A report by ComScore Inc. says 85% of Americans between the age of 14 and 34 sent at least one text message in a given month last quarter. Meanwhile, 42% of those 50 and older sent one. Of those, 17% began their text message with “Dear” and ended it with “Sincerely yours,” 67% typed “LOL” but didn’t know what it stands for, and 22% sent the message by accident while trying to figure out how to answer their phone.
Archive for November 2010
TSA chief John Pistole says the Homeland Security Department is looking into discontinuing the 8-year-old terror alert system that uses five color levels and has been stuck on one level—orange—for the past four years. They’re considering changing it to something more meaningful, like “Go on Through,” “Pat Down,” and “Full Cavity Search.”
The British royal family has announced that Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton will take place on Friday, April 29, at Westminster Abbey, giving people plenty of time to purchase William and Kate commemorative plates, tea cozies, soap-on-a-rope, and leftover Charles and Diana commemorative toothbrushes with new photos pasted on them. “Save the Date” Tweets are expected to be sent out tomorrow.
Art restorers in Italy have their smocks in a knot over Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s having had broken body parts replaced on two ancient marble statues in his office. Venus received a new hand, while Mars got a new penis. The culture ministry defends the statuary enhancements, pointing out that the body parts are attached by magnets so they can be easily removed without any damage. If only Berlusconi had a body part like Mars he wouldn’t be in half the trouble he’s in.
In an article in the Journal of Cosmology, two scientists posit that humans could travel to Mars much sooner—and cheaper—if the missions were one-way, much like the early settlers who traveled to North America and didn’t expect to return. Or the English who settled Australia. Or Napoleon when he, uh, settled Elba. Interestingly, neither of the scientists who wrote the article volunteered.
A new canned drink vending machine in Japan uses facial recognition to recommend drinks based on the customer’s age and gender as well as the temperature and time of day. ”If the customer is a man, the machine is likely to recommend a canned coffee drink, since men tend to prefer these. If the customer is in their 50s, though, that recommendation is likely to be green tea,” a company spokeswoman said. A young woman might be offered tea or something slightly sweeter, a child milk, an ad agency executive would be offered scotch, and a police officer would be told to move on to the next machine and order a doughnut.
In an attempt to boost sales, Nations Trucks in Sanford, Florida, is offering a free AK-47 assault rifle to anyone who buys a used truck through the end of November. Since they’re actually giving out a $400 gun shop voucher, customers can opt to buy a different firearm, receive a $400 check, or use it as a down payment at the bail bond company of their choice.
If you want to get out of jury duty, try telling the judge, “I had a close friend in high school who killed 17 people.” It worked for John Backderf. When asked by the judge if he’d ever known anyone convicted of a crime, Backderf mentioned his boyhood pal, Jeffrey Dahmer. He was immediately excused. And you thought you had to lie about having had a vacation planned for the dates of the trial.
A few months ago Sarah Palin said President Obama doesn’t have the cojones to deal with the issue of illegal immigration. If she runs for president in 2012—did someone say “if”?—she might want to make sure she chooses a candidate with cojones grande. Like the Tuberous Bushcricket for instance. Biologists at the University of Derby, England, report that the Bushcricket has the largest testicles in relation to its body weight in the world, weighing in at 14% of its body mass. To put that into perspective, if it were a human male each of its testicles would weigh as much as five bags of sugar. But make fewer batches of chocolate chip cookies. What the scientists haven’t determined yet is why they chose a career that entails weighing animal and insect testicles.
The Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation of Chicago has a new weight loss product—flavored crystals you sprinkle on your food. The crystals, which they claim helped people lose an average of 28 pounds, supposedly suppress the appetite by tricking the brain into thinking you’ve had enough to eat after only having chowed down on a small amount. The crystals come in a range of simulated flavors including cheese, horseradish, coffee, and the ones that suppress your appetite the most, vomit, skunk, and Baby’s First Summer Diaper.
Paul the Octopus, the World Cup predicting cephalopod, has passed to his watery grave, but don’t fret. If you still need an oracle, there’s always Facebook. It turns out that Facebook was a good predictor of how the House of Representatives elections would play out. Based on the number of people who became fans of the candidates before the election, Facebook managed to predict 74% of the winners. Sure Alan Grayson of Florida lost despite having about six times as many Facebook fans, that’s because people thought his buttons said “Hike.”
An apparent bug in the iPhone’s alarm app caused it to not adjust to Daylight Savings Time in Europe, which began there over the weekend, so for many people their Monday morning alarm went off an hour later than expected and they were late for work. A spokesman at Apple denies it’s a bug, claiming it’s a feature. “We love our users and think they deserve an extra hour of sleep, so we gave it to them.”