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The World Map of Happiness July 31, 2006

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The World Map of Happiness – University of Leicester
This is an interactive map – double click on a country to view in more detail.

Zarqawi’s Virgins July 29, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in News, Religion.
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zarqawis-virgins.jpg

The Fortunate 50 July 29, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Lifestyle, Sports.
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SI.com – The Fortunate 50
Why is this man smiling? When it comes to the money game, no one even comes close to Tiger Woods, who has a jaw-dropping $97.6 million in earnings.

But the average wealth of the 50 actually fell by $500,000 since last year’s list. The reason? Endorsers are taking fewer chances on athletes and increasingly turning to Hollywood celebrities (No. 2 Phil Mickelson and No. 4 Kobe Bryant are the only others on this list to have a noticeable increase in corporate income). For a list of the top 20-earning foreign athletes, click here.

Shamu-Mania July 28, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Life, Lifestyle, News.
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Broadsheet – Salon.com

Amy Sutherland has been on the “Today Show” and the most e-mailed N.Y. Times article for a long time now. This Salon article covers this cultural fad.

She said she’s been surprised by the article’s success: “I thought people would get a kick out of it, because it provides actual information they can use. But honestly I’ve been floored by the epic response it created. It’s kind of funny — who knew that people want marital advice mixed in with an animal-behavior story?”

On the other hand, she reflected, maybe it isn’t so surprising. “It hit on two universals. People love animals, and everyone wants marital advice.” And the training approach may especially appeal, she says, because everyone wants easy marital advice: “People don’t want to go to a counselor for every single thing, and not every little thing warrants going to a counselor,” she said. “People are hungry for really simple techniques.” I don’t know what that says about us — that we’re a bunch of slackers? that a lot of people are married to jerks? — but if the piece’s popularity is any indication, she’s probably right.

What’s That Bug? July 25, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Cool Sites, Enviroment, Life.
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What’s That Bug?

Great photo collection; for when you want to know “just what that critter crawling about really is”.

BODIES…The Exhibition July 25, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Art, cool stuff, Science & Technology.
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BODIES…The Exhibition

The intro here will give you a glimpse of the incredible dissected detail of actual human bodies in this controversial exhibit, currently touring the US. Chris Yates just saw the Atlanta exhibit and his rave encouraged this post. There is a video on their web-site.

Rapture Ready July 25, 2006

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Rapture Ready

Here is a site dedicated to the Christian equivalent of the Shia apocalyptic, 2nd coming, wishful thinking – Nostradamus not with-standing.

No Ordinary Counterfeit July 25, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Geopolitics, News.
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No Ordinary Counterfeit – New York Times

We had an earlier post on this in March

In Oct. 2, 2004, the container ship Ever Unique, sailing under a Panamanian flag from Yantai, China, berthed in the Port of Newark. Beneath cardboard boxes containing plastic toys, they found counterfeit $100 bills worth more than $300,000, secreted in false-bottomed compartments.

The counterfeits were nearly flawless. They featured the same high-tech color-shifting ink as genuine American bills and were printed on paper with the same precise composition of fibers. The engraved images were, if anything, finer than those produced by the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Only when subjected to sophisticated forensic analysis could the bills be confirmed as imitations. (more…)

Jihadists split on Islam’s true enemy July 25, 2006

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Jihadists split on Islam’s true enemy – Africa & Middle East – International Herald Tribune
The discussions reflect the widening divide between Shiite and Sunni Arabs in parts of the Middle East, and Sunni fears of the ascendance of Shiite-dominated Iran. The Internet volleys, some of them full of fury and venom, also offer a window into the startling diversity of opinion among jihadist groups.

Suspicions among Sunnis over growing Shiite power – and a vindictive backlash by Shiites – have come to the fore during the Iraq war and the conflict in Lebanon. Animosity is especially virulent among those Sunni militants who adhere to a conservative strain of Islam that views Shiites as infidels.

Fisherman speared by blue marlin off Bermuda July 24, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Life, News.
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CNN.com – Fisherman speared by blue marlin off Bermuda
HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP) — A fisherman was recovering from surgery after he was speared in the chest and knocked into the Atlantic Ocean by a blue marlin during a fishing competition off Bermuda’s coast.

Pakistan Expanding Nuclear Program July 24, 2006

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Pakistan Expanding Nuclear Program
India currently has an estimated 30 to 35 nuclear warheads based on a sophisticated plutonium design. Pakistan, which uses a simpler, uranium-based warhead design, has sought for years to modernize its arsenal, and a new heavy-water reactor could allow it to do so, weapons experts say.

“With plutonium bombs, Pakistan can fully join the nuclear club,” said a Europe-based diplomat and nuclear expert.

God’s army has plans to run the whole Middle East July 24, 2006

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God’s army has plans to run the whole Middle East – Sunday Times – Times Online

A few minutes’ drive south from central Beirut takes you into what appears to be a different country. Beirut itself has European-style architecture, shops, hotels and cafes with men and women mostly wearing western clothes.

Once you enter Hezbollah land, the scene changes. You feel as if you are in Qom, the Iranian holy city, with men sporting bushy beards and women covered by mandatory hijab, milling around in noisy narrow streets fronted by nondescript shops. Billboards that advertise global bands in Beirut are used in Hezbollah land for pasting giant portraits of Khomeini and the Iranian “supreme guide” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Not surprisingly Hezbollah describes its territory as “Dar al-Iman” (House of Faith). (more…)

Sectarian break-up of Iraq is now inevitable, admit officials July 24, 2006

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Independent Online Edition > Middle East

Just as Yugoslavia disintegrated after strong-man Tito, Iraq without Saddam is imploding along ethnic and religious divisions; hemmed-in by the unrealistic straight-line political boundaries historically-drawn by the Colonial Powers. (See next Post)

“Iraq as a political project is finished,” a senior government official was quoted as saying, adding: “The parties have moved to plan B.” He said that the Shia, Sunni and Kurdish parties were now looking at ways to divide Iraq between them and to decide the future of Baghdad, where there is a mixed population. “There is serious talk of Baghdad being divided into [Shia] east and [Sunni] west,” he said.

Count Ethnic Divisions, Not Bombs, to Tell if a Nation Will Recover From War July 24, 2006

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Count Ethnic Divisions, Not Bombs, to Tell if a Nation Will Recover From War – New York Times

The good news is that history suggests that the destruction of war has no lasting impact on economic prospects. The bad news is that most of these countries, especially Iraq, are filled with ethnic divisions and civil discord. The evidence shows that these problems, unlike bombs, cause lasting damage to the prospects for a nation’s economy, even if they do not boil over into civil war.
Boundaries between many countries of the Middle East, like those in Africa, were haphazardly put together in negotiations by European colonizers who had little regard for ethnic realities. Indeed, they sometimes even lumped enemies together on purpose, hoping that ethnic hatreds might reduce anticolonial feelings. In a new study, three economists — Alberto F. Alesina and Janina Matuszeski of Harvard University and William Easterly of New York University — document how important internal cohesion is for the health of a society. (more…)

Copper Clappers July 22, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Streamingvideo, Video.
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Copper Clappers is one the classics from Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show”. This 1968 segment features Jack Webb of “Dragnet” fame; playing his famous tough detective role helping Carson, the victim, break the case.

Video After 1906 SF Earthquake July 22, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Streamingvideo, Video.
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Here is a 1905 video taken driving down San Francisco’s Market Street. Compare that with this photo taken looking back from the Ferry Building tower, which you can see at the end-of the street in the video. Click on the picture and get an option to download a high-resolution version. Thanks to Randy for bringing this video to our attention. An earlier post on this blog of a simulation of how the Golden Gate would handle a similiar quake.

Gas Escaping From Ocean Floor May Drive Global Warming July 21, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Science & Technology.
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ScienceDaily: Gas Escaping From Ocean Floor May Drive Global Warming
Remarkable and unexpected support for this idea occurred when divers and scientists from UC Santa Barbara observed and videotaped a massive blowout of methane from the ocean floor. It happened in an area of gas and oil seepage coming out of small volcanoes in the ocean floor of the Santa Barbara channel –– called Shane Seep –– near an area known as the Coal Oil Point seep field. The blowout sounded like a freight train, according to the divers.

Atmospheric methane is at least 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide and is the most abundant organic compound in the atmosphere.

Japanese illusionist/street magician July 21, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Streamingvideo, Video.
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Watch this Japanese illusionist/street magician at work.
Apparently he’s a young guy who disguises himself as an elderly man. Thanks Jeff for sending us this one.

Marriott Hotels Ban Smoking In Rooms July 20, 2006

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Marriott Hotels Ban Smoking In Rooms
Two decades ago, about half the company’s rooms were set aside for smokers, but demand has steadily dropped, with only 5 percent of customers now requesting smoking rooms. At the same time, complaints about cigarette odor have increased, and company officials have struggled to address the issue.

Marriott, which will enforce its ban by charging violators $200 to $300, follows that of the Westin Hotels & Resorts chain, which late last year announced it was making all 77 of its properties smoke-free

Words in Images July 20, 2006

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Enter a word and this site will spell it with images from Google Images.

Find your bosses’ home value with Zillow and Yahoo! July 20, 2006

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Find your bosses’ home value with Zillow and Yahoo! – Lifehacker
Yahoo! Real Estate has integrated the previously-mentioned Zillow home valuation service into Yahoo! Maps.

That means you can look up the home values of your house, your friends’ and enemies’ houses on Yahoo! all mapped out with nearby homes for comparison.

How to Sleep Comfortably on a Hot Night July 20, 2006

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How to Sleep Comfortably on a Hot Night – WikiHow

7 tips and other ideas to try and keep cool.

Celebrity Soundboards – Pranks July 19, 2006

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ebaumsworld.com Celebrity Soundboards – Pranks –

This well-trafficked site, which is supported by advertising, has collected sound bites from your favorite characters, Homer Simpson, Jack Nicholson, Arnold and many others. Besides reliving some great one-liners, the idea is to play these quotes over your speaker phone in a conversation. There are some recorded prank call as examples.

It’s 2025. Where Do Most People Live? July 19, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Enviroment.
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It’s 2025. Where Do Most People Live? — The Earth Institute at Columbia University
Researchers at the Center for Climate Systems Research (CCSR), a part of The Earth Institute, have developed a high-resolution map of projected population change for the year 2025.

The innovative map shows a world with large areas of population loss in parts of Eastern Europe and Asia, but significant gains elsewhere. see full map- 34mb pdf file download

Welcome to Air-conditioned box seats, Superbowl of World Religions July 18, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, News, Religion.
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Thanks Randy for this collage of events:

Our foreign correspondent, Caroline, closest to the war zone says:

“Hello All, I had a busy day in Prague. Went to the Jewish Cemetary, where there are some 20,000 bodies burried over time in 12 layers, as being a ghetto they could not expanf the cemetary. Over time the tombstones of centuries past have worked themselves up to the surface and in their wake
left a dizzying display over ancient stone.”

Newt Gingrich, on with Tim Russert July 16 says;

“I, I believe if you take all the countries I just listed, that you’ve been covering, put them on a map, look at all the different connectivity, you’d have to say to yourself this is, in fact, World War III.”    (Newt, by Jove, you’ve got it!)

Our foreign correspondent, Caroline, closest to the war zone says:

Saw the astronomical clock do its thing, which is on the hour a proccession of saints twirl around inside the bell tower like they are on a merry go round  . . . “

But Sheik Nasrallah is shrewdly rallying the faithful by evoking his party’s claim to a holy mandate:

“You are fighting the sons of Muhammad and Ali and Hassan and Hussein and all the prophet’s household,” he told the Israelis in a recorded message broadcast on the group’s satellite television station, Al Manar, and on several Arab satellite news stations.

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