January 30, 2007
This is what is real
This has to be one of the cleverest political ads I've seen recently.
I believe it's an ad for Ricardo Lopez Murphy, AKA The Bulldog, an economist who ran for president of Argentina.
Guide for married men
What's the difference is between a hooker, a mistress, and a wife?
The hooker says, "Faster, faster!"
The mistress says, "Slower, slower!"
The wife says, "Blue. I think I'll paint the ceiling blue..."
The cruelest tattoo
Tucson John sends this image of a young woman with a cruel tattoo. Click the image for a larger view.
No Such Thing as Free Space Ride for Contest Winners
Monday, January 29, 2007
LOS ANGELES — Brian Emmett's childhood fantasy came true when he won a free trip to outer space. He was crushed when he had to cancel his reservation because of Uncle Sam.
Emmett won his ticket to the heavens in a 2005 sweepstakes by Oracle Corp., in which he answered a series of online questions on Java computer code. He became an instant celebrity, giving media interviews and appearing on stage at Oracle's trade show.
For the self-described space buff who has attended space camp and watched shuttle launches from Kennedy Space Center, it seemed like a chance to become an astronaut on a dime.
Then reality struck. After some number-crunching, Emmett realized he would have to report the $138,000 galactic joy ride as income and owe $25,000 in taxes. Unwilling to sink into debt, the 31-year-old software consultant from the San Francisco Bay area gave up his seat.
Via Hit & Run.
January 26, 2007
Beauty without brains
This ad for Mercedes autos is a video retelling of an old joke.
Homelessness or imprisonment?
The question for the day is: If you had to chose one, would you chose to be homeless or to be in jail?
My son was telling me last weekend that he'd been talking with some classmates about whether liberty or security was more important. Specifically: Would they rather the government guaranteed their freedoms or guaranteed them the basic food and shelter necessary for life? About ten of them fell into this discussion while waiting for the rest of the class to finish a task. These are 11th and 12th grade students.
According to my son, the large majority of his classmates said they'd pick the second choice: having a guarantee of the necessities of life over a guarantee of liberties. (Let me note that the chances of any of his classmates having actually gone hungry for more than a day would be very close to zero.)
Then he added that they'd put the question in more concrete terms. Which would you prefer: to be homeless or to be in jail? I thought this was an interesting development in the conversation and a great reduction of the argument. Again, the large majority - including the instructor - said they'd prefer jail to homelessness.
To me, this is a no-brainer along the lines of, "Would you rather have your leg broken or have your eyes put out?" Being homeless, while not something I'd volunteer for, is still the lesser of these evils.
But what do you think? Comments are open to all.
Yep, 'eclectic' is how it's spelt.
An "energy autonomous" automobile from Europe. It captures solar or wind energy and can be recharged with house current when needed.
January 25, 2007
I'm not sure what this is, but it looks pretty striking.
Update: Paul writes, "Looks like a trail from a rocket test to me.
An interesting demonstration of ferro-fluids in this clip at YouTube
A real contender
An Englishman, a Scotsman, and an Irishman were without tickets for the opening ceremony of the summer Olympics but hoped to be able to talk their way in at the gate. Security was very tight, however, and each of their attempts was met with a stern refusal.
While wandering around outside the stadium, the Englishman came upon a construction site, which gave him an idea. Grabbing a length of pipe, he presented himself at the gate and said "Johnson, the pole vault." And he was admitted.
The Scotsman, overhearing this, went at once to search the site. When he came up with a sledge hammer, he presented himself at the gate and said, "McTavish, the hammer." He was also admitted.
The Irishman combed the site for an hour and was nearly ready to give up when he spotted his ticket in. Seizing a roll of barbed wire, he presented himself at the gate and announced, "O'Sullivan, fencing."
January 24, 2007
From the right angle
This comes from a collection of 14 funny images at CyberNetNews forum.
The Christ of Scientology
CodeWritinFool says, "Can't make this up."
Cruise 'is Christ' of Scientology
By EMILY SMITH
January 23, 2007
TOM Cruise is the new “Christ” of Scientology, according to leaders of the cult-like religion.
The Mission: Impossible star has been told he has been “chosen” to spread the word of his faith throughout the world.
And leader David Miscavige believes that in future, Cruise, 44, will be worshipped like Jesus for his work to raise awareness of the religion.
"Luv the scorpion!" says Carol.
Video below the fold.
[WMV format. Save.]
January 22, 2007
His word is law
Venezuela's Chavez gets initial approval to approve laws by decree
The Associated Press
Published: January 18, 2007
CARACAS, Venezuela: The National Assembly has given initial approval to a measure that would let President Hugo Chavez enact laws by decree for 1 1/2 years, a key step in what the leftist leader calls an accelerating march toward socialism.
"Socialism or death!" says Señor Chavez. But I think he's using the wrong conjunction.
GadgetGrrll sends these 21 samples of sandwich art with the question, "How could you eat one?"
If it weren't for the background music, this would be a completely awesome clip of someone flying a single-person, jet-powered airfoil. When the ride's over, he brings the rig down under his parachute.
You'll have to watch this one.
Yves Rossy (from Switzerland) is the first man ever to be able to fly, following Icare's dream, with true wings and a jet-pack.
Check out Mr Rossy's site at jet-man.com.
January 22nd is teh sux0r
Most miserable day of the year
TODAY is set to be the most miserable day of the year, a psychologist has claimed.
January 22 emerged as the worst date when common reasons for the blues were totted up.
Dr Cliff Arnalls’ formula takes into account things like Christmas debt, fading memories of holidays, failing New Year resolutions and lack of daylight.
January 19, 2007
Who even knew there was such a thing as the National Association of Staredown Professionals?
Here's a trailer for a documentary about Phillip Rockhammer and his quest to be the staredown champion.
You can view the movie itself here.
The girls of engineering
A.E. writes, "Bet engineering school wasn't like this when you were in it!" - and she hits that nail on its head.
From Champaign-Urbana, here's the Girls of Engineering calendar for 2007.
This would have been on my Christmas list, had I known about it. At least there's free wallpaper.
What a headline
I didn't think tractors ever had sex...
Sex dispute ends in tractor rampage
January 16, 2007 - 12:02PM
It started with client who wouldn't pay a prostitute and ended in a tractor rampage, two damaged cars and criminal convictions.
New Zealand's Timaru District Court has heard how a prostitute tried to get her own back on Christopher Malcolm Duane Muir, a farmhand on the country's South Island, who didn't pay after using her services.
January 17, 2007
The tea house name nazis are at it again
'Frog Takes A Mistress' Name Change Ordered
POSTED: 9:20 am EST January 12, 2007
UPDATED: 9:28 am EST January 12, 2007
SHANGHAI, China -- Chinese officials are ordering a Shanghai tea house to change its name.
The name translates roughly as "Frog Keeps a Mistress." Officials said the moniker is a threat to public morality. But the manager tells local media the name isn't meant to be risque.
The whole subject of mistresses is a touchy one in China, where many Communist Party officials have been criticized for keeping women on the side.
It looks like a lot of fun.
CodeWritinFool sends a link to this lengthy but humorous tale of a biter bit at 419eater.com.
January 16, 2007
A safe bar bet
How to get free drinks: find some people who aren't very good at geometry.
A woman came home, screeched into the driveway, and ran into the house. She slammed the door and shouted at the top of her lungs, "Honey, pack your bags. I won the lottery!"
"Oh my God!" her husband yelled back. "Wait... What should I pack?"
"Doesn't matter," she yelled back. "Just get the hell out."
This comes from a slideshow at AOL's Money & Finance site. It's one of 17 interesting images.
Via A Welsh View.
I'd be in deep trouble in Morocco
From the BBC:
Journalists fined over Islam joke
A court in Casablanca has given two Moroccan journalists suspended sentences of three years for defaming Islam and breaching public morality.
The journalists' weekly magazine, Nichane, had published an article entitled How Moroccans laugh at religion, sex and politics.
Their article had featured jokes about God, the prophets and the Moroccan king, which deeply insulted many ordinary Moroccans and their religion, says the BBC's Richard Hamilton in Casablanca.
January 15, 2007
I heard from folks out of town about the doom-n-gloom being reported about St. Louis. Though that news may have been overblown, we did have some serious icy rain here and we did do without electric service for a spell (36 hours at my house).
This image shows a branch on a tree in my yard which is ordinarily well over my head. But after being loaded with ice, it was hanging just off the ground: the perspective here is eye-level. The twigs on this branch were covered with 2-3 times their diameters in ice. In the background are less limber branches that had fallen to the ground.
But the trees hardest hit were the evergreens. Their many needles make excellent ice collectors. In this image, the evergreen in the foreground (at the right) is a yew tree that accumulated so much ice it was uprooted and simply toppled. Beyond that, you can see in the distance a scrub pine about 12 feet tall that has so much ice on it that it's bent double over the pavement, with its top touching the ground.
And hovering over that poor pine is another yew that's seriously listing to port. It leaned a lot from the weight of the ice, but it didn't break. Yew wood is amazingly supple and hard to snap, which is why the ice damage is so surprising. (And why it's still used for making bows.)
Most of the ice storm happened on Saturday. Luckily, the temperature on Sunday stayed above freezing (34-35 °F) so the ice began to melt. When the rain came again on Sunday evening, the temperature stayed high enough that the rain helped melt the rest of the ice. By Monday morning, the ice had mostly disappeared - which was good news for those of us waiting for power to be restored.
The Lada Stunt Team does some amazing tricks in this clip. Ladas are Russian-made cars, so maybe the voice-over in this clip is Russian?
An Arkansas man, considering getting a vasectomy, decided to discuss it with his pastor. The pastor gave him various bits of advice, and suggested that he discuss it with his doctor.
The doctor likewise advised him on various aspects, and on discovering that he hadn't talked to his family about it yet, urged him to do so.
His family voted 14-4 in favor of it.
Where were you in '72?
Here's a Birthday-card-in-advance for all of you 1954 models out there. I ran across it awhile back at Postsecret.
Many happy returns when your tomorrow arrives this year.
January 13, 2007
I had a pleasant shock from the front page of this morning's Post-Dispatch. It said that 13-year-old Ben Ownby had been found yesterday -- he was kidnapped last Monday near Beaufort, MO. And it also said that 15-year-old Shawn Hornbeck had been found at the same apartment. Shawn was kidnapped in October, 2002, when he was 11 years old.
Shawn on the left (in 2002), Ben on the right in this SLP-D photo.
What really brought it home to me, though, was a large ad at our local supermarket that described Shawn and sought information about him: the "Have you seen me?" kind of ad. Someone had written "FOUND!" on a sheet of note paper and taped it over the ad.
I can't begin to imagine how their parents must be feeling right now. Another article in the P-D described local reactions:
In St. Charles, where Scott Allen Kleeschulte has been missing since 1988, a manager at the Dierberg's supermarket announced over the store's PA system that the boys had been found. Shoppers stopped in the aisles, clapped each other on the back, hooting and applauding.
People in the Union area [near Beaufort, where Ben lives - JdJ] rushed to the Wal-Mart to make sure friends and neighbors had heard, said store greeter Bob Galen, 71.
"The whole store erupted in cheers," Galen said.
January 12, 2007
MiG for sale
Here's your chance to add a MiG to your collection of vintage aircraft. Current bid is only $23,000 (US).
WITH THE TURBINE
Johnny Knoxville & his Big Red Rocket
A doctor told his patient, "I've got some bad news and good news for you. I'll give you the bad news first: you have a very serious disease. On average, only one person in ten with this disease survives."
"What's the good news?" asked the patient.
"My last nine patients died."
January 11, 2007
Real Life® cute animal action
CALI, Columbia -- Ana Julia Torres kisses Jupiter, an African lion she rescued malnourished from a circus six years ago, at her Villa Lorena animal shelter, in Cali, Colombia. Ana Julia Torres is the owner of the 12-year-old shelter that rescues sick and mistreated animals from all over Colombia. (01/08/07 AP photo)
The new age of oil
An interesting article in Newsweek about the likely future of the oil industry, called What Lies Below.
Now doomsday forecasts are back, predicting the end of oil in this decade or the next. The verdict of the new catastrophists may appear more convincing because they use statistical and probability models that appear to penetrate the mysteries of our planet's subsoil. In fact, they do no such thing. In sum, what little is known about the world's underground resources justifies a positive view of the future.
A perfect circle?
CodeWritinFool says, "Wow, didn't know people did this."
It is impressive.
Look before you leap
Two old guys who were walking down the street one day when one of them looked over and saw a dog at the end of the block, licking its genitals. "Man!" the guy said to his friend. "Don't you wish you could do that?"
"Well," said the other guy, "I think I'd pet him first to see if he's friendly."
January 09, 2007
More cute animal action
It's been awhile since we've had any cute animal pix. Here's a collection of 10.
The right tool for the job
Lady Crofton-Smythe was giving a party for the upper crust and she'd hired Lena, a girl recently come to London from County Cork, as a maid. As Lena was setting up the tea service, Lady C-S told her to be certain that there were sugar tongs available.
Lena had never heard of sugar tongs, and asked the Lady what they were and why they were used.
Lady C-S, always happy to enlighten one of The Unenlightened, told Lena that the problem lay with the gentlemen, who would go to the loo, and to do what they needed to do, had to touch things which were less than acceptably sanitary. Yes, even the Nobility was subject to this masculine frailty.
"Sure, Ma'am, 'twas nothing like this Oi ever saw in Ireland," Lena said, impressed.
"Well, the Irish will learn manners someday, Lena," said the Lady, with an instinctive lifting of her nose.
After the guests had begun arriving that evening, Lady C-S was dismayed and infuriated not to see any sugar tongs on the tea service.
Lena, trembling, came quickly in answer to the Lady's angry shout. "But... but, m'Lady, sure, an' Oi put the tongs out just as you told me to."
Her furious employer pointed to the tea table, devoid of tongs. "Then where are they, young woman?"
"Why, they're in the loo, of course"
Tony vs. Paul
One of the best stop-action videos I've seen.
January 08, 2007
50 marathons in 50 days
From Wired: The Perfect Human
You wouldn't believe the stuff Karnazes consumes on a run. He carries a cell phone and regularly orders an extra-large Hawaiian pizza. The delivery car waits for him at an intersection, and when he gets there he grabs the pie and rams the whole thing down his gullet on the go. The trick: Roll it up for easy scarfing. He'll chase the pizza with cheesecake, cinnamon buns, chocolate éclairs, and all-natural cookies. The high-fat pig-out fuels Karnazes' long jaunts, which can burn more than 9,000 calories a day.
Building planes in the sky
At the vet's
A lady was complaining to her vet that her new St. Bernard always jumped on her and attacked her whenever she stepped out of the shower.
The vet told her, "Well, that's a behavioral problem. What do you want me to do about it?"
"Trim his nails," the woman replied. "They're really uncomfortable."
Funny ads on buses
A collection of 21 funny ads painted (I assume) on mass transit buses.
Via A Welsh View.
January 05, 2007
Walking on air
Image of a spacewalk at the ISS with New Zealand in the background. Click this thumbnail for a very high resolution (3032 x 2007) image.
An older couple went to a sex therapist and asked if he would observe them having sex. The doctor agreed; the couple disrobed and got it together on the sofa in his office. When they'd finished the doctor said everything seemed fine to him. The couple then asked if they could have another appointment the following week to have him observe them in a different position. The doctor agreed to this too. Feeling that he hadn't really done much for them, he only charged them only $10 for the visit.
The following week the couple returned and performed in front of the doctor again. When they finished, the doctor said everything seemed fine. He asked if they enjoyed it and they said yes, but they'd like to return the following week for another session.
Over the next few months the couple returned on a weekly basis for a session with the doctor. Each time the doctor and the couple agreed that everything was fine. Finally, after the 14th such session, the doctor told the couple that he really didn't think they had a problem and asked them just exactly what was it they were trying to find out.
The man replied, "We're not trying to find out anything. You see, she's married so we can't go to her house and I'm married so we can't go to my house. The Adams Mark charges $82 and Holiday Inn charges $60. But you only charge $10 and Medicare refunds $8."
Let it ring
I have no idea where this clip comes from and our contributor (who prefers to remain anonymous) provided no clues.
Video below the fold.
[WMV format. Save.]
January 03, 2007
Here's a clip showing how to tweak IE and Firefox to improve their performance over broadband. Lightning Fast Browsing Trick For Internet Explorer And Firefox.
Make web pages load lightning fast.. A must-see tweak for Firefox and Internet Explorer users. Most browsers are configured for dial-up.. Tweak the settings to boost surfing speeds and minimize page load times.
Via Chris DiClerico.
A cartoon via Lou.
I'll bet Tom's smiling about this
From the Washington Post's Reliable Source column:
Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, found himself under attack last month when he announced he'd take his oath of office on the Koran -- especially from Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode, who called it a threat to American values.
Yet the holy book at tomorrow's ceremony has an unassailably all-American provenance. We've learned that the new congressman -- in a savvy bit of political symbolism -- will hold the personal copy once owned by Thomas Jefferson.
As Ronald Bailey points out at Reason's Hit & Run: "Jefferson's home Monticello is in Goode's district."
Last month, Rob sent a series of images of planets and stars that increased in scale and demonstrated how microscopically small our pale blue dot is, relative to stellar giants such as Betelgeuse and Antares.
Then I ran across this video clip at Google that makes the same point with pretty much the same set of images in an animated form.
Via A Welsh View.
January 02, 2007
You'd be jolly too
Q. Why is Santa always so jolly?
A. Because he has the list of all the naughty girls.
[I've had this one in the queue since last June and completely missed Christmas... Dang!]
Redneck glare shield
Thanks to Brian, we have a pic of this example of workspace ingenuity.
There's nothing like a little cardboard to add that special hi-tech touch.
Let's go to Texas!
Dave Barry's Year-End Review.
This was the year in which the members of the United States Congress, who do not bother to read the actual bills they pass, spent weeks poring over instant messages sent by a pervert. This was the year in which the vice president of the United States shot a lawyer, which turned out to be totally legal in Texas.
January 01, 2007
Carol sent a set of 8 cartoons about dogs by Mark Parisi but since Mr. Parisi licenses the publication rights, I'll limit myself to one and a link to his site.
Here's PC World's Top 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time.
I think this is close to spot on: AOL and RealPlayer lead the list, with Windows ME in the #4 position. (Not to mention IBM's "Deathstar" hard drive at #18.)
Via A Welsh View.
"A blast from the past," says A.E.