Monday, January 7, 2013

Paws & Claws Nov 25, 2012 ~ Off to see the Wizard(s of Winter) TSO!!!!

He who stands on tiptoe is not steady.
He who strides cannot maintain the pace.
He who makes a show is not enlightened.
He who is self-righteous is not respected.
He who boasts achieves nothing.
He who brags will not endure.

~ Lao Tzu
2012 November See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.
Dark Sand Cascades on Mars
Image Credit:
HiRISE, MRO, LPL (U. Arizona), NASA
Explanation: They might look like trees on Mars, but they're not. Groups of dark brown streaks have been photographed by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on melting pinkish sand dunes covered with light frost. The above image was taken in 2008 April near the North Pole of Mars. At that time, dark sand on the interior of Martian sand dunes became more and more visible as the spring Sun melted the lighter carbon dioxide ice. When occurring near the top of a dune, dark sand may cascade down the dune leaving dark surface streaks -- streaks that might appear at first to be trees standing in front of the lighter regions, but cast no shadows. Objects about 25 centimeters across are resolved on this image spanning about one kilometer. Close ups of some parts of this image show billowing plumes indicating that the sand slides were occurring even when the image was being taken.
2012 NovemberSee Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.
A Halo Around the Moon
Image Credit & Copyright:
Anthony Ayiomamitis (TWAN)
Explanation: Have you ever seen a halo around the Moon? This fairly common sight occurs when high thin clouds containing millions of tiny ice crystals cover much of the sky. Each ice crystal acts like a miniature lens. Because most of the crystals have a similar elongated hexagonal shape, light entering one crystal face and exiting through the opposing face refracts 22 degrees, which corresponds to the radius of the Moon Halo. A similar Sun Halo may be visible during the day. The setting of the above picture is Athens, Greece. The distant planet Jupiter appears by chance on the halo's left. Exactly how ice-crystals form in clouds remains under investigation.
TurBacon Epic
Red pandas playing in the snow

Santa suspended by beard at Reading shopping centre

A Santa Claus was left dangling from the ceiling after his beard became trapped while abseiling inside a Reading shopping centre as part of a Christmas lights switch-on show.
He was stuck for about 30 minutes about 15ft off the ground in the Broad Street Mall on Saturday afternoon.
Eyewitness Ryan Gaudreau said: “Everyone was laughing at him – he didn’t really know what to do.”
“He could have just taken his beard off and let himself down but he was such a professional and he didn’t want to let the children down,” she said…
“Some people were absolutely mortified while others thought it was the funniest thing ever

Metamaterial that acts as a lens for radio waves

We expect the world to be predictable. Water flows downhill, fire burns and lenses bend light in a particular way. That worldview took a jolt as Isaac Ehrenberg, an MIT graduate student in mechanical engineering, developed a three-dimensional, lightweight metamaterial lens that focuses radio waves with extreme precision. That may not seem too disturbing, but the lens is concave and works in exactly the opposite manner of how such a lens should.
Metamaterials have an air of magic about them. The elements they’re made out of should work one way, but they way they’ve been fabricated make them operate in another. They are ordinary substances that have been engineered with precisely designed and fabricated microscopic structures. These structures interact with light or sound in such a way that they produce effects that are not found in nature. In the case of the MIT metamaterial lens, they result in a concave lens that should spread radio waves, but focuses them instead…
Thanks, Ed

Renault’s electric Twizy saves energy, adds calories!

While American motorheads were in Las Vegas covering the 2012 SEMA Show, sweeter teeth had converged upon France’s capital city for the annual Salon du Chocolat, otherwise known as the Paris Chocolate Show. Renault brought a little automotive flair to the this year’s show by teaming with French pastry chef Pierre Hermé to create a Renault Twizy covered with macarons.
In a two-day process, 1,700 of the Oreo-like pastries-weighing around 50 pounds in total-were individually glued onto the high-calorie show car‘s bodywork and wheel covers.
Enjoy the video. No extra calories just from watching. Even full screen.
thanks, Ed
A lady wishes to borrow One Hundred Pounds. The Security, though personal, may probably be very agreeable to a single Gentleman of spirit. Every particular will be communicated with Candour and Sincerity, where confidence is so far reposed as to give the real Name and Address of the party willing to oblige the Advertiser. Gentlemen of real Fortune and liberal Sentiments, and those only, are requested to address a line to Y. N. at Mr Dyke's, Cross Street, Long-Acre. -- Morning Post, Dec. 15, 1775
See majestic views of these legendary birds in the culmination of a nine-year documentary quest.

10 Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

Tyson is the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History and host of NOVA scienceNOW. Here he answers reader questions and talks about the universe and how he'd save the world.
Turkey veggie tray
Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren,
a social studies school teacher at Robinson High School in Little
Rock , did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the
building supervisor, she removed all of the desks out of her classroom.

When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there

no desks.

'Ms. Cothren, where're our desks?'

She replied, 'You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to

sit at a desk.'

They thought, 'Well, maybe it's our grades.'

'No,' she said.

'Maybe it's our behavior.'

She told them, 'No, it's not even your behavior.'

And so, they came and went, the first period, second
period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom.

By early afternoon television news crews had started
gathering in Ms. Cothren's classroom to report about this crazy teacher
who had taken all the desks out of her room.

The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found
seats on the floor of the deskless classroom, Martha Cothren said,
'Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he or
she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found

in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.'

At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and

opened it.

Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into that
classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began
placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand
alongside the wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk
in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in
their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned..

Martha said, 'You didn't earn the right to sit at these desks. These
heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. Now,
it's up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be
good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you
could have the freedom to get an education. Don't ever forget it.'

By the way, this is a true story. And this teacher was awarded
Teacher of the Year for the state of Arkansas in 2006.

Please consider passing this along so others won't forget either
that the freedoms we have in this great country were earned by U. S.
Veterans. Always remember them and the rights they have won for us.
"The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed the passion is the measure of the holder's lack of rational conviction." -- Bertrand Russell
A U.S. Marine Colonel was about to start the morning briefing to his staff. While waiting for the coffee machine to finish brewing, the colonel decided to pose a question to all assembled. He explained that his wife had been a bit frisky the night before and he failed to get his usual amount of sound sleep. He posed the question of just how much of sex was “work” and how much of it was “pleasure?”
A Major chimed in with 75%-25% in favor of work.
A Captain said it was 50%-50%.
A lieutenant responded with 25%-75% in favor of pleasure, depending upon his state of inebriation at the time.
There being no consensus, the colonel turned to the PFC who was in charge of making the coffee and asked for his opinion.
Without any hesitation, the young PFC responded, “Sir, it has to be 100% pleasure.
The colonel was surprised and as you might guess, asked why?
“Well, sir, if there was any work involved, the officers would have me doing it for them.”
The room fell silent.
Bartlett Cove Lagoon and Fairweather View
Live view of the Bartlett Cove inner lagoon. Located adjacent to park headquarters, this serene location hosts a variety of wildlife. Watch for river otters, harbor seals, waterfowl, moose, black bears, and an endless cycle of tides. On clear days, summits of the the Fairweather Range are on spectacular display. The scenery changes by the minute ... and this image refreshes every 30 seconds.
Gas prices sign

Christmas Candy Wreath
by Nancy Cardinal of Quebec, Canada
This holiday craft is easy and fun to make. And economical... read more

3 Percent Pay Raise the ‘New Normal’ for 2013
As the economy picks up, slightly higher pay raises are coming with it. Many U.S. workers can expect to bring home 3 percent more in 2013 than they did this year, according to forecasts from national compensation surveys . That’s just over the average median pay raise of 2.7 percent to 2.8 percent in 2012. It's also more than the 2 percent to 2.5 percent raise most employees saw immediately after the recession, which started in late 2008, according to a 2013 salary report from Bucks Consultants. Three percent raises are the new normal, says Ravin Jesuthasan, a compensation expert and managing director with management consultant Towers Watson. “I don’t think anyone should expect merit increases to deviate that much going forward, even if the economy does well,” he says.
Read more at NBC News...

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
Whether you are looking for an inexpensive gift to give everyone this year, or just have a few extra people on your list, this is a great gift idea!
10 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
5 ounces non-dairy creamer
1-pound Nestlé's Quick Chocolate Milk Mix
1/3 cup Sugar
In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients listed above and blend well. Pour cocoa mix into glass canning jars and top with a pretty square piece of fabric. For each jar, cut a 24-inch piece of red satin ribbon. Secure the fabric onto the top of the lid by tying the ribbon into a bow around the rim of the jar.
For the label include these instructions:
Combine ¼ cup Home Made Cocoa Mix and ¾ cup boiling water into cup, stir to blend, and enjoy!
This makes such a great gift, be sure to keep some for your family too!
Robber turnes into sex slave

Today is an important date in history. President Lincoln delivered what he called his "little speech," which is thought by many today to be the most eloquent articulation of the democratic vision ever written.

Random Facts:

On November 19, 1863, at the dedication of a military cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln delivers one of the most memorable speeches in American history. In just 272 words, Lincoln brilliantly and movingly reminded a war-weary public why the Union had to fight, and win, the Civil War.

Also on this date; for the first time in eight years, the leaders of the Soviet Union and the United States hold a summit conference. Meeting in Geneva, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev produced no earth-shattering agreements. However, the meeting boded well for the future, as the two men engaged in long, personal talks and seemed to develop a sincere and close relationship.

I like reading quotes. Sometimes they are silly and sometimes profound, but always they reveal the thinking of the author.

Frequently a bit of meaning is lost if we don't have the context in which the statement was uttered. For example, if we didn't know that Neil Armstrong was climbing down the ladder about to be the first man to step foot on the moon, then we might not be so impressed with his quote, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

If we didn't know the success of Julius Caesar in reforming Rome to his own designs, then we might think he was a blowhard for saying, "I came, I saw, I conquered."

So when I came across this quote from Albert Einstein that I had never seen before: "Where there is love, there are no questions" I took it upon myself to do the research to discover the context in which he said it. Here's what I found:

Albert was on the couch in his uncle's living room in Berlin making out with his cousin Elsa. He put his hand on her breast and she sighed and shivered. He slipped his hand under her skirt and she protested.

"Ich nine bine mine twat!" she said breathing heavily, (which means, 'please, no, we are first cousins and our union would be questionable.')

Albert reportedly undid his zipper, pulled out his hairy, shriveled little pecker, and said the now famous, "Where there is love, there are no questions."

Last night I reached for my liquid Viagra and accidentally grabbed a bottle of Liquid Paper. I woke up this morning with a huge correction.

One woman was talking to her friend, "You should listen to my neighbor," she says. "She is always bad-mouthing her poor husband behind his back. I think that's so rude. Look at me! My husband is fat, lazy and cheap; but have you ever heard me say a bad word about about him?"

After many years of bachelorhood, this older gent finds and marries a beautiful young lady. On their honeymoon night she slips into a sheer negligee and a comfortable bed as he goes into the bathroom to prepare himself for glory.
Five minutes go by. Ten minutes go by. Concerned, the bride goes into the bathroom, where she finds her aged husband furiously masturbating.
She smiles and says, "You're married now. You don't have to do that anymore."
Her husband looks at her a bit bewildered and says, "Oh, I forgot."

"Facebook and the Department of Labor have teamed up for a new app that displays job openings. It'll be weird when people find a job because of Facebook, then get fired from that job for using Facebook, then use Facebook to find another job. It's the circle of life." -Jimmy Fallon

"Today is 'America Recycles Day.' We're celebrating here. All of tonight's jokes are from previous shows." -Craig Ferguson

"Hostess, the company that makes Twinkies, filed for bankruptcy in January. I don't understand how this is possible. This country has never been fatter. How are the people who make Zingers and Snowballs losing money?" -Jimmy Kimmel

A four-year-old was showing a little friend the family photos that covered one wall in their basement. Out of sight but not out of earshot, her mother overheard her say, "Here's a picture of my mommy when she was a little girl. I wasn't there, but people say she used to be nice."

QUOTE: "Memory is the scribe of the soul."

HINT: BC 384-322, Greek Philosopher

ANSWER: Aristotle


Charles Lindbergh, in 1927, was the first man to be honored as Man of the Year by Time magazine.

Louisiana is nicknamed the Pelican state after their state bird.

Meriwether Lewis, on August 12, 1805, was the first U.S. citizen to cross the Continental Divide.

Ohio, known as the 17th state, technically did not become a state until August 7, 1953. Due to an oversight, Congress never voted on the resolution to admit Ohio to the Union until that date.

General Henry "Lighthorse Harry" Lee, who said, "to the memory of the man, first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countryman," in reference to George Washington, was the father of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Contrary to popular opinion, the "Saturday Evening Post" was not founded by Benjamin Franklin. It was founded by Charles Alexander and Samuel C. Atkinson in 1821. The "Saturday Evening Post' was, however, begun in the same building in which Franklin had published his "Pennsylvania Gazette."

Showing Your Age

After retiring, I went to the Social Security office to apply for Social Security.
The woman behind the counter asked me for my driver's license to verify my age.
I looked in my pockets and realized I had left my wallet at home. I told the woman that I was very sorry, but I would have to go home and come back later.
The woman said, "Unbutton your shirt." So I opened my shirt revealing my curly silver hair.
She said, "That silver hair on your chest is proof enough for me and she processed my Social Security application.
When I got home, I excitedly told my wife about my experience at the Social Security office. She said, "You should have dropped your pants. You might have gotten disability too."

Q and A Quickies

Q: Can February March?
A: No, But April May!

Q: What do you call someone with no body and no nose?
A: Nobody Knows!

  • Will Rogers died at the northernmost point in the United States.
  • TO BE OR NOT TO BE contains two Bs.
  • If you stop me being mute, what sound do I make?
  • "Better to ask twice than to lose your way once." -- Danish proverb
  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    n. fear of (or worry about) hotels
    Art historian Bernard Berenson offered this word in his 1952 memoir Rumour and Reflection:
    I invented it long ago to designate the sinking feeling that in my travels often overcame me: of fear lest the inn or hotel at which we were to lodge would be sordid, would not let me have the promised apartment; that my bedroom would have the wrong proportions, mulling or flattening me out of my normal shape and squeezing me out of my own way of breathing; that the lights would be glaring and no reading lamp by my bed; that there would be sharp or clattering sounds outside, or bad smells without or within. Motoring in the Vendee or Poitou, in Spain or Greece as evening darkened, tired or even exhausted, I would wish the destination farther and farther away, for fear of what I should find when I reached it.
    When William Tazewell mentioned the word in a 1989 travel article in the New York Times, reader Louis Jay Herman wrote to add "a few more suggested contributions to the Hellenizing of the travel language":
    n. fear of having to cope with a foreign doctor
    n. fear of finding yourself in a foreign hospital
    n. fear of foreign pickpockets
    n. fear of high prices
    And cacohydrophobia, loosely translatable as Can I drink what comes out of the tap in this joint?
    The Loneliest Whale in the World
    Photo: The Loneliest Whale in the World  A lone whale with a voice unlike any other has been wandering the world's largest ocean for past 2 decades.  In 1989, a team of WHOI (Woods Hole Oceanic Institution) biologists first detected an unusual sound in the North Pacific Ocean. It had all the repetitive, low-frequency earmarks of a whale call, but at a unique frequency of 52 hertz, which was far higher than the normal 15-to-25-hertz range of blue or fin whales. The sound was detected again 1990 and 1991. (Source 4)  Later, with the end of the Cold War, the U.S. Navy partially declassified its Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS), a hydrophone network built to monitor Soviet submarines. Using SOSUS, the team picked up the lone call of the same 52-hertz whale and have tracked it every year since, as it roamed widely through the North Pacific, from offshore California to the Aleutian Islands off Alaska.  The whale has been dubbed
    A lone whale with a voice unlike any other has been wandering the world's largest ocean for the past 2 decades.
    In 1989, a team of WHOI (Woods Hole Oceanic Institution) biologists first detected an unusual sound in the North Pacific Ocean. It had all the repetitive, low-frequency earmarks of a whale call, but at a unique frequency of 52 hertz, which was far higher than the normal 15-to-25-hertz range of blue or fin whales. The sound was detected again 1990 and 1991.

    Later, with the end of the Cold War, the U.S. Navy partially declassified its Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS), a hydrophone network built to monitor Soviet submarines. Using SOSUS, the team picked up the lone call of the same 52-hertz whale and have tracked it every year since, as it roamed widely through the North Pacific, from offshore California to the Aleutian Islands off Alaska.

    The whale has been dubbed "52 hertz" and although scientists are uncertain of the species, it is surely a baleen whale, which is a group that includes blue, fin, and humpback whales. And it is precisely because of its unusual frequency that all of its calls and songs go unheard and unanswered, as most baleen whales will sing in the 15-25 hertz range.
    Scientists speculate that the unusual frequency could be because the whale is malformed, or it could possibly be a hybrid, or maybe even the last or only known individual of a previously unknown species.

    Although it may be disheartening to know this tale of the loneliest whale in the world singing alone for 2 decades in the Pacific, there is some reason for hope, too. 52 Hertz seems to be healthy, in spite of his loneliness. In fact, the whale even seems to be maturing normally.

    "The fact that this individual has been capable of existing in that harsh environment for so many years indicates there is nothing wrong with it," said Dr. Kate Stafford,a researcher at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle (source NY times).
    You can also hear its recordings over here:

    Also, the 52-Hertz whale doesn't follow a migration pattern of any other known baleen whale. Part of the gray whale's migration path covers the same turf as the 52-Hertz whale, but gray whales travel much further north.
    Hands Game
    Drones for Hire
    The newest eyes in the sky are drawing the attention of power companies, conservation groups, and the ACLU.
    Asteroid Watch
    A team of NASA alums is building a spacecraft to protect Earth - and you can help.
    John Haberle's 1889 trompe l'oeil masterpiece U.S.A. was such a faithful representation of a U.S. greenback that one could read the ironic government warning on the bill:
    "Counterfeiting, or altering this note, or passing any counterfeit or alteration of it, or having in possession any false or counterfeit plate or impression of it, or any paper made in imitation of the paper on which it is printed, is punishable by $5000 fine or 15 years at hard labor or both."
    More than one viewer took it for an actual bill. When the painting was installed at the Art Institute of Chicago, the art critic of The Chicago Inter-Ocean objected: "There is a fraud hanging on the Institute walls. ... It is that alleged still life by Haberle [in which] a $1 bill and the fragments of a $10 note have been pasted on canvas. ... That the management of the Art Institute should hang this kind of 'art' even though it were genuine, is to be regretted, but to lend itself to such a fraud ... is shameful."
    Haberle immediately took a train to Chicago and stood by while experts scrutinized the work through lenses, rubbed off paint, and declared it a genuine work of imitative art. The critic issued a public apology, acknowledging that others, including "Eastman Johnson, the dean of American figure and genre painters", had also been taken in by Haberle's works.
    Two friends were out drinking when suddenly one lurched backward off his barstool and lay motionless on the floor. "One thing about Jim," his buddy said to the bartender, "he knows when to stop."
    He who dies with the most toys, is, nonetheless, still dead.
    Character density: The number of very weird people in the office.
    "I like frogs because they get together in warm moist places and sing about sex."
    Dr. Seuss's Technical Manual

    What If Dr. Seuss Did Technical Writing?

    Here's an easy game to play.
    Here's an easy thing to say:

    If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
    And the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
    And the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
    Then the socket packet pocket has an error to report!

    If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
    And the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
    And your data is corrupted 'cause the index doesn't hash,
    Then your situation's hopeless, and your system's gonna crash!

    You can't say this?
    What a shame sir!
    We'll find you
    Another game sir.

    If the label on the cable on the table at your house,
    Says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
    But your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,
    That's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,

    And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss
    So your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,
    Then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
    'Cause as sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang!

    When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy on the disk,
    And the microcode instructions cause unnecessary risc,
    Then you have to flash your memory and you'll want to RAM your ROM.
    Quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your mom!
    But let's get real here guys, I mean who exactly are we kidding ? A husband controls his wife in much the same manner as a barometer controls the weather.
    A wish for Christmas

    It is around christmas time and santa is sitting in the middle of the mall in his big holiday setup.He has a line of kids lined up to sit on his lap and tell him what they want for christmas. As the line dwindles down; a little 5 year old boy comes up and sits on santas lap. Santa says to the little boy"I bet I know what you want for christmas". "I bet you want a puppy, P-U-P-P-Y"; touching the tip of the little boys nose with his finger after every letter of the word. The little boy responds"Nope".
    So santa again says"Then I bet you want a bike,B-I-K-E"; as he again touched the tip of the little boys nose with his finger. The little boy again said"Nope".
    Well santa's starting to get a little pissed off. So he thinks to himself that he'll try one more time. So he says to the little boy"I bet you want a fire engine,F-I-R-E-E-N-G-I-N-E"; once again touching the tip of the little boys nose with his finger after every letter of the word. Where to the little responds"Nope".
    Well at this time santa's really pissed off. So he says to the little boy "Then what the fuck do you want for christmas"?
    The little boy then looked at santa and said"I want some pussy, P-U-S-S-Y; and don't fucking tell me that you can't give me any because I can smell it on your finger"!
    Shark week reminder
    Here is another article---this one from Parade Magazine---where writers celebrate where they like to browse, read, and shop. Thought this might sound familiar to some of us.
    Journey to the world of Central Asia's shamans, who are called by spirits to heal bodies, minds, and souls.
    Pilgrims from throughout Mongolia come to mother trees like the one near Selenge Aymag, in the north, to offer tea, milk, vodka, and candy and to adorn the tree with ceremonial scarves called khadag, symbolizing their prayers and the blessings they seek.
    On April 10, 1818, John Cleves Symmes Jr. of Ohio issued the following challenge:
    To All The World. -- I declare the earth to be hollow and habitable within; containing a number of concentric spheres, one within the other, and that their poles are open twelve or sixteen degrees. I pledge my life in support of this truth, and am ready to explore the concave, if the world will support and aid me in the undertaking.
    I ask one hundred brave companions, well equipped, to start from Siberia, in autumn, with reindeer and sledges, on the ice of the Frozen Sea; I engage we find a warm country and rich land, stocked with thrifty vegetables and animals, if not men, on reaching about sixty-nine miles northward of latitude 82; we will return in the succeeding spring.
    Kentucky senator (and future vice president) Richard M. Johnson proposed that Congress fund two vessels for the expedition, but Congress voted this down. But we have an account of the voyage anyway: An anonymous hoaxer published Symzonia: A Voyage of Discovery under Symmes' name in 1820.
    Hole Hearted
    gardner geometric vanish
    Martin Gardner called this the proudest puzzle of his own devising. When the pieces on the left are rearranged as on the right, a hole appears in the center of the square. How is this possible?
    "I haven't the foggiest notion of how to succeed in inventing a good puzzle," he told the College Mathematics Journal. "I don't think psychologists understand much either about how mathematical discoveries are made. ... The creative act is still a mystery."
    A boat load filled with Viagra sank in Baltimore Harbor.
    They could not get the draw bridges down for a week.
    When I married my wife, she had a real hourglass figure.
    The sands of time have pretty much taken care of that though.
    "Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    "Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence." - Robert Fripp

    "Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die." - Carrie Fisher

    Turkey Liberation Front Escape
    "The tables are turned, Mr. Thanksgiving! Maybe just once, our noble friend the Turkey can spend the holiday with his own family. Gobble gobble gobble!"

    Ever wonder how far you could stretch a rubber turkey? Now you can find out! Eat as much corn as possible to keep flying.

    Things proven to change the course of Thanksgiving

    1. During the middle of the meal, turn to mom and say, "See mom, I told you they wouldn't notice that the turkey was four months past its expiration date. You were worried for nothing."
    2. When everyone goes around to say what they are thankful for, say, "I'm thankful I didn't get caught" and refuse to say anything more.
    3. Load your plate up high, then take it to the kitchen, toss it all in the blender, and take your "shake" back to the table. Announce that it's the new Thanksgiving Weight Loss Shake.
    4. Prepare a several hour long speech to give when asked about your thankfulness. If necessary, insist that no one leave or eat until you have finished the speech.
    5. Bring a date that only talks about the tragic and abusive conditions known to exist at turkey farms. Request that she bring photos.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    --William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming
    The Makapansgat Pebble
    makapansgat pebble
    Nearly 3 million years ago, an ancestor of modern humans picked this pebble out of a slow-flowing stream in southern Africa and carried it at least 4 kilometers to a cave, where it was discovered by Wilfred Eizman in 1925.
    Why would the creature have done this? Possibly because it recognized a face in the natural markings on the pebble's surface. If so, this is the earliest evidence of an aesthetic sense in human heritage.

    We all believed we could reach small audiences and advertisers would pay for that. But it did not pan out. The internet is mass media. Most of the business we get comes from the agencies, major marketers.--Nick Denton, Gawker Media

    If what you are doing is not working, doing MORE of that is not a way out.--Jaffer Ali, Entrepreneur, from 'AOL and Huffington Post'

    If my blinker is on…

    Click to enlarge…
    If my blinker is on

    They use everything about the hog except the squeal. --Upton Sinclair on the slaughterhouse from The Jungle

    Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.--Miyamoto Musashi

    [I]n the world of knowledge the idea of good appears last of all, and is seen only with an effort; and, when seen, is also inferred to be the universal author of all things beautiful and right. - Book VII, Plato's Republic

    "New research shows that eating organic foods can make people more arrogant and judgmental. In fact, eating just one handful of organic bean sprouts has the same effect as driving 1,000 miles in a Prius." -Jay Leno

    "A new study shows current members of Congress speak at a 10th grade level. When reached for comment, Congressman Eric Cantor said, 'Nuh-uh!'" -Conan O'Brien

    "A new study found that heavy drinkers outlive non-drinkers, but the ways they die are a lot more embarrassing." -Jimmy Fallon

    A group of tourists were watching the re-enactment of an ancient Egyptian religious ritual. One turned to a nearby local, pointed to the statue that was being praised and asked, "Pardon me, but what was the name of that god supposed to be?"

    "Why do you ask?" the man replied.

    The tourist shrugged. "Just idol curiosity, I guess."
    Binoculars to reduce pain?

    Yes, it turns out that you can use binoculars to reduce pain in your aching limbs. Just looking through the binoculars at the affected limb decreases the pain considerably, but, and here's the interesting part, it will happen only if you look at it from the wrong end of the binoculars, thus making the image look smaller than it really is.

    Researchers at Oxford published a study in the Nov. 25th, 2008 issue of 'Current Biology' (Source 1) in which they claimed that by manipulating the appearance of a chronically achy hand, they could increase or decrease the pain and even swelling itself in patients with aching limbs.
    The researchers tried the method in 10 patients with chronic pain and found that the pain in the limbs was considerably reduced with the above method. But the more interesting part came when they discovered that along with the pain, the swelling also was reduced with the help of binoculars.

    G. Lorimer Moseley, one of the researchers, said, "The brain is capable of many wonderful things based on its perception of how the body is doing and the risks to which the body seems to be exposed." (Source 2)

    This is very much similar to the case of V.S. Ramachandran's technique of reducing phantom limb pain (or even "amputating" the phantom limb) which we have covered earlier:

    According to the researchers, on many occasions, the experience of pain is directly proportionate to the brain's perception of danger to the affected limb. And if it looks bigger, it looks more sore and more swollen and the brain acts to protect it (in effect, yelling "Don't touch"). Thus, by reversing the effect with the help of looking at the aching part from the other end of the binoculars, the pain and swelling can be reduced.
    Healthy Living from

    We put together 25 mouthwatering recipes that are seasonal and meat-free. You
    don't have to be a vegetarian or vegan to love these tasty meals. Enjoy!

    Here's how to banish dry, winter skin

    What to eat to keep your system running smoothly

    11 mistakes women make, and how to avoid them
    Pelicans blown astray by superstorm Sandy get a plane ride
    Two brown pelicans blown to Rhode Island by the winds of Hurricane Sandy were flown in a private plane back to their natural habitat in Florida…
    The first of the large birds, whose wingspans measure 6 to 7 feet, was found on the side of a road at Fishermen’s Memorial State Park on November 7, nine days after the storm made landfall in New Jersey, said Jennifer Brooks, clinic director at the Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island. The bird, a juvenile likely from a nest in North Carolina, had been tagged by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and records showed it was presumed to have died, she said.
    The second pelican landed on a fishing boat about 120 miles south of Block Island the following day, she said. The crew of the boat, which provides fish to SeaWorld theme parks, fed the bird for several days before docking.
    They were a little bit thin, they were a little beat up from the storm,” Brooks said of the birds. They had lost tail feathers and suffered scratches to their throat pouches, which are prone to frostbite in northern climates, Brooks said.
    They were scheduled to be flown in containers similar to dog crates in a small private plane on Saturday to the Mary Keller Seabird Rehabilitation Sanctuary in Florida, she said. The cost of the flight — about $2,000 — will be covered by public donations, Brooks said.
    QUOTE: "We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures."

    HINT: (1897-1975), American playwright and novelist.

    ANSWER: Thornton Wilder.


    Life Goes On
    A tombstone from "a well-known town in the north, Gateshead," from Henry Sampson's History of Advertising From the Earliest Times, 1875:
    "Do tripe and trotters after all produce a prosaic condition of the human mind suggested by this tombstone, or would the relict of Jeremy have done as she did had her wares been of a different kind?" asks Sampson. "In the interests of the edibles referred to, for which we must confess a weakness, we trust she would."

    The most familiar story of the first Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth Colony, in present-day Massachusetts, in 1621. More than 200 years later, President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving. Congress finally made Thanksgiving Day an official national holiday in 1941.

    Sarah Josepha Hale, the enormously influential magazine editor and author who waged a tireless campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday in the mid-19th century, was also the author of the classic nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

    In 2001, the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative Thanksgiving stamp. Designed by the artist Margaret Cusack in a style resembling traditional folk-art needlework, it depicted a cornucopia overflowing with fruits and vegetables, under the phrase "We Give Thanks."

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Minnesota is the top turkey-producing state in America, with a planned production total of 46.5 million in 2011. Six states-Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia, and Indinia-account for nearly two-thirds of the 248 million turkeys that will be raised in the U.S. this year.

    Originally known as Macy's Christmas Parade-to signify the launch of the Christmas shopping season-the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in New York City in 1924. It was launched by Macy's employees and featured animals from the Central Park Zoo. Today, some 3 million people attend the annual parade and another 44 million watch it on television.

    The first time the Detroit Lions played football on Thanksgiving Day was in 1934, when they hosted the Chicago Bears at the University of Detroit stadium, in front of 26,000 fans. The NBC radio network broadcast the game on 94 stations across the country--the first national Thanksgiving football broadcast. Since that time, the Lions have played a game every Thanksgiving (except between 1939 and 1944); in 1956, fans watched the game on television for the first time.

    Many people trace the origins of the modern Thanksgiving Day to the harvest celebration that the Pilgrims held in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. However, their first true thanksgiving was in 1623, when they gave thanks for rain that ended a drought. These early thanksgivings took the form of a special church service, rather than a feast.

    Random Facts:

    In the second half of the 1600s, thanksgivings after the harvest became more common and started to become annual events. However, it was celebrated on different days in different communities and in some places there were more than one thanksgiving each year. George Washington, the first president of the United States, proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving Day in 1789.

    Not everyone sees Thanksgiving Day as a cause for celebration. Each year since 1970, a group of Native Americans and their supporters have staged a protest for a National Day of Mourning at Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts on Thanksgiving Day.

    Q and A Quickies

    Q: Why didn't the turkey eat dessert?
    A: He was stuffed!

    Q: Which side of the turkey has the most feathers?
    A: The outside!

    Q: What sound does a space turkey make?
    A: Hubble, hubble, hubble.

    Q: What do Hippies put on their Thanksgiving potatoes?
    A: Groovy!

    Q: Why did they let the turkey join the band?
    A: Because he had the drumsticks!

    Q: What's the best thing to put into a pumpkin pie?
    A: Your teeth!

    Tree-hugging, techno-hippies and trigger-happy, redneck, gun nuts are at war in Berks County, Pa. And shit just got real.

    An animal rights group called Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, or SHARK, is in the midst of a campaign against the Wing Pointe commercial hunting grounds in Hamburg, Berks County and its live pigeon shoots. Recently SHARK began to use a remote-controlled "Octocopter" equipped with a high tech video camera to secretly record the pigeon shoots as they happen.

    This did not "fly" well with the hunting club members.

    You can imagine what happened to an unwanted spy drone flying over private property filled with men with guns.

    "The pigeon shooters are basically going into hiding," said Steve Hindi, president of SHARK. "So they're using a ring that's up a hill and completely surrounded by trees. So the only way you can get to it is through the air."

    Hindi said he heard a single gunshot before they lost the camera feed and the drone went down. The police are investigating the incident.

    Unfortunately for SHARK, the pigeon shoots are perfectly legal, and since this is the fourth time this kind of thing has happened with no results whatsoever, it looks like the only thing SHARK is accomplishing is giving the hunters something else to shoot at in addition to pigeons.

    38M Americans shop online from toilet
    PORTLAND, Maine - More than 38 million Americans have shopped online while sitting on the toilet, a CashStar survey showed. The poll also suggests almost 17 million people have shopped via a mobile device while standing in the retailer's physical store; 9 million have secretly shopped while in a business meeting; and 4 million have shopped online while driving a car. The survey was conducted online nationwide by Harris Interactive on behalf of CashStar from Nov. 6-8, among 2,104 U.S. online adults ages 18 and older. The calculation was based on the U.S. Census Bureau's 2011 Census, which estimates there are 237,744,632 million adults ages 18 and older residing in the United States
    Popping Corn One Kernel at a Time
    Design students Laurent Beirnaert, Pierre Bouvier, and Paul Tubiana created "Oncle Sam," a machine that pops popcorn one kernel at a time. It can even butter and salt each individual kernel! Not all that efficient, but as an art project it's fun to watch. The contraption is part of a French exhibit called "Low Tech Factory." See a video of it working at Laughing Squid. Link
    Headline of the Day
    The Daily Mail has a story about, well, it really doesn't matter what it's about and who can tell from the headline anyway, but don't you just love the way they string words together? Link -via Boing Boing
    Between 1932 and 2002, messages addressed to 221B Baker Street in London were delivered to the Abbey National Building Society, whose headquarters occupied that address. The society received hundreds of letters each year from around the globe and employed a secretary to answer them. Many concerned rather ordinary mysteries (Can Mr. Holmes suggest how a girl might find out if a boy likes her? Mr. Holmes thinks you will have to ask the boy outright), but in 1985 this telegram arrived:
    It had been sent from Raunheim, West Germany. No further messages followed.
    Chocolate Express
    People all over the world - join hands. Start a chocolate train, a chocolate train. That's how that song goes right? I think I might prefer a chocolate train (photo L'Avenir) over a love train. Love can be tough, but chocolate... ...chocolate is always there for you. Chocolate doesn't let you down or leave you for that football player two times your size.
    Created by "master chocolatier" Andrew Farrugia of Malta, this is a choo-choo train made entirely of chocolate. It's 2,755 pounds of fine Belgian chocolate and is about 111 feet long. That's 6.5 million calories.
    Farrugia got the idea for the train last year, when visiting Belgian Chocolate Festival in Bruge. ”I had this idea for a while, and I said what do you think if we do this realization of a long chocolate train, you know, because a train you can make it as long as you like,” he told the press.
    Trivia Tidbit: Roseanne Barr placed fifth in the presidential election a couple weeks ago garnering 48,000 votes.
    Follow instructions


    If u can read this4
    Every neighborhood party that I've been to (and every one that we've hosted) has wound up with guests congregating in the kitchen area. Some may view this as a response to childhood memories of the pleasures to be found in a kitchen, or even as an aboriginal tendency wired in our genes. A Wall Street Journal article understandably focuses on the truly immense size of some modern home kitchens -
    At the highest end, some are over 3,000 square feet, outfitted with walk-in refrigeration rooms, multiple seating areas, wet bars and fireplaces, with fixtures and décor intentionally designed to look like hip living rooms. In some cases, much of the actual cooking is being relegated to a second, smaller kitchen space, so that the main kitchen can be used for entertaining—minus the unsavory dirty dishes or cooking smells.
    - but they note that even in conventional homes, the kitchen is becoming more important -
    According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average floor area of the kitchen has increased by about 50% from 1973 to 2007, when the average kitchen size topped out at 303 square feet, or about 12% of a home's overall space.
    - and more integrated into the adjacent living spaces. and architects say space they once allotted to formal living rooms and dining rooms is now reserved for the kitchen-centric great room. Jeffrey Collé, a Hamptons-based designer/builder, says his latest custom homes include "country kitchens," open spaces that include large casual living rooms... Mass builders are now offering new model homes with their largest, most open kitchens ever. Steve Ruffner, the president of KB Homes' Southern California division, says the company introduced a kitchen/great room model about five years ago, replacing the formal dining room in many homes.
    I've noticed that at parties there's even a tendency for guests to "pitch in" with the cleanup, rinsing dishes and putting away garbage. Whether that winds up as a net positive for the host probably depends on the degree of intoxication of the guests.
    Hybrid bears are described in Wikipedia:
    A grizzly–polar bear hybrid (also pizzly bear, prizzly bear, or grolar bear) is a rare ursid hybrid that has occurred both in captivity and in the wild.

    On 8 April 2010, David Kuptana, an Inuvialuit hunter from the nearby community of Ulukhaktok on Victoria Island shot what he thought was a polar bear. After inspecting the bear and having its DNA tested, it was discovered that the bear's mother was a grizzly-polar hybrid and the father was a grizzly bear. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the NWT said that it "...may be the first recorded second-generation polar-grizzly bear hybrid found in the wild". The bear possesses physical characteristics intermediate between grizzlies and polar bears, such as brown fur on its paws, long claws and a grizzly-like head...

    Since the 2006 discovery placed the hybrid into the spotlight, the media have referred to this animal with several portmanteau names, such as pizzly, grolar bear, and polizzly, but there is no consensus on the use of any one of these terms. Canadian wildlife officials have suggested calling the hybrid "nanulak", taken from the Inuit names for polar bear (nanuk) and grizzly bear (aklak). By one convention, the name of the sire comes first in such combinations: the offspring of a male polar bear and a female grizzly would be the suggested nanulak or a "pizzly bear", while the offspring of a male grizzly and a female polar bear would be a "grolar bear" or possibly an aknuk.You learn something every day.
    Inside each of the potatoes’ cells are hundreds of granules... Inside those granules is a clear, thick paste of starch that the plant manufactured during its photosynthesis days as nourishment for its future generations.

    Break open too many of those granules, letting too much of the starch paste leak out, and you’ll end up with pasty mashed potatoes. So unless you want to use the result for affixing wallpaper, don’t use a food processor or a blender. Their high-powered blades can reduce the potatoes to a puree, which is great for juicy, non-starchy fruits and vegetables. But by the time a potato is squished to that degree, most of its starch granules have been torn open, spilling their gluey contents.

    Mixers can do both mixing and beating/aerating. However, beating potatoes in a mixer in an attempt to make them fluffy is almost as bad as using a blender. It’s okay to use a mixer on very low speed to distribute additives such as butter and milk. But beating them too vigorously will break down their starch granules into glue just as a blender does.
    Additional details (and four additional "food flubs" re frozen turkey, turkey skin, gravy, and cranberry sauce) at the Washington Post.
    Strong clothing was a rather euphemistic term used to describe certain forms of restraint used in late 19th century asylums. While chains, strait-jackets (known as strait-waistcoats) and similar garments were outlawed during the ‘non-restraint’ movement of the 1840s and ’50s, other methods of ‘mechanical restraint’ were permitted by the Commissioners in Lunacy (the government body who inspected and licensed asylums for much of the 19th century). The intention of strong clothing (including strong dresses and padded gloves) was to protect patients, both preventing self-inflicted injury and the destruction of their clothing.

    “Strong dresses,” as described by Bethlem Superintendent George Savage in 1888, were “made of stout linen or woollen material, and lined throughout with flannel. The limbs are all free to move, but the hands are enclosed in the extremities of the dress, which are padded. …There are no strait-waistcoats, handcuffs, or what may be called true instruments of restraint in Bethlem”. Savage claimed that, by avoiding recourse to the use of sedatives or padded cells for violent or destructive patients, many “were thus really granted liberty by means of the slight restraint put upon them”.
    The embedded photo is by Jane Fradgley, who photographed a collection of strong clothing housed at the Bethlem Royal Hospital Archive & Museum, Beckenham, Kent. Her photos are currently on display at Guy's Hospital. Details at Morbid Anatomy.
    Fitness Protection
    Fitness protection
    The Peanuts gang has a TV special for every other holiday; Jimmy Kimmel figured why not for Black Friday? -via Tastefully Offensive
    How to get the girl
    Billy is demonstrating different ways to behave at the dinner table. Billy needs therapy, or at least constant supervision. This video contains language that may be deemed a bit rude in the workplace. -via Buzzfeed

    Disabled elderly pregnant children?

    Is that even possible?
    Pregnant children sign
    Jean-François Oeben, a French cabinet maker, built this astonishingly complex and precisely crafted desk. It's filled with several hidden compartments that become accessible when a key turns interior gears.
    The Traditional Thanksgiving Eel
    Turkey? No, thanks. I want a traditional Thanksgiving--the way the Pilgrims did theirs. Two years ago, James Prosek wrote in The New York Times that the original Thanksgiving feast may have been upon freshwater eels:
    Indeed, eel was the dinner that Pilgrims were given on the very day after they made peace with Massasoit, the sachem, or leader, of the region. The following account is from “Mourt’s Relation,” mostly written by a Plymouth resident, Edward Winslow: “Squanto went at noon to fish for eels. At night he came home with as many as he could well lift in one hand, which our people were glad of. They were fat and sweet. He trod them out with his feet, and so caught them with his hands without any other instrument.”
    So who's up for some eel on Thursday?
    Carlin on stupid people
    The Epic Meal Time guys put together a Thanksgiving feast featuring a pig stuffed with a stuffed turkey (by Chef Zadi), brown goo, and a fast-food lasagna, among other dishes. And then they served it at Someone Cares Soup Kitchen. Warning: NSFW language. -via reddit

    Thanksgiving is about
    Taking his seat in his chambers, the judge faced the opposing lawyers.
    “So,” he said, “I have been presented, by both of you, with a bribe.”
    Both lawyers squirmed uncomfortably.
    “You, attorney Leon, gave me $15,000.
    And you, attorney Campos, gave me $10,000.” The judge reached into his pocket and pulled out a check.
    He handed it to Leon …
    “Now then, I’m returning $5,000, and we’re going to decide this case solely on its merits.”
    'This is the ultimate way I am going to live my life...
    When I stand before God at the end of my life,
    I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left,
    and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.'

    ~ Erma Bombeck
    Thanks Phlax ~
    Sorry for sloppy haphazard editing this week ~ I've been preoccupied and out having fun ~ Went to the fundraiser for Dress For Success the other night and had a eat time ~ and now I am getting psyched up to see.....
    The Wizards of Winter, The Trans Siberian Orchestra,
    performing The Lost Christmas Eve concert tonight.

    Psyching up ~ listening to the new album ~

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