October 31, 2006
Candy Aftermath candyaftermath.jpg

Uggh... my belly.

Another instance of the usefullness of the Emergency Back Up Cat. Trust me, you really do not want to see what actually happened*.

*OK, not really, she's fine. But it made for a really nice joke! AND I got to put a picture of a cat up!

Posted by Ellen at 08:11 PM | Comments (0)


Why yes she is buzzing like a neon sign. Why do you ask?

SOME of Olivia'as loot

Posted by Ellen at 08:02 PM | Comments (3)
Halloween Kiss V. 3.0

Posted by Ellen at 07:57 PM | Comments (0)
The Halloween Princess


What you can't see is the glitter in her hair and pink eyeshadow. This outfit was a surprise for her. She was about to burst when I pulled it out after applying her makeup and glitter.

Posted by Ellen at 07:52 PM | Comments (0)
Unforced Error

The election is less than a week away, and, to paraphrase a fictional democratic strategist, the other side "can't put a forkful of waffles in our mouth without coughing up the ball."

Oh be quiet. I don't take it that seriously either. It just seems symptomatic of the Democratic party of the past twenty years that when they have the prize in sight, indeed even after they've caught it, they don't seem to know exactly what to do with it.

That brown thing? You know, the one you just caught? You're supposed to hang on to it. I mean, if you want to hand it to us, we'll sure take it. It's not the way I'd want to score a touchdown, but points is points.

Will it change anything? Oh, probably not. But there's nothing like a major player from the other side stepping on their crank in public to bring that last bit of fizz to the fun.

See You Next Tuesday.

Posted by scott at 03:15 PM | Comments (4)
Good Luck & Be Careful

Looks like our Bahraini friend Mahmood has got himself into a spot of trouble:

Bahrain has blocked several Web sites for violating a reporting ban in the case of a government adviser who was deported after alleging election irregularities.
Among the blocked Web sites was popular Bahraini blog www.mahmood.tv which is often a forum for political debate and government criticism. It re-opened under www.alyousif.tv, with a photograph of site owner Mahmood al-Yousif wearing a gag.

Messing around with someone who has a megaphone and the balls smarts to use it is usually not the most productive use of one's time. Then again, governments tend to have a lot of time and quite a bit more power than they should. Here's to hoping this all ends up for the best!

Posted by scott at 02:29 PM | Comments (0)
Happy Halloween, pt II

Someone should make a movie about this. Reeks of urban legend, but a guy on Fark actually lives in that town and says the story's all over the local papers. SpOoKy!

Posted by scott at 01:22 PM | Comments (0)
Olivia will Have to Wait Awhile Until She Sees This One

It's a Jihad, Charlie Brown! Tasteless, crass, and violent. Also damned funny and appropriate. Well, sort of.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)
Pics... in... Spacceee...

Ron gets a spectacular no-prize for bringing us this MSNBC slide show of recently-made astronomical pictures. The show includes several pictures from the newly operational Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, as well as one very cool picture made by an amateur astronomer.

Posted by scott at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)
'es Ceased to Be!

I'd always read that Monty Python member Graham Chapman's memorial service was very well done and, to be blunt, freaking hilarious. Now I have proof. Looks like it was re-packaged into some form of broadcast special, but this may simply have been for the people attending.

And when did 1989 become 16 years ago?!?

Posted by scott at 10:00 AM | Comments (1)
~ How Much is that Elephant in the Window? ~

The Washington Post today carried this article detailing a research project involving Indian elephants and a mirror. By placing a solidly elephant-proof mirror in their enclosure, scientists recorded convincing behavior that indicates the elephants were quite aware they were seeing themselves. This puts them in a rarified league occupied by humans, apes, and (perhaps) dolphins.

The on-line article includes a great video with excerpts of the observed behavior.

Posted by scott at 08:37 AM | Comments (0)


Posted by Ellen at 07:00 AM | Comments (0)
October 30, 2006
Not that There's Anything Wrong with That

The best part about televised sports is when the B team gets hold of the microphones. Actually, I'm not sure these guys are even B team. Reminds me of the regional sportscasts we used to get when I was a kid. The commentators were so awful we usually turned the sound down and listened to the radio announcers call the same game.

Update: Linkee now workee.

Posted by scott at 03:29 PM | Comments (1)
Halo Update

Also from Slashdot, the latest news on Halo-3. Depending on the price, that edition with the helmet sounds mighty tempting. Hey, if you're going to be geeky and play video games in the basement, why not go all the way?

The real question for me is, can I really justify buying a whole X-box 360 for just one game. One of those, "your money or your life?" dilemmas.

I'm thinking! I'm thinking!

Posted by scott at 02:45 PM | Comments (3)
Saying it Nicely


The bottom line: Liberals are avoiding us because of our positions, which are in and of themselves evil (to them), while we're avoiding engaging with them because of their behavior.

They object to our beliefs. We simply object to them being assholes.

Read the linked article for some really unintentionally funny examples of just how wacky people can get about politics.

No, I'm not talking about you.

Posted by scott at 01:49 PM | Comments (0)
When Coins Attack

Mark gets a no-prize with a jeweler's loop for explaining to us why anyone in their right mind would pay 15 grand for a single penny. His answer, found in total below, could best be summarized as "they're nuts. Rich nuts."

This is an ordinary 2003 cent. They made 3.3 billion of them in Philadelphia that year (and even MORE in Denver!).

The difference here is that this coin was graded by a professional coin-grading firm as being Mint State 70.

The term means that this particular 2003 cent is absolutely flawless. No nicks, no scratches, no bizarre discoloration, with full details..and absolutely no wear of any kind. Since coins are struck and then dumped into a hopper raw, it is almost inevitable that there would be some damage done to them in the manufacturing process, even though the coins are technically uncirculated until they actually enter commerce. So truly flawless examples of any coin intended for circulation are bound to pretty rare.

But the more important question, and I think that's what's really on your mind here, is why would someone pay effectively 1.5 million times the value of an MS-65 cent (also uncirculated, but with less-than-normal level of nicks, scratches, etc.)? You may well ask.

And well you should.

I think for the reason that they have more money than they know what to do with, and/or want to be able to say to their other coin-geek buddies (and y'all think I'm bad and out-of-control! Trust me...you have no idea!) that they have the top of the heap (so to speak) with regard to 2003 cents.


Posted by scott at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)
I Find Your Lack of Waterskis Disturbing

I don't care if they ever build it, this "superyacht" is still damned nifty-looking. And since it'll most likely cost five or six times what my house does, my admiration will therefore be from afar.

Ellen, as always, will try to figure out where to put cat boxes.

Posted by scott at 11:46 AM | Comments (1)
Exit the Euro?

I've read many times over the years that the success or failure of the Euro is not dependent on Germany or France, rather it hinges on places like Italy and eastern Europe. Looks like those predictions are finally coming true, and the story isn't looking good. Of course, people have been predicting these problems since even before the Euro was adopted, and they're only now coming to light. And the people who predicted trouble for less-efficient economies who adopted the Euro also predicted the only way the Euro will fail outright is if such an outcome fits the interests of Germany or France. That remains to be seen.

Having the only internationally viable alternative to the dollar come apart like an unbalanced washing machine will have profound and unpredictable consequences for global commerce. This may not sound like it will affect you, but trust me it will.

But it will affect places like China and Saudi Arabia faster.

Interesting times, interesting times...

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)
The Air Pen?

Slashdot linked up an innovative use of motion-capture technology. While using pens to "draw" 3-D objects in the air is interesting, if you can't see what you're drawing it would seem to me to be a bit limiting. Sort of like trying to write cursive sentences with your eyes closed.

Posted by scott at 08:44 AM | Comments (0)
October 29, 2006
How You Like Me Now?

Fark linked up an old-but-good demonstration of the SLAMRAAM Humvee project. A rack of AMRAAMS, a jeep, and a drone. It just don't get no better than that.

Posted by scott at 08:57 AM | Comments (1)
Playing Makeup

Posted by Ellen at 07:40 AM | Comments (2)
October 27, 2006
~ Springy Sidewalk, Bouncy Sidewalk / Dressed in Rubbermaid Gear ~

Both Baltimore and Washington are now experimenting with "rubberized" sidewalks. Made out of recycled tires, the material promises to be more durable over time than conventional asphalt or concrete. Unfortunately it's a lot more expensive, so only time (and testing) will tell if, in the long run, it's actually cheaper than the more conventional stuff. Considering that it seems to take 15 guys three weeks to fix most sidewalks around here, if the stuff actually works it doesn't seem to me it will take all that long to break even.

Via Daffodil Lane.

Posted by scott at 03:41 PM | Comments (1)
Ooo... Scary...

While this slideshow of the "thirteen scariest things in IT" has a lot of inside humor, there's quite a bit anyone can appreciate. Someone else sent it to our own CFO, I wonder what they'll make of item 7?

Posted by scott at 02:58 PM | Comments (0)
It's the Great Pumpkin Special, Charlie Brown!

The Peanuts Halloween special turns 40 today. Olivia was a big fan of the Christmas special last year. It's not Avatar, but if we can snag it on Tivo I'm sure she'll have a great time with the Halloween special too.

Posted by scott at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)
Big Meeting Fun

I'm having to guide a tech through the maze that is this place's network today. Posting will be very light until I'm done.

Posted by scott at 11:08 AM | Comments (0)
Going Up

Every time you think you've seen the last really cool shot of a space shuttle launch, someone goes and posts another one. After spending 20-plus years flinging DC-8 sized spacecraft into orbit, switching back to minivan-sized capsules just won't be the same.

Posted by scott at 08:33 AM | Comments (0)
October 26, 2006
Your Moment of Zen

"A four cylinder British sports car running on three cylinders has a distinctive sound...Rather like a Spad going down over Flanders."
-P. Egan

A four cylinder Italian sports car with the same liability makes much the same noise, albeit it makes it with much greater style and expense. I've had a Spider for so long I've actually developed the ability to massage its engine to life with just one firing cylinder and a judicious use of the accelerator pedal. Sounds like an old WWII bomber starting up.

Posted by scott at 03:34 PM | Comments (0)
Of Course You Know This Means War

From the Department of Disapproving Technocrats, we have this study which "discovers" that in the past forty years America's widening ass has resulted in greater fuel consumption. The fact that America's cars have become far more efficient over the same period of time literally does not enter the equation. Oh, and if I (or any of my friends) actually tried to lose 100 pounds to save that 18 gallons of gas? Well we wouldn't need a car after that because we'd all be dead.

Posted by scott at 03:29 PM | Comments (4)
At Least it Keeps Him from Rapping

So do you ask him for an autograph before he handcuffs you, or after:

Shaquille O'Neal was present during a botched child pornography raid last month while working in Virginia as a reserve sheriff's deputy.

The Miami Heat center, who pursues his interest in law enforcement during the offseason, denied Tuesday taking part in serving the search warrant at the wrong house Sept. 23. However, Bedford County Sheriff's Lt. Michael Harmony confirmed to The Associated Press that O'Neal was there.

The unfortunate residents of the house mistakenly raided did not report seeing Shaq, so I'm not sure who to believe. Sure, getting guns pointed in my face by lots of screaming men would be distracting, but then again so is a 7'1" 325-pound guy who's face was recently on every Pepsi machine in the world. Ya just never know.

Posted by scott at 02:38 PM | Comments (0)
Personal Foul, Fifteen Yard Penalty, Repeat Second Down

Surprisingly, a hockey play is not number one in this video list of the "top ten dirty plays". Sorry, Ron, no Eagles moments.

Posted by scott at 01:41 PM | Comments (1)
Fun with Spackle

Joshua gets a well-covered no-prize for bringing us this classic Man Show segment. Remember kids, say no to crack!

Posted by scott at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)
It's a Kung-Fu World

Perhaps soon everyone will look, and sound, like a badly sync'd chop-sake movie:

A "Tower of Babel" device that gives the illusion of being bilingual is being developed by US scientists.

Users simply have to silently mouth a word in their own language for it to be translated and read out in another.

At 80% accuracy with a 200 word vocabulary, I'd call it progress but hardly anything I'd want a soldier to use to say, "is that a bomb in your car or are you just glad to see me?"

Posted by scott at 11:37 AM | Comments (0)
Bad Assed Big Bird

The largest "Terror Bird" fossil yet found has been unearthed in Argentina. Standing perhaps 15 feet tall with a skull more than two feet long, this rare fossil includes sub-skeletal remains (feet), which will allow a detailed examination of how mobile it really was. These were the top predators of what would become South America after the dinosaurs were killed off.

Posted by scott at 10:15 AM | Comments (0)
Well Ain't that Somethin'?

Fark linked up this surprising picture found via Google maps. It's weird looking enough to me that I had to check twice to make sure it wasn't some sort of hoax. Looks like it's coming from Google to me. Bizarre...

Posted by scott at 08:37 AM | Comments (0)
October 25, 2006
Foil Hat Politics

Democrats gain a majority, and what happens? Put them behind the wheel and the first thing they'll do is try to run over the guy in front of them.

Personally I think this is a bit of right-wing twitching, but hell I thought all the left-wing twitching was over-wrought when all the right-wing loonies started baying for Clinton's hide back in '92. Look how well that turned out.

Me, I'm all for it. Getting in touch with your inner fringe for that warm n' fuzzy lunacy is what poked a hole in the current majority's balloon, and they've been sinking ever since. If the first action the other side takes is to shove a stick through their's, all the better.

Means we don't have to rise as high to pass them after we patch ours.

Posted by scott at 03:42 PM | Comments (0)
When Costumes Attack

An otherwise pedestrian article about a press-release declaring mobile phone use might cause reduced fertility in men is saved at the last minute by the most ridiculous costume seen to-date. The guy's eyes say to me, "I bet Tom Cruise didn't have to go through this."

True, but Tom Cruise is crazy.

No, Ron, you can't have one.

Posted by scott at 02:23 PM | Comments (1)
A Stellar Sisterhood

While our star seems to be a loner nowadays, recent findings seem to indicate this was not the way things started out.

Posted by scott at 01:36 PM | Comments (0)
When Hell is a Black and White TV

I've always suspected the relentlessly negative reporting on the war in Iraq by the MSM was more about rich white people being frightened of smelly natives than it ever was about any actual disaster. Now I have proof:

Even journalists sympathetic to the Baghdad press corps admit they essentially just hide out. Here’s how The New York Review of Books put it last April: “The bitter truth is that doing any kind of work outside these American fortified zones has become so dangerous for foreigners as to be virtually suicidal. More and more journalists find themselves hunkered down inside whatever bubbles of refuge they have managed to create in order to insulate themselves from the lawlessness outside.” Unless you accept “insulation” as a synonym for “reporting,” this doesn’t speak well of the hotel denizens.

Other reporters have been less generous. The London Independent’s Robert Fisk has written of “hotel journalism,” while former Washington Post Bureau Chief Rajiv Chandrasekaran has called it “journalism by remote control.” More damningly, Maggie O’Kane of the British newspaper The Guardian said: “We no longer know what is going on, but we are pretending we do.” Ultimately, they can’t even cover Baghdad yet they pretend they can cover Ramadi.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 12:41 PM | Comments (0)
False Models

Photography fans in the peanut gallery should find this article on Olivo Barbieri of interest. He's a photographer who uses a variety of techniques to make pictures of actual places look very much like minaturized dioramas. The effect is quite striking.

Posted by scott at 10:07 AM | Comments (0)
Melting Away

Pat gets an eeire no-prize for bringing us this article detailing the recent exhibition of an artist's series of self-portraits as he experience the downward spiral of Alzheimer's disease. The article includes pictures of at least some of the paintings which were on display.

Posted by scott at 08:36 AM | Comments (0)
October 24, 2006
Streetwalk Marching

Fark (of course) linked up yet another example of just how manic the Japanese can get:

Imagine something like "Rocky 3" with sex.

The magazine provides a written account, accompanied by plenty of nude photos, of four women who enrolled in the three-week summer session --- veteran sex workers at pink salons, soaplands and other businesses. Their jobs were clearly starting to take a physical and mental toll on them, and they were worried that unless they took drastic remedial measures, they'd wind up slack, listless and wrinkled --- prematurely worn-out old bags.

At the demanding three-week camp, the four undergo no-nonsense discipline by their tough male drill instructor, Mr. Nonomura, who aims to whip them back into top shape.

Oh it gets even weirder from there. No, really!

Posted by scott at 02:52 PM | Comments (0)
You Really Can do Anything with Them

And to think the most sophisticated thing I ever did with Legos was build walls. Sometimes I'm glad Olivia's just into Barbie. Of course, there's always next year.

Posted by scott at 01:35 PM | Comments (1)
River Reverse

Looks like the Mississippi isn't the only river to have flowed backward at some point in its history:

The world's largest river, the Amazon, once flowed from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific - the opposite of its present direction, a study shows.

Sedimentary rocks in the central part of South America contain ancient mineral grains that must have come from the eastern part of the continent.

Geologist Russell Mapes says this must mean that about 145-65 million years ago, the Amazon flowed east to west.

The thing is, during that time period I don't think there was a land mass even vaguely resembling what we now know as South America. The fact that a river has run more or less continuously in roughly the same place through such profound changes is to me more remarkable than which way it happened to be flowing at any particular time.

Posted by scott at 12:46 PM | Comments (0)

Attitudes toward immigration, as with all things related to having a next-door neighbor you can't understand and who cooks weird smelling stuff, are relative:

A poll ... published by the news paper El Universal shows that 50% of interviewed Mexicans are in favor of redoubling the police security in the border with 51% of the Mexicans wanting immigration with Central American citizens to the country to diminish, according to a survey published Monday by the newspaper El Universal. In the USA, 39% think the same in regards to total immigration.

Soft-headed liberal wackamole blaming it all on the Bush administration in 3... 2... 1...

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 11:37 AM | Comments (0)

We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard:

The third time was not the charm for homebuilt hardware designed to win a Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge.

A privately-built vertical takeoff and landing rocket shot for NASA Moon money today but failed at the Wirefly X Prize Cup—an expo of private rocketeers devoted to personal space travel.

Called Pixel, the craft quickly tipped over and crashed shortly after liftoff. An onboard fire was quickly doused.

Hey, I'd rather it crash now instead of on the Moon. They've got plenty of time, and wouldn't it be cool to have something like this actually make it?

Posted by scott at 09:51 AM | Comments (1)
Caption Fun

Well of course we won't link a series of goofy cat photos. I mean, why would you think we'd do something like that? Silly readers...

Posted by scott at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)
October 23, 2006
Hitchin' a Ride

Problem: Astronauts heading to Mars risk exposure to deadly radiation. Shielding is heavy, and therefore expensive, if launched from Earth.

Solution: Grab some shielding that's already out there.

While burrowing into and grabbing material from asteriods for shielding is all well and good, I wonder why a ship couldn't just hide in the shadow of one of these asteroids? Must be missing something, or the asteroids are a lot smaller than I'm visualizing.

Posted by scott at 03:32 PM | Comments (3)
Now Why Didn't I Think of That

Cat owners will most likely not be surprised by this:

A 67-year-old woman of Rosdorf in Schleswig Holstein, Germany, accidentally sent her cat Felix, in the mail, after the animal snuck inside the parcel she was sending to her nephew.

The little monsters get everywhere, especially in boxes. No worries though, cat is fine.

Posted by scott at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)
~ Cos He's White n' Nerdy ~

Slashdot linked up this op-ed discussing everyone's favorite song parodyist, Weird Al Yankovic. While heavy on the effite "weren't things just awful in the 80s?" attitude, it still does a decent job discussing the man and his career.

Posted by scott at 01:51 PM | Comments (1)
Ah, Government at its Finest

Having solved all other problems:

The United States has slapped a ban on Vegemite, outraging Australian expatriates there.

The bizarre crackdown was prompted because Vegemite contains folate, which in the US can be added only to breads and cereals.

Now, I've never tried the stuff myself, but from everything I've read or heard vegemite is an... acquired taste. However, I have it on good authority that the stuff is reasonably popular in Australia. One would think that, if it really were all that dangerous, we would have more reports of, say, two headed Australian babies and whatnot.

Welcome to technocratic regulation at its finest! Coming soon to a Congress near you!

Posted by scott at 12:53 PM | Comments (0)
I Must Have One, Yes, I must.

Leave it to the land of Monty Python to take a silly but fun sport just one notch past reality:

Southfields must be the only farm in Britain guarded by an armoured car and a 16ft artillery gun (both decommissioned). This is a working farm but, 15 years ago, Stuart Garner decided to try out an extra source of revenue on his family farm's 250 acres. He opened a conventional paintball site in one of the woods, but kept thinking up ways of improving it.

So, he bought an old tactical missile launcher (without a missile) to replicate landing craft assaults on dry land. That went down a treat, so he bought a couple of armoured personnel carriers (APCs) to liven things up even more.

Then, he had another idea. If the general public found it so much fun playing infantry games, maybe they would like to try out a spot of armoured activity, too. How about tank paintball?

Coming soon to a bachelor party near you!

Posted by scott at 11:55 AM | Comments (0)
Great White Update

The Washington Post today carried this update on ongoing research on a captive great white shark. By using what was learned two years ago with a previous captive great white, scientists at the Monterey Bay aquarium have kept a new, male great white healthy and (presumably) happy since September. There appear to be no plans to keep the fish permanently, although the article did not mention just how long their visitor will be resident.

Posted by scott at 10:54 AM | Comments (0)
Protection, for the Rest of Us

Mark gets a well-protected no-prize for bringing us news of the "Nutty Buddy", the latest in men's athletic protection. Do not miss the video. SFW.

Posted by scott at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)
October 22, 2006
The Pumpkin Patch

Posted by Ellen at 09:21 PM | Comments (0)


One of Olivia's favorite chop-sake animation shows always has kids jumping to incredible hights. Today, Olivia got to be the Avatar.

Posted by Ellen at 09:12 PM | Comments (3)
First Lady, Senator, Farm Ride?


Of course it has nothing to do with me wearing and Arkansas Razorback sweatshirt. No really!

Posted by Ellen at 07:16 PM | Comments (0)
October 21, 2006

Posted by Ellen at 10:27 PM | Comments (0)
Panda Nap

Posted by Ellen at 10:17 PM | Comments (0)
Fishing Cat


We went to the new Asia Trail at the National Zoo and I got this shot right through the glass of the Fishing Cat.

Posted by Ellen at 10:10 PM | Comments (0)
October 20, 2006
Tangled Up In Yellow
Posted by Ellen at 08:59 PM | Comments (2)
Olivia's Favorite Cat

Posted by Ellen at 08:53 PM | Comments (3)
It's About Time for Another Alfa Story

One of our Swedish compatriots took his Duetto "down South" for a tour of his car's homeland, and he has the pictures to prove it.

Sometimes I think it would be a lot of fun to box our Spider up and ship it back to Italy, then tour around the country in it.

Then I sober up.

Hey, if we all make it that far, I can't think of a better way to spend my daughter's inheritance!

Posted by scott at 04:41 PM | Comments (0)
Wet Earth, Dry Moon

If these scientists are right there may be far less water on the moon than was previously hoped, and it will be far harder to get at as well. I always thought an enormous ice rink at the lunar south pole was more what people wanted than what was actually there. Still, I'm curious to know what, if anything, the NASA probe that smashed into that very region a few months ago found. The silence is quite puzzling.

Posted by scott at 03:26 PM | Comments (0)
Halo Hurtin'

Slashdot linked up news that the planned Halo movie has been cancelled. Looks like the studios decided to play a game of chicken with the production team, but they didn't blink. Microsoft still owns the rights, and Peter Jackson's name still appears to be attached. We may yet see Master Chief bashing grunts. In his Warthog.

Posted by scott at 02:38 PM | Comments (8)
The Way it Should be, with Reason

Mark gets a right and proper no-prize for bringing us this extremely informative video that all women should view immediately. Do it before it's too late! The brain you save could be your own!

Posted by scott at 12:09 PM | Comments (2)
Hey, Nobody said They had to be Stupid

The hobby list is just about too good to be true. She could put "professional cheerleader" in her gaming profile and everyone would likely assume she was a guy.

Posted by scott at 12:04 PM | Comments (1)
Card Trick

As with most card tricks, the obvious solution is wrong. I admire this sort of skill, as I have trouble walking down stairs without killing myself. Ellen can't even manage level ground.

Posted by scott at 08:59 AM | Comments (0)
Practicing Phal-Fu can be Fun

Those Japanese, at it again, this time screwing with an apparently unsuspecting lady's workout. Almost literally. Switching to Enya for the last 30 seconds adds a particularly surreal cherry to the top of this Nipponese confection.

Vid is silly and only slightly naughty. I'd call it SFW, but that's just me.

Posted by scott at 07:59 AM | Comments (1)
October 19, 2006

Thing is, this is most likely weird enough to stand on its own:

A leaping stingray stabbed an 81-year-old Florida boater in the chest, authorities said Wednesday, leaving its poisonous stinger lodged close to his heart in an incident recalling the one that killed Australian TV naturalist Steve Irwin last month.

Leapin' stingrays!

You just can't make this stuff up.

Posted by scott at 07:47 PM | Comments (3)
We'll Take that Over, Thank You

Making the rounds: big media, again, missed the point on important legislation:

During the bitter controversy over the military commission bill, which President Bush signed into law on Tuesday, most of the press and the professional punditry missed the big story. In the struggle for power between the three branches of government, it is not the presidency that "won." Instead, it is the judiciary that lost.

Considering that the most devisive and destructive crises this country has gone through were directly created by Supreme Court decisions, the occasional trimming of their powers is usually fine by me.

Posted by scott at 03:51 PM | Comments (0)
More Brave Tales

So where did Odysseus live? Prevailing opinion has been what is now known as Ithaki, but recently someone wrote a whole book which hypothesised it to be somewhere else, and now they're testing that hypothesis:

Most people think the modern-day Ionian island of Ithaki is the location.

But geologists are this week sinking a borehole on nearby Kefalonia in an attempt to test whether its western peninsula of Paliki is the real site.

It really brings home how old these stories are, that entire chunks of geography can change so radically you have to dig boreholes just to see the difference.

Posted by scott at 03:37 PM | Comments (0)
Convicted? No, Never Convicted

Actually, there might be a bright side to this:

O.J. Simpson is confessing. Hypothetically, that is.

The former football great, who was acquitted in criminal court 11 years ago of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, reportedly has been paid a whopping $3.5 million to write about the double murder that shocked and riveted the nation in 1994, according to a detailed report in the new National Enquirer.

The silver lining? Assuming he doesn't back down and pull the plug on the project over the uproar, Ron Goldman will be the one getting all the profits. Well, I hope.

Maybe there isn't a bright side after all.

Posted by scott at 03:25 PM | Comments (0)
Popcorn or Fried Chicken?

Joshua gets a goofy nerdy no-prize for bringing us even more spoofs of the "mac vs. PC" ad campaign. I thought the original was just about as smug as it could get, so any parody that takes a shot at them is fine by me.

Root rules!

Posted by scott at 10:01 AM | Comments (0)
Cuz Guns is Complicated

Tamara gets a psychotically misguided no-prize for bringing us this story of a redneck gone wrong:

A Little Rock man was arrested after he allegedly shot at a motorist with a crossbow after police say the motorist made an obscene gesture at the man.

Why yes, Virginia, alcohol was involved. Clever girl!

Posted by scott at 09:02 AM | Comments (0)
October 18, 2006
Fun with Politics

If you want two years of Congressional investigations, by all means vote for the Democrats.

There seem to be quite a few people who think that would be a good thing.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 03:17 PM | Comments (0)
May the Tats be with You

Some folks may think a Star Wars tattoo is a "nerd for life" decision. Me, I think at least some of them are pretty neat looking. Still don't want one, but I don't begrudge someone who does.

Posted by scott at 02:16 PM | Comments (0)
Steel Circulation

According to this Scientific American article, recycled steel may end up being a more significant iron "mine" than the ones that punch holes in the ground. By using statistical data from a variety of sources, these scientists claim to have quantified the US's use of steel from new and recycled sources. The results show there already is substantial recycling from scrap going on, but the data also show a significant amount of loss over time. The researchers hope their work will point the way toward more effective recycling methods, as well as provide a guide for just how much of the stuff developing countries will need as they grow, and perhaps even when their needs will level off.

Posted by scott at 12:49 PM | Comments (1)
Confessions of a WarCrack Addict

Slashdot linked up this detailed account of what it's like to be a hard-core Warcraft gamer, what it requires, and why this person had to stop. I, too, know people who have screwed up their lives over gaming. For awhile, I was one of them. I do still play games, sometimes for hours, but nowadays I also walk away from them for weeks at a time. It's getting to the point I'm not sure if I'm going to upgrade my computer any time soon, since the time I invest doesn't really seem to justify the money it would require.

Not sure if that means I'm growing up or not. I don't judge people who have this problem; I'm convinced everyone can get addicted to something if they're not careful. But if your life looks like the WoW parody on Southpark, maybe it's time to just walk away from it for awhile.

Update: Not surprisingly, getting your blog linked by Slashdot tends to result in an interesting follow-up article. I think, ultimately, I don't play these kinds of games for the same reason I don't try a lot of things I know I might be good at. I'm so competitive I don't want to just be good, I want to be the best. If being the best requires more effort than I want to put in, I just don't start.

Posted by scott at 11:57 AM | Comments (0)
~ Rice Rice Turtle ~

Well, if something happens to one of Om's legs, it's good to know there's a solution:

The 54-year-old pet has a mini air-filled rubber wheel to replace a leg lost to a predator.

The 4x4 style system even has a tiny shock absorber.

Article includes adorable picture of said pet. Not sure what sort of turtle it is, but I'll bet Ellen will know.

Posted by scott at 10:08 AM | Comments (2)
Oh, Those Clever Koreans

"AMCLTD," we hear you ask, "I'm fed up with my wife, my children monopolize the computer, mistresses cost too much, and prostitutes are too dangerous. But me so horny! What am I to do?"

Fear not, friendly pervert, AMCGLTD is here to help! Presenting The Doll Experience Room, where for a mere $26 per hour you too can experience the joys of plastic love. The article states these are cheap inflatable companions, but a careful read indicates they are in fact the Caddilac of toys, the ever-so-creepy "real doll". The authorities might decide this is illegal on sheer gross-out grounds, so don't delay! The nut you bust could be your own!

Posted by scott at 08:54 AM | Comments (0)
October 17, 2006
Dance Dance President!

Hey, what good is a personal website if you can't use it to post goofy videos of your friends with it? Video is SFW, and contains much pasty-white-boy goodness. I especially liked how the one on the left couldn't get his shirt off.

The setup: the birthday party of a political conservative being attended by many political liberals. Names are withheld to protect the skinny and untanned (they can always comment to reveal themselves), but we will say we're quite impressed by how well the taller one danced. Wookies rule!

Posted by scott at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)
My Network: 1, Spammers: 0

So three weeks ago spam and viruses passing through the e-mail filter at work exploded, going from ~ 10,000 spam messages to ~ 200,000, per day, all at once. A week later I get a notice from our ISP that we've been reported as running an open relay. "Wha?!?" I said to myself. You see, a long time ago we really were running an open relay, and after many long hours and blown up e-mail configurations, I closed it. I've been damned careful about it ever since.

So I was flummoxed. I talked our ISP out of shutting us down, but was not at all sure what to do next. I regularly see various spamcop-like systems test our mail filter, and it always passes. A little more research revealed what was going on: because of the nature of our network, the filter accepts e-mail without checking to see if the address is valid. That's the job of the main mail server. If the main mail server thinks the address is bad, it sends a bounce message to the sender. It's supposed to do it. It's actually required to do it, by internet standards.

Which ended up being a loophole for spammers. It works like this: they send mail out to addresses on our network they know are bad, and fake the FROM address, which is the one they really want to reach. The mail server dutifully sends a bounce message to the person it thinks sent the message, and pow, some innocent person gets spammed and thinks it came from my network. Worse still, the filter has to process each one of these stupid messages, dragging performance down for the whole system.

By now whatever scumbag figured this out for our network had told all his friends, because our quite powerful filter was beginning to buckle under the load. Which is when I found this, a near-magical (and comparatively cheap) widget that lets the filter check if the address is good, and immediately reject the message if it's not.

When implemented, the filter went from a utilization of 4-7 (way overloaded) to a utilization of .86 (loafing along). I'm seeing thousands of messages being rejected because of this new widget. All of them representing scum-sucking spammer retards who were hijacking our stuff to send their messages.

Suck it, you bastards.

Hey, it's my blog, I talk about what I want :).

Posted by scott at 03:20 PM | Comments (4)
Parkinson's News

New Scientist is carrying this update on developments in treatments for Parkinson's syndrome. By using an engineered virus, researchers were able to use gene treatments to help otherwise unresponsive patients to experience significant gains in mobility and motor control. The results are preliminary, early, and utilized (what seems to be to be) a small number of patients. But progress is progress, and this sure looks like it.

Using an engineered virus. We really are living science fiction.

Posted by scott at 02:27 PM | Comments (0)
Squaring the Circle

Well, not exactly a circle, or a square, rather an egg, and a cube. Sort of. By the looks of the packaging, this thing has been around forever. Looks like something you'd get out of the back of a comic book.

Posted by scott at 01:32 PM | Comments (0)
That's Some Hat

Even I think this is a bit much just to get a 360 view. Then again, it's most likely a prototype. Being able to just turn my head to see things in a gaming environment would be beyond cool, so if they miniaturize it I'd sure be interested.

Posted by scott at 12:08 PM | Comments (0)
Well Waddaya Know

Check out who's #4 on the list of "cities most likely to steal pro sports teams. The Arkansas Cowboys. Now that has a ring to it, doesn't it?

Of course, considering who owns the team and who coached it to two superbowls, you could almost call them that now.

3... 2... 1...

Posted by scott at 09:56 AM | Comments (2)
Dance Dance Asteroids!

MSNBC is carrying this article detailing the discovery of a pair of "dancing asteroids". One is about a mile wide and not much more than a pile of rubble held together with gravity, the other is about a quarter that size and solid. Both rotate about each other, with the gravity of each affecting the other each turn. The larger of the pair, "Alpha", is also spinning so fast it's close to flying apart.

Ain't space science grand?

Posted by scott at 08:59 AM | Comments (0)
October 16, 2006
Say it ain't So!

The environmental movement exaggerating something? Oh I simply don't believe it:

Leading toxicologists have warned green groups are "misleading" the public with chemical contamination campaigns.

They said they are deliberately and unfairly scaring the public.

In particular, they criticised a WWF campaign that has highlighted the presence of chemicals in blood, food and in babies' umbilical cords.

And why are we suddenly getting these notices?

The researchers said the chemicals were being found in trace amounts because of advances in detection techniques that could uncover substances at ever smaller concentrations.

Just like if you take a big enough dose of anything it's poison, if you look hard enough you'll probably find trace amounts of anything everywhere.

Posted by scott at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)
Movie Time

Now our heads can explode at the same time our stomachs are churning:

Professor Stephen Hawking, Britain’s world-renowned physicist, is to switch from theories of multidimensional space to the three dimensions of the Imax cinema by starring in a film that sets out his ideas on the origins and fate of the universe.

The film, Beyond the Horizon, will tackle some of the most daunting theories espoused by Hawking and other cosmologists, from the idea that space has up to 11 dimensions to the cause of the big bang itself.

As noted in the article, these concepts are notoriously difficult to explain (to mathematical dunces like me anyway) without dynamic visuals to assist. Looks like he's finally going to get some!

Posted by scott at 01:40 PM | Comments (0)
I'm So Glad He's Here to Tell Us These Things

Well of course Christians shouldn't blog... it could lead to dancing! Includes the especially informative assertion:

The Church of God is made up of seven separate eras, recorded in Revelation 2 and 3. Today we live in the Laodicean era (Rev. 3:14-21)—the seventh and last era of the Church. Last century was, for the most part, the time of the sixth era, Philadelphia.

To understand Church eras, you can read their descriptions. Another way to gain knowledge of a particular era is to examine its name. For example, Philadelphia means “brotherly love,” a trait of that era.

So the 20th century, you know, the one with all the world wars and gulags and concentration camps and purges and such, was the era of "brotherly love"?

The irony of a warning against blogs in what is in essence a blog entry goes without saying.

It's almost enough to think this is another Landover-style hoax site. The sincerity and banality of the advice makes me think otherwise, but I've been fooled before.

Posted by scott at 12:43 PM | Comments (0)
Replacement Review

Slashdot linked up this review of the Sony Reader, an innovative attempt at electronic books. More like re-attempt, as earlier hopes for other technologies have simply not panned out. It finally includes a description of what the display is, how it works, and what it's like. The ultimate verdict seems to be, "close, but not quite."

Definitely not at $300+. If they're eventually able to pull the price under $50, I don't think they'll be able to make them fast enough.

Posted by scott at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)
RIP: Nancy Lynn

The great "mother-and-son" aerobatics squad is no more:

A Saturday afternoon airplane crash at Culpeper Regional Airport claimed the life of Nancy Lynn, 50, of Annapolis. A 30-year veteran of the aviation industry, Lynn was killed during a solo acrobatic performance at Culpeper Air Fest 2006.

We've featured several different photos of Nancy's flying in the past two years. She put on an amazing show, and will be missed next year.

Posted by scott at 09:02 AM | Comments (2)
Cup O' Slinky

slinky Medium Web view.jpg

Stay tuned for tomorrows brew!

Posted by Ellen at 07:04 AM | Comments (2)
Garrison Snoozing garrison Medium Web view.jpg

Amber sent me some pixes to share with you all.

Posted by Ellen at 07:02 AM | Comments (3)
October 15, 2006
Well Whaddaya Know

According to this GMAC driver's test, I could still pass the "real" test. I scored 95%, but only by answering what I knew was right, not what I actually did. Trust me, around here there's no way you're going to get from the left side of the highway to the right in time to make your exit if you stop in each lane one by one.

Posted by scott at 08:58 AM | Comments (0)
It Came from the 80s

While I wasn't able to identify all these hair-metal bands from the 80s, I'd certainly heard of all of them. I can even remember thinking back then, "there's no way this look will ever get old!"

Fortunately all known pictures of me with long hair included an ex-girlfriend in them, so a very long time ago Ellen burned all the evidence for me. Sometimes I'm so clever I scare myself.

Posted by scott at 08:52 AM | Comments (0)
October 14, 2006
Go Hogs Go!

Geeze, you'd think the Hogs beat the #2 team in their home stadium or something:

In a span of about three weeks, Arkansas' Houston Nutt has gone from the hot seat to the driver's seat.

Who says the winds of college football don't change direction as swiftly as politicians flip-flop on issues come election time?

I can't even find a line on this afternoon's game, which sorta sounds like we're a heavy favorite (according to the article, for the next 3 games).

Of course, the other football-following alumni around my circle are from U-Tenn and Ohio State. Can't thump the ol' chest too hard. Still, it's been a long time since football's been exciting for Arkansas. I'll take what I can get :).

Posted by scott at 02:20 PM | Comments (3)
Moon Shadow

Fark linked up this photo sequence of the ISS passing in front of the moon. Tick-tick-tick-tick like. Very impressive!

Posted by scott at 01:12 PM | Comments (0)
October 13, 2006
Super Heros on the Ganges

Joshua gets a very Bollywood No-Prize! for bringing us this.

Just watch it. We are not sure what it is, but it has well...super heroes in it!

Posted by scott at 08:01 PM | Comments (0)
I Find Your Lack of Produce Disturbing

Well, we're probably the last to know, except for you anyway, that Chad Vader's adventures continue. Sad thing is, these guys are way funnier than SpaceBalls ever was*, without the multi-million dollar budget.

Via Siflay

* Which is not to say Mel Brooks is... oh my, sorry, I just got turned around, oh please don't get up, no, please don't--#$@$#@$

Posted by scott at 05:26 PM | Comments (0)
Who's Itsy-Bitsy Now?

Space.com is carrying this report on scientists finally observing a galaxy being born. Of sorts. By imaging the Spiderweb galaxy, scientists have confirmed predictions that supermassive galaxies are formed by the merging of many smaller galaxies.

Galaxies. You know, billions of stars, that sort of thing. Merging in some monstrous, epoch-long dance.

Oh don't mind the noise. That was just my head exploding.

Posted by scott at 05:04 PM | Comments (0)
Definitely not Your Average Farm

Two words: bile farms. I wonder if anyone's really done a study to see just how many rare and exotic species have been driven to the brink of extinction just to keep some old Chinaman's wang stiff?

Posted by scott at 01:33 PM | Comments (0)
Seahawk Unbound

Aviation Week this week carried this detailed look at the Navy's latest Seahawk helicopter variants, the "R" and "S". The two types combine roles once filled by several different airframe types, helping to lower maintenance and training costs substantially. The helicopters have also been updated with the latest technology, providing a significant boost in crew productivity over earlier versions.

Sub hunters, ho!

Posted by scott at 01:30 PM | Comments (0)
Car Fun

Ron gets a really swoopy no-prize for bringing us news of the completion of the first Scarab replica kit-car bodies. Widely considered the prettiest of the front-engined sports car racers popular in the late '50s, it was nevertheless a real handful to drive. I'm pretty sure it's a Scarab that helped make one of the more famous pictures of the Mulsanne straight, shown rocketing down that roadway at over 160 mph with both front wheels several inches off the ground.

Posted by scott at 01:19 PM | Comments (0)
You Know the Soldiers are Going to Teach This Thing to Swear

Slashdot linked up news of field trials of new computer translator technology in Iraq. Unlike earlier attempts, this package promises two-way communication not based on a limited selection of pre-translated phrases. While far from perfect, the system could go a long way toward getting concepts like, "stop and get out of the car, please" across before things get out of hand.

Posted by scott at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)
Mmm... Tasty...

Now, if the wedding dress is made out of pastry, what the hell do you do with the cake? Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, "eating your way to heaven."

Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all weekend. Be sure to tip your waitress!

Posted by scott at 08:40 AM | Comments (1)
October 12, 2006
What's Up Baby?

Posted by Ellen at 08:58 PM | Comments (0)
Ok, Now I've Seen Everything

Those clever Norwegians are (apparently) at it again, this time with the creation of "animal bordellos":

On the Internet Danish animal owners advertise openly that they offer sex with animals, without intervention from police or other authorities, Danish newspaper 24timer reports.

In correspondence with the animal owners, the newspaper was told that the animals involved have many years of experience and that the animals themselves wanted sex. The cost to the client varied from DKK 500-1,000 (USD 85-170).

Well, it's probably for the best that I haven't seen this. *SHUDDER*

Posted by scott at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)
Comparisons in the Land of the Nuclear Sun

Pat gets yet another scary no-prize for bringing us this perceptive editorial warning westerners about making ill-informed judgements about everyone's favorite loony dictator, Kim Jong Il:

This sort of cultural profiling, however, can get us into real danger. Japan’s emperor during World War II, Hirohito, was neither religious nor suicidal, and he led his nation into a war that no rational leader could have hoped to win. The point is relevant, because although journalists persist in calling North Korea a Stalinist state, its worldview is far closer to that of fascist Japan.

Putting all the levers of power into the hands of a single man nearly always leads directly to disaster. The longer they hold the levers, the more likely that becomes. For the most part, the disaster tends to involve the unfortunate citizens of the country in question.

But not always.

Posted by scott at 11:34 AM | Comments (6)
What an Interesting Addition to the Menu

Glowing escargot:

The discovery of radioactive snails at a site in southeastern Spain where three U.S. hydrogen bombs fell by accident 40 years ago may trigger a new joint U.S.-Spanish clean-up operation, officials said on Wednesday.

We lost more than a few H-bombs during the hieght of the cold war. Most were recovered, but others fell in places that made them nearly impossible to find. I guess this is a good thing, since it may help find a few more, but if one of those snails meows I'm outta here.

Posted by scott at 09:22 AM | Comments (0)
Saturn Silhouette

Fark linked up this nifty sequency of Saturn pictures, taken by the Cassini space probe. For once it actually looks like it could float in a bathtub.

Posted by scott at 08:21 AM | Comments (0)
October 11, 2006
Gotta Love those Health Class Films

Beware the homosexual! He drives around in an old Ford!

Posted by scott at 02:46 PM | Comments (0)
Neandertal News

New Scientist is carrying this update on new developments in Neandertal DNA research. For the first time scientists have been able to analyze nuclear DNA samples, and have used the richer data set to determine that Neandertals and humans shared a common ancestor about 400,000 years ago. There appears to be no evidence of Neandertals contributing to human DNA, at least in the data examined so far.

Posted by scott at 01:15 PM | Comments (0)
When Ads Attack

Somehow I think this one will not endear Hollywood producer David Zucker to the left side of the peanut gallery. Even if he didn't actually produce it, it's still damned funny. If political ads were more like this, maybe I'd pay attention to them more often.

Oh be quiet. It's no worse than South Park, and most of you (the Grammas excepted, of course) laugh your ass off at that.

Actual conversation in our car yesterday:

Ellen: "So who are we voting for then?"

Me: "Republicans. Straight Republican ticket."

Ellen: "But why?"

Me: "They're just about as bad as Democrats, true, but at least they want to cut taxes and shoot terrorists."

Ellen: "How much longer until I get to vote for Giuliani?!?"

People only think we're rational, well-rounded individuals.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)
TV Time

Slashdot linked up news of a new TV technology supposedly due to premiere in time for Christmas:

Soon-to-be-listed Australian company Arasor International and its US partner Novalux unveiled what they claimed to be the world's first laser television in Sydney, with a pitch that it will be half the price, twice as good, and use a quarter of the electricity of conventional plasma and LCD TVs.

If it really is all that and a bag of chips, color me happy that we've held out for so long on pulling the trigger on a big TV purchase. I won't say "ha-ha" to those who have, because they've spent all this time watching their big fancy TVs while we've been plugging along with our 27"-er.

I'll have to keep an eye on this one. Ain't market economics grand?

Posted by scott at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)
Fun with Maps

Fark linked up this nifty geography game. The catch? You have to come within a certain distance of the city it specifies. Somewhere on the planet.

The first time through I actually did pretty well, getting 8 out of 10 within the distance ring. Not too shabby for an obnoxious American who doesn't think there's a world outside his borders, eh?

Posted by scott at 08:43 AM | Comments (0)
October 10, 2006
No Takebacks

There were dozens of jokes I spun up when I first read about the lady trying to un-adopt her own child, but then I RTFA, and suddenly it doesn't seem all that funny. Sad and weird, but not funny.

Posted by scott at 01:01 PM | Comments (0)
Parking Lot Treasures

A necropolis described as "a miniature Pompeii" has been unveiled at the Vatican. Discovered during the contstruction of a parking lot, the site contains the remains of many well-preserved tombs from the time of Augustus to that of Constantine (a period of about 300 years). The tombs are of middle-class people for the most part, "somebodies" who weren't famous in their own right but knew or worked for people who were. The site is now open to public viewing.

Posted by scott at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)
Coin Time

Inveterate coin-collector Mark probably knows all about it, but just in case Fark linked up news that the US mint has announced its 2006 holiday collection. Now, personally, I've always wondered how a government agency can "sell" money for more than its face value, but I'm far from an expert on such matters. They sound pretty neat, at any rate.

Posted by scott at 10:05 AM | Comments (0)
October 09, 2006
You Are Here

The MRO has successfully imaged one of the Mars rovers, and SPACE.com is there. Maybe now they'll be able to figure out what eventually happened to the Vikings, or the lost landers from previous missions.

Posted by scott at 03:16 PM | Comments (1)
I Especially like the Control Location

Fark said it was pretty sad. Me, I think it's a good idea, but should be home-made, not store-bought. Strangely enough, I never even once thought of this sort of thing as a costume idea. Too many Barbie toys in my life, I suppose.

Posted by scott at 01:39 PM | Comments (0)
Chicken Wha?!?

Ah, college. Where else can you dance like a fool in your underwear? The wrinkle nowadays is, of course, that the whole world can see you.

Posted by scott at 09:11 AM | Comments (1)
Your Dog Wants His Mommy

By using aniseed-laced food for the mother and a cotton ball soaked in the same stuff for the newborn pup, scientists have determined that dogs learn to smell in the womb (second story.) They really are born to sniff your crotch!

Posted by scott at 07:46 AM | Comments (0)
Blame 'em All, Let God Decide

Think of it as the shotgun approach to conspiracy theories:

With US mid-term elections one month away, it is not surprising to find Washington’s elite criminal factions (neocon and neoliberal) engaged in a new game of political chicken over 9/11 red herrings.

If nothing else, I now have a new name for the left side of the peanut gallery.

Posted by scott at 07:36 AM | Comments (0)
October 08, 2006
Woo... PIG... SOOEY!!!

Congratulations to my old alma mater for a gigantic upset win over #2 ranked Auburn. Even though this one was nationally televised, I still missed it due to a Jimmy Neutron scheduling conflict. Probably for the best, if I was watching it they probably would've gotten squashed like I was expecting them too.

Delusional? Me?

Posted by scott at 01:04 PM | Comments (1)
That's One Big Committee

That's mister camel to you, bub:

Swiss researchers have discovered the 100,000-year-old remains of a previously unknown giant camel species in central Syria.
"Can you imagine? The camel's shoulders stood three metres (yards) high and it was around four metres tall, as big as a giraffe or an elephant. Nobody knew that such a species had existed."

Posted by scott at 12:01 PM | Comments (0)
October 06, 2006
The Block


The smooth sound of metal skimming flesh.


Promises. After a long, hard week.


Looking at each other, across the ledge of the tub.


Because she's sexy, in the water with a wine glass in her hand.


Because he's sexy, so concentrated, right before bed, with the razor, back and forth.


With a sideways glance at each other... barely noticeable in the shadows of flickering flame.

Shhrrrrruk... Shrrriick...

A razor, on legs, looking back and forth in the candle light.

BONK! BONK! BONK! "Mommay! Dadday! Can't find my binky!!!"

Suddenly the shot cuts, twice, eyes and eyes looking at each other, the light suddenly transforms into oh-so-economical compact florescent with a little bit of alarm as the doorknob across the hall turns, and a door opens.

The laugh track pauses, for effect...

"Daddy! Wha you doing?!?"

After what must've been the most pregnant pause in history, I was actually glad to say, and in all honesty, "daddy's just helping mommy shave her legs!" (no, really, I only heard the exclamation point in my head. I hope!)

"Daddy! I can' find my binky! I need help!"

Which is when the stage lights dropped off and the flourescents that knocked all the romance on its ass came up to full strength. What was a soap opera's near-climax suddenly became mom and dad getting ready for bed. With soap. And with a sideways glance, to be honest with more than a little bit of giggling...

"Okay, Olivia, daddy will help."

"Daddy! I think binky went that way!" Trott, trott, trott, back into her room.

Shhrrrrruk... Shrrriick...

The trick is not timing it. The trick is remembering it.

Because we'll be sure not to wake her up tomorrow night...

Shhrrrrrik... Shrrruck...

Posted by scott at 09:46 PM | Comments (1)
Oh You did Not

I swear, every time one of The Grammas visits us, we're certain they think we're teaching Olivia out of a book like this.

I mean, come on. It's not like we use those sorts of flash cards every day.

Well, hang on a minute. Define "every day".

Bah. You think it's a coincidence she's been able to recite the alphabet for the past year?!?

Posted by scott at 08:21 PM | Comments (2)
What Could Possibly Have Gone Wrong?

It's hard to know where to start with this one:

A U.S. tourist who told airport inspectors that dynamite in his bags was a souvenir from South America has been charged with breaking two security laws and could face up to 10 years in prison and steep fines.

So I guess some people really do answer those questions at the ticket counter truthfully. And look what happens!

Posted by scott at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)
Gitmo Info

Instapundit linked up this extensive series of interviews with "Stashiu, a Gitmo psyche nurse who has spoken with the terrorists for hours." To my knowledge, it's the first time anyone who actually worked at the facility has spoken on the record about what goes on there.

Posted by scott at 12:53 PM | Comments (0)
Superman's Cousin?

Ron gets a medicinal no-prize for introducing us to Bishop Womack-El, a "prophetic physician" who "can help you with supervision to rejuvenate your life and detoxify your body tissues for improved health and longevity."

And hey, who wouldn't want that?

Whodathunk that Jor-El's cousin would be running a ministry in Jersey?

Posted by scott at 11:56 AM | Comments (1)

I'm sure the fundies are gonna love this:

Scientists are planning to create a "frankenrabbit" by fusing together human cells with a rabbit egg.

It is hoped the "chimeric" embryos, which would be 99.9 per cent human and 0.1 per cent rabbit, could lead to breakthroughs in stem cell research which could one day cure diseases such as Alzheimer's or spinal cord injury.

From the article, it looks like they're mostly interested in researching techniques to harvest stem cells, with no real goal to do anything with them if they're successful. The idea would seem to be akin to learning anatomy by studying cheap things like frogs and pigs, and then practicing what you've learned on far more expensive things like chimps or people.

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

Making the rounds: the 2006 IgNobel prizes have been rewarded. This time they feature things like discovery mosquitoes like smelly feet, and the development of teen-only sounds.

Posted by scott at 09:09 AM | Comments (0)
October 05, 2006
You Would Hide Too if...


...the only way your human can find you whilst walkabout-ing in the living room is to put a Barbie Bandaid on your shell.

Turtles do not accessorize. Oh hell no.

Compare to this first picture for a measure of how big he's gotten. That lens cap is about the same diameter as a tennis ball.

Posted by Ellen at 08:35 PM | Comments (3)

Fark called this "The coolest lightning strike photo ever." It's definitely one of the coolest ones I've seen, dunno about ever. Must've been like having a bomb go off next to you. You'd think getting a sound-powered trigger would work better for stuff like this, but then again lightning's probably too fast for that to work well. Hell, I'm not even sure they make sound-powered shutter triggers for modern digital SLRs. Last time I saw one was in an old Boy's Life issue probably 25 years ago.

Posted by scott at 03:47 PM | Comments (0)
Like Watching a Giant Football Go By

You'd think after the first guy went off, they'd put a flag up or something. Then again, considering how looney European rally races are, and that the next car was probably going even faster than the first, I wouldn't want to be the guy who had to wave it.

No idea if these guys were OK or not, but I've seen people walk away from worse. Can't think of a better example of why real race cars use real roll cages, and why people who try to race real street cars on real streets are homicidal maniacs.

Posted by scott at 02:42 PM | Comments (0)
Digital Diving

Ron gets a no-prize he can control by remote for bringing us Bob Ballard's latest plans for another expidition to the Black Sea. This time, broadband connections using Internet2 sites should allow explorers to control the deep-diving robotic subs from thousands of miles away, in real-time.

Posted by scott at 01:43 PM | Comments (0)
Flying the Whale

Aviation Week's latest cover story is a detailed account of what it's like to fly the new Airbus A380. Unsurprisingly, the new type combines the well-tested best of Airbus's previous models, while incorporating new ideas and technologies to improve things where possible. I can't wait to see this thing modeled in something like MS's Flight Simulator (actually, I imagine it already is, somewhere). Fortunately for us all, that's most likely the closest I'll ever get to the cockpit of one.

Posted by scott at 12:20 PM | Comments (1)
Another Gray Lady Down

After 60 years, it appears the WWII-era submarine Grunion has been found. The result of a private effort of one of the captain's descendents, the discovery may help resolve the mystery of what happend to a submarine that got caught up in the Japanese invasion of the Aleutian islands.

Posted by scott at 09:51 AM | Comments (0)
Spooky Teleportation News

Slashdot linked up news of a breakthrough in the field of quantum teleportation. This time scientists were able to use the effect with both light and matter, and a lot more matter than previous experiments. I think. I got about half way through the article, and my head 'asploded.

Posted by scott at 08:37 AM | Comments (0)
October 04, 2006
Must... Control... Drool...

The Alfa 8C Competizione has been revealed to the public at the Paris Auto Show. And it was good.

No, Ellen, I can't have one.

Posted by scott at 04:13 PM | Comments (2)
Paging Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, White Courtesy Phone Please

Of all the things to become affected by outsourcing, I would've thought tutoring would be far down on the list. As usual, I'm wrong:

Private tutors are a luxury many American families cannot afford, costing anywhere between $25 to $100 an hour. But California mother Denise Robison found one online for $2.50 an hour -- in India.

"It's made the biggest difference. My daughter is literally at the top of every single one of her classes and she has never done that before," said Robison, a single mother from Modesto.

Her 13-year-old daughter, Taylor, is one of 1,100 Americans enrolled in Bangalore-based TutorVista, which launched U.S. services last November with a staff of 150 "e-tutors" mostly in India with a fee of $100 a month for unlimited hours.

I'm not surprised the accents that adults find so difficult are not a major barrier to their children. Olivia has learned a lot of Farsi from her daycare providers, and is quite able to understand their English.

There's definitely a certain symmetry involved when the people who are "stealing our jobs" are getting paid to teach our children to create their own future. Could this represent a final, fatal breach in the dam held up for so long by the US teachers' unions?

Posted by scott at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)
Mid-Air Follow-up

CNN is reporting the pilots of the private plane involved in the 737 midair collision that was the subject of yesterday's story have been arrested. I'm not particularly surprised at this, but expect to see more. There are a very large number of safeguards, both automated and procedural, designed explicitly to avoid the situation of two airplanes trying to occupy the same piece of sky. A screwup of this magnitude nearly always involves a chain of failures, all of which must line up just right for disaster to happen. The private plane's pilots are in the firing line right now. I just hope it's not a giant political coverup for some sort of systemic or high-level flight control screwup.

Posted by scott at 01:55 PM | Comments (0)
Bitty Bike

While I certainly wouldn't want to try a century (100 miles) on it, this micro-folding bicycle might just be perfect to get you from the Metro to your destination without requiring the bus. Of course, since it's not outrageously expensive and made out of stuff the Department of Defense doesn't even know exists, it's quite passe to me.


Posted by scott at 12:27 PM | Comments (3)
Can't be Any Worse than the Beltway at Rush Hour

New Scientist is carrying this report summarizing the next stage in the DARPA "Grand Challenge" series. This time, the robot vehicles will be racing around a simulated urban environment, complete with sidewalks, scenery, and other moving vehicles. The first run is scheduled for November of next year. Considering the amusing mayhem that resulted on the first running of the last grand challenge, on open roads in the desert southwest, the opportunities for mechanized chaos this time around should provide plenty of footage for the highlight reel.

Posted by scott at 11:35 AM | Comments (0)
Paging Smoot and Hawley, White Courtesy Phone Please

Econlog is carrying some links on the unintended consequences of strict immigration enforcement. Food's going to get more expensive for sure, but I wouldn't worry too much about the farmers. We all under-write their way of life to the tune of billions of dollars per year in subsidies. This just means we'll have to pay more.

Posted by scott at 09:51 AM | Comments (0)
A Rapper, for... Umm... Somebody

Catholics in the peanut gallery will probably wish they never heard of the rapping priest, but I'm happy to let them know anyway. I'm helpful that way.

Posted by scott at 08:27 AM | Comments (0)
October 03, 2006
Nothing to See Here, Move Along, Move Along

Bill Clinton. Former governor, former president, future federal prison inmate?

Sorry. I got all nostalgic for the era when it was the right that got all foamy and irrational about the president. Good times, good times.

Posted by scott at 02:08 PM | Comments (0)
Reality Check

Jason over at Countercolumn has had it with all the hand-wringing over everyone's favorite Florida congressman:

Let's take a trip in the Wayback Machine to recall how Democrat congressional leaders handle reports of scandal when they're in charge:

The year is 1991. Democrats control the House and the Senate. Capitol Hill police are investigating a single Capital Hill employee for embezzlement. The investigation begins to spread. Turns out that Dan Rostenkowski, a Democratic congressman from Illinois and a product of the old Chicago Democratic Machine, may be implicated in the scam. So what does the Democratic House Speaker Tom Foley do?

Well, he bucks up like a man.

And shuts down the whole investigation.

Someone elsewhere pointed out, with some glee, how many Republicans were responsible for scandals lately. Listen up folks, that's only because there's just more Republicans there right now. They're all a bunch of theiving scumbags. Every one, even the nice ones, and the higher they go the more likely they are to start bubbling slime. Your choice is which bunch of thieving scumbags is least likely to do lasting damage to the country.

You have your opinion, I have mine. But if the phrase, "Speaker of the House Nacy Pelosi" doesn't send a shiver down your spine, you're just not paying attention.

And if you think the timing of all this is a coincidence I've got a bridge across a river in New York to sell you. The Democratic activists behind it all can only hope the pajamahadin on the right keep frothing instead of researching, because once it comes out how much they knew about all this, and when, there'll be hell to pay.

See you in November.

Posted by scott at 01:08 PM | Comments (0)
To Boldly Go Where No Finn has Gone Before

While the translation can sometimes be a bit weird (activate sparklers?), this Finnish fan-film appears to be a reasonably well-crafted "what if" that combines the Star Trek and Babylon 5 universes. The effects look downright spectacular, considering only a few could've been lifted from their respective series and movies. I'm sure those on the left side of the peanut gallery will also get a kick out of who's on the intro's list of "dominating conquerers."

Posted by scott at 12:08 PM | Comments (0)
On Bullets, and Dodging Them

Pat gets one scary no-prize for bringing us this harrowing account of a journalist who survived a mid-air collision between a business jet and a 737. And he was in the business jet. The article includes a picture of the damage to the plane the author was riding. Unfortunately the 737 crashed with all aboard killed.


Posted by scott at 09:38 AM | Comments (0)
Death Log

Fark linked up this detailed look at the last days of several men on death row. Apparently the state of Ohio has kept meticulous records of the last full day of a death row inmate for several years now, and the AP have finally obtained access to them. As the article notes, the contents are both chilling and compelling, even when they record the mundane.

Posted by scott at 08:33 AM | Comments (0)
October 02, 2006
When Cleavage Attacks, pt I


Now, the question you have to ask yourself is, "does she see what she's reaching for, or is she just feeling around?"

Posted by Ellen at 07:40 PM | Comments (2)
Hey We Know These Elephants!

Olivia rode these girls a few weeks back when we first went. The line was too long this time. AND the Princess waits for NO ONE.
Posted by Ellen at 07:16 PM | Comments (0)
Wrong Century Cowboy...


No camel, no ride.

Posted by Ellen at 07:11 PM | Comments (0)
Goli Mar!

Hey, at least this guy looks normal. Most likely quite safe around your children too. What I really liked was the fake echo... "MAR! Mar! mar!"

Hey, if you can't laugh at a Bollywood re-interpretation of Michael Jackson's Thriller video, there's something wrong with you.

Posted by scott at 04:08 PM | Comments (0)
When Buzzwords Attack... Your Car

Latest craze in automotive widgetry? Telematics. According to the article, it's all about getting your car to connect to other cars, various emergency and information services, and even a dealership or repair service so that (presumably) all the information it knows about itself can be transmitted to relevant parties, and all the information the outside world knows that may be of interest to you can end up in your car.

While a simple and nifty enough concept, the execution has some mind-boggling complexities to deal with, not the least of which is just how it all takes place. The service is also very expensive right now, acting as a brake on widespread adoption.

Which doesn't mean it's all just going to go away. Far from it. Which is why I'm hanging on to my ancient Alfa. Can't wait to see the look on some punk road hacker's face when he points his jac-u-matic 2000 at it and I just smile.

Well, as soon as I fix the oil leak, anyway.

Posted by scott at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)
A Holy MasterCard Moment

A bible: $20
A really nice decent suit: $200
The ability to tithe at 24% monthly compound interest: Priceless:

Baker came up with the kiosk idea a couple of years ago. He had just kicked off a $3-million building drive, but noticed that few people seemed to keep cash in their wallet anymore for the collection bag.

So he began studying the electronic payment business. He designed his machine with the help of a computer programmer who attends Stevens Creek, and found ATM companies willing to assemble it for him. In early 2005, he introduced the first machine at his church.

The quote the preacher gives is just as priceless.

Posted by scott at 12:56 PM | Comments (2)
I Especially Like the Fact that He's Fuzzy

God bless YouTube, without which we would never know the answer to the question, "What would it be like if Cthulu hosted a cable-access talk show?" Prank this, Stern gang!

The best part is this whole thing will most likely be completely incomprehensible to my mom.

Posted by scott at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)
Dino Lunch

The Washington Post today carried this article detailing the re-evaluation of fossils once thought to provide evidence of dinosaur cannibalism. The very well-preserved fossils, part of a large find made in 1947, included evidence of the creatures's last meal, which was thought to be smaller members of its own species, Coelophysis (pronounced SEE-lo-FYE-sis). However, a new, closer examination has revealed this not to be the case. How this whole re-examination got started is nearly as interesting as its findings... Sterling Nesbitt, the PhD student at Columbia University who led the research, was idly examining a decorative bronze cast of the fossil hung on a station wall while waiting on a subway when he noticed something subtly wrong with the specimen.

Who says subway art is useless?

Posted by scott at 09:31 AM | Comments (0)
Transcript Time!

You knew it was only a matter of time before Rep. Foley's chat transcripts showed up. I only got about 1/3rd of the way through before it exceeded my skeeve factor. YMMV, but even the article warns about NSFW language.

You'd think by now they'd figure out it's a bad idea to fondle the help. If the president can't get away with it, how can they?

Posted by scott at 08:18 AM | Comments (0)
October 01, 2006
Carrie and I in Our Costumes meandcarrie.jpg

None of us had to carry wallets... we stuffed them all down Carrie's cleavage.

Posted by Ellen at 09:48 PM | Comments (0)
Olivia's Personal Camel


That's Our Princess on top, Joshua as The Camel, with special guest star... rmm... Damion's friend, over there on the left. Yeah... him... he's really cool, we promise!

Posted by Ellen at 09:47 PM | Comments (0)
When He is Not Fighting Dragons...


...He is changing nappies in the privies!

A random victom of Scott's guerilla photography.

Posted by Ellen at 09:42 PM | Comments (1)
Look at This Beer Face!


And it's only 11:30!

See? Bud Abbot should do so well. Hello? Abbot? As in '& Costello'? Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?

Posted by Ellen at 09:40 PM | Comments (1)


Welcome to your ticket to 16th century England!

Sponsored by Pepsi

Posted by Ellen at 09:36 PM | Comments (0)
You're Not From This Part of England, Are You?


Good friend Mark over there on the right. You'll see him a few more times as we post things up. Think of him as the world's best straight man, sort of thing .

Posted by Ellen at 09:26 PM | Comments (0)
Maryland Renaissance Festival Pix


We hit the Ren-Faire today! In full garb no less!

Posted by Ellen at 09:15 PM | Comments (5)