July 31, 2008
The Hardest Project Of All


Litter of 4 from a Feral cat colony. No matter what, they wanted Mom spayed, so we C-sectioned her instead. Two already died from the litter. They are a week to 10 days premature. So they are with us to see if we can get through the first 24 hours.

Posted by Ellen at 05:48 PM | Comments (2)
I Can Has Identity Crisis?

Annie gets a no-prize full of candy for bringing us a curious kind of foster care. Would it were always that easy!

Posted by scott at 02:12 PM | Comments (0)
Spaces Matter

Ok, I admit it, I literally laughed out loud when I checked out the URL. I need to get out more...

Posted by scott at 11:34 AM | Comments (1)
An Alphabet, for the Rest of Us

Brian gets a no-prize that'll play a classic Styx tune with the press of a button for bringing us the Halo Corpse Alphabet. Something tells me this won't end up as a set of magnets for our refrigerator.

And that's not a challenge (Joshua)!

Posted by scott at 10:47 AM | Comments (0)
I Can Has Saveyur?

Mark gets a slightly ridiculous but otherwise harmless no-prize for bringing us the latest in Jesus sightings. Ceiling cat is watching you genuflect!

Posted by scott at 08:24 AM | Comments (0)
July 30, 2008
Oh Hai...


Chester at work today. Cell phone pix...sorry it's blurry.

Posted by Ellen at 09:01 PM | Comments (1)
Round and Round

Posted by Ellen at 08:56 PM | Comments (1)
You Are Getting Sleepy...

Mah goldfish, let me show you.
Posted by Ellen at 08:45 PM | Comments (0)
Hey Amber... Just For You..

Posted by Ellen at 08:39 PM | Comments (2)

Let's poke Coconut!

Posted by Ellen at 08:33 PM | Comments (1)
Ski Titan

Scientists have confirmed the existence of a lake, complete with beach, on Titan. The lake is about the same size as Lake Ontario, but is filled with liquid methane and ethane instead of water. Strangely, scientists could not detect any wave motion, making this one helluva smooth body of liquid.

Posted by scott at 01:51 PM | Comments (0)
Didn't Expect to See That II

Another year, another set of Rafales getting shot off a US carrier. Shh... they may start to think we like them.

Posted by scott at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)
'Bout Damned Time

It would seem that, once again, the McCain camp has gotten its house in order and seems to be on the road back. He, like the rest of us, will have to be forgiven for not understanding the MSM properly elected Obama about a month ago, with the upcoming election merely a formality. I'm heartened by the success record of the other four or five candidates they "elected" during the run up to and running of the primaries. One can only hope it marks a real trend.

Via Instapundit

Posted by scott at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)
Crossing the Goal Line?

Further trials appear to be needed, but it would seem someone has finally come up with an effective treatment for Alzheimer's. It's not known at this time if the drug can reverse damage, but it does seem to halt the progression of the disease. A good thing!

Posted by scott at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)
I Guess He Weighed More Than a Duck

You'd think they'd have used a tether or something:

DNA tests confirmed that a body found off the coast of Brazil is that of a priest who disappeared while flying over the Atlantic buoyed by hundreds of brightly colored party balloons, authorities said Tuesday.

A dye marker or something like it probably would've helped as well. Too bad.

Posted by scott at 08:28 AM | Comments (0)
July 29, 2008
Someone Really, Drown This Kid

Kids like this stay F'd up their entire lives. Chuck them in a sack and drown them while you have the chance.

New Castle County Police and officers from Delaware SPCA arrested the boy Friday after he allegedly set the kitten on fire in Edgemoor. Neighbors told police the boy, and two friends, poured lighter fluid on the kitten and then set it on fire. The kitten then ran to a nearby tree on N. Rodney Drive where its charred remains were found.

Read entire article here.Posted by Ellen at 07:54 PM | Comments (0)

God's Snack

Well, I'm still looking for my Buddha gravy, but at least when I find it I'll have a side dish. Considering all the weird ways Cheetos can come out of the bag, I'm surprised it's taken this long for somebody to spot a Jesus one.

Sorta puts a whole new spin on that "eating the body of Christ" thing, eh?

Posted by scott at 03:32 PM | Comments (0)
Robocop Redux

Let's hope the now-confirmed RoboCop revival does for that franchise what the new Dark Knight series seems to be doing for Batman. I'm not holding my breath, but it would be nice to see everyone's favorite super-cop in a decent vehicle. As it were.

Via Siflay.

Posted by scott at 02:12 PM | Comments (0)
A Different Sort of Pot

By mapping distinctive geologic features known as "mud pots", scientists have discovered the San Andreas fault extends much further south than previously thought. Fortunately the new extension does not seem to be seismically active. Because we all know California doesn't need a better excuse to fall into the sea, eh?

Posted by scott at 01:14 PM | Comments (0)
Rrm... Wha?!?

I'm pretty sure doggycondoms.com is fake, but if it's not it certainly represents a pretty innovative expression of experimentalism. I think. Somebody else gets to put it on Rover.

Posted by scott at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)

The guy who brought the suit that ended the last DC ban is bringing another to stop the new one. The "emergency law" the DC city council rushed through is rightly seen as "banning by other means," and it's such a heavy-handed attempt only the nincompoops on that council would think it had any chance of working. Instead, it will embroil the city in another presumably very expensive and drawn-out series of lawsuits they cannot hope to win.

The 2nd amendment's language may make its intent seem ambiguous, but a perusal of the founding fathers' other writings (especially Jefferson's) clear this ambiguity like blowing fog off a mirror. Like it or not, individual gun ownership is a right guaranteed by the Constitution.

Posted by scott at 08:55 AM | Comments (2)
July 28, 2008

Looks like Shia LaBeouf's "good boy with an edge" image just got a lot edgier. I'm not sure it'd be quite as newsworthy if he hadn't rolled his truck. Luckily nobody seems to have been seriously injured. Time to head to rehab!

Posted by scott at 02:22 PM | Comments (0)
Paging Captain Ramius, White Courtesy Phone Please

Seems like Russia is getting ambitious about its blue-water navy. Wanting six new carriers is, of course, not the same thing as actually getting them. However, after years of delay it does seem that the Great Bear is getting new weapon systems into production, so who knows?

Posted by scott at 12:32 PM | Comments (0)
Ok, So Maybe "Olivia Stole My Hobby Room Johnson" was a Little Extreme

What a charming couple:

A nine-year-old girl whose parents named her Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii was put into court guardianship in New Zealand so that her name could be changed.
The ruling was handed down in February but only came to light in law reports issued today. The girl, who had been at the centre of a custody battle, has since changed her name, but it was not revealed in order to protect her privacy.

"It's my kid I'll name them how I please" should only ever go so far. Still, you'd think the girl would just not register using her goofy name. Maybe it's not as easy as I think?

Posted by scott at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)
Lander to Earth: Tastes Like Peanut Butter

The Martian polar soil continues to give Phoenix troubles. I guess this sort of thing is bound to happen when one of the basic assumptions of the mission proves wrong. Then again, since nobody knew what to expect, I'm pretty sure this couldn't have been avoided.

Posted by scott at 10:44 AM | Comments (2)

Eel soda, anyone? I'm not completely sure it's a fizzy drink, but neither option does not sound particularly appealing. Stack that one alongside vegamite and peanut butter on the "have to grow up with it to like it" shelf. At least for me.

Posted by scott at 09:24 AM | Comments (0)
July 27, 2008
Fly Free Duckies!

Posted by Ellen at 07:41 PM | Comments (1)
Flower From Winchester Farm

Posted by Ellen at 04:26 PM | Comments (0)
Scott and Olivia at Winchester Farm

DSC_0223 Medium Web view.jpg
Posted by Ellen at 04:15 PM | Comments (1)
July 26, 2008
Teh Monee Go "Boom"

This week's Caturday on Fark is Molto Benny! Go use their bandwidth!

Posted by scott at 06:24 PM | Comments (1)
That Which we Call a Bomb by Any Other Name Would Bang as Loud

I knew it:

A source close to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in Australia said: “It is looking extremely likely that one or more of the oxygen tanks exploded. It’s never happened before so nobody knows what caused it. It could be as simple as some cargo shifting and smashing into it, which shouldn’t be able to happen.”

What ya got there folks is about 350 people who, all at once, had their "time for you to go" clocks re-set. "Rather be lucky than good" indeed.

Posted by scott at 05:51 PM | Comments (1)
I Have Seen the Face of Godzilla...

... and it is strangely mushroom-shaped. It would seem to me that, if this fungus really is using the energy given off by ionizing radiation, it might even end up a candidate for biological shielding? What a strange thought!

Posted by scott at 07:16 AM | Comments (1)
July 25, 2008
Pionus Love

Posted by Ellen at 06:04 PM | Comments (0)
Down We Go

Ya know, I don't care how good a pilot may be, I'd just as soon not experience this sort of fun. Considering how poor most helicopters perform at very high altitudes, that may have been the only way to get down.

Posted by scott at 02:44 PM | Comments (0)
Okay, I only thought he was a Scumbag

Not content with ending his own miserable life, the escaped "spam king" decided to take his wife and two daughters with him. Unfortunately, only one of the daughters, and an infant he must've forgotten about, survived.

Posted by scott at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)
Beep Beep

When the children are away, the parents may play. Vaguely NSFW.

Posted by scott at 12:54 PM | Comments (1)
Scary Stuff

I dunno folks, this sure does sound like a bomb to me:

A Qantas flight to Melbourne made an emergency landing today after a large hole appeared near the cargo door.

The plane made the landing in Manila about 1:20pm after the cabin depressurised due to what sources have described as a "massive" hole in the fuselage.
Qantas this afternoon was still trying to establish how a large hole came to appear in the fuselage outside the baggage compartment.

It definitely wasn't a hatch failure... you can still see that, firmly shut, a few feet in front of the hole. This picture shows an intact one at roughly the same angle. Looks like a big chunk of faring came away. It also looks like this happened near the same point the bomb that took down Flight 103 detonated.

I don't like this. I don't like it one bit. Weirdly, there are probably a bunch of Boeing guys right now secretly hoping it was a bomb, because otherwise there'll be several hundred 747s grounded immediately. If it's wrong in the structure, it'll be wrong on a whole bunch of them.

Posted by scott at 09:00 AM | Comments (0)
July 24, 2008

Posted by Ellen at 08:52 PM | Comments (0)
We Love You Chester!


Chester went to live with Annie tonight! Annie has 2 of our foster babies from last year. Poor cats, they have no idea what she is bringing home. GOOD LUCK Simon and Vincent!

Posted by Ellen at 08:01 PM | Comments (0)


My boss's cat, Spanky. He is my best buddy when he comes to visit at work. And yes, I am wearing a sweater today. The air conditioner was on overdrive.

Posted by Ellen at 06:07 PM | Comments (0)
Welcome to My World, Ancient Edition

Except for the language, I deal with calls like this just about every day. And people wonder why help desk workers don't last very long...

Posted by scott at 03:54 PM | Comments (0)
Dino Find

A Japanese/Chinese science team has announced the discovery of a nearly-complete juvenile Tarbosaurus. Related to the better-known T. Rex, the fossil itself lacks only the next bones and the end of the tail. It's thought the creature died around the age of 5, making it a valuable addition to the study of dinosaur development.

Posted by scott at 02:28 PM | Comments (0)

Mark gets a gargantuan no-prize for bringing us an example of just how big a big snake can be. One only hopes the snake hit the camera and not the photographer.

Posted by scott at 11:44 AM | Comments (1)
Run, Porker, Run!

Something tells me the next facility he's "enrolled" in won't be so nice:

Edward “Eddie” Davidson, a notorious e-mail spammer who was sentenced to jail time in April, has escaped from a federal prison camp in Florence, Colorado.
Davidson was housed in a minimum security facility. Minimum security institutions, also known as Federal Prison Camps (FPCs), have dormitory housing, a relatively low staff-to-inmate ratio, and are work and program-oriented. FPCs are generally located adjacent to larger institutions, where inmates help serve the labor needs of the larger institution.

Everyone's always suspected spammers are just barely smarter than a dead sponge. Now we have proof.

Posted by scott at 10:14 AM | Comments (0)
Weer in Ur Old Folks Home...

... stealin' all the rooms. I'm not sure if this is a clever marketing attempt by a shelter, or if it's just another boarding facility. Either way, that music is annoying!

Posted by scott at 08:17 AM | Comments (1)
July 23, 2008
And Like the Train Kind, You Just Can't Stop Looking

Remember that awful wedding cake you saw years back at your [friend's | relative's | ex's ] event? Bet it wasn't as bad as these.

The worst one I can remember actually was at a wedding, years ago. Strangely, I can't remember exactly who's wedding it was. At any rate, it tried to be a three-level, columned classic. Which it was, if you overlooked the frosting drooling over the sides like slow-motion water from an overfilled punch bowl. The impression of a ruined Greek temple was greatly enhanced by the fluted columns no less than 4 degrees out of true in all different directions. Truly, it was a classic.

Posted by scott at 03:23 PM | Comments (0)
Weer in Ur Jim...

...burnin da calorees.

Annie gets a trim n' fit no-prize for bringing us an example of what every kitty should do to stay healthy.

Posted by scott at 01:48 PM | Comments (2)
Paging Barry Manilow, White Courtesy Phone Please

It's... It's... a miracle:

Diners have been flocking to a restaurant in northern Nigeria to see pieces of meat which the owner says are inscribed with the name of Allah.

If someone would only find gravy with bits that look like, oh hell I dunno, say Buddah for the sake of argument, we could use this and that Jesus toast to make our very own holy sh*t on a shingle!

I swear, some times I'm so damned clever I amaze even myself.

Via Yourish.

Posted by scott at 11:35 AM | Comments (1)
Not a Job I'd Want

Ares: "Austria has cleared the last of 50 buried 105-mm. tank turrets, installed in 1983 as an anti-invasion line of defense in one of its eastern provinces." With pictures!

Sit inside a little metal box with a big gun strapped on, while the hordes of the Red Army pass through. Yeah, Fritz, you have fun with that!

Posted by scott at 10:33 AM | Comments (2)
No [Video] Reverb

Mark gets a no-prize with a really high voice for bringing us more evidence that Rock Band is a video game, not a teaching tool. This must be, what, the sixth or seventh actual rock band that couldn't play their own songs on Rock Band? And check out the drum setup... no wonder they did so poorly!

Posted by scott at 08:59 AM | Comments (1)
July 22, 2008
Are You All Jealous?


I told you all the Black Cat of Doom had a favorite human!

Posted by Ellen at 08:52 PM | Comments (2)
Tales from A Cell Phone

Posted by Ellen at 08:43 PM | Comments (1)
Me and Archie


We use Archie for prank phone calls. I mean who does not want a LOUD Bengal calling them?

Posted by Ellen at 08:31 PM | Comments (4)
The Long Wait...

... is over!

The good: Neal Stephenson has a new book coming out!

The bad: It's 1000 pages long!

I actually have no problem reading monstrous door-stops in principle. It's just that I've found that all too often in order to read a really nifty 300 page novel, I'm forced to wade through a 1000 page book. Seems to me the longer an author's been around, the more they benefit from an editor. Unfortunately it seems the reverse is the truth in practice.

Posted by scott at 02:20 PM | Comments (1)
Are We Having Fun Yet?

So, if a previous article is to be believed, TV commercials now cause kidney stones. What an insight! I should work for TV news!

As an inveterate TiVo user, I haven't intentionally watched a commercial (at home, anyway) in something like six years. Who would've known that would put me in with the greenies? Quick! Someone light up a charcoal grill!

Posted by scott at 01:18 PM | Comments (0)
The End of the Flight

It seems "white flight" is no more. The article contains the standard leftist hand-wringing over the wrong sort of change, as well as a bit of statistical misinterpretation for spice. Personally, I wonder if it's not a sign that we really are, very gradually, learning to live together? That self-appointed "representatives of the black community" would bemoan this is disappointing, but not particularly surprising.

Posted by scott at 11:39 AM | Comments (1)
It's Got that Great, Fishy Tingle

Mark gets a no-prize he'll have to get out of the tank with a net for bringing us news of a very particular kind of pedicure. Having tiny fish nibbling away bits of dead skin is something that's been around forever, but this is the first time I've heard of it available here in good ol' N. VA.

Posted by scott at 08:07 AM | Comments (0)
July 21, 2008
~ Riders on the Storm ~

Jupiter's Great Red Spot may have claimed a stormy victim. The observation of the GRS "in battle" with another storm will hopefully provide insight into just what makes this enigmatic weather system tick.

Posted by scott at 03:12 PM | Comments (0)
Piz on Quiz

Parents of young children can test the strength of their Seuss-fu with this Dr. Seuss quiz. I only got 7 out of 10, but then again it's been awhile since we've done the Seuss circuit during story time.

Posted by scott at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)
Exit the Mouse?

Fresh from the "making sh*t up to keep the press release interesting" department comes the prediction that the computer mouse will go "extinct" in five years. Gartner has been saying goofy things about the IT industry for as long as I can remember, and this is no exception. My prediction? The mouse isn't going anywhere, but alternative input devices will most likely prevent it making inroads into any other computer-like system.

Posted by scott at 11:40 AM | Comments (6)
Rmm... that Sounds Tasty

Remember that old saying, "eat like you've got a tapeworm"? Back in the recent past, some people took that way too seriously.

It would seem our wish to compulsively eat without consequences, and resort to whatever it takes, dates back well before the advent of the gastric bypass procedure.

Posted by scott at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)
Old Asian

Mark gets a no-prize in an unexpected place for bringing us news of evidence that a hominid once thought to be exclusive to Asia, well, wasn't. The field is in the late stages of an oversplitting period, so what I learned of as "Homo erectus found in Asia" is currently considered a "separate hominid species found solely in Asia not related to anything else." Will this fossil of an "Asian-only" hominid found in Germany herald the return of the "clumpers?" We'll just have to wait and watch.

Posted by scott at 08:27 AM | Comments (0)
July 20, 2008
Pancake Shoveling

Posted by Ellen at 04:14 PM | Comments (0)
On The WOD

Posted by Ellen at 03:26 PM | Comments (0)
Olivia and Grammy


At the WW2 Memorial in DC.

Posted by Ellen at 03:11 PM | Comments (1)
What I Deal With On A Daily Basis


His parents even commented on it when we called to let them know we would have to sedate him for his xrays.

Per what the owner said on the phone... "Honey? You know that thing Pinto does when he gets upset? You know when he starts to scream and rears up?..."

I shit you not. That is why we laugh.

Posted by Ellen at 02:59 PM | Comments (0)
Pickin' it Apart

I knew it was only a matter of time before someone thought to put a giant squid dissection on-line. Haven't you been expecting one?

Posted by scott at 09:25 AM | Comments (1)
Carolina Surfers...Grab Your Boards!!

At 11 p.m. ET Saturday, the center of the storm was about 45 miles southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and about 170 miles southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The National Hurricane Center said Cristobal was moving northeast at about 6 mph, with maximum sustained winds of about 45 mph and s some higher gusts.

"The center of the tropical storm is expected to move parallel and very close to the coast of North Carolina for the next day or so," the NHC said. It is expected to dump between three and five inches of rain along the Carolina coast this weekend, it said.

Entire report.

Posted by Ellen at 08:21 AM | Comments (0)
July 19, 2008
I'm Fatter... rrm... Flattered

Welcome to America, home of the 300 lb. "poor person." Now that, friends, is an inconvenient truth.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 12:41 PM | Comments (0)
When Flowerpots Attack

No, really, when flowerpots attack:

Fire investigators said a fire that destroyed a Mendota Heights home last week was caused by a flowerpot.

What's on your porch?

Posted by scott at 09:24 AM | Comments (0)
July 18, 2008
Early Caturday

We still don't have the bandwidth to host a full one, but Scott just couldn't resist this shot

Posted by Ellen at 08:47 PM | Comments (1)
A Want Ad for... Rrrmmm... Ok, not Me

Hey, at least he's honest:

You must know your way around [Super Mario Bros.] before we meet... also able to fake an orgasm is a plus.

Thing things people are willing to advertise for...

Posted by scott at 03:32 PM | Comments (4)
~ Walk Like a Big Cat Fish ~

I dunno, 30 or so catfish strolling down a street would probably give me pause too. I do know that, were this to happen anywhere near my old Arkansas home town, they'd never make it to the end of the street for all the whoopin' rednecks that'd found themselves a dinner right there in the road.

Posted by scott at 02:19 PM | Comments (1)
Two Tiny Marbles

NASA scientists have created a video of the Earth and Moon together taken from more than 30 million miles away. Since we know our planet has life, it's thought these sorts of pictures will help guide us to building instruments which can detect life on other planets. Plus it's just a darned cool video.

Posted by scott at 12:55 PM | Comments (0)
Brother Metal

Mark gets a head-banging no-prize for introducing us to brother Cesare, who almost certainly is the only Capucin monk who fronts a heavy metal band. In Italian, no less. Really!

Posted by scott at 11:54 AM | Comments (0)
Something Tells Me that Won't Make for Softer Clothes

Annie gets a no-prize that Ellen can't have for bringing us this story about a most unusual thing to find in one's wash:

A woman checking her laundry Wednesday afternoon found an 8-foot-long snake wrapped around the clothes inside the washing machine at her Gorham home.

Ellen would've jumped with glee and most likely would still be on the phone with Amber about it.

Posted by scott at 08:01 AM | Comments (2)
July 17, 2008
Rainbow Stixs

Posted by Ellen at 09:48 PM | Comments (1)
Chester Hugs


Posted by Ellen at 09:32 PM | Comments (3)
Ocean Moon

The Cassini space probe has uncovered even more evidence that the Saturn moon Enceladus may have a liquid ocean underneath the surface.

Posted by scott at 02:18 PM | Comments (0)
Weer in Ur House

tellin' da troofs. Better than impeechin' our doodz!

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)
Chicken Little in the Bathroom

So now it would seem we can even chalk up kidney stones to global warming. I always thought the bedrock of science was a firm understanding of cause and effect. It seems I was wrong.

Posted by scott at 11:34 AM | Comments (3)
That's His Royal Highness Cranky Old Man to You, Bub

Lisa R. gets a no prize with a crown and scepter on for bringing us The Principality of Hutt River, which appears to actually be the oldest "micronation" in Australia. They even have a home page. Mint coins and stuff!

Shoot. If I'd know'd it was that easy I'd've done it years ago!

Posted by scott at 10:43 AM | Comments (1)
A Different Sort of Perq

Work for NASA, pee in a cup. Over and over again, it would seem. But hey, at least it's voluntary!

Posted by scott at 08:16 AM | Comments (1)
July 16, 2008
Rocket Back-Bite

It would seem not everyone is enamored with NASA's Ares I/Ares V concept. Big surprise, eh? According to Aviation Week, the latest iteration of the V is significantly larger than the original, enough so that they're starting to be constrained by the height of the VAB main doors. This "Jupiter" concept seems much taller than the original Ares V concept, so I gotta wonder if it'd even fit.

Posted by scott at 01:41 PM | Comments (2)
That's a Real Close Shave

I guess he really, really liked living there:

A ‘vulnerable’ man cut off his own head with a chainsaw after being ordered to move out of his home to make way for developers, police believe.

Umm... ouch?

Posted by scott at 11:40 AM | Comments (1)
Cat Tower For The Tight Spaced

I really need one of these.

Posted by Ellen at 09:50 AM | Comments (6)
Mmm... Hopsickle...

It's beer. On a steek. And in good ol' Alexandria VA no less. Sign me up!

Posted by scott at 08:40 AM | Comments (1)
July 15, 2008

Just got done deploying the very first bit of my very first MVC asp.net application. I got tired of waiting for the @#$% official framework to be released, so I didn't use it. But this is going to be a BIG project*, so I needed something. "Self," I says to myself, "it's just a design pattern. How hard can it be?"

Famous last words. Took me several hours to get my head wrapped around the asp.net page cycle so that my controllers weren't sending my models into update la-la land and locking up my views. Get thee back, stack overflow!

But now I've delivered the first chunk, and not only does it work it seems to work really well. Much better and easier to work with than the way I did it on my last project, with standard ASP.NET coding practices. I can unit test all the way up to implementing the view, and while it's far from trivial to build and test said view**, the benefits of building it this way mean de-bugging the view is at least straightforward and comparatively pain-free.

Oh, and one of the reasons why this seems pretty straightforward to me is I've been building MVC-like applications for years. My CF apps never posted back to the originating page. They always posted to a processor page, which updated the database, and then sent the user back to the screen. Sound familiar? I knew it would.

Hey, it's my blog, I'll write what I want to.


* Meeting management software for an annual convention with 2000+ attendees. Yeah, I know, there's dozens of them, but the only good ones are $$$, and even though you don't believe me this place really does have unique meeting requirements just not covered by anything else.

** One of the ways to tell you're doing it right, apparently, is testing the view becomes "trivial." To which I can only say, "WTF?!? Are you guys designing to 80-line monochrome?!? I got interaction, lots of it, to test!"

Posted by scott at 03:10 PM | Comments (8)
Well, at Least it Wasn't a Foil Hat

Ya know, the party just hasn't started until the guy covered in barbecue sauce shows up. When Mr. Shotgun is pointed at you, it really doesn't much matter how badly you need protection from the government, no'Wha'ah'mean?

Posted by scott at 01:12 PM | Comments (0)
Postcards from the Edge

Michael Totten recently filed this detailed report on conditions in that other war-torn chunk of the world, the former Yugoslav territories. It seems that, like most places when people are allowed to do so, they're moving on. It is, however, nice to see a pro American part of Europe. Muslim too, no less.

Posted by scott at 12:19 PM | Comments (0)
More Wii Fun

Seems that Nintendo is improving the Wii controller's 3D tracking. Hyper-accurate aiming is a must for any sort of action game (well, that I play anyway), and I did notice the Wii lacking this the few times I've played one. And to think a few years ago everyone was writing Nintendo off the console map...

Posted by scott at 10:28 AM | Comments (0)
But What about the Sharks?

By using only off-the-shelf hardware, Raytheon intends to field and test a working laser defense system by November. This is not like the other laser projects you've heard about lately... this system is solid-state. No nasty chemicals to handle or run out of at an embarrassing time. It's being pitched as a point-defense system against small targets like mortar shells and (presumably) rockets.

If it works as advertised, I would imagine the Israeli government will want to buy them by the dozen. Were it me, I'd then paint a big ROCKET TARGETS: NOT YOURS every 100 yards or so on the Pali side of that wall they're building. Hasta la vista, baby.

Posted by scott at 08:14 AM | Comments (2)
July 14, 2008
Color Me Dino

By examining their fossils with a scanning electron microscope, it just might be possible to determine the color of feathered dinosaurs. And, it stands to reason, just about anything else with feathers on it. Apparently the technique might even work with marine fossils. Do we even have any fossilized marine critter skin?

Posted by scott at 02:49 PM | Comments (0)
Away with You!

Right now, in my opinion it's a white elephant, almost certainly "the most expensive thing ever made." But if you strap a rocket to its butt, suddenly the International Space Station gets a whole lot more interesting. Long ago, during the funding debates for what was then Space Station Freedom, I kept thinking, "don't worry, just build it! We'll find lots of cool uses for it once it's built." I've long since chalked that up to youthful naivete, but if this becomes possible it'll be almost prophetic.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 01:50 PM | Comments (3)
(Whale) Turbines to Speed

Ron gets a no-prize that can star in its own Sea World show for bringing us news of the development of a new sort of wind turbine based on, of all things, a hump backed whale fin. By modeling the bumps which appear on that whale's fin, scientists found they could increase the efficiency, reduce the noise, and increase the power of a wind turbine without risking potentially destructive stall-induced vibration. Ain't nature grand?

Posted by scott at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)
Rare Bugs

Fans of the lobster in all its varied forms should find this collection of rare and unique lobsters worth a look. They still creep me out, but I know I'm in a minority in that respect.

Posted by scott at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)
Fun with the Pope

Catholics and other pope-watchers should find this brief list of "Papal trivia" of interest. I'm not sure what I'd make of it if I saw Benedict with those iPod buds in his ears. Who knew?

Posted by scott at 08:22 AM | Comments (1)
July 13, 2008
Ear to the Ground

While it's still very unclear just when exactly language evolved in humans, it would seem our ears, at least, were preparing for it for a very long time. The finding is interesting, but definitely seems to have a chicken-or-egg problem in my opinion. Do our ears have a unique sensitivity to maximize our ability to understand language, or are human speech sounds concentrated in that range because that's where our ears are maximally sensitive?

Posted by scott at 08:31 AM | Comments (1)
July 11, 2008
Oh My....Head Rubs...


Posted by Ellen at 09:13 PM | Comments (0)
3-0 Monocryl


Only 12 days to go and they come out Chester!

Posted by Ellen at 08:54 PM | Comments (1)


Chester! Where is your eye? In the trash you say? Keeping Goblin's leg company?

Posted by Ellen at 08:49 PM | Comments (0)
Loopy Lupa

It would appear what is thought of as the oldest bronze statue of Rome's founding she-wolf may be nowhere near as ancient as previously believed. The evidence does seem a bit weak, at least from what's related in the article. You know, in my expert opinion and all that.

Posted by scott at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)
Well How the Heck Else do You Expect Them to Get to Grammas?

Why we didn't think of a picture like this, I'll never know. Oh I know all right. They may not shoot guns, but the grammas Olivia's got can swing some pretty heavy bats.

Posted by scott at 01:20 PM | Comments (0)
Clean up on AisleThree

Problem: Invasive seaweed species are choking off environmentally important (and tourist-drawing) coral reefs.

Solution: Hoover 'em up.

No, really!

Posted by scott at 12:11 PM | Comments (0)
~ Bit by Bit / Putting it Together ~

Slashdot linked up this detailed interview with Peter Gluck, the project software engineer for many of the recent Mars probe projects. In it, Peter provides an in-depth look at just what goes on under the hood of the latest successful probe, the Mars Phoenix lander. It's all in C! Ha! Take that you "I-hate-all-those-semicolons-everywhere" VB'ers!

Posted by scott at 10:52 AM | Comments (0)
That Might Leave a Mark

Volunteer fire-fighting seems to be a lot more fun than I would at first have thought. Don't miss the video, amusing in equal parts for the fireman shooting a rocket out of his butt (really!) and the puritanical disapproval of the "investigative" reporter.

Posted by scott at 07:56 AM | Comments (1)
July 10, 2008
That's right...play with electricity now.


...let's see what body part you lose next.

*Oh its a USB cable ppl! Lighten up!*

Posted by Ellen at 09:19 PM | Comments (0)


Our latest foster cat, Chester. We took his eye out today due to an old lens rupture injury. Hasn't slowed him down tonight.

Posted by Ellen at 09:12 PM | Comments (0)
Your raw sensuality flusters me as the dog sneezes into the ventilation fan.

Fans of non-sequitors in the peanut gallery should find the Surrealism Server amusing. For a few minutes, at any rate.

Why yes, I have spent all day coding, why do you ask?

Via Violins and Starships

Posted by scott at 03:22 PM | Comments (0)
~ I Just Wanna Stop / and Thank Ya Baby ~

Despite recent setbacks, Boeing still seems to be tinkering with a so-called "stop rotor" helicopter. Their approach seems to have the advantage of simplicity, but it's not clear if materials will be available to enable a scale-up of the demonstrator.

Posted by scott at 02:03 PM | Comments (0)
Yeah, Gonna File that One Under "Fail"

Concrete wall: 1, bmx biker dude: 0. I never got into that sort of thing precisely because I knew without a doubt something like that would happen to me. My brother, not so much, and so when we were kids he more than once ended up in a dentist's chair for "repairs."

Posted by scott at 12:51 PM | Comments (0)
Wet Moon

It would appear the moon itself once had water in it. The finding provides some real challenges to current impact-driven origin theories of our largest natural satellite, since presumably the monstrous forces predicted by said theory would've presumably vaporized (perhaps even atomized) any water in the rocks which eventually made up the moon would've had.

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

Scientists are reporting the discovery of a fossil tetrapod older than anything found to-date. While the animal probably is not a direct ancestor of every living four-legged creature today, the fossil does provide insight into just how, and perhaps why, a certain group of creatures transitioned from sea to land.

Put that in your "no transitional fossils ever found" pipe and smoke it.

Posted by scott at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)
July 09, 2008
Just Don't Open that Bag!

Problem: how do you quantify the amount of methane given off by your typical cow?

Solution: Plastics.

Every time I think the global warming crowd has hopped over the wall of rationality and into the green, well-padded fields of hysteria, they go and jump a little higher.

Posted by scott at 02:44 PM | Comments (1)
That's Racist!

Long, long ago my mom was on the city council of our local town; her many stories of their meetings kept me from being that surprised about this:

Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield, who is white, said it seemed that central collections "has become a black hole" because paperwork reportedly has become lost in the office.

Commissioner John Wiley Price, who is black, interrupted him with a loud "Excuse me!" He then corrected his colleague, saying the office has become a "white hole."

Via Countercolumn

Posted by scott at 01:46 PM | Comments (0)
Behold the Power of the Market

Where untold government regulations have failed, incentive succeeds:

Skyrocketing costs of scrap metal have created a silver — or should we say steel — lining to economic and environmental woes. Collecting scrap not only brings in extra money, but also encourages citizens to clean up unsightly refuse.

Stick that in your "stupid plebes will always be polluting monsters so we have to get the government to force them to clean up after themselves" pipe and smoke it!

I've never been a fan of recycling because, if it really did cost less to recycle something, someone would pay me to recycle. It doesn't, so nobody does.

Posted by scott at 12:52 PM | Comments (2)
And Around Again

Suddenly the decision not to import the "Mini-killer" MiTo makes a lot more sense:

German carmaker BMW AG (BMW.XE) said Tuesday it has signed an agreement with Fiat SpA (F.MI) regarding possible cooperation for their Mini and Alfa Romeo brands aimed at reducing costs.

Leave it to Italians to design a car specifically meant to go head-to-head with a company they just signed a co-operation agreement with.

Posted by scott at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)
I Need Another Line of Work

I've always known it was expensive to live in Manhatten. I mean, look how much a homeless person gets for just being, well, homeless. Gotta love that rent control!

Posted by scott at 10:25 AM | Comments (1)
Rrmm... Okay...

The things one can do with paper, upholstery foam, and way too much free time can be... Well hell, I'm not completely sure what that is. I guess that was probably the point, eh?

Posted by scott at 08:36 AM | Comments (1)
July 08, 2008
Gruesome Find

"Convicted killer Hans Reiser led police Monday to what he said was the body of his wife in the Oakland hills just two days before he was to be sentenced for first-degree murder, authorities said."

Their were more weird items in this murder trial than you could shake a stick at. I'm still not completely sure we know what's going on.

Posted by scott at 03:38 PM | Comments (1)
That'll be One Toothy Kid

A group of Brazilian scientists claim to have developed a technique which creates human sperm cells from tooth cells. Their idea is to help infertile men by allowing stem cells created from other, more common cell types to be turned into sperm cells. The research is apparently far from well documented, so it's unclear whether the technique has any real clinical applications.


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

It's bad enough to drown while rafting down a river; it's worse if they can't even get at your body. I only thought that sort of thing happened on Everest!

Posted by scott at 12:30 PM | Comments (1)
And Around it Goes Again...

It seems the on-again, off-again re-entry of Alfa to the US market is off again. Most disappointing of all is the new lower-cost MiTo does not appear to be slated for the US. Grr.

Posted by scott at 11:32 AM | Comments (0)
... and the Convertible Goes, "Splish-Splash"

I swear to God, the Post Express this morning called this one, "why women shouldn't use a standard transmission." If the thing was going 40 mph when it hit, I would imagine there would be more damage to the pool itself. But wtf do I know? Well, I know a) try not to park a standard on a hill and b) if you do leave it in gear and set the e-brake. Sheesh.

Posted by scott at 08:13 AM | Comments (0)
July 07, 2008
When Spare Time Attacks Journalists

Ron gets a no-prize which can be read end-to-end whilst sitting on a toilet for bringing us this bit of People-esq automotive journalism. Sometimes I think these guys are mostly out for excuses to drive cars no real person could ever afford, instead of providing information about cars I want to buy.

And, dude... what self-respecting "top 10 post-apocalypse vehicles" list would leave off the LM002?

Posted by scott at 02:47 PM | Comments (1)
Mercury Revealed

New science about the recent MESSENGER Mercury probe fly-by is finally being published, and the results appear to be even more than people were hoping for. Seems to happen an awful lot when the space probe doesn't smash itself to bits or disappear for no reason at all, eh?

I can't wait to see the Discovery documentary this stuff triggers.

Posted by scott at 01:47 PM | Comments (0)
~ Some People Want to Fill the World ~

I guess it was only a matter of time before someone figured out how to put a mash-up generator on the internet. Sorta reminds me of those old novelty singles that were popular in the 70s. You know, the one where it's a interviewer and the replies are all song snippets? I can't remember the name of the guy who did them anymore. Gah.

Posted by scott at 12:34 PM | Comments (0)

So, just how well is the F-35 program going? As with most modern DoD projects, probably not as well as it should:

To put it another way: [The F-35 program] plans some 66 months from first flight to [initial operational capability]. One third of those months will be behind us in October and fewer than one per cent of the planned test hours have been accomplished. Now, we all know that flight testing accelerates geometrically as more airplanes join the force and as they get more reliable, but there's still some hard work ahead of the JSF program.

People have tried to "fix" the way the Pentagon runs armaments programs for probably as long as it has existed. Nothing seems to improve the situation, and calls for radical reform are written off as dangerous bomb-throwing by people with no grasp of the whole situation.

Posted by scott at 11:34 AM | Comments (1)
Snap, Crackle, & Pop

Joshua gets an explosive no-prize for bringing us a look at what 3.2 million fireworks going off looks like. I don't want to know how long it took to fuze all that together.

Posted by scott at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)
Waxy Evil

Tossaud's in Germany is putting a wax model of Hitler up. They're portraying him in his last days, and have the statue under heavy security to prevent vandalism. When I visited the New York version of the museum, I thought it was most interesting when they had them standing up, so I could see how tall (or short) they were. Sitting down, and behind rope no less, would seem to me a bit of a letdown.

Posted by scott at 08:43 AM | Comments (1)
July 06, 2008
Olivia and Her Tortoise Crackers




Posted by Ellen at 09:34 PM | Comments (1)
This Muffin Is Most Delcious...

Posted by Ellen at 09:16 PM | Comments (1)
Getting to Lick The Spoon


Olivia and Grammy did mini cream cheese and cool whip cupcakes this weekend!

Posted by Ellen at 09:07 PM | Comments (2)
Judas Unchained

Now, I know this will shock... shock you: in order to get a really fizzing-good documentary, a production team played fast-and-loose with the facts. The horror!

To me, the controversy regarding the Gospel of Judas and National Geographic's handling of it sounds a lot like sour grapes from a group of academics quite patently not familiar or happy with the huggle-buggle dashing around of all these flamboyant commoners! Working for money, no less! The rest is the standard slow-motion slugfest common to just about any collection of academic journals when something really new shows up.

Which does absolutely nothing to dim the astonishing discovery of an entire ancient book previously known only from a single throw-away sentence written by a disapproving bishop nearly two thousand years ago. Amazing!

Posted by scott at 07:46 AM | Comments (0)
July 05, 2008
Torty Come Home

After a 2 & 1/2 week sojurn, Tank the tortoise has returned. While this article is a lot cheesier, it includes a video of the wanderer and his buddy.

I think Om will get to be about half the size of these guys.

Posted by scott at 10:12 AM | Comments (0)
Act II

NASA recently announced the Saturn space probe Cassini has completed its primary mission and started a secondary one. After four years, the spacecraft is is very good shape and will now be used to more closely study the moons Titan and Enceladus.

Posted by scott at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)
Need... Job...

While I can certainly respect the artistry, I gotta question just what went wrong in this kid's past to make him go that extreme. And dude, tattoo the whites of your eyes?!? Oh, Canada!

Posted by scott at 08:47 AM | Comments (0)
Watch that First Step

Look at it this way... You never have to worry about garbage building up underneath your balcony.

Posted by scott at 08:13 AM | Comments (0)
July 04, 2008
When Tech Support Attacks

I only wish I could get away with this crap. Where I work, if I don't deliver exactly what they want just before they know they want it, with a sweet smile and a kind, gentle voice, I'm just not effective.

Posted by scott at 10:00 AM | Comments (1)
Death of a Legend. With Big Feet.

While not the original, Larry Harmon, the man who was responsible for the popularizing of Bozo the Clown, has died at the age of 83. We had a Little-Rock based Bozo while I was growing up. It never occurred to me there could be more than one until WGN brought in an alternative. That Bozo mug of mine might still be out there somewhere.

Posted by scott at 07:05 AM | Comments (0)
July 03, 2008


Olivia said Swoozie was 'picking a wedgie' when we took this picture.

Posted by Ellen at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)
See! Goblin Really Is A Nice Cat!

Posted by Ellen at 05:20 PM | Comments (0)
Foot Toy


One of the new toys Olivia picked out for Swoozie.

Posted by Ellen at 05:12 PM | Comments (0)
I Has An Itch

Posted by Ellen at 05:08 PM | Comments (0)
Olivia @ Chez Mark's


Mark has a jacuzzi. O calls it, "the giant bathtub."

Posted by Ellen at 04:52 PM | Comments (0)
Not so E-Z Bake Now

Ron gets a no-prize that probably just needs a solid bang on the side to work for bringing us not-so-good news about the Phoenix lander. Looks like the little oven meant to bake soil samples is fritzing. It may work, it may not, and the nearest repair shop is a darned long walk from there.

Posted by scott at 04:08 PM | Comments (0)
New Shooz

New evidence has been uncovered that seems to date the habitual wearing of shoes back to at least 40,000 years ago. Just what that evidence is, the article doesn't really say. Just about the only thing it can be is some sort of skeletal change in the foot which is characteristic of wearing a shoe.

Posted by scott at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)
Mmm... Gear...

While it is a bit basic, this overview of the latest Tour tech was still worth a look for me. The best part is all the stuff the pros use is available for purchase. For a price, of course.

No, it's not enough to get you over the sticker shock of a $1,000 "real" bike, but it might get your bike shoe in the water, sort of thing.

Posted by scott at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)
Umm... Yuck?

Leave it to New York to invent the Lutherburger. Bacon cheese burger, meet donut. Donut, cheeseburger. Ron would probably get his with extra cheese.

Posted by scott at 08:31 AM | Comments (2)
July 02, 2008
Who You Gonna Call?

Go for the cellos, stay for the polka. I guess string players gotta make a living somehow, eh?

The fall of the iron curtain gave everyone over there the freedom to be silly as well, ya know?

Posted by scott at 03:26 PM | Comments (1)

You'll please pardon me while I go check to make sure the wayback machine isn't set to 1437 or something:

The unsolved case of a 15-year-old girl who went missing in Rome 25 years ago has been dramatically reopened.

A woman has told police the girl was kidnapped by a criminal gang on the orders of Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, the disgraced former head of the Vatican's bank who was linked to the death of the Italian banker Roberto Calvi.

I've heard the saying, "old habits die hard", but this is ridiculous.

Posted by scott at 01:49 PM | Comments (0)
Old Friends, Long Gone

I found the one with the abandoned waterslide especially poignant, I guess because Olivia and I spent many fun hours at various (indoor!) water parks around here last winter, and seeing one abandoned made me realize I won't always be able to do that.

Via Violins and Starships.

Posted by scott at 12:42 PM | Comments (1)
So, I Guess what They're Saying is, She's a Noisy Lay?

Making the rounds: the Earth emits weird transient high-frequency radio signals. They're caused by interactions with the ionosphere and the solar wind. With proper gear, the find could help in the search for Earth-like planets, since the signals are many times more powerful than the most powerful man-made transmitters on our planet's surface.

Posted by scott at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)
When New Jersey Attacks

I guess it must be all the refinery smoke that keeps them from noticing the smell:

An 84-year-old Burlington County woman died and five other New Jersey residents were sickened in separate incidents after drinking small amounts of torch oil they mistook for apple juice, New Jersey poison control officials said yesterday.

NJ ex-pats Ron and Amber frequently told tales of the... piquancy*... of the native residents. For some reason they left "and they also drink kerosene like it's water" off the list.

* And I'll be damned if I didn't spell that right the first time, without even looking.

Posted by scott at 08:24 AM | Comments (1)
July 01, 2008
Now Those are Some Smooth Balls

The metric standards police are taking another crack at re-defining the kilogram. Sometimes I wonder if our inability to unify gravity and quantum physics may be somehow linked to our inability to precisely define a unit of measurement for what gravity most directly affects.

Rrm... ah... sort of thing, eh?

Posted by scott at 03:24 PM | Comments (4)
One of us... One of us...

Annie gets a modest and well-made no-prize for bringing us news of how the FLDS ladies are making ends meet. Have sewing machine, will travel!

Posted by scott at 02:10 PM | Comments (1)
Like the Blasted Things aren't Complicated Enough Already

Not content with a machine that's second in complication only to the Space Shuttle, it would seem some folks are looking into the practicality of a variable-diameter tilt rotor aircraft. That's a really nifty idea there chief. You get to ride it first. *Boot*

Posted by scott at 12:54 PM | Comments (0)
Doin' it to Death

Scientists have discovered a species of chameleon who's life cycle is more like an insect's than a vertebrate's:

Over four years, [Kris Karsten at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, US] and his colleagues marked 400 chameleons and followed seven with radio tags to study their growth patterns, lifespans and behaviour. They discovered that juveniles hatch in synchrony in early November, grow into adults within just seven weeks, mate, and all die without exception by April, just before the harsh dry season settles in.

Just when you thought nature couldn't get any weirder...

Posted by scott at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)
That's Mister Hole-in-the-Back-Yard to You, Bub

All I ever found was a couple of rocks and some bits of cast iron. This guy went digging around in his back yard and found an entire abandoned Nazi bunker. I haven't gone through the whole site yet, but it looks as if the man may very well have stumbled on a right nice treasure in his own yard.

Posted by scott at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)
Your Thought for the Day


For the less technical, what you'd be asking for is the ability to smack idiots around via the Internet.

Posted by scott at 08:29 AM | Comments (2)