Wednesday Randomness

– Heidi Montag has made a commercial about credit card protection. So yes – the girl made of plastic is telling you not to use plastic.

– You don’t smoke, so you thought it was great when states went after smokers by banning smoking in public places and increasing the price of cigarettes. Smokers tried to warn you that once the do-gooders were done with them, they’d turn to you. You ignored them. You laughed at them. “I don’t smoke or drink,” you said. “What can they come after me for?” And now the state of New York is considering a bill which would ban the use of salt at any restaurant in the state. Seriously.

– Marion Cotillard shows us her beautiful French breasts in this Funny or Die video (no, it’s not what you think).

– A kid moves out of the house. His parents decide to sell some of the stuff he left behind on Craigslist. Hilarity ensues (link possibly NSFW).

– Walmart is rolling out a line of locally-grown produce to its stores. In a blind taste test, a bunch of pretentious, self-righteous food snobs found out, to their intense horror, that they often preferred Walmart’s (significantly cheaper) offerings to their beloved Whole Foods.

– Best idea ever?

ipod touch reward

The Mystery of Overtoun Bridge

Overtoun Bridge is a beautiful stone bridge near the village of Milton in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. Peaceful and covered in ivy, the bridge looks like something off a postcard or tourist brochure:

Overtoun Bridge

But the bridge holds a dark secret. For you see, since the late 1950s or early 1960s, at least 600 have committed suicide by throwing themselves off the bridge. And although the fall kills most, many of those who survive the fall climb back up the bridge and jump again, sometimes immediately, other times several days later. It happens so often that the locals even have a nickname for them: “second timers”. On average, around one dies every month from jumping off the bridge. And while this would certainly be tragic if I were talking about humans, it’s also downright bizarre because I’m talking about dogs.

Yes, over 600 dogs have killed themselves by jumping off the Overtoun Bridge. And the obvious mystery is… why? All of the suicides seem to happen at the same spot, between the final two parapets on the same side of the bridge. Almost all the suicides happen on bright, sunny days. Further clouding the mystery is that, as far as anyone can tell, only long-nosed breeds like labradors, collies and retrievers have jumped; beagles and chihuahuas seem immune to the bridge’s siren song.

Continue reading “The Mystery of Overtoun Bridge”

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-03-07

  • Well this isn’t looking good. #
  • Holy crap! #
  • Canada: barely better than America at a sport they invented. #
  • Why can’t Flash die already? #
  • “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.” #
  • @AnglophileA Current 93? Own a couple of their discs, but they always freaked me out. If Satan ever had a band, they would be it. in reply to AnglophileA #
  • Hooray! All my data DVDs are now organized! #
  • @AnglophileA Runaways trailer: in reply to AnglophileA #
  • Panthers fans: the nightmare is over – Delhomme has been cut. #
  • “Smashing a brick through a f—–g dude’s window is nothing compared to what I’ve done… I’ve killed people.” #
  • My iPod just shuffled Usher and Dead Can Dance back to back. Culture shock! #

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Sunday’s Hottie: Shivani Ghai

Shivani Ghai is an English actress of Indian decent. She recently appeared on the just-ended BBC miniseries Five Days and was also seen in the 2008 BBC-HBO miniseries House of Saddam, where she played Saddam Hussein’s daughter Rana.

She’s also famous in the UK for appearing on an Italian drama called Medico In Famiglia. The show’s producers wanted a female Indian character, but couldn’t find one who could speak Italian. It was so difficult, in fact, that runners gave up and hired an Anglo-Indian actress and taught her Italian instead of finding an Italian-born Indian actress!

Shivani Ghai 01
(click to enlarge)

Continue reading “Sunday’s Hottie: Shivani Ghai”

A Shotgun Blast of Trivia

– London, England, is farther north than Amatignak Island, Alaska

King Narmer, an Egyptian pharaoh who ruled in the 32nd century BC, is generally thought to be the oldest known historical figure. There are certainly mythological people (like Adam & Eve) who are older than Narmer, and there are fossils of early humanoids (like “Lucy”) who predate him by thousands of years… but Narmer is the first person we can actually date and know a bit about his story.

– If you took a piece of string and wrapped it around a basketball, then took another piece of string and “wrapped” it so that it hovered 1 inch above the first string, the second string would be 6.28″ longer than the first string. If then you took a string and wrapped it around the earth, then took a second string and “hovered it” an inch above the first string… it would also be 6.28″ longer than the first string.

– The largest countries, in terms of geographic size, are (in order): Russia, Canada, China, USA, Brazil, Australia, India and Argentina. The next country on the list? Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is also the world’s largest landlocked country, and is larger than Western Europe.

– The Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints wore black helmets for the 1969 pre-season. The only problem was that the Saints’ front office hadn’t run the new helmets by the NFL to see if they approved. The league objected to being left out of the loop, and thus put tremendous pressure on the team to change back to their original gold ones. When team ownership found that fans hated them, they quickly went back to the gold helmets we’re familiar with today.

1969 Saints helmet

SONGS I LIKE: “Cherry Tulips”

I won’t say I love this song yet, but all week I’ve been grooving on the tune “Cherry Tulips” from Champaign, Illinois-based indie rockers Headlights. This song – from the 2008 album Some Racing, Some Stopping – is just the sort of lush, poppy tune I can get into!

Have a listen and tell me what you think!


Samantha Fox: Looking Good!

I caught all kinds of hell for this post about how Terminator star Linda Hamilton was aging… well, let’s just say “less than gracefully”. Several people left nasty comments, the worst of which I deleted before they ever went public. And so, in order to counter the claims of ageism from that post, let me show you how 80s pop star Samantha Fox is getting along these days.

First off, a picture from her Page 3 Girl glory days, not too long before “Touch Me (I Want Your Body)” became a hit in the UK and US:

Samantha Fox
(click to embiggen)

After the jump, a picture of her now.

Continue reading “Samantha Fox: Looking Good!”

Thursday’s Random Stuff Post

– Ever wonder what life’s like for people who pirate Windows? Windows expert Ed Bott decided to “go underground” and see how pirated copies of Windows 7 actually work. The results are pretty interesting and worth a read, even if you’re not a tech person.

– Starting St. Patrick’s Day, Continental Airlines will offer flyers “a new option allowing you to purchase seat assignments for unreserved, Economy Class seats that feature extra legroom.” In other words, they’re going to start charging more for exit row seats.

– Speaking of St. Patrick’s Day, head over to this site to find a McDonald’s near you that offers Shamrock Shakes!

– The NFL has released their new conference logos, playoff logos, pre- and post-season logos, Super Bowl logos, and conference championship trophy designs. And they’re absolutely horrible. The new AFC logo, in particular, is pretty awful. What say you?

– Research in the academic journal Psychological Science shows that darkness increases dishonest behavior. It’s not just that darkness provides practical advantages (like “cover” for criminal activity); people genuinely think that the darkness can provide a measure of anonymity and invisibility… like a kid closing her eyes whilst hiding in a game of “Hide and Seek”.

– Lots of movie and TV stars get their starts in corporate training videos. Here’s a clip of Lost’s Michael Emerson… in a prison training video from 1992!

Out with the new…

… in with the old!

As you can see, I have reverted back to the previous theme for the site. Hopefully, this will be a temporary change.

The new theme had a couple of bugs in it, and I’ve been in touch with the theme’s author to see if I can get them fixed. The author apparently works full-time for Facebook, so I don’t know how quickly a fix will come.

Even MORE trivia!

As mentioned in this post, I have a ton of trivia items to share… so here’s today’s Amazing Trivia Bonanza:

– John Tyler (born March 29, 1790) was tenth president of the United States, holding the office from 1841–1845. Amazingly, Tyler has two living grandsons: Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Jr., (born 1924), and Harrison Ruffin Tyler (born 1928).

– One of the very last “Confederate widows” died in 2008. This one’s a bit of a trick, though: a girl named Maudie White Hopkins did the laundry and housekeeping chores for Civil War veteran William M. Cantrell. She was 19 and he was 86. Cantrell told Maudie that he would give her his land and house if she would marry and take care of him. Being one of ten children from a dirt-poor Ozark family, Maudie agreed. Cantrell, who enlisted in the Confederate Army at age 16 and served with the Virginia infantry, died in 1937 after the couple had been married for three years. Maudie lived on until August 17, 2008. Read more here.

– If you took a piece of paper .1 millimeter thick and folded it in half 100 times, the resulting stack of paper would be 13.4 billion light-years tall – almost as large as the entire observable universe! It sounds incredible, but it’s really basic math: .1mm (the height of the paper) * 2100 (the effect of doubling the height of the paper 100 times) / 1000 (to convert mm to m) / 9,460,536,000,000,000 (the number of meters in a light year) = 1026 meters, or  13.4 billion light years.

– William Moulton Marston was not only a psychologist, feminist theorist and inventor, he also wrote comic books, too! He’s mostly remembered for creating the systolic blood-pressure test, which detects deception and is still an important component of the modern polygraph machine. Oh, and he also created a comic book character known as Wonder Woman. Read more about him here.