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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mass weeding out foster parents who don't just tolerate but support LGBT self-identification

A video has been uncovered of Massachusetts officials promising to weed out foster parents with conservative values who would only “tolerate” a youth’s gender confusion and not endorse it.  The panel warned “passive acceptance” is not enough, and full endorsement is needed.

The DFC speakers confirmed that they are ‘weeding out’ adoptive and foster parents who are not willing to wholly accept and support LGBT (lesbian, “gay,” bisexual, or transgender) self-identification by a child in their care,”

Only a year earlier, Virginia had ruled that agencies could not be forced to provide adoption services to same-sex duos. But in many states, traditional faith-based adoption agencies already have been forced to close down by homosexual activists who demand that the religious organizations give children to homosexuals.

Foster care and adoption are closely linked, because in some states, a family is required to provide foster parenting before adoption is even considered.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Guy Who Invented the Whac-A-Mole Accidentally Blew Up A Florida Warehouse

Aaron Fechter must be one of history's strangest mechanical geniuses. After inventing the Whac-A-Mole, the timeless game that allows children to beat the hell out of buck-toothed creatures popping out of holes, he rented out a gigantic central Florida warehouse to create robotic, animatronic rock bands for Chuck-E-Cheese and Showbiz Pizza franchises.

Lately, he'd turned his attention to an alternative fuel that supposedly burned cleaner than propane -- but apparently was just as explosive. Fechter's warehouse spectacularly blew up yesterday, causing chaos near downtown Orlando and leaving robots scattered around burning rubble.

Friday links

What our ancestors' language sounded like 6,000 years ago.

Medieval "Rockets" Over Nuremberg: more information here and here.

Isaac Newton: 17th-Century London’s Dirty Harry.

Why Are Some People Left-Handed?

Preparing for the bra-opening world record.

Excellent supercut of technology breaking down, then being beaten until it works again.

Singing Build Me Up Buttercup With Strangers

via dotd

Walter White’s, “I Am the One Who Knocks” Speech as Written by Other Authors (with bonus Samuel L. Jackson)

ICYMI, here's Samuel L. Jackson doing the "I am the one who knocks!" speech:

The original:

Re the other authors, read the whole thing at McSweeney's:

Jane Austen

“I’m the person who gentle folk hear after dinner, what strikes fear in their drawing rooms,” our heroine overheard the balding gentleman in the dark hat and spectacles remark to his astonished wife. “Perhaps we should take to Bath this summer,” the wife replied, changing the subject.

Edgar Allen Poe

“And so I come, heartily rapping, not at all gently tapping, tapping, upon the chamber door. Tis I,” he blustered, “and no one more.”

Ernest Hemingway

“I knock,” Walt said. That was all.

George R.R. Martin

“I am the man who swings the sword on others," said Ser Walder, of House White. "Valar morghÅ«lis.”

J.K. Rowling

“Do not fear for me, my dear, for my alohomora spell is the one that makes Voldemort cower,” Walterius White explained to his wife, before transforming into a scorpion and scuttling into the outlet.

Dr. Seuss

“What do you think that it could be?

A horse, a cow, a tree, a bee?
You silly lady, don’t you see?

There is just one hand that can knock

It’s not a whimdingler come out of its flock
Nor a wackzinglit in a tick-tock clock

It’s a human hand and it’s on a spree
That hand is free and belongs to me.”

Thursday, September 26, 2013

What our ancestors' language sounded like 6,000 years ago

Over at Archaeology magazine, Kentucky linguist Andrew Byrd does a dramatic reading of a story written using only the vocabulary we are certain existed 6,000 years ago. Eric Powell explains:
Proto-Indo-European (PIE) was spoken by a people who lived from roughly 4500 to 2500 B.C., and left no written texts. The question became, what did PIE sound like? In 1868, German linguist August Schleicher used reconstructed Proto-Indo-European vocabulary to create a fable in order to hear some approximation of PIE. Called “The Sheep and the Horses" . . . As linguists have continued to discover more about PIE, this sonic experiment continues and the fable is periodically updated to reflect the most current understanding of how this extinct language would have sounded when it was spoken some six thousand years ago. Since there is considerable disagreement among scholars about PIE, no one version can be considered definitive.

Here's the translation of the story:
A sheep that had no wool saw horses, one of them pulling a heavy wagon, one carrying a big load, and one carrying a man quickly. The sheep said to the horses: "My heart pains me, seeing a man driving horses." The horses said: "Listen, sheep, our hearts pain us when we see this: a man, the master, makes the wool of the sheep into a warm garment for himself. And the sheep has no wool." Having heard this, the sheep fled into the plain.
More at Archaeology. Via io9.

Not a SciFi channel movie: 28 killed in hornet attacks

Twenty-eight people have died and hundreds have been injured in a wave of attacks by giant hornets in central China, according to reports.

Victims described being chased for hundreds of metres by the creatures and stung as many as 200 times.

Most of the attacks in the past three months were in remote, rural, wooded areas in southern Shaanxi, the province's China Business newspaper reported.

In the city of Ankang alone, 18 people have died from the stings, health official Zhou Yuanhong told Associated Press. People in the cities of Hanzhong and Shangluo have also been injured.

The insects' highly toxic stings can lead to anaphylactic shock and renal failure. An official from Ankang's disease control centre urged people to seek medical help if they received more than 10 stings, and warned that emergency treatment was required for those stung more than 30 times.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Doctors Grow New Nose on Man's Forehead to Replace Damaged Nose

Is it just me or does that nose growing on his forehead look too big for his face?  Also, has he been walking around with that thing?

A man identified only as "Xiaolian" suffered an injured nose in a car accident in August 2012 and an infection afterwards.

Apparently, his nose was irreparably damaged, so surgeons at a hospital in Fuzhou, Fujian, China decided to grow a new nose for Xiaolian on his forehead.

Small tissue expanding devices were placed under the skin and then cut to resemble a nose.

When Xiaolian's nose is transplanted to his face, cartilage will be surgically removed from his ribs for use as added structure.

Wednesday links

Gallery of hand-colored botanical engravings from 1809.

Why do people want to eat babies?

How Do You Get 1.21 GigaWatts For Your Time Machine?

If you suddenly began rising steadily at one foot per second, how exactly would you die?

2013 Beard And Mustache Championships.

What The Monopoly Properties Look Like In Real Life.

Amazing Intricate Sand Sculptures.

Intricate Sand Sculptures

More here, and here's the artist's website.

Life-Sized Lamborghini Made of Paper

Check out a time-lapse video, below, of Lesko crafting the piece together from start to finish.

More information at My Modern Met.

Why do people want to eat babies?

If you're like most normal people, you've briefly considered eating a baby or two.

Not literally - but pretend baby-eating – that is, explaining to an infant that she is so cute that you just want to gobble her up, or, in extreme cases, gently grabbing a pudgy appendage and making Cookie-Monster eating sounds is not unheard of among H. sapiens. 

Apparently it has something to do with the way babies smell. A paper published in the current issue of Frontiers in Psychology describes how researchers in Dresden, Germany, imaged the brains of two groups of 15 women while the women sampled the odors of other parents' newborns. One group was composed of women who had given birth within the past six weeks. The other group was made up of women who had never given birth. The scientists collected the smells from the pajamas of two-day old infants.

The smells were shown to elicit activation in the women's' brains' reward circuits.

This circuit makes us desire certain foods and causes addiction to tobacco and other drugs,” said University of Montreal researcher and study co-author Johannes Frasnelli, in a news release. “Not all odors trigger this reaction. Only those associated with reward, such as food or satisfying a desire, cause this activation.”

What's more, the mothers' reward circuits showed far more activation than those of the non-mothers.

Read the whole thing at CSMonitor.

How Congress unknowingly approved the mass collection of Americans' phone records

Excerpts from an article at Reason:

In *The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy*, Arthur Dent discovers that the plans for a highway project involving demolition of his house have been "on display" in the basement of a government building at "the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard.'" Senior Editor Jacob Sullum says the Obama administration has a similar idea of what adequate notice means in the context of the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance activities. 

Legislators were informed of the opportunity to view the report via "Dear Colleague" notices, commonly ignored messages they have been conditioned to treat as spam.

In a speech at the Liberty Political Action Conference in Chantilly, Virginia, last week, Rep. Justin Amash, the Michigan Republican who co-sponsored an amendment that would have put an end to the NSA's comprehensive collection of telephone metadata, described how such viewing opportunities work. On August 1 a member of Amash's staff happened to come across a notice from Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, as she plumbed the depths of her boss's "Dear Colleague" folder. Rogers said "a classified letter from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence" would be available for viewing from 9 a.m. to noon the following day.

The viewing window coincided with a vote and occurred on the last day before a five-week summer recess. "The only people who showed up at that briefing were the people I talked to," Amash said. "Nobody else knew that that was going on." Furthermore, all of the legislators had to sign a nondisclosure agreement promising not to discuss the document with their colleagues.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Italian Long Distance Runner Accused of Using Fake Penis to Beat Doping Test

Fake penises are all the rage on the internet for those trying to beat drug tests. One website offers "The Original Whizzinator" and boasts of "life-like" prosthetic penises that are accompanied by packets of dehydrated, uncontaminated urine, which can be turned into liquid with a chemical heat pack.

Nation Sick Of Looming Stuff

WASHINGTON—Noting the ceaseless onslaught of issues constantly nearing the eleventh hour, Americans across the country told reporters Tuesday they are sick and tired of all this looming stuff. “Frankly, I would like a week to go by where I don’t hear about some sort of showdown or crisis that is looming, or brewing, or rearing its head, or anything like that,” said 34-year-old Matawan, NJ resident Jonathan Lear, echoing the thoughts of all 315 million U.S. citizens who have expressed a strong desire for the nation to take a break from either approaching or being on the cusp of anything at all, including conflicts, deadlines, decisions, battles, something ending, something beginning, something getting worse, or something getting even worse. “I don’t want to hear about how another bad or difficult thing we need to avoid is ‘on the horizon’ or ‘right around the corner.’ Just let all the horrible impending shit that’s going to happen happen so we can at least get it over with and move on with our lives.” The American populace did confirm, however, that they are more than happy to hear about anything that is in the nation’s rearview mirror.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Wife Of 2012 London Tube Bomber, Reported To Be Leader of Nairobi Mall Massacre

This is according to Tweets by Al-Shabaab, the group claiming responsibility for the slaughter of 68 men, women, and children who were not able to recite an Islamic prayer or name the mother of the Muslim prophet, Mohammed. 

The Daily Mail reports:
The terror attack on a Kenyan shopping centre that has left 68 dead was being led by the white English widow of a 7/7 bomber, it was claimed last night. 
Soldiers said a white woman wearing a veil was shouting orders to gunmen in Arabic during the bloody massacre inside the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi.
With horrific cruelty, they have reportedly cut the hands off the bodies of their victims and burned their faces to try to conceal their identities.
After the 7/7 bombing in 2012, The Telegraph reported excerpts from the White Widow’s diary.

Students Suspended For Playing With Pellet Gun in Own Front Yard

Read the whole thing.  Via Reason, which has more on zero tolerance here. located the 911 caller and spoke to her. She confirmed Khalid was taking target practice using a zombie hunter airsoft gun to kill the zombies. There was also a net behind the target to catch the plastic pellets.

The caller also knew the gun wasn't real and said so, "This is not a real one, but it makes people uncomfortable. I know that it makes me (uncomfortable), as a mom, to see a boy pointing a gun," she told the 911 dispatcher.

The airsoft guns are designed to be non-lethal. Plastic pellets are used, and not copper bb's.

Plucking A Chicken In 14 Seconds With The Homemade Whizbang Chicken Plucker

via Instapundit.

Here's a Chicken Plucker song ("I'm a cotton Picking finger licking chicken plucker"):

Start at 1:30

The fluid dynamics of sperm vs. the fluid dynamics of a sperm whale

TED-Ed video (Full lesson here), via It's OK To Be Smart.

Did IRS bureaucrats, liberal media help Obama win in 2012?

Read the whole thing at Christian Science Monitor.
...a deeply chilling effect on grass roots organizers, who had a lot to lose if they became political targets of the IRS"
A new House Oversight and Government Reform Committee “interim memo” on the IRS scandal suggests that media coverage of the tea party movement as “dangerous” and full of “rage” pushed IRS agents to scrutinize conservative groups unfairly.

But could such collusion to target groups with the words “tea party” or “constitution” in their names – a program that the IRS acknowledges was a mistake – have chilled political speech to such an extent that it cleared the way for President Obama’s victory?

But what has become clear to many conservatives is that federal agencies going back to 2010 appeared to openly champion liberal causes by, for example, putting on special conferences to show black churches how to express political opinions without losing their tax-exempt status, all the while stonewalling tea party groups with questions ranging from queries about religion to personal relationships.

At the very least, writes the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto this week, “Barack Obama’s reelection deserves to be listed with an asterisk in the record books. We know only that he did win with the help of a corrupt IRS. And if indeed the election was stolen, many in the media were complicit in its theft.”

Game of Thrones Travel Guide

You can't actually go to Westeros, of course, but you can go to all of the places the show was filmed, including but not limited to Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Malta, Croatia and Morocco.

This post at Epic Luxury describes where the various scenes were filmed and has links to further information about each.

via Daily of the Day.

Monday links

11 Terrifying Childcare Inventions From The Early 20th Century.

How Chemistry Can Explain the Difference Between Bourbon and a Tennessee Whiskey.

The Art of the Romanian Haystack.

The pros and cons of Reusable Toilet Paper.

47 Futuristic Jobs You Were Supposed To Have By Now.

Jonah Goldberg's excellent article re: Breaking Bad's Emmy, the evolution of television and the thin veneer of civilization

What he becomes is not an antihero but simply, straightforwardly, a villain. What begins as a kind of play on the Thomistic principle that it is moral for a man to steal bread to feed his starving child grows into a painfully realistic tale of how a good man becomes evil.

Daniel Hannan: A stunning victory for Angela Merkel

Few incumbent parties have been re-elected in Europe since the credit crunch hit almost exactly five years ago. Yet Germany's Christian Democrats have not just hung on to office but, extraordinarily, increased their share of the vote.

The Chancellor deserves her victory. Without any fuss, she got on with making her country more competitive and wealthier. Employment laws were freed up, spending held down, welfare reformed. In a calm, businesslike manner, Mrs Merkel achieved many of the reforms which Margaret Thatcher forced through with thunder and tumult. The eurozone as a whole is in recession, but Germany, having increased its productivity, continues to grow. German voters understood that this didn't simply happen on its own, and cast their ballots accordingly.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cartoon of the day

Hope n' Change is keeping it short and sweet today (well, bittersweet). Here's where you can read about Syria's billion-dollar extortion attempt, Afghanistan's "custom fees" intended to cost taxpayers tens of millions to get back our own equipment, and here's Libya telling B. Hussein that after an entire year of no action whatsoever to bring anyone to justice, domestically or abroad, Libya is telling him to keep US Forces out of the country and forget about the (now protected) killers of our ambassador and three other brave Americans.

And all the while, Barry just eats this abuse up as if it were his favorite flavor of ice cream.

And considering that it's America's reputation that he's destroying and not just his own, we're sure these insults do taste sweet to him.

Islamic Terror in Kenya? Not According to the BBC

Read the whole thing.  Excerpts:

While a horrified world watches the images coming out of Kenya in the aftermath of the massacre at a Nairobi mall perpetrated by Islamic fundamentalists, another less bloody but just as morally reprehensible atrocity unfolded online: the sickeningly biased coverage of the attack produced by some mainstream media outlets determined to provide cover for the jihadists.

Crazy theories on how Breaking Bad will end, in musical form

via io9.

BatDad video

This is a hoot:

via Daily Picks and Flicks

Your tax dollars at work: Park Service makes videos that praise Islam’s contributions to women’s rights.

The Independent Journal Review (go there to see the videos) reports the following:

Another example of your hard-earned tax dollars at work! Apparently, the National Park Service has a ton of money lying around and thought that maybe producing some pro-Islam videos might further their mission to provide national parks to Americans.

Seems legit.

So they hired a media person to visit the AnNur Islamic School in Schenectady, NY and got the real truth about Islam. Which may surprise you.

From the first part of the 3 videos at the 4:45 mark:
People think that Islam oppresses women and there’s no equality, but they’re wrong – there’s equity… 7th century A.D. Islam gave women the right to be involved in politics, the right to earn and keep her own money. Islam gave women the right to work outside of the home, Islam gave women the right to own property, Islam gave women the right to divorce, Islam gave women the right to choose who she marries. Islam gave women a whole bunch of rights that Western women acquired later in the 19th and 20th centuries and we’ve had these rights since the 7th century A.D. and it’s just not acknowledged worldwide.
It’s fantastic that the National Park Service is out there using taxpayer dollars to correct the false record against Muslims, such as the “moderate” Muslim Brotherhood’s scathing backlash against the UN’s Declaration on Women’s Rights. Or Muslim states’ objection to “gay rights” at a UN human rights forum – we wouldn’t want these countries to be confused with Vladimir Putin’s Russia, for Allah’s sake!