Thursday, September 09, 2004

Most expensive piece of furniture in history!

Who on earth needs to spend fifteen million US dollars on a cabinet? I appreciate design and heritage as much as anybody but, seriously, when you spend that kind of money on furniture, surely you deserve a visitation or something to put you back on track? There are children dying of abuse, malnutrition, exposure, illness and war in this world and people are hoping to top this price at the next auction. That's just sick.

How do you manage to make a film featuring Buddhism but...

... fail to learn something as basic as not touching Buddha's head, let alone sitting on it? Well, Phillipe Caland seems to have managed it. I find it quite astonishing.

Norwegian sexologists unveil "penis atlas"

Finally, somebody's done it - published a guide to the penis. Says here, "the volume uses photographs of 100 men in order to inform, demystify and correct many existing misunderstandings about the male sex organ." And, no, the article gives no hints to help you figure out if you really ARE impressively large so you'll need to buy the book to find out, unless you really can handle standing in a book shop "reading" it.

Dog robs gas station

Staying with the theme of dogs who do cool things, seven-year old terrier, Conan, not only has a criminal fondness for chocolate but, having consumed his "booty", he let out a good burp! Can't wait for the reality TV shows spawned by this news - "When Dogs Go Braaaap", "When Dogs are Dawgz" etc....

Police: Puppy Shot Man Trying To Kill Dogs

What a fantastic story this is. Not so much human-interest as animal-interest. Nice to see a bit of real poetic justice.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Rodney Dangerfield's 20 Best One-Liners

Well, I laughed....

1. I was so poor growing up ... if I wasn't a boy... I'd have had nothing to play with.

2. A girl phoned me the other day and said, "Come on over; nobody's home." I went over. Nobody was home.

3. During sex, my girlfriend always wants to talk to me. Just the other night she called me from a hotel.

4. One day I came home early from work ... I saw a guy jogging naked. I said to the guy, "Hey buddy, why are you doing that?" He said "Because you came home early."

5. It's been a rough day. I got up this morning. I put a shirt on and a button fell off. I picked up my briefcase, and the handle came off. I'm afraid to go to the bathroom.

6. I was such an ugly kid...When I played in the sandbox, the cat kept covering me up.

7. I could tell my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and radio.

8. I was such an ugly baby...My mother never breast fed me. She told me that she only liked me as a friend.

9. I'm so ugly...My father carried around a picture of the kid who came with his wallet.

10. When I was born, the doctor came into the waiting room and said to my father, "I'm sorry. We did everything we could, but he pulled through."

11. I'm so ugly .... My mother had morning sickness AFTER I was born.

12. I remember the time that I was kidnapped and they sent a piece of my finger to my father. He said he wanted more proof.

13. Once when I was lost, I saw a policeman, and asked him to help me find my parents. I said to him, "Do you think we'll ever find them?" He said, "I don't know kid. There're so many places they can hide."

14. My wife made me join a bridge club. I jump off next Tuesday.

15. I'm so ugly...I worked in a pet shop, and people kept asking how big I'd get.

16. I went to see my doctor. "Doctor, every morning when I get up and I look in the mirror...I feel like throwing up. What's wrong with me?" He said..."I don't know but your eyesight is perfect."

17. I went to the doctor because I'd swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills. My doctor told me to have a few drinks and get some rest.

18. With my old man I got no respect. I asked him, "How can I get my kite in the air?" He told me to run off a cliff.

19. Some dog I got. We call him Egypt because in every room he leaves a pyramid. His favorite bone is in my arm. Last night he went on the paper four times - three of those times I was reading it.

20. One year they wanted to make me poster boy for birth control.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

See, I had the right idea all along!

And you all think I was a loser who just mopes around, half-asleep. I was brain-storming!

The Guardian newspaper writes that most people have their best ideas as they're falling asleep. Read the article.

Remember those days of the past when we all had to pick up a dead tree to find out what's going on?

Well, those days are long-passed, of course, along with things like the twelve inch black vinyl CDs, the eight-track tape player, front-seat lap belts, Atari Pong, having to leave the house to meet with friends, playing soldier with sticks for today...., but I digress. Sorry.

Apparently, some people believe there has been organised, nay corporate even, censorship of the "news" in America. Shurely shome mishtake?

Well, Project Censored has released their list of the most censored media stores of 2003-2004.

I dunno, in this modern "information age", I sometimes wonder if it wasn't better being spoon-fed the "truth" by news organisations who did the research and filtering for us rather than having to wade through the tons and tons of raw data that passes for "information" in the world of the internet.

Need to kill some time? Need to make a quick million bucks?

Why not just sit down and hammer out a solution to one of the Millennium Problems? There's a million dollars available to anybody who finds the solution to one of these delightful little teasers. But be warned, according to this thread on /., the Poincaré Conjecture may well have been solved now, so don't waste your valuable time on that one, ok?

Monday, September 06, 2004

IBM's mainframe-daddy in final outsourcing to the great R&D lab in the sky

Maybe not quite as cool as a Harley-daddy, Bob Evan's role as the father, or one of the fathers (in a kind of geek version of having a gay couple as parents?), of the IBM mainframe computer makes him infinitely more valuable, on a technical if not (un?)cultural basis).

Bob Evans, IBM mainframe pioneer, dies at 77

Is there some kind of prize for this?

It suddenly occurred to me this morning that, via the majesty of the internet, I have recently been in communication with two friends, each of whom sits pretty well on the opposite side of Earth from each other. What's the other connection? They each sit in the middle of one of the largest hurricanes to hit their area for a while. One is in Florida and the other is on the Japanese island of Okinawa.

Swedish Snowmobile gets UK parking ticket

According to this BBC News article, a man in Sweden who has never visited the English city of Warwick has been issued with a parking ticket for illegally parking his snowmobile, which sits in his barn and has also never visited the English city of Warwick, in the English city of Warwick. If you get my meaning....

Sunday, September 05, 2004

What I'm listening to now.

Well, well, well, I'm so glad to report what seems to me a real revival in down home, smooth-love soul.

Soulstar is Musiq's third album, apparently. Based on this one, I'll be eagerly anticipating his first two. This is just plain genius (the album, not my previous sentence). If you like Stevie Wonder, you'll love this, both for its soulful quality and the near-Wonder sound. Some people think it's boring, not as good as some of his best or some of his "competition" but that only makes me really wonder what I'm missing elsewhere. I love this musiq....

Usher's Confessions is another RnB album that's so hot, you might want your oven mits when handling it. I'm another old fuddy-duddy who thought little of Usher based on what he saw on MTV et al., but BOY did actually listening to this album change my opinion. If you can't get jiggy ta dis, you must be dead!

Chocolate Factory by R Kelly. Though some of the lyrics are too silly to be taken seriously, this is a great piece of music. What else can I say? If you like RnB, just buy the thing, dammit!

and finally, to round out this little group, I give thee Lemar's Dedicated. Scrumptious, tasty, mouth-watering, beautiful vibes. If you ain't heard Dance (With You), you really must get out more. I'm pretty sure I first heard it on the radio in London last summer on pre-release (the single, not me) and it blew my socks off. No, really. This guy may have almost single-handedly revived the UK Rnb scene. His music is just plain fantastic. Lover's groove par excellence.

What on earth is wrong with these guys?

The Routemaster, the world-famous London double-decker bus is nearing its end of life, a rather lamentable fact as nearly all of the newer buses are soulless, nasty ways to travel, especially compared to the wonderful old Routemaster.

Routemaster's final journey

I bet the French wouldn't let the Routemaster die.

The best places to die?

No, seriously. The title of the article caught my eye, of course and, yes, it's about where in AMERICA is best to die. I suppose, with an aging population, it's only normal to think about such things but, really, isn't it better to seek the best place to live? It's probably odds-on that the slums of Brasil and Bangladesh or the desert of Iraq are fairly bad, albeit effective, places to die. I dunno, the article makes sense but I'm still kind of weirded-out but this kind of "planning".

10 myths women have about men hosts an article that purports to debunk 10 common myths women believe about men. Hmmm..... apparently we men ARE interested in what women have to say, DON'T only think about sex, and AREN'T strong. Well, if women don't believe this is true, I wonder whose fault that is?

You'll nay be needin dis PDA, den...

Apparently, the Oirish are drinking less of the old elixir of life. Da good stuff, dat foyne brew.

Heaven forbid that beer drinking should be down on the Emerald Isle. Well, it seems modern gadgets are to blame.

Finally, some justice in this world!

Finally, some recognition for all the hard work and self-sacrifice that the producers of dance music have put into bringing us some truly epic floor-stompers. I mean, where would we be without the likes of Barry White, Giorgio Moroder, The Brothers Gibb and DJ Larry Levan?

See the Dance Music Hall of Fame website. No, it's not big and it's not clever but at least it's there. Will there be a Lounge Music Hall fo Fame in 20 years? Better get a move on - Claude Challe is already 57.

Oh yeah, the story's in this BBC News article.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Did you know what happened on September 9, 1850?

California became a state.
The State had no electricity.
The State had no money.
Almost everyone spoke Spanish.
There were gun fights in the streets.

So basically, it was just like California today except the women all had real breasts.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

engadget say it better than I can

"CNN writes about the weight-loss wows of DDR (Dance Dance Revolution), the arcade game from Konami which is sorta like a combination of SuperSimon and the old school Nintendo PowerPad. Apparently portly schoolchildren, used to sitting on their asses while playing video games, have found DDR’s workouts so beneficial that they’re actually losing weight — and some schools have even been incorporating it into PE classes. All of which seems truly sad if you’re a critic (aren’t we all?), but super fun if you’re the lucky fat kid." Lose weight the Dance Dance Revolution way

I really miss stuff like this.

Read why the South Wales Echo is such a brilliant rag!

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Zsolt Baumgartner almost makes F1 history - again.

Just finishing the Monaco Grand Prix is no mean feat in itself, as this weekend's competition aptly demonstrated, with only 9 cars crossing the finish line at the end. Minardi-Cosworth's Zsolt Baumgartner already set a record by being the first Hungarian driver in the history of Formula 1 and he came so close to being the first Hungarian driver to score a point, finishing in 9th place. But did you know that the winner of the first ever Grand Prix, in 1906, was a Hungarian, Ferenc Szisz?

Sunday, May 23, 2004

You really could not make this up.

I mean, come ON! Even the Nazis had to face some kind of trial for their behaviour but no, America (and their allies, it appears) are above that kind of risk. Iraqis lose right to sue troops over war crimes. This really is the most awful indightment of the USA, the UK and, perhaps most importantly, the UN. For the United Nations to agree to something like this shows they are ultimately, pathetic. Has America forgotten anything in its seeming quest to upset the Arab world? Alas, it will all come home to roost one day.

Friday, May 21, 2004

You think that's air that you're breathing?

The real MATRIX. Another good article at The Register is about the US Department of Justice's Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange.

An interesting review of the near-joke that is the Patriot missile defence system

can be found here. The only problem is that jokes are supposed to be funny and an over-priced, unreliable, delicate, problem-ridden missile defence system that is more adept at killing your own people than preventing the enemy from doing so is no laughing matter. Like I have always been fond of saying, with friends like the US military, who needs an enema?

Meanwhile, there are still some decent humans out there.

Like the fine people at the Detroit Zoo, who are finally going to do the right thing and release their elephants from their inhumane existence as entertainment for humans.

One Day of War

An invaluable BBC documentary. Watch it and weep.

Nice guys finish last.

But at least now, they get to fly there for free. I wonder if we're naughty, could we get a free offer to join the mile high club? That would rawk, especially on HootersAir.

Japanese Parliament must be a real hoot.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi scolded rookie lawmakers Thursday for reading comic books and talking on their cell phones during legislative sessions, according to a newspaper report.

DIY Universe creation.

This is tres cool. How long before My-First-Universe™ replaces the Visible Man plastic kit and the traditional ant farm? Man, this has the boring old chemistry kit beat hands-down!

Just imagine what a lifetime of McDonald's does to you.

To make his film about the fast food industry, Morgan Spurlock ate nothing but McDonald's for 30 days. The results? 25 pound weight gain and sickness. Do you want fries with that?

"Iron" Mike Tyson's next sparring partner?

Wow! Give this kid a biscuit. Heck, give him anything he wants - just don't piss him off: Boy survives alligator attack with a punch

Got the tech support blues?

Sick of the inane garbage you get from your technical support line? This thread on /. will make you laugh or cry, or both....


There are a lot of folks who can't understand how we came to have an oil shortage here in Canada. There's a very simple answer. Nobody bothered to check the oil. We simply didn't know we were getting low. The reason for this is purely geographical.

All our oil is in Alberta. All our dipsticks are in Ottawa.

Kansas breaks off, falls into the Ocean

"How in the world THAT happened ... it's beyond me" geologist Rick Swanson told CNN reporters. "One minute Kansas is over there below Nebraska, next minute it's out there floating around in the middle of the sea.

President Bush has yet to declare the state a disaster area since technically it is no longer a state. Just a great big hole in the ground where a state used to be. Residents of Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California were apparently sleeping when the state of Kansas somehow rolled, tumbled, danced across 4 consecutive other states to make its way 1800 miles to the Pacific Ocean.

"It's just floating around out there", Swanson explained. "Somehow the terrigenous strata comprising Kansas's hydraulic gradient, or foundation as laymen put it, is for the moment enabling the state to float like an ocean liner. How long it will stay afloat is unknown. Hopefully they have more lifeboats than the Titanic had. "

Now 27 nautical miles southwest of Los Angeles, Kansas, if it maintains its present course, is expected to make landfall at Honolulu Hawaii sometime in December. 2006.

Passengers on board the ill-fated state are making the most of their bittersweet situation ... some saddened that they had to say goodbye the country that they loved while others are just thrilled to be on a cruise.

"I'm going to do a little salmon fishing", one Kansas resident told reporters via phone. "The waters are a little choppy today this side of the state. We might head on over ‘round Topeka way and see how they're biting there."

Kansas Governor, Kay Barnes, assured her people that if worse came to worse and the state started to take on water that women and children would be pushed aside like old ladies at a Target sale, just like in that Titanic movie, every life form for its self Governor signed into law today. "Every life form for its self."

One upbeat Kansas City disk jockey of KRLD FM attempting to liven up the morning drive to work jokingly told listeners on Good Morning Topeka,

"Kansas is not in Kansas anymore Toto".

KRLD FM is now sleeping with the fishes. Apparently some Kansas residents are not pleased with their situation as the state drifts further and further from the mainland, from civilization itself into the void. Tempers flare easily, bullets fly freely especially on the edges of the state where tides routinely reach up to 15 feet, flooding the streets of a once dry state that never even knew the meaning of the word tide. Former weather man of former KOLD FM before its splashy demise quipped late Monday,

"At least the tornados can't reach us out here".

(CNN) A category 4 tornado tore through the sea-borne city of Topeka Kansas late Tuesday killing 12 causing millions of dollars in damages. Kansas, as first reported on CNN early Monday, by some freak force of nature is now adrift in the middle of the Pacific ocean, lost, headed for God knows where and now faced with not only Tornadoes but Tropical Hurricanes as well as ..

Ferrari F1 team fires entire pit crew!!

The Ferrari Formula 1 Team fired their entire pit crew yesterday. The announcement followed Ferrari's decision to take advantage of the British governments 'Work for the Dole' scheme and employ unemployable people from Belfast.

The decision to hire them was brought on by a recent documentary on how unemployed Belfast youths were able to remove a set of wheels in less than 6 seconds without proper equipment, whereas Ferrari's existing crew can only do it in 8 seconds with millions of pounds worth of high tech gear.

This was thought to be an excellent, yet bold move, by Ferrari Management. As most races are won and lost in the pits, Ferrari would have an advantage over every team.

However, Ferrari got more than they bargained for at the crew's first practice session, not only did the Belfast Pit Crew be able to change the tyres in under 6 seconds but within 12 seconds they had re-sprayed, rebadged and sold the vehicle over to the McLaren Team for four bottles of Harp, a gram of something (wink) and a quick shufti at Coulthard's bird in the shower.

The (Future) Diary of a Mad Digital Homeowner:

Nov 28: Moved in to my new digitally-maxed out Hermosa Beach house at
last. Finally, we live in the smartest house in the neighborhood. Everything's net worked. The cable TV is connected to our phone, which is connected to my personal computer, which is connected to the power lines, all the appliances and the security system.

Everything runs off a universal handheld remote with the friendliest interface I've ever used. Programming is a snap. I'm totally wired.

Nov 30: Hot Stuff! Programmed my VCR from the office, turned up the
thermostat and switched on the lights with the car phone, remotely tweaked the oven a few degrees for my pizza. Everything nice and cozy when I arrived. Maybe I should get the universal remote surgically attached.

Dec 1: Had to call the SmartHouse people today about bandwidth problems. The TV drops to about 2 frames/second when I'm talking on the phone. They insist it's a problem with the cable company's compression algorithms. How do they expect me to order things from the Home Shopping Channel?

Dec 2: Got my first SmartHouse invoice today and was unpleasantly surprised. I suspect the cleaning woman of reading Usenet from the washing machine interface when I'm not here. She must downloading one hell of a lot of GIFs from the binary groups, because packet charges were through the roof on the invoice.

Dec 3: Yesterday, the kitchen CRASHED. Freak event. As I opened the
refrigerator door, the light bulb blew. Immediately, everything else electrical shut down: lights, microwave, coffee maker... everything. Carefully unplugged and and replugged all the appliances. Nothing. Call the cable company (but not from the kitchen phone). They refer me to the utility.

The utility insists that the problem is in the software. So the software company runs some remote telediagnostics via my house processor. Their expert system claims it has to be the utility's fault. I don't care, I just want my kitchen back. More phone calls; more remote diag's. Turns out the problem was "unanticipated failure mode": The network had never seen a refrigerator bulb failure while the door was open. So the fuzzy logic interpreted the burnout as a power surge and shut down the entire kitchen. But because sensor memory confirmed that there hadn't actually been a power surge, the kitchen logic sequence was confused and it couldn't do a standard restart. The utility guy swears this was the first time this has ever happened. Rebooting the kitchen took over an hour.

Dec 7: The police are not happy. Our house keeps calling them for help. We discover that whenever we play the TV or stereo above 25 decibels, it creates patterns of micro-vibrations that get amplified when they hit the window. When these vibrations mix with a gust of wind, the security sensors are actuated, and the police computer concludes that someone is trying to break in. Go figure. Another glitch: Whenever the basement is in self-diagnostic mode, the universal remote won't let me change the channels on my TV. That means I actually have to get up off the couch and change the channels by hand. The software and the utility people say this flaw will be fixed in the next upgrade: SmartHouse 2.1. But it's not ready yet. Finally, I'm starting to suspect that the microwave is secretly tuning into the cable system to watch Bay Watch. The unit is completely inoperable during that same hour. I guess I can live with that. At least the blender is not tuning in to old I Love Lucy episodes.

Dec 9: I just bought the new Microsoft Home. Took 93 gigabytes of storage, but it will be worth it, I think. The house should be much easier to use and should really do everything. I had to sign a second mortgage over to Microsoft, but I don't mind: I don't really own my house now--it's really the bank. Let them deal with Microsoft.

Dec 10: I'm beginning to have doubts about Microsoft House. I keep getting an hour glass symbol showing up when I want to run the dishwasher.

Dec 12: This is a nightmare. There's a virus in the house. My personal computer caught it while browsing on the public access network. I come home and the living room is a sauna, the bedroom windows are covered with ice, the refrigerator has defrosted, the washing machine has flooded the basement, the garage door is cycling up and down and the TV is stuck on the home shopping channel. Throughout the house, lights flicker like stroboscopes until they explode from the strain.

Broken glass is everywhere. Of course, the security sensors detect nothing. I look at a message slowly throbbing on my personal computer screen:
(Be it ever so humble, there's no virus like the HomeWrecker...).

Dec 18: They think they've digitally disinfected the house, but the place is a shambles. Pipes have burst and we're not completely sure we've got the part of the virus that attacks toilets. Nevertheless, the Exorcists (as the anti-virus SWAT team members like to call themselves) are confident the worst is over. "HomeWrecker is pretty bad" one he tells me, "but consider yourself lucky you didn't get PolterGeist. That one is really evil."

Dec 19: Apparently, our house isn't insured for viruses. "Fires and mudslides, yes," says the claims adjuster. "Viruses, no." My agreement with the SmartHouse people explicitly states that all claims and warranties are null and void if any appliance or computer in my house networks in any way, shape or form with a non-certified on-line service.

Everybody's very, very, sorry, but they can't be expected to anticipate every virus that might be created. We call our lawyer. He laughs. He's excited!

Dec 21: I get a call from a SmartHouse sales rep. As a special holiday offer, we get the free opportunity to become a beta site for the company's new SmartHouse 2.1 upgrade. He says I'll be able to meet the programmers personally. "Sure," I tell him.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

A bright day for dark energy.

'The Chandra Space Telescope has gathered further evidence the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, scientists at NASA and Britain's Institute of Astronomy announced Tuesday. The finding sheds new light on a force known as "dark energy."' - CNN

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Only in Thailand,

could you get a news story about government health warnings on excessive consumption of a fruit that smells so bad it makes foreigners throw up and is banned from many hotels.

OMG! EU does something useful!

I was amazed, awed and not just a little bit pleased to read that the EU is investigating using quantum cryptography to counter Echelon. Of course, this raises the interesting question of how the UK, which is part of the EU can be an active sponsor of and participant in Echelon whilst developing methods to defeat that very same eavesdropping technology.

Next they'll be telling us "Death by Chocolate" cake's no good for us, too?

Who woulda thunk it? Sodas Raise Cancer Risk. Only in America would they need a study to find other health risks from drinking carbonated sugar water.

My favourite quote: "Several studies presented at a meeting of cancer and gastrointestinal experts in New Orleans showed that what people eat and drink could affect a range of cancers.". Ground-breaking stuff.

My next favourite quote: "But another study showed a potential benefit from drinking coffee and other caffeinated beverages."

My nextest favourite quote: '"These results warrant further study," said Dr. James Everhart, who helped lead the study. '

Well, he would say that, wouldn't he? That's a bit like a lottery-winner saying, "This warrants further spending."

What is this world coming to?

It's getting so you can't even spot a member of the Yakuza anymore!

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Bumper crop of conspiracy-theory stuff.

Wow! has a whole bunch of fabulous stuff for all you conspiracy theorists out there covering the Mexico UFOs and the alleged beheading of Nick Berg in Iraq.

Winston Churchill is quoted as having said,

"You can always count on the Americans to do what's right. But only
after they've tried everything else."

If you're a pilot,

you'll appreciate this handy flow-chart on how to react to GPWS - Ground Proximity Warning System (I'm not sure "enjoy" is accurate.....)

Friday, May 14, 2004

You got a problem, buddy?

Maybe you need a R.I.O.T. Wheel.

Further to my earlier posting

about rap history, if you should find yourself in the mood to throw a street party in the classic Jamaican stylee, you could do worse than check out Trax in Wax.

Best piano on Earth?

Well, it probably depends on personal preferance. I prefer the Fazioli, which is the nicest feeling and sounding piano I've ever had the honour to play. I just wish I could afford one. Oh, and if you're wondering if Steinway really is the best, this has some insight on the truth about Steinways and some of the other options in fine piano ownership.

As the gap between the haves and have-nots grows,

the poor get poorer and the rich get, well, more toys, of course. So is the AirBoard the latest, coolest way to enjoy the snowy slopes and surf the seas or just a totally-cool way to face plant a stand of pine trees? Can't wait to see the first lawsuits in America.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Freak waves really suck.

Literally they do. Read about how a 30m freak wave can strike a ship at see with a force some 6 times greater than ships are designed to withstand and you'll never want to venture out into the deep ocean again. Oh, and quantum theory - Schroedinger, no less - is involved so it's extra cool.

Scientific proof people have too much time on their hands.

And something else, apparently.....Masturbate-a-Thon.

Well, it's a pretty impressive world in which we live.

Despite all the problems around us, it's still quite remarkable that a group of amateur enthusiasts can realistically attempt to put a payload in space. /. has the thread. What's next - Actually, yes.

The Vietnamese are trying to stretch things a bit, aren't they?

What a truly odd time in which we live: all the dark people want to be light, all the light people want to be dark, the short people want to be tall, the tall people want to be short. To cap it all off, we've had a black number 1 golfer and a white number 1 rapper. The women I know all think they're too thin, too fat, too ugly or too something else and the people who think they're too beautiful wish they had some brains and a little personality. Now this: Vietnam plan to make people taller

Yes, Virginia, there is justice in this world.

Paedophile 'kills himself' in Bali. It's such a shame, the damage all of this will have caused to that community, the boys, their families and the families of the convicted man.

Wow, this is a sad story.

Man Raised As a Girl Commits Suicide. I just hope that cretin Gary Perch gets his just desserts.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

This is funny. have a regular Photoshopping competition. Sometimes the results are stupid, sometimes they're offensive, sometimes they're just senseless but this week's prehistoric 419 scam is pure genius.

I don't know where the US military gets its idea of how to win "hearts and minds"

but this it most definitely ain't.

RnB great John Whitehead shot dead....

what a shame. As one half of Whitehead and McFadden, he was responsible for some of the great RnB hits of the 70s. RIP John Whitehead.

How to really do useful something with the internet.

It's kind of a good news story. Kind of.

Real live video of UFOs?

And, for once, it's not some backwoods farmer or peasants in Bangladesh. Ok, so it's Mexico, but at least this time it's their air force.

An excellent and very interesting history of Rap Music in the US

can be read here, although the writing errors are more than a little worrying considering that's Yale. If you're wondering what the hell rappers are saying, you could try the online Dictionary of Rap.

News on Playstation Portable (ooh! aah!)

is here. No doubt it'll be released in plenty of time to bankrupt most families for Christmas next year.....

Ok so, like, here are some links for today.

American Shown on Web Site Being Beheaded

What About the Hundreds Who Were Suffocated at Kunduz?

so, if that lot's got ya down and you don't know what to do next, you could exercise with a Wobble Board.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!

Isn't it just gorgeous??!!

Child of the 70s? Like makin' music?

Then you really need to check out Lounge Lizard from Applied Acoustics. A virtual electronic piano, it's perfect for anyone who hankers after a nice Fender Rhodes and tight little Wurlitzer. Reviews here and here.

15 Ways To Avoid A Southern Ass Whuppin'

Issued by the Southern Tourism Bureau to ALL visiting Northerners & Northeastern Urbanites:

1) Don't order filet mignon or pasta primavera at Waffle House. It's just a diner. They serve breakfast 24 hours a day. Let them cook something they know. If you confuse them, they'll kick yer ass.

2) Don't laugh at our Southern names (Merleen, Bodie, Ovine, Luther Ray, Tammy Lynn, Darla Beth, Inez, Billy Joe, Sissy, Clovis, etc.). Or we will just HAVE to kick yer ass.

3) Don't order a bottle of pop or a can of soda down here. Down here it's called Coke. Nobody gives a flying damn whether it's Pepsi, RC, Dr. Pepper, 7-Up or whatever - it's still a Coke. Accept it. Doing otherwise can lead to an ass kicking.

4) We know our heritage. Most of us are more literate than you (e.g., Welty, Williams, Faulkner). We are also better educated & generally a lot nicer. Don't refer to us as a bunch of hillbillies, or we'll kick yer ass.

5) We have plenty of business sense (e.g., Fred Smith of FedEx, Turner Broadcasting, MCI WorldCom, MTV, Netscape). Naturally, we do, sometimes, have small lapses in judgment (e.g., Carter, Edwards, Duke, Barnes, Clinton). We don't care if you think we are dumb. We are not dumb enough to let someone move to our state in order to run for the Senate. If someone tried to do that, we would kick their ass.

6) Don't laugh at our Civil War monuments. If Lee had listened to Longstreet & flanked Meade at Gettysburg, instead of sending Pickett up the middle, you'd be paying taxes to Richmond instead of Washington. If you visit Stone Mountain & complain about the carving, we'll kick yer ass.

7) We are fully aware of how high the humidity is, so shut the hell up. Just spend your money & get the hell out of here. Or we'll kick yer ass.

8) Don't order wheat toast at Cracker Barrel. Everyone will instantly know that yer a Yankee. Eat your biscuits like God intended - w/gravy. And don't put sugar on your grits, or we'll kick yer ass.

9) Don't fake a Southern accent. This will incite a riot, & you will get yer ass kicked.

10) Don't talk about how much better things are at home because we know better. Many of us have visited Northern dungholes like Detroit, Chicago & DC, & we have the scars to prove it. If you don't like it here, Delta is ready when you are. Move your ass on home before it gets kicked.

11) Yes, we know how to speak proper English. We talk this way because we don't want to sound like you. We don't care if you don't understand what we are saying. All other Southerners understand what we are saying, & that's all that matters. Now, go away & leave us alone, or we'll kick yer ass.

12) Don't complain that the South is dirty & polluted. None of OUR lakes or rivers have caught fire recently. If you whine about OUR scenic beauty, we'll kick yer ass all the way back to Boston Harbor.

13) Don't ridicule our Southern manners. We say sir & ma'am. We hold doors open for others. We offer our seats to old folks because such things are expected of civilized people. Behave yourselves around our sweet little gray-haired grandmothers or they'll kick some manners into yer ass just like they did ours.

14) So you think we're quaint or losers because most of us live in the countryside? That's because we have enough sense to not live in filthy, smelly, crime-infested cesspools like New York or Baltimore. Make fun of our fresh air, & we'll kick yer ass.

15) Last, but not least, DO NOT DARE to come down here & tell us how to cook barbecue. This will get yer ass shot (right after it is kicked). You're lucky we let you come down here at all. Criticize our barbecue, & you will go home in a pine box ... Minus yer ass.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Hearts and minds...

and testicles and kidneys too, no doubt....

I'm just enjoying some of my 80s classic "music".

So I wonder whatever happened to the likes of Blancmange, Midnight Oil, and Stephen "Tin Tin" Duffy?

Some more forgotten acts from the "golden age" of music (ha ha ha):

Mental as Anything, The Tubes, The Diodes, Men at Work, Vince Clark (I'm sure he's around somewhere), Bow Wow Wow, Comsat Angels, Psychedelic Furs, Echo and the Bunnymen, Haircut 100, Kissing the Pink (aka KTP) and Devo.

And that's just the ones off the top of my head, without whipping out my old "cannonical list of great 80s acts that, perhaps weren't that great, ha ha". Maybe I have too much time on my hands today.

Actually, I know from first-hand experience that, if you look around in the UK, you can meet plenty of the former members of these bands working in places like bank back-offices and pubs. Some of them are really cool and one in particular, a former drummer, used to run a fantastic pub on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. Also it's kind of cool to meet someone in your office and find out they were in Sisters of Mercy. And get this: I met a guy in London who was, for all the earth, a librarian - cardigan, glasses, demure nature. He's the founder of Kerrang! magazine!

Obviously, I didn't include acts like U2, Duran Duran, INXS, Simple Minds, Adam Ant, Culture Club, Wham because, well, we know pretty well where they are today, innit?

Isn't it time for John Hughes to return to his roots and start making 80s teen coming-of-age flics again? I'd watch 'em, for sure.

Where Are Iraq's Refugees?

An interesting article in Slate attempts to tackle this question.

You know what I find so disappointing?

Here we are in 2004 and there still places with "re-eduction" camps. This is so depressing. But, I suppose if it helps the West sell more guns and find more oil, then it's ok.

Rejoice in human creativity!

Wow, I really love Asia. some of this stuff is fabulous.

American administration:

"We don't need anybody's help. This is America - we can build a better own-goal than anybody else, damnit!"

String 'im up, I cry!

How dare anyone take shots at the Olsen Twins? Oh yeah, that reminds me, some people perhaps have a slightly unhealthy interest in the young women.

Say "goodnight and good-bye" Ariel........

Politics in Israel about to get even more interesting.

Ok, now even we big boys have an excuse to

buy a Nintendo Game Boy® Advance: GPS mapping and navigation attachment.

By now, almost everybody should have an old defunct hard disk drive laying around.

Why not do something useful with it?

Not sure if this is cool or rather sad.

But it's certainly an interesting piece of work.

Finally some sense in the US news industry.

The Editor of the LA Times complains of a rise in what he calls pseudo-journalism.

This prompted me to look up a useful definition of the term, "journalism". The results are quite entertaining:

"Writing intended for publication in a newspaper or magazine, or for broadcast on a radio or television program featuring news, sports, entertainment, or other timely material."

"The opinions of the uneducated, reflecting the ignorance of the community." (Wilde)

"that extraordinary scribbling to be found in newspapers, on the back of the advertisements" (G. K. Chesterton)

'talians gonna get their butts kicked!!!!

Now that the Israeli Mob have their sites on Las Vegas. Johnny, Vito, Guido, Benny, Tommy and Fats, you all better just move out now, man!

"Oral sex lessons to cut rates of teenage pregnancy"

I kid you not and it's not even April 1st! You can read about the UK government study here. I wonder how long until they figure out anal sex, masturbation and a variety of other things could also reduce teenage pregnancy? Oh, and I suppose nobody's thought about saying "no" or practicing safe sex?

Sunday, May 09, 2004


The American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied only a little while.

The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.

The American then asked, but what do you do with the rest of your time?

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senor."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But senor, how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "15-20 years."

"But what then, senor?"

The American laughed and said that's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.

"Millions, senor? Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."

and this

is just plain worrying.


this is interesting. Note I don't say it's correct, just that it's interesting.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

World O'Crap

Does some of this stuff better than I do.

How to win friends and influence people.

Apparently, worse is to come. Like this: "Rumsfeld did not describe the photos, but U.S. military officials told NBC News that the unreleased images showed U.S. soldiers severely beating an Iraqi prisoner nearly to death, having sex with a female Iraqi female prisoner and “acting inappropriately with a dead body.” The officials said there was also a videotape, apparently shot by U.S. personnel, showing Iraqi guards raping young boys." It's nice to see the blame someone else culture being applied here. "I didn't get enough training. How was I supposed to know you can't beat, rape and kill prisoners of war?"

What a stupid way to die.

Garlic shelf collapse kills 15

Friday, May 07, 2004

World Texting Champion.

Wow, now there's a skill that'll bring you love, fame and riches - I hear women really dig a guy who can give them a quick SMS.

Ok, so I love my Philishave Cool Skin wet/dry rechargeable shaver.

It's solidly made and nicely-designed but are they using depleted uranium or something for the blades? I mean - 100kg just for the blades - come on!

Did the Romans suffer too much choice in the final days of their empire?

I find the existence of the book, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, both very telling and slightly worrying. I suppose I shouldn't find it worrying as it's pretty obvious life is just too good to too many people in the West.

I haven't read the book, so it's not really fair of me to criticise it and I won't. I will, however, consider the principle that, according to marketing blurb and reviews, forms the basis of this book's argument. I can understand that having too much choice is a problem for many people but this is yet another example of a culture in which nobody really has to face the facts of normal life nor has to accept responsibility for their own lives. Who would have thought that being selfish and ignorant could have caused anyone to be unhappy?

I've long felt we're several generations past the point that the people of the West could probably learn a thing or two from being at the heart of another big war. This book merely reinforces that impression. What a sad state of affairs that is.

Not my politics...

but this gave me a chuckle:

Marky was in his 5th grade class when the teacher asked the children what their fathers did for a living.

All the typical answers came up ... fireman, policeman, salesman, doctor, lawyer, etc.

Marky was being uncharacteristically quiet, so the teacher asked him about his father.

"My father's an exotic dancer in a gay cabaret & takes off all his clothes in front of other men & they put money in his underwear. Sometimes, if the offer's really good, he'll go home with some guy & have sex with him for money."

The teacher, obviously shaken by this statement, hurriedly set the other children to work on some exercises & took little Marky aside to ask him "Is that really true about your father?"

"No," said Marky, "he works in John Kerry's campaign, but I was too embarrassed to say that in front of the other kids."

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Missing: some of our matter.

If found, please call 555-5555. Well, ok, not really, but slashdot has a good thread on on the search for the universe's missing matter (with links).

Militants aren't just for Christmas, you know...

and not just in Gaza, Columbia, the Philippines or southern Thailand. Even Canada is getting in on the act. Just wait for Bush to find some connection between organised crime in Canadian native communities and Al Queda.

Canada: Masked Quebec Mohawks camp out as RCMP and provincial police ready patrols

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

How to sing the blues - a primer.

Author Unknown

1) Most Blues begin, "Woke up this morning..."

2) "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the Blues, 'less you stick something nasty in the next line like, "I got a good woman, with the meanest face in town."

3) The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes . . . sort of: "Got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Yes, I got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher, and she weigh 500 pound."

4) The Blues is not about choice. You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a ditch--ain't no way out.

5) Blues cars: Chevys, Fords, Cadillacs and broken-down trucks. Blues don't travel in Volvos, BMWs, or Sport Utility Vehicles. Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Jet aircraft an' state-sponsored motor pools ain't even in the running. Walkin' plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does fixin' to die.

6) Teenagers can't sing the Blues. Adults sing the Blues. In Blues "adulthood" means being old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.

7) Blues can take place in New York City but not in Hawaii or any place in Canada. Hard times in Minneapolis or Seattle is probably just clinical depression. Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City are still the best places to have the Blues. You cannot have the blues in any place that don't get rain.

8) A man with male pattern baldness ain't the blues. A woman with male pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg cause you skiing is not the blues.. Breaking your leg 'cause a alligator be chomping on it is.

9) You can't have no Blues in a office or a shopping mall. The lighting is wrong. Go outside to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.

10) Good places for the Blues:
a) Highway;
b) Jailhouse;
c) Empty bed;
d) Bottom of a whiskey glass.

Bad places for the Blues:
a) Dillard's;
b) Gallery openings;
c) Ivy League institutions;
d) Golf courses

11) No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, 'less you happen to be a old ethnic person, and you slept in it.

12) Do you have the right to sing the Blues? Yes, if
a) You older than dirt;
b) You blind;
c) You shot a man in Memphis;
d) You can't be satisfied.

No, if
a) You have all your teeth;
b) You were once blind but now can see;
c) The man in Memphis lived;
d) You have a 401K or trust fund.

13) Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the blues. Sonny Liston could. Ugly white people also got a leg up on the blues.

14) If you ask for water and your darlin' give you gasoline, it's the Blues. Other acceptable Blues beverages are

a) Cheap wine;
b) Whiskey or bourbon;
c) Muddy water;
d) Nasty black coffee.

The following are NOT Blues beverages:
a) Perrier;
b) Chardonnay;
c) Snapple;
d) Slim Fast.

15) If death occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a Blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to die. So is the electric chair, substance abuse and dying lonely on a broken down cot. You can't have a Blues death if you die during a tennis match or getting liposuction.

16) Some Blues names for women:
a) Sadie;
b) Big Mama;
c) Bessie;
d) Fat River Dumpling

17) Some Blues names for men
a) Joe;
b) Willie;
c) Little Willie;
d) Big Willie

18) Persons with names like Michelle, Amber, Debbie, and Heather can't sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

19) Make your own Blues name Starter Kit:

a) Name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, etc.);
b) First name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi, etc.);
c) Last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.);
d) For example, Blind Lime Jefferson, Jakeleg Lemon Johnson or Cripple Kiwi Fillmore, etc. (Well, maybe not "Kiwi.")

20) I don't care how tragic your life, if you own a computer, you cannot sing the blues.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Alarming increase in the size and density of pedestrians.

Austin, TX - The Automobile Association of America issued a warning yesterday about what they consider "an alarming increase in the size and density of pedestrians."

Jamie Cropp, AAA President, outlined the two major dangers from pedestrians, "First, fat people - or Sport Utility People, as we like to call them - display incredible arrogance on our streets. You can lay on the horn and still they take forever crossing the street. An old, fat person? You might as well finish your conversation and your _mocha latte, because you will have plenty of time.

"Sporty people are no drive in the park either," Cropp continued. "Like when you face a pack of them rollerblading down the sidewalk toward you. You can become confused by the multicolored helmets and drive straight into them. Next thing you know you have a knee or elbow pad wedged in your grill."

Lance Torpey, spokesperson for the Professional Pedestrian Psociety, admitted the body weight of the average pedestrian rose substantially in the past ten years. "Gaining weight is just a defense mechanism, a personal side-impact airbag, if you will. The PPP is working on a lightweight armor for those who are not equipped with airbags.

"Also, being more rounded they roll off the hoods and quarter panels better, as well as rolling on the asphalt after being hit. That adds another layer of safety," continued Torpey. "Skinny people don't have a chance; they just hit the road and stop. They do not even bounce well. They need the armor."

European drivers face even greater danger from gigantic pedestrians as the average car is ten times smaller than those in the United States. "I've actually started avoiding pedestrians," said German driver Hans Gruber.

Child of the 80s?

b3ta has a hilarious Photoshop competition using Kenny Loggins as theme.

He he he. That's kewl!

He he he, yeah, Robosaurus is kewl.

Friday, April 30, 2004

Wow. This is some cool science.

Living Systems in Evolution

What is happening in Thailand?

On one hand, we're told that more than 100 men, mostly young but some not so, were killed when, high on drugs, they attacked well-armed targets with, for the most part, nothing but machetes. Why would they?

Then we have reports like this one.

They're definitely gonna need to put "worser" in the dictionary now...

or how else are we going to describe the situation in Iraq?

US general under scrutiny in Iraqi prisoner case


Iraq attackers kill 10 US troops

She must be doing something right.

Described as:

"Gossipy, raunchy, potty-mouthed."

"A foulmouthed, inaccurate, opinionated little vixen."

"Wonkette's arrival on the steps of the Capitol is a quiet victory for creeping National Enquirer values."

"[H]er enthusiasm for penis jokes cannot be as great as her blog suggests"

Wonkette must be doing something right.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

What's Farsi for "What the HEY????!!!"?

and do the TV interviews feature an Iranian country bumpkin saying as how his "hounds all a got to makin' such a darn racket, what with the crazy howlin' an' all" and the "pickup just clearout quit in the middle of nowhere"? Flying Saucer Fever Grips Iran, Theories Abound.

Yet another great way to defeat web ads.

Install a custom HOSTS file.

A quick lesson how not to handle things.

After a truly awful day in Thai history, more than 100 people lie dead. Apparently young Muslim men, hell-bent on suicide, they attacked heavily-fortified police posts and other targets at 15 locations in the south of Thailand, most armed with nothing other than machetes. After the fighting had stopped, more than 100 young men lay dead. What posessed these poor wretches to do this? What were they hoping to achieve?

So what does the PM do? He declares this a victory?

"Prime Minister Thaksin Shina-watra was quick to declare victory yesterday, using the death count as a benchmark for success and praised the security forces for prompt and deadly response."

For whom is this a victory? For the local communties? Hardly. For the long-term prospects for peace in the south? Hardly.

72 dead on Oct 14, 1973

41 dead on Oct 6, 1976

44 dead on May 17-20, 1992

107 dead on April 28, 2004

That's some victory.

Using death-counts as a measure of success was what the US did in Vietnam.

Crude oil hits a 13-year high....

while crude politics and even more crude foreign policy reach all time highs?

Some people make money selling stuff on eBay

and others use it to demonstrate their fine sense of comedy and to get a bit famous.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

The Mystery Sniper of Najaf

April 28, 2004: Fighting increased in Fallujah (west of Baghdad) and outside Najaf in the south. In both cases, gangs of gunmen, who have been tormenting local Iraqis, but convincing many foreign journalists that they are fighting to Iraqi independent from American oppression, are facing extermination by American troops. Because the gunmen use civilians as human shields, and use mosques and public buildings (especially schools and hospitals) as bases, local Iraqi leaders have urged coalition military commanders to try negotiations. But the Sunni gangs in and around Fallujah, and the radical Shia gunmen in the south, have no intention of surrendering or compromise. The Shia religious leadership is upset about being bullied by the radical al Sadr gunmen, but have been unable to organize an armed force that can deal with the problem. Well, maybe not entirely. There is apparently an Iraqi sniper operating in Najaf, killing al Sadr gunmen one by one. This, not surprisingly, has unnerved the al Sadr gangs, and caused them to act brutally towards Iraqis in attempts to find the mysterious sniper. Meanwhile, American military commanders are developing plans that will enable them to use their considerable combat power to work with whatever force the Shia religious leadership can come up with, to defeat the al Sadr gangs, while using as little American military force as possible. In Fallujah, the marines are moving into position for a final assault on the gangs.


Gadget rage surfaces on the airwaves.

This guy really lost the plot.

The crazy world of electroluminescent clothing

(and other products) is upon us!

How the Bugatti Veyron Works

Is this the greatest car on the planet?

That's debatable but the technology behind the Bugatti Veyron is quite interesting. To read about this impressive tool with a W-16 engine, 1100 horsepower, a top speed over 400kph and can get from a standstill to 300kph in 14 seconds, see this. You can also read about it in Popular Science.

Well at least we now have a new insult to use!

Next time someone upsets you, why not call them a "poobag"?

City Orders Horse Carriages to Fit 'Poo Bags'

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Man, this whole world is out of its freakin' MIND!!!

Someone book the human population into psycho-therapy, QUICK!!!

New Iraq Flag Meets With Disapproval; Identical to Dominant Color In Flag of Israel...


Gallery To Display 'Video Portrait' Of Beckham Sleeping...

This looks like the gadget to have.

At the moment, the Prismiq MediaPlayer looks like the best of the bunch.

Excellent application of modern technology.

Kidspotters®: To keep track of kids at Legoland®.

Raiders of the Lost Ark, part two.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- An expedition is being planned for this summer to the upper reaches of Turkey's Mount Ararat where organizers hope to prove an object nestled amid the snow and ice is Noah's Ark.

Not only is this an interesting project but it leaves room for plenty of tom-foolery:

"My favorite quote: ''We are not excavating it. We are not taking any artifacts. We're going to photograph it and, God willing, you're all going to see it,' McGivern said.' As if pictures can't be doctored and are absolute proof...."

"A picture of a chunk of an arc and the text "we got it" isn't absolute proof either."

"Did anybody else read that as "researchers will climb Arafat"? Huh, boy would that be weird!"

"Arafat is actually geographical. If you don't believe me, google for "Arafat plains".
Both Arafat and Sharon took their last name from geographical locations that have historical connotations for their respective peoples.

But I agree, it'd be quite difficult to climb Arafat ..."

"Yea, and next week.....
I'll be heading an exciting expedition into the bogs of Ireland to search for the little people.

"These explorers will reveal once and for all that the B arc crashed on this planet and we are all ancestors of the Golgafinchan."

Drunk Run Over by Train, Lives

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A Mexican man who got drunk, fell asleep on railroad tracks and was run over by a train slept through the entire episode and escaped unharmed, local officials said on Friday.

Jorge Lozano Lopez, a 32-year-old electrician, did not regain consciousness until well after paramedics arrived on the scene late on Wednesday night.

"He must have been very drunk to have slept through all that," said Jose Alfaro de la Rosa, a health official in the northern town of San Nicolas de los Garza. "It's a miracle he wasn't hurt."

The train's driver spotted Lozano Lopez on the tracks and frantically blew the whistle but was unable to rouse him or stop the train in time. The undercarriage passed within just a few inches of his body but did not touch him.

"I counted only six beers," a bewildered Lozano Lopez told local newspaper El Norte. "But who knows how many more there might have been. I don't remember."

Monday, April 26, 2004

Just what on earth is Bush up to?

Is this really going to be the way to deal with China?

"The budget is busted; American soldiers need more armor; they're running out of supplies. Yet the Department of Energy is spending an astonishing $6.5 billion on nuclear weapons this year, and President Bush is requesting $6.8 billion more for next year and a total of $30 billion over the following four years. This does not include his much-cherished missile-defense program, by the way. This is simply for the maintenance, modernization, development, and production of nuclear bombs and warheads.

Measured in "real dollars" (that is, adjusting for inflation), this year's spending on nuclear activities is equal to what Ronald Reagan spent at the height of the U.S.-Soviet standoff. It exceeds by over 50 percent the average annual sum ($4.2 billion) that the United States spent—again, in real dollars—throughout the four and a half decades of the Cold War.

There is no nuclear arms race going on now. The world no longer offers many suitable nuclear targets. President Bush is trying to persuade other nations—especially "rogue regimes"—to forgo their nuclear ambitions. Yet he is shoveling money to U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories as if the Soviet Union still existed and the Cold War still raged."

Read Slate's Our Hidden WMD Program

The greatest thing since sliced bread?

Nah, probably since the Hibachi, though. Check out this award-winning portable BBQ.

Ah'm gonna HAVE to get mahseff one o'deez tastee muvvaz!

The Samsung Yepp YH-999 Portable Media Center looks like a real must-have.

Repeat after me,

"the war in Iraq is over!"

Baghdad bomb targets US occupation convoy - at least 12 US soldiers thought dead.

There goes the neighbourhood!

Thanks, Tony! Thank-you again so much. After decades of IRA terrorism in the UK, we get to enjoy a whole what, 10 years of peace and quiet before you climb into bed with George Bush? Now this.

From the no comment required department.....

This is no laughing matter.

Voice of Woody Woodpecker dies.

Da Vinci's centuries-old motorcar design unveiled.

Researchers have finally figured out Da Vinci's incomplete design for a working ancestor of the modern automobile.

eBay printer purchase leads to US terror probe.

There are a few worrying things about this.

British buyer Matt Watson found his new purchase had apparently been used to generate a wide variety of suspicious ID cards in the USA - from Military IDs to drivers' licences.

So why were neither MI5 not the US Embassy in London interested in his story?

Why was anyone interested when the Sunday Mirror pursued the story?

How can anyone have a real name like Alicia Alcantra?

Why does Mr Watson speak in such riddles?

"All the names used on these cards appearon them and have a walk round a to be foreign."

"If they are genuine, anyone could just put their own photo nuclear bomb site."

Billy Joel has yet another car crash.

But what I want to know is how crappy is a house whose foundations can be cracked by a Citroen 2CV?

Imagine this: You're a cop. You respond to a call. A blind, weak, 71 year old woman...

who has very weak hearing acts in a manner that could be construed as failing to submit to the order of law. You have mere seconds to decide if this could turn real ugly, real fast.

What do you do?

What do you do?

Find out what cops in America did.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Will they play soccer with Powell's head when they're done?

Wow, things are getting pretty vicious in Washington, eh? Don't get me wrong, though, I have no doubt that a little karmic payback is due his way.

Photos of the devastation after the explosion in North Korea

are available here.

Land of the free. Home of the brave. Volume whatever....

New climate-change disaster movie upsets US government - "No one from NASA is to do interviews or otherwise comment on anything having to do with" the film, said an April 1 message to employees.. Seems to me like a helluva job to cover up.

Pfizer and Pepsi to market Viagra power drink.

Pfizer Corp. announced today that VIAGRA will soon be available in liquid form and will be marketed by Pepsi Cola as a power beverage suitable for use as a mixer. It will now be possible for a man to literally pour himself a stiff one.

Obviously we can longer call this a soft drink, and it gives new meaning to the names of "cocktails", "highballs" and just a good old fashioned "stiff drink." Pepsi will market the new concoction by the name of "MOUNT & DO."

Friday, April 23, 2004

Yes, it's been confirmed

the world really is going completely bonkers.

Staff at the English National Opera, in London, "have been banned from calling each other 'darling' in a bid to bring the theatre world into line with Government guidelines on sex discrimination."

Gee, I wonder what happened in North Korea?

Let's see, the much-hated leader of one of the world's epic repressionist Stalinist states passes through town. 9 hours later a devastating blast rips through the area. Hmmm....

Motoring in the UK just sucks and sucks and sucks

and then, just continues to suck a whole bunch more.

Consumer-level data acquisition for motorcycles.

"The Veypor performance computer is the most feature rich data acquisition gauge ever designed for a motorcycle! Veypor was built from the ground up with motorcycles in mind. It has every standard instrumentation feature along with data acquisition, on-screen graphing, ¼ mile timing functions, gear indication, a built-in programmable shift light, a full graphics display, lap timing, configurable display options and much more!"

This is guaranteed to put the zip back into the daily commute. I can hear the boasting down the pub already....

Voilá the Geek Gym!

I thought I tended to obsess but this guy is taking things a step or 1000 further.

Oh no, it's the great Jpeg wars of 2004!

If you're of the internet "old skool", you'll recall the great Gif wars of the mid-'90s. Now it looks like something similar may happen with the jpeg format.

Airborne laser weapon successfully completes testing.

Integrated testing of airborne ray gun completed

Sony takes on 'Enemies' for Clarke book

"Sony Pictures has optioned film rights to Richard Clarke's nonfiction best seller "Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror" for producer John Calley. "Enemies" -- which was published last month by the Free Press, a subsidiary of Simon & Schuster -- has been at the center of the current national debate about America's readiness to respond to terrorist threats before Sept. 11. Clarke, who was a counterterrorism expert in the administrations of both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, appeared before the 9/11 Commission the week the book was published. During that hearing, he testified that the Bush White House didn't consider terrorism "an urgent issue" in the months before the al-Qaida attacks on New York and Washington.", says the Hollywood Reporter.

NEWSFLASH to America: People die in wars.

There you go. Now you don't have to wail and gnash. Now you know the reality - in war, nasty things happen to people.

Ooh, and it just got worse: an NFL football player has been killed in Iraq. Hey listen America, if you can't handle pain, you'll never handle the fight. And no, it's not different just because it's your children dying now.

This is what happens when you send your sons and daughters off to war. By the way, your government really didn't want anyone to see those pictures.

U.S. Under Martial Law By June 2004?

According to this article, it's a distinct possibility.

The discussion board following the article is a real hoot, too. My favourite (though the language is unfortunate I suspect "the medium is the message" applies here):

"Those Bush f***s better not do that s**t.

This is going to be my first summer after my first year of college and I plan on going all out this summer."

Some real meat for you conspiracy theorists!

This should keep you busy for weeks, if not months. Enjoy!


Apparently, yes, many of the people identified by US authorities shortly after the horrors of 9/11 of having been the hijackers responsible for the terrible atrocity, are, in fact, alive and well!

Maybe I live in a different world from others but I would have thought that this would need explaining by those same US authorities. I mean, if these guys didn't do the killing then who did?

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Awesome Thai Rock music.

No, really.

I was originally going to chuck in some of the rock songs I've recently been enjoying as a counter to charges that I'm gay. You'll understand this when I let you know about some of the non-rock songs I've been enjoying. To be honest, some of them make ME wonder if I'm turning gay. In the meantime, this rock stuff is just too good not to let you know about RIGHT NOW.

I'm flabbergasted by the quality of music I keep turning up in Thailand. The Thais are an amazingly creative people and they just keep churning out fine track after fine track. The women ain't too bad, neither.....

I've long appreciated Silly Fools for their silly album covers but their music is wicked, too. Check out Laew Tae Pae and Nam Laai.

Ao Pai Luei by Kala & Clash features is a nice tight piece with some awesome solo licks. Even better, though, is the monstrous twinleadasaurus the likes of which haven't roamed the earth since the late seventies-zoic period or perhaps early eightiesassic.

Someone's been listening to their Scorpions collection.....
Plae Nai Jai by Clash (no, not THE Clash)
Rock ballad in the finest German style and surely a great candidate for an epic air guitar night "moment".

Another stunning cigarette-lighters at Cobo Arena track is Jam Fang Jai by I-ZAX.

Paradox have clearly been swimming in their punk album collection as their Man Kor Yang Ngong Ngong demonstrates but they do it so damn well, it's amazing. Makes me feel like I'm back in highschool - that or a Jonathon Demme film.

Yet more mouthwatering power rock, Loong Baang Mai, courtesy of a joint effort called Rock Project 2. Again, a health warning is in order if your heart, like mine, grows weak at the sound of twin lead.

Kala's Sia Mai is a rather impish combination of hard-edged rock guitar, cheesy computer drums (and some real drums, too) and bleeps. At least I think that's one way to describe it. I defy you not tap your fingers or foot.

After all that, I guess it was inevitable that they had to "do" Metallica so listen to Dab Khrueng Chon by Ultra Chuadz.

I'm sure someone's set-up a secret lab in Thailand where they're cloning the finest session musicians of the 80s.....

Latest news roundup.

America loses its soul: Rushing Toward the Rubble of History

Fuel Rod Pieces Missing at Vermont Nuclear Plant

Meteor Shower Peaks Before Dawn Thursday

Killer cyberloo kidnaps kiddie. But why does the BBC report say the boy is thought to be "10 or 12"? Surely it's also possible he's 11 years old?

FBI wants to watch you type

Read about it here.

Time to laugh at Italy.

But remember you're laughing with them, not at them. You'll need Flash (or is it Shockwave - I can never remember) to enjoy this.

Some other thoughts on Iraq

- especially with reference to the Vietnam analogies.

I respect his writing ability, though I often find him rather arrogant (perhaps that's what it takes) and certainly don't agree with everything in Second Thinking - What I got wrong about Iraq by Christopher Hitchens.

Saigon and Saddam: The use and abuse of Vietnam analogies by David Greenberg.

Both of these articles essentially claim that, for a variety of factually-correct reasons, it is incorrect and misleading to draw fundamental parallels between the current conflict (the war's over, remember?) in Iraq and the Vietnam conflict (that never was a war, remember?).

I would continue to disagree. Fundamentally, I think the scenarios are too similar in ways that are worrying. In both cases, the world's most powerful military and government just plain got it wrong. In both cases, military action was taken on flawed premises. In both cases planners underestimated the people of the country concerned. In both cases, America initially supported the peoples' biggest enemy - its own government - thereby turning itself at least partially into an enemy of the people, rather than its true saviour. In both cases, the military challenge was underestimated, poorly-handled and offered a more complex challenge than planners expected or assessed. In both cases, poor intelligence was a major factor. In both cases, Western soldiers cannot easily distinguish friend from foe. In both cases you have a uniformed, conventional army facing guerillas. In both cases, suspicious control of the media was exercised. In both cases, popular support at home was a major issue. In both cases, senior members of administration and the military reckoned they would succeed through the use over overwhelming power, constantly making positive statements about "crushing" the enemy, etc. I could go on.

Essentially, in both cases arrogance and a near-criminal wasting of young men was used to prosecute the questionable aims of REMFs. In both cases, the outcome threatens to be the same. A nation that should, for the most part, be lauded for its objectives, its principles and the support and aid it provides for millions around the world is turning itself into a pariah. That's a real shame.

Interesting article

on the impending court case (or not)
to determine the rights (or not) of Guantanamo detainees is here.

I don't believe you wanted to do that!

Electric motocross bike.

I think I would enjoy an electric bike that out-accelerates a Honda XR250. They even have downloadable videos!

Isn't this taking things a bit far?

After all, who on earth needs Hello Kitty car headlamp bulbs? Surely, it's worrying that someone can be old and mature enough to own a car yet feel the need to fit these?

I reckon anyone who fits one of these needs help, too:

Talking of cult, it's the amazing new Cult-O-Matic!!

The amazing Ron Popeil collection from Ronco!!!!. I remember with fondness all the amazing stuff that Ronco used to churn out. Like the Trash Compacting Stool - just waiting for a witty claim. Act now!

Behold the Messiah!!!

He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty mouse.

The cult of the iPod.

See some of the myriad accessories available.

Swarovski crystal chandelier displays text messages.