Saturday, February 25, 2006
This is an actual emergency room photo of a fisherman who lost control of his high-speed bass boat in West Virginia. The Fishing Wardens believe that he was traveling at a speed of approximately 75 mph at the time of the accident (in case you don't know, that's DAMN fast in a small boat!).
The man was unable to negotiate a curve in the narrow waterway. Unfortunately for him, upon striking the shoreline and being ejected from the boat, he landed back end first on an old fence post. You can probably picture what happened next but the attached picture really says it all. The good news is that after about 6 months, this man made a full recovery after suffering a shattered hip, broken leg, several broken ribs, internal injuries and soft tissue damage. Doctors credited his recovery to the fact that the post lodged itself so tightly that there was little or no blood loss.
It had to have hurt... (maybe it's just a hoax but it sure looks painful!)
In many Asian cultures (no pun intended), they've been serving and selling foods specifically for what ails you for many centuries. Some soup shops I've been taken into actually specialize in just one kind of soup just for one kind of ailment. I think we're about to see a new trend in the West to introduce foods that are good for you. I'm not getting paid for this plug but I feel it's something well worth sharing.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Not to be outdone by their European neighbors, Poland announced that they were placing a special order for custom-built Polish Airlines planes. Boeing politely declined to build them but Airbus gladly accepted their 6-plane order.
Anyway, I have to tell you how amazingly surprised Donna and I were right after the Christmas holidays. After a crazy move back from Connecticut to Seattle, we realized quickly that one of her boxes was missing from the shipment that the movers delivered in mid-December. We were smart enough to check the numbered items off the list as they were unloaded and had the moving guys note it -- reluctantly -- on their sheet before departing to their next stop. They put out a half-hearted attempt to look through their truck before leaving and calls to our moving company were met with instructions to file a claim for it along with our claim for the damages to Donna's brand-new $2000+ mattress. Unfortunately, she wasn't allowed to insure the shipment for full value as the move was set less than 48 hours before pick-up (never mind that the movers didn't show up for another 24 hours anyway but that's another story); so all boxes were only allowed to be insured for no more than 60c a pound! Well, after unpacking frantically for days after the shipment arrived, Donna realized that her entire CD and DVD collection was missing, representing hundreds of items collected over many years. The apathy from the original moving company was appalling and we basically resigned ourselves to never recovering that box.
Over one weekend in January, we were contacted by one of Donna's friends from Minnesota who had received a strange message on her answering machine. It was from a young man who had moved to Spokane, Washington from New York at the end of November. His furniture and possessions were picked up by a moving company that also assured him that they would be delivered by the company and not a broker/freight forwarder. He finally received a cell phone call from the same contractor who also delivered our shipment later. He was going on vacation in mid-December so he kept calling them to see where his shipment was.
When the movers finally arrived at his house in the afternoon on the 14th of December, they unloaded everything quickly, made him sign the documents immediately and then left promptly. Oh -- by the way -- his shipment was also billed out at almost double what his estimate had been. So he immediately began unpacking to see if everything was there. He found many near-empty boxes filled with packing materials: bubble wrap, blankets, etc. for which it appears he was charged for the volume. When he called his moving company, they acted surprised and said they would like those items back as they cost a lot of money (no offer of a refund on his charges). What caught his interest however was a cube box that did not match any of the other cartons that his movers had provided when they did all the packing and loading. He called both his moving company as well as the delivery guys not more than an hour after they had left that Wednesday afternoon from Spokane. His movers told him they would follow up on it and the guys in the truck said to give them the number on the box and they would report it, rather than turning back because of their error. A few days later, he left for the holidays in California and didn't come back to Spokane until a couple of weeks later into the New Year.
No one had ever bothered to call him back about the extra box after many calls both before and after his vacation trip. He had opened the box when he first found just to see if it was actually his and didn't look much more when he realized it wasn't his stuff. But when he didn't hear from anyone, he decided to look though the box to find some clue as to the owner. Fortunately, he found an old address book inside so he started going through phone numbers even as he continued to try calling his movers and the freight carriers with no results. I eventually got this young man's phone number and returned his call. We spent some time comparing notes and timelines only to realize that no one had taken an interest at all in getting Donna's package back to her. (Incidentally, aside from her entire collection of CD's, she had irreplaceable family photos and other personal items packed in there.) The contracted carriers were completely negligent and neither reported it back to their originating company, our moving company or to us (despite having EVERYONE'S phone numbers). In fact, it now appears that they knew that this customer had our box before they arrived at our house the next morning on Thursday, Dec. 15th. Had we not discovered the missing box from the inventory list (yes, we checked off every single item on the list as it came in the house), he would never have even acknowledged it. Worse, he tried to fold the carbon paper up on the Inventory Sheets so that my notations regarding the mattress damage and the missing box would not imprint through to the other copies underneath (an old trick some of my own mover friends showed me). I caught him unfolding the carbons when he wanted me to sign the top copy so I promptly added the notation to our copies and notified our moving company immediately. The delivery guys made a half-hearted attempt to "look" for the carton before they left for Renton that afternoon, mumbling something about the box still having a chance of showing up at another destination, knowing full well as it now appears that they had dropped it off at the last stop.
Well, we finally did have a happy ending to this chapter. Derek sent the package insured back to us and we guilt-tripped our movers into sending him $100 as a reward for his honesty and persistence. So... wouldn't it be a great idea to have a global online lost-and-found site?
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
The therapist asks them what the problem is and the wife goes into a tirade listing every problem they have ever had in the 15 years they've been married. She goes on and on and on.
Finally, the therapist gets up, goes around the desk, embraces the woman and kisses her passionately rips off her clothes and makes mad passionate love to her. Needless to say, the woman shuts up and sits quietly with a very satisfied daze.
The therapist turns to the husband and says "that is what your wife needs at least three times a week. Can you do that?"
The husband thinks for a moment and replies, "Well, I can get her here Monday and Wednesday, but Friday I play golf."
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Friday, February 17, 2006
Just so you understand why I'm posting this on my blog, some of you may recall something that appeared minor on the Newswires over the past couple of days (I know I sure didn't pay a lot of attention to it). Something to the effect that the new XP updates were "Disabling Norton Antivirus" or something like that. Well, it did more than just "Disable it." Where's my money, Bill? I hope Symantec sues your collective asses off.
What Kallio has done in itself is a remarkable piece of work. But I believe the more significant accomplishment is in the process itself. Researching the dodo and then taking that information to build his models and place them in what appears to be their natural habitat so that he could shoot realistic-looking photographs would be a remarkable achievement alone. However, I think that Kallio may have single-handedly taken digital photography to a new high and I hope that it sparks other photographers/artists to explore it further in this direction. In this day-and-age of digital animation and special effects, the true art of still images seemed destined to have been relegated to the Twentieth Century.
Kallio will be showing his Dodo series at the Bonni Benrubi Gallery in New York City through April 1. You can read a more extensive overview of his research and approach to developing this incredible breakthrough in photographic work on Slate here. They've also posted a slideshow of his photos here. (It should pop up in its own window.)
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Spotted Owl plague threatens northwestern United States crops and livestock.
Baby conceived naturally -- scientists stumped.
Couple petitions court to reinstate heterosexual marriage.
Last remaining Fundamentalist Muslim dies in the American Territory of the Middle East (formerly known as Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Lebanon).
Iran still closed off; physicists estimate it will take at least 10 more years before radioactivity decreases to safe levels.
France pleads for global help after being taken over by Jamaica.
Castro finally dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking.
George Z. Bush says he will run for President in 2036.
Postal Service raises price of first class stamp to $17.89 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesdays only.
85-year, $75.8 billion study: Diet and Exercise is the key to weight loss.
Average weight of Americans drops to 250 lbs.
Japanese scientists have created a camera with such a fast shutter speed, they now can photograph a woman with her mouth shut.
Massachusetts executes last remaining conservative.
Supreme Court rules punishment of criminals violates their civil rights.
Average height of NBA players now nine feet, seven inches.
New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters and rolled-up newspapers must be registered by January 2036.
Congress authorizes direct deposit of formerly illegal political contributions to campaign accounts.
Capitol Hill intern indicted for refusing to have sex with congressman.
IRS sets lowest tax rate at 75 percent.
Florida voters still having trouble with voting machines.
Wow! PC Magazine hired LEGO brick-artist Nathan Sawaya to build them a custom PC which they paln on giving away in a contest. Go to PC Magazine Online where you can see more pictures of theLego PC and the process of building one, along with instructions for building your own (if you're ambitious enough). There's also an interview with Sawaya on his approach to building all things Lego. Looks like Lego is getting a lot of buzz these days from the tech community.
The latest issue of WIRED magazine also has a cover article on how Lego is re-positioning the company and its Mindstorms robotic line to appeal to a broader adult audience (particularly geeks).
When I first got into programming in the late 60's, the IBM 360/30 ruled the computer industry. They were huge monsters that required huge rooms to house them; the floors were elevated to accommodate all the wiring and the temperature and humidity were constantly regulated to maintain optimal conditions (for the computers, NOT the people running them!). On some nights, you could freeze your ass off in there even with a suit and tie on! At the point I left programming for the first time, hard drives were beginning to make a splash, replacing all manner of storage quickly. And I still remember the old punch cards and key tapes -- nasty!
Anyway, c/net has put together a brief history of the hard drive, complete with pictures. The cost is pretty hard to believe considering our cost per gigabyte today (gigabyte!!!). And some of them didn't even look too bad either.
Monday, February 13, 2006
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Well, what's this got to do with my current post? I found a new site where you can doodle your own drawing to send to someone so you can get one back. Nice simple concept and a lot of fun. Here's the link to SketchSwap. Have fun!
Friday, February 10, 2006
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Just for good measure -- in case you've been hiding in a cave somewhere -- this is a link to a really good flash presentation of the entire comedy so far.
I recently came across this site -- Interactive Weaver on the House of Tartan site -- where you can pick your own colors, the order to weave them in, as well as your thread count, so they can actually weave you your very own family tartan.
Ah, the Internet -- what a concept! Eventually, I see anyone anywhere being able to look up a craftsperson directly online in some remote village and placing an order directly for his/her handiwork. In the meantime, enjoy that kilt!
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
In all fairness, note that some of the paintings have his face under a veil. (Gee, maybe that's where bin Laden and al Zarqahi got their idea to disguise themselves as women to elude capture, huh?)
And if you want to read something that addresses some of the strange stuff on SuperBowl XL more seriously, read Robert Weintraub's piece, Stealers on Slate.
"Well, to tell you the truth," says the Pope, "they never let me drive at the Vatican when I was a Cardinal, and I'd really like to drive today."
"I'm sorry, Your Holiness, but I can't let you do that. I'd lose my job! And what if something should happen?" protests the driver, wishing he'd never gone to work that morning.
"Who's going to tell? Besides, there might be something extra in it for you," says the Pope with a smile.
Reluctantly, the driver gets in the back as the Pope climbs in behind the wheel. The driver quickly regrets his decision when, after exiting the airport, the Pontiff floors it, accelerating the limo to 105 mph. (Remember, he's a German Pope.)
"Please slow down, Your Holiness!" pleads the worried driver. But the Pope keeps the pedal to the metal until they hear sirens.
"Oh, dear God, I'm gonna lose my license -- and my job!" moans the driver. The Pope pulls over and rolls down the window as the cop approaches, but the cop takes one look at him, goes back to his motorcycle and gets on the radio. "I need to talk to the Chief," he says to the dispatcher.
Chief gets on the radio and the cop tells him that he's stopped a limo going a hundred and five miles an hour. "So bust him already," says the Chief.
"I don't think we want to do that, he's really important," said the cop.
The Chief exclaimed," All the more reason!"
"No, I mean really important," said the cop with a bit of persistence.
The Chief then asked, "Who ya got there, the Mayor?"
"Well," said the Chief, "Who is it?"
Cop: "I think it's God!"
The Chief is even more puzzled and curious: "What makes you think it's God?"
Cop: "He's got the Pope as a chauffeur."
Sunday, February 05, 2006
I found a site (German, I think) that lets you pick and choose all the pieces you need to generate your very own Southpark character. Don't know if they're in violation of copyright or how long it'll stay up (maybe they'll be allowed to continue as it's nothing more than great promo for the show) but here's the link.
While on a road trip, an elderly couple stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch. After finishing their meal, they left the restaurant and resumed their trip. When leaving, the elderly woman unknowingly left her glasses on the table and, she didn't miss them until after they had been driving about twenty minutes.
By then, to add to the aggravation, they had to travel quite a distance before they could find a place to turn around in order to return to the restaurant to retrieve her glasses. All the way back, the elderly husband became the classic grouchy old man. He fussed and complained and scolded his wife relentlessly during the entire return drive. The more he chided her the more agitated he became. He just wouldn't let up one minute.
To her relief, they finally arrived at the restaurant. And, as the woman got out of the car and hurried inside to retrieve her glasses, the old geezer yelled to her, "Oh -- While you're in there, you might as well get my hat and the credit card!"
Saturday, February 04, 2006
Over the past couple of years, people like John Walsh have pushed legislators hard to make state lists publicly available. With modern technology, these lists have now been combined with mapping software so you can see where a lot of these pervs live in your area. One of the more recents ones is a mashup combining GoogleMaps with state registries: MapSexOffenders.com. Another more recent startup is The Family Watchdog; I found that one to be even more alarmingly detailed. Here in Washington, you can see the address where they're living and a recent picture and description of the perp. Do check them out yourself and tell your kids to check it out. Yikes!
Thursday, February 02, 2006
I've had a dialog with many of my friends regarding Google's recent drubbing for taking its position on limited censoring of its searches in
One example I use a lot in debates with my Western colleagues regarding change is to cite the handovers of Macau and
Personally -- and of course this is strictly my own humble opinion -- I've tried to imagine myself as one of those old dudes sitting in
I think that over time (and we're not talking about a lot here either), the futility of trying to control something like the Internet will overwhelm the Chinese government's current efforts. They'll eventually realize it and move on to bigger and better things. But we Americans have to have stuff to thump our chest about. I only hope that when the open Pandora's Box eventually comes back and bites us in the ass one day that we're ready for it ourselves.
Moreover, since when did it become the job of businesses trying to do business in foreign countries to do the will of the government? I always was under the impression that it was the other way around (stupid me) and that our government should be doing everything in its power to talk to other governments about opening up their trade borders on all fronts (including electronic). Businesses per se have little control -- and shouldn't -- over governments in other countries. When in
And here's another thought to ponder: Our human rights advocates are screaming about what Google should do in
I applaud Google for their decision to launch in
It was interesting that Congress called a hearing on this issue and no one showed up. However, Google did officially send a statement and you can read it in its entirety here.
A couple of friends of mine sent me this piece again recently and apparently it's made its way online over the past couple of years. Can't really attest to its authenticity (I admit it would probably be reasonably easy to do but who likes Dr. Laura anyway?). I do still remember the controversy she sparked in citing the Bible on gays. Here's the intro:
Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a east coast resident, which was posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:
Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:
When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?
Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
Your devoted fan,
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
The mother (who couldn't think of an answer) told her son to ask the stewardess. So the boy asked the stewardess, "If big dogs have baby dogs and big cats have baby cats, why don't big planes have baby planes?"
The stewardess responded, "Did your mother tell you to ask me?"
The boy said, "Yes she did."
"Well then, tell your mother that there are no baby planes because Southwest always pulls out on time. Have your mother explain that to you."
"Yes," she says, "I remember it well"
"OK," he says, "How about taking a stroll around there again and we can do it for old time's sake?"
"Oh Charlie, you old devil, that sounds like a crazy, but very good idea!"
There's a police officer sitting in the next booth listening to all this, and having a chuckle to himself.
He thinks, "I've got to see these two old-timers having sex against a fence. I'll just keep an eye on them so there's no trouble."
So he follows them. They walk haltingly along, leaning on each other for support, aided by walking sticks. Finally they get to the back of the tavern and make their way to the fence. The old lady lifts her skirt and the old man drops his trousers. As she leans against the fence, the old man moves in.
Suddenly they erupt into the most furious sex that the watching policeman has ever seen. This goes on for about forty minutes. Finally, they both collapse panting on the ground.
The policeman is amazed. He thinks he has learned something about life that he didn't know.
After about half an hour of lying on the ground recovering, the old couple struggle to their feet and put their clothes back on. The Policeman, still watching thinks, this was truly amazing I've got to ask them what their secret is.
As the couple passes, he says to them, "Excuse me, but that was something else. You must've had a fantastic sex life together. Is there some sort of secret to this?"
The old man says, "Fifty years ago that wasn't an electric fence."