Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Just wanted to say: I've been feeling kind of burned out on blogging for a few weeks now, and I've decided to go on an indefinite Hiatus. After a year and a half of posting something pretty much every day to this humble blog, I am taking a break. No need to fret or write, wondering about the state of my health, or mind. I'll be fine. As the Good Book sayeth: To Everything There Is A Season, and I'm going to try to spend this season doing a bit more offline stuff, like spending quality time with family, reading a few good books, or watching some of the dozens of VHS and DVD movies I have lying around. I'll be back if/when the time is right. Until then, take care, and God Bless. (If you still need a blog fix, there's lotsa great reading on the MOB blogroll - see sidebar.)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

If This Had Been A Real Emergency...

I'm writing this - if you can call it writing - on my Palm TX. Entering text with a stylus is a cumbersome and laborious task, but it's nice to know that it can be done in a pinch. If my home computers go out, I can head down the Ye Olde Coffeeshop with the device in hand, and post from there.

And with that, I leave you with a knock-knock joke from lovely three year-old LK:

LK: Knock knock.
Dad: Who's there?
LK: Goliath.
Dad: Goliath who?
LK: Goliath down, you looketh tired.

That's my girl. Heh.

Your Moment Of Zen

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I've Told You Before

Go check out Guba, the free Usenet web-based interface, and download video for your iPod or other player of choice.

This Will Make You Laugh - Promise

Found Lyric

Apropos of nothing: I've always found the night-time sound of rain on the roof to be one of the most soothing things in life. Yes, it's raining right now. I like that.

Anyway, I was sitting here, looking thru an old paper journal from 11th grade, and found a lyric that looked vaguely familiar. Trouble was, I couldn't remember if I'd written it, or if it was a random real song lyric I'd scribbled in amongst the pained declarations of teenage boy-angst.

As always, Google to the rescue. The verdict? I didn't write it. It was Cat Stevens. Dang. It's a good lyric.


Oh I'm on my way I know I am,
somewhere not so far from here
All I know is all I feel right now,
I feel the power growing in my hair

Sitting on my own not by myself,
everybody's here with me
I don't need to touch your face lo know,
and I don't need to use my eyes to see

I keep on wondering if I sleep too long,
will I always wake up the same (or so)?
I keep on wondering if I sleep to long,
will I even wake up the same or something

Oh I'm on my way I know I am,
but times there were when I thought not
Bleeding half my soul in bad company,
I thank the moon I had the strength to stop

I'm not making love to anyone's wishes,
only for that light I see
'Cause when I'm dead and lowered low in my grave,
that's gonna be the only thing that's left of me

And if I make it to the waterside,
will I even find me a boat (or so)?
And I if I make it lo the waterside,
I'll be sure to write you note or something

Oh I'm on my way I know I am,
somewhere not so far from here
All I know is all I feel right now,
I feel the power growing In my hair

Oh life is like a maze of doors
and they all open from the side you're on
Just keep on pushing hard boy, try as you may
You're going to wind up where you started from
You're going to wind up where you started from

Thing is, I used to fancy myself a songwriter of sorts in high school, and it sounds just like the stuff I used to write, especially the whole flaky existential twist.

Haiku For Suri

Katie Holmes' baby:
One More Scientologist.
Xenu Is Quite Pleased.



Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

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Your Moment Of Zen

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Hey, It Could Happen

The New Euro Language

The European Union commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).

In the first year, "s" will be used instead of the soft "c". Sertainly, sivil servants will resieve this news with joy. Also, the hard "c" will be replaced with "k". Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik emthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced by "f". This will make words like "fotograf" 20 per sent shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent "e"s in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.

By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" by z" and "w" by v.

During ze fifz year, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou", and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer.

Ze drem vil finali kum tru!

Mild And Wooly


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

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Celebrating The Queen's 80th Birthday

From the Royal Website:

80 Facts About The Queen

1 - Queen Elizabeth II is the fortieth monarch since William the Conqueror obtained the crown of England.

2 - In 2002, at 76 years of age, The Queen was the oldest monarch to celebrate a Golden Jubilee. The youngest was James I (James VI of Scotland) at 51 years.

3 - Since 1952, The Queen has conferred over 387,700 honours and awards.

4 - The Queen has personally held over 540 Investitures.

5 - The Queen speaks fluent French and often uses the language for Audiences and State Visits. Her Majesty does not require an interpreter.

6 - The Queen has received over 3 million items of correspondence during her reign.

7 - Over the course of the reign, around 1.1 million people have attended Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace or the Palace of Holyroodhouse (The Queen ended Presentation Parties in 1958).

8 - Over the reign, Her Majesty has given regular Tuesday evening audiences to 10 British Prime Ministers. They are: Winston Churchill 1951-55, Sir Anthony Eden 1955-57, Harold Macmillan 1957-63, Sir Alec Douglas-Home 1963-64, Harold Wilson 1964-70 and 1974-76, Edward Heath 1970-74, James Callaghan 1976-79, Margaret Thatcher 1979-90, John Major 1990-97, Tony Blair 1997-present.

9 - Tony Blair is the first Prime Minister to have been born during The Queen's reign. He was born in early May 1953 - a month before the Coronation.

10 - The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh introduced small, informal luncheon parties at Buckingham Palace to meet distinguished people from all professions, trades and vocations. The first lunch was held on 11th May 1956 and the tradition continues to this day. There are usually 6-8 guests and two members of the Household attending.

Read all 80 here.

Your Moment Of Zen

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

This And That

Blogging has been a little lite the past couple of days.

I've been suffering from bouts of bronchitis and insomnia, both of which have had to be treated medically, and all of it compounded by some episodic anxiety. I've been really worn out from it all, but I must sing the praises of the Big Pharma. The night before last I slept only about one hour, but last night, with the help of the fine folks who make Ambien®, I was able to get five and a half straight uninterrupted hours of sleep. Now, if only my insurance would pay for Lunesta®, instead. I'm just saying.

Anyway, I may be a little less active with the blog over the next few days than I have been, but I'm not going away just yet.

That said, I have to document something I saw today, before I forget it, one of the more bizarre things I've seen in a long time.

Most workdays I park my car in a municipal ramp on the periphery of downtown in the morning, take the bus into the business district to work, and then walk back at the end of the day. It gives me a bit of exercise, and I enjoy the view of the Mississippi River from the Third Avenue Bridge. It's something I've done for years, but the trip often becomes routine and monotonous, which makes out-of-ordinary things stand out all the more.

Today was one of those out-of-ordinary days.

This afternoon, as I was walking through the ramp to get to my car, I could hear the sounds of female laughter a few dozen yards ahead of me. At first I thought that one of the two young women might have been on a cell phone, as it looked like she was sitting against a curb by what appeared to be her car.

But as I got closer I realized what I was seeing: two gorgeous and leggy blonde twenty-somethings from the nearby Aveda Institute were squatting next to their car, black slacks and panties down around their ankles, peeing. Yup, peeing, sending two long streams of what I can only imagine to be alcohol-laced girl-pee running down the ramp, away from them.

They both looked up at me, giggled and called out the obvious: 'we're peeing.' Then one of them, possessed of some modicum of decorum, leapt to her feet, desperately struggling to pull her panties and slacks back up, while the other just continued her business, throwing her headful of blonde trusses back with a loud laugh.

It was one of those surreal images that one stumbles upon once in a great while, one that words don't quite do justice. And although the idea flashed in my mind momentarily, I resisted the urge to pull out my cell-phone to take a picture to share with you, gentle readers. Instead I just smiled and waved, and walked on past, as if it were the most natural thing to see of a late Tuesday afternoon. Then again, you know, maybe for them it was.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Music Monday - #51

I spent the weekend past largely-bedridden, this time being treated with antibiotics for a serious bronchitis that has plagued me for over a week. (To give you an idea how bad, on Easter morning I had a coughing jag so severe that I wrenched my back.) Add to that a week-long bout by an insomnia so severe that even presciption meds only brought partial relief, and I've been seriously out-of-sorts.

But Music Monday must go on, as the teeming millions demand their Panis Et Circenses. So, to that end, please take the time to view these three music vids, from around the globe, from the bizarre, to the beautiful, to the heavenly. Enjoy.


Past Music Mondays


World Music Videos

Cover of NIGHT OF FIRE, by the HINOI Team, and wrestler Korikki.
- Japan -

Kajra Re, a sequence from Bunty aur Babli,
with appereances by Amitabh Bachchan,
Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai
- India -

Worship rock band Tree63
- South Africa -

Your Moment Of Zen

Thursday, April 13, 2006

80 Parachutes

Nanoo Nanoo

The amazing saga of Billy Meier.

David Blaine Gives Her A Ring

Girl's Heart Restarted After Ten Years

From News.Com.Au:

BRITISH doctors have revived a 12-year-old girl's dormant heart and removed a donor heart which she had started to reject, hospital officials said late today.

Hannah Clark, who lives in south Wales, underwent the operation on February 20 in London by surgeons advised by heart specialist Sir Magdi Yacoub.

Sir Yacoub came out of retirement at the request of the girl's parents, they said.

Hannah had enjoyed good health until November when a cardiologist found during a routine examination that her body was rejecting the organ which Sir Yacoub had transplanted 10 years ago in a life-saving operation.

She had been suffering from cardiomyopathy, which made her heart double in size and (the heart) threatened to fail within a year.

"We are delighted that Hannah is doing so well," said a spokesman for the cardiac team at Great Street Ormond Hospital. We believe that this combination of circumstances is the first for children or adults in the UK."

Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said: "This is an exciting and important event.

"Surgeons like BHF Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub have thought for some time that if a heart is failing because of acute inflammation, it might be able to recover if rested.

Read the rest here.

Incredible Machines

Happy Birthday AE

Seven years ago I held my oldest daughter in my arms for the very first time. My nurse-midwife Mother-In-Law, who had delivered over 1000 babies during the course of her career, was there to assist with the delivery of her first grandchild. I was not only not upset by her being in attendence, but was very glad she was. She did a marvelous job, and I - being the squeamish sort that I am - was more than happy to let her cut the cord.

I had spent the night at the hospital the night before AE was born, but since I had a bad cold at the time, I decided to sleep at home the night after. I'd heard that pets could be warmed up to the anticipated arrival of a new baby by being allowed to sniff an article of clothing that had been worn by the child. To that end I took home the little knit cap that had been placed on AE's head when she was first presented to her mommy with me in my coat pocket, intending to leave it out for the kitties. Of course, that plan was scrapped half-way home when I reached for a tissue in my pocket, accidentally pulled the cap out and blew my very runny nose into it.

Anyway, where was I?

It's a common cliche' for parents to remark how quickly their kids grow up, but it's true, you know. Today AE turns seven, and in ten or eleven more years she'll be going off to college. Ten years is not that long of a time. We're given only but a dozen years with our kids before they become teens, and start to pull away, and it's so easy to take those years for granted. I do not.

Last night I went into AE's bedroom to give her a hug and a kiss goodnight. I told her proud I am of her, that I love her, and how lucky I think I am to be her daddy. She smiled and told me she loved me, and that she felt lucky to have me for a daddy, too. Yeah, I teared up.

Happy Birthday, AE.

Fallowed Ground


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

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Your Moment Of Zen

Monday, April 10, 2006

Tonight's 24 Trailer


From NYT via Brazilian Trends:

A Web Site Born in U.S. Finds Fans in Brazil

Published: April 10, 2006

Ask Internet users here what they think of Orkut, the two-year-old Google social networking service, and you may get a blank stare. But pronounce it "or-KOO-chee," as they do in Portuguese, and watch faces light up.

"We were just talking about it!" said Suellen Monteiro, approached by a reporter as she gossiped with four girlfriends at a bar in the New York City Center mall here. The topic was the guy whom 18-year-old Aline Makray had met over the weekend at a Brazilian funk dance, who had since found her on Orkut and asked her to join his network.

Orkut, the invention of a Turkish-born software engineer named Orkut Buyukkokten, never really caught on in the United States, where MySpace rules teenage cyberspace. But it is nothing short of a cultural phenomenon in Brazil.

About 11 million of Orkut's more than 15 million users are registered as living in Brazil — a remarkable figure given that studies have estimated that only about 12 million Brazilians use the Internet from home. (And that 11 million does not include people like Ms. Makray, who clicked on Hungary as a nod to her heritage, or someone named Mauricio who wrote in Portuguese but jokingly registered as being from Mauritius.)

Read the rest here.

Immigracion, Si!

I'm home sick today with the crud that's going around, but I had to laugh when I turned on PMSNBC and saw a pro-immigration rally in Phoenix being conducted IN SPANISH! Look, I speak Spanish, and I want my kids to grow up speaking at least two or three languages. And I'm all for making this counry open to LEGAL immigration. But I'm here to tell you that those who wish to win the hearts and minds of Joe Sixpack on Illegal Immigration had best do it in English. Eso si.

Update: photos of the no-doubt peaceful and law-abiding NYC rally here.

Music Monday - #50

Past Music Mondays


I spent this weekend sicker than sick, and didn't have the time to research and/or write a proper Music Monday, but something must be posted, cause, well, it's the law.

So, this week download and give a listen to the various Brazilian music podcasts at Avolta Radio Brazilian Rare Grooves.

Snag them all, and load up that iPod.


Assimilation Problem


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

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Your Moment Of Zen

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Cold Front

It's a beautiful and sunny Saturday afternoon - albeit a wee bit chilly - in my world, and I'm on Daddy-Duty while Mrs. Muzzy is working at the hospital this weekend. Normally my two lovely daughters and I would be off 'On Adventures' somewhere right about now, but I'm as sick as the proverbial dog with a horrid respiratory virus. My nose and chest are congested, my body aches, and my eyes sting. Indeed, I'm in a wretched state. This attack just came on yesterday, and I'm a bit surprised at the virulence of the bug. I usually don't get this sick, this quickly, when I come down with colds. In fact, I've only had one cold all winter, if I'm remembering correctly. Anyway, blogging will either be very light, or very heavy today, depending on how I'm feeling later on.

This Is Worth A Look

MacBook Pro XP vs. the PC competition

The Iceman Cometh

Why you need to worry about Global Cooling.

Lotsa Online Games Here

- Action

- Shooter

- Sport

- Strategy

Race Baiting


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

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Your Moment Of Zen

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Download Usenet Video

Free samples at

Heh Heh

From SFGate:

Bush honors NCAA championship athletes at White House

By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer
Thursday, April 6, 2006

In congratulating NCAA championship teams on Thursday at the White House, President Bush joked that the U.S. Military Academy's rifle team might be able to teach Vice President Dick Cheney a thing or two.

"If you happen to be walking around and run into the vice president, you might give him a few pointers," Bush said, referring to how Cheney accidentally shot a companion while hunting in Texas.

The rest is here.

Why He's Better Than You

The View Is Better There

Meredith Vieira To Join NBC's "Today."

Sure, Blame The Guy

From The Columbus Dispatch:

Study: Moving in with a man makes a woman fat

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Women tend to put on weight when they move in with a male partner, according to a study by a nutrition researcher in England.

The author of the study suggested that the primary cause of the weight gain is that women often adopt some of the unhealthy eating habits of their male partners. The study found that women consume more fat and sugar and eat larger portions once they cohabitate with a man.

Read the rest here.

Boot Camp

From Apple:

More and more people are buying and loving Macs. To make this choice simply irresistible, Apple will include technology in the next major release of Mac OS X, Leopard, that lets you install and run the Windows XP operating system on your Mac. Called Boot Camp (for now), you can download a public beta today.

Boot Camp lets you install Windows XP without moving your Mac data, though you will need to bring your own copy to the table, as Apple Computer does not sell or support Microsoft Windows.(1) Boot Camp will burn a CD of all the required drivers for Windows so you don't have to scrounge around the Internet looking for them.

Once you’ve completed Boot Camp, simply hold down the option key at startup to choose between Mac OS X and Windows. (That’s the “alt” key for you longtime Windows users.) After starting up, your Mac runs Windows completely natively. Simply restart to come back to Mac.

Read the rest here.

Thus Always To Tyrants


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

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Your Moment Of Zen


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Cancer's "World Wide Web"

From TechReview:

A lung image database is breathing life into "medical grid" vision.

March/April 2006

By Tom Mashberg

For several years, clinicians and computer scientists in the U.S. and abroad have been trying to improve cancer care—from diagnosis to treatment—by building vast, interconnected databases full of patient information. They call these repositories "medical grids" and envision the day when a physician in Strasbourg or New Delhi can see, for example, that an indecipherable image of a patient's lung is very similar to that of a San Francisco patient, whose case history could inform the decision to perform a biopsy.

These nascent databases include not only patients' medical histories, including such data as MRIs and CT scans, but also information about how they have responded to drugs. But the benefits of these under—construction grids have been slow to come, partly because of technical problems and partly because federal privacy rules make data sharing difficult. Now, a National Cancer Institute project could test a multihospital system for comparing lung cancer images as early as this year—a clear move toward putting grids to use.

Read the whole article here.

2006 Apple Keynote Bloopers

MN Bill Would Require Open Data Formats

From ConsortiumInfo, via Slashdot:

Bill Introduced in Minnesota to Require Use of "Open Data Formats"

"...a bill, introduced on March 27, that would require all Executive branch agencies in the state of Minnesota to "use open standards in situations where the other requirements of a project do not make it technically impossible to do this." The text of the bill is focused specifically on "open data formats," and would amend the existing statute that establishes the authority of the Office of Enterprise Technology (OET), and the duties of the states Chief Information Officer. While the amendment does not refer to open source software, the definition of "open standards" that it contains would be conducive to open source implementations of open standards."

Read the whole thing here.


From Wikipedia:

Radiosurgery is a medical procedure which allows non-invasive brain surgery, i.e., without actually opening the skull, by means of directed beams of ionizing radiation. It is a relatively recent technique (1951), which is used to destroy, by means of a precise dosage of radiation, intracranial tumors and other lesions that could be otherwise inaccessible or inadequate for open surgery. There are many nervous diseases for which conventional surgical treatment is difficult or has many deleterious consequences for the patient, due to arteries, nerves, and other vital structures being damaged.

Read the rest here.

Sing Along With Muzzy And The Kids


Lotsa Jewish Jokes.

Bird Is The Word

From the BBC:

Bird flu confirmed in dead swan

Preliminary tests have confirmed the H5 avian flu virus in a sample from a swan found dead in Fife, health officials have revealed.

The exact virus strain is not known, but tests were continuing and further results were expected on Thursday.

The Scottish Executive said restrictions had been put in place around Cellardyke, east of Anstruther.

If the disease is confirmed as the deadly H5N1 strain there may be further restrictions set up.

Read the rest here.

The Lowdown

How To Trouble Shoot Fax Machines.



Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

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Your Moment Of Zen

Monday, April 03, 2006

AppZapper Is Free

Here. (Mac-only.)

Music Monday - #49

Past Music Mondays


Lyric Of The Week:

"Bouquet" - Steve Taylor


Featured Free MP3 Downloads Of The Week:

tbwcf-thThis week please give a listen to these two free MP3 versions of CCM artist Steve Taylor's "Bouquet," one by the artist himself, and the other by the band he produced to stardom, Sixpence None The Richer.

From AMG's website:

" Sometimes referred to as the "clown prince of Christian music," singer/guitarist Steve Taylor was one of the first to bring sarcasm and satire to Christian music. Roland Stephen Taylor was born on December 9, 1957, in Brawley, CA, but was raised in Denver, CO. Taylor didn't begin singing seriously until his college career, when, in 1979, he was first of the 100 chosen from 20,000 applicants for John Davidson's summer camp; Taylor spent a month learning from the likes of Tony Orlando, Florence Henderson, and John Davidson. Despite having firm roots in Christian-based music, Taylor has always been open to other styles; he often points to the Clash's classic London Calling as one of his most important musical discoveries during this time. A demo cassette of original tunes that mixed new wave with gospel gained the attention of several record labels; but before he began work on his debut, Taylor served as an assistant director for the evangelistic singing group, the Continentals, and as a director for the Christian musical comedy troupe, Chuck Bolte's Jeremiah People." More here.

1) - Steve Taylor - " Bouquet"


2) - Sixpence - "Bouquet"

(More Steve Taylor downloads here.)


And while you're at it, enjoy these Steve Taylor vids:

Meltdown (At Madame Tussaud's)


Since I Gave Up Hope I Feel A Lot Better


Jim Morrison's Grave



Let Pedro tell you about it:

"BUENS DIAS, AMIGO! pedro VER' GLAD YOU COME!!pedro got 112 meelion amigos, who stay weeth heem, opp teel now all satisfy come back, send frans...thees make pedro ver' for frans come back all time...pedro hope YOU make 112 meelion and wan hapee amigos! you come back soon, too, yes? Find your distance to Pedro's!"

Yup. Pedroland. Really.

Seller Beware


Cartoon courtesy Cox&Forkum

More On The Story From C&F

Your Moment Of Zen

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Three From Sixpence For A Sunday Night

Kiss Me


Don't Dream Its Over


There She Goes



Post-Charismatic? Nope, I'd not heard the term either. Robbymac explains it all in this lengthy post.

Esto Es Totalmente Incorrecto

From The Onion:

WWE: Illegal Mexican Wrestlers Taking Smackdowns American Wrestlers Don't Want

March 29, 2006 | Issue 42•13

STAMFORD, CT — In response to criticism over World Wrestling Entertainment hiring policies, World Wrestling Entertainment Chairman Vince McMahon defended the league's reliance on Mexican wrestlers as "the only way fans can witness the grueling, bone-crunching maneuvers that American wrestlers want nothing to do with."

McMahon made the remarks after the Border Patrol, an unaffiliated Texas-based tag team known for wrestling masked Mexicans and then reporting them to Immigration and Naturalization Service officials, revealed that dozens of illegal Mexican wrestlers join the WWE each year.

The wrestlers, also known as "jobbers," come in search of greater title opportunities and more interesting storylines than those available in their small, unorganized Lucha Libre leagues.

"These masked luchadores are hard-working, energetic, and always willing to learn new skills that Americans consider beneath them—such as being power-bombed from the top turnbuckle or chokeslammed through the announcer's booth," said McMahon on this week's WWE Raw.

"The idea that these Mexicans are somehow stealing jobs from American wrestlers is ridiculous,"McMahon said.

Read the rest here.

Found On The Web

(And, no, I don't hate cats.)


From ZDNet News:

Study: Long-term cell use raises brain tumor risk

By Reuters

The use of mobile phones over a long period of time can raise the risk for brain tumors, a new Swedish study said on Friday, contradicting the conclusions of other researchers.

The Dutch Health Council, in an overview of research from around the world, last year found no evidence radiation from mobile phones and TV towers was harmful. A four-year British survey released in January showed no link between regular, long-term use of cell phones and the most common type of tumor.

However, researchers at the Swedish National Institute for Working Life said they looked at the mobile phone use of 905 people between the age of 20 and 80 who had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and found a link.

Read the rest here.

Belongs On A MOB Tee Shirt


The Play's The Thing

From Yahoo News:

Much ado about Shakespeare's first folio sale

By Jeremy Lovell

A complete First Folio edition of William Shakespeare's plays, in prime condition and still in its 17th century calf leather binding, is expected to fetch up to 3.5 million pounds ($6.10 million) when it goes on sale in July.

Hailed by auctioneer Sotheby's as the most important book in English literature, the First Folio is credited with saving for posterity many of the bard's plays including "Macbeth," "Twelfth Night" and "Julius Caesar" which had never before been printed.
"The First Folio preserves 18 of his plays, including some of the most major, which otherwise would have been lost for all time," English literature specialist Peter Selley said as the volume was put on show Thursday.

"Relatively complete copies of the Folio in contemporary or near contemporary bindings very rarely come to market. There is only one copy recorded as remaining in private hands," he added.

The only copy in private hands similar to the one going for sale was bought by Paul Getty in April 2002.

Printed in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare's death and containing 36 plays, only about 250 copies of the First Folio survive and most of those are incomplete.

Read the rest here.

Your Moment Of Zen

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Sharing The Good Nudes

From Emerging Church:

Paradise on earth?

Wales : UK [01.04.06]

Rev Adam Sapple waves at me from across the sand dunes. "We’re over here mate!" he shouts, his Australian accent strangely at odds with this quiet Welsh beach. As I round the corner I see Adam and his team preparing for a days witness. He is wearing a traditional dog collar, pair of sports sandals and nothing else. Welcome to ‘Naturists Unashamedly Doing Evangelism and Surfing’ (NUDES) - the UK’s first naturist beach mission.

NUDES started their work in the area two years ago when Adam moved from his native Sydney to Wales after meeting NUDES co-founder Eve Ennsong at a clothes-free worship weekend in Norway. They discovered they both came from a background of surfing and Adam’s tales of his ‘Naked Surfers for Peace’ crusade down-under reminded her of a similar group she had contact with in her native Newquay. They decided that they absolutely had to take it to the next level and start a beach mission that combined their love of clothes-free watersports with their passion for spreading good news.

Read the rest here.

(And, um, do note the date.)

Complete April Fool's Coverage

Wikipedia's got the skinny on this year's best April Fool's hoaxes.

Who Knew?

From USAToday:

Israel's 'kosher' cellphone testing appetite for growth

By Brian Murphy, The Associated Press

JERUSALEM — It sounds like the setup for a punch line: What do you get when you cross an ultra-Orthodox rabbi with a mobile phone? But the "kosher phone" is real and its developers are serious about looking beyond the religious enclaves of Israel. Some Arab companies even have inquired about the phone's main feature: keeping out sex lines and other worldly temptations.

"There's interest out there in a conservative phone," said Abrasha Burstyn, the chief executive officer at Mirs Communications, an Israeli subsidiary of Motorola and pioneer of the kosher mobile that debuted last year.

The phones — carrying the seal of approval from Israel's rabbinical authorities — have been one of the most successful mergers of technology and centuries-old tradition in the ultra-Orthodox community, which is most widely recognized by the men's black garb based on the dress of 19th century European Jews.

The kosher phone is stripped down to its original function: making and receiving calls. There's no text messaging, no Internet access, no video options, no camera. More than 10,000 numbers for phone sex, dating services and other offerings are blocked. A team of rabbinical overseers makes sure the list is up to date.

Read the rest here.

Injured Stormtrooper

Google Maps Mania

Google Maps Mania:

An unofficial Google Maps blog tracking the websites, mashups and tools being influenced by Google Maps.

The Great Bathtub Hoax

"A Neglected Anniversary"

by H. L. Mencken

(from the New York Evening Mail, Dec. 28, 1917)

Mencken's introduction

(for A Mencken Chrestomathy, pub. Alfred A. Knopf, 1949):

"The success of this idle hoax, done in time of war, when more serious writing was impossible, vastly astonished me. It was taken gravely by a great many other newspapers, and presently made its way into medical literature and into standard reference books. It had, of course, no truth in it whatsoever, and I more than once confessed publicly that it was only a jocosity... Scarcely a month goes by that I do not find the substance of it reprinted, not as foolishness but as fact, and not only in newspapers but in official documents and other works of the highest pretensions."

On December 20 there flitted past us, absolutely without public notice, one of the most important profane anniversaries in American history, to wit, the seventy-fifth anniversary of the introduction of the bathtub into These States. Not a plumber fired a salute or hung out a flag. Not a governor proclaimed a day of prayer. Not a newspaper called attention to the day.

Read the whole thing here.

No Joke

The Top 100 April Fools Day Hoaxes of All Time.

Google Romance

From Google:

Pin All Your Romantic Hopes on Google

When you think about it, love is just another search problem. And we’ve thought about it. A lot. Google Romanceis our solution.

Google Romance is a place where you can post all types of romantic information and, using our Soulmate Search, get back search results that could, in theory, include the love of your life. Then we'll send you both on a Contextual Date, which we'll pay for while delivering to you relevant ads that we and our advertising partners think will help produce the dating results you're looking for.

There's lots more. Read it all here.

I Think I Have This

From the prestigious British Medical Journal (abstract only):

Scientists find new disease: motivational deficiency disorder.

Extreme laziness may have a medical basis, say a group of high profile Australian scientists, describing a new condition called motivational deficiency disorder (MoDeD).

The condition is claimed to affect up to one in five Australians and is characterised by overwhelming and debilitating apathy. Neuroscientists at the University of Newcastle in Australia say that in severe cases motivational deficiency disorder can be fatal, because the condition reduces the motivation to breathe.

Neurologist Leth Argos is part of the team that has identified the disorder, which can be diagnosed using a combination of positron emission tomography and low scores on a motivation rating scale, previously validated in elite athletes. "This disorder is poorly understood," Professor Argos told the BMJ. "It is underdiagnosed and undertreated."

Read the full text here.

Your Moment Of Zen