You know, now that you mention it, I don't recall seeing Ron or Amber lately. Didn't they go hiking in Florida last week?
If this list of "Top 5 Great Men who were Great Plagiarists" is to be believed, a few of our most cherished literary figures had some very sticky fingers. That said, this is a Cracked article, long on sophomoric mud-slinging and suspiciously short of citations. The case on MLK's Dream speech in particular strikes me a more of a reference than outright plagiarism.
And score one for me, who seems to know how to spell "plagiarism" without reference to spell check. Now if I could just consistently remember where I leave my keys in the morning...
Honda has developed a system which allows an individual to control one of its ASIMO robots with thought alone. Notwithstanding all the "big brother" and "I, for one, welcome our new robotic overlords" issues everyone will likely bring up, I wonder if this development could be used to help people with catastrophic mobility disabilities in any way? In my own opinion, having a disability which completely immobilizes the body but leaves the brain fully functional is one of the worst of human fates. It would seem that Honda's creation could one day promise at least a small, and potentially a very large, amount of relief to such people by providing them with a helmet and a robot helper.
Why stop at helping companies stay afloat? We obviously know better than they do what the consumer wants:
Obama has ordered GM and Chrysler to come up with a cost and product structure that focuses on making money on small, fuel-efficient cars, traditionally a losing proposition for U.S. automakers.
My advice: find the most powerful car that fits your needs and buy it now. The days of a 250 hp family sedan are over. Performance cars with 300+ hp are going to lead them into extinction. My prediction: when the economy recovers, say in 3-5 years, there will be an explosion in classic car values that'll make the runup in the mid-80s look like a wet bottle rocket.
Because, now that the government is deciding what is and is not a desirable car, the only place to turn for what you like will be the classic car market. Since there's no increasing supply there, prices must go up. They're available new or depreciating fast right now, but once people realize the best they're going to get from now on is a Smart, that'll change in a great big hurry. Buy low, because in five years you'll definitely be able to sell high.
What happens when you give a bunch of nerdy engineers access to powerful electrical equipment? Oh, pretty much what you'd expect:
As with most of their type, it takes forever for them to get to the point, but the result was enough to make me smile.
Meet Liam Hoekstra, one of the very very rare people to have myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy, or muscle enlargement:
Liam has the kind of physical attributes that bodybuilders and other athletes dream about: 40 percent more muscle mass than normal, jaw-dropping strength, breathtaking quickness, a speedy metabolism and almost no body fat.
Lest we all become too envious, it's important to keep in mind that, while his soft-tissue changes make him seem almost superhuman, his skeleton, and most importantly his joints, have not changed at all. Like a car, the human body is an intricate, inter-related system. Also like a car, beefing up the power without simultaneously strengthening the support structures results in something fun, but fragile.
To put it another way, there's a reason professional athletes in strenuous sports end up being forced to retire due to injuries, and it's not always the fault of physical contact.
Mark gets a no-prize Ellen would recognize instantly for bringing us news of a patrol who's mission is to keep Burmese pythons out of the Florida keys. Which wouldn't sound like too much of a problem, except it would appear some 30,000 of the buggers live just north of there, in the Everglades.
Don't worry. Ellen already has one.
Robert H. gets a red, juicy no-prize for bringing us news that you, too, can plant your very own Campbell's tomato soup tomato. People learn to fear Ellen in the fall when she totes paper sacks around, for they know this means a large number of home-grown tomatoes are headed their way.
Chrysler says it has reached an official deal with Fiat. The trick now is to make sure Chrysler keeps its doors open long enough for Fiat to route cars through it.
So, is it a dairy barn, or a car wash? "Cow wash" seems more appropriate. When staying clean and happy are a key to production, modern farming can be quite humane indeed.
Looks like PETA is much more interested in publicity than it is in actually caring for animals. Placing seven pets out of 2200 is pretty pathetic. It probably represents animals taken home by employees, not any real effort at getting homeless animals new owners.
As expected, taking power from the cig lighter hot wire and connecting that to the clock fixed it. Amazing how well electrical things work when they have electricity! Both cig lighter and clock now function, & no fuses are blowing. A regular "electricity bypass" surgery, even.
[Editor's note: "ARC" is the Alfa Romeo Control system, an 80s-era bit of electronics that was SUPPOSED to tell you all sorts of useful things, like when lights are burned out, or oil level is low, etc. Being Italian, it didn't work from the factory. The last video in this post shows what it's like when it's broken. 20 years later, a shade-tree mechanic figured out a single $2 chip was all that was needed to make it behave. And now, after all this time, it's useful.]
So, rain outside means I can't take apart the Milano's door*, ok, how about the clock that the the hi-fi shop killed in September? A judicious use of the test light reveals it's not getting power**. So... is there a wire on that side of the dash that might be hot with the key off?
Cigarette lighter! Hmmm... is that hot? Let's try and use the test...
Well... it's not hot ANYMORE.
Thing was, I couldn't see a blown fuse. And yet the ARC was insisting, in its "downs-syndrome electronics" way, that something was wrong. "Stop Light" and "Brake" stay steady for about two minutes, then start flashing. A quick drive shows nothing's wrong with the brakes. Beer break to think about it.
Ok, trying to figure out if the brake lights work by yourself is like trying to spot a sign taped to your back. Wife's upstairs being motion sick from "Monsters vs. Aliens 3-D". The ARC is so dumb and innocent I *want* to trust it, so one last look at the fuse box and...
Sure enough, a 15w fuse, the last one on the right, is quite comprehensively blown. Quick trip to the auto store later, and we're back in business.
So let that be a lesson to you. Well, ok, me. Once the ARC is fixed, it can in fact be useful.
* The spider "owns" our one car garage. Most Milano work is done in the driveway. Which is why I'm jonesing for a 2-car garage house .
** There are 4 wires. Pink wire is hot when the ignition's on. That's the back light. Yellow wire is hot when the lights are on. Some sort of inscrutable signal to dim the back light. Black is (I'm assuming) ground, leaving black-and-red, which is definitely not hot, ever.
Meant to do it, meant to do it. It's a good thing kittens are light and mostly cartilage. I'd fear for the survival of the species otherwise.
Even the worst Italian town is prettier than anywhere in Germany. Take a stroll through somewhere nice, like Cremona, and you'll be greeted by fine wine, God's own architecture, and beautiful women who shave their armpits. You'll probably crash your car and the hotel's air-con won't work, but you'll love every minute.
Is there anything about that place that isn't beautiful, fun, and broken for stretches at a time?
The latest iteration: Chrysler goes to GM, and GM gives Saab to Fiat as some sort of weird consolation prize. I'm not completely sure this'll work all that well either, since SAAB's lineup would seem to compete directly with Alfa's. Still, I've seen more news about Fiat coming back to the US in the past six weeks than I have in the past six years. Surely something will come of it.
No, really... spiders in space:
An intrepid spider may have survived the long months at the International Space Station, with scientists eager to know for sure once it returns to Earth aboard the space shuttle Discovery.
The arachnid, one of two orb weaving spiders sent to the station last November, is due to land with Discovery's astronaut crew in Florida on Saturday afternoon. The spiders, and some butterfly larvae, are part of an educational experiment with students on Earth to compare their development in zero gravity with their counterparts on Earth.
I distinctly recall, although I can't remember where, other experiments involving putting spiders in orbit. Apparently the main roadblock to their survival is dehydration, since weightlessness apparently tricks their bodies into not consuming enough moisture.
Welcome to the world of little-girl raising. Olivia gets just as mad when we laugh at inappropriate moments.
All our fish are too big for the porcelain funeral procession... they end up out in the garden with all the other dead critters.
The Science Museum in London has a new exhibit opening which features Nick Park's best-known characters hosting "what every aspiring inventor needs to know." Here's to hoping the show goes on the road, and over the pond, some time in the future!
Olivia, let me see your loose tooth?
I can't look?
I'll give you five bucks?
Oh look! It just came out! Cool! Now just swish the blood out and I'll call the tooth fairy.
Mark gets a submerged no-prize for bringing us news of NASA's upcoming landing simulation tests of the Orion space capsule. I wonder how much extra it costs to have the test article "stop off" at various points on its journey to the test areas?
Blockbuster's on-line rental service is coming to Tivo. Unlike the Netflix service, this new one is available to Series 2 users. We've been using the Amazon download service for about six weeks now and are very pleased with it. More selections is a good thing!
Fans of the macabre or of places off-limits should find this "unauthorized" exploration of the catacombs of Paris of interest. Considering how big and how old they are, I'd be surprised if the authorities were actually able to completely restrict access.
Nothing quite as goofy as a mild-mannered cat "in disguise." There's a whole series featuring this feline. So much for an evening with the wife.
Being a more "technically aware" sort of family, I hope we're able to avoid things like this in the future:
The FBI Arrested 40 year-old Robert Lavern Davison and brought him to Utah to go before a judge this week. Police say he used the internet to lure a 13 year-old girl from Centerville, Utah to California.
And just wait 'till you see the pictures.
Tired of gloom and doom? Take a look at what might be coming down the ol' technology pike soon. Exploitable zero-point energy sounds just way beyond fantastic. That is, if it's not just fantastic.
Whodathunkit? Turns out The Post really is useful for something... running pictures of cats!
Those baby snow leopards look exactly like the babies we foster every year, except about 3x larger. That's definitely not a baby butt I'd want to rub*.
* If you have to ask, Beavis, you've obviously never fostered newborn kittens. And stop giggling.
Boy, am I glad Bush was the last president! Otherwise we'd have nobody to blame for these horrific budget deficits. Well, except for, you know...
Nothing like a ridiculous car mod or two to brighten your morning, eh? Ron's characteristic "ahhuuah?" expression in 3... 2... 1...
Why would she fire the nurse-nannies that were charitably provided for her by the nonprofit Angels in Waiting?She just gets stranger by the day.
Looks like the Israeli Air Force quite conclusively kicked Hajji butt and took Hajji names. Zero blue-on-blue is very nice. Hopefully they're giving lessons, and the Obama administration is smart enough to sign up. No promises there, though.
For what better purpose can a website be used, I must ask, than posting pictures of pets in wigs? Hey, can't be any worse than 90% of Facebook!
Nothing like a monstrous chamber of hyper-pure water to start your day. I wonder how they keep it that pure and still let people in? Those must be some interesting dive suits!
Israel's military condemned soldiers for wearing T-shirts of a pregnant woman in a rifle's cross-hairs with the slogan "1 Shot 2 Kills," and another of a gun-toting child with the words, "The smaller they are, the harder it is."
Look, liberals don't need an excuse to flip out. Doing something like this is like pouring rocket fuel on a particularly loony fire.
It's amazing what can be deduced from a single drawing and a bit of knowledgeable logic. Will the Air Force's next "for-real" bomber be a junior-sized B-2 with a socket where the cockpit goes?
Wait, why are you even asking? As long as we negotiate with people who disagree with us, we won't need these big-ticket items. In fact, that's going to work so well we should cut funding for all these expensive toys, since we won't need them. We can give some of the money we save away to you, yes, but most importantly we can give even more of it to people who
don't pay taxes anyway, vote Democrat,... ahem... represent 90% of the American people!
If you think I'm kidding you're not paying attention to the news. What need do we have for guns when hope and change trumps all?
Ron gets a no-prize with some really... remarkable... welds for bringing us this collection of DIY car modifications. I do have one slight quibble, to wit: several of these cars are pretty obviously pure race vehicles of one sort or another, so placing things in ugly or weird spots is actually to be expected. That still doesn't forgive placing two turbochargers just below the rear seat upholstery.
Cold fusion appears to be poised for yet another comeback. This time around, it seems scientists are taking the data more seriously. This is, what, the third or fourth time another cold fusion discovery has been made? Sooner or later I'll bet they find something...
Folks with their own telescope may find using it to hunt for the ISS an engaging distraction. If it really is as bright as Venus, it should be pretty striking to see unaided. Unfortunately, if I'm reading the charts right, it appears quite low on our local horizon, so no idea if we'd get any benefit. I'd imagine people living further south will have more opportunities.
So now it seems at least some women are coming forward saying they experienced orgasms during childbirth. Considering the human species has been reproducing the same way for the past 150,000 years or so, you'd think someone else would've noticed before now.
I distinctly remember all the papers playing up the "Did you know Harrison Ford's dating a girl more than 20 years younger than he is?" when they got together. The papers neglected to mention his "girl" was in her late 30s at the time. Grownup celebrities are only allowed to be so if the MSM allows them.
Those of you who, like me, enjoyed the series finale of Battlestar Galactica but were still left with questions should find this "after show" interview with the principles of the series of interest. It certainly answered the main questions I had.
Those who haven't seen the finale, or are still working through the show via the DVDs, should of course bookmark it with your eyes shut and wait until you've caught up with the rest of us. I'm not going to say anything to give it away, but they sure do.
My wife's work, let me show you it.
My wife's work.
I quite distinctly remember reading news articles in the mid-90s about how crazy and unfair it was for southern states to "give away" money and rights trying to attract car companies to locate there. It was, after all, just corporate welfare, pure and simple. How dare they provide billions of dollars in tax incentives to companies making a profit!
Well, I don't expect anyone on the left side of the aisle to change their tune, but at least I'll have the ammunition to shoot down those ridiculous assertions.
The story makes me think about a related "how dare they!" scenario, legalized "riverboat" gambling. Mississippi "fell" to temptation, while Arkansas remained "pure." Ten years later the differences between the "is-this-1958-or-what?" poverty of the Arkansas side and the "was-anythiing-in-this-town-even-around-last-year?" growth on the Mississippi side was striking.
Funny that the left celebrates this as a "victory" of common sense over superstition, while excoriating what's effectively the same thing elsewhere as "corporate welfare." I wonder if they'd ever even acknowledge the distinction?
Let me show you it... my latest obsession.
Ok, obsession's probably too strong. My latest "makes me itch & makes you think I'm weirder than usual." As if that were possible.
At any rate, it really captures what's so artful about these one-off Italian GTs. 0-60 in just under 6 seconds is only reasonably quick by today's standards, but with those curves...
New invention: Ink that changes color with temperature.
US reaction: Let's use it on beer labels so guys can see when it's cold.
Australian reaction: Let's use it on beer labels so guys can see a naked chick.
Aussie Aussie OI OI OI!
Nobody's sure if it's coming to our shores, but the next Alfa to bear the name "Milano" seems to be coming along nicely. I hope one day it does, just so I can park ours next to one.
There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!
-- Terry Pratchett, The Truth
It deserves to be asked: if all the galaxies in the universe are moving apart, how do the end up hitting each other?
F- taking pictures of whales... this is the kind of "get inna boat & go lookit" adventure I'd want to try. No scuba for you, there's undersea volcanoes about!
Nothing like a deadly-poisonous spider to liven up your morning grocery run. Now that's fresh produce!
Leave it to the Japanese to create the ultimate Italian car memorabilia store. Not just Alfa (although there's a ton of that in there), but just about any Italian car-related badge seems to be in there. A few Germans too. Don't delay, the chotchkee-lover you please next could be you!
The Mars rovers are still going strong, and now have their sights set on far away targets. Far away as in, "could take 2 Earth years." Hey, doesn't matter if it's ugly, long as you get there!
Coming to a stage near you, well, definitely near me I'm sure: Samantha Martin and her group the "Rock Cats". Some rock groups want groupies to throw underwear and hotel keys on the stage. This group just wants dead mice.
Nothing like a 2 foot-tall cow to brighten your day.
Ok, everyone all together now... no, Ellen, you can't have one.
Well, I have completed yet another ceremony of fatherhood... the vomiting child. About fifteen minutes ago Olivia sat up on the couch doing a fair imitation of a science project volcano. Since we had 5 Guys burgers for lunch, the volcano smelled of french fries.
I've long wondered how I would react to this. I get a bit queasy when I see upchucking in movies, and as I recall my own dad was quite freaked out when I or my brother had a "reverse digestive incident."
But it really wasn't THAT bad. Lift child gently but quickly from the couch, pause. Carry child quickly but carefully, pause, toward the toilet. Place child in front of toilet and then coach the same way I would with college buddies who thought a small jug of moonshine'd be a great way to end the night*. Begin cleanup detail, checking often to ensure child is OK.
Ellen showed up just in time to be Mommy the Hero. She then got to use some of the voodoo juice that presumably won't get the smells or stains out the same way they don't get the cat smells or stains out. Oh well... there's a reason our couch is 13 years old! Take that, you incontinent little fuzzballs. At least one day Olivia'll have a job!
Here's to finding out one is unflappable in the face of a famously gross job of parenting. I would so very much like a drink...
* "Hold your head up higher, it doesn't come out of your nose as much then."
... Olivia has learned that going home sick is not the win-win situation she thought it might be.
Obviously feeling much better Olivia: "Daddy! Let's go outside to play!"
Me: "No, Olivia. You're sick. Sick girls have to stay in bed."
"But daaadeee... it's so nice outside!"
"Sorry kiddo. Not happening."
I always wondered why my parents said that last bit with a sly smile on their face. Now I don't.
It would seem the messiah has fallen into the water. Finessing Congress is fundamental to the success of a presidency. Those who manage it are nearly always seen as successful, while those who don't, well, aren't.
I gotta say, this still looks a whole lot more like Carter 2.0 than it does Bill Strikes Back.
Making the rounds: last year it was a seagull that got run over by the Space Shuttle; this year it's a bat that got taken for a ride. Now that's some fine insulation. How was he supposed to know it'd move?
Well, they may be old news to motorcycle fans, but I'd certainly never seen a "hubless" motorcycle before. And, since my opinion is the only one that counts, it means nobody else has either. So there you go!
Personally, I think it would've been cooler for him to lose the other middle finger. Still, it does provide an excuse not to wear a certain sort of ring, eh?
Today's daddy day brought to you by... a little girl's stomach bug. Apparently lots of kids with it, one of whom (not Olivia, apparently) threw up. Whatever they used to clean it up smells exactly the same as the stuff they used when I was in grade school. Was it a funny, soft, red sawdust-like material in your school too? Made me feel like a tall 1st grader.
Abject lesson in why there's no such thing as a concourse-winning street car:
The Milano and the Cruiser would likely be fine. Well, the Cruiser would be, parts for it are obviously quite common. The Milano... well, fixable. I wouldn't put money on that driver's chances if Ellen ever caught up with him. Let's just say she's not "as forgiving as the Emperor."
The Spider would be a bashed-up little ball, its "unobtanium" stainless-steel bumpers smashed beyond recognition. Which is why I don't parallel park it. Outer-Mongolia parking spot, FTW!
In the "taxpayer outrage" category we have a whole UK family on their equivalent of disability who claim they're too fat to work and the payments don't cover their bills. The sense of entitlement and just outright balls of the people are impressive. Will that be what the US turns into after 12 years of liberal rule? Let's hope we don't have to find out.
Mark gets a tacky no-prize for bringing us this "newly discovered" footage of the octo-mom giving birth. That doctor has a pretty mean swing, I tell ya...
Mexico appears to be poised to enter a trade war with the US. The cause? Democrats allowed a "pilot program" which enabled Mexican trucks to drive on US roads to lapse. The problem? This is an absolute darling issue with a very powerful core Democratic constituency (Teamsters), the pleasing of which runs right into our tough economic times. So, do you scoff at losing some or all of $151bn worth of trade, as well as the efficiencies of a free market, or do you engage in a bit of realpolitik and jettison a loyal cadre of voters?
"He's 5 feet tall and 5 feet under, the leprechaun grave digger of southern Minnesota." Oh really, yah? Youbetcha!
Mark gets an experimental no-prize for bringing us news that the final bits of the Ares 1-X test shot are on their way to KSC. I haven't heard any noises lately about the Obama administration canceling the thing, so maybe they actually will end up building the production version.
It seems our friends over at Groom Lake are up to "something" again. I wonder... what with low-light camera lenses becoming more affordable and more effective, will moonless nights continue to provide the cover so often used by Area 51 projects?
Jeff gets an enigmatic no-prize for bringing us news of a new study who's author claims the Dead Sea Scrolls were not, in fact, written by the Essenes:
Elior, who teaches Jewish mysticism at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, claims that the Essenes were a fabrication by the 1st century A.D. Jewish-Roman historian, Josephus Flavius, and that his faulty reporting was passed on as fact through the centuries. As Elior explains, the Essenes make no mention of themselves in the 900 scrolls found by a Bedouin shepherd in 1947 in the caves of Qumran, near the Dead Sea. "Sixty years of research have been wasted trying to find the Essenes in the scrolls," Elior tells TIME. "But they didn't exist. This is legend on a legend."
I'm not sure a more contentious area of scholarship exists than historic biblical criticism. This has the smell of a politically-motivated attack, or a bomb-thrower looking for some publicity. However, in this particular contest I'm merely sitting on the top row of the bleachers, waiting for the rest of the People's Front of Judea to show up. WTF do I know?
Do you have any change? I could really use a bag of those otters' noses...
Well, why not hold the funeral at your house? There are more, and more varied, traditions surrounding funerals than there are surrounding marriages, in both our families, so I don't know how well this'd play in our neck of the woods. Then again, considering how iconoclastic our own marriage was*, anything's possible.
* An all-expenses package to Jamaica. Think elopement, with invitations.
But... but... now that Obama is in charge this sort of thing is supposed to stop! Oh, I remember... "the outgoing Bush administration so screwed up the world that it will take years for Obama to undo all the damage. If ever." Nice careful phrasing there, Lou. Otherwise people might think you're trying to blame everything bad on Bush, and credit everything good to Obama, forever.
Sometimes, when I think about touring Italy one day, I do a little daydreaming about what it would be like to haul the Spider back to the land of it's birth and go for a drive. Turns out I can get rather close to that dream, without having to rent a container and wait for a transatlantic boat trip. I do think having a repair truck following me around would be a bit tacky.
Nothing like a set of century-old pictures to put it all in perspective, eh? Whenever I see collections like this, one of the more interesting things I think about is how every single person in these pictures, even (especially) the children are now long, long gone. Impermanence is the only permanent part of the human condition. We forget it far too often.
So, will this be one of the new Alfas to land on our shores? In all honesty, I can't say that I find it pretty. Then again, when I think that its main competition is supposed to be the Mini and that godawful Smart car, well... suddenly it becomes a whole lot prettier. You certainly wouldn't mistake it for any other car on the road. Considering how hard it is to tell any new car from any other new car nowadays, that's a real achievement.
Olivia and I had to go around this today. I complained about the hassle the entire orange -> yellow -> blue -> orange detour we had to take to get home, but that was before I learned some dude used a metro car to cure his headache. That just couldn't have been very pretty.
All of those who think men are the only ones who do dumb things with their privates are pleased to be sitting down and shutting up now. I can honestly say it's the first time I've ever seen "sex toy" and "saber saw" used in the same story.
Yeah, I bet that's gonna leave a mark.
I guess this slide-show of "highlights" of Google's Street View provide even more proof for the axiom: "If you take enough pictures, you'll eventually catch the strangest behavior." I wonder how much they pay the people to image places like South Central LA?
Lisa R. gets a no-prize that'll make everyone cringe for bringing us a story about a man, his junk, and an angry horse. And by "junk", I'm not talking about the type you take to Fred Sanford. Ptooey!!!
That would be Birds: 12, Beach-Goers: 0. I'm as impressed with the photographer as I am with the birds. Then again, if it happens often enough, anything is easy to catch on film.
“I bet if the entire Obama Administration and Democratic Congressional Leadership were sentenced to hang on December 1, 2009, if the stock market were not above 9000 and unemployment were not below 7%, they would become raging tax-cutting pro-business libertarians overnight.”
Which is, of course, an interesting way of saying "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" and "do as I say, not as I do" at once.
Why worry about losing your wallet when something else that'll do the job can be implanted in your arm? I'm actually a bit surprised it's taken this long for someone to think it up.
The folks who revolutionized auto diesels are now bringing a new valve train technology into production. Actuating valves with something other than a spring smells a lot like F-1 technology. Considering Fiat has underwritten the Ferrari F-1 team for decades, it's not that far of a leap.
Another Shuttle Launch, another gee-whiz article summarizing just how hard it is to get a Space Shuttle off the pad. Sounds like there's one guy who does nothing but wipe sh*t down with alcohol. Engineer-driven, government-financed work at its finest!
Jeff gets a no-prize that very soon will fly no more for bringing us one of the very last looks at what'll probably be the most spectacular space vehicle in operation for quite some time.
Ron gets a no-prize that'll spout "verily" a lot for bringing us news that a portrait of Shakespeare made during his lifetime has been found. Found here being a relative term... the painting has apparently been in the possession of the same family for generations. It was only when one of the family members saw the famous copy of the painting in the Folger Library in Washington DC, in 2006, that the connection was made.
A zoo chimp's bad behavior seems to provide proof our closest cousins can also plot long-term strategies. The chimp troupe at the Little Rock zoo had (perhaps still has) a member who would flip out whenever anyone wearing a shirt like the one the staff wore showed up. Which, of course, one day I did. Let's just say I'm quite happy the only thing in the world even worse at throwing a ball than I am is a chimp.
Jack Hayes, director of NOAA’s National Weather Service, included a researcher from the National Center for Atmospheric Research Societal Impacts Program on the assessment team to examine why many people did not take action to protect themselves.
See! It was the presidental primary elections after all!
It would seem tomorrow's Space Shuttle launch may just be visible to those of us in Northern VA. Unfortunately we live in the bottom of a shallow bowl, next to a big bright busy airport. Still, might be worth a look.
Scientists are now experimenting with hookworms as a treatment for MS. The reactions of the medical professionals in my family, who've spent their entire careers fighting such things, should be instructive.
What better way to rehabilitate your industry than to have a "Miss Nuclear Reactor" contest? Did I mention the industry was the one that runs Russia's nuclear plants? Well, there, I did.
India has a problem. A poo problem. And no, it's not cow or elephant poo:
Until May 2007, Meera Devi rose before dawn each day and walked a half mile to a vegetable patch outside the village of Kachpura to find a secluded place.
Dodging leering men and stick-wielding farmers and avoiding spots that her neighbors had soiled, the mother of three pulled up her sari and defecated with the Taj Mahal in plain view.
Yeah, I think "yuck" is a good word here.
Ron gets the famous pinky-to-mouth-corner no-prize for bringing us this set of illustrations that graphically demonstrates what a trillion dollars really means. It's my understanding that one of the biggest problems bank robbers have is not security, but transportation. It's all well and good to hold up an armored car, but it's often not understood they're big for more than one reason.
The remains of William Shakespeare's first theatre have been found in East London.
Archaelogists from the Museum Of London unearthed what they believe to be part of the original curved wall of the first Globe Theatre in Shoreditch.
You have to zoom in a bit, but this pencil cartoon of a "simple history of WWII" made me giggle. Then again, I am easily amused.
Ok, that whole "faked shock" look? Yeah, wearing real thin nowadays.
A team of scientists has modified a "dark horse" theory of gravity, enabling it to account for at least some gauge transformations. The only reason I could follow the article at all was I just recently read Warped Passages (highly recommended!). Even then it made my head crack, instead of explode like this sort of thing normally does. I guess it would suffice to say this is important, and, if the predictions this new theory is presumably making pan out, could represent the revolution required to integrate gravity with quantum mechanics.
Looks like Sunday will be the last day of business for Circuit City. I visited one a few weeks ago, and sadly found its selection rather similar to what it had been before they went bankrupt. What was there wasn't marked down to any remarkable extent. Yet another "I remember when..." I can tell Olivia about. If I remember.
No, really, when kangaroos attack:
Not a bird, or a plane, but a kangaroo has crashed through the bedroom window of a Canberra family's home before terrorising its unsuspecting occupants.
Lisa R. gets a no-prize with boxing gloves on for bringing us even more proof that no matter how cute they are, Australia's native denizens are out to get you.
Her husband, a Briton, travels to Lexington every year for the Patriots Day reenactment and has a keen interest in the Revolutionary War. But with three small children who play in the backyard, she's not certain she even wants to know if there are bodies buried somewhere beneath.My garden grows so well!>
And if radar were to discover something, archeologists and historians might come begging to dig down and find out for sure.
"We're not going to have the garden torn up," Ringrose said. "We live out there. That's one of the most peaceful things about this home."
Goldstein and Anderson would welcome an archeological dig at the site, but recognize that homeowners such as Ringrose would have to consent.
Research leader Professor Giuseppe Cirino said: “We found that hydrogen sulphide is involved in human penile erection. That was proved in this study.” He added that the discovery would help treat erectile dysfunction in future.
At the time the woman died, many people believed that the plague was spread by "vampires" which, rather than drinking people's blood, spread disease by chewing on their shrouds after dying. Grave-diggers put bricks in the mouths of suspected vampires to stop them doing this, Borrini says.
Some little girl has 2 loose bottom teeth!
Something about an apple was mentioned while she was trying to wiggle them around to show me.
Pixes? Nope not yet. Haven't fallen out yet. Plus she screamed at me when I mentioned we should tie a string around them and tie it to the front end of the car...
RV was picked up as a stray by animal control officers in King County, Wash., a couple of weeks ago and she and Gold were reunited by microchip technology.
Read entire mushy story here.
I think I would flush all sorts of stuff with this.
My goldfish would finally fit and I would not have to tell my nice neighbor where NOT to dig in my garden!*
*Nice neighbor likes to plant flowers and stuff in my garden. He weeds it too. I'm not complaining. Just stay away from kitten corner.
Lord, bless this, thy Internet, without which we perhaps would never have known about the doctor who turned a train robber into a set of comfy shoes. Nope, not his horse, him. Bonus: the doctor requested the nipples be left on.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 20 percent since Inauguration Day, the fastest drop under a newly elected president in at least 90 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
"BUT! BUT! He's only been in office 2 months!" Well, yes, but wasn't this the president widely and loudly admired for his taut, disciplined, and organized transition team? You know, one which was, compared to the previous two administrations, what the Batmobile was to a pair of Chinese fire drills?
I mean, it's all well and good to engage in just a little more Bush hating; I'm sure at least one of you out there will do just that, but GW's train has definitely left the station and the heat from its engine can't last much longer.
But wait! There's more:
Mr. Obama's $3.6 trillion budget blueprint, by his own admission, redefines the role of government in our economy and society. The budget more than doubles the national debt held by the public, adding more to the debt than all previous presidents -- from George Washington to George W. Bush -- combined. It reduces defense spending to a level not sustained since the dangerous days before World War II, while increasing nondefense spending (relative to GDP) to the highest level in U.S. history. And it would raise taxes to historically high levels (again, relative to GDP). And all of this before addressing the impending explosion in Social Security and Medicare costs.
Oh, that's right, I keep forgetting. Government is good. Economic justice is far more important than economic growth. If we engage in a dialog with the world we just won't need such an expensive defense budget. Our reliable allies will always be around to help! It's more important that gay people will be able to get married and abortion will never be threatened! People need clean air and renewable energy far more than they need jobs. It doesn't matter if you think so or not, they're the government and they know better than you, because they said so! Hey, that's what hope and change is all about!
Were all the lessons of 1977-1981 forgotten?
Ron gets a no-prize that'll rumble the kitties off their perches for bringing us this Star Wars-based bit of hi-fi componentry. I don't want one because I don't feel like going through all the damned work. Others, maybe not so much.
Ok, it's not the breaking into the bar, or stealing the booze, that puzzles me. It's the getting naked part that's just a wee strange.
Lisa R. gets a no-prize that really should stay covered up for bringing us yet another entertaining example of proof that the US has no corner on eccentric criminals.
They're not transportation, they're self-propelled breweries:
Horses were domesticated much earlier than previously thought, according to a team of researchers.
Writing in Science, a team from the UK's Exeter University suggested that the community in Kazakhstan rode their horses 1,000 years earlier.
They also ate them and drank their milk, possibly as an alcoholic brew.
I've heard enough rumors about fermented horse milk to continue to hope all I ever know about the stuff is rumors.
The finger was removed when the astronomer's body when it was exhumed from his unconsecrated grave and transferred to a mausoleum in a Florentine church in 1737. It is usually on display at Florence's Museum of the History of Science.
How heavy can a pair of black holes be and still [dance]? Try 1 billion solar masses - the combined might of two black holes circling each other at the heart of a quasar 5 billion light years away.
Fun to look at I'm sure, from very very far away.
The trick, of course, would be sticking to that story in the face of a small angry Italian wielding a large, heavy frying pan. Teflon here I come!
Slashdot linked up news that LEGO has come up with a robotic kit targeted for kids aged 5-10. Being the owner of one unit of same, and always looking for something Olivia and I could do together, I was a bit disappointed to find out the product seems (at least for now) to be targeted, and priced, for teachers with classrooms. Oh well. Still, it'll be something I'll keep my eyes out for, perhaps this Christmas?
That's not "shoot" as in camera, but "shoot" as in gun. If it's good enough for the Messiah of the Democratic party, it's good enough for me!
Ron gets a very edible no-prize for bringing us the 11th annual chocolate fashion show. It's exactly, and exactly not, what you think.
Personally, I can think of no better application of applied sciences than re-creating old cannon and firing them. Turns out they're more powerful than previously thought.
By using new instruments, scientists have determined that Pluto's atmosphere is some 50 degrees warmer than its surface. The difference leaves the atmosphere a balmy -180, so make sure to drink plenty of water when you go cloud surfing!
Rush Limbaugh makes one impassioned gloves-off speech and the entire media circus seems to have suddenly swirled around him. What the main stream media has forgotten is what we all, me included, have forgotten... conservatism in general and Republicans in particular surged back to power precisely because pundits like Limbaugh said what we wanted to say, to people we wanted to say it to, in a way we've always wanted to say it. The frothing, rabid response just made it that much more entertaining.
Why did we forget it? Because for the past fourteen years, and especially for the past eight, our conservative op-ed writers have held themselves back. They knew that no matter how rotten the Republicans got, it was nothing compared to what the Democrats could pull. If they were quiet enough, circumspect enough, played ball just enough, maybe people like Limbaugh could slowly guide the party back to core principles without letting the teenagers and their college professors a shot at the wheel.
Well, that didn't work, but in failure were sowed the seeds of success. Because now there's nothing holding them back. It took a few months to get started, but an engine has come roaring back to life. Unfettered by the worry that noting the emperor had no clothes might lead the masses to put beggar in rags in charge, the entire arsenal is now being unleashed. It's now easy for Limbaugh and those like him to be both funny, right, and consistent, and they seem to be setting to it with gusto.
A certain admiral once quipped if given the opportunity he could run rampant for six months, but after that defeat was inevitable. It would appear this time around a different admiral only had three.
Hat tip: Instapundit.
Never say Paramount lets an opportunity for milking the old cash cow go by. Now they've come up with Star Trek perfumes. This one's so nerdy it makes my teeth ache.
Looks like at least one British car tester likes the MiTo. If it out-performs a Mini, is priced a little less than the Mini, and most important of all is built at least as well as the Mini, they won't be able to make them fast enough to meet US demand. If they bring them over here, that is.
Rescuers have called off the search for the two NFL players missing off the coast of Florida. I guess that proves definitively there are worse things than playing for the Lions, eh?
While I think it's a bit of a stretch to call some of these gizmos and technologies Formula 1 spin-offs, they're still pretty neat and hey, who knows?
Never... NEVER let it be said I do not have a sense of humor about my automotive obsession. If I did not have the ability to laugh at the cross-and-serpent's foibles and flaws, I ask you, would I have found the Top Gear Alfa Romeo Challenge such a scream?
The premise? Take a marque absolutely notorious for rewarding a kind, attentive hand both at the tiller and at the wrench, and pick three off the bottom of the heap. It gets better! Put these three rickety basket cases in the charge of a trio of bumper-car rejects. The result? Well, dear reader, the result was enough to quite handily separate those Alfisti who love their cars warts and all, and those who had rose-colored glasses tightly riveted to their temples. I'm surprised the three principles didn't require bodyguards at the end.
Still, their affection for the marque, especially Jeremy's, can't be hidden. And, really, the only cars you could get away with mistreating this way simply aren't as much fun to drive.
So, kick back, relax, and watch three yobs attempt to "prove" that Alfas that've never seen a kind pat on the hood in their life can still be absolutely thrilling to drive.
And you know what? They do.
And the Milano won!
An oldie, but a goodie:
"Heaven is where the police are British, the Chefs Italian, the mechanics German, the lovers French and it is all organized by the Swiss. Hell, on the other hand, is where the police are German, the chefs British, the mechanics French, the lovers Swiss, and its all organised by the Italians"
It would seem at least one person thinks Halo's transition from FPS to RTS was successful. Ok trust me, if you don't know what that means it means you don't care. For the rest of us... well, RTS's can be pretty darned nerve wracking to me, but they're still fun. I'm just nowhere near as good at them as I am at shooters. We'll see...
I dunno, I guess I should've seen it coming: hospital removes hand sanitizer to keep patients and visitors from drinking it. I bet it's got a real smooth finish.
I actually thought this guy was lip-synching Weird Al, until the British accent started leaking through. Fast forward to the solo section... he's not that bad.
Scientists have discovered the earliest known intact brain fossil ever found. The technique could lead to a re-examination of huge numbers of fossils, with the potential for greatly increasing our understanding of the evolution of the brain.
So how well would your area fare if hajji managed to light a nuke off at a nearby landmark? Interestingly, both Ellen's and my workplace are just far enough away to be likely to survive everything hajji can carry in a backback. Friend Joshua's workplace, which is very close to the Air and Space museum, well, not so much.
The really big stuff would reach all the way out to the house, but I'd like to think something that big would be at least a little tough to sneak past customs.
What better way to start the day than playing with Armageddon?
And in the, "don't you have anything better to do?" category, we have a new entry giving a scientific explanation for why belly buttons collect fuzz. I've heard of "contemplating your navel" before, but that's ridiculous.
If the weather forecasts hold, it'll stay under covers until Friday or Saturday, after a predicted rain washes all the icky salt away.
Calm down, The Grammas. Grandchild pictures will soon follow.
How can anyone think this cat is ugly? :)
The cat's full name is Ugly Bat Boy. He's bald in most places except for flowing fur on his chest, and he spends his days on a warm computer at Exeter Veterinary Hospital, reported WMUR-TV in Manchester, N.H. Bat Boy has become something of a local star.
With a video!
Looks like 6-8 inches are out there right now, with 3-5 expected today. Nothing Ohio residents Ron and Amber don't see every morning, but as per normal it's pretty much shut this area down. Since the vast majority of our numerous cab drivers come from tropical areas, places where snow is what you see in pictures, the roads near us become very entertaining large-scale pinball machines. We are, therefore, staying home today. Liberal leave FTW!
The roads are going to be Alfa-unfriendly until at least Thursday, when rain is forecast, so the Spider is safe in its garage and the Milano got a very quick wash-and-dry and got tucked under its cover just before the storm hit. The family truckster, aka the PT Cruiser, will get pressed back into daily driver service until then.
Pictures will, hopefully, follow soon.
But if Douglas is to be believed, he could have had sex with as many as "over a hundred" bodies in the 16 years he worked as night attendant at the Hamilton County morgueI guess there is an upside of not having to commit to a relationship.
"I am sure there are more (victims). I'm certain of it," Deters said Thursday in announcing new indictments against Douglas.
"This guy's just a pig. I can't explain why someone would do something like this.
... This is off-the-charts weird."
Sure, kick your shoe at a cop and see if they all react like this.
Talk about a souvenier!
"We discovered the breach today," Mayfield said. "It is not complete skeletons (missing). That's a definite. It's too early to say whether it's just skulls."
The acre of property off Alcoa Highway serves as home to 197 corpses in various stages of decay used by forensic anthropologists to study human decomposition.
I hope this guy gets some sort of severe rectal problems due to this.
Who does this to a puppy?