February 28, 2005

Color me surprised

Ted Rall admitting that he was wrong?!?!?!?! Holy shit! Excerpt(and this may be the first time that I've willingly linked to Ted Rall):

Those of us who identify with the left must set an example by seizing the moral high ground on this point. While I still stand by my chapter in WAKE UP, YOU'RE LIBERAL about dirty politics, threats of violence are where we should not go. And we should call our friends on it if and when they do it.

Here are, as part of the challenge wrap up, some entries from over the weekend submitted by rigt-wingers. (No need to send more, folks, and thanks for playing! I, for one, feel enlightened if a little soiled.)
...
Don't doubt, my fellow progressives, that there are more--many more--where these came from. I have about 20 more acceptable entries along these lines. And I received a few that were so ugly that I won't even post them because they were so racist and bigoted that I'm afraid people might think *I'd* posted them.

P.S. Some people have asked whether I checked these links to make sure they were authentic. Answer: of course.

The challenge is met, I am depressed and disgusted, and now I'm going to grab my first cup of coffee.

Give the guy kudos(::gag:: Can't believe I'm saying that) for not attempting to spin this too much and for decrying the sheer animalistic hatred being espoused by his leftist kinsmen. Thanks to Jonathan Hawkins for the link.

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:19 PM | Comments (3)

This week's sign that the Apocalypse is upon us

Watch The Dukes of Hazzard every night on television. Post on TDOH blog. Attend TDOH festivals. Receive $100k annual salary. ?Thanks? to Wizbang for the link.

Why couldn't it have been Vice President of the Buffy/Angel Institute? I'd be soooo there.

Posted by Physics Geek at 07:39 PM | Comments (0)

If your stuff doesn't stink

Then this might be the toilet for you:

Posted by Physics Geek at 06:37 PM | Comments (0)

Your own personal Tivo?

And right on your PC. Pretty cool.

Posted by Physics Geek at 06:22 PM | Comments (0)

More yummy goodness

Rocket Jones is this last week's Carnival of the Recipes. And once again, I failed to post a recipe myself. Oh well, lots of great stuff to cook and eat anyway. Check it out.

Posted by Physics Geek at 06:19 PM | Comments (2)

Quote of the day

From Hog On Ice:

What are you monkeys clapping for? The fact that he called terrorism victims “little Eichmanns” or the fact that he lied about being an Indian? Liberals, I have some news that may floor you: the fact that conservatives hate someone doesn’t mean he’s not a mammoth asshole. And Ward is an asshole you could build a suspension bridge across. An ordinary asshole is to Ward Churchill as a colonoscope is to a Greyhound bus with a camcorder on the dashboard.

I haven't bothered to comment on this particular douchebag because I don't find him all that interesting. Hypocrisy, self-importance, anti-Americanism, lies: these are the tools in trade of modern leftist academia. In my opinion, Churchill's comments are getting more press because he actually made them on record. Most crap like this simply passes beneath the radar. And while I think he's a reprehensible, lying sack of shit, I don't really care what happens to him. The fact that he's drawing a paycheck from the University of Colorado would bother me if I lived there. As it is, I'm getting a big kick out of watching the university get it's reputation besmirched by someone that should never have been hired. At least with the national press' attention, a few more people around the country might wake up and realize what kind of instruction their children are getting for 20+ grand a year. And that would be a good thing.

Posted by Physics Geek at 06:17 PM | Comments (2)

February 25, 2005

Things To Do While Your Coworkers Are On Vacation

Received via email this morning(click extended entry):

Update: Welcome Delphi Forum readers! Stick around and visit some more; I love the company.

clover.jpg

keyboard.jpg

foil.jpg

paper.jpg

Posted by Physics Geek at 05:59 PM | Comments (9)

Don't screw with the pizza guy

As someone who delivered pizzas during my junior year in high school, I can relate to this story, where an intrepid reporter sat down to have a discussion with six pizza delivery men. Excerpt:

He knows more about you than you will ever know about him. There are the tangibles: your name, your address, your phone number. And there are the countless intangibles. If he has worked in the racket for a few years--and a decade's labor on the pizza road is not so unusual--he has glimpsed the insides of thousands of homes and apartments. He has borne witness to unimaginable squalor. He has breathed in the stink from your unemptied garbage and your beige urine-soaked carpets. He has gawked at the regal excess of your Lake of the Isles mansion. He has made countless numbing visits to your bleak, ill-lit shithole apartment. He has even caught the scent of the hydroponic marijuana you furtively cultivate under grow lights in the basement.

You should know this: If you stiff the pizza man, he will hate you. There are Nazis. There are baby rapists. And there is that vast class of indifferent, callous swine who stiff the pizza man. Same shit, different name. On the other hand, if you do him up right--prompt exchange, $5 tip--the pizza man will sing your praises to his fellow drivers. If you tip him extravagantly--say, $20 or more on a large order--he will personally arrange an audience with the pope to make the case for your beatification. To the pizza man, the tip is the thing.

Posted by Physics Geek at 04:26 PM | Comments (2)

February 24, 2005

How well do you know your money?

Can you select the correct image of a penny?

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:59 PM | Comments (3)

February 23, 2005

Text adventure games

Michele goes into the wayback machine and discusses Adventure(akaColossal Cave) and Zork. If you aren't familiar with plugh or xyzzy, then you've been missing out.

You see a fierce green dragon.

>Kill dragon

With what, your bare hands?

>Yes

Congratulations. You've just killed a fierce green dragon with your bare hands. Amazing, isn't it?

And by the way, that dwarf really pissed me off. A lot.

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:57 PM | Comments (1)

The dates are set

Do you know where you're going to be on September 29 through October 1? I know where I'm going to be. That is, if the chief gives me permission. My streak of six consecutive GABFs was interrupted by the birth of my second child last year; there will be no similar interruptions this year.

Three whole days of nothing but drinking beer, talking to other beer lovers, drinking beer, eating, drinking beer, releasing great gobs of methane into the atmosphere. It just doesn't get any better than that. Oh, and did I mention the drinking of beer?

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:50 PM | Comments (0)

An instant classic

From the supple mind of Tim Blair.

ROOOOVVVVVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:41 PM | Comments (1)

Pleasure...

...or business? Could be both, perhaps. Mrs. du Toit has a post up that's piqued my interest. Maybe you'll be intrigued as well.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:27 AM | Comments (0)

Two words that don't belong together

Squirrel hazing. 'Nuff said.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:18 AM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2005

New to the blogroll

Dean links to an article at Whiteperil.com which, I believe, everyone should read. At least, everyone with an open mind in the debate. Just my opinion, of course. Anyway, a new site has been added to the blogroll.

Posted by Physics Geek at 09:26 PM | Comments (1)

What it all means

I'm watching Kelo vs. City of New London closely. The outcome of this case, should Ms. Kelo lose, will have negative and lasting repercussions, far beyond what a Kerry victory this past November would have brought. Professor Bainbridge puts it best:

After news of Napoleon's victory in the Battle of Austerlitz was conveyed to British Prime Minister William Pitt's, Pitt pointed to a map of Europe and said: "Roll up the map; it will not be wanted these ten years." If the Supreme Court sides with New London, we might just as well roll up the Bill of Rights, for we won't need it any longer.

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:38 PM | Comments (8)

Geeky post of the day

Found this article via Peeve Farm about a guy who built his own self-balancing, two-wheeled scooter. Essentially, it's a homemade Segway™ , without the fancy price tag, the fancy design, or the fancy safety features. Still, it's a pretty ingenious contraption. Check it out.

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:24 PM | Comments (0)

Ways to destroy the Earth

Ignoring the Kyoto Protocol is not mentioned

Not goin' anywhere for a while? Then drop that Snickers and head over here to read something just a bit different. Link found via Cold Fury.

Posted by Physics Geek at 07:39 PM | Comments (1)

Bring out yer dead!

You might want to make sure that they're actually dead, though. Just an FYI. Autopsies are notoriously difficult to survive.

Posted by Physics Geek at 05:03 PM | Comments (0)

Whatever happened to good old hanging?

From Fox News comes this little tidbit: a US citizen conspired to kill President Bush. Excerpt:


The federal indictment said that in 2002 and 2003 Abu Ali and an unidentified co-conspirator discussed plans for Abu Ali to assassinate Bush. They discussed two scenarios, the indictment said, one in which Abu Ali "would get close enough to the president to shoot him on the street" and, alternatively, "an operation in which Abu Ali would detonate a car bomb."

According to the indictment, Abu Ali obtained a religious blessing from another unidentified co-conspirator to assassinate the president.

More than 100 supporters of Abu Ali crowded the courtroom and laughed when the charge was read aloud alleging that he conspired to assassinate Bush.
...
Abu Ali is charged with six counts and would face a maximum of 80 years in prison if convicted.

Conspiring to assassinate a US President gives you only 80 years in prison? I've got a better idea: how about an unlimited number of years underground? Unlike the wingnuts the frequent the DU(probably some of the people laughing in court), I'd support the death penalty for someone who conspired to kill a Democrat president. I don't have the stomach to wade through the fever swamps today, but I'll guarantee you that there will be lots of cheering and "atta boys" from a certain segment of the ultra-leftists in this country. I take that back: they'll probably be pissed off that Abu Ali failed in his assignment.

Posted by Physics Geek at 04:08 PM | Comments (0)

Presidential hangman

I did pretty well at this game. One that I did miss, though, was John Kennedy. I don't know why.

Posted by Physics Geek at 04:00 PM | Comments (2)

Words fail me

Saw the following over at the Corner. The last line must be seen to be believed. Even then, it's a stretch.

Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" on "'Fact' Obsessed Bloggers" (4 1/2 minute multimedia clip with a required ad to view first, works poorly on dial up connections). Partial transcript:

Stephen Colbert, Senior Media Correspondent: "I draw the line with these 'attack bloggers.' Just someone with a computer who gathers, collates and publishes accurate information that is then read by the general public. They have no credibility. All they have is facts. Spare me."

Found via the Corner.

And yes, I probably it's probably tongue-in-cheek, at least on the Daily Show. However, it sounds far too similar to what I'm hearing from some of the MSM types.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)

Words you don't hear every day

A city wastewater utility worker recovered the penis from a toilet down which the woman had flushed it.

No mention of whether or not the Lorena Bobbit shrine had candles burning in it at the time.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:01 PM | Comments (0)

Just because I haven't pissed off enough people today

I've carried the following list around for more than a decade since I first saw in on an old BBS, maybe alt. humor. Probably been around longer than that. Anyhoo, here goes:
===============================================


45 Reasons Why Coffee Is Better Than Women

1. You don't have to put cream in your coffee to make it taste good.

2. Coffee doesn't complain when you've put whipped cream in it.

3. Coffee looks better in the morning.

4. You won't fall asleep after a cup of coffee.

5. You can always warm coffee up.

6. Coffee comes with endless refills.

7. Coffee is cheaper.

8. You won't get arrested for ordering coffee at 3 AM.

9. Coffee never runs out.

10. Coffee is out of your system by tomorrow morning.

11. You can take black coffee home to meet your parents.

12. You can make coffee as sweet as you want.

13. You can smoke while drinking coffee.

14. You can put out a cigarette in a cup of coffee.

15. Coffee smells and tastes good.

16. You don't have to put vinegar in your coffee.

17. If your coffee pot leaks, you can use a regular paper towel.

18. You can always get fresh coffee.

19. You can turn the pot on, leave the room, and it will be hot when you
get back.

20. They sell coffee at police stations.

21. You can always ditch a bad cup of coffee.

22. Coffee goes down easier.

23. If you put chocolate in your coffee, it doesn't put on weight.

24. No matter how ugly you are, you can always get a cup of coffee.

25. A big cup or a small cup? It doesn't matter.

26. Your coffee doesn't talk to you.

27. Coffee smells good in the morning.

28. Coffee smells good when it's cold too.

29. Coffee stains are easier to remove.

30. Coffee doesn't care when you dunk things in it.

31. Coffee doesn't care what kind of mood you're in.

32. Coffee doesn't shed.

33. Coffee is ready in 15 minutes or less.

34. You can't get a cup of coffee pregnant by putting cream in it.

35. Coffee doesn't mind being ground.

36. No matter how bad coffee is, you can always make it better.

37. Coffee doesn't have a time of the month...it's good all the time.

38. When coffee gets old, you can throw it away.

39. When you have a coffee, you don't end up with a pube in the back of
your throat.

40. Coffee doesn't take up half of your bed.

41. Coffee doesn't mind if you wake up at 3 AM and decide to have a cup.

42. INSTANT COFFEE!!

43. You can have an intelligent conversation with coffee.

44. It takes up to 2 weeks for coffee to grow mold.

45. Your coffee won't be jealous of a larger cup.

Posted by Physics Geek at 03:39 AM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2005

Psst! Free nude pictures!

Now that I have your attention, Conservative Cat has assembled an all-purpose Carnival page, complete with fill in the blank submission form. He even lists the due dates and times for every Carnival. Now you're out of excuses. Submit. SUBMIT!!!

Thank Harvey for the link.

Posted by Physics Geek at 05:38 PM | Comments (2)

Clarity of thought

Stumbled across this old speech by Michael Crichton this moring(with a little help from Neal Boortz) and thought that I'd post a few excerpts:

Now go read it all.

Update: I'm taking down the excerpts until/unless I receive permission to post them. I failed to notice the note at the bottom of the speech. While some might argue the Fair Use doctrine, and be entirely correct in their assertion, I have neither the time nor money to fight a copyright infringement lawsuit. I have submitted a request to post excerpts on this site.

Posted by Physics Geek at 01:45 PM | Comments (0)

More yummy goodness

Your weekly roundup of culinary delights, the Carnival of the Recipes, is baking Inside Allan's Mind. And I forgot to submit a &*($%&*$ recipe this week. Again. Anyway, go and enjoy gustatory delights.

Posted by Physics Geek at 01:29 PM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2005

This is so wrong

And I giggled through the whole, craptastic thing. Star Wars Episode IV as a filthy, disgusting, flash-enabled "movie".

Posted by Physics Geek at 10:22 PM | Comments (1)

Our prayers are with them

Drake Esmay is in the hospital with pneumonia. Those of you that pray, do so. Those that don't, stop by and offer your best wishes to both Dean and Rosemary.

Posted by Physics Geek at 09:42 PM | Comments (0)

Crappy jokes of the day

Received via email:

Famous moms
------------------

PAUL REVERE'S MOTHER:
"I don't care where you think you have to go, young man, midnight is
past your curfew."

MONA LISA'S MOTHER:
"After all that money your father and I spent on braces, that's the
biggest smile you can give us?"

COLUMBUS' MOTHER:
"I don't care what you've discovered, you still could have
written!"

MICHELANGELO'S MOTHER:
"Can't you paint on walls like other children? Do you have any idea
how hard it is to get that stuff off the ceiling?"

NAPOLEON'S MOTHER:
"All right, if you aren't hiding your report card inside your jacket,
take your hand out of there and show me."

ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S MOTHER:
"Again with the stovepipe hat? Can't you just wear a baseball cap like
the other kids?"

MARY'S MOTHER:
"I'm not upset that your lamb followed you to school, but I would like
to know how he got a better grade than you."

ALBERT EINSTEIN'S MOTHER:
"But it's your senior picture. Can't you do something about your hair?
Styling gel, mousse, something . . .?"

GEORGE WASHINGTON'S MOTHER:
"The next time I catch you throwing money across the Potomac, you can
kiss your allowance good-bye!"

JONAH'S MOTHER:
"That's a nice story. Now tell me where you've really been for the
last three days."

THOMAS EDISON'S MOTHER:
"Of course I'm proud that you invented the electric light bulb.
Now turn it off and get to bed."

Posted by Physics Geek at 09:13 PM | Comments (2)

Pamela Anderson in nude, anti-fur campaign

No additional commentary needed. Image below the fold.

Posted by Physics Geek at 07:37 PM | Comments (5)

New scientific breakthrough

I wonder what the grant application looked like

Scientists now know what smell female cockroaches use to entice males. Uh, why exactly does anyone care? Some will mention the potential use as a pesticide. I think they're lying; it's about the love that really should not speak its name.

Posted by Physics Geek at 07:32 PM | Comments (2)

Ready to pump you up

No sexual innuendos, Harvey. Russell Wardlow posted a link about self-resistance training. If the isometric stuff looks familiar, it should. The old "Look Like Charles Atlas!" ads in comics used to push this type of training to prevent bullies from kicking sand in your face. I never understood the message because all self-respecting bullies in my day carried firearms. Getting close enough to punch them in the kisser wasn't a viable option. Anyhoo, body-weight strength training has been around a long time and can be pretty effective. Like anything else, it involves discipline and commitment.

I wonder what the Alliance fitness instructor thinks about this type of exercise?

Posted by Physics Geek at 04:38 PM | Comments (2)

In a battle of wits

It's a pity that Susan Estrich is unarmed

Check out the drubbing that Michael Kinsley and Charlotte Allen inflict on Susan Estrich, metaphorically speaking, of course. Susan's screechy diatribe is reprinted in its full glory. A couple of excerpts:

[Michael Kinsley]


She is right that we should have more women writing for our op-ed page, and she is right that I am bad about answering e-mail, although she is wrong to think that this bad habit is gender-specific. What seems to have popped her cork, however, is an article by a woman that we did run. I'm sorry that she has "never heard of" Charlotte Allen, but I think it may be possible to be a woman even if Susan Estrich has never heard of you. Even a member of the Independent Women's Forum can nevertheless be a woman, perhaps.

[Charlotte Allen]


That sounded to me like what the lawyers call a "non sequitur." After all, to paraphrase Sojourner Truth, I'm a woman, ain't I? And so is my fellow IWF Web-regular Cathy Seipp, who wrote one of the other articles in the package, "La Difference Isn't Rocket Science," making fun of the female MIT biologist who got an attack of the vapors when she heard Harvard's president point out that differences between male and female brains might have something to do with the supposed statistical underrepresentation of women in science. And so was the author of the third article and the two authors who collaborated on the fourth. That's five women on the front page of the Times opinion page. Where's the "discrimination"?

... "The article last Sunday was penned by a feminist-hater I have never heard of, nor probably have you, by the name of Charlotte Allen. Her only book was about Jesus ... written eight years ago, and as far as I can tell what she does is to edit a blog for the Independent Women's Forum which is a group of right wing women who exist to get on TV and get in newspapers attacking the likes of us."

I think that translates into: Charlotte Allen is a nobody, whereas I am the great Susan Estrich.


Posted by Physics Geek at 03:22 PM | Comments (2)

This week's sign that the Apocalypse is upon us

So Bugs Bunny will have superpowers now. What for? He ALWAYS won by just being Bugs Bunny, smartest hare-brained being in the universe. Anyway, here's the before and after photo:

Thanks to Jonah for the link.

Update: Looks like Michele agrees with me, albeit in a slightly more forceful way.

Posted by Physics Geek at 03:08 PM | Comments (5)

Spun someone, you have not

Wuzzadem posts an interview between Bill O'Reilley and Yoda. Great stuff, but I believe it's been edited for time because I see no mention of "Spin Zone: The Flamethrower"; the kids just love that.

Posted by Physics Geek at 01:36 PM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2005

This just in...

Acidman found someone who has taken my favorite hobby and raised it to a whole new level. Looks like fun, but I'm betting the chief won't go for it at my house.

Posted by Physics Geek at 04:07 PM | Comments (0)

Cast your vote

And yes, I already cast mine in Wizbang's latest strip-off between former teen pop tarts Debbie Gibson and Tiffany. When choosing, consider carefully whether or not you prefer your women blonde or red-haired. Your view on medically enhanced bodies versus au natural may color your point of view as well. Choose wisely.

Not sure whom to vote for? Kevin provided links, which I've copied below the fold. Some things are just too good not to share.

Debbie Gibson pictures here. Two sets of Tiffany images can be found here and here.

Posted by Physics Geek at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

A really cheap drunk

The central character in this story was convicted of drunk driving after consuming 3 glasses of Listerine. First of all, yuck. Second of all, if she really felt the need to get plastered, she should have chosen the drink preferred by lots of middle schoolers: vanilla extract. Trust me: it's got a lot of alcohol in it.

Maybe it's a gateway drug. Next thing you know, she'll be drinking Squeeze(Sterno).

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:39 PM | Comments (2)

February 15, 2005

When your PC says "ACHOO!"

Lots of useful information if, like me, you're still mired in the wonderful world of Microsoft Windows(aka, the world's biggest computer virus).

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:18 PM | Comments (0)

Epitaph for Michael Jackson

Just because Michele asked so nicely:

tombstone MJ.jpg

Posted by Physics Geek at 07:32 PM | Comments (6)

Assholes

F*cking PCUSA elders "justify" their divestment from Israel. They invited 4 Palestinians to speak and 3/4 are members of groups that don't recognize Israel's right to exist. Nope, no bias here.

Here's what really chaps my ass, though: the press all across this country will report that the "Presbyterian Church has divested itself from Israel", trumpeting that as indicative of all Presbyterians. Of course, no one will bother to mention that this is the PCUSA branch, which is far and away the most leftist, liberal part of the Presbyterian Church. No mention of the more conservative Orthodox Presbyterian Church(OPC) or the Presbyterian Church in America(PCA). I'm a member of PCA church right now and I will tell you that the PCA members would revolt en masse against the church leadership if they ever attempted such ridiculous thing.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:25 PM | Comments (0)

(block)Quote of the day

Found at Protein Wisdom, Excerpt:

Actively, eagerly, and publically smearing a White House Press Secretary based on the word of a couple of unnamed sources and a dubious 1995 story: this is how thoroughly depraved a certain segment of the American left has become. To these rancid ideologues, tabloid gossip and gay baiting have become legitimate tools to use in their increasingly fevered attempt to dismantle the administration they so patently despise. And though they’ll rationalize every single contemptible thing they say or do—knowing that are protected by a cult of ends-justify-the-means groupthink—make no mistake: they know what they’re doing is despicable.

I have nothing but the utmost contempt for these people.


Posted by Physics Geek at 02:37 AM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2005

Surrounded by loved ones

Val Prieto has kept us all updated on the story of the stray cat that adopted him in the aftermath of a hurricane. Kiddo McFiddo had become one of the family. Unfortunately, the final chapter was written recently, and the ending wasn't a happy one. However, have to disagree with one of Val's comments:

I'm sorry, Kiddo McFiddo. You deserved better than me.

In a word: crap. When the kitten was too skittish to be approached, Val fed her. When Val noticed the kitten was injured, he had her taken to the vet, where the extent of the damage was diagnosed. The cost was prohibitive and the poor cat would never have been the same physically. Val made the right call, hard as it was. So a peaceful end, surrounded by loved ones, after months of being part of the family. Most of us should hope for such an end. Kiddo McFiddo was lucky to have taken up residence in Val's backyard.

Posted by Physics Geek at 05:09 PM | Comments (0)

I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue

From the What Were They Thinking? category comes this little tidbit: Paris Hilton as Barbara Eden. Because nothing says good, wholesome entertainment like Paris Hilton. Sure.

Posted by Physics Geek at 03:55 PM | Comments (1)

A holiday for the rest of us

What do you get when you combine charred animal flesh with some fresh oral sex? A new holiday, that's what. Thanks to Michele for the link. Admittedly, I'm curious as to what the Hallmark cards would look like.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:35 PM | Comments (2)

February 12, 2005

The exam

The setting is Ohio State University about six or seven years ago in a huge
lecture hall (approximately 1000 students) for a Calculus final.

Apparently this particular calculus teacher wasn't very well liked. He was one
of those guys who would stand at the front of the class and yell out how much
time was remaining before the end of a test, a real charmer. Since he was so
busy gallivanting around the room making sure that nobody cheated and that
everyone was aware of how much time they had left before their failure on the
test was complete, he had the students stack the completed tests on the huge
podium at the front of the room. This made for quite a mess, remember there
were 1000 students in the class.

Anyway, during this particular final, one guy entered the test needing a decent
grade to pass the class. His only problem with Calculus was that he did poorly
when rushed, and this guy standing in the front of the room barking out how
much time was left before the tests had to be handed in didn't help him at all.
He figured he wanted to assure himself of a good grade, so he hardly flinched
when the professor said "pencils down and submit your scantron sheets and work
to piles at the front of the room".

Five minutes turned into ten, ten into twenty, twenty into forty ... almost an
hour after the test was "officially over", our friend finally put down his
pencil, gathered up his work, and headed to the front of the hall to submit his
final. The whole time, the professor sat at the front of the room, strangely
waiting for the student to complete his exam.

"What do you think you're doing?" the professor asked as the student stood in
front of him about to put down his exam on one of the neatly stacked piles of
exams (the professor had plenty of time to stack the mountain of papers while
he waited) It was clear that the professor had waited only to give the student
a hard time.

"Turning in my exam," retorted the student confidently. "I'm afraid I have some
bad news for you," the professor gloated, "Your exam is an hour late. You've
FAILED it and, consequently, I'll see you next term when you repeat my course."

The student smiled slyly and asked the professor "Do you know who I am?"

"What?" replied the professor gruffly, annoyed that the student showed no sign
of emotion.

The student rephrased the question mockingly, "Do you know what my name is?"

"NO", snarled the professor.

The student looked the professor dead in the eyes and said slowly, "I didn't
think so", as he lifted up one of the stacks half way, shoved his test neatly
into the center of the stack, let the stack fall burying his test in the
middle, turned around, and walked casually out of the huge lecture hall.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:15 PM | Comments (2)

YUmmy goodness

Kris of Anywhere But Here hosts Carnival of the Recipes #26.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:05 PM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2005

BREAKING NEWS!!!!

And I'm the last to know ::sob::

Well, at least Ace is on the job. He's even posted a roundup of reactions from the right side of the blogiverse.

Confession: I, too, "harbor an intense and unhealthy fascination with Gillian Anderson", but I have yet to be "forcibly removed from the gates of her home", probably because I had the common sense to camp out by the back gate. Get with it, guys.

And here's a little Gillian eye candy for you below the fold:

gillian anderson a49.jpg

gillian_anderson_004.jpg

Gillian Anderson.jpg

Posted by Physics Geek at 06:36 PM | Comments (0)

Death is too good for some people

I swear to God, if I saw someone toss a baby out the window of their fucking car, I'd kill them myself. And for any crapweasels out there who think we should try and understand the mindset that made the couple do this, well, keep it to yourself. If you post a comment here in that vein I will subscribe you to every twisted and perverted and bestiality/necrophilia newsgroups and websites in existence.

I almost puked when I read this story about someone tossing live kittens out the window of a moving car. My response back then pales in comparison to what I'm feeling now.

Update: Thank goodness. The story is apparently a hoax; the woman who reported the incident is actually the baby's mother. Sure, she's a dirtbag, but at least she didn't toss the baby from a moving car. Maybe she IS going straight to Hell, but I won't be leading the charge to put her on the express. Thanks to CalTechGirl for reporting the update.

Posted by Physics Geek at 05:54 PM | Comments (2)

This contest is a fraud

Somehow I'm not a finalist

So there's an annual BeerDrinker of the Year contest? And I didn't get nominated? It's a national outrage! As Ace(ridiculing Sullivan) would say: gob smackingly vile. Anyhoo, the nominees are worthy in their own, limited right. They just don't have the one qualification needed to make this award legit: they're not me. Excerpt:

An avid homebrewer, Pelon's beer drinking philosophy is "Live to Drink, Drink for Life." He credits a beer-rich diet with helping him reduce a once unhealthy triglycerides level by 85%. He feels that people should diet and exercise "solely to extend your beer drinking lifetime." Pelon spent $5,054.51 at his local beer store last year, prompting the store's owner to ask an employee, "Does Fred own a restaurant?"

Ciccateri's beer drinking philosophy of "Beer is my guiding light" has led him to "a richer and more enjoyable life." It has also led him to extensive travels around the globe in pursuit of the world's best beers. Ciccateri has tried over 2500 beers in 30 countries, he has visited 321 of the planet's breweries, and attended 95 beer festivals. "And I'm still on my original liver," Ciccateri says.

Pedretti-Allen has been an award-winning homebrewer since 1989 and a certified beer judge since 1997. He has been a prolific organizer of pub crawls, beer dinners, homebrew competitions and beer festivals. His honeymoon with his wife, Valerie, was a two-week pub crawl of the United Kingdom's best pubs. He owns 7,000 beer coasters.

Amateurs.

Posted by Physics Geek at 05:42 PM | Comments (1)

How to win friends and influence allies

A new reality show, Chimpy McBusHitler Abu Ghraib It's All About Oil Kill The Middle Eastern Brown Men, will be appearing at a London warehouse near you.

Posted by Physics Geek at 01:14 PM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2005

Good advice

This column mentions different tools that you can use to fix Windows XP. Funny thing, though: hammers are not mentioned. Must have been an oversight.

Posted by Physics Geek at 07:36 PM | Comments (2)

New college curriculum

I'm well on my way to that PhD

Looks like ACC history is now a college course. Excerpt:

In a state obsessed with ACC basketball — and for a teacher who claims to have attended about 400 league games — the mere existence of such a class is as sweet as a J.J. Redick jump shot.


"It's almost like it's a part of your childhood that you never lose," Lawing said. "You grow up with this intense rooting interest as a child, and you follow it through to adulthood. And it's a way you kind of connect with your childhood."


"It's a part of your whole life, and you never really outgrow it," he added. "And to some extent, you don't want to outgrow it because you can always be a kid when you go to a basketball game and scream."


For Lawing, who has taught at Forsyth Tech for about 20 years, the course offers a break from his Western civilization classes. This eight-week class is strictly for fun and doesn't have an official title. And unlike Jim Harrick Jr.'s infamous class at Georgia a few years ago, where students were asked on the final exam how many points a 3-point shot is worth, this is a noncredit course designed as a community service program.


The 23 enrolled students need attend only six of the eight classes — "or be a Wake Forest fan," Lawing says — to earn a satisfactory grade.

Could have been worse, I suppose. He might have required his students to like UNC.

Posted by Physics Geek at 07:33 PM | Comments (2)

Remember, gentlemen, that it's not polite to refuse a lady's request

Especially if she's an unbalanced harpy

Is my WTF?! reaction an appropriate one to this story, or am I going a bit overboard? Just curious. Excerpt:

A British woman was sentenced to two and a half years in jail Thursday for ripping off her ex-lover's testicle with her bare hands during a drunken brawl after he refused her sex.

Because there's nothing that says "Do me baby!" like getting your 'nads ripped off.

Posted by Physics Geek at 07:29 PM | Comments (1)

Color me NOT surprised

So some halfwit used his crayons to express his BusHitler theme with a little more artistic expression than usual. Yawn. Not be too sanguine about such things, but I've come to expect nothing more these days. When Guiliani was mayor of New York, there were scores of posters morphing his image to that of Hitler(Adolph Guiliani), or showing the mayor with sporty Swastikas adorning his clothes. Still, I give the asshat in this story some kudos here: I don't believe any of the items I just mentioned received an "A" as a school project.

And still, I have family members question why I'm so deadset against sending my children to public school. Enter the above as evidence for the defense, item #1,478,251.

Posted by Physics Geek at 07:24 PM | Comments (0)

This week's sign that the Apocalypse is upon us

Peasant's Quest: The Movie. Thanks?! to Brian for the link.

I needed a good laugh today.

Update: I was wrong; THIS is the sign.

Update: Wizbang now has links to Playboy's images of Deborah "don't call me Debbie" Gibson.

Confession time: I like her music; I own her first 3 albums. And I remember her as a cute, perky 16 year old. The idea of potentially seeing her naked has me a little queasy, even though I know she's in her 30's now. And I'm a little perplexed as to why she would actually pose nude. Not that I'm against attractive women in various states of undress. Far from it. It's just, well, why? Some celebrities have used posing for Playboy as some rite of passage thing. "Look ma, no clothes!" Others have used a photo spread(no snide comments, Harvey) to reinvigorate their flagging careers. "Look at my new boobs! They'll look even better on the big screen!"

But Debborah Gibson? C'mon. She had a fair amount of success at a young age, and by all accounts didn't piss her money away on drugs and booze like so many other singers do. Then she changed her career path from teen pop sensation to that of Broadway performer. I have no idea if she can act, but she does possess a pretty fair voice. Anyway, here is what's bugging me: she's got money, she had great success in one career and has become reasonably successful at her latest gig. So why appear in Playboy? Maybe she thinks that shedding her wholesome image might make the public think differently about her. Anyway, color me confused.

Posted by Physics Geek at 07:12 PM | Comments (4)

A milestone reached

Margi Lowry has hit the little 4-0. I'm allowed to say that because I'm looking at 40 in the rearview mirror already. Stop by and wish her well. Or buy her booze; she'd like that, I think.

Posted by Physics Geek at 03:18 PM | Comments (0)

Monsters or sub-humanoid ass dwellers?

You decide

Found this link via Trying To Grok.

Posted by Physics Geek at 03:15 PM | Comments (0)

Build your own nest egg

Interesting little calculator. Even starting at my age, I'd end up with a tidy sum by the age of 65. Best of all, if something untoward should happen to me, this money would go to my heirs, which is something that is NOT true about Social Security. Just an FYI.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:53 PM | Comments (0)

Let the gloating begin

Where to begin? I'm not sute; so much gloating, so little time. Let's recap:

1) UNC ranked #2, Duke #6/#8

2) UNC favored?! at Cameron Indoor Stadium

3) UNC leads the nation in scoring at 92+ ppg

4) Duke fields only 8 scholarship players due to injuries and early defections

Of course DUKE WINS!!!!

r_felton_ft.jpg

Is that a Domino's Pizza Delivery guy I see?

r_williams_ft.jpg

Why no, I do not believe that I should allow you this shot. Please refrain from any more pitiful attempts.

tx_shelden_unc_ap.jpg

I warned you. Since you cannot restrain yourself, I shall remove the ball from your possession.

Posted by Physics Geek at 04:47 AM | Comments (0)

February 09, 2005

Renewal of the blood feud

The Tar Heels invade Cameron Indoor Stadium tonight. Carolina has a lot more talent than Duke this year, so it won't be a shock if the 'Heels manage to win. However, should Duke prevail, you can expect a lot of gloating tomorrow. If the Blue Devils lose, I will talk about the episode of Lost.

This rivalry is one of the best in all of sports. It's probably surpassed only by the Yankees-Red Sox feud, which makes the Hatfields and McCoys look like best friends by comparison. The teams are geographically close, they're both usually good and they frigging hate each other with a passion. Expect a tremendous game.

Update: BOOYAH!!!!

::gloating to follow::

Posted by Physics Geek at 10:27 PM | Comments (5)

Looking for a name?

How about "Idiocy And a Bottle"?

Posted by Physics Geek at 10:02 PM | Comments (0)

With friends like these...

I heard about this case on Fox Sports Radio this morning. Un-freaking-believable.

Posted by Physics Geek at 09:30 PM | Comments (0)

I don't know why this is a surprise

After all, Earth In The Balance got published

Via Dean and Tim Blair comes the story of some SciFi and Fantasy writers sticking their collective fingers into the eyes of a certain publisher.

How bad is the writing? Observe:

Bruce didn't care about treatments. He cared about pain, and he cared about that voice, because when he heard the voice, the pain went away, just for a few seconds, like.
"Report to me if there is any change," the man's voice said.
"Yes, Dr. Nance," said the sexy voice.
A door closed, and Bruce heard breathing, and smelled the enticing smell of shampoo, and perfume. It was Chanel Number 5.``
He opened his eyes.
All he saw was the roundest, firmest pair of tittles he'd ever seen in his life, all enclosed in a crisp white nurse's uniform.
I'm in heaven, he said. No, he tried to say, but his voice wouldn't work, his mouth was dry, and there was some terrible tube thing in his nose— and hey, what's that thing in his dick? It hurts!
The tits bounced like Aunt Alice's molded jello back at home, and then moved away. Oh. She was just straightening the covers on the bed.
Bed.
Bruce realized he laid in a bed, his left arm being strapped down, with something sticking an up-a tube—on the top of his hand.

Mheh. If you want to read the whole awful thing, you can download it here.

Posted by Physics Geek at 06:42 PM | Comments (0)

Link of the day

Iowahawk has been on the rampage lately. This is no exception.

Posted by Physics Geek at 01:39 PM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2005

I'm a talentless linker, too

Okay, that's not really fair. After all, Steve doesn't mention people like me in a disparaging way. With one exception, that is: Oliver "Like Lard to Jenny Craig" Willis. Anyway, in this post, Steve mentions that Ollie probably has to change his undies a lot due to the multiple orgams he's experiencing because Howard Dean is likely to become the next chairman of the DNC. Like me, this behavior mystifies Steve. I have many times expressed my dismay at the Democrat leadership becoming a bunch of feces-flinging chimpanzees; most of the Democrats that I know are reasonable people. I cannot wrap my brain around why they would tolerate a freak such as Howard Dean becoming the de facto head of their party. Anyhoo, Steve has comments worth repeating. Excerpt:

I did see one funny thing on Willis's site. He's cabbage-patching on the ceiling because Howard Dean is starting to look like a lock for DNC chairman. To me, this is like the crew of the Titanic forming a chorus line and doing the Charleston while yelling, "Hooray! Hooray! We don't have enough lifeboats!"

This is why the GOP is going to be the controlling party in American politics for at least the next five years. Liberals are just too damn stupid to survive. "We're losing elections because we're too far to the left? What do we need? A shift farther to the left, and BETTER ADVERTISING!"

Yes, idiots, spend more money telling us you're going to give us something we really, really don't want. Honest to God, I feel like sending them money. The more people know about the idiocy of liberalism, the surer they are to vote Republican.

Imagine if the Democrat PR machine had been in charge during the polio epidemic.

Jonas Salk: I need more money. I'm very close to perfecting a vaccine.

Harry Truman: Screw THAT. Let's put up billboards telling people how swell polio is. How does this sound? "You'll never have to walk to school again."

I know that Kos, Atrios, Willis and others of their ilk have fantasies that Howard Dean will lead them to the promised land. They must think that Dean, much like Goldwater, will prove to be the firebrand that reignites their party. I could be wrong, but I think it's far more likely that he will resign the Democrats to permanent minority status. And I don't that that is a good thing.

Posted by Physics Geek at 09:18 PM | Comments (0)

Superbowl ads

Just in case you missed them on Sunday, you can check them out right here. Thank Harvey for the link.

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:05 PM | Comments (0)

February 07, 2005

Become the ultimate pick-up machine

So, gentlemen, Valentine's Day is fast approaching. You're worried that your parents' basement doesn't have the certain special something for intimate 30 second relationship you long for. Face it, though: the odds of you getting lucky probably correlate positively to the amount of lubricant that you've applied to your palm(s). Fear not! Someone has decided to help you out and give you some pointers to increase your attractiveness to opposite sex. Left unsaid, of course, is that removing those Vulcan ears might be a good start. Anyway, here's an excerpt:

Innuendo. If you've ever tried, "Say, let's fuck!" you'll know that it's not the winning strategy it appears to be. At first glance it seems to have all the elements of a great pick-up line: it tells the girl you're interested and suggests a fun romantic activity you can both enjoy. The problem? No innuendo.

Women hate direct statements. A popular line, "I'm on top of things. Would you like to be one of them?" has had a far better success rate. You're not saying exactly what you want to do, but there's just that chance that it involves your genitals. This drives women wild.

This helps get rid of any confusion. When using innuendo, be careful that you're not being too subtle, or you won't be flirting at all. You'll just be having a conversation, which is pointless. This is why after I've used innuendo and waggled my eyebrows, I usually like to add, "I'm talking about fucking."

Example:
John wants to do Debbie in the butt. Instead of saying this directly, he uses innuendo. "Do you take it in the butt?" he asks innocently. It could mean that John specifically wants it in Debbie's butt; or it could just be innocent curiosity. Debbie feels like a detective solving a mystery. This is what you want!

It's a thing of beauty. ::sniff::

Related update: Emily links to a collection of gift bears that likely double your chances of getting some on Hallmark Cards Valentine's Day. Simple mathematics will prove that twice zero is still, uh, I leave that as an exercise for the loser reader.

Posted by Physics Geek at 07:57 PM | Comments (4)

War gaming is like life

Only better. Excerpt:

Announcing that these games have reduced violent crime is the sort of thing you usually only get once a year, on wacky "Opposite News" day (along with reports that cigarettes cure cancer and that or that Spaniards have stopped eating rats). But if concerned journalists can make cause-and-effect presumptions in headlines like TEEN GOES ON SHOOTING SPREE AFTER PLAYING GRAND THEFT AUTO then we are allowed to jump to similar conclusions based on this data.

So, dismissing Popular Media Conventional Wisdom for the noisy mental fart that it is, it's time to really ask how these games are changing the world. Thus began my expedition into the world of Halo 2 and into the minds of the people who play it. What I would find would shock me.

...

"So your point," John says, "if you ever had one? Why is violent crime going down? It's because we've got this now, we've got murder porn as a release. Make no mistake that if I didn’t have this game, I’d be smashing the bridge of your nose with the butt of my shotgun right now. And you couldn’t do a damned thing about it except cry and bleed and wonder why your God has forsaken you. It's built into us. We're like The Covenant. A long time ago, back at the beginning of evolution, there was only two cavemen. One liked to kill, the other was a pacifist. The killer killed the pacifist and took his bitches. The killers bred, the pacifists died out, and a billion years later you got a species that thirsts for war like a camel thirsts for sand. It's not what we do. It's what we are."

John lights a cigarette.

"A few generations of game system from now, they'll have the virtual reality headsets, done right this time. Peripheral vision and everything. You got a headset with surround sound and there you are, in the virtual world. Twenty years after that, they'll have a system that you could literally mistake for reality. No controller in your hand, your brain impulses move you around. They'll have games where you get to fall in love with beautiful women, games where you're a rock star. This is the future of all entertainment, the future of the culture. I even read somewhere that they could hook up people so that our bodies would power the system. And you can go on there and just get lost in adventure and excitement and porn, porn, porn. Man, the porn."

Posted by Physics Geek at 07:48 PM | Comments (0)

Dowdism as a career choice

Russert is a die-in-the-wool liberal, but I usually respect his opinion because he's honest about them. However, the bit of out-of-contextism represented here really chaps my ass. I'm glad that Rumsfeld called him on it.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:35 PM | Comments (1)

Carnival of the Grossouts

Thorax Cake. Zombie Cake. Things that have been added to the list of Things I Could Have Lived Without Having Ever Seen. Ugh.

Posted by Physics Geek at 01:45 PM | Comments (2)

February 04, 2005

New to the blogroll

I've been meaning to add caltechgirl to the blogroll for a while, but something's been holding me back. What, you ask? Suffice it to say that having the Dean Dome as your background image isn't likely to endear you to me. I was willing to forgive that, though; my sister is a UNC grad. What really bothered me was this bit of heresy on her website:

dook sux.jpg

Some things you just can't forgive. Go Devils!!

Posted by Physics Geek at 09:50 PM | Comments (1)

More yummy goodness

The Glittering Eye hosts this week's installment of Carnival of the Recipes, which is number 25 by my reckoning. Okay, the title of the post helped, too. Anyway, go and check it out. You won't find any new recipes here this week as I was too lazy busy to type one up. Maybe next week.

Posted by Physics Geek at 06:16 PM | Comments (0)

Geeky post of the day

And for once it isn't even mine. John Hawkins has posted his Top Ten favorite ST characters of all time. I'm not certain that I agree with all of his choices, although many are spot on. There are a couple of things that he got dead right, though:

1) Listing Wesley Crusher as one of the most annoying characters of the entire scifi genre, and not just ST in particular. I had kind of hoped that when the Traveller due showed up the second time, Wesley would be smeared into red paste on the hull of the Enterprise. Sadly, such was not the case.

2) Naming Q as one the best villains of all time. John de Lancey appeared in only 7 episodes of ST:TNG, but he made an indelible impact. The effect of starting the first Star Trek spinoff with humanity being put on trial by some being with God-like powers cannot be understated.

Having said all this, Hawkins goes off the rails when he makes the following statement:

Odo (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine): A great character wasted on a weak show.
Odo would have been a real asset as a crusty head of security at a better Trek show.

I'll make the logical assumption that the anti-schizophrenic medications John's been taking have simply stopped working, and thereforegive him a pass for making such a heretical statement. All Trekkies know that Deep Space Nine set the standard of excellence by which all Trek series are judged.

A better Trek series indeed. Hmmph.

Posted by Physics Geek at 06:12 PM | Comments (3)

Required reading

Victor David Hanson writes another superb article(redundant, I know). However, I couldn't resist excerpting this little snippet:

Do not dare forget our Hollywood elite. At some point since 9/11, Michael Moore, Sean Penn, Meryl Streep, Jessica Lange, Whoopi Goldberg, and a host of others have lectured the world that their America is either misled, stupid, evil, or insane, bereft of the wisdom of Hollywood's legions of college drop-outs, recovering bad boys, and self-praised autodidacts.

Me likey. Me likey velly, velly much.

Posted by Physics Geek at 03:25 PM | Comments (0)

February 03, 2005

I respectfully disagree

John Cole posts about what he sees as a big problem: credit card companies gouging their customers. As I mentioned in the comment section, I have some experience in this field. I previously worked for a bank that no longer exists and I currently work a major credit card company. As I did when I worked at the bank, I approach all of the assessed fees from the standpoint of a consumer first. The company takes a back seat to my own self-interest.

Case in point: the bank marketed PC banking, Internet banking and ATM banking to their customers as a method to keep the bank's costs down. Trust me when I tell you that an electronic transaction is at least an order of magnitude cheaper than dealing with an actual teller. These services were usually free the first 3 months, and then the price would rise to $4.99/month. Since you'd be saving a fair amount of money on postage, this seemed like a fair trade. About a year after hooking people on PC banking crack, the financial institution jacked up the monthly cost and added some transactional fees on top of it. The excuse given was that the infrastructure costs of operating the personless banking cost a lot to maintain. So the bank saved money by reducing the human interaction, but the customer got reamed for more cash anyway. Fair? Not hardly. The only reason I used the service was that, as an employee, all costs and fees were waived. Once I left the company, I dropped the services. Screw that.

Anyway, onto the credit card discussion. As I mentioned, I left some lengthy comments over at Balloon Juice. Since I don't feel like recreating the wheel, I'll repring the comment here:

I actually work in the financial services industry, and one CC company in particular. This offers me some particular insight as to how and why interest rates can change so drastically. These changes vary quite a bit from company to company, so YMMV. Anyway.

You think that a rate of 24.9% is akin to loan sharking? Since credit cards give the consumer unsecured debt(I'm ignoring securd CC's right now), the issuing company uses its bean counters to determine what interest rate is likely to give a positive return overall for a particular population. The monetary returns from interest rates and monthly/yearly fees are used to offset the number of cards that go into default(charged off).

Let's examine the 24.9% population. Assuming that this is the first card for someone, then the person receiving it tends to fall into one of two major categories:

1) No credit history, i.e. recent high school or college graduates. CC companies are taking a leap of faith, based on the usage and payment history from previous card holders in this group. Usually, the credit limits issued with these cards are low, from $500-$2000. Once reasonable payment history has been established, most companies reduce the APR while simultaneously increasing the credit limit. This helps increase customer satisfaction.

2) People with crappy credit histories. Delinquencies, past bankruptcies, collections, past charge offs. These are all indicators of risky customers. High interest rates and fees are used to balance the increased liklihood of customer charge offs.

Now, let's address the reasons why a company might increase your interest rate. Usually, these are invariably rule breaks by the customer: late payments, delinquencies, etcetera. However, some companies( Citibank, most notably) will monitor not only your payment history with them, but rather your credit behavior overall. If you've been late to OTHER creditors, this can be a strong indicator that a customer is becoming more risky overall, and therfore more likely to charge off. Be advised that this was all spelled out to you in the initial disclosure of terms sent with your credit card. Most people do not read the fine print of 10+ pages. That's an unfortunate reality. However, they have agreed to accept adverse actions taken against their account by accepting, signing and using the cards, insofar as it is disclosed in the terms. I know people that work in our legal and compliance department; they take those disclosure seriously.

Companies are required to justify any repricing actions that they take against your account. If you call in and ask why your APR skyrocketd from 9.9% to 24.9%, the phone rep should be able to tell you. As I mentioned, it may have nothing to do with your payment history with that particular financial institution, but may be based on your credit performance as a whole. You might not like it, but if you check your initial disclosure agreement, you will probably see the company giving itself that particular out.

I can already guess that some people will discount my views as those of a money grubbing capitalist simply because I work for a CC company. However, as an employee I have a pretty good handle on how and why adverse actions are assessed. Back when I worked for a bank, there were many fees that I disagreed with from a consumer standpoint. Sometimes from a moral standpoint, too, but that's another issue entirely. However, in this case, I tend to side with the companies offering the unsecured loans. Just my opinion, of course, but it is an informed one.
...
[later comment]
And who determines what is or is not the appropriate practice? The government? Since our DC types don't seem to have any ability to manage their own finances, I'm strongly opposed to them regulating those of credit card companies. After all, the company is the one taking all of the risk by offering a credit line without any collateral. And no one's forcing you to take the credit card. If you don't the terms for a particular company, don't take their card. Whining about the negative results to you when a company attempts to mitigate its own financial risk sounds like sour grapes. You may not think you're a credit risk, but the issuer of your card has only credit bureau data to rely upon. If negative information exists there, blaming the card company for raising your rates seems pretty poor form. Just my opinion, though. I could be wrong.

John Cole remained unconvinced. However, I think John Henke sided with me in this discussion:

It's an (initially) appealing position to take, John, but it's economically illiterate. And desctructive. What you call inappropriate is what other people call freedom to set their own prices.

And you are, after all, free to go to another company. Would you advocate price controls in other industries? Maybe blogads are getting out of hand -- ha! -- and we need to restrict the prices charged? Maybe it's time for another bout of wage and gas price controls?

Risk is just another commodity to be traded, and as long as there's a free market, it will coordinate nicely. [snip]
...
I'm sure you will find plenty of credit card companies willing to lend for 2+ times the prime rate.
But what about the portion of the credit-needing population which cannot be profitably extended credit for less than 3-7 times the prime rate? Where do you suppose they'll turn?

And why do you think that--this time--price controls will work out so well? Because they've always worked out so well in the past?

Some might claim that it's impossible to function in today's society without owning a credit card. After all, many people/places require a number before they will accept reservations, such as rental car companies and hotels. With the prevalence of debit cards, though, I find this a bit of a straw man. Your debit card has the familiar Visa logo clearly emblazoned on the front, and the amount that you can "charge" is limited to the cash in your account. Think of it as a secured card in which you actively control the limit.

Back to the bank.

A friend of mine work in the IT section of the ATM department. The bank ATM's had a nice function: you could pull account activity for the previous 3 months, sort of a mini multi-month statement. No teller activity, no physical action required by the bank. Just a few pieces of paper printed out. One day the bank decided that these statements could be a cash cow and started charging $1.00 per mini-statement. After the initial dustup of customer complaints, the usage of mini-statements dropped to about zero. Any thinking person would have figured that out in advance. However, not all business decisions are made by thinking persons. Getting to the point, that's another fee that I found ridiculous. However, it became a self-defeating stream of revenue. In other words, a stupid frigging fee.

Back to credit card companies.

Just to reiterate, credit cards offer unsercured credit. You don't have to offer any collateral other than your name and credit history. If your credit history isn't pristine, the card company assumes a greater risk if they issue a card to you. If you don't like their offer, go somewhere else. If no one will give you a better offer then maybe, just maybe, you should examine your payment history overall. For the record, I pay for a full credit history once a year just to make certain that nothing incorrect shows up there. Then again, I tend to be anal in that regard.

In any event, while I have had the same ox gored that John Cole apparently has, I didn't quibble when my card company raised my rates. I had endured the pain of actually reading the agreement when I received the card. Assuming that the terms weren't acceptable, I could have simply destroyed the card. However, I DID accept the card and the responsibility that goes along with it. When I became delinquent(once) at another institution, I became, in the eyes of the card issuer, a riskier customer. You know what? They're right. People that end up defaulting on their debts or declaring bankruptcy typically engage in risky credit behavior prior to actually giving their creditors the shaft. Card companies have a feduciary responsbility to themselves to mitigate this risk as they see fit. You don't like it? That's okay. Asking the government to step in because you don't, though, is not, as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by Physics Geek at 05:58 PM | Comments (0)

Good advice

Stephen King offers some sage advice to all you aspiring writers out there. Knowing my limits as I do, I will ignore any and all such advice since I'm unlikely to every be published. My grocery list probably contains higher quality prose than my actual attempts at putting two or more words together in a sentence. Hey, maybe I could write a book that starts off with my grocery list! Oh wait, it's been done before. Nevermind.

Tip o' the blog to American Digest. although I've seen the article referenced in several places. Gerard is the only one that I remember, though.

Posted by Physics Geek at 04:31 PM | Comments (0)

February 02, 2005

Crappy jokes of the day

Helen had requested some jokes in her comments; she was having one of those days. Anyway, I'm reposting here the 3 that I dropped over there. Might as well make more people suffer. Right?

Top Ten Signs You're Suffering From Burnout:

10. You're so tired you now answer the phone, "Hell".

9. Your friends call to ask how you've been, and you immediately scream,
"Get off my back!"

8. Your garbage can IS your "in" box.

7. You wake up to discover your bed is on fire, but go back to sleep because
you just don't care.

6. You have so much on your mind, you've forgotten how to pee.

5. Visions of the upcoming weekend help you make it through Monday.

4. You sleep more at work than at home.

3. You leave for a party and instinctively bring your briefcase.

2. Your Day-Timer exploded a week ago.

1. You think about how relaxing it would be if you were in jail right now.
=======================================
Bungee Jumping in Mexico
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Eke and Zeb decided to build a bungee jumping tower in Cabo San
Lucas, to make a little money. After they got it set up, they noticed
the crowds gather, but nobody bought tickets....

Zeke tells Zeb, "Maybe we should demonstrate it, so they'll get the
idea." After Zeb is strapped in he jumps, falling almost all they way
to the ground before springing back.

As Zeb came back up, Zeke noticed that his clothes were all torn
and wondered what this is was all about.

Zeb went down again, bouncing as jumping this way does, and this time
when he came back, up Zeke noticed that Zeb was bleeding.

Zeke thought, "Wow...what's going on here? Is the cord too short?
Is he touching ground?

Zeb went back down for a third time, and this time when he sprung
back up, Zeke noticed that he had blood, contusions and cuts all
over his body. "Huh?"

Zeke pulled Zeb in and said, "Zeb, what happened?"

Zeb groaned out in obvious pain, "I don't know... but what's a pinata?
=======================================
A vampire bat came flapping in from the night covered in fresh blood
and parked himself on the cave's roof to get some sleep. Soon all
the other bats smelled the blood and began hassling him about where
he got it. He told them to shut up and let him get some sleep, but
they persisted until he finally gave in. "OK, follow me."

He flew out of the cave with hundreds of bats behind him, swooping
down through a valley they went, across a river and into a forest of
trees. Finally he slowed down and all the other bats excitedly milled
around him, licking their lips.

"Do you see that tree over there?"

"YES, YES, YES!!" the bats all screamed in a frenzy.

"Well...I didn't!"
=========================
Update: This is either the third or fourth time that I channeled Harvey while typing a post, thereby allowing me to fulfill my Alliance duties without really trying. Okay, I'll grant you that it looks like I'm not really trying most of the time. But still. Anyway, I'll be adding more pointless jokes as the day progresses.
=================================

There was a group of Russian soldiers close to a high, narrow ravine.
The sergeant goes close to the edge, looks down, then turns around and says:
- Soldier Ivanov!
- Sir!
- Put yourself in this position:

O
*---------.
| | |
| |
,----
| |
|


- Yes sir!
- Now jump!
- I'm sorry!!???
- I said JUMP, soldier!
- Yes sir!
The soldier jumps.
The Sergeant looks down to the abyss again, thinks for a while and says:
- Soldier Pyetrov!
- Sir!
- Move a little to your left!
- Yes sir!
- Put yourself in this position:
|
O |
,-----'
| | |
| | |
----'
| `--
|

- Yes sir!
- Now jump!
- Yes sir!
The man jumps into the void...
Again the sergeant looks down, thinks and yells:
- Soldier Sidorov!
- Sir!
- Move yourself a little to the right and kneel!
- Yes sir!
- Jump!
- Yes sir!, (and jumps)
The Sergeant analyses again the situation and says:
- Soldier Strogoff!
- Sir!
- Put yourself in this position:
O
*-----------.
| | |
| |
,-------.
| |
| |

At that moment a jeep stops. The Captain in the jeep gets up and yells:
"Stop that at once!!"
The sergeant approaches the jeep and speaks to the captain:
- Sir, you undermine my authority when you overrule me before the men.
The captain replies:
- Sergeant Tchebychevich, I DON'T CARE!!!!! And I warn you,
you'll be court-martialled if I find you playing Tetris with the soldiers again!

----------------------------------------------------------
US Air Force Oath of Enlistment
I, Zoomie, swear to sign away 4 years of my useless life to the United States Air Force because I'm too smart for the Army and because the Marines frighten me. I swear to sit behind a desk and take credit for the work done by others more dedicated than me who take their job seriously. I also swear not to do any form of real exercise, but promise to defend our bike riding test as a valid form of exercise. I swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, even though I believe myself to be above that. I promise to walk around calling everyone by their first name because I know I'm not really in the military and I find it amusing to annoy the other services. I will have a better quality of life than all those around me and will at all times be sure to make them aware of that fact. After completion of my *snicker* "Basic Training," I will be a lean, mean, donut-eating, lazy-boy sitting, civilian-wearing-blue-cothes, chair borne Ranger. I will believe I am superior to all others and will make an effort to clean the knife before stabbing the next person in the back with it. I will do no work unless someone is watching me (and it makes me look good), will annoy those around me, and will go home early every day. I consent to never getting promoted (EVER) and understand that all those whom I made fun of yesterday will probably outrank me tomorrow. So help me God.
__________________________
Signature, Date

US Army Oath of Enlistment
I, Rambo, swear to sign away 4 years of my mediocre life to the United States Army because I couldn't score high enough on the ASVAB to get into the Air Force, because I'm not tough enough for the Marines, and the Navy won't take me because I can't swim. I will wear camouflage every day and tuck my trousers in my boots because I can't figure out how to use blousing straps. I promise to wear my uniform 24 hours a day even when I have a date. I will continue to tell myself that I am a fierce killing machine because my Drill Sergeant told me I am, despite the fact that the only action I will ever see is a court-martial for sexual harassment. I acknowledge the fact that I will make E-8 in my first year of service and vow to maintain that it is because I scored perfect on my PT test. After completion of my sexual...er...I mean Boot Camp, I will attend a different Army school once every other month and return knowing less than I did when I left. On my first trip home after Boot Camp, I will walk around like I am cool and propose to my 9th grade sweetheart. I will make my wife stay home because if I let her out she might leave me for a smarter Air Force guy or a better looking Marine. Should she leave me twelve times, I will continue to take her back. While at work, I will maintain a look of knowledge while getting absolutely nothing accomplished. I will arrive at work every day at 1000 hrs because of morning PT and leave every day at 1300 to report back to the "company." I understand that I will undergo no training whatsoever that will help me get a job upon separation, and will end up working in construction with my friends from high school. I will brag to everyone about the Army giving me $30,000 for college, but will be unable to use it because I can't pass a placement exam. So help me God.
__________________________
Signature, Date

US Navy Oath of Enlistment
I, Top Gun, in lieu of going to prison, swear to sign away 4 years of my life to the United States Navy because I want to hang out with Marines without actually having to BE one of them, because I thought the Air Force was too "corporate," and because I thought, "hey, I like to swim...why not?" I promise to wear clothing that went out of style in 1976 and to have my name stenciled on the butt of every pair of pants I own. I understand that I will be mistaken for the Good Humor man during the summer, and for Waffen SS during the winter. I will strive to use a different language than the rest of the English-speaking world using worlds like "deck, bulkhead, cover, and head" instead of "floor, wall, hat, and toilet." I will take great pride in the fact that all Navy acronyms, rank and ensignia, and everything else for that matter, are completely different from the other services and make absolutely no sense whatsoever. I will muster (whatever that is) at 0700 hrs every morning unless I am buddy-buddy with the Chief, in which case I will show up around 0930 hours. I vow to hone my coffee cup handling skills to the point that I can stand up in a kayak being tossed around in a typhoon, and still not spill a drop. I consent to being promoted and subsequently busted at least twice per fiscal year. I realize that, once selected for Chief, I am required to submit myself to the sick, and quite possibly illegal, whims of my new-found "colleagues." So help me Neptune.
__________________________
Signature, Date

US Marine Corps Oath of Enlistment
I, state your name, swear... uuhhhh... high-and-tight... *grunt* cammies... uhh... ugh... Air Force women... OORAH! So help me Corps.
__________________________
Signature, Date
==================================================
Army, Air Force, and Marine Generals were standing in front of a rappelling tower with a Navy Admiral. The Air Force General says to the others, "My men are the most courageous of the Armed Forces."

"Ha!", said Army, "My men are the most courageous and I'll prove it."

Army calls a Private over from the tower. He tells the Private, "I want you to jump off that tower- no rope, no parachute."

"Yes, Sir!!!", the Private yells and proceeds to climb the tower. The Private walks to the edge, yells "Hoo-ahh!", and jumps off the tower. He is killed instantly upon impact.

"That's nothing," the Air Force General said, bored. He calls a Senior Airman over. "Son, I want you to jump off that tower- no rope, no parachute. And I want you to do it with style."

"Yes, Sir!!!", the Senior Airman yells. He climbs to the top of the tower, walks to the edge and jumps. He executes a swan dive that would make Greg Louganis proud, hits the ground and dies on impact.

"Hmmph," the Marine growled. "Ya'll obviously forgot the Marine Corps was here", he said (yelling "Marine Corps!" as all Marines tend to do.)

He calls a Lance Corporal over. "Marine, I want you to jump off that tower and make the Corps proud!"

The Corporal yells, "Ooh-rah!", by way of response and runs to the tower. He grabs an M-60 and ammunition belt on the way and wraps the belt around himself in the Pancho Villa style. He climbs the tower and walks to the edge. Upon reaching the edge, he throws two grenades into the air, yells "Semper Fi Do or Die!", and jumps off. He starts shooting the M-60 in mid-air, clipping treetops and yelling the entire way down. His impact is obscured by the two exploding grenades. When the smoke clears, only little pieces of the Marine are left.

The others are impressed and nod their heads in admiration. Then the Admiral says, "That's nothing". The others turn to face the Admiral, their faces in disbelief. The Admiral calls a Seaman over who was cleaning latrines. "Son, I want you to jump off that tower- no rope, no parachute."

The Seaman looks the Admiral in the face and says, "Fuck you! You kiss, my ass first!" and walks off.

The Admiral turns to the others and says, "Now THAT'S courage!"
=========================================

Posted by Physics Geek at 06:19 PM | Comments (3)

The real March Madness

Officially, it's called Marzen Madness. 64 beers will be selected from nominations via the Real Beer Page and the winner will be announced the same day that the NCAA champ is crowned, April 4. The only limitation is that the beer needs to be an American brew. No imports, please.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:40 PM | Comments (0)

Beer to lobby Congress

The brewing industry has several issues that it believes need addressing and it's headed to the place where all political lobbying goes to die: Washington, DC. Excerpt:

Top Issues Facing the Beer Industry

Fighting Illegal Underage Drinking -
Neo-Prohibitionists are telling members of Congress and their staff that the beer industry exploits young people through our regulated advertising and local point of sale marketing. Nothing could be further from the truth! Brewers and wholesalers must tell Congress about our positive efforts to promote responsibility and combat illegal underage purchase and consumption.

Repeal the '91 Federal Excise Tax on Beer -
It is important to remind members of Congress and their staff, especially those new to Capitol Hill, about the negative effect doubling the federal excise tax on beer had on the beer industry. We must remind them why the last remaining luxury tax should be repealed.

Industry's Commitment to Real Progress -
Members and staff need to hear directly from beer wholesalers and brewers about the aggressive actions the beer industry is taking to fight alcohol abuse, drunk driving and illegal underage purchase and consumption. No other industry has demonstrated this kind of commitment and produced real results. We must tell our story.

Fuuny. I don't see any interest in discussing the merits of lowering the drinking age to 18, which is an idea that I wholeheartedly endorse. Heck, I'd settle for allowing the states to decide for themselves again. Simply quit extorting the states by threatening to withhold highway funds and whatever happens, happens.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:34 PM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2005

Dogs and cats living together

Ace posted a link to this article. The contents merit the following picture:

Be sure that you read it all.

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:10 PM | Comments (3)

Star and Sickle at it again

Another columnist in Minneapolis decided to post opinions as fact. No surprise there, I suppose. Unfortunately(for her), she's decided to attack the integrity of the guys at Powerline in the process. Not smart. What's even dumber, though, is this lack of action:

I talked to Commentary Editor Eric Ringham today, and he acknowledged that the Strib didn't do any fact-checking at all before they accused us of not fact-checking. That's right: None. Zilch. Zippo. Nada. And Ms. Gage, if that's really her name, has no knowledge about the voter fraud scandal which has now resulted in a federal criminal investigation.

Color me NOT surprised.

Update: Ouch. I mean really: OOOOOUUUUCCCCHHHHH! Excerpt:

Oh, one more thing. The Star Tribune has yet to run a single article reporting on the Racine voter fraud story. Meanwhile, the broader topic of voting irregularities in Wisconsin has exploded into a major national news story. Maybe if the Star Tribune spent less time libeling us and more time reporting the news, it would be a better paper.

Posted by Physics Geek at 07:58 PM | Comments (2)

Big mistake

Looks like the Bartender was foolish enough to leave the door unlocked whilst he's away. Mheh. Thank Harvey and Tammi for propping the door open.

Posted by Physics Geek at 07:17 PM | Comments (0)

Gee, your hair smells terrific like crap!

The woman in this story hasn't washed her hair in 11 years. Excerpt:

Mrs Weynberg brushes her hair daily to remove dirt and smells and rinses it with warm water every few months.

And she's a mother of two. Wow. Can't you just imagine snuggling up against her every night, with that beautiful hair cascading over your face and into your mouth?

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:04 PM | Comments (0)

Don't try this at home

Step 1. Tie these balloons to your car

Step 2. Drive like mad .. hit 100 mph

Step 3. Watch people freak out.

Step 4. Tell the Highway Patrol you thought they were for real.

balloons.jpg

Posted by Physics Geek at 01:55 PM | Comments (0)

Serious headache medicine

Maybe he should've taken some aspirin

Joe had been suffering from terrible headaches for 20 years. He
finally decided to go to the doctor, who gave him a thorough
examination. After Joe got dressed, the doctor came in and said: "The
good news is I can cure your headaches. The bad news is that it will
require castration. You have a very rare condition which causes your
testicles to press up against the base of your spine and the pressure
creates one hell of a headache. The only way to relieve the pressure is
to remove the testicles."

Joe was shocked and depressed. He wondered if, at age 45, he had
anything to live for. He couldn't concentrate long enough to answer, but
decided he had no choice but to go under the knife.

When he left the hospital he was headache-free for the first time in
over 20 years, but he felt as if he was missing an important part of
himself.

As he walked down the street he realized he felt like a different
person. He could make a new beginning and live a new life. He saw a
men's clothing store and thought, "Hey, that's what I need, a new suit."
The elderly salesman eyed him quickly and said "Let's see, yeah, you're
a size 42 long." Joe laughed and said, "That's right, how did you know?"
"Been in the business 60 years!" Joe tried on the
suit. It fit perfectly.

As Joe admired himself in the mirror the tailor asked, "How about a new
shirt?" Joe thought for a moment and then said, "Sure, why not?" "Let's
see, 16 and a half neck, 34 sleeve." Joe was surprised. "How did you
know." "Been in the business 60 years." The shirt fit perfectly.

As Joe looked at himself in the mirror, the salesman said, "You could
use new shoes." Since Joe was on a roll, he said "Yeah, sure." The man
eyed Joe's feet and said, "91/2 E." Joe was astonished. "That's right.
How did you know?" "Been in the business 60 years." Joe tried on the
shoes and they also fit perfectly.

As Joe walked comfortably around the shop, the salesman asked, "How
about new underwear?" Joe thought for a second and said, "You bet, let's
have it." The man stepped back, eyed Joe's waist and said, "Let's see,
size 36." Joe laughed. "Finally I've got you! I've worn size 32 since I
was 18 years old."

The tailor shook his head. "No, no, you can't wear a size 32. Size 32
underwear would press your testicles against the base of your spine and
give you one hell of a headache."

Posted by Physics Geek at 01:42 PM | Comments (1)