Archive for December 2013

Top 15 Alcohol drinking countries   Leave a comment


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15. United Kingdom

Per capita alcohol consumption: 13.37 liters Recorded consumption: 11.67 liters Unrecorded consumption: 1.70 liters
Per capita consumption by type (recorded) Beer: 4.93 liters Wine: 3.53 liters Spirits: 2.41 liters Other: 0.67 liters

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14. France

Per capita alcohol consumption: 13.66 liters Recorded consumption: 13.30 liters Unrecorded consumption: 0.36 liters
Per capita consumption by type (recorded) Beer: 2.31 liters Wine: 8.14 liters Spirits: 2.62 liters Other: 0.17 liters

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13. Ireland

Per capita alcohol consumption: 14.41 liters Recorded consumption: 13.41 Unrecorded consumption: 1.00
Per capita consumption by type (recorded) Beer: 7.04 liters Wine: 2.75 liters Spirits: 2.51 liters Other: 1.09 liters

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12. Portugal

Per capita alcohol consumption: 14.55 liters Recorded consumption: 14.55 liters Unrecorded consumption: 2.10 litres
Per capita consumption by type (recorded) Beer: 3.75 liters Wine: 6.65 liters Spirits: 1.27 liters Other: 0.51 liters

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11. South Korea

Per capita alcohol consumption: 14.80 liters Recorded consumption: 11.80 liters Unrecorded consumption: 3.00 liters
Per capita consumption by type (recorded) Beer: 2.14 liters Wine: 0.06 liters Spirits: 9.57 liters Other: 0.04 liters

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10. Croatia

Per capita alcohol consumption: 15.11 liters Recorded consumption: 12.61 liters Unrecorded consumption: 2.50 liters
Per capita consumption by type (recorded) Beer: 4.66 liters Wine: 5.80 liters Spirits: 1.91 liters Other: 0.14 liters

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9. Belarus

Per capita alcohol consumption: 15.13 liters Recorded consumption: 11.22 Unrecorded consumption: 3.91
Per capita consumption by type (recorded) Beer: 1.84 liters Wine: 0.80 liters Spirits: 4.08 liters Other: 2.67 liters

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8. Romania

Per capita alcohol consumption: 15.30 liters Recorded consumption: 11.30 liters Unrecorded consumption: 4.00 liters
Per capita consumption by type (recorded) Beer: 4.07 liters Wine: 2.33 liters Spirits: 4.14 liters Other: 0.00 liters

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7. Andorra

Per capita alcohol consumption: 15.48 liters Recorded consumption: 14.08 liters Unrecorded consumption: 1.40 liters
Per capita consumption by type (recorded) Beer: 3.93 liters Wine: 5.69 liters Spirits: 3.14 liters Other: 0.00 liters

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6. Estonia

Per capita alcohol consumption: 15.57 liters Recorded consumption: 13.77 liters Unrecorded consumption: 1.80 liters
Per capita consumption by type (recorded) Beer: 5.53 liters Wine: 1.09 liters Spirits: 9.19 liters Other: 0.43 liters

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5. Ukraine

Per capita alcohol consumption: 15.60 liters Recorded consumption: 8.10 liters Unrecorded consumption: 7.50 liters
Per capita consumption by type (recorded) Beer: 2.69 liters Wine: 0.58 liters Spirits: 5.21 liters Other: 0.02 liters

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4. Russia

Per capita alcohol consumption: 15.76 liters Recorded consumption: 11.03 liters Unrecorded consumption: 4.73 liters
Per capita consumption by type (recorded) Beer: 3.65 liters Wine: 0.10 liters Spirits: 6.88 liters Other: 0.34 liters

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3. Hungary

Per capita alcohol consumption: 16.27 liters Recorded consumption: 12.27 liters Unrecorded consumption: 4.00 liters
Per capita consumption by type (recorded) Beer: 4.42 liters Wine: 4.94 liters Spirits: 3.02 liters Other: 0.14 liters

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2. Czech Republic

Per capita alcohol consumption: 16.45 liters Recorded consumption: 14.97 liters Unrecorded consumption: 1.48 liters
Per capita consumption by type (recorded) Beer: 8.51 liters Wine: 2.33 liters Spirits: 3.59 liters Other: 0.39 liters

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1. Moldova

Per capita alcohol consumption: 18.22 liters Recorded consumption: 8.22 liters Unrecorded consumption: 10.00 liters
Per capita consumption by type (recorded) Beer: 4.57 liters Wine: 4.67 liters Spirits: 4.42 liters Other: 0.00 liters

Drunk%20Bums

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Posted December 31, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Happy New Year   Leave a comment


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happy4

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Posted December 31, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Top Ten Zombie Kills   Leave a comment


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zombie-walk3.

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werewolves.

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Oh, all I want to know
All I want

With just a touch of my burning hand
I send my astro zombies to rape the land
Prime directive, exterminate
The whole human race

And your face drops in a pile of flesh
And then your heart, heart pounds
Till it pumps in death
Prime directive, exterminate
Whatever stands left

All I wanted to say
And all I gotta do
Who’d I do this for
Hey, me or you

And all I wanted to say
And all I gotta do
Who’d I do this for
Hey, me or you

Oh, all I want to know
All I want

With just a touch of my burning hand
I’m gonna live my life to to destroy your world
Prime directive, exterminate
The whole fuckin’ race

Then your face drops in a pile of flesh
And then your heart, heart pounds
And it pumps in death
Prime directive, exterminate
The whole fuckin’ place well

All I wanted to say
And all I gotta do
Who’d I do this for
Hey, me or you

And all I wanted to say
And all I gotta do
Who’d I do this for
Hey, me or you

Oh, all I want to know
All I want to know
All I want to know
All I want oh
Go

Posted December 30, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Islamist suicide bombers blowing themselves up in Russia again   Leave a comment


BBC

Investigators say the attacks on a railway station and trolleybus, which killed at least 31 people, were linked.

They struck just over a month before the Winter Olympics begin.

Volgograd was also targeted in October, when a suspected female suicide bomber killed six people in an attack on a bus.

It is being widely assumed in Russia that the people who carried out the Volgograd bombings were involved in the Islamist-inspired insurgency against Russian rule in the Caucasus republics of Chechnya and Dagestan, and that the target was the Games, says the BBC’s Moscow correspondent Daniel Sandford.

In a statement, Russia’s foreign ministry did not blame any particular group but likened the attacks to acts by militants in the United States, Syria and elsewhere.

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For most Russians, these attacks came as a huge shock. Despite public assurances that the troubles in the Caucasus were coming under control, clashes between extremists and government troops, and some small-scale attacks, have continued.

More disturbingly, extremism has recently started to flare up further north, in some of Russia’s central regions, much closer to Volgograd.

This industrial and transport hub is of huge symbolic importance to most Russians. The attacks there, just weeks before the opening of the Winter Olympics, have created unease across Russia. Many are now asking why the country’s powerful security services failed to stop the bombers, accusing them of complacency and unprofessionalism.

The threat to the Games in Sochi may not be so great: there are hundreds of police officers and military personnel deployed around the area. But the fear is that the bombers may strike elsewhere.

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martyr

Posted December 30, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Mandelbrot Fractals: Hunting the Hidden Dimension   Leave a comment


Dangerous Minds

Mandelbrot-set_Ausschnitt19.

It was in January OF 1944 that Benoit Mandelbrot fell in love with geometry, “in its most concrete and sensual form.”

”That part of geometry in which mathematics and the eye meet.”

During a math class, when Mandelbrot was nineteen years of age, at the Lycee du Parc in Lyon, young Benoit realized he could visualize algebra as geometric images. The class professor had been discussing a mathematical problem when Mandelbrot became instantly aware that he had the ability to change algebra into pictures. He then realized that once you can see pictures, the answer to a problem is obvious.

In 1958, Mandelbrot left France and joined IBM in America. It was here that Mandelbrot’s knowledge of visualizing problems was to prove very important.

Engineers at IBM had found an issue with transmitting computer information over telephone lines. Mandelbrot graphed the noise data, and noticed something that surprised him—no matter the time scale the graph looked similar, whether over one day, one hour, or one minute, or one second, the pattern remained constant. This reminded Mandelbrot of the Cantor Set, where a line is broken down into infinite recurring sets, and Helge von Koch’s “Snowflake,” where an iteration of a triangle creates an infinite length. Koch’s “Snowflake” is the earliest form of fractal.

Bringing these elements together, Mandelbrot developed a “theory of roughness” which he used to show that another dimension existed between 2-D and 3-D, this suggested there was a mathematical order to the seeming mess/chaos of the natural world. With the use of IBM computers, Mandelbrot proved his theory by producing a set of fractals in 1979.

Mandelbrot set images are made by sampling complex numbers and determining for each whether the result tends towards infinity when a particular mathematical operation is iterated on it. Treating the real and imaginary parts of each number as image coordinates, pixels are colored according to how rapidly the sequence diverges, if at all.  Did you get that?

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Posted December 30, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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International make-up of hockey teams   Leave a comment


 

Canadians play for the Americans, and Americans play for the Canadiens.  The Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League have mainly Canadian players and the Montreal Canadiens of the NHL have six Americans. Confusing? Such is the reality of hockey globalization.

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Rochester Americans

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montreal-canadiens

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Montreal Canadiens

amerks2.

While I’m at it, check out the international make-up of our Winnipeg Jets.

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buff

Above-Zach Bogosian and Dustin Byfuglien are American citizens.

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Winnipeg Jets

amerks jets

Posted December 30, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Jets win: put fans through tense, worrying, frightening, harrowing, gut-wrenching pressure   Leave a comment


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The Jets never make it easy for their fans as I have mentioned before. Tonight was no exception.  The Jets beat the Colorado Avalanche in a nail-biter. It was tied 1-1 with a few seconds left in the overtime period, Byfuglien and Scheifele pushed the puck towards the Avs goal and Blake Wheeler scored. There was one second left. 

When the Jets play anti-stress medication is the order of the day. Colorado almost scored with 15 seconds left in overtime.  But such is the luck of the draw.  The double blue uniformed Jets pull off a clutch win to get back to 500 as the season reaches the halfway point. Go Jets!

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avs.

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Posted December 29, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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The Darien Gap   Leave a comment


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The Darién Gap is a break in the Pan-American Highway consisting of a large swath of undeveloped swampland and forest within Panama’s Darién Province in Central America and the northern portion of Colombia’s Chocó Department of South America. It measures just over 160 km (99 mi) long and about 50 km (31 mi) wide. Roadbuilding through this area is expensive, and the environmental toll is steep. Political consensus in favor of road construction has not emerged. Consequently there is no road connection through the Darién Gap connecting North/Central America with South America and it is the missing link of the Pan-American Highway.

The geography of the Darién Gap on the Colombian side is dominated primarily by the river delta of the Atrato River, which creates a flat marshland at least 80 km (50 mi) wide, half of this being swampland. The Serranía del Baudó occupy Colombia’s Pacific coast and extend into Panama. The Panamanian side, in sharp contrast, is a mountainous rainforest, with terrain reaching from 60 m (200 ft) in the valley floors to 1,845 m (6,053 ft) at the tallest peaks (Cerro Tacarcuna).

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Darien Gap in green

Darién_Gap.

The Pan-American Highway is a system of roads measuring about 48,000 km (30,000 mi) long that crosses through the entirety of North, Central, and South America, with the sole exception of the Darién Gap. On the South American side, the highway terminates at Turbo, Colombia. On the Panamanian side, the road terminus is the town of Yaviza at. This marks a straight-line separation of about 100 km (60 mi). In between is marshland and forest.

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darien PanAmericanHwy.

Efforts have been made for decades to remedy this missing link in the Pan-American highway. Planning began in 1971 with the help of United States funding, but this was halted in 1974 after concerns raised by environmentalists. Another effort to build the road began in 1992, but by 1994 a United Nations agency reported that the road, and the subsequent development, would cause extensive environmental damage. There is evidence that the Darién Gap has prevented the spread of diseased cattle into Central and North America, which have not seen foot-and-mouth disease since 1954, and since at least the 1970s this has been a substantial factor in preventing a road link through the Darién Gap. The Embera-Wounaan and Kuna have also expressed concern that the road would bring about the potential erosion of their cultures. The gap has been crossed by adventurers on bicycle, motorbike, all-terrain vehicle, and foot, dealing with jungle, swamp, insects, and other hazards.

 

This place looks like a mosquito and snake infested hot box.

darien gap.

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End of the road, Panama side.

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Posted December 29, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Woman claims Immobilizer defeated in Winnipeg   Leave a comment


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I have sources who work at MPI and they say they have never come across a situation in Manitoba where an immobilizer was defeated.  Vehicles with immobilizers are stolen, but every time the keys were stolen or left in the vehicle.  There are reports, mainly from Germany and the U.S. where hackers have defeated low-grade immobilizers.  But the average car thief doesn’t have an IQ like a computer hacker.

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Car-Theft.

For 16 years, car immobilisers have kept car thieves at bay – but that may now be changing

AFTER a 16-year decline, car theft in Germany rose in 2009, according to figures released recently by the German Insurance Association. One “white hat” hacker, who probes security systems to flag up flaws that can then be patched, thinks he knows why. Karsten Nohl of Security Research Labs in Berlin, Germany, has identified vulnerabilities in the engine immobilisers used to protect modern cars from theft.

A device fitted within the key fob of a modern car broadcasts an encrypted radio signal to the car as the driver starts the vehicle. If the signal is recognised by the car’s receiver, it responds by sending an encrypted signal to the engine control unit (ECU), which allows the car to start. If the driver tries using the incorrect car key fob, the ECU locks down the engine.

For over a decade, immobilisers have played a crucial role in reducing car theft, says Nohl. But the proprietary encryption keys used to transmit data between the key fob, receiver and engine are so poorly implemented on some cars that they are readily cracked, Nohl told the Embedded Security in Cars conference, in Bremen, Germany, last month.

Last year he took just 6 hours to uncover the algorithm used to create the encryption key in a widely used immobiliser – the Hitag 2 made by Dutch firm NXP Semiconductors – making it easy to “de-immobilise” any car using that algorithm. And in 2005 Ari Juels of RSA Labs in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, took under an hour to crack an encryption system sold by US technology firm Texas Instruments.

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CTV

A Winnipeg woman whose van went missing wonders if thieves may have found a way around the vehicle’s immobilizer.

Joanne Hough awoke to an empty driveway in October. Her 1999 dodge caravan had been targeted before. Now it was gone.

“There was no forced entry because it had been unlocked,” she said. “We keep it unlocked because it had been broken into so many times. Iit did have the mandatory immobilizer on it that MPI forces you to put on.”

Because of what had become a stolen car epidemic, Manitoba Public Insurance now requires and funds the installation of immobilizers in types of vehicles thieves most often target. MPI credits vehicle immobilizers with a large part of the drop in car thefts in the province.

“Immobilizers are extremely effective in preventing vehicles from being stolen,” said Ward Keith, registrar of motor vehicles for MPI.

Not this time, according to Hough. She reported her stolen van to police and MPI, but said MPI told her the claim will likely be rejected because the van had a working immobilizer, and Hough still had the keys, so there is no evidence the van was stolen.

“I think right from the beginning we were being treated as the criminals,” she said.

Winnipeg police said they later found the van and are investigating surveillance video from the gas station where it was abandoned. While searching the van in the impound, Hough also found personal items she said don’t belong to her.

Hough feels frustrated by MPI’s insinuations of a fraudulent claim, but understands what a defeated  immobilizer  could mean for the insurance company.

“I think that if they acknowledge that it was stolen, even if the immobilizer was working, they’d be liable for all of the immobilizers out there that will not work or have not worked in the past,” she said.

Hough said the claim from her 14-year-old van wouldn’t even amount to much money, and her family already bought a vehicle to replace it.

She stands by her word, however, and continues to fight on principle.

MPI wouldn’t comment on the ongoing investigation but said they haven’t made a final decision.

Report from 2009

WINNIPEG — Winnipeg may be on the verge of shaking its unflattering reputation as Canada’s auto theft capital after a 40% drop in thefts and 46% decline in failed attempts in 2008.

The numbers are at their lowest since 1993, Manitoba Public Insurance said yesterday.

The head of Winnipeg’s stolen auto unit said the sharp year-to-year decrease is mostly due to an intensive auto-theft prevention strategy whose funding arrangement expires in June.

Police Sgt. Doug Safioles hopes it will be extended again to keep the pressure on Winnipeg’s worst youth thieves.

“We believe if we maintain our program we’ll bring these numbers down even more,” Safioles said.

“If you pull the plug too soon (the problem) is going to come back.”

The Winnipeg Auto Theft Suppression Strategy — a partnership involving police, probation officers and two Crown attorneys — is funded mostly by Manitoba Public Insurance and the province.

Chronic youth thieves, responsible for the bulk of thefts when they’re not in custody, are subject to curfew checks as often as every three hours.

“We’re able not only to identify the worst of the worst but to keep them in compliance a lot better than before … and get them back into custody quicker when they re-offend,” Safioles said.

IMMOBILIZERS

Some credit also goes to an MPI program that makes immobilizers mandatory for at-risk vehicles, Safioles said.

There were 2,400 fewer vehicles stolen in 2008. That should put Winnipeg behind a couple of Canadian cities in terms of actual thefts, Safioles said.

“We believe we’re going to be maybe fourth or fifth because other places are having a horrendous problem,” Safioles said. “I think there will be more reductions. The question is how low can we go? If we’re down to eight cars a day, can we get it down to four? Will there ever be zero?”

For the record, 3,557 vehicles were stolen in 2008 and 5,979 in 2007, according to city police.

One person was killed in a collision involving a stolen SUV.

In 2004, the worst year on record, there were 8,767 thefts.

The daily average has gone from 24 to 7.3 since WATSS began, Safioles said.

MPI rates have dropped 3.6% over the last three years, the Crown corporation said.

Winnipeg has consistently ranked atop Statistics Canada’s annual report on auto theft, which compiles per-capita rates from across the country.

Police argue the numbers are a bit skewed because the reports lump actual thefts and failed attempts together.

NO LONGER THE CAPITAL?

Winnipeg saw a 40% drop in cars stolen in 2008 compared with 2007, according to figures from police and Manitoba Public Insurance. The worst year on record is 2004.

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Year   Thefts   Attempted thefts

2008    3,557    3,197

2007    5,979    6,063

2004    8,767    N/A

Average number of thefts per day

December 2008: 7.3

December 2007: 13.2

December 2004: 24

This year there have been 1,465 car thefts in Winnipeg. That works out to 4 thefts a day. In 2004 there were 24 a day.  The woman in the story above complains MPI forces people to put immobilizers in their cars, well duh!  It bloody works. Since 2004 there has been an 80% decrease in car thefts. This benefits the insurance rate payer. 

MPI will get their crack investigative team on the case above, they will be able to determine if the immobilizer was defeated.  I think someone snatched the woman’s keys, went for a joyride and snuck the keys back.  We will have to wait and see.

 

Posted December 29, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Bro-job: Classic movies subtitled so “Bros” can understand them   Leave a comment


Dangerous Minds

bros1.

This compilation of some of the most famous scenes in cinema history subtitled so that the typical Ed Hardy devotee can understand them is awfully good—the only flaw is that it’s not longer! Chinatown, Gone with the Wind, and 2001: A Space Odyssey—now, they’re not just for high school graduates anymore!

Mike Lacher, who put this assemblage together, has also written a “bro” version of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road called—you guessed it—On the Bro’d. You can read some excerpts on Lacher’s website. It’s been so long since I’ve read On the Road that I can’t assess this translation adequately, but if it’s anything like “Classic Movies Subtitled for Bros,” it’s probably excellent. The only question would be if the gag runs dry after a few chapters.

In any case, the best bro-subtitling job in the montage is on Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, a movie I don’t think very much of, even if that one scene (the one in this clip) is admittedly pretty great.

You can set up Google so that the default language in the Settings is “Bork, bork, bork!” (Swedish chef), “Elmer Fudd,” “Hacker,” or “Pirate.” How long until “Bro” makes that list?

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Posted December 29, 2013 by markosun in Uncategorized

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