The Cry Baby is on sabbatical ....

Thursday, March 31, 2011

One man's look at redesigning the Mexico/USA border wall

Ron Rael, an assistant professor of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, thinks the 700 mile border Mexico/USA border wall is bad idea and inhumane, but has turned his talents on how to make a bad thing better. What he has done is come up with some unique designs for it.

"To that end, he has re-envisioned the wall as something like a town center, complete with infrastructure, social services, and recreational facilities. Among the stations he envisions along the wall are a volleyball court, a confessional, a lending library, a water catchment system, a wastewater treatment plant, a solar farm, and even a "burrito wall" featuring "a food cart inserted into the wall, allowing people from each side of the border to share a meal, chat and conduct business, all within full view of security." The designs are partly practical, partly satirical: call it ironic architecture."  Read more here ....

Big Brother is tracking you – by your cellphone

We've all seen the TV thrillers as the good guys, and sometimes the bad guys, track the perp or the hero by there cellphone use. Well, in Germany, one politician put this to the test. Politician Malte Spitz sued to have German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom hand over all over his phone data for six months. He turned the data over to German paper ZEIT,  who combined his geolocation data with other online information, such as Twitter feeds, blog entries and websites.

ZEIT created this interactive graphic which takes you on a trip through the six months of Malte Spitz's life. Click on the graphic to go to ZEIT and the interactive graphic. You are being watched!

Video: "Full-immersion video" of Libya war

Photojournalist Danfung Dennis pushes the boundaries of photojournalism with his system he called "Condition ONE". Seeking to create an experience resembling virtual reality, Dennis teamed up with photojournalist Patrick Chauvel in Libya and produced this intense video. Read more about Dennis system on FastCoDesign.

"Through our work we hope to shake people from their indifference to war, and to bridge the disconnect between the realities on the ground and the public consciousness at home," Dennis told DSLR News Shooter.

My Freedom Or Death - Condition ONE Beta from Danfung Dennis on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Charlie Sheen banned from many New York hotels – where will he stay?

Charlie Sheen in March 2009Image via Wikipedia
Tiger blood man Charlie Sheen, on tour performing his one-man show "Violent Torpedo of Truth," is headed to New York in April, but he might face a challenge finding lodgings. The New York Post is reporting that Sheen is not welcome at many of the city's top hotels. Last October he trashed his hotel room at the Plaza after partying with a prostitute. Not an isolated incident. Other hotels, including the Waldorf-Astoria and the Trump Soho, have also let it be known he is not welcome

"Many of the big New York hotels don't want the drama. He is now looking at renting a private residence," a source told the New York Post. Another source close to Sheen told the Post, "The real issue is finding him a hotel that allows smoking. He has to be able to smoke. And it's hard to find a place that will accommodate him, plus his entourage that will be more than 30, including the lighting people and of course the goddesses."

Charlie, you are always welcome to crash at the Cry Baby's digs.

World penis size map - country by country

Does size matter? Have a look at penis sizes worldwide. Ladies, pick your country.

Retro commerical – Own a piece of the Skydome in Toronto

Credit: Wikipedia Commons
You need a little history lesson on the Skydome, now the Rogers Centre, to know just how sad and stupid this commercial from 1989 is. The stadium was built largely with government funds to house the baseball team the Toronto Blue Jays. Huge costs overruns, pushed the cost to C$570 million ($884 million in 2011 dollars), well beyond original estimates of C$150 million. Stuck with a white elephant that struggled to even meet its interest payments, on November 1998, the stadium filed for bankruptcy protection. In 2004, Rogers Communications, the parent company of the Blue Jays, bought SkyDome for about whopping  $25 million – about 4% of the cost of construction. What a great deal for Rogers and the taxpayers get hosed again!

Nasty mom gets kids high then beats them

Podsobinski (
Did she get them high first and then beat them or was it the other way around? I suppose it really doesn't matter. Valery Lee Podsobinski, 45, in Oregon allegedly fed her children pot-laced goodies and beat them with household objects, including belts and spoons. When police arrested her, she was also in possessing of a big bag of magic mushrooms, aka Psilocybin.

Podsobinski has been charged with possession of hallucinogens, possession of marijuana, delivery of marijuana, three counts of felony fourth-degree assault, fourth-degree assault and two counts of reckless endangering.

Podsobinski was  jailed then released on her own recognizance. Let's hope those kids are kept far, far away from her.

Blind date turns out to be long-lost brother and sister

Holding Hands shadow on sandImage via Wikipedia
Sarah Kemp, 42, and George Bentley, 47,  met online and swapped emails and photos back and forth after it became clear to both of them that they had met someone special. Very special it turns out. After meeting in a pub for their first date, talk turned to their childhoods and they soon realized they were brother and sister.

"Can you imagine the surprise, joy and embarrassment we both felt? It was such a crazy thing," Kemp said.

Fortunately they found out before their relationship had passed any more embarrassing romantic milestones. Both were born in Ashford, Kent, where they spent an "idyllic childhood" with their parents. In 1975 their parents divorced. Sarah, went with her mother to Edinburgh, while David went with his father to London.

As adults,both siblings tried to find the other without success. Score one for online dating. Just be careful you're not dating your sister!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Video: The most dangerous intersection in the world

Have a look at this shocking compilation of accidents captured by surveillance cameras from one intersection in city of Heze in China.

It started out as a public service announcement to promote road safety, but it has not gone viral. Chinese sharing site Youku had over 2 million views of the video.

One Trillion Stars – Andromedea Galaxy

This image from the Spitzer Space Telescope (not to be confused with Elliot Spitzer of call girl fame) shows the Andromedea Galaxy in infrared and x-ray wavelengths. The infrared light from dust shows up as red and old stars as blue. The huge spiral galaxy is 2.5 million light-years away, a stone's throw when compared to other celestial distances and is over twice the diameter of our own Milky Way.Andromeda holds around 1 trillion stars, compared to 4 hundred billion for the Milky Way. See more at the Daily Galaxy.

I'm setting course for Rigel 5!

Wrongfully convicted man spends 20 years in prison, freed, gets engaged and then dies in freak accident

This is just a sad saga. Joseph White has had a lot of very bad breaks and the last one cost him his life. White was wrongfully convicted of a1985 rape-slaying and spent 20 years in prison for it. He was freed after DNA evidence cleared him in 2008, the first person in Nebraska to have a murder conviction overturned through DNA testing. White's life finally was getting on track. He got a job in a coal processing plant, was set to marry his high school sweetheart he proposed to 30 years ago and was owed $500,000 from the State of Nebraska for his wrongful conviction. The stars were finally in his favour. Not quite. On Sunday he was crushed to earth by heavy machinery moving coal.

“You'd think he was in line for some better luck,” White's attorney, Robert Bartle. “It's a very sad and tragic life.” White was 48.

Monday, March 28, 2011

MIT creates 'Holy Grail' of science: The artificial leaf – ten times better than real thing

Macro of Fake Rain Drops  on a LeafImage by bitzcelt via Flickr
MIT professor Daniel Nocera says he has created an artificial leaf that is ten times more efficient at photosynthesis than the real thing. The artificial leaf has been the 'Holy Grail' of science and could theoretically turn every home into its own power station.

Described as an "advanced solar cell the size of a poker card," the leaf device is made of silicon, electronics, and inexpensive catalysts made of nickel and cobalt. When placed in a gallon of water under direct sunlight, the catalysts break the H2O down into hydrogen and oxygen gases, which are then stored in a fuel cell.

"A practical artificial leaf has been one of the Holy Grails of science for decades," said Daniel Nocera, Ph.D., who led the research team. "We believe we have done it. The artificial leaf shows particular promise as an inexpensive source of electricity for homes of the poor in developing countries. Our goal is to make each home its own power station," he said. "One can envision villages in India and Africa not long from now purchasing an affordable basic power system based on this technology."

Funny Video: "Yo, I'm From Windsor Dude" (which is across from Detroit!)

This is the Cry Baby's home town, so I have a soft spot for Windsor, which is in Canada dude. It's polluted, economically depressed and actually, just kind of depressing. The two biggest industries these days appear to be gambling and stripping (as in strip clubs – which abound). Like Detroit, Windsor is an auto city, except the auto industry has not been doing so great lately. There is an island in the Detroit River across from Windsor that glows at night with from the Ford foundry furnaces, looking like a scene from Hell. Back in the day, my day that is, it would spew out a caustic ash that would coat the cars on Windsor's west side and eat away the paint. Well, you get the picture, now watch this funny video.

Man makes quilt from women's panties

Meet Vietnam vet Louis Garrett aka Shovelhead. Louis had a brainstorm: Make a quilt out of women's panties. The idea for the quilt came from a magazine, which makes me wonder what magazines he subscribes to. He also has a mannequin collection, and dresses them in lingerie.

This is one very well rounded gentleman.

Anne Frank Center to move across the street from Ground Zero mosque

Auschwitz concentration campAnne Frank via Wikipedia
The New York Post is reporting that the nonprofit Anne Frank Center USA, a partner of the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam,is poised to sign a lease in the building across from the proposed Ground Zero mosque in New york City. "Board members at the Anne Frank Center said they harbored no concerns about their odd juxtaposition with the mosque, whose proximity to the 9/11 site has sparked outrage."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Natalie Portman's double says she did most of the dancing in "Black Swan"

Believe who you want on this one. My bet is on the double, Sarah Lane. Having just watched the film last night,  I wondered how much of the dancing Portman could have actually done. My intuitive answer was "not much." Maybe yes,  then again according to Black Swan” dancer – choreographer Benjamin Millepied, who is expecting a child with Portman, maybe no.  (see Wall Street Journal excerpt at bottom of post)

This from Entertainment Weekly:

"The ballerina who served as a dancing double for Natalie Portman’s Oscar-winnning role in Black Swan tells EW she has been the victim of a “cover-up” to mislead the public about how much dancing Portman actually did in the film. “Of the full body shots, I would say 5 percent are Natalie,” says Sarah Lane, 27, an American Ballet Theatre soloist who performed many of the film’s complicated dance sequences, allowing Portman’s face to be digitally grafted onto her body." 

 .... and this from a Wall Street Journal story:

"“Black Swan” dancer/choreographer Benjamin Millepied, who is expecting a child with Portman, told the Los Angeles Times this week “Honestly, 85% of that movie is Natalie.” (Lane says that if she had to quantify it, Portman did “about 5%” of the on-screen dancing.)"

Beautiful video of northern lights in Russia

I'm not sure where this came from, but have a look at this stunning video of the northern lights in Russia.

"Fat Ho Burgers" has Texans stompin' mad

Waco, Texas native Lakita Evans, 23, decided to fulfill her dream and open a restaurant. The locals did not take well to it. It could be because her restaurant is named "Fat Ho Burgers." Evans says the name is in good fun and people shouldn't get upset. It’s not calling people a ho. It’s just like they say, 'Oooh that ho is big,' or, 'That ho is tight!’” said restaurant’s owner Evans."Look what's going on in Japan. It's clear this world is not gonna get any better. Why cry and be depressed? ... Somebody's gotta keep a sense of humor around here." Patrons of the Gospel Cafe, volunteer-run religious café and bookstore around the corner are not amused. “Would’ve been nice to think a little more sensitively,” said Pastor Marsha Martie.

Nuclear fears prompts Chinese man in Japan to turn himself in to police

Lin Jian Ming, 48, came to Japan on a 90 day visitor's visa in 2000 and liked it so much he decided to stay on – illegally. Fast forward to the nuclear crisis at Fukushima. Lin, fearing for his safety from radiation, turned himself in Nagasaki Prefectural Police Saturday afternoon asking to be repatriated. Lin said he had fled from Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, one week earlier to avoid radiation contamination. He apparently thought he would be safe from leaked radiation if he traveled to Nagasaki. Police have arrested Lin for staying illegally in Japan.

Fukushima reactors

Oops: Reports that Fukushima radiation 10 million times above normal was mistake

Things were looking extremely bad at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant when officials said that radiation levels were spiking at 10 million times above normal on Sunday. This led to an evacuation of the workers at the plant. Turns out the reading was a mistake. Oops. 

MySpace loses 10 million unique visitors in a month

In 2006, MySpace was the most popular social networking website in the the United States, likely the world. Now, they are barely clinging to life, hemorrhaging over 10 million unique users between January and February, according to Tech industry analysts comScore. Year over year the site has lost almost 50 million users, down from close to 110 million in February 2010. Rupert Murdoch must be cursing under his breath having bought MySpace for US$580 million in 2005, only to wake up and realize he bought the now defunct "Friendster" by accident. Remember them?

Made irrelevant by Facebook, MySpace decided in 2010 that is was not a social networking site competing with Facebook, but a music site targeting young people. BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield said, "Most investors have written off MySpace now."

It appears to be a case of too little, too late. With a new round of layoffs MySpace seems to be in a death spiral. I think the music focus is a great idea, albeit likely too late. Had they focused in this direction earlier, they may have pulled it off – there is a huge market for indie music but unfortunately a lot of competition for it now.

Do I have a MySpace page? Yes. When is the last time I accessed it? Can't remember.

Useless: Forget about designer vaginas – woman invents the camel toe guard

camel toe (Wikipedia)
I can't wait to see the infomercial got this product. A British woman invented a camel toe guard, that is essentially a small piece of plastic that goes into womens' underwear. The name of the product: "SmoothGroove". From the SmoothGoove website:

"Women can rejoice - our very last wardrobe malfunction has now been addressed! At last, there’s a product that sensibly alleviates the most embarrassing taboo there is for us girls – the crudely named Camel Toe. SmoothGroove is the brainchild of north east businesswoman Susan Laurie, whose love of wearing figure hugging clothes was often blighted by this imperfection.  After finding no credible solutions, Susan’s ongoing frustrations led her to determinedly produce a product that would finally improve the confidence of thousands of women like her.  After all research has shown that a staggering 55% of UK women, irrespective of age or weight, will suffer from Camel Toe at some point .... Many females in our increasingly image obsessed society have even gone to extreme lengths to rectify the problem, resorting to expensive and risky surgery to create a ‘designer vagina’."

Saturday, March 26, 2011

"Proof of creation" dino drawing turns out to be mud stain

The pictogram at the Kachina Bridge formation in Natural Bridges Natural Monument
Fred FlintstoneImage via Wikipedia
An ancient cave drawing on a rock formation in Utah has had creationists saying it's proof that man and dinosaurs lived together. Not so, say saner people –– namely scientists. The pictogram in Natural Bridges Natural Monument has drawn the curious for years. The image can be found on several creationist websites and is part of an exhibit at the Creation Museum. Many have said, it appears to be a hand-drawn plant-eating dino.

Phil Senter, a biology professor at Fayetteville State University, viewed the drawing for the first time two years ago. "We got there and I couldn't believe it," Senter said. "It looked just like a sauropod." Intrigued, Senter asked author and archaeologist Sally J. Cole to examine the drawing. She declared that it was actually a composite of two separate drawings, one being a snake or serpent. The dinosaur "legs" were actually natural mineral or mud stains.

Contacted by Discovery News, officials at the Creationist Museum criticized the report  noting that Cole examined the drawing with binoculars rather than getting close up.

The scientist failed to explain nearby drawings of Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble.

Read more on Discovery News.

Help wanted: Sex, booze and sleeping on the job

This exilerated twosome has just riden the tub...Image via Wikipedia
A small water park in Illinois allegedly became a playground for staff who drank, had sex and napped for hours at a time –– all while on the job. The events, as well as the theft of thousands of dollars in cash, were captured on video surveillance cameras. The cameras were installed in a pool office as part of a probe into theft at the Cermak Aquatic Center.

“This included surveillance video of employees consuming alcoholic beverages and providing the alcohol to minors, engaging in sexual relations, improper physical contact between supervisor and subordinate, employees lounging and/or sleeping for hours at a time,”
  Patrick Blanchard wrote in his report to Cook County Board President.

My only question: Are they hiring?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Two students sentenced to make a YouTube video for making bomb

You've heard of the hanging judge – now there is the YouTube judge. Two university students decided to make a bomb to create an 'effect' with explosives and capture it on video for a school project. Humphries joked about it on YouTube in an "Antoine Dodson-style" song. Donald Richard Lorge, 20, and Christopher Humphries, 23, each pleaded guilty to one count of disorderly conduct and one count of possession of a caustic substance.

The sentence:  Produce a YouTube video public safety message about the dangers of bomb making! Well, they also received jail terms of 12 months in jail for each count –– all of it suspended and a whopping 20 hours of community service. As well they were ordered to pay a total $6,035.64 in restitution to the City of Norfolk.

Looking forward to seeing that video boys!

Christopher Humphries (left) and Donald Lorge

Einstein theory proven correct - again

As if it needed further proof, NASA provided this information on two new studies proven Einstein right again:

"Two new studies have put Einstein's General Theory of Relativity to the test like never before, using observations of galaxy clusters to study the properties of gravity on cosmic scales. These results, made using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, show Einstein's theory is still the best game in town. Such studies are crucial for understanding the evolution of the universe, both in the past and the future, and for probing the nature of dark energy, one of the biggest mysteries in science."

But all that is really an excuse to use this stunning image!

Image Credit: X-ray (NASA/CXC/SAO/A. Vikhlinin; ROSAT), Optical (DSS), Radio (NSF/NRAO/VLA/IUCAA/J.Bagchi)

Criminals: Dumb and dumber

Osceola County Jail
A Florida mother served as the getaway driver when her 20-year-old son robbed a convenience store. Police in St. Cloud say Cindy M. Willison, 47, waited in the parking lot of a Cumberland Farms store and picked up her son, Angelo J. Palmieri, after he held up the shop.

Austin Police Dept.

 Johnathan Washburn, 23, allegedly hit a man on the head with a skateboard after he took a picture
of his bizarre Mohawk hairstyle.
Hernando County (Fla.) Sheriff’s
Police  in Florida arrested Thomas Gannon, left, and Tina Cash on charges of misdemeanor domestic battery after the couple allegedly got into a fight over Facebook. Gannon, 35, reportedly told police that the couple got into a physical altercation after his 31-year-old girlfriend “unfriended” him on Facebook and changed her relationship status.

More dumb criminals here on AOL.

Bomb sits for three weeks in lost and found in Detroit Federal building

Patrick V. McNamara Federal BuildingImage via Wikipedia
McNamara Federal Building
You would think by now that when a security guard finds a suspicious package they would have a pretty good idea how to respond,  if from nothing more than from watching TV.

Not so with a guard at the McNamara Federal Building in Detroit. A guard found the package outside the building, and instead of alerting police, he brought it to the lost and found. There it sat for three weeks, until someone got the bright idea to x-ray the package. Behold, a pipe bomb!

 Detroit Police  bomb squad was finally called in to remove the device.

Pastor had sex with boys to cure them of their "homosexuality"

They usually blame the devil, but in this case the perv is blaming God.

Brent Girouex
Brent Girouex, 31, a former youth pastor in Iowa had a brainstorm: Have sex with boys and cure them of their "homosexuality". Or so claims Girouex. Police are looking at it a little differently. Girouex was arrested on 60 counts of suspicion of sexual exploitation.

Girouex told police that he had sexual contact with four young men in order to help them gain “sexual purity in the eyes of God.”

At least eight men have now come forward with complaints that Girouex molested them, reports the Wisconsin Gazette. "Girouex told investigators the most sexual contact he had was with one teen over a four-year period, starting when the boy was 14 years old. Calling the contact “mutual,” he said it had occurred between “25 and 50 times” during that period."

Girouex said during all of the incidents, it was only about “helping the victims gain sexual purity.” “When they would ejaculate, they would be getting rid of the evil thoughts in their mind.”


Infographic: Global corruption

It's no surprise that the most corrupt countries in the world are the most unstable. Somalia is ranked as the most corrupt country in this survey an graphic  by, with Iraq and Afghanistan following closely. North America (minus Mexico of course) , Western Europe and Australia are the least corrupt areas of the globe, as would be expected.There are some changes of note, however:
"One of them was the decrease in the score of the United States, from 7.5 to 7.1. Other countries that saw their scores decrease included Greece, Italy, and Niger. Chile, Ecuador, and Jamaica were among the countries whose scores improved. "
Click on graphic to go to

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Infographic: How Google has shaped the web

Click on graphic to go to full size version.

Google's Collateral Damage.

Apple's original logo with Sir Isaac Newton looked more like a wine label

The original logo
The logo we all associate with Apple Computers was not the first log they used. This from OMG Facts:

"This first logo was designed by Ron Wayne, one of Apple's three co-founders, and was only used for the Apple I computer. More of a picture than a logo, it portrayed the famous scene in which Isaac Newton is pondering gravity beneath an apple tree. Less than a year later, Steve Jobs, another co-founder, requested a redesign because he felt it was too intellectual and far too intricate to be stamped on computers.

The newer logo, created by art designer Rob Janoff, was far more simplistic - it featured a partially bitten apple striped with the colors of the rainbow in the wrong order. This served as Apple's primary logo for 20 years until 1997 when Jobs decided to ditch the rainbow stripes for a solid-colored fruit."

 The first Apple products to feature the new logo were the PowerBook G3s in 1998. Below is the evolution of the famed logo, one of the most recognizable in the world.

Are you from Mars? Maybe.

You just may be a Martian.  Many planetary scientists conjecture that all life on Earth originally may have came from from organisms that originated on Mars and came to Earth by way of meteorites. Researchers at MIT and Harvard are developing and instrument to try and prove – or disprove this theory. The device would take samples from the Martian soil and attempt to isolate DNA and RNA.  Researchers estimate that it could take two more years to complete the design and testing of a prototype of the proposed device.

"It's a long shot," MIT research scientist Christopher Carr says, "but if we go to Mars and find life that's related to us, we could have originated on Mars. Or if it started here, it could have been transferred to Mars." ... "We could be related to life on Mars. So we should at least be looking for life on Mars that's related to us." 

Read the entire story on MIT NEWS

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The perfect girlfriend gift: The Hello Kitty™ inlayed Sig P226 handgun

I must say I am impressed.  The Dark Hello Kitty™ inlayed  Sig P226 from TJ's Custom Gunwork creates a whole new vibe in the gun world. Designed for looks, ready for action. TJ's advertises "OLD WORLD MASTER CRAFTSMANSHIP WITH PRIDE AND HONOR" and I think on this baby they have delivered. 

TJ's reason for making this gun: 

"I know, the first question is 'WHY???'
The answer is simple, because THAT is what the gal ordered!
And TJ will make your custom gun dreams come true if you pay for it.

The next question I hear, is 'HOW MUCH???'

The gun was provided, so the custom work was around $2100, and nearly $500 of that was just for the grips & inlays."