So while the Tomb of the Unknowns has become many things to many people, all of them valid and important and deeply felt, originally the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was erected in memory to all those men that didn't just give up their lives but gave up their very identities in a terrible, terrible war. The remains of the soldier inside the tomb are a symbolic reference to the tens of thousands of soldiers who will never, can never be buried. We don't identify those remains because they're a symbol of all the ones that won't, can't, ever be identified. We guard those remains because we want to express that such a sacrifice is supreme beyond all others, and therefore requires the most supreme honors we can bestow. -- May 26, 2002
It's a musical reference. Go look it up. Bah, probably not even a cherry tree. Whaddayagonnado?
The advantage of taking Metro during a weekend, and just missing your train... an empty station who's manager doesn't mind you setting up a tripod. Three exposures, one of which was 20 seconds, and I still got quite clear signage.
We did a "family day" out to Arlington Cemetery. This was just a test shot to sort out my new remote. More to come.
Mark gets a no-prize that will make him pay if he says it's hormonal for bringing us news of a PMS drug, for The Rest of Us.
The reason I'm convinced homosexuality is not a choice is because if it was, the human race would've gone extinct hundreds of thousands of years ago. Only the biological imperative is enough to make us put up with each other.
Hopefully you all will believe me now when I say OM can chug across a room!
Ron gets a left-handed no-prize for bringing us the top 100 April Fool's day hoaxes of all time. I've only got through the first page, and already it's pretty amusing.
The best part is, this stuff is actually funnier than SNL. Well, at least the SNL I used to watch. Far as I can tell it's all SFW, if not for comprehension.
Japanese sketch comedy at it's, well... it's definitely something. Benni-u Hillsan!
I mean, of course peanut butter disproves evolution. Didn't everyone already know that? What, are you all morons or something?!?
One day algae could be our main source of fuel. The potential yields are so great they're predicting profitability in the next 3 years and talking openly about competing with fossil fuels in 5-10 years.
I, for one, welcome our green single-celled overlords!
Astronaut Sunita Williams will be running the Boston Marathon this April. The catch? She's doing it on a treadmill on the ISS. Hopefully that whole "peeing on the go" thing that Amber sees when she ran marathons won't be required up there. That would be kinda messy.
Check out step 20. Google's got an interesting sense of humor, eh?
Yeah no. I won't go to these lengths for one of my favorite sandwiches.
It's nice to know Olivia's not the only one with parents creating future difficulties for them. At least Bigwig's (so far) only put up one such picture. We haven't even finished posting up The Spaghetti Incident II.
Scientists are reporting that, just as with single-star systems, planets appear to be quite common around multi-star systems as well. The orbital mechanics of such a thing must be enough to make any astrophysicist's eyes water.
I hear it all the time, "if you're such a big damned supporter of the war, why don't you send (yourself | your children | your next-of-kin)? Eh? Hypocrite!"
But you can't [claim to stand for freedom and human rights and then attack everything America has done and tried to do in Iraq over the last four years]. Indeed, by declaring the whole thing illegitimate, all you're doing is siding with the Islamophobes of the world who claim the Muslims and the Arabs are far too savage, backward, and primitive to respect things like democracy and human rights. Indeed, you're implicitly siding the the Jihadwatch crowd.
It's high time someone told you people this, whether you're Muslims or not.
The sad thing is I've had private conversations during which people actually do admit to believing such things about Arabs. Racism isn't just about hating blacks, you know.
Making the rounds: Results from a new study seem to indicate that mammalian evolution did not experience "explosions" of diversity after mass extinction events. While some species did diversify after, for example, the famous K-T event, for whatever reason they did not survive. It seems all (or perhaps nearly all) current mammal species evolved much earlier, and simply survived each catastrophe.
Sometimes investigative reports discover things work. Of course, we would never have heard about a reporter failing to breach hospital security if she'd not been arrested. That's just not good news.
Well if you have kids this is funny!
One in ten people in the world live less than ten meters above sea level. One in eight city dwellers do the same.
... and? They live there now because coasts enable trade, and trade enables growth, and growth is what lifts people out of poverty. It's only when people are no longer poor that they will begin to care about the environment*, and growth is the only thing that will improve the infrastructure to the point it becomes possible to live on higher ground.
So of course one of the things mentioned as a "problem" is "continuing economic growth." It just won't do to have all these brown people working their way toward wealth and happiness. We must lead them to the correct behaviors! Start massive building projects! Take corporate profits to pay for them! Just because it's never worked before doesn't mean we can't try again!
Maybe I should put a watermelon category up. You know, just to emphasize the reality of the situation.
* From memory, this is actually a low number, a per-capita wage of about $8500.
Even more obscure reference: Paging Georgia Lass, white courtesy phone please. No-prize to the first one to recognize it. And no Googling!
Mike J. gets a no prize with a knit cap on for bringing us this hilarious interpretive dance on the pop song Torn. Special props go to Natalie Imbruglia, both for her excellent live performance and for being such a good sport about the whole thing.
Jeff gets a sad, broken no-prize for bringing us news of yet another Ferrari Enzo's demise. There are so many people who're going to get a proctological exam by this production's insurance company it's making me a little dizzy.
Ron gets a no-prize he can pick up at the weirdest confectionery shop in London for bringing us news of the capture of a monster toad in Australia. Big as a damned football! Unfortunately if the implications of the article are followed to their logical conclusion, Mr. Monster Toad is likely frozen stiff awaiting transformation into fertilizer.
No, Ellen, you can't have one.
Doctors have announced the discovery of a third sort of twin birth. Termed "semi-identical," it's thought they form when two fused sperm fertilize a single egg. This type of twin had been hypothesized by biologists before, but no proof of their existence had been found until now.
280 mph motorcycle, anyone? I get jittery when my bicycle gets above 40 mph. I think I'll give this one a pass.
Scientists are now reporting the creation of a sheep that's 40% human on the cellular level. The goal is to create animals that will provide perfect transplant organs for patients. While the "Frankenstein-in-fleece" creep factor looms large, I think the real concern will be for cross-species disease transfer. Critics are already bringing this up, but considering the value of a transplanted organ, it would seem to me an engineering problem to create an environment which would keep these sorts of sheep completely disease-free.
Not all wealthy people spend their money on bling. If government policies created more incentives to give and fewer taxes to take, we'd see a helluva lot more of this. And such money would be far more effective too, since people are much more interested in how their money is spent than government officials ever would be.
Keep that in mind next time you see an article bemoaning how rich the wealthy are, and how only government policy can change it.
Speaking of OLD kid shows that Scott talks about. Here is my favorite!
You can even check in to see what they have been up to all of these years.
I nearly wet my pants when I saw them on YouTube!
Ellen, if you do nothing else tonight, view entry #4.
I've been trying to get across to her how completely freakazoid kid's shows were in the 70s for years now. All she does is look at me, cock her head sideways, and say, "Pica?!?*" Now, for once, she will finally understand...
No kidding, man. They used to have "preview" shows on the networks each (Fall? Summer?) season that'd showcase the latest kid shows premiering that Saturday. I remember losing sleep waiting for Captain Kool and the Kongs to premiere Saturday morning. I also remember being completely flabbergasted that dad would come watch Electro Woman and Dyna Girl with us (just like he did with the contemporary Wonder Woman). Now, well, I pretty much understand. Both of them.
And you people wonder why I'm so weird.
* Ellen's bankshot reference, translated, roughly, to "I've spent all day with this quite-obviously-well-but-kept-home-to-keep-daycare-from-being-quarantined child." I'm getting ready to sacrifice a cat to the Wonderpets. Or you. Now, what was it you were asking me again?
So, I would imagine, says Conan the bacterium, a critter that can withstand ionizing radiation thousands of times beyond what would quickly kill a human. The secret? Not DNA, as previously thought, but rather the number of manganese ions in its repair protein sequences. The discovery has implications in the methods used to prevent radiation sickness in, for example, space travelers.
If bible school was more like this, I probably would've gone a few more times. Something tells me the older parishoners wouldn't appreciate it as much.
Language is a bit "blue," and contains a few goofy but non-explicit drawings of nekkedness. If that'll get you in trouble, consider it NSFW.
Broward County Medical Examiner Joshua Perper said Smith died of "combined drug intoxication" with the sleeping medication chloral hydrate as the major factor.
Read the entire surprising article here.
So today is the first day of the rest of my (programmer) life. I just now created my very first "for real" web project. Sorta feels like those first moments of a real mission after you've gone through a new shooter's training scenario. You know where all the buttons are and what they do, but dammit someone's shooting and which one fired the grenade again?!?
But hey, everyone has to start somewhere. I'm starting here. It should be fun to see where it all leads.
Who would've thought selling aerospace junk would be profitable? While it'd be neat to own a full Apollo command module engine, as I recall it's about as big as a car. Meh, I got garage space!
Ron gets a no-prize that'll look snazzy in a Tuxedo for bringing us yet another example of advertising disguising itself as journalism. I never did get much into magazines like Esquire precisely because the stuff they recommended was always so ridiculously overpriced. $750 for a pair of brown wing-tips sure does put my high-zoot bicycling shoes into perspective.
uh...no Olivia. We already have a giant pony in the house. We do not need more of a zoo. Daddy will kill me if I buy it. Put back the giraffe and Mommy won't get hurt...
I may have a few more from this weekend. To be posted soon!
A very...err...sloppy NO-PRIZE to Ron!
From the Pet Expo we went to this weekend.
"We are also aware that her most famous attributes may require special treatment, so we are planning on using the best quality marble only."
...move my body all nightlong.
WTF? Samantha Fox as a town statue?
The aircraft is expected to arrive at Dulles some time after 9 p.m. on Sunday, March 25 and depart some time after 9 p.m. on Monday, March 26. The organizers of this event have not made arrangements for the general public to view the aircraft, its takeoffs or landings. Public areas of the airport do not offer a good view of the A380 when it is parked on the airfield.
That sound you're hearing is my head, ringing like a bell that's been given a bloody great whack with a fifteen pound sledge. We just covered "design by interface," which, from the comments, is quite familiar to at least some of you but was a concept I literally could not get my head around reading about it in books. I think I tried to teach myself Java and C# at least five times in ten years, and foundered every time on this concept. It would finally seem that, with the help of a harbor master, I have managed to steer clear of those rocks.
I now know what a nineteenth century shipwright must've felt the first time he ever saw a steamship under way.
You have to scroll down to really get the idea on just how BIG this place is!
...are not good enough!
The controversy has raged over whether the device, which has fish-like teeth that attach to the head and shaft of the penis, is a medieval device built on a hatred of men or whether it is an easy-to-use invention that could free millions of South African women from fear of rape.
NO! MEANS NO! OK?
Editor: No Ellen, You can't have one.
...that will shut them up!
"Hand-rearing a polar bear is not appropriate and is a serious violation of animal rights," Bild newspaper quoted animal rights campaigner Frank Albrecht as saying.
"In fact, the cub should have been killed," he added.
Like I said, we can solve the problem easily.
All men rejoice!
"I strongly believe that the Hooters concept is something that Israelis are looking for," Ofer Ahiraz, who bought the Hooters franchise for Israel, told Reuters Monday. "Hooters can suit the Israeli entertainment culture."
At Hooters, waitresses the company calls Hooters Girls serve spicy chicken wings, sandwiches, seafood and drinks.
Ahiraz said a specific location in Tel Aviv, Israel's most cosmopolitan city, had yet to be chosen, but he said it would not open restaurants near large religious populations, and they would not be kosher.
So far, it's definitely worth the price. The instructor knows most of the people who created the language (C#) personally, and even made a few minor contributions himself. My lab partner is very smart but gets lost in different areas, and so far we're working together well. My aborted attempt to teach myself the language has stood me well... so far it's mostly a matter of remembering rather than learning. That will change, but hopefully I'll have much more confidence when it does.
I'm glad I have an hour to go soak my head.
Ok, not really. Today marks the start of the first of my nearly-week-long computer programming classes. Since the Philistines that run the place don't connect the classroom computers to the internet (attention? Distraction? Speak not of these things!) posting will be rather light. Hell they don't even have chairs in the "internet room!" This represents an innovation I will surely be exploring for the staff computer room come convention time. It may prevent the limpet-like behavior most of them exhibit when they're able to sit down in front of a computer.
Jerred tried luring the cat.
"Here, kitty, kitty," Black said.
The cat fidgeted, but even chicken wings didn't do the trick.
Then, someone suggested grabbing a chain saw.
Chuck headed to the truck. Michael moved down the ladder, grabbed the chain saw and cranked it up. He handed it to Jerred.
Black handed out cans of Sierra Mist soda to the workers and her family.
It's not what you think! Read the whole story!
Could we finally be seeing the results of an emphasis on humint (human intelligence) in our secret services? The article was linked from Fark, so your mileage may indeed vary, but it is definitely an interesting development.
Reading main stream reviews of 300, I began to suspect that it wasn't the movie the critics didn't like, rather it was its politics. If Neal Stephenson's op-ed is any indication, my hunch was bang-on. And if a Greek anthropologist likes it, it can't be all that bad. Since my motto is "if it gets mixed reviews and looks interesting, it goes on the list," this one has definitely been moved to "on."
Getting it moved onto Ellen's list, well, that's a whole different ballgame.
Because if you do, they might mistake your thumb for lunch. This one takes awhile to unfold, but it works because for once you know one of these geniuses is going to get exactly what he deserved.
The Airbus A380 will be making a tour of the US next week, including a March 25th stop at Dulles. On a Sunday. Next to my house. Woot!
Is there nothing safe from George Lucas's promotion machine? Co-opting a cereal box is one thing, but turning government property into an advertisement is something else entirely.
Ah well. It is Star Wars after all. If a couple hundred mail boxes get slapped with R2D2 stickers, no biggie.
Now if they start trying to turn fire hydrants into mini Jar-Jars, well, we'll have to have a conversation about that.
Seems like some caterpillars use warning noises instead of warning colors to alert predators that they're nowhere near as tasty as they look. I wonder if that could be leveraged into some sort of widget to shoo birds away from garden plants?
"Excuse me sir, would you like soda, juice, coffee, or a corpse?"
Having a flight crew load a dead body next to your first-class seat sounds like something out of a black comedy. Knowing how original Hollywood is, it most likely will be made into one soon.
Skippy on a walk at the goose pond. Notice the ferocity of this cat! GRR!! I say! GRR!!
We are surprised Ron is not naked and humping the star.
More to come...daily though. There is only so much pasta I can take!
Get rid of it now and contact the company.
Recall Information 1-866-895-2708
*=cat food that is found easily in PetsMart and Petco
Aviation Week's latest cover story details UAV operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's a helluva lot more complicated than I thought it would be, and that's saying something.
It does a body good! I've seen some real Japanese advertising on various specials. This isn't too far off the mark.
NASA recently calibrated its new STEREO-B solar observation satellite, and unlike most calibrations the results were most definitely worth a look. I can't wait for the 3-D movies of sun storms to start coming out.
Ron gets a no-prize with a surprisingly authentic grunt for bringing us news of ringtones based on the calls of endangered species. It's bad enough Ellen's phone detonates with this blaring trumpet fandango from who knows where. Now she can actually have it roar like a tiger? Just what I always wanted.
Scientists have discovered a massive amount of water ice buried under the south pole of Mars. Supposedly they've found enough to cover the whole planet to a depth of 30 feet. Strangely, this huge amount isn't large enough to explain many of the geological signs of water that have been found. However, this would appear to be only the first dataset from the last-to-be-deployed MARSIS radar probe installed on the Mars Express orbiter. Scientists will next try to measure the north pole, and then as much of the rest of the planet as they can. Who knows? It may all still be there.
Fark linked up this interesting look at the peculiar Amish practice of "Rumspringa," the custom of letting young Amish adults do whatever they want in the modern world without fear of shunning until they formally join the Amish church. As usual, the real thing is more sophisticated than it's portrayed on TV.
Slime: check. Bizarre shape: check. Weirdly made up model: check. That settles it, it's definitely high fashion.
DO! NOT! WANT!
I'm such a non-fan of basketball someone else had to tell me the Razorbacks made it to the tournament and have a decent shot at making it to the next round. The line seems to be USC by 2.5, which to me sounds like it could be anybody's game. Pig! Sooey!
Ron making the obvious comment in 3... 2... 1...
Scientists have discovered even more evidence of liquids on the surface of Titan. This time the bodies of what are presumed to be liquid methane are near the poles and as big as Lake Superior. There's still no direct evidence that they are in fact filled with liquid, but no other likely explanation seems to have been proposed.
A 13 year old monster from a small town near Columbus, Ohio who's managed to rack up 128 felonies in a single year. There's a really grim, ugly story somewhere in this kid's life, and while I'd like to think the Juvenile system will rehabilitate him, I can't say I'm holding out much hope.
Mark gets an old-but-good no-prize for reminding us the end of the world can be damned amusing. At least now all our friends will understand what the hell we're talking about when we sigh the line in the title.
Fark (of course) linked up news of a family promoting their own daughter's career in porn. Promoting it all the way to lobbying Real Doll to make a copy of her. Definitely the gold-standard story for the sheer number of skeeve factors.
Proof no matter how stable you try to make it, it's just about impossible to get three perfectly motionless hand-held shots in low light conditions. Each of the three elements was sharp, but I couldn't help moving the camera between them.
While the answer to the question, "how historically accurate is the movie 300?" is rather predictable, the author still provides a good look at what Sparta was really like during classical times. Expecting a film based on a
comic book graphic novel to even vaguely represent an historical event is rather like expecting Ann Coulter and John Edwards to elope to the Bahamas, but if it gets people interested in the classics and finding out what really happened, I call that a Good Thing.
Spend thousands of hours, tens of thousands of dollars, crash and burn anyway. 16 foot of jet-powered R/C airplane, reduced to flinders in a moment. Hey, at least he got a divorce out of it!
No, really, radioactive stockings! If it means mo' bettah' space probes, I'm all for it!
... every day you see one of those funky dental picks incorporated into a bird's nest. The strange things you see on the way to buy a sandwich for lunch!
Mark gets a no-prize that'll use a pen in a creative way for bringing us a public service announcement all men will pay attention to. Women, maybe not so much.
Mark your calendars: Thursday is the fifth-annual "Eat a Tasty Animal for PETA (IEATAPETA) Day." While I quite respect the vegans I actually know, I've always found PETA to be grating, puerile, and counterproductive. If poking a fork in a steak will poke a fork in their eye, I'm all for it.
A vegan might counter that celebrating death as a way of annoying an idiotic organization is a bit like dancing around a burning building because I think Scientology's headquarters is tacky. To which I can only say, "gotta match?"
Yet another drug has been found that promises significant and sudden improvement in quality of life for brain damaged people. This time it's a drug originally developed to fight insomnia. The findings seem to be very preliminary (they seem to only have evidence for it working on a single individual), but any progress is a good thing, I suppose.
Taken at the museum outing this past weekend.
Olivia, being Olivia, kept trying to boss her cousin JT around as we wandered the museum. Every time he ignored her and swirled off on his own tangent, she'd put her hands on her hips and yell out in a very exasperated tone, "Jaayymes!"
She is, after all, her mother's child.
No-prize to Jeff for sharing with us pictures taken with his snazzy new camera!
Is there nothing environmentalists won't try to ruin? European automakers only started to pay attention to environmental controls on automobiles when German scientists linked damage to Germany's Black Forest to auto emissions back in the early 80s. As noted in the article, congestion has forced speed limits to be imposed in many sections of the Autobahn, and obviates the lack of a speed limit in many others. Setting a mandated speed limit may be just a formality. More's the pity.
I'm not particularly surprised scientists who doubt that global warming is caused by human activity are being threatened. They are, after all, going after one of the most sacred of leftist cows. What is interesting is how widely these sorts of things are being reported. Could it be that, after Al Gore's triumph, the media have decided in their famously contrary way to foment a backlash? Could it simply be that those of us who have our doubts are now officially sick and tired of it, and are not taking it anymore? Are the cow-eyed idealistic college students who drove most of this finally becoming grizzled, disappointed cynics like the rest of us?
All the world wonders...
Don’t move that rock. You’ll kill the fairies! If nothing else, we now have definitive proof that the Luddites in Northern Virginia have not in fact tried everything under the sun to stop developers.
Me, Olivia, and my nephew, James at the Udvay-Hazy museum this past weekend.
Olivia already pitches fits when her princess dresses are in the wash. I can't imagine what she'd be like if a real wedding dress were available. From previous experience, it won't much matter. Women go bananas preparing for a wedding, no matter what the dress is like. Seems to be a valued part of the experience, far as I can tell.
Today's mysterious quiet has been brought to you by: Microsoft, who's decision to make the time zone patch a "roll-up" instead of a critical update resulted in none of my users getting the thing automatically sent to them last month. You see, in the Land of Microsoft critical updates are the best-tested, most-important updates. All others (including
fruit security roll-ups) tend to have things like "new features" (bugs) or "new software" (beta tests) included in them, so I never bothered to select those categories for download, let alone automatic install.
Discovering why, exactly, the automated install hadn't actually automated or installed, when the auto update widget had been steaming along happily for the past 18 months, took about four hours. Implementing the fix took about 2 more, and now I'm chasing down the broken or somewhat schizoid computers which won't take the update at all.
This time I really do blame the Bush administration, along with busybody congress critters who quite clearly need to be kept much more busy than they are at present.
Keep in mind my only tripod was a very flexy bit of plastic about six inches tall. There aren't too many tabletops in the museum, so composition was a bit of a challenge.
The most polished aircraft I've ever seen. I'm sure there's a story behind that finish, I just have to discover the person to ask.
There's a whole story behind this aircraft's restoration (last paragraph). You'll find quite a few pictures of this display if you Google "Fw 190 Smithsonian." These provide a nice insight into what HDR allows you to do.
We LOVE Vegas! We went to Vegas ONCE! ONCE I say! It was a nightmare to get there, but we had a great time!
I have decided I want to move to the desert. Nice and sunny all the time. Humming birds... tacky city... yadda yadda yadda...
Then I came across this this.
An interesting day to day blog. Informative on what being a cocktail waitress is really like. TIP THOSE GALS DAMMIT!
Ok, and she has an adorable baby to boot!
Take a read. It's quite fun!
In all honesty, I don't know the story behind this one. It was just a neat plane with cool lighting.
From memory: Boeing employees in the late 80s got together and restored the only surviving 307 Stratoliner (a pre-war B-17 civilian variant) to flying condition, including the ever-so-rare interior. On its second, maybe third flight (say, 1996), something went very wrong with the fuel system, and to save their lives the crew bellied her into a lake off the end of a runway, ruining said restoration. The fished her out, re-did it all again, and then flew her straight to Dulles, where she remains parked to this day.
I only wish they could figure out a way to tour the inside.
Family outing to the Air and Space Annex today. This one is (so far) Ellen's favorite, reminding her of a swirl of airplanes.
A very orange kitty massage NO-PRIZE to my Dad for sending us this.
It's even dubbed in English from cat speak!
Congrats to Mrs. USA for becoming Mrs. World. That's about the most official "MILF" title on the books right there.
Scientists have discovered a protein that triggers tanning and fights cancer. The two functions are apparently related, albeit through what seems to be a series of complex chemical reactions. It's hoped the discovery could some day lead to both cancer treatments and tanning products.
"It's a floor cleaner and a desert topping!"
If SNL was this funny all the time, I'd probably still be watching it. Lots of great in-jokes for the indie movie crowd to appreciate as well. Plus cats with lasers!
Scientists have come up with a new theory to explain the sulfate-rich deposits found by the Mars rover Opportunity. In this scenario, groundwater bubbles up to the surface and then evaporates, leaving behind the mineral deposits. This does not necessarily preclude oceans or other large water bodies elsewhere on Mars, but it does neatly explain the unique conditions found at Meridiani Planum.
Mark gets a no-prize that'll fit in his pocket for bringing us a reminder of why The Man Show was completely under-rated when it was running. And why Jimmy Kimmel had one of the best jobs in the world.
Well, if the car's not worth anything might as well have fun with it. Wouldn't want to be a passenger or a driver once they pick up speed. Professional stunt drivers put roll cages inside their cars for a reason, ya know?
Well what the hell else am I supposed to title an article about something called the "Toolmenator?" If you ride a bike you definitely need some sort of multi tool. Trust me man, bike shoes are definitely not what you want to be walking home in. Especially if you regularly ride 20+ miles away from said home!
And the reason posts have been slow today is... I got my Linux boxen to authenticate users with our Active Directory! YEEE-HA!!! No more "one account common to the whole herd," no more worrying about changing the keys on six different locks if someone who knows that account walks away, no more consultants getting the vapors over two different login structures. It's all-for-one now baby! I even managed to restrict it based on windows groups.
The vital clue? A software widget called SADMS, which appears to be a configuration shell for the disparate things you need to get Samba 3.x to register the machine to AD and use it authenticate users.
Pardon me, I must now go and do a geeky little happy dance...
This one sounds a lot like conversations I have with folks on the left side of the peanut gallery. "Yes, but..."-s in 3... 2... 1...
I guess it's just as well it never rains in California. Thunderstorms lead (eventually) to earthquakes. Whodathunkit?
I'm not sure what the purpose of a time-lapse film of a parking lot is, but I found the results to be a bit hypnotic. Must... watch... parked... cars...
It's taken six years of R&D, but it appears Boeing is really going to deploy an emergency external autopilot system to prevent terrorist attacks. While a good idea in theory, there are so many different ways for something like this to go wrong I'm actually surprised it's come along this quickly. You go first.
Ok, this one, I got an "oh wow, that's pretty" moment. It's actually quite rare I'm able to capture in camera what I'm seeing in front of me. I got lucky at the cathedral. 50% of the pictures I took there were home runs (and I only took 20!) It's nice to know that, in a completely different setting, I can still hit the occasional single, maybe even a double.
Again, not an HDRI photo (the HDRI version is 2 entries down). I wish it were HDRI. Unfortunately the software's assumptions won't accommodate this sort of extreme. But the raw will do just fine for now, IMO.
This one's a regular, (relatively) unprocessed raw file. It would appear the HDR software I'm using was built around a certain set of assumptions involving a large bit of building on a cloudy day. When you don't take pictures that are even vaguely related to that assumption, the results are quite disappointing. Let's hope in future version it'll work with absolute white to absolute black.
But I still like this one.
See! I can take pictures of flowers too!
It seems that current HDR software isn't quite ready for absolute white to absolute black. The edges of the white are actually quite artificial enlarged. But I'm getting there!
Not only do I not expect the people on the left side of the peanut gallery to roll over this easily, I also expect a lot of, "yes, but!!!"-s to be thrown about. Don't worry, the deficit's going down regardless.
Well what do you expect to happen when a bicycle goes 108 mph? Best I've ever done was just touching 40 mph, and that was one helluva thrill. The tour guys will hit 50-60 mph on some downhill stages, but even they admit it's scary. Gotta be careful!
While it hasn't come up recently in any of my own arguments, the whole "why don't we have privately funded defenses?" question seems to be ably put down here. So all of you who were sharpening that particular argumentative knife are pleased to be putting it back now.
And from the, "what-were-you-f'ing-expecting?" department, we have the discovery that circumcision does not in fact halve the chances of HIV infection. The reason? The idjits aren't waiting for their incisions to heal before they start having sex again.
James Randi: "Without good folks like you to stand up against this humbuggery, we’d have no soldiers out there to offer a defense of reason." Since John Edward's Sci-Fi show seems long gone, I thought he'd also faded into oblivion. I suppose when you have extremely rich and powerful people like Oprah Winfrey believing you, oblivion is just a temporary thing.
No-Prize! to my Mom for sending us this!
All bow down and worship the ultimate shotgun. That's one mutha-f'in boom right there boys.
Long-time readers will most likely remember we've talked about these monsters before. Something tells me they probably wouldn't be welcome at the local shooting gallery.
Weather prevented us from seeing Saturday's Lunar eclipse, but Bigwig & co. got to see it, with much unintended amusement. Olivia quite regularly garbles words, although her "Oliviaish" is becoming much clearer over time. Well, to us at least. The biggest problem we have right now is she uses pronouns, auxiliary verbs, and modifiers pretty much interchangeably, sometimes in the same sentence. Plus she's still got to figure out that just because she's thinking it doesn't mean she's speaking it. "He is my favorite daddy but she took my binki, daddy gimme back that binki!" and "Daddy! Lighting blow a tire!*" while walking down the stairs are recent examples.
* A reference to the movie Cars, for those unfortunate enough not to have seen it 8 times in the past 7 days.
Yet more signs the latest Baghdad crackdown is working, this time from someone who actually calls a relative who lives there.
I can't think of a better place for a high-speed run in a street car than a closed airport runway. Well, except for the seagulls, I suppose.
Mike J. gets a no-prize that may one day have to face the
Spanish Environmentalist Inquisition for bringing us evidence that global warming may be caused by solar phenomena. If Mars ends up warming and cooling in time with the Earth, that'll pretty much seal the deal on what, exactly, is causing the problem. This particular scientist's views are, not surprisingly, controversial, seemingly dismissed out of hand by many. Then again, as many global warming proponents are fond of pointing out, just because a scientist is out of the main stream doesn't mean he's wrong.
I'm not sure what our loopy
Marxist "Earth First"-ers will froth about after that, but I'm sure they'll figure out something.
Supercar owners, like their more common SUV cousins, sometimes need to be reminded the laws of physics still apply to them. Smashing a Bugatti Veyron doing 100 mph in a 40 mph zone in the rain is quite an accomplishment! You get a gold star!
The damage doesn't look any worse than a "substantial" crash of any other sort of car. Were it, say, an Audi or a Jaguar, I'd judge it to be expensive to fix but not a write-off*. However, this Bugatti is mostly carbon fiber (if not completely), so who knows? They might be able to screw the nose off and put a new one on, or there may be cracks that go all the way through to the back bumper.
Definitely glad it wasn't my car.
* Being a car guy who is a) into classic cars that often need bodywork and b) was somewhat... careless... early in his driving career, I'm actually pretty well versed in how body repair assessments work. I'm not a professional insurance adjuster, but I could probably play one on TV.
I guess all those people who, like me, thought it would be Federline who imploded are pretty amazed right about now. Definitely glad I didn't put any money in that race. For once.
I guess it sort of confirms what every man in America has known on some level for a long time: a lot of Britney's appeal was based on the "You can't have me, and you know if you did I'd hurt you 'cos I'm out of my freaking mind" buzz you could see behind her eyes. Also goes a long way to proving God is a guy, because only a guy in a bar would think it's funny to hard-wire his creations to reflexively want chicks like this*. We all do, but we all grow out of it. Usually through painful experience.**
Hopefully her sister, who is a regular on some Disney channel show Olivia sees ads on between Sponge Bob episodes, has her head screwed on straighter. Not putting any money on that one either, but having your older sister act as such a signal warning has to help.
* Call it the Jackass effect, writ large.
** Typically involving an emptied bank account and jail time. So I've heard.
Well, unless you're the pope or something: scientists have developed a new spermicide that kills 100% of sperm at only 4% the concentration levels of current products. It works, if I'm reading the article right, by simply telling the swimmers to die, as apposed to 'asploding them the way the current stuff does, preventing irritation and potential infections.
Somehow I think if these were grownup tigers the outcome wouldn't be as amusing. A lot shorter and bloodier perhaps, but not amusing. At least for the monkey at any rate.
And I'm pretty sure that's a gibbon, which (if I recall correctly) is technically an ape. Our cousins sure do have a sense of adventure!
While calling ruins you've photographed to be those of "lost" cities seems a bit of an oxymoron, the results are nevertheless quite interesting. Note that if thousand-year-old statue reliefs of people doing sexually improbable things would be NSFW for you, there will definitely be a few galleries here to avoid. Or not, as the case may be :).
It would seem the Earth has several "open sores" on the ocean floor where the mantle is not covered by crust. Scientists have no idea why this happens, and so are heading out to study.
Our planet has shingles. Great.
It’s very rare that a film changes history, but I think this is a turning point and in five years the idea that the greenhouse effect is the main reason behind global warming will be seen as total bollocks.
For me, if the effects of global warming will take a hundred years or more to manifest, the world will quite easily adjust (as long as market forces are allowed to work). If the effects will manifest in just a few years, there's not a damned thing anyone can do about it, and trying will just cost us the money we'll need to fix things when the disaster hits.
Look, people, when you pin these scientists down they all admit their models don't work. Their models don't work! And you're asking me to allow the government to spend millions of tax dollars trying to make it work? Having the government sacrifice poverty-curing growth trying to make it work? When we know already it doesn't work?
Welcome to 1917 redux. Please pick up your red flags by the door. I'll be standing against the wall with the rest of the Kulaks. Take your time. Your aim will be better then.
Taken at the St. Patrick's Day Parade this Saturday. Yes, Yes SHUT up! I KNOW it was not the real St. Patrick's Day. Do I look like I run the damn city?
Old cars just don't move around as much, I suppose.
Taken at yesterday's St. Patrick's Day festival in Old Town Alexandria, VA.
Here we see the limits of my new favorite technique of HDR photography: namely, motion both inside and outside the camera. Because it involves three exposures, no matter how rapidly they're taken it's extremely difficult to hand-hold well enough for anything to be sharp (note the blurring at the back of the car). A tripod would, it seems, be in order even for daylight shots. I now also see what people really meant by "ghosts". People can move a very long way in the time it takes 3 frames to be taken, and the resulting images are very strange indeed. If this were something I were getting paid for, I imagine it would be quite possible to use the three images to "solidify" moving objects. However, it would most likely take several hours to get right, and at this moment I simply don't know how to do that sort of advanced editing. Maybe once I purchase Lightroom and an associated book, I'll consider such "repairs."
One of the flower bouquets I got for the loss of Ajax.
It looks like the push for Baghdad security might actually be working. A tipping point perhaps? One can only hope.
I guess one of the few perks of flying in a war zone is flight restrictions aren't really all that restrictive. Kudos to the cameraman for having the cajones to let an A-10 fly so low the backwash actually knocks him around.
Jeff gets a gigantic no-prize that nobody seems to want anymore for bringing us news that UPS has canceled its A380 order from Airbus. This is not as unexpected as it would seem, Aviation Week has been reporting UPS was considering this for a few months now. Airbus was already diverting resources to the passenger variant, and the conventional wisdom seems to be that, while certainly not a good thing, it would be better to delay the cargo version entirely than accept more slowdowns on the passenger type.
This time it's a very Japanese take on the classic candid camera format. What with the prevalence of tasers, pepper spray, and even guns in our society (not to mention our freewheeling personal injury liability circus), I somehow don't see this one working as well over here. But it is fun to watch.
The Cassini probe is at it again, this time returning unprecedented "high angle" pictures of Saturn's rings, and a movie of what it looks like to cross the ring plane. Amazing to think those structures are the leftovers from a collision thought to have taken place during the time of the dinosaurs.
Ron gets a no-prize that hums an amazingly addictive ditty from the 70s for bringing us news of a microbe that turns soft soil into stone. As long as they can control the little monsters and prevent them from turning the whole world into granite, I'm all for it. Although I would think it interesting to see what would happen if the San Francisco bay area sank into the ground due to liquefaction, something tells me the current residents would not feel the same way.
Nina gets a no-prize that's wobbled off its meds for bringing us the story of the $50,000 check from God. Consumers do the darnedest things!
The very first server I ever spec'ed, purchased, configured, programmed, and managed end-to-end at work was retired for good today. Our original "real" web application server, a Dell poweredge 2300, was provisioned and installed in 1998. It soldiered on through good times and bad, never being re-tasked (a remarkable thing here... servers usually do 2-3 jobs before they're shut down). It was still on its original OS install! NT 4.0!
So raise a glass tonight (as if you needed an excuse) and toast old soldiers who's job is well done. I'll be giving it an affectionate pat as I stick a TRASH tag on it and place it in the hall on Monday for disposal.
Scientists have discovered a fossil that links three major groups of animals together. The rather fuzzy-looking Orthrozanclus reburrus, a Cambrian-era creature probably not much more than an inch long, appears to sit at the base of a group which eventually lead to molluscs (such as clams and squid), annelids (segmented worms), and brachiopods (some other damned clamshell-looking thing). Suck it, you "can't-find-any-transitional-fossil" creationist wacks!
Mark gets a very ex-no-prize for bringing us an example of why Haji should keep his head down. Apparently this is Hamas v. Fatah, although from the voices in the background it seems (to my tin ear anyway) to have been caught by an Israeli camera.
Update: Sometimes you get them in bunches.
Personally, the revelation that left-wing bloggers swear a lot more than right-wing bloggers wasn't all that much of a surprise. Simplistic, "neener-neener I know you are but what am I?" ripostes seem to me a leitmotif of the extreme left. I see them all the time, and vote Republican accordingly. What is far more difficult to measure with a simple plot is that extreme right wingers may not swear as much, but the things they do say nicely tend to be scarier.
Essentially, it seems you have to be a little extreme to run a political blog, and just to the right of Darth Vader (or to the left of Big Brother) to comment on one.
Scientists have found evidence of a vast deposit of water under a continental plate. Estimates place the size of this water-soaked rock formation located underneath East Asia as roughly equivalent to the Arctic ocean. Its existence verifies a number of geological theories, from how continents move to why seismic readings in the Beijing region (which lies above the center of the area) are quite different from other, similar places.
Lunar eclipse coming this Saturday. During the last one we got some pretty interesting pictures, who knows what we'll get this time.