April 29, 2009

Team Upset About Vick Stunt:

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)—The owner of a minor league football team that offered Michael Vick a contract told a newspaper he didn’t know about the publicity stunt and would not have approved it.

“I’m a dog lover and I don’t want anything to do with (Vick),” Albany Firebirds owner Walter Robb told The Times Union for a story posted on its Web site Tuesday night.

Earlier in the day, the team an arenafootball2 franchise, announced it had offered the 28-year-old quarterback a one-year contract at the league standard: $200 a week plus a $50 bonus for a win.

“That’s a joke,” Robb said. “Can you imagine him playing for $200 a week? I think (the offer) was a big mistake.”

The announcement was later pulled from the team’s Web site.

Firebirds general manager Garen Szablewski told The Times Union the team’s marketing department came up with the idea to make an offer to Vick.

“The process wasn’t thought through properly,” Szablewski said. “The right hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing.”

Vick played for the Atlanta Falcons for six seasons before being convicted of bankrolling an interstate dog fighting business.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has not said if he will lift Vick’s suspension after he completes a 23-month prison sentence. Vick goes from federal prison to home confinement next month.

The Firebirds’ contract offer also required Vick donate $100,000 to a local humane society.

A call to Vick’s agent when the announcement of an offer was made was not immediately returned.

Information from: The Times Union, www.timesunion.com

Vick Is A Dick | PetGiftz.com

April 28, 2009

Literary Cat Is Literary:

Via BBC UK Kent England

A Kent library has been visited almost every day for two years by its own "puss in books", the council has said.

Fidel the cat
Fidel the cat spends his days at Deal library while his owners are at work

Fidel, an eight-year-old black cat, turns up at Deal library almost every day while his owners are at work.

He spends the day on his favourite blue chair, only leaving the building when he sees his owners arriving home.

Staff say they have never tried to encourage Fidel with food and even used to put him outside when he first began to visit them, but he always came back.

Heather Hilton, district manager for Deal Library, said: "Fidel certainly seems to like coming here and he's very popular with our customers.

"I think he's a bit of an art critic too because we sometimes see him examining the pictures on the gallery wall," she added.

A spokeswoman for Kent County Council which runs the library said Fidel was such a "dedicated customer" that he sometimes arrived before staff and could be found waiting at the front door.

Fidel is a rescue cat, whose owners chose him from a local sanctuary after he was found abandoned in a flat in Deal.

April 27, 2009

Fine With Swine

Via Cafepress Blog

Move over, bird fluSwine flu is the pandemic scare of the moment.

With over 1000 cases in Mexico and isolated cases in Canada and the United States, the World Health Organization lists their worry status as “very concerned. Of course, for a populace trained for 8 years on color-coded terror alerts, the “very concerned” status is a bit vague - particularly given that no official body has recommended canceling that Mexican vacation.  Apparently, “very concerned” falls somewhere between “You’re more likely to be killed by a lightning strike” and “Get out the Michael Jackson masks and stay inside!  Now!”

swine flu vaccineAmerica had a previous swine flu scare in the ’70’s that led to a series of government-sponsored vaccinations against the potentially deadly disease.  As it turns out, only one person died from swine flu that time around.  But not to be outdone, the swine flu vaccinations killed 25 people and gave about 500 of them a serious disease before the vaccine program was halted.

picture-9430 years later, world government response protocols to a pandemic threat haven’t changed much.  Bird flu led to talks of a widespread U.K. innoculation program to safeguard against it; America has also spent billions of dollars on contracts to product vaccines against smallpox (the post-9/11-scare), SARS, bird flu, and pretty much any ailment making headlines and/or being referred to as a potential pandemic.

sick ferret t-shirtBaxter, one of the companies contracted to produce the swine flu vaccine this time around, is the same company that accidentally shipped vaccines tainted with live bird flu to 18 countries.  The injections were used on ferrets and the mistake was discovered before an actual pandemic began due to the injections.  The ferrets, however, were not so lucky.

retweet t-shirtWith news of the latest swine flu outbreak taking the Internet by storm, getting information isn’t the problem.  But getting good information is harder given the sheer volume of chatter.  While “swine flu” is a trending topic today on Google and Twitter, the best source for 140-character swine flu instruction is probably best left to the CDC, which is in fact posting real-time updates via Twitter.  For those who prefer a simple Q&A format, those are out there as well.

With all the pandemic T-shirts in the catalog and the interest in pandemic preparedness, you might wonder whether we’re customizing disposable facemasks yet.  We regrettably must inform those of you interested in fashionable facemasks that we have no plans to add them to the catalog at this point. However, for those of you crafty folks good with a needle and thread, we did find some interesting thongs that could perhaps be modified to suit your needs.

Swine Pig Flu

Caveat: we make no promises as to potential effectiveness of the thongmask in preventing infectious disease.  If you have questions on the efficacy of such a thongmask, perhaps a tweet will reward you with a 140-character answer.

April 25, 2009

Ceiling Owl Is Watching You Buy Tools | Ya RLY.

Harrison Daily Times

HARRISON, Ark. (AP) - A Home Depot in northern Arkansas has someone new looking out for mice at the warehouse store. A great horned owl now lives in the Harrison store's garden center, looking down on surprised customers shopping for flowers and paving stones. Employees say the bird's mother flew inside of the enclosed garden center during a January ice storm and laid eggs atop a pallet of merchandise.

Over time, the mother disappeared and two baby owls poked their heads out of the nest. One fell to its death, but the other survived, its four-foot wing span blocking out the sun as he flies around the garden center.

Since the garden center is open to the sky, the owl will leave, but always comes back, employees said.

"He's kind of our pet now," garden center supervisor John Gallagher told the Harrison Daily Times.

And the owl likely will remain there. Randy Zellers, managing editor of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Arkansas Wildlife magazine, said owls are classified as raptors, which are protected under strict federal regulations.

To remove the owl, the store would have to get special licenses. Zellers said there's really no reason for anyone to try and move the owl for now.

"If he isn't bothering anything, it's perfectly fine," Zellers said.

Rusty Scarborough, the education program coordinator at Delta Rivers Nature Center in Pine Bluff, said the Home Depot would be a good spot for an owl. Rodents are the predominant food source for a great horned owl and stores with garden centers stock bird seed and crop seeds—big draws for rodents.

Although the great horned owl is a fierce predator, Scarborough said this owl probably doesn't pose a threat to anyone at the store.

"They still have a fear of humans," he said.


April 24, 2009

Meat Cards:

We start with 100% beef jerky, and SEAR your contact information into it with a 150 WATT CO2 LASER.

Screw die-cutting. Forget about foil, pop-ups, or UV spot lamination. THESE business cards have two ingredients:


Unlike other business cards, MEAT CARDS will retain value after the econopocalypse. Hoard and barter your calorie-rich, life-sustaining cards.

Meat cards

April 22, 2009

Frog Eats Christmas Light, Gets Illuminated:

James Snyder took this striking photo of a frog that ate a small light bulb. It was featured in the National Geographic "Daily Dozen."

This is a Cuban tree frog on a tree in my backyard in southern Florida. How and why he ate this light is a mystery. It should be noted that at the time I was taking this photo, I thought this frog was dead having cooked himself from the inside. I’m happy to say I was wrong. After a few shots he adjusted his position. So after I was finished shooting him, I pulled the light out of his mouth and he was fine. Actually, I might be crazy but I don’t think he was very happy when I took his light away.

(Via bangocibumbumpuluj)

Nifty Gaming Gadget Administers Nitrous Oxide To Kids:

I imagine a lot of grown ups will want this, too.

PediSedate is a medical device consisting of a colorful, toy-like headset that connects to a game component such as the Nintendo Game Boy system or a portable CD player. Once the child places it on his or her head and swings the snorkel down from its resting place atop the head, PediSedate transparently monitors respiratory function and distributes nitrous oxide, an anesthetic gas. The child comfortably becomes sedated while playing with a Nintendo Game Boy system or listening to music. This dramatically improves the hospital or dental experience for the child, parents and healthcare providers.

PediSedate Web Site

April 21, 2009

Hawking To Make Full Recovery:

Scientist Stephen Hawking is expected to make a full recovery after being taken to hospital with chest problems, Cambridge University has said.

The 67-year-old professor, who has motor neuron disease, is "comfortable" at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, his employers said.

He was described as "very ill" when he was admitted to the hospital on Monday with a suspected respiratory infection.

The author of A Brief History of Time has been unwell for weeks.

A Cambridge University spokesman said: "Professor Hawking is being kept in for observation at Addenbrooke's Hospital... he is comfortable and his family is looking forward to him making a full recovery."

The physicist, who uses a wheelchair and speaks using a voice synthesizer, has worked at Cambridge University for more than 30 years.

Curtailed US trip

He had flown at the end of February to the California Institute of Technology where he is a visiting scholar.

But he called off an appearance at Arizona State University on 6 April because of his illness and flew back to the UK last Saturday.

Prof Hawking developed symptoms of motor neuron disease while studying in the 1960s and is one of the world's longest-surviving sufferers.

The scientist has three children and one grandchild. He became a CBE in 1982 and a Companion of Honor in 1989.

Last year, it was announced he would be stepping down as the university's Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the end of this academic year.

It is policy for holders of the title to retire at 67, but Prof Hawking said he intended to continue working as Emeritus Lucasian Professor of Mathematics.

April 20, 2009

2012 | A Solar Super Storm To Send Us Back Into The Dark Ages:

Via Michael Hanlon @ UK Daily Mail

The catastrophe, when it comes, will be beautiful at first. It is a balmy evening in late September 2012. Ever since the sun set, the dimming skies over London have been alive with fire.

Pillars of incandescent green writhe like gigantic serpents across the skies.

Sheets of orange race across the horizon during the most spectacular display of the aurora borealis seen in southern England for 153 years. 


Trouble ahead: How the sun storm might look in London

And then, 90 seconds later, the lights start to go out. Not the lights in the sky  -  they will dazzle until dawn  -  but the lights on the ground.

Within an hour, large parts of Britain are without power.

By midnight, every mobile network is down and the internet is dying. Television  -  terrestrial and satellite  -  blinks off the air.

Radio is reduced to a burst of static.

By noon the following day, it is clear something terrible has happened and the civilised world has plunged into chaos.

A year later, Britain, most of Europe plus North America is in the grip of the deepest economic catastrophe in history.

By the end of 2013, 100,000 Europeans have died of starvation.

The dead go unburied, the sick untreated.

It will take two decades or more for the first green shoots of recovery to appear  -  recovery from the first solar superstorm in modern history.

This catastrophe is not some academic one-in-a-million chance scenario.

It is a very real threat which, according to a report in the latest issue of New Scientist, remains one of the most potent, yet least recognised, threats to the future of human civilisation. 


Solar activity: The sun, seen through a NASA telescope

Moreover, it is something that has happened before  -  not that long ago  -  and indeed has the potential to arrive every 11 years.

So what actually is it?

Solar storms do not normally cause much concern. Swarms of electrically charged subatomic particles from the Sun periodically buffet the Earth and its surroundings, causing health worries for astronauts and the owners of satellites, whose delicate electronics can be fried.

But down on the surface, cocooned under an ocean of air, we rarely notice more than the pretty lights in the sky, created as the electrically charged particles from the Sun sweep into the Earth's own magnetic field to generate the Northern and Southern Lights.

But every now and then, the Sun is convulsed by a gigantic tempest: 50,000-mile-wide eddies of boiling hydrogen plasma on its surface ejecting a billion-tonne, malevolent blob of crackling-charged gas into space at a million miles an hour.

And, very occasionally, one of these mighty coronal mass ejections, as they are called, smacks into the Earth head-on.

This last happened on the morning of September 1, 1859.

That day, one of Britain's top astronomers, Richard Carrington, was observing the Sun.

Using a filter, he was able to study the solar surface through his telescope, and he saw something unusual.

A bright flash of light erupted from the Sun's surface and detached itself from it.

Unbeknown to Carrington, that bright spot was a cloud of charged plasma on its way to Earth.

Just 48 hours later it struck, and the effects were extraordinary.

Brilliant aurorae lit the Earth's night skies right down to the Tropics  -  their light being so brilliant it was possible to read a newspaper at midnight.

In California, a group of gold miners were roused from their bed hours early, thinking the dawn and a new day's prospecting had come. It was 2am.

Telegraph operators received severe electric shocks as solar-induced currents surged through the networks. It was as though the Earth had been immersed in a bath of electricity.

Such damage as there was, was easy to repair. In 1859, the world ran mostly on steam and muscle. 


Solar flare: Large-scale activity on the sun in 2003

Human civilisation did not depend on a gargantuan super-network of electric power and communications.

But it does now. Electric power is modern society's 'cornerstone technology', the technology on which virtually all other infrastructures and services depend.

Daniel Baker, a space weather expert at the University of Colorado, prepared a report for the U.S. National Academy of Sciences last month, and the conclusions make grim reading.

'Every year, our human technology becomes more vulnerable,' he says.

A repeat of the 1859 Carrington event today would have far graver consequences than the frying of some telegraph wires.

The problem comes with our dependence on electricity and the way this electricity is generated and transmitted.

A huge solar storm would cause massive power surges, amounting to billions of unwanted watts surging through the grids.

Most critically, the transformers which convert the multi-thousand-volt current carried by the pylons into 240v domestic current would melt  -  thousands of them, in every country.

This would bring the world to its knees. With no electricity, we would not just be in the dark.

We are dependent, to a degree few of us perhaps appreciate, on a functioning grid for our survival. All our water and sewage plants run on electricity.

A couple of days after a solar superstorm, the taps would run dry.

Within a week, we would lose all heat and light as reserves ran out, the supermarket shelves would run empty and the complex supply and distribution networks upon which our society depends would have started to break down.

No telephones, no medicines, no manufacturing, no farming  -  and no food.

Global communications and travel would also collapse  -  a solar superstorm would probably destroy the network of GPS satellites upon which every airline depends.

Of course, the power grid can be rebuilt, new transformers and cables made, new satellites launched  -  but organising this in a world teetering on the brink of collapse would not be easy.

Humanity would recover, but it would take decades. A seemingly innocuous event, one which apparently poses no direct threat to human health at all, would have an effect on our world comparable to that of a small nuclear war. 

So could this really happen? And why is 2012 a year to worry about? Well, we know that solar superstorm did happen, back in 1859.

And we know that 20 years ago a much smaller storm knocked out the power grid across much of eastern Canada, leaving nine million people without electricity.

We also know that the Sun's activity waxes and wanes in 11-year cycles.

Currently, the Sun is very quiet. But a solar maximum  -  a peak of activity  -  is predicted for 2012, and this is when a superstorm could strike, probably around either the spring or autumn equinox, when the orientation of the Earth's magnetic field to the Sun makes us very vulnerable.

The main point is that every solar maximum puts us more in danger as our growing population becomes ever more dependent on electricity.

Ironically, the least-affected parts of the world would probably be the poorest areas.

Those Third World nations that usually suffer most from natural disasters, on account of their poor infrastructure, would adjust most quickly to life without electricity, while richer nations would be paralysed.

So can anything be done to prevent an epic disaster?

A more robust electricity grid would be a start. And we need new satellites to give warning of what is happening on the Sun.

Of course, it may not happen in 2012  -  it may not happen in 2023, the year of the next solar maximum.

But sooner or later, a re-run of the Carrington event is inevitable.

Perhaps it would be wise to start stocking up on some candles.

April 19, 2009

Anatomical Art | Vanity And Fading Beauty:

Kim sez, "The sequence of paintings by a Spanish artist called Fernando Vincente is called Vanitas, meditations on the fading of beauty and the inevitability of death, basically."

Fernando Vincente: Vanitas

Fernando Vincente

April 14, 2009

Anatomical Drawing On A Cast:

Heather Tomkins drew this lovely anatomical illustration on the casted arm of her friend, the illustrator Taylor White: "I was thusly wrangled into making this old school plaster cast (they do things funky in Norway apparently) into an awesome work of art." CAST, AWAY!!!!

Swedish Freaks Unveil Lego Statue Of Jesus:

 A boy examines a statue of Jesus Christ made entirely out of Lego construction bricks in a church at Vasteras, Sweden, Sunday April 12, 2009. The 1.8 metre (5.9 feet ) tall statue, a copy of Thorvaldsen's "Resurrected Christ", has taken parishioners 1.5 years to construct out of 30.000 tiny plastic pieces. (AP Photo/Jonas Ekstromer)

STOCKHOLM -- Parishioners at a church in Sweden celebrated Easter on Sunday by unveiling a 6-foot-tall (1.8-meter-tall) statue of Jesus that they had built out of 30,000 Lego blocks.

It took the 40 volunteers about 18 months to put all the tiny plastic blocks together, and their creation shows a standing Jesus facing forward with his arms outstretched.

The Protestant church was filled to capacity with about 400 worshippers on Sunday when the statue went on display behind the altar, and some of the children in the congregation couldn't help but touch the white art work.

Church spokesman Per Wilder said the statue at the Onsta Gryta church in the central Swedish city of Vasteras is a copy of Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen's "Christus" statue on display in Copenhagen.

He also said that even though the statue is all white on the outside, many of the donated Legos that the church received were of other colors and were placed inside.

April 13, 2009

Vet Finds Laundry In Pet Dog:

For years Nicola Perrett’s family couldn’t fathom where their missing clothing was going.

But when their golden retriever Bailey had an operation for a suspected tumor all was revealed.

The dog’s tummy bulge wasn’t a tumor, vet Keith Moore discovered. Instead he pulled out 17 garments, including nine socks, four gloves and a stocking. He described it as “like performing a magic trick.”

He said: “We were just pulling out one sock after another.” Bailey, seven, had been taken to the vet by Nicola for his annual check-up. When Mr Moore noticed a mass in Bailey’s stomach he thought it was cancer and phoned Ms Perrett, 44, with the bad news.

The mother of two cried all morning but was amazed later when the dog was found to be healthy.

Ms Perrett, a customer service manager at B&Q, said Bailey had probably been eating the items for years – her son Jack, 15, had first noticed that his rubber gloves went missing two years ago. Daughter Laura, 18, also lost various garments to the family pet.

Ms Perrett, from Poole, Dorset, said: “This year Bailey had lost a bit of weight and the vet must have been able to feel a lump. Now he’s back to being like a puppy again.

“He is a really mad dog – full of beans and always up to mischief.”

Mr Moore, from Corfe Mullen, said: “I doubt I’ll ever see anything like this again in my career.

“It is amazing that he was not more unwell or sick but was still eating his food.”

April 10, 2009

Former Stripper Becomes A Nun:

A lapdancer has opted for the most dramatic of 'career' changes and become a nun.
Anna Nobili, 38, spent 20 years performing in strip clubs across Europe.

Deciding she wanted more out of life, Miss Nobili has joined the the order of the Sister Workers of the Holy House of Nazareth.

Next week she will be in Rome to perform a ballet called Holy Dance, dedicated to episodes from the Bible, for senior cardinals and bishops.

Sister Anna, originally from Milan, says she was 'inspired' during a visit to the shrine of St Francis in Assisi.

"I was throwing away my life dancing for men. I was being used as a drug by people who wanted to see me dance."

What's white and flies through the sky?

The coming of the Lord.

April 09, 2009

Man Gets Syringe Needle Removed From Ass After 31 Years:

A Chinese pensioner has finally had a broken syringe needle removed from his bottom after 31 years.

Lao Du said the needle was left in his rear by an 'amateurish' doctor in 1978.

The 44-year-old says he got a cold and when a doctor he went to see in his village in 1978 pierced his bottom with the needle, the needle broke.

Du says he was hospitalized for nine days in a larger hospital but doctors couldn't find the broken needle so he just lived with it.

Du says he recently decided to finally gave it one last try and after three hours of surgery it was removed.

April 08, 2009

Ice Saves Man Who Died 9 Times:

HOUSTON - A local actor recently had a massive heart attack, while leading a seminar in Houston. James Wark, 59, died nine times, before medical workers were able to stabilize him.

He says when he went into cardiac arrest, he passed out and didn't wake up for 2 weeks.

Doctors used something called a Hypothermia Protocol. They used cool packs on James' chest and thighs, to cool his body temperature to 91 degrees.

Doctors at West Houston Medical Center say the intent of this procedure is to try to lower the body temperature, to decrease the metabolism in the brain. This gives the brain a break, while other organs, like the heart, compete for oxygen.

James had to undergo a quadruple bypass. He is so happy to have survived his near death experience, he says he has stopped smoking, eats healthier, and is exercising more.

The CEO of West Houston Medical Center, Todd Caliva, says he believes the hypothermia treatment truly helps.

He says he and his colleagues are happy and excited to offer this type of treatment. He says the Houston Fire Department/EMS Workers are the first major metropolitan city to be involved in this type of protocol.

He says other hospitals using the hypothermia treatment in our area include: HCA Hospitals in Clear Lake, Kingwood, and also Methodist Hospital and Memorial Hermann in the Texas Medical Center.

April 06, 2009

Harry Potter's Quidditch Comes To Welsh School:

The sport - one of the most famous aspects of JK Rowling's bestselling stories - is the most popular game in the wizarding community, played by two teams mounted on broomsticks.

But Ferndale Comprehensive School in Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales, has adapted the game for the non-magical "muggle" community after similar variations were a hit in American schools.

Muggle quidditch is not exactly the same as the wizarding version; as well as the absence of broomsticks and bewitched balls there is no "seeker," the position played by Harry Potter himself.

But the confines of reality have still enabled the school to keep most of the fictional sport's rules, ending up with a cross between dodgeball and handball.

Attacking "chasers" attempt to put the "quaffle," or ball, past the goalkeeper whilst the opposing team's "beaters" try to hit them with different balls called "bludgers."

Keiron Port, a Year Seven pupil at Ferndale Comprehensive School, said: "Quidditch is a good fun game, it is fast and has lots of exciting moments. My favourite position has got to be the chaser, I like it because you get to score most of your team's goals."

The development of Quidditch at the school is part of the 5x60 scheme, a Welsh Assembly Government initiative aimed at getting children active with new and different sports.

Ferndale Comprehensive School became the first school in Wales to bring in Quidditch as part of the 5x60 programme when PE teacher James Vale, who runs the scheme at the school, drew up his own rules based on American versions of the game.

He said: "When playing, standing still is not an option as doing so will certainly catch the eye of a beater and a bludger will be heading your way.

"This means that players are always on the go unlike in other sports where players are sometimes not really involved in the game.

"As well as improving general fitness levels the game also improves hand eye co-ordination, concentration, awareness and promotes team work. The year seven pupils have picked up the rules really quickly and have even thought of some changes to improve the game."

The 5x60 scheme, launched in October 2006 at a cost of £7.6 million, is already under way in 98% of secondary schools across Wales and is expected to encompass all schools in the country by the end of the financial year.

The 5x60 scheme aims to make sure all secondary school pupils do at least an hour of sport and exercise five times a week.

Each school appoints a 5x60 officer who is responsible for offering pupils a range of activities - not just traditional sports - and then organising the ones the children most want to take up.

April 03, 2009

New Law To Shut Down The Internet In Case Of National Emergency:

A new bill would give the President emergency authority to halt web traffic and access private data.

By Steve Aquino

Should President Obama have the power to shut down domestic Internet traffic during a state of emergency?

Senators John Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) think so. On Wednesday they introduced a bill to establish the Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor—an arm of the executive branch that would have vast power to monitor and control Internet traffic to protect against threats to critical cyber infrastructure. That broad power is rattling some civil libertarians.

April 02, 2009

Giant Star Wars Pool Toys And Kites:

Lucas has licensed a killer line of inflatable Star Wars beach toys for the summer, including the long-awaited Death Star beach ball, giant Millennium Falcon and Starfighter toys, and so on. There's also a trio of gigantic Star Wars kites -- TIE fighters, X-Wings, and the Falcon.

April 01, 2009

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: adding much-needed zombies to the Austen classic

Posted by Cory Doctorow

I don't often give books mixed reviews here on Boing Boing. If I don't like a book enough to wholeheartedly recommend it, I generally pass on it -- after all, there's no shortage of books that I love, so why make note of the flawed ones?

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is the exception to the rule, because there's so much to like about this book, even if it didn't actually do it for me.

Here's the pitch: Seth Grahame-Smith has taken Jane Austen's classic, beloved novel Pride and Prejudice and, by means of cunning textual insertions and deletions, changed the story so that it takes place in the midst of a Regency England that has been plunged into chaos by a plague of the living dead. It takes surprisingly little work to do this, and the book ends up feeling substantially like the classic mannered novel that so many adore. Except with zombie mayhem. The execution is flawless, often hilarious, and just plain clever.

So, what's the problem? Well, the problem is Jane Austen.

Can't stand her.

Never successfully read Pride and Prejudice. Bored to tears by it. I'm not proud of the fact. Plenty of smart people have the utmost respect for the book, and I'm perfectly willing to stipulate that the problem is with me, not with Austen.

But P&P&Z has just too much Austen and not enough zombies. I found myself skimming, skipping larger and larger chunks of text to get to the zombie sequences, desperate to escape the claustrophobic drawing-room chatter of Austen's characters with a little beheading, disemboweling and derring-do.

I couldn't finish it. But I expect if you were the kind of person who loves both Austen and zombies, this book would just plain knock your socks off. And Quirk Books, the publisher of P&P&Z, was kind enough to give us an exclusive link to the first three chapters online for free, so you can make up your own mind. I understand they're planning on doing more books on these lines, and I'm really looking forward to them. It's a great way to celebrate the public domain, to bring classics to a new audience, and to undermine the gravitas with which we often approach "difficult literature." Which Quirk book would you like to see?

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!

First three chapters of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

The World's Most Perfect Food:

Via Think Geek.com

A few years after WWII ended, a young man working in a small restaurant in Sweden developed a new way to process bacon. By precooking it and blending it in a special way, he was able to make a fully cooked 100% bacon paste that could be squeezed from a tube. Knowing he had discovered something paradigm-shifting, young Vilhelm Lillefläsk quickly went into business. That, dear friends, is when Squeez Bacon® was born. And this delicious delectable from Sweden has finally been brought over to the USA - now with American Flavor!

We've been working for months now with Vilhelm Lillefläsk (yes, he still runs the company!) to bring Squeez Bacon® here, and boy are we proud. Why? Because Squeez Bacon® is simply the tastiest bacon food product ever made. Did you know that it's rumored ABBA met while eating Squeez Bacon® sandwiches? And even IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad (we've heard) never travels without a case! He loves it on his American style meatballs. Ojojoj!

Vilhelm Lillefläsk's Squeez Bacon® is fully cooked 100% bacon. Due to the patented electro-mechanical process by which Squeez Bacon® is rendered, it requires no preservatives or other additives. Each serving is as healthy as real bacon, and equivalent to 4 premium slices of bacon! You can put it on sandwiches, pizza, pastas, bacon, soups, pies, eat it hot or cold (warm Squeez Bacon® on toasted rye is to die for), substitute it for bacon in your recipes, or even eat it right out of the tube like we do! If it's edible, it's better with Squeez Bacon®. In the immortal words of Vilhelm Lillefläsk, "Aldrig kommer att ge dig upp!" Once you get a taste of Squeez Bacon®, you'll know exactly what he meant.