Saturday, July 5, 2008

another spin on the Chicago hot dog

fran chee zee / n. A fate-tempting delicacy: a beef hot dog sliced in half, stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon -- before being deep fried and served on a bun. Fries are usually included.

And I thought Lake Michigan was Safe...

So, if you read the first article, you'll see that Bull Sharks have been sighted quite far up the Mississippi River.

The second is a spread sheet that I found on the Wikipedia page about Shark Attacks. If you alt+F for Chicago... It was 1955.

I guess I'm never going swimming at night again.

Swim at Your Own Risk

But that doesn't mean all of the Potomac shark sightings were the result of overactive imaginations. The lower Chesapeake Bay is an important nursery ground for the sandbar shark. The smooth dogfish and the sand tiger shark have also been known to frequent the bay.
In times of drought, when salinity rises in the bay and in the Potomac, sharks can swim upriver. Said Musick: "There are records of sharks up in the Potomac River that have involved bull sharks, which are nasty creatures."
A bull shark is what the crew must have dragged up near Chapel Point. Bull sharks have been spotted 1,000 miles up the Amazon, and the marine science institute's specimen collection includes an 8-foot bull shark taken from the mouth of the Potomac.
Most attacks on humans by sharks are accidents, but bull sharks are one of the few species that attack humans simply because they want to eat them.
Perhaps one day we'll see another fin slicing through the water near Washington. That would be kind of cool, actually.
"Yeah, it would," Dr. Musick said. "It would be appropriate, with all the other sharks up there."

2-year-old boy shot at liquor store

The toddler was injured by his biological father's gun
during an exchange of gunfire with other men at the store, according to a
release from Dolton police. (emphasis mine)

Perhaps Anton Scalia could give the father some shooting lessons.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Not to Bring Up Racial Stereotypes, but...

Scientists: Watermelon may work like Viagra

Apparently, you need to eat six cups of watermelon to experience any effects. I don't know how many slices that would be. My favorite though was the way the article ends.
Ron Schmidt, of Posen, enjoying the Taste with his wife Miriam Schmidt, was
mildly, amused by the news about watermelons, but not even mildly aroused.
At 77, "You just look [at your wife's body] and you go to sleep," Ron Schmidt said.
"If anyone is 77 and telling you they're having sex every day, they are full of

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Maybe They were Misbehavin'

Kids caged in car

So, we should all own handguns, but keeping our kids safe and out of trouble by taking them with us to work isn't allowed? Perhaps all children should carry guns if he's concerned with their safety...

Happy 4th!

The Desperation of Corms

Corms has lost an unprecedented 11 games of Scrab(ulous)ble in a row to da Fungster. So what does he do? Start 6 games at the same time of course! He claims the "system" made an "error" and started that many games for him but we know what's up. So far it's working - he's leading in half the games, including massive leads in two after only two plays each. Now Fung has a decision to make: does he play the games in which he's leading faster, so he can increase the winning streak before it ends, or should he just play it str8?

Meanwhile, Sarge hasn't made a move in our game in like 3 months or something. I think Corms and I have played like 50 games in that time period. Should I really be surprised?

we distort, you accept

Fox News airs altered photos of NY Times reporters

The Chicago Hot Dog:

People with too much time on their hands

Animal Hairdos.

all these happy people are really starting to piss me off

News item: The world is becoming a happier place overall, according to the survey, which has been conducted since 1981.

what has the Yangtze river dolphin ever done for us anyway?, or, there is literally nothing to see out here in the wilderness

News item: Endangered species may become extinct 100 times faster than previously thought, scientists warned today, in a bleak re-assessment of the threat to global biodiversity.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

McCain garners key Ponch endorsement

"He's a good man...he's a man's man."

freaking hysterical

I especially like the map of affected areas...

Bush Tours America To Survey Damage Caused By His Disastrous Presidency

K-Mad, poor economy to blame

K-Mad cuts back a little - look what happens...

Starbucks closing 600 stores in the U.S.

SEATTLE – Starbucks Corp. said Tuesday it will close 600 company-operated stores in the next year, up dramatically from its previous plan for 100 closures, a sign the coffee shop operator continues to struggle with the faltering U.S. economy and its own rapid expansion.

Seventy percent of the stores slated for closure had opened after the start of 2006, the company said in a statement. To put it another way, Starbucks is closing 19 percent of all U.S. company-operated stores that opened in the last two years...

Finally, some good news

Nelson Mandela finally taken off US terror list

Annudder Crushing Blow

German Company Stops Bank Note Shipments to Zimbabwe

Germany's Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul made an official request last week that the paper shipments stop, saying that the money was helping to keep Mugabe in power.

Yup, dis shud finally end it...

An e-mail from Corms to ComEd.

I just called to get electrical service set up for an apartment I'm moving into. I was told it could take up to 12 days for the power to be turned on and that it is currently taking almost the whole 12 days. This is inexcusable and unacceptable service. Commonwealth Edison has a monopoly on a basic necessity and this poor quality of service will be reported to all the relevant agencies.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

K-Mad's back!

Diamondbacks placed catcher Chris Snyder on the disabled list with a left testicular fracture. That's gotta be even worse than an anal fissure. Snyder was injured when he was hit by a foul tip last night. Miguel Montero will start and be backed up by Robby Hammock while Snyder is out. He's worth adding in NL-only leagues.


BERLIN - A catfish apparently choked to death after trying to chow down on a soccer ball in the locks of a Bavarian canal.
German police said the 6 1/2-foot-long fish was found dead Monday, floating on the surface of the water with a blue-and-white soccer ball in its mouth.
"He tried to eat the ball and it got stuck," police spokesman Karl-Heinz Kuberlein said Tuesday.

For the record. It was near Wuerzburg. The German Press made no speculations as to European-Cup-Loss-provoked suicide.

Who gets the ticket?

2 Chicago bicycle cops collide
8:43 AM CDT, July 1, 2008

Two Chicago police bicycle patrol officers collided Monday in the South Loop, police said Tuesday morning.

One of them was slightly injured in the collision, which occurred in the 500 block of West Roosevelt Road. The officers are part of the Central Control Group, which patrols the South Loop, Near North Side, the downtown area and parts of the lakefront east of downtown.

One of the officers was treated for a knee injury at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and later released, according to police, who could not say how the collision occurred. (I'm going with they both saw a donut in the middle of the street - ed)

Truth, if not beauty

Robert F. Worth, writing in the NYT:

The Saudis have long been a force for moderation in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, arguing that soaring prices simply promote conservation and fuel-switching strategies that could ultimately hurt oil producers the most. As the former Saudi oil minister, Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamani, likes to say, the Stone Age did not end because we ran out of stones.

Monday, June 30, 2008

A tree fell. No-one heard it.

Canada condemns Zimbabwe's 'illegal' election, imposes sanctions

The following sanctions will immediately take effect:

  • Restricting travel, work and study of senior members of Zimbabwe's government within Canada.
  • Banning Zimbabwe-registered aircraft from landing in or flying over Canada.
  • Summoning the ambassador of Zimbabwe to Canada to convey Canada's position.

Dis shud finally end it...

The Future Belongs to the Weeds

Apparently, in high CO2 environments, weeds grow faster, bigger, stronger than food crops and grazing grasses...
Developing techniques for managing weeds in a time of global climate change
will be essential to the world’s agricultural future, and the U.S.D.A.
researchers, though they have been starved of essential financing, lead the
world in this field. (There is one exception, Ziska admits; his Web searches
have revealed that marijuana growers have an amazingly detailed knowledge of how
CO2 enrichment affects their crop. But as Ziska points out, they don’t publish
in scientific journals.) Possession of this expertise could be a great economic
asset to the United States, both for the protection it could provide to our own
harvests and as an intellectual export that is sure to be much in demand in
other countries.

Should have been me

Father Figure: The Children of Donor 401

I wanted to buy a car with the money from sperm donation... Instead, I ended up with a black 1991 VW Corrado with a white hood.

I should have put a Sox logo on it. Fungai could have helped. Maybe a little Ozzy Guillen decal on the back.

For those of you too snooty or lazy to go the Suntimes

Logan Square man dies after accidentally falling from apartment building.

I think they used to call this a Darwin Award winner.

For those of you too lazy or too wary to go to

Solution, or Mess? A Milk Jug for a Green Earth
Published: June 30, 2008

NORTH CANTON, Ohio — A simple change to the design of the gallon milk jug, adopted by Wal-Mart and Costco, seems made for the times. The jugs are cheaper to ship and better for the environment, the milk is fresher when it arrives in stores, and it costs less.

Amy Wise, of Ohio, said the gallon jug spilled milk everywhere.

Greg Soehnlen, who helps run the company that designed the newfangled jugs, with a pallet at Superior Dairy in Canton, Ohio.

What’s not to like? Plenty, as it turns out.

The jugs have no real spout, and their unorthodox shape makes consumers feel like novices at the simple task of pouring a glass of milk.

“I hate it,” said Lisa DeHoff, a cafe owner shopping in a Sam’s Club here.

“It spills everywhere,” said Amy Wise, a homemaker.

“It’s very hard for kids to pour,” said Lee Morris, who was shopping for her grandchildren.

But retailers are undeterred by the prospect of upended bowls of Cheerios. The new jugs have many advantages from their point of view, and Sam’s Club intends to roll them out broadly, making them more prevalent.

The redesign of the gallon milk jug, experts say, is an example of the changes likely to play out in the American economy over the next two decades. In an era of soaring global demand and higher costs for energy and materials, virtually every aspect of the economy needs to be re-examined, they say, and many products must be redesigned for greater efficiency.

“This is a key strategy as a path forward,” said Anne Johnson, the director of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a project of the nonprofit group GreenBlue. “Re-examining, ‘What are the materials we are using? How are we using them? And where do they go ultimately?’ ”

Wal-Mart Stores is already moving down this path. But if the milk jug is any indication, some of the changes will take getting used to on the part of consumers. Many spill milk when first using the new jugs.

“When we brought in the new milk, we were asking for feedback,” said Heather Mayo, vice president for merchandising at Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart. “And they’re saying, ‘Why’s it in a square jug? Why’s it different? I want the same milk. What happened to my old milk?’ ”

Mary Tilton tried to educate the public a few days ago as she stood at a Sam’s Club in North Canton, about 50 miles south of Cleveland, luring shoppers with chocolate chip cookies and milk as she showed them how to pour from the new jugs.

“Just tilt it slowly and pour slowly,” Ms. Tilton said to passing customers as she talked about the jugs’ environmental benefits and cost savings. Instead of picking up the jug, as most people tend to do, she kept it on a table and gently tipped it toward a cup.

Mike Compston, who owns a dairy in Yerington, Nev., described the pouring technique in a telephone interview as a “rock-and-pour instead of a lift-and-tip.”

Demonstrations are but one of several ways Sam’s Club is advocating the containers. Signs in the aisle laud their cost savings and “better fridge fit.”

And some customers have become converts.

“With the new refrigerators with the shelf in the door, these fit nice,” said April Buchanan, who was shopping at the Sam’s Club here. Others, even those who rue the day their tried-and-true jugs were replaced, praised the lower cost, from $2.18 to $2.58 a gallon. Sam’s Club said that was a savings of 10 to 20 cents a gallon compared with old jugs.

The new jug marks a sharp break with the way dairies and grocers have traditionally produced and stocked milk.

Early one recent morning, the creators and producers of the new tall rectangular jugs donned goggles and white coats to walk the noisy, chilly production lines at Superior Dairy in Canton, Ohio. It was founded in 1922 by a man who was forced to abandon the brandy business during Prohibition. Five generations of the founder’s family, the Soehnlens, have worked there.

Today, they bottle and ship two different ways. The old way is inefficient and labor-intensive, according to members of the family. The other day, a worker named Dennis Sickafoose was using a long hook to drag plastic crates loaded with jugs of milk onto a conveyor belt.

The crates are necessary because the shape of old-fashioned milk jugs prohibits stacking them atop one another. The crates take up a lot of room, they are unwieldy to move, and extra space must be left in delivery trucks to take empty ones back from stores to the dairy.

They also can be filthy. “Birds roost on them,” said Dan Soehnlen, president of Superior Dairy, which spun off a unit called Creative Edge to design and license new packaging of many kinds. He spoke while standing in pools of the soapy run-off from milk crates that had just been washed. About 100,000 gallons of water a day are used at his dairy clean the crates, Mr. Soehnlen said.

But with the new jugs, the milk crates are gone. Instead, a machine stacks the jugs, with cardboard sheets between layers. Then the entire pallet, four layers high, is shrink-wrapped and moved with a forklift.

The company estimates this kind of shipping has cut labor by half and water use by 60 to 70 percent. More gallons fit on a truck and in Sam’s Club coolers, and no empty crates need to be picked up, reducing trips to each Sam’s Club store to two a week, from five — a big fuel savings. Also, Sam’s Club can now store 224 gallons of milk in its coolers, in the same space that used to hold 80.

The whole operation is so much more efficient that milk coming out of a cow in the morning winds up at a Sam’s Club store by that afternoon, compared with several hours later or the next morning by the old method. “That’s our idea of fresh milk,” Greg Soehnlen, a vice president at Creative Edge, said.

Sam’s Club started using the boxy jugs in November, and they are now in 189 stores scattered around the country. They will appear soon in more Sam’s Club stores and perhaps in Wal-Marts.

The question now is whether customers will go along.

As Ms. Tilton gave her in-store demonstration the other day at the Sam’s Club here, customers stood around her, munching cookies and sipping milk. “Would you like to take some home today?” she asked.

A shopper named Jodi Kauffman gave the alien jugs a sidelong glance.

“Maybe,” she said.