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November 27, 2009

Father of the Year

I think this guy's got a lock on the 2009 award.

Police: Dad Leaves Son, Goes To Strip Club
Father Calls Police When He Forgets Where He Parked His Son

INDIANAPOLIS -- A man was arrested after police said he left his 5-year-old son in a tractor-trailer while he ducked into an Indianapolis strip club to drink. The 39-year-old was arrested at 1:15 a.m. Tuesday on child neglect and public intoxication charges after calling police to report his truck stolen and his child missing. Police said the man was too drunk to remember where he had parked.

They found the boy inside watching cartoons on a television inside the cab. The keys were in the ignition, and the doors were unlocked.

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Now this is a shotgun wedding

One of many unusual photos from Wedinator.com. (This one's more tasteful than most.)

ShotgunWedding.jpg

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With friends like these

Facebook friend turns into Big Brother

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student Adam Bauer has nearly 400 friends on Facebook. He got an offer for a new one about a month ago. “She was a good-looking girl. I usually don’t accept friends I don’t know, but I randomly accepted this one for some reason,” the 19-year-old said.

He thinks that led to his invitation to come down to the La Crosse police station, where an officer laid out photos from Facebook of Bauer holding a beer — and then ticketed him for underage drinking.

Via

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How the LHC works

Quite a bootstrap process.

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Beware the Angry Mermaid

onoz!

'Angry Mermaid' joins fight against climate change

A new environmental award will be launched tomorrow with some of the biggest corporations and lobbying outfits in the world in contention for the top prize. But the winner will have nothing to celebrate.

The inaugural Angry Mermaid award, inspired by Denmark's famous Little Mermaid statue, will go to the organisation "doing the most to sabotage effective action on climate change" in the run-up to climate change talks in Copenhagen next month.

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A shady illusion

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November 26, 2009

Counting our blessings

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

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There's got to be an easier way

Via

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Thanksgiving

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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November 25, 2009

Hide the Decline

An amusing parody about Climategate based on the Tommy James song, Draggin' the Line.

The most interesting part of the CRU leak will probably be that much of their data and their analysis code will now be open for inspection. Things might get very interesting.

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And the umployment insurance is cheap

'Dog Clerk' Brings Laughter At Gas Station

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Customers at one Gulf coast gas station might be surprised at who responds to the counter when they pull up to the drive-through window: The store owner's dog.

Dozens of times each day, Cody the chocolate Labradaor retriever will pop up on two paws behind the counter at a BP gas station and convenience store in Clearwater. He even has a BP logo shirt and a name tag.

Customers grin and kids squeal with joy in response.

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Tempus fugit

A really impressive collection of time-lapse clips by Chad Richard at TimeLapsing.com.

Via

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A new record holder

No Dope: Ft. Lauderdale Man to Smoke 115,000th Joint

When you think of the world's most prolific pot smokers, certain names come to mind: Snoop, Cheech and Chong, Willie Nelson.

How about Irvin Rosenfeld?

The 56-year-old Fort Lauderdale stockbroker will put his name among the greats when he sets a world record tomorrow for weed consumption while lighting up his 115,000th joint.

The best part is that it's all legal.

"Yep, provided by Uncle Sam," Rosenfeld told NBCMiami.com. "They grow it for me, I find that quite ironic."

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What a beauty

Tucson John sent another batch of images of the new Hoover Dam bridge this morning -- and it looks about the same as it did in the last set.

But John included two shots of El Alamillo bridge in Seville, Spain that piqued my interest.

That bridge was designed by architect & structural engineer Santiago Calatrava. Señor Calatrava has designed similar bridges in Redding, California and in Jerusalem.

This image of the El Alamillo bridge was taken by Mary Ann Sullivan, who has a nice collection of pictures of it (along with notes about its design).

ElAlamilloBridge.jpg

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November 24, 2009

Ignorance was bliss

Man discovers Charles Manson is his real dad

A MAN who went in search of his biological father was shocked to learn it was famed serial killer Charles Manson.

Matthew Roberts, a 41-year-old DJ who lives in Los Angeles, said the shock of discovering his father sent him into depression.

"I didn't want to believe it. I was frightened and angry. It's like finding out that Adolf Hitler is your father,” Mr Roberts told The Sun.

"I'm a peaceful person - trapped in the face of a monster."

Despite his revulsion Mr Roberts has been exchanging mail with Manson, who is serving life in Corcoran State Prison in California over nine murders committed by his “Family” of followers in 1969.

“He sends me weird stuff and always signs it with his swastika,” Mr Roberts said.

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Two guys and a basketball

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The Audit

The IRS decided to audit Grandpa and they summoned him to the office. The auditor wasn't surprised when Grandpa showed up with an attorney.

The auditor said, 'Well, sir, you lead an extravagant lifestyle with no documented income, which you explain by saying that you win money gambling. I'm not sure the IRS finds that believable.'

'I'm a great gambler and I can prove it!' says Grandpa. 'How about a demonstration?'

The auditor thinks for a moment and says, 'Okay. Go ahead.'

Grandpa says, 'I'll bet you a thousand dollars that I can bite my own eye.'

The auditor thinks this over and says, 'It's a bet.'

Grandpa removes his glass eye and bites it. The auditor's jaw drops.

Grandpa says, 'Now, I'll bet you two thousand dollars that I can bite my other eye..'

The auditor can see that Grandpa isn't blind, so he takes this bet too. Grandpa removes his dentures and bites his good eye. The stunned auditor now realizes he's down three large - with Grandpa's attorney as a witness. He's starting to get nervous.

'Want to go double or nothing?' Grandpa asks. 'I'll bet you six thousand that I can stand on one side of your desk, pee into that wastebasket on the other side and never get a drop anywhere in between.'

The auditor, twice burned, is pretty cautious by now. But he looks carefully and decides there's no way this old guy could possibly manage that stunt, so he agrees.

Grandpa walks over to the desk, unzips and tries... But though he strains mightily, he can't make the stream reach the wastebasket on the other side. Basically he urinates all over the auditor's desk. The auditor leaps with joy, realizing that he has just turned a big loss into a bigger win.

But Grandpa's attorney just moans and puts his head in his hands.

'Are you okay?' the auditor asks him.

'Not really,' says the attorney. 'When Grandpa told me he'd been summoned for an audit, he bet me twenty five thousand that he could come in here and piss all over your desk and that you'd be thrilled about it!'

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Expensive disasters

Jeff sends a link to this collection of the 11 Most Expensive Catastrophes in History at Chris Pirillo's site.

ExpensiveCatastrophes.jpg

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Two out of three isn't bad?

Inmates Escape, Steal Cigarettes, Return

CLIFTON, Tenn. -- The state Department of Correction said two inmates escaped a minimum security prison in southwest middle Tennessee on Nov. 7 to steal cigarettes before returning, WSMV-TV in Nashville reported.

Adam Garland and Michael Queener are accused of escaping through a window in their cell at the Turney Center Annex and crawling under a fence.

While out, the men stole cigarettes and tobacco products from a convenience store before returning to the prison by going back through the window that they had escaped from, officials at the corrections department said.

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Interesting clip

Paul sends a link to this. The YouTube notes say:

[...] a video shot from a streetcar traveling down Market Street in San Francisco in 1905. Before the earthquake/fire of 1906 destroyed the area. Remarkable footage of the turn of the century lifestyles in California

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November 23, 2009

Nonsense on stilts

Wouldn't that be "second-hand tar" since there's not really any smoke involved?

Smoking Near Apple Computers Creates Biohazard, Voids Warranty

Unless you've just arrived in 2009 on a time machine, you know that smoking isn't good for you. Did you know, that smoking isn't good for your computer, either? It's true, at least according to Apple. Two readers in different parts of the country claim that their Applecare warranties were voided due to secondhand smoke. Both readers appealed their cases up to the office of God Steve Jobs himself. Both lost.

Back in April, Derek copied us on his e-mail to Jobs:

I took my mid 2007 apple macbook (black) into the Jordan Creek Apple Store in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, April 25th, because I had been experiencing some issues with it overheating, and figured the fan was bad. After some initial testing, they took the computer in for work under my Applecare plan, which has over a year remaining on it.

Today, April, 28, 2008, the Apple store called and informed me that due to the computer having been used in a house where there was smoking, that has voided the warranty and they refuse to work on the machine, due to "health risks of second hand smoke".

Not only is this faulty science, attributing non smoking residue to second hand smoke, on Chad's part, no where in your applecare terms of service can I find anything mentioning being used in a smoking environment as voiding the warranty.

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How to exercise your dog

My parents' dog chasing a treat that she can't catch because it is tied to her collar so she's towing it in a loop.

Via

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How bad is it?

The economy is so bad that

... I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

...I ordered a burger at McDonald's and the kid behind the counter asked, "Can you afford fries with that?"

...CEO's are now playing miniature golf.

...the bank returns your check marked "Insufficient Funds," so you call them and ask if they meant you or them.

...Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM.

...McDonald's is selling the 1/4 ouncer.

...parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children's names.

...a truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico.

...Dick Cheney took his stockbroker hunting.

...Motel Six won't leave the light on anymore.

...the Mafia is laying off judges.

...Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.

Via

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Unusual churches

St. Joseph the Betrothed Ukrainian Catholic Church is one of 20 unusual churches in this collection.

StJosephsChurch.jpg

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Well played

Slate magazine is just one of the countless media outlets convulsing with St. Vitus’ Dance over that demonic succubus Sarah Palin. In its reader forum, The Fray, one supposed Palinophobe took dead aim at the former Alaska governor’s writing chops, excerpting the following sentence from her book:
“The apartment was small, with slanting floors and irregular heat and a buzzer downstairs that didn’t work, so that visitors had to call ahead from a pay phone at the corner gas station, where a black Doberman the size of a wolf paced through the night in vigilant patrol, its jaws clamped around an empty beer bottle.”

Other readers pounced like wolf-sized Dobermans on an intruder. One guffawed, “That sentence by Sarah Palin could be entered into the annual Bulwer-Lytton bad writing contest. It could have a chance at winning a (sic) honorable mention, at any rate.”

But soon, the original contributor confessed: “I probably should have mentioned that the sentence quoted above was not written by Sarah Palin. It’s taken from the first paragraph of ‘Dreams From My Father,’ written by Barack Obama.”

Jonah Goldberg via Instapundit

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1/6th scale Chevy engine

Someone's built a working Chevy engine with a 1.1 cubic inch displacement. Check out the many photos of the miniature parts: 1/6th scale Chevrolet 327 V8.

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November 20, 2009

There is such a thing as bad publicity

Man Who Claimed Disability Spotted On TV Show

LOS ANGELES -- California tax officials say an interior designer's false disability claim was uncovered when he was spotted on a home improvement television show.

Fifty-six-year-old Ronald Hunt of Los Angeles was sentenced Tuesday to 200 hours of community service and ordered to pay more than $180,000 in restitution, unpaid taxes and fines. He pleaded guilty to two felony counts of fraud.

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Drawing machines

A collection of 16 drawing machines. The one below is called the Harmonograph.

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Sue 'em all and let the judge sort 'em out

Man Blames Planes For Divorce, Seeks $555 Million

Blame it on the planes isn't the latest Milli Vanilli spoof, it's one man's $555 million claim that the local airport drove off his wife and kids. Stanley G. Hilton's lawsuit blames everybody and everything shy of the rain, moon and stars for the end of his marriage. Given his record, we wouldn't be surprised if they're listed on his next court filing. Hilton's 16-page suit against San Francisco International Airport (.pdf) blames 37 organizations for the collapse of his marriage and seeks $15 million from each of them. Targets of the suit include the city and county of San Francisco, the airport and every airline based there, airline engine manufacturers and the real estate agencies involved in the sale of his house.

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Scroll bar clock

A clever piece of AJAX work.

ScrollBarClock.jpg

Does fine in Opera, Firefox and Chrome but not so well in IE (at least not in my old version of IE). I can't check Safari since Apple stopped supporting Win2K.

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Location, location, location (2)

Pot Farm Stunk Up LA Police Station Lot
Marijuana Operation Found 25 Feet From Police Station

LOS ANGELES -- Officials said an elaborate marijuana growing site was found in an industrial building 25 feet from the back door of the Topanga police station in Los Angeles, and three people are under arrest. Officer Karen Rayner said the pot was discovered Wednesday when a search warrant was served at an address adjacent to the station in Canoga Park. [...]

The investigation began a week ago, when officers smelled marijuana in the police station parking lot.

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Makin' progress

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November 19, 2009

tlhIngan maH!

Local dad spoke only Klingon to child for three years

Is this taking the whole Star Trek thing a teensie weensie bit too far? d'Armond Speers spoke only Klingon to his child for the first three years of its life. [...]

"I was interested in the question of whether my son, going through his first language acquisition process, would acquire it like any human language," Speers told the Minnesota Daily. "He was definitely starting to learn it."

And get this, Speers says he isn't really a huge Star Trek fan.

Title reference.

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An interactive wall

This is a curiosity. A German company called Festo makes an interactive all they call FinRay.

Tip o' the hat to Danilo in Brazil.

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He don't need no steenking GPS

Lost man drives nine hours to get newspaper

CANBERRA (Reuters) - An elderly man who went out to fetch a morning newspaper ended up driving nearly 400 miles after getting lost and taking a wrong turn onto a major Australian highway, police said on Wednesday. The man, 81-year-old Eric Steward, eventually stopped and asked for directions after driving for nine hours, from the New South Wales country town of Yass to Geelong in the southern Victoria state. [...]

"This little old man came up to me saying he was lost. He handed me his mobile and asked if I could speak to his wife," said Victorian Police Senior Constable Clayton Smith.

Steward, who was reunited with his family on Wednesday, said he took the wrong turn and just kept on going.

"I just went out on the road to have a drive, a nice peaceful drive," he told reporters, adding he did not need a satellite navigation device as he'd only been lost once.

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Where Viagra ships from

CorporateLandscaping.jpg

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Bottoms up (2)

Alcohol 'protects men's hearts'

Drinking alcohol every day cuts the risk of heart disease in men by more than a third, a major study suggests.

The Spanish research involving more than 15,500 men and 26,000 women found large quantities of alcohol could be even more beneficial for men.

Female drinkers did not benefit to the same extent, the study in Heart found.

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I Am

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November 18, 2009

Gives them new meaning

Rob sends this collection of neologisms from the Washington Post. The object was to provide new definitions for common words.

Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.

Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.

Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash.

Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.

Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

Frisbeetarianism (n.), The belief that, when you die, your Soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

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Bringing it to life

An interesting ad for Guinness -- lots of great scenery.

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Another urban Ninja

Would-be Seattle ninja found impaled on metal fence

SEATTLE -- An aspiring ninja learned the hard way that he isn't able to jump a 5-foot fence.

Seattle police said an officer checking out a report of an assault in the 600 block of 7th Avenue late Monday came across a man impaled on top of a metal fence, screaming for help. [...]

"Clearly he was overconfident in his abilities, no doubt bolstered by alcohol," police wrote in a news release.

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Holiday decorating tip

It's that time of year: here's a way to save yourself some time and effort.

DittoXmas.jpg

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News of the News of the Weird

Florida Named Strangest State; NYC & Lincoln, NE Named Strangest Cities

Tableseed.com, a new service that helps restaurants get more customers using birthday email clubs, has analyzed nearly 2,000 Associated Press (AP) "strange news" stories that were released in the past year. After segmenting all of the news stories by location, the state of Florida was the runaway winner of Tableseed.com's strangest state award.

Further analysis led to the conclusion that the three strangest cities in the US over the past year were New York City, New York; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Madison, Wisconsin respectively.

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The Matrix in 5 seconds

One of many 5-second movies.

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November 17, 2009

Scotch on the rocks

Drink Makers Drill Ice For Scotch Whiskey
Company Drills For 2 Lost Crates Of Mckinlay & Co. Whiskey

WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- A beverage company has asked a team to drill through Antarctica's ice for a lost cache of some vintage Scotch whiskey that has been on the rocks since a century ago.

The drillers will be trying to reach two crates of McKinlay and Co. whiskey that were shipped to the Antarctic by British polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton as part of his abandoned 1909 expedition.

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No 'ifs' or 'ands', just...

A refreshingly direct ad for Reebok's EasyTone shoe:

Via

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Back to nature

Back-to-nature sex, with vegan condoms and hand-cranked personal vibrators

For some consumers, good environmental citizenship is important even when choosing among sex accessories. No longer will they tolerate plastic personal vibrators made with the softeners called phthalates; or body lubricants that contain toxic chemicals typically found in, say, antifreeze; or leather restraints from slaughtered cattle. In an October issue, Time magazine described a market of organic lubricants, biodegradable whips and handcuffs, vegan condoms, and glass or mahogany vibrators (even hand-crankable models, eliminating the need for batteries).

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Unseen Sahara

National Geographic has a nice slideshow of the work of George Steinmetz in the Sahara.

SteinmetzSahara.jpg

But what really piqued my interest was how Mr. Steinmetz gets his aerial photos. He flies the most minimal powered 'chute rig I've ever read about. Here's a description from his site. (My emphasis.)
Most of the aerial photos you see on this website were taken from the seat of the lightest powered aircraft in the world, a motorized paraglider. The aircraft consists of three components: the “wing” of a paraglider (similar to an aerobatic parachute), a back-pack mounted motor, and a single-seat harness that ties the three pieces together. It is launched by laying the paraglider out on the ground behind me like a kite, and with the motor idling I run forward, inflating the cells of the glider as it rises overhead.
Check out the photos at his site. Here he's pictured taking off. You can all of his craft in this photo (aside from the ends of the chute).
SteinmetzFreshBreeze.jpg

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What smells worse than cigars?

Customs officers seize rabbit poo cigs

More than £1 million worth of counterfeit cigarettes filled with rabbit droppings instead of tobacco have been confiscated by customs officials in Spain.

The fake cigarettes - due to be sold on the black market as famous brands - were discovered after British holidaymakers in the Canary Islands smelled a rat whenever they lit up.

"They stunk. They smell just as you'd imagine burning poo to smell," said one customs official in Tenerife.

Police and customs staff arrested 12 smugglers in an undercover operation to intercept the cigarettes as they landed on a boat from China.

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Come out with your paws up

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November 16, 2009

It was a very cold day

Safe-for-work photo at the link.

Caught on camera: naked love rival flees furious husband

Sun Meng has been given the cold shoulder by his community after the extraordinary picture of him cowering naked outside the flat were posted on the internet.

The terrified 25-year-old fled from the balcony window when he was caught in bed with the man's wife at the married couple's flat in Chengdu, central China.

Photographs of the angry showdown, taken by a startled neighbour, were uploaded to a local community website.

They show Sun perched on the first floor [second-floor in the US. - JdJ] ledge while his lover is confronted by her unnamed husband inside.

"My family is ashamed and none of my own neighbours will talk to me any more," said Sun. [...]

"People are even laughing at how I look naked – but I have to point out it was a very cold day," he added.

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Pigeon: Impossible

Amazingly well done CGI short clip.

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Send this guy to D.C.

Mr. Mahon, the sculptor, that is.

NZ lawmaker sculpted in cow manure

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A sculpture of a New Zealand government minister crafted from cow manure sold for New Zealand dollars 3,080 ($2,220) on an auction Web site. The bust of New Zealand Environment Minister Nick Smith, sculpted as a protest by artist Sam Mahon, attracted 112 bids before being picked up by an anonymous buyer on Friday.

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At the frontier of scientific imaging

What is this? Find out at Gizmodo.

ScientificImaging.jpg

Thanks to Rob

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Choose the blue pill

Colombian chefs unveil Viagra-laced passion fruit dessert

A group of young Colombian student chefs have unveiled a new dessert made from passion fruit and Viagra, claiming it had aphrodisiac effects on everybody who has tried it.

"We got the idea four months ago when we were dealing with a nutrition project for older people," Juan Sebastian Gomez said at an international gastronomy fair on Thursday.

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E-I-E-I-yOga

Res ipsa loquitur.

YogaDork did a little research (for the curious).

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November 15, 2009

Interactive unemployment demographics

This is a very well done Flash presentation from the New York Times: The Jobless Rate for People Like You.

Via

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Shadow people

An interesting result from a simple operation.

ShadowPeople.jpg

Via

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November 14, 2009

The Huge Mistake

A couple of EPA lawyers describe why Cap & Trade legislation is a really bad way to reduce carbon emissions. Remember the Law of Unintended Consequences.

They're right that a "carbon fee" is a better approach to reducing carbon emissions (though they should just bite the bullet and call it a carbon tax).

And for AGW skeptics like me, the tax approach has another advantage -- you can always repeal a tax when you figure out it was a mistake. Getting rid of a cap & trade program will be much more difficult.

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Hang up and drive

"A low-flying pelican." Yeah, right.

Bird Sends Million-Dollar Bugatti Into Marsh
Low-Flying Pelican, Dropped Cell Phone To Blame, Man Says

LA MARQUE, Texas -- A man blamed a low-flying pelican and a dropped cell phone for his veering his million-dollar sports car off a road and into a salt marsh near Galveston, Texas.

The accident happened about 3 p.m. Wednesday on the frontage road of Interstate 45 northbound in La Marque, about 35 miles southeast of Houston.

The Lufkin, Texas, man told of driving his luxury, French-built Bugatti Veyron when the bird distracted him, said La Marque police Lt. Greg Gilchrist. The motorist dropped his cell phone, reached to pick it up and veered off the road and into the salt marsh. The car was half-submerged in the brine about 20 feet from the road when police arrived.

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Get a dog

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Perfect for those double eagles

Bra unrolls into putting mat

TOKYO, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- A Japanese lingerie maker said its latest bra caters to women seeking to golf on the go with the capability to unroll into a 5-foot-long putting mat.

Triumph said the Nice Cup in a Bra can be removed and unrolled into a putting mat that says "Nice shot" through a speaker when a ball sinks into the cup, The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday [...]

Triumph releases novelty bras in Japan twice a year to highlight social trends. Previous releases include a chopstick bra and a mail carrier bra with pockets for letters..

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The journey starts

A clever ad for Nokia's N900, a Linux-based device that Nokia's touting as an open platform they call Maemo.

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At least they weren't in his pants

Brit arrested with 1000 live spiders in his luggage

A British man has been arrested at Rio de Janeiro airport with 1000 live spiders in his luggage.

The man was nabbed late on Wednesday after security X-rays allegedly showed he was trying to smuggle the spiders out in two suitcases.

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November 12, 2009

Airventure 2009

An outstanding video of Airventure 2009 - many beautiful aircraft and aerobatic sequences.

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Waiting for the bus

Gang of racoons hold up bus for food treats

Their masked faces give a clue as to their devious ambitions - but this is no stick-up.

This group of critters regularly pull over the No.18 bus to get a bite to eat.

The gaze of raccoons seemingly form an orderly queue to accept snacks from the bus driver as he stops off outside the Legion of Honor museum in San Francisco.

RaccoonBus.jpg

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This would get your attention

Steve sends some pix of a commuter jet that was struck by lightning.

LightningStruckPlane.jpg

Or was it a fire in the cockpit? There's some discussion about it at PlaneBuzz, where you can see a couple of other images.

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The Facebook alibi

I’m Innocent. Just Check My Status on Facebook.

The message on Rodney Bradford’s Facebook page, posted at 11:49 a.m. on Oct. 17, asked where his pancakes were. The words were typed from a computer in his father’s apartment in Harlem.

At the time, the sentence, written in street slang, was just another navel-gazing, cryptic Facebook status update — meaningless to anyone besides Mr. Bradford. But when Mr. Bradford, 19, was arrested the next day as a suspect in a robbery at the Farragut Houses in Brooklyn, where he lives, the words took on greater importance. They became his alibi.

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Who needs bridges?

This guy skims his ATV 400 feet across a lake in Mississippi.

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Lazy burglar

Cops: Burglar Caught After Taking Nap In Bed

CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati police arrested a man who they said picked a very poor time and place for a nap, WLWT-TV reported.

Officers said David Freudenberg was burglarizing a home when he fell asleep in the homeowner's bed on Wednesday.

The homeowner said he came home to find Freudenberg still passed out in bed and called police.

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November 11, 2009

Welcome home

Mental Floss has a collection of 10 videos of dogs welcoming their masters back home, which seems like just the thing for Veterans' Day.

Via

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Man bites dog

From Oz:

Clifton Springs man bites dog to save his best Buddy

A CLIFTON Springs man yesterday told how he bit a dog to save his own from being mauled to death on a Collendina beach.

Phillip Lane said he was walking his two-year-old Jack Russell-cross-beagle Buddy with his wife Linda on a quiet Collendina dog beach about 4pm Monday, when a large, brown ridgeback ran up and snatched their little dog in its jaws.

"It grabbed our dog, threw him to the ground and had him by the neck," Mr Lane said.

"I thought, 'if he starts shaking him, he'll kill him'."

Mr Lane said he tackled the attacking dog and tried to forcibly unclamp its jaws with his hands. [...]

Then, Mr Lane's protective instinct took hold. With one hand in the ridgeback's mouth and another around its neck, he resorted to the most desperate of measures.

"I thought, 'if you're not gonna let go, I'm gonna bite your ear off' ... I ended up biting him on the ear as hard as I could," he said.

The bite stunned the attacking dog, which released Buddy and was taken away by its male owner, who had just arrived.

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Laziest dog ever

LazyGuideDog.jpg

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The new champeen

I'll bet his mom didn't believe him when he told her he'd make a living at poker.

21-Year-Old Becomes Youngest Poker Champ Ever

LAS VEGAS -- A 21-year-old Michigan poker professional who chose cards over college won the World Series of Poker main event in Las Vegas early Tuesday, winning $8.55 million and becoming the youngest player to win the tournament in its 40-year history.

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Perrita bailarina

Carrie, the ballerina dog. I believe the dog and her master are from Chile.

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Spooky (3)

Ghost Hunters Say Voice Led Them To Bones Paranormal Group Finds Bones Behind Historic Mansion Wall

WELLSBURG, W.Va. -- A historic Brooke County, W. Va., mansion is at the center of a police and paranormal investigation after skeletal remains were found hidden behind a brick wall.

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November 10, 2009

Roomba Pac-Man

Geeked to the max.

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When Steve met Caroline

Paul sends a link to this report about an unusual legal hearing.

Court hears couple's sex sessions

A court was played a 10 minute recording of a Wearside couple whose nightly sex sessions were said to have ruined the lives of neighbours.

Caroline and Steve Cartwright's love making was described as "murder" and "unnatural" at Newcastle Crown Court.

Mrs Cartwright, 48, from Washington, is appealing against a conviction for breaching a noise abatement notice against the couple. [...]

Next door neighbour Rachel O'Connor told the court she was frequently late for work because she overslept having been awake most of the night because of the noise. [...]

Specialist equipment installed in Miss O'Connor's flat by Sunderland City Council recorded noise levels of between 30 to 40 decibels, with the highest being 47 decibels..

(Title reference.)

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New bridge at Hoover Dam (2)

The center arch of the O'Callaghan-Tillman Memorial Bridge was completed in late August and it's free-standing now. The superstructure and cables used to support it during construction are gone.

OCallaghanTillmanBridge2.jpg

When it's finished, it will look something like this

OCallaghanTillmanBridge3.jpg

ScienceRay has 2 good photo essays about the construction process; they start here.

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Adding insult to injury

Pfizer abandons site of infamous Kelo eminent domain taking

The private homes that New London, Conn., took away from Suzette Kelo and her neighbors have been torn down. Their former site is a wasteland of fields of weeds, a monument to the power of eminent domain.

But now Pfizer, the drug company whose neighboring research facility had been the original cause of the homes' seizure, has just announced that it is closing up shop in New London

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Secret knock detecting lock

This is a clever piece of work - but how do you keep a knock sequence a secret?

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The Darwin Award: not just for humans

Unlucky buck: Deer loses head-butt with lawn ornament

A love-struck buck ran out of luck a week ago. The seven-point buck was killed when it rammed a 640-pound concrete statue of an elk in the backyard of Mark and Carol Brye's home in rural Viroqua.

Bucks often fight during the breeding season, commonly called the rut. Dominant bucks defend breeding territories and female deer by sparring with subordinate bucks. Antler battles sometimes result in the death of one or both deer, but usually end with the biggest buck winning and the smaller buck high-tailing it out to another area.

Mark Brye, who owns Brye Plumbing in Viroqua, was still laughing about the suicidal buck he found near his elk statue last week.

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November 09, 2009

Wrong time of day

If I were this track inspector, I believe I'd check the train schedule before I checked the tracks.

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Not Eisenhower's dominoes

Berlin Wall's Fall

BERLIN -- Massive colorful dominoes painted by German students were placed Saturday along the former path of the Berlin Wall to mark the 20th anniversary of the opening of the barrier that divided the city for nearly three decades.

Many of the upright 7.5-foot-high (2.3-meter-high) plastic foam dominoes carried messages, including "We are one people." The approximately 1,000 dominoes stretching for 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) will be toppled Monday as part of wider celebrations of the wall's fall.

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100 MPH tape

BeforeTape.gif
A bear attacked this plane that had not been cleaned out after a long fishing trip. The pilot had 2 new tires, 3 cases of Duct Tape and several rolls of cellophane delivered then went about repairing the plane so he could fly it home.

They call it 100 mph tape for a reason.


AfterTape.jpg

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Incredibly close call

Drive in Missouri countryside almost turns deadly

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Need proof we live in a pinball world?

Lisa Long was driving through Cass County farm country last week when somebody -- maybe a mile or more away -- pulled the trigger on a high-powered rifle.

The bullet zipped over fields and pasture from the south as Long's car traveled west from her aunt's house. The two would meet at the same point at precisely the same instant.

Not only that, Long's driver-side window was down six inches or so and the bullet was at the perfect trajectory to enter the opening as she drove past that point at 40 mph.

The slug tore through her cheek, exited her mouth, then plopped onto the floorboard of the 1998 Ford Taurus.

What are the odds? Moving car, moving bullet. [...]

"I was listening to NPR and thinking what a beautiful day it was," Long said.

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Grand Theft Auto vs. Frogger

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November 08, 2009

"It was 20 years ago today"

November 9 will be the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

From The New Criterion:

Tyranny set in stone

Was there ever a more fitting monument to tyranny than the Berlin Wall? Conceived in desperation, this brutal barrier was erected in 1961 by the state not for the protection but for the incarceration of its citizens. Hold fast to that thought. The Berlin Wall was the stuff of gritty spy novels, the literal instantiation of Winston Churchill's "iron curtain," which in 1946, with characteristic prescience, he saw descending across Central and Eastern Europe. The Berlin Wall was also an inescapable indictment, not just of a particular society but of an entire world view, the world view of Soviet Communism with its rhetoric of justice and class struggle in one hand and its reality of the Gulag and the systematic obliteration of human freedom in the other.

Do we remember that?


From The Washington Post:
Murderous idealism

The Berlin Wall that came down 20 years ago this month was an apt symbol of communism. It represented a historically unprecedented effort to prevent people from "voting with their feet" and leaving a society they rejected. The wall was only the most visible segment of a vast system of obstacles and fortifications: the Iron Curtain, which stretched for thousands of miles along the border of the "Socialist Commonwealth." I am one of those who managed to cross these obstacles in November 1956, when they were partially and temporarily dismantled along the Austrian-Hungarian border. My experiences in communist Hungary, where I lived until age 24, had a durable impact on my life and work. [...]

The failure of Soviet communism confirms that humans motivated by lofty ideals are capable of inflicting great suffering with a clear conscience.


And the Fall of the Wall is the cover story in the November issue of Reason:
The Unknown War
The defeat of communism 20 years ago was the most liberating moment in history. So why don't we talk about it more?

On August 23, 1989, officials from the newly reformed and soon-to-be-renamed Communist Party of Hungary ceased policing the country's militarized border with Austria. Some 13,000 East Germans, many of whom had been vacationing at nearby Lake Balaton, fled across the frontier to the free world. It was the largest breach of the Iron Curtain in a generation, and it kicked off a remarkable chain of events that ended 11 weeks later with the righteous citizen dismantling of the Berlin Wall. [...]

At a time that fairly cries out for historical perspective about the follies of central planning, Americans are ignoring the fundamental conflict of the postwar world, and instead leapfrogging back to what Steve Forbes describes in this issue as the "Jurassic Park statism" of the 1930s.

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November 06, 2009

Life lessons from an ad man

This clip's a little long but I enjoyed it all.

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He's got his co-pilot

From the Johnson City Press in Tennessee:

Did Jesus take the wheel? Jonesborough resident claims image of Jesus appears in truck window

Jonesborough resident Jim Stevens admits he’s not a particularly religious person, but even he is awed by what he has seen nearly every morning for the last couple of weeks on the driver’s side window of his Isuzu pickup truck.

It was two weeks ago today that an image, resembling the face of Jesus, made its first appearance on the window. Stevens, who said he has a “bum shoulder,” was having friends from Rogersville help move some items. He entered his truck from the passenger’s side to put his drink inside the vehicle. He said when he went around the truck to the driver’s side, the image was there. Initially, Stevens said he figured the image would go away and that would be the end of it.

JesusIsHisCopilot.jpg

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What? No tire iron?

The Giant Knife from Wenger. I think you could buy one.

GiantKnife.jpg

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That's telling him

Man angrily tells cop what to do with his wife, his gun and his horse

HILLSBORO – Police arrested and jailed a 42-year-old man for littering after he threw down a ticket forbidding him from riding light rail, then angrily told off the officer who wrote the ticket.

Euphemistically speaking, Christian Alan Fletcher told the Hillsboro policeman that he would seduce the officer's wife and place the barrel of the officer's firearm ... well, where the sun doesn't shine, police reports show.

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TGFB

I could live without the falsetto asides but that said, this is a pretty funny routine about bacon.

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Not-so-creative destruction

City Of Memphis Tears Down Wrong House

Memphis, TN - The City of Memphis tore down the wrong house and it cost taxpayers $29,000. The duplex used to be located at 1072 Garland Street. Records show Memphis Code Enforcement officers never notified the homeowner the house was scheduled for demolition.

Memphis city council member Myron Lowery says “Paying for a $29,000 house is a big hit that never should have happened. Someone made a mistake and they should be disciplined for it.”

According to city records, four years ago the city began condemning the property. Then it was sold to the current owner. Records show the owner made thousands of dollars worth of repairs.

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November 05, 2009

Cast iron, floor standing, 3 phase, 20 amp craziness

Industrial strength bizarreness from Japan.

Via

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Aerial advertising

Germans attach tiny advertisements to flies

Since skywriting is no longer acceptable in advertising, German agency Jung von Matt has settled for "flyvertising," attaching tiny ad banners to flies and letting them buzz around a convention center during the Frankfurt book fair. Neat idea, but the obvious flaw is that flies are the most annoying things ever, and may not be something you'd want people associating with your product long-term. (The client here, Eichborn, is a publishing company whose logo is a fly.)

There's a picture of a tagged fly at the link.

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The miracle of life

Late-breaking Halloween news; full-sized version here.

MiracleOfLife.jpg

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Rumors of his demise were greatly exaggerated

Bricklayer shows up at his own funeral in Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO - A Brazilian bricklayer reportedly killed in a car crash shocked his mourning family by showing up alive at his funeral.

Relatives of Ademir Jorge Goncalves, 59, had identified him as the victim of a Sunday night car crash in Parana state in southern Brazil, police said. [...]

What family members didn't know was that Goncalves had spent the night at a truck stop talking with friends over drinks of a sugarcane liquor known as cachaca, his niece Rosa Sampaio told the O Globo newspaper. He did not get word about his own funeral until it was already happening Monday morning.

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No corkscrew? No problem

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The guy voted 'Most Likely To Do Time'

Robbery victim finds suspect in yearbook

ERIE, Pa. - After being robbed of his jacket, cellphone, keys, and $300, a Pennsylvania man was left with the odd feeling that his assailants looked familiar. Police say that is because they went to school together about 15 years ago.

Erie police arrested Anthony Williams, 30, Monday on charges of robbery, terroristic threats, and simple assault. The other suspect has not been found. [...]

Police say the victim recognized Williams because they both attended Central Career and Technical School in the mid-1990s. The victim brought old yearbooks to the police station and identified a newer picture of Williams from a photo lineup.

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November 04, 2009

35 years gone to waste

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He must really hate his job

Police: Man Made Up Mugging To Skip Work

EDGEWATER, Colo. -- Police in the Denver suburb of Edgewater say a man stabbed himself, then said he was attacked by three men dressed in black who were either Hispanic or skinheads, in a ploy to miss work.

Twenty-nine-year-old Aaron Siebers was arrested after police say he admitted making up the assault and said he was responsible for the knife wound to his leg and other superficial cuts on his body. He faces charges of false reporting and obstructing a police officer.

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How to spot a hunter with a DWI record

It's that time of year.

DeerOnBike.jpg

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It all pays the same

Two blondes worked for the city public works department. One was digging holes and the other was following behind her and filling the holes in.

They worked up one side of the street then down the other, then they moved on to the next street, working furiously all day without rest: one woman digging a hole, the other woman filling it in.

An onlooker was amazed at their hard work, but couldn't understand what they were doing. So he asked the hole digger, 'I'm impressed by the effort you two are putting into your work, but I don't get it -- why do you dig a hole only to have your partner follow behind and fill it up?'

The hole digger wiped her brow and sighed, 'Well, I suppose it probably looks odd because we're normally a three-person team. But today the woman who plants the trees called in sick.'

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Tricks of the trade

A make-up artist for hamburgers shows how it's done.

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Cannabis U.

University Teaches People To Grow Pot
School Dedicated To Helping People With Medical Conditions

HILLSBORO, Ore. -- Medical marijuana advocates have opened a school where people can learn how to grow and use pot to manage illness, KPTV in Portland, Ore., reported.

The Oregon Medical Cannabis University, located in a warehouse off Cornelius Pass Road in Hillsboro, opened in October. The school offers classes and community centers where people can access the drug.

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November 03, 2009

Saturn at equinox

The Big Picture has a great collection of photos of Saturn, its rings and its satellites.

SaturnAtEquinox.jpg

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Nice work if you can get it (4)

I think I need to start a category for these items.

Cops: TN mechanic disabled parked cars for repairs

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn.—Tennessee police said a mechanic was drumming up business by tampering with parked cars, then charging to help start them. Police arrested 41-year-old Christopher Walls of Johnson City on Thursday night.

Investigators said Walls disabled cars parked at restaurants, waited for the owners to try to start them and then offered his services as a mechanic. Police said Walls charged between $40 and $200 to get the vehicles running again.

Take it, Benny...

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Whoops!

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It's surprising she could dial 9-1-1

Woman calls 911 to report herself as drunk driver
Eau Claire (WQOW)

Mary Strey, 49, of Granton was driving home from the bar around 11:28 p.m. on Saturday night when she called 911 to report a drunk driver. When the dispatcher asked Strey if she was following the drunk driver, she told police she was the drunk driver.

As she continued driving towards her home the dispatcher asked Mary to stop her vehicle on the side of the road and turn on her vehicle's flashers, which she did. Police found her parked on the side of the road.

Police gave Strey a field sobriety test. According to the criminal complaint Strey's speech was slurred, she stumbled, was swaying back and forth and could not perform the tests.

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November 02, 2009

Finally

Microsoft makes a decent ad.

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Well I think it's pretty funny

Officials Not Amused By 'Go Yankees' Sign
Message Board On Interstate Lit Up Before Game 1 Of World Series

State transportation officials are looking into how the phrase "Go Yankees" appeared on an electronic message board along an interstate in eastern Pennsylvania.

Just in time for the first game of the World Series, the message lit up a board Wednesday along I-81 northbound between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton. [...]

The Yankees are facing the Philadelphia Phillies, who used to have a farm club in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Now the local minor league team is affiliated with the Yankees.

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Weird clouds

Here's a nice collection of unusual clouds (plus one volcanic plume).

StrangeClouds.jpg

Thanks to Danilo.

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What a costume

Man Dressed As Breathalyzer Suspected Of DUI

OXFORD -- Oxford police said a man they arrested on suspicion of drunken driving over the weekend was wearing a rather appropriate costume.

A police report said that James Miller, 18, was stopped after officers saw him driving the wrong way on a one-way street just before 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

When officers approached, they found Miller was dressed like a Breathalyzer.

Check out the photo of this guy at the link.

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No OSHA there, I think

Though I'm not sure where this was shot.

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Your mother was right

Cold weather really does spread flu

Scientists have finally confirmed what your mother knew all along - that flu spreads best in cold, dry weather.

As the first few cases of the northern hemisphere's annual flu epidemic are trickling in this week, scientists may finally know why winter is flu season. It appears the virus lasts longer in cold, dry air, and our sluggish, cold-weather mucus cannot clear it out.

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November 01, 2009

Autumn 2009

My brother sent this picture of our father that appeared in the Peoria Journal Star, his local paper.

DadInPJS.jpg

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