Monday, March 31, 2008

Laugh-Out-Loud Cats

Laugh-Out-Loud Cats #797
Originally uploaded by Ape Lad
Take photographic LOLCats, Mutts, and Krazy Kat, put 'em in a blender, add huge dollops of talent, and you get Laugh-Out-Loud Cats, now appearing at Hobotopia.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Follow up

Atlanta EF2 tornado
Originally uploaded by PerryW
The accompanying photo is, as you see, a screen capture from WXIA-TV that someone posted to flickr, enabling me to blog it from there. Photographer credit is Shane Durrance.

Meanwhile, from Atlanta Metblogs, I found a Google Map of the path of the tornado's touchdown through downtown Atlanta. Those of you who know where I live can see that the closest approach was about a half-mile. The old Fulton Cotton Bag Mill (now Stax Lofts) got most of the initial press, but a quick flickr search for "atlanta tornado cabbage town" will show you what they're dealing with there.

This news, fortunately, had nothing to do with me personally. Although there is a connection: One of my wife's coworkers lived at Stax. She's OK, but she got out with little more than her pajamas and a mismatched pair of flip flops.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


time spiral
Originally uploaded by strange_wax
International Association of Time Travelers: Members' Forum Subforum: Europe – Twentieth Century – Second World War
Page 263

At 14:52:28, FreedomFighter69 wrote:
Reporting my first temporal excursion since joining IATT: have just returned from 1936 Berlin, having taken the place of one of Leni Riefenstahl's cameramen and assassinated Adolf Hitler during the opening of the Olympic Games. Let a free world rejoice!

Read the rest of this clever short by Desmond Warzel.

I've long had a theory that the Titanic sank when 542 time machines materialized on board at the same subjective moment, causing its cargo hold to burst. Sadly for Amelia Earhart and Roanoke, future historians did not learn their lesson immediately.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Stormy weather

UPDATE: What do you mean, a tornado? We don't get tornadoes in downtown Atlanta, we never have, get seri--*

Holy crap.

(Picture from a reader of the AJC.)
First, the spoiler: Everybody's fine, no damage done here at casa del purpure.

At some point, if you haven't already, you'll probably see or hear a newscast or newspaper that speaks of the TORNADO that touched down in downtown Atlanta last night, causing significant damage to the CNN Center, Georgia Dome and Ga World Congress Center.

Then it headed east and TOOK OFF portions of the top floor of a building variously known as The Old Fulton Bag Mill and Stax Lofts, on Boulevard at Decatur Street / Dekalb Avenue / the MARTA overpass. It also damaged about 20 homes in Cabbagetown, the residential area behind the lofts, at the corner of Boulevard and Memorial Drive.

This, as you may know, is unnervingly close to my house.

Yes, we heard the tornado from here, and yes, it makes ONE HELL of a racket, and yes, it does indeed sound JUST LIKE a train, if a train were moving without actually touching the tracks.

And yes, LIKE AN IDIOT, I went out on the front porch to see what I could see, which was nothing. Just dumb luck I didn't end up on the roof of the Cyclorama.

But the Fulton Bag Mill is as close as it got to here.
Everybody's fine, no damage done.

Friday, March 14, 2008

He's gonna stick his head out the window anyway

If you can't quite see (I certainly can't), and you're too lazy to hit the link for a larger image (and, really, how lazy is that?), it's a canvas bag meant to sit on your running board (your car has a running board, right?) so your dog can ride safely and comfortably and not stink up the car. Photo Basement thinks this is Quite Possibly The Worst Invention Ever.

I'm not sure I'd go that far. I can think of plenty of worse ideas than this. You probably can too. Cordless jump rope. Weed-cutting golf club. New Coke. Cell phones.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Vinyl and dust

Vinyl and dust
Originally uploaded by T1ger
AJC | Forget MP3s, some teens turning to vinyl records
On a recent afternoon 15-year-old Graham Saylor popped into Decatur CD to check out new releases. But he sprinted right past the CDs, stopping, instead, at the six bins of vinyl records.

Saylor prefers to listen to his favorite new acts, such as TV on the Radio and the Black Keys, on the black 12-inch platters. Some classmates at Decatur High School have become vinyl fans as well.

So what attracts the teens to a musical format that was proclaimed landfill fodder years before they were born?

"I just dig vinyls more. The tone is warmer. I'm not much of a digital guy," explains Saylor.
See also Vinyl May Be Final Nail in CD's Coffin.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Spring Forward

A Moment In Time
Originally uploaded by rainbow11
Who benefits from Daylight Saving Time?
Quad-City Times | Get groggy when the clock changes? So do cows
"When you move it back, those cows are holding that milk for an extra hour, so you can run into some health problems," he said.

... Michael Downing, who detailed the history of daylight-saving time in a 2005 book [Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time], says the U.S. government has misled Americans on the economic benefits of the time switch. The biggest beneficiaries of the spring clock change aren’t consumers but retailers. People shop more when there’s more light at night.

Tonight's the night...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Where Should I Plug This In?

If "Simon Says" ever becomes an Olympic event, it'll be because someone watched Lou Goldstein run a game and thought, "You know, that's really hard." This session is from Battle of the Network Stars.

Here's something else that's really hard: How do you train a dog to do absolutely nothing? You may think you've mastered it, but it's harder than it sounds. You'll remember Bob Williams and his dog Louie as soon as you hear the phrase, "He's...thinking about it." (Starts about a minute in.)

Both clips found at Mark Evanier's News From Me. If you saw something on TV decades ago and remember it fondly, chances are Mark has talked about it.

Monday, March 03, 2008

"No significant energy savings"

Sun Dial, Kew Gardens
Originally uploaded by bluedwarf.

Wall Street Journal | Daylight Saving Wastes Energy, Study Says
Indiana's change of heart gave University of California-Santa Barbara economics professor Matthew Kotchen and Ph.D. student Laura Grant a unique way to see how the time shift affects energy use. Using more than seven million monthly meter readings from Duke Energy Corp., covering nearly all the households in southern Indiana for three years, they were able to compare energy consumption before and after counties began observing daylight-saving time. Readings from counties that had already adopted daylight-saving time provided a control group that helped them to adjust for changes in weather from one year to the next.

Their finding: Having the entire state switch to daylight-saving time each year, rather than stay on standard time, costs Indiana households an additional $8.6 million in electricity bills. They conclude that the reduced cost of lighting in afternoons during daylight-saving time is more than offset by the higher air-conditioning costs on hot afternoons and increased heating costs on cool mornings.

"I've never had a paper with such a clear and unambiguous finding as this," says Mr. Kotchen, who presented the paper at a National Bureau of Economic Research conference this month.
Can we now please leave the effing clocks alone?