Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mysterious Tubular Clouds Defy Explanation

These long, crazy-looking clouds can grow to be 600 miles long and can move at up to 35 miles per hour, causing problems for aircraft even on windless days.

Known as Morning Glory clouds, they appear every fall over Burketown, Queensland, Australia, a remote town with fewer than 200 residents. A small number of pilots and tourists travel there each year in hopes of “cloud surfing” with the mysterious phenomenon.

Similar tubular shaped clouds called roll clouds appear in various places around the globe. But nobody has yet figured out what causes the Morning Glory clouds.

This shot was captured by photographer Mick Petroff from his plane near Australia’s Gulf of Carpenteria.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Belarus develops school uniform that makes tin foil hats obsolete

"Authorities in Belarus, the last authoritarian regime in Europe, are considering introducing a new school uniform that would protect schoolchildren from electromagnetic radiation that comes from their mobile phones. The phones would be stored in a special pocket. The government is apparently very excited about it."

^^A non-Belarusan take on the tinfoil hat!

Keralan village of the twins

A small village in Northern Kerala in South India has a disproportionate amount of identical twins. The village of Kodinji has a population of 15000, and 460 of them are twins. Doctors think maybe there is something in the water!

Visualization of drug classes

Here is a Venn diagram of drug classification by type and effect.

And yes my friends... Cannabis stands alone at the centre of this world!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Microsoft in racial photoshopping incident

Microsoft Poland has edited an advertisement to remove a black man in the picture by replacing his head with that of a white head.

The original ad:

and the replaced head ad (without changing the hands!)

They didn't replace any of the other heads (that of the Asian man for example)
Some have said that in pairing a white man's head with a black man's hands, Microsoft is displaying a commitment to racial harmony. And others have suggested that the photo was altered at least in part because Microsoft's Polish site is intended for a country that's predominantly Caucasian. But that doesn't explain the company's decision to retain the Asian head. And many have criticized the company's decision to alter the photo - not to mention its photo editing skills.

Today, Microsoft responded by saying it was sorry. "We are looking into the details of this situation" The company has not addressed the laptop in the middle of the photo. It appears to be an Apple MacBook. But like the black man's head, the Apple logo seems to have gone missing.

Farming in the Kitchen

Phillips has made a biotower self-contained kitchen farm that you can buy (looks like it would be a bit pricey though!)

This Philips non-spherical-biosphere is a self-contained farm for that produces hundreds of calories of various food sources a day. Its five-level design breaks down like this:

Levels 1 and 2: Plants
Level 3: Algae
Level 4: Fish and Shrimp
Level 5: Organic Waste

From what we can tell, the system is designed to cascade nutrients from the top to the bottom (back to the top). Optical fibers capture and redirect light to the plants during the day, while methane capture from organic waste can power lights at night. The algae create oxygen for the fish.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mexico legalizes small quantities of drugs

Mexico has just passed a law allowing for legal possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use.
The maximum amount of marijuana considered to be for "personal use" under the new law is 5 grams — the equivalent of about four joints. The limit is a half gram for cocaine, the equivalent of about 4 "lines." For other drugs, the limits are 50 milligrams of heroin, 40 milligrams for methamphetamine and 0.015 milligrams for LSD.
Apparently, although the previous law made it hard to prosecute anyone anyways, because saying you were addicted made it a mental health issue, the fuzziness of the law allowed for demands for bribes by corrupt police and extortion. Also, free government health-care to reduce dependency is encouraged. This is a significant step in the midst of a violent organized crime drug-war (primarily profiting from exports to the States), and a step in the direction of sovereignty since the U.S. government really doesn't like this tolerant attitude.

Dolphins creating bubble ring toys to play with

This is a video of a phenomenon that marine biologists have seen in the wild but here is shown by captive dolphins; of blowing bubble rings and shapes as temporary underwater toys. Looks like fun!

Dolphin Play Bubble Rings - The most amazing home videos are here

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Glowing Bombs

More weird stuff from the bottom of the ocean.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Newsbox Flower box

An artist in Toronto is converting flyer/newspaper boxes into urban gardens. How long these last (one day?) i don't know, since they are squatting in-use newspaper boxes i suppose their refilled daily/weekly or monthly. i guess the most benefit lies in circulating the photos to people to brighten their day.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Swedish Pirate Party wins seats in parliament

In the latest Swedish election this June, the Pirate party has won 2 of the 20 available seats in parliament getting more than 7% of the popular vote (Sweden has a proportional representation system). Because minority governments in Europe often make coalition governments with small parties, this might make these 2 seats very important in swinging the development of policy:
According to political analyst Stig-Bjorn Ljunggren if, as expected, the Pirate Party wins seats in the Swedish parliament in elections next year, it could well find itself the kingmaker between the country's two established political blocs.

"You have two blocks in parliament: one green and red, and one blue. And if a third party comes into parliament they could choose which one of these two parties will form a government.

"They (the Pirate Party) will sell the post of prime minister to the party that gives most to them," he said.

And the prime minister has not ruled out doing a deal with the party.

Why this success in Sweden? Well apart from the benefits of a proportional representation system as opposed to a "first past the post" system like in North America, there is also differences in culture (according to the BBC):
And then there is Sweden's liberal culture, part of which is the principle of Allemansratten.

"Allemansratten means everyone's right. It's an important part of Swedish culture and identity," Katrine Kielos, a columnist on Sweden's best-selling daily tabloid Aftonbladet, explained to me.

"It means that the law of trespass is very weak in Sweden, so you have the right to access somebody's property in a way that is not possible in other countries."
There is also a new Pirate party that has just been registered in the UK, and a small US party (Good luck with that one!) The German Pirate party recently won 1% of the popular vote in the last election, and one member of parliament from the ruling Social Democrat party has switched allegiance to the German pirate party, giving them a seat.

Friday, August 14, 2009


let's make our laser do this.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tofu Sukiyaki Recipe

Tofu Sukiyaki Recipe

Makes 4 servings

14 oz fried tofu, cubed
1/2 cup onion, chopped (a quarter of a large onion)
1/4 cup green onion, chopped (three medium green onions, white and green parts)
2 cups bean sprouts
1/2 cup raw mushrooms
fresh ginger
fresh garlic
1/2 napa cabbage
1/2 cup enoki mushrooms
1/4 cup soy sauce (for sauce)
1 tbsp teriyaki sauce (for sauce)
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (for sauce)
1 tsp sesame oil (for sauce)
1 tbsp brown sugar (for sauce)
2 tbsp garlic powder (for sauce)
1 tbsp ginger powder (for sauce)

Serve on rice is nice

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Berlin leftist arsonists targeting luxury cars

There has been a rash of car burning done by anti-gentrification arsonists in Berlin with an average on one luxury or police car burning up per night over the last six months.
A mysterious, single page website, (Burning Cars of Berlin), shows the number of cars set alight and where the crimes occurred, revealing clusters in ''richer'' areas, or in suburbs where gentrification and redevelopment are changing the demographic of local neighbourhoods...