‘You can have a sofa-bed in your living room, OR, you can have a MobelForm “Transformer” furniture.’
Archive for July, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
There’s quite a few short, interesting and amusing sci-fi stories on this site. Most of them are pretty good.
The Ed stories are some of my favourites.
Friday, July 27, 2007
‘Oscar the cat seems to have an uncanny knack for predicting when nursing home patients are going to die, by curling up next to them during their final hours.
His accuracy, observed in 25 cases, has led the staff to call family members once he has chosen someone. It usually means they have less than four hours to live.
“He doesn’t make too many mistakes. He seems to understand when patients are about to die,” said Dr. David Dosa in an interview. He describes the phenomenon in a poignant essay in Thursday’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.’
Thursday, July 26, 2007
‘After seeing the “plumpho” captcha on Digg last week I did some searching and came up with the Top 11 most insulting captchas. Most people hate captchas whether they are insulting or not, lets hope a better solution comes along soon.’
‘My brother is in his early twenties and while we don’t live at home anymore, our bedrooms are pretty much the same for if we return home in the holidays to visit. My brother does return home a fair bit whereas I work and therefore don’t have the same freedom to leave for a few weeks. My Mum likes to keep our rooms clean for us, and recently my mother was tidying up my brother’s room and lifted up the mattress to clean underneath and discovered a pile of DVD’s. These DVD’s were blank, with titles written on them, so they had obviously been burned, not bought.
Mum inspected them.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Bad Boys and Bad Boys II.
Her eyes grew wide.’
‘It’s safe to make love while parked in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Police officers aren’t allowed to walk up and knock on the window. Any suspicious officer who thinks that sex is taking place must drive up from behind, honk his horn three times and wait approximately two minutes before getting out of his car to investigate. [..]
Biting someone with your natural teeth is “simple assault,” while biting someone with your false teeth is “aggravated assault” in Louisiana. [..]
Women aren’t allowed to wear patent-leather shoes in Cleveland, Ohio – a man might see the reflection of something “he oughtn’t!” [..]
You can’t use elephants to plow cotton fields in North Carolina. [..]
In the quiet town of Connorsville, Wisconsin, it’s illegal for a man to shoot off a gun when his female partner has an orgasm. [..]
A law to reduce crime states: “It is mandatory for a motorist with criminal intentions to stop at the city limits and telephone the Chief of Police as he is entering the town in the state of Washington.”‘
I don’t know why this amuses me, but it does.
‘Following textbook instructions in performing chemical experiments at home may be conducive to safety, but the real thrills of research come from those experiments which you work out for yourself.
Certain chemicals just do not get along well together, and can misbehave in a manner which may cause acute embarrassment—and pain. To avoid accidents, keep the following list of chemical tricksters in mind whenever you venture into free-lance experimenting. [..]’
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
‘At the height of the cold war, amidst talk of radical changes in transportation, a battle cry could be heard from our Soviet neighbors: “We’re Russian, we don’t need no stinking bullet train … we have a jet plane instead” [..]’
‘A man who drowned trying to save his two sons trapped in a rip current could have been helped by tourists passing by from a parasailing trip, according to a captain who jumped in to save the boys.
Police say 38-year-old Renald Charles of Fruitland died Sunday while attempting to rescue his sons, 10 and 13. The boys and their father were spotted by Michael Andrew, owner of a 31-foot boat that was taking tourists to shore from a parasailing trip.
Andrew and one of his crew members jumped in, but the tourists videotaped the drowning instead of helping Charles, Andrew told The (Salisbury) Daily Times.
“I mean, c’mon, who are these people?” Andrew said.’
‘Some years ago, I (GLS) was snooping around in the cabinets that housed the MIT AI Lab’s PDP-10, and noticed a little switch glued to the frame of one cabinet. It was obviously a homebrew job, added by one of the lab’s hardware hackers (no one knows who).
You don’t touch an unknown switch on a computer without knowing what it does, because you might crash the computer. The switch was labeled in a most unhelpful way. It had two positions, and scrawled in pencil on the metal switch body were the words ‘magic’ and ‘more magic’. The switch was in the ‘more magic’ position.
I called another hacker over to look at it. He had never seen the switch before either. Closer examination revealed that the switch had only one wire running to it! The other end of the wire did disappear into the maze of wires inside the computer, but it’s a basic fact of electricity that a switch can’t do anything unless there are two wires connected to it. This switch had a wire connected on one side and no wire on its other side.’
‘The social networking website MySpace has reported a four-fold increase in the number of convicted sex offenders using its service.
The company found more than 29,000 convicted sex offenders in the United States had profiles on MySpace – up from a figure of 7,000 given in May.
MySpace said it was pleased it had identified and removed the profiles of the offenders.
Critics of MySpace call for new laws to make such sites safer for children.’
‘Workers at a water park in central Russia have found the body of a 14-year-old boy in a swimming pool pump chamber three weeks after he went missing, Russian newspapers reported today.
Staff at the amusement park in the city of Kazan checked the pump on Saturday evening because it had been spewing out cloudy water and not working as normal, the Kommersant newspaper said. Inside the pump chamber, workers found Sergei Matveyev’s body.’
‘The head of PC maker Acer, Gianfranco Lanci, has hit out at Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system, saying that the “entire industry” was disappointed by it.
Microsoft Windows Vista
“The entire industry is disappointed by Windows Vista,” the head of the world’s fourth-biggest PC maker told the Financial Times Deutschland in its online edition on Monday.
Never before had a new version of Windows done so little to boost PC sales, he said.
“And that’s not going to change in the second half of this year,” Mr Lanci said.
“I really don’t think that someone has bought a new PC specifically for Vista.” [..]
“Stability is certainly a problem,” he said.’
I blame terrorist footpaths.
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‘The draw of fame – even of the slightly sketchy Internet variety – can be strong.
The promise of a payoff – in this case, hopes of a boatload of hits for a YouTube video – can lead rational people to make questionable decisions, such as, say, setting your backyard on fire.
That’s what happened when two 18-year-old Moon Township residents soaked the backyard of one of them – along with his shoes and socks – with gasoline and set it aflame early Saturday.
Moon police said Kory Brinza of 108 Bertley Ridge Drive and Joshua Morrow of 264 Moon-Clinton Road hatched a plan around 4 a.m. Saturday to set the fire around Brinza, while Morrow filmed the event on Brinza’s new cell phone. They then planned to upload the video to YouTube.com, an Internet site that hosts millions of homemade clips of every variety.
That’s what was supposed to happen; what actually occurred, Brinza said, was this: Once Brinza soaked much of his yard with gasoline, Morrow lit a match and a fire that engulfed much of the yard – not to mention Brinza’s lower legs – roared to life.’
‘A woman is accused of dropping mothballs into a vat of soup at an Austin grocery store deli.
Lea Suzan Sechler, 44, faces a felony charge of tampering with a consumer product. She was released on bail after her arrest Thursday.
Sechler had been a regular customer at the Randall’s supermarket where at least three times customers and employees noticed the soup had the scent of mothballs.
Randalls Food Markets said no illnesses related to the tainted soup were reported.
The second time the soup smelled like mothballs, a manager sent the batch for testing. It tested positive for dichlorobenzene, a primary ingredient in many mothballs and a chemical that can contribute to a range of ailments.’
‘A mysterious blonde paid a visit to a petrol station shop in the small eastern German town of Doemitz on Sunday — wearing nothing but a pair of golden stilettos and a thin gold bracelet.
The tall, slender woman strolled into the shop in the town of Doemitz on the warm afternoon and bought cigarettes, petrol station employee Ines Swoboda told Reuters on Monday.
“I wasn’t surprised because she’s come in naked before — she’s a very nice woman,” Swoboda said, adding none of the other customers was bothered. The woman could have faced charges of creating a public disturbance if anyone had complained.’
‘A grandad has just discovered he has been living with a broken neck for 59 YEARS.
John Richards, 74, did not know he had fractured vertebrae when he fell from a tree while stealing apples as a 16-year-old in 1948.
He was treated at the time for a broken wrist but doctors missed the other life-threatening break.
John, who felt no specific pain in his neck, got on with an active life working on a farm, and playing football and cricket.
He even BOXED for 15 years at a gym with no idea that one “wrong” blow could kill him.
The break was only spotted when John went for a routine check-up with his GP last month.’
‘Two years ago, Russell Tavares was a clean-cut 25-year-old entrusted with “very high clearance” in missile and fire control in the U.S. Navy, officials say.
Now he’s the subject of a bizarre, tragic story — one that McLennan County investigators say would be a fitting plot for a television crime drama about short tempers, long-distance vendettas and the Internet’s ability to bring various personalities into conflict.
Tavares was involved in an Internet chat room squabble with John Anderson, a 59-year-old Elm Mott resident. Anderson said he called Tavares “a nerd.”
Tavares’ response: He took a leave of absence from the Navy. Drove from Virginia to Waco. Set fire to Anderson’s trailer home.’
‘A Florida man was taken to Community Medical Center early Monday after he attempted to cut off his penis, authorities said.
Officers were dispatched about 4:45 a.m. to 437 Taylor Ave., in the city’s Hill Section, after reports of a man who cut himself. When they arrived James Powell, 20, of Miami, was standing in the kitchen, holding a towel over his penis, Scranton police Capt. Carl Graziano said.
“Officers observed a large amount of blood on the kitchen floor and on the counter where the knife was located,” Capt. Graziano said. “They asked the male what happened and he said he tried to cut his penis off.”’
‘Drunk but intent on driving, Jesenia Vega fought off her boyfriend as she left a Centereach block party and got into her car, Suffolk police said.
“You’re going to get arrested,” Louis Wiederer, 26, of Westbury, warned his girlfriend, a witness heard them arguing late Saturday. “You can’t drive like that!”
“Leave me alone!” she said.
With that, Vega, 27, of Carle Place, put her key in the ignition and drove off – as Wiederer hung onto an open window. She continued north, dragging him on the pavement, then underneath her car, before coming to a stop three blocks later, police and witnesses said.
Jay Steiner, 60, a retired nurse, who lives near the scene, rushed to the man’s aid.
“Oh, my God,” Steiner recalled Vega telling him. “Don’t tell me I just killed my fiance.”‘
‘A man heading towards an aviation show crashed landed on a Wisconsin highway outside of Fon Du Lac. A car caught this amazing footage of the plane approaching the highway.’
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‘A former heavyweight boxing champion was shot after asking three men to stop smoking in a wine bar.
James Oyebola, 47, was having a drink in the garden area of the venue when a dispute erupted over the new smoking ban.
One of the men pulled out a gun and fired at point-blank range into his face and leg.
Mr Oyebola, a father of two, was critically ill last night on a life support machine. His partner of 15 years and their children are keeping a vigil at his bedside.’