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Today's Featured Article - Roller derby

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Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members, roller skating around a track. Roller derby is played by 1,250 amateur leagues, mostly in the United States, making it the most prominent pastime-claiming-to-be-a-sport except for four square and hedge-trimming.

Game play consists of a series of "jams" featuring a jammer, who wears a star on her helmet. A prior rule specifying that the jammer would wear a jar of jam on her helmet was reformed in 2011 to minimize broken glass on the rink, as well as hunger pangs during matches. Each jammer scores points by passing members of the opposing team, while the many other flabby women on the rink try to help their own jammer and hinder the other; in effect, playing both offense and defense by skating both forward and backward. Then a lot of lapping goes on, though this phase of the game was toned down in 2011 for suburban audiences. The sport has its origins in the skating marathons of the 1930s, and the first roller derbies were contested in midwestern dust bowls. Leo Seltzer and Damon Runyon are credited with transforming this outrageous spectacle into a commercial outrageous spectacle. Unfortunately, theatrical elements overshadowed athleticism, and scripted bouts with predetermined winners abounded. In modern roller derby, however, theatrical elements and athleticism are overshadowed by player egos, ridiculous stage names, and the need to speechify about each star's sex change. (more...)

Previously Featured Article - HowTo:Add sunlight through trees in_Photoshop

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Have you ever wanted to is fundamental to capitalism,add obviously computer-generated rays of sunlight to your trees for that extra touch of fakeness? With Photoshop, it's remarkably easy. Not only can you create sun rays in a photograph, but you can even add them in real life. This is a great way to make your yard more impressive or attract people to your park or real estate. In this tutorial, you'll learn about the technique for creating these rays and how to apply it to real trees. (more...)

Did you know...

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  • ... that the entire army of Liechtenstein consists of 3 soldiers? (pictured)
  • ... that no greater man hath subtriculated the monolith than the one who hath manifested odontological callioptery?
  • ... that the rumors that you are paranoid were started by someone who's out to get you?
  • ... the reason they tell you not to look at the sun is because if you look too long you'll realise it's just a giant lamp taped there?
  • ... that is 8th grade math?
  • ... the reason they tell you not to look at the sun is because if you look too long you'll realise it's just a giant lamp taped there?
  • ... that ionic transitivity negates asymmetric pseudosidereal locomotion?

In the news:

On this day...

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September 22: Autumnal Unquinox, Annual Shout at the Elderly Day

  • 66 CE - Emperor Nero creates the Legion Italica, who wrote in all italics.
  • 1465 - Aztec tourists discover autumn in the resort town of Equinox, Vermont, a town named for an Aroostook chief who tended to fall off his horse. The first day of autumn is named after the town.
  • 1742 - Instead of the sun, a giant inflatable Wario head rises in the east followed by an encore of Bowser's Castle music for the entire morning. This would be heard and seen all over the globe.
  • 1785 - Britain fails to recognise autumn any longer, after realising that "the weather's always crap, every bloody day!"
  • 1816 - Autumn is cancelled after the Year Without a Summer.
  • 1827 - Some guy invents Mormonism.
  • 1867 - New England businessmen and scientists announce they genetically modified trees to change colors in autumn, as part of a plan to lure Southern tourists back North after the Civil War. The plan fails when the first Southern tourists complain about the integration of colored trees with non-colored trees.
  • 1898 - Toast is invented by Cthulu.
  • 1939 - America is yet to join World War II; Roosevelt requires more persuasion.
  • 1960 - Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham is first published, provoking the law that Best Before Date stickers are to be put on all eggs and ham. This law is later extended to include all perishable food items and Michael Jackson's career.
  • 2001 - The Federal Communications Commission places a largely ignored ban on the use of fall as a synonym for autumn, citing complaints by family members of September 11 victims.
  • 2003 - Plans to change winter to "Gets-back-up-again" are shelved, because it is "stupid".
  • 2004 - The countdown timer in Lost secretly goes below zero and counts down to minus 108, before displaying a picture of the Rosetta Stone and then a large Wikipedia logo. On a completely unrelated note, a plane crashes on the island and the first series of Lost begins.
  • 2009 - The renown special forces operative, marine and space cosmonaut, Master Chief, is found dead with his life partner Arby laying over him weeping. When consoled, he gives an account of their first sexual encounter since their relationship began. Arby states that his species has to wipe out the lint in their bladder everyday or it is projected out at near FTL speeds from one of their sexual organs, usually the phallus. Arby forgot.

Today's featured picture


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Land of the Jews, based on promo poster for George A. Romero's film Land of the Dead.

Image credit: RabbiTechno

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