May 27, 2015

Stair speeds

I don't get the numbering - or why it's even there.

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Going green

Californians get their drought-parched lawns painted green

David Bartlett, owner of Xtreme Green Grass in West Sacramento, Calif. paints lawns green, a service that's shot up in popularity as the state's drought lengthens.

Bartlett says he's taking more orders now than ever before.

"I probably have about seven appointments scheduled in just the next week or so." He said.

The procedure takes Bartlett and his team about an hour to complete. Bartlett arrives at a customer's homes with his equipment, including a sprayer that shoots a dye across all of the drought-stricken areas of the yard. He said the dye is an all natural earth pigment and is not harmful to people or pets.

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Not something I'd try

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May 26, 2015

More excitement than they bargained for

Luckily, no one was harmed.

When two planes carrying a total of 9 skydivers collided mid air, 12,000 feet above Superior, Wisconsin. The wings disconnected from one of the planes causing a fiery explosion. All 9 skydiver landed safely, as well as the two pilots, one of which was taken to the hospital to treat minor cuts.

H.T. Paul B

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That April-fresh smell

Poor My. Dowdy seems to have a problem. But the idea of police using a basket of laundry as bait strikes me as hilarious.

Belleville man with chronic sock fetish charged with burglary

This city’s socks offender has struck again, authorities say.

James W. Dowdy, 43, whose fetish for women’s socks has gotten him arrested more than a dozen times, was charged Tuesday in St. Clair County Circuit Court with burglary.

He was arrested on Monday after allegedly taking socks from a police “bait car.”

The vehicle had been set up with a basket full of laundry to snag Dowdy after a resident reported finding socks in her yard in the 7600 block of West Main Street in Belleville. Police recognized the discarded socks as Dowdy’s method of operation.

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Gas station graffiti

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May 25, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

From a photo collection by CNN accompanying one of its articles.

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May 23, 2015

Poifect!

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OK, we won't TGFB

About the United Church of Bacon

Are you tired of religious people being seen as morally superior to atheists? Of religions getting special privileges in the law, because they’re perceived as better than secular non-profit organizations?

As a protest, atheist friends of magician Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller had a fantastic idea in 2010. Let’s start a real, legal church with a funny name, and then demand the same rights as mainstream religions:


    We oppose supernatural claims. We are skeptics and atheists. In our religion, we doubt religion.
    We fight discrimination. Atheists are not inferior and should not be hated and marginalized.
    We raise money for charity while accepting no donations for ourselves. We do not claim tax exempt status.
    We perform legal weddings, always for free. How joyful!
    We expose religious privileges as silly by claiming the same rights for Bacon.
    We praise Bacon! If you don’t like pigs, praise Vegetarian Bacon or Turkey Bacon.
    We now have nearly 10,000 members from around the world and have performed hundreds of weddings. Join us!

Raise your voice in protest, and to Praise Bacon!

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Dancing cranes

A Flock of Synchronized Dancing Origami Cranes on an Electromagnetic Stage

Not content with boring old inanimate origami, Japanese designer and maker Ugoita T. assembled this clever electromagnetic stage to bring his paper cranes to life. While the idea of moving paper creations around with magnets is fun, it’s the synchronization that really makes this hilarious.

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May 20, 2015

Surprise! (9)

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With plenty of tonic, please

Years ago, I had a dish in Mexico City that the locals called Montezuma's caviar - which turned out to be ant larvae. It was pretty tasty.

Anty Gin – World’s First Gin Made Using Ants

True to its name, ‘Anty Gin’ is literally made from red wood ants. British distiller Will Lowe collects thousands of ants from the forests of Kent and prepares the gin at his lab-style distillery in Cambridge. The bizarre concoction is the world’s first gin to be made from insects, so naturally, it doesn’t come cheap. Each 70cl bottle costs £200 ($313), and contains the essence of 62 ants.

The idea for Anty Gin came about when Danish organisation Nordic Food Lab contacted Lowe, who makes custom gins for a living. “We were approached by a company from Copenhagen called Nordic Food Lab who explore the culinary qualities of insects and argue for the eating of them in western cuisine. They asked us to come up with a gin where the typical citrus flavor came not from lemon or lime peel, but from ants.” Lowe said. [...]

“We did a lot of research and found that the reason ants taste like citrus is because they spray formic acid as a method of defence. Hundreds of years ago formic acid was made by distilling ants, and so that’s what we decided to do,” he explained.

Lowe started with 6,000 ants and soaked them in high strength ethanol. He then distilled the liquid to make an ant concentrate, which he mixed with juniper, stinging nettle, wood avens root, alexanders seeds, and other botanicals foraged from the forest.

“The result is a spectacular, one-of-a-kind gin that is being very well received worldwide,” he said. “People are astounded at how good it tastes. It’s expensive because it is so labour intensive – Anty Gin was almost a year in the making.”

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Legographie

The Legographie series created by French photographer Sofiane Samlal, aka Samsofy, who is having fun staging his LEGO
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May 19, 2015

Irony meter pegged again (5)

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Salt from tears

These are offered by Hoxton Street Monster Supplies. (But what I really want is salt from my enemies' tears.)

salt-made-from-tears.jpgSALT MADE FROM TEARS RANGE

Salt Made From Tears combines centuries-old craft with the freshest human tears which are gently boiled, released into shallow crystallisation tanks, then harvested by hand and finally rinsed in brine. Experience the full range of these flavours in this exclusive collection.

Developed in collaboration with Studio Weave and expert tear harvesters Halen Môn.













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Moto-surfing

This looks like fun - but only if I were in front of the others.

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May 18, 2015

Some fine geekery going on here

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Get-out-of-jail free message

The Prisoner Who Emailed Himself Free

On March 9, 2015, Neil Moore was in Wandsworth Prison, a maximum security prison in England, awaiting trial. He was charged with orchestrating a series of bank heists, with his modus operandi centering on fraud. He’d pretend to be a bank official and, via a bit of social engineering, convince (real) staffers at other financial institutions to wire him some cash. Using four different aliases — some male, some female — Moore ended up unlawfully acquiring £1,819,000 (about $2.65 million) in total, in eight such heists.

On March 10, 2015, Neil Moore was released from prison. An official from Southwalk Crown Court emailed Wandsworth to inform them that Moore had been granted bail.

On March 13, 2015, attorneys (solicitors) went to Moore’s cell to interview him regarding his pending case. He, of course, wasn’t there. But he should have been. No one at Southwark Crown Court had authorized his release.

If you’ve noticed what appears to be a typo there, congratulations — you caught something that the officials at Wandsworth did not. The email came from Southwalk — pay attention to the second to last letter — and not Southwark, as is the court’s actual name, per the BBC. Further, as NBC News notes, the sender’s email domain was @hmcts-gsi-gov.org.uk; the true email address of the Royal Court’s staff is @hmcts.gsi.gov.uk. The email was Moore’s latest act of fraud.

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Follow me

From Murad Osmann's Instagram page which shows a large collection of images from around the world using this #followmeto theme.

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May 15, 2015

seriously dude

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Never mind, SETI

Signals that baffled astronomers for 17 years traced to observatory's microwave oven

For 17 years, astronomers at a well-known Australian radio telescope known as "The Dish" had not been able to figure out the source of a strange, vexing interference.

Now they've solved the mystery, and the culprit was right under their nose rather than in a galaxy far, far away.

Simon Johnston, head of astrophysics at the CSIRO, the national science agency, told the Guardian that a couple of times a year signals known as perytons were detected "within five kilometers" of the Parkes Observatory in New South Wales. The first theory was that the perytons were caused by local lightning strikes.

On New Year's Day, the observatory installed a new receiver to monitor the interference, and it detected strong signals at 2.4 GHz.

Two point four gigahertz is the signature of a microwave oven.

When scientists tested the facility's lunchroom microwave, no perytons were found — at least not at first.
But when the door of the microwave was opened while food was heating — as one might do to check on a reheated dish — bingo! Perytons spilled out like microwaved popcorn.

Complicating matters was that the Dish only registered the perytons when it was pointed at the microwave.

Astronomers generally operate the telescope remotely, but several maintenance workers are on the site during daytime hours. Little did they know that reheating their coffee created an enigma that would remain unsolved for almost two decades.

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It's like magic, Dad

A boy turns over playing cards indoors and his sister stands behind him and tells his dad what number is on the card. The boy gets frustrated each time his dad guesses what number is on the card.

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May 14, 2015

Serious awws

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You gotta know when to hold 'em

From NowIKnow. I don't know whether this story's true but I sure hope it is.

While FedEx showed promise even early on, it didn’t reach profitability very quickly. The company burned through its capital within a year or two and, in or around 1974, found itself short on cash. At one point, FedEx was down to about $5,000. There were some potential investors who were considering giving the company a cash infusion it sorely needed, but that would take some time to sort out. And Smith was out of time. As recounted by the company’s former SVP of Operations Roger Frock in his book, “Changing How the World Does Business: FedEx’s Incredible Journey to Success,” FedEx had a $24,000 jet fuel bill due. And it doesn’t take a Yale grad to figure out that it’s hard to pay a $24,000 bill when you have only $5,000 in the bank.

So how did FedEx stay afloat? Frock explains:

When I arrived back in Memphis [where FedEx is headquartered] on Monday morning, much to my surprise, the bank balance stood at nearly $32,000. I asked Fred where the funds had come from, and he responded, “The meeting with the General Dynamics board was a bust and I knew we needed money for Monday, so I took a plane Las Vegas and won $27,000.” I said, “You mean you took our last $5,000–how could you do that?” He shrugged his shoulders and said, “What difference did it make? Without the funds for the fuel companies, we couldn’t have flown anyway.” Fred’s luck held again. It was not much but it came at a critical time and kept us in business for another week.

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All about that grace

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May 13, 2015

How many Germans...

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Yeah, I guess she is

Woman denied cigarette, lights car on fire at gas station

If you happen to be making pilgrimage to Jerusalem and a shady woman in her mid-30s asks you for a cigarette, we'd suggest you give her one. Otherwise she might light your car on fire.

That's what one motorist in the Israeli capital found out the hard way, as revealed in this video captured by a closed-circuit security camera at a gas station on the city's Bethlehem Road. The woman apparently asked the man filling up his car at the pump for a smoke, and when he refused, she tossed a lighter at the pump nozzle in his tank. [...]

According to YnetNews.com – the English-language online portal of Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth – police arrested the suspect, a 35-year-old woman known to locals and identified by her own mother as "mentally unstable."

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Milled cubes

AdWeek has a nice collection of 24 photos of different cubes with the misleading headline: Suntory Whisky 3-D Printed the World's Most Incredible Ice Cubes. The ice cubes were CNC-milled. That's sort of the opposite of 3D printing, even though both processes are computer-controlled.

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May 12, 2015

How to market your house

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Comfort candles

There are videos about these candles at the maker's site. What good's a video for a scented candle?

Nothing sets the mood like a Double Down fried chicken candle

The famed fried chicken candle simply wasn't enough.

Kentucky for Kentucky, a company that promotes, engages and informs the world of all-things Kentucky, is bringing a familiar smell to their collection of Kentucky-inspired scents: The Double Down Candle, which is inspired by the popular "sandwich" from KFC.

We're using the term "sandwich" lightly here, because the Double Down consists of bacon, sauce and cheese between two pieces of fried chicken.

Much like the "food", the Double Down candle starts with the scent of fried chicken mixed with bacon pieces, followed by a bacon-scented center and is finished off with yet another layer of fried chicken scent.

The company's gourmet candle line, called the Scents of the Commonwealth, made headlines in 2013 when it released a small batch of Kentucky Fried Chicken and Mint Julep candles, which reportedly sold out in less than a minute.

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No tilting

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May 11, 2015

It's that time of year

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Best of Craigslist

Skilsaw

Wife says its gotta go. 7 1/4 blade. Runs great. The good: Pretty much stops at nothing when cutting. The bad: safety guard malfunctions randomly. Probably easy repair.

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How it's done (11)

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May 08, 2015

Step aside, Nick

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His burrito's not that loco

Denied sex, woman allegedly attacks boyfriend

An Oak Forest woman has been charged after attacking her boyfriend for refusing to have sex with her in the men's restroom of a Midlothian restaurant, police said.

Stephanie Miller, 26, of the 14500 block of Sussex Avenue, is charged with domestic battery and illegal possession of prescription drugs, according to police.

The man told police he brought Miller, his girlfriend, to El Burrito Loco, 4705 W. 147th St., for dinner April 25 after the two left Sullivan's Pub, where he said Miller had thrown sandwiches and behaved erratically.

At the restaurant, the man was urinating in the men's room when Miller followed him inside and began stripping off her clothes and asking him for sex, police reported. They said that when the man refused, Miller responded by banging his head against the wall.

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Interesting shadow

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May 06, 2015

In the Gulf of Aden

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Everyone likes a little drama

But there are always some spoil sports.

Teen wears fake bomb to ask date to prom, gets suspended

LA CENTER, Wash. (AP) — A Washington teen who strapped fake explosives to his body in a stunt to ask a date to prom has been suspended from school.

The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver reports (http://is.gd/x04wKA) that the five-day suspension will prevent Ibrahim Ahmad from attending La Center High's dance Saturday.

The 18-year-old senior says he was trying to go all out with his proposal, wearing a vest filled with paper-tube props made to look like explosives. At lunchtime, Ahmad stood on the cafeteria stage and held a sign that said he was "the bomb" and inviting his would-be date to prom.

Superintendent Mark Mansell says Ahmad's actions were inexcusable and that he deserved punishment for disrupting the learning environment.

Ahmad says the girl accepted, so they will likely go to dinner on prom night.

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