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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Remember the Everly Brothers? RIP Phil Everly

Phil Everly, the youngest of the Everly Brothers who took the high notes, died Friday from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 74.

There's a nice obit at Yahoo, and an excellent post at Neo-Neocon.

Police Probe “Decapitated Dildos” After Florida Black Lesbian Couple Fight

Smoking Gun: A Florida woman who had just broken up with her girlfriend called cops to report that her ex had “cut the heads off her three dildo sex toys,”according to a police report.

Lakenya Bristol, 32, showed an Indian River County Sheriff’s Office deputy the damaged dildos and pointed the finger at her former girlfriend, 37-year-old Regina Watts.

The sex toys apparently were decapitated after Bristol’s mid-November arrest for domestic violence. Bristol told an investigator that her belongings were subsequently packed up by Watts.

When a deputy interviewed Watts, she denied knowledge of the damaged dildos. Watts “assumed that the damage occurred after the personal belongings were removed from her custody.”

Bristol (left) is pictured in the above booking photo taken after her recent domestic violence collar. Watts (right) is seen in a 2008 mug shot.

Due to the “lack of further investigative leads,” the case of the severed dildos has been closed by investigators. The sheriff’s report detailing the criminal mischief case is dated December 31, indicating that someone was cleaning off their desk before year’s end.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Local Church Full Of Brainwashed Idiots Feeds Town’s Poor Every Week

MACON, GA—Sources confirmed today that the brainwashed morons at First Baptist Assembly of Christ, all of whom blindly accept whatever simplistic fairy tales are fed to them, volunteer each Wednesday night to provide meals to impoverished members of the community. “Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in town who have fallen on hard times and are unable to afford to put food on the table, so we try to help out as best we can,” said 48-year-old Kerri Bellamy, one of the mindless sheep who adheres to a backward ideology and is incapable of thinking for herself, while spooning out homemade shepherd’s pie to a line of poor and homeless individuals. “It feels great to share our blessings with the less fortunate. Plus, it’s fun to work alongside all the members of our [corrupt institution of propaganda and lies] who come out each week.” As of press time, the brainless, unthinking lemmings had donated winter clothing they no longer wore to several needy families and still hadn’t opened their eyes to reality.

HOTD: Transgender Cambridge academic seriously ill after being gored through the neck by a stag during holiday in the Highlands

Headline of the day - the article's not particularly interesting, but here it is if you want to read it.  I just love the headline:

Cambridge academic seriously ill after being gored through the neck by a STAG during holiday in the Highlands.

Holy crap - check out the wind chill map for this weekend's Packers-49ers game

A Dangerously Cold Arctic Air Mass Is Going To Hit Green Bay During The Packers-49ers Game.
According to the National Weather Service a "dangerously cold" arctic air mass is expected to move into the region on Sunday night, just as the game is ending. From the NWS:
***Dangerously Cold Air Expected Sunday Night through Tuesday***
"An intense arctic air mass will move into the Great Lakes region Sunday night and remain over Wisconsin through Tuesday. This air mass has the potential to produce the coldest temperatures across northeast Wisconsin since February 1996. Bitterly cold wind chill readings of 30 to 50 below zero will be widespread across the region. Low temperatures may fall to 30 below over north-central portions of Wisconsin and to 20 below over the Fox Valley Monday and Tuesday morning. If you plan on being outside, be sure to dress warm using layered clothing if possible, as frost bite can occur in as little as 10 minutes in these conditions."

Friday links

19 GIFs of Animals Knocking Down Kids.

Florida man accused in banana assault, with bonus Monty Python self-defense against fruit skit. Speaking of fruit, Today is National Fruitcake Toss Day.

Artist Creates “Normal Barbie” Using Official CDC Measurements.

A Stress Analysis of a Strapless Evening Gown.

Movie body counts: The 25 Deadliest Actors of All Time.  Vaguely related, here's THE greatest kung fu battle of all time.

20 Kids Who Completely Suck at Playing Hide and Seek.

ICYMI, Tuesday's links are here and Isaac Asimov's 1964 prediction of life in 2014 is here.

Movie body counts: The 25 Deadliest Actors of All Time

A computer scientist has created a fascinating chart of top 25 deadliest actors of all time by on-screen kills.

Drawing on the MovieBodyCounts database, Randal Olson created a mostly complete list that shows that Arnold Schwarzenegger is the deadliest man in movies. 

In an accompanying blog post, Olson notes a couple of interesting facts:
• Uma Thurman is deadliest woman with 77 on-screen kills.
• 150 of Tomisaburo Wakayama's 226 kills came in the film Lone Wolf and Cub: White Heaven in Hell (1974). It is considered the highest kill count by any one person in a film.  (I've actually never heard of the Lone Wolf and Cub movies, but there appear to be a lot of them).
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s highest single-film kill count comes from Commando (1985). His character racked up 74 kills in the final scene
The body count database took more than five years to build, but some kills may be missing from the list because "some actors have worked in dozens of low-kill-count, B-rated movies" that haven't been cataloged.

Olson added that there is one key omission in the database: John Wayne.
"I'm almost certain he'd be ranked in the 'deadliest actors' chart if some film-watching hero were willing to do the counts on his [pre-1960] films. That said, it may be best to qualify that these counts cover the period of 1960 and onward."
Olson also charted the deadliest films and most violent films of all time based on the kill count data.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Florida man accused in banana assault, with bonus Monty Python

TAMPA, Fla. -- A Pasco County man spent new years day behind bars, after sheriff's deputies say he assaulted his live in girlfriend with a banana.

Authorities responded to 36-year old Joseph Smolinsky's home on Afton Lane in Port Richey early yesterday morning.

When they arrived, Smolinsky's live-in girlfriend told them he threw a banana at her. Smolinsky denied the accusation and told deputies she threw the banana at him.

As is not infrequently the case with ridiculous news stories, Monty Python has a related skit: How to defend yourself against a banana!

From the archives: Must Listen: Woman's rant about gov't encouraging (via crossing signs) deer to cross busy roads

Woman calls into a North Dakota radio station to complain that the government should move those deer crossing signs to lower traffic areas - she's had three accidents because of deer crossing near the signs.

Please Move The Deer Crossing Signs

THE greatest kung fu battle of all time

Or not, but it's fun.  

Retrieved from the archives - for fans of cheesy Kung Fu movies, we have Separate Body Style:

Wal-Mart recalls donkey meat in China, not because it's donkey meat but because it's contaminated with fox meat

Business Insider: Wal-Mart is recalling donkey meat in China after it was found to be contaminated with other animal products.

Wal-Mart said it was recalling the meat in Jinan, the provincial capital of Shandong. The company apologized to customers and said it would provide refunds.

State media said the product -- Five Spice Donkey Meat -- had been contaminated with fox meat.

Donkey meat is a popular snack in some areas of China, although it only accounts for a tiny fraction of overall meat consumption. In 2011 China slaughtered 2.4 million donkeys, according to country's livestock industry yearbook.

Wal-Mart spokespeople in the U.S. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Photo and Video Of The First Person To Buy Legal Weed: He's a U.S. Marine and Iraq War veteran

The first sale, orchestrated as a news media photo opportunity, was made to Sean Azzariti, an Iraq War veteran who has lobbied publicly for legalization and says pot helps mitigate problems stemming from his post-traumatic stress syndrome. Azzariti, who served six years in the Marine Corps and two tours in Iraq, spent about $60 at 3D Cannabis Center for an eighth of an ounce of "Bubba Kush" and a pot-laden truffle.

"Today I was fortunate enough to be the first recreational cannabis purchase in the world," Azzariti tweeted. "We did it!!"

More at USA Today.

Snowshoe art

High in the French Alps, this English artist walks on snowshoes for miles, sometimes for 10 hours at a time, to create huge, intricate patterns in the snow. As this five-minute video shows, the results are breath-taking.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Good Jonah Goldberg @JonahNRO column this AM: Myths to Ditch in 2014

The Beltway consensus seems to be that 2013 was a bad year for the same reason nearly every other recent year was bad: polarization and partisanship. Personally, I can think of plenty of more important things to worry about than partisanship. Democracy is about disagreements, and partisanship is often a sign of healthy disagreement.

But polarization is a bit different. It speaks not just to a lack of basic agreement about what kind of society we should live in, but a breakdown in understanding and respect among Americans. There’s a lot of them-vs.-us talk these days on the left and the right. And while I’d never want to live in a country where we all join hands and sing “Kumbaya,” maybe a bit more understanding wouldn’t be all bad.

So I have small suggestions for New Year’s resolutions for both the Right and the Left in 2014. For liberals, maybe you should try to accept the fact that you’re not the non-conformists you think you are. And for conservatives, perhaps you should consider that you’re not necessarily the irrefutable voice of “normal” Americans.
Both the conservative false confidence in consensus and the liberal false confidence in uniqueness have a similar downside: smugness. Evidence for this is about as hard to find as hay in a haystack. Liberals often talk as if only the backward masses disagree with them, and conservatives often assume that only overeducated weirdos and radicals could object to their agenda. Hence Barack Obama’s infamous explanation for why rural Pennsylvanians didn’t support him: They were too busy “clinging” to their God and guns. Tellingly, conservatives took that line as a badge of honor.

Smugness is also the chief source of political problems for both the Left and the Right.

Conservatives have become far too insular, too often rejecting the need to persuade those who don’t already agree with them, arguing instead that ever bloodier doses of red meat will grow the coalition. Liberals have become far too content with the myth of their uniqueness and the pretense that they are brave polymath iconoclasts who know what’s best for you better than you do.

Maybe, just maybe, if both sides resolved not to take their most flattering myths for granted, America would be just a bit less polarized.

Isaac Asimov's 1964 essay predicting life in 2014

I originally posted this in August, but it seems to be a good time to look at it again.

When New York City hosted The World’s Fair in 1964, Isaac Asimov, the prolific sci-fi author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, took the opportunity to wonder what the world would look like 50 years hence.

Visit to the World's Fair of 2014


he New York World's Fair of 1964 is dedicated to "Peace Through Understanding." Its glimpses of the world of tomorrow rule out thermonuclear warfare. And why not? If a thermonuclear war takes place, the future will not be worth discussing. So let the missiles slumber eternally on their pads and let us observe what may come in the nonatomized world of the future.

What is to come, through the fair's eyes at least, is wonderful. The direction in which man is traveling is viewed with buoyant hope, nowhere more so than at the General Electric pavilion. There the audience whirls through four scenes, each populated by cheerful, lifelike dummies that move and talk with a facility that, inside of a minute and a half, convinces you they are alive.

The scenes, set in or about 1900, 1920, 1940 and 1960, show the advances of electrical appliances and the changes they are bringing to living. I enjoyed it hugely and only regretted that they had not carried the scenes into the future. What will life be like, say, in 2014 A.D., 50 years from now? What will the World's Fair of 2014 be like?

I don't know, but I can guess.

One thought that occurs to me is that men will continue to withdraw from nature in order to create an environment that will suit them better. By 2014, electroluminescent panels will be in common use. Ceilings and walls will glow softly, and in a variety of colors that will change at the touch of a push button.

Windows need be no more than an archaic touch, and even when present will be polarized to block out the harsh sunlight. The degree of opacity of the glass may even be made to alter automatically in accordance with the intensity of the light falling upon it.

There is an underground house at the fair which is a sign of the future. if its windows are not polarized, they can nevertheless alter the "scenery" by changes in lighting. Suburban houses underground, with easily controlled temperature, free from the vicissitudes of weather, with air cleaned and light controlled, should be fairly common. At the New York World's Fair of 2014, General Motors' "Futurama" may well display vistas of underground cities complete with light- forced vegetable gardens. The surface, G.M. will argue, will be given over to large-scale agriculture, grazing and parklands, with less space wasted on actual human occupancy.

Gadgetry will continue to relieve mankind of tedious jobs. Kitchen units will be devised that will prepare "automeals," heating water and converting it to coffee; toasting bread; frying, poaching or scrambling eggs, grilling bacon, and so on. Breakfasts will be "ordered" the night before to be ready by a specified hour the next morning. Complete lunches and dinners, with the food semiprepared, will be stored in the freezer until ready for processing. I suspect, though, that even in 2014 it will still be advisable to have a small corner in the kitchen unit where the more individual meals can be prepared by hand, especially when company is coming.

Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence. The I.B.M. exhibit at the present fair has no robots but it is dedicated to computers, which are shown in all their amazing complexity, notably in the task of translating Russian into English. If machines are that smart today, what may not be in the works 50 years hence? It will be such computers, much miniaturized, that will serve as the "brains" of robots. In fact, the I.B.M. building at the 2014 World's Fair may have, as one of its prime exhibits, a robot housemaid*large, clumsy, slow- moving but capable of general picking-up, arranging, cleaning and manipulation of various appliances. It will undoubtedly amuse the fairgoers to scatter debris over the floor in order to see the robot lumberingly remove it and classify it into "throw away" and "set aside." (Robots for gardening work will also have made their appearance.)

General Electric at the 2014 World's Fair will be showing 3-D movies of its "Robot of the Future," neat and streamlined, its cleaning appliances built in and performing all tasks briskly. (There will be a three-hour wait in line to see the film, for some things never change.)

The appliances of 2014 will have no electric cords, of course, for they will be powered by long- lived batteries running on radioisotopes. The isotopes will not be expensive for they will be by- products of the fission-power plants which, by 2014, will be supplying well over half the power needs of humanity. But once the isotype batteries are used up they will be disposed of only through authorized agents of the manufacturer.

And experimental fusion-power plant or two will already exist in 2014. (Even today, a small but genuine fusion explosion is demonstrated at frequent intervals in the G.E. exhibit at the 1964 fair.) Large solar-power stations will also be in operation in a number of desert and semi-desert areas -- Arizona, the Negev, Kazakhstan. In the more crowded, but cloudy and smoggy areas, solar power will be less practical. An exhibit at the 2014 fair will show models of power stations in space, collecting sunlight by means of huge parabolic focusing devices and radiating the energy thus collected down to earth.

The world of 50 years hence will have shrunk further. At the 1964 fair, the G.M. exhibit depicts, among other things, "road-building factories" in the tropics and, closer to home, crowded highways along which long buses move on special central lanes. There is every likelihood that highways at least in the more advanced sections of the world*will have passed their peak in 2014; there will be increasing emphasis on transportation that makes the least possible contact with the surface. There will be aircraft, of course, but even ground travel will increasingly take to the air*a foot or two off the ground. Visitors to the 1964 fair can travel there in an "aquafoil," which lifts itself on four stilts and skims over the water with a minimum of friction. This is surely a stop-gap. By 2014 the four stilts will have been replaced by four jets of compressed air so that the vehicle will make no contact with either liquid or solid surfaces.

Jets of compressed air will also lift land vehicles off the highways, which, among other things, will minimize paving problems. Smooth earth or level lawns will do as well as pavements. Bridges will also be of less importance, since cars will be capable of crossing water on their jets, though local ordinances will discourage the practice.

Much effort will be put into the designing of vehicles with "Robot-brains"*vehicles that can be set for particular destinations and that will then proceed there without interference by the slow reflexes of a human driver. I suspect one of the major attractions of the 2014 fair will be rides on small roboticized cars which will maneuver in crowds at the two-foot level, neatly and automatically avoiding each other.

For short-range travel, moving sidewalks (with benches on either side, standing room in the center) will be making their appearance in downtown sections. They will be raised above the traffic. Traffic will continue (on several levels in some places) only because all parking will be off-street and because at least 80 per cent of truck deliveries will be to certain fixed centers at the city's rim. Compressed air tubes will carry goods and materials over local stretches, and the switching devices that will place specific shipments in specific destinations will be one of the city's marvels.

Communications will become sight-sound and you will see as well as hear the person you telephone. The screen can be used not only to see the people you call but also for studying documents and photographs and reading passages from books. Synchronous satellites, hovering in space will make it possible for you to direct-dial any spot on earth, including the weather stations in Antarctica (shown in chill splendor as part of the '64 General Motors exhibit).

For that matter, you will be able to reach someone at the moon colonies, concerning which General Motors puts on a display of impressive vehicles (in model form) with large soft tires*intended to negotiate the uneven terrain that may exist on our natural satellite.

Any number of simultaneous conversations between earth and moon can be handled by modulated laser beams, which are easy to manipulate in space. On earth, however, laser beams will have to be led through plastic pipes, to avoid material and atmospheric interference. Engineers will still be playing with that problem in 2014.

Conversations with the moon will be a trifle uncomfortable, but the way, in that 2.5 seconds must elapse between statement and answer (it takes light that long to make the round trip). Similar conversations with Mars will experience a 3.5-minute delay even when Mars is at its closest. However, by 2014, only unmanned ships will have landed on Mars, though a manned expedition will be in the works and in the 2014 Futurama will show a model of an elaborate Martian colony.

As for television, wall screens will have replaced the ordinary set; but transparent cubes will be making their appearance in which three-dimensional viewing will be possible. In fact, one popular exhibit at the 2014 World's Fair will be such a 3-D TV, built life-size, in which ballet performances will be seen. The cube will slowly revolve for viewing from all angles.

One can go on indefinitely in this happy extrapolation, but all is not rosy.

As I stood in line waiting to get into the General Electric exhibit at the 1964 fair, I found myself staring at Equitable Life's grim sign blinking out the population of the United States, with the number (over 191,000,000) increasing by 1 every 11 seconds. During the interval which I spent inside the G.E. pavilion, the American population had increased by nearly 300 and the world's population by 6,000.

In 2014, there is every likelihood that the world population will be 6,500,000,000 and the population of the United States will be 350,000,000. Boston-to-Washington, the most crowded area of its size on the earth, will have become a single city with a population of over 40,000,000.

Population pressure will force increasing penetration of desert and polar areas. Most surprising and, in some ways, heartening, 2014 will see a good beginning made in the colonization of the continental shelves. Underwater housing will have its attractions to those who like water sports, and will undoubtedly encourage the more efficient exploitation of ocean resources, both food and mineral. General Motors shows, in its 1964 exhibit, the model of an underwater hotel of what might be called mouth-watering luxury. The 2014 World's Fair will have exhibits showing cities in the deep sea with bathyscaphe liners carrying men and supplies across and into the abyss.

Ordinary agriculture will keep up with great difficulty and there will be "farms" turning to the more efficient micro-organisms. Processed yeast and algae products will be available in a variety of flavors. The 2014 fair will feature an Algae Bar at which "mock-turkey" and "pseudosteak" will be served. It won't be bad at all (if you can dig up those premium prices), but there will be considerable psychological resistance to such an innovation.

Although technology will still keep up with population through 2014, it will be only through a supreme effort and with but partial success. Not all the world's population will enjoy the gadgety world of the future to the full. A larger portion than today will be deprived and although they may be better off, materially, than today, they will be further behind when compared with the advanced portions of the world. They will have moved backward, relatively.

Nor can technology continue to match population growth if that remains unchecked. Consider Manhattan of 1964, which has a population density of 80,000 per square mile at night and of over 100,000 per square mile during the working day. If the whole earth, including the Sahara, the Himalayan Mountain peaks, Greenland, Antarctica and every square mile of the ocean bottom, to the deepest abyss, were as packed as Manhattan at noon, surely you would agree that no way to support such a population (let alone make it comfortable) was conceivable. In fact, support would fail long before the World-Manhattan was reached.

Well, the earth's population is now about 3,000,000,000 and is doubling every 40 years. If this rate of doubling goes unchecked, then a World-Manhattan is coming in just 500 years. All earth will be a single choked Manhattan by A.D. 2450 and society will collapse long before that!

There are only two general ways of preventing this: (1) raise the death rate; (2) lower the birth rate. Undoubtedly, the world of A>D. 2014 will have agreed on the latter method. Indeed, the increasing use of mechanical devices to replace failing hearts and kidneys, and repair stiffening arteries and breaking nerves will have cut the death rate still further and have lifted the life expectancy in some parts of the world to age 85.

There will, therefore, be a worldwide propaganda drive in favor of birth control by rational and humane methods and, by 2014, it will undoubtedly have taken serious effect. The rate of increase of population will have slackened*but, I suspect, not sufficiently.

One of the more serious exhibits at the 2014 World's Fair, accordingly, will be a series of lectures, movies and documentary material at the World Population Control Center (adults only; special showings for teen-agers).

The situation will have been made the more serious by the advances of automation. The world of A.D. 2014 will have few routine jobs that cannot be done better by some machine than by any human being. Mankind will therefore have become largely a race of machine tenders. Schools will have to be oriented in this direction. Part of the General Electric exhibit today consists of a school of the future in which such present realities as closed-circuit TV and programmed tapes aid the teaching process. It is not only the techniques of teaching that will advance, however, but also the subject matter that will change. All the high-school students will be taught the fundamentals of computer technology will become proficient in binary arithmetic and will be trained to perfection in the use of the computer languages that will have developed out of those like the contemporary "Fortran" (from "formula translation").

Even so, mankind will suffer badly from the disease of boredom, a disease spreading more widely each year and growing in intensity. This will have serious mental, emotional and sociological consequences, and I dare say that psychiatry will be far and away the most important medical specialty in 2014. The lucky few who can be involved in creative work of any sort will be the true elite of mankind, for they alone will do more than serve a machine.

Indeed, the most somber speculation I can make about A.D. 2014 is that in a society of enforced leisure, the most glorious single word in the vocabulary will have become work!

Via Geekpress.

'Looks Like Weimar Germany': The Viral Photo Out of Connecticut That's Giving Some Gun Owners Chills

Connecticut gun owners are rushing to register certain firearms and ammunition that will be considered illegal contraband in the new year.

Under a wide-ranging gun control law passed after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, they have until Tuesday to submit the paperwork with the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

“Holy crap. Looks like Weimar Germany,” Twitter user @votermom said of the photo.

“Another disgusting picture from Connecticut . . .men waiting in line to register guns with the government,” user @chipwoods commented.

“First, they came for the guns,” @PaulRReyes added.

“Life is too short to live in a state that does this to its residents,” Twitter user @lancemfisherdeclared.

And there are plenty more comments where that came from.

State police say they’ve had people lining up early in the morning to turn in applications to keep high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and guns considered assault weapons under the new law.

While the Connecticut Citizens Defense League believes the law is unconstitutional, it has been reminding gun owners of the deadline to make sure they don’t become felons on Jan. 1.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Monday Links

Dave Barry’s Year in Review is excellent, as always: 2013 was a zombie of a year.

Compilation: 100 Greatest Action Movie Punchlines (NSFW language), with bonus Conan The Barbarian, The Musical.

Gallery: 6,000-Year-Old Hollowed Out Tree Has a Bar Inside.

The Science of the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies.

12 Hangover Cures From Famous Heavy Drinkers.  Related, The Anatomy of a Hangover, an Infographic.

Magnetic man breaks own world record for sticking spoons to his body.

ICYMI, Friday's links, including DIY lightsabers and the difficulties inherent in hippo castration, are here.

Read more here:

Compilation: 100 Greatest Action Movie Punchlines (NSFW language), with bonus Conan The Barbarian, The Musical.

Watch full screen:

I don't have a full list of the films excerpted here, although I recognize almost all of them.  A few favorites:

The 300.



Pulp Fiction.

Princess Bride.

Die Hard.

Con Air.


Various Terminator  and James Bond movies.

Air Force One.

Dirty Harry.

Conan the Barbarian. "Crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of the women". (See below for the musical version).

Team America!

Snakes on a Plane.

True Lies.

Independence Day.


The Anatomy of a Hangover

Looking for a hangover cure?  

via BitsandPieces.