JUNE 2003



Today I learnt about the rainforest. For years I've been hearing about the rainforest with the whole Sting thing and the fundraisers and this and that and I kind of whatevered it. Not that I'm gonna go picket somewhere or anything but it was disturbing to hear that the rainforest provides 20% of the planet's oxygen and they're really busy chopping all that down. They said the rainforest is 'the lungs of the planet' so all this choppity chop is probably dumb.

After sifting thru a gazillion rainforest charities (alot seem scammy) and tons of blah blah. This link seemed simple enough.


Today I watched a show called 'How's That Work?' and they showed me how a toaster works. It works pretty much the way I assumed it worked. But they also told me about the original toaster back in the day. You had to go flip the toast yourself cause they hadn't thought up the slot thing yet. You just sort of leaned the bread on the thing. To turn it off you had to unplug it. Maybe that's why so many people still unplug their toasters- cause of the old paranoia that if you leave it on it will burn your place down... or is that just me?

I tried to find that old Flying Toaster screensaver to link to that. Remember that? And the BadDog screensaver? Made by AfterDark? But I can't find em anywhere. I don't know what's sadder the fact that I can't find these old screensavers or the fact that I'm nostalgic for old screensavers. Here's the story sorta.

*UPDATE: someone sent me a link to this version that I think just works for Macs. not sure.


I found out today that the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra got to perform their national anthem for the first time since Saddam took power. Iraqis were psyched. Saddam banned it because it didn't mention his name and replaced it with the Samantha Fox tune 'I Want to Have Some Fun' but changed the 'some fun' part to 'Sad-dam.' It's true! I swear! (No it's not... and no I don't.)

Here's a link to listen to all the national anthems. Madagascar's sounds like 'I've Been Working on the Railroad'... a little.


Sorry I was late with fact today. I did watch a tv show earlier about this mexican UFO sighting thing but I just did a UFO thing a few back and I didn't want to do another UFO thing. But now that it's 2:00AM and I'm watching a friggin flaked out show called 'Ask Rita' -I guess I gotta go UFO. Basically back in 1997 lots of people saw a UFO over Mexico City. It was heavily documented and video taped but apparently world press didn't pay much attention or didn't care. Too bad the aliens didn't postpone their trip a few years. It would have been huge on the internet...

Here's a link to some snapshots and some geek commentary.


Today I learnt about this thing called ESCHELON. It's a global eavesdropping system that alot of countries use to get information about this and that. ESCHELON gathers millions of emails, mobile phone calls, faxes etc and sifts through em looking for whatever terrorism or whatever whatever. The way it sorts through all the info is by looking for certain keywords. So when yer chatting on yer mobile or whatever. Remember that ESCHELON might be tuning in if you use certain words like....

Here's the first spy satellite. Cute.


Tonite I learnt about the coconut crab which is the largest invertebrate. The coconut crab can grow up to like three feet in length and they can eat coconuts and they're scary. I guess evolution worked well for them with the claws and shell and the bigness all, but when the dorky nature guy just walks over and picks it up and holds it in front of the camera and they can't do anything but hang there all ashamed and wait to get put back down... you get the feeling they could have evolved a little better. Like a back claw or something to avoid that humanic humiliation.

Kevin will tell you more about them if yer coconut curious.


TV told me something about lightning today. If you get the big KAZAP from a lightning bolt it will leave an outline like right on your skin (besides giving you the big kzzzaaazzzowie). It's like a superficial burn that looks like a big lightning bolt. It's nicely called 'feathering' but I bet it stings like a mofo. It looked kinda cool on this one dude's back. Made him look tough and stuff. But if you get the KAZAP and dig the new look of your lightning feathering you better get it tattooed cause it'll go away in a few days. 

Here's a game where you can throw around lightning bolts all willy nilly while slowly vegging out in the process... 


It was a sleepy day today and I took a nap in the afternoon and it messed me up for the rest of the day. So no tv fact. But I had this weird sleep paralysis thing when I woke up. It's like you're totally awake but lying there and you can't move or nothing and can't open your eyes and you're like trapped in your head yelling at your body to wake up and you feel like you can't breathe then you get scared cause it's totally freaky and right when you're about to wig out totally- you snap out of it. I didn't like that so much. I get it like once every three years.

Sheryl Crow gets it too sometimes.


I found out tonite that North Carolina has more hogs than people. Now that the tobacco industry is in a death spiral, corporations in North Carolina are replacing tobacco farms with hogs farms. Good news in terms of the tobacco industry going down. Bad news because instead of nice fresh tobacco plants people now get giant cess pool lagoons that pollute the rivers and water and sometimes the smell in the towns around the hogs farms will make your eyes tear until you go "aggh! it stinks!" then gag then puke.

Here's some audio clips from some North Carolinians who have live with the industrial hog headache. 


Sorry no fact today. I'll put something better here tomorrow. 

(ok i lied about what i wrote there it being tomorrow and nothing better done was written unless you consider this better than what was there when this wasn't there which isn't likely.)


I found out today that the math Regents Exam in New York State (a standardized test to graduate high school) is all screwed up. Kids are failing the test left and right and it's keeping them from going to college. Some schools are have like 73% F's. When I was in High School I used to flunk regents exams like non-stop. On the math tests I'd get scores like 18%. Now that lots of kids are flunking it... I feel a little bit like a trendsetter.

A million monkeys working on this problem for a million years would figure this out before me.


Today I watched some of the World's Strongest Woman competition. Shannon Hartnett won the 'Carry and Flip' part of the competition. The women had to carry a 200lb weight a ways and then go up to this giant 400lb tire and flip it over and over lengthwise for a ways after that.  Shannon also plays a woman's football league and does other stuff using her superstrength.

Here's pictures of Shannon doing her thing. Go Shannon go! If this site had an Official Strongwoman it would be Shannon Hartnett!


Me found out Hulk fact. Me watch a show about history of Hulk. First Hulk had gray skin cause Stan Lee color Hulk gray. But printer no keep consistent gray so Stan Lee try green. Green better. More consistent. That why Hulk green. 

Two quickie personal hulk stories:

1. Once in summer camp it was like 'dress like a superhero day' and we painted this kid Robby Miller all green from head to toe (not privates) and he ran around in purple shorts acting like Hulk.... until he like totally passed out because he overheated from being all painted with like latex paint or whatever and he couldn't sweat and stuff. It was scary... then funny. Then scary. Sorry Robby wherever you are.

2. I had Hulk underoos. But they were always kinda disappointing because I remember thinking I'd look like the Hulk with em on. But in 'reality' it was just a white t-shirt (not even green) with a little hulk decal on the side. And the underwear was white but with green on the elastic. I would look in the mirror and be like... I don't look like Hulk.. like at all.  

I can't believe how much stuff the internet has.... jeez louise... here's a friggin picture of those underoos.

Here's an episode guide to the Hulk cartoon series. It brought back some very hazy memories...


I found out tonite that the 'alien autopsy' scam thing from a few years back wasn't the first one. The russians did an alien autopsy thing back in the 60's. Apparently they found a crashed flying saucer and dissected an alien. The three doctors that performed the autopsy were dead one week later supposedly. It's all very weird. Extra weird because I wouldn't think the ruskies would be all down with setting up hoaxs and stuff... I wanna do a hoax! Can we make money on a hoax? If you got a harmless hoax idea let me know and we'll try to hoax it up and split the hoaxy cash!

Here's an analysis by someone who saw what I done just seen


The tv showed me this nanotechnological injectoid thing that they're working on. The idea is that they shoot ya up with this little orb thing that zooms around in your bloodstream releasing oxygen and breaking down CO2 or whatever. And basically cutting out the need for you to breathe. Then you can swim around underwater for hours. And the tea parties at the bottom of the pool can go on and on...

Here's a whole bunch of images showing us how the machines are going to start taking us over from the inside out. It ain't gonna be like T3. Just my two cents...


Today on the news I saw a story bout these people that live in these apartments in Manhattan but Donald Trump is like building a big building that will block their riverview and cut off the light to their place. So they're all pissed cause they've lived there a long time and it's a sucky situation. So they hung up a banner for their website called trumpplaceischokingus.com but the donald clout had it taken down..

Here's a slide show of the most expensive hotel rooms in the world. Gross. 


Today I learnt about the moon Triton (it hangs out around the planet Neptune) It's like one big iceball. Everything is frozen. But it has giant 'ice volcanos' that erupt with water instead of lava and there are geysers that spurt liquid nitrogen higher than Mount Everest. I thought that sounded pretty frickin wild but apparently living there is pretty normal.

Here's a link to a webpage from some kid who lives on the moon Triton.


I seen on the news that the French have launched something called the Bonjour campaign. The promotion is to try and make French people nicer to Americans. Because tourism is so 'off' in France. Maybe the next step is they'll change the name of their country to 'Freedomfrance'...

(I know that doesn't work really but it's still funny to me.)

 Here's a dreary song by a couple frenchies.


On Oprah today they were talking about relationships and this relationship guy said there is no room for criticism in a relationship. You don't criticize. You make a 'request'. Like if you live with a slob you don't call the person a 'friggin slobby slob'. You don't yell at them to pick up their crap. You 'request' that they consider picking up their crap. And you tell them that if they pick up their crap it will make you feel better. No criticism. Just 'request'. Uh huh...

But if yer not buying that maybe Tomas & Joan can help. Check em out! They seem happy...


Cone snail was on the tv today. Cone snail is a scary snail. Cone snail is not like a normal snail. Cone snail lives underwater. Cone snail comes out at night. Cone snail likes to eat fish. Cone snail has a jabber that jabs in venom. Cone snail venom paralyzes the fish. Cone snail then opens its weird big umbrella mouth and swallows the fish while it's still alive. Cone snail feels no guilt. Cone snail venom can kill a person lickity split. Cone snail cannot eat a person though. Cone snail is a scary snail.

Cone snail go sha! Cone snail go schloop!


Today I learnt that the scarlet macaw might get all extincted soon. Poachers in Guatemala are like taking the eggs cause the birds are valuable pets. Also fires are like burning up where the birds hang out. Biologists who go there to protect the birds get spied on by poachers to find out where the nests are. Then poachers will set a fire and when the biologists go to try and stop the fire from reaching the nests or whatever- poachers steal the eggs out of the nest. Totally sucks all around.

This talking bird thing is weird. Like bird yoda or something...


Tonite I watched a programming trainwreck on Fox. Something called Test the Nation where the whole nation gets a standardized test. Because I guess America was clamoring for a standardized test in primetime. Complete with Heidi Fleiss as a judge! Maybe I'm just down on the whole thing cause I got the first question wrong: Which of these words doesn't belong with the others? a. Chair, b. Table, c. Lamp, d. Cupboard. I thought d. cupboard because all the other stuff is like freestanding. But the whole audience shouted 'C!' That felt really good. Aren't all these tests just a matter of opinion?

I'm going back to Wheel. Wheel never makes me feel like a dope. 


TV said some people are claiming the air on airplanes is like bad. Headaches and nausea and illness are got from the air and some are claiming to be permanently messed up. Airplanes today recirculate like 50% of the air. Back in the day, airplanes used to take air from outside and repressurize or whatever. That was good. But too expensive. So now we got the filtered mix. Is air on planes really bad for us? The government asked the FAA and the FAA said they'll work on a report about it and turn it in in 2007. (serious). 

Here's a program (6.5mb sorry dial up peeps) that's kinda cool. Track every flight in the air in realish time. Sorta nerdily coolio. Demo only. :-(

UPDATE: demo actually sucky. not live data. so whatever with it.


Hey y'all. I saw a show on E! tonite that had like paparotzi video of like celebrities acting stupid. And they got Courtney Love acting upset because Russell Crowe was getting all this attention and she was getting ignored. So she whined to the press that they were ignoring her and that they should take pictures of her and then she stormed off and like threw something. Her need for 'look at me' was sad. And ew. Not sure what kind of fact that is. But that's what you get today.

Here's something called the Mirror Project.


Final fact from Caly! Heading home today. Today I found out that alot of people get messed up or die every year from getting a bee sting in the throat. It happens when a bee goes down in a can of soda and then take a swig and drink the bee and get stung in the throat. Owie. So the guy on tv said you should always drink soda thru a straw if yer hanging out around bees or whatever. Then you only risk getting stung like up your nose where it's nice and safe.

Umm... not sure what the hell this is here just one of those things I found while searching for a bees link.


Today I learnt about Bulldog Ants. A bulldog ant nest has 'guard ants' which respond to any threat to the nest. So the guy on tv who wanted to study the nest (but avoid getting bit by the guards) set up a trap at the opening to the nest. When a guard came out to investigate he got caught in the trap (not killed just trapped). So he sent out a signal to the other guard ants that the nest was in danger. So all the guard ants sprung into action and soon they all  piled into the trap like dopes. Sometimes all that fancy schmancy insect stuff totally backfires.

Imagine having this guy in your underwear..


Tonite I learnt about the Colossus of Rhodes. The Rhodesians built this 120 foot statue to like brag about how they were so great and stuff. It took 12 years to build. Then this earthquake came and knocked it down. The Rhodesians were thinking about rebuilding it. But this oracle came along and told them rebuilding it would be bad luck. So they said screw it. Why do I get the feeling the oracle like lived on the same street as the statue and like just didn't wanna wake up to hammering for the next 12 years.

Wanna know more? Sam and Caitlin got it covered..


Sorry no facty fact today. I just got back from the booksigning and have to get up at 6AM to go to SF and gotta get in bed and pull up the covers because it's freezing in here and I can't seem to figure out how to turn down the AC. It's blasting. And if I move the switch up or down it doesn't do anything. I'd call downstairs but I don't want to deal with it right now. Thanks to everyone who came out to see me tonite! I had a great time and was great meeting y'all! Sorry I forgot the cook-ays. Duh on me. 

Here's something to keep you busy until I get back on track (it's been around but in case you haven't seen)


I found out today that an Iraqi High School teacher makes about 22,000 Dinars a month. That's like $20. A month. Oy.

Not sure how great the pay might be but here be some job openings in Iraq. 


The guy on the tv tonite was all sciencey and he told me all about momentum. And he said the plural of momentum is 'momenta'. And he said P = Mass x Velocity. P = momentum in equations. MV = P. Why is P used in equations to symbolize momentum? The guy on tv didn't know. I checked the internet but the internet didn't seem to know either. 

The first person who writes in and lets me know why the letter P is used in formulas to stand for 'momentum' And backs up their claim with real facts (not fake facts) will win a free Mep Pimpin' frisbee

WINNER! CAMILLA N.! She was the first to write in and send along this link! http://www.mcraefamily.com/MathHelp/PhysicsMomentum.htm Congrats Camilla! Mep!

*Update: wow. alot of people sent in answers. and i haven't gone thru em yet. but i figure one of em has got to be right. feel free to send something in if you know something they might not but it's probably too late to be first. winner to be announced tomorrow...


<<<<<<<<<<previous month