"Democrats are in trouble. They're so in trouble that the Democratic party -- the liberal voice of reason -- would be unrecognizable to the lefties of yesterday. Why are issues of nuclear disarmament, alternative sources of fuel, a department of peace, immediate Iraqi troop withdrawal, and media diversification constantly forced into the margins of debate?"
"A tribute to children's public television pioneer Fred Rogers will include an effort to get people everywhere to wear a sweater on what would have been his 80th birthday. March 20th is being promoted as "Sweater Day" to honor Rogers, who died of cancer five years ago. A sweater was his trademark garb on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."
"Internet giant Google announced on Wednesday a plan to partner with all the homeless shelters in San Francisco and offer free phone numbers and voice mail accounts to homeless individuals, giving people the ability to distribute their own phone numbers and retrieve voice mail messages left for them whenever and from wherever they choose."
"After a week of deliberations, Hudsonville's mayor says the city will keep a reference of God in its mission statement."
"The City of Bellevue will begin installing rubber sidewalks in areas where tree roots have destroyed traditional concrete walkways."
"Researchers at Kansai University have developed a machine that can scientifically measure the quantity of a person’s laughter, as well as distinguish between the real and the fake. The sensors, which attach to a person’s cheeks, chest and abdomen, take 3,000 measurements per second. Sensor data is relayed to a computer, where it is analyzed by special software that determines the nature of the laugh and assigns a numerical score based on the quantity."
"I feel sorry for the next president. Even as he takes his oath of office, the nation will be flying apart like a seized-up engine. Since the fiasco in finance is happening in lock-step with Peak Oil (and very likely because of it at a fundamental level) we can expect one of the distortions to take the form of oil shortages. These shortages will come not just from demand bottlenecks in a stressed-out world oil allocation system, but because exporting nations will start demanding payment in Euros or something besides the depreciating currency that reflects our disintegration, and we'll have a problem coming up with payments that amount to at least fifty percent more than we're used to shelling out."
"The Redbirds turned 20 offensive rebounds into a whopping 18-point advantage in second-chance points in pounding out a 68-54 Missouri Valley Conference victory over the Bluejays before 6,563 at Redbird Arena."
"We're more interested in the original framing - a brand is going to spend $10M to tell consumers about Coke's educational outreach programs and the recycling of their canned products. All this work is being done by Leo Burnett. On the other hand, they've got W K making limited edition plastic bottles. Plastic bottles. They take a little less than 1000 years to decompose."
"It is already remarkable how much vocabulary is shared between "socialism" and "social media". One definition of socialism refers to a system under which "community members own all property, resources, and the means of production, and control the distribution of goods" (source), which also captures the spirit of economic relationships in most of the current social media environments. In his most recent book, The Long Tail, Anderson pays a fair amount of attention to those relationships, which are largely non-monetary in nature."
"New research by University of Calgary, Faculty of Kinesiology researcher Dr. Tim Welsh says that regardless of their intentions, having an individual working on a different task - within your field of vision - could be enough to slow down your performance."
"We have provided the first evidence that fish exhibit rudimentary mathematical abilities,' says experimental psychologist Christian Agrillo of the University of Padova in Italy, who made the discovery while studying a group mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki)."
"Bed Bath & Beyond is under fire for using multi-ply yarns to amp up the thread count of its linens. The lawsuit was filed by a suspicious consumer who had her sheets examined by a textile forensics lab and found that her 800-thread-count sheets were really only 408s (New Yorker 1.28.08)."
"The blue-ribbon winning project on dinosaurs and people roaming the earth together, with the color photos and the perfectly cut lettering, probably had parental help. The one explaining how a broken motor disproves Darwin's theory of evolution, with the roughly cut pieces of paper and the penciled in chicken scratches, probably did not."
"Ever notice hand-written signs with letters in all-caps, except for the letter L? It looks like an uppercase i ... WHY DO PEOPlE WRITE lIKE THIS?"
"The Star Tribune reports that dozens of bars in the Twin Cities are holding "theater nights" and declaring everyone in the bar to be an actor. By law, performers are allowed to smoke during theatrical performances."
"It is a sturdy diamond ring whose point faces out, turning it into a potentially lethal weapon."
"Mark Cuban argues that the Internet is now becoming a hinderance to our productivity. Idris Moote makes an even stronger case. He notes that productivity growth has gradually slowed since 2004. Moote cites statistics showing that interruptions from e-mail, cell phones, instant messaging, and blogs take up nearly 30% of each day; on an annualized basis, this represents a loss of 28 billion hours for the entire US workforce."
Check for my TED-specific posts here.
"I remember thinking 'This is it, I'm going to die,'" the 34-year-old contractor said from his bed at Buffalo General Hospital, where he is still under observation after sustaining three gunshot wounds, including one that left a bullet lodged in his spine. "Then I looked around at where I was and told myself there was no way in hell I was going to let them find me curled up behind a floor display of Midnight Jasmine Housewarmer jar candles."
"Trapster is a free community driven mobile phone app where drivers alert others to speed traps. The program runs in the background on your mobile phone (although the true simplicity of the service is achieved if the phone supports GPS or WiFi), and by hitting a simple combination of keys location data is sent to Trapster, logging coordinates onto a Google maplet."
"Texas Republicans have worked overtime to make it harder for key Democratic voting groups to vote and be represented fairly. The redistricting games they’ve played are infamous. And for the Prairie View A&M University precincts, they put the early-polling place more than seven miles from the school. So what did the students in this video do? They shut down the highway as they marched seven miles to cast their votes on the first day of early voting."
"As a result of Sharper Image's bankruptcy filing earlier this week, the company's decided to stop accepting gift cards until they can get their finances in order."
Creighton 65, Oral Roberts 64
The Unofficial - Save the Breakfast Sandwich at Starbucks Website
"A small coffee chain (2 stores) in California is offering free coffee during the much ballyhooed "Starbucks retraining event," on Tuesday, February 26th from 5:30 PM until 8:30 PM PST."
"A city board stunned developers, preservationists and Ballard residents Wednesday by voting 6-3 to designate the boarded-up Denny's Restaurant at Northwest Market Street and 15th Avenue Northwest a landmark — based largely on the visual punch the structure's Googie-esque roofline delivers to passing motorists."
"Linda Stone (who coined the phrase "continuous partial attention") has noticed that people hold their breath and breathe shallowly when answering email, a phenomenon she'd dubbed "email apnea."
"In 2000, nerd news mecca Slashdot reported that eBay was actively complying with Church of Scientology requests to take down auctions of used e-meters. At the time, eBay’s explanation went as follows: “…someone who claims to be an owner of Intellectual property can send a notice sworn under penalty of perjury that an item is infringing.”
"Every parent of young children has an unwanted-toy graveyard somewhere in the home. Today’s prized playthings inevitably become tomorrow’s cast-offs, ready to be given away, discarded or boxed up in the garage. The alternative, offered by Texas start-up Babyplays, is to receive four to six toys by mail each month. Parents can keep the toys as long as they like, and send them back to receive a fresh batch. Monthly subscription rates range from USD 36.99 to 64.99."
"Beyonce's father says Aretha Franklin's criticism of his daughter for referring to Tina Turner as "the Queen" at the Grammys is "ridiculous."
"I'd be honored to have President George Bush's support, his endorsement," McCain responded. "And I'd be honored to be anywhere with him under any circumstances."
"It's just people who hate things. But you know what? If they don't like my beef-cheek ravioli and the rock-and-roll we play on the sound system at Babbo, they can suck my dick. I don't care."
"Though his bakery does far more wedding cakes, Mr. Bach admits that he has created a few cakes for women going through a divorce. The trend started about six years ago, and the bakery charges about $185 per cake."
"A Washington state woman won't be collecting any interest on one bank deposit, authorities say. According to court documents, the 18-year-old woman mistakenly put a bag of methamphetamine in an envelope with her cash and dropped it off at a Kitsap Credit Union automated teller machine. A bank worker found the meth and called police."
"On the heels of a disappointing loss Wednesday at Evansville, the Bluejays were trounced 87-59 by Bradley in a Missouri Valley game witnessed by a soldout crowd of 11,335."
"DDB Canada has instituted a penalty system for Blackberry use during meetings."
"There are also a lot of Libertarians blogging. Of all registered voters, 24.6% say they regularly or occasionally blog.
• 37.6% are Libertarians.
• 26.9% are Democrats.
• 25.7% are Independents.
• 22.9% are Republicans."
"...after blogging about an impromptu Billy Ray Cyrus performance at the company's office. Sam Machkovech says he was let go for breaking Amazon.com's non-disclosure agreement, and for blogging while at work."
"The Kansas State High School Activities Association said referees reported that Michelle Campbell was preparing to officiate at St. Mary's Academy near Topeka on Feb. 2 when a school official insisted that Campbell could not call the game. The reason given, according to the referees: Campbell, as a woman, could not be put in a position of authority over boys because of the academy's beliefs."
"Markus Kison's CharmingBurka is a Bluetooth-enabled Burka that sends a photo of the wearer to nearby mobile phones."
"Happy Valentine’s Day? With exquisite timing, lingerie darlings Agent Provocateur unveil their latest product, a pair of Guantanamo orange knickers emblazoned with the message “Fair Trial My Arse.”
"Scalia said that it was "extraordinary" to assume that the U.S. Constitution's ban on "cruel and unusual punishment" also applied to "so-called" torture."
"...the Times declined to run it unless the sponsors altered the artwork (pictured above) — which they refused to do. "The artwork was something we didn't feel was appropriate for our audience," says the Times' VP of advertising, Mei-Mei Chan."
"I give you, herewith, a capsule summary your world, and in far less than 22 minutes: * The current employment rate is 95.3 percent. * Out of 300 million Americans, roughly 299.999954 million were not murdered today. * Day after day, some 35,000 commercial flights traverse our skies without incident. * The vast majority of college students who got drunk last weekend did not rape anyone, or kill themselves or anyone else in a DUI or hazing incident. On Monday, they got up and went to class, bleary-eyed but otherwise okay. It is not being a Pollyanna to state such facts, because they are facts. Next time you watch the news, keep in mind that what you’re most often seeing is trivia framed as Truth. Or as British humorist/philosopher G.K. Chesteron whimsically put it some decades ago, “Journalism consists in saying ‘Lord Jones is dead’ to people who never knew Lord Jones was alive.”
"Comcast Corp. told the Federal Communications Commission in formal comments Tuesday that hampering some file-sharing by its subscribers was a justifiable way to keep Web traffic flowing for everyone."
"The company behind the BlackBerry smart phones says Monday's three-hour outage was caused by an upgrade designed to increase capacity."
"Winning on the road in the Missouri Valley Conference is never easy, even in Roberts Stadium, home of league doormat Evansville. The Aces punched that point home Wednesday night when they came from 12 points down one free throw at a time for a 60-56 upset of Creighton."
"Meet Natalie Cooper, a 17-year-old teenager who has a mystery illness that makes her sick every time she eats anything. Well, almost anything. She can eat one thing that doesn’t make her sick: Tic tac mint!"
"After failing to discourage people from riding the train on its roof, Indonesian authorities have developed a new tactic: spray ‘em with color liquids! Indonesian commuters riding on the roofs of trains will be sprayed with coloured liquid so that security officers can identify and arrest them, a report said on Saturday."
"This photo came to us from an anonymous STF reader. Losing big to Creighton in the Missouri Valley on Sunday, Southern Illinois head coach Chris Lowery allegedly expressed his digital displeasure with the officiating, no doubt leading to the "What?!? My nose itches!!!" defense."
"WORLD’S FIRST VEGAN STRIP CLUB OPENS IN PORTLAND, OREGON Portland, OR (PRWEB) January 30, 2008 — Portland, known for its alternative counter culture and by some considered the most vegan friendly city in the United States now has a new vegan offering, adult entertainment. Casa Diablo Gentlemen’s club opens Friday, February 1st, 2008. Casa Diablo is owned and operated by Johnny Diablo an ethical vegan for over 23 years. Casa Diablo is unique because it is the only venue of its type that serves food and drink 100% free of any animal products."
"Need to use the restroom while you are on a long drive in Finland? You better have a mobile phone on you! In order to fight back against vandalism, the Finnish Road Administration has started deploying this January a system which allows travellers to open the doors to roadside toilets only by sending an SMS message to the number given on the door."
"Even if you split this "starter" with three friends, you'll have downed a dinner's worth of calories before your entree arrives. Follow this up with a steak, sides, and a dessert and you could easily break the 3,500 calorie barrier."
A controversial Virginia lawmaker is trying to introduce new legislation to ban rubber testicles from being fitted to the back of trucks.
Lionel Spruill, known for his failed attempt in 2005 to ban baggy pants, says the motivation for his latest idea came from a constituent.
"Denver can expect prostitution spike during convention."
"America's superheroes take on preemptive war, torture, warrantless spying, and George W. himself."
"When Kleinfeld began sifting through Milgram’s original data at Yale, she was surprised to find how much that data seemed to conflict with what Milgram had reported."
"Creighton's seniors talked before Sunday's game against Southern Illinois about the agony the Salukis had inflicted over the years.
The Bluejays then went out and brought the pain in administering a 72-53 beating before 15,834 at Qwest Center Omaha. The victory was Creighton's first at home against Southern Illinois since January 2003."
"A 65-pound Labrador retriever, without benefit of an airplane or parachute, flew from the top of an airport parking deck six stories down - and survived."
"Twenty voters at a Far North Side precinct who found their ink pens not working were told by election judges not to worry. It's invisible ink, officials said. The scanner will count it. But their votes weren't recorded after all."
"The Nielsen Company today announced that it has made a strategic investment in NeuroFocus, an innovative firm that specializes in applying brainwave research to advertising, programming and messaging. The two companies will work together in an alliance to develop new forms of measurement and metrics based on the latest advances in neuroscience."
"High Water Line is a public artwork on the New York city waterfront designed to create an immediate visual and local understanding of the affects of climate change. I will be marking the 10-feet above sea level line by drawing a blue chalk line and installing illuminated beacons in parks. This line marks the extent of increased flooding brought on by stronger and more frequent storms as a result of climate change."
"Britain's first playground for the over-60s opens today in Manchester."
"Ford is announcing an RFID system for their big trucks to help track tools."
"The Bush administration proposed cutting the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's appropriation in half in 2009 and by even more after that.. budget cut The proposal continues a trend in which Republicans try to slash the noncom budget,, sometimes invoking an alleged liberal bias."
"Late last month, the South Carolina Department of Education invited advertisers to get on the bus, literally. Seeking a new source of revenue, the board inked a deal with contractor SAC to place an 11-inch-wide strip of advertising above the windows inside school buses."
"The Homeless World Cup is an annual, international football tournament, uniting teams of people who are homeless and excluded to take a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent their country and change their lives forever. It has inspired and supports over 50 grass roots football projects around the world working with homeless and excluded people throughout the year."
"The blue state/red state division is better expressed in terms of the persistent conflicts between the big cities and their rural hinterlands, over land use, water rights and environmental, class and cultural issues. Red states are simply those where the country can outvote the urban centres, while in blue states the opposite is true. The perception that America has liberal coasts and a conservative interior merely reflects the fact that the coastal states are home to the largest metropolitan areas with the most electoral muscle. Last time around, for instance, Bush easily won the heartland state of Missouri, but was as crushingly defeated by Kerry in St Louis as he was in the cities of New York, Boston, San Francisco and Seattle. So Obama's victory over Clinton in rural Nevada says something important about his ability as the apostle of national reconciliation."
"Clinton is an essay, solid and reasoned; Obama is a poem, lyric and filled with possibility."
"Travelers who frequent Conrad Hotels have another decision to make when making a reservation. What kind of pillow they prefer. Conrad Hotels offer over 75 varieties."
...one. Apologies to Mr. Hughlett, but my mirth cannot be contained.
Congratulations, and thank you, New York Giants.
"Garrison Keillor, host of public radio's "A Prairie Home Companion," has dropped a restraining order he had obtained against a fan after she agreed not to contact him again."
"I’m pretty sure whoever thought up these Novelty Passport Covers has never been through an airport, nor have they ever dealt with customs officers. Now I’m not going to say that the good people working at customs don’t have a sense of humor, because I’m sure such comments would result in my name being red-flagged in some database. But I will say they take their jobs very, very seriously. And if you were to hand them your passport with a ‘PIMP’ or ‘PLAYER’ cover on it, I’m pretty sure they’d make sure you wouldn’t be making your flight that day."
"Night at the Roxbury" references.
Parodies of the "Thriller" video.
I don't need a 10-minute montage of overpaid, sterioid-ridden geniuses informing me of of all the "creator-given rights" the Constitution grants me.
Fox equals fascism.
"Gallup Poll Daily tracking shows Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as close as they have been since the polling program started at the beginning of 2008."
"A bill is making its way through Vermont legislature to free motorists from the $40 license renewal fee for life – that is, if they agree to donate their organs in death."
"The 55 passengers will have to remain clothed until they board, and dress before disembarking, said Hess. The crew will remain clothed throughout the flight for safety reasons. "I wish I could say we thought of it ourselves but the idea came from a customer," Hess told Reuters by phone. "It's an unusual gap in the market." Naturism, or "free body culture" (FKK) as it is known in Germany, was banned by the Nazis but blossomed again after the Second World War, particularly in eastern Germany."
"A new Swiss venture called Sleep-In could change that. Set up in advance of the 2008 European Football Championship that will take place in Switzerland and Austria this June, Sleep-In enables area residents from both countries to offer their homes to visiting soccer fans."
"Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey denied benefits to two minors because they have eating disorders. Eating disorders, the insurance company claims, are emotional, not biological. It gets more fun: Horizon has demanded access to the kids MySpace and Facebook accounds, to "shed light on the causes of the disorders, which determines the insurer's responsibility for payment."
"Woolworths has withdrawn bedroom furniture for young girls bearing the sexually charged name Lolita after a campaign waged by a mothers’ online chat room. The Lolita Midsleeper Combi, a whitewashed wooden bed with pull-out desk and cupboard intended for girls aged about 6, was on sale on the Woolworths website for $395."
"In 2002, Ireland passed a tax on plastic bags; customers who want them must now pay 33 cents per bag at the register. There was an advertising awareness campaign. And then something happened that was bigger than the sum of these parts. Within weeks, plastic bag use dropped 94 percent. Within a year, nearly everyone had bought reusable cloth bags, keeping them in offices and in the backs of cars. Plastic bags were not outlawed, but carrying them became socially unacceptable—on a par with wearing a fur coat or not cleaning up after one’s dog."
"Starting today and continuing through Valentine’s Day, Seattle’s Cupcake Royale is offering the Deathcake Royale, featuring “layers of single-origin chocolate decadence, espresso ganache, and [Cupcake Royale’s] own chocolate-cake deluxe, drizzled with rich chocolate ganache” to create “Seattle’s most lovingly lethal cupcake.”
"After ordering pizza for the gang on Super Bowl Sunday, many folks will be able to go online and track the progress of their pies. Domino's, the pizza-delivery kingpin, today will unveil a technology, Pizza Tracker, that lets customers literally track their pizza from the moment they place the order until it leaves the store en route to them. What's more, Domino's vows that its online tracking system � for phone or online orders � is accurate to within 40 seconds. "We're filling that black box of uncertainty � 'Has my pizza been forgotten?' � with information and entertainment," says Chris McGlothlin, technology chief at Domino's."
"The sunscreen that you dutifully slather on before a swim on the beach may be protecting your body—but a new study finds that the chemicals are also killing coral reefs worldwide."
"Seattle's Top Pot Doughnuts has announced plans to open nationwide, thanks to its partner Starbucks. Just a day after that company canceled its controversial breakfast sandwiches (which your correspondent loved and did not think detracted from the atmosphere), CEO-anew Schultz announced plans to carry Top Pot's products nation-wide."
"A 52-year-old Rochester man, arrested four days after being released from jail on new charges of exposing himself in public, pleaded guilty to the charges Friday and blamed a prescription drug for his actions. Michael Lynn Shirk-Heath told Olmsted District Judge Robert Birnbaum that at the time of the latest offenses, he was on a drug for restless leg syndrome. He said one of the side effects is increased sexual desire."
"I work with a lot of injured wildlife. Also not wild animals that are just in a lot of pain. Sometimes I have to euthanize them. I decided to record each animal I euthanize here."
"A Polish man got the shock of his life when he visited a brothel and spotted his wife among the establishment's employees. Polish tabloid Super Express said the woman had been making some extra money on the side while telling her husband she worked at a store in a nearby town."
"Most of the students entering College this fall, members of the Class of 2011, were born in 1989. For them, Alvin Ailey, Andrei Sakharov, Huey Newton, Emperor Hirohito, Ted Bundy, Abbie Hoffman, and Don the Beachcomber have always been dead."
"After fading late in its previous three Missouri Valley Conference games, Creighton closed with a flurry Saturday to snap its three-game losing skid with a 65-63 win over Wichita State."