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February 27, 2010

The poetry of Reality

Another auto-tuned clip of famous scientists from SymphonyOfScience.com, the folks who did the We Are All Connected video last fall.

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A full lustrum

Back in February, 2005, I had no idea I'd be doing this for five years and roughly 5,000 posts.

It's been an interesting time and I've learned a few things. The first was: don't try to avoid e-mail by using a blog. The e-mail subscriptions (now handled by FeedBurner) still outrun the RSS subscriptions (barely). Go figure. Since one of the reasons I started this was to avoid sending e-mail to people, the experiment was sort of a bust from that perspective.

Im5Small.jpgHere are the posts that have proved to be perennial favorites, based on search queries.


To all of you who have been regular readers; a big Thank You is in order. And a very special thank you to everyone who's contributed regularly over the years. Here I have the usual problem: I don't want to name these people for fear I'll forget someone. So let me quote Eddie Murphy who said, without naming any names, "You know I'm talkin' 'bout you, baby."

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Dinner for one

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Relax -- the song wasn't about you.

You're so vain... David

SINGER CARLY SIMON has finally ended a 38-year guessing game - by naming the subject of hit You're So Vain.

The catty lyrics were believed to be aimed at an ex-boyfriend such as MICK JAGGER, CAT STEVENS, KRIS KRISTOFFERSON or WARREN BEATTY.

But now the target has been revealed as gay producer DAVID GEFFEN, at the time head of Carly's Elektra record label.

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February 25, 2010

Sleeping newborns

The amazing pictures of snoozing newborns

SleepingNewborns.jpg

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Trans-Siberian journey

Check out Google's site about a 5,752 mile, 6-day trip on the Trans-Siberian railway from Moscow to Vladivostok.

Moscow-Vladivostok: virtual journey on Google Maps

The great Trans Siberian Railway, the pride of Russia, goes across two continents, 12 regions and 87 cities. The joint project of Google and the Russian Railways lets you take a trip along the famous route and see Baikal, Khekhtsirsky range, Barguzin mountains, Yenisei river and many other picturesque places of Russia without leaving your house. During the trip, you can enjoy Russian classic literature, brilliant images and fascinating stories about the most attractive sites on the route. Let's go!

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Choose your decision

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Thank God for bacon

Otherwise, we might be overrun by Canadians. :-) News from BaconToday.com:

People in Canada Choose Bacon Over Sex

The people of Canada sure love their bacon. In a recent survey conducted by Maple Leaf Foods, 43% of the respondents said they would rather have bacon than sex. Are you surprised? If you're a daily reader of Bacon Today the answer is probably no. In fact, you're probably asking a question of your own — Canadian or Traditional bacon? Sadly, the survey was not that specific.

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February 24, 2010

Special dominos

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It's stuck all right

Alan Henderson is selling shirts with this design (and a bumper sticker) at Cafe Press.

RecallCongress.jpg

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B-r-r-r!

Naked sled race draws 14,000

A naked sledging event in Germany's Harz region created a logistical nightmare over the weekend after 14,000 people showed up to watch 30 men and women strip before sliding down the mountain.

Normally the gentle slope in front of Braunlage's town hall is a pretty quiet place during the winter. Beginning skiers practice their first turns, parents plop their children on sleds, and pensioners take some air.

But the scene was quite different on Saturday, when thousands unexpectedly turned out for a nearly naked sledging contest sponsored by a radio station.

H.T. Paul

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Mom was right

Remember when your mother warned you never to take candy from a strange man? This is the guy she was talking about

StrangerCandy.jpg

H.T. Mary

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February 22, 2010

Google Liquid Galaxy

This is impressive. Of course, it would be truly wonderful if it delivered you to different places but it's cool nonetheless.

Google's Liquid Galaxy is engineer Jason Holt's 20% time project, a wraparound view of 8 LCD screens providing a truly immersive experience of Google Earth and Street View.

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Year of the Tiger

The Big Picture has a collection of photos from the Chinese New Year celebration earlier this month. Most of them are from China but the one below is of a tiger in Jakarta.

YearOfTheTiger.jpg

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RC SR-71

We haven't had any RC plane clips for a spell. Here's an amazing model of an SR-71 Blackbird.

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Careful of Granddad's pipe

Marijuana use by seniors goes up as boomers age

[...] Long a fixture among young people, use of the country's most popular illicit drug is now growing among the AARP set, as the massive generation of baby boomers who came of age in the 1960s and '70s grows older.

The number of people aged 50 and older reporting marijuana use in the prior year went up from 1.9 percent to 2.9 percent from 2002 to 2008, according to surveys from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The rise was most dramatic among 55- to 59-year-olds, whose reported marijuana use more than tripled from 1.6 percent in 2002 to 5.1 percent.

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February 20, 2010

National sport

Buzkashi.jpg
Afghanistan's Ultimate Sport

What do you call men on horses fighting over a headless goat carcass? Buzkashi -- Afghanistan's national sport, which also just happens to be a powerful metaphor for the country's politics.


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A series of tubes

From dvice.com:

Take a tour of the International Space Station, right here

Let's take a fascinating video tour of the International Space Station (ISS), where we float in microgravity from the Soyuz on one end all the way to the Space Shuttle on the other. As you can see, it really is a series of tubes, and my, hasn't this thing gotten huge?

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At least they didn't notch his ears

Authorities: no charges in Breckenridge branded buttocks case

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. - Authorities in Breckenridge won't file any charges in the case of a Texas Christian University student who suffered burns when his peers branded his buttocks during a ski trip to Colorado.

That decision was announced Thursday after prosecutors reviewed the statements from Amon Carter IV and a dozen TCU students. The Summit Daily News reports that Carter had Greek symbols from his fraternity and a sorority branded on his buttocks Jan. 8.

The branding caused second- and third-degree burns, and he said he needs plastic surgery to repair the damage.

[...]

Carter told the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram newspaper earlier this week that it was a dumb, drunken decision. He said the group drank and got rowdy and that at some point he agreed to allow his fraternity brothers to finish branding the Kappa Sigma letters on his rear end with a hot coat hanger -- a brand that was apparently started on a spring break trip a year ago.

Title reference

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Been COP'd, MOP'd and Copenhagen'd?

A pretty good rant about 'Gorethodoxy', based on a parody of Simon & Garfunkel's A Simple Desultory Philippic. (The audio's all guitar so I don't get the mandolin. But there it is.)

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February 18, 2010

Nailed

Vlad Artazov's Nails' Life (37 photos)

NailsLife.jpg

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Naval history

I have no idea whether this is true. I suspect it's not. But it makes a good story.

The U.S.S. Constitution -- Old Ironsides -- carried 48,600 gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers and men. This was sufficient to last six months of sustained operations at sea. She carried no evaporators (i.e., fresh water distillers).

Let it be noted that according to her ship's log, the U.S.S. Constitution sailed from Boston on July 27th, 1798 with a full complement of 475 officers and men, 48,600 gallons of fresh water, 7,400 cannon shot, 11,600 pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum.

Her mission: To destroy and harass English shipping.

Making Jamaica on October 6th, she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum.

Then she headed for the Azores, arriving there November 12th. She was provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of Portuguese wine.

On November 18th, she set sail for England. In the ensuing days she defeated five British men-of-war and captured and scuttled 12 English merchant ships, salvaging only the rum aboard each.

By January 26th, her powder and shot were exhausted. Nevertheless, although unarmed, she made a night raid up the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. Her landing party captured a whiskey distillery and transferred 40,000 gallons of single malt Scotch aboard by dawn. Then she headed home.

The U.S.S. Constitution arrived in Boston on February 20th, 1799, with no cannon shot, no food, no powder, no rum, no wine, no whiskey, and 38,600 gallons of water.

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High-speed robotics

This work is pretty impressive.

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Warp factor 0, Mr. Sulu

Starship pilots: speed kills, especially warp speed

Star Trek fans, prepare to be disappointed. Kirk, Spock and the rest of the crew would die within a second of the USS Enterprise approaching the speed of light.

The problem lies with Einstein's special theory of relativity. It transforms the thin wisp of hydrogen gas that permeates interstellar space into an intense radiation beam that would kill humans within seconds and destroy the spacecraft's electronic instruments.

This reminds me of The Physics of Star Trek, which I found pretty amusing reading.

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February 17, 2010

Marketing beauty

A novel -- and definitely NSFW -- form of advertising by skywriting.

H.T. Tucson John

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One clever dog

SmartDog.gif

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Marketing ugly

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Road show

Stripper mobile in Tampa

Déjà Vu, a gentlemen's club located on East Adamo Drive, has started driving what it calls the "Stripper Mobile" around town. The "Stripper Mobile" is a large truck with Plexiglas sides featuring a stripper pole and dancers inside, sort of like a peep show on wheels.

Reaction so far, according to Déjà Vu dancer Bree, has been crazy.

"Everybody's taking pictures and running up and screaming and trying to get on the bus and throwing dollars outside. It's actually very exciting," she said.

Via

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February 16, 2010

Canadian sign language

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Had enough winter?

EnoughWinter.jpg

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For the man who has everything

Tucson John sends this suggestion for your next acquisition.

It looks to me like this was shot in two places. The scene appears to shift from a California bay to an Arizona lake at about the 1:20 mark.

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No sense of humor

Get a larger view of this student's detention slip here. This is a good example of why I'm not a teacher. I'd probably have laughed aloud.

ThatsWhatSheSaid.jpg

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February 15, 2010

Mardi Gras, 1956

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Carnival

The Big Picture has a great collection of 39 images of Carnival in Rio.

Carnival2010.jpg

Last week, Danilo wrote to me, "Saturday will begin the longest holyday in Brazil - Carnival. From Saturday to Tuesday (in fact, we only work Wednesday in the afternoon), people will dance at the sound of samba. I don't like the sound very much, but like the holyday!"

And they're probably singing that song I like so well (courtesy of BeeMP3.com).

Caetano Veloso - Cidade maravilhosa .mp3

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Norwegian sunrise

Here's the opposite of the partying in sunny Brazil: an impressive aerial clip of sunrise in Norway.

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Why not, indeed

Love stinks! Minn. farmer creates manure valentine

ALBERT LEA, Minn. — Nothing says "I love you" like a half-mile wide heart made out of manure. A southern Minnesota man created the Valentine's Day gift for his wife of 37 years in their farm field about 12 miles southwest of Albert Lea. Bruce Andersland told the Alberta Lea Tribune that he started the project with his tractor and manure spreader Wednesday and finished Thursday.

His wife, Beth, said it's the biggest and most original Valentine she has ever received. She said some people might think it's gross, but she says it's cute and "Why not do something fun with what you got?"

Via

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February 13, 2010

USS Cordoba

A great mash-up.

Via

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A word to the wise

It's Mardi Gras parade day in St. Louis and Carnival started at dawn in Rio.

And Mary sends this reminder why middle-aged women shouldn't party too hearty.

MiddleAgedBudweiser.jpg

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Devoured

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You'll be screwed at the end

ScrewCasket.jpg EIBCs

[T]he 'Easy Inter Burial Container' for which a new US patent was granted yesterday.

'This invention relates to conserving land area and easy to install burial containers which can be pressed, agitated, screwed, self bored or by other means set into earth or other receiving materials and do not require a large amount of land area or a large pre-dug rectangular hole with subsequent refilling after the placement of the burial container. '

The screw-into-the-ground casket will use only one third of the normal space required – and ' bores its own final hole ' [...]

Via

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February 11, 2010

T-shirt war

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How it works

Mary sends this "flowchart for government:"

DCFlowchart.jpg

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Seeing around corners

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Larger than life

A couple of weeks ago, I had a post featuring a picture of George W. Bush with the caption 'Miss me yet?' Somebody's taken it a step farther. (It looks to me like the same photo.)

'Miss Me Yet?' Billboard With Photo Of Bush Is Real; Not An Internet Trick

Internet chatter had led to speculation that it might be an urban myth -- nothing more than clever digital trickery spreading via the Web.

But our friend Bob Collins at Minnesota Public Radio assures us he's seen it with his own eyes:

There is a billboard along I-35 near Wyoming, Minn., with a huge photo of former president George W. Bush and this question: "Miss Me Yet?"

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February 09, 2010

Why does it work?

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A little nostalgia

Here's a page titled When a car was a car and a train was a train, with 6 pictures of steam locomotives and antique autos. (The early 50's Chevy pick-up in this picture brings back several memories.)

CarsAndTrains.jpg

H.T. Tucson John

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This is a trusting spouse

Shot in the early thirties, a man with a rifle tests an early version of bullet proof glass by having his wife hold the glass to her face while he shoots at her.

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Idiot sightings

Some of these were new to me but most have been making the e-mail circuit for a few years.

When my husband and I arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up our car, we were told the keys had been locked in it. We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver side door. As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked.

'Hey,' I announced, 'it's open!'

His reply: 'I know. I already got that side.'


We had to have the garage door repaired. The Sears repairman told us that one of our problems was that we did not have a 'large' enough motor on the opener. I thought for a minute, and said that we had the largest one Sears made at that time, a 1/2 horsepower.

He shook his head and said, 'Lady, you need a 1/4 horsepower.' I responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4. He said, 'NO, it's not -- four is larger than two.'

We haven't used Sears repair since.
(more after the break)


My daughter and I went through the McDonald's take-out window and I gave the clerk a $5 bill. Our total was $4.25, so I also handed her a quarter.

She said, 'You gave me too much money.'

I said, 'Yes I know, but this way you can just give me a dollar bill back.'

She sighed and went to get the manager, who asked me to repeat my request. I did so, and he handed me back the quarter, and said 'We're sorry but we could not do that kind of thing.' The clerk then proceeded to give me back $1 and 75 cents in change.

Do not confuse the clerks at McD's.


I live in a semi rural area. We recently had a new neighbor call the local township administrative office to request the removal of the DEER CROSSING sign on our road. The reason: 'Too many deer are being hit by cars out here! I don't think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore.'
My daughter went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. She asked the person behind the counter for 'minimal lettuce.'

He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg lettuce.


I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee asked, 'Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?

To which I replied, 'If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?' He smiled knowingly and nodded, 'That's why we ask.'


The stoplight on the corner buzzes when it's safe to cross the street. I was crossing with an intellectually challenged coworker of mine. She asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red. Appalled, she responded, 'What on earth are blind people doing driving?!'
At a good-bye luncheon for an old and dear coworker who was leaving the company due to 'downsizing,' our manager commented cheerfully, 'This is fun. We should do this more often.' Not another word was spoken. We all just looked at each other with that deer-in-the-headlights stare.
I work with an individual who plugged her power strip back into itself and for the sake of her life, couldn't understand why her system would not turn on.

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February 08, 2010

Today's dramatic reading

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Long live the Queen

Here's a page with a collection of photos of Queen Elizabeth II with every U.S. President since Harry (The Buck Stops Here) Truman. She's been queen since 1953. In three more years, she'll mark her Diamond Jubilee -- as her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria did.

ElizabethThenAndNow.gif

H.T. Steve

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Sapporo snow festival

It's snowing here and of course we had the snowpocalypse (above) on the U.S. east coast over the weekend. So this is very timely.

Via

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February 06, 2010

Super Bowl tech ads

ComputerWorld selected its Top 10 Super Bowl Tech ads. The oldest is a Xerox ad from '76. But the funniest, IMO, is this EDS ad from 2000.

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Record rattle snake

Steve sends some pix of this monster rattlesnake which was caught in St. Augustine, Florida. The article about it -- where there are more pix -- says it was 7 feet, 3 inches. It looks longer than 7 feet in this image.

RecordRattler.jpg

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Listening with your eyes?

Watch this 6-second clip. Then play it again and listen to it with your eyes closed.

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February 05, 2010

"Safe and ineffective"

This is hilarious - though the New Scientist's calling it 'alleged ineffectiveness' is pretty lame.

Mass drug overdose – none dead

No ill effects were reported by hundreds of volunteers who took part in a mass-overdose stunt around the world to demonstrate that homeopathic remedies are nothing more than sugar pills.

"There were no casualties at all, as far as I know," says Martin Robbins, spokesman for the "10:23" campaign, created to highlight the alleged ineffectiveness of homeopathic remedies.

"No one was cured of anything either," says Robbins. Like an estimated 300 volunteers in several cities in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US, he swallowed a bottleful of around 80 homeopathic "pillules" at exactly 10.23 am on Saturday.

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Save Dave

So first, this guy working in an Australian bank gets busted viewing nude pix on his computer during a newscast. Naturally, his managers want him gone.

Now there's a campaign to spare him his job:

Campaign to save Dave the libidinous banker
Australian banker in hot water after being caught viewing salacious photos

SYDNEY - An online campaign has started to save the job of an Australian banker who became an Internet sensation after he was caught on live television viewing images of scantily clad supermodel Miranda Kerr on his computer.

The financial Web site "Here is the City News" [...] has set up a "Save Dave" page that encourages readers to e-mail the public relations department of Macquarie Bank to save banker David Kiely's job.

The web campaign lists four reasons for Kiely to keep his job: he seems like a nice bloke; the photographs were not hardcore; he has suffered enough, and there's just too much political correctness in this world anyway.

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Make Valentine's Day special

...depending on your definition of special. Here's news from Toronto:

Restaurant promotes sex in its bathrooms

Mildred's Temple Kitchen is inviting customers to have sex in its bathrooms.

The Valentine's weekend promotion takes uncomfortable but electrifying sex from the close confines of an airplane and transfers it to the unisex stalls of the Hanna Ave. restaurant.

The Liberty Village restaurant proposes its modern bathrooms become one of the "101 places to have sex before you die."

Via

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A woman's best friend

Via

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Thumbthing looks pretty good

If you know any inveterate readers, here's just what they need: the Thumbthing. I got to get me one.

ThumbThing.jpg

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February 04, 2010

Markets in everything (6)

Student sells her virginity online to pay for tuition

A student has auctioned her virginity to a stranger for almost £20,000 to help fund her university tuition fees.

The 19-year-old New Zealand woman offered her virginity to the highest bidder in an online auction on the www.ineed.co.nz website after she found herself desperate for money.

The student, who called herself "Unigirl", said that she was delighted with the outcome and thanked auction participants who had bid more than she expected.

"Thank you to the more than 30,000 people who viewed my ad and to the more than 1,200 offers made," she said on the auction site yesterday. "I have accepted an offer in excess of $NZ45,000, which is way beyond what I dreamt."

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Frog fail

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A generous lawyer

One afternoon a lawyer was riding in his limo when he Saw two men along the roadside eating grass. Disturbed, he ordered his driver to stop and he got out to Investigate. He asked the men, 'Why are you eating grass?'

'We don't have any money for food,' one of the men replied. 'We have to eat grass.'

'Well, then, you can come with me to my house and I'll feed you,' the lawyer said.

'But I have a wife and two children with me. They're over there, under that tree.'

'Bring them along,' the lawyer replied.

Turning to the other poor man he stated, 'You can come with us too.'

The second man, in a pitiful voice, said, 'But I also have a wife - and six children.'

'Bring them all,' the lawyer answered.

They all entered the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the lawyer's limo. Once underway, one of the poor fellows turned to the lawyer and said, 'This is very kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you.'

'Glad to do it,' the lawyer replied. 'You'll really love my place. The grass there is almost a foot high.'

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Trust no video

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February 01, 2010

Happy Palindrome Day

For most of the world.

PalindromeDate.jpg

Via

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Save the date

There are wedding invitations and then there are things like this...

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Prank call gone wrong

This NSFW clip has been sitting in the queue for almost 5 years. So it's hardly new - but it's still pretty funny.

[MP3 format. Save.]

Posted by joke du jour at 06:42 PM

Tree house

This comes from a French site. Translated, the notes read:

This beautiful project, entitled Wilkinson Residence, is visible in the forest of Portland. With an architecture in perfect harmony with nature, this house built in the trees was conceived by creator Robert Harvey Oshatz.
Treehouse.jpg

A little more detail, including a floor plan, here.

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