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December 31, 2008

Happy 2009

HappyNewYear2009.jpg

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Our message of hope

Here's a timely Flash clip.

It’s been quite a year. Between a seemingly endless election and a worldwide economic crisis, our screens have been filled with the same familiar faces repeating tired campaign buzzwords and sobering economic sound bites. After all that bad news, we thought you could use a more uplifting message for the New Year.

So we’ve taken those faces and sound bites and created a mashup that we call “Our Message of Hope.” After you view our film we’ve provided the tools for you to easily create your own message to enjoy and share. From serious to absurd, express yourself.

In the new year, may all of your news be good news.

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December 30, 2008

Spin out

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Street View (2)

Kevin sends a link to this bit of black humor

Google Street View Update Catches Knife Sharpening Van Outside OJ Simpson's Old House

Streetviews Google has expanded its Street View imagery with Google Maps to include views of downtown San Diego, Los Angeles, Houston and Orlando. [...]

And as with a original release, armies of bored internet junkies are out looking for people caught in humorous or compromising situations. Be sure to check out the submissions and vote for your favorite in Wired's gallery over on the Threat Level blog.

You can submit your own images if you like, but it's going to be hard to top the dark irony of the image above — a knife sharpening van parked outside OJ Simpson's old house.

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The 50 Worst

Since the Ford Edsel is marking its 50th anniversary, TIME has a slideshow of the 50 Worst Cars of All Time. The prose is entertaining as well as the images. (Who knew Briggs & Stratton ever sold a car?)

And then there was this, the Flyer, which is no more than a motorized park bench on bicycle wheels. No suspension, no bodywork, no windshield. It was actually a five wheeler, with the dinky 2-hp Briggs and Stratton engine driving a traction wheel on the back, like a boat's outboard motor.
B_S_Flyer.jpg

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Clever canine (2)

Shoplifting Dog Caught On Tape

MURRAY, Utah -- A thief remains at large after pulling off a daring heist in the pet food aisle.

Surveillance video at a supermarket in a Salt Lake City suburb caught a dog shoplifting, KSL-TV reported Wednesday.

The video showed the dog walking in the front door of Smith's Food & Drug in Murray and heading straight to Aisle 16, the pet food aisle, where it grabbed a bone worth $2.79.

The thief wasn't even perturbed by a face-to-face confrontation with store manager Roger Adamson.

"I looked at him. I said 'Drop it!"' Adamson said. "He looked at me, and I looked at him, and he ran for the door and away he went, right out the front door."

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December 24, 2008

Carol of the Bells

An impressive light show by Richard Holdman in Utah. This is one of seven clips from last year.

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Check ride

Santa Claus, like all pilots, gets regular exams by the Federal Aviation Administration, and it was shortly before Christmas when he took his most recent check ride.

In preparation, Santa had the elves wash the sled and bathe all the reindeer. Santa got his logbook out and made sure all his paperwork was in order. The examiner walked slowly around the sled. He checked the reindeer harnesses, the landing gear, and Rudolf's nose. He painstakingly reviewed Santa's weight and balance calculations for the sled's enormous payload.

Finally, they were ready for the check ride. Santa got in,fastened his seat belt and shoulder harness and checked the compass. Then the examiner hopped in carrying a shotgun.

"What's that for?" asked Santa incredulously.

The examiner winked and said, "I'm not supposed to tell you this, but you're gonna lose an engine on takeoff."

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2008 in photos - Part 3

Part 3 of 3 in The Big Picture's photos for the year (40 pix).

This sequence of 12 frames was taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft over a span of about 45 minutes on March 12, 2008. In that brief time, Cassini covered almost 40,000 kilometers in its approach to a flyby encounter with Enceladus, one of the moons of Saturn.
Enceladus_approach.gif

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Christmas Eve, 1968

Jeff Jacoby writes a column about Apollo 8 and closes with the astronauts' broadcast on December 24.

For their Christmas Eve broadcast from lunar orbit, NASA had instructed the astronauts simply: "Say something appropriate." And so, as half a billion people watched and listened 40 years ago this week, they did. Anders began:

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth; and the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light.

Lovell took up the reading after Anders, and then Borman brought the broadcast to an end.

And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering-together of the waters called He seas. And God saw that it was good.

"And from the crew of Apollo 8," Borman finished, "we close with, Good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you - all of you on the good Earth."

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December 23, 2008

2008 in photos - Part 2

A second set of 40 photos from The Big Picture.

BigPicture2008_2.jpg

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Fruitcake recycling

Don't Toss That Fruitcake, Play With It

Don't know what to do with that fruitcake you've already received for Christmas and aren't going to eat?

Well, some of the residents at Seabrook Village in Tinton Falls had an answer for that question this holiday season; they played shuffleboard with the long derided holiday dessert.

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How to lose a one-night stand

A funny ad for WhizBiz in Australia.

H.T. OCC

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The anti-cute blog

Someone's had his or her fill of cute animals and keeps a "blog where I tell cute animals what's what."

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December 22, 2008

Jingle Dings

Check it out.

Via

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Just call him 'Grinch'

Man Jailed For Stealing Siblings' Christmas Gifts

LAKELAND, Fla. -- An 18-year-old central Florida man is in jail after his mother called the sheriff's office and accused him of stealing his sister's Christmas gifts.

A sheriff's report says Joseph Franklin Kendall's mother called authorities to report that gifts for her son and daughter had gone missing including a laptop computer and DVD player. Her son had just moved out of the house.

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Theft of the Magi

XKCD about a month ago (not sure why it ran so early).

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Do-it-yourself Christmas

After her 90th birthday, Mable found that shopping for Christmas gifts had become just too difficult. So she decided to send checks to everyone instead.

On each card she wrote, "Buy your own present." And she mailed them early. That year, Mable enjoyed the usual flurry of family festivities.

Only after Christmas did she get around to clearing off her cluttered desk. Under a stack of papers, she was horrified to find the gift checks she'd forgotten to enclose.

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December 21, 2008

Happy Solstice IV

WinterSolstice08.jpg

Here's Alex Di Grassi with The Holly and The Ivy.

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December 20, 2008

Count this, tax collector

Man Pays $21K Property Taxes In Coins
Frank Alford Says It's His Way Of Protesting Higher Taxes

NEW ALBANY, Ind. -- A Floyd County man showed up at the city-county building in New Albany to pay his property taxes with more than $21,000 in coins.

Frank Alford, who owns several single-family rental homes, said it's his way of protesting higher taxes, reported WLKY-TV in Louisville, Ky. [...]

Alford loaded a garbage can with $21,333 in Susan B. Anthony dollar coins, and he carried a sign that read, "Property taxes gone wild."

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The mighty pen

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Weekend Reading 26

An interesting report via Reason's Hit & Run about global temperatures as measured by satellites. (Those measurements and independent of - and usually lower than - adjusted, land-based temperature measurements.)

How Much Warmer Is It?
Oh, About 0.4 Celsius (or about 0.72 degrees Fahrenheit)

That's according to climatologist John Christy, who is a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Centre (ESSC) at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). His group has been measuring the earth's temperature using satellite data since 1979. The UAH researchers report...

And Climate Skeptic has an interesting post about how adjustments get made to land-based measurements. (Note: he doesn't claim there's been no warming - only that there are biases in the land-based measurements of it.)

Global Warming Is Caused by Computers

In particular, a few computers at NASA's Goddard Institute seem to be having a disproportionate effect on global warming. Anthony Watt takes a cut at an analysis I have tried myself several times, comparing raw USHCN temperature data to the final adjusted values delivered from that data by the NASA computers. [...]

The result: 100%+ of the 20th century global warming signal comes from the adjustments. There is actually a cooling signal in the raw data:

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2008 in photos

From The Big Picture. This is 40 photos in part 1 of 3.

BigPicture2008.jpg

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December 18, 2008

Office party aftermath

After the annual office Christmas party, John woke up with a cottony mouth, a pounding headache and no recall of the events of the previous evening. After a trip to the bathroom, he stumbled downstairs where his wife put some coffee in front of him.OfficeParty.jpg

"Sally," he moaned, "tell me about last night. Was it as bad as I think?"

"Even worse," she told him. "You made a complete ass of yourself. You succeeded in antagonizing the entire board of directors and you insulted the CEO to his face."

"Oh, he's an arrogant, self-important jerk! Piss on him."

"As a matter of fact, you did. All over his suit," she told him. "So he fired you."

"Well, screw him then," said John.

"That's what I did. So you're back at work on Monday."

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Like drinking a Slurpee

Jeff Dunham discusses marriage with his sidekick Walter.

H.T. Tucson John

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No respect

McDonald's Robbery Suspect Gets Laughed At
Cashier Didn't Realize Man Was Trying To Rob Store

SAN ANTONIO -- A man who attempted to rob a San Antonio McDonald's on Tuesday evening ran into a string of bad luck, police said.

The man approached a cashier at the McDonald's in the northwest part of the city and demanded money, only to be laughed at when the cashier didn't realize he was trying to rob the store, police said.

The cashier told the man to get a job if he wanted money, reported KSAT-TV in San Antonio.

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Wonderful photography

StuckInCustoms is Trey Ratcliff's photo-a-day blog. It's well worth a look. (He has a portfolio site here.)

StuckInCustoms.jpg

Via

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December 17, 2008

Some fine geekery here

CWF send a link to the Aegisub blog. I especially like the analogy for Perl..

If programming languages were religions...

And now, for some off-topic:

"If programming languages were religions"
(Inspired by "If programming languages were cars")

C would be Judaism - it's old and restrictive, but most of the world is familiar with its laws and respects them. The catch is, you can't convert into it - you're either into it from the start, or you will think that it's insanity. Also, when things go wrong, many people are willing to blame the problems of the world on it.

Java would be Fundamentalist Christianity - it's theoretically based on C, but it voids so many of the old laws that it doesn't feel like the original at all. Instead, it adds its own set of rigid rules, which its followers believe to be far superior to the original. Not only are they certain that it's the best language in the world, but they're willing to burn those who disagree at the stake.

PHP would be Cafeteria Christianity - Fights with Java for the web market. It draws a few concepts from C and Java, but only those that it really likes. Maybe it's not as coherent as other languages, but at least it leaves you with much more freedom and ostensibly keeps the core idea of the whole thing. Also, the whole concept of "goto hell" was abandoned.

C++ would be Islam - It takes C and not only keeps all its laws, but adds a very complex new set of laws on top of it. It's so versatile that it can be used to be the foundation of anything, from great atrocities to beautiful works of art. Its followers are convinced that it is the ultimate universal language, and may be angered by those who disagree. Also, if you insult it or its founder, you'll probably be threatened with death by more radical followers.

C# would be Mormonism - At first glance, it's the same as Java, but at a closer look you realize that it's controlled by a single corporation (which many Java followers believe to be evil), and that many theological concepts are quite different. You suspect that it'd probably be nice, if only all the followers of Java wouldn't discriminate so much against you for following it.

Lisp would be Zen Buddhism - There is no syntax, there is no centralization of dogma, there are no deities to worship. The entire universe is there at your reach - if only you are enlightened enough to grasp it. Some say that it's not a language at all; others say that it's the only language that makes sense.

Haskell would be Taoism - It is so different from other languages that many people don't understand how can anyone use it to produce anything useful. Its followers believe that it's the true path to wisdom, but that wisdom is beyond the grasp of most mortals.

Erlang would be Hinduism - It's another strange language that doesn't look like it could be used for anything, but unlike most other modern languages, it's built around the concept of multiple simultaneous deities.

Perl would be Voodoo - An incomprehensible series of arcane incantations that involve the blood of goats and permanently corrupt your soul. Often used when your boss requires you to do an urgent task at 21:00 on friday night.

Lua would be Wicca - A pantheistic language that can easily be adapted for different cultures and locations. Its code is very liberal, and allows for the use of techniques that might be described as magical by those used to more traditional languages. It has a strong connection to the moon.

Ruby would be Neo-Paganism - A mixture of different languages and ideas that was beaten together into something that might be identified as a language. Its adherents are growing fast, and although most people look at them suspiciously, they are mostly well-meaning people with no intention of harming anyone.

Python would be Humanism: It's simple, unrestrictive, and all you need to follow it is common sense. Many of the followers claim to feel relieved from all the burden imposed by other languages, and that they have rediscovered the joy of programming. There are some who say that it is a form of pseudo-code.

COBOL would be Ancient Paganism - There was once a time when it ruled over a vast region and was important, but nowadays it's almost dead, for the good of us all. Although many were scarred by the rituals demanded by its deities, there are some who insist on keeping it alive even today.

APL would be Scientology - There are many people who claim to follow it, but you've always suspected that it's a huge and elaborate prank that got out of control.

LOLCODE would be Pastafarianism - An esoteric, Internet-born belief that nobody really takes seriously, despite all the efforts to develop and spread it.

Visual Basic would be Satanism - Except that you don't REALLY need to sell your soul to be a Satanist...

Thanks to jfs and other people on #aegisub for the suggestions. Keep in mind, this list is a joke, and is not meant to offend anyone. Also, if you're a Muslim, please don't kill me. ;)

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Photos by Reuters, 2008

A collection of 29 interesting photos from Reuters (at Photo Blog).

Reuters_best_2008.jpg

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A little advice

A dog is for life, not just for Christmas. So be careful at the office Christmas party.

- Jimmy Carr

Via

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It's a small world (2)

Via

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The roofs were all full, I suppose

$115 for a parking ticket? The fine for running a red light is less than that, here in St. Louis.

Santa Delivers Gifts, Gets Parking Ticket
Man Says He'll Fight $115 Ticket

NEW YORK -- Santa Claus has added a New York City traffic agent to his naughty list after she gave him a ticket while delivering gifts to children. [...]

The 60-year-old retired schoolteacher was riding a horse-drawn carriage and handing out toys and candy canes. An SUV carrying the toys and protecting the horse from traffic was double parked next to him.

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December 16, 2008

Snowflakes

The New Scientist has a nice slideshow of snowflakes on display (13 total).

TriangleFlake.jpg

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Here's a plan

Mickey Kaus writes at Slate:

We need a Czar Czar, to crack the whip on all the czars. ... P.S.: Also a federal czar policy. Right now, czar decisions are made on an ad hoc, case-by-case basis, with no attempt at czar harmonization.

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Towed away

The tower towed.

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House warming

Dear Neighbor, you are not invited to my party

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December 12, 2008

Fat's where it's at (2)

Talk about a heart-attack-on-a-plate... This bacon cheese roll takes the prize in that category. (Nonetheless, I'd like to try a bite.)

Follow the link for step-by-step images.

BaconCheeseRoll.jpg

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Too early for some

It was Christmas week and the judge was in a good mood when he asked the prisoner,"What are you charged with?"

"Doing my Christmas shopping too early," replied the defendant.

"That's no offense," said the judge. "Just how early were you doing this shopping?"

"Before the store opened."

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The 12 days of bail-outs

Via

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I don't know -

This idea might get you in the doghouse.

Name a bat after your loved one

If you're still stuck for that perfect Christmas gift for a loved one, here's a thought: why not name a species of bat after them?

If that sounds like a good idea, Purdue University in Indiana might be able to help you out. The University is auctioning the naming rights to seven newly discovered bats, as well two turtles.

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December 11, 2008

Validation

Here's a cleverly done and touching short movie (though not particularly humorous). It's won quite a few awards.


And curiously enough, a few days after I came across the movie I found this item in the news. (Watch the clip first.)
Ind. Restricts Smiles On Driver's Licenses
Smiles Confuse Facial Recognition Software

INDIANAPOLIS -- Feel like smiling in your driver's license photo? Don't even think about it in Indiana.

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is restricting glasses, hats, scarves -- and even smiles -- in driver's license photographs, reported television station WRTV in Indianapolis.

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An elephant's memory

In 1986, Peter Davies was on vacation in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. While hiking through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one foot raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully.

ManWithElephant.jpgHe got down on one knee, inspected the elephant's foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could Peter worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put its foot down. The elephant turned to face the man and with a rather curious look on its face and stared at him for several tense moments. Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned and walked away. Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago zoo with his teen-aged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to where Peter and his son Cameron were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times and then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter could not help wondering if this was the same elephant. So he summoned his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter's legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.

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Steampunk Star Trek

A collection of antique Star Trek wallpapers.

SteampunkStarTrek.jpg

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What's Chinese for 'oops'?

Chinese 'classical poem' was brothel ad

Science journal mistakenly uses flyer for Macau brothel to illustrate report on China

A respected research institute wanted Chinese classical texts to adorn its journal, something beautiful and elegant, to illustrate a special report on China. Instead, it got a racy flyer extolling the lusty details of stripping housewives in a brothel. [...]

There were red faces on the editorial board of one of Germany's top scientific institutions, the Max Planck Institute, after it ran the text of a handbill for a Macau strip club on the front page of its latest journal.

This article reminds me of this story.

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December 10, 2008

Let It Snow

Harry Connick sings Let It Snow for this light show.

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Ho, ho, ho... dad!

Parrish Man Assaults Father with Christmas Tree

PARRISH, FL. - Manatee County Deputies have charged a man with felonious assault after he used a Christmas tree as a weapon to attack his father.

In a report from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, 37-year-old Thomas Lackie was arrested after deputies say he threw a three-foot Christmas tree at his father. Lackie lives with his parents in Parrish.

The tree missed, but deputies say the man then tried to use the steel base from the tree to strike his father.

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Just say 'nyet'

"Nyet" to car industry bailout
America doesn't need any more czars

A "car czar" is an imprecise title. It conjures up a romantic era of Russian tyrants and Faberge eggs. No, the control economy that Congress is slopping out these days is begging for a "car commissar," not a czar.

And Wayne sent a link to this great graphic. I wish I knew its source.

Big3Bailout.jpg

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Illinois politics...

hasn't changed much in the 30 years since I last lived there. The only difference seems to be one of scale: now they're selling a seat in the US Senate instead of selling CDOs to truck drivers or stuffing money into shoeboxes.

Here's a pretty funny satire (with some great graphics) on Gov. Blagojevich's legal problems.

BREAKING: Feds Seize Blagojevich eBay Account

CHICAGO - The ongoing corruption probe into Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich took a dramatic turn this evening, as federal agents working for US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald announced that they had seized the governor's eBay account. It is as yet unknown how the latest seizure will effect the outcome of the case.

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December 09, 2008

Funny ad

At 4:42, this is one of the longest ads I've seen but also one of the funniest. It's part of this online campaign.

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A traditional Christmas

ChristmasRowboat.jpgThe one thing I remember about Christmas was that my father used to take me out in a boat about ten miles offshore on Christmas Day, and I used to have to swim back. Extraordinary. It was a ritual. Mind you, that wasn't the hard part. The difficult bit was getting out of the sack

- John Cleese

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I'm a sucker for puns

These Freudian Slippers are available from the Unemployed Philosopher's Guild.

FreudianSlippers.jpg

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Yes, dear

"I have never been so glad to listen to my wife's nagging," the man said Tuesday.

Nagging wife, sausage helps man win $4.2M lottery

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A "nagging" wife who pushed her husband to buy a lottery ticket helped scoop the $4.2 million ($7.7 million New Zealand dollar) first prize — with only minutes to spare. The man from New Zealand's biggest city, Auckland, bought his ticket just two minutes before ticket sales closed Saturday night.

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December 08, 2008

Conspicuous Christmas

The Most Expensive Christmas Trees in the World at the Luxury Real Estate blog. Like this 'tree' in Berlin 2 years ago: covered with 40,000 Swarovski crystals.

ConspicuousXmas.jpg

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D'oh!

Woman arrested after ill-timed smoke break

MUNCIE, Ind. - Police say a Muncie woman was arrested after asking a state trooper whether she could smoke -- and then trying to light up a marijuana joint.

Thirty-two-year-old Honesty Knight was a passenger in a vehicle that Trooper Eric Perkins pulled over for a traffic violation early Friday. While the trooper was talking to the driver, Knight obtained the trooper's permission to smoke.

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Kosher cowboys

Here's something completely different.

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Good oil

Politicians may have to take breath test

Thu Dec 4, 12:51 pm ET

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Politicians in Australia's most populous state could be breath-tested for alcohol before voting on laws after a series of late-night incidents that have embarrassed the center-left government.

New South Wales state lawmaker Andrew Fraser resigned from his conservative opposition frontbench role after shoving a female colleague in the wake of Christmas party celebrations.

(Strine for 'good idea')

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December 06, 2008

Smart Car vs Lamborghini

Tucson John says, 'Quite a race.'

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December 05, 2008

Beware the plain brown wrapper

Oops! 2 Suspects Hail Wrong Car

In the annals of great crime getaways, the two men who beat and robbed a 70-year-old woman at a housing project in the Bronx on Wednesday afternoon are unlikely to earn a mention.

[...] they ran outside and flagged down what they thought was a livery cab, the police said.

But the three men in the Crown Victoria they hailed had other business: They were plainclothes officers responding to reports of the robbery.

When the officers asked the men for identification, one of them pulled out the victim's wallet instead, the police said.

"Oh, I just found this," he said as he handed it over, said Joanne Jaffe, chief of the police housing unit.

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Very nice

The Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar 2008 at The Big Picture. It's at day 5 today.

HubbleAdventCalendar.jpg

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Happy Anniversary, anti-prohibitionists

ProhibitionsEnd.jpgHere are some women celebrating the end of The Noble Experiment on December 5, 1933.

"What America needs now is a drink," Franklin Roosevelt said at the end of Prohibition. Every time I think of Prohibition it's hard to believe it actually happened. And it's still hard to believe that we use the same approach today for most other drugs.

This weekend's reading is a column from the Wall Street Journal: Let's End Drug Prohibition

Today is the 75th anniversary of that blessed day in 1933 when Utah became the 36th and deciding state to ratify the 21st amendment, thereby repealing the 18th amendment. This ended the nation's disastrous experiment with alcohol prohibition.

[...]The Americans who voted in 1933 to repeal prohibition differed greatly in their reasons for overturning the system. But almost all agreed that the evils of failed suppression far outweighed the evils of alcohol consumption.

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The unknown reindeer

Merry Christmas from Bailey the Unknown Reindeer (with some background at the YouTube page).

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December 04, 2008

Don't punk me, bro

Obama calls; Ros-Lehtinen hangs up on him

When President-elect Barack Obama called Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen at her South Florida district office Wednesday, she hung up on him.

'I thought: `Why would Obama want to call a little slug on the planet like me?' '' Ros-Lehtinen said.

A short time later, Rahm Emanuel, Obama's designated chief of staff, called. Ros-Lehtinen hung up on him, too.

''I thought it was one of the radio stations in South Florida playing an incredible, elaborate, terrific prank on me,'' Ros-Lehtinen said. ``They got Fidel Castro to go along. They've gotten Hugo Chavez and others to fall for their tricks. I said, 'Oh, no, I won't be punked'.''

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Look, Ma, no hands

This young woman is pretty impressive.

Via

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Missing anything?

From the Longmont Times-Call

Boulder Police: Stolen undergarment gallery online

BOULDER — Do you know where your underpants are?

It's possible that the Boulder Police Department has them.

Police confiscated dozens of undergarments and other clothing from the apartment of a Boulder man suspected of surreptitiously videotaping nude women and couples "engaged in intimate acts," according to a release from the Boulder police.

Descriptions and photos of the recovered skivvies are available at http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/police/prowler.

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Before and after

From The Smoking Gun, two mug shots of the same person taken 5 years apart.

BeforeAfterMugShots.jpg

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WTF in England

Extinguishers banned as a fire safety hazard

Fire extinguishers could be removed from communal areas in flats throughout the country because they are a safety hazard, it has emerged.

The life-saving devices encourage untrained people to fight a fire rather than leave the building, risk assessors in Bournemouth decided.

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December 03, 2008

LIFE on Google

Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.
TheCuries.jpg
Pierre and Marie Curie in their laboratory

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Name game

It's like these gentlemen were born for their careers.

His.

Hers.

Via

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Let those sleeping dogs lie

Boue's Big Day is a stop-action show on Flickr.

SleepingDog.jpg

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Apple sauce

I'm not quoting the part by Apple's legal team. You can read that at the link -- it's worth the trip.

Apple: "No Reasonable Person" Should Trust Their Marketing

While every new Apple product is scrutinized closely by an army of ambulance chasers, taking issue with Apple's speed claims regarding the iPhone 3G is probably a somewhat reasonable position...unless you realize that Apple doesn't expect you to trust them in the first place.

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December 02, 2008

His lucky day (II)

Bill sends a couple of pix of a one-car accident out west with the subject line: Wow!

In this picture you can see where this driver broke through the guard rail on the right side of the culvert (where the people are standing on the road, pointing).

PickupAtCliff_1.jpg

The pick-up was traveling about 75 MPH, from right to left when it crashed through the guard rail. It flipped end-over-end, bounced off and across the culvert, and landed right-side-up on the left side of the culvert facing opposite to the original direction of travel.

The 22-year-old driver and his 18-year-old passenger were unhurt except for minor cuts and bruises.

Now look at a second picture (after the break).

PickupAtCliff_2.jpg

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One frequency fits all

New lout repeller can annoy anyone

THE makers of a controversial device designed to break up groups of teenager trouble-makers have developed a new version capable of annoying everyone.

The original Mosquito device, launched in 2005, disperses young people by emitting an irritating high-pitched pulse which, at 17 kilohertz, most people aged under 20 can hear but almost nobody over 30 can. [...]

But following demand for a device that would get rid of all undesirables regardless of age, the new Mark 4 version can operate at a lower eight kilohertz frequency that adults can hear too, annoying everyone within earshot.

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Fin-fish

A very nice competitor at the R/C airship regatta in Friedrichshafen, Germany:

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A master at going faster

An efficiency expert concluded his lecture with a note of caution. "You don't want to try these techniques at home."

FriedEggs.jpg"Why not?" someone in the audience asked.

"I watched my wife's routine at breakfast for years," the expert explained. "She made lots of trips between the refrigerator, stove, table and cabinets, often carrying a single item at a time. One day I asked her, 'Hon, why don't you try carrying several things at once?'"

"Did it save time?"

"Actually, yes," replied the expert. "It used to take her 20 minutes to make breakfast. Now I do it in fourteen."

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December 01, 2008

New motor sport

The Top Gear crew demonstrates motorhome racing. Be sure to watch until the end, when they show a special motorhome made in Germany.

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Check your assumptions

And your kid's homework too.

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Happy Holidays

At last: an all-season greeting card.

HappyEverything.jpg

H.T. Mary

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Squeegees, eh

From the Edmonton Sun.

Squeegee duel erupts

A mugging quickly turned bizarre when the robber and his victim squared off at a gas station using a most unusual weapon: Squeegees.

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