Paris may ban SUVs

In an effort to curb pollution, Paris may ban certain types of vehicles from the city’s core, including SUVs.

To any Parisian who drives an SUV, Baupin’s advice is: “Sell it and buy a vehicle that’s compatible with city life.

“I’m sorry, but having a sport utility vehicle in a city makes no sense,” Baupin told RTL radio.

Judging by how things were with the snow storm Sunday night, besides a snowmobile, an SUV was probably the best type of vehicle to have if you had to be out.

December 29, 2010

Time lapse of snow storm

We had a little snow storm here in the Northeast, so here’s a time lapse video of the snow accumulation.

I love how he gives up raising the clock and instead elects to just dig it out to keep it visible.

December 27, 2010

Big Changes

December 24, 2010

Welcome to the ninth major revision of

While things may not look different cosmetically, under the hood, things are completely different.  The software used to publish this site was changed from ExpressionEngine to WordPress.

While all the old content is still here, this change means that all the old links won’t work.  I’ve taken steps, and used some wizardry, to translate the old links into the new ones, but I’m sure some things will have fallen through the cracks.

Additionally, the RSS feed will look a little wonky since readers will see it as all new, but that should clear up in a day or two.

If you spot something funky, or have a question, suggestion, issue, or concern, please let me know via email, or leave a comment.

(As of now, not all of Woody’s Chalkboards have been correctly migrated. They will be updated within a few days.)

Update: All of Woody’s Chalkboards have been migrated properly.

Niagara Falls without water

Newly discovered photos show Niagara Falls without water.  Engineers needed to stop the flow of water over the American Falls so they could clean up a rock slide that threatened to stop the water flow permanently.

To achieve this the army had to build a 600ft dam across the Niagara River, which meant that 60,000 gallons of water that flowed ever second was diverted over the larger Horseshoe Falls which flow entirely on the Canadian side of the border.

The dam itself consisted of 27,800 tons of rock, and on June 12, 1969, after flowing continuously for over 12,000 years, the American Falls stopped.

December 21, 2010

Visualizing Facebook friendships

An intern at Facebook plots peoples relationships using lines and it ends up looking like a map of the world (minus Russia, China, most of the middle east, etc.).

After a few minutes of rendering, the new plot appeared, and I was a bit taken aback by what I saw. The blob had turned into a surprisingly detailed map of the world. Not only were continents visible, certain international borders were apparent as well. What really struck me, though, was knowing that the lines didn’t represent coasts or rivers or political borders, but real human relationships. Each line might represent a friendship made while travelling [sic], a family member abroad, or an old college friend pulled away by the various forces of life.

December 14, 2010

Brett Favre’s consecutive game streak ends

Brett Favre’s consecutive starts streak ends at 297 consecutive NFL regular season games.  The streak started in 1992.  George Bush was President of the U.S. (the father, not the son); I was in high school; The Silence of the Lambs won the Oscar for Best Picture; “Unforgettable” by Natalie Cole & Nat King Cole won the Grammy for record of the year; Johnny Carson retired from The Tonight Show, and Jay Leno took over (Favre outlasted him and Leno doesn’t get sacked every show!); and Tarvaris Jackson, the QB who started in place of Brett, was 9 years old.

December 13, 2010

Metrodome roof fails

The roof of the Minneapolis Metrodome “collapsed”, and Fox, who was scheduled to broadcast the Giants vs. Vikings game Sunday, had cameras rolling when it happened early Sunday morning.  A snow storm dumped 17 inches of snow in the area.

The Metrodome is an inflatable bubble, so they just need to get some spare fabric and patch it up.

What is that thing sprinting along the sideline during the first few seconds of the video when the roof starts to deflate?

UPDATE: Yahoo! has a good before/after picture of the Metrodome, and word from the Fox engineers that they left the cameras on on purpose because they were hoping for expecting a roof collapse.

December 12, 2010

Blockbuster laughed Netflix out of their office

Netflix approached Blockbuster in 2000 and suggested that they run Blockbuster’s online brand.  Blockbuster turned them down.

“Reed had the chutzpah to propose to them that we run their brand online and that they run [our] brand in the stores and they just about laughed us out of their office.”

Netflix had $553 million in revenue in the third quarter this year.  Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in September.

December 10, 2010

‘The Godfather’ house is for sale

The house that was used as the exterior of the Corleone’s compound in The Godfather is for sale.  Not bad for $2.9 million.

December 9, 2010

Times Square rebirth deemed “complete”

The Times has a fascinating article about the clean-up of Times Square.

“The irony is that this place represents in many ways the epitome of free-market capitalism,” said Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance. “But its transformation is due more to government intervention than just about any other development in the country.”

They also have a very cool interactive sliding photo map that shows Times Square then and now.

I kinda miss the old version a bit.  Glad they’re keeping some of it around.

December 6, 2010