Now gluten-free!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Black Friday shopping list prank

(via Tastefully Offensive)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Coffee Venndor

The only thing cooler than a Venn diagram is a Venn diagram of your favorite coffee shop drinks on a t-shirt.

(via Threadless)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Street skiing

I have a long list of things I would love to do because they look fun but know I never will because of that even longer list of various personal limitations. This is one of them.

(via Kottke)

Really funny AT&T Blackberry commercial

I don't know about you, but I find this recent commercial for the new AT&T Blackberry hilarious.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What American accent do you have?

You may not think you have an accent, but you do. What kind of accent to you have? Click here to take the quiz and find out.

My result:

OK, so I've been out of the South for a while. Still, I refuse to believe I have a Minnesotan accent.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Black Friday Christmas carol

(This is just as relevant today as it was five years ago when I first posted it.)

Wreck the malls with bouts of folly
Fa la la la la la la la la!
There's no need for melancholy
Fa la la la la la la la la!

Don we now padded apparel
Fa la la la la la la la la!
Strolling into Yuletide peril
Fa la la la la la la la la!

Woman pepper sprays other Black Friday shoppers

Looking for a way to secure those deals on Black Friday? Simple. Bring pepper spray.

A woman in Los Angeles used pepper spray to keep other shoppers away from the items she wanted. It worked. 20 people suffered minor injuries, half of whom were injured due to "rapid crowd movement."

The pepper-sprayer is still at large.

BREAKING NEWS: Man killed to death

Now this is what I call in-depth reporting...

(via The Knight Shift)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The REAL history of Thanksgiving: A lesson in economics

Everyone knows the official story of Thanksgiving: The Pilgrims, who had come here in search of a better life, found themselves starving. The local Indians took pity on them and taught the hapless newcomers how to farm the land. Then, following their first bountiful harvest, the Pilgrims invited the Indians over for lunch to say "thanks." And thus was born a beloved American tradition.

But those early years of the Pilgrims were really more of a lesson in economics. Investment writer Richard J. Maybury explains:
In his History of Plymouth Plantation, the governor of the colony, William Bradford, reported that the colonists went hungry for years, because they refused to work in the fields. They preferred instead to steal food. He says the colony was riddled with "corruption," and with "confusion and discontent." The crops were small because "much was stolen both by night and day, before it became scarce eatable."

In the harvest feasts of 1621 and 1622, "all had their hungry bellies filled," but only briefly. The prevailing condition during those years was not the abundance the official story claims, it was famine and death. The first "Thanksgiving" was not so much a celebration as it was the last meal of condemned men.

But in subsequent years something changes. The harvest of 1623 was different. Suddenly, "instead of famine now God gave them plenty," Bradford wrote, "and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God." Thereafter, he wrote, "any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day." In fact, in 1624, so much food was produced that the colonists were able to begin exporting corn.

What happened?

After the poor harvest of 1622, writes Bradford, "they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop." They began to question their form of economic organization.

This had required that "all profits & benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing, or any other means" were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, "all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock." A person was to put into the common stock all he could, and take out only what he needed.

This "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" was an early form of socialism, and it is why the Pilgrims were starving. Bradford writes that "young men that are most able and fit for labor and service" complained about being forced to "spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children." Also, "the strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak." So the young and strong refused to work and the total amount of food produced was never adequate.

To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism. He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit. In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market, and that was the end of famines.
You can read the rest here.

Happy Thanksgiving, kids!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Octopus walks across dry land in search of food

Cops called to elementary school because girl tries to give boy cooties

You're a teacher at a local elementary school. You see a young girl kiss a boy. What do you do? Call the cops, of course:
The assistant principal of Orange River Elementary School called in the cops after a teacher spotted the smooch Wednesday at the Fort Myers school. In fact, Margaret Ann Haring, 56, initially called child welfare officials, who directed her to contact the sheriff, according to a report.

The kiss apparently occurred after two girls debated over whom the boy liked more. That's when one of the girls "went over and kissed" the boy. The redacted sheriff's report notes that Haring "stated there were no new allegations of sexual abuse as far as she knew."
If only schools had a zero tolerance policy when it came to stupidity.

Feds seize fisherman's 881-pound tuna

A man catches an 881-pound tuna, and it gets away. Actually, it was confiscated by federal officials because it had been caught with a net instead of a rod and reel. Only in America.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Policeman Pike peppered a pack of peaceful protesters

Policeman Pike peppered a pack of peaceful protesters.
A pack of peaceful protesters Policeman Pike peppered.
If Policeman Pike peppered a pack of peaceful protesters,
Where's the pack of peaceful protesters Policeman Pike peppered?

Man fired for not accepting the "mark of the beast"

Well...sort of.

Billy E. Hyatt was recently fired from his job at a plastics factory near Dalton, Georgia. He claims it was because he refused to wear a sticker celebrating the factory being accident-free for 666 days.

It isn't clear whether management required the sticker to be worn on the forehead or on the hand, but Hyatt, a devout Christian (and apparently a devout dispensationalist), didn't want to take any chances. He believed that wearing the sticker would have been accepting the "mark of the beast" described in the book of Revelation, condemning him to hell.

Without getting into the serious implications of dispensational theology (though I think we're seeing one of them here), all of this hassle could have been avoided had Mr. Hyatt simply dropped a hammer on his toe. That would have bought him at least another 665 days.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Walkable roller-coaster

"Tiger & Turtle Magic Mountain," by German artists Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth
This isn't your typical roller-coaster ride. It's a sculpture, and you have to walk it yourself. Just make sure you get a running start at that loop.

(via Gadget Lab)

And the Dumbest Criminal of the Year Award goes to...

...Trevor Jones of Cobb County, Georgia.

Really, Trevor? Come on. Everyone knows that if you're going to rob someone's house, you don't park in the driveway and leave your car running. And you don't leave your wallet, containing your parole card and driver's license, in the seat of your unlocked car for the victim to find when she comes home from her walk. And don't ever leave yourself logged into Facebook on the victim's computer before fleeing the scene. That kind of sloppiness gives burglary a bad name.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The War of 1812: The Movie

If your junior high history notes were turned into a movie...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving turkey cake

Let's face it. The biggest problem with Thanksgiving is that there just isn't enough time in the day to eat all the food we prepare for that one special meal. That's why we usually end up eating turkey three times a day for the next week-and-a-half. Well, consider that problem solved.

Introducing: The Thanksgiving turkey cake!

Layered with ground turkey, sausage stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberries, and "frosted" with mashed potatoes, this convenient concoction allows you to enjoy an entire Thanksgiving meal in one delicious slice.

Click here for the mouth-watering recipe.

Coolest bathroom ever

The ski jump-themed bathroom below is one of many in Japan that were modified as part of an ad campaign to promote a coffee energy drink.

I can't think of a cooler way to go.

(via Divine Caroline)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

PETA now targeting fur-wearing video game characters

Those familiar with the Mario Bros. video games know what a Tanooki suit is. Making its first appearance in Super Mario Bros. 3, this unique costume gives the character wearing it super powers. It's all part of the fun.

Naturally, this has the folks at PETA upset. They expressed their outrage by creating a video game of their own. From their press release:
If PETA has its way, Mario has stolen his last tanuki skin. The mustachioed plumber is back to wearing tanuki fur ("tanuki" is the Japanese word for raccoon dogs), and now Tanooki is fighting back to reclaim what's his in Super Tanooki Skin 2D, a new side-scrolling game from PETA. In the game, which is the center of PETA's new "Mario Kills Tanooki" campaign, players direct a bloody, skinned raccoon dog as he chases a tanuki fur–suited Mario through a surreal fur farm where raccoon dogs are routinely skinned alive for their fur. [emphasis mine] Quick reflexes and jumping skills will allow Tanooki to capture Mario and reclaim his skin.
Yeah. Sounds like fun.

The bottom line is that PETA thinks the cartoon image of a raccoon-tailed plumber is offensive:
Tanooki may be just a "suit" in Mario games, but by wearing the skin of an animal, Mario is sending the message that it's OK to wear fur. We created our game to help inform people that in real life, Mario would be wearing the skin of an animal who was beaten, strangled or electrocuted, and it wouldn't give him any special powers other than the power of self-deception.
Shows you how out of the loop I am. I had no idea Mario was such a fashion icon.

If you're curious, you can play PETA's pathetic little video game here.

World's most expensive tea fertilized with panda poo

An Yashi is a wildlife expert and lecturer at China's Sinchuan University. He's also a budding tea entrepreneur. He plans to market a tea which has been fertilized with panda poo, combining the cancer-fighting properties of green tea and bamboo.

Panda's have a relatively poor digestive system, absorbing only about 30 percent of everything they eat. Extremely rich in nutrients, panda excrement makes an ideal fertilizer.

Such a unique tea wouldn't be cheap. Yashi thinks he could sell it for around $36,000 per pound, catering to the selective tastes of discriminating tea connoisseurs. Yashi claims, "It has a mature, nutty taste and a very distinctive aroma while it's brewing."

Well, that's pretty much a given, isn't it?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The public death throe of Rick Perry's presidential run

A lackluster end to the presidential hopes of a consummate establishment politician.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

How the Grinch taxed Christmas

The Grinch's change of heart didn't last long. He moved from his cave outside of Whoville to Washington, and is now seeking to put a damper on this joyous holiday season with a new tax:
In the Federal Register of November 8, 2011, Acting Administrator of Agricultural Marketing David R. Shipman announced that the Secretary of Agriculture will appoint a Christmas Tree Promotion Board. The purpose of the Board is to run a "program of promotion, research, evaluation, and information designed to strengthen the Christmas tree industry's position in the marketplace; maintain and expend existing markets for Christmas trees; and to carry out programs, plans, and projects designed to provide maximum benefits to the Christmas tree industry" (7 CFR 1214.46(n)). And the program of "information" is to include efforts to "enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry in the United States" (7 CFR 1214.10).

To pay for the new Federal Christmas tree image improvement and marketing program, the Department of Agriculture imposed a 15-cent fee on all sales of fresh Christmas trees by sellers of more than 500 trees per year (7 CFR 1214.52). And, of course, the Christmas tree sellers are free to pass along the 15-cent Federal fee to consumers who buy their Christmas trees.
No doubt many, if not most, people will respond, "What's the big deal? It's only 15 cents." That attitude, my friends, is exactly why the government is allowed to get away with whatever it wants.

Celebrity sketch: Harvey Dent

From my "cartoon" blog White Noise.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

An undeniable truth (11/06/2011)

There isn't a single person who gains an extra hour of sleep when moving the clocks back to standard time. It is merely an excuse to stay up longer.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Libertarians are scary!

(painting by Anthony Freda, via

Five-day forecast for the planet Alderaan

(via 22 Words)

The Barbie with the dragon tattoo

The new tattoo-splattered TokiDoki Barbie isn't the Barbie your grandmother played with when she was a little girl. Kristin Tillotson has the scoop:
At a little over 50 herself, Barbie's no tattoo neophyte. She's sported a little ink at least twice before -- in 1999 when one model had a butterfly on her stomach, and again in 2009, when Totally Stylin' Barbie came with temporary tat kits that kids could use to decorate her and themselves.

But this time, flowers completely cover her clavicle, a sinister-looking dragon curls across her back and a large geisha adorns her left shoulder. Her black shirt sports crossbones under a heart (love + death = confusing message), and the rest of her ensemble includes pink hair, hot-pink miniskirt, fanged mouth-shaped-belt buckle, leopard leggings, silver stiletto pumps and black toenail polish. This Barbie looks more like she's headed out to an underground club than a Dream House.
You've come a long way, baby...but that ain't necessarily a good thing.

Surfer and kayakers nearly swallowed by humpback whale

From the video description:
A woman floating on a surfboard near Santa Cruz, California almost ended up on the lunch menu for a humpback whale over the weekend. Barb Roettger had her camera rolling as two hefty whales popped out of the calm waters not far from the unsuspecting surfer and a pair of kayakers.

A pod of humpback whales has been hanging out off the Santa Cruz coast, noshing on anchovies that flock to the area to feed on plankton. The woman found herself in the middle of a feeding frenzy called lunge feeding, which occurs when whales herd anchovies and shoot straight up out of the water with their mouth wide open to catch the fish.

The whales have had quite a few dangerous close encounters with humans and boats in recent months. Whale watchers are warned to stay at least 100 yards away from the feeding area. Roettger says she has now gained a greater respect for whales, their feeding patterns and will now only spectate from the decidedly safer dry land.
More here.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Feds will shut down communications nationwide on November 9

In case you haven't heard, the federal government will be shutting down communications for a few minutes on November 9. Here's the official reason as stated by the FCC:
At the Federal Communications Commission's June 9, 2011 Agenda meeting, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Chief Jamie Barnett, joined by representatives from FEMA and the National Weather Service, announced that the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) would take place at 2:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time) on November 9, 2011. The purpose of the test is to assess the reliability and effectiveness of the EAS as a public alert mechanism. EAS Participants currently participate in state-level monthly tests and local-level weekly tests, but no top-down review of the entire system has ever been undertaken. The Commission, along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will use the results of this nationwide test to assess the reliability and effectiveness of the EAS as a public alert mechanism, and will work together with EAS stakeholders to make improvements to the system as appropriate.

Before you start thinking that this is legit, remember that this is the federal government we're talking about. And let's not forget that the EAS is the same "alert" system that failed to activate during the 9/11 terrorist attacks a decade ago. While I would love to be able to give the incompetent fools in charge the benefit of the doubt for once, I can't help thinking there's an ulterior motive. A guy in a gym doesn't perform a 400-pound clean and jerk for his health; he does it to impress those around him. My guess is this has less to do with actual public safety (think TSA molestations in airports) and more to do with letting the rest of us know who's really in control of every bit of information we see and hear.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Cost of airport security to U.S. economy: $85 billion, 900,000 jobs

From e-Travel Blackboard:
After a decade of enhanced aviation security post 9/11, U.S. Travel Association president Roger Dow is set to testify in a Senate Committee Hearing on 2 November, claiming current security procedures are hampering travel and U.S. economy growth.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, the US economy is missing out on $85 billion in consumer spending and 900,000 jobs because American travelers are avoiding flying due to the "hassles of air travel".

"A 2010 study...found that American travelers would take an additional two to three flights per year if the hassles in security screening were eliminated," the U.S. Travel Association said.
Freedom isn't free, but apparently neither is tyranny.

Herman Cain wants to "defend our enemies"

Man undergoes life-saving poop transplant

Yes, it's exactly what you think it is, but it's a legitimate medical procedure used to treat a potentially deadly disease.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Unfriending on Facebook leads to arson

From the Des Moines Register:
The alleged motive in a Des Moines arson case is tied to actions on Facebook, a social networking site, according to police.

Detectives have arrested Jennifer Christine Harris, 30, of Des Moines, on a charge of first-degree arson. She is being held in the Polk County Jail on $100,000 bond.

The fire broke out in a garage at the Jim and Nikki Rasmussen residence, 2351 E. 40th Court on Oct. 27. ...

... A police report says that when an officer asked Nikki Rasmussen about Jen Harris, Rasmussen said "...the two are no longer friends due to a dispute over Facebook. According to Nikki, Jen is angry with her because she ended their friendship on Facebook."
This may convince me to make the switch to Google+.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

My face is tingling...

Please help yourself to some old slices of Lemon Harangue Pie while I'm on vacation. Enjoy!

My face is tingling...
(originally posted on 12/17/2009)

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