Archive for March, 2009


One size fits all and just $20 each. I confess, I’m tempted. I just can’t decide which sweater to get for my laptop. Pepto-Bismol pink and cigarette ash snowflakes or the classic diarrhea brown?

I want them all. On second thought, I will go with a yellow neoprene skin. It matches my favorite latex chicken outfit. [The Post Family via Unplggd]


View Original Article

Blogged with the Flock Browser

By Fuggled.
I am starting to think that “Missed Opportunities” should be the credo of the marketing departments for most independent Czech breweries, come to think of it, most Czech breweries in general. Evan has commented several times about how poor our local breweries are here when it comes to using labels creatively.

Take the beer in these pictures as an example. Named in honour of an Austrian author and poet, who also wrote in Czech. How did I discover this, having not known it before? Yes, I had to look it up on Wikipedia. Going back to the label, it just left me asking questions, and probably annoying Mrs Velkyal into the bargain. It is possible to deduce that the beer is named after a guy called Klostermann who lived from 1848 to 1923, but that’s where the information finishes. These were the questions that went through my head:
  1. Why are there 4 city crests on the label? What cities are they?
  2. What is Klostermann’s connection to Strakonice?
  3. What did Klostermann do?
  4. Why is “Lager Bier” on the label in German instead of Czech?

It was only when I read his wiki entry that it became clear, and I had checked the back label, to be told the ingredients of the beer and the best before date.

But grumbling without suggesting an alternative is pointless, so here is what I would do:

  1. Use a complete wrap around label, rather than the more usual front and back efforts
  2. Leave the front section largely as it is
  3. On the back section, put the smallest possible barcode on it, and have it horizontal rather than vertical, decrease the size of the font for the ingredients and then give a potted biography of Karel Klostermann.

The potted biography could be something like this:

“Born in 1848 in Haag am Hausruck, Karel Klostermann was an author in both the Czech and German languages. His later writings are based in the Šumava region under the title “In the Heart of Šumava”. Klostermann died in 1923 in Štěkeň, a village near Strakonice.”

Oh, and if you want to look at the brewery website for more information about the beer, don’t bother – it isn’t even listed in their “assortment” section.
As for the beer, it was alright, not an amber lager up there with the likes of Primátor’s excellent 13° amber, but certainly a decent enough drink.

View Original Article

Blogged with the Flock Browser

View Original Article

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Actually, for a motorized bar stool I guess instead of a radio he should install one of those small jukeboxes you see in diner booths.  And I still don’t see where he puts his drink.

View Original Article

Blogged with the Flock Browser

For those who are keeping track, it appears there are 6 AEGIS vessels, 3 US and 3 Japanese, involved in the naval ballistic missile defense tracking and intercept capability deployed off North Korea. There are also an undetermined number of additional naval assets without BMD from Japan, South Korea, the United States, and Canada operating in the region.

For the Japanese, JS Kirishima (DDG 174) is acting as the tracking vessel while JS Kongo (DDG 173) and JS Chokai (DDG 176) are currently deployed with SM-3s capable of being launched, according to Japanese news reports.

For the US Navy, the USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) is the only identified US Navy ship deployed off the coast of North Korea, but based on open source intelligence, there does appear to be two Pearl Harbor destroyers capable of AEGIS BMD supporting the USS John S. McCain (DDG 56).

While Gates made clear there is nothing the US can do to “prevent the launch” of the North Korean missile system, it is very much possible for the US to shoot it down.

I have not entertained the possibility of a US shootdown as likely. I also find news reports discussing the USS Chafee (DDG 90) being deployed interesting. You see, USS Chafee (DDG 90) doesn’t have AEGIS BMD capability, although she is a very modern destroyer. USS Chafee (DDG 90) would only be deployed to protect AEGIS BMD ships from “other” threats.

Politically speaking, there are very good arguments to be made why we should shoot it down. I would run it by China first as a courtesy, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they privately supported us in that position if for no other reason than to get a good look at our AEGIS BMD capability.

While it would be a bit of an overreach, it would send exactly the right message to both friends and foes regarding the Obama administration, essentially saying “Don’t F— with me.” Under the “speak softly and carry a big stick” theory, that would set up the Obama administration to make an example of an illegal missile launch, rather than having to deal with a foreign army crisis in order to make a political statement.

It is much easier to send messages when the risks are low, but without informing the Chinese it wouldn’t be a smart option.

View Original Article

Blogged with the Flock Browser

The first few pages of Thomas Sowell’s Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One explains the incentives that doom government do-good programs.

People evaluate political decisions on intentions and economic decisions on results.   A political decision, such as using taxpayer money to bail out banks, is made to make the politicians look well-intentioned in order to win favor with voters, whether the result matches the intentions or not.  Often government programs hurt the very people they’re intended to help because of unintended consequences.  Yet programs continue on and grow because of the visible good intentions.

On the other hand, when I make an economic decision, like buying dinner from a restaurant, I evaluate the result.  Was the dinner worth what I gave up in exchange (money, time, drive)?  The restaurant workers may have good intentions, but if they don’t deliver a tasty meal in a reasonable time I won’t return. 

Sowell described that his Harvard economics professor, Arthur Smithie, got him to think through potential unintended consequences by asking which policy he favored and why and then asking, “And then what will happen?”  He would keep asking the last question over and over again.  I’ll give that a try.

View Original Article

Blogged with the Flock Browser

ILVE’s coffee machine for the modern savorer of the dark brew | Gentleman’s Gadgets

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Flux_capacitor

Bolt this Flux Capacitor to the bulkhead of your aut0–m0bile and instantly gain the power to travel through time. The designers of […]


130 words | permalink | 2 comments | digg this

View Original Article

Blogged with the Flock Browser

The internet loves the toaster. Why? Because it makes toast…which reminds us of breakfast…which reminds us of bacon. So, it is only fitting that we wish it well on its 100th birthday.

Indeed, 2009 represents 100 years since Frank Shailor and General Electric came up with the D12 in 1909. It may look like a major fire and burn hazard, but this device was the world’s first commercially successful toaster and it paved the way for the Pop-Tart you had this morning. That’s right—without Frank Shailor’s invention, nerds would surely starve. [Daily Express via Fark / Image via Jitterbuzz]


View Original Article

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Man up America.

The government is going to launch a web sight called ‘”Getting Through Tough Economic Times”. It will have the objective of “The feds will warn of depression, suicidal thinking and other serious mental illnesses. It will raise warning flags for: Persistent sadness/crying; Excessive anxiety; Lack of sleep/constant fatigue; Excessive irritability/anger.”

For the love of Pete America,man up already. I know it is tough out there,Lord knows Obamabi,Geithner,and Bernanke are doing anything to help. My advise is, if you feel a little stressed, to remember we have 130,000 troops in Iraq and 25,000 in Afghanistan. Do you think they are worried about the economy right now? Nope. They are worried about that guy with a rag on his head,screwing the goad,and holding the AK. Now,do your problems seem all that bad now,or are going to spas out like a 13-year old girl at a Jonas Brothers concert.

Yeah,didn’t think so,now go have that beer and man up America.

View Original Article

Blogged with the Flock Browser