Tastes Like Chicken

Saturday, March 03, 2001
_Giant fossilized oysters in the Peruvian Andes

More than 500 fossilized giant oysters were found in the Peruvian Andes. The discovery reinforces the theory that 200 million years ago the Andes were covered by the ocean.

Friday, March 02, 2001
_Those were real brains in Hannibal
That and other delicious facts are waiting for you in The VFX of Hannibal, a strong article found on a site aimed at visual effects professionals.

_1,000 horspower of aisle-clearing power

Paula Elstrek drives a "Super Trolly" through downtown Melbourne. Builder Bob Unnerstall says the 1,000-horsepower trolly can be rented for $35,000 a year.

_Flirting takes flight
A voyeuristically engrossing article about hooking up when the airlines strand them.

A husband and wife became irritable and began arguing, she says. The wife went to sleep, and what did her mate do? Chat up a woman across the aisle. "He eventually moved into the seat next to her and began kissing her and buying her drinks," Zepco reports. "His wife slept through the night."
Isn't that special?

_You people are nuts!

This picture only pulls a 6.1 on Am I Hot Or Not? What is wrong with you people?!

Yes, I know the src link is with issues. Here's a question: can one use ftp for a src link?

Thursday, March 01, 2001
_Taliban Begins Smashing All Afghan Statues
In a happy little update to this news, the Taliban has begun destroying all the statues in Afghanistan. It's good to see someone picking up the torch from China after the waning of the cultural revolution and from Cambodia after the waning of the Khmer Rouge.

_Pipes Show Cocaine Smoked in Shakespeare's England
[C]lay pipe fragments excavated from his Stratford-upon-Avon home and of the 17th century period show conclusively that cocaine and myristic acid -- a hallucinogenic derived from plants, including nutmeg -- were smoked in Shakespeare's England.

"There is some suggestive evidence in Shakespeare's own writing," said Thackeray.

"In sonnet 76 he refers to a 'noted weed' which may have been a reference to cannabis," he said.

"In the same sonnet, he refers to 'compounds strange' and the word compounds is a known reference to drugs," he said.

"But I think Shakespeare, who may have experimented with these substances, is saying he would rather turn away from them. I would not read it as an endorsement of drug use," he said.
And that dirty hippie wore an earing!

Wednesday, February 28, 2001
_Drunk Finds Cigarettes And Gasoline Don't Mix
The petrol exploded, his car burst into flames and the man was blown 15 feet through the air, crashing to earth on a nest of angry ants.

"We took a vote and this is one of the stupidest things we've ever heard of."

_A flying leap from the 51st floor
The man... jumped just after 2:30 p.m. from an office at Hunter Keith on the 51st floor of the IDS Center on Eighth Street in downtown Minneapolis. He plunged more than 45 stories before crashing through the plexiglass ceiling of the Crystal Court, which is 121 feet above the ground. He landed several feet from a fountain in the middle of the atrium, just in front of the Ritz Camera store.

Witnesses said they were traumatized by hearing what they said sounded like an explosion, then seeing plexiglass falling and a man's body on the ground.
Dramatic, and an improvement over suicide via auto traffic, but still too risky for other folks nearby. Was this another fat guy, too? Hmm: "McGrath said only that the man appeared to be of a large size."

_Insulting to Islam

"This 2,000-year-old Buddha statue, the world`s tallest at 175 feet, was slated for destruction Monday in Bamyan by Afghanistan`s hard-line Taliban rulers. They say the statue is insulting to Islam."

Tuesday, February 27, 2001
_Want to know what plutonium tastes like?
According to this don't-miss read, it doesn't taste like chicken:

[T]he material spewed out of the bottle and onto the wall in front of him. Some of the solution ricocheted back into his mouth, flooding his lips and tongue with a metallic taste.

Not overly alarmed, Mastick replaced the vial in its wooden container. Then he trotted across the hard-packed ground of the technical area to knock on the door of Dr. Hempelmann's first-aid station. He had just swallowed a significant amount of the world's supply of plutonium. "I could taste the acid so I knew perfectly well I had a little bit of plutonium in my mouth," he said in an interview in 1995.
The guy that ingested the plutonium was in charge of recovering plutonium dispersed in experiments, meaning that he had to separate out the plutonium from the results of his own stomach pumping.

This may have popped up at other places before, but it has moved since July 2000, so it seems worthwile to highlight it here.

_For hardcore geeks only
Okay, you're That Guy: you built your own PC. You're overclocking the Hell out of it. You applied thermal compound between the cpu and cooler for maximum heat transfer. You are cooling your CPU with a pump-driven water system. Here's what you have to watch out for:

Those are holes that have corroded all the way through the aluminum into the water cavity. Doesn't that sound like something wonderful to have sitting on top of your CPU? Read the page for the strange confluence of circumstances that led to this potentialy disastrous occurence.

Bonus: like all those poor Brits, he's terribly conflicted about the word "aluminum," managing to work in three different spellings on this page alone.

_Sony the crybaby
Played any Playstation 2 games yet? I have, and so far the best of them merely rise to "tolerable," and the public has noticed, giving Sony a thoroughly lackluster American dbut for it's newest game machine. Sony's strategy for addressing this: make great new games that win over the public.

HAH! Try again:

destroyed (ripped up) all of the X-Box ads that were displayed on the shelves

purposely break (yes you read that right) the Nintendo and Dreamcast displays by pulling at the cables and then shoving them into the display

alowed the local area manager to buy EIGHT PS2s and then sell them on Ebay
It's good to see that they've got so much confidence in their product. Who would've thought that one day Sony would make me root for Microsoft?

_Driver Jailed for Dumping Speed Camera in Sea
An "A" for effort, though.

Frantic end of a round of interviews, not much time to blog...

Monday, February 26, 2001
_Doggies in the window

A highlight from MSNBC's feature "The Week In Pictures."

_The new slackers
This is a decent but not particularly gripping piece from Salon, blogged more for it's topical relevance than innate quality. Read it if for some reason you find yourself with lots of free time...

_Pardons With a Precedent
A lame-duck president grants a slew of controversial pardons, eleventh-hour Get Out of Jail Free cards for the politically well-connected.

His pardon list includes: A former Cabinet official who could have been in a position to implicate the president himself in federal crimes. An assistant secretary of state who withheld information from Congress and a CIA official who lied to it. And a Pakistani who was caught smuggling $1.5 million worth of heroin into the United States and had 47 years left on his sentence.

Outrage billows. Editorials thunder. "The pardon," says a prominent prosecutor, "undermines the principle that no man is above the law. It demonstrates that powerful people with powerful allies can commit serious crimes in high office . . . without consequences."

The president in question was George H. W. Bush.

"It went way beyond what is alleged in the Marc Rich case," says Tom Blanton, director of the National Security Archives at George Washington University. "Both presidents made the highly unusual move of pardoning someone before trial. The difference is that George Bush was in line to be called as a witness at Weinberger's trial."
This informative article highlights eyebrow-raising pardons of the past and provides context for Clinton's actions, including the assertion that the pardon power of the American president is almost unparalleled in the rest of the democratic world.

_The Earl of Sandwich Indeed
"Three centuries after his illustrious ancestor, the 4th earl, launched the fast-food revolution, the current Earl of Sandwich has begun a sandwich delivery business." Of course, this makes you wonder what the other famous lords and ladies are sitting on, doesn't it? To find out, see this Real video (ptui!) clip or this transcript of a classic Saturday Night Live skit.