31 August 2009

It's Called Talent Management

On August 12, the employees of The Journal News, a Westchester daily owned by Gannett, were told that there would be further staff reductions at the daily paper ... the staff was not being laid off, but becoming part of a “comprehensive restructuring plan.”
Specifically, the 288 news and advertising employees ... were told that jobs were being redefined and that they all would need to reapply for the new positions and that by the time the re-org music stopped, 70 of them would be without jobs.
For the last three weeks, employees ... have lived in a netherworld in which they were asked to justify their existence ... After filling out an application on Sharepoint ... and then being interviewed by corporate human resources executives pulled in by Gannett, they were called up to the third floor of the offices in Westchester last Thursday and given an offer letter in a thin white envelope — “Thank you for your participation in the restructuring of the Information Center department at The Journal News. I am pleased to extend you an offer. ...” — or a much thicker manila envelope explaining their departure and severance.
One longtime worker who received an envelope said "After many years of great work here, I have to go into some office and tell a person who I have never met why I deserve to work (here). I probably didn't do a good enough job of hiding my disgust."
Confronted by the Hobbesian prospect of lobbying for a job they thought they already had, some simply said no thanks. The majority of the sales staff ... declined to reapply and took severance. Most chose to participate, though, because in the current environment, the management has all the leverage.
A staff member who stayed said, "I don’t feel like a winner even though I still have my job ... I wish there had been a straight-up layoff. This was very nerve-racking and agonizing. And everyone in our business has to live with this uncertainty going forward."

Read the entire article at The New York Times

Via: The Awl

30 August 2009

Liz Cheney Defends Dick And Criticizes CIA Investigation

From ABC's This Week, Sunday 30 August 2009:

Source: The Daily Beast

Pole Dancer Doll

It rotates. It has blinking lights, a disco ball, and a pole. And it's just wrong.


Via: Gizmodo

Bacon Is Good For Me!!!

This is from an episode of the show Wife Swap on ABC.

Source: YouTube

Via: Buzzfeed

29 August 2009

Dharma Punk

A documentary on punk rock, spirituality, and inner rebellion.

Website: Meditate and Destroy

Zoe Keating Interview

Zoe Keating is a classically-trained cellist and composer who uses a computer, live electronic sampling, and looping to create intricately layered and rhythmically dense musical compositions.

Source: YouTube|Wired

Website: Zoe Keating

Top Ten Instructional Cooking Videos*

Gordon Ramsay's perfect scrambled eggs.

Other videos:
  • Cut a mango
  • Separate an egg
  • Sauce pasta the right way (Mario Batali)
  • Slice and dice an onion
  • Pit an avocado
  • Mince and crush garlic
  • Make sushi rice
  • Cook well-done hamburgers
  • Make "Chicken on a Throne" (Christopher Walken)
*From Lifehacker

Is Depression An Evolutionary Adaptation?

Research in the U.S. and other countries suggests that depression should not be thought of as a disorder but as a mental adaptation that brings certain cognitive advantages.

Depressed people often think intensely about their problems. These thoughts are called ruminations; they are persistent and depressed people have difficulty thinking about anything else. Numerous studies have also shown that this thinking style is often highly analytical. They dwell on a complex problem, breaking it down into smaller components, which are considered one at a time...

This analytical style of thought, of course, can be very productive. Each component is not as difficult, so the problem becomes more tractable. Indeed, when you are faced with a difficult problem, such as a math problem, feeling depressed is often a useful response that may help you analyze and solve it. For instance, in some of our research, we have found evidence that people who get more depressed while they are working on complex problems in an intelligence test tend to score higher on the test.

Read more at Scientific American

28 August 2009

Kingsford The Piglet Goes Swimming

Source: YouTube

Calendar of Sexy Undertakers

All the hunks featured in the Men of Mortuaries Calendar are funeral directors and morticians from across the U.S. Proceeds benefit KAMM Cares, a non-profit organization that supports breast cancer patients.

A spokesman for the morticians sees the calendars as a humorous way to dispel the stereotypic notion that morticians “are gray-haired and hunchbacked with no personality.” Readers at Sociological Images wonder if the calendar achieves the goal of humanizing funeral directors or simply objectifies them.

Source: Men of Mortuaries

Via: copyranter

"Mini Dose of Joy" | Puppies Dressed As Cats

From the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien:



Source: Hulu

Baby-Boomer Barbie

Image by imaniceguy at Incredimazing

27 August 2009

What Is That?

(Thanks, Lynn)

Source: YouTube

PostSecret: Parking Ticket

Source: PostSecret

Via: YepYep

Placebo Response Getting Stronger (And Drug Companies Don't Know Why)

From 2001 to 2006, the percentage of new products cut from development after Phase II clinical trials, when drugs are first tested against placebo, rose by 20 percent. The failure rate in more extensive Phase III trials increased by 11 percent, mainly due to surprisingly poor showings against placebo. Despite historic levels of industry investment in R&D, the US Food and Drug Administration approved only 19 first-of-their-kind remedies in 2007—the fewest since 1983—and just 24 in 2008. Half of all drugs that fail in late-stage trials drop out of the pipeline due to their inability to beat sugar pills.

It's not that the old meds are getting weaker, drug developers say. It's as if the placebo effect is somehow getting stronger.

Read more at Wired

What's Your Sign?

Print ad from 1969:

Get into high gear. Scramble into a pair of "Horoscope" fun slacks with popular stove-pipe legs ... Cuffless - permanent press. At better selected stores. About $9.00.

Source: copyranter

650 Million Years In 90 Seconds


I can finally take that trip to Australia.

Source: Supertremendous

Via: Urlesque

Floating On A Cloud


The Cloud Sofa won an honorable mention in the RELAX furniture design competition sponsored by Yanko Design. According to designer D.K. Wei, “the soft floating upper part is supported by the magnetic force generated by the bottom base.”

Website: Yanko Design

Via: Trendhunter

26 August 2009

Wage Gap


Source: Indexed

Via: Feministing

Happy Anniversary - Women's Equality Day


In 1971, Representative Bella Abzug (D-NY) started Women's Equality Day to commemorate the ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote.

Read more at the National Women's History Project

25 August 2009

24 August 2009

A Conversation With A Scientologist

31 August 2009. The video was removed from YouTube, but you can watch at Gawker.

Filmed by an ex-Scientologist, "Axiom142." From YouTube:

This video was filmed on the 22nd of Aug 2009 in East Grinstead, United Kingdom. I asked a Church of Scientology Sea Org member if he knew that David Miscavige had been beating his staff and that Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder had left the CoS and were speaking out. His response is shown here. Sea Org members claim to be the most sane, rational and ethical people on the planet. You wouldnt know it from this.
From a Gawker tipster:
You might need a translator to understand what's going on there, but that just adds to the appeal. I'll do my best to try to explain the jargon:

The "time track" or "whole track" is the entirety of all the lives a person's "thetan" (soul/spirit) has lived before.

Being stuck on an "incident" means that something in this life, or more likely a past life is holding you back. Not only something that happened to you, but most likely something wrong you did. A common Scientologists find is in a past life they were a Nazi.

"The Bridge" is the name for some one's rank or level attained in Scientology, such as the infamous OT III or Clear. It is said by ex-Scientologists on the web that the man in this video is George Baillie, an OT VIII, which the highest level one can attain in Scientology.[1]

A "squirrel" is a derogatory term for anyone who perverts Scientology text or doctrine.

The "Sea Org" is Scientology's paramilitary branch, which holds little parallel to any other religious group. The closest thing I can think of is a combination of joining a faux-navy combined with a clergy, but with way worse living conditions and far more abuse.

"Re-stimulated" means being affected by an "incident" very strongly.

A "locational" is attempting through Scientology methods to locate and discuss said "incident" until it is no longer a problem.

An "S.P." is a "suppressive person" the general term applied to people who are against Scientology, or bad for society. The Scientology view holds these things are one and the same.

OSA is the Office of Special Affairs, the Church of Scientology's private investigation's branch and internal intelligence agency. Like the CIA for Scientology.

An "electronic incident" may refer to some form of brain washing implemented in a past life, likely by a psychiatrist and or alien.
Source: YouTube

Via: Gawker

Danyl Johnson's X Factor Audition



Source: X Factor: Danyl Johnson Audition

Uploaded by iMMOnline. - Classic TV and last night's shows, online.

23 August 2009

Sporcle | Mentally Stimulating Diversions



Sporcle currently offers almost 2,000 timed trivia quizzes on a variety of topics including movies, television, geography, literature, history, religion, science, music, and sports.
Originally begun as a sports pick'em site, Sporcle changed directions with the response to the first quiz, U.S. Presidents. As avid crossword, Jeopardy! and trivia fans, we created that original quiz not only to test knowledge, but also as a way to learn a piece of information that seemed to come up again and again.

Since then, Sporcle has continued to create quizzes for entertainment, memory and diversion (don't worry, we won't tell your boss).
Website: Sporcle

21 August 2009

Nibblers, Pigirds, And Dogirds

Animmorphs from humandescent.







Website: humandescent

Via: Trendhunter

The Imaginary World of Travis Louie




From his Website:
Louie’s paintings come from the tiny little drawings and many writings in his journals. He’s created his own imaginary world that is grounded in Victorian and Edwardian times. It is inhabited by human oddities, mythical beings, and otherworldly characters who appear to have had their formal portraits taken to mark their existence and place in society.
The visual style of his work is mostly influenced by the lighting and atmosphere of German Expressionist and Film Noir motion pictures from the Silent Era to the late 1950’s. Films from directors like F W Murnau, Fritz Lang, Orson Welles, Robert Siodmak, Robert Aldrich, Jacque Tourneur, and cinematographer, Greg Toland, had a great effect on the way he wanted his paintings to look.
Website: Travis Louie

20 August 2009

Ten Dimensions

Source: YouTube

Via: Gizmodo

Women's Attitudes Towards Domestic Violence

This graphic represents the percentage of girls and women aged 15–49 who responded that a husband or partner is justified in hitting or beating his wife under certain circumstances(2001–2007).

Source: Unicef

Graphic: Global Health Magazine

Winkers

Source: YouTube

19 August 2009

Progressive Auckland, NZ Church

This ad for St. Matthew-in-the-City Anglican Church supports the notion that they "enjoy thinking outside the box."

Website: St. Matthew-in-the-City

18 August 2009

Photobombing

The fine art of high-jacking photographs.







Websites: This Is Photobomb, The Chive, Photobombing

The Angolan Simpsons

Africa's digital satellite television service is now offering The Simpsons on channel Bue in Angola. This "re-imagined" illustration is part of the ad campaign.

The inspiration?

Source: copyranter via ANIMAL New York

Image: Ads of the World

17 August 2009

Bacon Would Be Better

MeatCards.com is a site devoted to documenting the development and marketing of the beef jerky business card.

We start with 100% beef jerky, and SEAR your contact information into it with a 150 WATT CO2 LASER.

Screw die-cutting. Forget about foil, popups, or UV spot lamination. THESE business cards have two ingredients: MEAT AND LASERS.

Unlike other business cards, MEAT CARDS will retain value after the econopocalypse. Hoard and barter your calorie-rich, life-sustaining cards.

MEAT CARDS do not fit in a Rolodex, because their deliciousness CANNOT BE CONTAINED in a Rolodex.
Note that the name on the prototype card is "Patrick Bateman", the bloodthirsty psychopath from American Psycho.

Website: MeatCards.com

The "Best" Of Craigslist

More unedited ads from craigslist.

WhaleMobile *UNIQUE*
This one of a kind "WhaleMobile" is for sale. It needs new tires, but otherwise starts right up and runs fine. Not street legal, but still fun to drive, good for birthday parties and events. A lever inside the cockpit controls the whale tail, and allows some up and down motion. Water pump inside cockpit still works, and will build up pressure to be released through blowhole up top. It has working headlights.

This was a project my grandfather worked on when I was a kid, and it used to terrify me, as I have an inexplicable fear of these evil creatures. I am hoping to sell it by the end of the month, as I owe child support and don't have the cash to cover it at the moment. This was built off of the frame of an otherwise perfect 1986 Yugo Cabrio. The vehicle itself has 38,000 miles on it, but it was badly damaged in a hailstorm and the bodywork was completely demolished. My grandfather got the idea of turning it into a WhaleMobile off of some cartoon, and he took his crazy idea and ran with it.

Serious inquiries only, but all are welcome to come and see the WhaleMobile in action. Please leave the harpoons at home.

Call me directly at 502.XXX.1137 for more details, leave a message if I don't answer.
1,325 Pope Hats
Because of this terrible economy, I'm having to shut down my business. I have OVER 1300 Pope hats (replicas) that I REALLY need to get rid of. The pope hats came from China and are a little too small for most adult heads and are also irritating to the skin, so you would need to have long hair or wear a smaller hat underneath (just like the REAL POPE). Dogs do not like to wear these pope hats, but maybe a large cat or maybe a nice dog would wear one. My dogs will not but they are not very nice and always hate being dressed up like for Halloween when we tried to dress them up like batman but they became very very agitated and bit a neighbors kid. I will lock the dogs up when you come get all of these pope hats.

My wife is a devout catholic and she finds the presence of all of these pope hats all over the house to be blasphemous. I have pope hats in every closet, pope hats under the sink, pope hats full of other pope hats. She will not stop talking to me about getting rid of the pope hats and has started lighting candles all over the house for my soul but these pope hats are extremely flammable so its a problem in my house (there are pope hats everywhere).

I payed 10x what I'm asking for when I bought these pope hats. I still think there is a market for them maybe when the economy turns around. Act NOW! Don't miss this great deal! I have 1,325 total (I counted this morning). 3 of them have some dog bites and one of them is burnt to a crisp, but you can take that one or leave it. Bring 2-3 strong friends.
Sweet Maverick seeks Commitment-Minded Professor or Researcher
If you accept that I am an intuitive and unconventional soul of high integrity; if you accept that I cannot march but to the beat of my own drum, you may be a good fit to become my best friend and life partner.

Since I have been surrounded by brilliant academics all through my life, I know for sure that they are my best match. A slightly Bohemian, unattached, monogamous and spiritual scholar would be my ideal counterpart.

My exes are academics as well, and I did help them a lot in editing their articles and keynote speeches.

Words like casual dating, instant gratification and one-night stand are entirely missing from my dictionary. If you live by different rules, you are reading the wrong ad.

I am a lot of women in a woman. Everything you have gone through in Life, I went through ten times worse and ten times longer.

However, instead of surrendering my fate to priests, doctors, lawyers, gurus, MBAs and other consultants, I joyfully connect to the Inner Light of my own Soul. That makes me one of a kind and keeps me young.

As the only Eastern-type mystic in a European Judeo-Christian family of left-brain governed, high-profile intellectuals, I consider myself unique.

Although my peers, friends and family views me as someone whose thinking is a few sigma from the median, we love each other endlessly; that is all what counts.

When my parents first brought me back from the hospital in early spring, our courtyard became full of blooming yellow roses. This is a rare occurrence in my home country, so a relative of ours sought out for a Rebbe to decipher this coincidence.

We learnt from the holy man that I came to this planet to manifest the qualities of Tiferet, the Sacred Heart of the Tree of Life. (Wiki has a good explanation).

Later on in my life, the same Rebbe agreed to teach me the basics of Kabbala / Zohar at times and in a country where this mystical knowledge was forbidden to females. Let alone goyishe kups!

I cannot take ANY credit for my verbal dexterity, astuteness and general mind power. It comes directly from my Dad. I inherited my teaching talent from him as well. Although he should have been a stand-up comedian, he was a top academic instructor of his field until he moved on to do other things.

My converted Catholic Mum is fully responsible for the pragmatic streak in me.

My polyglot grandparents passed on some genes to have a decent working knowledge of at least half-a-dozen languages.

My former professors and my family will forever resent the fact that in spite of the top grades I got, I decided not to continue on with a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience.

The world may have lost a bright scholar, but humanity may have gained a humble servant with a compassionate heart. I feel I fulfill my soul purpose better as a performer of random acts of kindness and senseless beauty. (I do them in secret; that is pretty much the only secret I keep�)

Like a typical only child, solitude is my bliss and being self-sufficient is my middle name; however, my EQ score did not fall in my lap. Loneliness and/or boredom are unknown to me.

My close friends tell me that I am much like Madonna. I do admire her discipline, determination and her willingness to change perpetually. I also have a special connection with dance (classical ballet). However, I used to be cast in shows with spiritual themes.

Choreographers recognized early on that my body and artistic expression is well suited to express and transmit powerful female energies (i.e. Shiva�s wives, Tara, Celtic goddesses, Pocahontas and the like).

I can compose faster than most people talk, but I probably reached the point of no return as it comes to an average human�s focus of attention.

As I end this message, I genuinely thank you for reading this missive. I believe it is not a coincidence that you read it. Allow me to send you love in this moment. We know that time is an illusion, right?

I attached my most recent picture taken on Friday, May 22, 2009. -Tiffy
You stabbed me, took my gold, and I fell in love - m4w
Last night, I was strolling back towards town to sell all the junk I'd picked up for from leveling and I met you. I was the level 9 Magician, letting my guard down as I neared the safety of the town gates and guards. You were the level 43 assassin who killed me in one hit, inches from safety, then took my gold. You have long green hair and a dagger of ogre slaying (no offense taken). You took my gold, stayed with my body for a second, then blinked a few feet away and continued running. The moment was short, and was also probably just lag, but it was the most meaningful one I've had so far. Find me in game, I'll wait outside town. And don't worry, I don't need the gold back, just you.

Location: Forest of the Elders

Paper Disco


Source: YouTube

Via: Milk and Cookies

16 August 2009

View Documentaries For Free At SnagFilms.com

More than 800 documentary films are available online through SnagFilms.com. The site not only offers familiar documentaries like Nanking, The Times of Harvey Milk, Super Size Me, and many National Geographic specials, it showcases new works by unknown artists.
SnagFilms is committed to finding the world‘s most compelling documentaries, whether from established heavyweights or first-time filmmakers, and making them available to the wide audience these titles deserve ... Widgets let you take your favorite films to your own Website, blog, Facebook, or MySpace page ...

We provide a link for you to a charity related to the topic of each film (many of them selected by the filmmaker) so you can get involved, immediately. And just by embedding our widgets, you’ve donated your pixels and helped support independent film.
The Atheism Tapes: Richard Dawkins, a thirty-minute interview with the controversial biologist, is embedded below.

14 August 2009

Sand Artist Wins "Ukraine's Got Talent"

Kseniya Simonova is a Ukrainian artist who just won Ukraine's version of "America's Got Talent." She uses a giant light box, dramatic music, imagination, and "sand painting" skills to interpret Germany's invasion and occupation of Ukraine during WWII.



Source: YouTube

07 August 2009

Dead Lenin Cake

The little girl's face says it all.

Via: Cakewrecks

06 August 2009

Animated Short Films

Looking Thru The B-Sides by Golden Lucky (7m 49s)



Bendito Machine (Episode 1 - Everything You Need) by Jossie Malis (4m 58s)



Muzorama by Elsa Brehin, Raphaƫl Calamote, Mauro Carraro, Maxime Cazaux, Emilien Davaux, Laurent Monneron and Axel Tillement (3m 13s)



Source: Vimeo and YouTube

Via: Listicles

05 August 2009

Psycho Donuts

Mental health advocates in Campbell, California are objecting to a new donut shop which claims to take donuts to "the next demented level."

According to ABC News,

... customers are handed bubble wrap to pop as they come through the door. Cashiers dress in old-fashioned nurses' outfits and patrons can get their picture taken in straight jackets near a mock padded room before they head out to sit in the "group therapy" area.

Featured donuts include (left to right) the Manic Malt, the BiPolar, and the Massive Head Trauma (M.H.T.)

The shop is also an art gallery and video arts sponsor.

Source: ABC News

Website: Psycho Donuts

Create Your Own Kenyan Birth Certificate

Fun for the whole family! I made one for Lou Dobbs.


Website: Republic of Kenya Birth Certificate Generator

Via: The Awl

Toddler Lights And Smokes Cigarette

At least it's filtered.



Via: LiveLeak

03 August 2009

MUFON Case #18440

On 2 August, the director of the Maryland State Mutual UFO Network filed the following report after noticing an unusual object in the sky. This is an excerpt, minimally edited for clarity and punctuation, and to remove individuals' names. The photo is from the MUFON Website.

On the way to Carroll County Airport (15 miles west) from our 1st Maryland Mufon meeting, held in the 9000 block Baltimore National Pike, I snapped 4 shots of this. Rolling Road looking north at Security Blvd. I noticed this at a stop light. Jumped out and got camera out of trunk.

This object caught my attention as it was hovering. Altitude est. 1500-2000 feet agl. It has 4 distinct protrusions out all sides. I shot it with Sony Power Shotsx1015. This was the closest first shot through windshield of car. We pulled off asap and I shot 3 more.

We followed noiseless object about 3 miles north speed estimated at 30 mph. No noise. Object on a straight line trajectory at times motionless consistently ascending. Winds at Carroll County 160* @ 5 knots. This object's trajectory was on a 330*-360* heading. As a commercial jet approached (160*-180* heading) on a divergent course (at Rolling and Windsor Mill), object just vanished.

I was passenger in front seat of vehicle and had visual contact with object at all times...What struck me were the protrusions (4) and motion. There is a video shot by 2 men in Bahamas (youtube) almost identical. Camp David restrictions were in effect 45 miles NNW. This object was in the outer Class B veil of BWI 2500/10000.

Source: Mutual UFO Network

No We Do Not Have Change For The Meters. Thank You For Not Asking.

Passive Aggresssive Notes may play a little fast and loose with the clinical definition of "passive-aggressive" but the entries do reflect the frustration and aversion to confrontion of disgruntled co-workers, family members, and roommates.


Website: Passive Aggressive Notes

01 August 2009

Nice Tomato! I'll Take That For My Sandwich!

7 August 2009. The "Hippie Weirdo Yoga Farmers" video is no longer available. Robin Maxwell, the wife of Yogi Oki Doki (Max Thomas) and executive producer of "E-I-E-I Yoga" had the video removed. Read her explanation at Yoga Dork.

This video featuring Yogi Oki Doki popped up during a search for information about teaching conscious breathing techniques. Watch it more than once (preferably with an adult beverage) to capture all the skeeviness.



Source: YouTube

Blind Ear Music: Composing In Real Time

Members of Blind Ear Music have developed a computerized real-time composition system which gives the composer the ability to communicate directly with the musicians and allows instant feedback.

The composer creates the music at a "master" laptop. The players read visual cues/notes on individual laptop screens. There is no conductor.



Source: Blind Ear Music Channel on YouTube

Website: Blind Ear Music