Wednesday, August 1, 2012

July 29, 2012 ~ The Big Float is today ~

"Imagination is the one weapon
in the war against reality."
~ Jules de Gaultier
2012 July See Explanation. Moving the cursor over the image will bring up an annotated version. Clicking on the image will bring up the highest resolution version available.
Pink Aurora Over Crater Lake
Image Credit & Copyright:
Brad Goldpaint (Goldpaint Photography)
Explanation: Why is this aurora strikingly pink? When photographing picturesque Crater Lake in Oregon, USA last month, the background sky lit up with auroras of unusual colors. Although much is known about the physical mechanisms that create auroras, accurately predicting the occurrence and colors of auroras remains a topic of investigation. Typically, it is known, the lowest auroras appear green. These occur at about 100 kilometers high and involve atmospheric oxygen atoms excited by fast moving plasma from space. The next highest auroras -- at about 200 kilometers up -- appear red, and are also emitted by resettling atmospheric oxygen. Some of the highest auroras visible -- as high as 500 kilometers up -- appear blue, and are caused by sunlight-scattering nitrogen ions. When looking from the ground through different layers of distant auroras, their colors can combine to produce unique and spectacular hues, in this case rare pink hues seen above. As Solar Maximum nears over the next two years, particle explosions from the Sun are sure to continue and likely to create even more memorable nighttime displays.
Lightning Captured at 7,207 Images per Second
Video Credit & Copyright: Tom A. Warner, ZTResearch, www.weathervideoHD.TV
Explanation: How fast is lightning? Lightning, in fact, moves not only too fast for humans to see, but so fast that humans can't even tell which direction it is moving. The above lightning stroke did not move too fast, however, for this extremely high time resolution video to resolve. Tracking at an incredible 7,207 frames per second, actual time can be seen progressing at the video bottom. The above lightning bolt starts with many simultaneously creating ionized channels branching out from an negatively charged pool of electrons and ions that has somehow been created by drafts and collisions in a rain cloud. About 0.015 seconds after appearing -- which takes about 3 seconds in the above time-lapse video -- one of the meandering charge leaders makes contact with a suddenly appearing positive spike moving up from the ground and an ionized channel of air is created that instantly acts like a wire. Immediately afterwards, this hot channel pulses with a tremendous amount of charges shooting back and forth between the cloud and the ground, creating a dangerous explosion that is later heard as thunder. Much remains unknown about lightning, however, including details of the mechanism that separates charges.
When: Sunday, July 29, 2012
Registration 10am-noon
Inner-tube Hawthorne Bridge Parade starts 12:30pm
Where: East side of Willamette River near Hawthorne Bridge (1515 SE Water Ave)
What:-Pre-float parade
-Floating Music Barge (featuring Violet Isle)
-After-float party featuring music from Tango Alpha Tango & Black Lillies
-Beer garden (serving up Liquid Aloha from Kona Brewing Co)
-Vitamin Water hydration lounge
-Food carts!
-Grand Ronde Tribe Kids Activity Area - make fun Native American crafts!
Why: Because we can.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Loading a container with two trucks.
The scientific power of naps.
Walrus practices his vocalizations.
David Beckham surprises fans at London 2012 photobooth.
What’s unusual about these dice is obvious. But what’s normal about them?
When thrown together, they produce the same probability distribution as a pair of ordinary dice. There are six ways to throw a 7, five ways to throw an 8, etc. This the only possible alternate arrangement in which all the face values are positive.
They were discovered/invented by George Sicherman of Buffalo, N.Y. See also Nontransitive Dice.
Truth comes out of error more easily than out of confusion.” — Francis Bacon
"I let a stripper talk me into getting my nipples pierced. It didn't take her much to convince me. It doesn't take women much to talk me into doing anything, really. She was beautiful, I'd seen her naked...that's all it usually takes." -Drew Carey

At a jewelry store, a young man bought an expensive locket as a present for his girlfriend. "Dot you want her name engraved upon it?" asked the jeweler.
The young man thought for a moment, and then, ever the pragmatist, steadfastly replied,
"No, just engrave it: To My One And Only Love. That way, if we break up and she throws it back in my face, I can use it again."

"My invention can detect human stupidity. It has a very simple interface. All I do is point it at people."
"Then what does it do?"
"Why would it need to do anything else?"
--Dogbert, Dilbert

"Olympics can inspire American kids to get active. Or it can inspire American kids to sit on the couch and watch the Olympics." -Conan O'Brien

"A chef from McDonald's just revealed the recipe to the Big Mac's secret sauce. Even more surprising: he also revealed the McRib's secret meat." -Jimmy Fallon

"The NBA will start advertising on player uniforms. The Celtics will be the Boston Market Celtics. Denver, they will be the Chicken McNuggets." -Jimmy Kimmel

Duck decoys, fishing rods, boots -- outdoor gear of all kinds was piled high in the garage. One day I found my wife staring at the mess. "I hope I die first, so I don't have to get rid of all this," she sighed.
"Look on the bright side," I suggested. "If I go first, you can put an ad in the paper. When all the men come by to check out the stuff, you can pick out a replacement for me."
Still staring at the pile, she said, "Nah. Whoever would want all this stuff wouldn't be my type."


"Do you remember first meeting your wife?"
"Sure, I found Jill lying face down in the gutter. I lifted her to her feet and promised her that if she agreed to marry me, she would begin a new life and I'd never allow her near the gutter again."
"Wow, what an incredible story! I hope she appreciates what you did for her."
"Not really. Even though she stunk at it, Jill hated to give up bowling."
n. careful consideration
The Perils of Journalism
An accident, the consequences of which are expected to be fatal, took place at Cannes on Sunday last. A M. Despleschin, of Nice, had announced his intention of making an ascent in a balloon, and two gentlemen, M. Hardy, of Cannes, and M.A. de Sorr, a literary man from Paris, had made arrangements to accompany him. These two gentlemen had taken their seats in the car, M. Despleschin no having yet entered it, when some person in the crowd, anxious to see the balloon start, cried out ‘Let go.’ The man who held the ropes, thinking that the order had come from the aeronaut, obeyed, and the balloon rose rapidly into the clouds, and disappeared. M. Hardy and M. de Sorr are both entirely ignorant of the management of a balloon, and it is feared that they have been carried out to sea. Up to the 2d. no intelligence had been received of them.
Times, May 9, 1854
We've named the greatest toy in the universe
Combat Creatures are now called Attacknids
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer too much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. --Teddy Roosevelt

You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and refuse to tell you where they're going.--PJ Roarke, journalist and author

We live in a society and a culture and an economic model that tries to make everything look right. Look at computers. Why are they all putty-colored or off-fucking-white? You make something off-white or beige because you are afraid to use any other color - because you don't want to offend anybody. But by definition, when you make something no one hates, no one loves it. ~Tibor Kalman, graphics designer

Business has only two basic functions; marketing and innovation.--Peter Drucker

O accursed hunger of gold, to what dost thou not compel human hearts!--Virgil

Opinion is the midpoint between knowledge and ignorance.-Plato


Random Facts:
The exact formula of Coca-Cola's natural flavorings (but not its other ingredients, which are listed on the side of the bottle or can) is a trade secret. The original copy of the formula was held in SunTrust Bank's main vault in Atlanta for 86 years.

The Coca-Cola Company only produces a syrup concentrate, which it sells to bottlers throughout the world, who hold Coca-Cola franchises for one or more geographical areas. The bottlers produce the final drink by mixing the syrup with filtered water and sweeteners, and then carbonate it before putting it in cans and bottles.
Scientists at the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre placed glass shells into a hermit crab tank.It certainly seems quite happy with the upgrade-SW
— with Gail Heelan and Celeste Arel.

If you're unfamiliar with Norwegian prisons, you might want to start with some background reading. Here are two old posts -
Norwegian prisons (2008)Norwegian prisons vs. American prisons (2010)- before tackling today's subject matter, which is Bastoy Prison Island, as described by Der Spiegel:
No bars. No walls. No armed guards. The prison island of Bastøy in Norway is filled with some of the country's most hardened criminals. Yet it emphasizes self-control instead of the strictly regulated regimens common in most prisons...

The inmates on Bastøy have been convicted of crimes such as murder, robbery, drug dealing, fraud, violent crime and petty theft. "We don't pick out the mild cases," says Nilsen. Some inmates serve their entire sentences on the island. Murderers can only apply to be transferred to the island once they have served two-thirds of their sentences elsewhere. Some 115 prisoners live on Bastøy, and those who wish to stay are required to work and integrate into the community. Anyone caught drinking alcohol or fighting is thrown out...

During the group meal, which is served once day, the inmates in the room include a man with an iPod, who stole two paintings by Edvard Munch from a museum, "The Scream" and "Madonna." There is also the boy with dreadlocks, who raped two women...

This paradise has been around for 20 years -- and has a warden who loves statistics. The numbers, after all, prove him right. Only 16 percent of the prisoners in this island jail become repeat offenders in the first two years after leaving Bastøy as compared with 20 percent for Norway as a whole. In Germany, where recidivism is measured after three years, the rate is 50 percent.

The warden also feels vindicated because there has never been a murder or a suicide on the island -- and because no one left Bastøy last winter even though the sea ice was frozen solid...

His neat room is furnished with a desk and a bed covered with flowered sheets, and there are colorful curtains in front of the window, like in all the rooms. But there are no family photos on Hanssen's walls, and there are no men's magazines on the nightstand, just books. Hanssen is studying history and philosophy at the University of Oslo. He takes his exams on the Internet.

Hanssen is permitted to pursue a degree while on Bastøy, but he also has to contribute to the community. Every day, he sweeps and mops the floors of the group house and dusts the shelves. Then he returns to his room...
Locking people up doesn't do any good, he is convinced, because you can't lock people up forever in a liberal democracy. Reintegration is the important part, not punishment, he believes.
The Story of the Three Bears
This is why dumpsters should have a lid that stays closed when not in use. Mama Bear stayed by the dumpster all night. Rescue came in the morning in the form of a truck of brave rescuers and a ladder. This happened in Ruidoso, New Mexico. -via Daily Picks and Flicks
I go fishing with my friend John. We both catch fish, a large one and a small one. We think John has caught the large one, but in fact the lines were crossed and I caught it. We throw the fish back and I go home thinking that I caught the small fish.
When my father asks how I did, I decide to deceive him, and I tell him I caught a big fish.
Am I lying?
“My linguistic intuitions tell me that a lie must be a false statement, and that, therefore, what I say in this case is not a lie,” writes Loyola University philosopher Thomas L. Carson. “I intend to lie in this case, but I don’t. … To the extent that it rests on disputed intuitions, my claim that a lie must be a false statement is open to question.” Further fishing trouble.
Animated Short – Olympic Vermin
Amael Isnard and Leo Bridle are animators from London who are gearing up for the 2012 Olympics by making silly animated shorts about local wildlife carrying a torch of their own. I like the simple and flat look of the critter characters, and compositing the animation over live action video was a nice touch. Looks like even the squirrels and pigeons are excited about the upcoming Olympic games! –via Laughing Squid
The Future Forms Of Life
This short film by David Lance is based on Theo Jansen’s awesome kinetic sculptures. It’s a little thin on plot, but beautifully animated. -via the Presurfer
Puma Creates An 8-Bit Game That Encourages Players To Run
To celebrate all the fun and cardiovascular health provided by the sport of running, Puma has created a charming little 8-bit video game that lets you choose a pixelated body and run free from the comfort of your office chair. It’s like entering a competition without all that icky sweat and anxiety, and you’ll even have a crowd of multi-colored blockheads cheering you on! Link–via DesignTAXI
Engineering Flowchart
<img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-71475" title="engineeringflowchart" src=""; alt="" width="500" height="366" />
I don’t know who made this flowchart, but it illustrates an old philosophy that I’ve followed for years, as it was handed down to me from generations of resourceful hillbillies. Link -via Nag on the Lake
Hotel Replaces Bible with Fifty Shades of Grey
Jonathan Denby bought the Damson Dene hotel in Crosthwaite, UK, from a Methodist group a decade ago, and had wanted to replace the Bible in each room with something else.
At first, he thought about Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, but then, he got another idea: Fifty Shades of Grey.
Hotel manager Wayne Bartholomew said the move to install the steamy bestseller was in response to popular demand.
Mr Bartholomew, who starred in Channel 4’s first series of The Hotel, said the book was all people were talking about but many were too shy to buy it.
“I thought it would be a special treat for our guests to find it in their bedside cabinet and that includes the men too,” he said. “They are as desperate to get their hands on a copy as the women.”
He added: “The Gideon Bible is full of references to sex and violence, although it’s written using more formal language, so James’s book is easier to read.
Living With A Lion
What happens when a lion cub born in the zoo is abandoned and needs a new home? Well, the zookeepers sometimes take it home for a while, which can be great -aside from getting woken up by a lion every morning and having him roughhouse a little too rough with your pet bunny.

Denmark’s Beautiful College Dormitory

<img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-71523" title="dormitory" src=""; alt="" width="500" height="344" />
This building, called Tietgen Student Hall (Tietgenkollegiet) is where the students of a dozen different colleges in Copenhagen can live -if they are lucky enough to get one of the 360 coveted rooms! There’s an awesome kitchen for every twelve rooms, private bathrooms, and even heated floor tiles. See lots more pictures of this award-winning dormitory at Twisted Sifter. Link -via Buzzfeed
Q and A Quickies --*

Q: Did you hear that someone broke into our local police station and stole the toilet?
A: Right now the cops have nothing to go on.

Q: What tree is karate champion?
A: Spruce Lee.
Q: Why did the policeman go to the bathroom?
A: He needed to do his duty.


A one dollar bill met a twenty dollar bill and said, "Hey, where've you been? I haven't seen you around here much."
The twenty answered, "I've been hanging out at the casinos, went on a cruise and did the rounds of the ship, back to the United States for awhile, went to a couple of baseball games, to the mall, that kind of stuff. How about you?"
The one dollar bill said, "You know, same old stuff... church, church, church."

More Q and A Quickies --*

Q: What do birds need when they are sick?
A: A tweetment!

Q: How do you make a tissue dance?
A: Put a little boogey in it!

QUOTE: "The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true."

HINT: (1879-1958), American author of fantasy fiction and belles lettres.

ANSWER: James Branch Cabell.

Before McDonald's made him a multimillionaire, Ray Kroc failed selling real estate in Florida in his 20s. Fifty years later, his wealth allowed him to purchase a huge mansion in the state. He topped it off by having electricians install a special doorbell chime that played the jingle "You Deserve a Break Today."

The Filet-o-Fish was created in 1962 by McDonald's franchiser Lou Groen, who was frustrated with losing Catholic customers to rival Big Boy, whose fish sandwiches sold very well on those days when no meat was eaten.

McDonald's Corporation founder Ray Kroc didn't think the Filet-o-Fish would be a success, so he came up with his own meatless sandwich called the Hula Burger, which was just a slice of pineapple on a bun. The two sandwiches went head-to-head at a Chicago McDonald's on Good Friday, and the Filet became a regular menu item after winning in a landslide.

In the 2004 motion picture Super Size Me, a succession of women interviewed for the documentary failed to properly recite the Pledge of Allegiance, but all could remember the Big Mac ingredient jingle, which was "Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame-seed bun."

Time magazine revealed that McDonald's restaurants stopped updating their "more than XX billions served" signs after they topped the 100 billion mark on April 14, 1994. Many of those signs have since been replaced with static ones reading "billions and billions served."

Dan Coudreaut became head chef at McDonald's in 2004. He's the man responsible for whittling down several hundred suggestions and ideas into a handful of potential new menu items that are introduced in the chain's restaurants around the world.

The miniature coffins of Arthur's Seat

Arthur's Seat is a peak in Edinburgh, Scotland, on whose summit is an ancient hill fort. In 1836, five boys hunting rabbits found seventeen miniature coffins, described as follows by a report in the London Times:
That, early in July, 1836, some boys were searching for rabbits’ burrows in the rocky formation, near Edinburgh, known as Arthur’s Seat. In the side of a cliff, they came upon some thin sheets of slate, which they pulled out.

Little cave. Seventeen tiny coffins. Three or four inches long.

In the coffins were miniature wooden figures. They were dressed differently in both style and material. There were two tiers of eight coffins each, and a third one begun, with one coffin.

The extraordinary datum, which has especially made mystery here:
That the coffins had been deposited singly, in the little cave, and at intervals of many years. In the first tier, the coffins were quite decayed, and the wrappings had moldered away. In the second tier, the effects of age had not advanced to far. And the top coffin was quite recent looking.

Here is some additional information, from A Fortean in the Archives:
Fewer than half of them survived; the Scotsman, in the first known published account (16 July 1836), explained that “a number were destroyed by the boys pelting them at each other as unmeaning and contemptible trifles.”..

Several potential explanations were advanced – the most popular were that the burials were part of some spellwork, and the work of witches, or that they represented mimic burials, perhaps for sailors lost at sea...

It is certainly credible that the decayed coffins were actually those that occupied the lower tier in the burial nook, and so were most exposed to water damage. If that’s the case, there is no need to assume that the burials stretched over many years. This matters, because the only comprehensive study yet made of the “fairy coffins” strongly indicates that all postdate 1800 and that the odds favour a deposit or deposits made after about 1830 – within about five years, in other words, of the discovery of the cache...

As to who precisely did the carving, Simpson and Menefee point out that “the most striking visual feature of the coffins is the use of applied pieces of tinned iron as decoration.” Analysis of this metal suggests that it is very similar to the sort of tin used in contemporary shoe buckles, and this in turn opens the possibility that the coffins were the work of shoemakers or leatherworkers, who would have had the manual skills to make the coffins, but would have lacked the specialist carpentry tools needed to make a neater job of it.
Much more information and speculation at the link.
How Long Would It Take A Guinea Pig To Mow Your Lawn?
Have you ever wondered how long it would take your pet guinea pig to mow the lawn?
Me neither, but now that I think about it having an army of guinea pigs mow my lawn every day would be pretty freakin’ cute, that is until the hawks and crows move in for an all-you-can-eat buffet.
For my lawn it would take 8 guinea pigs all day to mow that sucker down, choose your animal and find out how long it will take them to clean up your yard for you at the link below.
Link–via Gizmodo
< img class="alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-71525" title="unprotected" src=""; alt="" width="150" height="199" />The short story “Unprotected” is told from the point of view of a condom. It’s not at all prurient, but follows the adventures of one condom over its time in the wallet, which is parallel to the life of “Jordi,” the wallet owner.
The first friend I meet in wallet is Student I.D. Jordi Hirschfeld. He is card. He has been around longest, he says. He introduces me to other cards. I meet Learner Permit Jordi Hirschfeld, Blockbuster Video Jordi Hirschfeld, Jamba Juice Value Card, GameStop PowerUp Card Jordi Hirschfeld, Business Card Albert Hirschfeld, D.D.S., Scarsdale Comic Book Explosion Discount Card.
In middle of wallet, there live dollars. I am less close to them, because they are always coming and going. But they are mostly nice. I meet many Ones and Fives, some Tens, a few Twenties. One time, I meet Hundred. He stay for long time. Came from birthday card, he said. Birthday card from an old person.
The story, by Simon Rich, will pull at your heartstrings. Link-via Metafilter

A Lichtenberg figure

The result of a
lightning strike. I've blogged this topic before -
Lichtenberg figures,The path lightning takes through a cow, andLightning coming,

- but the subject matter continues to fascinate me.

"Fun facts"

The sentence "I never said she stole my money" can mean seven different things depending on where the emphasis is placed when the sentence is spoken aloud:
I never said she stole my money.
I never said she stole my money.
I never said she stole my money.
I never said she stole my money.
I never said she stole my money.
I never said she stole my money.
I never said she stole my money.
(There are actually way more than seven possibilities if emphasis is placed on more than one word).

Here are other items from the
Reddit thread:

The triceratops and man lived closer chronologically than a triceratops and stegosaurus.

Cleopatra lived closer chronologically to the moon landing than to the building of the pyramids.

"John, where James had had "had", had had "had had"; "Had had" had had a better effect on the teacher."

What is commonly called "seaweed" is technically not a plant. They are all forms of algae. This includes larger, more complicated forms like kelp, which actually has vascular tissue like most terrestrial plants. To make things more confusing, moss has no vascular tissue, but it is a plant.

The black stripes of a zebra's coat absorb more sunlight and get warmer than their white counterparts. This causes the heat to rise off the black stripes and cold air falls on the white stripes, causing circulation over the zebra, allowing it to stay cool in the direct sunlight.

Wombat scat is cubic in shape [blogworthy after I find a photo].
"Life is a whim of several billion cells to be you for a while."
-- fortune
What a stunning commercial from BBC ! <
David Attenborough in A two minute video commercial
Thanks, Brian
As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world, too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it, if I choose to read, or play, on the computer, until 4 AM, or sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50, 60 &70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.

I will walk the beach, in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves, with abandon, if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.
They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And, I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break, when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But, broken hearts are what give us strength, and understanding, and compassion. A heart never broken, is pristine, and sterile, and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).

An Alabama pastor said to his conngregation,"Someone in this congregation has spread a rumor that I belong to the Ku Klux Klan. This is a horrible lie and one which a Christian community cannot tolerate. I am embarrassed and do not intend to accept this. Now, I want the party who said this to stand and ask forgiveness from God and this Christian family."
No one moved.
The preacher continued,
"Do you have the nerve to face me and admit this is a falsehood? Remember, you will be forgiven and in your heart you will feel glory. Now stand and confess your transgression."
Again, all was quiet.
Then, slowly, a drop-dead gorgeous blonde with a body that would stop a runaway train rose from the third pew. Her head was bowed and her voice quivered as she spoke,
"Reverend there has been a terrible misunderstanding. I never said you were a member of the Ku Klux Klan. I simply told a couple of my friends that you were a wizard under the sheets."
The preacher fell to his knees, his wife fainted, and the congregation roared.
Life is Short, Smile While You still have Teeth.
Give me an Amen, Brother!!!
Thanks, Mike ~
Mystery Billionaire Builds World’s Largest Yacht
<img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-71646" title="Azzam-06" src=""; alt="" width="500" height="355" />
German yacht company Lürssen is building the largest yacht in the world for a Middle Eastern billionaire they will not name. It will be around 590 feet long!
Yet photos taken by show the boat to be at least six stories tall, with sweeping windows on the rear deck and several upper decks dedicated to staterooms. The vessel is expected to cost more than $500 million. It is still under construction at a shipyard in Bremen, Germany and is scheduled to be delivered in 2013.
Industry executives and marine engineers say Azzam’s most unusual feature — other than its size — is its propulsion system. Rather than being powered by propellers like most yachts, it will have four giant water jets that will be able to push the ship to speeds of more than 27 to 28 knots.
The ship is named Azzam, which means “determination.” Link -via Fark
(Image credit: Maarten Janssen/SuperYachtTimes)
The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by ripping the male's head off.
I know why the sun never sets on the British Empire: God wouldn't trust an Englishman in the dark. - Duncan Spaeth
They’re The Two Best Friends That Anyone Could Ever Have
With a name like “Thomas O’Malley Flufferpants,” you’d darn well expect this kitten to be a cuddly guy, but it’s still pretty darn precious to see him annoy the heck out of the very patient Merkin the dog.
Shooting Gallery, 1936-2009
When she was 16 years old, Ria van Dijk of Tillburg, the Netherlands, visited a shooting gallery at a fair in which she won a pictures of herself by hitting the target, which tripped the camera. That was in 1936. Van Dijk returned year after year, and you can see that long series of photos at Retronaut. Link

"Men have become the tools of their tools." - Henry David Thoreau
JK Rowling’s Hogwarts Treehouse

Harry Potter author JK Rowling is creating something magical for her children: an adventure treehouse that looks like Hogwarts:
The Hogwarts-style towers - estimated to cost around £150,000 - are so big that they need planning permission.
Each wooden tree house is to be built on stilts and boasts balconies, carvings and turrets that wouldn’t look out of place in a Potter adventure.
The towers are linked by a rope bridge and can be approached by a secret tunnel hidden underneath a raised wooden walkway.
Read more over at the Daily Mail: Link
How to write a paper

1. Sit in a straight, comfortable chair in a well-lighted place with plenty of freshly sharpened pencils.
2. Read over the assignment carefully, to make certain you understand it.
3. Walk down to the vending machines and buy some coffee to help you concentrate.
4. Stop off at the third floor, on the way back and visit with your friend from class. If your friend hasn't started the paper yet either, you can both walk to McDonalds and buy a hamburger to help you concentrate. If your friend shows you his paper, typed, double-spaced, and bound in one of those irritating see-thru plastic folders, drop him.
5. When you get back to your room, sit in a straight, comfortable chair in a clean, well lighted place with plenty of freshly sharpened pencils.
6. Read over the assignment again to make absolutely certain you understand it.
7. You know, you haven't written to that kid you met at camp since fourth grade. You'd better write that letter now and get it our of the way so you can concentrate.
8. Go look at your teeth in the bathroom mirror.
9. Listen to your favourite cd and that's it, I mean it, as soon as it's over you are going to start that paper.
10. Listen to your other favourite cd.
11. Rearrange all of your cds into alphabetical order.
12. Phone your friend on the third floor and ask if he's started writing yet. Exchange derogatory remarks about your teacher, the course, the university, the world at large.
13. Sit in a straight, comfortale chair in a clean, well lighted place with plenty of freshly sharpened pencils.
14. Read over the assignment again; roll the words across your tongue; savor its special flavor.
15. Check the newspaper listings to make sure you aren't missing something truly worthwhile on TV. NOTE: When you have a paper due in less than12 hours, anything on TV from Masterpiece Theater to Sgt. Preston of
the Yukon, is truly worthwhile, with these exceptions: a) Pro Bowler's Tour b) any movie starring Don Ameche.
16. Catch the last hour of Soul Brother of Kung Fu on channel 26.
17. Phone your friend on the third floor to see if he was watching. Discuss the finer points of the plot.
18. Go look at your tongue in the bathroom mirror.
19. Look through your roommate's book of pictures from home. Ask who everyone is.
20. Sit down and do some serious thinking about your plans for the future.
21. Open your door and check to see if there are any mysterious, trench-coated strangers lurking in the hall.
22. Sit in a straight, comfortable chair in a clean, well lighted place with plenty of freshly sharpened pencils.
23. Read over the assignment one more time, just for the hell of it.
24. Scoot your chair across the room to the window and watch the sunrise.
25. Lie face down on the floor and moan.
26. Leap up and write the paper.
Take life by the balls

My neighbor works in the operations department in the central office of a large bank. Employees in the field
call him when they have problems with their computers. One night he got a call from a woman in one of the
branch banks who had this question: "I've got smoke coming from the back of my terminal. Do you guys have
a fire downtown?"
A school marm from old Mississippi
Had a quim that was simply zippy.
The scholars all praised it
Till finally she raised it
To prices befitting a chippy.
Boyle's inventive ceremony grabs the licence … and thrills
As falls Wichita, so falls Wichita Falls.--Pat Metheny
"When did I realize I was God? Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized I was talking to myself." ~ Peter O'Toole.
Somari and Other Weird Video Game Hacks
Love Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario Bros.? Wish that there's a game that lets you play them both at the same time? Well, actually there is.
Here's Somari, starring the world's fastest Italian plumber, which was released as a bootleg Famicom cartridge back in 1994.
Check out the video clip of the game play, along with 6 other crazy ROM hacks in this article by Kieran Brown over at FDC: Link (Don't miss the Teenage Mammal Nice Chipmunks II) - Thanks Jack!

The Olympic Banana
<img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-71590" title="Olympicbanana" src=""; alt="" width="500" height="333" />
Omar has his moment in the spotlight. In case you missed it, at about 6 o’clock last Friday, the streets outside our office in Guildford started filling up with crowds of people, as excitement grew for the arrival of the Olympic Torch. A few of us gathered around the windows because we had a prime view over the route, directly on the road below. At some point, Omar made his exit from the building, and just moments before the actual Olympic torch was due to come down the road with the procession to ignite the crowds – He burst from the crowd to run down the road holding his the “Olympic Banana”.
As you can see, the crowd enjoyed it. There’s also a video, featuring the shrieks of laughter from Omar’s co-workers -and more photos. Link -via The Daily What
Ok to be wrong
Dispute Over Kittens Leads to Tomato Fight
Walter and Norma Ricker of Chuckey, Tennessee, share a backyard garden with their neighbor, 28-year-old Rachel Price. But that cooperation came to an end when the Rickers started feeding some stray kittens, and the Prices wanted the cats gone. The disagreement escalated into a physical fight last Friday when Norma Ricker and Rachel Price began throwing green tomatoes at each other.
“She reached down, got a big one and slapped me upside the jaw with it,” said Ricker.
According to the offense report, Ricker said Price hit her on the arm with a tobacco stick causing minor injuries. “She got a tomato vine, yanked it up and starting swinging it around, over her head as hard as she could,” Ricker explained. “She had her face puckered up. I’ve never seen someone look so mad. I told her she looked like the devil.” The neighbors put a fence up between their backyard to divide the garden. Link -via Arbroath
This is an EFFECTIVE and simple way to save yourself if you’re alone and choking .

Robot Snake
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute have developed a robot snake that can climb through fences and even up your leg! How long will it be before this is a SyFy movie? -via Laughing Squid
The Stones Know How to 404
<img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-71518" title="Rolling-Stones-404-Error" src=""; alt="" width="500" height="463" />
When you get a 404 error on The Rolling Stones website, they remind you that “you can’t always get what you want.” Get it? Link Via Geekosystem
Claymation Short – How To Lose Weight In 60 Seconds
Want to know how Gumby’s clay friend Slumby sheds those unwanted pounds?
Watch this adorable claymation short by Dave Carter and he’ll show you How To Lose Weight In 60 Seconds in many unhealthy ways.
Slumby is a bit of a sicko so I can’t condone his methods, it seems like he’s been spending a little too much time with Mr. Bill!
–via JazJaz
Lighting the Olympic Cauldron
Here’s a compilation of the lighting of the Olympic cauldron from previous Olympic opening ceremonies, from 1968 to 2010. Some are just lighting a cauldron, but if you recall, there were some awesome stunts, like the time they shot an arrow to light the cauldron, the time the Olympic Flame entered the stadium by ski-jump, and the one where the cauldron was lit by an athlete standing right there inside it. Don’t remember? Then you can see it here.
Disney Says No To Santa
People usually get excited when Santa comes to visit, but not Disney "Bah Humbug" World!
When Thomas Tolbert, who looks just like Santa, came to visit the theme park, Disney officials asked him to look less Santa-ish:
"He said you can't be portraying Santa," said Tolbert, adding that Disney asked him to change into less "Santa-ish" clothing.
Tolbert said changing clothes did not help.
"I never had a red suit on. I never had a hat. I didn't have fur boots on, but that doesn't make Santa. The face and the persona is what makes Santa," Tolbert said. "They're looking at my face and they're looking at my features."
Tolbert said Disney told him to continue to turn children away -- no matter how curious they were.
"Disney had informed me that I must inform anybody who came up to me that 'I am not who you think I am, I am on vacation and please leave me alone,'" Tolbert said.
Mickey's getting a lump of coal for Christmas this year! Link
The 21 Countries With One Olympic Medal
<img class="alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-71594" title="Rohullah-Nikpai1" src=""; alt="" width="150" height="115" />In some countries, if you win a bronze medal at the Olympics, you become a national hero -forever!
Despite making appearances at 12 Olympic Games since 1936, Afghanistan has secured just one medal — a bronze in Taekwondo at the 2008 Games. Rohullah Nikpai, who won the medal, was given a house by president Hamid Karzai and told reporters that he hoped the medal would “send a message of peace to my country after 30 years of war.”
There are 21 countries that have one only one Olympic medal -but that list may change soon. Read up on all of them at mental_floss. Link

The Supermarket “Man Aisle”
Men, do you hate grocery shopping? The Westside Market in New York City feels your pain, so it created something just for you: a "man aisle" where you can find all dude-related items in one place.
“It’s your essentials,” explained Ian Joskowitz, 43, chief operating officer of Westside Market NYC. “It’s your water, alcohol, soaps, shampoos, deodorants, razors.
“If you’re going to have some guys over to watch a game, you can pretty much stand here — not move two feet — and get your beer, barbecue sauce, chips, whatever. It’s all right here!”
Pedro Oliveira, Jr. of the New York Post has the story: Link (Photo: Warzer Jaff)
Part I:

How do you keep a blond(e) busy?
Give him/her a bag of M&Ms and ask him to alphabetize them.

Part II:

Why does that work?
'Does 3 come before E or between M and W?'
Vive la Difference !!!
Thanks, Cindy ~
It is originally a French phrase which English speakers like quoting. It literally means "Let the difference live!" or more naturally "Let's celebrate our differences!".
Farmer John had just walked into the local watering hole, when who should he see, but his old friend Chris the tractor salesman sitting up at the bar. Chris looked so down and dejected, that John just had to go up and say something to him. "Say, Chris, how ya doing? How's the tractor selling business these days?"
If Chris had looked sad before, at the mention of tractor sales, his face sank even more, and a tear came to his eye. "John," he said, shaking his head, "I don't know what it is. I can't sell a tractor these days to save my life. I'll tell you, I just gotta sell one tractor and soon, or else I'll lose that dealership for good."
"Well," John said, taking the barstool next to him, "If you think you got it bad, I got it worse. Now you listen to this...." "I went out to the barn the other morning to milk Bessy. That ol' cow gets more ornery as the years go by. Anyway, no sooner did I sitdown on the milking stool and get to work, but ol' Bes starts a slappin' me with her tail.
After a minute or so, I got fed up with it, so I threw a rope up over the rafters, and tied ol' Bessy's tail to the rafters. Then I got back to work." "I didn't even get two squirts into the bucket, when Bes gives me a kick. Knocked me clean off the stool! Boy, did that upset me! So I get me another rope an' tie Bessy's right hind leg to the side of the milking stall, and get a started trying to milk her again."
"Well by this time, Bessy's about livid, and she doesn't want any part of it, so she let's me have it with her other
hind leg. I wasn't about to give in to this ol' cow, so I got me yet another piece of rope and tied up Bessy's left leg to the other side of the stall."
Just then John paused to take a sip his beer.
Chris, distracted for a moment from his own troubles, asked John, "Well, did you finally get to milk her?"
"Well, yes and no, Chris. But I'll tell ya what... If you can convince my wife that I was out there to MILK that cow, I'll BUY a tractor from ya....!"
Once again in grand style the Olympics were opened with flash and flair. The show was designed by Oscar winner Danny Boyle with 15,000 volunteers helping take the audience through British history. The event culminated with the parade of athletes and the lighting of the Olympic cauldron for the London Games that run through Aug. 12. -- Lloyd Young (36 photos total)
The Power of Creation, David Lynch Designs Labels For Dom Pérignon
Limited-edition champagne bottles of Dom Pérignon 2003 and Rosé 2000 will feature labels designed by director David Lynch. The collaborative project is called The Power of Creation and it was recently launched at a party in Los Angeles, California. Both will be available to purchase at the end of 2012. The Dom Pérignon site describes their world and Lynch’s world as having the following points in common: “mystery, intensity, commitment, time, the constant reinvention of the self, and above all, absolute faith in the power of creation.”
These psychedelic animal specimens are unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
The Marathoner Without a Country
You may have noticed during the Parade of Nations that four Olympic athletes are participating under the Olympic banner instead of their country’s flag. Three are from the Netherlands Antilles, a nation which was dissolved in 2010. The other athlete is 28-year-old marathon runner Guor Marial. Marial was born in what is now South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, but was then Sudan. He became a refugee of the Sudanese conflict in 1993 when he was only nine years old, as he fled across border after border fleeing the violence. Marial was granted asylum in the U.S. in 2001, and is a permanent resident here. An All-American cross-country runner and an accomplished marathoner, Marial rejected an offer from the Sudan Olympic Committee to run under its flag at the London Olympics.
“Never,” he said of his refusal to run for Sudan. “For me to even consider that is a betrayal. My family lost 28 members in the war with Sudan. Millions of my people were killed by Sudan forces. I can only forgive, but I cannot honor and glorify a country that killed my people.”
Since he cannot run for his country, and does not have a South Sudanese passport, the International Olympic Committee granted him permission to run as an independent. The decision means he will carry the Olympic flag, wear a uniform that has no emblem of any nation and if he wins, the Olympic hymn will play, he said. Not South Sudan’s. Not the United States’.
“The fact that I will be in the Olympics means a lot not just to me, but to my country, which has gone through so much,” he said in a phone call from Flagstaff, Arizona, where he is training. “Even if I am not going to carry or wear the flag, I will be the flag of my nation. South Sudan will be in my heart.”Read Marial’s story at CNN. Link
Todrick Hall produced this all-singing, all-dancing alternate take on the story of Cinderella. Watch for people you may recognize, like Lance Bass and Janice Dickinson. Well done! -via Metafilter
Noir Thriller That May Have Been The Inspiration For Batman
This 1930 noir thriller called The Bat Whispers stars a crime fighting character that looks an awful lot like Batman. Maybe this is what Bruce’s father was up to before he was gunned down in a dark alley?
I wouldn’t be surprised if The Bat Whispers inspired the creation of Batman, as it predates Batman’s first comic book appearance by nine years, but I bet the Bat in this movie doesn’t have a sweet utility belt and acrobatic Boy Wonder sidekick! –via Geek Tyrant
GIFs Based On Threadless T-Shirt Designs
By Zeon Santos on Jul 28, 2012 at 4:30 am

<img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-71573" title="animationix" src=""; alt="" width="500" height="361" />
Threadless t shirt designs are the perfect source material to make into animated GIFs- the designs are fun, colorful and admired by geeks and squares alike.
Good thing Threadless is hosting a competition called ThreadGIF, where community members are urged to bring t shirt designs to life for fame and free shirts.
Check out the rest of the lively designs at the links below, they’re GIF-tastic!
The story behind the iconic song “Rock Around the Clock.”
Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader gave us The Dumbest Western Ever Made.
Sonneborn and the Persistently Shapely Paramecia from the Annals of Improbable Research.
And mental_floss magazine brought us How Chuck Yeager Reached Supersonic Speed.
A company in the Foreign Legion had spent three years in the Sahara desert never having seen a woman. They finally decide to send one private on vacation to the nearest town to spend some time with a woman and tell themall about it.
After a week the private comes back all happy and relaxed. The whole company crowds around him waiting to hear of his great escapades.
"And on the third day..." he began.
"No! no! start with the first day," Everyone yells out in chorus.
"And on the third day, " the private continues " she asked me to stop so she could go to the bathroom.."
Monica Lewinsky's tell-all book about her affair with the U.S. President has, for one Winnipeg Chapters outlet, not sold all that well after its first day on the shelves, as reported by CBC Radio News.
To draw attention to the book, or to perhaps add some perspective, the Lewinksy book had three other titles surrounding it on its display:

"Divorce for Dummies"
"100 Ways to Leave Your Lover"
"How to Remove Stains"
Let the games begin…
Let the games begin
Q: Mommy, Mommy! Why don't I have a big thing like Daddy's between my legs?
A: You will when you're older, Lucy!
A married man thought he would give his wife a birthday surprise by buying her a bra. He entered a ladies shop rather intimidated, but the girls took charge to help him.
"What color?" they asked. He settled for white.
"How much does it cost?" he asked. "Twenty dollars."
"Very good," he thought. All that remained was the size, but he hadn't the faintest idea.
"Now sir, are they the size a pair of melons? Coconuts? Grape fruits? Oranges?"
"No," he said, "nothing like that."
"Come on, sir, think. There must be something your wife's bust resembles."
He thought long and hard and then looked up and said, "Have you ever seen a Spaniel's ears?"
Palm Beach County: We put the "duh" in Florida.
Women are like fine wine. They all start out fresh, fruity and intoxicating to the mind and then turn full-bodied with
age until they go all sour and vinegary and give you a headache.
Why do we hate seeing photos of ourselves?
You know what I'm talking about. There you are, clicking through your friend's Facebook album, when suddenly you happen upon a picture of yourself — or rather, a slightly less attractive version of yourself. The "real" you appears to have been abducted, replaced with some second-rate knock off. What gives? you ask yourself. Is that really what I look like? More »
A charming tongue-in-cheek testament to the art of taking joy in one’s work.
The greatest illustration
is not mere decoration
but succinct accumulation
of creative demonstration
and ratifying observation
of the intended subjectation
with alarming innovation
and shining punctuation
of all relevant information
done with stoic consideration
for its intended situation
exceeding all expectation
with regard to the examination
of images domination
to that of textual affectation
that commands generation upon generation
to convey without hesitation
their continued exultation
at its supreme imagination
within the realms of communication.
Thus it delights be beyond all anticipation
to relay my admiration
and relentless adoration
at your unbridled determination
towards your education
and after serious meditation
in the height of contemplation
it becomes my acclimation
to give you confirmation
after just deliberation
and close interrogation
of your startling illumination
and exemplification
accomplished in the field of illustration.
And so after such examination
it is my proud pronunciation
of your swift galvanization
a first rate qualification
you may receive with due humiliation
despite its floccinaucinihilipilification
(worthless accreditation)
so it becomes my recommendation
without prevarication
for celebration
and recreation
to be your obligation
Yours truly
Professor Toby Flosotation
B.A. M.A. Ph. D. Illustration
Belarus Invaded by Hundreds of Teddy Bears with Tiny Black Parachutes

Image: Studio Total
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko finally admitted that the country was invaded earlier this month ... by hundreds of teddy bears with tiny black parachutes!
The teddy bears carried signs reading, "Belarus freedom" and "We support the Belarus struggle for free speech." [...] The stunt was mounted pro bono by a Swedish ad agency on behalf of the pro-democracy group Charter 97. Link
This Cat is Busy
Short and sweet. I hope you enjoyed that. -via Buzzfeed
Man Shoplifts Book on Ethics
<img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-71648" title="mugshot" src=""; alt="" width="140" height="184" />Terry J. Davis was arrested in Louisville, Kentucky, Wednesday on a charge of theft by unlawful taking. University of Louisville police report he is accused of stealing a textbook called Resolving Ethical Issues and trying to sell it at a bookstore.
Davis allegedly took the book from 555 S. Floyd St., according to the arrest report. The address is listed as UofL’s Health Sciences Center. Later, Terry tried allegedly to sell the textbook back at Gray’s College Bookstore, the arrest report said.
Apparently, he didn’t take time to read the book. Link -via reddit
ZIP LOCK BAG - Good tip
We went withfriends to a restaurant on Sunday for lunch and sat inthe patiosection beside the store. We happened to notice zip lock baggies pinnedto a post and a wall. The bags were half filled with water, each contained 4 pennies, and they were zipped shut. Naturally we werecurious!
The owner toldus that these baggies kept the flies away! So naturally we were evenmore curious. We actually watched some flies come in the open window, stand around on the window sill, and then fly out again. And there wereno flies in the eating area! This morning I checked this out onGoogle. Below are comments on this fly control idea. Zip-lock water bags
#1 Says: I tried the zip lock bag and pennies this weekend.. I have a horse trailer. The flies were bad while I was camping. I put the baggies with pennies above the door of the LQ. NOT ONE FLY came in the trailer. The horse trailer part had many. Not sure why it works but it does! #2 Says: Fill a zip lock bag with water and 5 or 6 pennies and hang it in the problem area. In my case it was a particular window in my home. It had a slight passage way for insects. Every since I have done that, it has kept flies and wasps away. Some say that wasps and flies mistake the bag for some other insect nest and are threatened. #3 Says:
I swear by the plastic bag of water trick. I have them on porch and basement. We saw these in Northeast Mo. at an Amish grocery store
& have used them since. They say it works because a fly sees a reflection
& won't come around.
#4 Says: Regarding the science behind zip log bags of water? My research found that the millions of molecules of water presents its own prism effect and given that flies have a lot of eyes, to them it's like a zillion disco balls reflecting light, colors and movement in a dizzying manner. When you figure that flies are prey for many other bugs, animals, birds, etc., they simply won't take the risk of being around that much perceived action. I moved to a rural area and thought these "hillbillies" were just yanking my city boy chain but I tried it and it worked immediately! We went from hundreds of flies to seeing the occasional one, but he didn't hang around long.
Thanks, Mike ~ I'm trying it in the patio ~ even if it doesn't work, the reflections off the water are interesting! Snopes says that the results are undetermined: some people swear by this, others say it doesn't deter the flies.
“If it is feared by a schizophrenic that nothing feared by a schizophrenic is the case, then there must be at least one other schizophrenic fear besides this one.”
– P.T. Geach, quoted in A.N. Prior, “On a Family of Paradoxes,” Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 1961

Strap-on signal gives a visibility boost to motorcyclists
Because of the increased visibility that they offer, “third brake lights” have become standard on automobiles. Now, it’s possible to buy kits that let you add such lights to the back of motorcycle helmets, although they typically have to be installed permanently. The Signal helmet light, however, can simply be strapped on.


There was an accident betwen a Thunderbird and a Mustang,
Horseshit and feathers everywhere.

The 2012 "gold medal" is 92.5% silver, 6.16% copper and 1.34% gold.

Details at
2001: A Space Odyssey
What if 2001: A Space Odyssey were promoted as “a modern summer blockbuster?” This newly-edited trailer, using footage from the movie, makes me want to see it again. For comparison, here’s the original trailer. -via Metafilter
Blocking the Olympics with Olwimpics
They’re everywhere you look, but if you are sick of the Olympics already, there’s an app for that! Actually, Olwimpics is a browser extension for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. Install it and you can browse without being reminded of what’s going on in that global village they set up in London. Or something like that -the screenshot looks like a colorful FBI redaction job. Link -via Boing Boing
YouTube link.
Thirty years ago, a farmer found a few Iron Age silver coins while working on his land in the island of Jersey, off the coast of Normandy. Now, after combing the soil with metal detectors for three decades, two treasure hunters have found a hoard of silver and gold coins, the biggest of its kind, valued at $15 million.
The treasure was inside a large block of clay. It contains 30,000 to 50,000 silver and gold Celtic coins dating from the 1st Century BC. The coins—which could have been buried to prevent Roman troops from getting them during Julius Caesar's invasion of the British Islands—come from Armorica. They have been buried for more than 2,000 years. According to numismatic experts, each coin is worth 100 to 200 British Pounds ($156 to $311).
Text from Gizmodo; see also Yahoo. Re Armorica.
When the dowager recluse Ida Wood died in March 1932, she drew more than 1,000 people into a court battle over her $877,000 estate. As a social belle of the Gilded Age, Ida Mayfield had lit up the city with memories of dances with the Prince of Wales and dinners with Abraham Lincoln among the prominent Mayfields of New Orleans. She had married wealthy publisher Benjamin Wood and, on his death, withdrew to New York’s Herald Square hotel, where she was found dead at age 93.
At the news of her death, 406 connections of the Mayfield family filed claims against her fortune, but judge James A. Foley managed to disappoint all of them. Ida, he found, was not a Mayfield at all — she was Ida Walsh, the daughter of English-Irish immigrants who had arrived in Massachusetts shortly before the Civil War. At 19 she had changed her name to Mayfield in order to impress people at her New York debut, and the ruse had succeeded beyond her wildest hopes.
“She was plainly actuated by her desire to suppress her humble origin and to assume an alleged social standing in the period before and after her marriage to Benjamin Wood,” Foley wrote. “It is the jest of fortune that having attained wealth and prominence, she abandoned her pretenses at the age of 60 and retired in strict seclusion.” Calling Wood “a very peculiar woman,” he divided her fortune among 10 cousins.
"Sure, everyone always said 'Socrates what is the meaning of life?' or 'Socrates how can I find happiness?', did anyone ever say 'Socrates hemlock is poison.'???????" -Socrates minutes before death

Orphan Walrus Comforted at Alaska SeaLife Center

20120722_Walrus arrival-0293
This past Saturday, local fisherman spotted an orphan Pacific Walrus calf on floating ice near Barrow, Alaska. After a period of observation from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a rescue was approved and Alaska SeaLife Center staff and a local veterinarian prepared the 200lb. baby for airlift to Anchorage and transport by modified truck to ASLC in Seward.
The calf is suckling readily from a bottle, feeding every three hours around the clock, and consuming nearly 1,400 calories at each feed. He is actively seeking attention from care-givers, and vocalizing when left alone. “Walrus are incredibly tactile, social animals,” said Stranding Coordinator Tim Lebling. “Walrus calves typically spend about two years with their mothers, so we have to step in to provide that substitute care and companionship.” Walrus calves almost immediately habituate to human care and therefore are not candidates for release following rehabilitation.
Ever wondered whether your feline hails from eastern Asia or the eastern Mediterranean? No need to rack your brain anymore — a geneticist has developed a cat ancestry test that will reveal your pet’s lineage.
Leslie Lyons, who heads up Lyons’ Feline Genetics Laboratory at the University of California, promises that her cat genome test will uncover whether your pet’s parents or grandparents belong to one of 29 “major fancy breeds”. So you can finally say for certain if yours really is a pure Abyssinian, or hold off on the bragging if its mother in fact engaged in a relationship with the local alley cat.
Anyone wanting to take advantage of the £76 test just needs to order one online and send back a cheek swab sample using the cytological brushes (a cotton bud-pipe cleaner hybrid) supplied. Within ten to 15 days you will know whether you should be grooming or shunning your cat.
I like to go to art museums and name the untitled paintings... Boy With Pail... Kitten On Fire.
explore-blog:  Neil deGrasse Tyson found this gem. (But who made it?) Tyson’s more serious thoughts on the future of space exploration here.
Neil deGrasse Tyson found this gem. (But who made it?) Tyson’s more serious thoughts on the future of space exploration here.
20 Ways to Save Gas This Summer
By following these simple tips, you'll eke out a little extra mileage and experience a little less pain at the pump.
By Michael Frank of Popular Mechanics
For every penny that gas prices go up, Americans spend $1.25 billion more per year at the pump. No one wants to waste that kind of money. So unless you're hauling the whole ball team,
[1] IT'S TIME TO UNLOAD THE OLD SUBURBAN. And you, Honda Element fella, stop smirking: You're getting only 20 mpg — and driving something even less aerodynamic.If you're driving something that gets reasonable fuel economy, drive it reasonably. When entering a highway,
[2] ACCELERATE TO 60 MPH AT ABOUT DOUBLE YOUR CAR'S TOP 0-TO-60 TIME. As Popular Mechanics proved in a battery of tests, this puts the car in its more efficient top gear quicker than the smug hyper-miler crawling up to speed... in the left lane.
[3] COAST — IN GEAR. The same tests showed that rolling in neutral requires a trickle of gas to keep the engine running but in-gear coasting does not — and that if you anticipate traffic lights and
[4] DON'T COME TO A COMPLETE STOP, you can boost mpg by as much as 50 percent.
A warm engine is more efficient, so string errands together by
[5] DRIVING TO THE FARTHEST DESTINATION FIRST, which will get the block heated up, then work your way home.When it's warm out, keep cool by opening the windows, enjoying the breeze, and
[6] TURNING OFF THE GAS-DRAINING A/C. At highway speeds, however, our tests showed windows-down driving creates drag. So at 60 mph or faster, roll up the windows and
[7] PUT ON THE A/C. Notice to hoarders: You don't need to lug around a case of oil, a bag of sand, or that box of antique tools you got at the garage sale, right? So
[8] EMPTY THE TRUNK — less weight, better mileage. Pickup drivers,
[9] REMOVE THE 300-POUND TOOLBOX FROM THE BED and, while you're at it,
[10] CLOSE THE TAILGATE to create a drag-reducing air bubble. MythBusters increased the overall range of a full tank by 30 miles using this technique; the show also proved that
[11] A RIGHT-TURN ONLY ROUTE increases fuel economy by 3 percent, because idling (at stoplights, for instance) wastes fuel. For that same reason,
[12] AVOID TRAFFIC PINCH POINTS. Driving at speed is more fuel efficient than creeping along in low gear. And if you're not regularly carrying a bike or a kayak on that roof rack, reduce drag by
[14] SLIDING THE CROSSBARS ALL THE WAY BACK (making a single wing).
At the pump
[15] AVOID GAS RATED E15; the "E" is for ethanol, which has about 30 percent less energy than gasoline and kills mpg. (Ethanol-free gas is rare today; you'll probably have to settle for E10.) While at the filling station,
[16] INFLATE YOUR TIRES PROPERLY and check them for uneven wear, which works against you. Stickier, wider performance tires also increase road friction and sap mileage. So
[18] SWITCH TO ECO-FOCUSED TIRES, which reduce rolling resistance. Also,
[19] GET A TUNEUP; a smooth-running engine is more efficient.
Finally, don't overlook the obvious: Nothing saves gas like not driving at all.
[20] RIDE YOUR BICYCLE to fetch that quart of milk, especially if the store is just a mile or so away.
Content provided by Popular Mechanics.
Lots of fun events around town this weekend! Here's the scoop:
Portland On The Web: The Register, Mercury, Apple Insider & More

It's been a good week in Portland where
public nudity is totally cool as long as you're making a statement about free speech, man.
Tom Hanks paid a visit to a Timbers game Wednesday only to root against the Army, instead
favoring English team Aston Villa who went on to win the game.
And finally, Canadians can now enjoy the Portland restaurant experience with the opening of
Portland Craft in Vancouver. Food sourced from local gardens will be paired with Oregon craft beers, plaid shirts and friendly but somewhat dismissive service.
Here's a little of what the internet had to say about Portland this week:

The Register:
Judge frees nude TSA protester, citing free speech rights
Portland Mercury: Tom Hanks defeats Timbers
Eater Portland: Portland, OR is so trendy there's a Portland-themed restaurant in Canada
Apple Insider: Portland Design Commision approves new Pioneer Place Apple store plan
OregonLive: Aerial view of Portland Metro Area (photo essay)
Paste: 10 Oregon bands to listen to now
Open Table: Open Table diner reviews reveal top 100 scenic restaurant views
Just where does the weapons manufacturer Glock get off producing firearms that discharge? The atrocious record of these guns firing is long and storied. One of the best examples was caught on video. You may have seen this clip in Bizarre News before. This poor, hapless officer is shot by the deadly Glock while teaching a gun safety seminar. If you haven't seen the video you can click the link below. Gun Safety - The Glock 40

Yet another disturbing example came to light recently when another police officer who was shot by a Glock brought a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
In 2006 Los Angeles police officer Enrique Chavez was shot in the back by his own weapon. The off-duty officer had forgotten that he had stowed his loaded .45-caliber Glock, upholstered and with a round apparently chambered, securely under the front seat of his Ford Ranger, I am assuming according to department regulations concerning the proper transport and storage of firearms.
With the weapon safely out of sight and out of mind, although unfortunately not out of reach, Chavez loaded his 3-year-old son into the vehicle. Since the streets of Los Angeles are so safe to drive Chavez did not secure the toddler in a child safely seat.
The inquisitive fingers of the boy soon found the weapon while he was crawling around the vehicle, and that is when the treacherous Glock fired, hitting the officer in the back.
Chavez is now suing the company claiming the Glock 21 had a light trigger and lacked a grip safety. Perhaps, if this suit is successful, we can finally live in a world where you can hand a toddler a loaded handgun and feel confident you won't get shot in the back.
Real estate tip
Hotel replaced Bibles with 'Fifty Shades' --*

CROSTHWAITE, England - The owner of a hotel in Britain said he replaced the room Bibles with copies of "Fifty Shades of Grey" to reflect the modern secular society. Jonathan Denby, owner of the Damson Dene Hotel in Crosthwaite, England, said he decided to replace the Bibles with copies of E.L. James' erotic novel because he decided the Bibles were "wholly inappropriate" for bedrooms in a secular society, NBC News reported Wednesday. "I was thinking originally of putting in a book by Ayn Rand -- 'Atlas Shrugged' was my first thought," Denby said. "(But) because everybody is reading 'Fifty Shades of Grey,' we thought it would be a hospitable thing to do, to have this available for our guests, especially if some of them were a little bit shy about buying it because of its reputation." The Rev. Michael Woodcock, who oversees services at St. Mary's Parish Church, told The Westmoreland Gazette he was dismayed by the hotelier's decision. "It is a great shame that Bibles have been removed from rooms and very inappropriate to have been replaced by an explicit erotic novel," he said. "The Bible remains a source of comfort and inspiration that many people do find helpful."

Iron roof, glass walls, burns and burns and never falls.

What am I?

ANSWER: A lantern.


QUOTE: "Time is at once the most valuable and the most perishable of all our possessions."

HINT: (1773-1833), planter, and a Congressman from Virginia, serving in the House of Representatives at various times between 1799 and 1833, the Senate (1825-1827), and also as Minister to Russia (1830).

ANSWER: John Randolph.


In September 2006, Chris Carr became "the fastest man on two wheels" when he pushed a specially equipped motorcycle to a record speed of 350.884 mph at the wide-open Bonneville Speedway.

In 1921, Leslie "Red" Parkhurst steered a Harley-Davidson racing motorcycle to victory in several races, breaking several speed records along the way. He carried the team mascot - a pig - around the track on victory laps, a stunt that led to Harleys being commonly referred to as "Hogs."

The first working airplane engine wasn't an airplane engine at all but a motorcycle engine. The Flyer I, piloted by the Wright Brothers in their famous 1903 flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, was powered by a 12-horsepower, chain-driven bike motor.

Accounts vary greatly as to the cause of (and severity of) Bob Dylan's famous motorcycle accident on July 29, 1966, but the event undoubtedly had a profound effect on his songwriting and his playing. Some music historians believe that he used the occurrence as an excuse to take a much-needed break from his grueling schedule.

Though their vulnerability makes them nearly useless today, armed forces made good use of motorcycles during the first half of the twentieth century. Harley-Davidson, Indian, and Triumph combined to produce more than 150,000 cycles for Allied military use during World War II, while BMW and other makers produced a smaller number of bikes for the Axis.

A national group known as ABATE, American Bikers Aimed Toward Education, have long held the stance that helmet laws should not be made mandatory. Their slogan is: "Let those who ride decide."


We all use disposable plates, cups, etc. No matter how environmentally responsible we try to be sometimes we just cannot bring all sorts of plates and flatware with us on a picnic or provide enough to go around for extra guests at a party. Sure, paper plates might be a little better than plastic...but that paper has to come from somewhere!

But now you can get disposable plates and dinnerware made from a very renewable and very biodegradable byproduct. It is even compostable, right in your own garden.

It has been around for a long time and I bet you've never even heard of it. Scroll down to find out more.

Your Living Green editor

* Disposable, compostable and biodegradable plates made from 100% bagasse - sugarcane fiber remaining after extraction of juice from the sugarcane. Sugarcane is not only a readily renewable resource, but the sugarcane fiber can be turned into products normally made from plastic or paper and avoids the pollution from normal burning of sugarcane pulp after juice extraction.

* These biodegradable plates are soak proof, have no plastic or wax lining applied to it and can be used for both hot and cold items. A far superior alternative to styrofoam and plastic as well as paper plates made from cutting down trees.

* Unbleached bagasse plates are also available - in natural light brown color. Bleaching is usually not necessary, is pollution causing and is mostly done using chlorine or chlorine compounds, which release dioxins.

* If you cannot find bagasse plates in your local stores you can purchase them online.
The male Japanese rhino beetle wields a huge forked horn on his head. It looks like a jousting weapon, and the male uses it to pry and flip other males off a branch. But it’s also a billboard, a prominent and completely honest advertisement for the male’s quality.
The horns are extremely variable. Small males have pathetic nubbins on their heads, while big ones have unfeasibly large prongs that can grow to two-thirds of their body length. Doug Emlen from the University of Montana has found that the growth of the horns is intimately tied into molecules that reflect how well-nourished the beetles are. Not only that, but the horn is more sensitive to these molecules than any other body part. Well-fed beetles may have larger wings and bodies than poorly-fed ones, but they have much larger horns.
This ornament can’t be faked. It is impossible for a weak beetle to feign rude health by growing a larger horn, so females can rely on the size of the horns to judge a potential partner’s health. And with a body part that conspicuous, they don’t have to look very hard.
The Witch's Home & Garden
American companies place products in films and television shows all the time. Now Chinese brands are also getting into the act, placing their products in American movies and television programs that Chinese viewers watch.
The Big Bang Theory is an example. The show consistently attracts high ratings among American viewers. It is also one of the most popular American TV shows in China.
Read the full text here:
50 Things a Man Does Not Have to Do Before He Dies
The On-lympicsIf the pomp and circumstance surrounding the Games of the XXX Olympiad starts to wear on you, treat yourself to a whole bunch of gold metal satire, courtesy of The Onion.
We Really Like the First OneToday Mashable put out a list of 25 Twitter Accounts That Will Make You Smarter. Spoiler alert: The first one is us.

Read the full text here:
--brought to you by mental_floss!
As an art teacher for an elementary school here in Jacksonville, Florida, one of my recent assignments for the children was to enter a contest that our new national football team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, was promoting.
The winning artwork gets placed on the back of the season tickets, so I encouraged the children to come up with a good logo and a colorful creation.
One innocent little girl was so enthused about her masterpiece she turned in to me. It had a picture of a mean looking jaguar that read, "You're messin' with the wrong pussy."
The Olympics bring us together, all nations equal on the stage of athletics.
But after the torch is extinguished, inequalities return. Here they are visualized by the Olympic rings, by Oceaniaeuropeamericaasiaafrica.
How did the United Kingdom end up with two Londons, one inside of the other? The answer begins with the Romans
Very cool!
Inside the Minds of Mass Killers – measured, humane, standout piece by Daniel Lende on the Aurora tragedy.
The legend is a multifaceted as the gem, spanning one billion years, three continents and leaving a trail of intrigue, envy and death
glass frogs on leaf The beautiful transparent Glass Frog
Among the many weird and fascinating amphibians on our planet, very special are the Glass Frogs. This amazing frog family has a transparent skin, allowing you to view inside its small body. They are so transparent that it almost looks as if they melt into the leaves and become one with them.
Which is bigger: the human brain or the universe? Robert Krulwich comes down on Team Universe after a wonderful piece.
10 Scientific Missions That Became Action Adventures
Crows are “beautifully adapted to learn about this world”. Children are “beautifully adapted to learn about many possible worlds.” Great story by Michael Balter, featuring Aesop’s fable.
Firenadoes, pearl clouds, “elves”, sky waves + other awesome tricks the sky can pull
A Mole of Moles
What would happen if you were to gather a mole(unit of measurement) of moles (the small furry critter) in one place?
Fourteen ladders stand in a row. At the foot of each ladder is a monkey; at the top is a banana. Festooning the ladders are an arbitrary number of ropes. Each rope connects a rung on one ladder to a rung on another, but no rung receives more than one rope.
At a signal all 14 monkeys begin climbing. If a monkey encounters a rope it climbs along it to the other end and then continues climbing upward. Show that every monkey gets a banana.
Are These The Worst Baby Names Ever?
We all know about colts, calves and eaglets— but what about jakes, blinkers and Monkey Slugs?
The various and oftentimes bizarre names used to describe animal offspring can stump even the best Trivial Pursuit player or crossword expert.
This guy wants to be a proctologist, and he wants to be a really good proctologist, so he decides to go down to the morgue after class and practice a little. Well, he uncovers the first guy and there is a corkin his butt! He thinks it's a little strange, so he pulls it and music starts playing!
". . . On the road again, just can't wait to get on the road again...".
The guy really freaks out! He runs and gets the M.A. and drags the poor guy back to the table. "Look!" he says, and pulls the cork out again, ". . . On the road again . . ."
The M.A. is totally unimpressed..."So what?" he says. "Isn't that themost amazing thing you've ever seen?", the guy asked.
"Are you kidding?" says the M.A. "Any asshole can sing country music!"
The International Space Station is Getting an Aquarium
Finally! The International Space Station is getting a little something to cheer the place up a bit: an aquarium! The tank looks a bit industrial though, and where's the de rigueur bubbling pirate's chest?
Sorry, astronauts! It turns out the fishies are someone's science experiments:
While aquariums provide a relaxing pastime for humans on Earth, recreation is not the goal behind the new Aquatic Habitat, or AQH, aboard the International Space Station. Instead, researchers will use this unique facility to look at how microgravity impacts marine life.
Sponsored by the Japanese Space Agency, or JAXA, this habitat is a closed-water circulatory system, which provides a new facility option for station research. Scientists will use the habitat to study small, freshwater fish on orbit. For the first investigations, they plan to examine the Medaka (Oryzias latipes) fish.
One of the great things about being a geek is no longer having to make excuses for why you buy toys.
But also, there are some toys that are made for adults that use science in a very fun way. For instance Buckyballs.
If you don’t already know what these crazy things are, they are the simplest and most basic in concept, but are just so versatile and crazy fun. A heaping pile of powerful, magnetic, chrome ball bearings is an unlikely toy, but it turns into the most amazing things when piled the right way.
However, by the deep wisdom of the Consumer Product Safety Commission these amazing building products will soon be pulled from shelves, citing that 20 cases of children swallowing them.
Tetris blocks that you can stack up – and have them light up as you do! At the very least, it’s a lamp with loads of different ways to arrange its light, making it the perfect ornament for those who are like me and enjoy changing up the design of their room occasionally. You know, so that it looks all new again.
[£29.99 from Firebox | Via Geek Alerts]
The idea of clouds singing and performing their duties in a joyful manner show us that everything in our world has a role and a purpose. Sing, dance and relax as you follow a sweet cast of clouds and raindrops through an entrancing adventure you'll wish to take over and over again.
Using The Cray Supercomputer to Make Ice Cream More Delicious
If the next time you eat an ice cream you notice that it's yummier, you have a computer to thank. A supercomputer, actually.
The processing power available inside modern supercomputers isn’t just able to help us better understand the universe we live in, develop better medicines, and model complex systems. Apparently it is also helping to make better ice cream.
Research has been carried out at the University of Edinburgh to simulate the soft matter that makes up ice cream. More specifically, scientists are trying to understand the complex interactions occurring between the many different ingredients that make up your favorite flavor of the delicious cold stuff.
Angry pizza
All of us have enjoyed the freedom and wonder that make playgrounds magical. But it goes without saying that some playgrounds are far more spectacular and imaginative than others. Here are a few of the coolest playgrounds you're ever likely to enjoy.
Some 1,600 years ago, the Temple of the Night Sun was a blood-red beacon visible for miles and adorned with giant masks of the Maya sun god as a shark, blood drinker, and jaguar. Long since lost to the Guatemalan jungle, the temple is finally showing its faces to archaeologists, and revealing new clues about the rivalrous kingdoms of the Maya.
The final relay runner delivered the flame of Olympia to the Olympic Stadium in London, inaugurating the 2012 Summer Games Opening Ceremony. The 8,000-plus golden metal torches used during the relay - each has 8,000 holes, representing the 8,000 torchbearers who carried the flame 8,000 miles over 70 days - have become instant collectibles. In fact, Olympic relay torches are among the rarest and most desirable of all Olympics collectibles; some have brought six figures at auction. But the demand for the new 2012 torches is unprecedented.
All Work and No Play Make The Baining The Most Boring People on Earth
Meet the Baining, an indigenous tribe in Papua New Guinea who has the unusual claim of being the most boring people on Earth:
According to [anthropologist Jane Fajans], the Baining eschew everything that they see as “natural” and value activities and products that come from “work,” which they view as the opposite of play. Work, to them, is effort expended to overcome or resist the natural. To behave naturally is to them tantamount to behaving as an animal. The Baining say, “We are human because we work.” The tasks that make them human, in their view, are those of turning natural products (plants, animals, and babies) into human products (crops, livestock, and civilized human beings) through effortful work (cultivation, domestication, and disciplined childrearing).
The Baining believe, quite correctly, that play is the natural activity of children, and precisely for that reason they do what they can to discourage or prevent it. They refer to children’s play as “splashing in the mud,” an activity of pigs, not appropriate for humans. They do not allow infants to crawl and explore on their own. When one tries to do so an adult picks it up and restrains it. Beyond infancy, children are encouraged or coerced to spend their days working and are often punished—sometimes by such harsh means as shoving the child’s hand into the fire—for playing. On those occasions when Fajans did get an adult to talk about his or her childhood, the narrative was typically about the challenge of embracing work and overcoming the shameful desire to play. Part of the reason the Baining are reluctant to talk about themselves, apparently, derives from their strong sense of shame about their natural drives and desires.
Link- via Kottke
Sailing past the Azores on his solo circumnavigation of 1895-98, Joshua Slocum ate some bad plums and collapsed with cramps in his cabin. He awoke from a fever to find that he was not alone.
“I saw a tall man at the helm. His rigid hand, grasping the spokes of the wheel, held them as in a vise. One may imagine my astonishment. His rig was that of a foreign sailor, and the large red cap he wore was cockbilled over his left ear, and all was set off with shaggy black whiskers. He would have been taken for a pirate in any part of the world.”
“I have come to do you no harm,” the stranger told him. “I have sailed free, but was never worse than a contrabandista. I am one of Columbus’s crew. I am the pilot of the Pinta come to aid you. Lie quiet, señor captain, and I will guide your ship to-night. You have a calentura, but you will be all right to-morrow.”
Slocum drifted out of consciousness, but he awoke in the morning to find that the Spray had made 90 miles that night on a true course through a rough sea. As he lay on deck that day, the man revisited him in a dream. “You did well last night to take my advice,” he said, “and if you would, I should like to be with you often on the voyage, for the love of adventure alone.”
“I awoke much refreshed, and with the feeling that I had been in the presence of a friend and a seaman of vast experience,” Slocum wrote. “I gathered up my clothes, which by this time were dry, then, by inspiration, I threw overboard all the plums in the vessel.”
Cat gang bang
'Socialism is when man exploits man, Capitalism is the reverse' ~ Polish Proverb
Q: How does a man show he's planning for the future?
A: He buys two cases of beer instead of one.
I am always doing things I can't do, that's how I get to do them. - Pablo Picasso

25 Everyday Things You Never Knew Had Names
There is so much stuff out there that we wouldn't know the name of if your lives depended on it. Today, you will learn the 25 ridiculous real names for 25 everyday items that didn't know the name of, but you notice these things all of the time and after visiting this site you will say to yourself, "Oh, that's what that's called."

Which Is Worse?
This is going to be fun for everyone. Here's a game where you to take a look at two possible scenarios and decide... Which Is Worse? Choose wisely.
"Today 7-eleven stores in Singapore debuted a new food dispenser, an instant mashed potato dispenser. This means the Indonesians are pulling ahead of us in the cholesterol race. This is serious. We may have to raise our threat level to defcon bacon." -Craig Ferguson

The Top Signs You're Out of Shape
1. You've ever torn something just trying to turn off the alarm clock.
2. People at work only refer to you by saying, "Hey, Fatso!"
3. You've thrown your back out by carrying a bag of groceries.
4. Random strangers come up, poke you in the stomach and expect you to giggle.
5. Your record is 34 Pushups and you could have done more if the Ice Cream Man would have taken plastic.
6. You get the Christmas gift of Jigglin' To The Oldies.
7. You cramp up while watching the New York City Marathon.
8. Watching Rocky 5 is your idea of a workout video.
(From Aha! Jokes)

"We are in the worst drought in 56 years. That seems unbelievably negative. Wouldn't that be the best drought?" -Jimmy Kimmel

A few years ago the battery in my beat-up VW Beetle had died because I left the lights on overnight. I was in a hurry to get to work on time so I ran into the house to get my wife to give me a hand to start the car. I told her to get into our second car, a prehistoric oversized gas guzzler, and use it to push my car fast enough to start it. I pointed out to her that because the VW had an automatic transmission, it needed to be pushed at least 20mph for it to start.
She said fine, hopped into her car and drove off.
I sat there fuming wondering what she could be doing.
A minute passed by and when I saw her in the rear-view mirror coming at me at about 30 mph, I realized that I should have been a bit clearer with my directions...

While attending an open house, my wife was taken with the home's modern features, especially the central vacuum system installed within the walls. But she had a practical question: "What do you do when all the walls fill up?"

Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.--CS Lewis

That's what fathering is all about. It's mentoring and equipping your son to become a man who will assume the family leadership for the next generation. You have no higher calling in life. It is your God-given assignment.--Steve Farrar

Growing up is losing some illusions, in order to acquire others.--Virginia Woolf

Satellite images show urban and rural expansion of society
Satellite images show how the march of progress has altered the face of the earth in just a few decades. The images were all taken by a fleet of Earth-observing satellites that form part of the ‘Landsat’ program, which celebrates its 40th anniversary on 23 July.
A 1987 satellite image of the Wadi As-Sirhan Basin in Saudi Arabia shows largely desert; however, by 2012 most of the region has been developed into farmland, with green pivot irrigation circles dotting the barren landscape.
It ain’t Kansas, yet. But, surely looks like eastern New Mexico.
Lee Ann Womack Song I Hope You Dance Counrty Music
How to Photograph Fire – Paris, France – Benjamin Von Wong
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Plato

"Every sweet has its sour; every evil its good." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom." - Bob Dylan
I am convinced that most people do not grow up...We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies, and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias.--Maya Angelou

I think that the best thing we can do for our children is to allow them to do things for themselves, allow them to be strong, allow them to experience life on their own terms, allow them to take the subway...let them be better people, let them believe more in themselves. --C. Joybell, author

Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them. They move on. They move away. The moments that used to define them - a mother's approval, a father's nod - are covered by moments of their own accomplishments. It is not until much later, as the skin sags and the heart weakens, that children understand; their stories, and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives. ~Mitch Albom, 'The Five People You Meet In Heaven'

"A new study found that women's IQs are higher than men's for The first time in 100 years. They would have found it earlier, but the researchers were all men." -Jimmy Fallon

The missus asked if she pleased me in bed? I said, "Yes, I love that trick you do with your mouth."
"What trick?" she asked?
"The one where you shut the fuck up and go to sleep!"

"For the first time ever, women are scoring higher than men on IQ tests. Scientists it has something to do with breast implants; not that it makes the women smarter, it just makes the men dumber." -Jay Leno

"A new study found that people with a lot of phobias are more likely to have health problems. Or as those people put it, 'I was afraid of that.'" -Jimmy Fallon

"In Michigan, a man was too drunk to drive, so he had his 9-year-old daughter drive their van for him. Yeah. As he was being arrested, he told the girl, 'I'm going to need a lawyer. Go get your little brother.'" -Conan O'Brien

"Plans are under way in England to build a laser they say is powerful enough to tear apart the fabric of space. Well, what could go wrong there?" -Jay Leno

My boss, who was out of the office, phoned me today. He asked, "Is everything okay at the office?"
I answered, "Yes, it's all under control. It's been a very busy day, so I haven't stopped to even take a breath."
My boss then asked, "Can you do me a favor?"
I replied, "Of course. What is it?"
He said, "Pick up the pace a little. I'm in the foursome behind you."

QUOTE: "It is with our passions as it is with fire and water; they are good servants, but bad masters."

HINT: (1616-1704), English pamphleteer and author, and staunch defender of royalist claims.

ANSWER: Roger L'Estrange.


The term shopping mall derived from pall mall, a 17th-century British sport that resembled croquet. When the sport waned in popularity, the open areas where it was once played became promenades. Shopkeepers sprang up on all sides, and the resulting areas became known as malls.

The open area in Washington D.C., known as The Mall is situated between the Lincoln Memorial, the United States Capitol, and the Washington Monument.

Woody Allen stated in interviews that, prior to filming Scenes from a Mall, he'd never before set foot in a shopping mall.

The 1978 horror classic Dawn of the Dead was filmed at the Monroeville Mall outside of Pittsburgh. The 2004 remake was shot at the Thornhill Square Mall in Ontario, Canada, which was torn down shortly after the film opened.

Architect Victor Gruen is credited with designing the concept of the regional shopping center. His idea was to take established downtown department stores and bring them out to the suburbs where land was cheap and parking was plentiful. His first creation, Northland Mall in Southfield, Michigan, featured covered walkways leading to --J.L. Hudson's, the "anchor" store.

Bergen Mall in Paramus is the oldest mall in New Jersey. It was also the site of teen singer Tiffany's first concert in 1987, kicking off her "mall tour."

Canada - World's Largest Shopping Mall
In the suburbs of Edmonton Canada lies the largest shopping mall in the entire world. With a price tag over 1 Billion dollars, the store holds over 800 stores, an amusement park and a zoo.

You'd never believe it, but I bumped into a famous stuntman in a motorcycle shop the other day. He was complaining because he couldn't decide whether to buy a bike with a high top speed but poor acceleration, or one with lots of torque and a fast acceleration but a poor top speed.
Eventually he decided on the second one because it cost a lot less. After all, torque is cheap.
Q and A Quickies

Q: What do you think of Flushing, NY?
A: I think it's a great idea.

Q: How do you know when you're staying in an Alabama hotel?
A: When you call the front desk and say "I've gotta leak in my sink" and the person at the desk says "go ahead."

Random Facts:

The dandelion is actually a perennial herb from the sunflower family and can be traced back about 30 million years to Eurasia where it first began. Its official name is 'Taraxacum officinale', the latter meaning 'medicinal'.

Dandelions have long been valued as a herbal remedy for various diseases and for being high in vitamins and minerals.
Meet The Kissenger – A Kiss Messaging Device
This strange little egg shaped device with lips is called the Kissenger, and it’s supposed to somehow make being alone in the world feel a little more bearable.
You might be asking yourself- how does this creepy looking thing make someone feel anything but sheer horror?
The answer is- by giving you a big old kiss, of course!
The Kissenger allows you to send and receive kisses via pressure sensitive lips and an internet connection, just don’t let anybody see you kissing this thing or you may find yourself even more alone than you were before!
Link–via TDW
Natural selection is the theory popularized by Charles Darwin which says that traits or characteristics which tend to help a species survive tend to get passed down. That is why the giraffes who were able to eat the tender leaves at the tops of trees survived more often than their shorter-necked cousins and over the millennia developed into the stunning animal we know today.
We assume the theory also works for intelligence.

Take the story of 36-year-old Georgia man William Bonner. It was originally reported that Bonner got into a fight with several other patrons at a bar in Augusta, and then had his face burned in retaliation.
However, a surveillance video from inside the bar has revealed that Bonner had purposefully had his drinking buddies douse his head with a shot of Bacardi 151 and put a match to it.
It is assumed the stunt resulted from a bar bet. In the black-and-white footage the visibly inebriated Bonner is seen getting ready to win his bet.
It takes his challengers two attempts to light his head, and when it happens, Bonner can be seen running around the bar like a human torch and trying to put out the flames.
The bar manager that evening commented, "They call him Ghost Rider in here from the movie, and it's exactly what it looked like"
Bonner was taken to the local medical center with severe burns to his face and head.
Police said there will be no charges filed in this case as Bonner has already suffered enough as a result of his ill-conceived bet.
Man leaves party, gets chased by bear
FLYKALEN, Sweden - Police in Sweden said a man who wandered away from a party became lost in the woods and came face to face with a bear. Officers said Robin Engstrom, 20, was attending a party Saturday in Flykalen and decided to take a walk in the woods with some beer and cigarettes, The reported Monday. Engstrom became lost in the woods about four miles from the village and soon found himself chased by a brown bear, police said. The man climbed a hunting tower and pounded on the roof to scare the animal away. Police said Engstrom was rescued after spending about three hours atop the tower. Engstrom said he tried to stay calm during his ordeal. "I drank up the last of the beer and then I sat and smoked. One shouldn't get unnecessarily stressed," Engstrom said.
Healthy Living from
Guess what? A surprising number of people who think they have sinus trouble are in fact, having migraines. Here are 18 ways to tell if your killer headache is the real deal.

Celebrate Health from
Soak up the sunshine, but avoid the burn! Our sun-safety tips will leave your skin healthy, glowing, and gorgeous.
Air & Space Online
As millions of TV viewers prepare for two weeks of sitting, snacking, and watching the world's best athletes compete in the 2012 Olympic Summer Games, we found ourselves asking, naturally: How will airplanes be involved? You won't see them on the playing field. Still, aircraft will be all over London—delivering athletes and visitors, photographing and filming from above, and patrolling the skies to make sure the action stays on the field.
66. RICHARD FEYNMAN: A more interesting outlook

Have you ever seen daytime fireworks?

Christian Morgenstern’s 1905 nonsense poem “Fish’s Night Song” manages to be both charming and incomprehensible:
That’s it. Jeremy Adler and Ulrich Ernst list the interpretations that have been suggested:
The symbols signify the metre of silent song; the alternation of symbols indicates a fish mouth opening and closing; together, they resemble the frontal view of a choir of fish; they represent water; they resemble the shape of a fish without head or tail. These as well as other interpretations of the poem are quite permissible. Thus we have, in the framework of ‘nonsense literature,’ a new type of visual poetry: a poem of figures that does not imitate any particular form, the abstract figure poem.
“Or, expressed differently,” writes Heinrich Plett in Literary Rhetoric, “the referentiality of this isographemic configuration is polysemous.”
Blown off course in the Pacific in 1814, the New York trading ship Neptune encountered a small island, half a mile long, that was not marked on any chart. The crew were putting a boat ashore when a lookout spotted an oar erected on the summit of a rocky hill, and beneath it they saw a bearded, emaciated man jumping excitedly from rock to rock. They pointed to the boat, and he seized the oar, plunged into the surf, and swam out to meet it.
The man’s clothes were tattered and his beard a foot long. As he collapsed in relief and gratitude, the crew noted that his oar was covered with minute carven letters. Its broad end bore this inscription:
This is to acquaint the person into whose hands this Oar may fall, that DANIEL FOSS, a native of Elkton, in Maryland, one of the United States of America, and who sailed from the port of Philadelphia, in 1809, on board the brig Negociator, bound to the Friendly Islands, was cast upon this desolate island the February following, where he erected a hut, and lived a number of years, subsisting on seals — he being the last who survived of the crew of said brig, which ran foul of an island of ice, and foundered on the 26th Nov. 1809.
Said Foss earnestly requests that information of his fate and that of his shipmates may be made known to their friends in America.
The Negociator had foundered on an iceberg while en route to Tonga. Twenty-one escaped in a small boat, but after nine weeks at sea only two remained when they encountered the island, and the violent surf destroyed the boat and killed Foss’ remaining companion as they landed. Foss emerged with only the oar, which he put to myriad uses in the ensuing four years, killing the seals that congregated on the rocks and inscribing its surface elaborately with a calendar, a hymn to chant on the Sabbath, and eventually a comprehensive record of his travails, averaging 12 letters a day.
Foss recovered quickly aboard the Neptune, which returned him directly to his native country, where in time he would publish an account of his adventures. “My much regarded Oar, on which I had wrought so much, was viewed by all on board as a very great curiosity, which I have since my return presented to the keeper of the Philadelphia Museum, where it is lodged for the inspection of the curious.”
You have 13 reels of magnetic tape, one empty reel, and a machine that will wind tape from a full reel to an empty one, reversing its direction. You need all 13 tapes reversed on their original reels. Show how this can be done, or prove that it’s impossible.
A solution of glucose, sodium hydroxide, and indigo carmine, when shaken, will change from yellow to red to green. Left to sit, it will revert to red again, then yellow, and the process can be repeated.
The indigo carmine is green when oxidized, yellow when reduced, and red in the intermediate semiquinone state.
Pizza Constructed Out of a Lattice of Bacon
Love bacon and pizza? Then this is for you: the Ketogenic Pizza, which uses a lattice of bacon instead of dough.
Sean Coonce of The Free Range Human blog tells us how to make your very own Paleo diet Pizza: Link
For more Bacon stuff, check out the NeatoShop’s Bacon Store!
Come Here!
“Come here, boy! Come home right now! …and bring the cat!” I swear, sometimes I think there’s a factory somewhere outside Moscow that cranks out strange animal videos to sell to Russia’s trade partners. -via Blame It On The Voices
Language X is Essentially Language Y Under Conditions Z
There are about 6,000 languages in the world, but according to this long list compiled by John Cowan, all languages are basically the same.
Here's "Language X is essentially language Y under conditions Z":
English is essentially Low German plus even lower French minus any sense of culture. -- Danny Weir
Scots is essentially English, only funnier. -- Thomas Leigh
Danish is essentially drunken Norwegian. -- John Cowan
Spanish is what happened when Moors tried to learn Latin and said "screw it." -- Charles Lavergne
Cantonese is essentially what everyone else in China calls swearing. --Kiri Aradia Morgan
Link (Photo: Shutterstock) - via Kottke
<img class="alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-71346" title="venusto" src=""; alt="" width="150" height="84" Mom Arrested for Raising Grades
You are, no doubt, familiar with the term “helicopter parents,” the ones who hover over their children, helping them out, and making sure they never fail at anything. Well, it looks like doing your child’s homework for him is already old school. A mom in Pennsylvania raised the bar for this sort of behavior by hacking into the school’s computer system to raise her two kids’ grades.
Catherine Venusto, 45, of New Tripoli, worked for the Northwestern Lehigh School District from 2008 through April 2011 and has at least two children in the district, according to the District Attorney’s office.
She has been accused of changing her daughter’s failing grade from an F to an M for “medical” in June 2010, and then changing her son’s 98 to a 99 in February 2012, nearly a year after she quit her job as an administrative office secretary to work at another school district.
Venusto is now charged with six counts of computer and security crimes. She could face up to seven years plus a steep fine -on each count. Link -via Time Newsfeed

The City of London
The City of London is not the same as the big city n England that we call London. It’s a bit complicated, but C.G.P. Grey does a pretty decent job of explaining the difference. -via Laughing Squid
Fire Time
Chris Bolton made this short documentary about the art of fire-eating or fire-breathing, featuring slow-motion sequences shot at 2000 frames per second. -via the Presurfer
Royal Olympians
<img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-71333" title="PrincessAnne" src=""; alt="" width="500" height="33Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughter Zara Phillips is part of the British equestrian team participating in the London Olympics this year. She is far from the first member of European royalty to compete in the games, though. Spain’s royal family is especially known for sailing events. Prince Albert II of Monaco was part of his country’s bobsled team five times -and then he married an Olympic athlete from South Africa! But there were other Olympians in his family, as in other royal families of Europe. Meet them in a gallery at The Daily Beast. Link
Young Swedish Woman in a Bikini
Photo: Linda-Marie Nilsson
What? Not the photo you'd expect to see from the title?
20-year-old Swedish woman Linda-Marie Nilsson went to the beach, snapped a photo of herself in a bikini, and went viral:
Nillson uploaded the photo on Wednesday evening with the comment that if all those people with flat stomachs could post images of themselves at the beach, then so could she.
Just hours after going public with the pic, it had received several thousand likes, and within twenty-four hours this number had swelled to 60,000.
“After I made it public things started happening,” laughed Nilsson.
She added that she posted the image as a way to make plumper people snap photos of themselves at the beach too.
“It is mostly skinny girls that post photos of themselves in bikinis. Those who are a bit plumper like me usually just take photos of other things,” she said.
Salomon Rogberg of The Local has the story: Link
By standard definition, a matriarchy is a “family, group or state governed by a matriarch.” Anthropologists and feminists have since created more specific classifications for female societies, including the matrilineal system. Matrilineality refers not only to tracing one’s lineage through maternal ancestry, it can also refer to a civil system in which one inherits property through the matriline. This often leads to the division of such societies into matrilineal clans, or “matriclans.” Here are a few notable ones that still exist.
The newly divorced woman had never had to be the handyman around the house before, and quickly discovered she was lacking most of the proper tools to do the odd jobs needed. She made a trip to the local hardware store and quickly learned that it was truly a "man's world" there.
Thinking that she might be taken advantage of if she let on that she was indeed a novice, she made a determined effort to look and sound as if she knew what she was doing. Completing her first group of purchases she took them to the clerk at the counter and looking behind him she discovered she hadn't bought any files. She pointed to one and said "May I have one of those ?"
The clerk, unsure of what she was indicating said, "What... one of those bastards ?"
Without a pause, she said, "Yeah ! And ya better give me a few of those Son-of-a-Bitches next to 'em too."

There was this man in a mental hospital. All day he would put his ear to the wall and listen. The doctor would watch this guy do this day after day. So the doctor finally decided to see what the guy was listening to, so he put his ear up to the wall and listened. He heard nothing.
So he turned to the mental patient and said, "I don't hear anything."
The mental patient said, "Yeah, I know. It's been like that for months!"
Engineer: a person who knows a great deal about very little and who goes along knowing more and more about less and less, until finally he knows practically everything about nothing.
There is nothing so irritating as somebody with less intelligence and more sense than we have.--Don Herold
Henry Kissinger once asked Chou En-Lai to theorize on what might have happened if Nikita Khrushchev had been assassinated instead of John F. Kennedy.
After a moments thought, he answered: "I don't believe Mr. Onassis would have married Mrs. Khrushchev."
I was born on the first of the month so they called me "Bill."
I was once walking through the forest alone. A tree fell right in front of me -- and I didn't hear it.
Comma Sutra
Comma sutra
There were three Eskimos in Alaska, and one time while they were at their local bar, they got to talking about how cold it was outside, and how cold their igloos were. They could agree on everything but whose igloo was the coldest, so they decided to determine who, indeed, had the coldest igloo.
They went to the first Eskimo's igloo, where he said "Watch this!" and poured a cup of water into the air. Well, the water froze in mid-air and fell onto the floor solid.
"Not bad" said the other Eskimos, but each maintained their igloo was colder still.
So they went to the second Eskimo's igloo, and he said "Watch this!" and took a big breath and exhaled, whereupon his breath froze into a big lump and fell to the floor.
"Wow, that's colder than mine!"said the first Eskimo. But the third Eskimo exclaimed his was colder still.
So they ended up at the third Eskimo's igloo. He said "Watch this!" and went into the bedroom, looked under three hugh back thick furs, and retrieved one of several small balls of ice there. He took one of the small balls of ice and put it in a spoon, and held a match under it.
When it heated up enough, it went "FFFAAAARRRRTTT".
He won..............................................................

You have to read the whole thing:

The following is from a 1950's Home Economics textbook intended forthe High School girls, teaching how to prepare for married life.
1. Have dinner ready: Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal - on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him, and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.
2. Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.
3. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too.
4. Prepare the children: Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces if they are small, comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.
5. Minimize the noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him.
6. Some DON'TS: Don't greet him with problems or complaints. Don't complain if he's late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day.
7. Make him comfortable: Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink readyfor him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.
8. Listen to him: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.
9. Make the evening his: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment; instead try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his need to be home and relax.
10. The Goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can relax.
Now the updated version for the '90s woman.
1. Have dinner ready: Make reservations ahead of time. If your day becomes too hectic just leave him a voice mail message regarding where you'd like to eat and at what time. This lets him know that your day has been crappy and gives him an opportunity to change your mood.
2. Prepare yourself: A quick stop at the "LANCOME" counter on your way home will do wonders for your outlook and will keep you from becoming irritated every time he belches at the table. (Don't forget to use his credit card!)
3. Clear away the clutter: Call the housekeeper and let her know you'll need her for an extra day this week. Tell her that any miscellaneous items left on the floor by the children can be placed in the Goodwill box in the garage.
4. Prepare the children: Drop them off at grandma's!
5. Minimize the noise: When he arrives at home remind him that thewasher and garbage disposal are still not working properly and the noise is driving you crazy (but do this in a nice way and greet him with a warm smile...this way he might fix it faster).
6. Some DON'TS: Don't greet him with problems and complaints. Let him speak first, and then your complaints will get more attention and remain fresh in his mind throughout dinner. Don't complain if he's late for dinner. Simply remind him that the last one home does the cooking and the cleanup.
7. Make him comfortable: Remind him where he can find a warm fuzzy blanket if he's cold. This will show you really care.
8. Listen to him: But don't ever let him get the last word.
9. Make the evening his: a chance to get the washer and garbage disposal fixed.
10. The Goal: To try to keep things amicable without reminding him that you make more money than he does.
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