Friday, February 22, 2013

Paws & Claws ~ February 3, 2013 ~ MY Miracle-child's Birthday & Superbowl Sunday

"The whales do not sing because they have an answer,
they sing because they have a song."
~ Gregory Colbert ~
Thanks, Dana
Full Moon Silhouettes
Video Credit & Copyright: Mark Gee; Music: Tenderness (Dan Phillipson)
Explanation: Have you ever watched the Moon rise? The slow rise of a nearly full moon over a clear horizon can be an impressive sight. One impressive moonrise was imaged two nights ago over Mount Victoria Lookout in Wellington, New Zealand. With detailed planning, an industrious astrophotographer placed a camera about two kilometers away and pointed it across the lookout to where the Moon would surely soon be making its nightly debut. The above single shot sequence is unedited and shown in real time -- it is not a time lapse. People on Mount Victoria Lookout can be seen in silhouette themselves admiring the dawn of Earth's largest satellite. Seeing a moonrise yourself is not difficult: it happens every day, although only half the time at night. Each day the Moon rises about fifty minutes later than the previous day, with a full moon always rising at sunset.
2013 February
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.
Atlas V Launches TDRS-K
Image Credit & Copyright: Ben Cooper (Launch Photography)
Explanation: Beyond a fertile field of satellite communication antennas at Kennedy Space Center, an Atlas V rocket streaks into orbit in this long exposure photograph. In the thoughtfully composed image recorded on the evening of January 30, the antennas in the foreground bring to mind the rocket's payload, a Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS; sounds like TEE-dress). This TDRS-K is the first in a next-generation series adding to the constellation of NASA's communication satellites. Operating from geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles (36,000 kilometers) above planet Earth, the network of TDRS satellites relays communications, data, and commands between spacecraft and ground stations. Formerly the TDRS network provided communications for space shuttle missions. In fact, many TDRS satellites were ferried as far as low Earth orbit on space shuttles. The TDRS network continues to support major spacecraft like the International Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.
2013 January
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.
In the Center of the Trifid Nebula
Image Credit: Subaru Telescope (NAOJ), Hubble Space Telescope, Martin Pugh; Processing: Robert Gendler
Explanation: Clouds of glowing gas mingle with dust lanes in the Trifid Nebula, a star forming region toward the constellation of the Archer (Sagittarius). In the center, the three prominent dust lanes that give the Trifid its name all come together. Mountains of opaque dust appear on the right, while other dark filaments of dust are visible threaded throughout the nebula. A single massive star visible near the center causes much of the Trifid's glow. The Trifid, also known as M20, is only about 300,000 years old, making it among the youngest emission nebulae known. The nebula lies about 9,000 light years away and the part pictured here spans about 10 light years. The above image is a composite with luminance taken from an image by the 8.2-m ground-based Subaru Telescope, detail provided by the 2.4-m orbiting Hubble Space Telescope, color data provided by Martin Pugh and image assembly and processing provided by Robert Gendler.
Apollo 16: Driving on the Moon
Explanation: What would it be like to drive on the Moon? You don't have to guess -- humans have actually done it. Pictured above, Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charles Duke recorded video during one such drive in 1972, with a digital version now available on the web. No matter which direction it headed, the Lunar Rover traveled a path literally covered with rocks and craters. The first half of the above video shows the rover zipping about a moonscape near 10 kilometers per hour, while the second half shows a dash-cam like view. The Lunar Rover was deployed on the later Apollo missions as a way for astronauts to reach and explore terrain further from the Lunar Module basecamp than was possible by walking in cumbersome spacesuits. Possible future lunar missions that might deploy robotic rovers capable of beaming back similar videos include those by China, Russia, India, and Google X-Prize contestants.
William F. Buckley Jr. called Norman Mailer an egotist, “almost unique in his search for notoriety and absolutely unequalled in his co-existence with it.”
Mailer called Buckley a “second-rate intellect incapable of entertaining two serious thoughts in a row.”
In 1966 Buckley sent Mailer an autographed copy of The Unmaking of a Mayor, the memoir of his unsuccessful run for mayor of New York City the previous year.
Mailer turned to the index and looked up his own name. There he found, in Buckley’s handwriting, the words “Hi, Norman.”
Dana Stabenow on BBC
Duration: 7 minutes
The Alaskan crime writer talks about her feisty detective heroine
Need an author to come give a presentation?
Find one here on this new Sisters in Crime interactive map.
Sisters in Crime Author Search
To find a current Sisters in Crime member, click on a state above or fill in any of the search fields on the right.
Dear Reader
Tell me what type of books you like to read and each day I'll email you a short 5-minute excerpt from a book that I've hand picked for you. You can enjoy my daily excerpts with your morning cup of coffee and before long I'll have you hooked on a book.
How to Make Your Own Mason Jar Oil Candle
Friday, Feb 1, 2013 is Wear Red Day
Are you the type that plans out what you’re wearing for the whole week? Or do you just play it by ear every morning? Either way, on Feb. 1, 2013 plan on wearing red to show your commitment and passion for fighting this cause. Because by the end of the day, everyone should know why Women Go Red.
Healthy Living from

Fruits and vegetables are great for your health, and even better for your
waistline. But there are superfoods that can help ward off ailments ranging from
heart disease to the common cold.

You could win a fabulous trip to the Caribbean!

10 meals for strong teeth and bones

Time to switch? Here are the pros and cons of each
I recently had surgery on my hand, and asked the doctor if, after surgery, I would be able to play the banjo.
He said, "I'm doing surgery on your hand, not giving you a lobotomy."
When Steven Spielberg dropped out of college in 1968, he was only a few credits short of a diploma.
So in 2002, after winning three Oscars, five honorary doctorates, and two lifetime achievement awards, he returned to California State University, Long Beach, to complete a degree in film and electronic arts.
He placed out of FEA 309, the advanced filmmaking class. To demonstrate his proficiency, he submitted Schindler’s List.
Sleeping Lady (Susitna) at sunset
The legend has it that the lady's betrothed went off to make peace with another tribe;
while he was gone, she tired and lay down to rest.
Her betrothed was killed by the other tribe,
and no one had the desire to wake her for the news;
so she sleeps on even today.
Thanks, Dana TP
The company president called the chief security guard into his office. "Chuck, we've received a complaint from one of the employees that you are making obscene sexual comments and putting your hands where they don't
belong. These unwanted advances will have to stop."
Chuck looked down at his feet and mumbled, "I'm sorry, Sir. I won't' do it again."
The company president said, "I'm sure Ms. Jones will be happy to hear that."
Chuck's face lit up. "Ms Jones?!!!! I was afraid that Bob in Accounting was complaining!!!!"
8 Unusual Uses For Antiseptic Mouthwash
Antiseptic mouthwash is designed to kill germs in your mouth and keep your teeth clean. It's those very properties that make mouthwash a perfect cleaner and disinfectant for other surfaces in your home too. So grab a bottle of Listerine and try these eight unusual ideas for yourself!

Tip: All of these tactics should only be attempted with a sugar-free, alcohol-based antiseptic mouthwash. At a few bucks a bottle, you can't go wrong!

Home-brewed prostheses created using 3D printers

When Ivan Owen from Washington State posted a video of his handmade mechanical hand prop on YouTube, little did he expect that he would be contacted by Richard Van As, a South African amputee and fellow craftsman living 10,000 miles away. Together, they designed and built a working prosthetic finger for Richard that we covered last October. After raising money to build more prototypes, the two went on to complete an entire prosthetic hand for a young boy named Liam who was born without fingers on his right hand, the design of which they are sharing online free of charge.
According to the International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO), there are some 32 million amputees in the world today, around 80 percent of whom live in developing countries where only five percent have been fitted with an artificial limb. It is estimated that 200,000 people lost a limb as a result of the 2010 Haiti earthquake alone. Two low-cost, printable prostheses highlight the potential impact 3D printing could have on the quality of life for millions as the technology becomes more accessible around the world.
More in the article. Geeks are truly opening the door to inventive prosthesis design and comparatively affordable prices.
Thanks, Ed
JUST POSTED: StarTalk Radio's listener questions on Exploration. With comedienne Leighann Lord co-hosting. Download from iTunes or from here:
In our latest Cosmic Queries episode, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Leighann Lord answer your questions about exploration. From the depths of the ocean to the outer reaches of the galaxy and beyond, the two explore practical questions about the most efficient way for humans to get into space on a recurring basis (Space Elevator vs. chemical rocket), the likelihood of NASA using ion propulsion thrusters for travel within our solar system, and the feasibility of an interstellar probe to Alpha Centauri using existing technology. They also tackle theoretical questions, such as whether we’ll ever be capable of generating enough power to explore the higher dimensions, leading to a discussion of the book, Flatland.
The Skeptics' Guide To The Universe
The Reader's Bill of Rights
The right not to read
The right to skip pages
The right not to finish
The right to reread
The right to read anything
The right to escapism
The right to read anywhere
The right to browse.
The right to read out loud.
The right to not defend your tastes.
Pennac, Daniel. Better Than Life. 1994
The last straw with autocorrect
Huge cameltoe

Journey to the Super Bowl

Thanks, maniac Mike
20 Most Effective Super Bowl Ads
Ty Dana S
Pictorial Websters
Ty Dana S
Calendula Gardener Lotion Bar

3 tbsp. beeswax pellets
2 tbsp. regular cocoa butter
3 tbsp. shea butter
2 tbsp. sweet almond oil
2 tbsp. calendula oil
¼ tsp. vitamin E acetate
soap bar mold
glass measuring cup
small saucepan
popsicle stick for stirring
optional – essential oils

1. Mix ingredients together in a very clean glass measuring cup. To create a double-boiler, place the cup in a large pot filled with enough water to come half-way up the height of the cup.

2. Heat the mixture on medium heat, stirring until all ingredients (except essential oils) are blended together.
3. Remove from heat and add, if desired, several drops of essential oil for fragrance.
4. Pour into a mold and let cool for approximately 30 minutes before popping the bar out of the mold.
5. To package as a gift, wrap in a cello bag and tie or staple a handmade gift tag, silk flower or decorative ribbon to the package.
A 120-Year-Old Mechanical Device that Perfectly Mimics the Song of a Bird.
NASA’s going to punch the moon with robots
Impressive: conservationists have eradicated all rats from Rabada Island in the Galapagos. By Henry Nicholls.
Alexis Madrigal, Becca Rosen, and Megan Garber tell you about the year in technology.
“Restless genes” by David Dobbs, about the genetics and other factors behind the human urge to explore, is one of the best science stories of the year, let alone the week. It’s beautifully written without sacrificing nuance. I know David personally, and I know how much he agonises about capturing the complexity of the science that he covers. And when someone does that, and puts in the work, you get results like this.
Giant crabs are marching on Antarctica. Douglas Fox narrates their invasion.
The Bizarre, Beetle-Biased World of Social Insect Exploitation
A superb post by Dana Hunter on Mt St Helens’ legendary explosion. And there’s apparently a “volcanal explosivity index“…
"Light Bright Shining" Poem by Mary Tallmountain
Companion to me in every place,You stretch your hand: I see
Majesties of mountains
Crowned with living light.
Your arm flings wide: I see
Wild little islands wrapt in fog
Grey luminous; hidden folds
Of emerald and ermine earth.
I fly free clean through glowing
Cat's eye aquamarine
Filled with light air breath
Swaddled in this cocoon
This dense and lifeless mass
Yet weightless I
soaring with it shall be for you
Light bright shining.
Fred Astaire composed a unique dance solo for 1951′s Royal Wedding — he celebrates his love for Sarah Churchill by dancing on the walls and ceiling of his hotel room.
The effect was produced by situating the entire room in a steel-reinforced cylindrical chamber 20 feet in diameter, which the crew could turn as Astaire danced. Cameraman Robert Planck was strapped to a board that rotated with the set, producing the illusion that the room was stationary and that the dancer was freed from gravity.
The details required further trickery. “Fred’s coat was sewed to the chair, and the chair was screwed to the floor,” remembered director Stanley Donen. The photograph that Astaire admires is fitted with magnets. “The draperies were made of wood. There’s nothing soft in the shot. There was only one cut during the sequence — while he is at midpoint on the wall, necessitated by having to change the roll of film. We rehearsed this [scene] for weeks and filmed it in one morning. … We were literally through with the entire sequence by lunch.”
Imbolc Gingerbread Celtic knot Cookies
The director of renal transplantation at the University of Minnesota argues that people should be allowed to sell one of their kidneys.
An article about flesh-eating beetles (dermestid beetles), with a video of their use in the laboratory.

Beer consumed in ancient Nubia contained a potent antibiotic (tetracycline), from contamination of the grain used in brewing the beer.
A new fish has been named after Barack Obama. "Etheostoma Obama, is a relatively skinny orange and blue speckled fish topped by a brilliant fan-shaped fin, with bold orange stripes."

How to make "surprise balls" (a cool way to wrap up small gifts).
A Wall Street Journal article explains how to make money selling mud as a beauty treatment.
Here is an discussion of what can happen if you are not nice to a hotel clerk.

The former editor of the OED "covertly deleted thousands of words because of their foreign origins and bizarrely blamed previous editors."

Godchecker is a website where you can look up information on 3,000 gods, including the one you believe in.
The sum of all the numbers on a roulette wheel is 666.
The "Wind Map" depicts a live representation of wind direction and velocity in the United States. It's beautiful because it's in constant motion.
The mysterious "bloop sound" that was once attributed to whales or unknown marine life, has now been ascribed to "icequakes."
'Odd little creature' skips sex and eats DNA
By hunting for DNA to provide diversity, the asexual bdelloids may avoid extinction
The tiny, all-female bdelloid rotifers have endured the past 80 million years without sex. New research shows that gobbling up foreign DNA from other simple life-forms might be the asexual animal's secret to survival.

Photographing a Giant Sequoia follow-up

How do you photograph a 3,200-year-old giant sequoia that rises 247 feet from the ground? Michael “Nick” Nichols did it by stitching together 126 images into one fantastic photo of an absolutely majestic tree.
Thanks for finding the video clip, Ed, It made the picture come alive!
New definition of the “Goldilocks Zone” puts Earth right on the edge of habitability
For a planet to qualify as being habitable, it needs to meet certain conditions, including the ability to support liquid water on the surface, and atmospheric pressure high enough for water to exist without boiling off to vapor. It also needs an atmosphere that can alter the transfer of radiation to and from the surface (à la greenhouse effect). For a planet to have these characteristics, it obviously needs to be in the right place.
But as Kopparapu's work now reveals, the habitable zone wasn't exactly where astrobiologists and astronomers thought it was — but they weren't off by much. Moskowitz explains:
The new definition of the habitable zone is based on updated atmospheric databases called HITRAN (high-resolution transmission molecular absorption) and HITEMP (high-temperature spectroscopic absorption parameters), which give the absorption parameters of water and carbon dioxide - two properties that strongly influence the atmospheres of exoplanets, determining whether those planets could host liquid water...
...The new definition isn't radically different from the old one. For example, in our own solar system, the boundaries of the habitable zone have shifted from between 0.95 astronomical units (AU, or the distance between Earth and the sun) and 1.67 AU, to the new range of 0.99 AU to 1.7 AU.
Consequently, the Earth appears to sit quite close to the inner edge of the habitable zone — an unexpected revelation!
If I'm walking, then I must be running.
However if I'm running, I may be walking.
What am I?

A treadmill

QUOTE: "Television has done much for psychiatry by spreading information about it, as well as contributing to the need for it."

HINT: (1899-1980), English film director and producer who pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres.

ANSWER: Alfred Hitchcock.



The first pay-per-view concert shown on television occurred in 1962. It featured The Kingston Trio performing at Madison Square Garden, and access to the program, using a technology called Phonevision, cost $1.50.

The first company to advertise on television was watchmaker Bulova, whose name appeared on screen for a few seconds preceding a baseball game the afternoon of July 1, 1941, between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

While Star Trek's Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura are widely credited with the first black/white kiss on network television, William Shatner revealed in his autobiography that their lips never actually "met" - it only looked that way on screen thanks to the camera angle.

Telethons have been around since the earliest days of television. Milton Berle hosted the first one on WNBT in New York in 1949, when celebrities gathered to help raise more than $1 million for the Damon Runyon Cancer fund.

The first television show to utilize "open" captions, that is, captions visible onscreen without special closed captioning equipment, was PBS's The French Chef.

Character actress Doris Parker was the first to utter the word "damn" on a network sitcom. She dropped the "d" bomb on an episode of My Favorite Martian that originally aired on March 28, 1965.


Is plastic really bad for us? Hardly. Misusing plastic is bad for us. Improperly disposing of plastic is bad for us. Dumping ton after ton of plastic garbage in the ocean until there is a literal island of it floating in the middle of the Pacific is bad. But plastic as a material is an invaluable product.

Replacing the plastic packaging that is in use today, according to one European study, would use four times as much material from other sources, like paper or aluminum. The key reason why: Plastic is lightweight. Your typical plastic quart milk jug, according to studies, is about 90 percent lighter than its equivalent glass container and about 30 percent lighter than a paper carton. Less packaging means less waste and less energy spent on transport.

A 2007 analysis looked closely at the environmental impact of half-gallon milk jugs, and again plastic fared well. The typical high-density polyethylene, or HDPE, jug was lighter than other alternatives, required less energy to produce, and generated in its life cycle (including shipping) less than half the greenhouse gas emissions of glass and 25 percent less than paper milk cartons. The study confirmed that plastic's major benefit is the fact that it's lightweight.

There are a number of studies that have showed that even though plastics are made from petroleum, they use less petrol-chemical energy than glass!

There are these benefits, the plastics industry points out, and then there's the obvious one: Plastics are recyclable, able in most cases to be used over and over again. The problem is, Americans, even as global warming becomes more and more accepted, don't take recycling seriously. In 2006, Americans consumed more than 29 million tons of plastic, but recycled just 2 million tons of it, a paltry 7 percent.
A flat nachos chip doesn't hold enough toppings or dip. Sure, you can buy chips that are scoop-shaped, but homemade nachos not only taste great, but impress party guests. Here's how to make the perfect scoop-shaped nachos in a mini muffin pan.
Next step: custom chip. Chips are, of course, made from corn tortilas. So making your own chip is really not that big a deal: You just fry a corn tortila. No problem. Getting the tortilla into the muffin divot: a little bit more of a problem. You can't just cram the thing, because it will just crumple up, consuming all the space that is reserved for cheese. Never forget: This is about cheese.

In order to make a chip that fit in the tray perfectly, we enlisted the help of staff writer Jamie Condliffe, who also happens to have a Phd in engineering. We got the dimensions of the muffin divots—top diameter, internal diameter, and height of the sides—and then used CAD to figure out a shape that would fold perfectly into the muffin tin.
The rather geeky instructions for making your own scoop-shaped chips to hold and contain the perfect amount of cheese, salsa, sour cream, and other delicious additions are at Gizmodo. Link-via Nag on the Lake
Beachcombing is a relaxing and sometimes rewarding pastime for many. Sometimes you will see them wandering over the sand, frequently with a metal detector, looking for odds and ends, lost coins, jewelry or other valuables. If they are lucky they will make a few bucks with what they find.

One British beachcomber found more than he expected, and he didn't use a metal detector to find it - it was his dog.

Ken Wilman told British broadcasters that he had been walking along Morecambe beach in northern England when his dog, Madge, discovered a hard, soccer ball-sized piece of smelly rock.

"She wouldn't leave it alone. I picked it up and it smelt horrible. I put it back on the beach, but something in the back of my mind told me it might be something unusual."

One Google search later and Wilman realized that Madge had found ambergris, a waxy byproduct of sperm whale digestion that has traditionally been used in perfumes, spices, and medicines - and can fetch large sums of money. He said he immediately drove back to the beach to find the ambergris. He said he has been offered $68,000 for the musky material.

That's right, $68,000 for whale vomit.

Callum Roberts, a professor of marine conservation at the University of York, said the find appeared legitimate.

"It's a waxy, yellow-gray piece of flotsam. I'm sure that 95 percent of people would walk past it without further thought," he said.

Wilman had a slightly different take on his find, "If your dog pays an interest in something, YOU pay an interest in something," he said. "Because you never know. There's gold out there on that beach - floating gold."

The same cannot be said for dead birds.

Man charged in avocado assault
NEW YORK - The New York Police Department said a man was arrested for allegedly throwing an avocado that hit a grocery store worker in the face. Police said Joe Testa, 45, brought the avocados to the Stop & Shop supermarket in Brooklyn's Sheepshead Bay neighborhood around 3 p.m. Tuesday and argued with a 24-year-old woman who works at the store, the New York Daily News reported Thursday. Testa allegedly threw one of the fruits at the woman, striking her in the face. She was treated for bruising and released from Lutheran Medical Center. Testa was charged with misdemeanor assault. Police did not say why he brought the avocados to the store.

Court orders boy, 12, to get a job
EASTHAMPTON, Mass. - A Massachusetts appeals court upheld a judge's order for a 12-year-old tagger to get a job so he can pay $1,000 restitution to his victim. The boy, who was 11 at the time of the crime, had been ordered to pay restitution to his Easthampton neighbors in exchange for having charges of juvenile delinquency put on hold for one year, and Juvenile Court Judge James Collins extended the probation for four years and ordered the youth -- identified under the pseudonym "Avram" in court papers -- to get a job when he failed to pay the damages within the allotted year, the Boston Globe reported Thursday. Attorney Craig Bartolomei filed an appeal on behalf of the boy, but the ruling was upheld Wednesday by the Massachusetts Appeals Court. "The state itself limits what they [12-year-olds] can do," Bartolomei said. "They can be actors, with a permit. They can work a farm, and they can basically deliver newspapers. But kids don't deliver newspapers anymore." However, the court offered some employment suggestions for Avram. The boy can "earn money by obtaining a paper route, mowing lawns, raking leaves, shoveling snow, baby-sitting, delivering groceries or by recycling items upon which a deposit had been paid," Judge William Meade wrote in the three-judge panel's decision.

Portland On The Web: OregonLive, Eater & more

If you weren't busy at the cat show this weekend, you might have heard that a group of peacocks descended on a Southeast Portland neighborhood. According to the Audubon Society, the birds were likely dumped by their owner, most likely because they are louder and more annoying than your neighbor's garage band.

And if your next film project involves the Portland, Oregon Sign, you'll need to pony up a chunk of change for the rights. The city is making good on it's promise to charge people using the famous sign's likeness for any commercial activity. No word on whether NBC has plans to trademark the feathers of Southeast Portland's newest residents.
Here is a round up of the goings-on in Portland this week:
OregonLive: 'Portland, Oregon' sign isn't as iconic as 'Hollywood,' but it will still cost ya
WCSH 6: Peacocks descend on Portland, OR neighborhood
OregonLive: International Cat Show (photos)
Eater: Portland's must have food cart dishes
6 Possible Secrets to Happiness, According to Science
1. Surround yourself with happy people
2. Master a skill
3. Self-government is key
4. Smile for once
5. Get therapy
6. STOP IT. Stop trying to be happy.
Tubular Bandanas, Buffs
My hiking friends turned me on to these versitile items:
Wear it as Neckerchief Headband Blind chicken Wristband Foulard Diadem Balaclava Scarf Hairband Sahariane Pirate Mask Cap

"The greatest pleasure in science comes from theories that derive the solution to some deep puzzle from a small set of simple principles in a surprising way."
192 Thinkers on the Most Elegant Theory of How the World Works
The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be... The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists. --Martin Luther King, Jr.

Despite the years of thought and oceans of ink which have been devoted to the elucidation of war, its secrets still remain shrouded in mystery... War is an art and as such is not susceptible of explanation to fixed formulae. --George S. Patton

Lend yourself to others, but give yourself to yourself.--Michel de Montaigne

War is conflict. Fighting is an elemental exposition of the age-old effort to survive. It is the cold glitter of the attacker's eye, not the point of the questing bayonet, that breaks the line. It is the fierce determination of the driver to close with the enemy, not the mechanical perfection of the tank, that conquers the trench. It is the cataclysmic ecstasy of conflict in the flier, not the perfection of his machine gun, which drops the enemy in flaming ruin. Yet, volumes are devoted to armaments; and only pages to inspiration...--George S. Patton

Is there perhaps such a thing as suffering from superabundance itself?--Nietzsche
Tough times don't last, tough people do. Strength does not come from physical capabilities, it comes from indomitable will.
Mahatma Gandhi
In April 1922, 17-year-old Ernest Albert Walker, the footman to an English colonel, approached a policeman in Tonbridge and said, “I believe I have done a murder.” At the house, investigators discovered the body of messenger Raymond Charles Davis and a handwritten agenda on black-edged notepaper:
  1. Ring up Sloane Street messenger office for boy.
  2. Wait at front door.
  3. Invite him in.
  4. Bring him downstairs.
  5. Ask him to sit down.
  6. Hit him on the head.
  7. Put him in the safe.
  8. Keep him tied up.
  9. At 10.30 torture.
  10. Prepare for end.
  11. Sit down, turn gas on.
  12. Put gas light out.
  13. Sit down, shut window.
Walker had also left a note for the butler:
I expect you will be surprised to see what I have done. Well since my mother died I have made up my mind to die also. You know you said a gun-case had been moved and I denied it. Well, it had, I got a gun out and loaded it and made a sling for my foot to pull the trigger, but my nerve went and I put it away. I rang up the Sloane Square office for a messenger boy and he came to the front door. I asked him to come in and wait, and I brought him to the pantry and hit him on the head with a coal-hammer. So simple! Then I tied him up and killed him. I killed him, not the gas. ThenI sat down and turned the gas full on. I am as sane as ever I was, only I cannot live without my dear mother. I didn’t half give it to that damned boy. I made him squeak. Give my love to Dad and all my friends.
“I don’t know what made me do it,” he told police. “I came to Tonbridge as it would give me plenty of time to think and tell the police here.” He was judged “guilty but insane” and committed to the Broadmoor psychiatric hospital.

Here there be cables!

Click to enlarge
Undersea cable maps are for the deeply nerdy, but Telegeography has just produced one that’s beautiful and functional. Plus it shows we’re only using about 36 percent of the purchased capacity.
Telegeography, the research firm tracking underground cables and IP transit costs around the world has published the latest version of its submarine cable map, and it’s, well, beautiful. I have one of these (it’s next to my spectrum chart) but the old map is pretty functional, showing the cables, their capacity, owners and their landing spots. It’s a visual reminder that the internet is grounded in some very physical infrastructure.
It sounded like such a good plan, they had to record it for the internet. They spotted a vending machine in which a previous customer did not get a bag of popcorn because it got hung up. The solution: buy something heavy that will drop on it and dislodge it! But you know what they say about an offer that seems too good to be true… Final score: vending machine 3, customers 0. -via Daily of the Day
Sloths can swim! In fact, they can move through the water three times faster than they move on land. That really isn't saying much, so people still rescue "drowning" sloths. The sloths are probably complaining constantly about this misguided altruism, but as they complain so slowly, no one pays attention. -via Arbroath
Videogum hits the highlights of a timeline of nerds in pop culture, from the Dr. Seuss creature to the new game show King of the Nerds. Yes, Eddie Deezen is there, making an early appearance in nerd history. Notice how the popularity of the stereotypical character moves up and down, but gradually up since we all got on the internet. The penultimate entry:
2013: In the newest season of Portlandia, one episode opens with a sketch where a real nerd (clearly not an actor) pleads for people to stop saying they’re nerds when they’re not. Sure, it could have used a female nerd in there somewhere (instead of reinforcing the idea that fake nerds = girls and real nerds = boys), but more to the point, it’s the crowning jewel of the growing backlash against “fake nerds”. You know you’re mainstream when you start trying to exclude people for not being enough like you.
The suggested soundtrack for this article: "Hip to be Square" by Huey Lewis. Link
Japan is earthquake country, so the staff at the Tama Zoo in Tokyo, Japan, are preparing for the contingency of animal escape after an earthquake. In this annual drill, one lucky staff member got to be the escapee zebra, while the rest of the zoo chased him down (complete with nets, tranquilizer guns and, a cute little zebra-painted van).
Video clip below:
The answer is VERY high. Surprisingly high. Enough that you should really back away from the computer monitor before starting this video.
... it's probably not for lack of perfume. But you can now purchase expensive perfumes designed with your baby in mind:
...Dolce & Gabbana have decided to launch a unisex perfume for the newborn in your life.
Speaking about the company’s latest offering, which will go on sale later this year at the relatively modest sum of £28 for a 50ml bottle, the designer Stefano Gabbana said: “That familiar smell associated with babies will only be accentuated by this fragrance.” It will contain notes of citrus, melon and honey, all famously evocative of newborns, and will “pamper every little boy and girl”. The scent, which is alcohol-free, has been inspired by the “softness of baby skin” and the “freshness of baby breath”.
Worse still, Dolce & Gabbana is not the only fashion house to dabble in this particular brand of ridiculousness. Bulgari’s Petits et Mamans perfume features Sicilian orange, bergamot and Brazilian rosewood. Hmm, the sweet smell of infants! At £35, Burberry’s Baby Touch will cost you significantly more than your weekly child benefit (if you’re still entitled to it), but it does promise “warm floral notes of cyclamen, orange blossom, lily of the valley and jasmine”.
Catching a monster wave in Portugal
From The Telegraph, where it is noted that "The area of Portuguese coast is known for the enormous swells, with underwater canyon running right up to the shoreline cliffs, amplifying the waves that are created. The swells along the Praia do Norte are now known as creating some of the biggest surf in the world."

Those of you interested in personal armaments will be delighted to know that it is now possible to buy attack drones from China. Here are some of the specifications:
The SKY-02 small attack UAV uses a rear engine and wing integrated delta wing layout. The fuselage uses composite materials and the head is equipped with the image guided and payload. Once the ground finds and identifies the target, UAV immediately goes into the attack status: ball tripod head freely rotates to guide the UAV attacking targets. Engine uses mechanical and electronic three grades insurance with high security. The UAV is mainly used in the mountains, hills and complex terrain conditions; does effective short-range real-time attack to the fixed ground target or slowly move targets, such as artillery hole, command post, communication station, radar station, oil truck, oil depot and other small and temporary goals. Small attack UAV is characterized with small size, light weight, convenient carrying, rapid outfield expansion procedure, easy operation and maintenance; the system only needs 2-3 operators to operate, can be carried by surveillance personnel to complete the attack mission.
Via Boing Boing. The quoted price is only $1,000-2,000, but it's not clear if that includes the ground-based guidance system.

These will be essential when our government tries to attack you to take away your freedoms, because our government has armored vehicles and RPGs, and you don't (probably...). Get several of these now, before Obama tries to ban them.
My cats would have pounced immediately and made a real mess of this. Shammy is fascinated! Okay, be honest -were you watching the cat or the toy? This video is from domino artist Flippycat, whose work we have featured a few times. -via the Presurfer
Uncle John's Bathroom Reader brought us the story of Happy Days.

Mothers Superior: Not Your Everyday Nuns came from mental_floss magazine.


Perhaps second only to lighting, proper composition is essential to photography. This is as nice an example as I've seen.

The image depicts a winter scene in Krakow. The photographer is Marcin Ryczek.
An instructive story for anyone who lives near the ocean or beachcombs on a vacation. For comparison, see also this old story.
"The Sundance Film Festival begins today. The jury is choosing among 87 different films. I don't know if I could be a judge. Watching five movies a day sounds exhausting. But maybe that's just a sign of how out of shape I am." -Craig Ferguson

"According to a new study, as much as 81 percent of people lie on online dating websites. Researchers said they were surprised by how many people actually hate long walks on the beach at sunset." -Jay Leno

"A school in New Zealand discovered that a model skeleton for an anatomy class was actually a real human skeleton. Yeah, they made the realization when they noticed they hadn't seen their anatomy teacher in about eight months." -Jimmy Fallon
Icelandic Girl Won Court Fight to Use Her Birth Name
Creative names are a no-no in Iceland, so it's big news when a 15-year-old girl was finally granted the right to legally use her birth name, despite opposition from the government:
Reykjavik District Court ruled Thursday that the name "Blaer" can be used. It means "light breeze."
The decision overturns an earlier rejection by Icelandic authorities who declared it was not a proper feminine name. Until now, Blaer Bjarkardottir had been identified simply as "Girl" in communications with officials. [...]
Like a handful of other countries, including Germany and Denmark, Iceland has official rules about what a baby can be named. Names are supposed to fit Icelandic grammar and pronunciation rules — choices like Carolina and Christa are not allowed because the letter "c'' is not part of Iceland's alphabet.
Blaer's mother, Bjork Eidsdottir, had fought for the right for the name to be recognized. The court ruling means that other girls will be also allowed to use the name in Iceland.
In an interview earlier this year, Eidsdottir said she did not know the name "Blaer" was not on the list of accepted female names when she gave it to her daughter. The name was rejected because the panel viewed it as a masculine name that was inappropriate for a girl.
Budweiser's ad for the 2013 Super Bowl is cute and sweet and has nice music and may make you cry. And yes, it's a beer ad. -via Tastefully Offensive
Who's Flying the Plane?
No one, apparently. When pilot for Dutch airline Transavia returned from the bathroom, he realized that he was locked out of the Boeing 737 cockpit, with the first officer inside asleep!
According to a Dutch Safety Board report released Wednesday, the pilot stepped out of the cockpit to take a bathroom break about 2½ hours into the flight.
When he returned a short time later, the pilot used an intercom to ask his first officer to open the door. There was no answer, the report said.
Eventually, the pilot alerted the crew and was able to open the door himself. That's when he found the first officer asleep, according to the report.
"It's a serious incident," said Wim van der Weegen of the Dutch Safety Board, "What makes it serious is the combination of the pilot being unable to access the cockpit and the first officer being asleep.
"By 'serious incident,' I mean the flight was in danger," he said.
Thom Patterson of CNN reports: Link
If you travelled back to Spain, during the Cretaceous period, you might see an insect so bizarre that you’d think you were hallucinating. That’s certainly what Ricardo Pérez-de la Fuente thought when he found the creature entombed in amber in 2008.
The fossilised insect of the larva of a lacewing. Around 1,200 species of lacewings still exist, and their larvae are voracious predators of aphids and other small bugs. They also attach bits of garbage to tangled bristles jutting from their backs, including plant fibres, bits of bark and leaf, algae and moss, snail shells, and even the corpses of their victims. Dressed as walking trash, the larvae camouflage themselves from predators like wasps or cannibalistic lacewings. And even if they are found, the coats of detritus act as physical shields.
We now know that this strategy is an ancient one, because the lacewing in De la Fuente’s amber nugget—which is 110 million years old—also used it. It’s barely a centimetre long, and has the same long legs, sickle-shaped jaws, and trash-carrying structures of modern lacewing larvae. But it took camouflage to even more elaborate extremes. Rather than simple bristles, it had a few dozen extremely long tubes, longer even than the larva’s own body. Each one has smaller trumpet-shaped fibres branching off from it, forming a large basket for carrying trash.
De la Fuente called it Hallucinochrysa diogenesi, a name that is both evocative and cheekily descriptive. The first part comes from the Latin “hallucinatus” and references “the bizarreness of the insect”. The second comes from Diogenes the Greek philosopher, whose name is associated with a disorder where people compulsively hoard trash.
Planetary Study Guide
A 6th grade teacher handed out this study guide to her students. Redditor Dixichick13 corresponded with the teacher and determined that it was not a true or false quiz or a "find the incorrect statements" quiz. The teacher was unaware of any errors. How many can you spot? Link

Freelance newspaper writers don't get nearly as much attention as writers with regular bylines. So I was delighted when I finally got some notice. It was at the bank, and I was depositing a stack of checks.
"Wow," said the teller, reading off the names of publishers from the tops of the checks. "You must deliver a lot of papers."
"Brewers in Austria have created a cheese-infused beer. Didn't that used to be called 'vomit?'" -Jay Leno

An 8-year-old choir boy catches the priest masturbating.
He said, "What are you doing father?"
"It's called masturbating," the priest replied. "You'll be doing this soon."
"Why father?" he asked.
"Because my wrist is killing me," the priest replied.

A girl goes into a bank with a big sack full of quarters to deposit. The teller said "girl you must have been hoarding these quarters." The girl said "well yes but I only whored half of them. My sister whored the other half."
"A recent article says yoga-related injuries are on the rise. It's not surprising that yoga fans are upset with this article. After all, it's easy for them to get bent out of shape." -Craig Ferguson

"A man named Peter Robbins, a 56-year-old guy, was the voice of Charlie Brown on TV. He was arrested for stalking. Apparently, Charlie Brown did not have the money to post bail. You know why? He's working for peanuts." -Jay Leno

"New York City is always striving to improve the quality of life here. Now they're taking down all of the street signs on poles in the city because of clutter. Radioactive steam ? not a problem. City buses disappearing into potholes ? not a problem. Meat vendors selling squirrel ? not a problem." -Dave Letterman

I arrived home to find the place ransacked. Fortunately, my niece and her husband, PJ, were with me.
Grabbing a golf club out of the trunk, PJ searched the house to make sure the robber was gone. Then he looked at the club a three iron.
"I should have taken the wedge," he said.
"Why?" I asked.
"Lately I've been having trouble hitting anything with my three."

Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels -- men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, we may never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.--Dwight D. Eisenhower

Four years into his presidency, Barack Obama's political formula should be obvious. He gives fabulous speeches teeming with popular liberal ideas, often refuses to take the actions necessary to realize those ideas and then banks on most voters, activists, reporters and pundits never bothering to notice - or care about - his sleight of hand.--David Sirota,

Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.--Nelson Mandela

I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is now controlled by its system of credit. We are no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.--Woodrow Wilson 1919

The hardest battle you're ever going to fight is the battle to be just you."--Leo Buscaglia

Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks,
and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing.
~ Thomas Paine

Woman: "No, I'm telling you, I'm right! He couldn't eat the Trix because he was an adult rabbit, and Trix were only supposed to be for kids."
Man: "Well, I always thought it was just because he was a rabbit and not a person."
[A period of silence -- the woman looks down at her food.]
Man: "What's wrong?"
Woman: "I'm just really getting tired of you always being wrong.

"Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution yet." - Mae West

"If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses." - Confucius
If Alcohol Had Mascots Like Cereal

When you think about the concept it makes complete sense. Why has this not happen yet? Get on it, boozemakers!
"Minds are like parachutes, they only function when they're open."
-- Bumper sticker
QUOTE: "Middle age: When you're sitting at home on Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn't for you."

HINT: (1902-1971), American poet well known for his light verse.

ANSWER: Ogden Nash.


The first cell phone, made by Motorola, measured 9x5 inches and weighed 2 1/2 pounds. The first cell phone call was placed on April 3, 1973, by Dr. Martin Cooper, the General Manager for Motorola's Systems Division.

In the early 1960s, John Draper discovered that a plastic whistle included in boxes of Cap'n Crunch cereal emitted a perfect 2,600 Hz tone. When the Air Force shipped him to England, he was able to make free overseas calls by blowing the whistle into the telephone and tripping Ma Bell's long distance trunks.

The Loneliest Phone Booth in America site was the location of an extremely remote phone booth along U.S. Route 50 near Sand Mountain Recreational Area. The booth was solar-powered and assigned the phone number of (775) 423-0904. It was removed by the phone company after too many drivers passing by it used it for target practice with their firearms, filling it with bullet holes.

Mr. Burns on TV's The Simpsons persists in answering his telephone with "Ahoy-hoy?" which is one of the greetings that inventor Alexander Graham Bell recommended for his device.

From 1963 to 2003, Jane Barbe "spoke" to some 20 million people per day. Hers was the voice telephone customers heard when they dialed the number for the correct time and also the voice that informed them "the number you have reached is no longer in service."

The "Hello, My Name Is" name tag you see at so many meetings and conferences today was created in 1880 for the first Telephone Operators Convention, which was held in Niagara Falls, New York.

Sometimes there is too much focus on gun violence and not enough focus on other, more insidious vehicles of murder; like the deadly vagina.

A woman from Sao Jose do Rio Preto in Brazil is accused of trying to kill her husband by putting poison inside her privates - then asking him to perform oral sex on her.

The woman planted a toxic substance in her genitals then lured her husband to bed. But when she asked him to give her oral sex, he is said to have fled after noticing a strange smell. If that were his only criteria for refusing oral sex she probably never got any.

The suspicious husband then took his wife to the hospital where doctors carried out tests and found she had ingested a poisonous substance.

Leave it to a Brazil. Only a country that has produced the 'Brazilian' wax would have women this diabolical. Usually it takes a vagina decades to kill a man, this woman figured out how to do it overnight.

Her husband is now suing her for the alleged attempted murder.
faerie's aire and death waltz
Faerie’s Aire and Death Waltz, by composer John Stump, includes the directions “Add bicycle,” “Duck,” and “Cool timpani with small fan.” The piece fills a single page.

Karlheinz Stockhausen "Helicopter String Quartet"

To perform Stockhausen’s Helikopter-Streichquartett you’ll need four helicopters and a string quartet. A moderator introduces the musicians, each of whom boards a helicopter, and the four perform the piece while circling the auditorium at a distance of 6 kilometers. The audience watches and listens via audio and video monitors. At the end, the helicopters land and the musicians re-enter the hall to the sound of slowing rotor blades.
The subway in Stockholm has been referred to as “the world’s longest art exhibition.” More than 150 artists have contributed to the design of 90 stations along the 68 miles of subterranean tracks. The project has been ongoing for more than 50 years! The bulk of the designs were done in the 1970s, and some stations have undergone updates since then. And each station has its own theme, colors, and atmosphere. See gorgeous pictures at Tech Graffiti. Link
Family Restroom • 3 hours ago • 1
Families come in all shapes, sizes, and configurations. A graphic artist named Stephanie designed this family restroom sign to make it clear that it's an inclusive comfort station. I bet there's even has a diaper changing station! Link

Midi Nickelodeon playing CIRCUS GALOP ITS INSANE

Marc-André Hamelin composed Circus Galop for player piano — it’s impossible for a human to play, as up to 21 notes are struck simultaneously.
Women drive away robber with 'Jesus'
LAKE CITY, Fla. - Florida police said an armed robber who interrupted a jewelry party left empty-handed when the homeowner started a chant of "Jesus." Jacquie Hagler of Lake City said she was hosting a group of 14 women at her house Friday for a jewelry party when the gunman, who had a bandana across his face, entered the home and ordered the women to hand over their money and phones, WJXT-TV, Jacksonville, Fla., reported Monday. Police said one woman believed the incident to be a gag and said the weapon was a "water gun," leading the robber to put the gun to her head and threaten to "shoot someone." Hagler said she decided her faith was the answer. "When I realized what was going on, I stood up and said, 'In the name of Jesus, get out of my house now.' And he said, 'I'm going to shoot someone.' And I said it again, real boldly," Hagler said. "Everybody started chanting, 'Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,' and he did a quick scan of the room, and ran out the door as fast as he could go." Police said they arrested Derek Lee, 24, on suspicion of home invasion robbery. He was being held in lieu of $200,000 bond. Investigators said they are investigating whether Lee was also involved in an attempted robbery at a nearby ATM moments prior to the incident at Hagler's home.

I learned something weird the other day. I was at my grandma's 88th birthday party and my cousin told me that our grandma sleeps with her eyes open. How creepy is that? Now that I knew this wonderful piece of relative trivia I had to ask her about it.

She told me that she has slept with her eyes open for as long as she can remember. She was surprised that I never noticed before.

I told her that all of those staring contests she won when I was a kid are now tainted and she should relinquish the title of "Staring Contest Champion".

The 10 Most Wanted

Little Johnny's kindergarten class was on a field trip to their local police station where they saw pictures, tacked to a bulletin board, of the 10 most wanted criminals. One of the youngsters pointed to a picture and asked if it really was the photo of a wanted person.

"Yes," said the policeman. "The detectives want very badly to capture him."

Little Johnny asked, "Why didn't you keep him when you took his picture?"

Q and A Quickies

Q: What goes up when the rain comes down?
A: An umbrella.

Q: What do you call a surgeon with eight arms?
A: A doctopus!
"It is in fact the discovery and creation of problems rather than any superior knowledge, technical skill, or craftsmanship that often sets the creative person apart."
Curmudgeon Is the Best Word in the English Language
I propose that no other single word so perfectly marries its phonetic characteristics with its meaning. When you call someone a curmudgeon, you’re saying so much more than “grumpy” or “grouchy.” You’re really bestowing upon someone a royal crown of acidic attitude. I love it. (Larry David is my favorite curmudgeon of all time. That’s high praise from me.)
Who knows the difference between genealogy and gynecologist???....
Seems genealogy looks up the family tree...
Where as the gynecologist looks up the family bush....
Largest Glacier-Calving Ever Filmed....
it makes the glacier calving we're seen in Alaska look miniscule.
Thanks SSK
All you ever wanted to know about the speed of sound
Here is a masters degree worth of knowledge all in less than 3 minutes.
Thanks, Mike
Let's Dance ---
You will like this and recognize more than a
When this video opens, it appears it will be a ballet.
It isn't. Continue watching as many dancers from over the
years appear in this video. What a treat to watch.
Whoever put this together has a wonderful sense of music.
This puts a smile on your face!
Thanks SSK

Anton Chekhov on the 8 Qualities of Cultured People

"In order to feel comfortable among educated people, to be at home and happy with them, one must be cultured to a certain extent."
Cultured people must, in my opinion, satisfy the following conditions:
  1. They respect human personality, and therefore they are always kind, gentle, polite, and ready to give in to others. They do not make a row because of a hammer or a lost piece of india-rubber; if they live with anyone they do not regard it as a favour and, going away, they do not say "nobody can live with you." They forgive noise and cold and dried-up meat and witticisms and the presence of strangers in their homes.
  2. They have sympathy not for beggars and cats alone. Their heart aches for what the eye does not see…. They sit up at night in order to help P…., to pay for brothers at the University, and to buy clothes for their mother.
  3. They respect the property of others, and therefor pay their debts.
  4. They are sincere, and dread lying like fire. They don't lie even in small things. A lie is insulting to the listener and puts him in a lower position in the eyes of the speaker. They do not pose, they behave in the street as they do at home, they do not show off before their humbler comrades. They are not given to babbling and forcing their uninvited confidences on others. Out of respect for other people's ears they more often keep silent than talk.
  5. They do not disparage themselves to rouse compassion. They do not play on the strings of other people's hearts so that they may sigh and make much of them. They do not say "I am misunderstood," or "I have become second-rate," because all this is striving after cheap effect, is vulgar, stale, false….
  6. They have no shallow vanity. They do not care for such false diamonds as knowing celebrities, shaking hands with the drunken P., [Translator's Note: Probably Palmin, a minor poet.] listening to the raptures of a stray spectator in a picture show, being renowned in the taverns…. If they do a pennyworth they do not strut about as though they had done a hundred roubles' worth, and do not brag of having the entry where others are not admitted…. The truly talented always keep in obscurity among the crowd, as far as possible from advertisement…. Even Krylov has said that an empty barrel echoes more loudly than a full one.
  7. If they have a talent they respect it. They sacrifice to it rest, women, wine, vanity…. They are proud of their talent…. Besides, they are fastidious.
  8. They develop the aesthetic feeling in themselves. They cannot go to sleep in their clothes, see cracks full of bugs on the walls, breathe bad air, walk on a floor that has been spat upon, cook their meals over an oil stove. They seek as far as possible to restrain and ennoble the sexual instinct…. What they want in a woman is not a bed-fellow … They do not ask for the cleverness which shows itself in continual lying. They want especially, if they are artists, freshness, elegance, humanity, the capacity for motherhood…. They do not swill vodka at all hours of the day and night, do not sniff at cupboards, for they are not pigs and know they are not. They drink only when they are free, on occasion…. For they want mens sana in corpore sano [a healthy mind in a healthy body].
And so on. This is what cultured people are like. In order to be cultured and not to stand below the level of your surroundings it is not enough to have read "The Pickwick Papers" and learnt a monologue from "Faust." …
What is needed is constant work, day and night, constant reading, study, will…. Every hour is precious for it…. Come to us, smash the vodka bottle, lie down and read…. Turgenev, if you like, whom you have not read.
You must drop your vanity, you are not a child … you will soon be thirty. It is time! I expect you…. We all expect you.
Forget Making Video Games Look Like the Real World
Let’s make the real world look like video games.
The Super Bowl Ad You Aren’t Allowed to See

2013 Budweiser Super Bowl Ad — The Clydesdales: "Brotherhood"


A widow wrote this epitaph in a Vermont cemetery:

Sacred to the memory of my husband John Barnes who died January 3, 1803. His comely young widow, aged 23, has many qualifications of a good wife, and yearns to be comforted.

If you can't beat them...arrange to have them beaten.
-George Carlin
First Rule of History: History doesn't repeat itself -- historians merely repeat each other.
For Sale: Parachute. Only used once, never opened, small stain.
Huge cameltoe
Q: Why can't Chinese Barbecue?
A: Because the rice falls through the grill
What's a accordion good for?
Learning how to fold a map.
Check out my first youtube music video!
Curiosity: Search for a giant squid
Aug 31, 2009 3:18pm
Uploaded on May 14, 2007
So this story comes out of the "Ignorance Undenied" folder. A cop takes marijuana from evidence and makes brownies with his wife. Then in his paranoia that he is dying, he calls 911. Hilarity ensues. As far as I can find he was not charged, and stepped down from the force as a result of this incident.
Length: ‎0:53
On an otherwise ordinary day in May 1808, two men of rather obscure backgrounds took part in an event that went down in history as one of the more bizarre tales of jealousy ever recorded. The two Frenchmen, Monsieur de Grandpre and Monsieur de Pique, quarreled over one Mademoiselle Tirevit, a dancer at the Imperial Opera... One of the fellows decided he did not wish to share Mademoiselle Tirevit's affections with the other strange bedfellow and so he challenged his rival to a duel...

One of them came up came up with the (absolutely brilliant) idea of dueling in hot air [sic] balloons. And so on the morning of May 3, 1808, a crowd gathered near the Tuileries to watch Monsieur de Grandpre and Monsieur de Pique conduct the first ever aerial dogfight...

When they reached about 2,000 feet, Monsiuer de Pique fired his blunderbuss (a muzzle-loading firearm with a short barrel). Sadly, (at least for de Pique and his unfortunate second), de Pique missed. Monsiuer De Grandpre then took aim and fired. His bullet ripped through the fragile skin of de Pique's balloon, causing it to collapse. The basket tipped and de Pique and his second fell headfirst to their deaths.
Text from Titillating Tidbits About the Life and Times of Marie Antoinette. The image, via Wikipedia, is unrelated to the duel, but is of a contemporaneous balloon.

A Reddit thread about this duel has many comments re the unfortunate situation of the seconds, who apparently had to ascend with the duellists, and one of whom died. Reddit also has a link to The British Newspaper Archive, which has a photocopy of the original report in the Northampton Mercury in 1808, and this salient response in the comment thread:
This event almost certainly occurred in GAS balloons, not hot air. In the early 1800s nearly all sport balloons relied on hydrogen or some other gas to provide lift. Yes, the very earliest balloon flights were in hot air balloons but within months after those first flights gas supplanted hot air as a much more practical lighter than air lift source. Hot air did not come back into fashion until the 1950s and 60s when modern lightweight synthetic fabrics and propane heaters made our current hot air balloons possible.
I have frequently read reports of 19th century balloons described as "hot air," when "gas" would have been the correct term.

I also wonder whether the first duellist aimed at his opponent, while the second one aimed (?intentionally) at his opponent's balloon.
Australian Sea Foam
Just when you thought it was safe to walk in the foam…
Foam covered the roads in a coastal Queensland town on the Sunshine Coast, as a result of storms, heavy winds and high tides. This car can only be seen at the last moment… close call.
An Illustrated Chronicle of the Space Race
Astronauts vs. cosmonauts, Apollo vs. Sputnik, and what Gagarin had to do with JFK.
Space Race comes from Nobrow’s wonderful Leporello series, which also includes Bicycle, inspired by the 2012 Olympics, and the forthcoming Worse Things Happen at Sea, inspired by the tales of doomed voyages passed down across generations of sailors.
Five Million Dollar Garage
Being online
Funny Parrots
MRI Now Stands For “Music Recording Interface”?
This new video from British singer Sivu was shot entirely inside an MRI machine! It apparently took 3+ hours to get it done, and having been in an MRI machine before, that does not sound fun. On top of that, it’s a pretty damn good song if I do say so myself.Of course, this isn’t a functional MRI machine, the version that is sensitive to changes in large-scale brain activity. If it was, what areas might we see lit up?
Well, we’d see several regions active that are responsible for pleasure and emotion, with complicated mouthfuls of names like the ventral striatum, amygdala and ventral medial prefrontal cortex. We’d also see regions controlling the mechanics of speech, like the motor cortex, as well as regions that determine self-awareness so he can hear the pitch and adjust it (the insula, for one). And then when we get to accessing language and memorized lyrics? Well that could light up practically the whole brain in different contexts (from this paper):
Fascinating video on bear tagging in Ontario:
Serbia’s prime minister got a little hot under the collar after falling victim to an X-rated prank during a TV interview. Socialist Party leader Ivica Dačić didn’t know where to look after being flashed by a glamorous presenter wearing an ultra-short mini dress.
A dull political discussion on Balkan relations suddenly livened up when the no-knickers interviewer uncrossed her legs in front of a shocked Mr Dačić. The cheeky stunt involving a model posing as a journalist was set up by a popular candid camera show called Nemoguca Misija or ‘Mission Impossible’.
Alt Sex Stories Text Repository
Adult errotica site
Student trying to cross the street is swept away by flooding caused by a burst reservoir near McGill University in Montreal. She was able to get out of the water down the street and was not hurt.
Trivia Tidbit:What is lake-effect snow? If you live on the downwind side of a large lake, you’re probably all too familiar with this weather phenomenon. It happens when cold winter air moves over a relatively warm body of water. What you get are small-scale but intense snowstorms.
Lake-effect snow occurs on such a small scale, almost on the scale of a summertime thunderstorm. One portion of a neighborhood or city might be under heavy snow, where a few miles away you may be under sunny skies. via
The Animal Kingdom
Looking for a whole new way to appreciate the wonders of the animal kingdom? Check outthis retrospective of Charley Harper’s stunning illustrations for Gerald Fichter’s 1967 edition of The Animal Kingdom (available in book form via this art collection).
I have this friend who has a real dilemma.
His wife won't give him a divorce until she figures out a way of doing it without making him a happy man.
Creative Masters
A good way to threaten somebody is to light a stick of dynamite.
Then you call the guy and hold the burning fuse up to the phone.
"Hear that?" you say. "That's dynamite, baby."
Woman with hips that measure 8 ft around.
Wide load
One Man's Sunset is another Man's Dawn. -- Fievel Mouskawitz
Well played product placement guy
You can see this one coming from a mile away…
Warning: Language NSFW
In 1940 Ronald Reagan was voted a “Twentieth Century Adonis” by the University of Southern California’s Division of Fine Arts for having the “most nearly perfect male figure.”
He posed for student sculptors there.
Calling All Geek Girls: Join Our STEM Mentorship Program
It’s well-established that women face social pressures that push them away from pursuing science as a life passion. It’s also well-established that women who do stay in science face discrimination all the way up the ladder. Women are 50 percent of the population but hold less than a quarter of STEM jobs.
Young ladies, HuffPo has your back. Check it out:
Dear Geek Girls,
We were there once — making a decision about which career path to choose can be a source of great anxiety, especially in tough economic times like these. But having someone on your side to coach you through, and give you practical advice without judgement can make all the difference in the world.
HuffPo Science is offering young ladies 14-21 the chance to be mentored by a female scientist, to show you the ropes and keep you motivated to achieve your goals. Applications are due Jan 31st, so apply here today!
Watch at least long enough to see a take-off and landing.
Escher get up here
Twenty-nine-year-old James Landis was operating a currency-wrapping machine at the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing when an idea occurred to him. He went home and cut ordinary bond paper into pieces the size of U.S. currency, and wrapped them to resemble the bricks of $20 bills that he produced at work. On Dec. 30, 1953, he smuggled these packages into work with him and hid them in a locker room. Then he wrapped two bundles of real $20 bills in kraft paper and carried them to a storage area. There he unwrapped them, saving the labels, put the bills into two paper bags he had brought from home, and hid these.
He worked the rest of the morning at his station, then returned to the dummy bundles he had brought from home. In a toilet stall he affixed the labels to the ends of the dummy bricks, using glue he had brought from his station, and he rubber-stamped each “HA 12-31-53,” indicating that a bureau employee with the initials H.A. had wrapped the packages on Dec. 31, 1953. Then he carried the dummy bricks to a storage skid on the first floor, where he left them among packages of genuine $20 bills.
At 3:10 p.m. he finished work, changed clothes, and retrieved one of the paper bags from the dead storage area, using a pair of dirty trousers to conceal the $128,000 that the bag held. And he walked out of the building.
Landis and three friends set about buying inexpensive merchandise in order to shed the stolen money and get change, but it wasn’t to last long. When he returned to work on Jan. 4, a stockman picked up two bricks of currency and noted that one of them felt light. When the dummy bricks were discovered, the Secret Service began an investigation; Landis drove to Virginia and tried to hide the money with his father-in-law, who turned him in the following morning. Landis and his friends pleaded guilty on May 3, and all were sent to prison.

Tortoise survives in locked store room for 30 years

A family found their missing pet tortoise in a store room – more than thirty years after they lost her, it was reported on Friday.
Manuela disappeared from her home in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1982 and despite a lengthy search was never seen again.
Her owners, the Almeida family, assumed she had run away after builders working on the house left the front door open.
It was only after their father Leonel died earlier this month that the Almeida children began clearing out a second-floor room in the house that he had filled with broken electrical items and always kept locked.
Leonel’s son Leandro said he was astonished to find Manuela alive inside a box containing an old record player.
The guy flying the 3 kites is in his 80’s, and he’s from Canada. He comes to the Washington State International Kite Festival every year. His skin is like leather as he normally flies with his shirt off. He is deaf, so when he flies we hold our hands up and wave them for applause. He flies 2 with his hands and the 3rd one is attached to his waist. His landing of the kites is something else!

"Lion-headed figurine"

This carved mammoth tusk, from Hohlenstein-Stadel in Germany, was crafted 32,000 years ago. It is presently among the holdings of the Ulmer Museum, with copies in four other museums in Europe and the U.S.\
[It is] the oldest known zoomorphic (animal-shaped) sculpture in the world and one of the oldest known sculptures in general. The sculpture has also been interpreted as anthropomorphic, giving human characteristics to an animal, although it may have represented a deity...

Originally, the figure was classified as male by Joachim Hahn. From examination of some additional parts of the sculpture found later, Elisabeth Schmid decided that the figure was a woman with the head of a "Höhlenlöwin" (female cave lion). Both interpretations lack scientific evidence. European cave lions, male and female, lacked the distinctive manes of the African male lion, and so its absence here cannot lead to an interpretation as a 'lioness'. Recently the ancient figurine has more often been called a lion-headed figurine, rather than a 'lion man'. The name currently used in German, Löwenmensch—meaning "lion-human"—similarly, is neutral.
Turning the tables
In 19th century Africa, it was sometimes the natives who enslaved the whites:
In 1817, the American sea captain, James Riley, published *An Authentic Narrative of the Loss of the American Brig “Commerce,” Wrecked on the Western Coast of Africa , in the Month of August, 1815, with an Account of the Sufferings of the Surviving Officers and Crew, who were Enslaved by the Wandering Arabs of the Great African Desert or Zahahrah*. More recently, Captain Riley’s memoire has been reprinted, though with a title that better fits modern sensibilities: *Sufferings in Africa: the Incredible True Story of a Shipwreck, Enslavement, and Survival on the Sahara* (New York: Skyhorse, 2007). This edition, along with a fictionalized version by Dean King, called *Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival* (New York: Back Bay Books, 2005) enjoy respectable sales for reprints of a book nearly two centuries old.

Captain Riley’s story is pretty well summed up by the original title of his book. While sailing from Gibraltar to the Cape Verde Islands, Riley’s mid-sized merchant ship got lost in the fog and wrecked on the west Moroccan coast. Trapped on shore and having run out of both food and water, Riley and the surviving crew threw themselves on the mercy of some passing Berber tribesmen, who promptly enslaved and carried them off into the desert. Abused, underfed, and overworked, the captives were nearly dead when their masters sold them to an Arab trader, who bought the Americans on Riley’s promise of ransom if they returned to the coast. The rest of An Authentic Narrative recounts the survivors’ slightly less brutal journey over desert and mountains to the port city of Mogador (modern Essaouira) and their eventual freedom.
Queen Elizabeth was visiting sick children in a Scottish hospital, and after performing her planned duties, she wandered off to other parts of the hospital.Walking into an unidentified ward, she went up to a patient in bed and asked him how he was doing.He replied:
"O, my luve is like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June.
O, my luve is like the melodie,
That's sweetly played in tune....."
Finding the response somewhat inappropriate she wished him good day and moved down the ward to a room where another man was sitting quietly.In response to her inquiry, he began singing:
"Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to min' ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' lang syne ?"
Somewhat baffled by this sequence of events she found a third room, where her greeting was met with:
"Wee, sleekit, cowrin', tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie ...."
She gave up, and left the ward.On her way out, she encountered the head nurse."Is this the psychiatric ward?" she asked.
"No, your majesty," the nurse replied."It's......the Burns unit."
It’s Okay To Be Smart Episode 1: Life by the Numbers
About It's Okay to be Smart
Check out the first episode of my new YouTube science series from PBS Digital Studios! I’m practically co-workers with Big Bird now! This episode is all about the scale of life on Earth. So there’s now over seven billion people on Earth, but does that make us a successful species by numbers alone? And while humans may be getting heavier every day, how does our weight stack up to the rest of biology?
We’ll learn about “biomass” while we take a trip through some forests, a spoonful of soil and deep into the oceans to find out just how much stuff there is out there.
Regarding the XL pipeline

An article in Salon describes a young man's attempt to travel the length of the pipeline. Most of what I've read before focused on the risks to the Ogalalla aquifer, but while browsing his story, I learned a few other things, most importantly this:
TransCanada, the company that will build the pipeline, has falsely claimed that there will be upward of 20,000 jobs. An independent study, conducted by Cornell University, determined that the pipeline would create only 2,500 to 4,650 jobs, almost all of which will be temporary, and only between 10 to 15 percent of the jobs will be local, in-state hires.

As for the “we need oil” claims, few realize that much of the oil won’t be used in the United States. The oil will be pumped down to Port Arthur, Texas, where it will be refined and shipped off to foreign nations. Valero, one of these refining companies (which will get 20 percent of the Keystone XL oil), will not have to pay taxes on the exported oil since Port Arthur is in a Foreign Trade Zone. So I looked up the reference for that last point:

The Port Arthur refinery operates as a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), which traditionally gives tax benefits to companies that use imported components to manufacture items within the United States. Usually refineries importing oil tax-free will still pay taxes when selling the refined products into the U.S. market. By both importing into and exporting from Port Arthur the company will avoid paying tax on the product sales.
A pretty sweet deal for Valero Energy Corporation (VLO).
Walk in the woods
Ixonia, Wisconsin, was named at random.
Unable to agree on a name for the town, the residents printed the alphabet on slips of paper, and a girl named Mary Piper drew letters successively until a name was formed.
The town was christened Ixonia on Jan. 21, 1846, and it remains the only Ixonia in the United States.
A riddle attributed to British prime minister George Canning, among many others:
A word there is of plural number,
Foe to ease and tranquil slumber.
Any other word you take
And add an S will plural make;
But if you add an S to this,
So strange the metamorphosis,
Plural is plural now no more
And sweet what bitter was before.
CARES. (For those who hate trigonometry, another answer is COSINES.)
Mark of a new beginning
Astronaut John Young smuggled a corned beef sandwich into space. As Gemini 3 was circling Earth in March 1965, Young pulled the sandwich out of his pocket and offered it to Gus Grissom:
Grissom: What is it?
Young: Corned beef sandwich.
Grissom: Where did that come from?
Young: I brought it with me. Let’s see how it tastes. Smells, doesn’t it?
Grissom: Yes, it’s breaking up. I’m going to stick it in my pocket.
Young: Is it? It was a thought, anyway.
“Wally Schirra had the sandwich made up at a restaurant at Cocoa Beach a couple of days before, and I hid it in a pocket of my space suit,” Young explained later. “Gus had been bored by the official menus we’d practiced with in training, and it seemed like a fun idea at the time.”
Grissom wrote, “After the flight our superiors at NASA let us know in no uncertain terms that non-man-rated corned beef sandwiches were out for future space missions. But John’s deadpan offer of this strictly non-regulation goodie remains one of the highlights of our flight for me.”
“The greatest masterpiece in literature is only a dictionary out of order.” — Jean Cocteau

The image above shows top and bottom view of a magnificent game board from the 17th century, whose story is detailed at The History Blog:
Attributed to Georg Schreiber of Königsberg, Prussia, a 17th century master craftsman famed as the chess set maker to royalty, the game board is made of opaque white amber and translucent red amber on a wood chassis with an ebony superstructure, carved Roman-style portrait busts and chased silver accents. There’s a Nine Men’s Morris board on one side, a chess board on the other, and it opens up to reveal a diptych backgammon board. Inside it holds 14 game pieces of cream amber, with a white amber profile in the center overlaid with translucent red amber, and 14 pieces of translucent orange amber. The profiles are of all the kings of England from William the Conqueror to James I...

This particular game board with its exquisite craftsmanship and royal English theme may have first been owned by King James I, who ruled England at the time of the board’s creation and who is the last English king portrayed on the game pieces... we know that King Charles I was an avid chess player, not even interrupting his game when he was told that the Scots had changed sides and were supporting Parliament. According to the tradition that has accompanied the piece for centuries, King Charles I brought the game board to the scaffold on the day of his execution, January 30th, 1649...Further details on the provenance of the board at the link. Here's a view of the board opened for playing backgammon:
I'm normally reluctant to post "fail" videos, but I couldn't pass this one up.
Via Boing Boing.

Excerpts from the best article I've read yet about fracking:
Supplies of natural gas now economically recoverable from shale in the United States could accommodate the country’s domestic demand for natural gas at current levels of consumption for more than a hundred years: an economic and strategic boon, and, at least in the near term, an important stepping-stone toward lower-carbon, greener energy.

Even at recent, somewhat higher prices, natural gas is now significantly cheaper than either diesel fuel or gasoline on an energy-equivalent basis: a little more than one-tenth the wholesale, spot prices of about $3 per gallon for those liquid fuels. Lower-priced natural gas has had important consequences for the U.S. economy...

Consumers have benefited directly from lower gas-utility bills, and industrial customers have benefited by switching fuels—as have chemical and other processors that use gas as a feedstock... The shift from coal to gas in the electricity sector has also yielded an environmental bonus—a significant reduction in emissions of CO2, because CO2 emissions per unit of electricity generated using coal are more than double those produced using gas...

The bulk of the natural gas produced from shale today is derived from wet sources: marketing of the liquid products (which command higher prices) justifies the investments. That means that the economic momentum of the shale-gas industry can be sustained for the long term only by decreasing production (ultimately causing prices to adjust—a process that may be under way as drilling diminishes at current prices) or by increasing sales of its product. Increased use of natural gas for transportation could provide an additional domestic market, taking advantage of the significant price disparity versus gasoline or diesel fuels (as noted above)...

To date, then, we can say conclusively that a shift to natural gas from coal has changed the U.S. energy system in ways that yield economic and environmental gains. But there are serious environmental challenges associated with freeing that gas from the shale and distributing it to consumers...

Drillers developing a well must take exceptional care to minimize contact between the wellbore and the surrounding aquifer—often the source of nearby residents’ fresh water. Serious problems have arisen in the past from failures to isolate the drilling liquids, including cases where well water used for drinking became so contaminated that human and animal health was threatened...

Care must be exercised to protect groundwater from spillage and to guard against potential leakage from the ponds. Moreover, the facilities to which the contaminated water is eventually transferred may be ill-prepared to deal with the challenges posed by its unusual chemical composition; for instance, conventional treatment facilities are not equipped to deal with radioactive materials—which under the circumstances could be transferred to the water bodies receiving the treated effluent.

Finally, careless drilling and production from fracked wells can result in fugitive emissions of methane from the shale below. Such inadvertent releases of methane could more than offset the advantages otherwise realized by reducing emissions of CO2 through substituting natural gas for other fuels.
There's much more at the Harvard Magazine link. This article is refreshingly free of the polemic that typically characterizes discussion of this technology.
Always Home
The largest privately owned residential yacht on earth is The World, a private floating community conceived in 1997 by Norwegian shipping magnate Knut Kloster. The ship is owned jointly by its residents, 130 families from 19 countries, who spend an average of four months on board each year, and it circumnavigates the globe continuously on an itinerary that they choose.
Since its launch in 2002, the ship has visited 800 ports in 140 countries. It has 165 bespoke apartments, including a six-bedroom penthouse suite, a 7,000-square-foot spa, four major restaurants, three cafes, six bars, two swimming pools, a full-size tennis court, a driving range, an art gallery, a night club, a 12,000-bottle wine cellar, and a theater. The average resident is 64, and 35 percent are under 50.
The original inventory of units sold out in 2006, but “there are a select number of Residences available for resale.”

It was during a ball at Andrew Jackson's country home that the family physician approached Mrs. Jackson to say, "You're looking wonderful tonite, Rachel! What keeps you so radiant and effervescent?"
"Having such a popular husband, of course."
"Surely there must be more to it than that, madam."
"Well, there's Old Hickory's dickery, doc."
explore-blog:  How Mendel’s genetics work, in vintage illustrations from the era of Youmans’s chemistry diagrams.   Ah, Mendel. You brilliant monk.  This is a beautiful example of the (optimal) pattern seen when you cross two organisms with a mixture of dominant (black/short hair) and recessive (white/short hair) genes, also known by the mouthful “dihybrid cross”. You can dig into it a little more here.
How Mendel’s genetics work, in vintage illustrations from the era of Youmans’s chemistry diagrams.
Ah, Mendel. You brilliant monk. This is a beautiful example of the (optimal) pattern seen when you cross two organisms with a mixture of dominant (black/short hair) and recessive (white/short hair) genes, also known by the mouthful “dihybrid cross”. You can dig into it a little more here.

New Jersey's Crazy Laws

It is against the law for a man to knit during the fishing season.
You may not slurp your soup.
If you have been convicted of driving while intoxicated, you may never again apply for personalized license plates.
It is against the law to "frown" at a police officer.
On a highway you can not park under a bridge.
Car dealerships are forbidden from opening on Sunday.
You cannot pump your own gas. All gas stations are full service and full service only.
Automobiles are not to pass horse drawn carriages on the street.
It is illegal to delay or detain a homing pigeon.
(From Aha!Jokes)
Word Ways reader Art Benjamin found this limerick on a blackboard at Carnegie Mellon in the 1980s:
First let me say that I’m cursed.
I’m a poet who gets time reversed.
Reversed time,
Gets who poet a I’m,
Cursed I’m that say me let first.
No author was given.
n. delight, pleasure, enjoyment
n. pleasure or delight
Jessica was toweling off in front of the mirror when she noticed a few gray pubic hairs. She bent down and said to her privates... "I know you haven't been getting much lately...but I didn't know you were so worried about it!"

Watch President Obama lay out his plan for fair, common-sense immigration reform, and make sure your friends get the facts too: http://OFA.BO/TTQ9jb
Spaghetti tree hoax from 1957
Wikipedia: Cat organ is a musical instrument that consists of a line of cats fixed in place
Alan and Bob are playing a game of marbles. Alan has two marbles, Bob has one, and each rolls to try to come nearest to a fixed point. If the two have equal skill, what is the chance that Alan will win?
There seem to be two contradictory arguments. On the one hand, each of the three marbles has an equal chance of winning, and two of them belong to Alan, so it seems that there’s a 2/3 chance that Alan will win.
On the other hand, there are four possible outcomes: (a) both of Alan’s rolls are better than Bob’s, (b) Alan’s first roll is better than Bob’s, but his second is worse, (c) Alan’s first roll is worse than Bob’s, but his second is better, and (d) both of Alan’s rolls are worse than Bob’s. In 3 of the 4 cases, Alan wins, so it appears that his overall chance of winning is 3/4.
Which argument is correct?
The first argument is correct. Alan’s chance of winning is 2/3.
What’s wrong with the second argument? It’s true that there are four possible outcomes, but (a) subsumes two possibilities — Alan’s first roll might come closest to the mark, with his second roll in second place, or the reverse might be true. Similarly, case (d) covers two possible outcomes — in one, Alan’s first marble takes second place and his second comes in last, and in the other these positions are reversed. So in fact there are six possible outcomes, with (a) and (d) each twice as likely as (b) or (c), and 4 of the 6 outcomes favoring Alan.
From J. Bertrand, Calcul des Probabilités, 1889, via Eugene Northrop, Riddles in Mathematics, 1975.
“He translated the essence of a thing — like a train, a ship, or a person — to the most ‘graphic’ expression.”
With all of these weighty political issues occupying our attention it is nice to know that we can still rely on the occasional crazy, naked guy to distract our attention in Bizarre News.

Today's crazy, naked guy comes from North Fort Myers, Florida where he was discovered on a homeowner's roof.

The resident man was tackled by the naked man who jumped off his roof - and the scene only got more bizarre from there. The man said he was lying in bed when he and his wife heard what sounded like thunder.

He went outside and saw 21-year-old Gregory Matthew Bruni running around on the roof. He allegedly jumped off and onto the victim, hitting him in the shoulder and knocking him down.

Deputies say Bruni then ran into the house and pulled a large-screen TV off its stand and dumped the contents of a vacuum onto the floor, because at that point why not?

Bruni then headed toward the couple's son's bedroom, so the man's wife fired three warning shots from a .38 revolver, frightening him off.

Mother of 'bully' punches woman
BRUNSWICK, Ohio - Police said an Ohio woman, upset that another woman called her son a bully, punched the other woman outside of a middle school. Brunswick Police said witnesses reported seeing Connie Edmiston, 42, approach the other woman's car outside of Willetts Middle School after school Tuesday with her 13-year-old son in tow, and order the other woman to get out of the vehicle, The Medina (Ohio) Gazette reported Thursday. The alleged victim rolled down the window and Edmiston reached in and repeatedly punched the other woman in the face, witnesses told police. The alleged victim told investigators she had lectured Edmiston's son earlier in the school year when she saw him bully other students. Witnesses said Edmiston was yelling during the alleged attack about "calling her son a bully." Police said the alleged victim was taken to Southwest General Hospital as a precaution because she suffers from multiple sclerosis and a blow to the head could prove fatal. Edmiston was arrested shortly after the incident when she went to the police station to discuss the incident. She denied hitting the other woman and claimed the alleged victim had spit in her face. Edmiston was charged with assault.
Your wife decides to go out with her friends on a girls night dancing….
You’re okay with it, because you get to watch sports all night….
You hear her stumble into bed around 4am and laugh knowing she’s going to have a monster hangover….
You wake up next morning and go outside to the family Volvo, which she used last night…
You sigh in relief because it’s all in one piece….
You circle the car looking for dents and find none….
But then…. Wait a minute….
Volvo is ok

Having Trouble Remembering
Patient: Doc, I am having a problem remembering things!
Doctor: And when did this problem start?
Patient: Problem? What problem?

Shut Up, Trouble and Manners
There once were these three guys: Shut Up, Trouble and Manners.
Trouble got lost so Shut Up and Manners went to the police station. Manners stayed in the car while Shut Up went in. He told the police officer what happened and he asked, "What's your name?"
"Shut Up."
"Where are your Manners?"
"Waiting in the car."
"Are you looking for Trouble?"
"Yes! How did you know?"

Q and A Quickies

Q: Where does a rabbit learn how to fly?
A: In the hare force.

Q: What did the blanket say to the bed?
A: Don't worry I've got you covered!

QUOTE: "Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree."

HINT: (1483-1546), German monk, priest, professor of theology and seminal figure of the Protestant Reformation.

ANSWER: Martin Luther.


Archeologists have found evidence that humans have been enjoying apples since at least 6500 B.C.

Apples have five seed pockets or carpels. Each pocket contains seeds. The number of seeds per carpel is determined by the vigor and health of the plant. Different varieties of apples will have different number of seeds.

Fresh apples float because 25% of their volume is air.

The old saying "an apple a day, keeps the doctor away" comes from am old English adage, "To eat an apple before going to bed, will make the doctor beg his bread."

Apples ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature than if they were refrigerated. For optimal storage, apples should be kept at 35-40 degrees with relative humidity of 80-90%.

Planting an apple seed from a particular apple will not produce a tree of that same variety. The seed is a cross of the tree the fruit was grown on and the variety that was the cross pollinator.

Candy Cane Candy for Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day Recipes & Ideas
Enjoy our latest collection of easy recipes, gifts and crafts to make for the holidays on Pinterest. If you're not a member yet, that's okay, it's FREE!
According to police in Junction City, Kan., David Bell, 30, just released from jail for car theft, walked out the door and stole another car to get home.
On Aug. 17, 1957, in a game against the New York Giants, Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Richie Ashburn hit a foul ball into the stands and hit Alice Roth, the wife of Philadelphia Bulletin sports editor Earl Roth.
The game was stopped, and Roth received emergency medical treatment for a broken nose.
As she was being carried out on a stretcher, Ashburn hit a second foul — and hit her again.
"A survey found that 61 percent of people are more afraid of outliving their money than dying. The other 39 percent have already outlived their money and have faked their own death to avoid creditors." -Jay Leno

"Wal-Mart made plans to hire 100,000 U.S. Veterans. Which can only mean one thing: Wal-Mart is going to invade Costco." -Conan O'Brien

"Cirque du Soleil just announced that it is cutting 400 jobs. So on the downside, hundreds of clowns will lose their jobs. But on the bright side, it'll free up, like, two spaces in the parking lot." -Jimmy Fallon

My father and I belong to the religion of Sikhism. We both wear the traditional turban and often encounter strange comments and questions. Once, in a restaurant, a child stared with amazement at my father. She finally got the courage to ask, "Are you a genie?"

Her mother, caught off guard, turned red in the face and apologized for the remark. But my dad took no offense and decided to humor the child.

He replied, "Why, yes I am. I can grant you three wishes."

The child's mother blurted out, "Really?"

English professors love to catch the errors students make in their term papers, and they love nothing better than to catch mixed metaphors. The "friends and survivors" of Calvin College English department collected this list of mixed metaphors and posted them on their web site:

"He swept the rug under the carpet."
"She's burning the midnight oil at both ends."
"It was so cold last night I had to throw another blanket on the fire."
"It's time to step up to the plate and cut the mustard."
"She's robbing Peter to pay the piper."
"He's up a tree without a paddle."
"Beware my are skating on hot water."
"Keep your ear to the grindstone."
"Sometimes you've gotta stick your neck out on a limb."
"Some people sail through life on a bed of roses like a knife slicing through butter."

A friend said there was nothing worse than waking up with a sore head and less money than you thought you had.
I said, "Could be worse, you could have a sore ass and MORE money than you thought you had."
Rihanna see thru dress

A couple decided to rent a cabin in Alaska for a romantic weekend. When they got to the cabin it was so cold the wife asked her husband to go chop some wood for the fire place.
He comes in after 5 minutes and told his wife that his hands were cold, so she put his hands between her thighs to warm them. After a few minutes he goes back outside to finish chopping wood.
He came in after another 5 minutes and said, "Honey my hands are cold again!" So once again she tells him to put his hands between her thighs to warm them.
Back outside he goes only to come in again after 5 minutes to announce, "Honey my hands are cold again."
"Dammit!" she yells, "Don't your ears ever get cold?"

"A report shows smoking marijuana can help eliminate diarrhea. It's true. The finding was called significant by doctors and a win-win by Taco Bell." -Conan O'Brien
Hey! The Abbey Road train station in London isn't the Abbey Road you're looking for. Luckily, Docklands Light Railway is not only aware of your mistake, but they go all out with the Beatles puns to make it seem more like a lark than an error. -via Arbroath

A sexually active middle aged woman informed her plastic surgeon that she wanted her vaginal lips reduced in size because, over the years they have become loose and floppy.
Out of embarrassment, she insisted that the surgery be kept secret and, of course, the surgeon agreed.
Awakening from the anesthesia, she found 3 roses carefully placed beside her on the bed.
Outraged, she immediately called in the surgeon.
"I thought I specifically asked you not to tell anyone about my operation"!
The surgeon told her he had carried out her wish for confidentiality and that the first rose was from him. "I felt so sad for you, because you went through this all by yourself."
"The second rose is from my nurse. She assisted me in the surgery and understood perfectly, as she had the same procedure done some time ago."
"And what about the third rose?" she asked.
"That's from a man in the burn unit - he wanted to thank you for his new ears."
Your body is an amazing machine, capable of some incredible biochemical feats. Let's discover a few of your body's surprising abilities.

Random Facts:

In your lifetime you will produce enough saliva to fill two swimming pools, and the digestive acid in your stomach is strong enough to melt zinc.

The average human body gives off enough heat in only a half hour to boil a half gallon of water.
Best cake ever
Thanks DJ

101. WINSTON CHURCHILL: Never yield to force
"How did it happen?" the doctor asked the middle-aged farmhand as he set the man's broken leg.
"Well, doc, 25 years ago ..."
"Never mind the past. Tell me how you broke your leg this morning."
"Like I was saying...25 years ago, when I first started working on the farm, that night, right after I'd gone to bed, the farmer's beautiful daughter came into my room. She asked me if there was anything I wanted.
I said no, everything is fine.
"Are you sure?", she asked.
"I'm sure, I said.
"Isn't there anything I can do for you?" she wanted to know.
"I reckon not" I replied ...
"Excuse me," said the doctor, "What does this story have to do with your leg?"
"Well, this morning," the farmhand explained, "when it dawned on me what she meant, I fell off the roof!"
Polar Bear Etiquette
polar bear warning
The town of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada bills itself as "The Polar Bear Capital of the World." It's not a joke. These dangerous predators routinely wander into town. The bears have impacted local customs, as writer Zac Unger describes:
"We were in this town in northern Manitoba where polar bears literally will walk down Main Street. There are polar bears in this town. People will leave their cars and houses unlocked, and it's perfectly good form just to duck into any open door you can find when there's a polar bear chasing you.
"People use what they call Churchill welcome mats, which is a piece of plywood laid down in front of the door or leaned up against the door with hundreds of nails sticking out so that when the polar bear comes up to pad across your porch, he's going to get a paw full of sharp nails."
Link -via Althouse
Ursa ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


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