Fact: The only thing that smells worse than your poop is tons of other people's poop. If you don't believe me, take a road trip to the town of Parrish, Alabama. They'll back me up on this one: According to the Associated Press, the citizens of Parrish were forced to endure the stench pouring off a train full of sewer sludge from New York and New Jersey for close to two months.
It's not unusual for trains full of human waste to pass through the town of 982 people: there's a landfill complex that treats and disposes of the excrement another 20 miles further down the track. Having the train stop in town to share its intoxicating perfume for two months? That's both unreasonable and unusual. It seems that another county in Alabama blocked the train's passage, making it impossible for it to reach its final destination. So, there it sat in Parrish: like a man in the bathroom after a large, questionable meal, full of poop, making everything terrible for everyone. NPR states that the train was stopped near a local park. The odor coming off of it was so bad that little league games had to be cancelled.
After two months of having to put up with the stench ruining the lives of everyone in the town, in mid-April, the Mayor of Parrish was finally able to tell her constituents that it was finally moving on. The town's administration will be looking into passing a series of by-laws to keep similar incidents from happening again. Read the rest
Becky Molln, whose husband Nilay writes for The Verge, reviewed the Samsung UN40K6250AF television set. It's a fantastic rant.
The screen is curved, which means that it picks up and seemingly magnifies every glimmer of light in the room. Because that’s what you want in a television screen. The curved screen demands that you sit dead center of the TV unless you want to observe the equally frustrated facial expressions of the person sitting opposite you on the couch trying in vain to see through the glare. The glare is ridiculous. It’s so completely terrible that I give up after watching something for 30 seconds and walk away whisper-yelling swears at my sucker of a husband for bringing this piece of shit into my home. This television makes me hiss in anger.
The TV also constantly prompts for Tizen software updates by placing a banner over the top of the display and has advertising in the menus. I really, really should have gotten something else.
I'll bet Carla could write a similar review of our Samsung fridge. In fact, she has banned Samsung products from our home. Read the rest
Here's a gallery of stuff people bought online, only to receive something that was too small, too crappy, or completely unexpected.
Read the rest
Next month, the Isle of Wight Zoo in England is opening a National Poo Museum! The new exhibition will include preserved feces from a wide array of animals, from the Lesser Madagascan Tenrec to lions, and of course a 38 million-year-old coprolite, fossilized crap such as the specimen seen above.
"It's stinky, unpleasant and sometimes dangerous stuff — but it’s all around us and inside us too — and perhaps surprisingly our planet would be a much poorer place without it," a museum spokesperson told the County Press. Read the rest
I visited my little brother, a dedicated minimalist, last month. In general, I think of myself as not particularly consumerist-y. But hanging out with somebody who is sooo much better at not consuming pointlessly has left me with a lot to think about.
Gadgets are one of the biggest things I've been pondering. This is not, especially, my area of weakness when it comes to consumerism. (That would be landscaping plants, furniture, and kitchenware.) But I did recently get my first smart phone. I have been, lately, complaining about the weight of my old MacBook. And I have been contemplating a new MP3 player. In other words, I'm at a potential buying stage in my slow-moving gadget cycle. Do I need to be, though? And if there is a reason to buy some new stuff, how should I make those choices?
That's probably why Thomas Hayden's essay In Praise of Crap Technology struck a chord with me. In it, Hayden waxes poetic about his $19.99 Coby MP3 player. It's a product that's supposed to suck. It's something you buy reluctantly, when you can't afford an iPod. But, apparently, nobody bothered to let the Coby know about that. It's boring. It's ugly. It doesn't have the latest features. But, as Hayden points out, it's also durable, inexpensive, inherently theft-deterrent, and reliable. It also does exactly what he needs it to do. No less. And no more.
Read the rest
My portable audio technology needs are simple. A few hundred well-chosen—by me, dammit—songs and a half-dozen episodes of the WTF podcast and I’m good to go.
Verdict: The generic thermometers at Lowes are crap. Read the rest
The condo association at Scarlett Place, a posh Baltimore building, have proposed to DNA-test all the dogs on the premises, and use DNA from errant dog-turds to identify feckless owners and fine them $500 per dog-pie.
Using all the dog swabs, BioPet would create a doggie database of sorts for the complex. It would compare all those samples to the mysterious doggie-doo. When BioPet identifies the guilty pooch, the owner would pay a $500 fine.
"We pay all this money, and we're walking around stepping in dog poop," resident Steven Frans told The Sun. "We bring guests over and this is what they're greeted by."
Frans is the board member who proposed the plan, calling it a reasonable and objective way to find the culprit.
DNA Could Solve Doggie-Doo Caper
(via Freakonomics Blog)
(Image: A New Way to Complain About Dog Poop, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from aoifecitywomanchile's photostream)
How to make a minpin poop compost bin: an illustrated guide ...
Woman fined for picking up the wrong dog's poop
Barbie doll set comes with plastic dog crap
Al Jaffee's dog crap epoxy invention
Designer dog poo bags Gadgets
Taiwan city launches new cash-for-poop initiative
Dogs and cats, living together ... mass hysteria! Read the rest
Yvan Arpa's coprolite watch is a US$11,290 timepiece with a face made from fossil dinosaur turds and a band made from black cane-toad skin (normally poisonous, rendered inert through processing).
The thing is, coprolites just aren't that valuable. Dinosaurs left behind a lot of crap. This site sells coprolite at $8 per pound (it makes a wicked gift!).
Swiss luxury watch made of fossilized dinosaur feces, toad skin costs $11,290 (Photo)
Discovering the first Americans' bathroom
Common outdoor climbing phobias and how to combat them Read the rest