November 30, 2005
Look, Ma, no reverse
And here I've been thinking no one could ever make a car uglier than the AMC Pacer.
No More Backing Up With Nissan's New Egg Shaped Car
POSTED: 6:47 am EDT September 30, 2005
TOKYO -- Nissan has come up with a way to help drivers back out of tight parking spots.
The Japanese automaker has developed an egg-shaped car whose body pivots 360 degrees so that its rear end becomes the front.
From Fairy Tale Soup, a Chinese cookbook by Theresa Liu.
It was odd enough to see a city dweller, let alone American tourists at a restaurant which served food in clay bowls, with seating on benches on the dirt floor in the Chung Ho village. This was simply not a touring section. In my opinion, these American couples were lost or on their own for some adventure.
"Are you like me, looking for something hot to eat?"
They apparently were pleased to hear someone who could converse with them in this strange place. Questions started to pour out about everything they smelled and saw. Their inquisitive minds and innocent enthusiasm made me want to provide them with as much information as I could, including some warnings. Based on my observations, these couples were probably the ones whom I would classify as American "occidental" tourists. Their intinerary was planned by circumstances. They were spontaneous, and they believed everything they saw was a unique experience.
"What do they say?" The wife pointed to the wall that posted red paper strips written in Chinese characters.
"They are the prices for each dish. For example, the one on the far end of the right wall says 'twice-cooked pork -- sixty dollars' (Taiwan currency)," I answered.
In Taiwan, small restaurants such as this didn't have menus. Customers had to look up and find the dishes and the cost from the "wallpapers". The waiter yelled back to the kitchen after taking an order from you. If you left one quarter for the tip, the waiter announced aloud, "one quarter for the tip" while he was cleaning your table. If you felt embarrassed about your budget tip and decided to tip more, the waiter announced: "Never mind! Two more quarters."
The couple wanted to hear more. I told a story about an American occidental tourist.
A middle-aged housewife found a tiny restaurant like this one that had all the menus written on the "wallpapers". She thought it was very interesting and copied one of them on a piece of paper. After she got back from the tour, she had a tee shirt imprinted with the Chinese characters. However, she did not know the meaning of the four characters written on her tee shirt until a Chinese gentleman told her on the street one day. It said: quality meat, low price.
What would happen if Ken Burns and Michael Moore teamed up? Here's a possible answer at Google video.
What's the buzz?
What's the buzz? Teens don't want to hear it
New York Times News Service
Nov. 28, 2005 07:12 PM
BARRY, Wales - Though he did not know it at the time, the idea came to Howard Stapleton when he was 12 and visiting a factory with his father, a manufacturing executive in London. Opening the door to a room where workers were using high-frequency welding equipment, he found he could not bear to go inside.
"The noise!" he complained.
"What noise?" the grownups asked.
Now 39, Stapleton has taken the lesson he learned that day - that children can hear sounds at higher frequencies than adults can - to fashion a novel device that he hopes will provide a solution to the eternal problem of obstreperous teenagers who hang around outside stores and cause trouble.
The device, called the Mosquito ("It's small and annoying," Stapleton said), emits a high-frequency pulsing sound that, he says, can be heard by most people younger than 20 and almost no one older than 30. The sound is designed to so irritate young people that after several minutes, they cannot stand it and go away.
Stapleton gave him a Mosquito for a free trial. The results were almost instantaneous. It was as if someone had used anti-teenager spray around the entrance, the way you might spray your sofas to keep pets off. Where disaffected youths used to congregate, now there is no one.
Via Dave Barry.
November 29, 2005
Granny and the air bag
The source of this clip wrote, "Actual footage taken by some kids who were filming their skateboarding." (That might be true.)
Video below the fold.
Tip o' the hat to J.R..
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Why we love pets
Our contributor, who adores cute animal pix, writes:
Speaking of pets, last night Brad and I went to "game night" at the home of a couple we recently met (in our dance classes). They have FOURTEEN cats. They were all in the basement while company was there, but because I wanted to see them, they let them up just before we left to go home. There were some real beauties in that bunch. I didn't see all 14 because several of them hide when strangers are in the house.
Here's the first of 12.
An age-old problem
Two Arabs are sitting in the window and middle seats on a plane with a Jew sitting next to them in the aisle seat. The Arabs ask the Jew to get them some orange juice so they won't have to crawl over him. While he is up bringing them the juice, they take advantage of his absence to spit in his shoes that he'd left at his seat.
As the plane is about to land, the Jewish guy puts his shoes on again and realizes what has happened. So he complains to the Arabs, "When will it all end? The hatred.... the violence? The spit in the shoes... the piss in the orange juice?"
The mullet presentation
grebo's comment about the Redneck one-liners post was, "Let's not forget that there are Hicks everywhere not just in the south! Mullets unite!"
That reminded me of the PowerPoint slideshow Rob sent awhile back called the Mullet Presenation. It's a pretty amusing - though not very politically correct - look at people wearing mullets. (And as usual with PowerPoint it's a little large.)
November 28, 2005
One red paperclip
Here's a curious blog about a guy who's set himself the goal of bartering a paperclip for a house, by making a series of trades and always trading up. He's made 5 trades so far (and still has quite a way to go before he gets a house).
Seems to me like a great demonstration of the Subjective Theory of Value.
Italian bubble gum
A very funny advertisement. There's evidently more to be said for fruit flavors than I'd thought.
Video below the fold.
Courtesy of AnnaBanana's friend Marcia.
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Coder's Top 10
Top 10 replies from developers when their programs don't work:
10. 'That's weird...'
9. 'It's never done that before.'
8. 'It worked yesterday.'
7. 'You must have the wrong version.'
6. 'It works, but it hasn't been tested.'
5. 'Somebody must have changed my code.'
4. 'Did you check for a virus?'
3. 'Where were you when the program blew up?'
2. 'Why do you want to do it that way?'
1. 'I thought I fixed that.'
Hat tip: CodeWritinFool.
From the London Daily Telegraph:
German pride slogan shamed by its Nazi past
A multi-million pound campaign to boost Germans' low self-confidence has backfired after it emerged that its slogan was first coined by the Nazis.
The £20 million Du Bist Deutschland - You Are Germany - campaign was devised to inspire Germans to stop moaning and do something good for their country.
But a historian from Ludwigshafen has provoked an uproar with his discovery that the same Du Bist Deutschland cry was used at Nazi rallies in the 1930s.
November 26, 2005
Forget the Hummer
...writes our contributor. Personally, all this armor protection would mean a lot more to me if the vehicle weren't riding on rubber tires.
From Granite Global Services.
Granite has round protection. Armor kits and conversions only harden the vehicle and once added the additional weight often exceeds the manufacturer’s weight limits and the vehicle is therefore unstable and prone to rolling over. Whereas the Granite APC – 1 is fully custom built and armored completely well within the manufacturer’s weight limitations. The floor, roof, all walls, fuel tank, engine and transmission areas are all armored. The windows sit in specially designed frames that leave no gaps around the edges where unlike other vehicles the ‘’Golden Bullet’’ may penetrate.
Regular visitors may have noticed the addition of "Ads by Goooooogle" to the side bar about a week ago. I decided to add those on a whim when I clicked a referral button for Google's AdSense at another site.
My motive wasn't to see how much money I could make - though I'll be happy to rake it in, if it turns out there's any to be made. Instead, I'm running an experiment to see what sense AdSense makes of this nonsense.
And it's been fairly amusing in a dry sort of way: when Your pet's blog was one of the most recent entries, the ads were about dogs, cats and pet paraphernalia. When the Redneck one-liners was near the top, there was an ad for "Redneck Singles." (For those girls with names on the backs of their belts, I suppose.)
Recently the ads have been for airline jobs and flight attendant-related things - presumably making sense of the Solidarity post. I have to admit that AdSense is doing as well as could be expected.
That's the story. I'm not sure how long they'll stay up. If the pace doesn't pick up from its current 62-cents-per-week I'll probably use the space for something more interesting. In the meanwhile, though, feel free to click through if anything piques your interest. I promise not to spend it all in one place.
Luck o' the draw
What are the odds for this?
'Christian Family' Ends Up With '666' License Plate
POSTED: 7:50 am EST November 16, 2005
UPDATED: 12:26 pm EST November 16, 2005
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. -- Ken Hasenmueller and his wife have been feeling a little uncomfortable while in the family car.
The car itself -- a 1996 cherry red Oldsmobile Cutlass -- is fine. It's the license plate that's the problem. They were randomly assigned 666-KEN.
"Initially, I thought it was interesting," Ken Hasenmueller said of the pairing of his first name with the numeric symbol for the Antichrist. "But then I thought that people might think I was Satanist."
Hasenmueller said he was worried others would assume he requested the devilish plates. He plans to trade them in for new ones.
"I wouldn't want people thinking I was interested in that sort of thing," Hasenmueller said. "You don't want this sort of thing on your car."
"We are a very strong Christian family," added his wife, Jean.
My wife and I were talking to a friend of ours who was recently engaged. At one point my wife mentioned that every marriage goes through a lovey-dovey stage when the sun rises and sets on the other person.
"Don't you still feel that way?" I asked.
"Certainly I do," my wife answered, "it just sets earlier than it used to."
Joel Richon (from rec.humor.funny years ago)
November 25, 2005
Just two minutes
This one's hilarious but, unfortunately, didn't lend itself to being flashed. So you'll need a player for this Windows Media file.
...according to our contributor's subject that read, "pictures are worth a thousand words." He sent along these 10 images to demonstrate. (Most are pop-ups.)
This first one reminds me of a fairly obscure song titled
You Can't Blame the Wreck on the Train You Can't Blame the Train.
No tip for that valet.
Mr. Submarine, meet Mr. Iceberg.
When the sign says Falling Rocks, it means Falling Rocks.
How ruin a perfectly good Ferrari.
November 24, 2005
The author claims that this is a true story. Snopes suspects it's an urban legend, though.
An employee of USAir with the last name of Gay boarded a USAir flight with a free travel voucher. Soon after he sat down, someone else came and claimed that seat, so Mr. Gay moved to an empty seat.
Soon after that the airplane began to fill up. The rule with the USAir employee vouchers is that if a paying customer needs your seat, you have to surrender it. So when the flight became completely full and still more people needed to board, a flight attendant went to Mr. Gay's original seat and said the the man now sitting there, "Excuse me, are you Gay?"
The man, somewhat stunned, said, "Well, yes, as a matter of fact I am!"
The flight attendent said, "I'm sorry, but you'll have to get off the plane."
At this point Mr. Gay, who had been watching all of this, jumped up and said, "Excuse me, you've made a mistake - I'm Gay!"
Finally, another man jumped up and said, "Well, hell, I'm gay too! They can't throw us all off!"
November 23, 2005
A bit of culinary history
Louis XV always maintained that women could never attain to the highest excellence as cooks. Mme du Barry took the opposite view and invited the king to a supper that had been prepared by the best cuisinière in France. At the end of the meal, Louis said, "Who is your cook? I must have him in the royal household."
Mme du Barry replied, "It is not a cuisinier, but a cuisinière. I demand a recompense worthy both of Your Majesty and of her. I cannot accept anything less than a cordon bleu."
The king agreed and it was in this way that the cordon bleu -- the blue ribbon of the grand cross of the Order of the Holy Spirit, the highest chivalric order under the Bourbon kings -- became the accolade of an outstanding cook.
Funny clip from the Omaha Classic. I don't think I've ever seen this happen, outside of a Warner Bros cartoon.
Video below the fold.
Via A Welsh View.
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Sham in action
CodeWritinFool sends a link to a very amusing page.
"From http://www.bloggerbusiness.com/testimonials.htm. The page has testimonials from happy customers, but wait...
"It seems that Daniella and Matt have a lot in common. Like their house. Too bad one is in Wichita and the other is in Oakland. Pretty funny."
"I'm a work-at-home mom and love blogging on a daily basis. My blog helps other moms achieve an income online and provide them with useful savings information..."
- Daniella Moglia (Wichita, Kansas)
"I included a photo of myself in my new blogging office (my living room...hehe). Thanks for shipping the Cd-rom version of your blogging business so quickly. Im receiving over 13,000 hits a month on foreign travel blog..."
- Matt Koral (Oakland, CA)
DC is Full of Wankers!
The December/January issue of Men's Fitness features a poll of over 11,000 people on sexual attitudes and behaviors. In the article's "State-by-State Guide to How Americans are Getting It On," Washington, DC, has the distinction of being the "State with the Most Wankers."
Via To the People.
November 22, 2005
Having been born in Tennessee, I suppose I should resent at least one of these. But the ones about Arkansas are pretty good.
- A South Carolina redneck passed away and left a sizable estate to his beloved widow. But she can't touch it until she turns fourteen.
- Folks in Georgia now go to the movies in groups of 18 or more since they were told that in some theaters, "17 and under not admitted."
- The minimum drinking age in Tennessee was raised to 32 in an attempt to keep alcohol out of high schools.
- What do you call "Hee Haw" reruns in Mississippi? Documentaries.
- You know you are in Kentucky when you call the front desk from your motel room and tell the clerk "I've gotta leak in my sink," and he says, "Go ahead... You paid for the room."
- How can you can tell if a West Virginia redneck is married? Tobacco stains on both sides of his pickup.
- The governor's mansion in Little Rock was recently destroyed by fire. In fact, the entire trailer park was lost.
- The divorce law in Louisiana was recently changed so that after the divorce the couple can still legally be brother and sister.
- What's the best thing to ever come out of Arkansas? Interstate 40.
- An Alabama State trooper stopped a redneck in a pickup truck for weaving on the roadway. He asked the driver, "Got any ID?" The redneck said, "''Bout whut?"
Christmas light show
Pretty impressive seasonal light show. If you're into holiday decorating, there are worse ways to do it.
AnnaBanana writes, "I'll admit this is a cool display. But if it looped more than a couple of times per evening and I lived near enough to see or hear it each time, it would drive me crazy."
Video below the fold.
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It beats DIRECTV, Texas
Texas Town Trades Name For Satellite TV
Official Name, Street Signs Changed To DISH
DISH, Texas -- It's become common for sports stadiums to be named after businesses.
Now, some communities are taking the next step and renaming their towns.
Clark, Texas, is the latest.
The town is renaming itself DISH, Texas.
In exchange, the 55 homes in the bedroom community a half hour's drive north of Dallas-Fort Worth get free Dish satellite equipment and basic service for the next decade.
Finnegan the squirrel
Finnegan is an orphaned squirrel that was adopted by a pregnant dog just before she threw her litter. After the litter was born, the dog nursed Finnegan along with her pups.
This is the first in a collection 12 images you can find here.
November 21, 2005
Paradise is Lost
From the UK's Telegraph:
Paradise is Lost as Milton enters the mobile phone age
Milton's Paradise Lost, one of the most sublime works of Western literature, was reduced to a four-line text message (txtmsg) yesterday with the blessing of the Lord Northcliffe professor emeritus of modern English literature at University College, London (fule).
It read: "Devl kikd outa hevn coz jelus of jesus&strts war.pd'off wiv god so corupts man(md by god) wiv apel.devl stays serpnt 4hole life&man ruind. Woe un2mnkind."
In hot pursuit
This isn't a funny video clip, but it's still pretty awesome to watch the cops chase down this desperado.
Video below the fold.
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You can't be too careful...
The Center for Disease Control has released a list of symptoms of bird flu. If you experience any of the following, please seek medical treatment immediately:
1. High fever
5. Aching in the joints
6. An irresistible urge to crap on someone's windshield.
At the bar
Your pet's blog
Excerpts from the dog's blog:
8:00 AM - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!
9:30 AM - OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!
9:40 AM - OH BOY! A WALK! MY FAVORITE!
10:30 AM - OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!
11:30 AM - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!
12:00 N -OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!
1:00 PM- OH BOY! THE YARD! MY FAVORITE!
4:00 PM - OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!
5:00 PM - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!
5:30 PM - OH BOY! MOM! MY FAVORITE!
6:00 PM - OH BOY! PLAYING BALL! MY FAVORITE!
6:30 PM - OH BOY! SLEEPING IN MY HUMAN'S BED! MY FAVORITE!
Excerpts from the cat's blog:
Day 283 of my captivity
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture.
Tomorrow, I may eat another houseplant. Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded; must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair; must try this on their bed.
Decapitated a mouse and brought the headless body to them, in attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little kitty I was. Hmmm... not working according to plan.
There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throught the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the food. More importantly I overheard that my confinement was due to my power of allergies. Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.
I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and may be snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The bird on the other hand has got to be an informant and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room, his safety is assured. But I can wait. It's only a matter of time...
November 18, 2005
For Firefox users
The Image Collection page has become surprisingly popular over the last month, so I moved the images to a different server - with a different URL - to reduce the bandwidth usage on crainium.net's server.
This may cause you a problem if you use the Firefox browser. By default, Firefox disallows loading images from a URL different than the URL for the page you're viewing. So if you can't see images here and you're using Firefox, then change your settings in Tools/Options - Web Features to match the image below.
The defaults for I.E. and Opera don't cause this to happen. I don't know what happens in other browsers such as Safari, Netscape and Konqueror.
This Is It?
(Hmm... What would Alan Watts think?)
Having been tagged himself, Dave decided to play and tagged five of us who are now It. The rules leave me in a bit of an awkward position because my posts tend to be very brief and because I haven't been writing them for long. But we'll give it a go despite those handicaps.
The first part is to find the 5th sentence of my 23rd post. But my 23rd post (like most of them) didn't have 5 sentences. Here it is in full, submitted as evidence for the defense:
Paging Mr. Orwell...
The government of Niger has cancelled at the last minute a special ceremony during which at least 7,000 slaves were to be granted their freedom.
A spokesman for the government's human rights commission, which had helped to organise the event, said this was because slavery did not exist.
Even counting the title, I can only squeeze four sentences out of this thing. So, as a quick work-around, let's try the 5th sentence of the 23rd Psalm instead (KJV):
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.
And, last but not least, AnnaBanana, another newbie like me.
Tag! You're It!
The rat monster
An amusing clip from the show Scare Tactics:
Video below the fold.
[WMV format. Save.]
Steve forwards a story by R.C. Corbeille, a retired US Navy captain with the comment, "Long, but interesting reading."
It was Sunday afternoon, early in the month of August, 1968 when USS Forrestal (CVA-59) was making her way through the Western Mediterranean during the first days of a 7-month cruise.
I was Officer of the Deck (OOD) on the 1200-1600 bridge watch, there were no ship's evolutions ongoing, and things looked like a "ho-hum" Sunday afternoon at sea. We were hosting the prospective Commanding Officer of USS Independence and our CO had gone with him to the Captain's In-Port Cabin. Prior to departing the bridge the CO and I had conversed briefly and one of the subjects breeched was that we had been in the Mediterranean for more than a week now and we had not yet seen one of those pesky Russian trawlers. Our Navy had come to hope not to see one because they had a way of getting in the way whenever we had things to do, such as flight operations, or underway replenishment. This lack of encounter was about to change.
At about 1500 I called the CO to advise him that we had picked up an unidentified surface contact on radar, range 22,000 yards (11 nautical miles). It appeared to be on our reciprocal course at a speed of 8 knots and in the absence of any changes, the closest point of approach (CPA) would be 6,000 yards on our port beam. "Very Well" and the customary "Thanks, Frenchy" constituted the CO's response.
I had no more than hung up the phone when the contact changed course. I could identify 2 sticks over the horizon, looking through the 7 x 50 OOD standard equipment Bausch & Lomb's, but could make out nothing of the vessel. However, the two sticks bore a strong resemblance to the pictures we had on the bridge of known trawlers that had frequented these waters. I called the captain back to advise him that the unidentified contact had indeed made a 90-degree course change, was still doing 8 knots, and his present course/speed would take him across our bow at 6,000 yards (3 miles). We were doing 20 knots, on some kind of a "sustained speed exercise" for the engineers, and preferred to alter neither course nor speed unless absolutely necessary. I advised the captain of my suspicions concerning the vessel's identity and advised him that I had ordered the Intelligence sighting team to the bridge. It being a Sunday stand down with little to occupy the idle time, we soon had the entire Intelligence staff scattered about on the bridge and the signal bridge, with a few photo types thrown in.
The contact was still hull-down over the horizon but the visible masts more and more took on the resemblance of our Russian trawler pictures. I also advised the captain that, in accordance with the International Rules of the Road, Forrestal was the privileged vessel; the vessel crossing our bow was coming from our port side and was therefore the "Burdened" vessel. In accordance with the Rules, the privileged vessel is REQUIRED to maintain course and speed. The Burdened vessel is responsible for maneuvering as necessary to avoid collision. The Captain said "Very Well, Call me back if he does anything funny, and let me know what the intelligence folks come up with."
Only moments later I was back on the phone, advising the Captain that we had positive ID on a Russian ELINT (Electronics Intelligence) trawler, and he had indeed done something "funny2" -- he had reached our intended track at a range of 6,000 yards, and had then executed another 90-degree turn to port; he was now on the same course as Forrestal, dead ahead, at speed 8 knots. So we had a 12-kt speed advantage, and 3 miles to contact. That meant that in 15 minutes one or the other of us must turn or he, the Russian trawler, would get run over. I advised the captain that in accordance with the International Rules, he was burdened when he came in from our port bow. Now that we are on a course to overtake him, he would like us to believe that Forrestal, as the overtaking vessel, is the newly ordained BURDENED vessel. I reminded the captain of another clause in the rules that says once a vessel is burdened, it may not maneuver to shift the burden to the other vessel. He stays burdened until danger of collision is past. The captain agreed with my assessment and asked what I recommended we do. I recommended we hold course and speed until "EXTREMIS" - that sketchy point at which somebody has to do something or there's going to be a crunch, then order up "All Back Emergency Full", "Right Full Rudder", and we would miss him. I had identified that point as 400 yards astern but threw in 100 yards for cushion.
The captain once more came back with his cheerful "Very Well" and added "if he's still there at 1,000 yards, give me a call back."
"AYE AYE, Sir!"
Now we've eaten up about 1/3 of our cushion and the squawk box came to life. "Bridge, Flag Bridge"... "When does Forrestal intend to maneuver to avoid that Privileged vessel ahead?" There was no race by other members of the bridge team to answer that one, so I got it myself. "Flag Bridge, Bridge -- This is the Officer of the Deck speaking. That vessel ahead is not privileged - he approached from our port side, therefore is the burdened vessel, and he can no longer maneuver to shift his burden to Forrestal."
"Flag Bridge Aye" I could envision some hot shot flag watch officer digging the Admiral's shoe out of his ass, and smiled inwardly. I didn't hear the Admiral's voice, but I knew he was watching from his favorite perch.
Somewhere about then I had the signal gang close up "Uniform" on both halyards - U2 is the international signal that says "you are standing into danger". Then our navigator got into it. First he told me I was going to have to turn the ship and he was working on our new course. Since he was a commander and I was a lieutenant, I explained as tactfully as I could that we were not going to turn, leastways not to a pre-planned course. We were the privileged vessel, and as such, were REQUIRED to hold course and speed. Next thing I heard from him was "Mr. Corbeille, I'm ordering you to turn this ship." With no attempt at tact, I advised him "Commander, you cannot order me to turn this ship. If you believe the ship to be sufficiently endangered, you, as Navigator, can summarily relieve me as OOD. Then you can turn left, turn right, or come dead in the water. But you cannot order me to turn. Do you want to relieve me?" Rather truculently, he then asked if the Captain knows about all this. I told him yes indeed, and at contact range of 1,000 yards, I was to notify the Captain again. "You better call him again - right now!"
"No Sir, we still have a few hundred yards to go."
At this stage, I don't recall the exact time, the bridge relief crew was coming on deck, but no one was ready to be relieved. I spied my relief OOD waiting in the wings and he wanted nothing more than to stay out of the way. Admittedly, I got a bit nervous, and I called the captain back when the trawler was 1,100 yards ahead. His only response was "I'm on my way up". He arrived momentarily with the PCO of Independence following in his wake. He hopped up in his chair, says "Boy, he is pretty close, isn't he!" Then he asked "and when do you plan to make your big move?" I told him that if it closes to 500 yards, we can order up All Back Emergency Full, Right Full Rudder, and we will miss him. He asked: Is that what the book says? I told him "No Sir, The book says 400 yards, but I was leaving in a little cushion. He said "We need only to maneuver in extremis to MINIMIZE DAMAGE". That is a slight departure from international rules, but was our standing order, arrived at specifically to contend with harassment vessels. This is kind of a delicate point here because International Rules of the Road says the "privileged vessel must maneuver when in extremis to avoid collision".
U.S.S.R. (Soviet Union) was not signatory to the International Rules of the Road, therefore her vessels were not bound by them. It must be pointed out that Russian ships, merchantmen and men-of-war alike, followed the international rules of the road anyway, and knew them well enough to "play chicken" with U.S. ships, mostly to our embarrassment. That was a game that our Navy had long since tired of, hence the new guidance to maneuver only in extremis to minimize damage. Naturally, it behooved one to be absolutely certain that he was absolutely right, if he were going to take Navy man-of-war down to the wire in a potential collision situation. I'm sure there are readers who have more background concerning our maneuvering instructions, but we believed we understood them perfectly. I still believe that we did.
Having thus indicated his intentions, the Captain then asked "So how close can we take her?" I told him 400 yards would provide a grazing situation, and then ordered the engine room to stand by for Emergency Backing Bells. We were still closing and had reached the 500-yard mark when the trawler put in left full rudder.
His rudder was not the size of a barn door - it had to have looked like the side of the barn itself! That guy turned 90 degrees left in a heartbeat!
We never flinched, never wavered, and the trawler passed close aboard to port - so close, if fact, that the hull was not visible alongside our flight deck. All that was visible from the vantage point of our bridge were the two masts as they went rapidly down our port beam. Then we launched a helo for some photo work and a big sigh of relief went up from the bridge. The navigator started lobbying for us to file a harassment report, but since we had altered neither course nor speed to accommodate the trawler, it was hard to make a case for harassment. I wanted to make out a harassment report on the navigator, but the CO calmed me down on that score.
The Prospective Commanding Officer (PCO) of Independence, bless his soul, took in the whole affair after arriving on the bridge with our Captain, and never interjected one word. When it was all over, he moved directly in front of me and said, loud enough for almost everybody on the bridge to hear, "No one could have done better." Our CO joined right in and said "Frenchy, you handled that perfectly". At that point I realized I wasn't going to be a lieutenant forever, my advice to the Captain had been sound, and I knew our Captain appreciated it.
My breathing gradually returned to normal. For his part, Captain Hill, for that, as I recall, was his name, went on to become CO USS Independence. He assumed command while anchored in some Sicilian Bay, and when Independence stood out to sea "under new management", there was a Russian ELINT trawler, just outside territorial waters, making slight way on Independence's intended track.
A friend serving on that fine vessel told me that the new CO's order to CIC was "Combat, give me a collision course on that trawler at 30 knots!" I heard the same refrain from several other people and I believe it to be what happened.
For our part, we spent the remainder of our cruise unhampered in any way by any Russian flagged ship. We continued to see an occasional trawler, but when we came into the wind to launch and recover aircraft, they vanished as if by magic. The word seemed to have leaked out that this carrier has an attitude problem - she'll run right over you! And the Chief Engineer was happy because he got his uninterrupted 4-hour sustained speed run at 20 knots.
Life was not the same for me after that. Our captain made me "Command Duty Officer Underway". I was already the General Quarters OOD and Sea and Anchor Detail OOD, so I wasn't sure what this new designation would lead to. I soon learned that I was to be on the bridge whenever Forrestal was in formation with other major combatants, (destroyers didn't count, but cruisers did), and that I was to provide training to all prospective Command Duty Officers. Anytime there was underway replenishment, there was a "formation", so I got to spend a lot of valuable time on the bridge, learning all I could absorb.
Our great captain, nameless up to now, was Robert Bemus Baldwin, born in Bismarck, North Dakota. He was promoted to RADM upon leaving Forrestal, and the last time I spoke with him he was Vice Admiral Baldwin, COMNAVAIRPAC. I believe he lives in or near San Diego, and remains the most admired man of my 30-plus year Navy career.
CAPT R.Claude "Frenchy" CORBEILLE USN (RET)
Breakfast o' champions
Apple & Cinnamon Liquid Cereal definitely lives up to its name as the product truly does taste like apple & cinnamon flavored cereal. With a slight thickness to its body, this product also feels somewhat like cereal in your mouth. The greenish color is probably our biggest issue with this product as green colored milk is typically a sign of some sort of problem. Regardless, this product is fun, innovative, and good tasting so we will cut some slack in terms of the color. Overall, a good product that breakfast cereal fans will definitely enjoy.
Via Dave Barry.
CodeWritinFool sends two links. One for Sun Studio, which is now free. It's a development environment with compilers for C, C++ and FORTRAN. (FORTRAN, Jim! It can't be all bad!)
With his second link, he added the comment, "This site kicks ass. A better Slashdot than Slashdot."
A Polish barbershop
Our contributor writes, "I am going to Poland for a haircut."
I'm not sure what to make of this. If you visit the URL in this first image - hotcut.pl - it's a portal for an erotic site. So I wouldn't bet that this hair salon really exists. But that said, these images [thumbnails] aren't X-rated. They're just pix of the usual scantily-clad, attractive young women you'd expect to find working in any barbershop.
November 16, 2005
From the ground up
Here's an impressive Flash animation of the process of sketching. It begins with this...
...and ends with this.
This young guy had just bought a BMW and wanted to show it off to his friends. So he went motoring up Broadway and parked in front of his friend's apartment. He was so excited that he forgot to look when he opened the door and as he did, a taxi came screaming up and neatly removed the door from the car, along with the guy's left arm.
The guy jumped out of his car and started screaming, "My BMW, my BMW!"
The taxi driver jumped out and said, "Listen, bud, you're in shock! Your arm was taken off and you're losing a lot of blood."
Then the guy noticed that his arm was missing and started yelling, "My Rolex, my Rolex!"
The Image Quiz
Be prepared to waste some serious time. Click the image at your own risk.
PXN8 is a web-based photo editor (and with features to integrate it with Flickr, if you use that).
Via A Welsh View.
November 15, 2005
What I want to know is how he did the headlamps.
Video below the fold.
[WMV format. Save.]
A Teamsters member was attending a convention in Las Vegas and decided to check out the local brothels. When he got to the first one, he asked the madame, "Is this a union house?"
"No," she replied, "I'm sorry it isn't."
"Well, if I pay you $100, what cut do the girls get?"
"The house gets $80 and the girls get $20," she answered.
Mightily offended at such unfair dealings, the union man stomped off down the street in search of a more equitable - and hopefully unionized - establishment. His search continued until finally he reached a brothel where the madame responded, "Why yes, sir, this is a union house. We observe all union rules."
The man asked, "And if I pay you $100, what cut do the girls get?"
"The girls get $80 and the house gets $20."
"That's more like it!" the union man said He handed the madame a Benjamin, looked around the room and pointed to a stunningly attractive blonde.
"I'd like to meet her," he said.
"I'm sure you would, sir," said the Madam. Then she gestured to a 92-year old woman in the corner, "But Ethel here has seniority and she's next."
Posted by joke du jour at 07:04 PM
An Empirical Study
From M.I.T., no less.
Windows RG edition
A hilarious spoof of Windows done in Flash by James Cliffe. (Choose Shutdown to view credits.)
Flash below the fold.
November 14, 2005
Click the image for a slideshow of photomicrographs in Nikon's Small World competition.
The Nikon International Small World Competition first began in 1974 as a means to recognize and applaud the efforts of those involved with photography through the light microscope. Since then, Small World has become a leading showcase for photomicrographers from the widest array of scientific disciplines.
Via A Welsh View.
An anecdote told about Arthur Conan Doyle:
Joking with Doyle during a rehearsal for one of his plays, a young three-pound-a-week actor called Charlie suggested that he and Sir Arthur should pool their incomes and take half each for the rest of their lives. Though amused by the proposal, Doyle declined for obvious reasons.
"I don't think so, Mr. Chaplain," he replied.
Dave writes, "I found your Shofar, So Good post quite amusing. I have sold several of my rams horns to Jewish schools, etc. for shofar making." And he included a link to a Flash clip called Shofar Idol.
I hope this doesn't cause too many of you to choke on your coffee...
Anonymous sperm donor traced on internet
03 November 2005
LATE last year, a 15-year-old boy rubbed a swab along the inside of his cheek, popped it into a vial and sent it off to an online genealogy DNA-testing service. But unlike most people who contact the service, he was not interested in sketching the far reaches of his family tree. His mother had conceived using donor sperm and he wanted to track down his genetic father.
The news will be especially unsettling for men who donated anonymously before the power of genetics was fully appreciated. Donors were often college students who traded their sperm for beer money. Many have not told their wives or children and have never considered the implications of having a dozen offspring suddenly wanting to meet them. "The case shows that there are ethical and social concerns about assisted reproduction that we did not think about," says Trudo Lemmens, a bioethicist at the University of Toronto, Canada.
From NewScientist.com with a tip o' the hat to CodeWritinFool.
November 11, 2005
This is an old ad parody from a few years ago, but it's one of my favorites.
Video below the fold.
[MOV format. Save.]
Priceless in D.C.
An amusing observation from Coyote Blog, quoted in full due to its brevity.
Did Anyone Notice...
...the spectacle of Congress calling oil executives on the carpet for not investing enough in domestic oil exploration, and then 24 hours later extending the ban on oil exploration in the ANWR.
Just like Mom used to make
How about a frosty cold bottle of smoked-salmon-pate-flavored soda?
M-m-m! It's time again for the Holiday Packs from Jones Soda Co.
Click for a larger view of the bottle.
Frank sends an updated version of this oldie:
David was a fifth-grader and it was Job Day at school. The teacher was asking the children what their parents did for a living. All the typical answers came up - fireman, salesman, etc.
David was being uncharacteristically quiet and so the teacher asked about his father.
"My father's an exotic dancer in a gay cabaret and takes off all his clothes in front of other men. Sometimes, if he gets a really good offer, he'll go out to the alley with some guy and have sex with him for money."
The teacher, shaken by this statement, hurriedly set the other children to work on something else and took little David aside. "Is that really true about your father?" she asked him.
"Well, no," David admitted. "He really works in the Bush administration... but I was too embarrassed to say that in front of the other kids."
Chatty Cathy, bank robber
Woman Chats On Cell Phone While Robbing Bank
Police: Woman Robs Four Banks In Several Jurisdictions
UPDATED: 10:49 am EST November 11, 2005
FAIRFAX, Va. -- Some people just can't stop yakking on their cell phones.
Police in the Washington, D.C., suburbs are looking for a woman who chats on her phone while robbing banks.
Four Northern Virginia branches of Wachovia bank have been hit in recent weeks, including one last Friday.
November 10, 2005
Happy birthday, USMC
Happy Birthday to all Marines!
I would like to report to you that your Marine Corps is doing well here in Iraq. Those of us on active duty today continue to strive to uphold the tremendous legacy we inherited from countless other Marines throughout our 230 year history.
We have been in Iraq for a little over 8 months now. We are really beginning to see the fruits of our efforts. The hard core insurgents are having great difficulty maintaining their network of command and control and we have severely limited their freedom of movement throughout western Iraq. We are responsible for the Al Anbar Province (the most dangerous in Iraq - the home of the Sunni insurgency). We have virtually clamped down on the western Euphrates River Valley, stretching from Baghdad out to the Syrian border (to include Fallujah, Ramadi, Hit, Hadithah, Rawah, Al Qaim, Husaybah, et al). Hopefully you are seeing and hearing about some of the good things that are happening out here in the media back in the States.
I've forwarded a copy of an email I sent to my Marines this morning here in Iraq. You would be proud of them . . . they are doing great things.
We will continue to do our best to honor the service of all Marines to our Corps and Country and will pause to remember them and all other Veterans, both today on our birthday and tomorrow on Veteran's Day. Enjoy our 230th birthday and Veterans Day tomorrow.
From: Rudolph Col Michael (GCE G4 AC/S)
Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2005 9:04 AM
Subject: FW: November 10, 2005
HAPPY BIRTHDAY G-4 MARINES!
You continue to do great things for your Country and your Corps here in Iraq. Thank you for your sacrifice and contributions! Your efforts are just the latest in our long history of excellence in defending freedom and certainly fit right in with the legacy of our Corps. I am proud to serve with you here in your 2d Marine Division G-4.
The many behind-the-scenes actions that you engage in every day are truly making a difference as evidenced by the extremely high logistics readiness of our battalions, regiments, and brigade combat teams. I have mentioned to the Commanding General that our goal in the G-4 is to make Logistics almost "invisible" to him and his commanders. In other words, Logistics is usually visible to commanders when something doesn't go well. So the highest compliment we can receive is that we made Logistics invisible to the Commanders. I believe you are hitting the mark!
Reflect on these accomplishments, remember those that served before us, and never forget those that will not be going home with us. Carry on in honor of their service, sacrifice, and the legacy they have passed on to us.
I want to remind you that as we close in on the Relief in Place and Transfer of Authority to 1st Marine Division and I MEF FWD in February, stay focused on the mission and keeping Logistics off the backs of our Commanders. Keep them in the position of being the demanding customer and then make sure they are supported! Continue to strive to challenge the status quo and improve Logistics support to the Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers of the 2d Marine Division.
Happy 230th birthday and Semper Fidelis.
P.S. I received this email from a retired Marine friend. He was the Division Supply Officer when I served in 3d Marine Division with 1st Battalion, 6th Marines in 1983 and is still a great American.
From: Richard Popps
Sent: Wednesday, November 09, 2005 4:33 PM
To: Mis Amigos
Subject: Fw: November 10, 2005
Have to brag a little on the 230th Birthday
We signed up knowing the risk. Those innocent people in New York didn't go to work thinking there was any kind of risk.
Pvt. Mike Armendariz-Clark, USMC; Afghanastan, 20 September 2001
As reported on page 1 of the New York Times
The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of Marines. Lord, how they could fight!
MGen. Frank E. Lowe, USA; Korea, 26 January 1952
Marines know how to use their bayonets. Army bayonets may as well be paper-weights.
Navy Times; November 1994
Why in hell can't the Army do it if the Marines can. They are the same kind of men; why can't they be like Marines.
Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, USA; 12 February 1918
The United States Marine Corps, with its fiercely proud tradition of excellence in combat, its hallowed rituals, and its unbending code of honor, is part of the fabric of American myth.
Thomas E. Ricks; Making the Corps, 1997
For all of those that have son's or daughter's at bootcamp let me pass on what I found. Let me give you a little background first. When my son left home he had no motivation, he was lazy, slobby, no pride, no self worth. This is the boy that got off the bus March 18th at Parris Island. The man that I met on Thursday for parents day is AWESOME. There is no way I can describe to you all the difference. He looks different, he walks different, he talks different, he has such a sense of bearing and pride all I could do was look at him in awe. Oh yes, the training is hard, what he went through is unimaginable to any one that has not been there. They are definitely taught to be Warriors. Let me tell you the surprise of what else they are taught. My Marine son has better values, better morals, better manners than any one I know. It is so much more than Yes Sir, Yes Mam...so much more. He cares about how he looks, he cares about what he does, and its not a boastful, bad ass thing. He is a true gentleman. I saw patience, and a calmness in him that I have never seen. I could never express my gratitude enough to the Marine Corps for what they have given my son. I know this, I have an 11 year old Devil pup still at home. When the time comes for his turn if I had to I would take him kicking and screaming all the way. Although I'm sure that will not happen. The hero worship I see in my younger sons eyes for his Marine brother tells me I will have two Marines in the family, and I will be one very proud mother.
"Cybil", Mother of a Marine writing to the myMarine Group
The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next five hundred years.
James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy; 23 February 1945
(the flag-raising on Iwo Jima had been immortalized in a photograph by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal)
I have just returned from visiting the Marines at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world!
General of the Armies Douglas MacArthur; Korea, 21 September 1950
We have two companies of Marines running rampant all over the northern half of this island, and three Army regiments pinned down in the southwestern corner, doing nothing. What the hell is going on?
Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., USA, Chairman of the the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the assault on Grenada, 1983
The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!
Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945
Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But the Marines don't have that problem.
Ronald Reagan, President of the United States; 1985
Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. They're aggressive on the attack and tenacious on defense. They've got really short hair and they always go for the throat.
RAdm. "Jay" R. Stark, USN; 10 November 1995
They told (us) to open up the Embassy, or "we'll blow you away." And then they looked up and saw the Marines on the roof with these really big guns, and they said in Somali, "Igaralli ahow," which means "Excuse me, I didn't mean it, my mistake".
Karen Aquilar, in the U.S. Embassy; Mogadishu, Somalia, 1991
For over 221 years our Corps has done two things for this great Nation. We make Marines, and we win battles.
Gen. Charles C. Krulak, USMC (CMC); 5 May 1997
Come on, you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?
GySgt. Daniel J. "Dan" Daly, USMC near Lucy-`le-Bocage as he led the 5th Marines' attack into Belleau Wood, 6 June 1918
Gone to Florida to fight the Indians. Will be back when the war is over.
Colonel Commandant Archibald Henderson, USMC in a note pinned to his office door, 1836
Don't you forget that you're First Marines! Not all the communists in Hell can overrun you!
Col. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC
rallying his First Marine Regiment near Chosin Reservoir, Korea, December 1950
Marines die, that's what we're here for. But the Marine Corps lives forever. And that means YOU live forever.
the mythical GySgt. Hartman, USMC; portrayed by GySgt. R. Lee Ermey, a Marine Corps Drill Instructor using his own choice of words in Full Metal Jacket, 1987
You'll never get a Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!
Capt. Henry P. Crowe, USMC; Guadalcanal, 13 January 1943
We are United States Marines, and for two and a quarter centuries we have defined the standards of courage, esprit, and military prowess.
Gen. James L. Jones, USMC (CMC); 10 November 2000
I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold.
1stLt. Clifton B. Cates, USMC
in Belleau Wood, 19 July 1918
I love the Corps for those intangible possessions that cannot be issued: pride, honor, integrity, and being able to carry on the traditions for generations of warriors past.
Cpl. Jeff Sornij, USMC; in Navy Times, November 1994
Courage is endurance for one moment more...
Unknown Marine Second Lieutenant in Vietnam
My only answer as to why the Marines get the toughest jobs is because the average Leatherneck is a much better fighter. He has far more guts, courage, and better officers... These boys out here have a pride in the Marine Corps and will fight to the end no matter what the cost.
2nd Lt. Richard C. Kennard, Peleliu, World War II
A Marine should be sworn to the patient endurance of hardships, like the ancient knights; and it is not the least of these necessary hardships to have to serve with sailors.
Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery
Lying offshore, ready to act, the presence of ships and Marines sometimes means much more than just having air power or ship's fire, when it comes to deterring a crisis. And the ships and Marines may not have to do anything but lie offshore. It is hard to lie offshore with a C-141 or C-130 full of airborne troops.
Gen. Colin Powell, U. S. Army
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff
During Operation Desert Storm
This was the first time that the Marines of the two nations had fought side by side since the defence of the Peking Legations in 1900. Let it be said that the admiration of all ranks of 41 Commando for their brothers in arms was and is unbounded. They fought like tigers and their morale and esprit de corps is second to none.
Lt Col. D.B. Drysdale, Commanding
41 Commando, Chosen Reservoir, on the 1st Marine Division Division
You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth - and the amusing thing about it is that they are.
Father Kevin Keaney
1st Marine Division Chaplain
There was always talk of espirit de corps, of being gung ho, and that must have been a part of it. Better, tougher training, more marksmanship on the firing range, the instant obedience to orders seared into men in boot camp.
James Brady, columnist, novelist, press secretary to President Reagan, television personality and Marine
The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps.
General Alexander A. Vandergrift, USMC to the Senate Naval Affairs Committee, 5 May 1946
By their victory, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions and other units of the Fifth Amphibious Corps have made an accounting to their country which only history will be able to value fully. Among the American who served on Iwo Island, uncommon valor was a common virtue.
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, U.S. Navy
Being ready is not what matters. What matters is winning after you get there.
LtGen Victor H. Krulak, USMC
The Marine Corps has just been called by the New York Times, 'The elite of this country.' I think it is the elite of the world.
Admiral William Halsey, U.S. Navy
I still need Marines who can shoot and salute. But I need Marines who can fix jet engines and man sophisticated radar sets, as well.
General Robert E. Cushman, Jr., USMC
Commandant of the Marine Corps, 17 May 1974
I can't say enough about the two Marine divisions. If I use words like 'brilliant,' it would really be an under description of the absolutely superb job that they did in breaching the so-called 'impenetrable barrier.' It was a classic- absolutely classic- military breaching of a very very tough minefield, barbed wire, fire trenches-type barrier.
Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, U. S. Army
Commander, Operation Desert Storm, February 1991
I am convinced that there is no smarter, handier, or more adaptable body of troops in the world.
Prime Minister of Britain Sir Winston Churchhill
The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle.
Gen. John "Black Jack" Pershing, U.S. Army
Commander of American Forces in World War I
Do not attack the First Marine Division. Leave the yellowlegs alone. Strike the American Army.
Orders given to Communist troops in the Korean War;shortly afterward, the Marines were ordered to not wear their khaki leggings.
The American Marines have it [pride], and benefit from it. They are tough, cocky, sure of themselves and their buddies. They can fight and they know it.
General Mark Clark, U.S. Army
They (women Marines) don't have a nickname, and they don't need one. They get their basic training in a Marine atmosphere, at a Marine Post. They inherit the traditions of the Marines. They are Marines.
LtGen Thomas Holcomb, USMC
Commandant of the Marine Corps, 1943
I've always been proud of being a Marine. I won't hesitate to defend the Corps.
Jonathan Winters, comic and Marine
Every Marine is, first and foremost, a rifleman. All other conditions are secondary.
Gen. A. M. Gray, USMC
Commandant of the Marine Corps
A ship without Marines is like a coat without buttons.
If I had one more division like this First Marine Division I could win this war.
General of the Armies Douglas McArthur in Korea,
overheard and reported by Marine Staff Sergeant Bill Houghton, Weapons/2/5
People in disguise?
Our contributor writes, "Awww..."
It's still more cute animal pix; most are thumbnails. Here's the first of 13.
How to smile...
The happiest day of his life
And now for a little black humor...
Vang, a truck driver from St. Paul, Minn., was convicted on six counts of first-degree intentional homicide and three counts of attempted homicide in the Nov. 21 slayings.
He called Tuesday the happiest day of his life, saying he would no longer have to deal with child support and mortgage payments.
Shofar, so good
This would have been more appropriate last month, but better late than never. It evidently came from here.
Video below the fold.
[WMV format. Save.]
November 09, 2005
Another entry from the You Can Find A Blog For Anything category:
What a prodigy
Two gentleman are talking. The first says, "I have a serious problem at home."
"What's happened?" asked the second.
"My eight-year-old son knocked up the maid."
"What?! Incredible! How did he do that?"
"The little twerp pricked holes in all my rubbers."
A short ad from Britain, or Oz, or someplace where they drive on the left and speak English.
Video below the fold.
[MPEG format. Save.]
Some help for those confused about the difference between normal, everyday fears and irrational fears that imply deeper psychological disorders at work.
1) Fear is: Afraid your house will be burglarized.
Irrational Fear is: The house will be burglarized when you haven't had a chance to clean the place up.
2) Fear is: Afraid of the dark.
Irrational fear is: You're blind, too.
3) Fear is: Afraid that the plane will hit turbulence.
Irrational fear is: The turbulence will hit just as you start picking your nose.
4) Fear is: Fear itself
Irrational fear is: Worrying whether your fears are rational or not.
November 08, 2005
Novel men's room decor
I'd read about this, but this is the first image I've seen of it. Click for a larger version.
Spit it out!
Then there was the kindergarden teacher who was trying to teach her students about their sense of taste. She blindfolded one of the little boys and placed some beef in front of him and had him taste it. "What is it?" she asked.
"That's beef," the boy replied.
"Very good!" said the teacher. Next she put a bit of chicken in front of him and asked, "Now what's this?"
"It's chicken," said the little boy.
"Right again!" the teacher said. "But this next one may be a little tougher." She put some venison in front of him. The boy tasted it and then thought about it for awhile.
"I'll give you a hint," the teacher said. "It's something your Mom sometimes calls your Dad."
All of a sudden, one of the other kids in the back jumps up and yells, "Spit it out, Bobby! It's a**hole!"
I assume this ad was produced by the State of Washington.
Video below the fold.
[WMV format. Save.]
One man's lifelong dream was to become an FBI agent. Finally, he decided to pack up his wife and family and move to Washington D.C. and actively pursue the fulfillment of his dream.
After getting his family settled in, he went to FBI Headquarters where he informed them that he wanted to become an agent. They explained to him that it wasn't as simple as coming in and announcing one's availability. He would have to fill out numerous applications, forms, questionnaires, and so on. Then he would be given an oral test.
After completing the necessary paperwork, he was escorted into a room with a panel of three agents who gave him the oral test.
Question one: "Name the days of the week begin with the letter 'T'." He thought about it for awhile and replied, "There are two: today and tomorrow."
The examiners thought about this for a bite and decided that even though that wasn't the answer they were looking for, he was correct.
Question two: "How many seconds are there in a year" This was a tough one, but after a great deal of thought, he responded "There are twelve".
"Twelve?" the examiners asked.
"Yes," he said, "January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd, etc." Again, this was not the expected answer but he was still correct.
Question three: "Who shot Abraham Lincoln?"
After struggling to come up with an answer, the testers told him he could go home and think about it and come back when he had the answer. So the man returned home and was greeted by his wife who asked how it went at FBI headquarters.
He said, "Well, I completed a lot of forms, then they asked me a few questions. They really must have liked me a lot and decided on the spot that I was the right man for them -- they've already got me working on a murder case!"
Dig yourself a hole
Interesting, but not very useful, application based on Google Maps. From the site:
Are you concerned about where you go to arrive if you dig a very deep straight infinitous hole on Earth? Your problems are solved!
Surf on the map below, find where you will dig your hole and click there.
After this, click on "Dig here!" and you will see the place where, one day, you will (believe me) put your feet.
November 05, 2005
New core competency
Overheard in a meeting today, after the last(?) of many, many reorganizations of a certain unnamed corporation's laser printer division:
Are they listing reorganization as one our core competencies?
From Clayton Cramer.
November 04, 2005
Hate your job?
Unfortunately, there's a lot of aliasing in the audio track of this ad spoof. But you'll still get the idea.
Video below the fold.
[WMV format. Save.]
CodeWritinFool says, "I saw this today, then the answer just cracked me up."
1. Why can't I just write raw structure data to a file or network socket? Writing it as text or packaging it in a portable, binary form is a lot of work, and I probably won't be moving the program to a different platform anyway.
2. How come my program on platform B cannot read the raw structure data from platform A?
The answer to (1) is (2). The answer to (2) is (1).
No caption needed
The sleep cycle
Here's an interesting post at Glen Rhodes' blog about how much - and how often - to sleep.
Ok, I've been talking to people for a long time about the fact that you can get by on 6 or even 4.5 hours of sleep per day without question. The secret is NOT the amount of sleep, but rather the number itself; a multiple of 90 minutes will change your life.
Those are the sleep quantities that you should aim to get, and those are what your body will naturally take, removing the alarm clock. Guaranteed. Go to sleep without an alarm clock, and watch what times you naturally wake up at. It will be a multiple of 90 minutes from when you first went to bed. This 90 minutes is known as a sleep cycle, and it's how I live my life.
Via A Welsh View.
November 03, 2005
Last manual bomber in inventory
This garage-made parody is pretty funny, I think, even to those of us who haven't been in the Air Force. I'll bet the guys who made this had spent some time at Davis-Monthan AFB.
Video below the fold.
[WMV format. Save.]
It's a no-brainer
An executive was interviewing a nervous young woman for a position in his company. He wanted to find out something about her personality, so he asked her, "If you could have a conversation with someone, living or dead, who would you choose?"
The girl quickly responded, "The living one."
Ships passing in cyberspace
Story from WFTV.
Want To Buy House That Comes With Bride?
Woman Puts Her House, Herself For Sale
UPDATED: 10:12 am EST November 2, 2005
DENVER -- Deborah Hale is selling her $600,000 brick bungalow on eBay. The home was built in 1910, has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a tanning bed and a hot tub. Furnishings include a big screen TV, lawn tools and a lawn mower.
To sweeten the deal, Hale is including herself in the sale, Denver television station KMGH reported.
Sounds like Ms. Hale needs to hook up with Mr. Will-work-for-a-wife here.
This is an old one from way back - but it's worth a reprise.
One hot summer I worked for the "L'il Stinker" company, a guy down the street from us that pumped septic tanks. It actually wasn't a bad job. Most of my day was spent driving all over backwoods San Diego County in a big white pickup truck (San Diego County still had backwoods then). My job was to get to the customer in advance of the tank truck, find the septic tank, and dig down to the lid so everything would be ready when "Sweeney" got there with the tank truck. The tank truck was great--huge black monster with two white stripes running down the back, a picture of a skunk, and his phone number. If you saw it once, you remembered it instantly whenever your toilets backed up.
Over the course of the summer "Sweeney" told me a number of interesting and possibly true stories. This has always been one of my favorites.
Sweeney got called out to this house in Rancho Santa Fe, a very ritzy suburb. Typical problem, the toilets are backing up. Young husband answers the door, tells him the tank is "out there" somewhere. Sweeney goes out, finds and uncovers the tank, takes a look inside. It's got zillions of condoms happily floating on top of the, ah, other contents. They've floated up against the outflow hole, thereby blocking up the whole system. Sweeney walks back up to the house and brings the guy out to show him what the problem is. The guy is obviously stunned, so Sweeney starts to explain that condoms don't do well in a septic tank. The guy cuts him off and says between clenched teeth, "I don't use them." He thinks it over for a minute, writes Sweeney a check for the full bill, and tells him to just leave it like it is. To this day he has no idea what happened when the wife got home.
from Steve Simmons via RHF.
The Mother of all Beers
Meet Toi Sennhauser, who brews a beer that she calls OPB for short.
Ms. Sennhauser has an interesting theory about the origins of yeast and beer and bread and all things fermented, basically.
A tip o' the hat to CodeWritinFool, who admires the design of OPB label.
November 02, 2005
OK, Hitler had his chance. Now it's Yoda's turn in this amusing clip at Google video:
How'd he do that?
A man's house is broken into one night and his TV and VCR are stolen. However, the next week, the thief is caught by the police and the stolen goods recovered.
So the man who was robbed strolls down to the police station and demands to speak to the thief. The police explain to him that that is not necessary because he was caught red-handed, is sure to do time, and all the property had already been returned to him.
But the man wasn't satisfied with these answers. So the police ask him exactly why he wants to talk to the thief. The man looks about sheepishly then, in a soft voice says, "I want to know how he got into the house without waking my wife."
Pictures of the Year
Here's the first of 20 in a collection of images someone put together in a PowerPoint presenation. They're all thumbnails - click for larger views.
Here's the original PowerPoint, if you want a copy.
The Mayor of New Orleans has denied rumors that Mardi Gras has been cancelled. He says he's expecting a record number of floats this year.
Five black men in purple dinner jackets and bow ties were found floating today under a pier in New Orleans. DNA tests later identified them as The Drifters.
Rumor has it they were under the boardwalk, down by the sea, when the hurricane hit.
Eric Burden and the Animals are re-releasing their earlier hit, which now begins "There was a house in New Orleans..."
Two planeloads of volunteers left Detroit Michigan today bound for New Orleans to assist with the looting.
Hurricane Katrina - typical woman! When she came, she was warm, wild and wet. When she left, she took everything I owned.
A clever animated GIF.
November 01, 2005
Dave writes, "Possibly the most tasteless comedy routine I've ever seen - but also funny as Hel, in a very oblique way." (No typo; that's how he spells hell.)
This comes from WKUK (Whitest Kids U Know, a comedy troupe in New York City).
Video below the fold.
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How to bid a job
Three building contractors die and appear before the Pearly Gates. St. Peter, of course, is there to meet them. St. Pete looks them over and decides he will give them a test to see if they are worthy of Heaven. He describes a construction job that is needed and asks them each to bid on it.
The first guy puts in his bid and says, "It'll cost about $900.00."
St. Peter asks him to explain his figures. "Well," he replied, "I figure $300 for parts, $300 for labor, and $300 for a profit."
St. Peter thinks about it for a minute and says "OK, that's fair. What about you?" as he points to the second guy.
This one replies, "$1200."
"How do you explain the difference?" St. Peter asks.
"$300 for parts, $300 for labor, $300 for profit, and $300 for the Church."
"That's a nice touch," St. Peter thinks. Finally, he looks at the last guy and says, "And what's your bid?"
The last guy replies, "$2900.00."
"Twenty-nine hundred!" St. Peter exclaims, "This explanation I gotta hear."
So the guy replies "It's easy. A thousand for you and a thousand for me."
"What about the other $900?"
"Oh, we use that to pay the first idiot to do the work."
Click the image to play this Flash game that Dave Barry calls the "most mindless productivity enhancer ever."
3 BR, 2BA, C/A, Built-in Cat
Cat Found Built Into Wall Of New House
Rescued Animal Taken To Vet Hospital
UPDATED: 12:30 pm EDT October 27, 2005
LOUISBURG, Kan. -- The saying, "If these walls could talk" took on new meaning in Louisburg this week. There, the walls of one house were practically screaming.
A cat was accidentally built into the walls of a new house in Kansas.