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gallic oeno-electronics - the auroran sunset

The Wine USB key - download wine from your computer. Source: Mensup.fr

A new French invention, combining their love of wine with their keenesss for new technologies - the WineUSB. Plug this specialist USB key into your computer and download the wine of your choice.

This is a French device, on a French page, written and spoken in French. However, the video is pretty self-explanatory.

The “Click Here and test for free” button (under the video on the page) has an amusing message -

“Download cancelled. Very happily, this is a pure fiction! However, our engineers have tried everything to make this technology work. Now don’t wait for the official release of the USBWine in 2239 to buy our wines from source at the best prices.”

It is suggested that, in the meantime, those interested sign up to a wine club called 1Vin1Jour - one wine one day - to buy wine direct from vineyards (domains).

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/fun1107.php#usbwine_301207





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a new interpretation of albert camus - from the auroran sunset

Ozy and Milly on Albert Camus. Credit: ozyandmillie.org

Ozy and Millie are two primary school furballs. Ozy is a zen master [he’s the one with the hat on; you’ll have to look at other strips to appreciate his zenness] who is ever tolerant of his surreally hyperactive friend Millie. One my favourite comic strips.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/fun1107.php#albert_camus_261207

the best crop circles of 2007 - the auroran sunset

Crop circle at Winterton Monkton, UK. Source: circlemakers.org
Crop circle at Winterton Monkton, UK. Source: circlemakers.org

Marker at abelard.org

3D 3D corridors at West Kennett, UK. Source: circlemakers.org
3D corridors at West Kennett, UK. Source: circlemakers.org

Video called Crop circle complexity:

A satellite crop-circle voyage around Europe with Google Earth:

How to make them:

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/fun1107.php#crop_circles_251207

denialists abandoned by bush

“There is nothing about any 'carbon dioxide' in the Bible," said Rev. Luke Hatfield of Christchurch Ministries in Topeka, KS. "What's next? Claims that so-called 'fossil' fuels come from mythical creatures like dinosaurs? This has been a sad step backward for our nation.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/fun1107.php#co2_bush_241207

french protest songs - the auroran sunset

The public transport unions in France have, over the years, bullied their way to some impressive privileges for what is a very simple job with short hours. Amongst other things, they retire up to ten years before the age that is generally allowed for state pensions. At the same time their pensions are based on a much more favourable calculation. One of the first reforms proposed by the new French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, is to end these “special regimes”.

So, starting this summer, the transport unions have resumed their usual bully tactics which have worked so many times before - the reason that they gained these undeserved privileges in the first place. As the last song below says, they did this in the 60s, in the 90s, and in 2005 there were 460 industrial actions against the SNCF [State railway company] alone. There are at least two other major state companies involved: the RATP [Paris region light railway and metro] and EDF [state electric company - most French trains are electric]. You may also hear the initials CGT, which refers to the transport union.

However, this time there is a difference. Whereas before, the French public supported them, the strikers are now extremely unpopular in a country that is very proud of their revolutionary abolition of privileges. Whereas before, ‘fraternity’ was used to suppport these extortionists, it is now used against the strikers whose privileges are paid for out of the overdrawn national pension scheme. Just as with Margaret Thatcher and the miners, the tide seems to be turning. During these latest strikes, after the first few days, around 70% had returned to work. However, the disruption continued because someting like 70% of the drivers, the ones with the greatest privileges, remained on strike.

An indication of just how unpopular the cheminots [train drivers] have become are the satirical songs that are spreading through the French web community. Here are three of the best that we have found so far.

“We have no competition, we’re the kings of France, we’re always right, we’ll spoil your holiday, we make no concensus, making demands is good.” [From A woman in love by Barbra Streisand]


Petit Cheminot (La Chanson du Dimanche s02e05)
Uploaded by lachansondudimanche

A couple of Brits singing about the strikes: “everyone’s on strike except the hookers”. The pair live in Paris and put a topical song in French each Sunday on their website.

This singer, Mathieu Mireille, is a satire on another French singer, Mireille Mathieu [in French], very popular in the 1960s and 70s, and still called in to sing at French significant occasions like the sixtieth anniversary of the Liberation of Paris, or to sing the French song at the centenary celebrations for the Statue of Liberty.

“It’s the end of the presents, the special regimes, go home train drivers, EDF and proles. M. Sarkosy is now in charge, the reform will be passed - go back to your barbeque.”

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the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/fun1107.php#french_songs_221207

how can you live without it?

Canned oxygen in four 'flavours'. Credit: thebigox.com

Canned oxygen in four flavours:

citrus blast
mountain mint
polar blast
tropical breeze

Only $23 for 17.6 grams!!! you just can’t miss out.

“Because of increased pollution and the continued destruction of our forests, you might not always be getting the oxygen you need for your active lifestyle.”

P.S. safety note - illegal on aircraft J

And an alternative substitute for skinflints - hang a pine cone from your nose!

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the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/fun1107.php#oxygen_201207

genetic manipulation of fear - the auroran sunset

It seems fear of cats in mice is a genetic smell ‘problem’

Coming soon, three new soon-to-be-extinct genetically-engineered breeds:

  • antelope that aren’t afraid of lions,
  • dinosaurs that aren’t afraid of asteroids, and
  • humans who aren’t afraid of socialists.
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the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/fun1107.php#fearless_mouse_161207

instant rust

Make your shiny, prsitine car less attracrtive to car thieves - add some rust!
Suitable stickers are now available to turn your car into a rust-bucket without real damage.

Before and after, a nice shiny car and  the same car, all rusted up. Credit: dominicwilcox.com/

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the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/fun1107.php#instant_rust_091207

support the right to bear names

A bear named M*******. Credit: teddybearmuhammad.com
A bear named M*******. Credit: teddybearmuhammad.com

“The History:
It all started with a teacher and students in Sudan. Gillian Gibbons, the teacher sentenced Thursday, Nov. 29th '07 to 15 days in jail because she allowed her class of 7-year-olds to name a teddy bear, Muhammad. We agree with the 7-year old kids and Mrs. Gibbons right to do this, and we liked the idea too. The Sudanese children wanted to name their Teddy Bear after the most popular boy in the class; this does not disrespect a person, prophet, or religion, to the contrary, the name they chose for their Teddy Bear was out of fondness and respect for a person they cared about; someone they honored. Around the world, buildings, parks, institutions and other places are often named and dedicated after a noteworthy and special person; out of great respect.”

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the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/fun1107.php#mahummid_071207

national flags showing weapons of war, conflict and torture

Several countries have weapons of war, conflict and torture on their flags.

National flag of Saudi Arabia   National flag of Angola.  
Saudi Arabia - sword
(historic weapon of war, but current instrument of torture)
  Angola - machete
(shown as an agricultural tool, also still used as an offensive weapon)
 
National flag of Barbados   National flag of Ecuador Flag of Ecuador, centre portion
Barbados - trident
(historic offensive weapon and almost certainly myth-oriented to Neptune, god of the sea, and so related to the place of Barbados in the seas)
  Ecuador - halberds and an axe (historic weapons of war)
Centre portion of the flag to the right.
National flag of Swaziland   National flag of Haiti Flag of Haiti, centre portion
Swaziland - spears
(historic weapons of war)
  Haiti - two cannon (historic weapons of war)
Centre portion of the flag to the right.
National flag of Kenya   National flag of Guatemala Flag of Guatemala, centre portion
Kenya -spears
(historic weapons of war)
  Guatemala - two rifles with bayonets attached and two swords (historic and current weapons of war)
Centre portion of the flag to the right.
National flag of Mozambique.   National flag of the United Kingdom  
Mozambique - AK47 gun
(weapon of war)
  United Kingdom
(ancient instruments of torture, both upright + and on edge x)
 

Note that many of these items are in coats of arms. Perhaps ‘coat of arms’ almost makes a separate category.

Thanks to FACE and Martin Dann for providing some help.

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the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/fun1107.php#weapon_flags_021207

architectural proposals for paris - Xavier
[12-image slide show, n1 is a map of Paris]

The Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, has asked several architects to design new mixed-use buildings, including tower blocks, to put at several locations around the Paris ring road - the Périphérique.

Proposed tower buildings for Paris. Source : FERRIER
Proposed tower buildings for Paris. Source : Ferrier

When asked in 2003, “Is it or not necessary to build towers in Paris?”, “Not” a majority of Parisians answered. The Greens also said not “Not”, imposing a 37 metre height limit (a little over 120 feet) for new buildings on the local town planning map.

Towers are close to Mayor Delanoë’s heart, who now calls them “buildings of great height” so not to incure the wrath of public opinion. And on Tuesday evening, Nicholas Sarkosy, President of France, Tuesday evening, Nicolas Sarkozy added his support by declaring that it was necessary to have “architectural ambition. It is necessary to leave the absurd debate on the height of the towers. If they are ugly, they’re not wanted. If they are beautiful, we want them”. This is a position with which the President’s party, the UMP, is not at ease, having agreed that the 37m ceiling in 2003 would never be exceeded. However, the UMP has softened its stance: “The 2003 statement is old, we would agree to towers on the Periperique, if they improve the the setting and if they are ecological and aesthetic”. [Free translation of item from 20minutes.fr]

Proposed tower buildings for Paris. Source : SAUERBRUCH
Proposed tower buildings for Paris. Source : Sauerbrauch

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the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/fun1107.php#paris_tours_261107

making snowflakes

Snowflakes form in clouds, when water vapor condenses directly into ice, the flake starting as a tiny frozen water droplet. Further water condensing causes a crystal, that often becomes increasingly complex, to grow. The growing flake is blown around inside the cloud at random and it passes through areas of different temperatures and humidity, continuing to grow in a hexagonal form. As the flake becomes larger, arms start to grow. The flake grows differently according to the surrounding temperature.

Thin plates and stars are made at about -2°C/28°F. Columns and slim needles grow at about -5°C/23°F. At about -15°C/5°F, plates and stars again form. At about -30°C/-22°F form a combination of plates and columns.

We link to a Java applet which simulates snowflake growth. You can play with the applet to create your own snowflakes.

Here are some images from the applet:

Starting position for snowflake growth applet. Credit: http://profhorn.aos.wisc.edu
Starting position for snowflake growth applet.

Snowflake growth starts. Credit: http://profhorn.aos.wisc.edu
Snowflake growth starts.

Snowflake after more internal cloud travel. Credit: http://profhorn.aos.wisc.edu
Snowflake after more internal cloud travel.
[Full credits for images]

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the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/fun1107.php#snowflakes_241107

breaking news: brown the clown sets up a plastic bag hot-line

All citizens of the People’s Socialist Republic of the United Nation of Ingland can now report sightings of discarded plastic bags to the new Green Hotline.

GPS is to be included in all new mobile phones in order that you may send the local position of the bag to your civic rapid response teams.

For each bag reported, you will get a free refund of 1p on your TV licence. If you can also identify the source of the bag, you will get 2p.

Each report will be placed on a secure government database and will effect your future promotion prospects, your benefits and your final pension.

A 10p tax on each can of baked beans will be granted to pay for this new initiative.

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the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/fun1107.php#plastic_bags_221107

Statue of a Gooney Bird on Midway Island. Credit: Gary Randall & midwayisland.commidway island and gooney birds

Midway Island, an atoll poking up out of the middle of the Pacific Ocean, midway between the USA and Japan, was an American military base and staging post for reaching Asia. It is now a wildlife sanctuary.

Its most well-known inhabitants are the gooney birds, who also use the atoll as a staging post. Gooney is a sailors’ name for the albatross, ‘gooney’ coming from goon or simpleton.Gooney birds are, in fact, Laysan Albatross [Diomedea immutabilis]. When there was a US Airforce base, there was considerable problems with the ’planes sharing the gooney birds’ airspace.

The website from which the photo on the right came has a recording of gooney bird sounds, as well as many photos of the island.

Note that the gooney bird throws its head back as pictured, as part of its courtship dance, and emits a cow-like moo [recording available at linked website]. Other courtship sounds include rapid beak-clacking.

Statue of a Gooney Bird on Midway Island.
Credit: Gary Randall & midwayisland.com

Aerial view of Midway Island. Credit: www.pbs.org
Midway Atoll. Sand Island to the left, Eastern Island to the right.
Credit: www.pbs.org.

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the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/fun1107.php#midway_gooney_201107

on the ‘great drug war’ - ron paul - hilarity

Watch a Presidental candidate catch out a moonbat.

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the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/fun1107.php#hilarious_ron_paul_151107

agw may have been categorically disproved

“Laden with scientific jargon and published online in the previously unknown "Journal of Geoclimatic Studies" based in Japan, the report suggested the findings could be "the death of manmade global warming theory".

“Sceptics jumped on the report. A British scientist e-mailed the report to 2,000 colleagues... Another from the US called it a "blockbuster".

“Blogger sceptic Neil Craig wrote: "This could not be more damaging to manmade global warming theory ... I somehow doubt if this is going to be on the BBC news."

“[...] The report, which said bacteria in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans emitted at least 300 times more carbon dioxide than industrial activity -- a finding that, if true, would overturn the widely held view of scientists that burning fossil fuels are the main cause of warming.”

The hoax article was at this link, but currently has been pulled.

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the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/fun1107.php#agw_hoax_121107


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