Friday, February 12, 2010

4 myths of online dating photos revealed.

The myths follow in the full article. Good luck, online daters!
Guys hoping to get noticed on online dating sites should take off their shirts, at least those with six-pack abs, according to new survey results by one online matchmaker that also provide advice for gals' profile pics.

"We were sitting on a treasure trove of data," said Sam Yagan, co-founder and CEO of OkCupid. ''There are millions of experiments essentially happening on our site every day."

Yagan and his colleagues catalogued more than 7,000 profile photographs from, looking at facial attitude, such as whether the person is smiling; context of photo, such as whether the image was taken outdoors or in a bedroom; and how much skin is bared. Pictures came from those ages 18 to 32 who lived in big cities. The data didn't include the most and least attractive photos in order to just look at certain photo factors rather than the attractiveness of the person.

Dead: The inventor of the Frisbee.

A sad day for anyone who likes to be only mildly amused for short periods of time. From CNN:
Walter Fredrick "Fred" Morrison, who invented the Frisbee, has died at age 90.

Morrison died this week at his home in Utah, said Jen Derevensky, a spokeswoman for Wham-O, the company that has sold the official version of the flying disc since signing a contract with Morrison in 1957.

The company has sold more than 200 million Frisbees to date, Derevensky said Friday.

Morrison started experimenting with flying disc designs in 1937 after his girlfriend's uncle invited him outside to toss the lid from a popcorn tin, according to Wham-O.

Later, Morrison borrowed a cake pan from his mother's kitchen to throw with the girlfriend, who later became his wife. He was soon hawking "Flyin' Cake Pans" for 25 cents on beaches and parks around Los Angeles, California.

A fighter pilot during World War II, Morrison was shot down and held as a prisoner of war for 48 days, according to Wham-O.

After the war, he became a carpenter, drawing up plans for aerodynamic discs in his free time. His plastic Whirl-Away was a commercial flop, but the better-designed Pluto Platter sold well enough to attract the attention of the Southern California-based Wham-O, which would soon begin selling the Hula Hoop.

Wham-O took the name Frisbee from a group of New England college students who'd been throwing empty tins from the local Frisbie Pie Co. The company quickly trademarked the term.

Brazil mayor bans funk, rap.

I'm gonna blare some Bonde do Role in defiance now. Salto o Frango! From Reuters:
A mayor of a Brazilian town has banned Carnival revelers from playing funk or rap music during the traditionally free-wheeling celebrations that kick off around the country on Friday.

Mayor Jose Neto of Sao Lourenco in southeastern Minas Gerais state told Globo television he was banning songs that incite violence and disrespect authority and wanted to protect more traditional Carnival music, such as samba.

Anyone caught listening to funk -- a pounding beat often with sexual lyrics popular in Rio de Janeiro's slums -- or rap during the Carnival period would have to turn it off or face arrest and up to six months in prison, he reportedly said.

"They are mass gatherings that demand better coordination, control and security that a public festival like Carnival doesn't allow us to adopt," Neto told Globo TV.

Funk music has long been frowned upon by police and city authorities in Rio and faced crackdowns because of its association with slum gangs who use parties to sell drugs. But the music form, which originated in U.S. slums in the late 1960s, has increasingly found a mainstream following in Brazil and as far away as Europe.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Jesus caught smuggling pot.

From CNN:
A marijuana bust along the U.S.-Mexico border revealed 30 pounds of the drug stuffed into framed pictures of Jesus Christ, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said Wednesday.

"This is not the first time we have seen smugglers attempt to use religious figures and articles of faith to further their criminal enterprise," said William Molaski, port director of the agency's office in El Paso, Texas, in a statement.

"What some might find offensive or sacrilegious has unfortunately become a standard operating procedure for drug smugglers. This would include using religious symbols, children and senior citizens in their attempts to defeat the CBP inspection process."

Authorities said a 22-year-old woman in a Jeep from Juarez, Mexico, told federal border patrol officers that she had nothing to declare besides the framed art. The officers checked out the vehicle with Cesar, a federal drug-sniffing dog, who alerted them to three framed pictures of Jesus in the vehicle.

The officers pulled the backing of the pictures and found numerous bundles, authorities said. The woman was arrested.

Study: Underdogs suck.

So much for the New York Mutts' chances in 2010. From LiveScience:
In spite of the Saints' come-from-behind victory Sunday, underdogs aren't actually more motivated to win. In fact, a new study finds the opposite is true, with favored teams working harder to beat lower-ranked competitors.

Makes sense, as the high-status team has more to lose. "If you're the lower-status group and lose to your superior rival, nothing has changed – it just reaffirms the way things are," said study researcher Robert Lount, assistant professor of management and human resources at Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business.

The results come from five studies of college students. Participants had to complete simple tasks, such as crossing out all the vowels they could in a string of words within a set period of time. They were told a group of students from another college were also completing the task.

Competing schools' logos were at the top of the worksheets, so participants knew the competition. Opposing colleges were similarly ranked, lower ranked, or higher ranked, than participants' school (based on U.S. News and World Report rankings).

The vowel-crossing race was on.

Students scored similarly when pitted against either higher-ranked or similarly ranked teams. The motivation seemed to kick in when Goliath took on David: Students completed about 30 percent more cross-outs when the competitor's logo belonged to lower-ranked schools than their superiors.


Rush: Great article on Rush and their awesome fans. (Thanks Banjo Dan!)

TV: Top 25 TV flops.

WTF: Man defends family from rapist murderers. He almost gets 8 years while thugs get off free.

ZombieWatch: Scientists resurrect 4400-year-old Neanderthal.

Yipes: Talk about nuts! Packet of peanuts sparks 50-person street brawl.

Sad: Where's the love? Sharp decline in V-Day spending.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Post # 2000 !!!!

Just realized that we hit 2000 posts! Holy crapballs!

Thank you all for visiting often and reading the random stuff that interests me. I hope you've enjoyed this site so far!

Keep coming back for more news items about jellyfish, robots, monkeys, octopi, zombies, Jeff Goldblum and all the other things that are of utmost importance in this crazy, topsy-turvy world.

And leave comments!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Physicists prove teleportation of energy is possible.

This. Is. Awesome. From PopSci:
Over five years ago, scientists succeeded in teleporting information. Unfortunately, the advance failed to bring us any closer to the Star Trek future we all dream of. Now, researchers in Japan have used the same principles to prove that energy can be teleported in the same fashion as information. Rather than just hastening the dawn of quantum computing, this development could lead to practical, significant changes in energy distribution.

According to the theory, developed by Masahiro Hotta of Tohoku University, Japan, a series of entangled particles could be stretched across an infinite amount of space. By inducing an energy change in one of the particles, the other entangled particles would change as well. Eventually, to preserve conservation of energy, the original particle would be destroyed, with its energy passing to the final particle in the chain. Thus, the energy has been teleported from one particle to another.

Coyotes roaming around Columbia University.

From NY Post:
Columbia University's public safety department is warning students about coyotes on the campus, MyFox NY reported Monday.

There were reports of coyotes on the Morningside Campus in Manhattan's Morningside Heights section.

Three coyotes were seen in front of Lewisohn Hall on Sunday morning.

After someone called 9-1-1, the NYPD responded and an officer spotted one of the animals, confirming it was a coyote.

There was another sighting later in the morning.

Campus security was asking people not to get near the animals if they were seen again.

Palin reads from scribbled notes on her hand.

From Raw Story:
Sarah Palin clearly had notes scribbled on her hand at the National Tea Party Convention Saturday.

Huffington Post obtained photos of the former governor answering pre-determined questions after her $100,000 speech.

At the same event, Palin mocked President Barack Obama's use of a teleprompter.

"This is about the people and it's bigger than any king or queen of a tea party and it's a lot bigger than any charismatic guy with a teleprompter," said Palin.

During a question and answer session after her address to the convention, Palin clearly looks down, reading notes off her hand. The words included "energy" "tax" and "lift American spirits."

Palin reads cheat notes from her hand at Tea Party Q&A

By David Edwards and Gavin Dahl
Sunday, February 7th, 2010 -- 12:30 pm
Share on Facebook Stumble This!

Palin crib notesSarah Palin clearly had notes scribbled on her hand at the National Tea Party Convention Saturday.

Huffington Post obtained photos of the former governor answering pre-determined questions after her $100,000 speech.

At the same event, Palin mocked President Barack Obama's use of a teleprompter.

"This is about the people and it's bigger than any king or queen of a tea party and it's a lot bigger than any charismatic guy with a teleprompter," said Palin.

During a question and answer session after her address to the convention, Palin clearly looks down, reading notes off her hand. The words included "energy" "tax" and "lift American spirits."

HuffPo's Stefan Sirucek comments:

"You can bet that the President wasn't reading scribbles off his extremities while he sparred with Republicans and Democrats in an unscripted format in his recent Q&As. Palin, on the other hand, seems to need a cheat-sheet just to get through a contrived lovefest with a smitten interviewer and an adoring audience."

Wolverines disappearing from Canada.

From BBC News:
The wolverine, a predator renowned for its strength and tenacious character, may be slowly melting away along with the snowpack upon which it lives.

Research shows wolverine numbers are falling across North America. Their decline has been linked to less snow settling as a result of climate change.

The study is the first to show a decline in the abundance of any land species due to vanishing snowpack.

Details of the wolverine's decline are published in Population Ecology.

The wolverine lives in boreal forest across Scandinavia, northern Russia, northern China, Mongolia and North America, where it ranges mostly across six provinces or territories of western Canada.

This largest member of the weasel family eats carrion and food it hunts itself, including hares, marmots, smaller rodents and young or weakened ungulates.

It has evolved for life on the snowpack, having thick fur and outsized feet that help it move across and hunt on snow.

Male breast reduction the fastest-growing cosmetic surgery.

From BBC News:
Breast reduction for men is the fastest-growing part of the cosmetic surgery industry for the second year running, plastic surgeons have said.

The number of such operations rose from 323 in 2008 to 581 last year - an 80% increase - the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons said.

Pressure created by men's magazines was partly to blame, one surgeon said.

Cosmetic surgery appears to be defying the recession, with an overall increase in the number of procedures.

Nine out of 10 cosmetic procedures carried out by members of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (Baaps) in 2009 were performed on women, with breast enlargement the most popular operation.

But the most dramatic rises were seen in the world of male surgery - an overall increase of more than a fifth over the year.

US soldier waterboards daughter for not reciting alphabet.

His head should be held under water and kept there. From
A soldier allegedly waterboarded his four-year-old daughter because she failed to recite her ABCs.

Joshua Tabor, 27, flew into such a rage that he submerged her face about three or four times, Britain's Daily Mail reported.

He admitted to police that he chose the CIA torture technique because his daughter was terrified of water.

Mr Tabor, who is a soldier at a base in Tacoma, Washington, is said to have grabbed his daughter and submerged her face-up into a bowl of water.

Police said that they saw bruising on the girl's back and scratch marks on her throat, and when they asked her how she got them, she said: "Daddy did it."

Police arrested Mr Tabor after neighbours reported seeing him walking around the neighbourhood wearing his Kevlar helmet and threatening to break windows.

[...] Mr Tabor has been charged with second degree assault. His daughter has been taken into care.

Mysterious man found dead in landing gear.

Japanese authorities have found the body of a man in the landing gear of a Delta airliner that arrived in Tokyo from New York.

The man, who was of dark complexion and dressed only in blue jeans and a long-sleeved shirt, was carrying no passport or personal belongings.

A mechanic found the body in the landing gear bay of the Boeing 777 after Delta Flight 59 landed at Tokyo's Narita International Airport at about 6:05 p.m. Sunday, a Chiba prefecture police spokesman said.

"Doctors say he probably froze to death and that he suffered a shortage of oxygen at an altitude of more than 10,000 metres (about 30,000 feet)," said another police official, Narita airport station spokesman Yoshimi Ichihara.

"We found no passport, no bag and no personal belongings. If he carried any luggage, it must have all dropped out when the airplane opened up the hatch of the landing gear bay above the ocean before it landed."

The future of Internet passwords.

I think passwords should only be in Navajo. From Tech News Daily:
As more of life happens online, from banking to socializing, the usernames and complex passwords we must keep track of has multiplied to staggering proportions. Is there an end in sight for having to create so many different logins?

Looking ahead, experts predict that we will further embrace "universal logins" that let us sign in once to gain access to our Web services. Before long, cell phones may serve as personal keys to our own online kingdom. Secure logins might be based more on physical characteristics, such as iris patterns and voices, which cannot be forgotten or misplaced. And further down the road, we may transcend the need for passwords online as we become truly integrated into the electronic realm.

To be effective, today's usernames and passwords often require a complex mix of capital letters, numerals and special characters, such as a pound symbol, with requirements varying by Web site. Although onerous, these requirements have been widely adopted and successful in discouraging registrants from picking easy passwords, such as the name of their pet or a common dictionary word, explained Matt Bishop, a computer scientist at UC Davis.

From a security point of view at least, that's a good thing. But remembering several complex and hopeful effective passwords can be a bad thing.

For many people, the pain of logging in has been eased via "password managers." These programs, usually part of Web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, remember usernames and passwords and automatically populate these fields onscreen.

While sparing some keystrokes and aggravation, this setup poses an obvious security threat if a computer is stolen. It can also leave one in a lurch when trying to sign into Web sites from another computer.

Cat owners smarter than dog owners.

From Ananova:
Cat owners are more likely to have university degrees than people who have dogs, according to a new scientific survey of pet ownership.

Researchers at the University of Bristol say the superior intelligence of cat owners is unlikely to be caused by their exposure to their pets, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Rather, more educated people tend to work longer hours and choose a pet to fit their lifestyles. Unlike dogs, cats require no walking and can manage with little human company.

Dr Jane Murray, cats protection lecturer in feline epidemiology, who led the study, said: "We don't think it is associated with income because that was one of the variables we looked at, and there was little difference.

"Cats require less time per day than a dog, so they are more popular with educated people who work late and have long commutes."

Homes with degree-holders were 1.36 times more likely to have a cat than other households. The same homes were less likely to have a dog than households where no-one went to university.

Priceless antiques sold for pennies.

From Ananova:
Two Chinese men who found a horde of priceless antiques in an ancient tomb did not realise their value and sold them for pennies.

One of the artworks was a pottery figure of a woman worth nearly £100,000 which they sold for the equivalent of 28p.

Feng and Zheng of Guying town, Henan province, say they found the tomb while hunting hares in a field near their homes.

"We saw a 50cm diameter opening in the field. Curiosity drove us to dig deep," Feng told the Zhengzhou Evening Post.

They dug out more than 20 antiques from the tomb, and sold them to a collector for just over £1,000 altogether.

"We don't know the value of these things. The collector said the pottery meant nothing, so we virtually gave it away," added Feng.

The pair were shocked to later discover that the tomb they had found dated back to the 1,000-year-old Sui Tang Dynasty.

Beer may (or may not) strengthen bones.

From ABC News:
For beer drinkers, a new study that suggests beer is a significant source of a mineral key to maintaining bone density may sound too good to be true.

That may well be, say health experts who overwhelmingly agree the the connection may be more wishful thinking than solid science.

But that may not stop many brew lovers from viewing the new research as an excuse to order another round. The study of 100 commercial beers in the February issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture by Charles Bamforth and Troy Casey of the University of California Davis examined the silicon content that results from different ingredients and brewing processes.

"Silicon impacts bone mineral density in humans, and supplementing silicon in the diets of osteoporitic women increased bone mineral density," the authors wrote. Thus, they surmise, silicon-rich beer may also help to strengthen bones.

[...] Experts contacted for comment on the study also cautioned the public against establishing any such connection.

"To conclude any bone health benefits from this study would require a great leap," said Dr. Tim Byers, deputy director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center in Aurora.