Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Google/Youtube merger was nearly interrupted by a police officer on patrol

David Drummond, Google's head of corporate development, and Gideon Yu, then YouTube's CFO, now Facebook's, spent the night hashing out the deal in the restaurant. They then began signing the term papers in Denny's parking lot around 3 a.m.

A local police officer was patrolling the area at that same moment. The cop saw the Asian-American Yu and African-American Drummond, dressed casually in jumpsuits and baseball hats -- standard uniforms for late and long negotiations -- huddled over the hood of a car signing the paperwork.

Read what happened next.

The town sign for New Cuyama in California is hilarious

More info here. Via The J-Walk Blog.

Natural Field Turf Soda


Jones Soda is at it again. The new NFL-themed flavors are Dirt, Sports Cream, Perspiration, Natural Field Turf, and Sweet Victory. Natural Field Turf Soda is described as "like playing tackle football, and you get tackled really hard, you're down on the ground and you get a little bit of the grass in your teeth." Follow the link for a description of the other flavors.

(I found the photo here. There's a desktop wallpaper sized version.)

Without participating in peacekeeping missions overseas, it is unlikely that Fiji's army would ever have become strong enough to seize power.

So says the Economist: "When the British left Fiji in 1970, there were only around 200 serving military personnel. UN peacekeeping operations in Lebanon and Sinai generated a tenfold increase by 1986. The next year, Fiji witnessed its first military coup." The series of coups since then haven't stopped Fiji from continuing to participate in UN missions. Via The Informed Reader.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Friday, September 28, 2007

Photo: Old School Cylon Begging For Work

Larger size at the top left on this (no longer linkjacked) page. (Hmm, what percentage of top Reddit posts are not linkjacked?) And here's a previous related Neatorama post.

Finally, here's one awesome, albeit expensive old school Battlestar Galactica Cylon Action Figure, and here's one from the new series.

Sci Fi Illustration: Swashbuckling girl and her super smart orangutan sidekick

Large version and more in Marc Daniel Goecke 's gallery.

Friday Papercraft: Super Mario in bunny suit

Download template here.

Sign: "Notice to all shoplifters, please help us by nicking only the crap we cannot sell"

Via Reddit

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A comic book style explanation for the demise of the dinosaurs (according to the Gospels)

Much more here.

Update: Don't miss this image of Jesus riding a dinosaur.

Lenovo Waterfall Interactive Display

Moving your arm near the screen creates ripples in the "water"

Via Core77.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"Paintball Panzer" - - the miniature tank with a paintball cannon

Tanks are remarkable machines, but boy do they take up space in the garage, and parking them is no small challenge. Help is at hand however with the creation of the Funtrak Mini Paintball Tank, a massively scaled down model that not only holds a single occupant in their own personal armoured division, but can also fire paintballs! These awesome tanks are made to measure by Funtrak Ltd, a committed (and they quite possibly should be) team of engineers, designers and enthusiasts who aim for realism in construction and operation. Each tank takes about three months to make to your specifications, and comes with an integral roll cage - though you'd need to tip thing over 60 degrees to roll it - as well as an engine fire-wall. They're serious machines with a lot of fun packed into them. Their flagship product has to be The Paintball Panzer complete with a fire-while-driving paintball cannon. Ludicrous of course, but we can't think of any overgrown kids who wouldn't love one of these parked up at home.

* A seriously cool, one person track laying vehicle.
* The dream child of an ex-military tech director.
* A team of engineers and designers will build your Paintball Panzer to order.
* A glass reinforced plastic (GRP) chassis.
* An engine firewall.
* A fully integrated, ready-to-fire paintballing gun.
* A rollover bar.
* A roll cage.
* Choose from six colours for your mean machine.
* Can be driven on UK roads further to meeting DVLA regulations.
* Please allow three months from ordering to receipt of your tank.
* Suitable for ages 15 years+.
* Size: 106 x 122 x 183cm.

Buy. Via Complex.

Real life Andromeda Strain: Scientists sent Salmonella into space - - it came back much deadlier

The researchers placed identical strains of salmonella in containers and sent one into space aboard the shuttle, while the second was kept on Earth, under similar temperature conditions to the one in space.

After the shuttle returned, mice were given varying oral doses of the salmonella and then were watched.

After 25 days, 40% of the mice given the Earth-bound salmonella were still alive, compared with just 10% of those dosed with the germs from space. And the researchers found it took about one-third as much of the space germs to kill half the mice, compared with the germs that had been on Earth.

The researchers found 167 genes had changed in the salmonella that went to space.


Update: Uh, oh. "“For the first time ever, animals are now being exposed to an unmitigated space environment, with both vacuum conditions and cosmic radiation." Read more about tardigrades being exposed to space here and here.

Not From The Onion: Nike unveils first shoe designed specifically for American Indians

It's part of "an effort aiming at promoting physical fitness in a population with high obesity rates."

The Beaverton-based company says the Air Native N7 is designed with a larger fit for the distinct foot shape of American Indians, and has a culturally specific look. It will be distributed solely to American Indians; tribal wellness programs and tribal schools nationwide will be able to purchase the shoe at wholesale price and then pass it along to individuals, often at no cost.

Link, with photo.

Bizarre Michael Gondry Commercial for Motorola

My cellphone experience is nothing like this.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Seussian Rain Gutters

Found here.

Tiny Lego Flying Castle

Micro Flying Citadel
Originally uploaded by DARKspawn

Via The Brothers Brick.

Best T-Shirt Design Posted At Threadless Today

My favorite design today is this Godzilla/Voltron/Mazinger mash-up by Sagral.

It came from Toykio - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Here's some related images from his Flickr gallery.

Originally uploaded by sagral

Originally uploaded by sagral

it came from toykio
Originally uploaded by sagral

The shirt reminded me of one of my first posts - - Toy Lab:

Happen's Toy Lab is a unique outreach of Happen, Inc. that allows children (ages 6 and up) to create their own toys from our massive selection of “recycled” toy parts. Choose any seven pieces, then fit and attach the parts with the help of our specially-trained assemblers. In less than an hour you will have invented your very own, one-of-a-kind-in-the-whole-wide-world toy!

Here's a gallery of toys created at Toy Lab.

The Bible's Best Sex Stories

"The Bible includes countless tales of raw, forbidden sex. We've gathered some of the best bible sex stories here, filling in what you didn't learn in Sunday school." Link. Via Cynical-C.

Video: Giraffes beating the heck out of each other

Monday, September 24, 2007

An Anthology Of Trickster Tales From Around The World, Illustrated By Charles Vess

Amazon says:

As they did in The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest (2002) and The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm (2004, both Viking), the editors have assembled 26 stories that present tricksters around the world. A shape-changing Japanese fox-girl comforts a lonely American boy; three generations of oil barons run afoul of Hermes and three human summoners protesting the family greed; an albino Cajun girl fools the devil. Settings are mostly other than present day and include ancient times. Readers who pay attention to the author's note will learn much about tricksters worldwide and their various natures. Each author's background is profiled, and while only a few have written books for children, all are previously published short-story writers. This excellent collection is bound to find an audience among experienced readers of the genre but is attractive to less-able readers, as well, for the short, punchy stories and an always-engaging trickster character.

The Coyote Road

Gummy Heart

Here's a confection even a cardiologist could love... It's a chunky, disgusting gummy candy heart. Frankly, there's nothing more satisfying than biting through a chewy aorta or chowing down on a left ventricle.

Want to really impress your sweetheart? Just hand 'em one of these Gummy Heart's and watch their eyes well up with emotion... or possibly nausea.

Each Gummy Heart is 4-inches tall and weighs over 3 ounces. And it's strawberry flavored, just like a real heart!

Buy. Via I Like Totally Love It.

Turning a cardboard box into a work of art

Found here.

Coming Very Soon: One Laptop Per Child

Our mission is to provide a means for learning, self-expression and exploration to the nearly two billion children of the developing world with little or no access to education. While children are by nature eager for knowledge, many countries have little resources to devote to education—sometimes less than $20 a year per child. Imagine the potential that could be unlocked by giving every child in the world the tools they need to learn, no matter who they are, no matter where they live, no matter how little they may have.

If you'd like to donate an XO laptop today, simply click the donation button on the right, above the photo. A donation of $200 will pay for and deliver one XO laptop to a child in a developing nation, $400 will pay for and deliver two XO laptops, and so on.

Starting November 12, One Laptop Per Child will be offering a Give 1 Get 1 Program for a brief window of time. For $399, you will be purchasing two XO laptops—one that will be sent to empower a child to learn in a developing nation, and one that will be sent to your child at home. If you're interested in Give 1 Get 1, we'll be happy to send you a reminder email. Just sign up in the box to the left and you'll receive your reminder prior to the November 12 launch date.


In your face diet reminder

Upload a photo onto a mousepad, plate, or something else you look at often. Digital Diet Incentives. Via The Diet Blog.

You know you're a hothead when your own manager injures you to stop you from attacking an umpire

"Padres outfielder Milton Bradley injured his right knee when manager Bud Black spun him to the ground in an attempt to keep him from going after first base ump Mike Winters." Link.

Celebrate Halloween by adopting a vampire bat

And get a plush bat in the process. Link.

Braille graffiti, created by "the BLIND"

Here's their MySpace page. Via DesignBoom.

*Buy braille Playboys at eBay.

Gama-Go Deathbot toy, plus more

While looking for information on this Gama-Go Deathbot by Tim Biskup (info and photo found here)


I discovered these swell toys:
Disney Stitch Little Taps

Marvel 3age Figure - Spider-man

Bathroom scale tells you your weight in terms of celebrities

Angry Retail - Celebrity Weighing Scales (White)_1190430262015
Available for purchase here. Via How Magazine.

Video: Google explains iGoogle to the Japanese

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Picard almost wore a hairpiece

This week's Entertainment Weekly has a special pullout feature on the 20th anniversary of the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The most interesting information was that: (1) Gene Roddenberry was strongly opposed to Patrick Stewart as the lead, accepting him essentially because no one else was willing to play the part; and (2) Patrick Stewart was introduced to "the brass at Paramount" wearing a hairpiece. I couldn't find a photo online, but did find this: "Bald since the age of 19, Stewart used to audition for the same role with and without a hair piece, advertising himself as 'two actors for the price of one.'"

Speaking of Entertainment Weekly, my issue had a two-page ad for The Bionic Woman, with some kind of embedded electronics. If it was supposed to do something, it didn't work. Probably an appropriate ad for the show.

Man drowns in vat of sulfuric acid

"Officials believe fumes from the various chemicals used at the factory overwhelmed the victim, and he fell forward into a waist-high vat of sulfuric acid and drowned, according to Dowden." Story.

Cover: Disco 4 (remixes by the Pet Shop Boys)

Disco 4

Senior citizens in Japan are not ready to welcome their robot overlords

"Most (elderly) people are not interested in robots. They see robots as overly-complicated and unpractical. They want to be able to get around their house, take a bath, get to the toilet and that's about it," said Ruth Campbell, a geriatric social worker at the University of Tokyo.

Japanese manufacturers have learned the hard way that the elderly want everyday products adapted to their needs -- easy to read for those with poor eyesight, big buttons for people with trembling hands and clear audio for the hard of hearing.

Among the most high-profile failures was Hopis, a furry pink dog-like robot capable of monitoring blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature.

Faced with poor sales, its manufacturer Sanyo stopped production of the robot dog and instead focused on utilitarian devices for the elderly such as height-adjustable countertops and phones with jumbo-sized keys.

Link. Via Core77.

Photo: Closeup of shark's open mouth


Saturday, September 22, 2007

72 frames from various episodes of The Simpsons, each one beside the movie scene to which they refer

Link. Via MeFi.

New toys created by eBoy for Kidrobot

$10 each, with the first few available next month. Here's the official site, complete with some nice desktop wallpapers. Via BoingBoing.

Email is killing the hyphen

The hyphen is slowly disappearing, a victim of increasingly high-speed emailing that leaves little time for additional keystrokes. In the most recent edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, about 16,000 compound words that once took hyphens have lost them, including fig leaf, leapfrog, pot belly and test tube, reports Finlo Rohrer for the BBC. The editor of the Shorter OED says the dictionary’s changes follow real-world usage.


Photo: Mascot ending her work day

After a Long Day, originally uploaded by Danz in Tokyo.

Play out your 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea Fantasies With The Matchbox Squid Sub Playset

squid sub

Amazon says: "Motorized and drives on or under water! & Part of a building system, all pieces combine and connect - so you can build over 10 different boats and subs!"

It's just about enough to get me to give up taking showers.


And just as cool is the Mattel Matchbox Mega Rig Shark Adventure

Packaging: No-Rad Anti-Radiation Pills


Friday, September 21, 2007

Retired CIA master of disguises now makes silicone prosthetics for people with birth defects or missing features

His name is Robert Barron. Link.

Protest the war by placing plastic army men everywhere you go

It's called the "Army Men Project"

We’re spreading plastic Army Men around the country and around the globe as small, everyday reminders of the ongoing horrors of the war in Iraq and to serve as tools to foster dialogue, action and resistance to the war. Here in the United States we’re encouraged to forget about the war, to go on with our lives, to “go shopping.” But what if everywhere people went there were little plastic Army Men nudging them to remember that we’re waging war? At Home Depot, on the gas pump, in the 7-11, at the post office, on the hood of the car, in the public restroom, at the movie theatre, in the produce section of the grocery store … in your neighborhood …?

Very clever idea. Via Brand Flakes For Breakfast.

The plate that'll make your kids happy to have peas on the menu

"Have you ever wondered what to do with peas that have pinged off your plate? Then this is the plate for you. Attempt tricks from the accompanying booklet and score as many points by flicking, rolling or even spitting peas into the numbered dimples."

Link. Via Siong Chin.

Instant anonymity with Black Bars sunglasses

Black Bars_1190233620203

"Black Bars offer no promise of anonymity and may draw unwanted attention. It is possible this product will make you appear ridiculous."

Buy. Via Complex.

Gallery of photos of people in gas masks


Terrific comic strip about the Oregon Zoo's Zoo Teen Program

See the whole thing here. And here's a direct link to the Zoo Teen program.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Parody: Classic Jaws poster replaced with a zombie

It's the cover to CRAWL SPACE #3 by Rick Remender, Kieron Dwyer & Tony Moore. Found here.

Contest: Design a Contra character

The winning character will be included in the new mobile game. Contest rules here.

Sad: I missed my chance to bid on the Vigo the Carpathian Oil Painting (from Ghostbusters II)

I know someone that would have loved it. Via Neatorama.

Anthony Bourdain's Overrated Menu

"A chef who offers anything other than sea salt probably refers to himself in the third person. When the water sommelier comes over, I reach for my gun."

Read the whole list here. Via Kottke.

Two terrific sounding spy biographies

London Times associate editor Macintyre (The Man Who Would Be King) adroitly dissects the enigmatic World War II British double agent Eddie Chapman in this intriguing and balanced biography. Giving little thought to the morality of his decision, Chapman offered to work as a spy for the Germans in 1940 after his release from an English prison in the Channel Islands, then occupied by the Germans. After undergoing German military intelligence training, Chapman parachuted into England in December 1942 with instructions to sabotage a De Havilland aircraft factory, but he surrendered after landing safely. Doubled by MI5 (the security service responsible for counterespionage), Chapman was used to feed vital disinformation to the enemy and was one of the few double agents to delude their German handlers until the end of the war. Meticulously researched—relying extensively on recently released wartime files of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service—Macintyre's biography often reads like a spy thriller. In the end, the author concludes that Chapman repeatedly risked his life... [and] provided invaluable intelligence, but it was never clear whether he was on the side of the angels or the devils.

Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal

Journalist Phillips has achieved a wonder: an evenhanded, scrupulously documented, objective yet sympathetic portrait of a deliberately elusive personality: Alice Sheldon (1915–1987), who adopted the persona of science fiction writer James Tiptree Jr. Working from Sheldon's (and Tiptree's) few interviews; Sheldon's professional papers, many unpublished; and the papers of Sheldon's writer-explorer-socialite mother, Phillips has crafted an absorbing mélange of several disparate lives besides Sheldon's, each impacting hers like a deadly off-course asteroid. From Sheldon's sad poor-little-rich-girlhood to her sadder suicide (by a prior pact first shooting her blind and bedridden husband), Sheldon, perpetually wishing she'd been born a boy, made what she called "endless makeshift" attempts to express her tormenting creativity as, among others, a debutante, a flamboyant bohemian, a WAC officer, a CIA photoanalyst, and a research scientist before producing Tiptree's "haunting, subversive, many-layered [science] fiction" at 51. Sheldon masked her authorship until 1976, and afterward produced little fiction, feeling that a woman writing as a man could not be convincing. Through all the ironic sorrows of a life Sheldon wished she hadn't had to live as a woman, Phillips steadfastly and elegantly allows one star, bright as the Sirius Sheldon loved, to gleam

James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon