Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

U.S. warns of Canadian spy coins (Yes, seriously)

January 11, 2007

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The U.S. Defense Department has cautioned its American contractors about seemingly normal Canadian coins that may have a tiny radio frequency transmitter hidden inside. So far, the high-tech coins have been found planted on U.S. contractors with classified security clearances on at least three separate occasions between October 2005 and January 2006, the government is claiming. The U.S. isn’t suggesting who might be behind this latest act of espionage, or even which Canadian coins carried the transmitters. No word yet on if Sydney Bristow or Jack Bauer will be involved in the investigation.

(Click here to read the full article by Associated Press writer Ted Bridis.)

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Introducing your Morning Musume

August 10, 2006

In Japan, there is a huge television/music sensation known as Morning Musume. Rising to prominence in the 1990’s, this all-girl group holds open auditions each year to replace a bandmember who “graduates”. Singing mostly upbeat tunes, this group was one of the leading bands on the Japanese pop charts in the 1990’s, and is still going strong today. For an example of one of their upbeat songs, please refer to the video below.

2006: In Review (So Far)

August 7, 2006

As we begin to tread through the month of August, we’re reminded that fall is approaching very quickly. Very quickly. And after fall comes winter. And what happens during winter? We start a new year! So it’s only logical then, using the though process I just laid out, that we start reviewing the year of 2006 here in August. What made the news? What made headlines? We can easily name two big events. Commenters, Can you remember anything else that was big this year?

The Tallmansville Miners – It was insult added upon tragedy: On a early January night, we got word that twelve Pennsylvanian minders had survived days underground in a dangerous mining shaft. Television networks went live to jublitant crowds with family members jumping and crying in joy. Then, the news came: twelve miners had perished, not lived, in the mining disaster. It was a tragedy that shook the nation to it’s core. Randal McCloy Jr., the sole surviving member of the group, continues physical therapy to regain his strength following the horrific ordeal.

The Middle-East – At the beginning of the year, Ariel Sharon was hospitalized following a serious hemmorhagic stroke. Elections were held, and Israel got a new prime minister. During the summer, tensions between Lebanon and Israel increased dramatically, leading to a war between the two nations, a war that is still on-going.

Gamma Islamiyah joined al-Qaeda network

August 6, 2006

On Saturday, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the number two leader in al-Qaeda, announced that a revived Egyptian terrorist group had joined the terror network. The first officially announced al-Qaeda branch in Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous nation, the group Gamaa Islamiya is a revived version of a group that waged a campaign of violence in Egypt during the 1990’s but was defeated in a government crackdown.

Gamma Islamiyah is led by Mohammed al-Islambouli, the younger brother of Khaled al-Islambouli, the terrorist who assassinated Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat in 1981. Khaled al-Islambouli was later executed by the Egyptian government. Mohammed al-Islambouli left Egypt in the mid-1980’s and was thought to be in Afghanistan working with Usama bin Laden. It is not known at this time how large this new version of Gamma Islamiyah has in Egypt.

In the videotape played by al-Jazeera, Ayman al-Zawahiri did not mention any imminent threats of attacks in Egypt. It was Zawahiri’s second message in just over a week and his eleventh for the year. (Read the full article)

Talladega Nights races to victory

August 6, 2006

It was a pretty good week for your stocks and for your entertainment. Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen. I’m Charles Jurries, your host for The Weekend Recap. For those of you who are new to this site, I’ll explain the format. First, we give you a very brief recap of the stock market. Honestly, if you blink, you’ll miss it. Secondly, we give you a look at the box office receipts for the weekend. Finally, we match those box office receipts with predictions that we made earlier on in the week to see if I’m a psychic – or a poser.

(more…)

Leave Mary Worth alone, you creep!

August 5, 2006

Can’t you take a hint? She was trying to be nice to you, but you took it as a sign of affection. And clearly she doesn’t feel the same way about you! Furthermore, Mary could be your mom! So back off, Aldo. Mary Worth is not the one for you. So please stop pestering the poor old woman!

Thank you.

Sad tidings for Trulili

August 5, 2006

It was the happiest day of the calendar year in the city of Hovaji. It was the one-hundredth anniversary of when the city was founded. And ever since then, the city has grown and flourish. In fact, it recently made Hour magazine’s top 200 list of the best vacation destinations! Hovaji knew how to throw together a celebration, too. There was not one, but two parades. There were bands playing all over, food booths, carnival games, street vendors and re-enactments of when the city was founded. And best of all, the day was capped off with a fantastic fireworks display. For residents of Hovaji, it was the best day you could ever ask for. Except for one young girl named Trulili.

You see, Trulili wanted nothing to do with the celebration at hand. What point is there, she wondered, when all the other days of the year are very boring? Isn’t a celebration just a farce to cover-up the fact that we are a boring city? She sat inside her room, looking out her picture window onto the festivities lining her street. Tired of sneering at the revilers, Trulili pulled up a chair and started to read a book. This will be more edifying than partying, she reasoned.

Swinging the front door open, Tralalilia, Trulili’s mother, beamed with excitement. “Trulili, you’re missing the best day of the year!” she yelled. “I’m not coming out!” Trulili yelled back. “All that pomp and circumstance for what, to celebrate us? And you’re always saying, ‘Trulili, stop being such a self-absorbed brat!'” “I have never used those words, young lady,” Tralalilia snapped. “Whatever, mom. I’m not coming out.” Frustrated, Tralalilia went back outside to rejoin the festivities, leaving her daughter to sulk.

While walking around, Tralalilia noticed Glu-Glu walking amongst the crowds. “Hey, Glu!” she smiled. “Hey, Tralalilia.” Glu-Glu noticed that she wasn’t her perky old self. “Why are you upset, and on this day, no less?” “Oh, it’s my daughter. She thinks that she’s better than everyone else and that there’s no reason to celebrate, ever.” “How terrible!” Glu-Glu observed. “Not only that, but she finds Hovaji to be an extremely boring city, and that these celebrations are nothing more than a mockery of the fact that we have nothing to offer people the rest of the year!”

Concerned, Glu-Glu started to walk towards the house to talk some sense into Trulili. “It won’t do you any good,” insisted Tralalilia. “I’ve already tried. She’s so set in her ways, it would take a miracle to make her change her mind.” Understanding, Glu-Glu turned around. “She’s still a teenager, right? She’ll grow out of it.” he said. “Yeah, probably.” she said longingly. “Hopefully.”

As the day went on, the festivities got louder and louder. Eventually, it was too much for Trulili to bear. In a flurry of anger, she stormed down the steps, swung open the front door and marched outside to the streets. “Some of us are trying to have some quiet time here! If I’ve had to sacrifice my quiet afternoon for you folks, now all of you can sacrifice the rest of your day so I can have some peace and quiet,” she declared, folding her arms across her chest. “It’s a fair trade.”

Bemused, the people of Hovaji started to laugh at Trulili. “It’s not funny, you guys!” she insisted. “I’m trying to read a book!” The crowd kept laughing. “I want some peace and quiet!” “Girl,” said one townsperson. “You say that the town is boring every day, but when there’s actually some excitement you start complaining?” “Yeah, that doesn’t seem that right.” shouted another person from the crowd. Soon, everybody was murmuring in agreement. “Guys, please.” said Trulili, her voice starting to break up. “I want some quiet time now.”

Unbeknownst to Trulili, there was a man peddling cotton candy right behind her. He had been pushing his cart all day, every year at the festival for all of his life. In the same cart, too. He was as synonymous with the Hovaji celebration as the parades, bands and fireworks. He was never tired of walking around the city, but his cart was. At that moment, it began to sputter and shake. Sensing possible danger, the man put the cart down and walked away. Everybody in the crowd backed up, except for Trulili, who was too focused on her own demands to even notice something even bigger going on.

BOOM!

In the flash of an eye, Trulili was covered from head to toe in cotton candy. Amused, children ran up to Trulili and started to pick the cotton candy off of her and eat it. Trulili started to cry. “This city is so stupid!” she balled.

Tralalilia was devastated. “Look what they’re doing to my poor daughter!” she cried. “Look what your daughter did to these people,” said Glu-Glu. “She was selfish, prideful and demanding. She wanted to ruin a fun day for thousands of people because she wanted a ‘quiet afternoon’. And it was her own selfishness that led to her not noticing what was going on, leading to this.” Glu-Glu said, pointing at the cotton-candy outline of Trulili. “But, but, they’re treating her like a spectacle!” said Tralalilia. “Only because she made herself out to be one, whether she realized it or not.”

Unable to move much due to the volume of cotton candy forced upon her, Trulili fell down onto the ground. Sighing, Glu-Glu started walking on over to help her. “I guess you can say that pride went before that fall.”

One post is worth at the very least a hundred words

August 4, 2006

“A long time has passed since this site was updated.”
“At least we have vivacious video to entertain ourselves here.”
“Do not be absurd, those random videos are not funny.”
“At least I am not speaking at ten words per sentence.”
“That’s true. You spoke with eleven, you sly fox you.”
“And now I will speak with nine. See how!”
“This exercise is pointless and proves nothing. Move on already!”
“Why should I move on? It’s fun and spontaneous! FUN!”
“It’s awkward to read and doesn’t make any sense, weirdo.”
“Fine. It was getting kind of tiring counting out words.”

ABC’s online experiment to expand in the fall

August 4, 2006

This past spring, ABC.com launched a online video player that allowed internet users to watch full episodes of some of their most acclaimed primetime programs. The free service allowed people to watch episodes of Lost, Desperate Housewives, Alias and Commander in Chief, all with limited commercial interruption. In fact, you would only have one sponser per episode. So you might have to sit through a 15-60 second ad between breaks, that’s all the commercials you would see. According to new data released by ABC, the online streaming experiment worked – with great results. And as a result, a new version of the broadband player will come out in the fall with even more programming available.

According to ABC, viewers will see a slightly longer commercial inventory, but it won’t hamper the “great consumer experience” that people were accustomed to seeing. In addition, episodes of programs will be available only four weeks after they originally aired. “Most people watch because they missed the episode, and that happens mostly within a discrete period of time,” said Albert Cheng, executive vice-president of digital media for Disney-ABC Television Group. “Once you let it sit there, it doesn’t get that much usage down the line.” Most viewing of a particular episode was done within 24 hours of the original telecast.

During the two-month test, more than 5.7 million request for episodes were made and 16 million video streams were served. Each episode contained four separate streamed, which were proceeded by an ad. Not surprisingly, Lost was the most popular show in the test run, while Commander in Chief was the least-watched. Focus group studying showed that most viewing was done because users didn’t watch the episode on TV. And a surprisingly large number of people – eighty-seven percent – could recall the advertiser.

By comparison, there have been six million downloads from Apple’s iTunes service form ABC, Disney Channel and ESPN combined.

Not only is the ad recall percentage great for advertiser, the median age is demo-friendly as well. According to ABC, the average age of the video-streaming user was 29. ABC’s average age during the May sweep was in the mid-40’s.

No details have been announced yet on which programs will be available online when the service resumes in the fall, except that Lost and Desperate Housewives are expected to return. (Alias and Commander in Chief were cancelled and will not come back to the broadband service.) (Read the full article)

Overseas company to market odor-eating walls

August 4, 2006

In something that could very well impact your life, Japanese lavatory equipment maker Toto Ltd. is ready to launch the industry’s first odor-decomposing wall material on August 10. This special material can absorb the “toilet odor” for photo-catalytic decomposition, according to Todo. The company said that tests confirmed that the material can reduce residual ammonia to one-sixteenth of the original amount. The wall cost about 210,000 yen, or, about $1,825 dollars, and is available in white, beige or pink. Why spend money on a high-tech air freshener when your wall can do all the work for you? (Read the full article)