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May 31, 2007

Men in coats

This is a funny clip of a two-man stage act that's partly magic, but mostly comedy.

MenInCoats.jpg

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A proper introduction

A funny story from Carol.

A man boarded an airplane and took his seat. As he settled in, he glanced up and saw the most beautiful woman boarding the plane. He soon realized she was heading straight towards his seat. As fate would have it, she took the seat right beside his. Eager to strike up a conversation he blurted out, "Business trip or pleasure?"

She turned, smiled and said, "Business. I'm going to the annual Nymphomaniacs of America convention in Boston."

He swallowed hard. Here was the most gorgeous woman he had ever seen sitting next to him, and she was going to a meeting of nymphomaniacs. Struggling to maintain his composure, he calmly asked, "What's your business role at this convention?"

"Lecturer," she responded. "I teach what I have learned from my personal experiences to debunk some of the popular myths about sexuality."

"Really?" he said. "And what kind of myths have you debunked?"

"Well," she explained, "one popular myth is that African-American men are the most well-endowed, when in fact it is the Native American Indian who is most likely to possess that trait. Another popular myth is that Frenchmen are the best lovers when actually it is men of Jewish descent who are the best. I have also discovered that the lover with absolutely the best stamina is the Southern redneck."

Suddenly the woman became a little uncomfortable and blushed. "I'm sorry," she said, "I shouldn't really be discussing all of this with you. We haven't even been introduced."

"I'm Tonto," the man said. "Tonto Goldstein... But my friends call me Bubba."

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Modelleisenbahn

Actually, this incredibly detailed, 1/6-scale railroad model was built in Britain and not in Germany. I don't know whether it runs as well; maybe it's only for show.

Kampfgruppe1_6.jpg

This is one of 57 (if I counted correctly) images of a model built by Peter Shaw that appear in the UK1:6th Collectors Club forum. The final image includes Mr. Shaw and gives a sense of scale.

H.T.: A.E.

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May 30, 2007

Wine terrorists?

Via The Telegraph in Calcutta, this news about France.

French wine terrorists
HENRY SAMUEL

Paris, May 25: A shadowy group of wine activists has issued a one-month ultimatum to Nicolas Sarkozy threatening “action” if the new French President fails to help the industry.

The Regional Committee for Viticultural Action (CRAV) has been known to hijack tankers of foreign wine and dynamite government buildings or supermarkets.

In a pre-recorded message delivered to France 3, a regional television channel, from “somewhere in the Languedoc hinterland”, five balaclava-clad men read out a statement addressed to Sarkozy.

Looking more like Corsican nationalists or masked Islamic fundamentalists than winemakers, the “wine terrorists” vowed that if nothing changed and the price they received for their wine had not gone up, they would go “into action”.

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How to putt

Here's a clip of Cyril Takayama working his magic on a golf course.

GolfMagic.jpg

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A bit of tail

A middle-aged wife looked out of her window and saw her husband with a kite. He threw it in the air, it floated, then wobbled, and crashed into the ground. Again and again, he threw it; it wobbled and crashed into the ground.

Thnking that men are very incompentent sometimes, she called out to her husband, "What you need is a piece of tail!"

Her husband replied, "Well, make up your mind. Yesterday you told me to go fly a kite!"

Via netfunny.com

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May 29, 2007

Tasty

It's a Mazda Pi (to 27 digits):

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Big Donor Show

I wonder what Virginia Postrel would think of this?

TV Contestants Vie For Terminally Ill Patient's Kidney
Woman Will Choose One Of Three Contestants

POSTED: 9:33 am EDT May 29, 2007

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- The outcome of a Dutch reality show could literally mean the difference between life and death.

The new TV show centers around a terminally ill woman who will choose one of three contestants to receive one of her kidneys after she dies.

TV executives said the "Big Donor Show" will highlight the country's shortage of organ donors.

Update, 6/4/07, from CBS News:

Dutch Organ Donor Reality Show A Hoax
Broadcaster Says Aim Was To Get More Attention For Issue Of Organ Donations

(CBS/AP) A television show in which a woman would donate a kidney to a contestants was revealed as a hoax Friday. Presenters said they were trying to pressure the government into reforming organ donation laws.

At the last moment, presenter Patrick Lodiers of the "Big Donor Show" said the woman known as "Lisa" was an actress, not actually dying of a brain tumor as claimed.

The entire exercise was intended to pressure the government into reforming its organ donation laws and raise public awareness of the need for organs.

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Synchronized kites

A.E. sends a link to this clip of Ray Bethell flying three kites at once. The clip comes from Kitelife Magazine's site, where they have a collection of similar clips.

Mr. Bethell has evidently been at this kite-flying business for a while, judging from his site.

Bethell_kites.jpg

Video below the fold.

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May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

NeverForget.gif

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May 25, 2007

Sex and the Matrix

Here's a funny mash-up of Sex and the City and The Matrix from Saturday Night Live.

SexCityMatrix.jpg

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That's not nice!

But it is sort of funny.

Pickpockets Snatch Oslo Police Chief's Wallet
Police Were Kicking Off Campaign Against Pickpockets

POSTED: 7:19 am EDT May 25, 2007

OSLO, Norway -- A police campaign to crack down on pickpockets has come too late to help the capital's top crime fighter.

Police Chief Anstein Gjengedal's wallet was snatched by a pickpocket as the campaign was set to begin, the Oslo newspaper Dagbladet reported Friday.

The police chief was on the Oslo airport train Monday when a group of people jostled him. When he checked a few minutes later, his wallet was gone.

"I didn't have much money with me," he was quoted as saying. "But it still wasn't very nice."

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Another sweet machine

BusinessWeek has an article about the Intel Metro, a laptop that's 0.7 inches thick - only a quarter inch thicker than a Razr cell phone.

Intel_Metro.jpg

If you're like me, you'll skip straight to the slideshow.

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May 24, 2007

Dark sky

Here's a very small version of a nice panaroma of the night sky in Death Valley, California.

DeathValleySky.jpg

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Love in Paris

This comes from Art Buchwald's book I'll Always Have Paris.

I was not witness to the following story, but I like to believe it was true.

A wealthy lover gave his lady friend, who was married to someone else, a gorgeous fur coat. The woman tried it on and went wild with joy. The only problem was how to explain it to her husband.

Then she had an idea. She took it to the Gare St-Lazare in a large white box and checked it into a locker. She went home, and in the course of the evening said to her husband, "I just found this railroad check on the sidewalk. Why don't you stop by on your way home from work and see if it has any value?"

The next day, the husband took the check and on his way home he stopped by the Gare St-Lazare and turned it in. He opened the white box and saw the beautiful coat. He grabbed a taxi and took it to his mistress and gave it to her. Then he bought an umbrella and took it home. He said to his wife, "This is all there was."

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A sweet machine

A clever ad for Skoda's Fabia model -- a car built in the Czech Republic. I wonder if it was edible?

Skoda_Fabia.jpg

Via A Welsh View, where Robert Gale claims it's "as good as or possibly better than the Honda Cog advert."

Posted by joke du jour at 07:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 23, 2007

Save the bunny

This Flash clip at 10mg is pretty nicely done. They appear to be a Dutch new media company.

SaveTheBunny.jpg

Tip o' the hat to A.E.

Posted by joke du jour at 08:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Not so lucky

Down, boy: Rice puts ladies' man in his place
May 23, 2007

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani Prime Minister's charm failed to work its magic on the steely US Secretary of State, according to a new biography of Condoleezza Rice.

The Pakistani newspaper Dawn reports that the book describes in excruciating detail how Shaukat Aziz allegedly tried to impress Dr Rice when she visited South Asia in March 2005.

Mr Aziz "tried this Savile Row-suited gigolo kind of charm: 'Pakistan is a country of rich traditions,' staring in [Dr Rice's] eyes," the biographer Marcus Mabry writes, according to Dawn.

"When Rice sat down with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, who fancied himself as a ladies' man, Aziz puffed himself up and held forth in what he obviously thought was his seductive baritone. He bragged - to Western diplomats, no less - that he could conquer any woman in two minutes."

Mr Aziz, who is married with three children, was out of luck.

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15 short ads

While I don't use Apple's computers, I do like Apple's PC-guy-Mac-guy ads

And now someone's collected 15 short ads from that series into one clip at YouTube.

PC_Mac_collection.jpg

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May 21, 2007

I feel lucky

I wonder if this woman's ever heard Mary Chapin Carpenter's song.


Indebted Mom Finds $10, Buys $1M Lottery Ticket
Woman To Take Cash Payments Over 20 Years

POSTED: 8:54 am EDT May 21, 2007

NORTH CANTON, Ohio -- A deeply-in-debt gas station clerk found a $10 bill, bought the last lottery ticket on a roll at the store where she works and wound up a millionaire, and it's not a movie.

It really happened Friday to Kristina Schneider in North Canton, Ohio.

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Stretch Mini

Somehow that reminds me of 'jumbo shrimp'... But it's a stretch limousine made from a Mini Cooper S. Four doors, six wheels and, of course, a whirlpool at the back under the removable roof.

StretchMini.jpg

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Praying parrots

A lady went to her priest one day and told him, "Father, I have a problem. I have two female parrots, but they only know how to say one thing."

"What do they say?" the priest asked.

"They say, 'Hi, we're hookers! Do you want to have some fun?'"

"That's obscene!" the priest exclaimed. Then he thought for a moment. "You know," he said, "I may have a solution to your problem. I have two talking parrots, which are males, and I have taught them to pray and read the Bible.

"Bring your two parrots over to my house and we'll put them in the cage with Paul and Peter. My parrots can teach your parrots to praise and worship, and your parrots are sure to stop saying... er, that phrase.. in no time."

"Thank you," the woman replied, "that may very well be the solution." So the next day she brought her female parrots to the priest's house.

As he ushered her in, she saw that his two male parrots were inside their cage holding rosary beads and reciting prayers. Impressed, she walked over and placed her parrots in with them. After a few minutes, the female parrots cried out in unison: "Hi, we're hookers! Do you want to have some fun?"

There was stunned silence. Then one male parrot looked over at the other male and exclaimed, "Put the beads away, Paul! Our prayers have been answered!"

H.T.: Carol

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May 18, 2007

More magic

I found this entertaining (but lengthy) magic show at YouTube.

KoreanMagic.jpg

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Flash flower garden

A.E. sent a link to a cute flower garden done in Flash. (It came from here.)

It's below the fold. Check it out before we run out of spring - click, or click-n-drag, anywhere in the image.

Posted by joke du jour at 08:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Carbon indulgences

Here's a very interesting article from a somewhat surprising source: Alexander Cockburn (co-editor of CounterPunch) wrote it for his "Beat the Devil" column in The Nation.

Is Global Warming a Sin?

[from the May 14, 2007 issue]

In a couple of hundred years historians will be comparing the frenzies over our supposed human contribution to global warming to the tumults at the latter end of the tenth century as the Christian millennium approached. Then as now, the doomsters identified human sinfulness as the propulsive factor in the planet's rapid downward slide. Then as now, a buoyant market throve on fear. The Roman Catholic Church sold indulgences like checks. The sinners established a line of credit against bad behavior and could go on sinning. Today a world market in "carbon credits" is in formation. Those whose "carbon footprint" is small can sell their surplus carbon credits to others less virtuous than themselves.

As it happens, I noticed my first TerraPass bumper sticker just this week.

But to stay with the topic, Coyote links to this interesting post that appeared on the US Senate Committee for Environment and Public Works blog (what a mouthful) this week.

Climate Momentum Shifting: Prominent Scientists Reverse Belief in Man-made Global Warming - Now Skeptics

Growing Number of Scientists Convert to Skeptics After Reviewing New Research

Following the U.S. Senate's vote today on a global warming measure (see today's AP article: Senate Defeats Climate Change Measure,) it is an opportune time to examine the recent and quite remarkable momentum shift taking place in climate science. Many former believers in catastrophic man-made global warming have recently reversed themselves and are now climate skeptics. The names included below are just a sampling of the prominent scientists who have spoken out recently to oppose former Vice President Al Gore, the United Nations, and the media driven “consensus” on man-made global warming.

They've got a dozen folks listed, so it's way too long to excerpt. RTWT.



Update:
Via this post at the reference frame, I learned that there was an "Intelligence Squared US" debate on the topic "Global Warming Is Not a Crisis" in mid-March. The author links to a set of 10 video clips of the debate that are availabe at YouTube.

Since NPR is the distributor for these debates, there's a page about the debate at the NPR site as well, which includes this summary.

In this debate, the proposition was: "Global Warming Is Not a Crisis." In a vote before the debate, about 30 percent of the audience agreed with the motion, while 57 percent were against and 13 percent undecided. The debate seemed to affect a number of people: Afterward, about 46 percent agreed with the motion, roughly 42 percent were opposed and about 12 percent were undecided.

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May 17, 2007

Signaling stand-off

Here's an amusing clip from Leno's Tonight Show about a competition between texting and telegraphy.

Signaling.jpg

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Do-it-yourself parts

These stories about computer-driven parts fabrication remind me of the "integrating pantograph," a factory-in-a-box mentioned in Heinlein's story Gulf.

First, the CandyFab 4000:

Solid freeform fabrication: DIY, on the cheap, and made of pure sugar

In February we gave a sneak preview of our project to construct a home-built three dimensional fabricator. Our design goals were (1) a low cost design leveraging recycled components (2) large printable volume emphasized over high resolution, and (3) ability to use low-cost printing media including granulated sugar. We are extremely pleased to be able to report that it has been a success: Our three dimensional fabricator is now fully operational and we have used it to print several large, low-resolution, objects out of pure sugar.

SugarPrinter.jpg

This story from the New York TImes talks about the Desktop Factory, a "printer" using a similar technique to make parts of plastic instead of sugar.
Beam It Down From the Web, Scotty
Jamie Rector for The New York Times

PASADENA, Calif. — Sometimes a particular piece of plastic is just what you need. You have lost the battery cover to your cellphone, perhaps. Or your daughter needs to have the golden princess doll she saw on television. Now.

In a few years, it will be possible to make these items yourself. You will be able to download three-dimensional plans online, then push Print. Hours later, a solid object will be ready to remove from your printer.

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Packin' silk

Skydivers often take their parachutes on commercial flights as carry-on luggage because of their cost and poor baggage handling by the airlines. This practice has been known to lead to a few misunderstandings.

A jumper had checked in and was headed for his flight with his rig over his shoulder. At the X-ray machine, the newly-hired inspector had no idea what she was looking at and demanded that he open the container for inspection. Well, the jumper argued and supervisors were called and pilots were contacted, and so on. The jumper finally convinced everyone that he was not a threat and was allowed to board with his parachute.

During this process, an older gentleman at the X-ray machine overheard the conversation. It turns out the gentleman was seated across the aisle from the jumper on the same flight. The older man turned to his wife and said, "Martha, that fella has a parachute in that backpack," pointing to the rig as the jumper placed it under the seat.

The old lady, disbelieving what she had just been told, turned to the jumper and said, "Pardon me, young man, but is that really a parachute?"

The jumper, somewhat miffed at the airline over the whole episode, turned to the woman and said, "Yes it is, ma'am. Didn't they give you yours?"

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May 15, 2007

Nazi attack robot

This computer-generated clip about a giant Nazi robot is pretty awesome.

NaziBot.jpg

Via DiClerico.

Posted by joke du jour at 06:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Crazy Tattoos

OddWeek.com has a collection of images of 20-some crazy tattoos -- the World's Craziest Tattoos, it calls them. The one below isn't the craziest one, but it struck me as a pretty weird tattoo to wear on your throat.

CrazyTattoo.jpg

Posted by joke du jour at 06:31 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Shower shock

I love coffee but cutaneously-applied caffeine doesn't sound too appealing.

Caffeinated soap perks up your shower
Perfect gift for that smelly co-worker who sleeps in too much
Updated: 10:27 a.m. CT April 20, 2007

LONDON - Inventors have created a soap infused with caffeine which helps users wake up in the morning.

The soap, called Shower Shock, supplies the caffeine equivalent of two cups of coffee per wash, with the stimulant absorbed naturally through the skin, manufacturers say.

Via Althouse.

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May 14, 2007

More of the Deep

We had The Deep recently, a book about the unusual species found in the ocean. Now we have a documentary film called Deep Jungle. One of the species of fauna found in the jungle is this "chicken-eating spider."

Yeef. How'd you like to find this fellow in your henhouse?

Chicken-eating-spider.jpg
The crew of scientists and cinematographers was pleased to discover a previously unidentified species of tarantula, dubbed “the chicken-eating spider,” in Peru.

Via Althouse.

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In a word...

Fixed! Implants for neutered dogs restore natural look

Robert Dominguez
(New York) Daily News
May. 12, 2007 12:00 AM

NEW YORK - Real, or fake? Never mind the busty woman walking her dog in the park - it may just be her pooch who's sporting implants.

Some pet owners who neuter their male dogs are opting for a surgical procedure meant to make Fido feel like he's back in the good ol' days B.C. - Before Castration.

Neuticles - testicular implants for dogs that look and feel like the real thing - are said to boost a pet's self-esteem by replacing what was lost. It's a procedure that's becoming increasingly popular in New York.

[...]

For dog owner Edgar Rivera of the Bronx, whose Jack Russell terrier and Chihuahua were both neutered, Neuticles were never an option. "That's just nuts," Rivera says.

Via Coyote

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Oh!

Another great Microsoft spoof: the oFone.

oPhone.jpg

Via engadget.

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May 11, 2007

Another example

...of something that only a lawyer (or law firm) would say.

'Life's Short. Get A Divorce' Billboard Yanked
Lawyers Complain There Wasn't Due Process

POSTED: 1:41 pm EDT May 9, 2007

CHICAGO -- A Chicago billboard proclaiming "Life's short. Get a divorce" has been annulled.

City workers have stripped the sign from its perch after a week of complaints from neighbors and from other attorneys who said it reflected poorly on their profession.

[...]

The two lawyers who had the sign put up said they're upset that it was removed. They also said the calls to their law firm have gone up dramatically since the billboard went up last week.

"The message really is that life is very, very short, and you need to be honest with yourself and have some personal integrity," said the creator of the billboard, divorce lawyer Corri Fetman. "If you are unhappy, take some action and do something about it."

GetADivorce.jpg

Via WFTV.

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Things your mother would never say

Well, if Timmy's mom says it's OK, that's good enough for me.

How on earth can you see the TV sitting so far back?

Yeah, I used to skip school a lot, too.

Just leave all the lights on. It makes the house look more cheery.

Let me smell that shirt. OK, it's good for another week.

Go ahead and keep that stray dog, honey. I'll be glad to feed and walk him every day.

Don't bother wearing a jacket - the wind-chill is bound to improve.

The curfew is just a general time to shoot for. It's not like I'm running a prison around here.

I don't have a tissue with me - just use your sleeve.

Posted by joke du jour at 06:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

And speaking of mothers

Remember the line "That only a mother could love..."?

Mother's memoir reveals sensitive Stalin

Last Updated: 2:06am BST 09/05/2007

Josef Stalin, the monstrous Soviet dictator responsible for the deaths of millions, was a "sensitive child" with a love of flowers, his mother's memoirs have revealed.

Stalin was born in Georgia in 1878, the only child of a cobbler, Beso Djugashvili and his wife, Keke. In her memoirs, released from a secret Soviet archive, she detailed how a series of illnesses and accidents left "Soso" - her nickname for Josef - partially crippled, and how he coped with a violent alcoholic father.

"My Soso was a very sensitive child," said Keke. "As soon as he heard the sound of his father singing balaam-balaam from the street, he'd immediately run to me asking if he could go to our neighbours' until his father fell asleep."

Via Reason's Hit & Run

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LASER tag

An interesting demo clip from the Graffiti Research Lab.

LaserTag.jpg

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Too funny not to pass on

This appeared in James Taranto's Best of the Web Today on May 9 (near the end of the column).

What's a Six-Letter Word for 'Humidor'?
"Bill Clinton Pens NY Times' Crossword Puzzle"--headline, Reuters, May 7

Posted by joke du jour at 06:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 10, 2007

Foilboarding

Here's an impressive video about surfboards with hydrofoils -- foilboards as they call them in the clip. As you can see in the image, these things ride above the wave.

HydrofoilBoard.jpg

The people at this site appear to have been making hydrofoil versions of water skis, surfboards, and wind surfers for a few years, but they were all news to me. (Maybe if I lived near an ocean, I'd have a clue.)

Video below the fold. It's large and may be slow to load over low-speed connections.

Posted by joke du jour at 07:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The farmer's son

A little rustic humor from Lou.

An Alabama farmer got in his pickup and drove to a neighboring farm and knocked at the farmhouse door. A young boy about 9 opened the door.

"Is yer Dad home?" the farmer asked.

"No, sir, he ain't," the boy replied. "He's gone to town."

"Well," said the farmer, "is yer Mom here?"

"No, sir, she ain't here neither. She went with Dad."

"How about your brother, Howard? Is he here?"

"He went with Mom and Dad."

The farmer stood there for a few minutes, shifting from one foot to the other and mumbling to himself.

"Is there anything I can do fer ya?" the boy asked politely. "I know where all the tools are, if you want to borry one. Or maybe I could take a message fer Dad."

"Well," said the farmer uncomfortably, "I really wanted to talk to yer Dad. It's about your brother Howard getting my girl Clara Mae pregnant."

The boy thought for a moment. "You have to talk to Pa about that," he finally said. "I know he charges $50 for the bull and $25 for the hog. But I really don't know how much he gets fer Howard."

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Pimp your ride

I didn't know there were people in Japan who like to trick out their bicycles. Here's one of 27 images of these things at a site called The random collections.

PimpedBike1.jpg

Via A Welsh View.

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May 09, 2007

What would Richard Feynman do?

This image (click for a larger version) comes from WellingtonGrey.net. I believe it's part of the Miscellanea collection there and is one of many funny flow charts.

Based on his autobiography, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman, I think this about covers it.

Posted by joke du jour at 07:02 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Encyclopedia of Life

I hadn't heard about this site called the Encyclopedia of Life before I read about it in the Post-Dispatch today. But the most surprising thing to me was that it appeared on the P-D's front page. A website is front page news in a dead-tree paper? Hmm... slow news day, maybe?

One reason for this prominent placement in the P-D is that the Missouri Botanical Garden (in St. Louis) is one of the six "cornerstone institutions" in the founding of this encyclopedia.

The project sounds pretty interesting; it sounds very ambitious. If it turns out to be like Wikipedia for alpha taxonomy it'll be really cool. Here's a very nicely done promotional clip for it.

Posted by joke du jour at 07:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More deja moo

State Tells Gas Station To Raise Prices
State Could Penalize Man For Each Discounted Gallon Sold

POSTED: 7:12 am EDT May 9, 2007

MERRILL, Wis. -- A service station that offered discounted gas to senior citizens and people supporting youth sports has been ordered by the state to raise its prices.

Center City BP owner Raj Bhandari has been offering senior citizens a 2 cent per gallon price break and discount cards that let sports boosters pay 3 cents less per gallon.

But the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said those deals violate Wisconsin's Unfair Sales Act, which requires stations to sell gas for about 9.2 percent more than the wholesale price.

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May 07, 2007

Financial advice

In this clip from Saturday Night Live. It's free.

DontBuyStuff.jpg

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Fancy pants

From The Washington Post. As I've pointed out before, there are some things that nobody but a lawyer would say.

Lawyer's Price For Missing Pants: $65 Million

By Marc Fisher
Thursday, April 26, 2007; Page B01

When the neighborhood dry cleaner misplaced Roy Pearson's pants, he took action. He complained. He demanded compensation. And then he sued. Man, did he sue.

Two years, thousands of pages of legal documents and many hundreds of hours of investigative work later, Pearson is seeking to make Custom Cleaners pay -- would you believe more than the payroll of the entire Washington Nationals roster?

[...]

Pearson is demanding $65,462,500. The original alteration work on the pants cost $10.50.

Via the CFG blog.

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Spherical panoramas

Here's a collection of two dozen spherical panoramas . They're scenes in southern California and other parts of the western US. The one below was made at the Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Arizona.

CanyonDeChelly.jpg

Via Lileks.

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May 06, 2007

One more time with comments

I persist in the belief that comments would be a nice feature to have here.

I tried the TypeKey authentication route once again recently and it works... but, still, it's still a PITA to have to register at another site just to leave a comment here. It definitely destroys the spontaneity and it probably aborts the whole process most of the time. It's not as though the topics on this blog are worth spending a lot of time commenting on, eh?

Then I ran across this simple hard-coded CAPTCHA approach at Stefan Geens' site. It's not very sophisticated but I think it will stop most automated Spam while still allowing comments from anyone when the mood strikes him or her.

So comments are enabled again. No need to get a TypeKey ID. You will need to follow the directions to post a comment, but those directions are simple. Comments will be queued for approval until I get your first one and mark you as a 'trusted' commenter; then your comments will be posted immediately.

Let's give it another go.

Posted by joke du jour at 07:38 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 05, 2007

Safer to shop on the net?

Here's an article from yesterday's Wall Street Journal online about lack of data security in brick-n-mortar stores. Some of this stuff is pretty hard to believe (the emphasis below is mine).

How Credit-Card Data Went Out Wireless Door
Biggest Known Theft Came from Retailer With Old, Weak Security
By JOSEPH PEREIRA
May 4, 2007; Page A1

The biggest known theft of credit-card numbers in history began two summers ago outside a Marshalls discount clothing store near St. Paul, Minn.

There, investigators now believe, hackers pointed a telescope-shaped antenna toward the store and used a laptop computer to decode data streaming through the air between hand-held price-checking devices, cash registers and the store's computers. That helped them hack into the central database of Marshalls' parent, TJX Cos. in Framingham, Mass., to repeatedly purloin information about customers.

The $17.4-billion retailer's wireless network had less security than many people have on their home networks, and for 18 months the company -- which also owns T.J. Maxx, Home Goods and A.J. Wright -- had no idea what was going on.

[...]

The company says the hackers may even have lifted bank-card information as customers making purchases waited for their transactions to be approved. TJX transmitted that data to banks "without encryption," it acknowledged in an SEC filing. That violates credit-card company guidelines, experts say.

Via WServerNews.

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May 04, 2007

The Deep

A collection of images taken deep in the ocean that appear in a book titled The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss. Click on the Gallery icon.

TheDeep.jpg

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Powered by beer

Beer Maker, Scientists To Create Energy
By Rod Mcguirk
May 3, 2007 7:55AM

The fuel cell derived from beer waste water is essentially a battery in which bacteria consume water-soluble brewing waste such as sugar, starch and alcohol. The battery produces electricity plus clean water, said Professor Jurg Keller, the university's wastewater expert.

Scientists and Australian beer maker Foster's are teaming up to generate clean energy from brewery waste water -- by using sugar-consuming bacteria.

The experimental technology was unveiled Wednesday by scientists at Australia's University of Queensland, which was given a $115,000 state government grant to install a microbial fuel cell at a Foster's Group brewery near Brisbane, the capital of Queensland state.

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Dates of Future Past

This clip comes from Second City's "Life As We Know It'. It's about a time-traveling ex-husband.

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May 03, 2007

Dry erase web design

Here's a clever site for a soon-to-be-released book called No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July.

NoOneBelongsHere.jpg

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Vive la Différence

A family from Maine was visiting relatives in Georgia one summer. The little boy from Maine was playing with his cousin, a little girl. Since it was so hot, they stripped and waded in the creek for a while.

As they were sunning themselves afterward, the little girl drawled, "Ya know, Ah never knew there was such a diff'rence between you Yankees and us South'ners."

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John Cleese for Compaq

Here's a fairly funny British ad for the Compaq Portable II (AKA The Luggable) done by John Cleese. I would guess the ad's 20 years old, give or take a little, since the Portable II was introduced in February, 1986.

CleeseCompaq.jpg

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May 02, 2007

A bad idea?

A.E. says, "Now here's a bad idea." about a motorcycle with dual controls, the subject of this post at Modern Mechanix ("Yesterday's tomorrow, today.") The whole site's chock-a-block with articles from old science and technology magazines.

DualBike.jpg

I thought it was sort of an interesting idea myself. But I was just giving my son his first lesson in how to ride last Sunday.

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More Q & A

Q: What do you do to an elephant with three balls?

A: Walk him to get the next batter.



Q: What form of birth control do most lawyers use?

A: Their personalities.



Q: What's the difference between a new puppy and a Cubs fan?

A: The puppy will eventually stop whining.



Q: What do you call the shock absorbers in a Yugo?

A: Passengers.


Q: How can you tell when your divorce is getting ugly ?

A: When your lawyer doesn't seem like a bloodsucking leech anymore.



Q: What's the difference between a dog and a fox?

A: About four drinks.



Q: What did the doe say as she stumbled out of the forest?

A: "That's the last time I ever do that for ten bucks!"



Q: How many bureaucrats doe it take to change a light bulb?

A: Seven. One to supervise, one to arrange for the electricity to be shut off, one to make sure that safety and quality standards are maintained, one to monitor compliance with local, state, and federal regulations, one to manage personnel relations, one to fill out the paperwork, and one to screw the light bulb into the water faucet.



Q: What do managers and sperm have in common?

A: Only one in 100,000 actually works.



Q: What's the ultimate in courage?

A: Two cannibals having oral sex.



Q: Why are pubic hairs curly?

A: You'd poke your eye out if they weren't!



Q: What do a vibrator and soybeans have in common?

A: They're both meat substitutes.

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Stop, look and listen

Since we're doin' retro, here's a funny stop-action clip about aggressive driving made in 1967. It's a little long at 10:24 but worth the time, I think.

StopLookListen.jpg

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