Monday, November 30, 2009

RE: Which one's the turkey ?

More Fun with Electric Current...

 
Thomas Edison was a proponent of Direct Current, while his rival Westinghouse pushed for the use of Alternating Current.
 
In an effort to discredit Westinghouse, Edison performed demonstrations of the "dangers" of Westinghouse's design by killing various animals -- including an elephant -- with Alternating Current..
 
When the Electric Chair was proposed as a method of execution, a term for the process had not been decided upon. 

Edison suggested "Westinghousing"


 http://www.capitalcentury.com/1907.html




On Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 10:03 AM, Robert Bendesky <bob_bendesky@hotmail.com> wrote:
 
This year marks the 300th anniversary of Benjamin Franklin's birth.
 
Franklin, the tenth son of a soap maker, received very little formal schooling growing up. He was later apprenticed to his older brother, a printer, which gave him the opportunity to read books. Franklin was always curious and eager to learn. This curiosity drove his experiments with electricity, which made him famous as a scientist.

In December 1750, Franklin learned one lesson the hard way, when he shocked himself while trying to electrocute a holiday turkey.
 
Franklin believed electrocuting the turkey made it uncommonly tender. 
  

  
full at:
http://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/200612/history.cfm

 





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"Well, same to you, fella."

from: THE JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY

 

RbsD is the only protein whose biochemical function is unknown among the six gene products of the rbs operon involved in the active transport of ribose.

 

FucU, a paralogue of RbsD conserved from bacteria to human, is also the only protein whose function is unknown

 
 
 

Crystal Structures of RbsD Leading to the Identification of Cytoplasmic Sugar-binding Proteins with a Novel Folding Architecture

Min-Sung Kim‡§, Joon Shin, Weontae Lee, Heung-Soo Lee, and Byung-Ha Oh

 

http://www.jbc.org/content/278/30/28173.full.pdf+html

 

 

 

 



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Which one's the turkey ?

 
This year marks the 300th anniversary of Benjamin Franklin's birth.
 
Franklin, the tenth son of a soap maker, received very little formal schooling growing up. He was later apprenticed to his older brother, a printer, which gave him the opportunity to read books. Franklin was always curious and eager to learn. This curiosity drove his experiments with electricity, which made him famous as a scientist.

In December 1750, Franklin learned one lesson the hard way, when he shocked himself while trying to electrocute a holiday turkey.
 
Franklin believed electrocuting the turkey made it uncommonly tender. 
  

  
full at:
http://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/200612/history.cfm

 


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Sunday, November 29, 2009

New Malcolm Gladwell book

amazon review
 
 What the Dog Saw
a collection of Malcolm Gladwell's writing from The New Yorker
 
What is the difference between choking and panicking? Why are there dozens of varieties of mustard -- but only one variety of ketchup? What do football players teach us about how to hire teachers? What does hair dye tell us about the history of the 20th century?

In the past decade, Malcolm Gladwell has written three books that have radically changed how we understand our world and ourselves: The Tipping Point; Blink; and Outliers. Now, in What the Dog Saw, he brings together, for the first time, the best of his writing from The New Yorker over the same period.

Here is the bittersweet tale of the inventor of the birth control pill, and the dazzling inventions of the pasta sauce pioneer Howard Moscowitz. Gladwell sits with Ron Popeil, the king of the American kitchen, as he sells rotisserie ovens, and divines the secrets of Cesar Millan, the "dog whisperer" who can calm savage animals with the touch of his hand. He explores intelligence tests and ethnic profiling and "hindsight bias" and why it was that everyone in Silicon Valley once tripped over themselves to hire the same college graduate.

"Good writing," Gladwell says in his preface, "does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else's head."What the Dog Saw is yet another example of the buoyant spirit and unflagging curiosity that have made Malcolm Gladwell our most brilliant investigator of the hidden extraordinary.
 
 



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Monday, November 23, 2009

FW: Blockbuster late fees (or not)


 
from my friend Brian
  Read the email correspondence on the right side of the page
 


 
 http://www.27bslash6.com/blockbuster.html
 


 


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Thursday, November 19, 2009

the importance of choosing the proper font

Hmmmm, that title doesn't say H1N1, does it?


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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Drunk Ewoks on the Today Show: what could possibly go wrong?

 
 No doubt you heard about the drunk Ewoks on the Today Show.
 
This site has the footage.
 
 


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Drilling in Antarctica ? Sometimes it's OK.

 
Beverage company Whyte & Mackay has approved a plan to drill beneath Antarctica's surface in search of two 100-year-old crates of whiskey that were lost during a 1909 shipwreck. If recovered, the company will use samples of the whiskey to decide whether to relaunch the brand.
 
The rescue mission will be led by New Zealand's Antarctic Heritage Trust and is slated to begin in January. The crates were located in 2006 beneath the floor of an expedition hut near Cape Royds, but the ice was too thick to drill through at the time.
 
When asked about the mission, a Whyte & Mackay's spokesman said that it's time for the whiskey to return home. "It's been laying there lonely and neglected. It should come back to Scotland where it was born."
 




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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Makes a great Christmas Gift !!!


Anyone Can Build a Tub-Style Mechanical Chicken Plucker
(just read the book)
 
 

"the construction process [is] explained so clearly that even a rank amateur should be able to build their own." -- American Pastured Poultry Producer's Association, newsletter #20
 
 


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Life imitates Art

 cartoon by Peter Steiner from page 61 of July 5, 1993 issue of The New Yorker,


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Word of the Year: Unfriend


In a post on their blog, the New Oxford American Dictionary chose "unfriend" as the 2009 Word of the Year.
 
The word is defined as the act of "remov[ing] someone as a 'friend' on a social networking site such as Facebook."
 
According to one of the dictionary's senior lexicographer, the word was selected for its "currency and potential longevity."
 
"Unfriend" beat out "sexting," "funemployed," "deleb,"(a dead celeb) " teabagger," and "hashtag" for the distinction. 

http://blog.oup.com/2009/11/unfriend/

 


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Monday, November 16, 2009

truth in advertising



While driving down a road, I passed a sign that read, "Alzheimer's Care." 


I caught it in the corner of my eye, and I read it as "Alzheimer's Cafe." 


My brain supplied the tag line, "You HAVE been here before."






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No comment necessary

from my friend John

Are you a REAL chemist ?

 


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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hungry Doggies - Morphing Breeds.

video


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Thursday, November 12, 2009

What Star Wars fans want, Star Wars fans get


They did it!
They made the damned thing.
 
The Tauntaun sleeping bag is a reality.
http://blogs.laweekly.com/style_council/shop/tauntaun-sleeping-bag-update-i/
 
 
 


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"Just a spoonful of cocoa helps the medicine go down"


A new study suggests that regular consumption of skim milk with flavonoid-rich cocoa may reduce inflammation, potentially slowing or preventing development of atherosclerosis.
 
[A]fter participants drank chocolate milk twice a day for four weeks, they had significantly lower levels of several inflammatory biomarkers, though some markers of cellular inflammation remained unchanged.
 
Participants also had significantly higher levels of good HDL cholesterol after completing the chocolate milk regimen, according to the study, which appears in the November issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
 
 
http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/90/5/1144?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=estruch&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&volume=90&issue=5&resourcetype=HWCIT



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Facebook Status Helps Teenager Prove Innocence


Cops:  "Where were you on the night of the 15th?"
 
You:  "I was at home, on Facebook."
 
Cops: "Do you have any witnesses?"
 
You: "Yeah. Two hundred Friends."
 
 
 
 


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Humor from "the Onion"


 The Pabst Brewing Co., owners of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Schlitz, is on the market for around $300 million. What do you think?
 
 
Ronald Birkin, Wood Carving Machine Operator:
"That's sad. You know whoever buys the brewery is just going to cut costs and make shitty beer."





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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

10 Geeky Laws That Should Exist, But Don’t

10 Geeky Laws That Should Exist, But Don't
By Matt Blum  November 10, 2009   


There are many, many laws having nothing to do with government that are useful to know because they tell you something about how the universe works. There are Newton's laws of motion, the laws of thermodynamics, Boyle's Law, Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, among many. Most of these laws have been known for a long time, but it wasn't until a mere 19 years ago that Godwin's Law was written.
 
If you've ever been involved in a discussion on Usenet, or have been following politics in the past decade or so, you've probably encountered Godwin's Law. While Godwin's Law is, alas, as true today as it was then, it seems unfortunate that there aren't more widely accepted axioms to help us geeks define the characteristics of our world.
To that end, then, here are 10 geeky laws (axioms) that should exist, but don't … at least, they didn't until now:
 
 
#1.  Munroe's Law:   A person in a geeky argument who can quote xkcd to support his position automatically wins the argument.  This law supersedes Godwin, so that even if the quote is about Hitler, the quoter still wins.
2. Lucas's Law: There is no movie so beloved that a "special edition," prequel or sequel cannot trample and forever stain its memory.
 
3. Tolkien and Rowling's Law: No reasonably faithful movie adaptation of a book will ever be quite as good as the book it adapts. Thus great movie adaptations can only be made out of truly amazing books.
 
4. Somers and McCarthy's Law: There is no dangerous unscientific theory so preposterous that no celebrity will espouse and advocate it. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/04/02/jenny-mccarthy-counts-for-something/
 
5. Jobs's Law: No matter how well last year's cool tech gadget still works, it will seem utterly inadequate the moment the new version comes out.
 
6. Savage and Hyneman's Law: Blowing stuff up is fun. Blowing stuff up in the name of science is AWESOME.
 
7. Starbucks' and Peet's Law: C8H10N4O2, better known as caffeine, is the most wonderful chemical compound known to humankind. If the field of chemistry had never identified or produced a single other useful compound, caffeine alone would be justification enough for its existence.
 
8. Wilbur's Law: Bacon makes everything better.
 
9. Comic Book Guy's Law: There is no detail of a movie too brief or inconsequential to become the subject of an hours-long diatribe.
 
10. The Unified Geek Theory: At present, the President of the United States, the wealthiest person in the United States, and the most trusted newscaster in the United States [http://www.timepolls.com/hppolls/archive/poll_results_417.html] are all geeks. At the same time, movies based on comic book characters are routinely taking in hundreds of millions of dollars. The only reasonable conclusion is: We've won!
 
 
aee http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2009/11/10-geeky-laws-that-should-exist-but-dont/



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A Flash of inspiration. A light bulb over the head. A lit neuron.

from New Scientist

 
 A small microscope that can be mounted on an animal's head should offer a front-row view of how its brain processes visual and other stimuli on the move.
 
A laser inside the device scans the activity of neurons through a tiny hole in the skull, made prior to the experiment under anaesthetic. When the microscope was attached to freely moving rats looking at screens, it produced images of brain cells that had been labelled with a fluorescent dye.
 
Compared with previous methods – which require restraining animals and inserting electrodes – this technique is much less invasive, revealing brain activity in animals that are moving and interacting with their environment in a more natural way. It was developed at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany.
 
 
 
Visually evoked activity in cortical cells imaged in freely moving animals
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0903680106
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/11/03/0903680106.abstract?related-urls=yes&legid=pnas;0903680106v1

 
 


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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

casting "Sh*t my Dad says"

 http://flavorwire.com/49123/we-cast-the-shit-my-dad-says-tv-show

excerpt:
  
[T]he key will be casting.
 
Our list of possible candidates for the father includes Jeffrey Tambor, Kurtwood Smith, Sam Elliot, and Abe Vigoda — but our money's on Ron White. He might be young, but his attitude is just right: acerbic, annoyed, half drunk, always about to take a crap, and disgusted with the new generation. Especially his son.
 

For the mother, we'd go with Kathleen Turner, who has been amazing this season on Californication in her recurring role as Sue Collini. Not that we have any details that suggest Mrs. Halpern is a sex-starved ball buster — we just want more Kathleen Turner.
 

Neil Patrick Harris would be great for the son if they could steal him away from another CBS comedy, How I Met Your Mother.  Ditto Colin Hanks from Bones.  But, we're gonna settle with Andy Samberg.  Perfect combination of youth and comedic timing — and we've already seen him play a son, remember?

 
  

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FW: The apocalypse is nigh: TV show announced based on Twitter feed

from my friend Sam Goodman.  My comments below

Twitter Gets First TV Deal Courtesy Of 'Sh*t My Dad Says'

I suppose it was just a matter of time. A few years back the publishing world experienced the blog to book phenomenon (with varying degrees of success) and now it looks like we might be about to enter the twitter to sitcom phase courtesy of Shit My Dad Says. Lessons to be learned from this news: everyone is desperate for good content! Moving back home with your parents can not only be profitable; it's possible to make money on Twitter. In case you're not a follower, Shit My Dad Says is a twitter feed started back in August by Justin Halpern. The feed quickly blew up and now boasts 700,000 plus followers and, as of this week, a sitcom deal with CBS (presumably with a more family friendly title). From THR:
 
Will & Grace creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick are on board to executive produce and supervise the writing for the multicamera family comedy, which Halpern will co-pen with Patrick Schumacker. Halpern and Schumacker will also co-exec produce the Warner Bros. TV-produced project, which has received a script commitment.
Halpern, 29, had moved back in with his parents in San Diego, and on Aug. 3 he launched "Shit My Dad Says," a Twitter feed featuring colorful — often profane — comments and pearls of wisdom made by his 73-year-old father during their daily conversations.
 
 http://www.mediaite.com/online/twitter-gets-first-tv-deal-courtesy-of-sht-my-dad-says/


 
 
After seeing some of the latest reality shows, I thought that TV executives had officially run out of ideas.  Evidently I was wrong.  You can make a TV show based on Twitter feeds. 
 
How about a show based on Fortune Cookie pronouncements ? 
 Better yet, Magic 8-Ball predictions !   
 
I can see it now:
 
Next on the History Channel: 'Did Bigfoot ghostwrite for Nostradamus ? '
 Magic 8-Ball says, "It is certain."

 
 
 


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SODDI defense

Computer Virus Frames Victims with Child Porn

A new computer virus may give credibility to people like the Florida man who recently blamed his cat for his child pornography stash.
 
According to the Associated Press, a growing number of people have been framed by an Internet virus that secretly deposits child pornography on victims' computers.
 
In some cases, the legal costs of fighting pedophilia charges have bankrupted victims and cost them their jobs, not to mention their reputations.
 
In 2007, a Massachusetts man spent more than $250,000 on legal fees after his work computer was found to contain a folder full of child porn. Eventually, analysts determined that his computer had been programmed by hackers to visit more than 40 child porn sites a minute.
 
While experts say that it's difficult to tell whether the virus was deliberately installed on a computer, it's easy to tell when somebody is falsely using the virus as an excuse. "We call it the SODDI defense: Some Other Dude Did It," a federal prosecutor remarked.
 
 

full @  Associated Press

 


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Monday, November 09, 2009

Best. Housepaint name. Ever.

   
A friend of mine was preparing to paint the trim in his house.  He wanted to paint it white. 
 
At the paint store he asked for a gallon of white.
 
The paint store guy said, "Which white?  We have Arctic White, Eggshell White, Parchment White, Tuxedo White..."
 
In frustration, my friend snapped, "I just want WHITE WHITE !"
 
The paint store guy said,  "Oh, we have that one, too."  
And produced a paint can labeled... "White White."
 
Now THAT'S a smart marketing move !

 
 


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The Universe. It looks boring.


Two astrophysicists at NASA announced this week that the universe is, on average, beige.
 
Dr Karl Glazebrook and Dr Ivan Baldry took the colors of the light emitted by 200,000 galaxies, averaged them out and determined its composite shade.
 
 A contest was held among astronomers to name it; they came up with :
  • BIG BANG BUFF
  • COSMIC KHAKI
  • SKYVORY
  • UNIVEIGE
 but the winner was
  • COSMIC LATTE.
 
see http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap091101.html

 

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A byproduct of ending analog TV.

 
TV switch-over triggers rush to see rare stars

US SKIES are clearer than usual after the switch in June from analogue to digital TV freed up a chunk of the radio spectrum. Astronomers are now rushing to see what they can find before transmissions from cellphone companies and others fill the space.

 

Prior to the switch-over, naturally occurring radio waves at frequencies between 700 and 800 megahertz were obscured by analogue TV signals, preventing astronomers from investigating the universe using this band. Now a receiver has been installed at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico to take advantage of the new-found clarity

 

full @
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20427333.500

 

 



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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Revolutionary War re-enactment at Hope Lodge

 
This Weekend !   November 7-8, 2009

Whitemarsh Encampment: Revolutionary War re-enactment at Hope Lodge
( Ft. Washington, PA)

10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday.
 
Step back in time to 1777. See Revolutionary War re-enactors, military maneuvers and skirmishes, sutlers with colonial reproductions, plus cooking and craft demonstrations. Tour the Hope Lodge mansion, and much more!
 
Admission:
$6 Adults;  $4 Seniors and Youths;  Age 5 and under- Free;
Special Rate $20 per family (one car).

 
directions:

Pennsylvania Turnpike exit 339 (Fort Washington). After toll, stay left and follow the road (pass a Friendly's) to end. Left onto Bethlehem Pike. Shortly after crossing beneath the highway, Hope Lodge is on your left.
 
 
hope lodge info:


 


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Refrigerator Poetry by in/y

 


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Pull the other one.

October 31, 2008 report in The Telegraph
 
 
A vicar attended hospital with a potato stuck up his bottom – and claimed it got there after he fell on to the vegetable while naked.
 
 The clergyman, in his 50s, told nurses he had been hanging curtains when he fell backwards on to his kitchen table. He happened to be nude at the time of the mishap, said the vicar, who insisted he had not been playing a sex game.
 
 
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/3330057/Vicar-went-to-hospital-with-potato-stuck-in-bottom.html




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Clean Up Your Bookmarks

 
 AM-Deadlink: Clean Up Your Bookmarks by Removing Dead Links And Duplicates
 


I haven't tried it yet, but it could be useful.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Proof he's not dead yet...

 http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-15/1257311708137780.xml&coll=1
 
One last day on the trail as tough campaign ends
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Kelly Heyboer
STAR-LEDGER STAFF
NOTEBOOK
 
Who says New Jersey has no celebrities on the campaign trail?
 
While doing some last-minute stumping at a diner in Paramus yesterday, Gov. Jon Corzine ran into Detective Phil Fish himself, Abe Vigoda.
 
"I just want to say to the governor, I expect to see you here in the state of New Jersey for a long time," said Vigoda, star of the TV show "Barney Miller" and the "Godfather" films.
 
Vigoda, 88, admitted he couldn't vote to give the New Jersey governor a second term because he lives in New York City.
 
"That's OK, I date a girl in the city," Corzine said, referring to girlfriend Sharon Elghanayan.
 
Vigoda said he was in New Jersey visiting his daughter -- who had already cast her vote for Republican Chris Christie.
 
 
 


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Technology improves on Paper and Pen

 The PocketMod is a new way to keep yourself organized.
 
 Lets face it, PDAs are too expensive and cumbersome, and organizers are bulky and hard to carry around. Nothing beats an old fashioned folded up piece of paper.
 
 The PocketMod is a small 8-page book made from a single sheet of paper.
 
On the website, you drag and drop useful templates onto each page. 
 
 Templates include lined pages, calendar pages, checklists, shopping lists, graph paper, check book register, food diary, sudoku games, tip tables, and many more.
 
 Then you follow the folding instructions, and a normal piece of paper becomes a pocket-sized mini-book. 
 
http://pocketmod.com/
 
 
 
 


  



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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

excerpts from Wall Street Journal article:

 Lawyerese Goes Galactic as Contracts Try to Master the Universe
 
Decked out in sequined black and gold dresses, Anne Harrison and the other women in her Bulgarian folk-singing group were lined up to try out for NBC's "America's Got Talent" TV show when they noticed peculiar wording in the release papers they were asked to sign.
 
Any of their actions that day last February, the contract said, could be "edited, in all media, throughout the universe, in perpetuity."
 
Lawyers for years have added language to some contracts that stretches beyond the Earth's atmosphere. But more and more people are encountering such everywhere-and-forever language as entertainment companies tap into amateur talent and try to anticipate every possible future stream of revenue.
 
Eric Goldman, an associate professor at the Santa Clara University School of Law who specializes in intellectual-property and Internet law, says the language could be "a stroke of brilliant foresight." Some day, Mr. Goldman adds, people might ask, "What were they thinking? Why didn't they get the Mars rights?"
 
 
full @ http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125658217507308619.html#mod=todays_us_page_one
 
 








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Monday, November 02, 2009

"Visitor's Guide to Molvania"

 
Before Borat and Kazakhstan, there was JetLag's "Visitor's Guide to Molvania":
http://www.molvania.com.au/molvania/
 
SEE THE SIGHTS: The Great Plains, recently granted UNESCO World Heritage status as a "site of significant monotony."
 
EXPERIENCE THE FESTIVALS: Svetranj locals gather each year on the 6th of June to celebrate the Feast of the Lopsided Saints.
 
LEARN THE LANGUAGE: "Togurfga trakij sdonchskia?" (What happened to your teeth?)
 
 
History: http://www.molvania.com.au/molvania/bground.html
Politics: http://www.molvania.com.au/molvania/politics.html
Religion: http://www.molvania.com.au/molvania/religion.html
National Anthem: http://www.molvania.com.au/molvania/national.html
 
=====
 
other countries to visit:
Phaic Tan: http://www.jetlagtravel.com/phaic_tan/
San Sombreo: http://www.jetlagtravel.com/sansombrero/

 
 

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I thought "Trick" but he thought "Treat".

 
On the night of Halloween, I put an assortment of candies into a big mixing bowl, and, as a joke, dropped in one spool of Dental Floss.
 
Most of the kids got the joke, but one kid actually grabbed it and put it in his trick-or-treat bag.
 
He was quite happy to get it too. While walking back to his parents who were waiting at the end of my driveway, he called out, "Hey! I got Dental Floss!"




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