« | Home | Categories | »

European Vacation 1938

Posted on August 12th, 2010 at 15:43 by John Sinteur in category: News


The Basement Collection presents: An 8mm film bought at an estate sale back in the 90’s. This reel is part of a series of a family vacation movies to Europe in 1938. On this reel the family visits France and then Germany. The footage of Hitler is from a celebration in the Berlin Stadium on what I think is a May Day celebration (May 2, 1938) then another celebration at Berlin’s Lustgarten. (on May 1st). (I think the reel was edited together out of order)

Write a comment

Much Gulf Oil Remains, Deeply Hidden and Under Beaches

Posted on August 12th, 2010 at 15:28 by John Sinteur in category: News


As BP finishes pumping cement into the damaged Deepwater Horizon wellhead Thursday, some scientists are taking issue with a new U.S. government report that says the "vast majority" of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been taken care of by nature and "robust" cleanup efforts.

In addition, experts warn, much of the toxic oil from the worst spill in U.S. history may be trapped under Gulf beaches—where it could linger for years—or still migrating into the ocean depths, where it’s a "3-D catastrophe," one scientist said.

The U.S. government estimated Monday that the Deepwater Horizon spill had yielded about 4.9 million barrels’ worth of crude.

On Wednesday a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report said that about 33 percent of the spilled oil in the water has been burned, skimmed, dispersed, or directly recovered by cleanup operations. (See "Gulf Oil Cleanup Crews Trample Nesting Birds.")

Another 25 percent has evaporated into the atmosphere or dissolved in the ocean, and 16 percent has been dispersed via natural breakup of the oil into microscopic droplets, the study says. (Read more about how nature is fighting the oil spill.)

The remaining 26 percent, the report says, is still either on or just below the surface, has washed ashore or been collected from shores, or is buried along the coasts.

Write a comment

Fox News has oldest cable audience

Posted on August 12th, 2010 at 13:09 by John Sinteur in category: News


In a survey released by analyst Steve Sternberg, Fox News has the oldest audience among fully distributed cable networks. The network’s average viewer last season was 65 years old, according to Nielsen. Heck, it’s viewers are even older than viewers of Hallmark Channel, Military Channel and Golf Channel.

Perhaps the reason viewers tend to leave Fox News on all day racking up hours of big Nielsen numbers is they can’t actually change the channel?

Write a comment

The Potato Paradox

Posted on August 12th, 2010 at 12:56 by John Sinteur in category: News

You have 100 pounds of Martian potatoes, which are 99 percent water by weight. You let them dehydrate until they’re 98 percent water. How much do they weigh now?

(not really a paradox, but most people find the answer counter-intuitive)

Write a comment


  1. 99?

  2. actually after working it out algebraically I think its 50

  3. Correct.

  4. you know even though I worked it out and the solution is in front of me, it still feels wrong.

  5. Indeed! I had to work it out also (2 different ways), just to make sure that 50 is correct… it is!
    If 100 lbs is 99% water, there is 1 lb of solids
    If we reduce the water content to 98%, there is still 1 lb of solids
    So, 1 + .98N = N where N is total weight when water content is 98% and constant solids is 1
    .98N = N – 1 (98% of total weight “N” in water == total weight “N” – 1 lbs solids)
    .98 = (N – 1)/N = 1 – 1/N
    .98 = 1 – 1/N
    .98 – 1 = -1/N or -0.02 = -1/N or
    1/N = 0.02
    1 = .02N
    N (total weight @ 98% water) = 50lbs

    As a check, 50 – (.98 x 50) = 1lb solids

    A bit clumsy – a lot of unused math in my life! But, it works. Part of my brain still doesn’t like the answer! 🙂

  6. Less rigorous explanation, maybe more intuitive.

    100 lbs of potatoes, 99% water (by weight), means that there’s 99 lbs of water, and 1 lb of solids. (Thanks spiff for the start). It’s a 1:99 ratio.

    If the water decreases to 98%, then the solids account for 2% of the weight. The 2:98 ratio reduces to 1:49. Since the solids still weigh 1 lb, the water must weigh 49 lbs.

Newt Gingrich on gay marriage

Posted on August 12th, 2010 at 10:03 by John Sinteur in category: News


Newt Gingrich, the man who told his wife he was leaving her as she lay in a hospital bed sick with cancer, has declared that “overturning Prop 8 is an outrageous disrespect for our Constitution and for the majority of people of the United States who believe marriage is the union of husband and wife” on his website. Unfortunately for him, he left comments open, and is on the receiving end of a lot of contempt for his hypocrisy.

My favorite so far is “Which one of your multiple marriages was the most sacred to you?”.

Write a comment

Gitmo jury recommends 14 years for bin Laden’s cook

Posted on August 12th, 2010 at 9:42 by John Sinteur in category: News


A Guantanamo jury recommended a 14-year sentence Wednesday for an al-Qaida cook, though its decision may be overruled by a plea bargain that will limit the time he spends in prison.

6000 dead soldiers, 4 trillion dollars, hundreds of thousands of dead civilians, the longest war in US history.

And the result: a cook in jail.

Feel safer yet?

Write a comment

New find pushes age of stone tools back a million years

Posted on August 12th, 2010 at 9:07 by John Sinteur in category: News


The genus Homo is no longer the sole primate lineage known to have used stone tools to consume the meat of large mammals. New research pushes that skill back nearly a million years.

Large fossilized animal bones with ends shattered for sucking out marrow and cut marks deliberately made with sharp stone tools have been found just a few hundred feet from a previously uncovered Australopithecus aferensis skeleton. The bones are roughly 3.4 million years old, and connect the earliest evidence for using stone tools and eating large game to our Lucy-like ancestors.

Previously, the earliest evidence for using tools to cut the meat off large animals was attributed to early Homo in the Gona region of Ethiopia around 2.5 million years ago. This find from a different region in Ethiopia, Dikika, shows the behavior was around at least a million years earlier.

Write a comment

Chaplains Treating PTSD

Posted on August 12th, 2010 at 9:01 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, Pastafarian News


Perhaps the most alarmingly repugnant stories are those coming in from our recent war veterans regarding the widespread practice of "battlefield Christian proselytizing." When, on active duty, our service members sought urgently needed mental health counseling while on the battlefield and with the gun smoke practically still in their faces, they were instead sent to evangelizing chaplains, who are apparently being used with increasing frequency to provide mental health care due to the acute shortage of mental health professionals. Chaplains are not certified, professional mental health experts.

According to the reports of these veterans, the chaplains they were sent to for evaluation and treatment had the unmitigated temerity to urge, as a medicinal cure, a conversion to evangelical Christianity, and sometimes even went as far as disgustingly lacing their "counseling" with the soldiers’ need to stay on the battlefield to" kill Muslims for Christ." Even in the best cases, while the chaplains’ words of proselytizing may have provided a temporary placebo, allowing these soldiers to return temporarily to combat for the remainder of their deployment, within months of returning home from war, their "temporary religious faith" wore off as their profound mental health symptoms, quite predictably, returned in all their fury. And, again, the shortage of available mental healthcare professionals and lack of treatment exacerbated the service members’ psychological trauma.

Write a comment


  1. I often find myself in the minority in my debates with other atheists, when I argue that Christianity is worse than Islam. My argument generally surrounds the fact that Muslims might want to kill me for my heresy, but Christians would make me want to kill myself to get away from them (or, failing that, they annoy the piss out of you when you’re alive). So given the choice of death (which is nothingness) or being alive and annoyed to no end, I will choose death as the preferable alternative.

    This news item only serves to buttress my position.

Pope decides priests who protect pedophiles should keep their jobs.

Posted on August 12th, 2010 at 8:28 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News


In a move that has stunned critics Pope Benedict XVI has rejected the resignations of two Dublin auxiliary bishops.

Bishop Raymond Field and Bishop Eamonn Walsh had both tendered their resignations in 2009 in the wake of the Murphy report into clerical child abuse.

Both men had come under intense pressure because they had served as bishops during the period investigated by the Murphy Commission into clerical child sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Dublin.

The Murphy Commission in Ireland found that sexual abuse was ‘endemic’ in boys’ institutions but that the church hierarchy protected the perpetrators and allowed them to take up new positions teaching other children after their original victims had been sworn to secrecy.

‘Following the presentation of their resignations to Pope Benedict, it has been decided that Bishop Eamonn Walsh and Bishop Raymond Field will remain as auxiliary bishops,’ Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said in a letter to priests of the Archdiocese reported in The Irish Catholic.

Write a comment


  1. Well, just asking: When somebody doesn’t want to be a bishop anymore, does he need permission from the Pope?

    Why not resign now anyway? Does the Pope have any secular power over them? Can he force them to fulfill their duties as bishops? Ok, he can excommunicate them, which is a problem for religious people, but can he do anything further than this?

    It would be a really spectacular move would these two bishops now ‘give the Pope the Finger’ (symbolically), stating that they don’t accept his decision, that they don’t see themselves as bishops anymore, and refuse to do any duties of their bishop position.

Music Festival Producer Pre-Sues Bootleggers

Posted on August 12th, 2010 at 7:59 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, Intellectual Property


Ah, pre-crime. THREsq has a worrisome story of a couple of recent lawsuits by concert producers pre-suing potential bootleggers claiming trademark infringement. Yes, they’re claiming trademark infringement for something that hasn’t happened yet, and simply listing out hundreds of John Doe and Jane Does who can later be filled in. As a part of this, they’re getting law enforcement involved by using the lawsuit to ask the court to order US Marshalls, local and state police and even off-duty officers to go ahead and seize and impound the bootlegged material.

It’s really quite something to read the lawsuit which refers to possible events happening in the future.

The article notes that it seems unlikely that any defendants will show up in court to defend themselves or to protest the lawsuit, since they haven’t done anything yet. So, basically, the lawsuit is allowed because there’s no one to contest it, because who’s going to contest such a lawsuit?

Write a comment


  1. Well, why not backfire, and sue THEM pre-emptively? For example, sue them because they could falsely accuse me for file-sharing?

    The threat is real, it has happened in the past, innocent people have been threatened with the destruction of their financial existence. So I can also demand to “order US Marshalls, local and state police and even off-duty officers to go ahead” and arrest these lawyers before they file any lawsuit against me based on something like a flip in the IP address?

    The problem is only (as always): I don’t have the money to follow through all this. They have. And they do.

  2. Why go through so much trouble? I’ll just sue them for fucking my goat.

    Even if I don’t have a goat.