Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun

Mondo Bizarro

[Bumped & Updated] Strange Scenes Inside the 21st Century: A Majestic Leopard Accidentally Takes a Selfie in the Streets of Mumbai


At precisely 3 am on January 15, 2016, a leopard snapped a selfie.

The fact it did this is not unusual; wild animals take a surprising number of selfies. What’s noteworthy here is the leopard snapped its selfie in Mumbai.

The big cat was prowling Aarey Colony, a neighborhood on the outskirts of the city, when it tripped Nayan Khanolkar's camera. The cat looks almost as surprised as Khanolkhar was. “When I saw a picture of the leopard with a look of inquiry in the direction of the camera, I realized it was special,” he says.

Khanolkar, a native of Mumbai, began photographing urban leopards after one of the big cats killed a seven-year-old in 2013. He started in Aarey Colony, which sits at the edge of Sanjay Gandhi National Park -- which covers 40 square miles and hosts more than 1,000 species, including leopards. It isn’t unusual for them to explore adjacent neighborhoods.

Still, the animals are sly and surreptitious, and difficult to photograph. Khanolkar started his hunt by identifying several locations where leopards often pass through Aarey Colony. For this photo, he set up an infrared motion sensor in an alley, attached a Nikon D700 to a nearby building, and positioned three strobes at various points throughout the area. Khanolkar visited the spot every few days to check his trap. After four months of waiting, he captured a stunning leopard creeping through the scene.

Khanolkar hopes his photos prove leopards can live alongside humans, even in a thriving metropolis like Mumbai. After all, the leopards were there first.

UPDATE FROM 2014: The leopards of Mumbai: life and death among the city's 'living ghosts'

The leopards come close to human settlements looking for food, says SGNP wildlife researcher and conservationist Krishna Tiwari. Around 90% of their diet consists of dogs, rodents and wild boar, with stray dogs - attracted by the garbage dumped on the edge of the park - accounting for 60%.

Mumbai’s leopards have generally coexisted peacefully with their human neighbours. But a spate of attacks a decade ago reinforced the notion of them as bloodthirsty man-eaters. Of the 176 reported attacks between 1991 to 2013, 84 occurred between 2002 and 2004. Nine people were killed by leopards in the month of June 2004 alone.

During this period, leopards rescued from other parts of Maharashtra state were being released in the SGNP. The authorities thought the park would be a haven for leopards, but instead the relocated cats were forced to fight for territory and food. “What we ended up having in the park was stressed-out predators,” says Athreya. “Highly territorial animals who were displaced and had to find food in an unfamiliar place.”

After the relocations stopped in 2006, the number of attacks decreased dramatically and there were no fatalities or injuries from leopard attacks in the Mumbai suburbs from 2009-11. Yet, since November 2011 there have been six fatalities; the last three deaths were all reported in Aarey Milk Colony, to the south of the SGNP. The most recent was in October 2013, when a seven-year-old boy was killed.

Tiwari, who grew up in a residential building just outside the SGNP, has worked in the park for almost two decades. The encroachment of the city today is unparalleled, he says. Illegal settlements - including nagars (settlements by non-indigenous people), padas (tribal settlements) and high-rise buildings - continue to swell in and around the park. More than 54 illegal settlements and two villages - with a combined population in excess of 250,000 - are inside the park itself.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jan 17, 2017 8:36 AM |  Comments (39)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Drawer Horror


Some years ago I was visiting an old friend in Florida. This pal (A large man who is actually "a sensitive little forest flower.") loves boats and boating and maintained two, count ‘em, two homes in Florida set up for boating.

The first home was his main base in Ft. Lauderdale. It was a three bedroom two bath operation with a swimming pool, an office, and a long boat dock where he kept “the big boat.”

The second home was a smaller house set up on stilts down in the depths of the Florida Keys twenty miles above Key West with two bedrooms, one bath, and a boat dock on a canal where he kept “the little boat.”

Since he used the Keys only here and there throughout the year he decided at some point to rent it out. He did rent it out for a year to a well-vetted man. When I visited him that lease was up and he and I went to the Keys house to check it out. A day or so before we arrived my pal had a house cleaner go in and change all the bedding and spiff up the rest of the house.

When we got there I went into the guest bedroom to unpack my things into the chest of drawers. As I opened the bottom drawer I found the renter or one of his guests had left some underwear and t-shits in the bottom drawer. Under them the same person has left behind a large, realistic, and battery-powered dildo in a plastic bag with some suspicious smears on the inside. Moving the switch around inside the bag without touching the dildo I determined that the batteries were, to say the least, fresh. Like Elvis's King Creole it was "jumpin' like a catfish on a pole."

Even though he is a manly man my pal is also a very sensitive little forest flower. The least hint of some sort of object that had spent party time somewhere inside a person’s body fills him with shivering, visceral loathing. My pal took one look at my “discovery” and walked shivering into the kitchen. He returned with his hands in dishwashing rubber gloves and a pair of kitchen tongs.

He gingerly picked up the bag containing the dildo with the tongs and then, holding it as far away from himself as possible, walked down the stars to the car port and dropped the offensive package into the garbage can. He then dropped the tongs into the garbage can. He then removed his rubber gloves, dropped them in the can, and then - still shivering with loathing and muttering to himself -- went back upstairs and took a long hot shower followed by an emergency cocktail.

Because I was an old friend who understood and deeply respected his “issues,” I promptly snuck down to the garbage cans, retrieved the dildo in the bag, switched it to off, and hid it in my luggage.

Several days later, with the dildo incident forgotten (except for my pal's repeated declaration he would NEVER EVER rent out the Keys house again), we returned to Fort Lauderdale. After arriving my pal announced he was going to run to the store to pick up some groceries. I nodded and waved from my perch on the couch in the living room and watched him drive off down the street.

Then I got up and took the bagged dildo out of my luggage and went into his office. I slid open the drawer on the right hand side of his desk and emptied its contents, hiding them in the next drawer down. I then placed the bagged dildo into the empty drawer and turned it on. Closing the drawer I was pleased to note a faint but perceptible hummmmm and vibration from the desk.

Then I went back out to the couch, picked up a magazine and waited.

Soon my pal returned with a bag of groceries. Nodded to me as he came in.

“Hey, man, there was phone call on your office line. Probably left a message.”

“Oh, okay, thanks.” Walks into the office.

My mind says,

“Wait for it....

"Wait for it...”

Suddenly a most unmanly scream comes wafting out of the office into the living room. My pal appears, trembling, pale, and shocked.

“Out..... get it out..... now..... please.... I’m begging you.”

Weeping from laughter, I stagger into the office and glance down into the open drawer where I can see the powered up dildo shaking and slowly moving in a circle on the bottom of the drawer. I pick up the bag by the corner and display it to him. He is standing by the back door pointing to the garbage can. I go out and ceremoniously drop it in.... vibrating all the way down.

He’s back in the kitchen. Boiling water. It will take three quarts of water and two gloved scrubbings with Brillo soap pads until he’s satisfied that the drawer in his desk is finally purged of Dildo Cooties.

In a couple of days I leave.

The next year I’m back. In his office one day I absently pull open the right hand top drawer of his desk. There’s a liner on the bottom and nothing else in the drawer.

Like I said, for a big man my pal is a very sensitive little forest flower.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Oct 5, 2016 4:01 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Oy vey ist mir! -- The Hillary Is Out There: John (The Toad Man) Announces Plans to Expose the UFO "Conspiracy"

Yes, no constituency too strange to suck up to for votes.

Declassifying national secrets. It's what she does. Just upload all our secrets to her bathroom server. -- Don Surber

On the other hand, she may just be trying get back to her days of young motherhood....


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Apr 8, 2016 9:16 AM |  Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Red Square Nebula


What could cause a nebula to appear square? No one is quite sure.

The hot star system known as MWC 922, however, appears to be embedded in a nebula with just such a shape. The featured image combines infrared exposures from the Hale Telescope on Mt. Palomar in California, and the Keck-2 Telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. A leading progenitor hypothesis for the square nebula is that the central star or stars somehow expelled cones of gas during a late developmental stage. For MWC 922, these cones happen to incorporate nearly right angles and be visible from the sides. Supporting evidence for the cone hypothesis includes radial spokes in the image that might run along the cone walls. Researchers speculate that the cones viewed from another angle would appear similar to the gigantic rings of supernova 1987A, possibly indicating that a star in MWC 922 might one day itself explode in a similar supernova. APOD: 2016 January 31 - MWC 922:

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 2, 2016 8:18 PM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Acrophobia Alert! Climbing Shanghai Tower


Shanghai Tower (650 meters): "Today we will show you how to climb on second tallest building in the world."

[ NB: I've put this after the jump in order to say that if you have Acrophobia, vertigo, or any fear of heights whatsoever think twice about watching this. That or have a bucket handy.]

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Feb 12, 2014 5:30 PM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
First, Let's Talk About My Pumpkin

Click Me and Grow Big

The Pumpkin that Ate My Backyard

It began as a $1.49 seedling at Home Depot which I bought for my step-son to plant.

He planted it, as heedless 9-year-old boys will, in an obscure corner of a sandy bed under some ice-plants. It seemed to me at the time that the pumpkin was going to have a short and shady life.

But then, after about a month, it seemed to suddely clamber across my terrace. Then it strangled the corn plants. That gave it HUNGER and it ate the chair. When it approached the deck it lunged, fell back and sprouted this "fruit" of the vine.

Now the pumpkin is trying to invade my neighbor`s yard. Last night I heard them outside calling plaintively for their new puppy to come back in, "Sloopy! Little Sloopy! Sloopy, come!"

But answer came there none...

Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 17, 2009 3:19 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Gentlemen, Start Your Michael Jackson Conspiracy Engines


Velociman @ Velociworld sez Wiki Rocks discovering this EARTH SHATTERING LEAK OF TRUTH 13 minutes after Jackson was reported dead. It has since been ruthlessly suppressed by the stealth fascists of Wikipedia! spoke with Tito Jackson, who was grief-stricken. Tito said he so regrets not having spoken with Michael Jackson "in a while."

Yeah. Right.

Can somebody give this man Perez Hilton's address while the cord is still warm?

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 25, 2009 4:58 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Most Disturbing Video of 2008

You do not want to watch this. Move along. Nothing to see here....

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 8, 2008 2:41 PM |  Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
SphincterCam Florida: The Most Paranoid State in the Union

"Your photo has just been taken and we will use this photograph to prosecute you. Leave now!"

Where on Earth are they developing virtual emergencies that will improve how first responders deal with real ones?
Where on Earth are they creating underwater systems that can detect explosives on ships entering U.S. harbors
Where on Earth have they developed Fiber optic biosensors capable of rapidly detecting contaminated food and water?
Where on Earth are they developing tiny drones that can zip around obstacles in dense urban environments?

All questions asked (and answered) at the Florida boosting web site with the tag line: "Florida. Innovation Hub of the Americas."

Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 20, 2007 9:49 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Litvinenko's Way

You begin as a Russian. You become a member of the KGB. Then you're a Russian Spy. Then you're a Russian spy in London saying bad things about the Kremlin.

Journalist Anna Politkovskaya, is in Moscow. She's also saying bad things about the Kremlin. In October she is shot to death in her apartment building in Moscow. You start to investigate her killing.

One November evening, you meet two Russians in a London hotel. One is a KGB agent. Later you go out to eat at a London Sushi bar with an Italian academic where it is said you receive documents naming Ms Politkovskaya's killers. Then you become very sick. Then you get even sicker. Then you die.

It is determined that you died of poisoning by radioactive polonium 210. Lots of things and people that have had something to do with you or with your killers start to emit radiation.

But before you die you convert to Islam.

As a newly minted Muslim on your death bed you ask for your funeral to be a full Muslim ceremony at the Regent's Park Mosque in London.

Today's the day, but when you show up in your coffin, the authorities say no dice. You are still too radioactive for Islam and the general public. Instead, there's a small ceremony in the mosque while you're body remains outside. After that, you are taken to a secret burial site and interred. Your coffin is air-tight and radiation proof.

It is all very, very Russian. Isn't it?

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 7, 2006 8:41 PM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Just Another Day in My Pajamas-- Covering the Apocalypse for PJM

Brain Jazz today at Pajamas Media where the name of the tune was:

Doomsday Watch:

The End of the World

Omnes: (Chanting) Now is the end - Perish The World!
A pause
Peter :It was GMT, wasn't it?
Jon : Yes.
Peter : Well, it's not quite the conflagration I'd been banking on. Never mind, lads, same time tomorrow... we must get a winner one day. -- Beyond the Fringe, 1961

It's the end of the world as we know it and we feel fine... as of now. So we thought that we might as well track it throughout the day, at least while the going is good and until the Apocalypse arrives.

Annan offers to negotiate with the Twelfth Imam. (Scrappleface)

Iran looks to start "serious talk on the 23rd" and "play a constructive role in all issues"--which still means that it's ignoring the demands of the UN. Ambassador Bolton responds. (Atlas Shrugs)

"He sees you when you're sleeping; he knows when you're awake." Santa? No, Twelfth Imam. (The People's Cube) (HT: Kesher Talk)

Warning: Funny but NSFW.

10,000 Reasons Civilization is Doomed!

Reason 10,001

Paris Hilton makes the sign of the Beast. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Reason 10,002: Issandr El Amrani @ The Arabist notes that Paris Hilton is releasing her album Paris today and "is trying to encourage women to join her on her 'no sex for a year' pledge."

The article that started the frenzy, by Bernard Lewis.

Patrick Poole looks at "Ahmadinejad's apocalyptic faith:" the Hojjatieh sect of Shi'ism.

HT: Who Knew?

Bob @ Confederate Yankee: "If is is indeed their plan, I pray that they now reconsider. The three major religions that arose in the Middle East and propagated around this world all believe in a Creator, One that created All. If these major world religions are correct, then God alone is all powerful, and only God alone can chose the time and place of the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega."

Jerusalem Gypsy has the perfect excuse for... well, let's just say it's NSFW.

"The Rapture. It's Coming. Be Ready."

Quay Fortuna @ Armageddon Cocktail Hour is liveblogging.

August 22s, back in time: the slave rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia let by Nat Turner (1831)

Apocalypse 4 by Laurence Acland

The date is significant not only to Islam followers, but also to Crusading Christians: "On August 22, 725 AD, the Bishop of Nantes became the martyred St. Emilian while leading the French against the invading muslims."

Another August 22 in history: the battle of Brooklyn (1776)

Michael Totten (guestblogging @ Daily Dish) already told us yesterday that we shouldn't be worried.

"The blast does not travel at the speed of light, but the light from the blast does." -- William Burroughs
Allahpundit: "Please stop with the August 22nd crap."

All quiet in the Houston front: Frisky the cat is keeping en eye out for the 12th imam at Laurence Simon's (TBIFOC)

Apocalypse Now? The Jerusalem Post quotes Israeli experts who cast a skeptic look.

Posted by Vanderleun at Aug 22, 2005 5:27 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
George Felos: Acid Head and Death Lawyer

IN SOME WAYS I REGRET being so obsessed with the Death-Shyster of Florida, but the more I read of the excerpts from his book, the weirder he becomes. In this choice morsel we have to consider that much of his work has been an acid flashback:

Felos writes that although he experienced his "initial spiritual awakening in my early twenties, I had spent the last few years of my mid-thirties backsliding." (47)

Described as "a superconscious experience," Felos writes, "I was drunk with God" resulting in the inability to walk on his own without the assistance of others. "My predominant expression was laughter and a grin just short of it." (49) "I had imprinted upon me the purpose of life -- God-realization -- and in the knowing of this purpose came instant fulfillment. Although to some I reckon the above sounds like metaphysical gobbledygook, I will attest there exists a Universal Consciousness that not only can be experienced by us but is us." (50)

"I lost the boundary between the idea of myself and the world around me and gained immeasurably. Subject and object merged, and in some way I experienced the essence of each thing my consciousness touched. I felt the joy of grass as it grew and sense the genetic code by which it manifested into physical reality. In ecstasy I became the solemn grace and beauty of a tree and new the freedom of the passing clouds. I don't speak metaphorically." -- Litigation as Spiritual Practice by George Felos (Blue Dolphin Publishing, 2002)

George, George, George, you can't kid a kidder. You been messing around with the mystery molecule and you got some 'splaining to do.

How do I know? I must, in the interests of full disclosure, reveal that as a member of the University of California at Berkeley's Class of 1967, that -- beginning sometime in 1964-1965 -- I too had occasion to "feel the joy" and "became the solemn grace and beauty" .... I too "don't speak metaphorically." I too was, here and there, off and on, stoned out of my mind of LSD. In my case, my experiences with the drug took place, for the most part, before it was declared to be illegal. I even appeared (or should I say "tripped" )on a CBS television documentary done at the time with others of my ilk. (An amusing story but for another time.)

This sort of thing faded with my youth and the age, but I still remember it well. I don't know what your experience with LSD is or is not, but take my word that what you are reading above is a classic example of the kind of stoned, loaded blather common to those years and that experience. What many of us took away from such experiences was that love was good, beauty was all around us, and life was precious. With Felos is seems to be the case that, to quote T.S. Eliot: "We had the experience but missed the meaning."

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 21, 2005 9:14 AM |  Comments (27)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Numa Numa Virus Outbreak


[Note: If the global rush to Numa Numa is clogging bandwidth at the irritating Newpics, try this one at eBaum's World numanuma - Crazy dancer weird techno - O-Zone-Dragostea Din Tei ]

[UPDATE: ANDREW SULLIVAN ALERT!: Numa Numa has now reached THE HISPANIC VILLAGE PEOPLE. [Video] with "Marica Quien? Marica Tu!" -- AKA Pluma Pluma Gay [lyrics]. This is the definitive Queer Eye Numa Numa Makeover. This version centers around a closet and coming out from said closet. It takes awhile to load, but it is worth it. ]

I have one friend who was deeply infected by this idworm in January when it first surged across the web from an obscure teenager's bedroom in New Jersey. He presented with a nearly lethal level of NumaNuma Tourette's syndrome, and it looked like he was sinking fast. But with the intervention of high levels of Lithium, electroshock therapy, and the talking cure, he's been doing better of late.

In the last few days he seems to be less likely to gyrate wildly about his house thrusting his arms into the air and numanumaing in a most arresting fashion. The unfortunate calls of his neighbors to the police following his nightly raving on the sidewalk have become almost a thing of the past. All his friends were relieved when it became apparant that this particular crisis had passed. The nature of these episodes becomes more disturbing still when you reflect that he looks like an older and less sedate version of the kid in the video.

Alas, all this came to an end today when he innocently tuned into the Today Show between the Jello course and the lithium served to him by the day nurse. There, utterly unprepared, he was exposed to Matt Laurer presenting the video and the story behind it. His day nurse, recognizing it instantly, fought uselessly with him for the remote and was forced to run to the garage and cut the power to the house. It was too late.

Late this afternoon, after climbing to the roof of his home in an upscale neighborhood in South Florida and NumaNumaing through a bull horn for three hours, the Fort Lauderdale SWAT team ended the stand-off, and he was carted off to the cheers of the neighbors and the approving howls of their pets. It was the end of yet another sad story concerning this dreaded mental virus that has afflicted millions of Americans.

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 17, 2005 9:07 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
I've Seen a Lot of Weird Things Over the Years

but one thing I've never seen,and for some unknown reason would really like to see, is

1) A Cow

2) On a pole

3) With antlers.

Is that too much to ask?

Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 26, 2005 4:45 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
It's All Roumanian NumaNuma Japanese To Me

The unstoppable NumaNumania continues as the Japanese get into the game with, as usual, kittens and a profound misunderstanding of the language (Or maybe not. Who really knows? ) with Maiyahi.

[Original NumaNuma is Here! But take care. It is toxic.]

Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 19, 2005 11:30 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Twilight Link Zone

Presented, without conclusions, for your pointing and clicking pleasure:

  • Unusual articles from Wikipedia:Year Zero - Was there a year between 1BC and 1AD?; Bat bomb - World War II plan to bomb Japan with bats carrying tiny Incendiary bombs; Boston Molasses Disaster - Twenty-one people die when a confectionary factory explodes, sending a wave of molasses down .
  • Matt Groening's Apple Ad: This is an ad for the Macintosh around 1989, with slideshow.
  • Disturbing Auctions: Cranky Clown Lava Lamp, Nude Liquor Jug, Drunken Smoker Ash Tray, Troll Bottle.... The sky's the limit on that last one.
  • PostSecret: An art project that elicited secrets from the mundane to the trivial to the frightening.
  • Oracle finds an extra penny to boost 2005 | The Register: Remember that penny that EBay lost last week? Oracle found it. It doesn't say if it picked up the $19 billion in market value that EBay lost.
  • Chirac to Tax the World for AIDS: "I propose today moving forward through the creation, in an experimental way, of a levy to finance the fight against AIDS," Chirac told delegates in Davos in a speech delivered by video link-up. Chirac said the levy could be imposed on a fraction of all financial transactions without hampering markets, but it could also be raised by taxing fuel for air and sea transport, or by levying $1 on every airline ticket sold in the world. Ah, ze crazy French person, he is so tres, tres amusant when picking the pockets of the whole world, no?
  • Web Typography Style Guide : A brilliant guide that covers the basics of good typography on the web, explaining theory behind font choices, and the details of providing accessible and good looking text.
  • HP focuses on paparazzi-proof cameras :U.S. patent application 20040202382, filed in April 2003 and published in October 2004, describes a system in which an image captured by a camera could be automatically modified based on commands sent by a remote device. [Translation:Will blur digital cameras without rapid shaking of the celebrity]

  • Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 18, 2005 2:26 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    NumaNuma Mania: Stop the Insanity!

    NumaNuma Invades the Lego Universe!

    Hurts. Make it stop.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 16, 2005 3:21 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The State of the Union As Heard by Liberals

    "At this time, we must offer every American child three nuclear missiles."

    What are you doing here? Click the link and take in The Subtext State of the Union.

    Pointer via

    Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 16, 2004 4:55 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Miss America's Defunct

    Long Live Miss Ronald Mc Donald ! The clown make-up's been ditched and the shoes are to die for. The Japanese might go for it, but I really don't think the American mind is ready for this intense variation on the Ronald McDonald theme. On the other hand, this could cause donations to Ronald McDonald House to go through the roof.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 12, 2004 1:45 PM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Halloween XI: The Pumpkin Papers


    Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 18, 2004 10:37 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Don't Go Here

    Aptly named "Mist or Ghost?" this whole strange item is playing a bit too close to Halloween for my tastes.

    Don't go to the link above. Just don't.

    Hey, I told you not to do it.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 12, 2004 10:33 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Desert Island Dreaming

    "Accordions. Why'd it have to be accordions?"

    FINALLY, AFTER DAYS AND NIGHTS OF UNREMITTING INSOMNIA, I fall into a deep sleep on this lazy summer afternoon in Laguna Beach. And, as I drowse, I dream.

    I dream of that far-off desert island perfumed by the sweet spice of trade winds, laved by warm waves rolling gently in across the reef. I dream of being worshipped and admired by a simple native people luminous in their natural beauty. In their tender care I am bereft of the anxieties and ambitions of the wider world for they are a people that lives in close association with the natural world neither taking more than they need nor needing more than they take. All about me their brown shining bodies dance gracefully to the distant lilt of mellow drums while, to the side, a feast of fish and fruit is laid on the clean white sands.

    And then, from somewhere very far off, my dream is disturbed by the increasing wheeze of an accordion and it comes closer and closer and closer and then.... I open my eyes and find I am not on the island nor in Laguna Beach, but fully immersed in: THE HORROR! THE HORROR!

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 19, 2004 6:44 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Small Humiliations of Working for Tips



    A Thai waiter wears a condom over his head while serving a cocktail as a patron looks on at the Cabbages and Condoms restaurant in Bangkok on July 8, 2004. The restaurant, founded by Mechai Viravaidya, better known as "Mr Condom", aims to educate the public about safe sex. -- Thai Waiter With A Condom Over His Head
    Safe sex? Okay, I think we got it. Now take the soup back. And I'd better not see it on the bill.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 17, 2004 8:46 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Spam from Beyond the Grave!

    ADMIT IT, you're having one of those "Why didn't I think of that?" moments right now. Just when you thought that it was useless to try and think up a fresh Internet based scam business, here comes: The Last Email : leave email messages for your loved ones.

    The loss of a loved one is a difficult experience. At this complicated, and sometimes unexpected moment, you can bring comfort and strength to those you leave behind by sending them a message of love as you say goodbye.

    That is why The Last Email was created. This site is, after all, a way of celebrating life, memories and all the things that we love most. With our service you will be able to write messages, which will be delivered after your death to the ones you have chosen.

    Although the site assures you that your information is "encrypted," and you can attach all manner of files, it does not explain what happens when somebody clicks "Reply."

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 27, 2004 12:24 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Gee, they look just like ants.


    Ant City.

    Be gentle.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 23, 2004 3:44 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Gay Marriage is Fine, But This Is Too Much!


    The first case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard Anas platyrhynchos (Aves: Anatidae)

    On 5 June 1995 an adult male mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) collided with the glass faade of the Natuurmuseum Rotterdam and died. An other drake mallard raped the corpse almost continuously for 75 minutes.

    Pointer from the home of stunning links: growabrain.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 22, 2004 4:10 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    YaWoof! Dog Speaks German


    THE WEB STOOD UP on its hindlegs and barked today with the "revelation" that dogs understand speech:

    German researchers have found a border collie named Rico who understands more than 200 words and can learn new ones as quickly as many children.
    -- Dogs Understand Commands
    Why a dog named "Rico" would choose to learn German is beyond us. Perhaps it has something to do with a dog's desire to obey orders.

    The research into Rico's talents evidently took years and consumed God knows how many milkbones.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 10, 2004 12:22 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    No Miscut on the Naked Lead

    Click to enlarge

    "AFTER WE WERE SUCCESSFUL in our Pencil Carving , one thing came up to us for a change in it...."

    "To take carving in the wood of a pencil", is certainly what pencil carving is all about. But we are required to be skilled enough for delicate woodwork in carving out a pattern like some kind of a tracery without making any miscut on the naked lead inside.
    And to think you've been just chewing on them all these years.

    Posted by Vanderleun at May 30, 2004 4:04 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    No Miscut on the Naked Lead

    Click to enlarge

    "AFTER WE WERE SUCCESSFUL in our Pencil Carving , one thing came up to us for a change in it...."

    "To take carving in the wood of a pencil", is certainly what pencil carving is all about. But we are required to be skilled enough for delicate woodwork in carving out a pattern like some kind of a tracery without making any miscut on the naked lead inside.
    And to think you've been just chewing on them all these years.

    Posted by Vanderleun at May 30, 2004 4:04 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Allah Leaves Andy Kaufman Returns: Coincidence? I Think Not.

    ON MAY 11 Allah posts the cryptic:

    Dealing with personal stuff. Back whenever inspiration strikes.
    Posted by Allah at May 11, 2004 02:29 PM

    ON MAY 17 Andy Kaufman Returns with the cryptic:

    I'm back

    Hey everyone. Greetings from planet earth.
    Posted by Andy Kaufman at 6:49 AM

    Careful analysis to the limited text available from the Kaufman site as well as a quick pass through Concorder Pro reveals telling similarities between the two pages.

    Still the question remains:

    Is this the face of Andy Kaufman or Allah?

    Posted by Vanderleun at May 23, 2004 7:02 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Munchies for Morons

    The person who says "pocket" first pays for the beer.

    Procter & Gamble (PG) is going to start printing trivia questions and answers on its Pringles snack chips, a move analysts say could be a hit with young people.

    If by 'young' they mean people who have yet to graduate from second grade, they could have a winner.

    Posted by Vanderleun at May 20, 2004 12:01 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Is There E-Mail After Death?

    From the obituary for Kay Robinson Pruitt in today's Las Vegas Review Journal

    Condolences may be e-mailed to

    Responses will probably be optional.

    Posted by Vanderleun at May 8, 2004 10:25 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Is There E-Mail After Death?

    From the obituary for Kay Robinson Pruitt in today's Las Vegas Review Journal

    Condolences may be e-mailed to

    Responses will probably be optional.

    Posted by Vanderleun at May 8, 2004 10:24 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    When Bad Things Happen to Good Forklifts

    "Remember to always wear your hard-hat on the job."

    IT'S GOT FORKLIFTS, chain saws, decapitations, stump-grinding, and, for that finishing touch, it is in German.

    Put them all togther, connisseurs of safety films will put this one up for MOVIE OF THE DECADE SO FAR.

    This is a 17 megabyte movie but we think that after you see it you too will say: "STAPLERFAHRERKLAUSDERERS!"

    Posted by Vanderleun at May 5, 2004 7:36 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    "It Takes a Man Like Me to Make a Woman Like Me"

    "Cut, print, that's a wrap."
    LARRY WACHOWSKI, who knows how to depict humans trapped inside of a bad reality, it going for the gender gold according to the Gothamist

    To update our post last year about the possibility of Matrix co-creator Larry Wachowski getting a sex change operation, it seems that Wachowski is going ahead with it. Friends confirm to the Chicago Sun-Times that Wachowski, who has been calling himself "Linda," will "complete the process of becoming a woman.

    Posted by Vanderleun at May 1, 2004 8:12 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Priss Escalates

    Twice in One Day.... Aieeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    Not content to ruin my morning with a Tom Oliphant column in the Boston Globe, The PBS Newshour (No longer paid for by people like me) saw fit to drag this consummate weirdo before its cameras just as my evening began.

    Look, Im as tolerant as anyone, but this guy just freaks me out! The look, the haircut, the bow tie, the mannerisms, the enunciation, the fey turning away. What era, what subculture, what species, what planet does this sock-puppet represent? He seems to me to be a demographic of one.

    Can somebody please get in touch with Scout Productions and book this guy for a Fab Five makeover pronto? I mean, I could sort him out for the camera with about $1,200 (cheap), but he obviously needs professional media training, three qualuddes, a cup of ether and about six strenuous bong hits. For starters.

    Oliphants appearance on PBS this evening was so over the top as to beggar description. A choice quote from his opining on the Kerry Medal brouhaha that I felt compelled to write down went like this: Kerry wanted to throw... er... return... some ... decorations.... if I may use the term....

    To which we can only answer, "Why, yes, Tom you may... but only if you promise to check into ideological detox by dawn tomorrow. They've got openings in a DEA-funded program for wholesale brain transplants and you are pre-qualified."

    Unless and until Tom Oliphant gets his image straight, he should be forbidden to appear in any public forum. It can only harm our chances for a full and fair election for voters of every persuasion if we are continually presented with a liberal commentator that every time he speaks makes us hear, ever so faintly in the background, the tune:

    The priss goes on, the priss goes on.
    Media keeps pounding a rhythm to the brain.
    Democrats have finally gone insane.
    La de da de de, la de da de da.

    Democrats were once the rage, uh huh.
    History has turned the page, uh huh.
    The terrorists the current thing, uh huh.
    Gunships are our newborn king, uh huh.

    And the priss goes on, the priss goes on.
    Media keeps pounding a rhythm to the brain.
    Democrats have finally gone insane.
    La de da de de, la de da de da.

    Pundits sit in chairs and reminisce
    Kerrys chasing Bill to get a kiss.
    The news keeps going faster all the time.
    Dems still cry 'Hey lets tax you another dime?'

    And the priss goes on, the priss goes on.
    Media keeps pounding a rhythm to the brain.
    Democrats have finally gone insane.
    La de da de de, la de da de da

    Unless, of course, Oliphant is being paid by the Republicans as part of the vast Right Wing Conspiracy. In which case, it is a brilliant use of soft money. Tell me where to send a check.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 27, 2004 7:25 PM |  Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Darwin Awards in Real Time


    From Frontline Photos : An Iraqi man throws gas onto a burning Army Humvee in Baghdad on Monday. An explosion leveled a building in the northern part of the city Monday, setting four nearby Humvees on fire. Two U.S. soldiers were killed in the blast. The cause of the explosion was not immediately known.

    Okay, but I'm willing to bet the cause of the next explosion will be glaringly obvious.

    Here's one of those moments in modern photojournalism that make you want to see the next frames on the roll. What could be about to happen?

    Note the position of the open flames licking at the man's shoes. Note the languid arc of the glimmering gasoline just above.

    At the very least, this photo is an argument for more time spent in school on the subject of "Cause and Effect." Looks like there's about to be a pop quiz.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 27, 2004 10:19 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Micahel Jackson's New Liar for Hire

    Cruel people would caption this "Which evil twin has the Tony?"
    Even crueler people would caption this "Which evil twin had little Tony?"
    But we would never do that.

    Most of the time, we try to keep AD a pervert-free zone, -- with the exception of certain political figures. However, every so often a little Jackson has to pop up like poison toadstools after a spring rain. It got us today when we noted that:

    Michael Jackson has dumped his high-powered attorneys, Mark Geragos and Benjamin Brafman. Jackson is replacing them with Thomas Mesereau Jr., best known as the lawyer recently fired by Robert Blake. -- E! Online
    We don't know much about trial lawyers but when you take on a lawyer "best known as the lawyer recently fired by Robert Blake," we'd say it's time to pump up your PayPal account and start scanning eBay for "underwear, solid steel."

    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 26, 2004 10:17 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Poetry of Spam

    This from the spam can this AM . I think the recipe is;
    One can of rap,
    A cup of Nigerian English,
    Two random fortunes from the Fortune File
    Blend well before spamming:



    Date: 31 Mar 2004, 07:01:02 AM

    Subject: Publisher, Supreme medication for you!

    Incidents should not govern policy
    but, policy incidents

    Publisher, looking for a place
    to order medication?

    Adaptability is not imitatione
    It means power of resistance and assimilatione
    Loving kindness is greater than laws
    and the charities of life are more than all ceremoniese

    If you care enough for a result,
    you will most certainly attain ite

    We are able to ship worldwide
    The only time you don't fail
    is the last time you try anything -- and it workse

    Your easy solution is here
    You are completely anonymous!

    The sooner I fall behind,
    the more time I have to catch upe
    The highest exercise of charity
    is charity towards the uncharitablee

    From now on, all my poetry will be signed Wanly L. Spangles, and I will never cease my search for Supreme Medication

    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 24, 2004 10:54 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Jackson Family Race to the Bottom Accelerates


    Jermaine Jackson(L), brother of Michael Jackson, Jackson family spokesman Firpo W. Carr(C) and Khawaja Khurshid Reshi hold a rug with a woven picture of Michael Jackson April 19, 2004, in Manama. Jermaine Jackson, in the Gulf to promote understanding between Muslims and his fellow Americans, said Tuesday that Muslims are 'the new Negroes in America.' Jermaine, a convert to Islam and dressed in white Arab garb, has been speaking about Islam and U.S. 'adventures' in Iraq (news - web sites) to enthusiastic audiences at Koranic centers and universities in the Gulf Arab state of Bahrain. -- Reuters
    Just when you think you have finally explored to the absolute limit of the world's capacity to boggle your mind, you discover that there are yet vast arid plains stretched out before you.

    As for freshly-minted Muslim Jermaine's propostion that "Muslims are the new Negroes in America," all we can say is that has got to come as a shock to Smoking-Americans who have held the position for well over 20 years.

    And while we're at it, what's supposed to happen when that rug is used for prayer? Color me nervous, but I wouldn't start kneeling on that five times a day.

    Praise be to Allah for the pointer.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 21, 2004 1:08 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Final Insult
    **Omaha crime ripple** continues: > They broke into our office again. This is the third time in three weeks. We had been barricading the door, and when I say barricade, I mean with a big board, medieval-style. We finally got the front door re-keyed, and the culprits just chipped away at the top of the door, unlatched the bolt that went into the ceiling, and pushed the door open. > Then they stole the deadbolt. From: red elephant
    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 19, 2004 2:32 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Final Insult

    Omaha Crime Wave Continues:

    "They broke into our office again. This is the third time in three weeks. We had been barricading the door, and when I say barricade, I mean with a big board, medieval-style. Wefinally got the front door re-keyed, and the culprits just chipped away at the top of the door, unlatched the bolt that went into the ceiling, and pushed the door open.

    "Then they stole the deadbolt."

    From: red elephant

    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 19, 2004 2:27 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Water from Mars any country of the world yet has no.

    eBay item 2238685021 (Ends Apr-21-04 15:36:11 PDT) - Water from Mars

    In 1983 from cosmodrome " Baikonur " flying device � С-01 which has been directed to Mars has been started, with the purpose of studying structure of an atmosphere of Mars, and also by possible landing to a surface of a planet of the controlled device with a capsule for a capture of test of a ground.

    However in 1984 communication with the device has been lost, agrees with the authorized program signals from the Earth were sent, but acknowledgement on their acceptance were not. Therefore the top management the decision on nondisclosure of the given incident and officially this program was accepted was closed.

    In 1989 the base of the space control which is taking place on New Land, had been accepted a signal with � С-01 which under the programmed program should return on the ground, the device entered into circumterraneous space and in 16 days � С-01 has been found in steppes of Kazakhstan. But any information on a course of works and results was not, the device has been damaged by fine space bodies, the data carrier has been destroyed, however in a capsule which should go down on a surface of Mars, the stone which then has been checked up by scientists has been found, but scientists have checked up a stone only from an external part.

    In the middle of 2003 our group could receive this stone. We have carried out detailed research of all stone and at the end of the same year have found out water in the connected condition as kristallogidratov (FeSO47H2O; CaSO42H2O; CuSO45H2O), then we could allocate with himiko-physical methods water.

    Water from Mars any country of the world yet has no. Therefore the opportunity to become the first owner of water which many years have been covered with a secret is represented to you.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 18, 2004 12:16 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Satan's Automobile


    Continuing today's strange obsession with automobiles,
    we direct your attention to: Sportka .

    Pros: Real Media Player not required, Graphic Cat Imagery.
    Cons: Windows Media Player required, Graphic Cat Imagery.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 16, 2004 5:39 PM | QuickLink: Permalink

    Mr. Hyman Schnaterfunkensprunk of Lighthouse Point, Florida, will be
    paying $250 a year to have his name on his Hummer."

    For Immediate Release

    April 16,2004

    Fred O. Dickenson, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shared a podium in Fort Lauderdale today with Governor Jeb Bush announcing the roll-out of the much anticipated "Bigger Vanity Plate Program (BVPP)"

    The program, first suggested by Dickenson in May, 2003, allows motorists in Florida to obtain vanity license plates of up to 250 characters. "Floridians have often complained that all the best plates are gone because of a limit on characters," Dickenson remarked. "Those days are over. Now the citizens of our great state can come back to the DMV again confident that their rights to express themselves on our highways have been protected."

    Governor Bush praised Dickenson for "his vision and insight in conceiving of and making this program a reality. And it wasn't just the imagination of Fred that made it happen, it was his knowledge that this was not only possible, but profitable. It makes for a rare marriage of good government and good business."

    At a fee of $10 per year per letter, BVVP is projected to bring in more than $4 billion annually to the state's treasury.

    "It is our hope," Governor Bush concluded, 'that other states in similar financial straits will see this program as something to emulate. Since it is clear that all Americans will in the very near future drive SUVs, it's time government made license plates that fit the dreams and asperations of our people."

    Link: PERSONALIZED PLATES - Florida DMV - FL DMV - Florida Department of Motor Vehicles

    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 16, 2004 3:31 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    There Goes Volvo's Safety Cred

    The LegoVolvo: Unsafe Just Standing Still.

    File it under unfortunate concepts and more unfortunate press releases

    Volvo Cars of North America, LLC (VCNA) and LEGOLAND California are joining forces to promote driving safety and family values. As part of the recently announced partnership agreement between the subsidiaries of the two Scandinavian icons, a replica of Volvo's award-winning SUV, the Volvo XC90, was constructed of LEGO's famous modeling bricks. The Volvo XC90 made of LEGO bricks was unveiled today at the New York Auto Show.
    A Volvo (previously thought of as a "very safe car") made out of Legos? Oh, that sounds solid. Yes, when I think of Legos I think of things more permanent than the Pyramids. I think of structures immune to the ravages of time and the elements. I think of.... Well, I think of my stepson who was just in here with a wild Lego assemblage purporting to be a new, heavily armed version of some alien Death Star. He was showing me how the laser cannon on the wing swiveled around and.... whoops, the wing fell off. Oh well, back to the assembly line.

    So count me among those spoilsports who don't find that Legos + Automobiles = Safety. I don't care how much Volvo's demented marketing types insist on it.

    And as for what this whole thing has to do with "family values" color me confused. Unless, of course, there's the fun to be had when Junior starts to disassemble the family car on the Interstate.

    Those Iconic Swedish Companies: What a laugh riot.

    Link: Special LEGO-version of Volvo XC90 unveiled at New York Auto Show

    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 16, 2004 12:12 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Passion of the Bones

    An instructive and inspiring tale in the tradition of All Creatures Great and Small.

    Hi, my name is Bones and I am a Redbone Coonhound.

    I would like to tell you my story on how I met my best friend Jesus and what all he has done for me.

    To continue, say WOOF!

    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 9, 2004 10:02 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Instapundit on Autopilot


    I won't be blogging more than 20 or so hours today. I have to go to the dentist, do my taxes, take Mrs. AutoPundit out to dinner, get the dog washed, and the car spayed. So here's an excellent recap of what's going on out there.  Okay. Possibly not excellent. But some of the words are spelled interestingly.
    After all, anyone who can write without an ounce of shame, "SOME FIRST-RATE FRIDAY CATBLOGGING from Sissy Willis," has got it coming.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 8, 2004 4:52 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Al and Tipper Payola Moment

    In "A talk show host who's just right" published today in the San Francisco Chronicle, radio talker Ronn Owens sheds a little light on how the Gore's make their ends meet these days:

    As it turns out, Owens' favorite nonpartisan means of character assessment isn't whether he'd chose to have a drink with someone; it's whether that person is a good sport about reading his show's ad for Sleep Train on the air, something he asks all guests to do.

    "The best Sleep Train we've done was by the only person who, halfway through the spot, looked at me and said, 'Do I get a free mattress for reading this?' " he said. "And I looked at him and I said, 'Yeah, I'll get you a mattress.' And at the end of the hour, his wife -- I was interviewing both of them -- comes into the booth and says, 'I don't know if you were serious about the mattress, but if you were, we want a queen not a king, here's our address, here's who to contact.' And I got them a mattress.

    "It was Al and Tipper Gore."


    "I got them a mattress," said Owens. "God, yes. I said, 'This guy got more votes for president than anyone in the history of the country. Give him a mattress.' "

    Now, if we could just get them to lie down on it for a few years....

    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 7, 2004 11:10 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Digital Nose Jobs On Demand

    Click to Enlarge

    This is one of the scariest mouseover scenarios available. We're not sure what Greg is trying to say in this page from Greg's Digital Archive, but it seems to have helped resolve this family's Silly Putty nose crisis.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 7, 2004 2:26 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Smog Free Nuclear Missiles

    Who says America doesn't respect the environment? This note from StrategyPage shows just how sensitive we've become.

    The upgrading of the older Minuteman III missiles has been under way for several years. The air force is in the process of replacing the decades old solid fuel rockets of its 500 Minuteman III missiles. Actually, a test of a 33 year old Minuteman I rocket motor showed that the motor (actually, a long tube full of slow burning explosives) still performed according to specification. The last of the Minuteman III missiles will receive their new motors by 2008. It costs about $5.2 million to replace the rockets on each missile. The new rocket motors, which have to comply with EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) rules, will have a shorter range than the original motors
    Environment at liftoff: Sunny and smogless. Environment at point of detonation: Harmful to Children and Other Living Things.

    Pointer via: Best of the Web Today

    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 7, 2004 1:38 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Just When You Think You Can Trust the Pentagon

    I'm not the first to question the need for an expanded military budget, but this got my attention:

    Click to Enlarge

    At times like these you'd think bizarre military programs would be put on hold.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 6, 2004 11:02 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    There'll Always Be An England, Maybe


    A claim that Britain considered using live chickens in a nuclear weapon aroused skepticism Thursday, but officials insisted it was not an April Fool's hoax.

    "It's a genuine story," said Robert Smith, head of press and publicity at The National Archives. The archives released a secret 1957 Ministry of Defence report showing that scientists contemplated putting chickens in the casing of a plutonium landmine.

    The chickens' body heat was considered a possible means of preventing the mine's mechanism from freezing.

    Listing ways of extending the armed life of the landmine, the declassified document proposed "incorporating some form of heating independent of power supplies under the weapon hull in the emplacement. Chickens, with a heat output of the order of 1,000 BTU (British Thermal Units) per bird per day are a possibility."

    If you've ever lived in England, you'll know they're serious when they tell you stuff like this isn't a joke.

    In fact, the PDF version of an article on the Blue Peacock Landmine that these chickens were to be used in is located, here on American Digest.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 5, 2004 6:03 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    The US Army Just Can't Catch A Break in Europe

    Today Nature informs us that the US army may have killed Italian trees: Deadly fungus hitched trans-Atlantic lift with American troops.

    Deadly fungus hitched trans-Atlantic lift with American troops.

    The US Army may have unwittingly killed hundreds of pine trees in an Italian hunting estate. Genetic analysis suggests that the trees were infected with an American fungus, imported by US troops during the Second World War.

    Mussolini and Hitler and Fascism then, and afterwards we kill their trees. I'm looking for a lawsuit coming out of Italy to have the US Army pay for these trees. Makes one wonder why we hang around.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 5, 2004 5:09 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Shark Bus

    Yet another move to make mass transit even more appealing than it already is.

    From -- K n a k e z o o i . n l

    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 4, 2004 5:45 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    What's Just-So-Wrong With This Picture?

    Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 30, 2004 8:31 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Walks Like an Elephant, Sounds Like a Truck

    I'M A MAN OF SIMPLE PLEASURES, such as listening to an elephant do an impression of a truck. You might mock that, but did you ever hear a truck do an impression of an elephant? I thought not.

    Researchers have recorded two African elephants (Loxodonta africana) that are adept mimics. One does a decent impression of an Asian elephant, and another is, remarkably, a dead ringer for a passing truck. The skilful impressions are far from the traditional grunts of an average African elephant....

    The two elephants in question are Mlaika, an adolescent female living in a semi-captive group in Kenya, and Calimero, an adult male who lived for 18 years with two Asian elephants at a Swiss zoo. Calimero, perhaps unsurprisingly, mimics the typical chirp noises of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). "But Mlaika seemed to be making noises like a truck, of all things," Tyack recalls....

    Tyack and his team think Mlaika's habit is due to her upbringing, which was within earshot of a road....

    "In both of these cases it seems that they were deprived of proper role models," says elephant expert Katharine Payne of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

    -- Elephants do impressions -- Mimicry of trucks and zoo-mates shows range of vocal repertoire.

    Well, we all know how important rolling Peterbilt role models can be to elephants. Here's the recording.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 30, 2004 12:00 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    What's Just-So-Wrong With This Picture?


    Okay, let's review:
    The three most useless things in aviation are:
    1) Air in the fuel tank.
    2) Runway behind.
    3) Altitude above.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 27, 2004 1:25 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Yet Another Reason to Bid New York Adieu
    Bowling Ball Thrown From Brooklyn High-Rise Nearly Strikes Police

    A Brooklyn man is charged with attempted murder for allegedly dropping a bowling ball from the 17th floor of an apartment building Monday, nearly hitting three police officers.

    The two police officers and a parole officer were walking past a building on Christopher Avenue in Brownsville when a bowling ball crashed onto the street near them. They were not hurt.

    Police arrested a 69-year-old man who lives in the building, Douglas Stiff, and charged him with attempted murder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon.

    Sources tell NY1 that Stiff has another ball on his balcony and that he was wearing binoculars. -- NY1 News: Top Stories

    The binoculars are a nice touch. Even money the next person to endeavor to perfect this new New York Mania will use a spotting scope.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 24, 2004 10:34 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Video of the Year (So far)

    No, that's not a group hanging of uppity women in Iran,
    but come back tomorrow. You might get lucky.

    CHARLES AT LITTLE GREEN FOOTBALLS DOES IT AGAIN WITH: The Return of the Incredibly Strange Graduation of the Iranian Female Police Cadets.

    It takes awhile to load, but you will be glad, DAMNED GLAD, you waited.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 21, 2004 7:39 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Bride of Dracula: George Felos' Wife is Also A "New Age Attorney"

    "Constance Felos, holistic lawyer, is opening The Healing Center of Dunedin. Also an LMT, energy healer, Reiki Master, certified Louise Hay teacher, author and life strategist."


    While attending a New Wave seminar (Kryon channeling) in California last year, I listened as a woman asked a question. She was involved in a bitter legal dispute with a former partner about a real estate deal. She was filled with anger and resentment, fearful that in order to obtain what was rightfully hers, she would have to project that anger at her opponent and engage in unbridled legal warfare. My compassion and empathy for the woman's plight impelled me to write the outline for the book How To Bring a Lawsuit With Love. -- Tampa Bay NEW TIMES - January/February 2001 -- Constance Felos

    How long, oh Lord, how long can we possibly wait until the mere outline of her "How to Bring a Lawsuit with Love" is expanded into a rich and loamy book?

    Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 21, 2004 2:03 PM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Apocalypse Afloat

    Just a little poker cruise with the usual suspects.

    Van der Leun (V.O.)
    I've been here six months now. Blogging and waiting for a junket, getting softer.

    Every minute I stay in this room I get weaker. And every minute Pundit posts again and gets stronger.

    Each time I look around the walls move in a little tighter.

    Everyone gets everything he wants.

    I wanted a junket, and for my sins they gave me one.

    Brought it up to me like room service. "

    (Two Editors approach the American Digest office:)

    "Van der Leun ? Are you in there ?"

    Van der Leun

    Van der Leun (v.o.)
    "It was a real choice junket, and when it was
    over, I'd never want another."

    Van der Leun
    "Whaddya want ?"

    "Are you all right Captain ?"

    Van der Leun
    "How does it look like ?"

    "Captain Van der Leun of Laguna Beach,
    assigned SoCal BLOG ?"

    Van der Leun
    "Hey buddy, are you gonna shut the door ?"

    "We have orders to escort you to the Holland America Cruise Ship Ryndam in San Diego."

    Van der Leun
    "What are the charges ?"

    "Sir ?"

    Van der Leun
    "What'll it cost ?"

    "There's no charges, Van der Leun. It is a junket. Full comp. You write about this leg of the World Poker Tour and its fat city for you for a week. You have orders to report to Cox.Net intelligence at Moss Point."

    Van der Leun
    "Does the Cruise Ship have an internet connection?"

    "Thats classified. but Im sure if you can get a connection youll use it. This blogging is the worst addiction Ive ever seen. If not, youll just have to go cold turkey. Come on captain, you still have a few hours to get cleaned up.

    Captain ?

    Dave, give me a hand.

    Come on captain, let's take a shower. We'll gonna take a shower, in we go ..."

    We may or may not be blogging for a week. Have to cover this event, see. Heres the link that tells the story: Poker On the High Seas

    Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 13, 2004 1:37 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    GIMO: Garbage In, Musubi Out


    DALLAS - (KRT) - The second Waikiki Spam Jam promises plenty of food fun April 23-24 in Honolulu. The kickoff on Friday features the making, unveiling and eating of the world's longest Spam musubi. Organizers hope to break the record of 300 feet, which will take nearly 800 cups of rice, more than 1,300 slices of the canned lunchmeat and almost 600 feet of seaweed wrap. -- Waikiki Spam Jam honors luncheon meat

    Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 12, 2004 11:44 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Web Pages We Never Finished Reading
    "Due to popular demand Puppy Plugs TM are back !! and with several improvements. Their predecessor was originally made to be a novelty item only, but it soon became clear that there was a serious desire among puppies everywhere for a tail that could be as comfortable and effective as possible....something that their owners would notice! Many improvements have been made : tails are now larger and longer to allow any pup to better communicate with its owner,...." -- Puppy Tails
    Ah, could we go over those theories about the overarcing value of connecting the whole human race in one warm and caring virtual community one more time? Thank you.
    Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 8, 2004 11:35 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    When You Feel the Urge to Exercise...
    Won't go to the gym? Now, the gym will come to you. New York fitness trainer Marc Hupert says he teaches clients how to use bathroom fixtures as gym equipment.

    The loo might be the smallest room in your house, but it could provide a lulu of a workout, one that rivals that of a fancy health club.

    "It's not as crazy as it sounds," say Hupert. "Two reasons people don't work out: Gyms are expensive and filled with beautiful people who only make them feel fatter."

    To begin your toilet training: Sling your legs over the side of the tub and you're ready for stomach crunches. For upper body strength, do push-ups with your hands on the toilet seat and your feet perched on the tub.

    For abs, sit on the commode, grasp the tank behind you and lift both knees to your chest repeatedly.

    Huppert says he's showed his clients how to use kitchens, offices and dens as gyms. What makes a bathroom such a good place to work out? "Simple," he says. "They're easy to clean" --

    You know, it's getting so that whenever you hear someone saying "It's not as crazy as it sounds," you've got to assume they're a barking moonbat.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 7, 2004 1:16 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    "I Just Know There's A Pony in Here Somewhere..."

    Bin Laden spent several hours a day with his children, playing volleyball or encouraging them to read poetry. He awarded them horses when they learned the Quran by heart. -- From a story about a film on the softer side of bin Laden - Mar. 5, 2004

    Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 6, 2004 9:11 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Michael Moore: The Early Years


    Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 16, 2004 8:59 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Clark Keeps Running

    Wesley Clark Drops Out of Race

    WASHINGTON - Wesley Clark, the novice politician with four-star military credentials, abandoned his presidential bid Tuesday after two third-places finishes in the South, the Associated Press has learned.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 11, 2004 8:01 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    More Bad News for the Institution of Marriage
    Man dies after marrying dog for luck

    A Nepalese man has died three days after marrying a dog in the hope it would bring him good luck.

    Phulram Chaudhary died after he had tied the knot with the dog, reports daily Gorkhapatra.

    The 75-year-old, from Durgauli in Kailali district, was reportedly followed a practice prevalant in the Tharu community which believes that an old man who regrows teeth must take a dog as a bride

    The wedding was attended by the man's son and other relatives

    The paper said: "He thought the marriage would avert a great misfortune at a later stage of life but he died within a few days."
    -- Ananova

    The sexual orientation of the dog was withheld by the Supreme Court of Nepal pending suttee.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 5, 2004 3:47 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Mother of Mercy, Can This Be the End of Tux!

    It seems like only yesterday.... in fact it was yesterday that we were wondering if THIS could be a metaphor for The Meaning of Life. But now we know the secret subtext of the Yeti batting the Penguin for distance. How could we have been so blind?

    This mysterious web page which has brought so many hours of senseless but pleasurable fritter to so many millions is actually, yes, a CRY FOR HELP from our beloved Tux, the Linux Penguin.

    Yes, it came to me like a diamond bullet through the center of my skull (or an acid flashback), that what we are seeing when we see the Yeti, the White Ape, the *ALBINO* snowman whack the "Anonymous Penguin" is a message from somewhere deep within the corporate labyrinth that is IBM. The message? That Tux is going to be sent to sleep with the Taco Bell chihuahua.

    Think about it. Since IBM started making this big deal about being "Open," have you seen beak or feather of Tux? You have not. Instead, you've seen only the silent adventures of a strangely mute nordic Albino of dubious gender coupled only with the ominous promise that "Linux is Growing."

    The tout of "open software" is one thing when it is sung by the likes of Richard Stallman, quite another when it becomes a corporate message at the Superbowl.

    It's clear that the old fishbait-and-switcheroo of the corporate marketing gill-netters at IBM are out to deep-six Tux, and that some programmer, some Tux mole within IBM is trying to get the word out.

    Do you doubt it? Here are some screen grabs from this evening's email to me after I had run a search deep into the root of IBM's Linux web farm. They came in with the sender marked as "" I wasn't fooled. I opened them. And just before my laptop melted in my lap, the attachments told "The Tale of Tux:

    Attachment 1:

    Attachment 2:

    Attachment 3:
    This... THIS... is the shocking inner meaning behind all this penguin bashing that's been going on. I leave it to those with more skill at hacking than I to save the little penguin from his fate.

    Remember: If IBM can replace Tux, it is only a question of time before it reformats your hard drive. That which is open can always be closed.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 5, 2004 12:54 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Only 9,827 Days Left to Bid!

    Skippy -- In His Younger Days Before Dementia

    The bizarre operating system of eBay continues to toss up bizarre items at stranger terms. Witness this long and grinding battle for "eBay item 237479800 -- (Ends Dec-31-30 00:00:00 PST)" also know as the quest to own
    Skippy's Brain in a Jar and Head on a Pike.

    Current bid:
    US $99,999,999.00

    Time left:
    9827 days 12 hours
    11309-day listing
    Ends Dec-31-30 00:00:00 PST

    Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 3, 2004 11:31 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Waiter, 86 the Sushi and Bring Me a Salad Instead

    TAIPEI (Reuters) - The decomposing remains of a 60-tonne sperm whale exploded on a busy Taiwan street, showering nearby cars and shops with blood and organs and stopping traffic for hours, local newspapers say.

    The 17 metre (56 foot) dead whale had been on a truck headed for an autopsy at a university earlier this week, when gases from internal decay caused its entrails to explode in the southern city of Tainan

    --Decomposing whale explodes on Taiwan street

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 29, 2004 7:27 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    I'm Trying to Get Over It, But...

    Yes, yes, I know. I know. It is time, far past time to get over the Dean Scream. Everyone tells me this... And I am, I really, really am. I am really trying to resist Howard Dean. He's so Wednesday. He's something I want to forget, as I am sure he will become something many Deaniacs want to forget.

    But then, just when I think I can get back to my life, just when I think I can forget...we get... this:

    Bike Crazy :Why Howard Dean is unelectable!

    And our whole new national nightmare starts again.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 25, 2004 12:11 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    A Kinder, Gentler Terrorism

    Marijuana fumes force Israeli cops to leave work

    January 23, 2004 (JERUSALEM) The fumes from several tons of marijuana stored in an Israeli police station were so strong that officers had to leave their work place.

    The police station in the town of Dimona in the southern Negev Desert is used to store all the marijuana confiscated along the Israeli-Egyptian border, a busy smuggling route. Between three and four tons were seized in the past two months.

    "The smell was overpowering," police spokesman Gil Kleiman said Friday.

    Finally, it was too much for the officers working next door to the storage room, and they had to leave their offices.

    "Every time I came to work I felt very bad, like I was high. The smell of the marijuana was killing us, we couldn't work," one officer told the Israeli newspaper Maariv.

    Next week the marijuana will be destroyed, but the room is expected to fill up again in a couple of months, Kleiman said. -- ABC

    Perhaps they could start storing it at a compound in Ramalla.

    "I can't believe my peace process
    is down to seeds and stems again."

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 24, 2004 9:09 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Sale of the Month


    In preparation for its impending annihilation by U.S. Forces, the Government of Iraq Syria is liquidating its entire stock of Weapons Grade Plutonium-239. VillainSupply is acting as broker for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Act NOW!!

    Price: US$25,000,000 per metric ton CHEAP!!
    Quantity:[__] Add to Cart

    Offered at: | Your Online Source For Everything Evil (TM)

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 23, 2004 11:45 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Not an "If." A "When?"

    There's always room for more reality at Reality Check!

    But while new! improved! magazines are popping up like strange mushrooms in the compost heaps of the fevered publishing mind, other older and less cutting edge magazines are grasping for readers with every conceivable offer. Esquire recently saw fit to send us an offer so low that we doubt we'll be paying for the postage. So desperate is it to add circulation that our current 'Professional Discount' would allow us to subscribe to a year of Esquire ("Cover Price: $36.00") for $5.99!

    But wait! That's not all! If we want to "lock in the savings," we can check the box that gives us 2 years for $10.99!

    But wait! That's still not all! We can be billed for 3 monthly payments of $2 each. That works out to $6.00 which leaves Esquire owing us $0.01. No mention of how they plan to square this subtle ripoff.

    The current editor of Esquire, David Granger, is noted for blathering here and there about the industry on the miraculous rise in Esquire's circulation since he took over. If these are the deals he's cutting there's no miracle involved.

    As for us, we'll wait for the next offer from Esquire which, judging from this one, will offer to pay us $1000 a year to subscribe to the magazine.

    And that's just around the corner in the magazine industry. Not an "if," but a "when."

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 19, 2004 8:57 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Life Seen on Mars



    Discovered at Inessential

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 18, 2004 10:12 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    When Mugshots Imitate Life Imitiating Hollywood Imitating Hollywood


    -- As found onFear This Factor

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 14, 2004 1:32 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Way-Too-Much-Time for Way-Too-Much-Food


    Allison Jester, a sous-chef at Rippe's
    restaurant on Pier 70 in Seattle, seasons
    and coats a filet mignon with Starbuck's
    espresso grounds before grilling it.
    The entree, which sells for $29.95,
    has become a hit.

    -- The Seattle Times

    "Other chefs have used coffee as a marinade or coating. Putting coffee in a recipe was a natural for Jester, a self-confessed java junkie who starts each day with a triple iced mocha and has straight shots of espresso later in the day. "
    Well, now we know where she gets the grounds.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 14, 2004 1:25 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    "The female of the species is more hungry than the male..."

    When many of the sisterhood are staring at a few months of embracing the salad bar, one determined Woman Wins N.Y. Fruitcake-Eating Contest

    A 105-pound woman was crowned Fruitcake Champion after swallowing nearly five pounds of the treat in 10 minutes, beating her closest rival - a man almost four times her weight - by a single bite.

    "My jaw is very tired right now," Sonya Thomas said Tuesday after out-eating 405-pound Eric Booker of Long Island by one-eighth of an ounce....

    Despite her size, Thomas, 36, is no lightweight on the professional eating circuit.

    She's eaten 43 tacos in 11 minutes to claim victory in the World Champion Chicken Taco Eating Contest. She also holds the female world record for eating 24 hot dogs in 12 minutes and for eating 68 hard-boiled eggs in 8 minutes.

    An admirable woman but we wouldn't want to share a studio apartment with her.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 6, 2004 6:29 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Very Model of a Modern Major Candidate, II

    Almost forgotten in the swirl of events in Iraq over the past two weeks was Hardball's Idiot de Jour Gen. Wesley Clark opining that he'd ask for a permission slip from Europe before defending the alternate universe of his United States:

    And I would say to the Europeans, I pledge to you as the American president that we'll consult with you first. You get the right of first refusal on the security concerns that we have. We'll bring you in.
    It remains to be seen if the Democrats will exercise their right of first refusal on Clark in Iowa.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 22, 2003 7:58 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Gold Bug


    For the computer programmer on your list that has everything, we'd suggest bugs -- gold bugs -- or bugs with rubies, lapis, and other rare gems.

    "The larvae I use belong to the families Limnephilidae, Leptoceridae, Sericostomatidae and Odontoceridae, with a preference for the Limnephilid genera Potamophylax and Allogamus.

    "I collect the larvae from January to April, in low- and medium-altitude mountain areas, and keep them in an aquarium where the water is oxygenated, circulated and kept at 40% C---this artificial winter prolongs the larvae's period of case-building and delays the process of nymphosis.

    "I remove the cap of the larva's natural case at the rear end, and push the larva, which usually stays affixed to the case by means of its two hind hooks, gently forward with a blunt-tipped instrument. Pressure applied to the last ring of the case causes the larva to release its grip.

    "Essentially, this in vitro experiment involves the modification of the larva's natural habitat and, more precisely, the replacement of the building materials ordinarily found by the larva (sand, small bits of gravel, sprigs of plants, the shells of planorbid and other water snails) with new materials.

    "To begin with, I put the insect in a gold-filled environment for as long as it takes the creature to form a rough case. The larva must be able to move around in its new case and be picked up without any risk of breaking the fragile construction.

    "First, I only provided the larvae with gold spangles, but then I gradually added beads of turquoise, opal, lapis lazuli and coral, as well as rubies, sapphires, diamonds, hemispherical and Baroque pearls, and tiny rods of 18-karat gold.

    -- Leonardo On-Line: The Wonderful Caddis Worm

    Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 18, 2003 12:39 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Americanization of Iraq

    Okay, these insurgents are getting far too savvy about western ways.

    From --

    Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 17, 2003 12:16 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    "Indie Channel" Home Eludes Al

    Darn, lost another loan to Ditech.

    The NY Post tells the sad tale of Barry Diller giving the "Nyet' to Al Gore when it comes passing his control of News World International over to Al for his "vision." But just what is that vision today?

    Gore envisions creating a youth-oriented cable news network with a left-leaning political slant.

    The group advising Gore - which includes big Democratic Party fund-raiser Joel Hyatt, who is Gore's largest financial backer - is deciding whether to locate the network in San Francisco or New York.

    Two names for the channel are being debated: The Indie Channel and VTV.

    Oh, those frustrating locating and naming debates. So crucial, even before you've got anything to locate and name.

    We're here to help, because the answers are obvious.

    1)Location, Location, Location: That would be San Francisco. The best town in the world if you need to be told you are saving the world while losing your shirt.

    2) What's in a name besides the whole game? Once you're in San Francisco, your choices are made for you: The IndyNewsNetwork Channel or STDV. Take your pick.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 16, 2003 12:08 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Okay, Jordanian Olives are OFF the Gift List

    Jordanian farmer , Mohammad Ibrahim, rests with his olive harvest displayed for sale on a rural highway outside Amman December 10, 2003. Olives are a major Jordanian crop and the vines a symbol of continuity on land tended by rural families for generations.

    -- Yahoo News

    Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 10, 2003 10:58 AM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Understatement of the Month
    "It's about time a transvestite potter won the Turner Prize," said Perry, who appeared at the prize ceremony in a lilac dress with puffed sleeves.

    "I think the art world had more difficulty coming to terms with me being a potter than my choice of frocks," he joked, before adding: "I only want to thank one person, my wife Philippa. She's been my best editor, sponsor, supporter and mainly my lover. Thank you."

    We're pleased that the Turner Award has once again broken new ground. If only they'd fill in the holes after.

    -- Transvestite Potter Wins Turner Prize

    Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 10, 2003 10:52 AM |  Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    6. "He too crazy to drive airplane into skyscraper..."

    Moussaoui Called Unfit to Plot 9/11 Attacks

    A defense psychologist has concluded that Zacarias Moussaoui, a self-proclaimed member of al Qaeda, was too mentally unstable to be a part of the intricate Sept. 11 plot...
    Yep, you'd have to be really nuts to miss those planes. Especially if you knew where they were going.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 4, 2003 3:08 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Illegal Upholstery

    Bent out of shape...
    illegal aliens caught in desperate attempts to cross U.S. border

    Every year, federal officers from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and U.S. Customs Service discover increasing cases of "human contraband" secreted in unusual places and wrapped in innovative disguises. The man in the photo below was actually hidden inside an automobile seat occupied by another "legal" occupant.

    From:U.S. Customs Today

    Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 12, 2003 1:32 AM |  Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Dogs of Duh!

    Palestinian Leadership Confusion Intensifies


    Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 10, 2003 5:36 PM |  Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    That'll be $7 for the smokes, $2,000 for the ashtray

    Ashtrays – the New Contraband

    Getting caught with an unregistered gun can get you busted in New York City - and so can possession of a new form of contraband.

    Brooklyn video store owner Marty Arno learned that lesson the hard way - he's facing a whopping $6,000 in fines after two of Mayor Bloomberg's anti-smoking goon squad storm troopers caught him harboring one of these deadly items.

    Today's New York Post reveals that city inspectors M. Dundas and S. Holloway gave Arno, owner of Brooklyn Heights Video, a ticket last month charging that they had uncovered not explosives, not guns, not knives, but "One (1) ashtray with cigarette butt, and ashes," which was "seen on the counter of the establishment."

    For this criminal offense Arno faces a hefty $2,000 fine plus two other similar fines because the -inspectors discovered he did not have "No Smoking" signs and had not put up a sign displaying his store's official nonsmoking policy.


    Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 8, 2003 2:43 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Lessig Mental Meltdown Noted

    Larry Lessig whose mind was once a steel trip for the copyright obsession of the Web and other items filed under "Civil Liberties (Threatened)" has either sunk to new lows of sarcasm or new lows of dementia. In a recent entry to his online diary he writes: has announced a "political advertising contest" for the best ad that "tell[s] the truth" about President Bush. I take it that "the truth" could be for or against the president, but all submissions must be CC.

    [Lessig Blog]
    "Could be for or against President Bush..." Well, he should click on over to the contest page and review the "judges," and then accept a core dump on what is know about the nature of MoveOn.

    Please, Larry, tell us you were just making with the humor. We'd hate to think you've been boiling your vegetables in aluminum pans for the last 30 years.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 1, 2003 11:27 PM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    World's Oldest Self-Selects New World's Oldest

    The world's oldest person dies at 116

    AFP - Kamato Hongo, the world's oldest person, died at the age of 116 years, with her sense of humour still intact until her last days. [Yahoo! News - Most Viewed]
    The New World's Oldest is now:
    "compatriot Mitoyo Kawate, a 114-year-old woman from western Hiroshima city, born on May 15, 1889, the London-based Guinness World Records said later Friday."
    Previously third in the race but now moving up to second is an American:
    Charlotte Benkner of North Lima, Ohio, is the nation's oldest person, according to the Gerontology Research Group. The German-born woman will turn 114 on Nov. 16.
    And the beat goes on.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 1, 2003 6:01 AM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Big Blips Sink Ships

    File this under "The Cruel Sea":Methane Bubbles Could Sink Ships

    Methane bubbles from the sea floor could, in theory, sink ships and may explain the odd disappearances of some vessels, Australian researchers reported on Tuesday.

    The huge bubbles can erupt from undersea deposits of solid methane, known as gas hydrates....

    "A recent survey revealed the presence of a sunken vessel within the center of one particularly large eruption site, now known as the Witches Hole."

    "One proposed sinking mechanism attributes the vessel's loss of buoyancy to bubbles of methane gas released from an erupting underwater hydrate," they wrote." The known abundance of gas hydrates in the North Sea, coupled with the vessel's final resting position and its location in the Witches Hole, all support a gas bubble theory."

    Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 28, 2003 9:37 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    A Forklift Too Far

    QUESTION OF THE DAY around the plant ... What do you do when your forklift won't go high enough? Well, the answer is simple enough ... you get another forklift, that's what.

    -- Dual-Action Forklift

    Posted by Van der Leun at Oct 23, 2003 7:41 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    At Least They're Not Bursting Into Flames Anymore

    [Click for larger but invisible image]

    Human Spontaneous Involuntary Invisibility

    In the summer of 1994, I became aware of a very strange phenomenon, human spontaneous involuntary invisibility, which was apparently happening to people in the U.S. When I checked with other researchers and discovered that a number of them had also heard of such cases, I decided to place an inquiry letter in several well-known journals, asking other researchers and the general public if they had any experiences of this nature that they would like to share with me. Besides the publication of my inquiry letter, my inquiry was placed on several Internet bulletin boards. The letters began pouring in, giving me a broader picture of this phenomenon. I want to share a few stories with you and pass on some of the information I have come across during this past year.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 20, 2003 11:38 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    "Find a Need and Fill It"

    FROM:Mike's List: The Raw Feed

    The Raw Feed

    LG Electronics has come out with a mobile phone for Muslims. It has a built-in compass that, after users input their current locations, points to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Muslims who pray do so facing Mecca, so the cell phone should be a big hit among the devout.) Combined with free SMS prayer alerts, the LG Muslim phone can become an indispensable device for Muslims worldwide.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 15, 2003 10:55 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Where Do You Think You Are? Nazi Germany?

    Ananova - German man charged with teaching dog Hitler salute

    A German man is to appear in court charged with teaching his dog to give the Hitler salute.

    The black sheepdog-mix, named Adolf, has been taught to lift his right front paw up straight in the salute on command.

    Police were called to the scene in Berlin when Roland T, 54, shouted at passers-by last year.

    When a patrol arrived, he allegedly showed them the trick he had taught his dog, gave the salute along with Adolf, and shouted: "Sieg Heil."

    Now he has been charged with using symbols of unconstitutional organisations. If found guilty, he faces up to three years in prison.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 14, 2003 3:40 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Astronomers date Universe's 'cosmic jerk': Neither Andy Rooney or Rush Limbaugh

    New Scientist Oct 13 2003 11:29AM ET [Moreover Science News]

    The point when the repulsive force of dark energy overwhelmed gravity and started the accelerating expansion of the Universe that continues today has been revealed.

    "It happened five billion years ago," says Adam Riess, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. "That was when the Universe stopped slowing down and began to accelerate, experiencing a cosmic jerk."

    Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 13, 2003 4:33 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    American Culture's Race to the Bottom Continues

    Nevada Outhouse Racers Aim at Royal Flush

    AP - With names like "Pee II" and the "Urinator," they rolled down the main drag of this old western town to cheering fans and awe-struck visitors who questioned the locals' sanity....

    "It's bizarre," said Brett Coleman, 30, a financial manager from Seattle visiting a friend in nearby Carson City.

    "But it combines two popular things: restrooms and racing."

    Even organizer Lou Tassone admits the event is a bit odd.

    "It's always been kind of a wacky, crazy thing," he told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

    The races began in 1999, when local business leaders first attached wheels to the outdoor commodes. Twenty-two outhouses and portable toilets took part in the competition Saturday and Sunday. [Yahoo! News - Oddly Enough]

    Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 12, 2003 4:19 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
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