12/3/2012 Cool Stuff in the News

From http://l0rd0ftherings.tumblr.com/post/36918080149

Bonus – cursor turns into a Gold Ring on the site.

Hobbit Box Stacking

Over-enthusiastic store employee for the win!


From: http://occupychristmasparty.tumblr.com/post/13919652407/lazy-christmas

Folks who just don’t seem to be into the holiday spirit. Here is a sampling, read the article for moar funnehs.

Steel Ladder

Minimalist Christmas Tree. Yes, aka Ladder


This cat looks like Batman, currently in the process of going viral:


I’m Batman


From those wacky kids over at Instructables


jello  bacon

Yeah, they went there. Bacon jello.




Jobs and Gigs — MicroJob Sites

Eternal kanji

Lots of folks have heard about fiverr.com, a micro-job site where broke folks like me can offer to do “gigs” – little jobs – for $5 a pop.  Everything from getting Facebook followers to proofreading books, to dressing up in a chicken costume and doing the macarena are offered to buyers.  Two days ago, I posted a few “gig” offers for things I do – like researching and writing, giving advice, mouthing off, etc.  Check out my “gigs” here:


No, I will not be offering to dress up in funny costumes and dance, sing, hold a sign, or tattoo anyone’s business logo on my behind. I’ve brought in about $25 in the last 36 hours. So, not bad for sitting on my rear, typing and posting. They say do what you love, and it will become your career. I am pretty good at sitting on my butt, typing and giving opinions, so we will see how this pans out.

When I tweeted and cross-posted my gigs from fiverr, I was contacted by the site vfiverr.com

They requested I also post my gigs (called “jobs”) on their site, which I did. Money is money, after all. After posting my jobs, the site master contacted me and offered to Feature two of my jobs for 3 months, free. Free is good.  Especially since the site charges $100 for 3 months of featurizing jobs, and I sure don’t have $200.  So, now 2 of my jobs are top-lined at this site!  Pretty exciting, especially if it brings in a buck or two.  Check out my vfiverr jobs here:



Powerball, Voting, and Why I Want to Emigrate to Holland 11/30/2012

11/29/2012: So, yesterday was the big Powerball drawing. Something like $539 Million will ultimately be split between a winner in nearby Dearborn, MO, and one in Arizona somewhere. A bunch of other people across the country won $1 Million prizes, and who knows how many won smaller prizes. I, too, dropped $4 for 2 tickets – neither of which had any numbers matching the prize drawing. As I was waiting in line to purchase said tickets, at the local Casey’s store, I realized something both aggravating and disturbing.
The line for Powerball tickets was longer than the line was to vote on the Election Day less than a month ago. True, we had a rush at the polling site when we first opened, and again at lunch time. But, no one waited hours to vote. I think the longest anyone waited at my site was about 45 minutes, according to the voters. Hurray for early voting. What does it say about our society, though, that more people – by orders of magnitude – are willing to stand in a line to drop $2, $10, $100 or more on lottery tickets. The odds to winning the Big Deal were something like 175 million:1. The odds of voting for the winning president were approximately 1:2, giving that third parties were not very well represented in good ole Gardner, KS.
Voting is free, it is participating in our Participatory Democratic Republic system of governing. You have earned yourself at minimum the right to protest policies, participated in choosing the people who will choose the President, elected representatives who are supposed to “represent” your interests. Hence the name “representatives.” Sadly, those elected folks seem to think representing the goals, ideas and preferences of their constituencies are merely quaint provincial fairy tales placed on a pedestal. The real work of being in politics is to feather one’s own nest, and that of your cronies, and to ensure that absolutely nothing truly changes to benefit the great amoebic mass of homo sapiens in the country.
Powerball costs money, and gains you generally nothing except a piece of paper to clutter up the floorboards of your car for eons to come. It will sit there along with the soda straw wrappers, used kleenex, and giant piles of cat hair that fell off your shoes. Yet even educated, reasonably intelligent people like myself, who do understand the Lottery is merely a tax for people who are bad at math, stood on line and bought tickets. We did it knowing we were not going to win. We did it knowing it was stupid to even waste the $2 per ticket, when $2 will buy a 1/2 gallon of milk, almost. I can’t even begin to analyze the issues with people who are barely scraping by – like me – living paycheck to paycheck, almost literally flushing money down the toilet. Are we hopeless optimists, willing to wish upon a star, pray to the Diety of our choice, perform endless good luck rituals, whatever, for that 1: 175 million chance the Universe is listening and drops a giant wad of cash in our laps? Or are we just victims of advertising – whether paid, or hyped by our local and national news outlets?
If the latter, why in the world should political parties NOT engage in the tactics we see so prevalent these days. Only 6 companies (SIX) own the vast majority of media American’s come into contact with – newspapers, TV, cable, radio, magazines. The FCC is facing pressure from these companies and their friends to further de-regulate their industry, so companies can further consolidate power and influence, restricting the information Americans are allowed to get. Silvio Berlusconi style, single-handedly controlling access to knowledge, influence and coverage of events.
So, what is the answer? Mandatory voting? Regulation increases, rather than decreases, to ensure small and independent media has a chance? Overturning the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which ruled Corporations are people, money is speech, and thereby selling our Country to the oligarchs like the Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdoch? All the above, in my humble opinion (go to Movetoamend.org to see more on this topic). Because, Dear Reader, losing $4 on the Powerball is not, in fact, equal in importance to the future of our nation and our children.
What would I have done with the money, had I been that lucky soul hit by lightning? After taking the lump sum payout, I would pay my fair share of taxes on the winnings. I would have set up off shore accounts to shelter the remaining funds, ensured trust funds would care for my children and loved ones for eternity, and then moved to the Netherlands where I can smoke dope and gad about Europe in the grand old style. I’d have done so because the vulture capitalists and the banksters already own our country, our government and our futures.
Those of us who call ourselves Progressives cannot hope to out perform them financially, to influence the future in a meaningful way, so long as “conservatism” means favoring the rich, powerful and elite ruling class in all legislation and policy. Progressives, or the “little people” as we may be called in the right wing dialect, are simply little cogs that allow the great machine of servicing the powerful to continue. Our country may well be doomed, if the banksters, the right wing religious fundamentalists, the so-called “Tea Partiers”, and the other far right fringe factions continue to dominate our state houses, our cities and local government, and the highest echelons of power. Electing a so-called Democratic president, who is actually more of a moderate, centrist Reagan Republican, only forestalls the inevitable. It might, at best, allow us to make the tiniest of dams to hold back the inevitable tide of change. I prefer to watch the collapse of the Dream that was America from a comfy seat I’ve got picked out in a much more liberal countryDutch immigration.
I’ll probably be able to play Lottery from there, too.

WTFery Favorite Links, and some serious WTFery from the Interwebs 12/2/2012

12/1/2012: I…I have no words. Except maybe “ew”.

Life-sized chocolate baby heads are this season’s creepiest confection:

From the IO9 article by Lauren Davis: “For the cannibal with a sweet tooth and a strong stomach come these massive white chocolate sculptures sculpted to look like infants’ heads. Want to keep yourself from overindulging in sweets this holiday season? Every time you pick up a piece of chocolate, imagine on of these creepy things staring up at you.” Indeed.

Chocolate Baby Heads

Seriously. WTF. Life size chocolate baby heads, this season’s most ….WTFish confection.


The line between science, humor and straight-up WTF-ery is blurry at best. An article on a site calling itself accelerated-bsn.net gives us x-rays and brief information about just this, in an article called “10 Shocking X-Rays of Sharp Objects Imbedded in People’s Bodies” . I guess potential nurses need to know this stuff, so they don’t screech in horror when – not if – they see these patients show up in the ER. Ouch. My question is, why do you need x-rays to determine the patient has a 3 foot sword stuck in their head, when the patient is sitting in front of you…with a 3 foot fracking sword stuck in their head! That’s how WTF-ery won out over humor and science. Because seriously, WTF? Don’t run with scissors.


Scissors imbedded 3 inches deep in face.


11/29/2012:OMGPDAXPQLOLBBQ only 25 shopping days till Christmas! Everybody panic! Spend money you don’t have, on stuff they don’t need, to show them you love them. Engage in mass marketing Pavlovian excess or feel like less than human! OK, perhaps that is just a tad overdramatic. I like getting presents as much as the next troll. I even actually like giving presents, especially if the recipient likes said presents. I hate hate HATE shopping in crowded places, however. Black Friday shopping appalls me, and makes me vaguely nauseous just thinking about it. I prefer to do all my shopping online, and only venture to places like Target during the non-holiday periods, and then only for necessities. I like deals, and sales, and discounts, and free stuff. Here are some savings codes at various places, for your OMGBBQLOL shoping.
Shop TaylorGifts.com for Free Shipping over $75. Ends 12/31/12. Use Promo code AFTGFS75.
Shell Shocker! Exclusive Daily Deals- the jaw-dropping savings will leave you in shock at Newegg.com
e.l.f. cosmetics Gift Cards make the perfect gift! Shop Gift Cards now!
Shop over 100 products under $25 at AdamEveToys.com! Shop Now!
Great Gift Idea! SAVE 10% OFF All Wine Recipe Kits from Midwest Supplies! Use promo code: MidwestHoliday. Offer valid 11/27/12-12/17/12. Click Here!
Find gifts for under $20 from Marbles the Brain Store.
Save up to 50% at The New York Times Store Winter Clearance Sale
Save Up to 70% on Sale Items at ChineseLaundry.com
Free Shipping Over $49 at PlanetShoes.com
Garden.com Clearance – up to 80% off!
Save big on children’s Christmas storybooks at Booksamillion.com. As low as $1.97! Shop today.
Buy 1 Get 1 50% Glassware from Spencer’s! Offer ends 12/26/12. Shop now!
Blowout Toy Sale, 75% Off
Printfinders.com Save 15% off entire site until December 15, 2011.
Great selections for the home or office. Use Promo code “PF15”

Links to some awesome WTF-ery Sites


FARK.com – a true classic, brought to you by Drew Curtis. A news aggregator site that bills it’s stuff as “not news”, among other things. Bookmark it. Subscribe to TotalFark for the best hilarity. http://www.fark.com/

Dark Roasted Blend – heavy on steampunk stuff, but also has awesome links to photos, videos, blogs, etc. http://www.darkroastedblend.com/

I Love Bacon – mostly poorly thought out signage, also some jokes and just funny pictures. http://www.ilovebacon.com/

Neatorama – one of my favorite sites for just about everything. Science, Humor, History, WTF-ery. Definitely bookmark worthy! http://www.neatorama.com/

Very Demotivational Posters – Sick of those posters at work “Courage”, “Integrity”, “Teamwork”? This site parodies them with user-uploaded content. Often WTF, almost always funny. http://memebase.cheezburger.com/verydemotivational

Failblog, another “cheezburger” family site, is reliably WTF. Showcases the weirdest of the weird, the failiest of fail. http://failblog.cheezburger.com/

Rotten.com – For serious WTF-ery, and NC-17/NSFW content, gross stuff, really weird news, the classic is http://rotten.com/


Mars Curiosity, Robots, Space Colonization 12/2/2012

Do Robots Rule the Galaxy?
Today on Discovery News. From the article “The idea of malevolent robots subjugating and killing off humans has been the staple of numerous science fiction books and movies. The half-torn off android face of Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator film series, and the unblinking fisheye lens of the HAL 9000 computer in the film classic 2001 A Space Odyssey have become iconic of this fear of evil machines.”

Check it out.

2001-Space Odessy

HAL 9000, from the classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey

11/29/2012: I’ll admit to an unhealthy obsession with space travel, colonization and exploration. Coupled with an utter lack of skill in the Sciences, this means I am Earthbound but always interested in new space news. I am also blessed to have a friend from school, Nagin Ahmed Cox, who is a scientist on the Mars Curiousity project with JPL. She occasionally posts on Facebook about getting her turn to drive Curiousity, etc. She was visible throughout the broadcast of the Curiousity landing, and she travels the country and the world teaching about space science, the various Mars missions she has worked on, and building enthusiasm for the programs. I am jealous of her in the best of ways – I celebrate her success, as I do for the entire Curiousity team, and wish desperately I had made different choices many years ago. However, I still want it known that when middle aged pudgy women are needed for space travel and colonization, I will gladly volunteer at whatever capacity I am needed. Space janitor (sorry, maintenance engineer), Mars Colony Starbucks dishwasher, whatever.

Today, MSNBC published an articlewith updates on the Curiousity mission, including an awesome photo or two.

Mars Curiosity Photo msnbc

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity used its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) to snap a set of 55 high-resolution images on Oct. 31. Researchers stitched the pictures together to create this full-color self-portrait.



Amazingly Cool Stuffs 12/2/2012

Earth Science Picture of the Day is one of my favorite sites on the Web for great pix of nature, space, sky, and people on the planet. I highly recommend bookmarking it.

NASA also has amazing pictures of the day, along with all the latest NASA news.

Worldwide Aerosols

Portrait of worldwide aerosols by NASA’s Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS). Image credit – William Putnam at NASA/Goddard

Portrait of Global Aerosols

High-resolution global atmospheric modeling run on the Discover supercomputer at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation at Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., provides a unique tool to study the role of weather in Earth’s climate system. The Goddard Earth Observing System Model, Version 5 (GEOS-5) is capable of simulating worldwide weather at resolutions of 10 to 3.5 kilometers (km).

This portrait of global aerosols was produced by a GEOS-5 simulation at a 10-kilometer resolution. Dust (red) is lifted from the surface, sea salt (blue) swirls inside cyclones, smoke (green) rises from fires, and sulfate particles (white) stream from volcanoes and fossil fuel emissions.

Image credit: William Putman, NASA/Goddard. Text courtesy NASA Image of the Day.




Dateline Norfolk, VA.

USS Enterprise carrier taken out of active service (Yahoo News/AP)

From the article: “The world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was retired from active service on Saturday. The USS Enterprise ended its notable 51-year career during a ceremony at its home port at Naval Station Norfolk, where thousands of former crew members, ship builders and their families lined a pier to bid farewell to one of the most decorated ships in the Navy.”

Live long and prosper, Enterprise. She was a good ship.


Nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise


11/29/2012 : If you haven’t seen this story, you need to.

Photo of Officer Giving Boots to Barefoot Man Warms Hearts Online

from the NY Times.


Officer Boots

BIG NEWS! You can advance purchase HOBBIT tickets through Fandango. The show opens 12/14, and of course will be sold out for days. Use the linkie below, and get a free download of a song from the Soundtrack, too!

Free song download with The Hobbit tickets


Free song download with The Hobbit tickets


Well, *I* thought it was funny (12/2/2012)

The annual worst Nativity scenes blog post. Some may contend these are actually the BEST Nativity scenes. Your mileage may vary. Enjoy all 42 at the site linked below !

Nativity Duckies

Image from the blog post Worst Nativity Scenes of the year.

Probably one of the most consistently funny internet comics, ladies and gentlemen, I link you to The Oatmeal.


Items of Potential Interest 12/2/2012

12/1/2012: Ruh-roh. Mexico Acknowledges 2nd Mayan Reference to 2012

As seen on http://www.mysteriousplaces.com/news.html: From the article, originally on Yahoo News:

“Mexico’s archaeology institute downplays theories that the ancient Mayas predicted some sort of apocalypse would occur in 2012, but on Thursday it acknowledged that a second reference to the date exists on a carved fragment found at a southern Mexico ruin site.

Most experts had cited only one surviving reference to the date in Mayan glyphs, a stone tablet from the Tortuguero site in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco.

But the National Institute of Anthropology and History said in a statement that there is in fact another apparent reference to the date at the nearby Comalcalco ruin. The inscription is on the carved or molded face of a brick. Comalcalco is unusual among Mayan temples in that it was constructed of bricks.”

Famous Mayan Calendar

The famous Mayan Calendar, allegedly predicting the End of Everything on 12-21-2012.

For the counterpoint, check this out:

Sadly, NASA has to debunk Mayan apocalypse conspiracies again.


From Quora:

All 50 of the states in America each declared independence, and all simultaneously declared war on each other (50 states in a free-for-all).Which state would be the last one standing? How would the battle play out? Which states would be the first to fall, the last?
All 50 of the states in America each declared independence, and all simultaneously declared war on each other (50 states in a free-for-all).Which state would be the last one standing? How would the battle play out? Which states would be the first to fall, the last?
US 2nd Civil War

US Map – current.

This page will contain links to historically significant, cool and otherwise archaeologically neato articles and information.



11/29/2012: The cognitive dissonance of having an image in one’s head of how their DIY project will turn out vs the reality of DIY nightmares. Your chronic HGTV habit crashes headfirst into the reality of your suckage with power tools. Forgetting that the sparkling clean, perfectly organized homes showcased on the TV were professionally cleaned and staged, yours is not. Check out this great article, and words of wisdom, from Apartment Therapy: Know Thyself- Setting Realistic Decorating Expectations.

Go to ShopGetOrganized.com for $10 Off $100. Use Code AFGO0212, Ends on 12/31/12.

Image courtesy Houzz.com


11/22/2012: Like music like Iggy and the Stooges, The Ramones, etc. only with a modern twist? Check out Kung Fury, a New York-based band containing my very own cousin Shaun Brennan. Brennan also does work as a Foley artist (sound effects) for some very major motion pictures and some of your favorite video games (Red Dead Redemption, anyone?) . Check out the music, check out the videography of Shaun.