“did you really think you could eat that much garbage without any side effects?”

by lestro

One has to believe that the muscle fatigue is the LEAST of their problems.

In people with hypokalemia, a drop in blood potassium levels results in problems with vital muscle functions. Symptoms can range from mild weakness to serious paralysis, say Greek researchers who conducted a review of people who drank between two to nine liters of cola a day.

Two to nine liters? per day?

are you kidding me? did they expect there to be no side effects of that?

“We are consuming more soft drinks than ever before, and a number of health issues have already been identified including tooth problems, bone demineralization and the development of metabolic syndrome and diabetes,” and there’s increasing evidence that excessive cola consumption leads to hypokalemia, Dr. Moses Elisaf, of the University of Ioannina, said in the news release.

Bessie made it! There’s hope for us all!

by lestro

or “headline of the day

The news came over the radio in the clipped jargon of police officers:

Queens. Loose cow. 103 Precinct. 109 Avenue. E.S.U. reporting a loose cow at the location.

And, by getting loose in Jamaica, Queens, on Wednesday afternoon, this cow may have earned herself a reprieve from the slaughterhouse from which she escaped, officials said…

It seems due to her quick thinking escape, she is now going to be transported to a vegan farm Upstate that takes in animals found running loose in the City (something I thought was simply a story you told kids when their dog had to be put down…)

The spokesman confirmed that officers handed the cow over to Animal Care and Control officials.

“The cow did not go to the slaughterhouse,” said the police spokesman, who said the details of the capture were still being analyzed.

The police spokesman — apparently as uplifted as anyone about the cow’s new lease on life — said he suspected the cow, by escaping, had acted to save its own life.

“I think it’s because it made it out,” he said.

Let that be a lesson to us all. Just because it has been determined that we are to be slaughtered and fed to the masses does not mean we can not all change our destinies by trying to break free from our bondage.

All those other cattle who didn’t bother to question the bloody grate under their feet are now burgers, but this one – this radical cow who refused to do what she was told -  will live out her days in peace.

We can all learn something from that.

Swine Flu! Swine Flu! Swine Flu!

by twit

Finally, some good-sounding news from the Associated Press on May 1, 2009:

CDC flu chief Nancy Cox said the good news is “we do not see the markers for virulence that were seen in the 1918 virus.” Nor does swine flu virus have the virulence traits found in the H5N1 strain of bird flu seen in recent years in Asia and other parts of the world, she said.

However:

It’s too soon to draw any definitive conclusions about what this variation of the H1N1 virus will do. Experts say the only wise course is to prepare for the worst.

this pandemic needs some theme music:

and a handy site to answer the question “Do I have Swine Flu?

How the world is here and other morning cartoons

by twit

Neither have you tasted my Jesus:

via the daily what:

Girl uploads pro-creationist rant to YouTube. Guy finds her rant and superimposes explodingdog-like drawings to illustrate her talking points.

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The Bracketologist-In-Chief

by lestro

The greatest American sporting event of the year tips off this week as the NCAA 64-team, anything-can-happen-and-often-does-happen men’s college basketball tournament gets underway.

For the next few weeks, every idiot in the country – including me – gets to be a basketball expert and brackets will be studied and analyzed everyday, costing the American economy billions of dollars in lost productivity as everyone ponies up their $5 to get into their office pool and then spends a few days huddled around a radio or television hoping to win their money back and hoard over winning brackets over their co-workers.

It’s also the time of year in which uninterested girlfriends or quiet, mousy officemate nerds tend to piss off sports fans by out-picking us based on the color of the teams’ uniforms or strength of the cities’ symphonies (shout out to “Cheers!”). There really is nothing more annoying than losing the office pool to someone who happily admits to not knowing shit about shit while picking up their winnings.

But that’s part of the fun: Damn near everyone gets involved this time of year. Including the president, whose brackets were officially released today by the White House.

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… in just six amazing steps!

by twit

Be Amazing!

via the Viral Video Chart

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Biomusicology, indeed

by twit

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists:

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Darwin wins again

by twit

Barreleye1-350

via Discovery News

update! now on video:

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morning cartoons of insanity

by twit

“The Crisis of Credit Visualized”

via mefi

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Can We Yes

by lestro

apparently there’s an “Obamicon” web site available to transform any picture into a Shepard Fairey-style image.

This one is great:

but I have to say, I may dig this one more:

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our crowded galaxy

by twit

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/2/23/Marta.jpg/200px-Marta.jpg

via the BBC on February 15, 2009:

There could be one hundred billion Earth-like planets in our galaxy, a US conference has heard.  Dr Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institution of Science said many of these worlds could be inhabited by simple lifeforms.

… based on the limited numbers of planets found so far, Dr Boss has estimated that each Sun-like star has on average one “Earth-like” planet. This simple calculation means there would be huge numbers capable of supporting life.

… Recent work at Edinburgh University tried to quantify how many intelligent civilisations might be out there. The research suggested there could be thousands of them.

actually, tens of thousands:

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The rock paper scissors war

by twit

via dark roasted blend

Why are we fatter and stupider than ever?

by lestro

It really all starts to make sense now.

Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient, according to two new U.S. studies.

HFCS has replaced sugar as the sweetener in many beverages and foods such as breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments. On average, Americans consume about 12 teaspoons per day of HFCS, but teens and other high consumers can take in 80 percent more HFCS than average.

“Mercury is toxic in all its forms. Given how much high-fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply,” said the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Dr. David Wallinga, a co-author of both studies.

For the past couple of decades we have been stuffing ourselves with a sugar supplement that we put in everything and not only does it contain no nutrition, now it turns out it contains mercury.

Mercury!

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aigh!

by twit

Blago or Cruise?

by twit

I’ll bet Blago thinks Tom Cruise would be perfect for his role…

what with all the dramatics lately, he is kind of acting like he thinks his life story is getting made into a movie…

Illinois’ embattled but defiant governor turned to the history books to describe the emotional strain on him and his family, comparing his arrest last month to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

“Dec. 9 to my family, to us, to me, is what Pearl Harbor Day was to the United States,” Gov. Rod Blagojevich told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday. “It was a complete surprise, completely unexpected. And just like the United States prevailed in that, we’ll prevail in this.”

He seems to think he is an all-American hero, coming soon to a theater near you…

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an awful strong Southern accent

by twit

For a New Yorker, Terry McAuliffe sure does have an awful strong southern accent

at least at the beginning of the video announcing his campaign for governor of Virginia…

From the Associated Press on January 4, 2009:

“A native of upstate New York, McAuliffe has lived in Virginia for about 17 years. He lives in the Washington, D.C., suburb of McLean.”

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postcards from the internets

by twit

It’s very cold tonight, so we played with bubbles.  If you blow them upwards enough they have time to freeze on the way down.

and here is a link to a picture of a popping frozen bubble and other frozen bubbles.

via neatorama

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This is a cute hippo

by twit

via Wired:

especially when it is going to bed in its pink sleeping bag.

It is true that hippos are ferocious and dangerous creatures, but this hippo has never ever been aggressive! (says the journalist stuffing apple slices into the hippo’s “happy” grin as fast as she can…)

One free ticket to hell

by twit

if you believe in that kind of thing…

While there are many posts on the Fail Blog where innocent people do not get injured in hilarious ways, such as this Price Fail:

fail owned pwned pictures

then there is this Dance Fail:

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these should be everywhere

by twit

thank you, Consumerist.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a … grease gun?

by lestro

Last week during a space walk, Captain Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper “dropped” a tool bag worth approximately $100,000.

Dropped isn’t really the right word. It barely slipped away from her glove and floated out of reach, but in space, that was enough to put the bag – about the size of a hiker’s backpack – into orbit.

It’s about 1,000 feet in front of the International Space Station and should eventually burn up in the atmosphere. It is currently about 220 miles up and cruising along at about 17,500 mph.

Even better, the bag is now visible from earth. Read more of this post

The Kiwi wishes to apply

by The Kiwi

So a park in Utah has a Ten Commandments display, but is refusing a monument to the Seven Aphorisms of the Summum religion (founded 1975).

The Summums are taking it to the Supreme Court, which is hearing arguments today.

The justices will consider whether a public park open to some donations must accept others as well. In cases involving speeches and leaflets, the courts have generally said that public parks are public forums where the government cannot discriminate among speakers on the basis of what they propose to say. The question of how donated objects should be treated is, however, an open one.

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a religious issue without hypocrisy and irony (aside from the idea that the Summum believe the Aphorisms were on the first set of tablets the lord gave to Moses, though he destroyed them because the people could not handle the rules of creation…):

The Ten Commandments monument here stands in Pioneer Park, which pays tribute to the city’s frontier heritage, one that is mostly Mormon. The two sides differ about how best to honor that heritage.

Mayor Daniels said the monument broadly reflected local history. Mr. Barnard, the Summum lawyer, said the Ten Commandments did not play a central role in the Mormon faith. “If they wanted to quote from the Book of Mormon,” he said, “that would, at least, relate to the pioneers.”

“Mormons came to Utah because of religious persecution,” Mr. Barnard added. “The pioneer heritage in Utah has to be escape from persecution.

And for the record, the Seven Aphorisms actually make much more sense than the whole Mormon backstory.

The NY Times weighed in again today with a lead editorial:

The federal appeals court reached the right result, but regrettably, it ducked the issue at the heart of the case, which turns on the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The real problem is that Pleasant Grove City elevated one religion, traditional Christianity, over another, Summum. The founders regarded this sort of religious preference as so odious that they included a specific provision in the First Amendment prohibiting it. The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has a bad record on Establishment Clause cases, which made it easier for all of the parties to treat the case as a simple speech case.

The Kiwi absolutely agrees and would like to start the process of applying to have a Church of the Apocalyptic Kiwi monument added to the park as well.  If one religion is allowed the free advertising in a public place, we deserve the opportunity to get our message across as well.

And we will not be undersold.

America the purple

by twit

via Mark Newman, Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan, “a cartogram, a map in which the sizes of states are rescaled according to their population.”

Here is what the normal [county-level election returns] map looks like if you [use red, blue, and shades of purple in between to indicate percentages of votes]:

And here’s what the cartogram looks like:

As this map makes clear, large portions of the country are quite evenly divided, appearing in various shades of purple, although a number of strongly Democratic (blue) areas are visible too, mostly in the larger cities. There are also some strongly Republican areas, but most of them have relatively small populations and hence appear quite small on this map.

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Because it would be sexist to not ask…

by lestro

Treat her like any other candidate, right?

Ever since Clinton was asked on that MTV thing back in 1992, every candidate has had to answer the question “boxers or briefs?” and John Kerry recently joked that McCain’s answer was “Depends…”

So in the spirit of not being sexist, when do we get an answer from Sarah Palin about her undergarment preference? Thong or boy shorts? Granny Panties or T-back? Cotton or commando?

Inquiring minds want to know…

… especially what kind of underwear one gets on a $150,000 shopping spree.

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It’s easier to be happy when you are rich and ignore reality

by lestro

That’s our lesson today kids, brought to you by the letter “R”

The pollsters were in the field asking about happiness this month, a period when economic news was gloomy for everybody and presidential campaign news seemed especially baleful for Republicans. Yet they found 37 percent of Republicans are “very happy,” compared with 25 percent of Democrats; 51 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of Democrats are “pretty happy”; and 9 percent of Republicans are “not too happy,” compared with 20 percent of Democrats.

The partisan happiness gap — unbroken for nearly four decades — is impervious to electoral ups and downs. It has something to do with worldview.

Right, because a world view in which you refuse to let facts get in the way of belief is like the Land of Make Believe (plus, the party leader is an obvious puppet…) where everything goes your way and reality never gets in the way of a good story.

But seriously, says Lehane, if Republicans are more happy, it’s because they care less.

“The typical Republican is happy coming home to a 62-inch television, pulling out a fine bottle of cognac or Scotch, putting his feet on the table and enjoying the fruits of his labor, but not caring what’s going on in the world outside their living room . . . and their gated community.”

Government-funded researchers identified the happiness gap in 1972. Since then, the Democrats have been comparatively more bummed out not just during the tenures of GOP presidents Ford, Reagan, Bush and Bush. They were noticeably less joyful than Republicans even during the GOP fiasco of Watergate, and during the Democratic Carter and Clinton administrations.

Not to mention the money. It’s a lot easier to be happy when you are loaded.

What’s the Republicans’ secret to feeling groovy?

“They have more money,” Paul Taylor, director of the Pew Social & Demographic Trends project, writes in the new report. “They have more friends. They are more religious. They are healthier. They are more likely to be married. They like their communities better. They like their jobs more. They are more satisfied with their family life. They like the weather better.”

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epic failures in marketing

by twit

via Philadelphia Will Do: “Horrifying Lottery Mascots Terrorize Gallery

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It is your duty to know your fart law

by loadz

This past week Jose Cruz, a 34-year-old West Virginia man was charged with battery against a Charleston Police officer for allegedly farting and fanning it towards the officer.

Although the battery charges against Cruz were dropped, the notion that flatulence is assault was an eye opener. Apparently I’ve been abusing my wife, kids, family and friends for years. I’m sorry. I will seek help. Or at least Beano.

In light of my newfound resolve to not hurt my fellow man by cutting cheese, I’ve decided to not only educate myself, but also provide a resource for my fellow farters. It is your duty as a flatulent person to know your fart laws.

Missouri’s public statutes consider the passing of gas a peace distrubance, prosecutible as a class B misdeameanor.

574.010. 1. A person commits the crime of peace disturbance if:
(1) He unreasonably and knowingly disturbs or alarms another person or persons by:
(a) Loud noise; or
(e) Creating a noxious and offensive odor;

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The laws of nature vs. debate body language

by lestro

Was John McCain the alpha male or the low-ranking monkey?

It is generally agreed that John McCain did not look at or address Barack Obama at all during the first presidential debate. But different folks saw it in different ways.

Conservative columnist David Broder saw it like this:

That suggests an imbalance in the deference quotient between the younger man and the veteran senator — an impression reinforced by Obama’s frequent glances in McCain’s direction and McCain’s studied indifference to his rival.

Whether viewers caught the verbal and body-language signs that Obama seemed to accept McCain as the alpha male on the stage in Mississippi, I do not know.

A primatologist writing to Talking Points Memo saw it from a different angle:

I think people really are missing the point about McCain’s failure to look at Obama. McCain was afraid of Obama. It was really clear–look at how much McCain blinked in the first half hour. I study monkey behavior–low ranking monkeys don’t look at high ranking monkeys. In a physical, instinctive sense, Obama owned McCain tonight and I think the instant polling reflects that.

During the debate, I saw it as McCain’s inability to look Barack Obama in the eye.

But I figured that if I had been spreading such horrible lies about someone, I wouldn’t be able to look them in the eye either.

I suppose we’ll see it in the polls soon enough.

Child Genius of the Year

by twit

I’m still stunned by the brilliance of this young person, and by the potential magnitude of his innovation.  William Yuan is only twelve years old, but it appears that he has radically accelerated the development of solar energy technology.  Via Slashdot on September 18, 2008:

Hugh Pickens writes “12-year-old William Yuan’s invention of a highly-efficient, three-dimensional nanotube solar cell for visible and ultraviolet light has won him an award and a $25,000 scholarship from the Davidson Institute for Talent Development.

‘Current solar cells are flat and can only absorb visible light’” Yuan said. ‘I came up with an innovative solar cell that absorbs both visible and UV light. My project focused on finding the optimum solar cell to further increase the light absorption and efficiency and design a nanotube for light-electricity conversion efficiency.’

Solar panels with his 3D cells would provide 500 times more light absorption than commercially-available solar cells and nine times more than cutting-edge 3D solar cells. ‘My next step is to talk to manufacturers to see if they will build a working prototype,’ Yuan said. “If the design works in a real test stage, I want to find a company to manufacture and market it.””

Wired adds that the award “is usually given out for research at the graduate level.”  Congratulations to William, and thank you for giving us hope for a brighter tomorrow.

a model for a space colony

by twit

via engadget via slashdot

Vaguely horrifying Obama campaign gear: a round up

by twit

From DemocraticStuff.com, nothin’ but class:

Democratic Stuff.com - Hunters for Obama Photo Button - 2 1/4"

and this is just wrong:

Democratic Stuff.com - Horse Lovers for Obama Photo Button - 2 1/4"

and this is vaguely disturbing:

Democratic Stuff.com - Crotch Rockets for Obama Photo Button - 2 1/4"

um…

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The Mobile Laser Cannon

by twit

Coming soon to a warzone near you

Hel_td_beam

Image from Boeing via Danger Room

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hallelujah, it’s raining brains

by twit

Good news, everybody! Scientists have figured out how to build living brains:

Because the brain is living tissue, it must be housed in a special temperature-controlled unit — it communicates with its “body” via a Bluetooth radio link.

… From the very start, the neurons get busy. “Within about 24 hours, they start sending out feelers to each other and making connections,” said Warwick. “Within a week we get some spontaneous firings and brain-like activity” similar to what happens in a normal rat — or human — brain, he added.

These built-from-scratch brains are independent:

The robot has no additional control from a human or computer.

and unique, too.

“It’s quite funny — you get differences between the brains,” said Warwick. “This one is a bit boisterous and active, while we know another is not going to do what we want it to.”

Funny is one way to describe it…

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The Urban Nomad Shelter

by twit

the Urban Nomad Shelter makes sleeping outdoors more aesthetically pleasing:

urbanshelter.jpg

from Electroland

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it’s coming back around again

by lestro

Kick in the township rebellion!

Days after Rage Against the Machine‘s Lollapalooza set threatened to become a riot, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune‘s website has reported [viaRolling Stone's Rock & Roll Daily] that the band will play Minneapolis’ Target Center on September 3.

Making this show more than just another tour date is the fact that it’s happening during the Republican National Convention, which will take place in the Twin Cities from September 1-4.

So here’s what we’ve got: a “revolutionary” band whose most recent show at a mostly peaceful music festival incited the crowd to violence, causing many injuries to concertgoers in the process, playing a show in the same city and at the same time as a huge event celebrating the political party most opposed to that band’s message. (Not to mention the fact that the last time Rage played a party convention, things didn’t go so well.)

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