Saturday, February 5, 2011

Stand Back!

Inspired by a post at Geology Rocks; base photo from here. Ah, rocks. How I love pounding on you.


For all the wet dreams happening on the right side of our political "spectrum" (which seems to range from right to far right to extreme right) over Saint Ronnie's centennial, and the predictable eye rolling on the "left," I just wanted to give some credit where it's due. He improved the health and nutrition of millions of children by proposing to designate ketchup as a vegetable for the purposes of school lunch programs.

And to top it off, he reversed the Carter administration's policy of sanctions against P.W. Botha's Apartheid South African Government for something he called constructive engagement. Which basically meant not noticing what was happening to blacks in that country.

So let's give the man a break, okay? His efforts mean this is a healthy meal:


Wall of Voodoo, Tomorrow:

Lloyd Cole, Perfect Skin:

The Call, The Walls Came Down:
I'm much too ignorant about the issues to say anything about the situation in Egypt, now in its twelfth day. But this last song, written during the reign of Prince Ronnie, and nominally about the cold war, makes me think of the rebellion there. This song has always given me goosebumps, but it's especially compelling now.

Coffee Kitteh

I'm impressed. As a rule, I drink straight coffee, and only rarely get the fancy drinks, so I don't get the artwork that often accompanies the latter. There are some baristas here who can pull off some some really pretty drinks, but I suspect the kitty above would be more than they'd try for. (EpicPonyz)

Friday, February 4, 2011

How Much is a Planet Worth?

Gliese 581 c: $160
Mars: $14,000
Earth: $Lotsa!

From BoingBoing:
Our planet's value emerged as nearly 5 quadrillion dollars. That's about 100 times Earth's yearly GDP, and perhaps, Laughlin thought, not a bad ballpark estimate for the total economic value of our world and the technological civilization it supports.
I find this kind of amazing, that one can simply plug in numbers regarding physical characteristics of a planet- quantities that don't, on the face of it, seem to have much to do with economic value- and get something that seems like a plausible estimation of the "worth" of the planet. $14,000 seems like a low value for Mars, to me, but I suspect that's at least in part because I think about its potential future value, not its value in terms of today's ability to utilize it.

The interview portion of the article goes into some detail of how the equation was pieced together, and helps clarify how this works. Still wondering about magnets and tides, though.

Sarah Palin®

According to Salon, Sarah Palin has applied to trademark her name, along with Bristol's.
The former Alaska governer and influential conservative leader has filed for a trademark on her name. So has her daughter Bristol. How come? Because they're worried someone might highjack the Palin brand.
No word on Todd, Trip, Track, Trig, Kumquat, Bratwurst, or the rest of the oddly-named family.

Sadly, Reuters follows up with this:
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's bid to trademark both her name and that of her daughter Bristol ran into trouble at the Patent and Trademark Office because the application forms were not signed, government records show.
Yeah, they probably forgot... their names, that is.

Aw nuts. Forgot I'm supposed to be ignoring Palin this week. That didn't last long. However, I can feel good about putting that "R in a circle" after Palin®'s name henceforth.

It's Full of Stars!

I tend to assume that many of the silly things that fly at me out of the innertubz are faked or photoshopped. Yesterday I posted an image of a "monolith action figure" about which I made that assumption... mistakenly. It's a real thing that's really for sale at ThinkGeek and Amazon.
  • Properly proportioned to those in the movies 2001 and 2010 (1:4:9 - the squares of the first 3 integers)
  • Made of semisynthetic, organic, amorphous, solid materials (AKA plastic)
  • Zero (0) points of articulation
  • May cause strange magnetic fields, action figure evolution, seeing things filled with stars, and/or more (or it might just sit on your desk doing nothing)
It's going for $12.99, which seems kind of spendy for what it is, but face it: it comes with that packaging, which is sort of priceless. (Hat tip to Rawley for letting me know this is an actual thing and where to find it.)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thorsday: Baldr

Odin's Last Words to Balder (W. G. Collingwood, 1908) Picture and excerpt below from Wikipedia.
...Baldr is known primarily for the story of his death. His death is seen as the first in the chain of events which will ultimately lead to the destruction of the gods at Ragnarök. Baldr will be reborn in the new world, according to Völuspá.

Not Telling.

I need to just stop reading press releases. Seriously. They either piss me off or disappoint me. This one does both:
New model for how Nevada gold deposits formed may help in gold exploration
So silly ol' me, I kind of assumed this might tell me something about a new model for Nevada (Carlin-type) gold deposits, and how this might help in exploration for such deposits. HA! Here's the closest it gets:
The team relates formation of the gold deposits to a change in plate tectonics and a major magma event about 40 million years ago. It is the most complete explanation for Carlin-type gold deposits to date.
So after reading what is, to be fair, not a bad summary of what Carlin-type deposits are- though redundant for me- the press release ends with that. Five minutes wasted. Sigh. This is my theory, which is mine, and it is, as follows, mine: Brontosauruses were narrow at the end, much, much thicker in the middle, and then thinner again at the other end.

Thanks, perfesser.

Not My Fault

Predictable, really:
Rumsfeld accepts almost no blame for the mistakes in Iraq in his 800-page autobiography Known and Unknown, copies of which have been obtained and published in excerpt by the New York Times and the Washington Post. Instead, he fingers the US diplomat in charge of postwar Iraq, Paul Bremer, and criticises the former secretary of state, Colin Powell, and the former national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice.
Yeah, it was all those known unknown unknown knowns that were the problem. And all those other guys. And the President and Vice President. And Senators and stuff. But Saddam is gone, so it's all good. Really. I just feel peachy about the whole thing.

800 pages of stuff I can get for free in any cow pasture. I enjoy books on politics- a surprise I wasn't expecting when I was younger- and frequently learn a lot from them. And, yes, that includes a number of books written from a conservative perspective, not just Michael Moore and Al Franken. But I won't be reading this one, I'm afraid.

Bring the Excitement Home!

Now you too can ignite consciousness! Trigger sentience in a primitive mind! Start a landslide of self-awareness! Fire the starting gun in the long, difficult race from the primordial ooze to intelligence!
I'm sending a dozen to Glenn Beck. Oh, and Bill O'Reilly. Mustn't forget "Where'd that come from" O'Reilly. (picture from Skull Swap)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Yes, it looks like a promo poster for some post-apocalyptic disaster/action movie. But, no, it's not; it's Chicago this morning.
E. Jason Wambsgans, Chicago Tribune, February 2, 2011: Abandoned vehicles litter northbound Lake Shore Drive on Wednesday morning.
CJSD yesterday offered the top ten nicknames for this storm. The title of this post was lifted from number four.

Wednesday Wednesday


Monday, January 31, 2011

No Biggie

There have been a few reports today, in OregonLive, KGW and KATU, about a series of small quakes at Mt. St Helens over the weekend.
There were 15 quakes, mostly in the magnitude 1 range, with a couple around magnitude 2.5 recorded by the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. They were about two miles deep just northwest of the volcano.
Small swarms like this are not uncommon under any of the major Cascade peaks and the surrounding area. All three reports appear to be based on the same AP source, and all agree that this shouldn't be taken as a warning of any incipient St Helens activity. On the other hand, if you're in the vicinity of Yellowstone, you might want to hightail it out of there. In fact, I'd like to recommend that any geological activity, anywhere on the planet, should be taken to indicate that the terror threat at Yellowstone has risen from red to at least crimson, and very likely ultraviolet.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

This is Cool

Scale from Brad Goodspeed on Vimeo.

Though as the source notes, "Needs more Saturn." This embedding code looks like the style I was fighting with yesterday, so if the clip doesn't show up for you, follow the link to the source or to Scale, and you should be able to see it. It's only about a minute long, and quite impressive.

Followup: Yep. And as it turns out, Vimeo also offers "the old code," which is code for "the code that actually works." Hopefully, this is fixed now.

Today in Stupid

Which does Faux News not get: plate tectonics or geography? (Hint: I'm betting on both.) Hullabaloo
This Bunsen Boehner looks suspiciously like that other guy: (image above and awful pun mine)SwansonTea: F*@&ing Bill O’Reilly — How Does He Work?
As long as there is one thing that science can’t explain (or he doesn’t understand), all is well with his world. It’s amazing to me that this argument makes sense to him.
EB Misfit points out that the designers of this logo have the Wright brothers the first to fly a heavier-than-air craft... backwards. Whether this bodes poorly for the competition remains to be seen.

Sunday Funnies

Sober in a Nightclub
God Hates Protesters
PhD Comics, via Bits and Pieces
Darius Whiteplume's Tumblr
Fake Science
epic fail photos - Spelling Bee Trophy FAIL
see more funny videos
Married to the Sea
Saturday Morn ing Breakfast Cereal
Cyanide and Happiness
Via Propagating Waves
Skull Swap
Skull Swap
The High Definite
Funny Pictures - Fox Jump Gif
Digging a foxhole. See more Lolcats and funny pictures
This is an older one I posted two or three years ago, but it's still funny. BizarroBlog
funny pictures - They had never met a seal that knew kung-fu, and hoped this would be the last time they did.
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
funny pictures history - Little did baby Duffel know he would one day be a household word.
see more Historic LOL
epic win photos - Write in Answer WIN
see more Hacked IRL - Truth in Sarcasm
My First Dictionary... the real punchline to this one is that the above are the actual illustration and definitions given in the original 10940's children's dictionary that Ross Horsely uses as his source.
The Daily Irritant
Joy of Tech
The Far Left Side
Slowpoke... speaking of bankers, here's a piece from The Guardian that just showed up: banker jokes! Just one to whet your appetite, but there are quite a few at the link.
A man is stuck in traffic. He asks a police officer about the hold-up and he replies: "The head of the Bank Of England is so depressed about the economy he's stopped his car and is threatening to douse himself with petrol and set himself on fire. So we're taking up a collection for him." The man asks: "How much have you got so far?" The policeman replies: "About 40 gallons, but a lot of people are still siphoning."
demotivational posters - THE AMERICAN DREAM
see more Very Demotivational
political pictures - The Running of the Bulls
see more Political Pictures
4 koma comic strip - It All Makes Sense
see more Comixed
Sober in a Nightclub
Sober in a Nightclub
epic win photos - Buy Happiness WIN
see more Hacked IRL - Truth in Sarcasm
Abstruse Goose
see more Comixed
Calamities of Nature
Brodo Baggins
see more Lol Celebs
Ah red panda, so cute. Hyper, but cute. Skull Swap
demotivational posters - 404
see more Very Demotivational
funny celebrity pictures - I'm Butch
see more Lol Celebs
Bits and Pieces
white trash repairs - Because Thieves Never Carry Knives
see more There I Fixed It
demotivational posters - Matrix
see more Very Demotivational
4 koma comic strip - Raining Down
see more Comixed
"Nitrogen, oxygen, Carbon dioxide, dreams." Sober in a Nightclub
political pictures - Soldiers, DADT
see more Political Pictures
The Daily What
My neighbor doesn't have bagpipes or a chainsaw. But she does have a karaoke machine. God help me. Savage Chickens