Joke of the Day

Dear Internal Revenue Service:

Enclosed you will find my 2006 tax return showing that I owe $3,407.00 in taxes.

Please note the attached article from the USA Today newspaper dated 12 November, wherein you will see the Pentagon (Department of Defense) is paying $171.50 per hammer and NASA has paid $600.00 per toilet seat.

I am enclosing for (4) toilet seats (valued @ $2,400.) and six (6) hammers (valued @ $1,029.) which I secured at Home Depot, bringing my total remittance to $3,429.00. Please apply the overpayment of $22.00 to the Presidential Election Fund, as noted on my return. You can do this inexpensively by sending them one (1) 1.5 Phillips Head screwdriver, (see aforementioned article from USA Today newspaper detailing how H.U.D. pays $22.00 each for 1.5 Phillips Head screwdrivers). One screw is enclosed for your convenience.

It has been a pleasure to pay my tax bill this year, and I look forward to paying it again next year.

Sincerely,

A Satisfied Taxpayer

Attribution: Karen

Puppy Love

For more than 32,000 years, dogs have been our faithful companions, living, eating and breathing with us as we moved from cave-dwellers to city-builders.

Around this time, we lost our closest cousins – and, many argue, our competitors: Neanderthal man, who had previously occupied present-day Europe for a staggering

Glad we didn’t become this guy!

250,000 years.

Now, an anthropologist is suggesting these two facts may be related – and it was our close friendship with our canine associates that tipped the balance in favor of modern man.

Pat Shipman said that the advantages that domesticating a dog brought for us were so fundamental to our own evolution, that it made us ‘top dog’ out of the competing primate species.

Shipman analyzed the results of excavations of fossilized canine bones from Europe, during the time when humans and Neanderthals overlapped.

The research first established a framework to our early ‘best friend’ relationships, with early humans adding dog teeth to jewelry, showing how they were worshipped, and rarely adorning cave art with images of dogs – implying dogs were treated with a reverence not shown to the animals they hunted.

The advantages dogs gave early man were huge – the animals themselves were likely to be larger than our modern day pooches, at least the size of German Shepherds.

Because of this, they could be used as ‘beasts of burden’, carrying animal carcasses and supplies from place to place, leaving humans to reserve their energies for the hunt.

In return, the animals gained warmth, food and companionship, or, as Shipman puts it, ‘a virtuous circle of cooperation’.

They may also have influenced how we communicate. Humans and dogs are the only animals which have large ‘whites of the eyes’, and will follow the gaze of another person. This has not been found in other species, and it is argued that, as our man-dog relationship evolved, we learned to use these non-verbal cues more often.

As such, dogs became one of the first tools, or technologies, that humanity began to use, and as the relationship developed both ways, it became a lot more deeply ingrained into our psyche.

And, in those early days where every advantage was needed to survive, Neanderthal man might simply have been unable to cope with the new species which rapidly moved across Europe.

In short, Shipman said: ‘Animals were not incidental to our evolution into Homo sapiens – They were essential to it. They are what made us human.’

Attribution: Eddie Wrenn

Joke du Jour

A wife woke in the middle of the night to find her husband missing from bed. She got out of bed and checked around the house.

She heard sobbing from the basement. After turning on the light and descending the stairs, she found he husband curled up in the corner, of the basement,… crying like a baby.

 “Honey, what’s wrong?”, she asked, worried about what could hurt him so much.

 “Remember, 20 years ago, I got you pregnant and your father threatened me to either marry you or to go to jail?”

“Yes, of course,” she replied.

“Well, I would have been released from jail this afternoon!”

That’s a Turtle

Picture a turtle the size of a Smart car, with a shell large enough to double as a children’s pool.

Paleontologists from North Carolina State University have found just such a specimen – the fossilized remains of a 60-million-year-old South American giant that lived in what is now Colombia.

The turtle in question is Carbonemys cofrinii, which means ‘coal turtle’, and it is part of a group of turtles known as pelomedusoides.

The specimen’s skull measures 24 centimeters (9-1/2 inches), and the shell, which was recovered nearby and is believed to belong to the same animal, measures 172 centimeters, or about 5 feet 7 inches, long.

Ironically, that’s the same height as Edwin Cadena, the NC State doctoral student who discovered the fossil.

The fossil was named Carbonemys because it was discovered in 2005 in a coal mine that was part of northern Colombia’s Cerrejon formation.

Dr. Dan Ksepka, NC State paleontologist and research associate at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, believes that this is because a turtle of this size would need a large territory in order to obtain enough food to survive. Ksepka said: “It’s like having one big snapping turtle living in the middle of a lake.”

“That turtle survives because it has eaten all of the major competitors for resources. We found many bite-marked shells at this site that show crocodilians preyed on side-necked turtles.”

“None would have bothered an adult Carbonemys. In fact smaller crocs would have been easy prey for this behemoth.”

Cadena said: “We had recovered smaller turtle specimens from the site. But after spending about four days working on uncovering the shell, I realized that this particular turtle was the biggest anyone had found in this area for this time period and it gave us the first evidence of giantism in freshwater turtles.”

Smaller relatives of Carbonemys existed alongside dinosaurs, but the giant version appeared five million years after the dinosaurs vanished, during a period when giant varieties of many different reptiles, including Titanoboa cerrejonensis (about 43 ft), the largest snake ever discovered – lived in this part of South America.

Researchers believe that a combination of changes in the ecosystem, including fewer predators, a larger habitat area, plentiful food supply and climate changes, worked together to allow these giant species to survive. Carbonemys’ habitat would have resembled a much warmer modern-day Orinoco or Amazon River delta.

In addition to the turtle’s huge size, the fossil also shows that this particular turtle had massive, powerful jaws that would have enabled the omnivore to eat anything nearby – from molluscs to smaller turtles or even crocodiles.

Thus far, only one specimen of this size has been recovered.

The paleontologists’ findings appear in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. Dr. Carlos Jaramillo from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and Dr. Jonathan Bloch from the Florida Museum of Natural History contributed to the work.

Attribution: Science Tech, Mail Online

Joke of the Day

Three rats are sitting at the bar talking, bragging about their bravery and toughness.

 The first says, “I’m so tough, once I ate a whole bagful of rat poison!”

The second says, “Well I’m so tough, once I was caught in a rat trap and I bit it apart!”

Then the third rat says, “That’s nothin”. All of the sudden he is interrupted by a cat wearing a limo drivers uniform. 

As the 3 rats turn to look, the cat says to the third rat, “Hey boss, are you ready to go home?”

Joke du Jour

Fellow 1 : “My grandfather, he knew the exact day he was going to die. It was the right year too. Not only that, but he knew what time he would die that day, and he was right about that, too.”

Fellow 2 : “Wow, that’s Incredible. How did he know all of that?”

Fellow 1 : “A judge told him.”

Joke of the Day

Yes, it’s that magical time of year again when the Darwin Awards are bestowed, honoring the least evolved among us.

 

And the Winner is:

1. When his 38-caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, California would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.

And now, the honorable mentions:

2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat-cutting machine and after a little shopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company expecting negligence sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and he also lost a finger. The chef’s claim was approved.

3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.

4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn’t discovered for 3 days.

5. An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.

6.. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer…. $15. [If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?]

7. Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he’d just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of Polycarbonate. The whole event was caught on videotape.

8. As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, “Yes, officer, that’s her. That’s the lady I stole the purse from.”

9. The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan at 5 A.M., flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn’t open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren’t available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away. [*A 5-STAR STUPIDITY AWARD WINNER]

10. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline, but he plugged his siphon hose into the motor home’s sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges saying that it was the best laugh he’d ever had.