Friday, August 29, 2008

I get it

Lots of people said they'd never vote for Hillary 'cause she's a woman (and they're small-minded assholes). But lots of people said they would vote for Hillary. Obviously. One has to wonder, though, if some of these people are voting for her because she's the best candidate, because she's a demcrat, or because she's a woman.

Well, if people won't vote for her becuase she's a woman, then obviously it follows that some people will vote for her because she's a woman.

Now that that train has left the station, a bunch of Hillary supporters haven't yet boarded with Obama. I believe McCain thinks it's because these voters are specifically looking for a vagina to be in office. Hence, his selection of VP: Sarah Palin.
She's the current governor of Alaska. She was a sports reporter and former beauty pageant contestant. An obvious choice for putting a vagina into office, if not for her political beliefs.

However, how is she going to reconcile with her political party? She's known for pushing ethics in politics. She's known for being independant from oil companies. You know what...I think the republican party wrote her wikipedia entry to make her more attractive to Hillary's orphans.

Some sticking points for the geek in me? SHE THINKS WE SHOULD TEACH CREATIONISM IN SCHOOLS. As in God created man and the world in 7 days. Uh, sure, honey. Furthermore, she opposes same-sex marriages, but defends her beliefs by saying "I have gay friends". Alaska has actually passed a constitutional ban on gay marriage, and she supports a United States constitutional amendment on the topic.

Really? Is gay marriage right up there with women's' suffrage and black and white people being equal? Freedom of speech and whatnot? Regardless of her marriage stance, she blocked legislation that would have barred same-sex couples from receiving benefits. However, I don't believe she did it out of personal beliefs, but because she was advised heavily that such legislation would be unconstitutional.

My favorite Palin scandal? Apparently, the commissioner of public safety was dismissed by her. Why? Because he allegedly refused to fire a certain state trooper. A state trooper who was divorcing Palin's sister and battling for custody of their child. She's being investigated for abuse of power.

Hmmm. Overall verdict? I'm still not voting for McCain, despite his running-mate's ownership of a uterus.

Literature Review

I just finished this book last night. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson, was AMAZING. I was a little worried about the reviews, because most of them said that the book was really difficult to get into, and when I can't get into a book within the first chapter, I usually give up. This book? So didn't turn out to be a problem.

So the main character, whose name we never learn, is a porn mogul who gets into a car accident when driving while drunk and high on cocaine. His car goes off a cliff and bursts into flames, incinerating the vast majority of his body, including his penis.

While in the hospital, recovering from his burns, he contemplates suicide, as due to the accident, he's lost everything. Then, one day, psych patient Marianne shows up at his bedside.

Clearly delusional, Marianne explains that she's hundreds of years old, and that she'd known him in his former lives. She cares for him, and tells him of his previous lives. Although crazy, she's a brilliant sculpturess of gargoyles. Then, one day, she's told that she only has a limited number of gargoyles left to carve, and then she'll die.

Sounds weird, I know. But, honestly, it's a great story about overcoming one's self, and living for someone else.

I cannot recommend this book enough. It kept me entertained, hooked, but it was a nice, leisurely read.

I think I'd give this book a 9.5 out of 10.

Read it. Honestly.

Firedogs think you're stupid

Circuit City's computer technicians call themselves "Firedog" for no reason that I can see. Nevertheless, there they are. And luckily for you, person who is reading this blog and therefore has at least an elementary understanding of the workings of computers, Firedog has a service called "New Computer Setup - In store". And what, pray tell, does this get you for $40? Why, they'll 1. perform an initial setup "We'll turn on your computer, and run through all the steps involved in getting your Windows operating system running and set to your specifications. " (you know, follow the prompts that come up when you boot up computer for the first time. Basically, selecting "English" as a language, selecting a time zone, clicking "agree" to any user agreements (and thereby making you lose your chance at a Vista refund)

2. They'll run Microsoft updates "Windows is often updated to enhance protection against outside threats-we'll determine if the new updates will make your computer more secure. We'll also download any updates of your Microsoft applications-and show you how to do it again in the future. " if you're connected to the internet, it's something that happens automatically, anyways

3. Icon and software cleanup "We'll remove any unwanted icons, programs and links so you can enjoy a clean, clutter-free screen."Dude - seriously? If someone is so dumb that they can't do this themselves, then chances are, after a couple weeks using the computer, it'll clutter right back up.

4. Personalize your desktop "Your computer can have a look and feel to match your personality. We'll help you select a wallpaper background as well as desktop gadgets such as a clock or calendar. " What if my personality includes beastiality? Eh? What then? Will they accomadate me? Ooh, and a calendar? Really? Woot.

5. Set user-access controls "We'll set up user accounts that dictate what other users can access or do on your computer." uh...yeah. You mean setting up a password. Right. and finally,

6. Service wrap-up "We'll answer any questions you may have, and make sure you're satisfied with our service. " Any question? Like, the meaning of life, the universe, and everything? And will the LHC kill us all with a sustainable black hole? And if they can't answer these questions, therefore making me unsatisfied with their service, do I get all this for free?

Honestly, if you're under the age of 35, then chances are you can do all this stuff for yourself. If you're over the age of 35, chances are you know someone who can do this for you. OR, if you're a moron and have no friends, then chances are you don't need a computer, you need a life.

The moral of the story: don't use Best Buy or Circuit City to set up your computer (click here to see how inept they actually are). If you must hire someone, hire someone from a local computer store, where they probably employ IT majors from the local college or hackers from your local high school who will have much more training than the Firedog or Geek Squad technicians.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Because my geekiness knows no bounds

Ordinary Ornithology

Score: 100% (10 out of 10)

I love birds. I got a 100% on the bird quiz from Mental_Floss. How would you do?

See? SEE!?

When the wackadoos finally turn on the LHC, create a sustainable blackhole, this is what's gonna happen. So suck it, theoretical physicists, with your "highly" improbability.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

High School 2.0

Physics can be fun: Fantastic Contraption

Studies have shown that legos improve visual-spacial skills in kids, and that's why boys have a slight advantage over girls (ya know, 'cause parents would rater buy their little girls pink-clothed baby dolls than a lego kit). BF found this game online last night, and while it's Crayola-colored, it's actually a really good game about physics and engineering. If kids played with it, they'd have a head start when they hit science in high school.

Fantastic Contraption: A fun online physics puzzle game

Godel is such a pain in the ass

One of the staples of college mathematics (and philosophy) is Godel's statement "I am a liar". If he's telling the truth, then he's a liar. But if he's a liar, then he can't tell the truth. See the conundrum? This statement right here almost caused the demise of modern mathematics. So when my new favorite comic strip xkcd published this this morning, I could appreciate.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Passive Aggressive

Ever have a manager who’s threatened by you? So much so that they’re friendly to absolutely every coworker, except for you, who they keep at a professional distance? And has this manager ever jumped on your unintentional mistakes with unadulterated glee? HA HA! They shout, triumphant, YOU’RE FALLIBLE!

Ah, doy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Stephanie Meyer's Hollywood aspirations

Homegirl Vickie commented on one of my recent posts where I reviewed the latest offering from Stephanie Meyer. She wondered whether I would be seeing Ms. Meyer's Hollywood debut: Twilight, the movie.

Well, I spoke about it previously, and back then I was actually looking forward to it. I was somewhat embarassed over my obsession with these young adult novels, but who cared, you know? I wanted to see Edward and Bella in the flesh. Looking back now, I see that the reason I wanted - needed- to do so was because I had no clear picture of either of them in my head. No one really does. Yeah, Edward has auburn hair and skin that sparkles like diamonds. Yeah, Bella has chocolate eyes. Anything else? Nope. So basically everyone has been left to their own devices.

So, yes, I will see Twilight, the movie. I will withhold my opinion until I've given it a fair shot. Only once have I ever seen a movie that lives up to the hype of the book (The Princess Bride), but I have hope. Maybe the movie will calm the gnawing annoyance I've had with Ms. Meyer recently.

We shall see.

Absolut Stupidity

Rap stars in and of themselves irritate the living crap out of me, but none so more than Kanye West. A rich boy, Kanye has made a name for himself by wearing those stupid plastic glasses that look like horizontal venetian blinds while raping "go shorty, it's your birthday", Poignant stuff, that.

So this morning, on the subway with BF, I see this ad. Look at it. Feel amazed. I couldn't figure out what it was really for until I saw the fine print on the left: Absolut Vodka. Really Absolut?

Oh how the mighty have fallen. If you go to the website, you can have all your burning questions answered, like "Are there any long lasting effects to Be KANYE?" The answer: "Elevated confidence, enlarged ego, and heightened creativity." I see that increased intelligence isn't in there. Another question: "Is Be KANYE addictive?" Answer: "Stop using Be KANYE immediately if after more than 4 days you are unable to be fabulous on your own."

Hey, guess what? Absolut Vodka? It'll only get you into the pants of some desperate college freshmen looking for some cheap (or free) booze. And that's only after you've made them slug back half a liter. And if you have to use Absolut Vodka to get chicks in the first place? You are a loser.

Of course, there are two sure-fire ways to make friends easily in college: 1. Have a car. 2. buy booze for everyone.

(brought to you by the Absolute (c) Douchebag campaign)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Well, I found Grandma's Xmas gift

What would I do without Gizmodo? How in the world would I get my gadget fix? And where in the world would I come across such fabulous gifts such as this that would surely be at home in my grandmother's house? (yeah, if my grandmother was an aging porn star who longs for the old days of hours of money maker shots).

The Japanese have come up with a device. It's a gun. Into the gun you place dildo-shaped canisters. Then you pull the trigger and it shoots its load of pleasantly -scented snow all over your living room.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Science is not for the feeble-minded, folks

Video From

People, if you're stupid, do us all a favor, and don't experiment with anything explosive.

A periodic table of periodic videos.

The University of Nottingham has a website that shows the period table of elements. Click on any particular element, and a you tube video explains the element and shows an experiment with it. Here's a video of experiments with sodium.

Check out the scientist. His head kinda looks like a toilet brush.

xkcd - a comic for the rest of us

I found this comic online. It's a "webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language. How is this not perfect for the geek in me?

Here's a sample:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Literature Review - Breaking Dawn

Let me just preface this particular review by stating that I absolutely LOVE Stephanie Meyer. I enjoy her books. I have read each of her books several times through, and look forward to reading more.

That being said…

Well, I finally broke down and did it. I read Breaking Dawn. Recently, I’ve been having major second thoughts about author powerhouse Stephanie Meyer, not because I don’t love her books – I do – but because I don’t necessarily agree with the message she sends her intended demograph of tween, preteen and teen girls; in every one of her books, the main character is an under aged girl who falls for and marries older men, starting families with them. Breaking Dawn was no different. Married, pregnant, and then having children, all before the age of 20. And to top it off, this new “imprinting” thing she’s added to the story, where the werewolf men imprint on their soul mate, even when that soul mate is an infant or a toddler. There’s something about that that just smacks of lack of free will to me, at least in the cases of the females being imprinted upon.

I don’t know if I’m reading too much into it. I just know that the concept makes me a wee bit uncomfortable.

Now, for Breaking Dawn itself. It was all right. A bit anti-climactic in the end, but the conclusion was satisfying for a series finale. Interestingly, the length of time between the previous book and the release of this book produced some evidence of flaws in Ms. Meyer’s writing. For example: her characters are poorly developed. I have absolutely no picture of Emmett, Jasper, Roselie, Esmie or Charlie in my head. This whole time, I’ve been picturing Roselie as a dark beauty until Jacob started calling her “Blondie”. And I’ve been having a difficult time finding where Edward’s “siblings” and “mother” even fit into the story. I understand the purpose of Alice; she’s the most well-developed of all the siblings. Here’s how I see it. Edward was first. Then Alice. Alice was lonely, so Ms. Meyer introducted Jasper. Carlisle made Roselie for Edward, but he didn’t want her, so Ms. Meyer introduced Emmett to keep her company. I don’t know – I just think the presence of the characters don’t play any particularly important role in the story.

Anyhoo…while I have my doubts about Ms. Meyer’s intentions, there’s no doubt that her stories are beautiful. Breaking Dawn is no different, and deserves the same consideration as the rest of her novels. I think I’d give it a 7.5 to an 8 out of 10.

On a side note, it seems that, although the Twilight series has been successfully concluded, Ms. Meyer has decided to beat her dead horse with a stick and come out with Edward’s version of events.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Holy moly

Cheastypants found this sound clip via It's All About the Blog, who found it via Holy Taco.

Here's the deal. Men, you know how when you get a lady's number, you like to wait a little while to call it so that she doesn't think you're a desperate loser? Well, rest assured that so long as you don't do what this guy does, you're less close to being a desperate loser than you thought.

Here's the back story according to Cheasty (according to It's All About the blog [according to Holy Taco]):

The back story on this is that a girl named Olga was out with her friends in the Marina district of San Francisco and she talked to this guy named Dmitri for all of two minutes. Then she gave him her card and said “give me a call.” The following are the messages he left. Listen to the whole thing, it just keeps getting better and better. - Watch more free videos

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sciencey fun

Understanding gravitational forces is something that's not necessarily intuitive, and being unable to visualize the effects of steller bodies on one another can make earth science and astronomy a difficult subject to learn.

Orbitrunner is a game that makes you a sun, and you have to place yourself carefully soas to ensure your orbiting planets and their corresponding satallites don't collide with one another and explode to wee bits and pieces. You can see how astral bodies interact. It's interesting. It's fun. IT'S SCIENCE.


Online Game: Orbitrunner

Control the Sun with your mouse. Use it to manipulate the planets' paths. The Sun's pull gets stronger as planets get closer. If the gravity is at a right angle to the direction of travel, an orbit can form. Make sure planets don't leave the screen or collide!

Play This Free Game Now

No, but for reals, this game is fun.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Death becomes me

So, in continuing with my nasty mood today, Mental_Floss was kind enough to post a quiz about death. I did really well (8 correct out of 9). Does that tell you a little something about where my mind was as a teenager?

Try it for yourself.

Rocks my world

Good morning, ya'll. How's your morning going? Mine, not so good. See, a while back, we did this study on the effects of antidepressants on semen parameters (specifically the health and quantity of sperm), and had a bunch of patients come in, do several semen analyses, all while on an antidepressant. Now, a year later, the study is over, and one of the patients is STILL emailing me, inviting me to dating websites. This patient used to show up in our waiting room - without having an appointment - and use our computer to check dating websites for six hours. I've had to kick him out twice. And since then he keeps emailing me, even after I've asked him to stop. I have my very own creepy stalker.
So, to cheer myself up, I bought myself this nice little specimen of tourmaline. It's a crystal I don't yet have in my collection, and look forward to receiving it in the mail. It didn't quite cheer me up like I thought it would, but it's definitely a start.
I hate being a grown-up.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Yay, Michael Phelps!!!!!!!!!!!

Michael Phelps just won his eighth gold medal from this year's olympics in China. That's more gold medals in one olympics than anyone. Ever. Yay, Michael Phelps! You're kind of weird looking, and a wee bit disproportionate, but you're an awesome swimmer!!!!!! Read about it here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Easy amusement

At work? At home? Bored out of your frickin' mind? Here's something fun that may amuse you for about fifteen minutes.

Firstly, go to Google's translator.

Type in any old thing. How about, say, the first stanza of Robert Frost's Walking Through the Woods on a Snowy Evening:

Whose woods these are
I think I know
His house is in the village, though
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow

Hit the translate button from English to Chinese (simple). You get this:

其伍兹,这些都是我认为我知道 他的房子是在村里,虽然 您将不会看到他停在这里 观赏他的老虎伍兹,填补雪

Then, cut and paste this into Yahoo's babelfish, and retranslate back into English. Here's what you get:

Its Woods, these are I thought that I knew
his house is in the village, although you will not see he will stop
in here watches him Tiger Woods, the fill snow

See? How amusing was that? Now you try.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Where is Bob?

Here, my friends, is a fabulous blog for anyone who works in an office in which resides someone of managerial stature who DOESN'T DO THE JOB FOR WHICH HE/SHE WAS HIRED. The blog is called Where is Bob? I love this blog. I love it so much. As it's only got five entries thus far, I do so hope it continues. Here are a couple exerpts:

From: Bob Bossman
To: Anna Shore
Anna,I am running late. Something must’ve happened to my alarm clock. I had a crazy party at my apartment last night with some artist friends of mine, and we got totally drunk! You know what I mean. Anyway, stall the Jira people for as long as you can, I am on my way.
Peace out,Bob Bossman, Executive Director

As we later found out, the drunken debauchery with sexy artist friends was in fact an all night Magic the Gathering tournament at a downtown comic book shop, where Bob was sighted by one of our interns. The terrible headache was probably real. The intern reported that Bob took a serious beating from a 12-year old boy, and left the scene distraught, his mana depleted.

Awesome. So totally and utterly awesome. Check it out.

Legos as fine art

Legos (or Lego, for the anal-retentive) were an integral part of my childhood. Many believe that play with legos as children help kids to develop their visual-spacial skills, which are key in understanding geometry when they're older. For me, I just enjoyed building two-story houses.

An artist, Nathan Sawaya, takes Legos to a whole other level.

Mr. Sawaya makes things out of legos. People removing their own heads, maps, globes, hands, money, recreations of paintings by the masters. And what's really cool? He'll take ideas from fans on what he should do next. Really. You can submit your idea here, at What Should Nathan Make?
He did an awesome portrait of Stephen Colbert, everyone's favorite repubican* (of course, he'll always be the closeted English teacher from Strangers with Candy to me).

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ka-reee-pee kewl

I have no idea who did this. I found it on you tube, and it didn't have anyone taking credit for it. I thought it was nifty, but creepy at the same time.

Brief blog pimpery

Hey, ya'll. Do you like my new look? Unfortunately, it came with a really gaudy orange banner at the top with a link to the website from which I got it.

I revised the html code, but to be certain that the creator of the template receives due credit, you can find a buttload of nifty blogger and myspace templates, all gratis, over at Pyzam. Give him a click and browse; he's got a bigger selection than anywhere I've found on the internet.


Look, yummy math shirts. I want them. I need them. I will be the sexiest person at the gym (ok...not the gym, but the library! I'll be the sexiest person at the library.) Ooh, baby. I can wear them with overalls, with one of the straps undone, and my glasses. And a headband! Holy crap, I may just have to wear this outfit when I go visit my sister at her high school.

Yeah, I'm awesome. Jealous?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Are people being stupid on purpose?

Einstein said that crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.

Here’s a conversation I just had:

Woman: I’d like to make an appointment. Do you have anything available next week?

Me: Who’s calling?

Woman: Anne*

Me: Are you the wife of the patient?

Woman: No. I’m his sister.

Me: How old is the patient.

Woman: In his forties.

Me: For what problem does the patient need to be seen?

Woman: Hernia repair.

Me: (Looking through my appointment book) unfortunately, my next available appointment IS October 17. (today is August 8)

Woman: October?! Do you have anything before that?

Me: That is my earliest available appointment.

Woman: You don’t have anything earlier?

Me: That is my earliest available appointment.

Woman: This is for surgery.

Me: But the patient hasn’t been seen before. October 17 would be the consultation.

Woman: (pause) You don’t have anything earlier?

Me: October 17 is my earliest available appointment.

Woman: What time?

Me: 9:30 am.

Woman: You don’t have any other time?

Me: (I pause because by this point, I’m convinced she’s being contrary on purpose). We could do an 11 am on that morning.

Woman: I’ll have to call you back.

Ten minutes later, she calls me back.

Woman: I need to make an appointment.

Me: For what problem?

Woman: Hernia repair.

Me: Did you just call for your brother?

Woman: Yes.

Me: And he wants the October 17 appointment?

Woman: You don’t have anything earlier?

Me: That is my earliest available date.

Woman: Ok.

Me: Which doctor diagnosed your brother with the hernia?

Woman: He hasn’t seen a doctor.

Me: How do you know he has a hernia?

Woman: We assume.

Me: Ok, he’s all set for October 17 at 11 am.

Woman: You don’t have anything earlier?

Me: (I pause, waiting to see if she’ll say “just kidding”) Uh…no. October 17 is my earliest available appointment.

Fire me up, baby



Mental_Floss linked to a fabulous piece today by Michael Swaim on Cracked about 5 scientific theories that will blow your mind.

"Right now, on your computer screen, are approximately 10,000 galaxies.
Each of those galaxies contains anywhere from ten million to one trillion stars.
The average star is roughly a million times the size of Earth.
And yet, with all that junk, the Universe is more than 90 percent empty space.
All of that, in this tiny photo. A photo that took 400 orbits and 800 exposures to take.
And the kicker? The photo covers one thirteen-millionth of the entire night sky."

Because what we study is what's called the "observable universe", because we can only study what we can see and detect, "the size of the “actual” universe is so large that if the universe we just described (the impossibly, mind-bogglingly large one) were the size of a quarter, the actual universe would be the size of the Earth."

This is something I've been thinking a lot about lately. Not the size of the universe, necessarily, but how insignificant we are in it. Think about it. The earth has been around for what, 6 billion years, I think it is? That's 6,000,000,000 years. And how long does the average person live? ~80 years? If they're lucky. That's .000001333...% of the earth's total age. 80 years is not all that long. Am I really going to spend my 80 years worrying about owning the latest technology, or buying the best clothes, or making sure that no one thinks poorly of me? Am I going to spend it being angry at my government for acting like a bunch of moronic little boys in the playground?

My life is so insignificant in the grand scheme of things, and my insignificant little life is so short in the grand scheme of things, perhaps rather than dwelling on those things over which I have no control, I can appreciate what I do have. My memory won't go on forever. In one hundred years from now, who will ever have heard of me? The least I can do is not fuck everything up for those who will come after me.

I don't necessarily believe in a purpose for life. While it's nice to think that since we're made of stardust, the universe created us as a way of learning about itself, but I kind of wonder if that's just wishful thinking.

"At some point half of you was an egg in your Mother’s womb. That egg existed in her body from the day she was born. And a long, long time ago, she too was an egg in her Mother’s womb, who had that egg ready for use from the moment she squirmed out of your Great Grandma’s nethers. The point being, technically speaking, there’s no break in the chain of existence, no time when you are not a life form of at least the most rudimentary sort. Your family, at least on your Mother’s side, could theoretically be considered an immortal, constantly-regenerating organism. Of course that would make men, whose sperm has to be created years after the moment of birth, just disposable donors here to fuel the everlasting fire of womanhood. "

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Vanessa's Rules by Which to Live: Elevator Ettiquete

Elevator Ettiquete

1. when waiting to get on the elevator, when the door opens, step back so that those getting off can do so without having to elbow you out of the way.

2. when getting on the elevator, please push your button and move to the rear of the elevator, making room for more people to get on.

3. if there is not enough room for you to fit, wait for the next elevator, do not try to squeeze on.

4. don't try to board the elevator before those already on the elevator have attempted to get off.

5. unless you are disabled, stop being such a lazy ass and taking the elevator one floor up or down. especially down.

thank GAWD

I live in NYC, so, needless to say, I am bombarded with a fair share of 9/11 conspiracy theories. I cannot describe how at my end I am with these frickin' so-called "truthers".

Johnny Wright over at YesButNoButYes puts forth a very logical, well thought out, intelligent rebuttal to the inane rantings of people like Alex Jones (about whom just thinking makes my eye twitch).

"How many people do you crackpots think could be in on this? With absolutely no concrete evidence, this is one thing that kills these paranoid delusions. Three people can keep a secret. If two of them are dead. If you listen to these idiots, there would be the White House staff, government officials, explosives experts, explosive manufacturers, pilots, people planting bombs, Pentagon employees, Saudi's, Jimmy Hoffa, military officials, the cast of Lost, CIA, FBI, Secret Service, salvage companies, do I really need to keep going? When we talk about hypothetical "impossibilities," here's mine; No group that large can either keep a secret or not leave a paper trial or a money trail or a trail of breadcrumbs."

This long article has rebuttals for every single argument made by those truther weirdos.

Now, don't think that I believe in the innocence of my government. I do not agree with the Iraq war, or torture, and I am completely of the opinion that the dullard currently in office will try to come up with an excuse in the end of October to indefinitely postpone the next presidential election, but come ON. Nixon secretly bombed Laos, what makes these people think that if America wanted to go to war and kill some people, they would need an excuse? Eh?


The end of the world delayed...again

Well, it looks like the world isn't going to end today. For those of you not in the know, a bunch of scientists have built this ginormous, 17-mile long particle accelerator called the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which is supposed to slam particles together to recreate the environment in which the universe was born. They're hoping to learn more about the universe's origins, as well as possibly find the elusive Higgs-Boson, that which holds everything together. In other words, the Force.

Look closely at this picture. You see a circle on the landscape? That's it. The LHC.

This is the inside of it. There's apparently an eiffel tower's worth of metal and gold wires.

Opponents of the LHC claim that it's possible that the scientists will inadvertantly create a sustainable black hole, which would be bad. As in end-of-the-world bad. Several lawsuits and cease and desist orders have been filed to stop the turning on of the LHC. Proponents of the experiment say that the probability of this happening is practically negligable. I suppose we shall see, eh?

Today was supposed to be the day that the LHC was turned on. There was a countdown page and everthing, which has mysteriously vanished from existance. And now Reuters is reporting that the launch date has been rescheduled for September 10. The scientists postponing the end of the world to ensure that the opening ceremonies of the olympics go on without a hitch, mayhaps?

At least we can take comfort in the fact that if the LHC does indeed manifest a sustainable black hole, which in turn implodes the earth due to its jigundo gravity, it'll probably happen so fast that no one will notice. Here one second, all spaghettified the next.

Unless it's already happened, and this is hell. Shit, man, it would suck if my hell was my office. I can't stand an eternity of talking to these yahoo patients.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dude drives into dust storm

I've only ever seen a dust storm in movies about wars that take place in deserts, and people are forever hiding in their tents from them. Apparently, in Australia, they're so normal that people just go about their business. Check out this guy who drives right into a huge one. It's pretty.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Huge power...itty bitty living space

See this dude? His name is Willard Wigan. See that needle he's holding? See how teeny, tiny the eye of said needle is? He creates sculptures small enough to fit into the eye of that thar needle.

It all started when he was five, he says, suffering from dyslexia. To escape the constant criticism, he would create houses for ants, and then make outfits for them to wear. His sculptures were so tiny, that no one could see them in order to criticize them.
In one particular piece, written about in the Telegraph, he talks about a piece he was working on; all the characters of Alice in Wonderland. It was coming out so well, it was going to be his best piece to date.

"But just as I was about to put Alice in place alongside the other characters," [Wigan] pauses to compose himself - this big Brummie with conspicuous tattoos and diamond-encrusted watch, sucking in his bottom lip to stop it trembling - "I inhaled her. I breathed in at the wrong moment, and she was gone. In my panic, I accidentally wiped out some of the other characters too."

All of Wigan's artwork is small enough to fit on the head of a pin, and is carved with wee bits of diamond glued to the end of needles under 500X magnification. He paints his pieces with the hairs of a fly.
His chief materials, he says, are grains of sand. He says he has to work at night, when there are less cars on the road, and therefore less vibrations to disrupt his steady hand, which he controls by working between heartbeats.

Here we have Henry VIII with six of his wives. Doesn't he look like a philanderer and wife murderer?

See more pics of his pieces and read more about Willard Wigan here.

My secret identity

I'm always going on about how much of a princess I you know which princess.

You Are Aurora! (A.K.A. Sleeping Beauty.)

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Thoughtful and loving. Authority figures probably have been sheltering you all of your life. Thankfully you're a very tranquil person who is content with what life has given you, but secretly you want to know how the outside world works.

Which Disney Princess Are You?

Oh, the things I do to eat up the eight hours I'm at work.

Fibonacci on the beach

Discover Magazine just published a beautiful gallery of photos of super-duper closeups of grains of sand. See the spiral? Tell me that's not math. There are several gorgeous sand pictures here. I'm sure I'll never look at the beach the same way again.

I never thought I'd be jealous of Canada

If life were fair, I would be a size 6, have ginormous boobs, have finished my masters in mathematics (with my thesis being in complex analysis), live in a fabulous house, and not have to worry about money for the rest of my life. As a Princess, these are the things I believe I deserve.
However, knowing that none of these are within my reach (at least not presently), the least the universe could do to honor my princessity is make Lays expand their line of Smokey Bacon flavored potato chips from Canada down to New York. Honestly, is that too much to ask? Is it too much to make available to this New Yorker some crispy, crunchy slices of fried potato, lovingly covered with smokey-baconey goodness?
I mean, come on, universe, through me a bone here. I don't ask that much. Just extend Lay's distribution some 400 miles south for a princess.
Oh, smokey bacon potato chips, how I pine...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Dear Bacon...oh how I love thee...

Mental_Floss, the bestest magazine and blog EVER, posted an everything bacon link this morning. Click it, enjoy it, and spend the rest of your day craving bacon...yummy, delicious, non-kosher bacon.

I have a rumbly in my tumbly.

Friday, August 1, 2008


This website has some cute answers by students on exams. This one was my favorite, and reminded me of that one essay a student did to prove that hell was either endo- or exothermic.