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Weird but true: Interstellar Clouds of Ethyl Alcohol

August 18th, 2009 02:28pm by flipvine

No wonder the first human in space was a Russian.

Folks, believe it or not, there’s whole interstellar clouds of ethyl alcohol out there in space.  This isn’t a very recent discovery, but in my opinion its one of the most well-kept secrets in all Astro-Physics.  Here are some interesting quotes:

Ethyl alcohol was first detected in the interstellar medium in 1975 by a team led by Ben Zuckerman, but proved elusive in subsequent searches.

Ben, you devil.. you drank it all, didn’t you?

In a recent article, they show that in Orion the spatial distribution of ethyl alcohol is similar to that of other, large oxygen-bearing molecules such as methanol, methyl formate and dimethyl ether and is associated with a hot core called the Compact Ridge cloud.

Yep, folks, there’s watering holes out there in the cold darkness of space.  Of course you’re likely to need some sort of space-distillery to get other nasty stuff like methanol, hydrogen cyanide, specs of interstellar dust, etc., out of the mix.  Otherwise you might get a pretty nasty hangover ;) But it does exist – in a gaseous state (or at least that’s the only state we can detect).  Here’s another quote:

Using data collected by researchers at Ohio State University, astronomers have found vast quantities of pure alcohol in an interstellar cloud some 10,000 light years from Earth.

Scientists said the cloud, located near the constellation Aquila, contains enough alcohol to make 400 trillion trillion pints of beer.

fail-owned-pregnancy-alcohol-failWhat’s interesting is that ethanol seems to hang around near stellar nurseries.  Which proves the old joke: “Warning, alcohol may cause pregnancy”.

Who knows, perhaps some day in the far future, when faster-than-light travel is possible, space-faring party-goers might make stopovers in clouds of interstellar dust to concentrate some ethyl alcohol shots.

While writing this post, and having a conversation with a fellow alcohol connoisseur, I was privy to the following excellent quote, enjoy it:

“This is where I hope to go when I die – to that great big alcohol cloud in the sky”. -Anonymous

And if you’re wondering where the images in this post came from, the warning sign is from failblog. And the excellent image at the beginning of the post (with slight enhancement using a technique called alky-vision) is the Orion Nebula as viewed by the Hubble telescope on the Astronomy Picture of the Day site.

Popularity: 34%

Fox News is fair and balanced like a biased elephant riding a see-saw with a blind hamster

August 16th, 2009 01:45pm by flipvine

And I’ve got the map fail to prove it:


As covered by Failure Magazine:

When Fox News makes a “mistake” in one of its on-screen graphics, there’s usually a clear agenda in evidence. But on Monday, Fox’s Live Desk presented a map of the Middle East with Egypt taking Iraq’s place between Syria and Iran. Other than not wanting to remind viewers how the Bush Administration mucked things up in Iraq, there seems to be little reason why Fox would be motivated to wipe the country off the map.

Yep, yep, yep.  There’s no legend on the map, but it also seems like they labeled Lebanon the same way they labeled the West Bank.  I dunno, I’ve given up watching the news entirely in favor of my own investigative reporting.  But let me tell you, if I was to go back to mainstream news – I’d take the The Onion over Fox News – at least they mean it when they mess with geography.

Popularity: 2%

The week in review

August 1st, 2009 04:43pm by flipvine

Came across too much interesting stuff this week to write a full blog post about everything.  So I’m gonna post a few of them with little writeups here for your linkage pleasure: rzwi5tudhq

The best reaction ever – ladies and gentlemen, concert/festival season is upon us.  bestreacti54036Unfortunately, there are things out there that produce reactions such as the one you see in the image on the right.  Click and find out what caused that award-winning face.  I’ll give you three hints of what its not: its not the ShamWow guy wiping up the mess left by a hooker, its not a bunch of cracked out naked dudes in a pool, its not even a bunch of drunk fools operating on each other at home.

Thailand_07_28_09_Winn_supernatural_editI had no idea there were places in the world where superstitions and the occult ran as rampant as.. hmm.. memes on the Internet.  But it looks like in Thailand the supernatural gets politicians votes and is pretty much the engine oil of society. Yeah, its that bad, here’s a quote:

The Thai press already mines humor from the more-absurd displays — and got great mileage when a former prime minister’s wife, on a soothsayer’s advice, carried around a plush toy elephant clad in diamond earrings and a lacy wedding dress.

milesfisherIf you’re a fan of American Psycho or The Talking Heads, you’ll want to check out this excellent music video by Miles Fisher – you can download his music on his site for free btw.  The guy looks like he’s into acting as well, so I’m looking forward to some more quality videos from him.  And since he already looks like Christian Bale, I’m putting my $0.02 suggestion right here – Batman : The Dark Knight – the musical.  Or maybe a Terminator music video?  The latter seems like it’d probably cost too much, but I think The Dark Knight might be attainable.


Popularity: 25%

“Street People” homeless beauty and fashion photo book

July 25th, 2009 09:59pm by flipvine

Street PeopleThe Mainichi Daily News reports that:

Photojournalist Hideaki Takamatsu has published a photo book of homeless people in Japan, in hopes of breaking down stereotypes and prejudices.

Titled “Street People” and released by Taro Jiro Co., the photo collection portrays the homeless just as they are — in their regular outfits and settlements. Readers of the volume will not see the homeless as pathetic, but as rather fashionable.

I don’t know what the homeless are like in Japan – clearly for some reason its quite a different situation for them over there than for the homeless in New York City for instance.  “Rather fashionable?” That’s like “sorry you lost your home, but at least you still have all those clothes sitting around in the box you live in.” … “Oh, and when I come to shoot photos of you, could you make sure to take your time getting ready and making yourself fashionable and such – I mean, you don’t have a job to go to, so lots of free time!”  The whole premise stinks like a hypocritical joke of a photo book, but I’m not homeless, so what do I know.

Among the 85 subjects pictured in the photo collection are street people who pose like models, with a hand on one hip or casting a sidelong glance. “I tried to get the most out of each person’s appeal,” he says.

Wonderful, I guess making light of the situation and making the homeless pose like models is sure to meet his end goal, and I kid you not, this is an actual quote out of the article which I take to mean this photographer actually said it:

“I wanted to make a photo book that can attract young women,” says Takamatsu.

Ok, I get it now.. this guy just wanted to get some play, so he took pictures of homeless people for 15 years and published a book with 85 selected photos of them.  He says he considers the homeless his good friends now.

I certainly hope he’ll give copies of this coffee table photo book to his homeless friends.  So they can put it on their imaginary coffee tables and look at it while reminiscing about the nice photographer that came and asked them permission to take their pictures.  Heck, maybe one of them is a young woman who’ll be attracted by the book so this photo dude can get laid.

Bizzare, that’s all I can say.

Popularity: unranked

Tell your kids to study, work and makes lots of money… Presenting: Flávio Briatori.

July 19th, 2009 10:57pm by popzikle

It’s good to be king er president! (Of Renault if you didn’t know)

Popularity: 1%