Now gluten-free!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

European workers who get sick while on vacation are entitled to another vacation

Europeans love their vacation time. In fact, when they aren't on vacation, they can usually be found rioting for more paid time off from work. Now, Europe's highest court has decided that workers who get sick while on vacation are legally entitled to take another vacation:
Image source: No-Vacation Nation, by Rebecca Ray and John Schmitt (PDF)
"The purpose of entitlement to paid annual leave is to enable the worker to rest and enjoy a period of relaxation and leisure," the Court of Justice of the European Union, based in Luxembourg, ruled in a case involving department store workers in Spain. "The purpose of entitlement to sick leave is different, since it enables a worker to recover from an illness that has caused him to be unfit for work."

With much of Europe mired in recession, governments struggling to reduce budget deficits and officials trying to combat high unemployment, the ruling is a reminder of just how hard it is to shake up long-established and legally protected labor practices that make it hard to put more people to work and revive sinking economies.

The workers originally won their case in a Spanish court, where they argued that collective bargaining agreements made a distinction between annual leave and sick leave that was recognized by Spanish law. The National Association of Large Distribution Businesses, known as Anged, appealed to the Supreme Court in Madrid, which then asked the Court of Justice for a ruling on how to apply European law covering working times.

The Court of Justice had previously ruled that a person who gets sick before going on vacation is entitled to reschedule the vacation, and on Thursday it said that right extended into the vacation itself.

"The point at which the temporary incapacity arose is irrelevant," the court found.

The ruling applies across the European Union of 27 countries.
No wonder so many European countries are in need of a financial bail-out.

(via Economic Policy Journal)

Please don't shave in the restaurant bathroom

I recently walked into a restaurant bathroom to wash my hands and noticed that the last guy had trimmed his beard and emptied out his electric razor all over the sink. And do you think he bothered to clean up after himself? Of course not.

I sincerely hope it was a customer and not an employee.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

LEGO marriage proposal

Using LEGOs to pop the question? That's how 24-year-old Anthony Pinder proposed to his girlfriend.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How to help others cope with life's problems

I've known for a long time that my simplistic approach to life's problems meant that I would never make it as a therapist or counselor:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Amazing solo guitar version of "Somebody That I Used to Know"

Yes, you can handle listening to one more cover of Gotye's hit song, because this one is incredible.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Yet another fried food to find at the fair

Let me see. We have deep-fried cheese, deep-fried candy bars, deep-fried Twinkies, even deep-fried butter. What have our county and state fairs been missing? Wait! I know. Deep-fried breakfast cereal!

And with juice, toast, and milk, it's all part of a nutritious breakfast.

Anatomy of a Lego man

Informative sculptures from artist Jason Freeny.

(via Colossal)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What Earth would look like with rings

If Earth had rings like Saturn, it wouldn't just affect our planet's appearance from space.

It would drastically alter the sky as we know it.

This video goes into more detail.

(via PetaPixel)

Do Swedish men pee sitting down?

Image: Toronto Sun
Some do, apparently. And they would like to force other men to do the same.

The Left Party in Sörmland is proposing that men be made to take a seat when using the toilets at the county council's offices. Their reasoning, so they say, has to do with hygiene and health.

Now, I will concede that even the manliest of men don't like standing in puddles of urine when relieving themselves, and forcing men to sit might cut down on some of the excess spillage. But most grown men tend to get a little irked when they are told how they are to perform one of life's most natural functions.

The real reason for this policy, of course, is to fall in line with Sweden's move toward a gender-neutral utopia. What better place to start than in the bathroom?

(If cleanliness really was the issue, the Swedes could implement something similar to what was done in the Schiphol International Airport in Amsterdam.)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Do flamingos fly?

If you've only seen flamingos in a zoo or scattered across lawns at a trailer park, you probably didn't realize that, yes, they actually do fly.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Attention wine snobs: It all tastes the same

From The New Yorker:
On May 24, 1976, the British wine merchant Steven Spurrier organized a blind tasting of French and Californian wines. Spurrier was a Francophile and, like most wine experts, didn't expect the New World upstarts to compete with the premiers crus from Bordeaux. He assembled a panel of eleven wine experts and had them taste a variety of Cabernets blind, rating each bottle on a twenty-point scale.

The results shocked the wine world. According to the judges, the best Cabernet at the tasting was a 1973 bottle from Stag's Leap Wine Cellars in Napa Valley. When the tasting was repeated a few years later—some judges insisted that the French wines had been drunk too young—Stag's Leap was once again declared the winner, followed by three other California Cabernets. These blind tastings (now widely known as the Judgment of Paris) helped to legitimate Napa vineyards.

But now, in an even more surprising turn of events, another American wine region has performed far better than expected in a blind tasting against the finest French châteaus. Ready for the punch line? The wines were from New Jersey.
Oooooo, that's gotta sting!

(via Economic Policy Journal)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Healthy human bodies are inhabited by 10,000 germ species

We've known for a long time that the average human body is home to trillions of germs. It is believed that bacterial cells outnumber human cells 10 to 1, making up between 1 and 3 percent of our body mass. But scientists have only recently begun to learn which types of microbes live in healthy people, where they live, and what they do:
AP photo
They live on your skin, up your nose, in your gut - enough bacteria, fungi and other microbes that collected together could weigh, amazingly, a few pounds.

Now scientists have mapped just which critters normally live in or on us and where, calculating that healthy people can share their bodies with more than 10,000 species of microbes.

Don't say "eeew" just yet. Many of these organisms work to keep humans healthy, and results reported Wednesday from the government's Human Microbiome Project define what's normal in this mysterious netherworld.

One surprise: It turns out that nearly everybody harbors low levels of some harmful types of bacteria, pathogens that are known for causing specific infections. But when a person is healthy - like the 242 U.S. adults who volunteered to be tested for the project - those bugs simply quietly coexist with benign or helpful microbes, perhaps kept in check by them.
Full article here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sunday, June 10, 2012

This is Spinal Tape

Available from Amazon.

The car no one wants to drive

It is rather puzzling why the Chevy Volt hasn't lived up to expectations. I mean, who wouldn't want to spend an extra $15,000 on a car that might save them up to a whole $2.00 per day on gas?

(via The Circle Bastiat)

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Truck accident covers highway in pancake syrup

Things got a little sticky on Interstate 75 Thursday evening near Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, when a semi-truck swerved to miss a car with a blown tire and slammed into the median, splitting the trailer wide open and spilling thousands of gallons of Hungry Jack maple syrup all over the highway. The driver of the truck was treated for minor injuries, but no one else was hurt.

The tastiest detail of this story: the accident occurred at the Buttermilk Pike overpass.

Student takes notes in class...on a typewriter

Now this is a cool prank:

Friday, June 08, 2012

New York's new gang problem

Tensions are high in New York's West Village. Residents have long complained of gangs hanging out on street corners, harassing pedestrians and disrupting local businesses.

While police have been called in to investigate, some residents have threatened to take matters into their own hands. "I can hear these guys right outside my window," said Rosemary Bella of Bleecker Street, "and after 15 years, I would like to shoot them all dead."

Just who are these hoodlums who have the community in such an uproar? Doo-wop singers.

This is apparently a big problem. President of the Central Village Block Association, Dorothy Green, complained that she has to endure listening to about 700 hours of doo-wop a year.

Oh, yeah. I can see why everyone is outraged. These guys are as bad as those who peddle 20-ounce sodas to kids.

Standard apology form takes the hassle out of saying "I'm sorry"

From the Bureau of Communication:

Husbands, it wouldn't hurt to keep a stack of these in easily accessible places around the house.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Artist turns dead cat into helicopter

In 1981, cartoonist Simon Bond gave us 101 Uses for a Dead Cat. In 2012, artist Bart Jansen has given us one more.

When Jansen's beloved cat, Orville, was hit by a car, the Dutch artist wanted to honor the feline by doing something special. So, he turned him into a remote control helicopter:

(Photo via BuzzFeed)

It would seem "hovercat" is now more than just an internet meme.

The perfect cure for whatever ails you

Rub some bacon on it.

From the minds of Rhett and Link. Pre-order your t-shirt here.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

New travel hoodie has it all

What's the most uncomfortable and inconvenient part of commercial airline travel (besides being irradiated by nude body scanners and groped by sweaty perverts)? Not having a stylish, cozy hoodie that comes with a built-in inflatable neck pillow and sleep mask.

Well, worry no more. You can now relax (after clearing "security," of course) and travel in complete comfort thanks to the Wings Flying Hoodie:

Putting conspiracy theories to rest once and for all

(from the Facebook page of Radio Free Babylon)

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