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Day April 16, 2009

Coconut Head Smashing Festival

From Thaindian news:

In a unique ritual, a priest broke coconuts over the devotees” heads during a temple festival in a village in Dharmapuri District of Tamil Nadu, as part of their abeyance to the deity.

The ritual, which is unique to the festival of Veerapathiran Samy temple, is an annual ritual in which hundreds of devotees participated on Wednesday at Parvathanullur village

By breaking the coconuts over their heads, the devotees pay gratitude to the deity for fulfilling their wishes.

“The people of around seven-eight villages got together to celebrate this Veerapathiran Samy temple festival. Hundreds of the devotees come here and break coconuts on their heads for offering prayers to the deity. Devotees taking part in this ritual should maintain some devotional discipline then only the coconut will break, otherwise, they might suffer injuries,” said Muniyappan, the temple priest.

(via Blame it on the Voices)

Saved by the Bell: The Bleeped Version

Bleeping the naughty words from Saved by the Bell.

Disturbing Strokes

The Different Strokes titles with alternate music, and slightly edited in terms of colour and ageing filters… This has turned out far more creepy than I thought it would.

Documenting the Return of U.S. War Dead

From The Big Picture:

In 1991, President George H. W. Bush implemented a ban on media coverage of returning war dead and their dignified transfer process at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Shortly after he assumed office, President Barack Obama asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates to review this policy, and Gates later reversed it, giving family members of the fallen the right to allow or disallow media coverage. On April 5th, 2009, the repatriation of the remains of Air Force Staff Sgt. Phillip Meyers became the first such event to be covered by the press in 18 years. This process has taken place, undocumented, over 5,000 times since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan in 2001. Collected here are photographs documenting the transfers of nine soldiers that have taken place since April 5th, 2009.

If You Don’t Matter To God, We Will Shoot You in the Face

At least I think that’s what this charming PSA from Answers in Genesis group is about.

(via Hello Universe, This is Nessie)

The Cost of Running YouTube

From Slate:

Everyone knows that print newspapers are our generation’s horse-and-buggy; in the most wired cities, they’ve been pummeled by competition from the Web. But it might surprise you to learn that one of the largest and most-celebrated new-media ventures is burning through cash at a rate that makes newspapers look like wise investments. It’s called YouTube: According a recent report by analysts at the financial-services company Credit Suisse, Google will lose $470 million on the video-sharing site this year alone. To put it another way, the Boston Globe, which is on track to lose $85 million in 2009, is five times more profitable—or, rather, less unprofitable—than YouTube. All so you can watch this helium-voiced oddball whenever you want.

YouTube’s troubles are surprisingly similar to those faced by newspapers. Just like your local daily, the company is struggling to sell enough in advertising to cover the enormous costs of storing and distributing its content. Newspapers have to pay to publish and deliver dead trees; YouTube has to pay for a gargantuan Internet connection to send videos to your computer and the millions of others who are demanding the most recent Dramatic Chipmunk mash-up. Google doesn’t break out YouTube’s profits and losses on its earnings statements, and of course it’s possible that Credit Suisse’s estimates are off. But if the analysts are at all close, YouTube, which Google bought in 2006, is in big trouble. As Benjamin Wayne, the CEO of the rival video-streaming company Fliqz, pointed out in a recent article for Silicon Alley Insider, not even Google can long sustain a company that’s losing close to half a billion dollars a year.

(via GeekPress)

Fan Fights NY Yankees ‘God Bless America’ Ejection

From Yahoo! Sports:

NEW YORK (AP)—A baseball fan who says he was ejected from Yankee Stadium by police after he left his seat to use the bathroom during the playing of “God Bless America” sued the New York Yankees and the city on Wednesday.

Bradford Campeau-Laurion says in his federal lawsuit his rights were violated at an Aug. 26 game between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox when he tried to pass a police officer.

The lawsuit said the officer did not let him take a step before grabbing his right arm and twisting it behind him. It said two officers marched him down several ramps to the stadium’s exit, where he was pushed out as one officer told him to leave the country if he didn’t like it.

Campeau-Laurion, a director of Web productions for a media company, does not participate in religious services and objects to being required to do so, the lawsuit said. He is proud to be an American but objects to being required to participate in displays of patriotism, it added.

“God Bless America,” written by Irving Berlin in 1918, was played at big league ballparks throughout the country when baseball resumed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It was discontinued in some cities the following seasons but remained a fixture at Yankees games, at which security personnel and ushers use chains to block off some exits while it’s played.

City lawyer Muriel Goode-Trufant said the city hadn’t seen the lawsuit but planned to review it thoroughly. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and a ruling that the city and the Yankees acted unconstitutionally.

Bacon: the Other White Heat

From PopSci:

I recently committed myself to the goal, before the weekend was out, of creating a device entirely from bacon and using it to cut a steel pan in half. My initial attempts were failures, but I knew success was within reach when I was able to ignite and melt the pan using seven beef sticks and a cucumber.

No, seriously. The device I built was a form of thermal lance. A thermal lance, typically made of iron instead of bacon, is used to cut up scrap metal and rescue people from collapsed buildings. It works by blowing pure oxygen gas through a pipe packed with iron and magnesium rods. These metals are surprisingly flammable in pure oxygen, releasing a huge amount of heat as they are consumed. The result is a jet of superheated iron plasma coming out of the end of the pipe. For sheer destructive force, few tools match a thermal lance. But iron isn’t the only thing that’s flammable in a stream of pure oxygen.

You Can’t Please Everyone – The Great Gatsby

One star Amazon reviews of classic movies, music and literature. Today we take a look at The Great Gatsby:

this booke is very stupid, just like all the other secular writers out in the world. quite frankly, they should not be writing about “worldly” things that do not affect people in any way whatsoever! after reading this book, your life will be the same as before you read it…why not read a book that will change your life and the way you think of things? what book is this? it is “THE BOOK”… the BIBLE! God loves you no matter what, but why not give your life to him as he gave his son for you? God Bless You and May Your Days Be Bright!!!

The way that FSF wrote made it very difficult for me to follow and understand what he was saying. Everything was almost written philosphoically. I had a hard time concentrating on the words written because I simply lost interest in what was being said. It wasn’t exciting enough to keep my attention.

In my time I have read many novels, most of which were at least pleasing and gave me a sense of having learned something. In this soap-opera-like “classic” nothing is accomplished except reviewers making themselves look good by calling the book good. The book had no point beyond the obvious, and if you found something deep within it, you are obviously a very stupid person who had little understanding of life before reading this novel. You all should be ashamed of yourselves

terrible, terrible, terrible! This incredibly boring book, although considered an american classic, is dismal. Don’t bother with it, and read Douglas Adams instead.

This book was God awful. I felt so disappointed when i read that gatsby was murdered. I felt as if the world collapsed on me as i read this catastrophic event. Gatsby is the miz an and daisy is a sliz to the iz ut. Scott Fitzgerald i wish u were alive so i could kill u. Love DGS!!!

Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring!

They say a book can never get old, and with age they become classics. The Great Gatsby is a prime counterexample of this.

In my opinion, a book that is entertaining and exciting needs to stretch the mind. It needs to use great imagination. Imagination makes mystery and murder novels scary and thrilling. Imagination makes a sci-fi interesting. What is there to imagine about The Great Gatsby? There are murders, but not very unique ones. If I wanted to read a good murder mystery, I would go to Thomas Harris. As for the love story The Great Gastby is placed around, I see this as the only conflict in the book. Every event in the entire book was based on this unrealistic relationship between Daisy, Tom, and Jay.

To conclude, I would expect this story in a 1920′s newspaper rather than being a mass produced as a “classic” novel. The only use I have for this book is a sleeping-pill substitute.

That way he cannot write something this trite and boring again. “Slow to start” and “ambling” are such understatements when describing this thing I can barely call a book, yet alone a novel. The overflow of useless and uneeded information in this thing makes it several chapters longer than need be. In fact, if Fitzgerald had written this book properly (no extra junk I could care less about) it would have been EXACTLY two sentences long- “I’m rich.” and “Oh, boo hoo.” The plot line resembles an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 (namely “Let’s sit around and whine about being rich. Next we’ll get drunk and call each other names, fight, and run each other over!” SHUT UP ALREADY!) I can rarely can say this, but I HATE HATE HATE HATE this book! FOR YOUR OWN GOOD, STAY AWAY FROM THIS BOOK IF YOU CAN HELP IT!

(more…)

Daily Dose of Ingersoll

But the church cries: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and
thou shalt be saved.” Without this belief there is no salvation.
Salvation is the reward for belief.

Belief is, and forever must be, the result of evidence. A
promised reward is not evidence. It sheds no intellectual light. It
establishes no fact, answers no objection, and dissipates no doubt.

Robert Green Ingersoll – “Truth” (1897)


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