February 28, 2006
And the Ferrari Goes, "Crash Bang Boom"

Ron gets a fast but smashed no-prize for bringing us the strange and twisting tail of a supercar, a telephone pole, and a video game executive:

The Plot Thickens in Ferrari Crash
A gun's magazine found near the wreckage may be connected to the accident, and a Scottish bank says it might own the destroyed car.

The mystery deepened Monday in the case of the puzzling crash last week of a $1-million Ferrari Enzo on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.

Maybe a better title would've been "when grownup toys attack"?

Posted by scott at 04:08 PM | Comments (0)
How Many Poles Does it Take to Appease a Muslim?


The Polish Foundation of St. Benedictus introduces its "Martyrs of our Time" ad campaign this week.

Poland is no France...
No rationalizing or mollifying barbaric behavior in Krakow!

This is an action that was conducted in one of the major Polish cities - Poznan. The action was started by the Foundation of St. Benedictus and was approved by local government. The Foundation's director is Zbigniew Czerwinski who is also member of PiS and president of the Regional Council.

The fact that we hardly hear much about Poland's progress since the fall of communism is, in my opinion, an indication of success. What little we do hear is mostly disapproving noises from the MSM about their staunch (albeit modest) support in Iraq and the general war on terror. Again, usually a good sign. Here's to new Europe!

Posted by scott at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)
Now that's what I Call Professional

Ok, so our first flight to Vegas got cancelled, and then the next day the limo service got me to the airport too late to catch the backup, forcing me to buy a new (expensive) ticket just to get there. I won't complain (much), because I know it most definitely could have been worse:

A panic-stricken air stewardess sparked terror on her turbulence-hit flight by screaming: "We're going to crash."

The hostess, named only as Wendy, stunned hundreds of passengers on the Gatwick-to-Las Vegas Virgin flight by repeating the outburst three times.

There was a video some years back of (as I recall) a trans-pacific flight which experienced something similar. It was filled with screams, debris, and hapless passengers hanging from the ceiling. From that point on I have made it a point to keep my seat belt on whenever possible.

Of course, knowing my luck, it'll happen when I'm using the bathroom. Meh, as long as I land safely, it'll wash off.

Posted by scott at 09:26 AM | Comments (0)
Save the Weenies!

Anything that makes me less likely to separate important bits of my body from the main is all right by me. I wonder if they've tried to partner with insurance companies on this? "Our saw is expensive, but the price difference is more than made up in X years by lower insurance premiums!" It would seem a win for all.

Posted by scott at 08:22 AM | Comments (0)
February 27, 2006
Axiom and Corollary

  • The true sign of a well-sorted hi-fi rig is the sound gets fuller as the volume goes up. It only seems loud when you try to talk to the person beside you and are surprised you have to shout.

  • My wife is the first person in my life who (so far) has never told me to turn the music down. Ellen, therefore, rox.

We now return you to your regular fragfest...

Posted by scott at 07:29 PM | Comments (0)
Big Surprise
You Are 78% Evil
You are very evil. And you're too evil to care. Those who love you probably also fear you. A lot.
How Evil Are You?
Posted by Ellen at 06:54 PM | Comments (7)
Canuk Care Crashing?

Canada's attempt to force everyone into socialized medicine seems to be coming apart at the seams:

The country's publicly financed health insurance system — frequently described as the third rail of its political system and a core value of its national identity — is gradually breaking down. Private clinics are opening around the country by an estimated one a week, and private insurance companies are about to find a gold mine.

All due to a court decision made last year, which found that if the state can't provide, it is illegal for the state to prevent anyone else from doing so.

Also, it seems to me a glaring mistake to call the US system even "largely" market-driven, since there are millions of people receiving some sort of federal health benefit (medicare, medicaid, and various SSI programs).

Regardless, it still shows that, while our own system is far from perfect, anyone who thinks Canada's should be used as an example of improvement isn't paying attention.

Via Cafe Hayek through Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 01:59 PM | Comments (2)
Well, They're not Gonna Build Themselves

"AMCGLTD," we hear you ask, "the grays never offer me a ride... they just show off all the shiny bits, stick a few things up my rear, and then drop me off without so much as a 'fair-thee-well'. I want to see the universe! What can I do?"

Fear not, gentle probe victim, AMCGLTD is here to help! Presenting How to Build a UFO, your one-stop-shop for everything unidentified and flying. From creating the shell to special weapons and propulsion, it's got everything a budding intergalactic explorer needs to pester remote farmers and credulous new-agers. Don't delay! The next probe you stop could be your own!

Posted by scott at 12:44 PM | Comments (3)
Magic Motion

Just when you thought engineering couldn't get more fantastic, they come up with stuff like surgical tools that move along with a beating heart:

Surgeons may soon be able to operate on a beating heart. Motion compensation software that synchronises the movement of robotic surgical tools with that of the heart will make it possible to operate without stopping or even slowing the heart down. The software, developed by George Mylonas at Imperial College London (ICL), has been designed for use with a type of surgical robot called da Vinci to perform procedures such as arterial bypass surgery.


Posted by scott at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)
Of Course We Have to Link it

Fark linked up this article detailing the "latest" (as of, it would seem, at least 1992) on the why and how of cat purring. Personally, I'm much more interested in the why's of cat puking, since ours regularly attempt to turn themselves inside out on whatever new bit of furniture we've recently acquired. Such a charming habit...

Posted by scott at 08:50 AM | Comments (0)
February 26, 2006
Don Knotts DED at 81

Knotts died Friday night of pulmonary and respiratory complications at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, said Paul Ward, a spokesman for the cable network TV Land, which airs "The Andy Griffith Show," and another Knotts hit, "Three's Company."

Read entire article here.

Posted by Ellen at 03:03 PM | Comments (3)
February 25, 2006
My Wife Would Never Leave the Bathroom

Not just a tub with a TV, it's a tub with surround sound. And a TV. And bubbles!

Posted by scott at 03:47 PM | Comments (1)
No Ellen, You Can't Have One

There's pets, and then there's pets. Get a load of the leashes they have on those heyenas.

Posted by scott at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)
I'm Sure it Does Wonderful Things to the Value of the Home

Thing is, I'm not sure if I should warm up by it or toss flowers into it. Why yes, I watched Star Trek obsessively while I was a child. Why do you ask?

Posted by scott at 03:20 PM | Comments (1)
That's Just not Right

Joshua gets an extremely inappropriate no-prize for bringing us "The Passion of Benny Hill". I have a feeling his convenient disbelief in an afterlife will not prevent eternal damnation after this. See you there!

Posted by scott at 08:20 AM | Comments (1)
February 24, 2006
Definitely not the Tunnel of Love

When I first started watching this video of Moscow's Lefortovo highway tunnel I thought, "hey, another day on the beltway!" Then I saw the bus go by.

All those times I called DC area drivers idiots? Well, ok... they're still idiots, but it's a benign, cow-like stupidity. We got nothing on those maniacs.

Posted by scott at 01:51 PM | Comments (1)
That's Mister Chicken Little to You, Bub

Ron gets a surprisingly toothy no-prize for bringing us news of a rather unexpected development in chicken research:

Chickens born with a mutated gene associated with tooth development were coaxed by researchers into growing functioning teeth, according to a paper published in this week's Current Biology.


Posted by scott at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)
What He Said

We haven't commented on the whole Muslim cartoon thing because... well, mostly because we're lazy and hadn't gotten around to it but also because eventually someone would do a better job of it. Which, of course, they have. I need to get some of those little signs...

Via On the Third Hand.

Posted by scott at 10:02 AM | Comments (3)
"Masking" Clues

New Scientist is carrying this article detailing how researchers used new imaging techniques and some "nifty detective work" to strongly suggest a 17th century death mask is that of William Shakespear. British authorities are not completely convinced, and unfortunately while the article refers to pictures none are present.

Posted by scott at 09:35 AM | Comments (0)
~ How Much is that Fighter in the Window? ~

Fark (of all places) linked up news that there are increasingly hotter rumors of proposals to sell F-22 Raptors to certain allies. Japan, specifically. Aviation Week hasn't mentioned this even once, but that may change as the story breaks.

Posted by scott at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)
February 23, 2006
Dragon Kiss


From the aquarium at Mandalay Bay.

Posted by Ellen at 09:39 PM | Comments (0)
The Mirage Hotel


Apparently we missed out on the volcano that goes off with this fountain.

Posted by Ellen at 09:33 PM | Comments (1)
When Elvis Impersonators Go Bad...


This was taken at a piano bar at Harrah's. It was really bad!

Posted by Ellen at 09:29 PM | Comments (0)
The Princess


What happens when a certain little girl gets into her grandma's jewelry box.

Posted by Ellen at 09:17 PM | Comments (1)
And the Vacation Goes Round and Round

In spite of our airline's best efforts, we did eventually manage to arrive back in NY last night. We're heading for home home in the next half hour or so. Updates will, therefore, be unpredictable today.

And no, I didn't get alcohol poisoning. The big pink elephant sitting next to me in the picture made sure of that.

Now where's my wallet...

Posted by scott at 09:20 AM | Comments (1)
February 21, 2006
Karaoke Fountains


You have to stay out real late to get these Vegas treats. The city does not wake up till after dark. Scott and I are in lots of pain from sitting all day in conferences, then heading out to check the sites in the late afternoon.

Posted by Ellen at 02:10 AM | Comments (3)
My Vegas Souvenir


Check out what Scott got to see while this was being drawn out!

Posted by Ellen at 02:04 AM | Comments (3)
February 20, 2006
What Happens To The High Roller Who Lost The Bet...

Posted by Ellen at 10:09 PM | Comments (1)
New York, NY


Our hotel, we are in the Chrysler building.

Posted by Ellen at 06:48 PM | Comments (1)
Size Matters In Vegas


Drink it ALL Scott!

Posted by Ellen at 06:45 PM | Comments (9)
What Happens In Vegas, Stays In Vegas...

So the saying goes. It has been quite a hectic 48 hours. Cancelled flights, being split into 2 airports, one getting to Vegas on time, one comming in 8 hours later.

Needless to say, we are here and making it to the conference!

Posted by Ellen at 06:11 PM | Comments (0)
February 18, 2006
This Is Why...

Your veterinary office says it's important to deworm your pet twice per year! You end up with stuff like this.

Ascaris worms are also found in household pets that tend to go outside.

Posted by Ellen at 12:32 PM | Comments (3)
Chinese Food You DON'T Want to Sample

People will eat ANYTHING over there!

Posted by Ellen at 12:28 PM | Comments (1)
February 17, 2006
A Pendantic Find

Fark linked up news of the discovery of a 6500 year old gold pendant in modern Greece. While simple in design, the date and composition of the piece speaks volumes about the technology and culture of the people who made it.

For perspective, this pendant was made about two thousand years before the pyramids.

Posted by scott at 08:43 AM | Comments (1)
Westward Ho!

It's vacation time at Casa AMCG. We'll be travelling to NY today to deposit the Princess with her Queen "Muthah" and "greah-papa", and from there it'll be on to Las Vegas. Updates will therefore be unpredictable.

Posted by scott at 08:15 AM | Comments (2)
February 16, 2006
Like Sand Through a Really Big Hourglass

So go the Days of Our Galaxies:

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has observed a rare population of colliding galaxies whose entangled hearts are wrapped in tiny crystals resembling crushed glass.

The crystals are essentially sand, or silicate, grains that were formed like glass, probably in the stellar equivalent of furnaces. This is the first time silicate crystals have been detected in a galaxy outside of our own.

The mind boggles...

Posted by scott at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)
Taking that Whole "How You Sign Your Name" Thing Way too Far

Ok, cutting = bad, we already established that one. Now we must also add that pencils = bad:

A Serbian man needed emergency surgery after sticking a pencil inside his penis to keep it stiff during sex.

Dude... I mean... Dude!!!

Posted by scott at 01:25 PM | Comments (2)
Ninja Spider

It may only be 2mm long, but its spider-fu is strong:

They may be small, but Assassin spiders are among the most dangerous spiders on the planet – if you’re another spider, that is. These tiny arachnids in the Archaeidae family are only about 2 mm (less than 1/8 inch) long, but their bizarre fangs and spider-hunting practices have earned them a reputation as the world’s most grotesque spiders. They hunt by stabbing their prey with venom-filled fangs that are attached to the ends of extremely elongated jaws.

With picture!

Posted by scott at 12:05 PM | Comments (1)
Going Up Next Stop LEO Shuttles Stations Satellites WatchYahStep

Slashdot linked up news that a commercial venture to build a working space elevator has reached another milestone, this time getting robots to climb up and down special cables while hanging over the Arizona desert. Modest, yes, but I find it a little amazing that this has moved from SF concept to actual working hardware in my lifetime. This was something my great-grandkids were supposed to be seeing.

Posted by scott at 10:28 AM | Comments (0)

A must! Check out the ugly belly dance costume gallery!

Psstt...the bat bra? I bought that one for a certain GOTH friend out there one year! HEEEE!!

Posted by Ellen at 06:59 AM | Comments (5)
February 15, 2006
You Pressed What Button???

Network admins sometimes say "it's better to put your eggs in one basket, as long as you use a really good basket." Which is all well and good, until the network admin in question gets mixed up and turns that central/critical server off on purpose. During business hours. Because he thought it was a non-production server. Did I mention this particular server takes 20 minutes to reboot?

Oh stop it. Damned things look identical from the console and you know it. The stupid Exchange system takes forever to shut down and boot up. Not my fault!

Well, except for the "accidentally shutting it off on purpose" bit, I guess.

Posted by scott at 01:43 PM | Comments (1)
Counting Games

BBCnews linked up this report detailing a new discovery in infant cognative development. By using video tape and speakers, scientists were able to determine that infants as young as 7 months were able to correlate the number of people they saw with the number of voices they could hear. This information, the scientists say, has implications for early childhood teaching, as well as how all non-verbal animals represent numbers.

Posted by scott at 12:16 PM | Comments (0)
Well that Didn't Take Long

Tacky tacky tacky.

Actually, it amazes me that after all this time we are still talking about this incident.

Via Siflay

Posted by scott at 10:46 AM | Comments (2)
The "Other Iraq"

Instapundit linked up this travelogue of one man's experience with the Iraq nobody ever hears about:

... Yes, it’s Iraq. But the war is in a different part of the country. There are no Kurdish insurgents. The Peshmerga guard Kurdistan’s de-facto border with ruthless effectiveness. Those who attempt to cross away from the checkpoints and the roads are ambushed by border patrols. Anyone who doesn’t speak Kurdish as their native language stands out among the general population. Iraqi Kurds, out of desperate necessity, have forged one of the most watchful and vigilant anti-terrorist communities in the world. Terrorists from elsewhere just can’t operate in that kind of environment. Al Qaeda members who do manage to infiltrate are hunted down like rats. This conservative Muslim society did a better job protecting me from Islamist killers than the U.S. military could do in the Green Zone in Baghdad.

Amazing what a ten year head start can do for a country. Of course, these people want a functioning nation free from fascist Arab influence.

Posted by scott at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)
Personally, I think "Nighthawk" is a Better Name for Them

Fark linked up this amusing little auction tidbit:

1997 General Lee-Roy Metro Geo. One of a kind. Runs Great. Thousands invested! 35 MPG! WOW!!! This baby will get MORE attention than a 69 Charger. Has a working Dixie horn with 118 dcb. ( Thats loud ). Tires are in new condition. Headlights faded, I hear you can get them polished for about 30 bucks. If you are the winning bidder I will throw in a GIT-R-DONE hat for free. Also comes with a Good Ole Boy CD...

3 cylinders, as I recall, and maybe 55 hp. Hey, it beats the hell out of walking!

Posted by scott at 09:55 AM | Comments (0)
February 14, 2006
Synchronized Goldfish

You have to watch!

Posted by Ellen at 06:24 PM | Comments (1)
Happy Birthday Southern Grandpa!


A Very Happy Birthday to Scott's Dad and O's Southern Grandpa who is 66 today!
Posted by Ellen at 05:29 PM | Comments (1)
Hey, at Least They Found it

Well, all I can say is this TSA employee certainly earned their pay that day:

Airport baggage screeners found a human head with teeth, hair and skin in the luggage of a woman who said she intended to ward off evil spirits with it, authorities said Friday.

Myrlene Severe, 30, a Haitian-born permanent U.S. resident, was charged Friday with smuggling a human head into the U.S. without proper documentation.

Yeah, documentation. I can just hear it now, "Allo? Allo? TSA? 'ow do eye go about takin' dis 'ere 'ead on de plane wi' me? Yes. It's a 'ead. A 'EAD. You know, da ting on top o' ya shouldas? Well of course it not attached to anyting girl, it's a 'ead. Just a 'ead. Because I wanna take it on da plane, dat's why.

Allo? Allo?"

Posted by scott at 02:59 PM | Comments (0)
Cutting = Bad, Mmmkay?

Even though I've seen it discussed time and again on just about every form of media out there, if the level and type of spam I get about it is any indication there are still men who don't get that penis surgery does not work. So, once more, with feeling:

Nim Christopher, a urologist at St Peter's Andrology Center in London and his colleagues, who questioned 42 men who had the surgery, found the dissatisfaction rate was very high. Often the men requested another surgical procedure.

In all likelyhood, it's probably for the best. If these sorts of things did work, they'd probably have to start making new furniture to accomodate what some loons would try to do to themselves.

Posted by scott at 11:56 AM | Comments (0)
Slime Sentry

Slashdot linked up this New Scientist article that details a startling new development in autonomous robotics:

A bright yellow slime mould that can grow to several metres in diameter has been put in charge of a scrabbling, six-legged robot.

The Physarum polycephalum slime, which naturally shies away from light, controls the robot's movement so that it too keeps out of light and seeks out dark places in which to hide itself.

Great. It's not enough we need to worry about giant genetically engineered blobs yanking our heads down drainpipes. Now they've got robots to walk around with!

Posted by scott at 10:11 AM | Comments (0)
If Only it were Just Birthday Parties

You mean everyone doesn't do this???

They already have their own designer clothes, health insurance and therapists and now more and more American pets are enjoying their own birthday parties as well .

A surprising number of pet owners host birthday parties - complete with party hats, cake and guests for their dogs, cats and birds, a survey by California-based Veterinary Pet Insurance says.

I think it's more a measure of how many couples don't have children than it is anything to do with how loopy Americans are.

Posted by scott at 09:01 AM | Comments (1)
February 13, 2006

Posted by Ellen at 09:00 PM | Comments (0)
Drying the Toe Polish

Posted by Ellen at 08:49 PM | Comments (0)
Coming in 2007

A Dark Crystal of a NO-Prize goes to Rich for the link!

Award-winning animation director Genndy Tartakovsky, who created the hit series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Samurai Jack and Dexter’s Laboratory, will direct Power of the Dark Crystal, the much anticipated sequel to The Jim Henson Company’s 1982 classic fantasy film. The announcement was made today by Lisa Henson, co-CEO of The Jim Henson Company and a producer on the film.

Read entire article here.

Posted by Ellen at 07:08 PM | Comments (0)
~ I'm / Too Sexy for This Job / Too Sexy for This Job... ~

Ron gets a curvey no-prize for bringing us scientific proof that just looking the part isn't enough for a girl to get ahead in this word:

Dressing sexy can have negative affects at work especially the higher you climb on the ladder, according to a recent University of Lawrence study led by professor Peter Glick.

The study found that risqué dress on the job is viewed as inappropriate for those in all positions. Managers who dressed provocatively, however, were perceived less intelligent and less competent, while those in lower level positions (like receptionists) were not. The study also suggests that women who wear racy clothing are perceived as using their sexuality to advance professionally.

Ellen wears scrubs and I think white socks with black pants is high fashion, so neither of us has too much to worry about. Now if we could just get Ron to stop wearing stilettos to his meetings...

Posted by scott at 03:14 PM | Comments (0)
But Did it Slide in Head First?

That Energizer-bunny-in-a-spacesuit rover Spirit is at it again, this time after arriving at one of its long-term goals, a region known as "home plate". All the scientists agree it's a really neat place, even if none of them seem to agree on what that place is.

Posted by scott at 02:13 PM | Comments (0)
Long Flight

Space.com is carrying news that Steve Fossett has officially broken the world's non-stop absolute distance record. When the article was written he was still going, but should be down by now. The tech on that aircraft is pretty impressive... as I recall, its weight fraction (the amount of gross takeoff weight that is actually the aircraft) is somewhere below 10%, more akin to spacecraft than anything you or I would see on a local runway. Very cool!

Posted by scott at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

Pity poor T. Rex. What was once the biggest, meanest critter to ever walk the earth was reduced to second place with the discovery of Gigantosaurus. Now, it's even worse:

The biggest, and possibly the baddest predatory dinosaur of them all was not the fabled Tyrannosaurus rex, or even its slightly larger rival Gigantosaurus, but a long-jawed, sail-backed creature called Spinosaurus.

An examination of some newly obtained fossils shows that Spinosaurus stretched an impressive 17 metres from nose to tail, dwarfing its meat-eating relatives. As well as being longer than its rivals, Spinosaurus also had stronger arms with which to catch its prey, unlike the puny-armed T. rex and its ilk.

Of course, they're basing this conclusion on some very fragmentary evidence, so it remains to be seen if new discoveries support it. If they ever make them, that is.

Posted by scott at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)
Darwin's Day

Slashdot linked up news that not only was yesterday Darwin's 197th birthday, it was also a day when some 450 Christian churches came together to celebrate the date. And in a good way! The list of denominations contained some, to me anyway, surprising names. Nice to see one of the silent majorities speaking out.

Posted by scott at 09:50 AM | Comments (0)
A Case, for the Rest of Us

You can take your fancy lit-up computer cases and bury them in the back yard. This is the one for me!

Posted by scott at 08:26 AM | Comments (0)
February 12, 2006
It's Only Funny When You Watch It...

Scott knows better now to send me shit like this in an email.

Posted by Ellen at 08:46 PM | Comments (1)
She Really Wants To Be A Cat


Note the cat collar...

Posted by Ellen at 08:06 PM | Comments (1)
Coco(Don't Make Me Kick Your Ass)Nut

Posted by Ellen at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)
Walk in the Woods


Well we walked to the end of our street anyway...

Posted by Ellen at 11:02 AM | Comments (2)
Snow Princess

Posted by Ellen at 11:00 AM | Comments (2)
C'Mon Mom! I show You!


Uhh... Olivia? Don't you know Princess don't wear dresses in the snow?

Posted by Ellen at 10:58 AM | Comments (1)
February 11, 2006
Fun with Fields

Fark linked up this example of what farmers do in their spare time. Actually, I'm surprised it's taken this long for someone to use Google's satellite imagery to find crop circles and the like.

Posted by scott at 08:30 AM | Comments (1)
February 10, 2006
Crytek Concerns

Just now finished up re-playing Far Cry, an award-winning shooter from early last year, and it was just as fun the second time through. After doing a bit of digging, it looks like the guys who designed that game are finally getting ready to release a follow-in. Not a sequel, but a totally new game, this time "requiring adaptive tactics and customisation of weapons and armour". Which is cool, as I don't recall a shooter that lets you tinker with the weapons themselves. Should be fun!

Posted by scott at 02:46 PM | Comments (0)
Give to Me!

Scientific American is carrying this article which details an interesting discovery about a globular cluster galaxy that orbits our own. By using a new series of telescopes, scientists have found Messier 12, seems to be missing a full million of its lighest stars. The culprit? Our own Milky Way.

Posted by scott at 02:40 PM | Comments (0)
They Even have an Entry for "Tits"

But I personally think the origin of porcelain is more interesting. Decal too, considering how many of them I ruined while trying to finish off various plastic scale models over the years.

Posted by scott at 12:05 PM | Comments (4)
Putting Your Money where Your Wackiness Is

Fark linked up news that a church famous for its helio-centric beliefs is offering $1,000 to anyone who can prove them wrong. Of course, proving the Earth does in fact revolve around the Sun to people who believe the opposite due to sheer bloody-mindedness faith is probably more challenging than it would at first appear.

Then again, I need a new receiver for my stereo rig. Time to put in an application!

Posted by scott at 09:18 AM | Comments (1)

Our favorite fiction author is finally getting one of his novels turned into a movie:

He is the best-selling fantasy fiction author from the West whose mysterious tales are loved by millions of bookworms the world over. Now, for the first time, one of the stories from Wiltshire-based Terry Pratchett's hugely popular Discworld series is to be adapted into a TV film. And the £6million Sky One production will feature a host of familiar faces, including one of Britain's best-loved actors, Sir David Jason, in a starring role.

Hogfather will be the first time a book from Pratchett's Discworld series has been made into a feature-length film.

Hogfather, for those poor pagans unaware of and those phillistines who refuse to read Pratchett, is a send-up of Christmastime with Death (you know, tall, skeletal, wears a cape, carries a scythe, TALKS LIKE THIS... anyone? anyone? Buehler?) being forced to stand-in for the jolly one in the red suit.

In other words, a wonderful addition to your holiday library! :)

Posted by scott at 08:17 AM | Comments (1)
February 09, 2006
Moon Man

Space.com is carrying this article detailing new theories about how the formations that make up "the man in the moon" were created. It seems impacts from the opposite side were so great they caused magma to spew out and pool into the dark "seas" we see today.

Posted by scott at 03:33 PM | Comments (0)
Egg Politics

Problem: A male group of rare penguins are hanging out amongst themselves at their zoo home, refusing to help their species stop being rare.

Solution: Bring in some new females in the hopes of "getting the party started".

Result: Politics happens:

The initiative to "turn" the penguins and make them mate had prompted a furious response from gay rights groups.

Because we all know how oppressed the gay penguin population is these days. Stonewall! Stonewall! Stone... rrmm... glacier?

Posted by scott at 02:13 PM | Comments (2)
Razorback Trifecta

Ron gets a rotten no-prize for bringing us an inside look at small-town politics:

LONOKE, Ark. - The mayor was arrested in a corruption probe, the police chief is accused in a drug-making scheme, and the prosecutor says the chief's wife took prisoners from jail to have sex with them - and more arrests could be coming.

It's a lot for a town of fewer than 4,300 residents to stomach in one day.

Dropping it all in a single day is a bit much, but I remember hearing about things like this swirl around the local government of my old home town (who's population was about thhe same size) through the years. And it's not something exclusive to Arkansas. From what I've read, many if not most small towns run into trouble like this at one point or another.

Posted by scott at 12:53 PM | Comments (0)
Playing with Fire

Lisa gets a roundish no-prize on a string for bringing us yet another Darwin Award near-miss:

A would-be Super Bowl reveler thought he could fill a balloon with a welding gas and blast it at a party, instead it exploded in his car, busting out windows, bending doors outwards, and pushing up the roof about a foot, sheriff's deputies said Monday.

With pictures!

Posted by scott at 11:57 AM | Comments (0)
More Tomb Time

Pat gets a dusty old no-prize for bringing us news of the discovery of an intact tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Not much is known right now (seems they're waiting for a formal announcement tomorrow), but from the article it would seem this is not another Tut-style discovery.

Posted by scott at 10:16 AM | Comments (0)
And Ellen Though the Oscar was Bad

Thing is, doesn't everyone know how dangerous these damned things are?

Kevin Freels has been a vet for three years. He has seen his share of injuries, but he never thought he'd be on the receiving end of a potentially deadly attack from his own pet.

“I was just doing the routine weekly maintenance on the (saltwater) tank,” Kevin recalls. “Apparently she didn't like what I did."

The “she” Kevin is referring to, is his lion fish, named Lily. Lily charged Kevin's hand and jabbed six of her poisonous spines into him.

I see them in larger pet stores all the time, so I guess people don't know.

Somewhere, Darwin is re-calibrating his scope and grumbling about a near miss.

Posted by scott at 09:11 AM | Comments (0)
Inside Your Favorite Cartoon Character

Check it out!

Posted by Ellen at 06:49 AM | Comments (0)
February 08, 2006
I Find Your Lack of Camo Disturbing

It sure don't look comfortable, but I bet it's better than a face full of shrapnel. Of course, one of the goals in Iraq seems to be to look less intimidating, so I have no idea how popular this would be in the field.

James H. gets a tough-and-scary no-prize for bringing us the latest in armor tech.

Posted by scott at 03:27 PM | Comments (1)
Don't Mess with Grandpa

Because if he's anything like his kids:

The forefather of the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex has been discovered, scientists report.

The 160 million-year-old fossil is the oldest tyrannosaur ever found.

Hell he's even wearing a goofy hat. If they find a tiny motorbike anywhere nearby I'm going to get seriously freaked out.

Posted by scott at 01:59 PM | Comments (0)
No Wonder They're Wound so Tight

It took me watching all the way to the end of this "how to eat sushi" film to decide if it was a parody or not. I'm pretty sure it's fake, but with the Japanese it's sometimes hard to tell.

Posted by scott at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)
If This Would Work on Litterboxes, it'd Be Gold

Slashdot linked up news that engineers are working on a self-cleaning and self-sterilizing bathroom. They're using the same stuff that is used to create self-cleaning windows, but coating things like commodes with it instead of glass. The main stumbling block? Getting the reaction to work using regular indoor lighting instead of sunlight. Assuming they can get around that, expect to see products in the next 3-5 years.

Posted by scott at 09:28 AM | Comments (2)
Hippie Hybrids Harass Hikers

For another entry in the, "why should I have to pay attention in life, isn't that something the government should do for me?" category, we have this article on an "unintended consequence" of the growing popularity of hybrids:

As hybrid sales skyrocket, there's a growing concern that the battery-gas powered vehicles pose a risk [to pedestrians] because they aren't as noisy as gas-powered engines. When idling, hybrids run on the quiet electric battery. Most, with the exception of GM and Honda hybrids, can also operate on the battery until the car reaches higher speeds, when the gas engine kicks in.

Yeah, that colorful ton-and-a-half of metal moving toward them just isn't enough to grab everyone's attention. And of course drivers shouldn't be expected to, you know, look around and be aware of nearby pedestrians. Can't you see they're on the damned phone?

I ride a bike on city streets all the time, and my assumption that essentially everyone else on the road with me has no idea I'm there has saved me from many a crash. Look around, make eye contact with cross traffic drivers, and "check six" when you need to switch lanes or pull to the center and you will go far indeed.

Karma being what it is, be sure to watch the papers tomorrow morning for news of an inattentive cyclist in Northern VA getting creamed by a hybrid he didn't hear coming.

Posted by scott at 08:27 AM | Comments (11)
February 07, 2006
Kiss My Nose

Posted by Ellen at 06:12 PM | Comments (1)
Gold Eyes


Posted by Ellen at 06:05 PM | Comments (0)

Posted by Ellen at 05:53 PM | Comments (0)
Fun with Flags

Fark linked up this Reuters article which answers the "burning" question, "where in the heck are the Palis getting Danish flags from anyway?" The answer is pretty much what you'd expect: they're buying them from clever and enterprising businessmen. See a need, fill a need.

Now if they'd only learn to be as efficient at providing basic needs like food and clothing...

Posted by scott at 03:09 PM | Comments (1)
Diver Down

In yet another entry in the "it is! It isn't! It is! It isn't" saga of global warming, we have this New Scientist article:

Antarctic krill appear to feed at the surface of the ocean and “parachute” down to deep waters more often than previously thought, a new study reveals, suggesting they take a bigger bite out of the carbon that contributes to global warming.

They're small, but there are a lot of them, so the carbon they're... umm... "depositing" comes out to (according to the article) about the same amount that 35 million cars emit in a year. Busy little critters, I'll give them that.

Posted by scott at 10:24 AM | Comments (0)
Happy Wha?

You know you're getting old when...

... you forget the anniversary of your own website.

At 4 years, we're definitely a member of the "Triassic" blogger generation. Some have failed, some have thrived, while we just go on about our loopy ways. Onward and upward!

Posted by scott at 09:19 AM | Comments (0)
Party Barge

Fark linked up this article detailing the announcement of one helluva boat:

The ship, dubbed Project Genesis, will be 220,000 gross registered tons when it is delivered to the world's second-largest cruise operator in fall 2009 by Oslo, Norway-based shipbuilder Aker Yards.
Project Genesis will carry 5,400 passengers based on two people per cabin, Kulovaara said. But as most cruise cabins can accommodate more than two people using cots or other beds, that number rises to a maximum capacity of 6,400.

For perspective, a Nimitz class aircraft carrier's displacement is listed as 97,000 tons fully loaded. With, like, heavy things like bombs and airplanes and stuff.

Posted by scott at 08:26 AM | Comments (1)
February 06, 2006

Posted by Ellen at 09:07 PM | Comments (3)
Pick a Peck of Pickled...


Yes, I am that sick. Would you expect anything less?

Posted by Ellen at 08:54 PM | Comments (3)
Naked Grin

Posted by Ellen at 08:45 PM | Comments (0)
Baby Kisses

Posted by Ellen at 08:43 PM | Comments (0)

Turn my back and what happens? Someone comes out with a new Star Trek Enterprise model. I built perhaps half a dozen first-issue EMT/ERTL kits when I was a teen. Never could get the primary hull opaque enough to keep the kernel lights supplied from showing through the plastic. I nearly sold a much later issue at a convention art auction when I was in college. It hung quite impressively in my Fayetteville home, only to later be destroyed by a combination of poor engineering and lax packing when I tried to ship it across half the country. I always thought they butchered an otherwise good kit trying to replicate the complex hull plating of the (monstrously large) movie model.

The ERTL kit was very difficult to hold together... a poorly engineered model of an admittedly poorly conceived starship. In spite of that, I've always thought the movie Enterprise to be the prettiest of them all. Nice to see Paramount's giving another company a crack at the design.

Oh shut up. Shut up. Next one of you shouts, "Nerddddd!!!" is getting a boot to the head!

Posted by scott at 07:41 PM | Comments (0)
This has it all Over Those Big Foam Fingers

Leave it to the Germans:

Hundreds of fans of German club Borussia Dortmund waved huge inflatable penises at local rivals Schalke 04 on Saturday above an abusive message for their hosts.

Boy, am I ever so glad football season is over. Hopefully by the time it comes around again, certain people will have forgotten all about it.

Posted by scott at 03:31 PM | Comments (2)
~ I Knew an Old Man Who Swallowed a Horse ~

He died, of course:

A 50-STONE giant dubbed the fattest man in Britain has died after enjoying his final fish supper.

Jack Taylor, 60, tucked into the jumbo special fish treat before going to bed.

He died in the night of a heart attack and his niece found him next morning.

50 stone = ~ 700 pounds. Yoiks.

Update: Apparently they made a film about him and another guy. Coming to a Discovery channel near you!

Posted by scott at 02:14 PM | Comments (0)
Cell Phone Fun

And to think we put these things against our heads:

Many students, and other young people, have little in the way of cooking skills but can usually get their hands on a couple of mobile phones. So, this week, we show you how to use two mobile phones to cook an egg which will make a change from phoning out for a pizza.

We only have one cell phone, so no way for us to test if it's true. Others in our group of friends are better off mobile-wise, so your assignment for this week is to test if this actually works. Bonus points for photos!

Posted by scott at 01:08 PM | Comments (0)
Dark Properties

Slashdot linked up this BBCnews report detailing new discoveries about one of everyone's (well, our) favorite celestial mysteries, dark matter. By using the biggest telescopes available, scientists have made a detailed study of 12 dwarf galaxies that skirt the Milky Way. The biggest surprise so far? It appears dark matter is far more energetic than previously thought. This has profound implications for stellar, galactic, and even universal evolution.

Posted by scott at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)
Crystal Catch

Ron gets an abstract rainbow no-prize for bringing us this collection of microscope shots of various crystallized medicines. Abstract health art!

Posted by scott at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)
Simulating Stradivarius

The Washington Post today carried this article detailing new efforts at duplicating what are widely considered to be the finest violins ever made. By using computer modeling and analysis, a Swedish team thinks they can create a replica Stradivarius violin that is indistinguishable from the original. Since nobody's quite sure how Stradivarius did what he did, it's possible they might succeed.

Then again, considering that music appreciation is sometimes as much about politics and perception as it is about science and craft, there's a very good chance they won't.

Posted by scott at 08:33 AM | Comments (0)
February 05, 2006
Arsenic Mummy

Posted by Ellen at 07:00 PM | Comments (0)

Posted by Ellen at 06:57 PM | Comments (0)
Mirror Image


A series of more of my macabre photos are going to be posted in the next few days. They will NOT be behind cuts.

Posted by Ellen at 06:54 PM | Comments (0)
February 04, 2006
Nina and Ben

Posted by Ellen at 09:46 PM | Comments (3)
O and Nina

Posted by Ellen at 09:38 PM | Comments (2)
Busy Weekend!

Aunt Nina is down visiting from Boston! Updates will be slow!

Bored? Read the archives dammit!

Posted by Ellen at 12:12 PM | Comments (2)
February 03, 2006
Certainly Cuter than Janet's Floppy Boob

While we'll have to give The Puppy Bowl a miss, the half-time kitten show may end up being "must-view". Click the link for previews, including one that elegantly displays the distilled fuzzy insanity that is a kitten.

Posted by scott at 03:47 PM | Comments (0)
At Least it's not Another Barbie Movie

Outrage! Disgust! Calumny!

A mum bought her children a cartoon on DVD as a treat - but was horrified to find it actually contained a hardcore pornographic film.

Fatima Laaroussi, of Barton Hill, bought a copy of My Little Pony - The Movie from Woolworths' branch in the Mall Galleries shopping centre in Broadmead.
Mrs Laaroussi says she feels lucky the children grew bored with the adult content of the film and switched it off after just a few minutes.

Oh don't get me wrong, I would've popped it out just as quick as possible too. Hell, we don't listen to Stern on satellite when Olivia's in the car.

It's hard enough to keep her from swearing as it is.

Posted by scott at 02:14 PM | Comments (0)
Now if They'd Just Make an Inflatable Ferrari...

Blow-up plastic dolls? Bah! How about a blow-up concrete tent:

The Concrete Canvas product has been called inflatable concrete - and not without reason. It is designed to be a rapidly-deployable semi-permanent shelter that can be airlifted to any spot on the globe.


Posted by scott at 01:16 PM | Comments (1)
Clay: The Play-dough of Life?

New Scientist is carrying this report on a new theory about what caused the early Earth's atmosphere to gain so much oxygen. The secret? Clay. Apparently the stuff traps organic matter that would normally fix-out oxygen and bury it in the crust, thereby allowing an increase.

I think. Even other scientists aren't sure about this. Never stopped me before though!

Posted by scott at 12:18 PM | Comments (0)
So Much for the Party

Because if we were to follow these rules for who not to invite, basically nobody would make it. Even us.

Jeeze dude, annoying the TruFans is half the fun!

Posted by scott at 10:15 AM | Comments (1)
Down She Goes

Fark linked up news of the discovery of an ancient Greek shipwreck:

The remains of an ancient Greek cargo ship that sank more than 2,300 years ago have been uncovered with a deep-sea robot, archaeologists announced Thursday.

The ship was carrying hundreds of ceramic jars of wine and olive oil and went down off Chios and the Oinoussai islands in the eastern Aegean Sea sometime around 350 B.C.

Which would put it right around the time of the birth of Alexander the Great.

Posted by scott at 08:32 AM | Comments (1)
February 02, 2006
How... Thoughtful...

Joshua gets a cute but somehow wrong no prize for bringing us these rather unique toys.

No, Olivia doesn't want one. I asked.

Posted by scott at 03:19 PM | Comments (0)
No Damned Fun at All

Wouldn't ya know it, some people just can't leave well enough alone:

A Michigan environmental group is charging that at least part of the so-called "new car smell" is toxic, and that the interior of an automobile has dangerous levels of various chemicals.

The report, "Toxic at any speed," comes from The Ecology Center, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based group. It reports that PBDEs, used as fire retardants, and phthalates, used primarily to soften PVC plastics, are found in dangerous amounts in dust and windshield film samples.

Yes, standard press release reporting, but even the newsie seems to try to distance themself from these cranks.

Gotta deal for you greenies who buy into this. You give me your new car, I'll give you my old one.

Posted by scott at 01:52 PM | Comments (5)
It's now Official

Blogging is for the birds:

Got your own blog yet? If not you'd better hurry up if you don't want to be beaten to it by a flock of pigeons. Later this year 20 of the birds will take to the skies above San Jose, California, each carrying a GPS receiver, air pollution sensors and a basic cellphone. They will measure levels of pollutants they encounter, and beam back their findings as text messages to a blog in real time.

Jumped the shark? Oh hell, how about flown the coop?

Posted by scott at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)
Mynd you, m00se bites Kan be pretty nasti ...

Definitely not something you see every day:

A fully grown moose has been spotted surfing down a rain-swollen river in Norway on a large chunk of ice.

It's not clear whether the moose got caught on ice that suddenly became free or whether he grabbed his chance for a wild ride down the Namsen River, reports Aftenposten.

No word on the ultimate fate of the moose, but I have an ugly feeling it was probably "pretty nasti".

Posted by scott at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)
Ellen will Probably Want the Shoes

Ron gets a no-prize with a convenient wire attachment for bringing us the top 10 weirdest USB devices ever. Warmed my heart to see our previously featured mini-SAM kit made the list. I still gotta get me one of those.

Posted by scott at 08:57 AM | Comments (0)
February 01, 2006
Invention Time

This week's New Scientist Invention round-up includes an elastic internal combustion engine (no, really!), a car hi-fi system that adjusts itself to changing accoustics in the auto, and a new twist on collector cards and toys. The bouncy-ball engine sounds nifty as all get-out, but the card thing strikes me as a bit spooky. Several of Olivia's toys regularly "detonate" for no discernible reason already. I can only imagine what they'd be like with something like this.

Posted by scott at 03:39 PM | Comments (0)
... and Business is Good

Well, you gotta find him somehow:

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. - The business cards got a response, but surely not what their owner had in mind when he had them printed up.
[Maj. Patrick Kitchens of the Leavenworth Police Department] said the business card had an image of what appeared to be an alarm clock being hit by a boxing glove and said: "For a quick hit on time call the boss."

This isn't as uncommon as one would think. More than twenty years ago a relative of mine took bets on horse races from local folks and routed them to a bookie located in a nearby town. That guy had business cards and an 800 number.

Posted by scott at 02:16 PM | Comments (0)
Wouldn't be the First Jailbird Candidate

Everyone's favorite vampire-for-governor may have some trouble with fundraising soon:

Self-described vampire and Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Jonathan "The Impaler" Sharkey has been arrested on Indiana charges of stalking and escape.

Lyndon Larouche (as I recall) regularly ran for president while behind bars, but that was a federal position. State position, state laws, so who knows?

Posted by scott at 01:21 PM | Comments (0)
More Busting

Slashdot linked up this Star Wars community article summarizing an interview with everyone's favorite "build team", the Mythbusters. Not quite as detailed as Slashdot's own interview, but still quite interesting.

Posted by scott at 10:44 AM | Comments (0)
A Tank, for the Rest of Us

Damion gets a no-prize fo-shizzle for bringing us the ultimate "pimp-my-ride" vehicle. Actually, it's not a helluva lot different than the stuff my brother drives around every day. Well, except for the gun.

I think.

Posted by scott at 09:44 AM | Comments (0)
Study busts pregnant and happy myth

CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- Pregnant women who stop taking antidepressants run a high risk of slipping back into depression, a study found, busting the myth that the surge of hormones during pregnancy keeps mothers-to-be happy and glowing.

Read entire article here.

Posted by Ellen at 08:38 AM | Comments (0)