Saturday, May 26, 2012

Paws & Claws ~ May 26, 2012 ~ Towel Day, Star Wars 35 anniversary, Memorial Day Weekend

Fear is the path to the Dark Side.
Fear leads to anger,
anger leads to hate,
hate leads to suffering.
YODA, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace



A ‘Picture Perfect’ Launch
Looking like a bright star streaking up into a black sky, a rocket took off before dawn today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida carrying an unmanned capsule filled with food, clothes, and other supplies for astronauts on the international space station.
But this robotic cargo ship doesn’t belong to NASA. Instead, it’s owned by a company called SpaceX, which made history by launching the first ever private spacecraft on a mission to the station.
SpaceX has a $1.6 billion cargo-delivery contract with NASA, which is turning routine flights to the station over to industry so that the veteran space agency can start to focus on more ambitious exploration efforts. (NPR)
Photo: Historic @SpaceX #DragonLaunch to ISS. @NASA on Twitpic 

This is a landmark moment in space travel. With the entry of private firms into the public space game, NASA not only ensures continued support for ISS projects, but can turn their resources to missions above and beyond near-earth orbit. 
This is the kind of progress that lets NASA worry less about meeting a bottom line or boldly going where we’ve gone many times before, and instead lets them start thinking about what’s next.

Looking like a bright star streaking up into a black sky, a rocket took off before dawn today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida carrying an unmanned capsule filled with food, clothes, and other supplies for astronauts on the international space station. But this robotic cargo ship doesn’t belong to NASA. Instead, it’s owned by a company called SpaceX, which made history by launching the first ever private spacecraft on a mission to the station. SpaceX has a $1.6 billion cargo-delivery contract with NASA, which is turning routine flights to the station over to industry so that the veteran space agency can start to focus on more ambitious exploration efforts. (NPR)
This is a landmark moment in space travel. With the entry of private firms into the public space game, NASA not only ensures continued support for ISS projects, but can turn their resources to missions above and beyond near-earth orbit.
This is the kind of progress that lets NASA worry less about meeting a bottom line or boldly going where we’ve gone many times before, and instead lets them start thinking about what’s next.
(via npr)

2012 May
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
the highest resolution version available.
A Partial Solar Eclipse over Texas
Image Credit & Copyright: Jimmy Westlake (Colorado Mountain College) & Linda Westlake
Explanation: It was a typical Texas sunset except that most of the Sun was missing. The location of the missing piece of the Sun was not a mystery -- it was behind the Moon. Sunday night's partial eclipse of the Sun by the Moon turned into one of the best photographed astronomical events in history. Gallery after online gallery is posting just one amazing eclipse image after another. Pictured above is possibly one of the more interesting posted images -- a partially eclipsed Sun setting in a reddened sky behind brush and a windmill. The image was taken Sunday night from about 20 miles west of Sundown, Texas, USA, just after the ring of fire effect was broken by the Moon moving away from the center of the Sun. Coming early next month is an astronomical event that holds promise to be even more photographed -- the last partial eclipse of the Sun by Venus until the year 2117.

Eclipse Shadow on Earth Seen From Space

A total solar eclipse cast a huge shadow on Earth Wednesday, captured by a Japanese satellite.
Shown here covering Taiwan at 9:30 a.m. local time at nearly the height of the eclipse, the shadow covered some locations as long as six minutes, making it the longest solar eclipse of the century. The next one this impressive will not occur until 2132.
This image combines data from the MTSAT stationary satellite of the daytime portion of the globe with previous data from NASA of the nighttime portion.
May 20, 2012 Annular Solar Eclipse
"Lesson of the Goose"
1. As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird behind it. By flying in a V-formation, the whole flock adds 71 percent more flying range than if each bird flew alone.

Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier when they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

2. When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down. They stay with the goose to help and protect it until it is able to fly again or dies. Then they launch out with another formation to catch up with the flock.

Lesson: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other.

3. Whenever a goose falls out of the formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.

Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed where we want to go.

4. When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies at the point position.

Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership.

5. The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

Lesson: We need to make sure our honking from behind is encouraging- -not something less than helpful. This is Rex Barker, reminding you that there are constant lessons and reminders for us both as individuals and as humanity It is up to us to learn from them and grow.
"These aren’t the droids you’re looking for."
“May the Force be with you.”
“The Force is strong with this one.”
“I’ve got a very bad feeling about this.”
In honor of the 30th (now 35th) anniversary of the premiere of the original ‘Star Wars’ — back when the biggest explosion came from the last TIE fighter and Han actually shot first — we present to you 30 of the film’s most memorable quotations … and no questions asked.
Rio at Sunset “Rio at Sunset” – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Raymond Choo - Featured Photographer
Dad’s pager went off, summoning him to the hospital, where he is an anesthetist. As he raced toward the hospital, a patrol car sped up behind him–lights flashing.
Dad hung his stethoscope out the window to signal that he was on an emergency call.
Within seconds, came the police officer’s hand in response, dangling a pair of handcuffs out the window.
Sexual Calorie Counter
From the Federal International Gymnastics event held in Orlando FL last month.
Hooters Girl Can Hula Hoop
"On the Wild Side"
What To Do About Birds Hitting Windows
This is a common but huge problem that takes the lives of millions of birds annually.
How can you keep birds from flying into your windows?
And what to do if you see a bird collide with your window?
How Can Birds Eat If They Have No Teeth?
Most of us know that birds lack teeth. So how do they digest the hard grains and seeds many eat?
Their secret is an oddly named organ called the gizzard.
The sexually charged literary blockbuster, Fifty Shades of Grey gets adapted for the screen with Selena Gomez and Nick Kroll.
Game On
Real gamers
What did the dog get when he multiplied 88 x 7?
The wrong answer.
What kind of Bees make honey?
Honey Bees!

What kind of Bees make Milk?
The Lone Ranger and Tonto are riding through one of the many canyons when suddenly rising from the hill on their right are hundreds of indians. They start to spur their horse forward when they realised that there are hundreds of indians ahead of them. Wheeling to the left they, once again, see hundreds of indians rising from the hill. They begin to back away in the direction from which they had come and they realise, they were surrounded. The indians had spread out. They were trapped.

The Lone Ranger turns to Tonto, his life long friend, and says "Tonto, my firend, I think I must say that I have treasured our times together but now I think we are doomed".

" We?" replied Tonto "What's all this we, Paleface?"
A recruit who wasn't really meant to be a soldier went out to the rifle range for the first time. He missed every target and most of the hills behind them. Despondent, he said to the sergeant, "I think I'll just go and shoot myself."
The sergeant said, "Better take a couple of extra bullets!"
In the beginning the Universe was created... This made a lot of people angry and was widely regarded as a bad move.
-- Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
"Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." -- George Bernard Shaw
The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation. --Mark Twain

Albert Einstein, one of artist Noma Bar’s brilliant minimalist portraits of cultural icons

Relativity amazing.
Albert Einstein, one of artist Noma Bar’s brilliant minimalist portraits of cultural icons
Relativity amazing.
Netting a catch

I met her on the Internet,
she said her name was Kiki,
I spoke to her one Saturday,
it soon became twice weekly.

I liked her face, her pointed chin,
the way she touched her hair,
I loved her smile and glinting eyes,
and all beyond in there

I longed to meet her desperately,
but only could I dream,
of seeing her in the flesh
and not just on the screen

I booked my flight
and flew for hours,
I was feeling so elated
but finally, when we met
her face looked devastated

Why was this? I could not think.
Of course, I should have told her
I'm really only 4 feet tall,
and my head's a lot more balder.

It always seemed too good for real,
the honeymoon was over,
I reluctantly went home again,
and wept as I flew over

and soon enough , I did groan,
the relationship had ended
she broke my heart
the wretched bitch,
and still it hasn't mended

there is a happy ending though,
for after I lost Kiki,
I fell in love with Annabel
who doesn't find me geeky

Anna is a lovely sight,
she makes me warm inside
I have to blow her up, you see
cause she's my latex bride.

Sent by Dan
A sleeper from the Amazon
Put nighties of his gramazon.
The reason? That
He was too fat
To get his own pajamazon.
– Anonymous

First Pinskers Hawk-Eagle Hatched at Philippine Eagle Foundation

The Philippine Eagle Foundation announced a first in its conservation breeding program. They successfully hatched a Pinsker’s Hawk-Eagle chick on April 2 at their conservation breeding facility after an incubation period of 48 days. The chick is the first Pinsker’s Hawk-Eagle (Nisaetus pinskeri) bred and hatched in captivity. It came from a natural pair of parents and weighed a mere 57.2 grams when it hatched.
Once it reaches adulthood, this medium-sized eagle will look like the picture below. It will have a light brown body with a brown, black and white belly and a dark brown tail striped with four to five darker, narrow bands. Its head and under parts will be reddish-brown with black streaks, while the throat will be white. And its wings will become broad and rounded.
The Pinsker’s Hawk-Eagle, endemic to the Philippines, is a species of bird of prey in the Acciptridae family. It is considered threatened because of the loss of its natural habitat - the subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest. PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador said, “The fast diminishing forests and destruction of their habitats are still the biggest threats to their survival. We need everyone’s contribution to ensure that the Pinsker’s Hawk-Eagle population will increase, especially in the wild."
Adult Pinsker's Hawk-Eagle
Photo Credits: Philippine Eagle Foundation
Read more about the eagle and PEF's conservation efforts after the jump:
Continue reading "First Pinskers Hawk-Eagle Hatched at Philippine Eagle Foundation" »
Bush, A Suggestive Topiary Street Art Installation by Banksy
Fine-tuning the machinery of distinguishing the valid from the non-valid.
Seven years ago this week, David Foster Wallace argued that “learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think.” Yet in an age of ceaseless sensationalism, pseudoscience, and a relentless race for shortcuts, quick answers, and silver bullets, knowing what to think seems increasingly challenging.
Parking Douche is an Android app for reporting badly parked cars in Moscow (video). Users photograph offending cars and upload them to the Parking Douche database. The cars are then featured in banner ads on Moscow-based online newspaper (and Parking Douche developer) The Village. No word yet on whether the app will be expanded to other cities and countries. via The Atlantic Cities
Bill Hammack explains the intricacies of a smartphone accelerometer—the device that determines the orientation of the phone (video). via Gizmodo
Personally, I couldn’t drink coffee with sweetened condensed milk -certainly not this much! But the video is interesting, and the music is mesmerizing. The song is “Ding Dong” by Waipod Phetsuphan. -via Boing Boing
Your daily “wow” video.
Afiq Omar is back with another stunning crossover of physics and art. His previous work Ferroux used ferrofluids and other chemicals to create dynamic visual effects, haunting and exotic.
This latest video, Ferienne, uses more of those ferrofluids, taken to another level of visual complexity (and a pretty nice beat to boot). The shapes you see here are like peering into the invisible, using the ferrofluids to reveal the shapes of unseen magnetic fields. These are forms that we could never create in any other way, and are so random that each one may never be seen again.
Previously: At this rate ferrofluids are going to become my favorite thing on the internet. Don’t miss these dancing spires of “liquid wow” from a few weeks ago (plus more on the science of ferrofluids).
(by Afiq Omar)
Hans Rosling: Religions and Babies
Watching Hans Rosling chase data points across a screen with a huge pointer as he gives breathless play-by-play of statsitical changes will never get old.
In a planet that’s getting increasingly full, we must ask a couple of questions: How can we prepare for tomorrow’s population, whatever it will be? How do birth rates relate to lifestyle around the world?
I’ve heard it said before that certain religious beliefs lead to more children per woman. There’s the stereotype extremes of Latin American Catholics and Northern European athiests. Do they hold water?
Hans takes a look at world religions, average income and family planning and how they relate to birth rates and population growth in the way that only Mr. Rosling can.
I’ll let you watch the details, but controlling population is most certainly about providing more opportunity, not less religion. An instant TED favorite. (via TED)
$1 Million Parking Spot
Getting parking in New York is pretty hard, so get ready to pay up if you want your own personal parking spot. How much, you ask? How bout a cool million bucks:
The private garage at 66 E. 11th St. costs six times more than the national-average price of a single-family home. Buying it would be the same as paying a $115 ticket for illegal parking every day — for 24 years. For moguls or celebrities, however, the rare commodity of a Manhattan parking space inside their building, with a curb cut at the street, is a huge status symbol and selling point. [...] The hot space is about 12 feet wide, 23 feet long and more than 15 feet high. The spot could be “duplexed” if the buyer decides to install an elevator lift so he or she can slide both the Maserati and the Lamborghini in at the same time. Annie Karni of The NY Post has the story: Link
Oregon Zoo Keeper Cares for Bear Cub
This post was reprinted in entirety from the Oregon Zoo's outstanding press release
"Michelle, we need your help."
So began a conversation that Michelle Schireman, an Oregon Zoo keeper known for taking in orphaned cougar cubs, realized would upend her life, both professionally and personally, for a while. It was her day off from the zoo, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife was calling her at home.
“If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.”
Originally published in 1993, The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning (public library) explores what’s arguably the most important dimension of what it means to be human — our inherent imperfection — and the many ways in which we violate it daily, delivering a constellation of wisdom and practical insight on how to live in a way that enables, rather than disempowers, our humanity.
Two retired ladies were on the beach in Miami.
They were discussing the fact that if they go for a swim, someone might steal their cigarettes, but if they take the cigarettes with them, they will get soaked. Then they notice a gorgeous girl walking out of the ocean. She reaches into the top of her swimsuit, pulls out a perfectly dry cigarette and book of matches and lights up. The ladies go up to the girl and ask, "How do you keep your cigarettes dry?" Her answer, "I put them inside of a condom."

The women rush to a pharmacy and ask for a condom.
When the pharmacist asks, "What size?" one of the ladies says, "It should fit a Camel."

Margarita Maker

Margarita makerAt the party I went to Saturday they had this homemade Margarita maker.
It consists of a large cooler attached to a stool with piping and a garbage disposal attached.
You just throw your ingredients and ice in and flip on the garbage disposal and it crushes your ice and mixes your drink.
Just open the spigot and it serves up an icy frosty cold beverage.
To top it off, it’s decked out in a coconut bikini top too!
What a great idea!
Mazatec is an adjective describing things relating to the Mazatec people, indigenous inhabitants of Sierra Mazateca in Northern Oaxaca, Mexico.
Mazatec tradition includes the cultivation of
entheogens for spiritual and ritualistic use. Plants and fungi used for this purpose include morning glory seeds, coleus leaves, psilocybe mushrooms and Salvia divinorum or "Diviners' sage", a species of the Salvia (sage) genus with psychoactive properties. This latter plant is known to Mazatec shamans as ska María Pastora, the name containing a reference to the Virgin Mary.
I was reading the novel, The Devil's Elixer.
It mentioned a bunch of drugs I was unfamiliar with, so, I looked them up.
They are real!
Psilocybin mushroom
Psilocybe is a genus of small mushrooms growing worldwide. This genus is best known for its species with psychedelic or hallucinogenic properties, widely known as "magic mushrooms", though the majority of species do not contain hallucinogenic compounds. Psilocin and psilocybin are the hallucinogenic compounds responsible for the psychoactive effects of many species in the genus.
Salvia Divnorum
Salvia divinorum (also known as Diviner's Sage, Ska María Pastora, Seer's Sage, and by its genus name Salvia) is a psychoactive plant which can induce dissociative effects and is a potent producer of "visions" and other hallucinatory experiences. Its native habitat is within cloud forest in the isolated Sierra Mazateca of Oaxaca, Mexico, where it grows in shady and moist locations. Mazatec shamans have a long and continuous tradition of religious use of Salvia divinorum, using it to facilitate visionary states of consciousness during spiritual healing sessions.Salvia divinorum remains legal in most countries and, within the United States, is legal in the majority of states. However, some have called for its prohibition. While not currently regulated by US federal drug laws, several states have passed laws criminalizing the substance.
Ayahuasca 4 lives of the skull
Ayahuasca (ayawaska pronounced [ajaˈwaska] in the Quechua language) is any of various psychoactive infusions or decoctions prepared from the Banisteriopsis spp. vine, usually mixed with the leaves of dimethyltryptamine (DMT)-containing species of shrubs from the genus Psychotria. The brew, first described academically in the early 1950s by Harvard ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes, who found it employed for divinatory and healing purposes by the native peoples of Amazonian Colombia, is known by a number of different names.
Iboga sacred visionary root
Tabernanthe iboga or Iboga is a perennial rainforest shrub and hallucinogen, native to western Central Africa. Iboga stimulates the central nervous system when taken in small doses and induces visions in larger doses. In parts of Africa where the plant grows the bark of the root is chewed for various pharmacological or ritualistic purposes. Ibogaine, the active alkaloid, is also used to treat substance abuse disorders. The root material, bitter in taste, causes an anaesthetic sensation in the mouth as well as systemic numbness to the skin.
Imagine a drug that can transform you into a zombie slave. An automaton that loses all free will, is incredibly compliant but still appears to be alert and coherent. The drug is easily extracted from a very common plant, is tasteless, odourless and can be swiftly mixed into drinks, food and cigarettes. This demon drug is called borrachero. Ask any Colombian local about borrachero, also known as burundanga, and they’re sure to tell you some horror story corroborating the description above.
Firstly, let us say that borrachero is real and dangerous. The active substance is scopolamine and is extracted from the Bugmansia plant, also known as Angel’s Trumpet, which grows wild throughout the Andes. However the stories about criminals chemically inducing obedience are a bit of an urban myth.
Onza ~ cougar-like
The Onza is claimed to be a feline species similar to a cougar. It is a cryptid – a creature whose existence has been claimed but not proved. Most cryptozoologists felt that the onza represented a new subspecies of cougar, or possibly an entirely new species of cat German mammalogist Helmut Hemmer even suggested that it was an extant specimen of the prehistoric American cheetah .
I was listening to the Audio CD of Richard Dawkins', The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True.
He described the odds of being dealt certain hands:
Thirteen Spades
Your mathematical chance of receiving such a hand of all spades is one in 635,013,559,600 deals.
The chance of 4 players receiving a suit is one in 536,447,737,765,488,792,839,237,440,000 deals.
That is:
1 in 536 Octillion, 447 Septillion, 737 Sextillion, 765 Quintillion, 488 Quadrillion, 792 Trillion, 839 Billion, 237 Million, 440 Thousand.
Base -illion
short scale)
U.S. and modern British
short scale)
Traditional British
long scale)
Traditional European (Peletier)
long scale)
Thousand million
Thousand billion
Thousand trillion
Quindecillion (Quinquadecillion)
Sexdecillion (Sedecillion)
Novemdecillion (Novendecillion)
The googol family
The names googol and googolplex were invented by Edward Kasner's nephew, Milton Sirotta, and introduced in Kasner and Newman's 1940 book, Mathematics and the Imagination, in the following passage:
The name "googol" was invented by a child (Dr. Kasner's nine-year-old nephew) who was asked to think up a name for a very big number, namely 1 with one hundred zeroes after it. He was very certain that this number was not infinite, and therefore equally certain that it had to have a name. At the same time that he suggested "googol" he gave a name for a still larger number: "Googolplex". A googolplex is much larger than a googol, but is still finite, as the inventor of the name was quick to point out. It was first suggested that a googolplex should be 1, followed by writing zeros until you got tired. This is a description of what would actually happen if one actually tried to write a googolplex, but different people get tired at different times and it would never do to have Carnera a better mathematician than Dr. Einstein, simply because he had more endurance. The googolplex is, then, a specific finite number, equal to 1 with a googol zeros after it.
Kasner and Newman, dictionaries (see above)
10googol =
Kasner and Newman, dictionaries (see above)
Conway and Guy have suggested that N-plex be used as a name for 10N. This gives rise to the name googolplexplex for 10googolplex. This number (ten to the power of a googolplex) is also known as a googolduplex. Conway and Guy have proposed that N-minex be used as a name for 10−N, giving rise to the name googolminex for the reciprocal of a googolplex. None of these names are in wide use, nor are any currently found in dictionaries.
Man Customizes His Mustang With A Sharpie
If I didn’t know the back story, I never would have suspected that this custom paint job was created with permanent marker!
Chris Dunlop took the customization of his Mustang into his own hands, spending 50 hours and burning through a bunch of Sharpie pens to create this automotive masterpiece.
The only drawback- if he leaves his car outside during a particularly acidic rain storm all that hard work will go swirling down the drain. –via AnimalNY
"DC Comics announced that one of its existing superheroes will be reintroduced as gay. Or as Aquaman put it, 'Why is everyone looking at me?'" -Jimmy Fallon

"For the first time ever, scientists have created artificial life. The hope is that it can revolutionize healthcare, generate clean energy, become super-intelligent, take over the world, make us all its slaves, etc." -Jimmy Kimmel
The Dodecahedron of Destiny

This one is for all of you college grads. From the creative mind of Grant Snider of Incidental Comics, here is the Dodecahedron of Destiny! Link
Both held on the same night at the same venue.
"Marriage Definitions"

BACHELOR: A nice guy who has cheated some nice girl out of her alimony.

BRIDE: A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.

COMPROMISE: An amiable arrangement between husband and wife whereby they agree to let her have her own way.

DIPLOMAT: A man who can convince his wife she would look fat in a fur coat.

GENTLEMAN: A husband who steadies the stepladder so that his wife will not fall while she paints the ceiling.

HOUSEWORK: What the wife does that nobody notices until she doesn't do it.

HUSBAND: A man who gives up privileges he never realized he had.

JOINT CHECKING ACCOUNT: A handy little device which permits the wife to beat the husband to the draw.

LOVE: An obsessive delusion that is cured by marriage.

MOTHER-IN-LAW: A woman who destroys her son-in-law's peace of mind by giving him a piece of hers.

MRS.: A job title involving heavy duties, light earnings, and no recognition.

SPOUSE: Someone who will stand by you through all the trouble you wouldn't have had if you'd stayed single in the first place.

WIFE: A mate who is forever complaining about not having anything to wear at the very same time that she complains about not having enough room in the closet.
"One of the pioneers of TV passed away over the weekend, Eugene Polley, who invented the remote control. Polley died doing what he loved: not getting up." -Jimmy Kimmel
"That Facebook guy, Mark Zuckerberg, got married over the weekend. His company goes public, and he's now worth $100 billion. Then he gets married. He may not be as smart as we thought." -Dave Letterman
The website Cymbolism wants your input to help establish what colors people associate with words. You’ll be given a word, and you select the color that you most associate it with, from a rather limited selection of colors. Some words are hard to color, like “Brooklyn.” The best part is that your response to each word is immediately posted underneath the quiz, along with other people’s responses, like the screenshot shown here of my responses. So, I can see that I’m not all that weird compared to those who went before me. I cut off the words in order not to influence your responses, but I’ll go ahead and admit that the word “mellow” made me select yellow -and so did others. Link -via Breakfast Links
George Lucas Strikes Back … with Low Income Housing
For 25 years, George Lucas tried to develop a portion of his 6,100-acre property in the posh hills of Marin into an expansion site for his movie production company. But his neighbors, fearing traffic and disruption to their neighborhood, blocked the plan. Now, in a move worthy of a Star Wars saga, the famous filmmaker struck back with an audacious plan:
... after spending years and millions of dollars, Mr. Lucas abruptly canceled plans recently for the third, and most likely last, major expansion, citing community opposition. An emotional statement posted online said Lucasfilm would build instead in a place “that sees us as a creative asset, not as an evil empire.” If the announcement took Marin by surprise, it was nothing compared with what came next. Mr. Lucas said he would sell the land to a developer to bring “low income housing” here. Norimitsu Onishi of The New York Times reports: Link (Photo: Wikipedia)
If we made a dictionary of all the integers, arranging their English names in alphabetical order, which would come first and which last?
The Tighty Whiteys Burglar
The balaclava is in the wash, but the crime must go on!
An Idaho burglar wore a pair of underwear on his head as he and another man broke into a Fruitland coffee shop. Perhaps he figured the tighty-whities would do a better job hiding his face than the more conventional bandana his partner wore. The two bandits kicked in the door and though they couldn't get the safe, they made off with a cash register containing about $500. "Who robs something with underwear on their head?" said an incredulous Jason Wilson, co-owner of a chain of Big Star coffee shops.
Link | More pics at KTVB
Surprisingly, this is not the first time underpants is the disguise of choice for the criminal class.
Since he runs a pawnshop, I decided to ask a friend of mine to appraise my grandfather's violin. "Old fiddles aren't worth much, I'm afraid," he explained.
"What makes it a fiddle and not a violin?" I asked.
"If you're buying it from me, it's a violin. If I'm buying it from you, it's a fiddle."

An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted. --Arthur Miller

It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts... For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it. --Patrick Henry

The greatest obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the oceans was not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge. --Daniel Boorstin

Illusion is the first of all pleasures.~ Voltaire
adj. very good
The word eellogofusciouhipoppokunurious is longer than the word antidisestablishmentarianism.
Insectavora Planets Eellogofusciouhipoppokunurious
Insectavora Haunted Eellogofusciouhipoppokunurious
"A critic is like a eunich: he knows exactly how it ought to be done."
How do you know when your girlfriend is on anabolic steroids?
When she flips you over, holds you down and fucks you ….up the arse with her clitoris.

Adam Wallacavage’s Shiny Monsters
The bright and shiny monsters in Adam Wallacavage’s latest series of works would look right at home in any haunted mansion, tomb or spooky kook’s swanky pad, and they really know how to light up a room!
Created with a sense of whimsy, and a ghoulishly delightful interior design aesthetic, these sculptural delights have an added bonus built in-they fill the room with tentacled shadows, sure to frighten and delight once the sun goes down!
A little old lady walked into the bank, cashed a small check, and started out.
Passing the armed guard, she smiled and said, "You can go home now."
So, you don't like jail?
Naw, they got the wrong kind of bars in there.
- Charles Bukowski

Arnold's Laws of Documentation:
(1) If it should exist, it doesn't.
(2) If it does exist, it's out of date.
(3) Only documentation for useless programs transcends the first two laws.
Did you hear about the tramp who walked up to the Jewish mother on the street and said, "Lady, - I haven't eaten in three days." "Force yourself" she replied.
No but seriously, R U? :)
A page from an edition of Mondo 2000, a cyberculture magazine that was published in California during the mid 1990s.
Every month The Guardian asks its readers to send in art based on a different theme. This month’s theme was science. See what came in.
To be perfectly original one should think much and read little, and this is impossible, for one must have read before one has learnt to think.
Lord Byron, on the paradox of being original and combining previous influences. A crisis of any creator, artistic or scientific.
Salt Made From Various Types Of Human Tears
Who knew the tears that we cry could be used to make a variety of different salts? The people at We Made This, that’s who!
They’ve bottled our pain, pleasure and culinary sacrifice and created a line of salts suitable for various occasions and functions. Slap on a label with literary flair and flavor suggestions and you’ve got a product that’s perfect for a store called Hoxton Street Monster Supplies, one of the 826 National Stores. Not familiar with 826 National? Check out this LINK.
No one is perfect. The mere fact that one is human is a flaw in itself.
- Robert Heinlen
Never stand between a dog and the hydrant.
- John Peers
To Dance on the Moon
The Apollo program considered many spacesuit designs, including some covered in plates of hard plastic, before settling on one design. This video by SciFri cleverly edits videos of astronauts testing the range of motion in different hard suit designs so that they appear to dance. -via Swiss Miss
Rednect pacifier

John Travolta's shirt in Saturday Night Fever was specially designed so that it buttoned at the crotch.

Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers of Chic were refused entrance to New York's legendary Studio 54 on New Year's Eve in 1977. They returned to Rodgers' apartment with a few bottles of champagne and began jamming. The riff they came up with evolved into "Le Freak," which went on to sell 13 million copies worldwide.

Earlier records had sold a million copies, but Johnnie Taylor's number one hit, "Disco Lady," was the first single to be awarded a platinum single by the RIAA. This song was the first to sell a million copies after the RIAA first introduced the award in 1977.

Victor Willis, the original police officer and lead singer of the Village People, was once married to Phylicia Rashad, who portrayed mother Clair Huxtable on TV's The Cosby Show.

On July 12, 1979, the White Sox were forced to forfeit to the Tigers when Chicago DJ Steve Dahl's "Disco Demolition Night" promotion went awry. The previous night's game had attracted 15,000 fans, so stadium officials were unprepared for the 90,000 who showed up and swarmed the field between games.

Record producer Tom Moulton was the brainchild behind extended remixes for disco songs, created so that folks could fully enjoy dancing to a song for more than three minutes. He came up with the concept of the 12-inch single, the first of which was Moment of Truth's "So Much for Love."
Quicksand is a staple hazard of adventure movies, TV shows and video games. Whenever a minor character needs to be killed off quickly, the hero needs someone to rescue, or danger needs to be introduced without calling the villain in, quicksand is there to fulfill the task and swallow an explorer whole. But what exactly is quicksand?
Mad Engine will soon (08/29/12) be releasing a series of pretty sweet looking Star Wars-themed zip-up hoodies. Not sure I’m a big fan of the fact that you can go “full-face” with them, but generally, the designs look really nice.
Cows Crash Party, Drink Up Beer
A dozen humans were having a party late Sunday night in Boxford, Massachusetts when several cows charged them, drove them off, then drank up the beer that they left behind. Police came to rescue the precious suds before they completely disappeared:
“I saw one cow drinking the beer on its way down as it spilled off the table,” Lt. Riter reportedly said. “Some of the cows were also picking through the empties in the recycling bin… They just went in and helped themselves.”
The cows’ owner came and herded them back home. The cows went peacefully, which is good, because cows tend to be angry drunks. Link -via The Agitator | Photo: Boxford PD
Tornado Arrives at Wedding Embarrassingly Late
It’s just a tornado…eight to ten miles away from the wedding. In Harper, Kansas, people can deal with that:
“I had my mind on marrying my now wife,” said Caleb Pence. His bride, a native of northeast Nebraska who had never seen a tornado before, was much less at ease. He said that when he told her what was happening, she responded, “I don’t want to hear it right now.”‘ Some of the guests who filled the 250 folding chairs checked weather reports on their cellphones. But otherwise, the 20-minute service — complete with a solo singing performance — wasn’t altered.
For years the alternative energy community has been searching for an organic method, some enzyme or bacteria that can break down the cellulose efficiently. The search has been unsuccessful...until recently.

Understanding the makeup of a bacterium found in the soil of a tropical rainforest may lead to more efficient production of biofuels, U.S. researchers say.

The production of liquid fuels derived from plant biomass offers a promising technology for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels, but toxic chemicals, especially salty solvents, used in the first steps in the process are often harmful to bacteria then used to break down the biomass, they said.

Now scientists led by researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have discovered how certain bacteria can tolerate those man-made toxic chemicals used in making biofuels.

"Discovering microbes naturally tolerant to salty liquids and understanding their mechanisms of tolerance should significantly enhance biofuel production," Lawrence Livermore's Michael Thelen said.

Microbes in natural environments such as decomposing forest soils produce highly efficient enzymes to degrade biomass and are often able to adapt to stressful changes in their environment, the researchers found.

The researchers focused on enterobacter lignolyticus strain SCF1, a bacterium that can degrade biomass, and found SCF1 grows well in the presence of relatively high concentrations of the salty liquids used in a pretreatment step in biofuel production.

"Vigorous efforts to discover and analyze micro-organisms with properties similar to those of SCF1 have the potential to greatly benefit industrial processes," Thelen said.

QUOTE: "It is incontestable that music induces in us a sense of the infinite and the contemplation of the invisible."

HINT: (1812-1883), French poet and critic.

ANSWER: Victor de Laprade.
The Biggest Wave Ever Surfed
The wave is staggering just to look at. Last November, professional surfer Garrett McNamara caught a 78-foot wave off the coast of Portugal. It was 1 foot taller than the previous record, thus establishing a Guinness World Record for the tallest wave ever surfed. Link -via Ace of Spades HQ
Burton-themed Zoetrope Cake
Last year, French photographer Alexandre DUBOSC gave us Alimation, a video of various zoetropes made of food. His latest project is a zoetrope made of a chocolate cake decorated in a Tim Burton theme. He calls it “The Caketrope of BURTON’s Team,” which may be approaching too many themes for one mashup. You decide. At DUBOSC’s site, you can see some of the “making of” process. Link -via Laughing Squid
Geekiest Google Moog Doodle Performance Ever!
Remember the Moog doodle that Google put up to honor synthesizer pioneer Robert Moog? Wired's Underwire blog has a round up of the geekiest cover tunes recorded by web artists from around the world: Link
The one above is the cover of Daft Punk's Aerodynamic by Brett Domino.
The 10 Most Viral Star Wars Memes
On this date in 1977, a film hit theaters that would influence everything that came after: Star Wars. Now known as Episode IV or A New Hope, it was the first of six feature films and a universe of other media. In honor of the occasion, Ranker has published a list of the 10 Most Viral Star Wars Memes. Which is your favorite? Personally, I’m going to laugh at anything that has to do with Backstroke of the West, but your mileage may vary. Some text is NSFW. Link
TV Reporter Caught Faking A Storm
A good reporter waits to capture that perfect news moment on film. A GREAT reporter, makes news happen!
This is what happened when a Romanian news reporter turned up a bit too late to capture a storm live on TV:
The bungling reporter has become a national laughing stock in Romania after convincing an assistant to stand just outside the camera shot and kick sand towards his direction. He was caught out however when a cheeky, or shockingly bad, cameraman let those watching at home in on the secret. The reporter, from the Realitatea news channel, was attempting to recreate the earlier stormy conditions for his live weather report from the country's Black Sea coast.
Metro has the story: Link- via Gawker
First Time Driver
The first smile, first step, first car ... All are precious Kodak Moments to be captured for eternity. Via Cubicle Bot
30 Famous People With Law Degrees
You may have heard that law schools are currently cranking out more graduates than the market can handle. But those with law degrees have gone on to careers outside their area for a long time. Can you believe some of the folks who have a degree in law?
4. John Cleese. One of the funniest men in the history of comedy has a law degree from no less than Cambridge. But he didn’t leave the jury rolling in the aisles: Cleese never actually practiced. After meeting writing partner Graham Chapman at school, Cleese went on to co-found a little comedy troupe called Monty Python.
9. Ozzie Nelson. The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet star graduated from Rutgers, law degree in hand, in 1930. This no doubt came in handy when he negotiated the first-ever “noncancellable ten-year contract,” an agreement with ABC that gave the Nelsons a salary for 10 years, even if they weren’t working.
17. Fidel Castro. Castro was admitted to the bar in 1950 after studying at the University of Havana. He had his own firm for a time – Azpiazo, Castro & Resende.
But that’s just a few examples from a list of 30 at mental_floss. Link
10 Latin Phrases You Pretend to Understand
Ten phrases that have survived the hatchet men of time (in all their pretentious glory).
1. Caveat Emptor
(KAV-ee-OT emp-TOR): “Let the buyer beware”
Oh, and just so you know, caveat lector means “let the reader beware.” (not that you’ll ever, ever need to know that!)
2. Persona Non Grata
(puhr-SOH-nah non GRAH-tah): “An unacceptable person”
3. Habeas Corpus
(HAY-bee-as KOR-pus): “You have the body”
more …
Feed Shelter Pets By Answering Trivia Questions
Wanna help feed animals in shelters but don’t have any extra cash to donate? Then check out or and answer one of their daily trivia questions. Even if you answer wrong, ten pieces of kibble or kitty food will be donated to a shelter in need.
Philosophy according to a Guy
Life is like a penis - simple, relaxed and hanging free .....
It's women who make it hard!!
Thanks, Cindy
Voice Actors Read Star Wars Radio Play
You may say “meh” at the idea of a Star Wars: A New Hope radio play, but when that play is read by voice actors playing the classic animated characters they’re best known for voicing, “meh” quickly becomes “eh?!” and eventually turns to “eeeeee!” in a squeal of delight.
This video from the Emerald City Comicon contains over an hour of voice acting magic, as if the roles in Star Wars were being played by Pinky from Pinky and the Brain (Rob Paulsen), Jake from Adventure Time (John DiMaggio), and Bubbles from the Powerpuff Girls (Tara Strong) just to name a few.
It’s like animation magic for your eardrums!
Medieval Illuminated Initial Cookies
Anniina at Luminarium Blog baked cookies and decorated them with medieval illuminations printed on edible paper with edible ink. They turned out lovely! Get a closer look at the site. Link -via Boing Boing
When asked for her occupation, a woman charged with a traffic violation said she was a schoolteacher. The judge rose from the bench. "Madam, I have waited years for a schoolteacher to appear before this court," he smiled with delight.
"Now sit down at that table and write 'I will not pass through a red light' five hundred times."
The following is a "history" collected by teachers throughout the United States, from eighth grade through college level. Read carefully, and you will learn a lot.


The inhabitants of ancient Egypt were called mummies. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere, so certain areas of the dessert are cultivated by irritation. The Egyptians built the Pyramids in the shape of a huge triangular cube. The Pyramids are a range of mountains between France and Spain.

The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the Bible, Guinesses, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. On of their children, Cain, once asked, "Am I my brother's son?" God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Montezuma. Jacob, son of Isaac, stole his brother's birth mark. Jacob was a patriarch who brought up his twelve sons to be patriarchs, but they did not take it. One of Jacob's sons, Joseph, gave refuse to the Israelites.

Pharaoh forced the Hebrew slaves to make bread without straw. Moses led them to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Philatelists, a race of people who lived in the Biblical times. Soloman, one of David's sons, had 500 wives and 500 porcupines.

Without the Greeks we wouldn't have history. The Greeks invented three kinds of columns - Corinthian, Doric, and Ironic. They also had myths. A myth is a female moth. One myth says that the mother of Achilles dipped him in the River Stynx until he became intollerable. Achilles appears in The Iliad, by Homer. Homer also wrote The Oddity, in which Penelope was the last hardship that Ulysses endured on his journey. Actually, Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name.

Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock.

In the Olympic games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits, the threw the java. The reward to the victor was a coral wreath. The government of Athens was democratic because people took the law into their own hands. There were no wars in Greece, as the mountains were so high that they couldn't climb over to see what their neighbors were doing. When they fought with the Persians, the Greeks were outnumbered because the Persians had more men.

Eventually, the Ramons conquered the Greeks. History calls people Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long. At Roman banquets, the guests wore garlic in their hair. Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king. Nero was a cruel tyranny who would turture his poor subjects by playing the fiddle to them.

Then came the Middle Ages. King Alfred conquered the Dames. King Arthur lived in the Age of Shivery, King Harold mustarded his troops before the Battle of Hastings, Joan of Arc was canonized by Bernard Shaw, and victims of the Black Death grew boobs on their necks. Finally, Magna Carta provided that no free man should be hanged twice for the same offense.

In medevil time most of the people were alliterate. The greatest writer of the time was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and versus and also wrote literature. Another tale tells of William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son's head.

The Renaissance was an age in which more individuals felt the value of their human being. Martin Luther was nailed to the church door at Wittenberg for selling papal indulgences. He died a horrible death, being excommunicated by a bull. It was the painter Donatello's interes in the female nude that made him the father of the Renaissance. It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented the Bible. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes. Another important invention was the circulation of blood. Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100 foot clipper.

The government of England was a limited mockery. Henry VIII found walking difficult because he had an abbess on his knee. Queen Elizabeth was the "Virgin Queen." As a queen she was a success. When Elizabeth exposed herself before her troops, they all shouted, "hurrah." Then her navy went out and defeated the Spanish Armadillo.

The greatest write of the Renaissance was William Shakespear. Shakespear never made much money and is only famous because of his plays. He lived at Windsor with his merry wives, writing tragedies, comedies and errors. In one of Shakespear's famous plays, Hamlet rations out his situation by relieving himself in a long soliloquy. In another, Lady Macbeth tried to convince Macbeth to kill the Kind by attack his manhood. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic
couplet. Writing at the same time as Shakespear was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.

During the Renaissance America began. Christopher Columbus was a great navigator who discovered America while cursing about the Atlantic. His ships were called the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Fe. Later, the Pilgrims crossed the Ocean, and this was known as Pilgrims Progress. When they landed at Plymouth Rock, they were greeted by the Indians, who came down the hill rolling their war hoops before them. The Indian squabs carried porpoises on their back. Many
of the Indian heroes were killed, along with their cabooses, which proved very fatal for them. The winter of 1620 was a hard one for the settlers. Many people died and many babies were born. Captain John Smith was responsible for all this.
Going the speed of light is bad for your age.

A baby is something you carry inside of you for 9 months, In your arms for three years, And in your heart till the day you die.
-- Monica Mason --
1. Physical Attraction Test: [Hugo Gernsback] explains that in order to measure the level of a couple's physical attraction for one another, electrodes must be attached to each person's wrist so that an "electrical sphygmograph" can record their pulse.
Phony dying bride ordered to repay those she swindled
A New York bride who faked having terminal cancer to swindle well-wishers into funding her dream wedding and honeymoon to the Caribbean on Wednesday was ordered to repay more than $13,000 to her victims…
Jessica Vega, 25, pleaded guilty last month to fraud and forgery charges for deceiving people in the Hudson Valley area of New York into thinking she had only a few months to live, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said. Moved by her tale, individuals and businesses donated thousands of dollars to pay for her wedding in May 2010 and her honeymoon in Aruba.
Her scheme unraveled after her husband, Michael O’Connell, contacted the Times Herald-Record in Orange County to say his bride had faked her illness. He was not charged, and the couple have since divorced, although the Times Herald-Record reported he was there to pick her up from jail on Wednesday.
“To prey on people’s emotions by pretending to have a terminal illness is unconscionable,” Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in a statement. “I am pleased that the community members, who felt so compelled to generously help a neighbor in need, will be given back their hard-earned money.”
Besides repaying $13,368.48 to her victims, Vega was sentenced to time already served in jail, must do 300 hours of community service and serve five years on probation. She spent eight weeks in jail before her release on Wednesday.
I hope her community service is dedicated to those truly stricken with life-threatening illness.
Ditto, thanks, Ed
"Everyman" - The Unipiper for Filmed By Bike 2010
Keeping Portland weird
Playing with fire: the international fire festival in Minsk, Belarus
Pic of the day — from the international fire festival in Minsk
Fire festival in Minsk, Belarus
Some historians – including Charles Bigelow, a type historian and designer of the Lucida and Wingdings font families – think that an i all by itself would have become illegible after multiple handlings and readings of a manuscript, and scribes had to make the pronoun graphically sturdier to stand the tests of time and smudging hands.
KURT VONNEGUT: The life of art
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) was an American writer known for his unique novels that combined memoir, humour, satire, cynicism and science-fiction. Vonnegut fought in World War II where he was captured by the Nazis and as a POW, witnessed the fire bombing of Dresden – an event which profoundly affected his outlook on life. Vonnegut and his fellow prisoners were forced to recover dead bodies and clean up a city that he said resembled the surface of the moon. Vonnegut had a talent for condensing profound humanistic opinions into concise and simple words.
Here’s a great article at The AV Club featuring Vonnegut’s top 15 quotes.
"So it goes."Unlike many of these quotes, the repeated refrain from Vonnegut's classic Slaughterhouse-Five isn't notable for its unique wording so much as for how much emotion—and dismissal of emotion—it packs into three simple, world-weary words that simultaneously accept and dismiss everything. There's a reason this quote graced practically every elegy written for Vonnegut over the past two weeks (yes, including ours): It neatly encompasses a whole way of life. More crudely put: "Shit happens, and it's awful, but it's also okay. We deal with it because we have to."
Pin art
Zen Magnets vs Buckyballs Comparison Video
Zen Magnets - Bridged Dodecahedron (3300 balls)
Super-Stellated Shape (Zen Magnets)
Massive Zen Magnet Bowl
Zen Magnets - Icosahedron with diagonal polygons
Make Thermite out of Sand
How to make fire using only a Orange
This Russian city uses old Soviet tanks as playgrounds
In the environs of the southwestern Siberian city of Omsk, you can find decommissioned Soviet tanks welded shut and dotting children's playgrounds. Behold the most hardcore playground accoutrements this side of splinter-covered monkey bars.
This article about chickens is one of the most interesting things you’ll read this week
That's right. I said it. Chickens.
I know, I was skeptical at first, too; but earlier this morning, I sat down to glance at this longread by Smithsonian Magazine's Jerry Adler and Andrew Lawler and I'll be damned if I didn't read it straight through.
The piece — entitled "How the Chicken Conquered the World" — offers up a surprisingly engaging mix of clearly explained science, little-known history, and meaty cultural dissection. It's excellent, and well worth setting aside the time to read.
With Jose Gonzalez’ “punishment wheel,” patented in 1989, a misbehaving child can randomly choose the punishment he’ll receive. “From the child’s point of view, it appears that an inanimate object is choosing and imposing the punishment, instead of his parents. Direct parent-child conflict is thereby eliminated.”
Available punishments, provided on decals, include NO TV, TIME OUT, GROUNDED, 2ND CHANCE, NO DESSERT, DONATE A TOY, PARENT’S CHOICE, K.P., NO ALLOWANCE, NO SPORTS, NO PHONE, NO FRIENDS, KID’S CHOICE, SWATS [a spanking], NO VISITING, NO TREAT, and HOUSE CHORES. But “the punishments need not be those shown in Fig. 4, but could be any set of punishments, expressed in any language, deemed suitable for the disciplinary style of particular parents and degree of maturity of their child.”
In 1850 Edgar Allan Poe pointed out the confusion that can result when a ship reckons time while circling the world. Captain Smitherton and Captain Pratt have just returned from circumnavigating the globe, one traveling eastward and the other westward, while Kate and her father Mr. Rumgudgeon have remained in London. On reuniting, they discover some confusion: Captain Pratt thinks that tomorrow will be Sunday, Smitherton thinks that yesterday was Sunday, and Kate and Rumgudgeon think that today is Sunday. Finally Smitherton says:
What fools we two are ! — Mr. Rumgudgeon, the matter stands thus: The earth, you know, is, in round numbers, twenty-four thousand miles in circumference. Now the earth turns on its own axis, spins round, these twenty-four thousand miles, going from west to east, in precisely twenty-four hours. Well, sir, that is at the rate of one thousand miles an hour.
Now suppose that I sail from this position a thousand miles east. Of course, I anticipate the rising of the sun here at London by just one hour. I see the sun rise one hour before you do. Proceeding in the same direction yet another thousand miles, I anticipate the rising by two hours; another thousand, and I anticipate it by three hours: and so on, until I go entirely round the globe, and back to this spot, when having gone twenty-four thousand miles east, I anticipate the rising of the London sun by no less than twenty-four hours; that is to say, I am a day in advance of your time. Understand?
But Captain Pratt, when he had sailed a thousand miles west of this position, was an hour, and when he had sailed twenty-four thousand miles was twenty-four hours, or one day, behind the time at London. Thus, with me, yesterday was Sunday; thus, with you, to-day is Sunday; and thus, with Captain Pratt, to-morrow will be Sunday. And what is more, Mr. Rumgudgeon, it is positively clear that we are all right.
Mr. Rumgudgeon, who had forbidden Kate to marry until there were “three Sundays in a week,” now relents. Too bad for him — the international date line would shortly obviate the problem.
Frat Boys Burning Textbooks Burned Down Their Frat House
Schools out for summer (erase summer, replace with ever)
A group of frat boys celebrating the end of classes got a bit more than they expected, when the textbooks they were burning caused a fire that burned down their frat house!
"I think some of the guys that were maybe doing an end of year celebration and burning some books or whatever, so we'll look into that," says Sophomore and Pi Kappa Alpha president John Chestnut. Link
Burning books? Well, at least it's not a flaming mouse!
5 Animals Who Were The Last Of Their Species
We’ve posted before about species that have gone extinct in recent history. For some of these species, there was one last specimen that had a name and friends, although sadly, not friends of the same species. Read the stories of five who were the last of their lines at Buzzfeed. Link
Do You Speak English?
Busted! These two guys from Russia were driving through Ukraine and thought they’d be clever and get out of a speeding violation by not understanding the language. They thought. Score one for the Ukrainian cop! -via Bits and Pieces
Supply lines are getting longer and harder to maintain...
The Seabreacher, an entirely new take on personal watercraft.
"We don't do practical."
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly. --Thomas Paine

Inspiration and genius--one and the same. --Victor Hugo

Every artist was first an amateur. --Ralph Waldo Emerson

If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent.
--Isaac Newton (1642 - 1727)

Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead. We must therefore accept it without complaint when they sometimes collide with a bit of reality against which they are dashed to pieces. --Sigmund Freud~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The fates have given mankind a patient soul. ~
Homer (800 BC - 700 BC), The Iliad
10 Painful Insect Stings, as Measured by Science
Getting stung by a fire ant hurts. Getting stung by a tarantula hawk hurts much, much more. But how much more does it hurt, exactly? And where does something like a honey bee rank on the pain scale?
Google’s Moog Synthesizer
Today’s Google Doodle is an interactive Moog synthesizer. You can click to play it, but if you want to make real music, use the QWERTY row of your keyboard for the white keys, and numbers for the black keys. The buttons and knobs work as well, and you can record and play back your masterpieces on the tape recorder! The doodle is in honor of Robert Moog‘s 78th birthday. Link -via Fark
Avengers-themed Cocktail Recipes
Lily Mitchell and Paul Harasiwka at The More I Arty came up with cocktail recipes inspired by the various characters in the movie The Avengers. Link to part one. Link to part two. -via The Daily What Geek
The Power of Positive Lightning
Airplanes are built to withstand bolts of lightning, because strikes on planes happen now and again. But in 1999, a glider soaring above Dunstable, England, was struck by a bolt out of the blue -literally, because the plane was not in a storm- which ripped the craft apart at the seams, including peeling apart the laminated layers of its surface.
Suspicion rapidly settled on the phenomenon known as ‘positive lightning’. Awareness of positive lightning’s significance has gradually increased in recent decades, and it is now believed to comprise up to 5% of all lightning strikes. The negative charge at a storm cell’s base is balanced by a strong positive charge at the cloud’s anvil-shaped top, up to 60,000 feet above the ground. While there is also a positive charge on the ground immediately underneath the storm cell, significant charge differentials can develop between cloud tops and negatively-charged land surfaces much further away. Occasionally these differentials are sufficient to spark a positively charged lightning strike— a huge high-energy arc capable of hitting the ground more than ten miles from the storm itself, often under clear skies and bright sunshine.
Vast energies are required to deliver these bolts from the blue. Research suggests that positive lightning can generate currents and potentials ten times greater than negative strikes: up to 300,000 amps and 1 billion volts, or approximately 300,000.21 gigawatts of power in a single discharge.
But what happened to the glider and the two men inside? Find out at Damn Interesting. Link
Gay penguin couple gets an egg of their own
Every spring for six years Gentoo penguins Inca and Rayas have lovingly built a nest together, only to find that no eggs arrive to fill it. It doesn’t seem to have dawned on the couple that both of them are male.
But after the repeated heartbreak of watching other penguins become parents and raise their young, the “gay” couple finally have something to celebrate after their keepers gave them an egg of their own to care for.
Rather than questioning how the improbable scenario arose, the inseparable pair has seized their one chance at fatherhood with the zeal of a couple who know they may not get another.
Inca has taken on the “female” role of incubating the donated egg, obtained by keepers a month ago, and stoically remains atop his prize for most of the day, refusing the temptation to dip his feathers into the water.
His partner Rayas, meanwhile, keeps a watchful guard over the nest while eating whatever he can fit in his beak in preparation for the traditional male job of feeding his young with regurgitated fish…
Yolanda Martin, who cares for the pair, said: “We wanted them to have something to stay together for – so we got an egg. Otherwise they might have become depressed.”
Ms Martin said it was “lovely” to be able to cheer people up but emphasised that the penguins are not actually gay – they are just the best of friends.
You know, it really doesn’t matter what defines the characteristics of the bond between the two penguins. Just like life among humans, getting along with each other is more important than satisfying boundaries defined by someone else.
Yes, life and death issues are different; but, I’m not talking about the end of the world.
Thanks, Ed ~ this was the feel-good story of the week!
A thousand billion years of love, or what the vastness of space has to do with eternal mixtapes.
QUOTE: "When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure."

HINT: (1926-), American television and radio personality, singer, and actor.

ANSWER: Peter Marshall.


The diamond mining industry in South Africa began in 1866, when Stephanus Erasmus Jacobs found an unusual pebble on the south bank of the Orange River. He gave it to a friend, who gave it to a friend, and so on, until it finally ended up in the hands of a professional, who determined that the "pebble" was a 21 1/4-carat diamond.

Princess Margaret of England once commented on Elizabeth Taylor's 39-carat Krupp diamond, calling it the most vulgar thing she'd ever seen. When Liz let the Princess try the ring on, she noticed Margaret admiring it in the light and said, "See? It's not so vulgar now, is it?"

In 1947, DeBeers hired the N.W. Ayer advertising agency to come up with a campaign that would encourage Americans to buy more expensive diamonds and hang on to them, instead of pawning or reselling them. The result was the "A diamond is forever" slogan.

Hawaii's Diamond Head got its name in the late 1700s when western traders found what they thought were diamonds on the crater. The stones they'd found, however, turned out to be calcite crystals, not valuable gemstones.

A chemically pure diamond has no color and is clear. Impure diamonds tend to hvae a yellowish or brownish hue. So-called natural "fancy color" diamonds occur when trace elements in the stone are irradiated during the gem's creation.

Only about 20 percent of the world's diamond supply is used for jewelry. Diamonds are used in industry for cutting, grinding, and polishing everything from eyeglasses to the drums in copying machines to automobile pistons.

Great One-Liners --*

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger, then it hit me.
Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
The dead batteries were given out free of charge.
A dentist and a manicurist fought tooth and nail.
A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.

Q and A Quickies

Q: Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off?
A: He's all right now.

Q: What happens when the smog lifts in Los Angeles?
A: U.C.L.A.

Random Facts:

Your eyes are composed of more than 2 million working parts, and they focus on about 50 things per second.

The eye of a human can distinguish 500 shades of gray.

There is always that one lonely, awkward kid in high school who the teacher befriends, and then sometimes the student develops a crush on the teacher. Usually it ends there, unless you are one of those crazy types who think they can have a sexual affair with a fifteen or sixteen-year-old and keep it a secret.
And then there is this story, where the teacher, or track coach in this case, befriended the lonely, awkward kid and then went to prom with him. The coach is Melissa Bowerman, 41, who had been coaching the Condon/Wheeler track and field team in Oregon. Bowerman said attending the Condon High School prom with a boy from the track team was an error in judgment, but she said the pair did not have an inappropriate relationship. She said they danced to a few slow songs but mostly played ping pong and foosball.
The coach -- or former coach, rather -- who has a son on the track team, said she went to the prom because the boy felt bad that he lacked a date and had been struggling in English class. "If they go on (academic) probation and suspension, then they can't go to the track meets," Bowerman said. "I said, 'OK, I will go with you, but we've got to talk about English first. You're going to do better in English." So apparently the prom date was a success. It was only afterward that a problem arose.
"There was an investigation done and through that there were some potential details that arose," Condon superintendent Jan Zarate said. "We started an investigation that led to us asking her to un-volunteer." Perhaps there was more ball play involved than on the foosball table. Either way I guess it's better than going to prom with your mom.
Harry Potter fans get rid of unwanted owls --*
ULGHAM, England - British bird sanctuaries said they are filling up with owls as Harry Potter-inspired pet owners get tired of the birds. Pam Toothill, of the Owlcenter in Corwen, Wales, said she had only six of the birds prior to the release of the first Harry Potter film, but the number has since grown to 100 owls. "People saw Harry's owl in the movies and thought how cute and cuddly they looked. Now they are bored and fed-up with all the work involved looking after an owl," Toothill said. Kim Olson, owner of the Sanctuary Wildlife Care Center in Ulgham, England, said many people have been illegally releasing their pet owls into the wild. "When people saw Harry Potter loads of them wanted an owl. They've kept them in their shed or garage for a bit and now they've got bored and they hand them in to us," she said. "It's illegal to release an owl into the wild because they would take over from the native wild owls, but obviously a lot of people have ignored that law."
Harry Potter author JK Rowling has asked her fans to do the proper research before deciding to obtain an owl as a pet. "If anybody has been influenced by my books to think an owl would be happiest shut in a small cage and kept in a house, I would like to take this opportunity to say as forcefully as I can, 'You are wrong,'" she said.
School keeps prom separate from porn expo --*
MIAMI - Administrators at a Florida school said police were on hand to make sure their prom did not intermingle with a porn convention going on at the same venue. Gwen Zaldivar, the activities director for Miami Beach Senior High School, said extra security steps were taken when administrators discovered the prom held during the weekend would be sharing the Miami Beach Convention Center with the Exxxotica Expo pornography convention, WFOR-TV, Miami, reported Monday. "We ... hired police officers," Zaldivar said. "We [worked] with the Miami Beach Convention Center to make sure they have their security in place as well." Zaldivar said police, security workers and teachers stood guard at the venue to ensure the two events did not intermingle. School officials said their choices of prom venues were limited. "We do not hold our proms in venues such as hotels for the safety of our children and to discourage drinking," Zaldivar said. "Therefore this was the only available location and it's easy to control the students are safe."

Twisted twister
Thanks sg
"Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he's buying." - Fran Lebowitz

"Vote early and vote often." - Al Capone

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something." - Plato

Pirates of the Stupid Seas
Forget about "Battleship", play the game that has you sailing the high seas in search of swashbuckling adventure, buried treasure and a relief from scurvy.

The World's 50 Best Roller Coasters
Summer is almost here and that means that all roller coaster fans are chomping at the bit to get out and ride the fastest, craziest and awesomest rides all over the world. Check out this great list and videos of the best coasters on the planet.

You Know You're Too Stressed If...
1. The Sun is too loud.
2. You wonder if brewing is really a necessary step for the consumption of coffee.
3. You ask the drive-thru attendant if you can get your order to go.
4. You and Reality file for divorce.
5. Antacid tablets become your sole source of nutrition.
6. You can hear mimes.
7. Losing your mind was okay, but when the voices in your head quieted, it was like losing your best friend.
8. You can achieve a "Runner's High" by sitting up.
(From Aha! Jokes)

"It's the 85th Anniversary of Lindbergh's solo transatlantic flight. Coincidentally, it's the last time an American was greeted warmly in France." -David Letterman~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`
"A new study found that our happiness peaks in our late 80s. Mainly because all the people who annoyed you are dead by then." -Jimmy Fallon~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"NASA says the odds that the asteroids will hit us are slim. They are somewhere between Victoria Beckham and the thinner of the Olsen twins." -Jimmy Kimmel~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~``
An elderly patient paid me a wonderful compliment. "You're beautiful," she said. I must have looked skeptical because she was quick to assure me that she was sincere. "It's just that I rarely hear flattering comments about my looks," I explained.
She smiled understandingly. "That's because you're fat. But it doesn't mean you aren't pretty."
Basic Math is the subject I teach at a small community college in western North Carolina. I call one part of the curriculum Practical Applications for Living in the Real World. The day after I presented a lesson on simple and compound interest, one of my older students approached me in the hallway.

"You really taught me a great deal about my life yesterday," he said. "I realized I've been struggling with a lack of interest, compounded daily, for thirty years."

Take it easy
By far the best departure phrase known to man.
Person 1: Take it easy.
Person 2: Why that's an excellent idea! I think I'm making my life to stressful so why don't simply follow this kind strangers advise and tell my boss to fuck off because I'm taking it easy!
TMZ is reporting that Bill Clinton is in Monaco for a casino event. While there he posed with these two porn stars.
The two porn stars on Bill’s arms are Tasha Reign (left) and Brooklyn Lee — AVN’s “Best New Starlet” in porn.
Brooklyn — who just posted the pic on her Twitter account — also just won the award for “Best Sex Scene” in “Mission Asspossible.” As for Tasha’s film credits … those include “Baby Got Boobs 8″ and “Farm Girls Gone Bad.”
Twilight as Religion
Twilight may be entertainment to most of us, but for some teen, it stands for religion in grappling with the big questions of life:
In Denmark, where religion is not a large part of daily life, teens seem to use media — often, American media — to explore questions of good and evil, life after death and destiny, Line Nybro Petersen of the University of Copenhagen's film and media studies department has found. The communal experiences of hardcore fans of the series can even echo religious communities.
"Being a 'Twilight' fan allows the teenagers to engage in very intense emotional experiences," Petersen told LiveScience. "You can almost get the sense that these are transcendental emotions, the feeling that you are part of something bigger than yourself in a semireligious way." Link
No Globe
The Dorothy art collective designed this snow globe that features a coal-fired power plant. When shaken, black pollution floats around instead of pristine white snowflakes.
The single greatest threat to the climate comes from burning coal but despite this a whole new fleet of dirty coal-fired power stations are on the verge of being built in the UK (the first for 30 years). The snow globe was designed for Ctrl.Alt.Shift in anticipation of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.
They made two, and have sold one. You can have the other for £2,000 plus shipping. Link -via Nag on the Lake
A Kit That Lets You Turn Anything Into A Game Controller
This fun and interesting home electronics kit is called The MaKey MaKey, and it can turn anything into a keyboard or game controller by linking objects to the circuit board via alligator clips.
Here’s more on this fascinating kit:
How Does it Work?
Alligator Clip two objects to the MaKey MaKey board. For example, you and an apple. When you touch the apple, you make a connection, and MaKey MaKey sends the computer a keyboard message. The computer just thinks MaKey MaKey is a regular keyboard (or mouse). Therefore it works with all programs and webpages, because all programs and webpages take keyboard and mouse input.
What materials work with MaKey Makey?
Any material that can conduct at least a tiny bit of electricity will work (if it doesn’t already work, just rub it with bananas, spray it with water, or apply copper tape).
It’s a fun way to learn about how keyboards and game controllers work without destroying your own equipment, and since their recent Kickstarter campaign far exceeded their original monetary goal, it should be hitting the store shelves soon.
Chuck Jones Shows You How To Draw Bugs Bunny
Here’s a fun little art lesson for you, straight from the master of cartoon disaster himself Chuck Jones!
Happy Birthday, Maru!
Maru, the internet’s favorite cat, is 5 years old today. At his blog, you’ll see a video showing the highlights of Maru’s past year. Link -via Buzzfeed, where you’ll see a picture of Maru at one year old.
Trivia Tidbit:
185 Uses For A Pig: It turns out that there’s a lot more to a pig than just meat. The reality is that almost every part of a livestock animal is put to commercial use—from the hair and the hide to the internal organs and the bones. Don’t be grossed out: This kind of recycling has been going on for as long as humans have been domesticating animals. Only now it’s a little more industrialized. Shampoo: You know how some shampoos have a very shiny, pearly look? That’s often the result of adding fatty acids from pig bones. It’s also used for this purpose in paint products. Read more
And so it begins with these two year-olds.

Bowser Beer - A Beer For Dogs

Bowser Beer is for dogs... seriously! Bowser Beer isn't technically beer in the human sense. It contains no alcohol, no carbonation, and no hops (which can be poisonous to dogs). Instead the brewer, 3 Busy Dogs Inc. use all natural dog-friendly ingredients including USDA beef or chicken, Glucosamine, and Malt to create a canine friendly form of beer. Of course the exact recipe is a secret. Three different flavors are available: Chicken, Beef, or a Chicken/Beef Combo.
Jellyfish have enchanted humanity since we first laid eyes on them. Unsubstantial and wispy, they float around our oceans almost without thought or effort, their tendrils carelessly drifting behind them as they go. Jellyfish have existed in one form or another for about 700 million years and in that time they have evolved some rather amazing attributes.
A new line of Lego toys called Monster Fighters features vampires, mummies, and heroes who fight them.
Where Do Baby Carrots Come From?
A litter of mini Australian Shepherd puppies take their first venture outside.
A Brief History of Stadium Naming Rights. Sometimes it doesn’t work out the way anyone expected.
Who Cleans Up After Seeing Eye Dogs?
Would a Dingo Really Eat Your Baby?
The Codex Mendoza
The Codex Mendoza is an Aztec codex, created about twenty years after the Spanish conquest of Mexico with the intent that it be seen by Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain. It contains a history of the Aztec rulers and their conquests, a list of the tribute paid by the conquered, and a description of daily Aztec life, in traditional Aztec pictograms with Spanish explanations and commentary. The Codex Mendoza is named after Antonio de Mendoza, then the viceroy of New Spain, who may have commissioned it.
An international tripoint is a geographical point at which the borders of three countries meet. There are currently 157 international tripoints by some accounts. Usually, the more neighbours a country has, the more international tripoints that country has. China with 16 tripoints and Russia with 11 to 14 lead the list of states by number of tripoints. This is list of 8 interesting international tripoints worldwide.
Chocolate-lovers need look no further for a place to pay homage to their favourite treat after chocolatiers created a mouth-watering edible sculpture of an ancient Mayan temple. Chocolatiers have broken the world record for the largest chocolate sculpture after building a replica of the Kukulcan pyramid based in Chichen Itza in Mexico weighing an incredible 18,239lb - the equivalent of two adult elephants.
He was destined for the pot – if they had found one big enough to fit. But Claude the Tasmanian giant crab was saved from death when the fisherman who caught him sold him to a British aquarium for $4,704. Claude weighs 151 pounds and would have produced 20 pounds of meat.
Claude king crab
Now, after a 29-hour plane journey from Australia – where giant crab meat is a delicacy – and two weeks in quarantine, Claude is ready to meet his public.
While it’s probably a stretch to say that any candy is “good for you,” do you know which ones are really packing the calories? We’ll give you pairs of candy, you tell us which one has more calories.
Take the Quiz: Candy Calories
A Self-Portrait of Opportunity
A Self-Portrait of Opportunity
I want you to stop and think about something. This is a picture of another planet. Where this robot is. Right now.
As we sit here on Earth in this or any moment, we each have in our heads a flurry of worries and questions and ideas. And most of them pertain to our own lives. That’s okay, it’s human nature. We are each the center of our own universe.
I often think about this in crowded places, like while in traffic, as the place I’m going is far more important than the place all of these other people are going. I’m convinced that they feel the same way. And so we sit.
But that means that there are seven billion mental universes walking around on this planet. We are staring into them through little digital windows that we carry in our hands, and certain that this decision is the most important decision. Everything that is happening is happening to us.
Yet for the past eight years, there has been a dusty, six-wheeled rover crawling around the surface of Mars, completely alone. Incidentally, that rover has exceeded its expected mission of 90 days by thirty-two times over. That’s admirable, and I can’t help but personify the little guy. Like a sort of scrappy, diligent explorer, quietly working hard for the benefit of someone else. “No complaints, boss!” Like Johnny 5 meets Wall-E.
And so we get images like this, reminding us that every day we can look beyond our personal universe. What a thought! Look at how much is out there. Think of what else we could see! Let’s go.
I want you to stop and think about something. This is a picture of another planet. Where this robot is. Right now.
As we sit here on Earth in this or any moment, we each have in our heads a flurry of worries and questions and ideas. And most of them pertain to our own lives. That’s okay, it’s human nature. We are each the center of our own universe.
I often think about this in crowded places, like while in traffic, as the place I’m going is far more important than the place all of these other people are going. I’m convinced that they feel the same way. And so we sit.
But that means that there are seven billion mental universes walking around on this planet. We are staring into them through little digital windows that we carry in our hands, and certain that this decision is the most important decision. Everything that is happening is happening to us.
Yet for the past eight years, there has been a dusty, six-wheeled rover crawling around the surface of Mars, completely alone. Incidentally, that rover has exceeded its expected mission of 90 days by thirty-two times over. That’s admirable, and I can’t help but personify the little guy. Like a sort of scrappy, diligent explorer, quietly working hard for the benefit of someone else. “No complaints, boss!” Like Johnny 5 meets Wall-E.
And so we get images like this, reminding us that every day we can look beyond our personal universe. What a thought! Look at how much is out there. Think of what else we could see! Let’s go.
Pen & Ink is a Tumblr blog by Rumpus managing editor Isaac Fitzgerald and artist Wendy MacNaughton that tells the stories behind tattoos with the use of beautiful illustrations and hand lettering. User submitted tattoos and stories are currently being accepted for use on the blog.
It's possible that whales can sense things that no other living creatures can. Scientists have discovered a grapefruit-sized mass of vessels and nervous tissues located in whales' chins, and they believe it's an entirely new kind of sensory organ. It's possible the organ is what allows these massive creatures to eat using a lightning-fast mouth movement called "lunge feeding."
To find out more, we spoke with the study's lead researcher, paleobiologist Nick Pyenson. He says this sensory organ is just one more thing that makes whales like "mammals from space." More »
Middle School Builds World’s Largest Tetrahedron
Author Shelley Pearsall visited Copley Middle School in Ohio earlier this month. One of her books, All Shook Up, is about a high school that built the world’s largest tetrahedron -over 8 feet tall!
To prepare for her visit, the fifth- and sixth-grade students built a “Rainbow Tetrahedron,” which is a giant three-dimensional pyramid made of thousands of smaller folded paper pyramids.
“There are 21,000 individual pyramids in the structure,” said librarian Bonnie Hershey. “The students folded and glued them and then we had parents come in to help build it up.”
The resulting structure is 16 feet tall, which Pearsall said was the largest tetrahedron she’s seen in all the schools she has visited. Link -via reddit
(Image credit: Megan Rozsa)
Ladyada's Workshop in LEGO
In December 2011, Bloomberg Businessweek reported that LEGO Friends was launched, a LEGO product line aimed to appeal to girls. The product line, which consisted of predominantly pastel-colored bricks and stereotypical themes, drew worldwide attention and controversy. Now, according to CNET, Adafruit Industries founder Limor “Ladyada” Fried (who has a Masters of Engineering from MIT) has worked with LEGO artist Bruce Lowell to create Ladyada’s Workshop, a LEGO version of Fried’s Adafruit workshop meant to inspire girls to pursue interests in engineering. The set has been submitted to LEGO Cuusoo, a site where LEGO set concepts can be voted on to become a real product. If Ladyada’s Workshop concept can get 10,000 votes, it will be made into a real LEGO set. “So now it’s up to you, if you want to celebrate art, design, science, engineering and open-source hardware place vote for ‘Ladyada’s Workshop’.”
Jason Bailey of Flavorwire has posted “Threequel: Even More Famous Faces in Their Film Debuts” which gives a fun glimpse of famous actors in their big screen debuts. The first two montage videos in this very popular series by Bailey can be found here (1, 2). Starring (in order of appearance): Tom Cruise, Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Warren Beatty, Jodie Foster, Tommy Lee Jones, Robin Williams, Bill Murray, Tom Hanks, Kevin Spacey, Steve Buscemi, Vincent Gallo, Chris Rock, Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie, Penelope Cruz, Jessica Alba, Katie Holmes, Jennifer Garner, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Amy Adams, Jason Segel, Paul Rudd, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Cameron Diaz, John Travolta
Matt Derrick of travel site Punk Nomad recently went for a ride on a Rail Rider—essentially a go kart for railroad tracks (video). The ride took place on an abandoned stretch of track near the Salton Sea in Southern California.
Portland On The Web: Huffington Post, Bicycling Magazine, Business Week & More

Portland reclaimed its title as the top city for biking in America this week, beating former title-holder Minneapolis, despite the fact most of us would never bike to work in 10 feet of snow. We also won out for the most Godless city in America, according to a study measuring religious bodies in the U.S. Hey, we may not all attend church but we do like put pugs in wacky outfits, and that's something everyone can get on board with. Here is a round up of what the internet said about Portland this week.

Komo News: Portland Pugs Gone Wild!

Huffington Post: Most and least religious cities in America

Bicycling Magazine: America's Top 50 Bike Friendly Cities

South Waterfront Blog: Grimm Locations Map

Google Maps: 2012 Portland Farmers Market Locations

BloombergBusinessWeek: Portland is top bike-to-work city as lawyers hit the street

Portland Monthly: Bon Appetit still loves Portland
Penguins at the Dingle Oceanworld aquarium in Dingle City, Ireland, get a workout chasing a light from a laser pointer. So fun to chase; so difficult to eat! -via Arbroath
When America's favorite storyteller lived in San Francisco, nothing struck his fancy like a heaping plate of this Pacific Northwest delicacy
Ask Smithsonian
Q: Jazz from the 1920s sounds nothing like jazz today. Why do we use "jazz" for such different music?
— Patrick Leonard, Charlottesville, Virginia

A: In the past 90 years, jazz has changed tremendously, resulting in a myriad of styles: New Orleans, swing, bebop, cool, hard bop, modal, fusion, Latin jazz and others. The many disparate styles of jazz are linked by melodies with bent or "blue" notes, call-and-response patterns, off-beat and syncopated rhythms, and, finally, improvisation—each time a jazz band plays a piece, it sounds fresh.
— John Edward Hasse, Curator of American Music at the National Museum of American History
Think Fast
Vincent van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime. What was the name of the painting?
  1. The Starry Night
  2. The Potato Eaters
  3. The Night Café
  4. The Red Vineyard
Think Fast Answer: The Red Vineyard Vincent van Gogh's paintings, such as his Portrait du Dr. Gachet, have fetched as much as $82.5 million at auction; however, the only painting he managed to sell during his lifetime was The Red Vineyard, which he painted in 1888.
Photo: Deers graze during a snowstorm, Nara Park, Japan
Deer graze on fallen cherry blossom petals during a hana fubuki, or a flower snowstorm, in Japan's Nara Park.
In a funky New Orleans experiment, musicians turn a ramshackle house into a cacophony of sounds
By sketching the movements of people at the Cleveland Art Museum, Andrew Oriani laid the groundwork for some deep insights into how art is appreciated
1. You let your 14-year-old daughter smoke at the dinner table in front of her kids.
2.. The Blue Book value of your truck goes up and down depending on how much gas is in it.
3. You’ve been married three times and still have the same in-laws.
4. You think a woman who is out of your league bowls on a different night..
5. You wonder how service stations keep their rest-rooms so clean.
6. Someone in your family died right after saying ‘Hey, guys, watch this’.
7. You think Dom Perignon is a Mafia leader.
8. Your wife’s hairdo was once ruined by a ceiling fan.
9. Your junior prom offered day care.
10. You think the last words of the Star-Spangled Banner are ‘Gentlemen, start your engines’.
11. You lit a match in the bathroom and your house exploded right off its wheels.
12. The Halloween pumpkin on your porch has more teeth than your spouse.
13. You have to go outside to get something from the fridge.
14. One of your kids was born on a pool table.
15. You need one more hole punched in your card to get a freebie at the House of Tattoos.
16. You can’t get married to your sweetheart because there’s a law against it.
17. You think loading the dishwasher means getting your wife drunk.
Santana ~ Black Magic Woman with sensational belly dancer
To see the ORIGINAL video AND soundtrack click:

Santana plays Black Magic Woman while Alla Kushnir (Liela) dances a beautiful and mezmerizing belly dance. Filmed at thre City festival in Nikolaev, Ukraine 2006, she was Miss Belly Dance of Europe 2008, winner of Ukranian Belly Dance Championship 2007 and 2008 and runner up in a few others. "Black Magic Woman" is a song written by Peter Green that first appeared as a Fleetwood Mac single in various countries in 1968, subsequently appearing on the 1969 Fleetwood Mac compilation albums English Rose (US) and The Pious Bird of Good Omen (UK). It became a classic hit by Santana and sung by Gregg Rolie in 1970, reaching #4 in the U.S. and Canadian charts, after appearing on their Abraxas album, becoming more closely associated with Santana than Fleetwood Mac.Santana - Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen Live (HQ)

Arabic Belly Dance - The Professional
Sara Guirado
Keef Trouhi - Issa ghandour Belly dance Music HD
Keef Trouhi by Isaac Ghandour
1st place in competition "Queen of the Pyramid" 2010. Bellydancer Dovile from Lithuania (Kaunas)
1st place in competition "Queen of the Pyramid" 2010.
(more information and ).
"PIRAMIDOS-2010" karaliene tapo Dovile is Lietuvos (Kaunas) (daugiau informacijos ir ).
"Desert Rose" by Sting featuring Aishwarya Rai

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in pain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand
I dream of fireThose dreams are tied to a horse that will never tire
And in the flames
Her shadows play in the shape of a man's desire
This desert roseEach of her veils, a secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this
And as she turnsThis way she moves in the logic of all my dreams
This fire burns
I realize that nothing's as it seems
I dream of rainI dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in pain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand
I dream of rainI lift my gaze to empty skies above
I close my eyes
This rare perfume is the sweet intoxication of her love
I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in pain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand
Sweet desert rose
Each of her veils, a secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this
Sweet desert roseThis memory of Eden haunts us all
This desert flower
This rare perfume, is the sweet intoxication of the fall
WE went to the OMSI Science Pub:
"The Cheese Stands Alone: The Science Behind Oregon’s Acclaimed Artisan Cheeses". Oregon cheesemakers took top honors in the top 2 competitions (American Cheese Society & American Dairy Goat Cheese Assn) last year.
Shadow Puppets!
Ok, one last eclipse photo before returning to our usual programming.
This time-lapse by Cory Poole using a filter to highlight the chromosphere … well, it’s simply brilliant:
The YouTube description says the child is ok. And YouTube descriptions never lie right?
Friday, May 25, is International Geek Pride Day. We didn’t invent it — according to Wired, a guy named Tim McEachern deserves some of the credit. He started the Geek Pride Festival in Albany, New York, in 1998. Geek Pride Day later spread to Spain and across the Internet. The date was chosen to commemorate the 1977 premiere of Star Wars. Big day in geek history.
To celebrate this year, we want to hear about your proudest geek moment. Define that however you like. But make it memorable! On Friday, we’ll award six mental_floss prizes for our favorites.
Can’t wait to hear your stories!
Skynet takes one more step toward becoming sentient. We now have a robot that can make its own tools.

A 73-year-old Tamae Watanabe climbed Mount Everest and broke a record for
the oldest woman to reach the summit. The odd thing is, she was also the previous record-holder.

Starting this summer,
more minority babies than white babies will be born in the United States. News outlets weigh in on what this will mean as they grow up.
Well this is rich. Thomas Langenbach, who identifies himself on LinkedIn as SAP's VP at the German technology company's Palo Alto Integration and Certification Center, has been charged with four felony counts of burglary over ill-gotten LEGOs.
A footnote in Byron’s Don Juan mentions a rhyming contest between John Sylvester and Ben Jonson:
“I, John Sylvester, lay with your sister.”
“I, Ben Jonson, lay with your wife.”
“That is not rhyme.”
“No, but it is true.”
Disco, the Gay Old Bird
Meet Disco, a parakeet who has plenty to say! “What’s the problem, officer?” is probably the most useful of his varied repertoire, although he also does foreign languages, and impressions of other species, too! -via Buzzfeed
Good News, Bad News, Worse News VI
Good: Your wife's not talking to you
Bad: She wants a divorce
Worse: She's a lawyer
There once was a man from China
Who wasn't a very good climber
He slipped of a rock
And chopped of his cock
And now she's got a vagina.
boxing match
A large rectangle is partitioned into smaller rectangles, each of which has either integer height or integer width (or both). Prove that the large rectangle itself must have integer height or integer width.
We risk great peril if we kill off this spirit of adventure, for we cannot predict how and in what seemingly unrelated fields it will manifest itself. A nation that loses its forward thrust is in danger, and one of the most effective ways to retain that thrust is to keep exploring possibilities. The sense of exploration is intimately bound up with human resolve, and for a nation to believe that it is still committed to a forward motion is to ensure its continuance.
– James A. Michener, author, 1979

Whoever in discussion adduces authority uses not intellect but rather memory.” — Leonardo
Barbie is ready… Are you?
From Dildo to Come By Chance
Grumpy was mapping out some directions: Click to enlarge
Zuckerberg Changes His Status
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced a change in his relationship status yesterday. The 28-year-old billionaire married his girlfriend of nine years, Priscilla Chan yesterday. Chan received her medical degree last Monday, on Zuckerberg’s birthday. They invited friends to what they thought was a graduation party Saturday, but instead it turned out to be a surprise wedding! At least it was a surprise for the guests, and was planned that way to ensure privacy for the ceremony, which took place in Zuckerberg’s back yard. Link
November 1896 saw the start of a strange wave of airship sightings across the United States — the San Francisco Call published the image above on Nov. 19, claiming that the craft had passed over eastern Sacramento the previous night, where hundreds had seen “its brilliant searchlight traveling over the city, and who will also swear that they heard the voices of its occupants and distinguished their merry song and laughter.”
In the frenzy that followed, the San Francisco Chronicle published an interview with attorney George D. Collins, who claimed that he represented the airship’s inventor, a wealthy Maine man who had spent 17 years and $100,000 perfecting the craft. “The reports from Sacramento the other night were quite true. It was my client’s ship that inhabitants saw. It started from Oroville, in Butte County, and flew in a straight line for sixty miles directly over Sacramento. After running up and down once or twice over the capital, my friend came on a distance of another seventy miles and landed on a spot on the Oakland side of the bay, where the ship now lies guarded by six men. In another six days several defects will be done away with and it is then his intention to fly right over San Francisco.”
That never happened, and Collins was quickly forgotten, but it’s interesting to note that 10 years earlier, in 1886, inventor Moses Cole had patented a strikingly similar “new and improved aerial vessel”. “It consists of two semi-spheroidal balloons,” Scientific American had reported, “between which are situated the cabins for the passengers and crew, these being fitted with windows and surrounded by a circular balcony.” Possibly the Call’s artist had used Cole’s patent for inspiration. Or possibly Collins was telling the truth. Or possibly Martians had adopted Cole’s design as a disguise. We’ll never know.
Summer’s here. At least we hope it is, and so does Lola Viande, who’s taming the sun with her Hula Hoop. Standing on the rooftops of Paris, she works hard to let love flow and overwhelm us with softness.
Why Men Prefer to Eat Red Meat
I'd say because it's more delicious, but that's not what Brian Wansink of Cornell University Food and Brand Lab found out: it's because meat is macho.
"To the strong, traditional, macho, bicep-flexing, all-American male, red meat is a strong, traditional, macho, bicep-flexing, all-American food," write the researchers. [...]
If meat represents masculinity, it would seem men would be more likely than women to prefer meat to other foods — a means of reinforcing gender. To test this idea, the researchers analyzed data of more than 2,000 university students who indicated how much they liked or disliked various foods. Male students were significantly more likely than female students to like beef, meat and orange juice; and the women were significantly more likely than guys to like salad and vegetables.
This "masculine meat" phenomenon seems to hold in other countries as well. In one study of 23 languages with gendered pronouns, the researchers found "that the vast majority of these gendered words and these languages associate meat with the masculine pronoun," Wansink told LiveScience. Link

I went to the bank and asked to borrow a cup of money. They said, "What for?"
I said, "I'm going to buy some sugar."
One Ordinary Drop of Water: Liquid Art & Droplet Photography
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates will donate $100 million to help immunize children in developing countries against meningitis
and respiratory and diarrheal illnesses. With the shot, however, the children will have Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 installed in them.
“Dancing is a sweat job. … When you’re experimenting you have to try so many things before you choose what you want, that you may go days getting nothing but exhaustion. This search for what you want is like tracking something that doesn’t want to be tracked. It takes time to get a dance right, to create something memorable. There must be a certain amount of polish to it. I don’t want it to look anything but accomplished, and if I can’t make it look that way, then I’m not ready yet. I always try to get to know my routine so well that I don’t have to think, ‘What comes next?’ Everything should fall right into line, and then I know I’ve got control of the bloody floor.” — Fred Astaire
“How to hit home runs: I swing as hard as I can, and I try to swing right through the ball. In boxing, your fist usually stops when you hit a man, but it’s possible to hit so hard that your fist doesn’t stop. I try to follow through in the same way. The harder you grip the bat, the more you can swing it through the ball, and the farther the ball will go. I swing big, with everything I’ve got. I hit big or I miss big. I like to live as big as I can.” — Babe Ruth
“Don’t get discouraged because there’s a lot of mechanical work to writing. … I rewrote the first part of A Farewell to Arms at least fifty times. … The first draft of anything is shit. When you first start to write you get all the kick and the reader gets none, but after you learn to work it’s your object to convey everything to the reader so that he remembers it not as a story he has read but something that has happened to himself. That’s the true test of writing.” — Ernest Hemingway
Precariously Leaning Towers of the World
Armor -- The kind of clothing worn by a man whose tailor is a blacksmith.
Strange Animated Short – Ean’s Day
Escaped Penguin Spotted in Tokyo Bay
Remember No. 337, the intrepid penguin that escaped from the Tokyo Sea Life Park a couple of months ago? It has been spotted in Tokyo Bay looking none the worse for wear:
A Sea Life Park official identified it as the escapee, recognising a distinctive ring round a flipper. "It looks like it's been living quite happily," Kazuhiro Sakamoto said. "It didn't look like it has got thinner over the last two months - or been without food," he added. Link - via Arbroath
How Fast Can You Read?
Head on over to this nifty webpage over at Staples to see how you stack up against the national average: Link - via Metafilter
Can You Tell Me How To Get To Diablo III’s Secret Level?
There’s a secret level in Blizzard’s newest action RPG Diablo III that seems mighty out of place when compared to the rest of the game. It’s called Whimsyshire, and it’s full of teddy bears, unicorns, rainbows and a color palette straight out of My Little Pony. It’s the kind of place where your character can take a break from all those undead hordes and stagnant caves, even if the killing doesn’t stop at the end of the rainbow. (Warning: this video contains game spoilers)
–via Geekosystem
It no doubt took a lot of time and effort to create a stop-motion video game out of nothing but Post-It notes, but the animators at prestigious French engineering school École nationale supérieure des mines de Saint-Étienne proved that their dedication to the project was certainly worth the time investment.
An ingenious young scientist named Joan,
Dosed heavily on testosterone.
Then she diddled her slit
With her much enlarged clit
And successfully sired her own clone.
Don’t like the result of surveys, census data? Stop them!
For The Truly Lazy Rich
Standing while taking a shower is so tacky. Laying down though, now that is luxurious. If you just can’t bear falling behind in the shower style wars, then you’d better get your own Dornbracht Horizontal Shower. Link Via Geekologie
ON MATERIAL SCIENCE Character density: The number of very weird people in the office.
Chewbacca, Slave Leia & more dance to LMFAO in Dance-Off with the Star Wars Stars 2012
Darth Vader & Boba Fett dance to Smooth Criminal
Darth Maul dances at Star Wars Weekends 2012
Emperor Palpatine dances to LL Cool J
Finale medley of Dance-Off with the Star Wars Stars 2012 with LMFAO, Adele, and more
Seeking fling
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet and writer, cited in In the Shadow of the Moon
All-You-Have-To-Eat-Or-We-Fine-You Restaurant
In order to combat food wastage, an all-you-can-eat Kylin Buffet in South Shields, UK, is turning into an all-you-have-to-eat restaurant:
A Chinese restaurant offering an all-you-can-eat buffet is charging customers £20 in 'wastage' if they leave food on their plates. Managers at the Kylin Buffet in Ocean Road, South Shields, have put up a notice urging diners to eat up all their food - or face the penalty charge. The policy has outraged one mother who was told she had to pay the £20 after her and her son Sam, 10, and niece Toni, six, left two onion rings, a piece of prawn toast, and a spring roll on their plates.
The Daily Mail is there: Link
Waterfall Wanderlust: Misting, Spraying, Cascading.....
Waterfalls come in all shapes and sizes. For a listing of waterfall types, click here.
Types of Waterfalls
Block: Water descends from a relatively wide stream of river. (Ex: Dutchman Falls)
Cascade: Water descends a serires of rock stems. (Ex: Upper Multnomah Falls)
Fan: Water spreads horizontally as it descends while remaining in contact with bedrock. (Ex: Fairy Falls)
Horsetail: Descending water maintains some contact with bedrock. (Ex: Horsetail Falls)
Plunge: Water descends vertically, losing contact with the bedrock surface. (Ex: Latourell Falls)
Punchbowl: Water descends in a constricted form, then spreads out in a wider pool. (Ex: Punchbowl Falls)
Segmented: Distinctly seperate flows of water form as it descends. (Ex: Triple Falls)
Tiered: Water drops in a series of distinct steps or falls. (Ex: Bridal Veil Falls)

Waterfall Wanderlust
Use this handy guide to help you in your waterfall explorations. Each entry includes trail, height, distance, Curious Gorge page number, and more!
The Dhole is also called the Asiatic Wild Dog or Cuon alpinus. It is not closely related to any other canine, so it is a species apart from dogs, wolves, foxes or dingoes. This native of Southern Asia is an endangered species. A Dhole is roughly as large as a border collie.

A pack of Dholes may number about ten, although sometimes four times that number have been reported in one group. A pack generally has only one breeding female; males usually outnumber females. Many of us whistle to summon our dogs. The Dhole whistles too to summon other members of the pack, if they become separated while hunting.
I fear that I shall never see
A bathroom wall completely free

Of such obscenities as this
And other words like "shit" and "piss."

But if I such a wall espy,
Then you will know that it was I

Who was in the vicinity:
I'll ravish its virginity.

Newgrange Megalithic Passage Tomb

image credit

The Megalithic Passage Tomb at Newgrange - located in County Meath, on the eastern side of Ireland - was built around 3200 BC. The kidney shaped mound covers an area of over one acre and is surrounded by 97 kerbstones, some of which are richly decorated with megalithic art. It is estimated that the construction of the Passage Tomb at Newgrange would have taken a work force of 300 at least 20 years.

The passage and chamber of Newgrange are illuminated by the winter solstice sunrise. A shaft of sunlight shines through the roof box over the entrance and penetrates the passage to light up the chamber. The dramatic event lasts for 17 minutes at dawn on the Winter Solstice and for a few mornings either side of the Winter Solstice.
I don’t do windows because … I love birds and don’t want one to run into a clean window and get hurt.
I don’t wax floors because … I am terrified a guest will slip, hurt themselves, I’ll feel terrible and they may sue me.
I don’t mind the dust bunnies because .. They are very good company, I have named most of them, and they agree with everything I say.
I don’t disturb cobwebs because … I want every creature to have a home of their own.
I don’t Spring Clean because .. I love all the seasons and don’t want the others to get jealous.
I don’t pull weeds in the garden because … I don’t want to get in God’s way, he is an excellent designer.
I don’t put things away because .. My husband will never be able to find them again.
I don’t do gourmet meals when I entertain because … I don’t want my guests to stress out over what to make when they invite me over for dinner.
I don’t iron because … I choose to believe them when they say “Permanent Press”.
I don’t stress much on anything because … “A Type” personalities die young and I want to stick around and become a wrinkled up crusty ol’ woman!!!!
Oh hi, aliens, I didn’t know you were coming over. I would have cleaned up.
SMBC takes a look at a future Earth, where we’re all a bunch of bachelors and an alien race is coming over to our pad to visit. We’ve got some cleaning up to do. Hint: It doesn’t go as planned. But it ends with hope. Check out the full saga.
“Perhaps it was good that we believed aliens were coming. Perhaps we should always live as if we’re about to invite an otherworldly mate over to dinner. Perhaps… perhaps… for a moment, we all inhaled the chamomile odor of perhaps.”
If you see that there are four possible ways in which a procedure can go wrong,
and circumvent these,
then a fifth way,
unprepared for,
will promptly develop.
Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species [Video]
Earth’s biodiversity is vanishing at an alarming rate. This video from National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore shows what we stand to lose.
Good News, Bad News, Worse News
Good: Your hubby and you agree, no more kids
Bad: You can't find your birth control pills
Worse: Your daughter borrowed them
8-Bit Pop Up Cards
Want to make some of your own? Just follow these simple instructions!
The Top 8 Ways To Be 'Traditionally Married' According To The Bible
I don't think "traditional marriage" means what you think it means.
A pheasant was standing in a field chatting to a bull. "I would love to be able to get to the top of yonder tree", sighed the
pheasant, "but I haven"t got the energy".
Well, why don"t you nibble on some of my droppings?" replied the bull. "They"re packed with nutrients".
The pheasant pecked at a lump of dung and found that it actually gave him enough strength to reach the first branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch and so on. Finally, after a fortnight, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree, whereupon he was spotted by a farmer who dashed into the farmhouse, emerged with a shotgun, and shot the pheasant right out of the tree.
Moral of the Story: Bullshit might get you to the top, but it won"t keep you there.
You have the right to remain silent.... Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you.
Football Wedding
Two guys are talking about their boss’s upcoming wedding.
One says, “It’s ridiculous, he’s rich, but he’s 93 years old, and she’s just 26! What kind of a wedding is that?”
The other says, “Well, we have a name for it in my family.”
“What do you call it?”
“We call it a football wedding.”
The first asks, “What’s a football wedding?”
The other says, “She’s waiting for him to kick off!”
A big Texan is walking down the main street of Ballinclashett and encounters Liam standing on the pavement beside a big strong horse.
This prompts the Texan to attempt to realise a lifelong dream and he says to Liam, “Say Boy, that’s a fine-lookin horse you got there, and I’d like to tour this beautiful country on horseback so’s I can see the sights and hear the sounds of the countryside like they did in the old days. I’ll buy that horse off of ya, how much ya want.”
Liam says, “O sure and you don’t want to be messin with this horse he don’t look too good these days.”
“Hey, Boy,” says the Texan, “Don’t you try to tell me what’s a good lookin’ horse an what isn’t. I been tradin’ horses all my life long and there ain’t nothin a young country boy like you can tell me about em. Now you jes name yer price and we’ll get along fine.”
“I’m sayin’ to ye that this horse is not a good lookin horse mister and ye don’t want any part of ‘im,” says Liam.
The Texan is getting angry now. “Listen up Boy, he says, you leave me be the judge of what’s good lookin and what’s not and jes give me the price and I’ll pay cash right here and now.”
“Oh well,” says Liam, “Two-thousand of your American dollars then.”
“Deal!” says the Texan and he hands over the money, Liam unties the horse and the Texan leads him off.
The horse walks smack into the first lampost in the way, and the Texan turns to Liam and says, “Hey, Boy, you a durned swindler, you didn’ tell me this here horse was blind!”
“I keep tellin’ you he don’t look too good,” says Liam, “and you kept saying that’s none of my business, so in the end I gave up.”
Dear Einstein, Do Scientists Pray?
In 1936, sixth grader Phyllis wrote a letter to Albert Einstein on behalf of her Sunday school class. She asked the famous scientists whether scientists pray:
The Riverside Church
January 19, 1936

My dear Dr. Einstein,

We have brought up the question: Do scientists pray? in our Sunday school class. It began by asking whether we could believe in both science and religion. We are writing to scientists and other important men, to try and have our own question answered.
We will feel greatly honored if you will answer our question: Do scientists pray, and what do they pray for?
We are in the sixth grade, Miss Ellis's class.
Respectfully yours,
January 24, 1936

Dear Phyllis,

I will attempt to reply to your question as simply as I can. Here is my answer:
Scientists believe that every occurrence, including the affairs of human beings, is due to the laws of nature. Therefore a scientist cannot be inclined to believe that the course of events can be influenced by prayer, that is, by a supernaturally manifested wish.
However, we must concede that our actual knowledge of these forces is imperfect, so that in the end the belief in the existence of a final, ultimate spirit rests on a kind of faith. Such belief remains widespread even with the current achievements in science.
But also, everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that some spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, one that is vastly superior to that of man. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is surely quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive.

With cordial greetings,
your A. Einstein
Solar Eclipse Shadows
Right, you’re not supposed to look at a solar eclipse -or look at the sun anytime, really. But as Mark Day looked away from the eclipse, he caught the weird shadows that are thrown by a crescent sun! If you want to look at the eclipse, you can do so safely in a video at Geeks Are Sexy, posted along with this one. Link
Dog Retrieves Sock Puppets

"A new study found that 20 percent of Internet time is spent on social networking sites. While the other 80 percent is spent hiding a Facebook window behind Excel." -Jimmy Fallon

"Yesterday, a group of scientists warned that because of global warming, sea levels will rise so much that parts of New Jersey will be under water. The bad news? Parts of New Jersey won't be under water." --Conan O'Brien

An older man strode in to his doctor's office and said, "Doc, my druggist said to tell you to change my prescription and to check the prescription you've been giving to Mrs. Smith."
"Oh, he did, did he?" the doctor shot back. "And since when does a druggist second guess a doctor's orders?"
The old man says, "Since he found out I've been on birth control pills since February."

The Giant Salt City 1200ft Beneath Detroit
Way beneath the Motor City is a massive 1,500 acre mining community with more than 100 miles of roads.

QUOTE: "Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative."

HINT: (1866-1946), English author, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre

ANSWER: H.G. Wells.


Advertisements for coffee in London in 1657 claimed that the beverage was a cure for scurvy, gout and other ills.

Almonds are the oldest, most widely cultivated and extensively used nuts in the world.

In 1932 James Markham obtained the 1st patent issued for a tree. The patent was for a peach tree.

Rice paper isn't made from rice but from a small tree which grows in Taiwan.

Willow bark, which provides the salicylic acid from which aspirin was originally synthesized, has been used as a pain remedy ever since the Greeks discovered its therapeutic power nearly 2,500 years ago.

The first American advertisement for tobacco was published in 1789. It showed a picture of an Indian smoking a long clay pipe.

Canopy Climbing In The Rainforest
Canopy researchers climb to dizzying heights to rediscover a very ancient world that our ancestors once occupied. Watch as Primal memories and fears will re-emerge.

A skin have I, more eyes than one. I can be very nice when I am done. What Am I?


Random Facts:

Star Wars is the most successful movie-related toy line ever sold, with 250 million action figures sold between 1978 and 1986. Imagine those numbers since the digitally re-mastered re-release, new trilogy and Clone Wars cartoon series!

Han Solo's ship in the Star Wars trilogy, The Millennium Falcon, was inspired by a hamburger with an olive on the
Life imitates Life
A while ago somebody created a simulation of Conway’s Game of Life inside a bigger version of the Game of Life. Now, YouTube user Phillip Bradbury has created a very simple — and aurally pleasing1 — video showing it in action.
Converse One Star Super Mario Bros. OX
Converse One Star Super Mario Bros. OX Sneakers
What a deal! Only $228 & $40 shipping on ebay (These are only being sold in Japan & on ebay)

I have never really been a do-it-yourself kind of guy when it comes to home repairs and things of that nature, but now that I have a house and a yard I've decided to give it a try. Just yesterday I weed-whacked, cut the grass, patched up some holes in a window screen, took care of an insect problem and even fixed the lock on the gate. I got quite a bit accomplished.

Today, my tasks will include re-doing all of yesterdays work correctly with the help of my dad because I didn't know what the hell I was doing. Well, the yard doesn't look too bad. Hey, it's grass, it will grow back.
puff the magic dragon (live version)
This song still makes me cry ~ So, years ago I added my own new verses to it...
Little Jackie's parents gathered up those toys
And took them down to the shelter for homeless girls and boys
Little tiny Tara still shivering with fears
looked into the bag and saw a dragon crying tears
Her mother patched and painted him
and glued on bright new scales
Now Puff and Tara take magic trips and sing new tales.
  • Brings a tear to my eye too
    And I like your addition :)

  • Q and A Quickies --*

    Q: What type of food do you eat in a Taxi?
    A: Corn on the cab.

    Q: What did the big hand on the clock say to the little hand?
    A: I'll be around in an hour.

    Q: What did the man who was just cloned say?
    A: "I'm beside myself!"

    Q: What did one dog say to the other?
    A: Sit down quick, here comes old cold nose.
    During an auction of exotic pets, a woman who had placed a winning bid told the auctioneer, "I'm paying a fortune
    for that parrot. I hope he talks as well as you say he does."
    "I guarantee it, madam," replied the auctioneer. "Who do you think was bidding against you?"
    Q: How do you tell if an Arkansas girl is old enough to marry?
    A: Make her stand in a barrel. If her chin is over the top, she's old enough. If it isn't, cut the barrel down a bit.
    A guy driving a truck in the middle of nowhere picks up a hitch-hiker. It gets dark and the hitch-hiker falls asleep. Suddenly bang, and the hitch-hiker wakes up,"what the hell was that?". The truck driver replies, "some kinda animal, go back to sleep."
    Further the same thing again, bang, "What the hell was that?", "some kinda animal again."
    Further into the night, bang, bang, bang, "What the hell was that?", "Some bastard!".
    "How terrible",says the hitch-hiker, "but there were 3 bangs"
    The truck driver replies, "Yeah, well I had to go through two fences to get the bastard. . ."
    A man and his wife had been stranded on a deserted island for many years. The morning following a bad storm, a new guy washes up on the shore.
    The new guy and the wife are VERY attracted to each other right away, but they realize that certain protocols will have to be observed. The husband, oblivious to the new chemistry floating around, is very glad to see the second man there.
    “This is wonderful! Now we’ll be able to have three people doing 8-hour shifts in the watchtower instead of two people doing 12-hour shifts.”
    The new man is only too happy to help, and in fact volunteers to do the first shift. He climbs up the tall tower and stands watch, scanning the ocean horizon for any ships. Soon the husband and wife start placing stones in a circle in order to make a fire to cook supper. The new man yells down: “Hey, no screwing!”
    They look at each other and yell back: “We’re not screwing!”
    A few minutes later, they start to put driftwood into the stone circle. Again the new man yells down: “Heeey, no screwing!”
    Again they yell back, “We’re not screwing!”
    Later they are putting palm leaves on the roof of the shack to patch leaks. Once again the new man yells down from high above:
    “Hey, I said no screwing!!”
    They yell back, “And we said we’re not screwing!!”
    Finally the shift is over and the new man climbs down from the tower and the husband starts to climb up. By the time he gets half-way up, his wife and the new man are already screwing their brains out. Once at the top, the husband turns around and looks down and says to himself:
    “Son-of-a-gun. From up here it DOES look like they’re screwing.
    Three men: a philosopher, a mathematician and an idiot,were out riding in the car when it crashed into a tree. Before anyone knows it, the three men found themselves standing before the pearly gates of Heaven, where St Peter and the Devil were standing nearby.

    "Gentlemen," the Devil started, "Due to the fact that Heaven is now overcrowded, therefore St Peter has agreed to
    limit the number of people entering Heaven. If anyone of you can ask me a question which I don't know or cannot
    answer, then you're worthy enough to go to Heaven; if not, then you'll come with me to Hell."

    The philosopher then stepped up, "OK, give me the most comprehensive report on Socrates' teachings," With a snap
    of his finger, a stack of paper appeared next to the Devil. The philosopher read it and concluded it was correct. "Then, go to Hell!" With another snap of his finger, the philsopher disappeared.

    The mathematician then asked, "Give me the most complicated formula you can ever think of!" With a snap of his finger,
    another stack of paper appeared next to the Devil. The mathematician read it and reluctantly agreed it was correct. "Then, go to Hell!" With another snap of his finger, the mathematician disappeared, too.

    The idiot then stepped forward and said, "Bring me a chair!" The Devil brought forward a chair. "Drill 7 holes
    on the seat." The Devil did just that. The idiot then sat on the chair and let out a very loud fart. Standing up, he
    asked, "Which hole did my fart come out from?"

    The Devil inspected the seat and said, "The third hole from the right."

    "Wrong," said the idiot, "it's from my asshole." And the idiot went to Heaven.