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January 2011

  1. Growing Belly Button Bacteria, for Science!

    The above picture shows belly button bacteria growing in petri dishes, harvested from scientists, journalists and bloggers attending the ScienceOnline 2011 Conference. One may wonder why this is a thing, and the answer--as it usually is--is because of science, of course. The growing bacteria are part of the Belly Button Biodiversity project, which is also a thing, headed by North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and is part of a larger project with the goal of teaching humans the kinds of things that live in and on us. To gross us out. But, you know, for science.

    (via Boing Boing)

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  2. PlentyofFish Hacked: The Unbelievable Story

    According to a post on founder and CEO Markus Frind's blog, popular free online dating site PlentyofFish was hacked last week, leading the PlentyofFish team to believe that all usernames and passwords were downloaded and compromised. Though the news is coming from the CEO's personal blog, PlentyofFish hasn't yet released an official statement. Sites get hacked all the time--even Facebook overlord Mark Zuckerberg's own Facebook page was hacked last week--but the PlentyofFish hack comes with a fairly elaborate and ridiculous story.

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  3. MacBook Air Display Illustrates Airiness with Balloon [Video]

    Well-played, Apple. Well-played, indeed. In proving just how light the MacBook Air really is, this Apple Store has one displayed in the front window, suspended in mid-air by a helium-filled balloon. No, really -- it's that light! Look for yourself! (The Next Web)

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  4. Is There a Lady-Produced Content Shortage at Wikipedia?

    The vast majority of contributors to Wikipedia are male, according to a New York Times piece that studied the user-curated site. Not only that, but the "female-oriented" entries are generally shorter and less comprehensive than those authored by men, "for men." Really? What, exactly, determines what women are interested in, and did the NYT really make fair comparisons? Um, no. That is the answer.

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  5. N.J. Road Service Saves Cash by Melting Ice With Pickle Juice

    The city of Bergen County, New Jersey, is slated to become the most delicious smelling city in America. Provided, of course, that you are a fan of deli pickles. In the wake of a rough, stormy winter season on the east coast, the affluent enclave has turned to pickle brine as a cheaper alternative rock salt to keep their roads clear and navigable. From the Time Magazine newsfeed blog:
    And the price can't be beat: the briny mixture costs just 7 cents a gallon, compared to $63 a ton for salt. Quick math works the pickle juice out to roughly $16 per ton [...]
    This is just one more use for pickle brine after it's recent resurgence on the cocktail scene. If it can keep our roads clean and chase our shots, is there nothing that preserved foods can't do? Next up: 101 uses for putrefied shark fin. (via Time newsfeed, image via TeaWithBuzz)

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  6. Cocktail Recipes Explained in Infographic Form

    Infographics! The kids love 'em. And these here are actually useful. Recipes can be hard to visualize, so designer Fabio Rex has created a set of infographic guides to the composition of proper cocktails. (A warning to Americans: 1 cl is equal to about 1/3 of an ounce.)

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  7. Turkish Doctor Who Spoof

    Ever wonder what would happen if public access spoof overlords Tim and Eric tried their hand at Doctor Who? Pretty much what you see above, except someone would discover their chippy, there'd probably be some shrimp and white wine, and there'd obviously be some kind of Cinco-branded TARDIS for sale that requires users to remove their teeth before use. The point is, this Turkish Doctor Who seemed like it couldn't possibly be real at first, but then io9 kindly reminded us that Turkish remakes are totally bonkers to begin with. Luckily(?) for us, this Turkish Doctor Who is indeed a spoof of what would happen if there really was a Turkish Doctor Who, created by majoringram over at

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  8. Man Sues Facebook for $500,000 for Cutting Him Off

    This seems entirely reasonable: A man named Mustafa Fteja is suing Facebook for $500,000 for disabling his account, which works out to $1500 per friend.

    In seeking $500,000, Fteja is suing Facebook for disabling his account, in which he had about 340 friends and family and had spent "timeless hours creating content and relationships [Facebook] benefitted from," the suit contends. He wants it back on, and he wants the company to pay for the damage of alienating him from his family and friends (about $1500 per friend/family). "I had the Facebook for one purpose — to keep in contact with my family," Fteja told The Daily News. His access to Facebook, he said, stopped in September, and repeated pleas to the company were for the most part unanswered, except for a generic e-mail sent to him two weeks later telling him he violated the terms of the Facebook agreement. These notices usually go to accounts suspected of being fake or uploading malicious content, or that "infringes or violates someone else's rights or otherwise violates the law."
    (via MSNBC. title pic via Bossip)

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  9. Al-Jazeera Sees 2500% Increase in Web Traffic Due to Egypt Coverage

    As the world has stood transfixed by the unfolding situation in Egypt and many have turned to the web for timely information, international news network Al-Jazeera has exploded in its online presence, seeing a reported 2500% increase in web traffic, 60% of which is coming from the United States.

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  10. RIP John Barry, James Bond Composer

    John Barry, the film score composer best known for his work on the James Bond series, for which he composed eleven soundtracks, died in New York yesterday of a sudden heart attack. He was 77 years old. Felllow Bond composer David Arnold writes in tribute:

    It's music that goes directly to your core. That's why you hear it at weddings, funerals, birthday parties. John Barry's work has affected us all - it's been on the radio since the 60s, on adverts, on the films we watch with our families at Christmas. He gets to your home, he gets to your heart, he gets to your head. ... He lived the life of a hundred men. Thank God we gave so much amazing music to remember him by. He was a real master, and he will go on influencing musicians for a long time. It's a profoundly sad loss.
    Below, a few Barry-composed Bond scores:

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