October 31, 2010
Comparing Loot Hauls


And now, the highlight reel...





Note: in the early years, Ellen and Amber would carry auxiliary candy buckets and hand them off as one got too heavy to hold. This time Olivia hauled the same bag the whole time.



Posted by scott at 08:58 PM | Comments (1)
How Not to Perform a Tune Up

(Of rotor, distributor cap, spark plug wires, and spark plugs.)

1. Completely ignore any shop manual of any sort. Since you already know how to change this stuff on a Spider, with a four cylinder motor designed some time before Noah picked up an axe, you can change them on a car twenty years newer with two more cylinders. Totally the same.

2. Come up with a really clever idea. Holding the old distributor cap, slowly attach new wires to new cap.

3. Completely ignore any key or notch on the distributor cap. YOU know much better which end is up than the factory ever did.

4. After three tries getting the order right, and a complete do-over because the cap is upside-down, forget there's a special spark plug tool in the trunk. It's much more fun to spend nearly an hour contorting hands, back, and knees while trying various combinations of "normal" tools that almost work.

5. Assume you have now, in spite of all contraindications, actually gotten it right the very first time and try starting the car just to see what happens.

6. Impress the entire neighborhood with an explosion so powerful it blows the plenum (a rectangular aluminum box about 12" x 6" x 2") almost completely off the top of the motor, violently disconnecting at least one fuel injector, snapping the plenum ground, breaking off a piece of the cam belt cover and blowing a cam sprocket cover completely off.

7. Unsuccessfully maintain complete composure as you greet the rest of the family as they arrive from errands exactly sixty seconds later.

8. Scare the wife into complete silence as she realizes it is in fact possible to die playing with cars.

9. Spend the rest of the evening angsting over the fact that you actually managed to blow the wife's car up.

And the correct way is...

10. Wake up the next morning, download the proper page of the shop manual, write out a diagram with the correct firing order, use the spark plug tool in the trunk to remove and replace #5, which is otherwise inaccessible, and re-seat the three wires routed incorrectly by the moron who did the work the day before. Start the motor on the first crank.

11. Calmly trace and reconnect the fuel injector at the other end of the plenum which was causing it to, in the words of The Empress, "sound funny." Repair the ground wire and replace all other covers, clips, and clamps.

I'm not a professional mechanic folks, it's more like I inflict myself on unsuspecting cars.

Posted by scott at 05:09 PM | Comments (5)
Happy Halloween!

Posted by Ellen at 09:11 AM | Comments (0)
60 Minutes Does Top Gear

Thank goodness for the internet, without which we would have completely missed 60 Minutes' profile of our favorite show, Top Gear. The, I don't know, six of you, left whom we have not completely converted into fans of this show may finally be able to understand What it's All About. The rest can have fun watching what in many ways is a very articulate (and enjoyable!) highlight reel, with some behind-the-scenes looks at just what makes the thing tick.

Posted by scott at 08:25 AM | Comments (0)
October 30, 2010
Rainbow Spin

Posted by Ellen at 11:21 PM | Comments (0)
Wall of Chalk

Posted by Ellen at 11:19 PM | Comments (0)
The Cow Couch!

Posted by Ellen at 11:17 PM | Comments (0)
By The Fountain


Posted by Ellen at 11:16 PM | Comments (0)
October 29, 2010
But What's the Fun in That?

Remember that "time traveler caught on silent film" segment? The one with the lady on the cellphone wandering around in a Chaplain film? Two words: hearing aid. Ah, well. It was fun to think about, that's for sure.

Posted by scott at 02:48 PM | Comments (0)
BSG Update

Looks like it's goodbye Caprica, hello Blood and Chrome. Caprica's premise, the origin of cylons and their relationship with the society that created them, started out well enough but in my opinion rapidly got bogged down in a bunch of navel-gazing and angsty soap-opera drama. Sometimes it was all too easy to forget the show was science fiction at all. In the end, I thought it was barely interesting enough to keep watching. Here's to hoping their next effort turns out better!

Posted by scott at 06:54 AM | Comments (0)
Belly Bomb!

Introducing the pumpple cake, a dessert that's literally two pies baked into a cake. One slice has 1800 calories and feeds four. Those of you wondering what to serve after your Thanksgiving turducken need wonder no more!

Posted by scott at 06:43 AM | Comments (0)
Drunks Gotta Die, Bears Gotta Eat

Of all the excuses not to visit a grave site, I think roving bears eating the corpses is one of the better ones. You'd think someone with an AK-47 and a desire for a trophy would take care of this problem relatively quickly.

Posted by scott at 06:35 AM | Comments (0)
Pow Pow Pumpkin

Mark gets a no-prize that must be pointed down range at all times for bringing us a very alternative way of carving a pumpkin. Seems kind of an expensive way to go about it, but hey, it's his gun, his ammo, and his pumpkin.

Posted by scott at 06:27 AM | Comments (0)
October 28, 2010
Bonne Nuit Mon Chat De Noir


Our "M" to the AMCGLTD passed away peacefully at 5:15 AM this morning after a several month struggle with lymphoma.

Goodnight Magrat, we love you. 14 years went by too fast.

Posted by Ellen at 05:36 AM | Comments (4)
October 27, 2010
The Heart of the Matter

Generics have cut into profit margins, so drug companies stop making things that allow people to live. This, and nothing else, is why it's so hard to apply markets to health care. If I can't afford the latest TV technology, I watch the one I have, or I read a book. If I don't have the drug I need, I frakking die. Until we manage to unlock immortality, this is where the market hits a brick wall.

Progressives will then climb to the very tip of their bell tower's spire and rain righteous hellfire down on me, but they have a problem too. Immortality is going to be expensive, in ways nobody's really figured out. The only way it's going to happen, the only way, is if the medical industry is allowed to maximize its profits. Seeking social justice now, progressives will doom us all to the grave.

There are no good answers, and anyone who thinks they have them is either insane, or selling something.

Posted by scott at 08:37 PM | Comments (7)
~ Puff, the Magic Helmet / Saved Me From the Tree ~

Finally, finally, we have a bike helmet even Suzanne might be willing to wear. I'll bet it works, but I'll also bet it's probably not cheap. Then again, neither is a high-end regular helmet (they're usually ~$250), and they're one-use items just like this thing. Certainly it makes ventilation a non-issue. I wonder how well it works with high-speed (25 mph+) impacts?

Posted by scott at 03:32 PM | Comments (0)
Distant Relatives

Scientists have announced the discovery of human remains which push back the date our ancestors were thought to have populated Asia by fifty thousand years. The find is, of course, controversial, but assuming all is well it poses interesting questions in the how and why of humanity's great eastward migration.

Posted by scott at 02:27 PM | Comments (1)
That'll Buff Out.

And that, friends, is why God invented roll cages. And helmets, and Hans devices, and, well, you get the picture. He walked away, sure, but I bet he was saying, "ow ow ow ow ow" while he did it. That's one seriously rung bell right there, yup.

Posted by scott at 07:20 AM | Comments (0)
K'heystone Khopdullah

So, are terrorists nasty and clever, or are they just, well, nasty? What I think is missing from the article is the concept that terrorists are dumb now because we've killed or captured the smart ones. And we need to keep doing that, otherwise they'll start getting bright again.

Posted by scott at 06:57 AM | Comments (0)
Die, Drive, Die

Ever wonder how long your flash/jump/thumb/whatever-you-call-it drive will last? It would seem the answer is, a lot longer than you probably think. The graphs are particularly interesting. Well, ok, the graphs are just about the only meaningful thing on there, for me anyway.

Posted by scott at 06:36 AM | Comments (0)
Your Morning WTF.

fashion fails - Do You Want Some Candy?
see more Poorly Dressed
Posted by Ellen at 05:29 AM | Comments (0)
October 26, 2010
Trying To Get His Freak On...


Posted by Ellen at 09:55 PM | Comments (0)
Cell Phones? 1928?

A time traveler, an alien or just someone with hearing trouble? Watch and decide for yourself.

You have to watch the film.

Posted by Ellen at 09:50 PM | Comments (0)
Hrmm... Food!? NOPE! Gray Hair!


Monkey, our resident Parrotlet, decided that landing on Scott's head was pretty cool! So cool he did it to Olivia and me as well.

Posted by Ellen at 07:30 PM | Comments (0)
So... Much... Win...

I'm sorry, but I have a cat on a washing machine, therefore your argument is invalid.

Hey, it's no worse than what Pelosi pulls out of her... ok, hang on, I really didn't want to go there, did I?

Posted by scott at 06:37 PM | Comments (0)
Paul is Dead

Nature has done what millions of soccer fans around the world have been wishing they could do since the end of the World Cup. No, unfortunately it's not "a hurricane blowing those damned vuvuzelas up each and every one of their arses," it's the death of the world's greatest eight-armed sports prognosticator. I've always found it deeply puzzling that such a large, sophisticated creature has such a short life span. I guess that whole, "candle that burns twice as bright" thing may have something to it after all.

Posted by scott at 08:46 AM | Comments (0)
Your Video for the Day

Who knew The Sims analogs could be so entertaining?

Posted by scott at 07:18 AM | Comments (0)
It's Called A Label

Ok, I love hot sauce. I put it on nearly everything, but I'm smart enough to read the LABEL before dousing my food with it!

Soon after ingesting the chili mixed with the substance provided by defendant John Doe, Timothy Caleb Gann began to suffer a severe physical reaction, including the flaring-up of hives on his skin, difficulty breathing and severe pain and inflammation of his digestive system including his mouth and throat," the complaint states.

Some people are just stupid.

Posted by Ellen at 06:39 AM | Comments (1)
Muscle Clown Car Therapy!

Perineal therapy is as ubiquitous in France as free nursery schools, generous family allowances, tax deductions for each child, discounts for large families on high-speed trains, and the expectation that after a paid, four-month maternity leave mothers are back in shape — and back at work.

Doesn't France have other issues more concerning than this to spend their ZERO budget on?

Posted by Ellen at 06:32 AM | Comments (0)
For Amber

Here is your single sock explanation!

funny pictures-Never-before seen photo of LOLcat hatching explains both proliferation of LOLcats and mysterious disappearance of single socks.
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Posted by Ellen at 05:48 AM | Comments (0)
This Is Where You Go Find Another Church...

One without the pastor with ED.

Ms Ashby, a single mother, said she knew when she was filming the ad that it was in poor taste

But she said she had taken the job because of the money.

"My Visa was calling out for mercy," she said.

"It was against my better judgment to it. I don't like to offend people."

Ms Ashby, who didn't say which Christian church she attended, said the Bible spoke clearly about sex.

Lady jut go take your ball and play at another playground.

Posted by Ellen at 05:45 AM | Comments (0)
October 25, 2010
It's Called The IGNORE Button!

I really am truly sorry for people that want kids of their own but cannot, but this takes it a bit to far.

There's no shortage of people who feel pain while scrolling through Facebook: Chronically single people may envy friends' wedding pictures, for instance, and those who've lost a spouse can feel overwhelmed by friends' wedding anniversary announcements. Infertile couples say they protect themselves by hiding most, if not all, Facebook posts from pregnant friends who can't resist hitting the site's "Share" button to show off, say, the latest in maternity ware.

Ignore button people...it's called the ignore button.

Posted by Ellen at 10:19 PM | Comments (0)
Poor, Deluded Thing

"So, when it comes to my comfort level as a conservative who happens to be gay, here's what I know: while many conservatives are people of faith and their religion promotes a very different point of view than mine on homosexuality (and a few other things!), I have found conservatives to be more tolerant, more curious and more understanding of those who are different to them than I ever did when ensconced in US liberal leadership."

Now that I think about it, an absolute disdain for religious conservatives seems to, as I perceive it, underpin the beliefs of every left-leaning person I know. I even understand it, since such disdain informed my political views for a very long time. It took me, well, I hate to admit it, but I guess I must say "growing up," to realize that the people who led me to that disdain were either dumb teenagers, or the parents of same. Now that I'm older, in my opinion the adults who go to church, well, the churches I've been in at any rate, are just as frightened of this world as the rest of us are, and only want to find their own way, and, gently, try to help those they see as lost find theirs.

I've always considered the symptoms of genuine intolerance to be belittling those who disagree with you, making jokes at their expense, and, if all else fails, throwing vile insults at or genuinely threatening them or the people they love or care about. With that definition, and especially when I review the comments to this particular post, I find it hard to deny that the real bigots are found among those who do not go to church.

And heck, I'm a Buddhist. We don't even have churches.

Via Instapundit

Posted by scott at 08:22 PM | Comments (0)
Rrrm... About That...

Ahem, "If you use your metal shop skills in an attempt to turn a Camaro into a Lamborghini, you might be a redneck." I'm pretty sure the photos are that close because getting any closer would be bad. I'd like it better if flames somehow shot out of those monster ducts in the rear.

Posted by scott at 06:27 PM | Comments (0)

Backmarker F-1 team HRT have come up with a new way to get fined by releasing a car from the pits with a tire warmer still attached to it. Bah. These guys are brand-new. I can recall more than a few times when teams like Ferrari have released cars with things like fuel hoses still attached.

Posted by scott at 07:02 AM | Comments (0)
I Guess Someone's Got to do It

Scientists at Fermilab are building a "laser holometer" to find out if our 3-D universe really IS a 3-D universe. Boy, I bet you're going to feel sheepish about buying that 3-D TV if it turns out the whole dimension is a lie. Me, I'd blame Karl Rove.

Posted by scott at 06:36 AM | Comments (0)
What an... Interesting... Collection

If collecting more than 22 grams of belly-button lint doesn't qualify as, "too much time on your hands," I'm not sure what does. It only took him 26 years! What I think is even weirder is how it seems to have changed color over the years.

Posted by scott at 06:25 AM | Comments (0)
October 24, 2010
Oyster Beer Shot

NO, I did not chew it.

YES, my chest was on fire from all the horseradish.(And I <3 horseradish!)

NO, I will not do it again till next year.







Posted by Ellen at 08:34 PM | Comments (1)
Outdoor Wood Slide


Posted by Ellen at 08:23 PM | Comments (0)
He Was Fuzzy!!

Posted by Ellen at 08:22 PM | Comments (0)
Yes, I Will Ask For Photos!


I have no shame.

Posted by Ellen at 08:02 PM | Comments (0)
Ren Fest 2010~

Posted by Ellen at 07:29 PM | Comments (1)
Zoom, Sip, Zoom

Making the rounds: through a combination of various technologies, Mazda has created a gasoline-powered sedan that they claim gets 70 mpg. I got yer "mandate technology to achieve policy ends" refutation right there, bub.

Posted by scott at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)
Don't Hold Back, Tell Us How You Really Feel

P.J. O'Rourke: "This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order." No matter how great our hopes, it's looking more and more like the Democrats will be routed from the House but still hold on to a slim majority in the Senate. It will mean we'll be unable to repeal the core of their odious "cap and trade and tax and bail and obamacare for all!" agenda immediately, but it will also mean we'll be able to at least stop it from getting any worse.

Considering the mess they managed to make up until now, I'll take what I can get.

Posted by scott at 09:36 AM | Comments (0)
October 23, 2010
Trick or Treat at Udvar!

Posted by Ellen at 10:53 PM | Comments (2)
Exit, Walkman

After thirty years and some two hundred million units sold, Sony has officially ended production of its iconic Walkman cassette player line. They were too expensive for me when I was in high school, but around 1995 or so I picked one up that included an AM/FM radio. It was quite good!

Posted by scott at 02:47 PM | Comments (1)
I Don't Think Those Words Mean What You Think They Mean

Ok, tip to the wannabe journalist trying to break into the English language business: running your story through a Google translator results in sub-optimal results. Sub-optimal, but entertaining nonetheless: "A charge of abashed cartage acquired the baby aircraft to lose antithesis and tip over in mid-air during an centralized flight in the Democratic Republic of Congo. "

Posted by scott at 10:13 AM | Comments (0)
Software Cook's Lament

Robert H. gets a no-prize that'll fuss pedantically while the bacon starts to burn for bringing us a software engineer's rant on cooking. I like Alton Brown's stuff precisely because he not only tells you what to do, but why it works. The former gets you started, the latter helps guide you when things go wrong. Little wonder that the most successful recipes I've ever tried have been Alton's. Especially that stove-top mac & cheese. MMMM!!!

Posted by scott at 10:07 AM | Comments (0)
October 22, 2010
Thesaurus Fail

"The concept of being part of a team ... reaches its nadir in Halo: Reach. You will become emotionally invested in your Noble Team compadres..." (emphasis mine)

Yes, folks, they used "nadir" to mean something they liked. Found in the print version of Best Buy's Gamer magazine. Unfortunately this juicy bit of failure is not available on their site (that I could find).

Oh, don't worry, I didn't spend money on it. Dratted thing just showed up in my mailbox and, well... bathroom multitasking, people, bathroom multitasking.

Posted by scott at 06:19 PM | Comments (2)
Now That's a Quote I Never Expected to Read

"So dust, dildos, sex, high prices, unfinished grand stands, oily track and dodgy amenities are what the South Korean Grand Prix has brought prominently to the foremost portion of my mind." Dang. All I was expecting was for the cars to vacuum the asphalt into the sky. The rest is, well, I guess, gravy?

Posted by scott at 05:29 PM | Comments (0)
The 2010 Halloween Costume


Of course the snake is real.

Posted by Ellen at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)
I Guess There Really Isn't Much to Do in Canada

Young men, frozen in the Great White North, on a lake, with a gun. Let's spin some bullets! No, really! Far as I can tell, it's legit. Stupid, but legit.

Posted by scott at 04:39 PM | Comments (0)
Alfodge? Dolfa?

It's official: The first Alfa to hit our shores will be... wait for it... a Dodge. A lot will hinge on who's engine, suspension, and styling goes in it, as to what sort of car it will ultimately be. Still, it's nice to FINALLY see progress after all this time.

Posted by scott at 03:59 PM | Comments (0)
Your Joke for the Day

One day an old Jewish Pole, living in Warsaw, has his last light bulb burn out. To get a new one he’ll have to stand in line for two hours at the store (and they’ll probably be out by the time he gets there), so he goes up to his attic and starts rummaging around for an old oil lamp he vaguely remembers seeing.

He finds the old brass lamp in the bottom of a trunk that has seen better days. He starts to polish it and (poof!) a genie appears in cloud of smoke.

“Ho ho, Mortal!” says the genie, stretching and yawning, “For releasing me I will grant you three wishes.”

The old man thinks for a moment, and says, “I want Genghis Khan resurrected. I want him to re-unite his Mongol hordes, march to the Polish border, and then decide he doesn’t want the place and march back home.”

“No sooner said than done!” thunders the genie. “Your second wish?”

“Ok. I want Genghis Khan resurrected. I want him to re-unite his Mongol hordes, march to the Polish border, and then decide he doesn’t want the place and march back home.”

“Hmmm. Well, all right. Your third wish?”

“I want Genghis Khan resurrected. I want him to re-unite his –”

“Ok ok ok. Right. What’s this business about Genghis Khan marching to Poland and turning around again?”

The old man smiles. “He has to pass through Russia six times.”

I don't remember where I first heard it, but I got this version here.

Posted by scott at 10:39 AM | Comments (0)
Cam Car!

I've always wondered how Top Gear got such spectacular shots when filming their road tests. Now I know. I wonder how much practice it takes to get a $400,000 camera to skim an inch away from a car going 60+ mph? More than I have, I'm sure.

Posted by scott at 06:54 AM | Comments (0)
You'd Think They'd at Least Know How to Steer

A UK nuclear submarine has run aground. No injuries and no release of radiation, apparently, so that's a relief. It'll probably be a cold relief to the CO and who knows how many of the senior officers, though. Navies tend to view people who drive their expensive ships into the ground with something less than kindness.

Posted by scott at 06:37 AM | Comments (1)
There's Gold in That Thar Moon

Scientists who are part of the LCROSS mission, which involved NASA literally bombing the moon, have finally released their findings. Looks like there's more of, well, everything than they thought, although per usual media-created ideas of giant snow drifts hiding in the bottom of the crater did not pan out.

Posted by scott at 06:31 AM | Comments (0)
October 21, 2010
Iz Nigh-Nigh Tyme!

Nothing quite like watching Ellen trying to talk the 32oz bird out of the 8oz bird's cage so everyone can go to bed. "MAH BED TONIGHT! MAH BED! NOT HIZ!"

Ah, binky ball to the rescue!!!

And now, we get the butterfly net out to capture "HIZ" to put him in "HIZ" bed.

Posted by scott at 10:36 PM | Comments (0)
Oh, Fabrujous Joy

This, quite remarkably, sums up so many arguments I've been having with the left side of the peanut gallery lately.

Via Cobb.

Posted by scott at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)
Well, Of Course! It Wouldn't be Crunchy Otherwise!

Nothing quite like finding a flash-frozen frog in your veggies to ruin the night's meal. With ribbity picture goodness! Damned critters'll get into the craziest places.

Posted by scott at 09:50 PM | Comments (0)
Farting Garden Gnome?

I have seen it all.

I hate gnomes.

Posted by Ellen at 07:56 PM | Comments (0)
About Darned Time

The Car Lust guys have finally added another Alfa to their list of reviews, and you'll never guess the one they picked. I'm sure Ellen prefers Clarkson's "symphony of evil in black" than the author's "lady in red," but that's more personal preference and the color of the one we bought.

Posted by scott at 10:38 AM | Comments (0)
I Can Haz Rekkerd?

Meet Stewie, who, at 48.5 inches, is officially the longest domestic cat in the world. Maine Coons are impressively huge house cats, but this one's nearly as long as A Gramma is tall. I bet shedding season is spectacular.

Posted by scott at 06:42 AM | Comments (0)
October 20, 2010
Beats the Sh- Out of a Hearse

Yes, Virginia, Alfa did make quite industrial trucks, back in the day. And no, that's not just a Vanagon with a Giulietta grill wired on. That is a genuine "Romeo" truck. Not quite as slick as friend Chris's "yo-yo-YO" Escalade container ship, but at least I wouldn't have to blow the horn every time I entered the channel. Besides, a European truck from the early 70s? Yeah, I'd be worried people would steer off the road laughing at what the horn sounded like.

Posted by scott at 10:22 PM | Comments (0)
Oh HELL Yeah

Nothing like a full-scale replica of a Fallout 3 plasma rifle to end the middle of the week. I'm strictly a kit-based kind of model builder. Scratchbuilding stuff like this is way beyond me, but I sure do admire the skill it takes.

Posted by scott at 08:30 PM | Comments (0)
You Spin it Left, I'll Spin it Right

WSJ: "So look past the billionaires." Will we be a "government of the public employee, by the public employee and for the public employee"? Oh, don't worry, I already know your answer. I just want you to, well, not exactly "say it out loud," but I think you get my meaning.

Posted by scott at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)
What is Wrong With This Picture

Oh yeah, the Mom is the fat one, not the kid!

How bout just purchasing healthy stuff to eat? Or rather how bout not eating your kid's portion of food.

Posted by Ellen at 07:16 AM | Comments (0)
When Chimps Attack

No, really, when chimps attack! Luckily nobody got hurt. You'd think that, after that whole, "chimp rips woman's face and hands off with his teeth" thing a few years ago, people would be smarter than this. Then again, when are people EVER smarter than this?

Posted by scott at 07:08 AM | Comments (0)
No, No, It's not "Scrap Heap", It's "Dust Bin"

Another year, another academic claiming science is, and should, destroying religion and taking its place. Because if the 20th century is nothing else, it is an abject lesson in what happens when science displaces religion and is given the powers of a state. Yeah, that all turned out real well, didn't it?

Posted by scott at 07:00 AM | Comments (1)
Dang, Man, Ouch

Remember when they tell you to keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times? Yeah, looks like we should've mentioned keeping your head in, too. Can you say, "closed casket?" I knew you could...

Posted by scott at 06:51 AM | Comments (0)
October 19, 2010
Ignorance is as Ignorance Does

They told me that even thinking the likes of Christine O'Donnell might do just as well as anyone else would mean a slew of ignorant candidates would come rushing out of the gate, and they were right! All due respect, your side thinks government sucks because the wrong people get put in charge. My side thinks government sucks because, well, government sucks, and the only way to make it better is to take the power away.

Vote libertarian! We want to take over the government so it will leave you alone!

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 08:16 PM | Comments (0)
Can Ellen and Amber Make a Sound So Loud it Shatters Windows in YOUR House? Let's Find Out

Posted by scott at 08:04 PM | Comments (1)
Oh... Oh, Dear...

The guy who created Glee has been tapped as the director of a Rocky Horror remake. That sound you heard was basically, well, all of my in-laws suddenly crying out in terror. And, now that you mention it, most of my friends, too. Me? Not quite twenty-five years ago I'd never seen it, and was nearly talked into dressing up as Frankfurter. I've been ambiguous about the flick ever since. Not that, you know, there's anything wrong with that.

Posted by scott at 06:56 PM | Comments (0)
Never Let the Facts Get in the Way of a Crisis

Yeah, it's a question I want to ask too: Hey, Al, what happened to all the damned hurricanes? Tell me climate change is a problem, and we're contributing, and I'm all ears. Tell me it's a mega-crisis that requires massive tax increases so the government can protect us... yeah, pull the other one, it's got bells on.

Posted by scott at 06:45 PM | Comments (0)
Fun with Nukes

I thought I was pretty well informed on the various nuclear screwups that have happened over the years, but I had only heard of two of these five incidents. History is replete with accounts of entire towns being flattened by various forms of conventional explosives when they first arrived on the scene in the 19th century. Considering the stakes, I'd say we've done a much better job than they did.

Posted by scott at 06:58 AM | Comments (0)
Drunk Text, FTW!

And in the, "why should we care at all" file, we have Johnn Cusack calling for "a satanic death center" to open at Fox News. I'd be more worried if I knew exactly what the heck that was.

Ah, hang on, now I remember... when my side's loons spout incoherently about violence, it's a dangerous example of totalitarianism. When your side does it, it's simply an example of how far my side's pushed yours. "Heads I win, tails you lose," that sort of thing.

Posted by scott at 06:40 AM | Comments (1)
October 18, 2010
Mah Pumpkin!

Posted by Ellen at 09:49 PM | Comments (0)
Pretty Pictures

As part of its centenary celebration, Alfa Romeo has commissioned the man who helped define the look of Avatar to take a crack at imaging iconic models of its range. Quick! Let the snark begin! Me, I think they're all pretty darned nifty, especially the next-to-last one. Unfortunately, since prices start at about $275, it doesn't look like I'll pick a copy up any time soon. But there is Christmas to think about, eh?

Posted by scott at 02:57 PM | Comments (0)
Did the Angels Arc Across the Sky and I Missed It?

I'm not even sure this can be defined as, "a sign of the apocalypse." You see, as far as I'm concerned, when what is usually a proud and reliable mouthpiece of the Democratic party starts running positive pieces about Sarah Palin, well, bub, that pretty much defines the end of the world, far as I'm concerned.

From where I sit, Palin seems to make my center-left friends, especially the women, absolutely froth with rage. The folks who sit over on the left edge of the peanut gallery just explode impressively whenever her name comes up. It's really starting to eat into our cleaning budget, keeping up with that mess. I would have no problem voting for her, but I'm a card carrying member of The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. I'm capable of any evil as long as the end result is cutting taxes and shooting terrorists. Just ask the left side!

So, anyway, I think she has a very long way to go to sway centrist voters, but she does have quite a bit of time to travel. Like the article notes, politicians with bigger problems have overcome them to win the prize. That said, I'd feel more comfortable if the Republicans in that bunch had a more consistent track record.

Posted by scott at 12:02 PM | Comments (0)
Oh, I'm Definitely Detecting Nuttiness

See! See! We are not even close to the only Alfa lunatics on the planet! And heck, she even owns a Milano just like ours, except with about 220,000 miles less on it. The comments are nearly as good, with the occasional, "wtf?!? Those suck!!!" only occasionally interrupting the sighs of longing or the "LEARN FROM ME, AND BEWARE! AND SELL ME YOURS!" notes from current owners.

Posted by scott at 10:10 AM | Comments (0)
UK Military Reshuffle

The UK's next defense review will be released this week, and if rumors are to be believed, the venerable Harrier is out, the venerable Tornado is in, Typhoon production stays open, and the Marines have something new to worry about with their F-35B. Assuming the -B works at all, I'll be completely surprised if the VTOL version of the Lightning II is ever canceled. The Marines managed to shepherd the V-22 through, what, some twenty years of development and darned if they don't actually have them. They'll get their F-35Bs.

Posted by scott at 07:19 AM | Comments (0)
The Truth Hurts

Ok, note to rich egomaniacs: don't tick off a well-funded news organization. Nothing good comes from it. I'd like to think a story like this would put paid to the left's argument that money and Republicans have ensured rich people can do bad things with impunity around here. Yeah, don't worry, I'm not holding my breath over it.

Posted by scott at 07:04 AM | Comments (0)
October 17, 2010
Swing Time!


She went to bed last night drugged to the gills after having spent the past three days with a fever. She literally danced down the stairs the next morning and demanded to go SOMEWHERE. We, naturally, had canceled all our original plans, and so Ellen on the spur of the moment chose Great Farms, a really nifty re-purposed farm-turned-cheap-theme-park. She had a good time.

Posted by scott at 07:53 PM | Comments (0)
Oh The Things They Will Say

Me:"Olivia, you want some tea? I'm making tea."

Olivia: "Oh yes! The Teddy Bear Tea!" (aka-Sleepytime)

"Mom...why does this tea say 'horrible?' Your tea says 'horrible.'"


Me: Uh...no. That doesn't say "horrible", that says "herbal".

Olivia, in a "must talk slowly and carefully" voice I'm sure I'll be hearing more of as the years go on: "But there is a dragon on your tea. It must be 'horrible.' Mom."


Posted by Ellen at 07:22 PM | Comments (1)
Your Thought for the Day

"Let me go on record that I regard communism as expressed by the U.S.S.R. and its friends here and elsewhere as a grisly horror, a tyranny maintained by force and terror, utterly subversive of human liberty, freedom of thought, and dignity. I regard it as Red fascism, distinguishable from black and brown fascism by differences of no importance to me nor to its victims." -- Robert Heinlein

This is exactly how I feel about it, as well. Via Instapundit, who's highlighting yet another book pointing out just how horrible red, black, and brown really were.

Posted by scott at 09:36 AM | Comments (1)
October 16, 2010
BMG? How Aboug BFG?

Remember last week, when you guys were grousing that an AR-15 modified to shoot a .50 cal pistol round wouldn't be a patch on to one modified to shoot the big .50 rounds? Yeah, about that... This one probably shoots through ten schools.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 09:53 AM | Comments (1)
Not Your Grandad's Transport

The DOD's Speed Agile program is wrapping up, and the aircraft studies it has produce are, well, definitely innovative. They've been trying to replace the C-130 for nearly as long as they've been building it, so I'm not expecting this to go anywhere, either. Still, a transport that looks like a B-2 has gotta be worth something.

Posted by scott at 09:34 AM | Comments (1)
So There!

funny pictures of cats with captions
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Posted by Ellen at 08:38 AM | Comments (0)
Fun with Shoes

The things people can do nowadays with leather and plastic, well, you just wouldn't believe. It's Saturday, don't worry if it's SFW. That said, I looked at that first one nearly upside down, and I'm still not completely sure what's going on there. I'm sure it's naughty, I'm just not completely sure how.

Via Violins and Starships.

Posted by scott at 08:28 AM | Comments (0)
October 15, 2010
Oh, Yeah, Totally Comfortable with This

Mike J. gets a no-prize strangely obsessed with the "Conner" section of the phone book for bringing us news that robots are now helping guard our nuclear stockpiles. Bah. Could be worse. Could be union employees doing the guarding. "Why is guarding important? Come, friend, strike with us for a 30 hour work week and mandated retirement with full salary at 55! No, nothing to worry about, a man in a turban took all the nasty nuclear things away..."

Posted by scott at 09:09 PM | Comments (0)
Old that's New

Two sections of the Colosseum have been re-opened to the public. Bonus: standard reporter gaffe, claiming gladiators fought in the dungeons. These people do have editors, right?

Posted by scott at 06:58 AM | Comments (0)
Unfortunately, I Don't Think We've Seen the End of Petulance, Yet

Victor Davis Hanson once again has a perceptive take on just where, and how, things went wrong for the Obama administration. Two things stood out, for me:

A hard-core leftist base is petulant that Obama copied Bush’s anti-terrorism protocols and broke a lot of promises in the process; they will vote only if they happen to be driving by the polls on a Tuesday afternoon.

This is exactly what I've been hearing from the people who sit so far to the left in the peanut gallery they're in danger of falling off that edge of the world. To which I can only say, "this isn't the election you're looking for. We can vote about our business. Move along..."

And then there's...

I think pundits have not appreciated the fact that this is not quite a red/blue, Republican versus Democratic race, but a historic election in which many of the Republican candidates are first-time politicians, beholden to no one, and not part of the Republican establishment.

This is what I've been saying, for months now. The Republican establishment has reacted with such outrage precisely because of it. My side's great disillusionment came at the end of the Bush years, when we came to the realization that the only real difference between the two sides was the color of the tie tacks. We don't want to put the same set of people who sucked in '07 back in charge in '11. We want new faces, and it looks like we'll get them.

Well, yes, they're gonna suck, too. But they'll suck in different ways, and before they really start to stink they may very well do some good.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 06:46 AM | Comments (4)
I Shall Call Them, "Spiderpillers"

Scientists have announced the development of a silkworm that spins a kind of spider silk. The resulting fabric is much stronger than normal silk, but not as strong as pure spider silk. However, the group says it's only started experimenting, and are confident the much stronger pure spider silk is not far off.

Posted by scott at 06:20 AM | Comments (0)
October 14, 2010
Yes, There is a Forum For Everything.

I bring you Automatic Litterbox Central.

Posted by Ellen at 09:44 PM | Comments (0)
Oh, the Things They'll Say

So now we're on our second round through The Light in the Attic, a great collection of poems which Olivia likes because they're cool, and I like because it's just enough like singing to make me think I am, without, you know, all that bothersome pitch and tone.

At any rate, Olivia's quite advanced now, which means she got to read The Toad and the Kangaroo all by herself. Which, at the end, she said:

*Dismissive COUGH* "DAD! Why didn't they just name her CANDACE?"

The sideways-think is strong with this one, Obi-Wan."'

Posted by scott at 08:29 PM | Comments (0)
Lost Data? What Lost Data?

So, I think the next time someone starts rattling a tin cup labeled, "For Want of a CD-ROM Drive, All Digital Media Is Unreachable" at me, looking for a grant, I'll pull out this story of a guy who managed to reconstruct the sounds created by a technique never meant to be played back in the first place. Created in the 1860s, no less. "Yes yes, " I can hear them sneer, "but that's analog! We're panicking over digital media!"

Fear not, my 21st century chicken little. As long as the media survives, there will always be the ability to read it.

Posted by scott at 06:18 PM | Comments (0)
It's Official, Fourth Sign of the Apocalypse

When the second-most prominent mouthpiece of the Democratic party starts running pieces vaguely sympathetic to the tea party, well, that pretty much says all bets are off. I do, however, take comfort in the fact the article never once mentions a similar sort of sign survey for more recent left-ish rallies or, goodness me, any rally before 2008. They do have standards, you know.

Posted by scott at 06:08 PM | Comments (0)
These Guys Sure do Get Around

Looks like the second unit from the next Transformers movie spent a few days poking around LC 39. Having the space shuttle end up a transformer would be cool, although I'd think that, after 20+ years of taking them half apart and putting them back together again, someone over in the service bays would've noticed something.

They're damned sneaky, those transformers...

Posted by scott at 07:08 AM | Comments (0)
I See that SOMEONE Needs Some Busy-Work

At Livermore California, scientists are trying to create stars. Even better, they're using frikkin lasers! Where large research grants go, cool science tech is sure to follow.

Posted by scott at 07:03 AM | Comments (0)
On Pots, Kettles, and the Color Black

They told me if I voted for John McCain government power would be used to silence political opposition, and they were right! I, personally, love George Soros, because he's so damned useful this election cycle when the folk on the left side of the peanut gallery start rattling their cages about giant campaign donations. You know, in this election cycle. Previous cycles? Oh, come on! They were fighting for justice then!

Posted by scott at 06:52 AM | Comments (0)
Well Whaddya Know... They Are Useful for Something

A famous (I guess) hip-hop artist helped talk a guy down off a roof yesterday. The timing couldn't be better, since said artist's probation hearing on a weapons violation happens this week.

Posted by scott at 06:42 AM | Comments (0)
October 13, 2010
Your Thought for the Day

"The Old Testament has virtually no reference to the afterlife, to Heaven or Hell. There is a powerful sense of spirituality, but it’s all about this world, not the next world. It says that every single person has the ability and the obligation to get up in the morning and make the world better." -- David Hazony

Posted by scott at 03:45 PM | Comments (0)
I'd Still Put My Money on the Stig

Why yes, yes it does rather resemble a lap board. But that's ok, because those guys are heading toward a very important sort of finish line. Besides, if it could get them another point in the championship I'm sure Lewis and Sebastian would be right at the top of even that board.

Posted by scott at 03:24 PM | Comments (1)
Modern Homebuilt

And now, a car that looks like it was built in the 1950s made from materials undreamt of until the 21st century. A basic exotic so tough you can literally bounce rocks off it? Sign me the heck up, too!

Posted by scott at 12:20 PM | Comments (0)
You Ate What???

Another year, another journalist on a voyage of weird food discovery. I'm quite honest about being a recovering picky eater, and I am under no illusions as to my ability to look at, let alone eat, anything even vaguely weird looking or smelling. I'm hoping to rely on my usefulness with computers and cars to convince others with stronger constitutions to keep me fed when the zombie apocalypse arrives.

Posted by scott at 12:01 PM | Comments (0)
Well if it Was That Damned Easy, Why'd it Take So Long?

A federal district judge has ruled the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy unconstitutional, and will apparently be issuing a global ban on it soon. The complete lack of drama this time around is a striking contrast to the ruckus that was raised when the Democrats took a run at this in the early nineties, which resulted in the policy in the first place. I don't think the country, or the military, was quite ready for gays openly serving not quite twenty years ago. A generation later, well, I'd like to think they are. Doesn't seem like they'll have much of a choice.

Posted by scott at 10:04 AM | Comments (0)

The blogroll's back. Blogrolling went belly-up about two months ago, and every other service I tried failed to work properly. Now it's a static series of links, and it damned well works properly now! So, apologies if you thought we'd de-linked you. Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by, well, laziness.

Posted by scott at 09:57 AM | Comments (1)
Candidate: 1, Maddow: 0

Just because they're new candidates, doesn't mean they can't run an unprepared talk show host straight into the ground. A more masterful leverage of a satellite delay I have yet to see. She's obviously much more comfortable browbeating people in her studio. Charisma, good looks, and the novelty of the TV studio experience doesn't work as well to intimidate people when they're remote, everyone knows that. I'll bet her producer was crapping bricks about what Maddow would do to him or her once the interview was done. Don't mess with old men from the northwest, they're tougher than they look.

Posted by scott at 09:09 AM | Comments (2)
He Says that Like It's a Bad Thing

Barney Frank: "Tea Partiers have tied me to the railroad tracks!" If anyone from my side had breathed even a word of it, there'd be a whole legion of moonbats twirling away from the tops of their towers, shrieking about the violence of the right. It's enough to make me wish I could play the piano like a silent movie pianist, and find someone with a mustache long enough to twirl the ends.

Posted by scott at 08:41 AM | Comments (0)
Planet? What Planet?

It seems that the potentially inhabitable planet announced a few weeks ago may not, in fact, exist. Remember, folks, science will always provide the definitive answer, until new data comes along, when it will provide a new definitive answer. That the new answer may flatly contradict the old is not science's problem.

Necessary? Well, yes, of course. But it's also why most people get annoyed with science.

Posted by scott at 06:48 AM | Comments (0)
The Perfect Alaskan Ride?

Personally, I can think of no better fate for a 76 Mazda mini-truck than to be converted into a Radio Flyer wagon. In Alaska. You remember those people who said Alaskans were quirky? Yeah, well, there ya go.

Posted by scott at 06:32 AM | Comments (0)
October 12, 2010
That's MISTER Super Car to You, Bub

Not content with a car that makes, count them, 1001 horsepower, Bugatti has upped the ante with a "super sport" version of the Veyron. A four thousand pound car that can go zero to sixty in 2.3 seconds pretty much defines "f-ing sled" in my book. And, before you ask, even at 1/10th the price neither of us could afford one. But we can't afford a Saturn V either, and that doesn't make those any LESS cool, know'wha'ah'mean?

Posted by scott at 06:41 PM | Comments (0)
Caring and Sharing

Scientists have announced the discovery of the earliest known example of a hominid that had to have received help from others to survive. This all may seem screamingly obvious to everyone, but physical anthropology has been burned numerous times by "obvious" conclusions that were eventually overturned when someone looked at the evidence. Nowadays if they don't find direct, incontrovertible evidence, they won't make the call, and even if they do the guys on the other sideline throw about a dozen red flags down for another replay. It's sort of like really, really slow-motion football that way.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 03:45 PM | Comments (0)
Paging the Frisco Kid, White Courtesy Phone Please

An ancient Torah that's spent its life avoiding one attempt to destroy it after another is being repaired for daily use at a US synagogue. Even a quick review of European history will make it clear it's a wonder anything that can burn ever survived at all.

Posted by scott at 06:47 AM | Comments (0)
Kitteh Sez Wha?

Scientists have for the first time observed real physical changes in the brain that would explain why people who lose one sense, like hearing, compensate by strengthening the others. I'd like to think the cats in this experiment were allowed to live a long, fulfilling life and weren't dissected when the grant ran out. Who knows? I may be right.

Posted by scott at 06:39 AM | Comments (0)
The More You Know...

Sometimes the old days could be good, as when a manual for, "farming with dynamite" was up at the front of the store, with the actual stuff somewhere in the back. Authored by DuPont, naturally. Yeah, take away all the deadly infectious diseases, the near-complete lack of appliances, and infant mortality and the turn of the last century could be pretty fun sometimes.

Posted by scott at 06:33 AM | Comments (1)
The Wrong Sort of Ring Toss

It's all fun and games until the boss's husband starts waving his winky about. Partying at the hotel is fun enough, I guess, but do you think the written questionnaire was really necessary? SFW.

Posted by scott at 06:26 AM | Comments (0)
October 11, 2010
Goodnight Mr. B


We love you Bud The Dog.


Posted by Ellen at 07:42 PM | Comments (2)
I Can Haz Rescue?

A 9 month-old kitten is your typical 9-month old kitten and gets his self stuck in a damned dangerous place. The result? a disassembled truck and a reporter with a softball to beat his deadline. Kitty is fine, too.

Posted by scott at 06:23 PM | Comments (0)
Don't Tell Billy

For the apocalypse-fearer on a budget, Costco will now sell one year's worth of dehydrated and freeze-dried food for just $799. As I recall, and I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong, my father-in-law became convinced that the Y2K (remember that?) bug would unleash Armageddon, and he stocked up accordingly. I think he burned the last of his stacked firewood last year, and I'm pretty sure there's still a few cases of oatmeal in the garage.

Me? Oh hell, if I had a place to put it all I'd probably buy it just to say I did. That, and goof on super-campers Ron and Amber about how prepared I was. As if...

Posted by scott at 11:40 AM | Comments (8)
The Snark is Strong with This One

A private company completes a successful air-drop test of its spacecraft, and all The Guardian can do is snipe at it. "But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so."

This is far, far from an average piece of junk.

Posted by scott at 06:49 AM | Comments (0)
You Say That Like it's a Bad Thing

Iran has publicly admitted they have an espionage problem at their nuclear facilities. I'd much rather screw up their ambitions with a well-placed wrench than I would to do it with a well-placed aerial bombardment. It'd also be nice to have a little more certainty about what needs blowing up, and what doesn't.

Posted by scott at 06:19 AM | Comments (4)
October 10, 2010
Olivia the Comedian, October Issue

Wherein I prove, conclusively, that I and my friends have a sense of humor not to exceed that of a seven year-old.

Posted by scott at 07:58 PM | Comments (0)
October 09, 2010
Some Gypsies Have Wagons


We travel in an Alfa Milano!

Posted by Ellen at 07:39 PM | Comments (0)
Your Thought for the Day


Like all classics, it's timeless.

Posted by scott at 05:30 PM | Comments (0)
Space Billiards

Scientists have captured the first-ever images of an asteroid after a collision. Bah. It'll buff out.

Posted by scott at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)
Speaking of Musical Animals...

Tatterdemalian gets a no-prize with a big band and a bunch of very white singers for bringing us yet another take on 'ye olde trololololo". Or, you know, something like that. My grandmother Johnson was into Lawrence Welk, as I recall. I never really got the point. Not all that sure I was supposed to.

Posted by scott at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)
Goofy Bird

Cockatoos are known for this sort of thing. That's a pretty aggressive wing clip there, too.

Posted by scott at 07:20 AM | Comments (0)
October 08, 2010

Everyone needs a Unicorn Fetus!

Posted by Ellen at 11:10 PM | Comments (0)
Matrix Hydrochloride [[Texting]]
Me: It’s not covered by insurance and it’s expensive.

Amber: What do you mean? It’s an OTC! They should have told you that!

[[Phone does the cute blingidy bling ring]]

A, on the phone: “It’s over the counter.”

Me: “It is? Where?”

A: “Look for it in the diarrhea aisle.”

Me, {suddenly channeling ‘Mister Anderson’ scrabbling desperately, looking around for agents with wires in their ears,} “Ok…hang on…uh… Prilosec, Benedryl,…Dramamine?”

A: “No. It’s called Meclizine.”

{It’s hard to walk around bent over like this… where are my Ray-Bans???}

Me: “Methyl what? So it’s not Dramamine.”

A: “No. What milligram did you get scripted out for?”

I can hear her do the angry pharmacy frustration dance. For her not able to reach her hand through my phone to snatch it off the shelf for me is killing her.

Me, in a whisper: “Uh… I DON’T remember!” … {where are the agents? Where are the agents?!?}

A: “Where is your script?”

*I can feel the fumes coming through the phone.*

Me: “The… the pharmacist has it.”

*I start to look around the aisle to make sure no one will witness the event that will happen over the phone.*

Then it happened:

A: “You go take that box up to the pharmacy counter and ASK them to tell you if the drug you got scripted is OTC. They should have told you that your script you handed them was an OTC! AN OTC!! OTC!!! GAH!!”

*Desperation sets in as I’m trying to turn down the volume of my phone and not being successful at it. I’m getting stared at and it sounds like I have a very angry chicken on the other end of the phone. {Calm the hell down, Morpheus…}*

A, being a pharmacy tech for many years, well…. she sorta snapped during employment with an old people retirement facility. All those years of filling prescriptions for diuretics, heart medication, prescription strength Vagisil, and lots of Valtrex…

A: “You go up there. And ask them. What the better. Deal. Is! They should have told you that drug was an OTC! You should not pay prescription price for an OTC drug!”

Me:”…ok. I’ll call you back.”


Me: I got it. The pharmacist was not very happy that I was not told that was not an OTC. She got upset with them.

A: GOOD! She should! That is an OTC drug!

Me: When will this work?

[[Phone does the cute blingidy bling….]]

{And the editor tries to throw more Matrix references in, right before Ellen grabs the @!R$@#%#@%#@}

Posted by Ellen at 10:39 PM | Comments (1)

funny pictures-Bunny Slipper
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Posted by Ellen at 09:11 PM | Comments (0)
Your Thought for the Day

Posted by scott at 07:42 PM | Comments (0)
Hey! Watch This!

In spite of what the caption says, I'm pretty sure it's not the rotor that's letting go, it's the mounting bolts on the caliper that are shearing off. How we don't lose 80% of men aged 15-25 to "controlled flight into terrain" incidents like this, I never will understand.

Posted by scott at 07:19 PM | Comments (1)
Oh Noes!!!

Well, now I have to believe in Peak Oil. Why? Because there's now an official study that says it's here! It was put out by the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas! They have to know what they're talking about!

The video at the end makes a good point, but my bet is it won't ever be that apocalyptic. The only thing more ingenious than a human being is a human being who sees a pathway to becoming filthy, stinking rich, and there's an entire gigantic royal family of Saudis to prove just how rich someone who can make energy can get.

Off the top of my head I can think of three or four alternatives to fossil fuels that just need more money to become viable. Put it this way... the world was surviving just fine when oil was, what, $140 a barrel, and the stories were coming fast and thick about how this guy or the other guy was beavering away at a replacement. It's not quite half that right now, so the incentives aren't as strong, but they're still there.

Oil is not the most precious resource on the planet. We are. And we'll figure this out, just you wait.

Posted by scott at 07:09 PM | Comments (1)
Daryl Who?

You'd think that, with all these celebrities with really bad plastic surgery, other celebrities wouldn't take the risk. And then along comes another one. It's almost as if the genes which give beauty in youth make it impossible to extend its shelf life with surgery. Either that, or it just doesn't pay to screw around with your face.

Posted by scott at 06:56 AM | Comments (0)
There Are Second Options

One of three drugs used in California’s current lethal injection procedure. The drug became a major issue last month when the scheduled execution of Albert Greenwood Brown was called off. During the legal tangle leading up to the stayed execution, it came out that the state’s supply of the drug expired on Friday, October 1–about five hours after the execution was supposed to happen.

I don't get why they just don't use Euthasol or Fatal-Plus that is used in animals, since technically they are.

Posted by Ellen at 06:46 AM | Comments (1)
B-ch, I Own Fat!

Scientists have determined the "black widow" pulsar is the most massive neutron star observed so far. It's also helping to change the theories which are used to explain how these objects come to exist, since it's quite a bit more massive than many popular models predict.

Posted by scott at 06:37 AM | Comments (0)
October 07, 2010

Posted by Ellen at 08:43 PM | Comments (0)
How Low Can You Go?

What better way to end a Thursday night than with a compilation of fly-bys by pilots who weren't worried about the FAA? The two lowest are both SEPECAT Jaguars, and those are only a few examples I've seen of that type just a few feet off the ground. Must've been something about their wing design that gave them a massive ground effect, which probably made it feel like flying against the wrong side of a magnet.

Anyway, always remember, in the race for the lowest pass in an airplane, you want to come in SECOND.

Posted by scott at 08:35 PM | Comments (0)
~ Fly Me Out to Mars ~

Another year, another guy proposing an aerial probe to be sent to Mars. Rocket power is a novelty, I'll give him that, but I'd think the various ideas for balloons would be a better value. The guy behind X-plane used his program to simulate Mars. He used to have a nice summary of his findings somewhere, but I can't find it. At any rate, the challenges in getting an aircraft to fly on Mars are genuine and very strange.

Posted by scott at 07:36 PM | Comments (0)
Well That's Just You All Over

The line is funny when it's Dorothy and the rest of the crew picking up Scarecrow. When it's the Sheriff's office picking up some lady's husband across a few counties... yeah, not so much. Ellen has scoffed more than once at these amateurs. If you do it right, you're not supposed to find anything at all, she says.

Posted by scott at 06:38 PM | Comments (0)
I Shall Call it, "Nerfsentry"

There seems to be no end to the adaptations of everyone's favorite chain-fed nerf gun. Jeff's had one for ages. I think he might actually be a little disappointed it's possible to do something useful with it. That really wasn't the point.

Posted by scott at 06:32 PM | Comments (0)
Dead Green

Really, what is it with greens suddenly trying to kill kids? Just one incidence I can chalk up to one out-of-touch group. But two, so close together, and on opposite sides of the globe... well, folks, that sure seems like a trend to me. I always knew they were more interested in telling people what to do than in saving anything, but I didn't know the totalitarian streak would be so easy to bring to the surface.

Posted by scott at 06:54 AM | Comments (1)
~ There's a Killer in the Hive ~

It seems that, with the help of the Army, the cause of the well-publicized domestic honey bee collapse has finally been found. Turns out it's a combination of a virus and a fungus, neither of which has the ability to destroy a colony on its own. Just why this happens is still unclear, but now that the cause is known it's hoped a cure will be soon to follow.

Posted by scott at 06:44 AM | Comments (1)
October 06, 2010
The Church on the Hill

I've read more than my fair share of accounts of the Black Death. The ones specializing in England always liked to emphasize how, even to this day, there are deserted places with just a hollowed out church, where a village used to live. Which, in this "modren" age, I always asked, "well, where???" Ha... how about here.

I'm sure everyone in the UK grew up living with this stuff. I'm fascinated by it, but in such a horribly sad way. A thousand year old church, with wind blowing through the hollow spaces, because all the parishioners died just two hundred years later. And now a farmer's combine grumbles past it, because it's easier than knocking the forgotten thing down.

It echoes, like an old bruise...

Posted by scott at 10:46 PM | Comments (0)
Must... Not... Use... For Evil...

One day, hundreds of years from now, people will look back and say this, this was the time, when the first for-real Genesis Device started on the road to reality. A plot device in the next Die Hard movie? Hey, folks, you heard it here first.

And that, friends, is why incentives will always trump design bureaus.

Posted by scott at 06:40 PM | Comments (1)
Finally I Have a Reason to Like This Song

Mythbusters is back this week, and what better way to promote it than to have that big Scottish lump Craig Ferguson drag the principals out to do Melt with You? Will they be able to top slicing a Honda in two with a rocket sled this year? Hey, you know they'll try!

Posted by scott at 05:58 PM | Comments (0)
A Fantasy League, for the Rest of Us

Introducing Fantasy UnSports, the game which lets you score points when your football players screw up off the field. Which is, of course, most of the time, so it's actually a pretty active game. I especially liked the point value for "Player claims that wildlife on the field during a game may be reincarnated former teammate."

Posted by scott at 01:14 PM | Comments (0)
Shading the Macabre

Actually, I know quite a few friends who likely would be very interested in a nonfiction book which follows a lamp shade made of human skin from garage sale to Buchenwald, including me. If the review is any indication, it's a monument to Mark Twain's quote on the difference between fiction and nonfiction. I think, though, that I'll wait for the trade paperback to come out. That dust cover sounds just that much too creepy.

Posted by scott at 07:14 AM | Comments (0)
My Mom's Owl Family

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Posted by Ellen at 06:54 AM | Comments (1)
You're Gonna Love the Title of this Place

Presenting Hidden Bush, wherein an intrepid reporter fulfills their monthly 3000 word article requirement. Did I mention Hidden Bush was a nudist camp? What a clever name! Again, article is SFW. I seem to remember reading a similar article twenty, maybe thirty years ago. Seems like nudists, at least, haven't changed all that much.

Posted by scott at 06:53 AM | Comments (0)
That's a Real Buttinski

Well of course you knew it was only a matter of time until someone teased out the anal sex stats from that new sex survey. Hey, man, consenting adults, not on my lawn, go knock yourself out.

Or, you know, something to that effect. Article is SFW.

Posted by scott at 06:36 AM | Comments (0)
October 05, 2010
Well... Good Luck With That...

The Army has decided to start a competition to create a single rotary-winged platform that can, depending on what wears out first, replace the Kiowa fleet, or the Chinook fleet, with minimal modifications. For those of you not quite as nerdy about aviation, this is similar to someone saying they want something that can replace my Spider, or Ron's Xterra, just by fiddling with the form factor.

Well, of course they can do it. And, hell, as long as the Chinese keep lending us money, why not let them try? It's the Obama administration, man. IF WE HAVE A CHECK BOOK, WE HAVE MONEY!!!

Posted by scott at 10:23 PM | Comments (0)
That Will Do, Nicely

An M4 rifle with a .50 cal... rrrm... "bit that shoots?" It's more likely than you think! Yeah, apologies to my gun nut buds, total term fail there. Having fired my brother's "deagle" a few times, yeah... seems like most of that ur-gun's impact comes from the round, because that video SURE brought back memories.

No worries, I already know it's more than I can afford.

Posted by scott at 10:09 PM | Comments (2)
Fun with Beige

Posted by scott at 07:23 AM | Comments (0)
When Environmentalists Attack

Well, not attack so much as engage in a fantasy that the rest of us would all just, you know, explode. The original, which is way too long even with all those special effects, is here. Visions of murdering people in spectacular ways because their disagreement with you endangers everything!!!! is only fun when you keep it on the inside. Then again, it's not like the left's ever ignored an opportunity to make everyone else obey. And it always turns out so well...

Posted by scott at 07:06 AM | Comments (0)
Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Bunch of Guys

If this story is to be believed, Iran's really got a nasty computer problem. Being a bunch of religious lunatics running a program to build a nuke will, after all, tend to attract the wrong sort of attention.

Posted by scott at 06:50 AM | Comments (1)

While definitely neat, this collection of abandoned Soviet-era aircraft is hardly the stuff to keep someone awake at night. Well, except for those people who are looking to spend some serious cash on some serious aircraft. Soviet flight trainers were designed to operate from horrible airfields and be maintained by drunk teenage conscripts. They therefore usually make for incredibly good private aircraft.

Posted by scott at 06:31 AM | Comments (0)
October 04, 2010
Oh HAI! Has A Muffin Won't You!?

Posted by Ellen at 10:09 PM | Comments (0)
Out My Window


Got this pix outside my car window today!

Posted by Ellen at 09:04 PM | Comments (1)

A long time ago, you needed a talented team and one helluva lot of cash to make a CGI movie. The talent, you still need that. The cash, though, not so much. I'm thinking that nifty little fantasy adventure short was helped along greatly by the music, but you'd expect a hi-fi nerd like me to say that. Recommended.

Posted by scott at 06:45 PM | Comments (1)
Dig Em' Up!

Amenhotep III, who lived until 1352 BC, was hardly a modest king. Hawass said there is an "overwhelming amount of statuary" depicting the ruler, who was the father of Amenhotep IV, better known as Akhenaten. There may be other statues of him at the site, according to the council's statement.

Dug up in Luxor, Egypt...not Vegas.

Posted by Ellen at 07:15 AM | Comments (0)
Radiation Hawks

By using an "artificial event horizon," scientists seem to have found the first direct evidence for Hawking radiation. As with most really weird scientific experiments, the result is open to interpretation, not all of which confirm that black holes do in fact radiate energy.

Posted by scott at 07:05 AM | Comments (0)
Fold 'em Up

Just in time for, well, for the bike season to end, actually, we have this round-up of folding bicycles. One of my Learning Tree instructors used a folding bike when he was traveling to teach classes. He loved the thing.

Posted by scott at 06:50 AM | Comments (0)
Glasses? We Don't Need No Glasses!

Engineers at Toshiba have unveiled a 3D television which does not require glasses to work. Bonus: it also can transform "normal" broadcasts into 3D. New TV tech being what it is, prices start high... the equivalent of about $1500 in yen for a 12" screen. TV tech in general being what it is, I'd expect the price to drop steadily if it meets market success.

Posted by scott at 06:45 AM | Comments (0)

I would've thought Japan far too organized to allow anything to actually become ruins. Turns out not only do they have them, they're well organized and comparatively safe. You know, like the rest of the country. Keep an eye out for tentacles though, that's all I'll say.

Posted by scott at 06:29 AM | Comments (0)
October 03, 2010
Your Thought for the Day

"You can't go around building a better world for people. Only people can build a better world for people. Otherwise it's just a cage." -- Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad

Via Talking to myself again...

Posted by scott at 08:20 AM | Comments (0)
Restore, or Re-Work?

Jeremy Clarkson is weighing in on the whole, "restore vs. resto-mod" debate. Me? I tend to value originality, and the market my cars play in does too. That said, I also think modifications which materially improve the car while also being true to its nature are also to be admired. Putting a Chevy 350 V-8 in a Jaguar XJS sedan I think is a pretty horrible thing to do, but putting a monster Alfa V6 in a tiny Alfa sports car (and, if you follow that thread, f-all else to it) is fine. Doing things to fix things that were actual mistakes in the original engineering, like the fixes on the E-type Jeremy mentions, are more than fine as well.

But, ultimately, I've come around to the opinion that, "it's your car, do what you want to it." I admire any modification when it's done well, and I laugh uproariously at any that are done poorly. Take care of it, and don't half-ass anything.

Posted by scott at 08:10 AM | Comments (0)
Wackos is as Wackos Does

Ah, I see, when my side has a few right-wing loons show up at a massive rally, they get front page coverage. When the other side has wackos show up at a rally, you have to go digging for the evidence. I know, I know. we highlight the right-wing extremists because they are the truly dangerous ones. The left's record is so much cleaner!

Posted by scott at 07:47 AM | Comments (0)
October 02, 2010
Goin' Retro

As with most technologies, things like motion controllers and game boys have roots far deeper than you'd at first think. I remember the Microvision system very well, and I think either we or someone we knew had a Blip. The rest, not so much.

Posted by scott at 04:41 PM | Comments (1)
Lambo Love

There's show cars, and then there's show cars. 0-60 in 2.5 seconds is completely mad, and unfortunately it costs more than my house, so that plan goes out the window. Ah well, fun to look at!

Posted by scott at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)
October 01, 2010
NO EssCahpay The Tub!


Dr.Bronner's soap bath!

Posted by Ellen at 09:26 PM | Comments (3)
Working With Smallish Bird

Posted by Ellen at 09:21 PM | Comments (0)
Dope Science

Ok, so it turns out Contador's failed drug test involved a substance that increases a person's metabolic rate, among other things. It's also just possible he really didn't take it intentionally. Me, I remember Floyd Landis was about as sincere as he could be professing his innocence, and look how that turned out.

Posted by scott at 07:18 AM | Comments (0)
Regarding Lawns, and Getting Off Mine

Another year, another forty-something bemoaning lazy, meddling kids. I'd take such things much more seriously, if I hadn't been reading them for the past, oh, thirty years or so. Likely there's a Linear A tablet somewhere complaining about how kids these days take bronze for granted and don't know how to properly tie a tunic.

Posted by scott at 06:41 AM | Comments (0)
My Kind of Hybrid

Meet the Jaguar C-X75, a technology demonstration car that's part electric, part jet. Yep, jet. Instead of the more common reciprocating engine, engineers have instead fitted a gas turbine to help extend the otherwise pitiable range of 68 miles to a much more comforting 500+. It's a show car, it doesn't have a price tag. Still, I can't imagine it'd be a particularly quiet car.

Posted by scott at 06:25 AM | Comments (0)