Friday, November 30, 2007 Now for Your Household Uranium Needs

It's hard to describe this without breaking into laughter. And it's not just because is selling U-238. Oh no, that's just the start of it.

This product is uranium ore. Yep, that's what it is. No, I'm not kidding. The product is described thusly:
Radioactive sample of uranium ore. Useful for testing Geiger Counters. License exempt. Uranium ore sample sizes vary. Shipped in labeled metal container as shown. Shipping Information: We are always in compliance with Section 13 from part 40 of the NRC Nuclear Regulatory Commission rules and regulations and Postal Service regulations specified in 49 CFR 173.421 for activity limits of low level radioactive materials.
Even more hilarious is the section of the page that lists "Customers Who Bought Items Like This Also Bought:" ... take a look at the image (click to enlarge). It needs no description.

Yep, I always associate those items with uranium ore.

And that's not all. It's a highly rated product, with 4 out of 5 stars and 26 reviews, including:
  • I have to admit, I've tried many different power sources for my orbiting satellite death beam, and nothing does it like good old U-238.

  • This is the best strawberry jam I've ever tasted. It works well with toast AND English muffins.

  • My son wanted Play Doh for his birthday but unfortunately Toys 'R' Us was sold out of it. I figured this would be the next best thing.
The following, however, were rather negative, so take care when ordering this product:
  • I bought a can of this about 4.5 billion years ago, give or take a few million years, but when I went to use it today I noticed only half of it was still in the can. I swear I put the lid on tight. I'd give it more stars if it came in a better package.

  • This product was not properly labeled as unsafe for children!

  • Is too expensive and too small for building even small nuclear device much less power global death beam.
Unfortunately the product is not eligible for Amazon Prime or for with free shipping over $25.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Road Kill Toys Add Squash to Plush

I don't think they have any lead in them, but they certainly have some gore. The newest thing in plush toys: Road Kill.

Road Kill Toys is a new toy company, and as they themselves say, they are "toys with a macabre twist." Their first product is Twitch the Raccoon. All of the Road Kill toys will come with ID tags though, with information on the animal's demise. However, the first 1,000 Twitches sold will be limited editions, with special identity tags, hand-written by the designer.

The toy's, er, blood and guts can be stuffed into or pulled out of his body. A tire print even runs across its back.

Besides Twitch, future characters will include Grind the Rabbit, Splodge the Hedgehog, Pop the Weasel (it figures), Fender the Fox, and Smudge the Squirrel.

You can read their character profiles, including their death certificates, here.

The only one with a price so far in their shop is Twitch, at £25.00 --- the rest all have "call for pricing" tags. Still, as it says at their site, you'd better hurry before the maggots set in.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Lassie Supports the Hollywood Writers Strike

Yes, our favorite collie appears to be supporting the Writers Guild of America (WGA) by picketing (see pic). In reality this is an imposter (we know Lassie has plenty of stand-ins) ... but it is Lulu, a descendent of Lassie (though since there have been many Lassies, it's hard to say which one!).

However, as Lassie and his (yes, remember Lassie is a he) owners and descendents have made tons of money off the hard-working backs of Hollywood writers, through TV series and movies, it's likely he supports the WGA.

(Besides, anything for a cool-looking dog picture, I say. The identity of Lulu was confirmed in a photo caption at The USA Today, though they were not interested in Lulu, while I was!)

The WGA went on strike Nov. 5th over payment for work aired on the Web. Talks are reportedly set to start again today.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Fliers Still Advertise "Aqua Dots" Date-Rape Toys

Aqua Dots, an extremely popular and award-winning toy, was recalled early this month when it was discovered that a chemical coating on the dots metabolizes into the daet-rape drug GHB. Embarrassingly for some stores, the recall didn't seem to affect their fliers as post-Thanksgiving ads for some stores featured the toys.

Of course, it's only an embarrassment, no danger to consumers --- as calls I made to some stores advertising the toys showed none of them had any. Naturally these fliers are printed long in advance, and based on the popularity of Aqua Dots, they were heavily featured.

Reports indicate that Toys "R" Us and Target ads featured the toys, but not all fliers in all locations in the country apparently contain the ads. In fact, ads in my area contained the ads, while those cross-country in my father-in-law's area did not.

Still, it's likely that fliers with Aqua Dots in them will continue to appear for a few weeks.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Losing 2 Data CDs Not Good Enough for U.K. Gov't; Add Another Six

Remember how the U.K. government, specifically Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs Department (HMRC), lost two data CDs with the personal information of 40% of their population? Apparently their inter-office mail is built like a sieve as they have admitted losing six more data CDs.

Fortunately these CDs only contained recorded conversations between a member of staff and a customer making a complaint. While that's all well and good, it points to a pattern in the inter-office mail system which screams "stop using it."

While Prime Minister Gordon Brown has apologized for the data loss, let's admit it: that's little comfort to those whose data is concerned, just as in other cases of data loss. The HMRC does believe the CDs with personal information on them are still in their offices, but are still unable to find them.

Being Able to Tie a Noose: Not Really a Crime for an Eagle Scout

Wow, political correctness gone wild in the holiday season and it's not even about Santa Claus or anything. Amazing!

Travis Grigsby isn't an Eagle Scout, but he's close, according to his mother Kim. Naturally he knows how to tie a ton of different knots. And he's in the band. So when some kids on the drum line started talking about the best knots to use to tie up the drum equipment, it doesn't seem racist that one might ask if someone knew how to tie a noose.

In fact, Travis said he did but that he wouldn't because he could get in trouble for that. So, he knew about possible consequences and refused. Consequences! That's refreshing, actually.

Later, however, an African-American student on the drum line told the teacher he was offended. Apparently there's been some racial tension in the band at Lee's Summit West High School in Missouri.

Now, I might understand that if they were making racial comments, but in this case? This doesn't seem to be a "Jena Six" case, and seems overly sensitive. The school's response: a 10-day suspension for Travis and his friend Alex Coday, with the charge of "having a racially charged conversation about nooses."

Travis and Alex insist this was not the case, and the suspension was reduced to five days. But still, assuming the boys are telling the truth (and Travis' mother said the boys didn't get a chance to tell their side), is this political correctness gone wild again?

Friday, November 23, 2007

SMS for Someone's Name, Address, Phone Number. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

One of those "what were they thinking?" moments. The Indian state of Madhya Pradesh was (emphasis on "was") allowing anyone, just anyone, to text message the registration info of a car --- and get back the name, address, and phone number of the owner. What could possibly go wrong, eh?

Well, thinking about it a little, maybe young amorous men would start texting in trying to get the information of young women. And that's exactly what happened.

The advertisement (yep, they advertised this) for the service said, "SMS us the vehicle registration number ... and get all the information - vehicle, tax and owner's details. etc." After a series of complaints, the state transport department decided to stop sending all the info --- but they still send the owner's name.

According to the department, the service was meant to help policemen quickly find out details of vehicles involved in accidents or those suspected to have been stolen or involved in a crime. I guess that unlike the U.S., they can't just find that info by radioing back to the station or checking a computer.

The information was also meant to help those purchasing second-hand vehicles by providing details of the original date of purchase, fitness certificate, taxes and fees paid. Sounds a lot like CARFAX, but with a dating service attached. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

A Miniskirt Mouse Pad for the Prurient Web Surfer

At first glance, it looks like someone's got his hand up a mini-skirt. Take a closer look, and there's really a mouse pad inside the skirt.

Unfortunately, since I only found this one a Japanese-only online store, I don't know how much it costs. I did notice that in 2006 Axe had a promotion for their AxeFantasy site using these pads.

I hate to admit it, but I found this hiliarious, but at the same time, somewhat disturbing.

Criminal IDed by Video of His Butt

I kid you not. A knife attack by two men left Kevin Williams, 29, fighting for his life. The attack took place in a shop in Queen's ­Crescent, Kentish Town, and unlike shows like C.S.I., there was no residual forensic evidence. And Williams could remember little about the attack. But there was ... a closed-circuit video.

But the video didn't show any faces! What it did show, when one of the attackers bent over to continue attacking a prostrate Williams, was a large and ­distinctive birthmark across the attacker's lower back and butt.

It's unclear how police targeted the eventual suspect, Aaron Williams (unrelated), 28, but there had been a dispute between the two men over a woman. After arresting him, they photographic his back, and a dermatological expert said the marks, because of their uniqueness, were identical.

Aaron Williams was convicted and sentenced to 16 years. Kevin Williams still has several surgeries to endure. The second attacker has not been identified.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

More Holiday PC Silliness: Santa in Red Too Commercial; Let's Go with Green

As I said previously, can't we just leave holiday traditions alone? I understand political correctness and all that, but come on! Notice how I can't even say "Christmas traditions' but carefully selected the word "holiday" instead.

In this case, the Steiner School in Brighton in the U.K. has decided that the red Santa Claus suit is "too commercial." Because of this, they want to have a green-suited Santa.

Why is the red suit "too commercial?" Well, many believe that the image of Santa as we see him today was originated by artist Haddon Sundblom for a Coca-Cola promotion in 1931.

But most will also note , and Coca-Cola also readily admits, that Santa Claus appeared in red many times prior to the Coca-Cola promotions. In fact, on the web page linked above on Coca-Cola's website, it says:
It is a common misconception that today's Santa Claus wears a red coat because red is the color associated with Coca-Cola. In fact, Santa appeared in a red coat in numerous earlier written accounts and illustrations before Sundblom painted him for Coca-Cola advertising.
This same information was even noted at the best site for debunking urban legends: Snopes.

In fact, some research shows that many believe Thomas Nast to be the true originator of Santa Claus as we know him today; the image of Santa to the left above is the first Nast image with Santa in red ... and it was done in 1869. The Coca-Cola formula wasn't developed until 1885. 'Nuff said?

Naturally most parents are totally behind the red-suited Santa, as I am. I just wish those in charge at Steiner School would do a little research, so they can discover their over-the-top PC-ness is totally wrong.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Swan to Spend Another Winter with Swan-Shaped Pedal Boat Heartthrob

Swans mate for life, in case you didn't know. This would mean that the citizens of the western German city of Münster had better be prepared, if they have hearts, to keep this up for a looooong time.

Last year the black swan Petra made headlines around the world when she decided to shack up with a swan-shaped pedal boat in Münster's Aasee lake. Despite attempts since last year, Petra is forever in love, it seems, and based on mating for life, it makes sense.

During last year's winter the boat and Petra were moved to the zoo, but that meant a pelican had to vacate its premises. This year they will move to the zoo again, but they've build a new winterized hutch just for the two of them.

Come on, come on, let's hear it. Awwwwwwwwww.

Hillary: "It Takes a Clinton to Clean Up After a Bush"

On Monday, during a two-day swing through Iowa, Hillary Clinton spoke about the economy yesterday. She spoke about oil prices, the credit / housing crisis, and (not enough for me) problems for middle-class workers.

But what really caught me was a great line. When speaking about the economy, and what a mess it is, Clinton noted some similarities between 1992, George H. W. Bush, and her husband Bill. "There seems to be a pattern here. It takes a Clinton to clean up after a Bush."

No matter what you think of Hillary, either she's good with ad-libs or (more likely), we can see that all the good writers aren't walking picket lines in Hollywood.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

New Reason for the GOP to Support Universal Health Care: Tighter Immigration? Obese Woman Denied Entry to New Zealand

Well, this could get more in the GOP behind universal health care, not to say that some aren't behind it. But the type of universal health care bandied about by most U.S. politicians isn't the type that most industrialized countries have: true universal or single payer health care that costs little or nothing for the public, and that has helped most other nations achieve infant mortality rates far better than ours.

A British woman has been unable to join her husband in New Zealand because her B.M.I. (Body Mass Index) is too high. In short, she's overweight, and to a point, obese.

New Zealand has strict immigration laws around this sort of issue, because the country has universal health care and people such as Rowan Trezise, 33, and her husband Richie, 35, would be a burden to the health care system.

Richie has managed to lose enough weight to get in, but Rowan has not. If she doesn't lose it by Christmas, they're going to abandon the attempt to move.

Now, in terms of immigration, unless you've been asleep the last couple of years, you'll know that Bush has tried to push through immigration "reform," only to be stymied by his own party in Congress. Of course, my own personal feeling is the immigration "reform" Bush wants is really just another way to lower the wage cost to corporations, while helping out his friend Felipe Calderón in Mexico.

What I don't want to see is this New Zealand issue used as a serious excuse to stop universal health care in the United States. As we know, the United States is the only industrialized nation that does not have some form of universal health care. Even Mexico is working on it. Does it mean that everyone else is wrong and we are right? What do you think, particularly when you look at the statistics and compare our longevity with that of other countries?

Vermin Found in Fox News Channel Newsroom

Reports indicate that vermin have been found in the Faux News Channel, or should I say, Fox News Channel, Newsroom. As much as I hate to admit it, I don't mean the Fox & Friends hosts, or anyone like Sean Hannity. They're bedbugs.

It's been widely reported that bedbugs, once nearly exterminated in the U.S., have made a big comeback, and are now a problem in all 50 states. Our neighbor to the north, Canada, hasn't escaped unscathed either.

So, most likely these 4 - 5 mm long blood-sucking parasites made their way into the newsroom and then, just like fleas would, got into the furniture / carpeting.

I would think these pests might feel very at home at Faux News, with the likes of other blood-suckers like Bill O'Reilly and the aforementioned Hannity.

Exterminators have been called, but these new bedbugs are resistant (which is how they made their comeback) and they might be hard to get rid of ... like Faux News.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Has to be the Worst Auto Dealership Name --- Ever

I think the picture above speaks for itself (click to enlarge). Now, my question is: what the heck were they thinking?

I looked around the site, in the FAQ and About sections of the site, hoping to find out that it was owned by the Menlove family, or something. But I couldn't find that info. I mean, it's in Utah; I would have expected, er, some objection to the name at least.

And that toll-free number? 1-877-MENLOVE? I mean, I kept thinking it had to be a joke, but it's linked to, an automotive dealer marketing site, so it can't be a joke.

On the other hand, maybe it really IS Menlove.

I'm wondering, also, if they get a bunch of crank calls every day.

If Barry Bonds Receives a Prison Sentence, Will Bush Commute It?

You remember, don't you? "Scooter" Libby gets a sentence of 30 months in prison, and Bush commutes his sentence. Remember also that Libby was charged with five counts of perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements, with regard to the Valerie Plame "outing."

Let's now consider Barry Bonds. He has been indicted on four counts of perjury and one of obstruction of justice for his testimony about his use of steroids. Sounds familiar? Sure.

And after all, yesterday Bush spokesman Tony Fratto said,
"The president is very disappointed to hear this. As this case is now in the criminal justice system, we will refrain from any further specific comments about it. But clearly this is a sad day for baseball.”
Yes, so if we are to heal, should Bush commute any sentence? Well, here are the differences:
  1. Bonds is not a crony of Bush
  2. Most people feel he's arrogant and dislike him. Even in the SF Bay Area, they feel he's arrogant, though some still like him.
  3. Neither side, liberal or conservative is going to be shouting for a pardon or commutation.
Really, this whole piece has been tongue-in-cheek, as despite my attempts at humor there's no chance Bush isn't going to commute Bonds' sentence. But it does bring up a good question: why exactly was it right to commute Libby's sentence?