Monday, January 7, 2013

Paws & Claws ~ December 16, 2012 ~ Peace on Earth ~ Good will to Men ~

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news,
my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers.
You will always find people who are helping.'
To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,'
I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted
by realizing that there are still so many helpers
– so many caring people in this world." ~ Fred Rogers
I exhort you to go one step further.
Don't just look for the helpers.
Be one.
Morgan Freeman's brilliant take on what happened:
"You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why.
It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Dist
people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN's article says that if the body count "holds up", this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer's face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer's identity? None that I've seen yet. Because they don't sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news."
2012 December 12
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.
Milky Way Over Quiver Tree Forest
Image Credit & Copyright:
Florian Breuer
Explanation: In front of a famous background of stars and galaxies lies some of Earth's more unusual trees. Known as quiver trees, they are actually succulent aloe plants that can grow to tree-like proportions. The quiver tree name is derived from the historical usefulness of their hollowed branches as dart holders. Occurring primarily in southern Africa, the trees pictured in the above 16-exposure composite are in Quiver Tree Forest located in southern Namibia. Some of the tallest quiver trees in the park are estimated to be about 300 years old. Behind the trees is light from the small town of Keetmanshoop, Namibia. Far in the distance, arching across the background, is the majestic central band of our Milky Way Galaxy. Even further in the distance, visible on the image left, are the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, smaller satellite galaxies of the Milky Way that are prominent in the skies of Earth's southern hemisphere.

Lonely Udinese football fan wins hearts in Italy

Who Says White Boys Can't Dance?
Mom’s a Superhero!
Mom is a superhero
The History of Christmas Carols
Music is a big part of Christmas, which makes the season sort of strange among holidays. Other holidays don't have so many songs that radio stations can play them 24/7 for a month! Christmas began to have its own music in the fourth century, but those songs were ordained by the church, sung in Latin, and no one much liked them as they were more doctrinal than festive.
The man who freed the Christmas carol from this prison of poor taste was St. Francis of Assisi, one of the church’s gentlest but most crucial reformers. In the 13th century, Francis tried to break the Christmas celebration from its tedious husk, mostly by making the birth of Christ into a live theatrical event. He organized nativity pageants featuring real hay, real animals, and, for the first time, real music: Deviating from tradition, he allowed for narrative songs in audiences’ native languages, turning Christmas music into an opportunity for mainstream creativity. Drinking songs were given Yuletide lyrics (greatly to the church’s horror) and disseminated by traveling entertainers. Christmas began to take on a life of its own, beyond the exigencies of the sacred feast.
But things took a dim turn with the Puritans in the 1600s. Read the rest of the evolution of the Christmas carol at Slate. Link
Crockford's Club: How a Fishmonger Bankrupted the British Aristocracy • Monday, December 10, 2012 at 7:00 PM • 2
Crockford's Club in 1828.
How about a bit of history today? Everyone loves a good rags-to-riches story, and and the tale of Crockford's Club is a great one: a man who sold fish for a living smelled an opportunity to garner a little bit of the British aristocracy's surplus wealth. And he knew just how to do it.
Take William Crockford, who began his career as a London fishmonger and ended it, half a century later, as perhaps the wealthiest self-made man in England. Crockford managed this feat thanks to one extraordinary talent—an unmatched skill for gambling—and one simple piece of good fortune: to be alive early in the 19th century, when peace had returned to Europe after four decades of war and a generation of bored young aristocrats, who a few years earlier would have been gainfully employed in fighting Napoleon, found themselves with far too much time on their hands.
That's right. Crockford managed to woo money right from their hands simply because they were bored and rich. Check out the full history on Past Imperfect. Link
Golden Retriever puppies play in the snow.
UPS delivery driver sings "Santa Is Your UPS Man".

Monkeys perform cannonball jumps into a fountain.
Kid perfectly imitates a police siren.
Common physics misconceptions.
The Journey: A memorable Christmas advertisement.

You may have never seen skateboarding like this before.
First person Goomba: You'll never look at Goombas the same way again...

Inside a gold bullion vault.
Cat puts up a force field against a dog.
Surprise at the Lahti Symphony Orchestra.
A 120-year-old singing bird machine.
Coolest guy at the boat ramp.
Impressive sleight of hand at the 2012 Beijing International Magic Convention.

How do cancer cells behave differently from healthy ones?

Live launchpad mashup... now with two launchpads.
20,000 teddy bears are thrown onto the ice at a junior hockey game.
14-year-old invents a solar-powered water purification jug.

Healthy Living from

Can healthy eating reduce pain? There is research to suggest that the answer is yes! Here are some foods that could be potentially helpful (or harmful) for people in pain; use trial and error to see if they work for you.

We asked beauty experts to divulge their stop-the-clock tips

Not getting any? 10 reasons why your libido is lagging

15 pets that might be a better bet if you're allergy prone

9 Important Archaeological Discoveries of 2012
In December, we are inundated with lists that look back at the past year. My favorites are those that celebrate scientific discoveries, like the biggest breakthroughs in different disciplines. Geeks Are Sexy rounded up the top discoveries in archaeology, stories that will all add to the body of knowledge about our history. The latest one, announced just last week, is pretty fascinating.
Entombed together like Russian nesting boxes, a series of four sarcophagi from the Valley of the Kings have been under reconstruction for a number of years. But as the team moved outward to the largest Egyptian sarcophagus ever discovered — a full 13 feet long and more than 8 feet tall — archaeologists have uncovered the identity of its resident mummy. Merneptah was a warrior king in Egypt around 3200 years ago, known for his numerous military assaults on neighboring areas, including Libya, a group called “Sea People,” and the first recorded mention of Israelis. His nested sarcophagi are highly unusual, and the reason for Merneptah’s (seemingly overzealous) entombment has yet to be determined.
Read all nine stories at Geeks Are Sexy. Link


To anyone who thinks the world is ending next week or the week after:
I will gladly take possession of any valuables that you don't want falling into the hands of the undead, or looters, or aliens, or reptile people. If your big- screen TV won't fit in your bunker, or garage, or basement, or wherever you plan to outlive the majority of our species, I will hold it for you, until such time that civilization has rebuilt itself. That way you will definitely have the means to watch the post-apocalyptic version of Honey Boo-Boo or master chef. The same goes for watches, cars, and any homes you may be abandoning for higher ground. I'm here to help, people. Let's stop procrastinating. Share if you are concerned about anyone else on Facebook who may need to lighten the load of soon-to-be worthless things, like cash and car titles. I accept all things that are worth at least $200.00 (pre-apocalypse value).


This image shows the entire Earth at night. It is not a simulation, nor is it a single image; rather, it is a collage of cloudless photographs of Earth. The pictures were taken between in 2012 between April and October by the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP), formerly the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Preparatory Project (NP
OESS). Suomi NPP is a weather satellite used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States to measure atmospheric moisture levels, temperature and pressure, ozone levels near the poles, solar radiation reflected by Earth, and to observe movement of ice. It orbits 824 miles above the Earth, and its instruments have a greater advantage than those on the International Space Station – while the ISS passes over the same point on Earth every three days, Suomi passes over the same point twice each day.

This image is important for several reasons. The lights show major population centers, and sociologists use this information to track human activity. Studying the entire Earth in a shroud of darkness also allows scientists to pay extra attention to active wildfires.

This post explains why parts of Western Australia are so 'lit up':
Finally: A Truly Invisible Umbrella
Umbrellas can be bulky and difficult to store (especially when wet), but if you've just about had it with walking around under a handheld canopy on rainy days, never fear: the Air Umbrella is here.
Designed by Je Sung Park and Woo Jung Kwon, the Air Umbrella is little more than just a collapsible handle. But there's some smart tech happening in that little stick. It draws in air from the bottom, then forces it through a showerhead-like nozzle at the top, creating an air-powered barrier with enough force to repel raindrops. And of course, power settings can be adjusted accordingly for varying levels of precipitation.
Would you use an air-powered umbrella? I'm known for not charging my phonbe often enough; I'd probably let the batteries die and end up caught in the rain with a dead umbrella. Check out more pics on Yanko Design. Link (via PSFK)
"A Hospital is no place to be sick."
- Samuel Goldwyn

"Recommend to your children virtue; that alone can make them happy, not gold."
- Ludwig van Beethoven
n. food that makes one idle and stupid, food of no nutritive value, junk food
In December 1941, after eight months in the British Women's Auxiliary Air Force, 19-year-old Nina Masel observed that "the main consequence of a lot of women living together seems to be that ... conventional barriers and restraints are torn down and conversation gets down to bedrock." The women all shared the same circumstances and had the same goal, so there was no point in pretending otherwise.
"And what is this thing we're all after?" she asked. "Obviously, a man." She estimated that 85 percent of the women's conversation was about men, 15 percent about domestic and shop matters, and "a negligible proportion" about other things. So frank was the women's talk that Masel was able to write out the rules of "The Great Man-Chase":
1. Quality: The desirable qualities are rank, wings, looks, money, youth in that order. Rank is unbelievably important. There's a Wing-Commander here whose only redeeming feature is that he's young. He isn't good-looking, he's owned to be a great bore and he's extremely 'fast' (which is not a recommendation) yet he could go out with any woman on the station he cared to ask. No one would refuse. ... The height of sex-rank is commission and wings. Higher commission, the better. Sergeant pilots and ground commissions tie for second place. This includes army officers. Ground stripes come a poor third. For the rest as far as most Ops girls are concerned, there is little hunting-value. In the term 'looks' I include charm, personality, etc. This counts only as a narrow comparison viz P/O [Pilot Officer] A is better than P/O B because he is more charming, but we'd rather go out with P/O B who is not charming, than with Sergeant C who is (and he's good-looking too). Members of the Army without commissions don't get a look in at all ...
2. Quantity: Naturally the more men one can fasten to one's train the more prestige one gains in the Chase.
3. Intensity -- a deliberately vague term embodying length of affair, extent of ardour and its manifestations.
The longer a woman could keep a man, the higher she ranked in the competition, particularly if he was passionately attached to her. "It seems to me that practically the entire object of the Chase is a matter of vanity and prestige," Masel concluded. After participating in the Chase for a few months she had found:
a. "That I am happiest when I am conducting two or three successful affairs with eligibles as above."
b. "That I am second happiest when I am pretending to other girls that they are successful affairs as above."
"A girl in our Control had been trying very hard to get a date with a new officer," she wrote. "She was sitting next to him in the Ops room one day full of concentration in her conversation when suddenly she smiled, looked across at me, and mouthed the words 'Got him!'"
(From Angus Calder and Dorothy Sheridan, Speak for Yourself: A Mass-Observation Anthology, 1937-49, 1984.)~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chladni plates and a Tibetan singing bowl. The physics behind these creations is discussed at foregetomori.
"Chicken-footed" building (Sami storehouse)
Traditional raised Sami storehouse, displayed at Skansen, Stockholm. A similar structure, the izbushka, is mentioned in Russian children stories as a house with chicken feet.
I haven't found any further information on this design. The izbushka is mentioned in a Wikipedia article on Baba Yaga:
He journeyed onwards, straight ahead [...] and finally came to a little hut; it stood in the open field, turning on chicken legs... Ivan walks for some time before encountering a small hut identical to the first... After walking for some time, Ivan eventually finds the chicken-legged hut of the youngest of the three sisters turning in an open field.
There are a number of images of chicken-legged huts retrievable at Google Images, most of them related to the Baba Yaga tale.

I would have to assume that the Sami structure is a practical rather than a whimsical creation, developed in response to the types of wood/driftwood available and probably the presence of a difficult-to-penetrate (frozen) ground or unstable (thawing) tundra and the need to elevate the storehouse above predators.
Divine Guidance
Letters to the Times, March 1976:
From the Reverend E.H.W. Crusha:
May I enlist your support in restraining the use of 'Dear Reverend' and 'Dear Reverend So-and-so' in letters to clergymen? It appears to be increasing among people of standing and education who might be expected to be readers of The Times.
From Peter du Sautoy, chairman, Faber and Faber Ltd.:
I learnt from T.S. Eliot, the politest of men, that letters to clergymen one does not know personally should begin 'Reverend Sir.'
From Peter Faulks:
I remember being told by a clergyman that when in India a parishioner wrote to him as 'Reverend and Bombastic Sir.'
From Canon Allan Shaw:
There are degrees of reverence. When I was a Dean and very reverend I once received a letter addressed to 'The Very Shaw'. I thought that took some beating. However, it was bettered by the present Bishop of Lincoln. He once told me that he had received a letter directed to 'The Right Phipps.'
From Rabbi David J. Goldberg:
While Christian clergymen ponder their correct form of address, they might also spare a thought for the difficulty experienced by their Jewish colleagues. On several occasions (and usually from the Inland Revenue) I have received letters which address me as 'Dear Rabbit'.
From the Rev. D.F.C. Hawkins:
A young member of my congregation in Nigeria once addressed me in a letter as 'My dear interminable Canon'. I try to believe he intended it kindly.
To be fair, it's hard to teach a computer to produce the correct salutation by interpreting the first line of an address. One programmer sent the contents of a test database of challenging addressees: Danie Van Der Merwe, The Master of Ballantrae, The Mistress of Girton, C.M. Gomez de Costa e Silva, Mrs. Mark Phillips, Earl Mountbatten, Count Basie, Sir Archie McIan of that Ilk, Adm. Hon Sir R.A.R. Plunkett-E-E-Drax, J. Smith Esq, Sister Mary-Paul, A. d'Ungrois, the Revd Dewing. He declared himself "confident of the continuing superiority of that product of unskilled labour, the human mind, over its most marvellous artifact."

"Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat."
- Socrates
My rule of thumb: if it's a David Attenborough video, it's worth blogging.

BTW, if you've never used the "fullscreen" button on a YouTube video [lower right corner], now would be a good time to try it...
Here's a background on the lyrics:
"What a Wonderful World" is a song written by Bob Thiele (as "George Douglas") and George David Weiss. It was first recorded by Louis Armstrong and released as a single in 1967...

The song gradually became something of a standard and reached a new level of popularity. In 1978, Armstrong's 1968 recording was featured in the closing scenes of the first series of BBC radio's cult hit, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and was repeated for BBC's 1981 TV series of the same. In 1988, Armstrong's recording was featured in the film Good Morning, Vietnam and was re-released as a single, hitting #32 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in February 1988. The single charted at number one for the fortnight ending June 27, 1988 on the Australian chart

First are the glow-in-the-dark quarters:
The mint's latest collectible coin features a dinosaur whose skeleton shines at night from beneath its scaly hide.

It's actually two images on one face, which could be a world's first. The other side depicts Queen Elizabeth. Her Majesty does not glow in the dark...

The glowing novelty is a first for the mint, but sadly it won't be for general circulation. The dino's mintage is limited to 25,000, and collectors who want to count their dinosaurs at night will have to pony up to the tune of $29.95.
You Might Be A Bad Customer If...

1. You escort people out of line for having 11 items in the "10 items or less" lane.

2. You walk into a store at 10 minutes to close not knowing what you want and don't decide for another 30 minutes.

3. You yell out what a GREAT TIPPER you are.

4. You ask for a discount. No reason specified, just that you should get one.

5. You think the Pre-pay sign on the gas pump is for everyone but you.

6. You buy an expensive dress and return it after the party.

7. You can't read the signs or coupons correctly, insisting you're right and all the employees are wrong.

8. While standing in front of the huge line up of TVs, you ask a salesman, "Is this all the TVs you have?"

9. You chew out the manager of the local McDonald's for not cleaning up the place, while meanwhile, your kids proceed to launch ketchup packets at each other.

10. You pay for anything/everything in small change (especially pennies)

(From Aha! Jokes)
(YouTube Link)
When winter storms and baby animals collide the results are breathtakingly adorable! Enjoy this idyllic video of golden retriever puppies romping around in the snow, created in hopes of finding new homes for the cute little pups. Needless to say it worked like a charm!
A street vendor in Ciqikou, Chongqing, China, goes the extra mile to sell cotton candy that looks like multicolored flowers. -via Arbroath
Did I say my favorite year-end lists were science lists? I have to make an exception for the funniest typos, mistakes, and corrections of the year. After all, I make those mistakes all the time, but rarely are they humorous. The 16 items in this year-end list will make you glad you aren't in charge of a printed publication. Oh yes, and see how many intentional typos the Atlantic included "for solidarity." Link -via Boing Boing
His name is Christian Bottger, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers call him "Little Fear." The 10-year-old performed with the cheerleaders in front of a packed crowd and did the Dougie flawlessly. Little Fear has no fear! -via Daily Picks and Flicks
The Melkweb Bridge
This freaky and beautiful bridge is located in Purmerend, the Netherlands. The lower level is for bicycles and the top level is for pedestrians:
This deck was designed as a pendulum over the water, so that the slope could be limited to a minimum. Because pedestrian traffic was separated from cyclists, the direct line between the Melkweg-road and city centre could remain. Furthermore the 48m arch remains the fastest possible way to cross the water.
The pedestrian bridge weighs 85 tons, consists of 130 steps and is supported by a steel arch. The design makes it able to retain the spatial openness of the channel and its surroundings. Both bridge sections flow smoothly into each other and form one whole. This unity is enhanced by the continuity of materials and colors. In the edges of the bridge LED lines are applied that follow the contour of the bridge and guarantees a spectacular view on the bridge even after sunset.
There's no denying that chameleons are fascinating creatures if only for their awesome color-changing abilities and amazing eyes, but Twisted Sifter has a list 10 facts about these amazing creatures and you might be surprised what you don't already know about them. For example:
Almost half of the world’s chameleon species live on the island of Madagascar, with 59 different species existing nowhere outside of the island. There are approximately 160 species of chameleon. They range from Africa to southern Europe, and across south Asia to Sri Lanka.
Chameleons feed by ballistically projecting their long tongue from their mouth to capture prey located some distance away. While the chameleon’s tongue is typically thought to be 1.5 to 2 times the length of their body (their length excluding the tail), it has been recently discovered that smaller chameleons have proportionately larger tongue apparatuses than their larger counterparts.
The list also has some great chameleon pictures, but not the cute one I posted above, that was on another article on their site.
Getting back together with an old boyfriend is pathetic. It's like having a garage sale and buying your own stuff back.

I wouldn't want to fly Virgin. Who'd want to fly an airline that doesn't go all the way?

My girlfriend likes to role-play. For the past four years, she's been playing my ex-girlfriend.

I was on my way out of the house to meet with a cantankerous client, and I was dreading it. The look on my face must have given me away because my five-year-old daughter asked what was wrong.
"I'm going to meet a mean woman who always yells at Daddy," I told her.
"Oh," she said. "Say hi to Mom."

I answered a 911 call at our emergency dispatch center from a woman who said her water broke.
"Stay calm," I advised. "Now, how far apart are your contractions?"
"No contractions," she said breathlessly. "But my basement is flooding fast."
The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.--Kalu Ndukwe Kalu

Are we becoming less worthy of big ideas because we expend so much time chasing minutia?
--Jaffer Ali, Entrepreneur

Fear begins and ends with the desire to be secure; inward and outward security, with the desire to be certain, to have permanency. The continuity of permanence is sought in every direction, in virtue, in relationship, in action, in experience, in knowledge, in outward and inward things. To find security and be secure is the everlasting cry. It is this insistent demand that breeds fear.--JIDDU KRISHNAMURTI, On Fear

The thesis that the danger of genocide was hanging over us in June 1967 and that Israel was fighting for its physical existence is only bluff, which was born and developed after the war.
--Israeli General Matityahu Peled, Ha'aretz, 19 March 1972

In studying the history of the human mind one is impressed again and again by the fact that the growth of the mind is the widening of the range of consciousness, and that each step forward has been a most painful and laborious achievement. One could almost say that nothing is more hateful to man than to give up even a particle of his unconsciousness. Ask those who have tried to introduce a new idea! --C. G. Jung

Work hard, not in grunt work, but in chasing such opportunities and maximizing exposure to them. This makes living in big cities invaluable because you increase the odds of serendipitous encounters--you gain exposure to the envelope of serendipity.~ Nassim Taleb, Author and Essayist
The Annals of Improbable Research in eBook Form
Our friends at Improbable Research are excited to announce that the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research is now available in ebook form. They've been wanting top do this for some time, but wanted to work out the logistics of serving readers who use computers, e-readers, and small handheld devices. And they did just that.
That’s why we invented a special format. Each of our e-books contains TWO copies of the magazine, each with the same content. The first copy is formatted in a simple, small-screen-friendly way. The second copy shows the same issue of the magazine, but formatted in full glory, exactly as it appears in the print edition.

This two-in-one format is just a wee, little innovation. But it solves the problem of how to make a magazine (or any publication that has a complex layout) that people can get and read as a standard e-book.
The electronic version is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but you can try out a free issue first by downloading it from Improbable Research. Link
The Traditional Peppermint Pig
In Saratoga Springs, New York, it's time to ship out the traditional peppermint pigs. It's hard to pinpoint where the tradition actually started, but pigs have always been symbolic of prosperity. In upstate New York, the pig made it into the rituals surrounding Christmas. Now Mike Fitzgerald, owner of Saratoga Sweets, is scrambling to fill holiday orders.
In the old days, the pig was placed on the Christmas dinner table. Father would wrap it in a napkin and crack it with the steel rod used to sharpen knives so the family could share the sweet-tasting bits, Fitzgerald said. But by the mid-20th century, the area holiday tradition went the way of lit candles on Christmas trees.

In 1988, Fitzgerald made a first run of 60 peppermint pigs at the request of the local historical society. He was surprised to see people lining up to buy them, many of them older people who fondly recalled smashing pigs when they were young. He sold out his run and never looked back.
"A new study found that kids who work more than 20 hours a week at a job are more likely to get bad grades. On the other hand, China." -Jimmy Fallon

This college girl comes back to the dorm after spending all day hiking in the wilderness with her boyfriend. After her shower she's toweling off when her roommate notices her ass all bruised up black and blue. "Good heavens! What happened to you? You're all bruised up."
She replied, "Well, you know how it goes, just got caught between a rock and a hard-on..."

"It's now the law in Southern California that police must screen all adult films to make sure condoms are being used which explains the LAPD's new motto, "To protect and perv." -Conan O'Brien

"There is a very big movie opening today. It's one of the most highly anticipated films of the year. It's called 'Playing for Keeps.' It's actually based on a French film called 'Playing for Crepes.'" -Craig Ferguson

"There are now 20 million people in America who do yoga. And none of whom ever shut up about the fact that they do yoga." -Jimmy Fallon

"Apple CEO Tim Cook says they will begin moving production of some Mac computers. They are going to build Apple products right here at home. So you kids 10 and under, get those resumes ready." -Jay Leno

A co-worker was telling us about her sister who was coming to visit her for the holidays. Someone asked how old her sister was, at which she paused, thought for a bit, and then answered, "She's half as old as I am, that's how I always remember."

So someone else (okay, it was me) said, "That's neat... So every year that you age, she only ages half a year?" My co-worker thought about that, and then said, "Oh, yeah, I guess it only works on even years."

December is the 12th and last month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars, but if you know your Latin you know that decem means "ten".
As it turns out, December was also the tenth month in the Roman calendar until a monthless winter period was divided between January and February.

Random Facts:

Nobel Prizes are awarded on December 10, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death.

December is the month with the shortest daylight hours of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the longest daylight hours of the year in the Southern Hemisphere.

QUOTE: "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

HINT: Was an American human rights activist, stateswoman, journalist, educator, author, and diplomat.

ANSWER: Eleanor Roosevelt
This outfit was deleted from the Victoria's Secret Fashion show ~ The Calendar Girls segment.
This outfit represented November, and someone found it tasteless. I am part Cherokee. I find it tasteless that they ommitted it.
Stolen Car Contained 300-pound Pig
A Nissan Cube was stolen in Youngstown, Ohio. The car, wrecked and abandoned, was recovered by police with Penelope the 300-pound pot-bellied pig still in the backseat.
Crews towed the vehicle with Penelope inside. They left her in the vehicle until her owner could be reached.

"I opened the door and when I looked in the back I was shocked. It is big," explained John Weslolwski with Schultz Automotive and Towing.

"This isn't something we see every day," said Chuck Sayer with the Mahoning County Humane Society. "Usually dogs, cats, domestic animals, usually not a pot belly pig that weighs 300 pounds."
Wendy Thrasher, the pig's owner, was quick to claim her pet, explaining that Penelope was being kept in the car temporarily after a house fire. One can imagine that the car wreck occurred when the car thieves realized the pig was in the backseat. "I'm wondering if that's why they wrecked it," Thrasher said. Link -via Arbroath
Pull the lever and see what comes up! It will be a random strange, horrible, or possibly amazing gift suggestion, with a link to the sales site. Link
The Crap-o-Matic Gift Generator is today's offering at Apocalymas, a countdown to the end of the Mayan calendar. A different distraction is offered every day until then. Link -via the Presurfer
The Renaissance brought about a revival in classical cookery, including a 1541 edition of a classic Roman cookbook. A 1905 issue of The Strand describes it:
One of these bears the date 1541, and amongst the dishes herein enumerated we may find hot-pots of cowheel, pickled broom buds, and Tetrapharmacon, of which the latter delicacy we are told that it was made of pheasant, peacock, a wild sow's hock and udder, with a bread pudding over it.
The manuscript also contained a recipe for yummy dormouse sausages and this handy if vague chart for butchering an elephant Link -via VA Viper
CERN is home to the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest particle physics laboratory and two Ph.D. students/filmmakers (Luke Thompson and Clara Nellist) who decided to bring their love of zombie flicks to work with them.
Please enjoy this feature length scary science horrorr fiction flick, and note that there is no proof that the Higgs Boson particle turns people into zombies...yet.
For about 500 years, liturgical dancers in Japan have imitated the movements and appearance of the white egret. The blogger behind Tokyobling was present at one such performance:
These days the ritualized dance called sagimai (鷺舞) takes place in a handful of places around Japan, with slight variations. It is probably one of the most spectacular ritual dances in Japan today. I came across this performance in Asakusa on the morning of the great Jidai Matsuri (festival of the ages) where they had an unannounced performance right in front of the temple. It was hugely crowded and the only thing I could do to get a decent shot was to use a zoom lens from quite a distance, it was too crowded to get anywhere near the dancers at street level, so unfortunately I can’t show you just how cool the look when they mimic the birds and the move in a synchronized group.
Google presents their annual look back at the most-searched people, stories, and events of the year, this time framing them as they were presented at G+ as well as YouTube, but also reminding us of the company's roots as a search engine. Link -via The Daily What
How to Hunt Elephants -- Comp Sci Style

Computer scientists hunt elephants using algorithm A:

1. Go to Africa
2. Start at the Cape of Good Hope
3. Work northward in an orderly manner, traversing the continent alternately East and West.
4. During each traverse
a. Catch each animal seen
b. Compare each animal caught to a known elephant
c. Stop when a match is detected.

Experienced computer programmers modify Algorithm A by placing a known elephant in Cairo to ensure that the
algorithm will terminate.

Illustrator Chay Hawes created these images of sixteen well-known scientists from history. How many can you name? See a larger version at his website. Chay will post the answers later, so you can guess without the temptation to peek. Link
The $5,000 Toilet that You Control with Your Smartphone
At long last, a breakthrough in totally unnecessary toilet design. If you're in the market for a porcelain throne that not only plays music while you do your business but also raises and lowers the seat, flushes and turns on the bidet via wireless command from an accompanying app, then maybe wait a few months. The SATIS line of toilets from Japanese brand Inax will launch in February 2013, and in addition to the aforementioned features, will offer energy and water consumption info, programmable personal settings, and built-in speakers for the ideal bathroom experience.
All of this, and the SATIS will also "honorably accept your waste." How have we lived so long without this? Video and even more info on RocketNews Link
Just look at these adorable little chinchilla babies. Did you know they made such adorably squeaky little noises? I have adult ones and I didn't even know they could sound this chirpy.

If you are planning on adding to or replacing your roof insulation, think green. There are a number of alternatives to the usual fiberglass insulation which might be a little more expensive, but are safer for you and your family and safer for the environment.
Recycled cellulose fiber is made from newspaper and other paper products. It was more expensive, but it has far better insulation quality than normal fiberglass; therefore, over time there will be substantial cost savings. The insulation is treated to make it fire retardant. It is also treated to be a vermin repellent - no more mice and bugs in your roof!

* Another trash into insulation treasure is denim and cotton waste. In most of these products, the recycled content is around 80 percent. Like recycled cellulose, the denim is treated with boric acid to give it fire retardant properties and repel vermin. One of the advantages of the denim insul- ation over recycled cellulose is that it's a little easier to handle. Where cellulose insulation is blown into the roof and is loose, denim insulation comes in rolls.

* Made from soybean oil, soy insulation is sprayed into the roof area where it expands, filling cracks before hardening. It will char but will not sustain a flame and will last the life of the building.

You see me a lot,
Especially at night
I protect something special,
Many shut me in fright.
What am I?

ANSWER: Eyelids.

QUOTE: "Promise is most given when the least is said."

HINT: (1559-1634), English dramatist, translator, and poet.

ANSWER: George Chapman.


The word "trivia" comes from the latin trivium, meaning the intersection of three roads. In the Middle Ages, local towns would post their news on billboards nearby that were at the intersection of three or more roads, so as to maximize the number of travelers who would see it. Random, obscure facts that were picked up while traveling then became known as "trivia."

A sunset is usually more brilliant than a sunrise because of the dust and particles that are kicked up by the sun heating the ground creating thermals. The dust then refracts the light and creates colors in the sky.

The mirror image of 3.14 looks like the word pie.

If you ask someone a question, and they look up to their left they are accessing memory, and are probably telling the truth, if they look up to their right they are being creative and potentially lying.

Ants don't have enough mass to die on impact, no matter the height.

Goats have horizontal slit-shaped pupils which increases their peripheral depth perception which is very important when climbing cliffs.

The lasting mystery of the Hawthorne Effect
Balancing the Water
Balancing the Water Vadim Trunov’s macro photos of snails (and other insects) in watery worlds are pretty stunning. Actually, they are totally stunning. Check out a slideshow here. They remind me of why snails are found around water so much, and the simple chemistry of killing them with salt. Terrestrial snails (and slugs) are descended from aquatic creatures, all in the gastropod family. Although they have adapted to life outside of the water, they require a coating of mucus all over their exposed tissues to keep their soft tissues from drying out in the air. This water must constantly be resupplied from their environment, be it dew or a puddle.  When you pour salt on a snail or slug, you start an avalanche of osmosis, with water from inside the snail’s cells rushing out to try and balance the salt concentration inside and out. It dries up like a pickle. A murderous chemistry, no? Although if you salt them after they’re cooked, maybe with butter … they’re delicious. (sketch via Janet Stemwedel)
Vadim Trunov’s macro photos of snails (and other insects) in watery worlds are pretty stunning. Actually, they are totally stunning. Check out a slideshow here.
They remind me of why snails are found around water so much, and the simple chemistry of killing them with salt. Terrestrial snails (and slugs) are descended from aquatic creatures, all in the gastropod family. Although they have adapted to life outside of the water, they require a coating of mucus all over their exposed tissues to keep their soft tissues from drying out in the air. This water must constantly be resupplied from their environment, be it dew or a puddle.
Tuesday, before the Great Tumblr Meltdown of 12/12/12, I put down a few thoughts on the 40th anniversary of the last photo of Earth ever taken by a human in space, the “Blue Marble”. Read it here if you missed it.
I believe, without a doubt, that that shot, taken with human hands, altered the human perspective in ways that will affect the remainder of our existence. It can not be the last time humans see that with the naked eye.
Thanks to Open Culture, and the folks at the Planetary Collective, we have this supremely interesting film that pays tribute to that photo on its 40th anniversary, and discusses the odd psychology of viewing our planet from space. Enjoy.
When we originally went to the Moon, our total focus was on the Moon, we weren’t thinking about looking back at the Earth. But now that we’ve done it, that may well have been the most important reason we went.
By traveling closer to the stars that we have been able to realize that we are born of their dusty remains. And by traveling off of Earth, we have been able to realize that we are all travelers on the same Spaceship Earth.
The Sexiest Geek Dads in the Galaxy
It's official: Geek dads are the new MILFs. They build robots, sequence genomes, draw comics, write superhero movies, study the cosmos, rule the internet, and represent for the geeks in pop culture - plus they're awesome dads at the same time!
Cirque de Soleil Founder on Photographing Earth from Space: “So fragile in this universe”
Cirque de Soleil founder Guy Laliberté spent 11 days at the International Space Station in 2009, taking photos of our planet with a Nikon D3X camera. And now he's got an exhibition opening at the Marlborough Gallery in Manhattan, featuring 40 of his best space photos.
Over at ARTINFO, there's a great interview with Laliberté about learning to be a space photographer, plus some of his best images. Check out a few here, and there are more images at the link.
Can plants grow leaves up, roots down … in space?
Some new space science is helping to answer that.
A plant experiment recently done on the International Space Station showed that plants do not need gravity in order to grow normal root patterns and send their leaves up toward the light. They grow more slowly, but as long as they have a light source above them, they are able to orient their direction of growth just fine (contrary to previous research).
We’ve all seen a houseplant grow toward the light, right? This is a phenomenon called positive phototropism. The microgravity experiment showed that when a plant senses light, it not only grows toward it but sends its roots the other way. The root effect is called negative phototropism, and it seems to be enough to get a normal looking plant in space.
Of course it’s not that simple, right? Nope. On Earth, it turns out that gravity does help, and plant roots have these dense little “molecular weights” that are pulled down by gravity and help a new seed orient the roots downward. They’re really cool. So it looks like, for now, that Earth plants use a combination of gravity and light to orient upleaves from downroots, and space plants can do almost as gooda job with light alone.
Bring on the space gardens! Whole Foods Lunar Base by 2020!! Would that count as organic?
MakerBot Industries, the company that helps you make your own 3D printer
The Hulk, Batman and the Skywalkers Get Their Own Game of Thrones House Sigils
Oculus Rift VR headset to be used in Sinful Robots ‘erotic encounters’ video game
Fully immersive brain-jacked virtual reality sex may still be a few decades away, but we're inching closer with each passing year. Sinful Robot recently announced that it has joined forces with Oculus to develop "the world's first series of fully-immersive erotic encounters," one that will "locate you in the center of the action, the ecstatic epicenter of play." The company's vision is to create extreme immersive and interactive adult VR content.
To that end, Sinful Robot is looking for help, and their website now lists openings for artists, programmers and character animators. Van den Bosch says prospective employees shouldn't be afraid of "working with spicy content."
Periodic Table by Alison Haigh, featuring elements represented by their electron structures.
One of the best periodic tables I’ve ever seen, in terms of pure aesthetics. Not recommended for chemistry class, though.
Snowflakes, Starflakes, and Swirlflakes
You knew Vi Hart was going to take your old tradition of paper snowflakes and feed it mathematical steroids, right? Time to get out the scissors!
Weave, Little Man, Weave Like the Wind!
A pretty little time-lapse of a spider spinning a circular web. The spoked concentric rings lend a particular strength to the spider’s web.
Some physical analysis of spider silk from MIT scientists has not only discovered that its molecular structure makes it stronger than steel (pound for pound), but that itsflexibility allows it to be both powerful and resilient. Human engineers, take note.
An associate at work a number of years ago related this story which he swore was true...
He was dating a Jehovah's Witness, (I don't know what sort of date would make, milk and cookies after prayers, or some such thing), and they were driving along a rural road on a murky day. He muttered some offhanded obscenity, and his date started scolding him, saying that He would not want him to swear. Kidding, he swore at her again when all of a sudden the murky sky turned into a raging cloudburst. Lighting struck a telephone pole not too far away, and his horrified date said, "See! I told you He does not want you to swear!"
To which he quipped, "Yeah, but the Son of a Bitch missed, didn't he?". They were moving slowly because of the heavy rain, and the girl fairly leaped out of the car without waiting for it to stop,. and ran off into the dark never to be seen again.

University Of Chicago Got A Package Addressed To Indiana Jones
When a package arrived at the University of Chicago addressed to Henry Walton Jones, Jr. (aka Indiana Jones), eyebrows were raised.
When they opened the package and found a bunch of stuff directly related to Indiana Jones movie mythology inside a manila envelope mystery began.
Here's more on the mystery package:
Inside the manila envelope secured with string, school employees found a treasure of meticulously executed Jones lore brought to life, including a journal penned by Abner Ravenswood -- Indy's academic mentor and father of his Raiderslove interest, Marion Ravenswood.
"The book itself is a bit dusty, and the cover is teal fabric with a red velvet spine, with weathered inserts and many postcards/pictures of Marion Ravenwood (and some cool old replica money) included,"
The university has thrown it out to the Internet, in hopes of finding out just who is responsible for this extraordinary stunt.
"If you’re an applicant and sent this to us: Why? How? Did you make it? Why so awesome? ... If you are an Indiana Jones enthusiast and have any idea who may have sent this to us or who made it, let us know that, too.... Any hints, ideas, thoughts, or explanations are appreciated," the school writes.
Anyone with any pertinent knowledge is prompted to forward what they know to a special email account set up in honor of the mysterious package:

What is love? Five theories on the greatest emotion of all

“What is love” was the most searched phrase on Google in 2012, according to the company…The Guardian has gathered writers from the fields of science, psychotherapy, literature, religion and philosophy to give their definition of the much-pondered word.
The physicist: ‘Love is chemistry’
The psychotherapist: ‘Love has many guises’
The philosopher: ‘Love is a passionate commitment
The romantic novelist: ‘Love drives all great stories’
The nun: ‘Love is free yet binds us’
Thanks, Ed

Keep on rockin’ six feet under!

If you’re living impaired or a vampire who likes a bit of musical accompaniment as you wile away the long hours inside your coffin then the CataCoffin from Swedish company Pause could be just what you need. The customized coffin packs a CataCombo Sound System that features a custom-built 2.1 amplifier and includes a pair of 2-way speakers, tweeters with external cooling, and an 8-inch subwoofer tuned to the coffin’s acoustic space.
The coffin is paired with the CataTomb tombstone that packs an upgradeable music server powered by a 2.5 GHz Intel processor and a 4G wireless connection that allows playlists to be managed online. Using the CataPlay application that connects to Spotify, friends and family can keep you grooving to the latest tracks. The hi-tech tombstone, which supplies power to the coffin’s onboard sound system, also features a 7-inch LCD for displaying the currently playing song alongside your epitaph.
Prices to make your death the life of the graveyard start at $30,715.
Thanks, Ed
A male weedy sea dragon carries bright pink eggs underneath his tail in one of our most popular Photo of the Day images from November. (Photo by Richard Wylie)

Which was your favorite?
"There's a new dating site aimed at matching up women who like to travel with men willing to pay for their trips. It's part of a new dating trend called prostitution." -Jimmy Fallon

During a lady's medical examination, the doctor says, "Your heart, lungs, pulse and blood pressure are all fine. Now, let me see that little thing which gets you ladies into all kinds of trouble."

The lady starts taking off her clothes but is interrupted by the doctor. "No! No! Please don't remove your clothes; just show me your tongue!"

"For the first time ever, 'Sesame Street' is going to be tackling the topic of divorce. They want to make it clear that it's never the child's fault. And Ernie and Bert will remain friends." -Conan O'Brien

A mother in law said to her son's wife when their baby was born: "I don't mean to be rude but he doesn't look anything like my son."
The daughter-in-law lifted her skirt and said: "I don't mean to be rude either, but this is a pussy...not a fucking photo-copier."

"Christmas is less than two weeks away. I do most of my shopping online. But I hire someone to honk and scream obscenities at me while I'm doing it so I get the whole holiday shopping experience." -Jimmy Kimmel

"A close friend of mine said his doctor gave him less than two weeks to live. But it turns out his doctor's a Mayan. He says that to everybody." -Jay Leno

"This year over 1,500 soldiers were kicked out of the armed forces for being overweight. And half of our fighter pilots are being charged for two seats." -Conan O'Brien

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

War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.
--George Orwell

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
--George Orwell

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
--George Orwell

Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
--George Orwell

The farther a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.
--George Orwell

A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom.
~ Michel de Montaigne, Renaissance Essayist
Dear santa4
A recent study has found a direct link between a man’s penis size and his mathematical ability.
Apparently 70% of men compensate for their small penises by being good at math, while the remaining 45% make up for their lack of mathematical skills with their 12 inch penises.
The hum that helps coppers fight crime
While the frequency of the electricity supplied by the national grid is about 50Hz, if you look at it over time, you can see minute fluctuations in the order of a few thousandths of a hertz…
A decade ago, a Romanian audio specialist Dr Catalan Grigoras, now director of the National Center for Media Forensics at the University of Colorado, Denver, made a discovery: that the pattern of these random changes in frequency is unique over time…
By itself, this might be an interesting electrical curiosity. But when you take into account that most digital recordings are also embedded with this hum, it becomes a game changer.
Comparing the unique pattern of the frequencies on an audio recording with a database that has been logging these changes for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year provides a digital watermark: a date and time stamp on the recording…
Cool info, Ed
I loved the episode of The Big Bang Theory that showed one of these monsters.

subwoofer funky


Porsche hybrid (1900)

Porsche rolled into the New York Auto Show with Semper Vivus, a meticulous $750,000 reproduction of the series hybrid Ferdinand Porsche built in 1900. The car provided a nice contrast to the $95,000 Panamera S Hybrid making its North American debut at the show.

Semper Vivus, Latin for “always alive,” works a lot like the Chevrolet Volt. Batteries provide juice to the hub-mounted motors, and a pair of tiny single-cylinder engines step in to drive two 2.5-kilowatt generators that keep electricity flowing when the batteries go kaput.

The specs are impressive, even by today’s standards. The batteries have a range of 40 kilometers (25 miles). Once the 3.5-horsepower engines fire up, Semper Vivus can go another 160 kilometers (100 miles). Top speed is 35 mph, quite quick for its day. One cool bit: the tires were chiseled from solid blocks of rubber, the only way to support the weight of the car. Semper Vivus weighs 3,700 pounds.
And this comment from the Wired source last year: "There will be some debate as to which looks better."
Good intentions took a wild turn when a concerned driver met a surprising animal. According to WMTW, a Maine woman accidentally hit a bobcat while driving, but mistook the animal for a domestic cat and tried to take the creature to the vet.

After the accident, she inspected the animal and thought it was a severely injured cat. Wanting to save the feline, the woman placed the stricken animal in her car to take it to the vet.

The wild cat regained consciousness while the woman was driving to the vet's office. It was at this point that the driver realized her passenger was not a normal kitty cat and pulled over. The woman exited the car, as did the bobcat, who followed her and then hid under the vehicle.

Police and game wardens were called to the scene to catch the poor critter. The bobcat was safely secured and taken to get medical attention. Sadly, the animal was euthanized due to the severity of its injuries.
Here is a demonstration of SUPERPLEXUS CIRCLES, a 24" diameter commission for a private collector. Playtime is about an hour for a player to get to the end, if you don't fall off! CIRCLES is meant to be challenging, though doable. It was my second private commission and was lots of fun to make from birch aircraft plywood, acrylic, Jatoba, and stainless steel. Filmed and edited by Angelica Tercero.
The last greak auk in the British Isles was killed because its keepers feared it might be a witch. In 1840 five men discovered it asleep on the Scottish island of Stac an Armin. From John Alexander Harvie-Brown's Vertebrate Fauna of the Outer Hebrides (1888):
It was Malcolm M'Donald who actually laid hold of the bird, and held it by the neck with his two hands, till others came up and tied its legs. It used to make a great noise, like that made by a gannet, but much louder, when shutting its mouth. It opened its mouth when any one came near it. It nearly cut the rope with its bill. A storm arose, and that, together with the size of the bird and the noise it made, caused them to think it was a witch. It was killed on the third day after it was caught, and M'Kinnon declares they were beating it for an hour with two large stones before it was dead: he was the most frightened of all the men, and advised the killing of it.
They threw the body behind the hut and left it there.
When the last heath hen, "Booming Ben," died in 1932 on Martha's Vineyard, local newspaper editor Henry Beetle Hough wrote an obituary for the species: "There is a void in the April dawn, there is an expectancy unanswered ... We are looking upon the utmost finality which can be written, glimpsing the darkness which will not know another ray of light. We are in touch with the reality of extinction."
"I've had it with my wife." said the one drinking buddy to the other. "I'm filing for an divorce."

"Sorry to hear that pal." said his partner. "May I ask why?"

"I found her supply of birth control pills." said the first.

"Listen Frank, with all due respect to your religion, I just can't see leaving your wife for what the Church says is a sin."

"It ain't just that." stormed Frank. "I had a vasectomy over five years ago."
He's so festive, he's going to get himself arrested! Rhett & Link are singing the praises of sweatshirts and sweatpants for Christmas -and other holidays! -via Daily of the Day
A football fan has stolen media attention in Italy after being the only supporter to show up to watch his club play an away game in the top league.
Udinese fan Arrigo Brovedani was the club’s sole supporter in Genoa for a Serie A match against local team Sampdoria…
It was a cold Monday night and Udinese never attracts more than 50 or 60 away fans. “But I went there thinking I’d find five or six other people,” the Udinese fan said. “I went into the stadium while they [Udinese] were warming up. I shouted and said ‘hi’ to the team.
“When I went in the local fans booed me, I felt a bit offended. But in the end they clapped and invited me for coffee and a meal, and the club managers gave me a shirt. They wished me a merry Christmas.”
Genoa is about four hours’ drive from Friuli, where Udinese are based. But Mr Brovedani was in Genoa on business.
“I like the stadium there, it’s very similar to English stadiums,” he said. “I always take my flag and scarf around – they’re always in the car with me.”
Udinese won the match 2-0. The team dedicated their victory to their only fan.
Bravo, Arrigo!
Two men and a woman were the sole survivors of a pleasure cruise ship that sank in the Bermuda Triangle. They made it to an uninhabited island.

Two weeks later the woman jumped off a cliff because she was so ashamed of what she was doing.

Two weeks after that the two men buried her because they were so ashamed of what they were doing.

Two more weeks passed by and the men dug her up again--being so ashamed of what they were doing.
Sign posted in a bathroom:
We aim to please!
You aim too! Please!
Orgasm donor
Everybody pisses on the floor. Be a hero and shit on the ceiling.
"The full use of your powers along lines of excellence. "
- definition of "happiness" by John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)
Q: What's the worst thing about washing your cat?
A: Getting the fur off your tongue afterwards.

What do West Virginians call a pretty woman?
A tourist.
12/12/12) Sugar and sulfuric acid combine for ultimate insanity
(12/11/12) Lego repair job
(12/10/12) Did the U.S. once have super-secret plans to nuke the moon?
(12/09/12) Nice! Ranked Number 1 Today. "The Physics Book: From the Big Bang to Quantum Resurrection." See "Sneak Peek" to look inside
(12/08/12) Experience other realities: Cinematic Upside-Down Street Reflections
(12/07/12) New Scientist: holiday gift books recommendations. Fourth from top looks nice
(12/06/12) Amazing. Photographs captured with the shutter left open for TEN years
(12/05/12) What the heck does a math grad student do all day?
(12/04/12) Christmas in Fractal-Land. (Gorgeous graphic. Click to mag.)
(12/03/12) The most accurate pie chart I've ever seen
Dirty Johnny's father walks into the bathroom and catches him jerking off.
He says, "Son, every time you do that you kill an innocent baby."
The next day his father walks into the bathroom and catches him again.
Johnny says, "Bow your head, Pop. Can't you see we're having a funeral?"
If a loop of thread is dropped onto a soap film, as shown above, popping the soap film inside the thread will pull the thread into a circle. This is because the surface tension of the soap film outside the thread is reacting to the sudden loss of the balancing force exerted by surface tension inside the thread loop...
Paris, Sept 18. – André Brulé, stage exquisite, has been acclaimed the champion kisser of the world. By vanquishing 80 aspirants, including Americans, Russians, Italians, Spanish and French, he won the award from a committee of beauties of the younger set at Biarritz. In the course of the contest he is said to have turned an unprecedented number of feminine heads...

According to the jury, Brulé's perfect kiss was according to the following procedure. He took careful aim, and then with his right arm waistward and his left foot used as a pivot, swung suddenly, implanting the kiss exactly in the middle of the mouth.
The advantage of this method, which, it is declared, requires long practice, is that the girl has no time to escape...

The osculatory contest was held in the dance hall casino. It was watched by the queen of Spain and an imposing array of Spanish and British royalty. Brule's reward was a diamond scarfpin subscribed by the beauties.
(Originally published in the Minneapolis Tribune, Sept 19, 1921)
A woman may very well form a friendship with a man, but for this to endure, it must be assisted by a little physical antipathy. -- Nietzsche
Love is one long sweet dream, and marriage is the alarm clock.
A couple was having a discussion about what to see and do now that they were safely in Florida on their honeymoon. Trying to assert himself rite off the bat, he exploded, "If it weren't for my money, we wouldn't be here at all!"

The wife replied, "My dear, if it weren't for your money, not only would we not be in Florida, we wouldn't on a honeymoon, nor would there be any "we" in the first place."
Why did the blonde scale the chain-link fence?
To see what was on the other side.
A lioness named Pasha in Zimbabwe has given birth to a record litter of eight cubs! Pasha lives at the Lion and Cheetah Park near Harare. Lions normally give birth to two cubs at a time.
Dr Hillary Madzikanda, the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority's head of scientific services gushed: “This has never happened in the history of lions, the world over. It is actually a world record.”
The previous known highest number of cubs in one litter was recorded in China only in July this year when a lioness gave birth to six cubs.
Dr Madzikanda explained: “Normally, you get two cubs per litter and getting four is even very lucky. This one is a record. It is an achievement for this lioness.
Surprisingly, the lioness was on a contraceptive pill.”
The cubs appear to be gaining strength, and are being fed bottles of formula. Link -via Arbroath
Merry christmas ladies
Notable cross-references in the index of Donald Tovey's Essays in Musical Analysis, Volume VI, 1939:
Agnostic, see Dachsund.
Appendicitis, see Cadenza.
Critics, see Experts.
Experts, see Critics.
Giraffe, see Berlioz.
Hedgehog, see Brahms.
Monster, see Loch Ness.
Noodles, see Brahms on plagiarism.
Pope, see Bruckner.
Sneeze, see Cherubini and Beethoven.
Sugar, see Grocer.
Witchery, see Mendelssohn.
Evelyn Waugh owned a translation of Tolstoy's novel Resurrection for which someone had composed "a particularly felicitous index. The first entry is: 'Adultery, 13, 53, 68, 70'; the last is 'Why do people punish? 358'. Between them occurs such items as: Cannibalism, Dogs, Good breeding, Justification of one's position, Seduction, Smoking, Spies, and Vegetarianism."

One day our professor was discussing a particularly complicated concept. A pre-med student rudely interrupted to ask "Why do we have to learn this stuff?"
"To save lives." the professor responded quickly and continued the lecture.
A few minutes later, the same student spoke up again. "So how does physics save lives?" he persisted.
"It keeps the ignoramuses out of medical school," replied the professor.
For some time now, engineers have been researching the possibility of equipping UAVs (unmanned air vehicles) with robotic arms. This week, DARPA announced that a successful test of just such an “armed” UAV has been performed.
DARPA utilized an existing V-Bat UAV, made by California-based MLB Company. The stock V-Bat can fly horizontally to quickly reach its destination, then hover in a tail-down orientation once it gets there.
The DARPA team added a folding robotic arm to the UAV, along with an inexpensive stereoscopic computer vision system – this incorporated one camera on the end of the arm, and another on the aircraft itself.
For the test, a 1-pound payload was attached to a hook on the end of the arm. Using its vision and GPS systems, the V-Bat then autonomously identified a step ladder, which was the object on which it had to place its payload. It proceeded to maneuver itself up alongside the ladder, extended its arm by six feet and placed the payload on the ladder.
“Our goal with the UAV payload emplacement demonstration was to show we could quickly develop and integrate the right technology to make this work,” said DARPA program manager Dan Pratt. “The success of the demonstration further enables the capabilities of future autonomous aerial vehicles.”
17 beer
25 beer
35 vodka
48 double vodka
66 Maalox
In October 1956, Los Angeles mentalist Jack Swimmer declared that he would predict the exact number of votes that President Eisenhower would receive that year in the nation, in California, and in Los Angeles County. A small box containing his predictions was placed in a larger box, which was locked in a county safe on Oct. 10, and Swimmer deposited $5,000 with the county board of supervisors, saying they could give it to charity if he failed.
On Nov. 13, a week after Election Day, the supervisors opened the smaller box and found a tiny roll of paper on which were written three numbers:
These corresponded exactly to the published totals. The board returned Swimmer's money, and he donated it to charity anyway, saying he was happy with his "small part in bringing out the vote."
Swimmer wouldn't say how he had accomplished the feat, though he said there was nothing supernatural about it. "Some of the spectators later said the tiny roll of paper on which the figures were written could have been hidden in a hollow key and injected into the box when it was unlocked," noted a UPI account. "But by the time they thought of it, the key was no longer available for inspection."
My mother made me a whore.
(to which someone else added)
If I give her the yarn, will she make me one too?
Question: What is 1 + 2 ?

Politician: Well, if you look at the seasonally adjusted figures, you'll find that it's reasonably in line with government predictions.

Physicist: I won't tell you until you tell me what you want to use it for.

Lawyer: It makes one and a half each.

Her boobs are too big
Strip Poker
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Timmy’s letter to Santa
Dear Santa,
How are you? How is Mrs. Claus? I hope everyone, from the reindeer to the elves, is fine. I have been a very good boy this year. I would like an X-Box 360 with Call of Duty IV and an iPhone 5 for Christmas. I hope you remember that come Christmas Day.
Merry Christmas,
Timmy Jones

* *
Dear Timmy,
Thank you for you letter. Mrs. Claus, the reindeer and the elves are all fine and thank you for asking about them. Santa is a little worried all the time you spend playing video games and texting. Santa wouldn’t want you to get fat. Since you have indeed been a good boy, I think I’ll bring you something you can go outside and play with.*
Merry Christmas,*
Santa Claus***

* *
Mr. Claus,
Seeing that I have fulfilled the “naughty vs. Nice” contract, set by you I might add, I feel confident that you can see your way clear to granting me what I have asked for. I certainly wouldn’t want to turn this joyous season into one of litigation. Also, don’t you think that a jibe at my weight coming from an overweight man who goes out once a year is a bit trite?
Tim Jones

* *
Mr. Jones,
While I have acknowledged you have met the “nice” criteria, need I remind you that your Christmas list is a request and in no way is it a guarantee of services provided. Should you wish to pursue legal action, well that is your right. Please know, however, that my attorney’s have been on retainer ever since the Burgermeister Meisterburger incident and will be more than happy to take you on in open court. Additionally, the exercise I alluded to will not only improve your health, but also improve your social skills and potentially help clear up a complexion that looks like the bottom of the Burger King fry bin most days.
Very Truly Yours,
S Claus

* *
Now look here Fat Man,
I told you what I want and I expect you to bring it. I was attempting to be polite about this but you brought my looks and my friends into this. Now you just be disrespecting me. I’m about to tweet my boys and we’re gonna be waiting for your fat a** and I’m taking my game console, my game, my phone, and whatever else I want. WHAT EVER I WANT, MAN!

* *
Listen Pizza Face,
Seriously??? You think a dude that breaks into every house in the world on one night and never gets caught sweats a skinny G-banger wannabe? “He seesyou when you’re sleeping; He knows when you’re awake”. Sound familiar, genius? You know what kind of resources I have at my disposal. I got your sh*t wired, Jack. I go all around the world and see ways to hurt people that if I described them right now, you’d throw up your Totino’s pizza roll all over the carpet of your mom’s basement. You’re not getting what you
asked for, but I’m still stopping by your crib to stomp a mud hole in you’re a** and then walk it dry. Chew on that, Petunia.
S Clizzy

* *
Dear Santa,
Bring me whatever you see fit. I’ll appreciate anything.

* *
That’s what I thought you little bastard.
Hip santa

Many scholars argue the word "vampire" is either from the Hungarian vampir or from the Turkish upior, upper, upyr meaning "witch." Other scholars argue the term derived from the Greek word "to drink" or from the Greek nosophoros meaning "plague carrier." It may also derive from the Serbian Bamiiup or the Serbo-Crotian pirati.

The Muppet vampire, Count von Count from Sesame Street, is based on actual vampire myth. One way to supposedly deter a vampire is to throw seeds (usually mustard) outside a door or place fishing net outside a window. Vampires are compelled to count the seeds or the holes in the net, delaying them until the sun comes up.

One of the most famous "true vampires" was Countess Elizabeth Bathory (1560-1614) who was accused of biting the flesh of girls while torturing them and bathing in their blood to retain her youthful beauty.

Vampire hysteria and corpse mutilations to "kill" suspected vampires were so pervasive in Europe during the mid-eighteenth century that some rulers created laws to prevent the unearthing of bodies. In some areas, mass hysteria led to public executions of people believed to be vampires.

Thresholds have historically held significant symbolic value, and a vampire cannot cross a threshold unless invited. The connection between threshold and vampires seems to be a concept of complicity or allowance. Once a commitment is made to allow evil, evil can re-enter at any time.

The legend that vampires must sleep in coffins probably arose from reports of gravediggers and morticians who described corpses suddenly sitting up in their graves or coffins. This eerie phenomenon could be caused by the decomposing process.

Helen Fouché Gaines' 1956 textbook Cryptanalysis: A Study of Ciphers and Their Solution concludes with a cipher that, she says, "nobody has ever been able to decrypt":
It was still unsolved in 1968, when Dmitri Borgmann, editor of the Journal of Recreational Linguistics, urged his readers to tackle the problem: "Are you going to let this challenge lie there, taunting you for the rest of your lives? Or are you going to get busy and solve that pesky little crypt?"
So far as I can tell, they let it lie there, and it remains unsolved to this day. Any ideas? There are few clues in Gaines' book. The cipher is the last in a series of exercises at the end of a chapter titled "Investigating the Unknown Cipher," and she gives no hint as to its source. Of the exercises, she writes, "There is none in which the system may not be learned through analysis, unless perhaps the final unnumbered cryptogram." The solution says simply "Unsolved."
Wednesday, December 12, 2012December 12, 2012 is the century's last sequential date (unless we go to a 13 month calendar really soon). But is there more to this unique arrangement of numbers than just oddity?

Random Facts:
A much-cited survey conducted by US-based David's Bridal estimated that around 7,500 brides would be getting married in America today; a 1,446 percent increase from 12/12/11.

The New York Times wrote that many couples considered it lucky to get married on repetitive dates, with 07-07-07, 10-10-10 and 11-11-11 each breaking Las Vegas records.

According to Chinese numerology, the number one is a yang number which is ruled by the sun and represents independence and individualism. Two is a yin number which is ruled by the moon and represents symmetry and balance. When placed together, the number 12 brings harmony to the yin and yang, balancing the feminine energy of the moon with the masculine energy of the sun.
QUOTE: "It is one of man's curious idiosyncrasies to create difficulties for the pleasure of resolving them."

HINT: (1753-1821), French-speaking Savoyard philosopher, writer, lawyer, and diplomat.

ANSWER: Joseph de Maistre.

Not everyone can intuitively dance like the kids in A Charlie Brown Christmas can. Thankfully, Linus Van Pelt III is here to help you klutzes get ready for Chistmas festivities. Learn the Dramatic Chipmunk, the Self Breast Exam, the Third Base Coach and more.


During World War II, "special edition" Monopoly games were used to help POWs escape by including hidden maps, compasses and other tools within the game.

Yahtzee is the classic game of dice and poker-themed combinations. It was originally called "The Yacht Game" because it was played by a Canadian couple aboard their yacht and was invented in 1954. It was later patented by a toy entrepreneur for commercial use in 1956.

Sorry is also known as The Game of Sweet Revenge. It is similar to the Indian game Pachisi or Parcheesi, and was first introduced in the US by Parker Brothers in 1934.

Risk is the classic game of world domination. It was originally created in France in 1957 and was known as La Conquete du Monde (The Conquest of the World). An American version was then introduced by Parker Brothers in 1959. There are 19 different versions of the Risk game, including Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Narnia and Transformers editions.

Battleship is the strategic guessing game of sinking enemy ships and conquering the seas. It was originally a pad-and-pencil game introduced in 1943 and known as Broadsides, The Game of Navel Strategies. It was then converted to the board game in 1967.

Checkers is the classic board game of strategy using a checkered board and tokens which are usually colored red and black. Known in some parts of the world as International Draughts, Checkers is one of the oldest known board games. One of the earliest versions of the game was discovered in Ur, Iraq and dated back to 3000 BC.


Q and A Quickies

Q: What do you get when you cross a stream and a brook?
A: Wet feet.

Q: What has a lot of keys but can not open any doors?
A: A piano.

Q: What do you call a pig that does karate?
A: A pork chop.

Q: How do you make a hot dog stand?
A: Steal its chair.


Compliment her, cuddle her, kiss her, caress her, love her, stroke her, tease her, comfort her, protect her, hug her, hold her, spend money on her, wine and dine her, buy things for her, listen to her, care for her, stand by her, support her, go to the ends of the earth for her....


Show up naked, with beer....

Ah, Florida; where the sun is hotter, the drunks are drunker and the searches for lost pets are always conducted while heavily armed.

At least that is the attitude of Mark Fitzgerald, and he was not about to let any sheriff's deputies tell him otherwise.

49-year-old Fitzgerald told deputies he was searching for his lost dog Tuesday morning when they found him cruising around a golf course in a golf cart while in possession of a high powered rifle and handgun, in case he encountered coyotes, he said. Deputies said Fitzgerald fired several rounds from his golf cart. Deputies also say Fitzgerald also appeared intoxicated.

Authorities say he hit a water tower which holds about a million gallons of water. Water has apparently been draining from the bullet hole.

Fitzgerald was charged with felony criminal mischief, discharging a firearm, and use of firearm while under the influence.

No word on whether the dog was ever found.

One of the images on the 2013 Australian Weather Calendar posted in a gallery at The Telegraph. Photo credit Matt Titmanis.

Police: Man used glue on ex's belongings

LYKENS, Pa. - Pennsylvania State Police said they arrested a man accused of breaking into his ex-girlfriend's home and using glue on her refrigerator and computer. Police said Dennis Homberg, 42, of Elizabethville entered his ex-girlfriend's Lykens apartment when she was away Nov. 12 and glued shut the refrigerator door and a utensil drawer, and poured glue on the woman's computer keyboard, The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News reported Monday. Homberg was charged with burglary, criminal trespass, stalking and criminal mischief.
A man meets a friend whom he hasn't seen in 20 years. "You look fantastic!" he says. "How do you stay so fit?"
The friend says, "I have one rule. I don't argue with people."
The man says, "Come on! How could that account for it?"
The friend says, "You're right, that couldn't possibly account for it."

It all began with an iPhone...
March was when our son celebrated his 17th birthday, and we got him an iPhone. He just loved it. Who wouldn't?


I celebrated my birthday in July, and my wife made me very happy when she bought me an iPad.

Our daughter's birthday was in August so we got her an iPod Touch.

My wife celebrated her birthday in September so I got her an iRon.

It was around then that the fight started.

What my wife failed to recognize is that the iRon can be integrated into the home network with the iWash, iCook and iClean.

This inevitably activates the iNag reminder service.

I should be out of the hospital next week!!


Thanks, Mike
This TV is featured in the newest James Bond film 'Skyfall' 007
The panels interlock to form a seamless TV screen that bursts into action with revolutionary pixel power for ultra-high-resolution images in any daylight environment, including direct sunshine. Each of the over 725,000 LEDs processes image data up to 100,000 times per second, enabling the C SEED 201 to display 4.4 trillion radiant colors. No other technology generates such an extraordinary color spectrum with undreamt-of precision and reliability.
The C SEED 201 TV marks a world premiere in private entertainment by taking high-tech TV outdoors.

Spectacular picture quality is provided by a 201-inch (5.11m) 16:9 LED screen.

As host you direct the performance by radio remote control, pressing a button to adjust the screen to the desired height and rotate it to a maximum of 270 degree angle for optimal viewing comfort.
The cost $687,775 U.S. and the screen alone weighs 1.4 tons! So get 2, 1 for the back yard and 1 for the front!
I dont remember seeing it ~ guess I'll/we'll have to see it again

Q: What does a bankrupt frog say?
A: Baroke, baroke, baroke.

Q: Why don't cannibals eat clowns?
A: Because they taste funny.

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

Q: Why does a chicken coop have two doors?
A: Because if it had four, it would be a chicken sedan.
A fragmentary skeleton pins the emergence of dinosaurs more than 10 million years earlier than previously thought
Ask Smithsonian
Q: Will we ever really be able to deflect a comet or asteroid that has targeted us for extinction?
— Bruce McPhee, West Yamouth, Massachusetts

A: We can deflect such objects big enough to cause regional damage; the key element is how long a warning we have. Even with only a decade or so, we might deflect an asteroid of perhaps 100 meters in diameter, using spacecraft or nuclear weapons. With sufficient warning - say 50 years - we could deflect an object several hundred meters in diameter. Extinction-scale threats have been ruled out for the next few hundred years, so you can relax.
— Tim Spahr, director, Minor Planet Center, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Say you are a teenager with an illegal pistol that you bought from someone at a party (of all places). Being a dumbass with no idea how to handle a firearm you take it home and try to clean it when it goes off.

What is the worst possible consequence you can imagine short of killing yourself?

If you immediately thought, 'Shoot my penis off' you have just described the circumstance a Florida 18-year-old named Michael found himself in earlier this week.

Police say Michael first lied to police saying someone shot him while he was walking down the street. After being questioned by police he admitted to accidentally doing it himself.

Doctors say the bullet went through his penis, his left testicle and then lodged itself in his thigh.

And if his luck wasn't bad enough, while police were investigating at the home where it happened, they discovered marijuana in the house. That led to the arrest of the homeowner on drug charges.

So we can only assume that poor Michael doesn't have a place to live anymore either.
Volcanic crater of Wau al Namus, (Wau means hole, so Wau al Namus is "hole of mosquitoes").This massive (and apparently dormant) volcano can be easily be seen in satellite views of Southern Libya, as a large black smear in the wind-scoured sands of the Sahara. The inner crater is bordered by a chain of small salt lakes. Outside the outer rim of the crater are small black dunes of windblown volcanic residue.
Pizza Hut Canada releases perfume
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Pizza Hut Canada released 110 bottles of its pizza-scented perfume, "Eau de Pizza Hut," to fans on Facebook. The pizza chain jokingly held a contest to name a fake perfume scented like "the smell of a box of Pizza Hut pizza being opened," and the response led the chain to create 110 bottles of the fragrance and send it to Facebook fans, the Vancouver Sun reported Thursday. "For now, we've only produced 110 bottles of Eau de Pizza Hut, but who knows what the future has in store," said Beverley D'Cruz, marketing and product development director for Pizza Hut Canada. The perfume comes after the Burger King fast food chain released a meat-scented body spray in 2008.
  • A pound of dimes has the same value as a pound of quarters.
  • The French word hétérogénéité has five accents.
  • 32768 = (3 - 2 + 7)6 / 8
  • Can you deceive yourself deliberately?
  • "My country is the world, and my religion is to do good." -- Thomas Paine
In 2000, Guatemalan police asked Christmas revelers not to fire pistols into the air. "Lots of people die when bullets fall on their heads," National Civilian Police spokesman Faustino Sanchez told Reuters. He said that five to ten Guatemalans are killed or injured each Christmas by falling bullets.
At 6:03 on the morning of Aug. 16, 1942, U.S. Navy blimp L-8 ascended from Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay to conduct an anti-submarine patrol along the coast of California. Aboard were pilot Ernest Cody and ensign Charles Adams. The flight proceeded uneventfully until 7:42, when Cody reported that they'd spotted an oil slick and were going to investigate.
At 11:15, caddies at a seaside golf club saw the airship float in from the sea, its motors silent. Descending, it struck some telephone lines and the roofs of several homes before coming to rest in Daly City. The first person to reach the downed ship, volunteer fireman William Morris, was surprised at what he found: "The doors were open and nobody was in the cabin."
There was no trace of Cody or Adams. Though most of the fuel had been dumped, the parachutes and life raft were stored appropriately, and the radio was in working order. Only the crew were missing.
After a search, the Navy declared itself certain that "the men were NOT in the ship at any time it traveled over land." Two fishing vessels near the oil slick testified that they'd seen the blimp descend to investigate, but nothing had fallen or dropped from it.
That's all. A Coast Guard search found nothing. Cody and Adams were both declared missing, then pronounced dead a year later. No one knows what became of them.
Stickers cover testicles in yearbook photo
LONDON, Ontario - A Canadian high school is using stickers to cover up a yearbook photo featuring a student exposing his testicles to the camera. The London District Catholic school board said Mother Teresa secondary school is using stickers bearing a Photoshopped version of the picture of the school's news team after the picture appearing in the book was found to feature a student with his testicles exposed, The London Free Press reported Thursday. "They're going to put in those permanent stickers right on top of the old picture so it won't wreck the page or the photo," district spokesman John Boles said. Boles said the company that published the yearbook will cover the costs of the stickers. The spokesman said stickers will also be made available to students who already received their yearbooks before the nudity was noticed last week.

Are you planning any home remodeling in the near future? Today's tips are a little more dramatic than using baking soda and vinegar instead of commercial chemical cleaners, but with investments like these you can add comfort and utility to your home while saving money and energy!
Supplement Your Heat with a Wood Pellet Stove
Pellet stoves are vastly more efficient than traditional fireplaces or woodstoves, and produce very little smoke and ash. They are easy to install in many settings, and don't require a masonry chimney. They use very little electricity, and slowly burn wood pellets that are made out of recycled, compressed sawdust that would otherwise be thrown out by mills.

Install a Tankless Water Heater
Interested in cutting your hot water bill in half? Install a tankless water heater. It's probably easier and more affordable than you think.

I'm often seen around a lot, referred to many ways,
See me black and you may find misfortune haunts your days.
Tell a thing, that should have been kept quiet, to all around,
Then look inside the sack, there I'm no longer to be found.
Nosiness, prying, snooping, leaves me fearing, full of dread,
For all these things are likely to see me soon lying dead.
These clues combined should start to give a picture, an idea,
Of who or what I am, so can you tell me? Is it clear?

Answer:A cat.

QUOTE: "The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas, and throw the bad ones away."

HINT: (1901-1994), American chemist, biochemist, peace activist, author, and educator

ANSWER: Linus Pauling.
Dear Santa,
I don't want much for Christmas, I just want the person
reading this to be happy . Friends are the fruit cake of my life - some
nutty, some soaked in alcohol, some sweet - but mix them together and
they're my friends. Love ya. Send this to all your fruit cakes.
A young couple decided to wed. As the big day approached, they grew apprehensive. Each had a problem they had never before shared with anyone, not even each other.

The Groom-to-be, overcoming his fear, decided to ask his father for advice. "Father," he said, "I am deeply concerned about the success of my marriage."

His father replied, "Don't you love this girl?"

"Oh yes, very much," he said," but you see, I have very smelly feet, and I'm afraid that my fiance will be put off by them."

"No problem," said dad, "all you have to do is wash your feet as often as possible,and always wear socks, even to bed." Well, to him this seemed a workable solution.

The bride-to-be, overcoming her fear, decided to take her problem up with her mom." Mom," she said, "When I wake up in the morning my breath is truly awful."

"Honey," her mother consoled, "everyone has bad breath in the morning."

"No, you don't understand,. My morning breath is so bad, I'm afraid that my fiance will not want to sleep in the same room with me."

Her mother said simply, "Try this. In the morning, get straight out of bed, and head for the kitchen and make breakfast. While the family is busy eating, move on to the bathroom and brush your teeth. The key is, not to say a word until you've brushed your teeth."

"I shouldn't say good morning or anything?" the daughter asked.

"Not a word," her mother affirmed.

"Well, it's certainly worth a try," she thought.

The loving couple were finally married. Not forgetting the advice each had received, he with his perpetual socks and she with her morning silence, they managed quite well. That is, until about six months later. Shortly before dawn one morning, the husband wakes with a start to find that one of his socks had come off. Fearful of the consequences, he frantically searches the bed. This, of course, wakes his bride and without thinking,
she asks, "What on earth are you doing?"

"Oh, my," he replies, "you've swallowed my sock!"
Thanks SSK

The ear's malleus, incus and stapes (otherwise known as the hammer, anvil and stirrup) are the smallest bones in the human body. All three together could fit together on a penny.

Sound travels at the speed of 1,130 feet per second, or 770 miles per hour.

Snakes hear through the jaw bone and through a traditional inner ear. In essence, snakes have two distinct hearing mechanisms, which helps them hear and catch prey.

Sitting in front of the speakers at a rock concert can expose you to 120 decibels, which will begin to damage hearing in only 7 1/2 minutes.

Male mosquitoes hear with thousands of tiny hairs growing on their antennae.

Fish do not have ears, but they can hear pressure changes through ridges on their body.

This fundamentalist Christian couple felt it important to own an equally fundamentally Christian pet. So, they went shopping. At a kennel specializing in this particular breed, they found a dog they liked quite a lot. When they asked the dog to fetch the Bible, he did it in a flash. When they instructed him to look up Psalm 23, he complied equally fast, using his paws with dexterity. They were impressed, purchased the animal, and went home (piously, of course). T
hat night they had friends over. They were so proud of their new fundamentalist dog and his major skills, they called the dog and showed off a little. The friends were impressed, and asked whether the dog was able to do any of the usual dog tricks, as well.
This stopped the couple cold, as they hadn't thought about "normal" tricks. Well, they said, "let's try this out."
Once more they called the dog, and they clearly pronounced the command, "Heel!"
Quick as a wink, the dog jumped up, put his paw on the man's forehead, closed his eyes in concentration, and bowed his head.
The True Story of Rudolph
A man named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night.

His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap
quietly sobbing. Bob's wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer. Little Barbara couldn't understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad's eyes and asked,

"Why isn't Mommy just like everybody else's Mommy?" Bob's jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger.
It had been the story of Bob's life. Life always had to be different for Bob. Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he'd rather not remember.

From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl.
But it was all short-lived. Evelyn's bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicagoslums. Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938.

Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn't even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if
he couldn't buy a gift, he was determined to make one - a storybook!
Bob had created an animal character in his own
mind and told the animal's story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling. Who was the character? What was the story all about?
The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The
name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose.
Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day.
But the story doesn't end there.....

The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on to print,
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed
and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores.
By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph. That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book.

In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May. The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a
growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter.
But the story doesn't end there either.

Bob's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore , it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of "White Christmas."

The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn't so bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing.
MERRY CHRISTMAS From one oddball to many others ~
Enjoy life... it has an expiration date!
Thanks SSK ~

Ursa ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


  1. Are you paying over $5 per pack of cigarettes? I'm buying all my cigs at Duty Free Depot and this saves me over 60% from cigarettes.

  2. SilverGoldBull is a highly trusted bullion dealer. They will provide you with bargain, live pricing and they will ensure your precious metals arrives to your door discreetly and fully insured.