Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The origin of the word "faker"

The origin of the word faker

One of my pet peeves are “fakers”, posers who pretend to possess expertise and qualifications which they did not earn. The interweb is full of foreign, self-appointed experts and posers. I really hate fake engineers and fakers who give themselves fancy titles:

Posers love fake job titles

In college, I remember learning that a “faker” was a derivative of the word “fakir”, an Indian swami who dazzled people with feats of magic and illusion. Here are some “fake” accolades that I’ve seen used by fakers:

This thread has an interesting discussion of the origin of the word “faker”, with evidence that a faker is indeed derived from the Indian word “fakir”:

The "fakir" - Origion of the word faker

“I have seen a turn-of-the-century postcard with the caption "Fakir's Row" at the annual Brockton (Mass.) Fair.

I'm sure this was not a row of Hindu holy men but rather more like what Tatyana says: magicians performing their various smoke and mirror acts."

Amazing CGI art examples

Check this out, AMAZING CGI artistry. What an incredible new artists medium:


Obvious questions with counterintuitive answers

Try this quiz. The answers are not as obvious as you might think:

1) How long did the Hundred Years' War last?

2) Which country makes Panama hats?

3) From which animal do we get cat gut?

4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?

5) What is a camel's hair brush made of?

6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?

7) What was King George VI's first name?

8) What color is a purple finch?

9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from?

10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?

Remember, you need 4 correct answers to pass.

Check your answers below ...


1) How long did the Hundred Years War last? 116 years

2) Which country makes Panama hats? Ecuador

3) From which animal do we get cat gut? Sheep and Horses

4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution? November

5) What is a camel's hair brush made of? Squirrel fur

6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal? Dogs

7) What was King George VI's first name? Albert

8) What color is a purple finch ? Crimson

9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from? New Zealand

10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane? Orange (of course)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Building a custom conservatory

Janet and I love conservatories, and it’s a great way to save cash on food too. I;’ve always wanted an indoor orange and lemon tree!

We were inspired by this place in Dublin, a magnificent art deco masterpiece:

And this one, in Belfast, a stunning conservatory:

But this one is my favorite, a poolside conservatory:

Most of the pieces can be purchased from Lowes, ready to assemble!

I want a conservatory with multiple climates, a rain forest for tropical’s, and other areas for violets, orchids, Bonsai, flowers, and a separate space for seasonal herbs and veggies like home-grown tomatoes and green chile!

I would also love to “keep” geraniums over the winter! After a few years they grow to be like small flowering trees!

I’ve seen some geraniums over six feet tall!

See my notes here on custom conservatory ideas.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Rate that infomercial product!

Ever wonder how many people actually become real estate millionaires from those late night TV infomercials? How about those stupid “investment quality” collectors coins? Well, wonder no more, they are now being rated online!

Stupid crap for stupid people

This web site allows you to rate the products that you see on late night TV!

Take a few minutes to read the reviews, it's very entertaining!

I like this one, where the moron blames “sham-wow” for making his father die angry!

“He started to cry and yell, and as I took my niece out of the room, my father yelled out a scream of anger and pain I had never heard before.

He never got to say his last words to me or our family, all he saw was his own failure and shame and he died in tears, thinking only of an angry world, and not of our LOVE FOR HIM!"

Man, this product must really suck, to cause all of this human misery . . .

How to criticize doctors?

Some Licensed professionals (especially doctors and lawyers) tend to give-off a God-like arrogance, and I think that part of their problem is that they are never given an opportunity to be criticized.

Too many doctors have a God Complex

For physicians it’s even worse. If a doctor is found culpable for malpractice, a settlement will often be done with a non-disclosure clause, so the public will never know.

So, how does the public learn about the qualities of professionals? For physicans, we now have this site, a site which allows people to publish anonymous comments about the quality of their health care. Because licensing standards suggest that all doctors and lawyers must be perfect, many doctors are up-in-arms about this site, especially the potential for abuse.

How does one "out" a quack doctor?

A doctor’s reputation is their greatest asset, and while it’s not fair to quash fair comment about medical treatment, it’s not fair to allow anonymous people to unfairly ruin a lifetime of hard work. WE must also consider the issue of business competition, especially among the “vanity” medical areas of plastic surgery and psychiatry, areas where a business competitor might use a tool like this to launch an illegal attack. (Tortuous interference with business relationships is a crime).

This article notes that the web site hides behind section 230, a DMCA clause which holds a web site harmless for what other people publish on the site.

I thought that it was interesting that this web site does not allow commentators to identify themselves!

Given that over 95% of complaints against medical doctors are unjustified, I could see where a site like this serves no legitimate purpose, other than as a vehicle for libel.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Mexico planning to invade USA?

Evidently, it's illegal to fly any foreign flag above the star spangled banner.

This man is quite upset, and I can't say as I blame him:

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Tucson boneyard

Tucson is home to the "boneyard", a place where old military aircraft go to stay dry and rust-free, in case any parts are needed. It’s an amazing place, a graveyard for thousands of old military aircraft, preserved in the dry hot air:

In 1946, the boneyard housed thousands of B-17 bombers, which could be bought for as little as a few hundred dollars. Today, they are national treasures . . .
Lockheed Constellation

Janet & Noel with a Lockheed "Connie"

The Pima Air and Space Museum has a great collection of antique aircraft, including a B-17 and this Lockheed Constellation. The old "Connie" was the first plane I flew in, and I vividly remember puking my guts out as she bucked and weaved through the rough air.

I still love the classic lines of the Lockheed Constellation, and at night with all of the colorful lights on the wing and rudder, she is a spectacular sight.

The Pima museum also has a rare B-17 and several Air Force One aircraft.

Lots of old B-52's as well, including one that's outfitted to launch an X-15. It's hard to believe that the B-52 has been in service since 1952.

See my travel notes in Tucson here.

Friday, February 27, 2009

What is the amount of foreign objects allowed in food?

In the wake of the peanut butter recall people are asking how much foreign objects are allowed in food?

It may make you sick to know that the FDA allows up to 30 insert parts or vermin hairs for each 100 grams of peanut butter! Yum!

In some countries, they allow foreign objects in the food, like this jumping maggot cheese:

Cheese with live maggots

And, in China, they eat vermin, both city rat and country rat:

Yummy stewed rodent head

Most people don’t know that they eat vermin and bugs every day, all allowed under the FDA regulations on the amount of foreign objects allowed in food.

In fact, some fish products (red fish & orcan perch) allow parasites and the accompanying pus pockets to be included!

However, it remains a felony for any food preparation service to place a foreign object in served foods:

The finger-lickin good Chili from Wendy’s was a scam

Please note that the FDA allows small amounts of rat feces and insect parts in Ketchup, because it’s virtually impossible to remove all particulate matter from mass produced tomatoes.

They make the distinction between natural contaminants (turds, dead critters) and foreign objects such as staples, broken glass, or jewelry. This loaf of bread is a violation:

An example of too much contaminent for foods

The FDA publishes a Food Defect Action Level list. Here is a sample of the amount of gross things that are allowed into our food:

NOODLE PRODUCTS - Insect filth: Average of 225 insect fragments or more per 225 grams in 6 or more subsamples. Rodent filth: Average of 4.5 rodent hairs or more per 225 grams in 6 or more subsamples

CHOCOLATE - Insect filth: Average is 60 or more insect fragments per 100 grams when 6 100-gram subsamples are examined OR any 1 subsample contains 90 or more insect fragments. Rodent filth: Average is 1 or more rodent hairs per 100 grams in 6 100-gram subsamples examined.

CANNED CITRUS FRUITS - Insects and insect eggs: 5 or more Drosophila and other fly eggs per 250 ml or 1 or more maggots per 250 ml.

FLOUR - Insect filth: Average of 75 or more insect fragments per 50 grams. Rodent filth: Average of 1 or more rodent hairs per 50 grams.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Programmer as Musician

I remember back in the 1970's when IBM would only hire music majors, and teach them programming.

This video says it all, and true too, listen to the lyrics!

Write in C

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

List of Surviving B-29 Bombers

42-6376 - to storage at Davis Monthan 6/27/49

42-65281, Miss America '62 - at Travis AFB Museum, CA

42-27297, Bock's Car - the Nagasaki bomber, now on display at WPAFB Museum, OH

44-27343 - at Tinker AFB Air Park, OK

44-61975 - at New England Air Museum 44-69729 - on display at Seattle Museum of Flight, WA

44-69972 - stored on range at Naval Air Warfare Center, China Lake, CA, moved to United States Air Museum, Inyokern, CA and is under restoration

44-70016 - at Pima Air Museum, Tucson, AZ

44-70064 - on display at Castle AFB Museum, plane is actually made up of three derelict targets from China Lake

44-84076 - on display at SAC Museum, Offutt AFB, NE

44-86292, Enola Gay - dropped atomic bomb on Hiroshima

44-86408 - used to collect radioactive samples during postwar atomic tests, now on display at Hill AFB Museum

44-87779 - at South Dakota Air and Space Museum, Ellsworth AFB

45-21763, Kee Bird - abandoned after landing frozen lake in Greenland, during to recover, caught fire and burned May 21, 1995. Check out PBS Nova episode about the efforts to recover Kee Bird.

45-21787, Fertile Myrtle - used as carrier aircraft for D-558-II, registered as NACA 137, now with Weeks Air Museum, Miami, FL

45-21800 - used as "mothership" for X-1 trials 45-21801 - used by NACA between 1945 and 1955

List of surviving operational B-17 bombers

I have a special relationship with the B-17, and I would not be here today if it were not for the superb engineering of these magnificent aircraft. My father flew 52 combat missions in B-17’s during WWII, and if it were not for their amazing toughness, ole Dad would not have been there to conceive me!

Ever since I was a child, I’ve thought of the B-17 as one of the most beautiful aircraft ever built, (and I still do) and it’s sad to think that there are only 13 of these national treasures in flying condition.

44-83514 CAF, Mesa, Arizona. Flies as Sentimental Journey.

44-83546 1941 Historical Aircraft Group, Genesco, New York. Flies as 41-24485, Memphis Belle Replica.

44-83563 Martin Aviation, Santa Ana, California. Flies as 42-97400, Fuddy Duddy.

44-83575 Collings Foundation, Stowe, Massachusetts. Flies as 42-31909, Nine-O-Nine.

44-8543 - Vintage Flying Museum, Fort Worth, Texas. Flies as Chuckie.

44-85718 Lone Star Flight Museum, Galveston, Texas. Flies as 42-38050, Thunderbird.

44-85734 Liberty Belle Foundation, Douglas, Georgia. Flies as 42-97849, Liberty Belle.

44-85740 EAA Aviation Foundation, Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Flies as Aluminum Overcast.

44-85778 Palm Springs Air Museum, Palm Springs, California. Flies as Miss Angela.

44-85784 B-17 Preservation Trust, Duxford, England. Flies as 41-24485, Sally B.

44-85829 Yankee Air Force, Willow Run Airport, Ypsilanti, Michigan. Flies as Yankee Lady.

44-8846 Associtation Forteresse Toujours Volante, Paris, France. Flies as Pink Lady.

Granny watches her first South Park episode!!

Janet’s Mom is in her 80’s and she hangs out in our house quite a bit. Last week she called Janet, quite agitated, seriously pissed-off!

Evidently she was watching a Carolina game (she is a big basketball fan), and the DVR machine interrupted her game to record an episode of South Park!

Evidently, lots of Grandma’s are die-hard sports fans:

Grannie's like sports!

Because people lose the ability to operate a remote control after age 75, granny sat helplessly while she was being treated to this unwanted potty humor!!!

This is the episode where people are warned about the dangers of Cheesing:

Cheesing - Getting high by inhaling cat pee!

Well, Granny was furious!

Not only did she miss the game, but she was upset at the “nasty” language and nudity in the cartoon! She said that there was a nasty woman, wearing only a belt.

We recognized it as “Major Boobage”, one of the funniest and raunchiest South Park episodes ever!

Speaking of nudity, have you seen this "granny flasher" Halloween costume?

I hope that I don’t lose my sense of humor if I’m lucky enough to live into my 80’s . . .

Order New Mexican food over the Internet

Ever since the Manhattan project introduced a generation of atomic scientists to the wonders of New Mexico food, people have been lusting for this wonderful fusion of Indian and Hispanic influences, an amazing fusion treat found nowhere else on the planet except in the high deserts of New Mexico.

But how can you get New Mexico food shipped to you and order it over the web? Here are my sources:

- Red and Green chile sauce - For years I've bought red chile and green chile from Monroe's in Albuquerque, and they can ship the New Mexico red or green sauce anywhere in the world.

- Red Chile sauce and tamales - Sadie's Salsa sells a great red chile sauce and fantastic tamales by mail.

- New Mexico Chile Rellenos - New Mexico Chile is a great source for Chile Rellenos, cheesy and hot. They make their rellenos from scratch, after you order.

New Mexican food is not just delicious, it’s quite addicting. In New Mexico, chile (never to be confused with "chili") is a cultural thing, the peppers that bind you together (and un-bind you later).

Hatch New Mexico has the world's best chile peppers

In Albuquerque you can get hatch chile on anything! You can buy a Big Mac with green chile added at McDonalds, and you can get a green chile pizza at Pizza Hut.

You can buy green chile sauce by the case, shipped anywhere on the globe.

See my full note here on buying New Mexican food on the web.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The bean dogs of Northern Mexico

I recently discovered the joys of the "beaner dogs" of Northern Mexico, hot dogs served-up with bacon and beans!

Who ever heard of putting beans in a hot dog? It sounds gross, but these “beaner dogs” of Northern Mexico are are fantastic treat!

Beans or not, these Mexican hot dog are truly a thing of beauty. Made from a "cheap" hot dog, wrapped in fatty bacon and slathered in beans, chile, mayo and hot sauce, it's a meal with a real retort, an absolutely delicious snack that you will taste for hours.

When Americans think of "cheap" hot dogs they think of those ones made from red dye #5,and serial, with bits of lips and buttholes (called "rennet) for a real meat-like flavor.

To a Mexican, a cheap hot dog is made from spleen, just like their spicy chorizo sausage, and bound together with hot dog helper.

No lips or buttholes in these babies, they are just pure offal.

Nestled in a warm Mexican roll, these gut bombs go down smooth.

The colors of the yellow mustard, green peppers and white mayo is not done for flavor, it's considered patriotic and done because of the white, red, and yellow hues of the Mexican flag.

Thank God the Mexican flag does not have any brown in it . . .

See more notes here on Mexican food in the Sonoran desert.

What's a Chav?

Let's learn to speak British!

The British love to make-up new words and sayings, and most of them are quite ridiculous. I like this new British slang word, Chav, coined from the language of those thieving tinkers:

The Chav

Evidently, a Chav is a low-life English teenager of questionable provenance, bad manners and, of course, bad teeth.

The Chav is the British equivalent of po white trailer trash. . . .

Chav's also like to wear designer clothers, quite odd:

Like the old saying goes "The Brits, they are a funny race, they fight with their feet . . . "

Monday, February 23, 2009

Funny foreign names

I’ve had friends and acquaintances with funny foreign names like Buger, Nad, Spooge, Freek and Grubb, and it’s sad that they get made fun of behind their backs, all because their parents did not do their homework!

See my notes on how foreigners can avoid giving their children funny names. Here is my list of child naming guidelines for new foreign parents:

- Crappy names: Avoid all names that begin with “shit” like Shital and Shitaqua. I also recommend avoiding any name that begins with the letters “ass” like Astrid.

- Hippie Names: Names like Trip and Freek should be discouraged.

- Body part names: Avoid names that sound like body fluids like Spooge and Dooshe, and never give names that sound like breasts like Maboob or Titt.

- Genital names: Avoid giving baby names that describe naughty bits, names like Butt, Wang, Balldeep, Baal, Nad, Vergina, Cherry and, or course, Furpie.

- Homonym names: Avoid names that sound funky when pronounced, names like Fu Kiu, Don Key, Maiballs, and Wang Kerr.

After watching “The Office” episode where a woman named her baby girl “Astird”, it became clear that all parents need to be conscious of how funny a name sounds. The name Astird is of Old Norse origin and its meaning is "fair, beautiful goddess".

But it sound like Ass-turd . . . Oh well . . . .

Some American names are also funny, names like Drewell, which look good on paper, but sounds like “Drool” when spoken. And let’s not forget Dick Handler and Joy Beavers . . .

And let’s not forget those funny name airport announcements, making fun of weird names . . .

I also just finished reading the book “The Joys of Engrish”, a great laugh on funny foreign product names.

But it works both ways. There are some funny American names (Ms. Minge, Mr. Plonker) which have a bad meaning in other languages, like the British speak. British people have very funny product names:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Original Aviator sunglasses

Every 10 years or so, aviator sunglasses become the fashion rage, and most people associate “aviator sunglasses” with the Ray Ban aviator glasses frame.

In reality, few people have ever seen the original aviator sunglasses which were made by “Pur-O-Ray” company. You can still buy WWII original aviator sunglasses on eBay for about $150.00 a pair.

Here is a pair of original WWII aviator sunglasses from a US Army Air Corp museum:

The original aviator sun glasses

The Barbie doll and Lilli, a German whore doll

Yes, it's true, the beloved Barbie doll was modeled after a German whore doll named Lilli!

When most folks associate “Germany” with beer, Nazi’s, sauerkraut or Hitler, but few associate Germany with the Barbie doll.

It’s in the news that the famous Barbie doll has turned 50 years old, but few folks know that the wholesome Barbie was modeled after a German whore doll named Lilli!

I just finished reading “The Stella Awards” book by Randy Cassingham, a tad dated, but a must-read for anyone interested in frivolous lawsuits and tort reform (also a popular web site), and read a page on a Barbie lawsuit where the judge noted that the Barbie doll was originally introduced by Ms. Ruth Handler, based on the German whore doll called “Lilli”:

Lilli - The German whore doll

In a discussion of the amuzing Mattel vs. MCA lawsuit, Cassingham notes the connection between Lilli and Barbie:

“A professional floozy of the first order, Bild Zeitung’s Lilli traded sex for money, delivered sassy comebacks to officers, and sought the companionship of ‘balding, jowly fatcats’. . . .

While the cartoon Lilli was a user of men, the doll (who came into existence in 1955) was herself a plaything – a masculine joke, perhaps, for West German males who could not afford to play with a real Lilli.

A German brochure from the 1950’s confided that Lilli (the doll) was ‘always discrete’, while her complete wardrobe made her the ‘star of every bar’. (1)”

As Mattel relishes in Barbie’s 50th birthday, let’s take a moment to reflect on Barbie’s hooker past:

Barbie gets in-touch with her prostitute roots

(1) The Stella Awards, Page 244-247