Now gluten-free!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Killjoys

Scientists have found a new threat to the planet: Christmas lights. They would like you to switch to more energy efficient bulbs to cut down on your greenhouse gas emissions.

Funny, but these same scientists don't seem to be concerned with the massive deforestation that occurs every year around this time.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Star Wars: The Musical?

Not quite, but it is hitting the stage:
    George Lucas has signed off on Star Wars: A Musical Journey, a two-hour live musical event featuring John Williams' Oscar-winning score.

    Premiering next year in London's O2 arena, the production will be performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in synch with movie clips from the six live-action films. The show will play in chronological order, from The Phantom Menace to Return of the Jedi.

    The production will blast off April 10 in the U.K. and then embark on a European tour, complete with an exhibition of rare Star Wars collectibles, including never-before-seen models, props, costumes and production artwork. No word when it will visit America.

Whatever they come up with, I don't think they could ever top Bill Murray's musical tribute.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Burger King Stole My Idea!

I've always wanted to create a cologne that smells like barbecue. Well, the folks at Burger King have beaten me to it:
    American fast-food chain Burger King has come up with a novel Christmas gift idea for the meat-loving man who has everything: barbecue-scented cologne.

    Just in time for the festive season, the company has released its very own men's body spray, Flame.

    Not recommended for vegetarians, Flame is being promoted as "the scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat".

    While the smell itself might not inspire confidence, the price will.

    Flame is on sale for the credit crunch-busting sum of just $3.99 (£2.65), suggesting the Burger King promotions department has realised their contribution to the fragrance market might work best as a novelty stocking-filler.

Guess I'll have to keep my day job.

Friday, December 12, 2008

New Orleans Hit Hard by Global Warming

    In Dixie Land where I was born in
    Early on one frosty mornin'
    Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land
Born in New Orleans myself, I can't say I recall what the weather was like on that July morning so many years ago, but I doubt it was like what the Big Easy has been experiencing lately:
    A rare snowfall blanketed south Louisiana and parts of Mississippi Thursday, closing schools, government offices and bridges, triggering crashes on major highways and leaving thousands of people without power.

    Up to 8 inches of snow was reported in parts of Louisiana. Snow also covered a broad swath of Mississippi, including the Jackson area, and closed schools in more than a dozen districts.

    A heavy band of snow coated windshields and grassy areas in New Orleans, where about an inch accumulated. A peak of 8 inches was reported in Amite, about 75 miles northwest of New Orleans, said meteorologist Danielle Manning of the National Weather Service in Slidell.
This latest climactic catastrophe, along with the fact that 2008 is about to go down on record as the coolest year of the decade, should vindicate the Nobel Prize-winning Al Gore once and for all.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hide Your Keys

Take a look at this report from MSNBC.com:
    Hide those keys. A quick camera phone picture could unlock your doors.

    Scientists in California have developed a software algorithm that automatically creates a physical key based solely on a picture of one, regardless of angle or distance. The project, called Sneakey, was meant to warn people about the dangers of haphazardly placing keys in the open or posting images of them online.

    "People will post pictures with their credit cards but with the name and number greyed out," said Stefan Savage, a professor at the University of California, San Diego who helped develop the software. "They should have the same sensitivity with their keys."

    When Savage and his students searched online photo sharing Web sites, like Flickr, they easily found thousands of photos of keys with enough definition to replicate. A more social person could simply use their cell phone camera to snap a quick picture of stray keys on a table top.

    For a more dramatic demonstration, the researchers set up a camera with a zoom lens 200 feet away. Using those photos, they created a working key 80 percent on their first try. Within three attempts they opened every lock.

    Three attempts could take less than five minutes. The replication process is very easy. Once the researchers have the image it takes the software roughly 30 seconds to decode the ridges and grooves on the key. If the angle is off or the lighting is tricky it takes the computer take a little longer.

    The longest part of the process, about one whole minute, is cutting the key.
As if we didn't have enough to be paranoid about already.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Empire State Building Has Been Stolen!

The New York Daily News has the story:
In one of the biggest heists in American history, the Daily News "stole" the $2 billion Empire State Building.

And it wasn't that hard.

The News swiped the 102-story Art Deco skyscraper by drawing up a batch of bogus documents, making a fake notary stamp and filing paperwork with the city to transfer the deed to the property.

Some of the information was laughable: Original "King Kong" star Fay Wray is listed as a witness and the notary shared a name with bank robber Willie Sutton.

The massive ripoff illustrates a gaping loophole in the city's system for recording deeds, mortgages and other transactions.

The loophole: The system - run by the office of the city register - doesn't require clerks to verify the information.

Less than 90 minutes after the bogus documents were submitted on Monday, the agency rubber-stamped the transfer from Empire State Land Associates to Nelots Properties LLC. Nelots is "stolen" spelled backward. (The News returned the property Tuesday.)

"Crooks go where the money is. That's why Willie Sutton robbed banks, and this is the new bank robbery," said Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney Richard Farrell, who is prosecuting several deed fraud cases.

Of course, stealing the Empire State Building wouldn't go unnoticed for long, but it shows how easy it is for con artists to swipe more modest buildings right out from under their owners. Armed with a fraudulent deed, they can take out big mortgages and disappear, leaving a mess for property owners, banks and bureaucrats.
And I thought David Copperfield making the Statue of Liberty disappear was impressive!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Sgt. Schultz in Afghanistan?

From the Mail Online:
    They drink too much and they're too fat to fight, that's the damning conclusion of German parliamentary reports into the country's 3,500 troops stationed in Afghanistan.

    While British and U.S. troops in the country face a strict ban on alcohol, their German comrades are allowed two pints a day.

    The stunning statistics reveal that in 2007 German forces in northern Afghanistan drank 1.7million pints of beer and 90,000 bottles of wine.

    The troops also downed 896,000 pints of beer in the first six months of this year, the Times reported.

    The statistics only add to the embarrassment of the country's federal army, Bundeswehr, after a report earlier this year found troops to be too fat, smoked too much and didn't exercise enough.
Strange, but when I was reading this story, I had a sudden craving for apple strudel.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Practical Joke (for Those with Time on Their Hands)

I like a good practical joke as much as the next guy, but I'm a little too lazy to try something like this:
I think I'll just stick with the old piece-of-electrical-tape-on-the-mouse trick.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Machines Are Rising

If science fiction movies about super computers, robots, and artificial intelligence have taught us anything, it's that even the best of intentions have a tendency to backfire. I must assume, therefore, that the folks at the Pentagon don't have time to watch movies because they're working on creating "ethical" robot soldiers:
    The US Army and Navy have both hired experts in the ethics of building machines to prevent the creation of an amoral Terminator-style killing machine that murders indiscriminately.

    By 2010 the US will have invested $4 billion in a research programme into "autonomous systems", the military jargon for robots, on the basis that they would not succumb to fear or the desire for vengeance that afflicts frontline soldiers.

    A British robotics expert has been recruited by the US Navy to advise them on building robots that do not violate the Geneva Conventions. ...

    ... Some are concerned that it will be impossible to devise robots that avoid mistakes, conjuring up visions of machines killing indiscriminately when they malfunction, like the robot in the film Robocop.

    Noel Sharkey, a computer scientist at Sheffield University, best known for his involvement with the cult television show Robot Wars, is the leading critic of the US plans.

    He says: "It sends a cold shiver down my spine. I have worked in artificial intelligence for decades, and the idea of a robot making decisions about human termination is terrifying."
__( Insert your own "I'll be back" joke here. )__

Friday, November 28, 2008

In Defense of Misanthropy

I was already a little disturbed when I saw people in sleeping bags outside my neighborhood Best Buy last night, but now this in the news today, out of Long Island, NY:
(CBS/AP) A worker died after being trampled by a throng of unruly shoppers when a suburban Wal-Mart opened for the holiday sales rush Friday, authorities said.

At least three other people were injured.


Cattle have more sense when they head for the feed trough. I rest my case.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Enough with the Turkey Pardons Already!

Perhaps the dumbest, most idiotic pastime in this country (next to Daylight Saving Time, of course) is the pardoning of the National Thanksgiving Turkey. This year, we were treated to a double dose of stupidity when President Bush pardoned two birds.

And in case you were wondering what's going to happen to these turkeys, don't worry. They're going to Disneyland. No, I'm not kidding:
    The National Thanksgiving Turkey will really have something to celebrate following today's traditional Presidential pardon ceremony in the White House Rose Garden. "Pumpkin" and his alternate "Pecan" are going to Disneyland! It starts with a police escort to Dulles International Airport. Then the birds will "fly" First-Class on United Airlines Flight Turkey-1 to their new home at Disneyland Resort in Southern California.

    The turkey's special Thanksgiving Day celebration is a preview of things to come in 2009, as Disney Parks asks guests, "What Will You Celebrate?" and invites them to mark life's special moments with a Disney visit.

    The trip from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles will mark the fourth consecutive year that the National Thanksgiving Turkey has celebrated his pardon at a Disney Resort. Accompanied by National Turkey Federation Chairman Paul Hill of Ellsworth, Iowa, Pumpkin, a 20-week-old, 45-pound tom turkey, will be the grand marshal in a special Thanksgiving Day parade down Main Street U.S.A. Following the parade, Pumpkin and his alternate Pecan will find a home at Santa's Reindeer Round-Up at Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland, where they'll remain throughout the holidays and the rest of their lives.
What I've always found funny is that we celebrate the pardoning of one turkey with the full knowledge that another poor bird just like it is going to end up on the president's table anyway. Isn't it time we dispensed of this ridiculous ritual once and for all?



Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Holidays Are Here! Pour the Whine!

'Tis the season to start whining and complaining about how the holidays are celebrated. In Claremont, California, parents are at odds over the crucial issue of whether or not their kindergartners should be allowed to dress up as Pilgrims and Indians for Thanksgiving:
    "It's demeaning," Michelle Raheja, the mother of a kindergartner at Condit Elementary School, wrote to her daughter's teacher. "I'm sure you can appreciate the inappropriateness of asking children to dress up like slaves (and kind slave masters), or Jews (and friendly Nazis), or members of any other racial minority group who has struggled in our nation's history."

    Raheja, whose mother is a Seneca, wrote the letter upon hearing of a four-decade district tradition, where kindergartners at Condit and Mountain View elementary schools take annual turns dressing up and visiting the other school for a Thanksgiving feast. This year, the Mountain View children would have dressed as Native Americans and walked to Condit, whose students would have dressed as Pilgrims.

    Raheja, an English professor at UC Riverside who specializes in Native American literature, said she met with teachers and administrators in hopes that the district could hold a public forum to discuss alternatives that celebrate thankfulness without "dehumanizing" her daughter's ancestry.

    "There is nothing to be served by dressing up as a racist stereotype," she said.
And how could the holidays possibly be complete without the obligatory ban on Christmas decorations?:
    Christmas is just 30 days away, but Santa Claus won't be stopping by Florida Gulf Coast University this holiday.

    He's not allowed on campus.

    FGCU administration has banned all holiday decorations from common spaces on campus and canceled a popular greeting card design contest, which is being replaced by an ugly sweater competition. In Griffin Hall, the university's giving tree for needy preschoolers has been transformed into a "giving garden."

    The moves boil down to political correctness.

    "Public institutions, including FGCU, often struggle with how best to observe the season in ways that honor and respect all traditions," President Wilson Bradshaw wrote in a memo to faculty and staff Thursday. "This is a challenging issue each year at FGCU, and 2008 is no exception. While it may appear at times that a vocal majority of opinion is the only view that is held, this is not always the case."

    Bradshaw's directive struck a chord with FGCU employees. The Staff Advisory Council received 44 anonymous comments on the issue; all were against the ban on holiday decorations.
So, keep this in mind as you gather with friends and family this holiday season: No matter how you celebrate, you're probably offending someone.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Forget the Turducken

I wanna try one of these:
Here are the ingredients for this fowl feast:

    1. Turkey
    2. Goose
    3. Barbary duck
    4. Guinea fowl
    5. Mallard
    6. Poussin
    7. Quail
    8. Partridge
    9. Pigeon squab
    10. Pheasant
    11. Chicken
    12. Aylesbury duck
So, what would you call it? A turgoobarguimalpouquailparsquapheasaylesburcken?

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

If you're in Fort Lupton, Colorado, make sure you keep your radio turned down. And if you do happen to be cited for a noise violation, pray that you don't have to stand before Municipal Judge Paul Sacco.

What kind of medieval torture could you expect from this black-robed brute? Waterboarding? Thumb screws? The rack?

Worse. He just may sentence you to listen to Barry Manilow albums.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Papal Bull

Some people believe that over 20 years ago the pope predicted the current economic collapse. From Bloomberg:
    Pope Benedict XVI was the first to predict the crisis in the global financial system, a "prophecy" dating to a paper he wrote when he was a cardinal, Italian Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti said.

    "The prediction that an undisciplined economy would collapse by its own rules can be found" in an article written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became pope in April 2005, Tremonti said yesterday at Milan's Cattolica University.

    German-born Ratzinger in 1985 presented a paper entitled "Market Economy and Ethics" at a Rome event dedicated to the Church and the economy. The future pope said a decline in ethics "can actually cause the laws of the market to collapse."
I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but that's about as specific and relevant as any fortune cookie.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Christmas Story Turns 25 Today!

25 years ago today A Christmas Story was released in theaters. I didn't see it until a few years later when it was released on video, but it's been a favorite of mine ever since.



Happy Birthday, Ralphie!

Someone Actually Fell for the "Nigerian E-Mail Scam"

It's stories like this that make a good argument for requiring people to get a license before being allowed on the Information Superhighway:
Why do I get the feeling that stuffed in an old shoebox, tucked away somewhere in her bedroom closet, is the deed to a bridge in Brooklyn?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Inmate Mails Himself Out of Prison

A convicted drug dealer escaped from a German prison by mailing himself out:
    The 42-year-old Turkish citizen -- who was serving a seven-year sentence -- had been making stationery with other prisoners destined for the shops.

    At the end of his shift, the inmate climbed into a cardboard box and was taken out of prison by express courier. His whereabouts are still unknown.

    The chief warden of the jail told the BBC this was an embarrassing incident.
I thought plans like this only worked on Hogan's Heroes.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Monty Python Recycled Ancient Jokes

It turns out that the Dead Parrot sketch, one of the most well-known sketches from the British comedy troupe Monty Python, is at least 1,600 years old:
A classic scholar has proved the point, by unearthing a Greek version of the world-famous piece that is some 1,600 years old.

A comedy duo called Hierocles and Philagrius told the original version, only rather than a parrot they used a slave.

It concerns a man who complains to his friend that he was sold a slave who dies in his service.

His companion replies: "When he was with me, he never did any such thing!"

The joke was discovered in a collection of 265 jokes called Philogelos: The Laugh Addict, which dates from the fourth century AD.

Hierocles had gone to meet his maker, and Philagrius had certainly ceased to be, long before John Cleese and Michael Palin reinvented the yarn in 1969.
"Philagrius"? More like "Pilagiarus"!

Friday, November 14, 2008

"This Tang Tastes Funny..."

The crew of the space shuttle Endeavour is bound for the International Space Station on a remodeling mission:
    The masterpiece of the interior improvements is without doubt the new $19 million toilet system complete with a privacy enclosure. Until now the crew have had to make use of only one toilet located in the Russian segment of the station, and that one from time to time has not worked well.

    What makes the toilet even more special is that it will be hooked up to the $250 million "Regenerative ECLSS system" -- basically a complex closet-sized dehumidifier-cum-water treatment plant capable of recycling sweat and urine into clean drinking water and fresh oxygen.

    "I like to refer to this whole process as a coffee machine," said shuttle astronaut and one-time station resident Pettit. "It's going to take yesterday's coffee and make it into today's coffee."

    The crew won't get to test that morning java theory for at least four months while NASA makes sure It works as advertised. It's creator expects no problems.

    "We did blind taste tests of the water," said NASA's Bob Bagdigian, the system's lead engineer. "Nobody had any strong objections. Other than a faint taste of iodine, it is just as refreshing as any other kind of water."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

You Mean There's A Long Version?



Though this defies comment, I guess I have to say something in order to make this an original post: "AAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh!"

Has Hollywood Run Out of Ideas?

Remember the movie Clue? It was funny and relatively successful.

Well, Hollywood has decided to turn a couple of other popular board games into movies: Monopoly and Battleship. No kidding.

(HT: Chris Knight)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Lee Might Appreciate This One


I doubt this would make Lee change his avatar from Calvin to Dilbert, but looks like he may have another cartoon friend, here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Big Brother Riding Shotgun

Imagine getting a speeding ticket. Yeah, been there. Done that.

Now, imagine getting stopped at a random checkpoint and ticketed for speeding five days ago. Think it can't happen? The technology that would allow this is already being installed in new cars.

Michael Malone, in a recent column, tells us about a guy named Scott Weires who just canceled his order for a brand new Nissan GT-R:
    Why? Because he found out that the GT-R is going to have tucked away deep inside and attached to its chassis a black box similar to the ones we always hear about after airplane crashes. Yeah, that's right: an electronic data recorder (EDR) that keeps track of everything from air-bag sensors to throttle controls to engine performance gauges.

    Worse, at least to Weires, was that the GT-R contained an even more sophisticated version of EDR called a "Vehicle Status Data Recorder" (VSDR) -- this little baby not only activates when a crash is imminent, but runs all the time.

    Think about that for a moment, and then think about your driving history. ...

    ... Think of the worst possible scenarios, and whatever you come up with has a good chance of happening. For example, you know those random checkpoint stops that the police set up every year around the holidays to catch drunks. I've never been a big fan of them, mostly for civil liberties reasons, but like most people I endure this little inconvenience for the perceived larger good.

    But what about a checkpoint where the cop walks up, plugs his laptop into your car and then tickets you for going over the speed limit three times last week? Put up some "smart" speed signs that send out signals to your car's black box and it would be simple to make the comparison. Like that one?
Does this mean we can protect our privacy by simply not buying a Nissan?
    Well, no. In fact, most U.S. carmakers have already, or are about to, install EDRs. If you've got On-Star in your car, you certainly already have it. And if a car has an EDR, a new federal mandate requires that it monitor 30 different data points by 2012. Take a Ball-peen hammer or a jumper cable to your car's black box and you will be breaking the law.

    The good news is that some carmakers have no plans to install EDRs. For some, such as Kia, it's a cost consideration on their low-priced cars. More interesting is at the other end of the spectrum, where Mercedes and other German cars don't carry black boxes because they are deemed to violate privacy laws.

    Shouldn't that be some kind of clue? When the Germans -- who, after the Gestapo and the Stasi, know a little something about surveillance and the loss of privacy -- ban these devices, why should we let them into our daily lives?
Remember the good ol' days when the worst thing you had to worry about when driving a "smart" car was getting a lot of sarcastic back-talk?



Monday, October 20, 2008

I Know Disco, Can I Help?


Now if somebody had just thought of this tip while we were abusing those "Resusci-Annies" in high school health class, I would have passed the CPR tests a lot easier!

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. doctors have found the Bee Gees 1977 disco anthem "Stayin' Alive" provides an ideal beat to follow while performing chest compressions as part of CPR on a heart attack victim.

The American Heart Association calls for chest compressions to be given at a rate of 100 per minute in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). "Stayin' Alive" almost perfectly matches that, with 103 beats per minute.

Read the full story here.

Now you know what to do the next time you hear someone say, "Somebody help me, somebody help me, yeah!"

Monday, October 13, 2008

Your Best Sound Now

We broadcasting and pro audio types have a new ally in the effort to prevent consumer wireless devices from being permitted in the "white space" between TV channels. This found today in an online update from the trade magazine Broadcast Engineering:

Megachurch minister joins white spaces debate

Senior Pastor Joel Osteen has expressed concern that the FCC consider the consequences to wireless microphone users in the agency’s pending white spaces decision.

Joel Osteen, senior pastor of the Lakewood Church in Houston, said to be the nation’s largest megachurch, has sent a letter to the FCC in opposition to the proposed use of white space frequencies by unlicensed devices. As a user of both broadcast airwaves and wireless microphones, Osteen said that such usage is a threat to his ministry, which hosts more than 40,000 attendees for weekly services.

The letter states, in part, "I am concerned that should the FCC turn a blind eye to wireless microphone use in houses of worship and open these respective frequencies to new unlicensed devices, the commission will cause immeasurable damage to our ability to minister. Static and audio dropouts due to interference from an unlicensed mobile wireless device would create a devastating distraction.

"From what I have read about the testing conducted by the FCC, there is clearly no reliable technology that can protect wireless microphones from the interference that comes from new portable devices operating in the same or adjacent channels as wireless microphones. We have worked diligently to coordinate the use of the wireless microphone systems that we deploy in each of our services. Adding new electronic devices to the mix would make our audio programming and coordination virtually impossible," he said in the letter.

This letter comes after a hectic period of lobbying in Washington by the Wireless Innovation Alliance, a group that strongly supports opening of white spaces to unlicensed usage, and opposing groups, including the Microphone Interest Coalition and NAB.

Well, he sure knows how to pick his spiritual battles! I wonder what Mr. Osteen's text will be this coming Sunday when he preaches on this topic?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A Simple Explanation

I don't know why this digital TV thing has to be so hard for everybody.



Whoops, gotta log off now, the phone's ringing again with another confused viewer on the other end.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The War Really Isn't Over

The War of Northern Aggression claimed another casualty. First, there was the guy killed by an exploding shell. This past Saturday, someone was shot. (He's OK, though.) From the WAVY TV in Virginia:
    A man participating in a Civil War reenactment was shot Saturday afternoon, according to the Isle of Wight County Sheriff's Department.

    The incident happened around 12:30 p.m. at the fairgrounds, about three miles outside of Windsor on Route 258.

    This wasn't your typical reenactment. Tom Lord was one of many men acting out a scene for a film being made about the Civil War. During that filming, Lord was shot...for real.

    Speaking only to WAVY.com, Tom says he isn't as worried about the damage done to his body. He's more concerned with the damage this could do to the reputation of reenactment.
Hmmmmm... Posing as a reenactor and shooting Yankees... Lee should have tried that ruse at Gettysburg.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mmmm....Bat....

This just in from the hotbed of breaking news: Cedar Rapids, IA. As reported on kcci.com:

It wasn't just the caffeine that gave an Iowa woman an extra jolt after she had her morning coffee. It was also the bat she found in the filter.The Iowa Department of Public Health said the woman reported a bat in her house but wasn't too worried about it. She turned on her automatic coffee maker before bedtime and drank her coffee the next morning.She discovered the bat in the filter when she went to clean it that night. The woman has undergone treatment for possible rabies. Health officials said the bat was sent to a lab but that its brain was too cooked by the hot water to determine whether it had rabies.

This is why people who drink GOOD COFFEE change their filters and grounds before making it! Better yet, use a French press, which crushes the bat, allowing it to better infuse the brew.

Squirrel Alert: Aerial Assault!

I get up very early each morning and feed the dogs. On several occasions I had noticed "something" flying into the tree just outside the back garage door. I would only catch sight of it out of the corner of my eye, and it was so fast I could never tell what it was.

Until this morning.

As the dogs were eating my attention was once again caught by a grayish-white flash in the backyard floodlight. I stepped through the doorway and looked up into the tree. There, scurrying up the trunk, was a little flying squirrel.

This means the vermin that have already invaded our home have now called in air support. The Squirrel Threat Level remains at HIGH.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Vacation Stadium

It's heartwarming to see the Yankees be able to experience the rewards afforded them by their age and experience.


Yankees Building New Vacation Stadium In The Hamptons

Friday, September 19, 2008

All You Need to Run Internet Explorer 8.


This just in:

Supercomputer maker Cray Inc. today announced that it teamed up with Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp. to produce a desktop supercomputer. That's right. It will sit on a desktop. And maybe just as surprising, it has a starting price of $25,000.

So glad Microsoft got involved with the project! You wouldn't want this computer getting a big head by being able to go too fast!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Some Day My Prints Will Come

Has your printer quit working, claiming it's out of ink, refusing to print another page until you buy a replacement ink or toner cartridge? Chances are it's lying to you. Farhad Manjoo, writing for Slate.com, shares what he found out.

In many cases you can get those prints flowing again by "tricking" your printer into thinking you have replaced the cartridge. It isn't that difficult. Printers aren't that smart. Manjoo does point out, however, that inkjet printers are a bit harder to fool. Why is that? It's all about the money:
Inkjet makers have a lot riding on your regular purchases of ink -- and they go to great lengths to protect that market. In 2003, the British consumer magazine Which? found that inkjet printers ask for a refill long before their cartridges actually go dry. After overriding internal warnings, a researcher was able to print 38 percent more pages on an Epson printer that had claimed it didn't have a drop left. Lawyers in California and New York filed a class-action lawsuit against Epson; the company denied any wrongdoing, but it settled the suit in 2006, giving customers a $45 credit. A similar suit is pending against Hewlett-Packard.
Check out the article and see what you can do to fight back against Big Ink.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Chris Sings the National Anthem

Our friend and fellow Haranguer, Chris Wilde, had the privilege of singing the National Anthem before the Twins-Tigers game on Friday, Sept. 5. Here's video of his performance:
Congrats, Chris! Well done! (And shame on that unpatriotic jerk who tried punching you at the end.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ethanol Schmethanol

Remember when corn was considered a food? Reason TV exposes the scam that is ethanol:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Is this really better than just sleeping in?

OK, now I really have no words for this story that aired on CBS Evening News this evening. Some things are just so funny, sad, and absurd at the same time that they provide all their own satire:
Praising The Lord ... In A Ford
Florida Drive-In Church Mixes Salvation With Convenience

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rabbinical Walkout


I'm struggling with how to add to this Des Moines Register article:

Postville, Ia. — About 50 rabbis in charge of supervising the kosher slaughter and processing of meat at the Agriprocessors plant in Postville walked off the job today to protest recent pay cuts.

The rabbis reportedly took the action because of a decrease in pay since a May 12 immigration raid, the largest in U.S. history at a single site. The plant has since drastically reduced production.

Agriprocessors spokesman Menachem Lubinsky downplayed the incident, saying the walk-off lasted only 30 minutes after management resolved the issue. But Lubinsky says the issue of decreased pay, as well as increased time between work performed and payment, has been an issue for the rabbis since the raid.

“The rabbis were complaining that they didn’t have as much time for overtime and additional shifts,” Lubinsky said.

As mentioned above, this same plant was the target of a major illegal immigration raid back in May. I had no idea it took 50 rabbis to supervise a kosher meat plant! Perhaps they feel their jobs are being threatened by the flood of low-wage Mexican rabbis coming across the border.

Bigfoot Still at Large

Well, it was only a matter of time before this came out:
Turns out Bigfoot was just a rubber suit. Two researchers on a quest to prove the existence of Bigfoot say that the carcass encased in a block of ice -- handed over to them for an undisclosed sum by two men who claimed to have found it -- was slowly thawed out, and discovered to be a rubber gorilla outfit. The revelation comes just days after a much ballyhooed news conference was held in California to proclaim that the remains of the creature were found in the North Georgia mountains was the legendary man-ape.
So, the search continues.

(Funny how no one seems to be taking any interest in my theory. Oh, well.)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Global Warming = More Ice?


How's this for an inconvenient truth? Seems there's enough ice for all those cute, cuddly polar bears after all.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bigfoot Found?

That's what sasquatch hunters Matthew Whitton (AKA Gary Parker) and Rick Dyer of Georgia are saying. And they claim to have the body to prove it!

From their press release:
  • The creature is seven feet seven inches tall.
  • It weighs over five hundred pounds.
  • The creature looks like it is part human and part ape-like.
  • It is male.
  • It has reddish hair and blackish-grey eyes.
  • It has two arms and two legs, and five fingers on each hand and five toes on each foot.
  • The feet are flat and similar to human feet.
  • Its footprint is sixteen and three-quarters inches long and five and three-quarters inches wide at the heel.
  • From the palm of the hand to the tip of the middle finger, its hands are eleven and three-quarters inches long and six and one-quarter inches wide.
  • The creatures walk upright. (Several of them were sighted on the same day that the body was found.)
  • The teeth are more human-like than ape-like.
  • DNA tests are currently being done and the current DNA and photo evidence will be presented at the press
Whitton and Dyer will be holding a live press conference tomorrow in Palo Alto, California, at 12 noon PDT. For a picture of the purported creature, check out their site, SearchingForBigfoot.com.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Have It Your Way ®



When the folks at Burger King came up with that slogan, I don't think they had this in mind:
    XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) - Some workers at a Greene County restaurant are in hot water with the health department, after an employee took a bubble bath in a store sink.

    It happened at the Burger King on Orange Street in Xenia.

    A four-minute video posted on MySpace captured the employee, self-described as Mr. Unstable, bathing nude in a large stainless steel sink as several other employees and a store manager looked on.

    The video began making its rounds on the Internet Monday morning. One of the recipients was Greene County Health Commissioner, Mark McDonnell.

    "My first thought was oh my god," said McDonnell.

    McDonnell immediately sent staff to restaurant to investigate the numerous health code violations.

    He said the restaurant was aware of the incident and had already taken steps to clean up, including disposing of all the utensils and sanitizing the sink twice.

    All of the employees involved were fired.
What do I think? If you're willing to cram a Double Whopper value meal down your gullet, I think employees bathing in the sink should be the least of your worries.

Ouch!




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