Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Leprechaun in Mobile, Alabama

Oh man. Slow news day?

Link (thanks, Amber!)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Life Expectancy Calculator

How long will you live? MSN Money has a life expectancy calculator that apparently uses the same formulas used by insurance companies. Is it time to make some changes?

Of course, it doesn't make any mention as to how accurate this thing is, so I wouldn't start making any financial decisions based on what you find.

Link (via Digg)

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

And a happy Saint Patrick's Day to you, good sir (or ma'am)! Click through for a little history. Here are some quick facts:
  • Saint Patrick's Day is a Catholic feast day which celebrates Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland
  • Saint Patrick's Day was brought to America by Irish-American immigrants.
  • The first civic and public celebration of Saint Patrick's Day in the 13 colonies took place in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1737
I hope that this Saint Paddy's Day brings you good cheer. Here's an Irish cheer to share with your friends as you raise a pint of Guinness tonight:
May those who love us,
Love us.
And those who do not love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles,
So we'll know them by their limping.

Go bhfana í ngrá linn,
Iad siúd atá í ngrá linn.
Iad siúd nach bhfuil,
Go gcasa Dia a gcroíthe.
Agus muna gcasann Sé a gcroíthe
Go gcasa Sé caol na coise acu
Go n-aithneoimid iad as a mbacadaíl.
Éireann go Brách!


The Guinness Surger

Guinness has apparently created a device that magically puts the famous head on a pint of Guinness poured from a can via ultrasonic waves. Apparently this requires a special type of Guinness, although it's unknown what makes this different from the variety that you can pick up at your local liquor store. Hopefully, the difference is in the branding, and we'll be able to snag a Surger for ourselves here in the US of A.

"Watch the magic unfold" indeed! From the website:
It's really rather clever, if we do say so ourselves! To create the GUINNESS® Draught magic, slowly pour the special GUINNESS® Draught SURGER® beer into your pint glass, place it on the SURGER® and press the button. The SURGER® sends ultrasonic sound through the beer activating that instant rush of GUINNESS® magic, creating a rich black body with a tight white creamy head.
Link (via Michael Creasy)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Xin: Urban Ninja

This guy is a badass.

Link (thanks, Amber!)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

What to do if your eyeball pops out

In the wake of NCAA tourney star Allan Ray's freak accident on the court last Friday (his eyeball was literally poked out), Slate has put together a few tips to cope with when your eyeball "comes out of your head:"
Get it put back in, and soon. The longer you remain in this rare condition—known as "globe luxation"—the more strain you'll put on the blood vessels and nerves that connect your eye to the rest of your head. [...] You should be able to get your eye back in place without serious, long-term damage. (If the ocular muscles tear or if the optic nerve is severed, your outlook won't be as clear.) The treatment for globe luxation is pretty simple: Doctors apply some topical painkillers, hold back your lashes, and poke your eyeball into its socket by pressing on the white part with gloved fingers.
Link (via Boing Boing)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

3D Painted Rooms

Check out these rooms painted in such a way that an optical illusion appears when you view them at the right angle. Very trippy and very cool.

This reminds me of those famous chalk drawings by Julien Beever that making their rounds via email forwards.

Link (thanks, Amber!)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

This is your spider on drugs

Check out these pictures, which are apparently the result of feeding spiders drugged flies. Apparently caffeine gave our eight legged friends the jitters.


Friday, March 03, 2006

Andy Parsons doesn't get it

I found a strange quote in a recent article in the New York Times regarding the whole Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD format war. Andy Parsons, Senior VP at Pioneer and a spokesman for the Blu-ray camp said this about the idea of putting the next gen DVD drives in computers:
"DVD's are about movies and people watch them in their living rooms. How many people actually use their computer drives to sit and watch movies?"
Maybe this was taken waaay out of context, or perhaps he's just being sarcastic. Maybe the real quote is:
"[I think that it'd be crazy to assume that] DVD's are [only] about movies and [that] people [only] watch them in their living rooms. [I mean, I would never say:] 'How many people actually use their computer drives to sit and watch movies?'"
After all, a big part of the Blu-ray push is the PS3, which uses the increased capacity to play games, not movies. I can also imagine that computer people would be pretty excited to take advantage of the 25 gigabytes of space that the disc could afford them, provided the discs didn't cost too much and that they were easy enough to use.

In a cursory search, I came upon this statistic:
  • 2002
    • 17 million DVD-Video players shipped in the U.S. (Installed base of 43,718,000.)
    • Over 75 million DVD-ROM drives in the U.S.
    • Over 140 million DVD-ROM drives worldwide.
I was looking for some stats on the sales and use of the media (DVD-Videos vs. DVD-ROMs), but this is illustrative enough: DVD-ROM drives outsold DVD-Video drives by almost 450%.

I may just not get it, but that sounds like crazy talk to me.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Invisible Children

You think that you know, but you have no idea. You may have heard here or there that there is fighting in Sudan and Uganda. From time to time, it pops up in the news, then fades away. The situation is far worse than you can imagine.

The region has been in turmoil due to a nearly 20 year civil war between the Ugandan government and a rebel group called the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) headed by Joseph Kony. In around 1995, as popular support began to wane for the LRA, they began abducting children en masse, conscripting them as soldiers and conditioning them with ultra-violent indoctrination. In response, the Ugandan government urged "hundreds of thousands of rural residents to relocate to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, where many [became] reliant on World Food Programme handouts." (Invisible Children). According to this report (warning: PDF link), up to 90% of the entire population of Gulu, a district in northern Uganda, currently live in these camps.

Over the course of the following years, the children, fearing for their lives, "[fled] from the unprotected IDP camps and villages for towns with Army detachments. [...] Children in particular [flocked] to town centers at night to escape abduction. They are dubbed 'Night Commuters'." (again, Invisible Children). Walking up to 10 kilometers one way they take refuge in the relative safety in numbers, sleeping in bus stations, gymnasiums and on the verandas of good Samaritans. According to Invisible Children, an estimated 15,000 children make this trip to Gulu alone.

After visiting northern Uganda in 2003, United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland concluded that "Northern Uganda must be one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world."

In two recent blog posts on, Jeff Koinange describes what he encountered while in Gulu:
I've covered horror stories across the African continent, and every time, I tell myself I've seen it all. But nothing could have prepared me for the scenes I witnessed in the tiny dusty town of Gulu in northern Uganda.


Those who are kidnapped by Kony's army live a life of horror. While reporting this story, we met Alice, a 19-year-old girl who recently managed to escape after eight years in captivity. She told me blood chilling stories of events no child deserves to witness. She spoke of how the group she was in was made to kill a child who tried to escape by biting him to death, of how she was made to cut up and cook the body of a village chief killed by the rebels and forced to eat the meat from his body.
The atrocities occurring in Uganda are truly horrifying. Don't take my word for it. Please take some time to acquaint yourself with what's happening in Uganda. Visit Invisible Children (they have some novel campaigns), UNICEF, World Vision, Amnesty International, Oxfam, and more. If you hear about a screening of Invisible Children, go see it. Better yet, buy the DVD. Then tell your friends. Write your government. Donate (make sure to specify that your donation is for the "Night Commuters" of Gulu). Jeff Koinange puts it well:
Tell them of this horror that exists in our time and make some noise. Lots of noise. That's the only way to keep stories like this on the "front burner." Otherwise, people quickly forget once the "kids" are off the evening news.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The blogosphere is dead

I'm going to borrow a Wired Magazine convention here:

Wired = Blogorrhea (1, 2)
Tired = Blogspace
Expired = Blogosphere (1, 2)

I hate the word blogosphere. It's so pretentious. Blogspace isn't so bad.

Oh, and this post is blogorrhea.