May 15, 2008

That’s the way the cookie crumbles

Posted in Fun, Life, News tagged at 8:54 am by deadlikeme

A Michigan Girl Scout sold 17,328 boxes of cookies this year.

15-year old Jennifer Sharpe from Dearborn set up her shop on a street corner and sold cookies every day, with help from her mother and troop leader, Pam Sharpe.

Jennifer’s Troop 813 raised about $21,000 in cookie sales. And they plan to use the money for a 10-day trip to Europe.


P.S. according to the best-selling Girl Scout Cookies are:

  • 25% Thin Mints
  • 19% Samoas/Caramel deLites
  • 13% Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs
  • 11% Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-si-dos
  •  9% Shortbread/Trefoils

October 6, 2007

World’s first artificial life form?

Posted in Biology, Education, Evolution, Life, Nature, News, Science at 5:48 pm by deadlikeme

protolife.jpgInstead of merely manipulating existing DNA, Craig Venter and his team have built a DNA from scratch, a synthetic chromosome called Mycoplasma laboratorium.

Using lab-made chemicals, a team of 20 scientists (led by Nobel laureate Hamilton Smith) has stitched together a chromosome that is 381 genes long and contains 580,000 base pairs of genetic code.

Once transplanted into a living bacterial cell it is expected to take control of the cell and in effect become a new life form.

Artificial DNA? Bio-ethicist Pat Mooney thinks Mr. Venter is creating a

chassis on which you could build almost anything. It could be a contribution to humanity such as new drugs or a huge threat to humanity such as bio-weapons

Visit The Guardian for more information. 

September 20, 2007

Toddler saves Mom by calling 911

Posted in Education, Family, Fun, Humor, Life, News, People at 7:03 am by deadlikeme

911-call.jpg2-year old Alana Miller from Oak Harbor, Washington, was smart enough to dial 911 when her mother collapsed.

Erika Miller and her daughter were playing in their home when Erika was struck by a painful migraine that made her pass out. Little Alana was resourceful enough to dial 911 to get help.

Operator: 911, where is your emergency?
Alana: Momma owie.
Operator: Momma owie?
Alana: Momma owie.
Operator: Is momma there?
Alana: Momma owie

The operator was able to trace the call and send help. 

Her mother has actually shown Alana how to dial 911 a few month earlier, in case “there is a big owie“.

ABC News

Will we soon be watching Are you smarter than a 2-year old? on FOX?

September 18, 2007

U.S. Senator sues God

Posted in Culture, Fun, God, Humor, Life, News, Religion, Society at 6:38 pm by deadlikeme

manwhosuedgod.jpgState Senator Ernie Chambers from Omaha, Nebraska, has sued God. His lawsuit was filed last friday in Douglas County District Court and seeks a permanent injuction ordering God to cease certain harmful activities and the making of terroristic threats.

The lawsuit accuses God of:

fearsome floods, egregious earthquakes, horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes, pestilential plagues, ferocious famines, devastating droughts, genocidal wars, birth defects and the like,…

calamitous catastrophes resulting in the wide-spread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants including innocent babies, infants, children, the aged and infirm without mercy or distinction

Chambers said he has done it to prove a point about frivolous lawsuits.


P.S.: the picture is from the Australian movie The Man Who Sued God (2001), starring Billy Connolly and Judy Davis.

August 24, 2007

Hole in the Universe

Posted in Astronomy, Astrophysics, Education, Nature, News, Science, Universe at 8:40 am by deadlikeme

hole.jpgAstronomers of the University of Minnesota found a surprisingly big hole in the universe.

Holes or voids in the universe are not really news, but this one dwarfs them all. It measures nearly a billion light-years across (our galaxy, the Milky Way, is about 100,000 light-years in diameter).

Lawrence Rudnick, Shea Brown and Liliya Williams drew their conclusions by studying data from the NVSS (NRAO VLA Sky Survey). The region had previously been dubbed as the “WMAP cold spot”. WMAP is a satellite, launched by NASA in 2001 to measure the Cosmic Microwave Background. The cold spot was discovered in 2004.

Lawrence Rudnick:

Although our surprising results need independent confirmation, the slightly colder temperature of the CMB [cosmic microwave background] in this region appears to be caused by a huge hole devoid of nearly all matter roughly 6 to 10 billion light-years from Earth.

Visit the article for more,

or read Rudnick and Co’s Extragalactic Radio Sources and the WMAP Cold spot paper

June 30, 2007

Mighty Ducks: a 15-year journey around the world

Posted in Events, Fun, Humor, Life, Media, Nature, News, Oceanography, Science at 6:27 pm by deadlikeme


An armada of plastic ducks, known as Friendly Floatees, is heading for Britain’s coast after their accidental release 15 years ago.

Their birth place was a chinese factory and they were supposed to be shipped from Hong Kong to the US. But during a storm on January 29, 1992 three containers fell off the cargo ship and got lost in the Pacific.

Two third of the plastic ducks landed months later on the shores of Indonesia, Australia and South America. But about 10.000 ducks headed north.

For the past 15 years Curtis Ebbesmeyer has been tracking those plastic ducks and recently said that those that had not been trapped in circulating currents in the North Pacific, crushed by icebergs or blown ashore in Japan are bobbing across the Atlantic on the Gulf Stream. Now the ducks are heading for Britain’s beaches.

Since 2003 the toys’ american distributor, First Years Inc., rewards anyone who finds one of these ducks with $100.

for more read the Times article

the map is from Spiegel Online

June 20, 2007

Mission To Mars: ESA calls for candidates

Posted in Education, Events, Life, Mars Mission, News, Psychology, Science, Technology at 8:00 am by deadlikeme


The European Space Agency (ESA) is looking for candidates to participate in up to three isolation and confinement studies. The first study starts in May 2008.

Except for weightlessness and radiation, the simulation will be as close to a real Mars mission as possible. The candidates will be selected based on education, professional experience, medical fitness and social habits.

All in all the studies can take more than two years (Pilot study: 100 days, Mars Mission: 520 days, Follow-up studies: up to one year).

Some criterias for applicants:

– 25 to 50 years
– English and Russian (fluency in one and working knowledge of the other language)
– Non-smokers, no addicitons (alcohol, illicit drugs, etc.)
– Availability for the whole duration of the studies
– Candidates nationality is restricted to following ESA member states: Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Norway, The Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom, Canada)

For successful conpletion of the entire study, the respective volunteer will receive a fixed compensation (I hear it’s 120 Euros per day).

Submission deadline is September 30th, 2007.

For more information and the application form visit the ESA website.

June 15, 2007

Judge rules “No girlfriend for you until 2010”

Posted in Fun, Humor, Life, Love, News, People, Psychology, Society at 8:54 am by deadlikeme

solitude.jpg24-year-old Steven Cranley is not allowed to have a girlfriend for the next three years.

A judge in Ontario (Canada) has banned Cranley from relationships until 2010 as a result of a violent argument he had with his ex-girlfriend and her roommate. Cranley assaulted both women and also cut the phone lines in the home to prevent them from calling the police.

Cranley was diagnosed with a “dependent personality disorder“, meaning he can’t handle rejection very well.

Being such a bad-breaker-upper he is a threat to anyone he becomes romantically involved with, hence the “no girlfriend for the next three years” sentence.

United Press International

June 12, 2007

Blame it on your racist dog

Posted in Animals, Biology, Culture, Life, News, Racism, Society at 8:46 am by deadlikeme

“My dog is racist. Not me,” claims a Belgian businessman who rejected a Nigerian job applicant.

The Nigerian arrived at the Belgian’s wrought-iron business and was immediately confronted by a barking dog. So the Belgian turned the Nigerian away before he could even enter the office.

The Belgian wrote on his labor office letter that he could not hire the man because of his color. He was afraid the dog would bite him. The labour office concluded that the Belgian was racist and has removed him from its list of potential employers.


The “racist dog” idea has been used in a few TV shows, like Curb Your Enthusiasm and King of the Hill. But “racist dog” is more than a punch line. See for yourself and google it. There is a lot of discussion on the internet on wether dogs can actually be racist or not.

Contrary to popular believe dogs are not totally color-blind.

May 30, 2007

Ranking: The 121 most peaceful countries

Posted in Education, Life, Media, News, Peace, Politics, Society at 11:25 pm by deadlikeme

global-peace.jpgThe Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released the Global Peace Index today.

121 countries around the world were ranked according to their peacefulness and the drivers that create and sustain their peace. The EIU measured the countries’ peacefulness based on 24 indicators.

Rank      Country           

    1          Norway        
    2     New Zealand         
    3         Denmark         
    4         Ireland         
    5           Japan         
    6         Finland         
    7          Sweden         
    8          Canada         
    9        Portugal         
    10        Austria

For the full list, including details on all peace indicators go here.

Countries like Afghanistan and North Korea were not included because reliable data for all 24 indicators was not available.

The United States ranked 96th.

Some conclusions of the Global Peace Index are:

– Peace is correlated to indicators such as income, schooling and the level of regional integration
– Peaceful countries often shared high levels of transparency of government and low corruption
– Small, stable countries which are part of regional blocs are most likely to get a higher ranking

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