Now gluten-free!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Surface Computing


I've been thinking I could use a new coffee table. This one's only $10,000!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Big Google Is Watching You

This is kind of scary. Turns out Google Maps ain't just for driving directions.

Check it out here and here.

Oh, and don't forget to smile the next time you step outside!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Fun with Food

Looking for ways to get your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables? Try being a little more creative:
See the rest here.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Geaux Tigers!

The pitiful, pathetic pests at PETA are pretty perturbed. When the Louisiana State University mascot, Mike V, passed away last Friday, Lisa Wathne, PETA's Captive Exotic Animal Specialist, fired off a letter to the university asking that they refrain from replacing the beloved tiger. She suggested a (literally) more humane alternative:
    Costumed human mascots are currently in use at most universities, and no major professional sports team includes live animals in its mascot program. The versatility of human performers allows them to interact directly with fans and entertain them throughout the game by leading cheers, reacting to the crowd, and pumping up the team. A frightened animal can’t do any of these things. Human mascots can also promote the team within the community and participate in community service. For example, the Jacksonville Jaguars sent their costumed human mascot to the Middle East in 2001 to support U.S. troops.
I guess the folks at PETA think that taking a student dressed up as a tiger and turning him loose in the visitors' section after every LSU touchdown would be just as exciting as the real thing, but hey...that just ain't the way things are done down in Death Valley!

Mike the Tiger has been a tradition at LSU for over 70 years. In fact, the symbol of the tiger has been associated with Louisiana ever since Lincoln's War of Northern Aggression. Should a small group of maladjusted malcontents be allowed to destroy that tradition?

Fortunately, LSU politely told PETA where to go. University officials are already planning to get another tiger before the start of the 2007 football season.

Geaux (real) Tigers!

HT: Dad, for the article

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Plague-Infected Squirrels Now Targeting Monkeys

Could humans be next? This recent report raises the question:
    The plague found in squirrels in the City Park area has killed a hooded capuchin monkey at the Denver Zoo.

    The 8-year-old monkey probably ate an infected squirrel before dying Wednesday, senior veterinarian David Kenny said Monday.

    The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's lab confirmed the plague.

    Kenny and state epidemiologist John Pape both said the risk to humans remains extremely low, and there is no reason not to visit parks or the zoo.

    The best thing to do is simply avoid contact with squirrels, and that includes not feeding them, said Pape.
It is not yet clear if the squirrel in question was on a suicide mission, but we must continue to remain vigilant.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Another End That's Near

It's no global Armageddon, but it sure generates more phone calls to TV engineers!

A new website is out that explains the impending end of analog over-the-air TV--hopefully better than the kids in the aisle at Best Buy do. If you have the opportunity, please direct your nearest soap-opera-watching little old lady to this website. Of course, you'll have to show her how to use a computer first.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The End Is Near

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, we only have five years left to save the planet. Just thought y'all would like to know.

Name That Tune

Monday, May 14, 2007

Honey, I'm Listening...Really

    Moving Your Eyes Improves Memory, Study Suggests

    If you're looking for a quick memory fix, move your eyes from side-to-side for 30 seconds, researchers say.

    Horizontal eye movements are thought to cause the two hemispheres of the brain to interact more with one another, and communication between brain hemispheres is important for retrieving certain types of memories.
So, you see, Dear, what you consider an exasperated eye roll is really me just utilizing this memory technique so that I don't get into trouble later for not listening.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Creative Theories

According to an e-mail I received, these are the results of a "Creative Scientific Theories Contest" sponsored several years ago by Omni magazine. I have not been able to confirm this by searching the archives of that now out-of-print magazine, but at least the attribution is a good theory!


When a cat is dropped, it always lands on its feet. And when toast is dropped, it always lands with the buttered side facing down. I propose to strap buttered toast to the back of a cat; the two will hover, spinning inches above the ground. With a giant buttered cat array, a high-speed monorail could easily link New York with Chicago.


If an infinite number of rednecks riding in an infinite number of pickup trucks fire an infinite number of shotgun rounds at an infinite number of highway signs, they will eventually produce all the world's great literary works in Braille.

Why yawning is contagious: You yawn to equalize the pressure on your eardrums. This pressure change outside your eardrums unbalances other people's ear pressures, so they must yawn to even it out.

Communist China is technologically underdeveloped because they have no alphabet and therefore cannot use acronyms to communicate ideas at a faster rate.

The earth may spin faster on its axis due to deforestation. Just as a figure skater's rate of spin increases when the arms are brought in close to the body, the cutting of tall trees may cause our planet to spin dangerously fast.


The quantity of consonants in the English language is constant. If omitted in one place, they turn up in another. When a Bostonian "pahks" his "cah," the lost r's migrate southwest, causing a Texan to "warsh" his car and invest in "erl wells."

Birds take off at sunrise. On the opposite side of the world, they are landing at sunset. This causes the earth to spin on its axis.

A Cow by Any Other Name...

Every now and then, an interesting story comes out of Wisconsin. Like this one:
    MERRILL, Wis. - Mark Krombholz had to look twice at his new calf, Lucy — one time for each nose. "I didn't notice anything too different about her until I got her in the barn," Krombholz said, "and all of a sudden I went to feed her a bottle of milk, and I thought maybe she'd been kicked in the nose and there were two noses there."

    The second, smaller nose sits on top of the first.

    "It's a functioning nose because the middle of her second nose, the flap would go in and out when she drank out of the bottle like that," Krombholz said. "It was kind of funny."
I just have one question: does a cow with two noses smell better than a cow with one nose?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Squirrel Terrorists Waging Biological Warfare

The evil squirrels have taken their war of terror to the next level:
Bubonic Plague Killing Squirrels In Denver

Denver, CO (AHN) - Residents of Denver, Colorado are being warned that a spate of squirrel deaths is being caused by "Black Death" the common name for Bubonic Plague, which killed millions of people in the 14th Century. So far, no humans have been infected. However, the plague is inside one of the city's most popular parks, the site of youth soccer games and a place people go to walk their dogs and picnic.

Plague bacteria are carried by fleas that get on squirrels, rodents, pets and people and spread the disease by biting. This bout has killed 13 squirrels found in or near City Park, and two squirrels and a rabbit found in Denver suburbs.
It seems these vermin are also recruiting other species.

In light of this, the Squirrel Threat Level has been raised to High.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Terrorist Squirrel Attacks Elementary School!

This horrifying report comes from San Jose:
    Thursday, May 10, 2007

    A squirrel went on the attack in a San Jose elementary school Wednesday, bloodying an 11-year-old girl and a parent in a slashing, biting assault and injuring a second grown-up before making its escape.

    All three victims from Evergreen Elementary School were treated for bites and scratches at a local hospital, school district spokesman Will Ector said, and all were undergoing rabies treatment as a precaution. They also were administered antibiotics, he said.

    The attack occurred as a classroom of first-graders prepared to go on a field trip around 8:30 a.m. Two parent chaperones were standing in the room when the squirrel ran in and clawed its way up one of the adult's legs, Ector said.

    "They were trying to get it off and another parent was trying to assist," he said. "In the process, both were bitten. One was nipped on the fingertip and scratched on the arm, and the other parent was bitten on the arm."
You can watch the MSNBC news report here.

Stay alert, folks!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

When Do We Eat?

"What time is dinner?" This article from the October/November 2001 issue of History Magazine seeks to answer that question:
    Today many people find it strange that the biggest meal of the day once centered around noon, but it made great sense at the time. Artificial lighting such as oil lamps and candles were expensive, and provided weak illumination at best. So people went to sleep at sundown, because it's difficult to work and eat in the dark. The last meal of the day was a rushed affair, a quick snack before the lights (the sun) went out. The only exceptions were those who had to work at night, and the extremely wealthy and powerful people at royal courts. The wealthiest courts, like those of France and Burgundy might stay up after sunset, their grandly decorated halls illuminated by thousands of candles or torches. But they were unusual; most medieval people never witnessed such spectacles. ...

    ... In the 1790s the upper class was rising from bed around ten a.m. or noon, and then eating breakfast at an hour when their grandparents had eaten dinner. They then went for "morning walks" in the afternoon and greeted each other with "Good morning" until they ate their dinner at perhaps five or six p.m. Then it was "afternoon" until evening came with supper, sometime between nine p.m. and two a.m.! The rich, famous and fashionable did not go to bed until dawn. With their wealth and social standing, they were able to change the day to suit themselves. The hours they kept differentiated them from the middle and lower classes as surely as did their clothes, servants and mansions. ...

    ... Luncheon as a regular daily meal only developed in the US in the 1900s. In the 1945 edition of Etiquette, Emily Post still referred to luncheon as "generally given by and for women, but it is not unusual, especially in summer places or in town on Saturday or Sunday, to include an equal number of men." She also referred to supper as "the most intimate meal there is...none but family or nearest friends are ever included." Only hash or cold meat were to be served at supper; anything hot or complicated was served at dinner. In her first edition of Etiquette, in 1922, Post had seen no need to explain that. But by the 1945 edition, she had to explain that luncheon was an informal midday meal and supper an informal evening meal, while dinner was always formal, but could occur at midday or evening.
If you like food as much as I do, check out the full article here.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Not-So-Free Market

We used to adopt a laissez-faire (French for "let do") approach to economics in this country. That was the essence of the free market or free enterprise. Competition was the name of the game, and the only law we needed was the law of supply and demand.

Sadly, those days are gone. Here is an example of just how "free" the market is today:
    Gas station owner told to raise prices

    MERRILL, Wis. - A service station that offered discounted gas to senior citizens and people supporting youth sports has been ordered by the state to raise its prices.

    Center City BP owner Raj Bhandari has been offering senior citizens a 2 cent per gallon price break and discount cards that let sports boosters pay 3 cents less per gallon.

    But the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection says those deals violate Wisconsin's Unfair Sales Act, which requires stations to sell gas for about 9.2 percent more than the wholesale price.

    Bhandari said he received a letter from the state auditor last month saying the state would sue him if he did not raise his prices. The state could penalize him for each discounted gallon he sold, with the fine determined by a judge.
Give me a break. This is still America, right?

Friday, May 04, 2007

Some Movie Recommendations for This Weekend

In the mood for something scary? Check out this classic horror flick from the demented minds at Disney:
Are you looking for a touching, funny, romantic, family-friendly film? You can't go wrong with Stephen King:
How about heart-warming movie about faith, forgiveness, and second chances?:
Or perhaps a manly, epic, war movie is more up your alley:
But I know that some of you are very busy and just don't have time to sit down and watch a full two-hour movie. Well, then, check out the five-second versions of these popular films:You can check out other five-second classics here. Have a good weekend!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Importance of Fire Drills at Work

We just had a fire drill at work -- and I'm happy to say that it came off without a hitch. I am now confident that should a small, slow-moving fire start in a remote corner of this huge building of over 5,000 employees, my coworkers and I would be able to make it to safety with relative ease.

I think these drills are important because they simulate the conditions of a real fire. We all know that in real life, people tend to remain calm and engage in idle chit-chat as they casually saunter down the stairs to the parking lot outside, with little more on their minds than what they're going to have for lunch that day. All the smoke, flames, heat, screaming, and stampeding normally associated with burning buildings are nothing but Hollywood inventions designed to make fires in movies more entertaining.

If your office doesn't have fire drills, you should talk to someone and get them implemented as soon as possible. You'll be glad you did -- because we all need to stretch our legs and get a breath of fresh air every few months.

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