September 20, 2014

How it's done (6)

WARNING: Using a blowtorch to open a bottle of wine is really dangerous. It works, but seriously, shit could explode in your face probably.

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I feel lucky (12)

This is old news - from 1999.


A truck driver who came back from the dead after a heart attack has had an extraordinary run of luck, winning a car and 250 thousand dollars on scratch and win cards, just two weeks apart.

Last year Bill Morgan was pronounced clinically dead for more than 14 minutes.This year he is celebrating a run of extraordinary luck.

He had survived a massive heart attack, come out of a 12 day coma with all his facilities intact, and exactly one year after the heart attack he had proposed to the girl of his dreams Lisa Wella , who said yes.

Two weeks ago he went down to the local Newsagent and bought the last five dollar scratch lottery ticket that they had, and won a AUS dollar 26,000 (USD 17 thousand) car.

A local TV station was so impressed with his run of luck that they decided to re- enact his scratching of the winning lottery ticket.

This time , in front of the rolling camera's , Morgan scratched another winning card, for a quarter of a million Australian dollars (USD 170 thousand).

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I feel lucky (11)

If this happened to me, I'd go buy a lottery ticket. I'd need only one.


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September 19, 2014

How it's done (7)

Unbelievable. YouTube video here.



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Sounds like a terminal case

Man calls and texts ex 21,807 times, admits stupidity

Gentlemen, about your lost love.

It may be that the breakup was your fault, that you're an obstinate, thoughtless, misguided, misunderstood eccentric who doesn't deserve even a hug.

It may also be that she was a mendacious manipulator with a brain the size of a 12-inch pianist's and the empathy of an inebriated worm.

When it's over, texting or calling her a couple of times in the hope of a reconciliation is understandable. But when your texting and calling gets to 20 unanswered, it really is time to stop.

When it gets to 21,807, it's time to check yourself into a secure facility.

I mention this number because of a Frenchman from Rhone, located in southern France, who demanded his ex say thank you for work he had done to improve her apartment.

They had broken up in 2011. However, as Agence France-Presse reported Friday, he bombarded her with requests over a 10-month period to either pay him for his work, or at least show gratitude.

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Which do you want to hear first?

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September 18, 2014

She's all about that bass

Nice cover

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More mushroom magic

Hallucinogen in 'magic mushrooms' can help smokers quit: Study

The hallucinogen found in "magic mushrooms" helps longtime smokers quit, a new study from John Hopkins University in Maryland has found.

The researchers warned, however, this is not a "do-it-yourself" way to break the habit.

As part of the small study, 15 participants who smoked an average of 19 cigarettes a day were given psilocybin — the active hallucinogenic agent in magic mushrooms — and monitored.

After six months, 80% of the smokers had quit completely, which researcher Matthew Johnson said is much higher than with other smoking cessation drugs.

Varenicline, which is widely considered the most effective smoking cessation drug, has a 35% success rate.

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Every bridge is awesome



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September 17, 2014

Rosetta selfie

Rosetta Mission Self-Portrait at Comet
The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft and Philae lander are exploring the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, capturing this amazing selfie as part of a camera test on Philae.

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When pigs fly

Farmer sets up zip wire for pigs

A Chinese farmer set up a zip wire for his pigs to stop them doing a runner when he takes them to market.

Sying P'an was fed up with his prized pigs running off whenever he takes them to town in the Chongning area of Weinan, in Shaanxi province.

So he dreamed up this bizarre invention to get them from truck to truck so quickly their trotters do not even touch the ground.

Sying, 43, created a series of harnesses and pulleys based on the Navy's bosun's chair that allows him to 'fly' each pig straight to its new owner's trailer.

Sying said: "At every market a few escape artists would always cause me trouble and often I would never get them back.

"You only have to lose a few and that makes the whole load a loss maker."

The harness has to take the strain of the 100kg [220 lb - JdJ] pigs while a complicated system of pulleys allows Sying to transport each porker into the truck of his latest customer.

"I get a lot of people coming to the town when I am there just to see the pigs sailing through the air," he added.

"They're all healthy and they land in good condition - they don't seem to mind the journey when they see the other pigs are not harmed, pigs are smart animals."

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10 years of flight

Path of the Rosetta craft since launch in 2004.

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September 16, 2014

What a shot! (6)

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Dumpster life

Living Simply in a Dumpster

Tucked behind the women’s residence halls in a back corner of Huston-Tillotson University’s campus in Austin, Texas, sits a green dumpster. Were it not for the sliding pitched roof and weather station perched on top, a reasonable person might dismiss the box as “just another dumpster”—providing this person did not encounter the dean of the University College Jeff Wilson living inside.

Professor Wilson went to the dumpster not just because he wished to live deliberately, and not just to teach his students about the environmental impacts  of day-to-day life, and not just to gradually transform the dumpster into “the most thoughtfully-designed, tiniest home ever constructed.” Wilson’s reasons are a tapestry of these things.

Until this summer, the green dumpster was even less descript than it is now. There was no sliding roof; Wilson kept the rain out with a tarp. He slept on cardboard mats on the floor. It was essentially, as he called it, “dumpster camping.” The goal was to establish a baseline experience of the dumpster without any accoutrements, before adding them incrementally.

Not long ago, Wilson was nesting in a 2,500 square foot house. After going through a divorce (“nothing related to the dumpster,” he told me, unsolicited), he spun into the archetypal downsizing of a newly minted bachelor. He moved into a 500-square-foot apartment. Then he began selling clothes and furniture on Facebook for almost nothing. Now he says almost everything he owns is in his 36-square-foot dumpster, which is sanctioned and supported by the university as part of an ongoing sustainability-focused experiment called The Dumpster Project. “We could end up with a house under $10,000 that could be placed anywhere in the world,” Wilson said at the launch, “[fueled by] sunlight and surface water, and people could have a pretty good life.”

H.T. Paul

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A real cliff-hanger

Cliff House by Modscape Concept (which never got past concept stage, AFAIK).


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September 15, 2014


Two glider pilots and a stuntman with a lot of confidence in one another.


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Smart phone placebo

It can’t make calls. It can’t send e-mail. It’s the NoPhone.

Forget about the iPhone 6. Dutch designer Ingmar Larsen has helped create a new phone that is shatterproof, battery-free and toilet-bowl resistant.

Sure, it doesn’t have all the fancy features of an iPhone — say, the ability to make and receive calls — but Larsen says it’s better. His product, dubbed the “NoPhone,” lets you actually communicate with people.

“Nowadays you see people staring at their mobile phone in social situations,” Larsen told The Washington Post. “They forget about the social contact, the things going on in the world.”

The NoPhone is an antidote to “smartphone addiction” (an epidemic severe enough to merit its own WebMD page). Manufactured via 3D printer to be the exact size and weight as an iPhone, the NoPhone operates as a kind of “smart phone placebo” — it has the comforting heft and feel of an Apple product, without the distracting e-mail notifications, Internet access and phone-call-making capabilities.

With the NoPhone, people can feel safe leaving their real phones at home, and the product’s sleek design saves them from that “unsettling feeling of flesh on flesh” when closing their hands.

H.T. Paul

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Clever advertising (5)

A Japanese ad for fiber optic internet service.

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September 12, 2014

Blame the French

H.T. Jeff

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Just another smelly day in paradise

San Diego Cabbies Cry Foul Over Body Odor Test

Body odor is among 52 criteria that officials at San Diego International Airport use to judge taxi drivers. Cabbies say that smacks of prejudice and discrimination.

For years, inspectors with the San Diego Regional Airport Authority run down their checklist for each cabbie — proof of insurance, functioning windshield wipers, adequate tire treads, good brakes. Drivers are graded pass, fail or needs fixing.

Anyone who flunks the smell test is told to change before picking up another customer.

Leaders of the United Taxi Workers of San Diego union say the litmus perpetuates a stereotype that predominantly foreign-born taxi drivers smell bad. [...]

Drivers wonder how inspectors determine who reeks. [...] Airport authority spokeswoman Rebecca Bloomfield said there is "no standard process" to testing.

Others drivers question how inspectors distinguish between them and their cars. The checklist has a separate item for a vehicle's "foul interior odors," which Bloomfield says may include gasoline, vomit or mildew.

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Moraine Lake

In Canada's Banff National Park.



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September 11, 2014

Fair warning



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Picture at the link.

Heavy Meta: Maine Man, 19, Poses For New Mug Shot Wearing T-Shirt With Photo Of His Old Mug Shot

In a marvelously meta moment, a 19-year-old last week posed for a jail booking photo while wearing a t-shirt with a reproduction of the mug shot taken of him after a June arrest for drunk driving.

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September 10, 2014

What a great score

Musically, this is amazingly well done. What orchestration; what vocals!

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Corporate songbook

Tripping through IBM’s astonishingly insane 1937 corporate songbook

"For thirty-seven years," reads the opening passage in the book, "the gatherings and conventions of our IBM workers have expressed in happy songs the fine spirit of loyal cooperation and good fellowship which has promoted the signal success of our great IBM Corporation in its truly International Service for the betterment of business and benefit to mankind."

That’s a hell of a mouthful, but it’s only the opening volley in the war on self-respect and decency that is the 1937 edition of Songs of the IBM, a booklet of corporate ditties first published in 1927 on the order of IBM company founder Thomas Watson, Sr.

H.T. Paul

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Clever crossword


(Mr. Shortz is a well-known crossword author and the current crossword editor for The New York Times.)


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September 09, 2014

TGFB (27)

Sriracha bacon-wrapped onion rings


Source with recipe

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Oops (28)

Police: Arkansas Man Butt-Dials Victim While Allegedly Planning His Murder

It was probably the worst time to make a butt-dial.

Larry Barnett, 68, was deep in the midst of negotiating a hit against his former employee, James Macom, 33, when he inadvertently called his intended victim, police said today.

As Macom listened, Police said Barnett discussed with another man how he should kill Macom, stressing the importance of making the hit seem like an accident.

“It’s not that common, obviously, to hire a hit man,” Doug Formon, a spokesman for the Jonesboro Police Department, told ABC News. “But it’s very uncommon for someone to be having that conversation and to call the victim in the middle of it.”

Amongst the things that Macom overheard Barnett telling the alleged hit man was Macom’s home address and personal information, police said. In addition to instructions to “make it look like an accident,” Barnett allegedly said he “did not care if you have to burn his house to the ground with him in it.”

Macom and Barnett had been on bad terms for a while, Formon said. The two had an ongoing dispute over the ownership of a vehicle, and Macom had also filed claims against Barnett for lost wages, Formon said.

“I owe the little son of a b—- a bunch of money and if he’s gone, I don’t have to pay for it,” Barnett allegedly said to the unknown man, whom he promised to pay $5,000 up front to begin with, according to Macom’s report to the cops.

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September 05, 2014

The much maligned MSG

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Breaking church

Illinois women charged with cooking meth in church

HILLSBORO, Ill. • Two southern Illinois women were charged with cooking methamphetamine in a church in a rural area near Hillsboro.

Judith Hemken, 53, of Litchfield, and Tiffany Burton, 26, of Hillsboro, were charged Wednesday with participation in manufacturing methamphetamine, The State Journal-Register reported. They could each face nine to 40 years in prison if convicted. [...]

Undersheriff Rick Robbins said authorities responded to a call Tuesday from a Waveland Church member about an apparent meth lab. The member said he had stopped at the church to investigate suspicious activity after the church was closed. He said he saw two women there and what looked like components of a meth lab, before the women took off in a car.

Robbins said deputies stopped a vehicle the church member had described, and then arrested the women. It's unclear if they have ties to the church.

"We don't know if they were members," Robbins said. "There was no conversation on why they chose the church."

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The calendar agrees



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September 04, 2014

Original haircuts

One of several cutting-edge haircuts by Rob The Original.


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If they're scaring birds away, I'll stay home

Feds: Nudists Scaring Off Rare Birds From Beach

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say that nudists are scaring off rare birds on Passage Key.

The Passage Key was established to protect native birds and serve as a breeding ground for them, but recently has been home to sandbars and is a popular destination for nudists.

"It is a federal crime to walk on the island," a Fish and Wildlife Service spokesperson told WFLA-TV. "Nudists are allowed to wade in the water off-shore, but are prohibited by law from being on the island."

The island is monitored by federal officials on weekends and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservative Commission helps out during the week, but due to the island being so remote, it is difficult to patrol it seven days a week.

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Clever advertising (4)


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September 03, 2014

Shocked, they are

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It can't be any worse than kidney pie

Time to think of squirrel pie

Kentucky's squirrel season came in yesterday, two weeks earlier than Ohio's.

Nuts and acorns are ripening and hunters intent on keeping a family tradition alive should find good populations of red, grey and fox squirrels deep in the woods, in the hollows and on the hilltops.

Squirrels can live up to 15 years, so now and then the meat hunter may bring home one a bit tough. Squirrel meat is sweet, lean, and nutritious and can be very tender when properly prepared and cooked.

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High five!



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September 02, 2014

Fire in the sky

Perth, Australia, in February 2007: fireworks, a comet, and a lightning strike all at once.



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