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Friday, February 26, 2010

Truckskiing

Just a few rednecks enjoying the Snowpocalypse of 2010...


(thanks Coop)

Dating Do's and Don'ts

Side note: I think it's a weird convention that we put an apostrophe between the 'o' and 's' in "do's" but leave only one apostrophe in "don'ts". I mean it makes sense, but isn't intuitive at all...


(via Internet Archive; I've had this for a while so I don't remember the referring link...)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Instead of working on my paper

What we've learned from watching the Olympics:
(via The High Definite)


Ridiculous 3D imaging using LED wielding mini-helicopters:

"The helicopters are about the size of a golf ball, each with a color-changing LED. It took the expertise of the ARES flying robotics lab to make small 'copters that fly steadily enough and that can adapt quickly and with utmost precision."
(via PopSci)


"A parent's only as good as their dumbest kid. If one wins a Nobel Prize but the other gets robbed by a hooker, you failed."
(shitmydadsays)


------------More after the break!------------



Least Surprising Headline Ever?

SeaWorld trainer killed by killer whale

Animal trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed Wednesday at SeaWorld Orlando.

"A killer whale killed a trainer Wednesday afternoon at SeaWorld's Shamu Stadium in Orlando, Florida, a public information officer for the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.


The 40-year-old woman, identified by sheriff's spokesman Jim Solomons as Dawn Brancheau, was in the whale holding area about 2 p.m. when "she apparently slipped or fell into the tank and was fatally injured by one of the whales," he said."
(via CNN)

Clothing Drive

I thought this was a pretty amusing Bud Light commercial:


(thanks to Lyz)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A 9GAG Update

Just a quick update from a new favorite site, 9GAG.
It regurgitates the same stuff as every other site, but does so in such a nice simple manner.

Male vs. Female storytelling flowchart:
Reminds me of one of Xeno's paradoxes. Never reaching its goal....


Mmmm... Turtle bacon
I wonder what's inside.

------------More after the break!------------


Monday, February 22, 2010

Snow

More snow forecasted for the Northeast this week. I wonder which part of the cycle we're on now....

[funny-graphs-snow-day.jpg]
(via GraphJam)

Tufts Supplemental Application Video

This year, Tufts University invited applicants to post a supplemental video on YouTube along with their standard paper (or electronicly submitted) applications.

It's such a huge deal, even the New York Times covered this story:

"Lee Coffin, the dean of undergraduate admissions, said the idea came to him last spring, when watching a YouTube video someone had sent him. "I thought, 'If this kid applied to Tufts, I’d admit him in a minute, without anything else,' " Mr. Coffin said.

For their videos, some students sat in their bedroom and talked earnestly into the camera, while others made day-in-the-life montages, featuring buddies, burgers and lacrosse practice. A budding D.J. sent clips from one of his raves, with a suggestion that such parties might be welcome at Tufts."

"Some of the videos have developed a YouTube following. The popular favorite is probably Amelia Downs, with more than 6,000 views for her video combining “two of my favorite things: being a nerd and dancing,” in which she performs a bar graph, a scatter plot, a pie chart, and a sine and cosine graph."

For your viewing pleasure, Math Dance Girl:


This kid was accepted (and probably has the best overall video):


Boston.com has a few other highlights.
I think the biggest benefit of the supplemental videos: Tufts has to potential to be the best looking campus in the Northeast (Any Californian school would still be us blindly).

Song of the Moment: Final Placement - Shine

"awesome video"?
I'm inclined to agree.

[Video Removed]
(link thanks to Matt)

Be sure to pay attention to the guitar solo at 2:07... and then the awkward few bars until the off-key crescendo back into the next verse/chorus.
*edit* 2:55 is another highlight of the song.

*Update* 2/23
Apparently our Final Placement friends took down the YouTube video. Luckily it's still on Vimeo!
[Video Removed]

*Update* Apparently they're taking down the video all over the place!
We must preserve this internet sensation!
[Video Removed]

*Update 3/20* Come on College Humor, please keep this up!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

In the News: February 21, 2010

Some random stories I've been meaning to share:

'Brain decline' begins at age 27

Well, I'm past my prime... time to start eating more blueberries

"Mental powers start to dwindle at 27 after peaking at 22, marking the start of old age, US research suggests.

Professor Timothy Salthouse of the University of Virginia found reasoning, spatial visualisation and speed of thought all decline in our late 20s."

"The first age at which there was any marked decline was at 27 in tests of brain speed, reasoning and visual puzzle-solving ability.

Things like memory stayed intact until the age of 37, on average, while abilities based on accumulated knowledge, such as performance on tests of vocabulary or general information, increased until the age of 60."
(via BBC)


Smelly passenger kicked off flight



"A man on Jazz Air, a regional airline in Canada that also serves U.S. cities, was reportedly kicked off a plane earlier this month because of his strong body odor.

"People were just mumbling and staring at him," said a woman who sat near the man, according to The Guardian, a newspaper in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, where the flight originated on February 6. It was a very uncomfortable situation, she added.

Another passenger described the smell as "brutal.""

""It's important to understand that our crew members make every effort to resolve a situation before it becomes an issue. Unfortunately, in some circumstances, it may become necessary for our crew to remove passengers."

The airline, like most air carriers, doesn't have a specific policy covering body odor, Stuart said."
(via CNN)

------------More after the break!------------


Engineering vs Other Professions

Basically why I became an engineer:

(via SMBC)


Oh, and Happy Sunday!
 (via SMBC)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Olympics Update

We're about halfway through the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
What fun things have we learned so far?

Shaun White won gold in the Halfpipe:
He also wants to be called 'Animal' now instead of the 'Flying Tomato'.


Lindey Vonn won gold in Downhill:
She also uses men's skis; in case they haven't been mentioning it enough on NBC.


Shani Davis won gold in Speed Skating, 1000m:
And looks like Frozone. (via 9gag)


Evan Lysacek won gold in Figure Skating

Evgeni Plushenko returned from retirement and won silver, but I wouldn't feel sorry for him.
He always has this performance over Lysacek:



Oh yea, and Scotty Lago (bronze in the Halfpipe) abruptly left the Olympics for taking part in less than appropriate behavior:
Oh Asian girls...

Props to all the Americans who have won medals so far!
We're only halfway through, so there's lots more to come.

Old Man on a Bus: Follow up interview

He's back!

The old Vietnam vet from that fateful bus ride answers some follow up questions:


Watch for his breakdown around 2:50. While subject is unfortunate and sad, the incident as a whole is pretty amusing.

His message to the people:
"Don't fuck with old senior citizens, they'll surprise you every once in a while".
 

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Song of the Moment: Kyu Sakamoto - Ue o muite arukou (Sukiyaki)

Here is an actual SotM entry.

'Ue wo muite arukou' by Kyu Sakamoto was a famous song back in the 1960s. It was the only Japanese song to reach the Billboard Top 100.
It was release under the name 'Sukiyaki' in the USA/UK so it would be a familiar, easier to remember title.
I'm pretty sure sukiyaki is a Japanese food dish though... (and one of my dad's favorites). So it's a pretty awful westernization, but I guess back in the '60s white-washing was pretty common. (See: Race-music, R&B, Rock & Roll, Elvis Presley)

Anyway, here it is:


And if you're interested I found the lyrics online with their English translations!

Follow the break to view them....

Schools Just Outside of Boston

Yes, Tufts and Harvard.


BFFs (AEAEAE...)

I've been getting sent a lot of links to this article in the Harvard Crimson.

I first read about it being made fun of on Bostonist (thanks Seth) and most recently read about it getting slammed by Gawker (thanks Adam), it's going national!

All in all, it's just a ridiculous article written by two Harvard kids trying to tame the mean streets of Cambridge/Somerville by taking a $15 cab ride (not sure why the T wasn't good enough) to Tufts, looking for a crazy kegger (on Valentine's Day Sunday?).
Not to mention it makes them sound like pretentious idiots (little surprise there) and does not help their cause to convince the world that their fecal matter smells less than the rest of the world.

Case in point:
Tufts at first seemed like a perfect fantasy option, ripe with potential and waiting to spring to life. We had a friend who knew about a party—a big one, with frat-ish people doing keg stands all over the place, and thousands of girls just waiting to slay themselves at our feet the moment they first got a peek at our Harvard gear. After all, isn’t this exactly what happened in high school? But we would brush away the siren fingers that playfully traced out the H’s on our jackets, knowing that on Valentine’s night, we would accept nothing less than true love.

Or this gem:
So, bantering in French with our cab driver, we eventually learned that frats were apparently the place to party at Tufts. Throwing all of our faith into the genial man, we soon found ourselves en route to frat row. As we drifted along the empty streets, we heard the muffled hum of what we hoped and prayed might just be Ke$ha. Desperately and sketchily, we leaned out the window and asked (demanded? Leeringly yelled?) the first collegiate-looking bunch we saw on the street where we could break a move or maybe find a quasi-pseudo-valentine. They pointed—probably just out of fear—to the closest frat house in sight.
You can't make this stuff up!

I'll let you read the rest of it yourself, but if you're up for some more Harvard-bashing, the here are a couple other entertaining stories that were linked to in the Bostonist article:
Harvard's alumni fail to dazzle in recession -the British make fun of Harvard grads for not being able to actually do anything after they graduate
Harvard Prof to Quadlings: "Walk the Frickin' Seven Minutes" - a Harvard professor makes fun of Harvard students for being lazy


Annnnd just for fun, the infamous 30 Rock episode:




P.S. It's OK, I still love you Harvard friends and family!

Owl City - Fireflies

No, this isn't a 'Song of the Moment' because honestly, I'm not really a huge fan of the song.
Yes, it's a little catchy and it is impressive that it's just one guy (Adam Young), but I still can't forge him for using the autotune. I don't care if Euro-electronica is an influence, it's unacceptable.

Anyway, I just wanted to share a pretty entertaining parody of the song:


The kid is pretty talented.
Check out his YouTube channel if you're bored and have a few minutes.
Warning: He has an odd obsession with Miley Cyrus...


Follow the break if you want to watch the original music video by Owl City
------------Make the jump!------------

Old Man on a Bus

I don't even know how all this started...

(via Neatorama)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shaun White

Here's an awesome story about El Tomate Volante on 60 Minutes.
He has his own private halfpipe in Colorado!


Be sure to watch Shaun go for gold in the halfpipe competition tomorrow!

A post loosely related to girls, weddings, babies, that sort of thing

(In other words, I have these random things I want to post, but I like to pretend I have a theme) .

A marriage ban I can support!
New Law Would Ban Marriages Between People Who Don't Love Each Other:


(via The High Definite)



(via 9gag)


------------More here!------------


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!


Say what you will, Valentine's Day has always been a favorite holiday of mine.
What's better than a celebration of love, candy, and flowers?

And remember ladies, pranks are just a man's way of saying "I love you":


(via TBT)


(via TBT)

P.S. Check out the Grooveshark widget to the right for my Valentine's Day mix -->

Saturday, February 13, 2010

In the News: February 13, 2010

We'll start off with the two biggest stories of the last couple days.
The war in Afghanistan:
Nato launches major anti-Taliban offensive


"More than 15,000 American, British and Afghan troops have launched the biggest offensive in Afghanistan since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001.

Helicopter-borne forces are attacking the Taliban-held districts of Marjah and Nad Ali in Helmand province in a bid to re-establish government control.

Nato says Marjah is home to the biggest community under insurgent control in the south and 400 to 1,000 militants.

Many residents fled ahead of Operation Moshtarak - meaning "together" in Dari."
(via BBC)


And the Winter Olympics:
Alright, so this doesn't really have to do with the Olympics specifically, but this kid is pretty ridiculous...

Teen suspected of approaching Olympics air space in stolen plane

He's been living in the woods, breaking into places for food, shelter, and luxury goods (like airplanes?!).
A bit of a legend, he's even got his own fan-page on facebook!
Colt!

"Authorities have a familiar suspect in the theft of a plane that alarmed air traffic controllers when it flew near airspace restricted for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics: They're looking for "the Barefoot Burglar."

Investigators say it's the fourth plane they believe Colton Harris-Moore has stolen and flown away, despite the fact that he is only 18 and does not possess a pilot's license."
(via CNN)


------------More after the break!------------


Evolution

To my knowledge, this is the most accurate evolutionary tree to date:
I don't really know what happened to Canada...
(via 9gag)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Friday Fun!

Some videos to keep you entertained until the weekend arrives:

Senator Brown's first day in office:

(link thanks to Nithya)


Dust in the Wind: Muppet (i.e. awesome) style
(And if you're a big Muppet fan like me, I recommend visiting the Muppet YouTube Channel).

(link thanks to Adam)


Still bored?
------------Click for more!------------


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Inside North Korea

Vice, a New York based, company was able to get inside and film some segments in what may be the world's more isolated country.

Here's part 1 of 14:

Click here to watch more.

"Getting into North Korea was one of the weirdest processes VBS has ever dealt with. After we went back and forth with their representatives for months, they finally said they were going to allow 16 journalists to come and cover the Arirang Mass Games in Pyongyang. Just before our departure, they suddenly said, "No, nobody can come." Then they said, "OK, OK, you can come. But only as tourists." But they already knew we were journalists, and over there if you get caught being a journalist when you're supposed to be a tourist you go to jail. We don't like jail. And we're willing to bet we'd hate jail in North Korea."

"Perhaps the weirdest thing about North Koreans is that they genuinely don't seem to know that the rest of the planet hates and fears them. They believe (or maybe they really convincingly lie about believing) that the whole world admires and envies them and that they're the true light of socialism and Juche, which is their leader's philosophy of Communist self-reliance.


As the days went on, North Korea presented us with progressively stranger sights and encounters. Being there was like being nowhere else on the planet. Are we glad that we got into Pyongyang and were able to document it? Yes. But are we even gladder that we made it out? Watch our documentary on the trip and try to guess the answer."
(via CNN)

Wednesday Randoms

Sorry folks. No alliteration, no clever title.
Why I do have are some things to get you through the work day (or pass the time while you wait out the incoming storm).

To commemorate the last night launch for the space shuttle program:
(via Astronomy Picture of the Day)


Seriously, what's up with weathermen lately?

(via Probably Bad News)


That's some Situation...
(via The High Definite)


------------More after the break!------------


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New Widget!

Checkout my new music widget to the right! (and below)
I'll still have my "Song of the Moment" posts, but I will probably be updating the widget more so check back often for updates!

And if you still haven't been to Grooveshark, I highly recommend you go.
Free streaming music, and unlike Pandora, you get to pick your songs!

Asians: The New Jews

Do colleges redline Asian-Americans?

This is my primary reason for opposing affirmative action.
Is it fair to admit less qualified students, while turning away quality students simply because there are "too many" of them?

Do you really want to miss out on this guy?
Harvard's Jeremy Lin


"SAT SCORES aren’t everything. But they can tell some fascinating stories.


Take 1,623, for instance. That’s the average score of Asian-Americans, a group that Daniel Golden... has labeled "The New Jews." After all, much like Jews a century ago, Asian-Americans tend to earn good grades and high scores. And now they too face serious discrimination in the college admissions process.


"Notably, 1,623 - out of a possible 2,400 - not only separates Asians from other minorities (Hispanics and blacks average 1,364 and 1,276 on the SAT, respectively). The score also puts them ahead of Caucasians, who average 1,581. And the consequences of this are stark."

"Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade, who reviewed data from 10 elite colleges, writes in “No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal’’ that Asian applicants typically need an extra 140 points to compete with white students. In fact, according to Princeton lecturer Russell Nieli, there may be an “Asian ceiling’’ at Princeton, a number above which the admissions office refuses to venture.


Emily Aronson, a Princeton spokeswoman, insists "the university does not admit students in categories. In the admission process, no particular factor is assigned a fixed weight and there is no formula for weighing the various aspects of the application."


A few years ago, however, when I worked as a reader for Yale’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions, it became immediately clear to me that Asians - who constitute 5 percent of the US population - faced an uphill slog. They tended to get excellent scores, take advantage of AP offerings, and shine in extracurricular activities. Frequently, they also had hard-knock stories: families that had immigrated to America under difficult circumstances, parents working as kitchen assistants and store clerks, and households in which no English was spoken."
(via Boston.com)

Kara Miller, the author of this article, also wrote an interesting piece called My Lazy American Students that I recommend taking a look at as well.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Health Care debate will finally be telvised

White House official: Feb. 25 health care meeting to be televised

Despite a campaign promise to televise health care debate on C-SPAN, this will be the first.

Apparently an honest and transparent government only comes after you lose the super-majority and are forced to work with the other side.
But working on it...

"President Obama's bipartisan meeting on health care reform planned for February 25 will be broadcast live, a senior administration official said Monday.

Coverage details were not complete, but the official said the White House expected "the whole thing to be live."

The half-day meeting is an attempt by the Obama administration to rescue health care legislation, a top domestic priority for the president. Televising it also would help fulfill a campaign promise by Obama that health care negotiations would be broadcast live."

"In a CBS interview broadcast nationally Sunday, Obama said: "What I'd like to do is have a meeting whereby I'm sitting with the Republicans, sitting with the Democrats, sitting with health care experts, and let's just go through these bills -- their ideas, our ideas -- let's walk through them in a methodical way so that the American people can see and compare what makes the most sense.""
(via CNN)

In the News: February 7, 2010

Palin 'Would Be Willing' to Take On Obama in 2012
Please no...

"Sarah Palin has President Obama in her sights, telling FoxNews.com she "would be willing" to challenge him in the 2012 presidential race.


The former Alaska governor, in an interview Saturday on the sidelines of the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, said President Obama's "lack of experience" has held him back his first year in office and that she would put her credentials up against his any day.


"I would be willing to if I believe that it's right for the country," Palin said when asked if she would run for president in 2012."
(via Fox News)



Ancient East Asian Found in Roman Empire

Which means there were probably half-Asian girls in the 1st century!

"Researchers found his body on an imperial Roman estate and took dental samples. Why examine teeth? Well, the water you drink at birth leaves a distinct signature in your teeth. That water signature is in the form of oxygen isotopes, atoms of oxygen with different numbers of neutrons. Isotopes say something about the latitude and elevation of your birthplace—which in the case of our mystery man definitely wasn’t southern Italy.


Then the researchers tested his mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down through your maternal lineage. And this fellow had east Asian genes."
(via Neatorama)

------------More after the break!------------


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Song of the Moment: Jason Mraz - If It Kills Me

Also one of my favorite dances from SYTYCD.
Jason and Jeanine dancing a piece choreographed by Travis Wall:


And here's the full song, but the Casa Nova Session version!


OK... the original version, if you want to hear it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Whole Foods promotes skinny people, fat people don't eat there anyway

Whole Foods has started an initiative to reward employees who live healthier lives.


"Some critics say the program is discriminatory, giving those in better shape an unfair advantage".

. . .

Yes! That's how it works!
Do these people know what incentive programs are supposed to do?

We Are the World: Redux

A cast of 100 celebrities gathered in a studio to record a new version of "We Are the World".
Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie, it was originally released 25 years ago to promote humanitarian aid to Africa. The recording session for the new version just took place yesterday and was re-vamped for the cause in Haiti.

Here is the eternal classic:

I heard the 2010 edition will premiere on Superbowl Sunday.

While the new version is a great idea and has a worthy cause, I cannot express how disappointed, and  even disgusted, I am with it.
Why?

Here are a few soloists from the original: Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Lionel Ritchie, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles.

Here are some members of this year's: Carlos Santana, Orianthi, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx, Sugarland, Adam Levine, Jason Mraz, Earth Wind & Fire, Natalie Cole, The Jonas Brothers, T-Pain, Brian Wilson, Justin Bieber, Nicole Scherzinger, India.Arie, Julianne Hough, Mary Mary, Melanie Fiona, BeBe Winans, Mya, Tyrese Gibson, Anthony Hamilton, Raphael Saadiq, Gladys Knight, Keri Hilson, Joel and Benji Madden, Heart, Brandy, Pink, Musiq Soulchild, Miley Cyrus, Akon, Jordin Sparks, Celine Dion, Rob Thomas, Katharine McPhee, Jeff Bridges, Randy Jackson, Patti Austin, Kid CuDi, Usher, Will.i.am, Kanye West, LL Cool J, Issac Slade (of The Fray), Snoop Dogg, Nicole Richie, Trey Songz, Ethan Bortnick, Taryll Jackson, Taj Jackson, TJ Jackson, Vince Vaughn, Drake, Freda Payne, Faith Evans, Robin Thicke, Rashida Jones, Barbra Streisand, Jimmy Jean Louis, Enrique Iglesias, Zac Brown, Lil Wayne, Tony Bennett, Josh Groban, Sean Garrett, Harry Connick Jr., Al Jardine, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony (Bizzy Bone) and A.R.Rahman (via CNN)

What's with all the crappy R&B filler?
Aside from the classics (Santana, Brian Wilson, Gladys Knight, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, etc) how many modern artists do you think we will even remember in another 25 years?
Josh Groban, Harry Connick Jr. (both are already semi-classics), Jason Mraz (hopefully), Usher (even though he's not doing much now), and Enrique. I don't see too many others...
Not that I think you could have done much better considering the state of pop music these days. But a wider range and more artists, and not so many R&B personalities would have been nice.

I bet Jennifer Hudson will get a solo part again... Seriously, what's so special about her? Aside from singing at every MJ tribute, what has she done lately?
Also, ENOUGH JAMIE FOXX. We get it, you like to sing. I swear, if he gets a solo, I'm going to punch him in the face.

That is all.
God bless Haiti!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Rise of the Sexbots

Inventor unveils $7,000 talking sex robot

We all knew they were coming...

Inventor, and self-professed happily married man, Douglas Hines
"Of course I still love you, honey. I'm just making this sexbot to support the family... If you think about it, it's really for the kids."

"To some men, she might seem like the perfect woman: She's a willowy 5 feet 7 and 120 pounds. She'll chat with you endlessly about your interests. And she'll have sex whenever you please -- as long as her battery doesn't run out."

"Powered by a computer under her soft silicone "skin," she employs voice-recognition and speech-synthesis software to answer questions and carry on conversations. She even comes loaded with five distinct "personalities," from Frigid Farrah to Wild Wendy, that can be programmed to suit customers' preferences."

"Roxxxy won't be available for delivery for several months, but Hines is taking pre-orders through his Web site, TrueCompanion.com, where thousands of men have signed up.


"They're like, 'I can't wait to meet her,' " Hines said. "It's almost like the anticipation of a first date.""

Here's the brunette model:

Seriously, if you're making a personal robot, you could make her look however you want. Why does she look like a cavegirl?
"Yes, please. I would like a $7000 robot that looks like trailer trash".
OK, maybe a little too harsh, but why not take a queue from Gizmodo:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kEuiU0w6VFM/S0_nTBYtXVI/AAAAAAAAAw4/hSE92iaG4kA/s1600/prettiest_girl.JPG
(via CNN)

Report on News Reporting

If I knew journalism was this easy, I would have never become an engineer!


(via Neatorama)