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Thursday, 01 May, 2008

Dirty Keyboards

Another one of those articles about unsanitary keyboards: Filthy as a loo seat: hazard of computer keyboards.

Another peril can be added to the hazards of the innocent-looking computer keyboard. Not content with encouraging repetitive strain injury, the type-pads sometimes harbour more filth than the average loo seat and house millions of bacteria which can cause diarrhoea and vomiting, a study has shown.

A microbiologist carrying out research published today for Which? Computing magazine examined samples from 33 keyboards and found a variety of bugs including E coli and S aureus, which can cause skin infections and make people ill.

The scientist swabbed a loo seat and a toilet door handle in a typical London office for comparison. One of the keyboards in the experiment had to be removed from the office because it was five times dirtier than the lavatory seat and home to 150 times the acceptable limit of bacteria.

That, ladies and germs, is why I use a black keyboard.

(Thanks m.c.)

Permalink | Posted in General @3:09pm | Comments (6)


Here's the baby monkey that thinks its mum's a teddy bear.

This little monkey is missing her mummy so to make sure she's not losing out zoo keepers have given her a teddy bear to cuddle.

Conchita is a three-week-old white-naped mangabey monkey who is being hand-reared at London Zoo. The tiny primate keeps hold of her teddy bear companion while her mother recovers from a caesarean.

From left to right: The teddy bear, Conchita, an unidentified human.

Permalink | Posted in General @3:22pm | Comments (7)

Bush Sets Record

Way to go, George: Bush most unpopular in modern history.

A new poll suggests that George W. Bush is the most unpopular president in modern American history.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday indicates that 71 percent of the American public disapprove of how Bush his handling his job as president.

"No president has ever had a higher disapproval rating in any CNN or Gallup poll; in fact, this is the first time that any president's disapproval rating has cracked the 70 percent mark," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Permalink | Posted in Politics @4:56pm | Comments (11)

Gone Again

Sorry folks, but this blog is being shut down again.

We're leaving tomorrow for a multi-functional trip:

  1. Up to Prescott to attend my daughter's graduation. She graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, with an Aeronautical Engineering degree. And her fiance got his Masters degree, so it's a double graduation wing-ding.
  2. Then we're going to the Grand Canyon for a few days. Neither Pamn nor I have ever been there. I will take lots of photos.

Normal blogging activity will resume on Thursday, May 8.

* * *

If you get bored, click on over to Steel White Table. Maybe Jody will post a Weekend Open Mic or something.

Permalink | Posted in Site News @5:32pm | Comments (15)

Wednesday, 07 May, 2008

Back Again

We have returned. It was a great trip.

The graduation ceremony was very boring (except for about eight seconds), but the party was great. Here's a video of the entire ceremony, with all of the boring parts edited out.

The Grand Canyon was awesome. That thing is huge. I took at least 200 photos -- all with my little Canon SD870 IS. I took my Nikon, but didn't even drag it out of the bag. I need to go through them all, and then I'll upload some of the better ones to my PBase gallery. Pamn took this one:

Permalink | Posted in Site News @4:57pm | Comments (35)

Thursday, 08 May, 2008

Thank You Canada

Today's blog posts are sponsored by Canada.

Go there, and they'll carry your bags, smile, and give you fresh seafood.

Permalink | Posted in General @6:19am | Comments (5)

Wizard Fired

That'll teach him: Florida Substitute Teacher Fired, Accused of Wizardry.

A Florida teacher may have to pull an unemployment check out of his hat after performing magic in front of students, according to reports.

Jim Piculas said he made a toothpick disappear and reappear in front of students at the Rushe Middle School in Land 'O Lakes, Fla., Local6.com reported. He said he later got a call from the supervisor of teachers, saying he had been accused of wizardry.

"I get a call the middle of the day from head of supervisor of substitute teachers. He says, 'Jim, we have a huge issue. You can't take any more assignments. You need to come in right away,'" he told Local6.com.

Piculas said he's concerned the incident may prevent him from being considered for future jobs.

Note: The toothpick shown here is not the actual magic toothpick. It's just a random toothpick. However, I'll bet Piculas could make that one disappearm, too.

Permalink | Posted in General @6:23am | Comments (14)

Disappointing Cigar

Close, but... Cuban cigar roller's latest giant won't likely be long enough for fourth world record.

Looks like it will be close, but no giant cigar, for Cuba's stogie-rolling king Jose Castelar. The 64-year-old former world-record holder has teamed up with five assistants, using nearly 93 pounds (42 kilograms) of top-quality tobacco to assemble a 98-foot (30-meter) cigar.

Castelar set Guinness Records for the world's longest cigars in 2001, 2003 and April 2005, when he completed a stogie measuring 20.41 meters, just shy of 67 feet. On Tuesday, he said he is shooting for a fourth title.

But Castelar, who learned the art of cigar-making from an uncle at age 5, is likely to fall short this time: Guinness says Puerto Rican cigar-maker Patricio Pena crafted a whopping 41.2-meter (135-foot) stogie last year.

Competition from cigar rollers in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico is stiff but friendly, driving Castelar to keep rolling.

Permalink | Posted in General @6:25am | Comments (3)

Lots Of Tools

The ultimate gift for the home handyman: Craftsman 1,470 piece Professional Tool Set.

A great collection of mechanics tools. Includes 300 pc. Base Essentials Set (33300), 198 pc. Professional Essentials Set (33198), 189 pc. Specialized Essentials Set (35189), 204 pc. Advanced Access Pro's Set (33204), 106 pc. Advanced Professional Tool Set (35106), 89 pc. Specialized Access Professional Tool Set (35086), 83 pc. Ultimate Fully-Polished Ratcheting Set (35183), 77 pc. Heavy-Duty Mechanic's Set (35079), 94pc. Auto Specialty Professional Tool Set (35098) and 130 pc. Professional Impact Set (34130). Catalog# 34131.

Total price: $8,599.90. You'll probably need an extra-large toolbelt to carry them.

Permalink | Posted in Products @6:31am | Comments (8)

Problem At The Pumps

When gas prices exceed $4.00 per gallon, some gas stations will have a problem.

As gas prices rise, some stations with older pumps are encountering an unexpected challenge: They can't be set to charge more than $3.99 9/10 per gallon.

For example, take the three pumps at Vashon Island's Engels Repair & Towing -- please, said Lou Engels, 68, who has owned the garage for 41 years.

"When I bought these brand-new in 1995, nobody could imagine gas would ever be higher than $3.99 a gallon," he said. "Now, it would cost thousands of dollars to replace them, and the upgrades for the pumps are back-ordered."

I recall a similar problem when gas prices soared above $0.99. The solution was to set the price at 1/2 the amount, and then charge double what the pump read.

Permalink | Posted in General @6:36am | Comments (9)

Lice As Art

Good question: Are lice art?

Seven young artists from Berlin are trying to stretch the boundaries of art by living in an Israeli museum for three weeks with lice in their hair.

"Art is no longer just a painting on the wall," Milana Gitzin-Adiram, chief curator of the Museum of Bat Yam near Tel Aviv, told Reuters. "Art is life, life is art."

The exhibition has caused controversy -- unintended, the artists say -- in a country where the mention of lice may revive memories of Nazi propaganda that described Jews as "parasites".

The artists, who sleep, eat and bathe in the gallery, said the exhibition toyed with ideas about hosts and guests in line with a theme set by the museum and aimed to blur the boundaries between art and reality.

Permalink | Posted in Visual Arts @6:40am | Comments (1)

Pope’s Plan

Somewhat disturbing news: Pope Returns To Vatican With Comprehensive Plan To Blow Up United States.

In an unprecedented breach of national security, Pope Benedict XVI, leader of the international organization known as "the Roman Catholic Church," has infiltrated the highest levels of the U.S. government and devised a wide-ranging plan to destroy the entire country.

Using recently uncovered information, shocked intelligence analysts have determined that the religious extremist's recent tour of the nation was in fact a reconnaissance mission designed to exploit essential weaknesses in our country's defenses and expose them to mass destruction...

"This is the most devastating failure of American intelligence imaginable," Hayden added. "We are completely helpless."

And this:

On Monday, the CIA released an audio recording of several voices believed to be those of high-ranking Vatican operatives. The tape reportedly contains numerous references to "the coming day of God's wrath against the Americans" and makes mention of several major landmarks, all in highly populated urban areas, as potential targets.

Chillingly, the recording concludes with the phrase "May God bless America," followed by what is being called a "throaty, maniacal" laugh that experts have identified as the pontiff's.

Permalink | Posted in Humor @6:43am | Comments (5)

She’s Still Going

Slate's Hillary Deathwatch optimistically puts her chances at 2.5%. In other words, her chances of becoming the Democratic nominee are just slightly higher than mine.

Yet she vows to continue. Clinton says she's still in it to win it.

"I'm staying in this race until there's a nominee," she told reporters after a rally in Shepherdstown, West Va. "We will continue to contest these elections and move forward."

Collateral damage includes a former president of the United States who has been transformed into a laughingstock -- just slightly more credible than a circus sideshow huckster.

And her web site continues to ask for money -- which almost borders on fraud.

Here's something I didn't know: Big Rewards Await Clinton If She Ends Campaign Now.

One of the most inviting is the near certainty that the Obama campaign would agree to pay back the $11.4 million she has loaned her own bid, along with an estimated $10 million to $15 million in unpaid campaign expenses...

On the money front, it is not uncommon for winning presidential campaigns to pick up some or all of a competitor's debts and obligations, although the size of Clinton's debt and her personal loans to her campaign are unprecedented - somewhere over and above $20 million.

So, Obama's campaign is essentially paying for Hillary's negative campaign against him.

Permalink | Posted in Politics @7:05am | Comments (9)

French-Fry Encrusted Bacon On A Stick

Just what you would expect it to look like: French Fry Coated Bacon on a Stick.

I present to you French fry coated bacon on a stick. Originally I was planning on making a French fry coated, bacon-wrapped hot dog, but thought that the inclusion of the hotdog was largely pointless. Why not just head straight for the bacon?

(Thanks m.c.)

Permalink | Posted in Bacon @7:56am | Comments (4)

Advances In Begging

A small collection of street beggars with signs: Unemployed copywriters?

My favorite:

Permalink | Posted in General @7:59am | Comments (4)

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