Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hole in One - Strippers and Golfers

Stroudsburg Area Regional Police are investigating complaints of a private golf outing featuring lap dance stations, threesomes and naked women at the Cherry Valley Golf Course on Monday.

Neighbors called police after Dave Gold, 20, and a 17-year-old female were denied access to the road shared by the golf course and the home of Gold's friend, Will Croasdale, 19.

Precious. Video and photos available.

Google Street Sightings

Patrick Norton of TWIT.

More sightings.

Paintable Solar Cells

The quest to builder a better, cheaper solar cell continues on, as researchers at the New Jersey Institute of Technology have developed a new type of solar cell that can be printed or painted onto flexible plastic sheets. Unlike traditional silicon cells, the print-on cells are composed of carbon nanotubes and buckyballs, which results in substantially cheaper manufacturing costs and greater efficiency, since apparently carbon nanotubes are terrific conductors.


Learn Chinese

German Schilderwald (Sign Forest) Distracts Drivers

For nearly a decade, Germany's 15 million-member ADAC automobile association has been curb-crawling the nation's streets with municipal officials in an effort to persuade them to get rid of as much as half the country's estimated 20 million traffic signs. Many Germans believe the country's signage has become so dense that it's a safety hazard. A recent study concluded that the distracting signs keep drivers from watching the road.

Germans have coined a term for the phenomenon -- Schilderwald, or sign forest. But as the van-load of officials touring Troisdorf for surplus signs discovered on a recent morning, parting with them isn't proving easy.


Harry Potter Spoiler

I know who dies.

Just finished the book. Nice light reading, in about a day and a half. 8-)

Friday, July 27, 2007


Thanks to Dr. Dan.

DON'T try simpsonizeme.com, it simply does not work! This works much better.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Real Threats to Americans?

Sort of put things in perspective... Details here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Awwww.... Chihuahua With Heart-Shaped Spot

The dog, named Heart-kun, was born May 18 with a heart-shaped spot on its coat. He is part of a new litter at the Pucchin Dog's shop in Odate, Japan.

Shop owner Emiko Sakurada said it's the first of 1,000 puppies she's bred with this type of pattern. She also said that she has no plans to sell the animal.

Yeah... it's kind of gay, but who cares? That's really cute.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Kenaf Paper - A Better Alternative?

A little-known alternative to trees for the production of paper is kenaf, a leafy, fast-growing annual related to the cotton plant. With a Persian name and ancient historical roots in Africa, the origin of kenaf is shrouded in mystery. One thing is certain: kenaf is both an effective and environmentally-friendly substitute to wood. Yet in spite of an endorsement from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), kenaf has still not found its way into the mainstream market. High-end companies like Kodak, J.C. Penney and the Gap use kenaf paper for catalogues and film, but the vast majority of companies are still using wood-based paper.

It belongs to the hibiscus family. It grows tall like bamboo in warm climates. It can be made into yarn but has more strength than cotton. It's kenaf, and Mary Warnock has spent some time in her laboratory seeing what she can make of it. It turns out that she can make quite a lot.

More here and here.

Thanks to R. Hazan

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Misreporting on Brazilian Plane Crash?

How come that my own self, with no resources but Internet access and a knowledge of Portuguese, can have better information than "real" news channels?

From Fox News:

The Brazilian Tam airlines plane traveled the length of the runway Tuesday before barreling over or across a busy avenue at the height of the evening rush hour and crashed into a gas station and a building owned by the airline.

After touching down, the plane traveled the length of the runway and then barreled over across a busy road at the height of the evening rush hour in South America's largest city and slammed into a gas station, said Jose Leonardi Mota, a spokesman with airport authority Infraero.

From O Globo: (my translation)

...TAM's Airbus 320, flight 3054, traveling from Porto Alegre [to Sao Paulo] with 176 people on board, 6 of which were crew members, skidded while landing on the new runway, crossed Washington Luiz Avenue without touching the asphalt e exploded in TAM Express' building...

It was raining in Sao Paulo when the accident occurred. According to witnesses, the plane was not able to stop in the new runway, which was refurbished and delivered at the end of June without the grooving to avoid skidding. Seconds before, pilots on the take-off queue heard shouts from the Airbus cabin: 'Turn, turn, turn".

As per O Globo, TAM's building was also a fueling station; the plane did not hit a generic gas station.

Real Transformer Robot

Monday, July 16, 2007

Faces of Meth

The photographs seen (...) are courtesy of the Multonomah County Sheriff's Office in Oregon. They are actual jail booking photos of people addicted to crystal methamphetamine. The photos show how, over time, crystal methamphetamine ravages the body.

Just: Don't... do... Meth...

Interestingly, this is one of the most popular posts on this blog. To clarify, as most things here, this is a type of editorialized bookmarking. I don't do much in terms of commenting on the content. However, I will make an exception here. The fact that this is popular probably reflects the fascination/ terror that people have with drugs, as well as the "ha! But this wouldn't happen to me!" mentality. For details and more photos, please click on the link.

New Spacesuit - more Spiderman, less Michelin Man

In the 40 years that humans have been traveling into space, the suits they wear have changed very little. The bulky, gas-pressurized outfits give astronauts a bubble of protection, but their significant mass and the pressure itself severely limit mobility.

Dava Newman, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and engineering systems at MIT, wants to change that.

Newman is working on a sleek, advanced suit designed to allow superior mobility when humans eventually reach Mars or return to the moon. Her spandex and nylon BioSuit is not your grandfather's spacesuit--think more Spiderman, less John Glenn.

Traditional bulky spacesuits "do not afford the mobility and locomotion capability that astronauts need for partial gravity exploration missions. We really must design for greater mobility and enhanced human and robotic capability," Newman says.

Newman, her colleague Jeff Hoffman, her students and a local design firm, Trotti and Associates, have been working on the project for about seven years. Their prototypes are not yet ready for space travel, but demonstrate what they're trying to achieve--a lightweight, skintight suit that will allow astronauts to become truly mobile lunar and Mars explorers.

Newman anticipates that the BioSuit could be ready by the time humans are ready to launch an expedition to Mars, possibly in about 10 years. Current spacesuits could not handle the challenges of such an exploratory mission, Newman says.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Instant Messaging Acronyms

Especially useful for non-English speakers... although this is not really proper English, is it?

BTDTGTTSAWIO Been there, done that, got the t-shirt and wore it out
BTW By the way
IMHO In my humble opinion
LOL Laughing out loud
MTFBWU May the force be with you
ROTFL Rolling on the floor laughing
XOXO Hugs and kisses
YT? Are you there?
YW You are welcome

IM Acronyms List

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Carlos Mencia Rips Off YouTube Skit

Watch the video above, one of the best of all times on YouTube, IMO, then watch Carlos Mencia do his own "version" at Comedy Central...
My question is, did he pay Royalties?

Ordinary Stars

Jennifer Aniston, Kansas City accountant and mother of two.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Cool New Game - Crysis

Crysis is a PC sci-fi action game from the award-winning developer Crytek, the developers of the critically acclaimed Far Cry, which attained a MetaCritic average of 90%.
Crysis offers players a highly immersive game experience in which they will have to adapt their tactics, weaponry, the Nanosuit and gameplay style to survive and defeat an alien invasion.

The Graphics are really impressive. More.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Why Terrorrism Does Not Work

...like all cognitive biases, correspondent inference theory fails sometimes. And one place it fails pretty spectacularly is in our response to terrorism. Because terrorism often results in the horrific deaths of innocents, we mistakenly infer that the horrific deaths of innocents is the primary motivation of the terrorist, and not the means to a different end.

I found this interesting analysis in a paper by Max Abrams in International Security. "Why Terrorism Does Not Work" (.PDF) analyzes the political motivations of 28 terrorist groups: the complete list of "foreign terrorist organizations" designated by the U.S. Department of State since 2001. He lists 42 policy objectives of those groups, and found that they only achieved them 7 percent of the time.

According to the data, terrorism is more likely to work if 1) the terrorists attack military targets more often than civilian ones, and 2) if they have minimalist goals like evicting a foreign power from their country or winning control of a piece of territory, rather than maximalist objectives like establishing a new political system in the country or annihilating another nation. But even so, terrorism is a pretty ineffective means of influencing policy.

In other words, terrorism doesn't work, because it makes people less likely to acquiesce to the terrorists' demands, no matter how limited they might be. The reaction to terrorism has an effect completely opposite to what the terrorists want; people simply don't believe those limited demands are the actual demands.

This theory explains, with a clarity I have never seen before, why so many people make the bizarre claim that al Qaeda terrorism -- or Islamic terrorism in general -- is "different": that while other terrorist groups might have policy objectives, al Qaeda's primary motivation is to kill us all. This is something we have heard from President Bush again and again -- Abrams has a page of examples in the paper -- and is a rhetorical staple in the debate. (You can see a lot of it in the comments to this previous essay.)
Although Bin Laden has complained that Americans have completely misunderstood the reason behind the 9/11 attacks, correspondent inference theory postulates that he's not going to convince people. Terrorism, and 9/11 in particular, has such a high correspondence that people use the effects of the attacks to infer the terrorists' motives. In other words, since Bin Laden caused the death of a couple of thousand people in the 9/11 attacks, people assume that must have been his actual goal, and he's just giving lip service to what he claims are his goals. Even Bin Laden's actual objectives are ignored as people focus on the deaths, the destruction and the economic impact.

Very interesting. More.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wii Guns

Interesting, although in my [limited] Wii experience the remote attachments weren't better than using the remotes directly.
From here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

7/11 as Kwik-E-Mart

I was a little disappointed to see Bart & Milhouse flanking the Kwik-E-Mart logo, it kind of took away from any authenticity, but it’s a silly quibble, really. They did a better and more thorough job than I was expecting. One nice touch is that a bunch of paper signs have been hung up all over the store using scraps of duct tape. I have no idea if the haphazard appearance was intentional, I prefer to think it was not.

Very Nice. D'oh!

Sports News: CBSSports.com