Disabled UK Man Has Wheelchair Banned from Roads Because... It's a Tank?!

12:01:50 AM, Friday, January 28, 2011

“A man from the UK has been told by local authorities that he cannot use his custom TC Mobility wheelchair on public streets because its size technically lands it in the same category as a tank. The chair uses two rubber treads and a 24-volt electric motor, and it used to allow Jim Starr to go down to the beach with his family. That was before the Driver and Vehicle Licensing agency decided that the chair was too large to be classified as a typical wheelchair. Weighing in at 485 pounds, Starr's tracked-machine weighs 110 pounds more than the legal limit for motorized wheelchairs. It's also too wide.

As a result, Starr has been banned from riding his all-terrain chair anywhere other than private land. The hang-up is that in order to get to areas where he can legally use the device, he has to cross public roads.

Starr used to work as a landscape gardener before chronic arthritis, back and joint conditions bound him to a wheelchair in 1999. Head over to YouTube to watch the video of Starr in his Tank Chair (embedding disabled)…”

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Obama Barraged By Pot Questions For Upcoming YouTube Town Hall

10:25:03 PM, Thursday, January 27, 2011

“President Barack Obama plans to take questions from YouTube viewers Thursday afternoon, and for the third time in as many years, the overwhelmingly most popular query involves the legalization of marijuana.

Of the top 100 most popular questions as rated by YouTube users, 99 are about the drug war or pot. Of the next one hundred, 99 are again about drug policy. Somehow, two questions about clean energy made their way into the top 200.

The pot questions don't stop there, but HuffPost stopped counting deep into the 200s, as the president is unlikely to answer all of them. If past history is any guide, he may not answer any of them.

A White House spokesman tells HuffPost that the president on Thursday will answer whatever questions YouTube puts before him. "A selection of top voted questions has been made to insure that as many of the most important questions as voted by the YouTube community will be asked," a YouTube spokesperson told HuffPost.

Obama did answer the question in 2009, addressing folks who asked if the president would consider legalizing marijuana to boost the economy and tax revenue.

"Can I just interrupt, Jared, before you ask the next question, just to say that we -- we took votes about which questions were going to be asked and I think 3 million people voted," he said to aide Jared Bernstein. "I have to say that there was one question that was voted on that ranked fairly high and that was whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy -- (laughter) -- and job creation. And I don't know what this says about the online audience -- (laughter) -- but I just want -- I don't want people to think that -- this was a fairly popular question; we want to make sure that it was answered. The answer is, no, I don't think that is a good strategy -- (laughter) -- to grow our economy in 2009."

That answer tortured legalization backers as much as being ignored, if this year's questions are an indication. Many of them knock the president for laughing at their issue…”

-- Just legalize it already...

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Authorities Seize a TREBUCHET Used to Hurl Pot Into Arizona

10:03:51 PM, Thursday, January 27, 2011

“What will drug smugglers think of next?

In an industry that thrives on innovation, some enterprising Mexican marijuana runners went medieval on the border fence, using a catapult to hurl bricks of weed into Arizona, authorities say.

Grainy video from the Department of Homeland Security shows three men priming the throwing arm of the mechanism. Two of the men step away, and when the remaining man lets go, the catapult chucks its wares over the fence.

Various media reports claim the device was capable of launching about 4 pounds of pot (or, presumably, any substance).

Customs and Border Patrol agents, National Guard troops and Mexican authorities joined forces to disrupt the operation, KOLD-TV and other CNN affiliates reported.

The National Guard, operating a remote surveillance system at the Naco Station, about 100 miles southeast of Tucson, observed the men launching packages south of the border fence, according to KVOA-TV.

KGUN-TV said Mexican authorities were unable to apprehend any of the suspects. The surveillance camera operators witnessed the men fleeing.

A sport utility vehicle, the catapult and 45 pounds of marijuana were seized, the affiliates said…”

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The Red Skinny by Hoai Minh

2:08:14 AM, Thursday, January 27, 2011
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World Eskimo-Indian Olympics: Ear Pulling Competition

11:32:04 PM, Wednesday, January 26, 2011

-- 2007 World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. The obvious thing to do when it's a snow storm outside and you're bored.

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Paper Planes Launched from the Edge of Space

10:28:54 PM, Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"What's the difference between a paper plane and a paper space plane? Altitude! About 125,000 feet to be precise:

The balloon, filled with helium gas and carrying a load of paper planes, took 2.6 hours to rise to 37,339 metres (that's at the edge of space!), where it burst and took only 40 minutes to fall back to earth. It landed in a forest just south east of Berlin, where our team had to use a very long pole to retrieve the payload from the top of a tree.

The hand-crafted paper planes with their precious cargo of Samsung SD memory cards were released at around 36,3500 metres and could land anywhere..."

-- Awesome! via www.wonderhowto.com

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An Even Smaller Pocket Projector

10:11:08 PM, Wednesday, January 26, 2011

“Researchers in Germany have developed the world's thinnest "pico" video projector. The prototype device contains an array of carefully shaped microlenses, each with its own miniature liquid-crystal display (LCD). The device is just six millimeters thick, but it produces images that are 10 times brighter than would normally be possible with such a small device.

Handheld pico projectors can be used to display movies, maps, or presentations on nearby surfaces. But the projections can be difficult to view in direct sunlight because the light source isn't very powerful. The new lens system is small enough to be incorporated into a slim smart phone.

Increasing the brightness of a projection normally means increasing the area of the light source used, says Marcel Sieler, a researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering in Germany. Sieler was involved with developing the prototype. But to increase the area in this way requires a thicker lens to focus the larger image. "As the area of the light source increases, so does the volume of the lens," says Sieler. The result is a much bigger projector…”

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Kill the Stupid

9:50:06 PM, Wednesday, January 26, 2011

“Dumb, for lack of a better word, is bad. Dumb is wrong, dumb doesn't work. But dumb, ladies and gentlemen, is spreading. And some of the dumb are trying to make being dumb profitable.

Fountain plunging idiot Cathy Cruz Marrero is suing the mall that allowed her to fall into its fountain when she was walking while texting. She might also sue the security guards that laughed at the video of her falling into the fountain while texting, because humans in mall security uniforms shouldn't be permitted to laugh at morons.

A moron from New York City is suing a Las Vegas escort service for almost $2 million. This is the aftermath of a very dumb phone call he placed to police complaining that his illegal prostitute ripped him off by having illegal sex with him, but not staying for the full three hours for which he paid. His outrage was understandable. Sure, he got the sex, but he paid good money to watch the hooker who just blew him sit around a shitty hotel bored out of her mind and texting people about the guy with the weird dick that looks like a mini-croissant who is staring right at her. Missing out on that? No wonder he called the cops and got himself in deep shit!

The biggest payday may be coming to a man, let's call him King Moron, who happens to be living in a trailer park in Key West, Florida. He can't spell fucking anything, so he's suing WikiLeaks, and its creepoid-in-chief Julian Assange, for an assortment of grievances including: "indangered the PLAINTIFF as well as every person of the United States; and the entire planet," "suffered serious personan injury," and a "worsening" of "hyper tention." King Moron also has a "fear of being on the brink of Nucliar WAR." He's asking for 150 million "dollors" in damages…”

-- Satire. Truth. Hilarious. Sad. You decide.

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Photos of Old London

9:20:10 PM, Wednesday, January 26, 2011
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Optical Illusions That Trigger Your Brain

9:13:41 PM, Wednesday, January 26, 2011
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Hubble Finds Most Distant Object Ever Seen in Universe

8:39:05 PM, Wednesday, January 26, 2011
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Astronomy Picture of the Day: NGC 7293 The Helix Nebula

8:31:39 PM, Wednesday, January 26, 2011

-- A mere seven hundred light years from Earth, in the constellation Aquarius, a sun-like star is dying. Its last few thousand years have produced the Helix Nebula (NGC 7293), a well studied and nearby example of a Planetary Nebula, typical of this final phase of stellar evolution. A total of 10 hours of exposure time have gone in to creating this remarkably deep view of the nebula. It shows details of the Helix's brighter inner region, about 3 light-years across, but also follows fainter outer halo features that give the nebula a span of well over six light-years. The white dot at the Helix's center is this Planetary Nebula's hot, central star. A simple looking nebula at first glance, the Helix is now understood to have a surprisingly complex geometry.

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The Evolution of Social Networking

4:47:26 PM, Wednesday, January 26, 2011

-- via Current

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Stained Glass Resistance: Portrait of Hitler Discovered in French Church Window

3:38:02 PM, Wednesday, January 26, 2011

“A stained glass window in a small church has caused a sensation in France. Unveiled in 1941, it depicts Adolf Hitler executing a saint who symbolizes the Jewish people. Local priests have praised the work as a brave act of resistance against the Nazi occupiers.

In the popular imagination, the French Resistance against the Nazi occupation of France is associated with heroic acts of guerrilla warfare, such as blowing up bridges or derailing trains. But in one small town near Paris, two artist brothers also resisted the occupation in their own quiet way -- with a politically charged stained-glass window.

Local historians in the town of Montgeron have rediscovered a stained-glass church window that criticizes the Nazi occupation by depicting Adolf Hitler as an executioner. The dictator is shown in the act of killing St. James, who was one of Jesus' 12 apostles.

Although Hitler's distinctive hairstyle can easily be recognized in the portrait, his trademark moustache has been left out. "The glassmakers hid it behind his arm, to avoid any trouble," local priest Dominique Guérin told the French newspaper Le Parisien…”

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Still No Government in Belgium: 226 Days and Counting

9:10:17 PM, Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"289 is the world record of days without any government in a country, currently owned by Iraq. On March 30th 2011, Belgium will beat it!"

-- lerecorddumonde.be is a website dedicated solely to counting the days that Belgium has been operating without a government, a number that could soon dethrone Iraq from its "champion" position. I do not know if this is commendable that they held it together without an official government for so long, or criticized for their failure at forming one, - probably both. Either way, it is something significant. If you're interested and would like to learn more, especially about the fermenting dissatisfaction among the Belgian population, - PRI’s The World - Still No Government in Belgium

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