The Archive

The Archive contains all the posts from before the collapse. Users can rescue posts by crossposting from the archive to earn rewards.

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Police in Murfreesboro, Tenn. are calling the recent explosion of a ketchup bottle at a local waffle joint the latest manifestation of a worrisome national trend.  
 
Spokesman Kyle Evans says there's been a proliferation of "video Web sites describing the prank," which entails adding baking soda to a half-emptied bottle of ketchup.  
 
"This could be a class C felony," Evans adds, citing a statute that forbids tampering with food.
Lots of older adults who purchase the herbal supplement Ginkgo biloba, in hopes it will keep them mentally sharp, may be wasting their money. That's the finding of researchers reporting their results in the latest issue of the Journal of American Medicine.
2009's Most listened
Artists  
1) Harry Nilsson (389)  
2) Dionne Warwick (247)  
3) The Cars (245)  
4) Fleetwood Mac (238)  
5) Sparks (176)  
6) Glenn Gould (159)  
7) Todd Rundgren (150)  
8) Nina Simone (147)  
9) R.E.M. (139)  
10) Scott Walker (129)  
 
Songs  
1) The Cars – Good Times Roll (26)  
2) The Amps – Breaking the Split Screen Barrier (22)  
2) The Cars – My Best Friend's Girl (22)  
4) The Cars – Bye Bye Love (21)  
4) Harry Nilsson – Coconut (21)  
6) The Cars – Just What I Needed (20)  
7) Weezer – Undone (The Sweater Song) (19)  
8) Chumbawamba – Tubthumping (18)  
9) Todd Rundgren – Hello It's Me (17)  
9) The Cars – Let's Go (17)  
9) The Cars – Don't Cha Stop (17)  
9) Harry Nilsson – Let the Good Times Roll (17)  
9) Harry Nilsson – Without You (17)  
 
This misses a bunch of stuff (a lot of Steely Dan and Donald Fagen) toward the end of the year, since my mp3 player doesn't sync w/ last.fm  
 
That Amps song is probably my favorite song of the year, but discovering Harry Nilsson was my big musical find of '09.
Good way to end the year...
w00t
Avatar versus Ratatouille
The wife & I saw Avatar yesterday. Very nice! I have only a few quibbles/observations (with spoilers):  
(scroll down)  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1. In the future, mercenary companies will have a "do not hire" policy on asians, and asians can only be found working in nerdy fields like "science". Or, maybe asians will be too smart and/or rich and/or sane to hire into a mercenary army.  
 
2. Initially it bothered me that, once Jake found out that a human's mind could be transferred into a Na’vi body, why didn't they just do it before the big battle? But then it occurred to me that it hadn't been proven to work, and they had to get ready for the battle - no time to try another transfer.  
 
3. [3D tech] The circular polarization that REALD uses in their 3D glasses works a lot better that the old linear polarized glasses. Circular polarization allows a person to move their head much more that linear polarization, which makes for a much more comfortable viewing experience.  
 
4. Just a bit o'whimsy - the similarities between the plots of Avatar and the Disney-Pixar movie Ratatouille:  
 
Hero uses an avatar to infiltrate a tribe.  
The hero is smaller and weaker than the avatar.  
Tribal female teaches the hero the skills needed to be a member of the tribe.  
Tribal female falls in love with the avatar.  
Hero has information that proves key in defeating an unethical foe.  
Upon being told the truth, the female initially rejects both the hero and the avatar.  
Hero becomes a respected member of the tribe.  
 
Did I miss any other similarities?  
 
[Edited Jan. 5, 2010]  
 
Well - I bow down to this!:  
 
 
 
The most surprising thing a random millimeter-wave security scan would reveal on your body?
Gender-inappropriate underclothes.
50%
Throwing stars or other weaponry beyond a swiss army knife or Leatherman.
0%
A dead creature or its pelt.
0%
A living creature.
0%
Vestigial limb.
0%
Vestigial twin.
16%
Seriously powerful magical amulet or other such mojo.
16%
A girdle or other such support garment.
0%
My enormous ____ (please explain in comments)
16%
My cute little ____ (please explain in comments)
0%
Two bloggers received home visits from Transportation Security Administration agents Tuesday after they published a new TSA directive that revises screening procedures and puts new restrictions on passengers in the wake of a recent bombing attempt by the so-called underwear bomber.  
 
Special agents from the TSA's Office of Inspection interrogated two U.S. bloggers, one of them an established travel columnist, and served them each with a civil subpoena demanding information on the anonymous source that provided the TSA document.  
 
The document, which the two bloggers published within minutes of each other Dec. 27, was sent by TSA to airlines and airports around the world and described temporary new requirements for screening passengers through Dec. 30, including conducting 'pat-downs' of legs and torsos. The document, which was not classified, was posted by numerous bloggers. Information from it was also published on some airline websites.
New research by Edward Pinto, a former chief credit officer for Fannie Mae and a housing expert, has found that from the time Fannie and Freddie began buying risky loans as early as 1993, they routinely misrepresented the mortgages they were acquiring, reporting them as prime when they had characteristics that made them clearly subprime or Alt-A.  
 
In general, a subprime mortgage refers to the credit of the borrower. A FICO score of less than 660 is the dividing line between prime and subprime, but Fannie and Freddie were reporting these mortgages as prime, according to Mr. Pinto. Fannie has admitted this in a third-quarter 10-Q report in 2008.  
 
An Alt-A mortgage is one in which the quality of the mortgage or the underwriting was deficient; it might lack adequate documentation, have a low or no down payment, or in some other way be more likely than a prime mortgage to default. Fannie and Freddie were also reporting these mortgages as prime, according to Mr. Pinto.  
 
It is easy to see how this misrepresentation was a principal cause of the financial crisis.
The poorest people are not only poor. They are also chronically sick, making it harder for them to escape poverty. A new global initiative may break the vicious cycle
Intercell is offering free flights and hotel accommodation up to the value of 1,600 (£1,400) to 900 volunteers who are prepared to test a remedy for one of the most common holiday afflictions - travellers' diarrhoea.  
 
In the "Trek Study", willing backpackers who develop travellers diarrhoea will be paid to attend a clinic and injected with a new agent to see how they react, the Independent reports.
0-9
Somewhere between home and the football field, Christian Swain's driver's side window short-circuited. This had better not be an omen, he thought. He'd waited his whole life -- all 33 years -- to be a high school head football coach, and he didn't want his first season to be a clunker. He kept pressing the electric buttons inside his beat-up gold '99 Ford Taurus, but the window stayed stuck wide open. As he turned onto Interstate 5, the wind stung his face. Good thing it was summer.  
 
He drove onto campus and parked next to a stadium with no stands. The school -- Roosevelt High in north Portland -- was a notorious bottom-feeder located in the poorest part of the city. It had no cheerleaders, no marching band, no press box and, as far as Swain could tell, no quarterbacks. But still three months away from opening night, the coach had reason to believe he could pull this off. He had grown up just east of campus, on the wrong side of the bridge himself -- hungry, a little nuts and searching for a better life
Full-body scanners
Ohh no ... I don't want anybody oogling my cold cuts!
28%
Ohh no ... I don't want anyone toking their Thunder-Panties in my aisle!
14%
Ohh no ... I don't want a week-long check-in for an hour-long trip!
0%
Ohh no ... I don't want to pay a week's check for an hour-long trip!
14%
Ohh no ... we're stuck with a thousand pair of Thunder-Panties!
42%
Gigapixel Dresden
The picture [of Dresden, Germany] was made with the Canon 5D mark II and a 400mm-lens. It consists of 1.665 full format pictures with 21.4 megapixel, which was recorded by a photo-robot in 172 minutes. The converting of 102 GB raw data by a computer with a main memory cache of 48 GB and 16 processors took 94 hours. With a resolution of 297.500 x 87.500 pixel (26 gigapixel) the picture is the largest in the world...  
 
Viewing interface requires Flash. Includes link to YouTube video and smaller 4GP image.
A drug approved to treat cancer and used to de-worm animals is being added to the nation’s cocaine supply. Nobody — at least no public health official — seems to know why.
Should there be a national/international Click Through day, where everyone is encouraged to click-through as many ads on their favorite sites as possible? This would be to help the ad revenue for your favorite sites.
Great idea!
0%
No - the spike in activity would probably trigger something that has a negative affect on my favorite site.
0%
No, I'm a paid subscriber to all my favorite sites already.
0%
N/A The sites I visit only have porn ads, I'm already paying monthly fees.
0%
No, because ( please explain in comments )
100%