Friday, November 30, 2007

R.I.P. Evel Knievel

Crazy stunt rider, owner of the raddest name ever, and at least ten times cooler than Super Dave.

About that name, Wikipedia says:

With a lot of time on his hands, Knievel began to get into more and more trouble around Butte. After one particular police chase in 1956 in which he crashed his motorcycle, Knievel was taken to jail on a charge of reckless driving. When the night jailer came around to check the roll, he noted Robert Knievel in one cell and William Knofel in the other. Knofel was well known as "Awful Knofel," so Knievel began to be referred to as Evel Knievel. The nickname stuck.

Apocryphal? Maybe. Awesome? Yes sir. Mr. Knievel, you will be missed.

A dip trip to flip chip substrate

The Gazette Sports e-mail box, having existed with the same address since roughly the beginning of time, gets a wide variety of bizarre off-topic e-mails. Take, for instance, this newsletter post from

Optimizing Flip Chip Substrate Layout for Assembly

High-density flip chip applications are commonly limited by the available substrate technologies. Accordingly, considerable design efforts are focussed on the optimized routing of signal, power and ground connections. More often overlooked are some of the effects of the substrate surface layout on assembly yields.


The first person who can tell me what any of that means wins something. Probably just the derisive sneers of your peers and loved ones, but that qualifies as "something," right?

Creep-you-out Friday

Looking into their eyes, I know beyond a doubt that each one of these ponies is waiting for me to show the merest flash of weakness, so they can surge forward and suck my soul out through my nostrils. The fact that they are evidently coming corporeally to my town fills me with abject terror.

Fortunately, it's easy enough to distract myself by giggling at the pre-order password. Hee.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What big eyes you have

We just got this release from Colorado State:


Well, I was relieved when I saw that. I had just been wondering, "Why was this year's hurricane season so average? If only someone could tell me why it was neither particularly mild nor severe. Be it one or two compelling and interesting reasons, or various minor ones, I simply must know. Perhaps someone in Fort Collins, Colorado, could tell me!" My prayers, it would seem, had been answered - but my confidence in their abilities faded when I read the lede:

FORT COLLINS - Cooler water and wind shear in the central tropical Atlantic resulted in this season not being above average as predicted by the Colorado State University hurricane forecast team.

So, really, they just sent us a press release to highlight their forecasting ineptitude. Way to go, PR team! If I may, let me suggest this alternate headline:

"Maybe we should move closer to the ocean"

Monday, November 26, 2007

Just call his name.

This from the fax machine:


Holy Rodent! New Singing Mouse Delivers Religious Experience.

The creator of a new plush singing mouse claims it is bringing people of all religions closer to God. Aptly named "Angel Mouse," it sings three verses from the song "I'll Be There," which was made famous by pop idols Mariah Carey and Michael Jackson."

Creator Jay Kimhi says that the mouse is having a religious effect on those who listen to it. "I made Angel Mouse because there was too much bad news on TV and I thought this would lighten the mood. I never expected the strong emotional reactions I've witnessed from people who've listened to this mouse."

According to Kamhi, the reactions have ranged from sobs to laughter. "I've seen normal people spontaneously burst into tears as they listen to the mouse sing."


This reporter suspects that Kamhi is using an alternate definition of the word "normal," but one thing's for sure: you owe it to yourself to listen to Angel Mouse.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Two news quickies

The second version of that last headline sounds like a children's book title. The other one sounds like a boring rapper story. I never thought I'd argue against proper punctuation, but there you are.

Meanwhile, Al Gore is apparently practicing for a new career as an illusionist. "I will now make your CO2 emissions... disappear!"

Friday, November 16, 2007

Creep-you-out Friday

This picture from must have been recently declassified:

It's good to know that the military is finally able to acknowledge the existence of these fascinating, if imperfect, human/octopus hybrids, although it disturbs me a bit to see it dressed this way. Can't we at least let our genetic abominations have some dignity?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Our princess is in another castle

There aren't many things that make me teary-eyed but we can add to the list marching bands assuming the form of the Triforce while playing the Hyrule theme. If that didn't make sense to you, then (a) joo are teh suxxor, and (b) don't bother clicking through.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Paris-elephant update

This from the wire: "Lori Berk, a publicist for Hilton, says she never made any comments about helping drunken elephants in India."

If it was indeed a hoax, please let the record show that we totally called it - not that the story was that widespread anyway.

Furthermore, if the hoax was started by someone in India, we officially declare it the second-weirdest story from there today. Behold the first-weirdest:


NEW DELHI - A man in southern India married a female dog in a traditional Hindu ceremony as an attempt to atone for stoning two other dogs to death — an act he believes cursed him — a newspaper reported Tuesday.

P. Selvakumar married the sari-draped former stray named Selvi, chosen by family members and then bathed and clothed for the ceremony Sunday at a Hindu temple in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, the Hindustan Times newspaper said.

Selvakumar, 33, told the paper he had been suffering since he stoned two dogs to death and hung their bodies from a tree 15 years ago.

"After that my legs and hands got paralyzed and I lost hearing in one ear," he said in the report.

A ringing endorsement

I sometimes write about music, which means I sometimes get press releases about bands. Today it was Rockfour, and their album "Memories of the Never Happened." Peep this fantastic blurb:

"Arguably Israel's biggest rock export"

I, for one, would like to hear that argument. My other demand is a t-shirt featuring nothing but the band's name, so people will ask me, "What's a Rockfour?"

Seriously, though, the band sounds pretty good. Click over for some solid jangle rock.


It's now time to set aside Porkchop's long-held policy of denying the existence of a certain vapid socialite. After all, who doesn't enjoy a quick game of "How many things are wrong with this picture?"

I'm pretty sure they made up a problem just so she could pretend to be helping something. They made it sound as cutesy and ridiculous as possible, to trick bloggers into spreading it. It won't work, though, mark my words.

Elsewhere on that same news site:
His charges will be reduced to third-degree ducking-while-being-photographed.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Creep-you-out Friday

Behold the ghastly splash graphic at*

There are several spine-chilling elements to this picture. First, there's the fact that at this resolution, you can't see any facial features except the gigantic, black, soulless eyes of the supposedly cute dolls.

But then there's the unspeakably evil tagline, "Celebrate precious blessings," juxtaposed with the rictus of pain on the face of the girl, who appears to be celebrating, if anything, some kind of hernia. We could call her eyes soulless as well, but it would be to miss the implicit cry for help:

"Please, mister," they say, "save me from this lifetime of forced labor. Take my bushel of apples and put me out of my misery quickly."

Maybe the "precious blessing" is cheap apples at the supermarket - but at what price?

*It's probably best not to ask what I was doing on in the first place.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Hence the phrase "stranger than fiction"

Look closely at this photo from BBC's pictures of the day and tell me what's happening:

OK, time's up. What did you come up with? Is he pleading with the bus not to hit him? Perhaps he belongs to some strange bus-worshiping cult? By all means, leave your best guesses in the comments, then come back and read this actual cutline:

All right, one more question: what exercises do you have to do in order to gain this capability?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Creep-you-out Monday

Then he stepped to the microphone, cleared his throat and intoned: "Brains. Braaaaaaains."

Friday, November 2, 2007

Seuss or Kafka?

Marvin learns that he is a Magnificent Nubian goat

That's the amusingly cryptic headline on a release faxed to us by Xlibris, home of every kind of book you can think of . I especially got a kick out of it because I saw the headline before the letterhead, so it looked like a news release.

Anyway, the book is "Marvin the Magnificent Nubian Goat" by Carol Hair Moore, and it appears to be more Seuss than Kafka: "This is the story of Marvin, who lived on Moore Farm, as he tries to find out who he is - a peacock, a horse, or a kitten?" It seems to me like the title kinda spoils the ending, but if you're still intrigued, you can check it out here.