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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.


Monday, July 26, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
A new financial possibility seems quite appealing, but it's not like you to rush into anything -- and this isn't a good time to start!
Before you invest or make any other decisions, use your critical faculties.
Read up some more, find folks who've been there before and ask some hard questions.
Most people are quite helpful when they see that you mean business -- and that you're committed to thinking both short- and long-term.

Today is:
Today is Monday, July 26, the 207th day of 2010.
There are 158 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
There are none.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Things could be worse

As elections loom, the president trades his rhetoric of "change" for a tricky new pitch.
Also: 

Grandfather Mountain's Wilma the Eagle Passes Away

Wilma the Bald Eagle was humanely put to sleep this weekend after a battle with arthritis and declining health. Wilma had recently been showing signs of getting older and her bad arthritis was taking a physical toll on her body causing her to lie down frequently.

Wilma was at least 34 years old. She came to Grandfather Mountain in 1981 after sustaining a gunshot wound in the Western United States.

Of the animals currently at Grandfather Mountain, Wilma had called the Animal Habitats "home" the longest. Her habitat neighbor, Morely the Golden Eagle, came to Grandfather in 1984.

The Grandfather Mountain Habitat staff remembers Wilma as an independent and outspoken animal.

"Wilma wasn't able to fly because of her injury," said Animal Habitat Manager Christie Tipton. "She's in a better place now where she'll always be able to fly."
Wilma the Bald Eagle
Wilma

Man Performs Self Surgery After Copperhead Bite

An 81-year-old Wilkes County, North Carolina man didn't see a doctor after receiving a bite from a copperhead snake, but rather decided to remove the venom on his own.

Giant cabbage inspires girl

Katie Stagliano's monster 40-pound cabbage helped feed 275 homeless people.
Also: 

Twig

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A friend.

The Geography Test

Geography a subject that students really need to truly learn. Alas, this is not the case. A recent test given at schools of the subject of geography showed the lessons just aren't getting through, but the students are creative with their answers ...


Some of the better answers:

Climate is caused by the emotion of the earth around the sun.

The chief animals of Australia are the kangaroo, larkspur, boomerang, and peccadillo.

Don Juan is a town in the West Indies.

In Athens there is a temple called the Pancreas.

The writing of ancient Egypt was called hydraulics.

The Greeks wore scandals on their feet.

The general direction of the Alps is straight up.

The climate is hottest next to the Creator.

Oceania is a continent that contains no land.

The climate of Bombay is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.

The sun never sets on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the east and the sun sets in the west.

People go to Africa to hunt rhinostriches.

The inhabitants of Moscow are Mosquitoes.

Persia's chief industry is raising cats, hence the word purr.

The Mediterranean and the Red Seas are connected by the Sewage Canal.

Skeleton of Giant Rat Discovered

Scientists in East Timor have discovered the skeleton of a rat three times larger than any rat living today:
The new species was three times heavier — about six kilograms (13 pounds) — than the biggest rats known to exist today, which are found in the tropical forests of the Philippines and New Guinea.[...]
Researchers found 13 more rat specimens in caves on Timor and other islands, 11 of which are completely new to science.
Aplin said that some of those new species may still be alive today and have simply eluded detection by scientists.
Rodents of unusual size? I don’t think they exist.

The Sand Dollar - An Animal that can Clone Itself

The Sand dollar is well named – it looks like a coin after all.  However, this denizen of the Pacific coast has a trick up its sleeve.  It can clone itself.
Bizarre, but true. A few years ago scientists discovered that the larvae of the Sand dollar are able to clone themselves. When they were exposed to the mucus of their natural enemies – fish – they demonstrated a unique defense mechanism. They cloned themselves which meant more or less that they halved their size. It is thought that this new smaller size helps them to avoid detection by fish and so increase their survival chances.

Buena Vista

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The Plastiki Crosses the Pacific

The Plastiki is a ship made from plastic bottles. It was built from this frequently wasted product in order to promote recycling. Last March it left California, heading for Australia. Today, it docked in Sydney, completing a 8,000-mile voyage. The captain, David de Rothschild, described the journey:
De Rothschild, 31, said the idea for the journey came to him after he read a United Nations report in 2006 that said pollution — and particularly plastic waste — was seriously threatening the world’s oceans.
He figured a good way to prove that trash can be effectively reused was to use some of it to build a boat. The Plastiki — named after the 1947 Kon-Tiki raft sailed across the Pacific by explorer Thor Heyerdahl — is fully recyclable and gets its power from solar panels and windmills.
The boat is almost entirely made up of bottles, which are held together with an organic glue made of sugar cane and cashews, but includes other materials too. The mast, for instance, is recycled aluminum irrigation pipe.

Why Do We Care More About The Gulf Than The Amazon?

Ecologically speaking, devastation of the Amazon rainforest is far greater than the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. So why do we care more about the Gulf?
Dan Aierly of Need to Know on PBS explains:
Here’s what we know about human caring and compassion. First and foremost, it is based on our emotions rather than our reasoning. Joseph Stalin said, “One death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic.” Mother Teresa said, “If I look at the masses I will never act, but if I look at the one I will.” In oil spill terms: We see pelicans and turtles mired and dying in oil, and we want to cry. We hear about families who have had their homes ruined and their livelihoods horribly affected or even destroyed, and we sympathize with their helplessness and want to do something to help them recover. Our compassion isn’t necessarily proportional to the magnitude of the catastrophe. It depends on how much of our emotion is invoked. [...]
Here are a few characteristics that might differentiate the BP oil spill from the destruction of the Amazon. First, it is a singular event with a precise beginning. Second, while the tragedy was ongoing (and we are not yet sure if it has ended or not) it seemed to become more desperate by the day. Third, we have a single organization that we can villainize. In contrast, in the Amazon, there are many organizations and individuals at fault, both in the countries where deforestation is occurring and abroad. And fourth, the Gulf is so much closer to home (at least for Americans).

Daily Humor

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Period Speak

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For all those Rennies out there.

Parenting in Ancient Civilizations

I’m sure you’ve all heard your parents tell you how they walked to school in the snow, uphill, both ways, but how has parenting changed through the ages?
John Farrier wrote a very interesting post over at NeatoBambino about the parenting customs and techniques of 5 ancient civilizations. Here’s what it was like in ancient Rome:
In theory, under the law and principle of patria potestas — the power of the father — the male head of household held absolute power over his children. He could discipline them as he wished, or even kill them or sell them into slavery. In practice, however, there were many formal and informal limitations to this practice. Exposure at birth was common for unwanted children — provided that it was the father who made the decision — although this infanticide was legally considered murder during the last centuries of the western empire. Valued children were given a bulla or bag of magical charms worn around the neck to protect them from harm.
Childhood lasted until about thirteen for girls, when they were married off, or fourteen for boys, when their medallion of childhood was replaced with the toga of adulthood. Girls were educated in domestic skills at home, and sufficiently wealthy boys attended local schools. Discipline could be harsh, but many Romans realized that the rod was counterproductive.

Ancient Ninja

You’ve seen these men in black everywhere, usually in a group, threatening a movie hero. But how much do you really know about the dark warriors of feudal Japan? It’s time to separate the men from the myth.
  
1. The ninja were a clan of evil assassins for hire.
Myth! In the movies, ninja are portrayed as evil mercenaries crawling out of the woodwork to make sashimi out of the good guy. In reality, they were mountain people of Japan who were systematically harassed by the samurai ruling class 400 years ago. Mostly they farmed. For self-defense when outnumbered, the ninja created a fighting system call Ninjutsu, “the art of stealth”. When money got tight the occasional ninja would sell his skills. These few renegades created the stereotype of ninja as the warrior killer.
2. One ninja could sometimes defeat five soldiers.
Fact! Ninja specifically trained to fight more than one opponent. But they considered escape a victory. Their big-city oppressors outnumbered them, so training involved “dirty” fighting tactics that would scare or injure adversaries just long enough for ninja to get away. The samurai were trained in one-on-one fighting against an opponent who actively engages, not a slippery man in black who kicks you in the toe and disappears. Ninja learned to get the job done quickly. A ninja boxing match wouldn’t make a good spectator sport: one pokes the other in the eye and climbs a tree.
(Image from the film Sengoku Yaro. Source: Vintage Ninjas)
3. All ninja were male.
Myth! Lady ninja were called kunoichi. Occasionally, some wielded swords like the men, but most often, they were trained as spies and messengers to help gather information that would help their clan. Kunoichi used the illusion of helplessness to their advantage, wielding secret weapons like sashes, fans, combs, and umbrellas when forced to fight. n occasion, they assassinated unsuspecting “suitors”. They even carried a bag of little, bladed finger gloves that gave them the equivalent of iron press-on nails of death!

(Image from the film Kaze no Bushi. Source: Vintage Ninjas)
4. Ninja practiced black magic and had supernatural powers.
Myth! While ninja may have appeared magical, they put their pajamas on one leg at a time, just like everybody else. In battle, though, they used this legend to frighten their enemies. The height of ninja activities was during the 1600s; but by the 1800s, most ninja action involved farming or looking for work. Yet ninja buzz kept growing through art, theater, and word of mouth. By the 1900s, ninja were portrayed as practically superhuman.

(Image credit: Flickr user Jérôme Sadou)
5. Ninjas always wore black.
Myth! In real life, ninja dressed for the job at hand; they usually looked like everyone else. When sneaking into an enemy lair, they wore the uniforms of their adversaries to trick them. By the Edo Period (1603-1867), their exploits were famous enough to hit the Kabuki theater. Taking the stealthy reputation of the ninja into consideration, Kabuki troupes decided to portray ninja the same as stagehands-dressed all in black so as not to be seen by the audience. Henceforth, all ninja were portrayed in black.
6. Ninja in training walked through fire, stood under freezing waterfalls, and dangled themelves over cliffs.
Fact! As Japan’s Edo Period wore on, the ninja became less secretive. There were no more feudal wars left to fight. Ninja masters wrote books, opened schools to teach others, and became scholars. And their fighting became world famous. In the 1980s, the American film Enter the Ninja set off a brief ninja craze in the United States, and lots of schools opened (some more authentic than others). There are thousands of practicing ninja in the United States today.

(Image credit: Flickr user RodrigoFavera)

The Golden Pavilion

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The Golden Pavilion in Japan

Secret war documents point to Pakistan's collaboration with Taliban

With over 90,000 documents, the Wikileaks trove of documents from Afghanistan will provide fodder for much discussion about that war. It's not pretty. And, the release of this information is creating a firestorm. It does make one wonder what the hell the shrub and the cabal was doing for all those years.

The double-dealing role of Pakistan seems like one of the most egregious developments:
Americans fighting the war in Afghanistan have long harbored strong suspicions that Pakistan’s military spy service has guided the Afghan insurgency with a hidden hand, even as Pakistan receives more than $1 billion a year from Washington for its help combating the militants, according to a trove of secret military field reports made public Sunday.

The documents, made available by an organization called WikiLeaks, suggest that Pakistan, an ostensible ally of the United States, allows representatives of its spy service to meet directly with the Taliban in secret strategy sessions to organize networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan, and even hatch plots to assassinate Afghan leaders.

Taken together, the reports indicate that American soldiers on the ground are inundated with accounts of a network of Pakistani assets and collaborators that runs from the Pakistani tribal belt along the Afghan border, through southern Afghanistan, and all the way to the capital, Kabul.
These documents may start to focus the attention of the American people on a war that has been ignored for too long. Maybe that can help bring it to an end.

Khmer Rouge's chief jailer found guilty of war crimes

... will spend 19 years behind bars
A U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal sentenced the former Khmer Rouge chief jailer Monday to 35 years in prison - the first verdict involving a leader of the genocidal regime that destroyed a generation of Cambodia's people.


More:
Khmer Rouge survivors angry over Dutch jail sentence

EFF wins enormous victory against DRM: legal to jailbreak iPhones, rip DVDs for mashup videos

By Cory Doctorow
The Electronic Frontier Foundation drove three deep wedges into the US prohibition on breaking DRM today. EFF had applied to the Copyright Office to grant exemptions permitting the cracking of DRM in three cases: first, to "jailbreak" a mobile device, such as an iPhone, where DRM is used to prevent phone owners from running software of their own choosing; second, to allow video remix artists to break the DRM on DVDs in order to take short excerpts for mashups posted to YouTube and other sharing sites; finally EFF got the Copyright Office to renew its ruling that made it legal to unlock cellphones so that they can be used with any carrier.
These are major blows against the tradition in US law of protecting DRM, even when DRM wasn't upholding copyright. For example, Apple argued in its Copyright Office filing that it should be illegal under copyright law to install iPhone software unless Apple had approved and supplied it (akin to the principle that you should only be allowed company-approved bread in your toaster, or Folgers-approved milk in your instant coffee).
I'm not clear on whether these rulings now make it legal to traffick in circumvention tools that can accomplish this trick: if so, it would mean that you could sell DRM-ripping software in stores, or open a fix-it shop that jailbroke iPhones so that they could access unapproved software from third-party suppliers (including online stores that competed with Apple's App Store).
In any event, major kudos to EFF for an enormous win. I've always maintained that the biggest problem with DRM is the special status the law affords it: prior to 1998's Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a company that wanted to control how you used your purchases had to devote serious, ongoing effort to stopping the companies that sprang up to undo their locks; consequently, the market was able to drive DRM into the dust quickly, as companies abandoned strategies that squandered profits to lock down products. But after DRM got special treatment under the law, companies could merely slap on the thinnest veneer of DRM (the iPad's DRM was broken in less than a day!) and count on a public subsidy to defend it, through the courts and the law.
This was pure moral hazard, an invitation to the world's corporate bullies to invent "business models" based on stopping you from fully enjoying your property unless you paid to "unlock" every feature and morsel of value latent in it. Like a fridge that you have feed quarters into if you want to chill anything except dairy products, or a shower that charges you extra to rinse off the dog. Companies could create these ridiculous businesses and count on the government to police them, externalizing the cost of their extraordinary chutzpah to the very customers they were inflicting it upon!
Ironicially, just as the US government is starting to reconsider this wisdom of this approach, other governments are being arm-twisted by the US trade representative into adopting it -- for example, Canada's pending Bill C32, a copyright law that was practically ghost-written by the American entertainment lobby and delivered after the Prime Minister's office handed down the edict to "Make the Americans happy."

Food Burglar Suffers from Prader Willi Syndrome

Matthew Hummel, a 20-year-old from Michigan, suffers from Prader Willi syndrome , a genetic disorder which causes chronic hunger, as well as learning disabilities, slower metabolism and incomplete sexual development. 

Drunk banned from supermarket for drinking mouthwash

A Georgia man was barred from Kroger supermarket after he was found drinking mouthwash while sitting in a patio swing display at the store.

99 Cents Only Store Sued Because It's No Longer 99 Cents Only

When can a price increase of a penny land a company in a lawsuit? When you’re name is 99 Cents Only Store:
A fraction of a penny is amounting to one big headache for 99 Cents Only Stores.
Two years ago, the City of Commerce retailer — faced with rising inflation and higher costs — raised the top price of its goods to 99.99 cents from 99 cents. Company executives thought it was a clever way to increase sales while staying loyal to the chain’s love for the number 99.
But the move seems to be riling some customers who say they weren’t aware of the nearly one-cent increase and felt duped into believing they were still paying 99 cents "only." Because U.S. currency makes it impossible to pay 99.99 cents for an item, shoppers are essentially paying $1 plus tax at the cash register.
Now the company faces two class-action lawsuits that were filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court this month. The complaints allege unfair and deceptive business practices and misleading advertising.

On The Job

On The Job
Many hiring managers say they have rejected candidates due to what they found online.  
Also: 

Businessman hid 140,000 pounds in his aunt's grave in tax-evasion scam

Some people will do anything to avoid paying taxes ...
A businessman buried 140,000 pounds in his aunt's grave in an attempt to dodge his taxes.

Majestic mansion crumbles

The sprawling, once-opulent estate of an American Gilded Age tycoon now faces a grim predicament.
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Lonesome Ghosts

 

This is so passed the ridiculous point folks

Lenore "Free Range Kids" Skenazy's editorial in Forbes aims at the excessive regulatory zeal in kids' product safety -- where even the faintest whiff of danger is grounds for a recall:
Michael Warring, president of American Educational Products in Fort Collins, Colo., had his shipment all ready: A school's worth of small bags, each one filled with an igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rock. Then the school canceled its order. Says Warring, "They apparently decided rocks could be harmful to children."... The children will study a poster of rocks instead... Well, there's the Graco Harmony High Chair. The commission warns parents to "stop using product immediately." Yikes! Scary! Is it ejecting kids? Spontaneously combusting? Not quite. Of the 1,200,000 units sold, the CPSC received "24 reports of injuries, including bumps and bruises to the head, a hairline fracture to the arm, and cuts, bumps, bruises and scratches to the body." In other words: For every 50,000 chairs sold, a single child has suffered a bruise, bump or--once--a hairline fracture. Now look: Nobody likes to see a sweetheart suffer. But the Harmony high chair does not exactly sound like baby's first Pinto.

Bizarre Planning

Residents of Twin Lakes can literally live in design guru Martha Stewart's world.  
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Life's a beach for some homeless in Hawaii

Every morning, Tony Williams wakes to the sound of waves crashing on Hawaii's famed Waikiki beaches and has a spectacular view of the Pacific.

Broom Hilda

Broom Hilda

Stats show shrinking middle class

From the Business Insider:
Here are the statistics to prove it:

• 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.
• 61 percent of Americans "always or usually" live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
• 66 percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.
• 36 percent of Americans say that they don't contribute anything to retirement savings.
• A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retiremen
t.
• 24 percent of American workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year.
• Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.
• Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
• For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.
• In 1950, the ratio of the average executive's paycheck to the average worker's paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.
• As of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.
• The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.
• Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.
• In the United States, the average federal worker now earns 60% MORE than the average worker in the private sector.
• The top 1 percent of U.S. households own nearly twice as much of America's corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.
• In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.
• More than 40 percent of Americans who actually are employed are now working in service jobs, which are often very low paying.
• For the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.
• This is what American workers now must compete against: in China a garment worker makes approximately 86 cents an hour and in Cambodia a garment worker makes approximately 22 cents an hour.
• Approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 - the highest rate in 20 years.
• Despite the financial crisis, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009.
• The top 10 percent of Americans now earn around 50 percent of our national income.

Profits soar while crushing workers

Many companies are cutting costs to keep profits growing, but it's not helping most workers.  
Also: 

It's official ... Hayward is out

Tony Hayward's leadership during the Gulf oil spill was marked by numerous high-profile PR gaffes.
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Mexico braces for effects of Arizona immigration law

The other side of the border is also preparing for the implementation of Arizona's new immigration law, which could lead to a surge of deportees back to Mexico.

Ziggy

Ziggy

Bad Cops

Bad Cops




Lunatic Fringe

Lunatic Fringe
When dealing with wingnuts ... Remember the rule: 
If they accuse someone of something, then they're already guilty of it.

Liars and Fools
Zach Wamp (reptile-Tennessee) hopes that his state and others don't have to secede from the Union again.
Hey, you were one of the last to leave the last time and the first to rejoin so go ahead.

Tom Tancredo (retard-Colorado) writes that "Mr. Obama is a more serious threat to America than al Qaeda".
Always an idiot, he insists on continuing to prove it.

Faux's Glenn Beck sends a reliable anti-Semitic signal, claiming that the Jews killed Jesus.
Reliable? An clear and obvious one you mean.

Hate Radio's Lush Dimbulb lies: the "Democrat party" is the "white plantation holders".
Well, Lawdy, that's news to we'uns plantation holders.

Criminal anti-life agitator Randall Terry launches tour to "burn, hang, or beat" Sen. Lindsey Graham (reject-South Carolina) in effigy.
You gotta love it when the wingnuts fight amongst themselves.

Faux's Glenn Beck continues on-screen meltdown: "They control your life and your pursuit of happiness" and "they will have every bit of" liberty, too.
Thorazine and Morphine, Nurse, STAT - this demented maniac is going nuclear.

Relig-o-nut 'the church is the state' agitator David Barton lies: attacks on Tea Party groups are just likes attacks on Jesus.
Telling the truth is not an attack, asshole. But that doesn't register when wingnuts like you now does it?

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Welcome to Hell

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Insecure People More Likely to Get Heart Attacks

As if insecure people haven’t had enough things to worry about, medical researchers have just added one more to the pile: they’re more likely to get heart attacks.
A new study shows such relationship uncertainties, known as "insecure attachment," were linked to a higher risk for a number of health conditions, including stroke, heart attack and high blood pressure. [...]
The study "suggests that attachment is associated with these fairly concrete and negative health outcomes," said study researcher Lachlan McWilliams, of Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada. Pain conditions are somewhat subjective experiences in that people can experience more or less pain, while something like a heart attack is a distinct, clear cut event, he said.
And since these insecurities are thought to develop at a young age, the work adds to "a growing body of research that suggest that negative experiences in childhood have a wide range of negative outcomes in terms of mental health and [physical] health later in life," McWilliams told LiveScience.

Lower your medical bill

A finance expert knocked $1,000 off a $4,000 medical bill, just by using his phone.  
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Workout with coffee

Get the timing and amount right, and caffeine can significantly boost fitness.
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Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
This spicy chicken burger, with Cajun seasoning and chickpeas, is a snap to make.
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Shoe

Shoe

The $5K Shower

These fancy fixtures cost as much as $5,457 and can emit 12 gallons of water a minute.  
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Model Planes

WWI replica Fokker is hand-built and powered by a mower engine
It could be a stunt from a First World War epic - the German fighter plane preparing to swoop in for an air battle to the death.

But while the replica Fokker Eindecker looks like a Hollywood prop, the plane was actually built by amateur pilot Dave Stephens at his home.


The single-seater is one of two self-assembled aircraft that he regularly takes to heights of up to 10,000ft over Essex. Fair enough, perhaps. Until you ask the 41-year- old about the engine powering it.

He enthusiastically points out that the original 1915 model had 'a big old-fashioned rotary engine in the front', while 'the engine in mine is an adapted lawnmower engine'. 'It's 690cc, which is half the size of the engine in the family car parked outside your house.'


The cockpit is open to the air ('when it rains, it doesn't half hurt your face'), the wings are made out of 'a fabric so fine that you could punch a hole in it', the metal fuselage is desperately flimsy and the whole structure weighs just 114 kilos, or 18 stone.

And what does it sound like? A lawnmower, of course. But that takes away none of the romance, insists Mr Stephens. 'When you're flying in the Fokker, it's a feeling unlike any other."

Also:

Model B-50 Bomber
Tony Nijhuis built this functional model of the Boeing B-50 bomber, a postwar variant of the B-29:
The real bomber had four engines, so he hunted down four of the biggest electric motors he could find. He created 2-D sketches of the body, wings and tail using AutoCAD and commissioned a laser-cutting company to handle the more than 300 custom segments he needed.
To make the plastic nose and gun canopies, Nijhuis first had to hand-carve wooden molds of each one. For the retractable landing gear, he hooked an off-the-shelf pneumatic system up to pressurized air tanks made from plastic Coke bottles. He also skinned the balsa-wood-ribbed fuselage with laminate wood composite and fiberglass.
To make his model more realistic, Nijhuis added speakers that play the sound that the engines from the actual B-50 made. The entire project took two years and cost $9,000.

Wizard of Id

Wizard of Id

Balloon lawn chair race

Kent Couch and John Freis compete in vehicles powered by 180 helium-filled party balloons.
Also: 

Suspect calls police to ask why he's in a robbery surveillance video

A man accidentally turned himself in after calling the police to ask why he was on a surveillance video featuring unsolved criminal cases.

St. Petersburg police say Dwayne Davis, Jr., 23, is captured in a Choice Food Store surveillance video grabbing a man out his car and then pistol whipping him. The carjacking happened on June 12 and since then, police have been looking for the man who did the crime.


Bay News 9 recently ran a story on unsolved cases showing surveillance pictures, which ultimately led police to a lead on the carjacking. It was actually Davis himself who called police to ask why his picture was part of a story.

The police and the victim both believe it's Davis in the video from inside the store and Davis agrees. However, he denies being part of the robbery outside of the store.

Best Comic-Con costumes

Halloween comes early as fans dress as their favorite comic book and fantasy film characters. 
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