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Sunday, December 21, 2014

"Helping the Poor" cartoon of the day

via Ace

Friday, December 19, 2014

Do you want to see a photo of a REALLY pissed off cat? Of course you do.

Via @ComradeArthur, this from the Daily Mail:

This is the moment a stray cat was pulled out of its hideaway by firemen - after wedging itself in the engine of a car.
The startled animal looked far from amused after being removed from the engine block of a car in the city of Van in eastern Turkey.

Friday links

Supercut of the Phrase ‘We’re Not so Different, You and I’ in Movies.

The Origin of the TV Dinner. Vaguely related, Can You Tell The Difference Between School Lunch Prison Food?

Beneath London, There's A Revolting Battle To Keep The Sewers Free Of 'Fatbergs'.

ICYMI, Thursday's links are here, and include weird Nativity sets, armpit hair extensions, Star Wars Christmas cards, and why dark winter days bum you out.

Friendship: Tortoise Flips Over Friend That’s Stuck Upside Down


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

'Twas the Overnight Before Christmas: The Merry Tale of How Air Cargo Deregulation Led To Amazon

Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University Kenneth Button shares the story of how air cargo deregulation in the 1970s paved the way for low-cost, reliable overnight shipping, which in turn allowed for groundbreaking new e-commerce businesses like Amazon and eBay. These innovations enable everyone to get their presents on time for the holidays – almost as fast as delivery by Santa himself! 

‘Twas two nights before Christmas, and all through their houses
Every creature was busy, double-clicking their mouses.
Christmas was coming, but there were still presents to buy--
Thank heavens overnight shipping allows boxes to fly.
“But how can this be?” the people asked in their haze
“With so many miles to cover, why aren’t there delays?”

What allowed this to happen is a very old rule,
That deregulated air cargo - isn't that cool!
You see, express planes were smaller, unlike today.
Bigger is better, but the law said “No way!”

And if Fisherman Fred shipped lively lobsters from Maine
He hoped for some room in the belly of a passenger plane
But if Aunt Edna had checked in fifteen pieces of luggage
Fred’s lobsters would arrive days later, looking quite sluggish.

Freed from restrictions, more packages could flow
And arrive soon as promised, even in snow.
This allowed private carriers to grow and expand,
Unleashing innovations no one could’ve planned
With better shipping options, online shopping exploded,
And business inventories grew leaner: before they were bloated!

Thanks to rolling back rules that were surely passé,
Delivery is almost as fast as on Santa’s great sleigh.

Supercut of the Phrase ‘We’re Not so Different, You and I’ in Movies

It appears to mostly be bad guys who think that everyone else is like them, doesn't it? These compilations frequently remind me of movies I want to see again (or make some family member see), so the full list of films is available below for easy reference.

Source films, in order of appearance:

Austin Powers
Scary Movie 3
The Outrage
Mulholland Falls
The Net
Behind Enemy Lines 2: Axis of Evil
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Fast & Furious 4
Austin Powers in Goldmember
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows pt. 1
The Ballad of Jack and Rose
Falling Down

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Alpha males with higher levels of testosterone like spicier food, French report claims

Manliness story du jour:

Scientists at the highly-respected University of Grenoble have published a report suggesting that regular consumption of chili peppers may raise levels of the hormone, which is believed to make men more adventurous, enterprising and sexually active.

This guy needs to eat a LOT of those peppers.
Laurent Begue, one of the authors of the study, said: "These results are in line with a lot of research showing a link between testosterone and financial, sexual and behavioral risk-taking."

Their testosterone levels were measured from saliva samples and they were presented with a plate of mashed potatoes and invited to add chili sauce to taste. Those who added the most hot sauce had the highest testosterone.
The hormone drives men to seek thrills and new sensations, leading them to frequent "more stimulating social groups and take more risks," according to Professor Begue.
"In this case, it applies to risk-taking in taste," he said. "It is also possible that the regular consumption of spicy food contributes to increasing testosterone levels, although so far this has only been demonstrated on rodents."
Unlike their British counterparts, relatively few have acquired a taste for hot curries. Many see chili as an assault on their taste buds that hinders enjoyment of the subtler, more delicate flavours of classic French cuisine.

They may now start to view spice as a virility test and attempt to prove their manliness by consuming eye-wateringly hot food.

Previous manly posts:

How To Gird Up Your Loins (An Illustrated Guide).

The Tactical Order of Dressing: An Illustrated Guide (as taught to military and emergency personnel).

Because it's important to always be battle-ready: How to Poop Like a Samurai.

The manliness test - how manly are you? I took it, and I'm a mewling kitten. But I'm an old, overweight female, so presumably you'll do better.

The Boy Scouts of America: Then and Now — A Comparison of the 1911 and Modern Handbooks and Merit Badges.

More at The Telegraph.