purple people eater pug

May 26, 2010 at 6:10 am | Posted in Interweb | 1 Comment

From I has a hotdog:

purple people eater pug

Google Makes Life Easier for Deaf People

March 5, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Posted in disability, Tech Talk | Leave a comment

From GIZMODO: Today, YouTube is rolling out automatic captioning for all videos uploaded to the service, using Google’s speech recognition service.

There are many reasons for captions on every video: ESL viewers, people in other countries, searchability, not wanting to disturb others, loud locations and automatic translations to other countries.

The captioning won’t be perfect, since Google’s speech recognition isn’t perfect, but it is really, really cool, and is sort of one step toward the goal of speech to speech recognition in real time that Google is aiming for.

I feel like the future is finally coming true. When I was young, speech recognition and the electric car were promised every few years, but it seemed that no significant progress was ever made. Finally, the future is now !

Rainbows are God’s smiles, obviously

February 5, 2010 at 10:04 am | Posted in LGBT, Rants | Leave a comment


Gay organizations should claim credit when something good happens. For example, if a rainbow appears in the sky, the local gay-straight alliance should put out a press release claiming that it is a sign of God’s approval for the gay lifestyle.

It won’t be any less true than the usual anti-gay claims about God’s wrath in reaction to natural disasters.

That thought occurred to me while reading a 2008 story about an Israeli MP blaming gays for an earthquake.

Of course, Pat Robertson recently made basically the same claim in response to the Haiti earthquake last month. You stay classy Pat.

EDIT: Just to add a more current example of blaming earthquakes and blizzards on homosexuality, multiple felon James Hartline:

Despite the impending catastrophes, the vast majority of Americans are ignoring the warning signs and the desperate need for this nation to return to God. In Washington D. C., the city council is pressing into the demands of corrupt city politicians who are determined to force homosexual marriages on the nation’s capitol. Washington D. C. is also suffering its worst winter storms in the city’s history.

via Joe My God

Answers to Reading Comprehension with Pictures

September 2, 2009 at 8:29 pm | Posted in !TOEIC | 1 Comment

Here are the answers to Reading Comprehension with Pictures posted on August 28th.

Click Here to see the answers

Reading Comprehension with Pictures

August 28, 2009 at 3:34 pm | Posted in !TOEIC | 2 Comments

Choose the sentence that best describes what is happening in the picture. The first image includes explanations of why the sentences are right or wrong. The answers for the rest will be posted in a few days. UPDATE: Answers Posted Here.

Some sets of sentences use advanced English. Even native English speakers probably would not get a perfect score. So don’t stress out; just do your best.

(1) Ride in town

(a) The man is riding a horse. FalseRiding a horse means that a person is directly on top of a horse.

(b) There are telephone piles in the background. Wrong Word – telephone poles

(c) The horse is pulling the wagon by itself. Maybe? – There might be another horse beside it. There isn’t enough information in this picture to tell if the statement is true or not.

(d) There is a quadruped in this picture. Correct – A quadruped is an animal with four legs.

Click Here to see another nine pictures

Listening Comprehension with Video Answers

August 21, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Posted in !TOEIC | Leave a comment

Here are the answers for Listening Comprehension with Video posted on August 14, 2009.

Click Here to see the answers

Reading Comprehension Answers

August 21, 2009 at 2:14 pm | Posted in !TOEIC | Leave a comment

Click the link below to see the answers for pictures 2-9 from Reading Comprehension with Pictures posted on August 13, 2009

Please remember that it’s OK to make mistakes. The purpose of practice exercises to become more familiar with English, not to memorize it all at once. So don’t stress out; just keep practicing.

Oh, and leave a comment if you see anything that you think is a spelling mistake. Thanks!

Click Here to see the answers

Ralph the Penguin trades in tuxedo for wetsuit

August 14, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Posted in interesting (to moose) | Leave a comment

See more adorable pictures of Ralph at www.dailymail.co.uk. There’s also a video, but I couldn’t get it to play.

a penguin wearing a wetsuit made out of a pant leg

Unlike the rest of the colony of Humboldt penguins, which lose their old feathers gradually to make way for a fresh set, nine-year-old Ralph’s always fall out in just one day.

This leaves him at severe risk of sunburn and he faced being kept indoors for three weeks until his new set have grown.

But yesterday he was feeding happily with his chums after wildlife park keepers fashioned him the rubber outfit from the leg of a man’s wetsuit.

‘Ralph’s really taken to his new suit,’ said Helen Jeffreys of Marwell Wildlife, near Winchester, Hampshire.

‘It’s not inhibiting him in any way. He’s just getting on with his daily business.

‘All the other penguins were intrigued by his new clothes and they spent a good while checking him out.

Listening Comprehension with Video

August 14, 2009 at 1:51 am | Posted in !TOEIC, Videos | Leave a comment

The following video is titled A Typical Conversation With My Mom.

Watch the video all the way through and then see how many of the question below you can answer. If there are any questions that you cannot answer, watch the video again. Each question includes the time at which you can find the necessary information.

I will post the answers in a few days. Enjoy!

UPDATE: click here to see the answers

Click Here to see the questions

Reading Comprehension with Pictures

August 13, 2009 at 1:12 am | Posted in !TOEIC | Leave a comment

Choose the sentence that best describes what is happening in the picture. The first image includes explanations of why the sentences are right or wrong. The answers for the rest will be posted in a few days.

Some sets of sentences use advanced English. Even native English speakers probably would not get a perfect score. So don’t stress out; just do your best.

(1) Lava a Dora

(a) It looks like somebody is sitting on a washer. Wrong Word – Someone is sitting on a washing machine. A washer is small piece of hardware.

(b) This person is doing their laundry. Maybe? – There isn’t enough information in the picture to tell whether this statement is true or false.

(c) The floor is covered in linoleum. False – The floor appears to be tiled.

(d) The person in this picture is wearing sneakers. Correctsneaker is one word for athletic shoes. They are also commonly called running shoes.

UPDATE: answers posted here

Click Here to see another nine pictures

Reading Comprehension Answers

August 4, 2009 at 7:13 pm | Posted in !TOEIC | Leave a comment

Click the link below to see the answers for pictures 2-9 from Reading Comprehension with Pictures posted on July 27, 2009.

Please remember that it’s OK to make mistakes. The purpose of practice exercises to become more familiar with English, not to memorize it all at once. So don’t stress out; just keep practicing.

Oh, and leave a comment if you see anything that you think is a spelling mistake. Thanks!

Click Here to see the answers

Giant Jellyfish Set To Invade Japan

July 30, 2009 at 5:33 pm | Posted in interesting (to moose) | Leave a comment

Eat your heart out, Godzilla

researchers at Hiroshima University made some of the first surveys of the jellyfish’s spawning grounds off the Chinese coast. The team found a huge new brood lurking in the waters, prompting experts to warn that another giant jellyfish invasion may be on the horizon.

In 2005 Japanese waters were inundated with swarms of Nomura’s jellyfish–like the pair seen above cruising off the coast of Fukui Prefecture in November 2007.

Reading Comprehension with Pictures

July 27, 2009 at 4:09 pm | Posted in !TOEIC | Leave a comment

Choose the sentence that best describes what is happening in the picture. The first image includes explanations of why the sentences are right or wrong. The answers for the rest will be posted in a few days.

UPDATE: The answers have been posted here.

Some sets of sentences use advanced English. Even native English speakers probably would not get a perfect score. So don’t stress out; just do your best.

(1) Live Three

(a) One man is playing with a guitar. Wrong Word – One man is playing with a guitar. A person plays with a toy, not a musical instrument.

(b) The man with dark hair is the singer of this band. Maybe? – The picture does not give enough information for us to know if this sentence is true or false.

(c) The guitarist is playing an electric guitar. False – He is playing an acoustic guitar.

(d) There are two guitars in this picture. Correct – The second one is leaning against the wall behind the guitarist.

Click Here to see another nine pictures

Grammar Review: Verb Tense and Comparisons – Answers

July 24, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Posted in !grammar | Leave a comment

These are the answers to Grammar Review: Verb Tense and Comparisons posted on July 21, 2009:

Click Here to See the Answers

Tokyo subway etiquette posters:

July 23, 2009 at 9:22 pm | Posted in interesting (to moose) | Leave a comment

From the Tokyo Reporter:

public spaces in Japan are filled with numerous audible and visual reminders about the importance of maintaining personal decorum. Over the past year, some of the catchiest have been the “manner posters,” by graphic artist Bunpei Yorifuji, that appear in the stations and carriages that serve the nine lines of the Tokyo Metro subway system.


These are not the first “manner posters” that I’ve seen. I’ve seen some right here in Vancouver. But for some reason, these “Punchy Posters” seem to have a little more … um … punch to them. Clickity Click here to see more amusing manner posters from Japan.

And here are a couple of pictures from Translink’s Etiquette on Transit campaign:

They’re not so bad either.

Grammar Review: Verb Tense and Comparisons

July 21, 2009 at 6:20 am | Posted in !grammar | Leave a comment

UPDATE: The answers to this test are posted here

Verb Tense

  1. I have to write a paycheck for all of my seven employees. So far I _____________ four paychecks and I have three more to go.
  2. (go) A: I know that it’s late, but can I talk to Sarah please?
    B: No, she _____ already ______ to bed.
  3. (finish) We can’t eat yet because the noodles ________________ cooking.
  4. I was looking forward to eating the last piece of pizza, but by the time I got to the boardroom somebody had already ________ it.
  5. (fall) Oh no, I’m bald! All of my hair _____________ out!
  6. (steal) A: My bike is not where I left it. I think that somebody _______ my bike just now!
    B: Oh, that sucks. My bike ____________ last year.
  7. (see) A: ______ you ______ the new Harry Potter movie?
    B: No, I ____________ it.
  8. (see) A: I ___________ our friend Elizabeth in a long time.
    B: What? She was at the party last night. Didn’t you ______ her there?
  9. (make) I wonder if I __________ any mistakes on this test so far.

Comparisons

means more.
means less.

For example: I am 183cm tall. My brother is 187cm tall, so my brother is taller than I am. My sister is 170cm tall, so my sister is shorter than I am.

  1. My uncle is rich, but he would like to be ___________.
  2. The room is clean, but it could be ___________. It’s ___________ as when the house was new. (you need three words to fill in the blank. The middle one is a preposition)
  3. This tea is too hot to drink. I will wait for it to get _________ before I drink it. (Use the opposite of ‘hotter’. It also ends in ‘er’)
  4. I am scared of spiders, but I am even _____________ of snakes.
  5. I had to move last month. I wanted to find an apartment closer to my work, but I couldn’t. Now I am living even ___________ away than I was before. (Use the opposite of ‘closer’. It ends in ‘er’)
  6. I am so bored. I am _____________ than I have ever been in my whole life.
  7. At first, learning Japanese was very difficult for me. But over time, it became much _______________. (Hint: what is the opposite of difficult?)
  8. Many courses in high school were difficult for me. I think that algebra was the ________________. (Hint: the word ‘the’ means that you need a superlative to fill in the blank)
  9. (beautiful) A rose is _____________ than a weed.
  10. Yesterday, I felt sick. Today I feel ____________ than yesterday. I have a bad pain in my throat which is getting ____________. (Careful! the answer is NOT the opposite of bad)
  11. Even though I am _____________ than yesterday, I am still _______________ as my two coworkers. (you need three words to fill in the blank. The middle one is a preposition)
  12. My coworkers are even ____________ than I am. Out of the three of us, I am the _____________ of all. (Hint: the word ‘the’ means that you need a superlative to fill in the blank)
  13. When I get sick, my muscles are __________ than usual. (Use the opposite of ‘stronger’. It begins with a ‘w’)

FLYING CARS, airbags for pedestrians, high tech speed bump, and a new toy to maim yourself

May 13, 2009 at 1:48 am | Posted in Tech Talk | Leave a comment

tech talk tuesday

United States High-tech Speed Bump Detects Damage To Army Vehicles:

United States Study Says Minicar Buyers Sacrifice Safety:

“Consumers who buy minicars to economize on fuel are making a big tradeoff when it comes to safety in collisions, according to an insurance group that slammed three minimodels into midsize ones in tests”.
looks kind of like a snowboard with motorcycle wheel
North Carolina NC’s Xcite Bike Blurs Line between Motorcycle and Skateboard:

“It seems like humans are always looking for a new and exciting way to maim themselves. We always feel the need to push our limits to the extreme and completely blow convention right out of the water. It was from this attitude that the Xcite Bike was born”.

United Kingdom Parajet Skycar Gears Up for Production:looks like a dune buggy with a parachute attached

At the beginning of the year, the Parajet Skycar made a record breaking journey from London, England to Timbuktu in Africa. Since then, Parajet International has been working hard to find another company to help the produce their little piece of automotive goodness. Now, they have finally been able to enlist the help of Rage Motorsports to produce the Skycar and bringing it to the public.

United Kingdom Hood Mounted Air Bag Could Provide Much Needed Protection for Pedestrians:airbags from under front hood

When the airbag is deployed, it will cover several inches across the bottom of the windshield as well as providing more coverage on both of the A-pillars. These areas have been identified as the most likely place to be impacted during a pedestrian/vehicle collision and it is estimated that this system could reduce serious injuries by about 50%.

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Cloak of INVISIBILITY, Emergency Vending Machines, Bendable Concrete, and Nuking your Cell Phone

May 13, 2009 at 1:41 am | Posted in Tech Talk | Leave a comment

tech talk tuesday

Japan Vending Machines in Japan Offer Free Drinks in Case of Emergency:

Major earthquake, flood, storm or other natural disaster in your area? Out of water and the roads are blocked? Japan’s famous vending machines have got you covered. Following a mutually beneficial agreement between Japanese vending machine companies and local municipalities, specially marked beverage vending machines that dispense drinks for free have been set up in public areas.

Michigan Bendable Concrete from University of Michigan:concrete bent by heavy weights

Traditional concrete is brittle and is easily fractured during an earthquake or by overuse.

By contrast, the new concrete composite can bend into a U-shape without breaking. When strained, the material forms hairline cracks, which auto-seal after a few days of light rain. Dry material exposed by the cracks reacts with rainwater and carbon dioxide in the air to form “scars” of calcium carbonate, a strong compound found naturally in seashells, said study co-author Victor Li of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

The flexible material is just as strong after it heals.

California Berkeley – ‘Invisibility Cloak’ Successfully Hides Objects Placed Under It:three perspectives of hidden object

A team led by Xiang Zhang, a principal investigator with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division and director of UC Berkeley’s Nano-scale Science and Engineering Center, has created a “carpet cloak” from nanostructured silicon that conceals the presence of objects placed under it from optical detection. While the carpet itself can still be seen, the bulge of the object underneath it disappears from view. Shining a beam of light on the bulge shows a reflection identical to that of a beam reflected from a flat surface, meaning the object itself has essentially been rendered invisible.

Microwaving a cellphone is surprisingly cool:


Previous Tech Talk:

Colbert’s consolation prize, NASA nanosatellite, and Toronto student’s awesome space colony

May 13, 2009 at 1:36 am | Posted in Tech Talk | Leave a comment

tech talk tuesday

Brazil Brazil crackdown on sat-hackers bouncing ham signals off US military satellites:

“Brazilian radio-cops are handing out $20,000 fines to satellite hackers who bounce their ham signals off FLTSATCOM — an array of disused US military satellites — using them as range-extenders for purposes as diverse as trucker-chatter to avoiding the logging cops in illegal Amazon logging operations:”

space 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Living In Space:

“Exploding boobs, toilet target practice, the second birth…”

space 10 things you don’t know about black holes:

“Ah, black holes. The ultimate shiver-inducer of the cosmos, out-jawing sharks, out-ooking spiders, out-scaring… um, something scary. But we’re fascinated by ‘em, have no doubt – even if we don’t understand a whole lot about them”.

space 10 things you don’t know about the Milky Way Galaxy:

So you’ve lived here all your life – in fact, everyone has – but what do you really know about the Milky Way galaxy? Sure, you know it’s a spiral, and it’s 100,000 light years across. And of course, BABloggees are smarter, more well-read, and better looking than the average population, but be honest: do you know all ten of these things? Really?

Liar.

United States Democracy be Damned: NASA Nixed “Colbert” ISS Node:

Colbert, we have a problem

“NASA has bucked the will of the people and named the International Space Station’s next module “Tranquility” instead of the rightful winner of the online voting contest, ‘Colbert’ (after the comedian Stephen Colbert)”.

But Colbert didn’t walk away empty handed.

Astronaut Sunita Williams, who ran the first marathon in space two years ago, announced on his show on Tuesday that Colbert would get something in the new node named for him – and it’s not the toilet, as had been rumoured. Williams said his name would grace the node’s treadmill, due to launch in August. The exercise equipment will be called the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill.

United States NASA Nanosatellite To Study Antifungal Drug Effectiveness In Space:it's the size of a loaf of bread

PharmaSat weighs approximately 10 pounds. It contains a controlled environment micro-laboratory packed with sensors and optical systems that can detect the growth, density and health of yeast cells and transmit that data to scientists for analysis on Earth. PharmaSat also will monitor the levels of pressure, temperature and acceleration the yeast and the satellite experience while circling Earth at 17,000 miles per hour. Scientists will study how the yeast responds during and after an antifungal treatment is administered at three distinct dosage levels to learn more about drug action in space, the satellite’s primary goal.

Ontario Toronto student’s space colony design wins NASA contest:Toronto high school student Eric Yam estimates his award-winning Asten space settlement design could be completed over a 30-year time frame at a cost of more than $500 billion US.

Yam’s description of the settlement runs 92 pages and includes detailed drawings using the free downloadable software Google SketchUp.

And it leaves no stone unturned, covering everything from emergency procedures to which foods will be grown on the station, based on their nutrient content.

Yam’s plan calls for 15 years of planning followed by 12 years of construction and another three years to make the settlement habitable. His estimated cost to build the station is $563 billion US.

The project even delves into how the society on the station would work and borrows heavily from Canadian policies, including adopting a tax regime based on the Canadian income tax system and deciding who lives on the station based a point system modeled on Canada’s immigration policy.

Previous Tech Talk:

Twittering using MIND CONTROL, Chip speed breakthrough, Conficker eye chart, hacking Macs, keyboard shortcut database, and what to do with a mini-server

May 13, 2009 at 1:27 am | Posted in Tech Talk | Leave a comment

tech talk tuesday

Tech Top 15 Ways to Extend Your Laptop?s Battery Life:

Computer Hacking Conficker Eye Chart: How it works:

“Many readers have been wondering what the easiest way is to determine whether their computer has been infected with the Conficker worm. Previously I’ve pointed them to this Conficker Eye Chart — and that recommendation still holds — but now I want to respond to further questions about how it works.”

Hack Alert Experts: Malicious program targets Macs:Computer Hackers can turn your Computer into a BOMB!

Mac computers are known for their near-immunity to malicious computer programs that plague PCs.

But that may be changing somewhat, according to computer security researchers. It seems that as sleek Mac computers become more popular, they’re also more sought-after targets for the authors of harmful programs.

California Hackers Weigh In: 8 Big Things to Do with a Mini Server:mini server

Tiny computers are everywhere—our cell phones, handheld gaming devices and set-top boxes, to name a few—so it should be no surprise that Marvell Technology in Santa Clara, Calif., one of the companies that makes the chips that go into such devices, managed to cram an entire home server into the SheevaPlug, a two-inch by four-inch (five- by 10-centimeter) box that plugs into any wall outlet and is almost indistinguishable from an oversize power supply.

United States Major Step Toward Faster Chips Achieved:

A team of scientists and engineers from Stanford, the University of Florida and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is the first to create one of two basic types of semiconductors using an exotic, new, one-atom-thick material called graphene. The findings could help open the door to computer chips that are not only smaller and hold more memory — but are also more adept at uploading large files, downloading movies, and other data- and communication-intensive tasks.

computer user Learn Better Keyboard Shortcuts at ShortcutWorld.com:Shortcut World Graphic

ShortcutWorld is aiming to make a comprehensive repository of lists that will have every keyboard shortcut for any given program. Already they have a pretty good list of programs going. Currently ShortcutWorld offers complete lists on Firefox, Winamp, Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Fireworks, XP, Google Chrome, CS4, and Outlook. That’s a pretty good start!

Wisconsin U of Wisconsin – Twitter Telepathy: Researchers Turn Thoughts Into Tweets:

Life-Altering Gadget of the Day: At the University of Wisconsin’s Neural Interfaces lab they’re using BCI2000, brain-computer interface software designed by neural injury specialist Gerwin Schalk, to convert thoughts into tweets”.


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