*dies*

Nov. 3rd, 2009 10:33 pm
layla: grass at sunset (Default)
It is difficult to imagine a more amusing context in which to find oneself quoted in a book.

Amusing and ego-busting image from Amazon.com under cut )

Let this be a warning of the dangers of vanity-searching your own name. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
layla: grass at sunset (Default)
Orion just called me from the driveway on his cell phone to let me know there are moose out there and to be careful when I'm walking the dogs.

I'm not sure if this is exactly the sort of technology-run-amok that made us NOT get a cell phone for many years, or if it just means that our driveway is too long. (It's 3/4 of a mile long, so the moose could be dancing the can-can down there and I wouldn't know.)
layla: grass at sunset (Default)
It's SNOWING. On the 12th of May! I'd like to file a complaint with the weather, please...

Good God

May. 4th, 2007 08:47 am
layla: grass at sunset (headdesk)
This is effing CRAZY.

Web cartoonist fired from government job and investigated by police for making gun joke in cartoon

I should note that the actual strip that got him fired -- this one -- is no more extreme along those lines ... actually, probably less so ... than some of my Freebird strips.

It's stuff like this that makes me think maybe having my real name on my LJ wouldn't be a good idea.
layla: grass at sunset (Default)
... is Pixel-stained Technopeasant. I like being a pixel-stained technopeasant. Seriously, I do. Writer/cartoonist/artist/fanficcer/blogger gets too cumbersome; I finally have a nice catchy word for what it is that I do!

And I am SO posting something next week for International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day.
layla: grass at sunset (Default)
The Tempest Prognosticator, invented in the 1850s, predicts storms using ... leeches. Leeches that use teeny hammers to ring bells. I swear this is not an April Fool's joke, at least to the extent that one can trust Wikipedia and Google.

The basic idea is that leeches apparently become agitated by the electrical activity that precedes storms, so the "prognosticator" uses a leech array as a sort of barometer. Squirmier leeches wiggle around enough to trip the wire that rings the bell, thus indicating the approach of a storm (with the likelihood of an actual storm depending on the number of times the bell is rung).

Just to make it better yet, "the leeches were placed in glass bottles placed in a circle to prevent them from feeling "the affliction of solitary confinement"".

It's good to see the working conditions for the leeches were taken into account.
layla: grass at sunset (Default)
I ... think this is a serious website.

Kostroma Moose Farm (The farm's in Russia; the site's in English, though there is also a Russian version.)

Some choice quotes:

"...established in 1966, this farm remains the most stable moose milk provisioner in Russia..."

"When the USSR decided to become worldwide, in the 1930s, war-moose were expected to solve the problem of deep snow cross-country cavalry passability."
(While those are not two words that I ever expected to see joined together, I love the existence of war-moose. LOVE it.)

[from page of instructions for tourists to the moose farm] "Do not run, do not cry, do not try to pick up dropped sweets... and be patient with a soft warm tender moose."

Discussing the problems with controlling free-range moose, which die if they're penned up; apparently it was suggested "... to implant a microreceiver (several thousand dollars) into animals' brains and then control their movements through a global satellite system ..."

I really can't imagine why the USSR collapsed ...

All joking aside, though, it's actually quite fascinating to me to consider -- assuming the site is real, and it does appear to be -- that moose are actually pretty easy to tame. They're just difficult to maintain in captivity, and they aren't herd animals in the same way that, say, reindeer are, which makes them a lot less useful as domesticated livestock than animals that exhibit herding behavior.

However, I have GOT to use this in a story sometime...
layla: grass at sunset (headdesk)
It took me a while to figure out if this website was a joke or not. (I'm pretty sure it's real. But still not 100% convinced.)

http://www.homestead.com/godslittleones/micropreemies.html

They're pro-life "micropreemie" (a.k.a. fetus) dolls. Now, regardless of where you stand on the whole issue of whether life begins at birth, conception, quickening or wherever, I don't think anyone can deny that the human fetus, baby or not, is really freaking creepy looking. It trips our whole sense of "human, but not quite human, AAIIEEE!" And thumb-sized plastic fetuses dressed in baby clothes are, frankly, about ten times as creepy-looking as they would be in their natural environment.

Here's the main page, FYI.
layla: (FEMA)
30 below? W? T? F? In January it was above freezing, and now it's 30 below?

I mean, yes, yes, this is theoretically possible, and since I've been in Fairbanks (middle 1990s) I remember getting -30 spells in March. But that was coming on the heels of winters where you'd get a month of -40 around Christmas. This is just weird.

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layla: grass at sunset (Default)
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