October 31, 2005
All Souls' Day
The tusks that clashed in might brawls
Of mastadons are billiard balls.
The sword of Charlemagne the Just
Is ferric oxide, known as rust.
The grizzly bear whose potent hug
Was feared by all, is now a rug.
Great Caesar's bust is on the shelf
And I don't feel so well myself!
- Arthur Guiterman
BIG beer ad
It's the biggest one I've ever seen - and funny as well. Click the image to check it out. The site will want to install the Vividas Streaming player. Let it do that to get a full-screen view.
A traveling tale
A group of three lawyers and another group of three engineers were traveling by train to a conference. At the station, the three lawyers each bought a ticket and they watched as the three engineers bought only a single ticket.
"How are all three of you going to travel on only one ticket?" asked one of the three lawyers.
"Watch and you'll see," answered one of the engineers.
They all boarded the train. The lawyers took their seats but all the engineers crammed into a restroom and closed the door behind them. Shortly after the train departed, the conductor came around collecting tickets. He knocked on the restroom door and said, "Ticket, please."
The door opened just a crack and a single arm emerged with a ticket in hand. The conductor took it and moved on.
The lawyers saw this and agreed it was quite a clever idea. So after the conference, the lawyers decided to copy the engineers on the return trip and save some money. When they got to the station, they bought a single ticket for the return trip. To their astonishment, the engineers didn't buy any tickets at all.
"How are you going to travel without any tickets?" asked one of the perplexed lawyers.
"Watch and you'll see," said one of the engineers.
When they boarded the train, the three lawyers crammed themselves into a restroom and the three engineers crammed into another one nearby. The train departed.
Shortly afterward, one of the engineers left the restroom and walked over to the restroom where the lawyers were hiding. He knocked on the door and said, "Ticket, please."
An amusing Flash time-waster - click to play.
Via Dave Barry.
October 30, 2005
October 28, 2005
This is one of the best Flash ads I've ever seen. It's an unusually large clip, but it's also an unusually good one. Click the image to check it out.
I recently ran across this oldie in a book edited by Isaac Asimov. He relates this joke, saying Poul Anderson had told it to him.
An Englishman, a Frenchman, and a Russian were discussing the meaning of happiness.
The Englishman says, "My friends, let me give you my meaning by example. Imagine being astride a tall horse in the early dawn of a crisp fall morning. Imagine galloping over the fields, leaping the brooks and bushes, with hounds baying, and all in full pursuit of the fox. Imagine riding home at the end of the day with the tail, and then sitting in triumph before a roaring fire with a glass of fine whiskey in your hand. That is true happiness."
"Bah," says the Frenchman. "That, mon ami - if I may say so without offense - is but animal pleasure. Let me give you a better example. Imagine sitting in a cozy restaurant on the Left Bank, where the finest foods can be washed down with a splendid champagne in the company of a beautiful woman. Then, after dinner is done, you take your companion to your apartment - or hers - and make magnificent love to her all night. Now that is true happiness."
Then the Russian laughs throatily and says, "Ah, my dear man, that is only having a good time. Let me give you the best example of happiness. Imagine you have just come home from a hard day's work at the tractor factory and you have just seated yourself in your best armchair - the one with the shaky leg. Imagine you have your little son, Smetya, on your knee and have just opened your copy of Pravda, when there is a loud knock on the door. You open the door and three men in ill-fitting brown suits enter, look at you accusingly, and demand, 'Ivan Mikhailovitch Federov?!'. You answer, 'No, gentlemen. He lives two flights up.'
"That is true happiness."
Pink dot illusion
If your eyes follow the movement of the rotating pink dot, you will only see one color, pink.
If you stare at the black + in the center, the moving dot will turn to green.
Now, concentrate on the black + in the center of the picture. After a short period of time, all the pink dots will slowly disappear and you will see only a green dot rotating.
There really is no green dot and the pink ones really don't disappear.
A tip o' the hat to Lou.
A little googling found this page, which seems to be the source of this illusion. It's a recent addition to Michael Bach's collection of illusions.
This biology teacher at a women's school asked one of his students one day, "What organ of the human body can grow up to six times its normal size and what condition causes this change?"
The young lady blushed and replied, "I don't think that's a proper question and you'll hear from my parents about this."
So the teacher called on another student and she answered, "The pupil of the eye and the change is caused by dim light."
Then the teacher remarked to the first student, "Miss Campbell, I have three things to tell you. One, you weren't prepared for the lesson; two, you have a dirty mind; and three, you're in for a big disappointment."
October 27, 2005
The Gateway Arch at 40
The Arch in St. Louis was completed on October 28, 1965. This photo shows the keystone section being hoisted into place.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a collection of articles, profiles and photos here.
Historical note: for those not familiar with St. Louis, the white, domed building centered below the arch is the courthouse where the Dred Scott case was tried.
At the lumberyard
So these two carpenters hop in their pickup and drive down to the lumberyard. One waits in the truck while the other goes in. "I need 80 4-by-2's," the carpenter tells the counterman.
The guy at the counter looks at him and asks, "You mean you need 2-by-4's?"
"Wait, I'll check," the carpenter says and he goes out to the truck to check with his buddy. When he comes back in, he tells the counterman, "You're right; they're 2-by-4's. I want 80 2-by-4's".
"OK, then," the guys says. "So how long do you want them?"
"Just a minute," the carpenter says and he goes out to the truck again.
When he comes back he tells the counterman, "We're gonna need 'em for awhile... We're planning to build a garage with them."
Pumpkin carving contest
The Fat Triplets are hosting a Pumpkin Carving Contest at their site. It began this week and runs through Hallowe'en. (The image below is a carving one of the triplets made in 2003.)
I'm hoping there'll be some interesting images when the contest is over. If you decide to enter the contest, leave a comment so we can check out your entry.
At the ballpark
Bill and Hillary are at the White Sox-Astros World Series game 4. They're sitting in the first row, with the Secret Service people directly behind them. One of the Secret Service guys leans forward and whispers something to Bill. At first, Clinton stares at the guy, then looks at Hillary, then looks back at the agent and shakes his head "No."
The agent then says, "Mr. President, it was a unanimous request of the entire team... from the owner of the team down to the bat boy."
Bill hesitates. But he begins to change his mind when the agent tells him the fans would love it! So he shrugs his shoulders and says, "Well, OK, if that's what the people want..." Then he gets up, grabs Hillary by her collar and the seat of her pants, lifts her up, and tosses her right over the wall onto the field.
She gets up kicking and screaming, "Bill, you &!^$#@&*"
The crowd goes absolutely wild. Fans are jumping up and down, cheering, hooting and hollering, and slapping high-fives. Bill is bowing, smiling, and waving to the crowd. He leans over to the agent and says, "How about that? I'd never have believed how much everyone would enjoy that."
Noticing the agent has gone totally pale, Clinton asks what is wrong.
The agent replies, "Sir, I said they wanted you to throw out the first pitch."
October 26, 2005
When pumpkins go bad...
If it had been a snowman, you'd have been thinking of Calvin & Hobbes.
Reviews of the 100 Best Novels
Recently, Time magazine published its list of the 100 best novels (English-language novels, that is).
This post at The Morning News contains 1-star reviews from Amazon of some of those 100. They're pretty hilarious, in a completely-missed-the-point kind of way. Here's one of my favorites.
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)
Author: C.S. Lewis
“I bought these books to have something nice to read to my grandkids. I had to stop, however, because the books are nothing more than advertisements for “Turkish Delight,” a candy popular in the U.K. The whole point of buying books for my grandkids was to give them a break from advertising, and here (throughout) are ads for this “Turkish Delight”! How much money is this Mr. Lewis getting from the Cadbury’s chocolate company anyway? This man must be laughing to the bank.”
C.S. Lewis, that shameless huckster for Cadbury's: the man had no shame.
Two views of surviving Hurricane Rita (which both involve quantities of beer, surprisingly enough). Click either for a larger version.
Redneck Hurricane Survival Kit
Misc. other bottles of alcohol.........................check
Piece of plywood to float your old lady and booze on...check
October 25, 2005
New words for 2005
Some pretty good additions to this list (in addition to some older definitions).
Essential additions for the workplace vocabulary:
MOUSE POTATO The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.
SITCOMs Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids.
STRESS PUPPY A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.
SWIPEOUT An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because the magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.
IRRITAINMENT Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying but you find yourself unable to stop watching them. The Anna Nichol show or the Bachelor is a prime example.
PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE The fine art of whacking the heck out of an electronic device to get it to work again.
ADMINISPHERE The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.
GENERICA Features of the North American landscape that is exactly the same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls, subdivisions.
OHNOSECOND That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake.
WOOFYs Well Off Older Folks.
BLAMESTORMING Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.
SALMON DAY The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.
CUBE FARM An office filled with cubicles.
PRAIRIE DOGGING When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.
Anyone understand German?
I'd love to know what these people were saying in this clip about a "waterbed".
Video below the fold.
Tip o' the hat to Scott.
[WMV format. Save.]
Jesus and Moses are out playing golf. On the third hole, there's a water hazard. Jesus gets out a two iron and Moses says, "You'd better use a wood or it'll go in the water."
Jesus says, "Tiger Woods uses a two iron on this hole, so I'm sure I can." He hits the ball and, sure enough, it splashes into the water. Moses parts the water, walks out, and retrieves the ball.
"Now," he says, "use a wood."
"No way," Jesus replies. "If Tiger can use a two iron, so can I."
Again, the ball goes straight into the lake. As Jesus is walking around on the water looking for his ball, another golfer sees him and asks Moses in amazement, "Who does he think he is - Jesus Christ?"
Moses shakes his head sadly, "No... Tiger Woods!"
October 24, 2005
The Antikythera mechanism
"This kicks ass," says CodeWritinFool. Here's the lead; you can find the whole article at The Economist.
WHEN a Greek sponge diver called Elias Stadiatos discovered the wreck of a cargo ship off the tiny island of Antikythera in 1900, it was the statues lying on the seabed that made the greatest impression on him. He returned to the surface, removed his helmet, and gabbled that he had found a heap of dead, naked women. The ship's cargo of luxury goods also included jewellery, pottery, fine furniture, wine and bronzes dating back to the first century BC. But the most important finds proved to be a few green, corroded lumps—the last remnants of an elaborate mechanical device.
The Antikythera mechanism, as it is now known, was originally housed in a wooden box about the size of a shoebox, with dials on the outside and a complex assembly of bronze gear wheels within. X-ray photographs of the fragments, in which around 30 separate gears can be distinguished, led the late Derek Price, a science historian at Yale University, to conclude that the device was an astronomical computer capable of predicting the positions of the sun and moon in the zodiac on any given date. A new analysis, though, suggests that the device was cleverer than Price thought, and reinforces the evidence for his theory of an ancient Greek tradition of complex mechanical technology.
How many ways can things go wrong on a slide? Here a few humorous ones:
Video below the fold.
A snippet from an article at icSouthLondon about Starkers! (the name of the event, I believe):
'I'm in the nude for dancing'
Oct 14 2005
By Robert Dex, South London Press
HUNDREDS of clubbers are descending on the country's only nude disco every Saturday night.
The craze for letting it all hang out on the dancefloor is pulling in punters to South Central in Kennington Lane.
Clubbers have to wear shoes to protect their feet in case of smashed glass but the only pants to be seen in the whole place belong to the bar staff.
When a costume is just wrong
A collection of 5 examples (all as bad as - or worse than - this first one):
October 21, 2005
Video below the fold.
Posted by joke du jour at 07:00 PM
My outsourced life
I don't have a corporation; I don't even have an up-to-date business card. I'm a writer and editor working from home, usually in my boxer shorts or, if I'm feeling formal, my penguin-themed pajama bottoms. Then again, I think, why should Fortune 500 firms have all the fun? Why can't I join in on the biggest business trend of the new century? Why can't I outsource my low-end tasks? Why can't I outsource my life?
The next day I email Brickwork, one of the companies Friedman mentions in his book. Brickwork — based in Bangalore, India — offers "remote executive assistants," mostly to financial firms and health-care companies that want data processed. I explain that I'd like to hire someone to help with Esquire-related tasks — doing research, formatting memos, like that. The company's CEO, Vivek Kulkarni, responds: "It would be a great pleasure to be talking to a person of your stature." Already I'm liking this. I've never had stature before. In America, I barely command respect from a Bennigan's maître d', so it's nice to know that in India I have stature.
Prom dress rugby
Via Dave Barry.
The monkey and the congressman
This anecdote is told of Davy Crockett, frontiersman and member of the US Congress.
At a menagerie exhibition in Washington, Crockett amused his friends by pointing out a similarity between the features of one of the monkeys on display and those of a certain member of Congress. Turning around, Crockett found the member in question standing right behind him. "I suppose I ought to apologize," he said, "but I don't know whether to apologize to you or to the monkey."
October 20, 2005
Bikini war continues
The "anti-teroris" bikini war:
From Tim Blair -- where there's a story to go with it.
From the site:
Exquisite Corpse is a game made famous by the Surrealists, in which a piece of writing or a drawing is produced by several people in ignorance of the parts that came before; each successive author can only see the contribution from his immediate predecessor.
It has dawned on me that erotica written using this method might be inspired, or at least entertaining. Sexquisite Corpse is my tool for finding out.
Choose a story from among the unfinished ones below. Each one has an opening line to set the scene (you may recognize some of them). As you write your contribution, you will be able to see only the most recent installment. Once your installment has been added, you will receive a link to read the entire work. Once stories have run their narrative course, they will be posted on the site for all to read.
Submissions are reviewed by a moderator to ensure that all stories contain honest-to-god smut. Anything goes; be as dirty as you like -- in earnest or in jest, straight or gay, vanilla or extreme.
If the shoe fits...
Here's one of them, scaled down from its original 1200x900 size.
Via Master of None.
The many meanings of PMS
Pass My Shotgun Psychotic Mood Shift Perpetual Munching Spree Puffy Mid-Section People Make me Sick Provide Me with Sweets Pardon My Sobbing Pimples May Surface Pass My Sweatpants Pissy Mood Syndrome Plainly Men Suck Pack My Stuff Potential Murder Suspect
October 19, 2005
Oliver Google Kai, that is, who was born in Sweden last month. This snippet comes from an article at TechWeb.com:
October 18, 2005 (2:22 PM EDT)
Search-Crazy Swedes Name Baby "Google"
By Gregg Keizer, TechWeb News
A couple in Sweden have slapped the middle name "Google" on their newborn son, the search giant said Tuesday on its official blog.
Lebanese-born Walid Elias Kai, who works for a search optimization company, and his Swedish wife, Carol Kai, named their boy, born Sept. 12, "Oliver Google Kai."
Google's parents have a site about him and his name.
If World War II Was an RTS
A snippet of this funny post at Strategy Page:
Roosevelt: hey sup
Hitler[AoE]: cool, i start with panzer tanks!
paTTon: lol more like panzy tanks
Roosevelt: o this fockin sucks i got a depression!
benny-tow: haha america sux
Stalin: hey hitler you dont fight me i dont fight u, cool?
Hitler[AoE]; sure whatever
deGaulle: **** Hitler rushed some1 help
Hitler[AoE]: lol byebye frenchy
Roosevelt: i dont got **** to help, sry
Churchill: wtf the luftwaffle is attacking me
Roosevelt: get antiair guns
Churchill: i cant afford them
benny-tow: u n00bs know what team talk is?
Roosevelt: o yah hit the navajo button guys
deGaulle: eisenhower ur worthless come help me quick
Eisenhower: i cant do **** til rosevelt gives me an army
paTTon: yah hurry the fock up
Churchill: d00d im gettin pounded
deGaulle: this is fockin weak u guys suck
*deGaulle has left the game.*
How to carve a Jack-o-lantern
A very well-done Flash clip.
Via Dave Barry.
October 18, 2005
Wow, this was quick! You can find the original image here.
Spin the bottle
We used to play spin the bottle when I was a kid. A girl would spin the bottle and if it pointed to you when it stopped, the girl could either kiss you or give you a dime.
By the time I was 14, I owned my own home.
- Gene Perret
Just in time: Hallowe'en costumes for your iPod (or Mini or Shuffle) from iAttire.
Did you hear about the tragedy in Belgium?
My sister is married to a Frenchman and they live in France. At a party to introduce her to the neighborhood, someone asked her, "Do you Americans tell jokes about ethnic groups - like our Belgian jokes?"
My sister replied, "Yes, but they're more likely to be Polish jokes."
"But why?" asked the puzzled neighbor. "They aren't stupid like the Belgians!"
October 17, 2005
A clever son
Dave sends a funny one.
An old man lived alone in the country. He wanted to dig a potato garden but it was very hard work as the ground was hard. His only son Fred, who used to help him, was in prison. So the old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament.
I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won't be able to plant my potato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. If you were here, all my troubles would be over. I know you would dig the plot for me.
A few days later he received a letter from his son.
For God's sake, don't dig up that garden! Don't do it!! Don't tell anyone!! That's where I buried the BODIES!!!
At 4 AM the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area - but nothing was found. They apologized to the old man and left.
That same day the old man received another letter from his son.
Go ahead and plant the potatoes now. Sorry about the cops but it was the best I could do under the circumstances.
This is a very interesting site (don't be scared by the name).
The Rasterbator is a web service which creates huge, rasterized images from any picture. The rasterized images can be printed and assembled into extremely cool looking posters up to 20 meters in size.
They are many cool examples.
When a co-worker takes vacation
...here are seven photographic suggestions.
Read the sign, baby
POSTED: 9:45 am EDT October 13, 2005
LONDON -- Is there a sure sign that a troubled couple needs marital counseling? One marriage counselor say it's pretty clear when they start going public with their dirty laundry.
In Britain, JBS wanted a divorce, and he didn't care who knew. So last week he hung a banner from a highway bridge that said "Wendy, I want a divorce. JBS."
She responded Wednesday with a new banner in the same place. It said, "No way. You are the cheat. Wendy."
October 15, 2005
This is just wrong
...says our contributor. It's a page from Google Video about:
A revolutionary automated boar collection system developed by Genes Diffusion to reduce labor and increase technician safety in the workplace. This automated system allows a single technician to collect up to 4 boars simultaneously.
Weekend reading 7
Here are a few more online articles and posts I've come across recently.
The Apple Polishers is an article in Slate by Jack Shafer:
I don't hate Apple. I don't even hate Apple-lovers. I do, however, possess deep odium for the legions of Apple polishers in the press corps who salute every shiny gadget the company parades through downtown Cupertino as if they were members of the Supreme Soviet viewing the latest ICBMs at the May Day parade.
It gets even funnier.
Joy is a post at Steven Tucker's blog Dvalin Darkdale. It's a short post, so just go and RTWT.
Via Daithi, whose own post about Steven's was titled "Thanks! I Needed That!".
The Microsoft Protection Racket is John Dvorak's latest column in PC Magazine.
Does Microsoft think it is going to get away with charging real money for any sort of add-on, service, or new product that protects clients against flaws in its own operating system? Does the existence of this not constitute an incredible conflict of interest? Why improve the base code when you can sell "protection"? Is Frank Nitti the new CEO?
Via Lee, who said, "He can be funny if you're in the right mood." I must have been in the right mood; I thought it was pretty funny.
Peggy Noonan wrote a great column a couple of weeks ago: Government takes too much authority and not enough responsibility.
And they did things like this: The day before hurricane Rita hit Texas, last Friday, I saw on TV something that disturbed me. It was not the usual scene of crashing waves and hardy reporters being blown sideways by wind gusts. It was a fat Texas guy swimming in the waves off Galveston. He'd apparently decided the high surf was a good thing to jump into, so he went for a prehurricane swim. Two cops saw him, waded into the surf and arrested him. When I saw it the guy was standing there in orange trunks being astonished as the cops put handcuffs on him and hauled him away.
I thought: Oh no, this is isn't good. This is authority, not responsibility.
You'd have to be crazy, in my judgment, to decide you were going to go swim in the ocean as a hurricane comes. But in the America where I grew up, you were allowed to be crazy. You had the right. Sometimes you were crazy and survived whatever you did. Sometimes you didn't, and afterwards everyone said, "He was crazy."
No looting after Hurricane Rita?
Click for a larger image.
October 13, 2005
A fine rant
About Real Networks and their lamoid Real Player. And the comments are informative as well. The opening paragraph:
Microsoft and RealNetworks Resolve Antitrust Case Damn. Real Networks sucks so bad. It has been the pariah that I never can seem to truly be rid of. It pains me to hear that Real Networks seems to be getting a leg up here. NO. I don't want pop ups thank you. NO. keep your crazy software that wants to reinstall itself all the time to yourself. Get out of my systray. No I don't want "free" aol or internet. And god no. I do not want you as my primary media player. I don't want the Real OneSearch Internet Explorer toolbar or any of your other spyware. I don't want to have to "register" my product with you and I don't want to be kept updated with your product news and updates. I hate you.
Engineering Appreciation Day
The text that arrived with this image says, "This is a canal-bridge over the River Elbe and joins the former East and West Germany, as part of the unification project. It is located in the city of Magdeburg, near Berlin. The photo was taken on the day of inauguration."
"What's wrong with these statements?" asks our contributor.
Microsoft Research Lab India announced Friday that it plans to collaborate on research with the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), a research and development organization run by the Indian government in Pune in western India.
The U.S. still has a tremendous innovation capability and is unlikely to lose it to countries such as India and China, Craig Mundie, Microsoft's chief technology officer and senior vice president for advanced strategies and policies, said on Friday.
Bryan Berg, Cardstacker
Check out this guy's houses of cards.
October 12, 2005
An Irishman named O'Malley went to his doctor. The doctor, after a long examination, sighed and told him, "I've some bad news. You have cancer, it's widespread, and you'd best put your affairs in order."
O'Malley was shocked, but he managed to compose himself before walking into the waiting room where his son was.
"Well, son," he said, "we Irish celebrate when things are good and we celebrate when things don't go well. In this case, things aren't well. I have cancer. Let's head to the pub and have a few pints."
After 3 or 4 pints, the two were feeling a little less somber. In fact, there were some laughs and a few more beers. They were eventually joined by some of O'Malley's old friends, who were curious as to what the two were celebrating.
O'Malley told his friends they were drinking to his impending end. "I've been diagnosed with AIDS." The friends gave O'Malley their condolences and they had a couple of more beers with him.
After the friends left, O'Malley's son leaned over and whispered, "Dad, I thought you said you were dying of cancer. You just told your friends you were dying of AIDS."
O'Malley said, "I just don't want any of them sleeping with your mother after I'm gone."
The title will make sense when you see this ad from Guiness.
Via Lileks, who wrote: "Here’s a link to a rather amazing commercial – you just wish it did something else than suggest that the entire purpose of life is to drink beer."
(And a tip o' the hat to Dave as well.)
Click the image or continue reading.
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We have a winner
In the DARPA Grand Challenge, mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Click the image to visit the updated Grand Challenge site.
The vehicle entered by Stanford University, dubbed Stanley, completed the 132 mile course in about 6.5 hours (an average speed of just under 20 MPH).
Barbie & G.I. Joe
A little girl is in line to see Santa. When it's her turn, she climbs up on Santa's lap. Santa asks her, "What would you like Santa to bring you for Christmas?"
The little girl replies, "I want a Barbie and a G.I. Joe."
Santa looks at the little girl for a moment and then says, "I thought Barbie usually comes with Ken."
"No," says the little girl. "She comes with G.I. Joe - she just fakes it with Ken."
October 11, 2005
Our contributor writes, "May take a minute to get your head around this, but when you do, whoa!"
She's talking about Wolfram Tones from Wolfram Research, the Mathematica people.
Beware of things made in October
A collection of three amusing clips about the MLB playoff season.
Click the image or continue reading.
[WMV format. Save.]
[ASF format. Save.]
As I recall, we've seen this Yamaha site before (via e-mail). You can download PDF files to make paper models of their bikes as well as other things. Here's a paper model of Yamaha's YZR-M1.
Definitely looks like a donor bike, doesn't it?
Click the image to visit the site.
October 10, 2005
The "Track-Me" state
This article appears at TheNewspaper.com, drawn from an AP article.
Missouri: State Spies on Drivers Through Cell Phones
The state of Missouri has begun a program to track individual movements on highways through cell phones.
The Missouri Department of Transportation will spend $3 million annually on a program to monitor the movements of individuals on highways via their cell phones -- without their knowledge or consent.
Well, you can always turn the phone off... This reminds me of other cell phone surveillance stories we've seen.
Via The Agitator.
Choose your underwear carefully
...is brother John's advice.
Video below the fold.
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One smart bird
A woman went to a pet shop where she spotted a large, beautiful parrot. There was a sign on the cage that said $50.00.
"Why so little?" she asked the store owner.
The owner looked at her for a moment and then said, "Look, I should tell you first that this bird used to live in a house of prostitution. Sometimes it says some pretty off-color stuff."
The woman thought about this, but decided she had to have the bird anyway. She took it home and hung the bird's cage up in her living room and waited for it to say something.
The bird looked around the room, then at her, and said, "New house, new madam." Naturally, the woman was a little bit shocked at the implication but she thought, "That's really not so bad."
When her two teenage daughters returned from school the bird saw them and said, "New house, new madam, new girls."
The girls and the woman were a bit offended but then they began to laugh about the situation, considering where the parrot had come from.
Moments later, the woman's husband, Keith, came home from work. The bird looked at him and said, "Hi, Keith."
A photograph of a corona from here. Visit the site to see a larger version as well as two other images of the same cloud.
October 07, 2005
A quoi ça sert l’amour?
Charming, rather than humorous, is the word for this video clip by Louis Clichy at a French new media production company called CUBE.
It's an animation set to a song titled A quoi ça sert l’amour? that's sung by Edith Piaf and Theo Sarapo. I believe the title means: What use is love? It's a most excellent animation, even if you don't like the retro French pop song. If you do enjoy the song, then it's really a treat. (And if you have a better translation for the title, leave a comment.)
Update: AnnaBanana sends a link to this quick-and-dirty translation (with a copy of the lyrics). You'll need to scroll down a bit.
The original QuickTime movie (28 MB or 7.5 MB)
Mann Rogers & Greaves
This anecdote is told of A.C. Clark, a British classical scholar and professor of Latin at Oxford.
Once while visiting a college farm, Clark and his party witnessed a bull servicing a cow. Clark turned to Alan Blakeway (a younger Oxford classicist), who was with him, and said, "Blakeway, omne animal post coitum triste. There was, Blakeway, a firm of solicitors in London called Mann, Rogers, and Greaves."
Wed Sep 28, 6:58 PM ET
NEW YORK - "Leaving Brooklyn Oy vey!" That's what motorists now see as they cross the Williamsburg Bridge into Manhattan. The huge sign, affixed to a cross beam of the bridge high above the bustling traffic, is a sweet victory for Marty Markowitz, president of the borough, home to a large Jewish population.
Via A Welsh View.
October 06, 2005
Juan Valdez at Agriculture
Bush names new Agriculture Chief
by Mac Johnson
Posted Oct 5, 2005
Following his surprise pick of his former personal lawyer, Harriet Miers, to fill Sandra Day O’Connor’s seat on the Supreme Court, President Bush today named a new Head of the Department of Agriculture. The choice, Juan Valdez, again surprised many Washington insiders who cannot recall ever having met or even heard of Mr. Valdez.
Via Club for Growth blog.
Here's a fun way to burn a little Friday: an interactive Java applet that draws spirographs. Click the image to visit the site.
Click the image to play this Flash game about conserving energy.
This appears to be financed by the US DOE, 18 state governments (including Missouri's), the Ad Council, and some companies that sell related goods -- Home Depot, for one.
via The Agitator (who doesn't have much good to say about it).
Carnival of the Cats
For you cat fanciers, this is Carnival #80.
October 05, 2005
The L.A. County Fair
"This is soooo totally worth the, like, long download," says our contributor.
The download's not that long and he's right - it's totally worth it.
Video below the fold.
[MPG format. Save]
Lending a hand
Tucson John sends this touching story and photo.
You know how I have felt about illegal Mexican immigrants in this country: I've felt sorry for them for years and I wanted to help them in anyway I could. Foolishly, I never really took the time nor the trouble to investigate the circumstances of their lives and conditions that caused them to emigrate from their native land, or to understand the reasons why they risked great dangers to come here.
But that changed six months ago when I met the surviving members of the Lopez family, all seven of whom are pictured below in a photograph taken the first night I met them. Once I heard the tragic story of how they were orphaned by a mudslide in Mexico that left them with little more than the sombreros on their heads, my heart melted and I could not help but reach out to embrace them, to hold them close to me and give them the shirt off my back.
Accordingly, in defiance of United States immigration policies I have taken them into my home and given them a semblance of the family they tragically lost. While that action has been tremendously gratifying, it has not come without significant personal hardship and sacrifice. The cost of providing for the needs of seven new family members has been substantial. Additionally, my wife could not accept my desire to provide these orphans with the aid and comfort they so desperately needed, so she decided to leave me. She will be missed, but my friends - bless their honorable and steadfast hearts - have decided to pitch in and aid me in looking after our new extended family.
Remember: We are a nation of immigrants and we must not close the door just because we are fortunate enough to be already inside. So that they may feel as much at home as possible, I have insisted that they dress every day just as when they arrived. Their native costumes are wonderful!
The Hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness
...is still open and recently updated. Here's a good example: vacuum your cat.
Or if you don't like to vacuum...
How to clean a toilet:
October 04, 2005
Yes, Yes, Yes!
An amusing ad featuring this little kid.
Video below the fold.
[WMV format. Save]
POSTED: 9:22 am EDT October 3, 2005
SHELTON, Conn. -- Clarence Curtiss isn't the kind of guy to trade in his car every few years.
He still has his first car, a 1929 Model A Ford he bought during the Depression for $10.
The Complete Calvin & Hobbes
With Tuesday's release of "The Complete Calvin and Hobbes," Bill Watterson is "speaking" more than he has in years. That's because the 1,456-page collection includes a 13-page introduction by the reclusive cartoonist, whose wildly popular comic appeared in more than 2,400 newspapers at the end of its 1985-1996 run.
From Editor & Publisher.
Click the image to see Amazon's listing.
Microsoft publishes this amusing parent's primer to computer slang. Here's a snippet:
Key points for interpreting leetspeek
• Numbers are often used as letters. The term "leet" could be written as "1337," with "1" replacing the letter L, "3" posing as a backwards letter E, and "7" resembling the letter T. Others include "8" replacing the letter B, "9" used as a G, "0" (zero) in lieu of O, and so on.
• Non-alphabet characters can be used to replace the letters they resemble. For example, "5" or even "$" can replace the letter S. Applying this style, the word "leetspeek" can be written as "133t5p33k" or even "!337$p34k," with "4" replacing the letter A.
• Letters can be substituted for other letters that may sound alike. Using "Z" for a final letter S, and "X" for words ending in the letters C or K is common. For example, leetspeekers might refer to their computer "5x1llz" (skills).
• Rules of grammar are rarely obeyed. Some leetspeekers will capitalize every letter except for vowels (LiKe THiS) and otherwise reject conventional English style and grammar, or drop vowels from words (such as converting very to "vry").
October 03, 2005
An amusing Flash clip on business communication skills.
Harriet Miers's blog
Click the image to visit Harriet Miers's blog!!!
I don't know who's running this site.
Going to Massachusetts
This anecdote is told of Henry Clay, who was a congressman, a senator and U.S. Secretary of State.
Clay was sitting outside the old National Hotel in Washington with Daniel Webster, then US senator from Massachusetts. Watching a man walk by with a pack of mules, Webster remarked, "Clay, there goes a number of your Kentucky constituents."
"They must be going up to Massachusetts to teach school," commented Clay.
Here you go, sis
My sister sent me this image with the comment, "Dare ya to put this in your crainium."
October 01, 2005
World Beard and Moustache Championship
Today, October 1, in Berlin, Germany. Click the image to visit the site.
And don't miss the Beard Team USA blog.
The Boobie-Thon is an effort to raise money for breast cancer research. Click the image to visit their site.
I don't know whether our contributor is participating herself. If she does, maybe she'll leave a comment to let us know. ;-)
Ole and Lena
Steve sends a collection of 11 Norwegian jokes:
The judge had just awarded a divorce to Lena, who had charged non-support. He said to Ole, "I have decided to give your wife $400 a month for support."
"Vell, dat's fine, Judge," said Ole. "And vunce in a while I'll try to chip in a few bucks, myself."
Lena called the airlines information desk and inquired, "How long does it take to fly from Minneapolis to Fargo?"
"Just a minute," said the busy clerk.
"Vell," said Lena, "if it goes dat fast, I tink I'll just take da bus."
Lars asked Ole, "Do ya know da difference between a Norvegian and a canoe?"
"No, I don't," said Ole.
"A canoe will sometimes tip," explained Lars.
Ole is so cheap that after his airplane landed safely he grumbled, "Vell, dere gose five dollars down da drain for dat flight insurance!"
Lars: "Ole, stant in front of my car and tell me if da turn signals are working."
Ole: "Yes, no, yes, no, yes, no, yes, no..."
Ole and Lena got married. On their honeymoon trip to Minneaoplis, they were nearing town when Ole put his hand on Lena's knee. Giggling, Lena said, "Ole, you can go a little farther now if ya vant to."
So Ole drove to Duluth.
Ole died. So Lena went to the local paper to put a notice in the obituaries. The gentleman at the counter, after offering his condolences, asked Lena what she would like to say about Ole.
Lena replied, "You yust put 'Ole died.'"
The gentleman was somewhat perplexed and asked, "That's all? Just 'Ole died?' Surely, there must be something more you'd like to say about Ole. If it's money you're concerned about, the first five words are free. We must say something more."
So Lena pondered for a few minutes and finally said, "O.K. You put 'Ole died. Boat for sale.'"
"Hey, Sven," said Ole, "how many Swedes does it take to grease a combine?"
After Sven replied, "I don't know."
Ole said, "Only two, if you run them through real slow."
Ole and Lars were on their very first train ride. They had brought along bananas for lunch. Just as they began to peel them, the train entered a long, dark tunnel.
"Have you eaten your banana yet?" Ole asked excitedly.
"No," replied Lars
"Vell, don't touch it den," Ole exclaimed. "I yust took vun bite and
Ole bought Lena a piano for her birthday. A few weeks later, Lars inquired how she was doing with it.
"Oh," said Ole, "I persuaded her to svitch to a clarinet."
"How come?" asked Lars.
"Vell," Ole answered, "because vith a clarinet she can't sing."
Ole and Lena went to the Olympics. While sitting on a bench a lady turned to Ole and said, "Are you a pole vaulter?"
Ole said, "No, I'm Norvegian. And my name isn't Valter."
This article appears at DevHardware.com. If you follow the link, you'll need to scroll down a little over 1/2 way.
Audio Hardware - AOpen TubeSound
The Taiwan-based motherboard maker AOpen, part of the Acer Group, came up with a very interesting gimmick in June 2002 when it introduced the world's first PC motherboard with a vacuum tube–based audio amplifier—the AOpen AX4B-533 Tube. The motherboard was based on the Intel 845E chipset, and uses a Realtek ALC650 AC'97 audio codec chip. At first, many PC users wondered whether this was an April Fool's joke that showed up late. Why a vacuum tube? AOpen engineers pointed out that serious audiophiles have continued to use vacuum-tube amplifiers because of their rich sound. They felt that audiophiles would pay a premium price for similar technology in the sound circuitry of a PC.
IIRC, this motherboard has been available for a couple of years and CodeWritinFool pointed it out to me when it first came out.
Q: How's a Christmas tree like a man who's had a vasectomy?
A: Ornamental balls.