Now that BP is filling the Gulf of Mexico with oil—as if it wasn’t full enough when it was just plain ole saltwater—everyone including President Obama is pushing alternative fuels. While Tesla Motors bought the Nummi factory in Fremont, California, to turn out their high end electric cars, what about us little guys? Luckily Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz of Maine, the guys who are making a living out of Diet Coke and Mentos geysers, are looking out for us. They’ve invented a Coke Zero and Mentos-powered car. There’s a teaser video at their site with promise of a full demonstration video—in 3-D no less!—on June 1st. It’s perfect. Forget gas! Forget plugging your car in! If you’re running out of power just pull into Safeway and buy some Mentos and Coke Zero.
Archive for May 2010
At the top of the list of the 20 worst drinks in America according to Men’s Health magazine is the PB&C milkshake from Cold Stone Creamery, made with peanut butter, chocolate ice cream, and milk. Drink one and you just sucked down 2,010 calories, the equivalent of eating 68 strips of bacon or 30 chocolate chip cookies. A spokesman for Cold Stone Creamery says they do offer low-calorie, reduced-fat options. Like anything else on the menu.
Remember how cool it was last week that the Google homepage had a playable Pac-Man game on it to honor the game’s 30th anniversary? Well according to Rescue Time, a company that makes time-tracking software, people spent 4.8 million hours—which is about 549 years—playing Google-ized Pac-Man when they should have been working. Companies can send invoices for employee time compensation to: Google Time Suck Reimbursement Program, 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043.
The house made famous by The Amityville Horror is on the market and $1.15 million will make you the proud owner of the five-bedroom Dutch Colonial house with walls that supposedly once oozed slime, though James Brolin and Margot Kidder aren’t included. Of course if you get the house don’t be shocked if Kidder moves into the backyard at any time. Inclusion of Jodie the demonic pig, on the other hand, is fully negotiable.
In a study being published in the journal Psychological Science, scientists say they figured out why overhearing a cellphone conversation is so annoying. No, it’s not because talking on a cell phone makes people think whoever’s on the other end suddenly went deaf and they need to shout. And no, it’s not because you don’t need to hear the gory details about their sex life, morning after, or recent operation. It turns out it’s because when our brain only hears half of a conversation it tries to fill in the other side, sucking up more of our attention and concentration than if we hear both sides of a conversation. Thus, it’s more distracting and harder to tune it out. And more annoying. So the next time someone’s sitting near you talking loudly about what’s been draining out of that sore on their, uh, leg, ask them to put it on speakerphone so you can ignore them.
A survey taken for the Science Museum of London found that British men tell an average of three lies a day while women tell only two. That’s assuming, of course, that everyone told the truth.
When Jacki Cisneros of Los Angeles won $266 million in the Mega Millions lottery last Thursday, she told Today’s Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira that she was going to continue working. “I can’t imagine not working. It’s a foreign concept to me,” she said. Lottery winners should be required to take a test before being given their money. It would have one question: Are you going to work tomorrow? If the answer is no, they get the money. If they answer yes, the money goes back into the pot for next week’s lottery so someone more deserving can win it.
Scientists exploring Papua, Indonesia, have discovered a frog with a long, “Pinocchio-like” nose that grows, not when it lies, but when the male calls out to the females. Yes, this new frog’s pointed nose inflates, probably hoping to attract the women frogs. Think of it as an amphibian’s way of putting socks down the pants it doesn’t wear. Hey, a frog’s got to do something. After all, as Kermit admitted, it’s not easy being green.
A study published in the new issue of Evolution and Human Behaviour says men evolved with thicker skulls and stronger jaws than women because it helped them win when they fought over the fairer sex. So women, the next time you say your man is dense and thick, keep in mind that you have some evolutionary responsibility for it.
As of June 13, Little Orphan Annie will be no more. Her syndicate, Tribune Media Services, is cancelling the comic strip that’s run continually since 1924. A spokesperson for the syndicate said, “It would serve the character and our business best if we focused on other channels more appropriate to the ‘kids’ nature of the property.” Not to mention that the comic strip only runs in 20 newspapers these days. And that at 86, it’s a little strange that Annie’s still dressing and acting like a pre-teen. No word on whether Sarah Jessica Parker will be cancelled too.
Forget condom machines in the bathroom. Don’t even think about a snack machine. If you go to the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi you’ll find a vending machine that sells gold. Three hundred twenty gold items as a matter of fact, ranging from jewelry to customized gold coins, with prices that automatically change every 10 minutes according to the price of gold on the international market. You have to feel sorry for the poor kids whose Moms and Dads return from a vacation and hand them an ingot that says: “My parents went to the Emirates Palace hotel and all I got was this lousy 10 gram gold bar.”
A survey published in the journal Pediatrics found that nearly one in four young people in North America have used a hookah in the past year. The researchers are concerned that the increase is due to the mistaken belief that hookahs are safer than cigarettes. The smokers are concerned that the researchers think they’re actually smoking tobacco.
Wondering what that tattoo will really look like before it’s permanently a part of your body? An Australian company has come to the rescue. Stop by Obsessive Ink’s website and you can make a 3D model of your body (accurate or hopeful), then put the tattoo of your choice on it. Don’t like it? Try a new body! I mean, try another tattoo. Now if they only had an aging button so you can see how that Lady Gaga face with “Mom” underneath will look when you’re sitting in the Sunnyvale Retirement Community playing mah jong.
Just in time for Mother’s Day, White Castle has started selling candles that smell like their Slider hamburgers. They come in a ceramic holder that looks like the Slider’s cardboard sleeve and hopefully have a warning label so people don’t smell it, get hungry, and take a chomp out of it. Hmmmm, do I smell a lawsuit in the works? Of course not! That isn’t a real lawsuit I smell, it’s White Castle’s next candle promotion—Shark Bait.
A survey released this weekby Retrevo found that as many as 12% of those polled under the age of 25 think it’s okay to answer a text message during sex. Hopefully it’s not from their partner.
Tasmanian scientists have found a new species of jellyfish they’ve named Gsiro medusa medeopolis, which means “city of gonads.” They chose the name because they say the jellyfish, which is only a few millimeters wide, looks like a flying saucer with a cluster of sex organs on top. That and the name Ronicus Jeremyis was already taken.
According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, scientists at the Friedrich-Wilhelms University of Bonn, Germany, have developed a nasal spray using the hormone oxytocin that turns a man into a sensitive romantic. The men who tried it displayed more emotional empathy than those who got a placebo and, according to Dr. Rene Hurlemann, they attained “the levels of sensitivity usually found in females.” Just think, women, one spray and he’ll love that chick flick as much as you do. Maybe more! It’s Chick Flick, the new perfume from Julia Roberts.
Scientists working on the Pentagon-sponsored SyNAPSE project for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) know that creating a computer with human intelligence is way off, if ever possible, so they’re aiming lower. They’re working on creating artificial intelligence on the level of a cat’s brain. They figure it will be much easier to program a computer to want to chase anything that moves—no matter how small, to decide that 2:00 am is a great time to sit on someone’s nose, and how to be your best friend one second and pretend you don’t exist the next.