Cats in sinks. Some cute cats, some less cute sinks.


Proof by intimidation is a concept that ought to be familiar to anyone whose nose spent much time buried in math-heavy textbooks. A particular sub-class of this argument is the following type of footnote: No confusion should arise from the double of N and n in |N) = |n)|ν)|γ)

Of course this actually isn't too confusing. What's more confusing is when you've got a load of 's and ~s differentiating quantities.
Elvis Costello says:

Even in a perfect world
where everyone was equal
I'd still own the film rights
and be workin' on the sequel...

I'm shocked, SHOCKED, to hear that Art Garfunkel has been detained on pot charges for the second time in as many years. When will Art learn that entertainers are role models for the childredn? I'm sure that many a wayward youth will be driven only further along the path of drug abuse and "alternative" lifestyles by his implicit endorsement of this most dangerous of gateway drugs.


Gmail hijinks...

So my current gmail address sucks. I'm not at all happy with the address johnson.thomas.j[somewhere near]gmail.com. Therefore I decided to burn an invite and try to get another, more superior handle. By the by, if anybody wants a gmail address, let me know, as I can get you one (I've got five more to hand out).

Of course, none of the good options remain (Thanks a lot, Mom and Dad. Would it have killed you to throw out a more singular name, like Trout, or Bucky?) and their automated suggestions are... unsatisfactory. To wit: my desired handle is "tjrj," but they seem to want to make me into a SNL sketch character with names like "tjrjster" or "tjrjenator."


What Would Jesus Donate? (A piece in Slate explores the Son of Man's remarks at a Republican fundraising event.)

If I had known we'd get the House, the Senate, and two consecutive terms in the White House (APPLAUSE)—if I'd known all that, I would have had an easier time that Friday on the Cross, let me tell you. (LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

But seriously, folks (LAUGHTER)—no, seriously, that day did pass, and then two more. Then I rose from the dead. (CHEERS, APPLAUSE) Thank you. I rose from the dead and I flew up to Heaven. But first, you'll remember, I made a little side trip to Hell (SCATTERED BOOS) just to get a look at how they do things. And I'm here to tell you, Hell is just like Heaven (AUDIBLE GASPS)—but with taxes. (LAUGHTER, CHEERS, APPLAUSE)


Via Geekpress (via McSweeneys): Klingon fairy tales. Here are some of my favorites...
"Goldilocks Dies With Honor at the Hands of the Three Bears"

"Snow White and the Six Dwarves She Killed With Her Bare Hands and the Seventh Dwarf She Let Get Away as a Warning to Others"

"There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe With a Big Spike on It"

"Hansel and Gretel Offend Vlad the Impaler"

"The Hare Foolishly Lowers His Guard and Is Devastated by the Tortoise, Whose Prowess in Battle Attracts Many Desirable Mates"
In a similar vein, my officemate Chris points out the following scientific nursery rhymes. See if you can translate them. Example:

A human female, extremely captious and given to opposed behavior, was questioned as to the dynamic state of her cultivated tract of land used for production of various types of flora. The tract components were enumerated as argentous tone-producing agents, a rare species of oceanic growth and pulchritudinous young females situated in a linear orientation.


Japan's apparently working on a next-generation SST. Looks pretty crazy.
Hehe. This was a pretty sneaky idea for a sting.


Man, NPR is great. Weekend America does these little weather reports for various random burgs and villages throughout the country. At the end of this one the announcer commented that it was a "perfect weekend to be a nature lover or pollen."

Oh, jeez. Those peoples at NPR are irritating. Now they're interviewing a movie-house organist. And that's not nearly as dirty as it sounds.


Huh. This is interesting. Saturn's rings not only have their own atmosphere, but the composition of that atmosphere is quite different from that of the planet itself.
CNN headline: Tiger kills Kansas teen during photo pose.

Now, I try to be sensitive about other peoples' tragedies... but my first thought here was "I know he did badly at the PGA championship, but what the heck?!" In my defense, I'd like to say what the hell are you doing, posing beside a freaking tiger? It is a giant wild carnivore, and you are made of its food! I mean, come on: look into maybe getting photoshop!


Sorry, lady. We have reason to believe your infant just might be a terrorist mastermind.
Anybody else hypnotized by the new menus on the sidebar? I'm digging 'em.


Lightning from this morning captured on the Mt. Wilson Solar Towercam.
Last night, around 2:30am, we had some great big thunderclaps, followed by a sudden lovely rain. I think the rain lasted until about 3, though I fell back into sleep before then. Quite nice.



One of my lab-mates is getting married tomorrow. In lieu of a bachelor party, he decided to invite his groomsmen and the guys in our research group to go to a paintball park and riddle each other with welts.

The park is a little bit of a way off. Past Magic Mountain, even, and immediately contiguous (possibly locked in by) to what I think is a prison workfarm. To get in you have to be shuttled by folks with special passes from the prison parking lot up to the paintball park. No stopping allowed on the approximately one mile drive, keep your doors locked.

Despite some early difficulties locating the shuttle-point (didn't expect to have to go into the prison parking lot), we got there with little trouble. After a bit of a wait getting all the waivers signed and guns handed out and crappy field-clothes put on we had a good ol' time.

There were thirteen (!) of us and so we divided up into a team of seven and one of six. I was on the short handed team, and we wrapped crazy pink ribbons around our arms to differentiate the folks. We squared off in a variety of venues, including a strange small course with big inflatable geometrical solids, another small course with a variety of barrel-structures, another, larger one on a hillside, with only tires piled into, well, piles, for cover, and a big fake bombed out city (a la Beirut)...

It was good fun. I didn't get "killed" many times- though I had a number of balls hit me and not burst. Fortunately it seems I didn't welt up too much. More often I went out for technical reasons. E.g., my gas canister came undone one time, and a few more times I ran out of paint.

However, being out of paint didn't stop me from faking some guys out, making them surrender by charging up to them and yelling: "Surrender! Surrender! Surrender!" I had a few great shots- nailing folks in the head from far, far away, hitting a guy in the butt, etc.

All in all, it was great fun, but I was intolerably dirty by the end. I came home and showered twice. Not really. Once sufficed- after all, I use soap.


Band name from an actual work document: Thrust Leaders.

"Did someone say something about a meteor shower? I'm all set to watch, man."
The Mt. Wilson solar towercam will be pointed upward for the next few evenings to watch for Perseid meteors. Might get some cool shots.
Saw a preview for a horrifying movie: Grizzly Man. Just... really disturbing. It's a documentary about an unbalanced fellow who lived with bears in Alaska for a number of years...


Anybody like the renovations?
Fafnir's got it right. Things are bound to be a lot better once we start really studying Intelligent Design. Just imagine what we will discover!
I've heard of B-roll, but this is just damn ridiculous. Authorities caught some fugitives and CNN puts up a photo of crap in their hotel room. Inspiring journalism!

This food was left behind in the room where officials say Jennifer and George Hyatte stayed.


Amusing word from Hugh Brogan's The Penguin History of the USA: squirearchy.
Ha! McSweeny's strikes again, this time with Lesser-known Movie Prequels.


Come on, Google. Buck up, some.


A picture's worth a thousand...excuses?


Check out the Mt. Wilson solar cam.


Gah! I don't know if the statistics in this post are correct, but if they are...gah!
22 percent of Americans are certain that Jesus will return to earth sometime in the next fifty years. Another 22 percent believe that he will probably do so...Only 28 percent of Americans believe in evolution; 68 percent believe in Satan.