Posts Tagged ‘China’

A Map of Sin and the Death of the Dumpling King!

December 19, 2013

New archaeological evidence from China for the first time documents a chain of events that forged the relationship between human and feline.

#Srirachapocalypse: the ongoing Huy Fong saga. This time it’s personal! Should I start shopping my “Srirachanado!” script yet?

Ohsho Dumpling King Dead after Suspected Shooting! Last year, Japan’s National Police Agency reported 17 gun murders. In the U.S., where population is about 2.5 times greater than Japan, the number of homicides involving firearms hovers around 10,000 per year.

Two-Headed Pig Underscores China’s Need For Quality Semen!

Some naughty crinimals hacked Target’s credit card data over Black Friday. Easier to carry than gold bars, I guess.

Meet Valkyrie, NASA’s new “superhero” robot.  Okay fine, it was designed to be able to access disaster areas and help rescue survivors. Let’s all hope for very slow disaster scenarios and that the bots can play Wagner.

The Only Thing Weirder Than a Telemarketing Robot… a Telemarketing Cyborg!!!?

Sun will ‘flip upside down’ within weeks, says NASA. It does that. The SyFy original is bound to write itself.

It’s the end of the world for radio evangelist Harold Camping. Same goes for legendary country singer Ray Price.

How Benign Bacteria Evolve to Virulent Pathogens: it’s just a shout away!

A Map of the Weirdest Sex Laws in the United States. Oklahoma bar owners: you MUST NOT ALLOW simulated sex with animals (not even them fancy animatronic ones)  on your premises! IT’S THE LAW!!!

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Little Bunny Foo-Foo

December 14, 2013

Make that ‘Little Bunny YuTu’:  Good luck to ‘Jade Rabbit!! China has achieved the first soft landing on the Moon in 37 years!

The 500 people who live in Awra Amba, Ethiopia, do things a little differently, by design. The village has a mill, where grain is crushed into flour, a textile factory, a café, a tourist hostel, and two stores that cater to people from outside the village. Yet the people of Awra Amba do not follow organized religion, and that can make waves with neighboring communities. Let’s hope they don’t weigh the same as a duck, eh?

Here’s chapter and verse on a more-or-less comprehensive list of things banned in Leviticus. Some seem awfully petty. A number of them are punishable by death.

‘Rudolph’ is non-canonical. Death to the Rudolphite heretics! And the adventures of a philosophically inclined mailman.

This Khmer Rouge history lesson by Spalding Gray still fascinates me.

Walt Disney as a complex character of his times with some kinks and warts. In The Wayward Canary, from 1932, Minnie Mouse seems to own a lighter with a swastika on it, for some reason.

Traditional Catalan nativity scenes include a figure you don’t see in the States much.  He is known in Catalan as the caganer. That translates most politely as ‘the defecator’ – and there he is, squatting under a tree with his trousers down.

There’s so many similarities between the mythology of faeries and ETs, it’s like they were one and the same critters.

Nifty rocket launcher, it’s like a lazy-susan of deathThis is sooo coool, but it needs Ron Popeil to really sell it!

Did you know mammoths still walked the earth when the Great Pyramid was being built?

Here’s some early incarnations of some iconic toys.

When do the action figures arrive? Google has officially acquired Boston Dynamics, makers of robots as cool as they are terrifying. We are ordered not to fear them.

Selecting for Extremophiles

December 2, 2013

Missed delivery note of the future, thanks to Amazon Prime Air.

SPACE BUGS! Say hello to Tersicoccus phoenicis, “isolated in two different clean rooms, and nowhere else”. It’s so genetically novel they are calling it a new bacteria genus. And it’s prossibly already hitched a ride to Mars.

Theres a nice bit on selecting for the uber-woodchuck. NPR interview with William Alexander  about his book, The $64 Tomato.

China’s “Jade Rabbit” lunar rover is on it’s way! Packed with a ground-piercing radar, cameras, spectrometers and plutonium-powered heaters, the rover lifted off at 1730 GMT (12:30 p.m. EST) Sunday.

The new ‘flying jellyfish’ drone video just reminds me of a film I saw in health class as a child.

For the first time, genetic information has been copied inside a simple synthetic cell designed to mimic primordial life. Happy/scared time!

Sorry, but for a great number of reasons humans aren’t at all likely to be chimp-pig hybrids as a kooky paper claims. PZ Meyers has thoughts on the MFAP Hypothesis. The peer-review process hangs it’s head in shame!

South Park provides this amazingly concise explanation of evolution:

Humans are extremophiles too, my friend! Listen to Rick Santorum make a First Amendment argument in favor of religious discrimination and be amazed!

Here’s a mashup of GOP trogs citing the Bible to deny climate change, featuring Oklahoma’s gift to comedy, Sen. James Mountain Inhofe. Kind of explains a lot, don’t you think?

And Jeb Bush confirms he hasn’t the honesty or reasoning skills to be president by accusing that Socialist Kenyan president of closing the Vatican Embassy in retaliation for Catholic opposition to the ACA. Ironically, the process of moving the embassy from its current location to the compound at the U.S. Embassy to Italy began under Jeb’s brother, President George W. Bush and will save $1.4 million a year. IT’S TRANNY!

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, this little amusement for you:

A ‘Finally Friday!’ linkstew

July 27, 2013

Phil Plait shares these images of the Curiosity rover on Mars taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. As he notes: “the bar for ‘amazing’ is set pretty high when you have a 1-ton laser-eyed nuclear-powered mobile chemistry lab on another world in the first place”.

In 1818, almost 200 years ago yesterday, eccentric would-be explorer John Cleves Symmes, Jr. addressed this circular to the city of Wilmington, Del., seeking a fellowship of 100 like-minded “brave souls” to come with him on a polar journey to discover the center of the Earth, which he declared was “hollow, and habitable within.” Symmes circular makes reference to “Doctor Darwin’s Golden Secret”, apparently a reference to Dr. Erasmus Darwin; more on that can be found here.

Aeon Magazine has a wonderful piece on humanity’s fascination with stories of submerged civilizations, and the surprising ‘modern’ discovery that ancient peoples did once walk the plains beneath our seas.

“…But there is no doubt that the classical tradition is: the curse of boils, bats, frogs, the curse of blood, the curse of rats, hail, of beasts, the locusts, of course, the death of the first-born, and then, finally, of darkness”.

A nice retrospective on the “Dr. Phibes” movie series and one of Vincent Price’s most flamboyant and memorable roles. It felt just like a Hammer film, but many American International Pictures usually did.

Is it just too much to believe? I was cynically skeptical of the news that Trayvon Martin’s killer had rescued a family from an overturned SUV just days after his not guilty verdict myself, but “‘Truther‘ fatigue” must be setting in.

The peacock’s tail gave Darwin fits. How could evolution possibly favor such cumbersome and conspicuous accoutrement? What really matters, of course, is what the peahen he’s trying to impress makes of it. In a new study, scientists mounted tiny eye-tracking cameras on the heads of peahens to try to get inside their minds as they watched males’ courtship displays.

“Weiners of the World” is a pretty elite group.

Katie Barnett says all her possessions in her Vinton County, Ohio, home disappeared when Wellston First National Bank confused her home with the house across the street, foreclosed on it, changed the locks, and then sold or trashed everything. “It wouldn’t be a big deal if they would step up and say ‘I’m sorry, we will replace your stuff.’ Instead, I’m getting attitude from them. They’re sarcastic when they talk to me. They make it sound like I’m trying to rip the bank off. All I want is my stuff back.”

Tall women have higher cancer risk; are smoking, drinking to blame?

Health officials in Los Angeles County announced yesterday that a squirrel found covered in fleas has tested positive for bubonic plague.

According to a study conducted at the University of South Florida, low doses of psilocybin (psychedelic) mushrooms erase the conditioned fear response in mice—which, the researchers suggest, may lead to the potential treatment of PTSD.

Aeon Magazine has a wonderful piece on humanity’s fascination with stories of submerged civilizations, and the surprising ‘modern’ discovery that ancient peoples did once walk the plains beneath our seas.

China plans to invest 1.7 trillion yuan to combat air pollution over the next five years, as the new government’s seeks to address a key source of growing social discontent.

Vulnerable Sam: Inflatable Child Substitute” (1972): This educational product went on the market in late 1972 and was targeted at prospective parents, nursery school teachers and church staff. It afforded them the opportunity to practice their corporal punishment techniques before inflicting them on an actual child.

Kooky new conspiracy theory explains how Kate Middleton’s baby is an Illuminati hoax.

Switched at birth?”, wherein a certain Mrs. Kent claimed she was Queen Victoria’s daughter.

Want a squishy toy fetus with your corn dog? If you’re visiting the North Dakota State Fair, you’re in luck! Last weekend, Minot Right to Life slipped soft fetal models into kids’ candy bags. “The Precious One” fetal models are manufactured by Heritage House, a “pro-life supply store,” for $1.50 a pop — cheaper if you buy in bulk.  “It was really disturbing watching children run around with them,” one parent recalled.

An animated history of every known drone strike in Pakistan.

Brechensbuaer envisions the Peace Drone flying over rural areas, honing in on enemies so it can administer a dose of calming, violence-abating Oxycontin. “Imagine how highly addicted enemy combatants will gather around it, like kids around the ice cream truck,” he says. “The peace drone will hover above them, nice and evil at the same time. Playing music and smiling.”

Danger Room reports: “As the U.S. prepares to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, the government watchdog charged with overseeing nearly $100 billion in contracts to reconstruct the country has found almost $2 billion in potential waste, fraud and abuse in the last three months alone”.

On a much happier note, the U.S. Air Force has a contingent of “bronies”. The recent “BronyCon Summer 2012” in New Jersey even had a special lunch for service members that got a visit from Tara Strong, who voices the magical pony “Twilight Sparkle”. The cognitive dissonance between this reality and entrenched military machismo has prompted some hostile commentary, usually along these lines-

Reality only bites sometimes

March 5, 2013

Beachcomber has a few historic examples of how cats have been messing stuff up since they figured out how to freeload off humans.

A BBC documentary from 1997 shows a shaman of the Yanomamo tribe using a guinea pig as a medical scanner (first video on the page). I wonder what the co-pay is for that?

A brief overview of the origin and spread of the use of Cannabis sativa, starting from 29,000 years BCE.

State Rep. Ed Orcutt (R-Blithering Idiot, WA) claims that riding a bike releases more pollution than driving a car, pushes a special tax on bicycle sales. Yes, he’s really that clueless.

A new Facebook game aims to raise funds for non-profit foundations like Heifer International, Girls & Education Mentoring Services and World Vision. I think “Half the Sky” is a much catchier name than “StarvationVille“.

Meanwhile, back in America, corporate profits have risen 20 times the rate of workers pay since 2008. See, there’s an “us recovery” and a “them recovery”: that’s class warfare at it’s greediest.

Seriously? M’Lord and Lady Romney are carping that the liberal media cost them the election. Their screw-head ‘one per-center’ policies had nothing to do with it? If only he’d been Latino!

“Daddy Dearest”: a look inside the mind of Syrian president tyrant Bashir al-Assad. We’d all hoped the western-educated doctor would bring reforms, but he was trapped in the authoritarian government built by his father. Or so it says.

The Department of Justice announced last December that it had won a guilty plea from the China Nuclear Industry Huaxing Construction Co. Ltd. for its criminal conspiracy to export high-performance epoxy coatings from the U.S. to Pakistan’s Chashma II Nuclear Power Plant. The DOJ stated “It is believed that today’s plea marks the first time that a PRC corporate entity has entered a plea of guilty in a U.S. criminal export matter“.

Pat Robertson claims that liberals are turning schools into indoctrination “gulags”. How unlike a certain religion, am I right?

It seemed like a good idea at the time: the Christians in Finland got very shitty about a toilet paper manufacturer printing bible verses on its product.

Just in time for Passover, locusts are swarming Egypt. Kind of brings new life to those old stories, doesn’t it?

And speaking of biblical retribution (or something akin to that), here’s Vincent Price reading “Thus I Refute Beelzy”, by John Collier (1940):