April 30, 2012
What's Worse Than a Sunburn?

I'm pretty sure SPF 100 won't do much good here: two teen girls who fell asleep while (apparently) sunbathing in the middle of a road had to be taken to a hospital after getting hit by a car. Bonus: it was the cousin of one of the girls who ran them over. Just when you thought teenagers couldn't get any dumber...

Posted by scott at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)
Those Wacky Italians

Another day, another genuinely bizarre concept car from an Italian design house. Built on an Alfa platform, natch. Something you can always count on is Italian designs setting trends that echo throughout automotive styling (remember the Testa Rossa's giant strakes?), but I just can't see what, or how, that jalopy will set a trend. But I've been wrong before.

Posted by scott at 08:48 AM | Comments (0)
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

An Australian billionaire has announced the intention to build "Titanic-II." Billed as the ultimate "retro-mod," the ship is meant to be externally identical to the original, albeit with a proper number of lifeboats. It's not clear just how faithful the interior design will be, since the demand for rustic six-to-a-cabin 3rd class bunking has rather declined in the past 100 years.

Posted by scott at 06:40 AM | Comments (0)
Quick! To Craigslist!

Yours, cheap: a Navy contractor is looking to sell an innovative prototype stealth ship. That thing must've spawned half a dozen documentaries back in the 90s. Seems a bit of a shame it's going to be turned into razor blades, but them's the breaks, sometimes.

Posted by scott at 06:29 AM | Comments (0)
April 29, 2012
Our First Foster Baby of 2012


We call him "Mr. Sparkle Pants". Nothing about his hind end sparkles. Ever.

Posted by Ellen at 07:39 PM | Comments (1)
Foster Mice


You all *thought* I just fostered kittens! Last year it was a squirrel, this year we have mice. SEVEN of them.

Don't worry. I tell Olivia not to wash her hands after handling them. How else are you supposed to not have allergies against your pets? Get dirty!



Posted by Ellen at 07:36 PM | Comments (0)
April 28, 2012
Mamma, What Is It?

It seems kids of all sorts have no idea what to make of a peacock. Nice to see a giant-sized freak-out, too. On kittens, it's cute but not as impressive.

Posted by scott at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)
Out of the Dark

Confirmed: those boxed up Spitfires buried in Burma are going to be dug up. While I very strongly doubt they're even vaguely close to "perfect" condition, even as spares they're likely fantastically valuable. It'd be nice to think they just need to be screwed together, though.

Posted by scott at 10:12 AM | Comments (0)
April 27, 2012
Fun with Simon

Ellen's long forgotten what it's really like to have kittens old enough to cause genuine trouble. Fortunately, I have a good memory.

Posted by scott at 08:43 AM | Comments (0)
April 26, 2012
Yeah, They're Totally Enlightened

A series of reforms in Egypt makes it legal for a husband to have sex with his dead wife for up to six hours after death. Remember how Bill Engvall made fun of stupid signs because you knew people were doing them? Yeah, about that.

Can I get a, "EWWW GROSS!!!" around here?

Posted by Ellen at 06:01 PM | Comments (0)
Ouch Ouch Ouch

It's all fun and games until someone tries to bite your willy off. I'm calling shenanigans on this one. I've been in my fair share of arguments with ladies over the years, and at no point has it ever happened that they've gotten close enough to my bits to be a danger.

Posted by scott at 12:28 PM | Comments (0)
Head Time

Anthropologists studying a primitive tribe in New Guinea have discovered a mathematical construct thought of as basic and innate, isn't. They also discovered a different way of expressing the concepts of past, present, and future. Me, I've seen what New Guinea looks like in movies. The place is an absolute staple of cultural anthropology studies. It was one of the reasons I realized I had no desire to become a cultural anthropologist.

Posted by scott at 09:40 AM | Comments (0)
April 25, 2012

An Indian teenager has managed to get the marriage her parents arranged for her when she was 1 annulled. Remarkably, this is thought to be the first time such a thing has happened. But remember, it's always very important to respect and not judge other cultures. Except, you know, the Western ones.

Posted by scott at 03:33 PM | Comments (0)
Explain THAT One To Your Doctor

Members of a boy band touring Australia may end up getting a shot from the clap. Kicker: if they did get it, they got it from a Koala. I'll be damned. Even the cute-and-cuddly critters in Australia are actively trying to kill people.

Posted by scott at 02:22 PM | Comments (0)
Dress Time

Now this sort of recycling I can support: a young lady is using all sorts of off-beat materials to make prom dresses. Article includes "the best things in life are illegal" picture goodness, too! Totally SFW.

Posted by scott at 01:19 PM | Comments (0)
Happy 44th Birthday Scott!


Now we offered to take him to dinner tonight, instead he wants BLT's. We can do that!

XXOO more each day!

Posted by Ellen at 11:18 AM | Comments (4)
Snowball Fight!

Saturn space probe Cassini has spotted snowballs the size of city blocks bashing their way through that planet's rings. The discovery was accidental, the result of a "last look" through the data, and should help in understanding not only how Saturn's rings work, but also how any disk of debris may behave in space. You know, like how planets form, that sort of thing.

Posted by scott at 08:38 AM | Comments (0)
Redneck Zoo

Having covered all other news stories, the Daily Mail would like you to know there are poor people in eastern Kentucky. The fact is that this isn't a helluva lot different than the poor section of any other small Southern town. I know because I grew up in and around a bunch of them. I'd also wager somewhere nearby will be nice houses.

Posted by scott at 06:25 AM | Comments (0)
April 24, 2012
~ Showing the Future, the Past ~

I recognize where she's been, and I'm a little scared about how fast she's going: a dad videotaped his daughter once a week for twelve years, and then knitted together one heckuva time-lapse film.

Posted by scott at 03:24 PM | Comments (0)
You're Doing it Wrong

An actor portraying Judas in a passion play in Brazil accidentally died during a suicide scene. I've always been a bit squeamish about those sorts of scenes for precisely this reason. Were I an actor, I'm not sure I could be convinced of the safety of something that dramatic.

Posted by scott at 09:03 AM | Comments (1)
April 23, 2012
2012 Talent Show Video

Posted by scott at 08:51 PM | Comments (2)
2012 School Talent Show


On stage. By herself. Will she get on stage with me? No.

Posted by scott at 08:08 PM | Comments (0)
The Constitution, for Dictators

So you want to become dictator of the most powerful nation on the planet? That's a great idea! Let's take a look at that with which you must put up:

  1. It is illegal to rule by decree. You cannot simply "make it so." The military will not abide it. You must use laws.
  2. Laws are created by two mobs, a small one made up of the rich and pliable, and a large one made up of the rich and unpredictable.
  3. The mobs are intensely jealous of each other, and inside each mob there's another division of jealousy and power struggle.
  4. The mobs are responsible for giving you the money you need to do anything.
  5. The membership of the mobs changes regularly. The entire membership of the larger mob can change completely every two years.
  6. A squad of twelve completely unaccountable old people can invalidate any law at any time. They can only be replaced when they die.
  7. Most of the power your position has gained since the place was set up comes from an uneasy set of agreements between the two mobs and the old people. The old people in particular could at any moment severely restrict your powers, and those of the mobs, at any time.

But wait! There's more!

Every single citizen is able to:

  1. With very broad limitations, publish as many copies of whatever seditious nonsense they can dream up whenever they want, join cults, and bother you with demands any time they please.
  2. With very broad limitations, own as many guns as they please.

As dictator, you cannot:

  1. Put troops in the houses of malcontents to keep an eye on them.
  2. Shoot troublemakers on the spot.
  3. Toss malcontents into prison until they rot and/or agree with your decrees.
  4. Try citizens secretly using a group of your buddies to ensure the correct outcome.
  5. Separate them from their money by decree or secret trial.
  6. Torture people
  7. Set their bail so high nobody can pay it.

Even worse:

  1. If a custom or tradition of the people suddenly becomes inconvenient, you can't do anything about it even if it's not specifically protected.
  2. If you think up a new way to gain control of the people, you can't automatically use it just because it's not specifically prohibited.

And that was just to start. Later on, it was decided you can't:

  1. Talk your dictator friend in the next country into suing troublemakers.
  2. Enslave anyone
  3. Exclude the ignorant, troublesome, or revolutionary using easy-to-spot differences.
  4. Exclude women
  5. Rule as dictator for more than ten years at a time.

No, really, that's what you have to put up with if you want to be the dictator of the most powerful country in the world. Really! No, it's actually not a brand-new country, it's the oldest continuously-functioning one currently in existence. It is! I am not making that up! How am I supposed to know how they keep it all from descending into chaos?

No, the last time countries run by "real" dictators tried to cause them trouble they enabled a DIFFERENT dictatorship to help them defeat one, and then nuked the other one. Yes, really! Using these very rules, they managed to stay together until that last dictator died and the system he ran collapsed. It took fifty years! Do you really think I'm smart enough to make something like that up?

Yes, it's possible to use terror to cause them trouble, but they hunted the last guy who managed to pull that off for ten years before they found him, and shot him dead inside a compound built for him by the friends of a different dictator, not even one mile away from the military academy of that dictator's army.

Yeah, ok, I see your point. I don't think it would be very much fun being a dictator of that place, either.

This is what we do. This is what we are. This is how most of the rest of the world's leaders, hell most of the rest of the world's men, see us. We are an impossible contradiction and a threat to their stability. We give up to our own leaders only what we want them to have. We can, and will, take it back.

Posted by scott at 02:37 PM | Comments (0)
On The Way

I thought that annoyed guy with a pitchfork, horns, and a parka with snow on it looked familiar... Alfa seems to be definitely-for-real-not-kidding-this-time on its way to the US. I'm not all that surprised. All those folks who built free-standing Fiat dealerships weren't doing so because the 500 would be such a money maker. The 500 was the wedge car, but Alfa will be where the money is.

Posted by scott at 06:30 AM | Comments (0)
I'm Not Saying It's Aliens...

A meteor so bright it was visible in broad daylight recently streaked through California's skies. Came close enough for the sonic boom to be pretty loud, according to the article. I guess it's better than an earthquake.

Posted by scott at 06:25 AM | Comments (0)
April 20, 2012

IBM has announced a lightweight battery with an energy density approaching that of gasoline. This "air breathing battery" uses atmospheric oxygen and new lithium composites to create a reversible reaction that produces electricity. They're going on and on about green cars, but that's not really important. The really important question is, "what will the implications be for radio controlled helicopters when the batteries shrink to 1/10th their current size? Priorities, people. Priorities!

Posted by scott at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)
Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Posted by scott at 09:02 AM | Comments (1)
Anomaly Solved

Thanks to help from the Planetary Society, the mystery of the "Pioneer anomaly" has been solved. The solution isn't new, but the analysis is. It seems it all boils down to the thing being hot on one side and REALLY cold on the other. Physics is weird.

Posted by scott at 06:39 AM | Comments (0)
Holy Crap!

And now, a spider big and ambitious enough to take down a tree snake. With pictures! Fortunately Ellen (so far) doesn't want one. Not that she could have it. I'm actually very pleased this is an Australian native. I'm thinking that's JUST far enough away.

Posted by scott at 06:31 AM | Comments (0)
April 19, 2012
Girl's Gotta Make a Living

Yeah, I think I'd probably be a little surprised, too: a man watching porn "for the first time" discovers his wife is the star. And that's just the first story. You get to guess where this is all happening, with the hint: the first guy is identified as "Ramadan." Hey, it's in the newspaper! It's gotta be true!

Posted by scott at 01:46 PM | Comments (0)
Begun, the Dog War Has

All those people who took that "Romney mistreats his dog" story are pleased to be calming down now. I like the inevitable reply site even better!

Posted by scott at 09:27 AM | Comments (0)
April 18, 2012
Wild Cats- The Homeless Domestics of Washington DC

A friend of mine made her thesis on the stray cats of DC!

This short documentary examines the effects of feral cat overpopulation on the local community of Washington, D.C. Growing numbers of homeless cats nationwide have led to the existence of outdoor cat colonies, many of which are fed by area residents. Over 300 feral colonies are monitored by the Washington Humane Society in the District of Columbia alone. Feral cats’ excellent hunting abilities have put pressure on native and migratory bird populations, and their exponential reproduction has overwhelmed local adoption centers. The efficiency of current Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) programs, which aim to sterilize the cats, has been debated as a viable method of curbing population growth.

Many drastically different solutions have been proposed, though all parties agree on one idea- feral cats should not exist. Whether we choose to protect or eliminate these animals humanely, it is first the responsibility of the pet owner to have cats spayed/neutered and kept indoors.

See the film.

Posted by Ellen at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)
Your Thought for the Day

Harsh? Yes. Do I agree completely? Yes.

And, whoa, what a throwback moment to realize Kennedy is reading the news again. She looks pretty good IMO!

Posted by scott at 10:57 AM | Comments (0)
Final Homecoming


Olivia's school was briefly let out just to see the Shuttle land. I wasn't able to make it, but I'm very glad she was. Sometimes it's a GOOD thing to have a school next door to an airport.

Posted by scott at 06:37 AM | Comments (0)
I Shall Call It, "Doobernay"

Having solve all other sommelier-related problems, California vinters have quietly expanded marijuana-laced wine production. I dunno. Just doesn't seem like it would taste all that good. Then again, I have a suspicion that taste is not exactly the point.

Posted by scott at 06:31 AM | Comments (0)
Not the Brightest Bomb in the Bunch

A mid-level member of the Taliban has decided to cut out the middleman and turn himself in for the reward. Unfortunately that word does not mean what he thinks it means, and "arrestilarity" has ensued.

Posted by scott at 06:22 AM | Comments (0)
Faux-Be Beef?

I guess that "Kobe burger" I ate a few months back at a fancy brew pub was just a lying cow. I wish the author had spent less time hyperventilating under his foil hat and more time on why there has been no importing of Japanese beef for the past two years. Sniffs of a trade war, but his own link to the USDA site doesn't work.

Posted by scott at 06:16 AM | Comments (0)
April 17, 2012
Dead Meat

Now I have another reason to avoid those sample trays. Well, aside from the fact that Olivia tends to clean them out before her parents even realize they're there. As a recovering picky eater, I avoid them just on general principles for the most part.

Posted by scott at 03:35 PM | Comments (0)
The Opression Inherent in the System

Ah! I get it now! Since your side is *for* big government, slut shaming is A-OK. Whatever it takes to make sure we're not paying attention to the economy, I guess.

Posted by scott at 02:44 PM | Comments (0)
April 16, 2012
I'm Not Saying It's Aliens, But...

The largest civilian Earth-observation satellite ever flown has suddenly fallen silent. It's already doubled its expected mission life, so it's not like the thing has any depreciating left to do. Here's to hoping it's either too high to re-enter the atmosphere, or too fragile to survive it.

Posted by scott at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)
Skool Daze II

And the NFL's latest attempt to curb unruly fan behavior is... to make them take a course about it. I always wondered if anyone could come up with a course more useless than the ones the state forces you to take to get out of a traffic ticket. I now have my answer.

Posted by scott at 12:08 PM | Comments (0)
I See What You Did There

Like they say: images matter. Sadly, the media's already playing down this particular unforced error. Me, I'm puzzled. Prostitution is legal in Columbia, and presumably even Secret Service agents get time off, even on assignment. If no laws were broken and this wasn't done on company time, what's all the fuss really about?

Posted by scott at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)
It's the Crimson Chin!

Boobs? Boobs are so common, darling. What you really want is a bigger chin. Yes, chin. Just when you thought women couldn't get any more incomprehensible...

Posted by scott at 06:23 AM | Comments (0)
April 15, 2012
Crabby Computer

Japanese scientists have discovered a computer could be built using crabs. Yes, crabs. No, not THOSE crabs, the kind you turn into crab cakes. Although I bet this kind would itch, too.

Posted by scott at 01:50 PM | Comments (0)
April 14, 2012
Bird Count

By using a novel technique involving high-resolution satellite imagery, scientists have determined nearly twice as many emperor penguins live in the Antarctic than previously thought. Hey, can't go wrong with more penguins, ya know? As long as they don't suddenly start dancing to Prince or anything.

Posted by scott at 03:48 PM | Comments (0)
Was That Wrong? Should They Not Do That?

A dozen Secret Service agents have been suspended, the cause definitely might but might not involve Colombian hookers. If they look like Sofia Vergara, I can see how that might happen. That said, if they looked like SV they probably wouldn't be hookers.

Posted by scott at 08:40 AM | Comments (0)
April 13, 2012
Tiny Dancer

Posted by scott at 06:35 PM | Comments (0)
So That We May Know Them By Their Limping

Remember that whole, "ZOMG!!! The Republicans are gonna steal our ladyparts!!!" and "they have declared war on women!" stuff the liberals and progressives were going on and on and on about a few weeks ago? Yeah, they'll go real silent about that now, too. This is the election in which absolutely everything, everything, will be tilted toward the left. Exploiting unforced errors like this is the only way forward. It's good to see Romney's campaign is jumping up and down on this thing with both feet. A refreshing change from '08, is all I'm sayin'...

Posted by scott at 01:52 PM | Comments (0)
Hi! I'm Nadya Suleman and welcome to "This Old Cooch"

"AMCGLTD," we hear you ask, "is it possible to spruce up the ol' vah-jay-jay? It is awfully dark down there." Take heart, woman of deeply tanned nether regions, we're here to help! I know it'll take India a long, long while before they knock Japan off its king-of-weirdness pedestal, but gosh this is a darned good start.

Posted by scott at 12:13 PM | Comments (0)
Your Thought for the Day

Posted by scott at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)
Drunk Birds

I'll give her this, Courtney Love is entertaining when she falls off the wagon near a smart phone. Unfortunately her latest rant seems to be about as connected to reality as she is. It must be pretty tough when your own kid "divorces" you. I wonder if Dave can sue for libel? Probably wouldn't be worth the chaos. It usually doesn't pay to mess around with crazy.

Posted by scott at 08:10 AM | Comments (0)
April 12, 2012
Soopah Yacht

Pop quiz: boat, or starship? Looks very Enterprise-y to me, especially from the front. It doesn't really look like it could fit fifteen people comfortably. Must be bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Posted by scott at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)
On Pink

It would seem pink hasn't always been a "girl's color." Don't tell my mom. When she found out we were having a girl the pink was strong with her. When Olivia was finally born it looked like someone had detonated a 55 gallon drum of Pepto Bismol in her room. But it was worth it. You simply can't have too many onesies with a newborn.

Posted by scott at 08:35 AM | Comments (0)
Your Thought for the Day

Posted by scott at 06:33 AM | Comments (0)
Naked Vacuum

Sometimes, just sometimes, Texas can have a brilliant idea. Ok, probably not original to them, since I vaguely recall reading about something like this a few years ago. Still, I think the deal breaker would be... call it the selection. In other words, this isn't exactly a service I'd want from, say, Alice.

Posted by scott at 06:24 AM | Comments (0)
April 11, 2012
One More for the Road

Space.com is featuring a look at the Space Shuttle program's unsung heroes, the 747 transport aircraft. Not only were two 747s dedicated to the task, but another (presumably dedicated) bizjet-class aircraft was employed as a pathfinder. When cost is no object, objects tend to become costly.

Posted by scott at 12:59 PM | Comments (0)
Dead Photon Walking

Kevin T gets a no-prize that can walk two ways at once for bringing us the latest development in quantum computers. I can remember, back in the 80s, when people knew these sorts of effects existed but didn't know how to use them to transmit information. Last I heard, if anyone actually gets this stuff working the performance leap would represent a "significant discontinuity" in computer performance. Which, translated into regular-speak, means they can definitely be turned up to 11.

Posted by scott at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)
Ten Years Ago on AMCGLTD

Another installment of Saturn Follies discussed how battles with boredom were fought.

Posted by scott at 08:07 AM | Comments (0)
Big Pooch

The world's largest dog has been declared, a 230 pound great dane in Tuscon, Arizona. Unfortunately the big ones don't really last all that long, although George himself seems to be in good health. Ellen gives him another 1-2 years, while I think he's got 2-4. Good luck to them, anyway!

Posted by scott at 06:19 AM | Comments (0)
April 10, 2012
Your Thought for the Day

Posted by scott at 03:11 PM | Comments (0)
The Truth is Out There

Today's UFO story involves those clever bastards at NASA, again. I tell ya, if it's not faking up a moon landing it's covering up a GEM. We need to give these people more things to do.

Posted by scott at 01:38 PM | Comments (0)
Hot Dogizza

Those of you wondering what could ever top deep-fried Oreo cookies should prepare to be amazed. I wonder what sort of pan is required to make that work?

Posted by scott at 12:41 PM | Comments (0)
Ride Reviews

Now that they're getting close to an actual launch, the media are starting to pay more attention to a couple of space start-ups. The article covers the already pretty well-known SpaceX, but also includes a review of (to me at any rate) the less covered Orbital effort. Orbital's headquarters is just down the road from my house, at the end of the famous "Warp Dr."

Posted by scott at 06:46 AM | Comments (0)
April 09, 2012
Step By Step

The quest for the most complex Rube Goldberg machine has been completed. With video! These guys get to win because the folks at NASA get to build these kinds of things and then fling them off into space.

Posted by scott at 03:24 PM | Comments (0)
Boop Boop Boop BEEP

I really don't remember video games stinking this badly back in the day. Then again, I can remember spending a sleepless night waiting for Santa to bring us a Pong game. And playing it at 5 am in my pajamas just like it was yesterday, so I'm no real judge.

Posted by scott at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)
Fun in the Sun

Not just the kind that hangs in the sky, also the kind that is stored in a bottle. Ellen got big into the hole self-tanning thing that she claimed was needed for dance performances and such. Me, I'm pretty sure it was to make sure I got funny-looking tan lines on my hands.

Posted by scott at 12:55 PM | Comments (0)
Fancy Slipper

Every time I think I know about every Alfa ever made someone goes and finds a new one. That one reminds me a LOT of that new "shooting brake" Ferrari. Even Italians occasionally repeat themselves, it would seem. We had a lot of Canadians come down for the last national club meet I went to, but I didn't see that silver one anywhere.

Posted by scott at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)
Get 'em Out Alive

Looks like absolutely nobody got killed when that F-18 parked itself in an apartment complex in VA Beach. I still think when it's all said and done that it'll end up being the fault of the jet trying to inhale a couple of large birds.

Posted by scott at 06:52 AM | Comments (0)
To Boldly Go Where No Gambler Has Gone Before

Believe it, or not: real developers with real money were once really serious about building a full-sized Starship Enterprise in downtown Las Vegas. The sketches all make it look legit, but I kept checking the article, suspecting a late April Fools joke. The maintenance on something like that would've been fierce.

Posted by scott at 06:43 AM | Comments (0)

Today's UFO sighting comes courtesy of a plane flying over Seoul, Korea. This time it looks like a balloon to me. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure last time it looked like a balloon, as well. Those things do get around a lot, don't they?

Posted by scott at 06:25 AM | Comments (0)
April 08, 2012
Happy Easter From AMCGLTD!


Posted by Ellen at 09:38 AM | Comments (0)
Collapse Cause

Scientists seem to have figured out what's causing the worrying epidemic of "colony collapse" in honeybees. The culprit seems to be high fructose corn syrup, a common sort of bee food, made from crops treated with a specific sort of pesticide. This would seem to indicate a pretty straightforward fix.

Posted by scott at 08:49 AM | Comments (0)
April 07, 2012
What a Crappy Memorial

Looks like there's more than one weird, abandoned war memorial in the former Eastern Bloc. You'd think someone would care about these things. Then again, how many majestic Gothic churches have "horse barn/storage shed" in their resume? Hell, the Turks used the Parthenon as an ammo dump.

Posted by scott at 10:38 AM | Comments (0)
The Best a Spaceship Can Be... Briefly

Fans of steam punk and/or a certain cross-and-serpent should find this one-off vehicle worth a look. I'd read before that it was really hot to drive in, but I didn't understand this was because they'd actually enclosed the motor in the cockpit. Me, I'd be at least as worried about CO poisoning. True, compression was low and gasoline weak in those days, but it's not like they were concerned with emissions equipment.

Posted by scott at 08:05 AM | Comments (0)
April 06, 2012
He Put a STHPELL on me!

Sorry, can't help it, chicks coming out of anesthesia after wisdom tooth surgery are just funny. They must've changed the mix over the years, since (as I recall) all Ellen did was giggle a lot and claim they stole her tongue. When the drugs wore off, it wasn't as much fun any more.

Posted by scott at 02:45 PM | Comments (0)
Mirror's Glow

Despite having no magnetic field to speak of, it seems Venus has auroras after all. The key is how the solar wind interacts with its atmosphere, which may also explain a weird behavior exhibited by comets.

Posted by scott at 01:26 PM | Comments (0)
The Sound of Cultures Clashing

Tell me if you heard this one: a properly leftist Oxbridge Sloane Ranger gets saved by a dashing US actor, then tells everyone to shut up about it. Look, folks, getting embarrassed by the fuss we make over celebrities is as British as it gets. It's not like they have racks of tabloids that do nothing but obsess about the latest dress a pretty well-married lady wore. Oh... wait...

Posted by scott at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)
Sunken Samurai

US armed forces have sunk a Japanese ship in international waters. This is not a repeat from 1941. Looks like they did a real "Swiss cheese" number on it, too. Now that, my friends, is how you spend a day at the range.

Update: Video!

Posted by scott at 08:52 AM | Comments (0)
No, I Said Flashlight

Scientists have developed a flashlight-like device that uses plasma to quickly sterilize surfaces, including skin. Fortunately the plasma is cool enough not to damage skin. The device is powered by a 12 volt battery (must be custom, because it's too small for a car battery) and it's claimed it will cost less than $100 once in production. Better still, while plasma has been known to be an effective anti-bacterial, nobody's completely sure why.

Posted by scott at 06:33 AM | Comments (0)
April 05, 2012
Sinking Samurai

Chris W. gets Davey Jone's no-prize for bringing us news that the Coasties have officially disapproved of a derelict's shenanigans. People say shooting up a junker car is a great way to pass the time. I can't imagine how much fun doing the same to an abandoned freighter must be. Plus all that large-caliber auto-fire goodness!

Posted by scott at 02:55 PM | Comments (0)
I Sssee You

Yeah, that would make me want to turn around, too: a pilot declared an emergency when a snake appeared from behind the instrument panel of his plane. If Ellen were the pilot, the biggest problem would be air traffic controllers going deaf from all the "SQUEE!!!!" coming through the radio. Me? I'd be fine right up until it started crawling around on me. That would make the pucker factor go to at least 11.

Posted by scott at 01:40 PM | Comments (0)
A-Star is Born

A new radio telescope may finally allow astronomers to directly observe the object that's causing all manner of weird behavior at the center of our galaxy. Considering whatever it is is thought to be 4 million times more massive than our sun, yet is only 100 AUs in diameter (roughly twice the distance from Pluto's furthest point from the Sun). Cue the "it's aliens" meme picture...

Posted by scott at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)
That's Mister Cute n' Cuddly to You, Bub

Kevin T. gets a no-prize that's been teaching kids what cross-dressing means since 1940 for bringing us news of the discovery of one massive damned rabbit. Huge, and weird looking ta boot. It's thought this may be the first known example of "Foster's rule," which describes why large animals get small and big animals get large when they're trapped on an Island.

Posted by scott at 08:27 AM | Comments (0)

Scientists are trying to figure out why squirrels avoid rattle snakes by shaking their tail. I, for one, welcome our robotic nut-eating overlords.

Posted by scott at 06:23 AM | Comments (0)
April 04, 2012
Doom! The End of Days!!!

Ellen: "Scott! Can you turn it down for just a second? I can't find my cell phone!"

She had my phone on her head, trying to figure out where hers was.

Me, after pausing the music, in the sudden silence: "What, you're worried you won't find your external heart?"

"NO, you idiotic F---!!! That's my alarm! I won't wake up in time tomorrow."

"Ellen, I get up to go to the bathroom at 4 am, and you get up an hour later. You make jokes about it. You'll be fine."


"Ellen, it'll be fine!"


Me: "..."

No, really, that's exactly what she said. She made me turn my music off, and is wandering around like a maniac as I write this.

Posted by scott at 10:38 PM | Comments (0)
Down in a Hole

Steve U. will find out that In Soviet Russia, No-Prize Finds You for bringing us this look deep inside one of the USSR's most secret naval facilities. I'm not sure if that's a real submarine sitting on a pylon, or some sort of model. The scale is too weird for me to really figure out.

Posted by scott at 03:57 PM | Comments (3)
Maker's Mark

Scientists have discovered the first wooly mammoth carcass with obvious signs of those meddling kids. The carcass is so well preserved the tissue is still pink in some places, and the "strawberry-blonde" coat is still largely intact. Discovery Channel is funding the research, so we'll be looking forward to a show next year!

Posted by scott at 12:37 PM | Comments (0)
The Letter

"Dear Aunt Em: Hate you, hate Texas, took the dog, Love, Dorothy." I guess that, having no good trailer parks available, it decided to knock over a tractor-trailer park. Silly storm!

Posted by scott at 10:10 AM | Comments (0)
This Explains a Lot

Scientists have found evidence that "beer goggles" are real, and affect women's judgement more than men's. The standard line of thinking is that ancient humans invented intoxicants as an escape. With this evidence, I'm thinking it was probably more of a mating strategy.

Posted by scott at 08:16 AM | Comments (0)
Mommy Wha?!?

Having tried all other ways to get your attention about a book, ABC news has coined a new, predictable, title for it (SFW). This is probably the third or fourth full-length article I've seen about 50 Shades of Grey in as many weeks. I'm not sure who the author has hired as a publicist, but they're brilliant at it. Meh. I'm just not into the whole S&M scene. I'll just continue to wait on the next installment of my own favorite e-book.

Posted by scott at 06:55 AM | Comments (0)
April 03, 2012
I Was Told There Would Be an Earth Shattering Kaboom

A new research study has found that a massive explosion in the UK may have been made much worse by trees. Note to self: make sure the rocket fuel refinery is surrounded by pine trees. Even better, just tell the tree huggers to get a job and chop the damned things down. With video!

Posted by scott at 02:45 PM | Comments (0)
Rescue Bear

So, tell me if you've heard this one before: a man, a bear, and a cougar are walking through the woods... Actually, I think an equally likely story is mamma bear got startled by the mountain lion and did what startled mamma bears naturally do. In other words, if that'd been a deer (and the attack wasn't immediately fatal) the outcome would've essentially been the same. But, hey, I wasn't there, and if the old man thinks that bear decided to help him, I'm not going to contradict him.

Posted by scott at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)
A Job For Zombies

Posted by Ellen at 10:58 AM | Comments (0)
I Can Haz Print Teknahlojee?

No wonder Kodak is in trouble! They spent all their money figuring out how to print out cats! Fortunately it's only available at kiosks now. I'm in big trouble whenever the home version arrives. Well, I won't be, but Ellen will.

Yes, we're late. I had to go find it myself!

Posted by scott at 09:20 AM | Comments (0)
Quest for Fire

Scientists have discovered strong evidence that our ancestors were using fire some 300,000 years earlier than previously thought. The new evidence, found inside a cave in South Africa, pushes that time back to a million years ago, long before modern humans had evolved.

Posted by scott at 06:36 AM | Comments (0)
Flying Samurai

A Japanese trawler cut free by last year's tsunami has been found drifting off the west coast of Canada. The vessel is just one of the first, more prominent, bits of flotsam from the disaster to show up off the coasts of North America. Various other bits of junk, and probably a few more ships, are expected to make their way to shore over the next year.

Posted by scott at 06:24 AM | Comments (0)
April 02, 2012
A Galactic Sock

Scientists have found evidence of a supernova that turned the remaining stellar remnant literally inside-out. There's violence, and then there's violence.

Posted by scott at 06:00 PM | Comments (0)
Wi nøt trei fliiping øut in Sweden this yer?

Sometimes there's no improving the lede, again: Swedish twins go crazy, developsuperpowers, and kill a man; no drugs or explanation found. Very relevant, since that pilot who wigged out on that JetBlue flight is still very much in the news. At least he didn't manage to kill anyone, albeit it seems not from a lack of trying. Or, you know, "trei-ing."

Posted by scott at 02:23 PM | Comments (0)
~ Let's Fly Let's Fly Away ~

If the press release is to be believed, a flying car may be in your future. And I do mean press release... I guess it's called "PR Newswire" for a reason. No pictures and no word on how much it might cost, either. The FAA has a much lower-cost pilot's license for sports flyers, and that may be what it'll use. Me, I just think about what the Toll Road would be like if all those cabbies and soccer moms could fly, and I shudder a bit.

Posted by scott at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)
~ Walk Like an Eng-LISH-man ~

Another year, another set of tourists who discover rural England "miraculously" has dozens of villages that're precisely one day's walking distance apart. I guess there's still a big set of Americans who really don't understand that there was once a time when the only people who DIDN'T walk to get somewhere were the ones with the swords, and sometimes not even them. Carts were meant to be pulled by oxen who didn't walk any faster and the things that served as stagecoaches didn't much look the part, were expensive, and tended to mark you out as someone worth robbing. Silly tourists are silly.

Posted by scott at 09:21 AM | Comments (0)

Never underestimate the power of one kook: a man in Tennessee has single-handled built what is likely to be the world's tallest tree house. It's not clear from the article if it has all the amenities. I suspect not, otherwise he'd have to conform to who knows how many building codes. But I've been wrong about this sort of thing before.

Posted by scott at 06:22 AM | Comments (0)
April 01, 2012
A Very Hippo Squee!!

Adorable Harry the hippopotamus is no stick-in-the-mud when it comes to making friends with humans.

The six-day-old pygmy hippo calf is filling the time of his doting carers after being rejected by his mother at birth.

The 11lb baby was born last Thursday at a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa and requires round-the-clock care.

My head exploded with candy when I saw the pictures.
Posted by Ellen at 08:35 AM | Comments (0)