Some Videos

Video of Boeing 747 & 777 Crosswinds Landing Test <-- The last one is the best
The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Jenga blocks
Russian Drivers <-- Where does the second truck come from!!!!??? Alex, Anthony, and I still can't figure that out.
Parking Trick (side view)
Parking Trick (top view)

Eggplant and Corn

Two-thirds of the world's eggplant is grown in New Jersey.

When the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers play football at home, the stadium becomes the state's third largest city. (I know, I know - but I'm not even going to argue about it. All I'm going to say is "you know what they mean.")

Another Dose of Random Facts

  • The national anthem of Greece has 158 verses.
  • The longest monosyllabic word in the English language is "screeched"
  • There are 293 different ways to make change for a dollar
  • The microwave was invented after a researcher walked past a radar tube and a chocolate bar in his pocket melted.

Africa Splitting Apart to Form New Ocean

Africa will apparently lose its horn in about 10 million years.

Today's Installment of Random Facts

  • On the Canadian Two Dollar bill, the flag flying over the Parliament Building is an American flag.
  • On the American One Dollar bill, there is an owl in the upper left hand corner of the "1" encased in the shield and a spider hidden in the front upper right hand corner.
  • On average, right handed people live nine years longer than left handed people.
  • Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.

(By the way, I have yet to confirm any of these. If anyone has any suggestions on how I could go about confirming #3, I'd be most interested ;-))

Google Mars

This is too cool. Granted, it's a very small map and was done more for the heck of it than anything, but still - it's cool.

I also liked the headline: "Google claims its next planet with defeat of House of Atreides."

It's so sad that not all of you get that reference . . . . . . . . . . . .

Random Facts

  • Coca-cola was originally green.
  • Every day, more money is printed for Monopoly than for the US Treasury.
  • Statistically, one is more likely to be killed by a champagne cork than by a poisonous spider.
  • Dreamt is the only word in English that ends in "mt."
  • Elephants are the only animals that can't jump.
  • In England, the Speaker of the House is not allowed to speak.
  • It would take 8 years, 7 months, and 6 days of continuous yelling to heat one cup of coffee via sound energy.

Classic Movies Available for Download - Free & Legal

There are a couple of sites that offer free, legal downloads of old, public domain movies. These movies are public domain because either they were never protected in the first place or their copyrights have expired.

Veoh was originally intended to be a place where people could post their own home videos (and they have - 10,000 of them), but it has also become the platform for old cult movies.

Public Domain Torrents, on the other hand, is devoted to Classic and B-rate movies.

New Personalized Web Page Creation Tool

This looks like it could be quite cool: the site requests that you input a subject in which you are interested and your five favorite news articles, blogs, images, etc. concerning that topic, and it automatically generates a personalized start page that includes RSS feeds, links to news articles, etc. The site, Boxxet, is currently a by-invitation-only, preview site. It should be up by the end of April. You can read more about it here.

Surprise: More Money Doesn't Equal Smarter Students

Oh wait, everyone with half a brain already knew that. My bad.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (which, I admit, I don't know very much about) has released a series of statistics that show that, over the last 22 years, the states that have poured the most money into their public school systems have not even come close to producing the best students. Moreover, the states that did the best at reducing the student to teacher ratio likewise did not end up at the top of the list of best-student producing schools.

Hairy Lobster

Last year, a team of divers, diving in 7500 deep waters 900 miles south of Easter Island, discovered what can be described as a 6 inch long, hairy lobster. The creature, which is so distinct from other known crustaceans, merited a new family and genus. Kiwa Hirsuta is the first member of the family Kiwaida, named after Kiwa, the Polynesian goddess of crustaceans.

Ave Maria Op-Ed

An interesting take on the recent flurry of anti-Ave Maria activity.

On a slightly different note, I love how it took the rest of the world so many years to even hear about it - but when they did, boy did they jump on the mass-media-story-of-the-week-to-blow-out-of-proportion bandwagon :-)

Complaining Customers

"Statistics suggest that, when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business." - Zig Ziglar, U.S. author and speaker

Home Sweet Home

Chances that an American lives within 50 miles of where they grew up: 1 in 2.

New Exercise Routine

Banging your head against a wall burns 150 calories an hour.

(Please don't try this at home . . . . . or anywhere else. No matter how tempting it may be. T'would be better to go jogging up the hill in shorts in the middle of winter at 1:00am. Maybe. Well, they're both not advisable. Don't try either of those at home. Or anywhere else.)

Gas Price Tracking Websites, et al

There are a number of different websites, which all take a number of different approaches, that track gas prices and can tell you where the cheapest gas is in your area. The two that stand out to me are (in no particular order):

MSN Autos - Local Gas Prices, the upside of this site is that their pricing data is provided by OPIS (Oil Price Information Service) - which makes it accurate. The downside is that OPIS data, even though it is updated nightly, might not be truly up to date. It may be up to 7 days due to the electronic processes by which they collect their data (e.g., through credit card transaction records). As well, the mapping element is provided by MSN MapPoint - which means that you can't scroll a map the way you can with a GoogleMaps mashup (in fact, you can't scroll this map at all). You can zoom, though, within the specified zip code without requiring an annoying page refresh.

Map Gas Prices, the upside of this site is that their mapping element is provided by GoogleMaps, so you can scroll without requiring a page refresh. Also, users can enter pricing data directly - which means that this site may be more up to date, but it also may be inaccurate due to the possibility of human error. It is unclear whether all of the pricing data on this site is obtained merely through user input (which I doubt, since 110,000 price points is an awful lot of user input), or if user input simply supplements data acquired through other means, e.g., OPIS. Another nice feature of this site is that you can sign up for automatic alerts via email for the lowest price point near you.

Map Gas Prices is produced by a company called Orbizon, Inc., which also produces a site called Map Sex Offenders, which (yes, you guessed it) displays the registered street addresses of registered sex offenders on a GoogleMaps map - this data is compiled from the web-based databases of various states.

Barbara Streisand Needs Spell Checker

"Barbra Streisand has launched a new spelling error-ridden dispatch on the Internet -- a dispatch that mocks President Bush for being a 'C student!'" (This is, by the way, the second time she's done this).

News Brief
Actual Barbara Streisand dispatch (as captured by a webcrawler)


Check out this list of Top Ten Lego creations.

Business Managers Finally Discover What Everyone Else Has Known for Years

Outsourcing customer-facing business processes, such as tech support, is a bad idea. I'm glad that Einstein was reincarnated so that the world could be thus enlightened.

Cola Wars, Browser Wars, now Mouthwash Wars

Pfizer rules mouthwash market for more than a century with Listerine.
Proctor & Gamble gets jealous and develops Crest Pro Health mouthwash.
Not bothering to poll actual dentists, P&G advertises product as "4 out of 5 dentists would recommend it."
Pfizer sues to prevent "irreparable harm and damage to Pfizer, as well as to consumers."

Don't believe me? Go here.

Free 411

I know I've already told some of you about this, but, for those of you who haven't heard about it yet:

1-800-free-411 is a service that gives you free 411 directory assistance any time. The catch is that you have to listen to a 15 second ad. But hey, it saves for a buck or two.

Extra cheese and pepperoni

On average, Americans consume 18 acres of pizza a day.

Fr. Fasano's Dream

New paint blocks cell phone signals on command.