Archive for category Regular
Jenny’s cousin Brandon is here visting from Taiwan and posts little stories like this to Facebook. When auto-translated they take on an almost poetic quality, and just enough of the meaning comes through to keep them intelligible:
A wonderful experience, with the mother in a New York subway station to buy a ticket today, when you are trying to put all my loose change into the machine, Chinese beauties from the side of a tall, long hair all of a sudden the bear hug me … … Tender lip with I cheek distance only 15 cm of affectedly sweet Beijing cavity, with I said “alas Hey you in do what,” I dear mother in aside hand plug Pocket see silly has eye,, and not for Vault by lure and the are Hong Kong Taiwan man and has wife of I, now not think is Aventure and immediately touch pants of purse and the phone are also stable, quietly whispers eyes with points melancholy of said “you found wrong people has, I not Yu wins”…… Beijing girl, embarrassed to let go
Dear Mr. Managing Director,
Have a nice day to you.
I received your contact information from a mold friend of mine.
We randomly caught Joe Wong on Dave some time ago, “LOL”ed, and have been following his appearances ever since. Judy somehow knew he was doing a charity show in Rhode Island tonight, so we went! All new (to us) material and as you can see we even got to meet him after the show.
Here’s that first appearance on Dave that we liked so much:
Jenny got a deep fryer for Christmas (thanks Yvonne!) and went out looking for videos on how to use it. I’m going to say… she succeeded:
Here’s another video from the same guy:
We mentioned to Sharena about 5 years ago that maybe we’d bring her to an amusement park in the summer, but we never did and forgot all about it. She didn’t! So we finally went this year with her and a bunch of other people from Jenny’s family. We learned:
- Jenny still can’t go on rides – she didn’t somehow “get better”. Our third ride was the pirate ship, and that did her in for the rest of the day. She was even sitting in the middle!
- I still can – according to the kids this means I am not old yet. I liked “THUNDER AND LIGHTNING” and “BOULDER DASH” best.
- Somehow the person who was the most game for the scary rides was Alexis, even though she’s only 8! She would go on anything, and even sit right in the front car.
Researchers have worked out the neurological trick used by a species of wasp to turn cockroaches into ‘zombie slaves’. The discovery explains why, once stung, cockroaches can be led by a much smaller master towards certain death. Researchers have proven their theory by replicating the effect, and by using an antidote injection to release the cockroaches from their zombie state.
This YouTube video (embedding disabled) shows the view from the cockpit (with HUD) of the last 7 minutes or so of the Space Shuttle Atlantis landing. You can also hear the running chatter back and forth from the shuttle to ground control. The pilot is enjoying himself exactly as much as you would expect, I mean, he’s ACTUALLY FLYING THE SPACE SHUTTLE.
The video seemed to originate from this somewhat broken site which has some other videos, but I haven’t found any that are as good.
And if you want to try this landing for yourself, you can! Just install X-Plane.
One of my friends suggested over email that maybe our circle of friends should form a book club. She even proposed a book that we could try. Reaction ranged from complete apathy, to violent emailed screeds against book clubs, and finally culminated in a horrible photoshop defacement of the proposed book’s cover.
That idea rejected soundly, the next time we got together we realized that now that there are no shows on TV anymore that anybody could possibly care about (Lost and Battlestar being both on hiatus), we need some other excuse to get together once a week. Remote control helicopter club? Nintendo DS club? Badminton club? Shaw Brothers movie club? Sitting around and rotting club? All good ideas, but finally I came up with an idea that everybody immediately agreed on: CHEESEBURGER CLUB!
Tonight was the inaugural meeting! Jenny made incredibly thick and juicy and RARE cheeseburgers, with caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms available as special toppings. She followed that with home made french fries (I called them that at least, I guess they were really baked potato wedges). And then to finish it off, A CAN OF BEANS. What could possibly be better? I guess maybe some local corn on the cob might have been nice, but it’s not quite the season yet. Oh, and for dessert: chocolate cream pie! The “classic cheeseburger” has now been knocked out of the park, and the other members of the club are considering more exotic styles. And by exotic I mean really radical stuff like maybe seasoning the meat or using non-american cheese.
Despite my complete lack of cooking ability (I did help Jenny set the table) I think cheeseburger club is one of the better ideas I’ve ever had. I’m assuming local chapters will start cropping up all over the country – wait, what am I saying, I mean THE WORLD, and will look to me as a sort of spiritual leader, a role I am ready to graciously accept… as long as it means I get more cheeseburgers.
(*Also known as “Bob from Bob’s Furniture, you know, ‘COME ON DOWN!’” and “the lady from Cruising Connecticut”)
Their status of non-wedded-bliss is confirmed by a source no less authoritative than Eastern Connecticut State University Magazine:
Easily recognized by television viewers in the Northeast, many people believe that the woman who has rocked, reclined, and lounged her way through numerous TV and radio commercials for Bob’s Discount Furniture is Mrs. Bob Kaufman. In reality, Bob’s sidekick is Cathy (Horan) Poulin ‘89.
She first met Bob Kaufman while working for a cable advertising company in Manchester. The company had launched a new local access channel and needed to develop its programming. In 1992, Poulin created the half-hour show “Cruising Connecticut” in which she drove around in a Corvette with a male cohost and visited the company’s local clients.
Poulin resides in Hebron with her husband, Paul, and one-year-old daughter, Madison, who she acknowledges is her “greatest accomplishment by far.”
This has been yet another public service announcement from messy-78.
And for the record, the official editorial position of messy-78 is that Bob is awesome, and his commercials are not so much annoying as they are… “memorable”.
It’s by now a well established fact that there is an opera singer on the Minutillo side of the family. OK, that may be an overstatement. What I meant is that there exists an opera singer named Hana Minutillo, and as far as I know, I’m not related to her. But, get this: new on the opera scene is Tsu-Ching Yu — Jenny’s cousin! We missed her debut solo concert, but through the magic of YouTube we (and you) get to see at least a few parts of it.
We went to a restaurant called “Machu Picchu” in East Haven. I ordered a steak, and was presented with this:
That’s a steak with two fried eggs on top, sitting on a mountain of rice and french fries, with a hunk of fried cheese, some fried plantains, salad, and finally just almost as a garnish, a HOT DOG.
Jenny’s “potato stew” was almost as surprising:
It was cold! Sliced potatoes! With sauce! What!??
Free delivery. Over night.
I worked there for two years, from the time when shooting gerbils out of cannons and losing money on every order (but making it up on volume!) seemed like a good idea, to the time when being able to pay the electric bill was considered a luxury. I got out just before the buyout by these Fry’s folks, who seem to have been pretty much igoring the web site. I’m amazed it’s still up and running and being updated after all this time.
Fact one: Grady Hendrix apparently went on one of those shows where idiots scream at each other, and sometimes reasonable people get screamed at. Fact two: From the sound of comments at his site, apparently he said the sort of things that make idiots scream. Fact three: I am currently the number one result on the web for Grady Hendrix weblog.
I’m wondering if the comments on this post are about to get very busy…
UPDATE: Grady’s story.
As an adult, Ampulex compressa seems like your normal wasp, buzzing about and mating. But things get weird when it’s time for a female to lay an egg. She finds a cockroach to make her egg’s host, and proceeds to deliver two precise stings. The first she delivers to the roach’s mid-section, causing its front legs buckle. The brief paralysis caused by the first sting gives the wasp the luxury of time to deliver a more precise sting to the head.
The wasp slips her stinger through the roach’s exoskeleton and directly into its brain. She apparently use ssensors along the sides of the stinger to guide it through the brain, a bit like a surgeon snaking his way to an appendix with a laparoscope. She continues to probe the roach’s brain until she reaches one particular spot that appears to control the escape reflex. She injects a second venom that influences these neurons in such a way that the escape reflex disappears.
From the outside, the effect is surreal. The wasp does not paralyze the cockroach. In fact, the roach is able to lift up its front legs again and walk. But now it cannot move of its own accord. The wasp takes hold of one of the roach’s antennae and leads it–in the words of Israeli scientists who study Ampulex–like a dog on a leash.
The zombie roach crawls where its master leads, which turns out to be the wasp’s burrow. The roach creeps obediently into the burrow and sits there quietly, while the wasp plugs up the burrow with pebbles. Now the wasp turns to the roach once more and lays an egg on its underside. The roach does not resist. The egg hatches, and the larva chews a hole in the side of the roach. In it goes.
The larva grows inside the roach, devouring the organs of its host, for about eight days. It is then ready to weave itself a cocoon–which it makes within the roach as well. After four more weeks, the wasp grows to an adult. It breaks out of its cocoon, and out of the roach as well. Seeing a full-grown wasp crawl out of a roach suddenly makes those Alien movies look pretty derivative.
Update: ALL LIES!
This story is just too perfect to be true. A student at UMass Dartmouth was working on a research paper and did an interlibrary loan request for Mao’s Little Red Book. This triggered a red flag in some comptuer buried under Washington DC, and soon enough the student was visited by two agents from the Department of Homeland Security.
Once you pick your jaw up off the floor, get this: the class the student was taking was Fascism and Totalitarianism! I guess they learned a little more than they expected.
Surprising possible future of the day: A world populated by infinitely intelligent AIs, with a crippling flaw: they only know things you can learn by looking at public domain works!
Prompted by two things. First, this quote by a Googler on Google Print:
We are not scanning all those books to be read by people. We are scanning them to be read by an AI.
Then, this blog post today by Google:
The world’s libraries are a tremendous source of knowledge, much of which has never been available online. One of our goals for Google Print is to change that, and today we’ve taken an exciting step toward meeting it: making available a number of public domain books that were never subject to copyright or whose copyright has expired. We can show every page because these books are in the public domain.