Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Discovery Of the Day

Maruchan Chili Flavored Ramen

Found at the Hannaford in Waltham, MA. This should not be confused with the Lime Chili Shrimp flavor, an all together different animal...

We have been unable to find a review of the Maruchan version of this, but we have one here of the Nissin version. It's not pretty - so here's hoping that our $1.00 investment in this flavor ramen will not have been ill-considered.

Perhaps a review will be forthcoming in this space.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Now you can hear electric cars coming

HALOsonic technology makes electric vehicles sound more like spaceships or sports cars - which should make roads safer for people with visual impairments.

Word of the year: "Unfriend"

"Unfriend has real lex-appeal," said Christine Lindberg, senior lexicographer for Oxford's US dictionary program.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Scientist announces that she is call girl and blogger Belle de Jour

From the Guardian we have:

One of the best kept literary secrets of the decade was revealed last night when 34-year-old scientist Dr Brooke Magnanti announced she was the writer masquerading as call girl Belle de Jour.

The author behind the bestselling books detailing her secret life as a prostitute decided to come out to one of her fiercest critics, Sunday Times columnist India Knight, after claiming anonymity had become "no fun". "I couldn't even go to my own book launch party", she said.

The money quote:

"I did have another job at one point, as a computer programmer, but I kept up with my other work because it was so much more enjoyable."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thursday Tea

Thursday's Tea has been expropriated by CP and Algea.

CP will be bringing goumet pizza - in fulfillment of a gambling debt, while Algea has donated some delectable Danny DeVito Limoncello, currently on display as today's product placement.

See you tomorrow at 4:00!

Introducing The Weezer Snuggie

New York Times: No single piece of clothing says “neutered invertebrate” or “cult member” quite like the Snuggie (“the blanket with sleeves!”). For more than a year, these large, shapeless swaths of cheap fleece designed for lying on the couch and working the remote have inexplicably remained fixed in the kitsch cultural firmament. There are fan tribute sites, YouTube homages and pub crawls; Oprah, Ellen and Al Roker have worn them on camera. Most incredible of all, more than five million have been sold.

TV Ad at the link!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pigs (ergo, men) are smart!

Or at least, so Natalie Angier reports in the New York Times:

We’ve all heard the story of the third Little Pig, who foiled the hyperventilating wolf by building his house out of bricks, rather than with straw or sticks as his brothers had done. Less commonly known is that the pig later improved his home’s safety profile by installing convex security mirrors at key points along the driveway.

Well, why not? In the current issue of Animal Behaviour, researchers present evidence that domestic pigs can quickly learn how mirrors work and will use their understanding of reflected images to scope out their surroundings and find their food...


The finding is just one in a series of recent discoveries from the nascent study of pig cognition. Other researchers have found that pigs are brilliant at remembering where food stores are cached and how big each stash is relative to the rest. They’ve shown that Pig A can almost instantly learn to follow Pig B when the second pig shows signs of knowing where good food is stored, and that Pig B will try to deceive the pursuing pig and throw it off the trail so that Pig B can hog its food in peace.

They’ve found that pigs are among the quickest of animals to learn a new routine, and pigs can do a circus’s worth of tricks: jump hoops, bow and stand, spin and make wordlike sounds on command, roll out rugs, herd sheep, close and open cages, play videogames with joysticks, and more. For better or worse, pigs are also slow to forget. “They can learn something on the first try, but then it’s difficult for them to unlearn it,” said Suzanne Held of the University of Bristol. “They may get scared once and then have trouble getting over it.”


...Even on a cursory glance, “the pig genome compares favorably with the human genome,” said Lawrence Schook of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, one of the team leaders.

“Very large sections are maintained in complete pieces,” he said, barely changed in the 100-million-plus years since the ancestors of hogs and humans diverged.

Dr. Schook is particularly eager to see if the many physiological and behavioral parallels between humans and pigs are reflected in our respective genomes. Pig hearts are like our hearts, he said, pigs metabolize drugs as we do, their teeth resemble our teeth, and their habits can, too. “I look at the pig as a great animal model for human lifestyle diseases,” he said. “Pigs like to lie around, they like to drink if given the chance, they’ll smoke and watch TV.”

AZ Update

AZ has checked in from her outpost in the old world. She and RV are off to get their driver's licenses, and a visa for RV.

RV has been writing a book, and we presume might be interested in reviewers. If you're interested in Fantasy, perhaps drop him a line.

AZ says to tell everyone that she misses them.

WPI, about.

From their website:

Founded in Worcester, Mass., in 1865, WPI was one of the nation's earliest [private] technological universities. From our founding days, we've taken a unique approach to science and technology education.

WPI is ranked No. 62 among all national, doctoral universities by U.S. News & World Report; No. 1 for student/faculty interaction in the National Survey of Student Engagement; and No. 9 by The Princeton Review for "best career prospects" for graduates of our MBA program. And that's just the beginning of the recognition we've received from a large number of institutions and individuals for our high quality and unique approach to education.

There's more here...

...Also, maybe kinda quirky:

Monday, November 09, 2009

Woo-hoo! Aerosmith may be no more!

Rumors have it that Steven Tyler has left the building!

CBC has the dirt...

Tyler has 'quit' Aerosmith, bandmate says, November 8

Rock band Aerosmith could be on the verge of a split, with a report by at least one newspaper that guitarist Joe Perry believes frontman Steven Tyler has left the band.

"Steven quit, as far as I can tell," Perry told the Las Vegas Sun on Friday.

"I don't know any more than you do about it. I got off the plane two nights ago. I saw online that Steven said that he was going to leave the band."

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Another Wall Street First!

Wall Street Banks Getting Swine Flu Vaccine Before Many High-Risk Groups (VIDEO)

While thousands of at-risk Americans wait, some big Wall Street banks have already secured the hard-to-find H1N1 vaccine for their employees.

Building on a story that BusinessWeek broke, NBC reports that employees at the New York Stock Exchange, bankers at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, and employees at the Federal Reserve have all received swine flu vaccine doses to administer to their employees.


Today's Tea will have a guest contribution from RD. He considers it to be a mere trifle, but it will add to the merriment of the occasion.

See you at 4:00.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Cat catches swine flu

Does the swine flu pandemic pose a threat to your pet? Yes, according to a report out today from the American Veterinary Medical Association.

A cat in Iowa has tested positive for the H1N1 virus, state officials confirmed this morning, "marking the first time a cat has been diagnosed with this strain of influenza," the association said in a statement.


Before this kitty was diagnosed with the swine flu, the virus had been found in humans, pigs, birds and ferrets, the association said.

Profit `Not Satanic,’ Barclays Says, After Goldman Invokes Jesus

From Bloomberg

By Simon Clark and Caroline Binham, November 4

Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer John Varley stood at the wooden lectern in St. Martin-in-the-Fields on London’s Trafalgar Square last night and told the packed pews of the church that “profit is not satanic.

The 53-year-old head of Britain’s second-biggest bank said banks are the “backbone” of the economy. Rewarding high- performing bankers with more pay doesn’t conflict with Christian values, he said. Varley was paid 1.08 million pounds ($1.77 million) and no bonus in 2008.

“Talent is highly mobile,” Varley, a Catholic, said. “If we fail to pay or are constrained from paying competitive rates then that talent will move to another employer.”

“Is Christianity and banking compatible? Yes,” he said in an interview after the speech in the 283-year-old church. “And is Christianity and fair reward compatible? Yes.”

Varley joins Goldman Sachs International adviser Brian Griffiths and Lazard International Chairman Ken Costa as London bankers who’ve gone into London churches in recent weeks and invoked Christianity to defend a banking system that critics say has created wealth and inequality in the U.K.

The injunction of Jesus to love others as ourselves is an endorsement of self-interest,” Goldman’s Griffiths said Oct. 20, his voice echoing around the gold-mosaic walls of St. Paul’s Cathedral, whose 365-feet-high dome towers over the City, London’s financial district. “We have to tolerate the inequality as a way to achieving greater prosperity and opportunity for all.”

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Maine Couple Embarassed Nationwide!

KISS AND CAST: Priscilla Stevenson waits to be served a ballot by clerk Tom Lane as Jack Mahoney kisses clerk Nancy Mullen before getting his ballot this morning at the polls in Wayne. Poll workers said the turnout was heavy.(Staff photo by Andy Molloy)

Mainers do it on Election Day...

Vital Research

OncoMed Pharmaceutical Services of Massachusetts

OncoMed Pharmaceutical Services of Massachusetts
Domestic Profit Corporation, ID: 001011992
Organized in Massachusetts: 9/16/2009
President, Treasurer, Director: Kaveh Askari, of Great Neck, NY
CEO, Secretary, Director: Burt Zweigenhaft, of New York, NY

Website. Management.

Not to be confused with OncoMed Pharmaceuticals

Sunday, November 01, 2009

They like us! They really, really like us!

Via AFP, we have this juicy nugget:

Run on Iceland McDonald's as chain flips last burgers

AFP, October 31

REYKJAVIK — Noisy crowds, long queues, and traffic jams plunged McDonald's restaurants in Iceland into a state of siege Saturday, as the chain served its final burgers on the island.

Icelanders flooded the three branches of the US fast-food restaurant in Reykjavik several hours before the outlets shut for the last time, forced to close after the island's economic collapse caused running costs to soar.

Extra staff were deployed to reinforce the outlets, whose disappearance after 16 years means Iceland will be one of the few Western countries without a presence of the ubiquitous eatery.

Customers in one branch faced a 20-minute wait to be served and snaking lines of cars caused traffic jams at the drive-in.


"We are here to say goodbye," said Orri Hreinsson, who was sitting with two friends at a table covered with 12 cheeseburgers.