July 31, 2006
It's Only a Model!

At first, this description of the Chinese creating a 450 x 350 km "scale model" of some real-estate in India is kinda weird. Then, when you start thinking about why anyone would want to create a gigantic scale model of disputed real-estate in someone else's back yard, well, things take a rather sinister turn.

There's a reason India has gotten a whole lot friendlier to us lately, and it got nothin' to do with Appu and the Kwik-e-mart.

Posted by scott at 03:37 PM | Comments (1)
A Detector, for the Rest of Us

I'm just glad nobody gave us one of these as a gag gift for our wedding. If they had, the poor thing would've exploded during Ellen's pregnancy. Nowadays it'd just point to various cats, where it's not really that useful, since they tend to give themselves away by looking at their own butts in alarm and fleeing the scene.

Posted by scott at 01:47 PM | Comments (0)
Wormy the Detector

New Scientist is carrying this report summarizing the development of a rather unique detection device. By gentically engineering nematode worms, scientists have created critters which can sense the presence of various sorts of chemicals. A sort of squirmy sniffer, if you will. The hope is to create more sensitive tests which can be run in less restrictive conditions.

Posted by scott at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)
Game's End

Slashdot linked up news that Cheyenne Mountain is closing down. Well, not exactly closing down, more like moving everyone to a different office, shutting it all off, and locking the door. Apparently it will only take someone with the keys and the knowledge of where all the power buttons are to get it fired back up again. So no wandering around a famous abandoned military installation for you!

Posted by scott at 11:33 AM | Comments (1)
New "Big Boy" Found

Fark linked up news that yet another giant sauropod has been found in South America:

Most impressive is a back vertebra that measures 3.48 feet (1.06 meters) tall and 5.51 feet (1.68 meters) wide, according to Fernando Novas. The paleontologist announced the find at the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences in Buenos Aires on July 21.

One of Olivia's first words was "dinosaur" (told you we were nerds!), so I'm sure she'd be fascinated by this thing. Now that she's a bit older, I think we'll probably take her down to the Natural History museum on the mall. Well, not now... it's like an Amazon jungle exhibit in downtown DC this time of year, and you can't swing a cat without hitting a tourist. Maybe November

Posted by scott at 08:18 AM | Comments (1)

Cute daily cat photos brought to you by Scoop Away cat litter.

Posted by Ellen at 07:06 AM | Comments (0)
July 30, 2006
Household Cooking


Ellen, to me: "Could you come here and stir this? I need to answer the door."

Me: "Ok."

We're in the middle of... "seasonal" cleaning, which nowadays means an almighty shedding of the previous season's toys. We give them away to charities and other deserving folk. Which is why Ellen answered the door.

So I'm stirring chicken and onions on the stovetop, trying not to dump any of it into the burner. At first I concentrated quite fixedly at this task, sort of a clutzy terminator with a wooden spoon. Eventually though, I noticed something. Something... colorful...

Ellen, coming back up the stairs: "Well that's a happy family!"

Me: "Umm. Ellen? Why is the chicken... blue?"

We both peered down into the frying pan. Sure enough, certain pieces of chicken were spotted with a quite pretty shade of cerulean blue.

Ellen: "That? That?" I looked significantly at her. "Oh that," and here she did a wave-off that would do Jack Benny proud, "that's nothing to worry about."

I'm not sure what's worse. The blue chicken, or the fact that I accepted the wave off without question. You see, Olivia has recently been involved with finger painting. Using Ellen's cutting board.

Oh well, the stuff's non-toxic, right?

Posted by scott at 05:27 PM | Comments (5)
July 29, 2006
No Scott, You Can't Have These.

Yet another reason why guys take longer showers.

Posted by Ellen at 12:17 PM | Comments (2)
July 28, 2006
Cat Burgling!

As if the gardeners of Pelham don't have enough to worry about, with the rocky soil and the slugs and the big trees casting too much shade, a feline felon has been sneaking into their back yards and carrying off gardening gloves.

Read entire missing gloves story here.

Thanks to Mark for the link!

Posted by Ellen at 07:13 PM | Comments (0)
Hooray for Me!

Fark linked up news that today is sysadmin day, which I spent:

  • Fixing something that worked the first time but didn't when the boss tried it
  • Helping three people do things that are described in detail in the knowledgebase I administer
  • Convincing one of them, in as politically correct a way as possible, that yes, they skipped a step and yes, that step really is in the instructions and why thank you for checking while I'm standing here
  • Making sure nobody would find the weapon. Or the body (well, I can dream about it anyway)
  • Spending another hour in a remote session helping someone from another state do something described in detail in my knowledgebase.
  • Helping them do three more things after that, again all in the good ol' KB.
  • After finding out today is the day, reading this, and getting misty-eyed.
  • Then reading this, and having a right good laugh
  • Then reading This and chuckling evilly.

So be sure to buy your sysadmin a beer, or a whatever. After all, you wouldn't be reading this without them!

Posted by scott at 04:07 PM | Comments (0)
Safety Silliness

Alternate headline: Paging Charles Darwin, white courtesy phone please. Under "funny" because (as far I could tell) nobody got seriously killed. But it wasn't from a lack of trying.

Posted by scott at 02:28 PM | Comments (0)
Down in a Hole

Pat gets a no-prize with a bucket and rope attached for bringing us news of a new discovery in Jamestown VA. This time, it's an abandoned well in an "overlooked corner" of the park. When a well like this ran dry, it was used as a dump until it was forgotten or filled in. Dumps, as you may know, are perfect archeological sites, hence the excitement.

Posted by scott at 01:37 PM | Comments (0)
Black Hole Bye-bye?

Slashdot linked up this New Scientist article detailing the discovery of evidence which may completely invalidate black holes as astronomical objects:

A controversial alternative to black hole theory has been bolstered by observations of an object in the distant universe, researchers say. If their interpretation is correct, it might mean black holes do not exist and are in fact bizarre and compact balls of plasma called MECOs.

"Controversial" most likely doesn't approach what the physics and astronomy people feel about a claim like this. Still, outrageous claims have overturned cosmological theory more than once, so you never know. Time for the fireworks!

Posted by scott at 11:54 AM | Comments (0)
See? They are Good for Something!

Inveterate coin-collector Mark should find this one interesting: "A MAN shot by robbers was saved when a bullet bounced off COINS in his pocket."


Posted by scott at 08:55 AM | Comments (2)
July 27, 2006
How About Some Extraterrestrial Lake Front Property

The on-again, off-again speculation about liquid methane on Titan seems to be on again. The surface pressure is half again that of Earth's, which I think means you'd need lots (and lots) of insulation and a life support system, but not a pressure suit in order to walk around down there.

Of course, considering we haven't ventured to the Moon in nearly forty years, going all the way to Saturn might be a bit of a stretch. Still, fun to think about.

Posted by scott at 03:21 PM | Comments (1)
Where are They Now?

While I'm not sure how timely the pictures are (and they're kinda small to boot), this "where are they now 80s babes edition" was still worth a look for me. These were the ladies who were at the height of their popularity when I suddenly figured out why some of my friends were making such a big damned deal about girls. Nice to see most seem to have done well.

Posted by scott at 02:12 PM | Comments (0)
Mo' Bettah' Ice Cream

Pat gets a tasty and slim no-prize for bringing us news of the latest innovations in low-fat ice creams. Relevant to me because just yesterday afternoon I was at the grocery store trying to bring home a healthy treat. We used to like the Ben and Jerry's no-fat stuff, but it was all gone. I walked right past the very brands mentioned in the article without knowing what they were. Doh!

Posted by scott at 12:15 PM | Comments (0)
Well Hey, the Enterprise was a Model Too!

Personally, I'm surprised it's taken this long to combine Monty Python and Star Trek. Sort of the world's geekiest Reese's cup, eh?

Via Drumwaster.

Posted by scott at 10:22 AM | Comments (0)
Deja Vu Dissected

Slashdot linked up this BBCnews report on new research into the "Deja Vu" effect. By hypnotising research subjects and presenting them with specific objects and suggestions, researchers claim to have dissociated the part of the brain that recognizes things as familiar from the part that perceives them. The effect was reported by many subjects as feeling very much like deja vu.

Like nearly everyone else, I have something like that happen to me on occasion, but to me it feels like I've seen something before in a dream. The feeling is strong enough that sometimes I think I should log my dreams, if only to prove to myself that's really not what's happening. However, since none of these "flashback" have been of, say, the final scoreboard of the next superbowl or the race results of the next Kentucky Derby, the need hasn't been particularly pressing.

Posted by scott at 09:24 AM | Comments (0)
Paging the Doublemint Twins, White Courtesy Phone Please

There's gum, and then there's gum:

At first glance, the yellow smiley face gumballs confiscated from Howard High School seem innocent enough.

But stuffed in the so-called “Greenades” was something that caught the attention of federal drug enforcement agents: marijuana.

And all this time I thought only cows chewed grass.

Posted by scott at 08:15 AM | Comments (0)
July 26, 2006
Finally, a Bigelow We Can Like

Did you know a private company has recently tested a sub-scale model of an innovative new space station design? No? Not surprising, since I've seen nary a mention of it anywhere in the MSM. AvWeek's been covering it for some time, and space.com is carrying this look at the program so far.

The whole "blow-up-plastic-space-station" thing does give me pause, but hey, if it gets me closer to a ride, I'm all for it!

Posted by scott at 02:42 PM | Comments (0)
Montreal Madness

Someone with (at last check) more than $17,601 lying around might be interested in picking up an Alfa Romeo Montreal prototype. If the seller is to be believed, it's the second one off the line, with the first still sitting in the museum at Arese. To my knowledge, Alfa is the only car company which regularly let gems like this end up in car lots*, so it's a great opportunity to pick up a nifty bit of auto history.

Plus it's an Alfa, so of course you want it.

* Another well-known example is the hand-built Pinninnfarina prototype which WASN'T selected as what would become the 1955 Spider. As I recall, it was discovered sitting in the far corner of a New Jersey used car lot in the late 60s, and has been in private hands ever since.

Posted by scott at 01:17 PM | Comments (2)
B5 Update

Slashdot linked up news of a possible re-appearance of new Babylon 5 "adventures":

The thrust of the news is this: straight-to-video BABYLON 5 adventures...involving B5 characters in an anthology format...should arrive late next year. Written and directed by JMS.

Now, I've heard so many rumors and proposals fly around various entertainment conventions so often they make Dulles airport look like a mosquito bog. Most, and I mean most, never see the light of day. Since this is coming from JMS, series-creator J. Michael Straczynski, it has a little more cachet, but not much.

If nothing else, something to keep an eye out for.

Posted by scott at 11:54 AM | Comments (1)
Best Story Ever for the "Cool" Tag

Pat gets a frigid no-prize for bringing us news of a most curious recreation park opening:

The largest indoor snow park in the world has opened in the Gulf Emirate of Dubai.

Built on what was previously desert sand, the slopes will be covered with manufactured snow all year round.

Sort of a Wild River Country, but with snow. In the desert. Gotta love the modern world!

Posted by scott at 09:46 AM | Comments (0)
Bog Book

Making the rounds: A 1200 year-old book of psalms has been found by a construction worker in Ireland. "Dumb luck" doesn't even begin to describe the fortuitous circumstances behind the discovery, but it would appear the item is now well on its way to permanent preservation. It's also nice to read about co-operative land owner. Back when I worked for an archeology firm*, you were lucky if people would let you on their land at all.

* It's actually a reasonably active business. Any big public works project requires environmental impact studies, and archeology is always a part of that. It doesn't pay all that well, but smart and efficient people can pay the bills with it.

Posted by scott at 08:31 AM | Comments (0)
July 25, 2006

I made troupe!

Posted by Ellen at 09:07 PM | Comments (7)
More Alfa News

Autoweek is reporting Alfa will be coming back in 2008 with their 8c supercoupe. At $200,000+, I probably won't be seeing one in my driveway any time soon.

However, the more mainstream 159 3.2 Q4 Sportwagon is also well-received, and scheduled to arrive at our shores in 2010. By which time our existing kidhauler will be about ten years old. Now isn't that an interesting coincidence?

Posted by scott at 05:24 PM | Comments (0)
Only Used One... So Far

Out of the 11 foolish ways this guy thinks we spoil our kids, we only ever used the shopping cart thingy, and that was only because it was winter and most of the carts were really cold when we got them. Now trying to plunk Olivia in the front seat results in a class-3 meltdown, so we normally just plunk her in the front and make a lame joke about markdowns and warranties to the checkout person when we're done.

That diamond binkie though, that's something I'm sure she'd be all about. Little girl definitely likes her bling already.

Posted by scott at 01:40 PM | Comments (0)
It Could Happen to You

Well, probably not, because unlike this person I'm sure Ellen would know how to properly pack a snake:

A German woman sparked panic at her local post office when a 1.5-metre (5-foot) albino python escaped from a packet she had mailed, police said on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old woman, who had sold the snake over the Internet, stuffed it in a package labelled "attention -- glass" to be sent to its new owner.

One of Ellen's snakes was in fact shipped to her, but it was very carefully packed and (as I recall) marked correctly as an animal. The snake inside was also less than 8 inches long.

Still, all around a great way to collect early on an inheritance. Now, where'd I put those stamps?

Posted by scott at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)
Venting on Lebanon

Michelle Malkin is at it again, this time taking on Christ Matthews and Pat Buchanan, smashing their "it's not our problem!" stance on Hezbulla.

Personally, I like Malkin. She's a short, feisty, clever girl who speaks her mind and won't back down. Why does that sound familiar?

Via Countercolumn.

Posted by scott at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)
Insert Airplane Joke Here

That whole "a woman needs a man like a bear needs a bicycle" think just got one step closer to reality:

Women who don't like driving alone at night can purchase a blow-up man to place in the passenger seat. When they are finished with the "Buddy on Demand," they can deflate it by flicking a switch.

Sort of like a Christmas decoration, for your car!

Posted by scott at 10:24 AM | Comments (0)
Slithery Arms Race

Fark linked up this report detailing a new theory about the why's and how's of primate evolution. Instead of postulating food gathering or socialization as the primary engine, Lynne Isbell, an anthropologist at the University of California, Davis, believes it was all about the avoidance of what may have been the main tree-based predator when primates evolved... snakes. Each innovation by one group resulted in another innovation to counter it from the other, until we ended up with the sophisticated species we have today. It's an interesting theory, which provides many predictions, so we'll just have to see how it pans out.

Posted by scott at 08:25 AM | Comments (0)
July 24, 2006
Videos that Make Most Belly Dancers FUME...

Leave it to the Japanese to take it up another notch.

Watch this



I find it rather funny that most dancers out there (not me) get very uptight about this kind of 'defilement' to the dance community. Or is it that the ones that complain need to retire or dance with a bag over their entire body?

Either way, enjoy the vids!

Posted by Ellen at 06:38 PM | Comments (2)
Planetary Plumber's Crack

Also from BBCnews (yeah, I know, 3rd one, sue me), the birth of what could be a new ocean in Africa:

The largest tear in the Earth's crust seen in decades, if not centuries, could carve out a new ocean in Africa, according to satellite data.

Geologists say a crack that opened up last year may eventually reach the Red Sea, isolating much of Ethiopia and Eritrea from the rest of Africa.

Something tells me it'd take more than a big bucket of spackle to fix that crack.

Posted by scott at 03:28 PM | Comments (0)
Speaking of Tut's Glass

Pat gets a no-prize scattered to hell and gone for bringing us news of the discovery of an impact crater which could be the source for the previously linked King Tut's glass. Still no word on how old they think it all is. You'd think they'd include that as something important.

Posted by scott at 01:45 PM | Comments (0)
Phillip Fleugel is no Longer Bored

Joshua gets a no-prize that pays attention and obeys all the rules for bringing us this 1963 bicycle safety film, "One Got Fat". Considering this was the sort of stuff routinely shown in school classrooms in the '50s and '60s, it's no wonder boomers are so damned weird.

Oh, and Orville? Your friends didn't show because they're dead!

Posted by scott at 12:54 PM | Comments (0)
The Ultimate Smiley Fun

For another entry in the "convince-everyone-to-send-me-a-buck-get-rich-quick" file, we have Alex's "American Dream" fund, wherein someone (presumably Alex) is trying to raise money for a gold-and-diamond "grill". I'm so old-school I kept wondering why the hell anyone would want to put gold and diamonds on their cookout gear and what exactly did it have to do with teeth anyway? Then I re-read it. And then I re-read it again. Which was then followed by the ol' lightbulb over the head slowly sputtering to life.

No, Ellen, you can't have one.

Posted by scott at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

Fark linked up this sort of "article and TV preview" of a new BBC documentary detailing the unraveling of yet another mystery surrounding Tutankhamun:

In 1996 in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Italian mineralogist Vincenzo de Michele spotted an unusual yellow-green gem in the middle of one of Tutankhamun's necklaces.

The jewel was tested and found to be glass, but intriguingly it is older than the earliest Egyptian civilisation.

Hopefully Discovery Channel will get to run this one over here.

Posted by scott at 09:50 AM | Comments (0)
I Find Your Lack of Produce Disturbing

I guess it's just me, but for some reason Darth Vader as the day manager of a grocery store makes me giggle. I need to get out more.

Posted by scott at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)
July 23, 2006
Fist Full of Snake


*SNIFF* I remember when he was a little pink worm last year.

Posted by Ellen at 09:28 PM | Comments (1)
Tasty Tasty!

Posted by Ellen at 09:23 PM | Comments (0)
Olivia's First Picture


This is what happens when Scott lets a certain little girl play with my camera.

Posted by Ellen at 09:18 PM | Comments (0)
Strike a Pose and Vogue

Posted by Ellen at 09:13 PM | Comments (0)
Say Cheese!

Posted by Ellen at 09:10 PM | Comments (0)

Congratulations to Floyd Landis and team Phonac for their Tour de France win. Thanks to a well-timed vacation, I was able to watch the competition for the very first time (we don't get tour-home network OLN at home, but both mom and dad had it as part of their cable packages). As someone who thinks hitting 30 mph on a slight downhill is screaming, watching guys ride that fast on level ground for four hours, six days a week, for nearly a month was both impressive and intimidating.

Then again, I don't fall down at 35 mph like those guys did. Several times. Broken collar bones are not your friend!

Now to see if I can pick up a team T-Mobile jersey. Hey, if a NASCAR fan can wear his boy's colors, why can't I? Git 'er done!!!

Posted by scott at 09:02 PM | Comments (1)
July 21, 2006
Fun with FSA

Bicycling.com is carrying this nifty bit about FSA's new foray into ceramic bearings. As with all new tech, it's priced out of my reach. But, as with all new tech, it won't stay that way forever. Something I can buy as an upgrade that will make my bike go farther with less energy? Hey man, sign me up!

Posted by scott at 07:35 PM | Comments (0)
You Gotta be Kidding Me

Headline says it all: UK Man's Phallus Controlled by Neighbor's Garage Door Opener.

"Honey? The garage door opener has stopped working. And what's wrong with Mr. Jones next door? As soon as I pulled up he suddenly ran in the house yelling for his wife!"


Posted by scott at 02:27 PM | Comments (0)
Hunting the Moon and Mars

Space.com is reporting the name for the Space Shuttle's replacement is now "Orion". That'll be what they call the program and the manned part of the vehicle. Aviation Week earlier reported the boosters will be called "Ares", with Ares I being the SRB-based manned booster and Ares V being the later and much larger cargo hauler.

One can only hope that naming them brings them at least a little closer to reality.

Posted by scott at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)
A Little "iReality"

Joshua gets a no-prize with a split personality for bringing us a whole new set of "Mac vs. PC" ads.

Me, I still get weirded out by a single-button mouse. Right click! I must right click!

Posted by scott at 10:39 AM | Comments (0)
Putting a "Nic" into Cancer

New Scientist is carrying this article describing a new development in how nicotine promotes cancer growth. While the effect has been known for some time, only now are scientists starting to figure out how it works, and what causes it. It's hoped the research will point the way to new and more effective cancer treatments.

Smoke up, Johnny!

Posted by scott at 09:39 AM | Comments (0)

You know your day starts off bad when someone who should have been here over a week ago to have their cat in intensive care, dies in the lobby.

Posted by Ellen at 09:32 AM | Comments (5)
July 20, 2006
~ It's My Party and I'll Die if I Want to, Die if I Want to ~

Pat gets a no-prize in a casket that's holding a sparkler for bringing us the latest in boomer excess... party funerals:

At a time when Americans hire coaches to guide their careers and retirements, tutors for their children, personal shoppers for their wardrobes, trainers for their abs, whisperers for their pets and — oh, yes — wedding planners for their nuptials, it makes sense that some funerals are also starting to benefit from the personal touch. As members of the baby boom generation plan final services for their parents or themselves, they bring new consumer expectations and fewer attachments to churches, traditions or organ music — forcing funeral directors to be more like party planners, and inviting some party planners to test the farewell waters.

My religion tends to advocate things like tossing the body off the edge of a cliff and then watching the vultures party. Considering the squeamishness of modern westerners, and their oh-so-proper "zoning laws*", this is probably as close as I'll get.

Which is not really a bad thing. Funerals tend to be the last thing to bring a grown-up family together. Why not get hammered and play goofy games? Hell, if it's good enough for the Irish, it's good enough for me!

* I mean, really... just when someone's got a really great opportunity to help people ponder the impermanence of life, someone else has to go ruin it with, "oh God what a smell!" and, "do you have any idea what having your husband rotting at end of the development is doing to property values?!?"

Priorities people, priorities!

Posted by scott at 07:59 PM | Comments (0)
Well, this Explains Everything

Mark gets a no-prize with tiny little controls for bringing us the "secret" behind George Bush. Hey, at least our pilot's German. Seems like all the Democrats can field are Slovenians.

Posted by scott at 02:18 PM | Comments (2)
On this Day...

Today marks the 37th anniversary of Apollo 11. Space.com is carrying this "special edition" to commemorate it.

If the reports coming out of Aviation Week are to be believed, and if future administrations hold the course (definitely a big "if"), I really think we're on our way back. Let's hope!

Posted by scott at 01:11 PM | Comments (0)
Maybe They Should Call it "Saflinsulin"

Slashdot linked up news of a new way to make human insulin, this time from oil made by genetically altered safflower plants. The company in question, SemBioSys of Calgary Canada, claims the process will significantly increase supplies (and thereby decrease prices) for this important human hormone.

Posted by scott at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)
But Can You Actually Pardon the Walking Dead?

My thought: make him climb a coconut tree to get it:

Keith Richards, lead guitarist for the Rolling Stones, has been promised a pardon for an old traffic offense -- courtesy of a fan, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

See, mom? Huckabee is good for something!

Posted by scott at 10:36 AM | Comments (1)

Fark linked up this Live Science summary of new developments regarding the wing shape of an ancient reptile. By using aerodynamic studies, these scientists believe the creature, 225 million year old Sharovipteryx mirabilis, used a "double delta" configuration with the primary flight surfaces attached to the rear legs. This makes it unique in the fossil record. The find also could have implication in the evolution of the pterasours, the other great flying reptile family.

Posted by scott at 08:43 AM | Comments (0)
July 19, 2006
Electric Meal

It took surgery to save a 12-foot Burmese python after it swallowed an entire queen-size electric blanket - with the electrical cord and control box.

The blanket must have gotten tangled up in the snake's rabbit dinner, owner Karl Beznoska said. He said he kept the blanket in the 60-pound reptile's cage for warmth.

Read entire article here.

Thanks to Joshua for the link!

Posted by Ellen at 09:53 PM | Comments (0)
~ Because it's Only a Turbulent Moon... ~

Wandering around for no reason I found this nifty photo sequence of what things really look like through a big, but still amateur, telescope. Jeff has a telescope at least as big as this. I wonder if it still acts as a doorstop?

Posted by scott at 09:37 PM | Comments (0)

Posted by Ellen at 09:04 PM | Comments (4)
Country Wheels

Posted by Ellen at 06:30 PM | Comments (0)
Waking Up Exposed, and Lying

It's nice to know that when one well-paid shill organization starts frothing a different one is set up by the opposition to froth right back. Which of course simply leads to escalation.

Who do I believe? Who cares? At this point it's more a mud wrestling match than anything else. Reading their sites, the Wake Up people seem to think a logical fallacy is a sex toy for Vulcans. Such trilling plays well with the fringe, just ask Ann Coulter, but it tends to make everyone else's eyes glaze over.

Me, I'm going to pop up some popcorn. This should be a fun one to watch.

Posted by scott at 01:56 PM | Comments (1)
Germanic Genesis

BBCnews is carrying this report detailing new findings about the genetic makeup of modern Britons:

Scientists believe a small population of migrants from Germany, Holland and Denmark established a segregated society when they arrived in England.

The researchers think the incomers changed the local gene pool by using their economic advantage to out-breed the native population.

While the article doesn't mention it, I was immediately struck by the similarities of this argument to that of what may have caused the Neandertals' extinction. If you've got a long enough period of time, even a slight advantage accumulates into a significant difference.

Posted by scott at 12:24 PM | Comments (0)
Wow. Just... wow.

Ever wonder what it's like to talk to someone who's wobbled completely off their meds? Wonder no more. Ironically, the site is called The Consumerist.

It amazes me how people seem to get attached to a phone call, seemingly incapable of ending a conversation that's obviously not going anywhere. It's called "hanging up", people!

Posted by scott at 10:51 AM | Comments (0)

There's sports, and then there's sports:

In what must surely be one of the summer's more bizarre events, hundreds of people are expected to gather in a hall in central London on August 5 to pleasure themselves in aid of charity.

But wait, there's more:

Prizes will be on offer for those who clock up the most orgasms and those who can masturbate the longest - the current record, according to the organisers, is a chafing eight-and-a-half hours.

To qualify for the record, the organisers say "at least 55 minutes of every hour shall be spent self-pleasuring by manual or sex toy stimulation" with participants getting just five minutes to "replenish and renew".

Now that, my friends, is some serious wanking.

Posted by scott at 09:03 AM | Comments (0)
July 18, 2006
I do not Like MacBooks and Ham

Slashdot linked up this story about a guy who actually managed to cook an egg using his MacBook computer. Ellen's new Dell will toast your lap quite nicely, but it never ocurred to me to try and cook on the thing.

Sounds like a market in search of a product. Anyone know if they make laptop heat shields?

And yes, I did read the whole thing, and know it's all a joke. I think. I mean, it's on the Internet, it has be true, right?

Posted by scott at 02:48 PM | Comments (0)
~ I Was [Virtually] Strolling in the Park One Day ~

New Scientist is carrying this article detailing the invention of a new kind of shoe which will allow you to "virtually" walk around computer-simulated environments. Personally it sounds like a new and creative way for me to bust my ass. This is not always a bad thing... like most guys to me getting injured while playing a game is part of, well, guy-ness. I guess anything that gets us closer to full-on holodeck experiences is a good thing.

Lord knows how much it'll cost.

Posted by scott at 01:35 PM | Comments (0)

Fark linked up an article that graphically describes why Ellen can't have a wild cat sanctuary:

Captive wolves used for hybrid breeding may have eaten their owner in Pennsylvania, NBC Pittsburgh station WPXI reported.

And yes, she actually needs reasons. Welcome to my world...

Posted by scott at 12:25 PM | Comments (0)
Fuzzy Fuehrers

"AMCGLTD," we hear you ask, "I think my cats are up to no good. They widdle on the walls, puke on the carpets, try to trip me down the stairs, and knocked an heirloom vase off the counter to shatter on the floor. Why, just last night I woke up in the middle of the night and found the fuzzy monsters staring at me!

But I'm not sure. Are there any examples of other cats with grandiose designs on someone's household?"

Fear not, friendly cat cringer, AMCGLTD is here to help! Presenting Cats that Look Like Hitler.com, your one-stop-shop for four-footed Godwin's Law violators. It's all there, in glorious color and black-and-white photos. Some of them even seem to be saluting! Act now! The France you save may be your own!

Posted by scott at 10:02 AM | Comments (0)

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July 17, 2006

Posted by Ellen at 09:28 PM | Comments (0)
Me and Annabelle


I told you all I do not like dogs. I especially do not like cocker spaniels like the one sitting on my lap right now. Nope. I do not like dogs. Especially cockers. Even more so if they sit on my lap.

Posted by Ellen at 09:22 PM | Comments (2)
Air Borne!


Olivia and her cousin, Cameron, playing on the water slide.

Posted by Ellen at 09:17 PM | Comments (0)
July 15, 2006
Beware the Granny Purse of Doom

Lisa R. gets a no-prize you don't mess with for bringing us this 30 second short about a granny, a Mercedes, and a purse.

Posted by scott at 02:21 PM | Comments (0)
July 14, 2006
The Club House

Posted by Ellen at 11:39 PM | Comments (3)
Pool Kisses

Posted by Ellen at 10:38 PM | Comments (1)
At Grandpa's Pool

Posted by Ellen at 10:37 PM | Comments (0)
We Are Home!

We are home! We made it alive despite the 20 minute delay in the flight at Atlanta airport. We had a great time in Arkansas. I even got to see a dead armadillo on the side of the road! Posting will resume it's normalness this weekend.

MANY thanks to Ron for blogsitting for us!

Posted by Ellen at 10:35 PM | Comments (1)
More, well, kitten stuff

Okay, considering that I'm blog-sitting a site that has cats as a major subject, along with oddity, I figured I'd do a quick search on "sweater kittens" (figuring that this might be especially appropriate considering recent events). The first link is a YouTube video.

I'm not quite sure this was what I was looking for, but it's what I'm linking.

Just check it out.

Posted by ron at 07:27 PM | Comments (0)
The classics are coming back?

It seems that the Borg are actually releasing something that might be fun. Frogger and other classic arcade games are in the process of being released for the Xbox 360.

Kinda cool as I was poor back when they first hit, so I never had enough quarters to play consistently (except for when I was older and Star Wars came out - that game was the shizznat). Maybe now I can play enough to actually become the loser video game wizard that I wanted to be...

Posted by ron at 01:16 PM | Comments (0)
New source of Vodka

A certain tall and now less hairy member of the 'Good Food, Bad Movie' crew will likely find this interesting. New England farmers are increasingly turning thier potato, maple sap, and apples into the drink of the gods.

Oddly enough, grapefruits weren't mentioned, much to everyone's chagrin...

Posted by ron at 11:37 AM | Comments (0)
Kitten with two faces

Here's one for Ellen and Amber. A kitten was born in Ohio that has two faces. FTA, the two mouths open and meow in unison. They didn't say where in Ohio, so you all escape hearing a story of how I've been there, but at least it's Ohio.

via Fark

Yes, I do try to avoid linking up too many Fark things, but this is a kitty thing, so I think I'm morally obligated as the blog-sitter...

Posted by ron at 09:06 AM | Comments (0)
The Island Rule

The island rule is used to help explain certain common evolutionary traits seen in competely separated environments. Two of the most common traits are dwarfism and gigantism. Now, we've got a scientist who's found a way to compare this with different ocean going populations - some separated from everything, some not.

The odd thing about this theory is that it's counterintuitive - if you started big an go to an area with less resources, you get smaller. If you started small and end up in the same area, you get big.

If you get to page two, you'll notice that there's another scientist disputing her claims - which will likely lead to a lovely little geek fight, complete with Star Trek references...

Posted by ron at 08:36 AM | Comments (0)
July 13, 2006
Another American leading the Tour de France

Well, doesn't this beat all - another American leading the Tour de France. This time it's Floyd Landis and not Lance Armstrong. It's still too early to say that we're going to win it again, but that'd be rather nice if we did.

Of course, were it to happen, I predict that a certain nation would likely be accusing us of drug abuse again, but that's just me.

And yes, I did post this just for Scott so the blog still feels like home. Just like Ellen just had a snake story. Now I just need a kitty story and Amber's taken care of as well.

Posted by ron at 05:44 PM | Comments (0)
Bird + Snake + Powerline != Good

Lovely Las Cruces, NM experienced a lack of power due to a bird dropping a large snake on their powerline, causing it to short out. Too bad it didn't happen before NMSU finals and all - at least students could have used the excuse as to why their papers were late.

Odd thing is this is another problem in a town I've visited that occurred at some point after my visit (Boston story below, visited these guys almost 10 years ago). Makes me wonder who's next...

Posted by ron at 04:55 PM | Comments (0)
Alfa finals confirms the US return

I know Scott's been talking about it non-stop, but it appears that Alfa is now officially confirming its return to the US. Scheduled for 2009, they plan on having several versions available (the 159, Brera, and Spider appear to be definite). On an odd note, though we're seeing confirmation from a number of sources, their official website didn't have anything.

I'll leave it up to Alfa-Boy to bore educate us on the various in's and out's of the models, including which one he's currently salivating over and saving for.

After some revives him, that is.

Posted by ron at 02:05 PM | Comments (2)
Troy Aikman HOF* teleconference

What - you thought I'd let this opportunity to post a link about Dallas on AMCG? Silly, silly person...

Troy Aikman held a teleconference with the national media to discuss his upcoming Hall of Fame (HOF) induction. His career numbers and the impact that he had on the Cowboys during the 90's, is without equal - three SB wins in 4 years is an amazing accomplishment, to say the least.

On top of this, he's definitely a class act, as evidenced by his comments, but in particular, when asked about the Triplets, he replied:

I'm glad you asked about that. And, you know, I said it when I retired, that that moniker for us, it was something I was always extremely proud of. And I was proud to be a part of that group and with those guys, and our relationship is very strong. It was when we played. It still is to this day. The thing that's special for -- I think the reason it's so special for all three of us is that, first of all, we were all just one year apart. Michael came in '88. I came in '89 and Emmitt came in '90. And we really did not enjoy any success without the other guys. So we enjoyed our successes at the same time with each other, and after Michael left, I played one more year. Emmitt played a couple more years with the Cowboys after I left, but our careers, no question, are very much linked together.

Posted by ron at 12:15 PM | Comments (0)
New species of shark discovered

And oddly enough, it was discovered in South Carolina. It looks like a scalloped hammerhead shark, but has 20 fewer vertebrae and different mitochondrial DNA sequences.

Guess that southern inbreeding can lead to some interesting changes, no?

Posted by ron at 11:54 AM | Comments (0)
Cue Cranberries music

Well, reanimation of a dog clinically dead for three hours has just happened. Seems that it has something to do with a very cold saline solution, electricity, and annoying animal rights activists.

Now, before I get jumped on for being a horrible person for supporting this, they apparently did comply with appropriate standards. Secondarily, this may allow human doctors, EMT's, and the like to actually save human lives by keeping them in suspended animation until they can get them into an ER.

Rejected headlines include

Paging Dr. Frankestein - please pick up the white courtesy phone.

Hmm reanimate a large carnivore. What possible good could come from this?

Cheesy 80's horror flick sues scientist for stealing their idea

Edit - via Fark

Posted by ron at 09:16 AM | Comments (2)
One step closer to my mecha

Scientists have managed to implant a device that allows a paralyzed man's brain activity to move a robotic arm and play computer games. In terms of proving technology, this is just amazing. Who knows what refinement will bring.

Maybe it'll finally end up being that interface that will let me move the mecha just like it was my own body. Morning commute, my ass!

Posted by ron at 09:03 AM | Comments (0)
July 12, 2006
Big Dig is now the Bad Dig?

As a semi-frequent traveller to Boston, this piece caught my attention. Especially since I've driven through this exact tunnel on more than one occasion. Unfortunately, a woman was killed and her husband only escaped by climbing out through the crushed driver's side door. When I've talked to the natives, they're not particularly happy with the project - seems that it's completely screwed up traffic for so long that it's hated (and now it's already insufficient for the traffic flow). On top of that, once the tunnel was opened, they immediately started tearing down the detour roads, so something like this could really put major chunks of the city in a bind. Maybe I'll postpone my next trip up there...

Posted by ron at 06:33 PM | Comments (0)
HA!! Brown tide!!!

Well, it's not what you think. It's actually simlar to the red tide. Wait. That's not helping things. Okay - it's a nasty little plankton that manages to kill everything in it's path. Apparently, it's not as bad as it could have been as the commercial farming industry, but no one's saying for certain what the actual impact was.

Posted by ron at 04:38 PM | Comments (0)
For Scott - the Redneck Mafia may be breached

It appears that Danica Patrick, the first female driver to lead a lap in the Indy 500, may be considering the move to NASCAR. While Richard Petty may not be amused, it looks like the current drivers would let her in. Of course, that might change if she wins, but for now NASCAR could actually have a driver that isn't related to his wife by something other than marriage...

Posted by ron at 03:12 PM | Comments (0)

We are stuck in the land of DIAL UP!!

Ron will be taking over for the next few days while we are unable to update.


Posted by Ellen at 10:14 AM | Comments (0)
July 10, 2006
Foreplay Panther Style


No really! There was serious panther PrOn happening!

Posted by Ellen at 03:53 PM | Comments (0)
Me and Patches


One of the rare pixes of me with no makeup. But hey, at least there is a cat in the photo!

Posted by Ellen at 03:47 PM | Comments (3)

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Hog Nose Viper

Posted by Ellen at 03:27 PM | Comments (2)
Poke Me. I Dare You.

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Olivia's first seesaw ride.

Posted by Ellen at 01:54 PM | Comments (0)
Up and Down

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Astronomy Picture Of The Day

The sun in an ultraviolet image!

Posted by Ellen at 10:07 AM | Comments (0)
July 09, 2006
The Wagon Says it All...

Posted by Ellen at 09:23 PM | Comments (0)
Viper Viper Burning Bright

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Ho-hum...I guess I should fling some poo.

Posted by Ellen at 09:12 PM | Comments (0)

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The Stare

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See! I Knew Scott Was A Chimp!

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Panther Kisses

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Out Damn Leaf Out!

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Can Turtles Live Forever?

Congdon made a startling discovery: The oldest female Blanding's Turtles— more than 50 years old— had more egg clutches than younger ones, as well as more eggs per clutch. Not only that, they died at a lower rate too. "What did I do wrong?" Congdon remembers thinking to himself. "Did I make a mistake? Did I analyze it incorrectly?" He knew that adult turtles kept growing throughout their lives, and so he wondered whether the true variable might be body size rather than age. Once he ran the numbers again, controlling for body size, he was astonished to find that he got nearly identical results.

Long article, but it's interesting.

Posted by Ellen at 08:00 AM | Comments (1)
July 08, 2006
Big Wave in the Pool

Posted by Ellen at 11:27 PM | Comments (0)
You Know You are Desperate to Sell Your Old Bike Stuff When...

bikewheel Medium Web view.jpg

You make your wife pose with the parts.

Mind you if you check out their other *ahem* items for sale or rather, see the chick pose with the items. Click the link!

*Politically correct readers attacking this post in 3...2...1*

Posted by Ellen at 09:13 PM | Comments (1)
Down the Slide


This was just in the kiddy pool. She went on the triple boats with us down the really BIG ones.

Posted by Ellen at 06:34 PM | Comments (0)
Lala Nala


One of Grandma Pat's cats.

Posted by Ellen at 06:31 PM | Comments (1)
Save Me!

Posted by Ellen at 06:28 PM | Comments (0)
Oh Yeah!


Posted by Ellen at 06:24 PM | Comments (0)
Ice Cream Hotdog


Yes, it's a hotdog made of icecream. It even has the classic hotdog puckered ends. Tasty though.

Posted by Ellen at 06:20 PM | Comments (0)
Closest Thing To A Beach In Arkansas


Actually this is at Wild River Country, a huge water park here in Little Rock.

Posted by Ellen at 06:16 PM | Comments (0)
Explain That One to the Adjuster

I'm genuinely surprised my mom hasn't managed this one yet:

A Chicago man is lucky to be alive after a bizarre accident. He ran himself over with his own car.
With picture!
Posted by scott at 06:14 PM | Comments (0)

Could the glass be more than half full?

Did you know that just over the past 11 quarters, dating back to the June 2003 Bush tax cuts, America has increased the size of its entire economy by 20 percent? In less than three years, the U.S. economic pie has expanded by $2.2 trillion, an output add-on that is roughly the same size as the total Chinese economy, and much larger than the total economic size of nations like India, Mexico, Ireland, and Belgium.

And yes, I did look at the source, so I know the guy isn't exactly unbiased. Then again, who really is?

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)
July 07, 2006
Well Hello There

Testing... testing... phfftt phfft phfft... is this thing on? Ok...

Now broadcasting five-by-five from AMCGLTD-south, better known as Mom's house in the evergreen environs of North Little Rock. Using Ellen's laptop no less, which was a bit fiddly. Took me awhile to figure out what my brother set the wireless router's password to, then took me a little while more to figure out he'd set the router to only allow one computer to connect. Pretty sneaky, that guy.

Because of our new location in sunny Arkansas, updates may be sporadic. You may now return to your regular frag-fest.

Posted by scott at 07:33 PM | Comments (0)
July 06, 2006
Too Loud Daddy!

Posted by Ellen at 02:58 PM | Comments (1)
Head Shot

Note to self: playing with power lines = bad:

Hundreds of people have flocked to a hospital in the Indian city of Calcutta to see a man holding a sizeable chunk of his head in his hands.

Doctors say a section of electrician Sambhu Roy's skull fell off on Sunday, months after he suffered severe burns.

Story comes complete with grizly-weird pictures.

Posted by scott at 02:09 PM | Comments (0)
Not Your Father's Count Down

While the site is in Finnish (I think), and the clip is in Japanese, if you let it run past the elaborate setup you'll still get the joke. It's enough to make me think the Japanese just don't understand personal liability or injury.

Posted by scott at 12:36 PM | Comments (0)
Set Phasers to "Cash"

Pat gets a no-prize which will live long and prosper for bringing us news of a giant auction of Star Trek memorabilia. It will most likely be the largest auction ever of such material, and includes items from the original TV series, props used in the movies (even whole star ship models!), right up to items used in the last TV series, Enterprise.

Your credit card wilna' take it!

Posted by scott at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)
Going Down

Jeff receives a really late no-prize for bringing us (last month) these pictures of the sinking of the USS Oriskany. Looks like she settled more or less upright, which wasn't gauranteed. Again, it's reachable by recreational divers, but at 200 feet it's still pretty deep.

Posted by scott at 09:54 AM | Comments (0)
Gentleman, Restart Your Engines

Slashdot linked up news that Microsoft will become F-1's sole-source supplier for engine control units (ECUs). Can a "blue car of death" be far behind?

Posted by scott at 08:50 AM | Comments (0)

Posted by Ellen at 07:06 AM | Comments (1)
July 05, 2006
Hey Olivia! It's a Sparkler not a Candle!

Posted by Ellen at 09:57 PM | Comments (1)
When Stoners Attack

Headline says it all: Teen Who Cut Off Corpse's Head To Make Bong Sentenced

Now ain't that one to make a family proud?

Posted by scott at 04:06 PM | Comments (0)
Paging Steve Austin, White Courtesy Phone Please

BBCnews is carrying this report detailing new developments in prothesis research. By studying the way deer antler grows through skin without causing infection, scientists have developed a way to attach artificial limbs directly to the bones that will support them. This allows for a far better fitting, more effective replacement to be used. The technique has already been successfully used on fingers and toes, and scientists hope to begin trials on large limbs in the near future.

Posted by scott at 02:07 PM | Comments (0)
Marvelous Humans

Fans of the movie "Freaks" and other human oddities (you know who you are) should find The Human Marvels of interest. It claims to be a site dedicated to chronicling the history of the sideshow freak and other "remarkable" humans. The stories can at times be puzzling, interesting, tragic, and uplifting. If nothing else, it seems to be a testament to what the human spirit can achieve even when the human flesh is grossly distorted.


Posted by scott at 01:05 PM | Comments (0)
Of Marbles Big and Small

I'd seen things like it before, but this "sized to scale" series of pictures goes all the way up to (I think) red giant stars, which I hadn't seen before. Staggering to think that a single galaxy is composed of billions of such objects, and the universe contains millions of galaxies.

Posted by scott at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)
Git 'er Done!

Joshua gets an explosive no-prize for bringing us this video of 30,000 bottle rockets being fired. I was greatly disappointed to learn Virginia (well, northern Virginia at any rate) doesn't allow the sale of said item. I mean, if you can't endanger yourself and neighbors it's not really the 4th of July! We managed to set fire to some money anyway, so pictures will most likely follow soon.

Posted by scott at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)
Inside / Outside

Instapundit linked up this The American Enterprise article written by an Indian-born scholar who records his reflections on his adopted country:

The point is that the United States is a country where the ordinary guy has a good life. This is what distinguishes America from so many other countries. Everywhere in the world, the rich person lives well. Indeed, a good case can be made that if you are rich, you live better in countries other than America, because you enjoy the pleasures of aristocracy. In India, where I grew up, the wealthy have innumerable servants and toadies groveling before them and attending to their every need.

In the United States, on the other hand, the social ethic is egalitarian, regardless of wealth. For all his riches, Bill Gates could not approach a homeless person and say, “Here’s a $100 bill. I’ll give it to you if you kiss my feet.” Most likely the homeless guy would tell Gates to go to hell...

Can we be better? Well hell, anyone can be better. But folks who think America isn't one of the best places to live in the world are either hopelessly naive, just now starting college, or selling something.

Which one are you?

Posted by scott at 09:30 AM | Comments (8)
Heart Repair 101

Slashdot linked up this Science Daily article detailing new discoveries about the role bone marrow stem cells play in repairing a human heart:

While it has long been known that bone marrow cells have the ability to clear the dead tissue after a heart attack, what has not been known until now is the critically important role of bone marrow adult stem cells in repairing a damaged heart, restoring its function and enhancing the growth of new blood vessels.

Posted by scott at 08:31 AM | Comments (0)
July 04, 2006
Fun with Fish

Lisa R. gets a really heavy no prize for bringing us yet more evidence that the Japanese simply have too much time on their hands. This one avoided the "Weird & F'd Up" category only because of its stars.

Posted by scott at 08:11 AM | Comments (1)
July 03, 2006
Self Portrait

This is what happens when you work with your new photo tools and your husband makes you post it...

NSFW-well, you probably would rather open this at home and not at work. Never know what kind of corporation you work for!

Posted by Ellen at 08:39 PM | Comments (1)
Coconut Kisses

Posted by Ellen at 08:27 PM | Comments (0)
Me and The Coconut

Posted by Ellen at 08:20 PM | Comments (2)
Magrat the Photo Assistant


Here, let me help you get this backdrop all straight. I know...don't move the bottle cause it's your center point. This is my job. I'm an assistant remember? I make things better for you. *HORK HORK HORK...BLEEEEH!!!* See? All better now.

Posted by Ellen at 08:11 PM | Comments (1)
My Baby is 1!!

One year ago tomorrow, Cornbread will be ONE!



Posted by Ellen at 06:24 PM | Comments (9)
V is for Vittles!

Grill for victory!

Only in America...

Posted by scott at 04:56 PM | Comments (0)
Itsy Bitsy...

It was cut high on the hip, but the really stunning feature was that it bared the navel, a part of the body that in modern history had been off-limits for public display.

The baring of the belly button was the big hurdle.

The suit in all its variations -- from pre-Lycra to post-thong, as worn by a boyish Cheryl Tiegs and a voluptuous Ursula Andress, athletes and -- alas -- every body type. [No shit! Please if you can't wear a bikini, admit it and spare the rest of us with the eye sore!]

Read entire article here.

Posted by Ellen at 07:41 AM | Comments (0)
July 02, 2006
Catching a Ride

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I'M Swimming!

Posted by Ellen at 04:04 PM | Comments (0)
Kiss Kiss

Posted by Ellen at 03:54 PM | Comments (1)
Lazy Pool Day

Posted by Ellen at 03:48 PM | Comments (1)
And for My First Link Back...

I somehow knew it would just have to be talking cats.

Posted by scott at 12:03 PM | Comments (0)