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things that just are

Friday, January 30, 2004

Decomposing Whale Explodes on Street

TAIPEI (Reuters) - The decomposing remains of a 60-tonsperm whale exploded on a busy Taiwan street, showering nearby cars and shops with blood and organs and stopping traffic for hours, local newspapers said.

The 56-foot dead whale had been on a truck headed for an autopsy at a university earlier this week, when gases from internal decay caused its entrails to explode in the southern city of Tainan. The whale had died after it was beached on the southwestern coast of the island.

Wide load coming through'Oh no. My moped is all wet.'


Thursday, January 29, 2004

Ananova - Explorers to wear condoms to stop fish swimming up their penises

"Explorers to wear condoms to stop fish swimming up their penises A group of explorers in South America will wear condoms to stop fish swimming up their penises. The New Zealand team plan to swim in the Amazon and don't want the small catfish in their bladders. The fish is attracted to urine and has to be surgically removed from the bladder, where it dies.
Expedition doctor Marc Shaw says: 'It's the only place in the world where you put on a condom to go swimming.' Dr Shaw, from Hamilton's Anglesea Clinic, says the explorers could wear a cricket box instead. He adds their third option is to 'just hold tight.' 'If the fish swims up there the pain is excruciating and the fish has to be surgically removed from the bladder,' he says.
The group of 26 plan to study people's use of water and will end their trip in Venezuela, the Waikato Times reports."
that would hurt

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Springwise. The global new business ideas newsletter:
A monthly supply of new business ideas from around the world, to get you inspired and keep you in the know!

Monday, January 26, 2004

musicplasma : the music visual search engine Haven't yet quite figured out how it works, but seems to be a very cool way to find music you might like.

Author Asserts: Matzo Goes Mainstream

Los Angeles (www.koshertoday.com): Will Matzo follow the bagel in becoming a mainstream food worth billions. The bagel continues to be profiled as the most successful Jewish food ever, with sales worldwide in the millions. Profiled recently in such publications as The New York Times, the bagel’s Jewish origin and its ultimate success is a story that is being told repeatedly in the world press.” But author Darra Goldstein has titled her presentation (February 15th, Van Nuys, CA) “Matzo Goes Mainstream: Jewish Food in America.” Her title reflects a sentiment echoed in the past by many food experts that Matzo could potentially follow the bagel. Matzoh is said to include many of the health and diet benefits so important to consumers today.

...except that it tastes like cardboard.

First Mad Cow, Now Lox for UK Jews
London (www.kosheroday.com): Just when Britain’s 300,000 Jews thought that it was safe to switch to fish, came news that U.S. scientists have published research warning that farmed Scottish salmon, the source of the majority of British Jewry’s staple fish, contains high levels of potentially carcinogenic dioxins. The research, published in the respected journal Science, recommends that consumers avoid eating Scottish farmed salmon more than three times a year to reduce the potential cancer risk. British Jews are not taking this lying down, with many blaming the perceived scare to “politics.” If any warnings about farm-raised salmon do surface in the United States, added Rabbi Avrom Pollack, president of the Star-K kosher certification organization in Baltimore, alerts would apply to all fish with fins and scales, all fish considered kosher. The University of Indiana scientists behind the report claim that their work, which has the backing of a number of environmental groups, including Friends of the Earth, is the most comprehensive analysis to date of salmon toxin concentrations. Atlantic and organic salmon has seen a slight rise in sales since the research was published, but national and kosher sales of farmed fish have stayed steady after an initial small drop.

Who needs bioterrorism in the food supply when we do it to ourselves anyways?

Friday, January 23, 2004

Eurekster search:
"eurekster is the only search engine with personalized results"

Google meets Friendster. An interesting concept.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Don't forget to proofread

A Good Way to Lose Subscribers...


LONDON (Reuters) - A hiking magazine apologized on Thursday after it published a route plan that would have sent walkers striding into thin air off the north face of Britain's largest mountain, Ben Nevis.

The magazine, Trail, missed out a vital bearing needed to guide climbers off the summit of the Scottish mountain in bad weather. Anyone who had followed the magazine's directions would have plunged down a sheer cliff into nearby Gardyloo Gully.

Editor Guy Procter, himself a keen hillwalker, said that Trail published 200 routes every year and had never made a similar mistake before.

'I should have picked it up at the final proofreading stage, but unfortunately it slipped through,' he told Reuters. The error was spotted by the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, which published a warning about the 'dangerous bearing' on their Web Site.
Procter said he was confident his readers always carried maps while hill-walking and would therefore immediately notice the error."

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Israeli Rabbi Offers Prayer for Web Porn Browsers


JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli rabbi has composed a prayer to help devout Jews overcome guilt after visiting porn web sites while browsing the Internet. Online Games Take Off Match wits with anyone, anywhere--just get in the game. Plus, smart gaming tips and free retro game downloads.

'Please God, help me cleanse the computer of viruses and evil photographs which disturb and ruin my work..., so that I shall be able to cleanse myself (of sin),' reads the benediction by Shlomo Eliahu, chief rabbi in the northern town of Safed.

Eliahu, quoted by Israel's largest daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, said he had responded to a deluge of queries from Orthodox Jews worried that the lure of Internet sex sites was putting family relationships at risk.

The rabbi recommends that Jews recite the prayer when they log on to the Internet or even program it to flash up on their computer screens so they are spiritually covered whether they enter a porn site intentionally or by mistake."

reminds me of that line from the Woody Allen movie...

Thursday, January 15, 2004

New Google Tricks

"Maps Users who enter area codes such as [650] into the Google search box see a map of that geographic region at the top of the results page.

Universal Product Codes (UPC)
Users can find more information about a specific product by entering its UPC code (the number on the bottom of a bar code typically displayed on product packaging) into the Google search box.

Flight tracking
Users can enter flight numbers such as [usair 50] into the Google search box to see a direct link to flight status information.

Vehicle ID (VIN) numbers
Entering a Vehicle ID number or (VIN) leads to a link for a page with more information about the year, make and model of a specific car.

U.S. Postal Service tracking numbers
By entering USPS tracking numbers into the Google search box, users see a direct link to the USPS website and information about the status of their package.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

File under 'P' for 'pretty dumb'...

Nokia Brochure Doles Out Advice on Manners, Diet

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Nokia besides being the world's biggest maker of mobile phones, also dispenses motherly advice on how to drive safely and be healthy, happy and less of a pain in the neck -- if you read the small print.

"Don't use your mobile phone when you're driving. Signal when you change lanes, stop when the light turns red and watch out for that kid on the bicycle... And it wouldn't kill you if you called your mother every once in a while," reads a Nokia marketing brochure.

Friendless phone owners are out of luck if they expect their Nokia cellphones to ring, it adds.

"No one will call you if you don't have any friends," reads the leaflet sent to shops around the world selling the Nokia 6800 model.

Spokesman Pekko Isosomppi told Reuters on Tuesday the phone's disclaimer aimed to lure "young, urban professionals with a good sense of humor."

He said no judicial corners were cut, with all the necessary warnings and product information about mobile phones given and with a bit added for good measure.

In the pamphlet, the handset giant also advises its customers to switch off their phones and forget about work for the weekend if they want to live longer.

Those in need of cellphone etiquette guidance or lifestyle tips could also turn to Nokia: "If you use your mobile phone in a fast-food restaurant, keep your voice down so you won't annoy people. And order a salad ... Quit smoking. Drink less."

Isosomppi said the pamphlet has inspired some conversation in Internet chat-rooms.

"But the reality is that a majority of people miss it. Normally, no one reads (the small print)."

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Cockroaches Hamper Woman's Attempt At Record Domino Topple

SINGAPORE, Aug. 12 — Cockroaches are just a creepy, crawling nuisance to many — but for Ma Lihua, who has been painstakingly setting up dominoes for the past six weeks in preparation for the world's longest solo topple, they are the enemy. One bug alone knocked down 8,000 tiles — a day's work for Ma, an event organizer said Tuesday.

Ma, a 24-year-old domino-laying expert from Beijing has been putting in 13-hour-days to meet her deadline and only takes short breaks for meals and the occasional badminton game to help relieve stress, said Brian Kim, Singapore manager of LG Electronics, the Korean company sponsoring the event next week.

She hopes to topple 350,000 tiles on Monday, he said.

''There's been an ongoing problem with cockroaches getting on the floor and they can wreak havoc with 350,000 dominoes,'' Kim said.

''It's caused some stress. It has caused some setbacks,'' he added.

Pandan leaves — thought to repel the insects — have been spread around the Singapore Expo hall where Ma is working and plastic barriers are put within the design to minimize the damage if the dominoes start to fall, Kim said.

In addition, a ring of rat traps ring the expo hall, but they are ''just a precaution,'' he added.

Kim said the record Ma is attempting to break was set by German Klaus Friedrich, who single-handedly set up and toppled 281,581 dominoes in 1984.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records web site, the most dominoes ever toppled at once by a group was 3,847,295.