Food poisoning sucks, over.


I, for one, welcome our new extremely pricey fembot masters.

Current Music: some truly horrid limp biskit clone @ DNA

Hey kids, it's Exploding Whale Party Time!

Residents of Tainan learned a lesson in whale biology after the decomposing remains of a 60-ton sperm whale exploded on a busy street, showering nearby cars and shops with blood and organs and stopping traffic for hours. The 56-foot-long whale had been on a truck headed for a necropsy by researchers, when gases from internal decay caused its entrails to explode in the southern city of Tainan.

The whale drew the attention of locals because of its large penis, measured at some five feet, the Taipei Times reported. "More than 100 Tainan city residents, mostly men, have reportedly gone to see the corpse to 'experience' the size of its penis," the newspaper reported.

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The Corporation: A Documentary

In law, the corporation is a "person". But what kind of person is it?

Considering the odd legal fiction that deems a corporation a "person" in the eyes of the law, the feature documentary employees a checklist, based on actual diagnostic criteria of the World Health Organization and DSM IV, the standard tool of psychiatrists and psychologists. What emerges is a disturbing diagnosis.

Self-interested, amoral, callous and deceitful, a corporation's operational principles make it anti-social. It breaches social and legal standards to get its way even while it mimics the human qualities of empathy, caring and altruism. It suffers no guilt. Diagnosis: the institutional embodiment of laissez-faire capitalism fully meets the diagnostic criteria of a psychopath.


Confessions of a Car Salesman

Confessions of a Car Salesman: Reporter goes undercover and works at a pair of car dealerships for three months. Surprise! Car salesmen are con-men.

The last time I bought a car, I used an "auto broker", and it was an extremely pleasant experience. The downsides are that you have to know exactly what you want; and you have to pay for it outright (getting financing from your bank instead of the dealer.) The upside is that you will get a way lower price with no haggling, because the broker is playing every auto dealer in the state against each other.

So next time you need a car, I recommend getting a bicycle. But a broker is the next best thing.


Vatican II: Electric Boogaloo

It's what they call a "Pope-and-lock" routine.

VATICAN CITY - In an unusual spectacle at the Vatican, Pope John Paul II presided over a performance of break-dancers who leaped, flipped and spun their bodies to beats from a tinny boom box.

The 83-year-old pontiff seemed to approve, waving his hand after each dancer completed a move, then applauding for the entire group. He watched the performance Sunday from a raised throne.

"For this creative hard work I bless you from my heart," he said.

There is alegedly video of this at CNN, but you have to give them a credit card number to see it! WTF? What's the "cypherpunks/cypherpunks" CC number?

Update, Feb 5: alekb found RealVideo of this on some TV station site. It's small and grainy. It kind of reminds me of NASA moon-landing footage.

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file under "because we can"

Here's what happens when you dump 320,000 ping pong balls down a hill. (There's also a lot of video, but it's a very slow download so I haven't seen any of it yet.)

that's what they *want* you to think

A recently taken undated hand out photograph received on January 25, 2004 shows a fake baby dragon encased in a 30 inch (0.76 metres) jar which was discovered by David Hart in a garage in Oxfordshire, southern England. A metal tin found alongside the dragon contained paperwork written in an old-fashioned German style of the 1890s, a time when their was intense rivalry between Britain's and Germany's scientists. The documents suggest that Britain's Natural History Museum turned the dragon away and sent it to be destroyed, only for the jar to be intercepted by David Hart's grandfather, Frederick Hart, who worked as a porter. REUTERS/Allistair Mitchell
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dnalounge update

DNA Lounge update, wherein a new use for money is discovered.

those crazy biological hackers

Scientists grow neurons using nanostructures:

Scientists at Northwestern University have designed synthetic molecules that promote neuron growth, a promising development that could lead to the reversal of paralysis due to spinal cord injury. [...]

The innovative scaffold is made up of nanofibers formed by peptide amphiphile molecules. The scientists' key breakthrough was designing the peptide amphiphiles so that when they self-assembled into the scaffold a specific sequence of five amino acids known to promote neuron growth were presented in enormous density on the outer surfaces.

"This was all done by design," said Stupp, who is also director of the University's Institute for Bioengineering and Nanoscience in Advanced Medicine. "By including a specific biological signal on the nanostructure we were able to customize the new materials for neurons."

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