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February 28, 2007

The Pavement Picasso at work

A few days ago Mike sent a pretty big collection of Julian Beever's sidewalk chalk drawings. (Later, I may post the ones that haven't already appeared here, here or here.)


So when I ran across this video of Mr. Beever drawing one of his works, I was sure people would like to see it -- since no one ever seem to tire of this stuff.

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If it moves, but shouldn't...

Child Says Cocoa Teacher Duct-Taped Him To Desk

POSTED: 11:24 pm EST February 27, 2007
UPDATED: 10:17 am EST February 28, 2007

COCOA, Fla. -- A Brevard County teacher was placed on leave while Cocoa police investigate allegations she duct-taped a kindergarten student to a desk as punishment.

"My teacher duct-taped me to that table," 5-year-old Dylan Negron said.

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A warning sign

Carol sends this series of images as a guide for: How to tell when your feet smell.






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February 27, 2007

Best iPod accessory ever?

This would have been right handy 30 years ago... if there'd been any iPods to plug it into.

Introducing the iBreath Alcohol Breathalyzer. It's the ultimate iPod accessory that lets you take your own alcohol breath test so you can get home safely.

This clever & innovative breathalyzer product is a fully functioning alcohol breathalyzer tester and an iPod FM transmitter that transmits your iPod tunes to any FM tuner.


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Wipe out!


HALEIWA, Hawaii -- Flyn Novak, of Haleiwa, Hawaii, takes a flying leap as he wipes on a huge wave during the third round of the Monster Energy Pipeline Pro, at the Banzai Pipeline in Haleiwa, Hawii, on the North Shore of Oahu in early February. The contest is one of the most dangerous on the surfing circuit. (02/09/07 AP photo)


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Ya gotta like a guy who'll say something like this... even if he turns out later to have been too optimistic in his predictions (as I suspect he is). From the UK's Telegraph:

Cheap solar power poised to undercut oil and gas by half

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Last Updated: 11:31pm GMT 18/02/2007

Within five years, solar power will be cheap enough to compete with carbon-generated electricity, even in Britain, Scandinavia or upper Siberia. In a decade, the cost may have fallen so dramatically that solar cells could undercut oil, gas, coal and nuclear power by up to half. Technology is leaping ahead of a stale political debate about fossil fuels.

Anil Sethi, the chief executive of the Swiss start-up company Flisom, says he looks forward to the day - not so far off - when entire cities in America and Europe generate their heating, lighting and air-conditioning needs from solar films on buildings with enough left over to feed a surplus back into the grid.


"We don't need subsidies, we just need governments to get out of the way and do no harm. They've spent $170bn subsidising nuclear power over the last thirty years," he said.

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February 26, 2007

Your cell phone's ethernet induction capabilities

This clever clip brings to mind the retro-encabulator.

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How smart is your right foot?

This is so funny that it will boggle your mind. And you will keep trying at least 50 more times to see if you can outsmart your foot, but you can't.

While sitting in a chair, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles with it.

Now, while doing this, draw the number "6" in the air with your right hand.

Your foot will change direction. And there's nothing you can do about it.

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More cute animal action - III

Still more of that cute animal stuff.










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2 years ago...

...this week the first post appeared here.


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February 25, 2007

Deep in the Heart o' Texas

I finished another two weeks on the road on another agricultural project, as I did last spring. This time I was in Texas - and deep in Texas - west of Austin and north of San Antonio in an area known as the Texas Hill Country. I hadn't driven through Austin since 1981, when I used to visit my friend Mark there while living in Houston.

The Alvino Rey Orchestra

The stars at night were big and bright.

(More to come...)

The soil, though, was quite different than what you find in the Midwest. Here's the field where we ran equipment tests. People who lived nearby told me it had been a cotton field last year.


The white spots in the dirt are small stones (palm-sized, not gravel). I heard this is pretty common, even in well-worked fields. The color in this image is pretty accurate: the soil's not the rich, loamy black you see in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.

Most of the surrounding countryside is hilly and the soil there seeme to be mostly stone and calichi. It didn't look like very promising farm country to me -- but I'm a city boy, so what do I know? I'd guess that most of the agriculture in the area involves raising livestock. I saw quite a few cattle, grazing among the prickly pears.

And I saw more white-tailed deer than I could count. But they were small; two or three of them might weigh as much as a single Missouri white-tail. It was pretty funny to see a six-point buck with a body the size of a large dog's.

This year's agricultural venture wasn't the big production that last year's was, for several reasons. There were a lot of long days but there wasn't any roadtrip part to this tour. The traveling part will come later and I don't expect to see much of it myself (assuming my prep work went as well as I think it did). I did get to see some of the people I worked with last spring, though, and I met several new folks.

One of the guys on the project brought me a jar of Kinky Friedman's Politically Correct Salsa after I wore my Kinky-for-Gov t-shirt one day. (Thanks, Allen.) Part of the money from sales of Kinky's salsa goes to the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch and there's a legend on the label reading: Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail. There's your thought for the day, animal lovers.

My base of operations this trip was a the biggest little town I've ever seen, a place called Fredericksburg. As you might guess from the name, many of the residents are descended from German immigrants. The local Chamber of Commerce makes much of this heritage and touts the area as a vacation and retirement spot. It's common to see references to 'Opa' and 'Oma' which, I gathered, are German terms for 'Grandpa' and 'Grandma'. I saw "Opa's sausage" on a menu and "Oma's Cake Kitchen" is a local bakery.

The C-of-C has been pretty successful in its efforts. The signs at the city limits say Fredericksburg has a population of 8900, or 1000 fewer than Monmouth, Illinois where I was last May. But the contrast between Fredericksburg and Monmouth could hardly be more marked. For example, I don't know how many restaurants are in Fredericksburg, but I couldn't visit them all during my two-week stay. In Monmouth, I could have visited every restaurant in town in a week. Fredericksburg looks like a town of 25,000 to 30,000. It even has a fairly respectable microbrewery called The Fredericksburg Brewing Company. Their dark was pretty good -- though a little too 'hoppy' for my taste.

I met a guy named John where I was working and he told me that while Fredericksburg itself isn't very big, there are many retirees living in the surrounding county and that they're the ones who provide the demand for the businesses in Fredericksburg. In this vein, I heard that this town of 9000 has four nursing homes.

It looked to me like Fredericksburg would be a nice place to spend a week or two in April. But I wouldn't want to be there in August.

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Survey says...

The latest telephone poll taken for Governor Schwarznegger of California, yielded the following results on whether or not people who live in California think "Illegal immigration is a serious problem":

41% of the respondents answered: "Yes, it's a serious problem."

59% of the respondents answered: "No es un problema."

H.T. Carol (in Sacramento)

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More free photos

A year ago last month, Scott sent a link to a clip taken from NBC's Tonight Show, featuring the Free Photo Booth. Here's another clip of the same type of segment.


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What a catch

This one definitely sounds fishy...

Russian fishermen catch squeaking alien and eat it

Village residents from the Rostov region of Russia caught a weird creature two weeks ago after a strong storm in the Sea of Azov. The shark-looking creature was producing strange squeaky sounds. The fishermen originally believed that they had caught an alien and decided to film the monster with the help of a cell phone camera. The footage clearly shows the creatures’ head, body and long tail. The bizarre catch was weighing almost 100 kilograms, the Komsomolskaya Pravda reports.

However, ufologists and scientists were greatly disappointed when they found out that the fishermen had eaten the monster. They said that they were not scared of the creature so they decided to use it as food. One of the men said that it was the most delicious dish he had ever eaten.

Click here to see the video of the alien sea monster

Via A Welsh View.

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February 09, 2007

Silent but deadly

A little more about porcelain process control in an amusing Public Service announcement at YouTube.


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Jokes about teachers from a teacher.

TEACHER: Why are you late?
BONGANI: Because of the sign.
TEACHER: What sign?
BONGANI: The one that says, "School Ahead. Go Slow."

TEACHER: Bongani, why are you doing your math sums on the floor?
BONGANI: You told me to do it without using tables!
TEACHER: Bongani, how do you spell "crocodile"?
TEACHER: No, that's wrong
BONGANI: Maybe it's wrong, but you asked me how I spell it!
TEACHER: What is the chemical formula for water?
TEACHER: What are you talking about?
BONGANI: Yesterday you said it's H to O!
TEACHER: Bongani, go to the map and find North America.
BONGANI: Here it is!
TEACHER: Correct. Now, class, who discovered America?
TEACHER: Now, Bongani, tell me frankly: do you say prayers before eating?
BONGANI: No sir, I don't have to, my mom is a good cook.
TEACHER: Bongani, your composition on "My Dog" is exactly the same as your brother's. Did you copy his?
BONGANI: No, teacher, it's the same dog!
TEACHER: What do you call a person who keeps on talking, when people are no longer interested?
BONGANI: A teacher

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A cloud-capped mountain

But I don't know which mountain it is.


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February 08, 2007


An interesting animation featuring an never-ending staircase, like the one in M.C. Escher's Relativity.

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New earring

A man is at work one day when he notices that one of his co-workers is wearing an earring. This co-worker is normally a pretty conservative fellow, so the man is curious about this sudden change in fashion.

He walks up to the co-worker and says, "I didn't know you wore an earring."

"Don't make such a big deal... It's only an earring," the guy replies sheepishly.

The man falls silent for a few minutes but then his curiosity prods him to say, "So, how long have you been wearing one?"

"Ever since my wife found it in my truck."

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Porcelain process control

John's wife told him this was evidence that males can be trained.


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February 06, 2007

Pipe dream

Someone posted Pipe Dream on Google Video. It's one of seven cuts on the first Animusic DVD.


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My young grandson called the other day to wish me Happy Birthday.He asked me how old I was, and I told him, "62." He was quiet for a moment,and then he asked, "Did you start at 1?"

After putting her grandchildren to bed, a grandmother changed into old slacks and a droopy blouse and proceeded to wash her hair. As she heard the children getting more and more rambunctious, her patience grew thin. At last she threw a towel around her head and stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings.

As she left the room, she heard the three-year-old say with a trembling voice, "Who was that?"

A grandmother was telling her little granddaughter what her own childhood was like: "We used to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing made from a tire; it hung from a tree in our front yard. We rode our pony. We picked wild raspberries in the woods." The little girl was wide-eyed,taking this in. At last she said, "I sure wish I'd gotten to know you sooner!"

My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, "Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?"

I mentally polished my halo while I asked,"No, how are we alike?"

"You're both old," he replied.

A little girl was diligently pounding away on her grandfather's word processor. She told him she was writing a story. "What's it about?" he asked.

"I don't know," she replied. "I can't read."

I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what color it was.She would tell me and always she was correct. But it was fun for me, so I continued. At last she headed for the door, saying sagely, "Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these yourself!"

When my grandson Billy and I entered our vacation cabin, we kept the lights off until we were inside to keep from attracting pesky insects. Still, a few fireflies followed us in. Noticing them before I did, Billy whispered, "It's no use, Grandpa. The mosquitoes are coming after us with flashlights."

When my grandson asked me how old I was, I teasingly replied, "I'm not sure."

"Look in your underwear, Grandma," he advised. "Mine says I'm four to six."

A second grader came home from school and said to her grandmother,"Grandma, guess what? We learned how to make babies today."
The grandmother, more than a little surprised, tried to keep her cool. "That's interesting," she said, "How do you make babies?"

"It's simple," replied the girl. "You just change 'y' to 'i' and add 'es.'"

Children's Logic: "Give me a sentence about a public servant," said a teacher. The small boy wrote: "The fireman came down the ladder pregnant."

The teacher took the lad aside to correct him. "Don't you know what pregnant means?" she asked.

"Sure," said the young boy confidently. "It means carrying a child."

A nursery school teacher was delivering a station wagon full of kids home one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog. The children started discussing the dog's duties. "They use him to keep crowds back," said one youngster.

"No, said another, "he's just for good luck."

A third child brought the argument to a close. "They use the dogs", she said firmly, "to find the fire hydrant."

H.T. Carol.

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February 05, 2007

More cute animal action - II

Here are nine more images as a follow-up to last montht's More cute animal action post.










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Love the headline

Anti-Hooters City Gets Two Of Them

POSTED: 7:31 pm EST February 1, 2007

TROY, Mich. -- Not every city can boast of having a Neiman Marcus. Troy can. But the Detroit suburb also has something about which it would prefer not to brag.

Troy is now home to two Hooters restaurants, just two miles apart.


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The knack - again

A little over a year ago, Erik sent an audio clip about 'the knack'.

Now I find it incorporated into this Dilbert cartoon segment.


Via WServerNews.

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February 02, 2007


WUHAN, China -- In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, a stuntman acting as Spiderman leaps from a hurtling vehicle to another during a stunt show held at the Xinhualu Stadium in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province. The Filmka stunt group from Hollywood gave a dazzling show of car and autobike stunts to the audience in Wuhan. (12/11/06 AP photo/Xinhua, Fang Xi)


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Precision driving

A couple of interesting demonstrations and a little wanton distruction in this clip from the BBC show Top Gear.


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Quis custodiet custodes ipsos

Who watches the watchers?

CCTV to safeguard speed cameras
Speed cameras in the Scottish Borders may soon be monitored by security cameras to protect them from vandals.

It is among the measures being considered by the Lothian and Borders Safety Camera Partnership.

There have been seven camera attacks in just three years, with machines being set alight, damaged or pulled over.

Via Coyote blog.

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February 01, 2007

Vandals like Tetris too


Via A Welsh View.

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Mammography prep

Many women are afraid of their first mammogram, but there is no need to worry. By taking a few minutes each day for a week preceding the exam and doing the following exercises, you will be totally prepared for the test and best of all, you can do these simple exercises right in and around your home.


Open your refrigerator door and insert one breast in door. Shut the door as hard as possible and lean on the door for good measure. Hold that position for five seconds. Repeat again in case the first time wasn't effective enough.


Visit your garage at 3AM when the temperature of the cement floor is just perfect. Take off all your clothes and lie comfortably on the floor with one breast wedged under the rear tire of the car. Ask a friend to slowly back the car up until your breast is sufficiently flattened and chilled. Turn over and repeat with the other breast.


Freeze two metal bookends overnight. Strip to the waist. Invite a stranger into the room. Press the bookends against one of your breasts.

Smash the bookends together as hard as you can. Set up an appointment with the stranger to meet next year and do it again.


Tip o' the hat to J.D.

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Burning at both ends

My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends -
It gives a lovely light.
Edna St. Vincent Millay, "A Few Figs from Thistles", 1920

Check out the real deal in this YouTube clip.


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Another light bulb joke

How many legislators does it take to change a light bulb?

In California, the answer is a majority -- plus Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Via Hit & Run.

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