test your travel iq

from my bro:
Monograms by Globus has a cool travel IQ test in nifty flash. I got 2 outta 5 correct, but my excuse is that none of the questions were about Japan.



Grandpa died. He'd been fighting Parkinson's for a while.
He died with a full head of salt & pepper hair, his harmonica in the drawer next to his bed.
I did my 6th grade family history project centered around him and all his WW2 adventures. Not sure how many of the stories I remember are true, but it doesn't matter.
He was the drummer in a band in high school, and he taught me how to play snare.
He was a grocer, and used to comment on the proper way to stack apples whenever we went to the supermarket.
He was a freedom fighter with the underground in occupied France, for the simple fact that he studied French in high school.
He stormed the beaches in Normandy. As soon as he hit land, a shell exploded right next to him, knocking him unconscious, stripping him naked, and leaving him for dead. He lay on the beach for a while, until the Red Cross started collecting bodies. When they got to him, they didn't know if he was German or American. They put him in a US hospital, and when he awoke, they asked him in German "Do you speak German?" Of course he spoke German, so he answered "Yes."
He couldn't remember his name or anything, so for a while they thought he was German, until they confirmed his identity as an American.
Another time on patrol in a field, he was checking in with the rest of the unit via radio. The other radio crackled and he heard: "All cl- ...[shuffle tumble rumble clang]..." and then a distinctly German accent said "All clear." Grandpa put his radio down and crawled 2 miles back to base. When he got there he was told that photos taken from an overhead spy plane showed an entire battalion of German troops not 100 meters in front of his position.
Another time he and some guys were eating, sitting around a tree. A random shell hit the tree, splitting it in two. The explosion killed one guy, the two halves of the tree killed the other two. Grandpa was ok.
He explained to me the superiority of German machine guns (snap in/out barrels, easier to change when overheated than the US screw in/out barrels) and how you always carry a piece of pipe so when you capture an enemy, you stick the pipe in his back and hold your pistol with your back hand. That way if he turns around and knocks your lead hand (which holds the pipe that he thinks is your sidearm) you still got him.
He was awareded two purple hearts and an oak-leaf cluster.
Most of his war stories are probably just a combination of him telling them when I was little, and my imagination spinning them over and over until he became the super war hero that I think he is. It doesn't matter. That's how I remember him.
He and grandma lived in the same apartment in Jackson Heights forever. They painted the walls the same color. They have all the original appliances.
The funeral is today. It's some annoying Jewish thing; you must bury the dead immediately. So of course I can't possibly make it in time.
Bye-bye grandpa.

amazon arbitrage

This is totally brilliant. Amazon has six websites globally, all in local currencies. I often bounce between .com and .jp trying to find the best price on a CD or book.
Pricenoia does all the heavy lifting for you. Search by author/title/etc., select the item, and then compare the prices, including shipping, from whatever locale you want, in your currency.

breakin' in the rain

From willnolan:
Gotta say one thing about Volkswagon; they got some badass advertising.
Low-tech explanation: no CG, just an actor who looks familiar and a rebuilt set.
Hi-tech explanation: seemless CG mapping of motion-captured body, original footage, facial scan.
Truth? Who cares!

mama at the gates

mama at the gates, originally uploaded by renfield.

Mama went to check out The Gates in Central Park. She is now officially a Patron o' The Arts.

Lily and mom Chinese New Year

Lily and mom Chinese New Year, originally uploaded by renfield.

Latest photo from Ericka; Lily at 18 months.

where's the beef?

More insanity from Jeremy:
Meat hats