July 13, 2006 | 3:15 PM ET

MSN has a new animated obesity map that shows the United States getting fatter over time.  Actually, to be clear, it shows how the Body Mass Index of Americans has increased over time.  BMI is a function of height and weight such that even if you're heavy because you're muscular your number comes out as "overweight."  Here's their calculator if you're curious.

A stat I'd love to know is the degree to which muscular people could throw off the curve.  I don't really see a lot of muscular people walking around on the street -certainly not as many as I see overweight people, but I have noticed that bodybuilding magazines are increasing in number and ad pages, and everywhere you look is one of those vitamin stores selling big jugs of muscle bulking powder.  Could it be that Americans aren't necessarily getting fatter so much as they're getting denser?  (I'm not at all prepared to defend this argument, I'm just floating it out there as something to consider.  The health editor who sits near me says no way.)

A collected list of Christian women bloggers.

Speaking of lists of women bloggers, Guy Kawasaki relays a list of mommy bloggers.

All of a sudden I'm running into video links from Glumbert, like another one of those choreographed-people-viewed-from-above commercials and another funny hazards of cyber-ing joke.

Tricks for remembering names

Folks online are getting a laugh at a pro-life blogger (NOTE: contains one of those horrible graphic anti-abortion photos) who took an Onion satire seriously.  Even with that pointed out to him, however, he doesn't find the subject particularly funny.

Free WiFi spawns cafe backlash — I remember when Starbucks first started offering Wi-Fi and all the articles were about how great it was that you could spend the afternoon working online from the coffee shop.  Municipal Wi-Fi is bound to help ease the problem.

Why are Americans so angry — To my American readers, are you angry?  Do you agree with the premise that Americans are angry?  This essay points to the war and political fear mongering.  Not mentioned here is my pet peeve, divisive partisanship (a.k.a. " American hurting").  Interesting to think about anyway.

Announcing "Heatseek" the porn browser.  (This link is totally safe.)  "Every feature is aimed at either making porn consumption easier or making it less likely that others will know what you are up to. I’ll walk through some of the features first and save my editorial for the end."

" Our Sun in three colors of ultraviolet light."

SUV RUB — When laid flat, the SUV rubbing looks like an archaeological dig.

Japanese rank their favorite 100 historical figures — Pretty fascinating what western names made the list.

I haven't been watching "America's got talent" (frankly it seems a bit too much like the Gong Show for my taste) but I have clicked a few bootleg clips on YouTube of highlights light the little girl with the big voice and the quick changing magicians.

The Cult of Leia's Metal Bikini

How to begin running

I followed the trackback link from this Spanish auto blog to Jalopnik's explanation of what the entry is showing.  Sbarro is a Swiss custom car builder.  It's like he builds real-life matchbox cars.

Schneier explains why the NSA surveillance program will not likely be the basis of a plotline of NUMB3RS.

I've seen some people call this Manhattanhenge.

Though it seems mostly as the result of marketing strategy, Stormhoek appears to have established itself as the geek wine.

Speaking of wine, will global warming make it so that in the year 2100 you'll be shopping for a nice Pinot from Maine ?

Speaking of global warming, here are some ideas for artificially offsetting the trend.

Global Voices rounds up India bloggers reacting to the Mumbai bombings including the rapidly launched Mumbai Help blog (also submitted by reader Asim).

More fun with Zidane.  Video of the Day:  Anil Dash compiled a collection of joke animations based on the headbutt heard round the world.  (I think a lot of them are animated gifs on this page, but it loads kind of crappy.)  I also clicked this video of problem solving the Zidane way.  Also random head smashing.

July 11, 2006 | 5:57 PM ET

When I first saw the link to " pay per post" I thought it was spam and ignored it.  Now I see that it's getting a lot of link attention in the course of being criticized:

The idea is simple enough, you get paid to blog about products, sites and services, probably by companies who aren't able to generate any buzz on their own.  Naturally, if you're not telling people that you're being paid, you're being essentially dishonest and worse, confirming the ugliest stereotypes about bloggers being sneaky and untrustworthy (when they aren't being crazy).  Looking at the list of " opportunities" (advertisers looking for blog attention) it looks like you can make $2.50 to blog (presumably favorably) about White Castle.  That's enough for what, 15 burgers at that place?  I see there's a "Windfall" item on the list too.  I wonder if that comes from my NBC colleagues.

Speaking of making money online, Spyware developers net huge profits, outrage and they're pretty damn smug about it too.

Campaigns Wikia is the much anticipated politics wiki.  This seems like an idea doomed to rampant incivility (unless they keep tight control, which is counter to the point of a wiki) but so far seems to be working well.  I like the way they outline the various perspectives on political issues.

Speaking of rampant incivility, The Protein Wisdom/Deb Frisch thing is pretty much over so I don't want to pick at the scab, but as a follow-up, the site is now accessible so we can read the original offending comments, and they are offensive indeed.

One of the spin-off issues from the story (and other, similar stories) is the secondary wave of fingerpointing in which blogs of similar political philosophy are called upon to disavow the actions of the offending blogger.  The Mahablog has proposed a great idea in " the blogroll rule," which says that bloggers should not have to respond to, care about, or comment on blogs that are not on their blogroll.

Faith the two legged dog.  Doesn't even really fall on his face when he lies down.

Man allowed to board aircraft appeared to have bomb components — Aside from the obvious, the reason this story stands out to online newswatchers is that there is a general belief that terrorists perform practice runs before an attack.  Some see a story about a guy with hollow shoes with no explosives as a sign that terrorists are testing the possibility of a future shoe bomb attack.  Of course, unlike this article, the government actually knows the passenger's name and by now has probably examined every aspect of his life.

Scott Adams hopes the world is run by a capitalist conspiracy because the alternative is " hordes of clueless goobers electing competent leaders."  Not bloody likely.

Jason Kottke goes looking for what triggered the Zidane headbutt and doesn't come to a solid conclusion.  After clicking this link I'm really liking the idea of no one ever finding out what he said and instead civilization is left with the mystery of the Materazzi curse that, when uttered, drives any man to madness, compelling him to perform self-destructive acts of rage.  Like The Aristocrats, but an insult instead of a joke.

Italy's mandatory pregnancy law — I feel like I'm not understanding this correctly because it sounds like the law requires that all of the embryos fertilized in IVF therapy must be implanted and carried to term if possible.

Strange and unusual vehicles

Afghanistan is littered with the debris of invading empires – so why do we refuse to learn from history?

Commuter Click:  Speaking of learning from history, "Here we publish the remarkable speech that dazzled an audience of writers and historians."  This is a historian making an argument for paying more attention to history.  Since it's remarkable and dazzling, I'm going to print it and read it later.

Speaking of using your eyes, "Computers of the future could be controlled by eye movements, rather than a mouse or keyboard."  If I can use speech recognition instead of typing and eyes instead of a mouse, what the heck am I going to do with my hands?  Time to buy stock in stress balls and dumbbell sets.

Still speaking of your eyes, Dark Room is described as a zero distraction word processor.  I like to use Notepad for that reason.  If you give this a try, let me know how you like it.

Tom Maguire does a helpful job explaining what the big deal is with Rep. Hoekstra's letter to President Bush about the CIA.

July 11, 2006 | 1:34 PM ET

I wanted to have an entry up by now but my day has been more hectic than I planned.  Rather than let some fun links languish past the lunchtime clicking hour, I'll pop those up first and present some of the meatier matters later this afternoon.

The Zidane game - (BIGGER UPDATE:  Reader Stev wins by finding this version of it.)  (UPDATE: OK, since the entire world is linking to this it appears to be crashed.  Until I find an alternate link, here's the headbutt rendered in Legos.)  The game is more of a joke, and already I see people playing in the park, jokingly clunking each other in the chest with their heads.  This is going to be a running joke for a while I reckon.  (I love the tragic tone of the French commentator saying, "Why why why...")

Speaking of "the butt," It was a wonderful headbutt.

So far the only explanation I've seen was that it was a " very serious comment " but not "dirty terrorist."

Key locations from the show Lost plotted on a map.  I'd like to see someone try to map out the island itself.

Ken Lay lives

Spanish lesson:  La carretera más peligrosa del mundo

Video of the Day:  When the springboard maintenance budget is cut, only bad things can happen.  (This is surely fake, right?)

Longer Video of the Day: Burning Safari

This is the kind of thing you get in one of those e-mails with a million people on the "To" line, but since I keep running into it on blogs as well, it's probably worth pointing out as having viral potential.  (It's just a matter of time before it's photoshopped as Bush and Cheney.)

The music in that Liberty Mutual commercial they play all the time on MSNBC is by a band called Hem.  They have a lot of music on their site for free, but you can only listen one song at a time.

If you're not interested in donating your body to medicine, you might consider getting plasticized for public display.  (Note:  If the male anatomy offends you, be aware that there's a tiny glimpse of a penis in the photo (I think), but c'mon, the guy has no skin.)

AWESOME!  "Wash me" dust art

Hundreds of people bare their behinds to them in the 27th mooning of trains.


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