June 30, 2005

It's the water that counts


Update: Blog-City sotres my ASF files in a non-clickable format now. Anyone know how to get around this problem? I converted the file to an AVI, but the damned thing grew from 1.9 Mb to 122 Mb. Suggestions, please.

Posted by Physics Geek at 10:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Quote of the day

Times article found via a bazillion links. Money quote:

In person Mr Bush is so far removed from the caricature of the dim, war-mongering Texas cowboy of global popular repute that it shakes one’s faith in the reliability of the modern media.

No, really?!

Posted by Physics Geek at 09:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Van der Merwe got a job on the railways as a steward and the first day he accompanied another steward to learn the ropes. "It's very simple," said his tutor, "just use diplomacy."

"What's diplomacy?" asked Van.

"Watch me I'll show you."

Off they went down the train corridor, rattling compartment doors, opening them with special keys and offering tea or coffee. When the tutor steward flung open one door he was confronted with a buck-naked woman. Without batting an eyelid he asked, "Tea or coffee, sir?"

The surprised woman took the cup of tea and he shut the door. "Wow, did you see that cutie!" Van said excitedly. "She had no clothes on, but hey, why did you call her sir?"

"That's diplomacy! I did not want to embarrass her."

Van der Merwe was most impressed with his teacher. The next day on his own now, he flung open a door to a compartment and found a couple making love n
the bed.

"Tea or coffee, sir?"

"Tea," the man replied.

"And for your brother?"

Posted by Physics Geek at 10:19 AM | Comments (1)

June 29, 2005

Mead moon

Reprinted from Mead Lover's Digest #1194:

Centuries ago, Eastern and Northern Europeans would celebrate the summer solstice with mystical pagan customs intended to produce healing, fertility and prosperity. During Midsummer Eve, the night before the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere (usually June 21st), and people would light huge bonfires to symbolize light triumphing over darkness and life over death.

Shakespeare captured this night of supernatural wonder in his play A Midsummer Night's Dream when humans and other-world fairies mingled on a night when love and mischief was definitely in the air.

In time, those areas where Christianity came to dominate, the Church replaced summer solstice celebrations with the Feast of St. John, held on June 24th. Today, people in East Europe still mark Midsummer's Eve with festivals or dances and bonfires that light up the night sky.

The Feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptizer (24 June), aka St. John's Day, is one of the quarter days, four Catholic holidays at the beginning of each season of the year, which were communally celebrated. The other quarter days are Christmas, Lady Day (Annunciation) and Michaelmas (Sept 29). Celebration of St. John's Day traditionally began the night before. St. John's Eve, (June 23), (today) was sometimes known as Bonfire Night in Ireland. Up to the mid-20th century, Irish Catholics lit large communal bonfires at sunset on this day, or small family fires outside their houses.

The communal bonfires were traditionally piled very high with wood, sticks, dry brambles, etc. Each household would contribute fuel for the fire. At dusk the whole town would gather around the pile, and an elderly man in the community would light the bonfire while saying a prayer. After the prayers, the merriment would begin: dancing, singing shouting, blowing horns, storytelling, instrumental solos, etc. The bonfire was tended until long after midnight

Saint John is known as the Patron Saint of Beekeepers. Two other saints are known as patron saints of Beekeepers. St. Ambrose Born: 339; Born: 339 Feast: December 7th and St. John Bernard of Clairvaux, Born: 1090; Died: 1153 Feast: August 20th.

The full moon closest to the summer solstice is known as the mead moon. This happened yesterday (June 22). I have also seen the full moon of July called the "Mead Moon".

All of this "History Lesson" is to let you all to know that, tonight, you should raise a glass of mead to the full moon and say a prayer to St. John (for you Christians) or howl at it (for you pagans). And, for those that believe the "Mead Moon" is in July, wait a month. As for me, I think I will drink a mead to the moon, and St. John, tonight AND next month.

You can read the rest here.

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

Google results

Checking my Sitemeter logs, I discovered some oddities that I thought I'd share with you:

1) I'm #8 for erotic girl scouts

2) I'm #5 for Michael Jackson games

3) I'm the top four searches for Physics Geek

Pity. It should have been the top ten. But I'll get there soon enough.

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Advice for Democrats

Howard Dean is exactly the wrong person to put forward as the face of the national Democrat party. What he says might make the party faithful happy, but it pretty much turns off everyone else. What your party needs is a spokesperson who can clearly articulate the goals and/or vision of your party, and what path one should take to achieve those goals. Screeching that the other party is evil, calling them a bunch of hypocrites(even when warranted) and just saying "NO!!!!" to everything your opponents offer is a losing proposition. The last decade should have taught the Democrats this. There are many reasons why the group called former Democrats continues to grow.

In any event, Megan McCardle provides some thoughtful analysis on the current state that the Democrats find themselves in. Excerpt:

A lot of Democrats think that they can reach for the goodies without building the platform, a belief that should have been thoroughly dispelled by the last three election cycles. That means compromise, and coming up with programmes that are bold without attempting to force the rest of America to embrace a value system they clearly dislike. So far Democrats are good on either bold (national health care) or agreeable (job training!), but little in their idea-basket is both.

That, I think, springs from a larger problem within the liberal progressive movement--even larger than the belief that if they change their name, somehow people will like the brand better. (Memo to progressives: didn't work for Anderson Consulting Accenture, won't work for y'all. It wasn't the name that people objected to).

On the one hand, you've got the folks who think that if Democrats can just turn themselves into Republican Lite--one third less dour moralism than regular GOP!--they will storm the storied "middle" and seize the reins of power. This is unlikely--the mathematics of winning an election without a motivated base are unappealing, which is why 3rd party candidates do so poorly. Worse, it's pointless. The moderate middle, almost by definition, produces little in the way of big ideas, and its little ideas generally end up as muddy messes--if you start compromised, what you generally end up with is pork-laden monstrosities. And why should people put out the phenomenal amount of energy it takes to get people elected in order to get 2% more spent on teacher salaries?

The other wing of the progressive movement appears to think that all they really need to do is shout louder, since America seems to be getting a mite deaf. I watched Howard Dean on The Daily Show last night, and rarely have I seen a major political figure so thoroughly, even painstakingly, inept at appealing to voters. His remarks elicited cheers from the true-blue supporters in the audience, but only at the expense of alienating every single other person in the country. If he wasn't making ham-fisted attempts to prove Democratic moralistic superiority* by selective and theologically shallow quotation from the bible--an activity that even bible-thumping Republican congressmen undertake with more caution (and erudition) than Mr Dean did--he was claiming that his was the party of real moral values. Cringe. When was the last time you heard an RNC chair say something like that? Answer: you don't, because the "Family values" guys know that you do not garner votes by saying "Everyone who voted for the other guy is immoral" . . . especially when the other guy got a majority. You get votes by talking about what your values are, which (other than gay marriage) Howard Dean had a hard time doing.

Posted by Physics Geek at 03:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Battle of the sexes

Retread humor

Women's Prayer:

Before I lay me down to sleep, I pray for a man,
who's not a creep. One who's handsome, smart
and strong, one who loves to listen long. One who
thinks before he speaks, when he says he'll call,
he won't wait weeks. I pray that he is gainfully
employed, when I spend his cash, won't be annoyed.
Pulls out my chair and opens my door, massages my
back and begs to do more. Oh, send me a man who'll
make love to my mind, knows what to answer to "how
big is my behind?" I pray that this man will love me to
no end, and never attempt to hit on my friends.


Man's Prayer:

I pray for a deaf-mute nymphomaniac with huge boobs
who owns a liquor store.


Posted by Physics Geek at 02:34 PM | Comments (1)


Time for another Alliance PGH assignment: How should the White House respond to incredibly stupid accusations at press conferences?

I think it's time to use the wayback machine, back to an era- the 1980's- when the only difference between computer system administrators and God was that the latter never thought he was one of the former. On to the press conference:

Reporter: When will President Bush admit to lying to the American people, and when will he resign from office in disgrace?

White House Spokesman(WHS): Well, let's see. Jane, right? Your question is one which we'd like to answer. However, it appears that the police are coming to question you right now about some lewd and lacivious pictures that you posted on alt.bestiality.with.baby.squirrels.tasteless. And while I make no value judgements myself on your perfectly legitimate lifestyle choices, the local constabulary is, of course, constrained by the law. Next?

Reporter 1: When will Bush release all secret government intelligence information concerning Iraq? And as a followup, when will he stop using "national security" as a smokescreen? The American people have the right to know!

WHS: Secret information? Such as you telling your psychologist that you've masturbated while looking at pictures of Helen Thomas? Or that your wife doesn't know you were once a woman? Although that does raise questions about your children...


WHS: Must have picked a bad, completely random example. Next question?

Reporter 3: Does President Bush consider his mediocre academic past a liability in his position? Also, does he feel that being a former drunk and coke-head compromises his ability to lead this country during a time of war?

WHS: Well John, I suppose that if had lied about his academic credentials, the fact that he had been convicted of grand theft auto and pedophilia and the fact that he was an illegal immigrant, President Bush might consider that a liability when applying for a job as White House reporter. And whatever his past troubles with alcohol, which he has admitted to, he does have the know-how to email all of the above-mentioned information to your employer. In fact, you might want to check your voice mail as soon as possible. Next?

::crickets chirping::

WHS: Well, that will be all for today. I look forward to our next press conference. Good day.


Much better work of this sort found here.

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

I think my score is low

Found a quick and dirty IQ test via Susie. And while I don't drink coffee, I did have some caffeine today. Here are my results:

Your IQ Is 140
Your Logical Intelligence is Genius Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius Your General Knowledge is Genius
A Quick and Dirty IQ Test
Posted by Physics Geek at 01:29 PM | Comments (0)

Very cool

So Tiger's novel is available for purchase. Kudos. And it's scifi, no less, which is pretty much my favorite genre. That or fantasy. Either way, I win.

Check it out.

Posted by Physics Geek at 01:17 PM | Comments (0)

Broadband access solutions

Live out in the boonies where neither DSL or cable broadband are available? Don't depair: there may be hope for you yet. Excerpt:

If you're out in the sticks, DirecWay satellite Internet service may be your first, best, and only hope for broadband access. The service works by connecting your PC to a geosynchronous satellite, which links to DirecWay's terrestrial gateways to the Internet. Today's systems do away with the clumsy landline connections of yesteryear for upstream data. And while data rates can be acceptable (up to 500 Kbps), the delay introduced by a 44,000-mile round trip from home to satellite and back makes DirecWay inappropriate for gaming, voice over IP, and virtual private network connections.

Cost: $50 to $100 per month

Best for: Rural locations

Pros: Available almost anywhere; provides access in rural areas otherwise outside of broadband's reach.

Cons: Expensive; limited bandwidth; high lag times make it inappropriate for many applications; requires southern view of sky to find satellite.

Broadband Over Power LineBPL takes advantage of the same phenomenon that lets DSL share signals with voice traffic--electricity travels at a lower frequency than data signals. Companies have therefore decided to offer broadband over the electrical wires that come into homes. Although BPL tests have been ongoing around the country, working deployments remain limited as power companies weigh whether or not to get into the broadband market. Still, cities such as Cincinnati, Ohio, and Manassas, Virginia, have BPL service. In Cincinnati, Current Communications offers service through Cinergy for $30 to $50 per month, depending on the download speed you want (3 Mbps is the current max).

Opinions on the prospects for BPL are split. Research firm Telecommunication Trends International projects that worldwide BPL deployments will jump from $57.1 million in 2004 to $4.4 billion by 2011. But Radicati Group analyst Teney Takahashi says bluntly: "Power line broadband is not going to happen."

Cost: $30 to $50 per month

Best for: Remote areas not served by cable or DSL, or any area poorly served by cable or DSL

Pros: Power lines are ubiquitous and reach homes not served by cable or by DSL-capable phone lines.

Cons: Not widely deployed; significant issues with the data signal producing broadcast interference; power companies lack the service bundling advantages of phone or cable providers.

Posted by Physics Geek at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

Marketing genius?

Or extreme stupidity. I have a feeling that the commercial mentioned in this story wouldn't go over so well in the US. Excerpt:

A spokesman for the company said Regional has no plans to apologize for running a television commercial that said the difference between a wife and a lover was 30 kilograms (about 66 pounds), the newspaper El Universal reported.

Women called the advertising misogynist and demanded.

The Regional spokesman said the company wouldn't apologize unless it is forced to do so by the courts. He added: "I bet all these women's groups are run by women who are at least 30 kilos overweight."

Posted by Physics Geek at 12:09 PM | Comments (1)


Edloe has passed away. Stop by and offer Laurence your sympathy. Excerpt:

Think about an empty collar at the pet store. Will it look good on the cat? Will the cat like it? Is it a safe collar for the cat to wear if they get tangled in something?

Sometimes, a collar wears out. Or it breaks. Those empty collars are just junk, and you just toss them away.

But every now and then, an empty collar means something else:

A friend is gone.

The front page is a memorial for Edloe.

Your pets aren't animals that happen to live in your house; they're members of your family and should be grieved for as such.

Posted by Physics Geek at 10:25 AM | Comments (0)

Maybe not the coolest, but pretty darned cool

Google Earth. Link found via Balloon Juice.

Posted by Physics Geek at 10:13 AM | Comments (1)

Reporting from an alternate history

After listening to Bush's speech last night, and then the subsequent caterwauling from the usual suspects, I was reminded of the following "news report". Neal Boortz also linked to it this morning. Like him, I cannot place the origin of the story.




NORMANDY, FRANCE (June 6, 1944) Three hundred French civilians were killed and thousands more were wounded today in the first hours of America's invasion of continental Europe. Casualties were heaviest among women and children. Most of the French casualties were the result of artillery fire from American ships attempting to knock out German fortifications prior to the landing of hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops. Reports from a makeshift hospital in the French town of St. Mere Eglise said the carnage was far worse than the French had anticipated, and that reaction against the American invasion was running high. "We are dying for no reason, "said a Frenchman speaking on condition of anonymity. "Americans can't even shoot straight. I never thought I'd say this, but life was better under Adolph Hitler."

The invasion also caused severe environmental damage. American troops, tanks, trucks and machinery destroyed miles of pristine shoreline and thousands of acres of ecologically sensitive wetlands. It was believed that the habitat of the spineless French crab was completely wiped out, thus threatening the species with extinction. A representative of Greenpeace said his organization, which had tried to stall the invasion for over a year, was appalled at the destruction, but not surprised. "This is just another example of how the military destroys the environment without a second thought," said Christine Moanmore. "And it's all about corporate greed."

Contacted at his Manhattan condo, a member of the French government-in-exile who abandoned Paris when Hitler invaded, said the invasion was based solely on American financial interests. "Everyone knows that President Roosevelt has ties to 'big beer'," said Pierre LeWimp. "Once the German beer industry is conquered, Roosevelt's beer cronies will control the world market and make a fortune."

Administration supporters said America's aggressive actions were based in part on the assertions of controversial scientist Albert Einstein, who sent a letter to Roosevelt speculating that the Germans were developing a secret weapon -- a so-called "atomic bomb". Such a weapon could produce casualties on a scale never seen before, and cause environmental damage that could last for thousands of years. Hitler has denied having such a weapon and international inspectors were unable to locate such weapons even after spending two long weekends in Germany. Shortly after the invasion began, reports surfaced that German prisoners had been abused by American soldiers. Mistreatment of Jews by Germans at their so-called "concentration camps" has been rumored, but so far this remains unproven.

Several thousand Americans died during the first hours of the invasion, and French officials are concerned that the uncollected corpses will pose a public-health risk. "The Americans should have planned for this in advance," they said. "It's their mess, and we don't intend to help clean it up."

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:48 AM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2005

Cue evil laughter


Is it wrong that I hope this story is absolutely true?

Update: Captain Ed has a link that will allow you to email the city. Go on, offer your support for this most worthy of projects.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:50 PM | Comments (2)

Personal ads that make you hmm

Check out these images. I've posted one in the extended entry as a sample.


Posted by Physics Geek at 02:31 PM | Comments (1)

A senior moment

June 18 came and went, and somehow I missed it. Why is that important? Because it's the day the Physics Geek blog was born. And no, I won't link to the wretched first post.

I' feel pretty ancient for a two-year old.

Update: Via Harvey comes the image below:


Posted by Physics Geek at 01:27 PM | Comments (4)

Drinks for vets

And Stuart Dahl is buying.

Posted by Physics Geek at 01:16 PM | Comments (0)

Style of the week

Celebrate the week of June 26-July 2 with a pilsner. Excerpt:

Pilsner is the classic lager style that emerged from the Czech Republic in 1841 to become the most common style of beer brewed worldwide. From China to the Caribbean and from Indiana to India nearly every beer drinker in the world has a favorite pilsner.

With a pale to golden color, pilsners provide a crisp drinkability with two major variations. The popular pilsners from Coors, Budweiser and Miller include a modicum of corn or rice to produce a light body and delicate flavor for the ultimate in drinkability. America's smaller brewers follow the course of their European ancestors, making all-malt pilsners with a full-bodied flavor and generous helpings of hops.

The best pilsner is the one made close to where it is consumed. The light body and golden color of pilsner mark it as one of the most delicate of beers so that freshness is critical to product quality. When you reach for the smooth refreshing flavor of a pilsner, grab one from a brewery down the road or across the state. You'll be sure to get a fresher, better tasting beer than one that comes from over the ocean or across the border.

Posted by Physics Geek at 11:04 AM | Comments (0)

A history lesson

Sure, it's a retread of an old joke, but what the heck.

It was the first day of school and a new student named Pedro Martinez, the
son of a Mexican restaurateur, entered the fourth grade in a USA School. The
teacher said,

"Let's begin by reviewing some American history. Who said 'Give me Liberty,
or give me Death?'"

She saw a sea of blank faces, except for Pedro, who had his hand up.
"Patrick Henry, 1775."

"Very good!" said the teacher. "Now, who said, "Government of the people, by
the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth?"

Again, no response except from Pedro: "Abraham Lincoln, 1863."

The teacher snapped at the class, "Class, you should be ashamed! Pedro, who
is new to our country, knows more about our history than you do!"

She heard a loud whisper: "Screw the Mexicans!"

"Who said that?" she demanded.

Pedro put his hand up. "Jim Bowie, 1836."

At that point, a student in the back said, "I'm gonna puke."

The teacher glared and asked, "All right! Now, who said that?"

Again, Pedro. "George H. W. Bush to the Japanese Prime Minister, 1991."

Now furious, another student yelled, "Oh yeah? Suck this!"

Pedro jumped out of his chair waving his hand and shouting to the teacher,
"Bill Clinton to Monica Lewinsky, 1997!"

Now, with almost a mob hysteria, someone said, "You little shit. If you say
anything else, I'll kill you!"

Pedro frantically yelled at the top of his voice, "Gary Condit to Chandra
Levy, 2001."

The teacher fainted, and as the class gathered around her on the floor,
someone said, "Oh shit, we're in BIG trouble now!"

Pedro whispered, "Saddam Hussein, 2003."

Posted by Physics Geek at 10:54 AM | Comments (0)

Beer/brewing info

For those of you who do not have access to newsgroups via your ISP, Google has all of the old Dejanews newsgroups available for your reading pleasure. One that you might want to visit regularly is rec.crafts.brewing. As with anything else on the Internet, it's best to keep your crap filter on. Anyone can post, including the guy who makes Pruno, so beware.

Posted by Physics Geek at 10:51 AM | Comments (0)

I'm always the last to know

Someone has stolen my idea and created beer radio. Live shows will broadcast on Sundays at 5 p.m., west coast time. Beer related forums can be found here.

Posted by Physics Geek at 10:45 AM | Comments (0)

Browser and personal info

Interesting link here. Depending on what browser you're using, this site can tell you:

1) your connection speed

2) information about your hard drive and CD-ROMs installed

3) spyware or parasites infecting your system

4) and a lot more

Worth checking out, even if several of the tests only work in IE.

Posted by Physics Geek at 12:10 AM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2005

Children's books that didn't make it

Old, but I couldn't resist posting them again:

1. You Are Different and That's Bad

2. The Boy who Died From Eating His Vegetables

3. Dad's New Wife Robert

4. Fun Four Letter Words to Know and Share

5. Hammers, Scissors and Screwdrivers: An I-Can-Do-It Book

6. The Kid's Guide to Hitchhiking

7. Kathy Was So Bad Her Mom Stopped Loving Her

8. Curious George and The High Voltage Fence

9. All Cats Go To Hell

10. The Little Sissy Who Snitched

11. Some Kittens Can Fly

12. That's It, I'm Putting You Up For Adoption

13. The Magic World Inside The Abandoned Refrigerator

14. Garfield Gets Feline Leukemia
15. The Pop-Up Book of Human Anatomy

16. Strangers Have The Best Candy

17. Whining, Kicking and Crying To Get Your Way

18. You Were An Accident

19. The Things Rich Kids Have And You Never Will

20. Pop! Goes The Hamster....And Other Great Microwave Games

21. The Man In The Moon Is Actually Satan

22. Your Nightmares Are Real

23. Where Would You Like To Be Buried?

24. Eggs, Toilet Paper and Your School

25. Why Can't Mr. Fork And Mr. Electrical Outlet Be Friends?

26. Places Where Mommy And Daddy Hide Neat Things

27. Daddy Drinks Because You Cry

Cross-posted at Madfish Willies.

Posted by Physics Geek at 05:31 PM | Comments (2)

Customer disservice

I'd been having problems renewing my XXXX account online, so I finally called the help desk. The woman was very cordial and accepted my payment information gladly(unsurprising). She also noticed the problem with renewing my account. Something to do with the "current through" date being set to sometime in 1899. She said that my account have been submitted to customer service to correct the database snafu, and that I should call back today to verify my account had been corrected.

I called back and the fun began:

Me: "Hi. I paid to renew my account last week. The phone rep had asked me to call back to verify that everything was okay."

Rep: "I see. Sir, your account has expired."

Me: "I know. That's why I paid to renew last week. There was some weird database issue and I wanted to know if it had been resolved."

Rep: "Sir, your account has expired and you need to pay to bring it up to date."

Me: "I paid the account last week."

Rep: " The charge didn't go through. You need to pay to renew your account."

Me: "I'm sorry, what?"

Rep: "You need to pay to renew. The charge didn't go through."

Me: "What do you mean, it didn't it go through? You would have told me if the payment failed."

Rep: "It didn't go through. You can pay to renew if you want."

Me: ::peeved:: "I paid last week. The rep was unable to update my account due to the expiration date being in the 19th century. '

Rep: "Your account has expired, sir. You can pay to renew right now if you want to."

Me: ::voice rising:: "Listen closely. I can pay AGAIN to renew this account, but if two charges show up on my bill I will call back and demand to get my money back, and I won't expend a lot of energy being polite about it!"

Rep: "Hold, please."

--> While the Muzak played, I considered the possible error of yelling at the phone rep on the phone. She could put me on hold until the sun goes nova, if she so desires.<--

Rep: "Sir? You are correct. You DID pay last week and the funds have been applied to your account. And there is some odd technical issue with your account which our customer service reps are trying to fix."

Me: "So when should I call back to verify that my account has been fixed?"

Rep: "It should be okay sometime tomorrow. Why don't you try calling back then?"

Me: ::deep breath:: "Okey-dokey. Sorry for raising my voice to you earlier."

Rep: "No problem, sir. I wouldn't want to pay twice for the same service. I can see why you would get upset."

No shit. We'll see tomorrow if this problem gets resolved.

Posted by Physics Geek at 05:01 PM | Comments (0)

And now for something completely different

SCOTUS decisions got you down? Feeling a little blue about the rancor poisoning today's political debate? Then read this story at Captains Quarters for a little pick-me-up.

Posted by Physics Geek at 12:48 PM | Comments (0)

Is our children learning?

Words cannot express how disgusted this article made me. Apparently not even objective disciplines such as mathematics are immune from the rampant politicization of our schools. I can already imagine Ethnophysics, where acceleration will be defined as how fast Chimpy McBusHitler scaled up fraudulent plans to invade Iraq.

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:21 AM | Comments (1)

June 24, 2005

Blonde joke

Yeah, blonde jokes are a lame attempt at humor, one which defames a portion of our society, yadda, yadda, yadda. Look deeply into my eyes: if you see care OR concern, you're looking into the wrong set of eyes:

Two blondes and a brunette were walking down the beach when a seagull dumps a load on one of the blondes. The brunette says "I'll go and get some toilet paper. " When she left, one blonde turns to the other blonde and says "Boy,is she ever stupid. By the time she gets back, that seagull will be miles away."

If Michael Moore releases another craptacular cinematic Op-Ed, I'll retool these jokes as I've done in the past.

Posted by Physics Geek at 04:18 PM | Comments (1)

Geeky post to follow

Assembler programs are written with short abbreviations called MNEMONICS, in other words instead of writing GOTO, the programmer writes JMP or even BRA (branch). These instructions are frequently abbreviated into total incomprehensibility.

Of course, we all know that abbreviations are arbitrary. Anyone who has spent any time programming in assembler knows that all computers can be programmed using an undocumented set of instructions. Frequently when an error is made writing a program in assembler a user can actually see the program executing the undocumented instructions.

These instructions vary from machine from machine, but all computers have a certain set of them in common. As a service to humanity, I am here revealing these common instructions for the first time.

ARG : Agree to Run Garbage
BDM : Branch and Destroy Memory
CMN : Convert to Mayan Numerals
DDS : Damage Disk and Stop
EMR : Emit Microwave Radiation
ETO : Emulate Toaster Oven
FSE : Fake Serious Error
GSI : Garble Subsequent Instructions
GQS : Go Quarter Speed
HEM : Hide Evidence of Malfunction
IDD : Inhale Dust and Die
IKI : Ignore Keyboard Input
IMU : Irradiate and Mutate User
JPF : Jam Paper Feed
JUM : Jeer at Users Mistake
KFP : Kindle Fire in Printer
LNM : Launch Nuclear Missiles
MAW : Make Aggravating WhineNNI : Neglect Next Instruction
OBU : Overheat and Burn if Unattended
PNG : Pass Noxious Gas
QWF : Quit Working Forever
QVC : Question Valid Command
RWD : Read Wrong Device
SCE : Simulate Correct Execution
SDJ : Send Data to Japan
TTC : Tangle Tape and Crash
UBC : Use Bad Chip
VDP : Violate Design Parameters
VMB : Verify and Make Bad
WAF : Warn After Fact
XID : eXchange Instruction with Data
YII : Yield to Irresistible Impulse
ZAM : Zero All Memory
PI : Punch Invalid
POPI : Punch Operator Immediately
RASC : Read And Shred Card
RPM : Read Programmers Mind
RSSC : Reduce Speed, Step Carefully (for improved accuracy)
RTAB : Rewind Tape and Break
SPSW : Scramble Program Status Word
SRSD : Seek Record and Scar Disk
WBT : Water Binary Tree

Update: I forgot a couple:

CPL: create permanent loop
ICR: ignore carriage return (see SPO)
JCF: joggle cards to floor
PST: pinch and stretch tape
SPO: shred paper output
WWD: write wrong device

and the ever-popular
FSM: fold, spindle, and mutilate

For the record, I was a mainframe Assembly language programmer for 4 years. I am to be pitied.

Posted by Physics Geek at 03:45 PM | Comments (7)

Be patriotic: drink beer

It's almost that time again, folks: July is American Beer Month. Here's an excerpt from a website devoted to this most holy of months:

For the sixth year this summer, July is American Beer Month, a time to learn about, seek out and enjoy great American brews. This year’s celebration offers consumers new opportunities to discover and enjoy the treasures of American brewing.

Americans are the envy of the world when it comes to beer flavor and diversity. During July, every American has a chance to understand how varied and interesting American beers really are today so that they don’t miss out on this fantastic aspect of America’s culinary culture.

This year’s American Beer Month celebrates a different style of beer each week, starting June 19 and stretching through six weeks to conclude on July 31.

Check back each week to learn more about American beer!

And here's a link to help you celebrate this week's style, Wheat Beer.

Posted by Physics Geek at 03:38 PM | Comments (0)

Swimming in beer?

You read that correctly: you can go swimming in a pool filled with suds at an Austrian resort.

I wonder if they add die that turns red, warning you when someone pees in the pool. Of course, if they filled the pool with Budweiser, it might taste better. YMMV.

Posted by Physics Geek at 03:34 PM | Comments (0)

More yummy goodness

This week, the Internet's #1 pinup girl, Dana, is hosting the Carnival of the Recipes.

Funny. I could have sworn that she quit blogging. My bad. Anyway, it's good to see her back in action. More to the point, she brought food.

Posted by Physics Geek at 01:20 PM | Comments (2)

Excellent post

I know that lots of people have been accusing Balloon Juice of being a terrorist-coddling, USA-hating website. Not me. While I've disagreed with him a lot lately, his analyses have always made me think. This one is no exception. Excerpt:

I want a policy that I can whole-heartedly support, one that doesn't degrade our nation while dehumanizing our detainees and doing irreparable damage to our international standing. A policy that isn't counter-productive, and one that makes us safer while preserving our values. One that places a primacy on intelligence gathering, not sadism and excuse-making. A policy that doesn't throw our military physicians into an ethical breach (h/t Crooks and Liars). A policy that doesn't ask our soldiers and sailors and Marines to do things we would never want done to them were they in captivity.

Look, President Bush, his cabinet, Congress- I don't have all the answers, and some might say I don't have any. I don't know where exactly the line should be drawn and what treatment is stern and what is legally abuse and what is legally torture. I do, however, have a real firm grip on what is disgusting and indefensible- but I do really want to help, and I really want to be supportive. So does Greg. So do a lot of really good people all over the country, on both sides of the ever-widening partisan divide. But you have to help us out. You have to do more than just tell me to shut up and go along. You have to do more than just call half the country traitors and accuse them of wanting to help terrorists at every opportunity.

In short, you have to lead. Why is that so hard to fathom?

Not at all.

Update: Much screedier piece found here. Money quote:

I am sick of the over-the-top hyperbole from political hacks and politicans, whose real priority is not the country, but the health of their political party.

I am sick and tired of it all. The Republicans, the Democrats, they can all go to hell. If I could do it over, I would vote for a Nader/Buchanan ticket to just to piss both parties off.

There's a reason I voted Libertarian in 2000, and why I might do so again.

Posted by Physics Geek at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)

Good news

Mrs. du Toit is posting again. She also has a link to her new business venture, DidToday. Check it out, especially if you have children.

Posted by Physics Geek at 10:26 AM | Comments (2)

New product to market

I'm going to butt heads with Pampers and Huggies by creating my own brand of diapers: SCOTUS Briefs. Each diaper will have a complete miniaturized copy of the US Constitution on the inside and the names of our current SCOTUS justices on the outside.

The message might be too subtle, but I'm willing to chance it. I expect offers to come pouring in, what with all the extra money people will have after local governments have sold their homes to Chuck E. Cheese.

Posted by Physics Geek at 10:11 AM | Comments (1)

June 23, 2005

Lileks on top of his game

Yeah, the headline is redundant. So what? Excerpt from this column:

Q: What forms of torture do they use in Gitmo?

A: The interrogators make a point of handling the Quran with gloves, to indicate they accept the prisoners' definition of infidels as "unclean." But the guards occasionally suggest that the gloves are not only washed with the general laundry that might include the socks of Jews, but that sometimes the anti-static cling sheets are deliberately left out.

Q: It might all be worth it if we learned something. Have we learned anything?

A: Who knows? We have to err on the side of self-castigating doubt, reflexive suspicion of the military, and a churlish institutional bias against reporting anything other than bad news that might sap the national will. So let's assume the interrogators learned nothing.

Q: Wow. This is bad.

A: It is. It's worse than Waco, because at least those people aren't suffering anymore.

Q: When did they build this place?

A: After Sept. 11, 2001.

Q: That date seems familiar for some reason. Did something happen?

A: Not really. You can roll over and go back to sleep.

Q: Isn't it our role as citizens to be wary of government?

A: Sure. But take this quote: "I call on those who question the motives of the president and his national security advisers to join with the rest of America in presenting a united front to our enemies abroad." That was Sen. Dick Durbin in 1998, when Bill Clinton attacked Iraq. But that was then, and this is George W. Bush.

Posted by Physics Geek at 01:23 PM | Comments (0)

Required reading

And today, it's from Megan McCardle. Excerpt:

Now, these are smart people. They know that abortion wasn't a constitutional right until the Warren court discovered it in the emanations and penumbras of amendments that had pretty much nothing at all to say about abortion. It would be one thing if those people claimed that abortion should be a constitutional right--though such arguments often rest on muddy definitions of constitutional rights which boil down to "things I don't want to argue about"--but that isn't quite the argument I'm addressing. Rather, I'm talking about people who genuinely believe that the procedure that was used to find the right to abortion is somehow illegitimate when used to remove it. But Plessy v. Ferguson1 was constitutional doctrine for much longer than than Roe v. Wade has been. Yet none of those same people believes that Brown v. the Board of Education was an illegitimate abrogation of the constitutional right to discriminate. Only on abortion is the fact that one court has declared abortion to be a constitutional right used to argue that, therefore, another court has no right to say that it isn't, full stop, no added justification needed.

Posted by Physics Geek at 12:29 PM | Comments (0)


Shit on a fucking stick. I can't even read this SCOTUS Kelo decision without cursing, so you'll forgive me if I rant and rave on this blog. Or you won't. Either way, I'll sleep fine at night. Excerpt:

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses - even against their will - for private economic development.

It was a decision fraught with huge implications for a country with many areas, particularly the rapidly growing urban and suburban areas, facing countervailing pressures of development and property ownership rights.

The 5-4 ruling represented a defeat for some Connecticut residents whose homes are slated for destruction to make room for an office complex. They argued that cities have no right to take their land except for projects with a clear public use, such as roads or schools, or to revitalize blighted areas.

As a result, cities now have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes in order to generate tax revenue.

Are you kidding me? Are you fucking kidding me?! Is there any locale in the entire US where a county wouldn't receive more revenue from a shopping center or store than from property taxes? I'll probably need to move there if I want to keep my house.

Fuck these money-grubbing elected officials who sanction activity such as this, and fuck everyone who says "It's okay". It's NOT okay.

Here are the SCOTUS members voting for the majority decision:

John Paul Stevens
Justice Anthony Kennedy
David H. Souter
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Stephen G. Breyer

Now tell me again why the Senate battle for judicial confirmations isn't important. This country needs a different type of judge on the bench to revisit and overturn this decision. And it will be appealed again once the makeup of SCOTUS changes.

By the way, will someone bitchslap George Bush the elder for putting David Souter on the bench? Please?

Update: Kevin at Wizbang is a bit more restrained in his post. The Puppy Blender is succinct in his analysis: OUR STATIST SUPREME COURT STRIKES AGAIN: They've had quite a run lately.

No shit.

Update: Will Collier has more. Excerpt:

This is a dreadful decision. If politicians have the right to take your private property and give it to somebody else just because the other guy claims that he can generate more taxes from it, then property rights have ceased to exist in the US.

The localities are still required to pay "a just price" when one of these takings occurs, but the price even a willing seller would be able to get from his property just took a huge hit. All a developer has to do now is make a lowball offer and threaten to involve a bought-and-paid-for politician to take the property away if the owner doesn't acquiesce.

Update: Michelle Malkin has a roundup of related links.

Update: I'll post more links as soon as I have time, but I believe that Blogs of War has it exactly right:

Have a home on nice corner lot? Better hope that a fast food chain doesn't take an interest in it. Live near an airport? Holiday Inn would love to build a high-rise hotel where your home now stands. Corrupt, cheaply bought, local officials now hold your family's future in their hands.

This is the breeding ground of a revolution

: Arguing with Signposts has a rather large collection of related links.

Acidman makes the best assessment of the Kelo decision:

I call bullshit on the Supreme Court.

Posted by Physics Geek at 12:16 PM | Comments (5)

Slime attempts to rise to the top

So Randall Terry is running for the US Senate. What an effing disaster. I don't want that pretentious, sanctimonious asshole anywhere near a federal office as a visitor, let alone an elected official. Want a great Terry quote? Here's one that I lifted from Neal Boortz's website:

"I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good ... if a Christian voted for Clinton, he sinned against God. It's that simple. Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called by god to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism. Theocracy means God rules. I've got a hot flash. God rules."

Posted by Physics Geek at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)

May the Farm Be With You

Sure, it's a glorified commerical for organic produce, but it's still pretty funny. And where else will you get a chance to see Chewbroccoli and C3Peanuts?

Posted by Physics Geek at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

More on starting a blog

Harvey has compiled lots of great posts on how to get started blogging. Others are also on the job. Excerpt:

1. Determine a theme. Most bloggers take one of three approaches. Some write on whatever happens to interest them at the moment. In this sense, their blog is truly a “web journal.” Others, select a single theme and stick to it. Frankly, this takes a lot of discipline. Still others, like me, focus on a primary theme but occasionally deviate from it. If you want to develop a following of loyal readers, I think the latter two approaches are best. People who have similar interests will keep coming back for more.
7. Publicize your blog. You’ll want to make sure you’re “pinging” the major weblog tracking sites. Most of the blogging services handle this automatically, as do the offline blogging clients. Don’t worry if you don’t understand this process. You don’t need to understand it to use it. (Here's a simple explanation.) Basically, your service or software will send a notification to the tracking sites to alert them that you have posted a new entry. If your software doesn’t allow this, you might want to make use of pingomatic. This is a super-easy service that will ping fourteen different services. All you have to do is enter your blog address whenever you post a new entry. If you want to manually enter a comprehensive list of ping services, here’s a list to get you started.

8. Write regularly. This is the best advice I could give you for building readership. If people like what you write, they will come back. However, if there’s nothing new to read, they will eventually lose interest. So, the more regularly you post something, the more your readership will grow. I suggest you schedule time to write. It won’t happen on it’s own. At some point, it comes down to making a commitment and sticking to it.

Read the rest.

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2005

Horrible accident in Germany

A friend sent this photo of a horrible accident in Germany. The picture may be kind of hard to take for some of you. If you look closely you can see what appears to be some survivors of the accident still in the wreckage.

Although the picture is horrible, it makes you realize how quickly our loved ones can be taken from us.

I've lost some very good friends this way!! See the extended entry for a picture only if you have a strong stomach...

the horror.jpg

Posted by Physics Geek at 03:09 PM | Comments (4)

God loves us and wants us to be happy

Sure, that's what Ben Franklin said about beer, and he was right. Then again, old Ben didn't know about this, either.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:38 PM | Comments (1)

Things that make you go hmmm

Okay, I wasn't fond of the Paris Hilton ad. If I'm going to watch porn, I prefer if the women aren't exactly stick figures; big hooters are optional. But this ad has me thinking that maybe, just maybe, I'd rather be watching Skeletor Hilton in a bathing suit. Ugh.

Go blame Lycan for the link.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:08 PM | Comments (1)

Badge of obscurity

Susie has issued a call to arms and I will be one of the first to respond! Or maybe it's a call for beer, in which case I'll definitely be the first. In any case, I've languished in relative obscurity for long enough. Now it's time for real obscurity. Fellow Munuvians, rise up out of those armchairs long enough for two shots of tequila! Or vodka; whatever pours is fine.

You can't stop us; you can't even hope to contain us.

Posted by Physics Geek at 12:53 PM | Comments (0)

Carnival of the ???

Laurence Simon hosts this week Carnival of the Cats Vanities Cats Vanities Cats Vanities.

I'm sensing that there's a theme, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

Posted by Physics Geek at 12:37 PM | Comments (2)

Words of wisdom

From Andrew Sullivan:

MOORE AWARD NOMINEE: "The torture that was so bad under Saddam, is equally bad under U.S. command." - Markos Moulitsas, on DailyKos yesterday. Look, few have been as outraged as I have been by what this administration has perpetrated and permitted with regard to detainees in U.S. care. But this kind of morally cretinous hyperbole only discredits the serious case against the administration.

Update: Of course I spoke too soon. Best of the Web shows the followup quote. Scroll down and look for "Mr Excitable".

Posted by Physics Geek at 09:11 AM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2005

Belated Father's Day

I don't really remember my biological father, seeing as he decided to seek other pastures when I was 3 years old. However, my stepfather provided the male influence that I'd need growing up. No one would ever confuse him with a Father Knows Best type of dad, but he always loved and protected me. Still does, by the way, even though he and my mother are no longer together.

What kind of a father was he? The kind who could ungently disarm some jackass who had made the mistake of shooting him, and still cry like a baby at my wedding. The kind who thrashed three guys who'd made the mistake of beating up his brother, but who was almost afraid to hold my firstborn for fear of breaking him. The kind who, despite his many fights with my mother, has always, always looked out for her and hers, and still does to this day. The kind who went looking for payback the night I got mugged(those guys were lucky the police found them first). The kind who managed to scrape together $1000 for me when I was in trouble, at a time when he could barely find 2 nickels to rub together. And most of all, the kind who always ends our conversation by telling me he loves me.

What makes a father? Not biology. Anyone too stupid to wear a condom can help create a child. Fathers are known by their actions. My real father isn't bound to me by blood, but rather ties of the heart and spirit. I love him dearly.

Update: Vox posts on this topic. Excerpt:

Fathers cast great shadows; it is daunting to step out from them and for the first time clearly see the man behind the role. It is both a disappointment and a relief, but it is necessary. And if we cannot hope to match the giants of our youth, we can still walk in their footsteps.

Happy Father's Day, Dad.

Posted by Physics Geek at 04:51 PM | Comments (3)

"You are Blackfive"

Another outstanding post by Matt to mark his second anniversary as a blogger.

And there was much rejoicing: yay.

Posted by Physics Geek at 03:52 PM | Comments (0)

A Jinx ?

A man was walking across the road when he had the accident. The impact was on his head, which caused him to be comatosed for two days before he finally regained consciousness. When open his eyes, his wife was there beside him.

He held her hands and said meaningfully : "You have always been beside me. When I was a struggling university student, I failed again and again. And sometimes, even my re-papers as well. You were always there beside me, encouraging me to go on trying.."

She squeezed his hands as he continued :"When I went for all the major interviews and failed to clinch any of the jobs, you were there beside me, cutting out more adverts for me to apply..."

He continued "Then I started work at this little firm and finally got to handle a big contract. I blew it because of one little mistake. And you were there beside me."

Then I finally got another job after being laid off for sometime. But I never seem to be promoted and my hard work was not recognised. As such, I remained in the same position from the day I join the company till now...And you were there beside me."

Her eyes brimmed with tears as she listened to her husband :"And now I met an accident and when I woke up, you are here beside me....there's something I'd really like to say to you..."

She flung herself on the bed to hug her husband, and sobbing with emotion.

He said..., " I think you really bring me bad luck.."

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:39 PM | Comments (0)

Somewhat obscure reference of the day

If you've never read/watched a Beckett play, this post will go totally over your head.

I will admit that I'm surprised that there's no mention of "erections due to hanging". After, it IS Protein Wisdom.

Posted by Physics Geek at 01:47 PM | Comments (0)

Betcha can't eat just one

Or, you know, maybe you can.

Two daughters have sued a synagogue after they found a potato chip can in place of their mother's remains behind the locked, glass door of her niche in a mausoleum.

When the women visited Vivian Shulman Lieberman's niche in a Houston mausoleum a year ago, they found the cedar chest containing her ashes missing and a can of sour-cream-and-onion potato chips in its place.

Ugh. But it could have been worse: it might have been a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.

Posted by Physics Geek at 12:59 PM | Comments (3)

This week's sign that the Apocalypse is upon us

Another Billy Jack sequel is in the works.

I've always liked the theme song, One Tin Soldier, though.

Posted by Physics Geek at 12:57 PM | Comments (1)

Required reading

The first part won't be a surprise because it's from Mark Steyn. However, the fact that the second part resides at Ace's place might be a bit of an eye-opener. If you've been paying attention, though, it won't be. Excerpt:

Jonah Goldberg pointed out how liberal media bias hurts liberals: In a nutshell, they just don't see these shit-storms coming. Conservatives almost always see these shit-storms coming, because we know every false-footing (yeah, I know the French term, but fuck 'em) will be played up on page one of the New York Times. So we're naturally hesitant and paranoid and a little afraid of public reaction (or, rather, media attempts to drive public reaction).

Unless of course the conservative in question is a total tool like Trent Lott or Jerry Falwell.

But liberals get caught an awful lot with their little pink dinks poking out of their zippers, because the reinforcement from their cocooned liberal social circles and the New York Times editorial page tells them You're not only right and brave to do this, but you'll be rewarded handsomely in political terms.

They see little else but a very skewed sample of "American opinion." I'm sure Dick Durbin was mouthing off about this at a DC cocktail party a few weeks ago, and he got nothing but "Huzzah!'s" from his dopey liberal buddies. Someone should have the guts to say that on the Senate floor, someone told him, who, just guessing, was probably a cute 20-year-old intern at The Washington Prospect.

And so, partly to impress his little cocktail party chickadee, he decided he'd compare the very minor physical coercion at Gitmo to Pol Pot's killing fields and Hitler's industrialized genocide.

And then he found out something that should have been obvious had his mind not been clouded by bedding an intern: This was a colossally stupid, dangerous, anti-American, and politically disastrous thing to say.

Here I was searching for more dick and fart jokes. Instead, I'm treated to thoughtful political analysis. Well, there's always alt.tasteless.jokes.

As I've mentioned, I have many problems with the current Republican party. Being a libertarian-leaning conservative myself, I have to say that the Republican party is becoming less and less the party for conservatives if, in fact, it ever truly was. But the Democrat party's slide into dementia has left me of the firm opinion that this is not a group to be trusted with sharp objects.

Update: More from Steyn. Excerpt:

One measure of a civilized society is that words mean something: "Soviet" and "Nazi" and "Pol Pot" cannot equate to Guantanamo unless you've become utterly unmoored from reality. Spot the odd one out: 1) mass starvation; 2) gas chambers; 3) mountains of skulls; 4) lousy infidel pop music turned up to full volume. One of these is not the same as the others, and Durbin doesn't have the excuse that he's some airhead celeb or an Ivy League professor. He's the second-ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Don't they have an insanity clause?

Now let us turn to the ranking Democrat, the big cheese on the committee, Patrick Leahy of Vermont. Leahy thinks Gitmo needs to be closed down and argues as follows:

"America was once very rightly viewed as a leader in human rights and the rule of law, but Guantanamo has drained our leadership, our credibility, and the world's good will for America at alarming rates."

So, until Guantanamo, America was "viewed as a leader in human rights"? Not in 2004, when Abu Ghraib was the atrocity du jour. Not in 2003, when every humanitarian organization on the planet was predicting the deaths of millions of Iraqis from cholera, dysentery and other diseases caused by America's "war for oil." Not in 2002, when the "human rights" lobby filled the streets of Vancouver and London and Rome and Sydney to protest the Bushitler's plans to end the benign reign of good King Saddam. Not the weekend before 9/11 when the human rights grandees of the U.N. "anti-racism" conference met in South Africa to demand America pay reparations for the Rwandan genocide and to cheer Robert Mugabe to the rafters for calling on Britain and America to "apologize unreservedly for their crimes against humanity." If you close Gitmo tomorrow, the world's anti-Americans will look around and within 48 hours alight on something else for Gulag of the Week.

And this is where it's time to question Durbin's patriotism. As Leahy implicitly acknowledges, Guantanamo is about "image" and "perception" -- about how others see America. If this one small camp of a few hundred people has "drained the world's good will," whose fault is that?

The senator from Illinois' comparisons are as tired as they're grotesque. They add nothing useful to the debate. But around the planet, folks naturally figure that, if only 100 people out of nearly 300 million get to be senators, the position must be a big deal. Hence, headlines in the Arab world like "U.S. Senator Stands By Nazi Remark." That's al-Jazeera, where the senator from al-Inois is now a big hero -- for slandering his own country, for confirming the lurid propaganda of his country's enemies. Yes, folks, American soldiers are Nazis and American prison camps are gulags: don't take our word for it, Senator Bigshot says so.

Update: For the love of God, I cannot believe that the Democrat base is actually standing by their man instead of telling him to STFU. Money quote:

Ye the left has rallied to Durbin's side--their biggest blogger, Markos Moulitsas, proclaimed, for example, "the Wingers are freakin' out about Durbin right now, trying to shut his efforts to speak the truth."

Even if you're daft enough to believe that Bush is Hitler(not reincarnated, but the shitty mustache-sporting Nazi himself), you have to be fucking "I'm coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs!" loony to make a statement like that one.

Know what's funny? A lot of my friends are Democrats, and certainly many of them would be called liberal by today's definition of that word. But I don't really know many that believe the tripe these nutjobs are spouting on daily basis. Maybe it's because a fair number of them actually have family members in the military. Calling little Johnny a war criminal probably subdues the holiday festivities a bit.

Update: From Lileks, of course:

In any case, I don’t expect what I say here will change minds; if chaining terrorists to the floor and messing with the thermostat is the Gulag, the new Auschwitz, then your head is protected by a thick cap of beliefs that can only be penetrated by, oh, a nail expelled by a suicide bomber’s dynamite belt. But we need to find some common ground, no? Perhaps we can agree that only 2000 Jews stayed away from the WTC on 9/11?
Anyway. Here’s the deal. We decide what constitutes torture, and identify it as the following: insufficient air conditioning, excess air conditioning, sleep deprivation, being chained to the floor, and other forms of psychological stress. The United States is free to use these techniques against hardened terrorists. Those who disagree with the techniques sign a register that records their complaints. When the terrorist finally spills the details of a forthcoming attack, on, say, Chicago, the people who signed the register and live in Chicago are required to report to the Disintegration Chamber. Very simple. Everyone’s happy.

Well, no, I imagine not. The standard response would be “I want the interrogators to get the information, but not if it makes prisoners crap in their pants or pull out their hair.” Agreed. I would like them to get the information without any sort of effort whatsoever. It’s a fair cop, guv. Here’s where we’ve stored the fertilizer and here are the names of my associates. Now if you’ll show me to my cell, I’d like to get started whiling away the time until most of the networks are compromised and the Iranian government has fallen, after which we can talk about letting me return home. Jolly good!” But I don’t think that’s going to happen. Conversely, I don’t want them to beat the hell out of these people until they spit names and teeth, in no particular order. But I don’t care if they make them stay awake most of the day for a month or two. I really don’t. I’m sorry. We’re talking about people who will not be satisfied until Israel is gone and the United States crippled. I’d like to know what they know, and if they wet themselves in the process, I do not regard this is as the equivalent of uprooting several million people to Alaska to build a canal dressed only in long johns.

Final update: John Cole has been getting hammered by people from both the right and the left. How he manages to keep his sanity while jackoffs (like me, maybe) froth at the mouth is beyond me. Anyway, excerpt:

Durbin's remarks were ill-conceived, poorly received, and just plain stupid. And, more tragically, it has once again queered the debate. Good folks like the Mudville Gazette, Black Five, and the Indepundit have a right to be pissed- I can completely understand it. They feel their honor and dignity and service to the country has been impugned, and, in a way, it has. There will be people in the Middle East, Berkely, and elsewhere who sieze upon this as confirmation of their lunatic fantasies about the evil United States. Likewise, I can understand why Democrats are up in arms in their defense of Durbin, because the overwrought reactions by the usual suspects smacks of rank political opportunism.

At any rate, with the calls for censure the entire episode has been elevated to the point of farce. If you feel pissed at Durbin- organize, raise money, write letters- counter his idiotic speech with more speech and defeat him in the election. But the censure bit is a tad much- if Democrats want to knock him out of his leadership position, that is their prerogative. A bunch of Republicans screaming for his head is just going to be seen, rightly, as more of the same political opportunism that there is already too much of in this country.

Durbin should have never said what he said the way he said it, and it is worth remembering that American troops are not Nazi SS or the Khmer Rouge, and America is not Hitler's Germany, Pol Pot's Cambodia, or, for that matter, Stalin's Russia, etc.

Posted by Physics Geek at 12:32 PM | Comments (2)

I'm back. Thank you for your patience.

I take a weekend off to deal with family obligations and I miss important press releases. Probably a good thing, though, since I'm wearing shorts as work right now. A little "going commando" combined with a bit of leg-crossing could end my job. However, I promise to remove the cotton layer when I get home. My wife has long since learned to ignore my eccentricities.

Since this ,err, holiday is in honor of Harvey, I'm offering him a gift in the extended entry below.

Don't ever say I didn't give you anything.


And this one.

Posted by Physics Geek at 12:14 PM | Comments (2)

June 17, 2005

Time waster

Go here and start throwing paper balls into a wastebasket. My record so far is 35.

Kudos to the Conservative UAW Guy for finding this link.

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:44 AM | Comments (2)

June 16, 2005

GABF, here we come...

The room is reserved, the seats have been booked and we've all signed up as volunteers. Am I ready for the Great American Beer Festival or what?

I'm also at my prime drinking weight, which unfortunately doesn't correspond to my actual ideal weight. But I'm working on that part.

If anyone is in the Denver area Sept. 29- Oct.1, stop by to drink some a lot of good beer.

Posted by Physics Geek at 10:54 PM | Comments (0)

What happens when you piss off your customers

Pointless Waste of Time has an amusing screed called A Gamer's Manifesto. Actually, it would be more amusing if it weren't so damnably accurate. Excerpt:

3. Don't bullshit me about your graphics

How, in 2005, can there still be gamers taken in by EXCLUSIVE SCREENSHOTS of games that are obviously taken from cutscenes and have NO connection with what the actual game will look like? I blame the developers formerly known as Square for this.

4. Nipples?

Speaking of adult games, where are they? Politicians bemoan the bloodthirsty horror of video games, but really the standards are almost Victorian when compared to R-rated Hollywood fare such as Sin City and Kill Bill and Cinemax's Voyeur Safari IV: Dildo Island. You get a little harsh language and some comic-booky sprays of gore, but that's about it. There is an "AO" (Adults Only) ESRB rating for games, but when is the last time you saw it?

We're not for speeding the moral degradation of the modern world, but imagine a Hollywood where only PG-13 movies could get made. Say goodbye to everything from Shindler's List to The Matrix.

Chances of that happening...

We've got one hyphenated word for you: Wal-Mart. The largest game seller in the world simply won't stock games with the "AO" rating. Period. So those games won't sell and developers won't make them. So until they invent new and varied and Wal-Martless ways to sell the games, we're stuck with the AO games found only in our fantasies.

8. I understand that John Madden was raised by wild boars...

...and that he learned his few English phrases phoenetically from watching reruns of Wild World of Sports. But EA, if you want to get me revved up about Madden 2006 on the XBox 360, don't show me a damned screenshot that's obviously from a cutscene...

...and instead promise me that you won't play the same Madden commentary sound files on every fifth play. "Whoa, he looked like he was hit by a truck! A five-ton truck hauling a trailer!" Yes, you'll hear that one six motherslapping times in one game of Madden '05. YOU HAVE A HARD DRIVE NOW, taking data from a 9 GB DVD. You have NO excuse to keep recycling the same mindless observations over and over and over again until we're pointing at our television with a shaking finger and screaming "EAT ME, JOHN! JUST EAT MEEEEEEE!" as most of us do now.

Read the rest of it.

Unrelated update: Don't miss this article on suicide, either. Excerpt:

Life is a tricky thing to predict, that's the problem. Even if you don't have any kind of special talent, you don't know where the ride will to take you. I had an uncle named Jeff, who lived up in the mountains in the Northwest. He was so poor he could barely feed his family. But one day he was out hunting for some food and when he fired his rifle... something black bubbled up from the ground.

It was oil. Black gold. Texas tea. Well, the next thing you know, old Jeff's a millionaire. He moved away so I don't know what came of him after that, but you get the idea.

Not to say that promises of financial riches are the only thing to keep a man going. A wealthy man once came up to me and offered me $100 million dollars, and said all I had to do was let him chop off my legs and, once a day, ram a lit blowtorch up my ass.

I said no, realizing for the first time that, while I didn't have $100 million, I did have something worth more than $100 million to me. Specifically, my legs and an unburnt anus. So if I already own something worth more than $100 million it's silly to worry about the bill collector at the door demanding his few thousand. That's a true story, by the way.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:55 PM | Comments (1)

Spot on

Jeff Jarvis has the right idea for construction on the WTC site. Excerpt:

I've changed my mind. I don't want to redo the International Freedom Center to turn it from an flagellation fest into a celebration of democracy and freedom in America.

No, I want to eliminate it.

The memorial at the World Trade Center should say everything that needs to be said.

So in the place of the so-called Freedom Center, I want to see the truest expression of American freedom: commerce.

I want to see stores that sell scanty clothes, no burkas allowed.

I want to see restaurants that serve liquor.

I want to see movies that show anything, even sex.

I want to see bookstores that celebrate free speech.

I want to see stores selling products from all over the world: the fruits of globalization.

I want to see life there. Defiant, unapologetic life.


Posted by Physics Geek at 12:59 PM | Comments (1)

Not surprising

So Michele, too, has watched I Spit On Your Grave. I wonder if she's ever sat through Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS?

Posted by Physics Geek at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)

Tell me again which party is stupid???

So Democrat Senator Durbin has compared our troops to Nazis. Sigh. I'm too tired to be outraged. And let's face it: the dickwad isn't worth the effort. What I find disturbing, though, is that this guy is the Democratic Whip.

President Bush was an eminently beatable candidate last year. Until, that is, the Dem's nominated Kerry. And this year, the Republicans have been shooting themselves in the foot; the Senate, House and White House are ripe for the picking. So the Democrats decide to become completely unglued in public. It's pathetic.

I wish the Democrats would come to their senses so that I'd have the option of wanting to vote for one of them again.

Posted by Physics Geek at 09:54 AM | Comments (2)

June 15, 2005

And still more crappy jokes

From a variety of sources(and yes, I know that some are probably repeats):

Did you hear the one about the psychic dwarf that escaped from prison?

The newspaper headlines read "small medium at large."

An American businessman is visiting Japan.

The first night there, he's getting bored, so he hires a local hooker and they go at it all night. She keeps screaming "Fugifoo! Fugifoo!" and he takes this to mean he's doing something right.

The next day, he's out golfing with his Japanese clients and shoots a hole in one! He can't believe it, and, trying to impress his clients with his knowledge of Japanese, he shouts triumphantly, "Fugifoo!"

The Japanese guys stop and look at him, confused. "What are you talking about?" they ask. "That's the right hole."


Once upon a time, in a land far away, a beautiful, independent, self assured princess happened upon a frog as she sat, contemplating ecological issues on the shores of an unpolluted pond in a verdant meadow near her castle.

The frog hopped into the princess' lap and said,"Elegant Lady, I was once a handsome prince, until an evil witch cast a spell upon me. One kiss from you, however, and I will turn back into the dapper, young prince that I am and then, my sweet, we can marry and set up housekeeping in yon castle with my mother, where you can prepare my meals, clean my clothes, bear my children, and forever feel grateful and happy doing so."

That night, as the princess dined sumptuously on a repast of lightly sauteed frog legs seasoned in a white wine and onion cream sauce, she chuckled to herself and thought,"I don't fucking think so."


A woman meets a gorgeous man in a bar. They talk, they connect, they end up leaving together. They get back to his apartment and she notices that his bedroom is completely packed with sweet cuddly teddy bears. Hundreds of cute small bears on a shelf all the way along the floor, cuddly medium-sized ones on a shelf a little higher, and huge enormous bears on the top shelf along the wall.

The woman is surprised that this guy would have a collection of teddy bears, especially one that's so extensive, but she decides not to mention this to him, and actually is quite impressed by his sensitive side. She turns to him. They kiss....and then they rip each other's clothes off and make hot steamy l-o-v-e.

After an intense night of passion with this sensitive guy, they are lying there together in the after glow, the woman rolls over and asks, smiling, "Well, how was it?"

The guy says: "Help yourself to any prize from the bottom shelf."

A young couple got married and left on their honeymoon. When they got back, the bride immediately called her mother. Her mother asked, "How was the honeymoon?"

"Oh, mama," she replied, "the honeymoon was wonderful! So romantic..." Suddenly she burst out crying. "But, mama, as soon as we returned Sam started using the most horrible language...things I'd never heard before! I mean, all these awful 4-letter words! You've got to come get me and take me
home.... Please mama!"

"Sarah, Sarah," her mother said, "calm down! Tell me, what could be so awful? What 4-letter words?"

"Please don't make me tell you, mama," wept the daughter, "I'm so embarrassed they're just too awful! Come get me, please!"

"Darling, baby, you must tell me what has you so upset.... Tell your mother these horrible 4-letter words!"

Still sobbing, the bride said, "Oh, mama...words like DUST, WASH, IRON, COOK...!"


A man was walking along the street when he saw a ladder going into the clouds. As any of us would do, he climbed the ladder. He reached a cloud, upon which sat a rather plump and very ugly woman. "Screw me or climb the ladder to success," she said.

No contest, thought the man, so he climbed the ladder to the next cloud. On this cloud was a slightly thinner woman, who was slightly easier on the eye. "Screw me hard or climb the ladder to success," she said. "Well," thought the man, "might as well carry on."

On the next cloud was an even more attractive lady who, this time, was quite attractive. "Screw me now or climb the ladder to success," she uttered. As he turned her down and went on up the ladder, the man thought to himself that this was getting better the further he went.

On the next cloud was an absolute beauty. Slim, attractive, the lot. "Fuck me here and now or climb the ladder to success," she flirted.

Unable to imagine what could be waiting, and being a gambling man, he decided to climb again. When he reached the next cloud, there was a 400-pound ugly man, arm pit hair showing, flies buzzing around his head.

"Who are you?" the man asked.

"Hello" said the ugly fat man, "I'm Cess!"

Posted by Physics Geek at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)

Top ten

From David Letterman. Excerpt:

Top Ten Things Overheard During The Michael Jackson Verdict

10. "We the jury find the defendant not guilty--oh God, did I say the wrong one?"

9. "Of course he's nervous--look how pale he is"

8. "Will Mr. Blake and Mr. Simpson please keep the laughter down?"

7. "No, I think he'll do fine in prison"

6. "I'm a celebrity in an L.A. courtroom--I like my chances"

5. "Do you think this'll be on the news tonight?"

4. "We the jury find the defendant creepy"

3. "Michael, good news--I just saved 15 percent on my car insurance by switching to Geico"

2. "Wait, have Tito, Latoya and Jermaine always been on the jury?"

1. "Another case of a white guy getting preferential treatment"

And there's more. Lots more.

Posted by Physics Geek at 12:54 PM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2005

Brewing your first beer, post II: the ingredients

Our first beer is going to be an extract only brew and, to simply things even further, we're going to use what's called a beer kit. We will, however, discard the directions that come with the kit. Following those instructions reduces the chance of making a decent beer. Anyway.

So what kind of beer kit should you buy? Like anything else, it depends on what kind of beer you like. Stouts, pale ales, bitters, nut brown ale. For my part, I'm going to pick a nice, crisp, refreshing beer, one that will quench my summertime thirst. I'm not usually in the mood for a Guinness just after I've mowed the lawn. To that end, I've decided to brew my next beer using Coopers Draught malt extract kit. It comes in a 3.75 pound can, which isn't sufficient for a 5-gallon batch, meaning that I'll have to buy two. On to the next ingredient.

To magically transform malt sugar into alcohol, you're going to need yeast. Once again, we'll take the path of least resistance and use dried yeast. It's economical and easy to use. I've had good success using both Coopers Ale yeast and Doric ale yeast. The Munton's Ale yeast worked okay, too, but I've had more success with the other two. I recommend the Coopers Ale yeast because it ferments fairly well, even if the temperature climbs up out of the optimal range, which is certainly possible during the summer months.

The next ingredient is obvious: water. What may not be obvious, though, is that you shouldn't use plain old water straight out of the tap. Most municipal water systems are chlorinated and that stuff will make your beer taste like a child's wading pool. However, if your water is charcoal-filtered, you're all set. You could purchase 5-gallons of drinking water(not distilled) from the grocery store if you like, but I think it's unnecessary. Up to you, of course.

After your beer has fermented and you're ready to bottle, you'll have to add a little bit more yeast food to the beer so that it will carbonate in the bottle. So you'll need a little bit of corn sugar, about 3/4 cup or so. This is NOT table sugar and you won't find it in your grocery store. Just add it to your shopping cart when you're purchasing your other ingredients at the local homebrew supply shop.

Optional ingredient: some hop pellets for aroma/flavoring.

The kit you'll buy contains hops already, but these are bittering hops. There will be essentially no hop aroma from this kit unless you add some of your own. If you enjoy a nice hoppy aroma, you might consider tossing in 1/2 ounce of Cascade hop pellets. They have a great floral, citrusy aroma, which I really enjoy. Again, though, it's not necessary. Completely up to you.

To recap:

1) 2 x 3-4 pound cans of any hopped malt extract beer kit. I've chosen Coopers Draught kit for my brew; it comes in a 3.75 pound can.
NOTE: If your kit comes in a 6-7 pound can, you will only need one can. Just an FYI.

2) 5-gallons of water, with all of that nasty chlorine filtered out.

3) 1 package dried ale yeast, purchased separately from what's included with your beer kit

4) Optional: 1-ounce packet of Cascade hop pellets.

Up next in the series: brewing the darned thing.

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

The difference between the male and female brains

Here is an image of the female brain in all its glory:


Take a good look at it before clicking on the extended link to see the brain of a man:


Posted by Physics Geek at 03:56 PM | Comments (1)

Michael Jackson online games

Via Neal Boortz. Excerpt:

Time suck of the day...Michael Jackson online games. Note that these do go offsite. If you don't have your computer set up to guard against adware, a virus, etc. then you may not want to click. Escape From Neverland | Wacko Jacko Soundboard | Michael Jackson Baby Drop

Posted by Physics Geek at 11:11 AM | Comments (1)

Do not fall for this scam

This man has no medical training.


Posted by Physics Geek at 08:53 AM | Comments (4)

June 13, 2005

Unfortunate Star Wars costumes



THIS Death star can't wait for a one-man fighter to maneuver straight down his trench and skim the surface. The target area is a small thermal exhaust port. The shaft leads directly to the reactor system. A precise hit will start a chain reaction.

Find more here and here.

Update: Someone sent me the following email. I have no idea if it's correct or not:

The punchline is... If I am not mistaken, that last picture - the one of the guy in the Jar-Jar costume - is the actual actor that stood in for Jar-Jar and he is wearing the gear that Lucas made him wear while filming the actual scenes. I kid you not.

Posted by Physics Geek at 04:11 PM | Comments (1)

A truly progressive church

I discovered the following definition while perusing the comments over at Vox's place:

The other day a friend and me joked about what a completely progressive "pastor" would be:

The "pastor" is a woman of course who is married to another woman who used to be a man, but before she decided on a transgendered life partner she experimented with alternative lifestyles until she was happiest. She would support abortion (having had two herself when she was younger), support embryonic stem cell research, gay marriage, and be a member of the green party. Theologically and philosophically she would put tolerance above truth and consistently undermine the authority of the Bible by questioning its historical accuracy in almost every area. Her sermons would never mention sin, hell, evil (unless she is referring to Bush or Hitler), or even salvation. She would teach that God and would essentially be a universalist.

I just can't wait to go to that church.

Posted by Physics Geek at 03:14 PM | Comments (0)

History in a nutshell

Sort of.

Posted by Physics Geek at 12:19 PM | Comments (1)

What's your point?

Steve H. posts a list of musical types that he'd use to torture terrorists. While I mostly agree with him, there's one point that confuses me. Excerpt:

2. Disco. ALL disco. Again, women are to blame. Women like to dance, and men like sex, so they dance to make women happy. Result: K.C. and the Sunshine Band becoming rich and famous instead of being tied to posts and shot, the way they should have been. Two kinds of men like disco: gay men, and men who are such dogs they would drink septic-tank smoothies if they thought it would get them laid.

Is he going somewhere with this?

Posted by Physics Geek at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

Ed Klein has gone off the deep end

I'm no fan of the Clintons, but this sort of crap simply proves that some people are absolutely batshit crazy for money, peddling any sort of story that's likely to sell more books. Ed Klein, you are a steaming pile of dung. Bill and Hillary don't deserve this, and Chelsea certainly doesn't. Normally, I'd be shocked at someone printing unprovable excrement like this. Then again, Ed Klein IS a former Newsweek editor.

Captain Ed has more.

Update: Ankle Biting Pundits has more.

Update: Not surprisingly, Dean's reaction mirrors my own.

Posted by Physics Geek at 11:10 AM | Comments (0)

Katie Couric/Matt Lauer lead story today

And you can find the details right here. Excerpt:

Without a hint of irony, Edith Lederer of The Associated Press reported June 3 that "U.N. satellite imagery experts have determined that material that could be used to make biological or chemical weapons and banned long-range missiles has been removed from 109 sites in Iraq."

We've been told repeatedly by those on the Left -- which includes most journalists -- that Bush Lied! when he gave the danger posed by Saddam's WMD programs as one of the reasons for going to war with Iraq. Did the United Nations lie, too? Is it lying now? When did Karl Rove go to work for Kofi Annan?

I'm certain that they'll mention this story any minute. Probably right after the next commercial break.

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:36 AM | Comments (1)

Required reading

And of course, it's from Mark Steyn. He demolishes the "Gitmo is a Gulag!" meme currently in progress at your local MSM outlet. Excerpt:

No serious allegation of torture at the camp has been substantiated, and in the al-Qaida training manual found in Manchester, England, a couple of years back Rule 18 couldn't be more explicit: When held captive by the infidel, members must "complain to the court of mistreatment while in prison" and say that "torture was inflicted on them." A healthy skepticism would thus seem to be advisable. Instead, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times runs around shrieking like a hysterical ninny that Washington needs to shut down Guantanamo right now -- not because of anything that actually occurred there -- but because of negative "perceptions" of the camp in the overseas press.

And would caving in to those negative perceptions lead to any better press? Nobody got killed in Gitmo, so instead America's being flayed as the planet's No. 1 torturer for being insufficiently respectful to the holy book of its prisoners, even though the Americans themselves supplied their prisoners with the holy book, even though Americans who fall into the hands of the other side get their heads hacked off, even though the prisoners' co-religionists themselves blow up more mosques and Qurans than the Pentagon ever does, even though the preferred holy book of most Americans is banned in the home country of many of the prisoners, where respect for other faiths is summed up in the headline, "Seven Christians Released In Saudi Arabia On Condition They Renounce Private Religious Practice."

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:31 AM | Comments (0)

Yummy goodness

"Is it soup yet?"

"It's simmering, sir!"

This week's installment of Carnival of the Recipes has been served over at News From the Great Beyond.

I have got to start remembering to submit my recipes on time.

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:22 AM | Comments (2)

June 12, 2005

What do you mean, the employees can defend themselves?

I'm certain that some honchos at 7-11 HQ are thinking that very thing right now. They're probably writing a new memo now, which details things that they'll allow their employees to do when someone tries to rob them:

1) You may sneeze and blow your nose whenever you so desire. Unless you're emptying the cash register right then, of course. We don't criminals to think all of our money has snot on it.

2) After much deliberation, the 7-11 powers that be will allow you to evacuate your bowels when a pistol is pushed into your mouth. Be advised that you may NOT act in this manner if the gun is merely pressed against your temple.

Posted by Physics Geek at 09:24 PM | Comments (1)

June 09, 2005

Tough neighborhood

They turn bad so young these days...


Posted by Physics Geek at 04:30 PM | Comments (4)

June 08, 2005

Democratic sense and sensibility

I suppose that I shouldn't be surprised at anything someone from a party led by YEEAARRRGGGHHH! Dean says, but I have to give them credit: they keep lowering the bar. Excerpt:

Initially I though, this is not as bad as it seems; Rangel is not making a grossly offensive comparison of the liberation of 26 million people from tyranny with the killing of 6 million Jews. What a relief. He's merely making a stupid, inaccurate, and hysterical comparison of the public reactions to both events. Stupid, inaccurate, and hysterical, because after all, Iraq, in all its aspects and from all the perspectives, is the most talked about issue in the world today.

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

Screenplays that didn't quite make it

Sales clerk: Whoopi Goldberg
Customer: Robert Redford

[Scene: At the counter inside a Lidden's Paint store. Customer walks in the front door and approaches the counter.]

Customer: "I'd like to buy 2 gallons of purple paint, please."

Clerk: "I'm sorry, but we're all out of that."

Customer: "Shit."

Out of the Color Purple. Coming soon to a theater near you.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:21 PM | Comments (0)

Someone's been bad

So what's next, locusts? Or do the seas become blood? I'm so confused over which plague is next.

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:54 AM | Comments (2)

Words of wisdom

Former President Carter displayed rare common sense when he stated the following:

"... the U.S. continues to suffer terrible embarrassment ..."

It's true: Carter's constant stream of nonsense is a major source of embarrassment to the US, but we've learned to deal with it as best we can.

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:50 AM | Comments (1)

June 07, 2005

If it moves, tax it

OKay, dead and immobile are fair game, too, but we really want to grab more moolah for the absolutely necessary federal program to supplement blow-dry hair styling in Death Valley.

Only 43 states have signed up? What's wrong with the other 7?

Posted by Physics Geek at 11:21 PM | Comments (0)

Dance like nobody's watching

Better yet, like the whole freaking world is watching. It's especially effective if you're a no talent, rhythmless dork whose best move resembles nothing so much as a seizure. Say, I think I'm qualified to discipline hooligans in this manner. Excerpt:

Yep, that's right. This morning I was sitting on the bridge once again, waiting for the train to pass. As fate would have it, who was right in front of me but Radiokid (that's right, that's what I call him now)! I was so happy I almost thanked him for the opportunity to right my wrongs!
Just as polite and cheerful as could be, I hopped out of my faithful 'Yota and trotted up next to him. "Hi!" I grinned. "Say, would you mind turning down your music, please?"
His response was direct and coarse, and I shall not here repeat what he said. Except to say that it sounded a lot like Fuck you.
That made me even happier. I looked at him real mean, like I was about to rip his guts out through his throat, and I said, "Turn it down right now or I swear I'm going to start dancing." I waited a second until he realized what I'd actually said, I got a great double take, and then I said, "And you don't want that." I then followed up with some more taunting, like Bring it on, and Don't think I won't.
Sure enough, he cranked up the volume until his whole car was reverberating. So nice of him to oblige.

And so, right there on the bridge, in full view of the morning traffic, the CT River, and the city of Brattleboro, VT, I worked it, baby. I didn't just put on a little cha-cha. Oh no. This sucker incurred the full measure of my wrath. And I don't mind saying, it was a damned fearful thing. Men trembled. Women shrieked. I give Radiokid credit -- he lasted nearly a half-minute before he pulled out of line and skinned out. I know exactly which move it was that crossed the line for him, too. But you don't want to know about that.

Thanks to Claire Wolfe for the link.

Posted by Physics Geek at 11:18 PM | Comments (2)

June 06, 2005

Something cool this way comes

Lileks has started the Screedblog. Add it to your blogroll now.

Posted by Physics Geek at 11:40 AM | Comments (1)

Federalism is dead

ANd it's been dead for years. Nice ruling by SCOTUS, huh?

As someone who has never smoked pot in my life, you'd think that this ruling doesn't affect me at all, but you'd be dead wrong. Any edict issued by the Supremes that centralizes more power in DC and takes it away from the individual states impacts everyone in this country, and not in a good way. Come to think of it, there isn't really a good way to do that. Excerpt:

Under the Constitution, Congress may pass laws regulating a state's economic activity so long as it involves "interstate commerce" that crosses state borders. The California marijuana in question was homegrown, distributed to patients without charge and without crossing state lines.

Stevens said there are other legal options for patients, "but perhaps even more important than these legal avenues is the democratic process, in which the voices of voters allied with these respondents may one day be heard in the halls of Congress."

The voice of the people has been heard, it's just being ignored, which is business as usual in DC.

Update: Ballon Juice expresses its pique over this nonsensical ruling.

Posted by Physics Geek at 10:52 AM | Comments (1)

June 03, 2005

Quote of the day

Not surprisingly, it's from Protein Wisdom. Excerpt:

Now, how is all this possible, you ask? Because John McCain knows what’s best for you. He’s a maverick who bucks the system, infuriating partisans on both sides of the political divide (as he’ll be the first to tell you). And he’ll be damned if he won’t use the Senate to remake the world in his image—and nothing non-maverick (like, say, the will of the voters, the separation of powers, or the Constitution itself) will stand in the way of this hard-charging, tough-talking populist.

Or as I’m inclined to call him, “nannystatist fucktard.” Because face it: this guy is Bill O’Reilly with a tan.

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


A guy named Joe finds himself in dire trouble. His business has gone bust and he's in serious financial trouble. He's so desperate that he decides to ask God for help. He begins to pray...

"God, please help me. I've lost my business and if I don't get some money, I'm going to lose my house as well. Please let me win the lotto."

Lotto night comes and somebody else wins it.

Joe again prays...

"God, please let me win the lotto! I've lost my business, my house and I'm going to lose my car as well".

Lotto night comes and Joe still has no luck. Once again, he prays...

"My God, why have you forsaken me?? I've lost my business, my house, and my car. My wife and children are starving.I don't often ask you for help and I have always been a good servant to you. PLEASE just let me win the lotto this one time so I can get my life back in order."

Suddenly there is a blinding flash of light as the heavens open and Joe is confronted by the voice of God Himself:

"Joe, meet Me halfway on this. Buy a ticket."

Posted by Physics Geek at 12:03 PM | Comments (2)

More yummy goodness

This week's Carnival of the Recipes is simmering over at Conservative Friends. Be sure to leave a tip for your host, Drew.

Posted by Physics Geek at 09:50 AM | Comments (0)

An Atkins unfriendly holiday

Celebrate National Donut Day tomorrow by eating 2 dozen from Dunkin Donuts.

Posted by Physics Geek at 09:34 AM | Comments (1)

June 02, 2005

Brewing your first beer, post I: the equipment

Since this will be your first beer, we're going to keep things as simple as possible. Terms that you likely won't hear in this series:

1) sparging
2) protein rest
3) saccharification
4) isohumulone

Things that you are likely to hear:

1) boiling
2) carbonation
3) bottling
4) drinking

Anyway, there a variety of items that you could use for homebrewing, but I don't want to stress you out. In the motto of the American Homebrewers Association: Relax. Don't worry. Have a homebrew.

Okay, first things first. You will need a kettle to boil your beer in. Technically, the beer will be called wort at this stage. And now you've added a new word to your vocabulary, although I haven't found a way to use it in conversations NOT about brewing.

Back to the boiling pot. It should be at least 3 gallons, although 5 gallons is probably better and 10 gallons would be better still. But if you want to save money, stick with the smaller pot. Some people get a little too serious about the type of kettle: ceramic coated stainless, pure stainless steel, pots that come with your own personal Emeril to screech "BAM!" every time you add something to it. Me? I went the inexpensive route and bought an aluminum pot. But hey, it's your setup. Whatever makes you happy.

Next on the list as a must have item is a fermentation vessel. You have a couple of realistic choices here as a homebrewer: glass or plastic. 5 gallon glass carboys are easy to find and they're not too expensive. Since you'll typically brew 5 gallon batches, though, you will need to use a blowoff tube for the first couple of days and then add on a fermentation lock. If that sounds like too much effort, a 6-1/2 gallon carboy is probably a better choice because you can stick the lock on top from the get go. And having said all that, I suggest that you go with a plastic fermentation vessel for your first batch. They're usually 6-1/2 to 7 gallons in capacity and have airtight lids with a single opening for your fermentation lock. Also, they're pretty much unbreakable, which isn't the case for glass fermentation vessels. Again, it's your call.

On second thought, you'll probably want to go ahead and order a 5 gallon glass carboy, or at least put it on lay-away. Glass is absolutely required for secondary fermentation. Granted, we won't bother with that for our first beer, but we will for future brews.

How will you get the beer into your fermentation vessel? You're going to need a pretty large plastic funnel. Maybe not for your first beer, but definitely for the next one.

If you want some idea of the potential alcohol in your brew, you'll need a hydrometer, a device used to measure the specific gravity of liquids. The more sugar that's dissolved in the beer, the greater potential alcohol content. And a floating thermometer is useful as well. It's bad form to add yeast to your brew while it''s too hot. Also, you'll need to know the temperature of your wort when taking the specific gravity if you want to correctly determine the specific gravity of your beer.

Since I mentioned fermentation locks in the preceding paragraph, I might as well discuss those next. There are several types available. A picture of the two most common ones can be found here. They both accomplish the same task: let carbon dioxide from the fermentation escape while preventing anything from getting back into the beer.

Once fermentation has completed, you'll need a bottling bucket. I suggest that you buy one with a spigot already attached. You will rack(siphon) the beer from the fementation vessel into the bottling bucket using a racking cane. This prevents having a lot of yeasty sludge from ending up in your bottles. Also, you'll probably want to buy a spring-loaded bottle filler, which makes filling up the bottles a much simpler task. It also leaves about the perfect amount of headspace in each bottle. In my opinion, this small piece of equipment will make your bottling experience less painless.

You'll need bottles, too, about 50-60 12-ounce bottles, or 25 24-ounce bottles. How do you aquire them? Well, you could buy brand spanking new bottles from the store, but I tend to get them from my other friends that drink beer, asking them to save all of their empties. My pals are usually very helpful in this regard, especially after I've promised to give them some samples of my homebrew. By the way, ask your friends to rinse the bottles after they're empty. Cleaning mold out of bottles isn't an enjoyable task.

Okay, you''ve filled your bottles with your beer. Now you need to cap them. This means, of course, that you will need 50-60 unused bottle caps, as well as a bottle capper to put them onto the bottles. Again, go the inexpensive route and purchase a lever-armed bottle capper. Bench cappers are nice, but more expensive, and they require more effort on your part if the bottles aren't all the same size, which is likely to be the case if you're using castoff empties.

I almost forgot: you'll need a couple of pieces of plastic tubing, too. One piece will attach to the racking cane and another to the bottle filler.

I think that our brewing list is pretty much complete. Let's recap what you'll need:

1 3-5 gallon brewing kettle
1 5 or 6 gallon glass carboy
1 6.5 to 7.5 gallon "food grade" plastic fermenter with airtight locking lid
1 6 foot length of 3/8-inch inside diameter clear plastic tubing
1 racking cane
1 fermentation lock
1 rubber stopper to fit the fermentation lock(It's bad form to not notice until you're pitching the yeast that they don't fit. Not that I know from experience or anything. I'm just saying.)

1 2-3 foot length of 3/8-inch outside diameter tubing which should fit the next item
1 spring-loaded bottling wand
1 large plastic funnel
1 floating thermometer
1 hydrometer
1 bottle capper, for which you'll need lots of new bottle caps.
50-60 beer bottles, preferably the non-screwtop type. Brown glass is the best, but pretty much anything will work.

I forgot to mention how important proper sanitation is. Let's go the cheap route yet again and use unscented household bleach. You don't want your beer to taste lemony fresh. Ugh.

That's enough to get started. We'll go over the limited ingredient list in the next post in this series.

What's that you say? You don't have a brewshop in your town? Have no fear, there are shops all over the country that will gladly ship the stuff right to your door. Check here and here. If you don't find what you're looking for there, then check out these links. Oh, and lots of places sell beginner kits containing most or all of the equipment listed above. Your mileage may vary.

See you next post.

Posted by Physics Geek at 06:43 PM | Comments (3)

This week's sign that the Apocalypse is upon us

Good grief. Looks like another update from the "let's turn all of our boys into dickless wonders" front. Then again, as I mentioned at the comments at Ace, maybe, just maybe, they're training our boys to be clowns. Thkn about it: pogo-sticking and unicycling. Maybe driver's ed will taught in a little bitty car that farts smoke.

Posted by Physics Geek at 04:17 PM | Comments (1)

Computer translation of Faulkner?

I scored 83% on this silly quiz. Then again, I've actually read The Sound and the Fury.

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

And they called it Puppy love...

Periodically I will boot from my Knoppix distro CD. While I have two CD-ROM's on my computer, it's sometimes a nuisance to only have one available when Knoppix is running. Barry Kauler from Australia has removed that little problem with his distro creation, Puppy Linux, which boots from the little old thumb-sized memory sticks. Excerpt:

"I think one of the key advantages of Puppy is the simplicity," said Barry Kauler, the developer of Puppy Linux, in an e-mail interview. "When other distributions start up, you see all these servers loading, but in Puppy it's really basic and bootup is remarkably fast. However, I still managed to stick to the requirement of it all loading into RAM and freeing up the CD drive, on a reference 128MB PC."

That small-is-beautiful theme is Puppy's raison d'etre, according to Kauler. "If I were pressed to list why I think people use Puppy, it would be [that it's] very simple under-the-hood, very easy to use, very fast, highly portable, and easy to install."

Posted by Physics Geek at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)

June 01, 2005

This is only a test

If this had been an actual post, there would be something useful before you eyes, maybe even some information about brewing beer.

Work is making like a Hoover on steroids this week. They actually want me to do something for the salary they pay me. The nerve of some people.

I've got the beer equipment post about done and will put it out for public consumption sometime tomorrow.

Posted by Physics Geek at 12:07 AM | Comments (3)