This Day In History: 06/17

Thursday, June 17, 2004

I'm getting all packed up for the weekend -- no profound thoughts until next week!

A coroner's examination has ruled that a hand found on a popular beach and believed to be that of an infant or a baby actually came from a plastic doll.
Sex sting went way too far
It's like 'The Silence of the Lambs.' Without the silence.
Just across the street, a couple of Republicans had wheeled massive stage speakers out into their tidy front lawn and blasted toward Mr. Kerry the theme song to the 1960s family TV show "Flipper".

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Newsday Tuesday

When a wimpy bird turns into a stud

Rebecca Safran has fooled Mother Nature. The evolutionary biologist from the University of Colorado figured out a way to give male barn swallows a makeover that makes less popular males much more desirable to females.

Ms. Safran has already sold the results of her research to ABC, who will market it in the Fall 2008 television line-up starring Ty Pennington. The FOX Network is rumoured to be developing their own show in tandem, Who Wants To Get Humped By This Bird?, which they say was independently inspired and produced.

About eight years ago, Safran expected to find that the length of a male barn swallow's tail feathers determined his level of success attracting mates and breeding. Instead, she noticed something she didn't expect: Female barn swallows tended to choose mates with the darkest breast feathers. Those males "bred a lot earlier, attracted the best mates and sired the greatest number of offspring," which Safran says is "the currency of evolution."

The results of this study are underwhelming, since everyone already knows that chicken breasts would be much more appealing with dark meat. This is why the thigh-leg basket often outsells the breast-wing basket at Popeyes. Researchers also discounted the notion that large numbers of children are the currency of evolution, since many families in American history had an upwards of twelve children, only to lose them all in tragic accidents involving a misplaced smallpox antigen, or covered wagons and alcohol.

Safran and her team tried 30 colors. Nothing worked until, she says, "we came across the Prisma nontoxic permanent ink art marker." The cost: $5.99. The light walnut shade seemed to match the darkest of the male barn swallow population. Applying a thin coat of the marker changed everything. Females flocked to the males with the darkened breast makeovers just as they did to the males with naturally dark breast feathers.

This experiment made me curious to see if the same principles would also apply to human beings. I attempted a self-test using an Expo Dry-Erase Marker (cost $1.09), choosing the colour green because I had no yellow markers. After accentuating my boobies with the marker, I went to the local mall and paraded up and down near a jewelry store. My personal experiment never reached fruition before I was arrested by mall security, but I remain convinced that Charles-Atlas-sized rewards await the company that successfully markets this to nerds, especially when learning about the side effects:

"Simply by changing a male's appearance, his physiology also changed," Safran said. "Males who were made darker lost weight. And their testosterone levels increased at a time in the season when testosterone is usually in decline." The weight loss may have to do with all that extra time they're spending with female birds.

After the study, the makeover birds were rechristened as an homage to disgraced Governor Eliot Spitzer, who spent a little too much time with the females himself. The "Spitzer Swallows" are now celebrities in their own right and continue to get the lady birds. In the meantime, Ms. Safran (who was greatly impressed with my own experiment) theorized that painting the breasts of a politician might make him more electable. She has resolved to study bushtits next .

The only unanswered question from this study is why it took eight years to reach a conclusion. Thirty colours over eight years works out to roughly one colour every three months. When asked about the padded schedule, the team replied, "It took us a while to realize that permanent markers are not conducive to repeatable experiments. Next time, we'll use tempera paints."

Black guy booth enlivens farmers' market
Romeo guinea pig causes baby boom
Experts unveil the solution to student recitals

tagged as newsday, mock mock | permalink | 3 comments

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Memory Fragment Media Day

a triple threat of memories, old photos and fragments


♣ This picture was taken around 1991 at our powerful 486 computer with 5 1/4" drive, 3 1/2" drive, and tape drive. It had 256-color VGA and an Ad Lib card, but only 24 of the colors ever worked. I am playing Ultima 6, based on the hint book open in front of me.


♣ A wild party at Rosie and Jen's house in February 1998, where we played Twister and Uno. I still have that shirt, but I haven't worn it since the last time I was incarcerated at Denim Penitentary.

♣ At Mountain Lake in May of 2000. Paige is deciding that the rock face I scaled was too high for her to follow me.

♣ In my Foxridge apartment in October of 2000. Anna had just ordered a made-for-TV waxing treatment called NAD'S! and was trying to convince a skeptical Rosie to try it with her. Kitty (pre-fat) is sleeping on the left, and the pillow cases that came with my denim shirt are on the bed.


♣ Same location in March 2001. We had a surprise birthday party for Jen Graves, who had moved in across the street in a very Kelleyesque fashion. The lettering kit for the cake provided a few too many letters.

♣ In Squires 243, following my April 29, 2001 recital. The music may have been abhorrent and unpatriotic, but the design theme was consistent, right down to the cake.


♣ In the Squires Recital Saloon for graduation, May 2001. Buying a cap and gown is for hippies.


♣ August 2001, right before I moved to Florida. The four of us went on a trip to Virginia Beach and stayed in a tent. The first night held the humidity of a fat person's stomach crevice, and the second night featured an unseasonable cold snap. On Sunday, Ben and I dropped Anna and Emily off at church and then took a driving tour past the alternating array of strip clubs and Baptist churches.

Fox steals more than 100 shoes
Man spends night locked in bar bathroom
Well-dressed bank robber foiled by text

tagged as fragments, memories, media | permalink | 5 comments

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oh, the things it must have seen on its trip around town!

Squatters cozy up in mansion
BP Hires Mercs to Block Oily Beaches
Penis protest rises to greet Russian economic forum

tagged as random | permalink | 2 comments

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday

I didn't get to write an update last night, since I spent an extra hour sitting on the Fairfax County Parkway in order to go 0-3 with the FGM volleyball team. I then decided that mundanities like showering and sleeping should get a higher priority than writing fragments.

My plans for the weekend include a trip to Old Rag, which seems to happen once every three years, as well as dinner with Rebecca's parents on Sunday evening. Have a good weekend!

Pimp number 39 haunts Afghan car owners
Sagging pants leads to airport arrest
Details emerge about 'child pornography' yearbook photo

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Weekend Wrap-up

My weekend was tragically shortened by one day, as Sunday was lost to a migraine. Fortunately, it was the first migraine I'd had since June of last year, which means that my brain is hating me less with each passing year.

On Saturday, we kicked off the summer by putting up the new badminton net (finally relegating the nine-year-old net that Anna bought for the house to the trash). In spite of my malathion spraying activities a couple weeks ago, the highest population insect in the back yard right now remains the mosquito. Surprisingly though, we haven't seen or heard a single cicada -- they must love Centreville and points south too much to move north.

On Saturday afternoon, we met up with Anna, Ben, and Erin, and their six offspring at Frying Pan Park, which was full of baby farm animals. We then had dinner at Red Robin until we, ourselves, were full of baby farm animals. Saturday night was game night at Erin and Jon's in Gainesville, which (much like Cascades and Sterling) is the place that Manassas residents say they live when they don't want to be associated with the commoners in Manassas.

I also rewrote the back-end of the URI! Zone to use Spring JDBC and the latest version of Spring MVC on Friday night, so please complain if something isn't working as expected.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Stuff In My Drawers Day: Ninth Annual End-of-the-Year Party!

Today is the twentieth anniversary of the Ninth Annual End-of-the-Year Party! (better known as NAEOTYP!) After a half day at the end of my sophomore year on June 17, 1994, during which I aced exams in Algebra 2 With Trig and Biology BSCS, I was dropped off at home by Jack (sporting his newly minted driving privileges), and set to work preparing for the party.

Above is the sign from the front door, complete with anagrams of every guest's name. As usual, this party also featured a three-team treasure hunt (the Fourth Annual Trezur Hunt, or FATH) which culiminated in a prize of 12 giant TWIX bars. From there, the party executed like clockwork, with badminton and volleyball, 2 Liter bottles of Pepsi, and several large Pizza Hut Pan pizzas (because my friends were all nerds, we were indoctrinated into the cult of Pizza Hut early, through the BOOK IT! program).

The event closed out with half the group watching Aliens 3 in the living room, and the other half playing computer games on my hard-charging Pentium 5 60MHz computer (purchased from Gateway when they still had all of those cow ads).

tagged as memories, media | permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Memory Day: Snapshots

This is a picture of my mom and sister, roughly around 1978. At the time, my parents were probably deciding whether to leave her in the hippo.

tagged as media | permalink | 2 comments

Friday, June 17, 2016

Recipe Day: Slow-Cooker Bean Chili

This bean chili is a hit in the demographic of "people married to me". It's very simple to make and hard to screw up.

Statistics

  • Serves 8 - 10 normal people or 1 giant
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 - 9 hours

Ingredients

  • 1/2 chicken boullion cube
  • 1 envelope chili seasoning mix
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 can each: black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, sweet kernel corn, tomato sauce, and "diced tomatoes and mild green chiles"
  • 8 oz dried lentils
  • sliced or shredded Smoked Gouda cheese (Provolone is also a good pick)

Steps

  • Mix boullion cube, chili seasoning, and water in slow cooker.
  • Pour black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, and lentils into a colander. Rinse and drain.
  • Mix beans into slow cooker thoroughly. Cook on LOW setting for 8 - 9 hours.
  • As hunger eats away at your sanity, stir corn, tomato sauce, and tomatoes and chili into the slow cooker and cook for another 15 minutes.
  • Serve with a big dollop of cheese in a cute bowl.

Q: Why do the best bean chilis only use 239 beans?
A: Because one more would make it too farty.

tagged as recipes | permalink | 1 comment

Monday, June 17, 2019

List Day: Cycles of My Life

  • It takes me 5 months to empty out a propane tank by grilling. Before Maia, it was a 3 month cycle.

  • I cut my own hair every 21 - 25 days.

  • I replace my razor blade every 3 - 4 months, when it's finally dull enough to noticeably destroy both skin and whisker.

  • I brush my teeth twice daily, and floss once.

  • It takes the family 3 - 4 days to fill up a laundry basket with dirty clothes. It takes the washing machine 90 minutes to do its estimated 50 minute cycle.

  • On average, it takes me 3 weeks to drain my car's gas tank.

  • I wash my car once annually.

  • I have never replaced my family or upgraded for a newer model.

  • After swearing them off for awhile, I usually go for about 3 months before purchasing some more bacon, shells & cheese, or Marie Callendar pot pies.

  • I mow the lawn every 8 days in the spring and every 12 - 20 days in the summer and fall.

  • I average 1 - 9 days between Amazon orders.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken 15 years ago, on June 17, 2005.

We were at Ingleside Vineyards in King George, VA for Ben and Anna's wedding, and gathered here for this former college roommate picture (myself, Anna, and Rosie). I'm sporting the stylish "short sleeve formal shirt" look because I enjoy looking like a 12-year-old valet.

The five of us have not all been in a room together since February 15, 2014, when Anna had 50% few kids.

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Friday, June 17, 2022

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Brooklyn 99, Season Three:
This show is just funny enough to enjoy as a treadmill show -- a few laugh-out-loud jokes balance out the occasions that just feel too campy. The third season has some fun guest actors as well. On Hulu.

Final Grade: B-

Jim Gaffigan: Comedy Monster:
Gaffigan's latest special starts out strong with his unique takes on the pandemic. The back half is less successful -- sometimes it felt like he was trying something new by being a little more edgy, but it usually came off more mean-spirited than funny. On Netflix.

Final Grade: B-

Emergency:
This movie about a trio of roommates who find a passed out, underaged girl in their living room and do their best to get her to a hospital balances the comedy and thriller aspects quite well. While some of the forward momentum is driven by horrible, contrived choices, the movie succeeds at conveying its message without getting too preachy. On Amazon Video.

Final Grade: B+

Chernobyl:
I realize this limited series has gotten critical acclaim, but I stopped after just two episodes. It seemed too paint-by-numbers, like it was EXACTLY what I expected it to be, and left me no room to be surprised. When we're picking things to watch each night, I'm never in the mood for its grim, serious tone.

Final Grade: Not Graded

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