Monthly Archives: August 2012

Funny Crossovers

A crossover is when one story, character, book, movie, or concept is mixed with another.  Sometimes comic books will do crossovers, sometimes TV shows on the same network do the same to boost ratings or do a tie in with another show.  Other times, people do it just to be funny.  Examples:

Star Wars meets Star Trek. Spock much more impressive that Luke.

Again, Spock more impressive than Luke.

Yoda tries to crossover from Spock, “Logical, it is not.”

Indiana Jones meets Star Wars. Who would not pay to see Chewy pull the arms off some Nazis?

Anime Angels

Mordor, the Unhappiest Place on Earth. You simply cannot just walk in.

HP Lovecraft’s Cthulhu meets the Presidential Election. Why Choose the Lessor of Two Evils When you can choose The Greatest Evil?

Blade, kills Vampires better than Abe Lincoln.

But Abe Lincoln still fun to watch.

Cheers!

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Wild West Con 2


 

 

Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention II

 

Come join the adventure March 8-10, 2013 as we journey into the age of steam at Old Tucson!

What is Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention II?

Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention II is Arizona’s first and only steampunk convention immersed in a western themed town. This is a revolutionary re-invention of the standard hotel-based convention. Our event is within Old Tucson, a famous movie studio and amusement park built in 1939. For this weekend only, Old Tucson is transforming into the world’s only western-style Steampunk Theme Park!

Make sure you mark the date on the calendar.  I am a organizer/helper and volunteer and will also likely be a vendor at this event.

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Romans had Knives Like Swiss Army Knife in 200 AD

reposted from:

THE ROMAN ARMY KNIFE

The world’s first Swiss Army knife’ has been discovered and it was made by the ancient Romans around 200 AD.  The Roman Army knife is made of silver and has an iron blade.  It also has a  spoon, fork as well as a retractable spike, spatula and small tooth-pick.  Experts believe that the knife was stored in a grave for over a thousand years.

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More Strange Headlines and News Stories

For more funny headlines and news stories, you can search this site for its previous posts.

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Dogs to Cure the Monday Blues

If one dog is cute, more than one dog should be even cuter.  Each Monday I post cute dog pictures if you want to look at the archives.  Last week I hit an all-time high in visits in one day at 7,317 due mostly to dog pictures.  Thanks to all of you who love dogs as much as I do.  They truly are our best friends.

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First Advertisements for Cars

reposted from Retronaut

THE FIRST CAR AD, 1898

The first automobile advertisement – Scientific American, February /March 1898

“The Winton Motor Carriage Company was one of the first American companies to sell a motor car. On March 24, 1898 Robert Allison of Port Carbon, Pennsylvania became the first person to buy a Winton automobile after seeing the first automobile advertisement in Scientific American.”

 

 

 

June 26th, 2012

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Neil Armstrong Into the Heavens as a Man; Now as a Spirit

Neil Armstrong went into space, walked on the moon and did it all in 1960s in low bid rockets, a tiny capsule they had to fight to have a window in, and when people calculated trajectories with slide rules.  If you have ever seen the capsule at the Smithsonian, it is incredibly small for such a long trip.  The first man to walk on the moon can now be the first to talk to Galileo, Einstein and others in Heaven about his experience.  One day I hope to catch up with folks myself.  God Bless Neil Armstrong and the family he leaves behind for now.

The rest is reposted from AP

According to NBC News, Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, has died at age 82.

He died at 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, suffering complications following his recent cardiac bypass surgery.

On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and his partner Buzz Aldrin made history as the first people to ever walk on the moon. From the New York Times article applauding the achievement:

Two Americans, astronauts of Apollo 11, steered their fragile four-legged lunar module safely and smoothly to the historic landing yesterday at 4:17:40 P.M., Eastern daylight time.Neil A. Armstrong, the 38-year-old civilian commander, radioed to earth and the mission control room here:

“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”

 

A photo of a smiling Armstrong was captured inside the Lunar Module after he completed his historic moonwalk.

On Saturday, Armstrong’s family confirmed his death, and released a statement:

“We are heartbroken to share the news that Neil Armstrong has passed away following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures.Neil was our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.

Neil Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job. He served his Nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut. He also found success back home in his native Ohio in business and academia, and became a community leader in Cincinnati.

He remained an advocate of aviation and exploration throughout his life and never lost his boyhood wonder of these pursuits.

As much as Neil cherished his privacy, he always appreciated the expressions of good will from people around the world and from all walks of life.

While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.

For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

 

NASA tweeted a reaction to the news, offering its condolences.

In a statement, President Obama called Armstrong “among the greatest of American heroes – not just of his time, but of all time.”

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What 10 Classic Books Were Almost Called

reposted from

Stacy Conradt

What 10 Classic Books Were Almost Called
by Stacy Conradt – October 10, 2010 – 8:44 PM
Remember when your high school summer reading list included AtticusFiesta, and The Last Man in Europe? You will once you see what these books were renamed before they hit bookshelves.

1. F. Scott Fitzgerald went through quite a few titles for his most well-known book before deciding on The Great Gatsby. If he hadn’t arrived at that title, high school kids would be pondering the themes of Trimalchio in West Egg; Among Ash-Heaps and Millionaires; On the Road to West Egg; Under the Red, White, and Blue; Gold-Hatted Gatsby; and The High-Bouncing Lover.

2. George Orwell’s publisher didn’t feel the title to Orwell’s novel The Last Man in Europe was terribly commercial and recommended using the other title he had been kicking around—1984.

3. Before it was Atlas Shrugged, it was The Strike, which is how Ayn Rand referred to her magnum opus for quite some time. In 1956, a year before the book was released, she decided the title gave away too much plot detail. Her husband suggested Atlas Shrugged and it stuck.

4. The title of Bram Stoker’s famous Gothic novel sounded more like a spoof before he landed onDracula—one of the names Stoker considered was The Dead Un-Dead.

5. Ernest Hemingway’s original title for The Sun Also Rises was used for foreign-language editions—Fiesta. He changed the American English version to The Sun Also Rises at the behest of his publisher.

6. It’s because of Frank Sinatra that we use the phrase “Catch-22” today. Well, sort of. Author Joseph Heller tried out Catch-11, but because the original Ocean’s Eleven movie was newly in theaters, it was scrapped to avoid confusion. He also wanted Catch-18, but, again, a recent publication made him switch titles to avoid confusion: Leon Uris’ Mila 18. The number 22 was finally chosen because it was 11 doubled.

7. To Kill a Mockingbird was simply Atticus before Harper Lee decided the title focused too narrowly on one character.

8. An apt precursor to the Pride and Prejudice title Jane Austen finally decided on: First Impressions.

9. Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? Secretly, apparently. Mistress Mary, taken from the classic nursery rhyme, was the working title for Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden.

10. Originally called Ulysses in Dublin, James Joyce’s Dubliners featured characters that would later appear in his epic Ulysses a few years later.

Read the full text here:http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/70037#ixzz24X1hBib0
–brought to you by mental_floss!

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Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011

reposted from I09 by BY ROBERT T. GONZALEZ

DEC 28, 2011 4:20 PM

Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011

From law-violating subatomic particles to entirely new, earth-like worlds, 2011 was an incredible year for scientific discovery. In the past 12 months, scientific breakthroughs in fields ranging from archaeology to structural biochemistry have allowed humanity to rewrite history, and enabled us to open to brand new chapters in our development as a species.

Here are some of our favorites.


Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011

The world’s lowest density material

With a density of less than one milligram per cubic centimeter (that’s about 1000 times less dense than water), this surprisingly squishy material is so light-weight, it can rest on the seed heads of a dandelion, and is lighter than even the lowest-density aerogels. The secret — to both its negligible weight and its resiliency — is the material’s lattice-like structural organization, one that the researchers who created it liken to that of the Eiffel Tower.

Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011

“Feeling” objects with a brain implant

It could be the first step towards truly immersive virtual reality, one where you can actually feel the computer-generated world around you. An international team of neuroengineers has developed a brain-machine interface that’s bi-directional — that means you could soon use a brain implant not only to control a virtual hand, but to receive feedback that tricks your brain into “feeling” the texture of a virtual object.

Already demonstrated successfully in primates, the interface could soon allow humans to use next-generation prosthetic limbs (or even robotic exoskeletons) to actually feel objects in the real world.

Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011

Astronomers get their first good look at giant asteroid Vesta

In July of 2011, NASA’s Dawn spacecraftentered the orbit of Vesta — the second largest body in our solar system’s main asteroid belt. Just a few days later, Dawn spiraled down into orbit. Upon reaching an altitude of approximately 1700 miles, the spacecraft began snapping pictures of the protoplanet’s surface, revealing geophysical oddities like the triplet of craters on Vesta’s northern hemisphere — nicknamed “Snowman” — featured here. Dawn recently maneuvered into its closest orbit (at an altitude averaging just 130 miles). It will continue orbiting Vesta until July of 2012, when it will set a course for Ceres, the largest of the main belt asteroids.

Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011

NASA’s Kepler Mission changes how we see ourselves in the Universe

2011 was a fantastic year for NASA’s Kepler Mission, which is charged with discovering Earth-like planets in the so-called “habitable zone” of stars in the Milky Way. Kepler scientists announced the discovery of the firstcircumbinary planet (i.e. a planet with two suns, just like Tatooine); located the first two known Earth-sized exoplanetsquadrupled the number of worlds known to exist beyond our solar system; and spied Kepler-22b — the most Earth-like planet we’ve encountered yet. And here’s the really exciting bit: Kepler is just getting warmed up.

Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011

Heartbeat-powered nanogenerators could soon replace batteries

In a few years, you may never have to recharge your phone again — provided part of you keeps moving. Back in March,scientists announced the world’s first viable “nanogenerator” — a tiny computer chip that gets its power from body movements like snapping fingers or – eventually – your heartbeat.

The researchers can already use the technology to power a liquid crystal display and an LED, and claim that their technology could replace batteries for small devices like MP3 players and mobile phones within a few years.

 Neuroscientists reconstruct the movies in your mind

Back in September, UC Berkeley neuroscientists demonstrated their ability to use advanced brain-imaging techniques toturn activity in the visual cortex of the human brain into digital images. So far, the researchers are only able to reconstruct neural equivalents of things people have already seen — but they’re confident that other applications — like tapping into the mind of a coma patient, or watching a video recording of your own dreams — are well within reach.

Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011

100,000-year-old art kit found in South Africa

Researchers investigating Blombos Cave in Cape Town, South Africa uncovered the oldest known evidence of painting by early humans. Archaeologists discovered two “kits,” for mixing and forming ocher — a reddish pigment believed to be used as a dye. The find pushes back the date by which humans were practicing complex art approximately 40,000 years, all the way back to 100,000 years ago.

Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011

Online gamers solve a decade-old HIV puzzle in three weeks

Foldit is a computer game that presents players with the spatial challenge of determining the three-dimensional structures of proteins, the molecules comprising the workforce that runs your entire body. In diseases like HIV, proteins known as retroviral proteases play a key role in a virus’s ability to overwhelm the immune system and proliferate throughout the body.

For years, scientists have been working to identify what these retroviral proteases look like, in order to develop drugs that target these enzymes and stymie the progression of deadly viral diseases like AIDS. It was a scientific puzzle that managed to confound top-tier research scientists for over a decade… but Foldit gamers were able to pull it off in just three weeks.

“The ingenuity of game players,” said biochemist Firas Khatib, “is a formidable force that, if properly directed, can be used to solve a wide range of scientific problems.”

Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011

Ancient settlement upends our perception of human evolution

Tools discovered during an excavation in the United Arab Emirates were found to date back at least 100,000 years, indicating thatour ancestors may have left Africa as early as 125,000 years ago. Genetic evidence has long suggested that modern humans did not leave Africa until about 60,000 years ago, but these tools appear to be the work of our ancestors and not other hominids like Neanderthals. That being said, our understanding of how and when humans really evolved continues to take shape…

Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011

Confirmed: Neanderthal DNA survives in Modern Humans

Some of the first hard genetic evidence that early Homo sapiens got busy with Homo neandertalensis actually came in 2010, but it was experimental findings published in July of 2011 that really drove the point home. But don’t worry — there’s still plenty of research to be done on everything from the details of human/neanderthal culture, to the enduring significance of Neanderthal genes in the modern human genome, to the mysterious humanoids, Denisovans.

Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011

IBM unveils brain-like “neurosynaptic” chips

Back in February, IBM’s Watson made history by trouncing Jeopardy champs Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in an intimidating display of computer overlord-dom. But to compare Watson’s computing power to the complexity of a brain would still constitute a pretty epic oversimplification of what it means to “think” like a human, as the way each one processes information could not be more different.

Watson is impressive, to be sure, but in August, IBM researchers brought out the big guns: a revolutionary new chip design that, for the first time, actually mimics the functioning of a human brain.

Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011

NASA launches the most advanced Martian rover in history

Currently in transit to the Red Planet, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory — aka theCuriosity rover — was launched on November 26th. The rover is scheduled to touch down on Mars inside the mysterious Gale crater in August of 2012. Once it’s made landfall, Curiosity will make use of one of the most advanced scientific payloads we’ve ever put in space to assess whether Mars ever was, or is still today, an environment able to support life — a mission that could redefine the way we think about life in our solar system and beyond.

A device that lets you see through walls

Radar systems that can see through walls (aka “wall-through” radar systems) aren’t unheard of, it’s just that most of them are burdened by limitations (like a prohibitively low frame rate, or a short range of operation) — that make their use in real world settings pretty impractical. But that could soon change in a big way. The team of MIT researchers featured in this video has developed a device that can provide its operators with real-time video of what’s going on behind an eight-inch-thick concrete wall — and it can do it from up to 60 feet away.

Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011

Electronics and biometric sensors that you wear like a temporary tattoo

Engineers John Rogers and Todd Coleman say that their epidermal electronic system (EES) — a skin-mountable, electronic circuit that stretches, flexes, and twists with the motion of your body — represents a huge step towards eroding the distinction between hard, chip-based machines and soft, biological humans.

Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011

Culling senescent cells postpones age-related disease in mice

In the latest effort to make mice immortal, researchers revealed that flushing out so-called senescent (aka old and defunct) cells from the bodies of mice genetically modified to die of heart disease extended the health span of the mice significantly. If you can imagine taking a pill that could stave off the effects of age related disease, then you can appreciate why science and industry alike have demonstrated considerable interest in these and other age-related findings. [Photo by Jan M. Van Deursen Via NYT]

Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011

Scientists engineer highly virulent strains of bird flu

Two independent teams of researchers recently engineered highly virulent strains of H5N1, more commonly known as the avian flu virus. On one hand, the researchers’ work is absolutely vital, because it allows us to get a head start, so to speak, on understanding viruses that could one day pose a serious risk to public health. On the other hand, there are many who fear that findings from such research could be used to malevolent ends were they to wind up in the wrong hands. Included in the latter camp is the federal government, which went to unprecedented ends to make sure that the experimental methods behind creating the strains never made it to the pages of either Nature orScience.

Regardless of your position, the development of these strains raises important questions about the nature of dual-use research, transparency, and censorship.

Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011

The hunt for the Higgs boson nears its conclusion

It’s been a long, long time coming, but earlier this month, representatives from the Large Hadron Collider’s two largest experiments — ATLAS and CMS —announced that both research teams had independently uncovered signals that point to the appearance of the Higgs boson — the long-sought sub-atomic particle thought to endow all other particles with mass. “Given the outstanding performance of the LHC this year, we will not need to wait long for enough data and can look forward to resolving this puzzle in 2012,” explained ATLAS’s Fabiola Gianotti. If the puzzle is resolved with the discovery of the Higgs, it will represent one of the greatest unifying discoveries in the history of physics.

Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011

Faster-than-light Neutrinos

By now, the neutrinos that were supposedly caught breaking the cosmic speed limit in Gran Sasso, Italy need no introduction. Scientists the world over continue to offer up critiques on the OPERA collaborative’s puzzling results, especially in light of the team’s most recent findings — acquired froma second, fine-tuned version of the original experiment — which reveal that their FTL observations still stand.

Of course, the most rigorous, telling, and important tests will come in the form of cross-checks performed by independent research teams, the results of which will not be available until next year at the earliest. And while many scientists aren’t holding their breath, the confirmation of FTL neutrinos could very well signal one of the biggest scientific paradigm shifts in history.

 

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Author Tour

Going on a signing tour with fellow authors.  It has my third book on there as well, have to finish the final edits in time…

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