Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Christmas!

We had over 20 people sleeping at my parents house for Christmas... We had a cousin beer pong tournament, filled 2 huge recycling cans of dozens and dozens of whiskey/beer/wine/vodka/champagne bottles, went through a metric ton of food, but it all worked out. I hope everybody reading this had a great Christmas season and here's to an even better 2013.

Clickable link ->

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I don't care that she's a diva

This Christmas song is one of my guilty pleasures... Enjoy!


Clickable link ->

 I still think they should've tracked down the kid from Love Actually (another guilty pleasure of mine) to sing duet.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ghostbusters 3?

Its been a while since I posted, for that I apologize. Well it turns out back in November 2010 when I posted "It looks like Ghostbusters 3 is a GO!" I may have spoken a bit prematurely...

 I guess I'm not the only Dan getting frustrated by the lack of progress on this.

  Addressing the studio heads at Sony, Aykroyd said that it’s “time now to sit down and make this movie, or you will lose your main principals, and you won’t be able to make it without us, because we have rights, and now is time to make the movie.” He suggested that if the film were not green-lit within “three or four months,” the deal would be off the table. The rights to the Ghostbusters franchise are in part-owned by Sony, Aykroyd, director Ivan Reitman, co-writer Harold Ramis and Bill Murray. Murray has held out from signing on to the third film for the past few years. Aykroyd hinted in the interview that Murray may have “abrogated his rights” when he declined to star in “Ghostbusters 3,” forfeiting his need to sign-off on the film’s green-light.

Source -> &

Monday, October 29, 2012

007's fighting each other...

So far I still have power (and internet) during Hurricane Sandy. So naturally I'm killing time by watching youtube videos. Just so we're clear, I'm very excited for Skyfall.


Clickable link ->

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dinner should never be boring

Rock Shrimp with Lemon Quinoa and Bacon.

The other night for dinner I made a good cheap meal I thought I'd share.

This is really easy and makes enough for about 4 people. 

About 2/3 of a lb of raw Rock Shrimp
a Cup of dry quinoa
Half of a white/yellow/vidalia Onion (or 3-5 Shallots) chopped
a little bit of lemon juice
a splash of white wine
chopped garlic (use as much as you want, I tend to use a lot).
Olive Oil
A strip or 2 of pre-cooked crispy bacon, then chopped
Some leftover Bacon grease from pre-cooking that bacon.

Rinse and drain the shrimp then add some lemon juice. Put it in the fridge for at least an hour or 2. This will partially "cook" the shrimp ceviche style.

Quinoa Cooking:
-1 cup of dry quinoa to 2 cups of water/chicken broth
-add to rice cooker and go.
-Just keep an eye on it because quinoa cooks quicker than rice.
-Add a splash of lemon juice and a pinch of salt/pepper near the end of the cooking time.

The rest:
-Take a tablespoon or so of the bacon grease add to a small saucepan, then coat the rest of the bottom in olive oil.
-on low heat add the chopped onion and garlic, a pinch of salt and pepper
-once it starts to saute you can add a splash of lemon juice, pinch of paprika and a splash of white wine. 
-bring up the heat until it starts to boil, then add the shrimp all at once (drain the excess lemon juice first)
-Saute for a minute or 2 until they are fully cooked
-Serve over the quinoa, add the bacon on top. Salt/pepper to taste

Monday, October 15, 2012

Skydiver 24 miles above Earth breaks the speed of sound

Congratulations to Felix Baumgartner for making history. The Austrian Skydiver/Daredevil has successfully jumped from a suspended capsule on the edge of space, breaking the speed of sound on the way down to land safely 9 minutes later.


Click the link here for a headcam video with the German commentary removed, replaced with live English commentary ->

From the Associated Press:
"When I was standing there on top of the world, you become so humble, you do not think about breaking records anymore, you do not think about gaining scientific data," Baumgartner said after the jump. "The only thing you want is to come back alive."

It was part scientific wonder, part daredevil reality show, with the live-streamed event instantly capturing the world's attention on a sleepy Sunday at the same time seven NFL football games were being played. It proved, once again, the power of the Internet in a world where news travels as fast as Twitter.

The event happened without a network broadcast in the United States, though organizers said more than 40 television stations in 50 countries - including cable's Discovery Channel in the U.S. - carried the live feed. Instead, millions flocked online, drawing more than 8 million simultaneous views to a YouTube live stream at its peak, YouTube officials said.
More than 130 digital outlets carried the live feed, organizers said.

Sources -> & & &

Friday, October 5, 2012

Manhattan Neighborhoods

I'm pasting a cool article (taken from Mental Floss) below about how the neighborhoods of New York, specifically Manhattan got their names.


For an island of only 24 square miles, Manhattan sure has a lot of neighborhoods. Many have distinct monikers that might not seem intuitive to the lay-tourist, or even to a lifelong New Yorker. Here’s where the names of New York’s most famous ‘hoods came from.

Hell’s Kitchen vs. Clinton

Hell’s Kitchen, circa 1890. Wikimedia Commons
In recent decades, businesses and real estate agents have tried in vain to clean up the lively reputation of this west side neighborhood by renaming it “Clinton.” Gentrification and expansion from the neighboring theater district have certainly helped the beautification cause. Nonetheless, the area spanning 34th Street to 59th Street and 8th Avenue (or 9th, depending on who you ask) to the Hudson River just can’t shake the nickname “Hell’s Kitchen.”
At one time not so long ago, Hell’s Kitchen lived up to the nightmarish implications of its name—and then some—but the actual origins of the name have become something of folklore. One legend involves a seasoned cop and a green cop watching a riot take place in the heart of the neighborhood. The story goes that the young cop remarked, “This place is hell itself!” to which the older cop responded “Hell is a mild climate. This is hell’s kitchen.”
The second widely accepted origin comes from the name of a local gang, aptly called “The Hell’s Kitchen Gang.” It was the transgressions of this rough group upon which Herbert Asbury based his 1927 book Gangs of New York, which Martin Scorsese would later adapt into a film by the same name. Hell’s Kitchen was first mentioned in the New York Times on September 22, 1881; the paper used the term to refer to a tenement house on 39th between 9th and 10th.
The days of ethnic strife and poverty that once defined Hell’s Kitchen are long gone, but the name has stuck. Government and business officials drew the alternative name from DeWitt Clinton Park located on the outskirts of the neighborhood. Named for the 19th century New York governor, officials thought the local park and the name Clinton would evoke a sense of New York pride. But for now, residents and other New Yorkers alike proudly call this area Hell’s Kitchen.


For a neighborhood with such a rich artistic and cultural history, the origins of its name are rather muted. Harlem is a modification of the name Haarlem, a city in the Netherlands after which this former Dutch village was named. The neighborhood is huge, beginning at 110th Street between 5th and 8th Avenues, and from 125th Street up to 155th Street from 5th Avenue to the water, and eventually from the East River to the Hudson River.

Greenwich Village

A hotdog stand in Greenwich Village, circa 1914.
The heart of bohemia in 1960s New York, this lower Manhattan neighborhood has the Dutch and the British to thank for its name. Greenwich comes for the Dutch word “Greenwijck” which means “Pine District.” When the Dutch ran New York (or New Amsterdam, as they called it), a Dutch man named Yellis Mandeville purchased property in the Village. He allegedly renamed the area after another village on Long Island by the same name. The first recorded appearance of this name change appeared in Yellis’ will at the turn of the 1700s; the name has since been Anglicized to Greenwich. “The Village,” as it’s often now called, extends from 14th Street to Houston Street and from Broadway west to the Hudson River.


A quarter century before the American Revolution, retired British Major Thomas Clarke bought 94 acres of land located between what is now 21st and 24th Streets, and from 8th Avenue to the water. He built a home on the property and named it “Chelsea,” after a veterans’ hospital and retirement home for elderly soldiers located in Britain. Chelsea Estate would pass through many more hands over the years, but the name Chelsea hung around long enough to become the official name of the neighborhood, which currently extends from 14th Street up to 30th Street, and from 6th Avenue to the water.

The Districts

Many districts make up the island of Manhattan, but the names of a few in particular have become part of the geographic vernacular.
The Flatiron District
Getty Images
A rather recent addition to the Manhattan neighborhood family, the Flatiron District has the triangular shaped Flatiron Building on 23rd Street to thank for its eponym. The structure, built in 1902, was one of the tallest at the time of its construction and its shape resembles a hot clothing iron. Though initially designated the Fuller Building, people kept referring to it as the Flatiron until eventually that just became the accepted name. The Flatiron District became a “named district” in the mid-1980’s when the neighborhood started to become more residential. Today, it is also nicknamed “Silicon Alley” due to the proliferation of tech start-ups in the vicinity, and ranges from E. 20th Street up to 26th Street, between Park Avenue South/Lexington Avenue and Sixth Avenue.
The Meatpacking District
Now bustling with hot clubs and expensive clothing retailers, the “Meatpacking District” name has a very literal beginning. In the late 1800s, New York decided to name two acres of lower Manhattan’s west side after General Peter Gansevoort. This area became a commercial district, known as Gansevoort Market. By 1900, the market would boast more than 250 slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants. In the later part of the century, the district—which stretches between 9th and 11th Avenues, from Gansevoort Street to 14th Street—became less of a commercial food market and more of a haven for sex clubs and other “special interest” nightlife. Eventually, all other industry gave way to exclusive nightlife and high-end apparel, but the name remains.
The Garment District
Only one square mile, this midtown west area located just below Times Square (from 34th to 40th Streets, between Sixth and Ninth Avenues) housed half of New York City’s garment plants in the early 20th century. In its heyday, the Garment District serviced all facets of the fashion industry, from design to manufacture to sale. Most of the manufacturing business has since faded away from the area, but its historical contributions live on through the name—and a giant needle and button sculpture on 6th Avenue.

In The Heights

Though the island is relatively flat, Upper Manhattan still has a few heights.
Morningside Heights

Columbia University, circa 1903.
The Heights formerly known as Vandewater, from the name of Dutch settler Harmon Vandewater, became Morningside around the time Columbia University was expanding into the area (around 1896). A city surveyor appraising the surrounding land found one spot he deemed unsuitable for anything other than a city park. This particular park was situated on the east side of a hill, perfectly positioned for a nice wash of sunlight every morning. In 1870, the city named it “Morning Side Park,” and it is believed to have inspired this particular Heights’ new first name of Morningside. The neighborhood’s current boundaries are 110th to 125th, from 8th Avenue to the Hudson River.
Washington Heights
Located below Inwood, the uppermost part of Manhattan, and above Harlem and Morningside Heights, Washington Heights (155th Street to 181st Street, river to river) is named in honor of Fort Washington. Built on what was at the time the highest elevated part of Manhattan, this fortress allowed American Revolutionary forces to observe the British Redcoats from afar. The name started commonly appearing in association with the area in the late 19th century.
Hamilton Heights
Once an under-settled area of mansions and estates in what is now West Harlem/Upper Manhattan, Hamilton Heights—which stretches from 135th to 155th Streets between St. Nicholas Avenue and the Hudson River—derives its name from the Hamilton Grange, the country home of Federalist leader Alexander Hamilton. He had little time to enjoy the leisurely life on his vacation estate, as he was gunned down in the infamous duel with Aaron Burr only two years after the home was built.

The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Murray

The hill may be long gone, literally leveled by urbanization, but its namesake lives on below 34th Street, from Madison Avenue to the East River. In the 1760’s, Robert Murray was a Quaker merchant who purchased land in the area of Iclenberg, a large hill somewhere around modern day 36th and Park Ave. Though the Murrays may have called their homestead Iclenberg or, later, Belmont, locals referred to his family’s estate as Murray Hill. The voice of the people won, and we have them to thank for the neighborhood’s name, though we can hardly blame them for its modern reputation as a frat boy haven.

To Bay or Not To Bay

These areas along the East River aren’t technically bays, but that didn’t stop residents from using the word.
Turtle Bay 
In 1639, the Dutch Governor bequeathed to a few Englishmen a piece of farmland, through which a creek flowed—well, trickled—into the East River bay. The men would call the property Turtle Bay Farm. Some historians believe “Turtle Bay” came from the healthy population of turtles living in the creek, but the Turtle Bay Association posits the name was actually adapted from the Dutch word “deutal,” meaning “bent blade,” because the bay resembles that shape. At some point in time, New Yorkers dropped the Farm part of the name and that area east of Midtown Manhattan—which stretches from E. 42nd Street to E. 53rd Street between Lexington Avenue and the East River—simply became “Turtle Bay.”
Kips Bay
Just a few blocks south of Turtle Bay, from E. 23rd Street to E. 38th Street and between Lexington Avenue and the East River, is Kips Bay. The neighborhood was named for Dutch settler Jacobus Hendrickson Kip, who bought property in the area during the 1600s.

Hip to Be Squares

Though technically not neighborhoods, the names of these rectangular city hubs have a few stories—and mysteries—of their own.
Times Square
Times Building
When the New York Times moved its headquarters to then-named Long Acre Square in 1904, publisher/owner Adolph Ochs strongly encouraged Mayor George B. McClellan, Jr. to change the name to Times Square. McClellan agreed, and it was henceforth Times Square. Today, the tourist trap—and the ‘hood most dreaded by New Yorkers—stretches from W. 40th Street to W. 53rd Street between 6th and 8th Avenues.
Union Square
Originally named Union Place, this New York City hub marked the intersection, or “union,” of two major city thoroughfares—what are now 4th Avenue and Broadway at 14th Street. There has been some speculation that the Civil War might have influenced the naming, but historical evidence points to Union Square receiving its name many years before the war broke out.
Lincoln Square
Lincoln Square, which lies between W. 59th Street and W. 72nd Street and stretches from Central Park West to the Hudson River, remains one of the great name mysteries in Manhattan. City records from 1906 show a NYC Board of Aldermen decreeing this piece of property be called “Lincoln Square.” However, either no one took minutes at this meeting or they were lost somewhere in the annals of time, because there exists little evidence as to why they chose “Lincoln.” Historians have yet to uncover public records of a prominent New York landowner with the surname Lincoln. Perhaps it was an homage to President Abraham Lincoln, but there’s just as little evidence to support this theory.
Herald Square
This busy intersection on 34th Street and 6th Avenue was named after the New York Herald. The newspaper no longer exists, leaving this Square’s name as its lasting legacy to the city.
Madison Square
Not to be confused with home of the New York Rangers—Madison Square Garden—Madison Square refers to the park at 23rd Street and 5th Avenue and the square surrounding it, both of which attribute their name to the fourth President of the United States, James Madison.
Washington Square 
Originally farmland, like most of Manhattan, this public park located at 5th Avenue and Waverly Place was named after President George Washington, who was inaugurated in New York City. Fun fact: It was once a cemetery. A 2005 archaeological assessment by the City Parks Department estimates some 20,000 bodies are buried beneath the park.

The Acronyms

Finally there are the original acronym neighborhoods, which popped up throughout lower Manhattan and have a reputation for hipness. They’re also pretty handy helpers for learning downtown geography:
SoHo: SOuth of HOuston Street
NoHo: NOrth of HOuston
Tribeca: the TRIangle BElow CAnal Street
Nolita: NOrth of Little ITAly

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11th Anniversary of 9/11

Flag recovered from Ground Zero
"You can be sure that the American spirit will prevail over this tragedy." -General Colin Powell

9/11 Freedom Tower

Related links -> &

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fungi used to artificially treat wood increases resonance to Stradivarius-like levels

In the growing seasons between 1645 and 1715, Europe had an usually cold climate. Growing seasons were shorter than normal which caused many long-standing effects to plants and items made from them for many generations. One of the more famous examples of this were the construction of several violins by Antonio Stradivari.

From Science Daily:
Low density, high speed of sound and a high modulus of elasticity -- these qualities are essential for ideal violin tone wood. In the late 17th and early 18th century the famous violin maker Antonio Stradivari used a special wood that had grown in the cold period between 1645 and 1715. In the long winters and the cool summers, the wood grew especially slowly and evenly, creating low density and a high modulus of elasticity. Until now, modern violin makers could only dream of wood with such tonal qualities.

That cool weather had a dramatic effect on the density of seemingly "normal" wood the famed violin maker used. Examples of genuine Stradivarius violins are known to sell at auction for several million dollars if sold at all.

Via Geekosystem:

Recently, a Swedish wood researcher may have unlocked one of the lasting secrets of the Stradivarius sound. By treating the wood of an inexpensive violin with two types of fungus that decay wood in an unexpected way, Professor Francis W. M. R. Schwarze was able to manipulate the inexpensive violin’s sound to be indistinguishable from a Stradivarius. Schwarze developed the new technique by employing fungi that thin the wood of a violin, but don’t adversely affect the way sound travels through it, producing violins that were regularly mistaken for Strads by professional musicians in double blind studies. The next step is developing a process by which this fungus treated violin wood, or mycowood, could be used to mass produce cheap violins that sound just like their expensive counterparts.

That development could go a long way towards democratizing the violin world. Concert quality violins are a necessity in any young performer’s career, but are so expensive that young players often have trouble affording them. Some have instruments purchased and loaned to them by patrons, while others have seen families mortgage homes to afford a proper violin. If high quality instruments could be made on the cheap with mycowood, many more players around the world could have access to them in short order.


The 2 things I see from this however are a need for an immediate central registration of genuine Stradivarius violins* in order to prevent fraud with the new process and regarding the tonal differences of Stradivarius wood, what if the little ice age wasn't the only thing that caused this quality in the first place?

Sources -> via & &

Image source ->

*I assume a version of this already exists and this discovery is great for classical music, but one can assume that fraud is going to creep up once this process goes public unfairly lowering the cache of a genuine piece of history like a Stradivarius violin.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Alex Zanardi wins 16K handcycling at 2012 Paralympics

Formula Formula 1 driver Alex Zanardi has a new successful racing career. After experiencing a terrible crash in the 2001 CART Lausitzring race in Germany which severed both legs he has made an incredible recovery.

From the Fox Sports article :

Alex Zanardi just loves to race. But what he really likes to do is win. Overcoming grief WE SHALL OVERCOME Many athletes have persevered through tragic circumstances. The former Formula One driver took the Paralympic gold medal Wednesday in paracycling - a hand cycle powered by the arms - at the Brands Hatch race track, posting a time of 24 minutes, 50.22 seconds. The victory capped an incredible journey for the 45-year-old who almost died in a horrific accident at a 2001 CART race in Germany. `'It's an amazing feeling,'' a clearly exuberant Zanardi said. ''I'm really, really happy for the result.'' Zanardi celebrated by sliding out of his cycle and lifting it over his head with one hand and raising his other arm, fist clenched, to the sky. It was unusual. It was on purpose. ''I'm Alex Zanardi,'' he said with a huge grin, his Italian accent dragging each syllable. ''I always have to come up with something. I have a little bit of a big head.'' Zanardi's journey to the Paralympics began at the American Memorial 500 on Sept. 15, 2001, at the Eurospeedway Lausitz in Germany - the only American-based series to go forward on the weekend after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Zanardi, a former two-time CART champion, had had a difficult season. He started 22nd in a field of 27, but the car was responding well. He was enjoying the drive, passing one car after another, until with 13 laps to go he was in the lead. Zanardi went into his final pit stop and the crew chief waved him off urging him to ''Go, go, go!'' But as he built up speed to get back into the race, the car spun out of control and he veered onto the track. Canadian driver Alex Tagliani, traveling at close to 200 mph (320 kph), could not avoid him. The reinforced carbon fiber cone of Tagliani's car sliced through the area beside Zanardi's left front wheel and cockpit, the weakest part of the vehicle. On the track, Dr. Terry Trammel slipped and fell as he raced to the wreckage. He thought he had fallen in oil, but it was Zanardi's blood.

Zanardi had lost almost 75% of his blood and severed both legs instantly near the knees. His survival looked bleak as the rescue crew approached what remained of his car (warning graphic video).

Clickable link ->

In his own words, “I shouldn’t have survived that accident,” he says “I basically survived for about 50 minutes with less than one litre of blood. Science says that’s simply impossible”. He returned to the track 2 years later to complete the 13 laps he had remaining.

Initially he had taking up handcycling to stay in shape. After being invited to the 2007 NYC Marathon for a pasta party being thrown by sponsor Barilla, he decided to enter the race, which he finished fourth. In 2011 he had won in his category.

From Fox Sports:

  On Wednesday, he defeated one of the best in the world - American Oscar ''Oz'' Sanchez, who won a gold medal in the time trial at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing and a bronze medal in the road race. Sanchez took the bronze in London with a time of 25 minutes, 35.36 seconds.
Norbert Mossandl of Germany won the silver in London with a time of 25 minutes, 17.40 seconds.
Zanardi knew the Brands Hatch course north of London would be tough - he once drove it in a race car. To make things worse, he had a bad crash with his favorite bike a few weeks ago - a picture on his Twitter feed showed a crumpled vehicle, its front wheel askew.
But by Wednesday, all that was forgotten. He said Vasser had called him Tuesday night and promised him a car for the Indianapolis 500 - if he won the gold.
`'I'll have to call him back tonight and say `Jimmy. I got the gold medal!' `' he said. '''How about the car?'''

Pre-London Paralympic Telegraph article ->

Source ->

Its a Schooner not a Sailboat!

Its been a while since I last posted. Apologies to anybody waiting for a new post. I've been pretty busy the last few weeks and haven't been able to keep up. I'm remedy that in the next few days. Hey! Check out the video below!

Clickable link -> 

Source ->

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bear Grylls is awesome

Why would Discovery cancel this guy?! HE MADE A GODDAMN SUIT OUT OF A SEAL.

 I love this guy.

 Earlier links: &

500,000+ miles in a Gelandewagen

From the BBC site: Back in 1989, as the Berlin Wall fell, Gunther Holtorf and his wife Christine set out on what was meant to be an 18-month tour of Africa in their Mercedes Benz G Wagen. Now, with more than 800,000km (500,000 miles) on the clock, Gunther is still going. 

The best part about this is the quote in the video here about how he "did this under the radar". So many incredible overland journeys are well-documented, sometimes realtime, this guy is just doing it for the sake of doing it. Since his wife passed away from cancer in 2010, he's also been doing this journey alone. He plans on retiring next year, in addition to retiring "Otto" to the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.

 Definitely click the BBC source below for a great video about it, I can't seem to embed it.

 Sehr Gut Gunther.


Gunther Holtorf talked about his Africa hyena experience from alubavimeo on Vimeo.
Sources -> & &

I just realized I love women's hurdling too

Here's a video that is spreading like wildfire. Its 19 year old Aussie hurdler Michelle Jenneke warming up before the Barcelona championships. She didn't make the Aussie Olympic squad this year, but something tells me she isn't fading from the spotlight anytime soon...

Michelle Jenneke from Losse Veter on Vimeo.
Source ->

Alerts to Terror Threats in 2011 Europe (by John Cleese)


By John Cleese – British writer, actor and tall person
The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s Get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France’s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: ” Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”

The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbor” and “Lose.”

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be alright, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!” and “The barbie is canceled.” So far, no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.

Pasted from Source ->

Friday, July 20, 2012

Aussies keep their cool around sharks...

Somehow dealing with unbelievably dangerous wildlife is built into Aussie DNA.*

From The Sun:
Nathan Podmore and pal Dave Richards were spear fishing off the coast of Western Australia when the 9ft beast started circling them. Footage — captured on Nathan's head cam (posted below) — shows them paddling helplessly in the ocean as the shark comes alarmingly close to them. Cut off from their boat they could only wait to see what would happen. The shark circled the friends three times in three minutes — before swimming directly at them.

*I have no proof of this.

 Source ->

 Earlier related links -> &

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Oz The Great and Powerful

My Cairn terrier really didn't like the green hand...
  Clickable link ->

 This looks fantastic.

 Source ->

No free views of 2012 Olympic sailing

...because they'll be building a wall.

I'm all for protecting an event like this and wouldn't the stands be built in the best view anyway? I get security guards patrolling the paid seats (stands, etc) but why prevent local residents with a water view, etc from enjoying the event from their balcony? Why make a public park temporarily private?

From the Daily Mail:

Residents of Weymouth in Dorset will not be allowed to watch the 2012 regatta without a ticket even if their property overlooks the sailing competitions.
In a bid to stop people catching a glimpse of the Olympic regatta, officials have closed off the public park that boasts sea views.
A wall will be built around Nothe Gardens at Weymouth and Portland that stretches across 40,000 square metres of land and will play host to sailing events.

The park that is popular with residents could be out of bounds for walkers for up to four weeks while fences are erected and removed in preparation for the games.
People who have been using the public land for decades will be stopped from doing so by security guards.

Source ->

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How to use San Francisco as a personal race track

Gymkhana, and by extension Ken Block is awesome. Plug in your headphones and enjoy*.

  *yes I think the fake flickering thing in the beginning of the video is annoying as hell too

Ron Perlman dons the Hellboy getup for Make-A-Wish

This is a nice story for a really tragic situation. Ron Perlman of the Hellboy movies answered the call for a little boy in the Make-A-Wish foundation.

Spectral Motion said: In the past three weeks, Spectral Motion has been honored to host two wonderful Make-A-Wish children, Caleb and Zachary. Zachary loved his visit for two very special reasons. It was Zachary's wish to meet Hellboy and also to become Hellboy. When the Make-A-Wish Foundation contacted Spectral Motion with this request, Mike thought it would be fantastic to have Ron Perlman reprise his role for the day. Ron loved the idea and donned the makeup once more (with the assistance of Lufeng Qu and Eden Elizalde) and also ordered a Hellboy sized meal of burgers, shakes, and fries for Zachary and his family and the entire Spectral crew to enjoy. Later in the day, Zachary was transformed into Hellboy with the assistance of makeup artists Lufeng Qu and Neil Winn. Both of the Make-A-Wish days were a complete thrill for the families of the children, as well as for the crew at Spectral Motion!

I've only heard great things about Ron Perlman. Hellboy was a great comic and movie series. That's really cool that he was about to do this for that kid.

Source -> via

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence day!


Here's some fun (wife would say "weird") facts

Number of places nationwide with "liberty" in their name. The most populous one is Liberty,Missouri (29,149). Iowa has more of these places than any other state: four (Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty and West Liberty).

  • Eleven places have "independence" in their name. The most populous of these is Independence, Missouri, with 116,830 residents.

  • Five places adopted the name "freedom." New Freedom, Pennsylvania with 4,464 residents, has the largest population among these.

  • There is one place named "patriot" — Patriot, Indiana, with a population of 209.

  • And what could be more fitting than spending the day in a place called "America"? There are five such places in the country, with the most populous being American Fork, Utah, with 26,263 residents.
Earlier post about the Declaration of Independence possibly being deemed illegal by British lawyers, hahahahaha ->

Progression of the American flag over history.

As the exact pattern of stars was not specified prior to 1912, and the exact colors not specified prior to 1934, many of the historical U.S. national flags shown below are typical rather than official designs.

Betsy Ross Flag 
The 13 Star Flag 
The Star Spangled Banner 
The 1818 20 Star Flag 

The 21 Star Flag 
The 23 Star Flag 
The 24 Star Flag 
The 25 Star Flag 

The 26 Star Flag 
The 27 Star Flag 
The 28 Star Flag 
The 29 Star Flag 

The 30 Star Flag 
The 31 Star Flag 
The 32 Star Flag 
The 33 Star Flag 

The 34 Star Flag 
The Civil War 35 Star Flag 
The 36 Star Flag 
The 37 Star Flag 

The 38 Star Flag 
The 43 Star Flag 
The 44 Star Flag 
The 45 Star Flag 

The 46 Star Flag 
The 48 Star Flag 
The 49 Star Flag 
The 50 Star Flag