Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon


From Wikipedia:
Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1943) is the fourth in the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce series of Sherlock Holmes films.

Holmes successfully removes Professor Tobel and his new invention - the "Tobel Bombsight" (analogous to the real-life Norden Bombsight) - from Switzerland to safety in England under the noses of German agents. However once in England, Tobel disappears, kidnapped by Holmes' arch-nemesis, Professor Moriarty, now in league with the Nazis. However Tobel has left a cryptic message in code behind (taken from the Arthur Conan Doyle story The Adventure of the Dancing Men).

Holmes cracks the code and tracks Tobel down, in the process utilizing his skill in disguises, appearing as a Swiss inventor, a criminal Lascar, and an elderly German bookseller.

The Poop Report Gives Back

The Poop Report is a blog of scatological humor, but this is a serious project where you can make a difference. Karanpur is a village in Uttar Pradesh, India with a school for 700 lower caste girls. The village has no plumbing. The girls must rise before dawn to attend to their toilet practices in a field before daylight. School founder Virendra "Sam" Singh wants to provide toilets for the village.

Here is an appliance that embodies his philosophy. A toilet protects its owner from the danger and humiliation of outdoor defecation. But it also provides a haven for neighbors to achieve the same standard of safety and dignity -- educated or not, Sam knows, no woman wants to poop in the fields. Here is an inexpensive way to improve health and spread sanitary practices beyond the walls of his students' dwellings.

Sam settled on the Sulabh toilet model, which collects and composts waste in alternating pits that need to be emptied only once every ten years. But as inexpensive as they are, they still cost too much for Sam to fund them on his own. He approached participants of the World Toilet Summit for fundraising help. My wife and I accepted his offer to tour the school and meet his students; and now I'm passing his plea for help on to you.

Sam's immediate goal is 43 toilets in Karanpur itself, followed by a toilet for each of the 700 girls in his school. Every cent will help achieve this goal. A dollar is lunch for four workers building a toilet. Twenty dollars may pay the labor cost altogether. And $250 -- which is no small sum, even for an American -- will fully cover the cost of bringing health, sanitation, and dignity to a student of Pardada Pardadi, her family, and her neighbors. For $250, Sam and his team can build a complete toilet.

Any amount donated will be appreciated. If you sponsor a complete toilet for $250, you get naming rights for the facility. Donations can be made through a PayPal link at The Poop Report. (via Boing Boing)

A Large-Hearted Gentleman

Jim Corbett was a renowned tiger hunter who was born in India in 1875. However, he never hunted tigers for sport, as so many did at the time. Through many amazing kills and several close calls, he developed a profound respect for the big cats, including maneaters.

In a time when a hunter was measured for how many fearsome animals he could kill, Corbett exuded pride at never having killed a large cat for sport or financial gain. He refused even to hunt leopards which were often regarded as vermin at the time. "Those who have never seen a leopard," he said, "can have no conception of the grace of movement, and beauty of colouring of this the most graceful and the most beautiful in our Indian jungles. Nor are his attractions limited to outward appearances, for pound for pound, his strength is second to none, and in courage he lacks nothing." Corbett began lectures in various schools and nature societies with a message to protect the vanishing tiger and leopard populations. He referred to his youth as "days when there were ten tigers to every one that now survives."


Corbett knew tigers better than anyone. His conservation efforts went against the grain of the times, but his legacy lives on in a national park named after him, and a tiger species named Panthera tigris corbetti. Read his fascinating story at Damn Interesting.

How to Get a Man to do Housework

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ugly Bugs


Advances in macro photography and the development of the electron microscope have shown us a world nature never intended for us to see. Over the years, they’ve shown us how very ugly insects can be if you take a close look!

read more | digg story

Fun Links

A Glossary of Rude Emoticons. A reference guide for when you want to type out something really dirty.

From Earth to Orbit in 2 Minutes. A mind-boggling real-time video of a shuttle launch, from atop the vehicle.

That’s What She Said.

Donald Rumsfeld Soundbites of the Decade.

25 Ways To Destroy Your Old Printer. If you can’t use it, you may as well have some fun with it! (Thanks, Dee!)

8 (Pointless) Laws All Comic Book Movies Follow. With millions of dollars on the line, Hollywood isn’t about the take any chances.

Build your own Virtual Volcano and watch it blow! Different settings will produce different volcanoes and eruptions.

To make a giant mutant movie monster, you might call in a special effects team, but using a terrapin would be much cheaper. See the result in a clip from the film Monstry.

The Houses that Spite Built.

Why should Wheaties boxes only showcase football, basketball, and Olympics stars when there are so many other sports? Read the fascinating stories of ten sports heroes who gave their all in sports that don’t make the headlines, such as sumo wrestling, elephant polo, bullfighting, and tug-of-war.

Persistance


We don’t know how many times the dog tried to run up the slide because the cameraman lost it. (via Arbroath)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Atom Age Vampire


From Wikipedia:
Atom Age Vampire (original title Seddok, l'erede di Satana) is a 1963 black-and-white Italian horror/science fiction film directed by Anton Giulio Majano and starring Alberto Lupo.

Despite the implication of its American title, the film appears to have no direct connection with the "atom age" of the early 1960s. The title was apparently chosen to indicate to potential audiences the modern-day time period of the story.

When a singer (Susanne Loret) is horribly disfigured in a car accident, a scientist (Alberto Lupo) develops a treatment which can restore her beauty by injecting her with the glands of a murdered woman. While performing the procedure, however, he falls in love with her.

Information Links

Imagine a tiny implanted camera that can transfer images to the brain through the optic nerve. The first bionic eyes are already giving sight to the blind.

What’s the Army’s policy on overweight recruits? More lenient than you may think, but you can still eat your way out of service.

Humans almost became extinct 70,000 years ago. A new study says a drought may have reduced world population to as little as 2,000 people at one time.

Break Free from the Tyranny of the Clock! Using your body’s natural rhythms has to be good for you, but your boss probably won’t like it.

An affordable electric car may be available in the US in 2009. The Th!nk City electric car holds four people and retails under $25,000. Yes, that's how it's spelled.

Wired contacted a chef, a food development consultant, and a food scientist to investigate the difference between pizza in New York and in San Francisco. The differences are in the ovens and in the water. Author Joe Brown is partial to the New York style, and describes how he brings home six pies every time he visits.

Gin, Television, and Social Surplus. Free time led to the rise of the sitcom, and the death of the sitcom will lead to a cognitive surplus we can put to better use.

Humanity is extracting and polluting freshwater faster than it can be replenished. Read how three regions are coping with shrinking aquifers.

For the Brain, Cash Is Good, Status Is Better. Which may explain why some people run their finances into the ground to keep up appearances.

The Seven Deadly Sins of a Relationship. A list you can share with someone you love.

Glad


(via Boing Boing)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Greenpeace vs. Dove


Greenpeace produced a parody of the Dove Onslaught ad to highlight Dove’s contribution to deforestation. Contains some images that may be disturbing, which is the point. More about it here.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday Fun Links

Don’t try to make friends with a Cassowary! The Guinness Book of World Records named it the world’s most dangerous bird. They can break your bones with a swift kick or slice you open with their claws. And they have bad tempers. Zookeepers who take care of the endangered species are in danger themselves from the threat of job-related injuries. (via Dark Roasted Blend)

8 pointless Laws All Comic Book Movies Must Follow. With millions of dollars on the line, Hollywood isn’t about the take any chances.

The Museum of Unworkable Devices is one of those sites everyone on the Internet should know about. There’s a special emphasis on the Holy Grail of engineering, the perpetual motion machine. (via the Presurfer)

When you plan your summer vacation, you might want to check out 18 Of The Best Places To Swim With Sharks. That is, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Watch a kitten chorus line. The ten of them will be ready for Broadway with a little practice.

Never microwave an egg in its shell. Here’s why.

Infographics about a tree. Some are rude, all are funny! (via Grow-A-Brain)

The 10 Most Baffling Computer Gadgets Money Can Buy.

8 Fictional Cities You Wouldn't Want to Live in. In this case, fiction is stranger than truth.

The Top 20 Pop Culture Plants.

Organ Recital


This girl is ten years old. My daughter will be eleven when her piano recital comes up next week. If I show her this video, she’ll never be able to perform her elementary piece. (via mental_floss)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Indiana Jones


Expedia (who sent me the hat and suitcase the girls are posing with), launched their Indiana Jones travel packages starting today, and plan a sweepstakes around the movie, with trips as prizes. Don't tell my kids, they will want to go eat monkey brains like in the Temple of Doom!

There's lots of Indiana Jones fun, including all three previous movies in pixel gif form, today at Miss Cellania.

7 Extremely Focused Art Sites


They say when you find something that works, you should stick with it. You may find that others want to participate too, even if your site is all about one very specific subject. Most likely a subject you never considered yourself!

read more | digg story

Good Reads

30 Uncommon Uses for Aluminum Foil. Tinfoil hats included.

The EMD Safety Bracelet. It’s supposed to be an anti-hijacking device for airline passengers, but it most nearly resembles a pet-training aid.

Clueless in America.

9 Must See Sites For Coffee Addicts. (via Interesting Pile)

We’ve seen data turned into music, but what would music look like turned into mathematical data? Music Has Its Own Geometry.

12 Hacks That Will Amp Up Your Brainpower. When all is said and done, it’s the only real power we have.

A proposed hydroelectric dam on the Congo River in the Democratic Republic of Congo could double the electricity available in all of Africa. But some advocacy groups fear that it won’t benefit most citizens of Africa.

It took 4 million years of evolution to perfect the human foot, but we’re wrecking it with every step we take. An in-depth look at why barefoot is best.

Looks like Bill Gates will spend his retirement saving the world, but you knew that. Specifically, he may try to change the pharmaceutical business.

The Economic Causes of Monogamy. Since biology and much of history favor polygyny, it took some powerful forces for monogamy to become our custom.

Blogging Business Exposed!



In response to a story about the deaths of two bloggers, Barely Political did an undercover expose of the seamy underworld of the blogging business, which I know intimately.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Boy What A Girl


1947. From IMDb:
Two small-time (aspiring to be big-time) producers are trying to convince a Chicago businessman to finance half of their show, while the other half is to be financed by a mysterious Mme. Deborah. But when Madame Deborah is not on hand to meet the money-man from Chicago, an ex-prizefighter is dressed to pose as her. Music and dancing provided by Deek Watson and His Brown Dots, 'Big' Sid Catlett and his band, and Ann Cornell and the International Jitterbugs. Drummer Gene Krupa has a drumming cameo.

Fun Links

The Face Bank will eat your coins!

There is not enough cussing at YesButNoButYes. You can help.

A cat enjoying a lollipop. Just because.

The Wonderful Stories Behind 6 Classic TV Theme Songs.

Burglar caught on camera stealing the first thing he sees.

The 7 Greatest Home Shopping Screw Ups of All Time. See classic videos of what can go wrong on live TV.

There was once a time (and I’m old enough to remember it) when such things weren’t talked about. See 10 Great Tampon Ads From Around the World.

Baracky: Barack Obama stars as a boxer who battles his way to the big time. Hillary Clinton and other big names co-star.

A lion can’t even read his newspaper in peace without a ferret pestering him!

Editor barringer82 has several mashups of movies from your favorite filmmakers, The Coen Brothers, David Lynch, Tim Burton, Stanley Kubrick, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Quentin Tarantino. See them at YesButNoButYes.

Buttmachine


That 1 Guy plays a homemade instrument he calls the Magic Pipe. Way cool, methinks. (via Ectoplasmosis)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Birthday, Princess!




















Today is Earth Day, but it's also my oldest daughter's birthday. She's eleven now. Where did the time go? Who took my baby and where did this young lady come from? Today is also the anniversary of another milestone in our family. On April 22nd, 1998, ten years ago, I first saw her picture. Her father and I had been waiting rather impatiently for it (and we had no internet connection then). We almost assaulted the mailman, then ceremoniously carried the envelope into the nursery to view it properly. I cried when I first saw her. Then we called our adoption agency and agreed to take her. We would've agreed earlier, but they won't take an official acceptance until the photo is viewed. So, for her first birthday, she received no party or cake, but she got parents!

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl.

Love,
Mama

6 Massive Earth Moving Projects


Each year humans move around 7 gigatons of earth. Some projects result in vast improvements for human living; others, not so much.

read more | digg story

Earth Day Links

The first Earth Day was in 1970. Environmental awareness has changed a lot since then.

The things we can do as individuals to help the environment seem like a drop in the bucket. Even though we don’t admit it out loud, the question we confront is: Why Bother?

Ten sites to help you celebrate the best Earth Day ever. From government information to environmental organizations to kids’ activities, you’ll find something you didn’t know bout the environment.

What NOT to do on Earth Day.

5 Habits for Greener Computing.

Green Funerals. Funeral directors in Britain are leading the way in ways to leave less of a footprint when you take your final steps.

The (Very Profitable) Economics of Emissions.

The Craziest Green Technologies.

Why don’t we use more solar power? Our ability to harness the sun is not yet efficient enough for our needs, but it’s a start.

The US Leads the World in Growth of Wind Power Use. Germany is still #1, but we could outstrip them in two years.

I Love the World


Happy Earth Day, everyone!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Lost in the Stratosphere


1934. From IMDb:
Two military pilots are close friends, and share in a lot of hazardous missions while engaging in a series of good-natured romantic rivalries. But when one of the pilots loses a girl he really cared for, he cannot forgive his friend. Soon afterwards, they must work together on their most dangerous mission yet.

CNN Headline Shirts



CNN is now selling t-shirts with their headlines on them. As of right now, it’s pretty simple to make up your own headline. They’ll probably get that fixed pretty soon. Link to CNN store. Link to this shirt. (via YesButNoButYes)

Information Links

Sky-High Ads Float Like Clouds. “Flogos” are made from biodegradable foam and can be cut into the shape of company logos.

Illegal immigrants pay billions in taxes.

The Giant Amazon Water Lily, or Victoria amazonica is the largest water lily in the world. And it throws its weight around, too! Sir David Attenborough narrates this time-lapse video.

Elaine Krajenke Ellison is a retired math teacher who makes quilts with patterns that represent math concepts in a beautiful way. (via Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories)

A Norway spruce growing in Sweden has a root system that has been growing for 9,550 years! The tree is only about 13 feet tall, but the trunk is not the first first one grown from the roots. The age of the root system was determined by radiocarbon dating.

5 Extraordinary Uses Of Caves. See caves used as a hotel, a school, even a discotheque!

Scientists have recreated what they believe to be the voice of Neanderthals. New Scientist has very short audio clips contrasting the Neanderthal and modern human speech.

The 9 Or So Paths To Getting Rich (with analysis of each). After looking these over, looks like my best hope is the lottery.

Worked Over and Overworked: An in-depth look at the decline in status and treatment of American workers. Job security, pay, and benefits are nothing like they were thirty years ago.

20 Amazing And Unusual Weather Phenomena. #20 is just down the road from where I live.

Freedom


The 12 Girls Band performs the Turkish song Freedom.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

High Tech Noon


Darryl Gold re-edited the classic western High Noon to include killer robots. (via b3ta)

Friday, April 18, 2008

They Came From Beyond Space


1967. From IMDb:
Aliens crash land on the moon, they try to use scientists from earth as slaves to to help fix their ship. But one of the scientists has a metal plate in his head and he cannot be controlled by the Aliens. Based on the Novel "The Gods Hate Kansas".

Across Globe, Empty Bellies Bring Rising Anger

Emerging economies, the price of fuel transport, and diversion of crops to make biofuel has spawned the highest global food prices since the Nixon administration, according to an article in the New York Times. Haiti is especially hard hit.

Haiti’s hunger, that burn in the belly that so many here feel, has become fiercer than ever in recent days as global food prices spiral out of reach, spiking as much as 45 percent since the end of 2006 and turning Haitian staples like beans, corn and rice into closely guarded treasures.

Meanwhile, most of the poorest of the poor suffer silently, too weak for activism or too busy raising the next generation of hungry. In the sprawling slum of Haiti’s Cité Soleil, Placide Simone, 29, offered one of her five offspring to a stranger. “Take one,” she said, cradling a listless baby and motioning toward four rail-thin toddlers, none of whom had eaten that day. “You pick. Just feed them.”

Links for Your Amusement

Young Me-Now Me challenges you to recreate a photo from your childhood and submit both of them. Or just go see other folks who have done it, with varying degrees of brilliance. Here's a brilliant one.

Dancing Cupcakes. My kids told me this is the best video ever, but maybe they were just hungry. It is downright delightful.

Actress Tricia Walsh-Smith posted a video on YouTube to vent her frustration at the terms of the prenup she signed when she married a rich man 25 years her senior who won’t have sex with her.

Tetris: The Movie. (via Geek Like Me)

Amazing tricks women can do with their breasts.

Azerbaijanis not happy to find out the meaning of the name of The Camel’s Toe bar. (via Fark)

Alcohol Horoscopes.

Test your knowledge of world geography with this eight question quiz, posted by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch in response to a survey by National Geographic.

The 5 Historical Figures Who Died The Weirdest Deaths. Stomach-churning weird, for the most part, but the best was the one who died when a turtle fell from the sky.

The weirdest news stories of the week.

Boxing Cat



Gizmo likes to watch boxing on TV. Looks like he’d also like to get in on the action! (via Arbroath)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Treehouses for All Occasions (PICS)



There’s something about a treehouse that appeals to all of us. Maybe it’s the view, or getting close to nature, or reliving childhood memories. There are many ways to enjoy treehouses, no matter what age you are.

read more | digg story

Fun Links

The Top Ten Shirts to Get Arrested In.

A collection of building demolition videos you're sure to enjoy.

You may think you know Star Wars, but how well do you know John William's score? Take the quiz! I scored 70%, but I haven't heard from anyone else who scored as high.

Six Reasons to Visit Denmark, the World’s Happiest Country. Here’s one more.

10 Of The Coolest Hotel Suites In The World.

Ten very different cello artists and bands who will change your perception of the instrument.

Stringwave is a seemingly simple physics toy that can keep you busy for a long time! Change the settings and parameters and see what your waves and echos are like. (via Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories)

10 Most Badass Geeks in Film and TV.

Remote Control Super Mario Brothers Song. Played on Bottles.

10 annoyingly brilliant office interiors. All my workplaces have tried to look as ratty as possible, so employees would never expect raises!

Tin Toy


Pixar, 1988.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Pied Piper of Hamelin


A filmed-for-television 1957 musical version of the tale, starring Van Johnson and Claude Rains

Information Links

Amid the study reviews and the musings on the state of academia, ScienceBlogs occasionally gives us some incredibly useful information. Like step-by-step instructions for How to Ship Your Brain.

The wonders of kudzu. “The plant that ate the South” could be put to a lot of uses, if we didn’t hate it so.

The Geyser Riders. Digging a subway under a river is a dangerous job; you never know when you’ll be blown through rock, river, and atmosphere.

Eight Questions About the Human Body That Kids Always Ask. You prepare yourself for your children to ask about the facts of life, but how about the things you never thought about the answer to?

Nicholas White was trapped in an elevator in New York City’s McGraw-Hill building for forty-one hours. Watch a time-lapse video of his ordeal, as captured by a security camera.

The Stupidest Business Decisions in History. None of these decision makers are going to starve, but they could have been much richer.

Some things you probably didn't know about America's most badass president: Theodore Roosevelt.

12 Tips to Improve the Quality of Your Free Time. Because the value of your free time is already very high.

13-year-old Corrects NASA's Asteroid Figures.

How to store individual portions of food in freezer bags. This link has nothing to do with the first link in this post.

Old Folks Having Fun


I think I broke a hip just watching this! (via Bits and Pieces)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

D.C. Woman Arrested for Asking Police the 'Wrong' Question

A D.C. woman was arrested over the weekend when she and a group of about 20 gathered at midnight for a sort of silent dancing iPod flash mob at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial to celebrate the birthday of their favorite founding father. When U.S. Park Police told her to leave, she asked what she was doing wrong. They arrested her. With video.

read more | digg story

10 Famous (or Notorious) Ducks


Children don’t watch nearly as much TV as I did at their age. I asked my daughter if she knew any famous ducks. She could only think of The Ugly Duckling! But our pop culture landscape bears the tracks of an entire flock of famous ducks.

read more | digg story

Fun and Funny Links

How to Make an Anatomically Correct Brain Cake. You may laugh, but what could be better for a graduation party?

A collection of cute cat videos, in which they play with women's breasts.

In this quiz, you are given a YouTube comment, and you try to guess which video it was posted to. No, of course they don’t make a sense. That’s what’s so fun! Oh yeah, you can then reload it and get a different set of comments. (via b3ta)

Thou Shalt Love Boobs, Because The Bible Tells Us So. (via Gorilla Mask)

Top 10 Most Tasty Cuisines in the World. You may argue about the order, but just reading the list made me hungry!

A dog suffers from cervical fractures and spinal cord trauma. His name is Lucky. Yes, it’s an old joke, but it’s also the true story of a dog you’ll cheer for.

The Weird Things People Eat Around the World.

Jennie Breeden of TheDevilsPanties.com takes her leaf blower to Dragon con every year and goes kilt hunting. The result is the Men In Kilts with leaf blower 2008 Calender. Get yours today!

A photo of variable star V838 Monocerotis was taken by the Hubble telescope in 2002. At the time, no one realized how much it looked like the Firefox logo, since the browser wasn’t even named that until 2004. (via the Presurfer)

The world’s cutest hedgehog has a snack. If you see one cuter, let me know.

Taxman


Be sure you have your taxes filed today!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cast A Deadly Spell


From Wikipedia:Cast a Deadly Spell (1991) is a Horror/Detective HBO movie with Fred Ward, Julianne Moore and Clancy Brown. Ward stars as 1940's hardboiled private detective Phillip Lovecraft, in fictional universe in which magic is real, monsters and mythical beasts stalk the back alleys, zombies are used as cheap labor, and everyone -- except Lovecraft -- uses magic every day. Yet, cars, telephones and other modern technology also exist in this world.

The movie is very much an homage to the works of H. P. Lovecraft. Though not based on any one particular story by Lovecraft, the film features many Lovecraftian tropes, and can be considered to take place against the unified backdrop which has come to be known as the Cthulhu Mythos. Frequent references are made to the Necronomicon, the Old Ones, and Yog Sothoth throughout the film.

(via Ectoplasmosis)

Good Reads

It takes a while for a great idea to go from imagination to actual use in the real world, but it happens a lot! Fictional gadgets from Iron Man, The Terminator, and Dick Tracy made real were in the news just this past week.

Embarrassing Moments in Engineering (and what they taught us).

First Frog Without Lungs Found. This Indonesian frog gets the oxygen it needs directly through its skin!

Cognitive dissonance and the Monty Hall Problem. Is there a fatal flaw behind door number one?

Biomimetics, applying designs from nature to solve problems in engineering, materials science, medicine, and other fields. Mother Nature has already done extensive real-world testing.

What if we could set up a system where spacecraft were in almost perpetual motion orbiting between Earth and Mars, using each planet’s gravity to sling it toward the other? We could send crews and supplies to Mars using a fraction of the fuel of a conventional mission.

How Asian doctors became white: a lesson on manipulating statistics. If the numbers don’t support your study on the underrepresentation of minorities, just redefine “minority”.

How to Shop Green. There’s a big difference between truly environmentally-friendly products and those who indulge in “greenwashing”, so you have to do your homework.

The dangers of smoking marijuana include the nasty things dealers add to increase the weight. A German hospital treated 29 cases of lead poisoning traced to pot.

Brain Scanners Can See Your Decisions Before You Make Them. Does one’s subconscious override free will? Cue the Twilight Zone music.

An Engineer's Guide to Cats



Two engineers try to make sense of three cats. The result is pretty much what you’d expect. Do not miss the Cat Yodeling segment!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mathematicious



Mathematicious is a parody of Fergalicious by Fergie. I find this more interesting.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington


One of my favorites! From Wikipedia:
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a 1939 drama directed by Frank Capra about American government. Nominated for 11 Academy Awards upon its release (it won Best Screenplay), the film made James Stewart a major movie star. It also starred Jean Arthur and Claude Rains, as well as a bevy of well-known supporting actors, among them Edward Arnold, Guy Kibbee, Charles Lane, and Thomas Mitchell. It was written by Lewis R. Foster and Sidney Buchman, based on Foster's novel, The Gentleman from Montana.

The governor of an unnamed state, Hubert "Happy" Hopper (Guy Kibbee), has to pick a replacement to fill the unexpired term of a deceased Senator. His corrupt political boss, Jim Taylor (Edward Arnold), pressures Hopper to choose his handpicked stooge, while popular committees want a reformer. The governor's children want him to select Jefferson Smith (James Stewart), the head of the Boy Rangers.

Investigation Birthday Celebration

springJames Spring wanted to help someone in some way to celebrate his 40th birthday. He read about a case of a couple wanted for murder who may have gone to Baja, Mexico, an area he was intimately familiar with. The couple had their two children with them, although they did not have legal custody of six-year-old Viana.

"I took off Sunday morning," Spring said. "I found them in a day and a half."

After contacting US Marshalls, it took some time to arrange the paperwork to have the couple arrested and brought back to the US. Mexican police raided the family’s house late Monday afternoon, and Viana and her infant sister were delivered to their grandparents in San Jose on Tuesday night. The parents, Richard Carelli and Michelle Pinkerton are accused of murdering a roommate and leaving his decomposing body in their van.


Viana with her grandmother and cousin upon reunion.


















Spring said he's accomplished what he set out to do and has no plans to meet the girls' relatives in Soquel or produce a first-person account of his adventure. He turns 40 on April 29.


(via Fark)

Links for Fun

The 5 Most Ill-Advised Dating Sites on the Web. Avoid these, even if you are desperate for a date.

How well you you know pop culture robots? Take the Name That Robot quiz! I didn’t do so well. You can probably beat my score of 63%. (via the Presurfer)

The Dangers of Being a Television News Reporter. Three minutes that will make you feel better about dropping out of j-school.

Red Panda Attack! If they weren’t so rare, everyone would want one.

Why Superman will Always Suck.

Coffins to die for. When you absolutely, positively must have the most fashionable funeral ever.

When good bananas go bad. Just like that dream where you’re chased by a giant banana... what? Is that just me?

A gallery of 50 wonderful signs badly translated into English. Be careful not to be injured all the time, please.

The 50 Greatest Comedy Sketches of All Time. You might want to bookmark this, because it could take days to enjoy it all.

Went with the Wind

A classic from The Carol Burnette Show. Part one:


And part two.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

6 Restless Corpses: Heads of State Edition


The reason for exhuming, mummifying, or otherwise displaying the deceased bodies of heads of state is to either 1. continue to pay your respects, or 2. to make sure they are really dead, depending on your end of the political spectrum. Third in a series on Restless Corpses.

read more | digg story

Information Links

5 Incredible Buildings Made of Ice. Found in five different countries. No air conditioning needed.

Take a look at what Antarctica would look like without all that ice. A glimpse into the future of global warming?

How "Slaughterhouse Five" was born. Kurt Vonnegut’s posthumous autobiography is as fascinating as any of his fiction.

A new study shows that just having a husband creates an extra seven hours of housework a week for women. Duh.

How Misguided Motivation Can Prevent You from Achieving Excellence.

The story of how Eric Drew battled cancer and identity theft at the same time will make you count your blessings. Then there’s a surprise twist at the end.

Texans Build World’s Most Powerful Laser. It’s so powerful for such a short period of time that they had to make up new words like “petawatts” and “femtoseconds” to describe it.

How Deja Vu Works. Or, to be honest, several theories of how it might happen.

How To (And Not To) Pick A DVD With Your Girlfriend. It’s called the 5-1 method, and it might just work when I try to get the kids to watch something different.

Design your own temporary tattoos and make them with your inkjet printer! Use your computer to make the design and print on specialty tattoo paper. Great for children’s parties or a short-term relationship.

Self Image



From Creature Comforts. It just gets funnier as it goes. The last line is the best! (via Mookie)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Kid


From Wikipedia:

The Kid is a 1921 Charlie Chaplin film. It featured Jackie Coogan as his adopted son and sidekick. It was a huge success, and was the second-highest grossing film in 1921, behind The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

The Kid is about a Tramp (Chaplin) that finds an abandoned baby in an alley and takes care of him. As the baby gets older, they are perfect together and they form little schemes to scam people in order to survive.

The Kid is notable as being the first feature length comedy film to effectively combine comedy and drama, as one of the opening titles says: "A picture with a smile, and perhaps a tear..." The most famous and enduring sequence in the film is the Tramp's desperate rooftop pursuit of the welfare agents who have taken the child, and their emotional reunion. Audiences of the time were deeply affected by the film and the relationship of the Kid with the much-loved Tramp character, from whom they had not previously seen such emotional depth.

Fun Links

15 Weird Wedding Cake Toppers. (via Neatorama)

Liquor Store Archaeology. A scavenger hunt of sorts for the strangest drinks turns up peanut-flavored liqueur, Armenian brandy, and and even rarer finds.

The Ten Worst Job Interview Questions Ever. Complete with flippant answers for those who decide they don’t need that job.

When most people experiment with recreational drugs, they are breaking the law. When well known research labs experiment with marijuana and LSD, they get published.

The game is called You Have to Burn the Rope. The song at the end is your reward. (via Metafilter)

This set of finger puppets includes Sigmund Freud, his daughter Anna Freud, Carl Jung, and an analysist’s couch. The box they come in can be used as a puppet theater. (via Everlasting Blort)

Improv Everywhere invaded a Little League baseball game played by unsuspecting ten-year-olds. They brought a cheering section, a Jumbotron, announcers, and a blimp!

The Whitney Music Box combines music and mathematics. And it’s a lot of fun, too!

The most chauvinistic man alive.

Facebook users plot global carrot rampage. If you rhink this is a great idea, you can join the group. (Thanks, Bill!)

YesButYesButYes has a New Look!


Ya’ll go by YesButNoButYes and see!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Ninja Dragon


1986 martial arts movie. More at iMDB.

8 Very Different Weddings to Remember


You can dress in white and have a traditional church wedding with rice, candles, and flowers, if that’s what you want. But don’t expect anyone outside the family to remember it years from now. Or you can make it a daringly different production that no one will ever forget. Like these people.

read more | digg story

Good Reads and Information

The new hi-tech racing swimsuits aren’t what you’d call attractive, but they are helping swimmers set records. The LZR Racer was developed with help from NASA.

The Incredible Power of Contentment. Happiness should not be a goal to work toward, but an everyday habit.

The contagion of banality. Another reason Wal*Mart is killing us.

On second look, Orbit Wheel Skates don’t seen like much fun.

9 things to stop worrying about right now. Because, you know, worrying will make your hair turn gray. (via the Presurfer)

In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Till They Drop. It’s strange to see my life described so well in the New York Times.

The origin of the Olympic torch relay. It’s neither as old nor as benign as you might have thought.

The Nova special The Elegant Universe explains why string theory might hold the key to unifying the four forces of nature. The three hours of video is broken down into 4-10 minute segments linked on one page. (via Dark Roasted Blend)

6 Quirks of Ownership: How Possessions Bend Our Perceptions.
People who want to sell something tend to set the price far above what others think it’s worth. That’s human nature, but it isn’t just greed.

A new study shows taking financial risks stimulates the same areas of the brain that sex does. That explains Las Vegas once and for all.

Bill Nye and Jet Guy


(via Everlasting Blort)

Monday, April 07, 2008

Stupid Game Show Answers



They may be stupid, but they are unbelievably lucky answers. (via Bits and Pieces)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Adorable, Cute, Sappy, Darling, and Aaawww



I tried my best to resist, but this kitten forced me to post its video. Beware, it’s three minutes of overwhelming cuteness.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Fun Links

Translating important information into English is not easy. Especially when no one involved is the least bit fluent in English.

WhizBiz. This ad is too funny!

Geology has a lot of fun and colorful jargon. Some think the terms should be trimmed back, but one Scienceblogger wants to add more poetic terms.

Caught in bed. Read the comments, too. (via Zube Girl)

The Cleveland Indians found the playing field covered with snow on opening day 2007. Grounds crews went to work, and so did Dale Omori with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, who took this time-lapse video. (via Metafilter)

Videos of people eating bugs.

The best name for anyone ever.

OMG Lists details 7 Weird Superheros Who Won't Ever Hit the Silver Screen (But Should). Would you believe Arm-Fall-Off-Boy, whose superpower is that he can pull one arm off withthe other? Or the Chlorophyll Kid, who can stimulate plants to grow fast?

Here’s another weird one. A Night of Crime Fighting With ¡¡¡Tu Pacana Virica!!!

Personal Soundtrack Shirt. Because you need Yakety Sax available when a mugger is chasing you.

The Employee Song


(via YesButNoButYes)

Friday, April 04, 2008

Yellow Submarine



From Wikipedia:
Yellow Submarine is a 1968 animated feature film based on the music of The Beatles. It is also the title for the soundtrack album to the feature film, released as part of The Beatles' music catalogue. The film was directed by Canadian-born animation producer George Dunning, and produced by United Artists and King Features Syndicate. The Beatles themselves appear only in the closing scene of the film, with the Beatles characters in the film voiced by other actors.

Wee Beasties


















The recent video of a velvet worm may have given you the creeps, but you’ll love the tiny whimsical paintings of Nathan Mazur!

Wee Beasties is an exhibit of 50 miniature paintings (2” by 2.75”) of insects, worms, and other creepy crawlies. They depict everything from the common cockroach, to the cryptic water bear, all in the artist’s seemingly innocent, saccharine-colored, cartoon style.

The velvet worm is on the left. To the right is (you guessed it) a lightning bug. Most of the miniatures are sold, but you can see them all in Mazur’s online gallery.

Read and Learn Something

Lenore Skenazy writes about her son’s first solo subway and bus trip in the New York Sun. He had been preparing for the chance, and knew how to read a subway map. The 9-year-old made it home just fine, but half the people who heard about it thought it was too dangerous. Neatorama readers have a variety of opinions on this.

Astrologer Isaac Bickerstaff published an almanac predicting the events of the year 1708, including the death of rival astrologer John Partridge on March 29th. On April first, news of Partridge’s death was all over London, and he spent the rest of his life trying to live down the hoax.

Social Versus Financial Thinking. People often work harder to help a friend than for monetary rewards, but only as long as you don’t confuse the two.

Design Proposals for vertical urban agricultural buildings. Someday, “locally grown” might mean right there on your block!

The Ancient Mechanics and How They Thought. Real-world problem solving is much older than the literature that explains it.

Tooth Regeneration May Replace Drill-and-Fill. It may be ten years from reality, but the question is, how much will it hurt?

An animation from the BBC reveals the 4,500 years of history behind Stonehenge. However, it does not show the giants who built it.

Scientists think they've found evidence of the oldest known creatures to engage in sexual reproduction. I’ll skip the obvious punchlines and reveal they were spongelike invertebrates who lived 565 million year ago.

Scientists discover a newborn planet! Well, a few hundred years old is pretty young in astronomical terms.

New York City's GreeNYC campaign has a logo that looks like an apple. But Apple Inc. says it infringes on their trademark.

Helter Skelter X


Libertarian presidential candidate Mike Gravel resurrecting the war protest song. If the images weren’t so horrific, I’d call it “groovy”.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Fafblog Returns!



After a two-year unexplained absence, Fafblog is back! One post on April first does not a comeback make, but a second post convinced me. New design, too. Check out Fafblog.

Fun Links

What do you make of this picture? Please leave captions here.

6 Creepy Mail Order Bride Sites.

Beer is good.

Your Mom wasn’t your Dad’s first.

How to Speak Hip. (via Everlasting Blort)

The Circle of Life.

The new dance craze in Brazil: Dança do Quadrado.

The Elephant Song by Eric Herman is cute and clever. Makes me want to be five years old again!

Al Jaffee’s Fold-ins for Mad magazine, past and present. He doesn’t use a computer, and he doesn’t even work with foldable materials!

The Geekiest LEGOs & Rubik Cubes. A gallery of toys for those with a lot of time and attention to detail.

Innovative Toilet Paper Dispensers


Even if you enjoyed the previous post on Innovative Toilet Paper, you know a major drawback to using toilet paper as a decorating idea is that it runs out. But you can impress guests with a one-time purchase by installing a very different toilet paper dispenser. And there are a lot of them to choose from!

read more | digg story

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For


From the movie Rattle and Hum. (Thanks, Carl!)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Lost World


From 1925. From Google video:
Explorer Professor Challenger is taking quite a beating in the London press thanks to his claim that living dinosaurs exist in the far reaches of the Amazon. Malone's paper funds an expedition to rescue Maple White, who has been marooned at the top of a high plateau. Joined by renowned hunter John Roxton, and others, the group goes to South America, where they do indeed find a plateau inhabited by pre-historic creatures, one of which they even manage to bring back to London with them.

Informative Links

The sad story of Nim Chimpsky, the chimp who thought he was human. He was raised with humans only, until the funding ran out.

How dead is dead enough? Modern medical advances have blurred the line between life and death, so the criteria for defining death is somewhat arbitrary.

Ganvie, Benin: The Venice Of Africa. The town on the lake was settled to protect residents from slavery, as local religious tradition forbade attacking anyone on the water.

Why You Shouldn't Invest in Your Company's Stock.

John Mayer gets personal about his blog.

Only 13 people alive have pulled more than 2% in a US presidential election and lost. It’s a crushing defeat, but they say they would do it again.

Dean Kamen designed a new prosthetic arm that’s so awesome they named it after Luke Skywalker. If the DARPA grant is renewed, it will go to clinical trials soon.

Cat Behavior Explained. A seriously interesting page.

Scientists at Newcastle University have created part-human, part-cow hybrid embryos for the first time in the UK. They were made from human skin cells and depleted bovine eggs for the purpose of extracting stem cells.

'They're here': The mechanism of poltergeist activity.