Monday, January 7, 2013

Paws & Claws ~ January 6, 2013 ~ Epiphany ~ 12th Night ~

Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things,
but just look what they can do when they stick together.
~ Vesta M. Kelly
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From APOD last year
A New Year's Wish
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.
To Fly Free in Space
STS-41B, NASA
Explanation: At about 100 meters from the cargo bay of the space shuttle Challenger, Bruce McCandless II was farther out than anyone had ever been before. Guided by a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), astronaut McCandless, pictured above, was floating free in space. McCandless and fellow NASA astronautRobert Stewart were the first to experience such an "untethered space walk" during Space Shuttle mission 41-B in 1984. The MMU works by shooting jets of nitrogen and has since been used to help deploy and retrieve satellites. With a mass over 140 kilograms, an MMU is heavy on Earth, but, like everything, is weightless when drifting in orbit. The MMU was replaced with the SAFER backpack propulsion unit.
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Music Auld Lang Syne ~ Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

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Slainte mhath to all!
Scottish Gaelic.
Happy New Year everyone
Echoing Kymm. All the best!
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Irish toast for a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
Count your blessings instead of your crosses.
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes.
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears.
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full times instead of your lean.
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth.
Love your neighbor as much as yourself.
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Of course I hang on tight, she said. You can't believe the kind of stuff that happens when you let go.
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What Does a "New Year" Really Mean?
New Year's Day simply means the earth has completed another journey around the sun. But how in the world do we know how long that takes? To answer the question, Phil Plat has "taken a simple concept like 'years' and turned it into a horrifying nightmare of nerdery and math."
Let’s take a look at the Earth from a distance. From our imaginary point in space, we look down and see the Earth and the Sun. The Earth is moving, orbiting the Sun. Of course it is, you think to yourself. But how do you measure that? For something to be moving, it has to be moving relative to something else. What can we use as a yardstick against which to measure the Earth’s motion?

Well, we might notice as we float in space that we are surrounded by billions of pretty stars. We can use them! So we mark the position of the Earth and Sun using the stars as benchmarks, and then watch and wait. Some time later, the Earth has moved in a big circle and is back to where it started in reference to those stars. That’s called a “sidereal year” (sidus is the Latin word for star). How long did that take?

Let’s say we used a stopwatch to measure the elapsed time. We’ll see that it took the Earth 31,558,149 seconds (some people like to approximate that as pi x 10 million = 31,415,926 seconds, which is an easy way to be pretty dang close). But how many days is that?

Well, that’s a second complication. A “day” is how long it takes the Earth to rotate once, but we’re back to that measurement problem again. But hey, we used the stars once, let’s do it again! You stand on the Earth and define a day as the time it takes for a star to go from directly overhead to directly overhead again: a sidereal day. That takes 23 hours 56 minutes 4 seconds = 86,164 seconds. But wait a second (a sidereal second?)—shouldn’t that be exactly equal to 24 hours? What happened to those 3 minutes and 56 seconds?

I was afraid you’d ask that—but this turns out to be important.
And that's only the beginning of the explanation of where we get the concepts and the measurements for a "day" and a "year." Read the rest at Bad Astronomy. Link
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Jeff Wysaski of Pleated-Jeans has a countdown of the ten most popular New Year resolutions as illustrated by cats. Good luck keeping yours! Resolutions, I mean. I very much hope you keep your cats. Link
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Recycled Soda Bottle Plant Vase

you need a CD, Sodabottle & Glue
Spray paint
I tried hard to find instructions but i couldn't find any but its pretty explanatory by the photo
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Waylon Jennings Luckenbach Texas

(The Basics of Love)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A proper young lady of Taos
Had her panties trimmed neatly with lace.
But a vulgar young man
Raped her roughly, and ran,
And left them pure panties in chaos.
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macroscian
adj. casting a long shadow
umbratile
adj. pertaining to the shade
lucifugous
adj. shunning light
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1. Law of Mechanical Repair: After your hands become coated with grease your nose will begin to itch or you’ll have to pee.
2. Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.
3. Law of probability: The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.
4. Law of the Telephone: When you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal.
5. Law of the Alibi: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire.
6. Variation Law: If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will start to move faster than the one you are in now. (works every time).
7. Bath Theorem: When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.
8. Law of Close Encounters: The probability of meeting someone you know increases when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.
9. Law of the Result: When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will
10. Law of Biomechanics: The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.
11. Theater Rule: At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle arrive last.
12. Law of Coffee: As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.
13. Murphy’s Law of Lockers: If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.
14. Law of Dirty Rugs/Carpets: The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich of landing face down on a floor covering are directly correlated to the newness, color and cost of the carpet/rug.
15. Law of Location: No matter where you go, there you are.
16. Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don’t know what you are talking about.
17. Brown’s Law: If the shoe fits, it’s ugly.
18. Oliver’s Law: A closed mouth gathers no feet.
19. Wilson’s Law: As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.
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Portland On The Web: Fox News, Portland Pulp, NW Watchdog & More

It's a new year in Portland which means a new mayor and city council to pose awkwardly in group photos. As we say farewell to Mayor Sam Adams, we only hope Charlie Hales can look as at ease on a bicycle or in a tuque.
FOX News may hate our liberal bias, but they love our donuts, naming Voodoo one of America's Best Donut Shops. And finally, Portland's ban on plastic bags is set to spread to the rest of the state, greatly upsetting the creator of this Pinterest board.

Here is a round-up of the goings-on in Portland this week:
FOX News: America's best donut shops
OregonLive: What to expect from Portland's new city council
NW Watchdog: How Portland will transform Oregon in 2013
Vimeo: Portland, Oregon HD time-lapse
Portland Monthly: Top Oregon Towns for history buffs
Portland Pulp: Cruzroom's monthly Lego tournament
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Red Sandy Beaches

Did you know P.E.I. has over 800 km of sandy shoreline that is filled with red and pink (yes pink!) beaches? But why does P.E.I. have red sand instead of the usual white or brown? Prince Edward Island was formed a long time ago on sedimentary bedrock of soft, red sandstone, which produces rich, red soil. The soil is red because it has a lot of rust in it. With some of the warmest waters north of Virginia, U.S., along with the red and pink sands, the P.E.I. beaches are definitely a cool place to visit!
Thanks SSK
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A guide to man language
“I’M GOING FISHING” Means: “I’m going to drink myself dangerously stupid, and stand by a stream with a stick in my hand, while the fish swim by in complete safety.”
“IT’S A GUY THING” Means: “There is no rational thought pattern connected with it, and you have no chance at all of making it logical.”
“CAN I HELP WITH DINNER?” Means: “Why isn’t dinner already on the table?”
“UH HUH,” “SURE, HONEY,” OR “YES, DEAR…” Means: Absolutely nothing. It’s a conditioned response.
“IT WOULD TAKE TOO LONG TO EXPLAIN” Means: “I have no idea how it works.”
“I WAS LISTENING TO YOU. IT’S JUST THAT I HAVE THINGS ON MY MIND.” Means: “I was wondering if that redhead over there is wearing a bra.”
“TAKE A BREAK HONEY, YOU ARE WORKING TOO HARD.” Means: “I can’t hear the game over the vacuum cleaner.”
“THAT’S INTERESTING, DEAR.” Means: “Are you still talking?”
“YOU KNOW HOW BAD MY MEMORY IS.” Means: “I remember the theme song to ‘F Troop’, the address of the first girl I ever kissed, and the vehicle identification numbers of every car I’ve ever owned, but I forgot your birthday.”
“I WAS JUST THINKING ABOUT YOU, AND GOT YOU THESE ROSES.” Means: “The girl selling them on the corner was a real babe.”
“OH, DON’T FUSS, I JUST CUT MYSELF, IT’S NO BIG DEAL.” Means: “I have actually severed a limb, but will bleed to death before I admit that I am hurt.”
“HEY, I’VE GOT MY REASONS FOR WHAT I’M DOING.” Means: “And I sure hope I think of some pretty good reasons soon.”
“I CAN’T FIND IT.” Means: “It didn’t fall into my outstretched hands, so I’m completely clueless.”
“WHAT DID I DO THIS TIME?” Means: “What did you catch me at?”
“I HEARD YOU.” Means: “I haven’t the foggiest clue what you just said, and am hoping desperately that I can fake it well enough so that you don’t spend the next 3 days yelling at me.”
“YOU KNOW I COULD NEVER LOVE ANYONE ELSE” Means: “I am used to the way you yell at me, and realize it could be worse.”
“YOU LOOK TERRIFIC.” Means: “”Please don’t try on one more outfit, I’m starving.”
“I’M NOT LOST. I KNOW EXACTLY WHERE WE ARE.” Means: “No one will ever see us alive again.”
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Save your money and make your own taco salad bowls using an upside down muffin tin instead of the as seen on tv ones that rust. Just place you flour tortilla in the upside down muffin tin bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes depending on your oven and done :)
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In 1958, acoustician William MacLean of the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn answered a perennial question: How many guests can attend a cocktail party before it becomes too noisy for conversation? He declared that the answer, for a given room, is
cocktail party noise
where
N0 = the critical number of guests above which each speaker will try overcome the background noise by raising his voice
K = the average number of guests in each conversational group
a = the average sound absorption coefficient of the room
V = the room's volume
h = a properly weighted mean free path of a ray of sound
d0 = the conventional minimum distance between speakers
Sm = the minimum signal-to-noise ratio for the listeners
When the critical guest N0 arrives, each speaker is forced to increase his acoustic power in small increments ("I really don't know what she sees in him." -- "Beg your pardon?" -- "I say, I REALLY DON'T KNOW WHY SHE GOES OUT WITH HIM") until each group is forced to huddle uncomfortably close in order to continue the conversation.
"We see therefore that, once the critical number of guests is exceeded, the party suddenly becomes a loud one," MacLean concluded, somewhat sadly. "The power of each talker rises exponentially to a practical maximum, after which each reduces his or her talking distance below the conventional distance and then maintains, servo fashion, just the proximity, tête à tête, required to attain a workable signal-to-noise ratio. Thanks to this phenomenon the party, although a loud one, can still be confined within one apartment."
(William R. MacLean, "On the Acoustics of Cocktail Parties," Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, January 1959, 79-80.)
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Koal ear
The Koala family in Planckendael has had a baby! After seven months, Dad, Goonawarra, and Mom, Guwara, welcomed their little bundle, who recently announced itself from Mom’s pouch with a fairly loud squeak! Koalas are timid, sensitive to stress and fussy eaters. It can be difficult to see them in zoos, but this little one made it easy to snap some photographs. The baby seems to be most active in the afternoon.
Like other marsupials, the baby is born after approximately 34 days, though underdeveloped. Emerging hairless and blind and about the size of a bean, it makes its way into the mother’s pouch, where it attaches itself to the nipple. There, in safety and security, it continues to develop and grow over a period of about six months. Then they are ready to peek into the world, as this little one has done.
Once the gender of the baby is known, he or she will receive an Aboriginal name with a beautiful meaning, starting with the letter N -- thus following a tradition that all born at the zoo in 2012 will have names beginning with an N.
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Since this is the first month of a new year, how about a little calendar trivia today? Here are a few things about the calendar I bet you didn't know...


January: named after Janus, the god of doors and gates
February: named after Februalia, a time period when sacrifices were made to atone for sins
March: named after Mars, the god of war
April: from aperire, Latin for "to open" (buds)
May: named after Maia, the goddess of growth of plants
June: from junius, Latin for the goddess Juno
July: named after Julius Caesar in 44 B.C.
August: named after Augustus Caesar in 8 B.C.
September: from septem, Latin for "seven"
October: from octo, Latin for "eight"
November: from novem, Latin for "nine"
December: from decem, Latin for "ten"

The earliest Latin calendar was a 10-month one, beginning with March; thus, September was the seventh month, October, the eighth, etc. July was originally called Quintilis, meaning fifth; August was originally called Sextilis, meaning sixth.
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RhinoPenis-700x464
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There was a young lass from Hoboken
Who said that her hymen was broken
From riding a bike,
on a cobble stone pike.
In truth, it was broken from pokin'.
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Healthy Living from Health.com
http://health.chtah.net/a/tBQ5IP4BFYNexB8v20uCFNC1EmA/top2

NATURAL REMEDIES FOR COLDS
Echinacea. Zinc. Vitamin C. Everyone seems to have a favorite go-to "cure" for
colds, but do these natural remedies really work? Here's the real deal on what
helps and what doesn't, when it comes to fighting colds.
http://health.chtah.net/a/tBQ5IP4BFYNexB8v20uCFNC1EmA/top24

10 WINTER SKINCARE TIPS
How to protect your moisture-starved skin
http://health.chtah.net/a/tBQ5IP4BFYNexB8v20uCFNC1EmA/top25

TRIPS THAT WILL BRING YOU CLOSER
Can you buy a ticket to relationship bliss? Yes!
http://health.chtah.net/a/tBQ5IP4BFYNexB8v20uCFNC1EmA/top26

VITAMINS: TAKE THESE, SKIP THOSE
A quick guide to beneficial nutrients
http://health.chtah.net/a/tBQ5IP4BFYNexB8v20uCFNC1EmA/top27
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Squeaky toys
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How to make Glowing Celestial Mason jars
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One day, a diver was enjoying the aquatic world 20 feet below sea level. He noticed a guy at the same depth he was, but he had on no scuba gear whatsoever.

The diver went below another 20 feet, but the guy joined him a few minutes later. The diver went below 25 feet, but minutes later, the same guy joined him. This confused the diver, so he took out a waterproof chalkboard set, and wrote, "How the heck are you able to stay under this deep without equipment?"

The guy took the board and chalk, erased what the diver had written, and wrote, "I'm drowning, you moron!"
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A blind man walks into a drug store with his seeing eye dog. He takes the dogs leash & starts swinging it around & around his head.
The druggist says "May I help you?"
The blind man replies "No thank you, I'm just looking around."
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When Germany occupied Denmark in 1940, physicist Piet Hein published an innocent-seeming poem:
Losing one glove
is certainly painful,
but nothing compared to the pain
of losing one,
throwing away the other,
and finding the first one again.
The German censors let it go, not understanding its meaning -- that while enduring occupation was bad, ceasing to resist would be worse. "It said that what happens to you from outside is less important than how you take it," he explained later. "The Danes knew what I meant."
In later years Hein cultivated a talent for such tiny aphoristic poems, which he called "grooks":
Problems worthy
of attack
prove their worth
by hitting back.
There is
one art,
no more,
no less:
to do
all things
with art-
lessness.
The road to wisdom? -- Well, it's plain
and simple to express:
Err
and err
and err again
but less
and less
and less.
Put up in a place
where it's easy to see
the cryptic admonishment
T.T.T.
When you feel how depressingly
slowly you climb,
it's well to remember that
Things Take Time.
In all he wrote more 7,000 grooks, which have become a part of Scandinavian culture. "I cannot really say where my activity as a scientist ends and where my activity as a man of letters begins," he said. "Whether I am writing a poem or solving some technical problem, I think the same."
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How should a tolerant person regard intolerance? If she tolerates it, then (it would seem) implicitly she accepts it. If she rejects it, then she is herself intolerant.
"The difficulty with toleration is that it seems to be at once necessary and impossible," writes Bernard Williams. "Toleration, we may say, is required only for the intolerable. That is its basic problem."
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Icy hot vibrator
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Grover Cleveland underwent a secret surgery for cancer during his second term as president. The United States was in the grip of a financial panic in 1893 when Cleveland noticed a sore on the roof of his mouth. Doctors diagnosed a cancer and urged the president to have it removed, but Cleveland insisted on secrecy -- Ulysses Grant's death by an apparently similar cancer only eight years earlier had unsettled the nation, and Cleveland was loath to publicize his health concerns in the midst of an economic depression.
So on June 30 Cleveland boarded a friend's yacht under the pretense of a four-day fishing trip to the president's summer home in Cape Cod. The ship's saloon had been outfitted as an operating room, and six doctors quietly joined the president before the yacht set sail. Cleveland was anesthetized and surgeon Joseph Bryant removed five teeth and a large portion of his palate and upper jawbone. The team fitted him with a rubber prosthesis to conceal his disfiguration and told the press that only two bad teeth had been removed.
The secret was nearly lost when E.J. Edwards, a reporter for the Philadelphia Press, published an article about the surgery after confirming it with one of the doctors. But Cleveland denied it flatly and launched a smear campaign against him. The president returned to health, served out the remainder of his second term, and died finally in 1908. The disgraced reporter was vindicated only 24 years later, when one of the surviving doctors finally published an article acknowledging the truth.
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"England's not a bad country -- it's just a mean, cold, ugly, divided, tired, clapped-out, post-imperial, post-industrial slag heap covered in polystyrene hamburger cartons." -- Margaret Drabble
"Belgium is a country invented by the British to annoy the French." -- Charles de Gaulle
"In India, 'cold weather' is merely a conventional phrase and has come into use through the necessity of having some way to distinguish between weather which will melt a brass doorknob and weather which only makes it mushy." -- Mark Twain
"The Americans ... have invented so wide a range of pithy and hackneyed phrases that they can carry on an amusing and animated conversation without giving a moment's reflection to what they are saying and so leave their minds free to consider the more important matters of big business and fornication." -- Somerset Maugham
"In any world menu, Canada must be considered the vichyssoise of nations -- it's cold, half-French, and difficult to stir." -- Stuart Keate
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How To Tell When Hunting Season Is Over In Wisconsin.
deer.jpeg
Thanks, Cindy
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"A Baby Shredder"
A mini shredding machine -- as advertised in the local paper.
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Celebrate Health from Health.com
http://health.chtah.net/a/tBQ4zI4BFYNexB8v3FHCFNC1E0l/hol2

WALK-TO-LOSE WEIGHT PLAN
Happy New Year! Ready to ditch the weight, but not crazy about the gym? Relax, you can skip it. Combine this diet with our walking plan, and you can lose up to 10 pounds in 21 days.
http://health.chtah.net/a/tBQ4zI4BFYNexB8v3FHCFNC1E0l/hol24

HOW TO SICK-PROOF YOUR WINTER
Your cold-and-flu survival guide
http://health.chtah.net/a/tBQ4zI4BFYNexB8v3FHCFNC1E0l/hol25

FREE WAYS TO GET HEALTHY IN 2013
20 strategies to stay happy and healthy (at no cost!)
http://health.chtah.net/a/tBQ4zI4BFYNexB8v3FHCFNC1E0l/hol26

5 STEPS TO A NATURAL GLOW
Easy tips for radiant skin
http://health.chtah.net/a/tBQ4zI4BFYNexB8v3FHCFNC1E0l/hol27
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The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled. -- Plutarch
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DIY Lavender & Chamomile Bath Melts
http://www.bebeautiful-beautyblog.com/2012/08/diy-lavender-chamomile-bath-melts.html

YOU WILL NEED:
50g organic shea butter
50g organic cocoa butter
2 drops of lavender essential oil (per melt)
1 teaspoon of dried lavender flowers
1 teaspoon of organic chamomile tea


METHOD:
1. Finely grate your cocoa butter and add to a glass bowl. Add your shea butter to the grated mixture.
2. Place your glass bowl on top of a pan of hot water and stir until melted then take off the heat.
3. Open a teabag of organic chamomile tea and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of it into the mix.
4. Sprinkle your dried lavender into the mix and give it all a good stir.
5. Gently pour your molten mix into silicone moulds (you can also use ice cube trays but I find the melts easier to remove from silicone). I like to use small pretty shapes such as flower moulds that are designed for chocolate.
6. Add your essential oil (in this case lavender) to the moulds.
7. Put your melts into the fridge to harden up for about an hour.
8. Pop your melts out their mould and store in a pretty glass jar.

HOW TO USE:
Pop one bath melt in a warm bath and wait for it to dissolve. Be careful as the cocoa butter can make your bath quite slippery. If you don’t want your bath to be covered in lavender flowers and chamomile you can always place your bath melt in a muslin cloth bag.

VARIATIONS:
Feel free to adapt this recipe to suit your own personal preference and tastes. Other great combinations include lemon and orange with grated lemon zest or shredded rose petals and geranium essential oil.
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Fresh eggs
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"The population rises exponentially,
the number of clues rises geometrically,
and the number of clueful rises arithmetically.
This is why the world has problems."

-- Alistair J. R. Young in alt.sysadmin.recovery
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Australian Weather Calendar posted in a gallery at The Telegraph. Photo credit Matt Titmanis.
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More aphorisms of Georg Christoph Lichtenberg:
  • A man who has once stolen his hundred thousand dollars can live honestly ever after.
  • In the world we live in, one fool makes many fools, but one sage only a few sages.
  • A double louis d'or certainly counts more than two singles.
  • Non cogitant, ergo non sunt. (They do not think, therefore they do not exist.)
  • Health is infectious.
  • A donkey appears to me like a horse translated into Dutch.
  • A man can never really know whether he isn't sitting in a madhouse.
  • Isn't it strange? We always consider that those who praise us are competent critics, but as soon as they blame us, we declare them incapable of judging creations of the intellect.
  • When sitting in a shabby carriage, one can actually put on such airs that the whole carriage looks good, and the horse too.
  • Everyone is a genius at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together.
"Is it really so absolutely certain that our reason can know nothing metaphysical? Might man not be able to weave his ideas of God with just as much purpose as the spider weaves his net to catch flies? Or, in other words: might not beings exist who admire us as much for our ideas of God and immortality as we admire the spider and the silkworm?"
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Thank you for exploring with us in 2012
Thanks for exploring with us
For 125 years, we've been at the leading edge of exploration, conservation, and scientific research. Now technology is allowing us to go places and make discoveries never possible before. This is a new age of exploration, and we're glad to have you with us on the journey. Let's explore.
Now things get really exciting
National Geographic
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A Happy Hogmany to you all
Thanks, Ed
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The Scottish Fiddle Orchestra - The Fiddlers Party - The Dashing White Sergeant.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1iE_NTFhcQ&feature=youtu.be
Scottish country dancing and Scottish fiddle music at its best.
Scottish Fiddle Orchestra conducted by John Mason MBE.
Filmed in the magnificent Great Hall of Borthwick Castle.
Music: The Original, Rakes of Mallow, The Waves of Troy, The Stronsay Wedding, The Siege of Ennis, The Reel of Kildinguie, The Original
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A 2012 Retrospective...#3

Read, Read, Read

“It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.”

~ Oscar Wilde
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A pretty, young blonde woman in Nova Scotia was so depressed that she decided to end her life by throwing herself into the ocean. She went down to the docks and was about to leap into the frigid water when a handsome young sailor saw her tottering on the edge of the pier, crying.
He took pity on her and said, "Look, you have so much to live for. We're off to Hawaii in the morning. If you like, I can stow you away on my ship. I'll take good care of you and bring you food everyday."Moving closer, he slipped his arm around her waist and added, "I'll keep you happy, and you'll keep me happy."
The blonde nodded. What did she have to lose? Perhaps a fresh start in Hawaii would give her life new meaning.
That night, the sailor brought her aboard and hid her in the bowels of the ship. From then on, he brought her three sandwiches and a piece of fruit every night, and they made passionate love until dawn.
Two weeks later, she was discovered by the Captain during a routine inspection. "What are you doing here?" he asked.
"I have an arrangement with one of the sailors," she explained. "I get food and a trip to Hawaii , and in return he's screwing me."

"He certainly is," said the Captain. "This is the Newfoundland Ferry."
Thanks SSK
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A 2012 Restrospective...#5

Don't Take Yourself Too Seriously

“All creatures must learn to coexist. That’s why the brown bear and the field mouse can share their lives in harmony. Of course, they can’t mate or the mice would explode.”

~ Betty White
A 2012 Restrospective...#4

Celebrate Diversity

“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”

~ Maya Angelou
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There once was a man from St. Pauls
Who used to perform in the halls.
His favorite trick
Was to stand on his prick
And roll off the stage on his balls.
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QUOTE: "Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us."


HINT: (1900-1978), well-known American author and journalist. Wrote several novels and books about the outdoors, and also wrote "outdoor editorials" for The New York Times for more than 30 years.
ANSWER: Hal Borland.

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RANDOM TIDBITS
It is often thought that the first visitors you see after ringing in the New Year would bring you good or bad luck, depending on who you keep as friends and enemies. That's why most people celebrating on New Year's Eve often do so with friends and family.

Items or food that is ring-shaped is also good luck. This symbolizes "coming full circle", which is what one year does. Some cultures eat ring-like food through the evening and through the night to ensure that good luck will be bestowed upon everyone who eats. The Dutch often eat doughnuts.

Foods that are eaten on New Year's Eve are cabbage because the leaves represent prosperity. Ham (or a hog) also symbolizes prosperity. In Asian cultures, rice is a hearty and lucky staple that is eaten around midnight to signify the coming year of fortune.

Auld Lang Syne is sung at midnight to toast in the New Year. The song was composed by Robert Burns sometimes in the 1700's. The term means "old long ago" or "the good old days."

Stats of the first New York ball: 700 pounds; 5 feet in diameter. The ball was made from wood and iron.

The modern ball that is dropped is made from Waterford Crystal and weights over 1,000 pounds. There are over 9,000 LED lights, but uses hardly any energy. The ball begins to drop at 11:59 and completes the journey exactly at midnight to ring in the New Year.
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60 Ways To Make Life Simple Again
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DIY: Homemade Natural Honey Coconut Lip Moisturizer :)

This recipe makes enough to fill 6 to 7 – 1/2 oz containers depending on how full you make them.

Ingredients needed:
3 Tbls Coconut Oil
3 Tbls Honey
1 Tbls Beeswax

Using a small saucepan over low heat combine your coconut oil, honey and beeswax. Stir continually until it is all melted and combined 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully spoon into containers. I used a measuring spoon to fill my containers to ensure I didn’t spill and each container received the same amount. I put 2 1/2 teaspoons in each container.
I allowed them to fully cool, about three hours before placing the lids on them. I also tried to whip the mixture after it was melted to see if it made a difference and then spoon it in.I didn’t notice a bit of difference, so save yourself some work and spoon it in.
Have some cute little sticker labels made for the tops of the tins and you have some super cute little frugal yet practical homemade gifts! I have been using this since we made it and love it!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mick Jagger was at the Playboy Mansion and went into a room where he saw Hugh Hefner having sex with Dennis Weaver.
Shocked, Mick exclaimed, "Hey, Hugh, get off of McCloud!"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Another Car Recall

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Ford Motor Corp. has just instituted the largest car recall in history... all Mercury automobiles every built have been recalled... it seems some of them may contain tuna fish.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Q and A Quickies

Q: What does a pessimistic Rooster say?
A: Cock-a-doodle-don't.

Q: What do get when you cross a rabbit with a spider?
A: A hare net.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Happy New Year, everybody! Tonight the champagne will flow like water so I thought I'd relate a little champagne trivia I came across recently. Maybe you can make your fellow party-goers feel stupid by whipping a little of this on them.

First...the subtle difference between sparkling wine and champagne. There is none. The only difference is that authentic 'champagne' comes from the Champagne region of France. But as far as alcohol content, production, etc... it's the exact same stuff.

Here's the important part. Do you want a champagne that is more dry or sweet? That all depends on your preference, of course. But after you've polished off a few dozen bottles and you know what you like... this is a list of the common names you will find on Champagne labels, from driest to sweetest:

*Extra Brut, Brut Sauvage, Ultra Brut, Brut Integral, Brut Zero *Brut *Extra Dry, Extra Sec *Sec *Demi-Sec *Doux

Brut is the most popular style, and often, the best grapes are reserved for Bruts.

And finally...Bottle size!: Because sparkling wine should be consumed when it is opened, size matters. Champagne comes in "splits" -- perfect for one or two -- all the way to the enormous Nebuchadnezzar (508 fluid ounces). If you want more volume than just a single bottle will afford you can get the showy magnums (nearly 51 ounces, or two bottles) Jeroboams (4 bottles) or even a Balthazar (16 bottles). Plus those huge empty bottles make great souvenirs!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A new study found that people with a lot of phobias are more likely to have health problems. Or as those people put it, 'I was afraid of that.'" -Jimmy Fallon
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"They used to say a recession is when your neighbor lost his job, and a depression is when you lost yours, but now they say a recession is when Wall Street gets bailed out, and a depression is what you get thinking about it." -Jay Leno
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"In China, an animal trainer taught his monkeys Kung fu, and then they attacked him using his best kung fu moves.Luckily, they were no match for the parrot he'd taught to fire a gun." -Conan O'Brien
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The New Year's Eve party had turned into a marathon with numerous guests coming and going. At one point, a man knocked on the door, was greeted heartily though no one knew who he was, and was led to the bar in the basement. He sat there happily for about an hour before a strange light dawned on his face.

"You know," he confided to his host, "I wasn't even invited to this party. I just came over to tell you that some of your guests' cars are blocking my driveway. My wife's been sitting out in the car waiting for me to get them moved."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


My friend called a Venetian-blind repairman to come pick up a faulty blind. The next morning, while the family was at breakfast, the doorbell rang. My friend's wife went to the door, and the man outside said, "I'm here for the Venetian blind."

Excusing herself in a preoccupied way, the wife went to the kitchen, fished a couple dollars from the food money, pressed it into the repairman's hand, then gently closed the door and returned to the table.

"Somebody collecting," she explained, pouring the coffee.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Handbrake
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`
This notice appeared in Dublin in July 1781:
This is to certify that I, Daniel O'Flannaghan, am not the Person that was tarred and feathered by the Liberty Mob, on Tuesday last; and I am ready to give 20 Guineas to any one that will lay me 50, that I am the other Man who goes by my Name.
Witness my Hand, this 30th July.
Daniel O'Flannaghan.
Wrote Henry Sampson, "A man who can afford to lay seventy guineas to thirty that he is himself, and nobody else, deserves credit for his boldness, if not for his ingenuity."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Project Management
A puzzle by Polish mathematician Paul Vaderlind:
If a blacksmith requires five minutes to put on a horseshoe, can eight blacksmiths shoe 10 horses in less than half an hour? The catch: A horse can stand on three legs, but not on two.
~~~~~~~~~
Only one blacksmith at a time can work on a given horse, so to maximize efficiency they must split up. This means that in any given five-minute interval eight horses are being shod and two are standing idle. If it takes 20 minutes to shoe each horse, and the whole job must be completed in 25 minutes, then no horse can stand idle for more than one five-minute interval. Can this be arranged?
Yes. If there are five time intervals, and two horses are idle in each interval, then each of the 10 horses can be assigned a single idle interval:
blacksmith puzzle solution
From The Inquisitive Problem Solver, 2002.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task, it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds its spot and takes root, it doesn't need its brain anymore, so it eats it. It's rather like getting tenure." -- Daniel Dennett
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
how to make Amish Friendship bread
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
carroll pig puzzle
A bewildering puzzle by Lewis Carroll: Place 24 pigs in these sties so that, no matter how many times one circles the sties, he always find that the number in each sty is closer to 10 than the number in the previous one.
~~~~~~~~~~~
carroll pig puzzle - solution
Arrange the pigs as above. Now:
  • 8 is closer to 10 than 6.
  • 10 is closer to 10 than 8.
  • Nothing is closer to 10 than 10.
  • 6 is closer to 10 than 0.
Simple enough!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Father Goose Story No. 7

Once in a land far, far away there lived a group of people called
Trids. The Trids were happy except for the huge ogre that lived
on the mountain. The ogre would periodically terrorize the Trids.

The Trids tired of the ogre and sought to reason with him. They thought
one of their religious leaders would be a good intermediary. So a group
of Trids and their minister went up the mountain and before they could
even say one word the ogre kicked them down the mountain. Not being
dismayed the Trids thought that maybe the ogre was Catholic, so they sent
another delagation, this time led by the local priest. But alas, as they
approached the ogre he once again kicked them all down the mountain.

The Trids were upset until they thought that perhaps the ogre was Jewish.
Unfortunately, no Trids were Jewish, so they wrote to the people of another
land and asked them to send a Rabbi to help them with the ogre. The
Rabbi arrived and led a delegation of Trids up the mountain. The ogre
saw them coming and kicked all of them, except for the Rabbi, down the
mountain. The Rabbi, having been told of the previous expeditions, wondered
why he alone had not been kicked down the mountain, so he asked the ogre.
The ogre laughed and replied:

"Silly Rabbi, kicks are for Trids!"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~``
A girl sat sobbing in the police station. "I was raped by an Italian."She wailed.
"How do you know it was an Italian? The detective asked.
"I had to help him," the girl replied.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A guy walks into a store and says to the managaer "why doesn't your store have a name", the store manager says "I haven't thought of one yet but I think u can help me, what's your girlfriend's name." The guy says "Jenny"
then the store owner says "What's do you like most about Jenny" and the guy says "her legs." So the store manager says "ok that's what we'll call my store Jenny's Legs. Here's a coupon come back tomorrow morning and you can have a free drink." And the man says "ok."
The next day the man comes back to the store banging on the window yelling " where's my free drink, where's my free drink!" Then a police officer comes up to him and says "What are you doing?" and the guy says "I'm waiting for Jenny's Legs to open up."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Pad, please!

An insurance man visited me at home to talk about our mortgage insurance.
He was throwing a lot of facts and figures at me, and I wanted to follow as
Best I could, so I told my 6-year-old son to run and get me a pad. He came
Back and handed me a Kotex right in front of our guest.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`
An interesting IS bulletin which was really published by one company.

Recently, two individuals from USPL were traveling to Belgium on Sabena
Belgium World Airlines, which is affiliated with Delta Airlines. They were
seated in row 6 of the plane where seats contain the tray tables in the
armrest section of the seat.
They setup their tray tables and proceeded to use their laptop during
flight, both their PCs began experiencing problems. Apparently the tray
tables were magnetized, so they will not make noises while stored in the
armrests. The magnetized trays corrupted the hard drives of both laptops.
On this particular Belgium flight, the aircraft happen to be a "new"
Airbus 340, which explains why this has not surfaced until now. The
problem seems to be with a specific European aircraft seat manufacturer.
US Airways, NorthWestern and United have no plans to utilize these
magnetized trays in their new Airbus aircraft. Boeing and McDonald Douglas
also has no plans to use these magnetized trays in their new aircraft, and
there have been no reported cases of other types of aircraft experiencing
this problem.
The purpose of this notice is to simply make travelers aware of the
"potential" problem, especially on Airbus aircraft built for European-
based airlines. If the tray table appears to be magnetized (use a
paperclip to see if it sticks), then I advise people NOT to use their
laptop computer on these trays.
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The streets are safe in Philadelphia. It's only the people who make them unsafe.
-- Frank Rizzo, ex-police chief and mayor of Philadelphia
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I never married because there was no need.
I have three pets at home which answer the same purpose as a husband.
I have a dog which growls every morning, a parrot which swears all
afternoon and a cat that comes home late at night."
--- Marie Corelli
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Spam Haiku

Pink tender morsel,
Glistening with salty gel.
What the hell is it?
--------------

Ears, snouts and inards,
A homogeneous mass.
Pass another slice.
--------------

Old man seeks doctor.
"I eat SPAM daily", says he.
Angioplasty.
--------------

Highly unnatural,
The tortured shape of this "food":
A small pink coffin.

- author unknown
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6 came before 9
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

QUOTE: "Humor is our way of defending ourselves from life's absurdities by thinking absurdly about them."

HINT: (1895-1990), American historian, sociologist, philosopher of technology, and influential literary critic.

ANSWER: Lewis Mumford.
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RANDOM TIDBITS

All types of ducks are part of the bird family Anatidae, and there are species of ducks found worldwide on every continent except Antarctica.

Ducks are precocial, which means that ducklings are covered with down and able to walk and leave the nest just a few hours after hatching.

A duck's bill is specialized to help it forage in mud and to strain food from the water. A hard nail at the tip of the bill helps with foraging, and a comb-like structure on the sides of the bill strains small insects and crustaceans from water.

It is a myth that a duck's quack won't echo. This has been conclusively disproved through different scientific acoustic tests, and was even featured as "busted" on an episode of the Discovery Channel show Mythbusters.

Ducks have been domesticated as pets and farm animals for more than 500 years, and all domestic ducks are descended from either the mallard or the Muscovy duck.

Ducks are omnivorous, opportunistic eaters and will eat grass, aquatic plants, insects, seeds, fruit, fish, crustaceans and other types of food.
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Clara therhinoceros

Clara the rhinoceros (?1738-14 April 1758) was a female Indian Rhinoceros who became famous during 17 years of touring Europe in the mid-18th century. She arrived in Europe in Rotterdam in 1741, becoming the fifth living rhinoceros to be seen in Europe in modern times since Dürer's Rhinoceros in 1515. After tours through towns in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, France, Italy, Bohemia and Denmark, she died in London.
http://tywkiwdbi.blogspot.com/2013/01/clara-rhinoceros.html
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If the Chute Doesn't Open
The skydiving instructor was going through the question and answer period with his new students when one of them asked the usual question, "If our chute doesn't open and the reserve doesn't open, how long do we have before we hit the ground?"
The jump master looked at him very seriously and said, "You have the rest of your life."
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The days of making simple papercraft figures are over, thanks to this Neon Genesis Evangelion themed cardboard figure that actually transforms.
It looks a bit rough around the edges, but once you see it transform from robot to vehicle and back again you'll never think of papercraft the same way again!
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Various reading positions and what they mean
For all you avid readers out there, would you say that this is just about true? It definitely is for me. Whenever I'm 'lost to reality,' interrupting me from the scene I'm reading is tantamount to tempting a hungry wolf. In fact, people rarely see me angry until they interrupt me from reading.
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Q and A Quickies

Q: Why did they have a funeral for the frog?
A: Because he croaked.

Q: Why did the ox lose his job on the farm?
A: Because he couldn't take a yoke.

Q: What bird can lift the most?
A: A crane.

Q: What did the cannibal get when he was late for dinner?
A: The cold shoulder.
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So I Married An Axe Murderer: The Woman Woman Poem (Good Quality)
WOMAN! WO-MAN! WOOOOOOOOOMANN!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=GlkoQ4bUE5k#!
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It seems 2012 had one more bizarre story to squeeze in before we start discussing fiscal cliffs and double-dips, but it is a good one; Voodoo pimps.

Spain's Interior Ministry says police have arrested 17 people on suspicion of smuggling Nigerian women into Spain and forcing them into prostitution using threats including claims they would cast Voodoo spells on them if they didn't comply.

An investigation began when police detected in January that around 10 women had been brought into the country illegally using a small boat.

Police said that following an investigation its raids seized computer equipment, mobile phones, false identity and work permit documents, as well as objects which detectives said were allegedly used in "Voodoo rituals."

Officers tracked down the suspected pimps in cities throughout Spain and arrested 16 Nigerian nationals and one Ugandan citizen, a statement released Sunday said. It was not clear when the arrests took place.

The only thing this story is missing is Liam Neeson.
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$100,000 Coop Lets Chickens Live Much Nicer Than You Do
Svetlana Simon's Beau Coop is the epitome of chicken luxury:
Slipping on your wellies, you start for the coop and are greeted by the pleasant clucking of your specially chosen flock and the site of the poshest hen house ever imagined. Your custom-made multilevel dwelling features a nesting area, a "living room" for nighttime roosting, a broody room, a library filled with chicken and gardening books for visitors of the human kind, and, of course, an elegant chandelier.
You may visit your chickens--provided that the butler will let you in.
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Turn Your Life into a Soundtrack with Re: Sound Bottle
http://vimeo.com/42921558
Japanese designer Jun Fujiwara's award-winning Re: Sound Bottle has a simple exterior that belies its complex interior. The software inside this bottle with a cork stopper is set in motion when the cork is removed. At that point, the device records any audible sound. The recorded sounds are then layered and arranged to form rhythmic tracks. Essentially, the user supplies the samples and the Re: Sound Bottle becomes the DJ.
See more on Fujiwara's invention at Colossal. Link
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Found under a bed


In Panama. Discussed at Reddit, where the consensus is that living in a cold climate and shoveling snow is not so bad when you consider that we don't have to contend with mama scorpions carrying a litter of babies...
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2013 names predicted: Kindle, Pearl, Roy

AUSTIN, Texas - A baby-naming website says it predicts next year popular U.S. infant names will include: Hashtag, Tweet, Android and Pearl, Florence, Nellie and Eleanor. Officials of the social baby-naming website Belly Ballot, which collects real-time data on what names parents are selecting from around the globe, said based on naming data from more than 1,000 parents on the website, along with 10,000 votes from their friends and family, the website predicts the following naming trends:

-- Tech inspired names such as Kindle will be popular.
-- To create a unique name, many parents are choosing name combinations of two, three or more names such as Uma Thurman who named her daughter Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson.
-- Grandparents' and great-grandparents' names are making a strong comeback. Drew Barrymore named her daughter Olive so expect more kids named Roy, Charles, Frank, Albert and Bertha.
-- Not an entirely new trend, but more parents are using surnames for given names such as Grant, Kennedy, Hayes, Townes, Brick, Drake, Fletcher, Sutton and Copeland.
-- Using traditional names with unusual spellings such as Jaxon, Jaxen, Avah, Xakery, Josilyn and Braedyn.

In under 2 minutes, the Belly Ballot website allows parents to choose their favorite names and invite friends and family to vote on them via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"The public will believe anything, so long as it is not founded on truth." - Edith Sitwell
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Principality of Poyais
In the 1820s, many Europeans saw the value of investing in the exploration and exploitation of the New World. Governments were being organized up and down the map, and natural resources were there for the taking. People wanted to emigrate, too, and start all over in a rich and exotic place. In this atmosphere, Scotsman Gregor MacGregor stepped in and offered in investment opportunity in a nation he owned, an attractive Latin American coastal plot called Poyais.
MacGregor claimed that Poyais covered 8m acres (an area larger than Wales). It was rich in natural resources but in need of development. That would require both cash and manpower. Through an elaborate publicity campaign, he succeeded in persuading people not only to invest their savings in the bonds of a non-existent government, but also to emigrate to a fictional country. How on earth did he manage it?
The investors lost money, but many of those who emigrated to Poyais lost their lives. Read the story of MacGregor's outrageous con at The Economist. Link -via Metafilter
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The Penguin and the Piper
In 1904, William Speirs Bruce led the second voyage of the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition to the frozen continent. The ship, the Scotia, was trapped in ice for four days along the route. While the expedition was stuck, they continued to take geographical and meteorological observations and measurements. But the ship's bagpiper, Gilbert Kerr, took the time to pose for a photograph on the ice as he serenaded an Emperor penguin. According to the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, the penguin was tied to a cooking pot to hold him in place. The photograph was sent as a postcard from Antarctica. Piper Kerr was no doubt as full of Scottish pride as Bruce himself, but deserves extra points for wearing a kilt on an Antarctic icepack. Link

The post was inspired by a funny animated video about the event at Nothing to Do with Arbroath. Link
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Swimming in the Nile at age 10, Hadji Ali discovered he could ingest large amounts of water and bring it up again without ill effect. He parlayed this talent into a career as a "regurgitation act" in music halls and carnivals around the world, playing even to Tsar Nicholas II at the Winter Palace in 1914.
The performance above, from Laurel and Hardy's 1931 Spanish-language film Politiquerias, includes Ali's famous closing stunt, in which he ingests both water and kerosene and then upchucks them variously onto an open flame.
All of this was received with surprising tolerance by the era's audiences -- Judy Garland named Ali her favorite vaudevillian -- but at least one club cut short an engagement when they found it was "killing their supper shows."
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http://youtu.be/BMgmxkZ0pWI
There sure have been a lot of movies about space travelers! This supercut by Keith Melton pays tribute to the space helmet in cinema, but the real fun is seeing how many movies you recognize that you've seen. The song is a mashup by Daft Beatles. -via the Presurfer
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"Health is not simply the absence of sickness." - Hannah Green
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." - Leo Tolstoy
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TicTacToe Game
Here's a great game to help you ease back into the work week. It's everyone's favorite: TicTacToe! This version has you answering trivia questions in order to put X's and O's on the board.
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Bird Removed From Chinese Zoo For Screaming Obscenities
The next time you, or someone you know, is having trouble with a temperamental bird just be glad the little feathered bugger isn't screaming out a bunch of obscenities!
A zoo in Hubei, China got a big surprise when their Myna bird started screaming obscenities, which it had picked up from one of the zoo's guests according to zookeeper Li Yun, and had to be removed from display until his vocabulary could be deemed appropriate for all ages.
The bird may not be zoo friendly, but he has a great career ahead of him as an insult comic.
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Puggle4

ZooBorns has been keeping fans of Beau the Echidna puggle updated on his progress ever since he was introduced on October 23. That's when the Taronga Zoo first shared photos of the tiny baby Echidna after he was found orphaned on a hiking trail near Sydney, Australia. Taronga Zoo staff estimate that he was about a month old at the time of his rescue.
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A recently-discovered book at the U.S. Geological Survey Library in Reston, Virginia is supposedly a 1922 catalog of the Russian crown jewels, which once belonged to the Romanov family and fell into the hands of revolutionaries when the last the czar was toppled in 1917. When compared to the official inventory of the jewels published in 1925, it became apparent that four items in the earlier book are missing from the 1925 volume. One, a sapphire brooch, was traced to a London auction in 1927, but the fate of the other three items is a mystery. Read more about the discrepancies at NPR. Link
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Woman Sold Ex's Secret Fishing Spots
Selling jewelry or even naked photos of your ex after a bad breakup is understandable. But selling secret fishing spots? Now that's just low.
Read how one Angela Potter exacted revenge on her ex-boyfriend , an avid fisherman, by selling his most prized possession: his secret fishing spots.
Miss Potter was clearing out her garage when she found the GPS markings for fishing spots in the Bay of Plenty and many other areas of the North Island, so she auctioned them off on Trade Me last January and scored herself a whopping $3000. [...]
Miss Potter said she would never have sold the co-ordinates had it been an amicable breakup, however, the man packed his belongings into her suitcase, which had sentimental value, and fled the country.
"When he refused to return my suitcase that's when I sold his co-ordinates," she said. "I didn't list them to be vindictive. I listed them as a bit of a laugh."
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Groundbreaking air-cleaner removes industrial pollutants, odors
http://eideard.com/2013/01/02/groundbreaking-air-cleaner-removes-industrial-pollutants-odors/
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Home made condoms
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http://youtu.be/qVw1_PadudE
A list of the movies in the order of appearance in the mashup.
If you like this video, Matt Shapiro has also done "Cinescapes" for -
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007, and
2006
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New Year's Resolutions You Can Keep

Are you sick of making the same resolutions year after year that you never keep? Why not promise to do something you can actually accomplish? Here are some resolutions that you can use as a starting point:

Gain weight. At least 30 pounds.
Stop exercising. Waste of time.
Read less. Makes you think.
Watch more TV. I've been missing some good stuff.
Procrastinate more. Starting tomorrow.
Spend more time at work, surfing with the T1.
Stop bringing lunch from home: I should eat out more.
Get in a whole NEW rut!
Personal goal: bring back disco.
Buy an '83 Eldorado and invest in a really loud stereo system.
Only wear jeans that are 2 sizes too small and use a chain or rope for a belt.
Get further in debt.
Break at least one traffic law.
Associate with even worse business clients.
Spread out priorities beyond my ability to keep track of them.
Wait around for opportunity.
Focus on the faults of others.
Mope about my faults.
Never make New Year's resolutions again.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ryan James Yezak edited together the events of 2012 into one quick-moving video -and there are a lot of events crammed in here! -via Buzzfeed
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What do you get someone who already has two of everything? Perhaps you're not shopping at the right place. You see, if you're shopping for a billionaire, then you've got to head on over to the Billionaire Shop.
There, you can pick up a €290,500 Lamborghini Aventador Roadster, a €6,490,000 Leopard Veloce 34 yacht, or even your own island or two. In fact, there's nothing under €10,000 there (I mean, come on, don't be cheap now.)
The Billionaire Shop was created by Multilotto, a gambling company in Sweden who want to provide a ready outlet for its winners and score a few viral hits on the web as well. Well played, gentlemen. Well played. Link - via PSFK
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Ele solo.jpg
Though the baby Asian Elephant born at the Oregon Zoo has been described as a little "spitfire" by her keepers, she has been given a rather delicate name, chosen by public vote: Lily! Born on November 30, weighing 300 pounds 136 kilos), the calf is nursing well and now weights 316 pounds (143 kilos). She stands a little more than three feet tall (.91 meters) at the shoulder. You can read about her birth from our Zooborns post by clicking HERE.
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The Blind Dog and His Seeing-Eye Cat
Here's a story sure to melt your heart. When Judy Godfrey-Brown's 8-year-old dog Terfel got cataracts and became blind, an unexpected animal came to its rescue. He got a seeing-eye cat!
Eight-year-old Terfel kept bumping into things and spent most of his time stuck in his basket after being diagnosed with cataracts.
Then owner Judy Godfrey-Brown let a stray cat into her home — and was amazed by what happened next.
The puss, named Pwditat, walked up to Terfel and led him out of his basket and into the garden. She has been helping him find his way around ever since.
Guy Patrick of The Sun has the story: Link
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You've go tmail
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In the Netherlands, New Year's Eve means partying hard. And partying hard means carbidschieten--detonating calcium carbide in a milk churn:
Basically, a small chunk of calcium carbide and a little bit of water is placed in a metal milk churn. The carbide decomposes into acetylene and a flame is held up to a small hole in the milk churn. The resulting explosion sends the lid of the milk churn across a field and much fun is had by all.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Creativity Is Like a Slot Machine

"To invent, you have to take the odd and the strange combination of the years of knowledge and experience."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Kolmogorov Directions
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The first time magician Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller met Apollo Robbins, he was unimpressed. After all, pickpocket acts are a dime-a-dozen and Jillette already knew all their tricks.
“Come on,” Jillette said. “Steal something from me.”
Again, Robbins begged off, but he offered to do a trick instead. He instructed Jillette to place a ring that he was wearing on a piece of paper and trace its outline with a pen. By now, a small crowd had gathered. Jillette removed his ring, put it down on the paper, unclipped a pen from his shirt, and leaned forward, preparing to draw. After a moment, he froze and looked up. His face was pale.
“Fuck. You,” he said, and slumped into a chair.
And so began the fascinating life story of Apollo Robbins, one of the world's best pickpockets, as told by Adam Green in this article over at The New Yorker: Link- and then head on over to YouTube to see him in action.
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Pandacillin? Giant Panda May be New Source for Antibiotics
Giant pandas may look cute and all, frolickin' in the wild and chewin' bamboo leaves and such, but they may just be the latest warrior in our fight against drug-resistant superbugs.
Turns out, researchers in China have discovered that giant pandas have powerful antibiotic ("pandacillin"? Hah!) in their blood that can destoy fungi and bacteria faster than conventional antibiotics:
The antibiotic is thought to be released by the bear’s immune system to protect them infections when they are living in the wild. Researchers discovered the compound, known as cathelicidin-AM, after analysing the panda’s DNA. [...]
Dr Xiuwen Yan, who led the research at the Life Sciences College of Nanjing Agricultural University in China, said: “It showed potential antimicrobial activities against wide spectrum of microorganisms including bacteria and fungi, both standard and drug-resistant strains.
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pie
Michelle's jello shots are wrapped around a real graham cracker pie crust. They were pretty easy to make. Just pour black cherry jello and flavored vodka into pie crusts, then chill overnight. She's made similar jello shots with a pumpkin pie flavor. Link -via Foodbeast
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What an ingenious idea! Clocks have been powered by gravity for centuries, so why not lights? The investment fund for this project already has about six times what they asked for. -via Viral Viral Videos
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If I could look into your mind and ascertain the strength of your desire and the light and shadow of your thought I could foretell almost with certainty, the swiftness of progress towards whatever goal you are pursuing.--Dale Carnegie
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you're still off work for the holidays and need to kill some time, the web toy Touch Effects may just eat up more of your day than you thought possible! Once you get tired of just dragging the colors around, you can adjust the parameters for an even stranger effect. Link -via mental_floss
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In almost any subject, your passion for the subject will save you. If you care enough for a result, you will certainly attain it.
--William James
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Baby Colo.4
Meet Colo, the world’s oldest known Gorilla. Born December 22, 1956 at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, Colo was the first of her kind ever born at a zoo. In fact, it would be another five years until a second Lowland Gorilla was born at a zoo and a further five years for a third.
For Colo’s 56th birthday this weekend, the Columbus Zoo presented her with a specially prepared cake and presents that included her favorite food... tomatoes! Guests joined in on the fun by singing happy birthday to her, along with the staff.

Now, at 56 years old, Colo has also broken the longevity record previously held by Jenny at the Dallas Zoo, who died at age 55 in 2008. And, in 1983, her grandsons were the first twin Gorillas born in the western hemisphere.
ColoAdult.1
All in all, Colo is the mother of three, grandmother of 16, great grandmother of seven and great great grandmother of two! Colo had three babies, Emmy, Oscar and Toni. Emmy was the first second-generation Gorilla born in a zoo and Toni gave birth to Cora, who was the first third-generation Gorilla born in a zoo.
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There is nothing like a dream to create future. Utopia today, flesh and blood tomorrow.--Victor Hugo
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The passionate are the only advocates who always persuade. The simplest man with passion will be more persuasive than the most eloquent without.-- Descartes
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The island of Montserrat is a British territory in the Caribbean. In 1995, a volcano that had been dormant for centuries erupted and has been active ever since! A 1997 eruption buried half the island, including the capital city of Plymouth, under 40 feet of mud, ash, and rocks. Visitors are still banned from the "exclusion zone," as the latest eruption was in 2010. Read more about Montserrat and see pictures of what's left at Kuriositas. Link -via the Presurfer
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New Year, New Oddball Laws
New year, new laws. When the ball dropped on midnight, January 1st, we not only rang in the new year, but also a slew of oddball laws from around the country.
Good Morning America has a few examples:
Turns out 2013 will be unlucky for cat lovers in Wellington, Kan., where the city will be restricting the number of cats in a household to no more than four. [...]
Another unusual law taking effect at midnight is Public Act 97-743 in Illinois. This law imposes a fine of $1,000 on anyone who pops a wheelie on a motorcycle while speeding. [...]
Come 12:01 a.m. in Concord, Mass., plastic bottles will be considered contraband. Concord will be the first town in the nation to outlaw plastic bottles.
As of Jan. 1, it will no longer be illegal to flash your headlights in Florida to warn drivers about a speeding trap set by police.
In California, more than 800 laws are about to take effect, including one that allows driverless vehicles on the road. But a human must be present in the passenger’s seat of all computer-driven cars.
Read more over at ABC News: Link
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Top 25 ZooBorns of All Time - Cute by the Numbers
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Discovery Cove Baby Dolphin.jpg
A 3.5 foot-long, 35-pound Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin was born at Discovery Cove in Florida on November 30 at 10:22 a.m. -- and it's a girl! The little calf is continuing to develop, nurse and bond with her mother.
Her birth is notable, because it marks the first time a Dolphin at Discovery Cove has successfully given birth to a calf conceived through the use of “sperm-sexing” research, which involves separating sperm carrying a female-producing X chromosome from sperm carrying a male-producing Y chromosome. This scientific advancement affords Discovery Cove the opportunity to manage its species’ genetic diversity and social environment.
Scientists at the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Reproductive Research Center in San Diego, pioneered the ability to preferentially produce female or male Dolphin offspring though sperm-sexing and artificial insemination. The baby represents the 15th Dolphin calf produced worldwide using sex pre-selection technology, and the 25th Dolphin born at Discovery Cove since the park opened in 2000. Discovery Cove’s parent company, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, has one of the most successful dolphin breeding programs in the world.
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From children’s existential questions to 100 ideas that changed graphic design, by way of Yayoi Kusama and illustrated scientific mysteries.
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Just trust yourself then you will know how to live.--Geothe
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To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness. ~ Bertrand Russell
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If you're going to a party tonight, you'll want to keep your eyes out for all the possible squares you can cover in this holiday edition of Bingo from Jennifer Lewis at Flavorwire. There are four different cards you can print out and share with your friends. The first one to get too drunk to keep up loses! Link -via Nag on the Lake
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Artist Steve Thomas created this stylized series of Star Wars posters inspired by government-issued tourism promotions for national and state parks between 1930 and 1950. These renderings of memorable places in a galaxy far, far away use the classic fonts and sleek imagery of the vintage posters upon which they are based.
See the collection at the artist's website. Link -via ComicBookMovie.com
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"Big Bird meets Salvador Dali has been brought to you by the numbers L and ), and by the letter 3."
-- D. J. Green
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You probably sing the song "Happy Birthday To You" several times a year in your home, but you don't hear it much in restaurants or movies because it's under copyright. The song's origin are not exactly clear, but it was copyrighted in 1935. Through a series of purchases, the rights are now owned by Time Warner, a company which had nothing to do with creating the song.
The song "Happy Birthday To You" is the most recognizable song in the English language, but it can cost independent filmmakers an estimated $10,000 to clear the song for their films, and it will remain under copyright protection in the United States until 2030. This is a major stumbling block hindering the creation of new works of art. It's time to shake (or at least unsettle) “Happy Birthday” from it’s fortified cultural throne, and replace it with a melody that the children can sing without fear of being served.
The Free Music Archive is running a contest for a new birthday song (or two) that can replace it. You can enter a song through January 13th, or listen to other entries. Link -via Laughing Squid
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Big dick problems
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I hate to make a bad joke, but the joke just can't be contained. Looks like Bazinga, a catchphrase used by Sheldon Cooper on the Big Bang Theory, is officially a 'buzz word.' Instead of naming the brand new orchid bee species after himself or the species' appearance, Andre Nemesio and his team named the bee Euglossa bazinga. Why, you may ask?
The specific epithet honors the clever, funny, captivating “nerd” character Sheldon Cooper, brilliantly portrayed by the North American actor James Joseph “Jim” Parsons on the CBS TV show “The Big Bang Theory”. Sheldon Cooper’s favorite comic word “bazinga”, used by him when tricking somebody, was here chosen to represent the character. Euglossa bazinga sp. n. has tricked us for some time due to its similarity to E. ignita, what led us to use “bazinga”. Sheldon Cooper has also an asteroid named after him (246247 Sheldoncooper).
Link via Quite Interesting | Photographer: Andre Nemesio
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Chocolate cookies with chocolate chips? Let's choc it up a notch. Karylnn Johnston stuffed hers with whole York Peppermint Patties. Assembling them was as simple as folding two pieces of cookie dough around the patties. You can find her recipe at the link. Link -via Tasteologie
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What do fireworks look like when you see them backwards? Simply beautiful. Julian Tay recorded the New Year's Day fireworks display in Melbourne, Australia and reversed the image.
Link -via Colossal
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Cat arrested while sneaking cellphone and saw into Brazil prison
A cat carrying a saw and a mobile phone was “detained” as it entered a prison gate in northeast Brazil, Brazilian media reported on Saturday. Prison guards were surprised when they saw a white cat crossing the main gate of the prison, its body wrapped with tape. A closer look showed the feline also carried drills, an earphone, a memory card, batteries and a phone charger.
All 263 detainees in the prison of Arapiraca, a city of 215,000 people in the state of Alagoas, are considered suspect in the plot, which is being investigated by local police...
The cat was taken to an animal disease center to receive medical care.
Phew! Was he a cat burglar in his spare time?
Thanks Ed ~ my laugh of the day
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Kangaroo Island, Australia - Lonely Planet Travel
http://www.evtv1.com/Search.aspx?s=Kangaroo+Island,+Australia+-+Lonely+Planet+Travel
Author John Vlahides visits unspoiled Kangaroo Island to see some of Australia's most iconic animals in their natural habitats
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As of 2009 numbers there are about 1,900 landfills in the United States.
While 1,900 represents an actual significant decline in numbers over the last 25 years, the size of landfills has gone up dramatically, making them mega-landfills, really.
Fewer, larger landfills also means trash now has to travel farther from your kitchen to its final resting place, and longer trips mean more greenhouse gas emissions.
Either way you look at it, trash is a big problem. But what can you do? All the recycling in the world won't eliminate trash.
No, I'm sorry, actually it totally will. Take a look at Sweden.

In Sweden, where they use an innovative waste-to-energy program and highly efficient recycling habits, they have actually run out of trash.
In order to continue fueling the waste-to-energy factories that provide electricity to a quarter of a million homes and 20 percent of the entire country's district heating, Sweden is now importing trash from the landfills of other European countries. In fact, those countries are paying Sweden to do so, turning garbage into stinky, stinky gold for Sweden.
Imagine what we could accomplish with 1,900 mega-landfills in the United States!
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"A police officer in San Francisco was busted for running a brothel. They became suspicious when he would only handcuff people that paid extra." -Craig Ferguson
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In addition to being generally awesome, turns out sex is pretty great. Frequent (safe) sex can help reduce the risks of heart attack, stroke, hypertension, depression, etc. etc., and if you’re doing it often enough, you can even live about 8 years longer. But the recommended frequency for adding those years can be something of a chore, since achieving 350-700 orgasms per year is probably only average for young guys and certain film stars. The good news? The sexbots are coming.
In addition to the benefits DNews lists and the probability of lowered STD transmission, there are also political reasons sexbots might be a good idea: sex robots could reduce human trafficking, a dirty underground business that affects (a conservatively estimated) 2.5 million people worldwide.
So what say you, Geeks? Is robot sex just too weird, or should we take the pros and cons of android lovin’ a little more seriously?
http://www.geeksaresexy.net/page/2/#jWjis0ogdIGKqhky.99
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Police seek owner of 1938 telegram
DALY CITY, Calif. - California police said they are trying to find the owner of a 1938 telegram found in the back seat of a mail carrier accused of stealing credit and gift cards. Daly City police said Romeo Natan, 38, was busted on charges of stealing credit and gift cards from mail he was supposed to be delivering to San Carlos homes and investigating detectives discovered a telegram from Christmas Day 1938 among the thousands of letters allegedly stolen by Natan, the San Mateo County (Calif.) Times reported Thursday. Senior Detective Joe Bocci said the telegram must have been dropped into the mail prior to the holidays. "I think someone was passing down some family history," he said. "It means something to somebody." The telegram is from a couple named Minnie and Fred and addressed to a woman named Emma Gonzales in San Francisco. The text wishes Gonzalez a happy holiday and informs her the couple arrived safe in Reno. Natan and two alleged accomplices are facing numerous felony charges.
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To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success. --Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.' Mature love says 'I need you because I love you.' --Erich Fromm
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The self is our life's goal, for it is the most complete expression of that fateful combination we call individuality. ~ CJ Jung
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In Edmonton, Alberta, Daniel Gray and his girlfriend Kathleen Starrie built an amazing igloo with hundreds of colored ice bricks. Ms. Starrie's parents conceived of the project as a way to distract Gray from their daughter. To prepare, they collected hundreds of milk cartons to use as molds for the bricks. Gray, an engineer, embraced the project:
Originally, Gray thought the best way to build the igloo would be to cut each of the ice blocks so they would fit together perfectly. Instead, he used what he now calls "snowcrete" to put the ice blocks together.

"(It) is just snow and water but, it sticks really well to the ice," Gray said, "The snowcrete just shaped and moulded however you wanted so it made it possible."

In total, the group spent about 150 hours carefully putting about 500 ice blocks together, one by one, to build the colourful igloo.
You can watch a video at the news story link.
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Never bring a knife to a gun fight...even a really, really long knife. This is a lesson that was never learned by a 38-year-old Michigan man named Chris Burroughs.

Police responded to a disturbance in the little Michigan town of Norton Shores where Burroughs had allegedly assaulted a woman in his home. Well, neighbors said they saw a woman running down the street and bleeding from her head, so it is fair to say there was reasonable suspicion.

When police officers responded to the scene they attempted to make contact with Burroughs in the front of the home where he lives with his mother.

Burroughs then ran to the back of the home and the officers went around to meet him. That is when police said Burroughs burst out of the back door Kill Bill-style, waving a four-foot-long sword over his head.

The officers commanded Burroughs to put the weapon down but he allegedly refused and taunted the officers to shoot him.

Which they did.

One of the officers fired at the suspect, striking him at least once. Burroughs was arrested for domestic assault.
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Python, crabs left in hotel rooms
THAME, England - British hotel chain Travelodge UK said some of the oddest items left in its rooms include a pet python, breast implants and a bucket of live crabs. The budget chain based in Thame, England, said items in its lost-and-founds include a pet python named Monty, a winning EuroMillions lottery ticket, the prop used as Harry Potter's wand in one of the films, a diamond-encrusted iPhone, a bucket of live crabs and a set of women's breast implants, The Scotsman reported Thursday. The hotel chain said the most popular items left in their rooms include pajamas, phone and laptop chargers, teddy bears, toiletry items and electronics. The company said the 20,000 books left in its hotel rooms during the past 12 months include 7,000 copies of "Fifty Shades of Grey."
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QUOTE: "A quitter never wins and a winner never quits."

HINT: (1883-1970), American author in the area of the new thought movement who was one of the earliest producers of the modern genre of personal-success literature.

ANSWER: Napoleon Hill.
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Angry Birds Star Wars Cookies
cookies
The Chicago-based baker Jill Wagner makes custom cookies for every occasion and theme. Her gallery includes Tom & Jerry, The Lorax, Family Guy and Toy Story cookies. Four of these birds are ready to slingshot themselves at the Death Star.
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RANDOM TIDBITS

Billiards evolved from a lawn game similar to croquet played sometime during the 15th century in Northern Europe (probably in France).

The term "poolroom" now means a place where billiards is played, but in the 19th century a poolroom was a betting parlor for horse racing. Billiard tables were installed so patrons could pass the time between races. The game of billiards and the poolroom became connected in the public's mind. Today, the two terms are used interchangeably.

The term "scratch," as applied to a pocketing of the cue ball, was derived from the penalty assessed for such a foul. In pool's early days, the score was often kept on a chalkboard. When a player pocketed the cue ball, his opponent "scratched" a point off the shooter's score.

In 1765 A.D., the first billiard room was built in England. Played there was One-Pocket, which was a table with one pocket and four balls.

The word "cue" is derived from the French queue, meaning tail. Before the cue stick was designed, billiards was played with a mace. The mace consisted of a curved wooden (or metal) head used to push the ball forward, attached to a narrow handle. Since the bulkiness of the mace head made shots along the rail difficult, it was often turned around and the "tail" end was used. Players eventually realized this method was far more effective, and the cue as a separate instrument grew out of the mace's tail.

Tables originally had flat vertical walls for rails and their only function was to keep the balls from falling off. They resembled riverbanks and even used to be called "banks." Players discovered that balls could bounce off the rails and began deliberately aiming at them. Thus a "bank shot" is one in which a ball is made to rebound from a cushion as part of the shot.
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My childhood would have been so much better if I could wait at the park for my parents to pick me up and check out a book there at the same time. The stand, officially called Paradero ParaLibros ParaParques (Whereabouts For Books, For Parks) is part of a program ran by Fundalectura to promote literacy across South America.
I'm all for trying this in America.
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"Did you give the prisoner the third degree?" the police sergeant asked the detective.
"Yeah, we browbeat him pretty good," nodded the other. "Asked him every question we could think of."
"And did you get a confession?" asked the sergeant.
"Not exactly," explained the officer. "All he'd say was, 'Yes dear,' and doze off."
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A man and his wife are watching a pay-per-view boxing match on TV. The husband sighs and says, "Man, what a rip off! It was all over in three minutes!"
The wife mutters, "Now you know how I feel."
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A Male Fairy Tale:

Once upon a time, a Prince asked a beautiful Princess, "Will you marry me?"
The Princess said, "No!"

And the Prince lived happily ever after and rode motorcycles and dated skinny, long-legged, full-breasted women and hunted and fished and raced cars and went to naked bars and dated ladies half his age and drank whiskey, beer and Captain Morgan and never heard bitching and never paid child support or alimony and dated cheerleaders and kept his house and guns and ate spam and potato chips and beans and blew enormous farts and never got cheated on while he was at work and all his friends and family thought he was friggin cool as hell and he had tons of money in the bank and left the toilet seat up.
The end.
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"I've got to admit, I love the show "Doomsday Preppers." It's about people making bunkers to survive catastrophes they know will happen. A nuclear war, viral epidemic, Fox canceling 'Glee.' It's all going to happen." -Craig Ferguson
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"Ireland is coming out with its own version of the show 'Cheers.' Yeah, a sitcom about people who sit around drinking at a bar all day: or as they call that in Ireland, 'Reality TV.'" -Jimmy Fallon
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"A new study shows that California has the dirtiest tap water in the country. California officials insist that the dirty water is fine as long as you chew it thoroughly." -Conan O'Brien

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After setting off the alarms at airport security, I was escorted behind a curtain. As two female officials "wanded" me, the senior officer gave instructions to the trainee on proper technique: first down the front of my body, then up the back of me, and much to my embarrassment up between my legs.
After she was done, her boss congratulated her.
"Great job," she said. "Now do it again, but this time, try turning on the wand."
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Tania's Log Cabin Quilt
It's a pantograph by One Song Needle Arts called "Gypsy Feather".
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We were eating at one of the trendier restaurants in town when my friend pointed to the menu and told the waitress, "I'll have the 24."
"Uh, Jim," I whispered, "that's the price, not the meal number."
"Oh," he said. "In that case give me the 12."
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The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.
--George Orwell
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[The nasty side of Winston Churchill!]
I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favour of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare... I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes. --Winston S. Churchill, from War Office minute, 5/12/1919
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Where there is no vision, the people perish. --Proverbs, 29:18
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Dr. S.V. Clevenger, in the Alienist and Neurologist for July 1890, describes an infant prodigy, Oscar Moore. Two little colored children were reciting the multiplication table at their home, in a little cabin in Texas, as they had repeatedly done before, and one of them asserted that four times twelve was fifty-eight, whereupon a thirteen months old baby, Oscar Moore, who had never spoken before, corrected the error by exclaiming, 'Four times twelve are forty-eight!' There was consternation in that humble home until the family became reconciled to the freak. Oscar was born in Waco, Texas, in 1885; his father is an emancipated slave, his mother is a mulatto. He was born blind; the other senses are unusually acute; his memory is the most remarkable peculiarity. He is intelligent and manifests great inquisitiveness; his memory is not parrot-like. When less than two years of age he would recite all he heard his sister read while conning her lessons. He sings and counts in different languages, has mastered an appalling array of statistics, and is greatly attracted by music. The writer concludes that Oscar is not mentally defective, but may possess extraordinary mental powers.
-- Science, June 26, 1891
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I Miss You Card
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A farmer in Cambridgeshire, England, discovered a massive 44-foot-long oak log in a peat bog last February. The wood had been perfectly preserved for 5,000 years! Cabinet makers Adamson and Low specialize in processing bog wood, and recognized that this one is special, and made special plans for it.
Besides, bog oak is beautiful and historical, but it’s first and foremost a carpentry wood, prized for centuries as England’s only native black timber. (The tannins in the oak react to iron in the subsoil to turn the wood dark brown or black.) Because the giant oaks were so much larger than they are today, bog oak wood has medullary rays far wider than in modern oak. That makes for a thick stripe grain that looks particularly gorgeous on quarter-sawn boards. Traditional drying methods couldn’t preserve it in thick pieces, so its main use was as inlay wood or in the making of smaller decorative or furniture items. It’s only in the past 20 years that drying technology has advanced enough to allow the preservation of substantial hunks of ancient wood.
Hamish Low had the ambitious idea to preserve the majesty of this trunk while still tying it into the hundreds of years of British carpentry tradition. He could go ahead and plank the trunk, but instead of dividing the planks into more easily dried boards, they would be kept in their 44-foot lengths. Once dried the planks would shrink, but they’d still be massive and could be used to make a giant table. That huge tabletop could then be exhibited as an example of and tribute to the arboreal giants that once dominated the English landscape. There isn’t a single piece of bog oak as such on public display in the UK. Here was the perfect opportunity to rectify that oversight.
The log became known as the Fenland Black Oak as the plans fell into place. A special kiln was built big enough to dry the wood, and the log was removed from its peat bog in September. The table is expected to be ready in the summer of 2013. Its final destination is undetermined, but it will be available for the public to see. Link | Project blog-via TYWKIWDBI
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Wildlife documentarian Gordon Buchanan traveled to Svalbard for his new series The Polar Bear Family and Me. He did not know that it is customary there to bring a dish to dinner when visiting the polar bears. The mother expressed their displeasure at this breach of etiquette and tried to break through his protective capsule:
Mr Buchanan, who has filmed the world’s deadliest creatures for 20-years, described the ordeal as his scariest ever experience.
He said: 'A lot of people think that carnivores are intrinsically dangerous but most aren’t - there’s a minimal risk and attacks are the exception.
'But polar bears are different, without a doubt she wanted me for lunch. She was so persistent, looking for a weak spot for almost 45 minutes.
'I was terrified and you could hear my heartbeat on the mic. It really was a sensational moment and a worrying situation.
Link -via io9
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Short Story: The Mini , courtesy of Uncle John's Bathroom Reader.

And mental_floss magazine brought us The Haka.
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It doesn't matter that you know the punch lines to most of these, you can't think of them before he spits them out! And there's always a chance that one or two jokes will take you by surprise. -via Tastefully Offensive
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23-year old Xiao Feng doesn't want to get a job. He'd rather spend his time playing video games. To discourage this activity, Feng's father hired players to hunt down and slay his son's characters:
Unhappy with his son not finding a job, Feng decided to hire players in his son's favorite online games to hunt down Xiao Feng. It is unknown where or how Feng found the in-game assassins—every one of the players he hired were stronger and higher leveled than Xiao Feng. Feng's idea was that his son would get bored of playing games if he was killed every time he logged on, and that he would start putting more effort into getting a job.
Now that's creative parenting!
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Bondage barbie
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Isaac Newton’s Secret Sins
Even great minds have teen angst. The more intelligent teenagers just know how to hide them better! Which is a good ting, because when you become famous, someone will want to dig up that dirt, even 300 years later.
In 1662, a 19-year-old Isaac Newton started carrying a leather-bound journal, which he used to track finances and work out math problems. But he also used it to hide something secret. On two pages, Newton scribbled a cryptic code, a code that went unsolved for over 300 years. In 1964, historians finally solved the script. They discovered a list of sins: 57 of Newton’s wrongdoings. The journal—today called the Fitzwilliam notebook—paints the Enlightenment icon as a mood-swinging, sweet-toothed, spiritually confused teenager. Here are some of Newton’s sinful gems.
The list of sins reads like a confessional, and you can see some of them at mental_floss. Link
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A guy walks into a pet store wanting a parrot. The store clerk shows him two beautiful ones out on the floor. "This one's $5,000 and the other is $10,000." the clerk said.
"Wow! What does the $5,000 one do?"
"This parrot can sing every aria Mozart ever wrote."
"And the other?" said the customer.
"This one can sing Wagner's entire Ring cycle. There's another one in the back room for $30,000."
"Holy moly! What does that one do?"
"Nothing that I can tell, but the other two parrots call him 'Maestro'."
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Tough cats don't have a sense of humor, and they don't take kindly to phonies showing their cardboard faces around tough cat turf. A warning to all phony cats- stay in the toy chest or tough cat will be forced to shred you!
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This is NOT the skull of an extraterrestrial alien
An archaeological discovery of 13 Conehead-shaped skulls in Mexico has people recalling the famed Saturday Night Live sketch. The bones, which are about 1,000 years old, dating back to 945 A.D. to 1308 A.D., were discovered accidentally during a dig for an irrigation system in the northwest state of Sonora in Mexico. While it’s not unheard of for archaeological sites to be unearthed during modern excavations, the misshapen skulls discovered on the site are fairly uncommon, especially as far north as Sonora. “This was a Hispanic cemetery with 25 skulls, and 13 of them have deformed heads,” Cristina Garcia Moreno, who worked on the project with Arizona State University, told ABC News. “We don’t know why this population specifically deformed their heads.”
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Schick is walking down the boardwalk in Atlantic City, runs into a hooker, and he says, "How much?"
She says, "Twenty bucks."
He says, "All right."
They climb down under the boardwalk, and he bangs her.
The next night, he runs into the same hooker, they go under the boardwalk, only this time while he's banging her, she blasts two incredible farts. When they get done, he hands her twenty-FIVE dollars.
She says, "What the extra five?"
He says, "That's for blowing the sand off my balls."
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The Surprisingly Manly History of Hot Cocoa
Before chocolate candy was developed, cocoa was almost always a drink. And far before chocolate milk became a kid's staple, cacao was a manly beverage, reserved for warriors.
Cacao was cultivated and consumed by the Olmecs and Mayans, but is most famously associated with the Aztec civilization. Montezuma the II, who kept a huge storehouse of cacao (supplied by conquered peoples from whom he demanded the beans as tribute) and drank 50 golden goblets of chocolate a day, decreed that only those men who went to war could imbibe cacao, even if they were his own sons. This limited chocolate consumption to royals and nobles who were willing to fight, merchants (their travels through hostile territory necessitated their taking up of arms), and warriors. For the latter, chocolate was a regular part of their military rations; ground cacao that had been pressed into wafers and could be mixed into water in the field were given to every solider on campaign. The drink provided long-lasting nourishment on the march; as one Spanish observer wrote, “This drink is the healthiest thing, and the greatest sustenance of anything you could drink in the world, because he who drinks a cup of this liquid, no matter how far he walks, can go a whole day without eating anything else.”

All Aztecs thought of both blood and chocolate as sacred liquids, and cacao seeds were used in their religious ceremonies to symbolize the human heart – harkening to their famous ritual in which this still-beating organ was torn from a sacrificial victim’s chest. The connection between blood and chocolate was especially strong for warriors, and it was served at the solemn initiation ceremony of new Eagle and Jaguar knights, who had to undergo a rigorous penance process before joining the most elite orders of the Aztec army.
As chocolate was carried around the world, it was changed considerably, but still made into a manly beverage as nutritious sustenance for Arctic explorers and soldiers at war. The Art of Manliness has an extensive history of hot cocoa and its use, including tips for making yours better. Link
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From Crictor on Vimeo, welcome 2013! May it be a year of astonishingly well timed ping pong ball drops caught on camera. Or well something of that nature.
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House Stark snowflake
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Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. -- John F. Kennedy
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Mom's 18-Point Terms and Conditions for Son's iPhone
Like many teenagers, 13-year-old Greg Hoffman wanted an iPhone for Christmas. But to get one, he had to agree to and sign an 18-point set of terms and conditions - not from Apple or the phone company, but from his mom!
"Merry Christmas! You are now the proud owner of an iPhone. Hot Damn! You are a good & responsible 13 year old boy and you deserve this gift," the agreement begins. "But with the acceptance of this present comes rules and regulations."
The first rule on his mother's list: "It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren't I the greatest?"
"I hope that you understand it is my job to raise you into a well rounded, healthy young man that can function in the world and coexist with technology, not be ruled by it," Janell Hoffman wrote. "Failure to comply with the following list will result in termination of your iPhone ownership."
The rules include:
1. It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren't I the greatest?
2. I will always know the password.
3. If it rings, answer it. It is a phone. Say hello, use your manners. Do not ever ignore a phone call if the screen reads "Mom" or "Dad". Not ever.
Read the rest over at Good Morning America over at Yahoo!: Link | The video clip over at ABC News
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Oompa-Loompas Sought in Assault Case
Police in Norwich, Norfolk, England, are looking for two Oompa-Loompas in connection with an assault on a 28-year-old man, who was left with cuts, bruises, and two black eyes. The man was assaulted as he was leaving a kebab shop.
"Police are seeking a group of four people, two of whom were dressed as Oompa-Loompas, who attacked a male on a night out," a spokesman for Norfolk police said.

"Two of the males were dressed as Oompa-Loompas from [the Roald Dahl book] Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with painted orange faces and dyed green hair and were wearing hooped tops."

The spokesman added: "One of the males in the group then pushed the victim to the floor before he got up. He was then hit on the head, fell to the floor and hit again."
Anyone with information is urged to call the Norfolk police. Link -via Arbroath
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Cross classic giant monster movies like Godzilla with the internet obsession with laser-eyed cats and throw in a large dollop of video game imagery, and you get Catzilla! Who will save the city from the monster cat? Warning: dubstep soundtrack. -via Geeks Are Sexy
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Let's help kiss 2012 goodbye with io9's look back at the year's best cosplay, where sexy, creative and downright creepy collide in costumed craziness you won't be able to unsee.
It's pure chaos in homemade costumes, and even though we've shown a few of the entries here already they're definitely worth a second look!
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God Meets Bureaucracy

In the beginning God Created heaven and the earth. Quickly he was faced
with a class action suit for failure to file an environmental impact
statement. He was granted a temporary permit for the project, but was
stymied with the Cease and Desist order for the earthly part. Appearing at
the hearing, God was asked why he began his earthly project in the first
place. He replied that he just liked to be creative.

Then God said, "Let there be light." Officials immediately demanded to
know how the light would be made. Would there be strip mining? What about
thermal pollution? God explained that the light would come from a huge ball
of fire. God was granted provisional permission to make light, assuming
that no smoke would result from the ball of fire, that he would obtain a
building permit, and (to conserve energy) would have the light out half the
time. God agreed and said he would call the light "Day" and the darkness
"Night." Officials replied that they were not interested in semantics.

God said, "Let the earth bring forth green herb and such as manyseed."
The EPA agreed so long as native seed was used. Then God said, "Let waters
bring forth creeping creatures having life; and the fowl that may fly over
the earth." Officials pointed out this would require approval from the
Department of Game coordinated with the Heavenly Wildlife Federation and
the Audubongelic Society.

Everything was OK until God said he wanted to complete the project in six
days. Officials informed him it would take at least 200 days to review the
application and the environmental impact statement. After that there would
be a public hearing. Then there would be 10-12 months before...

At this point God created Hell.
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Glad i have boobs
Ursa ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ursarodinia@aol.com

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