November 29, 2008
The Music Animation Machine
This clip plays part of Bach's fourth Brandenberg concerto, as illustrated by Stephen Malinowski's Music Animation Machine. It's an interesting visualization.
If it piques your interest, too, here's a page of links to similar clips.
November 28, 2008
Slo mo lady bug
One of many high frame rate clips at UltraSlo.com. This lady bug taking off was filmed at 7000 frames per second.
We appreciate your cooperation
At the airport for a trip, I settled down to wait for the boarding announcement at gate 35. Then I heard the voice on the public address system saying, "We apologize for the inconvenience but Delta Flight 570 will board from Gate 41."
So my family picked up our luggage and carried it over to Gate 41. Not ten minutes later the public address voice told us that Flight 570 would in fact be boarding from Gate 35.
So again we gathered our carry-on luggage and returned to the original gate. Just as we were settling down, the public address voice spoke again: "Thank you for participating in Delta's physical fitness program."
Oz from the air
Beware of the blonde
Driver Who Stopped For Blonde Left In Sticky Spot
MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) ― A driver in Mexico got himself into a sticky situation when he pulled over to help a woman whose pickup appeared to be broken down by the highway.
Anadel Carrizales was driving Wednesday near the northern city of Monterrey when a blond woman in a black miniskirt motioned for him to pull over.
Once he had stopped, the woman walked up and told him an accomplice was pointing a gun at him, said David Perales, a spokesman for state investigators.
She then tied him up with packing tape, super-glued his hands to the steering wheel of his truck and demanded money.
November 27, 2008
Here's one of Jacquie Lawson's Flash greeting cards: Pumpkin Pie.
The nudist war
France's nudist mullahs 'at war with swingers'
One of Europe's most famous nudist colonies has become the subject of an unusual investigation by French detectives after the destruction of three nightclubs in fires blamed on naturist "hardliners".
The normally peaceful Cap d'Agde, a magnet for nudists in the south of France, has been plunged into anxiety. Investigators suspect "fundamentalist" naturists of harbouring a grudge against the échangistes, or swingers, who are drawn to the town by the promise of sex.
Creative food work
What happens when you play with your food: a large collection of food shots at Dark Roasted Blend.
An ear for an ear
Noise violators in Fort Lupton sentenced to listen to Barry Manilow
FORT LUPTON — Barry Manilow's "I Write the Songs" may begin with the line, "I've been alive forever,'" but for noise ordinance violators, listening to Manilow may feel like forever.
Fort Lupton Municipal Judge Paul Sacco says his novel punishment of forcing noise violators to listen to music they don't like for one hour has cut down on the number of repeat offenders in this northwestern Colorado prairie town.
November 25, 2008
Mary sends several cartoons about Thanksgiving.
Your auction dollars at work
In Need of Cash, States Auction Goods Online
Need a desk? An airplane? How about an armored personnel carrier? Items like these and others are now just a click away for the highest bidder.
Joseph Hamrick, a 59-year-old construction worker from Goose Creek, S.C., got hooked on one such Web site, GovDeals.com, about five months ago. Since then, he's gotten good deals on a 1999 Dodge truck in great condition, 36 bicycles and more than 2,000 brand-new T-shirts, among other things - much of which he gives away to charity and co-workers.
Time for the silver jumpsuits
Jet Pack Flies Across 1,100-Foot-Deep Canyon
CANON CITY - A pilot/stuntman out of Denver did the unthinkable monday afternoon. 45-year-old Eric Scott flew across the Royal Gorge in his hydrogen-peroxide-powered jet pack.
Flower company website describes Sask. city exports as wieners, porn and asbestos
YORKTON, Sask. — People in Yorkton, Sask., were shaking their heads recently over a flower delivery company's website that described the city's chief exports as "wieners, amateur porn and asbestos."
[...] Company co-owner Shirlee Bucknall told a local TV news station the problem arose when she hired a couple of university students to do research for the website.
November 24, 2008
Bailing out GM one teaspoon at a time
Jim Coleman Cadillac in Bethesda, Maryland is offering 100 shares of GM stock (about $350 at today's close) to those who buy a Cadillac before the end of the month.
I remember this stuff...
and it looked just as bad then as it looks now. Here's part of a 1977 J.C. Penney catalog.
Watch for this scam
I don't know how many of you shop at WalMart but there's a scam there that I was a victim of.
Two seriously good-looking, well-built cowboy types come over to your car as you are loading it, getting ready to leave. They're both shirtless and they clean your windshield with their highly-defined pectorals and rock-hard abs standing out under their tans. It's impossible not to look. When you offer them a tip, they say 'No' and instead ask for a ride to another store.
You agree and they get in the car with you. On the way, they start talking dirty about what they want to do to you. Then the one in the front seat leans over, starts kissing your neck and begs you to pull over so he can make love to you...
While this is going on, the second guy steals your purse!
I had a purse stolen this way last Tuesday, twice on Thursday, again on Saturday and, most likely, tomorrow.
H.T. to Carol
That's the thing about cats - you can never tell which vacuums they'll be afraid of and which ones they'll decide to ride.
If a piano plays in the forest but no is around to hear it...
Mystery piano in woods perplexes police
(CNN) -- Was it a theft? A prank? A roundabout effort to bring some holiday cheer to the police? Authorities in Harwich, Massachusetts, are probing the mysterious appearance of a piano, in good working condition, in the middle of the woods.
Discovered by a woman who was walking a trail, the Baldwin Acrosonic piano, model number 987, is intact -- and, apparently, in tune.
November 23, 2008
And now for something slightly different
November 22, 2008
Definitely too much time on his hands
Scott sends a link to a funny post at The Daily WTF.
"So I was bored at work one day," Graeme Job explains, "and wondered, what's the most useless thing I could do with my time without actually doing anything. Then it hit me. I could use T-SQL to generate... Mandelbrot.
Give up and use tables
If you're wasting time fighting with CSS -- and we know you are -- we've got just the tool you need. Download the Give Up and Use Tables timer. We've scientifically determined the maximum amount of time that you should need to make a layout work in CSS: it's 47 minutes. When your time is up, we'll even give you the table code you need. Take three minutes to build a table. And ten minutes to get a donut. Bill the client for an hour. Done.
November 21, 2008
Across the moon
NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day for November 20th.
Glaring near the top of the frame, the shuttle orbiter Endeavour rockets into the night on the STS-126 mission. [...] To record the dramatic view, the camera was placed so the shuttle's flight path tracked across the Moon, from a vantage point in Indian River City, Florida.
For the boys
Bra for the boys an online bestseller in Japan
Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:02am EST
TOKYO (Reuters) - Who said bras are only for women? A Japanese online lingerie retailer is selling bras for cross-dressing men and they've quickly become one of its most popular items.
Ride a trebuchet
Blind sky diver
A blind man was describing his sky diving hobby. When asked how he manged it at all, he said that things were all done for him. "The jump master positions me in the door with my seeing-eye dog and he tells me when to jump. He puts my hand on my rip cord and out I go."
"But how do you know when to pull the rip cord?"
"I have a very keen sense of smell and I can smell the trees and grass when I'm 3000 feet from the ground."
"But how do you know when you're going to hit the ground?"
"Well, the dog's leash goes slack then."
50 unusual looking buildings from around the world.
The 2012 campaign begins
*LP activist Angela Keaton and blogger Michelle Shingal
November 20, 2008
The Big Picture peers into the micro world with 32 photomicrographs.
Garden gnome maker's plastic prostitutes
A Romanian entrepreneur has come under fire for putting plastic prostitutes on the street to advertise his garden gnome business.
What a way to run a business
The meat fairies are at it again
Mystery Meat Dumped In Town Common
Residents Concerned Meat May Be Poisoned
Thursday, November 20, 2008
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- Framingham town officials are trying to figure out who has been dumping butcher-quality cuts of meat on the Town Centre common and why.
At least once a week for the past month or so, someone has been placing the meat there, near Edgell Road.
November 19, 2008
A post about weird cars - which includes a few trucks.
"Your application to join our match making service has been rejected."
It's a mouthful
Cleanliness is important
From the UK's Daily Mail
'Try something new today...' blundering Sainsbury's gives booklet on sex positions to eight-year-olds
They probably expected a goody bag of some sorts as a going home gift after the primary school trip to Sainsbury's.
But what the 42 children - not to mention their parents and teachers - did not expect was to be given a book with explicit illustrations of sexual positions.
November 18, 2008
His lucky day
This young guy has an amazing run of luck on The Price Is Right on the day of his 19th birthday.
Two blonde carpenters were working on a house. The one who was hanging siding was reaching into his nail pouch, pulling out nails, and then tossing about half of them over his shoulder.
The other carpenter got curious and asked, "Why are you throwing away so many nails?"
The first explained, "If I pull a nail out of my pouch and the point's toward me, I throw it away 'cause it's defective. If the point is toward the house, then I drive it in."
"You moron!" the second blonde yelled at him. "The nails with their points toward you aren't defective! They're for the other side of the house!"
Here's a collection of nearly 40 images taken with high-speed cameras. And for a bonus, the page includes 11 video clips shot the same way.
The title of this Samizdata post made me wince.
[...] If the Democrats do decide to rescue the US car industry via a bail-out, they will rationalise and reorder. Perhaps they will even wish to intervene as to which models and which research should be undertaken. Think of the opportunity for renewables...renewing jobs, renewing pork, renewing votes. By the end of this process, it is doubtful if there will be any US car industry at all. Congress will have undertaken a wonderful role in clearing out the undergrowth for more efficient rivals and Detroit will go the way of Morris, Austin and the Triumph marques.
Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it - Santayana
November 17, 2008
More pictures taken at just the right angle (and right time).
It doesn't get much cuter than this: a live puppy cam. I counted six of them.
Time travel adventure
This is the first in a sequence of videos about Chad, Matt & Robb's adventures in time travel. It's interactive, so the other clips in the sequence depend on your choices.
Lame attempt at robbery
Man In Wheelchair Robs Bank, Hides Money In Prosthetic Leg
Friday, November 14, 2008
MERRITT ISALND, FLA, -- A man suspected of robbing the Space Coast Credit Union on Fortenberry Road in Merritt Island was arrested Friday evening after investigators found the money tucked inside his prosthetic leg.
November 14, 2008
A black hole
What, no vase?
Here's an old joke retold in captioned pictures.
This image taken on the Golden Gate bridge appears in National Geographic's Traveler magazine. Follow the link for a larger image (up to wallpaper size, if you like).
Steven Spielberg was discussing his new action adventure film about famous classical composers. Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger were in the room.
"Who do you want to play?" Spielberg asked Bruce Willis.
"I've always been a big fan of Chopin," said Bruce. "I'll play him."
"And you, Sylvester?" asked Spielberg.
"Mozart's the guy for me!" said Sly.
"And what about you, Arnie?" Spielberg asked.
"I'll be Bach," said Arnie.
November 13, 2008
Summer's coming -
to Antarctica. The Big Picture has 32 images of the Antarctic for your delectation.
More criminal masterminds
News from Arkansas:
Trickery leads to arrests in treasures heist
BENTONVILLE — A little alchemy by a metals dealer helped Bentonville police solve the theft of a couple of safes packed with treasures that included rare coins and a silver ingot.
When the thieves tried to sell the 62. 5-pound silver bar at a metal recycling business, the proprietor convinced the burglars that the bar was really made of lead and gave them $30 for it. Then he called police.
Take the red pill. Get the blue screen.
Dave sends a link to a pretty funny spoof: The Matrix runs on Windows.
Anecdotes aren't evidence, but I noticed yesterday that I'd received much less Spam than usual. At the time, I thought that one of my e-mail servers was down. Today, though, I came across this article. Anyone else notice a decrease?
Host of Internet Spam Groups Is Cut Off
Spam Drops After Internet Providers Disconnect a California Hosting Firm
By Brian Krebs
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 12, 2008; 7:16 PM
The volume of junk e-mail sent worldwide dropped drastically today after a Web hosting firm identified by the computer security community as a major host of organizations allegedy engaged in spam activity was taken offline, according to security firms that monitor spam distribution online.
November 12, 2008
Never ignore a nerd
Sometimes failure is a good thing
At a software engineering management course in the US, the participants were given an awkward question to answer. "If you had just boarded an airliner and discovered that your team of programmers had been responsible for the flight control software how many of you would disembark immediately?"
Among the forest of raised hands, only one man sat motionless. When asked what he would do, he replied that he would be quite content to stay aboard.
With his team's software, he said, the plane was unlikely to even taxi as far as the runway, let alone take off.
Tattoos on scientists
Carl Zimmer has collected ~175 science tattoos at The Loom, a blog at Discover Magazine's site.
This was one of my favorites. But it has a sad story associated with it.
In April, a reader named Abigail sent in this tattoo, with the following description:
My first year of college, I wanted to be an English major, and I took Intro Chemistry to fill the science requirement. The brief unit on thermodynamics made me fall totally in love. Entropy made sense to me - scientifically, philosophically. I became a Chemistry major and love every second of it. I got the tattoo to mark my rite of passage - Entropy going both ways, with its symble delta-S in the middle, all supported in the roots of Yggdrasil, the world-tree of Norse mythology (harking back to my English-lit days).
Today, Abigail's mother sent in this sad note:
Abigail is my daughter. I was with her when she got this tattoo last March, several months after she turned 18, while she was attending Reed College in Portland. It was an adventure for both of us. She came home for the summer in May, and four days later was in a fatal car accident.
I will be getting this same tattoo next week - Abigail's personal design - from the same artist. It will memorialize both my daughter and her intellect and passion for science and philosophy.
The world has lost an incredible mind. Thank you Mr. Zimmer for displaying this artwork and sharing it with visitors to this site.
Good luck finding somebody to fence this
One of our churches is missing
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
A church has vanished from the Russian village where it stood for almost 200 years, the local diocese said on Tuesday.
The Church of Christ's Resurrection, in the central Russian village of Komarovo, was built in 1809 but in early October someone took it away brick by brick, Father Vitaly a spokesman for the local Russian Orthodox Church, told Reuters.
November 11, 2008
Rickrolled - big time
Rickrolling: Rick Astley named Best Act Ever at the MTV Europe Music Awards
Rick Astley was named the Best Act Ever at the MTV Europe Music Awards, as fans of the 1980s singer pulled off the biggest ever "Rickroll"
At the zoo
Here's a collection of signs at zoos.
Spoof or not?
This is a real patent application but I'm not sure how seriously it was intended.
Halliburton Tries To Patent Form Of Patent Trolling
We see all sorts of ridiculous patent applications and patents, but my favorites tend to be the patents that have to do with patents themselves (such as the patent app on a method for filing a patent). However, the folks over at Patently-O have highlighted a fascinating patent application from an attorney at Halliburton, which appears to be an attempt to patent the process of patent trolling.
November 10, 2008
A prize winner
Bill writes, "I'm sure that you have seen pharmaceutical advertising in doctor's offices on everything from tissues to exam table cover paper. Well, in my book, this one should get the prize."
How to crash & burn with a worldwide audience
British journalist covering Barack Obama caught on camera in drunk, plagiarism rant
Sometimes, you wake up following a drunken night out and realise you have sent an inappropriate text to an ex-girlfriend or your boss.
And sometimes you realise you have drunkenly admitted to plagiarism to camera, and spectacularly resigned from your job, shouting "F**k you' to your boss.
I hope he likes Florida.
A woman went to her doctor's office. She was seen by one of the new doctors on staff and after about 4 minutes in the examining room, she burst out screaming and ran down the hall.
An older doctor stopped her and had her sit down and relax in another room. Then she explained what the problem was. The older doctor marched back to the first doctor and demanded, "What's the matter with you? Mrs. Terry is 63 years old. She has four grown children and seven grandchildren. And you told her she was pregnant?!"
The new doctor smiled smugly as he continued writing on his clipboard. "Cured her hiccups, though, didn't it?"
November 07, 2008
A man and his wife were having a spat and giving each other the silent treatment. One day the man realized that he would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 the next morning for an early flight to Chicago.
Not wanting to be the first to break the silence, though, he decided to leave a note instead of asking her directly. His note said, "Please wake me at 5:00."
The next morning the man woke up to discover it was 8:00 and he'd missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn't awakened him when he noticed a piece of paper on his night stand.
It read "It's 5:00 - time to wake up!"
Small World winners
A slideshow of winning photomicrographs taken for Nikon's Small World 2008 competition. These are some carbon nanotubes.
Police: Woman's Loud Prayer Foils Robbery
Man Left Without Taking Anything, Authorities Say
GREENSBORO -- A Greensboro, N.C., woman's prayers spooked a would-be robber who ran away after complaining that she was making too much noise. [...]
Police said Headen started praying aloud and the man asked her to stop talking so loudly, then left without taking anything. Police dogs tracked him but the trail ended.
From 52 to 48
An interesting site emphasizing unity after this week's election.
(The US Air Force Concert Band.)
What's brown and sticky?
Stick inducted into toy hall of fame
A magic wand, a knight's sword, a fishing rod?
The lowly stick, a universal plaything powered by a child's imagination, has landed in the National Toy Hall of Fame along with Baby Doll and the skateboard.
A tribute to John Williams
Check out this cleverly done a capella tribute to John Williams.
November 06, 2008
From the UK's Daily Mail:
Barking mad: Owners of obese dogs and fat cats could face jail under controversial new rules
Owners of fat cats and obese dogs could be fined or jailed under controversial Government rules.
New beefed-up codes of practice for pet owners published today state that overfeeding pets is a 'serious welfare concern' that can lead to unnecessary suffering.
People who refuse to put seriously fat pets on a diet could be prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act - and face a fine of up to £20,000 or even 12 months' jail.
The dog ate it
The New York Daily News has a collection of veterinary x-rays. Most are of dogs that have swallowed household items; this one really caught my eye.
Tech support incidents
Bill sends 15 tech support vignettes.
Tech support: What kind of computer do you have?
Female customer: A white one...
Customer: Hi, this is Celine. I can't get my diskette out.
Tech support: Have you tried pushing the button?
Customer: Yes, sure, it's really stuck.
Tech support: That doesn't sound good; I'll make a note.
Customer: No , wait a minute... I hadn't inserted it yet... it's still on my desk. Sorry.
Tech support: Click on the 'My Computer' icon on to the left of the screen.
Customer: Your left or my left?
Tech support: Good day. How may I help you?
Male customer: Hello. I can't print.
Tech support: Would you click on 'Start' for me and...
Customer: Listen, pal, don't start getting technical on me! I'm not Bill Gates.
Customer: Hi, good afternoon, this is Martha, I can't print. Every time I try, it says 'Can't find printer'. I've even lifted the printer and placed it in front of the monitor, but the computer still says he can't find it.
Customer: I have problems printing in red.
Tech support: Do you have a color printer?
Customer: Aaaah... thank you.
Tech support: What's on your monitor now, ma'am?
Customer: A teddy bear my boyfriend bought for me at the 7-11.
Customer: My keyboard is not working anymore.
Tech support: Are you sure it's plugged into the computer?
Customer: No. I can't get behind the computer.
Tech support: Pick up your keyboard and walk 10 paces back.
Tech support: Did the keyboard come with you?
Tech support: That means the keyboard is not plugged in. Is there another keyboard?
Customer: Yes, there's another one here. Ah... this one does work.
Tech support: Your password is the small letter a as in apple, a capital letter V as i n Victor, the number 7.
Customer: Is that 7 in capital letters ?
Customer: Can't get on the Internet.
Tech support: Are you sure you used the right password?
Customer: Yes, I'm sure. I saw my colleague do it.
Tech support: Can you tell me what the password was?
Customer: Five stars.
Tech support: What anti-virus program do you use?
Tech support: That's not an anti-virus program.
Customer: Oh, sorry... Internet Explorer.
Customer: I have a huge problem. A friend has placed a screen saver on my computer, but every time I move the mouse, it disappears.
Tech support: How may I help you?
Customer: I'm writing my first e-mail.
Tech support: OK, and what seems to be the problem?
Customer: Well, I have the letter 'a' in the address, but how do I get the circle around it?
A woman customer called the Canon help desk with a problem with her printer.
Tech support: Are you running it under Windows?
Customer: No, my desk is next to the door, but that is a good point. The man sitting in the cubicle next to me is under a window, and his printer is working fine.
And last but not least:
Tech support: Okay Bob, let's press the control and escape keys at the same time. That brings up a task list in the middle of the screen. Now type the letter 'P' to bring up the Program Manager.
Customer: I don't have a P.
Tech support: On your keyboard, Bob.
Customer: What do you mean?
Tech support: 'P' - on your keyboard, Bob.
Customer: I'M NOT GOING TO DO THAT!
Another video about water: check out the impressive CGI work in this ad for Mattoni spring water.
November 05, 2008
Her fastest time ever
Jogger runs mile with rabid fox locked on her arm
PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- Authorities in Arizona say a jogger attacked by a rabid fox ran a mile with the animal's jaws clamped on her arm and then drove herself to a hospital. The Yavapai County sheriff's office said the woman told deputies she was on a trail near Prescott on Monday when the fox attacked and bit her foot.
This clip shows the interesting technique used to draw the art for a graphic novel called Alan's War.
How it started
Celibacy can be a choice in life, or it can be a condition imposed by circumstances...
While attending a religiously-based Marriage Encounter weekend, Jim and his wife Mary listened to the instructor declare, 'It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other.' Then he addressed the men first, 'Can you name and describe your wife's favorite flower?'
Jim leaned over, touched Mary's arm gently and whispered, 'It's Pillsbury All-Purpose, isn't it?'
And thus began Jim's life of celibacy.
UT vs. Texas Tech
Maybe there's something to it, since UT lost Sunday (11/2).
November 04, 2008
Never trust a politician
A bus filled with politicians was driving down a country road one day when it ran off the road and crashed into a tree. The old farmer who owned the land heard the crash and he went out to investigate.
A few days later, the local sheriff came out looking for the missing politicos. He saw the crashed bus but he didn't see any of its riders. He asked the farmer where all the politicians were.
The farmer said, "I buried 'em... They're all out in my back 40."
"All of them?" asked the sheriff. "They were all dead?"
The old farmer replied, "Well, a few of 'em said they wasn't... But you know how them politicians will lie."
This looks like a fountain but acts like a printer. The Japanese maker calls it a Space Printer. It's pretty slick no matter what it's called; I'll bet it was a fun project to work on.
Bad cop! No doughnut! (3)
Campus Cop Charged With Stealing Donuts
Cop lifts $300 worth of pastries
State police say an upstate New York college campus policeman was helping himself to free pastries at a local convenience store.
The Valero Nice N Easy offers free coffee to any police officer in uniform.
Sgt. Steve Brody of the Morrisville State College University Police stopped daily to buy a newspaper and pick up a free cup of coffee. He also routinely stuffed a pastry into his coat.
Scott sent a link to Jake von Slatt's Steampunk Keyboard mod.
But while I was poking around Mr. von Slatt's Steampunk Workshop site, I was taken by the Victorian all-in-one PC (below). It uses the keyboard mod, as you can see.
November 03, 2008
Making the switch
A life-long supporter of the Democratic party was lying on his death bed when he suddenly decided to join the Republican party.
"But why?" asked his puzzled friend. "You've always been a Democrat through and through. Why change now?"
The man learned forward and explained, "Well, I'd rather it was one of them that died and not one of us."
on dancing with the stars. (Click for a larger view.)
A thought for Election Day
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
H. L. Mencken
One hot pilot
I'm having a lot of trouble believing this one - but it's not the first time something like that's happened.
Lost in translation
E-mail error ends up on road sign
The English* is clear enough to lorry drivers - but the Welsh reads "I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated."
When officials asked for the Welsh translation of a road sign, they thought the reply was what they needed.
Unfortunately, the e-mail response to Swansea council said in Welsh: "I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated".
So that was what went up under the English version which barred lorries from a road near a supermarket.
* "No entry for heavy goods vehicles. Residential site only"