April 30, 2008
Rock On Ellen!


Posted by Ellen at 08:25 PM | Comments (2)
Bang On The Drums!


Yep, she got to play too!

Posted by Ellen at 08:22 PM | Comments (1)
~ Bit by Bit, Putting it Together ~

Mark gets a most impressive no-prize for bringing us this animation sequence detailing the construction of the International Space Station. I still think it's a white elephant, but at least now I think it's an impressive white elephant.

Posted by scott at 02:13 PM | Comments (0)
Wow. Just... wow.

Any Brits who go on about how tacky people in the US can be are pleased to be shutting up and sitting down now. And all this time I thought Amber's dress was complicated...

Posted by scott at 01:02 PM | Comments (5)
Finding Grandpa

DNA from a recently uncovered corpsicle shows a direct link between the victim and 17 living descendants. Which wouldn't be all that remarkable, except the "victim" was a native American who lived several hundred years ago. Ain't DNA testing grand?

Posted by scott at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)
Darth Vader on the Seas

The Navy's first radically new ship design in more than fifty years has finally reached the water. Let's hope the shake-down and development go more smoothly than the development and construction.

Posted by scott at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)
Squid Update

Early reports indicate the colossal squid dissected in New Zealand was a smallish specimen. According to the dissection blog (no, really!) the specimen was female.

Posted by scott at 08:39 AM | Comments (2)
April 29, 2008
Rock On Mark!


Yes.... we are that stupid at my house.

~More pixes to come!

Posted by Ellen at 07:03 PM | Comments (3)
SuPa Sta!


What do a bunch of adults exactly do at a party for a 40 year old? Well, you get the guest of honor drunk and make him sing ROCK BAND!

Posted by Ellen at 06:59 PM | Comments (0)
Open Mouth, Insert Foot, Go to Jail

I've said it before, I'll say it again, just because you're smart at one thing does not mean you're smart at everything:

Jurors found Linux programmer Hans Reiser guilty of first degree murder on Monday, concluding he killed his estranged wife in 2006. The verdict followed a nearly six-month trial and nearly three days of deliberation.
When police eventually located Hans Reiser's Honda CRX a few miles from his home, they found the interior waterlogged, the passenger seat missing, and two books on police murder investigations inside. They also found a sleeping-bag cover stained with a 6-inch wide blotch of Nina's dried blood...

Fans (such as myself) of CourtTV and/or various court TV dramas will rightly surmise that even though the evidence was almost comically incriminating, it was also completely circumstantial. It's the kind of stuff good defense attorneys love to sink their teeth into, because cops can and do fake stuff like this all the time. So why did he get convicted? Because of a counter-example to Scott's Plaintiff Principle: never ever ever take the stand in your own defense:

In a characteristic exchange under cross-examination, Reiser tried to explain why he'd removed and discarded the passenger seat from his two-seater Honda CRX after Nina vanished. His explanation: He'd been sleeping in the vehicle, and wanted the extra room. Asked why he hosed down the inside of the car, leaving an inch of water on the floorboard, he explained that the interior was dirty, and he mistakenly believed the water would drain out.

The description in the article paints the man as a genuinely unpleasant person to be around, and in my opinion indicates he's suffering from a pretty severe mental illness. Which is sort of surprising to me, since I actually deployed ReiserFS on a few systems around here back in 2000, and the articles on his website seemed to me friendly and conversational.

Of course, it's not known as a "descent into madness" because people start off nuts, eh?

Posted by scott at 04:08 PM | Comments (2)
Getting an Early Start, a Good Sign

Annie gets a no-prize with an extremely amusing mug shot attached for bringing us a story involving of one of the less popular places to spend one's wedding night:

A newlywed couple spent the night in separate jail cells -- she in her wedding gown -- after police said they brawled with each other, then members of another wedding party, at a suburban Pittsburgh hotel.

And could someone please explain wtf a "Yintzer" is?

Posted by scott at 02:18 PM | Comments (6)
Chain Letter

Journalism, being the penultimate "too much time on your hands" career, can sometimes generate the darnedest things. Like finding out what happens if a (pseudo) ten year-old boy sends notes to a variety of celebrities, both nefarious and otherwise. Surprisingly, I can provide some verification for the authenticity of the Clarence Thomas letter. There's a guy in our office who has a letter from Mr. Thomas on his wall, and it's composed in exactly the same way.

Posted by scott at 12:45 PM | Comments (1)
The Kids are All Right

Citizens of Israel, like those in the US, seems to be more than a little neurotic about their success. So much so that sometimes it's good to get a reminder of just how good things really are. I used to do this a lot with some (not all) folks I know, but got tired of being sneered at because of my politics. Meh. F- 'em if they can't take a joke, eh?

Via Yourish.

Posted by scott at 11:44 AM | Comments (1)
Paging Steve Martin, White Courtesy Phone Please

Mike P. gets a no-prize that'll wander down the street with its pants around its ankles for bringing us news (and picture) about someone taking a blown gun to a town's pigeon population. You'd think that, instead of offering some sort of reward, those PETA folks would get some traps and take the dratted things to the vet. Priorities, people, priorities!

Posted by scott at 08:13 AM | Comments (4)
April 28, 2008
Oh There Is a Birdy On A Boing!


Taken with Scott's new Nikon VR 55-200.

Posted by Ellen at 08:17 PM | Comments (1)
Colossal Cut-Up

Ron gets a no-prize on the end of a hook for bringing us news of an upcoming colossal squid dissection. You remember the one they caught a few years ago? Yeah, it's that one. And it's going to be covered by the Discovery channel, so it'll be coming soon to a TV screen near, well, us anyway. Woot!

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

The first F-35B (STOVL version) has finally started its engine. It's been (and likely will continue to be) touch-and-go, but they do seem to be making progress.

Posted by scott at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)
Breakfast Boys

UK researchers would appear to have found a link between what a woman eats for breakfast and what sex her unborn child will become. It would seem breakfast cereal consumption increases the chance a woman will have a boy. I'm not sure if this explains anything, but it's an interesting thought.

Posted by scott at 01:36 PM | Comments (1)
Think Fast, Click Fast

Turns out that I, too, am a Rocketing Rabbit. Well, I was once. When I'm sober, at least.

Reminds me a lot of that old WKRP in Cincinnati episode. Hmm? Oh get off my lawn... you either remember it, or you're too young to remember it.

Via Siflay.

Posted by scott at 12:08 PM | Comments (2)

Remember that prediction I made that fuel might one day be brewed instead of refined? It's much closer to reality than even I thought.

Posted by scott at 10:58 AM | Comments (1)
When Modders Attack

Friend Damion sent us this board link to his new PC case-mod project. It's not quite done, but far enough along to see how it'll turn out: lots of detail, industrial-grade parts, and enough rivets, nuts, and bolts to screw together another Titanic. Way neat!

Posted by scott at 08:33 AM | Comments (1)
April 26, 2008
Best of Breed


Now, U go wai!

Posted by scott at 03:38 PM | Comments (0)
If You Love Your Country...

I agree with Ron, Best! Song! Evar!!! I especially liked how Rodney kept looking at the balcony chick. Impressive. Most impressive.


Posted by scott at 03:13 PM | Comments (0)
April 25, 2008
Galaxy Quest

In celebration of Hubble's launch anniversary yesterday, NASA released some of the space telescope's most spectacular galactic collisions. Explain that one to the insurance adjuster!

Posted by scott at 01:50 PM | Comments (0)
Human Split

A new genetic study seems to indicate humanity experienced a profound population split about 100,000 years ago. The findings have implications not only for population studies but also for cultural development, as the timing of the "reunification" seems to match the era when human culture exploded in diversity.

Posted by scott at 12:53 PM | Comments (0)
Bang Bang

Looks like the army is getting ready to field some nifty toys:

The NLOS-M, which is technologically about three years behind the NLOS-C, is equally high-tech. It fires the same 120 mm projectiles as other large-caliber mortar launchers, but it does so with a fully automated, breech-loading system. Traditionally, guys had to stand up in an open vehicle, hold a 36-lb munition up until the “Fire” order was given, drop the munition and then get the hell out of the way. Obviously lots of opportunity for injury. In the case of the NLOS-M, mounted on the same chassis as the NLOS-C, soldiers sit protected in the vehicle and auto-launch the mortars using an advanced software system and touch-screen computers. The mortar is also an MRSI (multi-round, simultaneous-impact) system, with the capability to launch 16 rounds in the first minute and 8 rounds per minute thereafter. The first prototype of the NLOS-M will roll out in 2011 and be fielded in 2014.

MRSI is seriously cool. The computer calculates a bunch of different trajectories and then fires a sequence of shells. Each one follows a different ballistic track to ensure all the rounds land at the exact same time. Think of a shotgun, but with mortar shells instead of pellets.

Posted by scott at 11:43 AM | Comments (2)
Brewed Fuel

Scientists at the University of Texas have created a microbe which produces a type of cellulose which is much cheaper to turn into biofuel than the type produced by plants. Of all the new processes announced this year, this one definitely seems the most promising. It would seem to change the problem of biofuel creation from one of expensive enzymes and complex processing to one of simple brewing. Could this be the first step in "microbrew" fuel stations? Well, we can always hope!

Posted by scott at 10:12 AM | Comments (1)
OH NOS!!!! Scott is 40!!!

Happy 40th Birthday Scott!

~ love ya more each day!

Posted by Ellen at 06:57 AM | Comments (5)
April 24, 2008

Scientists have announced the invention of a microelectronic "super lens" capable of beating the diffraction limit by a factor of ten. Unlike far more exotic examples, this device is simple to produce, and has potential uses as varied as microprocessor creation and wireless power transmission.

Posted by scott at 03:14 PM | Comments (1)
We're from the Government, and We're Here to Help

They must've been on sale or something:

Three streetcars purchased by the District of Columbia for about $10 million are being held in the Czech Republic until the city builds tracks for the cars.

Bought 'em three years ago, no less.

Posted by scott at 03:02 PM | Comments (1)
Snowball Mars

Scientists have discovered "compelling evidence" that Mars experienced extensive glaciation as recently as 10 million years ago. This contradicts the widely held belief that Mars has been completely dead for billions of years, and could have signification implications for the existence of life on the planet.

Posted by scott at 12:30 PM | Comments (4)
A Stay on the 'Big Stick'

P. J. O'Rourke got to spend 24 hours on U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt recently, which earned him a cover on the latest issue of Weekly Standard. He's come a long way from writing about the Mexican badlands for Car and Driver, eh?

Posted by scott at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)
Paging Frank Zappa, White Courtesy Phone Please

Everyone look out, there's penis snatchers loose in the Congo!

Posted by scott at 08:13 AM | Comments (0)
April 23, 2008
Of Course, the State in which this Occurred is a Foregone Conclusion

Sometimes these things just write themselves: Missing man found dressed like doctor with dead deer in stolen ambulance. The article includes a classic "four-stiff-legs-in-the-air" picture of the aforementioned deer in the back of the presumably stolen ambulance.

Man. Where do you start?

Posted by scott at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)
Wake Up! Time to Die!

Scientists have discovered that providing certain kinds of bacteria the right combination of nutrients defeats one of their important antibiotic resistances. Bacteria which can go dormant for long periods of time often avoid antibiotics entirely. Using the discovered technique, scientists were able to destroy 99% of these bugs by first giving them just enough food to "wake up" (but not reproduce), and then immediately nuking them with antibiotics. It's not clear if this technique will be useful outside a lab, but it does provide a new line of research.

Posted by scott at 02:17 PM | Comments (1)
I Putta Curse on That Hospital!

Reason #412 Australia is a nice place but I probably wouldn't want to live there: a plague of poisonous spiders bad enough to shut down a whole hospital. It would be just Mark's luck he'd break a leg across the street from that one.

Posted by scott at 01:01 PM | Comments (3)
Green Gas

Another team of researchers has announced another technique for producing biofuel from cellulose. This bunch is also promising $1/gallon production, if they can get the efficiency up. With the price of fuel so high, one would think they wouldn't need to boost efficiency too much for the process to be profitable.

This is, what, the second or third announcement of this sort we've seen in the past year? It may be a tough target, but if enough guns are shooting it's bound to get hit eventually. Anything that gets us closer to putting Achmed and his merry band of jihadists closer to a bread line is fine by me.

Posted by scott at 10:39 AM | Comments (1)
Well, That's One Way to Reach God

Actual headline: Priest attached to party balloons vanishes in Brazil. And here we've been wasting our time just attaching notes to them!

Posted by scott at 08:11 AM | Comments (1)
April 22, 2008
Oh, the Things They'll Say VIII

So Olivia, being my child, is enjoying Battle 360 as her "after-bath-time-grown-up" show. It's essentially a multi-part visualization of my favorite WWII book. Since this is the History Channel, interspersed between lots of really cool CGI battles are sound bites from various interviews with veterans and military experts, including one William E. Bodette, 1st Sargent, U.S.M.C. And let me tell you folks, he is every inch The Marine. How do I know?

Olivia, seeing him come on screen for the fifth time in the forth episode she's watched: "Daddy! That man's head looks like a Great. Big. Jar!!!"

I kid you not. And in patented "head-explodes-in-candy-helium-high" cute voice.


Posted by scott at 08:15 PM | Comments (3)
Fubar... in... SPAAACE!!!

Mike P. receives the coveted "Made the Mods LOL" no-prize for In Soviet Russia, Atmosphere Enters You!!!

It would seem there's a whole lot of finger-pointing going on 'round Baiknor way. A 9g entry with a parachute which subsequently started its own cheery-beery brush fire does not a happy crew make!

Posted by scott at 07:39 PM | Comments (2)
At Least it Wasn't Egg Noodles

The headline says it all: Terracotta army has egg on its face. It would appear the paints used on the famous Chinese terracotta army were egg-based, which made them far more durable than ancient water-based colors.

When you see things like this, don't gasp in wonder. Gasp at the waste. Yes, it's amazing, but in a very real sense these emperors and kings were spending bread money to put men on the moon. Except the Apollo program never came close to a majority share of this country's budget. The ancient world was so poor follies such as mountains of stone pointing nowhere, and clay pot armies buried for no reason, almost certainly were.

Little wonder no ancient society ever survived them.

Posted by scott at 07:27 PM | Comments (0)
Burger in a Vat

Making the rounds: P.E.T.A. has announced $1 million prize for the first company to create "in vitro" meat. According to the article, this was a hard-fought idea within the organization itself. Considering the loopy politics too often associated with PETA, I'm not surprised.

Something tells me there's a man with a pitch fork and a tail wearing a parka and an extremely annoyed expression knocking on the office door of PETA headquarters.

Posted by scott at 03:56 PM | Comments (1)
Snow Ball Face Lift

Scientists have discovered a group of large icy objects in the outer solar system that look much brighter than they should. A phenomena termed "solar weathering" should've darkened them a very long time ago, but for reasons characteristically unknown that's not happening here.

Posted by scott at 02:56 PM | Comments (0)
Old Man of the Woods

The oldest living tree yet found has been discovered on a windswept plain in Sweden. At 9500 years old, it most likely represents one of the first trees to ever take root in that area, since before then the place was covered with glaciers.

Posted by scott at 12:21 PM | Comments (2)
Trunk Painting

Pat gets a no-prize she can stick to her refrigerator door for bringing us this remarkable video of an elephant painting a portrait. According to Snopes, it's not quite as miraculous as it would at first seem. But then again, isn't everything?

Posted by scott at 10:09 AM | Comments (1)
Gun Fun, Gun Right

While perhaps cerebral, this defense of gun ownership was nevertheless one I'd not heard before.

Posted by scott at 08:37 AM | Comments (1)
April 21, 2008
Shots == GOOD!

Liz recently featured graphic evidence for why vaccinations are a must-have for children. I didn't have the courage to actually watch the video, but if the text description is even close, I can only say that if my kid started to make noises like that there'd be one of those Road Runner-like flaming trails from my driveway to the emergency room.

Ours got her shots on schedule, BTW.

Posted by scott at 02:41 PM | Comments (2)
Nom Nom Nom

To paraphrase a Finding Nemo quote, "Keepers are friends, not food":

A pet store owner is calling a police sergeant a hero for saving her from the coils of a 12-foot Burmese python doing its best to turn her into a meal.

Surprisingly enough, absolutely everyone got out of it unharmed, including the snake. File this one under "Lessons: cheaply learned."

Posted by scott at 01:44 PM | Comments (0)
Night Hawk Trivia

In honor of the last F-117 leaving Hollman AFB for the Tonopah Test Range, we have this round-up of trivia concerning the oldest and (to-date) most successful operational stealth attack aircraft. Been a long time!

Posted by scott at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)
Earth Rise

The Japanese space agency JAXA has released a new "Earth rise" video taken by their Kaguya orbiter. I still haven't seen any high-res imagery of the lunar landing sites from one of these snazzy new orbiters, but then again I haven't been looking very closely for them.

Posted by scott at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)
A+++++, Would do business again!

Pat gets a no-prize with no reserve set on it for bringing us news that you, too, can get your classified military parts cheap on e-bay. I would like to think the whole thing was a complicated sting operation to allow the FBI to pop Achmejanni trying to pick up some spares for his Tomcats. Of course, this is the Federal government we're talking about here, so...

Posted by scott at 10:46 AM | Comments (1)
Oh Just Great

Reason #134 the rain forest is evil: It's ability to generate new and entertainingly deadly viruses. Take that, ebola!

Posted by scott at 08:18 AM | Comments (0)
April 20, 2008
MiTo, Me Too!

Now this is an Alfa I could afford. If they'd only bring the dratted thing over, that is. Definitely nicer looking than a Mini!

Posted by scott at 10:01 AM | Comments (1)
April 19, 2008
When Engineers Attack... CATS!

Posted by Ellen at 06:16 PM | Comments (0)
Hobbit Feet

It would seem the Flores 'hobbit' walked more like a clown than a regular person. The more they examine these things, the stranger they seem to get.

Posted by scott at 09:14 AM | Comments (0)
Vultures... in... SPAAAACE!

DARPA is apparently serious about developing a UAV capable of remaining in flight for up to five years. As with most DARPA projects, it's as much about finding out if such a thing would be useful as it is figuring out if it can be done at all.

Posted by scott at 08:09 AM | Comments (0)
April 18, 2008

And in the "freaky, seemingly pointless, yet somehow compelling science" category we have an experiment that alters fruit fly brains so that females are genetically programmed to think they're male. Look, sometimes you have to do science for its own sake, because you never know where it'll lead.

Posted by scott at 03:21 PM | Comments (2)
Has to be Better than 'Superbad'

Scientists have developed a new class of superconducting materials which could help explain how other, similar, materials really work. The new types appear to superconduct around 55K, which is far below the record holding 134K that so-called "cuprate" materials can achieve. However, it's hoped these new materials will provide insight on what makes the older ones tick, which until now has been quite a mystery.

Posted by scott at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)
Titan Unbound

Conclusive observations about Titan seem to finally be hitting the journals. Hopefully a Discovery Channel documentary or two will follow. It would seem Titan is eerily Earth-like. Well, except for all the liquid methane flowing around, that is.

Via Daffodil Lane

Posted by scott at 12:45 PM | Comments (1)
Tanker Talk

More news is coming out regarding the Air Force's tanker decision. If they practiced fending off a protest as hard as they're claiming, I wouldn't hold out much hope for Boeing.

Posted by scott at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)
More Than Just Kissing Cousins

Scientists have announced the discovery of some interesting genetic patterns between ourselves and our closest living cousins, the chimps and bonobos. While the discovery that some bonobo and chimp genes are more closely related to us than they are to each other is all well and good, if I read this book correctly, it doesn't necessarily mean interbreeding. I can't recall the details just from memory, but there are definitely simple inheritance patterns which could lead to such a thing without needing a bunch of semi-sentient primates boinking each other every chance they get. Sort of thing.

Posted by scott at 09:11 AM | Comments (0)
April 17, 2008
For Swoozie

humorous pictures
see more crazy cat pics

Posted by Ellen at 09:54 PM | Comments (0)
For Ron, Our Anime Addict

humorous pictures
see more crazy cat pics

Except we do not put up stuff with tentacles.

Posted by Ellen at 09:48 PM | Comments (1)
When Little Brothers Attack

Bad: getting yelled at by mom for not telling her you're meeting some myspace guy you met.

Worse: having a kid brother around with a video camera.

Couldn't tell if it was a younger or older brother, but it doesn't matter. Is this a conversation I'm going to have in 13 years? I'd like to think not.

Posted by scott at 02:57 PM | Comments (4)
Your Thought for the Day

"Women don't want to hear what you think. Women want to hear what they think - in a deeper voice." -- Bill Cosby

Via Econlog.

Posted by scott at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

It would appear military grade powered armor is much closer than ever before to becoming a reality. As noted in the article, the biggest problem is (and as far as I know always has been) a power supply with enough juice to make the device useful without weighing more than it can carry.

Posted by scott at 11:35 AM | Comments (2)
Expelled Unwound

The movie Expelled is looking more and more like a Michael Moore film every day. I generally respect and agree with Stein when he's talking about things like liberty and economics, but his rants for intelligent design and against Darwinian evolution leave me cold. Yet another example of "smart in one thing != smart in all things", I guess.

Posted by scott at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)
Dude. Wait... What? IX

Bacon-flavored lollipop, anyone? Something tells me this one would stay at the bottom of the ol' candy bucket for a long, long time.

Posted by scott at 08:34 AM | Comments (1)
April 16, 2008
And that, Friends, is Why Helmets are Good

It's also why towing children's toys with grown-up four-wheelers is bad. No kids were harmed in the filming, although I imagine that teenage punk's little sister isn't going to be very happy with him.

Posted by scott at 03:32 PM | Comments (0)
As Long as There are No Tentacles

Dreamworks has acquired the rights to the popular manga Ghost in a Shell to develop as a live action property. Spielberg himself took an interest, although his name does not seem to be directly attached to the project. Here's to hoping it doesn't suck!

Posted by scott at 01:59 PM | Comments (3)
In Action

While brief, this short video of the new V-22 on its first operational deployment does show the marines are actually using that complicated beastie to do something useful. Considering the amount of money which was spent on it, I can only hope we see much more.

Posted by scott at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)
Phobos Photos

Ron gets a potato-shaped no-prize for bringing us news of new ultra-high resolution photographs of the Martian moon Phobos. It's my understanding (such as it is) that the... Phoboian?... gravity is so weak it's possible to throw an object into orbit. Remember that old cartoon when Bugs throws a baseball in one direction, then waits awhile and catches it coming in the other? Yeah, like that.

Posted by scott at 11:38 AM | Comments (3)
Roman Walks

Scientists have created an innovative "omni-directional treadmill" which promises to allow people to actually walk the streets of ancient Pompeii. Ancient Pompeii as it existed before Vesuvius buried it like a cat in its box, that is. Coming to an amusement park near you!

Posted by scott at 10:23 AM | Comments (1)
So Much for a Life of Crime

Pretty sad when you get run over by the car you tried to steal. Sounds like it ran right over his head, too. Oh, and the article gets my nomination for "year's most poorly written news report."

Posted by scott at 08:20 AM | Comments (1)
April 15, 2008
More of This

Like I needed reasons to vote for the guy:

The big policy-wonk news was that [McCain] called for some new initiatives, including doubling the personal exemption for dependents from $3,500 to $7,000, an alternative and supposedly simpler two-rate tax code, a one-year spending freeze for all government programs other than defense and entitlements, some sort of wage insurance for displaced workers, a summer suspension of the 18.4-cent gas tax, and making wealthier seniors pay more for prescription drugs under Medicare Part D. He also reiterated the need to do away with the alternative minimum tax, cut corporate taxes, and allow immediate expensing of business purchases.

To repeat: any president who promises to cut taxes and shoot terrorists will always have my vote. I'm simple, sue me.

Posted by scott at 03:41 PM | Comments (2)
Thik of a Big, Sparky Burp

Scientists have discovered evidence that the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way flared to life just 300 years ago, and then mysteriously fell silent again. 300 years ago our time, which (if I'm reading the article correctly) means 26,300 years ago "actual" time. I think. Relativity makes my head hurt.

Posted by scott at 02:15 PM | Comments (3)
Moving the Goalposts

Mike P. gets a no-prize that will squirm impressively when the data go wrong for bringing us yet another watermelon proclamation about global climate change:

China has already overtaken the US as the world's "biggest polluter", a report to be published next month says.
"Our figures for emissions growth are truly shocking," [Dr Max Auffhammer, the lead researcher] said.

"But there is no sense pointing a finger at the Chinese. They are trying to pull people out of poverty and they clearly need help.

"The only solution is for a massive transfer of technology and wealth from the West."

Absolutely! No problem! Let me go get my checkbook, just let me know who to write it out to.

Just because you're smart about one thing does not make you smart about everything, eh?

Posted by scott at 12:43 PM | Comments (5)
Neanderthal Speak

Using reconstructions based on recent fossil finds, scientists claim to have created a model of what a Neanderthal human would've sounded like when they spoke. If the model is correct (no guarantees there), it appears they could in fact form words but their sound range was limited, making their language less nuanced than that of modern humans.

Posted by scott at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

Something tells me one of Ellen's co-workers probably has a picture of him somewhere wearing suits just like this. Well, not the guy with the gold lame boots, the businessmen.

You just all better watch out, this could be coming to a movie night near you!

Posted by scott at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)
Car 30, Where Are You?

Reason #432 not to smoke: you could get trapped in an elevator for 40 hours trying to come back from your smoke break. And be immortalized in (included) video with that awful mullet everyone thought was so cool back in '99.

Posted by scott at 08:56 AM | Comments (4)
April 14, 2008
Black Hole Dance

Ron gets a no-prize that can call a square dance for bringing us news that scientists have accurately modeled a three-black-hole merger. This wildly strange event has already been observed "in the wild," and having an accurate model will help other scientists who are designing gravity wave detectors.

Posted by scott at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)
Stonehenge Breakthrough

Pat gets an ancient and mysterious no-prize for bringing us news that the recently-begun excavation around Stonehenge is already producing results. You'd think as many times as this thing has been investigated over the centuries, it'd be picked clean by now. Never underestimate the persistence of human trash!

Posted by scott at 01:59 PM | Comments (0)
When Trophy Wives Attack

Now, far as I'm concerned any woman over 30 who marries a man more than twice her age deserves what she gets. I also think the reverse is also true. Go for the ridiculous story. Stay for the cRaZy eyes.

Posted by scott at 12:39 PM | Comments (0)
Alfa on the Move

Alfa appears to be on-course for a limited debut in the US market this summer. This article states Fiat is looking to build a factory "in North America." Previously the place mentioned most often was Mexico, so if true it would appear that a) the weak dollar is again working in our favor and b) Americans may end up "stealing jobs" from Mexicans. Everyone wins!

Posted by scott at 11:43 AM | Comments (2)
Comin' Home

Mark gets a wild and woolly no-prize for bringing us this HUD video of an F-15 coming home with an engine fire. Fire is not your friend!

Posted by scott at 09:00 AM | Comments (1)
April 13, 2008
Triaz 2008 Belly Dance Convention


We even vended while we were there. I sold a few pieces of jewelry that I no longed needed. We still need to cull the heard with our supplies!

Posted by Ellen at 03:22 PM | Comments (1)
April 12, 2008
I Can Has A Good One?


This week's FARK Caturday thread is Full of Win, so go and enjoy someone else's bandwidth!

Posted by Ellen at 05:49 PM | Comments (0)
For Gramma Suzie

Posted by Ellen at 05:47 PM | Comments (1)
Down They Go III

There's nothing better than clips of pretty, self-important people getting p3wned to help start your Saturday morning. Now, go outside and accomplish something.

Posted by Ellen at 08:15 AM | Comments (0)
April 11, 2008

Hooray for Viagra! Hey, it's what married people are supposed to do.

Technically SFW, but some of the ads are suspiciously raunchy.

Posted by scott at 07:39 AM | Comments (0)
Roll Your Own

Half-scale Tiger tank replica, anyone? Now that's a paint ball tank if I ever did see one. Coming to a WWII reenactor near you!

Posted by scott at 07:33 AM | Comments (1)
Taking that Whole "Skeleton in the Closet" Thing Way Too Far

Just in time for a particular anniversary, we have news that yes, it definitely could've been worse:

The daughter of a woman made a gruesome discovery while going through her bedroom closet after she'd died -- the decomposing body of another woman wrapped in plastic, blankets and a sleeping bag.

According to the article, the family never caught on (or wind) because they were never allowed near the house.

Posted by scott at 07:27 AM | Comments (0)
Beaver For U

Lisa brings us a very 'down under' ad all the way from DOWN UNDER!

Posted by Ellen at 06:48 AM | Comments (0)
April 10, 2008
Oh No She Di-'uhn!

Problem: You've been outmaneuvered by the administration and forced to debate a bill all your powerful friends don't like.

Solution: change the rules.

Clinton was justly famous for corralling a Republican-controlled Congress into endorsing legislation they didn't like, especially in his last years in office. I can't recall them ever pulling a stunt quite like this. Then again, since my own opinion of Congress would need to look up to see the proverbial snake's belly, I wouldn't be surprised if Republican congresses did actually try this and I just don't remember.

Ain't government grand?

Posted by scott at 08:23 AM | Comments (1)
Nerd Attacks!

The sad thing is, I know a few guys who've actually had conversations like this. And did I mention how glad I am I never ever ever have to go back to high school?

Warning: audio only, but the language is pretty blue.


Posted by scott at 08:16 AM | Comments (0)
Looping Universes

Scientists have developed a theory about the conditions in the universe before the Big Bang which actually provides testable predictions. Scientists have for years been fascinated by the, for want of a better phrase, "bouncing" universe. Infinite collapse and expand cycles appeals to the aesthete in them, I guess. Unfortunately every previous test for this scenario (that I know of) has failed, so I'm not holding out a lot of hope for this one either.

Still, it'd be neat to know, either way.

Posted by scott at 08:10 AM | Comments (1)
When the Public Attacks

Mark gets an obnoxious no-prize for bringing us even more reasons police have the hardest job in the world.

Posted by scott at 08:06 AM | Comments (0)
April 09, 2008
Boiler Plate to the Stars

Mark gets a no-prize shaped like a space capsule for bringing us this update on the Orion space program. Seems the first hull mock-up is just about ready to be launched off the top of a dummy rocket to test the escape system. Picture a rocket-propelled champagne cork about the size of a bus and you won't be far wrong.

Posted by scott at 08:11 AM | Comments (0)
Hippitus Hoppitus

On examining the moves, I think it's wise they've removed both bike seat and post.

Me? Oh hell I can barely get on my roadie without falling off.

Posted by scott at 08:07 AM | Comments (1)
April 08, 2008
And Now Da Sportz!


No-prize to Mark!

Posted by Ellen at 06:06 PM | Comments (0)
Shirley Q. Liquor & Hemmoroid Wisdom

Posted by Ellen at 05:06 PM | Comments (0)
When Turkeys Attack

No, really, when turkeys attack:

About five to 10 of the birds have been pecking at the postal workers as they make their rounds, and some of the birds have attacked the letter carriers with the sharp spurs on their legs. One of the birds went through the open door of a mail truck and scratched the driver.

Time to carry a .410 with bird shot, I'd think.

Update: Linkee now workee.

Posted by scott at 12:54 PM | Comments (1)
When Boredom Attacks

Mark gets a no-prize that'll be there for an hour for bringing us this look at the daily grind of checkpoint work. Now that the Mahdi militia is back on the march, something tells me things are quite so boring.

Posted by scott at 07:52 AM | Comments (0)
April 07, 2008
Goodnight Arbor


Goodnight RB, we love you.

Posted by Ellen at 05:19 PM | Comments (4)
Venus, Evolved

New discoveries continue to come from the Venus Express space probe, each one more fascinating than the next:

In the early stages of the Solar System, Venus seems to have evolved very rapidly compared to the Earth. Data from Venus Express supports the theory that the Earth’s twin once had significant volume of water covering the surface but it appears that these oceans were lost in a very short geological timescale.

While it's pretty obvious it will be a very long time indeed before anyone sets foot on the Venusian surface, I sometimes wonder how difficult life would be in the very high upper clouds. There are almost certainly areas in the atmosphere with Earth-like temperatures and pressures. If they're clear of Venus's famously acidic lower atmosphere, it would seem an interesting place to set up a "floater's camp."

Posted by scott at 11:34 AM | Comments (7)

Houses do a lot of things well. Unfortunately boucing isn't one of them. The back-story is here.

Annie gets a no-prize she better not take over a bridge for bringing us this "redneck joke just waiting to happen."

Posted by scott at 10:25 AM | Comments (3)
Nature's First Bedding?

Scientists claim to have found definitive evidence of when sexual reproduction developed on Earth. Target date: 565 million years ago. No word on when the first cigarette was smoked, nor first snores heard.

Posted by scott at 08:18 AM | Comments (1)
April 06, 2008
This Makes Tattoo #11

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Now for it in LATIN!



Still needs to be shaded. Being at a tattoo parlor from 1230 till 6pm is exhausting. Especially when you spend 2 hours on design alone. The rest of the pain involved, totally worth it.

Thanks Pop!

Posted by Ellen at 08:41 PM | Comments (1)

Posted by Ellen at 08:21 PM | Comments (1)
April 05, 2008
The Hawk Falters

Most people think Global Hawk is a marvelous success. Most people are wrong. Is it just me, or is the US Air Force the world's most spectacular monument to Murphy's Law?

Posted by scott at 04:51 PM | Comments (0)

When buying Valve video games, do not use the oh-so-convenient steam app to download and install them directly. Buy them from the store, just like everyone else. If, for whatever reason*, they decide your account has been used for cheating and de-activate it, it is much more difficult to get things back in order if you don't have a CD key. As in, effectively impossible.

And I was having such a good time re-playing Portal, too.

* I personally think it was some sort of bizarre interaction between Vista and the steam app, since my own troubles started just after a big honking Vista crash, and renewed after a steam update. I just don't have the time to play games online anymore, and have never seen the point of cheating even when I did.

Posted by scott at 03:48 PM | Comments (0)
Dune Redux

It would appear Hollywood's taking another crack at bringing Dune to the big screen. I quite liked the Sci-Fi channel's miniseries version, and strongly believe the only way you can do such a sprawling novel justice is in a multi-part treatment. Of course, Peter Jackson showed with LOTR that it's possible, but the rarity of his success proves it to be the exception, not the rule.

Anyway, best of luck to them and here's to hoping it doesn't suck!

Posted by scott at 08:20 AM | Comments (3)
April 04, 2008
Rhythm & Cues Tribal Belly Dance

Our promotional video.

Posted by Ellen at 09:59 PM | Comments (2)
I'm Jus' Sayin'

humorous pictures
see more crazy cat pics
Posted by scott at 05:58 PM | Comments (0)
~ Please Tell Me Why / My Car is in the Front Yard / and I'm Sleepin with My Clothes On ~

Ok, it's no Caturday, but this Fark thread in celebration of the end of prohibition is still, as I'm wont to annoyingly say nowadays, "full of win." So sit back, relax, and read about just how much worse other people's drinking stories are than yours will ever be.

Posted by scott at 05:04 PM | Comments (0)
Ron... is that You?!?

Actually, this reminds me of more folks than just Ron. Me? Oh hell, I'm too old for that crap nowadays.

Posted by scott at 04:50 PM | Comments (2)
Win 7

It would seem speculation that Vista may end up "the next Millennium edition" may be true. Then again, considering how long it takes MS to come out with any new version of their main operating system, I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for the new version.

Posted by scott at 02:18 PM | Comments (0)
Max Hardcore

And here I always thought it was the drivers who'd be the troublemakers:

FORMULA One motor racing chief Max Mosley is today exposed as a secret sado-masochist sex pervert.

The son of infamous British wartime fascist leader Oswald Mosley is filmed romping with five hookers at a depraved NAZI-STYLE orgy in a torture dungeon. Mosley— a friend to F1 big names like Bernie Ecclestone and Lewis Hamilton— barks ORDERS in GERMAN as he lashes girls wearing mock DEATH CAMP uniforms and enjoys being whipped until he BLEEDS.

Assuming it's true, well... dude, wtf?!?

Posted by scott at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

Alternate title: Head.Explode(candy);

Joshua gets a no-prize that'll melt the hardest heart for bringing us this bit of fluffy kitten cheer.

Posted by scott at 10:45 AM | Comments (2)
What is it with Arkansas?

Another day, another twister tearing through my home state. It seems nobody got killed, thank goodness. Oh, and note the backhand redneck reference right in the opening.

Posted by scott at 08:09 AM | Comments (1)
April 03, 2008
~Let's Go Fly A Kite~

I took Olivia to a local pet expo this weekend. What did we find? A CAT kite!!

This is O's first kite flying experience. She had us out there over an hour flying the kite at the local school's soccer field parking lot.






Posted by Ellen at 09:11 PM | Comments (1)
F-22 Follow Up

More details are emerging about just exactly what is wrong with the F-22. Swallowing one's own RAM does not a reliable fighter make. You know, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if these problems are due to people applying lessons learned in low-energy aircraft to a high-energy one. I know first-hand the F-22 is capable of maneuvers simply not possible in an F-117 or a B-2.

Posted by scott at 03:54 PM | Comments (0)
Verne's Voyage

Mark gets a no-prize stuff full of pressies for bringing us this update on the Jules Verne remote resupply space ship. Considering we only have, what, two more years of shuttle operations, I imagine this system's success is very well-received.

Posted by scott at 02:42 PM | Comments (0)
Mai Cave. Let Me Show You It

Mai Cave.

Well, ok, not actually mai ahem... mine. Mine is a lot smaller and sparser, filled mostly with an old Italian sports car. But it is mine! :)

Annie gets a no-prize that'll double as a machine shop for bringing us these fine examples of manly fortresses.

Posted by scott at 12:58 PM | Comments (9)
When Crocs Attack

No, really, when crocs attack:

A woman has been rescued from the jaws of a saltwater crocodile in Australia after her husband jumped onto its back and forced it to flee.

Pat gets a no-prize with a real knife for bringing us yet another reason nobody should ever live near the water in Australia.

Posted by scott at 11:31 AM | Comments (3)
Sun Surge

Scientists have now managed to get a 3D movie of one of those monstrous Sun tsunamis. The higher frame rate and better resolution allows them to square the phenomena with widely held theories about what makes the sun tick. Me, I just think it's cool to watch.

Posted by scott at 09:32 AM | Comments (1)
April 02, 2008
Like a Hot Knife Through Plastic

Annie gets a strangely disturbing no-prize for bringing us this DIY knife block. Let's just make sure that stays off our Christmas list, kay? :)

Posted by scott at 02:24 PM | Comments (0)
When Riffing Attacks

You'd think by now people would learn not to give Robin Williams a microphone without a script. Then again, if they did, the world would most likely be a much stuffier place.

Posted by scott at 01:21 PM | Comments (0)
Bug Scan

By using a special sort of x-ray machine, scientists have developed the ability to image insects trapped in opaque amber. Even better, they're able to create models of their finds using 3D "printers."

Posted by scott at 11:53 AM | Comments (2)
Darwins of Gold

I guess if you're dumb enough to think you can get rich using mercury to get at the gold inside computers, you're dumb enough to do it in your house. Mercury is dangerous, mmkay? Geeze. I thought everyone learned that back in junior high.

Posted by scott at 10:42 AM | Comments (1)
Fun with Batteries

Mark gets a no-prize that'll convince him to crack open an innocent battery for no reason for bringing us the urban legend of the 6 volt battery. Just missed April Fool's day, too!

Posted by scott at 08:40 AM | Comments (0)
April 01, 2008
Heheheh... Heheheh... Heheh... She said Hole

Scientists have announced the discovery of the smallest black hole found to-date. At a mass of "just" 3.8 suns, it's mass is significantly less than the previous record holder (6.3 suns). It's hoped the discovery will help prove just how small a black hole can really be, as well as the kind of star that would generate one.

Posted by scott at 03:52 PM | Comments (1)

My house is like this whenever I try to make tomato sauce ahem... gravy. Except the guy with the crowbar is shorter, prettier, and, you know, a woman. Not that we're mentioning any names here!

Besides, Ellen swears a lot more than that.

Posted by scott at 01:51 PM | Comments (2)
He's Baack!

One of my favorite "authors who don't write fast enough," Neal Stephenson, has a new novel due out this September. Last I'd heard, he was still mucking around in the universe he created in Cryptonomicon, but the blurb in the announcement doesn't seem to directly relate to that world.

Posted by scott at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)
Dumb Rides

While I don't know of any bike lanes as dumb as this one, Northern Virginia is chock-full of bike trails that start and/or end in really stupid places. It's very common, for example, for a bike trail to stop about ten feet from the street, leaving a dirty, muddy patch to navigate or a curb to hop.

Posted by scott at 11:53 AM | Comments (0)
I ♥ Switzerland

While suspiciously rah-rah in tone, this look at Switzerland seems to prove at least some parts of Europe work quite well indeed. Like a watch, if you will.

Posted by scott at 10:28 AM | Comments (3)

Mark gets a no-prize that'll plead no-contest when it goes to trial for bringing us a rather colorful way of failing a sobriety test. You're doing it wrong!

Posted by scott at 08:57 AM | Comments (3)