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November 28, 2014

On the Oigawa line in Japan



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I'd be more impressed if this had happened in Minneapolis, but still....

Yes, People Will Strip To Their Underwear And Wait Outside In The Cold For Free Stuff

What would you do for the promise of a couple pieces of free clothing? Just think of all the college freshmen who signed away their financial futures by applying for credit cards at orientation (before such marketing was outlawed). A line of 100 or so shoppers in San Francisco may not have to worry about ruining their credit score, but photos of them shivering in their skivvies will probably follow them forever.

SFGate.com reports on a pre-Black Friday promotion run earlier today [11/25] at the San Francisco store of Barcelona-based retailer Desigual, which offered free shirts and tops to the first 100 people who lined up sporting only their undies.

People began showing up around 9 a.m. this morning, when the temperature was around 50 degrees.

"They don't allow jackets, but they allow accessories," said one lingerie-clad woman. "So I brought a hot-water bottle."

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What a catch (6)

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November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

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Board game rage

Someone called police because his girlfriend slapped him?

Woman faces assault charge after Monopoly game gets out of hand

HOOKSETT — An argument during a game of Monopoly turned nasty when a local woman slapped her boyfriend across the face and ended up in handcuffs on an assault charge, police said.

Alyssa Ferraro, 21, is charged with domestic violence-related simple assault.

Police said it was 11:59 p.m. Sunday when officers went to 61 Post Road for a reported domestic disturbance.

Ferraro told officers she got into an argument with her boyfriend over a game of Monopoly and slapped him with an open hand in the face.

Police said the victim did not require medical attention.

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A pie for every neighbor

A redditor makes pies for neighbors every Thanksgiving.


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November 26, 2014

Road to the castle

A photograph by Ben Rodford.

Autumn view of Windsor Castle from Windsor Great Park.

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All about that baste (1)

From Now I Know

Turkey Basters

About 60 hours from now, give or take, most Americans will be eating something involving turkey. For reasons which probably have little to do with the Pilgrims, turkey has become a central part in the American Thanksgiving tradition. And like many other things, when it comes to turkey, more is better. So if you're in the business of raising turkeys for sale at the grocery store, you're also in the business of making bigger, meatier birds.

Which also means you have to artificially inseminate them. Probably. [...]

But bigger turkeys created a problem. Dubner quoted Julie Long, a research physiologist for the United States Department of Agriculture who focuses on the poultry sector. Turkeys, Long noted, have been bred to be so large that they can't sustain themselves as a species. Or, as long put it, "the modern turkey has quite large turkey breasts, and it actually physically gets in the way when the male and the female try to create offspring." So for these birds, "the birds and the bees" no longer works.

So, breeders have to step in. Long euphemistically described the process to Dubner: "Once a week, five to six months, you have to go work with the males and then go work with the females in order to produce the meat that goes out for the consumer." Dubner further estimated that nearly 100% of commercially sold turkeys are created via this process. So if you eat turkey on Thanksgiving, almost certainly, the outcome of the work described by Long ends up on your plate, next to cranberry sauce.

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All about that baste (2)

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November 24, 2014

When buses fly

Ah, the Type 2 VW bus... Those were the days.

Via The Borderline Sociopathic Blog For Boys

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I wonder if he dresses all in black

Man develops powerful love of Johnny Cash following deep brain stimulation

Brain implants have had the unexpected and intriguing side effect of causing a 60-year-old Dutch man to develop a sudden and powerful love for the music of Johnny Cash, a new paper reveals.

A case study in the journal Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience describes how "Mr B", a married man with a very severe form of obsessive compulsive disorder, developed the urge to listen to the country singer while receiving a form of treatment called deep brain stimulation. [...]

Within six weeks, it was clear the surgery had been effective. Mr B reported a sharp decline in anxiety and compulsive behaviours. The authors of the case study report note that he began to call himself "'Mr B II,' the new and improved version of himself."

Over the course of the next six months, an unexpected side effect started to emerge. It first happened, according to the report, when Mr B happened to hear the Johnny Cash song Ring of Fire on the radio. "From this moment on," the report says, "Mr B kept listening simply and solely to Johnny Cash and bought all his CDs and DVDs." [...]

However, when the batteries on the electrode implants run down, Mr B's musical taste returns to what it had been before the surgery: a few Dutch singers, and the Rolling Stones.

Title reference

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Moebius tattoo




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November 22, 2014


From John Mireles' photos of the Bakken Field in North Dakota.


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Slip stick, slide rule, M-I-T!

How Players at MIT Engineered a Football Team

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—In the 1970s, on this campus known for scientific innovation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology students engineered a rather unlikely experiment: a football team.

MIT had no intercollegiate football squad at the time. The student body in 1901 voted 119-117 to discontinue it. So one day in 1978, a group of MIT students huddled and created a team that would play its first game that fall. No one else at the school had any clue.

There were times when fielding a football team at MIT seemed like rocket science. The students wore uniforms that once belonged to another college. They borrowed their playbook from a local high school. They were known as both the Beavers and the Engineers. Either way, they lost every game they played that year, and even one they didn't play.

But these football forefathers, who are nowhere to be found in MIT's record books, are now taking their victory lap. The student club they created eventually became a university-run varsity team. This season, 36 years after winning no games, the Engineers are undefeated and will make their first appearance in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III playoffs on Saturday. [MIT appears to be heavily favored. - JdJ]

Art Aaron enrolled at MIT when the only competitive football there was played in an intramural league. The games were flag football, but the fraternity members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Lambda Chi Alpha would beat each other up when they took the field.

"It's a bit of an oxymoron," said Mr. Aaron, a defensive end on the 1978 team, "but we were two of the jock fraternities at MIT." [...]

According to people who were at the game, and accounts in the student newspaper, cheerleaders led a standing-room-only crowd in spelling out "Massachusetts Institute of Technology." The marching band, despite rumors it would consist of kazoos, blared the national anthem and chanted:

"Cosine, secant, tangent, sine
3 point 14159!
Integral, radical, mu, DV
Slip stick, slide rule, M-I-T!"

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Nothing can rival the jumping cat

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November 21, 2014

Now this is transparency

I believe this is a very clever self-parody by Nordnet .

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Pour me a double

Exercise in a Bottle Is Next Food Frontier for Nestle

Tucked away near Lake Geneva, a handful of Nestle SA (NESN) scientists are quietly working on realizing every couch potato's dream: exercise that comes in a bottle.

The world's biggest food company, known for KitKat candy bars and Nespresso capsules, says it has identified how an enzyme in charge of regulating metabolism can be stimulated by a compound called C13, a potential first step in developing a way to mimic the fat-burning effect of exercise. The findings were published in the science journal Chemistry & Biology in July.

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The cat in the cat



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November 20, 2014

Just take their word for it



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I feel lucky (13)

Elderly couple survive when plane crashes into home: 'Not a scratch on them'

Luz Cazares woke Tuesday morning to a loud crash and the sight of a plane's tail sticking out from the home of her neighbors, a couple in their 80s, just blocks from Midway Airport.

"A big part of the airplane was in their living room," said Cazares, 62. "I thought they were dead."

But then Cazares looked through a window and saw Raymond and Roberta Rolinskas standing in the hallway outside their bedroom, inches away from the wreckage.

"I ran to the back of the yard, I jumped the fence and I knocked on the back door of the kitchen," Cazares said. "She (Roberta) opened the door and I took her outside. She was scared. She kept asking, 'What is happening? What is happening?'" [...]

The plane went down about a quarter of a mile from the airport, crashing through the front of the Rolinskases' home and coming to rest in the living room, its tail wedged against the roof of a neighboring house. The plane hit the right side and front of the house, 8 inches from where the couple were sleeping in a bedroom on the left side of the home, according to neighbors and fire officials.

"They were in a bedroom next to the living room, and the living room is gone," Fox told reporters. "Eight inches away. They were very lucky."

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From football to farming

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November 19, 2014

Heh (16)

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Peak chocolate?

How can there be a 'deficit' in a commodity? If there is one, who's stockpiled chocolate?

The world's biggest chocolate-maker says we're running out of chocolate

There's no easy way to say this: You're eating too much chocolate, all of you. And it's getting so out of hand that the world could be headed towards a potentially disastrous (if you love chocolate) scenario if it doesn't stop.

Those are, roughly speaking, the words of two huge chocolate makers, Mars, Inc. and Barry Callebaut. And there's some data to back them up.

Chocolate deficits, whereby farmers produce less cocoa than the world eats, are becoming the norm. Already, we are in the midst of what could be the longest streak of consecutive chocolate deficits in more than 50 years. It also looks like deficits aren't just carrying over from year-to-year—the industry expects them to grow. Last year, the world ate roughly 70,000 metric tons more cocoa than it produced. By 2020, the two chocolate-makers warn that that number could swell to 1 million metric tons, a more than 14-fold increase; by 2030, they think the deficit could reach 2 million metric tons.

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And what does your Japanese tattoo say?

Japanese Discount Store Shirts with Random English Words


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November 18, 2014

The long and the short

World’s Tallest Man Meets World’s Shortest Man


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Nice work if you can get it (13)

Professional video game player? For spectators, it's probably more fun to watch than golf.

No. 1 With a Bullet: 'Nadeshot' Becomes a Call of Duty Star

LOS ANGELES — Matt Haag, a professional video game player, makes close to a million dollars a year sitting in a soft chair smashing buttons. It is a fantastically sweet gig, and he will do about anything to keep it.

That is why, on a recent morning, he was in a bungalow in Venice Beach, Calif., making pancakes. Not just regular pancakes, but high-protein pancakes with ingredients like flax oil and chia seeds, whose balance of carbohydrates, fat and protein was created by a dietitian hired to teach him how to eat more healthily. [...]

Three years ago, he was flipping burgers at McDonald's. Today Mr. Haag, 22, skinny and blindingly pale, makes his living playing Call of Duty, a popular series of war games where players run around trying to shoot one another.

Mr. Haag has 1.5 million YouTube subscribers along with a lucrative contract to live-stream his daily game sessions online. Known as Nadeshot (shorthand for "grenade shot"), he travels the world playing tournaments as spectators pack arenas to see him. At home near Chicago, he has a problem with fans showing up at his house.

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What a ride (4)

This 500-foot tall, yet-to-be-built roller coaster is scheduled to open in 2017 at Skyplex Orlando. That vertical design saves a lot of space.

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November 17, 2014

Oops (30)

An old ad by Sears for its Craftsman tools.

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Crews free man caught in wall of Longmont business

A Westminster man trapped for three days between two walls of a Longmont business unsuccessfully attempted to pass distress notes outside.

One of them was written on his probation officer's business card.

"You can't make this stuff up," Longmont police Sgt. Cage said late Tuesday.

The Longmont Fire Department on Tuesday morning spent about a half hour freeing Paul Felyk from a vacant space between interior and exterior walls at the Marshalls Store at 205 Ken Pratt Blvd., eventually employing a K-12 saw and cutting a large hole in the side of the building.

Marshalls employees told police that they had heard a man yelling on Monday but didn't know where he was. On Tuesday, they again heard the man yelling and determined he was yelling through a hole in a back wall. He sounded like he was in pain, and a manager called police.

Cage said Felyk was unable to push the notes under the interior wall, and they were later found by first responders. [...]

Felyk dated one of the notes Nov. 8, leading police to believe that he had been stuck in between the walls since Saturday.

After firefighters opened the hold in the exterior wall, Felyk crawled out, lay down on a gurney and was whisked away to Longmont United Hospital.

Cage said the incident is being investigated as a possible burglary or trespassing and that charges are pending. Police also are looking into suspicious incidents at neighboring businesses involving their heating and electrical systems.

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First bumper bandage I've ever seen.


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November 14, 2014

Better than the coffee

This is 1 of 48 in a collection of cartoons that Josh Hara draws on Starbucks cups.


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They had her tattoos on file?

I'm guessing this is a woman with some stories to tell, if you know what I mean.

Cops: Woman pretends to be twin when pulled over

A woman pretended to be her twin sister in order to fake out police, but the deputy didn't fall for it.

According to a report from the Johnson County Sheriff's Office, a deputy pulled over a car around 7:40 p.m. Thursday because one of the headlights was out.

The deputy asked the driver to step out of the car. She said she didn't have anything to identify herself and said her name was Amy Alvey.

Records showed Amy's license was currently suspended. The deputy also noticed she had a twin sister named Andrea. The deputy cross-referenced the sisters' files and discovered they had tattoos on different parts of their bodies.

The deputy asked Alvey to step out of the car, and noticed the tattoos matched those of Andrea Alvey -- not Amy Alvey.

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Wireless squeaker

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November 13, 2014

Pew, pew, pew!

This is a lyrebird (from Oz).

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So good you could eat it

Some pix at the links.

The Man Who Sees Art in Cheetos

By day, Andy Huot is a mechanical engineer -- one that designs "the equipment used to build aircraft parts." He's an intelligent man who choose his words wisely and provides straightforward answers. Goal-oriented and focused, he is rarely derailed by distractions.

By night, he creates art with Cheetos.

Over the past year, the Louisville, Kentucky man has spent hours dipping his hands into greasy bags, examining each puffed corn nugget with the shrewd intensity of a museum curator, and posting his unaltered findings on Instagram. Today, he has more than 40,000 followers from all around the world.

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Clouded leopard



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November 12, 2014

Got yer comet right here, buddy

IMO, Rosetta/Philae is the most impressive technical tour de force since Apollo 11. Congratulations to ESA for a job well done.

Phiale's got your comet
XKCD did a cartoon with running updates this morning.
(He was wrong about the harpoons in this version but has since corrected that.)
Philae touches down on the surface of a comet

London (CNN) -- Touchdown! The Philae probe has landed on the surface of a comet, scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA) announced Wednesday.

It is the first time a soft landing has been achieved on a comet.

However, project scientists believe anchors that hold the probe to the surface failed to work properly and are now trying to find out why, according to ESA tweets.

ESA lander system engineer Laurence O'Rourke told CNN that engineers are still checking the data to see "how we landed and where we landed."

Shortly after landing was confirmed, the probe tweeted: "Touchdown! My new address: 67P!" Later, it tweeted again: "I'm on the surface but my harpoons did not fire."

First image from the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from the Rosetta mission’s lander Philae (Photograph: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA)

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Hey, it's always snowing somewhere

Evidently the headline writer doesn't know the difference between a bulldozer and a front-end loader.

Police: Drunk driver nabbed for taking bulldozer out onto the streets

MINNEAPOLIS -- A driver was arrested after taking a front-end loader out onto the streets over the weekend in Chisago County, CBS Minnesota reports.

According to the county sheriff's office, the driver took the piece of equipment out and was arrested at 1 a.m. Sunday.

Authorities said the driver believed it was snowing out. The snow didn't begin to fall in Minnesota until more than 24 hours later.

Officers said they determined the driver was indeed intoxicated, and he was subsequently taken into custody.

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Clever ad spoof

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November 11, 2014

Late for school?

Complete with drag chutes. More here.

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Ouch! (14)

What would he have done with 99 iPhones if she'd said Yes?

Man Buys 99 iPhones to Propose to His Girlfriend; She Says No

He got 99 iPhones but gettin' hitched ain't done.

With "Singles' Day" looming in China (Nov. 11), one man thought the time was right to try to tie the knot with his girlfriend, preventing them both from having to participate in any future 11/11 festivities.

As a keystone of the young programmer's marriage proposal were 99 iPhones 6's placed on the ground and arranged in the form of a heart. The setup, as reported by The Nanfang, cost the love-bitten chap two years' salary (about $82,000).

But that evidently wasn't enough. She said no. Siri, how do you mend a broken heart?

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Nice recursion



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November 10, 2014

Burned out

Matchstickmen: Unusual Giant Burnt Matches With Creepy Human Heads

Matchstickmen, is an unusual installation created by German artist Wolfgang Stiller. In generally, they are several large-scale burnt matches where the charred remains of each tip appeared as the face of a human. The artist didn't clearly explain the underlying meaning of this installation, which he wants to to keep it open and leave space for one's own imagination.


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The Hunter S. Thompson method

Guy Goes To Mexico To Kill Himself, Spends Week [...], Decides To Keep Living

Two thousand dollars spent on a trip to Mexico, a cab ride, a seedy hotel room, excessive amounts of cocaine, and hooker orgies legitimately saved a man's life. This might be the first time anyone's ever said that. Don't know.

Amidst a battle of debilitating depression, he traveled to Mexico to purchase "chemicals" to humanely end his life. The aptly-named Reddit user, plzsendhalp, shares his story involving ripping lines of coke off hookers' tits, battling whiskey/coke dick with Viagra, multiple threesomes, and of course his will to finally live.

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Off we go (2)

The launch of STS-133 (Feb. 24th, 2011) captured from a passing airliner. It was shuttle Discovery's final mission.

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November 07, 2014

The Fall of the Wall

This started today and runs through Sunday.

Berlin celebrates "fall of the wall" anniversary

The German capital is commemorating 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall with a trail of illuminated balloons along its former route (+ movie).

The Lichtgrenze, or "border of light", installation by interaction designers Whitevoid and film studio Bauderfilm will follow the path once occupied by the Berlin Wall, which separated West and East Berlin for 25 years until 1989.

Spherical lights will be raised on slender stands to reach the height of the infamous wall, first erected in 1961 by the socialist German Democratic Republic (GDR).

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Don't bogart the sugar, bro

Man Stabbed As Ménage A Trois Goes Wrong

FEBRUARY 13--A ménage a trois went horribly wrong last Friday when a North Dakota man stabbed another male participant when he refused to switch positions during the tryst, according to court records.

Ashley Hunter, 33, was charged this week with felony aggravated assault for allegedly stabbing Orlando DeWitt, 37, in the arm during the bizarre February 8 encounter. [...]

Cops report that Hunter and DeWitt--who met in prison--had been partying with several female acquaintances Friday night at a Fargo bar when they returned to Hunter's residence (after a 2:30 AM McDonald's pit stop).

DeWitt told police that he "began kissing on the couch" with one of the women, named Leticia. Soon, they were "under the covers and they had their pants off," which led, of course, to the new couple having sex. DeWitt added that he twice caught Hunter watching the living room action from his adjacent bedroom.

At one point, DeWitt reported, Hunter "came out of the bedroom and began kissing on Leticia's breasts." In short order, Leticia "began to perform oral sex on Hunter." It appears that DeWitt was continuing to have sex with Leticia while she was performing double duty. [...]

"Hunter then asked to switch places with Orlando," according to a Fargo Police Department report. "Orlando told him no and Hunter became upset." During the ensuing argument, DeWitt called Hunter a "fucking retard," which infuriated Hunter. He yelled at DeWitt and ordered him to leave the residence.

DeWitt [...] recalled that Hunter [...] reached into the couch and retrieved a 12-inch butcher knife. DeWitt and Leticia, both naked, fled to a bathroom. Hunter, knife in hand, subsequently forced his way into the bathroom and continued to threaten DeWitt.

“Orlando said he decided to run for the front door,” police reported. The nude DeWitt reached the home’s first door, but as he “went to open the exterior door he felt the knife cutting the back of his left arm.” While fleeing the home, DeWitt, who was not seriously injured, grabbed Leticia’s phone, which he used to call 911 from a nearby alley.

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Matroshka ultrasound



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November 06, 2014

Full moon over Mt. Hood

in Oregon



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So will they change the name?

Best whisky in the world' prize won by Japanese single malt for first time as Scottish distilleries lose out

To add insult to injury an English malt was awarded best European whisky

Scottish distilleries are in shock after a Japanese single malt was named the best whisky in the world.

Whisky expert Jim Murray described the Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 as a drink of "near incredible genius", awarding it 97.5 marks out of 100 in the 2015 World Whisky Bible.

To add insult to injury it is the first time in the Whisky Bible's 12-year history that a Scottish malt has failed to make the top five drams. It is also the first year that a Japanese whisky claimed the highest accolade.

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No daylight saving time is one of the nice things about Arizona - though it does tend to confuse your contacts who live out of state.

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November 05, 2014

Feelin' fly

No serious injury.

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Good luck with that

New ordinance allows police to ban smelly people from city buildings

The city of Burien is raising a stink over people who smell bad.

Last month, the city passed a new "trespassing ordinance" that bans a variety of behaviors, including hostile language, not enough clothes covering the body and bodily hygiene or scent in public places including parks, the King County Library, even Burien City Hall.

The law allows Burien Police to bar the offender from the public space for up to a year.

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Fallstreak hole

Fallstreak Hole: Photographers capture rare cloud formation in Victoria's east.


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November 04, 2014

Die Rakotzbrück

Die Rakotzbrück in Goblenz, Saxony. It's called a "Devil's Bridge" but I believe that's the style, not a translation of the name.


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A Polish scofflaw in Ireland

From Dan Lewis' "Now I Know" daily e-mail.

Prawo Jazdy: Ireland's Worst Driver

Fifty tickets. Everything from reckless driving and speeding to parking illegally. All in Ireland, over the course of a few short months, but never once apprehended nor brought to trial. Meet Prawo Jazdy.

Jazdy paraded around Ireland in 2007 racking up a pretty incredible record, avoiding punishment by having a ton of different IDs — probably as many as one per ticket. Different faces. Different addresses. Different ID numbers. Two are pictured, above.

The only thing consistent, beyond Jazdy's name, was his country of origin. (Even his gender was fungible.) And that clue led to his eventual downfall — or, rather, the downfall of the Irish officials seeking his capture.

While the Polish population of Ireland is relatively tiny, Poles nevertheless made up one of the larger immigrant populations there. (This was probably a function of Ireland's rampant economic growth, and many immigrants have since left Ireland since their economic collapse.) But the Garda Siochana — the police force of the Republic of Ireland — apparently never had a Polish speaker come in contact with the case file for the elusive Prawo Jazdy. For had such a person read the file, he or she would have noticed what a Garda office worker figured out:

It turns out that "Prawo Jazdy" is Polish for "driver's license."

The Garda put out a memo to officers on the topic, as noted here, to avoid any future problems regarding Mr. (or Ms.) Jazdy's driving.

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One standard gravity

Feathers or lead?

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November 03, 2014

Black art

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Like a bird on the wire

...like a drunk in some midnight choir.

Parachutist rescued from radio tower in south St. Louis County

Firefighters rescued a parachutist who got stuck on the guy wires of a radio tower in south St. Louis County late Thursday.

He and another man who helped him were arrested for trespassing.

Authorities got the call about the dangling parachutist 9:30 p.m. He was pulled to safety by rescuers from the Mehlville Fire Protection District about 11:45 p.m.

The man was about 155 feet high and about 20 feet from the tower, in the 5400 block of Butler Hill Road, said Brian Hendricks, chief of the Mehlville Fire Protection District.

"It appears this was a BASE jump that went wrong," Hendricks said. 

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This Old Pumpkin

Here's 1 of 30 images from The 2014 This Old House Pumpkin Carving Contest Winners (all 30).


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