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Archive → March, 2009

Unhappy Cats Play Dress Up

Nina and Monk

Female ventriloquist Nina Conti and Monk her pet monkey perform live in Rotterdam for Dutch TV.

Sad seal is sad



Lie To Me’s Take on the Hand-held Lie Detector

The 2nd episode of the new Fox television series, Lie To Me, opened with a quick debunking of the polygraph. Cal Lightman, the shows main character, is a behavioral scientist who specializes in the study of facial expressions. Asked by the Department of Homeland Security to evaluate its new hand-held polygraph, he graphically illustrates how it is no better than a primitive trial by ordeal in which a person accused of a crime must hold an egg without breaking it.

It’s worth noting that the questions identified in the segment as “control” questions (“Do you work for the Department of Homeland Security?” and “Do you have black hair?”) are actually _irrelevant_ questions and would not be scored.

Unfortunately, the hand-held lie detector seen in this episode is not something made up by Lie To Me’s screenwriters. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Defense began fielding just such a hand-held polygraph in an attempt to screen out terrorists among the local populations in Afghanistan and Iraq. For more on the “Preliminary Credibility Assessment Screening System” (PCASS), see:


and for information on how this scientifically baseless “test” can be passed whether or not one is telling the truth, see:


For more on Lie To Me, see:


For more on the work of Paul Eckman that inspired the show, see:

Huberts Mr Bubble Hijinks

From Lileks:

Grandma – dressed up like someone from the 1910s, of course, just as the Grandmas of today dress like it’s 1961 (shudder) – utters a line usually associated with spinsters: A MAN! This was the classic old-maid response to a fellow who was anywhere but where he was supposed to be; it differs from the utterances of younger, ugly spinsters-to-be, who pronounced the word MAY – un.

Drunk Japanese Guy Narrates Mario Land

Giant mushrooms? Killer turtles? This guy must be wasted. Or on level 3.

Life imitates Tom Cruise movie: Awesome Camera Tech

Say goodbye to your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome inducing mouse ladies and germs, for soon we will’nt werk on tha tops of desks any longer, but in the AIR. Sky computers… its not just for Tom Cruise movies anymore.

Creme That Egg, Rube style

FINALLY: A Rube Goldberg machine that is used to squish a Creme Egg.
It goes around the walls of a campus lounge.
This is an entry in Cadbury’s “Unleash The Goo” competition, in which entrants must find the most creative way to break a creme egg.

The music is by the Jews Brothers Band.

The creator posted these answers to some frequently asked Q’s:

– the ringing ball comes out of the red flipping box.
– the painting tilts, which causes the top ball to run down it.
– a keen eye will notice the egg unravels out of its foil wrapping.
– at around 1:52, the balls are rolling behind a sheet of glass that is at a slight angle so that the balls have to revolve a lot just to move a small amount.
– it took about 6 months to make and 3 days / 200 takes to film.

Croc cloud will eatz you

That’s what it is, right? A crocodile standing up and bein all “hey guys. wussup?”. or is it a tornado doing lunges? Santa’s hat while going full speed on the sleigh?

Sara Silverman Early Standup

A young Sarah Silverman doing some standup in 1992. You’ll be pleased to find that she wasn’t a radically different person who later sold out to her current persona, and will be more pleased that she was even cuter back then. Normally “cuter when younger” isn’t exactly the shock of the century regarding females, but this IS the early 90’s we’re talking about…. ya… exactly.