Short links roundup: Smores for Darfur

BB reader Derek points us to the snapshot above, and says "The state of political action at Yale today. I'm afraid this is serious. The text chalked on the sidewalk in front of Yale's main library says it all: 'Smores for Darfur, All You Can Eat $2.'"

In presumably unrelated news, Richard Stallman visits the Yale Political Union, hijinks ensue. Link.

People are filesharing the new Radiohead album anyway. Link. Many fans are irked about the MP3 compression rate: Link. Lefsetz has a righteous rant about that issue and others which cause many to believe the band kind of blew it here: Link. Idolatr concurs: Link. Anyway, here are some fan-made alternative album covers for "In Rainbows": Link.

Historical ecology: Yucatan jungles are actually feral Mayan gardens. Link.

Here's a music video from the late '90s featuring human/robot interspecies sex. NSFW, animated. Link.

John White, the photographer who claims ownership of the "O RLY owl" photo, is mad at webcomic artist Jeffrey Rowland, for adapting that now-ubiquitous internet meme as part of an "internet ouijah board." Link.

Silver-and-blue nudibranch (undersea critter) is about the size of a quarter and attacks Portuguese men-of-war. Looks like an overeager Dallas Cowboys fan. Link.

San Fernando Valley guy triumphs over gridlock freeway traffic by kayaking to work 52 miles downstream on the L.A. River. Link.

Andy Riley, who has been chronicling "bunny suicides" for years online, has a new book out. Link to preview. Read the rest

Crashed drug plane owned by US Government?

Interesting story about the Gulfstream II jet filled with 3.7 tons of cocaine that crashed in the Yucatan a couple of weeks ago. According to the Austin American Statesman, this plane has previously flown to Guantanamo Bay, which has a highly restricted airspace:
Some news reports have linked the plane to the transport of terrorist suspects to the U.S. detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, but those reports cite logs that indicate only that the plane flew twice between Washington and Guantánamo and once between Oxford, Conn., and Guantánamo.

No terrorist suspects are known to have been transferred to Guantánamo directly from the United States.

The jet, with the tail number N987SA, changed hands twice in recent weeks. But how it ended up in the hands of suspected drug traffickers remains a mystery.

The Mexican attorney general's office said the blue and white Gulfstream II crashed Monday in a remote jungle area on the Yucatán Peninsula. Authorities seized 132 bags of cocaine weighing four tons.

Mad Cow Morning News visited the owners of the plane, "Donna Blue Aircraft Inc" of Coconut Beach FL., and discovered that it's an "empty office suite with a blank sign out front."
There was no sign of Donna Blue Aircraft, Inc., at the address listed at the Florida Dept. of Corporations, 4811 Lyons Technology Parkway #8 in Coconut Beach FL.

However, there were, oddly enough, a half-dozen unmarked police cars parked directly in front of the empty suite.

Phone calls to Butters Development, the industrial park's leasing agent, went unreturned.

Read the rest

Cryptozoological hooch: Chupacabra tequila spotted in wild

BB reader Steve says,

"Knowing BB readers are El Chupacabra fans I submit this photo of a Tequila bottle I spotted on a recent trip to the Yucatan around Tulum. Yes, I regret not having bought the bottle if only for its presence, but I wonder if El Chupacabra's visage on the bottle is an enticement to drink the brand or a consumer warning!"

Link to blog post with pix.

Reader comment: Gene says,

The "Cryptozoological hooch: Chupacabra tequila spotted in wild" story is referring to Chamucos, a cracking good tequila. A real smooth, sipping tequila that you won't want to shoot. Well, you shouldn't, anyway. The site linked is Flash-laden, and in Spanish.
Chris Rosa says,
Agreed...great sipping tequila. It's seriously like butter. Thought I'd pass along another picture I happen to have of the bottle since the referenced blog is down. Wish bar on Folsom near 11th in SF has this fine tequlia fyi.
Celeste says,
In response to the post about the Chupacabra tequila, singer Maynard James Keenan of Tool in 2005 made a Chupacabra wine, of which is now sold out, but I was lucky enough to get a bottle. Pictures at, with ordering information for upcoming seasons.
Rodrigo Aguilar reminds us...
I just wanted to send a quick clarification that the term “Chamuco” is not the same as “chupacabra”. A chupacabra is a fairly recently created (discovered?) creature that is said to pray on livestock. The term “Chamuco” is used for the devil or Satan.
Read the rest

Steve McQueen motorcycle epic that never was but soon will be

Snip from NYT story by Paul Cullum:

When Steve McQueen died 25 years ago in Juarez, Mexico, he left behind two children, some 30 movies and a legacy as "The King of Cool" (the title of a documentary about him). He also left behind two custom-made trunks containing 16 leather-bound notebooks full of drawings, photographs from period magazines, and a detailed script continuity – a screenplay without dialogue – written in a kind of hyper-stylized poetry. These materials were his plans for "Yucatan," the vanity project he yearned, but failed, to make.

A heist film and adventure epic, it would have married the sprawling canvas of films like "The Great Escape" and "Papillon" with the chase-scene histrionics of "Bullitt" (transferred to motorcycles, McQueen's lifelong passion) along with some ancient history and visionary science thrown in for good measure. reg-free Link Read the rest

NYC: Where are all the US Census race definitions at?

Comic artist Dorothy Gambrell (of Cat and Girl fame) whipped up some nifty maps of New York City that show ethnicity concentrations throughout the area based on 2000 census data. Where are all the White / Black / Asian / Latino people at, you ask? Link. (Thanks, Matt Winchll)

Previously: Dorothy Gambrell pie charts Google's "necessary" things Read the rest

Corporate logos on masterpieces photoshop contest

Today's Worth1000 contest is a look at corporate logos on great works of art and nature. There's a perverse kick out of seeing this, like some kind of AdBuster's photoshop-job in reverse. Link Read the rest

Cramped movie marquee makes for funny titles

Stefan Jones says: "One of the local (Beaverton, OR) movie theaters is a dowdy, badly located concrete box from the beginning of the multiplex era.

"The Regal Cinemas chain shows some special interest films there, plus popular films nearing the end of their run. The marquee space is severly limited, resulting in sublime concatanations like the one shown in the picture." Read the rest

Katrina: anecdote on civil defense in Cuba (often sans phones, power)

Ned Sublette says:
I just spoke to nelson valdes, a walking encyclopedia of knowledge about cuba, and asked him how civil defense is conducted in cuba. he ticked it off while i listened with my left hand and typed with my right. here are the notes i took:

* * *

less than 2 months ago, cuba was able to move 1.7 million people on short notice.

the whole civil defense is embedded in the community to begin with. people know ahead of time where they are to go.

they come to your door and knock, and tell you, evacuation is coming, then they come and tell you, now.

if no electricity, they have runners who communicate from a headquarters to central locations what is to be done.

the country's leaders go on TV and take charge. but not only the leaders are speaking. the TV weatherpeople are knowledgeable. and the population is well educated about hurricanes.

they not only evacuate. it's arranged beforehand where they will go, who has family where. not only pickup is organized, delivery of people is organized.

merely sticking them in a stadium is unthinkable. shelters all have medical personnel, from the neighborhood. they have family doctors in cuba (!), who evacuate together with the neighborhood, and already know who, for example, needs insulin.

if they evacuate to a countryside high school -- a last resort -- they have dormitories there.

they also have veterinarians and they evacuate animals. they begin evacuating immediately, and also evacuate TV sets and refrigerators, so that people aren't relucatant to leave because people might steal their stuff.

Read the rest

Cat and Girl comic on modern art

Cat and Girl saddle up to the bar for a comic send-up of contemporary/avant-garde art called "Where is the Little Andres Serranos Room?" Link (Thanks, Professor Cupcake!) Read the rest

Bumper sticker: "My other car is a Pynchon novel"

Available from the Cat and Girl comic's online store, along with gothic script t-shirts that say, "Capitalists do it Ruthlessly." Link (via Bruce Sterling) Read the rest

A quick Mole's fast food

Star-nosed moles detect an edible treat like an insect larva or worm and gulp it down faster than the human eye can follow. Researchers at Vanderbilt University timed the moles' actiosn as part of a new study published in this week's issue of the scientific journal Nature. From the press release:
(Biologist Kenneth) Catania, working with laboratory assistant Fiona E. Remple, captured the elusive moles' feeding behavior with a high-speed video camera. Because they live in darkness, the moles have very poor eyesight. So they continually survey their environment by repeatedly touching the objects around them with their star appendages. Timing the moles' actions, the researchers found that after touching a small piece of food they took an average of 230 milliseconds to identify it as edible and eat it.... "The star-nose has the strangest teeth," Catania says. Its incisors are very small compared to other moles and are formed like tweezers. "This allows them to grasp small prey very precisely," he says.
Link Read the rest

Dorothy Gambrell pie charts Google's "necessary" things

Dan sez: If you enjoyed glancing over the Google results for 'necessary' (from your Read the rest

Cat and Girl

Cat and Girl is a great net comic-strip. Link Discuss (Thanks, Stefan!) Read the rest

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