Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Quote of the Day

"We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming."
Wernher von Braun



See what you're getting into…before you go there

Study: Why Humans have sex

Psychologists at the University of Texas at Austin explored the reasons people have sex.

The 237 answers they received ranged from "I desired emotional closeness" to "It seemed like good exercise" and "To help me fall asleep."

NY Times coverage at: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/31/science/31tier.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

All 237 answers at: http://homepage.psy.utexas.edu/homepage/Group/BussLAB/measures/why_have_sex_reasons.doc

 Meston, C., & Buss, D.M. (2007).  Why humans have sex.  Archives of Sexual Behavior, 36, 477-507.


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Neologism: "Wizard Rock"

To be topical, this should have appeared last weekend, when the last of the Harry Potter books was published. According to Wikipedia, it dates back to 2002, so I'm hardly au fait with the zeitgeist. However, better late than never, though if I were any later it would have to be never.
Wizard Rock bands are fans of the series who write and perform songs that relate to characters or events in the books.
Groups have names like Harry and the Potters, The Whomping Willows, Wingardium Leviosa, Draco and the Malfoys, The Parselmouths and The Remus Lupins.
Nobody takes wizard rock very seriously, including those involved. WizardRock.org, a fan genre site, quotes a member of The Whomping Willows: "Half of these bands are populated by kids who are just learning to play an instrument and record music. The beauty of Wizard Rock is that for many of the bands, it's nothing more than a learning experience."

WORLD WIDE WORDS           ISSUE 546          Saturday 28 July 2007

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Friday, July 27, 2007

No, Google didn't die...

Some wise guy worked out that if Google had a black screen, then accounting for the huge number of page views -- according to calculations -- 750 megawatts/hour per year would be saved.

In response, Google created a black version of its search engine, called Blackle, with the exact same functions as the white version, but obviously with lower energy consumption:

Help spread the word... use

Truth in Advertising


On my way to work, I pass a house with a sign in the window: "Psychic Readings"

There's a sign above the door which reads: "Walk-ins Welcome"

If you were a REAL Psychic, wouldn't that read: "Walk-ins Expected" ?



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Thursday, July 26, 2007

"Speaking consistently"

Democrats urge perjury probe of Gonzales


In a separate letter Thursday to Gonzales, Leahy said he would give the attorney general eight days to correct, clarify or otherwise change his testimony "so that, consistent with your oath, they are the whole truth."

White House press secretary Tony Snow defended Gonzales on Thursday but would not talk about the subject of the 2004 briefing.

"Unfortunately we get into areas that you cannot discuss openly," Snow said. "It's a very complex issue. But the attorney general was speaking consistently. "



"Speaking consistently?"   As in "consistantly lying ?"



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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Smoking Gun's Rider Roundup

The Smoking Gun website features excerpts from the riders that music performers add to their performance contract. The riders often contain ridiculous demands for backstage amenities.

The website recently organized the band by genre. They have categories such as:

Alt Rock (e.g., Red Hot Chili Peppers),
Arena Rock (Rolling Stones),
Boy Bands (New Kids on the Block),
Divas (Barbra Streisand),
Crooners (Neil Diamond),
Country (Willie Nelson),
R&B (Al Green),
Hip Hop (50 Cent)
Oldie Acts (Beach Boys)

So where did they put bands like Styx, Journey and REO Speedwagon?
Into the section labeled "Cutout Bin"


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Photographs and Memories

What did your town look like during the days of the Penny Postcard?

Just click on the site below and check out your old stomping grounds during the times of the penny postcard.  When the site comes up click on the state and then on the county to see old penny postcards from that area.


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Someone asked me if I found that I was forgetting things as I got older.

I replied,  "I can't answer that.  If I keep forgetting things, how would I remember that I do?"

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Re: topical joke

plus size undergarments...

that's the thing that truly bothered me about Clinton's wayward penis. I really don't care about the cheating (that's between him and his wife... and perhaps a pair of scissors) but when you see the women he chose: That's Embarassing!

Plenty of presidents have had their flings. But consider that Jack Kennedy was said to have screwed Marilyn Monroe. Makes ya wanna shout, "All right, Jack! Way to go!"

But Gennifer Flowers? Paula Jones? Monica Lewinsky?  Not exactly Miss American material.

Kissinger said that power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. I guess Clinton wasn't that powerful.

From: SStone1111@aol.com
To: bob_bendesky@hotmail.com
Subject: Re: topical joke
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2007 01:44:03 EDT

I thought a "brazilian" was the plus-size undergarment worn by one of Bill Clinton's girlfriends.
In a message dated 7/18/2007 10:20:32 AM Eastern Daylight Time, bob_bendesky@hotmail.com writes:

George Bush was informed that 200 Brazilians were killed in a plane crash.

He buried his face in his hands and said, "That's terrible... all those people..."

Then he asked, "How many is a brazilian ?"

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Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL.com.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Saturday's search for Bush's brain.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Vice President Dick Cheney will serve as acting president briefly Saturday while President Bush is anesthetized for a routine colonoscopy, White House spokesman Tony Snow said Friday.


Hmmm, so Bush will be unconscious, and Cheney will be Acting President...

I won't be surprised of "something" goes wrong during the procedure, and Bush never wakes up.

...then again , how could we tell?



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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

topical joke

George Bush was informed that 200 Brazilians were killed in a plane crash.

He buried his face in his hands and said, "That's terrible... all those people..."

Then he asked, "How many is a brazilian ?"

Missed the show?  Watch videos of the Live Earth Concert on MSN.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

FW: RE: The full technical explanation. Impress your friends

I sent the Ketchup pouring technique to an engineer friend of mine (Ken Ford), and he has a different approach:

Actually, this is incorrect as well.  Ketchup is a Bingham fluid, which means that it acts like a solid until a required minimum level of shear is applied.  Upon application of the proper amount of shear, it flows like a liquid.  For best results:
1.  Hold the ketchup bottle on its side with the opening approximately 10 degrees below level.
2.  Move the ketchup bottle sideways, striking your hand with the shoulder of the bottle between your thumb and for finger.
3.  Repeat.
This will create shear as the force moves surface layer the ketchup (upper boundary layer) across the ketchup in the bulk region.
I guess this makes me a fluid dynamics geek?

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Humor: The Onion's "Man on the Street" Q & A

Humans Hardwired For Faith

Q:  According to Dr. Andrew Newberg, specific parts of the brain are responsible for the religious feelings humans experience. What do you think?

David Mayne, Bank Teller:
"Finally, concrete proof that religion exists!"


Martha Jenkins, Ergonomist:
"Is this the same part of the brain responsible for anti-Semitic, anti-woman, anti-gay feelings?"


Chris Thewles, Systems Analyst:
"That could explain why people with brain tumors believe there is no God."


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Saturday, July 14, 2007

You want a red nose to go with those clown shoes?

I Hate Crocs dot com.

Dedicated the the elimination of Crocs and those who think that their excuses for wearing them are viable.



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At least he didn't suggest "Triumph of the Will"

from Today's Papers/slate.com

Among the trove of Nixon-era documents released last month by the National Archives, the NYT digs up a gem a letter from a youthful Karl Rove to Nixon's chief counsel, in which the budding architect suggested drumming up GOP support on campuses by sponsoring screenings of  Reefer Madness.  





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Friday, July 13, 2007

I think perhaps we possibly might be on the verge of something. Maybe.

Another graduate of the Dubya Academy of Rhetoric.


Verbatim partial transcript:
Secretary Chertoff remarks, 
delivered July 10, 2007, Chicago, IL

We could easily be attacked. The intent to attack us remains as strong as it was on September 10, 2001. We've done a lot to degrade the enemy's capability but the enemy has also done a lot to retool its capability. You look at their activities around the world-bombings in North Africa from Al Qaeda, conflict in Somalia with radical Islamist groups contending for control over Somalia, training activity taking place in South Asia, the Taliban continuing to try to regain control of parts of Afghanistan.

I think if you look at that picture you see an enemy that is improving itself just as we're improving ourselves. They can't afford to remain static just as we can't afford to remain static. Our edge is technology and the vigilance of the ordinary citizen. The foundation of all we do is our determination to continue to pay attention to this issue and be willing to tolerate a reasonable amount, not an excessive amount, but a reasonable amount of inconvenience and cost in order to maintain homeland security.

If we get into a road where everybody's attitude is, 'I'm interested in homeland security but not if it's going to cost me anything, not if it's going to inconvenience me, not if it's going to be in my backyard,' then we get complacency and I guarantee we will lose the race with the terrorists. The one thing they have in abundance is fanatic devotion to their cause. They continue to harbor grievances over events that happened six or seven hundred years ago, and if we go into the attitude of 'let's get over it, it's time to move onto something else,' then we will lose this competition about our ability to secure ourselves from those terrorist attacks.

Official resistance

We've got a host of measures in place, but we're starting to get some resistance. The 9/11 Commission said that in the hands of a terrorist, a phony document is a weapon. Yesterday someone brought into my audience four North Carolina driver's licenses that had been picked up. Each of them looked valid to anybody except someone who had a lot of sophisticated tools. They all had the same picture of the same person and they had four different names. As long as we allow driver's licenses to be at a level of security where you can basically get one made on any college campus in the country, we are throwing the door open for people who want to pretend to be somebody else.

Summer risk

I believe we're entering a period this summer of increased risk. We've seen a lot more public statements from Al Qaeda. There are a lot of reasons to speculate about that but one reason that occurs to me is that they're feeling more comfortable and raising expectations. In the last August, and in prior summers, we've had attacks against the West, which suggests that summer seems to be appealing to them. I think we do see increased activity in South Asia, so we do worry about whether they are rebuilding their capabilities. We've struck at them and degraded them, but they rebuild. All these things have given me kind of a gut feeling that we are in a period of increased vulnerability.

Radicals and Iraq

People who were going to become radicalized and who were going to becoming suicide bombers did not need the war in Iraq to do that. It may be a good rhetorical device now, but in the absence of that, they would have been radicalized over Afghanistan, or as Bin Laden was, they would have been radicalized over Armenia and Saudi Arabia, or over the existence of the state of Israel.

There are many excuses for radicalization. That's not to say they're an explanation, but I don't think that our going into Iraq created, suddenly, a rationale that didn't exist before. I do think that obviously we're mindful that obviously there is Al Qaeda in Iraq, there are operatives who are becoming battle-hardened and getting more experience. We do worry, particularly if we were to take the pressure off there, that they would begin to look elsewhere for a fight. Whatever your views about the war, in the situation where we currently find ourselves, it would be Pollyannaish to believe that our departure from Iraq is going to settle all those people down and they're going to say, now we can get back to picnicking. They're just going to carry the fight elsewhere.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

really really lame excuse

New Orleans' Madam Says Sen. David Vitter Used Her Brothel


Jeanette Maier on Tuesday said Vitter was once a client of the Canal Street brothel. She pleaded guilty to running the operation in 2002. Vitter won his seat in the U.S. Senate in 2004.

Saying he was a "decent guy" who appeared to be in need of company when he visited the brothel, Maier added unexpected details to a scandal enveloping the first-term Republican.

"As far as the girls coming out after seeing David, all they had was nice things to say. It wasn't all about sex. In fact, he just wanted to have somebody listen to him, you know. And I said his wife must not be listening," Maier said in an interview with The Associated Press.


Yeah, he just wanted someone to hear him talk... at $200 an hour.

C-SPAN's much cheaper, Senator


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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I remember JFK (A blog for Boomers)

If you can recall that sad day, you will have a wonderful time here perusing memory-jogging thoughts to stimulate pleasant feelings of nostalgia.


TV Dinners
Archie Comics
Kenner's Easy Bake Oven
Iron Eyes Cody, the Crying Indian
Chariots of the Gods?


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And X-Ray Specs see into your soul...

Ugandan police seize magic trick from preacher

Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:30AM BST

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Ugandan police are holding a Ghanaian preacher over a stage magic device they fear may dupe people into believing they have experienced miracles.

Customs officials seized the Electric Touch device -- which magicians use to give small electric shocks to volunteers -- from "Prophet" Obiri Yeboah at the airport last week, the state owned New Vision daily reported on Tuesday.

The pastor heads one of many Pentecostal churches in Uganda, receiving large sums of money from congregations seeking miracle cures for diseases or help with financial problems.

The Electric Touch device is usually sold in magic shops alongside card tricks, magic coins and disappearing balls.

"With a simple touch, make a fluorescent bulb glow on and off at your command, make confetti move, charge a spoon and watch as it shocks a volunteer!" says one online magic shop selling the device.

"People could be duped to think it is a miracle," the New Vision quoted Civil Aviation Authority security chief Herman Owomugisha as saying.

Officials are worried about the proliferation of "miracle" churches in Uganda, many of which claim to cure HIV/AIDS.



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Thursday, July 05, 2007

We are African apes, cousins of monkeys, descended from fish

from Scientific American:

Richard Dawkins, who should need no introduction, but who will get one anyway -- author of the Selfish Gene, coiner of the term 'meme', and currently famous for being perhaps the most argumentative and visible atheist on Earth -- reviewed the latest book by intelligent design advocate Michael Behe in Sunday's New York Times.

You probably don't need me to tell you how it went. Beatings this savage don't often appear in print


You can read said thrashing at: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/01/books/review/Dawkins-t.html?_r=1&oref=slogin


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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

U.S. Citizenship Test: Could You Pass?

U.S. Citizenship Test: Could You Pass?

The 4th of July is around the corner. Time for most Americans take a holiday and consume charred hamburgers and watery beer. But there's more to Independence Day. It marks the birth of a 231 year old experiment.

Immigrants must pass a Citizenship test before they can become U.S. Citizens. How much do you know about this nation?  (11 questions)


What is America to me?
A name, a map, or a flag I see
A certain word; democracy
What is America to me?

"The House I Live In" (robinson/allen)




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Monday, July 02, 2007

What's inside an iPhone?

What's inside an iPhone?
Here are two approaches:
1) a careful, surgical, non-destructive operation (with pictures):
2) hitting it with a hammer

PC Magazine's 2007 editors' choice for best Web mail—award-winning Windows Live Hotmail.

Need a Clean Toilet?


MizPee finds the closest, cleanest toilet and gives you entertaining reading material once you get there. Since the service is cell phone-based, it's always with you, when you really need it.


When I'm on the road and I have to use the toilet, I stop into a McDonalds. This is known as a "McShit."

If the staff gives you dirty looks as you head to the bathroom without ordering food, tell them you'll order some as soon as you're done. This is known as a "McShit with Lies."


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UK on alert for plastic duck invasion

UK on alert for plastic duck invasion
11:00 02 July 2007
NewScientist.com news service
Catherine Brahic

Look out Britain! Here come the plastic ducks... What's left of 28,800 plastic bath toys that were lost at sea 15 years ago are headed for the western shores of the UK, according to a retired oceanographer who has been tracking them since the beginning of their epic voyage.

Curtis Ebbesmeyer had been looking for a way to test a computer model of ocean circulation – OSCURS – developed by his colleague, Jim Ingraham at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

He knew he had come across a rare opportunity to do just that when he heard that the plastic toys – ducks, frogs, beavers and turtles – had fallen off a cargo container in the north-western Pacific on 10 January 1992.

Since then, thousands of the durable, waterproof toys – many bleached and battered by their maritime travels – have been picked up on beaches around the Pacific. Using OSCURS, Ebbesmeyer has predicted their itinerary and each new sighting serves to confirm the model.

Atlantic bound

According to OSCURS, having circumvented the Pacific clockwise, some of the toys will be bound for the Artic Ocean, travelling over the North Pole and down along the US Eastern Seaboard.

"We are getting reports of ducks being washed up on America's eastern seaboard," said Ebbesmeyer on 26 June. "It is now inevitable that they will get caught up in the Atlantic currents and will turn up on English beaches."

He says Cornwall and southwest England "will probably get the first wave of them."

It is not the first time the bath toys have travelled this far. According to Ebbesmeyer's website Beachcombers' Alert, a duck arrived in Maine, US, in July 2003, and a frog made it to Scotland in August 2003.

Decades adrift

In January 2007, Ebbesmeyer and his colleagues published a summary of their flotsam-tracking since 1992 (EOS Transactions American Geophysical Union, vol 88, p 1). "How long might the toys continue orbiting?" they wrote. "A message in a bottle released in 1975 in the Gulf of Alaska recently was recovered near Prince William Sound on the south coast of Alaska."

The team say that the bottle's 31-year drift suggests that it circled the northern Pacific 10 times. The plastic toys that have stayed in the Pacific, they add, could complete 10 orbits by 2022.

Most of the toys have faded to white by now, and they are stamped with the brand-name: "The First Years". If you find one, you can help Curtis Ebbesmeyer in his research by emailing him.

: http://environment.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn12168&feedId=online-news_rss20


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