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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Whale Penis Leather Option Dumped by Russian Luxury Armored Car Company

by Michael Graham Richard, Ottawa, Canada

Dartz Prombron Monaco Red Diamond photo
Photo: Dartz

A New Kind of Penis Car For Billionaire Oligarchs with No Taste
Some companies specialize in excess. Nobody really needs a Rolls Royce, but some people feel a need for exclusivity. Other companies go ever further and attempt excessive excess, like Dartz with its Prombron Monaco Red Diamond Edition armoured car (price tag: £1 million, or $1.65 million). It comes with tons of bling, such as ridiculously hyper-expensive vodka in a flask made out of pure gold, gold-plated windows, pure tungsten exhausts, and diamond-encrusted white gold speed gauges. Totally ridiculous, but I guess if you're some billionaire oligarch with no taste, it can work. Dartz seems to have gone a bit too far with the seats, though: They wanted to make them from whale penis leather (apparently it's very soft), and this drew protest from many environmental groups.

whale what

I suppose it's more about the principle than anything else. How many of these monstrosities will Dartz really make? Still, one is too many if a whale has to die just so rich people can sit on marginally softer seats.

After getting lots of angry emails from Greenpeace, the WWF, and PETA's Pamela Anderson, the company decided to drop the whale penis leather seats option. Their press release is quite something (and seems very unprofessional for a company that wants you to pay an insane amount of cash for its products).

Be sure not to miss the shout out to whales at the end

We have no any ideas to kill the whale or something like that. All we want - to make just luxury car. Real luxury car which will be world number one car. [...] All we want to unite luxury and armoring traditions of RussoBalt factory in one car, which brand celebrated 100 years now. At 1922 RussoBalt was renamed to PROMBRON' (ex.RussoBalt).

We just looking for most expensive products for this car - and that's why we choosed whale penis leathure when we checked it is most of most. After wave of protest we realised our mistake and make a decision not to use natural leathure at all. We will focus on world most advanced nanotechnologies to achieve interior highest quality using artificial materials which also was never used for cars. We want to tell our hello to all whales: "Our Sea Brothers! We all know that earth are stand on three whales - we will keep You live! We don't Earth fall down to Ocean!

Dartz Prombron Monaco Red Diamond photo
Photo: Daily Mail

Dartz Prombron Monaco Red Diamond photo
Photo: Daily Mail

In the end, Dartz is probably happy about all this. It's great publicity for their product, and they won't have to find a supplier that carries whale penises.

Trivia: This is the same company that built armored vehicles for Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, and Tsar Nicolas.

Via Wired, Daily Mail

The Price of Plastic Surgery

Click to Enlarge

Leggo Your Eggo: There's a Waffle Shortage

by Julianne Pepitone

provided by

Kellogg is rationing its Eggo products due to flooding and equipment problems at two bakeries. The shortfall could last through mid-2010.

Better hoard your Eggos!

Grocery stores will be experiencing a shortage of the waffles until mid-2010 due to problems at two bakeries, a Kellogg's spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

Flooding at an Atlanta bakery during heavy rains in October forced Kellogg, which makes Eggo products, to shut down production temporarily, said company spokesman Kris Charles. Plus, equipment at Kellogg's largest waffle facility, based in Rossville, Tenn., needs extensive repairs.

"We are working around the clock to restore Eggo store inventories to normal levels as quickly as possible," Charles said in an e-mail.

Remaining inventory will be rationed to stores across the country "based on historical percentage of business."

Production figures are confidential, Charles said, but Charles added that all lines are operational except for several lines at the Rossville plant.

Chad, a grocery manager at King Soopers in Denver who declined to give his last name, said his store is "seeing some shortage, but not much." A Kroger in Jackson, Miss., was also experiencing shortages, according to a manager in the frozen foods sections. At Fairway in New York City, Eggos were in full supply, however, according to a manager at the Red Hook location.

The production problems will also affect other Eggo products, including pancakes, syrup and other breakfast food. To alert customers, Kellogg has placed a warning to customers on top of its Eggo Web site and placed notices in some grocery stores.

Twitter bites back. Eggo enthusiasts took to the Internet to mourn the shortage. Lovers of the Twilight vampire movie series thinking about another kind of bite, as Twitter fanpage editors comforted each other via the social media site.

User @KStew411, a page devoted to Twilight star Kristen Stewart, tweeted on Tuesday: "I am despondent. DESPONDENT. My 4 food groups are: tacos, skittles, pop, and eggos!"

User @cullenluv sent a message of support: "We're outta Eggos here, too!! It's a national tragedy!!"

Copyrighted, CNNMoney. All Rights Reserved

'Stripper-Mobile' Proves Every Las Vegas Stereotype Correct

Just read an article about a truck that drives around Las Vegas with a stripper dancing in it, and boy are my preconceived notions about that place tired (from being completely confirmed.) Whatever happens in Vegas, is ridiculous in Vegas.

The article (which is incomprehensibly only the second most-read article on the Las Vegas Sun's website) focuses on the "safety" and "decency" concerns raised by locals re: the mobile sin platform, which was devised as an advertisement for Deja Vu Showgirls and is described thusly:

It's akin to a small U-Haul truck but with Plexiglas surrounding the brightly lit cargo area instead of walls. In the middle is a gleaming stripper pole. Swinging around the pole is a scantily clad young woman. Two of her fellow strippers are in the back of the truck too, awaiting their turns.

Puttering up and down Las Vegas Boulevard on Monday night, it was photographed by nearly everyone it pulled alongside, from CityCenter construction workers to an SUV-load of 20-somethings from Colorado.

Yes, that sounds pretty distracting. In fact, I would say if a driver making his way down the Strip was watching a DVD of Wall-E on a television screen that covered his entire windshield while simultaneously breaking up with his girlfriend via text message and solving a complex math problem on an abacus he would be only 76% as distracted as if he was watching the stripper-mobile wend its way through Sin City. Imagine seeing the Pope-mobile driving down the road, only the Pope was stripping in it. That's the level of distraction we're dealing with it.

Concerned citizens have been complaining to city officials about the stripper-mobile. But it turns out, unsurprisingly, that Las Vegas does not have any laws precluding women from stripping in a truck:

Nothing about the women or the truck is illegal, a Metro Police spokesman said. "As long as it's not impeding traffic, it's fine," Officer Jacinto Rivera explained.

Yes, everything is kosher so long as people continue driving their cars while they photograph the stripper-mobile, like in this CNN report:

And if the mere existence of the stripper-mobile does not prove to you that Las Vegas is a gloriously wasted blight upon America from which our eventual destruction will spring, consider the hilarious way councilwoman Chris Giunchigliani went about expressing her concerns about it:

I don't care about the content or that they're female dancers. I'm sick of the women, in fact - let's get some men up there for once. But this is just illegal.

Viva Las Vegas!

UPDATE: A blog calling itself the "Nevada Progressive" is defending the Stripper-mobile as an example of "free speech." Now the stripper-mobile has confirmed my preconceived notions of progressives, too!

(photo via Roadsidepictures' Flickr)

Send an email to Adrian Chen, the author of this post, at

History of the Coca-Cola Bottle

Soccer Taunt Backfires on Goalie (Video)

Soccer Taunt Backfires on Goalie

Taunting. In American football, it is addressed by a penalty and sometimes a fine. In soccer it varies. As this video makes clear, not all taunts are created equal, however. Taunts can work in two ways, either the person taunting the opposing team backs it up, or he doesn't. And then of course there's the reaction. Sometimes you get punched, or sometimes this can happen.

In the case of this soccer goalie, he clearly drops the ball on backing up the taunt. The shooter, however, throws it back in his face with a great taunt of his own. Let's set the stage. The place is the 2009 America East Men's Soccer Championship Semifinal. The teams are Stony Brook and Hartford. The game has come down to a shootout.

The shootout is tied 1-1 when the shooter for Stony Brook steps up to take his shot. If you fast forward to about 20 seconds in, the Hartford goalie, instead of doing normal warm-ups, begins to do cartwheels back and forth in the goal. Perhaps it was not meant as a taunt, but it surely was taken as such by the Stony Brook player. An all-out soccer brawl wouldn't have surprised me at that point. Of course the goalie blows it and the goal goes in, and that is when the real fun starts.

After not backing up his taunting, the goalie becomes subject to the shooter mocking his cartwheels. As the goalie tries to walk away, the shooter follows him around mimicking the cartwheels the goalie had done. That's got to be pretty embarrassing. The moral of the story? Don't taunt someone when you can't back it up. Oh and another moral: definitely taunt a person who taunted you if you get the better of them. It is hilarious and emotionally satisfying I'm sure.

Here is the full Video of the Shootout

Hat Tip Video - [DeadSpin]

Five Best Online Backup Tools


Author of this post, at

Local backup is a useful and necessary part of securing your data against catastrophe, but with the advent of broadband and inexpensive online storage, you've got little reason to not back up critical files to the cloud as well.

Photo by jared.

Earlier this week we asked you to share your favorite online backup solutions. Now we're back to share the five most popular solutions Lifehacker readers use to back up their data online and keep it secure in the event that some unforeseen event at their on-site location—fire, flood, theft, someone casts Chain Lighting in the server room—wipes out their local backup.

Note: When contenders in the Hive Five have a free option, we've listed that first, followed by the first level of paid backup they provide. For additional levels and packages click on the name of the backup service for more information.

For additional information on both both Hive Five contenders and other online backup solutions, you can check out this comprehensive comparison chart.

CrashPlan (Windows/Mac/Linux/Open Solaris, Basic [No online storage] Free, Premium [Unlimited] $4.50 per month)

CrashPlan takes an interesting approach with their backup software. You can download the software for free and use it to perform local backups on your computer and home network as well as back up data to a friend's computer if they are also running CrashPlan (so it's sort of off-site if a friend's running it). They don't offer any free introductory plans for online storage like most other online backup providers, but their rate for an unlimited personal account is on par with other providers. The software is very user friendly, and even if you're not sure if you want to commit to paying for an online backup service, it's worth a download just to automate your local backups. If your data goes kaput, you can restore it using the software or you can order a hard copy of your data.

Mozy (Windows/Mac, Basic [2GB] Free, Home Premium [Unlimited] $4.95 per month)

Mozy is an automated backup solution. Once you install the Mozy client on your computer, it will back up any files you specify at the frequency you specify. Mozy can back up files while they are open—so that huge presentation you've been working on for the last few hours will be backed up even if you're still working with it. Mozy also backs up based on file changes, only uploading the portion of a file that has changed and not the entire file all over again (meaning quicker incremental backups after the initial backup). Mozy stores previous versions of your files for easy restoration, and in addition to restoring all your files by downloading them, you can also order a backup on physical media for a fee.

Dropbox (Windows/Mac/Linux, Basic [2GB] Free, Pro [50GB] $9.99 per month)

Once you install Dropbox, a folder, appropriately called "My Dropbox", is placed in the Documents area of your computer. Anything you put into this folder will be synced with your Dropbox account. You can sync files, share files by making the folder they are in public, and restore a previous version of your file—Dropbox keeps a change log going back 30 days. All your files are also accessible via the Dropbox web site, which is great for those times you're at a computer where you don't have Dropbox installed, but you still want to access a document. If you want to sync a folder without putting it directly inside the main My Dropbox folder, you can do that with a little elbow grease, too. Dropbox doesn't have an unlimited option like the rest, but if all you want to back up is your most important documents, it certainly works as off-site backup, and it provides data redundancy on every computer you install it on.

Jungle Disk (Windows/Mac/Linux, Pricing: $2 per month + Per GB Fees)

Jungle Disk takes a different approach to backup on several different levels. Rather than offering a flat rate pricing for unlimited storage, Jungle Disk operates on a fee system. You pay $2 a month per account plus a fee per GB of data used. The fee structure per GB is currently: $0.15 for storage, $0.10 for upload, and $0.17 for download. On the upside, in the face of fee structure you can use your Jungle Disk as a networked disk drive in addition to a remote backup location. Jungle Disk is great at backup, but you can also use it with any application you'd like that can write to a network drive. A bonus for small-volume users is that for small amounts of data, you'll pay less than other backup solutions per month and have a lot more flexibility with how you use your remote storage.

Carbonite (Windows/Mac, Unlimited Storage $4.58 per month)

Carbonite is the other contender in this week's Hive Five that doesn't offer a free basic account with teaser storage. They have a simple pricing plan: $54.95 for a year of unlimited storage from a single computer. Like Mozy, Carbonite also offers block-level incremental backup to speed up the backup process. You can access your files through a web-based interface when you are away from home, and you can use the Carbonite application to restore all or some of your files at any time. Carbonite does not provide a hard copy of your data upon request, so get ready for some heavy downloading time if you've got a lot of data you need to restore.

Send an email to Jason Fitzpatrick,

Rare Headshrinking Footage Confirmed?

November 13, 2009—What could be the only footage of an actual human headshrinking ceremony in South America--which shows heads being boiled and dried--may be real, says an explorer in a new documentary.

Warning: Video contains graphic images.© 2009 National Geographic; Video from Nat Geo Channel

Unedited Transcript:

The National Geographic Channel has obtained what may be the only existing footage of an actual human head-shrinking ceremony in South America.

SOUND: Deep within the worlds largest rain forest live a people that once practiced the infamous ritual.. of head-shrinking.

In its special, author and explorer Piers Gibbon set out to find out if the film is genuine.

The film was made in 1961 by Polish Explorer Edmundo Bielawski, who, with a team of seven, set out to explore and document the worlds largest rain forest: The Amazon.

Head-shrinking was only practiced by one portion of the Amazon jungle-dwelling population- the Shuar. Headshrinking was a form of summary justice carried out on enemies. The shrinking process was deemed necessary to stop the victims evil spirit from seeking revenge.

Gibbon describes the process with a re-creation:

SOUNDBITE: Gibbon Firstly the back of the head would be opened. The skin is sliced free from the skull. Care is taken not to damage the facial features. The skull and remaining flesh is removed. The skin is then boiled in water for half an hour. Any longer and the hair may fall out. After being dried in the sun, the skin is turned inside out.

The process is repeated and can take up to six days, until the head is a quarter of its original size.

SOUNDBITE: Firstly the eyes are sewn shut, preventing the victims spirit from seeing out. Wooden pins are placed through the lips and lashed together with string. This stops the soul from asking for their death to be avenged.

Gibbon speaks with a Catholic missionary who has lived there since the 1960s.

SOUNDBITE: How did you explain the the Shuar that they must stop taking vengeance themselves?

He confirms head-shrinking was still occurring during that time, making it possible Bielawski filmed a genuine ceremony.

And, he meets the alleged only surviving warrior from the period. He shows him the film, and the old man confirms his own brother is in the footage.

SOUND: GIBBON He and his brother were separated by the war, but he does know that this brother was involved in Tsantsa ceremonies. After speaking with Tsanimp it seems that Bielawski did filming in this area, but I cant be certain he shot the head-shrinking scene in Tukupi. But having confirmed that Kampurims involvement, it really is possible that Bielawski filmed the only existing footage of a head-shrinking ceremony in progress.

The special, Search for the Amazon Headshrinkers, premieres on the National Geographic Channel Sunday November 15th, 9pm Eastern.

Confirmed: R2-D2 Finally Discovered In Star Trek

At last, here's the droid we were all looking for. In this frame you can clearly see R2-D2's cameo in JJ Abrams' Star Trek. This time there's absolutely no doubt about it: It's been confirmed by ILM.

Click on the image to see the high resolution version

Can you see him floating there, on the left, right below the huge arrow that I also missed when I saw the movie? That's obviously him, a fact that has been confirmed to me by one of the movie's sequence supervisors at Industrial Light & Magic—the same guy who said this previous sighting was just the shuttle.

I don't know about you but, right now, I feel like what I imagine my dog Jones feels every time I take his collar off to scratch his neck. Oh yesyeyeyeyes. YES. Harf. Woof. [Image capture from Science Fiction Stuff—Thanks ILM tipster]

Send an email to Jesus Diaz, the author of this post, at

The household pets that are 'half wolf'


Move over Rover - a new "hybrid wolf" closely descended from wild animals is displacing more traditional dog breeds as family pets.

Timberwolf hybrid pups: The pets that are 'half wolf'
Hybrid pups sell for up to £5,000 and once fully grown, the animals closely resemble wolves and even howl like the wild animal Photo: APEXNEWS

The animals are the offspring of European and North American wolves which have been mated with domestic dogs.

Animal groups have expressed concerns about the growing hybrid population, warning that the creatures could present a danger to humans, particularly children, who experts say are seen as "prey" by the animals.

In the US, where they have carried out a number of fatal attacks on children, hybrids are banned in some states and in others are only legal once they are five generations removed from wolves.

Chris Laurence, veterinary director of the Dogs Trust, said: "If you have genuine hybrid wolves inside people's homes then that is a worry. I would be very concerned about that, because of their behaviour towards children."

Dr Ros Clubb, wildlife scientific officer at the RSPCA, said:

"In a domestic environment the expression of natural behaviours could be unsuitable and potentially dangerous in a family home."

The growing numbers of hybrid wolves in the UK follows clarification of their legal status by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which means hybrids can be kept without a licence in this country if they are just three generations removed from the wild animal.

Hybrid pups sell for up to £5,000 and once fully grown, the animals closely resemble wolves and even howl like the wild animal.

They can be bred by crossing wolves with a range of dog breeds, including German shepherds, akitas, malamutes, huskies and inuits.

As well as the hybrids, two other breeds closely related to wolves are also growing in popularity in the UK, following the revised guidelines.

These are sarloos, from a cross between a timber wolf and a German shepherd, and the Czechoslovakian wolfdog, which was bred from a Carpathian wolf and a German Shepherd, to patrol borders along the Iron Curtain during the Cold War.

Andre Tanner, from South Molton, in Devon, owns a three-year-old male hybrid called Coosa, who is three generations from a timber wolf.

"He will play with me like a dog. Brought up properly, hybrids are civil. They are reasonably dog-like. They can be a bit aloof but also very friendly."

Charlie Richardson, a breeder who specialises in sarloos and who is now planning to breed hybrids, said:

“Hybrids can be good pets. For the right people in the right environment. You would never go back to an ordinary dog. The level of intelligence and social awareness in these animals is staggering. They really are special creatures. The big bad wolf myth is misleading.

“The hybrid - along with the Czechoslovakian wolfdog and the sarloos - are difficult dogs, but not in a dangerous s ense.”

However, Beverley Cuddy, editor of Dogs Today, added: “The relaxation in the law seems madness. To live in a domestic situation with a part-wolf is insane.

“Wolves are wonderful and much maligned in children’s fiction, but they are hugely different from dogs and should be kept separate. Hybrids are a potential disaster area.”

While we wait for The Old Republic: Star Wars Reign of the Fallen

Reign of the Fallen is a Star Wars fanfilm directed and written by David McLeavy, and originally released in March 2006.

In the times since great wars laid waste to Prias, its people have learned to embrace a simple life, away from the perils of technology and war. As the mighty Sith army spreads across the galaxy, subjugating every planet in its path, all the people of Prias can do is wait, their world protected by an energy planetary shield held in place by ancient towers. While the people wait in fear, one Jedi trained by Master Oram Bren will be chosen to be the future leader of Prias, a title decided by a vote of the entire population of the planet. But little do they know that one Jedi's dark secret could spell their doom.

Reign of the Fallen is an independently produced film based on the Star Wars universe created by George Lucas. This movie is made solely for the love of all things filmmaking and is not for monetary gain. Everyone involved in the making of this movie worked completely for free, rewarded only by the experience and the chance to meet other people who share the same passions.

The idea for Reign of the Fallen started as a 10 minute fight scene back in Fall 2003, but later evolved into a 60 minute epic undertaking. Inspired by the work of the fan film community, writer/director David McLeavy and producer Jonathan Wang set out to make a unique film, one that paid homage to the Star Wars universe they knew and loved, but was shown through their own eyes in their own filmmaking style. It would be a project that would provide plenty of opportunities to test their theories of what could be possible in a small production attempting to tell a mammoth story.

By early 2004, pre-production was well under way, with props being crafted in Kentucky, location scouting commencing in New Jersey, and casting calls being placed throughout the internet world. After a long casting period, several actors were cast based on their wonderful presence, talent, experience and training. By August of 2004, cameras were ready to roll.

Shooting began in the last week of August and continued through November, largely constrained to weekends and the participants' availability. On days when no one else was available David McLeavy and Jonathan Wang would go out on their own, picking up "2nd Unit" shots and even a few entire scenes with no other crew to be found.

By November, much of the film had been shot, including the crew's biggest challenge: an extended night sequence featuring a lightsaber fight in a torrential downpour. Despite frigid weather, equipment malfunctions and an intimidating shot list, the fight was completed over five nights that often started at 8pm and lasted until 4 in the morning.

With a chunk of exterior scenes and night sequences still left to shoot and Winter looming in the near future, shooting was shut down until spring. During this time, post-production was put into full gear, with effects shots and editing taking up most of the filmmaker's spare time.

By March of 2005, they felt they were ready for the final stretch. The actors were brought back for a second round of shooting, some traveling 2 hours both ways to make their call times. By June, shooting was deemed completed and a screening was scheduled at the Thomas Sweet Outdoor Cinema held every summer. The screening was a success and the turnout more than the filmmakers expected.

All seemed well... But director David McLeavy had a few ideas brewing in his head. Based on feedback from the screening and his own critique of the film, he decided another round of shooting could make the film that much more complete. Thanks to the unwavering dedication of hiscast and crew, more scenes were shot, from grueling action to the smallest inserts, to refine and polish the film as much as could be done.

Then, finally, four days before its next screening, Reign of the Fallen was finished and ready for the world. It has been a long and arduous task, filled with long nights, draggingequipment to remote areas, and combating the cold while trying to keep focused on the task at hand. Thanks to the help and support of friends, family, and the professionalism of everyone involved, the project has been a success. We hope you enjoy the fruits of all this labor, and wish you happy viewing.

Boxee Set-Top Box Is On The Way: Watch Out, Cable Companies

Boxee has been on a wild, wild ride since debuting to the world last year, and for those looking for new ways to catch more content online, it has become the go-too application. And while it has certainly taken off, there's still lots of room to grow. One of the main reasons that it has yet to become a household name outside of the tech community is the need to have a full fledged PC to run it. And unless you're looking to hook up a media PC/HTPC in your den, you're probably not going to see Boxee in your living room.

At least, that was the case up until this week. Out of nowhere, Boxee announced that it has located its first-ever hardware partner, which basically means that some sort of Boxee set-top box is on the way. Boxee has informed us that more details will be provided on December 7th when it reveals its first Beta software. Unfortunately, that means that little is known about the box right now. We're guessing that it'll be something like the Roku box or the Apple TV, but only time will tell what the actual design is like. However, obviously there are any number of small form-factor platforms available on the market today to get this done for the folks at Boxee - perhaps an NVIDIA Ion-based system might do the trick? In fact, the mock below looks a lot like an Acer Aspire Revo or maybe it's based on something a bit more powerful?

What could be possibly more important for Boxee is another small (but big) announcement. We're told that the Boxee software could eventually be embedded onto other devices. That means that your DVD player, DVR or even Blu-ray player could one day have access to Boxee, similar to how some devices already have access to Vudu and Netflix right now. Cable companies best watch out--things are about to get really, really interesting.

Vintage Japanese Commercials Starring Brad Pitt

Posted by Michael Pinto

This first ad for the Honda Integra is kind of cute, although the 503 Basic Jeans commercial below is even better as it features a singing Brad Pitt:

Here’s another two from the same jeans company:

These two are for a coffee beverage called Roots:

Here’s my favorite Edwin Jeans commercial which has a hip hop flava:

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phish & jay-Z - 99 problems & big pimpin' 2004-06-18

Phish with guest Jay-Z doing '99 problems' and 'big pimpin' in Brooklyn, 2004-06-18

Two Kite Surfers Jump Over Pier