Representation Through Humiliation


Diet Posting

Posting will be lighter than usual, being, that I am on vacation in VA; not that posting on The Fry is heavy, or anything like that.

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Jesus Walked on Water. So what???

The New Testament says that Jesus walked on water, but a Florida university professor believes there could be a less miraculous explanation -- he walked on a floating piece of ice.

Professor Doron Nof also theorized in the early 1990s that Moses's parting of the Red Sea had solid science behind it. Nof, a professor of oceanography at Florida State University, said on Tuesday that his study found an unusual combination of water and atmospheric conditions in what is now northern Israel could have led to ice formation on the Sea of Galilee.

Nof used records of the Mediterranean Sea's surface temperatures and statistical models to examine the dynamics of the Sea of Galilee, which Israelis know now as Lake Kinneret. The study found that a period of cooler temperatures in the area between 1,500 and 2,600 years ago could have included the decades in which Jesus lived.

A drop in temperature below freezing could have caused ice thick enough to support a human to form on the surface of the freshwater lake near the western shore, Nof said. It might have been nearly impossible for distant observers to see a piece of floating ice surrounded by water. Nof said he offered his study -- published in the April edition of the Journal of Paleolimnology -- as a "possible explanation" for Jesus' walk on water.

"If you ask me if I believe someone walked on water, no, I don't," Nof said. "Maybe somebody walked on the ice, I don't know. I believe that something natural was there that explains it. We leave to others the question of whether or not our research explains the biblical account." When he offered his theory 14 years ago that wind and sea conditions could explain the parting of the Red Sea, Nof said he received some hate mail, even though he noted that the idea could support the biblical description of the event.

And as his theory of Jesus' walk on ice began to circulate, he had more hate mail in his e-mail inbox.

"They asked me if I'm going to try next to explain the resurrection," he said.

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Black Holes in Love

Two supermassive black holes have been found to be spiraling toward a merger, astronomers said today.

The collision will create a single super-supermassive black hole capable of swallowing material equal to billions of stars, the researchers said.

Mergers between black holes are thought to be one way they grow. A handful of similar setups have been observed in which black holes appear inevitably on a merger course. This pair, at the center of a galaxy cluster called Abell 400, was known to be close but their fate hadn't been determined.

"The question was: Is this pair of supermassive black holes an old married couple, or just strangers passing in the night?" said Craig Sarazin of the University of Virginia.

"We now know that they are coupled, but more like the mating of black widow spiders. One of the black holes invariably will eat the other."

Black holes can't be seen. Their presence is inferred by their gravitational effects on their surroundings and by radiation from near the black hole, where a feeding frenzy superheats gas so much that it emits X-rays.

Determining that these two black holes will collide involved other indirect evidence, drawing data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Each of the black holes in Abell 400 is ejecting a pair of oppositely directed jets of superheated gas called plasma. The movement of the black holes through gas in the galaxy cluster causes the plasma jets to be swept backward.

"The jets are similar to the contrails produced by planes as they fly through the air on Earth," Sarazin said. "From the contrails, we can determine where the planes have been, and in which direction they are going. What we see is that the jets are bent together and intertwined, which indicates that the pair of supermassive black holes are bound and moving together."

When the objects merge several million years from now, Einstein's theory of relativity predicts they will emit a burst of gravitational waves. Similar mergers could soon be detected by NASA's planned Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA).

The results will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

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Random Facts of the Day

April 5, 2006

• While 73 percent of elevators have a "door close" button, the button only works in eight percent of those elevators.

• Over the course of American history, more of the consumed saturated fat has been from peanuts than any other source.

• Prolonged erections are the leading cause of hypoxic brain damage among men.

• The FBI estimates that six percent of government workers are foreign spies.

• It would take an ant 500 feet tall to lift the Empire State building.

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Random Facts of the Day

April 4, 2006

• The Great Wall of China is 2,800 times more massive than the Great Pyramid of Giza.

• According to the biography Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich by David Irving, Joseph Goebbels (Nazi Germany's Propaganda Minister) had acquired the nickname "gerbils" while studying at the University of Heidelberg.

• The French Parliament recently passed legislation mandating that cell phone ring tones used within France must be of either culturally-neutral tones or of songs either performed by or written by French citizens.

• Two of the three founding members of the Blue Man Group were previously in the '80s new-wave band Devo.

• While cardboard is of course "naturally" brown, post-recycled cardboard is actually off-white due to the bleach used during the pulping process and must be dyed brown to be acceptable to consumers.

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Random Facts of the Day

April 3, 2006

• Eight percent of "gunk" removed during a routine dentist appointment is bone matter.

• Nine state Departments of Motor Vehicles will skip a sequentially generated license plate if it contains the number "666."

• In 2004, three members of the Army Corps of Engineers created an electronic speaker which measured 150 feet around. The speaker was never used at full volume for fear of causing internal hemorrhaging to the developers.

• 62 percent of Oscar winners can be genealogically traced to a common great grandmother who was born in 12 A.D.

• Since 2000, the average price of a movie ticket has increased yearly by four times the rate of inflation.

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Random Facts of the Day

April 2, 2006

• In a 2004 study by OSHA, it was discovered that people who will "usually" eat food that they've accidentally dropped on the floor report having 18 percent fewer sick days from work than those who "never" do that.

• The oldest continuously-played Dungeons & Dragons character is believed to be a 237th level magic-user named Kirin Blade. Tom Darcy started his character in 1979, and has played the game every weekend since then for an estimated total of 22,500 hours.

• Windows NT was so named because the letters "NT" follow "MS", which is an abbreviation for Microsoft. Windows XP follows a similar convention, where the letters "XP" follow "WN", being an abbreviation for Windows.

• Due to the damming of the Yangtze River in China, the freshwater umber whale (which is roughly two-thirds the size of its saltwater cousins) has been added to the endangered species list.

• The Popeye's "New Orleans style" chicken restaurant chain saw their nationwide revenue increase by 27 percent in the two months following Hurricane Katrina.

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Living on Earth: 3/31/06

Pick up your free audio (mp3 format) copy of this week's Living on Earth program

Living on Earth (LOE) with Steve Curwood is the weekly environmental news and information program distributed by National Public Radio (NPR). Every week approximately 300 National Public Radio stations broadcast Living on Earth's news, features, interviews and commentary on a broad range of ecological issues. The show airs in 9 of the 10 top radio markets and reaches 80% of the US.

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Harvard says "Prayers Don't Work"

A study of more than 1,800 patients who underwent heart bypass surgery has failed to show that prayers specially organized for their recovery had any impact, researchers said Thursday.

In fact, the study found some of the patients who knew they were being prayed for did worse than others who were only told they might be prayed for -- though those who did the study said they could not explain why.

The patients in the study at six U.S. hospitals included 604 who were actually prayed for after being told they might or might not be; another 597 patients who were not prayed for after being told they might or might not be; and a group of 601 who were prayed for and told they would be the subject of such prayer.

The praying was done by members of three Christian groups in monasteries and elsewhere -- two Catholic and one Protestant -- who were given written prayers and the first name and initial of the last name of the prayer subjects. The prayers started on the eve of or day of surgery and lasted for two weeks.

Among the first group -- who were prayed for but only told they might be -- 52 percent had post-surgical complications compared to 51 percent in the second group, the ones who were not prayed for though told they might be. In the third group, who knew they were being prayed for, 59 percent had complications.

After 30 days, however, the death rates and incidence of major complications was about the same across all three groups, said the study published in the American Heart Journal.

Will I stop praying? No. How about you? Take the poll below!

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SurfControl: Access Denied

Posting on The Daily fry is going to be much lighter than it has been because my high school has re-programmed SurfControl, the lovely internet usage filter and content blocker, blocking and all sites derived from the site (i.e.:

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Random Facts of the Day

• A cat is twice as likely to be fatally injured if it falls between two and six stories, than if it falls seven to 32 stories.

• In the 1893 case Nix v. Hedden, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the tomato is a vegetable.

• The chocolate chip cookie was invented in 1930 by Ruth Wakefield. It gained renown when it was featured on the packaging for Nestle chocolate.

• Originally, Twinkies were produced with banana filling, but this was replaced with a vanilla filling due to the rationing of bananas during World War II.

• In a race for Virginia House of Burgesses, George Washington's campaign gave away 160 gallons of alcohol on election day, about a quart and a half per voter.

All facts are provided by

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April Fools Day

We interrupt ourselves for a Buzz Public Service moment: You survived the Ides of March, now look out for the first of April. That's April Fools' Day to unsuspecting victims, up 247% in Search. The day given wholeheartedly to tomfoolery falls on a Saturday this year. As the annual mischief is often aimed at figures of authority, bosses and teachers may have to watch their backs a day early, or even on Monday.

Pranksters have been researching how to perform "jokes" (+1,118%) and "pranks" (off the charts), as well as "gags," "greetings," "tricks," and "recipes." Straightforward queries all, but conducted by unusual suspects: Females drive about 75% of April foolishness, and preadolescent girl are the primary Search instigators.

Even those who don't fit the Puckish type can observe the occasion, as the quirkier queries below reveal. So listen for every creak and step... watch for every drawer or door left ajar... heed every girlish giggle ...

To see seom good pranks, check out:

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Random Facts of the Day

March 30, 2006

• There are twice as many blinds sold in the US every year as curtains.

• Three out of seven Americans wake up with "mild to moderate" back pain.

• For a six month period in his early twenties, actor George Clooney taught drivers' education in Willmington, Wisconsin.

• During the building of the Panama Canal, 17 species of panda became extinct in an attempt to rid the area of disease causing mosquitoes.

• A person between the ages of 12 and 20 slams nine times more doors in a given year than people in any other age bracket.

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Grandma??? No sweetie, call me Mommy.

A 62-year-old woman gave birth Friday to a healthy 6-pound, 9-ounce baby boy, becoming one of the oldest women in the world to successfully bear a child.

Janise Wulf gave birth to her 12th child. She is also a grandmother of 20 and a great-grandmother of three.

Family members said the delivery went smoothly, despite earlier concerns about the mother's health. Wulf, a diabetic, experienced swelling and higher blood pressure earlier this week, prompting doctors to perform the Caesarean section a week early.

Wulf and her third husband, Scott, 48, named the red-haired boy Adam Charles Wulf. He follows just 3 1/2 years behind his older brother, Ian.

"I hate to raise one alone, without a sibling," said Wulf, who was impregnated both times through in vitro fertilization.

The oldest woman on record to give birth is a 66-year-old Adriana Iliescu of Romania, who had a Caesarean section Jan. 15, 2005.

The Guinness Book of World Records also lists two 63-year-old women who have given birth: Rosanna Della Corte of Italy in 1994 and Acheli Keh of California in 1996. News reports, however, list Della Corte's age at 62 when she gave birth.

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Republican Friendly Fire

Harry Whittington, 78, was "alert and doing fine" after Cheney sprayed him with shotgun pellets on Saturday while the two were hunting at the Armstrong Ranch in south Texas, said property owner Katharine Armstrong.

Armstrong said Whittington was mostly injured on his right side, with the pellets hitting his cheek, neck and chest, and was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

Whittington was in stable condition Sunday, said Yvonne Wheeler, spokeswoman for the Christus Spohn Health System.

Cheney's spokeswoman, Lea Anne McBride, said the vice president was with Whittington, a lawyer from Austin, Texas, and his wife at the hospital on Sunday afternoon.

Armstrong said she was watching from a car while Cheney, Whittington and another hunter got out of the vehicle to shot at a covey of quail late afternoon on Saturday.

Whittington shot a bird and went to look for it in the tall grass, while Cheney and the third hunter walked to another spot and found a second covey.

Whittington "came up from behind the vice president and the other hunter and didn't signal them or indicate to them or announce himself," Armstrong told the Associated Press in an interview.

"The vice president didn't see him," she continued. "The covey flushed and the vice president picked out a bird and was following it and shot. And by god, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good."

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The World's Most Cheesiet Champ

A 100-pound woman ate 26 grilled cheese sandwiches in 10 minutes Wednesday at a New York restaurant, winning the World Grilled Cheese Eating Championship.

Sonya Thomas won $8,000 for the contest at the Planet Hollywood restaurant in Times Square but said she was disappointed in her performance.

"I could have done better," she said, adding that she was aiming for 30 sandwiches.

Thomas, of Alexandria, Va., said she had to catch a train shortly after the contest to make her shift at a Burger King on Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, where she is a manager.

She said she has a naturally big stomach capacity and heavily soaked her sandwiches in water to make them easier to swallow. She said to train she drinks large amounts of water to expand her stomach capacity and practices relaxing her throat.

Thomas, whose normal weight is about 100 pounds, estimated she gained 10 pounds during Wednesday's contest.

It was a close win. Her nearest competitor, Joey Chestnut, ate 25 1/2 sandwiches.

On the eating contest circuit, Thomas is known as the "Black Widow," apparently because she has defeated so many larger men.

She holds numerous world eating records, including 46 dozen oysters in 10 minutes, 11 pounds of cheesecake in 9 minutes, 48 chicken tacos in 11 minutes, 37 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes and 56 hamburgers in 8 minutes.

The event was organized by, an Internet casino and poker room.

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Family Guy Clip of the Week

Here's your Family Guy clip of the week. Here it is. . ."PUKE"

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New Jersey Picks a Slogan: Come Read It for Yourself

Of 11,227 votes cast online and over the phone between Dec. 21 and Jan. 8, the winning slogan logged 3,373, Acting Gov. Richard J Codey said.

Jeffrey Antman of Passaic, who was credited with submitting the winning slogan first, will receive a two-night stay at Crystal Springs Golf and Spa Resort in Vernon and two tickets to either an upcoming New Jersey Nets basketball or New Jersey Devils hockey game.

The winning slogan beat out the following finalists:

New Jersey: Expect the Unexpected.
New Jersey: Love at First Sight.
New Jersey: The Real Deal.
New Jersey: The Best Kept Secret.

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The USCPSC Wraps Up 2005

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has released a list of 2005's highest hospitalizations caused by product-related injuries and how many injuries there caused. Here it is:

At the top of the list were:

Sharp Objects: 1,204,550

Balls: 1,001,440

Electronic Devices:975,860

Christmas Lights:900,660

Towards the bottom of the list were:

Pillows: 5,500

Erasers: 4,650

Pencils: 2,700

Moving Objects: 2,250


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Jesus Brought To Court on Charges of. . . Malpractice of Existence???

An age-old debate between Christian believers and others may be settled before a judge in the Italian court system. A Washington Times story reports that Luigi Cascioli, author of "The Fable of Christ," claims he has "proved" that Jesus never existed.

He is now suing a local priest, Enrico Righi, for continuing to preach the Gospel that claims he did. Both plaintiff and defendant are in their 70s, hailing from the same Italian town of Bagnoregio; they even attended the same seminary school as teenagers. While Righi became a priest and parish newspaper writer, Cascioli became an atheist, and wrote his book with the intention of debunking two millennia of Catholic teachings. "I started this lawsuit," he reportedly says, "because I wanted to deal the final blow against the church, the bearer of obscurantism and regression."

He is charging Father Righi, and by extension the Roman church, with breaking a pair of Italian laws: "Abuso di Credulita Popolare" ("Abuse of Popular Belief"), meant to protect citizens against being swindled or conned; and "Sostituzione di Persona" (impersonation). A January 27 preliminary hearing will decide whether or not the case goes forward.

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(Almost) Daily Roundup

Here's alist of some websites worth The Fry's mentioning:

Find almost any CD or DVD cover

Need Advertising Space???

Want some tunes?

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Only 999 Pennies To Go

A Canadian credit card holder is putting a new twist on an old trick practiced by disgruntled debtors -- repaying his bill in pennies to maximize the collector's inconvenience.

Unhappy when his Canadian bank began outsourcing some of its credit card processing to the United States, the man lodged his protest via the bank's online payment system, jamming its computers by making dozens of tiny payments a day.

Don Rogers said he was worried that anti-terrorism laws in the United States could allow the U.S. government to access his data without his consent.

"I don't want the CIA or George Bush to know how many cases of Viagra I bought last week, or what church or charities I donate to," he told Reuters.

Rogers said his card has since been canceled by Vancouver-based Citizens Bank, but he will continue paying his remaining balance of C$1,000 ($860) one little bit at a time.

"More and more our personal information is being rendered into digital formats and zips around the world," he said, adding that any credit card data sent to the United States is subject to U.S. law.

Roger's initial attempt at paying in pennies produced a statement over 32 feet long, according to media reports.

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Think Twice Before Laying Out Those Mousetraps

A mouse got its revenge against a homeowner who tried to dispose of it in a pile of burning leaves. The blazing creature ran back to the man's house and set it on fire.

Luciano Mares, 81 of Fort Sumner, New Mexico said he caught the mouse inside his house and wanted to get rid of it.

"I had some leaves burning outside, so I threw it in the fire, and the mouse was on fire and ran back at the house," Mares said from a motel room Saturday.

Village Fire Chief Juan Chavez said the burning mouse ran to just beneath a window, and the flames spread up from there and throughout the house.

No was hurt inside, but the home and everything in it was destroyed.

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The Feminine Side of Christmas

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December.

Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring.

Therefore, according to EVERY historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, EVERY single one of them; Dasher, and Dancer, and Prancer, and Vixen, Comet, and Cupid, and Donner, and Blitzen, and even the most famous reindeer of all Rudolph, had to be a girl.

We should've known... only WOMEN would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.

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Iran: The New Concern

Today, though, the sounds of hip-hop can be heard blaring from car radios in Tehran's streets, and Eric Clapton's "Rush" and the Eagles' "Hotel California" regularly accompany Iranian broadcasts.

No more — the official IRAN Persian daily reported Monday that Ahmadinejad, as head of the Supreme Cultural Revolutionary Council, ordered the enactment of an October ruling by the council to ban all Western music, including classical music, on state broadcast outlets.

"Blocking indecent and Western music from the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting is required," according to a statement on the council's official Web site. Iranian guitarist Babak Riahipour lamented what he called a "terrible" decision. "The decision shows a lack of knowledge and experience," he said. Music was outlawed by Khomeini soon after the 1979 revolution. Many musicians went abroad and built an Iranian music industry in Los Angeles. But as revolutionary fervor started to fade, some light classical music was allowed on Iranian radio and television; some public concerts reappeared in the late 1980s.

In the 1990s, particularly during the presidency of reformist Mohammad Khatami starting in 1997, authorities began relaxing restrictions further. These days in Iran, Western music, films and clothing are widely available in Iran. Bootleg videos and DVDs of films banned by the state are widely available on the black market. Ahmadinejad's order means the state broadcasting authority must execute the decree and prepare a report on its implementation within six months, according to the IRAN Persian daily.

Earlier this month, Ali Rahbari, conductor of Tehran's symphony orchestra, resigned and left Iran to protest the treatment of the music industry in Iran. Before leaving, he played Beethoven's Ninth Symphony to packed Tehran theater houses over several nights last month — its first performance in Tehran since the 1979 revolution. The performances angered many conservatives and prompted newspaper columns accusing Rahbari of promoting Western values.

The ban applies to state-run radio and TV. But Iranians with satellite dishes can get broadcasts originating outside the country. Ahmadinejad won office in August on a platform of reverting to ultraconservative principles, following the eight years of reformist-led rule under Khatami. During his presidential campaign, Ahmadinejad also promised to confront what he called the Western cultural invasion of Iran and promote Islamic values. Since then, Ahmadinejad has jettisoned Iran's moderation in foreign policy and pursued a purge in the government, replacing pragmatic veterans with former military commanders and inexperienced religious hard-liners. He also has issued stinging criticisms of Israel, calling for the Jewish state to be "wiped off the map" and describing the Nazi Holocaust as a "myth."

International concerns are high over Iran's nuclear program, with the United States accusing Tehran of pursuing an atomic weapons program. Iran denies the claims. The latest media ban also includes censorship of content of films. "Supervision of content from films, TV series and their voice-overs is emphasized in order to support spiritual cinema and to eliminate triteness and violence," the council said in a statement on its Web site. The council has also issued a ban on foreign movies that promote "arrogant powers," an apparent reference to the United States. The probibitions mirror those imposed in neighboring Afghanistan during the Taliban regime, which imposed a strict version of Islamic law, including a ban on music and film. The Taliban was ousted by a U.S.-led coalition in late 2001.

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