Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ninjas on roller skates

The movie is called Ninja Thunderbolt and came out in 1986. Here's the synopsis at IMDB: "The Ninja Empire has been run by an evil master and one member decides to leave the empire. The ex-Ninja wants a Hong Kong detective to track down the new leader and end his reign of terror."

NASA space shuttle mission had a secret emblem

It signified that the shuttle mission had the secret task of deploying a satellite inspection spacecraft.

Indonesia claims sole ownership of the bird flu

The concept is "viral sovereignty" and the theory is that Indonesia (and other countries) want to claim ownership of viruses appearing within their country--so if a valuable vaccine is created, their country will benefit monetarily. You can read a bit more here and here.

Black Belt Patriotism by Chuck Norris

 In Black Belt Patriotism Norris gives a no-holds-barred assessment of American culture, tackling everything from family values to national security. More than a cultural critique of what's wrong with our nation, Black Belt Patriotism provides real solutions for solving our problems, moving our country forward, and changing our nation's course for the better.


It seems like wherever you turn these days, the news is bad. Illegal immigrants are swarming over our borders. Our nation and American families are crippled by debt. We remain vulnerable to Islamist terrorist attacks. Judges ignore the Constitution and instead legislate from the bench. Faith and traditional values are under incessant assault from the media, leftist lawyers, and the liberal establishment.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Redesign of the Baltimore Ravens' helmet

GQ asked Luke Hayman to redesign the Baltimore Ravens' helmet. He came up with a design featuring glowing eyes and feathers:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

V paper toy

Download the template here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath was banned and burned in California

During May of 1939, as the Nazis were burning books throughout Germany, the people of Bakersfield Calif., did exactly the same thing with John Steinbeck's new bestseller, The Grapes of Wrath. As Wartzman (The King of California) shows in this intriguing account, the banning of Steinbeck's masterpiece throughout California's Kern County was orchestrated by rich local growers: men who were busy exploiting scores of Joad families, the very men Steinbeck exposed in his novel. As a pretext, the growers cited, among other things, Steinbeck's use of foul language (bastard, bitch) and vivid scenes such as Rose of Sharon, having lost her baby, offering her milk-filled breast to a starving man.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bono's real name is Paul Hewson

The full nickname is actually Bono Vox (latin for good voice).  The NY Times refers to him as "Mr. Vox."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lizette Greco makes plush monsters based on her kids' drawings

Here's Lizette Greco's official site. Here's her Flickr gallery, full of plush creations.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Los Angeles to require Home Depot to build shelters for day laborers

The new ordinance will require home improvement stores like Home Depot to provide day-labor centers with shelter, drinking water, bathrooms and trash cans.  Link.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cactus theft in California

Golden Barrel cactii can sell for as much as $800 apiece, and $20,000 worth has been stolen in the last six months. To deter theft, officials plan to install security cameras and insert tracking microchips into the cactii. Link.

More fakery in opening ceremonies for Beijing Olympics

The cute little girl who sang as the Chinese flag entered the stadium was actually lip-synching for a girl deemed to ugly to be shown on tv. Link.

*Previously: Olympic opening ceremony fireworks faked for tv.

*Buy merchandise for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

NY Giants fan journeys to to find a Patriots 19-0 shirt

As soon as a championship is won, the players put on commemorative hats and the team starts selling championship merchandise. In order to have that merchandise on hand, both teams must make it in advance, which means a whole bunch of merchandise for the losing team very quickly becomes worthless. The clothing is shipped off to the impoverished.

Of course, something like a "Patriots 19-0" t-shirt isn't worthless at all to a NY Giants fan. Aaron Kaplowitz journeyed to a remote village in Nicaragua, and managed to buy some merchandise from incredulous inhabitants. Here's the story.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Nike tae kwon do boots are designed to be as loud as possible

One way to show the judges you've scored good contact in tae kwon do is to make a lot of noise. So Nike used the loudest leather it could find for the new TKV boot. You can read more about designing equipment for the 2008 Olympic games at Fast Company. For example, the challenge in designing javelins is not making something light and aerodynamic; it's designing something light and aerodynamic that won't destroy the athlete throwing it.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Garfield Minus Garfield to be published as an authorized book

From the Garfield Minus Garfield website:
NEW YORK, NY – July 30, 2008 – Paws, Inc. and Ballantine Books, a division of the Random House Publishing Group, announced last week at Comic-Con International that Ballantine will publish a book inspired by the popular webcomic Garfield Minus Garfield.

Garfield Minus Garfield ( made its online debut in February 2008 and quickly became an online sensation based on a simple premise: What would Jim Davis’ Garfield comic strip be like without its lasagna-loving fat cat? Without the presence of Garfield and other characters such as Odie the dog and Nermal the kitten, the strips “create a new, even lonelier atmosphere for Jon Arbuckle…Jon’s observations seem to teeter between existential crisis and deep despair.” (New York Times)

The full-color book format will give readers the experience of having both the original and doctored Garfield strips together on the same page for comparison. Dublin, Ireland-based Garfield Minus Garfield creator Dan Walsh will provide the foreword to the book.

Garfield creator Jim Davis was intrigued by—and pleased with—the concept. “I think it’s an inspired thing to do,” Davis said. “I want to thank Dan for enabling me to see another side of Garfield. Some of the strips he chose were slappers: ‘Oh, I could have left that out.’ It would have been funnier.”

Garfield Minus Garfield site creator Dan Walsh says, “When I looked at Jon and laughed at his crazy antics I thought ‘He’s just like me.’ As it turns out, I wasn’t the only one saw myself in him: millions of visitors from all over the world visit Garfield Minus Garfield and tell me they think the same thing. Now, thanks to the awesome generosity and humor of Jim Davis, Garfield Minus Garfield is going to become a book and I’m absolutely honored to be part of it.”

You can preorder it at Amazon.

Stunning that Garfield would outlast Calvin & Hobbes as relevant. I guess that's what happens when an artist doesn't jealously guard his creation. Via.