car (I've worked under cars folks... it takes a pair of TALL jackstands before you can even squeeze underneath them) or flashing headlights at people can get you killed in "bad" neighborhoods. Nowadays I just smile to myself and try to find someone a little smarter to talk to.
This sort of thing used to regularly end up in my inbox courtesy of my mom, but after several embarassing gaffs involving viruses and other nonsense, she's finally wised up and is almost as skeptical as I am.
WOOOO!!! We are back from a family reunion this weekend! Not to worry, your daily screwball news and updates will resume all normal activity tomorrow (Scott has to slack somehow)!
Hopefully, you will all get an 'Encounters' entry from Scott as a treat! (ask nicely and ye shall recieve)
*ps- Richie, the pickles are really really good... *CrUnCh!*
Instapundit has some nice first person accounts of people on the ground in Iraq here. As he said:
There may not be a single narrative on Iraq, but the press has certainly tried to create one. These first-person reports make clear that there's more going on than we're hearing from Big Media.
No increase in the ability of mankind to communicate has ever resulted in a loss of liberty..
Joshua gets a stretchy-springy no-prize for bringing this, umm... well, this to our attention. I don't have any idea what it is, but it's pretty neat nonetheless.
Well, I giggled a bit at this, mainly because it reminded me of watching my teenage sister-in-law's AIM conversations. Only in German. With penises. I think.
Safe for work, unless your boss speaks German I suppose.
Mulletwigs.com, when you need to look your 80s-tacky best.
Mom thought Billy Ray Cyrus was a cutie (even if she denies it now), so she can't make fun :).
Slashdot linked up this MSNBC article detailing a "pause" in Nintendo's production of it's flagship Gamecube product. While the article has some nice unproven FUD ("struggling"), it still shows everything is not completely well in Mario's world.
Newsmax seems to be a pretty loopy right-wing rag, but this article detailing the excavation of a MiG-25 has some darned cool pictures with it:
Junkyardblog has an interesting analasys of the whole thing.
While the rest of the media are flipping out about a German actor running for governor, real news, as always, is getting ignored:
Government scientists have developed a new vaccine against the dread Ebola virus that works rapidly after a single injection, an unexpected success that means the nation could soon have a defense against one of the most fearsome weapons in the terrorist arsenal.
See? Sometimes your tax dollars really do work.
One of the things a car nut like me finds out early on is that the US doesn't really get the coolest cars produced in other countries. We don't get any Alfas, Citroens, or Lancias, and most of the really "soopa" Japanese gear is simply beyond us. Occasionally I've been involved in conversations about what, exactly, would be required to bring a car in to the US. Now I've found the last word on importing:
Yup, you have to satisfy two different agencies, and they have completely different rulesets and requirements. Hey, there's a reason you can't just drive it onto a boat in Europe (or Japan) and drive it off in the US.
And don't think you can fool these guys either... according to an Alfa guy that works for Ford the inspection people in both agencies are car nuts and know their stuff. Trying to pass a 2002 Nissan Skyline off as a weird looking Sentra just won't cut it.
Jeff gets another no-prize for bringing this CNN article to our attention:
"The most striking thing," one Arab diplomat remarked to me, "is that there are no debates going on [in the Arab world.] There is no W.M.D. debate. There is no debate about the atrocities and the mass graves. Even inside Iraq there doesn't seem to be much soul-searching, like there was in Germany after World War II. That is worrisome to me. People have to learn from the mistakes that were made, and there is no attempt at doing that."
V.D. Hanson hits it again with this article:
The steady killing of American soldiers in ones and twos is tragic and dispiriting but it is not yet grounds for thinking that such attrition is tantamount to stalemate. We are in a situation not unlike what we would have faced in Western Europe had the Nazis suddenly collapsed in summer 1944 (some high-ranking Wehrmacht officers in fact advocated just such a capitulation), leaving tens of thousands of diehards in pockets throughout Germany, convinced that they had not been beaten and could fight on in terrorist cells. Rather than despair at a novel situation, we need to look at the larger issues that are always critical in guerrilla warfare and which we know a great deal about, from both long experience in the 19th century and liberationist movements since 1960.
Are there two de facto countries in Iraq secure cities versus guerrilla-occupied jungles or mountains? While resistance is stiffer in the Sunni triangle (given the original nature of our rapid-victory drives), Iraq is not Vietnam. Its geography is not conducive for stealthy operations: The desert simply offers no stealth for counterinsurgency in the age of drones and satellite reconnaissance.
Yes, there is growing anger in America. But unlike in Vietnam, it is not directed at the Pentagon or at the military or at our supporters (such as the Kurds), but rather at the Iraqi street itself. The danger is not as was true in the 1960s, when our own naïve youth reconceived hard-core Stalinist Vietnamese as romantic utopians that we will be mesmerized by the Fedeyeen. No, the worry is instead that the ingratitude shown by a few vocal Iraqi opportunists could convince too many of us that the entire country is simply not worth an iota of our blood and treasure.
Now go read the rest of it.
ME: "I'm bringing home a baby bumblebee,
Won't my mommy be so proud of me,"
(Cup hands together as if holding bee)
Scott looks at me singing to Olivia last night at the dinner table
Me: "I'm bringing home a baby bumblebee,
Ouch! It stung me!"
(Shake hands as if just stung, child watches open-mouthed)
"IIIIIIII'm squishing up the baby bumblebee,
Won't my mommy be so proud of me,"
('Squish' bee between palms of hands, large eyes locked on every move)
"I'm squishing up a baby bumblebee,
Ooh! It's yucky!" (Open up hands to look at 'mess.' Baby throws arms around and coos)
Scott: "Thats sick! How could you do that to a poor defenseless baby bee! How cruel!"
Me: "It's just a song".
This entire time I'm trying not to laugh too hard at him.
Scott: "I mean, how horrible! A baby bee minding its own business playing outside and some kid grabs him and it gets upset and stings the kid and then it gets squashed? That's terrible!"
Me: "Since when are you worried about a baby bee?"
Scott: "I won't have my daughter capturing baby bees and squashing them for fun!"
The neat part is this song is so versatile, you can even get more gruesome with it. And I have, oh yes I have...
Slashdot linked up this site detailing the efforts of a programming company to hack its new mascot, "Talking Bob the Builder."
Cue wavy-screen dream effect. Ah, I can see it now...
SCENE: A playground on a sunny fall day. A small group of girls approximately seven years old are playing with dolls.
Suzie: "My Malibu Stacy has the car and everything."
Girls (together): "Oooooo"
Marcy: "That's so cool! My Superstar Ken can drive her to a restaraunt in it!"
Dana: "And then they can all visit my new Barbie Salon and get a makeover!"
Girls (together): "Ahhhhh"
Suzie: "Isn't that the new Talking Malibu Barbie?!? Wow Olivia! What can she say?"
Olivia, a small, pretty, but rather quiet child dressed very darkly, stands a tall lace-dressed doll on the ground and turns it to Malibu Stacy, then presses a button.
Talking Malibu Barbie: "DEAD BY DAWN!!! DEAD BY DAWN!!!"
Malibu Stacy falls to the ground as Olivia turns the doll toward Superstar Ken.
Talking Malibu Barbie: "SWALLOW YOUR SOUL!!! SWALLOW YOUR SOUL!!!"
Later. Interior of kitchen. A low, wide shot of a sobbing Suzie holding her Malibu Stacy by one arm. A woman enters the frame from the left.
Mom: "You've been playing with the Johnson girl again, haven't you?"
Damion gets a flying-buttressed no-prize for bringing the CarThedral to our attention. Yes, someone actually wedged a miniature cathedral into a 71 Cadillac hearse.
Of course all this does is give Damion ideas for his own nascent hearse project. Never a good thing.
When it comes to politics, it never ceases to amaze me how people never seem able to take a joke. Witness the banning of the "Axis of Weasle" cards from e-bay, which I think are funny. I guess that means I'm not a True Believertm after all.
Oh, and before you left-wingnuts get all high-and-mighty about how conservatives got no sense of humor, just picture the reaction there would be if, say, it was ol' Hillary on the Ace card. See! See! My mom's already typing a reply!
Funny thing is, I know people who probably would join Larry Flint's "pray for the death of Bill O' Reilly" day. Still, it does seem a little extreme. I guess "pray for Bill O' Reilly to sprain an ankle and get hemorrhoids" just doesn't have the same sort of ring to it.
Of course, at the rate they're going this could be California's next governor. No, really:
State officials now say the special election will cost more than $60 million, double their original estimate. There is no limit to the number of candidates who can appear on the ballot. All it takes to qualify is 65 voter signatures and a $3,500 filing fee. And all it takes to win, if voters decide to recall Davis, is the most votes -- not a majority.
Political strategists say that if Davis is ousted, his successor could emerge from a huge field of candidates with less than 15 percent of the vote.
And to think we wonder why the rest of the world believes America is insane.
In her Brentwood, California home, Marilyn Monroe dies in bed, naked, after swallowing an overdose of sleeping pills. Or maybe she's killed by the CIA with a barbiturate enema. Either way, she's dead.
Ok, I don't know about you, but dying from an enema does not sound very pleasent
Yet another mindless flash game for your enjoyment, Butch Mushroom. This one has the best graphics I've seen in a flash game so far. I can't play it for anything, but it looks nice.
Homestar Runner, of "strongbad" fame, is getting his own video game! The catch? It's for the Atari 2600. Time for Richie to dig out his old console...
And yes, Virginia, there was a time when we thought those sort of graphics were scary-realistic.
Salam's latest entry is quite nice and shows US forces over there aren't all greedy ignorant screwups. Unfortunately, as is typical, the one with his head screwed on straight isn't the one in charge.
Personally I think the most brilliant thing we've done over there (so far) is give commanding officers blank checks and a fund of 2 million dollars to play with. This lets the guy on the ground fix the stuff that's broken without having to "mother may I?" the Pentagon.
This little ditty over at NPR was pitched by the hosts over at morning edition as an examination of ethics in this era of NY Times exposes and accusations of bias in the media. What is NPR's response? A look at how unethical everyone is. "See folks! We're not ambulance chasing elitists lying to you because we think you're stupid... we're just regular folks like you."
Nope, sorry, doesn't wash. Any time anyone does something stupid, or simply disagrees with their values, the mainstream media do the old "magnifying glass in the sun" trick. Now that it's turned on them, they start scrambling for cover like the roaches they purport to protect us from.
Stop making excuses and start cleaning house. I'm sure it's not you being unethical, and you're just trying to do your job, but obviously that's just not working. The people at CNN who thought it was a good idea to cover up the brutality of the previous Iraqi regime because they didn't want to lose access are still there and making decisions. The New York Times published an obituary about a dead guy written by a dead guy and all they did was make excuses about how "that's just the way it's done."
So far the Post has managed to avoid this mess, but I'm not sure if it's because they're clean, better managed, or simply better at covering it all up. Obviously the Gray Lady still hasn't figured it out.
Sometimes I think it's a really good idea to rely on blogs to get your news. At least there the fact checking is quick and to the point. No surprise Big Media thinks they're just toys.
Jeff gets a salvaged no-prize for bringing us this story about the stuff slowly being revealed by the receding waters of the Danube:
Europe's worst drought in years has pushed the mighty river Danube to its lowest level in more than a century, revealing German warships sunk to slow advancing Soviet forces in World War II.
This sort of thing happened periodically along the nearby Arkansas and Mississippi rivers while I was growing up. I'd say once ever five to seven years or so you'd get pictures and stories in the local papers about old paddle-wheel steamers slowly rising from the waves. Even weirder was when the big reservoirs in northwest Arkansas and southeast Missouri (where I went to college) would get drawn down... entire small towns flooded decades ago would slowly reappear like mud-encrusted ghosts. Can you say "Deliverance"? I knew you you could...
Slashdot linked up this article about a new Japanese effort to create devices that can generate power from glucose in a person's blood stream. While it sounds a little creepy at first, if successful the devices could revolutionize the implanted device field. No more recharging insulin pumps!
What I have learned in the past six weeks of being a father:
Coming soon: How to Change a Diaper in Seventeen Easy Steps.
For the gear-head in your life, this brief summary of different oil filters. A little dated, but still very valuable information.
BBCnews is carrying this article on the latest development in mine-detection equipment... mine-sniffing rats. Not just any rat, mind you, but nearly 3-foot long African Pouch Rats. No, they don't find the mines by getting blown up by them, they merely sniff them out and then wait for a bit of bananna as a reward.
Scott always told me that the couch is the most flammable piece of furniture in the house.
By The Associated Press (7/31/03 - LILBURN, GA) A post office and surrounding area were evacuated after a mail carrier came across a suspicious, vibrating package. X-rays soon revealed the box to be X-rated.See entire article here.
Something similar and not X rated happend to me and Scott at one of the area airports when we came home from San Diego one year. We went to pick up our luggage and noticed that the suitcase was 'buzzing'. Mind you, we have many of his co-workers standing around and watching us. So I unzip the bag and look inside to find that his beard trimmer *NO REALLY!* was turned on and buzzing away in the toiletry bag. Talk about embarassing.
Guinea pigs as govenment spies.
VENTURA, Calif. -- The father who dissected his daughter's guinea pig because he thought it was a government spy was sentenced to 50 days in jail -- time he's already served.
After dissecting the animal, he called relatives and said, "The good news is guinea bleeds. The bad news is guinea's dead," Connors told jurors during the trial.
Scott and I used to live right near Shirlington, VA. We used to watch all the illegal day laborers gather on the side of the road by the hot dog shop and wait for pick-up trucks and go to some construction site to work. If there was a pick-up truck that stopped by, all the aliens would rush up upon it like a huge flock of pigeons being fed at the park.
At its July 29 recessed meeting, the Arlington County Board voted 4-1 to appropriate up to $140,000 to create a pick-up site for day laborers in the Shirlington area. The funds will be used to purchase and install a covered shelter and related equipment and landscaping for the pick-up site.
$140,000 of YOUR tax money, going to help illegal aliens get a job. See entire article bit here.
From the Village Voice! Weird ass sexual questions!
How do you get rid of a sexual fetish? I've got an incest fetish, and while I don't plan on acting on it, it's still very annoying. I was raped by a sibling as a child. Repeatedly. At first I was upset by this, but I eventually began to enjoy the sex. So I hate myself. Is this common? I'm seeing a therapist, but due to my guilt and shame I'm unable to ask her these questions. Sick in BostonGo check out the great advice given at the Village Voice.
I was hoping you could provide some insight as to whether my behavior is, for lack of a better word, normal. At work I can clearly see who is going in and out of the restroom. When I go in there and no one is around, I wipe the hairs off the urinal. If my "distraction stud" enters and leaves the restroom after I wipe down the urinal, I go in, lock the door, and sometimes find two or three of his pubic hairs. I collect his pubic hairs and take them home and sterilize them. I store them in a plastic sandwich bag, which I bring out when I masturbate. Imagining that I have just orally serviced him, I place his pubic hairs in my mouth and let them rest on my tongue. Then I climax. Is this healthy? Should I stop behaving this way? Sick in Nashville
Even though I am on birth control and have been with my boyfriend for over two years, he still won't come inside of me. He insists on coming on my stomach. What is this all about? Why do men like coming all over your body instead of the natural way? Is this some primal instinct of marking his territory? What is the deal with this behavior? Sticky Mess
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Porn king Larry Flynt says slot machines would resolve California's budget crisis. Porn star Mary Carey says it is smarter to tax breast implants.See the entire wacky election bit here.
Hollywood billboard queen Angelyne has adopted the slogan "Think rational pink," whatever that means.
Dozens of other eclectic, eccentric extras have also taken out nomination papers to run in the October recall election for California governor, adding farce, folly and fantasy to deadly serious political combat -- a bid to dump Democratic Gov. Gray Davis (news - web sites) eight months into his second term.
Transnasal penetrating brain injury with a ball-pen.
See entire article here.
Too bad they did not have something like this on Fox's 101 Things Removed From the Human Body.
Jeff gets a No-prize for sending us this story!
ZAGREB (Reuters) - A drunken Croat flasher got more excitement than he bargained for when he pushed his penis through a woman's fence and her dog bit it, local newspapers said on Friday.
See entire article here.
Joshua bring us this disgusting feature for your enjoyment!
WARNING: This special circus exhibit contains shocking documentation of Plush-toy Tragedies. Some viewers will be stunned; others appauled. Entry is not for children or the faint of heart! These gripping, real images may haunt you for all time. By clicking on the above image to enter, you agree to not hold Hanttula.com, the artists, or anyone else liable for what may result. Enter at your own risk.
KINGSTON, N.Y. (AP) -- A 37-year-old woman gave birth to a baby boy weighing 12 pounds 5 ounces.
Matthew Joseph Potyak was born by Caesarean section at 11:10 a.m. Tuesday in Benedictine Hospital in Kingston, 50 miles south of Albany.
See entire article here.
My college was near Kingston, NY