It seems that, with very little fanfare, China has figured out how to rendezvous two satellites in orbit. This is nowhere near as easy as it would at first appear. Imagine two cars, going around a very large circle. The gas pedal is locked down, and the brake doesn't work very well. Now, figure out how to make one car just barely tap the other's bumper.
Now do it somewhere north of 10,000 mph.
And in the, "no, actually, we're not making it up" file we have a guy who's making whiskey from diabetic's urine. Ok, see, all I've ever said was I thought Scotch tasted like postage stamp glue. This stuff...
Looks like NASA's already becoming a primary customer of private space flight companies. I've come around to the opinion that the only sustainable road forward for the manned spaceflight part of NASA is to become more like the aeronautic part of NASA... do hard science that will benefit industry even, especially, when it's not clear if any of it will pan out. Don't tell private industry how to "carry the mail", just pay them to do it.
Proof positive rednecks don't just live in the US: man uses a whole can of bug spray trying to kill a spider, then uses a lighter to try and see if he succeeded. Looks like folks in the UK just don't see a lot of Mythbusters episodes, donchaknow?
They told me if I voted for John McCain, the very foundations of cause and effect would fail... and they were right! "By almost any metric, our practice of locking large numbers of people behind bars has proved at best ineffective and at worst a national disgrace ... even as crime has fallen, the sentences served by criminals have grown..."
Ok, so even if his progressive slip shows, the article itself is quite, well, interesting. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the incentives that might get set up if potential criminals know the worst they'll face is a tacky ankle bracelet. That said, I'm definitely in favor of a system that sounds an alarm whenever Joey Maniac comes within a hundred yards of the former girlfriend he was convicted of threatening to beat to death.
After six years, the recipient of the first US transplant has revealed her "final look." Going to win beauty contests? Well, no. A person you probably wouldn't look twice at if you passed them at the mall? Now you're talking. And really, what the heck is wrong with that?
Those of us old enough to remember WWII aircraft being expended as remote target drones will be interested to know they're all the way up to using F16-A models for the job nowadays. Actually, when I was a kid I remember reading about B-17 targets, but I think the aircraft more in use in the mid-70s were century series fighters like the F-100. Still, dude, the F-16 is now so old they're using worn out ones for target practice!
So, what happens when you give a very small, non-randomly selected group of panhandlers free (albeit limited) credit cards? Well, not exactly anarchy. Begging is a job like any other, and, in a modern welfare state, more than survivable.
Remember all that talk about how the Navy tried to use various marine mammals to do all sorts of security work during the cold war? When I was growing up, conventional wisdom said they tried it but couldn't make it work. In reality, it would seem the US Navy has at least forty years experience successfully training dolphins and sea lions in various forms of defensive action. Go for the utterly fascinating tale of for-real flipper heroes. Stay to see the wheels fall off the story as the reporter spins it for his hard-left audience and spends at least the final third of the piece stroking their "Now we see the violence inherrant to the system! 'elp! 'elp! We're bein' repress'd!!!" egos.
Bah. Me, I say, "take that, hajji. We got f-ing DOLPHINS after yer ass. How well does your suicide bomber SWIM?!?"
It's like they're working from the same page or something. Having seen first-hand how the release-driven MSM work during my days at a large non-profit, I can't help but think there really is a single press release out there driving this stuff. However, on balance I think it has more to do with laziness than with conspiracy.
And yes, that's what will help me sleep tonight.
Via Instapundit, who also links another article about the ridiculously biased and deceptive report on the event the Post ran all day. Every time I think I miss a "real" newspaper, my local one runs a story like that and I suddenly become glad I'm not supporting the Democratic party's DC-area mouthpiece anymore.
Our new babies, Banana Split and Chunky Monkey. Both are Pacific Parrotlets and are a mated pair.
Many thanks to DJ Feathers for the gift!
Fans and/or residence of "The OC of New York" may be interested to hear that the world's largest cannoli was created at a nearby local bakery. There are noms, there are NOMS, and then there are Yankee Noms...
Beer? In a can? It's more likely than you think. I think one advantage of bottles is they keep the breW colder, longer. But the point that cans really are just fine for beer is well taken.
Journalists are now openly talking about Alfa having a central role in Fiat's revival plans for North America. On the one hand, sounds like great news. On the other, it sounds rather a lot like pinning your hopes for success on your tacky, somewhat loopy old aunt.
Testing the latest fighter jet engine requires some pretty big rigs. Looks more like what they use to test rocket engines, probably for the same reasons. I wonder what those motor mounts look like?
Hey, look, the Queen of England wasn't always a little old lady. Even now, she has a smile that impresses. I guess some things really do breed true.
It looks like otzi, the famous "ice man," may not have been murdered after all. I'm a little suspicious it's taken this long for someone to examine the area the ice man was found in as an archeology site, and I know from the documentaries I've seen that the site was far from pristine. Still, it makes for an interesting discussion.
By examining videos of hanging deaths both accidental and intentional, scientists think they have found both the mechanism that causes death, and aspects of that death which could provide important evidence criminal cases. I've seen one or two of these things myself over the years, and I definitely say they are incredibly sad. It's nice to know some small good may come from such a terrible thing.
Now that oil has peaked and we've all been inundated after the collapse of the glaciers, the latest meme seems to be we'll run out of food. Looks like that one's just about as likely as the other two. It's easy for me to accept that the world's resources are finite. It's also easy for me to accept that human resourcefulness is boundless. I wish others would realize using government to conserve the former does nothing but impede the latter.
Star Trek's holodeck technology appears to have taken another step toward reality. In college I once speculated that one day I'd be able to tour the Pyramids just as they appeared when new. It looks like I was off by a generation, but only by one.
Rick gets a no-prize that makes way too much sense for its own good for bringing us this even-handed, articulate explanation of why so many Americans are against the construction of a mosque in lower Manhattan. On the one hand, the libertarian in me says private property should be disposed of in whatever way the owner pleases. On the other, the internationalist in me agrees that if this thing actually manages to be built it will be seen as a triumph for huge swathes of ignorant people around the world, and a target for significant numbers of the same sorts of people at home.
How could they not have foreseen this? And, accepting that, just what is the purpose? When I run the numbers in my own head, I don't like the answer I get.
Investigators traced the pungent smell to a hearse owned by David B. Lawson Mortuary, the undertaker that picked up Walton's body Aug. 11. Walton, 37, who investigators think died about a week before she was discovered, was still in the back of the undertaker's vehicle.
Mine would not smell. That is what air fresheners are for.
Ya know, sometimes even I'm left speechless. You know, when some Caribbean chick writes a rap song about tickling her vagina. No, really. SFW, I dunno, sorta...
Rednecks do not just live in America's south. They also seem to be alive and well somewhere in Eastern Europe. Yeah. Airbags have to stop bags of water weighing more than 150 pounds moving at more than 25 miles per hour. That's more than enough to bounce your skinny butt off the ceiling. Here, have a seat.
The suspects then likely had to carry the body over the cemetery fence to get away, authorities said.Voodoo I tell ya!
Ok, suddenly the Cruiser doesn't look so worn: here's a guy with a Volvo who's rolled the odometer over three hundred times. Of course, it's a Volvo, but it is one of the sportier "svëdish pëpl haf a sëns of stilë tøø, ya?" models. For comparison, our Spider will be turning forty this October, and has 3% of that Volvo's mileage. Which is, of course, why it's still around.
Rockwell's vaguely secret but still quite cool "radical flight controls" are going into production. Don't miss the impressive video of a model airplane flying home on one wing. If it keeps the ROVs hunting hajji, and eventually makes various sorts of aircraft I may fly on safer, I'm all for it.
I want this sort of thing to be happening all over the place. It won't do us any good if we bench one set of elites just to allow a different set an at-bat. That's what happened in 2008, look where it got us. It will be a whole lot of fun to toss the Democrats out so hard their butts bounce twice when they hit the ground, but we'll do much better if we send new Republicans in to take their place. After all, as progressives have been chirping about since they gained power, it wasn't just the Democrats who got us into this mess.
Remember the Iraq war? You know, the one the previous administration spent trillions of dollars on? Yeah, about that...
Yes, war is expensive. Just not, apparently, as expensive as progressive policies. See you in November!
UVB-76 has transmitted a new message. I actually picked up and listened to a few of these things back in the 70s after I figured out how to hook my old console hi-fi's radio antenna to the TV cable. Hearing these disembodied voices recite number after number in an endless drone pretty much defined creepy to me back then. Still does.
Leave it to a dumb teenager to create yet another spectacular car crash video. That would be all I need, getting caught up in something like that in the spider. Fortunately the only person hurt this time was the idiot behind the wheel, and it sounds like he'll be paying for his stupidity for a long, long time.
Would that they could learn such lessons more easily.
Mike J. gets a no-prize shaped like a rotting gavel for bringing us news that, in Ohio at least, your rights to your kid's remains do not trump those of the state's. I dunno, for me I think the difference would be in just why the coroner wanted to keep the kid's brain in a jar. Still, I think not notifying the family was at the very least, well, you know, tacky.
Ron gets a no-prize that'll constantly wonder why nobody looks it in the eye for bringing us this great little bitty... rrrm... ok, you get it... song. NSFW language, but the imagery is safely PG. Store bought? Bolt-on? Pshaw. You say that like it's a bad thing.
Glass eye? Glass eye? Dude, that's so 20th century. Thing is, I'd expect that, within the next five years tops, he'll be able to take high def full-motion video with the thing. Meh, his body, his cash, wtf not?
Dilbert creator Scott Adams recently tried to build a house that was as green as possible. The result? It's a lot harder than it looks. But he does love the Earth, dammit, so he bulled through it anyway.
Speaking of issues...
This woman needs to toss her own fat ass out.
Barenaked ladies: America's Next Top Model's plus-size winner displays her curves for campaign to beat eating disorders.>
Last time I checked, shoveling food into your mouth all the time is an eating disorder.
Whatever happened to healthy? Not stick figure or fat?
This is why I don't read magazines anymore.
We headed out Saturday to go to the AAF Tank Musuem Open House to check out tanks and see our good friend, Mark in his WW2 get up.
It shoots through schools...
Mark and one of MANY tanks that were there that day.
For the power napper who has everything: the "Snazzy Napper." I agree with the article: looks suspiciously like a burkha to me, but that's likely because I've never seen an actual one up close. I'd think it would work better in Asia, where things like surgical masks seem to be considered normal.
Scientists have announced the discovery of a pulsing neutron star being eclipsed by a normal binary companion. Aside from the fact that this is, you know, just stupid cool, it should also provide scientists insights into just what makes these bizarre stellar bodies tick.
The good news: 33 miners have survived a collapse. The bad: it's going to take a few months to dig them out. I'm thinking the "few months" will turn out to be a "few weeks" as their story gets out. As long as they can get food and water down to them, I guess it'll all work out.
Update: Three bad links fixed in three weeks. Geeze.
I'm not sure which is more eye-roll-worthy, forty-somethings complaining about "these damned kids", or 20-somethings complaining back. Listen up, folks, these are nearly the exact same articles that were run in the 1990s, the 1980s, the 1970s, the 1960s, and the 1950s. The world wars broke the trend, otherwise I'm sure nearly identical bitchfests about "these damned kids" and "all these OLD people" would run continuously back to the revolution itself.
The kids will be all right. I should know, I was one of them, and I absolutely remember sets of articles complaining about how lazy my generation was being run alongside sets articles about how my generation would be the very first unable to exceed the success of their parents. Sound familiar?
Stop biatching about it, and just be glad you made enough good decisions that your kids now have the breathing space to take all the time they need to make theirs. Otherwise you just look jealous and petty. As one who watched the boomers go through this process, trust me, you have no idea what jealous and petty really looks like.
I don't really know quite what to make of this, but it looks tough and potentially injury-causing. Ellen kept trying to dance to the music.
Sorry, dude, no matter what you think, riding the wrong way down a street and mowing down a jaywalker does not count as "canceling out." Hell I get yelled at for riding up to the front of a line at a stop light.
Seems like "the bear lady's" bears were laid back for a reason. You mean mary-J is still illegal somewhere? Perish the thought.
io9 has a list of new & renewed SF/adventure TV shows scheduled to start next month The Event sounds interesting, and I already quite like Stargate Universe. Heck even the zombie miniseries may be worth putting on season pass.
Actually, I think that's part of the unacknowledged appeal: looked at rationally, a zombie apocalypse will fall apart faster than its constituent corpses. I would have more to say, but I got distracted by the Snorg girl at the bottom of the first page. Oh, except to agree that the real threat is sparkly vampires!
NASA has announced plans to fly its own solar-sail research craft. This first experiment is more about validating how to unfold the sail than it is about actually toodling around the solar system via a special sort of wind power. This is more important than it might at first seem. Unfolding something the thickness of tissue paper after it's been packed into the nosecone of a rocket and flung into space isn't one of the easiest of engineering tasks, donchaknow?
Scott: “You’re going to what? I’m sorry, now what are you going to pierce? For your birthday?”
Me: “Why not!? Working my way down the body! You only live once!”
Scott: “Don’t you already have enough holes in your body?”
Me: *counting* 1,2,3… 6… “hrmm..NO?”
Scott, resigned: “Your body, your birthday.
Me: *happy dance!*
Fast forward to today:
I’m sitting in the lobby of Rick’s Tattoos in Virginia waiting my turn to get pierced. Looking at the couch at my two friends who I dragged with me, I notice one is a bit green and the other is just glad he got out of work for an hour.
Me: “D , why are you the one gagging and being green when it’s not you who’s having this done!?”
D: *Shudders and does a phantom gag* “Boobs….” *gag*
Need I mention he “plays for the other team?” Girl boobs gross him out. He was also the one that had to check them out at work when we got back from our adventure.
C: *Laughs and points at D.*
Waiting in line sucks. There is a new piercer and she is taking forever. It shouldn’t take 20 minutes to pierce someone’s ear cartilage. Other important parts I can see, but not an ear. It’s like sticking a needle through a nerf ball, for God’s sake…
I was grateful that when I got my appointment it was with the senior female piercer of the shop. She had me in and out in 12 minutes. This time, unlike the last nose piercing, Chris wasn’t allowed in to tape it. That said, I think I’m disappointed I didn’t let him. It would’ve made a great YOU TUBE video, plus I really need a hand to hold.
R, the piercer: “Ok! Wow! You have nice boobs! I had some chick in here the other day and her surgeon sucked! Yours is great! They don’t feel fake at all!”
Me: “I KNOW! I love them! Best cash I’ve ever spent on myself.”
I notice that I can’t look at “R” as she pencils her dots in and examines my boobs with a fine tooth comb. Or, you know, bra, or something… ANYWAY…
R: “You know this is going to hurt, right? And I promise not to pop your boobs,” I suddenly hear the screaming fireworks my in-laws were horrified by this past July 4th, “they’re fabulous and they’re going to look great! I’m just being honest with you.”
Me: “Ready!!”– or am I…
Wow… that’s cold. Ugh… that pinches…
R: “Ok! One done! How are you doing?”
Me: “Ok!” *holy shit, that hurt*, “That smarted!” *no it really hurt, bad*
It actually felt like ‘the hot poker’ people speak of. The poke, not so bad, the drag of the needle? WOW.
And I had to do this one more time.
At this point in time “R” starts to tell me about how she is pierced everywhere about 3- 5 times. She gets bored with them, takes them out, decides she wants them back and does it again. Sort of like someone who’s never satisfied with their underwear, except they have to unscrew the end, and it goes through…
Me, I’m consistent. I get one, I keep it. I take care of it. All that pain and cash to take it out and do it again? NOPE. Not me.
I also notice she has the most awesome shade of red lipstick on.
Me: “Ugh..not really…” *HOLYSHITHOLYSHITHOLYSHIT!* This time I did the kicking of the chair dance.
R: “Done!” *laughing* “You did better than most!”
I don’t remember breaking a sweat. What I do remember is her telling me about my after care and oh when I stand up expect to bleed. No shit. I basically needed a pair of mini pads in my bra for an hour.
During the entire course of this event I am texting my partner in crime, “A” [AMBER!! – ed] on where I am in this event.
Do I think it was worth it? Would I do that again?
This is why I pierce ONE body part, keep it clean, take care of it and NOT do it again! Well, except when I have two things that need piercing. But NEVER AGAIN.
My story, sticking to it.
Did I mention how cool I think it is that Nina got…
China's government has, according to the article at least, decided to demolish half the country's residential buildings because of shoddy workmanship. The results are definitely spectacular, but as with most progressive good intentions, there's a down side. Rural Chinese are just as bright as you and I are. They know exactly what their chances are in those buildings. They choose to live in them anyway because they're escaping what a real, actual life in a pre-industrial countryside is like.
So, are they rich enough to build proper buildings fast enough, or will the end result be legions of peasants freezing in the streets as serviceable shelters are demolished around them?
Bah. Your side doesn't even understand the question. Sometimes I don't know why I bother...
Ah, conventions. The panels. The art show. The costume contest. The speed dating. I'm sure the pickings were better there than at your typical SF convention, which is usually great for people watching, but not necessarily the kind of people you'd want to date.
It seems like cars aren't the only things that last forever in the desert sun. I especially like the old scribblings on the chalk board, and the graffiti from 1968. Vandals, maybe, but they seem to have eye toward preservation, eh?
Dr. Laura Schlessinger went on the standard white person rant about how some folks get to say the n-word and others don't, and suffers the consequences of that rule. Race really is a fundamental contradiction in our society, and has been since basically the beginning. My rule is one I got from sportscaster James Brown back when he was still doing the Fox pregame show one Sunday while the crew were talking about some football player who'd broken this very rule. "I personally think it's an unacceptable word from anyone, anywhere. There's just too much baggage," is what I recall him saying, and that's how I feel about it.
Cindy J. gets a no-prize that can't possibly be THAT innocent for bringing us an outrageous picture, and it's suspiciously "sensitive" explanation. Yah know, it doesn't matter how much of a coincidence it is, I can't imagine a Japanese immigrant in, say,
1952 1949, putting up a sign in his shop window celebrating "The Honorable Hirohito" because some damned anniversary "just happened" to fall on December 7th.
Oh, stop it. Surely they'd gotten out of the camps before then...
Yes, it sucks that Adrianne got attacked at a Sci-Fi convention. I'm only hoping she gets a good laugh at all the, "Her knees are far too sharp, I would definitely NOT..." comments on Fark. And good on her and Chris Knight for still hanging together after all this time. We watched the series where they hooked up!
Who? Me? Oh hell, I got all I need. And then some...
Robert H. gets an oh-so-NSFW (language) no-prize for bringing us what I'm sure is one of Ray Bradbury's least expected 90th birthday presents. I could swear I've heard the tune before somewhere else, but I got distracted by the bewbies before I could place it.
Yes, the new Morgan EvaGT is a darned beautiful thing. And nowhere near as mad as their last effort, at least in the looks department. Oh, don't bother to ask how much it is. The Hamster can afford one, but not the likes of you and me. Still, it is awfully easy on the eyes.
Looks like it's more than possible to convert an AR-15 assault rifle to shoot uber-cheap .22 LR rounds. I'm sure this is old hat to the gun nuts in the audience, but it were news to me! And for 1/10th the cost, I'm thinking giving up the big bang and kick, at least for some kinds of practice, is worth it.
The couple had their hands bound behind their backs and were forced to stand in an empty field as their sentence was carried out, he said. A local Taliban commander, who contacted media but refused to give his name, confirmed the killings. "The couple confessed they had eloped together and based on their confession they were stoned to death," he said.
Under Islamic Sharia law, sex between unmarried people is punishable by public beatings, while punishment for those caught in extra-marital affairs is death by stoning.
Really? And we keep trying to help help these people?
What they need is a few more thousand generations to get out of the stone age.
Me: "Ellen! What have you been doing in the kitchen?"
"Dusting my squirrel. Duh."
Shark shaped, grey on top, inside...BLOOD RED!
Asian markets have the best popsicles!
Portugal's experiment with decriminalizing essentially all drugs is, according to this article anyway, a resounding success and should stand as a model for everyone, particularly in the US. Now, the libertarian in me is quietly golf-clapping that someone finally decided to take the plunge. The skeptic in me notes the US is much more diverse than Portugal, and it's very difficult to predict how such a melange of immigrants, many of whom are beholden to various expensive and ineffective forms of public assistance, will react to this sort of thing.
Bottom line, though, this is what the Democrats had a real opportunity to achieve. A genuine roll back of the ridiculous "war on drugs" Republican interest groups have managed to spend billions of dollars on in the past, what, twenty years? I'm of the opinion that most moderates and ALL progressives want that reformed, and they had the tools and the talent to do so. Instead they pissed it away on Obamacare, union empowerment, climate change, and a whole raft of other crap that couldn't please their moonbats and would never make the center happy.
Now my side'll get a chance. The optimist in me is hoping we'll usher in a more libertarian form of Republican party which will concentrate on economic liberty, which the country very much wants, instead of social conservatism, which it very much does not. The realist in me thinks the best we can hope for is gridlock strong enough to keep both sides grinding at each other while the rest of us get on with it.
It seems, according to Salon at any rate, that the whole "ground zero mosque" meme is the product of a single right-wing blogger and, natch, Rupert Murdoch. So, what he's saying is, the media, and the New York Post specifically, took a straightforward story and blew it all out of proportion, just to sell more ads? Say it ain't so!
Look, I appreciate the clarification, but trying to pretend this sort of thing is the exclusive purview of The Vast Right Wing Conspiracytm went out the door when Journolist walked in.
According to the latest research, the final proof that if there is a universal grammar of numbers in which all facets of their behaviour can be expressed, it lies beyond our ken has been discovered. Somehow, though, I doubt "Peano's rules have been debunked by Gödel's incompleteness theorems and boolean relation theory," would've gotten me very far when I brought home a D in math, back in the day.
Update: Link fixed!
Looks like, God forbid, Palin had a point. "[F]or the first time in history, an FDA-approved anti-cancer therapy may not be covered by Medicare." What's that? You say "Death Panel" is needlessly sensationalistic? Well, hey, I thought the rule was, "if that's really what the result is, why not call them out?" Hmm? Only applies when it's a progressive calling out a conservative? Oh, that's right, I keep forgetting the whole, "not as we do" thing. I'm funny that way.
The papoose I made out of a pillow case holder and some basting tape. It works!
The NFL is considering putting chips in its footballs to make certain types of calls more accurate. Great. Another thing for truFans to argue about at the bar.
A few hookers, a tree in the woods, a rope, hey man, that's a party. On the one hand, very, very sad. On the other, well, at least he went out in style.
The things that have found a home on the internet often surprise me. Well, you know, aside from the tentacle stuff and the guy with the extra... but I digress. Anyway, one of the GOOD things is a collection of the Sheperd Paine Monogram diorama sheets. I pored over these things for hours at a time back in the 70s. Just looking at them takes me right back to the floor of my old playroom, sitting cross-legged on the tile floor.
Spy photos seem to indicate Fiat is going ahead with plans for a limited production Lancia Stratos "revival." The original was a dominant force in 70s rallies. Since it's rumored to cost more than Alfa's new 8C, I'm even less likely to own one. Ah, well...
It was once thought to be the "dead man walking" of flat-screen technologies, but now a new manufacturing technique may cause the price of large plasma screens to plummet. A revolution in manufacturing is what caused large LCD prices to drop. It's nice to see something similar happening for this older technology. Competition is good!
A new photography exhibit in a UK town includes pictures of private jets owned by African dictators and other heads of state. I'm such an aviation nerd I'm more curious about which kind of airplane it is than what it looks like inside. I would like be distracted by the pictures on the walls, though.
No way: a sensationalist media and a credulous administration blew the BP oil spill completely out of proportion. "The oil industry has come to a sorry pass when its [peak-oil supporting] skeptics are its most credible defenders." Indeed.
And now, cats being complete goobers. That whole "elegance, grace, and style" thing? Yeah, once you've actually owned cats you realize it's a front for pratfalls, pranks, and screwups. They meant to do that.
Mike J. gets a very silly no-prize for bringing us yet another example of "too much time on your hands". Well, hey, if these guys ever actually left their basement, the internet would be a far less interesting place, eh?
Yeah, I'd think a giant hole opening up under the pool and draining it while your kids are swimming would make a person... anxious... And that, folks, is why they make you get all those annoying permits and inspections, donchaknow?
Scientists have announced a theory that Jupiter once "swallowed" and Earth-sized planet. Such an event would explain a number of peculiarities about our solar system's largest planet, like why its core seems too small, and why there are a comparative abundance of heavy elements in its atmosphere. Just what sort of predictions the theory makes aren't clear, so we'll have to wait a bit before follow-ups confirm or modify the theory.
What better way to start a Friday than a collection of behind-the-scenes pictures from the Star Wars franchise. Some I'd seen, a few I'd heard about (slave girl sunbathing), others were totally new to me. All were worth a quick look. Enjoy!
I'd actually put the title of this in our post, but it'd cause eighty thousand pervs to hit this site every day. I have enough problems keeping the ones that already visit here locked down. So go look at the title yourself. Post is completely SFW.
Our new project, Nuts the Squirrel. Nuts is less than a week old and was tossed out of a tree at work from this morning's bad storm. My coworkers found him on the asphalt and brought him inside to me. So we are crossing out fingers that "Nuts" will do well.
Making the rounds: a man went into a hospital thinking he had lung cancer, only to discover it was pea plant instead. Yep, pea plant. Apparently he inhaled one instead of eating it. You'd think cooking would've prevented that sort of thing.
The next generation of vending machines is premiering at a Tokyo train station near you. A vending machine that suddenly opens its eyes and looks around is way too "Skynet" for me. Plus the potential of a giant LCD screen strapped onto one of those infamous panty dispensers is just mind-boggling.
That series of pictures of the hot chick telling her boss off with clever dry-erase sketches? Yeah, fake. It did have that whole, "just too good to be true" feeling about it, in my opinion.
After going missing more than two years ago, a famous French chef's body has been found in a freezer in his home. Nobody's sure if foul play was involved. The man's girlfriend has been charged with, "hiding a body." Who knew that was illegal? Anyone? Anyone? Beuhler?
The effort to turn a chicken into a dinosaur continues to progress. We first heard about this the last time Horner was in a documentary, say two years ago. It's interesting to see they haven't hit any dead ends with the project yet. That said, they also still just have a bunch of chickens. Something to keep an eye on, for sure.
Sometimes The Sun is full of crap. Except when they come up with a headline like, "Man Died in Sex Stunt with Tree." Ya know, splinters in my hand were bad enough. I always knew they'd kill, if they got stuck in other places. I woulda thought all guys'd know that. Obviously I was wrong.
Democrats on the hill are now apparently in full panic mode. Yeah, I know, source isn't exactly unbiased. Still, for someone who had to watch them all dancing a bacchanalia celebrating "a new era of progressive power", who had to hear over and over and over again how Republicans would have to embrace the new paradigm or face a generation in the woods. Well...
Scientists have announced the discovery of fossils which push the dawn of tool use in hominids back a full million years. That's Australopithecene territory right there, and represents the first conclusive evidence of that species using tools and eating meat. For a long time the conventional wisdom said our body plan got sorted out with the Australopithecene, with intelligence coming only with the rise of Homo (shaddup, Ron). Now that will all have to be re-thought.
This week Pebble Beach is having it's world-famous concours (fancy word for, "car show"). WSJ is taking a quick look at just what's for sale at the auction. Yes, there's an Alfa there, dur. A whole bunch of other stuff too. Unfortunately, no pictures. Of all the times to skip them...
Keith Olbermann: never let the facts get in the way of a good story. The video requires a free subscription to view, but in summary: Keith righteously calls out a lunatic right-winger who only took one question from a far-right organization and then fled a "fake doctor" Tea Party rally. Except, you know, she in fact stood there and took several questions, and had to be pulled away by her handlers to meet other obligations. That's not the point! The point is what we tell you it is!
But by all means, keep rooting for that sportscaster. I'm not sure he'd be able to make his mortgage otherwise.
Meanwhile, developments continue in how best to introduce various mujjis to their assorted virgins. Dig all the mass graves you want, Persians, it ain't going to be our boys that'll be in them. Come to think of it, it won't be yours buried in them, either. We're getting to the point we can drop a bomb on you, and your buddies, when you're driving to your "private" opium den. Sleep well!
Someone over at NASA is mulling over shooting a chunk of the space station at the moon when it's done with its "usable life." Hello? Silent Running, anyone?
Actually, this isn't the first time I've heard about this. Last time around, as I remember, the idea was to strap a Shuttle to it, and push it to the moon, using said shuttle as a kind of glorified Isuzu Pup, towed behind the world's most expensive RV. Well, beats the hell out of letting it burn up, I suppose.
Stephen Gould used to talk about how evolution wasn't disproved by the elegance of a bird's wing, but proved by the clunkiness of a panda's thumb. I say government incompetence isn't disproved by Apollo, but is proved by warehouses full of coins nobody wants, that cost more to house than they're worth, which will be produced for the foreseeable future. Yes, yes, "it's Bush's fault! It's Bush's fault!" I know I keep forgetting the chant. Did you really have to bring the stick around this time?
NASA's announced an institutional willingness to shake millions of dollars at the private sector to find out what they know. Which is what it'll take, because these guys don't do it on the public dime.
But that's OK, I guess. Me, I think NASA should farm out most of their manned stuff, the way the feds did with mail back the inter-war years for the airline industry. Except, you know, with astronauts. I think the rest of their time should be spent shoulder-to-shoulder with their aero buddies... figuring out how to try something nobody else's ever thought of on a shoestring, and then handing over the results to whoever wants them.
Giving the big stuff over to other people won't be easy. It never is, but I know of at least one person "on the inside" who thinks exactly this way. Could this initiative be the thin wedge of his generation wrestling control away? We can only hope.
A market data firm, trying to figure out just what exactly it was that made the market flop around like the fish in the bottom of a boat earlier this year, have instead discovered distinct, and extremely weird, patterns in the stock market data. We're talking patterns it takes slicing the data into seconds to see, which describe trades which have no hope of succeeding. The modern equivalent of a numbers station? Skynet, signaling its minions? Two computers, farting away in the night? Who knows?
Well, I'll tell you, someone does. And they're not talking...
John Stossel: In Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity, I bet my readers $1,000 that they couldn't name one thing that government does better than the private sector ... I am yet to pay. During a recent comment war, a hard-left poster held up the post office as an example of efficient, effective government supplying a service superior to the private sector. As with most arguments from the left side of the peanut gallery, it was so eye-crossingly wrong I found it difficult to quickly come up with a riposte.
"If you put a stamp on a letter," as I recall the comment went, "it will always get there."
Yes, true. For $0.44, I can mail a letter with the reasonable assumption it will arrive at its destination in 3-5 days. Fifty-seven years ago, that same letter would reach the same destination in the same period of time, for an inflation-adjusted $0.28. It might even arrive faster, since back then the Post Office delivered twice a day. The same service for 63% more of my money. That's progress right there, yup. Progressive, even...
Of course, since markets never guarantee a successful outcome for everyone, they are by definition evil. As I've said elsewhere, it is far better for a child to starve in justice than to eat in the shadow of prosperity.
No promises on the second one, I wrestled with youtube for 30 minutes trying to edit it:
After being grounded for four years for corrosion repair and engine conversion, the world's only air-worthy B-29 is back in the air again. I've been following this particular aircraft off and on for, geeze, probably more than thirty years now. Except back then they didn't offer rides. A pricey ticket, to be sure, but it'd make a nice bookend to my B-17 flight.
Ok, NASA, no need to worry about how many Space Shuttle missions might actually be in the pipe. God is on the job. Actually, it wouldn't surprise me if the whole rig was engineered to survive that sort of thing. Cost enough, it better.
Ann Coulter has been booked to healine Homocon, a DC party for gay conservatives. And no, they didn't resist the Judy Garland jokes.
Today's "head explodes with candy" moment is brought to you by a failed smuggling attempt in Chile. Yeah, that'd be all I need. A pet with thumbs. Ahem, all together now, "no, Ellen, you can't have one."
A Chinese transportation firm is planning to build buses that travel over traffic. It's not clear to me if these are genuine road-going buses, or some sort of hybrid rail-like system. Still, it does make for an interesting idea. As long as, you know, you go first.
I guess this guy missed the day in class where they teach you to raise the landing gear after the plane is in the air. In spite of appearances, it's my understanding an incident like this actually isn't that tough on the aircraft. Oh, it's not something you want to do every day, but, from what I've read anyway, repairs mostly consist of replacing a bunch of body panels. And, you know, the occasional set of underwear.
What good is owning a high-speed camera if you can't make films of people smashing stuff? Ellen would likely use it to film endless reels of cats walking around, but you already knew that, eh?
The guys over at SpaceX are proposing a whole slew of new heavy-lift vehicles for future production. One is roughly as powerful as the Space Shuttle, another actually exceeds the capabilities of the venerable Saturn V. Proposing is, of course, not the same as building, but at least these guys don't have to go hat-in-hand to Congress every time they think of something clever.
Making the rounds: yet another example of someone wobbling off their meds in front of a computer screen. It's just possible the author is perpetrating one enormously entertaining hoax. However, in my experience it takes a genuine loon to have that kind of energy over that amount of time.
Yes, yes I do pet fluffy kittens. I'm not a Dr, I'm and Licensed Veterinary Technician. What I cannot do is perform surgery, write a diagnosis, or prescribe medicine. What I do is laboratory diagnostics, anesthesia, dentistry, comfort someone who has to make the decision to let their dying pet go, perform xray diagnostics, be that surgical nurse, and be physician's PE and RN all at once.
Do you really get to see me in the hospital? Probably not. I am the person in the back that takes care of your pet while your vet is glorified.
Next time your at the vet's office think of that.
And yes, I get to pet fluffy kittens. Does a 'real DR' or nurse do that?
Didn't think so.
Ever wonder what an earnest, deeply articulate English boomer would sound like after they were diagnosed with cancer? Wonder no more. An entire generation of over-educated college kids convinced themselves they were obviously immortal, and lit a cultural revolution to prove the point. The best made a living writing about it. Forty years later, they now confront their oh-so-real mortality with the same amount of nihilism and wit that drove their parents up the wall, back in the day.
~ You say you wanna revolution, well, you know... ~
Scientists have announced the discovery of a fossil crocodillian so weird, if all you saw was its teeth, you'd call it a mammal. I dunno, a crocodile of any sort limber enough to catch insects and our rat-like ancestors is still a bit intimidating. Fortunately it's long extinct, so Ellen can't have one.
Archeologists have announced the discovery of what may be the remains of John the Baptist. The evidence relies a bit too much on tradition and speculation for my taste, but they've definitely found something. Still, there have been pretty remarkable artifacts preserved in out-of-the-way places. Who knows?
Those of you who aren't regular viewers of Mythbusters can now check out, ever so briefly, their general awesomeness. A season or two later, they tried the same thing, but instead of a flat plate they used a blade, proving they can in fact double the awesomeness of a rocket smashing a car.
Scientists have discovered what they're calling the sixth largest river in the world. The reason nobody's heard of it until now? It's flowing at the bottom of the Black Sea. Turns out there's a salinity gradient (I think that's what it's called anyway) that flows and meanders just like a surface river. The picture featured even seems to show banks on its "shore."
Ok, "Man nearly killed when eel swims in bottom" reads like an editor being clever. You know, like the bottom of a lake or something. But no, it really did swim up his backside. I guess when there's more than a billion Chinese, weird stuff is going to happen more often to them just due to raw numbers.
Turns out most big cats really do seem to like catnip. By body language, they really do seem like scaled-up house cats. That said, I wouldn't trust any of my fuzzy little puke balls if they weighed 300 pounds.
Sometimes there's just no improving the Fark headline: Meet the Bodybuilding Neo-Nazi Porn Star Who Embalms Dead People for a Living. Ellen's two of those four. She's married, so that knocks out the third one, and she hates everyone, but as long as they stay off our lawn she couldn't give a sh-t, so that knocks out the second one. My colorful life. Let me show you it...
Turns out that little computer Ellen insists on calling, "my phone" has got a glass face stronger than steel on it. A kind of glass that was patented forty years ago, no less. Intellectual property, FTW!!!
NASA has a lot of things to worry about, but at least pleasing the local fishermen isn't one of them. The south Banana River area has been a protected fishery for nearly sixty years now because of all the launch complexes. I'm sure NASA buddy Kevin has heard many, many stories of just how fine the fishing is off the 39 complex. Now imagine if they could stop the launches, just to cast a few more lines...
Scientists have for the first time managed to capture 3D images of the aftermath of a supernova. Well of course there's video! I'm old enough to remember when scientists had a hard time simply describing supernova. Olivia will scold me that we didn't have any video of the thing.
Remember that horrific spill in the Gulf? You know, the one that lay at the root of the biggest disaster seen so far in the 21st century? The one that caused a few folks on the left side of the peanut gallery to mumble, "in China, when they pull a stunt like this the CEO gets shot"? Yeah, about that...
Oh, don't worry. I know this is all a cover up, a giant conspiracy. Big oil wins again, right? It's what we get for having Bush and Cheney in office!
I tell you what, that just never gets old.
While much of this article will send the left side of the peanut gallery shrieking to the tops of their bell towers for a furious bit of twirling, I'm linking it here for this:
[That increasing tax rates on the wealthy results in lower tax revenue from the same] shouldn't be surprising. The highest tax bracket income earners, when compared with those people in lower tax brackets, are far more capable of changing their taxable income by hiring lawyers, accountants, deferred income specialists and the like. They can change the location, timing, composition and volume of income to avoid taxation.
Not that it matters. Taxing the rich to increase revenue is not the point, and never has been. Justice always trumps prosperity, and if people refuse to understand this point then the government must be used to make them understand it.
Wow. One of journolists' better-known members is really depressed. Oh, don't worry. After admitting that maybe Democrats might be a little bit responsible, he re-establishes his cred by insinuating white people are actually trying to put Bush back in the White House this November. No, really!
Due to my changing jobs, we couldn't do a vacation. So it was grammy to the rescue! Olivia got to spend a whole week at Disneyland.
A well educated guy spent some time in Pakistan to try and figure out just what the hell is going on over there. His conclusion? It's complicated, but still explainable. My paraphrase: the paks are a bunch of paranoid nutjobs looking to blame everyone but themselves, and the US in particular, for the mess they're in. No wonder they get along with the Arabs so well.
All jokes aside, this even-handed report agrees entirely with longer book-length treatises on the subject that I've read. It's a good primer that won't take long to read which will give you a much better idea of what's going on in the real hotbed of Islamic terrorism.
Unintended consequence of Google Earth, #2456: the mayor now has his own spy satellite. I'm not sure if I should be appalled at the idea of a nosy bureaucrat "inspecting" my property from on high, or impressed that a local government actually figured out how to use new technology.
I'm surprised it's taken this long for someone to fade old WWII pictures into modern ones, but I'm glad they did. The results are truly fascinating, and graphically show how humans can bounce back from the most amazing tragedies. When they're allowed to, that is.
So, what happens when progressives are finally able to get their hands around the big hammer of government power? Justice for the little man, and a day of reckoning for the powerful! What's that? Overbearing bureaucracy, higher expenses for the honest and decreased access for the poor? Now, really. Because we have the best of intentions, you know unintended consequences will never arise. I mean, look at how well we've done before!
Who knew Vader's car was an Aston? See? See? I do occasionally mention cars that aren't made by Alfa!
Mark gets a no-prize that'll explode with candy for bringing us this video of an otter teaching her kit how to swim. Olivia was just about that bad, until we go her a diving mask. After that, she was all mermaid, all the time.
Update: Link fixed!
Jeff gets a no-prize that'll work well as long as the heat is kept down for bringing us what happens when a Mechwarrior fan has too many boxes, cats, and time on his hands. I especially like how he mounted controls in it, topped with fuzzy toys.
The unloved, unlamented cassette tape is experiencing a revival, of a sort. Like "extremophile" life forms, it seems that human technologies will survive forever, eking out an existence on the fringes of a society. Oh, and this is another bat you can use when some clueless do-gooder starts crowing about how information is doomed to be lost because its media is obsolete.
The first systematic survey of the Chernobyl exclusion zone has found marked, and negative, effects on wildlife. While this would at first seem to be one of those "dur" conclusions, there was (and is) plenty of anecdotal evidence that the removal of humans was increasing wildlife diversity.
While waiting for Futurama to return to the airwaves, one enterprising, and patient, man decided to see just how detailed he could get recreating the "New New York" of the series. All I ever managed to do with the dratted things was build walls and step on them.
Campers make sure all food is secure, campsite is properly situated, everything is arranged correctly, get eaten anyway. Inveterate camper/hikers Ron & Amber will have their, "yeah, but"'s ready, but, far as I'm concerned, that's all the proof I need to watch campers on TV, instead of being one.
Now, it did take, what, twenty five years, but we now have a ground-based telescope publicly claiming to have exceeded what Hubble can do. I say "publicly," because I distinctly remember reading similar, and quite believable, claims when Mauna Kea got its first dynamic optics back in the early 90s. So any time you feel nostalgic about that giant wrapping paper tube twirling around, just keep in mind the danged thing is that old, and the next one will be a massive improvement.
Back in my day, we thought motorized water guns were all you needed to kill time between one college final and the next. That was because glow sticks had not been invented yet. Those of you wondering what the answer to the equation, "cheap booze + spare time + engineering students" was, well there you go.
Psst... breaking news: Italy's economy is a mess. No, this is not a repeat from the '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, or '90s. It's a country that largely invented and most thoroughly implemented progressive policies to promote social justice. In other words, it's not surprising they've always been in a mess. It's surprising they've managed to succeed at all.
If this article is to be believed, there actually is something that's a bigger PITA than fostering pre-weaned kittens. And like pre-weaned kittens, I doubt there would be much to stop Ellen from fostering hummingbirds, if she found an opportunity. Which is why she won't. Understand?