Well, it's Halloween Eve...and the last weekday before Old Hallow's Eve...and so that meant that everybody was dressed up at work...and I was no exception. There were some great costumes including a group deal with the training department as Pac-Man and the Ghouls and Zach Galafinikas in "The Hangover" which was amazingly accurate. We had "The Nightmare Before Christmas" playing on the TVs because...apparently "Halloween" was considered inappropriate. Go figure. So what was I dressed up as, you ask? Was I Chewbacca again? Nope. Couldn't find the costume since I gave it to my mom for storage when I moved to Denver. Was I a King? I have the crown, the regal robe & lion head slippers...but alas I pulled out the robe last night for the first time since I had moved (didn't need it during the summer) and apparently it was used to cushion furniture or something...because it was quite filthy...and too big for my washer. Awesome. So who was I? Well, I love low-maintenance costumes...and JL Clyde had a great idea when we had sushi last night (apparently we're regular customers now). Well, here's some clues. Think of a superhero...who plays second fiddle to the villain. Like me, he's good-looking, strong, arrogant, a little stupid, but has a lovely singing voice and can steal an entire movie with one line. Guesses? Anybody? That's right, CAPTAIN HAMMER!!! "Who?" Captain Hammer...from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. "Really?" Yes really...and the hammer is my penis, so deal with it. I cut out a hammer logo out of construction paper (and quite well I might add), put it over a T-shirt, put on some cargo pants and some black gloves and BOOM!!! It's only fitting being the bastard child of Batman & Wonder Woman, right?
One of the activities at work was having my tarot cards read. It had been a while since I had my cards read...since my High Priestess Bubbles moved to Vegas about 19 months ago. Well, the results were...interesting. All three cards pulled were Swords...from what I was told stand for Struggle & Animosity. Oddly enough, the first question out of her was "Is there a woman in your life?" "Ugh...no, not really. Why do you ask?" "Well, just this card I drew right here is...usually a pretty bad one for someone in a relationship." "Great, we're starting off with the usual. (Laughter between us)." "Have you felt like you've been struggling a bit or had some kind of struggles over the past few months?" "Yeah, of course. Doesn't everybody?" "But more than usual." "Ugh...I did get laid off after moving to Denver & had to return here...so yeah, maybe." "Let's see, the first card is the Seven of Swords (reading from the book) and it usually means that if you have any future business ventures or adventures...that you may want to wait a while. To do it now would mean a long struggle that would frustrate you." "Hmm, so if I were...hypothetically speaking, thinking about moving to Lake Tahoe for a new job then..." "Then you may want to wait about three months." "Sigh...where were you three months ago when I started this stuff?" "Next is the Knight of Swords. Is there a dark-haired man in your life?" "(Moment of thought) No. I have absolutely no idea who this could be." "Well, basically it's a bit of a warning where this man may try to mislead you and lead you towards future struggles." "Good to know." "Last here is the card that I was asking about earlier, the Queen of Swords. Do you know who this might be? Possibly a dark-haired beautiful woman that you have a friendship with?" "I have a pretty good idea who it might be." "Well, basically this woman is probably not to be trusted. She's prone to gossip & drama...and you shouldn't tell her anything that you don't want everybody to know." "Or conversely, if I wanted everybody to know...then maybe I should tell her...to you know, spread the word, right?" "I guess that's a good way of looking at it...but she's usually prone to trickery...and very calculating & brilliant, yet can be vindictive." "Hmm, I could see that. All good things to know. Thank you priestess lady (who I see in the lunch room once in a while)." So there you go...maybe Lake Tahoe isn't the right move for me...but I still think I'm gonna give it a go. Apparently I also have to watch out for you devilishly hot & clever brunettes...and the man in black. Anyway, here's some more factually based news...
The Apocalypse is Coming...in My Pants - A man was caught by Norwegian customs carrying a tarantula in his bag, fourteen Royal Pythons and ten Albino Leopard Geckos taped to his body, media reported Monday. The 22-year-old Norwegian was stopped in a routine check by Kristiansand customs after arriving on a ferry from Denmark, newspaper Faedrelandsvennen reported. Customs found the tarantula, before deciding to give him a full body search that revealed 14 stockings -- one for each snake -- taped around his torso. Reptile smuggling is not uncommon in Norway, which prohibits people holding many reptile species as pets, but office manager Helge Breilid at Kristiansand customs was quoted by VG as saying customs officers had been "horrified" by Sunday's catch. "Customs officers quickly realized the man was smuggling animals, because his whole body was in constant motion," Breilid told VG. When the man dropped his pants (oh yeah), the officers found 10 cans taped to his legs, each containing a lizard, he said. The man was still being held by police Monday, Kristiansand police attorney Johann Martin Kile told VG, adding he would be released upon agreeing to pay a 12,500 Norwegian crowns ($2,256) fine. The reptiles were handed over to a security firm until Norwegian authorities decide what to do with them, Breilid said. You know, if I were caught in that situation, I would try to talk my way out of it somehow. "The snakes made me do it. They took control. FOR GOD'S SAKE THEY WERE IN MY PANTS!!! You've seen the gecko on TV. He's quite persuasive. Now imagine TEN of those little bastards running around...in your pants." I would think that of all places in the world for a reptile to live...that Norway would be the worst. I mean...it's cold there, right? That's why they have to be imported...because otherwise they wouldn't survive. Anyway, odd story...and it involves snakes...traveling to new countries where they can't naturally go. Beware.
The Real La-Z-Boy - A Minnesota man has pleaded guilty to driving his motorized La-Z-Boy chair while drunk. A criminal complaint says 62-year-old Dennis LeRoy Anderson told police he left a bar in the northern Minnesota town of Proctor on his chair after drinking eight or nine beers. Prosecutors say Anderson's blood alcohol content was 0.29, more than three times the legal limit, when he crashed into a parked vehicle in August 2008. He was not seriously injured. Police said the chair was powered by a converted lawnmower and had a stereo and cup holders (nice!). Sixth Judicial District Judge Heather Sweetland stayed 180 days of jail time Monday and ordered two years of probation for Anderson. His attorney, David Keegan, did not immediately return a call for comment. I guess when you have nothing better to do in northern Minnesota, you'll sit around in your recliner and think "How could this possibly get better?" A few weeks later, you'll get arrested for driving your recliner with a two-cycle engine & a grooler into a parked car. Ingenuity - It's what makes America great!!! Who knows? Maybe he'll come out of jail in six months with a new invention...like a way of making Old Milwaukee Light out of a toilet. Actually, now that I think about it, they probably are already using that technique.
Robot Seed - Have you ever wondered what engineers do when they get bored? Besides design sexbots? Well, now you know. Aerospace engineers have designed a hovering craft that mimics the spiraling pattern made by maple tree seeds. That's right. Maple seeds. Called RoboSeed NAV (nano air vehicle), the craft has a maximum dimension of less than 4 inches (9.5 cm), making it the world's smallest controllable single-winged rotating aircraft. Other flying craft may be smaller, but they have more than one wing and are symmetrical, according to the engineers who built RoboSeed. The team also built scaled-up versions of their one-winged crafts, which have more maneuverability. The crafts' petite size and weight, along with their hovering ability and quietness make them optimal for several applications, the researchers say, ranging from radio-controlled toys to low- and high-altitude satellites and communications transponders. Winged seeds, or samaras, such as that of the maple tree are considered some of the most efficient passive flyers, and hence have been ogled by many engineers looking to build tiny flying devices. Researchers have only recently figured out though just how nature's helicopters spin. Essentially, a swirling maple seed generates a tornado-like vortex above the front leading edge of the "helicopter," which effectively sucks the wing upward to oppose gravity. Since the 1950s, researchers have been trying to create a stable, unmanned aerial vehicle that could mimic a maple seed's flight...but their attempts have been unsuccessful, typically because of instability (I mean, even the seeds fall to the ground each & every time). Until now, the vehicles have been just a single component, and so the entire craft - wing and propeller - had to twist and turn as one unit. The result was an unstable vehicle that would crash with even a slight nudge from the wind. A team from the University of Maryland's Clark School of Engineering got around this problem by separating the wing from the propeller and electronics package into two attached components. That way the wing could tilt up or down without moving the rest of the vehicle. "We found that it behaved a lot more like a helicopter and it was highly stable even in the presence of wind," said graduate student and study team member Evan Ulrich. The team also tweaked the shape of the wing to match that of a maple seed, where the bulk of the surface area sits toward the tip, away from the center of rotation. "For natural maple seeds, it allows them to fall more slowly," Ulrich told LiveScience. "For ours, it allows it to hover for longer and more stably." Depending on which way a maple seed is tilted it will fall in one of two modes: It either carves out a small helix shape as it falls, essentially spiraling straight down, or it carves out a giant helix shape during descent. "The difference between those two flight patterns is the wing pitch. And so by variation of the wing pitch you can control how big the helix is you're descending in," Ulrich said. That's also how Ulrich and his team control the horizontal direction of the vehicle. By carving out a 160-feet-wide (50 meter) helix, say, the craft would travel pretty far in one direction and with the tilt of the wing, the craft could then descend in a tiny helix. So what're the real future applications? The craft's first non-lab setting may be on the shelves of toy stores as a radio-controlled device, according to Ulrich. That could be months away. But he has high hopes for its scientific applications. For instance, the vehicle can stay aloft for long periods of time without power, and so could be used as a low-altitude satellite. "If you can find in the atmosphere a location where there's a thermal that is equal to or greater than your descent velocity, then you can turn off your motor and hover. It's sort of like getting free energy from the atmosphere. You can remain aloft indefinitely as long as you can stay in one of these thermals." The device could also be used as a transponder to send radio signals from the ground. "With one of these things it's simple and robust enough if you were to put a communications beacon on it a soldier could throw it up in the air and it would climb and relay a message. That's just a few months away. The vehicle is capable of doing these things right now; it can carry a payload, and it can be hand launched, and it's extremely easy to control." Further off, he envisions the device being used for higher-altitude mapping of rooms and even caves. So there you go. Next time you're out in the yard spinning maple leaves like a helicopter, just keep in mind that somebody was doing that 20 years ago...and has found a way to make them into a satellite. Pretty cool, huh?
Texting Gone Wrong - Georgia (the state, not the country) police said a misdialed number led two strangers to trade hostile calls and text messages before arranging a meeting where one shot the other. Savannah-Chatham police spokeswoman Veda Lamar Nichols told the Savannah Morning News in a Wednesday story that a 22-year old man faces an aggravated assault charge. The suspect was jailed after a 24-year-old man was shot in a CVS parking lot around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. Nichols said the victim was taken to Memorial University Medical Center in serious condition. She said the two didn't know each other but began arguing through phone calls and text messages after a misdialed number and arranged to meet in the store's parking lot. The suspect was taken to the Chatham County jail. Nichols said his vehicle was damaged during the incident. We've all received random texts, right? Every last one of us. Even those of us with no friends. I could see how this might happen. Somebody got a fake phone number from a chick that he was hitting on who wasn't interested in him. So he texts her later...only to find some dude responds with "Who is this?" "This is Mike from last night at the bar." "Sorry Mike, you got the wrong number. I don't do dudes." "Oooh, so you like the ladies. That's hot." "Whatever (slur). Quit texting me." "What? Who are you calling a (slur) (colorful metaphor)?" "You (horrible thing to say in front of children)!!!" "Oh yeah, well meet me at the CVS and say it to my face if you have the fortitude." "What? Why CVS?" "Because I don't want you to bleed to death after I f**king beat your (backside) so a pharmacy would be suitable." "See ya there in 15, trick. Make sure your affairs are in order." And I think you know where it goes from here. Just goes to show...if you get a random text, kindly request who it is...and if they won't tell you or it's somebody you don't know, the conversation is over. Don't get shot over trying to be clever. Keep it to the professionals.