Daily Archives: February 8, 2014

Hope is on the way

Ventit pizza boxFrustrated and annoyed by a soggy pizza, Bombay businessman creates the vented pizza box.  Lets out the steam, keeping crust crisp, but actually keeps the pie hotter. Looks as though at least one other blogger has discovered it – can Pizza Hut be far behind?


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Baitfish and marine life the world around can relax and rejoice

Let her go!

Let her go!

Ireland’s SPCA reminds us that swallowing fish is illegal.

UPDATE: If he still could, this guy would probably demand reciprocity: Snorkeler in Australia eaten by Great White.


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Happens elsewhere, too

We'll need more money - sorry

We’ll need another payment – sorry

Irish health care premiums to rise up to 40%.

The trouble with universal health care is that sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money to spend.


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Local Broker wins in court

Last May, we posted on a NY administrator’s decision voiding the (NY) real estate license of Riverside resident Jeffrey Jackson. Today, Jeff sent me a decision in his favor, in which a real judge completely overturned the decision below on the ground that they’d been sandbagged at the hearing and denied due process of law. Since I posted the first case prominently, I’m delighted to report on Jeff’s complete vindication now. In fact, given that it’s the weekend, I’ll repost this next week.
Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 3.35.58 PM

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News not fit to print

I got my parasol in the New York Times

I found my parasol in the New York Times

“Rare” snowstorm in Tokyo.

And in London, “we’ll never see snow again” England, the penguins are so depressed by the snowy weather they’ve been put on uppers. Too much snow for penguins?

They’re more cheerful in Pittsburgh, however.

Penguins celebrate

Penguins celebrate


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il parle espagnol? Je ne sais pas

State Department has no idea whether Obama’s money bundler and now new ambassador to Argentina speaks Spanish. He’s confessed that he’s never stepped foot in the country, but does he even know where it is? We’ll find out: he’s due to report for duty in the next few weeks.


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At Greenwich High School, they’re celebrating “Diversity Week” instead

Rosita delights in celery stalk Valentines from her admirers, Billy and Joey

Rosita delights in celery stalk Valentines from her admirers, Billy and Joey

Courtesy of Walt comes this story of a Connecticut school banning Valentine Day candies for students.

“We are asking for parents/guardians to be sure that food products of any kind are not a part of your child’s Valentine’s cards,” Principal Megan Mazzei wrote to moms and dads. “We are working to encourage healthy practices as well as manage food choices in classrooms where food allergies are present in order to maintain a safe environment.”

[One teacher] encouraged children to express their affection for one another by giving something special.

“I suggest pencils, stickers, temporary tattoos, homemade cards or other crafts,” she wrote in a letter to parents.

What teaches the ephemeral nature of love to a fourth grader better than a temporary “heart” tattoo?


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A new sideline for Minnesota realtors like Peg?


Not Peg (probably)

Not Peg (probably)

Ice fishing houses. NYT readers won’t bite, knowing that their investment will  melt away when ice disappears from the world next year, but others might like these.

Ice fishing, a traditional winter pastime in northern states and the Great Lakes region, may conjure up images of grumpy old men in flannel hats sitting on buckets. But the sport has boomed in the past decade, its popularity fueled by the development of high-performance gear and technological advances such as sonar fish-finders, underwater cameras and lake-mapping apps for smartphones. In Minnesota—where ice fishing is less a sport than a cultural institution—the homemade wooden shacks that once dotted frozen lakes are being replaced by increasingly elaborate and expensive shelters, snug enough to withstand a polar vortex and loaded with electronics.

Designed for stays of several days or longer in subzero temperatures, high-end fish houses have spray-foam insulation, double-paned windows and forced-air furnaces. They also have air-conditioning units: Most are now built to double as hunting cabins, which may explain why curtains and upholstery tend to be more “Field and Stream” than “House Beautiful.”

“I have five different patterns, all camouflage,” said Eric Bongard of Custom Cottages in Shakopee, Minn.

That appealed to Jeff Douglas, a 46-year-old nurse in Andover, Minn., who spent close to $50,000 on a 24-foot Custom Cottage that sleeps six to use year-round for ice-fishing and hunting. In addition to a gun closet, his “toy hauler” model features a back end that drops down into a ramp so he can wheel his two all-terrain vehicles inside. Mr. Douglas can use an all-terrain vehicle to tow his 5,500-pound cottage onto early-winter ice; made entirely from aluminum, it’s lighter than steel-framed models.

Owning a house with so many holes in the floor has its pitfalls. Small children—and adults on nighttime trips to the bathroom—have been known to step in them, plunging waist or thigh-deep in icy water. (Since fish bite at night, most people like to leave the holes open.) Car keys, cellphones and wedding rings have vanished.


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Aw come on, it was just a fluke

Under my plan, Sandra will be able to by rubbers on the government tab!

Under my plan, Sandra will be able to buy rubbers with her government-issued credit card!

Bank of America sends credit card offer to “Lisa is a Slut McIntire”, forced to apologize.

“Lisa Is a Slut McIntire, you’ve earned this special offer,” the mailer said in bold letters, in a Visa credit card offer that the letter said was tied to McIntire’s membership in the Golden Key International Honour Society.

A spokeswoman for Bank of America told The Times that she would look into the situation.


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Four strikes and you’re out

One less patrol car

Back to its basics

First, Luis Perea-Manrique Jr gets drunk, then he runs a red light, then he crashes into, not just any car but a police car, and not just any police car but the Chief’s brand new cruiser. Hilarity ensues.


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This is kind of cool


Baby it's cold outside

Baby it’s cold outside

800,000-1,000,000-year-old footprints found in England.

Archaeologists announced Friday that they have discovered human footprints in England that are between 800,000 and 1 million years old — the most ancient found outside Africa, and the earliest evidence of human life in northern Europe.

A team from the British Museum, London’s Natural History Museum and Queen Mary college at the University of London uncovered imprints from up to five individuals in ancient estuary mud at Happisburgh on the country’s eastern coast.

Preserved in layers of silt and sand for hundreds of millennia before being exposed by the tide last year, the prints give a vivid glimpse of some of our most ancient ancestors. They were left by a group, including at least two children and one adult male. They could have been be a family foraging on the banks of a river scientists think may be the ancient Thames, beside grasslands where bison, mammoth, hippos and rhinoceros roamed.

University of Southampton archaeology professor Clive Gamble, who was not involved in the project, said the discovery was “tremendously significant.”

“It’s just so tangible,” he said. “This is the closest we’ve got to seeing the people.

“When I heard about it, it was like hearing the first line of (William Blake’s hymn) ‘Jerusalem’ — ‘And did those feet, in ancient time, walk upon England’s mountains green?’ Well, they walked upon its muddy estuary.”

The researchers said the humans who left the footprints may have been related to Homo antecessor, or “pioneer man,” whose fossilized remains have been found in Spain. That species died out about 800,000 years ago.

Ashton said the footprints are between 800,000 — “as a conservative estimate” — and 1 million years old, at least 100,000 years older than scientists’ earlier estimate of the first human habitation in Britain. That’s significant because 700,000 years ago, Britain had a warm, Mediterranean-style climate. The earlier period was much colder, similar to modern-day Scandinavia.

Natural History Museum archaeologist Chris Stringer said that 800,000 or 900,000 years ago Britain was “the edge of the inhabited world.”

“This makes us rethink our feelings about the capacity of these early people, that they were coping with conditions somewhat colder than the present day,” he said.

“Maybe they had cultural adaptations to the cold we hadn’t even thought were possible 900,000 years ago. Did they wear clothing? Did they make shelters, windbreaks and so on? Could they have the use of fire that far back?” he asked.

Asked to explain the warming of the climate back then, Al Gore blamed campfires – “it was uncontrolled carbon emissions what done it,” he told FWIW. “If we’d had my cap and trade system going back then, those happy people could have enjoyed Swedish weather forever – we’d still be keeping fit in bracing air today. Oh, I was too late, I was too late!


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He’s no empty chair

Choke, you fat bastard - make my day

Choke, you fat bastard – I’ll make your day

Clint Eastwood performs Heimlich Maneuver on choking diner, saves man’s life.

“I’m 202 pounds”, the awed victim told reporters, “but he managed to throw me up in the air three times!”

No word whether Clint autographed the offending bit of cheese that stuck in fatso’s windpipe.


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