September 30, 2007

Posted by Ellen at 08:56 PM | Comments (0)
Oh Yes...


...I was chatting to Mother Goose.

Posted by Ellen at 08:38 PM | Comments (0)
Shoulder Puppets


Olivia and I with our Woodbabies!

Olivia liked my puppet so much last year, I bought her one this year.

Posted by Ellen at 08:15 PM | Comments (4)
Meeting the Queen


Posted by Ellen at 07:47 PM | Comments (0)
Confession Won't Help You Now...

Posted by Ellen at 07:39 PM | Comments (0)
No Beer For You!



Posted by Ellen at 07:35 PM | Comments (0)
Today's Sermon Is On...



Posted by Ellen at 07:22 PM | Comments (1)
Maryland Renaissance Festival 2007

Olivia and I traveled a long way on the silk road, only to pick up some Greman Friar, with sunglasses he found hiking one day. According to the man of the cloth, 'free is always a good thing'.


This is our second year going to the festival. This is also the second year Scott would not dress up and be a dork with the rest of us, so he is behind the camera!

Posted by Ellen at 07:18 PM | Comments (0)
Olivia And The Strep Throat


O had strep last week. She did not feel well.

Posted by Ellen at 07:07 PM | Comments (0)
September 29, 2007
Mammoth Find

It would appear woolly mammoth hair contains the purest fossil DNA of all. While definitely just a first step, it would seem these geneticists have finally found the path that legitimately could lead to the resurrection of at least one dead species.

Welcome to the 21st century. Please buckle your seats and keep hands and feet inside the ride at all times.

Posted by scott at 06:33 PM | Comments (1)
And The List Keeps Growing!

A historical look at cats.

Cats that are famous. Cats that belong to famous people. And of course, WILD CATS!

Posted by Ellen at 06:26 PM | Comments (0)
September 28, 2007
(Yet Another) Zombie Bug

First flesh eating bacteria, now brain eating amoebas. I used to regularly water ski down the Arkansas river when I was a kid. It's a wonder I survived. Now I think I'll just stick to swimming pools, thankyouverymuch.

Posted by scott at 03:39 PM | Comments (1)
Now That's an All-in-One

Not only does it copy and print, it'll also translate on the fly. Put in a Japanese document for copying, punch a special button, and the copies come out in English. Hopefully it's better than the various Internet translation systems. If it is, I don't want to know how much it costs.

Posted by scott at 02:03 PM | Comments (1)
Carrot What?!?

Just when you thought Carrot Top couldn't get any weirder looking...

I've never seen his act, but he was all over the damned place in Vegas a few years ago, so it seems he still gets work. Which I guess is obvious, because it probably costs a lot of money to look that strange.

Posted by scott at 01:05 PM | Comments (3)
20th Century Caturday


Indeed we do! This time, with much all-original goodness!





















Posted by scott at 08:48 AM | Comments (4)
September 27, 2007
Visible Frogs

Japanese scientists have announced the creation of a frog with transparent skin. It's hoped the creatures will be useful for basic disease research as well as dissection-less anatomy studies.

But are they crunchy?!?

Posted by scott at 02:34 PM | Comments (0)
Money Mambo

While I'm still a little fuzzy on the actual specifics of this explanation of just what, exactly, the fed's been doing to avert various monetary crises, the conclusion seems to me sound enough. Those who get their economics reports from CNN or other TV news outlets may disagree. Because we all know what experts they are, eh?

Via TSO.

Posted by scott at 01:36 PM | Comments (0)
Fun with Calculators

Well, according to this, I'm on schedule for a demise in my early 80s. Which is kinda nice, because with my family history I'd figured when I turned 50 I'd just explode.

Mark gets a no-prize in the shape of an hourglass for bringing us yet another way to predict when we're gonna die. :)

Posted by scott at 12:13 PM | Comments (3)
Modern Mash Story

Amazingly enough, it appears even when you get hit by an RPG, you can still survive. And by hit I mean, "flight path intersects with soldier's body."

As long as it doesn't go off, at any rate. I'm not sure if the story represents luck, or skill. Most likely great big cups full of both.

Posted by scott at 10:53 AM | Comments (1)
When Spare Time Attacks

Let's hope this doesn't catch on in the US:

[Middlesex Ontario Provincial Police Const. Doug] Graham said police were aware that kids were taking body sprays, in particular Axe and Tag, spraying them on objects and lighting them on fire, but since Tuesday’s incident at a London-area school they have learned that lighting people ablaze — usually for a split second — is a popular pastime among some teens.

I did my fare share of "Lysol flame-throwing" back in the day, but I never pointed it at anyone. I guess I just missed out.

Posted by scott at 09:17 AM | Comments (2)
September 26, 2007
~ Come Fly with Me ~

Ron gets a no-prize that makes a very sweet sound for bringing us news of an airshow scheduled to feature 100, yes, 100, P-51 Mustangs. I didn't know there actually were 100 flyable P-51s in the world. If they manage to put them all in the air at once it'll be... spectacular.

Too bad it doesn't look like it'll be an annual event. That's definitely something I'd think about penciling into the calendar next year.

Posted by scott at 04:05 PM | Comments (4)
It's Official

On this day, at 1:00 pm, Olivia proved she knows how to answer Ellen's cell phone. It took her two tries, but while Mommy was in the shower Olivia fielded daddy's call and yelled at mom until she came down and picked it up. This is something of a double-edged sword for me. Ellen considers her phone slightly, and only slightly, less important than oxygen. If she takes after her mother in this regard, it does not bode well.

I kid! I kid! Geeze. Nobody has a sense of humor nowadays...

Posted by scott at 01:13 PM | Comments (1)

Mark gets a no-prize you just don't want to mess with for bringing us this promotional video from what appears to be a private venture in heavy-weapon convoy protection. Supposedly they are, "exactly what are mounted inside the Black SUV's you see in Presidential Motorcades and VIP caravans."

A minigun and a Suburban. What's not to love?

Posted by scott at 12:53 PM | Comments (2)
FS: 1297 MC, VGC, 20M OBO

One of four original versions of the 1297 charter of the Magna Carta is due to go on sale at Sotheby's. This one belonged to the Perot foundation, and was until recently on display at the National Archives. The auction house is expecting ~ 20 million for the item.

Posted by scott at 10:18 AM | Comments (0)
Rock Find

A group of scientists are claiming to have discovered the quarry site which supplied the materials for King Herod's second temple. There's no absolutely direct evidence, but it seems to be a monster site dating from around 20 BC. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, etc.

Posted by scott at 08:17 AM | Comments (1)
September 25, 2007
'Round and 'Round it Goes

Scientists have announced the discovery of a new "periodic" comet, similar to the world-famous Halley's comet. Even more interesting, this one appears to be some sort of "extinct" comet nuclei, orbiting the sun very closely, about once every two years.

Posted by scott at 04:50 PM | Comments (0)
Chicks: 1, Loons: 0

You! In the name of Allah! Dress decently! Only the daughter of a whore would dres--AAGGGG!!!!

I've read enough about the religious police in Saudi Arabia to come to the conclusion they're the least popular feature of that society. And that, my friends, is really saying something!

Posted by scott at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)
Infinite Branches

It would appear the idea of bazillions of parallel universes as an explanation for quantum weirdness is gaining some traction. The article is light to the point of nonexistence on details, so I have no idea how to judge this proposal. I do know that mathematics != physics, so perhaps the discovery is pointing the way toward testable hypotheses?

Posted by scott at 03:15 PM | Comments (0)
First Look

Ron gets an armored no-prize for being the first to bring us a review of Halo 3. From this review, it seems to be Good, and Verily (zombie multiplayer mode!) However, I'm not at all sure it's enough to make me go out and buy a console. But stranger things have happened!

Posted by scott at 01:03 PM | Comments (4)
The Devil Returns

Bibliophiles (like me) should find the return of the Medieval "Devil's Bible" to its home in Prague of interest. Taken by the Swedes as spoils at the end of the 30 years war in 1648, the huge (165 pounds!) tome actually represents a sum of all knowledge available to a particular Benedictine house in that city. It's not a permanent arrangement, however. According to the article, it's due to return to its captivity on January 6.

Posted by scott at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)
Truck Jumpin'

While this video of a motorcycle-truck collision is sorta fun to watch, I have to think there's more going on here than at first meets the eye. To me at least, it seems likely they practiced this several times to get it just right, and he may not have been in anywhere near as much danger as it would at first appear.

But whaddahell do I know?

Posted by scott at 11:39 AM | Comments (1)
September 24, 2007

Just as well Hajji was a little tight on the trigger with this one. Reminds me of old WWI footage I've seen over the years.

Via Siflay.

Posted by scott at 04:05 PM | Comments (0)
Walk Like a Drunken Spider

Scientists have developed a new "tripedal" robot. By swinging its body and a single of its three legs between the other two, the robot is able to move quickly and efficiently into difficult places. While not exactly suitable as a cargo carrier, its designers claim it to be ideal as a way of placing remote sensors in dangerous places.

Posted by scott at 03:44 PM | Comments (0)

The first fifteen seconds are all you need. Ron?!? Is that you?!?

Posted by scott at 02:59 PM | Comments (2)
As Long As Everyone Sees it Coming

There's crowded market places, and then there's crowded market places. You'd think by now they'd build up instead of out onto the tracks, but what do I know?

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


21 already!

Posted by Ellen at 07:58 AM | Comments (2)
September 23, 2007
Oh No's....

Marceau died Saturday in Paris, French media reported. Former assistant Emmanuel Vacca announced the death on France-Info radio, but gave no details about the cause.

Read article here....

Ok, I wil be totally honest. I could give a shit about Mimes. They are annoying, but still it's sad.

Posted by Ellen at 08:36 PM | Comments (0)
Papal Euthanasia...WHAT?

Intensive care specialist Dr. Lina Pavanelli has concluded that the ailing Pope's April 2 death was caused by what the Catholic Church itself would consider euthanasia. She bases this conclusion on her medical expertise and her own observations of the ailing pontiff on television, as well as press reports and a subsequent book by John Paul's personal physician. The failure to insert a feeding tube into the patient until just a few days before he died accelerated John Paul's death, Pavanelli concludes. Moreover, Pavanelli says she believes that the Pope's doctors dutifully explained the situation to him, and thus she surmises that it was the pontiff himself who likely refused the feeding tube after he'd been twice rushed to the hospital in February and March. Catholics are enjoined to pursue all means to prolong life.

Read entire article here

Posted by Ellen at 08:29 PM | Comments (3)

Posted by Ellen at 08:21 PM | Comments (1)
Moooooon Bounce

They had a MEGA moon bounce at the fair too.




Posted by Ellen at 08:18 PM | Comments (0)
Fat, Poor, and Weird is no Way to Go Through Life, Son

For the very definition of "slow news day," we have this in-depth piece about an unemployed pajama nerd who wants Long Island to become its own country.

Notwithstanding the unreasonable lunacy characteristic of all proposals by the congenitally obstinate, it's my understanding it will require one or more constitutional amendments before secession is even possible in the United States. And we all know how easy those are to get.

Posted by scott at 08:01 AM | Comments (0)
September 22, 2007
Volunteer Work-Face Painting Booth @ St. Veronica's

This Friday, my church was desperate for face painters for their painting booth at their yearly fair, so I signed up since I can paint.

I was not expecting to have all the kids line up to me vs. the other painters. Apparently my dragons are the bomb diggity for the boys, and my butterflies for the girls were just awesome.


Notice all of my younger assistants. After I started to paint, I got ditched.




Apparently at the end of the night, (I was given a 2 hour paint shift from 7-9PM) I was asked by a parent if I had the car with the "bones" on it.

Then I was told they were expecting some guy in it and did not realize it was me sitting in church for the past several weeks. Apparently "Bones" has made an impression already with the kids. I have the 'cool' car.

Posted by Ellen at 09:06 PM | Comments (1)
Cooler Islands

Come, gentle reader, and discover the world's most amazing islands. Two of them are completely artificial, built around Dubai. It would seem that, as long as you put them on a smallish island, Arabs do pretty well after all.

Posted by scott at 11:30 AM | Comments (0)
Cool Caverns

The Mars Odyssey space probe has discovered evidence of caves on Mars. They're way up high, on the upper slopes of Arsia Mons, which is a sister volcano to the largest volcano in the solar system, Olympus Mons. While it's quite unlikely these particular caverns could host life, their existence implies there may be caves at much lower altitudes which could provide shelter for current or former life.

Posted by scott at 11:23 AM | Comments (0)
September 21, 2007
The Truth About the Six

So, after all the sturm and drang about the "Jena 6," I eagerly read through the Post's sum-up, trying to figure out exactly WTF it was all about. You see, I'm no cable news junkie. I don't have time to watch six hours of CNN to try to piece together what's going on.

After skimming I don't know how many column-inches, I still wasn't clear just what, exactly, happened. As usual, this meant what really happened didn't fit the story of what the media thought should've happened.

I grew up in a small southern town, with a concomitant rabid sports circus such places seem to grow like noxious mushrooms under a rotted tree. The athletes (freaking teenagers!) in general were utterly untouchable. The black athletes were untouchable and extremely scary-dangerous. Mysterious, unexplained black eyes and broken bones were the expected, even logical result of anyone who called any of them what they were: brutal sub-humans who's only real talent was tearing up your stuff and beating you to within an inch of your life.

Worse still were the adults, parents and "alumni," who allowed it, no... encouraged it, all to happen. College kept them busy enough and far away enough the rest of us were generally left alone. Well, as long as we weren't female, or a cop. I sometimes wonder if today I stay away from playing in team sports because of the brutal, "if we can't beat them we'll beat you" athletic culture I was steeped in as a child.

Sad to say it would seem some twenty years after I graduated high school, absolutely nothing has changed.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 04:45 PM | Comments (4)
Hobbit Update

New evidence seems to support the idea that the "Flores Hobbits" actually are a different species of humanity. This time, they're looking at wrist bones, which simply aren't affected by the various maladies which other scientists claim account for the deformities witnessed in the fossil skulls found so far.

Posted by scott at 03:34 PM | Comments (0)
Caturday, 1999


True, but AMCGLTD Caturday is always worth the effort! Enjoy!

Updated with new bonus LOLcats to make up for the date screwup yesterday, like:

































Posted by scott at 07:59 AM | Comments (1)
September 20, 2007
Happy Birthday!


Posted by Ellen at 06:42 PM | Comments (2)
Coffin ID

Remember, a few years ago, when they found that iron coffin in downtown DC? It would seem they've identified the occupant. I guess we can all only hope to be interesting enough that, after a century or so, someone will be interested enough to figure out who the hell we are.

Or, rather, were.

Posted by scott at 03:06 PM | Comments (3)

Having been informed that it is not, in fact, Friday, I have postponed everyone's favorite weekly feature to its actual day. A vacation spent shuttling one's mother from doctor appointment to doctor appointment tends to monkey with one's sense of time.

Posted by scott at 08:36 AM | Comments (2)
September 19, 2007
Belly Dance Art

elle2 Medium Web viewartpix.jpg

The finished piece. You like?

ellespace Medium Web view.jpg
Posted by Ellen at 07:59 PM | Comments (2)
How Low can You Go?

Personally, I'd rather be a spectator when a KC-135 does a flyby at 5 feet than a passenger. At least, that's about how low the #3 engine looks to be from the ground at one point. Pilot better hope the original video tape doesn't show any tail numbers. If it does, he should expect to spend a few days at his local Barb Wire Hilton.

Posted by scott at 02:17 PM | Comments (5)
What the F---?!?

Well, I guess it's nice to know there are people loony enough to shoot their own hand. And, of course, videotape it. Teh intarnets r wunnerful tings.

Note: SFW, but damned graphic. Keep that dude wherever he happens to be, which I hope is far far away from me.

Posted by scott at 02:09 PM | Comments (6)
What a Woman

Go for the story of some drunk Hispanic guy getting trapped in a chimney. Stay for the aftermath video. Whoever taught that reporter to keep a stone face when something like this happens definitely knew their stuff.

Posted by scott at 01:49 PM | Comments (0)
Well Ain't that Somethin'?

I knew, if I searched long enough, I'd find a castle in England continuously owned, and occupied, by the family who built it. There apparently being exactly one of them, it's no wonder the search took a bit of time. Still, they give tours of the place, and for ~ $200 the guy who owns it will take you 'round. I mean, what's not to love about a house that has to warn people "do not climb on the cannon"?

On reading their website, the whole bunch seem to be quite nice people. Might have to mark that as a stop if we ever manage to drag ourselves out there.

Posted by scott at 10:07 AM | Comments (1)
Banninating the Spammers!

A reasonably well-configured comment spammer has been fluttering against our filters for about a month now. None of it gets through, of course, but his activity was filling our logs and distorting our stats. I culled out all the machines he's used in the past 24 hours (about 55) and "banninated" them. However, as is typical when I do these sorts of things, it's possible I've also banninated you. If you find you can't comment, just e-mail me, I'll try to figure it out.

And if anyone running a blog out there which still uses regexps to stop spam needs a really killer list of REs, let me know. About 2 dozen REs on our list stop 99% of our comment spam here.

Posted by scott at 09:38 AM | Comments (0)
Taking that Whole "Pisswater" Thing Way Too Far

Ron simply won't be able to resist this one. Yet another reason to drink lagers!

Via Violins and Starships.

Posted by scott at 08:27 AM | Comments (3)
787 DreamTorch?

Just in time for critical flight testing, a former Boeing engineer is claiming the company's newest product, the 787, is unsafe to fly. Unfortunately I've been cut off from my main source of inside info, Aviation Week and Space Technology, due to a subscription lapse, so I don't have the absolute latest on the program. However, such issues, especially regarding the fire safety of the fuselage, could have been (and therefore almost certainly were) investigated and addressed very early in the design phase.

The claims of toxic smoke seem to me particularly weak, as in an airplane fire it's my understanding the contents of the fuselage will be the primary contributor to smoke, and those are essentially the same no matter what the plane is made of.

Boeing is definitely taking any number of risks in the creation of their latest passenger aircraft. However, these involve things like production schedules, profit margins, and delivery dates, not basic safety. If it gets certified, I'd have no problem riding in one.

Posted by scott at 08:15 AM | Comments (0)
And That's Why They Have Roll Cages

There's a reason sane (well, old anyway) racers never use unmodified road cars. Or trucks, as in this case. I knew the guy was going to be fine well before he hit the ground. As long as nothing breaks or catches fire, a well-designed 5-point harness and roll cage are usually all you'll ever need.

Mark gets a tumbledown no-prize for bringing us this abject lesson in motorsports safety.

Posted by scott at 08:02 AM | Comments (0)
When Darwin Misses

I knew a young idiot who swallowed a snake.

He lived, what a fake.

Posted by scott at 07:39 AM | Comments (0)
September 18, 2007
If You Like Pina Coladas...

and getting caught.

Oh yes... it is a very true story.

Posted by Ellen at 08:56 PM | Comments (0)
Dangerous Bumps

Michael Totten: "Bumps in the road are now officially seen as more hazardous than insurgents and terrorists in Ramadi." It's beginning to seem to me now that what we'll be looking at for at least 18 months is a stable Iraqi Kurdistan, a stabilizing Arab Central Iraq, and a chaotic, Iranian-driven sectarian conflict in the Shi'ite south. Progress, of a sort, and definitely worth pursuing.

If you'd told me two years ago it'd be the Arab section that precipitated out of chaos first I would never have believed it. Now that it has (or at least seems to have) happened, well hell, I guess anything's possible.

Go for the pictures of the kids we're helping to save. Stay for the article.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 08:51 AM | Comments (2)
And You Thought the School Bus was Bad

Dedication to education is sending your kids across a wire over a raging river to get to school (with picture). Olivia can be a helluva thrill seeker when the mood strikes her, but I'm not at all sure she'd be up for this. I know I wouldn't.

Posted by scott at 07:52 AM | Comments (2)
September 17, 2007
Oh Dear God...

Dragon Con 2007

Posted by Ellen at 04:34 PM | Comments (2)
Library Love

This collection of pictures taken in large and/or significant libraries should brighten the morning of any bibliophile in the audience. I've been to both the Peabody in Baltimore and the Library of Congress in DC, and they're just as impressive in person as they are in the pictures.

I just wish we'd kept more of the older ones.

Posted by scott at 08:49 AM | Comments (1)
The Wheel will Spin No More

Robert Jordan, author of the popular Wheel of Time series (among other things) has died of cardiac arrest at the age of 58. I saw Jordan at a convention about ten years ago, and he didn't look at that great then. Gone too soon, but at least he leaves behind a legacy and a legion of fans.

Posted by scott at 08:35 AM | Comments (2)
September 16, 2007
And Now For Your Weekend Olivia Commercial Break

Today we find Olivia dancing to the music of "Aladdin."




Posted by Ellen at 08:08 PM | Comments (1)
Righteous!!! Righteous!!!

Mark gets a rare second no-prize in one day for bringing us this peaen to the world's fastest production car, the Bugatti Veyron. It's my understanding that VW recommends using a different tire for such high-speed runs. However, one of the unexpected challenges of building the car was finding a tire manufacturer willing to develop a road car product that was capable of safely reaching such high speeds, so it most likely really is a recommendation instead of a requirement.

I do rather wished they'd laid off the dramatic music a bit to let us hear what the thing sounds like at full song. That's going to be one rare piece of music indeed.

Posted by scott at 07:41 AM | Comments (0)
If It's Good Enough for Teh Intarwebs...

... it's good enough for David Letterman.

Mark gets a cool and complicated no-prize for bringing us proof that even a geeky engineer has a shot on Late Night if he's funny enough.

Posted by scott at 07:16 AM | Comments (0)
September 15, 2007
Get Off My Lawn!


Aldabra style!

Posted by Ellen at 08:32 PM | Comments (0)
Pot Belly Pig

Posted by Ellen at 08:25 PM | Comments (0)
Scottish Festival Pix


Apparently Ron is commando under his skirt.

Posted by Ellen at 08:02 PM | Comments (2)
Q-Tip Tail

Posted by Ellen at 07:57 PM | Comments (0)
September 14, 2007

Actual headline: Salmon spawn trout. While genetically re-engineering common salmon to spawn rare trout sounds like a good use of resources, it also sounds a bit creepy. But hey, if it keeps Japan in tuna, I guess it's all good.

Posted by scott at 03:06 PM | Comments (0)
Moon 2.0

Making the rounds: Google is now offering a 30 million dollar "x-prize" for the first group of privately-funded individuals to place a robotic rover on the moon. Now that I think about it, this may not be as utterly impossible as it may at first seem. I'm pretty sure there are commercial launch vehicles capable of putting a sizable unmanned payload into lunar orbit, and of course there is a lot of existing expertise out there in remote exploration rovers. Which is not to say it'll be easy, just that it most likely won't be impossible.

Posted by scott at 01:51 PM | Comments (0)
That's One Hot Computer

While I've known for awhile you can dip an entire computer into cooking oil and still have it run, I had no idea the oil would get so hot you could fry things with it. If it's that hot, I'd want more than a disposable baking pan to hold the oil. I wonder how (or even if) the cooling fans coped with the stuff?

Posted by scott at 12:56 PM | Comments (0)
Train: 1, Minivan: 0

Consider it an abject lesson in, "no matter how safe a car is made, you can still splatter yourself if you try hard enough." The program seems to be some sort of Mythbusters-like series, so no worries about safety here.

Posted by scott at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)
Caturday 18th, Par 5


Maybe where you come from, but around here nobody can say no to AMCGLTD's caturday! This time with a great number of AMCG originals!




























Posted by scott at 08:15 AM | Comments (0)
September 13, 2007
Dalmation Moon

Cassini's recent close flyby of Saturn's moon Iapetus has revealed it to be even weirder than previously thought. Considering it was already one strange bit of football-shaped stuff, that's really saying something.

Posted by scott at 01:57 PM | Comments (1)

Making the rounds: Russia has successfully tested the world's largest fuel-air explosive device. The Russian government is claiming it's four times as powerful as our own MOAB F-A device.

Posted by scott at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)
A Bit of Common Sense

The author of The Skeptical Environmentalist has finally released a follow-up:

Mr. Lomborg starts by doing what he does best: presenting a calm analysis of what today's best science tells us about global warming and its risks. Relying primarily on official statistics, he ticks through the many supposed calamities that will result from a hotter planet--extreme hurricanes, flooding rivers, malaria, heat deaths, starvation, water shortages. It turns out that, when these problems are looked at from all sides and stripped of the spin, they aren't as worrisome as global-warming alarmists would suggest. In some cases, they even have an upside.

I found his first book actually a bit dry, but it still represented the most thorough and even-handed look at what environmentalist's priorities are compared to what they probably should be I'd ever read. The fact that it sent the enviro-establishment, and more than one personal acquaintance, into positively apoplectic fits of disdain and derision only strengthened my view that Mr. Lomberg was on to something. His current book seems to be more of the same, which means it'll most likely be on my list of "to-do" books very soon.

Oh, and before you go raising your nose to sniff down at me again, go read the damned book first. At least then I'll be able to take you a little bit seriously.

No, not you, the other one.

Via Siflay.

Posted by scott at 11:37 AM | Comments (0)
Lick My What?!?

I guess when someone like Mozart says, ahem, "Leck mich im Arsch", that makes it respectable, no?

Yeah, I didn't think so either. Still, was worth a try.

Posted by scott at 10:22 AM | Comments (1)

The best I ever did was a diagonal line. I think this guy's been on various talk shows over the years. At least, I seem to recall seeing stuff like this in the recent past. Heh, probably on this website.

Posted by scott at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)
September 12, 2007
Wax Off

A candid look on the bikini wax.

Totally safe for work!

Posted by Ellen at 08:25 PM | Comments (1)
Parting Shot

On Sep. 11, 2001, as I watched and smelled the smoke rising from the Pentagon, I knew we'd won anyway when, just three hours later, I pulled money out of the ATM and bought McDonald's for lunch not ten miles away. They did a horrible thing, but from the perspective of the entire country it didn't matter. But I never thought it wouldn't matter on a scale like this:

Overall, the American economy is, adjusting for inflation, $1.65 trillion bigger than it was six years ago. To put that gigantic number in some perspective, the U.S. economy has added the equivalent of five Saudi Arabias, eight Irans, 13 Pakistans, or 15 Egypts, depending on your preference. And while 9/11 did cause the stock market to plunge, the Dow is 37 percent higher than it was on Sept. 10, 2001, creating trillions of dollars of new wealth for Americans. What's more, the unemployment rate is 4.6 percent today vs. 5.7 percent back then. Not bad at all.

Personally, I blame the Bush administration. But you already knew that.

Posted by scott at 03:00 PM | Comments (0)
It's What's for Dinner

Siflay's LT. Bob is over in Iraq and recently sent some pictures of various Iraqi cookouts. The good kind. Well, if you like giant, freaky-looking carp grilled on an open fire, at least. Nice & graphic pictures too.

Posted by scott at 02:05 PM | Comments (1)
Oh, Canada!

I'm not completely sure just how accurate this "American's guide to Canada" really is, but it was a run read nonetheless. I do know that poutine is the national snack food, which explains a lot about why Canadians can be so weird sometimes.

Posted by scott at 12:56 PM | Comments (1)
Oh... My... God...

Slashdot linked up one helluva period piece which attempts to "jazz up" DOS 5.0. Be warned, folks: it comes... from the 90s!!! I can only hope the company who produced it got everything they deserved. And I do mean that.

Posted by scott at 11:55 AM | Comments (2)
Stonehenge Reloaded

Mark gets a supermassive no-prize for bringing us one man's quest to discover the techniques used to construct Stonehenge. The only problem I had with his techniques had to do with moving the blocks around. It appears he needs a concrete slab as a bearing surface to turn and move big things easily. However, the start of the tape showed a different "rolling" technique which utilized a sort of "wobble ramp." That wouldn't require a slab at all.

Now, what archaeologists should be doing is closely examining this guy's techniques, and try to determine if they leave any sort of characteristic marks in the ground. They could then go out and look for said marks at the site, and if they find them, well, Bob's your uncle!

And that, friends, is how science works.

Posted by scott at 10:33 AM | Comments (8)
September 11, 2007
Alex, a Parrot Who Had a Way With Words, Dies

But last week Alex, an African Grey parrot, died, apparently of natural causes, said Dr. Irene Pepperberg, a comparative psychologist at Brandeis University and Harvard who studied and worked with the parrot for most of its life and published reports of his progress in scientific journals. The parrot was 31.

Read article here.

Posted by Ellen at 07:13 PM | Comments (1)
Politics, Italian Style

And happy f- you day to you too:

An Italian comedian's campaign using a rude word to tell off politicians has won the support of more than 300,000 Italians who signed petitions to sweep away a generation of lawmakers they say are corrupt and ineffective.
An estimated 40,000 people attended Grillo's rally in Bologna on Saturday and many more went to hundreds of similar "Vaffanculo-day" protests around the country. The word is the Italian equivalent of the "f"-word in English.

Being married to Ellen, I learned what "Vaffanculo" meant long ago. The best part is watching various old Italian movies with subtitles. In a moment of high drama, they'll drop the, well, "V-word" and the subtitles will skip right over it. But I know what she said!

Posted by scott at 03:08 PM | Comments (3)
Umm... Thanks?

Seems like Christmas has come early for some activity Maori groups:

The United States returned the tattooed head of a Maori and bones from 13 others to New Zealand on Monday — the latest repatriation of indigenous remains from overseas museums, a Maori expert said.

Explain that one to the postal inspector!

Posted by scott at 02:03 PM | Comments (0)
I Wonder if They'd Hurt God's Feet...

... if he stepped on them in the night:

The conventional model for galaxy evolution predicts that small galaxies in the early universe evolved into the massive galaxies of today by coalescing. These nine Lego-like "building block" galaxies initially detected by Hubble likely contributed to the construction of the universe as we know it.

Of course, the question is are these lego-like because of some grand pattern of How Things Get Put Together, or do we just think of them that way to make something mind-numbingly awesome at least somewhat comprehensible?

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

By using specific genetic markers, one scientist has managed to reconstruct a rough map of ancient Phoenicia. It's (just) possible the research may be useful to heal the country that now sits on the Phoenician's homeland. Then again, it may do the opposite. When the scorpion is swept away in the flood, far too often it makes its sad reply in Arabic.

Posted by scott at 12:08 PM | Comments (1)
Fly Forever

Slashdot linked up news of a record-breaking 54 hour flight by an unmanned solar-powered aircraft. This shatters previous records for both unmanned and unmanned solar-powered flight.

Posted by scott at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)
I'm gettin' movement all over the place, and it ain't us!

Mike J. gets a no-prize with a clever movie reference for bringing us the last thing I'd ever want to have happen to my front yard.

It's not that I exactly mind having dozens of baby snapping turtles crawling around. It's that I'd end up living with half the dratted things.

No Ellen, you can't have one.

Posted by scott at 09:36 AM | Comments (0)
September 10, 2007
Silly Group Pix


The question is WHY is Sam messing with boobs.

Posted by Ellen at 09:59 PM | Comments (1)
Olivia's Tribal Costume

Posted by Ellen at 09:57 PM | Comments (0)
Moar Brainz!!!

Even though I know various pie-throwers on the left side of the gallery will crow about it, I still thought this "press conference mash-up" was still amusing. In a, "I'm going to ignore any political satire and just laugh at the concept of a White House news conference on Zombies" sort of way. So if there is any, I didn't spot it.

Well duh. We've run a weblog for nearly 6 years now. If that doesn't say, "easily amused," I don't know what does.

Posted by scott at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)
Nerz R Us says I'm a Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!

It'd be interesting to see what Ellen scored, but I'm not sure she'd sit long enough to make it to the end. Which sorta speaks for itself, I suppose.

Via Drumwaster

Posted by scott at 01:32 PM | Comments (5)
Just When You Thought They Had Nothing Better to Do

Over-salted hamburger? Yep, that's an arrest:

A McDonald’s employee spent a night in jail and is facing criminal charges because a police officer’s burger was too salty, so salty that he says it made him sick.

There's definitely something else going on here. Could be an obnoxious employee, could be an obnoxious cop. Hopefully they'll keep at it and find out.

Posted by scott at 12:59 PM | Comments (0)
Problems I Didn't Know We Had

It seemed so obvious to me I never really gave it much thought, but really, how do you measure the rotation of a gas planet? After all, there's nothing fixed on the surface. In the case of Saturn, the problem is actually quite vexing:

Using data collected by NASA's Cassini, Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft, scientists have revised the ringed planet's rotation period to 10 hours, 32 minutes and 35 seconds-about 15 minutes shorter than an estimate made only last year.

Those precious minutes could have big implications for how scientists think about Saturn and other gas giants.

"While that may seem like a small uncertainty for the average person, it makes an enormous difference in terms of how we can understand the interior of Saturn," said study team member Gerald Schubert of the University of California, Los Angeles.

It's not as if we can throw a plum bob down there, ya know?

Posted by scott at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)
Robotech Horizon

Spiderman star Toby Maguire has been announced as the producer for the upcoming Robotech movie. Never much got into Robotech myself, but with the massive success of Transformers, it seems likely this film will get made. Sometimes Hollywood's lemming tendencies can be a good thing. Well, assuming it doesn't suck, of course.

Posted by scott at 09:31 AM | Comments (0)
September 09, 2007


We are missing Roxanne. She lives in South Carolina.

Posted by Ellen at 10:01 AM | Comments (0)
September 08, 2007
Sword Dance


Me and my dance partner in crime, Annie.

Posted by Ellen at 10:13 PM | Comments (0)

Posted by Ellen at 10:10 PM | Comments (0)
Me and O Again

Posted by Ellen at 09:35 PM | Comments (0)
Me and My #1 Fan


Troupe Arabesque was the last performance today at the Reston Multicultural Festival. Needless to say, O had to dress up too!

Posted by Ellen at 09:30 PM | Comments (0)
Watch This!

Rednecks and water... the ultimate combination. That's gonna leave a mark!

Posted by scott at 08:04 AM | Comments (1)
Well, at Least They're Up Front About it

I'm not at all sure "Marry Our Daughter", a site which purports to be "an introduction service assisting those following the Biblical tradition of arranging marriages for their Daughters" is for real or not. It definitely has a whiff of satire about it. Still, if it's not illegal I don't suppose it's much my business. I do, however, reserve the right to think it's creepy.

Posted by scott at 07:48 AM | Comments (2)
Like a Great Glowing Sponge

Russian scientists are claiming to have discovered a mineral which absorbs radiation from liquid nuclear waste. It's from a Russian news site (although the article is in English), so we all know how immediately reliable that's going to be. In other words, cool if it's true, but I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by scott at 07:35 AM | Comments (0)
September 07, 2007
Caturday 1922





Posted by Ellen at 05:09 PM | Comments (1)
Internet Problems

Due to COX cable having internet issues, (Thanks for letting us all know. Hope you deduct 2 days of internet charges from everyone's bills) updates will be slow to none until this problem is fixed.

Posted by Ellen at 08:23 AM | Comments (1)
September 06, 2007

It's been a long, hard slog, but my first web application is now "feature complete." I've still got some i's to dot and some t's to cross, mostly in the interface, and a few more alpha-level tests, and then I'll release it for production-level testing. Interestingly enough, I had to do some debugging and refactoring of the very last CF app I developed today. In spite of its head-crunchingly difficult differences, the way I do things now is patently better than the way I did things then.

Posted by scott at 04:14 PM | Comments (0)
Mean Kitty!

Cheesy white guy rap: check
Bouncy single-synth track: check
Drum machine: check
Obnoxiously cute kitten: check

Posted by scott at 02:31 PM | Comments (0)
Quote of the Week

"Remember, fire is baaad."

When playing with fire, it's always better to have a chemical fire extinguisher handy, instead of a garden hose. And don't believe grampa when he tells you dish washing soap will protect you. It doesn't.

Posted by scott at 01:27 PM | Comments (0)
Robe Relic Repudiation

Scientists have determined at least one robe thought to be worn by St. Francis probably wasn't. However, a surprisingly large number of other things claimed to have been worn by him probably were. At least now pilgrims will know which shrine to visit.

Posted by scott at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)
Because Breaking Up is Hard on You

Scientists have announced the discovery of an asteroid breakup event which eventually lead to the extinction of the dinosaurs. By using sophisticated computer models, a joint U.S.-Czech team from Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and Charles University in Prague found an impact event that broke up the parent object of asteroid (298) Baptistina 160 million years ago created an unstable debris field, members of which eventually slammed into both the Earth and the Moon.

Posted by scott at 10:43 AM | Comments (1)
They're Just Keeping Mum Happy

Ya know, when the skin falls off it's time to move on, ok:

It is a devotion that transcends death and social convention, for their mother, Annie, died ten years ago.

Since then, she has been kept in cold storage in a funeral parlour in northwest London. Her body, which was treated originally in formaldehyde, has wasted since then, according to a relative of the sisters.

It gets weirder! No, it does!

Posted by scott at 08:35 AM | Comments (1)
September 05, 2007
Well, I Guess that's One Way to Do it

Fried goat. It's what your flight's having for dinner:

Officials at Nepal's state-run airline have sacrificed two goats to appease Akash Bhairab, the Hindu sky god, following technical problems with one of its Boeing 757 aircraft, the carrier said Tuesday.

The article makes it sound like the sacrifice fixed the plane, but I imagine there are a bunch of wrench monkeys on the flight line who'd have an issue with that.

Besides, if all it took to fix a bit of technology was sending a goat on another spin of the reincarnation wheel, there'd be a run on the damned things wherever exists an IT department. Bet on it.


Posted by scott at 02:56 PM | Comments (0)
Hair Nation

So how many hair metal bands can you identify? Sadly, I did remember most of them.

I distinctly remember one day in high school wondering just what would be funny-looking about my generation's style. Probably after a '50s day or something (do they even still have those?) At any rate, I don't wonder that anymore.

Posted by scott at 02:03 PM | Comments (0)
Tiger Bites

A new study seems to indicate Tasmanian Tigers died out because they were outcompeted by Dingos. It seems the tiger's skull construction restricted it to smaller prey items, which allowed the Dingo all the room it needed to drive them out of their niche.

Posted by scott at 12:54 PM | Comments (0)

Mike J. gets a no-prize that clucks ominously from the rafters for bringing us news of more cracks forming in Hugo Chavez's "Gansta Socialist Paradise":

The bolivar has tumbled 30 percent this year to 4,850 per dollar on the black market, the only place it trades freely because of government controls on foreign exchange. That compares with the official rate of 2,150 per dollar set in 2005. Chávez may have to devalue the bolivar to reduce the gap and increase oil proceeds, which make up half the government's revenue.

I thought it would take a real drop in the price of oil to hurry Mr. Chavez along to his meeting in the local public square. I didn't get that, if allowed to meddle with a country's economy long enough, progressives would torpedo themselves in spite of the windfalls they were reaping from oil. Silly me. I'd forgotten such is always the result when markets are twisted and trammeled in the name of "equality."

I can only hope, for Venezuela's sake, it happens sooner rather than later.

Posted by scott at 11:59 AM | Comments (4)

MS Live Search + Boomer in dry dock = possible security breach.

Actually, I'm not sure just how useful this image would be to, say, China or India. All you get here is (an admittedly interesting) view of the gross features of the prop. It seems to have several different colors of metal, which means it's made of who knows what sort of exotic combo of materials. It's also possible there are a whole lot of surface details that help silence it, and in cases like this the devil is most definitely in the details.

IMO, there's probably no end of Oriental fire-drilling in various Navy departments at the moment, but it probably doesn't represent an important breach. In other words, they most definitely wouldn't have shown us this if we'd asked, but it's really no big damned deal.

Posted by scott at 10:58 AM | Comments (0)
Airport Armageddon

For proof that people can swirl a conspiracy about absolutely anything, one only need examine the theories flying around Denver International Airport. Hey man, sometimes I know it feels like the end of the world when you're stuck there for 6 hours, but really, maybe it's time to take your meds on schedule, eh?

Posted by scott at 08:40 AM | Comments (0)
September 04, 2007
Life 101

I haven't had time to really peruse VideoJug, but from a quick browse it seems to have "how-to's" on just about everything you really need to know to make it on your own. From jump starting a car to kissing passionately to avoiding the dreaded Party Foul, they've got videos for it all. Dunno how good they are, but hey, this is the intarnet. How bad could it be?

AAAAAAGG!!! I told you I didn't want to see that again! Don't they teach what "rhetorical" means anymore? Now I gotta go get the thought bleach again...

Posted by scott at 07:15 PM | Comments (0)
Inside Out, Outside in

While I'm not completely sure when it was written, this essay on just how different Arabs, and specifically Saudis, are is still quite interesting. While I think he may be overgeneralizing at least a little bit, this does track well with what other sources (even Arab sources) I've read say. Certainly an American who's actually lived in Saudi Arabia for a full year will have a different perspective than, say, a New York Times editor in Manhattan.

Posted by scott at 03:00 PM | Comments (0)
Yeah, Umm... You do that Then

Everyone's favorite air strike target loopy slap happy president is at it again:

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has sought to justify his confidence the United States will not attack Iran, saying the proof comes from his mathematical skills as an engineer and faith in God, the press reported on Monday.

Engineers are rightly famous for their habit of assuming they're experts at everything because they're experts at one thing*. I just didn't think one would manage to float this far to the top. Guess the pool's not all that deep, eh?

Via Yourish.

* The Pocket Protector Principle, if you will.

Posted by scott at 01:58 PM | Comments (1)

Lord bless Wikipedia, without which we would never have learned about the late and unlamented sport of "fox tossing." It's exactly what you think it is. Monty Python is turning out to be more of a history class than I'd ever thought (or feared) it would be.

Posted by scott at 12:48 PM | Comments (2)
Revive, Revalve

Scientists have announced a technique which can grow heart valves from adult stem cells. This removes the problem of rejection and could replace the more common mechanical systems which now help people with defective heart valves.

Posted by scott at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)
Mmm... Tasty...

It's official. You can now order absolutely anything from Amazon. Fresh rabbit from teh intarnets. Whodathunkit?

Posted by scott at 10:39 AM | Comments (1)
Spin Display

I'm not sure what use this particular flavor of 3-D display will have, but it sure does look neat. At that rate of spin, I can't help but think it's really noisy in person.

Posted by scott at 09:17 AM | Comments (0)
September 03, 2007
The Final ..err...Doodle!

Posted by Ellen at 08:50 PM | Comments (0)


Needs more mousse!

Posted by Ellen at 08:49 PM | Comments (1)


Posted by Ellen at 08:47 PM | Comments (0)
Bok Bok Bagok!



Posted by Ellen at 08:45 PM | Comments (0)
Bok Bok II

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


Posted by Ellen at 08:42 PM | Comments (0)
Hold Still Spider Monkey!


Olivia has her own camera now, so I had to take a picture of her taking a picture.

Posted by Ellen at 08:40 PM | Comments (0)
Stick Your Fingers In Here...


No really, I won't bite... much.

Posted by Ellen at 08:37 PM | Comments (0)
Zoo Macaw


The bird said "hello" when you walked away from it.

Posted by Ellen at 08:35 PM | Comments (0)
Chicken Butt!

Posted by Ellen at 08:33 PM | Comments (0)
And WHY Is Olivia Smiling?


Because she got a PONY RIDE!

Posted by Ellen at 08:27 PM | Comments (0)
Goat Encounter


Yes, we hit the petting zoo today. Can you tell?

Posted by Ellen at 07:37 PM | Comments (0)
Proof You Can...

belly dance to just about anything.

Super Mario Brothers Parody!

Posted by Ellen at 05:50 PM | Comments (0)
Wii Valving

Valve software, developers of the Half Life series, says development for the Wii is now a "much higher priority." Of course, he also admits the company has nothing in the pipe for the Wii at the moment, so whatever they're mulling over won't show up any time soon. Still, it's nice to see a "serious" shooter company taking an interest in this innovative platform. I think the first company that manages to meld the Wii's interface with one of the most popular genres in gaming will most likely find themselves with a license to print money.

Update: Everyone's favorite homicidal annelidans are also on their way to the Wii. Worms was a fun party game even on conventional consoles. If they do it right, it should be a scream on the Wii.

Posted by scott at 04:26 PM | Comments (0)
Filter Feeder

Also from the Post today, an in-depth look at recent discoveries regarding the world's largest living fish, the whale shark. I would've thought all they'd need to do some anatomy work would be a net and a boat, but apparently it took the two adult males who recently died in Atlanta to provide scientists with the material they needed to get a good look at what makes this gentle giant tick.

Posted by scott at 01:58 PM | Comments (0)
The "Second Revolution"

Time and again we're told, "the US has only one fifth of the world's population, yet consumes nearly a quarter of its resources." There then follows a right good scolding about how we should cripple our economy to conform to someone else's self-righteous plan to put us greedy Americans in our place. Hardly anyone ever mentions there's another side to the story:

The United States makes more manufactured goods today than at any time in history, as measured by the dollar value of production adjusted for inflation -- three times as much as in the mid-1950s, the supposed heyday of American industry. Between 1977 and 2005, the value of American manufacturing swelled from $1.3 trillion to an all-time record $4.5 trillion, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

With less than 5 percent of the world's population, the United States is responsible for almost one-fourth of global manufacturing, a share that has changed little in decades. The United States is the largest manufacturing economy by far. Japan, the only serious rival for that title, has been losing ground. China has been growing but represents only about one-tenth of world manufacturing.

The country is not worse off than it was eight years ago. Far from it. And as long as we keep promoting pro-growth policies, it will always get better. Put that in your, "greedy corporations and the Bush administration have trashed the country" pipe and smoke it.

Posted by scott at 01:56 PM | Comments (10)
September 01, 2007
Chupa What?

Chupacabra in Texas!

They just don't herd cattle anymore.

With picture goodness!

Posted by Ellen at 04:00 AM | Comments (1)
Plastic Dragons

Possibly the coolestlego sculpture yet!

Posted by Ellen at 03:56 AM | Comments (3)