Michael Dickison at the Herald has a great article on the Apocalypse.
The top 5 scenarios for the end of the world as we know it
Remember Independence Day? Astrophysicist Craig Kasnov recently announced that three very large, fast-moving objects were approaching Earth. Though largely discounted by others, the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) researcher Kasnov said the “flying saucers” were tens of kilometres long and would arrive mid-December.
How to prepare: Some say you should head to the French Pyrenees, from where you may be beamed up and rescued.
2) Natural disaster
Supervolcanoes cause mass extinction. The most recent occurred in New Zealand about 26,000 years ago, while a likely site for the next eruption is Yellowstone National Park, in the United States.
How to prepare: Leave the Pacific’s Ring of Fire, preferably for equatorial Africa, where humans survived the last volcanic winter.
3) Nuclear attack
Surviving the initial horror of thermonuclear war is just the beginning. A nuclear winter will follow as debris, smoke and soot block sunlight for weeks or even years, and then there’s radiation sickness, lawlessness and the breakdown of civilisation to worry about.
How to prepare: For a quick end, stand outside as the bombs fall. Otherwise, build an underground bunker with enough supplies, guns, clothing, etc, to survive in the Mad Max-style post-apocalyptic wasteland.
4) The god of war cometh
Bolon Yokte, a Mayan deity, is prophesied to return to Earth in 2012, although key passages on a stone tablet containing the prophesy have eroded away.
The god may cause huge chaos and upheaval – or bestow upon people the energy to take an evolutionary step.
How to prepare: Only human sacrifice can save us now.
Biblical messianic prophesies suggest a Second Coming of Jesus, possibly including resurrection of the dead. Armageddon is often associated with such an event.
How to prepare: Watch Supernatural from series three onwards. And pray a lot.
The entire article is hilarious.Tags: apocalypse, Fun Things
Fox News reports:
Angus T. Jones, who has played the role of Jake Harper on the hit CBS show since 2003 and reportedly earns $350,000 an episode, is featured in a new video for the Forerunner Christian Church, in which he calls the sitcom “filth” that contradicts his devout Christian values.
That’s not all. The 19-year-old actor even urges fans to stop watching.
“I’m on ‘Two and a Half Men’ and I don’t want to be on it,” he said. “If you watch ‘Two and a Half Men,’ please stop watching it and filling your head with filth. People say it’s just entertainment. Do some research on the effects of television and your brain, and I promise you you’ll have a decision to make when it comes to television, especially with what you watch.”
Jones goes on to express guilt that his profession may be inflicting serious damage on its audience.
“If I am doing any harm, I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be contributing to the enemy’s plan … You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that. I know I can’t,” he continued. “I’m not OK with what I’m learning, what the Bible says and being on that television show.”
I wonder if Jones has asked to be released from his contract? To go on taking $350,000 from a show you denounce as filth is rather hypocritical.
Personally I’ve hardly watched it since Charlie Sheen left. It just isn’t the same without him.
Hat Tip: Bob McCoskrieTags: Fun Things
Saw this ODT article on my old Otago hostel:
The University of Otago will carry out earthquake strengthening at Carrington College over the summer holidays as it awaits the results of further assessments on some of its buildings.
The work at the residential hall Carrington College is part of a $50 million earthquake-strengthening programme unveiled by the university earlier this year.
At the time, Otago University chief operating officer John Patrick said it was hoped to complete strengthening work by 2019. After the first round of building assessments, only the Scott building – at between 25% and 30% of new building standard (NBS) for earthquake strength – was found to be earthquake prone.
Other buildings assessed in the round including the School of Medicine’s Lindo Fergusson building and Scott building, the arts building and the clocktower buildings were found to be less than the university’s draft target of 67% of NBS for its older buildings – meaning that work would have to be carried out to bring them up to that standard.
Since then, Linton House at Carrington College had been found to be earthquake prone – at 28% of NBS – in July.
Hmmn Linton House is the house I was in. Glad there were no earthquakes when I was at Carrington!
Mind you I may have contributed to the lack of strength in Linton House. I heard about how the smallest room in the hostel (Linton 2) had a record of managing to get 40 or so people in it despite being something like 2.5m by 1.5m in size. It was called the closet.
I am competitive and like breaking records so tried to beat that one weekend. By having girls go on the shoulders of guys, we managed to fit 78 people into the room, which was truly impressive. We also had an ODT photographer perched on the top of the closet who managed to get a nice aerial shot of us in the room.
The photo appeared on the ODT front page, and not surprisingly was seen by the Warden who summoned me and went on at some length over breach of fire regulations, damage to the ceiling of the dining room (beneath us). My meetings with the Warden on such issues were semi-regular.
An earthquake during the 78 people in the room would have been very unfortunate. I suspect we may have made world news though, and possibly won a Darwin AwardTags: DPF, Fun Things
AN INDIAN farmer has become the world’s oldest dad aged 96 – beating the record he set himself two years ago. …
Speaking at his home in the state of Haryana, near Delhi, Mr Raghav said: “What can I do? This is all God’s wish. He wanted me to have another son.”
Mr raghav admits that as proud as he is of having two healthy sons at his age, his neighbours are more jealous of his sex drive, The Daily Mail reports.“I do it three or four times a night. My neighbours are jealous and they keep asking me for my secret but all I tell them is that it is God’s will,” he said.
“I’m healthy and I enjoy sex with my wife. I think it’s very important for a husband and wife to have sex regularly.
“When she asks I will go on all night but for the sake of my child I’ve put our needs aside for now.”
Mr Raghav told The Tiems of India that he had remained a bachelor and practised celibacy throughout his life until he met Shakuntala about 10 years ago.
No sex for the first 86 years!! No wonder he is making up for it now.Tags: Fun Things
The BOP Times reports:
An attempt at breaking a world-record for skinny dipping planned for Mount Maunganui is being labelled unacceptable and indecent.
The idea was raised by The Edge radio station after listeners voted the nudie run at the Bay of Plenty beach would be the best way to herald the start of summer.
Marketing manager Emily Hancox said the skinny dip world record attempt would, hopefully, be held on December 1 “as a bit of fun”.
“It’s not for people to be shy or embarrassed. If people can see the fun in it and try to get New Zealand on the map for that [world record], it will be great,” she said.
What a great idea.
However, national director of Family First NZ Bob McCoskrie said holding the event in such a public place would be “completely unacceptable”.
Very smart idea of The Edge to get Bob to condemn it, as that should help them get more publicity for it
The world record for a collective skinny dip was set by 413 people in the United Kingdom last year.
Hell, easy to beat.Tags: Family First, Fun Things, skinny dipping
It’s the baggage with bite – a crocodile on the loose in the cargo hold of a Qantas aircraft.
Qantas has confirmed a crocodile escaped from its cage during a flight between Brisbane and Melbourne.
Although the jaws of a crocodile could have been a nasty find for the baggage handler who discovered it was on the loose, the reptile was safely re-captured without drama.
This could be the sequel to Snakes on a Plane.Tags: Fun Things
The Daily Record reports:
LOTTERY millionaire Adrian Bayford shunned fine dining yesterday – to wolf down two bacon rolls followed by a pint of Guinness.
The £148million jackpot winner and his Scots wife Gillian soaked up the sun on the veranda at four-star Carnoustie Golf Hotel overlooking the famous championship links.
But the down-to-earth couple were not tempted to test the chef at the hotel’s AA Rosette-winning Dalhousie Restaurant.
Instead Adrian, 41, ordered two £2.15 bacon rolls from the bar for brunch.
A very lucky couple. But get how they got together:
Gillian and Adrian have been married for eight years since meeting by chance after Adrian dialled her number by mistake and fell for her Scottish accent.
That is pretty cool.Tags: Fun Things
The Dom Post reports:
Ever fancied having a slide in your home or office instead of those tiresome stairs?
Well, the Trade Me team in Wellington has decided that it would be the perfect way to spice up the daily grind.
They have installed a slide between the two floors of their new Wellington office, which staff began to move into on Monday.
Now that is cool. What a great idea.
It reminds me of my response when I worked in the PM’s Office to some survey about building improvements. I submitted that they should place a huge waterslide around the beehive stretching from the top floor all the way to the bottom, into the swimming pool. There would be entrances in from every level. I thought that would be a great boost for staff morale if you could waterslide from your office into the pool!Tags: Fun Things, Trade Me
A Northern Territory man may be flown to Adelaide after a party trick involving setting off firecrackers between his buttocks went badly wrong.
The 23-year-old man was at a party in the Darwin suburb of Rapid Creek on Saturday night when he decided to let the cracker off, NT police said.
”It appears a party was in full progress when a young male decided to place a firework between the cheeks of his bottom and light it,” said Senior Sergeant Garry Smith.
”What must of seemed to be a great idea at the time has backfired, resulting in the male receiving quite severe and very painful burns to his cheeks, back and private bits,” Senior Sgt Smith said.
Alcohol was a possible factor involved in the stunt, police said.Paramedics were called although the man had reportedly already taken himself to hospital by the time they arrived.
If alcohol was not a factor, then that’s one really stupid Aussie! Actually even with alcohol, still pretty stupid!Tags: Fun Things
What are the odds of a UFO sighting during the London Olympics opening ceremony? Or of the final torch bearer tripping as they ascend to light the flame? Or would you prefer a more traditional wager on the battle for gold between Russia and Spain in synchronized swimming duos?
London betting houses will offer odds on almost anything, including all 26 sports at the games, from the 100-metre dash to fencing, from diving to football. The industry expects to handle a record 100 million pounds (NZ$197 million) in wagers during the July 27-August 12 competition – even some pretty outlandish parlays.
A shame our gaming laws are so restrictive.
William Hill offers perhaps the longest odds of the games: 1000-to-1 that a flying saucer will appear over Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony. Tough luck, presumably, if aliens don’t make first contact until the next day.
Other longshots get slightly better odds, like 250-to-1 that every team in the 4×400-metre relay final drops the baton, or 33-to-1 that flamboyant London Mayor Boris Johnson accidentally lights his hair on fire with the Olympic torch.
I’d be tempted to place some money on Boris self-immolatingTags: Boris Johnson, Fun Things, gambling, Olympics
Rebecca Kamm writes in the Herald:
Nonetheless, it might be a relief to a few of you that ladies really can get a sweet bargain out there if they play their cards right. Like in Southern China, where women get half-price entry into the Guilin Merryland Resort fun park if they wear a mini-skirt shorter than 38 centimetres.
The discount scheme is a marketing campaign called “Love Miniskirt” and will run for two months. Local television showed female visitors in miniskirts queuing at the park’s entrance as staff measured their skirts with rulers. Also, staff had to break the news to women in short shorts and dresses that ONLY MINISKIRTS SORRY.
I may be wrong, but I suspect the park ended up with more revenue, due to a higher than normal number of male patrons attending.
Li Wenxing, deputy manager of the park, told Shanghai Dailythat “The stipulation aims to encourage female visitors to showcase their beauty in summer.” He also said that “Love Miniskirt”, which has been running every year since 2007, really gets the punters into the park. Which, incidentally, holds a “water splashing festival” at the same time – and throwing water at mini-skirted women is very much a part of that.
Sounds almost as much fun as La Tomatima!
It’s not the first time a Chinese event has drawn in the women with fruity discounts. Last year, virgins were offered free entry into the Zhouluo Wild Osmanthus Fragrans Festival in Changsha, which celebrates the osmanthus fragrans, or tea olive (and compares it to a “pure and simple female”). The virgins had to be at least 22 years old – and who knows how anyone was supposed to know that they’d never done it – but there you go.
I doubt you could do such a festival in Huntly.Tags: Fun Things
A cat jumps onto the shoulder of a reporter during a live cross.Tags: Fun Things
Watch this three minute video of a 30 story hotel being built in just 15 days.
I’m guessing it wasn’t a unionised workforceTags: Fun Things
The Telegraph reports:
William Martinez, 31, a married father of two from Georgia, engaged in the threesome with a friend and another woman who was not his wife, according to reports, when he died in March 2009, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The week before Martinez had reportedly visited the CardioVascular Group in Lawrenceville, complaining of chest pains that shot up his arm.
He was due for tests the following week but the threesome took place the day before he was scheduled to return.
Lawyers for Martinez’s estate, in filing a medical malpractice suit, had argued that his cardiologist did not tell the man to avoid strenuous physical activity before the test was performed, and that high blood pressure as well as a risk of clogged arteries put him at risk.
Jurors at a Gwinnett County court on Tuesday awarded his estate $5 million but they reduced it to $3m after finding him 40 per cent liable for his own death.
I wonder if he would have been only 20% liable if he had been bonking just one woman?
This has to be seen to be believed. Only the Germans could do it. It is 1300 square metres in size and has 13 kms of track, 900 trains and 12,000 wagons!
But it also has a 30,000 litre “North Sea” with cruise ships, 250 computer controlled motor vehicles, a fire brigade that responds to fires, Police chasing speed offenders, and get this an airport where with 49 airplanes that land automatically at it and get serviced by ground crews.
They also have 200,000 people populating the model.
I am so going to visit Hamburg now!
When Michael Cullen wanted his own train set, this is what we should have got him instead of Kiwirail!Tags: Fun Things
A short two minute film of 200 primary school kids (sponsored by NZ Post) to go to Peter And The Wolf which was running in Wellington as part of the International Arts Festival. Ro Tierney tagged along with one of the schools from Porirua to capture their experience.
Some had never even been on a bus to the city before, let alone see a show like this, and it shows looking at their reactions. A cool reminder how most kids love new experiences.Tags: Fun Things
An incredible visual tool at this website, showing the Universe in scale.
You use a scroll bar to zoom in and out. The scale goes from 1×10^-35 to 1×10^27. At each stage, you see objects of that size and can click on them for more detail.
The smallest item is quantum foam, which is slightly shorter than a planck length.
After that then a neutrino, which is around a yoctometer in length, or 1×10^-24. After that top quarks, and finally at 1×10^-15 you get protons and neutrons around a femtometer in size. Actual atoms get seen at just before 1×10^-10.
At the other end we have Pluto at 2,300 kms, the Moon at 3,500 kms, the USA at 4,200 kms and then Earth at 12,700 kms. Jupiter is at 140,000 kms, and the sun at 1.4m kms or 1.4 x 10^9.
Then the distance from Neptune to the Sun at 4,5b kms, larger than any known star. Voyager 1 is 17b kms from Earth. At 26b kms you have the distance light travels in a day. Sedna, the most remote object in our solar system is 140b kms from the sun which is .014 of a lightyear. Sedna takes 10,000 years to do a rotation around the sun.
The Oort Cloud is around 2 light years in size, or 2×10^18. Our closest star, Proxima Centauri is 4.2 light years away. The Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy is 10,000 light years in size, while the Milky Way is 120,000 light years.
After that you have the Virgo Cluster at 30m light years, and the Virgo Supercluster at at 110m light years. Finally you have the Observable Universe at 93b light years, or 9.3×10^26 metres.
It’s a great tool to get people interested in science. Lots of fun and interesting facts.Tags: Fun Things