Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Physics of a bowling ball mortar.

This picture is meant to show the basic physics of a bowling ball mortar. This is part of a thread on THR, but my stupid crappy picture was too big to post there, so I am just redirecting traffic here. I suppose if you want to comment on the mortar, you can, but this post is probably going to get deleted in a few days barring massive popularity and fame. Or, if the commentary is intelligent (even if I am wrong), I may just leave it up for nerds to ponder. Whatever.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Three things I learned from late night TV.

As usual, I was having a hard time getting to sleep tonight, so I thought I would invest some time watching post-Conan O'Brien late night programming. As it turns out, there isn't a whole lot on, so I ended up splitting time between Oprah and C-Span. I learned three things.

1. Valerie Bertinelli was the guest on Oprah, and since she used to be married to Eddie Van Halen, I thought I would watch in the event that there were some good Van Halen tidbits to pick up. What I learned was is that sweet little Valerie Bertinelli is kind of a whore. She seems like a nice person and all, but she evidently enjoyed sleeping around prior to, during, and after her marriage to EVH. She also slept around with Steven Spielberg and made out with some chick. Then, she kept talking about getting busy in general. Honestly, I would have never guessed that about her, but those were the words from her mouth. Also, she is still kind of hot at 47 years old.

2. White House Press Secretary Dana Perino is more than a little bit attractive. Watching her chastise reporters for not understanding the Presidents views on the economic stimulus package, the Patriot Act and a reluctance to raise taxes had me thinking one thing: Saucy! Really, I am not making this up. She was a touch severe, as all professional DC women seem to be, but overall she has to be the hottest press secretary ever. Granted her only competition in that arena is from former Clinton administration press secretary Dee Dee Myers, but still.

3. Also, apparently we are all missing out on making a lot of money buying foreclosed homes and flipping them. Rachel Edson from Port Ritchie, Florida reported that with no money down, she was able to buy two homes and then flip them inside three months for a profit of over $300,000 dollars! Exciting news indeed. Evidently this guy has a system that all the corporate fat cats don't want us to know about, and evidently is guaranteed to make us money, so maybe we should all look into that.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Newscaster almost has a stroke over lizard.

This is one of my all-time favorite videos ever put onto the world wide web. There really isn't one thing I don't like about this video. Funniest thing in recorded history? Maybe. Possibly my favorite part of this is that after he falls over, everyone in the studio starts laughing at him. I also like how he almost gets a "WTF!!!" out on live television. Whoever originally uploaded this to the web deserves a pulitzer.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Wars you have never heard of, Pt III - The Bone Wars

The two gentlemen above are the main participants in The Bone War. On the left you have Othniel Charles Marsh, and on the right, Edward Drinker Cope. Both of these guys were early paleontologists and they hated each other. I have to point out before I get into specifics that in looking at these two mooks, I can see them saying "Brilliant!" and drinking Guinness.

So, here is the scoop. These two guys were both paleontologists back in the 19th century. At the time, there were only nine dinosaur species that had been discovered in America. Cope worked for a guy who had just named a new dinosaur, and ended up trading on that guy's name until he started finding his own new fossils. At the same time, Marsh, who worked for Yale, was also digging around and pulling fossils out of the ground. Essentially, what ended up happening was a mad rush to find and catalog as many new dinosaurs as possible.

In their frenzy, these two ended up getting into all sorts of shenanigans. Cope accused Marsh of stealing his precious fossils, so he stole a trainload of Marsh's fossils. Cope also was so desperate to keep Marsh from finding stuff that he blew up a dig site. One time, Cope stuck the skull of a dinosaur (it was the Brontosaurus) on the wrong end of a skeleton, a picture of which was published in a journal of the time. Upon discovering his mistake, Cope bought up every copy of the journal possible to try and avoid humiliation. Marsh, who was the one to discover the error to begin with, was not having that, so he made it his mission to tell everyone about Cope's mistake. I can't state clearly enough that these two guys really hated each other. This was not a friendly rivalry!

In the end, Marsh "won" the Bone War by merit of cataloging more species than Cope, although Cope developed a reputation of being the better scientist. Between the two, they made a real, tangible contribution to paleontology. Remember I said that before they started in on each other there were only nine known species? After they were done there were one hundred and fifty. Cope in particular helped spread the knowledge by publishing a tremendous amount of work.

Despite the value of their scientific work, at the end of the day, these two still had a rivalry. Marsh ended up getting Copes funding yanked, forcing him to sell parts of his collection off to live, and Marsh (who had been supported by his wealthy uncle, George Peabody) ended up having to ask for a salary from Yale. Also, despite all the good they did for paleontology, they also did a lot of harm to it. Remember, Cope was blowing stuff up, which most scientists frown upon. There were also numerous allegations of shifty practices, up to and including grave robbery.

The most awesome part of this story, by far, is what happened to Cope upon his death. In his hatred of Marsh, he donated his skull to science. His plan was to have his brain measured and weighed, then compared to Marsh's brain, with the idea being that the bigger, more awesome brain would be the winner. Marsh declined to meet this challenge, which to my way of thinking is a forfeit, meaning that Cope won. Cope's skull is evidently still preserved somewhere.

So there you have it. Two guys, a bunch of fossils, and a rivalry that lasted through death. I got the bulk of this information for this post off Wikipedia, but there are a few books written on the subject as well. Anyway, I think for my next post, I will do a little something on The War of the Roses, but I am not sure yet.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Painting Bruce Lee.

This guy paints Bruce Lee using his hands. Actually, this video has been around for awhile, but I like Bruce Lee and I am always fascinated with people who can draw stuff, so there you go. Enjoy.

Edited to add: The artists name, by the way, is Phil Hansen. Check out his website to see some more of his art. Personally, I really like this guy. When it comes to art, I can appreciate both creativeness in the execution and subject matter that I can get, and he pretty much nails both.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Crom and The Mandarin.

Recently, I bestowed upon my buddy Toby the moniker "The Mandarin" and gave myself the name "Crom". Possibly none of you picked up on the comic book origins of these names, so I thought I would give a visual aid so that you may see what Toby and I look like in our alter egos.

Here is Toby getting punched perilously close to his giblets by the Incredible Hulk:

Pretty cool. Toby is evil enough to be able to withstand the Hulk, which is pretty tough for a super-villain.

While there are no spiffy comic book covers showing what Crom looks like, here is some art that I swear is some guys vision of who Crom is. I couldn't possibly be happier:

Man, I rule. Anyway, now when Toby and I argue about multiple-choice tests, you can envision these two characters punching it out, which I think is about the raddest thing ever.

Wars you have never heard of, Part II: The Football War

In the second part of my series on "Wars you have never heard of" I have decided to tell you about the Football War.

The Football War, also known as the 100 Hours War, is relatively simple to explain, but let me first point out that it only lasted six days. It bothers my sense of propriety that there are 144 hours in 6 days, yet it is called the 100 hours War. Whatever.

This is basically how it breaks down. In the years leading up to 1969, there were a great many issues that existed between El Salvador and Honduras. Honduras is a bigger country than El Salvador, and El Salvador had a much larger population than Honduras. Because of this, there was an influx of Salvadora immigrants into Honduras, and according to Wikipedia, this resulted in around 350,000 Salvadorans moving into Honduras, or around 20% of the peasant population. Wikipedia being what it is, I checked other, more credible sources, and this seems to be pretty accurate. Anyway, in 1969, Honduras enacted a land reform law that resulted in more than a few Salvadorans getting booted off their land, which meant they had to move back to El Salvador. This caused tensions enough, but the fire was fueled by El Salvadoran newspapers fueling the fires, and this led to a country wide hatred of Honduras.

Now, as it happens, in 1969 El Salvador and Honduras also played a three game elimination qualifer for the World Cup. We all know how the World Cup gets everyone in the world but America super excited, and when you heap on a liberal dose of genuine hatred, it just makes it all the more important. As you might expect, the games ended in rioting, but more importantly, it gave El Salvador the perfect opportunity to make war on Honduras, and so they did.

Basically, El Salvador invaded, and because they had a superior military, did relatively well. Honduras quickly recieved aid from Nicaragua, which helped stop the advance. Within short order, El Salvador, with Honduran promises of reparations to the displaced Salvadoran peasantry, pulled back into El Salvador, and the war was essentially over. Losses came to about 2000 people on each side. It is here that I will add that this was the last war that saw piston-engined fighters deployed, to include the venerable American P-51 Mustang! I pulled that factoid off Wikipedia as well, but again, it turns out to be perfectly accurate.

Now then, the after effects. The last war I talked about had the effect of, well, pretty much nothing. The Americans kept some crappy little islands, the British really weren't that concerned, and that was that. In this case however, the aftereffects were much more severe. Of particular note was the fact that El Salvador ended up turning into a military dictatorship, and that resulted in a civil war that ended up with the deaths of between 75,000-80,000 people. As a side note, the El Salvadoran Civil War is no joke, man. There were death squads, nuns and priests getting murdered, millions of people left homeless, and some horrifying atrocities. In terms of raw violence, the El Salvadoran Civil War was just as bad as the war in Bosnia.

So, there you have it. The Football War. Soccer wasn't really the cause of it as much as it was the straw that broke the camels back, and it was longer than 100 hours.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Emergency preparedness

So, there is this guy, Dave Markowitz, who is a member of The High Road. Dave also writes a survival and emergency preparedness blog, which I have listed in my links section. I generally like and agree with what Dave writes, and I appreciate that he doesn't come off as some sort of survivalist loony-toon. His stuff is generally pretty common-sense, which is good. In regular life, Dave is both a lawyer and a genuine computer expert, so it isn't like he is some guy sitting in a log cabin in his underwear waiting for the Red Menace.

Recently, Dave posted an article about using a thumb drive (or data key, or flash drive, or whatever you want to call it), and while it seems to be pretty obvious idea, I have to confess it isn't something that I really ever thought about. This despite the fact that in college I absolutely depended on my flash drive. That I lost one and about had a nervous breakdown because I thought I had lost the other has no bearing on the fact that they are a great little tool.

Anyway, here is a link to the article:

As Dave points out, flash drives are ridiculously cheap, so there isn't any compelling reason not to back up key files (and even not-so-key files, like photos) on one in the event of an emergency. Frankly, as much as I enjoy reading about wilderness survival techniques, and as much thought as I have put into surviving some sort of catastrophic breakdown of society, the fact is that I, and most of you, are many hundreds of times more likely to have to deal with things like fires, blackouts, and local weather emergencies. In all those cases, having easily transportable, reliable and relatively secure access to all my sweet, sweet data makes more sense than does arming myself with a rifle and a tomahawk and becoming Jim Bridger v.2008.

Anyway, it's a good post, and I thought y'all might enjoy reading it.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Jimmy Kimmel has no fear.

Minutes ago, I was flipping through the channels and I came across Jimmy Kimmel, who was interviewing American badass Kimbo Slice. If you don't know who Kimbo is, wow. Kimbo is a former street-fighter who rose to fame on the internet for repeatedly knocking people out. In fact, in one of the fights, he hit a guy so hard his eye fell out. Look at the picture. Does that look like a cat you would mess with? No, it does not.

Kimbo was on Jimmy Kimmel promoting his upcoming fight with Tank Abbott, and Jimmy had some interesting questions for him. My favorite, which I will qoute verbatim, was this:

Jimmy: Do you like punching people?
Kimbo: Yeah.

Awesome. Actually, Kimbo turned out to be a fairly eloquent guy. One of the more interesting things I learned was that Kimbo has six kids, all of them named Kevin or some variation thereof to include a child named "Kevlar". Jimmy also risked his life by asking, jokingly, if Kimbo had ever been in a relationship with a man. Kimbo looked at him as if he was going to kick him in the soul, and said "No, man.". Frankly, I think Jimmy Kimmel should be awarded a prize, because you have to have some serious stones to ask Kimbo Slice if he is gay while your within striking distance.

Here is a video of Kimbo punching not one, but two people into next week. Swede and I both agree that the second guy has a lot of heart, but he still gets beat like a drum. Be advised, this is a street fight, so there is plenty of cussing and frequent use of the "N" word.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Fuzzy Bunny Movie Guns

Author and hardcore gunny Larry Correia recently expanded FBMG into a larger space. Given that I am in Colorado, and assuming that few of you have ever heard of Fuzzy Bunny Movie Guns, let me just qoute verbatim from fellow High Road member SuperNaut's blog:

"Larry Correia, yep the same guy that wrote Monster Hunter International, also owns a local gun store called Fuzzy Bunny Movie Guns (FBMG). He is moving his store to a much larger and better location. The grand opening will be on Monday the 11th and he has stocked the store with all kinds of boomy goodness. FBMG will be running various specials to celebrate this move; Larry says the “Economic Stimulus Package AR” will be particularly attractive. Also the whole FBMG crew just got back from the SHOT show, so I suspect they might also have some interesting data to download."

Anyhoo, if you happen to be in Utah, and if you happen to want to look at guns, this is the place to go.

Check out for the address, to look at the stock and to find out why it's called "Fuzzy Bunny Movie Guns"

Check out for general Larryness and to learn about his book, Monster Hunter International.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


So, much to my delight, I was looking at my favorite website Neatorama today and I noticed that they had a link to Dolphins being murderers. The coolest thing about that is that someone (not me) provided them with a link to my blog!

So, evidently someone found my dolphin post, sent it along to Neatorama, and now The Wide World of Timbo is a extremely minor contributor to that site, which I consider to be pretty cool.

click this perma-link to see the Neatorama post that has immortalized me!

As a side note, I have no idea why sometimes I get hyperlinks to work and other times I get no love. I have tried posting in HTML and I have tried just pasting them in, but both methods seem to be something of a crapshoot. It's not a huge deal, but I wish that I knew what was going on. EDIT on 2-14-08: I figured it out! It was the stupid little slash at the end of the address. Something that simple has been vexing me for weeks!

Monday, February 4, 2008

This is a cool little prank

This video is pretty self-explanatory. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

England: Stupid is as stupid does.

The United Kingdom is a nice little collection of countries full of nice people. Having been there, I can attest to this fact. Evidently, as nice as they are, a good percentage of them are also pretty stupid.

I say this because in a recent Associated Press article, it was reported that a full 23% of Britons think that Winston Churchill is a myth. Take a second and read that again.

Really? I mean, I can understand not knowing every historical figure in England's long and storied history, but Winston Churchill? I mean, this is the guy that lead you through your darkest hour. Not only that, but a good number of you Englishmen and women were alive when he was alive. It's not like they were asking you about James K. Polk. I wouldn't be bothered if you didn't know that Polk was our eleventh president, was referred to as the "Dark Horse Candidate", and was the last of the Jacksonians to hold the office of POTUS. You know why that wouldn't bother me? First, he is American, and second, he has been dead for 150 years. Winston Churchill, on the other hand, only died 43 years ago and he was your Prime Minister. The 3/4 of the UK that did know who Churchill was needs to throw the rest over the Cliffs of Dover.

If that sounds harsh, consider that these same clowns thought that Gandhi was a myth, and a full 55% of them thought that Sherlock Holmes was real. Put in modern perspective, that would mean that we would think that Vladmir Putin was a myth and that Batman is real.

Cripes. Stupid UK, crack a book now and again.