Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bring Us Your In-Laws

I like amusement parks...

Especially the ones with quirky, unique rides.

I remember going to Disneyland as a teenager, and thinking 'Gee, wouldn't it be great to -live- here?!'. Then I grew up and realized that perhaps a few more vegetables and a few less decibels might make for a better life.

Yet I still yearn to see these two in person:

{14 sec}
Cool Water Slide in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Wildwood NJ's not-so-spooky boat ride:

{76 sec}

Marvel at the bright day-glow colors.

Then lol at that final sign inside.

Thrills for the entire family...

so plan ahead for Halloween. ;-)

For our H'ween TThursday topic: 'Thrill'
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish OMG FISH

A five foot flying fish, actually.

Ever want a 5 ft remote-controlled helium-filled flying fish? The video below shows a family that owns both the Shark and the Clown Fish 'Air Swimmer' models:

{90 sec}

They fly both of them throughout the house.
And in the city. Just watch it. Awesome.

So awesome that I got my own 'Nemo' on Monday.

The box it came in is surprisingly small;
it fit into a regular priority mail box.

Now to find a helium source so mine can fly.
And hopefully I'll avoid the ceiling fan.
You know how fish hate ceiling fans.

And BTW, thanks Mrsupole for
our great new TT topic: 'FISH'
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Friday, September 9, 2011

How To Tell if Someone is Lying

Nonverbal clues, anyone?...

Chimpanzees can't talk, but they can still fib. Researchers found that chimps can divert other chimps, and thus keep them from realizing that the first chimp is hiding (and not sharing) a banana.

We humans are so much smarter, we should be able to tell when others are trying to deceive us, right? Just to be sure, here are two short videos:

{56 sec}
{51 sec}

There, now I feel smarter, don't you?

For TT's Communication day
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Watching Letters Fly By

A quick post about fonts and flicks...

You see common Kinetic Typography when movie credits zip by as you sit in a darkened theater. btw, Its much more difficult to add floating notes during the film itself, like those sliding rules in 'Zombieland'. (a fun movie, if you can stand gooey gore.)

Below is a narration enhanced with active letters.

{99 sec}

A person named Chris did the kinetic typograph above,
using the villian's speech from 'V for Vendetta';
a movie w/ Hugo Weaving & Natalie Portman, kinda
'Black Swan meets the bad guy from The Matrix'...

This next flight of word & letter fancy is

{2 min}
called 'X versus O', by

Reminds me of those Sesame Street bits, but for adults.

* Hope you've enjoyed these very moving letters... ;-)

for TT's 'letter' day
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Into The Woods

Walk among Redwoods... in the middle of the Pacific ocean.

An experiment 95 years ago led to a forest on the slope of a volcano. Someone decided to see if these California trees could survive in the relatively cool temps of Maui's upcountry, 5000+ feet up on the non-lava side of the Haleakala crater.

Now they're over 100 feet tall and still growing.

Redwoods in Hawaii

Looking up in Poli Poli State Park, Hawaii.

{30 sec}

Normally I'm not in favor of adding non-native plants to the Hawaiian islands, but if redwoods can survive where no native plants could grow, it seems okay.
Any botanists want to weigh in?

fyi: If you go hiking on Maui, remember to refer to any area uphill of the town of Haiku as 'upcountry' - you'll sound a bit less like a tourist.

But as your burnt skin peels like a banana,
you're still gonna look like one.

for TT's 'country' day
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fun On A Boat With Your Chum

And look, a new pal drops in...

J A W S !

I have an irrational fear of 'Jaws', so this week's shark news gave me the creeps. Some researchers had a 9 ft, 1000~pound Great White Shark breech next to them, and then fall right into their boat. Yikes.

But in the end it did more damage to their pride than their persons.

And so, after they got over the shock, the crew ended up helping it back into the water.

What nice shark chums.
Wish one of them had a video cam...

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Friday, July 1, 2011

Make A Sparkler

Here are two simple 4-item recipes:
1. For this fireworks sparkler you need:

Potassium Nitrate - 6 parts
Granular Magnesium - 4 parts
Charcoal - 1 part
and a starch or sugar 'binder'

Mix, and coat a wire or stick.
This guy uses -marshmallows- for his binder.

{6 min}

Or, if that sounds too messy...

2. You can mix up a Bond Street Sparkler.
blackberry puree,
St.Germain elderflower liqueur
Fresh Mint
and a quality Champagne...

{2 min}

For a simply fun July, I might make both.

For TT's 'simple' day
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Friday, June 10, 2011

Catapulting Cows and Coconuts

aka Playing with your food, SpamALot style:

1. To begin, pick your side, the English, or ze French!
2. Use the mouse cursor to drag ammo to the catapult
3. Aim by sliding the object at the catapult up and back.
4. Then release your mouse button to launch. Good Luck!

Click the pic to start SpamALot, the game!

click to play Spamalot The Game

*Its like Angry Birds, but with cows ;-)

hint: Get {killer bunnies!} with a Spam product code.
Just click the upper right 'scroll' marked 'unlock weapons'

Or, if you're the more cerebral type,
click pic below to go to the Spam Museum!

click to see the Spam Museum

"The museum features 16,500 square feet of SPAM® artifacts, history and fun—and all for free! Yes, that’s right— it’s free admission to check out vintage advertising, answer SPAM® trivia, try your hand at canning SPAM® products, stock up on collectible SPAM® memorabilia, and learn about all the SPAM® products."

Spam artifacts? Ew. Hope they're really, really old so they'll be dry by the time I visit...
Have a great weekend!

for TT's 'spam' day
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Hazards of Being Beautiful

A new giant cat may become extinct before most humans know they exist...
Clouded Leopard

Here's 22 seconds of its first ever footage:

{22 sec}

This is the Sundaland Clouded Leopard,
filmed in Sumatra for the first time.

This cat was filmed using a camera trap in Berbak Nat'l Park. Can you imagine being the first person to watch it? You're expecting yet another day of wild pigs, and then suddenly there it is!

...But then you'd realize that as soon as you report its existence, others will come to hunt it either for fur or 'conservation'. Having seen the disaster the Chinese wrought upon their pandas, I've lost faith in the programs that drag animals out of their natural habitat.

And we all know if it looked like a warthog it'd be left in peace.
I hope its future isn't as cloudy as its pretty pelt.

fyi: found a 3 min slideshow of clouded leopard info:

{3 min}

*And sadly, just as the video says, it is true that many female leopards in captivity were killed by males. Just because the 'scientists' never bothered to study those leopard mating habits in the wild, before putting random leopards together. Shameful.

for TT's 'cloud' day
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

You Can Believe It

Certain Celebrity Correctness ?
click to go there
Its time has come,
with 'Gossip Cop'.

Their credo is "When a story appears on the Web, in print or on air, Gossip Cop will be on the scene, separating fact from fiction. Every day we’ll be posting new stories, photos, and video – and busting bad dish."

For example,

You'll be happy to know that ‘CSI’ Did Not “Ban” Justin Bieber.

So now when you jump into the shallow end of the gene pool, you'll be less likely to bump your head on some bad dirt.

I know I'll sleep better... while at my computer.

Also just for fun,
here's the U.S. band GOSSIP singing
'Love Long Distance'

Whilst wearing giant balloon heads?...

For TT's 'gossip' day
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Monday, May 16, 2011

The Owl and the Pussycat

aka Gebra the owl, and Fum the cat

Gebra is a barn owl

They don't have a pea-green boat, but they do have fun:

{2 min}

As you can see from the video, they did dance...

Whether they dined on mince & quince, who knows?
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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Zoom Zoom Zoom

Electric unicycle with a stabilizer !

Electric Unicycle !

SoloWheel is balanced by a gyroscope, and its supposed to be easy to ride, like a Segway. I love riding on a Segway, and this works the same way - Solowheel accelerates when you lean forward and slows down when you lean back:

{25 sec}

Going downhill the battery recharges, so you can go up to 12 mph, and get more than two hours on a charge.

I have e-unicycle envy... I want one.

Anyone have a spare $1800 I can borrow?

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Escape The Cursed Room

click to start game
Sounds like our average work day lament, eh? Its a breezy day, the sun is shining and we're stuck indoors. Don't mind it so much in the winter, but today I'd like to get out of this room.

But lucky for us, escape is now possible!

'Escape the Cursed Room' is a sequel to 'The Grudge', a point-n-click adventure / escape game. In this (free) online game, you are locked in a room and you try to escape the room by finding items and solving puzzles.

So, want to escape a bit right now?
Just click the image above and you'll go there.

Have Fun!

*And then please come back and tell me.
Because I've never gotten out.

Oh no, I might still be there!...


Never played a game like this before?...
Below is a quick & colorful walk-thru for the
'Escape The Bathroom' game. (has spoilers)
{79 sec} ( other games @ EscapeGames24)
No, I couldn't get out of this bathroom without help.
Wait, that sounds pathetic doesn't it?...
But hey, I consider that fly part cheating!

For TT's 'Escape' day
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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Operation Pumpkin

A totally unique tidbit about the UK royals.

Royal Wedding ?
According to last weeks Register, "Operation Pumpkin" was the name of the top-secret contingency plan for a "runaway bride" should Kate have gotten cold feet and bolted from the abbey.

Apparently the UK security 'spooks' planned for every possible eventuality - including that of Kate leaving Wills at the altar.

The puzzle was, how do their operatives switch tasks from guarding the wedding procession, to creating a moving security cordon around the escaping future Queen - while simultaneously attempting to preserve Prince William's option to pursue and perhaps dramatically win her back?

"Frankly, it's a nightmare scenario," one highly-placed MI5 source confessed to the Reg yesterday. "But you have to plan for every possible contingency, and let's face it, this one's hardly that unlikely, is it? Obviously we had to get together with Clarence House and work something out.

"Naturally, they wanted us to simply make her go through with it - but we said you must be joking: in the UK, in front of millions of witnesses? No way. And the plods would never play ball anyhow.

"So we said, look, if she bottles it we'll just have to get her out pronto, helicopter off the roof maybe, then sort her out with a new identity and young Bill will just have to go on the honeymoon on his own."

(fyi 'Clarence House' means 'Prince Charles & his staff')

Anyway, royal officials were unhappy with that plan. They reluctantly accepted that Ms Middleton remains free to bolt right up until the last moment, but argued that she should be compelled to flee on foot for at least a short distance, so allowing the Prince to pursue her and so perhaps regain some PR benefit for the royal family - and maybe even persuade the absconding future consort to come up to scratch once more.

"That's when it got difficult," says our source. "Now you've got her running out of the Abbey, crowds everywhere, him chasing after her. She's got to be able to run, he's got to be able to catch up if he can. Nightmare."

After protracted, top-secret negotiations between royal staff from Clarence House and representatives from the Metropolitan Police, MI5 and elements of the military, a compromise was agreed. In the event of Operation Pumpkin being put into effect Ms Middleton will be permitted to run out of Westminster Abbey with her bodyguards trailing discreetly at a distance. Plain-clothes undercover police, MI5 officers and SAS soldiers stationed in the crowd will form a mobile flying wedge ahead of her, clearing a path for the fugitive future princess to escape down.

Prince William will then have a limited time, the subject of tense negotiations between Clarence House and security chiefs, in which the path behind Ms Middleton will be kept open for him to go after her, after which the mobile protective cordon will close again at the Abbey end due to lack of manpower and the Prince will have let his bride slip through his fingers.

If Wills reacts fast enough, however, he will be able to chase after his fleeing fiancee for just under half a mile.

"Clarence House wanted a full mile," says our source. "But we said come on, play fair, she's in her wedding dress and there has to be some limit on the overtime budget."

If the Prince fails to intercept Ms Middleton over that distance, the security team will decide that no on-the-spot reconciliation is possible and a strategically positioned taxi, driven by an undercover SAS operative and unobtrusively escorted by several unmarked police cars, will opportunely pull up to carry the escaping ex-future-princess to safety.

"We got Clarence House to cut that by a few minutes by agreeing they could put ringers in the crowd to shout stuff like 'Go on love, give him a kiss'," reveals our source.

We asked our source what plans were in place should Wills, rather than Kate, attempt to flee the wedding.

"Come off it," he said. "We only plan for things that make sense. He doesn't want to be back on the dating scene wearing a rug, does he?"

I hope someone interviews one of those 'ringers'...
I'd love to hear what they told them when they were hired.

p.s. Cinderella reference, apt or not?...

For TT's 'puzzle' day
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Friday, April 29, 2011

What Screams May Come

'To sleep, perchance to dream.'

Or not. Depending on whether you've seen this curmudgeon-ly cute (Oscar nom'd) short, based on The Brothers Grimm's tale.

Granny Grimm's 'Sleeping Beauty'

{5 min}

*Forgot to warn you not to view at bedtime.

Oops. Sleep tight.

For TT's 'Sleep' day... btw, here's Granny on Twitter
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hoppy Easter

Hope everybunny has a nice hare-y-day.


edited to add a candy FYI:

Circus Peanuts Do you too have a family member that requests those orangy-bananaish circus peanut things?

I've had to buy them in the past, and I can never seem to find fresh ones.

But this month Brach's has an Easter version called 'Chicks & Rabbits' that will be fresh for the next few weeks. *At least as 'fresh' as these thingies ever get...
Chicks & Rabbits

Happy Easter, all

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dogs Vs Cats

The real difference between cats and dogs?
Its in their TV viewing, of course.

Dogs watch Animal Planet...

{14 sec}

Cats watch the news...

{20 sec}

Which one is smarter? Well...

thats still up for debate... but at least the cat ran away.

For TT's 'tv' day
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fresh Take on Old Spice

I have a confession.
I mute all TV ads, even for shows & products that I like.

But rules were made to be broken, and
for these Old Spice ads I made an exception:

*first 12 secs appear normal...
{30 sec}

Quick visual tricks and nonsense? = worth viewing.

Now here's
'Behind the Scenes' as they film a new one

... all in *one* take:
(in the first minute)

{3 min}

If they go to that much trouble, I'll pay attention.
Even if I have no idea what that 'spice' smells like.

Now, a non-Spice, but still fun: NY Fest winner, 40 sec

All for fun, & TT's Spice day.
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Rain Man

Artist Gregory Thielker does rain, via oil paint:
*yes* - these are oil paintings...

"Coming To a Complete Stop"

"In Between"

"Until Now"

Looking at his paintings helps me appreciate this weather.

I'm hoping next month he'll be working on flowers... ;-)

(in new window) Link w/ six more GT paintings

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Holy Grail of Silly

Because, what's sillier than 'Spamalot'?

(Perhaps a special edition can of SPAM-alot?)

My favorite song from the show:
{2 min}

Diva's Lament {}

What ever happened to my part?
It was exciting at the start.

Now we're halfway through Act 2
And I've had nothing yet to do.

I've been offstage for far too long
It's ages since I had a song.

This is one unhappy Diva
The producer's have deceived her.

There is nothing I can sing from my heart.
Whatever happened to My Part?

I am sick of my career
Always stuck in second gear

Up to here, with frustration and with fear.
I've no Grammy, no rewards,

I've no Tony Awards*,
I'm constantly replaced by Britney Spears.
Britney Spears!

Whatever happened to My Show?
I was a hit, now I don't know.

I'm with a bunch of British Knights,
Prancing 'round in woolly tights.

I might as well go to the Pub
They've been out searching for a shrub

Out shopping for a bush
Well they can kiss my Tush!

It seems to me they've really lost the plot

Whatever Happened to My…
I'll Call my Agent, Dammit!

Whatever Happened to My…
Not Yours! Not Yours!
But... My... Pa-art !

*btw, Sara Ramirez actually -did- win the Tony! :)

For our TT's 'Silly' day
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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Party Animals

Let Us Spray !
A wet T-shirt* contest.

*Except there's no shirts, and the only 'T' is on the end of the elephant.

Because its spring, and that means peewee pachyderms in the pool. This week, the keepers at the Houston zoo brought out the new 'baby' pool for their younger elephants. And it was quite a splash hit...

{35 sec}
Baylor is over 1100 lbs, tiny Tupelo is only 600.

{2:25} Baby Baylor's first pool.

See at :20 where Mom sticks her foot in?
Notice the keepers bribe her (and auntie) with tidbits to keep their big feet (and 10,000lbs) out of his baby pool. But they still end up replacing the pools every few weeks.

Make you want a pool of your own?...
It just makes me want summer, stat! ;-)

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Papering The World

...without greasing any palms.

no bribery !Though the bribe be small, yet the fault is great.
- Edward Coke

The World Bank estimates over $1 trillion of the Earth's economy is bribes. Luckily, Vijay Anand, and the people of, have begun to reduce that number through financial non-violence. Meet the 'zero rupee':

The 'zero' rupee bill
When asked for a bribe, you hand over this zero-rupee note which looks like real currency but says "Eliminate corruption at all levels. I promise to neither accept nor give bribes." And it works! One official in Tamil Nadu was so stunned to receive the note that he handed back all the bribes he had solicited for providing electricity to an entire village.

Vijay says: "Corruption starts before birth here. Parents have to pay a bribe to the nursing staff to even know the sex of the baby. (If it is a girl child you pay less, if its a boy child you pay a little more bribe.) That is where it begins for an Indian citizen. And after getting discharged from the hospital, (come the bribes for) obtaining of the birth certificate. Then when (they) got to school, obtaining admission requires another bribe..." and so on.

This non-money?...
It is worth the paper its printed on.

And so much more.

{the entire interview, 5 min}

* They've now printed over 7 million of these bills.
In more than half the world's currencies.
The U.S. sample:
zero dollar
How about a 'zero' Hamilton for TT's ''paper' day. ;-)

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Woolly Windsor Wedding

a royal wedding knit book
The book for do-it-yourself royal wedding planners:

'Knit Your Own Royal Wedding'

(yes, its a real book)

Wills and Kate
With the first peek at Kate Middleton's wedding dress.
shetland wool must be the new silk...

@ the Abbey
The archbishop presides at Westminster Abbey.

Wills, Kate, & all
Finally, these 'Woolly Windsors', Charles & Camilla, Harry, Prince William & Kate, Queen Elizabeth & Philip all give a balcony wave. (Not sure what those corgis are doing...)

Ta-ta and Cherrio
Knit-1 & Perl-2, y'all!*

*I really can't do a British accent...

link: Daily Mail article
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Luck Be A Lady

Lady Luck Some people get all the luck.

Lady goes to a show at the Roncalli Circus,
and gets to walk off with a new coat...

{1 min}

*Just in time for ThemeThursday's 'Luck' day.
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