29 December 2008

Falling Water

A tour of one of Pennsylvania's most beautiful homes.

In defense of the "fat tax"

New York is proposing an 18% tax on sugary drinks and non-diet soda to combat the trends of increasing obesity among children and adults as well as the shift from drinking milk, water, and fruit juices towards sugary drinks like soda. According to recent polls, the public opposes the tax, but State Health Commissioner Richard Daines has created a video to talk about the shift and explain why he supports the tax.

Is this just another way the government is becoming a nanny state and trampling on personal freedoms or is it important legislation that addresses a public health issue that costs billions every year?

How does this compare with the Pennsylvania public smoking ban?


'The upside of downward mobility'

An insightful look into the current status of the American economy and the American Dream. Matt Miller assesses the situation and what that might mean in the short-term and long-term for the USA and challenges the way we look at the roles and responsibilities of the individual and the government. He cites three problems with the way we think and how we can change.

"The U.S. now offers its citizens a smaller chance of rising from their economic status at birth than do France, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Canada, and Germany."

28 December 2008

Bill O'Reilly revisited

See more funny videos and funny pictures at CollegeHumor.

Shamelessly taken from Gunn'y

26 December 2008

"Please excuse me for being late to class, I was busy preventing heart disease"

New research has shown that hours spent sleeping has a direct correlation to risk for coronary artery disease. For each additional hour of sleep, the risk of calcification of the coronary arteries decreased by 33 percent -- an outcome equal to reducing blood pressure by 16 point elevations. This held true even when confounding factors, such as age, race, cholesterol level, and other possible risk factors were controlled. So, the next time you get in trouble for oversleeping, I'd say that this is a pretty good excuse.

American suburbia abroad

As the domestic real estate market slumps, American architects and urban planners are being hired overseas to create American-style suburbs in parts of Asia and countries like Egypt and Azerbaijan. Some places it's hard to tell you aren't in Southern California. They have tree-lined streets, sidewalks, parks, and shops. The American Dream has been exported.


Wouldn't Usonai, Prairie School, and Organic Architecture have been nicer exports?

XKCD: Google Trends

"Obama has been writing Lincoln/Obama erotic fan fiction on his secret live journal. Excerpt: Lincoln lay back on the bed, nude save for his trademark stovepipe hat. 'Tell me,' he purred seductively, as he and Obama formed a more perfect union. 'When you come, is it 10% ethanol?'"

RNC candidate distributes "Barack the Magic Negro"

RNC Candidate Chip Saltsman distributed a 41-track CD full of satirical songs including "Barack the Magic Negro," which was featured on Rush Limbaugh's radio show. The song was written by conservative satirist Paul Shanklin, played to the tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon" and sung in Shanklin's impression of Al Sharpton. The song was first played on Limbaugh's show in March 2007.

From the song:
“See, real black men, like Snoop Dog, or me, or Farrakhan, have talked the talk, and walked the walk, not come in late and won”

24 December 2008

Warning: beware of... snow globes?

Hallmark stores have recently recalled thousands of over-sized snow globes because they have received several reports of the 17" tall globe acting as a magnifying glass and igniting things around the globe. Wow. I can't decide if this is really freaky or really awesome. I'm going to go with awesome.

23 December 2008

Ho Ho (h)Obama

Shoe resistance inspires art

22 December 2008

Now you too can get shoes worthy of chucking at a President

The Baydan Model 271 was the shoe that an Iraqi journalist threw at President Bush last week, and now, the Istanbul based company has decided to rename the shoe "the Bush shoe" and demand is off the charts.

In this time of great international economic strife, at least this Turkish company has been able to tap into the Zeitgeist and instigate demand. In fact, Baydan has hired one hundred new staff members to cope with a sudden surge in novelty demand.

In other news, the brother of the shoe lobber is angry he says that Baydan and others are trying to capitalize on the situation and that his brother's shoes were in fact made in Iraq.


Fill your tank . . . at Burger King

Forbes investigative journalism on the prowl:

For a time, Beverly Hills doctor Craig Alan Bittner turned the fat he removed from patients into biodiesel that fueled his Ford SUV and his girlfriend's Lincoln Navigator.

Love handles can power a car? Frighteningly, yes. Fat--whether animal or vegetable--contains triglycerides that can be extracted and turned into diesel.

Speed camera pwnage

Students at one Maryland high school have been printing up fake license plates with numbers of teachers or peers that they have it out for, attaching said "plate" to their car, and then speeding through camera traps. The mark gets a $40 fine in the mail.

The practice has brought into public discourse the problems of the photo system and its accuracy. Looks like high school students have once again found a way to pwn the system. Here's to creativity, and license plate fonts for the fifty nifty United States.

20 December 2008

Bristol Palin's mother-in-law-to-be arrested

Bristol Palin's baby dady's momma was recently arrested on drug charges. The warrant resulted from an "undercover investigation" that "had been going on for a while."

Apparently you can throw a stone in Alaska and hit a meth lab.

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's office "won't have any comment" as "this is not a state government matter."

Photo borrowed without intent to return from CNN.

XKCD: 11th Grade

"And the ten minutes striking up a conversation with that strange kid in homeroom sometimes matters more than every other part of high school combined."

19 December 2008

Well that would certainly explain the headache...

Benign brain tumors are fairly common in newborns. Usually it requires surgery in the first few days of life, and is actually fairly simple- open up, remove tumor, close up. In newborns, most tumors are made up of undifferentiated, disorganized stem cells. In the case of this child, however, the cells seemed to be quite organized. Organized into a foot. That's right, this baby had a foot in it's brain. Doctor's have not yet confirmed whether this foot is an extremely rare, highly differentiated stem cell tumor, or if it belonged to the baby's twin who just did not fully develop and was engulfed (another very rare incidence) by the fully developed baby. Either way, I would have liked to see the face of the neurosurgeon who opened up the brain when a foot popped out. For those of you who are concerned, the child is recovering well from his foot-ectomy.

18 December 2008


Because only 5 posts are tagged with "Art."

A little photography submitted for your perusal.

Of police and pot brownies

A cop stole confiscated marijuana and cooked brownies with his wife. Shortly thereafter they believed they were overdosing and so called 911. Neither the cop nor his wife were charged, but the police department was gracious enough to allow him to resign.

It smells like.... MEAT?

That's right.... for a small price, you can smell like a flame broiled Burger King burger

Cocktail: Rob Roy

A tasty classic suitable for any drinking man's repertoire. It's basically a Manhattan with Scotch. Personally, I find it to be better sans bitters, but to each his own.
2 oz Scotch Whisky
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
Harrington suggested during summer "on the rocks. In the winter, up." Bitters are optional here.
Cigar is also optional.

If a plane takes off heading east at 60 mph, and a cow. . .

Now, before I seem like the cruelest human being in the world. I'm posting this because the cow gets hit by a plane - and then, apparently gets up and starts grazing like nothing ever happened.

Full Story at MSNBC

17 December 2008

Let Your Font Save the World

This open-source font was designed by Europeans to use 20% less ink than a typical san serif font. That way you can waste 20% more paper for very little additional cost!

More about that New York Senate Seat

From timesunion.com

15 December 2008

Computer can see what you see

Scientists managed to convert electrical impulses from the brain into images on a computer screen. Is this scary? Is this awesome? Is this scary awesome? I don't know, but I think that debate can wait until we have more than a few grainy pixels that form a letter.

Courtesy of SlipperyBrick

14 December 2008

Iraqi Journalist Tweeks, Chucks Shoe at President

During a suprise trip to Iraq, President Bush was confronted by an Iraqi journalist who wished to give him a "Goodbye Kiss".

Someone should probably tell him that American's don't usually kiss by throwing shoes.

UPDATE: BBC has video

13 December 2008

The Reverend Wrote a Blag

Because I was given the right to post links, here is a bit of shameless self promotion:

Fear and Loathing in the 21st Century

Check out my blog. Latest post: Shitty fantasy television shows and Darth Vader getting pwned by the Tokyo Police.

Since many bloggers here have a connection to LVC...


"A Georgia judge threw the book at Brian Nichols on Saturday, giving him four consecutive sentences of life without parole for a 2005 shooting rampage that started in an Atlanta courthouse.

'I'm giving you the maximum -- every day I could give you. If I could give you more, I would,' Superior Court Judge James Bodiford told Nichols.

Bodiford gave Nichols the maximum sentence on all the non-murder charges, and ordered them to be served consecutively.

Those terms ranged from five years for escape to life for armed robbery. Other charges included aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, robbery by force, theft by taking, hijacking a motor vehicle and false imprisonment."

12 December 2008

XKCD: Wood Chips

Sometimes prank wars get unnecessarily complicated.

"You didn't run a chemical test against the Shroud of Turin? Man, all that work for NOTHING."

11 December 2008

Top Bunk

from Politicker

Prison Night At The Good Ole' Hockey Game?

Yes, it is true. If anyone will be in Vegas on Jan. 30th.... make it out to the ECHL game between the Las Vegas Wranglers and the Victoria Salmon Kings. The Wranglers will be wearing special "prison uniform" style jerseys in 'honor' of recently disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Read more about it here

....after the game happens, if I can find pictures.... I will follow up with a new post featuring them.

09 December 2008

Fran Drescher for Senate

Drescher spokesman Jordan Brown told CNN in a written statement late Monday:

"Fran Drescher, actress, women's health advocate and public diplomacy envoy for the U.S. State Department, announced that she is throwing her hat into the ring of contenders for the senate seat being vacated by Secretary of State-designate Hillary Rodham Clinton,"
But CNN's description is better:

Drescher, 51, is best known for her starring role in the 1990s television comedy "The Nanny" and an adenoidal voice that could strip the rust off an engine block — a talent that might come in handy during a Senate filibuster.

Illionois Gov. Blagojevich in Federal custody

Today the FBI has arrested Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich for conspiring to gain financial advantage from his duty to appoint Senator Obama's replacement.
A 76-page affidavit from the United States Attorney’s office in Northern Illinois says Mr. Blagojevich was heard on wiretaps over the last month planning to “sell or trade Illinois’ United States Senate seat vacated by Pres-elect Barack Obama for financial and personal benefits for himself and his wife.”

From the newly-remortgaged New York Times

08 December 2008

the perfect christmas present for anyone on your list

At a loss for what to get your parent, friend or "lover" for Christmas this year? How about Chlamydia? Yup, that's right- GiantMicrobes has come to rescue for all you challenged gift givers out there and released a line of plush dolls shaped like microbes, ranging from the common cold to ebola, and for those of you who are feeling a little kinkier, herpes to "the clap." The microbes come with a magnified picture of the real microbe, along with an imformation packet on the disease it causes. So, I don't know about you guys, but all I want for Christmas this year is Gonorrhea. Or maybe some fat cells. Or maybe C. Diff. I just can't decide!!

Sport Utility Alter Call

This Weekend a major Detroit church parked SUVs by the altar and asked the congregation to pray over them. The move was to ask God's help in the lives of countless auto workers in Michigan whose livelihoods may depend on a automaker bailout this week in congress.

While I appreciate the sentiment, I imagine most parishioners did not require a visual aid to know what an automobile is.

07 December 2008

Your pesticides are shrinking my son's junk

Research from around the world is demonstrating that the bevy of chemicals, especially chemical pesticides, floating around the world is entering females' bodies and damaging their male offspring's genitals. This phenomenon is being observed in males throughout nearly all major vertebrate animal species.
Many [chemicals] have been identified as "endocrine disrupters" – or gender-benders – because they interfere with hormones. These include phthalates, used in food wrapping, cosmetics and baby powders among other applications; flame retardants in furniture and electrical goods; PCBs, a now banned group of substances still widespread in food and the environment; and many pesticides.

Feminisation of the males of numerous vertebrate species is now a widespread occurrence. All vertebrates have similar sex hormone receptors, which have been conserved in evolution. Therefore, observations in one species may serve to highlight pollution issues of concern for other vertebrates, including humans.
Some British fish have even been developing eggs in their testes.... Ach, Scheiße!

06 December 2008

New, salt flavored twizzlers?

Who'da thunk?? Low-sodium foods from soup to salad dressing have been around for a while, and we all know how important low-sodium diets are to people with or at risk for heart disease. However, some very unexpected foods are quite high in sodium. Here's a partial list:

Twizzlers: Nearly twice the sodium of a serving of salted peanuts
Prego Heart Smart Traditional Italian Sauce: 4x the sodium of a serving of salted peanuts
Kraft Snackables cheddar and monterrey jack cheese cubes: Nearly 3x the sodium of a serving of salted peanuts

Amazingly, a serving a Planter's salted peanuts has quite a reasonable amount of sodium per serving. The New York Times has some more detail.
Bottom line- it's important to know what you are eating, and there is only one way to do that:
ALWAYS read the label!
Click here for the Mayo Clinic's recommendations on sodium intake, and recommendations on how to decrease yours if it's too high.

03 December 2008

Japanese win space beer race

The Russians may have been first in space, and the Americans the first to the moon, but the Japanese are the first to make space beer - beer brewed with barley grown on the International Space Station.

Unfortunately, only 100 liters of the extraterrestrial elixir were produced and they are only available for a limited sampling in Japan.


Via Gizmodo

Photo gratuitously lifted from Gizmodo who ostensibly borrowed it from AFP without intent to return.

Make your own bacon-flavored vodka

Because who doesn't want bacon-flavored vodka?

Bacon Vodka

makes up one pint

Fry up three strips of bacon.
Add cooked bacon to a clean pint sized mason jar. Trim the ends of the bacon if they are too tall to fit in the jar. Or you could go hog wild and just pile in a bunch of fried up bacon scraps. Optional: add crushed black peppercorns.
Fill the jar up with vodka. Cap and place in a dark cupboard for at least three weeks. That’s right- I didn’t refrigerate it.
At the end of the three week resting period, place the bacon vodka in the freezer to solidify the fats. Strain out the fats through a coffee filter to yield a clear filtered pale yellow bacon vodka.

Decant into decorative bottles and enjoy.

Photo blatantly ripped off of Brownie Points.

The Empire State Building has been stolen!

The New York Daily News has stolen the Empire State Building.
"And it wasn't that hard"

Don't worry, they gave it back.

photo graciously borrowed from the NYDN

US interrogator found better way

When so many others were bending and breaking the rules, using a Gitmo interrogation style, one US Air Force interrogator in Iraq preferred to play by the rules, get a little creative, and get results. Without using torture, he managed to get information critical in leading to the death of Zarqawi. In this article, originally in the Washington Post, he gives some insight on the war and American conduct in Iraq. An excerpt:
I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo...The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. How anyone can say that torture keeps Americans safe is beyond me -- unless you don't count American soldiers as Americans.
Via The Liberator Magazine.

02 December 2008

Impeachment ornament selected for White House holiday tree

One of the ornaments selected for the Fraser Fir in the White House Blue Room includes statements by various Congressmen advocating impeachment of the White House's occupants.

Laura Bush asked members of Congress to have local artists create ornaments. Washington State's Jim McDermott chose artist Deborah Lawrence.

"I was at first nauseated, then realized it was an opportunity," said Lawrence, 55, who frequently combines politics and satire in her work and saw this as the perfect way "to highlight Jim McDermott because he's a hero of mine."
More on the ornery ornament.

Photo courtesy Deborah Lawrence

01 December 2008

Pentagon deploying more troops inside US

The Pentagon is deploying 20,000 uniformed US soldiers within the country. The troop deployment is part of an expansion of the Department of Defense's role in homeland security.

The move has civil liberties advocates on edge and there is talk of a possible conflict with the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. The law, enacted following the Reconstruction, severely restricts the ability of uniformed military personnel to act as law enforcement on non-federal land.

Image courtesy of Getty

Bush apologizes... sorta

It seems as though President Bush has kind of apologized for screwing up the economy and the War in Iraq.

Some gems:

"I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess," Bush added.

"That is a do-over that I can't do," Bush said.

Reflections on the Bush II Presidency, courtesy of the man himself.

Photo courtesy of AP

26 November 2008

What, no Kwanzaadan?


"A picture of a Christmas tree is not the first thing you would expect to see on an invitation to an event celebrating Hanukkah, but that is exactly what recipients of invitations to this year's White House Hanukkah reception initially got in the mail.

The invitation sent to American Jewish leaders on behalf of the President and First Lady, requesting "the pleasure of your company at a Hanukkah reception," bore an image of a Clydesdale horse-drawn cart, carrying the White House Christmas tree, with a Christmas wreath-adorned White House in the background."

Wow, George... wow.

Israel bans press from Gaza Strip

Israel has instituted a ban on the press in the Gaza Strip. This is a stunning blow to freedom of the press. While Israel is still permitting humanitarian aid, Palestinians say they feel as though they're living under siege.

25 November 2008

Eliminate AIDS in ten years for a few billion

A study found that a couple of weeks worth of the Iraq War could eliminate HIV and AIDS in only 10 years.

Granted, there were a lot of assumptions, but it's an exciting possibility.

Of course it was in Kentucky

A 21 year-old escaped from a prison in Kentucky and then returned later that day, asking to be let back in.

That's special.

Hold it in or suffer the consequences

A 13 year old Florida male was arrested for "breaking wind" and disrupting class....

.... now that stinks!

24 November 2008

This was just a piano in the woods

Any piano, big or small, is a piano after all...

This one happened to be in the middle of the woods... in Massachusetts... and in tune.


The answer is just out of reach.

23 November 2008

NBC kills environmental show during "Green Week"

Oh the irony! During NBC's Green Week (a celebration of environmentally friendly policy and promoting a green lifestyle) the media giant canceled the Weather Channel show "Forecast Earth." The show focused on global climate change and featured former CNN anchor Natalie Allen with contributions from climate change expert Heidi Cullen.

Green is universal indeed.

XKCD: Experimentation

"I understand large samples are key to a low standard error of the mean, but the entire sophomore class?"

22 November 2008

Sarah Palin interviewed while turkeys slaughtered

Alaska Governor and former GOP Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin gave an interview after "pardoning" a group of turkeys before the Thanksgiving Holiday. Unbeknownst to her, there is a gentleman in the background watching her and slaughtering turkeys. The video is somewhat graphic, so consider yourself warned.

Thanksgiving Tip

Make this year a winner: Turbaconducken

That's right, why roast a turkey when you can take down Old MacDonald's entire farm. Who, honestly could resist a whole chicken, wrapped in bacon stuffed inside an entire duck, which also happens to be wrapped in bacon and stuffed inside a turkey, you guessed it, wrapped in bacon. This thirty pound, thirty one thousand three hundred eighty seven calorie delight can be yours with a quick trip to the grocery store and an utter lack of shame.

Thanks to our friends at Bacon Today: step-by-step instructions.

Now, if only we could figure out how to deep-fry this bad boy. . .

19 November 2008

XKCD: Theft of the Magi

XKCD goes old school with Gift... er... Theft of the Magi.

"Every Roomba needs a dueling harness."

18 November 2008


On Friday, a Florida man was arrested for assaulting his wife with.....
a sandwich. Yes, a sandwich.
The man and his girlfriend were in the car driving on I-95 when he allegedly hit her in the arm and face with a sandwich. Investigation continues...

A Surprising Note on All Things Political and Gay...

Here is a graph showing the shift, either more Republican or more Democrat, among self identified groups of voters.

What is most interesting, to my mind, is that there was a marked shift away, by percentage, from the Democrats, to the Republicans...among the gays. Not really surprising to me, that. We had the most gay-friendly Republican ticket in history. But also of note is the fact that Obama did several things to hurt himself among the gay community.


Tastes like Chicken.

In other news, Poland is not coming to any state dinners anytime soon:
"Have you heard that Obama may have a Polish connection? His grandfather ate a Polish missionary," said Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski.

Apparently he was only giving an example of a racist joke. Thanks for the education, I had no idea what racism was.

Yar, Pirates!

Pirates of the Indian Ocean hijacked a huge tanker and are trying to take it back to Somalia. They swashbuckled their way into what is easily the biggest heist on the high seas ever. Yar.

Actually, that's 100 million dollars worth of oil, you should seriously give that back.


17 November 2008

The Bat Hunter


$21 million to repair doomsday


"Fixing the world's largest atom smasher will cost at least 25 million francs ($21 million) and may take until early summer, its operator said Monday.

The atom smasher operates at temperatures colder than outer space to get maximum efficiency and experts needed to gradually warm the damaged section to better assess it, he said.

That will show on a tiny scale what happened one-trillionth of a second after the so-called Big Bang, which many scientists theorize was the massive explosion that formed the universe. The theory holds that the universe was rapidly cooling at that stage and matter was changing rapidly."

Making the picture cloudy

Tony Romo returns (broken pinky and all) to lead the Cowboys to a win that puts 'America's Team' right back into the playoff hunt

16 November 2008

The Economist weighs in on the financial crisis

13 November 2008

Is that what I think it is?

Yup - it totally is...

President George W. Bush is flashing the "shocker" with the 2008 NCAA sports champions.


Another addition to the list of speculation on autism...

Over the past decades, diagnosis and awareness of the spectrum of Autism disorders has skyrocketed. But, ask 100 people what causes Autism and you will probably get 100 different answers. Many mothers of children with Autism will tell you it's due to the MMR vaccine, some say its a rotovirus that punctuates the bowel and travels to the brain, others call it a severe allergy to glutin and casein. Researchers in California have just added their two cents to the bucket- rain. Yup, rain. As odd as it sounds, it does appear that there may actually be a link between rainy weather and rates of autism in California and Oregon. No one is quite sure why, whether it's the rain itself or it's becuase the children in these climates spend more time inside with televisio and household chemicals. No one knows, but it's another theory.

12 November 2008

This has always bugged me, too

The Amazing Sounds of Failing Hard Drive

The amazing sounds of the killing hordes, the day the hard drive collapses on us.

The sounds that 35 different types of hard drives make as they slowly die.

Additional commentary at Slashdot.

10 November 2008

50 Thinks you might not know about the President - Elect

  • He likes Spiderman
  • He owns a set of red boxing gloves autographed by Muhammad Ali.
  • His favourite drink is black forest berry iced tea.
  • His desk in his Senate office once belonged to Robert Kennedy.
  • Daughter Malia's godmother is Jesse Jackson's daughter Santita.
continue . . .

This takes "Change we can believe in" to a WHOLE new level

This election has given us many firsts- first black president, first female on the Republican ticket, etc. Well, I have just found out about another one. Silverton, Oregon has elected the nation's first ever openly transgendered mayor. Stu Rasmussen has been a fixture in Silverton politics for a while now, and actually served two terms as mayor in the past- before he became a she. Amazingly, he doesn't see any of the attention as warranted. He sees being open about his transgendered-ness as "blackmail-proof" saying that because his appearance was no secret, the race could be dominated by the issues that really matter.

No XKCD today

I wasn't really impressed with today's XKCD. Instead, please enjoy this Toothpaste for Dinner comic.

Remember that bombing in Pakistan thing?

You know - that whole "if we have actionable intelligence and the Pakistan government is unable or unwilling, we should attack the terrorists ourselves" thing?

Apparently, we're already doing that.

Way to go, Obama - giving away the Bush Administration's play book.

09 November 2008

A cure for HIV?

For years, researchers have known that some people are immune to HIV due to a genetic mutation in their cell membranes. More recently a German physician replaced the bone marrow of an HIV patient with bone marrow from a person with the mutation. Two years later, the HIV is gone.

that is one HOT first lady

Take the brains of Hillary, add the uncomplicated charm of Laura, and the impeccable style of Jackie. Put it all together, and what do you have? One AMAZINGLY hot first lady.

photo available here

07 November 2008

Change.gov comes online

President-elect Barack Obama has launched Change.gov, a website that outlines, in plain English and detail, the plan for transitioning governments.

Have a question? Looking for a job in the Obama Administration? Change.gov has the answers.

Interestingly, the content is copyrighted by the Obama-Biden Transition Project, a 501C(4) organization. It seems they were planning and prepared for victory.

For additional commentary, check out Slashdot.

Bad Dog

We now have the most high profile case for the dog whisperer....