30 January, 2009

Stormy Perspective

Photography by Frank Melech

Thanks to Found Sh!t Blog

~ Elisa
http://www.gemdust.com http://www.sydneycats.com

Ad Hoc Post

I had to interrupt your regularly-scheduled postings because I had an OMG-what-do-I-choose moment today.

Two of my favourite blogs, Dooce and Cake Wrecks are facing off in the same category of the Bloggies. That's right, folks, it's vote time for your fave blogs from internet land.

I was torn. I couldn't decide who to vote for. I'm still so upset about this decision that I'm not going to say which one I chose.

~ Elisa (who is now investigating several nominated blogs that she hadn't seen before)

29 January, 2009

I Must Blog This Clip

My dearest sent this to me and because I'm sharing and caring, I am now sharing it with you. It's only 40 seconds long and the sound is low and peaceful, so a lot of people could even view it at w-word*.

This is titled "One Year In 40 Seconds" and is by Norweigian web artist Eirik Solheim. It's a stunning piece of time-lapse photography of the seasons changing in Oslo.

It also might give you a small amount of insight into why I fell in love with Scandinavia.

~ Elisa

* w-word: that place that gives you cash, where a boss expects you to toil. Saying the word out loud is not appropriate, as many people consider it an expletive.

28 January, 2009

I Admire

...Heather B. Armstrong, creative brains behind Dooce.

You know how there are some people that are just so good it almost (but not quite) makes you furious? Yeah, like that. I started reading her blog to try and figure out how she managed the winning formula. I still can't figure it out, but I'm well and truly hooked.

Maybe that's all it is. Hooking readers until they're so addicted they will read anything. Well, I post lots of stuff that doesn't make sense, so maybe it will work for me?

ANYWAY. The part that I admire the most was that Heather has been unashamed to admit she has been committed to a mental hospital. For real. And the fact that she's hinted how depression isn't all tears and wailing. In her case it included hurling of heavy, breakable objects, in the general direction of her husband's head. Depression can be about anxiety. Anger. Fear. Irrationality. Irritability. Jealousy. Paranoia. All of the above. In my case, only one episode has been tears. The others have been a random assortment of other emotions that just didn't feel right.

I don't know quite where this post is going. Ok, you should all go read Heather's blog at www.dooce.com - how about that for an ending?

~ Elisa

27 January, 2009

Cool Plane!

The Terrafugia Transition can transform itself from a two-seater road car to a plane in 15 seconds.

The wings fold up when it's on the road and it even uses standard unleaded fuel!

Terrafugia claims it will be able to fly up to 500 miles on a single tank of petrol at a cruising speed of 115mph.

Up to now, however, it has been tested only on roads at up to 90mph.

So... would you fly in it? I'll admit that I'd be a bit hesitant...

~ Elisa

Thanks to Perez for the images.

26 January, 2009

Real Estate Tycoon Game

Since posting the games here at fullsize is making a mess of my blog page, I'm posting them all on the oldest page of the blog, and providing a link. This also stops the music bombarding people when they just want to see the text posts.

~ Elisa

Click Here to play

25 January, 2009

But Wait, Here's More!

This might have to become a regular thing. As odd as the search terms were that people used to find this place, the ones for my other blog, Crazy Odd News, are far more... interesting.

Check these out.
  1. snotty sims (um... why?)
  2. snotty sims 2 (well, I suppose that you didn't find what you were looking for the first time. It'd suck to only get snot information that relates to the wrong version of the game.)
  3. sims 2 bug robbery break in (the robber needs a tissue?)
  4. grotty beats (he plays the drums after breaking in?)
  5. jay leno egg beater guitar (how these five words go together is beyond me. How they led someone to Crazy Odd I have no idea)
  6. sister caught brother wanking in his room (um... unfortunate...)
Still no searches for Verdana.

I'm a little relieved.

~ Elisa

24 January, 2009

Tantrum Time

This article suggests that tantrums are good for you. It's even scientific.

"Releasing tension through shouting and screaming is a really beneficial way to expel the negative energies caused by stress," said Judi James, a body language expert.

Of course, I'm not aware of any independent studies that drew the same conclusion. This casts doubt on her opinion. To prove or disprove her theory would require lots of people to participate in research, by doing as she suggests.

I think I should be one of the candidates. For Science!

~ Elisa

23 January, 2009

Boats In Sydney

Taken on Boxing Day (December 26) Sydney, Australia.
The Sydney-to-Hobart Yacht Race
'Wild Oats' leads out of the heads followed by other boats.
Photo by Anthony Reginato
Gallery - Daily Telegraph

~ Elisa

22 January, 2009

Make Your Own Microwave Popcorn

How To Make Your Own Microwave Popcorn

Add about 1/6 cup (40-50mL, or 1.5 oz) of popping kernels to a brown paper bag. Shake in 5-10 shakes of salt (to taste). Add 1-2 tsp of margarine/butter (about 10mL, half an oz).

Hold the top of the bag closed and shake it well. The margarine will form into a lump with some of the corn - that's ok. Squash the bag a bit to kinda make the lump line the bottom edge of the bag.

Roll the bag tightly closed starting at the top. When you've rolled it as far as you can, press down on the rolled up part to flatten it.

Put the bag roll-side down on the microwave turntable. Start the micro for 2 minutes 30 seconds. LISTEN to the popping sounds which will start after about a minute. GET READY when the popping starts to slow down. STOP the microwave when you don't hear any pops for 2-3 seconds.

1. This stuff is easy and awesome.

2. It's hella cheaper than the artificial chemical garbage they call "microwave popcorn" in the supermarket - for me it's 10c per serve instead of $2.00.

3. By the way, did you know that workers in those popcorn factories get cancer from one of the ingredients that they expect us to eat??? And one of the ingredients in the special bags also causes cancer... yummo...

4. There is far less packaging involved in a brown paper bag than there is with a microwave package - which often includes plastic, double layer paper, foil, then plastic package, cardboard box and another plastic package...

~ Elisa

21 January, 2009

Top Five Toddler Toys

A lovely lady by the name of Minnie Chatterfield emailed me this week to complement me on a piece of poetry I'd written. While I was very flattered and she managed to put a HUGE smile on my face, I was more than a little stunned! The piece took all of ten minutes to write, and truth be told hadn't done very well in the Helium rankings at all, so after 3 or 4 days I had stopped checking on it. Well, when I looked again today it's at number 2. Crazy ratings people, huh?

ANYWAY, looking in her bio to reply to her with a thankyou, I came across her Featured Article™. It's a pretty fascinating look at the kinds of toys that kids have chosen as their favourites. I don't have a toddler (and I never will have a toddler again), but I think these toys could just apply to kids in general anyway.

I'm pasting the beginning of Minnie's piece here; I hope she doesn't mind, but it's fascinating. I would really, really encourage you all to please click through and read Minnie's article. Or even click through and don't read it. Whatever, but it deserves a great ranking in search engines because what she has to say is pretty cool.

~ Elisa

The Top 5 Toddler Toys - Minnie Chatterfield

When I first started researching for this article I fully expected to write a "Top 10 Toddler Toys" with attached links to where they could be purchased on-line. I visited several parenting message boards and I posted the following question "If you had to give away all your toddler's toys but one, which one would you keep?" The results were very shocking, but they were consistent from message board to message board. No one chose any of the expensive "Laugh and Learn" or "Little Tykes" toys. No one chose the educational lines of "Leap Frog" or "Baby Einstein." Not even the normally popular "Fisher Price" or "Play Skool" were chosen by parents of toddlers. I couldn't even get ten different enough toys to form a "Top 10" list; I had to settle for a "Top 5".

See The List at Helium

20 January, 2009

Just In Case

Update: This blog's subscription feed is changing. This means, you need to subscribe again or you won't receive my blog in a reader anymore. To subscribe, click on Subscribe at the blog. Thanks!

Just Plane Awesome!

This is just too way cool not to share!

(If you're not a plane addict like me, then I apologise in advance.)

A Swedish entrepeneur has opened a new budget accommodation venue at Stockholm's Arlanda Airport, for tired travellers needing forty winks. And he's done it using a 747 as the building.

For about 360 Kronor (or A$65.00, or US$45.00) you can have a bunk in a shared dorm with home comforts such as air-conditioning and Wi-Fi access. Or, if you want to splash out for the experience, there's the deluxe cockpit suite on the upper floor with amazing views.

Details at the Telegraph

~ Elisa

PS. Yes, I know the pic isn't a 747. It's not even a Boeing. And it's not Swedish. I just wanted an excuse to post an awesome plane image. It's a Finnair A319 painted in retro livery to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the airline (with thanks to flickr user paxbgd).

19 January, 2009

Temple Guardian Game

There are a lot of versions of this game out there, and I've played a few of them, but I have to say this version is pretty cool. Build your towers and protect your base from the creatures!

~ Elisa

Click Here to play

(Note: the game has been moved to the oldest page. This stops the music from interrupting people trying to read the blog.)

18 January, 2009

Pet Delights

I jest with the title, because an animal charity in the UK has released its list of the top ten weirdest items removed from the stomachs of pets.

They're "urging pet owners to do a ‘pet safety audit’ of their homes to identify and remove any dangers." Timely advice, since so many people have new animals for Christmas.

Among the items removed were a tent peg and a fishing hook.

See the whole list

~ Elisa

17 January, 2009

More Search Terms

A week ago I had a chuckle at the, um, interesting search terms that were leading people to my blog.

I spoke too soon.

Google's Webmaster Tools now advise me that some of the ways people get here are:
  • Hilston NSW post number
  • Dubbo NSW 2009 car crash
  • Lisa Origliasso new boyfriend Reece
  • challenge salt liquids
  • his spinal injury
  • Ellen DeGeneres
  • marina house
  • wet his pants
Some of them make me laugh, the rest make me just scratch my head in wonder. So far, nobody has arrived here by searching for Verdana font.


~ Elisa

15 January, 2009

Amazing Video

It doesn't make any difference that this is relatively common. It's still stunning to watch.

~ Elisa

14 January, 2009

True Love.

And awfully cute, too.

A pair of German children, 6 and 7, decided to elope to Africa to marry "where it's warm". They took the girl's 5-year-old sister along to be the witness to the ceremony.

They had the forethought to pack clothes, lunch, and swimming costumes, but unfortunately were a little short of money for the flights. Nevertheless they made it a kilometre to the tram stop, took the tram to the central railway station, and were waiting for the airport train when a guard spotted them.

The guards managed to convince them they wouldn't be able to fly without tickets. Their relieved parents collected them soon after.

Story: Mail Online
Photography: Cory Morhart

~ Elisa

13 January, 2009

Cool Traffic Lights

Thanks to flikr user Shamus O'Reilly

~ Elisa see my other blog, Crazy Odd Weird News, at http://crazyodd.blogspot.com

12 January, 2009

Aqua Rotation

Aqua Rotation game. It's not as easy as it looks!


~ Elisa

Click here to play the game

(game has been moved to the oldest page, so that the music doesn't interrupt blog visitors)

11 January, 2009

Genes are so cool!

A couple in the UK have had a set of natural twins, one white and one black. Sure, you say, it's happened before. Well yes - it has happened to the same parents before. Dean Durrant and Alison Spooner of Hampshire have just blown the odds out of the water by having a second set of mixed-colour twins.

Lauren has red hair and fair skin, and Hayleigh has dark hair and skin like her father. And now they've added Miya (dark) and Leah (fair). Their mother was stunned enough to discover she was expecting twins again, but never really dreamed they would again defy the odds with a fair twin.

Mr Durrant's West Indian skin would generally dominate. Most children of mixed parental colouring show a slightly fairer skin than the darker parent. And as brown is dominant over blue eyes, the blue eyes were also a shock.

The couple say that people even tried to place bets on the colours of the second set, but the bookmakers wouldn't agree to take the bets. :)

~ Elisa

Photo: Sky News

10 January, 2009

Reassuring or Disturbing?

Thanks to Google's Webmaster Tools, today I learned what people are searching for when they find this blog. Firstly I am reassured that the particular search at #4 does not currently show my site in the first age of results. The disturbing part was the actual phrase people used that landed them at my blog. (I think I now understand how Dawn feels when people land on her site via "bat poop" and "butt paste".)

Yes, dear readers, 14% of hits to this blog are from a web search for urine smells like sausage.

Um... I really have nothing to say to that.

~ Elisa

08 January, 2009

Los Angeles Cameraman Collects His Garbage For One Year

I found this article pretty interesting. Dave Chameides from Los Angeles began thinking about the amount of garbage he was adding to the environment, and decided to go on a one-year spree of not throwing anything away.

Read the IOL article here

The resulting collection, stored in his basement, will be going on display at a museum.

More than anything else, it has made him think about his landfill footprint. It's sad but true that with a little forward planning, any of us could easily and painlessly reduce the amount of rubbish we produce. Dave composts organic waste, avoids buying packaging as far as possible, and thinks about the best choices when packaging is unavoidable.

I used to have no interest in bothering with the "green" thing. But these days I am more conscious of packaging. We usually take reusable bags to the supermarket and I am generally pretty good with recycling plastic shopping bags for our rubbish. One thing that irks me though is that the best recycled toilet paper comes in a plastic package! Ugh. Sitting next to it on the shelf is the paper-wrapped brand, which unfortunately is sandpaper mislabeled as toilet tissue. I guess sometimes the dollar wins (because plastic wrappers are cheaper than paper). But hey, I'm not destroying my backside to protect the environment, sorry!

Anyway, I digress. Some of the things Dave talks about are easy to do. Our family has 99% given up bottled water. The tapwater in my town is literally undrinkable, so we have a water filter. Yes, it's plastic, and so are the replacement filters, but it generates a lot less waste than buying water (and is far cheaper). And it really isn't hard to fill a water bottle before you leave the house - besides that, water is healthy, and it saves buying takeaway cans when you get thirsty out and about. My kids use a bottle to take drinks to school about half the week and use carboard juice boxes the other half. This is something we could improve on, but the catch-22 is that larger juice containers are generally plastic anyway, and I suspect the thickness would mean they generate more waste overall. I'm considering moving to the cardboard juice concentrates.

Has your family made household changes for the environment, large or small? Maybe it's just turning lights off or hanging clothes rather than using a tumble drier.

~ Elisa

07 January, 2009

Bagpipe Player Arrested

I just found this stupidly funny. A guy has been arrested for playing the bagpipes because the music was "distressing". His bagpipes were seized as he was handcuffed and driven to a police station.

The man, Shaun Cartwright, said, "It was a waste of everybody's time. People are prejudice(sic) against the bagpipes."

So... he thinks that people only complained because he chose distressing songs? Um, I don't know about you, Mr Cartright, but I find bagpipe music distressing regardless of how well you play them and what song you choose.

So yeah... I'm prejudiceD against bagpipes. And I'm even of Scot heritage.

The Telegraph has more

~ Elisa

PS. My father flat-out refuses to EVER don a kilt. Although, perhaps he'd reconsider if he were permitted to wear a paint brush as the sporran, which Hale and Pace did once... I can't find the exact sketch, but there are plenty of other funnies on YouTube.

06 January, 2009

Cool and Scary

Sometimes the really important things are right in front of our eyes - and yet we still miss them completely.

Thanks to Found Sh!t Blog.

~ Elisa no added salt weird news crazy news bizarre true stories crazy odd blog found shit blog

05 January, 2009

Age Of War

Actually, it's not really a war game. The worst you see is a tiny caveman hitting someone with a club. I don't usually have any interest at all in these kind of games, but this one has me completely and utterly addicted! I have already defeated it in Normal mode, then Hard mode, but so far, Impossible Mode seems to be... impossible.

I am determined to beat this thing! aargh!


~ Elisa

Click Here to play

(This post has been moved to the oldest page, so that people reading the posts aren't bombarded by music.)

04 January, 2009

Narrowest House in Britain

A couple who own a 9ft (2.74m) wide garage in Suffolk have been granted permission to build a house on the tiny lot.

The three-storey property will come complete with two double bedrooms.

Full story at the Telegraph

~ Elisa

03 January, 2009

Hamster-Powered Paper Shredder

Regardless of the whole environmentally-friendly thing, I just thought this was So Cool!

Rather than being a slave made to shred the paper... he's just going for his regular entertaining exercise. And in the process, he gets fresh paper for his bed.

Read More at the Daily Mail UK

~ Elisa

01 January, 2009

Happy New Year

And to celebrate, there are two items for today. Firstly, people have some strange New Year's resolutions, including eating bizarre items, dealing with bad punctuation, and learning strange body noises and movements. Read More: The Times Of India

And secondly: thanks to Christopher Chan, here is a photo from last year's fireworks in the greatest city in the world. Happy New Year!

~ Elisa
cross-posted to Crazy Odd blog