September 29, 2007
Here's a slideshow at Time.com of photos from a new book.
In his new book, 'Nordmeer', photographer Gueorgui Pinkhassov explores the northernmost reaches of the globe. His photographs reveal a world of breathtaking beauty and unremitting hardship.
Carol sent this collection of funny quips. Naturally, I'm not vouching for their veracity - I'm just enjoying their humorous nature.
Sometimes, when I look at my children, I say to myself, "Lillian, you should have remained a virgin." - Lillian Carter (mother of Jimmy Carter)
I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalog: "No good in a bed, but fine against a wall." - Eleanor Roosevelt
Last week, I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister, and now wish to withdraw that statement. - Mark Twain
The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible. - George Burns
Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year. - Victor Borge
Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain
By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher. - Socrates
I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury. - Groucho Marx
Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat. - Alex Levine
I don't feel old. I don't feel anything until noon. Then it's time for my nap. - Bob Hope
I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it. - W.C. Fields
We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress. - Will Rogers
Don't worry about avoiding temptation; as you grow older, it will avoid you. - Winston Churchill
Maybe it's true that life begins at fifty. But everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out. - Phyllis Diller
By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he's too old to go anywhere. - Billy Crystal
An obstacle course for squirrels: it doesn't seem to slow them down much.
Will Read Minds For Money
This story is sort of curious, if you read the whole thing. It sounds like a very well done bit of cold reading.
Store Owner Says Thieves Hypnotized Him
Police Warn That Scammers Could Target Other Stores
POSTED: 10:15 am EDT September 27, 2007
UPDATED: 3:03 pm EDT September 27, 2007
MARLBOROUGH, N.H. -- Two thieves scammed a Marlborough store owner by claiming they could read his mind and reveal personal information about him before stealing money from his store, police said.
Police said that two Indian Punjabi men stole more than $1,000 from the Marlborough Country Convenience Store on Monday. The men told the storeowner that they were guruji, a type of Hindu priest, and that they could read his mind, police said.
Store owner Yogesh Patel, 29, who is also from India, said he had heard of the scam but never believed it and never thought it could happen to him. He said he's now upset and embarrassed, WMUR-TV in Manchester reported.
"I'd never been (scammed), and every time I heard about it, I laughed at it," Patel said.
September 26, 2007
Pictures of Mom
These images came from a PowerPoint slideshow that's making the e-mail rounds. I cherry-picked the ones I liked and those follow. The slideshow is allegedly composed of images taken by Sunita Williams, a USN officer & NASA astronaut. But I have some serious doubts about that claim; see the final image for the reason.
Click any image for a larger view.
A Saharan sandstorm blowing into the Atlantic
The Straits of Gibraltar
The terminator in Africa & Europe
The Black Sea
The Red Sea
The terminator in North America
This one was titled, "Our planet in the middle of the universe at night."
(Gee, sure is dark here in the middle of the universe, eh? Dark all around the globe, in fact.
For a CG image of what this should look like, see this page)
And now for something completely different
Miami Heat Looking For Senior Dancers
POSTED: 7:37 am EDT September 13, 2007
MIAMI -- The Miami Heat is looking for dancers. The catch? You have to be between 63 and 81.
The 12 people selected will become part of the 2007-2008 Golden Oldies hip-hop dance team. Auditions are Friday at a 2:00pm at the Focal Point Senior Center in Pembroke Pines.
During the basketball season the Golden Oldies generally perform once a month.
They'll be a change from the usual dancers, I'll guess.
They can't take that away from me
At the end of a magnificent piano recital by a Spanish virtuoso, Gershwin's companion turned to him and said enthusiastically, "Isn't he great, George?"
"Yes, he's a genius," agreed the composer. "A Spanish Gershwin."
Oscar Levant was a pianist who was a close friend of Gershwin's.
After Gershwin's death an admirer with musical aspirations wrote an elegy for him and took it to Oscar Levant. Levant reluctantly agreed to hear the piece. After the man had finished playing it, he turned to Levant, looking for his approval. "I think," said Levant, "it would have been better if you had died and Gershwin had written the elegy."
September 25, 2007
1 gigabyte - 20 years
On the left, what 1 GB looked like 20 years ago; on the right, what 1 GB looks like today. Click for a larger image.
Cuban refugees rescued
What?! Don't tell me they were giving up the free health care...
10 Cuban Refugees Rescued By Passing Carnival Cruise Ship
POSTED: 8:04 am EDT September 24, 2007
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- Carnival cruise ship passengers spent a week in the Caribbean, but their most memorable moment happened on the trip home.
Orlando and Jean Polanco of Apopka said their ship was headed back to Miami when the crew spotted a raft with ten men inside. The couple used their video camera to shoot video of the migrants on the raft.
The ship turned around to pick them up, but the Polancos said passengers interfered, warning the men if they got on board they'd be headed back to Cuba.
More dust pix
A little over a year ago, I linked to a slideshow of pictures Scott Wade drew in the dust on car windows.
Here's more of the same in a different collection; this saguaro scene is the first of 21 images. I don't know whether Mr. Wade did these.
A man goes into a bar and says, "Give me a drink before the trouble starts."
The bartender pours him a drink.
He drinks it and says, "Give me another drink before the trouble starts."
He downs that one and says, "Better give me another drink before the trouble starts."
Finally, the bartender asks, "Just when is this trouble going to start?"
The man says, "The trouble starts just as soon as you find out that I don't have any money."
September 24, 2007
Resistance was futile
Dominatrix Submits To City's Wishes
Woman Calls Her Business Nonsexual
POSTED: 7:36 am EDT September 21, 2007
UPDATED: 2:23 pm EDT September 21, 2007
INDIANAPOLIS -- A dominatrix has agreed not to run her bondage and discipline business in Indianapolis' residential areas, a deal that would end a two-year legal battle with the city, WRTV-TV in Indianapolis reported.
Melyssa Donaghy operated what the city called a "sexual torture" business in her home.
The city asked a court to close the business in November 2005, saying it violated zoning regulations.
So they busted her for a zoning violation?
So this bird walks into a store...
A Scottish seagull that steals only cheese Doritos? Eric Idle's got to be involved in this somehow.
Seagull becomes crisp shoplifter
A seagull has turned shoplifter by wandering into a shop and helping itself to crisps.
The bird walks into the RS McColl newsagents in Aberdeen when the door is open and makes off with cheese Doritos.
The seagull, nicknamed Sam, has now become so popular that locals have started paying for his crisps.
Hat Tip: Marty
Going to Dublin
A guy walks into a bar in Cork and asks the barman, "What's the quickest way to get to Dublin?"
"Are you walking or driving?" asks the barman.
"Driving," says the man.
"And that's the quickest way," answers the barman.
Do it. Feel it.
Now here's an interesting commercial for Kellogg's All-Bran cereal.
September 23, 2007
Follow up on the local cops
Saturday's Post-Dispatch had two articles about the cops mentioned in last weekend's post about A bad week for local police.
Brent Darrow's antagonist, Sgt. James Kuehnlein, has been fired from the St. George force and the St. George police chief has been talking to his officers.
St. George officers get polite reminder
By Kim Bell
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
ST. GEORGE - Police Chief Scott Uhrig has given his eight officers a reminder about courtesy - and some words of warning - after one of his sergeants got fired for berating a motorist on tape.
"They know to be polite and courteous," the chief said, "and they've been advised, 'Stay on your toes. We don't know how many other Brett Darrows there are out there.'"
Here's a suggestion, Chief: take the safe course and assume we're all 'Brent Darrows' out here.
The six Jefferson County deputies involved in the barroom brawl were also fired and five of them are appealing those decisions.
Appeal process for fired Jeffco deputies could take weeks
By Christine Byers
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
HILLSBORO — The appeal process for five of the six deputies who lost their jobs Thursday for their role in a bar fight could take weeks, according to the Jefferson County sheriff's office.
September 21, 2007
World of Solitaire
This is the most entertaining AJAX site I've seen. If you have a little time to burn, check it out.
And it's so nicely done: what a piece of work!
How to rescue a deer on thin ice...
The SPCA killed his dog
This post at Rogier van Bakel's blog, Nobody's Business, isn't very funny. It's just sadly ironic.
Apparently, "the best interest of the animal" meant not allowing us to give him a loving home. And it means that, not long after the SPCA rejected our candidacy and actually threw us out of the shelter (you can read the whole sordid story here), they killed him.
A time sex thing?
A collection of the 20 Worst Engrish ever.
September 20, 2007
Don't come a-knockin'
This has to be one of the lamest excuses I've read.
SUV Driver Blames Backseat Sex For Crash
Driver Pleads Guilty To Misdemeanor
POSTED: 12:06 pm EDT September 19, 2007
MOSCOW, Idaho -- A driver of a sport utility vehicle who hit a telephone pole blamed the crash on two friends having sex in the back seat.
Joshua D. Frank, 22, pleaded guilty this week to a misdemeanor charge of failing to notify a police officer of a traffic accident.
He was fined nearly $190 after his Chevy Blazer hit a telephone pole in the Moscow, Idaho, area.
According to court documents, Frank told police that his SUV is top heavy and the backseat action made it become "tippy," causing him to lose control.
Another wacky M$ ad
This one's about MS-DOS 5 and it ranks right up there with the crazy Windows 386 ad. It seems to have some similarities to the Windows ad. I wonder what agency was making these things for Microsoft?
Check out that 'digital' clock.
Here's an interesting quiz about US history and related matters; 60 questions in all. See how you do at it. (I don't suppose it will mean much to those who aren't US citizens.)
The New York Sun has an article about how poorly graduating college seniors have been doing on this quiz.
Students Know Less After 4 College Years
By ANNIE KARNI
Staff Reporter of the Sun
September 19, 2007
Students at many of the country's most prestigious colleges and universities are graduating with less knowledge of American history, government, and economics than they had as incoming freshmen, with Harvard University seniors scoring a "D+" average on a 60-question multiple-choice exam about civic literacy.
September 19, 2007
[This isn't a plug for Arizona Highways -- I just like the images.]
So this guy walked into a bar and ordered a drink. When it was finished, he looked in his pocket and ordered another. After a bit, he looked in his pocket again and ordered still another drink.
Naturally, this made the bartender curious so he asked the guy, "What are you doing? What's in your pocket?"
"It's a picture of my wife," said the customer. "When she starts looking good to me, I know it's time to go home."
At the tuv shop
CodeWritinFool sends this amusing audio clip.
Click for a larger image.
September 18, 2007
Happy Birthday :-)
Smiley-Face Emoticon Turning 25
PITTSBURGH — It was a serious contribution to the electronic lexicon. :-)
Twenty-five years ago, Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman says, he was the first to use three keystrokes — a colon followed by a hyphen and a parenthesis — as a horizontal "smiley face" in a computer message.
Batteries with a novel electrolyte.
Pee Powered Batteries On Sale in Japan
In February we talked about a Pee Powered battery that was in the testing phase in Japan. Now it would seem they have made it to the store for the Japanese to buy and use.
NoPoPo (Non-Pollution Power) Aqua Batteries are available in both AA and AAA form, although the company page shows they are producing the technology for all sizes of battery, and can only be currently purchased in Japan.
Do you like piña coladas?
You can't rely too much on Ananova as a news source, but this is pretty funny if true.
Couple divorce after online 'affair'
A Bosnian couple are getting divorced after finding out they had been secretly chatting each other up online under fake names.
Sana Klaric, 27, and husband Adnan, 32, from Zenica, poured out their hearts to each other over their marriage troubles, and both felt they had found their real soul mate.
The couple met on an online chat forum while he was at work and she in an internet cafe, and started chatting under the names Sweetie and Prince of Joy.
They eventually decided to meet up - but there was no happy ending when they realised what had happened.
Remember that name. He's on the unicycle here and I wouldn't be too surprised to be reading bad news about him in the paper some day.
September 15, 2007
One of the annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility is the difficulty of finding somebody to blame your problems on. And when you do find somebody, it's remarkable how often his picture turns up on your driver's license. - P.J. O'Rourke
A bad week for local police
The worst experience I ever had with a cop was in '72 when an Illinois State trooper tried to shake me down for $100 - and ended up letting me go. Aside from that, the officers I've dealt with have always acted very professionally.
But a few of the cops in the St. Louis metro area haven't been putting their best feet forward recently.
Early in the week, I saw Brett Darrow's video of his encounter with a patrolman in St. George. While this cop shouldn't have been threatening Mr. Darrow with bogus charges, I think the "cop gone wild" title is a little over the top. "Gone wild" is what the cops did to Rodney King.
Thursday brought this interesting article about St. Louis area police making threatening comments in an online forum about Mr. Darrow because of an earlier event he was involved in.
Thursday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch also ran two stories on related events. The first was about five Jefferson County deputies who got into a brawl in a bar in House Springs. This is an interesting quote:
Although Gaulden doesn't know what triggered the fight, the melee was captured on the bar's video surveillance system.
He said all of the officers were escorted out of the bar and a bartender observed them removing their rear license plates in the parking lot.
Moments later they came back into the bar, Gaulden said.
Anna Rankin, a bartender, said, "I told them 'I'm going to call the cops,' and they said, 'We are the cops.'"
The second was about an off-duty officer who threatened someone with a gun in the drive-thru at a White Castle. It's not clear from the article how this all went down, but the officer ended up resigning from his job the same day.
It makes you wonder what the heck happened to "Serve and Protect".
A collection of photos of very large holes in the ground. Most are man-made (mines) but two are natural.
September 13, 2007
Got a booze hound at your house?
This page shows 10 perfect drinks to serve your dog.
These three (which count as 1) are named Wet Snout Stout, Doggie Lager, and Waggley Tail Pale Ale. That last one really tickled me.
A scratch monkey
A really old one, but worth retelling.
THE UNTIMELY DEMISE OF MABEL THE MONKEY, a cautionary tale
The following, modulo a couple of inserted commas and capitalization changes for readability, is the exact text of a famous USENET message. (NOTE: PM means "preventive maintenance" and MOUNT is used as in "mount
a tape"; that is, to load a tape onto a drive.)
Date: Wed 3 Sep 86 16:46:31-EDT
From: "Art Evans"
Subject: Always Mount a Scratch Monkey
My friend Bud used to be the intercept man at a computer vendor for calls when an irate customer called. Seems one day Bud was sitting at his desk when the phone rang.
Voice: YOU KILLED MABEL!!
B: Excuse me?
V: YOU KILLED MABEL!!
This went on for a couple of minutes and Bud was getting nowhere, so he decided to alter his approach to the customer.
B: HOW DID I KILL MABEL?
V: YOU PM'ED MY MACHINE!!
Well, to avoid making a long story even longer, I will abbreviate what had happened. The customer was a Biologist at the University of Blah-de-blah, and he had one of our computers that controlled gas mixtures that Mabel (the monkey) breathed. Now, Mabel was not your ordinary monkey. The University had spent years teaching Mabel to swim, and they were studying the effects that different gas mixtures had on her physiology. It turns out that the repair folks had just gotten a new Calibrated Power Supply (used to calibrate analog equipment), and at their first opportunity decided to calibrate the D/A converters in that computer. This changed some of the gas mixtures and poor Mabel was asphyxiated. Well, Bud then called the branch manager for the repair folks:
B: This is Bud, I heard you did a PM at the University of Blah-de-blah.
M: Yes, we really performed a complete PM. What can I do for you?
B: Can you swim?
The moral is, of course, that you should always mount a scratch monkey.
This guy is coming in a for a flawless 'chute landing after being launched 400 feet by a bungee cord. A pretty cool clip.
September 12, 2007
A Swiss company called Pat Says Now, has released a collection of mice in the form of a woman’s body. These mice can be accessorized with soccer t-shirts for 5 national teams: England, Brazil, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.
And while we're on the topic, here's an interesting site: the Mortgage Lender Implode-o-Meter.
September 08, 2007
Pimp your paddy
From Pink Tentacle, here's one from a collection of pix of Japanese rice paddy art.
Each year, farmers in the town of Inakadate in Aomori prefecture create works of crop art by growing a little purple and yellow-leafed kodaimai rice along with their local green-leafed tsugaru-roman variety. This year’s creation — a pair of grassy reproductions of famous woodblock prints from Hokusai’s 36 Views of Mount Fuji — has begun to appear (above). It will be visible until the rice is harvested in September.
Sticking with the Japanese theme, here's a clip about frog sashimi from Carol. It's not for the faint of heart:
And who knew the Japanese took such pains to decorate their manhole covers? This is one of 10 images at FunForever.
September 06, 2007
I'm thinking they should be trying to appease the Swiss sky god Bernoulli instead.
Airline sacrifices goats to appease sky god
Published: Wednesday, 5 September, 2007, 01:23 AM Doha Time
KATHMANDU: Officials at Nepal's state-run airline have sacrificed two goats to appease Akash Bhairab, the Hindu sky god, following technical problems with one of its Boeing 757 aircraft, the carrier said yesterday.
The importance of being bi-lingual
Carol sends a copy of this funny clip for Avista.
IBM Stores Data on Single Atoms
New nanotech breakthroughs have enabled IBM to measure magnetic fields at an atomic level and to build transistor-like switches from a single molecule.
Ben Ames, IDG News Service
Friday, August 31, 2007 12:00 PM PDT
IBM Corp. has demonstrated how to perform certain computer functions on single atoms and molecules, a discovery that could someday lead to processors the size of a speck of dust, the company said Thursday.
Researchers at IBM's Almaden Research Center in California developed a technique for measuring magnetic anisotropy, a property of the magnetic field that gives it the ability to maintain a particular direction. Being able to measure magnetic anisotropy at the atomic level is a crucial step toward the magnet representing the ones or the zeroes used to store data in binary computer language.
September 05, 2007
Wal*Mart: Masters of Irony
Here's a Wal*Mart store in Berlin, Germany that's located on Karl-Marx StraBe. Whoever picked this site should have gotten a bonus.
If only we could see the Always Low Prices banner...
Homeowner Posts Sign Calling Out "Thief And Drug User"
POSTED: 5:00 pm EDT August 30, 2007
UPDATED: 10:49 am EDT August 31, 2007
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- A big sign in the yard of an Orange County home says it all. Wesley Aksell wants his neighbor out.
Neighbors say Glen Cook has been a problem for years, but a new arrest at his home on Compass Drive in Orange County this weekend prompted one man's unusual actions.
The sign is so big, you can see it from more than a block away.
"Glen Cook is a thief and drug user. Anyone that associates with him is assumed to be the same. I wish that piece of crap would move out of our neighborhood," the sign reads in red letters.
History of the Internet
I think this old clip about this "new thing called the Internet" comes from Canadian television.
This modem bank shot reminded me of the start-up ISP who used to handle our commercial ISDN service back in the mid 90s: he had a room full of modem banks too. He eventually sold his business to a bigger competitor and made a bundle, I'm sure.
September 04, 2007
That's not safe
Here are some pictures of unsafe situations.
A few weeks ago, Brian sent a link to a slow motion video of a rocket (weapon) being fired.
Then I ran across a Japanese video that appears to be the source of the rocket clip. This second clip shows many different types of events, such as what happens when you prick a balloon full of water with a pin.
That camera must have an incredibly high frame rate.
What goes around, comes around
Ouch! The moment Piers Morgan broke three ribs falling off the Segway he said was 'idiot-proof'
By JAMES TAPPER
Last updated at 08:29am on 2nd September 2007
If he didn't believe in karma before, Piers Morgan must surely do now.
The ex-newspaper editor, now a columnist for The Mail on Sunday's Live magazine, took great delight in making fun of President Bush for falling off a Segway - the two-wheeled, motorised, gyroscopically balanced scooter that, its makers promise, will never fall over.
His paper, the Daily Mirror, ran the headline in 2003: "You'd have to be an idiot to fall off, wouldn't you Mr President." It added: "If anyone can make a pig's ear of riding a sophisticated, self-balancing machine like this, Dubya can." So, it seems, can Mr Morgan.
September 01, 2007
National Geographic did this video clip on Joseph Pompei and his audio spotlight. It looks intereting.
This system is has been brought to market by Holosonics Research Labs. If you try it, tell us how you like it.
Call me a dinosaur
A couple of months back, David Boaz had a good closing to one of his posts at Cato-at-liberty.org (an outstanding group blog, btw).
Maybe libertarians should try to describe their philosophy by saying “libertarians believe in the free speech that liberals used to believe in, and the economic freedom that conservatives used to believe in."
Roger that, David.