Friday, December 31, 2010

20 car pileup in Colorado

WTF is wrong with the cameraman? Why is he standing exactly at the apex where the cars keep sliding to?
I guess the amazing grasp of his native tongue probably shields some light that though...



source link -> http://jalopnik.com/5721936/watch-an-icy-20+car-pileup-as-it-happens

I always want to be the car (or the thimble, or the top hat)


turns out there IS a trick to Monopoly besides sheer capitalist aggression. It involves statistics and probabilities but there are a few general tips that are easy to remember. Click below.

http://deadspin.com/5720501/scientific-proof-of-how-to-beat-someones-ass-at-monopoly

If Polar bears wouldn't eat people, I'd want one.

Along with a Penguin.

Watch this Polar Bear adorably destroy thousands of dollars of "hidden" cameras.
Honestly, what did they think would happen?




Source -> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12070732

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Driving in the snow... don't do it if you think you'll get stuck

2 great articles about snow motoring below. The first one is from Wired and its a "how-to" on the basics of driving in the snow. What to do in a slide, how to not get stuck, preparing your car, etc. Its a good short synopsis as to why your poorly maintained, summer tire wearing Camry will get stuck, clog a road and piss people like me off. :)


Wired article -> http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Drive_in_the_Snow

The next one is a very good argument (and it uses science!) for the purchasing of snow tires. Why they actually DO make a difference in traction, safety and how their price can be justified rather easily if you take everything into account.

Jalopnik article about snow tires -> http://jalopnik.com/5720380/snow-tires-to-buy-or-not-to-buy


Having said all that, there are few things as fun as driving on unplowed roads in a capable vehicle. Last winter with the feet and feet of snow DC got, I was out in my Jeep with 35's and lockers for HOURS. Before you start flaming me with "get off the road when its that bad, idiot" comments. I was volunteering for a local hospital driving nurses to/from work when no other vehicle could get to their houses. They even paid for my fuel! LAWYERED!

update -> 1 more link on the subject http://lifehac.kr/fEG0di

What does your state do best?

From Fastcompany.com, below is a chart of what each state (no love for DC) does best... What do I take from this? Don't speed in Massachusetts.



full link -> http://www.fastcompany.com/1712724/just-what-does-your-state-do-best

What is Net Neutrality, lifehacker's take

As an update to an earlier post of mine ( http://www.dannyfinnegan.com/2010/12/net-neutrality.html )
Here is Lifehacker's take on net neutrality...



http://lifehacker.com/5720407/an-introduction-to-net-neutrality-what-it-is-what-it-means-for-you-and-what-you-can-do-about-it

Laboratory built 8000' below Antarctic ice

The IceCube Observatory is a specialty lab constructed about a mile and a half below Antarctic ice. The South Pole lab was designed to observe Neutrinos which could hold important clues to the formation of our Universe (and Galaxy->Solar System->Planet). The $279M project was primarily funded by a $242M grant from the National Science Foundation.



From the article:
The collision between a neutrino and an atom produces particles known as ‘muons’ in a flash of blue light called ‘Cherenkov radiation’. In the ultratransparency of the Antarctic ice, IceCube’s optical sensors detect this blue light.




Source -> http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1341047/Incredible-IceCube-observatory-built-beneath-Antarctic-ice-designed-catch-mysterious-particles-space.html

Better link from the horse's mouth -> http://newscenter.lbl.gov/news-releases/2010/12/17/completing-icecube/

Did John Wilkes Booth get away?

As the story goes, about 2 weeks after shooting President Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth was killed in a barn in rural VA. But there has always been a controversy about the legitimacy of this story. Nobody denies that somebody was shot in that barn, but whether or not it was actually JWB was never proven 100%. Somebody is currently laying in an unmarked grave believed to be JWB, historians now want to find out using DNA testing whether or not it actually is the same person as the gravestone says.

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/John_Wilkes_Booth


From the article:
Now, Booth's descendants have authorized the exhumation of John Wilkes Booth's brother, Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth, to get a DNA sample and close the books on the case. The DNA will be compared with a sample from vertebrae of the man killed in the barn. The body itself is buried but bone samples are in the collection of the National Museum of Medicine and the (incredible) Mutter Museum in Philadelphia.






Ford's Theater now - taken with my phone the other day


Source -> http://www.boingboing.net/2010/12/25/did-john-wilkes-boot.html

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Assassination_of_Abraham_Lincoln

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Patton Oswalt: great comedian or greatest comedian?

UPDATE: it looks like a few people have some "official responses" for Mr. Oswalt -> http://chroniclesofthenerds.com/?p=2291 & http://www.aintitcool.com/node/47871 (2nd one might not be 100% SFW)
 --------------------------------
Better if you just read his article than my summary, click below.



Source: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/12/ff_angrynerd_geekculture/all/1

AOL, an example that worse is sometimes better for business (initially)

I'm going to chat all night!
Remember those AOL discs that kept coming in the mail in the 90's? The ones that showed up even if you were already an AOL customer, even if you attempted to contact AOL to stop, even if you shredded them up and mailed them back, even if you bricked up your mailbox? Well, they weren't free...

From the article:
[Even today] 40 percent of AOL’s revenue comes from dial-up subscriptions...


WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?! 


back to the article:
 How much did it cost to get there?
AOL’s former CMO Jan Brandt tells TechCrunch that the disks cost more than $300 million; maybe even more shockingly, “At one point, 50% of the CD’s produced worldwide had an AOL logo on it.” But AOL was happy with the investment: At its peak, it logged a new subscriber every six seconds, she said.

here, read more -> http://www.geekosystem.com/aol-install-disks-cost/ 

Han shot first

Source -> http://news.yahoo.com/comics/pearls-before-swine#id=/comics/101229/cx_pearls_umedia/20102912

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Snow is making people lose their mind

Source -> http://www.someecards.com/2010/12/28/how-north-carolina-responds-to-snow


Lord of the Fliers: Will Anarchy Break Out Among Throngs of Stranded Air Travelers?




Mayor: Roads May Be Plowed By Wednesday Night … Maybe


E95th St. in Brooklyn



1 more link -> http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203513204576047251243335300.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsTop

Snow tires for your bike!

On Lifehacker there are instructions for making snow tires for your bike. The instructions are more for road bikes but I don't see any reason why they wouldn't work (better) for mountain bike tires.


Source -> http://lifehacker.com/5719714/zip-tie-snow-tires-the-cheapest-way-to-blizzard+proof-your-bike
http://www.dutchbikeco.com/_blog/Dutch_Bike_Co_Weblog/post/Seattle_Snowpocalypse/

When I was in high school my friend Jim and I made a set of studded tires for our mountain bikes using sheet metal screws, a bald set of mountain bike tires and tuffy tire liners. The trick was to make sure the screws went through the thickest part of the tire (on a knob each time) and make sure the liner was seated over all the screw heads. You couldn't use them on anything resembling pavement, due to the screw lengths they were strictly for thick snow. See pic below for something similar to what we made.

Michael Vick should be fed to wolves

The President has said that he was glad "Vick had been given a 2nd chance". Are you f%$#ing kidding me?
That scumbag is only upset he got caught. Dog fighting is only done by the most brutal ( click here to see -> http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-504083_162-5147732.html WARNING GRAPHIC FOOTAGE) of all Narcissistic degenerates.


Football ability aside, its only a matter of time before Vick starts with something else and gets caught (because he is an idiot). What happens then? Should he deserve a 3rd chance? Should he be allowed to have a puppy for his kids then? The President's statement should really help with his overall credibility (and approval rating...).


source -> http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/sports/Obama-vick-112544584.html

At least they got the snow removed?

UPDATE again: http://jalopnik.com/5721431/this-is-how-a-snowstorm-became-bloombergs-katrina


--

UPDATE: Sanitation Department's slow snow cleanup was a budget protest

What a bunch of babies. Just like the NYC Subway "protest" a few years ago. You're harming people who have nothing to do with your "struggle".



----------------------------------

Oh wait.....


Snowbound New Yorkers upset about unplowed streets



These shitheads should be arrested. Total disregard for other people's things that are LEGALLY parked. Why didn't they air down the backhoe first? What about chains? What about pouring down sand/salt? I hope these people are prosecuted.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Earliest Homo Sapien remains found in Israel

UPDATED (with another article that used the same stock photo): http://www.newser.com/article/d9kchr700/israeli-archaeologists-ancient-teeth-may-provide-oldest-evidence-of-human-remains.html

A tooth has been found in Israel very closely resembling modern man. This is a really big discovery. Currently the earliest (proper) Homo Sapien remains found thus far are about half as old and found in Africa. This puts a pretty sizable hole in current out-of-Africa time frames (but not necessarily the whole theory IMO). Read the link below for more science!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I know what you ordered last summer

Source -> http://xkcd.com/837/

Grassroots car company tests first do-it-yourself rally car

Local Motors is a new (type of) car company of sorts. Its based on a combination of do-it-yourself, A la carte features and an interesting mix of parts from several different well-known auto manufacturers, including a BMW sourced diesel engine or a Chevy sourced LS3 V8.

Click here to see how they describe it -> http://www.local-motors.com/howItWorks.php



Cars are built with almost no inventory and as little overhead as possible. Components aren't even ordered until a down payment is made and a build date reserved. On some level its to bring more car ingenuity and enthusiasm to the masses but on another I think its to stick it to the ridiculous dealer model currently used by all other car companies.

From the Wired article:

Local Motors plans to release between 500 and 2,000 units of each model. It’s a niche vehicle; it won’t compete with the major automakers but rather fill in the gaps in the marketplace for unique designs. Rogers uses the analogy of a jar of marbles, each of which represents a vehicle from a major automaker. In between the marbles is empty space, space that can be filled with grains of sand — and those grains are Local Motors cars.

Summary of the PopMech article's test:

The Rally Fighter runs the gnarly 40-mile trail in 3 hours. The time for usual 4x4s? Eight hours. And the Rally Fighter drives only the rear wheels.

Source -> http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/reviews/preview/local-motors-rally-fighter-off-road-test-drive?click=pm_latest

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/01/ff_newrevolution/all/1

and

http://www.local-motors.com/

Does there really need to be a story behind the picture?

Source -> thehighdefinite.com

Wow

12 things you didn't know about A Christmas Story

....Besides Ralphie plays the ticket counter guy in 4 Christmases

personal favorite:

12. Ralphie says that he wanted the “Red Ryder BB Gun” 28 times



Source -> http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/12-facts-you-probably-didnt-know-about-the-movie

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I love Winter/Christmas/Snow part 2








Above is the last 6 days of Pearls Before Swine. -> http://news.yahoo.com/comics/pearls-before-swine

----------------------

Now time to learn, the history of Santa Claus!


Source -> http://itthing.com/the-history-of-santa-claus

more evidence that life on Earth could have came from Space!

NASA scientists have found Amino Acids buried deep in Meteorites that fell in Northern Sudan. This is significant because these rocks at one point were heated to over 2000°F, which normally would destroy these acids, rendering them inert.

From the article:

"Previously, we thought the simplest way to make amino acids in an asteroid was at cooler temperatures in the presence of liquid water," Glavin said in a statement. "This meteorite suggests there's another way involving reactions in gases as a very hot asteroid cools down."


is that Elephant poop?
What's really significant about this is that it shows further evidence that life on Earth may have been "seeded" from interstellar sources, or at least helped along.


More at the source article -> http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/12/101220-asteroid-meteorite-life-space-science/

Donate old/used/broken electronics to charity

People are always trying to find a use for something they don't need anymore, especially electronics that sometimes aren't worth the hassle to sell online (or are broken in some way).

This is pretty cool, Dell is working with local drop-off locations to donate old electronics from computers to mp3 players, in (almost) any condition.



Source -> http://lifehacker.com/5715594/dell-reconnect-finds-charitable-uses-for-your-old-and-even-dead-tech

Direct link -> http://reconnectpartnership.com/

Eclipse pics

I reluctantly woke up Wifey and went outside @ 3:45 this morning to take some pics. Surprisingly despite being in the city it was pretty clear and VERY visible. See pics below.






















earlier post -> http://www.dannyfinnegan.com/2010/12/winter-solstice-and-full-lunar-eclipse.html


http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/12/21/lunar.eclipse/

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/12/19/lunar-eclipse-monday-night/

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cars sliding on ice, to the tune of the Nutcracker

My personal favorite is the bus @ 1:40



Source -> http://tv.gawker.com/5715213/watch-cars-unintentionally-perform-the-nutcracker-ballet-on-ice

One more

turns out 2010 wasn't so great for Toyota...

UPDATE: as stated by Jalopnik, Toyota is staying pretty tightlipped about having to pay a record fine because of all of this. (2 links bc the "real" one seems to have problems, below it is the cached one, which is also having problems)

Link -> http://articles.latimes.com/2010/dec/20/business/la-fi-toyota-fine-20101221

Cached copy -> http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://articles.latimes.com/2010/dec/20/business/la-fi-toyota-fine-20101221

During 2010, it turns out that EVERY SINGLE TOYOTA, all Scions, half of Lexus(es?) -sold stateside- were recalled at one point in this calendar year. This yielded a few different work stoppages at Toyota manufacturing facilities and a particular Lexus-branded SUV to be declared a rare "safety risk" by Consumer Reports.

Good thing Jalopnik has come up with a cool graphic displaying what happened to which model when!


















Here's to Americans doing as little research as possible, going only for price and believing that cars only are "for getting from point A to B".

earlier post -> http://www.dannyfinnegan.com/2010/12/toyota-has-some-balls.html

Ok, Toyota you had a good run making boring appliances... lets get back to figuring out a way to sell the Hilux TDI stateside.

I feel bad laughing, then I watch it again and laugh again

Yes I've posted a bit today from thehighdefinite.com, here's another one...



Its funny because he falls down.

Google labs, book analysis

So Google is in the process of digitizing basically everything ever written... In the meantime they've revealed a new search tool allowing you to search for the prevalence of words, or combinations of words within what they have in their database over a period of time.

Try it!

here's my results for "Indiana, Jones" btw 1800-2008
Source link -> http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/