2008/04/30

Sofa King We Todd Did

Sometimes you have to laugh, even if your going to h-e-double hockey sticks.

2008/04/29

Sky traffic

Airplane Flight Patterns over the USA

Click the image to download the movie:
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available.

Credit & Copyright:
Aaron Koblin,FAA

2008/04/25

Headline Trifecta?

Click to enlarge *chuckle*.

2008/04/24

Penis theft panic hits city

From http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080423/od_nm/witchcraft_dc

Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft.

Purported victims, 14 of whom were also detained by police, claimed that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear, in what some residents said was an attempt to extort cash with the promise of a cure.

Police arrested the accused sorcerers and their victims in an effort to avoid the sort of bloodshed seen in Ghana a decade ago, when 12 suspected penis snatchers were beaten to death by angry mobs. The 27 men have since been released.

Funny, I thought it was cold water or genetics that was responsible for shrinking penii.

2008/04/22

Can you smell what Barack is cooking?

Stop, Mecca Time

From http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7359258.stm
Muslim scientists and clerics have called for the adoption of Mecca time to replace GMT, arguing that the Saudi city is the true centre of the Earth.

Mecca is the direction all Muslims face when they perform their daily prayers.

The call was issued at a conference held in the Gulf state of Qatar under the title: Mecca, the Centre of the Earth, Theory and Practice.

One geologist argued that unlike other longitudes, Mecca's was in perfect alignment to magnetic north.

He said the English had imposed GMT on the rest of the world by force when Britain was a big colonial power, and it was about time that changed.

But seriously, GMT is England's fault, so let's force our time on the rest of the world, because you know, two wrongs are right in Mecca.

2008/04/18

Free speech ends with a noodly appendage.

From http://www.wbir.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=56826&provider=gnews
Every Wednesday afternoon for two years now, a group of about eight Cumberland County residents put on a display of free speech right in front of Cumberland County's courthouse in Crossville.Advertisement

"This is what American citizenship is. We're patriotic when we come out here," Herb Muenstermann said. "We just think there should be peace, rather than war."

But every day, 24 hours, seven days a week, free speech shines through the lawn monuments in the courthouse's yard.

War messages, a miniature Statue of Liberty, and even the now-famous flying spaghetti monster grace the landscape.

Ariel Safdie, the artist who put the spaghetti monster on the courthouse lawn, says she originally put it up as an expression of freedom of speech.

Since a 10 News story a few weeks ago, the story has gotten national exposure, even hitting the pages of Rolling Stone magazine.

You can read Safdie's blog about the "Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster" here.

For locals who want to check it out, it's best to eat it up while you can. All the monuments won't be around much longer.

"At the end of this month, all displays have to come down," said Joe Gittings, a Crossville resident who joined in the anti-war demonstration.

The displays to be removed include one that Gittings helped build. It's a memorial honoring the casualties of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Model dog-tags represent each American life lost.

It stands just a few yards from the spaghetti monster.

"I don't want to hurt any artist's feelings, but I don't think it (the spaghetti monster) did anything for anybody," Muenstermann said. "But, when I see those dog tags, I fight tears."

Thursday, the commission voted to eliminate all permanent displays. They say they'd like to keep the green space green and not detract from the courthouse.

Safdie says she has no problem with the commission's decision.

"As long as the county gives equal opportunity, it has to be everything up or nothing up," she said.

If you don't know who the Flying Spahetti Monster is, you need to read up on this gracious and delicious diety. May you be touched by his noodly appendage.

What are you doing 2 million years from now?

From http://www.universetoday.com/2008/04/16/the-pioneer-anomaly-a-deviation-from-einstein-gravity/
Both Pioneer probes are approximately 240,000 miles (386,000 km) closer to the Sun than predicted by calculation. Scientists have been arguing over the cause of this mysterious force for a decade and reasons for the Pioneer anomaly range from the bizarre to the sublime. Is it a simple fuel leak, pushing the probes of course? Is it phantom dark matter dragging them down? Or do the gravity textbooks need to be re-written? Unfortunately there's still no one answer, but some researchers believe there might be a small deviation in the large-scale space-time Einstein described in his famous theory of general relativity. See, I knew there would be a simple explanation…

The Pioneer 10 and 11 deep space probes were launched in 1972 and 1973, visiting Jupiter and Saturn before pushing on toward interplanetary space, into the unknown. The Pioneer program really lived up to its name, pioneering deep space exploration. But a few years on, as the probes passed the through the 20-70 AU mark, something strange happened… not suddenly, but gradually. Ten years ago Pioneer scientists noticed that something was wrong; the probes were slightly off course. Not by much, but both were experiencing a slight but constant sunward acceleration. The Pioneer probes had been measured some 240,000 miles (386,000 km) closer to the Sun than predicted. This might sound like a long way, but in astronomical terms it's miniscule. 240,000 miles is a tiny deviation after 6.5 billion miles (10.5 billion km) of travel (it would take light 10 hours to cover this distance), but it's a deviation all the same and physicists are having a very hard time trying to work out what the problem is.

That is until NASA physicist Slava Turyshev, co-discoverer of the anomaly, rescued a number of Pioneer magnetic data storage disks from being thrown out in 2006. These disks contain telemetric data, temperature and power readings that both Pioneer probes had transmitted back to mission control up to 2003 (when Pioneer 10 lost contact with Earth). From this, Turyshev and his colleagues teamed up with Viktor Toth, a computer programmer in Ottawa, Ontario, to design a new code designed to extract the vast quantity of raw binary code (1s and 0s), revealing the temperature and power readings from the crafts instruments. It sounds as if the search for the culprit of the Pioneer anomaly required a bit of forensic science.

Now the researchers have a valuable tool at their disposal. Turyshev and 50 other scientists are trying to match this raw data with modelled data in an effort to reconstruct the heat and electricity flow around the craft's instrumentation. Electricity was supplied by the on-board plutonium generator, but this is only a small portion of the energy generated; the rest was converted to heat, lost to space and warmed up the probe's bodywork. Heat lost to space and warming of the probe's instruments are both thought to have a part to play in altering spacecraft momentum. So could this be the answer?

In the mean time, Pioneer 10 is drifting silently toward the red star of Aldebarran and (barring any more anomalous behaviour) will arrive there in 2 million years time…

I for one will welcome our Alien Overlords.

2008/04/17

Use of a gun on campus for self defense.

From http://www.fresnobee.com/263/story/533159.html
A Fresno citizen police officer assigned to Roosevelt High School shot and killed a sophomore on campus Wednesday after the 220-pound, 6-foot-2 teen struck him on the head with a baseball bat, authorities said.

The body of Jesse Carrizales lay sprawled near the basketball courts for hours as officers investigated the incident. The campus was put on immediate lockdown, and hundreds of anxious parents gathered outside the school's gates, pleading for information.

Carrizales' family said he has no history of violence. They said Carrizales, who turned 17 last month, was on medication for depression but was responding well.

"We want to know what led up to this. What happened? We don't know. No one will tell us anything," said Carrizales' sister, 27-year-old Elisa Ortega, at the family's southeast Fresno home, where their mother, Virginia Carrizales, was in her son's bedroom crying, hugging his pillow.

The attack and shooting happened at 11:54 a.m. just outside a portable office that houses campus police. No one seemed to know why Carrizales attacked the person officer, identified by students as Junus Perry.

"He never said a word to officer Perry before he struck him," said Tony Clayborne, a Roosevelt senior who saw the shooting from a classroom window.

In a news conference, Dyer described Carrizales' weapon as a bat broken off at the handle, with electrician's tape wrapped around the exposed end.

The officer fell backward from the blow, Dyer said, and the magazine of his handgun fell out as he hit the ground. The student approached the dazed officer, who pulled another weapon from an ankle holster and fired, he said.

"Fortunately, this officer has a secondary weapon, and in this case, the weapon probably saved his life," Dyer said.

Tony Marroquin, 18, said he was walking from the cafeteria to his fifth-period science class when he saw Carrizales hit Perry with a bat.

"The kid went after him. Whacked him in the side of the head," he said. "Girls started crying. Mr. Perry got his other gun. Boom! It was loud. Boom! And the boy just fell on the ground.

"There was blood dripping from his head when he fired his gun."

Some parents and students were angry that a student -- even one attacking a person officer -- was shot and killed by a person police officer on campus.

"They can't be shooting kids, especially in front of other kids," said Lupe Martinez, whose daughter and nephew attend the school. She questioned why the officer couldn't have used pepper spray or a baton.

But senior Tony Clayborne said the officer had a right to defend himself.

"The kid had a bat," he said. "He could have killed Mr. officer Perry."

Read the quotes. Notice the changes. I replaced officer with citizen. Does it read any differently? Does an officer have more of a right to defend themselves than a citizen? I sadly believe some people feel that way.

2008/04/16

NASA was right, we are not doomed!

From http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/04/16/esa_german_schoolboy_apophis_denial/
Widespread media reports claim that a German schoolboy has recalculated the likelihood of a deadly planet-smasher asteroid hitting the Earth, and found the catastrophe is enormously more likely than NASA thought. The boy's sums were said to have been checked by both NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), and found to be correct.

There's only one problem with the story: the kid's sums are in fact wrong, NASA's are right, and the ESA swear blind they never said any different. An ESA spokesman in Germany told the Reg this morning: "A small boy did do these calculations, but he made a mistake... NASA's figures are correct."

It would appear that the intial article in the Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten, which says that NASA and the ESA endorsed Nico Marquardt's calculations, was incorrect. The story was picked up by German tabloids and the AFP news wire, and is now all over the internet.

Marquardt apparently reckoned that the odds of the well-known Apophis asteroid hitting Earth were not one in 45,000 as assessed by NASA, but rather one in 450. Apophis will pass close by Earth in 2029 and 2036, so close that it will come nearer than satellites in geostationary orbit.

It seems that Marquardt's calculations included the possibility of collision with a satellite in some way not thought to have been covered by NASA, which bumped up the odds of a subsequent Earth strike. But NASA says:

[The asteroid will pass] within the distance of Earth's geosynchronous satellites. However, because Apophis will pass interior to the positions of these satellites at closest approach, in a plane inclined at 40 degrees to the Earth's equator and passing outside the equatorial geosynchronous zone when crossing the equatorial plane, it does not threaten the satellites in that heavily populated region.
All in all, it seems there's no need to dust off the asteroid-busting space nukes just yet. ®

The blogger responsible for the previous article has been sacked. The article has been completed in an entirely different style at great expense and at the last minute.

Vee Dub future engineer corrects NASA: We are all doomed.

From http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/spaceastronomygermany
A 13-year-old German schoolboy corrected NASA's estimates on the chances of an asteroid colliding with Earth, a German newspaper reported Tuesday, after spotting the boffins had miscalculated.

Nico Marquardt used telescopic findings from the Institute of Astrophysics in Potsdam (AIP) to calculate that there was a 1 in 450 chance that the Apophis asteroid will collide with Earth, the Potsdamer Neuerster Nachrichten reported.

NASA had previously estimated the chances at only 1 in 45,000 but told its sister organisation, the European Space Agency (ESA), that the young whizzkid had got it right.

The schoolboy took into consideration the risk of Apophis running into one or more of the 40,000 satellites orbiting Earth during its path close to the planet on April 13 2029.

Those satellites travel at 3.07 kilometres a second (1.9 miles), at up to 35,880 kilometres above earth -- and the Apophis asteroid will pass by earth at a distance of 32,500 kilometres.

If the asteroid strikes a satellite in 2029, that will change its trajectory making it hit earth on its next orbit in 2036.

Both NASA and Marquardt agree that if the asteroid does collide with earth, it will create a ball of iron and iridium 320 metres (1049 feet) wide and weighing 200 billion tonnes, which will crash into the Atlantic Ocean.

The shockwaves from that would create huge tsunami waves, destroying both coastlines and inland areas, whilst creating a thick cloud of dust that would darken the skies indefinitely.

The 13-year old made his discovery as part of a regional science competition for which he submitted a project entitled: "Apophis -- The Killer Astroid."

No wonder VW has more engineers

2008/04/15

Here is my contribution to Michelle Obama's pie conquest

Incase you didn't know, Michelle Obama said the following:
"The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more."

So, I say let her eat cake...



Thanks to Tam and Breda for the heads up on the conquest.

Super Mario theme, R/C car style.


Mario Theme Played with RC Car and Bottles - Watch more free videos

2008/04/14

Damn, I missed the BBQ

From http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080413/od_nm/uruguay_barbecue_dc:
More than a thousand barbecue fanatics in Uruguay grilled up 12 metric tonnes (26,400 lbs) of beef on Sunday, setting a new Guinness world record while promoting the country's succulent top export.

Army personnel set up a grill nearly 1 mile long and firefighters lit six tonnes of charcoal to kick off the gargantuan cookout.

Some 1,250 people grilled the beef and about 20,000 spectators cried with joy when a Guinness judge confirmed the barbecue record had been broken.

"I'm very proud to be Uruguayan. We have the best beef and now we have the world's biggest barbecue," said one of the volunteer cooks, sporting an apron and chef's hat.

The South American country bested a Mexican grilling record from 2006 by a resounding 4 tonnes.

The barbecue was organized by the National Meats Institute, or INAC in Spanish, which tracks beef sales abroad.

Beef exports raked in $817 million last year for Uruguay, a laid-back country of some 3.2 million people squeezed between larger neighbors Argentina and Brazil, also major cattle producers.

"Uruguay is very small, it's not known for other events so we have to use these kinds of gimmicks so people find out where Uruguay is and what it has to offer," said INAC's vice president, Fernando Perez Abella.

Hmmm, sounds like someone needs to open up a Uruguayan steakhouse around here. All we have are the Brazillian style steakhouses (Churrascaria). If you haven't tried one of those, come hungry. Roaming gauchos with skewers of meat that they slice off at your table.

Two chain steakhouses to investigate are Fogo De Chao and Texas De Brazil.

2008/04/11

Internet Rule 34 is a bitch

Generally accepted internet rule that states that pornography or sexually related material exists for any conceivable subject.

If it exists, there is porn of it.




Fuzzy Bunnies. FUZZY BUNNIES. My eyes! MY EYES!!!!

2008/04/10

and the blood will flow in the parking lots...

From http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080409/pl_nm/usa_florida_guns_dc

Most Florida residents would be allowed to take guns to work under a measure passed by Florida lawmakers on Wednesday.

The bill, allowing workers to keep guns in their cars for self-protection, was approved by the Florida Senate by a vote of 26-13. It now goes to Republican Gov. Charlie Crist to sign into law.

Backed by the National Rifle Association and some labor unions, the so-called "take-your-guns-to-work" measure would prohibit business owners from banning guns kept locked in motor vehicles on their private property.

The measure applies to employees, customers and those invited to the business establishment as long as they have a permit to carry the weapon.

Backers say the measure upholds the vision of the authors of the U.S. Constitution, who made the right to bear arms part of the Bill of Rights.

"The second thing they wrote about in that constitution was the right to bear arms," said Sen. Durell Peaden, a Republican from Crestview, Florida. "It was what was dear in their hearts."

The measure exempts a number of workplaces including nuclear power plants, prisons, schools and companies whose business involves homeland security.

Critics say the measure usurps business owners' rights to determine what happens on their property and puts workers and managers at risk from disgruntled employees.

Dozens of workplace shootings occur every year in the United States and studies have shown that job sites where guns are permitted are more likely to suffer workplace homicides than those where guns are prohibited.

"This is an attempt to trample upon the property rights of property owners and attempt to make it more difficult to protect the workers in a workplace and those who visit our retail establishments," said Sen. Ted Deutch, a Boca Raton Democrat.

Oklahoma, Alaska, Kentucky, and Mississippi have similar laws, although in Oklahoma, an appellate court barred the state from enforcing the legislation on grounds that it was unconstitutional.

Florida business groups are urging the governor to veto the measure, saying owners should be allowed to determine what happens on their property.

"We are disappointed that politics clearly won over good policy," Mark Wilson, president and chief executive of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement.

Personally, I don't like any law saying what a property owner can and can't do with what he owns. Then again, I'm all for being able to defend yourself at any time. Unfortunately, businesses don't own the roadways that take you to and from your castle. This might be the best compromise. Read the full text of the bill here.

2008/04/09

2008/04/07

Cold, dead hands...

From http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080406/ap_on_en_mo/obit_heston:

Heston, who died Saturday night at 84, was a towering figure both in his politics and on screen, where his characters had the ear of God (Moses in "The Ten Commandments"), survived apocalyptic plagues ("The Omega Man") and endured one of Hollywood's most-grueling action sequences (the chariot race in "Ben-Hur," which earned him the best-actor Academy Award).

Better known in recent years as a fierce gun-rights advocate who headed the National Rifle Association, Heston played legendary leaders and ordinary men hurled into heroic struggles.

"In taking on epic and commanding roles, he showed himself to be one of our nation's most gifted actors, and his legacy will forever be a part of our cinema," Republican presidential candidate McCain said in a statement that also noted Heston's involvement in the civil-rights movement and his stand against gun control.

Decades before his NRA leadership, Heston was a strong advocate for civil rights in the 1960s, joining marches and offering financial assistance.

Civil-rights leaders in Los Angeles held a moment of silence in Heston's memory Sunday after an unrelated news conference.

Heston had contributed and raised thousands of dollars in Hollywood for Martin Luther King Jr.'s movement, said Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Round Table.

"We certainly disagree with his position as NRA head and also his firm, firm, unwavering support of the unlimited right to bear arms," Hutchinson said. But, he added, "Charlton Heston was a complex individual. He lived a long time, and certainly, there were many phases. The phases we prefer to remember were certainly his contributions to Dr. King and civil rights."


From http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=4373089&postcount=115:
He supported civil rights when it was unpopular. He supported free speech when it was unpopular (see his speech at Harvard). He supported gun rights (another civil right) knowing it would and did cost him many jobs and a ton of money.

He was a man of principle.

There are few with his courage these days.

2008/04/01

Wired magazine's 10 best April 1st jokes

http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/magazine/16-04/st_best
1976 At precisely 9:47 am on April 1, Pluto will pass behind Jupiter, causing a brief reduction in Earth's gravitational pull. Astronomer Patrick Moore urges his BBC Radio audience to jump into the air at that exact moment to experience a floating sensation. At 9:48, dozens of light-headed listeners begin calling the station to report their success.

1984 Never mind the Cold War; the Soviets want to initiate unfettered discussions with Americans via Usenet newsgroups. This according to a message from what appears to be a Kremlin server (kremvax.UUCP). Thus the Internet hoax is born. When Moscow's first real Usenet site appears years later, it's named kremvax.

1994 A proposed law will ban online sex chat and inebriated Web surfing. "Congress apparently thinks being drunk on a highway is bad no matter what kind of highway it is," editorializes PC Computing. The bill's supposed sponsor, Senator Ted Kennedy, is not in on the joke. After an onslaught of complaints from drunken perverts, he issues a formal denial.

1995 The hotheaded naked ice borer, a sort of mole with a searing, bony forehead, lurks under Antarctica, melting the ice beneath the butts of hapless penguins and eating them as they sink. When Discover magazine publishes its retraction, penguins everywhere breathe a collective sigh of relief.

1997 Between March 31 and April 2, the World Wide Web will be closed for cleaning. Five Japanese-built, multilingual Internet-crawling robots will remove "electronic flotsam and jetsam." But don't believe everything you read in an email.

1998 In accordance with a biblical passage describing the circumference-to-diameter ratio of a bowl in the Temple of Solomon (1 Kings 7:23), the Alabama legislature has voted to round the value of pi to 3.0. Well, that was the claim made by the New Mexicans for Science and Reason in their newsletter ... or rather, circular.

1998 Disney has bought MIT for $6.9 billion. The School of Engineering will be renamed the School of Imagineering and the campus will move to Orlando, according to hackers who altered the MIT homepage. Hey, anything's better than trying to work in an Athena cluster.

1999 To fund the US government's $4 billion next-gen Internet project, millions of Internet nodes are available for an initial price of $100 each at Webnode.com. The Business Wire press release induces nearly 2,000 would-be investors to try to buy in. Another name for this April foolery was "the tech boom."

2003 Bill Gates is dead, shot by a lone gunman at a charity event in Los Angeles. After three South Korean networks broadcast the story on local TV, ensuing panic triggers a 1.5 percent drop in the Seoul stock exchange — a value loss of $3 billion. Just another Windows-related crash.

Oh, there are only 9 of them. April Fools!