Russian house cat has five ears.

Can you hear me-ow?

Meet Luntya. A typical house cat. Well, aside from the fact that she has five ears. All the better to hear you opening that can of tuna with:

“The cat has two normal ears, two extra ears are turned 180 degrees and there is a tiny fifth ear,” said Vladimir Obryvkov of the Voronezh State University of Agriculture.

The scientist, who has been studying animal anomalies for years, took the cat to X-ray its unusual ears but decided to take her home to his children.

Obryvkov said that the cat named Luntya also has big paws but her behavior does not differ from that of normal cats.

via Biologist from central Russia shelters cat with five ears.

Obryvkov is hoping to breed his new house guest with another 4-eared cat to start a new breed of mutant cats with super hearing.

I can only wonder how long before they start sprouting thumbs.

Thanksgiving will be a little different this year.

This will be the first year that we’ll be spending Thanksgiving at home. Usually we trade off on going to either mine or Anne’s parents each year—this year would’ve been my parent’s turn—but this year both Anne and Courtney have to work Thanksgiving day. So we won’t be making the trip and instead will have a small dinner of our own at home. I have Thanksgiving and the day after off so I’ll probably spend part of it playing WoW while the ladies of the house are at work. It’s a little weird not traveling for a change.

I can recall from my childhood trips to my maternal grandparents for Thanksgiving most years and I can recall that we eventually started staying home for Thanksgiving, but I couldn’t tell you at what point we made that change or why. It’s a change I’m aware of, but wasn’t so jarring that the exact point of change is embedded in my mind. There will come a point, just as it did with my grandparents, where my own parents won’t be around to have Thanksgiving with anymore and the same will eventually come to pass with my in-laws and at that point staying home will be more or less a given. Which is also a weird thing to think about. I wonder if Courtney, once she moves out on her own, will make the trip back every year to spend Thanksgiving with us for a few years and carry on the tradition. I wonder if I’ll know how to cook a turkey properly by the time that comes to pass.

I don’t see my older brother or younger sister as much as I’d like to so the holidays have always been one of the few times we get to see each other. My sister’s schedule is very incompatible with my own and the distance between Ann Arbor, where I live, and Pontiac, where she’s living in our childhood neighborhood, is enough to make visiting with any frequency difficult. Of my two siblings I get along with my sister the best, but our lives are so different to each other’s that I often don’t have a clue what to talk to her about. My brother and I get along a lot better than we did as kids, but there are other… stresses… in the relationship between our two families that keeps our contact limited to holidays. And, again, our lives are different enough that I’m never sure what the hell to talk to him about. I actually talk more with his son than I do him because my nephew is a bit of a geek like me.

There are days when I wish my relationship with both my brother and sister could be closer than it is and that sentiment is part of why holidays like Thanksgiving are nice as it’s one of the few days I’m likely to see them. Usually that wishing-we-were-closer feeling is gone by the end of the day as I realize just how little I have to say that either one of them would care much about. I have no idea what the hell we’d do other than sit around and talk anyway as our hobbies are wildly different. Still, not seeing them on Thursday will be a little weird. My parent’s less so because I see them fairly regularly throughout the year.

Not really sure why I decided to write all this down. I don’t really have a point with it other than “it’s kinda weird” which isn’t really a point as much as an observation. But, here you go.

Spammer sentenced to jail escapes and kills wife, daughter, and himself.

This is just a weird story all the way around. Edward “Eddie” Davidson is consider one of the “Spam Kings” and he was finally brought up on charges, convicted, and sentenced to 21 months (less than two years) in jail and ordered to pay $714,139 in restitution to the IRS (compare that to the estimated $3.5 million he earned between 2003 and 2006). Apparently that was too hard a punishment for Mr. Davidson as he managed to plan an escape with the help of his wife which then took a deadly turn:

A teenage girl was shot in the neck and a baby was found unhurt in a car seat inside the vehicle where the three bodies were found, Arapahoe County undersheriff Mark Campbell said. The relationship between the girl, baby and the escaped convict wasn’t immediately clear.

The bodies of “Spam King” Edward “Eddie” Davidson, his wife, and 3-year-old daughter were found in an SUV parked in a farmhouse driveway in a rural part of Bennett, about 25 miles east of Denver. Authorities said Davidson was the apparent gunman.

“What a nightmare, and such a coward,” U.S. Attorney Troy Eid said. “Davidson imposed the ‘death penalty’ on family members for his own crime.”

It just doesn’t make any sense at all. The jail time was trivial and it was in a minor security prison, the restitution doesn’t come close to what he supposedly earned from his spamming activities, and he reportedly had cash stashed away in other accounts. Cool your jets for a few months, get our early on good behavior, and start investing some of that cash. Why the hell did he feel the need to shoot anybody?

I guess being the Spam King makes you a little nuts.

Weirdest comment spammers ever.

So you may have been noticing that what appears to be some fairly innocuous comments from non-SEB regulars being deleted just about every day for the past week or so. On the surface there’s nothing obviously spammish about these comments, but I’ve been deleting and blacklisting the user names as rapidly as they’ve shown up. At first I wasn’t sure it was comment spam because the comments all appeared to be related to the topic of the thread in question, but I still had a feeling something was amiss as the comments were showing up on some of the older threads we have around here—that also tend to have some of the highest Google page ranks coincidentally—and the comments were all written in such a way that they were on topic, but said absolutely nothing of consequence. Two examples of this were posted last night while I slept from a visitor named “Ermar” one of which was on the thread about Romney dropping out that read as follows:

Whoever win the race I’ll support him. Its people’s choice and we have to respect it.

Seems on topic, but it seems like a stupid thing to say as though the person wasn’t really thinking about what they were typing and was just saying something that seemed related to the topic of the thread. This one was just enough to get DOF to respond to it, but usually the comments from these people pass without anyone really noticing and I think that’s by design.

Every one of these comments has left a link to a blog and when I check the link it always points back to a blog that appears legit at first glance, but again there’s something not quite right. For starters most of the entries on the site are composed of one or two sentences on the main page that links to a full entry that consists of one or two paragraphs of the same sort that comprise the comments being left. In short, not really saying anything of consequence. “Emar’s” blog is named “boringatbreakfas” (no, I won’t link to it as that’s probably what they’re hoping for) and is full of inane entries like this one:

Weather is a funny thing

Weather is a funny thing. We use a ton of terms to describe it. It can be perfect, it can be fine, it can be awful, and it can even be downright weird. It seems that Mother Nature is a fickle minded woman. But whatever the weather may be, it is all part of the natural cycle of things. Weather in Africa differs from that in London. Manila weather too, is something all its own. Just as casinos have their own thing going for them and rodeos offer some things different than those that can be found in USA Manila weather too is starkly different than the rest of the world.

That’s it. That’s the entire entry. Here’s another example:

In life, the basic..

In life, the basic necessities for living are food, shelter and clothing. These still apply today theoretically, but try applying it and I doubt if you would survive a year with just those three basics. In this day and age, food, shelter and clothing just don’t cut it anymore. With the advent of technology, our lives cannot depend solely on the three basics anymore.

And as life gets more complicated with each passing day, a growing concern that arises with this complexity of surviving is security. Security comes in many forms. You may seek security in a friend; you may look for it for personal safety, you may seek security against cyber fiends, or you may look for it to protect your belongings, heck, you can do a “Linus” and look for security in a blanket even. No one really knows what evil lurks this world.

It doesn’t really say anything and the posts are clustered in a handful of days in a handful of months spread out over the past year for a grand total of 14 entries. Another thing that’ll strike you as odd if you visit the page is that not one entry has a single comment left on it. Either “Emar” is the world’s most boring blogger or there’s something amiss.

Now if it had just been “Emar” showing up and leaving inane comments I might be willing to buy into the idea that he/she/it is the world’s most boring blogger and not have bothered to touch their comments, but he/she/it is not alone. We’ve been receiving similar comments from a half dozen people for the past week and every single one of those people has a blog that has similarly inane entries with absolutely no comments on any of them and all of these people seem to hail from around the same part of the world. All of that could just be coincidental, perhaps SEB is suddenly attractive to the world’s most boring bloggers, but here is the clincher: Every single boring blogger just happens to link to all the other boring bloggers who just happened to start leaving boring comments at SEB at the same point in time.

In addition to “Emar” we’ve been visited by “Carlo” (bloggography), “Estela” (addictedtocodein), “Natashiya” (agenthotty), “Viktor” (cleancorpse), “JJ” (modernpunches), and “Eliana” (ashestoashes). Blog names are in parentheses. Here’s the other thing that’s interesting: If you compare the dates on which entries are left on each of the blogs in question they all start at around the same point in time last year (February 2007), they all have between 12 and 14 entries, and the entries are all posted within one or two days of the other blogs and all the entries save for one or two are the same boring one or two paragraph dissertations about nothing in particular. To top it all off each blog has exactly one category defined and the category is the same name as the blog itself. So, for example, all the entries on “ashestoashes” are posted in the category of “ashestoashes.” Lastly not a single one of these people has sent me an email to complain or ask what the hell is going on after I blacklisted their blogs and deleted their comments.

So it seems clear to me these comments are clearly spam of some sort, but the thing I can’t figure out is what they’re trying to accomplish. I can’t find any links on any of the blogs in question to any websites that would benefit from all this spamming. The nearest I can figure is that they’re trying to raise their Google page rank in hopes of selling the domains to someone else later, but that’s just a guess on my part.

Have any of you other bloggers been visited by these people? Am I the only one paranoid enough to notice these weirdos?

Set your clocks for it.

An interesting oddity will occur (very) early tomorrow morning:

At three minutes and four seconds after 2 AM on the 6th of May this year, the time and date will be 02:03:04 05/06/07. This will never happen again.

***Dave, who got this via DOF who got it from Living the Scientific Life, points out that, actually, it will happen again in a hundred years, but still it’s pretty nifty just the same.