Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Least Favorite Weather

My general line is that there are three kinds of bad weather: wet, cold and windy. Any one isn't bad; any two are unpleasant, but all three together are miserable. However, there's one more that's in a special class of miserable all by itself: freezing fog. It doesn't have to be below 32 F; mid-thirties and down, the fog just cuts through you. It's more painful than having your tongue frozen to icy metal and harder to get away from. I have been more miserably cold in fog in the upper twenties than I have been in sub-zero temperatures in northern Ohio and Ontario.

All this means I'll probably stay indoors until it's burnt off tomorrow. Interzone will be closing early, 3:00, and closed all day on January 1. I've been getting no signal at home over the last few days, so I may not be posting much until Sunday. If I don't end up posting anything tomorrow, have a great New Year's eve, celebrate, and drive sober or not at all.

Thorsday: Dwarves


Image from Wikipedia, more info at the main article. Following are the names of Norse dwarves from various sources: Nyi, Nidi, Nordri, Sudri, Austri, Vestri, Althiolf ("Mighty Thief"), Dvalin, Nar, Nain, Niping, Dain, Bifur, Bofur, Nori, Ori, Onar, Oin, Modvitnir ("Mead-Wolf"), Vig, Gandalf ("Magic Elf"), Vindalf ("Wind Elf"), Thorin, Fili, Kili, Fundin, Vali, Thror, Throin, Thekk, Lit, Vitr, Nyr, Nyrad, Rekk, Radsvinn ("Swift in Counsel"), Draupnir, Dolgthvari, Hor, Hugstari, Hlediolf, Gloin, Dori, Duf, Andvari, Heptifili, Har, Siar, Skirpir, Virpir, Skafinn, Ai, Alf, Ingi, Eikinskialdi ("Oak Shield"), Fal, Frosti, Finn, Ginnar. (List from Sunnyway.com) See also verses 11-13, here.

I was reading through the book of Norse mythology that Dana lent me, and while I generally tend to blank out over lists, especially long ones, as I skimmed over the list of names of the Norse dwarves, I was suddenly on alert: many of these were quite familiar to me! Skim over the list above and see if you can tell the connection I came to quite quickly.

For a hint, note that about a third of the way through, one of the dwarves is named "Gandalf," or "Magic Elf."

As it turns out, Tolkien used the names of the Norse dwarves as the source for the names of the dwarves in The Hobbit and the LOTR. Here are the names of the dwarves in The Hobbit, from Answers.com: Fili, Kili, Oin, Gloin, Thorin Oakenshield, Dwalin, Balin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Nori, and Ori. There are two names in that list I don't see in the first (Balin and Bombur), but I was quite surprised I hadn't realized this until recently.

The Onion Gives Me Tears

This made me laugh... I can Sooooo relate.

Area Man Looking For Whatever The Hell Is Beeping

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday Wednesday

Darlene Copeland's Wednesday tattoo, from Wednesday's Korner.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday Tits

Parus holsti--Yellow Tit, from "Passeriformes, Paridae & Aegithalidae."

Camoflage or Warmth?

I just noticed this will be my 2501st post in about 2 1/2 years. What better to note the milestone than a cat being weird and funny. (H/T @Dhunterauthor)

Followup: Some are suggesting that the clip may be reversed, i.e. the cat is actually taking the hat off rather than pulling it on. And if you watch it cleaning itself near the beginning of the clip, it does look backward. Still, cute.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sand Through the Hourglass: Bits of Geoscience

I'm feeling pretty uninspired. Between staying up too late reading (for several nights running) and what might be a mild cold- which may or may not be part and parcel with the weird, mild headaches that make me feel as if my skull is deforming like a kneaded lump of clay- I just want to go home and go to bed. But I have a backlog of interesting geology and earth science posts I've been meaning to get to, plus a couple more that came up today, so with a minimum of fuss here are some recent bits from the geoblogosphere and related news.
  • Silver Fox spent much of the weekend tracking down the original Dutton quote poetically describing Basin and Range as an army of caterpillars crawling north out of Mexico. Like Ron Schott, I'm most familiar with this from the sign at Dante's View in Death Valley, but this has clearly been misquoted many more times than quoted.
  • Callan has a slew of mashed-up rocks (what I personally think of as metacrappite, in my own mental categorization of rock groups, without the slightest bit of derogatory intent), in his continuing series on the geology of San Francisco. Also check out the mashed cherts; these are some of the hardest and most competent sedimentary rocks that exist, and to see them folded, spindled and mutilated like taffy should give you a profound respect for the power of the earth.
  • Christmas day's EPOD was a stereopair of a beautiful snowflake. I've been meaning to transform this into a wobble-gif, but haven't got to it. I may not. Like I said at the outset...
  • Cian at Point Source summarizes her highlights from the recent AGU conference. I'm intrigued by the emphasis I've seen, and not only in her post, on scientists taking a lead role in communicating on their disciplines. As I and numerous others have repeatedly noted, the journalists just aren't getting it done.
  • Evelyn at Georneys has a wonderful post about a wonderful map. As familiar as this beautiful bit of cartographic art is to me, I had never realized its importance, nor how recently (alright, okay, I get it, I'm old.) it had been completed. Heartfelt thanks for clarifying, Evelyn.
  • Bryan at Hot Topic summarizes a recent interview of James Hansen by Bill McKibben, highlighting the degree of confidence felt among climate scientists regarding global warming, its consequences, and how to ameliorate its effects.
  • NatGeo has a gallery of images of what are thought to be collapse pits over lava tubes... on Mars.
  • The Guardian has the most complete article I've seen on the reopening of Molycorp's Mountain Pass rare earths mine.
  • In a semi-related bit of economic news, Krugman's column today deals with rising commodity prices in a recovering economy, on a finite planet. As I've noted before, geology and economics are much more intimately related than I think most people recognize.
  • Also at The Guardian, an article that largely dismisses concerns over the recent news about Cr VI in US drinking water. He makes some valid points, and in my reading, I had already come to much the same conclusion- that the panicky reaction was overblown. However, I think the middle ground is more appropriate here. There's no reason to panic, but his level of dismissiveness is unwarranted as well. This should be of concern, and should be studied more carefully.
  • Louisiana will be coming to Oregon to study hurricane storm surges. Huh? Oregon State University has one of the largest wave tanks in the world: The Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory.
  • The explosion and subsequent destruction of the Deepwater Horizon, and the ensuing oil spill, made the new chairman of The House Science and Technology Committee, Ralph Hall (R-Texas), feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
    "As we saw that thing bubbling out, blossoming out – all that energy, every minute of every hour of every day of every week – that was tremendous to me," he said. "That we could deliver that kind of energy out there – even on an explosion."
    You probably don't want to read that entire article if you would prefer to be optimistic regarding science in the US in the near future.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday Funnies: Boxing Day Edition

I had intended to do a dedicated post of Christmas funnies etc. Friday or yesterday, but Interzone closed early Christmas eve, and I have weak to no internet at home. What I do have is hijacked anyway, and I'm not all that comfortable using it, especially for composing long posts that might get partially lost when the signal fails. Then I stayed up until about 4:30 this morning reading, and in turn woke up at the crack of noon today. So, long and short, I'm just muddling all the seasonal stuff together with the more run-of-the-mill Sunday Funnies, ranging (as usual) from uber-cute and saccharine sweet to deeply offensive and mortifying. That warning issued, I hope your Christmas and boxing day were warm, festive and fun. Happy Boxing Day, and enjoy!
Funny Pictures - Cyoot Kitteh
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
funny pictures history - WHAT did you say you wanted to be when you grow up, Lizzy?
see more Historic LOL
Complaint above and response below from What Would Jack Do?

Bits and Pieces
Criggo
What Would Jack Do?
funny celebrity pictures - Jim Beam me up
see more Lol CelebsSkull Swap
Calamities of Nature
Non Sequitur
funny pictures - Airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
FuckYeahAlbuquerque
Stages of Succession: cold-blooded cuteness.
Blackadder
My First Dictionary
EpicPonyz
The Daily What. Oh, I'm so terribly sorry! Next time I'll say "Fuck you and your sanctimonious sense of self-entitlement. Jesus, Joseph and Mary would like you to know there's a whole stable full of barnyard animals waiting to blown." I'm sure we'll both feel much better about that greeting.
Funny Pictures - Christmas Cats
see more Lolcats and funny pictures. Awww...
Via Pharyngula; two more strips at the link.
Gingerbread Falling Water, from all over the place this week. This image is from EpicPonyz. Click for full size; the detail is breath-taking.
Chinleana
demotivational posters - SANTARAPTOR
see more Very Demotivational
Above and next two: three funnies from Bizarroblog
The Daily What
Non Sequitur
The Daily What
Sofa Pizza
funny celebrity pictures - DOCTOR
see more Lol Celebs
Regretsy
Sofa Pizza. "Advice from Sarah Palin."
Criggo
Blackadder
funny pictures - Too manee shinees fur my brain to handul!
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Literal snowman from the The Daily What
funny pictures - I got it!
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Darius Whiteplume's Tumblr
demotivational posters - SLEEP LEVITATING
see more Very Demotivational
What Would Jack Do?
Great White Snark
I Hate My Parents
Alphaville
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
political pictures - LOOKS LIKE A PENIS  ONLY SMALLER
see more Political Pictures
ChannelAte
4 koma comic strip - Nice Video
see more Comixed. And yes, that's a real thing. Caution: you can't unread this.
Alphaville
What Would Jack Do?
Bits and Pieces
Cold toilet seats are a nightmare, but this is ridiculous. Bits and Pieces
Sofa Pizza

Via Sofa Pizza. Silly drunk guy... those are sweat pants.
The Daily What
political pictures - CRY HAVOC
see more Political Pictures
What Would Jack Do?
ChannelAte
A young Allie Brosh decides to improve upon the Christmas story in "The Year Kenny Loggins Ruined Christmas." It's a longish read, but hysterically funny
demotivational posters - STUDENTS
see more Very Demotivational
awesome photos  - You Will Be Eaten!
see more Epic Win FTW
Bits and Pieces
Cyanide and Happiness
Criggo
Sober in a Nightclub
Non Sequitur
Sofa Pizza
Sober in a Nightclub
Sober in a Nightclub
demotivational posters - NIGHTMARES
see more Very Demotivational
Sofa Pizza
Woman in The Blob (1958) Totally Looks Like Eric Idle
see more Celeb Look-A-Likes
Fake Science
engrish funny - A Gambler's Prayer
see more Engrish
EpicPonyz
Sofa Pizza
xkcd
FuckYeahAlbuquerque- this is basically a nostalgic laugh for me. 25-30 years ago, various roommates and I would laugh hysterically at the 3-hour show, I think on PBS, "Yule Log." An unedited, unnarrated, sans-soundtrack video of logs burning. The action sequences consisted of a hand reaching in with a poker, rearranging and settling the embers. I suppose you had to be there, but I assure you, it was very, very funny. Recreational substances helped, but weren't really necessary.
The High Definite
political pictures - The Paris Hilton of Politics
see more Political Pictures
Bunday Delights Gif - Bunday Delights
see more Gifs
Clay Bennett