December 5, 2014

Weekend Miscellany

The Detectives’ Lunch Club

Word soon got out and detectives from all over the country flooded the office with requests. Before long, the Vidocq Society upped its meeting schedule from four times a year to nine. Today, the 82 chartered members hail from all areas of the crime-solving trade. There are DNA specialists, experts on cults, psychoanalysts, Naval Intelligence men, polygraphers, and long-retired FBI special agents. They convene every month, except July, August, and December—even veteran sleuths need a vacation—in the upper reaches of the Union League, a stately old building in the heart of Philadelphia. And at each meeting, over a lavish multi-course meal, they hear the details of a single unsolved case.

From DeMilked, 23 Breathtaking Ice and Snow Formations  like these Baikal Ice Emeralds

 Baikal Ice Emerald

An amazing video if you want to know  What Sound Looks Like

An Hungarian art historian was watching a Christmas movie with his daughter when what did he see but a long lost Hungarian masterpiece in the background in a scene of the movie Stuart Little.   Researcher spots Sleeping Lady with Black Vase by Robert Bereny being used as a prop in Hollywood children’s movie

 Stuart Little  Still

Pantone's Color of the Year 2015 - Marsala

 Marsalapantone2015-1

The Motions Of Kayaking, Canoeing, And Swimming Captured With LED Lights And Long Exposure

 Led-Light-Water-Motion-Exposure-Stephen-Orlando-14

7 Minutes on Queen Victoria

Photographer Elena Sumilova captures the bonds between children and their pets

 Children+Pets Elena Shumilova

Artist Sacha Goldberg delights with Portraits of Superheroes in Flemish Style

 Spiderman In Flemish Style

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:46 PM | Permalink

November 21, 2014

Weekend Miscellany: Quokkas, hilarious retrievers, unicorns and more

The Modern Supermarket is a Miracle  [M}ost Americans are but a handful of generations removed from subsistence farming. Our forebears watered the crops they planted in tiny plots of land with their own sweat; we stand in air-conditioned bazaars and pick from an endless array of produce—pears from Chile, and chilies from Mexico, and kiwis lovingly cultivated by actual Kiwis—and then complain about the Muzak.

Best video of the week.  On YouTube.  Hilarious Golden Retriever Really Wants To Race But.. First Things First.

Deer found with incredible single antler, a real life unicorn  This roe deer, shot in Slovenia at an advanced age, had a rare antler deformity that caused its two antlers to fuse together in a single, unicorn-like protrusion central bone that was  probably caused by an injury when its antlers first started growing.

 Unicorndeer Skelton

In Quartz We may be close to a world of limitless power from artificial leaves  Formed in 2010, JCAP is a $122 million federally funded initiative based at the California Institute of Technology. Its assignment was to develop a viable artificial photosynthesis device by 2015. The prototype had to be durable, be made from commonly available materials and convert sunlight to fuel at an efficiency of 10%….“Four years ago you would have said this would not be possible,”

Facts That Make You Smile
• Every year, hundreds of new trees are planted because squirrels forget where they bury their nuts.
• Cows get stressed when separated from their best friends.
• Otters hold hands when they sleep so they won't drift away from the group.
• This smiley animal, the size of cat, lives in Australia and is called a quokka.
 Quokka

Beautiful, Terrible Watercolors of a 19th-Century Whale Hunt, Found in a Ship's Logbook.  These watercolors, painted into the pages of the logbook of the ship Hector during a voyage it took between 1842-1845, were made by a seaman named James Moore Ritchie.

Charles Cooke takes a trip to the Canadian oil sands, a "wonder of the world" and reports Whence Keystone Comes  It's utterly fascinating.

Republished, a 1984 article: A Spreadsheet Way of Knowledge  A generation ago, a tool unleashed the power of business modeling — and created the entrepreneurial boom that has transformed our economy. 

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:28 AM | Permalink

November 1, 2014

Weekend Miscellany

Genocidal Napoleon was as barbaric as Hitler, historian claims

The Number That Explains Hong Kong’s Upheaval by David Feith
Off-color and packed with meaning, ‘689’ is a guide to the city’s present and future.

How an Oil Engineer Developed Autotune

Amazing Timelapse: Braces Straightening Teeth

10 Japanese Travel Tips for Visiting America

The Chemistry of the Colors of Blood.  There are four, red, blue, green and purple

Where trophy deer are bred to grow hyperreal racks.  Antler Farm 

“It’s not healthy for some of these deer to be carrying rocking chairs on top of their head,….experienced hunters say it’s easy to see that some of these deer have trouble keeping their heads up, with all the weight they’re carrying.

Wonderful Photographs from Mexico's Day of the Dead in Atlas Obscura

In Mexico, Day of Dead is more of a spiritual and religious festival,…the focus is on the altars and the millions, if not billions, of marigolds used to decorate them. The scent of the flowers is said to lure back the dead to visit Earth for this annual reunion with the living.

 Mexico Dayofdead
Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:31 PM | Permalink

September 27, 2014

John Malkovich transformed

John Malkovich transforms himself into Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein, Truman Capote, Ernest Hemingway, Alfred Hitchcock, The Joker, John Lennon, Salvador Dali, Bette Davis, Pablo Picasso, Che Guevera and others in an astonishing series of photographs by Sandro Miller. who said, 'I can suggest a mood or an idea and within moments, he literally morphs into the character right in front of my eyes.'

 Malkovich As Einstein

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:27 AM | Permalink

August 29, 2014

Mesmerizing

This time-lapse video of ships entering and leaving the Panama Canal is absolutely mesmerizing and I don't know why.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:46 AM | Permalink

July 23, 2014

Too good not to pass on

The Plague of Passwords. Senior trying to set a password

WINDOWS: Please enter your new password.

USER: cabbage

WINDOWS: Sorry, the password must be more than 8 characters.

USER: boiled cabbage

WINDOWS: Sorry, the password must contain 1 numerical character.

USER: 1 boiled cabbage

WINDOWS: Sorry, the password cannot have blank spaces.

USER: 50bloodyboiled cabbages

WINDOWS: Sorry, the password must contain at least one upper case character.

USER: 50BLOODYboiledcabbages

WINDOWS: Sorry, the password cannot use more than one upper case character consecutively.

USER: 50BloodyBoiledCabbagesShovedUpYourAssIfYouDon’tGiveMeAccessNow!

WINDOWS: Sorry, the password cannot contain punctuation.

USER: ReallyPissedOff50BloodyBoiledCabbagesShovedUpYourAssIfYouDontGiveMeAccessNow

WINDOWS: Sorry, that password is already in use.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:42 AM | Permalink

April 14, 2014

Getting a Visual Sense of Population Size

What interesting maps over at Neatorama

 Us States Distorted By-Population

and this one

 World-Map Population Same-As China

China has a population of 1.35 billion people. That's a lot of people crowded into the red area of the map above. Every other color also represents 1.35 billion people. So all of the Americas, western Europe and Australia are equal to the population of China.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:58 AM | Permalink

April 1, 2014

When kids imagine the adult world

These Kid Snippets are absolutely adorable.  Kids imagine a salesman and adults act it out.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:16 PM | Permalink

March 18, 2014

When the dog stays home alone

Don't miss this one about the dog who's not allowed on the bed.  It starts slow then takes off

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:14 AM | Permalink

March 17, 2014

Round up your mates for a Guinness

St Patrick's Day sheep dog round-up

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:17 PM | Permalink

February 6, 2014

Troubles in Sochi and the Priceless Response

From the WSJ, Russian Officials Fire Back at Olympic Critics

Rooms without doorknobs, locks or heat, dysfunctional toilets, surprise early-morning fire alarms and a Welcome Wagon of stray dogs: These are the initial images of the 2014 Winter Olympics that foreign journalists have blasted around the world from their officially assigned hotels—and the wave of criticism has rankled Russian officials.

So this is what Dmitry Kozak, the deputy prime minister responsible for the Olympic preparations had to say:

"We have surveillance video from the hotels that shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at the wall and then leave the room for the whole day," he said. An aide then pulled a reporter away before Mr. Kozak could be questioned further on surveillance in hotel rooms. "We're doing a tour of the media center," the aide said.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:14 PM | Permalink

January 24, 2014

In Other Beer News

Tomb of Ancient Egyptian beer brewer is opened by archaeologists for the first time in 3,200 years

Archaeologists have discovered the tomb of a leading Ancient Egyptian beer brewer.  The tomb of Khonso Em Heb, who lived 3,200 years ago, was discovered by a Japanese team and has been described as 'one of the most important discoveries' made at the Thebes necropolic site in the city of Luxor.  Egypt's antiquities minister Mohamed Ibrahim described Khonso Em Heb as the chief ‘maker of beer for gods of the dead’ who was also the head of a warehouse.

Firefighter Puts Out Fire with Beer

Capt. Craig Moreau, a firefighter in Houston, Texas, was driving from Austin to Houston on Highway 71 when he spotted a tractor trailer by the side of the road. One of its wheels was on fire. He stopped and found that the brakes had caught on fire. He and the driver fought the fire with a small fire extinguisher that Capt. Moreau kept in his car, but it wasn't enough:

"I crawled underneath and thought we'd got it out but it flared back up," said Moreau, who was off duty at the time. "So I said to the driver, 'what have you got in here?'"

"It's beer!  It's all beer," the driver said of his cargo of Coor Banquet beer.

So the two men opened up the trailer. They shook cans of beer and sprayed them at the fire. It worked! They put out the fire. But their victory came at a heavy cost.

College offers a degree in beer

Blue Ridge Community College in North Carolina will instead teach people how to make alcoholic beverages at a professional level. The college anticipates that the state government will approve of its associate of applied science degree in brewing, distillation and fermenting before the program launches this fall.

Just a reminder:  Beer Is a Rich Source of Silicon and May Help Prevent Osteoporosis

The upside of the snow and the cold.

 Big Chill Beer-1

 Beer-On-Sale

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:10 PM | Permalink

January 18, 2014

Worthwhile Links for the Weekend

The fairy tale Snow White and the Seven Dwards was based on  a cause célèbre that took place in royal circles. It involves star-crossed lovers, child labor and death by poison.

Winston Churchill had a tattoo and so did his wife.  Just some of the 14 historical figures who you would never guess had tattoos

20 Kids Who Are Totally Winning at the Game Of Hide And Seek

Spectacular Norway Northern Lights - watch it on YouTube

Stay-at-Home Dad Depicts His Life with Hysterical Post-It Notes Left Around the House

Jonathan Rauch, a self-confessed introvert, discusses the habits and needs of a little-understood group in  Caring for Your Introvert

Rino Stefano Taglaferro brings classic paintings to life in Beauty at Vimeo

Heather MacDonald The Humanities and Us  Don’t listen to today’s narcissistic academics—the West’s cultural inheritance is indispensable.

Steve Jobs’ Doctor Wants to Teach You the Formula for Long Life

Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:21 AM | Permalink

November 8, 2013

"30,000 pigs"

Best of the best newspaper corrections from the New Zealand Listener

“Last Sunday, The Herald erroneously reported that original Dolphin Johnny Holmes had been an insurance salesman in Raleigh, NC, that he had won the New York lottery in 1982 and lost the money in a land swindle, that he had been charged with vehicular homicide but acquitted because his mother said she drove the car, and that he stated that the funniest thing he ever saw was Flipper spouting water on George Wilson. Each of these items was erroneous material published inadvertently. He was not an insurance salesman in Raleigh, did not win the lottery, neither he nor his mother was charged or involved in any way with a vehicular homicide, and he made no comment about Flipper or George Wilson. The Herald regrets the errors.”
Miami Herald, 1986

“There was an error printed in a story titled ‘Pigs float down the Dawson’ on Page 11 of yesterday’s Bully. The story, by reporter Daniel Burdon, said ‘more than 30,000 pigs were floating down the Dawson River’. What Baralaba piggery owner Sid Everingham actually said was ’30 sows and pigs’, not ’30,000 pigs’. The Morning Bulletin would like to apologise for this error, which was also reprinted in today’s Rural Weekly CQ before the mistake was known.”
Morning Bulletin, Australia

1. “An Oct. 14 Style article about access to the prison camp for terrorism suspects at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, incorrectly referred to Navy Capt. Robert Durand as ‘thickset’. He should have been described as muscular.”
Washington Post, 2013

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:01 AM | Permalink

October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

-Pumpkin-Festival- Keene N.H. Keene, N.H. Pumpkin  holds the granddaddy of all pumpkin festivals and the world's record for most jack-o-lanterns lit at one time, 29,762 last year.

-Pumpkin2 by Ray Villafane, renowned pumpkin sculptor

-Pumpkin3 Just one of Martha Stewart's 64 ideas for pumpkins

-Pumpkin5-Pigtown-Design  Pigtown Design at 28 Geeky Pumpkins

-Pumpkin6 No 13 at Best Halloween Pumpkin Carvings

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:15 PM | Permalink

October 29, 2013

Boy wanders on stage to hang out with Pope Francis

This is so endearing.  The Pope is giving a speech before  thousands of people  when a little boy runs up to him and won't leave.    The Pope finally gets him to sit in the papal chair so he can continue his speech.    Buzzfeed has the photos and some gifs. 

 Pope Francis Wandering Boy

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:11 PM | Permalink

October 15, 2013

Miscellany: Elephants, receipts, Roman Bathhouse, cell phones and Louis C.K.

Why do stores give receipts? Mostly so employees can't steal.

Elephants Know What It Means to Point to Something, No Training Required.  Smarter than apes.

They also love brides.  A bride's big day became even more memorable when an elephant invaded the wedding ceremony and put her head in its mouth.

After the Australian woman tied the knot in the Thai resort of Phuket, she walked up to the exotic uninvited guest.
But when she was a few feet away, the three-year-old Indian elephant wrapped its trunk around her and pulled her towards its mouth.

 Bride+Elephant

And it did not do the bride - who had travelled from Melbourne for her wedding - any damage other than a dose of bad breath, as the elephant soon let her go.

A Roman Bathhouse Still in Use after 2,000 Years

 Roman-Bathhouse In Algeria

Single males between the ages of 18 and 55 only change their sheets an average of four times a year.

Women, on average, change their sheets every week.

How often do you check your phone? The average person does it 110 times a DAY

People look at their phones the most between peak hours of 5pm and 8pm.  During these hours, 75% of users are actively using their devices
Average number of times a user checks their phone is nine times an hour.  This increases to once every six seconds for 'highest frequency users'

Why Louis C.K. won't give his daughters cellphones

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:41 AM | Permalink

October 13, 2013

"Look in your underwear, Grandpa,"

How Children See Their Grandparents

A grandmother was telling her little granddaughter what her own childhood was like. "We used to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing made from a tire; it hung from a tree in our front yard. We rode our pony. We picked  wild raspberries in the woods" The little girl was wide-eyed, taking this all in. At last she said, "I sure wish I'd gotten to know you sooner!"
---
I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided  to test her. I would point out something and ask what color it was. She would tell me and was always correct. It was fun for me, so I continued.  At last, she headed for the door, saying, "Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these colors yourself!"
---
When my grandson Billy and I entered our vacation cabin, we kept the lights off until we were inside to keep from attracting pesky insects. Still, a few fireflies followed us in. Noticing them before I did, Billy  whispered, "It's no use Grandpa. Now the mosquitoes are coming after us with flashlights."

--
When my grandson asked me how old I was, I teasingly replied, "I'm not sure." "Look in your underwear, Grandpa," he advised "Mine says I'm 4 to 6."
--
  Children's Logic: "Give me a sentence about a public servant," said a teacher. The small boy wrote: "The fireman came down the ladder pregnant."  The teacher took the lad aside to correct him.    "Don't you know what pregnant means?" she asked."Sure," said the young boy confidently. 'It means carrying a child."
--
A grandfather was delivering his grandchildren to their home one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog. The children started discussing the dog's duties. "They use him to keep crowds back," said one child. "No,"  said another.
"He's just for good luck." A third child brought the argument to a close."They use the dogs," she said firmly, "to find the fire hydrants."
--
A 6-year-old was asked where his grandma lived. "Oh," he said, "she lives at the airport, and when we want her, we just go get her. Then, when we're done having her visit, we take her back to the airport."
Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:28 PM | Permalink

July 13, 2013

The Amazing Lyre Bird

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:22 PM | Permalink

June 7, 2013

Masters of Disguise

 Toad-Animal-Camouflage-12

 Owl-Animal-Camouflage

Amazing examples of animal camouflage

Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:00 PM | Permalink

May 17, 2013

The First Taste

Charming.  I feel the same thing about Vegemite.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:58 AM | Permalink

April 12, 2013

Angel with a cell phone and a number

 Angel-Cellphone Dutch-Church

A Dutch Angel's Cellphone Number Is in Demand The New York Times

’S HERTOGENBOSCH, the Netherlands — High on the cathedral (ed. St John the Evangelist) in this trim Dutch town, amid a phalanx of stone statues of local noblemen, crusaders, saints and angels, one figure stands out. Smiling faintly, with lowered eyelids, one of the angels wears jeans, has a laptop bag slung over one shoulder and is chatting on a cellphone. The angel gets about 30 calls a day on the phone.
--
That is because, shortly after the statue was unveiled last April, a local couple, the parents of two children, set up a number so people could call the angel. Business cards soon appeared in pubs, restaurants and hotels with a picture of the angel and the number. So successful was the line that the couple opened a Twitter account, @ut_engelke, managed by the husband, which now has about 2,700 followers.

“The telephone is ringing all day,” said the wife, who like her husband agreed to meet a reporter on the condition that they not be identified. “It was a fairy tale,” she said over beer and snacks. “Now, it’s real.” To identify them, she said, would end it.

What began as a joke continues because the cellphone number has become something of a hot line, dialed by people of all ages, some in need of help, others just because they are lonely.

At the holidays, the calls became so frequent and so pressing that the couple was tempted to give up. “Between Christmas and New Year’s, that was an emotional time frame, it was so heartbreaking,” she said. A small girl called begging the angel to pray for a grandmother who had just died; a woman asked help to celebrate her first Christmas without her parents. A widow sought prayers for her dead children.
--
The statue of the Little Angel arose out of a 1997 competition, won by the Dutch sculptor Ton Mooy, to create 40 statues, including 14 angels, to replace those on the cathedral that time and pollution had ruined. The Little Angel was the only unconventional one.

“You can make a phony Gothic statue,” Mr. Mooy, 63, said in his studio in Amersfoort, about an hour north of here. “That’s not what I wanted. It had to fit in with what was always on the church, namely, refinement, emotion. Angels are there to guide, to protect people, they get messages from above. How do you show that? With a cellphone.”

“I tell kids, ‘There’s one button on that cellphone,’ ” he said with a chuckle — a direct line to heaven. “So she doesn’t get naughty, calling other angels.

The cathedral, which dates to 1220, has a centuries-old tradition of unusual, sometimes bawdy, art. One medieval statue is of a bricklayer bending over and baring his bottom. Some is tragic. A stained glass window over the main entrance depicts the apocalypse with a panel showing the Sept. 11 attack on the twin towers.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:11 PM | Permalink

April 2, 2013

Some Interesting Long Reads for the Weekend

In the London Telegraph, From bus driver to 'King Bazza', the Chepstow man revered as monarch in Indian village

After a varied career as a teacher, a bus driver, and a self-confessed “public school idiot”, the last thing Barry Watson expected was to ascend to royalty. But in a tiny Indian village, he is revered as a king.

Laboratory chimpanzees see sky for first time

Footage of laboratory-raised chimpanzees venturing outside for the first time has emerged, showing the primates in amazement at their new surroundings.

A Poet at the French Laundry  Jeff Gordinier looks at his relationship with food.

In the Atlantic A Brief History of Applause that Megan Garbermar calls the 'Big Data' of the Ancient World

In the National Geographic, We Didn’t Domesticate Dogs. They Domesticated Us.  Scientists argue that friendly wolves sought out humans.

In Psychology Today, The Power of Touch  Touch is the first sense we acquire and the secret weapon in many a successful relationship.

A Leap of Faith From Russia, a Flying Church and Parachuting Priests

In the Atlantic The Modern Female Eunuch    Historically, low levels of testosterone seemed to make eunuchs ideal negotiators. Their highly specialized and respected roles are now being filled by women.

Is Giving the Secret to Getting Ahead? New York Times Magazine

Why the Germans are far-sighted, Italians impatient and French depressive - according to studies

Germans are serious, Italians are hot-headed and the French are inexplicably miserable, economists have suggested.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:43 PM | Permalink

March 5, 2013

Interesting Links

Over the weekend, I caught up on some interesting stories that you might find interesting.

Students prefer print to e-textbooks

What’s most revealing about this study is that, like earlier research, it suggests that students’ preference for printed textbooks is reflects the real pedagogical advantages they experience in using the format: fewer distractions, deeper engagement, better comprehension and retention, and greater flexibility to accommodating idiosyncratic study habits.

The Double Agent Who Infiltrated Al Qaeda

Even Obama knew the name of the Danish double agent who never got his due for helping lead U.S. drones to Anwar al-Awlaki. Now he's telling his own story.

More Good News About The 'Scientific Accident That May Change The World'

Ric Kamen's lab at UCLA had found a way to make a non-toxic, highly efficient energy storage medium out of pure carbon using absurdly simple technology. Today, we can report that the same team may well have found a way to make that process scale up to mass-production levels.

Looking back: the long reach of time at Neoneocon

My mother was raised by four people, two of whom had been born during the early 1850s. All four of them had held and reassured my mother when those booming noises had announced the end of the Great War in that scene that constituted her first memory. So, although my mother became a modern woman who smoked cigarettes, drove a car, went to college, and voted as soon as she turned twenty-one (in that order, I believe), two of the people closest to her in her youth remembered the Civil War vividly.
---
But my father’s family also had an exceptionally long reach back in time. My paternal grandfather was born around 1860 and died in the 1920s. But he was the youngest of twelve children, the eldest of whom was a sister of his born in the year 1838.

Please let that sink in for a moment: my own grandfather’s sister was born in 1838. Not only that, but she lived to be over 100 years old and dance at my parents’ wedding. She appears in photos of the occasion, a small figure wearing a black headscarf, almost impossibly old and wrinkled but smiling.

Norwegian TV show about a fireplace sparks nationwide debate after furious viewers say wood was stacked with bark facing 'the wrong way'

But in Norway, a television program on the subject of wood has become quite the burning issue, after splitting the country straight down the middle on how it should be stacked.

Nearly a million people, 20 per cent of the Norwegian population, tuned in to the program when it was aired during prime time on Friday night. But the angry responses started almost as soon as it had begun.

19 Mindblowing Historical Doppelgangers

 Paul-Revere Jack Black
 Caesar-Augustus Vladimir Putin
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:30 AM | Permalink

March 4, 2013

Friday fun a few days late

I meant to post these on Friday but I got distracted

A most ingenious advertising campaign  Click and see how you do.  I completely failed.

Colgate has created a very ingenious advertising campaign to promote their dental floss.

The Mystery of Magenta and How your Eyes Perceive Colors

Why doesn’t magenta appear in the rainbow? The answer lies not in physics but in biology.

Science presenter Steve Mould demonstrates the strange phenomenon of colour mixing, in which not everything is as it seems. The cone cells within our eyes are responsible for the colours we see, but are only sensitive to Red, Green and Blue light. So how are we able to see so many colours when we can only directly detect three and how do our brains see the colour magenta which doesn’t have a wavelength?

The Namibians who STILL dress like their colonial masters: Tribe clings to 19th century dress 'to protest against the Germans who butchered them'

-Herero-Women German-Dress
Anthropologists believe the dress of the Herero tribe is a fascinating subversion of their former rulers' fashion
It harks back to how the tribe survived effort by German colonialists to wipe them from the face of the earth

Celebrities edited into classic paintings  Take some time to look at these 80 images.  They're wonderful

 Celebrities-In-Classic-Paintings-Sean-Connery

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:24 PM | Permalink

February 10, 2013

A genius at impressions

Kevin Spacey is not just a wonderful actor, he's also a genius at impressions. 

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:31 PM | Permalink

January 28, 2013

Where no animals are harmed

From a friend who caught this in a San Francisco newspaper.

 Killed Vs Unkilled Beef

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:44 PM | Permalink

January 15, 2013

Priceless

Miracle of the Age From the sidelines at American Digest

  Arguewithstrangers

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:32 PM | Permalink

December 11, 2012

Smorgasbord of delightful links

"Aid is just a stop-gap. Commerce [and] entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid." said U2's Bono in a speech at Georgetown.

I hope he makes a mint.  Pet owner invents a doggie doorbell after his pooch kept scratching door to be let outside

Santa lulls a fussy newborn back to sleep

 Santa's Baby


THEY RUN NEW YORK

It seemed like nobody in New York had gasoline during Sandy, but all the union men in Brooklyn mysteriously had three full cans in their garage. If you want tickets to a sold-out show or you want to see a closed exhibit at the Met, it’s not a problem. They drink for free, eat for free, and renovate their homes with supplies stolen from a building site. In a multicultural metropolis revolving around money, this strange sect has maintained a century-old monoculture that exists under the radar and thrives on the barter system. It seems archaic when you first encounter it, but a quick glance at where America is headed makes it clear the Brooklyn way is our future. So instead of putting them on some nostalgic pedestal, go meet them. You could learn a lot from dese fuggin’ idiots.

In 2010 I posted what Theodore Dalyrmple wrote about Political Correctness and I post again because it bears repeating

Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.

Another astonishing medical breakthrough Turning urine into brain cells. 

A new method for generating brain cells from urine samples could be useful for research into neurodegenerative diseases and for screening for new drugs.

It was a babysitting experience that turned out into a fatal attraction

 Monkey In Ikea-1

Noah's Ark Great Flood may have happened, says Robert Ballard, the underwater archaeologist who found the Titanic.

In an interview with ABC News's Christiane Amanpour, Mr Ballard explains that he investigated a theory proposed by two scientists from Columbia University that there was a massive flood in the Black Sea region. They believe that the Black Sea was once an isolated freshwater lake surrounded by farmland until it was flooded by a torrent of water.

"We went in there to look for the flood," he told ABC News. "Not just a slow moving, advancing rise of sea level, but a really big flood that then stayed … The land that went under stayed under."

Although they did not find the Ark, they found an ancient shoreline which Mr Ballard believes is proof such an event did take place. He believes that, by using carbon dating shells found along the shoreline, it took place around 5,000 BC.

"It probably was a bad day," he said. "At some magic moment, it broke through and flooded this place violently, and a lot of real estate, 150,000 square kilometers of land, went under."

Why compete with your neighbor's Christmas lights?

 Ditto Lights

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:53 PM | Permalink

December 6, 2012

Picture of the week

 1 Dog Or Two Carrying Gift

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:59 PM | Permalink

November 19, 2012

A grab bag of interesting stuff

The inventor of the canning process, Nicholas Appert, was hailed as having “made the seasons stand still.”

He also won a prestigious and very lucrative prize the French military offered in 1795 for a safe way to preserve food that could easily be transported.    Napoleon, who famously said "An army marches on its stomach", knew how starvation and sickness could weaken an army.  Only a food preservation breakthrough would give him and his troops the needed edge over the Austrian, Dutch, English and Spanish armies

Invention of the canning process was food revolution           History of military nutrition in the United States

Best title ever for a book on prayer,  Help, Thanks, Wow by Annie LaMott.  She talks about it here

Life imitating art.  Jonathan Trappe takes to the skies in a house by tying hundreds of balloons to it… just like character in Pixar film

A cluster-balloonist who became the first person to fly the English Channel has launched a house into the sky just like in the Disney movie 'Up'. Intrepid Jonathan Trappe, 38, took off just like the 78-year-old character Carl Frederickson in the hit movie.
Trappe, from Raleigh, North Carolina, stepped into the cartoon themed home before soaring above the Leon International Balloon festival in Mexico yesterday.

He was the first to cross the English Channel with balloons, now he wants to cross the Atlantic in a seven foot lifeboat carried by 365 giant helium balloons.

 Up Balloons House Az

The dirty secrets of the hospitality industry, Heads in Beds  Yuck.

A long leftover link: US Nuclear 'Fort Knox' Cracked By 82-Year-Old Nun  At least the government ended the security contract following the nun's break-in.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:10 PM | Permalink

November 5, 2012

Take a break

 Monkey

In this last day before  the election, take a break from all the breathless commentary and doom-mongers and take a look at this Charismatic Animal Portraits by Tim Flach

-Monkey

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:45 PM | Permalink

October 19, 2012

Friday Flotsam of Just plain interesting links

Sleeping on one side at a time. Dolphins evolved the ability to sleep one brain hemisphere at a time so they could be  continuously alert

The 25 Most Powerful TV Shows of the Last 25 Years

13 Little-Known Punctuation Marks We Should Be Using

Listen at the link for The Five Worst Sounds in the Universe  .

In Latest Bid to Lord Over Flies, One Man Tries Salting Them Away  Inventor's $30 Plastic 'Shotgun' Peppers Pests With Lethal Grain Assault

The first look inside Google's data centers.  Where the Internet Lives

In Massachusetts a 22-year-old man who works two jobs and was recently dumped by his girlfriend, wins a $30 million lottery ticket.  Taking a lump sum and
after paying taxes, he has $16 million and is getting over his heartbreak.

Remarkable wisdom.  In Syracuse, the son of Palestinian immigrants, won a $5 million lottery six years ago but waited until now to claim his prize that he will share with his brother

The agency said the younger brother said he waited so long to claim his prize because he was concerned the windfall could 'negatively influence' his life if he didn't plan properly before being publicly introduced as the winner. Andy Ashkar also told lottery officials that he also didn't want the windfall to influence his engagement and subsequent marriage.

Why the Amish are the best money mangers Business Insider

Best Halloween costume of the year

-Halloween Costume Wheelchair

The faces of fear: Haunted house releases hilarious photos of visitors captured mid-scream building on last year's viral hit, Scared Brothers at The Nightmares Fear Factory.

 5 Scared Boys

Modern alchemy The bacteria that transforms toxic liquid gold into a 24-carat Usable Metal

Stash of mysterious 100-year-old photos discovered in hotel ceiling by workman carrying out renovations.  A glimpse of Americans  living a century ago.

 Savage Photos Peeryhotel

The best face transplant ever.  Richard Morris injured in1997 in a gun accident was treated by 100- strong team of doctors and now has a new face and a new life

 Face Transplant

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:45 PM | Permalink

September 24, 2012

Female ad icons

Ad Age Picks the Top 10 Female Ad Icons of All Time

Before you click the link, how many can  you name solely from  what they market?

salt, kitchen, bananas, recruiter, plumber, 'mountain-grown' coffee, paper towels, fast-food hamburgers, insurance.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:05 AM | Permalink

August 30, 2012

Looking to find herself

A group of tourists spent hours Saturday night looking for a missing woman near Iceland's Eldgja canyon, only to find her among the search party.

The group was traveling through Iceland on a tour bus and stopped near the volcanic canyon in the southern highlands Saturday afternoon, reports the Icelandic news organization mbl.is.

One of the women on the bus left to change her clothes and freshen up. When she came back, her bus mates didn't recognize her.

Soon, there was word of a missing passenger. The woman didn't recognize the description of herself, and joined in the search.

About 50 people searched the terrain by vehicles and on foot. The coast guard was even readying a helicopter to help.

But the search was called off at about 3 a.m., when it became clear the missing woman was, in fact, accounted for and searching for herself.

Missing woman unwittingly joins search party looking for herself

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:05 PM | Permalink

August 17, 2012

Round-up of fun links

Every two years, a huge floral carpet is laid out on the Grand Place in Brussels 

Floral Carpet Brussels

It takes just four hours with everyone pitching in.

-Floral Carpet Kids

The astonishing work of make-up artist Promise Tamang Phan who transforms herself into Jack Sparrow, Willy Wonka and Johnny Depp  himself.

The Google Autocomplete Map revealing the fattest and most boring US states.

A History of the Past.  'Life Reeked with Joy'

Possibly as an act of vengeance, a history professor--compiling, verbatim, several decades' worth of freshman papers--offers some of his students’ more striking insights into European history from the Middle Ages to the present.

Winners of the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 2012  The one below is by Ken Bower.  But you really have to go to the link to see winners in all their glory.

 Ngeo Winner 2012 Travelers' Photos

What do you see when you look in the mirror?  Tom Hussey's series on Reflections

 Tom Hussey Series  Reflections

Father Barron comments on "The Dark Knight Rises"  and the problem of evil.  Evil is solved by the great heroic self-sacrificing act of love on the part of a savior.    The Christ archetype, he argues, haunts the Western culture even in a secular age.    Bruce Wayne is an icon of Christ.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:03 AM | Permalink

August 14, 2012

Paul Ryan's First Article as the Republican Vice-Presidential Candidate in The Onion

Count me in as one of Paul Ryan's admirers.    Though I am intensely interested, I'm not going to blog much about the presidential race, except occasionally , like now, to point out to this hilarious Onion article , Admit It, I Scare The Ever-Loving Shit Out Of You, Don't I?

I have another question for you: How scared are you that I can convince people I’m right? Because I’m good at it. No, I’m really good at it. You see, I know how to turn up the charm and charisma without putting people off. Then I back up what I’m saying with arguments that, when they come out of my mouth, sound completely accurate and well-reasoned. And I do it with such passion that people automatically recognize me as a man with deep convictions he will stand up for, no matter what.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:39 PM | Permalink

July 30, 2012

Best parenting tip ever

 Wifi Parenting-Tip
via Gizmondo

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:33 PM | Permalink

July 5, 2012

Updating the Declaration of Independence

Walter Russell Mead did such a wonderful job in Fixing the Declaration of Independence that I'm reprinting it in its entirety.

The unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen Post-Colonial, Multi-Racial Societies of North America

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to strengthen the political bands which have connected them with the Global Community, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the cooperative and deferential station which a careful review of the relevant peer reviewed literature suggests is most appropriate for long term win-win outcomes, a decent and rigorously equal respect to the opinions of woman- and man- and transcend requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the ever deeper union.

We hold these views to be consistent with the evolving cultural consensus, that all humans are equally obliged to the performance of certain Duties, that among these are the Participation in the Struggle against Racism, Economic Injustice, Genetically Modified Organisms, Homophobia, Nationalism and the Excessive Emission of Carbon Dioxide and Other Greenhouse Gasses. That to secure the performance of these Duties, Governments are instituted among humans, deriving their just powers from the considered Opinions of the Educated Classes, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Duty of the Enlightened and Credentialed Guardians of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect the Unquestioning Performance of their Duties by the Less Enlightened Members of the Public. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Change cannot come too quickly to suit the Convenience and the Predilections of an Enlightened Minority;  Governments long established should be changed the Moment a Sufficient Number of Well Regarded Contributors to the New York Review of Books have determined that such Change is Morally Incumbent; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that intellectuals who have never run anything in their lives are the Fittest of all Living People to remedy virtually any evil by abolishing the forms of Government, Laws and Customs of Society to which the brutish and unreflective Common People are accustomed. And when a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing invariably the same Failed Dogmas of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy evinces a design to allow said Common People to evade all obligations to the Global Community, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide New and Expanded Regulations for the future better restriction of the Lower Orders as they deem Meet for the Purpose.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:20 PM | Permalink

July 1, 2012

Spiderman Lizard

 Spidermanlizard

The Mwanza Flat Headed Agama looks just like Spiderman in this photo captured by photographer Cassio Lopez  on a trip to the Masai Mara National Park in Kenya with his wife Alessandra.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:53 PM | Permalink

April 12, 2012

Push to Add Drama

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:44 PM | Permalink

April 11, 2012

Self-portraits in the Flemish style

The most inventive use of airplane time I've ever seen.  Kudos to Nina Katchadourian.

Airplane Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style

Flemish Lavatory Portraits

While in the lavatory on a domestic flight in March 2010, I spontaneously put a tissue paper toilet cover seat cover over my head and took a picture in the mirror. The image evoked 15th-century Flemish portraiture. 

I decided to add more images made in this mode and planned to take advantage of a long-haul flight from San Francisco to Auckland, guessing that there were likely to be long periods of time when no one was using the lavatory on the 14-hour flight.

I made several forays to the bathroom from my aisle seat, and by the time we landed I had a large group of new photographs entitled Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style. 

I was wearing a thin black scarf that I sometimes hung up on the wall behind me to create the deep black ground that is typical of these portraits. There is no special illumination in use other than the lavatory's own lights and all the images are shot hand-held with the camera phone.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:30 PM | Permalink

March 17, 2012

Happy St Patrick's Day

O' Green Day?  How lame.  Massachusetts school principal Lisa Curtin has enraged the local community by renaming St Patrick’s Day ‘O’Green Day’ in an effort to encourage diversity and remove the Catholic element and to ease the discomfort some students might have in celebrating St Patrick's Day.  Last month she renamed St Valentine's Day and "Caring and Kindness Day".  She sounds like a benighted fool

Luck of the Irish:  Major oil discovery made off the coast of Ireland just in time for St Patrick's Day

It is the first time that a commercially viable offshore source of oil has been struck there and the discovery is being likened to ‘winning the lottery’.

Exploration company Providence Resources announced the find off the coast of Cork today.  The Barryroe well is more than 300ft deep and is producing 3,514 barrels of high-quality oil a day - twice the rate initially hoped for.

The well also produces 2.93 million standard cubic feet of gas each day.

 Stpatrick Shamrock Bible

From St. Patrick's escape after six years of sheep-herding in slavery and solitude to his return to Ireland where he confronted the Dark Powers at the start of his 30 year mission to the Irish, the story of St Patrick has nothing to do with snakes.

"Daily I expect murder, fraud, or captivity," he wrote, "but I fear none of these things because of the promises of heaven. I have cast myself into the hands of God Almighty who rules everywhere."

St Patrick's Confession in his own words.

‘My name is Patrick...
I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers. I am looked down upon by many.
My father was Calpornius. He was a deacon; his father was Potitus, a priest, who lived at Bannavem Taburniae.
His home was near there, and that is where I was taken prisoner.
I was about sixteen at the time.

A professor at Cambridge University says St Patrick was a runaway tax collector who became a slave trader.    I don't buy it.  It's all surmise and speculation.

How come no one at Nike knew that no one at Nike knew that naming a shoe The Black and Tan was not just a reference to a beer  combination but the name given to a violent paramilitary group that attacked innocent Irish civilians during the Irish war for Independence?  It's like naming the shoes the KKK.  Don't they have access to Google at their headquarters?

Nike has apologized and withdrawn their offensive ad which went as follows: 

Tis the season for Irish beer and why not celebrate with Nike? The Black and Tan sneaker takes inspiration for the fine balancing act of a Stout (Guinness) on top a Pale Ale (Harp) in a pint glass..

Good looking shoe though.

We would do well to emulate the Irish "the poster boy for austerity"  who have faced their fiscal crisis with  resilience ...“Everybody has knuckled down to the challenge.” Ireland Isn't Greece.

Ten top Irish songs for St Patrick's Day

Top ten words invented in Ireland

10.  Whiskey

Derives from the term “uisce beatha” which translates to the water of life. Irish monks in the middle ages described alcohol as the water of life

From Eamonn Fitzgerald's Rainy Day Fifty People One Question -  Galway, Ireland

what would the country's patron saint make of the place today if he were to return? He'd see a nation that's been rocked to its foundations by a succession of recent revolutions. The toppling of the Catholic Church from its pedestal of moral authority, the exposure of the incompetent elites and the implosion of the domestic economy are just three of the traumas that have forced the country to examine its conscience and values. An honest response to the big questions now being asked of the Irish nation remains outstanding, however, and may never come, given the country's schizophrenia.

And yet, Ireland continues to exert its fascination upon those in search of the alternative in an increasingly homogenized continent. Kamil Krolak was born in Szczecin in Poland in 1986 and moved to the West of Ireland in 2007. There, he follows his passion of film-making. "Fifty People One Question — Ireland" has been viewed more than 650,000 times on YouTube and it conveys better than most films the elusive essence of the place.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:19 AM | Permalink

March 16, 2012

Grab bag of Delights and 'Pink Slime'

A don't miss video that can't be embedded.  Rita Hayworth Dancing to Stayin' Alive.

A wonderful piece, Simcha Fisher's A Little Proof of a Large Thing.

The look of love? How a woman's glance can tell a man if she's interested (or whether to walk away now)

If she looks down and then moves her eyes in a sweeping motion across the floor it almost certainly means that she is attracted to someone.  But an instant stare into a man's eyes or over his head on meeting is very bad news for a suitor


'Pink slime' sounds gross, but how does it taste?

The pink slime burger also was perfectly seared and drew me in with an equally alluring aroma. But no juices collected on the plate. Or dribbled out. Or were apparent in the meat in really any way. The taste was - OK...t was not bad. But nor was it good. It was flat. I added more salt. No. It was simply one-dimensional....And then there was the texture. Unpleasantly chewy bits of what I can only describe as gristle, though they were not visible, seemed to stud the meat of the pink slime burger. The result was a mealy chew that, while not overtly unpleasant, didn't leave me wanting another bite.

Menopause 'brain fog' is real, study confirms    No surprise to millions of women.

The less you sleep, the fatter you become.  Tiredness makes us eat more, about 500 calories more on average.

You can see how white the cliffs of Dover are when a part collapses. Thousands of tons of chalk crash into sea after frost and drought.

 Dovercliffs Collapse

The extraordinary hyper-realistic pencil drawings of Paul Cadden PENCIL!

-Paul Cadden Pencildrawing

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:28 AM | Permalink

February 10, 2012

“Conjunctivitis.com – that’s a site for sore eyes”

The best joke of the year from The London Telegraph

Hundreds of Telegraph readers submitted jokes after comedian Tim Vine cemented his reputation as king of the one-liners by winning the Lafta awards Joke of the Year.

Vine's gag - “Conjunctivitis.com – that’s a site for sore eyes” – saw off competition from acts including Jimmy Carr and Paul Daniels, the magician.

We asked readers to suggest their own favourite jokes. More than 3,600 votes were cast for the top ten.

Coming top with 736 votes was FMLuder's pun:

"I had a car crash the other day. A dwarf got out the other car and said, 'I'm not happy'.
To which I replied, 'Which one are you then."

Here's more one-liners from Tim Vine

Exit signs? They're on the way out!

Black Beauty? Now there's a dark horse!

Velcro? What a rip-off!

Crime in multi-storey car parks. That is wrong on so many different levels.

Eric Bristow asked me why I put superglue on one of his darts. I said you just can't let it go can you?

I saw this advert in a window that said: “Television for sale, £1, volume stuck on full.” I thought, “I can’t turn that down.”

I've just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I'll tell you what, never again
Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:58 PM | Permalink

February 9, 2012

Downtown Abbey Stars Offscreen

Have you wondered what the stars of Downtown Abbey are like off-screen? 

Papermag brings us Downton Abbey Stars On-Screen Vs. Off-Screen

 Mister Bates

 Ethel

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:16 AM | Permalink

January 2, 2012

I hope it's a good one

 Smileycreatures

For the new year, The Daiiy Mail gives us these smiley creatures and lots more.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:26 PM | Permalink

October 19, 2011

Decanting wine with a blender

Imagine this, Decanting Wine with a Blender

Wine lovers have known for centuries that decanting wine before serving it often improves its flavor. Whatever the dominant process, the traditional decanter is a rather pathetic tool to accomplish it. A few years ago, I found I could get much better results by using an ordinary kitchen blender. I just pour the wine in, frappé away at the highest power setting for 30 to 60 seconds, and then allow the froth to subside (which happens quickly) before serving. I call it “hyperdecanting.”

Although torturing an expensive wine in this way may cause sensitive oenophiles to avert their eyes, it almost invariably improves red wines—particularly younger ones, but even a 1982 Château Margaux. Don’t just take my word for it, try it yourself.

 Hyperdecant-Wine
Image source

Nathan Myhrvoid tells you how to do a test of hyperdecanted wine with your friends in Businessweek. 

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:51 PM | Permalink

September 18, 2011

It's not easy being red

People with red hair are approximately 1-2% of the human population, 4% of the European population, 13% of Scots, 10% of Irish, Redheads are pejoratively called 'ginger' in England and 'poil de carotte' in France and 'ranga' in Australia according to Wikipedia which has long and fascinating article on Red hair

Sperm bank turns down redheads
The world's largest sperm bank has started turning down redheaded donors because there is too little demand for their sperm.

Mr Schou said the only reliable demand for sperm from redheaded donors from Ireland, where he said it sold “like hot cakes”.

 Redhair Baby

It's tough being ginger even when you're a seal: Lonely pup shunned by his colony

Sitting all alone on a beach, this little seal is an outcast from the colony.

Its crime? Having reddish-brown fur and the palest of blue eyes. The rest of its sleek black family took an instant dislike to the ginger pup, leaving it to fend for itself.

 Lonely Ginger Seal

The BBC asks Is gingerism as bad as racism?

A red-haired family claims to have been driven from their Newcastle home because of abuse. Why is the harassment of redheads dismissed as just harmless fun?

It's not easy being red.

 Trio Redheads

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:56 PM | Permalink

September 3, 2011

Take a gander

Two snow geese flying south.

 Snowgoose

1.5 million snow geese take flight at the same time at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri.

 Snowgoose Migration 1.3Million

Photographer Mike Hollingshead in  Ready, steady, goose!

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:05 PM | Permalink

Il Divo sing Amazing Grace

I'm late in discovering Il Divo ("divine male performer" in Italian) but when I heard this I was dumbstruck at the beauty of these four men singing Amazing Grace.  It looks like the Colosseum in Rome, but in fact the concert took place at the Pula Arena in Pula, Croatia.

And to think it was Simon Cowell who began it all.

According to Wikipedia.

The idea behind Il Divo's creation came to Cowell after hearing Andrea Bocelli singing Con te partirò while watching The Sopranos. Aware of this new appreciation for lyrical voices and classical music, he decided to form a multinational quartet (the members hail from Spain, Switzerland, France, and the United States, the name being in Italian) that tried to recreate the style of The Three Tenors.

Simon Cowell conducted a worldwide search for young singers who were willing to embark on the Il Divo project, which lasted two years, from 2001 until December 2003, when the fourth member of Il Divo, American tenor David Miller, was signed. The well-established formation of Il Divo comprises a renowned Spanish baritone, Carlos Marín; two classically trained tenors, Swiss Urs Bühler and American David Miller; and a French pop singer, Sébastien Izambard.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:10 PM | Permalink

August 12, 2011

A few interesting things

Some interesting things I came across this week on the Web.

The Fastest Thing on Earth  is found in horse poop!  Seriously.

Father Busa was a Jesuit priest who invented the hypertext 15 years before it was given a name, dies at 97.

What kids of the world eat at school  The comparison between countries is astonishing and America does not come out well.

98-year-old woman earns 10th degree black belt

 95Yearold Judomaster

Last week, Sensei Keiko Fukuda of San Francisco became the first woman to be promoted to judo's highest level: 10th degree black belt.

Only three people in the world, all men living in Japan, have ever reached that mark.
--
"All my life," Fukuda said, "this has been my dream."

Life is so Hard!   Hilarious poster series

It blew Kottke's mind.  The TV appearance of a Lincoln assassination witness

The serious business reason behind the "No Brown M&Ms" in Van Halen's contract. 

You will never think of working in the salt mines in the same way again after you see what some workers created on their own initiative over the years - an astounding subterranean salt cathedral  where even the chandeliers are made of salt.

 Saltcathedral2

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:52 PM | Permalink

August 8, 2011

Keith Jarrett playing Danny Boy

Watch and Listen to Keith Jarrett writes Michael Moriarty.  So I did.

Many years ago I went to two of his concerts and fell in love with his music and his genius.  But then, in time, I forgot about him.    Moriarty, in his ecstatic appreciation for Jarrett, reminded me what I had forgotten.

Now, thanks to YouTube, I can not only listen again to his playing,  I can see his amazing facial expressions. 

Keith Jarrett

It's as if  he channels from some place beyond the very heart and soul of the song.

Keith Jarrett playing Danny Boy

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:34 PM | Permalink

July 28, 2011

The prophecies of Iowahawk

Thank you Iowahawk making me laugh out loud as he envisions THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE BUDGETARY MELTDOWN END DAYS WHERE WE FACE FINAL ARMAGEDDON UNLESS WASHINGTON GETS ITS BAR TAB RAISED ANOTHER TRILLION. Or something.

I know the consequences of failing to do so are too horrible to contemplate, but I went ahead and contemplated them anyway. This resulted in a bunch of 140-characters-or-less prophesies for the Twitter hashtag #ConsequencesofDefault, which I have edited and compiled for your edification. If my inner Nostradamus is any guide, the post-apocalyptic future of August 3, 2011 looks grim indeed:

Beltway policy experts begin living by own wits; after 45 minutes there are no survivors.

Roving bands of outlaws stalk our streets, selling incandescent bulbs to vulnerable children.

NPR news segments no longer buffered by soothing zither interludes.

Breadlines teeming with jobless Outreach Coordinators, Diversity Liaisons, and Sustainability Facilitators.

General Motors unfairly forced to build cars that people want, for a profit.

Chaos reigns at Goldman Sachs, who no longer knows who to bribe with political donations.

Mankind's dream of high speed government rail service between Chicago and Iowa City tragically dies.

New York devolves into a dystopian hellscape of sugared cola moonshiners, salty snackhouses and tobacco dens.

At-risk Mexican drug lords forced to buy own machine guns.

Potential 5-year old terrorists head to boarding gates ungroped.

Defenseless mortgage holders forced to live in houses they can actually afford.

Without college loan program, America loses an entire generation of Marxist Dance Theorists.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:50 PM | Permalink

July 24, 2011

Two tittles in my name

25 Everyday Things You Never Knew Had Names  via First Thing's Joe Carter

How many of these do you know?  One clue, I've got two tittles in my name.

Tittle, lunule, crepuscular rays, ferrule, gynecomastia, muntin, morton's toe, arms akimbo, desire path, semantic satiation,  skeuomorph, brannock device, paresthesia, phosphens, armscye, wamble, feat, peen, rectal tenesmus, dysania, mondegreen, petrichor,  philtrum, purlicue, aglet.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:03 PM | Permalink

July 22, 2011

When a photo moves

Cinemagraphs: What it looks like when a photo moves

It’s somewhere between a photo and a video, a piece of artwork that seeks to perfectly capture a fleeting moment in time.

New York City-based photographer Jamie Beck and Web designer Kevin Burg “hand-stitch” together her photos and his Web design to make animated gifs they now call “cinemagraphs.”

I can't embed them but you can see how charming they are at the link.  There are more at their Tumblr link, From Me to You

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:23 PM | Permalink

July 11, 2011

Poor Baby

Loved this  via Neatorama

--Poor-Baby

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:10 PM | Permalink

July 9, 2011

No way would I give up the Internet for a million dollars

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:51 PM | Permalink

July 2, 2011

Lanterns in the sky over Poland

It's just magical as Poles release 11,000 lanterns to the night sky to celebrate Midsummer's Eve

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:13 AM | Permalink

What you can do with a dollar bill

Amazing.

 Dollarkoi

via Colossal

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:47 AM | Permalink

June 24, 2011

"Utterly irresistible creation"

Man as industrial palace, a wonderful concept, a striking visual and witty animation.    You will have to watch it several times to catch all the visual jokes.

Der Mensch als Industriepalast [Man as Industrial Palace] from Henning Lederer on Vimeo.

via Joe who points to a NY Times piece I missed by Abigail Zuger, Spoonfuls of Medicine, Marketed for Centuries about the "small, gorgeous and fiercely funny exhibition of posters at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

But the star of the show may be the single image intended neither to cajole nor to terrify but to educate and amuse. The five-volume anatomy and physiology textbook that the German physician Fritz Kahn brought out in the 1920s was illustrated with a poster-size folding color plate depicting “Man as Industrial Palace,” a work that combines the Lilliputian charms of “Where’s Waldo?,” Willy Wonka’s factory, the world’s best dollhouse and a really good pinball game.

Up in the chambers of the brain, two groups of tiny men in suits and ties deliberate around small conference tables: they are, of course, Will and Reason. Nearby a lone fellow in shirtsleeves and headphones operates a telegraph: he is Hearing, while the photographer one cubicle over is Sight.

Gears move particles of food along the alimentary tract, aided by tiny workers with rakes and cauldrons of digestive enzymes. Down in Bone Marrow a solitary artisan stamps out red blood cells.

It is an image begging to be animated, and the contemporary German designer Henning M. Lederer has done just that, in a short film looping alongside the actual lithograph. There is no need to travel to Philadelphia for this particular pleasure, though; Mr. Lederer’s utterly irresistible creation is online
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:45 PM | Permalink

June 21, 2011

About Face

 Aboutface Profile
via MindHacks.  Photographer Jeff Aris

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:09 PM | Permalink

June 16, 2011

Lizard love

This made my day.  Lizard Love

 Lizardlove

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:10 PM | Permalink

May 20, 2011

The hole in the egg

 Boffoli's Eggs Daily Grind

Artist creates tiny scenes using food.    Charming.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:08 PM | Permalink

Epic catch

 Mother Catches Ball

Good catch! Mom with a baby in one hand catches foul ball with the other

Tiffany Goodwin should play for the major league.

The mom from Fredericksburg, Virginia, 31, caught her second foul ball in as many weeks at a Richmond Flying Squirrels game.

This time, she made her catch in epic fashion, reaching out with her gloved hand, while holding her 8-month son, Jerry, in the other.
--
The amazing moment was captured by Mark Gormus, a photographer from the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:11 PM | Permalink

May 8, 2011

Speaking of dogs

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:53 AM | Permalink

April 27, 2011

More than a photo less than a video

Have you ever seen a photo move?    Outside of Harry Potter movies that is. 

Artists develop amazing cinemagraphs that take 'stills' to the next level

It is, in their own words, ‘something more than a photo but less than a video’.

Two artists have created a new way to to record your special moments - pictures with movement.

The ‘cinemagraphs’ look like still photos but actually feature a subtle area of movement designed to grab your eye and keep you looking. The effect is slightly eerie - but utterly captivating.

I can't embed these photos so you have to click the link to see them.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:06 AM | Permalink

April 19, 2011

Royal wedding

And if you haven't seen the T-Mobile Royal Wedding, it's a hoot.  The royal look-a-likes are amazing.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:10 AM | Permalink

Tickling a penguin

A sound I've never heard before, a penguin being tickled.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:05 AM | Permalink

April 8, 2011

Stunning and beautiful virtual choir

They've Never Met, But 2,051 Singers Perform Together

American composer Eric Whitacre is a rock star in choral circles. His music is performed by amateur and professional choirs alike, his chiseled good looks have earned him a modeling contract, and, Thursday night, he unveils his Virtual Choir 2.0 on YouTube.

The video has been viewed more than 2 million times on YouTube.  It is very beautiful and visually stunning.

What a terrific performance.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:23 PM | Permalink

Jazzy Treat

A wonderful jazzy treat that gets better and better,  a video of videos.


via Gerard Vanderleun who calls it A Long, Languid, Heartfelt Plea Launched Into the Ether.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:08 PM | Permalink

April 1, 2011

April Fools

The top 100 April Fool hoaxes.

My favorite is the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest, the #1 hoax of all time, beating out the wonderful story in Sports Illustrated of Sidd Finch who mastered the art of the pitch in a Tibetan monastery.

 Spaghetti Harvest

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:54 PM | Permalink

March 25, 2011

Week-end round-up: Logos, the lobster underground and auroras

When you have time, a few articles too good to pass up.

The Secret Messages in 12 Logos

You'll never looks at Fed Ex and Tostidos in the same away again.

A House Discovered From the Time of Christ provides scientific evidence that Nazareth was a thriving community when Christ was alive and not a made-up Christian invention.

The Great Conversation Betrayed by Higher Ed

We felt and spoke as if we had rediscovered some long-forgotten treasure abandoned by the generation before

10 years in the making. Cross-stitch of the Sistine Chapel    Design time: 718  hours. Time to choose colors (all 1206 of them): 68 hours.  Time to stitch: 2872 hours.

Fran Lebowitz is Always Right

What is it that allows her to be a person rather than a persona in public? Perhaps being devoid of the desperate desire to be liked. Not caring what we think, she is able to be so truthful—which is a grand way of saying that she speaks what is obvious. She says things that are obvious but true, but that no one says, or not enough, or that no one hears. Things like: the emperor has no clothes…the media is the only institution left…the standards have gotten dangerously low…Americans are getting dumber…art today sucks.

I missed Martin Scorsese's  Public Speaking when it premiered on HBO last November, described as

a beautifully shot and edited monologue. This is Scorsese's deft, elegant portrait of Lebowitz in her own words. It's her version of who she is.

How One Man Wages War Against Gravity.  He was a rich, powerful American businessman, founder of Babson College, a financial forecaster who predicted the 1929 stock market crash and the depression that followed, an author of 47 books,  a life-long friend of Thomas Edison and a crackpot who believed that gravity was public enemy number one. 

Babson liked setting words into stone. During the depression, he created a public works project in the spirit of the New Deal, in which he hired stone cutters to engrave inspiring messages into boulders in a park in Gloucester, Mass. Stones advocating traits such as "KINDNESS" and instructing viewers to "HELP MOTHER" can still be seen there today.

 Keepoutofdebt

I used to live in Gloucester and never saw these probably because I never hiked through Dogtown but I will this summer just to see for myself the Babson Boulders.

The Lobster Underground.  First in NYC, now in DC, Captain Claw, the "lobstah pushah "

devised a system that would be the envy of even the most enterprising drug dealers on The Wire. Claw’s customers first had to friend him on Facebook. Then, if they checked out, Claw would provide the potential customer with a phone number, exchange texts when the roll was ready, and hand off the goods in a plain brown bag.
--
He perfected his act with an Ali G-style costume that mixed lobster- and Boston-sports-themed attire and a thick, gold-spray-painted chain holding up a large lobster claw (also spray-painted gold).

 Drclaw

“You do the cash/crustacean handoff in literally three seconds, and then you’re on your way,” says John Hendrickson, a longtime Greenpoint resident and frequent Dr. Claw customer. “And the rolls were sublime—hot grilled bun, at least half a pound of warm fresh lobster, copious melted butter, and nothing else.”

I love auroras and Terje Sorgjerd captures their beauty in this  time-lapse video

The Aurora from Terje Sorgjerd on Vimeo.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:54 AM | Permalink

March 17, 2011

Happy St Patrick's Day

Happy St Patrick's Day to all the Irish and those who wish they were.   

So raise a glass of Guinness and make an Irish toast :

Here's to cheating, stealing, fighting, and drinking.
If you cheat, may you cheat death.
If you steal, may you steal a woman's heart.
If you fight, may you fight for a brother.
And if you drink, may you drink with me. 

Slainte

 Guinness

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:21 PM | Permalink

February 4, 2011

Cowed

Destined to be a classic is this photo of a lioness chewing out her mate by amateur photographer Jennifer Lockridge at the National Zoo in Washington D.C.

_lion_cowers_before_lioness.jpg

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:35 PM | Permalink

Why I still read the New York Times

I read the New York Times for stories like these.

Chicken Vanishes, Heartbreak Ensues in Bed-Stuy, New York

Either no one knew or no one was talking. But one of the corner guys promised to “put the word out” and, if he found out who did it, to “put the hurt on him.” Which was comforting. Kind of.

About a week after Gertrude’s disappearance, after we’d all but given up hope, a young man stood at the gate and shouted that he had “information about the chicken.”

A growing number of designers are specializing in retro looks Vintage styles reborn as new designs which is very good news.

“I sell to women who say they go to the mall and can’t find anything that isn’t either flimsy and trendy or dowdy and frumpy,” said Theresa Campbell McKee, 55, owner of Blue Velvet Vintage, an online store that sells reproductions. “They want something classic and distinctive that makes them feel pretty.”

Since ‘Mad Men,’ it’s been crazy busy,” said Letty Tennant, 30, owner and chief designer of Queen of Heartz in Anaheim, Calif. “And you can’t say it’s just a fad because these clothes are timeless classics, not ‘in’ one year and ‘you wouldn’t be caught dead in it’ next year.”

--Men treat me differently when I wear vintage or something that looks vintage,” she said. “I’ve noticed that they open doors and even apologize when they swear, which is so not the case when I’m wearing regular clothes like pants and a sweater.”


Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:05 PM | Permalink

Mission Impossible Squirrel

This little critter is great, but just how do you train a squirrel?

via Boing Boing

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:20 AM | Permalink

January 28, 2011

Adult Truths

My favorite Adult Truths from Ka-ching

1. Part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die

3. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.


4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I’m pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren’t going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blu Ray? I don’t want to have to restart my collection…again.

14. I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:43 AM | Permalink

October 28, 2010

Wandering Hand

This has to be the funniest picture of the week.

Joe-Biden-Wandering-Hand

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:20 AM | Permalink

October 21, 2010

Just for laughs

48. Went to the corner shop - bought 4 corners.

44. A three-legged dog walks into a saloon in the Old West. He slides up to the bar and announces: 'I'm looking for the man who shot my paw.' 

33. I was having dinner with Garry Kasparov and there was a check tablecloth. It took him two hours to pass me the salt.

32. 'Four fonts walk into a bar the barman says "Oi - get out! We don't want your type in here"  '

28. 'A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?" they asked, as they moved off. "because," he said "I can't stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer." ' 

25. 'The other day I sent my girlfriend a huge pile of snow. I rang her up, I said "Did you get my drift?".'

16. I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn't find any.     

15. 'There's two fish in a tank, and one says to the other "How do you drive this thing?"

12. My mother-in-law fell down a wishing well, I was amazed, I never knew they worked.

1. . A woman gets on a bus with her baby. The bus driver says: 'Ugh, that's the ugliest baby I've ever seen!' The woman walks to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her: 'The driver just insulted me!' The man says: 'You go up there and tell him off. Go on, I'll hold your monkey for you.'

The official 50 funniest jokes of all time.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:48 AM | Permalink

Just for laughs

48. Went to the corner shop - bought 4 corners.

44. A three-legged dog walks into a saloon in the Old West. He slides up to the bar and announces: 'I'm looking for the man who shot my paw.' 

33. I was having dinner with Garry Kasparov and there was a check tablecloth. It took him two hours to pass me the salt.

32. 'Four fonts walk into a bar the barman says "Oi - get out! We don't want your type in here"  '

28. 'A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?" they asked, as they moved off. "because," he said "I can't stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer." '   

25. 'The other day I sent my girlfriend a huge pile of snow. I rang her up, I said "Did you get my drift?".'

16. I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn't find any.     

15. 'There's two fish in a tank, and one says to the other "How do you drive this thing?"

12. My mother-in-law fell down a wishing well, I was amazed, I never knew they worked.

1. . A woman gets on a bus with her baby. The bus driver says: 'Ugh, that's the ugliest baby I've ever seen!' The woman walks to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her: 'The driver just insulted me!' The man says: 'You go up there and tell him off. Go on, I'll hold your monkey for you.'

The official 50 funniest jokes of all time.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:47 AM | Permalink

October 15, 2010

The Mp3 Experiment

What fun this is and what fun they are all having.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:13 PM | Permalink

September 10, 2010

"A skeleton is a man with his inside out and his outside off."

Some selections from 'Roman women built fires in their brasseries and other hilarious classroom howlers by schoolchildren

His mother, being immortal, had died.

I quickly glanced at the grandfather clock in my waistcoat pocket.

Clowns tie their trousers with string which, when it is pulled, shows a hair-raising scene.

A cigarette hung out of the corner of her eye.

The equator is a menagerie lion running around the earth through Africa.

A monologue is a conversation between two people, such as husband and wife.

Some people can tell the time by looking at the sun, but I have never been able to make out the numbers.

We were trapped in a blazing car, but luckily enough a river was passing by.

The first book in the bible is Guinessis.

A monologue is a conversation between two people, such as husband and wife.

An oboe is an American tramp.

Trigonometry is when a lady marries three men at the same time.

Caviar is the eggs of a surgeon.

A momentum is what you give a person when they are leaving.

An aristocrat is a man who does somersaults on the stage.

A skeleton is a man with his inside out and his outside off.

A vacuum is an empty space where the Pope lives.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:54 AM | Permalink

August 19, 2010

“The Rolling Stones roll in, Soviet army rolls out.”

Satisfaction, at Last with a great graphic.

I was 16 then, and to this day I recall the posters promoting the concert, which lined the streets and the walls of the stadium: “The Rolling Stones roll in, Soviet army rolls out.”

_RollingStones_Prague.jpg  But the BBC tells How The Beatles Destroyed Communism

For almost 30 years, the Fab Four were a symbol of modern life, freedom and, ultimately, of the falseness of the Soviet way of life. More than anything, the film showed them a tantalising glimpse of just how free and thrilling their lives could be without the poisonous shackles of Communism.

Smuggled records and illicit listening to Radio Luxembourg - coincided with the arrival in power of the repressive, uncharismatic and aged Leonid Brezhnev in 1964. The fun, upbeat, youthful sounds couldn't have been more different - or more revolutionary. This sound was coming from people their own age, and people who they'd been told were out to destroy them. To discover that, far from that, they were making enormously attractive music, had a powerful effect on an entire generation.

Unbelievably, Russian fans made illegal bootleg copies of smuggled Beatles records by copying them on to used X-ray film with dictation machines. These would be hidden up sleeves or under shirts and passed on through the black market or among friends. The introduction of reel-to-reel tape recording helped spread this gen-tle revolution a little quicker but, even in 1991, a full two years after the Berlin Wall had been knocked down, a planned pro-gramme about The Beatles was pulled from trans mission at the last minute by pan-icked TV bosses.


The everlasting rivalry - The Beatles vs The Rolling Stones.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:14 AM | Permalink

August 17, 2010

Words

There are no words of Words except fabulous.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:21 AM | Permalink

August 12, 2010

Perseid Showers tonight

Perseid-Meteor-Shower

Miss Kelley alerted me to the annual Perseid shower that peaks tonight when one can see as many as 50 meteors an hour

The Perseids are among the most reliable of the year’s cosmic fireworks displays. In mid-August, Earth passes through a stream of grit left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle in its eccentric 130-year orbit. Flecks of debris burn up as they pass through the atmosphere, at a height of about 60 miles, producing streaks of light — and sometimes leaving behind glowing trails that fade into the night....The Perseids are so called because the point they appear to come from, called the radiant, lies in the constellation Perseus.

The meteors hit the Earth's atmosphere at about 140,000 miles an hour.  The celestial show begins at sundown, NASA said, when Venus, Saturn, Mars, and the crescent moon hang close together until around 10 p.m., when the Perseid shower is expected to start....the shooting streaks of light most visible between midnight and dawn Friday because the moon will not be up during that time.

The showers are also called "The burning tears of St Lawrence" because they appear every around his feast day. St. Lawrence  is the patron saint  of the poor, librarians and cooks.  The latter because he was roasted  to death and yet managed to joke with his executioners,  "Now you may turn me over, my body is roasted enough on this side."

The best way to see the shooting stars is to find a dark place without a lot of competing lights, lie down on the ground, face south and gaze skyward.    Get your kids out of bed and into the backyard.

The only equipment needed is a sleeping bag or blanket.  Telescopes and binoculars restrict the range of vision when what you want is the largest range possible.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:49 PM | Permalink

August 6, 2010

The annual salmon feast

 Annual Salmon Feast2

 Annual Salmon Feast-1

'July is summer time in the northern hemisphere and the salmon are returning to Alaska from open ocean in order to spawn literally by the millions.

'For thousands of brown bears all along the coast and spawning rivers this means the dinner bell is ringing loudly.

'The bears wait patiently for the fish to come to this spot, as all fish must get past the falls to spawn, or die trying.'

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:33 PM | Permalink

July 27, 2010

It's a Dad's Life

I watched this a couple of times now and it's just great.  A little late for Fathers' Day, but Dad will approve.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:04 PM | Permalink

July 22, 2010

Hit the Road Jack

For all those heading out for the road and vacation, Ray Charles sings it live with British schoolchildren. Since embedding is disabled, you have to hit this link.

 Road Blazingautumn Chryztoph

 Kyoto Bamboo Road

Lots more breathtaking photos of roads -

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:50 PM | Permalink

June 25, 2010

"The world's first aquatic orangutan"

The orangutan who learned how to swim to be with his trainer

 Swimming Orangutan

But 30-year-old Moksha Bybee has the most unusual of swimming partners - a seven-year-old urangutan who clings to her as she dives beneath the surface.

The jungle-dwelling creatures are not known for their love of the water, but Suryia appears to have permanently swapped tree trunks for swimming trunks.

And d Mrs Bybee says it's virtually impossible to keep Suryia from the pool on a nice day.

The two make an unusual sight as they lark about at the Myrtle Beach Safari park in South Carolina.

Mrs Bybee said that Suryia spent only three weeks learning how to swim and now can't get enough of his new skill.

Staff  introduced Suryia to their 67ft pool after they noticed he had an unusual love for splashing around in the bath.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:11 PM | Permalink

June 17, 2010

Tango, not vuvuzelas

Besides the fact that those horrid vuvuzelas can harm your hearing, the tango is so much better and sexier.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:24 PM | Permalink

June 5, 2010

Raining drunken parrots

 Two-Parrots-1

My favorite story of the week: Drunken parrots falling from sky

SEEMINGLY DRUNKEN AND HUNGOVER parrots are dropping out of the sky in the Northern Territory and experts are at a loss to explain why.

The red-collared lorikeets lose coordination and pass out after eating a mystery food, Lisa Hansen, of the Ark Animal Hospital at Palmerston, near Darwin said on Thursday.

And to top it off, the parrots are left with nasty hangovers after mystery illness strikes

One of the veterinary surgeons, Lisa Hanson, told The Times: ‘They act quite like a drunken person would.’ It’s not just the clumsiness that shows similarities to drunkenness either; Ms Hanson said other symptoms have also included ‘obnoxiousness’ and over excitement.

And just like after too many pints, the birds appear to experience a hangover of sorts, which includes headaches, tiredness and sadness, which can take months for them to recover, while some have even died.

The most likely cause is thought to be from an unknown substance the birds are eating – perhaps fermented nectar from a plant, Ms Hanson said.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:51 AM | Permalink

May 21, 2010

The Airplane Shot

This is great  - The Airplane Shot

Hard to believe it's from a government-owned company.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:18 PM | Permalink

April 9, 2010

"It is a communist chocolate hellhole and I'm here to stop it ever happening."

That's Eloi Cole, the man from the future.  How did I ever miss this story last week?

Man arrested at Large Hadron Collider claims he's from the future
By Nick Hide on 01 April 2010,

A would-be saboteur arrested today at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland made the bizarre claim that he was from the future. Eloi Cole, a strangely dressed young man, said that he had travelled back in time to prevent the LHC from destroying the world.

The LHC successfully collided particles at record force earlier this week, a milestone Mr Cole was attempting to disrupt by stopping supplies of Mountain Dew to the experiment's vending machines. He also claimed responsibility for the infamous baguette sabotage in November last year.

Mr Cole was seized by Swiss police after CERN security guards spotted him rooting around in bins. He explained that he was looking for fuel for his 'time machine power unit', a device that resembled a kitchen blender.

Police said Mr Cole, who was wearing a bow tie and rather too much tweed for his age, would not reveal his country of origin. "Countries do not exist where I am from. The discovery of the Higgs boson led to limitless power, the elimination of poverty and Kit-Kats for everyone. It is a communist chocolate hellhole and I'm here to stop it ever happening."

This isn't the first time time-travel has been blamed for mishaps at the LHC. Last year, the Japanese physicist Masao Ninomiya and Danish string-theory pioneer Holger Bech Nielsen put forward the hypothesis that the Higgs boson was so "abhorrent" that it somehow caused a ripple in time that prevented its own discovery.

Professor Brian Cox, a former CERN physicist and full-time rock'n'roll TV scientist, was sympathetic to Mr Cole. "Bless him, he sounds harmless enough. At least he didn't mention bloody black holes."

Mr Cole was taken to a secure mental health facility in Geneva but later disappeared from his cell. Police are baffled, but not that bothered.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:28 PM | Permalink

April 1, 2010

First reviews of Apple iPad

Walter Mossberg in the Wall Street Journal

I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop. It could even help, eventually, to propel the finger-driven, multitouch user interface ahead of the mouse-driven interface that has prevailed for decades.....But first, st, it will have to prove that it really can replace the laptop or netbook for enough common tasks, enough of the time, to make it a viable alternative. ... the iPad lacks some of the features—such as a physical keyboard, a Webcam, USB ports and multitasking—that most laptop or netbook users have come to expect.

 Ipad

Xeni Jardin at Boing Boing calls the iPad a "touch of genius" in her first look.

Just as the iPhone, Palm Pré and Android phones scratched an itch we didn't know we had, somewhere between cellphone and notebook, the iPad hits a completely new pleasure spot. The display is large enough to make the experience of apps and games on smaller screens stale. Typography is crisp, images gem-like, and the speed brisk thanks to Apple's A4 chip and solid state storage. As I browse early release iPad apps, web pages, and flip through the iBook store and books, the thought hits that this is a greater leap into a new user experience than the sum of its parts suggests.
--
"A stereo 3D video of a static object that you can rotate in real time," Theo says over the phone. "Honestly, I'm not sure where you go from there. Smellovision? Not a whole lot more you can do."

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:16 AM | Permalink

March 14, 2010

Boston Seasons Visualized

 Flickr Visualization Seasons

This beautiful visualization of the ebb and flow of color over the seasons of he year based on photographs of the Boston Common posted to Flickr and using an algorithm developed by Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg whose medium is data visualization. 

Summer is at the top, winter on the bottom.  HT Jason Kottke.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:57 PM | Permalink

March 4, 2010

Personal movie theater

Maybe, it's because I never had a real dollhouse as a young girl, but I am just enchanted by this.

You can ever buy a do-it-yourself personal theater kit here for $19.95 plus shipping.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:55 PM | Permalink

February 14, 2010

Valentines from nature

The Daily Mail has collected some wonderful nature Valentine landscapes suitable for everyone.  Enjoy.

 Coral.Reef Australia

 Tupai Island

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:01 AM | Permalink

November 2, 2009

Best body art ever

 Body Art Tracy

Absolutely stunning body art by Craig Tracy with more examples here.  Above is 'Butterfly'.  I'll leave it to you to find the human body.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:34 AM | Permalink

October 20, 2009

Extreme Sheepherding

Best ever sheepherding video.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:54 PM | Permalink

October 9, 2009

Food Flags

Just look at these "food flags" created for the Sydney International Food Festival.

Italy Food-Flags

It's basil, pasta and tomatoes for Italy.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:22 PM | Permalink

October 7, 2009

I wonder if Beyonce has seen this

This is so great.  I have never seen a baby dance like this.


Baby Dances To Single Ladies @ Yahoo! Video

Hat tip to The Anchoress

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:30 PM | Permalink

September 30, 2009

Stealing Animals

This is hilarious.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:26 AM | Permalink

September 24, 2009

Be still my heart

Bacon peanut brittle

It's the unique, but magical combination of the sweet, the salty and the savory that sets them apart from any confections you’ve probably ever tasted.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:01 AM | Permalink

September 13, 2009

Unseen Harmony

I love these  Birds on the Wires from Jarbas Agnelli on Vimeo.

I saw a picture of birds on the electric wires. I cut out the photo and decided to make a song, using the exact location of the birds as notes (no Photoshop edit). I knew it wasn't the most original idea in the universe. I was just curious to hear what melody the birds were creating.

Part of the Unseen Harmony can also be heard in the Sound of Your Cells that make music way down at the molecular level.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:47 PM | Permalink

September 9, 2009

Sleeping babies

 Baby Hat Sleeping

Tracey Raver is the photographer from Nebraska who, with her sister, captures these adorable photos of babies sleeping.  Sweet dreams: The cutest baby pictures you'll ever see.  Inspiration for new parents and grandparents.

 Baby Sleeping Toes

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:23 PM | Permalink

August 28, 2009

GoD and DoG

This is a wonderful piece by WJ Francisco

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:00 PM | Permalink

August 13, 2009

Lunar rainbows

Who knew that Yosemite was a hotspot for lunar rainbows also known as moonbows

 Lunar-Rainbow Yosemite

Here's what the pioneering naturalist John Muir wrote about seeing such a sight in his 1912 book, The Yosemite.

“This grand arc of color, glowing in mild, shapely beauty in so weird and huge a chamber of night shadows, and amid the rush and roar and tumultuous dashing of this thunder-voiced fall, is one of the most impressive and most cheering of all the blessed mountain evangels.”

Thanks to Environmental Graffiti who has much more on The Elusive Beauty of Lunar Rainbows.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:36 PM | Permalink

August 12, 2009

Dirty car art

 Dirty Car Art

The artist is Scott Wade from Texas

The images are so incredible that motorists often stop at traffic lights and jump out of their own cars to admire them.

See more at A life of car grime

He said: 'I lived on a long, dirt road for over 20 years. Our cars were always dirty and I would often doodle in the dust on the rear windows of our cars.

'Mostly I would draw funny faces, then I started experimenting with ways to get shading.

'At first I would use the pads of my fingers and brush very lightly to get grey tones.

'Once I tried using the chewed-up end of a popsicle stick as a brush - I liked the effect, so I started trying paintbrushes, and eventually developed the techniques I use today.'

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:41 PM | Permalink

August 11, 2009

Good behavior all around

The feel good story of the day

Lost dog saves man with Down Syndrome

 Lostdog

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:42 PM | Permalink

August 5, 2009

Tongue Print

15 Facts You Didn't Know About Your Body

#4. Every person has a unique tongue print

 Tongue-Tattoo

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:38 AM | Permalink

August 4, 2009

Bubbleologist

 Real Bubble Man

I never knew there was such a thing as a bubbleologist, but Samsom Bubbleman blows the world's largest free-floating bubble using a top-secret mixture he has developed. 

More amazing photos of Sam Heath - his real name - at the link.  Amazing he makes a living doing what he does best.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:48 AM | Permalink

July 31, 2009

Tillamook Cheddar

Jack Russells can do just about anything, but I've never heard of one who earned his keep, that is until Tillamook Cheddar.

 Jack-Russell Painting Dog

Stepping back from the sheet of paper before her, Tillie the artist cocks her head, surveys her work, then launches into a frenzy of finishing touches. No one minds that she appears to be making a dog’s breakfast of her latest assignment.

As the world’s pre-eminent canine painter, the ten-year-old Jack Russell terrier — full name Tillamook Cheddar — has clawed her way up to become something of a big cheese in the art world.

Notching up her 20th solo exhibition, she has earned more than $100,000 from sales of her work, visited five countries and drawn comparisons with the abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock.

“If you put her work before someone without telling them that a dog did it, they wouldn’t be able to tell it apart from a human artist’s,” said Jane Hart, curator of the Hollywood Art and Culture Centre in Hollywood, Florida.

__
Her owner, F. Bowman Hastie III, of Brooklyn, New York, gets her started by rubbing paint from an oil-stick on to vellum, taping it colour-side down on to lithograph paper and laying a sheet of protective plastic film on top. Tillie then sets to work, scratching and biting at the vellum through the plastic, the pressure of her claws, paws and teeth transferring the coloured pigment on to the paper below.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:21 PM | Permalink

July 13, 2009

Bursting Bubble

 Bursting Soapbubble


Photographer Richard Heeks, from Exeter, used a fast shutter speed of 1/500th of a second and chose a perfect wind-free day so nothing would disturb his shoot, while his wife Sarah provided the all-important finger.

A bubble is made up of three layers - one thin layer of water sandwiched between two layers of soap molecules.

As Mrs Heeks's finger breaks the surface tension, the perfect sphere is replaced by a round mass of soapy droplets which dissolve into the air. And the bubble is gone.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:39 PM | Permalink

June 15, 2009

The Owl and the Spaniel

 Dog And Owl

A baby owl is kept looking spruce thanks to her friend Sophie the spaniel, who licks her clean every day.

The pair have become inseparable since Bramble, the baby eagle owl, was taken in at a bird of prey centre.

Sophie, three, used her maternal nature to give Bramble a quick clean as a chick. Now the bird flies into the main house for a spruce-up every day and sits while Sophie licks her feathers and beak.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:50 PM | Permalink

June 5, 2009

Milky Way

Take 40 seconds and watch as the Milky Way passes over the night sky

Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party from William Castleman on Vimeo. via Neatorama

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:00 AM | Permalink

Corruption hat trick, tennis at 100 and previously used cadavers

Some news from Boston you may have missed.

Sal DiMasi, former Speaker of the Massachusetts House who resigned in January was indicted on public corruption charges for pocketing thousands of dollars in payments from a software company while using his office to make sure that company won state contracts. 

That makes three speakers in a row indicted, two already convicted, writes Howie Carr in Bay State run by men of steal. "This isn't a democracy, it's a kleptocracy."   

A corruption "Hat-trick".  Massive corruption is the primary reason why it's not good when one party continues decade after decade to dominate local politics.

One 93-year-old, looking for a handicap parking spot at a Wal-Mart, hit the gas instead of the brakes and shot 25 feet inside the store, injuring nine people, including a mother and her one year old child.

While another old man, Roger Gentilhomme went out to play tennis for 2 hours, like he does every day, to celebrate his 100th birthday.

"The big question everyone asks is, 'What do you attribute this to?' " Gentilhomme said during a conversation at his home in Falmouth before driving himself to tennis. "Well, I can't attribute it to anything. I haven't the slightest idea why I'm here. But - and here's what I tell everyone - I do watch out for myself. If something starts irritating me, I try to find out what it is and get it fixed.

What leaped out for me was the Mass company that lists cadavers among its assets

Innovative Spinal Technologies, a medical device maker, shut down this year and listed among its assets in a federal bankruptcy filing, nine human bodies, including "eight previously used" cadavers.

James Tarento gibed, "What we want to how the company managed to find a cadaver that wasn't previously used!"

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:41 AM | Permalink

June 1, 2009

He invented the letter M

Attention-Deficit-Disorder1

An advertisement from Dr. Boli's Celebrated Magazine.

I had never heard of this illustrious gentleman who was not only responsible for the invention of the letter M, but also for the construction of Portugal so that Portuguese refugees might have a home of their own.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:01 AM | Permalink

May 20, 2009

The FedEx arrow

I never noticed the FedEx arrow between the "E" and the "x", but now that I've seen it, I'll look for it on every truck.

Fedex

Here are 25 more logos with hidden messages via Kottke

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:54 AM | Permalink

May 15, 2009

Pink boxer shorts

 Pinkboxershorts Taliban

I love this photo and Zachary Boyd too.  He was asleep when a firefight erupted in Afghanistan with only time to grab his helmet, body armor and gun.    The red t-shirt, flip-flops and I love New York pink boxers which, considering he joined the Army because of the 9/11 attacks seem oddly appropriate for this 19-year-old Army Specialist and endearingly American.

Most of the time his appearance on the Afghanistan's frontline would have gone unnoticed by the eyes of the world.

However, Boyd managed to pick the day when a photographer was on hand to capture him going into battle in the pink boxers, red t-shirt and flimsy footwear.

The image of the fight at Firebase Restrepo in the Korengal Valley of Kunar Province later ended up on the front page of The New York Times.

'I knew he was a boxer guy. I knew that for sure. I did not know they were pink, and I didn't know they said, 'I love New York,' father Tommy Boyd told his local Texas radio station WBAP.

'After I saw the picture I just laughed for about five minutes.'

Boyd phoned his mother Sheree Boyd to warn her that he might be in the paper.

'He said: "I hear the Times is what they put on the President's desk",'  she said.

'Then he told us, "I may not have a job any more after the President has seen me out of uniform".

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:38 PM | Permalink

May 13, 2009

The importance of a horse's ass

Karen Hall in This Explains Everything talks about railroad tracks and Roman war chariots .

Chariot-Roman

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass. And you thought being a horse's ass wasn't important? Ancient horse's asses control almost everything...

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:43 PM | Permalink

April 17, 2009

A grain of sand

"To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour."
          William Blake

I'm a big fan of microphotography and Dr. Gary Greenberg opens up a whole new world that lies under our feet.

 Grain Sand

"A Grain of Sand: Nature's Secret Wonder" (Gary Greenberg)

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:57 AM | Permalink

April 1, 2009

Sheep in Scotland

I always wondered how the Scots came up with plaid.

 Plaid Sheep

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:26 AM | Permalink

March 17, 2009

Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill

My favorite Irish fiddler Martin Hayes and American guitarist Denis Cahill

They don't perform in the States very often.  Most of the time, they are in Europe or Ireland, but if you want to catch them live, check out  their website here

 Martinhayes Denniscahill

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:52 AM | Permalink

March 12, 2009

Diamond Heist

Wired has a great story on The Untold Story of the World's Biggest Diamond Heist.

Read the whole thing and you'll get some good tips should you want to plan your own heist but you won't be able to figure out who got the diamonds.

They were accused of breaking into the Antwerp Diamond Center’s supersecure vault and stealing $100 million in diamonds, gold and jewelry. The loot was never found, but their trash was.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:47 PM | Permalink

March 2, 2009

St. David and the Empire of the Sun, leeks and lullaby

Ah the wonders of the web where all sorts of connections can be made while I wait to clear the fifteen inches of snow that appeared overnight.  Ah, the great pleasures of a snow day.

A while back, I  started a draft post on the pre-posthumous memoir by J.G Ballard after I came across this interview about his new book  in LA Weekly


I believe in the power of the imagination to remake the world, to release the truth within us, to hold back the night, to transcend death, to charm motorways, to ingratiate ourselves with birds, to enlist the confidences of madmen.


I believe in the non-existence of the past, in the death of the future, and the infinite possibilities of the present.


"Miracles of Life: Shanghai to Shepperton: An Autobiography" (J. G. Ballard)

I tucked it away in draft form until this morning when I happened upon Happy St David's Day at Brits at their Best, a favorite blog of mine.

St. David (Dewi Sant in Welsh), a bishop of Wales (c 500-589)  became its patron saint (as well as the patron saint of vegetarians and poets).  Today the Welsh wear a leek in memory of some ancient battle against the Saxons where Bishop David advised them to wear leeks on their hats to distinguish themselves from  their enemies.    Knowing that a storm was coming, coincidentally yesterday I made a potato and leek soup  (absolutely delicious with lots of bacon bits and parsley as garnish).

Checking with the Catholic encyclopedia I learned that St David was conceived in violence, the product of the rape of his mother, a nun, by Sandde, King of Ceredigion, said by some to be King Arthur's nephew.  According to legend the poor woman gave birth on a cliff top during a violent storm.

David founded a number of churches and monasteries among them Glastonbury, Bath and Leominster, all while living a life of austerity (no meat, no beer) and great holiness.  His last words  'Be joyful, and keep your faith and your creed. Do the little things that you have seen me do and heard about" has become a very well-known phrase in Welsh 'Do the little things in life'.    My little thing for St David.

  Stdavid Wales, Jef-1

Here's the famous Welsh singer, Bryn Terfel, who gives shivers to The Anchoress, singing a lullaby, a love song, from Wales, courtesy of the Cat and David, best Brits.

   

Sleep my baby, at my breast,
Tis a mothers arms round you.
Make yourself a snug, warm nest.
Feel my love forever new.
Harm will not meet you in sleep,
Hurt will always pass you by.
Child beloved, always youll keep,
In sleep gentle, mothers breast nigh.
Sleep in peace tonight, sleep,
O sleep gently, what a sight.
A smile I see in slumber deep,

What visions make your face bright?
Are the angels above smiling,
At you in your peaceful rest?
Are you beaming back while in
Peaceful slumber on mothers breast?
Do not fear the sound, its a breeze
Brushing leaves against the door.
Do not dread the murmuring seas,
Lonely waves washing the shore.
Sleep child mine, theres nothing here,
While in slumber at my breast,
Angels smiling, have no fear,
Holy angels guard your rest.

Was I surprised to that that lullaby was prominently featured in the movie Empire of the Sun, based on the semi-autographical novel of the same name by J.F. Ballard.  I'd come full circle

Produced by Steven Speilberg with screenplay by Tom Stoddard,  Empire of the Sun, released in 1987, tells the story of a young boy from an aristocratic British family living in Shanghai in 1941 just as the Japanese invaded.  Separated from his parents, young Jamie  is captured and taken to a Japanese POW camp for British civilians where he comes to admire both the Japanese and the captured American pilots.  Jamie is played wonderfully by a very young Christian Bale who is befriended by a laid-back captured American pilot Basie played by John Malkovich.

When I watched the trailer again, I remembered how much I loved the movie.  A critical success, it won no Oscars despite several nominations.  I just bought it on Amazon for less than $10.  You can too.


"Empire of the Sun" (Steven Spielberg)

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:11 PM | Permalink

February 23, 2009

Prawo Jazdy

Ireland's worst driver, Prawo Jazdy, wanted in counties from Cork to Cavan, managed to evade justice by giving a different address each time he was stopped, until his cover was blown.

"Prawo Jazdy is actually the Polish for driving licence and not the first and surname on the licence," read a letter from June 2007 from an officer working within the Garda's traffic division.

"Having noticed this, I decided to check and see how many times officers have made this mistake.
"It is quite embarrassing to see that the system has created Prawo Jazdy as a person with over 50 identities."

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:32 AM | Permalink

February 13, 2009

"I Love Jesus But I Drink A Little"

This is hilarious - Ellen DeGeneres talks to Gladys from Austin, Texas.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:48 AM | Permalink

February 9, 2009

Talking Ants

Another wonder, Hills are alive with the sound of ants.

 Ant-Nest

Advances in audio technology have enabled scientists to discover that ants routinely talk to each other in their nests.

Most ants have a natural washboard and plectrum built into their abdomens that they can rub together to communicate using sound.

Using miniaturised microphones and speakers that can be inserted unobtrusively into nests, researchers established that the queens can issue instructions to their workers.
--

Professor Jeremy Thomas, of the University of Oxford, said improvements in technology had made the discoveries possible because it meant the ants could be recorded and subjected to playbacks without becoming alarmed.

By placing miniature speakers into the nest and playing back sounds made by a queen, the researchers were able to persuade ants to stand to attention.

“When we played the queen sounds they did 'en garde' behaviour. They would stand motionless with their antennae held out and their jaws apart for hours - the moment anyone goes near they will attack,” he said.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:14 AM | Permalink

February 2, 2009

The evil plot to destroy the world

My vote for best Superbowl commercial

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:57 PM | Permalink

January 30, 2009

Redheads

Is prejudice against redheads, the last acceptable prejudice?

 Baby Redhead

Simply red

In 15th-century Germany, redheads were seen as witches - 45,000 were tortured and murdered. Meanwhile, Egyptians burned gingers alive, and the Greeks reckoned they turned into vampires when they died.
--
t the same time there are fears that gingers may be extinct by 2060 because only 2% of the world's population are gingers, and that number is shrinking.

Maybe it was the first. 

Just little more than a year ago, ancient DNA retrieved from the bones of two Neanderthals revealed the gene for red hair and pale skin.

 Neanderthal Redhead

Now maybe, probably, there was as much variety in skin and hair color among Neanderthals as we find in humans, but no one knows why they all died out.  Did both humans and Neanderthals evolve the MC1R gene?  Or was it the result of intermarriage?

Did the famous redheads in history,  Napoleon, Lizzie Borden, Emily Dickinson, Thomas Jefferson, James Joyce, Vincent Van Gogh. Elizabeth I , Winston Churchill and Lucille Ball, carry with them genes from a non-human ancestor?

-Woman Redhead Natural Portrait

Mark Twain, another redhead, wondered about the same thing, only he concluded, "While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats."

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:34 AM | Permalink

January 26, 2009

Long exposure

 Lightouse-Long-Exposure

Just an amazing photo of a lighthouse from Neatorama

that reminds me of the logo for Fidelity Investments which, despite its long exposure of years on millions of pieces of paper,  I'm sure most of you couldn't recall the logo I didn't remind you.

 Fidelity Logo

Another that I love is this long exposure of the Eiger peak in Switzerland. 

Eiger Peak Switzerland At Night

These are the mountains above Grindelwald, high in the Jungfrau, where I did the best and scariest skiing in my life.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:28 PM | Permalink

January 16, 2009

Walk-Ins

The difference between men and women explained.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:35 AM | Permalink

January 15, 2009

Canine Freestyle

Pet dogs rival humans for emotional satisfaction

 Playing With Dog

After playing with their dogs, their owners experience a burst of oxytocin, the hormone linked to infant care and romantic love.

After watching this YouTube, the dog Rookie has burst after burst while dancing with his owner, Carolyn Scott.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:59 AM | Permalink

January 10, 2009

Fueled by Bacon, Cheese and Butter

Is there nothing bacon can't do?

    -Bacon, Canadians Southpole

Three Canadian men have claimed a new record for the fastest trek across Antarctica to the South Pole.


Ray Zahab, Kevin Vallely and Richard Weber said they had completed the 1,130 km (700 miles) journey in 33 days, 23 hours and 30 minutes.

They hey suffered white-out but survived on a high-calorie diet of deep-fried bacon, cheese and butter. 

From MSNBC

Zahab and his teammates — Kevin Vallely of North Vancouver and Richard Weber of Alcove, Quebec — documented their journey on their Web site, using their satellite phone to post photos and podcasts along the way. They pulled 170-pound sleds of equipment, with Zahab traveling on foot and on snowshoes while the other two men skied. At night, they hunkered down in a tent to sleep.

The men suffered altitude sickness, vertigo and massive, painful blisters. They kept themselves fueled with a 7,000-calorie-a-day diet of deep-fried bacon, cheese and huge chunks of butter.

"I am dying for pizza," Zahab said with a sigh Friday. "All I've been thinking about is pizza."

He was longing, too, for his 6-month-old daughter, Mia Sahara, and wife of two years, Kathy.

"All I would do is think about them and think about how I would spend the day with them and how I would never complain about changing a diaper again," he said.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:27 AM | Permalink

December 17, 2008

Top this

 Xmas Tree Through Roof

This Christmas tree can't be topped.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:26 AM | Permalink

December 15, 2008

The patterns of travelers

Just watch the air traffic

 

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:58 AM | Permalink

November 30, 2008

British surfer dog

Meet Harvey the dog who gets his daily exercise riding the waves

"His name is Harvey and he's a surfer of the highest pedigree.

After all, it's not everyone who can balance with four feet on the board at once - let alone use his tail as a rudder.

 British Surfer Dog

The three-year-old labrador is the pet of Scott Pearson and his 16-year-old son James, both keen surfers. He regularly joins them on Tynemouth beach in North Tyne-side, where he has his own sponge surfboard which he carries in and out of the waves in his jaws.

'He's been in the water ever since he was a pup,' said 43-year-old Mr Pearson, from Gosforth.

'Whenever we're out surfing he's always following us - he never stays on the beach.'

James, who hopes to join the British surfing team said Harvey first took to a surfboard this summer.

'My Dad and I were out paddling on the board and Harvey just swam out to us and we put him on the board. "He's a real natural and now every time he is out on his board people watch in amazement."

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:10 AM | Permalink

November 28, 2008

Foodscapes

No matter how skillful you are with leftovers from yesterday's meal, you will never reach the sublime heights that Carl Warner has with his foodscapes.

Below is a salmon sea and a peapod boat sailing away from a land made of bread and potatoes under waving dill fronds.

 Amazing Food Art

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:21 AM | Permalink

October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween Jokes

Surprise: Halloween's Not a Pagan Festival After All

The holiday and its customs are completely Christian and uniquely American.

 Halloween Hidden Bassets

Here are some riddles for the older trick or treaters.

Q: How do you make a witch stew?
A: Keep her waiting for hours.

Q: What do you call a person who puts rat poison in a person's Corn Flakes?
A: A cereal killer

Q: What happened to the guy who couldn't keep up payments to his exorcist?
A: He was repossessed.

Q: What is a vampires favourite mode of transportation?
A: A blood vessel.

Q: Why don't witches like to ride their brooms when they're angry?
A: They're afraid of flying off the handle.

Q: What do you call a wicked witch who lives by the sea?
A: A Sand-witch

Q: What happens when a ghost gets lost in a fog?
A: He's mist.

Q: How do ghosts begin their letters?
A: "Tomb it may concern..."

Q: What do you call a ghost with a broken leg?
A: Hoblin Goblin.

Q: What kind of street does a ghost like best?
A: A dead end.

Q: How do you know if a ghost is lying?
A: You can see right through him.

Q: Where do ghosts go on vacation?
A: Lake Erie.

Q: Why are there fences around cemeteries?
A: Because people are dying to get in.

Q: How is a werewolf like a computer?
A: They both have megabytes.

Q: Why didn't the skeleton dance at the Halloween party?
A: It had no body to dance with.

Q: When does a skeleton laugh?
A: When something tickles his funny bone.

Q: Who does a ghoul fall in love with?
A: His ghoul friend.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:26 AM | Permalink

October 9, 2008

Nikon's Small World

Art and science collide in microscopic pictures of nature. 

 Wing-Scales Moth

These are the wing scales of a moth

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:57 PM | Permalink

New mergers on the horizon

Gallows humor it is, but that's when you need it most.

With all the turmoil in the market today and the collapse of Lehman Bros and acquisition of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America many more mergers and takeovers can be expected:

1.) Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush, and W R. Grace Co. Will merge and become: Hale, Mary, Fuller, Grace.

2.) Polygram Records, Warner Bros., and Zesta Crackers join forces and become: Poly, Warner Cracker.

3.) 3M will merge with Goodyear and become: MMMGood.

4. Zippo Manufacturing, Audi Motors, Dofasco, and Dakota Mining will merge and become: ZipAudiDoDa .

5. FedEx is expected to join its competitor, UPS, and become: FedUP.

6. Fairchild Electronics and Honeywell Computers will become: Fairwell Honeychild.

7. Grey Poupon and Docker Pants are expected to become: PouponPants.

8. Knotts Berry Farm and the National Organization of Women will become: Knott NOW!

And finally...

9. Victoria 's Secret and Smith &Wesson will merge under the new name: TittyTittyBangBang

From Bussorah

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:31 PM | Permalink

August 31, 2008

The funniest things from the convention

The funniest things I found from the Democratic convention.

From the Sunday Times,  AA Gill travels to Denver and writes as only a Brit can - think Monty Python with a slight sneer  - and the results are hilarious with
Barack Obama's army with epic razzamatazz .
Cumulatively, these stories sound like the Yorkshireman’s sketch from Monty Python as a 12-step share. Each silky, coiffured and polished senator, congressman and governor outdoes the other with Stygian hardship. The effect is so cloyingly sentimental, it could give cynicism diabetes. But I am again the only one who finds the parade of Little Nell revelations hideously patronising. The implication being that if you don’t wind up at least as an Ivy League lawyer, then your poverty wasn’t bad enough and your dream isn’t lavish and American enough. The only person who doesn’t tell us about growing up in a bucket under the sink is Ted Kennedy, because we already know that he was born into patrician splendour paid for by illegal whisky-running during prohibition.

Peggy Noonan brings the house down

The hilarious Jason Mattara goes undercover  with a petition to bring Cinemax, Netflix, and MSNBC to Guatanamo prisoners.  The hippies sign.  Via Hot Air

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:20 AM | Permalink

August 25, 2008

Metaphor for so many things

I laugh every time I watch this.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:03 PM | Permalink

August 21, 2008

***B.O.O.K.

The new Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge Device

BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It’s so easy to use, even a child can operate it.

Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere — even sitting in an armchair by the fire — yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM.
--
The “browse” feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet, and move forward or backward as you wish. Many come with an “index” feature, which pin-points the exact location of any selected information for instant retrieval.

An optional “BOOKmark” accessory allows you to open BOOK to the exact place you left it in a previous session — even if the BOOK has been closed.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:11 PM | Permalink

June 6, 2008

Flatulence inoculation

One of the pleasures of growing older is recognizing the threads that appear again and again in the tapestry of one's life.  One thread that always makes me laugh is flatulence.

I told this story in Five Things You Don't Know About Me.

When I began working at the Department of Interior as the Special Assistant to the Solicitor,  I  wrote a number of speeches for the Solicitor, one of which became infamous,  picked up by the Associated Press across the country and, in the end, selected by Parade magazine in its year-end round-up as the best or funniest  environmental stories of the year, I can't remember which.


Let's face it, it's hard to find something interesting and relevant to write about for the South Dakota  Stockgrowers Association, - that's cattlemen to you.    So, when in the course of reading reports from the EPA, and the International Climate Change Committee, I came across the fact that grants were being awarded to study cow flatulence and digestion  as one of the major sources of methane contributing to climate change, I knew I had a winner.  "Windy cows" it was.  The speech wrote itself and the cattlemen loved it.

 Swiss-Cow

I followed that with More on Cow Flatulence when years later the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization called livestock a major threat to the environment contributing more to greenhouse emissions than all transportation combined.

So the news that a flatulence inoculation has been developed in New Zealand was  of more than passing interest and not just because it gives me an excuse to post one of the funniest jokes ever.

George W. Bush not only smiles and waves nicely, always knows the right thing to say, too!

Bush and the Queen at London Heathrow, a 300-foot long red carpet is stretched out to Air Force One and Mr. Bush strides to a warm but dignified handshake from Queen Elizabeth II.

They ride in a silver 1934 Bentley limousine to the edge of central London where they board an open 17th century coach hitched to six magnificent white matching horses.

As they ride toward Buckingham Palace, each looking sideways and waving to the thousands of cheering Britons lining the streets, all is going well.

But suddenly the right rear horse lets fly with the most horrendous, earth-rending, eye-smarting blast of gastronomic flatulence ever heard in the British Empire, including Bermuda, Tortola and other islands.

It shakes the coach.

Uncomfortable, but under control, the two dignitaries of state do their best to ignore the whole incident, but then the Queen decides that's ridiculous.

She turns to Mr. Bush and explains, "Mr. President, please accept my regrets. I'm sure you understand that there are some things that even a Queen cannot control."

George W. Bush, ever the gentleman, replies, "Your Majesty, please don't give the matter another thought. You know, if you hadn't said something, I would have thought it was one of the horses."

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:09 AM | Permalink

May 23, 2008

Biggest Drawing in the World

A Swedish student at the Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm had a great idea for his final project - the biggest drawing in the world.

Using a GPS device in a briefcase as his pen, and very exact travel directions to DHL,  he drew a self-portrait on our planet.  You can see how he did it here.

 Gps Generated Self Portrait

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:44 PM | Permalink

May 16, 2008

Whatever

"Join me on the bandwagon of my own uncertainty," Taylor Mali.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:12 AM | Permalink

May 9, 2008

What you do with vegetables could be criminal

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey wants to outlaw out-of-season vegetables

making out-of-season produce illegal would raise "levels of inspiration".
"There should be stringent laws, licensing laws, to make sure produce is only used in season and season only," he said.

HT Perry de Haviland

Man spends 18 hours in police cell and has his DNA taken for 'dropping an apple core', a charge he denies.

From Grandma's House

Listen up brothers and sisters, come here my desperate tale
I speak of our friends of nature, trapped in the dirt like a jail
Vegtables live in oppression, served on out tables each night
This killing of veggies is madness, i say we take up the fight
Salads are only for murderers, cole slaw's a fascist regime
Don't think that they don't have feelings, just cause a radish can't scream

I've heard the screams of the vegetables, watching their skins being peeled
Grated and steamed with no mercy.. how do you think that feels?
Carrot juice constitutes murder.. greenhouses prisons for slaves
It's time to stop all this gardening.. let's call a spade a spade.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:02 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

May 2, 2008

The Diaries of Cats and Dogs

I meant to post this last week, so you may have already see it.  From Good Eats

The Dog's Diary

  8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
  9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
  9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
  1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
  3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
  5:00 pm - Dinner! My favorite thing!
  7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
  8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

The Cat's Diary

Day 983 of My Captivity

    My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

    The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates my capabilities. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Bastards!

    There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

    Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow, but at the top of the stairs.

    I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released, and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird must be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now ...

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:21 AM | Permalink

April 12, 2008

A Man and His Devices

 Self Portrait In Devices

My favorite self-portrait from the Top 10 Self-Portraits of Wired readers.

See them all starting here.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:31 AM | Permalink

April 1, 2008

The dark side of the BBC newsroom

Astonishingly, a fight breaks out behind a television reader at the BBC.  You have to watch this one.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:55 AM | Permalink

March 31, 2008

He tastes words

Synesthesia, is a most interesting neurological condition that "mixes up the senses".  People with synesthesia can have strong color sensations with certain words,  associate numbers with sounds or music with colors.  James Wannerton has an unusual form of the unusual condition, he tastes words.

Whenever I see a picture of Tony Blair I instantly get the taste of desiccated coconut.

Gordon Brown leaves me with a very strong taste of dirt and Marmite, so he shouldn't count on getting my vote.

George Bush gives me a taste similar to the crusty potato bit on top of a cottage pie.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:39 AM | Permalink

March 7, 2008

You don't know the name glutamate, but you love it

As I read the New York Times, monosodium glutamate or MSG gives us the taste,  umami, that "elusive fifth taste" that rounds out the flavor of everything.

Yes, MSG, the Secret Behind the Savor

But you don't have to search out Japanese seaweed because MSG is a shortcut to that rounder flavor.  You won't necessarily under that name on the label, so look for hydrolyzed soy protein or autolyzed yeast, because it's all glutamate and perfectly safe to eat for the vast majority of people.

You can find glutamate  in Accent, canned chicken broth, hoisin, soy and fish sauces, Maggi, onion soup, Goldfish crackers, canned tuna with vegetable broth, canned soup, low-fat yoghurts and ice creams, virtually everything ranch-flavored or cheese-flavored, Pringles and bologna among others.

Nacho-cheese-flavor Doritos, which contain five separate forms of glutamate, may be even richer in umami than the finest kombu dashi (kelp stock) in Japan.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:22 PM | Permalink

February 4, 2008

Frozen Play

This is so fresh and witty a piece of performance art, you must see it if you haven't already.    A grand illusion at Grand Central with 207 adults at frozen play.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:28 AM | Permalink

January 25, 2008

My Will

And you thought lawyers could never get down and funky.  Check out Bob Noone and the Well-Hung Jury singing My Will

   

via Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:30 AM | Permalink

January 13, 2008

Postcards home

Postcards home from Roman soldiers in Britain, 

They came, they saw...and they asked for new underpants


Now known as the Vindolanda Tablets - after the fort where they were found - the more than 1,000 pieces of birch, alder and oak give an unparalleled, moving and often very funny insight into the life of the Roman soldier stuck miles from home at the end of the first century AD.
--
The letters reveal how the soldiers miss their family and friends back in Gaul - that's where most of them came from...But most of all, how cold they are in the frozen north,
--
The funniest letter is a simple list of the clothes sent from the warm south to a poor frozen Roman: "Paria udonum ab Sattua solearum duo et subligariorum duo." Or - socks, two pairs of sandals and two pairs of underpants.
--

Solemnis, in another letter, wrote to his brother Paris: "Hello there. Hope all's well. I'm in top form - and I hope you are, even though you've been so bloody lazy and haven't sent me a single letter.

Human nature and human needs haven't changed at all. 

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:08 PM | Permalink

December 21, 2007

Wriststrong

Responding to AP's selection of him as Celebrity of the Year, Steven Colbert sent this email.

"In receiving this award, I am pleased that I was chosen over two great spinners of fantasy — J.K. Rowling and Al Gore. It is truly an honor to be named the Associated Press' Celebrity of the Year. Best of all, this makes me the official front-runner for next year's Drug-Fueled Downward Spiral of the year. P.S. Look for my baby bump this spring!"

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:51 AM | Permalink

December 18, 2007

Galactic Violence

 Death Star Galaxy

Jet from Supermassive Black Hole Seen Blasting Neighboring Galaxy.

You can't see the massive black hole of course, only the blue jet emanating from it.

Black holes ... set loose tremendous bursts of energy as matter swirls around the disk of material that circles the black hole but does not make it in.

That energy, often in the form of highly charged gamma rays and X-rays, shoots out in powerful jets that can be millions of light-years long and 1,000 light-years wide.

Scientists are just beginning to understand these jets, which not only transform matter in their path but also help produce "stellar nurseries," where new stars are formed.

What seems violent may be a form of galactic conception.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:03 AM | Permalink

"Do You Hear What I Hear?"

You know the Christmas song,  "Do You Hear What I Hear?"

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,
“Do you hear what I hear?
Ringing through the sky, shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear?
A song, a song, high above the tree
With a voice as big as the sea.”

What you don't know is that the song was written during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 by Noel Regney as he walked down the streets of New York City where despair hung thick in the air when he came upon two babies in strollers looking at each other and smiling.

The Story Behind the Song.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:08 AM | Permalink

December 14, 2007

In the old days...

In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it "Christmas" and went to church; the Jews called it "Hanukkah" and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say "Merry Christmas!" or "Happy Hanukkah!" or (to the atheists), "Look out for the wall!"

- Dave Barry

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:01 PM | Permalink

December 4, 2007

Il faut souffrir pour etre belle

It's necessary to suffer to be beautiful.

Now a man lives to tell what women already know.  It's laugh-out-loud funny.

Christopher Hitchens On the Limits of Self-Improvement that involve wraps, Brazilian waxes and veneers.

Part One

Part Two

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:35 PM | Permalink

November 29, 2007

The Holy Grail of Beers

The best beer in the world is brewed by Trappist monks in Westvleteren, Belgium. Despite the phenomenal demand for the "holy grail of beers", the monks are resisting pressure to increase production.

"It would interfere with our job of being a monk. We sell beer to live, and not vice versa."

Trappist Command: Thou Shalt Not Buy Too Much of Our Beer. (Wall St Journal subscribers only at least until Murdoch takes over)

Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:32 PM | Permalink

November 25, 2007

Iridescent Cloud

 Iridescent Cloud

From Astronomy Picture of the Day

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:09 AM | Permalink

November 24, 2007

"History flows forward in rivers of beer."

It all started with beer.

Chocolate that is. 

Chocolate began as a status beer

THE chocolate enjoyed around the world today had its origins at least 3100 years ago in Central America not as the sweet treat people now crave but as a celebratory beer-like beverage and status symbol,

Anonymous said, "History flows forward in rivers of beer."

Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:14 PM | Permalink

November 16, 2007

If you ever need a laugh

I know I posted about this before years ago, but a friend just sent it to me again.  I think I laughed just as much.  It's impossible not to.

Texas accident

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:46 PM | Permalink

November 9, 2007

Good things come to those who wait

It's the best Rube Goldberg contraption I've ever seen.

I wish I could embed it but I can't so click on the link.

  Guiness Rube Goldberg

Good things come to those who wait.

Especially if they love their Guinness.

via Scribal Terror

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:03 AM | Permalink

November 3, 2007

Photographing Fairy Tales

Annie Liebowitz was commissioned to create new images for the Disney company's Year of a Million Dreams promotion.

Here is Rachel Weisz as Snow White.

 Rachel Weisz, Annie Liebowitz Snow White

Scarlett Johanssen as Cinderella

 Scarlett Johanssen As Cinderella

Julie Andrews as a fairy godmother

 Julie Andrews Fairy Godmother

See them all in their full glory at the Disney gallery


Iain Gray delivers
some delicious snark to Rachel Weisz's comment, "I think you always want to be Snow White."

Really? What, having one’s mother die in childbirth, being despised by your new stepmother to the point where she repeatedly tries to brutally murder you and then spending your days with a bunch of emotionally-stunted gold-diggers who immediately put you to work cleaning and cooking before insisting that you share their beds with them?

It truly is every little girl’s dream…

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:24 AM | Permalink

October 31, 2007

Eat, drink and be scary

  Halloween Scary

Shamelessly stolen from Scribal Terror

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:33 PM | Permalink

October 26, 2007

Up up and away

Although he tried awfully hard,  Norman Mailer never succeeded at levitating the Pentagon back in 1968.

Yet, this Dutchman succeed at levitating himself before the White House with ease.  How does he do it?

 Levitation White House

I can't embed so to see Woulter Bijdendijik, the Dutch magician click here.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:44 PM | Permalink

October 24, 2007

3D Michelangelo Street Art

Kurt Wenner, a former illustrator for NASA, is wowing them in London with his pavement art.

He translated the anamorphism - the technique used by classical artists to create the illusion of height - into a new way of painting to give depth to the street surface.

 Kurt Wenner 3D Pavement Art

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:33 AM | Permalink

October 6, 2007

The mysterious albino town

An amazing story, Aicuna is Not an Albino Town

It is the same message that she had made us read—the one by Carlo Brero, a nearly eighty-year-old Italian who, on September 28, 2006, bade his farewell to La Casa with these words, in Spanish: “I came to this town to find albino genes and I found the happiness of my youth.” Mr. Brero’s farewell letter, written in a trembling hand but with unwavering care, takes up the entire page. Before signing it, he added: “I feel personally content and I think that it’s because of the way of life here: happy children, simple, tranquil, and affable people. Love is found here amid an everyday landscape.”
--

It’s like something out of García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Once upon a time in northeastern Argentina there was a village of grape and almond farmers and goat breeders. This place, called Aicuña, also known as “the town of the Ormeños,” or later “the mysterious albino town,” remained isolated for more than three centuries, two hundred and fifty years longer than García Márquez’s Macondo. Inbreeding was punished in Macondo by the birth of a boy with a pig’s tail. In Aicuña, say some vicious people in neighboring villages, the punishment is colorless children. Forty-six of them, to be precise, in little more than a century.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:17 PM | Permalink

September 28, 2007

Scribble Scrabble

Some Preschoolers' thoughts on aging.

"First they start smooth and when they are going to die, they get pruney"

First they grow up as a young kid...they eat healthy and they get taller. And soon they get much taller and they go to heaven.  If they can't walk, they get a wheelchair."

 Preschoolers On Aging

What's with the "scribble scrabble"?  Two of the preschoolers call wrinkles scribble scrabble which I kinda like actually.

"They have scrabble scrabble just on her face.  And she's got shiny teeth."

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:07 AM | Permalink

September 12, 2007

The Fear of Being Eaten

Dr. Helen quotes Mary Fensolt saying, The fear of public speaking or performing is more than anything a fear of being eaten."

Building on the theories of sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson, Fensholt argues that historically, being intently scrutinized and singled out was a prelude to being eaten by a predator, so human ancestors evolved a strong fear response against setting themselves apart from the protection of the group.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:20 PM | Permalink

September 4, 2007

Ten Things

Catching up on all sorts of stuff over the weekend, I realized I haven't done my "To Do Before You Die List" even though I've already crossed some things off like water rafting through the Grand Canyon and scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef.

Ten Things to Do Before You Finish This Article.

I've got lots to add.  What about you?

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:18 AM | Permalink

August 16, 2007

Contagious Yawning

Why are yawns so contagious?

I used to tell my sister that it was a battle for oxygen.  When one person yawns, they suck up so much oxygen out of the air that the other person is forced to yawn just to stay alive.

Nonsense, but fun.  Now scientists are now doing the research, and the first results are in.

What triggers the phenomenon appears to be the capacity for empathy.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:52 AM | Permalink

July 30, 2007

Nixon, the Pope and a Cigar

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates speaks about the most embarrassing moment of his career.

But I think the most embarrassing moment during my career was when Nixon visited Italy and he met with the Pope, and Melvin Laird was along as Secretary of Defense. Kissinger and Nixon decided that Laird shouldn’t be invited to the meeting with the Pope, as sort of the Minister of War.

And so, Nixon was in the next morning having his private audience with the Pope, and the rest of us were waiting outside. And who should come striding down the hall smoking an enormous cigar but Laird. He had clearly found out about the meeting, probably through good military intelligence. [Laughter]

And Kissinger was kind of beside himself, but he finally said “Well, Mel, at least extinguish the cigar.” So Laird stubbed out his cigar and put it in his pocket.

The American party a few minutes later went in to their general meeting with the pope. Pope was seated at a little table in front, Americans in two rows of high-backed chairs. Back row, Kissinger on the end; Laird next to him. A couple of minutes into the Pope’s remarks, Kissinger heard this little patting sound, and he looked over, and there was a wisp of smoke coming out of Laird’s pocket. [Laughter] The Secretary of State thought nothing of it. A couple of other minutes went by and the secretary heard this patting sound, slapping going on, and he looked over and smoke was billowing out of Laird’s pocket. The Secretary of Defense was on fire. [Laughter]

The American party heard this slapping, and thought they were being queued to applaud. And so they did. [Laughter]

And Henry later told us, “God only knows what his Holiness thought, seeing the American secretary of defense immolating himself, and the entire American party applauding the fact.” [Laughter, Applause

via The Belmont Club

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:31 AM | Permalink

April 18, 2007

Beer the Basis of Modern Civilization

"Beer is the basis of modern static civilization.  Because before beer was discovered, people used to wander around and follow goats from place to place. And then they realized that this grain [barley] could be grown and sprouted and made into a bread and crumbled and converted into a liquid which gave a nice, warm, cozy feeling. So gone were the days that they followed goats around. They stayed put while the grain grew and while the beer was brewed. And they made villages out of their tents. And those villages became towns, and those towns became cities. And so here we are in New York, thanks to beer.
--
He who drinks beer sleeps well. He who sleeps well cannot sin. He who does not sin goes to heaven.

Charlie Bamforth is the Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Brewing Science at the University of California, Davis.

From Ale's Well with the World, Scientific American.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:08 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

April 4, 2007

YouTube winners and the Little Girl Giant

Here it Goes Again was the top winner in the first annual YouTube Video Awards.  You can see the winners and the runners-up.

Most creative  Here It Goes Again - 14 million viewers which is not even close to the all time winner for most times viewed- some 45 million of them -Evolution of Dance.

I loved  the enchanting Little Girl Giant at Hootsbuddy's Place and soon clicked to read more about  The Saga of the Giants.  3 Quarks Daily tells the story beautifully.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:25 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

March 25, 2007

Sixteen Things

16 things it takes most of us 50 years to learn

3. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

4. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above-average drivers.

5. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is: age 11.

via Kottke

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:43 AM | Permalink

March 19, 2007

Our Everyday Elixir

  Victoria Falls

Along with this spectacular photo of Victoria Falls, comes some marvelous writing by Michael Joseph Gross in Chasing the Ultimate Waterfall

Later I realized this was the reassurance of a waterfall. Here, our everyday elixir, the substance of which we are literally made, seems to be shattered, and immediately, perpetually, restores itself.

All the glory and excitement of this place, and of any waterfall, has just one natural purpose: it's the river's way of getting back to normal. A waterfall occurs at the rift between a stream's force and its path. It is simultaneously a mistake and a correction, existing in order to erase itself.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:55 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

March 16, 2007

The Irish and Beer

  Get Beer-1

Blackfive has a patent-pending on the Irish palm pilot shown above.

It's worth pointing out that are two patron saints of Ireland, St Patrick and St. Brigid and the latter  particularly loved beer which is featured prominently in some of the miracles attributed to her.
Her generosity in adult life was legendary: It was recorded that if she gave a drink of water to a thirsty stranger, the liquid turned into milk; when she sent a barrel of beer to one Christian community, it proved to satisfy 17 more. Many of the stories about her relate to the multiplication of food, including one that she changed her bath-water into beer to satisfy the thirst of an unexpected clergyman.

St. Brigid's prayer begins
I'd like to give a lake of beer to God.
I'd love the Heavenly
Host to be tippling there
For all eternity.

and ends
I'd sit with the men, the women of God
There by the lake of beer
We'd be drinking good health forever
And every drop would be a prayer.

Who else but an Irish saint imagines God as forever drinking beer, a beatific vision unique to  the Irish?

Go here to hear Noirin Ni Riann recite the prayer in her wonderful Irish voice.

And finally, an Irish joke from To the Point.
An Irishman was walking along a beach in County Cork one day and noticed an encrusted bottle washed up on the sand.  Wondering what might be inside he broke it off at the neck and out popped an Irish Genie.

"Oh, me man, I hah been in tha bottle for a hundred years, and you be settin' me free!" he exclaimed.  "For that, I'll be givin' you two wishes!"

"Two wishes?  Anything I want?" the man asked incredulously.

"Anythin' - just name it," the genie replied.

"Well, what I'll be wantin'," said the man, "is a glass of good Irish ale - but a very special glass, so that no matter how much I drink it will always be full of good Irish ale."

Poof!  There it was in his hand.  The Irishman drank and drank and drank, and twenty minutes later, he hadn't made a dent.  The glass was still overflowing with wonderful Irish ale.

But by now the genie was getting impatient.

"Listen me man" he announced.  "I'm grateful for you settin' me free, but I was in that bottle for a long time and I've things to do.  So you'll be makin' your second wish now."

The Irishman thought for a moment, looked at the glass in his hand, and declared, "You know, I think I'll have another one of these!"

So drink and pray beer for St. Patrick and St. Brigid, but never green beer, an abomination.

There's a party over at Guinness.  You have to register, but then you can download some Irish music by Quagmire

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:14 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

March 13, 2007

The Final Four of Everything

Speaking of procrastination, I had a grand time applying NCAA Tournament style brackets to bring the Final Four of Everything to where were you when moments, film deaths, ad slogans and marital arguments thanks to Slate's Enlightened Bracketologist.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:16 AM | Permalink

March 9, 2007

How Many People Have Ever Lived?

You've probably heard somewhere from someone that there are more people alive today than have ever lived on earth before and assumed it was true.

The U.N. says we number 6.5 billion alive today.

Well Scientific American reports  that 106 billion people have walked the earth before us.

The dead far outnumber the living.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:58 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

Action Poetry

Come Friday afternoon, it's time to start winding down. 

So scoot on over to Billy Collins action poetry.  The animations are wonderful.

Thanks to Patti who wrote I have died and gone to heaven.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:57 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

February 12, 2007

How Kids See Grandparents

I love what these eight-year-olds have to say about grandparents via Jim Selman at Serene Ambition where he ponders getting older

serenely.

• Grandparents are a lady and a man who have no little children of her own. They like other people's.
• A grandfather is a man grandmother.
• Grandparents don't have to do anything except be there when we come to see them. They are so old they shouldn't play hard or run. It is good if they drive us to the store and have lots of quarters for us.
• When they take us for walks, they slow down past things like pretty leaves and caterpillars.
• They show us and talk to us about the color of the flowers and also why we shouldn't step on cracks.
• They don't say, "Hurry up!" 
• Usually grandmothers are fat, but not too fat to tie your shoes. 
• They wear glasses and funny underwear.
• They can take their teeth and gums out.
• Grandparents don't have to be smart.
• They have to answer questions like, "Why isn't God married?" and "How come dogs chase cats?"
• When they read to us, they don't skip. They don't mind if we ask for the same story over again .
• Everybody should try to have a grandmother, especially if you don't have television, because they are the only grown ups who like to spend time with us. 
• They know we should have snack-time before bedtime and they say prayers with us every time, and kiss us even when we've acted bad. 

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:15 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

January 24, 2007

My, Me, Meme

So I've been memed by Theresa at Technicalities

1. My: What would I give my right arm for?  If we're talking literally here, I'd give my right arm to save my life or someone else's if I'm feeling good.  Otherwise, I'd give my right arm for someone to show me how to use Garage Band to edit audio tracks  and how to record audio on my computer because I want to start podcasting because the BOOK is almost DONE and so is the SOFTWARE.

2. Me. What's one word that describes how you want people to see you?

Trusted.

3. Meme: If you could be any blogger, which blogger would you be and why?

Well, since Theresa has already picked Lileks, who I's sure is at the top of  many lists, I'm going to go for The Anchoress.  I just love how her religion informs her heart in her essays.

Three people who now can struggle with this meme.  Ronni  Miss Kelly, and Tish

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:51 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

January 9, 2007

Beauty, Power and Magic - the iPhone

I can't believe how much time I spent today watching and reading all about Steve Job's presentation of the gorgeous iPhone with all its promise of beauty and elegance,  power and magic. 

  3 Iphone Images

Jobs got a standing ovation.  iPhone drool shorted keyboards across the country.

I want one.  Who doesn't?

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:22 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

January 6, 2007

The Untrodden Paths of Life

Your very own eccentric British aristocratic title from Lady Fortune the Absurd of Greater Internetshire.

      Heraldic Shield Semita

I had great fun, trying on different titles.  My favorites are in red.  Even more fun will be the first time I fill out an application using one of them.

Very Lady Jill the Larger of Goosnargh Leering
Honourable Lady Jill the Cosmopolitan of Pease Pottage
Her Royal Highness Jill the Erudite of Puddleston St Droop
Her Exalted Highness Duchess Jill the Pusillanimous of Lardle Midhoop
Her Noble Excellency Jill the Implacable of Nether Wombleshire
Entirely Miss Reverend Lady Jill the Excited of New Scagglethorpe
Her Exalted Highness Duchess Jill the Glutinous: of Kirkby Overblow
Her Eminence the Very Viscountess Jill the Purple of New Invention
Her Royal Highness Jill the Fortunate of Melbury Bubblewick
Venerable Lady Jill the Mad of Lower Slaughter
Entirely Miss Reverend Lady Jill the Confused of Featherstonehaugh St Fanshaw
Marchioness Jill the Assiduous of Giggleswick on the Naze
Her Most Noble Lady Jill the Incomplete of Porton Down

I am told that the motto on the shield "Fallentis semita vitae" comes from Horace and means the untrodden paths of life.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:03 PM | Permalink | TrackBack