10.29.2004

F-ing fantastic
No more St. Bernards at St. Bernard hospice.
"If you think, 'Monks and dogs, how nice,' it's not true. The monks don't like the dogs. They don't caress them. No, no."
Man seeks advice on how to marry his cousin. Via linkfilter.
Slate Article Subtitle: The pop tart in winter

10.28.2004

Just when you thought platypuses (platypi?) were weird enough, geneticists find something that makes them even more unique bizarre.

10.27.2004

Scooping the Apocalypse...as if I needed any more reasons to think Sean Hannity's a total d-nozzle.

10.26.2004

Looks like we're gonna get rained on, again. Sounds nice. Hope noone washes away!
Heard this radio commercial on my way in to work this morning. It's Howard Dean, plugging Yahoo Local (new map service). Very funny. Here's the gist:
"Hi, I'm Howard Dean, governor, doctor, and former presidential candidate. This past year has been exciting, and now I'm promoting my new book. I use Yahoo Local to find all the local landmarks I need for wherever I'm traveling. For instance, I'll be at a book signing in OHIO!, a museum tour in CALIFORNIA!, some restaurants in NEW JERSEY!..." etc. etc.
At the end, there's the usual Yahoo yodel thing, to which Dean replies, "My sentiments exactly." Anyway, I thought it was pretty darn amusing. Very cool of him to poke fun at himself like that.

10.25.2004

I've got a fevah...and the only prescription...is more cowbell!
Highly amusing map of Springfield, USA.

10.22.2004

From Slate: an article about "how the old conservative/liberal stereotypes break down when it comes to parenting."
Good ol' Fafblog an their rather timely post about work...timely because I'm pretty vexed about anything related to my job right now, since I just learned I have to come in tomorrow AND Sunday. So much for catching up on sleep this weekend.
More geek pickup lines

11. You had me at "Hello World." (Hehe)

10.21.2004

GeekPress was right; this interview of Neal Stephenson from Slashdot is hilarious:

4) Who would win? (Score:5, Funny) - by Call Me Black Cloud

In a fight between you and William Gibson, who would win?

Neal:

You don't have to settle for mere idle speculation. Let me tell you how it came out on the three occasions when we did fight.

The first time was a year or two after SNOW CRASH came out. I was doing a reading/signing at White Dwarf Books in Vancouver. Gibson stopped by to say hello and extended his hand as if to shake. But I remembered something Bruce Sterling had told me. For, at the time, Sterling and I had formed a pact to fight Gibson. Gibson had been regrown in a vat from scraps of DNA after Sterling had crashed an LNG tanker into Gibson's Stealth pleasure barge in the Straits of Juan de Fuca. During the regeneration process, telescoping Carbonite stilettos had been incorporated into Gibson's arms. Remembering this in the nick of time, I grabbed the signing table and flipped it up between us. Of course the Carbonite stilettos pierced it as if it were cork board, but this spoiled his aim long enough for me to whip my wakizashi out from between my shoulder blades and swing at his head. He deflected the blow with a force blast that sprained my wrist. The falling table knocked over a space heater and set fire to the store. Everyone else fled. Gibson and I dueled among blazing stacks of books for a while. Slowly I gained the upper hand, for, on defense, his Praying Mantis style was no match for my Flying Cloud technique. But I lost him behind a cloud of smoke. Then I had to get out of the place. The streets were crowded with his black-suited minions and I had to turn into a swarm of locusts and fly back to Seattle.

The second time was a few years later when Gibson came through Seattle on his IDORU tour. Between doing some drive-by signings at local bookstores, he came and devastated my quarter of the city. I had been in a trance for seven days and seven nights and was unaware of these goings-on, but he came to me in a vision and taunted me, and left a message on my cellphone. That evening he was doing a reading at Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus. Swathed in black, I climbed to the top of the hall, mesmerized his snipers, sliced a hole in the roof using a plasma cutter, let myself into the catwalks above the stage, and then leapt down upon him from forty feet above. But I had forgotten that he had once studied in the same monastery as I, and knew all of my techniques. He rolled away at the last moment. I struck only the lectern, smashing it to kindling. Snatching up one jagged shard of oak I adopted the Mountain Tiger position just as you would expect. He pulled off his wireless mike and began to whirl it around his head. From there, the fight proceeded along predictable lines. As a stalemate developed we began to resort more and more to the use of pure energy, modulated by Red Lotus incantations of the third Sung group, which eventually to the collapse of the building's roof and the loss of eight hundred lives. But as they were only peasants, we did not care.

Our third fight occurred at the Peace Arch on the U.S./Canadian border between Seattle and Vancouver. Gibson wished to retire from that sort of lifestyle that required ceaseless training in the martial arts and sleeping outdoors under the rain. He only wished to sit in his garden brushing out novels on rice paper. But honor dictated that he must fight me for a third time first. Of course the Peace Arch did not remain standing for long. Before long my sword arm hung useless at my side. One of my psi blasts kicked up a large divot of earth and rubble, uncovering a silver metallic object, hitherto buried, that seemed to have been crafted by an industrial designer. It was a nitro-veridian device that had been buried there by Sterling. We were able to fly clear before it detonated. The blast caused a seismic rupture that split off a sizable part of Canada and created what we now know as Vancouver Island. This was the last fight between me and Gibson. For both of us, by studying certain ancient prophecies, had independently arrived at the same conclusion, namely that Sterling's professed interest in industrial design was a mere cover for work in superweapons. Gibson and I formed a pact to fight Sterling. So far we have made little headway in seeking out his lair of brushed steel and white LEDs, because I had a dentist appointment and Gibson had to attend a writers' conference, but keep an eye on Slashdot for any further developments.

My officemate and I were talking about when humans start to influence their own genetic codes and the resulting changes. I claimed that the first thing that they'd do is get rid of myopia. He replied that the first thing that they'd do is make women's breasts bigger.

Any takers for that bet?

Fafblog! No, seriously, don't vote for Nader!

10.20.2004

A bit late, but I'll take it.

Another prayer to the internet succeeds. Chalk another one up for the Deity of Secular Humanism ;) or maybe Digital Deism.

How much would this screw up the folks of CSI? I mean, they had enough trouble with chimera-guy...granted, I know mitochondrial DNA isn't used as frequently as nuclear DNA for identification, but it still does get used sometimes.
Shrunken coins...pretty wild.

The rain has been a fallin' last several days. It's been quite lovely, to my mind. Some might disagree, but that's just 'cause their houses washed away.

Work's been busy, and unfortunately, we've been scooped three times in the last couple of weeks. I think that's perhaps not the way to put it- more like: we haven't quite scooped these other groups, despite being really close. It's okay, though- we still have a lot going for us that these other guys can't touch. Mostly that's because we're so good at fabricating microstructures...

Vote, vote, vote! Vote! And if you're (R), the election isn't until December 2nd, honest!

10.19.2004

Overheard on NPR:
I'm not against DNA... I think individuals are entitled to their DNA.

10.18.2004

Google Envy...sounds like a band name to me.

10.16.2004

We're wondering- how do pigs drink? Anyone? Anyone?
Move over, Segway...there's a new novelty transportation device in town!
Umami!

10.15.2004

I have to say, Google's Beta stuff is really cool... try this, and this, if you're so able. You might like them- I know I do!
I'm thinking that Jon Stewart isn't going to be invited to the Crossfire Christmas/Chanukah Party. Good for him,us; I've been thinking that we really need more strident critics of the so-called liberal media actually making appearances on said media.

It's really okay that they're just now doing this, since law-enforcement-type actions have no place in the War On Terra', right?

I think it's time for us to wage a War On Erra', and get rid of the administration folks that keep making the big mistakes (of omission or otherwise).

Whoa. I know I'm a pretty heavy sleeper, but this is insane.

10.14.2004

10.13.2004

Odious voter registration scam.
Interesting- a collusive strategy in a prisoner's dillema tournament beats the old standard (Do what I say or I'll shiv ya). Found at GeekPress

10.12.2004

Hey- a neato map of NO2. Northern China is dirrrty.

10.11.2004

Is anyone else creeped out by that new(ish) Burger King commercial?

From The Washington Post Debate Referee feature (italics added by me):

Malpractice reformer?

Congressional Budget Office found that legislation capping damage awards at $250,000 would lower physician malpractice premiums by 25 percent to 30 percent. But that reduction "would lower health care costs by only about .4 percent to .5 percent, and the likely effect on health insurance premiums would be comparably small," the CBO said.

Big Spender?

But an analysis by Washington Post White House correspondent Mike Allen found that the cost of Bush's new tax breaks and spending he outlined at the Republican convention far eclipsed that of the Kerry plan. Allen wrote: "Bush's pledge to make permanent his tax cuts, which are set to expire at the end of 2010 or before, would reduce government revenue by about $1 trillion over 10 years, according to administration estimates. His proposed changes in Social Security to allow younger workers to invest part of their payroll taxes in stocks and bonds could cost the government $2 trillion over the coming decade, according to the calculations of independent domestic policy experts. "And Bush's agenda has many costs the administration has not publicly estimated. For instance, Bush said in his speech that he would continue to try to stabilize Iraq and wage war on terrorism. The war in Iraq alone costs $4 billion a month, but the president's annual budget does not reflect that cost."

Small Businessman?

Under Bush's definition, a small business is any taxpayer who reports some income from investments, partnerships or trusts. By that definition, every partner at a huge accounting firm or at the largest law firm would represent a small business.

Okay, I'll tell you what: vote Republican, go ahead. But at least vote for a competent one.

Idiotepus Rex.

10.08.2004

Vote in all the online polls after the debate- this crap matters, as it modifies the spin.
CBS: http://www.cbsnews.com/
CNN: http://www.cnn.com/
Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/
MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/
Wall Street Journal: http://www.wsj.com/
Akron Beacon-Journal: http://www.ohio.com/
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: http://www.ajc.com/
Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/
Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/
Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune: http://www.startribune.com/
Orlando Sentinel: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/
Philadelphia Inquirer: http://www.philly.com/
South Florida Sun-Sentinel: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/

Interesting and Suggestive Google Search Result of the Day: Adjustable torque wrenches go both ways.

Really!?

Vote Bush- he deserves to reap the whirlwind? (u:iwannaread p:thisbook)

To paraphrase Frank the Tank:

Tired. Very tired. And so cold. I... I can almost see the light at the end of the week... it looks glorious!

Very fine clock. Thanks to TomDad for finding it.

10.05.2004

I'm feeling a little shrill, lately. But what can you do? Here's a damn funny list.

10.04.2004

Nifty java applet for drawing stuff.

10.01.2004

A nice list of refutations of Bush's misstatements (intentional or otherwise) from the debates.