Oct
30
2008
--

My Zombie Pinup — A Calendar

myZombiePinup1.jpg

See the rest of the pictures here.

Written by Peter C in: Uncategorized |
Oct
29
2008
--

Putting the ‘fun’ in ‘funeral’…

From The Baltimore Sun:

Funeral home decides to celebrate 80th anniversary with replica Elvis casket, impersonator

BARTONVILLE, Ill. (AP) _ The owners of Endsley Funeral Home in Bartonville wanted to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the business by putting a little "fun" into "funeral." So, for their open house Saturday, they put a replica of Elvis Presley's 650-pound casket on display and hired Elvis impersonator Dave Stovall to dance around it and sing a few of the King's most famous songs.

Stovall said he was so impressed by the casket he wanted to lie down in it for a while.

Embalmer Stephanie Van Oppen explained the apparent irreverence by saying the staff wanted people to have fun at the funeral home for once, and get to know that its employees aren't creepy and weird.

Nearly 300 people from Peoria and Tazewell counties attended the bash.

Written by Peter C in: Events,Humor,Weird News |
Oct
29
2008
--
Oct
24
2008
--

Classic clip — Orson Welles voice-over for frozen peas

"crumb crisp coated" and "what is it you want in the depths of your ignorance"!

Written by Peter C in: Advertising,History,Humor,Vintage |
Oct
21
2008
--

Better Beer: College Team Creating Anticancer Brew


found image

From Science Daily: 

College students often spend their free time thinking about beer, but a group of Rice University students are taking it to the next level. They're using genetic engineering to create beer that contains resveratrol, a chemical in wine that's been shown to reduce cancer and heart disease in lab animals.

Rice's "BioBeer" will be entered in the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition Nov. 8-9 in Cambridge, Mass. It's the world's largest synthetic biology competition, a contest where teams use a standard toolkit of DNA building blocks — think genetic LEGO blocks — to create living organisms that do odd things.

Notable past iGEM creations include sheets of bacteria that behave like photographic film and bacteria that smell like mint while they're growing but like bananas when they stop growing. Rice's student-led iGEM team — the Rice BiOWLogists — are returning for a third year. Their entry last year, a bacterial virus that fought antibiotic resistance, was well-received but finished out of the prize running.

"After last year's contest, we were sitting around talking about what we'd do this year," said junior Taylor Stevenson. "(Graduate student) Peter Nguyen made a joke about putting resveratrol into beer, but none of us took it seriously."

But when the team began looking in earnest for a new project this spring, they discovered a good bit of published literature about modifying yeast with resveratrol-related genes. When they looked further, they found two detailed accounts by teams that had attacked both halves of the metabolic problem independently.

"That was when we said, 'You know, we could actually do this,'" said junior Thomas Segall-Shapiro.

Ironically, most of the team's undergraduate members aren't old enough to legally drink beer. But the reality is that with less than a month to go until the competition, the team has yet to brew a drop. All their work to date has gone into creating a genetically modified strain of yeast that will ferment beer and produce resveratrol at the same time. While the team does plan to brew a few test batches in coming weeks, these will contain some unappetizing chemical "markers" that will be needed for the experiments.

"There's no way anyone's drinking any of this until we get rid of that, not to mention that there's only one genetically modified strain of yeast that's ever been approved for use in beer, period," said Segall-Shapiro. "In short, it will be a long time before anybody consumes any of this."

Continue reading

Written by Peter C in: Alcohol,Hmmn. Interesting.,Weird News |
Oct
21
2008
--

Recent scenes from North Korea — Excellent collection of photographs

Links lead to article with much larger images.

northKorea1.jpg
Detail 

Celebrating 60 years of existence this year, North Korea holds out as the last Stalinist state in the world. In such a restrictive society, it is difficult – if not impossible – for residents to get news of the outside world, and for the outside world to see in. What photography comes out of North Korea is either state-produced, state-approved, or at the very least state-managed (visitors are restricted in their movement). Still, if you look over the following images with those restrictions in mind, one can still get some idea of life in North Korea in 2008. These photos were all taken within the past six months – some taken from the borders, peering in, others provided by North Korea itself, and several generously shared by freelance photographer Eric Lafforgue, who recently spent some time inside the country. (32 photos total)

 

Found at Boston.com 

Oct
20
2008
--

9 Sites That Help With Everyday Budgeting

Most consumers could use a little financial handholding these days.

Nearly half of the workers recently surveyed by CareerBuilder.com said they live paycheck to paycheck. Even those who do have cash left after paying the bills are struggling — 52% reported they have less than $100 per month to put into savings.

One silver lining to these tough economic times: a slew of new free online tools and services that help consumers save money and manage it wisely. Whether you're looking to track your credit score, find a better savings rate or finally balance that monthly budget, these nine sites can help:

BillShrink

Worried you're paying more than you need to for your wireless plan? BillShrink searches various cell phone plans to find you the best deal. Answer five simple questions about your usage (or better yet, upload your latest bill), and this service searches plan and add-on service combinations at all providers. It even factors in call quality and the cost to switch. The site offers a similar tool for credit cards that tallies the cash you'd save — in terms of interest rates and fees — by switching to another card.

Credit Karma

Thanks to the credit crunch, your credit score carries a lot more weight than it used to, especially when you want to land a loan or open a credit card. Credit Karma offers free daily access to your credit score from partner credit reporting bureau TransUnion. Most lenders use a different formula — the so-called FICO from Fair Isaac Corp. — but it's still an effective tool for keeping track of any score fluctuations. (Other sites charge $8.99 and up a month for continuous monitoring of your FICO score, or require you to sign up for other subscription services.) Credit Karma also offers a Credit Simulator that gauges the affect of such actions as opening a new credit card or paying your bills on time.

FiLife

This site offers information on thousands of financial accounts, ranging from credit cards and checking accounts to 529 college savings plans. Search for the best balance transfer rates on credit cards or which CDs pay the most in interest. Also, find out about other consumers' experiences through the customer reviews and ratings. (Dow Jones owns half of FiLife, which launched in June; SmartMoney.com is a joint venture of Hearst and Dow Jones.)

Mint

Mint provides one-stop shopping for consumers who want to get a better handle on all of their household finances. Not only does it allow users to track their 401(k), but it also lets them customize their budget for specific expenses, including groceries and gas. One downside: the "Ways to Save" section only includes offers from partner credit card issuers.

MoneyAisle

Want to get the best rates on a CD, money market or high-yield savings account? MoneyAisle will pit participating financial institutions (mostly small community banks and credit unions) against one another in a real-time auction to compete for your business. The auctions take just a few minutes, and users can decline deals they don't like. For peace of mind, MoneyAisle only deals with FDIC-insured institutions that carry favorable safety ratings from industry experts.

Quicken Online

The web-based version of the popular desktop software ditched its $2.99-a-month fee. Now users have access to an overview of all of their accounts, as well as a 10-day outlook that projects how upcoming expenses will impact account balances. Quicken also assesses user's risk level for incurring overdraft fees and will send text-message alerts when they're overspending.

SmartHippo

This combination search engine-online community helps users dig up the best mortgage rates. Enter a zip code to find out what rates and other terms lenders in the area are offering. Then find out what rates consumers with credit scores similar to yours are receiving at various banks.

Thrive

Want to know where you stand in terms of fiscal fitness? This new budgeting and money management site, which is currently in beta testing, calculates your overall financial health. By looking at spending behaviors and other data, such as account balances, it determines how well equipped you are to meet certain financial goals like retirement or buying a home. Not financially fit enough? The site offers step-by-step advice for gradual improvement.

Wesabe

Like Quicken, Thrive and Mint, this site allows users to handle all of their accounts in one place and to set budget and savings goals. Users can also create their own categories for purchases and select statistics (say, the percentage of the family budget spent on gas) to display as a graphed comparison against those of other site users. The idea: see how others are managing their finances and take away lessons to improve your own.

 

Via SmartMoney.com

Written by Peter C in: Hmmn. Interesting.,PSA |
Oct
20
2008
--

Digital TV Signal Conversion PSA — Funny Clip

Talkshow with Spike Feresten cast member, Mae LaBorde, helps you prepare for the 2009 digital switch.

Written by Peter C in: Entertainment,Events,History,Humor,PSA,Video |
Oct
19
2008
--

Polite English thief sends flowers by way of apology…

LONDON—A repentant robber in England sent his elderly victim a bouquet of flowers to apologize for frightening her, police said Friday. A 91-year-old woman received the flowers and a note after confronting a burglar in her home around 4 a.m. on Oct. 9, police said.

The card explained that the burglar thought the property in Halifax, about 200 miles north of London, was empty and apologized for breaking in.

Police said the woman was "very shaken" by the confrontation.

"Whoever did this has a conscience, and feels guilty for what he has done," West Yorkshire Police Det. Insp. Tony Nicholson said in a statement.

Police said the burglar fled the house empty-handed and appealed for him to come forward.

Source

Written by Peter C in: *Puppies & Flowers,Europe,Humor,Weird News |
Oct
17
2008
--
Oct
17
2008
--
Oct
17
2008
--

“tricks the British learned battling the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland”

From the Washington Post:

In recent years, as it has tried to improve its performance in Iraq, the U.S. military has done a lot of remedial studies of earlier counterinsurgency campaigns. This note, passed along by a Special Operations officer, describes a couple of tricks the British learned battling the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland:

I attended a briefing at the CI [Counterintelligence] Center a year ago and one of the speakers was a former British SAS officer who worked Belfast for 10 years. He provided some fascinating insights into their operations and, specifically, some of the "out-of-the-box" methods they utilized to collect and target the IRA, PIRA [Provisional Irish Republican Army], Gerry Adams and their sympathizers.

One of the most interesting operations was the laundry mat [sic]. Having lost many troops and civilians to bombings, the Brits decided they needed to determine who was making the bombs and where they were being manufactured. One bright fellow recommended they operate a laundry and when asked "what the hell he was talking about," he explained the plan and it was incorporated — to much success.

The plan was simple: Build a laundry and staff it with locals and a few of their own. The laundry would then send out "color coded" special discount tickets, to the effect of "get two loads for the price of one," etc. The color coding was matched to specific streets and thus when someone brought in their laundry, it was easy to determine the general location from which a city map was coded.

While the laundry was indeed being washed, pressed and dry cleaned, it had one additional cycle — every garment, sheet, glove, pair of pants, was first sent through an analyzer, located in the basement, that checked for bomb-making residue. The analyzer was disguised as just another piece of the laundry equipment; good OPSEC [operational security]. Within a few weeks, multiple positives had shown up, indicating the ingredients of bomb residue, and intelligence had determined which areas of the city were involved. To narrow their target list, [the laundry] simply sent out more specific coupons [numbered] to all houses in the area, and before long they had good addresses. After confirming addresses, authorities with the SAS teams swooped down on the multiple homes and arrested multiple personnel and confiscated numerous assembled bombs, weapons and ingredients. During the entire operation, no one was injured or killed.

By the way, the gentleman also told the story of how [the British] also bugged every new car going into Northern Ireland, and thus knew everything [Sinn Fein leader] Gerry Adams was discussing. They did this because Adams always conducted mobile meetings and always used new cars.

The Israelis have a term for this type of thinking, "Embracing the Meshugganah," which literally translated means, embrace the craziness, because the crazier the plan, the less likely the adversary will have thought about it, and thus, not have implemented a counter-measure.

Via the New Shelton wet/dry

Written by Peter C in: Europe,History,Hmmn. Interesting. |
Oct
16
2008
--

The comma. — Ad for freedom of speech.


Found here.

Originally posted 2008-10-16 11:31:26.

Written by Peter C in: Advertising |
Oct
16
2008
--

Spanish judge to probe Franco era


Baltasar Garzon
Judge Garzon is famous for crimes-against-humanity ca

A Spanish judge has launched a criminal investigation into the fate of tens of thousands of people who vanished during the civil war and Franco dictatorship.

Judge Baltasar Garzon – Spain's top investigating judge – has also ordered several mass graves to be opened.

One is believed to contain the remains of the poet Federico Garcia Lorca, who was murdered by fascist forces at the start of the war in the 1930s.

Correspondents say the historic ruling will be controversial in Spain.

They say there has been a tacit agreement among political parties not to delve too deeply into the civil war and Franco era.

In his 68-page ruling, Judge Garzon says that Francoists carried out "illegal permanent detentions" which he says falls within the definition of crimes against humanity.

Controversial step

He refers to 114,000 people who disappeared during a 15-year period after the outbreak of war in 1936.

The BBC's Steve Kingstone, in Madrid, says that never before has Spain's civil war been investigated by a judge.

And in using the phrase "crime against humanity" Judge Garzon is taking a highly controversial step.

The conflict was triggered by the military uprising of General Francisco Franco, whose supporters are said to have systematically eliminated left-wing opponents, even after the war was won in 1939.

Fascist volunteers march though Burgos, northern Spain, in 1936
Survivors of the civil war Falange movement may face prosecution

Judge Garzon's document names Gen Franco and 34 of his senior aides as the instigators of the alleged crimes.

He even asks that their death certificates be produced, to prove that they can no longer face prosecution.

The judge has also asked Spain's Interior Ministry to provide names of senior members of the fascist Falange Party, which supported Franco, with a view to possible prosecutions.

He has ordered the opening of 19 mass graves, believed to contain victims of the Franco regime. The remains of the poet Lorca, who was murdered at the start of the war, are thought to be buried in the southern province of Granada.

Judge Garzon is famous for bringing crimes-against-humanity cases against figures such as former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Last year he was asked by the families of people who vanished during the Spanish civil war or during Franco's dictatorship, that the remains of their loved ones be found and the circumstances of their deaths clarified.

An estimated 500,000 people died in the civil war.

Source BBC 

Written by Peter C in: Europe,History,Hmmn. Interesting. |
Oct
15
2008
--
Oct
14
2008
--
Oct
13
2008
--

Acoustic Guitar Boat

JoshPykeBoatGuitar1.jpg

Musician Josh Pyke films the video for his new song 'Make You Happy' in a special boat created to the exact specifications of the Maton acoustic guitar that he performs with, at Rozelle Bay on October 9, 2008 in Sydney, Australia. The track will be the second single released from Pyke's second album 'Chimney's Afire' which was released on Saturday.

Link with more pictures 

Written by Peter C in: Design,Entertainment,Events,Humor |
Oct
13
2008
--

Just in time for halloween and the US Presidential Election — Political Pumkin Patterns

palinPumkin.jpg

Political Pumkin Patterns, shown here the Sarah Palin pattern.

See more here with downloadable PDF files. 

Written by Peter C in: Events,Fashion,Humor,Politics |
Oct
09
2008
--

The “Village Pet Store And Charcoal Grill” Opens in New York City

From the Wooster Collective:

villagepetstore.jpg

While New Yorkers have been consumed by the stock market meltdown, a tiny little pet store quietly opened four days ago at 89 7th Avenue between West 4th and Bleeker Street in the West Village of New York City.

There are no puppies or kittens in the windows here.

Instead, a live leopard lounges on a tree in the window.

Or is it?

villagepetstore2.jpg

In other windows, things get a bit more bizarre.

McDonald's Chicken McNuggets sip barbecue sauce. A rabbit puts on her makeup. A CCTV camera nurtures its young.

chicken1.jpg

banksyrabbit.jpg

Clearly, that this isn't your typical pet store.

So who's the "owner" of the Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill at 89 West 7th Avenue?

Banksy.

Once inside Banksy's pet store, you discover such things as breaded fish that swim in a large round bowl while hot dogs are living the high life under heat lamps in cages near the cash register.

banksyhotdogs.jpg

banksyfishtank2.jpg

This is the first time that Banksy has used animatronics, and the effect is absolutely amazing.

A clear departure form last year's behemoth show in Los Angeles, Banksy's first ever show in New York City (the others have been fakes) is being held in a tiny storefront that's less than 300 square feet and can't hold more than 20 people at any one time.

One of our favorite things about what Banksy has done is that the entire show is completely visible to the public both day and night through the store front windows. And unless you're a hard core Banksy fan, or until someone like us tells you, it's absolutely impossible to know that the work has been done by Banksy. There are no paintings or graffiti in the entire space.

We're sure that as soon as people start reading this, photos and video will be all over the web. But Sara and I don't want to give too much away. It's just too much fun to be surprised (and delighted) in person.

So here's just a taste of what you'll experience in Banksy's "Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill".

 

Starting the moment you read this, until October 31st (Halloween), Banksy's pet store is officially open each and every daily from 10am until midnight.

One piece of advice – Bring a video camera as still images don't do the place justice!

Thanks Eric B. 

Written by Peter C in: Arts,Events,Humor |
Oct
05
2008
--

Vintage : Woody Allen Interviews Billy Graham

Oddly enough, Bill Graham keeps reminding me of Bill Clinton in this clip…

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Written by Peter C in: Entertainment,History,Humor,Sex,Vintage |

© 2013 Puppies and Flowers