Mark gets a silly little no-prize for bringing us this SNL-like sketch regarding a... most innovative... use of technology in the Church. I'm not Catholic, but I still smiled a bit.
Scientists are testing whether or not the chemical which makes peppers hot could be used as a kind of anesthesia. Capsaicin not only blows your head off in a chili pepper, it also numbs nerves. It's hoped this could lead to new treatments for post-operative pain.
Wiccan high priest Elwood "Bunky" Bartlett, who won an estimated $49 million in the Maryland lottery last month, intends to use his money to set up a school for witches -- a real-life Hogwarts.
I definitely wouldn't want to be on the local zoning board when this guy shows up.
Using a video camera and raw chicken, state officials hope to learn whether the king of the jungle is prowling the woods of West Virginia.
Just in time for Halloween!
Scientists have discovered the first evidence that Velociraptor-like dinosaurs really did hunt in packs. It also appears they really did carry that vicious-looking claw upright to protect its sharpness. Bonus: actual Velociraptors were turkey-sized. Having seen an actual turkey up close this weekend, I can definitely say I would not want to be around a pack of 5 or 6 hungry ones. Turkeys may not be the biggest birds in the world, but they're absolutely not what I'd call small.
While it appears lots of people knew Hitler was literally a giant, stinking gasbag, I didn't. And, as is right and proper, if I don't know it then nobody else does either, so there you go.
Jason is rightly proud of calling the play years before it made its way out onto the field.
And I do love the way the MSM spins: (emphasis added)
The explosion Monday killed at least 28 policemen and wounded 17 policemen and three Iraqi civilians, according to the U.S. military, making it the deadliest insurgent attack in Iraq in more than a month. The last mass-casualty attack struck Baqubah in late September, targeting a reconciliation meeting and killing at least 25 people.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for tribal leaders in Diyala province said all but one of 11 sheiks kidnapped in eastern Baghdad on Sunday had been freed.
It goes without saying these mentions were buried so deep I had to read the article twice to find them. They're really going to have to try a lot harder. Otherwise, people may think we're turning Iraq around.
Of course you know this sort of thing would happen in Florida. Money quote: "Homosexual necrophilia is what the purpose was." Bonus: great "man-on-the-street" interviewing straight out of a Jeff Foxworthy skit.
Robert R. gets a no-prize that can spot a cruise missile a hundred miles away for bringing us news of a military controversy down under:
Aviation analyst Dr Carlo Kopp told the Four Corners program on ABC TV that the Super Hornet would be far outclassed by the new generation of advanced Soviet-built aircraft being acquired by China, Indonesia and Malaysia.
"In most of the engagements scenarios that we could postulate the Super Hornet would get shot down. It's as simple as that," he said on the program.
The defence department rejected the claims as Four Corners went to air.
Aviation Week has been covering the Australian purchase of F/A-18E/F Super Hornets (as well as the aircraft itself) extensively over the years. If the information in linked the article accurately summarizes what was in the show, this program, and this gentleman in particular, should not be taken seriously.
It is true that the Super Hornet is somewhat slower than the C/D variant it is replacing. This does make it somewhat less maneuverable, and therefore somewhat more vulnerable in air combat. However, this is not "just" an airplane; it's a weapon system. And as a system, the E/F variants are extremely capable. Perhaps not as capable as an F-22 (it also doesn't cost as much), but nonetheless extremely effective, much more so than the C/D variant.
Most damming of all is that the film in question does not seem to mention the AESA radar system at all. Short for Active Electronic Scanned Array, these systems are far more powerful than their predecessors. Indeed, they're so powerful and so new, their full capabilities are still being explored, and what has been figured out is highly classified. What is known is they work very well, allowing a force multiplication that often makes them a deciding factor in any engagement in which they participate*.
As to the comparison with and retirement of Australian F-111s, well, it is true that, on paper at least, the Super Hornet does not compare all that well to the older system. That said, the F-111 was a remarkable platform whose performance statistics will most likely never be equaled again. However, the Aardvark's design is forty years old, it is becoming increasingly difficult (and therefore expensive) to maintain, and adapting it to newer and more effective munitions may not be possible for much longer. Almost nobody expects it to last long enough for the F-35 to directly replace it, hence the Super Hornet purchase.
True, the Russians are beginning to roll out some worryingly capable weapon systems of their own. However, none are available in large numbers, and their capabilities have not been proven in anything close to combat situations. It would be interesting to find out what the opponents of this purchase are proposing as an alternative strategy.
Because, from everything I've read at least, there really isn't one.
* Indeed, it was the lack of AESA-equipped radars that is most often seen as the reason why a flight of four F-15s was not able to defeat an Indian opposition force four times its size a few years back.
Well, I guess you're still growing something, even if it does appear to need blood. Mark gets a no-prize shaped like a skinny chick in black for bringing us this great just-in-time Halloween gift.
The A380 may have the world’s first airborne double bed, but it won’t be put to the obvious use if Singapore Airlines has its way: “If couples used our double beds to engage in inappropriate activity, we would politely ask them to desist,” said the company’s Stephen Forshaw. “There are things that are acceptable on an aircraft and things that aren’t, and the rules for behaviour in our double beds are the same ones that apply throughout the aircraft.”
Singapore is justifiably famous for its uptight leadership. It's also quite well known as a clean, safe city. It would seem, from the small amount of information in the article, the policy is mostly a "don't-ask, don't-tell, don't-shake-the-door-off" sort of thing.
Since we have no current plans to visit the place and wouldn't be able to afford a cabin like that if we did, we'll certainly not be reporting on it any time soon.
Olivia and I have this habit of falling asleep in the car.
No kidding, this slide is 60 feet long and 30 feet high.
We took Olivia to The Great Country Farm again this year. This time she was all for the rope swing!
Just in time for Christmas, everyone's favorite wreck crusher is for sale. I could've sworn I'd seen this thing on commercials for events in the US, but I can't imagine it would be all that profitable to ship it here from the UK. Maybe there's a duplicate wandering around?
Fortunately, I only recognized about half the things on the list. Unfortunately, they were mostly the bad half.
Some scientists believe the previously reported "cold spot" in the universe is actually a cosmic defect. Others are, of course, not so sure. And I couldn't find any inklings as to just what such a thing might mean to the naked apes living in a nondescript portion of a universe with a defect far far away. But that's just me.
The best part is, you can tell exactly what the cat is thinking just by looking at him. You can also tell what the dog is thinking, but that's just because all he's thinking is, "runaroundrunaroundrunaroundboo!runaroundrunaroundrunaroundboo!"
Scientists have discovered new insights into the spiny anteater's mating behavior. I bet the graduate assistants on that project were wondering what they'd done in a previous life to deserve that assignment.
The beleaguered standard model of the universe got a boost today with the discovery of a long-predicted, but never before observed, bunch of supermassive black holes. By using the Spitzer and Chandra orbiting observatories, scientists for the first time were able to take images of previously unobservable quasars, ancient structures which are formed by the aforementioned black holes.
This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.
Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it.
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.
~St. Francis of Asissi
... Ya gotta go:
If you're stuck in traffic when Mother Nature calls, Japan's Kaneko Sangyo Co has developed the loo for you.
The manufacturer of plastic car accessories drew back the curtain today on its new portable toilet for cars.
Great. Now I'll have to worry about Buffy and her Cell Phone of Doom while she's sitting on the can. Ah well, at the treacly rate traffic moves around here, wouldn't be much more than a tap. And boy, a slosh from that thing'd be just about the best punishment I can think of!
A previously little-remarked comet has suddenly become much brighter. So bright it seems to be visible even in brightly lit urban areas. While not much more than a speck now, it will soon grow a tail that should make it one of the more impressive comets to trace the northern sky in quite some time.
Predictably, we're forecast for cloudy skies most of the week.
There's just nothing better than getting someone with one of those internet "screamer" surprises. Although I do think it wasn't very nice to scare the little kid. They don't get that scary surprises are harmless at that age.
I think it was Mark who sent one to Ellen a year or two ago. She was downstairs on my computer (I forget why) and picked it up. Because the sound was so quiet, she kept turning up the volume on my 130 watt per channel speaker system. When the scream hit, I thought a bomb went off in the basement. Ellen wasn't quite right the rest of the night.
Carnivorous trees grabbing humans and cattle and gobbling them up is not just village folklore.
Residents of Padrame near Kokkoda in Uppinangady forest range sighted one such carnivorous tree trying to dine on a cow last Thursday. According to reports, the cow owned by Anand Gowda had been left to graze in the forests.
That's some serious woody pwnage right there, dude.
The results of the surge, or "the escalation" as Harry Reid derisively called it, have been obvious in the Icasualties.org numbers. Before the surge, a bad month would claim the lives of roughly 3,000 Iraqi civilians and security force members. In February '07, the exact number was 3,014 Iraqi casualties. In March, the figure was 2,977. As the surge began to have its effects, that number dropped to 1674 in August. In September, with the surge taking full effect, the numbers showed a profound change--the Iraqi death toll plunged to 848.
Happily, September's figures don't appear to be an aberration. October has seen 502 Iraqi casualties so far. If the trend continues though the end of October, the final number should be around 650 for the entire month. That represents better than an 80 percent improvement from the war's nadir.
YOU'D THINK THIS would be a big story. After all, the mainstream media makes such a show of "supporting the troops" at every turn, you'd think it would rush to report the amazing story of our soldiers accomplishing what many observers declared "impossible" and "unwinnable" not so long ago.
It hasn't worked out that way...
Crow all you want about my propaganda and cherry-picking, but go take a look at that graph on the second page of the article and then tell me something good isn't going on.
And then there's this:
There will not be a sectarian ""civil war" in Iraq, perhaps best evidenced by the fact that the media—excuse me, actual reporters in Iraq, not plaintive Times editorialists—have quietly let the claim die. Just as quietly, they have stopped wondering if Iraqi security forces will be able to hold together, and instead focus on corruption in the higher ranks.
At the present rate, the only way the media could shift goalposts faster is if the crane moving the goalposts was attached to Jeff Gordon's stock car.
I noticed The Washington Post started moving the goalposts at about the time Yon started to report positive things. Nice to know, in a "but-not-really" sort of way, that I'm not the only one who saw it.
It's amazing the things you can catch with a camera, a tripod, and more than a little chutzpah. One of the aspects of high rise living both Ellen and I miss is the commanding views from the high floors. It was better than a weather forecaster for predicting the really big stuff.
Another big diamond has been found at Murfreesborogh, AR. I somehow managed to avoid going to that steaming mud hole last time we visited. Something tells me the next time around I may not be so lucky.
Full-sized lunar lander, anyone? I'm most likely better off not knowing how much one costs.
Then again, if it were durable enough, and I could charge $5 for a "ride"... hmmm...
Slashdot (of course) linked up this tale of the Driver's License Printer Thief. In summary: it seems one Timothy Scott Short stole a computer and the driver's license creator attached to it from a Missouri DMV. Unfortunately, he couldn't get the computer to work. Which didn't mean the printer was bad, just that he needed another computer to use the printer. Which meant he needed to get at the bits of software that would allow this different computer to use said printer.
With me so far? Good. Understandably, the printer manufacturer doesn't make these bits of software available to the general public. Otherwise some idiot with a crowbar and a truck might steal a printer and then try to hook it up to a regular PC and start stamping drivers licenses out like they were pancakes at an IHOP. So to get them, you had to call the manufacturer, which only legitimate customers of this printer (you know, like state DMVs) would do.
See where this is going now? Only a specific sort of idiot would call tech support trying to pry the bits of software out of the vendor. Which, it appears, Mr. Short was. And so, in short order, Mr. Short was introduced to Mr. Secret Service Man. Jailarity, as they say, ensued.
Hello? Hello? Oh, wake up, willya? It was funny to me!
Bridgestone has created the "world's thinnest" e-paper display, and unveiled another that can display more than 4,000 colors. Suddenly the paper computers featured most recently in Vernor Vinge's latest don't seem so far away.
Hard decisions deserve hard questions, climate change most of all. For me, this was the best question:
5. Just how rich are those future generations likely to be? If you expect economic growth to continue at the average annual rate of 2.3 percent, to which we've grown accustomed, then in 400 years, the average American will have an income of more than $1 million per day—and that's in the equivalent of today's dollars (i.e., after correcting for inflation). Does it really make sense for you and me to sacrifice for the benefit of those future gazillionaires?
Which is why I'm pro-growth first of all. Compound interest is your friend!
Space.com is carrying this interesting roundup of enduring mysteries about our sun. It's nowhere near as well known as you think.
If my experience in various airplane sims is any indication, flying this low is actually not as hard as it looks. Just gotta keep a steady hand and a very close eye on the HUD. Which is not to say I'd ever want to try it in real life. Remember folks, in a contest for lowest altitude you don't want first prize.
I'm not completely sure this astrologer's look at David Copperfield's recent troubles is legit, but it certainly makes for interesting reading. In a, "wha?!?" sort of way, that is.
Fark linked up an in-depth examination of yet another D.B. Cooper candidate. As with most magazine-length articles, it's heavy on frou-frou and light on actual evidence, so I'm not convinced. However, a purser working for the airline from which the airplane was hijacked, who was once a paratrooper and who had a house near where the guy jumped seems like someone worth looking into, if you ask me. But what do I know?
This is WHY I cannot leave Scott and Olivia alone for even an hour.
It's nice to know I'm not the only sysadmin in the world who has to deal with loopy users. Longtime readers will know I have support stories just as funny. Those who aren't, search for "Welcome to My World", and wonder.
Mark gets an arty no-prize that helps feed the homeless for bringing us Canstruction:
A foundation of the Society for Design Administration (SDA), Canstruction® is a design/build competition currently held in cities throughout North America. Teams of architects, engineers, and students mentored by these professionals, compete to design and build giant structures made entirely from full cans of food.
Don't miss the photo and video galleries! Puts those soda can displays at the grocery store to shame.
Chickens: 1, Pissed off bunnies: 0. I especially like how they keep an eye on the little rascals until they chase them off.
When I read things like this, I often think about all those who, just a year or two ago, insisted The Only Way Toward Progress was through government-funded broadband initiatives. Oh, the wailing and gnashing of teeth that would be heard when one or the other of these ideas ran up against the everyday reality of business interests and local politics. Such complaining! I often wondered if any of them still had their "c:\spot run" t-shirts on, what with all the ripping and tearing and shrieking against bloodthirsty corporations and Luddite politicians!
And yet. And yet. If they'd had their way, yes, we'd all be sitting pretty with our medium-sized pipes shooting medium-sized dollops of information around. Well, those of us who could afford computers and had the knowledge to use them at least. But what would've happened after stage one? Now that we have these pipes, when do we get new ones? Who pays for those? Who would've even bothered researching if they knew they'd have to go through what everyone knows is the absolutely head-splitting exercise known as "local government?"
All too often charismatic politicians stump for things like "building bridges to the future." I only wish more of you would just stop for a second before nodding your head and grabbing your sign and ask, "why do we need a bridge?"
The answer may surprise you.
A family was saved from a fire by its parrot, which imitated the fire alarm so convincingly they woke up and escaped. From the little I understand of parrots, it's not that the thing was trying to help its owners, it was simply trying to yell down a rival that was burning down its house. The fact that it was able to do so speaks volumes about a parrot's ability to blow the windows out when the mood strikes. Whee!
I learned that, even sitting less than four feet away from me, Olivia can get into the most amazing things. Up this time: a mini-sharpie marker Ellen must've dropped who knows how long ago. Normally I toss them on sight. Permanent markers do not make daddy smile! Somehow I missed this one, and now Olivia looks like she murdered Barney with a kitchen knife. Swear to God, I only looked away for 5 minutes! Big, long, lurid purple spots and streaks from toe to face (face! sharpie!) now adorn everyone's favorite princess.
"It's okay daddy! It's my tattoos!"
Took us ten years to go from 82,000 to the rollover, and by some weird coincidence I actually had the Nikon in the car with me when it happened...
Assuming no untimely encounters with SUVs or bits of landscape, our Spider will be going through a major (but not complete) overhaul very soon, perhaps as soon as next winter. Then the engine's time will match the odometer's, or nearly so! Been a fun ten years, it has. Let's hope for ten more, and eventually a second rollover!
This comes this week for set up. We are going to start to move furniture around.
We've had Ellen's brothers (13 & 9) for 2 nights now. Went downtown to Nat'ral History. Hence all the pix. Just saying, that's all...
We had my younger brothers in town, and as you see, none of them will hold still for a photo.
Pink's photo for Halloween from the breeder.
Looks like, as suspected, the infamous robotic gun attack was a mechanical failure. Never ascribe to malice...
Hello Kitty-themed AK-47 anyone? Olivia took one look at it and demanded one for Christmas. Said she's gonna shoot bad guys with it. Heh...
The Mythbusters plan on seeing if cockroaches really can survive massive doses of radiation. Have medium-sized TV network budget, will travel.
Ron gets a no-prize that goes well with "chowdah" for bringing us news of a most unusual adhesive:
[S]cientists have developed a coating that mimics the tenacious adhesion of a mussel. The coating could improve biosensors, medical devices, marine and medical anti-fouling coatings, purify water contaminated with heavy metals, and advance manufacturing methods for flexible displays.
The secret ingredient? Dopamine, of all things. Turns out it's not just for brain chemistry!
Now that my group seems to have enough consoles (and eventually, enough controllers) to have a Halo 3 day, I wonder if we'll see anything like this?
I have a hard enough time with those monkeys jumping out at me from every angle. Now I gotta worry about the scenery. Sheesh.
Making the rounds: a robotic AAA weapon malfunctioned and ended up killing 9 soldiers. No word yet on whether it was a mechanical or software problem that caused the failure, but anecdotes in the article seem to indicate these weapons have a reputation for flipping out.
Scientists have announced the discovery of the most Earth-like extra-solar planet found to-date. This sorta sounds like the last one we linked up, but I'm not completely sure. As I understand it, the next generation of space telescopes will be able to directly image these bodies.
Funny only because nobody got hurt: Cable Company: 0, Hammer-swingin' granny: 1
Fear not, fellow Americans! In these dark days of war, pestilence and Paris Hilton, a new hero has arisen. She is none other than 75-year-old Mona "The Hammer" Shaw, who took the aforementioned implement to her local Comcast office in Manassas to settle a score, and boy, did she!
Mark gets a no-prize that'll do a whole lot more than throw rocks at kids on his lawn for bringing us this bit of gray vigilante justice.
In spite of actually sending this week's bunch of captioned cats to myself, they didn't arrive, so we'll push forward to another day.
It's official! Pinkie Pi is a girl! We have been waiting for a permanent name until we got the DNA results.
A bit on how we chose the name of our bird.
The "Swoose" is the oldest B-17 Flying Fortress in existence. It is also the only known U.S. military airplane to have flown a combat mission on the first day of the US entry into World War II and to remain in continuous military flying service throughout the conflict.
The aircraft is in storage at the National Air and Space Museum’s Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility at Silver Hill, Maryland.
This was the first "Swoose" flown by Frank Kurtz, and is the inspiration for his daughter's name, Swoozie Kurtz - the actress
Why did I pick the name? Well, Scott's a font of all sorts of useless trivia (shocking, I know), and the real Swoozie is on Pushing Daisies, our favorite new series. It was impossible to stop him from telling me the story, and the name caught my fancy. We've got one other pet named after an airplane ("Wobbly" is Goblin's "silent" first name), so why not? At least this one's supposed to fly!
And it's our parrot. We'll name it what we want!
[Why yes, we do both have Nerd merit badges, with oak leaf clusters no less. And thank you for noticing!-- Scott]
Of course, at our house there's always the "puke strategy" involved. Getting regularly whacked in the head with a baseball bat would actually explain a lot of things than happen around my house.
Scientists are beginning to think perhaps Mars's volcanoes aren't extinct, but merely dormant. The evidence from new, more precise probes like the Mars Global Surveyor seem to indicate that a single "hot spot", moving underneath the Martian crust, may have powered all the volcanoes of the Tharsis Bulge. This is exactly opposite of what happens here on Earth, bringing yet more weirdness into one of the more peculiar places in the solar system.
Scientists have pushed back the date for the evolution of modern humans to 164,000 years ago. By using various new techniques, they also have located the five most likely spots to search for evidence of the earliest of humans. Turns out Africa wasn't a particularly nice place to live around that time, and so only a very few places were even capable of supporting humans.
I had the pleasure of getting to visit Pinkie Pi again today. I had the day off. Amongst running errands, I had to fit a visit in! I was told we should have DNA results any day now to see what sex it is.
Thanks to George Bush's amazing deficit reduction plan, the budget deficit is now only 1.2% of GDP. If this trend continues, by the time George Bush leaves office, the budget will be within a hair's breath of being balanced. I can only hope that Democrats don't squander this precious legacy of fiscal responsibility.
Unfortunately it would appear the budget won't balance in time for the election. I have a feeling it will always be thus; like the carrot mounted on the end of a pole strapped to its head, the critter (be it elephant or donkey) will always be close but not quite close enough. As long as the pole stays short, that's fine with me.
Funny. I can't seem to recall a single mention of this sort of thing in the Post lately. Imagine that!
An Australian ad campaign aiming to reduce road deaths by questioning the manhood of speeding drivers has proved a great success, a survey suggests.
The TV ads show women shaking their little finger - a gesture used to symbolise a small penis - as speeding male motorists race past.
Puts that whole, "car as extension of person" thing in a whole different light, eh?
Ever wanted to tell your roommate off in a nice public fashion? Here ya go!
Driving across country in less than 32 hours is damned dangerous and utterly reckless. It's hard for me to say it, but I really am to old for that sort of thing.
Which is not to say I don't find it exciting or perhaps even admirable, in a "Pulp Fiction is good because it's so bad" sort of way.
Don't miss the film that started this guy's quest.
Mark gets a no prize that looks intimidating but can't really speak English for bringing us news that a German company plans on producing WWII-era Tiger tanks. I think. The thing reads like a bad Google translation.
Hey Mark... your neighbors only thought it was a pain when people parked their boats on the street!
Whatever vestiges of toddlerhood still clinging to my tiny dancer have been flung down the stairs like... well, like the clothes on her back. Olivia is now into naked time!!! I can definitely remember this phase myself, but I thought it was limited to crude gross little boys. I have a giggly "laffy-taffy" shaking her nekkid butt back and forth across the living room proving me wrong.
No pictures this time. I'm not that dumb. But it is damned funny. Now if I can just keep her from sticking her fingers in her crack...
Presenting the car that kindled my interest in automobiles. It took the 1984 Corvette to turn that pilot light into a roar (as detailed here), but I quite fondly remember many a day spent ogling the Trans Am as well. Twenty five years ago, no less. Good lord!
Via Instapundit, who seems to be a closet car nerd.
Mark gets a thunderous no-prize with a name that'll make Beavis and Butthead giggle constantly for bringing us news of the discovery of yet another giant Patagonian dinosaur. This one's very well preserved, and was so damned large it seems to have created a major fossil deposit just by blocking up the river currents where it died.
I'd been chalking up the whole "genocide resolution" dust-up to politics-as-usual causes that always bubble up whenever a majority of our 435 instant foreign policy experts get a bug up their butt. But I couldn't understand why it was going on for so long, until I read this:
If Congress has gone nearly a century without passing a resolution accusing the Turks of genocide, why now, in the midst of the Iraq war?
It is hard to avoid the conclusion that this resolution is just the latest in a series of Congressional efforts to sabotage the conduct of that war.
Japan has yet to acknowledge its atrocities from the Second World War. Yet the Congress of the United States does not try to make worldwide pariahs of today's Japanese, most of whom were not even born when those atrocities occurred.
Believe what you want to. This particular essay has moved the whole can of worms from the "safe to ignore" box to the "call your congressman" box. Time to get the phone.
While this universal packing list generator is heavy on common sense and a bit light on insight, it's still nice to have a checklist that certainly seems to cover Everything. Being justifiably famous for a certain lack of good ol' CS, I most likely could use this thing.
It is dismaying that after decades of experience with manned space stations, Russian space engineers still couldn't keep unwanted condensation at bay. But what's worse is that they designed circuitry that would allow one spot of corrosion to fell a supposedly triply redundant control computer complex. Another cause for dismay is that when trouble did develop, the Russians' first instinct was to blame their American partners. Such deficiencies need to be worked out in the years ahead, on the space station, before both the technology and the diplomacy can be thought reliable enough for far-ranging missions that replacement shipments wouldn't be able to reach.
Good design is never easy. At least with my systems, if something blows up nobody dies. Not that you could tell by the way they scream about it...
Looks like we're not the only ones who have goofy nerdy, "what would you do if..." conversations whilst watching Shark Week on Discovery. Only in this case, they actually used that knowledge. And, of course, they were watching some damned fool Australian channel instead.
We got asked for an encore dance at 6 P.M. but had to leave early.
Don't know Wolgemut? Annie and I <3 these men!
What a treat to be asked to dance for them!
I should mention we hit the Ren Faire again this weekend for the last time this year. I made Olivia's costume this year.
Michael Yon has a new update. This time, it's a "warts-and-all" message from a LTC operating in Baghdad. Positive news seems to be breaking out all over the place. But you already knew that, right?
As part of what I'm sure is some giant promotional push for the upcoming DVD release, Scientific American has a behind-the-scenes look at the computer wizardry used in the movie Transformers. Still, it's fun to read about the details, and the fact that they're pushing the envelope so hard they're actually waiting for faster processors to make more realistic effects.
Personally, I'd draw the line well before a tattoo needle ever came anywhere near my eye. Other people, not so much. Just when you thought people couldn't get any more extreme...
There appears to be more and more evidence that Saturn's moons are rich in water. Without the monstrous radiation emissions that bathe the similar Jupiter moon system, it would appear possible, perhaps even likely, that the second-largest planet in our solar system may end up the most likely place for extraterrestrial life.
Hey, why can't orthodox Jews enjoy a football game? Hopefully we won't see "Muslims protest presence..." stories surrounding this.
Robert R. gets a distracting no-prize for bringing us this... unusual... test of "right brain vs. left brain". It's essentially SFW, but the men in the audience may have a hard time looking away, no matter which way the damned thing is turning.
The lead in Shaun of the Dead has been named to play Scotty in the next Star Trek movie. This apparently completes the preliminary cast, consisting of nobody else I've ever heard of.
I knew there had to be more to that X-wing failure than "just" a structural problem. If that doesn't prove the current administration is in contact with the forces of darkness, I don't know what will.
A Brussels think-tank has accused the US government of reneging on commitments made to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over internet gaming.
Panellists at a trade forum levelled harsh criticism at the US, focusing on a burgeoning trade clash between the US and Europe over internet gaming.
The forum believes that the US could be liable for up to US$100 billion in trade concessions to European industries after placing illegal discriminatory trade restrictions on European gaming operators.
Seeking is one thing. Getting it is another altogether. Considering the Bush administration won't be in office about 14 months from now, I'm not expecting much will happen on this any time soon.
I left all the LOLcats for today's Caturday on Ellen's computer at home, so it'll be up to her to get them up when she gets home (hint, hint). In the meantime, enjoy this video of a tiny kitten and a big ol' husky having fun together. I was a little worried at first, but it seems pretty obvious the kitten knows the dog, otherwise all you'd see on the video is a kitten-shaped hole in the air as he hit light speed to get away.
Just when you think humanity couldn't get any weirder, someone goes and proves you wrong again. I bet he can hear what one hand fapping sounds like a whole lot better now.
So what would happen if you were to try to follow the bible literally in your day-to-day life here in this modern world? One guy tried it just to see. From the interview, it looks like it wasn't nearly as bad as we'd imagine. Definitely a book I'll look for next time I visit the store.
Aviation Week's latest cover story provides the proverbial "10,000 foot view" on various developments in supersonic flight today. We might be closer to regular supersonic travel. Then again, we might not. Success has as much to do with politics and regulation as it does with engineering and technology. In other words, business as usual!
Stern played Ann Coulter's latest demonstration of foot-in-mouth disease yesterday, expressing nearly the same righteous indignation as did the show's host, Donny Deutch. The thing was, as I listened, I both knew Coulter was right in what she was saying (as far as it went) and that everyone else was wrong to be offended, at least in thinking her remarks were antisemitic. Hell I'm not even a Christian and I knew they were wrong. Jason does a nice job of explaining exactly why.
Was she crass and insensitive? Well, yes. That phrase is, after all, a synonym for Ann Coulter. But she wasn't antisemitic, at least in what I consider the common definition of the term. Some others may answer it's not really possible for a fundamentalist Christian to be anything but antisemitic, to which I can only say, "lighten the hell up, willya?"
You knew it had to happen some day: the LOLcat bible. No, really!
Genesis 1 looks so damned much like what (in my opinion) a cat would say, it's kinda scary.
Ron gets a dark and scary no-prize for bringing us direct quotes from everyone's favorite Persian presidential loon on Israel, Jews, the US, and the west in general. You only thought he was a wacko.
Thing is, as I understand it anyway, the president is really not all that powerful in Iran. The "Supreme Leader" and the "Council of Guardians," both culled exclusively from the deeply conservative religious establishment, are where the real power is concentrated. In other words, a bunch of hyper-conservative Pat Robertson types with robes on who the western press doesn't even know exist are the people we actually should be paying attention to. They could be more wacky than ol' Pajamamani, they could be less. We just don't know.
Have a happy day!
Olivia, as expected, will be going trick-or-treating as a princess this year, but you might get other ideas from this collection. It's not making the costume that's hard, it's making it durable enough for an entire day's (or night's) wear that's difficult. That, and ensuring you have the body type to pull it off (c.f. Tron-guy).
Ron gets a wobbly no-prize for bringing us yet another use for vodka. Alternate title: Paging Mythbusters, White Courtesy Phone Please.
Usually I don't find "mash-ups" all that funny, but this one made me "LOL". Something tells me the chicks in the audience (especially Ellen) may be mildly disappointed in it, but that's just me.
Think of it as a trailer for, "LOLcats, the movie."
Planetary flybys don't just happen every day, ya know, so even if your probe is ultimately bound for Pluto, it's always a good idea to take pictures of Jupiter as you go by. I mean, since you're in the neighborhood anyway...
Of all the loony "jump, dive, and scream" things I've seen, the catapults are the ones I find most appealing. None of that "watch the first step" panic of bungee jumping or sky diving. Then I saw this.
Yeah, even I have my limits. One rule of mine is definitely, "thou shalt not require a parachute to ensure thy safe return." Nice to have as a backup, but not required. Bok bok!
The Coors and Miller brewing companies have announced their intention to merge. Even though it's not cool to say so, I actually do like some of their higher-end products. As far as I'm concerned, there's no such thing as a bad free beer, so I end up drinking even the "base" models on occasion. It's not that even those are bad, it's just there's more out there that's better. In my opinion, of course.
Mark gets a no-prize that'll beat him stupid for bringing us this wild video of two male giraffes fighting during the mating season. Actually, I did know they fought like this, but all the documentaries I'd seen must've used really long lenses to capture the action. I certainly didn't know they landed such meaty thumps on each other.
The things guys do for chicks, I tell ya...
It would seem that at least one British newspaper is starting to consistently report progress on the war in Iraq. As a card-carrying member of the Vast Right Wing/Neocon Conspiracy I'm completely unreliable when it comes to linking news. But really, how many will it take before you begin to admit we might be making progress?
Just, you know, wondering out loud, sort of thing.
I got to see our parrot today for the fist time! TOO CUTE!
Looks like a four-foot pet store escapee is terrorizing a Florida town. Little surprise the people most upset are all south of 80. Of course, were I in their shoes, I probably would be a little put off by a hissing iguana.
Oh who am I kidding. By the time I'm 80, Ellen will most likely have 3 of them.
I agree completely, we have to rediscover the middle ground: (emphasis added)
It's wrong to deny the obvious: The Earth is warming, and we're causing it. But that's not the whole story, and predictions of impending disaster just don't stack up.
As sea levels rise, so will temperatures. It seems logical to expect more heat waves and therefore more deaths. But though this fact gets much less billing, rising temperatures will also reduce the number of cold spells. This is important because research shows that the cold is a much bigger killer than the heat. According to the first complete peer-reviewed survey of climate change's health effects, global warming will actually save lives. It's estimated that by 2050, global warming will cause almost 400,000 more heat-related deaths each year. But at the same time, 1.8 million fewer people will die from cold.
It's easy to dismiss Lomborg as a bomb-throwing sellout to whichever industrial cabal you happen to think exists when you don't read what he says. When you do, and realize just how much of his work is based on a level-headed look at the science, not so much.
Something tells me the ferocity of reaction to his work is in inverse proportion to the amount of it someone's actually read. In other words, read the whole article, buy both books, and read. Then you can come back and tell me, in detail, just how wrong he is. Trust me, I won't be holding my breath.
While not as Warner Brothers-worth as a mouse, the discovery that African elephants haul ass at the sound of a bee swarm is still amusing. And useful, since everyone's favorite pachyderm is responsible for huge crop losses in a region of the world that can afford such things the least.
Something tells me simply buzzing loudly at that charging female won't do you much good, so FYI.
He may look like he belongs in Southern California, but let me tell you, this kraut's got skillz. I can't juggle a checkbook balance, let alone something as dangerous as a hammer.
While I'm just about certain these trees on Mars, well, aren't, it would be interesting to hear what NASA thinks they really are. Assuming, of course, they really are pictures of Mars, and not something in the back yard of a New Mexico trailer park.
Robert R. gets a no-prize with an obligatory barf bag for bringing us this video of someone willing to put a Cessna 152 through 60 full spins. The ground looked awfully close toward the end, but on recovery it looked as if she had several thousand feet of "cushion" below her. Not that I'd want to be along for the ride, mind you.
While the article seems to be targeted (as it were) toward hunters, this study on just how much bullets are deflected by branches and twigs was still pretty nifty. Any time someone starts shooting inanimate objects in the name of science is a good time by me.
Mark gets a no-prize with a dowel rack on for bringing us this study in "Bullet Teimz."
Sign that fall has arrived, #5: made-from-scratch pepperoni bread, fresh from the oven. Local members of the peanut gallery will testify, and verily.
Pardon me while I sit here and burp for awhile.
And did I mention how much I ♥ my wife? Well, there ya go.
While nearly a year old, this write-up of the F-22 Raptor's first visit to Red Flag was still informative, at least to me. And having flown hours in buggy simulators I can say yes, it is damned annoying when you can't lock up an aircraft you can see. Even moreso, I would suppose, when it happens in the real world.
As expected, Star Wars tech != real world tech. For comparison, about ten years ago a different GWTMTOHH* built a 1/12th scale model of a Saturn V, complete with liquid fuel and gimbaled motors. Flew like a champ.
Of course, as has been pointed out elsewhere, the X-wing is supposedly a space craft, not an aircraft. Rules are different, that sort of thing.
All I can say is it was most likely much more fun for me to watch than it was for the guys who built it.
Guy With Too Much Time On His Hands. Call them Styx men.
I'm not sure I'd have more luck with something like this than I would a regular keyboard, but I'd probably have a lot more fun playing with the shapes. I'm not sure we'd ever get Olivia away from the thing.
Turns out that, at least in one case, stem cell therapy has given a man two different DNA signatures. Hopefully neither of them have done anything bad lately, eh?
I'm not sure what's more bizarre, finding a mummified leg in a grill you just bought, or getting in a custody battle over it.
Well, if nothing else, it'd give the guy a leg up at the next BBQ shootout.
Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week. Try the veal!
I've always known that race cars can have too much power and too little traction. It never occurred to me the opposite might also be true.
And all this time I thought flame was one of the first things they taught you to keep away from your package. Kids these days, I tell ya.
Note: video contains much man-ass and a little bit of flaming junk, so probably should call it NSFW.
Joshua gets a no-prize full of screaming passengers for bringing us certainly one of the most original flight-sim videos I've ever seen. I'm not completely sure it's possible to barrel-roll a 747. Then again, with enough energy and the skill to keep the plane at no more than 1G, probably anything's possible.
Special no-prize to the first one to spot a huge modeling gaffe on one of the airplanes.
Nobody loses with AMCGLTD Caturday! Not many originals here, but a whole bunch of LOLcat loopiness just the same. Enjoy!
AMCGLTD has been 'egg-specting' now for a few weeks. We finally got pixes of the babies for us to choose from! Hopefully we will have a visit this weekend with more photos and a choice on our baby!
Hatchdates are 9-12 and 9-16 so they are 3 weeks old now. They should be weaned in about 11 weeks which is mid-December.
Ignore the bird poo! Ours is going to learn to wear a 'flight suite', aka-bird diaper.
Someone's done gone and named a whole asteroid after everyone's favorite Enterprise navigator. Let the gay jokes... BEGIN!!!
Scientists have created a prototype battery charger that uses bacteria and mulch to create electricity. While the current model is very large and doesn't generate all that much juice, the people behind the project expect to make substantial improvements as they bring the system to production. A green cellphone charger. Whodathunkit?
It's reality TV Jim, but not as we know it. Since when did 1982 become 25 years ago?!? I didn't vote for that!!!
Everyone's favorite psychic debunkerhas decided to take on my own favorite junk-science hobby, high-end hi-fi. James Randi is offering $1 million to anyone who can prove a $7500 cable is any better than an $80 one.
I was just getting started in the hobby when Monster Cable made its debut. Until that point, the "big secret" of stereo gear was .25c/ft. lamp cord you got from the hardware store. Half a dozen double-blind tests from the likes of Stereo Review and Hi-Fi (back before Monster Cable became a major ad buyer) showed zero difference between this pedestrian staple and the $20/ft stuff available from MC.
Twenty-five years later, absolutely nothing has changed. While I don't actually use lamp cord (it's not exactly an attractive choice), I have no qualms whatever buying the much cheaper store-brand cables and wire. I also have zero sympathy with the sales drone who tries to sell me something fancier. It's simply not worth it because it doesn't matter. Really!
But hey, it's your money. Who knows how many Chinese workers are being kept employed by loons purchasing hyper-expensive copper wire?
Trust me, all Olivia's in it for is the candy. And another opportunity to dress up like a princess. Or a cowgirl. Or a space ranger.
Why yes, she has been watching Toy Story a lot lately. Why do you ask?
Mark gets a no-prize that dances out in a corset for no damned reason any of us can figure out for reminding us just how so-awful-it's-good early 80s videos could get.
Olivia's going to have a field day goofing on me about this stuff. Some day. But until then...
High speed bullet photography is always fun. It's all about microphones and a really understanding landlord, I tell ya.
Personally, I'm not as impressed at some fifteen 20-somethings maxing out this super-ride as I am at the engineers who designed the thing to take it. Far as I'm concerned, that can't have been something they had in mind when they built the thing.
It takes a bit to get rolling (ha-ha!) but let it, it's worth it. In a vomit-comet sort of way.
At 21 feet long, this home-built X-wing model must be a very low fraction scale model. As I recall, the original full-size set models weren't a helluva lot bigger. And they're going to shove 4 M-class engines in it and fire it into the sky. No matter what the outcome, that's going to be one neat video!
The most robust duck-billed dinosaur ever has been announced. Called Gryposaurus monumentensis, it's thought to be the largest creature in the 75 million year old ecosystem it once inhabited.
That's one helluva nutcracker!
While this essay may seem at first a bit "rah-rah" in spin*, the author does, in my opinion anyway, make some very valid points. Read the whole thing before you dismiss it as the ravings of a Fox News pundit gone AWOL.
* Especially to those who think the mainstream media have been far too charitable lately**.
** Sarcasm, like satire, is so often lost on those it targets.
"They wouldn't pay me if they knew how much fun this was", a Blackwater contractor to the US military said just before the plane he was flying crashed, killing all six on board.
It's beginning to seem to me that all those Iraqis saying our troops were barreling through their towns shooting people at random were most likely telling the truth, as near they saw it. When a white guy with a gun is shooting at you, identifying whether or not he's a GI or a security grunt kinda takes a back seat, kno'wha'Imeen?
MOSCOW - A small Russian city just got a really big addition: a 17-pound, 1 ounce baby whose mother had already delivered 11 other children.
With picture goodness!
That's right, PRICASSO not PICASSO.
Look Ron! Start a new hobby!
NSFW. Funny though! Watch it at home!
This is the kind of modern art I respect. I cannot stand walking into a museum and seeing just a canvas on a wall with paint spatter that a 4 year old can accomplish or a freaking piece of fabric simply tacked to the wall.
Scientists are reporting evidence that Alzheimer's disease may actually be a kind of diabetes. Insulin uptake is critical in memory formation, so a disease that makes neurons resistant to insulin would cause critical problems. It's hoped the research could lead the way toward more viable treatments using existing diabetes drugs.
While Alfisti celebrate at least one GTV-6 with 350,000 miles on it, one Honda owner is trying to sell a car with nearly 1,000,000 miles on it. Original engine, no less.
However, when you have a car on the road that long, a lot of expensive things become wear items. It'd be interesting to see just how much he spent a year keeping it on the road. Trust me, it was a lot more than just oil changes.
The Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione will soon be available as a spider. Which puts me exactly as close to it as I am to a hard top version (0 x [anything] still = 0). Still, it's nice to look at, and who knows what fortune may bring 'round my retirement age. Hey, I gotta spend my kid's inheritance on something!
I'll see your taser and raise you a whole electrified jacket. I can't imagine it being particularly affordable.
Lisa gets a no-prize that'll give her wings for bringing us an inside look at Red Bull's London headquarters. With that kind of money, I hope they finally figured out how to keep a plastic slide from giving you a nuclear-sized static charge. Otherwise it'll make the bolts Olivia generates on the local park slides look like tiny snaps.
Silly joke time:
Ellen, the area you grew up in is so small even the biggest town there thinks this is news:
Middletown — A little boy suffered a bump on the side of his head after a person in a passing car fired an apple at him, witnesses said.
Humor-impaired answer from any number of people who are regulars here and live in the region in 3... 2... 1...