Off-topic: April 2005

Saturday, April 30, 2005

View the Earth from any satellite in the sky.

View from Satellite

The satellite database is updated regularly but may not reflect the current position of satellites, such as the U.S. Space Shuttle, which maneuver frequently after reaching orbit.

Friday, April 29, 2005

komo news | Distraught Man Shot By Seattle Police

komo news | Distraught Man Shot By Seattle Police

SEATTLE - Police who went to the aid of a distraught man jumping off a bridge in Seattle ended up shooting him early Friday morning.

Spokeswoman Debra Brown says officers were trying to calm the man when they struggled and shots were fired.

The man in his 20's was taken to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

It happened about 4:15 a.m. at the First Avenue South Bridge over the Duwamish River as the man's wife and child were in a car. The man's mother had reportedly called police to say he was suicidal.

Brown says the man jumped off the bridge twice at a low level. After the first jump he went back and tried again before police arrived.

Beer makes you clever: official | The Register

Beer makes you clever: official | The Register: "We already know that beer doesn't actually make you fat but rather fights cancer while promoting world peace and understanding and a brighter future for all our children."

We already know that beer doesn't actually make you fat but rather fights cancer while promoting world peace and understanding and a brighter future for all our children.

It's no surprise then that we can now confirm what the super-intelligent if somehat wobbly hacks at Vulture Central have known for years: alcohol makes you cleverer.

That's to say, a Swedish team has shown that mice fed with moderate amounts of alcohol grew new nerve cells in the brain. The full implications of the Karolinska Institute research - which appears in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology - are unclear, but lead boffin Stefan Brene told the BBC: "We believe that the increased production of new nerve cells during moderate alcohol consumption can be important for the development of alcohol addiction and other long-term effects of alcohol on the brain."

He did, however, add that it's possible that "the extra cells might help with learning and memory" - although we reckon the word "moderate" is key here since no-one who has ever drunk 16 pints of ale has been able to recall a single detail of the session come the following morning.

A spokeswoman from Alcohol Concern concluded: "This type of study could prove useful in the long term to shed light on the relationship between alcohol intake and dependency. However, very little can be drawn from a single animal-based study at this stage. Much more research is needed to explore the relationship between drinking patterns and their effect on the human brain."

Origins: The scene pictured above was captured by Charlotte Observer Patrick Schneider during a house fire in July 1999 and shows firefighter Jeff Clark receiving a doggie greeting from a pregnant red Doberman named Cinnamon. As the Observer described the circumstances behind the photograph in an April 2005 retrospective:
Charlotte firefighter Jeff Clark and Cinnamon, a pregnant red Doberman, gained international exposure with this photograph snapped by the Observer's Patrick Schneider during a July 1999 house fire. Seen through wire services and the Internet, the picture has moved people around the world and is still a top reprint seller.
However, the text that now accompanies e-mailed versions of the photograph is inaccurate in suggesting that Cinnamon was "thanking" firefighter Clark for saving her life "by carrying her out of the house into her front yard." As Clark himself explained, he didn't rescue the dog, and his encounter with her was pure happenstance:
We didn't do anything (special) to save Cinnamon. When we have a house fire, we have to do a primary search. There could be people home and inside. Our first major concern is life safety. That house was full of smoke and we couldn't see it very well. All I saw was a dog run out, and one was (already) in the backyard. I think Cinnamon got out the door herself.

The dog approached me. As soon as I knelt down and took my mask off, Patrick was coming around the corner of the house and took the picture.
Jeff Clark is still with the Charlotte Fire Department. Cinnamon eventually gave birth to five puppies and lived for several more years until she passed away in January 2005.

This is an actual emergency room photo of a gentleman who lost control of his motorcycle on a country road in West Virginia . Troopers believe that he was traveling at a speed of approximately 75 mph at the time of the accident. He was unable to negotiate a curve in the road. Unfortunately for him, upon striking the ditch and being ejected from the bike, he landed back end first on a fence post from an old barnyard fence that was downed on the side of the road. You can probably picture what happened next, but the attached picture says it all. This picture was obviously removed from the trooper's files without permission. The good news is that after about 6 months, this man made a full recovery after suffering a shattered hip, broken leg, several broken ribs, internal injuries, and "soft tissue" damage. Doctors credited his recovery to the fact that the post lodged itself so tightly that there was little or no blood loss. Now, That's a splinter!!!

NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft snapped this photograph of comet Tempel 1 on April 25. It is the first of many photos the spacecraft will take as it approaches the comet and prepares to launch a projectile into it on July 4.
Photo: Courtesy of NASA/JPL/UMD

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Yahoo! News - Well, Here's Your Trouble Right Here, Sir...

Yahoo! News - Well, Here's Your Trouble Right Here, Sir...: "Doctors found around 50 maggots in the
ears of an 84-year-old Thai man after he went to hospital
complaining of an itch."
Wednesday's Nation newspaper said Anan Temtan, who lives in the tsunami-hit southern resort island of Phuket, had used cotton buds to relieve the itching, but had scratched so hard his eardrums ruptured and started bleeding.

"We believe flies might have gone inside his ears to lay eggs, which hatched into larvae and caused the itching," said Somsak Nonthasri, the doctor who treated him.

Somsak, who used tweezers and a small suction device to remove the maggots, said Anan would be kept in for observation for a while to make sure no more eggs hatched.

Do you get better gas mileage when you leave the tailgate of a pickup truck down?

Do you get better gas mileage when you leave the tailgate of a pickup truck down?: "With petrol
at an unholy premium, folks are willing to try just about anything to
squeeze a few extra miles between fill-ups. Many pickup owners have
long believed that lowering the tailgate cuts down on wind resistance,
and, as a result, saves gas. Seems logical, right?"

While many have tried this method, only a few have bothered to quantify the results. One driver went so far as to use a device called a ScanGauge that determines mileage in real time. As he puts it, his results were "surprising." He achieved 17.6 MPG with the tailgate up and 17.7 MPG with the tailgate down. A slight improvement, but 0.1 MPG doesn't exactly equal big savings at the pump.

Automotive experts Tom and Ray Magliozzi have an opinion too. Like most of us, they initially believed that an open tailgate improves wind resistance. But as it turns out, it simply isn't true. Aerodynamics engineers have found that wind resistance is actually lower when the tailgate is up. Why? When the tailgate is raised, a "separated bubble" of stagnant air is formed in the bed of the pickup. Wind tends to swoosh over this bubble as though it were part of the truck. Lower the tailgate, and the bubble disappears, which leads to increased wind resistance.

Looks like if you really want to save money on gas, your best bet is taking the bus.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Yahoo! News - Would-Be Car Burglar Locks Self in Trunk

Yahoo! News - Would-Be Car Burglar Locks Self in Trunk
FRESNO, Calif. - A man attempting to burglarize a car over the weekend locked himself in the trunk and was swiftly arrested, police said.

A security guard at an apartment complex in southeast Fresno followed a trail of blood to a banging noise coming from the trunk in the early morning hours Sunday.

Authorities responding to the scene expected to find a victim, but instead discovered the burglar.

"Genius, pure genius," said Fresno County Sheriff's Lt. Louis Hernandez.

Police said he cut himself on the door of another car he'd broken into, then trickled blood across the parking lot to the car he eventually locked himself inside.

The man initially told authorities he had been hit on the head and stuffed in the trunk, but police found items stolen from another vehicle inside the trunk with the suspect.

"He popped the trunk from the inside and crawled back there, ransacking every inch," Hernandez said. "But then he grabs the trunk to heave himself out and closes it on top of him. He's got to be the dumbest criminal of the day."

The man was taken to University Medical Center to be treated for cuts, then to the Fresno County Jail to be booked on two counts of theft.

Police did not identify the suspect.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Liberated Games

Liberated Games: "3 in Three"
Free, legal games for download.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Make a fire from a can of coke and a chocolate bar!

Should you ever get separated from your computer and stuck in the wilderness, this HOWTO could come in handy.

read more | digg story

Exploding toads baffle German experts - Yahoo! News

Exploding toads baffle German experts - Yahoo! News: "According to reports from animal welfare workers and veterinarians as
many as a thousand of the amphibians have perished after their bodies
swelled to bursting point and their entrails were propelled for up to a
metre (three feet)."
"You see the animals crawling on the ground, swelling and then exploding."
Hahaa...........Damn, this would be fun on a Saturday night.

Friday, April 22, 2005 - Chuck Berry pianist Johnnie Johnson dead - Apr 13, 2005 - Chuck Berry pianist Johnnie Johnson dead - Apr 13, 2005: "Chuck Berry pianist Johnnie Johnson dead"
Johnson died at his St. Louis home. The cause of death was not immediately known, said publicist Margo Lewis. He had been hospitalized a month ago with pneumonia and was on dialysis for a kidney ailment, said John May, a friend and fellow musician.

Though he was never a household name, Johnson and Berry's long collaboration helped define early rock 'n' roll. Johnson often composed the music on piano, then Berry converted it to guitar and wrote the lyrics. In fact, Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" was a tribute to Johnson.

After he and Berry parted ways, Johnson performed with Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, John Lee Hooker and Bo Diddley, among others. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 in the "sidemen" category.
While serving in the Marine Corps in the Pacific, he played in a group composed of musicians from the Count Basie and Lionel Hampton bands. He said that meeting many of his idols focused him on a career in music.
Born in Fairmont, W.Va., in 1924, Johnson began playing piano as a child; he was influenced by such jazzmen as Art Tatum, Earl "Fatha" Hines and Count Basie. He served in the Marines during World War II and was a member of the Special Services Band. After the war, he played the Chicago clubs in the blues bands of Muddy Waters and Albert King.
He is survived by his wife, Frances, and 10 children.

Computing History 1968-Present :: Scott Granneman

Computing History 1968-Present :: Scott Granneman: "Apple"
Nice overview of the history of technology. Broken down by categories, and contains pictures.

Wired News: Why Google Is Like Wal-Mart

Wired News: Why Google Is Like Wal-Mart: "On one hand, you have a company that rose up from modest beginnings to
become one of the richest businesses in America (indeed, the world),
and in the process revolutionized the use of technology to create a new
way to do business -- helping people find what they want."
My favorite part:
• Wal-Mart: $202 billion (not bad for a company that peddles cheap goods imported from China).

• Google: $55 billion (not bad for a company that doesn't actually make anything).
I can remember as a kid when they used to promote American made product's. I wonder if Sam would be proud now , or if this was just part of his master plan.
I used to work with a guy who said that Sam Walton had a three phase business plan and that we were only seeing phase two now.
What's next?

Yahoo! News - Forced Hibernation Could Save Human Lives -Study

Yahoo! News - Forced Hibernation Could Save Human Lives -Study: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) -

Mice forced to breathe hydrogen
sulfide -- known best for its rotten egg smell -- go into a
kind of suspended animation, U.S. researchers said on Thursday
in a finding that may help save human lives.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Yahoo! News - Experts Solve Mystery of Unpopped Popcorn

Yahoo! News - Experts Solve Mystery of Unpopped Popcorn: "Eat your way to the bottom of almost any bag of popcorn and there they
are: the rock-hard, jaw-rattling unpopped kernels known as old maids.
The nuisance kernels have kept many a dentist busy, but their days
could be numbered: Scientists say they now know why some popcorn
kernels resist popping into puffy white globes."

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Hundreds of cool things to do with RUNDLL32.exe

This site has loads of great uses for RUNDLL32.exe that can be accessed from the Run Menu or from a RUN command. Very useful for getting to control panel functions from your users locked-down machines.

read more | digg story

Yahoo! News - Missouri Man Spits on Jane Fonda

Yahoo! News - Missouri Man Spits on Jane Fonda: "A man spit tobacco juice into the face of actress Jane Fonda after waiting in line to have her sign her new book, police said."
GOOD!!! Enough said.Darren

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

2000 uses for WD40 -- Tacoma Wheelmen

2000 uses for WD40 -- Tacoma Wheelmen
• Use to loosen rusty nuts and screws, clean garden tools.
• Cleans piano keys
• Keeps wicker chairs from squeaking
• Lubricates small rolling toys
• Keeps garden tools rust-free
• Cleans patio door glide strip
• Removes crayon from clothes dryer (make sure to unplug dryer first)
• Removes scuff marks from ceramic tile floor
• Keeps metal wind chimes rust-free
• Removes crayon from walls
You gotta try these. What have you got to lose?

TechWeb | News | Mozilla Patches Firefox, But Site Suffers Brief Outage

TechWeb | News | Mozilla Patches Firefox, But Site Suffers Brief Outage: "By
Gregg Keizer, TechWeb News"
Mozilla's browsers have been patched against a half dozen or more vulnerabilities, the open-source group responsible for producing the popular Firefox and the older Mozilla suite said late last week.

The site was offline and unavailable for nearly two hours Monday, but at the time of this posting, it was back up and running.

Firefox updated to 1.0.3 and Mozilla to 1.7.7 on Friday, both updates essentially security fixes that plugged nine and six vulnerabilities, respectively. The most substantial vulnerability was a bug in the JavaScript engine's memory heap management, which was first reported earlier this month.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Science Tricks - Surfing Scientist - The Lab

Science Tricks - Surfing Scientist - The Lab
A website basically about some science tricks you can do. Try the physical challenge. That was pretty hard for me. They all are pretty cool to check out.

Wired News: U.S. Military's Elite Hacker Crew

Wired News: U.S. Military's Elite Hacker Crew: "The U.S. military has assembled the world's most formidable hacker
posse: a super-secret, multimillion-dollar weapons program that may be
ready to launch bloodless cyberwar against enemy networks -- from
electric grids to telephone nets."

Sunday, April 17, 2005 - Download all your missing dll-files. - Download all your missing dll-files.
Everyone has received a "Couldn't find ****.dll..." pop-up message at some time.
Well folks, your problems are over!
Here you will find the most common files that may be missing or corrupted on your computer. Feel free to download at no cost!

Photos: Up, up and away | CNET

Photos: Up, up and away | CNET
The AirScooter II is a personal aircraft that weighs about 300 pounds. It doesn't require a pilot's license to fly it.

Saturday, April 16, 2005 - Clear Instructions on How To Do (just about) Everything - Clear Instructions on How To Do (just about) Everything: "

Browse Thousands of How-To Solutions


Google Does Package Tracking

digg: "Google Does Package Tracking"
Enter any shipping order tracking number in google(UPS, FedEX, whatever) and google will track it. Plus you can enter VIN numbers and much more!

Friday, April 15, 2005

the_unexplained: So tonight I spied on Area 51. Actually

New Scientist Breaking News - Dinosaur eggs found whole in mother's belly

New Scientist Breaking News - Dinosaur eggs found whole in mother's belly: "The first dinosaur eggs found complete with shells in the body of the
mother has solved the long-standing mystery of how dinosaurs laid their
eggs. The evidence shows they laid a clutch in a series of sittings,
like birds, rather than all at once like crocodiles and other living

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The heroic actions of Marine Lt. Brian Chontosh in Iraq-Truth!

The heroic actions of Marine Lt. Brian Chontosh in Iraq-Truth!: "The message says not much
was in the news about it, but a Marine named Brian Chontosh fought
to protect his men in Iraq by directly attacking them until he ran
out of ammunition and that he killed 20 enemy soldiers in the

He was presented the Navy Cross as a result."

Certain Dryer Softener Sheets can Clog your Lint Filter-Truth!

Certain Dryer Softener Sheets can Clog your Lint Filter-Truth!
Summary of the eRumor
The eRumor is a first-hand account of a person whose heating unit in a clothes dryer failed.
The man who repaired it pulled out what appeared to be a clean lint filter but when taken over to the kitchen sink would not allow water to run through it.
It was clogged.
The repairman said it was the result of using dryer sheets, that they result in a film that clogs the filter and that can only be removed by scrubbing the filter with a brush as well as soap.

Useful Dead Technologies ||

Useful Dead Technologies || "Steel gears

During the 1950s when I was a young boy, machinery was made of steel.
Not just machinery, but almost everything. Even my toys were made of
solid steel. I learned at an early age not to drop things on my foot."

How to Brew Beer in a Coffee Pot

How to Brew Beer in a Coffee Pot: "
Brewery tours are a golden opportunity for brewers to educate visitors
about the art of brewing. But any brewery employee who has been
assigned tour guide duty has seen the confusion on people's faces when
you describe the brewing process. To the visitor, brewing can sound
like a return to high school chemistry-with some alchemy thrown in."

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Yahoo! News - Wis. Considers Legalizing Cat Hunting

Yahoo! News - Wis. Considers Legalizing Cat Hunting: "Feline lovers holding pictures of cats, clutching stuffed animals and
wearing whiskers faced-off against hundreds of hunters at meetings
around Wisconsin to voice their opinion on whether to legalize cat
Now there's something we should consider here in Mo.

Mitchell Baker Makes The 2005 'Time' 100 - MozillaZine Talkback

Mitchell Baker Makes The 2005 'Time' 100 - MozillaZine Talkback
For the past few years, almost all Web surfers have used Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser, which at its peak commanded close to 97% market share. But five months ago, a new browser, Firefox, managed by a nonprofit foundation headed by Mitchell Baker, began gaining ground. The upstart browser has been downloaded more than 40 million times by users looking for a break from spyware, pop-ups and other Web nuisances

Monday, April 11, 2005

the Daily Irrelevant � Blog Archive � Company Bypasses Cookie-Deleting Consumers

the Daily Irrelevant � Blog Archive � Company Bypasses Cookie-Deleting Consumers
United Virtualities is offering online marketers and publishers technology that attempts to undermine the growing trend among consumers to delete cookies planted in their computers.

The New York company on Thursday unveiled what it calls PIE, or persistent identification element, a technology that’s uploaded to a browser and restores deleted cookies. In addition, PIE, which can’t be easily removed, can also act as a cookie backup, since it contains the same information.