February 29, 2008
Torpedoes Away!

After a period of relative quiet, it would appear combat submarines are seeing a surge of interest. Includes the new (to me) term "air-independent propulsion," which turns out to be more an improvement to diesel electric than it is a replacement for nuclear.

Posted by scott at 05:39 PM | Comments (1)
~ Hey, Johnson, Whaddaya Say, We all Wanna Know What You Did Today ~

I decided to take on one of the most feared of home improvement monsters... the


Continue... IF YOU DARE!!!

The target: Our garage closet, the most poorly used space in the house.




The Solution:


3 wire shelf units, 5 shelves each: 12"x18"x84, 12x48x84, and 12x60x84. 630 square feet of shelf space.

The results:



Not too shabby for a day's work. Next I have to de-grease the floor, and the garage will no longer be a giant junk closet. It will again be ready for its intended use: fixing goofy old sports cars!

Posted by scott at 04:51 PM | Comments (8)
Truck Go Boom

Ever wonder what it actually looks like when a trucker f's up and drives an oversized load into a tunnel? Wonder no more. With video goodness!

Posted by scott at 08:26 AM | Comments (4)
Now That's Just Tacky

Mark gets a no-prize he'll have to hide from the border patrol for bringing us yet another tasteless flash game. Those damned things move fast!

Posted by scott at 08:18 AM | Comments (0)
Paging Oscar Goldman, White Courtesy Phone Please

Amber gets a six-million dollar no-prize for bringing us the story of the bionic turtle. The potential for cheesy 70s TV in-jokes alone is worth the price of admission.

Posted by scott at 08:16 AM | Comments (0)
February 28, 2008
Seventh Sign it's an Election Year

CBS gets itself into another political reporting scandal:

The chairman of the Alabama Republican Party sent a letter to "60 Minutes" producers asking for a retraction unless they could provide evidence backing up a segment on former Gov. Don Siegelman's prosecution- Birmingham News.
"Our staff has done an exhaustive search of Alabama Republican Party records going back several years, and we can find not one instance of Dana Jill Simpson volunteering or working on behalf of the Alabama Republican Party – as stated by 60 Minutes reporter Scott Pelley."

It's like they've got the gun superglued to their foot, and just can't stop pulling the trigger.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 02:39 PM | Comments (0)
Man Trap?

Personally, I think the effectiveness of this will be determined by the bait. However, I have a feeling the number of choices required for a catch would not be particularly large.

Posted by scott at 12:58 PM | Comments (1)
Mom, is that You?

Sorta puts that whole "pizza boxes in the oven" thing in perspective, eh?

A 42-year-old borough woman was injured when what authorities called a stash of "homemade fireworks" stored inside her oven exploded.

So much for the quiet town.

Posted by scott at 12:07 PM | Comments (4)
Scale Fly-Away

Mark gets a tiny but impressive no-prize for bringing us this RC aircraft demonstration of a B-29 and an X-1. Yeah, they're not built on the same scale, and the carriage is all wrong, but hey... it's a scale model flying B-29! It just don't get much better than that!

Posted by scott at 08:24 AM | Comments (0)
February 27, 2008
Well Wouldn't That Just Suck

Problem: Hajji, being the secretive sort he is, gradually learns to hide from your big, sophisticated robot airplanes.

Solution: Make tiny, simple robot airplanes that look like bugs and birds, enabling you to facilitate a meeting with Hajji and his 72 virgins in a quick and efficient manner.

New problem: Cats (and other things):

There are bats, birds and other insects out there that will find it a cinch to catch robot butterfly's, mechanical birds or even cyborg moths. It will be a long time until our artificial flyers will be anywhere near a match for Nature's airbourne hunter-killers.

I can definitely see the disappointment involved in creating a zillion dollar droid which ends up showing you nothing more than what the inside of a cat looks like. And boy wouldn't that be an interesting thing to scoop out of the litterbox?

Via Ares.

Update: Go for the edifying discussion. Stay for the Y duz fud buzz? video.

Posted by scott at 02:34 PM | Comments (0)
Chicken Little... In... Spaaaacee...

To commemorate the recent shoot down of that defunct spy satellite, Space.com is carrying a top 10 list of the most memorable space junk hits. Considering the amount of crap up there, I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often.

Posted by scott at 12:26 PM | Comments (2)

Classic video game fans with a do-it-yourself bent should find Project MAME of interest. Back when the ROMs were a little easier to come by, I spent several weeks going through various classic video games with a joy known only to those who've had to cut a day short because of a lack of quarters. Having it all in a cabinet would be just that much better.

Posted by scott at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)
petard.Owner = them; Hoist(petard);

Mike J. gets a no prize he can stare at whilst being burned at the stake for bringing us even more evidence that climate change is something that can be conclusively proven in both directions. Think about this one the next time some Democrat watermelon greenie proposes economy-strangling regulations in the name of the environment.

Posted by scott at 10:42 AM | Comments (18)

Y iz fud yapping?

A Kuranda [Australia] couple fears for their children's safety after a 5m python devoured their dog in front of them, just weeks after other snakes killed their cat and guinea pig.

It took me reading the article twice to make sure the creature wasn't their pet, but instead a wild animal. Ellen keeps both of her snakes locked in tanks.

Posted by scott at 08:30 AM | Comments (1)
February 26, 2008
B-2 Update

More information is now available regarding the first-ever B-2 crash last weekend. It would seem a fire of some sort is what triggered the auger, and unfortunately one of the crew is in the hospital. It would appear that the Air Force can lose exactly two more airframes before the whole squadron stops being operational.

Posted by scott at 02:36 PM | Comments (1)
Dressed for Conquest

It appears that Viking women dressed rather differently before they converted to Christianity:

"It's easy to imagine that the Christian church had certain reservations about clothing that accentuated the breasts in this way and, what's more, exposed the under shift in front," Larsson said. "It's also possible that this clothing was associated with pre-Christian rituals and was therefore forbidden" once Christianity became established.

Of course, considering the climate, it may also be likely they gave it up because Sweden is frikkin cold! But that's just me.

Posted by scott at 01:46 PM | Comments (1)
A Pencil Sharpener, for the Rest of Us

Mark gets a no-prize shaped like a starfish for bringing us a rather unique pencil sharpener. How Amber and Ellen managed to survive without one of these I'll never know.

Posted by scott at 12:35 PM | Comments (1)
Tech March

What a difference 20 years of technology makes! People want to be prosperous via wealth. What markets provide is prosperity through discounts. It's taken almost all of history for people who understand the truth of the latter to beat into submission the former. The fact that people still praise Castro and take Democrats seriously shows how much still is to be done.

Posted by scott at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)
To My Sweet White Boy...


Yesterday was your 1st year in Heaven, and it feels like you have been gone longer. We love you Ajax.

Posted by Ellen at 06:54 AM | Comments (3)
February 25, 2008
Yoiks... and... Away!!!

Annie gets a no-prize that should never be brought anywhere near the water's edge for bringing us a remarkable set of "Murphy's Law" pictures, and an explanation of why the last one is just too good to be true. I thought the last one in the e-mail looked a little funny. Considering what actually happened, there really wasn't much of a need.

Posted by scott at 07:56 PM | Comments (1)
Insert Blue Parrot Sketch Reference Here

African Gray: 1, False Leg: 0. If ours is any indication, toys which can be destroyed are the best toys of all. Anything which can be destroyed is therefore a toy. No wonder they're such happy birds.

Posted by scott at 02:42 PM | Comments (3)
As if I Needed Another Reason

At first I thought Obama might be a Democrat I could at least trust not to run the economy into a wall. Now I'm not so sure:

There are two general themes to his message that he has begun, to be fair, to articulate in more detailed fashion. At home, there will be an increase in taxes—income, estate, payroll—to fund more government health care, education, and general entitlement programs. The old Reaganesque notion that government subsidies can make one more dependent, angrier, and envious is forgotten, along with the notion that lower taxes stimulate economic growth and encourage risk-taking, innovation, and independence. I worry especially about the lifting of income caps (how far?) on social security taxes inasmuch as they were part of the original covenant justifying the caps on benefits paid out.

Distortion, you say? Prove it.

Posted by scott at 01:49 PM | Comments (4)

It would appear it's much harder to trigger an earthquake via rainfall than was previously thought. Turns out such events are heavily influenced by the type of geography on which the rain falls.

Why the media haven't been trumpeting "RAINFALL HAS POTENTIAL TO DEVASTATE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA" headlines all this time I'll never know.

Posted by scott at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)
~ The Paper Holds Their Folded Faces to the Floor ~

The sad thing is, the only reason we're hearing about this guy is he's famous:

The saga of Tony Rosato, in which the mentally ill comic actor from Saturday Night Live, SCTV and Night Heat spent more than 800 days in jail on a domestic harassment charge, mostly because he denies he is sick, then was transferred to a psychiatric institution in a creative legal manoeuvre that embarrassed the Crown last summer, slipped from the sublime into the ridiculous yesterday.

The vast majority of people this sick are never heard from at all. Well, until they kill themselves or others, that is.

How a constitutionally bounded free society deals with its mentally ill is probably one of the greatest unsung challenges it will ever meet. To date, not one has done so satisfactorily. They may not ever be able to, making the pathologically unreasonable the ultimate albatross to liberty.

Posted by scott at 11:50 AM | Comments (3)
Da Rulez

To avoid bar fouls, know the rules!

Mark gets a no-prize that will wobble into walls and apologize to potted plants for bringing us this oh-so-important list.

Posted by scott at 10:37 AM | Comments (1)
Smoke 'em if Ya Got 'em

Tortoise: 1, House: 0. Om's not quite big enough to stack straw up next to a heating lamp (he's about 1/4th the size of the article's subject), but he will be one day. Time to re-think some tank arrangements!

Posted by scott at 08:54 AM | Comments (4)
February 24, 2008
No Amber, You Cannot Have One...

Posted by Ellen at 07:46 PM | Comments (6)
You're Doing it Wrong

This guy took that whole "let them eat cake" thing way too far. I'm actually surprised this doesn't happen more often in extreme eating competitions.

Posted by scott at 07:03 PM | Comments (0)
February 23, 2008
A Picture Collection, for the Rest of Us

It's a unique collection indeed in which I have not seen a single one before. In other words, they're original, they're subversive, and they're fun. Don't just sit there, go look!

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 07:12 PM | Comments (0)
Down it Goes

The first-ever B-2 crash happened this morning at Guam. Both pilots ejected safely. That's a mighty expensive pile of aluminum and carbon fiber you got there, Joe!

Posted by scott at 03:55 PM | Comments (0)
Drumming Arks

At least one man claims to have finally solved the mystery of the Ark of the Covenant. The evidence seems rather tenuous to me, but wtf do I know? Time to put the upcoming History Channel special on the ol' Tivo to-do list!

Posted by scott at 09:24 AM | Comments (1)
Rapturous Circle

Six pages of well-written, "Moses-puzzled-but-bringing-down-the-tablets-anyway" science writing, and what do slashdotters lock onto? A single sentence that mentions Jedi Knights. Ah well, if it gets you to read the article, I suppose it was worth it.

Posted by scott at 09:07 AM | Comments (0)
Bob's not Smiling Anymore

Steve Warshak, owner of the company which makes a number of herbal enhancement drugs such as Enzite, has been found guilty of mail fraud. They got his mom, too. Both are looking at some serious time in federal prison, as well as losing all the money they made bilking gullible men out of millions of dollars.

It deserves saying again: If you could get bigger boobs from pills, every woman's bra selection would start with C. So would about a quarter of the men.

If you could get a bigger wang from pills, most men would have to coil it to fit it in their pants. The rest wouldn't be able to leave the house.

Posted by scott at 09:01 AM | Comments (3)
February 22, 2008
Work Out, Buy Car, Bike Home?

My off-season training video coach Troy Jacobson just finished taping a new set of workouts, and I found the location to be kinda unique. "Everyone, big chain ring on the front, fifteen on the back, buy a C-Class Estate in three, two, one GO!!!"

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

Alfa Romeo has unveiled the convertible version of its 8C supercar. I still can't have one, but they are awfully pretty to look at!

Posted by scott at 02:06 PM | Comments (0)
Stem Cell Adance

Scientists seem to be advancing in their use of stem cells for therapeutic treatments. Stroke treatment = good! Tumors = bad!

Posted by scott at 12:47 PM | Comments (0)
Insert Pink Floyd Reference Here

NASA has awarded a contract to MIT for the design of a huge new radio telescope array meant to study the universe's earliest beginnings. The catch? To see that far back, it must be deployed on the far side of the Moon.

Posted by scott at 11:40 AM | Comments (2)
Questions, I Tell You, Questions! Harumf!

Fling a rocket, bag a satellite, and suddenly every foil-hatter in the world comes twirling out of their tower to yammer at any newsie close by. We've had anti-sat capabilities for twenty years, people. Just because one system gets retired and you don't hear about a replacement, is not the same thing as there being no replacement around.

I love the sound of cages rattling in the morning. Smells like... victory...

Posted by scott at 10:49 AM | Comments (1)
~ A Hiking We will Go ~

Leave it to China to take hiking to a completely new extreme. Sorta puts the Appalachia hike into perspective, eh?

Posted by scott at 08:10 AM | Comments (2)
February 21, 2008
My Tongue? I Hassss One...


Ori weighs in at around 6 pounds now!

Posted by Ellen at 08:16 PM | Comments (0)
Really, She Is Just A Big Baby...


Posted by Ellen at 08:07 PM | Comments (4)
Bug = new Spysat(); Bug.Status = Broke; Windshield(Bug);

Lots of folks have sent us video of the recent satellite shoot-down, so no-prizes to all! Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug.

Posted by scott at 01:28 PM | Comments (3)
Surf Mars

Scientists have found evidence of massive one-time floods on the surface of Mars. The one in question occurred long ago, and could provide a target for a future rover or lander mission.

Posted by scott at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)
Rip Van Blu-Ray

Those who took the HD-DVD plunge may be interested to find out it's possible to convert an HD-DVD disk to Blu-Ray. Possible, but not simple and definitely not particularly cheep at the moment. Hopefully by the time this sort of thing becomes a real issue for people the prices of all the devices will have dropped.

Posted by scott at 10:46 AM | Comments (1)
Amber Find

The famous "Amber Room" from the Czar's palace in St. Petersburg may have been found. Then again, from the article it could be just as likely that a press release was found on a slow news day, and not much else. We'll see...

Posted by scott at 09:00 AM | Comments (11)
February 20, 2008
Flash Fun

Trillions of dollars and billions of man-hours to create, expand, and maintain the Internet, just to make sure we can see stuff like this. I love this country!

Posted by scott at 04:03 PM | Comments (1)
Flanker Redux

The latest Russian Flanker variant made its first flight yesterday. The type is seen as an interim replacement until a fifth-generation type can be developed and deployed.

Posted by scott at 03:06 PM | Comments (0)
I've Always Known Mine Were Much More 'Idiot' Than 'Savant'

It would seem animals really aren't a kind of autistic savant. Just what they are is, obviously, still a point of contention. The ones around my house seem to mostly be stomachs with variously shaped clothing on. The cats even come with a convenient "reverse" button, which they press often and with abandon, much to the detriment of our carpet.

Posted by scott at 01:44 PM | Comments (0)
Galactic Weight Gain

It would seem our Milky Way galaxy is actually twice as big as previously thought. I guess I'll have to use the hybrid space ship instead of the SUV to get across now.

Posted by scott at 12:02 PM | Comments (0)
Gotta Love 'em

Who needs an education when warm-and-fuzzy groupthink works just as well? Somewhere (hopefully an extremely warm undergroundish sort of place) Walter Duranty is smiling.

Posted by scott at 08:48 AM | Comments (2)
February 19, 2008
Hellooo... May I Nibble On You?

DSC_0028 Medium Web view.jpg
DSC_0029 Medium Web view.jpg
Posted by Ellen at 07:09 PM | Comments (4)

The Pentagon has decided the errant spy satellite poses too great a risk to simply let burn up on its own, and therefore must be shot down. Space.com has the details of just what, exactly, this will entail and how it might look. The intercept is taking place at a much lower altitude than did China's last year, so presumably the debris hazard will be much reduced.

Posted by scott at 02:33 PM | Comments (2)
A Horned Something-or-Other

Scientists have discovered a new fossil which provides more evidence that Madagascar and South America were once connected in the distant past. The real puzzler for me is that, since this thing is supposed to be related to the modern horned lizard, why the BBC reporter never once mentioned the creature is actually a reptile, not an amphibian.

Posted by scott at 01:14 PM | Comments (5)
Fun with Flash

I'm sure Olivia will find this one at least a little funny. The trick is making sure Ellen doesn't run it completely into the ground, al-la "The Egg Song."

Posted by scott at 11:46 AM | Comments (1)
He Put it Where?!?

I've heard guys wanting it "stiff as a rod" before, but this is ridiculous. No hardware near the gear!

Via Mahmood.

Posted by scott at 10:43 AM | Comments (3)
Yakuza, Ninja, and Tempura, Oh My!

Joshua, I have found your next goofy movie. It woulda been Ron's too, but it wasn't animated enough and lacked tentacles.

Posted by scott at 08:26 AM | Comments (2)
February 18, 2008
Much Better than the "Pilling" List

39 steps to wrapping a present with a cat, well, present. Now that the holiday season is safely over, I can laugh.

Posted by scott at 04:27 PM | Comments (1)
Bubble 2.0

Looks like things are heating up over on the West Coast again. Maybe tech stocks will return to save us all?

Posted by scott at 03:25 PM | Comments (0)
Death Knell

It appears Toshiba, one of the last HD-DVD holdouts, is throwing in the towel. I'm still not going to pull that particular trigger, mostly because the players are still pricey and, except for the PS-3, don't even support the latest Blu-Ray standard. It is nice to know things seem to finally be sorted out.

And it's not really bad news for HD-DVD owners. Prices for existing titles should drop nicely, and it may be quite some time before studios stop releasing things in that format. By which time Blu-Ray may be down in price and ready to become your next upgrade!

Posted by scott at 09:13 AM | Comments (1)
Photo Fun

Every once in awhile, every photographer gets lucky. Some I'd seen before, most I hadn't.

Posted by scott at 09:08 AM | Comments (0)
When Dummies Attack

Had this happened in America, there would be liability lawyers calling him right now:

The unnamed customer from Doncaster, South Yorks, had ordered the display mannequin over the internet mistakenly thinking it was an adult sex toy. He had to use a pair of heavy duty scissors to cut the dummy and set himself free.

Cheekily instead of feeling a right dummy, he then asked for a REFUND from the suppliers but they were said to have “politely refused.”

All aboard the failboat!

Posted by scott at 09:06 AM | Comments (2)
February 17, 2008


Swoozie kept asking Olivia for head scritches, but O would not have anything to do with it, so I stepped in.

Posted by Ellen at 05:40 PM | Comments (1)
Olivia and Swoozie

Posted by Ellen at 04:58 PM | Comments (1)
February 16, 2008
Oh Noes!!!


It may go on forever, but this week's Fark Caturday thread sure starts out strong enough. It's someone else's bandwidth, so enjoy!

Posted by scott at 04:32 PM | Comments (2)
February 15, 2008
That's a Mighty Weird Lookin' Fish There, Mate

Four foot worth of WWI-era German torpedo will definitely put a crimp in anyone's fishing plans, donchaknow? At first I think it's amazing they're still finding explosives from WWI after all this time. Then I remember just how gleefully Europe went at itself during those years, and I wonder why they don't find more.

Posted by scott at 03:29 PM | Comments (1)
Crystal Ball of Terror

Computer scientists have created a program that is apparently quite good at predicting terrorist targets in Iraq. On reading, the software sounds rather similar to what the New York City police department used in its successful fight against crime in the 1990s.

Hey, anything that puts Hajji in closer contact with his 72 wirgins is all right by me!

Posted by scott at 02:44 PM | Comments (0)
Beats the Hell out of a Trailer

Ron gets an enormous, obsolete no-prize for bringing us yet another guy trying to make money off an abandoned missile silo. If that doesn't count as beating swords into plowshares, I'm not sure what does.

Posted by scott at 01:23 PM | Comments (0)
Planet Find

Scietists have discovered a solar system very like our own. By "very" they mean two planets about the size of Jupiter and Saturn orbiting twice as close to a star half as bright as ours. Of course, considering just how weird the planetary systems found so far have been, maybe "very" really isn't that much of an exaggeration.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)
He did What?!?

Damion gets a no-prize that simply shouldn't exist for bringing us the Civette, a Honda Civic-Chevy Corvette hybrid.

No, really!

Posted by scott at 10:28 AM | Comments (2)
Paging Jerry Lee Lewis, White Courtesy Phone Please

It appears that weak flames behave differently in space than they do on Earth. "Paging Ric Romero," you say? Well, it turns out the reasons are more subtle, and less well understood, than you'd think.

Posted by scott at 08:21 AM | Comments (0)
February 14, 2008
Happy V-Day!

Everyone at AMCGLTD would like to wish you all a very:

Happy Valentine's Day!

Posted by Ellen at 03:37 PM | Comments (4)
Working it Out

My own suspicions about what causes long term poverty just got a boost:

Alone on a dark gritty street, Adam Shepard searched for a homeless shelter. He had a gym bag, $25, and little else. A former college athlete with a bachelor's degree, Mr. Shepard had left a comfortable life with supportive parents in Raleigh, N.C. Now he was an outsider on the wrong side of the tracks in Charles­ton, S.C.
During his first 70 days in Charleston, Shepard lived in a shelter and received food stamps. He also made new friends, finding work as a day laborer, which led to a steady job with a moving company.

Ten months into the experiment, he decided to quit after learning of an illness in his family. But by then he had moved into an apartment, bought a pickup truck, and had saved close to $5,000.

A few on the left side of the peanut gallery may sneer about sex and skin color, which to me is a demonstration of just how fast goalposts can be moved when a score would threaten to upset someone's most deeply held misconceptions.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 03:35 PM | Comments (5)
Fun With Closeups

After watching Ellen try and get shots like this one, I can say with some confidence that it's not the gear that you use which makes this work, it's getting the @#$#@ bug to sit still long enough to snap the picture. Although admittedly having the correct macro lens definitely helps.

And I do wonder if the "rain" came out of a sprayer.

Posted by scott at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)
No Blood for Titan!

Scientists have discovered, well, titanic liquid hydrocarbon reserves on Saturn's moon Titan. Great. Now we all know the real reason behind sending that Cassini probe. Put Rumsfeld on trial! Impeach the President! Arrest Carl Rove!

Posted by scott at 01:21 PM | Comments (2)
Talk About Your Weather Delays...

Ron gets a damned cold no-prize for bringing us the latest discoveries regarding the migration of humans from Asia to America. Turns out, at least according to this research, the people in question may have had to wait up to 5,000 years before they were able to complete the passage.

Posted by scott at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)
Fun with Microwaves

A microwave can melt a hole in a beer bottle. Who knew? And give that guy a blue ribbon for "nastiest microwave insides" while you're at it. Microwaving beer bottles is probably all I'd do with that one!

Posted by scott at 08:35 AM | Comments (2)
February 13, 2008
Clone Time

Making the rounds: Lucasfilm has announced Clone Wars will be a CGI animated feature film to be released this August, with a series to follow in the fall. The look of the clips I can see make it seem as if they've brought Ralph McQuarrie's original storyboards to life, which is a good thing. What remains to be seen is if they concentrated on the look more than the story, which would be a bad thing.

I guess it's finally getting about time to show Olivia the originals, because when Lucasfilm starts its typical carpet-bomb promotion of this one she'll definitely put it on her list.

Posted by scott at 03:45 PM | Comments (0)
Bat Bones

Scientists have discovered new evidence that bats first developed flight, then the echolocation system common to all extant species. The fossil evidence dates back 53 million years, and seems to show all bat species alive at that time were already proficient fliers. Perhaps they developed flight during the age of the dinosaurs?

Posted by scott at 01:41 PM | Comments (0)
Fun with Maps

Mark gets a no-prize he just shouldn't look at for bringing us the real secret behind Google Maps. It's getting to the point Google is nearly as scary as Microsoft!

Posted by scott at 12:42 PM | Comments (0)
Take Down

It would appear the Air Force is mulling over a shoot-down of the failed spy satellite that's been in the news lately. If it keeps the thing from falling on someone, I'm all for it. But it will definitely be interesting to see just what, exactly, is used to do the deed.

Posted by scott at 10:43 AM | Comments (1)
Tiny Muscles

2' 9" bodybuilder, anybody? Hey, gotta earn a living somehow!

Posted by scott at 08:54 AM | Comments (0)
February 12, 2008
Mynd you, møøse falls Kan be pretty nasti

In the "I honestly didn't know that was a problem" file we have WATCH FOR FALLING MOOSE. Explain that one to the insurance adjuster!

Posted by scott at 07:43 PM | Comments (1)
Low Wage + Tight Labor Market =

Bitchy employers:

Mike Bunner calls it a ''cowboy mentality,'' the attitude he sees in so many people who come seeking jobs from him.
''They don't want to follow rules, and in a workplace there are certain rules,'' Bunner said. ''It's almost like it's a cultural thing.''

A culture where labor is subject to market forces just as any other commodity, and in which Mr. Bunner's area appears to have switched from a buyer's to a seller's. Which reminds me of a connection you get to make when your head is stuffed full of useless history...

What struck me was how much this whining sounded like the whining of Abbots and Lords about what happened after the Black Death. Then, a terrible disease tightened the labor market by at least 33% (perhaps 50%). Since, unlike the Ottomans or Chinese, Europe was unable to simply bludgeon its peasantry into working without wages, European employers had to pay a premium for good workers or settle for less. Since a medieval boss was not much different from a modern one, the chronicles of the day are filled to bursting with complaints about how it was impossible to fill jobs and the workers you could get were awful and how the king or the Pope aught to do something about it. The fact they couldn't is one of the fundamental forces which created our modern world, and why it started in Europe instead of anywhere else.

Fortunately today it's economic growth rather than the scythe of disease tightening up the labor market. However, as long as that market is allowed to function, no matter how bitchy employers get or how arrogant employees become, not only will the economy continue to function it will grow faster and more efficiently than any government program ever could.

Which is not to say people will like it.

Posted by scott at 03:15 PM | Comments (0)
You're Letting Him What?!?

Problem: Precious male snowflake decides on a novel route to avoiding the second grade by insisting on dressing as a girl.

Solution: Not exactly what I'd vote for, at any rate:

An 8-year-old boy is preparing to return to his home school district in Colorado as a girl, so school officials are designating two school restrooms as unisex facilities, and preparing to counsel other students on the issue of transgenderism.

I've known for a long time that the existing public school system structure was fundamentally flawed, but I never thought it would result in something like this. And yet, once you get your head around the incentives that our centrally-planned, government-managed, "progressive" public school systems create, such an outcome is not only logical, but inevitable.

Yet another in the legion of reasons why Milton Friedman's voucher system is so urgently needed.

Posted by scott at 02:08 PM | Comments (8)
Sticky Faces

Pat gets a no-prize that just won't go away for bringing us news of just how difficult it is to delete one's Facebook account. To me, this indicates more of a design problem than anything else. Their system's back-end is most likely cobbled together from a lot of disparate applications, and nobody's had time to write the requisite scripts needed to get rid of it all, all at once.

Posted by scott at 01:07 PM | Comments (1)
That Can't Possibly be Good for the Fixtures

When some people trash a house, they really go all the way:

A years-old mummified body has been found in a cottage bathtub beneath layers of wood, plastic, dirt and sand, Phoenix police said.

No word yet if it's the former tenant or an unfortunate victim.

Posted by scott at 08:07 AM | Comments (1)
February 11, 2008
Yet More Suckage

Roy Scheider, 1932-2008. I always thought he was an actor with immense charisma, someone with, whatever reason, I always identified. While I know he must've had his fair share of klinkers in his career, I can't think of any. 75 is a pretty good run, but it's a shame he couldn't have stuck around longer. Another one who will be missed.

Posted by scott at 07:55 PM | Comments (1)
Trust No One

I guess it's nice to know the US holds no monopoly on bizarre money scams. I hate the phone so much I just don't answer it if I don't recognize the number. However, I don't run a business, so I have no reason to expect cold-calls out of nowhere. Considering that a successful business owner will already be a pretty savvy person, I can't imagine this particular scam would work all that well. Then again, nobody who turns to a life of crime does so because of an excess of brains. Quite the opposite, in my experience.

Posted by scott at 02:49 PM | Comments (0)
Dog Day Economics

An interesting question: If as many factors are figured in as possible, which impacts the environment more, a dog or an SUV?

It's not as simple a question as you'd at first think.

Posted by scott at 01:50 PM | Comments (6)
Space Ink

A new theory seems to indicate that dark matter and dark energy are actually the same substance. Termed a "dark fluid," the theoretical stuff accurately accounts for all known observational evidence for either substance. It also (seems to) make more testable predictions, allowing headway to be made in one of the most mysterious phenomena in astrophysics today.

What does it mean? Hell if I know. But even the most esoteric scientific phenomena can lead to wonderful things, so why not cheer from the sidelines?

Posted by scott at 12:16 PM | Comments (0)
~ Keep Spendin' Most Our Lives / Livin' in a Commie's Paradise ~

Hugo Chavez's "socialist paradise" continues down its depressingly predictable path to destruction:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in an effort to deal with food shortages nationwide, threatened today to expropriate farms and raised the price rice producers are permitted to charge.

Old-guard Bolsheviks like Lenin or Stalin would've responded by stealing confiscating all food resources in the offending regions and letting the farmers and their families starve. Millions would end up dying in what was, to fans of Communism, a justified pogrom against traitors to the state. Fortunately, Chavez is no Stalin. At least, not yet.

Watch carefully. This is where radical socialism always leads.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 10:51 AM | Comments (1)
Dance Dance Robot

I, for one, welcome our new short disco-dancing overlords. I can remember when it was really amazing that Honda had created a walking robot. It was huge and moved very slowly. Now we've got dancing kiddie-sized robots. And yet I still have to badger my kid into getting me a beer. I think it's well past time to commercialize these products!

Posted by scott at 08:50 AM | Comments (0)
February 10, 2008
Men, in a Single Sentence

Resolved: If it explodes, moves fast or produces ridiculous amounts of torque, it's cool.

Seconded, passed unanimously. Now where's the fuse?

Via Violins and Starships.

Posted by scott at 10:23 AM | Comments (1)
Think of it as a Teeny-Tiny Cup

Scientists have announced the ability to create three-dimensional structures using DNA as the constructor. The article touts it as a 'Holy Grail' for nanotech. I'll have to take their word for it. Now, bring on the stuff!

Posted by scott at 10:19 AM | Comments (0)
Which is Why You Lock the Pet Door

Home pets: 1, raccoon: 0. I wonder how long it took them to figure out just what was stealing all the cat food?

Via Dust Bunny Ramblings

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Please choose regular or super. You have fifteen seconds to comply. Yet another automotive innovation the ol' Spider will happily ignore.

Posted by scott at 09:16 AM | Comments (0)
February 09, 2008
New Book Alert!

Thomas Sowell's got a new one out! Those of you who want a clear, concise, and interesting summary of how economics really works should definitely consider it. Those who want to know where the F--- I get all these idiotic, wrong-headed ideas should most likely stay away. Disillusionment is, after all, something I try to avoid with people who mistake watching TV news for actual learning.

No, not you, the other one.

Posted by scott at 05:12 PM | Comments (1)
Theater Concept

There, but for the grace of God and six million free bucks, go I:

While the KSS is technically an 8.8-channel audio system, it uses a lot more than eight speakers and eight subwoofers. Kipnis felt that a lone center speaker sounded a tad undernourished compared with the eight Snell THX Cinema & Music Reference towers, so he opted for three Snell LCR-2800 center-channel speakers. The original contingent of eight subs sounded "really good" but, unfortunately, didn't deliver the full earth-moving-under-your-feet effect he wanted. So, he wound up with 16 18-inch Snell subs! To balance the other frequency extreme, and for the ultimate in transient speed and transparency, the Snell speakers' treble has been augmented with MuRata ES103A super tweeters.

Meh. Gives me a goal on which to spend my child's inheritance.

Posted by scott at 01:52 PM | Comments (0)
February 08, 2008
A Reviewer, for the Rest of Us

Joshua gets a no-prize that throws out more jokes per second than Robin Williams on crack for introducing us to Ben Croshaw, the lord of Zero Punctuation.

Just go straight to the Super Mario review, then Guitar Hero III. You can thank me later.

And remember, he is Not. Gay!

Posted by scott at 03:25 PM | Comments (1)
Poop from Above!

This week's "crap literally falls out of an airplane and punches a hole in someone's roof" story is brought to you by Calgary Canada.

It falls through the roof, then you say it, then you do it. Trifecta!

Posted by scott at 01:54 PM | Comments (0)
Oh Noes! Not the Funding!

Always remember one of the hallmarks of a spoiled brat is the ability to dish it out but not take it:

As six Republican senators devised a plan to yank $2.3 million in federal funding for Berkeley programs, the mayor of the famously liberal city apologized Wednesday for his hard stance against a Marine recruiting center.

Too bad these aren't actually six-year-olds, and they're running a city.

Being able to think more than three turns ahead is the mark of a grand master, in politics as much as chess. I'm not sure what sort of mark is made when someone doesn't even think of the consequences of the move their making right now.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 12:05 PM | Comments (1)
Divide and Conquer

While the Republicans, by design, now have a single candidate and nearly a whole damned year to campaign against the Democrats, it's becoming increasingly clear the Democrats will be campaigning against each other until at least August. That's right folks! While the Republicans will be spending their time telling everyone about their platform, and how awful the Democrats are, the Democrats will be... explaining to everyone how awful the Democrats are. This too, is apparently by design.

Sorta says it all, eh?

Posted by scott at 11:58 AM | Comments (2)

Mark gets a no-prize that probably shouldn't look like that for bringing us this collection of unique "look-a-likes". Nobody said duplicating someone at 1/8th scale was easy!

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

A formal report has been released after a state investigation of the fatal explosion at Scaled Composites last year. Unfortunately, the investigators seem to have shrugged at what might have caused the disaster at the company known for its innovative SpaceShipOne and Two vehicles. The evidence has now been turned over to the district attorney to see if anyone may be liable for the deaths.

Posted by scott at 08:30 AM | Comments (0)
February 07, 2008
Male Belly Dancer-This Time It Is Funny!

Posted by Ellen at 04:20 PM | Comments (1)
That's Certainly not What I was Taught About Where Babies Come From

Have fun parsing this one. Then again, the perspective seems all wrong to me. Maybe it's just a goofy photoshop?

Via Violins and Starships.

Posted by scott at 02:15 PM | Comments (2)
Dude. Wait... What? VI

I got no idea what's going on here. From what I'm able to see, I'm pretty sure I don't want to know what's going here. What is it with Asians?

Posted by scott at 01:23 PM | Comments (2)
The Darkest Marinate of All

The thing that makes a good sulk so enjoyable is you get to ignore everything that contradicts it. Like, you know, this:

American "decline" is the foreign-policy equivalent of homelessness: The media only take note of it when a Republican is in the White House.


Now take military expenditures. Yesterday, the administration released its budget proposal for 2009, which includes $515.4 billion for the regular defense budget. In inflation-adjusted dollars, this would be the largest defense appropriation since World War II. Yet it amounts to about 4% of GDP, as compared to 14% during the Korean War, 9.5% during the Vietnam War and 6% in the Reagan administration. Throw in the Iraq and Afghanistan supplementals, and total projected defense spending is still only 4.5% of GDP -- an easily afforded sum...

(Emphasis added)

The key to real prosperity for everyone is economic growth. Whichever party most consistently supports policies which enable growth will always have my vote. Any party that chooses to emphasize an agenda that impedes growth (pushing agendas like "fairness" or "living wages" or "progressivism") won't.

Which should make my party choice, well, rather obvious.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 11:28 AM | Comments (0)
Jump, Jive, & Glide

Problem: "it’s hard to measure things about an animal that moves around at night, lives 30 metres up a tree, and can glide 100 metres away from you in an arbitrary direction in 10 seconds."

Solution: Wii remotes.

Is there anything it can't do?

Posted by scott at 08:30 AM | Comments (0)
February 06, 2008
Pretty Much Says it All

Actually, it's not just mathematicians and physicists. Just about all my friends would be vulnerable to this sort of dastardly trick.

For whatever reason, I'm reminded of a scene out of the recent Dr. Who series. The Doctor gives and extremely elaborate and detailed explanation for why something that looks like a cross between a zombie and a bread machine is trying to gnaw everyone's face off. After two minutes, he stops for a bit, and everyone looks at his (cute, blond, female) companion. She says, "I find it's easier to just wait until he's out of breath and then nod a bit."

Ellen didn't stop laughing for five minutes. No idea why.

Posted by scott at 08:17 PM | Comments (3)
A Different Sort of Colonoscopy

An intrepid group of Chinese has set up a telescope on a high plateau in Antarctica. Advantages: unparalleled atmospheric stability, absolute darkness with no conceivable threat of urban light polution. Disadvantages: Dude, it's Antarctica! They had to shlep it all across the world's most inhospitable desert on sleds.

So raise a glass, and here's to hoping that damned frozen bit of optics discovers something amazing.

Posted by scott at 08:07 PM | Comments (3)
Mining Words

A new study seems to indicate children learn language through a process very similar to computer data mining. It's hoped the findings will point toward more effective techniques for teaching languages to children and adults. Considering the horrific time I had learning German in college, anything that provides a different technique would be welcome, to me at least.

Posted by scott at 01:28 PM | Comments (0)
On Victors not of Our Choosing


Much is said about principles, and since I am not able elect anyone BY MYSELF I have entered into this pact with the group of people who I feel most comfortable with in terms of values. If they, as a body, choose a candidate who is not my first, second, third or fourth choice, then I can look to the Democrats. There I find views so antithetical to everything I believe that I realize there is indeed something to this idea of party loyalty.

I have misgivings about McCain, but only because other people who I respect have misgivings about him. When it comes down to it, I have had misgivings about all the Republican candidates. But they're nothing compared to the flat-out fears I have about what would happen if the last bulwark preventing the Democratic congress from running amok were removed.

So I will quite confidently cast my Republican vote this November, because even though whoever is running won't completely represent my values, and even though that party sometimes says or does things I disagree with, it agrees with and does things I do value and agree with far more often than the other side ever will. You can, most of you do, disagree with me. That's fine. That's what elections are for.

See you at the polls!

Posted by scott at 12:31 PM | Comments (4)
Well that Just Stinks

One of the pioneers of on-line bicycle advice, Sheldon Brown, passed away Sunday at the age of 63. His technical info site is still one of the best "vendor-neutral" places to get real-world bicycling information. He will be missed.

Posted by scott at 10:12 AM | Comments (0)
Now that's What I Call a Merry Theme

Ah, Carnivale. The all-night parties. The elaborately dressed women naked in all the right places. The dancing Hitler on top of a mound of dead Jews.

No, really!

Posted by scott at 08:14 AM | Comments (0)
February 05, 2008
Big Prop

With blade lengths over 400 feet, I do not doubt the E-126 wind turbine is the largest in the world. I wonder how tall the tower itself is? I couldn't spot a citation.

Now if we can just convince ol' Teddy it won't ruin his fishing off the Vineyard...

Posted by scott at 04:15 PM | Comments (1)
I'm My Own Grandpa, and So is He

Scientists have combined the genetic information of three people to create a single embryo. The idea is to help women with mitocondrial DNA diseases by using that specific sort of genetic material from another, unaffected, woman. There's a huge creep-out factor in this for me, but if it leads to healthy kids, and it's not being done using my tax dollars, well, I wouldn't agree to legislation that stopped it.

I think.

Posted by scott at 03:26 PM | Comments (1)
Your Next Ticket to Ride

Private enterprise space station builder Bigelow Aerospace is in talks with United Launch Alliance discussing just what it would take to man-rate the Atlas V launch vehicle. Getting a privately-funded manned spaceship into orbit is seen as the next (huge) challenge in the effort to commercialize manned spaceflight. I'm actually kind of surprised it's taken this long for someone to approach the commercial launch industry for a solution. Perhaps if I understood just what was involved in "man-rating," and why it's such a big damned deal, it wouldn't seem so surprising.

Posted by scott at 02:51 PM | Comments (0)
How Low Can You Go?

Apparently the Swedes take a dim view of a pilot playing crop duster with one of their C-130s. A better video link is here. Remember folks, the best you'll ever be able to do in the "lowest pass" contest is second place!

Posted by scott at 01:40 PM | Comments (1)
A Sudden Outbreak of Common Sense

F- the current candidate roster. I want the team who's producing this stuff:

But hey, we all know how accurate and well-meaning our MSM is. Why listen to anyone else?

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 12:37 PM | Comments (0)
Holy Crap!

Today's miracle photo-with-story comes to you from the western German city of Ludwigshafen. Tossing babies out of windows is obviously not an optimal solution to rescue, but if it's between that or watching them fry, well, I guess it'd be time to pray the guy on the ground was a good catch.

Posted by scott at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)
~ Skylab is Falling Down on Us, Hurrah, Hurrah ~

Desperate to drum up some sort of interest in what is clearly a government conspiracy to rain spy satellite bits down on us, the New York Times is reduced to interviewing guys who like to watch said satellites zip across the sky.

My dad's place is dark enough at night to see these things as they go by. I'll admit it's pretty interesting, at least looking up from a pool raft whilst holding a beer. They're fast enough I can't imagine tracking them with a telescope, but who knows?

Pat gets a no-prize John Belushi once used as a prop on Weekend Update (oh go look it up) for bringing us news of one of the more unique hobbies in the sky watching field.

Posted by scott at 08:30 AM | Comments (3)
February 04, 2008
EBay, Meet EGrift

Look, people, If you can't bring it home don't f'ing bid for it on Ebay:

Hundreds of people in the poor Romanian town of Dragasani have grown rich by conning eBay online auction customers with deals that seem too good to be true - and often are.

The scammers have even put the new town hall up for sale on eBay, the mayor admitted last week. “I mean, who would want it?” he asked.

Bonus: the classic trailer-trash momma quote, "He's just a good boy who got mixed up with the wrong crowd." I wonder if it's more poetic in Romanian?

Like most illnesses, this one seems to be playing out in the very young, the very old, and the very stupid.

Posted by scott at 02:29 PM | Comments (1)

Michael Totten: "I met a young Marine named Austin — he did not give me his last name and he wasn't wearing his rank – who grew up in East St. Louis, Illinois. “I'm from a really bad area,” he said. “I didn't even go outside when I was a kid. Fallujah is a lot better.”

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 01:18 PM | Comments (1)
Hi-Res Apollo

NASA is working with the Discovery Channel to produce a miniseries. The hook? This time the footage will be in HD, which as far as I know is the first time said footage will be generally available in this format.

Posted by scott at 12:21 PM | Comments (2)
From Russa, with... Something...

Welcome to the former Soviet Union, where all manner of things are possible. Possible, yes. Desirable, well, that's something else all together.

Although, truth be told, I recall seeing things nearly as goofy in and around the South while I was growing up. Most are now long gone, so I think it's as much a sign of poverty as it is cultural quirks.

"If own grandmother pulls plow in underwear... you might be from Russia."

Posted by scott at 10:46 AM | Comments (3)
Paging Vanilla Ice, White Courtesy Phone Please

Some scientists are proposing that the origin of life may not lie in soupy puddles, or squishy clay, but instead may reside inside the most unlikely of things, ice. The basis of the theory is a process called "eutectic freezing," which causes certain sorts of chemical reactions, in particular certain sorts that give rise to organic molecules, to actually increase as temperature decreases.

Posted by scott at 08:24 AM | Comments (0)
February 03, 2008
When the Writer's Strike Attacks

The advantages of having a cute girlfriend with connections. We've heard Sarah on Stern more than once... she really is like this.

Posted by scott at 09:49 PM | Comments (0)
February 02, 2008
Caturday Overload


I didn't think it was possible to express what Ron is like after he downs a bottle of Merlot in 10 minutes. I was wrong.

Moar heer...

Posted by scott at 04:04 PM | Comments (5)

Well, they may never take the place of powder, but damn, railguns sure do look good when they're fired. Like Glenn, I got nothing on what seems to be some sort of plasma trail behind the round. Maybe at those speeds it just burns the air?

Via Instapundit.

Update: AvWeek watched it live.

Posted by scott at 03:32 PM | Comments (1)
Making Of

Mike P. gets a digitized no-prize for bringing us this look at how digital movie wizards make their magic. It would seem that what once took weeks to shoot, involved dozens or even hundreds of extras, and cost millions of dollars can now be done by four guys in costumes in a day or two.

Oh, and do be sure to mute the sound. Nobody needs that much techno in the morning.

Posted by scott at 07:49 AM | Comments (0)
Welcome to the High End. Please Keep Hands and Feet Inside the Ride at All Times

This is why, after more than 25 years, I only flirt with the Hi-fi hobby:

The Andromeda Reference, part of the Moon Evolution series, is Simaudio's flagship CD player. As such, it's a showcase for the company's latest and best technology, and they've gone all out in its execution. The double chassis is a perfect example. Sim began by separating the power supplies for the digital and analog sections, then designed each around an optimized, purpose-built toroidal transformer to minimize thermal, electrical, and magnetic leakage, and loaded them up with copious amounts of capacitor storage. Next, they shielded the transformers from the circuitry, and mechanically isolated the transformers and the circuit boards from each other and within the power-supply chassis. Then, to ensure that any residual power-supply noise was truly isolated from the audio signals, Sim put both supplies in their own chassis. The analog and digital power supplies each has its own umbilical to the CD-player chassis.

More than twelve thousand dollars later, and whaddaya got? 16 bits, 44.1khz sample rate, just like my $200 Emerson had in 1983. Just to add frosting to the lunacy, the reviewer starts comparing it all to vinyl. Because we all really know the true hi-fi benchmark was set in 1957, donchaknow?

Gah, I say, Gah!

Posted by scott at 07:00 AM | Comments (4)
February 01, 2008
A Living Room, for... rrr... Someone

Ron gets a no-prize everyone will want for their next football party for bringing us this timely look at just how far NFL obsessions can go. Tastefulness: NOT YOURS.

Posted by scott at 03:43 PM | Comments (3)
More Generations

James H. gets a no-prize that will efficiently escort him out of the area for bringing us evidence that F-22s weren't the only advanced fighter to intercept Russia's oldest intercontinental bomber this year. From my readings, it's been said Tu-95 duty is not highly prized. You're in the air for hours and the Bear is supposed to be loud inside.

I still think it would be cool to see one in an airshow.

Posted by scott at 02:45 PM | Comments (1)
Cracking Water

Mike J gets a no-prize of the purest green for bringing us news of new developments related to fuel cells. This time, it's not about making the cells themselves more powerful or efficient, but rather it's about a fundamentally different (and, according to the inventors) cheaper way of creating what powers the fuel cell... namely, hydrogen.

If it moves us closer to strangling radical Islam's primary source of funding, I'm all for it!

Posted by scott at 01:45 PM | Comments (0)
Gotta Get It

Pioneer debuted two new technologies at this year's CES: an "infinite contrast" display, and an ultralight/ultrathin display. The former displays images with no idle luminance*, while the latter is, well, this.

At 9mm thick and 41 lbs, the second one sure does seem sexy. At this time no price or date for a production product, which usually means "expensive." Still, barring exceptional circumstances, we'll be in the market for a "ya, srsly" new TV around Christmas time. Maybe by then we'll know if one of these could be in our future?

* Imagine a TV image of a flower on a black table. Turn the lights off. On this display, all you'll then see is the flower.

Posted by scott at 12:48 PM | Comments (0)
When City Councils Attack

Lane G. gets a no-prize that proudly waves its hammer and sickle flag for bringing us the latest loopy attempt by the People's Republic of Berkeley to show "We. Are. Relevant!" Reminds me of the old saying, "when God created the United States, he picked up the East coast and shook it once hard, causing all the loose marbles to roll down to California." Seems to me that the further north you go in that state, the further left the landscape leans. Must be something in the water.

Posted by scott at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)
Burger inna Can

No, really, a burger in a can. And he eated it! What will those silly Germans think of next?

Posted by scott at 08:33 AM | Comments (0)