Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My resolutions for 2010.

I believe what Marty McFly said about accomplishing whatever we put our minds to. Though I guess it helps to have a genius inventor for a friend and access to plutonium.

With that in mind, here are my resolutions for 2010, which I believe are not only possible but easily attainable, in part because I don’t need to better myself in any way.

2010 Resolutions

1. Meet that world-traveling silly dance guy.

2. Seduce him and force him to settle down after many years of silly dancing. He will therefore grow to resent me and will ultimately return to dancing, a slow, bitter dance that will make the children of the world cry and flee in terror.

3. Following the success of Transformers, pitch a live-action Snorks film and cast myself as Tooter Shellby, a tooting Snork gone mad by the sea.

4. Win an Academy Award for my riveting portrayal of Tooter Shellby, crazy Snork.

5. Design a tampon specifically for emo bands.

6. Volunteer my time for a good cause. LOL!

7. Finally catch that elusive, slippery, slippery elm, used in so many of my medicated teas.

8. Write a bestselling book on how the true secrets of Jesus’ life can be revealed in the painting “Dogs Playing Poker.”

9. Write a hilarious joke book on all the things that are funny about peace, love, and understanding.

10. Become the first Jew to get intestinal cramps… ON THE MOON!

(Note: This originally appeared on

Monkey flosses teeth, considers war on mankind.

Today floss, tomorrow nuclear warheads. From via Coozer-Phile Jeff:
A monkey in Japan flosses its teeth with its hair, demonstrating that humans aren't the only animals that clean their teeth and invent tools to help with the task.

The flosser, a free-ranging, middle-aged, female Japanese macaque named Chonpe, may have come up with the tool and the idea, according to a new study that will appear in the January issue of Primates.

Lead author Jean-Baptiste Leca told Discovery News that dental flossing could have been a fortuitous yet "accidental byproduct of grooming."

Leca, a post-doctoral fellow at Kyoto University's Primate Research Institute, explained that "Japanese macaques sometimes bite into hair or pull it through their mouths to remove external parasites."

The hair might have become stuck in Chonpe's teeth, and as she drew the hairs out, "she may have noticed the presence of food remains attached to them."

"The immediate reward of licking the food remains off the hair may have encouraged her to repeat the behavior for the same effect in the future," he added.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

UK radio DJ sacked for interrupting Queen's speech.

From The Guardian:
A radio DJ has been sacked after interrupting the Queen's speech on-air, telling listeners: "Two words: Bor-ing."

Stand-up comic and radio presenter Tom Binns made the comments during a Christmas Day show on Birmingham radio station BRMB.

The station took a feed of the Queen's annual address by mistake and Binns – who was working alone in the studio – took the decision to take it off air.

Binns then made a joke about the French royal family being beheaded and introduced the next song, Last Christmas by Wham!, with the words "from one Queen to another..."

The station's parent company Orion Media said a "small number" of listeners complained and confirmed that Binns would not be working for them again.

The Queen used her Christmas message to the nation to express her sadness at the loss of UK troops in Afghanistan in the bloodiest year for British forces since the invasion in 2001.

Cockroaches inspire running robots.

Combining the speed and scurry motion of cockroaches with the indestructible power of man-hating robots. What could go wrong? From Science Daily:
The sight of a cockroach scurrying for cover may be nauseating, but the insect is also a biological and engineering marvel, and is providing researchers at Oregon State University with what they call "bioinspiration" in a quest to build the world's first legged robot that is capable of running effortlessly over rough terrain.

If the engineers succeed, they may owe their success to what's being learned from these insects and other animals, such as the guinea hen, that have their own remarkable abilities.

The latest findings -- just published in the professional journal Bioinspiration and Biomimetics -- outline how animals use their legs to manage energy storage and expenditure, and why this is so important for running stability. The work is being supported by the National Science Foundation.

"Humans can run, but frankly our capabilities are nothing compared to what insects and some other animals can do," said John Schmitt, an assistant professor in the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at OSU. "Cockroaches are incredible. They can run fast, turn on a dime, move easily over rough terrain, and react to perturbations faster than a nerve impulse can travel."

Scientists discover how memories are cemented.

From BBC News:
US scientists believe they have uncovered one of the mechanisms that enables the brain to form memories.

Synapses - where brain cells connect with each other - have long been known to be the key site of information exchange and storage in the brain.

But researchers say they have now learnt how molecules at the site of the synapse behave to cement a memory.

It is hoped the research, published in Neuron, could aid the development of drugs for diseases like Alzheimer's.

The deteriorating health of the synapses is increasingly thought to be a feature of Alzheimer's, a disease in which short-term memory suffers before long-term recollections are affected.

A strong synapse is needed for cementing a memory, and this process involves making new proteins. But how exactly the body controls this process has not been clear.

Now scientists at the University of California Santa Barbara say their laboratory work on rats shows the production of proteins needed to cement memories can only happen when the RNA - the collection of molecules that take genetic messages from the nucleus to the rest of the cell - is switched on.

GOP distancing itself from racist, homophobic colleague who started "Muslim Obama" rumor.

This guy's a real nutjob. From CBS News:
The Republican Party is shunning a perennial political candidate, this time running for an Illinois Senate seat, after he launched a political attack ad questioning the sexuality of his main Republican primary opponent.

Candidate Andy Martin launched a radio ad on Monday against Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), the current frontrunner for the GOP nomination in the 2010 Illinois Senate race. The ad calls into question Kirk's sexuality. Martin claims Kirk "lives in some kind of 'Animal House' in Washington with another gay congressman," reports CBS 2 Chicago.

Martin says his ad is based on a "solid rumor on the Internet," CBS 2 reports. The attack is the latest of many over-the-top claims from Martin, yet WBBM Newsradio 780 is required to run the ad because it cannot censor political advertising.

The Illinois Republican Party released a statement condemning Martin and his ad.

"His statements today are consistent with his history of bizarre behavior and often times hate-filled speech, which has no place in the Illinois Republican Party," the statement said. "Mr. Martin will no longer be recognized as a legitimate Republican Candidate by the Illinois Republican Party."

Martin, who has run for political office several times, was convicted of attacking two photographers in Florida, CBS 2 Chicago reports, and was denied admission to the Illinois Bar for "moderately severe character defect." He reportedly once ran for Congress to "eliminate Jew power in America."

In a bid for the presidency in 1999, Martin ran a television ad in New Hampshire contending that his opponent George W. Bush "had a cocaine problem" and suffered from "alcohol abuse," the Chicago Tribune reports. He also reportedly attacked Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, claiming he is a Muslim and questioning whether he is a U.S. citizen.

Disinfectants train superbugs to resist antibiotics.

This is why I only treat wounds with prayer and urine. From BBC News:
Disinfectants could effectively train bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics, research suggests.

Scientists know bacteria can become inured to disinfectant, but research increasingly shows the same process may make them resistant to certain drugs.

This can occur even with an antibiotic the bacteria have not been exposed to.

Writing in Microbiology, the National University of Ireland team, who focused on a common hospital bacterium, urges a rethink of how infections are managed.


Local: Terrorism, swine flu, girlfriend-beating politicians put my home in the national spotlight! Yeah, Queens Pride! Up yours, Brooklyn!!

Science: The Year in Space.

Film: Half of the movies coming out in 2010 are from 2008.

Duh: Dumbest quotes of the 2000's. (Somehow, not all are from Bush!)

Trends: Anti-energy drinks. (Isn't that called "beer"?)

RUW: Robot helps grandma shop. Our elderly are doooooomed!!

Awesome: Italy gets $95 billion from illegal money held in Swiss banks!

Science: Scientists discover how wild mushroom cancer drug works.

Homeless man steals airplane, crashes, lives.

From CBS News:
Calvin Cox, a 51-year-old homeless man trying to take off, ended up grounded, and behind bars instead, when he crashed a stolen single-engine airplane on a municipal airport runway, according to police in Frederick, Md.

Cox ran off a runway at the Frederick airport in a stolen Piper Super Cub and upended in the grass at about 2:15 a.m. Monday, police said. A canine team tracked the wannabe fly-boy into nearby woods, said Police Lt. Clark A. Pennington.

Cox wasn't hurt, and remained in custody after bail was set at $10,000 on felony charges including theft, burglary and trespassing.

Gay couple in Malawi arrested for getting engaged.

From BBC News:
Two gay men arrested in Malawi after getting engaged are to be charged with gross public indecency, police say.

"We arrested them because they committed an offence; homosexuality in Malawi is illegal," police spokesman Davie Chingwalu told the BBC.

Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza held a traditional engagement ceremony over the weekend - believed to be the first gay couple in Malawi to do so.

Homosexuality carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years in Malawi.

The pair are being held in separate cells in Blantyre until their case is heard, Mr Chingwalu told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

Scientist cracks every mobile phone code, publishes details.

Good job, jerkface. From BBC News:
A German computer scientist has published details of the secret code used to protect the conversations of more than 4bn mobile phone users.

Karsten Nohl, working with other experts, has spent the past five months cracking the algorithm used to encrypt calls using GSM technology.

GSM is the most popular standard for mobile networks around the world.

The work could allow anyone - including criminals - to eavesdrop on private phone conversations.

Mr Nohl told the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin that the work showed that GSM security was "inadequate".

"We are trying to inform people about this widespread vulnerability," he told BBC News.

"We hope to create some additional pressure and demand from customers for better encryption."

The GSM Association (GSMA), which devised the algorithm and oversees development of the standard, said Mr Nohl's work would be "highly illegal" in the UK and many other countries.

"This isn't something that we take lightly at all," a spokeswoman said.

Mr Nohl told the BBC that he had consulted with lawyers before publication and believed the work was "legal".

"Best job in the world" winner stung by deadly jellyfish.

Poor guy. From
The winner of the so-called "Best Job in the World" has been stung by a potentially deadly jellyfish.

Ben Southall said he had experienced a "crazy 24 hours" after the tiny irukandji struck off the coast of Queensland in Australia.

"I was enjoying a post Christmas jet ski session with some friends at a quiet beach on Hamilton Island," he wrote on his blog.

"As I climbed off the back of the ski and onto the beach (I) felt a small bee-like sting on my forearm."

"I was feeling pretty hot and sweaty, had a headache and felt pretty sick too with pain in my lower back and a tightness in the chest and a really high blood pressure.

"I had a minor brush with what can be a very serious jellyfish."

Mr Southall said he was feeling 100 per cent again.

"Horrible incident. Lesson learnt - always wear a stinger suit."

Mr Southall is the winner of a competition run by Tourism Queensland to experience the best the Australian state has to offer - and to tell the world about it.

Escaped criminal taunts police on Facebook.

This guy sounds like a real dumbass. "OHNOES SIRENS! OMGLOL!" From Ananova:
An escaped prisoner has celebrated his first Christmas on the run by taunting police with photos of himself on Facebook.

On Christmas Day, Craig 'Lazie' Lynch, 28, even posted a photo of himself adorned in tinsel, making a rude gesture and holding a turkey, reports the Daily Mail.

Lynch has been on the run from Suffolk's Hollesley Bay Prison since September but rather than hide from police he has regularly updated them on his movements via the social networking site.

Below the Christmas Day photo he wrote "If any of you was doubtin my freedom. Here's proof. How the f*** could i get my hands on a bird like this in jail. ha ha."

The same day he said: "Wow it really is xmas ha ha i cant beleive i made it f*** tha police."

But Lynch also revealed that at one point he heard sirens in the early hours outside his house and assumed he was about to be arrested.

He wrote an update, saying: "Oh No sirens!! It's happening."

China executes mentally unstable Briton, despite UK plea.

Jeez, executing mentally challenged people from other countries... Who does China think it is -- Texas?? From ABC News:
China brushed aside international appeals Tuesday and executed by lethal injection a British drug smuggler who relatives say was mentally unstable and unwittingly lured into crime.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he was "appalled" at the execution of 53-year old Akmal Shaikh — China's first of a European citizen in nearly 60 years. His government summoned the Chinese ambassador in London to express its anger.

China defended its handling of the case, saying there had not been documentary proof Shaikh was mentally ill. Beijing also criticized Brown's comments, but said it hoped the case would not harm bilateral relations. The Foreign Ministry called on London not to create any "obstacles" to better ties.

Shaikh's daughter Leilla Horsnell was quoted by the BBC and other British media outlets as saying she was "shocked and disappointed that the execution went ahead with no regards to my dad's mental health problems, and I struggle to understand how this is justice."

GPS strands couple in snow for three days.

Obviously, this is the first parting shot from the robot rebellion. From ABC News:
A Nevada couple who was rescued after three days stuck in their car on an unplowed road said it was GPS directions that led them deep into an Oregon forest.

John Rhoads, 65, and his wife, Starry Bush-Rhoads, 67, were heading home to Reno on Christmas Day from a trip to Oregon, using the GPS in their SUV as a guide for the 500-mile drive. But the GPS -- which makes travel so much easier for millions of Americans -- turned their trip home into a chilling lesson about relying on technology.

After following the directions onto a remote road, John Rhoads realized they were in trouble "when we noticed that the snow was getting deep and we were over 30 miles into this road. We thought we didn't have much farther to go."


Some stuff that I bookmarked during the holiday madness.

Lame: $500 million booty returning to Spain.

Sad: New York unhappiest place in the US.

Eats: Is there are any rational, intellectual, or moral argument to eat meat?

Yipes: Man accidentally kills wife with remote control. (Thanks Jen!)

WTF: Insane person writes cookbook devoted to Brussels sprouts.

Aww: Wheelchair-bound gift giver is Britain's kindest grandma. (Read this and quit complaining about having to buy holiday gifts, ya jerk.)