Wednesday, February 2, 2011

News That Matters - Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - Happy Funny Edition

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Good Wednesday Morning,

Today is Groundhog Day, a day when humans, for reasons that escape me, wake these furry creatures and interview them on television.

There will be no depressing political or environmental news in this issue of News That Matters. Nope. It's Happy Funny day today and it will be so again next year if, and that's a BIG if, people would just leave their groundhogs alone to do what groundhogs do in the winter: sleep. Then, when the weather warms up they eat your garden and are game for dogs, cars, trucks and Qassam rockets fired in their general direction.
Aside from the fact that they are terribly cute and as they are fattened up on organic  lettuce, radishes, onions and peas that should have been mine, my dog thinks them quite delicious and I heartily encourage his woodchuck diet.

Had I asked male readers if they thought Sarah Palin "hot", I would have received hundreds and hundreds of responses to our current poll. But I know that getting background information on you, my dear readers, is droll and boring and not nearly as titillating. And though many of you have responded, we could use more. Click here. Please. You're home from work today and I know you're not going to be cleaning the windows so.... you have time.

So, you're bored and you've read all you can about the Super Bowl and now you don't know what to do. You'd get into the porn but the kids are home and you know they'll find out - so what to do?

Try some of these links: (in no particular order)


Silk is an interactive flash application that will knock your socks off. It was created by Yuri Vishnevsky as an experiment in generative art. He is currently working on his degree in Computer Science and Linguistics.

The Sistine Chapel

Take a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel, complete with ethereal music.

Mahopac Library Digital Archive

This site has been developed to increase public access to our Local History holdings. Collections will be added periodically, as they become available. Historic Newspaper Collection: Putnam Courier – Published Weekly 1849-currently in publication.

Hidden Hometown

A town's history can never be seen on its surface. It's hidden just out of view. In the crumbling remnants of bygone industry, the eccentricities of its residents and in the secret places you pass everyday and never give a second thought. This is your guided tour to those places, your journey to the hidden history of your hometown. So if you're ready, let's start digging...

Street View’s Most Breathtaking Rides

Street view cars have had to travel untold numbers of uneventful urban highways and side streets, but sometimes the drivers get lucky. These select few get the chance to drive along roads that most of us will only ever dream of. Fortunately, there were a bunch of cameras strapped to the tops of their cars – so we can all enjoy some of the most amazing scenery ever seen from a Street View car.

Reality Carnival

Local genius Cliff Pickover's page of the odd and not so odd, puzzles, tricks and physics. Especially physics. Pickover's primary interest is in finding new ways to expand creativity by melding art, science, mathematics, and other seemingly disparate areas of human endeavor. Pickover is an inventor with dozens of patents, the author of puzzle calendars, and puzzle contributor to magazines geared to children and adults. His Neoreality and Heaven Virus science-fiction series explores the fabric of reality and religion.


It's old pictures. Nothing but old pictures. But oh my, are they wonderful! A peak into our past. Sometimes surprising, sometimes charming, sometimes chilling. From the site: Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

The Perlinger Collection

What Shorpy is to still images, the Perlinger Collection is to film. While I'm writing this I'm watching a 17 minute film called, "Educated Feet for Correct Posture", a film made for education in schools. Prelinger Archives was founded in 1983 by Rick Prelinger in New York City. Over the next twenty years, it grew into a collection of over 60,000 "ephemeral" (advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur) films. So, what's hot? How about "Good Table Manners" or, Original footage from the 1906 San Fransisco earthquake? Or maybe some of our early childhood favorites, the Duck and Cover films? Or, how about "Boys Beware", a 1961 film which assumes that any man who talks to a boy is only doing so to convert him to... homosexuality. (Some people sadly still believe that.) This is where you'll find them all.

The International Music Score Library Project

Welcome to the portal page of the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)! We at the IMSLP believe that music should be something that is easily accessible for everyone. For this purpose we have created a music library to provide music scores free of charge to anyone with internet access, with several other projects in planning. IMSLP is also entirely collaborative, and all contributions are greatly welcome.


Everyone can create music. This Flash application allows you to do just that. Check it out.

Free Movies Online

Where to watch free movies online? Let’s get you started. We have listed here 300+ quality films that you can watch online. Classics, international, film noir, documentaries, indies – they’re all here, waiting to be watched.


[Ed note: If the words, "The Big Lebowski" don't mean anything to you, keep moving.] Come join the slowest-growing religion in the world – Dudeism. An ancient philosophy that preaches non-preachiness, practices as little as possible, and above all, uh…lost my train of thought there. Anyway, if you’d like to find peace on earth and goodwill, man, we’ll help you get started. Right after a little nap.

Tours From Above

TFA (Tours From Above) is a showcase website which aims to bring you the worlds coolest spots from the air. Mission: We are a team of aerial panoramic photographers and will, over time, be bringing you some of the best cities, ranges, oceans and forests in a way you have never seen before.


If you're looking to truly engage your intelligence and experience educated people beyond your wildest dreams there's only one real place to go: TED. TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences -- the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK each summer -- TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and Open TV Project, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

The Banjo Project

The Banjo Project is a cross-media cultural odyssey: a major television documentary, a live stage/multi-media performance, and a website that chronicle the journey of America’s quintessential instrument—the banjo—from its African roots to the 21st century. It’s a collaboration between Emmy-winning writer-producer Marc Fields and banjo virtuoso Tony Trischka (the Project’s Music Director), one of the most acclaimed acoustic musicians of his generation.

Snag Films

SnagFilms is committed to finding the world‘s most compelling documentaries, whether from established heavyweights or first-time filmmakers, and making them available to the wide audience these titles deserve.

Not For Tourists

A guide to New York City specifically for natives.


Pictures of the spectacular Icelandic volcano. Incidentally, it's E-YAH-FEE-YAT-LA-JO-KEY-OAK-COOL. Get it right or you'll piss it off. Photos by Skarphéðinn Þráinsson and by Marco Fulle.  You'll have to figure out how to pronounce those on your own.

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