January 31, 2008
Great campaign ad
Here's a pretty well done campaign ad.
Brother can you spare a Benjamin
A panhandler asks a passerby, "Can you spare a hundred dollars for a cup of coffee?"
"But coffee's only a dollar."
"I know," said the panhandler. "But I can't go into a restaurant dressed like this."
Aside from a sporadic political opinion or two and an occasional spring travelog, I avoid personal topics on this blog. The goal here is simple: levitate the level of levity (when I'm not too busy with alliteration).
So what I've got is a case of the Page 123 Book meme. It has this protocol.
1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.
Even though the house is packed with books and my mother-in-law describes me (accurately) as someone who'd take the want ads to bed rather than go to bed with nothing to read, this turned out to be a tougher question than I expected. The closest book to hand on my desk is Milton Berle's Private Joke File, a recent gift from my brother-in-law. If I followed the rules with that book, I'd be telling you the punchline to a fairly lame joke about Cajuns. Hmm... maybe not.
The next one in the stack is Hands-on Morphological Image Processing. I didn't seriously consider this one - but I did look to see that its page 123 contained only figures and didn't have five sentences on it.
The book on the nightstand is The Tao of Pooh, which I picked up when my wife finished it. That sounded a little more promising but, following the protocol, I discovered that the fifth sentence on page 123 was the beginning of a long quoted section from one of Milne's books (the scene of Roo's rescue from his swimming adventure). All right; scratch that one, too.
Which brings me to Louis Menard's The Metaphysical Club - A Story of Ideas in America. I started this one just before Christmas and thoroughly enjoyed the first third or so. Then I ran out of steam a little over half way through, when Menard started describing less and philosophizing more in his own right.
Counting the first five complete sentences, here are the next three from page 123 in that book.
A way of thinking which regards individual differences as inessential departures from a general type is therefore not well suited for dealing with the natural world. A general type is fixed, determinate and uniform; the world Darwin described is characterized by chance, change, and difference -- all the attributes general types are designed to leave out. In emphasizing the particularity of individual organisms, Darwin did not conclude that species did not exist.
And if that ain't enough of a leading quote to make you go find a copy to read, then I don't know what would be. What Menard is talking about at this point is how Darwin's Origin of the Species was being interpreted by the intelligentsia of the 19th century.
Now to the final step: doing unto others as was done unto me. Let's try this lot (in no particular order) and see what they come up with.
January 30, 2008
How NASA makes shooting stars.
The men's room of the Nines Pizzeria in Ithaca, NY is renowned for its humorous graffiti. I found the following "dialogue", written in two different handwritings, there.
"Bread not Bombs" [accompanied by pictures of a bomb with the letters "USA" and a loaf of bread]
"We tried bread, found it would not explode."
Seen written on a stall in a men's bathroom in Wisconsin: "My wife follows me everywhere."
Written just below it: "I do not."
From the site: "Sky-Scapes® are fluorescent light diffusers designed to reduce the harsh glare emanating from sterile existing fluorescent lighting." Seems like a cool way to keep fluorescent lights from harshing your mellow.
I ran across this site at the Dilbert blog, where Scott Adams posted about it because they carry a line of Dilbert® diffusers.
Murphy's Law for accidents
Woman Arrested For Driving Under The Influence Into A Crash Scene
POSTED: 8:12 am EST January 30, 2008
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Orlando police dragged a woman out of her car and arrested her after they said she drove onto an accident scene while under the influence.
January 29, 2008
Here's your sign...
A road sign points the way to nearby towns Clinton and Prosperity in Newberry, South Carolina, January 25, 2008.
I think it's for real. Check this image from Google Maps.
That's a powerful thirst
Man On Lawn Mower Accused Of Driving Drunk
Snowstorm Doesn't Deter Trip To Liquor Store
POSTED: 10:51 am EST January 29, 2008
ADRIAN, Mich. -- Police in Michigan charged a man with drunk driving, saying he downed two bottles of wine and rode off on his lawn mower to a liquor store in a snowstorm. [...]
He told officers his wife had taken their car to work, and that the mower was the only way he could reach the store, which was two miles away.
You're only as old as you feel
Mary sends a link to this funny ad for Centrum Silver.
About 6-7 years ago, I was in a philosophy class at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (good science - engineering school) and the teaching assistant was explaining Descartes. He was trying to show how things don't always happen the way we think they will and explained that, while a pen always falls when you drop it on Earth, it would just float away if you let go of it on the Moon.
My jaw dropped a little. I blurted "What?!" Looking around the room, I saw that only my friend Mark and one other student looked confused by the TA's statement. The other 17 people just looked at me like "What's your problem?"
"But a pen would fall if you dropped it on the Moon, just more slowly," I protested.
"No, it wouldn't," the TA explained calmly. "Because you're too far away from the Earth's gravity."
Think. Think. Aha!"You saw the APOLLO astronauts walking around on the Moon, didn't you ?" I countered, "Why didn't they float away?"
"Because they were wearing heavy boots," he responded, as if this made perfect sense. (Remember, this is a Philosophy TA who's had plenty of logic classes).
By then I realized that we were each living in totally different worlds, and did not speak each other's language, so I gave up. As we left the room, my friend Mark was raging. "My God! How can all those people be so stupid?"
I tried to be understanding. "Mark, they knew this stuff at one time, but it's not part of their basic view of the world, so they've forgotten it. Most people could probably make the same mistake." To prove my point, we went back to our dorm room and began randomly selecting names from the campus phone book. We called about 30 people and asked each this question:
1. If you're standing on the Moon holding a pen, and you let go, will it a) float away, b) float where it is, or c) fall to the ground?
About 47 percent got this question correct. Of the ones who got it wrong, we asked the obvious follow-up question:
2. You've seen films of the APOLLO astronauts walking around on the Moon, why didn't they fall off?
About 20 percent of the people changed their answer to the first question when they heard this one! But the most amazing part was that about half of them confidently answered, "Because they were wearing heavy boots."
I say science education must be at an all time peak!
January 28, 2008
Lego car factory
As Google reminded us
today is the 50th anniversary of Lego blocks. Here's a clip about a factory made of Legos which makes cars made of Legos.
Over the limit
Following a really good party one night, the hosts decided to leave the assorted bottles and dregs until the next morning. As they staggered downstairs next day, they found their young children finishing off all that they could find and looking the worse for wear.
Not knowing what else to do, the father suggested taking them out in the car for some fresh air to help sober them up. A traffic policeman, seeing the car going round and round the block for no reason, pulled them over and gave the father a breathalyzer test. The meter showed positive. While matters were being sorted out, one of the children asked the policeman if he could try the breathalyser. The meter again showed positive.
"Damn!" said the policeman, "Another faulty meter!"
He then apologized to the driver for stopping the father and drove off without another word.
PocketGuitar is a virtual guitar for iPhone and iPod touch. You can even have guitar sessions with the songs in your iPod!
God's plan made a hopeful beginning
But man spoiled his chances by sinning.
We trust that the story
Will end in God's glory
But at present the other side's winning. - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
I sat next to the Duchess at tea.
It was just as I feared it would be,
Her rumblings abdominal
Were truly phenomenal,
And everyone thought it was me! - Woodrow Wilson
There was a young girl from Shanghai,
Who was so exceedingly shy,
That undressing at night,
She turned out the light
For fear of the All-seeing Eye. - Bertrand Russell
The thoughts of the rabbit on sex
Are seldom, if ever, complex.
For the rabbit in need
Is a rabbit indeed,
And does just as a person suspects.
An amoeba named Sam and his brother
Were having a drink with each other.
In the midst of their quaffing
They split their sides laughing.
And each of them now is a mother.
There was a young fellow named Chris
Whose sex life was strangely amiss.
For even with Venus
His recalcitrant penis
Would seldom do better than t
January 26, 2008
A color-changing card trick. Watch carefully.
This will likely only be amusing to programmers, but I think they'll find it funny. And speaking of compilers, Steve Yegge has an pretty entertaining rant on the reasons programmers should learn about them.
These are some of the error messages produced by Apple's MPW C compiler. These are all real. (If you must know I was bored one afternoon and de-compiled the String resources for the compiler.) The compiler is 324K in size so these are just an excerpt I hope. I'm not sure where I stand on the copyright issue. - Tony Cunningham
String literal too long (I let you have 512 characters, that's 3 more than ANSI said I should)
...And the lord said, 'lo, there shall only be case or default labels inside a switch statement'
a typedef name was a complete surprise to me at this point in your program
'Volatile' and 'Register' are not miscible
You can't modify a constant, float upstream, win an argument with the IRS, or satisfy this compiler
This struct already has a perfectly good definition
This onion already has a perfectly good definition
type in (cast) must be scalar; ANSI 3.3.4; page 39, lines 10-11 (I know you don't care, I'm just trying to annoy you)
Can't cast a void type to type void (because the ANSI spec. says so, that's why)
I can't go mucking with a 'void *'
we already did this function
This label is the target of a goto from outside of the block containing this label AND this block has an automatic variable with an initializer AND your window wasn't wide enough to read this whole error message
Call me paranoid but finding '/*' inside this comment makes me suspicious
Too many errors on one line (make fewer)
Symbol table full - fatal heap error; please go buy a RAM upgrade from your local Apple dealer
Just say No
Frustrated Robber Walks Out Of Bank After Teller Refuses To Give Him Money
POSTED: 12:31 pm EST January 24, 2008
WINTER PARK, Fla. -- A would-be robber walked away frustrated, Thursday, when a Winter Park bank teller refused to give him any money.
Police said a man walked into the Florida Capital Bank on Fairbanks and New York avenues Thursday morning and told the teller he was robbing the bank. He never showed a weapon, so the teller didn't give him any money.
When the teller refused to give him the money he stormed out the door.
January 24, 2008
Watch that claim check
Lost Fla. Cat Turns Up In Suitcase In Texas
Stranger Finds Cat After Mistakenly Taking Wrong Bag
POSTED: 1:30 pm EST January 23, 2008
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- For one unsuspecting Florida feline, a cat nap on a pile of her owner's clothes turned into a cross-country journey that ended in a stranger's Texas bedroom.
Gracie Mae crawled into her owner's suitcase, passed through an airport's X-ray machine, was chucked into a plane then tossed onto a baggage belt, before being mistakenly picked up by a stranger.
Rob Carter [...] said he went to unpack and the 10-month-old kitten leapt out of the suitcase and scurried under the bed.
Carter said he "screamed like a little girl."
Most popular dogs
Here's more cute for you: this slideshow about Most Popular Dogs in America. (I think they mean most popular breeds since they don't actually identify any of these pooches.)
It's a Top Ten colleciton. What's your guess for the most popular breed here in the States?
Offerings had been down the past several Sundays and the preacher decided he had to do something to change the trend. The next Sunday, as the plate was being passed, he said, "Brothers and Sisters, I don't like to have to say this, but there is a man in the congregation who is having an affair with another parishioner's wife. And if he doesn't put at least fifty dollars in the collection plate this morning, I will reveal his name."
Later, as he counted the offering, the preacher found 18 fifty-dollar bills - and a twenty-dollar bill with a note clipped to it reading, "Hold your peace and I'll have the other thirty to you before sundown."
January 23, 2008
A new record
100 skydivers made a record-breaking canopy formation at Lake Wales, Florida last November.
On the course
A priest, a minister, and a rabbi are out on the golf course one day.
The priest says, "When we reach the next green, let's throw our money into the air. Whatever falls outside the green, we keep; whatever lands on the green, we give to God."
The minister says, "I have a better idea: why don't we keep what lands on the green."
"Tell you what," the rabbi says. "Let's just throw the money up and whatever God wants, he can keep from falling back."
If you recall the story last year about the man in Scotland who was convicted of attempting sex with a bicycle, here's a take-off on the topic from Fark TV. It's probably not very safe for work.
Ordinarily, I'm a little skeptical of mathematical "discoveries"; they're just so much theology until they're verified experimentally. (To Measure is to Know.)
But last year I read John Gribbins' In Search of Schrödinger's Cat (a good layman's book about quantum mechanics) and he discusses some experiments to back his claim that parallel universes must exist. So the mathematical discovery below isn't the only basis for the claim.
Parallel universes exist - study
Parallel universes really do exist, according to a mathematical discovery by Oxford scientists described by one expert as "one of the most important developments in the history of science".
The parallel universe theory, first proposed in 1950 by the US physicist Hugh Everett, helps explain mysteries of quantum mechanics that have baffled scientists for decades, it is claimed.
In Everett's "many worlds" universe, every time a new physical possibility is explored, the universe splits. Given a number of possible alternative outcomes, each one is played out - in its own universe.
January 22, 2008
The more things change
This is a funny mash-up of David Bowie's Changes with outtakes from the Democratic and Republican debates.
The more they stay the same
I lifted this whole post from cato-at-liberty. My guess is that Connecticut isn't unusual in this way.
One sure way to create an uprising against big government would be to sign up every American voter to Senator Tom Coburn’s daily email reports on pork spending. I should take news about pork in stride, but I can’t help myself. I get disgusted every time I read the Coburn blasts.
Today’s item that turned my stomach was from the Waterbury Republican American (Connecticut):
One of the more enlightening disclosures from the legislature’s latest ethics eruption was the state spends about $10 million a year on the salaries and benefits of more than 50 agency administrators whose main function is to lobby lawmakers.
For taxpayers, this may be the costliest appropriation in the distended $16.3 billion state budget. It funds squads of unfettered lobbyists who wheedle and when necessary sleep with key legislators for ungodly sums of your tax dollars for dubious programs and projects. One reason state taxes are so high, state budget growth easily outstrips inflation every year and the state’s per-capita debt is among the highest in the nation is the government constantly lobbies itself to spend and borrow more.
The self-reinforcing or perpetual motion aspect of big government is one of the most disturbing aspects of federal subsidies, which I explore in this study.
Anyway, kudos to Coburn’s staff for its daily reminders of folly in government. You can get on the daily pork blast by emailing Roland_Foster@coburn.senate.gov.
posted by Chris Edwards on 01.04.08 @ 2:39 pm
More clever advertising
A nice collection of images from 19 ad campaigns (and only a couple have appeared here before).
Here's an update to last month's post about the convict who won $1M in the Massachusetts lottery. The odd part is that this guy was put on probation after pleading guilty to the robbery. ??? (If I ever rob a bank, it'll be in Massachusetts.)
Judge Says Ex-Con Can Keep Lottery Winnings
Convicted Bank Robber Won $1 Million
POSTED: 2:29 pm EST January 18, 2008
BARNSTABLE, Mass. -- More good luck has come to a convicted bank robber who won $1 million Massachusetts lottery prize.
A judge said Timothy Elliott can keep his winnings even though he violated probation when he bought the scratch-off ticket.
He will now have to pay a $65 monthly probation supervisory fee, which had been waived because he was indigent.
January 20, 2008
Libby Keenan says, "This truly happened in a class I was teaching."
I was teaching a very basic class in BASIC programming to a group of adults. Adults who have never been around computers before are very nervous and much harder to teach than children, however I am a patient person so I enjoy their successes. However, I must share the following:
After putting a short program on the board, I told the students to type "R," "U," "N" and press return to see the program execute. A hand went up in the back of the room, waving to get my attention, and the person attached to the hand said, "I did what you said and it didn't work." Knowing full well that all of us make mistakes when typing at the computer, I suggested she retype "R," "U," "N" and press return.
A few seconds later, the lady's hand goes up again. "It still doesn't work," she said.
So I went back to see what the problem was... only to find that instead of typing RUN, she had typed in the following: ARE YOU IN.
January 18, 2008
He had a dream
The folks at Reason.tv had a good idea and linked to this clip of M.L. King, Jr. delivering his I Have a Dream speech in 1963.
And perfect speech too
An elderly Jewish couple attended a seance and attempted to contact the husband's older brother. They concentrated, heard a few weird noises, and then suddenly a voice filled the room. "Al, Evelyn - this is Harry."
"My God!" Evelyn said. "Is that really you, Harry?"
"You're really in Heaven?" Al asked.
"That's right, Al."
"Have you seen anybody else up there?"
"The whole family - Uncle Morris, Aunt Ruth, everybody."
"I have another question," Al said. "When did you learn how to talk such a good English?"
Here's one of 18 cool bridges - mostly standing but with a few in the planning stage.
The weather probably has many of you anticipating going to the golf course when warm weather returns. Until those happy days arrive, here's an alternative.
1 Each player will furnish his own equipment for play, normally one club and two balls.
2. Course to be played must be approved by the owner of the hole.
3. Unlike outdoor golf, the object is to get the club in the hole and keep the balls out of the hole.
4. There is no standard hole size. Unlike outdoor golf, most players enjoy the challenge of the smallest possible hole for the tightest shot.
5. For the most effective play, the club should have a stiff shaft. Course owners are permitted to check the stiffness of the shaft before play begins.
6. Course owner has the right to restrict the length of the club to avoid damage to the hole.
7. It will be necessary to take as many strokes as are needed to satisfy the course owner. Failure to do so may cause player to be barred from the course.
8. It is considered bad form to begin playing the hole immediately upon arriving at the course. It is customary to admire the entire course, paying close attention to the well-formed bunkers and carefully trimmed bushes.
9. Players are cautioned not to mention other courses they have played to the course owner. Course owners have been known to damage a player's equipment for this reason.
10. Special permission may be required in order to play more than one hole on the same course.
11. Players should be sure the match is properly scheduled, especially when playing a new course for the first time. Previous players may take exception to someone else playing what they think is their private course.
12. Some course owners may put a hole out of bounds on certain days of the month. Advanced players may attempt alternate holes during that period.
13. It is considered outstanding performance to play the same hole several times in one match.
14. Course owners shall be the judge as to who is the best player. It is considered bad form for a player to reveal his score to other players. Players who have contracted for exclusive rights to play a private course are advised against informing the course owner of play on other courses. Such revelations may result in cancelled contract and suit for damages.
A low pass
This Blue Angel pilot flies so low he creates a vapor cone. It looks like San Diego to me but I'm not certain.
January 17, 2008
Interesting news in this post from Hit & Run
The Library of Congress just announced that it has put up 3,000 public-domain photos on Flickr and enabling tagging by all comers. It's a pilot project that could someday be extended to the 14 million photos in the collection.
Some news of the weird
Well-Known Gang Member Arrested After Taunting Police On Internet
POSTED: 8:45 am EST January 17, 2008
MIAMI -- A well known South Florida gang member is in jail after taunting police on the internet.
"Come at us if you want to, Metro-Dade Gang Unit. Here I am, baby," said Rudy Villanueva on a YouTube.com posted video.
Investigators said they arrested 31-year-old Villanueva on federal weapons charges, Wednesday. They said he and another man were in the video showing off an AK-47, a shotgun and several handguns and making open threats towards the Miami-Dade Police Department.
Here's a YouTube clip about the YouTube clip that got this guy in trouble.
This one's painful to read.
Robbery Suspect Shoots Self In Genitals
Shooting Caught On Surveillance Tape
POSTED: 9:42 am EST January 16, 2008
KOKOMO, Ind. -- Police said a Kokomo man accidentally shot himself in the genitals while robbing a convenience store early Tuesday.
Kokomo police said they were called to a Village Pantry store at about 4:20 a.m. after a call from a clerk.
The female clerk told police that a man came into the store with a semiautomatic handgun, grabbed her hair and demanded cash and cigarettes before handing her a white cloth bag, WRTV-TV in Indianapolis reported.
"The bullet traveled through his right testicle ... and then into the bottom part of his leg," Kokomo police Lt. Don Whitehead said.
There's been a serious dearth of cute animal antics around here lately. This clip called cat bloopers will help address that problem.
A mutually beneficial transaction
A bear approached a trapper in the woods and asked what he was looking for.
"I'm after a nice fur coat for myself," the trapper told the bear. "How about you?"
"I'd like a nice breakfast. I tell you what: let's go into the cave and discuss it."
So they went into the bear's cave and everything worked out fine. In a half hour the bear had his breakfast and the trapper was in a nice fur coat.
January 16, 2008
Una lección de español
This lesson in practical Spanish is pretty funny.
A woman was walking down the street when she was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking homeless woman who asked for a couple of dollars for food. The woman took out her wallet, got out ten dollars and asked, “If I give you this money, will you buy wine with it instead of dinner?”
“No way. I had to stop drinking years ago,” the homeless woman said.
“Will you use it to go shopping instead?” she asked.
“Shopping?” the homeless woman laughed. “I spend all my time trying to stay alive. I don't even think about shopping.”
“Will you spend this on a beauty salon instead of food?” she asked.
“Are you NUTS!?” replied the homeless woman. “I haven't had my hair done in 10 years!”
“Well,” the first woman said, "I've changed my mind... I'm not going to give you the money. Instead, I'm going to take you out for dinner with my husband and me tonight.”
The homeless woman was shocked. “Won't your husband be furious with you for doing that? I know I'm dirty and I probably smell pretty disgusting.”
“That's perfectly okay," the other woman replied. "It's important for him to see what a woman looks like after she has given up wine, shopping, and hair appointments.”
New grape hybrid
Wine for mature drinkers.
California vintners in the Napa Valley area, which primarily produce Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio wines, have developed a new hybrid grape that acts as an anti-diuretic. It is expected to reduce the number of trips older people have to make to the bathroom during the night.
The new wine will be marketed as Pinot More.
Clever beer ads
January 15, 2008
A great idea
Mahatma Gandhi was on an important mission to London, one of those occasions when the British were trying to bargain the pacifist out of another fast. Leaving the first session, Gandhi was greeted by a dozen reporters. One of them asked, "What do you think of Western civilization?"
"I think it would be a good idea!" Gandhi answered.
The downfall of HD-DVD
CodeWritinFool sends a link this hilarious clip about Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD.
How to lose customers and influence people
Here's a snippet from an interesting post at BoingBoing about Ford Motor Co. and its legal minions. (My emphasis.)
Josh sez, "The folks at BMC (Black Mustang Club) automotive forum wanted to put together a calendar featuring members' cars, and print it through CafePress. Photos were submitted, the layout was set, and... CafePress notifies the site admin that pictures of Ford cars cannot be printed. Not just Ford logos, not just Mustang logos, the car - as a whole - is a Ford trademark and its image can't be reproduced without permission.
Here's the topic at the BMC Forum.
Update: Steve, a BMC member, left this in the comments:
Just a quick update on this situation. I am a member of the BMC forums, and after many many posts to various forums and emails to Ford, the issue has been resolved. If you are interested in what happened between BMC and Ford, here's the link to the thread. Thanks to anybody who may have seen this and was concerned.
Yes, I would like fries with that
Man Drives Car Into McDonalds After Not Getting Fries
POSTED: 9:39 am EST January 15, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Police said a Florida man was so angry he didn't get the fries he ordered he rammed his car into a McDonald's restaurant.
Jacksonville police said David Spillers drove through the play area and smashed into the side of a McDonald's restaurant and then sped off. Police tracked him down by following a trail of broken glass to his car, which was parked at a nearby apartment complex.
No one was injured in the incident. Spillers is facing several charges.
January 14, 2008
Still more stage magic
Lance Burton does an impressive stage magic act with fire, doves, and playing cards.
It was the shank of the night. The guests were leaving one by one. At the door a departing guest shook the hand of Chico Marx, the host, and said, "I would like to say good-bye to your wife."
Marx asked, "Who wouldn't?"
Funnier than WTF
There's a funny story behind this cake.
Is that a gun in your pocket or do you just like the music?
Jordan Baker, Chief Police Reporter
January 10, 2008
IT'S the perfect gift for the security-conscious music lover: a Taser stun gun with a built-in MP3 player.
Arizona-based Taser International has revealed its latest product, which combines a stun gun - able to shoot a 50,000 volt electric charge - with a music player, and is packaged in red, pink and leopard skin to make it attractive to women.
January 11, 2008
This clip is a very well done version of the rotating spiral optical illusion.
A short anecdote to get you thinking about spring training.
Marv Throneberry was one of those ballplayers who seemed to have an aversion to catching balls hit at or thrown to him. His manager, the baseball legend Casey Stengel, was presented with a birthday cake one day.
Throneberry pouted and asked, "I had a birthday the other day. Why didn't somebody give me a cake?"
Stengel answered, "We would have, but we was afraid you'd drop it."
Picture in picture
Nice execution on this picture-in-a-picture. Follow the link for a larger image.
A two-income household
What are you doing here? - man asks wife at brothel
Reuters - Thursday, January 10
WARSAW - A Polish man got the shock of his life when he visited a brothel and spotted his wife among the establishment's employees. Polish tabloid Super Express said the woman had been making some extra money on the side while telling her husband she worked at a store in a nearby town.
"I was dumfounded. I thought I was dreaming," the husband told the newspaper Wednesday.
The couple, married for 14 years, are now divorcing, the newspaper reported.
January 10, 2008
Rolling his own
A couple of people sent a link to this clip about a Frenchman who makes his own vacuum tubes starting from glass tube and metal stock. It's 17 minutes long and I found it fascinating - not that I expect everyone will.
I also enjoyed the first comment about this clip; I'd like to see someone make a FET in a home workshop too.
This is the most amazing piece of work I've seen in years. Truly amazing. One man and a whole host of equipment, some home-made, to produce a suite of triodes. I shall never look at a common store-bought triode in the same way ever again.
Now let's see someone build a Field Effect Transistor (FET), the solid state equivalent of a triode, on their kitchen bench!
Hot or not?
Unfortunately, we can't tell because Ms. Kontur-Gronquist's MySpace page is no longer public.
Oregon Town Meeting Likely to Discuss Mayor's Racy Lingerie Photo
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
ARLINGTON, Ore. — Mayor Carmen Kontur-Gronquist's name is sure to be mentioned when Arlington holds its annual town meeting Wednesday.
Some of the mayor's roughly 500 constituents will want to know her views on the issues affecting the Eastern Oregon community; others will want to talk about her underwear.
The mayor's lingerie is a hot topic here, with some residents upset that she posted pictures of herself wearing only a black bra and panties on her MySpace page. She was on one of the town's fire engines.
The Grand Natural World
This is the online gallery of Leping Zha, physicist and photographer, who makes some very nice landscape photographs.
Chrononaut seeking assistant
This is (or was) a craigslist ad. The last time I looked it was flagged for deletion.
Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.
The last day
Bill Gates' last day of work at Microsoft. This clip is funnier than I thought it would be.
More about that secret
The oldest man in the country was asked how he managed to reach 100.
He answered, "I stayed away from women until I was 12!"
January 09, 2008
A large collection of funny images of wild solutions to common problems
A hairy problem
At the start of his career, the famous attorney Clarence Darrow was involved in a trial during which the opposing attorney kept referring to him as 'this beardless youth' in an obvious attempt to discredit Darrow.
When Darrow's turn came, he told the jury a story about the king of Spain. The king sent a young emissary to the king of France to discuss important matters. The French king was livid. "Does the Spanish king think so little of France," he screamed, "that he sends a beardless boy to me?"
"Your Majesty," the emissary answered, "had my sovereign known that you imputed wisdom to a beard, he would have sent a goat."
Name that tune
Can you tell what song this guy is singing?
I think this qualifies as contempt
Ruling Over Kiss-My-Rear Note To Judge Stays
Court Upholds Judge's Contempt Order
POSTED: 1:36 pm EST January 7, 2008
ORANGEBURG, S.C. -- You might want to bite your tongue before telling a judge to kiss the body part you sit on.
The South Carolina Court of Appeals has upheld a judge's contempt ruling against a St. Matthews woman who signed a court document with just such a message for the judge.
Judith Law was ordered to serve an extra 90 days.
In addition to the 90-day contempt sentence, the judge ordered the woman to serve the remainder of a five-year suspended sentence for grand larceny and burglary.
January 08, 2008
Here's a clip about Yamaha's Tenori-on device. It's a musical instrument that was introduced last September and looks pretty spiffy.
Yamaha's Tenori-on site.
There's a simple secret to long life: get to be 100 - and then be very careful.
Click the image for a larger view.
This guy can smell a lemon
Blind Mechanic Diagnoses Car Problems By Smell, Touch
POSTED: 8:10 am EST January 7, 2008
DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. -- A mechanic in Deerfield Beach can smell trouble in the cars that come into his shop.
After losing his eyesight three years ago, Daniel Moncada relies on his senses of smell and touch to figure out what's wrong with a car's engine. He also helps remove a vehicle's seats so his crew can rebuild the interior he has redesigned based on his sense of touch.
I Am Lawsuit Abuse
Here's an interesting follow-up to my two posts about the judge in Washington, DC with the fancy pants. The judge sued his cleaners for $65 million over a missing pair of trousers and lost. (This judge was fired in late October.)
This is a clip about Jin and Soo Chung, who own Custom Cleaners and are the defendants in that suit. (I say 'are' because the judge is appealing the court decision against him so the suit's still dragging on, AFAIK. The only good news about this is that the Chungs' court costs were covered by donations.)
January 07, 2008
I suspect this clip about windshield washers is a spoof. But if is, it's a very well done one.
The accountant's problem
Alex was an accountant. Even though it wasn't tax season, he felt worn out. He went to his doctor for a check-up. The doctor asked him, "How often do you have sex?"
"Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday."
"I suggest you eliminate Thursday."
"That's impossible. It's the only night I'm home."
Science as Art
Beautiful nanotechnology images from the Science as Art competition
(Nanowerk News) The 2007 Materials Research Society (MRS) Fall Meeting concluded in Boston on November 30. This was the first time that the popular Science as Art competition was held at an MRS Fall Meeting. Three first place and three second place winners were selected from the various entries. Some of the images are from the nanotechnology domain but most are micro-scale.
Top 10 Scientific Breakthroughs
Wired News has an interesting article presenting its "first annual" (sic) year's 10 most important scientific breakthroughs. They're pretty interesting.
7. Engineers Create Transparent Material as Strong as Steel
Engineering researchers at the University of Michigan have created a material similar to "transparent aluminum," the fantastic substance described by Scotty in Star Trek IV. In the Oct. 5 issue of Science, Nicholas Kotov showed that clay is good for far more than making bricks and expensive skincare products.
January 04, 2008
Who knew there was a collection of tricked-out Darth Vader masks?
2007 Darwin Awards
They've been collecting these reports all year but in year-end-review spirit, you can find the ones for 2007 here.
(23 June 2007, Illinois) Two Valparaiso men tested their reflexes by playing "chicken" with a train. Which man could stay on the rail longest in the path of an oncoming train? At the stroke of midnight, the contest was decided. The winner, aptly named Patrick Stiff, lost his life.
The train continued on, as the conductor was unaware it hit anyone.
It's a hovercraft, it's a blimp...
It's an experimental craft called the P-791, made by Lockheed-Martin. The lumbering take-offs and landings are curious. It's alleged to be over 60 meters (~200 feet) long.
Fat's where it's at
Mayor Urges Oklahoma City To Go On Diet
City Aiming For Loss Of 1 Million Pounds
POSTED: 7:02 am EST January 4, 2008
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The mayor has issued a New Year's challenge to residents of Oklahoma City.
Mick Cornett wants them to shed 1 million pounds by watching what they eat.
It could be difficult, since a spread of cornbread, sausage gravy, chicken fried steak and pecan pie has been designated the official Oklahoma state meal.
As part of the initiative, residents can sign up and track their weight loss on a new Web site, www.thiscityisgoingonadiet.com.
Update: Brian sends this follow-up. "This link is to Whad'Ya Know segment with an interview with the mayor of Oklahoma City that aired this weekend on NPR. You will likely have to sift through the file to hear the interview, but it’s straight from the horse’s mouth."
The link is for RealMedia audio, so you'll need some version of the Real player to listen to it.
January 03, 2008
New Year panoramas
Here's a collection of panoramas from around the world made at New Year's; there are 10 (so far). The one below was made in Sydney, New South Wales.
Mrs. Clay and her friend go to the police to report that Mr. Clay had disappeared. Mrs. Clay describes him as being six-two, 180 pounds, wide-shouldered, brown-haired and the closest thing there is to a 40-year-old life guard.
As they leave, her friend says, "What kind of description was that? Your husband is 72 and doesn't have a hair on his head."
Mrs. Clay says, "Who wants that one back?"
Shopping at WalMart
This is why women should not take men shopping against their wills.
After Mr. and Mrs. Fenton retired, Mrs. Fenton insisted her husband accompany her on her shopping trips to WalMart. Unfortunately, Mr. Fenton was like most men - he found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out quickly. Equally unfortunately, Mrs. Fenton was like most women - she loved to browse.
After a few months of this, Mrs. Fenton received the following letter from her local WalMart.
Dear Mrs. Fenton,
Over the past six months, your husband has been causing quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and may be forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against Mr. Fenton are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras.
1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people's carts when they weren't looking.
2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.
3. July 7: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women's restroom.
4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, 'Code 3 in Housewares... Get on it right away.'
5. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&M's on layaway.
6. September 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.
7. September 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told other shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department.
8. September 23: When an associate offered to help him, he began crying and screamed, 'Why can't you people just leave me alone?'
9. October 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.
10. November 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.
11. December 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the 'Mission Impossible' theme.
12. December 6: In the auto department, he practiced his 'Madonna look' using different sizes of funnels.
13. December 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled 'PICK ME! PICK ME!'
14.. December 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed a fetal position and screamed 'OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!'
And last, but not least ...
15. December 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, then yelled very loudly, 'Hey! There's no toilet paper in here!'
January 02, 2008
Million dollar Monte
A nicely done version of three-card Monte from a DVD about magic tricks.
Man Sends Christmas Cards From 'Heaven'
POSTED: 11:27 am EST December 26, 2007
ASHLAND, Ore. -- Friends of Chet Fitch may have been surprised to get holiday cards from him this year.
He died in October at age 88.
But for years, the Oregon man who was known for his sense of humor had been planning one final joke, with the help of his barber.
He had written Christmas cards to his friends and gave them to barber Patty Dean for mailing after he died.
He kept the mailing list updated and gave her more money when postal rates went up.
Dean told the Daily Tidings in Ashland, Ore., that a few months ago, Fitch told her that she would probably be able to mail the cards this year. He died a week later.
The cards carry a return address of "Heaven."
I spotted this truck during my visit to Tucson last week. My guess is that the message is intended for snowbirds.
What's a picnic without ants?
One aardvark is telling another about a field of ants that he discovered.
"I'm telling you," he says, "you could have a picnic."