Now gluten-free!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Scorpions on a plane

No, this isn't a sequel to the Samuel L. Jackson flick. It really happened on a red-eye flight from Seattle to Anchorage.

Blatz beer for your baby?

Ah, those were simpler times...

(via Now That's Nifty)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Tin Man decides to go on a diet

(via Go Comics)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Japanese pop star a CGI creation

I'm hardly an expert on Japanese pop music, so I wasn't surprised that I had never heard of Aimi Eguchi. At first glance she appears to be your typical 16-year-old pop sensation. She does, however, have one minor flaw: she doesn't exist. Turns out she's a computer-generated composite of six different girls.

If Muppets had babies

I think someone has finally discovered the inspiration for the characters in Angry Birds.

(from Meme Base, via Chris Knight)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

One of Minnesota's tiniest towns disappears off the map

From the Star Tribune:
Photo: Jon Tevlin, Star Tribune
The tiny town of Tenney is no more.

A majority of the town's voters -- there are only three of them -- decided to dissolve Tenney, which has shared the title of Minnesota's smallest city with Funkley.

The votes won't be officially counted until Wednesday but City Clerk Oscar Guenther and Mayor Kristen Schwab said Tuesday that they had voted to dissolve the town. The other vote -- Guenther's sister -- was a no. "She voted that way because she knows how hard I've worked to keep the town alive," he said.

Dissolving the city means that Campbell Township will take over the city's two buildings -- a church that was renovated into City Hall and another church renovated into a community center -- along with four vacant lots, Guenther said. He'd like to keep the two mowers and a weed whip in town to maintain the lots, but Schwab said that's unlikely.

The little more than $10,000 in the city coffers also will be absorbed by the township. We're going to try to get some landscaping and culvert work done before that happens," Schwab said.
According to the 2010 census, Funkley has a population of five.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Space shuttle rolls out for final launch

Marking the end of an era, the last space shuttle has been rolled out. Atlantis is pictured here on its way to the launch pad earlier this month for a July 8 mission to the International Space Station.

(via Astronomy Picture of the Day)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

What's in your fridge?

No time to go shopping? Trying to stretch your grocery dollars? Or are you simply clueless as to how all those different ingredients go together to make a meal? Check out, a site "for those of us who look into a freshly stocked fridge and end up eating string cheese because we don't know what to do with the rest."

It's incredibly easy to use. Just check off the food items you have in your kitchen...

...and you will be presented with a selection of meals that utilize those ingredients you have on hand.

You can even submit your own recipes.

Bon appétit!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"Flying deer" causes power outage

This is the kind of story you'd expect to see around Christmas, but it happened just a few days ago in Helena, Montana.

NorthWestern Energy sent a truck to investigate a power outage. The cause? A dead fawn, hanging from the power line.

It is believed an eagle snatched up the baby deer and dropped it. For the lineman sent to the scene, this was a first.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Star Trek replicator one step closer to reality?

A Star Trek-type replicator has been the dream of some for years. Now, with a technology known as rapid prototyping (commonly referred to as 3D printing), it may be one step closer to reality. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports:
[S]ome people in the business have been calling it "the factory of the future," said Jon Cobb, vice president of global marketing for Stratasys Inc., an Eden Prairie company that makes 3D printers for companies like VistaTek.

"You don't have to have a lot of tooling or a lot of inventory on hand," he said. "You design the product, input it and it prints out quickly."

It's a factory in a box. ...

... For many years, rapid prototyping occupied a niche, usually tucked away in the basement of corporate laboratories or small outfits like VistaTek.

But in the past few years, as technology has improved and costs have come down, 3D printing is being used more often to make parts for sale.

The parts usually don't require high-volume manufacturing. The F-16 fighter jet, for instance, has about 30 parts that are made via 3D printing, experts said.

The uses aren't limited to the military or the industrial. Some entrepreneurs have created companies to use 3D printers to make almost anything: fantasy figurines for computer games like World of Warcraft, one-of-a-kind jewelry, table settings, light fixtures, custom-fitted artificial hips and dental implants such as crowns and caps.
This kind of 3D printing has even been used on King Tut. A CT scan was run on the original mummy, and then an exact 3D copy was "printed" out. The reproduction is currently on display at the Science Museum of Minnesota.

Friday, June 10, 2011

New foods at the Minnesota State Fair

Sweet-corn ice cream, only at the MN State Fair.
It's known as the "Great Minnesota Get-Together," but really it's an excuse to forget that diet and indulge in all sorts of culinary curiosities -- many of them on a stick. Fair-goers this year will have the opportunity to sample no less than 14 new foods:
  • Chocolate covered jalapeño peppers
  • Mexican horchata (cold drink made of rice, almonds, cinnamon, vanilla and sugar)
  • Jamaican jerk fries
  • Crab fritters
  • Northwoods salad (a portable caprese salad)
  • Dirt dessert (Oreo cookies, vanilla pudding, whipped cream, cream cheese and gummy worms)
  • Sweet-corn ice cream
  • Coushari rice with lentils
  • Grilled chicken pita
  • Deep-fried cookie dough
  • Terijaki chicken on-a-stick
  • Pretzel dog on-a-stick
  • Grilled Yankee apple pie and chocolate sandwich (brioche filled with apples and spices covered in chocolate, grilled and topped with powdered sugar)
  • Breakfast lollipop (sausage patty deep-fried on-a-stick with a side of maple syrup)
You can bet I'll be trying one or two of these this year.


Thursday, June 09, 2011

Camels: The latest victims of global warming

Australia is home to the world's largest population of wild camels, an estimated 1.2 million. But if the government there gets its way, that number could be drastically reduced.

On the table is a proposal that would authorize the killing of camels as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Each camel is responsible for emitting about 100 pounds of methane each year, which is equivalent to a metric ton of carbon dioxide. In global warming speak that's more environmentally destructive than the automobile.

The proposal would allow hunters to earn carbon credits for shooting camels. Those credits could then be purchased by industrial polluters in an effort to offset their own carbon emissions.

On the bright side, it's nice to see that climate change insanity isn't unique to America.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Monday, June 06, 2011

Piggly Wiggly: America's first modern grocery store

Whether you've shopped at one or not, you've probably at least heard of Piggly Wiggly in movies like Driving Miss Daisy. What you may not have known is that it was America's first self-serve grocery store.

Founded by Clarence Saunders in 1916, the first Piggly Wiggly opened its doors in Memphis, Tennessee. Saunders patented the self-serve concept in 1917, and similar stores soon followed.

(Photo: The Renaissance Connection)

(Photo: Wikipedia)

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Police cite man who paid bill with 2,500 pennies

From the Desert News:
A Vernal man has been charged with disorderly conduct after police say he caused alarm when he paid for a disputed medical bill in pennies.

On May 27, Jason West went to Basin Clinic prepared to dispute an outstanding bill, according to Assistant Vernal Police Chief Keith Campbell. West, 38, apparently did not believe he owed the clinic the $25 it said he did.

"After asking if they accepted cash, West dumped 2,500 pennies onto the counter and demanded that they count it," Campbell said. "The pennies were strewn about the counter and the floor."
West now faces a fine of up to $140. If I may make a suggestion about how to pay for that...

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