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Sunday, 03 April, 2011
A 1955 ad for the Portland Cement Association:
The blast-resistant house design is based on principles learned at Hiroshima and Nagasaki… Concrete always has been known for its remarkable strength and durability. That's why it can be used economically to build house with a high degree of safety from atomic blasts.
People are probably still living in these houses, and they don't even realize how protected they are.
Plane Rupture Mystery
They're still checking it out: Cause Still Unknown in Southwest Jet's Rupture.
Government and industry safety officials haven't pinpointed the cause of a five-foot gash that opened in the fuselage of a midair Southwest Airlines Co. jet, and the carrier said Sunday it expects many of its oldest Boeing 737 models to stay grounded for inspections for at least two more days.
Southwest voluntarily stopped flying 79 of its oldest 737 models, which account for nearly 15% of its fleet, in the wake of the frightening incident on the Friday afternoon flight. The rupture prompted the pilots to put the 15-year-old jet into an emergency nose dive, dropping more than 25,000 feet in a little more than four minutes, while passengers hurriedly donned oxygen masks.
I'll bet Bisbonian can check his flight records and tell us when he last flew that plane. But he probably can't, because it's company confidential.
Note: Rumors are flying around the internet that the gash was in the shape of banjo. Those rumors have not been confirmed.
Old Man Builds Body
His name is Charles Eugster, and he sez: I am a 91-year-old bodybuilder.
At 85 I had a crisis. I looked at myself in the mirror, and saw an old man. I was overweight, my posture was terrible and there was skin hanging off me. I looked like a wreck.
I started to consider the fact that I was probably going to die soon. I knew I was supposed to slow down, but I'm vain. I missed my old body and wanted to be able to strut across the beach, turning heads.
I was already rowing six times a week, and there didn't seem any harm in pushing myself a bit harder to rebuild my muscles. So in my late-80s I joined a bodybuilding club.
At last year's event in Germany, I triumphed, scoring higher than any contestant in any age category for my 57 dips, 61 chin-ups, 50 push-ups and 48 abdominal crunches, each in 45 seconds. As I'm over 70, they did make allowances – I could do the push-ups on my knees, for example – but I proved I wasn't past it.
Jeeze. And I got all worn out after two hours of pulling weeds and trimming cactus today.
Kind Of Blue - Reggae Stylee
If you're even a minor jazz fan, you're familiar with the Miles Davis classic album, Kind of Blue. Here's a different take that's amazingly good: Reggae Interpretation of Kind of Blue.
In the spring of 1981 a group of reggae studio musicians from Jamaica gathered in New York City under the direction of Jeremy Taylor, a music professor at NYU at that time. The result was this Reggae Interpretation of Kind of Blue.
Unfortunately, weeks after directing the sessions Taylor passed away in his Paris hotel room while on a speaking tour of Europe. A final mix of the album was never made and it was never released.
In early 2009, Secret Stash Records began working with the Taylor estate to finally release this album. After creating final mixes, dub versions of all the songs were also made by Secret Stash producers. Now for the first time ever, this highly sought-after album is available.
You can listen to snippets at the above link. And hear the complete "So What" track here.
(via Bifurcated Rivets)
We just ate this: Bacon & Spinach Tart.
Five thumbs up. Really good. And it's what's for breakfast tomorrow.
One Little Disaster Doesn’t Count
Oil executive news: Transocean gives bonuses after Gulf of Mexico BP spill.
The offshore drilling firm responsible for running the Deepwater Horizon rig has given its top executives bonuses for its "best year" for safety.
The Deepwater Horizon exploded on 20 April 2010. In the days and months that followed millions of gallons of oil poured unabated into the Gulf of Mexico, prompting President Barack Obama to call the incident America's environmental 9/11.
Before the well was capped in July, the spill fouled the coastlines of four states, scared tourists away and closed countless fishing grounds. The true environmental and economic impact may not be known for years.
From their annual report:
"Notwithstanding the tragic loss of life in the Gulf of Mexico, we achieved an exemplary statistical safety record as measured by our total recordable incident rate and total potential severity rate."
Transocean has always maintained that BP is solely responsible for the oil spill. BP contends that Transocean shares liability.
So there you have it. They cancel each other out, so nobody is responsible, and everybody gets more money!
Monday, 04 April, 2011
War Against Food Color
Expect more warning labels: Warning for Food Colorings to Be Considered by F.D.A. Panel.
After staunchly defending the safety of artificial food colorings, the federal government is for the first time publicly reassessing whether foods like Jell-O, Lucky Charms cereal and Minute Maid Lemonade should carry warnings that the bright artificial colorings in them worsen behavior problems like hyperactivity in some children.
In a concluding report, staff scientists from the F.D.A. wrote that while typical children might be unaffected by the dyes, those with behavioral disorders might have their conditions “exacerbated by exposure to a number of substances in food, including, but not limited to, synthetic color additives.
Kool-Aid already makes colorless products, called Kool-Aid Invisible. Here's the list of ingredients:
Citric Acid, Provides Tartness, Maltodextrin, From Corn, Calcium Phosphate, Prevents Caking, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin C, Artificial Flavor, Yellow 5, Natural Flavor, Blue 1, Blue 1 Lake, Red 40.
It seems odd that a colorless product would contain four colors.
Possible Horseplay Aboard Tour Bus
In Massachusetts: 1 killed, 1 hurt falling out of tour bus.
Massachusetts State Police say one passenger was killed and another was injured after they fell from a bathroom window on a tour bus returning from a New Hampshire brewery.
Police spokesman Sgt. Matthew Murray says police are investigating reports that the men were fighting, and says it's possible it was just horseplay. He says alcohol may have been a factor.
It's called skeletal archiporn. It's actually just a bunch of photos of scaffolds: Scaffoldage.
Review Of AutoCAD’s EULA
Owen Wengerd's review of AudoCAD 2012's EULA.
One of the less heralded new features of AutoCAD 2012 is the redesigned End User License Agreement (EULA). The EULA generally evolves (or devolves, as the case may be) from release to release, but AutoCAD 2012 sports a completely redrafted EULA.
If sheer volume is an indication of quality, then this new EULA is the best ever. It contains more than 60,000 characters -- twice as many as the previous EULA. I think they're trying to make the customer feel like his $4,000 is well spent.
A few excerpts from the review:
- The presentation is more efficient and consistent, and the style is more refined -- albeit the content continues to stick it to the little guy.
- The AutoCAD 2012 EULA removes the EXCESSIVE SHOUTING that was introduced in AutoCAD 2010.
- You still can't take your AutoCAD with you when you leave your "territory".
- You can't transfer a license, and the license automatically terminates if you become insolvent or bankrupt.
- The new EULA contains numerous changes in language that in some cases are intended to make the language legally more watertight.
Animals As Keyrings
It's happening in China: Live animals being sold as keyrings.
Keyring ornaments are perhaps the most useless item you'll ever carry in your pocket or stuff in your purse -- but now, thanks to an increasingly popular item being sold in China, it can easily be the cruelest, too. For the price you might expect to pay for some kitschy trinket, Chinese street vendors are selling live animals, permanently sealed in a small plastic pouch where they can survive for a short while as someone's conversation piece.
Apparently, these unimaginably inhumane keyrings are actually quite popular -- and worst of all, it's totally legal.
Potential buyers (read as animal-abusers) have the choice between a living Brazil turtle or two small kingfish, sealed in an airtight package along with some colored water. One vendor claimed that the trapped creatures "can live for months inside there" because the water contains "nutrients," though veterinarians have already disputed this claim.
This is certainly good news: The Onion Archive Project.
Bringing Historic Onion Print Content From 1988 - 1996 To TheOnion.com.
As we close the decade which opened a century that birthed a new millennium, we must always be looking back.
Celebrating the past—no, sanctifying it—is perhaps the single most quintessentially American undertaking. From Plymouth Rock to Valley Forge to Pearl Harbor, history shows one thing above all else has been held to be true true: No historical moment can be truly called great until those who remember it are no longer quite sure what they saw.
We held this thought firmly in mind when we began the Onion Archive Project. At the Onion, our journalistic responsibility is usually to the immediate. We tend to react in terms of "What just happened? Where did it happen? Who made it happen, and who did it happen to? And above all, why?"
Large Pizza, With Extra Cheesus
Sold for AU $153! Pizza with image of Jesus?
We are a pizza shop in New Farm, QLD. We made a three cheese pizza and when we pulled it out of the oven, this is how it turned out!
Some people are already calling it the Cheesus Pizza. We feel like we have a responsibility to do something good with this, so we're auctioning it off for charity.
The pizza is currently vacuum packed and we believe it brings luck. After discovering it, the owner of the store parked in a loading zone and didn't get a parking ticket.
I Agree With Bryan Fischer
Bryan Fischer is an ignorant right-wing Christian bigot. But I agree with him on this issue: Romney's Mormon Faith Ought To Be An Issue in 2012.
He declared that Mitt Romney's Mormon faith "ought to be an issue in 2012" and that Romney ought to be forced to publicly declare whether he embraces Mormon teachings that conflict with the Bible so that voters can decide "whether they want somebody with those convictions sitting in the Oval Office"
Better yet, all of the candidates should participate in a lengthy televised religious debate. It would be very revealing to hear these politicians discuss and justify the religious beliefs that they supposedly follow. A good moderator could make every one of them look like a complete idiot.
Guy Gets A Job
In Wisconsin: No degree, little experience pay off big.
Just in his mid-20s, Brian Deschane has no college degree, very little management experience and two drunken-driving convictions.
Yet he has landed an $81,500-per-year job in Gov. Scott Walker's administration overseeing environmental and regulatory matters and dozens of employees at the Department of Commerce. Even though Walker says the state is broke and public employees are overpaid, Deschane already has earned a promotion and a 26% pay raise in just two months with the state.
How did Deschane score his plum assignment with the Walker team? It's all in the family. His father is Jerry Deschane, executive vice president and longtime lobbyist for the Madison-based Wisconsin Builders Association, which bet big on Walker during last year's governor's race.
The group's political action committee gave $29,000 to Walker and his running mate, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, last year, making it one of the top five PAC donors to the governor's successful campaign. Even more impressive, members of the trade group funneled more than $92,000 through its conduit to Walker's campaign over the past two years.
Total donations: $121,652.
Probably just a coincidence. You can't just give money to a politician and then expect him to give your son a job.