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Saturday, 29 September 2007

Flight of the easter eggs!

Are you excited about the idea of pretending to be a pilot as this chap quite clearly is? Or maybe not quite as 'excited' as him, but would at least like to have a go? Especially if you didn't have to shell out on a standalone flight simulation program just to have a quick fiddle.
Well, did you know that the chance to do so may be tucked away on a program you already have?

All you need is Google Earth. More specifically the latest version of it; Google Earth 4.2.
Not only does this latest update now have the added function of Google Sky; where you can get all starry eyed and explore the cosmos, it also has a nice little Easter Egg of a flight simulator.

As you can see from the pic above, the flight sim offers you a choice of two planes; a F16 (a jet fighter sometimes called a "Viper") or a SR22 (a high-performance four-seat propeller plane).
You also get a choice of airports from around the world from which to fly from including (amongst others): London Heathrow, LAX, JFK and Kathmandu.

Yes, enough of the chit-chat I hear you groan, "how the hell do we get unveiling this flying egg thingy?"
As is the nature of Easter eggs, they are hidden and you need to discover them. And it seems different combinations of keys work for different people (don't ask me why).

The general consensus is that (with Google Earth 4.2 fired up and running) you hold down the keys: CTRL + ALT + A (for Windows) or COMMAND + OPTION + A (for OS X).
Although for me the combination that worked was: CTRL + WINDOWS + A.

After you have accessed it once, it will then be placed permanently in the Tools menu as 'Enter Flight Simulator Ctrl + Alt + A' (this combination now works for me even though initially I had to use the Ctrl + Windows + A combo to kick things off).

All being well, hitting one of those combinations of keys you should see the pop up window as above. If you don't, then it hasn't worked. Try different keys. And remember, this won't work on older versions.
I'm not too sure about all the control keys. I just fiddled around with the arrow keys and the Page Up/Page Down keys. I'll leave it up to you to discover more.

Also see:
The geek shall inherit the Google Earth
Some more Google Earthiness

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Oh, ya big baby!

Image-Ron Mueck's giant baby
It was only back in 2005 that everyone was going nuts about a woman in Brazil giving birth to a 17lb baby. And now in 2007 the big baby crown has been taken by a Russian woman giving birth to a 17.5lbs baby.
Each of those links will take you to the BBC news site for the full stories.
It's funny though, if you compare the first paragraph of the 2005 story with the first paragraph of the 2007 story (both in bold) you may notice that they are almost identical.
There's obviously a formula to this reporting thing. Hehe.

And, although there are similarities in the two stories, there are also conflicting 'facts'.

In the 2007 story it reports:
"Among the heaviest babies recorded are a 10.2kg (22.5lb) boy born in Italy in 1955, and a 10.8kg (23.8lb) boy born in the US in 1879 but who died 11 hours later."

But just two years earlier the big baby facts seem to differ. Although in 2005 they don't mention the 22.5lb boy born in Italy in 1955, they do mention a baby recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as being:
"
born to Anna Bates of Canada in 1879." And saying the baby "weighed 23.12lb (10.8kg) and died 11 hours after birth."

Is this the same 1879 baby that died 11 hours after birth?
In 2007 the boy is born in the US. In 2005 they mention the mother is from Canada. But okay he still could of been born in the US. But what happened to his weight? It seems this baby has been working out for the past couple of years because he's managed to lose nearly 1lb (6kg) in weight. Hehe.

And NO, of course the picture above is not of the Russian baby, but of one of the amazing pieces by the artist Ron Mueck.
Ron Mueck does these amazing silica sculptures. They look so lifelike whether they are oversized or miniaturized. You need to see actual people next to the works to tell the scale.

This video shows some of Ron Mueck's amazing work:



Ron Mueck - The best video clips are right here

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Amazing airbrush art!

THIS IS NOT A PHOTOGRAPH!

Well believe it or not, this is not a photograph or even a photoshop job. It is apparently 99% airbrush alongside various other techniques make up the rest to achieve the amazing skin texture effects.

Click on the picture for a larger view, or better still check out the artist Dru Blair's own site for some real close ups that will still have you convinced it is a photograph.
Of course, producing something this good is a double-edged sword. While the artist has to put up with constant accusations of 'fake' and 'photoshop', the more vehemently people disbelieve that someone can produce something like this with airbrush techniques, the higher the compliment.

If I was good enough to be a photo realist and had slogged for hours/days to achieve this amazing end result, I would rather people accused me of showing them a photograph than just say "ooh how lovely". Haha, maybe that's just me.

Also on Dru's site there is some real nice aviation art and for the Star Trek fans there is a whole section of Star Trek themed paintings.
Not only does Dru Blair share his art with you via the website, t-shirts, screensavers and calenders, but also he will share his skills with you via workshops and classes in photorealistic painting. So if you live near or could get to Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, why not sign up for one of the 4 day workshops.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Patently Weird and Wonderful

Above is an illustration for an invention patented on November 9th, 1965 by inventors: George and Charlotte (yep, a man AND a woman thought this a good idea) Blonsky of New York, NY.
It is an "Apparatus for Facilitating the Birth of a Child by Centrifugal Force."
Also known as a "centrifugal delivery table."
"The expectant mother is strapped down to the table, which is then spun to use centrifugal force to encourage the baby to emerge."

So, let's see now:
  • Did you always want to be a pilot or an astronaut when you grew up?
  • Do you love roller coasters and can never get enough G-Force?
  • Do you have an odd shaped head that your mother has never really explained?
  • Or do all of the above apply?
If so, then me thinks your parents have some explaining to do!
Try casually dropping the phrase "centrifugal delivery" into the conversation next time the subject of you as a baby comes up, then keep a close eye on their facial expressions and looks exchanged.

And, on the subject of babies; here is another invention (or idea) that was patented on March 23rd, 2000 by inventor: Alan R. Hirsch of Chicago IL, USA.
Who needs Viagra® when you can use Patent No.5,885,614- "Use of Odorants to Treat Male Impotence"

The patent explains how "smelling certain combinations of odors will increase effective blood flow" to the male member.
These sexy stinks can be "administered by scented cloths, sprays, or scratch-and-sniff patches."
The inventor lists the most effective materials as:
  • Lavender and pumpkin pie
  • Doughnut and licorice
  • Pumpkin pie and doughnut
Considering those ingredients, if you bump into Homer Simpson or an officer of the law (especially on Halloween) it may NOT be a gun in his pocket, he may actually be pleased to see you.
For more weird and wonderful patents, check bpmlegal.com

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

... and then another he he hehe he ...

For Family Guy fans and kids of the 80's.
This clip is classic, simple Family Guy stuff. It's funny, you're laughing at it, but you can't quite put your finger on what's so funny about it. Haha.
Cleveland dressed in the Thriller outfit and dancing like Michael Jackson is an added side bonus.

UPDATE: It was brought to my attention that this clip was removed from the place I had originally sourced it from, so here it is from Megavideo. Unfortunately it seems to be a bit of a slow loader from them, so my advice is to pause it straight away, then wait until at least 70% of the orange bar is loaded in before clicking play again, so as to get a smooth viewing experience.

UPDATE 2: 18 April 2008. Discovered this one had disappeared from Megavideo now so here it is from DailyMotion.
Wonder how long this one will last?

Monday, 17 September 2007

The Hairy Ass Song!


A quick one for those of you that like silly spoof songs.
This is Sean Morey's funny Hairy Ass song!
Set to the melody of Age Of Aquarius.

A Hairy Ass (mp3)

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Make your own Weird Wonderful Web!

Do you like spider webs? Are the spiders in your garden a bit crap at finding the right spot to make a web?
Or maybe you live in a modern trendy designer house, with a modern trendy designer garden and you feel that, if the spiders are going to set up home (uninvited) and squat in your back garden, then they will bloody well fit in with the overall design concept!
If so, then this is the thing for you. Give them stupid spiders some guidance and allocate them some designer accommodation.

With the 'Garden Spider Web Frame' your local arachnid will no longer misunderstand his/your boundaries.
He/she will soon realise that the "solid wood, pre-assembled frame" on the end of a "sturdy garden stake" is the only place to hang out.

The accommodation would suit the young professional and the retired spider alike.
The pre-assembled frame is ideal for the young professional spider who is always on the go and has little time to find the right spot and create an expansive web. You just fill the gap and the job is done.
And for the retired spider the pre-assembled frame cuts out a lot of the hard, laborious building work and provides a sturdy "walled garden" base for your web.
So no more emergency repairs when some blundering fool breaks your home with their face.
And if that wasn't enough, the accommodation also comprises of a "Hideaway" hole (a panic room if you will) to keep you safe.
You may not be able to accomplish the impressive size like these guys from an earlier post, but you will surely accomplish living in style.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Testicle Trophy!



The last post made me think of the news story from a couple of years ago that I read on the BBC news site.

The story of a woman from Liverpool in the UK, named Amanda Monti who ripped her ex-boyfriend's testicle off with her bare hands and then attempted to swallow it! (Reminds me of Chef from South park's salty balls song; when he sings: "put 'em in ya mouth and suck 'em".)
She is quoted as saying "I am in no way a violent person". Ummm kay.

You'll be glad to hear that they sent her away to somewhere, where testicles to yank would be in short supply. Haha. Yup, she got two-and-a-half years in prison.
Thinking about it. The story is a couple of years old, she got a couple of years in jail ...
Oops, I should probably keep my mouth shut. She must be out by now and I couldn't bare the twins being separated.

See original BBC news story

Friday, 7 September 2007

Skippy's Scrotum Sale! - GO NUTS!

IMAGE:Kangaroo scrotum pursesKangaroo scrotums made into lovely coin pouches.
Well, keeping with the Australian theme, I give to you:
"Genuine Kangaroo Scrotum Coin Pouches".
Yup. You read correctly.
This was a lot that was being sold on Ebay. The three pouches being sold as one lot. They are described as having a "beaded leather drawstring and embossed 'Australia kangaroo pouch' logo."

The seller explains the reason these pouches are available is because;
"For the protection of their species, and to maintain a balance in nature, kangaroos must be regularly culled. This is done under the most strict regulations, and as humanely as possible. Fortunately, every part of each kangaroo that must be destroyed is put to good use, and part of the money thus raised (including through this auction), goes towards the protection and management of wildlife in general".

Interestingly, they will ship worldwide, ANYWHERE! ...
... except Australia! Hehe.
And although I mentioned Skippy in the title of this post, I'm sorry to disappoint any celebrity scrotum hunters out there, but I have no solid evidence as to whether any of these are the semen sack of superstar Skippy.
(Also see Skippy on YouTube)

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

R.I.P. Steve Irwin

Today marks a year to the day that the extremely popular Steve Irwin passed away.
I'm sure there will be lots and lots of news stories and tributes around the web today, so there's not much I could say that isn't being said a million times over elsewhere. Except to say that me and my family were big fans. And were very sad when we heard the news of his passing a year ago.

Although September 4th is the anniversary of Steve's passing, there are plans to make Thursday, November 15th a special Steve Irwin Day to celebrate his life. When you can show your support by wearing khaki for the day, organise a backyard camp-out or visit Australia Zoo.

And so, this being Weird Wonderful Web I've tracked you down something weird and wonderful but also Steve Irwin related.

While browsing around at Steve Irwin stuff I came across this weirdly wonderful toy being shown on Toymania.com's Raving Toy Maniac magazine.
It's a 14" plush "caricature-style" talking Steve Irwin doll. You give his tummy a squeeze and he says "one of 12 signature Croc Hunter phrases such as "She's a beauty!", or "Crocs Rule"!.
Not too sure where you can get one of these. I couldn't find a site for N2 Toys (the makers of this range) but I've seen similar items for sale on Ebay and at Amazon but they're not quite the same.
So if you really, really want/need one of these I'll just have to wish you happy (croc) hunting.

Monday, 3 September 2007

Saturday, 1 September 2007

A REAL Weird Wonderful Web!

Well this one I simply HAD to post! This is a news story from Texas about a REAL Weird Wonderful Web.
A massive web was found in Lake Tawakoni State Park in Texas. This enormous spider web "blankets several trees, shrubs and the ground along a 200-yard stretch of trail in a North Texas park".
Donna Garde, superintendent of the park said "At first, it was so white it looked like fairyland. Now it's filled with so many mosquitoes that it's turned a little brown. There are times you can literally hear the screech of millions of mosquitoes caught in those webs."
Eww, that just makes me think of the original 1958 version of the film The Fly.
The classic scene (at the end I think? Oops, spoiler) when you see a fly on a spider's web and you can hear a tiny, squeaky, pleading voice crying: "Help me, help me!", then the camera zooms in for us to see that the voice is coming from a tiny little human head on a fly's body.

For more on this story read the article and watch the video at CNN.com.