September 30, 2012

Sometimes it's a rejuvenation, other times things don't work out all that well. Me, I'm of the opinion stickin' needles in the face is generally a bad idea all around, but I'm a guy. I've never completely understood the lengths some women go to in an effort to look good.

Posted by scott at 07:16 AM | Comments (0)
September 28, 2012
Skeeter Fly

Excellent work! After "at least 15 years," a de Havilland Mosquito is in the air again. I could've sworn the CAF had one, at least back in the 70s, but I've slept since then so who knows? Bonus: It's going to be based in VA Beach. Road trip!

Posted by scott at 01:33 PM | Comments (0)
Your Thought for the Day

Posted by scott at 11:11 AM | Comments (0)
Check Your Work

This is why the marketing department should never be put in charge of anything: a new Motorola ad claiming Apple Maps can't find an address is using one that doesn't exist at all. It's Manhattan, too! Everyone knows the addresses there, right?

Posted by scott at 07:14 AM | Comments (0)

A small species of African mouse has a remarkable ability, not seen in any other known mammal. If it helps push us further down the "grow your own organs" path, I'm all for it.

Posted by scott at 07:05 AM | Comments (0)
September 27, 2012
The "Ick" Factor

Ok, I'll agree, when examined from a purely clinical point of view sex could be considered pretty gross. So I guess it's no surprise that someone went and figured out why most people actually aren't grossed out. That said, I would've been much happier with the headline "why women aren't grossed out by sex," because it's pretty clear that's what the study was actually trying to work out. Makes me wonder if they even bothered to ask men.

Posted by scott at 12:02 PM | Comments (0)
Bang a Drum

Shades of Spinal Tap: a band's drummer had a heart attack and died on stage. Yes, yes, it was a disco band, get yer hate all out first. At any rate, now that so many rock groups are approaching their... "golden years," I wouldn't be surprised to find this happening more and more often.

Posted by scott at 07:15 AM | Comments (0)
The British Are Coming!

And in the "people will complain about anything" file, we have a guy grousing about British words ending up in American English. It would've be nice to have a more comprehensive look at how the exchange goes both ways. As it reads, it seems like yet another invasion.

Us? We actually watch quite a few UK shows, and have been very long-time fans of Terry Pratchett. I'm actually surprised I don't use more "Britishisms" than I already do.

Posted by scott at 06:31 AM | Comments (0)
September 26, 2012
We're Number One!

Some things just deserve to be celebrated: by one (elaborate) metric, the US has the cheapest beer in the world. It'd be interesting to know if the super-cheep generic label BEER you can get in supermarkets artificially depressed the statistic.

Posted by scott at 07:18 AM | Comments (0)
Playin' With Your Head

And coming up on the outside of the "Weirdest Country in Asia Derby" we have perennial favorite... Japan! At least this seems to be temporary, but it IS Japan. I'm expecting to see middle-aged Asians with sagging brows in a few years if this trend catches on.

Posted by scott at 06:41 AM | Comments (0)
He Broke the Truck

Posted by scott at 06:06 AM | Comments (0)
September 25, 2012
Your Thought for the Day

Posted by scott at 03:48 PM | Comments (0)
Flat-Topped Dragon

The aircraft carrier China bought nearly fifteen years ago that could never-ever actually be turned into a working ship no matter how hard anyone tried is now on active duty. Of course, everyone is now certain that it'll never-ever be able to launch any aircraft or be otherwise useful. Me? Like I said before, the Chinese think short-term planning is something that's counted in decades. I will not be surprised one little bit if this thing is flinging aircraft into the sky before Olivia graduates high school.

Posted by scott at 12:03 PM | Comments (0)
A Helping Hand

A hospital in China is taking the problem of inadequate sperm donors seriously. Hands free! It's not completely clear to me if this is some sort of catheter thing or yet another "helping hand." Personally, it makes me think of one of those milking machines farmer use. To which I must say, no thanks!

Posted by scott at 06:46 AM | Comments (0)
Fish Circles

Crop circles? At the bottom of my ocean? It's more likely than you think! Determination and an OCD-like ability to focus can carry you quite a long way.

Posted by scott at 06:34 AM | Comments (0)
September 24, 2012
That's Not Good

Point taken: if you have a chance to avoid road debris, take it. Especially if you're in Russia. And what is it about Russia, anyway? Have they got some sort of requirement to have a dash cam in ever single vehicle on the road? That's what it seems like!

Posted by scott at 12:02 PM | Comments (0)
Fun with Beetles

Take one RC truck, screw an SLR camera on it, and add a big cover to "lion proof" it, and what do you get? Some really neat pictures! Even though the post is dated February, it looks like they still haven't completed their documentary project. Here's to hoping they finish it soon!

Posted by scott at 06:50 AM | Comments (0)
What a Guy

I'll take fake explosives and a party dress, for the win! The perpetrator was experiencing "mental issues?" You don't say!

Posted by scott at 06:25 AM | Comments (0)
September 22, 2012

A new genetic study is implying we only left Africa after a single mutation allowed our ancestors exploit plants as food more effectively. Which the author of the article naturally turns into "become vegetarian," because after that it's quite obvious we all turned to plants as our exclusive source of food, right?

Posted by scott at 08:42 AM | Comments (0)
September 21, 2012
Oooh... Scary...

Nothing like creeping around in basements and staring in dark windows to prep you for the Halloween season. Promise: No shrieking masks or other "boo!" scares, so you can leave the volume at a normal level.

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

SpaceX's Dragon capsule will be making it's first-ever for-real cargo run to the space station in not quite two weeks' time. It seems like a lot to go through to haul up half a ton of stuff, but nobody said rocket science was cheap. Plus, it'll give their team more information to put toward the manned version of the capsule, which is a good thing.

Posted by scott at 12:31 PM | Comments (0)
Shine On, You Crazy Beer

FOIA work at its finest: the hard-hitting journalists at NPR used the Freedom of Information Act to get the details of a top-secret government project. Not news, right? News: to see if beer would be safe to drink after a nearby nuclear blast. I tend to agree with the author. It seems pretty obvious at this distance but back then nobody knew anything about radiation, and I'd want to know, too!

Posted by scott at 06:58 AM | Comments (0)
You're Doing it Wrong

Most car jackers use guns, knives, and other weapons. And then there's this guy. "Influenced by an unknown substance." You don't say?

Posted by scott at 06:52 AM | Comments (0)
September 20, 2012
Stealth Dragon

China seems to be really, actually serious about fielding a stealth fighter. Of course, being serious about it is nowhere near the same thing as actually getting it. Still, when a country's leadership has a tendency to think in decades instead of elections, anything's possible. There's a reason Japan's been trying to talk us into selling them F-22s all this time, ya know?

More pictures are here...

Posted by scott at 12:31 PM | Comments (0)
Ice Ice Baby

Now, aren't you glad the main stream media has made such a big deal of the Antarctic ice sheets setting a new record? What's that? The record is for MOST amount of ice? Oh. Ok. Nevermind.

Truth be told, I actually don't disagree with the basic premise that human behavior is changing the planet's weather. What I disagree with is using this as an excuse to ram a thinly disguised collectivist agenda down our throats as a "solution."

Posted by scott at 06:34 AM | Comments (0)
Pebble Glow

Coming to a pavement near you: the ultimate in "eco friendly lighting". Funny, I seem to remember things like this going back to the '70s. Maybe they've got a new formulation? I don't remember those old glow-in-the-dark things lasting all that long.

Posted by scott at 06:02 AM | Comments (0)
Wuv, Twoo Wuv...

Sometimes it's hard to improve on the Fark headline: Man arrested for doing something that we've all contemplated at some point. But that's never happened to me. Nope, not at all. My story, let me show you it...

Posted by scott at 05:45 AM | Comments (0)
September 19, 2012
XKCD, 20k Feet Edition

Those of you who, like me, got tired of scrolling around a whole lot of nothing with today's XKCD comic may find this helpful. Slashdot's calling it the world's biggest web comic ever. Not sure I can disagree with that.

Posted by scott at 04:40 PM | Comments (0)
This Isn't the Economy You're Looking For

It looks like they're really starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel to get all the undecideds not to notice the huge unemployment numbers, sky-high prices, and flash-fried ambassadors: The Obama administration is emphatically denying any plans to invade Canada. I dunno. You all do realize that something like 80% of the population of Canada lives just a few hours away from our border, right?

Posted by scott at 04:34 PM | Comments (0)
Sail On

Answering questions I didn't know anyone was asking: why aircraft carriers are so useful, and likely always will be. I'm still amused at how the MSM accepted the "no no, we're turning it into a casino" line the Chinese were handing out when they towed theirs out of the Black Sea. Nowadays? Not so much.

Posted by scott at 07:01 AM | Comments (0)

It turns out elephants sleep laying down. At least, those elephants slept lying down, and now the zoo has (temporary) proof. Ellen probably wishes I slept that still.

Posted by scott at 06:45 AM | Comments (0)
September 18, 2012
Floor Fun

Steve U. gets a no-prize fit for an emperor for bringing us news of the discovery of an "enormous" Roman-era mosaic in southern Turkey. What's not widely understood nowadays is how much closer that part of the world was to Rome back then. It's always important to keep in mind that the Mediterranean was not bisected by religion in this period. It was a bowl, not a folded piece of paper.

Posted by scott at 01:49 PM | Comments (0)
Retiring the Taxi

Everyone is justifiably making a big deal about the Space Shuttles being retired, but very few people have given much thought to the 747s that will soon be out of a taxi job, until now. It's the first time I'd ever seen any pictures of the inside of one, especially the early one that's been in service for more than forty years. With a first class unheated cabin I can understand why it may not have been particularly popular as a crew transport. It's a shame that it's likely boneyard bound, but without the mission I guess it's not much more than an obsolete, half-stripped cargo plane.

Posted by scott at 12:36 PM | Comments (0)
Paging Montgomery Scott, White Courtesy Phone Please

New tests of different geometric shapes has revealed that warp drive may not be as impossible as once previously thought. If I'm reading it correctly, it's still far more energy than we can easily generate nowadays, but at least it's not requiring the conversion of an entire large planet to work.

Posted by scott at 06:53 AM | Comments (0)
Surf Towers

If a new documentary is to be believed, the rumors about someone actually surfing the wreckage of one of the World Trade Center towers as it collapsed are true. What seems inarguable is that the guy was one of a very, very few who survived right at Ground Zero. It was, almost by definition, a confusing, terrible event. If he thinks he survived it by surfing, who am I to contradict him?

Posted by scott at 06:38 AM | Comments (0)
September 17, 2012

Spies have finally gotten a look at what Robocop will look like in the upcoming remake. I think it looks mighty plain, but the single human hand is interesting. The article says there will be changes to the character as the movie progresses, so here's to hoping it looks a little more interesting at the end. And here's to hoping it doesn't suck!

Posted by scott at 03:44 PM | Comments (0)
A Specific Sort of White Christmas

Steve U gets a no-prize so cold even Santa won't touch it for bringing us news that NASA scientists are reporting the first firm sightings of CO2 snow on Mars. Unlike the more conventional stuff found at higher latitudes on Earth, this is the actual atmosphere of the planet freezing and precipitating out. The mechanisms help explain what makes Mars' north pole tick, but exactly how the more permanent formations at the south pole work remain a mystery.

Posted by scott at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)
Your Thought for the Day

Posted by scott at 09:14 AM | Comments (0)
Chicks... in... Space...

A record-setting female astronaut has become only the second woman in 14 years to command the International Space Station. In other news, they're still stuck with just three crewmen per on the thing. SpaceX can't get its dragon capsule going fast enough, is all I'm saying.

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

And I thought the town I grew up in was remote: a Chinese village of 200 can only be reached by a "rope bridge" over a chasm nearly 1000 feet deep. From the article, it seems like it started out a rope bridge, but now is made of cable. Because that makes it so much safer. Right.

Posted by scott at 06:23 AM | Comments (0)
September 14, 2012
Game Show Fun

Some of them are incredibly well-known, but I'd never seen most of them. I loves me some game shows!

Posted by scott at 04:27 PM | Comments (0)
Tiny Things

Scientists working at IBM have announced the ability to image molecules in such detail that the properties of atomic bonds can be made out. The measurements are so sensitive even vibrations from temperature differences must be removed, and so they're taken at -268C, which is... really cold... in Fahrenheit. And then it gets REALLY complicated.

Posted by scott at 03:38 PM | Comments (0)
When Increments Attack

Posted by scott at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)
Now That's a Partnership

A Vietnamese car wash owner got busted for a particularly original "customer loyalty" plan. I guess women in Vietnam don't really get their car washed all that often. And by "car washed," I bloody well mean CAR WASHED. Stop giggling. Geeze, you'll pass out!

Posted by scott at 06:59 AM | Comments (0)
This Time, with Sound

Posted by scott at 06:51 AM | Comments (0)

A scientist is using a 7000 year-old technology discovered by ancient Egyptians to put the finishing touches on his new 3D ceramic printing technology. Right now it seems to turn everything an, admittedly nice, bluish color, which may limit the appeal. Then again, that's just engineering, so if the thing takes off I can't help but think the color limitation will go away.

Posted by scott at 06:41 AM | Comments (0)
Well Why the Hell Not

Taiwan is celebrating its first same sex Buddhist wedding. This is one of those edge issues that my libertarianism causes me to act in unexpected ways. Since this is a) (presumably) legal, b) they are (presumably) paying their taxes, and c) most definitely not on my lawn, I'm fine with it. None of my business, hope the best for them. Some may disagree, even strongly, but that's cool too.

Posted by scott at 06:31 AM | Comments (0)
Your Thought for the Day

I guess it says more about me, that this reminds me of so man of my friends.
Posted by scott at 06:24 AM | Comments (0)
September 12, 2012
Long Live the King

British archeologists have announced they've discovered what they believe to be a strong candidate for the bones of Richard III. He was buried in a church near the field where he fell, but, like most monastery churches of the era, it was razed with its location long forgotten. The remains are consistent with contemporary descriptions of the king, although (predictably) nothing like the exaggerated descriptions found in Shakespeare's play.

Posted by scott at 06:54 PM | Comments (0)
Chrome Fruit

Introducing the world's shiniest fruit, according to a new press release somewhere, at any rate. I think they look like a cross between ball bearings and grapes. Apparently it's an adaptation to the local birds' fascination with shiny objects. Which tells me someone needs to get these things into a jewelry store right away.

Posted by scott at 12:38 PM | Comments (1)
Charity Ride

I'm participating in my very first charity bicycle ride, and need your help! Please visit my ride site and donate to this worthy cause! Every little bit helps!

Posted by scott at 09:06 AM | Comments (0)
Breakin' da Ice

Russia's at it again, this time with a new, larger, nuclear powered ice breaker. When the majority of the coastline of your country lies above the arctic circle, ice breakers become much more important. Bonus: Commerce, and therefore, life is improving in the area because the ice is retreating.

Posted by scott at 08:37 AM | Comments (0)
I Can Haz Riches?

When dogs are involved, the meme is "humiliate my dog." When cats are involved? Not quite the same result. I didn't find the pictures all that funny because around here, we call that "Tuesday."

Update: link fixed!

Posted by scott at 07:27 AM | Comments (1)
Unlock My Love

A two thousand year-old bridge is being harassed by a six year-old custom and since this is Italy it's a freaking mess to get anything done about it. They sorta look like barnacles to me. You'd think a security camera and a couple of cops would be all that's needed to fix this problem, but then you'd still be forgetting this was Italy

Posted by scott at 07:05 AM | Comments (0)
September 11, 2012
Dusty Pennies

This has got to be one of the most distant coins in the solar system. Something tells me the guys working the mint that day in 1909 would have no inkling one of the thousands of coins they created would end up on Mars. Kind of nice that it did, I think.

Posted by scott at 03:24 PM | Comments (0)
Jupiter Go Boom

Amateur astronomers have captured images of yet another... something... careening into Jupiter. As with everything else that's hit it lately, what damage there may be won't be long lasting. I blame the 1%.

Posted by scott at 12:51 PM | Comments (0)
Arguments, Like Hope, Spring Eternal

It's nice to know not much has changed in the past eleven years: the 9/11 museum, delayed for months due to arguments over cost, is set to resume construction after a new deal has been reached. Sometimes I wonder how we ever get anything done over all the arguing.

Posted by scott at 07:05 AM | Comments (0)
We Can Remember it For You Wholesale

Neuroscience graduate students have discovered a technique that allows them to imprint short term memories directly onto a brain. For now, at least, it's done with hapless rat brain tissue, and it's not completely clear exactly what a living creature would experience "remembering" these things. Frankenmemories!

Posted by scott at 06:56 AM | Comments (0)
My Kind of Purse

The Swedes may have invented it, but leave it to Australia to popularize it: a new style of wine box may see women leaving behind their giant sacks of crap to carry something really important. Yeah, I know, that's not gonna happen, but it's fun to think about it. Oh, and "goon sack?"

Posted by scott at 06:35 AM | Comments (0)
September 10, 2012
Tick Tock

Not content with the European Union kicking Greece in the nuts every few months, it looks like God is going to let nature have a few goes as well. Still, magma building up under Santorini is not the same as Santorini going kerplooey. Heck, it may even make trips over there cheaper. I think I'll give touring that specific island a pass, thought.

Posted by scott at 03:18 PM | Comments (0)
Tablet R Us

Toys R Us has announced a tablet computer geared specifically for children. I'm not too sure about this one. By the time Olivia was old enough to really "get" how a computer worked, she was mature enough to take care of an actual full-sized one Well, by "take care" I guess I really mean "takes as good care of one as Ellen does." Which means proving again and again that laptops can be stepped on regularly without doing lots of harm. There's a reason half the price of any laptop Ellen has is warranty. And don't get me started on her phones...

Posted by scott at 03:14 PM | Comments (0)
Blue Peek

Has NASA inadvertently "outed" the secretive spaceflight company Blue Origin? I'm thinking "no." That capsule's outline looks really similar to a Soyuz capsule to me. I'm thinking "prop," but hell what do I know?

Posted by scott at 07:02 AM | Comments (0)
Dumbass, Indeed

Hey, did you know using a car to spin up a playground turntable might be dangerous? Since he was 20, I'm thinking he probably didn't leave behind a family, but since it's Germany that's not guaranteed. I haven't sen the video. I wonder if he wore a helmet?

Posted by scott at 06:56 AM | Comments (0)
September 08, 2012
Well Hello There

It's nice to know it doesn't just happen to me: after visiting a national park, a South African couple discovered an unexpected guest tried to hitch a ride home with them. Fortunately all involved walked away fine. I guess the only real difference would be Ellen trying to talk everyone into letting her take it home.

Posted by scott at 06:04 AM | Comments (0)
September 07, 2012
Mighty Bird

A NASA team recently completed a successful untethered test of its Might Eagle autonomous lunar lander recently, and has the pictures to prove it. Bonus: the test took place around test stands originally used for Saturn V engine development.

Posted by scott at 10:20 AM | Comments (0)
New Kindling

Amazon has announced details of their upcoming new Kindle models. I got one for Christmas last year, and haven't bought a print book since. The self-publishing model has inspired me to take a crack at writing a novel, too. Watch this space for future details.

Posted by scott at 06:30 AM | Comments (0)
Sleep Well Tonight

If the Daily Mail is to be believed, contact lens wearers are in a lot of trouble. I was always under the impression people were supposed to use a special cleaning solution instead of tap water. But, don't despair! Swimming in a pool supposedly exposes you, as well. Sensationalism? In my media? It's more likely than you think.

Posted by scott at 06:22 AM | Comments (0)
September 06, 2012
Spooky Distances

Scientists have announced a new distance record in transmitting quantum state information. I'm sure I'm getting this wrong, but I *think* it will mean we're one step closer to instantaneous communications that might be faster than the speed of light. Or some sort of confusing thing that'll put a cat in a box with a sandwich. HMmm... Sandwiches...

Posted by scott at 03:28 PM | Comments (0)
Fly Putin

F- golf, I want the president who flies an ultralight with geese trailing him. Well, yes, I guess Putin hasn't been particularly kind to civil rights and has turned Russia's media into a sycophantic blow horn for whatever he feels like scolding them about that day, but. Now, hang on. Remind me how this is different from Obama? Oh, that's right, Putin made the media act that way.

Posted by scott at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)
Your Thought for the Day

Posted by scott at 09:53 AM | Comments (0)
Ceres or Bust

NASA's Dawn probe has departed the asteroid Vesta and is now en route to the dwarf planet Ceres. Ceres was always highlighted on maps of the solar system when I was a kid, so I think it'll be cool to finally get real close-ups of the object. Oh, and am I the only one who wants to fine The Register $500 each time they use the word, "Boffin?"

Posted by scott at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)
September 05, 2012
Get the Sieve

You'd think this would happen more often: a Chinese visitor to a Sri Lanka gem exhibit has been arrested after being accused of swallowing a $13,000 diamond. Then again, who puts on an exhibit of gems that allows visitors to, you know, touch them and stuff? And it could've had a pointy bit on it, too. Ah, well. I wonder who's ticked off the chief of police lately? I think they're about to get a really crappy job.

Posted by scott at 04:40 PM | Comments (0)

What I want to know is, how many people let this one get by before it ended up in print? Back when I worked with a non-profit, I seem to remember several committee meetings with at least six people on each before something went to print. Yes, they were a bunch of prissy wannabes, but still.

Posted by scott at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)
Sunflowers, You Say?

An elderly German farmer apparently got the surprise of his life when authorities notified him what he thought were sunflower seeds had turned into marijuana plants. This supposedly happened after he tossed bird seed on the ground. If it's all true, and I am by no means sure it is, I predict a run on bird seed at every pet supply store in the US in 3... 2... 1...

Posted by scott at 12:01 PM | Comments (0)

McDonald's has announced plans to open the first two vegetarian McDonald's stores in India. The menu seems to be substituting potatoes for meat, but this is not much more than a press release so who knows? Hey, if it meets (ha!) a need, I'm all for it!

Posted by scott at 06:51 AM | Comments (0)
A Challenger Appears

Valve has kinda-sorta gone public with its intentions to enter the hardware market. The development cycle for the big 3's consoles seems to have gotten quite relaxed in the past few years. It'd be nice toss in a little competition now and again.

Posted by scott at 06:45 AM | Comments (0)
September 04, 2012
Smooth Foam

Sometimes tiny things can overturn large constructs. Like how three little photons are threatening to overturn entire classes of quantum gravity theory. I'm impressed they worked out how to probe Planck-scale phenomena without an infinitely powerful energy source. Controversial? Duh.

Posted by scott at 10:52 AM | Comments (0)
Paging Ray Stevens, White Courtesy Phone Please

Wandering around naked and scaring old people is no way to go through life, son. At least this time it wasn't some 300 lb. basket case on a scooter. Bonus: Woo pig, sooey!

Posted by scott at 08:28 AM | Comments (0)
September 03, 2012
Conversations That Only Happen In My House

"Oh, mom, that's a cute outfit! You should wear that for Halloween!"

"Get the hell out of here, Olivia! I'm not dressing up as a stewardess for Halloween."

And then the men in my neighborhood wept...

Posted by scott at 07:06 PM | Comments (0)

Now, I've gone on record several times that I think Apple's denizens can be a bit... overcommitted at times. But comparing the company to a character who cooks meth for a living, well, hang on a minute. That may not really be all that bad of analogy anyway. I mean, have you seen the people who go in and out of an Apple store lately?

Posted by scott at 10:07 AM | Comments (0)
Thanks For All the Marriages

Unification Church founder Reverend Sun Myung Moon has died. I can remember when, back in the 80s, this guy was a boogeyman of the MSM. He was gonna take over the world and make us all get married at once in a giant stadium, or something. Twenty years later, he's dead and last I checked people were still mostly getting married in modest private ceremonies. Believing what the MSM tells you tends to work out that way, I've found. Which is why I'm so glad they're covering this election!

Posted by scott at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)