Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Google Launches Street View

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Party Like it's Your Birthday!

What was the #1 song on ...
- the day you were born?
- the day you graduated from high school?
- the day you were married?
- the day your child was born?
- the approximate date you were conceived?

Click here to find out.

Thanks to Kitty M.

Tiger Swimming

Most cats do not like getting wet... But as these pictures show, there's always the exception to the rule. For the cat in question is a large male white Bengal tiger called Odin.

Six years old, and at the prime of his life, Odin lives at the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Zoo in Vallejo, near San Francisco. He is about 10ft long from nose to tail, and is an excellent swimmer.

More Images.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Monday, May 14, 2007

Nudist Recruiting

To draw 20- and 30-somethings, nudist groups and camps are trying everything from deep discounts on membership fees to a young ambassador program that encourages college and graduate students to talk to their peers about having fun in the buff.

"We don't want the place to turn into a gated assisted living facility," said Gordon Adams, membership director at Solair Recreation League, a nudist camp in northeastern Connecticut that recently invited students from dozens of New England schools to a college day in hopes of piquing their interest.

The median age is 55 at Solair, where a yearly membership is $500 for people older than 40, $300 for people younger than 40 and $150 for college students.

The Kissimee, Fla.-based American Association for Nude Recreation, which represents about 270 clubs and resorts in North America, estimates that more than 90 percent of its 50,000 members are older than 35.

"If a young person is enlightened enough to go to a beach or resort, they'll find that they're outnumbered by people who are not like them," said Sam Miller, 32, a medical student in Riverside, Calif., who is helping to plan a youth ambassadors workshop being held next month in Orlando, Fla. "Oftentimes they won't go back for that reason."


The Tug on the Rug Diet

Women can lose weight and look more beautiful simply by tugging on their pubic hair, according to Shukan Josei (5/22).

Clutching at the map of Tasmania stimulates the sex hormones, gets blood flowing toward the genitals and releases pheromones.

It's the release of pheromones that is said to give women in love their "glow" and what is being attributed for making women who try the trick appear to be more beautiful.

Women are advised to tug their pubes while they're still dry and then move the clump of hair around in a circular motion. They're also told to run their fingers through their pubic hair the same way they would do when fondling their regular hair.

Women are told not to worry about pubic hairs that fall out and to continue yanking away for about 1 to 2 minutes.

"I really don't know about this being any good in terms of a diet. Normally, dieting tends to limit the amount of female hormones emitted," Dr. Yamanaka tells Shukan Josei. "But if women did this while they were also on a diet, I guess there is a possibility that it could make them look both beautiful and thinner." (By Ryann Connell)


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

Smoke to Quit Smoking

It feels like a cigarette, looks like a cigarette but it isn't bad for your health.

A Chinese company marketing the world's first "electronic" cigarette hopes to double sales this year as it expands overseas and as some of China's legions of smokers try to quit.

Golden Dragon Group Ltd's Ruyan cigarettes are battery-powered, cigarette-shaped devices that deliver nicotine to inhalers in a bid to emulate actual smoking.

"The nicotine is delivered to the lungs within 7 to 10 seconds," said Scott Fraser, Vice President of SBT Co. Ltd., the Beijing-based firm that first developed the electronic cigarette technology in 2003 and which is now controlled by Golden Dragon.

"It feels like a cigarette, looks like a cigarette, it even emits vapor. In many ways, it is like an actual smoking experience, and that's what makes us different," he told Reuters.

The cigarettes sell for around 1,600 yuan ($208) apiece and are already available in China, Israel, Turkey, and a number of European countries, but not yet the United States.

Golden Dragon's competitors include global giants Pfizer and Novartis AG, which sell more familiar nicotine replacement products such as chewing gum, patches, and inhalers.

More Via SciFi

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Superstitions in Pigeons and MMOs

From beta all the way through months into launch players were CONVINCED that if you used the diplomacy skill on a chest it would improve the loot you got. This was SO widespread that you literally could not get in a pick up group without them querying about the diplomacy skills of the party and someone forcing everyone to wait while the highest diplomacy skill player cringed before the chest sufficiently. No matter how many times we posted on the forums that this was a myth and it doesn't do anything, they kept doing it. It got so bad our community relations manager even put it in his sig. Finally we made chests an invalid target for the diplomacy skill, then players whined that all the points they put into diplomacy were worthless because we "nerfed" the skill!

We've had similar problems with some of our boss encounters, for example, on my first dragon raid, I was regaled with a long list of things I MUST NOT DO or else the raid would be wiped. Not one of them was valid, but they were incredibly detailed and equally silly. (Things like you can't switch weapons, press hotkeys, cast spells, attack anything but a single leg of the dragon, that sort of thing). It was pointless to argue about, they wouldn't accept the fact that their rules were really all superstitions.

B.F. Skinner is well-known for his theory of behavioral conditioning, but one of his quirkiest studies involved inducing superstition in pigeons (1948). 8 pigeons were placed in a reinforcement contraption (i.e., Skinner Box) and were given a food pellet every 15 seconds no matter what they did. After several days, each pigeon had fixated on a particular superstitious behavior. One pigeon danced counter-clockwise, another two developed a left-to-right head-swinging motion, another attacked an invisible object in the top right corner of the cage, and so forth. This phenomenon has also been replicated among high-school students (Bruner & Revuski, 1961). And given that MMOs are a kind of Skinner Box that offer some random rewards (e.g., rare drops), it's not surprising that superstitious behaviors emerge in MMOs as well.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Vote Sylar 2008

Homage to Heroes. From threadless, by S. Griffin.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

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