Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Are your shoes tied?

Have you ever had one of those days?

A visitor to Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England did last Wednesday when he tripped on his shoelace and stumbled down a flight of stairs.

In something that sounds like a scene from a bad movie, he took three Chinese vases with him. The vases, dating from the late 17th or early 18th century, were among the museum's best-known artifacts. They had been sitting beside the staircase for 40 years.

When asked about the damage to the vases, the museum's assistant director replied:
They are in very, very small pieces, but we are determined to put them back together.

I don't know, it seem like there were a few screwups here. First of all, the guy should have listened to his mother and kept his shoes tied. Second, what's a museum doing putting precious antiques in such a precarious situation, anyway?

Link to story

Police Unmask Mexican Serial Killer

Since the late 90's, Mexico City has been plagued by a serial killer.

The killer was dubbed "The Little Old Lady Killer" because, well, do I really need to explain why?

As of yesterday, this killing spree may have been brought to an end. Police arrested a woman fleeing the scene of a murder, where another old lady had been strangled with a stethoscope.

The woman who has been arrested is Juana Barraza. She is also a masked wrestler, known as the Silent Lady. She has been linked by fingerprints to at least 10 of what may be more than 30 murders attributed to the serial killer.

It took them this long to catch her? Apparently they don't get CSI in Mexico City, because if CSI has taught me anything, it's that, when you're tracking a killer, some of the first people you question are the local masked wrestlers. That's just good investigation technique.

Link to story

Camera records giant octopus attacking submarine

Regular visitors to this site are aware of my fascination for weird animal stories (as well as the desire to find ways of preparing these weird animals into delicious snacks). Here's a new one. Recently released video shows what is to believed to be the first documented attack of a submarine by an octopus.

It wasn't really a giant octopus though. Just a big one. And the submarine was quite small. A little remote-controlled one, to be exact. It's still pretty cool, though.

I mean, come on, the octopus was estimated to weigh 45kg., which converts to, by my guess, 86 million pounds! Or something.

At any rate, here's the best quote from the article:

"It's certainly a mature male from what I can see in the video," said Cosgrove. "Old octopuses become what we call senescent, or senile, reaching the end of their life. And sometimes their actions are very inappropriate."

Attacking subs may be an inappropriate action, but the octopus seems to be in decent shape; he seems like he has all his faculties. I think the guy is just being mean by calling him senile; he's still a little bitter about his submarine getting picked on. So let's wait until the octopus tries to brush his teeth with shaving cream before we talk about sending him to a home.

Link to story

Friday, January 27, 2006

More on the girl and the Dodge Challenger...

For those of you that have been pouring into this site in droves looking for photos of the nude woman on the Dodge Challenger from the Auto Show, I say this: your search is over.


There is a reason why the alleged photos haven't shown up.

It never happened.

The "tipsy blonde" from the news story has come forward, and if one is to believe her story, she was never on the car. She was in it.

And she was never nude.

According to the woman, identified as "Danielle", she was able to, with help, sneak into the North American International Auto Show after hours. She checked out the cars, and even sat in the Challenger concept (a huge no no!), but that's as far as it went.

And because the photos haven't surfaced, even though hundreds of you are looking for them, I'm inclined to believe her.

Hopefully something good has come out of this; hopefully, those of you that stumbled into my little space will be inclined to come back.

Even if I don't have naked girls posing on cars. Yet.

Link to story (includes video interview with "Danielle")

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Orbitsuns

We went up to Club Bart last night to see the Orbitsuns. We went to support a friend, but we were really blown away by how good they are. They were awesome!

The lead singer of the Orbitsuns is Vinnie Dombroski, who is also the lead singer of Sponge, and the bass player, on the right, is Bob. He's married to Julie, who teaches Punk Fitness.

The Orbitsuns play gritty dirty rock with a Southern twang. But it still has a Motor City Feel, like going to Kentucky by way of Detroit.

Anyway, I posted a full review on thisaremusic. Check it out!

Link to Review

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Thank heaven for little girls...

This weekend we went to the other side of the state for a baby shower. My brother is having a baby. Nicole and I are DINKs (Double Income, No Kids), so we are very good at being an aunt and uncle. Maybe we did go a little overboard on baby gifts, though.

But we had to make sure Detroit was represented, ya'll.

We also got to see our nieces (my sister's little girls). Sorry to all of you that have kids, because these are the three most beautiful little girls in the world!

Nicole had work to do, so she brought her laptop. My niece Callie was quite inquisitive about the whole thing, and when she found out that Aunt Nicole made web sites, of course she wanted her own "dot com".

So I urge you all to check out Callie's Corner. I will update it as I get more content.

Monday, January 23, 2006

My photo of the girl and the Dodge Challenger...

Just as the uproar was finally dying down surrounding the nude women posing at the North American International Auto Show, Agent Paprika was kind enough to send me my own photo of a woman posing with the Challenger.

So, if you're crawling the interweb looking for photos of a young lady posing with Dodge's new concept car, I've got one. That's right, if you've arrived at this site looking for a photo of a woman in a provocative pose with the new Dodge Challenger... here she is.

Friday, January 20, 2006

I think people just like my witty style of writing...

So I was looking at my stat counter for yesterday, and I saw that I had a couple hundred new unique visitors yesterday. I was trying to figure out what would spike my hits like that, so I checked to see where they came from, wondering if someone had linked to me. No luck there.

Then I checked the keyword analysis. Here are the most popular keyword searches from yesterday:

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So, after all this research, I am still at a loss. Does anyone have any ideas why my hits would spike like that?

Anyway, whatever it was, I hope you found what you were looking for, and welcome! I hope you come back soon.

Being a booze scientist has got to be one of the coolest jobs in the world.

Proof that wine is healthier than beer

Here's a little bit of "No duh" science.

It's been known for a long time that wine drinkers tend to be healthier, with a lower rate of heart disease, than beer drinkers. A recent study has determined that it has more to do with what people eat with their beverages than anything. From the story:
Wine drinkers tend to buy more olives, fruit, vegetables, poultry, cooking oil, low-fat cheese, milk and meat than beer buyers. Beer drinkers purchased more premade meals, sugar, cold cuts, pork, butter, sausages and soft drinks.

The story fails to mention that these stats are skewed by the fact that you just can't get a decent glass of merlot at the ballpark, even if it would go well with a Polish sausage slathered in sauerkraut.
Link to story

Proof that beer is healthier than wine

A new study has discovered that beer can help fight cancer. More specifically, it's a compound called xanthohumol, which is found in hops, and nowhere else. From the story:
Xanthohumol has several unique effects. Along with inhibiting tumor growth and other enzymes that activate cancer cells, it also helps the body make unhealthy compounds more water-soluble, so they can be excreted.

In order to fully reap the benefits, you have to drink hoppier beers, which I am a big fan of. The best news is that, at this time, this is the only known source of xanthohumol. Wanna fight cancer? You gotta get drunk.
Link to story

So, whether you're a wine drinker or a beer drinker, tip back a few this weekend with the comfort that it's for your own good. Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Everybody in this town has Super Bowl fever, even The Mydols.

In order to make this my second Dodge-related post of the day, let it be known that the Dodge Grand Caravan is the official minivan of the Mydols.

Last night, at Punk Fitness, Julie played the latest single by Detroit's finest Mom-rockers, The Mydols, and it absolutely rocks! It's called Thank God for the Super Bowl, and it's seriously a great song by a great band.

In the words of the Mydols:
Thank God for the Super Bowl is a united sigh of relief from wives, mothers and girlfriends around the breast of this land for they do not have to think about mundane issues like equality, love, and respect. No, for this one near biblical day of manlihood, they need only to have to focus on how they can best serve the hairy gorillas that have placed their feet on their grandmother’s antique coffee table.

Check out their site, where you can hear the new song for free, as well as order the CD!

Dodge's new concept appeals to everyone - even naked ladies

The North American International Auto Show is in Detroit every year, and it’s one of the big ones. It’s where all of the automakers unveil their new models and their upcoming concepts.

One of the cool new concepts is the new Dodge Challenger. It really looks like a sweet old muscle car, and it simply oozes with bad boy attitude. It’s the kind of car you’d expect to find on a calendar in some grease monkey’s garage, complete with a nude chick posing on the hood.

That’s apparently what someone was thinking when they snuck a “tipsy blonde woman” into the show around 2:30 am Monday to pose nude on the hood of the Challenger. Security guards found the woman atop the car while “more than a dozen others gawked and snapped photos with camera phones.”

Just goes to show - the new Dodge Challenger really is a chick magnet.

Link to story
Link to North American International Auto Show site

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Somebody should of pointed this out before

As I've mentioned before, I get a bit peeved by bad speeling. I mean spelling. It's not that I'm not tolerant; I am. We all make mistakes, sometime we use the wrong version of its/it's or there/their/they're, but when something is glaringly obvious, especially in something that has been created for public display, I just find it inexcusable. How could you not get someone to check these things?

One of the latest was the prominent sign in a local department store advertising their massive merchandise "Clearence".

Seriously, how hard is it to say, "Hey Bob, I just wrote this. Will you look it over for me?" As a writer and editor in my day job, that's what I do.

When you're throwing together a blog post, the occasional indiscretion is fine. When you are doing something for a client, something that may be viewed by thousands of people, there's no excuse for not having a fresh set of eyes look at it.

It seems that it's not just a problem in the US; the Australian Labor Dept. is calling for the Treasurer of the Australian Parliament to be fired over a typo. Apparently the document on the Federal Government's industrial relations changes was released with a glaring error:
The document should say "wages will not fall", rather than "wages will now fall".
That's a pretty big difference. Link

Another thing I've noticed lately is that people are using "should of". As in, "I should of done that." Regardless of how it sounds when you say it, it's "should have". (Although I will also accept "should've".)

Before I step down, I want to mention my new calendar. It's the Eats, Shoots & Leaves calendar (if you've not read this great book on punctuation, and consider yourself an aspiring writer, you really should). Friday, it had a great quote that I will offer up to anyone who may seek to criticize this post:

When sticklers point out illiterate mistakes, we are often aggressively instructed to "get a life" by people who, interestingly, display no evidence of having lives themselves.

I don't think I could of said it better myself.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Come on everybody! Let's go to Djibouti!

One thing that was brought to my attention by Mark this weekend:

There is a country in Africa called Djibouti.

It’s in East Africa, near Ethiopia, and has a population of about 460,000. It’s official languages are French and Arabic, and it suffers from a 50% unemployment rate despite it’s prime location as a shipping port.

And it’s called Djibouti.

Pronounced “juh-BOO-tee.”

As in:
“Hey Bob, I hear you're going on vacation.”
“That’s right.”
“Where you going?”

“Come on, there’s a party in Djibouti!”

Or... well, you get the idea.

That’s all for now… see you in Djiobouti!

Paving paradise and putting up parking lots

In what has become the typical way of doing things in Detroit, they’re knocking down the Motown Museum – to put in a parking lot.

It’s just one more thing that Detroit is doing to get ready for the Super Bowl next month. Knocking down a historic landmark to provide more parking for a singular event.

I am amazed at how badly preparations for the Super Bowl seem to be going. There aren’t enough hotels in the city, and the burned-out buildings that the mayor promised to get rid of? Yep, they’re all still there. You’d think they could knock some down to create parking, but apparently they reserve that for historic landmarks.

In order to impress the out-of-towners, they are going up and down Woodward, placing murals and fake businesses in the vacant storefronts, in order to create the impression that large portions of the city are not the ghost towns they actually are. Even if none of the stores are actually open, the storefronts will at least look occupied.

We don’t need to worry about the visitors running into any unsavory homeless people looking for a handout, either; the city is throwing the homeless their own Super Bowl party. For three days, the city’s homeless will be put up and fed at the Detroit Rescue Mission. That way, nobody needs to see the homeless problem either.

It’s not like it even matters. It appears that most of the out-of-towners are staying across the water in Windsor, not even spending their money in a different city, but in a different country. People would rather spend hours getting across the border (it will be a mess that weekend) than stay near the stadium. Perhaps if Detroit had been able to follow through on what it needed to do, people would be less likely to be afraid of staying near the game (to be fair, Windsor does offer legal prostitution and that seems to be a draw, too).

This is all pretty typical of the way Detroit does things – half-assedly. The city has known about the Super Bowl for several years, and really could have tried to create something that would help the city turn around. Instead they were wrapped up with their problems with Kwame Kilpatrick, the crooked mayor who is doing such a bad job, and is so corrupt that Time named him one of the three worst mayors in the country. He has created a situation of open hostility between the city and the suburbs, and done his best to present his side of any scandal in a way that will create racial tensions.

He shut down the nation’s oldest aquarium and now he’s starting with the museums. He has created a city that is bankrupt, with residents fleeing the city at an alarming rate. Soon, the only people left in the city will be the ones who can’t afford to leave. You know they’re not doing much to boost the city’s tax base.

He has done such a bad job that Detroit re-elected him, which is also pretty typical for Detroit.

Detroit has for years said that the Super Bowl will create a big change for Detroit. Just like they said the casinos would. And the new sports arenas. And the All-Star Game.

And just like all of the previous big events for the city, nothing will change. A little bit of history will be destroyed. Some cleaned up buildings will be allowed to return to ruin, and the homeless will be back on the street.

Business as usual in the Motor City.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

My power is out - can I borrow a piglet?

Scientists in Taiwan have successfully bred three pigs that glow in the dark.

In order to create these glowing pigs, they had to implant the DNA of jellyfish into pig embryos, which were then implanted into pigs. They are hoping that they will now be able to breed glowing pigs with the resulting offspring.

Imagine driving through the country late at night, and passing a darkened farmyard, lit only by the glowing mass of hundreds of glow-in-the-dark piggies. That's an awesome image!

Not only do the pigs glow in the dark, but they are green in the daylight. Apparently, they are green throughout their entire bodies.

Although they claim these pigs were created in order to study the effects of disease, I think we all know the real reason has to do with making Green Eggs and Ham a reality.

After all, as I've said before, what's the point in studying animals unless you get to eat them?

Link to story

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Archaeologists unearth earliest known Emo kid

Archaeologists in Ireland have made a surprising discovery - a prehistoric mummy exhumed from a bog in Ireland was discovered to have used hair gel.

The fashion-conscious mummy used a resin to slick his hair up into a mohawk-shaped style, now commonly known as the fauxhawk, sported by emo rockers nationwide.

Not surprisingly, the earliest known emo rocker appears to have been murdered by an axe to the head before he was disemboweled. Those were simpler times, though, when simply being whiny was grounds for execution.

Link to story

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The mystery of Mozart's head is still a mystery...

Last week, I posted a bit on the skull alleged to belong to Mozart. Scientists were going to announce on Sunday whether the skull, which had been kept at the International Mozarteum Foundation since 1902, belonged to Mozart. The announcement was to coincide with the composer's 250th birthday.

Today, they are no closer to knowing if the skull is his. In fact, the mystery is deepening.

To test the DNA, scientists were using samples from the skull, and comparing them to samples from skeletons exhumed from the Mozart family plot. The skeletons belonged to Mozart's grandmother and niece.

It turns out that none of the skeltons match, so not only do they not know if the skull belonged to Mozart, they are no longer sure who's buried in his family plot, either.

What causes this? Was it bad record-keeping? Or does it point to some grand conspiracy involving a black metal band that has been collecting the remains of famous composers in order to create an unholy orchestra of the undead? Only time will tell.

Until then, shhhhhhh... the maestro is decomposing.

Link to story

Monday, January 09, 2006

Bug me one more time, I'll have you put away...

Boggers take note: watch what you post or leave as comments, you could go to prison if you piss the wrong people off.

I only wish I were making this up. But a law signed by President Bush last Thursday prohibits you from posting or e-mailing "annoying" messages without disclosing your true identity.

If you post under your real name, no problem. But if you use an assumed identity or screen name, as we all do, watch your mouth. You could be committing a federal crime.

Link to Story

Friday, January 06, 2006

One more reason for Canada's rise to become the superpower it is today.

The Canadian Medical Association released the findings of a study this week that looks into one possible way for addressing the health and well-being of the homeless. Their solution? Free booze.

In the study, which has been ongoing since 2002, seventeen homeless adults were given up to 15 glasses of wine or sherry a day.

The result? The homeless were happier, healthier and drunker. They weren’t getting arrested as often, probably because they were too drunk to do anything.

There were a few negative results as well. From the story:
Three of the 17 participants died during the program, succumbing to alcohol-related illnesses that might have killed them anyway, the study said.
So there you go. If you lose your home in Canada, at least you can get the government to keep you happily drunk for the rest of your days.

Those Canadians; hockey, socialized medicine, and now the booze for bums program. It’s just one more reason think about moving north.

Link to story

Bring me the head of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart!

On Sunday, researchers are going to announce if a skull that’s been collecting dust for over 100 years belonged to Mozart.

Long story short is that Mozart was buried in a grave, dug up, and the gravedigger supposedly kept his skull.

Sunday is Mozart’s 250th birthday (I know! The guy looks good for that age!) and to coincide, researchers who have done some DNA testing on Mozart’s descendents are going to announce whether or not this skull is the real deal.

So many questions…

What if it’s not his skull? The museum that’s had it for all this time is gonna be all embarrassed.

More importantly, if it’s not his skull, that means the real Mozart skull is out there, lurking in the shadows, waiting for the right time to strike.

Link to story

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The search is over

I have a sizeable record collection. I love my albums; there is something about playing a record that heightens the tactile sensations of what would be an otherwise purely aural experience (give me 50 cents for using aural in a sentence!).

That being said, I love my iPod as well. Unfortunately, analog albums and digital iPods don't play well together. While it's possible to convert an album to an MP3, that involved more equipment and learning than I was willing to invest. Until now!

Ion has released the ITTUSB, "the world’s first USB turntable", which promises to make ripping my CDs to MP3 easy for a relatively small amount of money. As soon as I learned about this, I knew I needed one.

Unfortunately that was on January 1. You know what? These things were sold out nationwide. Amazon.com couldn't even get any. I was resigning myself to either waiting, or pestering local retailers with daily phone calls until I found one.

I chose to pester the stores and found success. I called the local Urban Outfitters this morning, and found out that one had come in. I reserved it.

This will be occupying me for a while, I'm sure. Look for a thorough review of the turntable over on This Are Music, as well as some reviews of some great old albums that I'll be getting reaquainted with.

Link to corporate site

Angry Monkey prepares for its next polar assault!

So I was neglecting my blog this morning, and in fact all of my morning surfing rituals because of an addiction. I was stuck on the Iceman Web site, clicking “reload” over and over again, watching the counter climb.

I guess that goes along with the whole "mountain biker= adrenaline junkie" stereotype. If you can't be out riding, you can get your fix by clicking reload on theIceman counter!

As of 11:38, Iceman 2006 has all 2,000 racers! That’s it, it’s full.

I want to welcome Mark and Mike to the racing roster. They were an essential part of the Team Angry Monkey support crew last year. This year they will be racing.

We now return to our regularly scheduled blogging.

If only it were nice enough to go riding...


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Perhaps there is a little Alistair Cooke in all of us

When broadcaster Alistair Cooke died of cancer a few years ago, his family had him cremated and they spread his ashes in Central Park.

This was apparently not before body snatchers had the opportunity to steal the old guy’s bones and sell them on the black market.

One would think the bones of a celebrity of Cooke’s caliber would fetch a hefty sum if brought to the right collector. Alas, this was not the case. The bones were sold for $7,000 to a “tissue processing company”, to be used for such items as dental implants on unsuspecting donors.

This is illegal for two reasons. One, it was done without his family’s consent, and two, because the broadcaster died from cancer that had spread to his bones, they were diseased, and so will be any implants created by them.

This whole gruesome story aside, it does create a cottage industry for the owners of certain estates. Suppose you had a parent who was a famous musician. After their death, along with selling their songs to beer commercials, you could also sell their bones to be implanted into aspiring artists.

Personally, I’d take a pinky transplant, just so I could say, “Oh yeah? Well I have more talent in my little finger…”

Link to story

Forget swimming with sharks, bathing with catfish is the NEW extreme sport

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope that everyone had a pleasant holiday, and if you had some minor or major inconveniences, here’s a story that will make you feel better.

At least you don’t have to worry about being stung by a catfish while you’re taking a bath.

Unless you live on the Amazon that is, where researchers have discovered that the likelihood of being stung by a catfish while taking a bucket of water and pouring it over your head is “surprisingly high”. From the article:
Well-known catfish biologists Sazima, Zuanon and Haddad, interviewed 27 people living on the banks of the Amazon to find out whether they'd been stung while bucket bathing and found that 63% of them had - and of those, three had been injured in several different incidents.
If I lived in an area where I had to worry about being injured while maintaining personal hygiene, I might opt to take the creepy smelly hermit route instead.

I think I’m going to add this to my daily mantras, along with “at least I don’t have to worry about ants eating my eyeball.”

Link to story