Now gluten-free!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Stephen Colbert's cameo in 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'

Stephen Colbert, whom director Peter Jackson called "the biggest Tolkien geek he had ever met," landed a cameo in the second installment of The Hobbit. Check it out:

Saturday, December 14, 2013

President Obama wins PolitiFact.com's 'Lie of the Year' contest!

For the last five years, PolitiFact.com has asked readers to vote on what they consider to be "Lie of the Year." The winner for 2013, by a wide margin, was Barack Obama, for his oft-repeated statement, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it."


Congratulations, Mr. President!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fortoon Cookie (December 13, 2013)

"Leaders are like eagles, they don't flock...you find them one at a time."

(All "Fortoon Cookie" cartoons are cross-posted at ALittleWhiteNoise.com.)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Low-res but fascinating video of Earth and moon captured by Juno spacecraft


From the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory YouTube page:
When NASA's Juno spacecraft flew past Earth on Oct. 9, 2013, it received a boost in speed of more than 8,800 mph (about 7.3 kilometer per second), which set it on course for a July 4, 2016, rendezvous with Jupiter.

One of Juno's sensors, a special kind of camera optimized to track faint stars, also had a unique view of the Earth-moon system. The result was an intriguing, low-resolution glimpse of what our world would look like to a visitor from afar.

The cameras that took the images for the movie are located near the pointed tip of one of the spacecraft's three solar-array arms. They are part of Juno's Magnetic Field Investigation (MAG) and are normally used to determine the orientation of the magnetic sensors. These cameras look away from the sunlit side of the solar array, so as the spacecraft approached, the system's four cameras pointed toward Earth. Earth and the moon came into view when Juno was about 600,000 miles (966,000 kilometers) away -- about three times the Earth-moon separation.

During the flyby, timing was everything. Juno was traveling about twice as fast as a typical satellite, and the spacecraft itself was spinning at 2 rpm. To assemble a movie that wouldn't make viewers dizzy, the star tracker had to capture a frame each time the camera was facing Earth at exactly the right instant. The frames were sent to Earth, where they were processed into video format.

The music accompaniment is an original score by Vangelis.

How to see which government agency is spying on your phone

Alex Heid, information security consultant, demonstrates how to see which government agency is spying on your cell phone's unique IP address. Unfortunately, this only seems to work on Android phones.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A brilliant Christmas medley played entirely on iPads

Members of North Point Music performed this Christmas medley live at North Point Community Church using borrowed iPads:


(via The Tea Party Economist)

Friday, December 06, 2013

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