Monday, December 31, 2007

Bliadhna mhath ur!

The usual New Years' celebrations leave me cold. Champagne--eh. Stupid noisemakers and confetti--eh. Staying up until midnight for no other reason than to watch a clock work correctly--mega-meh.

On the other hand ... staying up until midnight with a bunch of wild Scots in kilts and dancing until there aren't enough people able to stand up and make a set? Absolutely worth it. Hogmanay is a good time. This YouTube clip gives a *little* of the idea of what I'm talking about.

Happy New Year to you all!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Improbable Research online!

The venerable Annals of Improbable Research (once known as the Journal of Irreproducible Results) is now making its content available online. These are the folks behind the Ig Nobel Prizes (for research which cannot, or should not, be reproduced). The Nov/Dec 2007 issue, besides breathless coverage of the Ig Nobel Ceremonies, features such articles as "Continental Drift in Highway Road Signs". (h/t Slashdot) Without these selfless researchers I would never have known about the intravenous use of coconut water.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

No Comment

I don't want to hear any whining about not being warned, m'kay?

What military aircraft are you?

EA-6B Prowler

You are an EA-6B. You are sinister, preferring not to get into confrontations, but extract revenge through mind games and technological interference. You also love to make noise and couldn't care less about pollution.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by quizzes and personality tests.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday Funnies

-Four new pages of Lackadaisical Action! Or, it's the quiet ones who really go to town when they get their paws on a tommy gun.
-For Best Results: A Daily Kitten
-Buck Godot finds religion, and Girl Genius sneaks into her own castle (which is just a little bit mad)
-If you mistrust all this newfangled technology, but still want a laptop, try a Steampunk Laptop! Starts with a clock key! Check out his other stuff too. He's deranged, but in a nice way.

And for the holiday season, a very special treat. Physics Carols! (no I did not write these. Really. I'm not the only strange one out there. You have been warned.)

We Three Quarks

We three quarks fine particles are
Bearing charm we travel afar
Fields and forces, mu of course is
Multiplied by h-bar

Oh, Quarks are wonderous, Quarks are light
Quarks stay smugly out of sight
Still misleading, still exceeding
All the physicists' insight

We three quarks trade gluons all day
All baryons are made this way
Confined inside we always hide
Unseen forever stay.

Frosty the Photon

Frosty the Photon
Was a truly quantum sight
With a zero mass and an endless life
And a speed approaching light

Frosty the Photon
Had momentum h-bar k
Though he had the right to be known as light
He could be a gamma ray

There must have been some magic
In the physics lab one year
For when they studied X-ray beams
Ole Frosty did appear.

Frosty the Photon
Says he knows he's not that large
But he says one day, if he comes this way
He will give us all a charge.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Extremely useful information

Not that I'm planning to darken the threshold of a Chuck E. Cheese anytime in the forseeable future ....


I think that's a respectable number. The little blighters are fast, and they kick like mules when angered.

UPDATE: link fixed in the image, should now go to the correct site.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Completely Uncontroversial Topic

Religion, that is. Much pundital froth has been generated regarding candidate Mitt Romney's speech explicating his religion vs. gummint vs. people who think Mormons are weird. Further froth was generated when it was noticed only Americans of religious faith were mentioned, and us agnostic/atheists were left out of the happy tolerant thoughtwaves.

Frankly, as a long-time agnostic, I was just as pleased to be ignored. In my experience politicians do their best but end up doing the patronizing head-pat, grudgingly acknowledging that I *might* be a true citizen BUT the Founding Fathers liked them best. Most politicians, that is. Some let the mask slip and imply I can't possibly be a moral, ethical person because ALL morals (and ethics) come from religion and if I don't have religion I can't possibly have ethics, QED. These are the people I keep away from my wallet and any other portable valuables. Strangely, they never think to, you know, actually look at my words and deeds. Many accusatory fingers pointed to Communist Russia and how Godless Atheists ran it, and Look What They Did! Ergo, I would send millions to starve in Siberia. Or something.

I'm not sure what the big controversy over Romney's religion is. I've known a number of Mormons and they are very honest, ethical, moral people. I have no use for their religion, or anybody elses, but it seems to work for them. Of course, I've known honest, ethical Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Quakers, and pagans too. Doesn't seem to be the religion per se, more the person practicing it. Maybe the entire theology of the LDS church is made up. To me, that doesn't make it any different from the rest. Maybe the animosity is due to the fact that even if it is based on a fake, the Mormons make it work. Which would mean religion isn't the only source of ethics and morals after all.

(Please note I said ONLY source of ethics and morals. I am aware religion provides comfort and guidance to many. I'm just tired of the assumption that nonbelievers are automatically ravening sociopathic killbots. I've never killed *anyone*, really.)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

It's snowing

AGAIN. This Global Warming thing isn't working out for me, how about you? We usually get our little token decorative snowfall in January around here. I am getting rather apprehensive about what January will *actually* be like.

Sunday Funnies

- Dwarf Hippo Graveyard Could Alter Human History. Not a comic, but I couldn't resist. I mean, dwarf hippos?
-the kitties of TwoLumps discover the holiday season
-Funny pictures, funny captions at ICanHasCheezburger (and it's emo twin, LolSecretz)
-Revel in Tweeness at Cute Overload! (and via CO, a YouTube clip of a crow with its pet kitten, or a kitten with its pet crow... Anyway, they play together.)
-Meanwhile, at Studio Foglio, Buck Godot tries to find clothes in a brothel and Girl Genius discovers the importance of stress-testing Death Rays *before* using in combat.
-There is a (nicely strange) comic at Penny Arcade, but what I found interesting was Gabe's interview of his Grandfather, who served in the Navy during WWII and has opinions on war games.
-If you like strange, you can't get much stranger than the Athanasius Kircher Society. Museum of Unworkable Devices? Books with human skin bindings? A parrot that remembered a lost language? Only the beginning ...

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Carborundum sez: "PILLOW FIGHT!"

I had no idea Al Gore was visiting. Good thing I still have my snow shovel from when I lived on the East Coast.

Sigh. The next well-meaning global-warming-spewing crunchy granola type that tries to make me see the error of my carbon-spewing ways is going to get an earful. (BTW, that little thing like a doghouse? That's where my oil tank lives. Pthhhbbbbt!)