Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Rodney Dangerfield of Scientific Instruments

That's right, the simple barometer. Not an essential tool for a camping trip, not necessary for Tardis navigation, no longer in great demand even as a last minute birthday present -- the lowly barometer is still pretty cool.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pretty Sure Joan Rivers Did These First

From Kafka's Joke Book:

A horse walks into a bar. The bartender asks, “Why the long face?”
“I was born into servitude, and when I die, my feet will be turned into glue,” replied the horse.
The bartender realized he would not be getting a tip.
 or, how bout this one:

“Why is a raven like a writing desk?”
“I don’t know,” Gregor told the faceless interrogator for the fiftieth time.
“We can’t help you if you won’t work with us. Perhaps another day in the machine will convince you to cooperate.”

Friday, July 25, 2014

Interesting Story

Today I found out that a 17 year old girl survived a 2 mile fall from a plane without a parachute, then trekked alone 10 days through the Peruvian rainforest....

On the tenth day she came across a boat, which in her delirious state at this point, she thought was a mirage until she finally came up to it and touched it. Next to the boat was a path, which she crawled up (at this point being extremely weak, making walking up the path somewhat difficult).  At the end of the path was a small hut that was being used by lumbermen....
Ever notice that almost all happy endings involve lumberjacks?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Weird News

News of the Weird:

Unclear on the Concept -- A 60-year-old man with a blood clot has recovered, but no thanks to the driver for the South Western Ambulance Service who was ferrying him on a long trip to the emergency room of Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, England, on April 6. The patient's family later reported that the driver had stopped en route to pick up two hitchhikers -- one a young woman in a "skimpy skirt" -- and take them to an on-the-way town. The patient, in pain with his toes starting to blacken, eventually had his blood flow restored and did not lose the leg. He reported that the two riders were friendly and wanted to chat about his condition (though he was in no mood). [Western Morning News, 6-12-2014]

 I can understand his being irritated, but if he'd lost the leg he'd be hopping mad.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Don't Try This at Home

h/t: squid

If Google Was a Guy

Course, Google is a guy, or rather 100,000 guys, and they all know what you buy at the grocery store and where you lived in 1996.

Hey, here's a thing if you like being paranoid about privacy.... I was in the grocery store (Giant) a few months back and when I missed something the cashier said. I said "sorry, what was that? my hearing isn't what it used to be," mainly to cover the fact that I was, as usual, daydreaming about the movie Top Gun. Anyway... two days later I started getting mailings from a local ear doctor. Coincidence? I dunno.

You could test this by doing the same. I've been planning to gather more data by casually mentioning how hard it is to get catheter supplies, or diabetes test kits, mailed right to my door. I just haven't decided which ruse to use. Also, it's harder than you might think to slip "catheter supplies" into casual conversation. No really, try it sometime.

It can't be anything having to do with a medical condition I actually have, because I expect Obamacare's electronic records requirements to invade that last little bastion of imagined privacy.

Good News

Scientists at the University of East Anglia have made a breakthrough in the race to solve antibiotic resistance:

New research published today in the journal Nature reveals an Achilles' heel in the defensive barrier which surrounds drug-resistant bacterial cells.

The findings pave the way for a new wave of drugs that kill superbugs by bringing down their defensive walls rather than attacking the bacteria itself. It means that in future, bacteria may not develop drug-resistance at all.

The discovery doesn't come a moment too soon. The World Health Organization has warned that antibiotic-resistance in bacteria is spreading globally, causing severe consequences. And even common infections which have been treatable for decades can once again kill.
So there's an Achilles' heel,  now the question is: can we exploit that?  Course, many "miracle cure" stories never pan out. And this one may deserve extra skepticism since it comes from the University of East Anglia, home of CRU - where "scientific integrity" only shows up on Scrabble boards.

Still, something to be hopeful about while the One burns the rest of the world down to the foundation.

h/t: wetdry

Monday, July 14, 2014

Life Can be Tough on a Child Dictator

Don't know who made this one. Hear that Eric Holder? I didn't do it this time.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Holder and Hamilton

“There's a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that's directed 
at me [and] directed at the president. You know, people talking about 
taking their country back. … There's a certain racial component to 
this for some people. I don’t think this is the thing that is a main 
driver, but for some there's a racial animus."
-Eirc Holder 2014

Ambition, avarice, personal animosity, party opposition, and 
many other motives, not more laudable than these, are apt to 
operate as well upon those who support as upon those who 
oppose the right side of a question. Were there not even these 
inducements to moderation, nothing could be more illjudged 
than that intolerant spirit, which has, at all times, characterized 
political parties. -Alexander Hamilton 1787

Can you find racists in America? You undoubtedly can. Are some or most of them opposed to Holder's "gun walking" and the President's policy on border enforcement? I would expect so. But so what? Racists are not the rule anymore, they're the exception. They're a tiny minority. Racists support clean drinking water too, that doesn't make clean drinking water a bad thing.

The race card is a red herring, played only to draw attention away from a growing disaster on the border. I can't imagine any parent sending their unaccompanied child into such danger, but they do it, trusting that immigration laws will not be enforced, and that somehow their child will be kept safe. The president has invited this dangerous situation to our doorstep. (and into our foyer)

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Cloudy with a chance of Godzilla.

h/t: lumberbrudi

Wednesday, July 09, 2014


 The other day a friend was telling me that I don't understand what irony means. Which was ironic because we were at a bus stop at the time.

What's the difference between a plum and an elephant? They're both purple except for the elephant.

Heisenberg and Schrödinger get pulled over for speeding.
The cop asks Heisenberg "Do you know how fast you were going?"
Heisenberg replies, "No, but we know exactly where we are!"
The officer looks at him confused and says "you were going 108 miles per hour!"
Heisenberg throws his arms up and cries, "Great! Now we're lost!"
The officer looks over the car and asks Schrödinger if the two men have anything in the trunk.
"A cat," Schrödinger replies.
The cop opens the trunk and yells "Hey! This cat is dead."
Schrödinger angrily replies, "Well he is now."

there's more

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Math Problem for the President

How much CO2 would we have to cut to get the average global temperature graph to follow the slope of median household incomes during your administration?

Monday, July 07, 2014

Darn it

I missed Dostoyevsky Day again.

Deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose
their reason for existence; they go stark, raving mad.
-Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Bobby Flay Defeated in Barbeque Throw Down Upset

The competition started with lighthearted taunts but soon devolved 
into yo-mamma digs and taser jolts from an unidentified Secret Service
agent. In the end Flay was confident he had won the competition. But 
when the food was presented to the judges Flay realized that the 
president had switched the plates "in the spirit of share the wealth".

Judging was limited to hotdogs and hamburgers only because Michelle had licked the butter off all the corn and nobody much wanted to try it.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Why You're Still Alive

I found this interesting. Turns out the immune system is only slightly less complex than the application process for Obamacare.

h/t: laughingsquid

Happiness Quote Number 59

“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”
Martha Washington
 100 other quotes here.