No, really, when hotels attack! We had a similar problem, albeit on a much much smaller scale, when Ellen left her crystal ball on a windowsill. We'd come home from work on a sunny afternoon and would constantly smell what we thought were cigarettes, even though neither of us smoke. Eventually when we got around to sorting books that were also on the sill, we found two that'd been "lasered"... one looked like it'd been hit by ye ol' deathe raye, the other had a golf-ball sized chunk charred out of it. We moved the decoration shortly afterward.
You'd think a rich, imminently sue-able, casino developer would've taken more steps to ensure this doesn't happen. Can you say "class action suit?" I knew you could...
Democrats have struck a deal with Republicans to prevent the Obama administration from making any more recess appointments before the election. But... But... that means he'll have to respect the constitution's balance of power! He won't be able to use the notes Chavez gave him at their last meeting! How can he ram more progressives through with the senate in the way?!?
An ancient Italian town is at the forefront of the drive for renewable, green energy. Good for them. Yes, the taxpayers are footing at least some of the bill, but that's in the form of incentives, not mandates.
Scientists have announced the discovery of the first truly Earth-like planet in the neighborhood. It's about three times as massive as Earth and is tidally locked but, according to the article, those are actually bonuses instead of penalties. It'll take some new instruments to confirm that life exists on this planet, but for now it seems to be the very best candidate yet discovered.
Introducing the bacorndog, which is exactly what you think it is, and, by all accounts, just as tasty. I'll stick with my super BLTs, but this is definitely an intriguing idea.
And today's "attention fail" comes courtesy of yet another facebook f-up. Bah. If paid close attention to half the stuff we link up... oh, hell, what am I talking about? Sometimes I can't even get the damned links right.
"As with the origins of so many great scientific discoveries, this story begins with a serendipitous chain of events. 'Our interest in the psychological properties of semen arose as a by-product of an initial interest in menstrual synchrony...'" Nah-ah-ah! It's in Scientific American. Respectable, even!
What's that? Well, of course we're staying classy. You don't have to keep saying it.
Lucasfilm has announced plans to release all the Star Wars films in 3D. I've long ago lost count of how many different editions there've been of this franchise. Likely I'll break down and buy the Blu Ray version when it finally comes out, but that'll be it. My story, sticking to it.
A box of "inert military-grade land mines" nearly managed to get itself on a passenger flight. An El Al passenger flight, no less. Thing is, if they really were inert, why did the explosives detector go off at all? Something's definitely fishy, or perhaps explode-y, about this one.
Jay gets a no-prize Ellen can't have for bringing us the story of a man and his pet crocodile. His seventeen foot long pet crocodile. Yeah I know, pay your taxes stay out of trouble, keep off my lawn. In this case, keep WAY off my lawn.
Quentin Tarantino's long-time editor, Sally Menke, has been found dead. The causes are not known, but the article speculates it may have been accidental and heat-related. Editing is a big part of what makes Tarantion's films tick, so this is bound to have a negative impact on one of my own favorite film directors. Aside from, you know, his friend ending up dead and all. Damned shame.
Evidence seems to be indicating the Mars moon Phobos was created via a massive impact with the planet itself. While interesting in and of itself, I also think the idea that something close to half of the interior is made up of voids is at least as intriguing. Can you say, "Phobos base?" I knew you could...
Meet your next future commuting tool, the schweeb. No, really! These words are all fun and games to type, but actually saying them? Not so much.
What is it with people finding luridly colorful ways of getting killed with wood chippers? I can't walk by one of the things without shivering. And boy, that's going to be a fun thing to clean up, eh?
Monkey will behave for anyone in exchange for a shower!
Ok, dude, don't they have a mall out there somewhere? Did you have to do this at a Wal Mart? Bah. If most men had high standards street walkers would be out of business. So would most strip clubs.
By combing through reams of data, scientists have discovered methane levels on Mars go through seasonal cycles. Being scientists, they very cautiously back away from the obvious conclusion, instead highlighting that there are in fact methods other than life which may be generating this gas. Which are seasonal. And emit a gas consistently associated with life. And that, folks, is what academic butt-covering sounds like.
To wit: "the more you tighten your grip, the more things slip through your fingers." I think the events cited in the article are concrete examples of the growing influence of military leaders with wacky ideas, but I also agree with the first article's assertion that such muscle-flexing is counterproductive to Chinese success.
The fundamental failure of the 19th century was Germany's inability to peacefully integrate itself into the world's economy. This led directly to the two spectacular bloodbaths of the 20th century. Today world leaders, especially in the US, have managed to successfully channel China's inevitable rise to great power status peacefully. Is this, however, simply a repeat of Germany's first thirty years? The dates (1870s to 1910s vs 1970s to 2010s) are rather forbidding, but there are some very important differences this time around.
One, Germany's rise occurred when the world was largely controlled by various forms of dictatorship. This meant that foolish men were routinely allowed solo access to the levers of state power. China is not a dictatorship in the conventional sense of the term... it is an oligarchy with a comparatively diffuse power base. The military forms an important part, but it is not the only part. The country is certainly not beholden to the whims of just one man.
Two, the United States, even when run by Democrats, is fully engaged with China and has a clear understanding of the need for China to be both peaceful and prosperous. We will not, as we did a century ago, stand by as a formerly peaceful power transforms itself into a military blunderbuss.
Three, the unexpected (and in the eyes of established powers, undesired) rise of a great power is not unprecedented, as it was in the 1870s. The world has seen this happen several times now, and the consequences of each of those failures has informed the next attempt. Germany was an utter disaster for a huge part of the world. The mistakes made with Japan also led to apocalypse, but one that affected a region instead of a globe. The Soviet Union was a malignancy that literally threatened all of civilization, but that's all it ever really did, and with extremely careful management and more than a few mis-steps, that threat did go away. The world is getting better at this.
Four, India is rising at the same time, and right next door. The near-simultaneous rise of two nations with a common border to great power status actually is unprecedented in world history, but (so far) this seems to be acting as a stabilizing counter-weight. In other words, always remember China is much more concerned about the billion-plus brown people just to the south than they are the about round-eyed barbarians across the sea.
Five, nukes. The existence of nuclear weapons was and is, especially early in the Cold War, instrumental in maintaining world peace. Leaders are allowed to make war because the people directly beneath them see the opportunity for massive gains at no real personal risk. Nuclear weapons change this equation, forcing even the men who worked for Stalin to see that allowing unfettered aggression would result in very real, very personal risks to themselves and those around them. It's fun to drop matches in a barrel filled with gasoline if you can do it from far away. It's not so much fun when everyone who has matches is standing in the stuff up to their waist.
All of this makes me cautiously optimistic that the world can continue to manage China's expansion. Can we jigger it all up anyway? Are you kidding? This is the country that gave Democrats complete control of two thirds of the government. We're capable of screwing anything up. That said, I think we still have a very, very good chance of herding China along into its rightful, and most importantly peaceful, place at the head of an Asian balance of power.
Ok, so if Fox news reports, well, anything bad about a left-wing darling it's automatically suspect. That's why this time they brought the video tape. Even better, I'm pretty sure this is where the purported Alfa SUV will be assembled. Ah, well, looks like it'll still matter what time of day, and what day of the week, the car is assembled even in the good ol' USA. Bonus: because of union rules, the guys weren't cashiered immediately, but instead will stay on Chrysler's books while the union-mandated firing procedure is followed. Let's hear it for workers sticking it to The Man!
Remember the cartoonist who thought it would be fun to cook up, "draw Mohammed day?" Yeah, I didn't either, but anyway her little stunt has forced her into hiding. It's fashionable to point out that Christians don't do this sort of thing when insulted, but I don't quite think that's true. Christian fundamentalists are quite capable of being violent if someone insults their religion. The difference is, of course, that there are a helluva lot fewer of those sorts of people, they're usually located in well-defined regions, don't travel much, and don't have such a spectacular track record.
And in the, "karma makes for strange coincidences" file, we have the Polish neo-Nazi couple who discovered they were actually Jewish. I'd think gramma would've eventually told someone, but who knows?
It's all fun and games until the chopper hits the water. I'm personally amazed the one on the right managed to lift out and get away. Choppers must be tougher than they look, and sometimes pilots are luckier than they deserve. Consensus on Fark, where I found this, is that they're a couple of junior pilots practicing legit maneuvers who got caught out by the high altitude. Apparently no significant damage would've resulted, but they probably kept the maintenance guys busy for the rest of the day cleaning it all up.
I want two model sets hanging from my ceiling one day. One set will be a B-52 being refueled by a KC-135, in 1/72nd scale. Should take up a virtual box about 3x6 foot. I want the other one to be the movie Enterprise in space dock. Unfortunately I'm hopeless at scratchbuilding. That said, I'm linking this up because, while I may not be much of a fabricator, I'm a damned good mimic.
Hardware nerd? Me? Hey, at least you don't have to worry about my obsessions EATING you. The chick who sits next to me who wants a tiger rescue? Yeah, not so much.
Every time I think the Japanese have gone right round the bend, every time, they go and prove me wrong again. Clip is vaguely naughty and extremely weird, but, hey, it's Friday. Why would you care if it was SFW or not?
Strangely enough, I think "so far to the left he's going to fall off that side of the Earth" friend Kevin will agree with at least some of what VDH is talking about today. To wit:
"Or gay marriage and ďdonít ask, donít tell.Ē Cannot liberals run on the theme that sexual difference has nothing to do with the sanctity of marriage or the efficacy of military service, so we proudly see both issues as those of human rights?"
I mean, really, the whole point of standing up for what you believe in is, you know, actually standing up for what you believe in. "Right or wrong, my beliefs," that sort of thing.
By using clocks that pretty much define "hyper-accurate", scientists have demonstrated relativistic effects on Newton-level scales. I'm old enough to remember when many people thought Einstein's theory was too wacky to actually be true, mostly of the fundamentalist Christian bent. I wonder if they realize the GPS unit that guides them to their (now) grand-kid's birthday party at the local Chucky's wouldn't work at all if it weren't for Einstein's relativity theories?
"To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil." -- Charles Krauthammer
"Democratic leaders in Washington are in a worse position than Republican leaders in Washington. Neither likes their base, really, and both think they are smarter. But the Democrats think, deep down, that their base is barking mad. The Republicans donít. They just think their base is a bore." -- Peggy Noonan
To wit: the White House actually holds a conference call with liberal bloggers and the MSM, and all the bloggers do is biatch at them. It's hard, you see, to understand the rest of the country simply doesn't agree with you when your bell tower is so very high and you are twirling at the top so very, very quickly.
Via Ed Driscoll through Instapundit, who really should mention to his readers that the Dodge Viper's going to be a re-skinned Alfa Romeo in 2012. I'm just sayin'...
The best part is thinking about the number of people this had to get past before it became a reality. Sometimes efficient electronics mean you just screw up faster.
The last of the kittens stopped being able to breathe properly this morning and had to be put down, probably a victim of the same disease that took the other five last week. This is the part that isn't very much fun at all. Ah, well...
Mike J. gets a g-d late no-prize for (eventually!) letting us know that the really attractive chick from Firefly is going to start flying around major cities for real in, like, two weeks. The 14th?!? The *14th?!?* Dude... lame.
Ooooo... Katy Perry and Elmo...
The only unrealistic thing (well, aside from the whole zombie angle) is that the nerds wouldn't be zombies. We may not run fast, but we'll run faster than you. AND, we won't be fascinated by all the rotting lurching people-things wandering around on the streets. "B-tch?!? What part of mutha f-ing RUN don't you understand?!?"
As with most progressive attempts at, well, anything, they can't even manage to get soaking the rich right. The interesting thing about America, which is understandably never really talked much about on the left, is that most rich people here made their own money. But by all means, let's take the money they worked so hard to earn, and give it to the government. They've done such a spectacularly good job spending it so far...
Ok, so everyone remembers that the bite of a vampire bat may be painful, but is not particularly dangerous. What nobody seems to have remembered is bats often carry rabies. That's some bad ju-ju right there, yup.
Ron gets a suddenly sleepy no-prize for bringing us the list of most sexually satisfied cities. I thought Indianapolis and Fort Wayne were getting awfully close lately.
And in the, "slow news day" file, we have this breathless recycled press release about a bunch of
kooks citizens concerned about flying saucers monkeying with our nukes. Hopefully the catering at the NPC is good, because I'm pretty sure the show will be a disappointment.
Scientists have announced, to the undoubted delight of headline writers everywhere, the discovery of the "horniest" dinosaur ever. This cousin of the more familiar triceratops had fifteen well-developed horns on its six foot long head. As usual, the likely purpose was to impress chicks.
Problem: Insurance companies "unfairly" exclude children with pre-existing conditions from most sorts of health insurance policies.
Solution: Make them do it anyway.
If a thing can be done profitably, in a genuinely free market it will eventually be done. If it can't, it won't. Forcing someone to do it anyway out of a misguided sense of what's fair doesn't magically make it profitable, it forces the companies suddenly under the government's thumb to flee the market.
As ever, it is always better to starve in the name of justice, than it is to eat in the shadow of prosperity. As long as it's us doing the starving, that is.
Scientists working with the Large Hadron Collider think they may have seen evidence of a kind of matter present at the beginning of the universe. The implications for various cosmological theories are large, albeit largely incomprehensible to me. Giant machine smash tiny things, uhnk!
Today's "head explodes with candy" moment is brought to you by a lion, and a meerkat. Hopefully the little guy will figure out his giant friend can be dangerous before anything gets too far out of hand.
There's 50/50 weight distribution, and then there's 50/50 weight distribution. Peel the 5 mph battering rams off, pile on various CF body panels, plunk a 24 valve lump under the hood, and dang, dude, you've got a car!
Of course, the windows will stop rolling down after a few weeks and the power steering will start leaking a few days after that, but who cares about THAT???
So, while I did learn a lot about cycling this season, at least as important was learning how to make The Perfect BLT. As a reward and refueling, I allowed myself a fresh BLT from the downstairs cafeteria. It was only when the regular cook was gone and a substitute (BRIEFLY) took his place that I realized not just anyone could do it right.
Now that my main bike season is over, I've been BLT-less at work. However, after several weeks of quietly collecting tools and ingredients, I took a shot at doing it myself and ALMOST got it right, on the very first try! I'm sure you'll all be shocked to hear Ellen has noted I'm not the brightest bulb in the bunch when it comes to cooking, but if I see it made in front of me a few times, I pick it up fast enough. SO... here's my almost perfected recipe for the perfect BLT:
Ok, I need to find a better knife for the final slice. My knife cut the tomato fine, but was too harsh to make a nice split on the finished sandwich. My first try LOOKED retarded, but tasted JUST right.
Put it this way. Most of the time when I get creative in the kitchen, Ellen pokes at the result in the same way a chimpanzee examines a dead mouse. This time, she didn't even slow down when AMBER called. Heck, even the tortoise went after the bits of bacon that fell into her bowl. And Swoozie? Oh, we only thought french fries were her favorite food.
SO... there you have it. I'm sure you either knew all about this, or have an even BETTER technique. This is mine, taught to me (without knowledge or intent) by a short-order master. And it is so very, very good...
* Ok, so everything was going fine until our decrepit microwave, which also doubles as our kitchen vent, went KA-POW!!! and caused the breaker to throw downstairs, which killed the oven's warming tray (the oven's gas, but some part of the tray isn't, and they share the same circuit). A boiling pot of water with a metal bowl on top of it did just as well to keep "teh bayhcon" warm.
It seems even American icons are not immune to economic troubles. Fortunately they're already heavily unionized, so prying another bailout from the Obama administration should be relatively straightforward. All I can say is the motorcycle friends I have who own Harleys love them, and the ones who don't wish they could. The bikes also hold their value for a tremendously long time. I'm thinking once the economy turns around, so will Harley-Davidson.
I have a photo of her nom-nomming on a chip. I will have to develop that one later.
Quick! Take a look before Lucas shuts them down! See... the thing he considers even worse than that first prequel. Watch... Harrison Ford actually working just for a paycheck. View... what can happen when the worst excesses of commercial TV execs collides with what nobody expected to become a vast empire of cash.
Ellen insists she remembers seeing this, even though it was only shown once when she wasn't much more than two. Suckage this bad would seem to be memorable, indeed.
Olivia loves to tell endless, surreal knock-knock jokes, as well as the occasional "a piece of bacon walks into a walrus" one-liners. The only way to slow them down is to point a camera at her. Why? A) at this point we need to laugh. At anything. And B) ain't no worse than the puns the rest of my friends trot out with horrifying regularity. Enjoy!
The rest of the main litter faded away during the day, victims of the same common disease which may have killed their mother. We're now left with the strange kitten from a different litter, who's size said he was as old as the rest but who's development said he was at least a week younger. His eyes opened this afternoon, and he certainly sounds pissed off. Ellen feeds him with a tube, and does it fast enough to make Indycar fuelers take notes. Will it be enough? We don't know.
It was enough for today.
Stymied again by the utterly inconvenient will of the people, the Obama administration has once more resorted to means of questionable legality to create a new agency and appoint an unconfirmable radical as its leader. As noted in the article, if the Bush administration had even tried a stunt like this, the whole planet would start to wobble in sympathy with the moonbats as they twirled in their towers. November just can't get here fast enough.
Another one faded out last night, and two of the rest are looking very bad this morning. This is the part that isn't very much fun.
So six kittens are now five kittens. This time it was particularly difficult, because number six fell apart just around bath time. There was no avoiding it, Olivia got to watch the whole process. She actually did pretty well, all things considered. The unfortunate fact is Olivia ended up in a family which deals with death much more often than most. And it sucks, and it's not fair at all, but we still have five of the smelly little fuzzballs left. Car washes should work as fast as we do, keeping these little escapees clean...
If you think I'm thinking that you should think this is for you, you're right.
Ellen, starting another round of feeding The Mewling Six, decided to say things back to them. To wit:
"Mew... mew... MEW!... mew... mew...
It got a little stinky, right around then.
People who think cats are sly, elegant, beautiful, evil creatures have never raised one.
Latest rumor: the next-gen Dodge Viper looks to be based on the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. Just how deep the resemblance will go is still unclear. Taking such an iconic American concept and underpinning it with Italian design and engineering* seems risky, but if the result is smaller, lighter, faster, and better, I think it'll work.
* Ok, are you finished laughing now? Because, trust me, nobody who has to challenge race cars designed and engineered by Italians laughs at them.
It's looking like the first big 21st century "game changer" is turning out to be 3-D printers. I'll be happy when someone starts ginning up Milano spares for me. I never thought to be so ambitious as to try to print out a whole freaking house.
Honda and a Japanese university have developed working prototypes of mobility-enhancing exoskeletons. Allowing old folks the ability to get around with ease and efficiency is admirable, but I can't shake the thought that the Honda device, at least, looks rather... embarrassing. Like something's grabbing the person's crotch, that sort of thing.
Scientists have announced a for-real, working tractor beam. Sure, it only moves tiny masses small distances, but hey, ya gotta start somewhere! Even with such modest capabilities, the scientists can imagine practical uses for the device, like atmospheric sampling or the manipulation of hazardous microbes.
And now, an idiot doing a kamikaze run downhill at 80 mph on a moped. When I had my off on my bicycle last month, I was doing about 20 mph. I skidded down the asphalt for (when I went back later and measured) about thirty feet, ripped up a bunch of gear, got nasty road rash, and either tore rib cartilage or cracked one outright. It's still sore. On the bright side, falling off here, well, it wouldn't be quick, but it'd be final.
I never was this dumb.
"A huge tree limb, like 25 feet long, flew right up the street, up the hill and stopped in the middle of the air 50 feet up in this intersection and started spinning," said Steve Carlisle, 54. "It was like a poltergeist."
See.. Facebook is good when you have cousins that can complain about this on their afternoon commute!
Long-time NBC news correspondent Edwin Newman died of pneumonia at the age of 91. Turns out it happened a whole month ago, but I guess it's the family's business as to when an announcement like that is made. I remember him as a fixture on the Today show back in the 70s. Good luck on the next turn of the wheel, sir.
The San Diego Zoo has announced the opening of a new enclosure for their tortoises. Ellen's vowed to both own a giant tortoise of some sort and name it 86 in honor of the one she fell in love with when we last visited the SD zoo.
Construction on the first full-scale fusion reactor has begun. Weirdly, the article does not mention what the scheduled completion date is. I think that may not be an accident, considering that fusion power has been "fifty years away" for a least the past thirty.
No, I didn't know there was an "Astronomer Photographer of the Year" either, but the winner is impressive nonetheless. I just wish they'd put higher resolution examples on the site. Ah, well.
Ellen, after an upgrade: "Scott, my phone is bigger than yours!"
"Oh, are we going there tonight?"
"Well, it IS, look!"
Oh stop it. I only THOUGHT about doing that. I didn't actually DO that.
I'm classy, that way.
It seems genetic science has progressed to the point hybrid studies are more accurate, and lead to sometimes surprising results. It seems not all cross-species offspring are sterile, and some prove quite successful indeed.
Sometimes, no matter how hard he tries, it seems God still misses, once in awhile. Or, if you're all about infallibility, sometimes God enjoys a near miss. Or, if you're not about either, sometimes sh-t happens, and sometimes it misses you.
I got to play with one of these things over a weekend, because my workplace is tinkering with various sorts of touch technology. My take? Well, it's made me a lot more interested in the Kindle, but as a substitute for a lighter, faster, laptop? I just can't do without a touch keyboard, sorry.
Next up: cell phones powered by conversation. Now that I think about it, if Ron and I can figure out the right sort of harness, we'll likely be able to power our houses with the energy Ellen and Amber generate every day. Maybe we'll be able to sell it back to the power company!
Another year, another school open house done and gone. Always wondered what the mystery was, but no more. Olivia was a trooper and stayed on the playground the whole time. I'm happy to say I can still fit behind a 2nd grade desk.
But I should've gone to pee before the conference started.
NASA seems to be taking renewed interest in rail launch systems. If the illustration is to be believed, by scaling down an SR-71 and flinging it down a horizontal Superman ride. It's been my experience that any program with a lead time greater than a single administration is a crap-shoot. Still, it's nice to see they're trying to screw together new technologies rather than screw with crap nobody's sure will ever work.
Lest you think the US is the only place with immigration problems, we have the story of Prata, a small Italian town inadvertently becoming the center of an all-to-familiar crisis. Let's see, progressives conspire with organized labor to ensure an industry can never be competitive, watches with feigned surprise when all growth in that sector grinds to a halt, then starts twirling from their various bell towers declaring immanent apocalypse when the entire industry moves in a direction they neither expected nor desired. Yeah, that about covers it. Wait, are we talking about Italy, or the US?
From the "I bet you didn't know that" file, we have the revelation that Lady Gaga's "meat dress" was meant as a protest about the way the US military treats gays. I'm sure she even explained the connection, but it's not in the article. PETA is, at least, being consistent by getting the vapors about the thing. Gaga is the real deal, I'll say that. I just wish I knew what the deal was.
Scientists have had to come up with a new name to describe a super-storm which swept across Kansas last year. I wish they would've provided a pronunciation guide for "super derecho." I don't need to add another word to my "most likely to mispronounce" list.
Leave it to the thirty-somethings at Fark to turn the fact that nobody's less than 115 miles from a McDonalds into a greenlight. B*tch, I worked at the furthest outpost of The Golden Arches back in 1987 when they opened up a branch in Dumas, Arkansas. Ask me about the time a helicopter went through my drive-through. I dare ya.
The very first Klingon space opera is now playing at the Zeebelt Theater in The Hague, Netherlands. Well, it was, since presumably it's finished its 3 day run. Sorry, guys.
For just $150, you can take a positive step toward protecting yourself from the upcoming food supply crisis. Since I don't actually believe there is an upcoming food supply crisis, and eating something that grew in my pee which at best tastes like seaweed is sort of the opposite of what I consider appetizing, I'll give it a pass. But I'll be cheering anyone else who takes the (green, gooey) plunge.
"Olivia," I say to the giggling underwear monster laying on the couch, "does a person mummified 3,500 years ago have a right to privacy?"
"Because it's cool!"
"Olivia, do you know what privacy actually means?"
"No, I'm a little kid, duh"
Which triggers a discussion of "alone time" and how a closed door means parents get yelled at when they bring video cameras into the room when imaginary dialogs are being acted out.
"So, Olivia, does someone who's been dead for more than three thousand years have a right to that?"
"No, daddy, duh!!!"
What's that you say? Ellen's child? Duh!!!
Sorry, gotta say that M-cup boobs which require two implants, each, to achieve, and then force various drains and pumps to be added to fight the infection, well, sorry, just not worth it. I'm reminded of that "film" in Johnny Dangerously about elephantitis, only with boobs. Just, you know, just don't.
Yeah, they got busted because of Facebook, but this 27 year old groom and his 14 year old bride first met in person. I mean, does that even happen anymore nowadays?
Introducing Kawah Ijen Volcano and its lake of sulfuric acid. Yeah, putting a boat in that and paddling around? Doesn't strike me as the brightest adventure idea. I bet it did all sorts of fun things to the gear, too.
We had an A+ night tonight, and then I discovered one of Ellen's ancient goldfish belly-up against the tank vent. And it was the one who swam right! So now our last fish is the one who's been swimming upside down for the past two years. Life is strange.
Bertone's got a new commission from Alfa Romeo, and the results are just as spectacular as you'd imagine. Go for the wild Italian take on a Batmobile, stay for a demonstration of how the doors work. Whole side of the car comes open!
OK, I like the exotic pets, but this goes a bit far. Especially sleeping with them and having a cat around too.
Don't mess with the cheerleaders.
Surprising, I know, but in spite of what the media tells us America is still very much alive, all across the country. Governments are bastards, always have always will be. The proper judge of a people is how they treat strangers just passing through.
Me, I'm thinking the emphasis should be on the last syllable of his last name. But wtf do I know? I got sucked into that show last year because it was all that was on in my dive hotel in San Francisco during my (unbeknownst to me) last NAMI convention, and I just couldn't stop watching it. Ellen insisted she'd set the Tivo on fire if I tried to put it back on season pass this year. More's the pity.
A specialized Army unit was given the mission of recovering all the unused crap scattered around Iraq before combat operations ended, and the result was some 1.8 billion dollars of stuff laying around getting put back into the supply chain. That's 30,000 containers worth, my friend. Now tell me again, how the Romans were masters of logistics.
It seems that the Hubble's replacement will be sophisticated enough to detect volcanoes and oceans on planets light-years away. At this rate, we'll be able to read the menu on the outside of McAndromedas before Olivia's out of college. I wonder if they'll have a McRib sandwich, too?
According to a recent survey, the Japanese government has lost track of nearly a quarter million centenarians. Pension fraud, you say? Ya think?!? Still, having the trigger be officials discovering a thirty year-old mummy when they went by to congratulate the oldest recorded Japanese man on his birthday is wonderfully macabre.
The entire sequence from that ocean liner that got caught in a storm in 2008 has been released. A story, including a highlight reel of the same footage is here. I guess sometimes there's just no going around a big storm.
Remember, folks, to have your options limited by circumstances means you cannot truly be free. Anything which mitigates those limitations is therefore desirable, no matter what the unintended consequences. Hey, here's a thought. Let's just try to make sure people are free to choose, instead of denying them the liberty to do so?
Ellen promises Oriana will only get about a third this big. Which is a relief, until you do the math on one third of 23 feet.
Sometimes words simply cannot a thing justice. And props to the helicopter pilot, who surfed the same wave nearly as well!
Four words not regularly put together: drive-in sex box. And no, sorry all you amateur comedians, that's not "another way to put it." They're Germans... saying, "double entendre" makes them wonder which Frenchman made a shotgun. SFW.
Scientists have announced the discovery of a vitamin concoction which significantly slows the mental impairment widely seen as a precursor to Alzheimer's. By using very large doses of three vitamin B compounds, the treatment helps neutralize homocysteine,which is thought to play a significant role in the progress of the disease. Best of all, it's cheap!
Hot on the heels of the revelation of one new solar panel technology, comes yet another debut, this time using jellyfish goo at its core. Could solar power finally be on the verge of fulfilling the promises made for it for decades? Only time will tell.
Ron gets a buzzword-laden no-prize for bringing us The REAL 'Stuff White People Like', and not just white folks, but black folks, Latinos, Asians, and others. The information was gleaned from a simple survey of on-line profiles posted on a popular dating service. What they reveal about our unconscious "likes" is intriguing, not the least because I don't know who half the people anybody mentions actually is.
Jeff gets a sad but necessary no-prize for bringing us the latest idea in controlling an invasive snake species on an isolated tropical island. Let me tell you, folks, Tylenol is just about as deadly to people, were it not for our more sophisticated livers. Remember that when you forget when your last dose was next time you have the flu.
It would seem that not only is conventional "study" wisdom wrong, it's been wrong for at least twenty years. I sort of stumbled upon the fact that studying in different places and at different times yielded better results, back in college. Then again, I was so desperate to graduate and quite obviously outclassed I grasped firmly to every straw I could find. This will definitely inform how we help Olivia do her homework.
See more funny videos and funny pictures at CollegeHumor.
For every regulation supposedly meant to protect workers from the oppression of their employers, there's a consequence which impedes the rest of us from actually getting anything done. Unfortunately such consequences are only occasionally unintentional.
Scientists have announced progress in electronically translating brain waves into words. The main innovation is the use of electrodes which are placed on the surface of the brain, avoiding the injury risks involved with implantation. Right now the device isn't particularly accurate, but does prove the concept is valid. It's hoped that with further development such a device could be used to liberate fully conscious people "locked in" by various diseases and injuries.
Not only did the Soviet Union produce video games, there's a museum just outside of Moscow where you can play them. The pictures are there, you just have to scroll down a bit. As expected, they're enormous, utilitarian, and unreliable. Surprisingly, though, they also seem to be quite fun.
It would seem that the Democrats haven't just raveled up the biggest mandate in forty-six years and dropped it in the deep end of the pot, they've timed it such that my side will get to un-do at least a decade of carefully engineered gerrymandering. Ok, ok, if it'll make the left side of the peanut gallery stop shrieking... *AHEM*
His failure is now complete...
I know, I know. I don't have the budget to do the breathing noises. Whaddaya want???
So, during story time, the lines Olivia read were:
They'll come by air,
My child? Monty Python? As if...
Fans of the old Buck Rogers TV show should be happy to hear that Erin Gray is doing just fine nowadays, helping other celebrities manage the convention circuit. Bonus: DragonCon mentions! Will a concentration on the fans instead of the producers create a friendlier sort of celebrity? Only if it works both ways. Fortunately, that sounds exactly like what's going on.
Scientists have announced the creation of a photovoltaic compound which will tear itself down, and build itself back up, based on the presence of a drop of a soap-like substance. Self-assembly of a system which turns light into energy was mastered by plants billions of years ago, but has been out of the reach of us humans, until now. The predicted efficiency is claimed to be twice that of existing solar panels, although no mention is made of the cost.
Just in time for the 70th anniversary, rare color footage of the London Blitz has been discovered. It's quite startling what can sometimes be found in the back of an attic, eh?
Even the Economist seems cautiously optimistic about Alfa's future. A future that now seems to assume a return to America in 2012. Considering at least two offerings are scheduled to be assembled in North America, I think this is one they won't be able to back away from. Fun times ahead!
Just the name, "Quadricopter," sounds cool. When I found out it's an indoor outdoor radio controlled helicopter with wireless video?!? Well... What's that? Only works for iPoadiphones? Bah. An Android version can't be far behind.
Scientists have discovered that the brains of locusts and roaches contain powerful substances that stop so-called "microbial superbugs" in their tracks. At this stage, nobody's sure exactly what those substances might be, but since the world is not suffering a shortage of either critter, I'd expect further research is on the way.
Before we all get too enamored of "what organized labor brought us," let's take a moment to consider the consequences of not thinking past stage one. The left harps constantly about the "unjust earnings" of certain business leaders. Never once do they seem to acknowledge there might be something wrong with a lifeguard who can retire at 52 with a $147,000 a year pension. And there are a lot more lifeguards out there than there are fat business tycoons.
Happy Labor Day!
Sometimes there's no beating the lead: A dangerous criminal who has no legal right to be in Britain has gone on the run after a judge ruled that to detain him would violate his human rights. Bonus: this charmer enjoyed beating up his girlfriend.
Ron gets the coveted "Pig of the Month" no-prize for bringing us this little riff on catchy tunes getting stuck in your head. Which, of course, I am only linking up because it's a clever bit with some fun editing. That's all I noticed. My story, sticking to it...
Friend Joshua and I decided, since the day was gorgeous and we had no commitments, to see what the end of the W&OD trail looked like. Here's proof!
That includes three detours: one construction-caused outbound which involved a bunch of unexpected hills, then one unforced navigational error which included a two lane road with cars passing us at 55+ mph, and finally the exact same construction zone in the opposite direction. Fortunately, according to Joshua, the construction zone had fewer hills on the way back.
Joshua and I have decided to stop listening to me and Joshua. Those two guys talk us into silly things and then leave us holding the bag.
Most of the time, going through the an old storage closet is fascinating. Especially when you find two mummified infant corpses wrapped in 1930s-era newspapers. Nobody's sure what exactly happened, but they have managed to track down the family of the owner of the luggage. Just when you think the world had run out of weirdness...
Today's "animal adopts cat" story is brought to you by an Indonesian national park. I bet that monkey won't be so happy when that cat pukes on his floor!
In promotion for his upcoming CBS sitcom, "@$#% My Dad Says" (really? How the @#$# am I supposed to use the Tivo to find that?!?), William Shatner has subjected himself to another in-depth interview. Having read at least a half dozen of these over the past thirty years, and seen the guy both in and out of character (albeit never in person), he seems to be exactly what he seems to be... a charming, funny, pushy guy who you either take or leave as he is. Having heard George Takei on the Stern show, I can understand see how the two personalities would never mix.
Still, the interview is quite interesting, and since the man's not quite 80 now, I can't see how we'll have him around too much longer.
Australia strikes again, this time catching a giant spider eating a bird. Well, more like "turning it into a protein shake," but you understand the point. Every time I think it would be fun to visit down under, I read something like this. Yeah...
Not content with finding two-century old champagne in the belly of a shipwreck, salvagers also found a case of beer underneath it. Bonus: it's the Baltic, so the super-cold temperatures may very well have prevented any sort of spoilage. Of course, it also probably prevented any sort of aging, so I'd put my money on it tasting not much different from the day it went to the bottom. Could be good, could be bad. Ya just never know.
That's not an absurd Nerf gun, that's one of my brother's toys! Well, now, hang on, that one has all sorts of upgrades on it. That sound you're hearing is my brother, furiously hunting through catalogs...
Ok, since it doesn't poop, pee, or puke, I guess Ellen can have this one. The advances in robotics are coming fast and furious nowadays. Can C-3P0 be that far behind?
NASA has announced final approval to demolish Shuttle-related structures on the 39B launch complex. Regardless of what actually ends up being used, NASA will definitely not need the fixed and mobile bits that helped get the Shuttle off the ground, so there's no reason to delay taking them down. I still haven't gotten over the loss of the LUTs, so, well, bring on the future!
String theory seems to finally have found a practical test. It's been making promises for years, but testing those promises required science so big it made the Large Hadron Collider look like a cheese wheel. No, it won't prove everyone's favorite multi-dimensional cosmology, but it could disprove it, and in science the latter is just as useful as the former.
In the, "well, why not?" category, we have a NASCAR reality show on BET. One of the fastest drivers in the world, Lewis Hamilton, is a black kid who grew up north of London, and Indycar has Danica and the quick rookie De Silvestro. It'd be great to see another big motorsports series broadening its horizons. Olivia is certainly much more interested in the aforementioned Indycar because there are girls driving in it.
And now, an orangutan babysitting lion cubs. Heh... I told you when Ellen's and Amber's heads explode with candy at the same time it'd make an impressive noise!
Ron gets a FABULOUS no-prize for bringing us car lashes. No, sorry, not the lashes that some leather-bound dominatrix dishes out. No, these are much... cuter. No, Ellen, you definitely definitely can't have them!
Chris W. gets a skinny flappy no-prize for bringing us the world's fastest helicopter. Yeah, yeah, it's no Airwolf. What is? And the fact you even get that reference means you're older than you think. And if you don't, well, get the hell off my lawn!
Ok, sometimes the quote makes the story: "I want it just like her but with bigger boobs". Article is SFW. Imagining a 50 year-old man with yet another real doll... well, yeah, that's not so safe for brain. Here, I have some mind bleach to spare.
Instapundit has a writeup and some extensive commentary on how Obama has gotten so bad people are starting to miss Bush. The last president I consider a complete disaster was Carter, and it took Democrats, what, twelve, fifteen years to rehabilitate him? Of course, back then it was the Republicans that got ushered into power after Democratic debacle. History has a funny way of repeating itself that way, eh?
And this comment tracks dead-on with discussions I've had with a few friends who proudly twirl along the left edge of the peanut gallery:
Every time Obamaís approval rating drops another point, [inattentive conservatives] infer validation that more and more people are seeing the light. It doesnít occur to them that his poll number are (among other reasons) dropping because liberals are angry that Obama/Reid/Pelosi havenít worked harder to advance the progressive agenda. Liberals disapprove of the fact that that Obama settled for Obamacare instead of embracing a true, single-payer system; because they watered down financial oversight instead of going for the corporate jugular; because they escalated the war in Afghanistan instead of forcing the new government to sink or swim on its own. The list could go on.
The Dems tossed out my side's dumb bastards in '08. It'll by my side's turn in November. I'm thinking the Tea Party just might ensure a more libertarian sort of conservative takes up residence, and if that happens I will be a very happy man indeed.
See you in November!
It seems that the Royal Navy is looking to pick the F-35C for its next-gen fighter platform. The reasoning behind the switch to the "big deck" variant of the Lightning II aren't completely clear, but problems with the STOVL F-35B, along with an increased ability to inter-operate with French carries seem to be playing a part.
A hoarder in Las Vegas went missing recently, only to be found imitating a Wizard of Oz witch in her own home. And that, children, is why things should occasionally be thrown away.
Scientists have announced the development of a new way of making non-volatile computer memory. By using nanowires made of silicon, the technique allows a density five times greater than current technology, at (presumably) a lower price. Solid state and it "remembers" even with the power off. A good thing!
There are photography archives, and then there are National Geographic photography archives. The pictures are dramatic, and usually the story behind how they were taken is, too.