March 31, 2008
What He Said

Bigwig: “A naturalist is someone who is interested in and knows a lot about the natural world. An environmentalist is someone who hates people.”

I know lots of naturalists. By what I've seen and read, I'm not particularly interested in meeting environmentalists.

Posted by scott at 03:40 PM | Comments (0)
Bombing the Future

Ares has a report detailing new information about the Air Force's upcoming advanced bomber competition. It would seem if the Air Force really wants one by 2018, they need to start planning it now. It also seems that the era of proposing a new system and fielding it in less than a decade are long, long gone.

Posted by scott at 02:46 PM | Comments (0)
~ It's a Hard Knock Life / for Us ~

A new study shows that life in ancient Egypt was nowhere near as fun as it seemed, at least for the common people. My old undergrad adviser Jerry Rose was co-author of the study. Go Hogs!

Posted by scott at 01:42 PM | Comments (0)
First You Laugh, Then You Die

Leave it to the French to mount a 75mm cannon on a Vespa scooter. Are those goofy little things really that good off-road?

Posted by scott at 12:41 PM | Comments (1)
Squeezing Quality

It would appear Comcast's efforts to stuff more channels into their digital domain aren't as unnoticeable as they'd like. This sort of thing had relatively few consequences in times past, but now that competition is a reality, it probably won't go well for the executives who thought this whole thing up.

Posted by scott at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)
A Real Crusade

Pope John Paul II is widely credited with having made a substantial contribution to the ultimate fall of the Soviet Union. Will Benedict XVI contribute as much to the fall of radical Islam?

One does not fight a religion with guns (at least not only with guns) but with love, although sometimes it is sadly necessary to love one's enemies only after they are dead. The Church has lacked both the will to evangelize Muslims as well as the missionaries to undertake the task. Benedict XVI, the former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, has thought about the conversion of the Muslims for years, as I reported just before his election in 2005 (The crescent and the conclave, Asia Times Online, April 19, 2005). Where will the Pope find the sandals on the ground in this new religious war? From the ranks of the Muslims themselves, evidently. Magdi Allam is just one convert, but he has a big voice. If the Church fights for the safety of converts, they will emerge from the nooks and crannies of Muslim communities in Europe.

The papacy has an uneven record risking its collective neck defending faith against modern opponents. That said, it's sometimes worth remembering just how risky John Paul's stance against communism really was in the mid-70s. Will Benedict risk a car bomb in St. Peter's during Easter to take on the West's most dangerous existing threat? I can only hope he's up to the task.

In my own opinion, the world could do a lot worse than adopting a religion that learned how to cope with the modern world long ago.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 10:40 AM | Comments (1)
I Want to Believe

Fark linked a single weird UFO picture, which seems to be a single shot from a series being featured on not one, not two, but at least three different web sites.

Nearly everyone thinks they're photoshopped, and those who didn't thought they were generated with some sort of 3-D art tool. I thought the "viral video game marketing ploy" idea made the most sense, but that's just me.

Of course, it could really be a space ship, so who knows?

Posted by scott at 08:28 AM | Comments (0)
March 30, 2008
Olivia's New Belly Dance Costume



Posted by Ellen at 08:35 PM | Comments (1)
March 28, 2008
Big Ol' Sled of Fail

Lesson #28 on How Not to Do a Remote: never try reporting from the bottom of a snow sled hill.

It's almost too good to be true, but I'm provisionally believing it, at least for now.

Posted by scott at 03:11 PM | Comments (2)
Switch Off

I'd be a lot happier if they were switching off lights to dramatize why we need to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. The problem I have with environmentalism is not necessarily its (prima facia) goals, but that its most enthusiastic supporters never seem to admit that keeping the environment clean is expensive.

First go watch this, (all of it! Don't think I can't tell!) then come back and yell at me about how misguided my attitudes on environmentalism are.

Posted by scott at 02:33 PM | Comments (1)
The Sum of All Differences?

Mark gets a very earnest no-prize for bringing us this essay on what the author considers the fundamental differences between Catholics and Protestants. It unintentionally provides a graphic demonstration that Christianity's monomaniacal focus on doctrine is alive and well. All other religions believe it's important for the poor to be fed. Only Christians are concerned that it be done for the right reasons.

Posted by scott at 12:38 PM | Comments (4)
Flexi Chip

Scientists have announced a new technique which allows the creation of flexible silicon chips. It's hoped these new items will be useful in a whole raft of applications which previously could not use electronics due to form factor issues.

Posted by scott at 10:30 AM | Comments (0)
Porn School

No, really, it's a porn school:

Sometime this weekend, at some sexy, unknown location in Tampa Bay, a woman named Courtney Cummz will show two-dozen prospective adult filmmakers how to make a porno.

The film shoot is part of "Porn Camp," a weekend-long, $4,000-a-head seminar that'll cover everything from porn-star pay scales to set design to proper Web site design.

Considering that I've been told* the vast majority of sites are poorly designed sticky-traps that barely render at all, just about anything that improves the situation should be good.

* Mah story, sticking to it. U go wai.

Posted by scott at 08:33 AM | Comments (1)
March 27, 2008


~We LOVE you!

Posted by Ellen at 08:02 PM | Comments (2)
A Remote Even My Mom Could Use?

I dunno though... a remote that looks like an anime turtle and actually asks to learn tasks might just bring me closer to my inheritance if I were to give one to my mom. Olivia'd just want to take it upstairs and play with it in her room. Meh. Give me a giant black monolith with a zillion buttons, all the same size shape and color. Real men don't need assistance!

At least until their mothers need to watch TV while baby sitting.

Go Toshiba!

Via Violins and Starships.

Posted by scott at 03:27 PM | Comments (1)
Clone Cure

Scientists have used therapeutic cloning techniques to cure mice of Parkinson's disease. While interesting as a proof of concept, it's unclear if the research could be applied to people, economically or otherwise.

Posted by scott at 01:15 PM | Comments (0)
Smoke up, Johnny!

Leave it to Fark to reveal the first known case of a cigarette-smoking turtle. Because we all know every story originating is China is completely and totally true, right?

Posted by scott at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)
Merry Christmas!

Where else in the world but from the Pentagon can one request a set of batteries and receive a set of nuclear missile fuses instead? Alternate title: China.Cage.Rattle(new NukeFuzes[4]);

"Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence."

Posted by scott at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)
Candid [Critter] Camera

I wonder if they had to pay them scale? Strapping cameras to elephants for safe, up-close candid shots is all well and good, but did they really tie that big thing to the poor beast's tusk? Those must be some pretty laid-back pachyderms!

Posted by scott at 08:17 AM | Comments (4)
March 26, 2008
Peep Pie!


Why yes, I did make a Peep Pie!

Posted by Ellen at 09:42 PM | Comments (1)
I Found One!


Yes, our flowers are blooming! Many thanks to our neighbors for letting us hide eggs in their yard!

Posted by Ellen at 09:35 PM | Comments (0)
Amber and O Dying Eggs

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

Posted by Ellen at 09:28 PM | Comments (0)
"Gorging" on Disaster

It would seem those who predicted that the Three Gorges Dam would be courting disaster may have been right. I think. I can only get the first page of the article, but that bit does seem interesting.

Posted by scott at 02:48 PM | Comments (0)
~ Uh-Oh, It's Magic ~

You knew it was only a matter of time before someone explained just what about Ashley Dupres was worth $5000. Hmf. I thought they were all blue-tooth enabled. How else does my wife knows where everything is?

Posted by scott at 01:49 PM | Comments (0)
I Can Haz Refreshment?

A specialty soda manufacturer is running a contest to put lolcats on their labels. Could this be the final cresting of the LOLcat meme? Me, I hope not, I think they're funny.

Why, thank you for this sign, but "E. Zleea Mused" isn't my name!

Posted by scott at 12:49 PM | Comments (1)
Tales of Futures Pasts

Those who originally read this forty year-old account of what life would be like in 2008 would get a mixed bag from the reality. Big TVs, remote shopping, and a near-cashless economy are definitely found, but where's my 250 mph car? It always seems the coolest predictions are the ones least likely to come true.

Posted by scott at 11:31 AM | Comments (1)
What an Interesting Anniversary Gift

Ok, now it looks like a winky with a frilly sock on top. "Modding" the Eiffel Tower to celebrate its 120th anniversary is all well and good, but isn't this the same tower that has to be closed periodically to ensure it's not dangerously corroded?

Posted by scott at 08:21 AM | Comments (1)
March 25, 2008
Rubber Face

I personally can think of no better use for a high-speed camera. Wait, what the hell am I saying? This would be the second best use of a high-speed camera. You all can guess at the first, but I will tell you it starts with a "b" and ends with an "oobs."

Posted by scott at 03:19 PM | Comments (0)
Can I get a "Duh" From the Audience?

According to this Instapundit roundup, it would seem the media are suddenly discovering that basic economics still applies to the housing market. We've got some friends who quite recently reaped the rewards of their house purchase timing, so this tracks well in our own experience.

Posted by scott at 02:27 PM | Comments (0)
Red Salt Lick

It appears that a big chunk of Mars may be covered in good ol' table salt. While not surprising on the face of it (it is, after all, what you'd expect if huge amounts of water slowly evaporated away), it does provide even more confirmation of liquid water some time in that planet's past.

Posted by scott at 12:41 PM | Comments (2)
Gramma Go Boom

Another day, another example which proves that storing cardboard boxes in an oven is actually a pretty tame thing. Strangely enough, Olivia has (so far) completely avoided any really destructive escapades. Well, except for exploding makeup bombs at various points around the house.

Posted by scott at 11:32 AM | Comments (0)
Not so "Lo" After All

It would appear the F-22's stealth technology is not as easy to maintain as first advertised. Our Air Force is mis-stating something's cheaper than it actually is until they have to pay the bill? Shocking!

Posted by scott at 10:30 AM | Comments (3)
Idle Stop

Idle more than 10 seconds? Turn the motor off, save tons of gas money. According to the article, modern fuel injection stops the big start loss associated with carburetors. Discuss, please. :)

Posted by scott at 08:42 AM | Comments (3)
March 24, 2008
Blu Ray 360: Not Yours

Slashdot is getting reports that X-Box 360 owners may have a long wait before their console supports Blu Ray. To which I say, "meh." The HD option is apparently a very fine DVD player, with excellent upconversion. If it were me, that'd be plenty enough for me to sit tight and wait until Blu Ray players drop far enough in price for me to pick one up.

Posted by scott at 02:49 PM | Comments (0)
Hagglers R Us

Pat gets a no-prize that'll worry her to death trying to get that last dime for bringing us this story detailing the return of haggling to even big-box retailers. I'm usually too much of a sap to actually try to bargain, but maybe if I come armed with info I won't feel too gobsmacked to try.

Posted by scott at 01:38 PM | Comments (4)
U Go Wai

There's laid back cats, and then there's laid back cats. Ours are almost that lazy, at least until the food scoop comes out.

Posted by scott at 12:44 PM | Comments (1)
Old Rock

Scientists claim to have discovered the oldest rocks in our solar system found to-date. The three asteroids contain a relative abundance of calcium and aluminum, the signatures of which are tell-tales of a very ancient age.

Posted by scott at 11:35 AM | Comments (0)
I Can Has Geye-Gurr Counter?

Action: Federale radiation detector meant to snag Hajji and his merry bomb-makers instead pops a kitty in a truck who just got radiation treatment.

Reaction: ZOMFG!!!1!!! They're watching us!!!

I'd read stories about how the metropolitan areas of Oregon and Washington state were so far to the political left they were in danger of falling into the Pacific Ocean. I didn't really believe them. I'm starting to believe them now.

Posted by scott at 10:24 AM | Comments (0)
Plane Go "Bang"

Those of you wondering if our post-9/11 pilots are packing need wonder no more. If the tests on the popular show Mythbusters are any indication, discharging a gun in an airplane as it's flying around, even when pressurized, is nowhere near as dangerous as Hollywood has made it out to be. It is still a gun though, so it's still pretty damned dangerous.

Your safety. Let me show you it.

Your safety.

Posted by scott at 08:56 AM | Comments (2)
March 23, 2008
Pole Freak

Another good laugh(s).

Posted by Ellen at 06:15 PM | Comments (1)
And Now Da Sportz!

We received free tickets to the new D.C. Newseum from a very good friend that works there. If you have not heard about the Newseum, it is all on media. Yes, the news. Highly recommended visit for D.C.

Now, you get the opportunity to play "reporter" out on the streets for FREE! Yep, this one you do not have to pay for! So what did I do? I made Scott get up there with Olivia and "play reporter."

Posted by Ellen at 03:25 PM | Comments (2)

Everyone here at AMCGLTD would like to wish everyone a:


Posted by Ellen at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)
March 22, 2008
Big Flash

Scientists were able to closely study the brightest explosion ever witnessed in the universe. The object that exploded was about half-way across the universe, and it was so bright if a person looked in the right place at the right time they could've seen it without a telescope. Whoa.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 10:48 AM | Comments (0)
Busy Body Burgers

I think their actual mistake was opening their restaurant so close to campus:

The restaurant, which opened two weeks ago, sits south of campus at the intersection of State and Hill streets. Adorning the blue awning above the restaurant next to its name is an image of a cowgirl riding a hamburger.

The Stonewall Democrats, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender caucus of the University's College Democrats chapter, has taken offense with the restaurant's logo and recently began circulating a petition to sway the owners to change the logo.

I must be getting old. I can remember when it was just "Gay and Lesbian." The more names they add the less I take them seriously.

Posted by scott at 09:43 AM | Comments (2)
March 21, 2008
Death by Tray

Comedian Eddie Izzard strikes again, this time with helpful Lego animation! His monologues on history bear a surprising resemblance to my own at times. Maybe I should put on lipstick and eyeshadow and go on stage?

Or, perhaps easier, learn how to, you know, actually be funny?

Posted by scott at 05:31 PM | Comments (0)

A group of scientists are claiming to have discovered a means of storing hydrogen using buckminsterfullerene, better known as "bucky balls." The soccer-ball-like molecules appear to be able to strong enough to hold a hydrogen at a density approaching that of the depths of Jupiter. At least, that's what the press release says. If it actually pans out (and that's a big damned if), we may some day be able to power hybrids using something that will vaguely resemble plastic sand.

I'm pretty sure it would Be Bad to hit a bag full of that stuff with a hammer. But wtf do I know?

Posted by scott at 05:24 PM | Comments (2)
Say What?

While I doubt these really are the ten most racist moments in TV, I did get a giggle. I especially liked the sports commentators who's urge to fill the air with anything finally bites them on the bum.

Posted by scott at 08:17 AM | Comments (0)
Tornado Down

Hey, Mr. Super-storm! Smile! You're on candid camera!

Posted by scott at 08:11 AM | Comments (1)
March 20, 2008
Brilliant, Wormy Apples

Fans of all things Apple Computer may find this in-depth article about how the company ticks today of interest. It would appear from the article not much has changed since I first read in the early 90s about how no-one at the Cupertino offices had the guts to get on an elevator alone with with Steve Jobs. It will be quite interesting to see what happens to the company when they finally carry him out the door, feet first of course.

Posted by scott at 05:54 PM | Comments (0)
On the Turning Away

Annie gets a sad but important no-prize for bringing us a tragic tale of disease and death that's triggered a huge controversy in France. I'm quite deeply conflicted about things like assisted suicide, to the point I can only really say I'm very glad I'm not the one having to make such a decision.

Posted by scott at 05:41 PM | Comments (0)
Dino Find

Pat gets an amazingly well-preserved no-prize for bringing us this look at only the forth "mummified" dinosaur ever found. I think the earliest mummy dinosaur ever discovered is on display at the American Natural History Museum in New York, and it was pretty darned amazing. This one seems to be even better preserved.

Posted by scott at 05:38 PM | Comments (0)

Posted by Ellen at 05:12 PM | Comments (3)
Beached Starfish!

Err... weird.

Posted by Ellen at 03:22 PM | Comments (1)
I Shall Call it, Micro-cool

Scientists have invented a tiny cooling fan with no moving parts. Calling something that doesn't move a "fan" seems a bit of a contradiction, but if it can give me a laptop that doesn't require a big ol' external fan to be comfortable to use, as my current one does, I'm all for it.

Posted by scott at 08:15 AM | Comments (0)
Get Some Cash for Your... Wait, What?!?

I was wondering how long it would take Drew Carey to wander across a libertarian issue that'd send the left howling to the bell towers. I'm not wondering any more.

Legalizing the sale of organs is one of those issues that makes complete sense on paper but runs the creep meter right up to the peg. In my own opinion, I think it would almost certainly end the shortage of many organs available for transplant. With a judicious bit of oversight, I think it could work, even well.

But I do understand why people would be apposed to it. So, for now at least, let's at least start a discussion. If the country decides it's a good idea, we'll get legislation moved through. Ain't democracy grand?

Posted by scott at 08:13 AM | Comments (2)
Seeing Eye Horse

No, really: a seeing eye horse. As in "don't cross the street woman or you'll get pasted. Ok go" seeing-eye assistance.

No, Ellen, you can't have one.

Posted by scott at 08:01 AM | Comments (1)
March 19, 2008
Dude. Wait... What? VIII

Those of you who wonder just what it would look like if you mixed the ridiculous earnest sincerity of a national politician with the loopy lunacy that only Japan can incarnate need wonder no more:

Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura appointed the cat an "anime ambassador," handing a human-sized Doraemon doll an official certificate at an inauguration ceremony, along with dozens of "dorayaki" red bean pancakes — his favorite dessert — piled on a huge plate.

No, really!

Posted by scott at 06:30 PM | Comments (0)

I think these dancers need a boob shimmy off!

The one in the green neon, "oh dear".

I had a good laugh. There is a HUGE difference between Middle Eastern T.V. and their dancers and those of us from US.

Posted by Ellen at 06:12 PM | Comments (3)
Drumming in Heaven

Pat gets a no-prize with a moose bite in it for bringing us news of the untimely and strange demise of a former Abba drummer. I thought things like glass doors were tempered to prevent exactly this sort of accident from happening. Who knew?

Posted by scott at 04:49 PM | Comments (4)
Dot Complete

While this diagram of .net classes confuses me more than it illuminates me, the trolls in the comments are an absolute scream. Anyone who thinks software engineers are mature and sophisticated need only peruse them to understand you can easily take the nerd out of high school, but you can't easily take high school out of the nerd.

Posted by scott at 08:11 AM | Comments (0)
Oh Noes!

Turns out there may be something beer can't do after all:

After years of argument over the roles of factors like genius, sex and dumb luck, a new study shows that something entirely unexpected and considerably sudsier may be at play in determining the success or failure of scientists — beer.

Hey, at least it wasn't my tax dollars at work!

Posted by scott at 08:00 AM | Comments (6)
En Memoriam

Arthur C. Clarke died yesterday, at the age of 90. Missed it because of my class schedule. 90 is a damned good run, especially considering what he accomplished. He will be missed.

Posted by scott at 07:49 AM | Comments (0)
March 18, 2008
Tivo Time

Tivo has released a new version of its desktop software. There's a whole lot of extra content Tivo provides that we don't use, mostly because it's agonizingly slow to load. "Spreading it out" to the PC may help solve the problem. Besides, loading content back and forth sounds like it might be handy.

Posted by scott at 12:32 PM | Comments (0)
Once More Dear Friends, into Yer Britches, or... Somthing

This week marks my triumphal return to Learning Tree's Reston facilities. This year, I'm emphasizing Javascript, Ajax, Expression Studio, and anything else that will release me from the agony that is Visual Studio's web GUI development space. Having now completed half a dozen projects in C# and, I'm nowhere near as apprehensive as I was last year. Hell I may even end up having fun.

More as it comes in...

Posted by scott at 10:16 AM | Comments (0)
March 17, 2008
One Night, at Ron and Amber's

I'm not saying Ron's an anarchist bent on spreading murderous chaos for humor value, I'm... well, actually, I guess that is what I'm saying after all. We lurv him so.

Posted by scott at 06:08 PM | Comments (4)
Say What?!?

I dunno, if Glenn keeps this up we might have to accuse him of having a sense of humor as twisted as our own. Of course Lileks got all wordy on it. How did anyone survive childhood in the 50s and 60s?

The YouTube link is the best!

Posted by scott at 02:58 PM | Comments (0)
Door Light

The things single guys do with their spare time, I tell ya. Why Damion doesn't have one of these on his door I'll never know.

Posted by scott at 01:00 PM | Comments (1)
Another Wreck Find

The remains of HMAS Sydney, a light cruiser who's loss in WWII represents the largest single loss-of-life incident in the history of the Australian navy, have been found. Sited more than a mile deep, it's not expected to become a target for scavengers, but the Australian government is already taking steps to protect the site. Pictures via remote vehicle are expected as early as Wednesday.

Posted by scott at 11:50 AM | Comments (0)
I Can Haz Orijenz?

The Washington Post's science section today was all about teh kittah. Turns out that, not surprisingly, feline origins are more complex than originally thought, although some definitive answers seem to have been found.

Posted by scott at 08:36 AM | Comments (0)
Top O' The Mornin' To Ya!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Posted by Ellen at 07:00 AM | Comments (1)
March 15, 2008
Battle Update

It would appear there's a little bit of good, and a little bit of bad, news about the upcoming Battlebots show. The good? No more wedge fights, and more destruction. The bad? We don't get to see it until maybe November.

Posted by scott at 12:05 PM | Comments (2)
March 14, 2008
Flavor of the Month

Vodka fans in the audience may be surprised to hear someone's come up with a recipe for bacon flavored vodka. Somehow I don't see Absolut making this one of their new flavors. Then again, who knows?

Posted by scott at 03:15 PM | Comments (1)
Well, that's Different

Scientists have discovered that the common sand dollar larvae clone themselves when confronted with threatening predators. There is a price: cloned larvae do not grow to be as big as non-clones. I wonder what happens if both survive?

Posted by scott at 02:28 PM | Comments (0)
Wreck Find

A long-lost British destroyer was recently found during exercises in Norway. HMS Hunter was sunk by the Germans during the first Battle of Narvik in 1940.

Posted by scott at 01:25 PM | Comments (0)
Not Dead Yet

As with most big media panic stories, a little historical perspective on the current value of the dollar is quite illuminating. Since Chicken Little never was much for history books, I'm not surprised we hear nothing like this.

Posted by scott at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)
A Crappy Misfire

That old codger with the chicken crap catapult? All it did was fling a bunch of fail. But he's vowed to try again, so who knows?

Posted by scott at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)

Everyone's favorite straight-talking Brit is at it again, ranting oh-so-deliciously about Europe's infatuation with appeasing those who would destroy them. Even better were the comments from the "so-left-they-can't-even-turn-right-on-a-street" message board I picked it up from. The easiest way of judging the effectiveness of someone from the right is how shrill the left gets trying to counter them. This guy's got them shrieking like turkeys getting tossed in a wood chipper.

Posted by scott at 08:23 AM | Comments (1)
March 13, 2008
Deadly Dart

Raetheon is throwing its hat in the ring in the Navy's Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System program. I once thought it a foolish concept that future combat aircraft would be unmanned. Now, at least in a few important missions, I'm not so sure that's the case.

Posted by scott at 03:46 PM | Comments (2)
Hobbit Hopping

Anthropologists have found another island very recently inhabited by very small humans. This time it would seem folks are in agreement that it's some form of dwarfism. I think.

Posted by scott at 02:09 PM | Comments (0)

The reason people turn to a life of crime is because they're too stupid to do anything else:

Perhaps James Wombles thought he made a clean getaway when he reportedly committed multiple burglaries in Clark and Miami counties between December and January.

But authorities tracked the Montgomery County man down by following the GPS signals from his electronic monitoring bracelet. He has been in the Miami County Jail since his Jan. 22 arrest on charges of receiving stolen property.

Sometimes they act as a deterrent. Other times, they enable arrest.

Posted by scott at 12:47 PM | Comments (0)
Talk Talk

A nerve-tapping neck band has been developed which promises the ability to have seemingly telepathic chats. The main focus right now seems to be on voice-free cell phone calls, but there must be many more applications.

Posted by scott at 11:35 AM | Comments (3)
Actually, I Like it that Color

Annie gets a no-prize that'll get out any stain for bringing us a story that really would be run if we were put in charge of the Church's laundry. Pink underwear... it's the new white!

Posted by scott at 09:50 AM | Comments (0)
March 12, 2008
Rain Drops Keep Fallin' On My Head...

Swoozie is going through her first molt and is very itchy right now. After O's bath every night, Olivia and I give Swoozie her own shower. We even bought a new shower head to bathe her more easily.



Posted by Ellen at 09:48 PM | Comments (3)
Seeing the Light

A Christian who doesn't "believe the Establishment or Free Exercise Clauses created any such doctrine called separation of church and state,” seems to have had an epiphany:

If a Muslim teacher visited your kid’s classroom every week to give a Koran lesson, what would you do? I wouldn’t like it. I’d probably file suit.

Which is more or less what everyone I've ever known who argues for an explicit separation of church and state arising from the First Amendment has been trying to get across for years. The sign of a good design is its adaptability to tasks for which it was not originally intended. I think the usefulness of the First Amendment quite handily demonstrates its good design.

But that's just me.

And let's hear it for someone I respect, but at the same time think can be a bit reactionary, for coming to the logical conclusion!

Posted by scott at 03:29 PM | Comments (3)
Nom Nom No-- hey!!!

Cat: 0, Pringles can: 1. Oh be quiet, the cat was fine. More than fine, downright laid-back about it all. If something like that were to happen to one of ours they wouldn't be right for a week.

Posted by scott at 02:22 PM | Comments (0)
Roll 'em Out

General Electric has demonstrated the world's first "roll-to-roll" OLED display manufacturing system. OLED is the technology which promises things like computer displays you can roll up and put in a tube.

Posted by scott at 01:33 PM | Comments (0)
Vader in the Skies

Those new helmet mounted displays better work, because I'd hate to look this weird for no reason at all. Even when the price goes down it may be awhile before I pick something like that up. Ellen makes enough fun of me when I game as it is.

Posted by scott at 12:31 PM | Comments (0)
Pit Stop!

Now we have video of the robotic gas station. Only in Europe (and perhaps New Jersey) would something like this be competitive with self-pumped gas.

Posted by scott at 11:31 AM | Comments (1)
String Fun

Mike J gets a no-prize that'll slide all over the place for bringing us an example of just how far too much free time can go. The note about the difficulties of testing certain kinds of programs is interesting too.

Posted by scott at 10:00 AM | Comments (1)
March 11, 2008
I Wanna See O Bellydance!

I cannot express how proud I am over a 4 1/2 year old knowing how to do veil work, let alone tell me how "I" should dance.

I cannot wait to get this girl on the stage with me!




Posted by Ellen at 10:16 PM | Comments (1)
Final Flight

Jeff gets a no-prize nobody can see for bringing us more details on the upcoming retirement of the F-117. Looks like after April that'll be it, no more flying darts. It would seem they're going into storage, at least at first, so it's not "really really really" the end, but most likely very close to it. Unlike the SR-71, there are several platforms either operational or nearly so with capabilities which either replace or surpass the 117's, so a sudden return from retirement would seem unlikely.

Don't expect to see them flying in vintage air shows either. The DoD has a very long-standing policy of rendering surplus military aircraft unflyable before allowing civilians to purchase them. They'll most likely get turned into razor blades instead.

And if that isn't a modern version of beating swords into plowshares, I don't know what is.

Posted by scott at 03:10 PM | Comments (2)
Vista Voices

Pat gets a no-prize nobody really wants for bringing us this summary of Microsoft's latest woes with Vista. It looks very much like the marketroids got just enough decision making power to comprehensively wreck expectations about the product. In other words, business as usual.

Posted by scott at 02:04 PM | Comments (0)
Battlebots Redux

Everyone's favorite robotic destructo-fest is coming back to TV. I spent many a late night watching these things go at each other after Ellen had rolled her eyes and gone to bed. It'll be interesting to see if Olivia thinks they're neat.

Posted by scott at 12:47 PM | Comments (0)
Oh Dear...

Joshua is the proud recipient of the Ed Wood no-prize for Absolutely Worst Movie of 2007 for bringing us well, this. The best part is, these people will almost certainly end up on Conan or Kimmel over this. Hey, if it can happen to that Tron suit guy, it can happen to anyone!

Posted by scott at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)
You Have 30 Seconds to Comply

Mike J. gets a no-prize that'll help him search for Sarah Conner for bringing us the latest tech Israel is using to facilitate Hajji meeting up with his 72 virgins.

Posted by scott at 10:24 AM | Comments (3)
Ghost Thriller

Neverland Ranch: a sad, abandoned husk of its former self. Spending yourself bankrupt will do that to a person, donchaknow?

Posted by scott at 08:58 AM | Comments (0)
March 10, 2008
Roller Girl Olivia

Year 2 with roller skating, and she is finally getting the hang of it!







Posted by Ellen at 10:33 PM | Comments (5)
Hot & Not

Presenting, your one-stop-shop for the dorkiest white guys on the planet who, somehow, still manage to at least get close to hot women. I was wondering which trends in the 'aughts would end up in the next VH1 "I love the..." specials. I don't wonder anymore.

Posted by scott at 03:59 PM | Comments (0)
I Can Haz Stress Reduction?

Funny, around our house they seem to encourage, rather than prevent, heart attacks. As noted in the article, it's more likely that all pets cause a significant reduction in heart attack risk, and what the study found is due to statistics.

Wouldn't it be interesting if that weren't the case?

Posted by scott at 02:12 PM | Comments (1)
When Speed Bumps Attack

Being the parent of a daughter, I can only hope my child is at least somewhat less likely to pull a stunt like this:

An 18-year-old man using a shopping cart to "car surf" was killed when a Cadillac sport utility vehicle he was holding onto hit a speed bump and threw him to the ground, according to authorities.

Then again, I got through my teens & twenties without doing anything even remotely this stupid, so perhaps it's more a matter of parenting than it is biology.

I'm not sure if I should be comforted by that or not.

Posted by scott at 01:10 PM | Comments (3)
Chopper Strike

Students of Vietnam-era history may be happy to learn the gung-ho attitude of combat helicopter units seems not to have changed all that much:

The pilots were about a half mile away from their parking spaces when the Predator relayed coordinates and the laser code to pilot CW3 Tom Boise ... and the left-seater was Chief Warrant Officer 2 Carlos Lopez ... [Earlier] Lopez introduced himself to me as an Iraqi interpreter. First I thought, “Why does a Kiowa unit need an interpreter?” And then, “This guy doesn’t look like any Iraqi I have seen.” Lopez must have seen the strange look on my face because he cracked up laughing. The pilots, when they aren’t killing terrorists, apparently are great practical jokers. Captain Brad Warr, an excellent medical officer I got to know in 2005, told me how the pilots stole the adult-tricycle he rides around base. What Brad failed to explain was how he had first stolen the pilots’ van, and then painted it pink and put hearts all over it. They might not seem like killers. .

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 11:41 AM | Comments (0)
Umbrellas... innn... Spaaace!

No, really, umbrellas in space:

The demand for high-speed, non-line-of-sight mobile communications - with the military tagging along behind the commercial market - has led to the "outing" of a fascinating set of technologies that were long confined to the world of black programs.
The challenge is to furl [a signal] antenna into the tight confines of a launch vehicle's payload fairing and have it open, with 100 per cent reliability, into exactly the right shape, and the video shows how it is done. These are large antennas - as the video notes, the most complex hoop-type structures are needed only when the antenna is more than 18 m (60 feet) in diameter. Harris' facilities can handle 30 m (100 foot) antennas.

I think it's always fun to hear about stuff nobody was ever supposed to hear about, even if it's decades after the fact.

Posted by scott at 10:40 AM | Comments (1)
Teller Speaks

I'm not completely sure what's up with everyone being so into zombies suddenly, but I still found & Teller amusing. I think it would've been better to see Penn wandering around in makeup, but he's probably too manic to make a really convincing zombie.

Posted by scott at 08:31 AM | Comments (0)
March 09, 2008
Insert Simon and Garfunkel Reference Here

Even though a lot of it is puerile, I still couldn't stop scrolling through At its best, there's definitely a zen-like quality of surprised contemplation. The street-level walls of Pompeii are covered with stuff just exactly like this, proving we really haven't changed all that damned much.

For whatever reason, I especially liked this one. And the jazz one. But you probably already knew that.

Posted by scott at 06:29 PM | Comments (1)
Night Light

I still think like most things, the Earth looks prettiest at night. Be sure to scroll down and examine the captions to understand what all the different colors mean. And check out the two Koreas for an example of what an exclusive focus on "social justice" actually ends up achieving.

Posted by scott at 06:13 PM | Comments (1)
Ancient Days

Mark gets an ancient and beautiful no-prize for bringing us news that August's house on Palatine hill has been re-opened to the public. Yet another thing to put on my sightseeing list.

Posted by scott at 03:33 PM | Comments (0)
Kill and Be Killed

There are secrets, and then there are secrets:

She then hit me with a confession that would both thrill and confuse me. She explained that in the months that I had been away in Iraq her role within the AUC had changed; she had joined the urban militia and become an assassin. Her job was now to eliminate informers and traitors.

Many times over the years I've read in articles and been told by acquaintances in a position to know that Columbia is a uniquely violent, chaotic place. All I can say is it definitely won't be on my list of places to visit any time soon.

Posted by scott at 03:07 PM | Comments (1)

Instapundit linked up this colorful recollection of what it was like to fly the SR-71. When you're talking about what is still the world's fastest jet, it's hard not to stray into superlatives.

Posted by scott at 10:57 AM | Comments (1)
March 08, 2008
Tanker Time II

Those wanting the in-depth 411 on the recent tanker buy need look no further than Aviation Week's coverage. What I found rather interesting is that N-G/EADS has already flown the first prototype to a German factory for immediate conversion. After production unit 2, all aircraft will be assembled in Mobile AL.

Posted by scott at 05:27 PM | Comments (0)
Rrmm... oookayyy...

Leave it to the English to take the whole goth thing way too far. You know the story: pay taxes, stay out of trouble, keep off my lawn, none of my business.

I can still raise an eyebrow!

Posted by scott at 05:03 PM | Comments (0)
I Can Haz a Snak?

Finally, a coconut crab picture with some scale. Ok, things without spines have no business being as big as a dog, mmkay? And I'd be damned annoyed if one disassembled my fence to get at my garbage. Raccoons are bad enough!

And stay off my patio!

Update: Joshua found video!

Posted by scott at 04:50 PM | Comments (6)
March 07, 2008
Seeing Double

Meryl quite rightly points out the glaring double standard regarding reporting of the most recent events around Gaza. Every time I read about how awfully the Palestinians are being treated, how terrible the injustice and violence, I can't help but think to myself, "well, if they'd just stop shooting glorified bombed-up bottle rockets at Israel they might actually get some peace." And it's not just the media, there are some people I know personally to whom I'd say the same damned thing.

It doesn't matter the Palestinian rockets hardly hit anyone and the Israeli bombs always do. Were I to trade places with an Israeli, it'd be just my luck to pull the short straw and walk underneath the thousandth one that actually managed to hit something. I can't imagine waking up every day for weeks at a stretch worrying about it. Not to put too fine a point on it, I'd actually be damned pleased my boys shoot straight, and horrified only that these Palestinian kids don't seem to understand being next to someone poking a tiger in the ass is a Bad Idea. Where the f--- are their parents?!?

The problem is I already know the answer, and so do the Israelis. I can only hope they finally manage to field one of the tactical laser ABM systems they've been working on, and soon. I have a feeling it'll take making the wall around Gaza infinitely high before the rockets will finally stop.

Posted by scott at 02:38 PM | Comments (9)
Watching the Watchmen

It would appear there's finally more to the rumored Watchmen movie than a lot of spilled ink. It's been, good lord, close to twenty years since I read the thing, but I remember it being very good albeit very complex and quite simply too long. Distilling that thing down into movie format will be a very challenging task indeed. Here's to it not sucking!

Via Siflay

Posted by scott at 01:27 PM | Comments (0)
Score! A Direct Hit!

Alternate title: Junk, meet gate pole; gate pole, junk. I'm not completely sure it's real, it seems a bit too good to be true. I do know, however, that downhill skiers can top 60 mph, so one hopes a cup was part of his equipment. As it were.

Posted by scott at 12:30 PM | Comments (4)
Grit Brit to Mob Yobs: Git off Me Lawn!

While using a retired trebuchet to fling chicken poo at thieves is all well and good, I can't help but think there'd be an aiming problem. They were originally meant to knock down walls, which don't move around near as much as your average punk. The cannon sounds more promising, if only I knew exactly what a "railroad sleeper" was.

The fact that he'll likely get in deep trouble if he ever actually uses his defenses speaks volumes about what eleven years of Labor rule has done to Britain's vaunted self-reliance. There, but for the grace of God and a Democratic party too disorganized to accomplish anything they consider meaningful, go us.

Posted by scott at 08:50 AM | Comments (2)
March 06, 2008
I Can Haz Off Day?

Dunno, why, but a caturday thread on Thursday is for whatever reason much funnier than "teh noremall" one that comes up on Saturday. So enjoy someone else's bandwidth!

Posted by scott at 08:40 PM | Comments (3)
Have Nuke, Will Travel

The Air Force is mulling over installing nuclear reactors in an effort to "green up" its air bases. As long as they can't be mounted under the wing of a B-52, it should be safe enough. Well, until the "real" greens get wind of it, at any rate.

Posted by scott at 02:04 PM | Comments (3)
Drink Drank Drunk

Fark (of course) linked up "the worst shots ever created", a list which purports to contain the absolute worst shot drinks created by man. Looking at the list, I'd have a hard time disagreeing with them. The crap people will put down their throats in a bar at 2 am never ceases to amaze me.

Posted by scott at 01:07 PM | Comments (6)

Looks like what was thought to be very recently flowing water on the surface of Mars, well, wasn't.

But they are catching nifty pictures of landslides in progress.

Posted by scott at 11:35 AM | Comments (0)
Very Clever, Mr. Bond

Why use a laptop case when a pizza box will do? I've always tossed a towel over valuable stuff in my car. The wise owner of an old convertible will always have one or two in the car at all times.

Posted by scott at 10:39 AM | Comments (6)
Fun with Physics

While perhaps not the coolest science toy ever, Phun certainly looks like an interesting sort of art/3D physics program. I'm pretty sure I'm not smart enough to play with it, though.

Posted by scott at 08:55 AM | Comments (0)
March 05, 2008
Tortie Come Home

It's not like he can run fast or anything:

Animal control officers in Tracy [CA] have been contacted by the owner of a 150-pound tortoise that was found wandering around a residential neighborhood Monday afternoon.

Om will most likely be less than half that size fully grown. Little surprise then the next tortoise Ellen wants will be much, much bigger.

Posted by scott at 03:45 PM | Comments (1)
Supply, Meet Demand; Demand, Supply

Only the music industry would be shocked to discover that when value is added to a product, people are willing to pay (and pay more) for it. I've long thought the reason why music is so readily pirated is because it's too damned expensive for what it provides. I think it'll probably take several big names to be successful in this route, and at least one unknown becoming a big name in the same way, before the paradigm will finally shift.

Those who think artists will be too greedy or beholden to record companies to make the attempt obviously haven't known very many musicians personally. You will never find a more contrary, risk-taking, just plain weird bunch.

Posted by scott at 02:42 PM | Comments (6)
Cave Creations

Sometimes "Top n" lists are lame, but not always, especially when they detail some of the most spectacular ancient cave art ever found. From reading books and seeing some documentaries, the ancient artists utilized the shapes of the cavern walls themselves to enhance their creations, giving them an even greater "presence" than you get from seeing them in pictures.

Not to mention the fact that, when they were composed, the artist was painting in near complete darkness, and likely couldn't see the entire composition at one time.

Posted by scott at 01:43 PM | Comments (1)
Tanker Time

Aviation enthusiasts may find this AvWeek editor's opinion on the new Air Force tanker deal of interest. The guy flew C-5s for a living at one point, so it's most likely somewhat more informed than most. His advice for Boeing: the Air Force needs this, don't jam it up with protests for the next two or three years.

Posted by scott at 12:42 PM | Comments (6)
You Are Here

Another day, another amazing Earth-Moon picture from Mars. What business do we hairless apes have doing such miraculous things?

Posted by scott at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)
If We Weren't All Racist Cat Haters, We'd Actually Like This

Joshua gets a no-prize that is possibly the silliest thing on the planet for bringing us The Cat with a Thousand Faces. It's amazing what you can achieve with some string, a few bits of cardboard, and a lazy cat.

Posted by scott at 10:11 AM | Comments (2)
Lesson Learned

Don't mess with the scales, young man, you'll get the teeth. Or, you know, something like that. With picture!

Posted by scott at 08:21 AM | Comments (1)
March 04, 2008

Posted by Ellen at 04:24 PM | Comments (4)
Shocking Traffic

Researchers in Japan have come up with experiments which seem to confirm the "shock wave" theory of traffic jams. Which may explain why my commute takes 20 minutes longer than it should for no damned apparent reason, but unfortunately it doesn't help much with those homicidal urges I get in the middle of them.

Life's funny that way, I guess.

Posted by scott at 02:18 PM | Comments (3)
Caedite eos! Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius

"Zahra Maladan is an educated woman who edits a women's magazine in Lebanon. She is also a mother, who undoubtedly loves her son. She has ambitions for him, but they are different from those of most mothers in the West. She wants her son to become a suicide bomber."

One of the most bedrock common-sense axioms is that mothers protect their children. Everything goes pear-shaped when this fails.

It's when I read things like this, and only when I read things like this, that I think the sentiment in the title may be the only real solution. Which pisses me off more than you might think.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by scott at 12:58 PM | Comments (6)
Buggy Snow

Scientists are reporting a connection between the life cycle of bacteria and, of all things, snow flake creation. It's even hypothesized this process could strongly influence rain and snowfall patterns. Busy little bugs!

Posted by scott at 11:35 AM | Comments (0)

Cricket batter: 1, streaker: 0. Includes nekkid-buttage pic, so if that's NSFW you've been warned.

Posted by scott at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)
Oh Lord, Here We Go

An engineer has demonstrated an implantable blood-powered display device. He configured it to act like a cell phone, but there are other potential uses. An implanted cell phone that never needs recharging. I'd never speak to my wife again.

Well, except over the phone.

Posted by scott at 09:43 AM | Comments (1)
March 03, 2008
Monster of the Deep

Scientists have announced the discovery of the largest marine reptile ever found. The specimen is a whopping 20% bigger than the next largest discovery, and appears to be some sort of pliosaur.

Posted by scott at 03:23 PM | Comments (2)
White Guide

Presenting, a damned funny blog about a white guy picking apart his own preferences and preconceptions and, in the process, doing so for nearly every other white person I know. Particularly amusing to me was an observation that sounded eerily like this site's co-owner:

...what do white people like to do for lunch? The answer: expensive sandwiches.

In most cities, if you need to find a cache of white people get yourself to a sandwich shop. Generally these places aren’t open for dinner, have a panini press and are famous for their bread. There are always vegan options and the selection of meats and cheese are strongly European.
These sandwiches generally start at $8.99. Remember that whenever a white person says they wants to go to a sandwich shop you are looking at at least a $15 outlay after tip and drink, $20 if the place has a good selection of microbrews.

Via Violins and Starships, who makes the quite valid point that we may find this amusing more because of where we live than the color of our skin. I don't much care, the satire works just as well when you live in the correct area.

Posted by scott at 11:41 AM | Comments (7)
Wide View

Another year, another TED conference with insanely cool technologies on view. This year, an early notice comes from slashdot about Microsoft's upcoming "world wide telescope", an internet-connected system which promises views of the universe which utilize all the latest and best telescope pictures available. Go for the cool video, stay (for a moment) to browse the "MICROSOFT BAD!!! OPEN SOURCE GOOD!!! BILL GATES DIF!!!" ranting in the comments. Sometimes folks (and corporations) just can't get a break.

Posted by scott at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)
It Came From... The 80s!

Everything old being, as always, new again, 80s perms are making a comeback. Fortunately, in the UK. Unfortunately, probably here soon enough.

If things end up timing correctly, Olivia will be raiding Nina's old high school clothes for her fashions.

Posted by scott at 08:38 AM | Comments (3)
March 02, 2008
Not That There's Anything... Oh Who am I Kidding?

Sometimes this stuff just writes itself: Twin gay porn stars arrested in rooftop robbery burglaries. Twins together in a porn flick is just a wrong no matter what. Stir in the "none of my business as long as I don't think about it OH MY GOD I'M THINKING ABOUT IT!!!" homophobia common to most heterosexual males and, well, it just don't get no skeevier than that.

Time for the brain bleach...

Posted by scott at 06:13 PM | Comments (2)
Paging Mark T., White Courtesy Phone Please

For Sale: the ultimate in war souvenirs. Yours for only 100k euros. Whattabahgain!

Posted by scott at 06:05 PM | Comments (3)
An Accessory, for the Rest of Us

Fits in purse, blows bad guys away. What's not to love? There's self defense, and then there's self defense.

Of course, in most places the second a cop found one of these on you it'd be a short trip to a jail cell and a damned long series of court cases to get it back. Yeah, it's wrong, but them's the breaks.

Mark gets a no prize that, if a cop asks him about it, he must reply "yes sir I do sir and I'm keeping my hands on this steering wheel until you tell me what to do" for bringing us the ultimate in fashionable self-defense.

Posted by scott at 06:01 PM | Comments (1)
Weer In Ur Treeze

Helpin Darwin:

A 27-year-old Orange man fell to his death from a 50-foot Italian cypress tree as he attempted to rescue a cat, the Orange County Register reported Thursday.

The cat got up there, the cat most definitely can get down. It stays because it doesn't have anything better to do, and enjoys the view. Ignore this at your peril.

Posted by scott at 05:50 PM | Comments (16)
March 01, 2008
Olivia...No Rapunzel


We had a fake hair day.

Posted by Ellen at 09:05 PM | Comments (2)

Swoozie decided to take a dunk in her water bowl today.



Posted by Ellen at 08:50 PM | Comments (0)
Ferrari: NOT YOURS

Personally, I think if someone actually mistakes a re-skinned Fiero for one of Modena's finest, they deserve what they get. But that's just me.

Posted by scott at 11:01 AM | Comments (0)
A Pageant, for the Rest of Us

It's a beauty pageant that has it all: fancy dresses, fancy makeup, and muskrat skinning. No, really!

And it's in Maryland, of all places.

Posted by scott at 07:59 AM | Comments (1)