Saturday, October 23, 2010

Many Small Blood-Sucking Creatures

Poly Ticks: Via Library Grape, a NYT story saying:
Of the thousands of complaints that have saturated NPR in the wake of Juan Williams’s firing earlier this week, some of the most telling have been from callers describing themselves as long-time “viewers” of NPR who warn that they are going to “stop watching.”
As they say, a face made for radio...

Helen Philpot provides the best response to Glenn Beck's recent comments that he doesn't believe in evolution because he's never seen a half man-half monkey:
If Glenn Beck hasn’t met a half-man-half-monkey yet, he didn’t get out much during his rally.  There was more knuckle dragging on the National Mall that day than the National Zoo… about 89,000 more.
I will say without reservation that Helen is my favorite living political commentator, and you should read every word she posts.  I've also been getting a serious case of the giggles over the whole Ginny Thomas-Anita Hill fiasco.  Gotta love a wife that reminds the entire world her husband is a porn-loving, enormous-boob-fixated, sexually-harassing predator, decades after nearly everyone forgot, and the resulting publicity brings more witnesses out of the woodwork.  Matty Boy has an appropriately tongue-in-cheek write up.
Cute li'l Ginny Thomas, a mere child of 53 years old, has had no one to instruct her in the proper ettiquette of drunk dialing, so she gets into the Drunk Dialing Hall of Fame on her very first try.
Incidentally, today is the 19th anniversary of Thomas' swearing into the Supreme Court. Hey, porn-loving, enormous-boob-fixated, sexually-harassing predators deserve representation, too.

WikiLeaks dumped about 400,000 classified documents into the innertubz yesterday, to a largely ho-hum reaction- we already knew that the US and its allies have been carrying out illegal murders of noncombatants and torture leading on occasion to death, and have been covering it up and lying about it. So it's really not news.  Perhaps the most interesting angle on this is the way it's reported. NYT uses the phrase "detainee abuse," while The Guardian rudely uses the politically incorrect word "torture," and suggests that the UN is looking into violations of international law.  Again, not news, but I do feel as if the American news-consuming public is being treated as less than adult.

Finally, on a personal note, I received my ballot on Tuesday, and I've had my voters guide for a couple of weeks. Sometime in the next sixteen nine days I'll work up the gumption to sit down and figure out where I stand on various candidates and measures, and get that stinker turned in.  But I'm not very excited about it.  Wonder why?

Rocks: Miscellaneous Fragments of Geology

  • NASA's Earth Observatory image of the day a few days ago was this gorgeous portrayal of the Ouachita Mountains- click for larger or visit the link for other size options and a full discussion.
  • Bill Watterson was (is) a great comic artist, but he really didn't (doesn't) know much about geology did he? Via GeoCastAway: Blooger fuzzes images when I resize (thanks, Blooger!), so click for clarity. (Followup: Silver Fox left a comment saying that the last panel may be doctored, and not Watterson's original word choice, and also explaining how to fix the blurriness- it seems to have worked. Thanks!)

  • Michael E. 'Aquadoc' Campana, writing about a recent conference and visit to the confluence of the Ohio River with the Mississippi, pointed out some interesting statistics regarding river flow. Obviously, flow is going to depend not only on basin area, but on the amount of precipitation in that basin. The tidbit that really blew my mind was this one:
  • I've noted this kind of discrepancy before: where I live, the Willamette River drains an area about 5% of the Colorado River's, yet its mean annual discharge is about 60% greater than the Colorado's. And the watersheds of the Colorado and Columbia Rivers are about the same size, yet the latter's mean annual discharge is about 13 times that of the former.
  • Uncertainties in the Mayan-Gregorian calender conversion may be as much as 100 years... meaning that the world may have already come to an end. Not exactly what you want to hear on your birthday, is it?


REM, Disturbance at the Heron House:
Ramones, Blitzkrieg Bop:

Toyah Wilcox, Dance:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Measuring C In Your Microwave

WiFi was down here for a while, and I'm afraid I'm not going to get much posted today.  But I just came across this and figured I'd pass it along to you science nerds out there... you know who you are.  Here's an interesting method for measuring the speed of light in the safety and comfort of your own kitchen. If you click on the "back" and "next" buttons at the upper right, there are other experiments as well. And for your useless trivia today "c" as the symbol for the speed of light in a vacuum comes from the Latin celeritas, meaning swiftness or speed, and root of the English word celerity, which means pretty much the same thing.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

In Memory

I don't even know if I have any purple clothes, but I do have this.  In memory of Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase and Billy Lucas.  Hate and intolerance are not okay.

In other news, many sources are reporting that the military services are now accepting openly gay recruits (here's the NYT's report). One thing I think that really needs to be emphasized is that this "acceptance" of the judicial ruling is grudging and perhaps temporary- they are not actually announcing an end to DADT. I fully expect them to try to find loopholes to wriggle through, and if they do, new gay recruits will possibly find themselves booted back out again.  On the other hand, if this holds for a while, I'm fairly optimistic. It seems to me that it would be harder to take rights away, once they've been granted, than simply withholding them in the first place. So while I'm not convinced this is the end of DADT, I think it's a step- possibly irrevocable- in the right direction.

Followup: A Facebook friend posted this as a status: "We are all a little weird and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love."  Why should I (or anyone else) care whose weirdness is compatible with whose?

Well, Golly Gee, Here's A Surprise

Who, me? Racist?
"The Tea Party movement has extensive links to white supremacist groups." The Guardian's article has a nice summary of the report and the predictable response, but I think the author and editor really deserve a shout-out for actually linking to the report on line- I appreciate that, folks. (For those who want to click through, the page was slow to load for me, but it did finally come up. Picture from the linked report.)

Wednesday Wednesday

Okay, this isn't actually Wednesday: it's Gillian Anderson as Morticia Addams. The red hair on "Morticia" is a little wrong looking, but I do love this photo, found at Darius Whiteplume's Tumbling in Nerdliness. He's on a big horror film kick this month, so if you feel the need to get into the Halloween spirit of things, you may want to check his Tumblr out.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday Tits

Palawan TIt
15 Dec 2005
along Balsahan trail, Palawan 
© B. Matheson
Palawan tit, Periparus amabilis, from here.

Where On Google Earth #218

After many fruitless attempts, I finally bagged a "Where on Google Earth," number 217, at Microecos. So in the spirit of keeping this game running smoothly and swiftly, here's number 218.
To win this and host the next WOGE, identify the latitude and longitude of this location, and describe a little of the geology here. I have no idea how difficult this will be, but I'm going to invoke the Schott rule: previous winners must wait one hour for each time they've won. Current time is 10:47 AM PDT, 5:47 PM UTC/GMT.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Who Says Science Isn't Fun?

funny puns-The Base is Under A Salt
see more So Much Pun. Ahhh, science puns, the world would be so much emptier without you.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Funnies: Belly Dances With Lasers Edition

Sofa Pizza
Skull Swap... I think this needs more cowbell.
If you want to swear off food, I recommend Paula Deen cooking shows. Darius Whiteplume's Tumblr
Luke Surl
Instant camel phobia- The Daily What
Hipster Hitler (Click for full-size)
No amount of training could prepare them for this!
see more Political Pictures
wtf photos videos - Makes Sense to Me
see more WTF Pictures and WTF videos by Picture Is Unrelated

Great Headline from The Onion:

Morley Safer Can't Remember If He Left Stopwatch Running After Locking Up '60 Minutes' Studio

Tee of the Day at The Daily What... Was for sale here, guess it isn't any more.
Sober in a Nightclub
Celebrity Pictures - Julie Andrews
see more Lol Celebs
The Daily What
Skull Swap Here's another of her tweets I enjoyed: "I lost my mood ring, I'm not sure how I feel about that."
funny animal photos-Illustrated Animals: Deadlines? Meh.
see more Acting Like Animals
Sofa Pizza
The High Definite
funny car photos - Just Be Glad It Wasn't The Democrat!
see more That Will Buff Out
The Daily What. "How many miners left to rescue? It’s a really obscure number, you probably haven’t heard of it."
Shakes the Cat Gif - Shakes the Cat
see more Gifs
3. Get Me Another Scotch
see more Oddly Specific
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Funny Pictures of Cats with Captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
awesome photos - Finger Painting FTW
see more Epic Win FTW
Bits and Pieces
Tree Lobsters
I Hate My Parents
Celebrity Pictures - Johnny Depp
see more Lol Celebs
see more Political Pictures
Darius Whiteplume's Tumblr
Sofa Pizza
The High Definite
The Daily What
4 koma comic strip - Scotty Can Be a Scumbag
see more Comixed
Celebrity Pictures - Star Wars
Cue Mark Hamill screaming "NOOOOOOO!" See more Lol Celebs
see more Very Demotivational
This Isn't Your Grandma's Rascal
see more That Will Buff Out. Posted with the explanaion, "Need to get your grocery shopping done FAST? Soup up your rascal with a 125cc engine and get it up to 111km/h like Colin Furze from Stamford." (That's essentially 70 mph)
Velociraptor-Free Workplace revisited. The Daily What
Senor Gif
Abstruse Goose
Skull Swap
Sober in a Nightclub
Toles, via Library Grape
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
funny animal photos-Hide and Seek Master
see more Acting Like Animals
The shortest bus, with room for George, Sarah and Christine. Sofa Pizza

Headline O' The Week:

Colorado Wildfire Spreads To Moon

The Onion (Click for photo)
funny animal photos-He's Got the Right Idea
see more Acting Like Animals
The Daily What