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Thursday, July 31, 2008

SL65 Black Series Microsite

MONTVALE, New Jersey — Mercedes-Benz has just launched a microsite for the SL65 AMG Black Series, whetting the appetite for the automaker's newest hypercar.

Flash animation abounds, including a page called "The Elements" on which visitors can explore specs on everything from the exhaust to the luxurious interior on a mock periodic table. New studio pics of the Black Series SL are also featured. They're downloadable in a range of sizes from high-resolution wallpaper versions to smaller copies fit for an iPhone.

Thanks to a 6.0-liter V12 that makes 670 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque, this sporty coupe rockets from zero to 60 mph in less than 3.9 seconds. Its top speed is limited to an impressive 199 mph. The car loses 550 pounds from the stock SL65, although it still weighs more than 2 tons.

What this means to you: A cool new site for a cool ride.

$10,000 Polo Shirt Repels Automatic Weapon Fire

Jul 30th 2008
By G. Xavier Robillard

Fashion designer Miguel Caballero understands that if you lead the high life in crime-ridden Colombia, you should be able to look good while being sprayed by automatic gunfire.

In fact, Caballero has designed a whole line of bulletproof clothing for men and women, including guayaberas, polo shirts, jackets and even an updated version of the classic bulletproof vest. His leather jacket weighs only a few pounds, and nobody would suspect that you had full protection.

In addition to size runs, customers can seek a specific level of protection -- low will only withstand 9MM slugs and high will take on gunfire from Uzis and other automatics.

A few items sell for as low as $2,000, but you'll have to shell out $10 Gs for the polo shirt that withstands automatic weapon fire.

We just hope the bad guys don't start using flamethrowers. Watch testing Caballero's bulletproof gear after the jump.

In case you get hit in the head, check out these badass graves:

17 photos
Rodney Dangerfield This epitaph gets a lot of respect from us.

Secrets of the World's Oldest Calculator Are Revealed Today

The secrets of the worlds oldest calculating machine are revealed today, showing that it had dials to mark the timing of eclipses and the Olympic games. Ever since the spectacular bronze device was discovered in 1900, it was found to be have existed long before the birth of Christ and was one of the wonders of the ancient world.

read more | digg story

Top Ten Unintentionally Worst Company URL's

1. A site called 'Who Represents' where you can find the name of the agent that
represents a celebrity. Their domain name... wait for it... is

2. Experts Exchange, a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and
views at

3. Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island at

4. Need a therapist? Try Therapist Finder at

5. Then of course, there's the Italian Power Generator company...

6. And now, we have the Mole Station Native Nursery, based in New South Wales:

7. If you're looking for computer software, there's always

8. Welcome to the First Cumming Methodist Church. Their website is

9. Then, of course, there's these brainless art designers, and their whacky

10. Want to holiday in Lake Tahoe? Try their brochure website at

The 25 US Cities with the Highest Percentage of Singles

Here are the towns with the highest percentage of singles, with an over-30 scene.

Rank City % population single
1 Hoboken, NJ 57.7%
2 Cambridge, MA 52.4%
3 Somerville, MA 51.4%
4 Berkeley, CA 51.2%
5 Boston, MA 50.3%
6 Burlington, VT 50.0%
7 Washington, DC 48.5%
8 Boulder, CO 48.2%
9 North Druid Hills, GA 47.6%
10 Hermosa Beach, CA 47.2%
11 Minneapolis, MN 46.3%
12 Hempstead, NY 45.8%
13 Atlanta, GA 45.7%
14 Syracuse, NY 45.6%
15 Albany, NY 45.4%
16 Hartford, CT 45.3%
17 Santa Cruz, CA 45.3%
18 New Haven, CT 44.9%
19 San Francisco, CA 44.7%
20 Newark, NJ 44.1%
21 East Orange, NJ 44.0%
22 St. Andrews, SC 44.0%
23 Marquette, MI 44.0%
24 Tempe, AZ 43.8%
25 Madison, WI 43.7%
From the August 2008 issue
Source: Census, OnBoard projections/aggregations

The LEGO Testament

Dr. Geek, Ph.D. | |

The LEGO Last Supper

If choosing between Sunday School and LEGO blocks was difficult for you as a child, The Brick Testament may just be the Web site for you. The premise is simple. Take passages of the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible and act them out in series of dioramas of LEGO blocks.

Be warned: this is not a wholly reverent interpretation. The author, The Reverend Brendan Powell Smith, is actually an artist, author, and atheist, although he does hold a degree in Philosophy & Religion from Boston University. Some of the humor in the site is meant to be slightly controversial, no doubt.

Mostly, it is all just good clean LEGO fun… well except for the sex, the violence, and the nudity (all according to the text of the Bible). Some of the material is probably not what was usually covered in Sunday School. As LEGO art, however, it is simply amazing.

The Brick Testamen

10 Skills You Need to Succeed at Almost Anything

10 SKills You Need to Succeed at Almost Anything

What does it take to succeed? A positive attitude? Well, sure, but that’s hardly enough. The Law of Attraction? The Secret? These ideas might act as spurs to action, but without the action itself, they don’t do much.

Success, however it’s defined, takes action, and taking good and appropriate action takes skills. Some of these skills (not enough, though) are taught in school (not well enough, either), others are taught on the job, and still others we learn from general life experience.

Below is a list of general skills that will help anyone get ahead in practically any field, from running a company to running a gardening club. Of course, there are skills specific to each field as well – but my concern here is with the skills that translate across disciplines, the ones that can be learned by anyone in any position.

1. Public Speaking

The ability to speak clearly, persuasively, and forcefully in front of an audience – whether an audience of 1 or of thousands – is one of the most important skills anyone can develop. People who are effective speakers come across as more comfortable with themselves, more confident, and more attractive to be around. Being able to speak effectively means you can sell anything – products, of course, but also ideas, ideologies, worldviews. And yourself – which means more opportunities for career advancement, bigger clients, or business funding.

2. Writing

Writing well offers many of the same advantages that speaking well offers: good writers are better at selling products, ideas, and themselves than poor writers. Learning to write well involves not just mastery of grammar but the development of the ability to organize one’s thoughts into a coherent form and target it to an audience in the most effective way possible. Given the huge amount of text generated by almost every transaction – from court briefs and legislation running into the thousands of pages to those foot-long receipts you get when you buy gum these days – a person who is a master of the written word can expect doors to open in just about every field.

3. Self-Management

If success depends of effective action, effective action depends on the ability to focus your attention where it is needed most, when it is needed most. Strong organizational skills, effective productivity habits, and a strong sense of discipline are needed to keep yourself on track.

4. Networking

Networking is not only for finding jobs or clients. In an economy dominated by ideas and innovation, networking creates the channel through which ideas flow and in which new ideas are created. A large network, carefully cultivated, ties one into not just a body of people but a body of relationships, and those relationships are more than just the sum of their parts. The interactions those relationships make possible give rise to innovation and creativity – and provide the support to nurture new ideas until they can be realized.

5. Critical Thinking

We are exposed to hundreds, if not thousands, of times more information on a daily basis than our great-grandparents were. Being able to evaluate that information, sort the potentially valuable from the trivial, analyze its relevance and meaning, and relate it to other information is crucial – and woefully under-taught. Good critical thinking skills immediately distinguish you from the mass of people these days.

6. Decision-Making

The bridge that leads from analysis to action is effective decision-making – knowing what to do based on the information available. While not being critical can be dangerous, so too can over-analyzing, or waiting for more information before making a decision. Being able to take in the scene and respond quickly and effectively is what separates the doers from the wannabes.

7. Math

You don’t have to be able to integrate polynomials to be successful. However, the ability to quickly work with figures in your head, to make rough but fairly accurate estimates, and to understand things like compound interest and basic statistics gives you a big lead on most people. All of these skills will help you to analyze data more effectively – and more quickly – and to make better decisions based on it.

8. Research

Nobody can be expected to know everything, or even a tiny fraction of everything. Even within your field, chances are there’s far more that you don’t know than you do know. You don’t have to know everything – but you should be able to quickly and painlessly find out what you need to know. That means learning to use the Internet effectively, learning to use a library, learning to read productively, and learning how to leverage your network of contacts – and what kinds of research are going to work best in any given situation.

9. Relaxation

Stress will not only kill you, it leads to poor decision-making, poor thinking, and poor socialization. So be failing to relax, you knock out at least three of the skills in this list – and really more. Plus, working yourself to death in order to keep up, and not having any time to enjoy the fruits of your work, isn’t really “success”. It’s obsession. Being able to face even the most pressing crises with your wits about you and in the most productive way is possibly the most important thing on this list.

10. Basic Accounting

It is a simple fact in our society that money is necessary. Even the simple pleasures in life, like hugging your child, ultimately need money – or you’re not going to survive to hug for very long. Knowing how to track and record your expenses and income is important just to survive, let alone to thrive. But more than that, the principles of accounting apply more widely to things like tracking the time you spend on a project or determining whether the value of an action outweighs the costs in money, time, and effort. It’s a shame that basic accounting isn’t a required part of the core K-12 curriculum.

Their feud up in smoke, Cheech and Chong are high on reunion comedy tour plans


Associated Press Writer

Cheech and Chong

Cheech Marin, left, and Tommy Chong (AP/Matt Sayles)

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Their feud finally having gone up in smoke, Cheech and Chong say they're eager to get back on the road for their first comedy tour in more than 25 years.

"We had such a legacy, such a history. We couldn't escape it, even if we tried," Tommy Chong told reporters at a news conference Wednesday at the Troubadour, the Los Angeles nightclub where the pair were discovered more than 35 years ago.

The duo said their "Light Up America" tour will kick off Sept. 12 in Philadelphia.

"It's going to be very theatrical," said Cheech Marin.

If Wednesday's news conference was an indication, it won't spare the pothead humor, either.

"We're definitely still smoking," Chong said when asked.

"I get transfusions now," quipped Marin.

"I like the taste," Chong said. "I'm old fashioned."

Marin told AP Radio earlier this month that he and the 70-year-old Chong had recently decided that if ever they were to reunite the time was now because, "You're not getting any younger and neither am I."

They tossed around some ideas and figured a comedy tour would be "the most fun" and "the least hassle," the 62-year-old Marin said.

Marin and Chong, who broke up amid creative differences, have tried to reunite before, but have always fought too much.

"It takes about three minutes for that to happen, Marin said. "There's this veiled hatred." But he added: "We've kind of resolved that."

During their original run, Marin and Chong released nine comedy albums between 1972 and 1985, were nominated for four Grammy Awards and won one. They also starred in eight feature films, almost always portraying a pair of comical stoners.

"We've gotten to the age where we don't feel like fighting anymore," Marin said, "because the end is a lot closer than the beginning."


Associated Press writers Michael Weinfeld in Washington and John Rogers in Los Angeles contributed to this report.


On the Net:

An Illustrated Guide to Every Stupid Cable You Need

We put up with too many cables. There are at least four different kinds of USB plugs, two kinds of FireWire and like a million different ways to connect something to TV or monitor. Modern gadget life can be kind of retarded in this way. Why not one kind of cable, or just a couple? I don't know. But until everyone gets on the same appendage-to-hole

read more | digg story

Going to Jail? Here's How to Survive Your Stay

Man in jail - Credit:
How to survive jail

If Paris Hilton can learn how to survive jail, then you sure as hell can. Whether you’re going in for a driving offense, committing some fraudulent activity or stealing from a department store after you saw something you just couldn’t live without, then you need to pay the price and learn how to survive jail like a man.

read more | digg story

Mars Express acquires sharpest images of martian moon Phobos

Geometry of the Phobos flyby

Geometry of the Phobos flyby

Mars Express closed in on the intriguing martian moon Phobos at 6:49 CEST on 23 July, flying past at 3 km/s, only 93 km from the moon. The ESA spacecraft’s fly-bys of the moon have returned its most detailed full-disc images ever, also in 3-D, using the High Resolution Stereo Camera on board.

read more | digg story

Man completes world's biggest piece jigsaw which took six months and has 24,000 pieces

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 5:02 PM on 30th July 2008

Eric Smith is celebrating after spending the last six months completing the world's biggest jigsaw.

The 73-year-old used 24,000-pieces to complete the huge 12ft by six puzzle, which now stands proudly in his garage.

During the meticulous 179 day process furniture had to be moved out of rooms and a special table built just so Eric had enough room to construct the spectacular jigsaw.

Eric Smith

Puzzled: Eric Smith spent six months completing the world's biggest jigsaw

But after 537 hours the colourful creation - featuring fish, birds, mammals, planets and buildings - was finally completed by the devoted father of two, luckily with no pieces missing.

Eric, from Baddeley Green, Stoke-On-Trent, is believed to be one of just two people in the UK to have completed the giant brain teaser.

He said: 'This is the nicest jigsaw I have ever done and I am really chuffed at how quick I have done it.

'I found all sorts of different animals as I went along and it is very colourful.


The jigsaw has 10 or 12 puzzles in the one

It has about 10 or 12 different puzzles inside one giant puzzle, I was really pleased to complete it.

'You certainly couldn't take a photograph that big, so it's a very special picture and I keep finding new animals and things in it.

'I have enjoyed spending two or three hours a night on this one.'

Eric started doing the puzzles as a hobby about 30 years ago and has only ever lost three pieces of a jigsaw.

The biggest puzzle he had previously completed was 18,000 pieces but Eric says this was the most enjoyable.

colourful creation

Segment of Eric's 'colourful creation'

The retired sales manager, added: 'I just seem to have a knack of doing jigsaw's really well,I can't walk past one without finding a couple of pieces and putting them in.

'I can do little ones so quickly that I'd be getting through one a week. As soon as I see a new big one out, I have got to get it.

'I have done a number of jigsaws from 10,000 pieces upwards in the past but this is the biggest in the world.'

Eric is now thinking of donating the jigsaw to a new hospital that is being built in North Staffordshire but is still open to suggestions from charities who might want it.

He is looking forward to his next challenge and can't wait for a bigger one to come out.

His wife Marion, aged 76, admits she hasn't got the knack for jigsaws but enjoys seeing them completed.

She said: I would rather do a crossword or embroidery but if it keeps him happy I don't mind him doing it.

'I love to see them when they are finished, they're always so colourful.

'Everyone thinks it is marvellous how he does it, because it takes a lot of patience.

'However, it does keep him up late at night if he is engrossed in it. It can be 2am when he comes to bed sometimes.'

Royce B. McClure, the jigsaws designer, said on his website: 'The challenge for me in a puzzle of this huge size was to eliminate large areas where no changes take place.

'This, of course, means the puzzle will look quite 'noisy' when shrunk down on the box or in a brochure.

'I hope that the puzzlers who accept the challenge to do this puzzle understand that if the art looks perfectly pleasing in a small size, then it will drive you mad with boredom when blown up to a huge size then cut up into small single coloured pieces.

'The puzzle comes in four packets, breaking the art up into four vertical sections that join together to make 'Life'.

'I have tried to make each section different enough from the other sections so that you won't feel that you are doing the same puzzle over and over.'

2009 WRX gets a big bump

CHERRY HILL, NJ — One year after releasing its redesigned WRX, Subaru is adding more performance to the cult car. The WRX's existing 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine will be bumped to 265 horsepower and 244 pound-feet of torque — a 41 hp and 18 lb-ft bump from the current car. A five-speed manual will be the only transmission option for 2009.

Stiffer spring rates, larger antiroll bars, retuned dampers and upper strut mounts from the STI will accompany the additional power. Lower-profile 225/45R17 summer tires replace the current car's 205/50 rubber to aid the attitude adjustment.

Minor styling tweaks will help distinguish 2009 model WRXs. The Aero package — previously an option — is now standard on both sedan and five-door models as is a new STI-type grille. The five-door also gets the STI's rear spoiler and diffuser.

The new-for-2009 Impreza GT model will retain the current WRX's 224-hp engine and be available exclusively with a four-speed automatic transmission.

What this means to you: Subaru has heard the cries from its loyalists and is returning the WRX to its proper station as a performance car.