0 The FBI Needs Your Help to Crack a Killer's Code

The FBI remains puzzled by a 12-year-old murder mystery, but they're hoping you can help.

On June 30, 1999, the body of 41-year-old Ricky McCormick was discovered in a field in St. Louis, Missouri. The only clues found at the crime scene were two encrypted notes discovered in the victim's pants pockets. But expert cryptanalysts have failed crack to the killer's code and thus the murder has yet to be solved.

Ricky McCormick murder, FBI code
Photo credit: FBI
Can you decode the newly-released notes above and help the FBI solve this real-life murder mystery?

> Read more on this story here

0 Clay Yourself! Create Your Own Avatar

See what you'd look like as a character made out of clay! Try the Clay Yourself machine

Here's mine . . .

Clay Yourself avatar
 (via Presurfer)

0 It's National Pencil Day — Write On!

National Pencil Day, March 30
Photo credit: George Hart
Today we celebrate a good quality Number 2 . . .

March 30 is National Pencil Day!

What did you think I meant?

I'm partial to the mechanical version, but this day honors Hymen Lipman (that's really his name), who received a patent for his wooden pencil with an attached eraser on March 30, 1858.

So put your keyboard/smartphone away and grab a sharpened pencil. And maybe a Scantron test sheet or two — oh, how I love those!
Did you know?

  • In Middle English the word, spelled pencel, meant "artist's brush." It was borrowed from Old French pincel or peincel, related to Modern French peinture "painting." The French inherited the word from the Latin penicillus, for "little tail."
  • In 1795, French chemist Nicholas Jacques Conte received a patent for the modern process for making pencil leads by mixing powdered graphite and clay to form sticks and hardening them in a furnace. The gradient of the pencil (No. 2 versus No. 2.5) is based on the amount of clay initially added to the mixture.
  • The emergence of Siberian graphite as the standard led manufacturers to associate pencils with the Orient by using names such as Mongol and Mikado and painting them yellow, a color associated with royalty and respect in China.
  • An average-sized tree makes about 170,000 pencils. The average pencil can draw a line 35 miles long, or write about 45,000 words.
> Read more fun facts about pencils
Here's a clip from The Science Channel's How It's Made that gets right to the point about how pencils are manufactured...

0 Missing Bronx Zoo's Cobra Found — On Twitter!

Bronx Zoo cobra Twitter
An Egyptian cobra escaped from the Reptile House at the Bronx Zoo this past Friday.

He's currently slithering around New York City, and Twitter.

Bronx Zoo cobra Twitter
> Follow @JennysNoodle on Twitter

0 A Manifesto, on How to Write a Manifesto

Kim Mok, manifesto
Image credit: Kim Mok
 (via mental_floss) 

0 Unique Still-Life Painting Timelapse: Peel

Watch as artist Duane Keiser creatively unpeels a tangerine — using oil paint and a brush.

0 Movies + Math = Fun [Quiz]

Hey movie buffs and a math geeks!
Test your film knowledge and math skills on this 3-part quiz, courtesy of Spiked Math. Answers are at the bottom, so scroll to the end and find out how well you did.


movie math quiz

movie math quiz

movie math quiz


1. The Matrix (1999)
2. Signs (2002)
3. Ball of Fire (1941)
4. Duck Soup (1933)
5. Cross of Iron (1977)
6. The Social Network (2010)
7. Sin City (2005)
8. Heat (1995)
9. Goldeneye (1995)
10. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

1. Snakes on a Plane (2006)
2. Independence Day (1996)
3. Mean Girls (2004)
4. Paths of Glory (1957)
5. 8 Mile (2002)
6. The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
7. Field of Dreams (1989)
8. Alpha and Omega (2010)
9. The Thirteenth Floor (1999)
10. The Sum of All Fears (2002)

1. Manhattan (1979)
2. Joan of Arc (1999)
3. Open Range (2003)
4. Inception (2010)
5. The Odd Couple (1968)
6. In the Loop (2009)
7. Star Wars (1977)
8. The Exorcist (1973)
9. Transformers (2007)
10. Absolute Power (1997)

0 The Anatomy of a Cupcake

The anatomy of a cupcake
Image credit: Things
> This delicious poster is now for sale, here

0 NPR Sunday Puzzle: March 27, 2011

Will Shortz, NPR Sunday Puzzle
Here's the solution to last week's NPR Sunday Puzzle (March 20):

Answer: Scott Simon and nuclear power
NPR Sunday Puzzle for March 27: Take the word "calm" and flip the letters A and L to get "clam." Take the last name of a film director known for using profanity, and flip two pairs of letters in place to get a word used as a substitute for profanity. Who's the director, and what's the word?
Submit your answer to NPR for a chance to be on next week's broadcast and be sure to visit Jenny's Noodle next Sunday to see the correct answer!

0 Celebrities Salute Twitter on its Fifth Birthday [Video]

Happy 5th Birthday, Twitter!

Five years ago today, the first tweet ("just setting up my twttr") was posted by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. The social media platform has since changed the way we communicate, connecting everyone from celebrities to government leaders — in 140 characters or less. It's estimated that we send 140 million tweets per day, making Twitter an invaluable part of our daily lives.

> Celebrate this momentous occasion by following @JennysNoodle on Twitter!

0 NPR Sunday Puzzle: March 20, 2011

Will Shortz, NPR Sunday Puzzle
Here's the solution to last week's NPR Sunday Puzzle (March 13):

Answer: Midge → Mitch
NPR Sunday Puzzle for March 20: Take the phrase "consumer protection laws," and rearrange the letters to name a person in broadcasting and an issue of public debate. Hints: The name of the person in broadcasting has five letters in the first name and five letters in the last name. For the issue of public debate, it's a familiar two-word phrase with seven letters in the first word and five letters in the second. What name and phrase are these?
Submit your answer to NPR for a chance to be on next week's broadcast and be sure to visit Jenny's Noodle next Sunday to see the correct answer!

0 80 Movie Titles, in Movies, in 2 Minutes [Video]

Reminds me of these Family Guy episodes — "Ah! Ah! He said it! He said it!"

(via The High Definite)

0 Funny Headline of the Day: Well, No Sh**!

Greenville News headline, Strip Search Finds Crack Between Buttocks
Image via Greenville News
(via TDW)

0 What's Your Leprechaun Name?

Heading out to the local pub tonight, or perhaps you've already been there since 7am?

Get even more into the St. Patrick's Day spirit and annoy entertain your drunk friends in between Irish Car Bombs and pitchers of green beer — introduce yourself under your new leprechaun alias.

For example: "Top 'o the evenin' to ya! You can call me Fluffernutter O'Donnell!"

Fun right? It will be...up until someone proceeds to vomit on your shoes.

> Visit the Leprechaun Name Generator

0 A Brief History of Movie & TV Title Design [Video]

Edited by Ian Albinson, this terrific video montage was produced for the SXSW “Excellence in Title Design” competition screening.

> For the full index of movie and TV show titles visit ArtOfTheTitle on Vimeo

0 How Americans Celebrate St. Patrick's Day [Infographic]

St. Patrick's Day, America, infographic
Image credit: Lab42

0 Take the Pi Day Challenge

National Pi Day, March 14
Photo credit: CBS News
Happy Pi Day!

Every March 14 (aka 3.14), we embrace the *irrational* (see what I did there), by celebrating the Greek letter Pi (π) — the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

Thanks to technology, Pi has been calculated to over 1 trillion digits past the decimal, or:

211055596446229489549303819644288109756659334461...and that's quite enough of that.

The Pi Day Challenge was created by a team of math geeks for those of us who love logic-based puzzles.

> Take the 2011 Pi Day Challenge

0 NPR Sunday Puzzle: March 13, 2011

Will Shortz, NPR Sunday Puzzle
Here's the solution to last week's NPR Sunday Puzzle (March 6):

Answer: Stone Age → Stage One
NPR Sunday Puzzle for March 13: Think of a five-letter girl's name that ends in a "J" sound. Change that to a CH sound to get a five-letter boy's name. What names are these?
Submit your answer to NPR for a chance to be on next week's broadcast and be sure to visit Jenny's Noodle next Sunday to see the correct answer!

0 Remember to Spring Forward! Yawn.

Daylight Savings Time cartoon, spring forward
Image credit: someecards
At 2am on Sunday it will be 3am — I'm tired just thinking about it.

0 Wrapping Paper for Puzzle Lovers

Universal wrapping paper
Photo credit: Fabio Milito
Universal wrapping paper is a genius idea! Just find the respective occasion — Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, Congratulations, etc. — and circle it in the word search puzzle.

Wish I could *find* this in real life.

(via TheDieLine)

0 SPLAT! Cadbury Launches the Creme Egg Cad-apult

Cadbury Egg Cad-apult
Cadbury — makers of those famous candy Creme Eggs (which frankly I've never tried because I'm somehow convinced that they actually taste like raw egg) — launched a fun little internet game, just in time for Easter. Simply type any address into the blank field, click to launch the Cad-apult and SPLAT! "Goo" any address on the planet.

> Play the Cadbury Cad-apult

0 Funny Pic of the Day: Proof That Furniture is Evil

(via TDW)

0 Can You Beat the Watson of Rock-Paper-Scissors?

rock-paper-scissors, new york times
It's You vs. the Computer in this hi-tech game of rock-paper-scissors.
Computers mimic human reasoning by building on simple rules and statistical averages. Test your strategy against the computer in this rock-paper-scissors game illustrating basic artificial intelligence.

A truly random game of rock-paper-scissors would result in a statistical tie with each player winning, tying and losing one-third of the time. However, people are not truly random and thus can be studied and analyzed. While this computer won't win all rounds, over time it can exploit a person's tendencies and patterns to gain an advantage over its opponent. —The New York Times
I didn't do so well, but then again, I didn't waste much time trying. Play it here

0 Happy Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday/Paczki Day!

Happy Paczki Day
Photo credit: Wikipedia
Happy Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday/Paczki Day!

What's a paczki? If you don't live in an area with a large Polish community (Detroit, Boston, Cleveland), you may be wondering. Paczki (pronounced poonch-key) are doughnut-like pastries, typically filled with jelly or Bavarian cream, and sometimes glazed.

Paczki Day is celebrated on Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday) because the ingredients — lard, sugar, eggs, fruit, etc — were traditionally forbidden from being consumed during Lent.

But beware! As delicious-looking as they are, these Polish treats are notoriously unhealthy — each paczki is estimated to be a whopping 400 calories and 25 grams of fat! So although they invaded my office this morning, I stayed far away.

0 Engineers Create a Real Life Floating 'Up' House

Disney/Pixar, Up
Carl Frederickson's famous flying house is real! Well almost. A lightweight version of the colorful abode from Disney/Pixar’s Oscar-winning film Up has been recreated for an upcoming television show. How Hard Can it Be? will premiere this fall on National Geographic and feature an episode during which engineers build and fly the Up house.

Watch as 300 giant 8-foot colored balloons lift the 16' x 18' house high into the air:

(via Inside the Magic)

0 March 7 is National Cereal Day!

National Cereal Day, March 7, Kellogg
Image credit: Chris Toumanian/Flickr via idsgn.org
Grab the milk carton and pour a bowl of your favorite cereal — March 7 is National Cereal Day!

The food holiday is meant to celebrate Dr. John Kellogg, who served the first bowl of corn flakes on March 7, 1897. Kellogg believed that a strict diet would benefit patients at his sanitarium (a term he coined) in Battle Creek, Michigan. The corn flakes were given to the patients, but at that time the breakfast cereal was sugarless (and nearly tasteless). John's brother, Will, eventually added sugar to the cereal, an act which violated his brother's strict guidelines for a healthy diet — a family feud began. Will eventually won the legal battle and went on to market the cereal to the masses.

Let us pause now, and remember these 54 cereals we loved and lost...

0 NPR Sunday Puzzle: March 6, 2011

Will Shortz, NPR Sunday Puzzle
Here's the solution to last week's NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb. 27):

Answer: Marsha → Martha
NPR Sunday Puzzle for March 6: Think of a two-word phrase that means a time long ago. Move the third, fourth and fifth letters to the end of the phrase, without rearranging those three letters, to get a new two-word phrase that means the beginning. What phrases are these?
Submit your answer to NPR for a chance to be on next week's broadcast and be sure to visit Jenny's Noodle next Sunday to see the correct answer!

0 Spend Caturday with the Best of Business Cat

Business Cat, meme
> More amusing images of Business Cat here

0 What's In a Name?

hello my name is sticker
What's your first name? Do you know what it means? Well, today is the day to find out...

March 4 is Learn What Your Name Means Day!

Jennifer is of Welsh origin and means "white wave."

> Find out what your name means here

(via Punchbowl)

0 Hey, Y'all! Paula Deen is Riding Things!

Who's totally sick of Charlie Sheen? Me! Me! I am! Do we care that he now has an official Twitter account from which he can continue "winning" in his mind only? NO! Ok, so we need a new meme, right? YES!

Hey, y'all! I've discovered a meme we can all enjoy — Paula Deen Riding Things. Does it make any sense? Absolutely not! Do we care? No! Because it's brilliant fun! It's like a stick of butter! I have no idea what that means, but here are just a few gems:

> See many, many more here

0 Are You the World's Most Typical Person?

In a world of 7 billion people, are you typical? According to National Geographic, the typical person is a 28-year-old Han Chinese man. If that's the case, I guess I'm pretty unique! Tell me something I don't know, NatGeo.

(via THD)

0 Behold the World's Most Expensive Purse

world's most expensive purse, guinness world record
If you've ever bought a Prado purse on Canal Street, because it's the closest you'll ever get to the real thing, brace yourself. The Guinness Book of World Records has named the 1001 Nights Diamond Purse the most expensive handbag on the planet.

Ten artisans worked for a period of four months and an incredible 1,100 hours to construct this beauty. Valued at $3.8 million, the handcrafted heart-shaped purse is encrusted with more than 4,517 diamonds.

A bit extravagant for something that will essentially tote around your keys, lip gloss and a cell phone, no?

(via TODAYshow.com)

0 March 1 is World Compliment Day: You Look Marvelous!

World Compliment Day, March 1
> Celebrate World Compliment Day by creating your own award

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