Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Pure Piss

This post on Attu reminded me of the Australian Piss beer.

"Piss first came to life in 1998 as the house beer at popular Melbourne watering hole, the Great Britain Hotel. Like big volume Aussie brews such as Fosters and XXXX, Piss is a simple lager style beer. Unlike the mass market brews, our Piss is preservative free and made with all natural ingredients".

"A joke started doing the rounds about a year after our first release that we were going to bring out a light beer called Piss Weak. In no time a number of our regular stockists began calling with orders they needed filled. After three or four months it became clear that if we didn't come up with the goods someone else would. So our second label literally materialised around us. Such is the Australian appetite for a beer and a good laugh!"

So visit their website and order your Piss Pak or Slab o'Piss.

Change is in the air

In 2002, a car wash in Frederick, Md. was losing significant amounts of money form its coin machines each week. Some external employees were even accused of having a key to the boxes and rip the owner off. Finally they decided to setup a trap for the thief. Check out the amazing evidence here.

Starlings, the birds pictured here, are often attracted to bright, shiny objects and will collect them for nesting or mate-attraction purposes whenever the opportunity presents itself. Most likely one or more starlings was attracted by the glint of overlooked quarters in the change cup and made off with them; other starlings saw where the quarters were coming from and imitated the behavior, learning in the process how to work as teams to retrieve coins from inside the machine itself.

According to some media, about $4,000 in change was retrieved from the roof of the car wash. Sounds fun, but it's not true. The car wash operator did not report finding any such rooftop stash, although his discovering a few hundred quarters on the ground around the machine some mornings was not uncommon.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Wife Carrying World Championships

1-3 July 2005 the Wife Carrying contest will be organised for the thirteenth time, for the ninth time on the world championship level in Sonkajärvi, Finland.

The wife to be carried may be your own, the neighbour's or you may have found her farther afield; she must, however, be over 17 years of age. The minimum weight of the wife to be carried is 49 kilos. If it is less than 49 kilos, the wife will be burdened with such a heavy rucksack that the total weight to be carried is 49 kilos.

On Friday night there will be Wife Carrying triathlon, which includes side step, riding a bike with the wife sitting in front of the man and wife carrying while running through the 253,5 m long track in the new wife carrying arena. The track has the traditional dry obstacles and water pool, too.

In the late 1800's there was in the area a brigand called Rosvo-Ronkainen, who is said to have accepted in this troops only those men who proved their worth on a challenging track. In those days, it was also a common practice to steal women from the neighbouring villages.

Extreme accounting

"Are you bored with the everyday routine of extreme sports? Is skydiving over shark-infested waters just another drop in the ocean? Does going backwards, on one leg, down a black ski run leave you cold?

If so, then maybe you should try injecting the adrenaline rush of accounting into the whole experience... I’ve done it and now you can too! On this site you’ll find everything you need to understand the life-changing experience of Extreme-Accounting – from the long and noble history of accounting pioneers who inspired me, to a range of ways for you to become an E-A yourself and share the results with us all. Please take the time to explore the site - don’t worry: it's really quite safe and guaranteed 84.5% free of made-up facts and figures!"

Personally, I prefer extreme ironing. But this is pretty extreme too. Seen at Coolio's.

SpongeBob kidnapped

He's big, he's yellow, and he's missing. Investigators in three states are searching for kidnapped cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants. Police in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Utah are looking for blow-up figures of SpongeBob swiped from Burger Kings.

Little Falls police found a ransom note that says, "we have SpongeBob" and demands "ten Crabby Patties, fries and milkshakes." That ransom note is signed by SpongeBob's nemesis, Plankton. A postscript reads: "Patrick is next," referring to SpongeBob's starfish buddy.

SpongeBob SquarePants is one of the hottest sponges around. While most sponges are destined to spend their time wiping up mildew, SpongeBob SquarePants has a blast with his buddies and lives under the sea in a pineapple.

Seen at Retecool.

Fish Stick Jesus

Since the masterpiece Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese was sold for $ 28.000 on E-bay, a new sighting has already been reported.

An eastern Ontario man is hoping to make a bit of money by auctioning a fish stick he says looks like Jesus. Fred Whan, who has kept the fish stick in his freezer since burning it at dinner a year ago, decided Tuesday that it was time to thaw it out so he could sell it on eBay.

If you want to profit from this new cash cow as well, visit the Grilled Cheese Sandwich Customizer. Seen at Drijfzand.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Christmas Boobs

Once upon a time, Germany's Christkind darted from house to house with traditional wooden toys for children on Christmas Eve. This year, it will be bringing a very special gift for the grown-ups.

Husbands and parents are surprising their loved ones with a record number of lifts, tucks and implants over the Christmas period. Breast enlargements or "Christmas bells", as they are known among surgeons, are one of the most popular operations.

"I am operating from morning to night," said Albert Hofmann, president of the German Association for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. "People want to be able to stand under the Christmas tree with their new car, new living room cabinet and new breasts."

"Last year we had a family who gave their mother a breast enlargement as her Christmas present. I now have a 22 year-old student who is getting the same as a Christmas present from her parents."

Demand is up to 25 percent higher at Christmas. Liposuction was the most popular operation in Germany, followed by breast alterations. There were 360,000 plastic surgery operations in 2002, compared to just 20,000 in 1990, according to figures from the Association for German Plastic Surgeons.

Daylight savings fun

In 1984 the Eldorado Daily Journal announced a Daylight Saving Time contest to see who could save the most daylight. They offered a prize for the person who saved the most.

"Only pure daylight is allowed. No pre-dawn light or twilight will be accepted. Daylight on cloudy days is allowable. Moonlight is strictly prohibited and any of it mixed with daylight will bring immediate disqualification. Contestants are instructed to save their accumulated daylight in any container they wish, then bring the container to the Daily Journal office at the end of DST -- or when they think they have saved enough daylight to win. All entries will be donated to less fortunate nations that do not observe Daylight Savings Time."

The article ended with a note that the rules were being announced early (until 1987, DST began on the last Sunday in April, not the first) because "it seemed appropriate to coordinate the announcement with Sunday, April 1, 'All Fools' Day.'"

That message probably did the trick. The response was stunning and even some of the biggest news stations took the message seriously.

The Beach Pneumatic Railway

The Beach Pneumatic Railway was New York City’s earliest subway. It had a single station located in the basement of the house located at the corner of Warren Street and Broadway.

Passenger were carried in a car pushed forward by the pneumatic pressure generated by a huge fan. At the end of the tunnel, near Murray Street, the car stopped. The rotation of the fan was reversed and the car was "sucked" back to Warren Street station.

Hundreds of thousands of delighted New Yorkers took a smooth ride on compressed air while this model railway was open from 1870-1873. Despite commuter enthusiasm, this sumptiously decorated subway failed. The pneumatic power was too expensive to produce and was difficult to control. Even after switching to cheaper and more reliable steam power, raising financing was impossible when it became apparent that government subsidies would not be forthcoming.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Forehead support apparatus

Patent No. 6,681,419, issued: January 27, 2004, inventor: Eric D. Page.

A forehead support apparatus for resting a standing users forehead against a wall above a bathroom commode or urinal or beneath a showerhead.

The apparatus includes a mounting member adapted for attachment to an upright bathroom wall either above the commode or urinal or below the showerhead. A compressible head support member is attached to and extends from the wall and said mounting member. The head support defines an elastically deformable or resilient forehead support surface which is spaced above the floor and from the wall a distance sufficient for the user to lean his forehead thereagainst and be supported while using the commode or urinal.

I want one of those for christmas, Santa!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

'Internetporn causes masturbation'

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Internet pornography is the new crack cocaine, leading to addiction, misogyny, pedophilia, boob jobs and erectile dysfunction, according to clinicians and researchers. Mary Anne Layden, one of the managers of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program of the University of Pennsylvania calls internetporn 'one of the largest dangers for mental health at the moment'.

Dr. Mary Anne Layden explained how a pornographic image is burned into the brain's pathways. "That image is in your brain forever," she explained. "If that was an addictive substance, you, at any point for the rest of your life, could in a nanosecond draw it up." Dr. Judith Reisman, president of the Institute for Media Education, called on the Senate to take action against pornography, saying it's time to mandate that law enforcement begin to collect all data and pornographic materials found in the possession of anyone involved in criminal activity. Doing so, she added, would yield data showing whether pornography is being used as a how-to manual for sex crimes.

Jeffrey Satinover, a psychiatrist and advisor to the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality echoed Layden's concern about the internet and the somatic effects of pornography. "Pornography really does, unlike other addictions, biologically cause direct release of the most perfect addictive substance," Satinover said. "That is, it causes masturbation, which causes release of the naturally occurring opioids. It does what heroin can't do, in effect."

Seen on Wired

Tiro Testicle Festival

This biker-bar-based festival has been going strong for 29 years, usually in April but call ahead to be sure; the supply of good balls is erratic. Non-gonadal food is provided by the Tiro-Auburn Volunteer Fire Department.

Meantime, the tavern cooks up between 350-500 pounds of pork or beef satchels. With up to a thousand Harley riders drawn from all over the state, most townsfolk either dive in or dive for cover, but there’s never been a fight. Must not be true what they say about testosterone poisoning. "The beer is helping," Micki Barna, 24, said above the tavern din. "They're very chewy."

A fascinating tidbit was reported in early 2003 when a shortage of sheep testicles threatened to put a damper on Iceland's "Thorria," a four-week long Viking festival that features a traditional dish, "minister's sausage." Testicles are apparently also being served at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, currently under way.

The Barf Bag Collector

When Rune, radio engineer from Kumla, was setting up his own home site on the internet three years ago, he was thinking of a subject that would attract surfers. It all began with five barf bags he collected during his holiday.

If you thought air sickness bags were simply functional items you'd be wrong - as the galleries show. They're collectors' pieces, considered by some as pure art. You'll be amazed at how much thought has gone into designing some of these bags, with artists being commissioned to create works of art. See bags used for dual purposes, such as camera film deposit pouches as well as their original purpose, and much, much more.

Also check out Rune's Hall of Shame and Barf Bag Stories. Seen at Coolio's

Are you hungry?

A Pennsylvania pub serves the world's biggest burger — weighing in at NINE lip-smacking pounds! That's no whopper — you can actually get this meat monster for $23.95, loaded with all the fixings: Two whole tomatoes, a half-head of lettuce, 12 slices of American cheese, a full cup of peppers, two entire onions, plus, a river of mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard.

Denny's Beer Barrel Pub in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, offers several varieties of "large" for the extreme burger enthusiast: a 2-pound Challenger, a 3-pound Baby Boy, and, as displayed in the pictures shown above, a 6-pound Ye Olde 96er (so named because it contains 96 ounces of meat).

Denny's (not to be confused with the national chain restaurants of the same name) offers prizes for customers who can completely consume one of their big burgers within a designated time period: a T-shirt, certificate, and 50% discount for anyone who finishes a Challenger (2 lb. burger) within an hour; a T-shirt, certificate, and 100% discount for anyone who can polish off a Baby Boy (3 lb. burger) in 90 minutes or less; and something special for anyone who manages the unthinkable and puts away a whole 96er (6 lb. burger) in under three hours.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Picturesque Anus

Anus, France looks very picturesque to me. Real or photoshopped? Check out the evidence.

Through Drijfzand.

Friday, November 19, 2004

I like it cool

Personally, I like to see fridges full of beer. So do the guys at BeerLoverCam, where you can upload your beer fridge photo.

The first domestic refrigerator was apparently manufactured in 1913 by Fred W. Wolf Jnr. in Chicago, and called the DOMELRE (DOMestic ELectric REfrigerator). It was not commercially successful, that distinction apparently going to the Kelvinator Company. This company was formed in May 1916 as the Electro-Automatic Refrigerating Company by Edmund J. Copeland and an industrialist, Arnold H. Gross. The company was renamed within two months to the Kelvinator Company and produced their first model shortly afterwards. Like most of their modern descendents, this refrigerator cooled using a phase change heat pump.

The first refrigerators were of the "remote" type, essentially an upgrade of an existing ice box with the installation of a cooling unit in it, but the motor, compressor and condenser installed either beside it or in the basement. The first self-contained refrigerators were not manufactured until 1925.

The earliest units used a toxic gas, sulphur dioxide as their refrigerant, converting it between gas and liquid through mechanical compression. It was not until the 1930s that General Motors developed the freons which were neither toxic nor inflammable and continued to be used until the 1990s.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Picturesque Fucking

Fucking is a small village in Upper Austria and was found in the year 1070. As a result of increasing attention from the media, Fucking has become more and more well-known throughout the world.

According to some stories, tourists are causing a lot of anxiety — and are costing money — to the tiny village where signs keep disappearing. The town sign has been stolen several times in the past. According to Siegfried Hoeppel, the mayor of Fucking, much of the tiny town’s budget is being spent replacing the signs.

The villagers didn't find out about the English meaning of the word until Allied soldiers stationed in the region in 1945 pointed out the alternative meaning. Despite the trouble, Fucking residents have voted against changing the name in the past.

X-Y Position Indicator For A Display System

On November 17, 1970, Douglas Engelbart received patent for a "X-Y Position Indicator For A Display System". He invented it at the Stanford Research Institute in 1963.The first mouse was bulky, and used two gear wheels perpendicular to each other: the rotation of each wheel was translated into motion along one axis in the plane. It was nicknamed mouse because the tale came out of the end.

Many people mistakenly believe that the mouse was invented by Apple. Others want to believe that Steve Jobs stole the idea from Xerox, where the mouse was used on an early office PC called the Star. Engelbart however notes that The Stanford Research Institute patented it but had no idea of its value. Some years later the license was sold to Apple for around $40,000.

In a paper that Engelbart and Bill English (responsible for the hardware design of the first mouse) published in early 1967, they refer to a “knee-control” device that appeared promising. That device was based on Engelbart's observation that the human foot was a pretty sensitive controller of the gas pedal in cars. With a little work they discovered that the knee offered even better control at slight movements in all directions. In tests, it outperformed the mouse by a small margin.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Virgin Mary in grilled cheese

Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich. Starting bid on eBay: $3000.

"I made this sandwich 10 years ago, when I took a bite out of it, I saw a face looking up at me, It was Virgin Mary starring back at me, I was in total shock, I would like to point out there is no mold or disingration, The item has not been preserved or anything, It has been keep in a plastic case, not a special one that seals out air or potiental mold or bacteria, it is like a miracle, It has just preserved itself which in itself I consider a miracle, people ask me if I have had blessings since she has been in my home, I do feel I have, I have won $70,000 (total) on different occasions at the casino near by my house, I can show the recipts to the high bidder if they are interested..."

Through Boing Boing

World Islands Dubai

The same company that built The Palm Islands, have done it again expanding their portfolio of man-made islands with this Dubai island project shaped like the continents of the world.

The World will consist of between 250 to 300 smaller private artifical islands divided into four categories - private homes, estate homes, dream resorts, and community islands. Each island will range from 250,000 to 900,000 square feet in size, with 50 to 100 metres of water between each island. The development is to cover an area of 9 kilometers in length and 6 kilometers in width, surrounded by an oval shaped breakwater. The only means of transportation between the islands will be by marine transport.

Construction has begun on the $US 1.8 billion project which is set to be completed by the end of 2005. It will be located 4 kilometers off the shore of Jumeirah, close to the The Palm Jumeirah, between Burj Al Arab and Port Rashid of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Each island will be sold to selected private developers and are expected to have pricing beginning at Dhs. 25 million (US$ 6.85 million).

Check out this video for a nice impression of the project.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Extreme ironing

The English East Midlands City of Leicester has never been known as a place of excitement or danger. Yet, in 1997 the city, often thought of as a little dull - mundane perhaps - gave birth to an extreme sport that combines the dangerous and exciting with the dull and mundane: extreme ironing. In years to come Leicester, famous for its fried chips topped with Red Leicester cheese, passionate football fans (the blue army) and nasal accent, will become better known for extreme ironing.

By 1998, the mood was right for a more mainstream recognition of the sport and extreme ironing moved from an underground (almost mystical)organisation and proclaimed itself as the ruling body of the now semi-official sport, known as the Extreme Ironing Bureau (EIB).

The sport that is 'extreme ironing' is an outdoor activity that combines the danger and excitement of an 'extreme' sport with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt. It involves taking an iron and board (if possible) to remote locations and ironing a few items of laundry. This can involve ironing on a mountainside, preferably on a difficult climb, or taking an iron skiing, snowboarding or canoeing.

Through Attu sees all

Japanese toilets

Modern Japanese toilets, commonly known as Washlets, include many advanced features rarely seen outside of Japan.

While the toilet looks like a western style toilet at first glance, there are a number of additional features—such as blow dryer, seat heating, massage options, water jet adjustments, automatic lid opening, flushing after use, wireless control panels, heating and air conditioning for the room, et cetera—included either as part of the toilet or in a toilet seat. These features can be accessed by a control panel that is either attached to one side of the seat or on a wall nearby, often transmitting the commands wirelessly to the toilet seat.

Recently, researchers have added medical sensors into these toilets, which can measure the blood sugar based on the urine, and also measure the pulse, blood pressure, and the body fat content of the user. Other measurements are currently being researched. This data may automatically be sent to a doctor through a built in internet-capable cellular telephone. However, these devices are still very rare in Japan, and their future commercial success is difficult to predict. Producers currently also develop a voice-operated toilet that understands verbal commands. Toto, NAIS, and other companies also produce portable battery operated travel washlets which must be filled with warm water before use.

It is possible and occasionally done to use the water jet on a high pressure setting for an enema. There are also reports of females using the water jet as a masturbation aid. It is not known, however, how common these practices are.

Shake that booty

J.Lo and Beyonce can take another bow. The booty-shaking stars have shaped the newest generation of mannequins, with hundreds of well-rounded plastic backsides appearing in shop windows across New York. Bootylicious figures clad in tight low-rise jeans have spilled from the city's street fashion stores into more established labels.

U.S. label Lane Bryant, which caters to plus sizes 14 to 28, is launching a more voluptuous full-body mannequin across its 250 stores after a successful test run in New York. "It originated from urban ethnic street wear, but it has transcended that," Rollison said. "Now you are going to see it projected in more urban markets and it will get bigger."

Full story.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Copy that

Copiers can be mean machines, but they can be very useful as well.

Chester Carlson, the inventor of photocopying, was originally a patent attorney and part time researcher and inventor. His job at the patent office in New York required him to make a large number of copies of important papers. Carlson who was arthritic, found this a painful and tedious process. This prompted him to conduct experiments in the area of photoconductivity, through which multiple copies could be made with minimal effort.

The photocopying of copyright-protected material (e.g. books or scientific papers) is subject to restrictions in most countries; however it is common practice, especially by students, as the cost of purchasing a book for the sake of one article or a few pages may be excessive. In fact the principle of fair use (in the United States) or fair dealing (in other Berne Convention countries) allow this type of copying for research purposes.