March 28, 2009
High speed photos
Here's one of 17 images from a slideshow of high-speed photography.
Too much withholding
A little boy wanted $100.00 very badly and prayed for it for weeks but nothing happened.
Then he decided to write a letter to God requesting the $100.00.
When the post master saw the letter addressed to 'God , USA' , he decided to send it to the President. The president was so amused that he pulled $10 out of his pocket and instructed his secretary to send the little boy. The president thought this would seem like a lot of money to a young boy.
The little boy was delighted with the $10.00 bill and he sat down to write a thank-you note to God, which read:
Thank you very much for sending the money. However, I noticed that for some reason you sent it through Washington, DC and those jerks deducted $90.00 in taxes.
The word on work
Jeff writes, "If you do nothing else this weekend, watch all of this 20 min video by Mike Rowe of 'Dirty Jobs' talking about work; then take a few minutes to think about the example of the sheep farmer"
It's not easy
Psychics given £4,500 government funding to teach people to communicate with the dead
Paul and Deborah Rees, who are both self-styled mediums, have been awarded the cash under the Government's Want2Work job creation scheme.
The couple, from Bridgend, south Wales, will use it to instruct people on how to contact friends and relatives "on the other side".
March 26, 2009
Practice makes perfect
Human Achievement Hour
CEI Announces “Human Achievement Hour” to Coincide with “Earth Hour”
Prominent D.C.- Area Supporters Include: Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Institution, WMATA, Target, and George Washington University Hospital; other Nationally Recognized Institutions With Events Planned During Human Achievement Hour Include Wal-Mart, New York Times, and United States Marine Corps
Washington, D.C., March 19, 2009—The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a leading free-market think tank, plans to recognize “Human Achievement Hour” between 8:30pm and 9:30pm on March 28, 2009. The new one-hour holiday coincides with Earth Hour, a period of time during which governments, individuals, and corporations have agreed to dim or shut off lights in an effort to draw attention to climate change. [...]
“We salute the people who keep the lights on and produce the energy that helps make human achievement possible,” says Myron Ebell, CEI’s Director of Energy and Global Warming Policy. [...]
Those wishing to celebrate Earth Hour, however, do not need to take part in Human Achievement Hour. “Earth Hour is a viable alternative to human achievement hour,” says CEI Senior Fellow Eli Lehrer. “Those who wish to celebrate Earth Hour should sit in the dark, turn off the heat, and breathe as little as possible.”
It goes without saying that, except for CEI itself, the institutions listed above have not actually endorsed “Human Achievement Hour.” (All the quotes and facts, however, are real and may/should be used.)
Click the image for a larger view.
It's a family affair
Son Rats Out Mom After She Calls Cops
Posted: 5:40 pm EDT March 24, 2009Updated: 9:46 am EDT March 25, 2009
ORANGE CITY, Fla. -- It appears drugs are a family affair in Volusia County. The Orange City mother called deputies on her son to report him for using drugs, but when deputies got to her house they found thousands of dollars worth of her pot plants growing inside.
In the end, both mother and son were arrested. It all played out in their front yard. They probably could have avoided jail, but they couldn't help talking about what was inside the house that deputies couldn't see.
March 25, 2009
More funny animal takes
Fun for the whole family?
Town wants electric chair tourists: shock
Residents of a small southwest Nebraska town think they might have hit upon a wonderful plan to attract visitors: electric chair tourism.
The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled last year that the state's use of the electric chair was unconstitutional.
Now, some people in McCook - population just under 8,000 - think 'Old Sparky' could be a tourist attraction, and have offered to take the disused killing device off the state's hands.
Wired has a collection of ten time-lapse videos of natural processes. Here's a lunar eclipse in a little over 20 seconds.
Busted (so to speak)
Alleged SoCal Boob Bandit Busted
It was a serial number on discarded implants that led authorities to the real identity of the alleged SoCal Boob Bandit and may have been the tip police needed to take her into custody.
Yvonne Pampellonne, 30, allegedly used a fraudulent identity to pay for liposuction and a breast implant exchange, according to the Huntington Beach Police Department.
March 24, 2009
Suck it up!
Walk it off, it's only a heart attack
An Italian doctor completed a brain operation despite having a heart attack after realizing his patient would never recover if he stopped the surgery.
Surgeon Claudio Vitale started feeling pains in his chest half way through the operation but refused to stop despite his team's urging and the pain worsening.
Signs of Spring
29 of 'em at The Big Picture
Sharper than a serpent's tooth
Economy Prompts Man To Fire Dad -- Twice
Florida Man Says Father Doesn't Hold Grudge
ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- The economy has been hard on many families across the country, but for a Florida man and his father, it has been especially difficult.
Greg Holloway, owner of Orange Park Drywall, said he knows firsthand about how the bad economy has affected businesses. He has had to lay off his father -- twice, reported WJXT-TV in Jacksonville, Fla.
March 23, 2009
Explain this image
A constantly-changing collection of pretty odd pictures.
A handsome offer
JoS. A. Bank: Lose Job? Keep Suit For Free
Clothing Store Announces Risk-Free Suit Program
As the economy hits retailers' bottom lines, some are coming up with creative selling strategies to boost income.
Clothing store JoS. A. Bank announced last week its Risk-Free Suit Program, in which the company will refund the price of a suit if the purchaser loses his job, and also allow him to keep the suit.
Look where you're going
A funny ad for Toyota from a couple of years ago.
The beer that strips...
Three inventive mates in Sydney say they will bring to New Zealand an Aussie beer-lover's fantasy: a bottle of brew with a woman on the label whose bikini disappears as the contents are consumed.
Hamish Rosser, 34, and his mates – actor Richie Harkham, 29, and artist Jarrod Taylor, 33 – have launched the Skinny Blonde label, a low-carb beer, The Times newspaper reported.
"We had this idea of the disappearing bikini and researched into disappearing ink," said Mr Rosser who has a degree in chemical engineering. "Then we did a few trial runs and when we realised it worked we were stoked".
March 20, 2009
Beware the Fail Whale
I don't know much about Twitter but this struck me as pretty funny.
And the number of the counting shall be three
Pub is closed by Monty Python grenade
BUILDINGS were evacuated, a street was cordoned off and a bomb disposal team called in after workmen spotted a suspicious object.
But the dangerous-looking weapon turned out to be the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, made famous in the 1975 film Monty Python And The Holy Grail.
Police and a fire crew were first on the scene in Shoreditch, east London, when water company workers found a copy of the film prop under a fire hydrant cover.
For you M.P. fans, here's the scene at YouTube.
Interesting idea from Down Under
Like many US citizens, I suspect, I've got a list of politicians that might benefit from similar treatment.
Politician offered vibrator to 'screw herself' with
A councillor has called for his group to buy a vibrator so an Australian minister can go "screw herself".
Sydney councillor Danny Lim lodged a motion at the council recommending it purchase the sex toy for New South Wales Fair Trading Minister Virginia Judge so she could "stop screwing with the people of Strathfield and screw herself instead".
The council refused to table the motion and Ms Judge called for action against Mr Lim.
A clever ad for Arby's
News you can use
Playboy Posts Unedited Back Issues Online, for Free (PC Magazine)
Through a partnership between Microsoft and Bondi Digital Publishing, Playboy Enterprises has put 53 back issues of Playboy on the Web, viewable through Microsoft's Silverlight viewer.
The images are free to access at PlayboyArchive.com, with no age verification required.
The issues cover the years 1954 through 2007, and appear as they did in the print version, with advertisements left intact. To do so, Bondi Digital Publishing - the software pioneers that developed the platform for The Complete New Yorker - scanned and re-typed each issue of Playboy, the company said in a statement.
You may wonder why Microsoft is involved in this. The reason is you need to install their Silverlight software on your machine to view the site. (Silverlight is not platform-specific and it should run on your Mac or *nix box.) Once that's done, the site is a real blast from the past. I'd forgotten about Playboy's page of jokes -- here's one from 1980.
"Is it proper for a man to profit from the mistakes of another?" a parishioner asked his minister.
"Definitely not," was the clergyman's answer.
"Are you certain?"
"In that case," said the man, "I wonder if you'd mind returning the ten dollars I gave you after my wedding last year?"
March 19, 2009
I don't know where I'm a-gonna go
When the volcano blows.
Eruption in South Pacific not presently a threat to islanders, authorities say
Underwater volcano erupts near Tonga
NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga - Scientists sailed Thursday to inspect an undersea volcano that has been erupting for days near Tonga — shooting smoke, steam and ash thousands of feet into the sky above the South Pacific ocean.
Thanks to Bill.
Biters bit (2)
From The Smoking Gun (with a mug shot, of course).
Porn Sting Goes To The Dogs
Attempt to ensnare boyfriend comes back to bite Indiana woman
MARCH 18--Meet Michelle Owen. Concerned that an ex-boyfriend had used her laptop to search for child pornography, the Indiana woman asked police to search the computer for illegal images, but had her plan backfire when cops discovered two videos of her engaged in illicit acts with a dog. Owen, 24, was charged last week with two felony bestiality counts in connection with the video files, which a detective found in the laptop's "recycle bin."
Tucson John writes, "What memories this brings back from younger and more foolish times. Although I don't think I was ever this bad. These are priceless." (They're also NSFW, so caution is advisable.)
Showin 'em the Benjamins
Teen Gives Away Thousands In Cash He Found
Money Apparently Tossed By Drug Dealer
ROSEMOUNT, Minn. -- A 16-year-old Minnesota boy has given away thousands of dollars to fellow students and a school aide. The bag full of money he found was apparently tossed by a drug dealer.
When asked how he got the $100 bills, the student first said it was his allowance. He later said he found it in a ditch and led police to a spot by a highway where they also found marijuana and scales.
March 18, 2009
One of the cleverest - and funniest - things I've seen recently.
Dear old Dad
I took my dad to the mall the other day to buy some new shoes; he's 92. We decided to grab a bite at the food court.
While we ate, I noticed he was watching a teenager sitting next to him. The teenager had spiked hair in all different colors: green, red, orange, and blue. My dad kept staring at him. Every time the teenager looked up, he found Dad staring at him.
When the teenager had had enough he sarcastically asked, 'What's the matter, old man- never done anything wild in your life?'
Knowing my Dad, I quickly swallowed my food so that I wouldn't choke on his response, knowing it would be a good one. He didn't bat an eye when he replied, 'I got drunk once and had sex with a peacock... I was just wondering if you were my son.'
This one's pretty funny, too. A steward on a Southwestern flight raps the pre-flight advice.
When in Rome
Sex party swingers in mini riot over clothed guest at nudist colony
A TOURIST who refused to take his clothes off at a swinger sex party has been blamed for "a mini-riot" at a north Queensland nudist colony.
Police were called amid threats of violence and lewd behaviour and ordered the Brisbane man and his wife from the adults-only "anything goes" sex party. [...]
Owner Tony Fox said the "mini-riot" erupted when four naked female guests protested when confronted by the fully-clothed man.
"They felt uncomfortable with him eyeing them off and I asked him to show some respect and take his clothes off," said the nudist colony manager.
"He then threatened to bash me, there was some argy-bargy and I ordered him off the premises and police were called."
March 17, 2009
If it moves but shouldn't
City Uses Duct Tape On Sewer Line
HOUSTON -- A city of Houston crew apparently used duct tape to repair a broken sewer line last fall that cost a homeowner $3,400 to fix, KPRC Local 2 reported Monday.
David Higgins and his wife said sewage began backing up in the showers at his house last January. A plumber traced the problem to a broken sewer line in the front yard that was apparently broken by a city crew repairing a water line nearby.
The broken sewer pipe was patched with a piece of plastic from a traffic cone, wrapped with duct tape and reburied.
"It's astounding. To think they'd go ahead and patch it with duct tape and then go ahead and bury it without telling anybody stretches the imagination," Higgins said.
Higgins asked the city to city to reimburse the $3,400 he spent to fix it, but the city refused to pay.
From the 1940 film Tear Gas Squad.
An Irishman named O'Malley went to his doctor. After a long examination, the doctor sighed and told him, "I've some bad news. You have cancer. It's widespread and you'd best put your affairs in order soon."
O'Malley was shocked but he managed to compose himself before walking into the waiting room where his son was.
"Well, son," he said, "we Irish celebrate when things are good and we celebrate when things aren't so good. In this case, things aren't well. I have cancer. Let's head to the pub and have a few pints."
After a couple of pints, the two were feeling a little less somber. In fact, there were some laughs and a few more beers. Then they were joined by some of O'Malley's old friends, who were curious what the two were celebrating.
O'Malley told his friends they were drinking to his impending end. "I've been diagnosed with AIDS," he told them. The friends gave O'Malley their condolences and they had another pint to toast him.
After the friends left, O'Malley's son leaned over and whispered, "Dad, I thought you said you were dying of cancer. You just told your friends you were dying of AIDS."
O'Malley said, "Well, you know, I just don't want them sleeping with your mother after I'm gone."
I wonder how the referee called this match.
March 16, 2009
Careful what you tweet
Appeal says juror sent 'tweets' during $12.6M case
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- A building materials company and its owner have appealed a $12.6 million verdict against them, alleging that a juror posted messages on Twitter.com during the trial that show he's biased against them.
The motion seeking a new trial was filed Thursday on behalf of Russell Wright and his company, Stoam Holdings. It claims juror Johnathan Powell sent eight messages - or "tweets" - to the micro-blogging Web site via his cellular phone.
According to the motion, one posting listed the company's Web address and read in part: "oh and nobody buy Stoam. Its bad mojo and they'll probably cease to Exist, now that their wallet is 12m lighter."
Another described what "Juror Jonathan" did today: "I just gave away TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS of somebody else's money."
A pretty funny mash up.
Negative on the artificial insemination
From The Berkshire Eagle. At least there was no saber saw involved this time.
Insemination fight ends in wife's arrest
PITTSFIELD — A woman who allegedly intended to artificially inseminate her wife with her brother's semen has been charged with domestic assault and battery. [...]
Jennifer A. Lighten, 33, told police that Stephanie Lighten, her wife, was "all liquored up" when she returned to their Lincoln Street apartment, where the defendant then allegedly tried to use a syringe to inseminate her, according to a police report.
Jennifer told investigating officers that Stephanie "has been talking about trying to impregnate (her) for some time," police said.
The Daily Mail has a collection of Engrish signs and labels. This one is not the funniest.
March 14, 2009
Weekend Reading 30
The Untold Story of the World's Biggest Diamond Heist
In February 2003, Notarbartolo was arrested for heading a ring of Italian thieves. They were accused of breaking into a vault two floors beneath the Antwerp Diamond Center and making off with at least $100 million worth of loose diamonds, gold, jewelry, and other spoils. The vault was thought to be impenetrable. It was protected by 10 layers of security, including infrared heat detectors, Doppler radar, a magnetic field, a seismic sensor, and a lock with 100 million possible combinations. The robbery was called the heist of the century, and even now the police can't explain exactly how it was done.
March 13, 2009
An entertaining French animation:
Markets in everything (2)
From the Pasadena Star-News:
Cities selling stimulus money
A few area cities have found an alternate way to use their federal stimulus money: selling it to other cities for cash.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority has allocated a minimum of $500,000 in federal stimulus funds to each of the 88 cities in the county for transportation-related projects. Unincorporated areas will benefit, too.
Several smaller cities, some without shovel-ready projects, are making deals with others to sell or swap such funds and replenish their general funds.
"The best way to see this is as a huge windfall for us because we do have the flexibility of using the general fund money now," city manager Shauna Clark of La Habra Heights said.
The city of Bradbury, with a population of roughly 1,000, is working on a deal to sell its $500,000 share of federal funding doled out by the MTA to the city of Torrance for $315,000 in cash for its general fund, according to Torrance officials.
Idaho Teacher Sells Pizza Ads on Tests
POCATELLO, Idaho — A high school history and economics teacher in eastern Idaho is selling advertising space to a Pocatello pizzeria on his student handouts, tests and worksheets.
High School teacher Jeb Harrison says he wanted to save money and teach kids about advertising.
The school recently cut back on paper allowances for teachers to prevent shortages. Harrison says he approached Molto Caldo Pizzeria about two weeks ago and now he has enough paper to last through the next school year.
Pizzeria owner Dan McIsaac bought about $315 in paper and paid to print advertisements on the pages.
At the bottom of an economics test in Harrison's class, students are now reminded they can buy a 14-inch pizza for $5.
A real nut case
Celebrate Pi Day!
Pi, Greek letter, is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi = 3.1415926535... Pi Day is celebrated by math enthusiasts around the world on March 14th.
This reminds me of a geeky riposte at a party last Saturday: "Drop and give me pi to 7 digits!"
Banksy is a well-known English graffiti artist, possibly named Robert Banks. His artworks are often satirical pieces of art which encompass topics from politics, culture, and ethics. His street art, which combines graffiti with a distinctive stenciling technique, has appeared in London and in cities around the world. [...] Bansky's website is here.
March 12, 2009
Signtific Lab: CubeSat Futures
The proliferation of micro-satellites is just the start. USAF journals like High Frontier [5/1, PDF] are already talking about nano-satellites, or in civilian parlance "CubeSats." Their effects could be profound, and will be felt in many ways. San Jose's Good Morning Silicon Valley covers an Institute for the Future project called The Signtific Lab. The premise, which you're invited to discuss and build on, is:
"...in 2019, cubesats - space satellites smaller than a shoebox - have become very cheap and very popular. For $100, anyone can put a customized personal satellite into low-earth orbit. And space data transfer protocols developed by the Interstellar Internet Project provide a basic relay backbone linking low-powered cubesats with ground stations, and with each other. Space is open.... What will you do when space is as cheap and accessible as the Web is today?"
You're welcome to participate. The exercise is open until end of day on Match 12/09, and readers can sign up to play "positive imagination" [see example] or "dark imagination" [see example] cards, or supplement existing cards with an "antagonism" card (disagree), a "momentum" card (and then what?), an "adaptation" card (introduce a twist), or an "investigation" card (follow-up questions).
And the grand total is...
I wonder what Mr Dohanich calculates the present value of a 'full-service funeral' to be? I'm thinking that a contractor who wasn't expecting to need it soon probably wouldn't be very interested.
To Die For: Fix Apartment For Free Funeral
Funeral Director Puts Ad On Craigslist
NEW YORK -- A New York City funeral director is offering a deal to die for.
Peter Dohanich put an ad on Craigslist seeking a reliable contractor to fix up his apartment in exchange for a full-service funeral.
Man pleads guilty to indecent exposure
Court records say he was naked when he challenged his neighbors to karate fight.
A Gettysburg man accused of walking out of his home naked, then challenging his neighbors to a karate fight pleaded guilty to charges of indecent exposure in Adams County court.
According to court documents, Jones was allegedly under the influence of alcohol when the Aug. 1 incident occurred. [...]
According to police, Jones said he knew leaving the house naked was illegal, but he was a "serious martial artist."
An amazing dramatic clip.
This award winning short was created by filmmaker Bruce Branit, widely known as the co-creator of '405'. World Builder was shot in a single day followed by about 2 years of post production. Branit is the owner of Branit VFX based in Kansas City.
Woman Injured in Power Tool Sex Toy Encounter
LEXINGTON PARK, Md. -- Some sexual experimentation landed a southern Maryland woman in a hospital with injuries tough to imagine and even more difficult to forget.
Maryland State Police airlifted the 27-year-old woman to Prince George's County Hospital Center early Sunday morning after she was injured in an incident involving a sex toy attached to a saber saw blade, TheBayNet.com first reported.
March 11, 2009
Most daring fashion ever
The NY Daily News has a slideshow of 32 fashion shots. I actually had a hard time picking the most bizarre one - there were many strong contenders.
Nine words and phrases
Nine words & phrases women use, explained:
(1) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.
(2) Five minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.
(3) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with Nothing usually end with Fine.
(4) Go ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't do it!
(5) Loud sigh: This is not actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here arguing with you about Nothing.
(6) That's okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. 'That's okay' means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.
(7) Thanks: A woman is thanking you. Do not question this or faint. Just say 'You're welcome.' This is true unless she says 'Thanks a lot.' That is pure sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. Do not say 'You're welcome' in this case. That will bring on a Whatever.
(8) Whatever: This is a woman's way of saying, F*** you!
(9) Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now going to do herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response, refer to #3.
Entire State Of Maryland Roped Into Online Prank War
By Dashiell Bennett, 11:36 AM on Wed Mar 4 2009, 57,630 views
Remember the Yankee Stadium proposal prank where one goofball used a fake marriage proposal to humiliate his goofball friend? Well, 18 months later, revenge is a dish best served at a Maryland basketball game.
A rose by any other name
A woman named Marijuana plays it straight - and wins
Police years ago pulled over a young woman who rushed through an amber traffic light. "I'm about to arrest this person right now," the irritated officer radioed to a dispatcher. "She's telling me her name is Marijuana Pepsi Jackson."
It's the truth. Marijuana and Pepsi are her legal first and middle names, and the Beloit woman embraces them as a symbol of her struggle to succeed and to help other children overcome obstacles.
No Mary or Mary Jane or Mary Wanda for her. It's Marijuana, thank you, she's told bosses, co-workers and friends over the years, and even wore it on nametags at work.
March 10, 2009
Changed corporate logos
What will corporate logos look like because of the economic crisis? Here are 20 possibilities.
Woman Hit With 14-Year-Old Traffic Ticket
Accountant Noticed $1,800 Collection On Credit Report
PHOENIX -- Catie Martin was just weeks away from closing on her first house. Then her accountant noticed something new on her credit report: a traffic ticket dating back 14 years. [...]
Martin said it won't be easy to come up with $1,800 on short notice, and it may get even more difficult because now she can't drive to work.
"They told me that my license was revoked," she said.
The new Citibank
Very funny but definitely NSFW - so mind the volume.
3 out of 4 ain't bad
Man with 3 tires charged with DUI
LARGO, Fla. (AP) - Authorities say a Clearwater man was charged with driving under the influence after police pulled him over for driving a car with only three tires.
Largo police say an officer spotted 27-year-old Henry C. Romeu driving early Monday morning without a rear passenger tire. The officer reported that Romeu displayed uneven balance and had bloodshot eyes. A Breathalyzer test he took registered a 0.2 blood alcohol level.
Baby giraffe born
The birth of a rare Masai giraffe at the Safari West in Santa Rosa, California.
Thanks to Carol.
March 09, 2009
Pimp this bum
We first approached a group of homeless on February 1st underneath the Highway 6 overpass. Four men sitting against the wall, one holding the leash of a rottweiller. The fact that the man looked 80 and appeared to lack a good grip, didn't bring us much comfort. My father and I had no idea what to expect, this being the first group we approached. We began to explain the details of our concept, when the tallest one, Tim stopped us and said 'what are you going to call it, you know, the website?" I paused, and shot a look at my Father, unsure of how they would react. I said: "Pimp this bum dot com." The four guys looked at each other for a moment, then erupted in laughter. Tim paused, smiled again, looked up at us and said: "I think I can do this." We set up a meeting time for the following week, and headed home.
We met up with Tim again on February 9th. We saw a tall man with a hoodie and waved him over to meet us. We were glad to see his enthusiasm to work with us, and after getting to know him a bit better, we knew he was just the man we were looking for. His great sense of humor and warm personality gave us a renewed motivation for this project.
Next up: the DMV
Pa. Using $173K To Make Liquor Clerks Jolly
Liquor Board Wants Police Liquor Store Employees
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvania liquor store clerks need to be more bubbly when they're selling Champagne.
The state's Liquor Control Board is spending more than $173,000 to try to make workers friendlier and more well-mannered at the nearly 650 stores it operates. The board said it wants to make sure clerks are saying "hello," "thank you" and "come again" to customers shopping for wine and spirits.
It sounds as though Pennsylvania has state-owned & operated liquor stores. The first time I ran into such a thing was in Des Moines in '75. At that time in Iowa, you could buy beer at the corner gas station but if you wanted anything harder, you could only buy it at a state-operated store. (I don't think this is true any longer.)
I went to one of these stores once to buy a fifth of Scotch. Besides being the barest and dreariest retail shop I'd ever seen, it also seemed to be the a Full Employment Act work site. There was one person to take my order, a second to fetch it from the shelves (behind the counter), a third to take my cash and, finally, a fourth who bagged it for me. I was a little surprised there wasn't someone to escort me out...
Of course, just down the street at the corner gas station was a single clerk who sold gasoline, soda, lottery tickets, beer and what-have-you to all comers. It was one of the pro-market epiphanies of my young life: the labor theory of value sucks.
Fun with Amazon
How about a little more black humor? Rogier van Bakel made a collage of covers from 10 books about making money that Amazon sells. Here's one of 'em.
The usual caveat about correlation and causation applies, but it's still a pretty amusing study.
Books and Music That Make You Dumb
Anyone who has ever sought to justify their own musical or literary taste may find some solace in the side project of Virgil Griffith, a 25-year-old Caltech graduate student known for embarrassing numerous corporations with his WikiScanner, the database that tracks the sources of anonymous edits to Wikipedia entries.
With his two Web sites (which have crashed from too much traffic), Booksthatmakeyoudumb.virgil.gr and Musicthatmakesyoudumb.virgil.gr, Griffith used aggregated Facebook data about the favorite bands and books among students of various colleges and plotted them against the average SAT scores at those schools, creating a tongue-in-cheek statistical look at taste and intelligence.
Walk on in spoof
In mid-January, I had a post about an ad featuring a walk-in refrigerator stocked with Heineken. Here's a clever spoof of that ad from Bavaria, one of Heineken's competitors.
A man got a free ticket to the Super Bowl from his company. Unfortunately, when he arrived at the stadium he realized his seat was in the last row in the corner of the stadium. He was closer to the Goodyear blimp than to the field.
About halfway through the first quarter he noticed an empty seat that was 10 rows off the field and right on the 50 yard line. So he decided to take a chance and made his way through the stadium and around the security guards to the empty seat. As he sat down, he asked the gentleman next to him, "Excuse me, is anyone sitting here?" The man told him it was empty. Very excited to be in such a great seat for the game he asked the man next to him, "This is incredible! Who in their right mind would have a seat like this at the Super Bowl and not use it?"
The second man replied, "Well, actually, the seat belongs to me. My wife was supposed to come with me but she passed away. This is the first Super Bowl we haven't seen together at since 1965."
"I'm sorry to hear that," said the first man. "Couldn't you find someone to take the seat?A relative or close friend maybe?"
"No," the second replied, "they're all at the funeral."
March 08, 2009
Another pyramid house
Mike writes, "We have our own pyramid house here in the states (with a giant statue of Ramses). Location - Wadsworth IL" He sends the links below.
A rude awakening
Kevin sends a link to a clip about a dreaming dog.
March 06, 2009
Danilo sends 4 photos of an unusual house along with a link to a satellite view in Google maps.
He writes, "This house is in Tatuí, in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. I took this pictures while travelling. They say an egyptian lives there. Or perhaps a mummy!"
All images are pop-ups: click for a larger view.
Caught on Tape: Man Survives Truck, Train Collision in Turkey
ISTANBUL — A Turkish man says life is "beautiful" after he survived a collision between a truck and a train that was captured on security camera video.
The video, released Wednesday by Dogan news agency, shows a train ramming into a flatbed truck as it crosses train tracks in the Mediterranean port city of Mersin on Feb. 25. Propelled sideways, the truck sweeps over 32-year-old Cem Tokac, who was standing beside the tracks.
[...] Remarkably, Tokac — as well as the truck driver — suffered only minor injuries.
I found this pretty amusing but maybe that's because I don't really know anything about Facebook.
If the shoe fits
Woman 'Embarrassed' By McNugget Media Hype
Woman Calls 911 Three Times Over McNuggets
FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- She has been called "McNut" by TMZ.com and "loco 4 pollo" by PerezHilton.com.
Now, after becoming an Internet sensation for calling 911 three times to report an "emergency" after McDonald's had run out of chicken nuggets, a Fort Pierce woman said Wednesday that she is embarrassed by all the media attention, WPBF-TV in Palm Beach Gardens reported.
"I'm embarrassed to show my face in public," Latreasa Goodman said one day after the incident was first reported.
March 04, 2009
Bill sends 7 images showing how tenderly (most) mothers care for their young ones.
Jeff sends a link to this page of Amos Latteier's, which is complete with pictures.
500 lb Potato Battery
I built a potato battery out of 500 pounds of potatoes. It powered a small sound system. With the help of the Red 76 crew I installed the battery and sound system in the back of a U-Haul truck and drove it around town inviting people to enter the truck and take a listen. [...]
Each potato generates about 0.5 volts and 0.2 milliamperes. I connected groups of potatoes together in series to increase voltage and then connected these groups together in parallel to increase amperage. The entire 500 lb battery generated around 5 volts and 4 milliamperes.
He tells us the power he got, but not the energy. I'd like to know how many watt-hours this battery produced.
Here are a couple of clips about talented birds.
Hank the heron fishes using bread for bait.
And here's a cockatoo named Frostie, dancing to Ray Charles' Shake a Tailfeather.
He writes the songs
That make the young girls fly.
Barry Manilow to be used against mall rats
New Zealand town hopes ballads will pacify or drive away unruly teens
WELLINGTON, New Zealand - It'll be Barry Manilow versus the mall rats.
The New Zealand city of Christchurch hopes that putting the American crooner's smooth and gentle tones into the mix of music to be broadcast through the central mall district can pacify unruly teens who congregate there, or at least convince them to go elsewhere.
March 03, 2009
Or radical earring (from Gizmodo):
The root of the matter
Hooray, it's Square Root Day!
It's the day we've all been waiting for. No, not Christmas, not Cure for Cancer day - it's Square Root Day.
The math-buffs' holiday, which only occurs nine times each century, falls today - 3/3/09 (for the mathematically challenged, three is the square root of nine).
And nerds around the world are celebrating, with at least six people signed up for mild festivities and a competition in Redwood California.
A nicely done short drama from @radical.media.
A woman with her hands full
Mother Caught Driving While Breast-Feeding
Woman Also On Phone, Police Say
KETTERING, Ohio -- A Dayton, Ohio, mother faces charges for breast-feeding her daughter while driving her other children to school, television station WHIO reported.
Genine Compton was pulled over by Kettering police Thursday while taking her children to school.
Mike writes, "The Port of Tacoma has some new shipping container cranes delivered this month. The Port Authority put together a slide show (with cheesy audio commentary) on how they were moved from ship to dockside. Enjoy."
There must have been a heck of a lot of ballast in that ship. I wouldn't want to ride in it, either.
Grandpa's a little slow
Pensioner rescued from 70mph road on mobility scooter
A 90-year-old man had to be rescued after straying onto a high speed dual carriageway on his 8mph mobility scooter. Motorists were astonished to see Stanley Murphy making his way along the A27 in Shoreham, West Sussex, as they sped past at 70mph.
The pensioner took a wrong turning as he went to buy a newspaper and ended up on the road which resembles a motorway.
March 02, 2009
Warning: turn your audio down. For some reason, the audio is active in these.
News of the Dumb
Car Thief Nabbed After Calling 911 To Boast
Man Tells Dispatchers He's 'Smarter Than Police'
DULUTH, Minn. -- A Minnesota man is in jail after allegedly stealing a car and repeatedly calling 911 to brag to police that they would not catch him. [...]
Police soon found the car abandoned. It was then that the man allegedly began calling 911 from a cell phone, telling dispatchers he would not be caught because he was "smarter than the police."
Very funny ad for Pepsi Max.
In for a penny, in for a pound
Talk about a captive audience...
Ryanair may charge for toilet use on planes
LONDON (Reuters) – Irish carrier Ryanair, Europe's largest budget airline, might start charging passengers for using the toilet while flying, chief executive Michael O'Leary said on Friday.
"One thing we have looked at in the past and are looking at again is the possibility of maybe putting a coin slot on the toilet door so that people might actually have to spend a pound to spend a penny in future," he told BBC television.
A dog's life (2)
Carol sends 6 cartoons about dogs by Mark Parisi.
Wait. She didn't get a six-pack too?
Woman trades kids for $175 and cockatoo
NEW ORLEANS–A Louisiana woman is accused of trading two young children in her care for a pet cockatoo and $175 in cash.
Donna Greenwell, 53, is charged with aggravated kidnapping. Also charged are Paul Romero, 46, and Brandy Lynn Romero, 27.