January 31, 2006
Mr. Picasso Head
Make your own Picasso-like drawing using the Flash widget at this site.
Carol writes, "This is fun!"
Here's a hilarious ad for a German optician's (from multiple contributors - thanks, everyone).
As you might guess, it's pretty suggestive and may be NSFW (depending on your employer's sense of humor). Video below the fold.
[WMV format. Save.]
What you call job security
Porn-Surfing Parole Officer Gets Job Back, Raise
POSTED: 7:52 am EST January 26, 2006
MADISON, Wis. -- A porn-surfing Michigan parole officer is getting his job back -- with a raise, too.
Thomas DeLeon was fired in 2004, after computer logs showed he was surfing the Internet for about four hours a day. The records also show he was visiting X-rated Web sites while on the job.
His union appealed, saying firing was excessive for a first-time offense.
January 30, 2006
A blast from the past
Here's a 1986 Coke commercial featuring Max Headroom that I found on orangeblog.
Video below the fold.
[MPG format. Save.]
Put your birth date in the pop up window after you click on the below link. What happens is pretty interesting. Click here. This will really make you feel old.
(Just what you wanted, right? Use your browser's Refresh/Reload button to try other dates.)
Avian flu signs
How to tell if a flight from Asia carries the bird flu virus:
Worst pun ever
At least, I hope I never hear one worse than this one.
Two guys are lost in the desert, wandering aimlessly and close to death. They are ready to just lie down and wait for the inevitable, when suddenly one of them asks, "Hey, do you smell what I smell? It's bacon, I'm sure of it."
"Yep, I do smell bacon..." says the other.
So with renewed strength they struggle up the next sand dune and there in the distance is a tree just loaded with bacon. There's raw bacon; there's fried bacon, back bacon, double-smoked bacon... Every type of salt-cured pork imaginable.
"We're saved! It's a bacon tree!" says the first.
"Are you sure it's not a mirage? We're in the desert, don't forget."
"When did you ever hear of a mirage that smelled like bacon? It's no mirage; it's a bacon tree!" And with that he races towards the tree. He gets within 5 yards when all of a sudden a machine gun opens up, and the first guy is cut down in his tracks. It's clear he's mortally wounded but, true friend that he is, he manages to warn his companion with his dying breath.
"Go back, man... You were right... It's not a bacon tree."
"What is it?"
"It's not a... bacon tree.... it's... it's a ham bush..."
January 28, 2006
A very impressive illusion in this clip.
- for rubber bands. This site sells both finished guns and plans to build your own.
January 27, 2006
I don't know where this came from or who wrote the text, but it is an interesting series. Thanks to Rob and Steve. Images are pop-ups.
An engineering masterpiece in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Well, wonder no more. The reason gas is $2.39 a gallon is that's a price we drivers are collectively willing to pay and distributors are collectively willing to sell at - as Don & Russ at Cafe Hayek or Jane at Asymmetrical Information will tell you. It's an auction: not a price-controlled market.
But that aside, this desert ski resort is a good demonstration of marginal costs and profits. I read recently that the Saudi's marginal cost to pump another barrel of oil is a little over $1.00. And Bloomberg's tells me that oil contracts are running around $66 per barrel this week.
Now when you're selling a lot of something for 66 times what it costs you to produce (ignoring the middlemen), you amass a big pile o' dollars and you can afford little extravagances like this ski resort.
Or even big extravagances like this underwater hotel (also located in Dubai). - JdJ
So there were these three guys traveling together through Africa: a Frenchman, a Japanese, and an American. They were captured by a tribe of fierce headhunters. The witch doctor said to them, "We are going to kill you, but you may take some comfort in the fact that we don't believe in waste here. So each part of your body will be put to some good use.
"We will weave baskets out of your hair, we will render your bones for glue, and we will tan your skin and stretch it over wooden frames to make canoes. Since we are going to allow you honorable deaths, I will give you each a knife and you may say some last words before killing yourselves."
The Japanese guy yells "Banzai!" and commits hari-kari.
The French guy yells "Vive la France!" and slits his throat.
The American guy takes the knife, pokes holes all over his body and yells, "There's your flipping canoe!"
January 26, 2006
Rob sends this really impressive video clip of an 81-way canopy formation, taken from several different vantage points. It's a large clip but worth the download time. (Mind the volume: the audio track is fairly loud bubblegum.)
Video below the fold.
[WMV format. Save. 5.2 MB.]
The Dragon Lady
SteveR writes, "The closest thing to flying a U-2."
Maj. Dean Neeley is in the forward, lower cockpit of the Lockheed U-2ST, a two-place version of the U-2S, a high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft that the Air Force calls "Dragon Lady.." His voice on the intercom breaks the silence. "Do you know that you're the highest person in the world?" He explains that I am in the higher of the two cockpits and that there are no other U-2s airborne right now. "Astronauts don't count," he says, "They're out of this world."
We are above 70,000 feet and still climbing slowly as the aircraft becomes lighter. The throttle has been at its mechanical limit since takeoff, and the single General Electric F118-GE-101 turbofan engine sips fuel so slowly at this altitude that consumption is less than when idling on the ground. Although true airspeed is that of a typical jetliner, indicated airspeed registers only in double digits.
I cannot detect the curvature of the Earth, although some U-2 pilots claim that they can. The sky at the horizon is hazy white but transitions to midnight blue at our zenith. It seems that if we were much higher, the sky would become black enough to see stars at noon.. The Sierra Nevada, the mountainous spine of California, has lost its glory, a mere corrugation on the Earth. Lake Tahoe looks like a fishing hole, and rivers have become rivulets. Far below, "high flying" jetliners etch contrails over Reno, Nevada, but we are so high above these aircraft that they cannot be seen.
I feel mild concern about the bailout light on the instrument panel and pray that Neeley does not have reason to turn it on. At this altitude I also feel a sense of insignificance and isolation; earthly concerns seem trivial. This flight is an epiphany, a life-altering experience.
I cannot detect air noise through the helmet of my pressure suit. I hear only my own breathing, the hum of avionics through my headset and, inexplicably, an occasional, shallow moan from the engine, as if it were gasping for air. Atmospheric pressure is only an inch of mercury, less than 4 percent of sea-level pressure. Air density and engine power are similarly low. The stratospheric wind is predictably light, from the southwest at 5 kt, and the outside air temperature is minus 61 degrees Celsius.
Neeley says that he has never experienced weather that could not be topped in a U-2, and I am reminded of the classic transmission made by John Glenn during Earth orbit in a Mercury space capsule: "Another thousand feet, and we'll be on top."
Although not required, we remain in contact with Oakland Center while in the Class E airspace that begins at Flight Level 600. The U-2's Mode C transponder, however, can indicate no higher than FL600. When other U-2s are in the area, pilots report their altitudes, and ATC keeps them separated by 5,000 feet and 10 miles.
Our high-flying living quarters are pressurized to 29,500 feet, but 100-percent oxygen supplied only to our faces lowers our physiological altitude to about 8,000 feet. A pressurization-system failure would cause our suits to instantly inflate to maintain a pressure altitude of 35,000 feet, and the flow of pure oxygen would provide a physiological altitude of 10,000 feet.
The forward and aft cockpits are configured almost identically. A significant difference is the down-looking periscope/driftmeter in the center of the forward instrument panel. It is used to precisely track over specific ground points during reconnaissance, something that otherwise would be impossible from high altitude. The forward cockpit also is equipped with a small side-view mirror extending into the air stream. It is used to determine if the U-2 is generating a telltale contrail when over hostile territory.
Considering its 103-foot wingspan and resultant roll dampening, the U-2 maneuvers surprisingly well at altitude; the controls are light and nicely harmonized. Control wheels (not sticks) are used, however, perhaps because aileron forces are heavy at low altitude. A yaw string (like those used on sailplanes) above each canopy silently admonishes those who allow the aircraft to slip or skid when maneuvering. The U-2 is very much a stick-and-rudder airplane, and I discover that slipping can be avoided by leading turn entry and recovery with slight rudder pressure.
When approaching its service ceiling, the U-2's maximum speed is little more than its minimum. This marginal difference between the onset of stall buffet and Mach buffet is known as coffin corner, an area warranting caution. A stall/spin sequence can cause control loss from which recovery might not be possible when so high, and an excessive Mach number can compromise structural integrity. Thankfully, an autopilot with Mach hold is provided.
The U-2 has a fuel capacity of 2,915 gallons of thermally stable jet fuel distributed among four wing tanks. It is unusual to discuss turbine fuel in gallons instead of pounds, but the 1950s-style fuel gauges in the U-2 indicate in gallons. Most of the other flight instruments seem equally antiquated.
I train at 'The Ranch'
Preparation for my high flight began the day before at Beale Air Force Base (a.k.a. The Ranch), which is north of Sacramento, California, and was where German prisoners of war were interned during World War II. It is home to the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, which is responsible for worldwide U-2 operations, including those aircraft based in Cyprus; Italy; Saudi Arabia; and South Korea.
After passing a physical exam (whew!), I took a short, intensive course in high-altitude physiology and use of the pressure suit. The 27-pound Model S1034 "pilot's protective assembly" is manufactured by David Clark (the headset people) and is the same as the one used by astronauts during shuttle launch and reentry.
After being measured for my $150,000 spacesuit, I spent an hour in the egress trainer. It provided no comfort to learn that pulling up mightily on the handle between my legs would activate the ejection seat at any altitude or airspeed. When the handle is pulled, the control wheels go fully forward, explosives dispose of the canopy, cables attached to spurs on your boots pull your feet aft, and you are rocketed into space. You could then free fall in your inflated pressure suit for 54,000 feet or more. I was told that "the parachute opens automatically at 16,500 feet, or you get a refund."
I later donned a harness and virtual-reality goggles to practice steering a parachute to landing. After lunch, a crew assisted me into a pressure suit in preparation for my visit to the altitude chamber. There I became reacquainted with the effects of hypoxia and was subjected to a sudden decompression that elevated the chamber to 73,000 feet. The pressure suit inflated as advertised and just as suddenly I became the Michelin man. I was told that it is possible to fly the U-2 while puffed up but that it is difficult.
A beaker of water in the chamber boiled furiously to demonstrate what would happen to my blood if I were exposed without protection to ambient pressure above 63,000 feet.
After a thorough preflight briefing the next morning, Neeley and I put on long johns and UCDs (urinary collection devices), were assisted into our pressure suits, performed a leak check (both kinds), and settled into a pair of reclining lounge chairs for an hour of breathing pure oxygen. This displaces nitrogen in the blood to prevent decompression sickness (the bends) that could occur during ascent.
During this "pre-breathing," I felt as though I were in a Ziploc bag-style cocoon and anticipated the possibility of claustrophobia. There was none, and I soon became comfortably acclimatized to my confinement.
We were in the aircraft an hour later. Preflight checks completed and engine started, we taxied to Beale's 12,000-foot-long runway. The single main landing gear is not steerable, differential braking is unavailable, and the dual tailwheels move only 6 degrees in each direction, so it takes a lot of concrete to maneuver on the ground. Turn radius is 189 feet, and I had to lead with full rudder in anticipation of all turns.
We taxied into position and came to a halt so that personnel could remove the safety pins from the outrigger wheels (called pogos) that prevent one wing tip or the other from scraping the ground. Lt. Col. Greg "Spanky" Barber, another U-2 pilot, circled the aircraft in a mobile command vehicle to give the aircraft a final exterior check.
I knew that the U-2 is overpowered at sea level. It has to be for its engine, normally aspirated like every other turbine engine, to have enough power remaining to climb above 70,000 feet. Also, we weighed only 24,000 pounds (maximum allowable is 41,000 pounds) and were departing into a brisk headwind. Such knowledge did not prepare me for what followed.
The throttle was fully advanced and would remain that way until the beginning of descent. The 17,000 pounds of thrust made it feel as though I had been shot from a cannon. Within two to three seconds and 400 feet of takeoff roll, the wings flexed, the pogos fell away, and we entered a nose-up attitude of almost 45 degrees at a best-angle-of-climb airspeed of 100 kt. Initial climb rate was 9,000 fpm.
We were still over the runway and through 10,000 feet less than 90 seconds from brake release. One need not worry about a flameout after takeoff in a U-2. There either is enough runway to land straight ahead or enough altitude (only 1,000 feet is needed) to circle the airport for a dead-stick approach and landing.
The bicycle landing gear creates little drag and has no limiting airspeed, so there was no rush to tuck away the wheels. (The landing gear is not retracted at all when in the traffic pattern shooting touch and goes.)
We passed through 30,000 feet five minutes after liftoff and climb rate steadily decreased until above 70,000 feet, when further climb occurred only as the result of fuel burn.
On final approach
Dragon Lady is still drifting toward the upper limits of the atmosphere at 100 to 200 fpm and will continue to do so until it is time to descend. It spends little of its life at a given altitude. Descent begins by retarding the throttle to idle and lowering the landing gear. We raise the spoilers, deploy the speed brakes (one on each side of the aft fuselage), and engage the gust alleviation system. This raises both ailerons 7.5 degrees above their normal neutral point and deflects the wing flaps 6.5 degrees upward. This helps to unload the wings and protect the airframe during possible turbulence in the lower atmosphere.
Gust protection is needed because the Dragon Lady is like a China doll; she cannot withstand heavy gust and maneuvering loads. Strength would have required a heavier structure, and the U-2's designer, Clarence "Kelly" Johnson, shaved as much weight as possible-which is why there are only two landing gear legs instead of three.. Every pound saved resulted in a 10-foot increase in ceiling.
With everything possible hanging and extended, the U-2 shows little desire to go down. It will take 40 minutes to descend to traffic pattern altitude but we needed only half that time climbing to altitude.
During this normal descent, the U-2 covers 37 nm for each 10,000 of altitude lost. When clean and at the best glide speed of 109 kt, it has a glide ratio of 28:1. It is difficult to imagine ever being beyond glide range of a suitable airport except when over large bodies of water or hostile territory. Because there is only one fuel quantity gauge, and it shows only the total remaining, it is difficult to know whether fuel is distributed evenly, which is important when landing a U-2. A low-altitude stall is performed to determine which is the heavier wing, and some fuel is then transferred from it to the other.
We are on final approach with flaps at 35 degrees (maximum is 50 degrees) in a slightly nose-down attitude. The U-2 is flown with a heavy hand when slow, while being careful not to overcontrol. Speed over the threshold is only 1.1 VSO (75 kt), very close to stall. More speed would result in excessive floating.
I peripherally see Barber accelerating the 140-mph, stock Chevrolet Camaro along the runway as he joins in tight formation with our landing aircraft. I hear him on the radio calling out our height (standard practice for all U-2 landings). The U-2 must be close to normal touchdown attitude at a height of one foot before the control wheel is brought firmly aft to stall the wings and plant the tailwheels on the concrete. The feet remain active on the pedals, during which time it is necessary to work diligently to keep the wings level. A roll spoiler on each wing lends a helping hand when its respective aileron is raised more than 13 degrees.
The aircraft comes to rest, a wing tip falls to the ground, and crewmen appear to reattach the pogos for taxiing.
Landing a U-2 is notoriously challenging, especially for those who have never flown taildraggers or sailplanes. It can be like dancing with a lady or wrestling a dragon, depending on wind and runway conditions. Maximum allowable crosswind is 15 kt.
The U-2 was first flown by Tony Levier in August 1955, at Groom Lake (Area 51), Nevada. The aircraft was then known as Article 341, an attempt by the Central Intelligence Agency to disguise the secret nature of its project. Current U-2s are 40 percent larger and much more powerful than the one in which Francis Gary Powers was downed by a missile over the Soviet Union on May 1, 1960.
The Soviets referred to the U-2 as the "Black Lady of Espionage" because of its spy missions and mystique. The age of its design, however, belies the sophistication of the sensing technology carried within. During U.S. involvement in Kosovo, for example, U-2s gathered and forwarded data via satellite to Intelligence at Beale AFB for instant analysis. The results were sent via satellite to battle commanders, who decided whether attack aircraft should be sent to the target. In one case, U-2 sensors detected enemy aircraft parked on a dirt road and camouflaged by thick, overhanging trees. Only a few minutes elapsed between detection and destruction. No other nation has this capability.
The U-2 long ago outlived predictions of its demise. It also survived its heir apparent, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. The fleet of 37 aircraft is budgeted to operate for another 20 years, but this could be affected by the evolution and effectiveness of unmanned aircraft.
After returning to Earth (physically and emotionally), I am escorted to the Heritage Room where 20 U-2 pilots join to share in the spirited celebration of my high flight. Many of them are involved in general aviation and some have their own aircraft.
The walls of this watering hole are replete with fascinating memorabilia about U-2 operations and history. Several plaques proudly list all who have ever soloed Dragon Lady. This group of 670 forms an elite and unusually close-knit cadre of dedicated airmen.
Which are you?
Obviously, I should have said that I do have expensive tastes.
I'm a Mazda Miata!
You like to soak up the sun, but your tastes are down to earth. Everyone thinks you're cute. Life is a winding road, and you like to take the curves in stride. Let other people compete in the rat race - you're just here to enjoy the ride.
Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.
This has to be one of the oldest jokes in the world but it's always been one of my favorites.
Heaven is a place where:
- The lovers are Italian
- The cooks are French
- The mechanics are German
- The police are English
- The government is run by the Swiss
Hell is a place where:
- The lovers are Swiss
- The cooks are English
- The mechanics are French
- The police are German
- The government is run by the Italians
January 25, 2006
Steve F sends this animated GIF with the note, "I don't make 'em; I just pass 'em along."
Random Jack Bauer facts
SteveR writes, "Some humor for the 24 crowd".
They're along the lines of the Random Chuck Norris facts that turned out to be so popular. Here's a good one:
You can lead a horse to water. Jack Bauer can make him drink.
The sarcasm's pretty thinly veiled at this site.
The VIP's chauffeur
After getting all of Pope Benedict XVI's luggage loaded into the car -- and he doesn't travel light -- the driver noticed that the Pope was still standing on the curb. "Excuse me, Your Holiness," said the driver. "Would you please take your seat so that we can leave?"
"Well, to tell you the truth," said the Pope, "they never let me drive at the Vatican, and I'd really like to drive today."
"I'm sorry but I cannot let you do that. I'd lose my job! And what if something should happen?" protested the driver, wishing he'd never come in to work that morning.
"There might be something extra in it for you," said the Pope. Reluctantly, the driver got into the back as the Pope climbed in behind the wheel. The driver quickly regretted his decision because, after leaving the airport, the Pontiff floored it and accelerated to 105 mph.
"Please slow down, Your Holiness!!" pleaded the worried driver, but the Pope kept the pedal to the metal until they heard sirens. "Oh, dear God, I'm going to lose my license," moaned the driver.
The Pope pulled over and rolled down the window as the policeman approached, but the policeman took one look at him, went back to his motorbike, and got on the radio.
"I need to talk to the Chief," he told the dispatcher. The Chief answered and the policeman told him that he's stopped a car going 104 in a 40 MPH zone.
"So charge him," said the Chief.
"I don't think we want to do that... He's really important," said the policeman.
The Chief exclaimed, "All the more reason!"
"No, I mean really important," said the policeman.
So the Chief asked, "Who have you got there? The Mayor?"
"Bigger than the President?" asked the Chief. "Who is it?"
"I think it's God!"
"God?! What on earth makes you think it's God?"
" Because he's got the flipping Pope as a chauffeur!"
January 24, 2006
How to target an audience
Sorry, but I just can't resist a pun.
An interesting entry in the MIT Advertising Lab's blog.
Get Internet Explorer!
CodeWritinFool says, "this is really good. probably won't last long. http://www.getinternetexplorer.com/"
Microsoft has discovered the web!
And a beer-drinking turtle at that.
This pair of ads comes from Companhia Cervejaria Brahma, SA of Brazil - the same folks who did the voo-doo ad, I believe.
Video below the fold.
How to blow your cover
This story gets even odder if you read the whole thing.
Purse goes bang, blows its secret
By Heather Ratcliffe
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Black sequins rained down in the Dairy Queen after the explosion.
Some thought a car had backfired in the parking lot. But that wouldn't explain the sequins, or the smoke, or the smell of gunpowder in the south St. Louis County restaurant.
Then everyone's attention turned to a woman in line - the one with a shredded sequined purse on the tile floor near her feet.
"She picked up her purse like it was some kind of disease," explained Shelley White, the store manager on duty.
"I ain't got no gun," was the only thing the stranger told the crowd in the restaurant before gathering her purse and teenage daughter from a nearby booth and running out of the place about 1 p.m. Friday
January 23, 2006
Ashes and snow
An interesting Flash-based art project.
Q: How do you spell onomatopoeia?
A: Just the way it sounds.
(That word never fails to remind me of the John Prine song with that title.)
A tight spot
A clip from the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera.
Video below the fold. (It's a large clip and may take awhile to load.)
[WMV format. Save.]
By their rewards shall ye know them
Three men died and appeared at the Pearly Gates. On their arrival, St. Peter asked the first if he had been faithful to his wife. The man admitted to two affairs during his marriage. St. Peter told him that he would receive a Chevy Geo to drive in Heaven.
Then St. Peter asked the second man if he had been faithful to his wife. The man admitted to one affair and St. Peter told him he would be given a Honda Accord to drive.
The third man was asked about his faithfulness and he told St. Peter he had been true to his wife until the day he died. St. Peter praised him and gave him a BMW Z3 to drive.
A week later the three men were all out driving and they all happened to stop at the same traffic signal. The men in the Geo and Accord were surprised to see the man in the BMW crying. They asked him what could possibly be the matter. After all, he was the one driving a Z3.
"I just passed my wife," he told them, "and she was on a skateboard!"
January 21, 2006
Mobile box office
Here's an interesting idea for you movie-goers:
Pastor Preaches iPod Theology
POSTED: 1:24 pm EST January 16, 2006
HOUSTON -- A Houston pastor hopes that preaching about iPods can help attract a younger audience and grow his congregation to 20,000 members.
Metropolitan Baptist Church Pastor Sal Sberna held the second of four sermons on what he calls "iPod Theology."
He preaches that the simplicity of the device contains a religious lesson -- life can also be simple. Sberna owns two iPods and wants everyone in his congregation of 4,000 to own one.
That way, he said, can ultimately offer his sermons through Podcasts.
Carol forwarded this one with someone's subject line "Perfect car for a woman." I don't know about that - I wouldn't mind having one of these myself.
Video below the fold.
[WMV format. Save.]
Who shot the beaver?
At his annual checkup a 90-year-old man told his doctor, "I've never felt better. And I have an 18-year-old bride who is pregnant with my child. What do you think of that?"
The doctor replied, "You know, I have an elderly friend who is a hunter and he never misses a season. One day he was in a hurry and when he went out the door, by mistake he picked up his umbrella instead of his rifle. When he got to the woods, he saw a beaver beside a creek. So he raised his umbrella and said, "Bang! Bang! Bang!" and the beaver fell over dead.
"What do you think of that?"
The 90-year-old said, "Well, I'd say somebody else shot the beaver."
"Exactly," replied the doctor.
Tip o' the hat to Dave.
January 19, 2006
Headed for Pluto
An image of today's launch of the Atlas V carrying NASA's New Horizons spacecraft to Pluto.
This snippet came a high-resolution image at the New Horizons mission site.
A trip to Jerusalem
A man and his ever-nagging wife went on a vacation trip to Jerusalem. While they were there, the wife passed away. The undertaker told the husband, "You can have your wife shipped home for $5000 or you can have her buried here in the Holy Land for $500."
The man thought about it for a minute and then decided he would have her shipped home. The undertaker asked, "Why would you spend $5000 to ship her home, when it would be wonderful to be buried here and would cost only a tenth as much?"
The man replied, "Look, once a man died here, was buried, and then rose from the dead three days later. I just can't take that chance..."
For the new Honda Civic, being marketed in the UK.
About your kids
1. You spend the first two years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next sixteen telling them to sit down and shut up.
2. Grandchildren are God's reward for not killing your own children.
3. Mothers of teens now know why some animals eat their young.
4. Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said.
5. The main purpose of holding children's parties is to remind yourself that there are children more awful than your own.
6. We childproofed our home, but they keep getting in.
7. Be nice to your kids. They will choose your nursing home one day.
8. If you have a lot of tension and get a headache, follow the directions on the aspirin bottle: "TAKE TWO" and "KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN"
January 18, 2006
Virtual Big Apple
Here's a site where you can take several different virtual tours of New York City.
Via A Welsh View.
Just stop paying
A tax you don't have to pay? Here's the start of an article from Scrivener.net (with my emphasis). It's worth reading the whole thing.
A third federal Court of Appeals has struck down the federal tax on long-distance telephone service (National Railroad Passenger Corporation (.pdf) , DC Circuit, No. 04-5421) bringing $9 billion in potential tax refunds for phone users that much closer to reality. The IRS now is zero-for-ten in these cases, with courts ordering more than $12 million of refunds in them, to big companies such as OfficeMax, Amtrak, and Honeywell International.
What's new now is that individuals are beginning to catch on and stop paying the tax. And phone companies are removing the tax from phone bills upon customer request.
Scott sends a link to this clip from NBC's Tonight Show. It's pretty hilarious.
A shameless extrovert
The year was 1950. Congressman Claude Pepper was locked in a bitter race to retain his U.S Senate seat and faced a tough opponent in then-Congressman George Smathers.
"Are you aware," Smathers is said to have bellowed in his stumpings through the North Florida pinelands, "that Claude Pepper is known all over Washington as a shameless extrovert?
"Not only that, but this man is reliably reported to practice nepotism with his sister-in-law, and he has a sister who was once a thesbian in wicked New York. Worst of all, it is an established fact that Mr. Pepper, before his marriage, practiced celibacy.
"And are you aware that Claude Pepper vacillated one night on the Senate floor?"
Pepper lost the race, but went on a few years later to distinguished service in the House of Representatives. Smathers retired from the Senate in 1971, vigorously denying the story till the end - but nonetheless acknowledging in Florida House Clerk Allen Morris' book Reconsiderations that the tale has by now "gone into the history books."
January 17, 2006
Wait a minute...
I thought it was supposed to be green eggs & ham.
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A transgenic green pig jostles normal pigs in Taipei, Taiwan. A research team at Taiwan's leading National Taiwan University succeeded in breeding three male green pigs by injecting fluorescent green protein into embryonic pigs. There are partially green pigs elsewhere in the world but those three pigs are the only ones that are green from inside out, including their hearts and internal organs. (01/12/06 AP photo)
Head and shoulders
A young girl was at the doctor's for a checkup.
"By the way, Doctor, my boyfriend has dandruff. Is there anything you can suggest for it?"
"Why don't you just give him Head & Shoulders?"
After a short pause, "How do you give shoulders?"
Video below the fold.
Another tip o' the hat to J.R.
[WMV format. Save.]
Amusing debugging tale
...says Scott. It appears to have come from here.
Here's a problem that *sounded* impossible... I almost regret posting the story to a wide audience, because it makes a great tale over drinks at a conference. :-) The story is slightly altered in order to protect the guilty, elide over irrelevant and boring details, and generally make the whole thing more entertaining.
I was working in a job running the campus email system some years ago when I got a call from the chairman of the statistics department.
"We're having a problem sending email out of the department."
"What's the problem?" I asked.
"We can't send mail more than 500 miles," the chairman explained.
I choked on my latte. "Come again?"
"We can't send mail farther than 500 miles from here," he repeated. "A little bit more, actually. Call it 520 miles. But no farther."
"Um... Email really doesn't work that way, generally," I said, trying to keep panic out of my voice. One doesn't display panic when speaking to a department chairman, even of a relatively impoverished department like statistics. "What makes you think you can't send mail more than 500 miles?"
"It's not what I *think*," the chairman replied testily. "You see, when we first noticed this happening, a few days ago--"
"You waited a few DAYS?" I interrupted, a tremor tinging my voice. "And you couldn't send email this whole time?"
"We could send email. Just not more than--"
"--500 miles, yes," I finished for him, "I got that. But why didn't you call earlier?"
"Well, we hadn't collected enough data to be sure of what was going on until just now." Right. This is the chairman of *statistics*. "Anyway, I asked one of the geostatisticians to look into it--"
"--yes, and she's produced a map showing the radius within which we can send email to be slightly more than 500 miles. There are a number of destinations within that radius that we can't reach, either, or reach sporadically, but we can never email farther than this radius."
"I see," I said, and put my head in my hands. "When did this start? A few days ago, you said, but did anything change in your systems at that time?"
"Well, the consultant came in and patched our server and rebooted it. But I called him, and he said he didn't touch the mail system."
"Okay, let me take a look, and I'll call you back," I said, scarcely believing that I was playing along. It wasn't April Fool's Day. I tried to remember if someone owed me a practical joke.
I logged into their department's server, and sent a few test mails. This was in the Research Triangle of North Carolina, and a test mail to my own account was delivered without a hitch. Ditto for one sent to Richmond, and Atlanta, and Washington. Another to Princeton (400 miles) worked.
But then I tried to send an email to Memphis (600 miles). It failed. Boston, failed. Detroit, failed. I got out my address book and started trying to narrow this down. New York (420 miles) worked, but Providence (580 miles) failed.
I was beginning to wonder if I had lost my sanity. I tried emailing a friend who lived in North Carolina, but whose ISP was in Seattle. Thankfully, it failed. If the problem had had to do with the geography of the human recipient and not his mail server, I think I would have broken down in tears.
Having established that -- unbelievably -- the problem as reported was true, and repeatable, I took a look at the sendmail.cf file. It looked fairly normal. In fact, it looked familiar.
I diffed it against the sendmail.cf in my home directory. It hadn't been altered -- it was a sendmail.cf I had written. And I was fairly certain I hadn't enabled the "FAIL_MAIL_OVER_500_MILES" option. At a loss, I telnetted into the SMTP port. The server happily responded with a SunOS sendmail banner.
Wait a minute... a SunOS sendmail banner? At the time, Sun was still shipping Sendmail 5 with its operating system, even though Sendmail 8 was fairly mature. Being a good system administrator, I had standardized on Sendmail 8. And also being a good system administrator, I had written a sendmail.cf that used the nice long self-documenting option and variable names available in Sendmail 8 rather than the cryptic punctuation-mark codes that had been used in Sendmail 5.
The pieces fell into place, all at once, and I again choked on the dregs of my now-cold latte. When the consultant had "patched the server," he had apparently upgraded the version of SunOS, and in so doing *downgraded* Sendmail. The upgrade helpfully left the sendmail.cf alone, even though it was now the wrong version.
It so happens that Sendmail 5 -- at least, the version that Sun shipped, which had some tweaks -- could deal with the Sendmail 8 sendmail.cf, as most of the rules had at that point remained unaltered. But the new long configuration options -- those it saw as junk, and skipped. And the sendmail binary had no defaults compiled in for most of these, so, finding no suitable settings in the sendmail.cf file, they were set to zero.
One of the settings that was set to zero was the timeout to connect to the remote SMTP server. Some experimentation established that on this particular machine with its typical load, a zero timeout would abort a connect call in slightly over three milliseconds.
An odd feature of our campus network at the time was that it was 100% switched. An outgoing packet wouldn't incur a router delay until hitting the POP and reaching a router on the far side. So time to connect to a lightly-loaded remote host on a nearby network would actually largely be governed by the speed of light distance to the destination rather than by incidental router delays.
Feeling slightly giddy, I typed into my shell:
1311 units, 63 prefixes
You have: 3 millilightseconds
You want: miles?
* 558.84719 / 0.0017893979
"500 miles, or a little bit more."
January 16, 2006
A moment of clarity
Here's a very funny ad for Montavit mineral water:
Video below the fold.
And a tip o' the hat to J.R.
[MPG format. Save.]
Steve F sends this funny story.
The cabin door opens. Two men dressed in pilots' uniforms walk up the aisle. Both are wearing dark glasses; one is using a guide dog and the other is tapping his way along the aisle with a cane. Nervous laughter spreads through the cabin, but the men enter the cockpit, the door closes, and the engines start up.
The passengers begin glancing nervously around, searching for some sign that this is just a little practical joke. None is forthcoming. The plane moves faster and faster down the runway, and the people sitting in the window seats realize they're headed straight for the water at the edge of the airport.
As it begins to look as though the plane will plow into the water, panicked screams fill the cabin. At that moment, the plane lifts smoothly into the air. The passengers relax and laugh a little sheepishly, and soon all retreat into their magazines, secure in the knowledge that the plane is in good hands.
And in the cockpit, one of the blind pilots turns to the other and says, "You know, Bob, one of these days they're gonna scream too late and we're all gonna die."
A woman was driving her car down the road one day...
while a man was driving his car on the same road in the opposite direction.
When they passed each other, the woman opened her window and shouted to the man, "DONKEY!"
The man immediately responded, "BITCH!"
Both continued their separate ways, the man being very satisfied with his quick reaction. And just as he reached the next curve in the road…
Men never really understand what women are trying to say to them.
More blonde humor
I know that some people don't care for blonde jokes, but this one at Dave's is one of the best I've seen.
January 13, 2006
Steve R writes, "Beautiful shots of the B-2."
There are sixteen photos of a B-2 named The Spirit of New York, taken by Richard Seaman at an Edwards AFB airshow last year.
Mr. Seaman writes (my emphasis):
The air force's preference for very tame demonstrations is largely due to the high cost of each aircraft - somewhere between $2.2 and $2.4 billion apiece, making it by far the most expensive plane in the world. ... it's sobering to think that this plane is actually worth about twice its weight in gold, a pretty penny if ever there was one!
Punishing the rabbi
It's Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year. An angel peers off a cloud, looking far down below onto a golf course, and what does he see? Why, it's a rabbi. And the rabbi's playing golf on Yom Kippur!
"Lordy, lordy, there's a rabbi down there playing golf on the holiest day of the year," the angel cries. "Whatcha gonna do?"
"Oh, I'll fix him..." cackles the Lord. "Watch this!"
So the angel watches the rabbi as he lifts his golf club high over his shoulder, preparing to tee off. WHACK! His ball rises high into the air, higher, higher, higher... then it seems to stop in mid air, and then it slowly accelerates back down, towards, towards... the hole. PLUNK - it's a hole in one!
"Hey, I thought you were going to punish him. He just got a hole in one!" complains the angel.
"You don't understand," replies God. "Who can he tell?"
Beware low fares
Video below the fold.
[WMV format. Save.]
The etymology game. (Via Metafilter.) Ten multiple choice questions per game. Try to get a good score, but also learn some interesting info. Like, did you know the cheer "ole" comes from "Allah" and that "admiral" is based on "emir"?
January 12, 2006
Now this is light
Via Dave Barry.
Bi-partisan bumper sticker
Finally, someone has come out with a 100% bipartisan political bumper sticker. The hottest selling bumper sticker comes from New York State and reads:
Democrats put it on their rear bumpers. Republicans put it on their front bumpers.
Now, who hasn't been in this guy's position?
Video below the fold.
[WMV format. Save.]
Simple rules of life
Sometimes, we just need to remember what the simple rules of life really are:
You only need two tools: WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.
Remember: Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
Never pass up an opportunity to go to the bathroom.
If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You get another chance.
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it into a fruit salad.
And finally, be really nice to your family and friends; you never know when you might need them to empty your bedpan.
January 11, 2006
The best license plate ever. (Click for a larger image.)
Last week, Steve F sent a piece on where to retire. This week, Steve R sends a piece about what it'll be like. I'm starting to wonder about these guys named Steve...
Q: When is a retiree's bedtime?
A: Three hours after he falls asleep on the couch.
Q: How many retirees does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Only one, but it might take all day.
Q: What's the biggest gripe of retirees?
A: There is not enough time to get everything done.
Q: Why don't retirees mind being called 'seniors'?
A: The term comes with a 10% discount.
Q: Among retirees what is considered formal attire?
A: Tied shoes.
Q: Why do retirees count pennies?
A: They are the only ones who have the time.
Q: What is the common term for someone who enjoys work and refuses to retire?
Q: Why are retirees so slow to clean out the basement, attic or garage?
A: They know that as soon as they do, one of their adult kids will want to store stuff there.
Q: What do retirees call a long lunch?
Q: What is the best way to describe retirement?
A: The never ending Coffee Break.
Q: What's the biggest advantage of going back to school as a retiree?
A: If you cut classes, no one calls your parents.
Q: Why does a retiree often say he doesn't miss work, but misses the people he used to work with?
A: He is too polite to tell the whole truth.
Here's an interesting Australian ad with an English audio track and sub-titles in Nederlands (I believe).
Video below the fold.
[MPEG format. Save.]
Late one night, a mugger wearing a ski mask stopped a well-dressed man and stuck a gun in his ribs. “Give me your money,” he demanded.
Indignant, the affluent man replied, “You can’t do this - I’m a United States Congressman!”
“In that case,” replied the mugger, “give me MY money.”
I lifted this one from the Club for Growth blog.
January 09, 2006
I'd like to try this one
It looks like it would be a kick to drive.
1. If you are choking on an ice cube, don't panic. Simply pour a cup of boiling water down your throat and presto! The blockage will be almost instantly removed.
2. Clumsy? Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.
3. Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by simply using the sink instead.
4. For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.
5. A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.
6. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives. Then you'll be afraid to cough.
7. Have a bad toothache? Smash your thumb with a hammer and you will forget about the toothache.
A very amusing ad from Danier Leather.
Video below the fold.
[WMV format. Save.]
Samizdata Illuminatus, one of the contributors at samizdata.net, writes:
I've been poking around AllofMP3.com, a Russian music site with a huge catalogue and an excellent interface and even better prices (a typical track can be downloaded typically for around 12¢). The way the system works is you pay 'by weight' of the music file: the tracks are coded-to-order to your exact specifications via a vast CD jukebox, thus if you download an mp3 file with a bit rate of 192 (excellent sound quality), you will pay more than if you download the same file in smaller size at a bit rate of 64 (fairly crappy sound quality). The system can be accessed either via a web front-end or an excellent browser application.
I don't know what the RIAA thinks of this. I'm sure the Russians don't care about the RIAA, but I don't know whether you need to.
January 06, 2006
Here's a pretty good collection: the Top 10 Free Time Wasting Sites on the Net at about.com. Worth a look.
Scott says this caused him a 'WTF Were They Thinking?' moment.
How's it feel?
A story told about Alexandre Dumas fils, 19th century novelist and playwright:
Before the first night of a Dumas play a pretty young actress rushed up to Dumas all aflutter with stage fright. "Oh, Monsieur Dumas," she gasped, "just feel how my heart is beating." Dumas, of course, was only too happy to oblige. "How does it feel?" pursued the soubrette after a pause.
"Round," said Dumas.
Weekend reading 9
Peggy Noonan's talking the Steamroller blues.
For a little levity, a report from Scrappleface about Pat Robertson: Ignorant Remarks Caused by God's Wrath.
An interesting interview at Kiplinger.com: The World According to "Poor Charlie".
Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet's number two speaks to Kiplinger's about investing, Berkshire and more.
Charlie Munger has been Warren Buffett's partner and alter ego for more than 45 years. The pair has produced one of the best investing records in history. Shares of Berkshire Hathaway, of which Munger is vice chairman, have gained an annualized 24% over the past 40 years. The conglomerate, which the stock market values at $130 billion, owns and operates more than 65 businesses and invests in many others. Buffett's annual reports are studied by money managers. But Munger, 81, has always been media shy. That changed when Peter Kaufman compiled Munger's writing and speeches in a new book, Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger ($49.00, PCA Publications). Here Munger speaks with Kiplinger's Steven Goldberg.
January 05, 2006
Here's a sample from the National Wildlife Federation's annual photo contest.
This is a good example:
(31 May 2005, Seattle, Washington) Strength and endurance are two of the most important characteristics that can be passed on to improve the species, so physical challenges between males are frequent. In this case, two drinking buddies found themselves on an overpass 40 feet above a busy freeway in downtown Seattle at 2:45 a.m. It turned out to be the perfect place to determine who had more strength and endurance. Whoever could dangle from the overpass the longest would win!
Unfortunately, the winner was too tired from his victory to climb back up, despite help from his 31-year-old friend. The unidentified champion fell smack into the front of a semi-truck barreling down the highway at 60 mph and bounced onto the pavement, where he was hit by a car. The car did not stop. Authorities did not identify the winner of the competition.
Yet another clever French animation, originally done in a QuickTime movie called Supermoine.
Video below the fold.
All about mothers
- since we had All about kids yesterday. AnnaBanana says, "Somehow the #1 Thing Only Women Understand got cut off somewhere along the way."
Pregnancy Q & A
Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No, 35 children is enough.
Q: I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.
Q: What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational.
A: So what's your question?
Q: My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right?
A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.
Q: When is the best time to get an epidural?
A: Right after you find out you're pregnant.
Q: Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
A: Not unless the word "alimony" means anything to you.
Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.
Q: Do I have to have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby's diaper very quickly.
Q: Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.
10 WAYS TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE "ESTROGEN ISSUES"
1. Everyone around you has an attitude problem.
2. You're adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelet.
3. The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans.
4. Your husband is suddenly agreeing to everything you say.
5. You're using your cellular phone to dial up every bumper sticker that says: "How's my driving-call 1- 800-".
6. Everyone's head looks like an invitation to batting practice.
7. Everyone seems to have just landed here from "outer space".
8 You can't believe they don't make a tampon bigger than Super Plus.
9 You're sure that everyone is scheming to drive you crazy.
10. The ibuprofen bottle is empty and you bought it yesterday..
TOP 10 THINGS ONLY WOMEN UNDERSTAND
10. Cats' facial expressions.
9. The need for the same style of shoes in different colors.
8. Why bean sprouts aren't just weeds.
7. Fat clothes.
6 Taking a car trip without trying to beat your best time.
5. The difference between beige, ecru, cream, off-white, and eggshell.
4. Cutting your hair to make it grow.
3. Eyelash curlers.
2. The inaccuracy of every bathroom scale ever made.
January 04, 2006
A Pepsi ad about an young man in India with strange powers.
Video below the fold.
MPEG format. Save.
Where to retire?
When we hit retirement age we realize that it may be time to relocate. The big question is: to where? Here are some tips.
You can live in sunny southern Arizona where...
1. You are willing to park 3 blocks away because you found shade.
2. You can open and drive your car without touching the car door or the steering wheel.
3. You've experienced condensation on your butt from the hot water in the toilet bowl.
4. You would give anything to be able to splash cold water on your face.
5. You can attend any function wearing shorts and a tank top.
6. "Dress Code" is meaningless at high schools and universities. Picture lingerie ads.
7. You can drive for 4 hours in one direction and never leave town.
8. You have over 100 recipes for Mexican food.
9. The 4 seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
10. You know that "dry heat" is comparable to what hits you in the face when you open your oven door.
Or you can Live in California where...
1. Your income is over $250,000 and you still can't afford to buy a house.
2 The high school quarterback calls a time-out to answer his cell phone.
3. The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway.
4. You know how to eat an artichoke.
5. You drive your rented Mercedes to your neighborhood block party.
6. When someone asks you how far something is, you tell them how long it will take to get there rather than how many miles away it is.
And there's New York City where...
1. You say "the city" and expect everyone to know you mean Manhattan.
2. You have never been to the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State building.
3. You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Columbus Circle to Battery Park, but can't find Wisconsin on a map.
4 You think Central Park is "nature."
5. You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multi-lingual.
6. You've worn out a car horn.
7. You think eye contact is an act of aggression.
You can try Maine where...
1. You only have four spices: salt, pepper, ketchup, and tabasco.
2. Halloween costumes fit over parkas.
3. You have more than one recipe for moose.
4. Sexy lingerie is anything flannel with fewer than eight buttons.
5. The four seasons are: winter, still winter, almost winter, and construction.
Or the Deep South where...
1. You can rent a movie and buy bait in the same store.
2. "Y'all" is singular and "all y'all" is plural.
3. After five years you still hear, "You ain't from ' round here, are ya?"
4. "He needed killin' " is a valid defense against a murder charge.
5. Everyone has 2 first names: Billy Bob, Jimmy Bob, Mary Sue, Betty Jean, Mary Beth, etc.
Then there's Colorado where...
1. You carry your $3,000 mountain bike atop your $500 car.
2. You tell your husband to pick up granola on his way home and he stops at the day care center.
3. A pass does not involve a football or dating.
4. The top of your head is bald, but you still have the pony tail.
In the Midwest...
1. You've never met any celebrities, but the mayor knows your name.
2. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor.
3. You have had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" on the same day.
4. You end sentences with a preposition: "Where's my coat at?"
5. When asked how your trip was to any exotic place, you say, "It was different!"
Finally, Florida, where...
1. You eat dinner at 3:15 in the afternoon.
2. All purchases include a coupon of some kind -- even houses and cars.
3. Everyone can recommend an excellent dermatologist.
4. Road construction never ends anywhere in the state.
5. Cars in front of you are often driven by headless people.
From the New Zealand Herald:
An invention dreamed up over a couple of beers - and built over a few more - has been turning the heads of beachgoers and attracting police attention this summer.
The motorised picnic table is the creation of friends Ross Steiner and Brendon Macdonald.
The table seats eight people and is powered by a 400cc Honda motorcycle motor which Mr Macdonald said could easily get the table clipping along at 100km/h.
All about kids
This one's been making the e-mail rounds for years.
For those who have children in their lives, whether they are your own, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or students, here's something to make you chuckle.
Whenever your children are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God's omnipotence did not extend to His own children.
After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve.
And the first thing he said was "DON'T!"
"Don't what?" asked Adam.
"Don't eat the forbidden fruit," God said.
"Forbidden fruit? We have forbidden fruit? Hey Eve! We got forbidden fruit!"
"Do NOT eat the fruit!" said God.
"Because I am your Father and I said so!" God replied, wondering why He hadn't stopped creation after making the elephants.
A few minutes later, God saw His children having an apple break and was He ticked!
"Didn't I tell you not to eat the fruit?" God asked.
"Uh huh," Adam replied.
"Then why did you?" asked Father.
"I don't know," said Eve.
"She started it!" Adam said.
Having had it with the two of them, God's punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own. Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed.
BUT THERE IS REASSURANCE IN THE STORY!
If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give children wisdom and they haven't taken it, don't be hard on yourself. If God had trouble raising children, what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for you?
January 03, 2006
Another clever QuickTime animation from France.
Architects and engineers compete to see whose team can build the most spectacular structure using little more than cans of food at Canstruction, the 13th annual NYC Design and Build competition in New York. The exhibit at New York Design Center is open to the public. At the end of the competition on 23 November 2005, the 130,000 cans that are part of the exhibit will be given to the Food Bank of New York City.
Canstruction is a national charity and has similar competitions each year in over 66 cities throughout the United States and Canada. For more information, visit http://www.canstruction.org/
A cop is waiting across the street from a bar's parking lot late on a Saturday night, watching for drunks trying to drive home. After a short wait, one particularly sad case stumbles out the door bleary-eyed, confused, and wandering the parking lot looking for his car. He locates his car, fumbles for his keys, gets in (bumping his head in the process) and drives off, driving over the curb on the way out.
Of course he doesn't get very far at all before the cop is on him and pulls him over. The cop has him step out of the car, sizes him up, and administers several field sobriety tests with much effort because the guy has trouble understanding some of the tests. The driver fails all the tests miserably: he can't touch his nose, he can't walk straight, he can't stand on one foot, he can't recite a speedy alphabet.
The final step, of course, is the breathalyzer. So the cop asks his subject to blow into the tube. Green light. In disbelief, the cop checks the breathalyzer and has the suspect try again. Another green light - the guy's blood-alcohol level is legal.
"All right," says the cop, "how can you pass a breath test when you're so obviously falling-down drunk?"
"Well, it's like this," replies the guy. "I'm the designated decoy."
January 02, 2006
Carol says, "This is way cool!"
It's a video clip of someone drawing a series of images on a lightboard covered with sand (or some sand-like powder). This happened at SICAF (Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Fesitval) in 2003.
If you want a copy of the WMV file, here it is. (But it's 19MB.)
Lone Star dark horse
Kinky Friedman (of Texas Jewboys fame) is running for governor of Texas in 2006. Click the image to visit his campaign site.
Don't miss his Kinkytoon campain ad. I don't know anything about Kinky's politics, but I did like the "paper or plastic" line in the ad.
POSTED: 3:17 pm EST December 30, 2005
NORFOLK, Va. -- A Virginia animal rights activist has legally changed his name to KentuckyFried Cruelty.com.
The youth outreach coordinator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said he changed his name from Chris Garnett to support the group's anti-KFC campaign.
The 19-year-old said his new name "never fails to spark a discussion."
On his Web site, he said that his parents have been supportive since he went vegan at age 15, but they were shocked at first when he changed his name. He said they have accepted the change, but insist on still calling him Chris.