Shout it from the mountaintops!

But now you can even call it in when you do...

When you call the "Telemegaphone" number above in Norway, your voice is recorded and then played over the mountains, hills, vales & fjords below. So, go ahead and give it your best yodel!

Muxtape is down... Long live (my mashup) Muxtape!

Muxtape is (hopefully not "was") a service which lets you put together an online "mixtape," just like we'd have done in the good ol' days of the cassette! (Except MUCH more easily!!)

Star "Porn": "Birthing Stars Tear Into A Nebula With A Fierce Beauty"

"Here's a detail of a new image the Hubble Space Telescope released to celebrate its 100,000th orbit of Earth. It shows the 'firestorm' of star creation in the nebula near star cluster NGC 2074. The three-dimensional image shows off 'dramadramatic ridges and valleys of dust, serpent-head 'pillars of creation,' and gaseous filaments glowing fiercely under torrential ultraviolet radiation,' says NASA."

In other words, GORGEOUS!

The Best of Bad Fiction: The 2008 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest!

The 26th annual winner of the most awful opening line of a novel (otherwise known as the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest) has been announced!

The winning entry:

Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and like the city their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their bodies like slick streets exhaling warm, moist, white breath through manhole covers stamped “Forged by DeLaney Bros., Piscataway, N.J.”


For more on this venerable, so-horrible-it's-humorous contest, check out the ever-wonderful Neatorama!

Starbucks' Oversaturation?! It's Surreal!

This amuses me greatly... What could be better than a mashup of Escher AND coffee?!

(via Tumblr)

Forgotten Photos!

"MangoFalls is about old photos developed from film from old cameras found in antique stores and Sunday flea markets. A lot of these photos are about [unknown] people..."

(Thanks, Presurfer!)

P.S. That car looks suspiciously like my own first ride... a white 1967 Buick Electra (which got 6 mpg, HIGHWAY. No joke!)

Medieval Food Blogging: Shrewsbury Cakes!

I went to college at William and Mary, where at times you couldn't help but feel that - as a local greeting card once put it - "I'm tired of the eighteenth century... Please send poptarts!"

But make no mistake, perpetually living on the doorstep of Colonial Williamsburg did have its perks.  One of them was a phenomenal eighteenth-century style cookie called a Shrewsbury Cake!

Little did I realize that this tasty little treat (named after the English town and pronounced "shrowsbury") had a much longer history!  This past week, the recipe was blogged (tongue-in-cheek even!) as a post on "Medieval Baking." If you don't plan to hit the Raleigh Tavern Bakery on Duke of Gloucester Street in Colonial Williamsburg anytime soon, here's the next best thing!  Enjoy!!

(P.S. You might find the "official" Williamsburg recipe if you buy the Recipes from the Raleigh Tavern Bake Shop cookbook, but another 18th c. recipe is available online free here!)

Red Army Choir sings "Sweet Home Alabama"... No, seriously!

Once upon a time, after watching a marathon of Monty Python shows, I changed the channel and saw a chorus of stout Bavarian women dressed in lederhosen, line dancing while waving kerchiefs and singing the Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Woman." For a moment, I thought I was still watching Python... but no! It was real, and easily the most surreal thing I've seen on video... until now!

And now, a thing of beauty and a joy forever! With no further ado, I give you "Sweet Home Alabama," as sung by the Red Army Choir backing the Finnish novelty band, the Leningrad Cowboys!

Maine island loses cherished tradition: mail delivery to trash can

This story originally caught my eye in the British newspaper The Guardian's reporting of the Bangor Daily (via Topix's "offbeat news"). The news from Maine's Sutton Island which, as you can see below, is not far from Acadia National Park...
SUTTON ISLAND, Maine: The U.S. Postal Service has ended a decades-old tradition in which mail was delivered... by a private ferry service and left in a specially marked trash can on the dock for recipients to pick up. Postal Service higher-ups got wind of the practice used to serve those living in the island's 25 or so seasonal homes and decided it had to be halted for security reasons. ...

Shea Howell, who lives in Detroit, Mich., during the winter, said residents will now have to make the 2-mile ocean journey to the post office in Northeast Harbor. "That can mean a three-hour trip out of your day just to get the mail," she said.... Howell said having mail service is important, especially for older residents who stay on the island for several months at a time and rely on deliveries to pay bills, stay in touch with loved ones and even receive essential medications.

Security issues apparently don't trouble UPS or FedEx, which will continue to deposit deliveries in the trash can (from "Talk Left").
However, the islanders aren't crazy about changes. After all, just last year they hotly contested and largely maintained even their isle's ban on the use of golf carts to get around! "People like the trash can," said one. "They’ve always liked it. We’re going to explore if there’s another solution that satisfies the Postal Service." So, like most usually phlegmatic Mainers who nevertheless won't accept unwelcome changes lying down, the summertime Suttoners apparently are laboring to save their beloved mail receptacle!

(For more of what's likely to be an ongoing saga - at least until winter and the flight of the snowbirds - you can read the full story at the Bangor Daily News!)

Planet Venice!

A quick search for Venice on Digg turned up this great photography tutorial from nearly two years ago that turns panoramas of cities into "planets" but it's still totally worth posting! Just look at these great Venice Planets, from the island of San Giorgio above, and then Piazza San Marco on the left and the cemetery island of San Michele on the right!! A-MAZING!!

Darn! I *WANTED* To Believe...

Twitter / MarsPhoenix: Reports claiming there a White House briefing are also untrue and incorrect....

Twitter / MarsPhoenix: @ganeshpuri89 That paragraph was referring to the team's June 26 announcement at Not same as finding life....