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Warpy's Journal
Warpy's Journal
December 31, 2016

A fitting end to a shitty year

The Last Place To Experience 2016 Will Be An Abandoned Island Full Of Bird Poop

Nothing gold can stay. But if you want to squeeze just a little more out of 2016, we’ve got just the place for you to do it: Baker Island, a tiny, saucer-shaped atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Located halfway between Hawaii and Australia, Baker Island is one of only two named pieces of land in the world to fall within the time zone UTC-12:00. (The other is its neighbor, Howland Island.) This makes it the last place on Earth where each day—and thus each year—finally ends. Below is a brief guide to this prime New Year’s Eve location, where, surrounded by bird poop and boobies, 2016 will breathe its dying breath.

Baker Island is an atoll—an island made out of a jutting coral reef—about 1,500 miles southwest of Hawaii. It is not quite a mile square, and is, for the moment, completely uninhabited (by people, at least). Although it was certainly frequented by Polynesian sailors, its first “official” sighting was in 1818, by the occupants of the whaling ship Equator, and for a few decades after that it served mainly as a place to bury dead seamen. In 1855, it was sold to the American Guano Company, who set up camp there to harvest the plentiful mounds of bird poop, which one expert called the “finest he had seen.”

Attempts to make the island anything more than a giant bird poop repository—a would-be settlement in 1935, a military air base project in 1943—have mostly been stymied by the enormous number of birds that already live there. In 1974, the US gave up and declared Baker Island a National Wildlife Refuge, part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.
At a slim 0.8 square miles, you’d think there wouldn’t be a lot of Baker Island to love—but what there is of the island packs a wallop. You can squelch around remnants of the guano trade—one 2006 travelogue describes a scraped-out basin beside several remaining “piles of low-grade guano.” Once that gets old, there’s an overgrown former airstrip, a decrepit radio tower, a lone cistern, and a crumbling day beacon that fills with shade-seeking hermit crabs during the hot days. The most stunning attraction, however, can’t be visited at all—like most atolls, Baker Island lies atop an enormous underwater volcano, which dates back to the Cretaceous era. Just because it hasn’t blown in a while doesn’t mean it won’t on New Year’s Eve—think of the fireworks!
Settlement remains on Baker Island, with radio towers in the distance.


December 15, 2016

New Line of Trump Condoms Boast Thinnest Skin Possible


NEW YORK — U.S. President-elect Donald J. Trump held a press conference this morning to announce the manufacture of Trump Condoms, his latest namesake business venture, which will feature a gold foil-wrapped contraceptive touted as having the thinnest skin ever to hit the market.

“These condoms are really something, really terrific,” the incoming 45th President told reporters. “The slightest touch, be it real or imagined, will create a sensation that goes way beyond what mainstream condom companies would call ‘appropriate,’ folks, and I mean that — big league.”

But the prophylactics have faced a great deal of criticism even before their official release. Leaked developmental records show the condoms failed numerous stress tests, with one report describing them as “too delicate to be considered a qualified option.”

Live footage confirmed the President-elect turned slightly red and grew defensive when reporters mentioned these concerns.

Much more and other funny stuff at http://thehardtimes.net/2016/12/11/new-line-trump-condoms-boast-thinnest-skin-possible/

This guy's going to give The Onion a run for its money.
December 9, 2016

Park Geun-hye: S Korea lawmakers vote to impeach leader

Source: BBC

The National Assembly motion passed by 234 votes to 56, meaning some members of Ms Park's ruling Saenuri party voted to impeach her.

Ms Park's authority now passes to Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn.

She has been embroiled in a political scandal that led thousands of Koreans to take to the streets in recent weeks demanding her removal from power.

At the heart of the crisis is the relationship between Ms Park and her close confidante, Choi Soon-sil, who stands accused of using her connections to gain influence and financial benefits.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-38259984

Much more at link, this is a developing story.
December 8, 2016

The 2016 Haters Guide To The Williams-Sonoma Catalog

is finally here, and Drew found a lot to hate, from poseur table antlers (you can't make this stuff up) to a 6 inch diameter chocolate cake that is supposed to serve 8-10 people (yeah, right, not my people) and an oversized toaster oven that could double as an amateur crematorium. Oh, and treason by Anthony Bourdain, nothing is sacred, 2016 did suck.


December 2, 2016

Ajahn Brahm addresses the Trump election and fear in general

No, we probably will never alter the flinty little hearts of Trump and the Scrooges he's appointed to his Billionaires Club Cabinet. However, we can keep ourselves and maybe a few people around us from going insane until we get rid of them.
October 6, 2016

Here's another great kitty video, Momma Bengal talking to kittens

Translation: "C'mon, you can do this"


"Come on, just a little higher"


"Push with your rear paws!"


"C'mon, you ca----OH FOOD! FEED ME, FEED ME NOW!"
September 27, 2016

Secrets of Soda Bread

For decades, I assumed the cross my Irish grandmother cut into the top of her round loaves of soda bread in her upstate New York farmhouse was a traditional blessing. It was a natural conclusion since her bread was as soul-sustaining as communion at an Irish Catholic mass. So I was astounded to learn that the bread cross had a far more ancient – and superstitious – purpose.

When I asked master baker Mary Gleeson, co-owner of Gleesons Restaurant & Rooms in the Irish town of Roscommon about the cross tradition, she answered without hesitation: “You have to cut a cross in the dough to let the fairies out.”

“What happens if you don’t?” I asked.

“I don’t know, we’re scared not to,” she replied, followed by a self-conscious giggle.


Lots of good tips there, including a recipe that looks like it could double for cannonballs come the revolution.

Aerating the flour is good. I found that putting flour, salt and baking powder into the Kitchen Aid and running to mixer for a few seconds to combine them worked. US buttermilk is cultured and quite thick, so you don't need to let it sit around for a week to thicken. And my own recipe, which duplicated soda bread baked by a convent in Boston, uses what I call a big handful of dried currants and a small handful of caraway. I know it's imprecise, but it works.

And don't forget to let the fairies out. You get a crisper crust that way.
September 19, 2016

Sources: Police looking to talk to man seen on surveillance in both Chelsea explosion locations

CHELSEA, Manhattan (WABC) --
The New York City Police Department said the explosion in Chelsea Saturday night that injured dozens of people was "definitely" a bomb, with components indicative of an IED being found at the blast site.

Now, multiple law enforcement officials tell ABC News that there is a man who is seen on surveillance images recovered from both the 23rd Street and 27th Street locations who police would like to talk to. Police are not yet classifying him as a person of interest, and have not identified who he is.

Law enforcement sources tell also ABC News that the explosives in both Chelsea and in New Jersey were set off by cell phones. Multiple law enforcement officials tell ABC News that investigators are exploring the possibility the two explosions in Chelsea and Seaside Park are linked to the same bomber or bombers by what appear to be similar types of cell phones. ABC News is cautioned that this is only a line of inquiry and not a conclusion. The probes remain separate but coordinated.

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said investigators are working to determine the motivation behind the bombing and find out who did it. He described the multi-agency effort as a "very complex post-blast investigation."


I hope they find him soon. He's incompetent now but even the worst incompetents are capable of learning from mistakes.
September 16, 2016

Solar tuk tuk completes 6200 mile journey to UK

Tuk tuks are 3 wheeled vehicles, the common form of taxi transit in much of Asia. Most of the engines are 2 stroke gasoline motors, putting out huge amounts of pollution. An Indian engineer proves the sustainability of solar as an alternative energy source for them.

Also in a story at the Beeb: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-37389181

Solar tuk tuks might not be the future in the US, but they are in much of the developing world.
September 4, 2016

The Agony of Trying to Unsubscribe

We've all been there. Here's an 8 minute break from politics as usual. Enjoy!]

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