Update: Comment bonus:
What do you call a dyslexic agnostic insomniac?
A guy who lies awake at night wondering if there really is a dog.
Also: What is the the difference between apathy and agnosticism?
I don't know, and I don't care.
Scientists are claiming to have created the world's first artificial meat. The first product is described as an extra-tasty sounding "soggy pork," but it's hoped that the product will improve as soon as they figure out how to "exercise" it. Which sounds pretty damned creepy, if you ask me. Then again, if they really can make it as tasty as the real thing, and get the price point close, it wouldn't bother me at all to at least give it a try.
I always knew the Twilight saga could be summed up in a single sentence, I just didn't know it'd be this funny. Then again, this is Hollywood. I'm pretty sure simple is required, if only to help the executives.
Nicholas Kristof writes this telling piece detailing the hidden costs, and willfully ignored implications, of Obamacare:
Sure, it would be great if John had health care insurance. But at what cost to everybody else? Should women under 50 be denied mammograms so as to hold down health costs so that John can have government-subsidized insurance? How about men over 70 with slow acting prostate cancer? Should we deny them treatment on the assumption that something else will kill them first, so that the government can afford to insure John?
The point is that Kristof and his ilk are basically running a con. They want you to focus on the most sympathetic cases, while ignoring the large and amorphous mass of individuals who will be adversely affected.
All the wishing in the world will not make the fact that we have scarce resources which must be allocated carefully go away. Trying to legislate it away courts disaster, and ensuring conservatives and libertarians are around to take the blame will not clean up the mess any faster.
Looks like Obama's learning the age-old lesson of the tired husband. That being, when one is in trouble for irrational reasons, being as angelic as possible won't change a damned thing.
Leave it to the MSM to ignore things like the cataclysmic events of '45-'55 and the wrenching cultural upheavals of the '60s to declare "the 00's" the worst. Decade. Evar. Every time I think they can't be any more ignorant of history, I'm proven wrong.
Scientists are claiming to have solved the mystery of the hammerhead shark's weird head. Turns out it provides significant advantages in binocular vision, as well as a widened field of view.
Want to know what more than a decade of progressive government will look like? Wonder no more. The best part is, most people on the left side of the peanut gallery are now wondering what, exactly, the problem is.
Israeli scientists have discovered that electro-shock therapy makes for an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction. It seems very low-level electric shocks stimulate the growth of blood vessels in the treated area, which effectively treats the most common cause of ED.
I always knew it didn't take hundreds of thousands of people, billions of dollars, and the occasional college friend, to put up a space shuttle. Now I have definitive proof. The trick, it turns out, is not the up part, but rather... the down part. Actually, I'm stunned it worked as well as it did.
Patrick Stewart, of all people, has written this detailed and heart-felt account of how domestic violence marred his childhood. A chaotic, unpredictable home is definitely something no child should ever need to learn to deal with. It's sad indeed that so many do.
That rock that did show Martian life, then didn't, then did, then didn't, just had its status switched back to "did". I'm sure this isn't the last volley in this particular scientific tennis match, but it is nice to see the premise that the rock contains signs of fossilized Martian life is holding up to various counter-proposals.
Fast forward to the 3 minute mark, then enjoy. Ellen knew what it was because she thought it was someone driving a Milano around without a muffler. Sorry, yes, they really are all of that, and a bag of chips.
Leave it to The Sun to find a guy who married the woman of his dreams even after he found out she was a he. Bonus: "wife-wants-to-take-notes-on-how-that-makeup-works" pictures. Reminds me of the first time I saw Poison's debut album.
Hello? Poison? "Every Rose"?
This "kids born when that album came out now have kids of their own" moment brought to you by, well, me.
So Scooby Doo is on the TV. Me, I think it would be interesting to look up Casey Kasem, see what he's up to nowadays. Turns out he's doing fine. His kids are doing fine too. So I go look up the first one, Kerri Kasem. Wikipedia doesn't have any pictures. Being male, and therefore visually-driven, I wanna see how his kid turned out. Which turned up this. So all of you who were thinking Cher and Chastity/Chaz were causing a great karmic imbalance? Well, there ya go.
So now the hard left is dreaming of Diocletian. Because, when they do that, they think it goes over the heads of the plebes who would otherwise react badly if they were to use the name of the person they really want. ~ Where have you gone, Joseph Stalin... ~
I'm actually a little surprised it's taken this long for another cat-centered house design to surface. Another? Yes, Ellen's got a whole book dedicated to people who completely re-made their houses to make it more convenient for their cats. And once I get over my leftover turkey-induced tryptophan coma, I might try to find it.
Our 2nd year of launching our Thanksgiving rocket!
Researchers in Norway have announced the opening of the world's first osmotic power plant. The plant works by using special membranes and the salt gradients between sea and fresh water. The current plant is meant for the validation of various ideas, models, and materials. A production plant will, presumably, follow if the tests are a success.
Leave it to the home of everything truly weird to give us the first known case of a man marrying a video game character. No, really!
That sound you hear is The Grammas disapproving. :)
Ya know, it's just not fair setting up a realistic-looking deer made out of frikkin' concrete. A buck could get hurt, donchaknow? Killed, even!
Sorry, Amber, Magrat escaped long ago and was not able to be in this shot.
Nothing like a bit of humor to really skewer a sacred cow. Cue the shrieking watermelon response!
Looks like Mars rover Spirit isn't going anywhere any time soon. Well, it's not like they can call AAA, ya know.
At least one doctor is calling, "BS" on that story of the guy who was "trapped" in his body for 23 years. I did think someone who could stay lucid after going through such an ordeal was amazing. It may turn out to be far too amazing to be real.
See, I'm such a terrible Star Wars nerd it actually bothers me that some of these updates aren't really possible. You know, in a plot-consistent sort of way.
Oh, no, thanks but Ellen gives me a, "needs to get out more" sign at least once a week.
Latest attempt at a new theory of gravity: cut space away from time. They're talking about "way-way-way-early universe" time and temperature here. The math is (obviously) beyond me, but other scientists seem to think the idea has merit. As a bonus, the theory could help do away with the whole concept of dark matter.
Who needs boring general news aggregators when you can have one that chronicles everything that goes wrong on airplanes? I'm surprised at how many incidences seem to originate with landing gear problems. You'd think by now they'd have that all sorted out.
... it's not stupid. Alternatively: "I care not what color the cat is, as long as it catches mice." That said, it still looks like something Olivia would bring home after school
Another series of photos of acid attacks that Middle Eastern women still encounter this day.
And these countries want to be considered equals? Get the F* out of the stone ages, of yelling loud, tossing rocks and acid, and then maybe we will take you more seriously.
That's right... boo-hoo...go take your camel home.
Problem: Greedy, evil corporations heartlessly refuse to provide any sort of extended benefits to the workers they thoughtlessly cast off like so many unwanted puppies.
Solution: We are Democrats! Champions of the People! Behold, Vile Corporate America, The Power of the State Compels You!!!
I don't expect the true believers sitting on the left side of the peanut gallery to even understand the point. I'm hoping those who got lured over there by the shiny trinkets they were selling you have now realized it was nothing more than paste and foil.
Scientists have reported the discovery of new and UNN-YOO-ZHYOO-ALL fossil crocodile species. Bonus: "I has a scientist nom" picture.
So, are these 50 CGI portraits really that amazing? On the one hand, yes, I certainly couldn't come close. On the other, I think all but one have something ever so slightly wrong. Most of them seem to be made of wax, in my opinion. It may be intentional, but it's definitely something noticeable. It'd be even more interesting to see if they can animate these things.
Go for the excellent extended parody. Stay for the huffy, "yes, but Bush..." comments. Eventually these people will have to move on, but I'm not holding my breath.
Turns out San Francisco's Telegraph Hill isn't the only place hosting a colony of wild parrots. Quaker parrots in Brooklyn makes us visiting the place much more likely this spring or summer, I'm thinking.
Bah, I don't think these 10 facts are weird, I think they're cool. Science is fun!
Leave it to The Sun to find a woman who keeps having kids because all she really wants is a set of twins. It takes awhile, but it would appear she's a very hard-working housewife. Still, 14 kids does seem quite a lot.
Because she immediately recognized what this was, and what it meant. Being Ellen, she immediately recommended the auto equivalent of euthanasia, but that's because you can't disassemble a cat's heart like you can an engine head.
The best part is, this is off a 71 Spider, and they only made about 1500 of them that year, so this one came off the line less than six months after ours did. It's actually kind of weird, how many of these 71s are still around. For comparison, look up the production numbers of any "rare" US performance car from the same era.
Ok, on the one hand, it's... well, it's complicated, but it comes from a good place, that a teenager with terminal cancer is having his dream classic car restored by his fellow car-nut fans. Then again, it totally sucks that this car was built when I frakking graduated high school. I remember lusting after Fieros as a teenager, and now this teenager's last wish is to see one restored.
I have no idea what to make of this. I guess that's part of being a grownup?
Remember when all we really wanted was a clear view of the Earth from space without all the clouds in the way? That's only because nobody'd figured out how to capture a film of those clouds. Until Now. Reminds me of Jupiter, only with friendlier colors.
I'm sure this'll trigger an impressive round of hysterical journalism, but leave it to the Post to get it started off right: Subway riders sealed in murder car. After reading the article, if the guy keeps his mouth shut and gets a good lawyer, I think he probably could get a self defense plea to work. Regardless, it seems a good lesson in "keep your crap into your lap, you idiot."
A pharmaceutical's effort at creating a nicotine vaccine has entered (what I understand to be) its final set of trials. Everything I've ever read says smoking is by far one of the worst things people do to themselves, so anything that helps them quit seems fine by me.
For proof that porn has come (ha!) a very long way indeed, one need only examine these scans of "Tijuana Bibles". Suddenly the fact that red-light districts were largely legal in pre-WWII US makes a heck of a lot more sense.
NSFW, but it's Saturday, wtf are you doing at work?
The only minority less likely to die in a haunted house than black people are gamers. Because it'd take us three days of testing and spell casting before we'd set foot in the yard. F'ing ghosts would throw rocks at us to make us go away.
Latest rumor: Schumacher's back with Mercedes ne' Braun next year. To my knowledge, the only superstar who retired and stayed that way was tha wee Sco'sman, Jackie Stewart. Otherwise, the ones who retire at the top of their game always seem to come back.
Jeff gets a no-prize shaped like a scale for bringing us proof the MSM will sell their soul for a good story, and then complain about the price as they're stealing it back when the story's done. It's almost enough to make me think about reading newspapers again. ALMOST.
Ah, I get it now. I get it. Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, that Beck guy I've never actually seen but sure seems to get the left side of the peanut gallery riled up, I now see the truth about those horrible, evil people! Now I understand why everyone on that side takes the sports caster with the thick glasses so damned seriously.
Well, then again...
Scientists are creating a telescope that should be good both in the hunt for dark energy, and the quest for Earth-like planets. Turns out the same instrument works both ways. A metro-telescope!
While a gay leather master running for a state office is interesting, I'm not sure it's 2000+ words interesting. But hey, who am I to judge?
Squirrels, having trouble climbing down trees, evolved more flexible ankles. Cats, having trouble climbing down trees, evolved humans with pulleys. Via a Fark note to this article.
A very neat encounter with a leopard seal.
Best... Game... Show... EVAR!!!
I'm sure there's a bridezilla in your life you'd wish this on. There's definitely NOT one in ours. My story, sticking to it.
Bah. I'm pretty sure if you dumped any of my photography friends in the center of a 2000+ year old Italian town, they'd do at least this well. But hey, why not enjoy the weirdness? Me? Geeze, if you can't picture a flash drive full of Alfas you really haven't been reading this site all that long.
The widely read blogger and purveyor of all truth, Andrew Sullivan, was impelled to blog 17 times on the subject of Palin on the same day Americans learned that the Obama administration awarded $6.7 billion in stimulus money to non-existent congressional districts — which did not merit a single mention. To see what is in front of one's nose demands a constant struggle, I guess.
I once quite enjoyed reading The Washington Post every morning. I stopped precisely because of this sort of thing.
Well they are rather large.
Read the comments how people are arguing between cows and bull. Pretty obvious that they are male.
Fans of Command and Conquer should find this full-sized recreation of a Tesla coil of interest. Those things saved my rear more than once in that game. Dasvadanya, comrade!
A National Institutes of Health study from November 2007 found that in youth with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the brain matures in a normal pattern. However, it is delayed three years in some regions, on average, compared with youth without the disorder. The researchers used a new image analysis technique that allowed them to pinpoint the thinning and thickening of sites in the cortex of the brains of hundreds of children and teens with and without the disorder. The findings bolster the idea that ADHD results from a delay in the maturation of the cortex.
This has got to be caused by the crap we eat today.
The only thing I have a problem with is the basic view. I thought he was in San Francisco until I saw the monument. While dramatic and fun, that view doesn't exist.
IBM has recently announced they have successfully simulated a significant part of a cat's brain. Which means to me they've spent billions of dollars to teach a machine which can calculate the behavior of an interstellar space craft in its spare time how to puke on the couch, pee on the wall, and poop on the floor. Ain't science grand?
Update: Linkee now workee.
Washington Post today featured this surprisingly detailed account of only the fourth execution by electric chair to occur in Virginia since 1995. Counter to my bloodthirsty neo-con reputation, I'm actually opposed to the death penalty on two accounts, one practical, the other religious.
It's been widely accepted for decades that it is in fact more expensive to execute a criminal in the US than it is to house them for life. Getting those last three decimals of certainty takes decades and costs millions. Anyone who doesn't want to be as certain as humanly possible risks becoming a murder by proxy themselves.
Spiritually, one of the reasons behind the special sanctity of human life in Buddhism is humans are held to be the creatures that, given enough time, have the greatest likelihood of finding enlightenment. Shortening that rare and all too brief span is beyond abhorrent.
That said, Buddhism also believes it is possible, even desirable, to find enlightenment even on a godforsaken mountain peak or a deep dark hole. Which is where I think the worst of the worst, suitably secured and provided with the tools for their own survival, should end up.
In other words, karma's a bitch.
Meh, his kid, his rules: "Is this taking the whole Star Trek thing a teensie weensie bit too far? d'Armond Speers spoke only Klingon to his child for the first three years of its life."
Thing is, kids learn languages like a sponge at that age. Other than teaching him a few strange-ish sounds, I'll wager he'll be fine.
Conventional wisdom has long held ancient peoples ate healthier than we did and died too soon for it to matter anyway, so they never had to worry about things like heart disease and arteriosclerosis. Conventional wisdom is, as usual wrong.
Scientists have created a strain of bacteria which fluoresces in the presence of explosives. The idea is to turn mine hunting from a slow, deadly-dangerous chore into a glorified gardening project. Of course, the military can and will use this just as quickly as an NGO, so perhaps this spells the end of mines as an effective weapon? Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.
The title comes from the fact that, aside from the motive behind it, I think stacking a whole bunch of buckets full of pig pee and poo in front of the US Capitol and using fans to blow the stench toward it is a good idea. It'd make the physical atmosphere match the moral and political one for the first time in, what, forever? This is a frakking Democratic administration, people. There's bound to be someone we can sue and/or guilt into making this happen!
Hey, you know with a name like the vampire star, the story's gotta be good. And it does not disappoint. It represents the first time scientists will be able to observe in detail just how a type 1-a supernova exists.
Excuse me? What, Wikipedia too good for your web browser or something?
I guess it was only a matter of time before they got serious about using just the wingsuit, and doing away with the rip cord altogether. Thing is, a person can only run, really run, what, 20 mph? I just can't see how they can slow down that much, that fast, without falling out of the sky. Yeah, I'm sure you can practice to get there, but one screwup and...
The first part of this sounds like Ellen's pre-child apartment. The rest sounds like various cousins and other relations. But not me. I wasn't cool enough for an apartment. But man, we tore up that dorm room! [Geeky snort!]
If only Olivia had been around, this guy would've helped make a really cool picture. Star Wars geeks descending on us to tell why it isn't possible in 3... 2... 1...
It seems that there has been a significant expansion in how police will be using DNA evidence. Using a familial DNA database to prove probable cause seems straightforward enough. I'm sure the ACLU will fuss about the potential ways it could be abused almost as fast as the cops try to figure out actual ways to abuse it.
A VERY tweet NO-PRIZE to Joshua for bringing us this.
Classic-car ensurer Hagerty recently posted this nice article about why certain owners are so fascinated with the cross-and-serpent. Those are some very nice cars in there, but the owners seem to be of a kind with the rest of us.
Is so-called "mega-church Christianity" actually to blame for the recent economic problems, or is it the harbinger of a new, working faith?
So, the question before us is, did Christianity actually cause the recent market crash? Despite the deliciously incindiary title, what we find inside is instead another tired retread of "Blame the Bourgies".
That's right, folks, it's not *necessarily* Christians in general who are at fault. Rather, it is instead the particular type of uneducated Christian who has held on to hope, worked hard, took risks, and refused to believe that faith and success cannot go hand-in-hand who are ultimately to blame. It's a lament as old as Robespierre, for the same reasons, if not (for now) the same consequences.
The author's relief that the brilliant success stories so thick on the ground were currently quite a bit less-than-successful is almost palpable. After all, the one thing a good secular humanist, quite firmly holding Marx's left hand, cannot abide is working class success, with, of all things, faith at its heart. So we are treated, at the end, with the ill-disguised confusion of a person quite firmly convinced these are people being exploited while not quite being able to put a finger on exactly why they seem so enthusiastic about it.
What I think is far more interesting, and completely unremarked at any point in the article, is what a real departure this is for Christian doctrine. Jesus's core message is, at heart, one of radical egalatarianism. You don't give what you can, he says many times, you give everything you've got, and then some, and then ask if there's anything more you can give while you're at it. It worked in that time, and for most of the rest of history, because the world was so steeped in death, injustice, and misery for such a very long time. It was only through the radical repudiation of such unending horror, literally turning one's back on the world and trusting everything to God, that one could find hope in the middle of such despair.
The truly strange part is so many people did. Then again, what other choice did they have?
The modern way of life, with its wealth, safety, and plenty, is so utterly different most people literally cannot imagine it. Those who do not have to imagine it because they're sitting in it are legendary in the lengths to which they will go to escape the old world to enter ours.
The world changed, and, to an organization with an institutional memory measured in millenia, with breathtaking suddenness. Christianity's legendary adaptability, which had served it so well when its adherents were being used to light Nero's garden or feed the occasional Norse tree, had grown brittle. It could not cope with such a fundamental transformation, one that not only refused to stop but sped up seemingly out of spite. Its failure led to the rise of endless doctrines shriekingly cold yet strikingly seductive, covered in the blood of billions.
But, while down, it would seem Christianity isn't actually out. It may very well be that these oft-derided mega-churches, with their treacly tales of independence and hope, are in fact the wave of the future. If the are, it will be because THEY WORK.
In the market of ideas only ivory tower academics and their well off minions have the luxury of sneering at the masses while simultaneously refusing to DIS-believe in doctrines that at best consign those masses to beggary at the hands of the state, and at worse all too frequently to a mass grave at the hands of that state's police. The rest of us are too busy making our own way, and too practical to really trust someone who WANTS to sell his house for a Jackson Pollock original.
Instead it would seem a very large number of Americans, and most importantly of all those who are quite new at BEING Americans, have decided on a third way, one which combines enough of the faith of their fathers to be recognizable, yet which openly acknowledges and embraces those aspects of the modern world which have proven to work over the centuries: faith in yourself, in your ability to relieve your own suffering, in the desirability of this goal and its comforts, while still grounding you in the humble humility of a peasant's love.
It can, will, and does work. But only if we let it.
Lest you think your friendly neighborhood crank has finally fallen off the right side of the world, I feel it important to point out I'm not only not a Christian, I'm a card-carrying secular Buddhist who occasionally gets yelled at for teaching my heathen faith to my daughter. I just think these people deserve more, and better, than they've gotten from main stream media.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rubbed shoulders with rappers and was hailed with "respect" in a television show on Friday that could help boost his flagging ratings.
Of course, people worship Obama. Beat that!
I guess this means we'll soon have a whole new set of T-shirts to choose from. Just about every purely mathematical concept has proven to be useful somehow in the real-world. Things like 3-D Mandelbrot sets have the potential to be useful and pretty.
Scientists are beginning to find evidence that cocaine and pepper spray may be a deadly mix. Seems like every time I turn around they've figured out another way cocaine can kill you.
Go for the report about a cop who called 9-1-1 because he thought he was OD'ing on pot brownies. Stay for the anchor desk that won't stop giggling. I know, I know, stoners aren't funny. But these are.
Regulars of the Udvar Hazy annex will know about the restored Japanese fighter designed to launch from a submarine. Turns out they've found the mother ship. Again. Seems we sank it 60 years ago. More's the pity. Still, it's a little strange to see something 20 or 30 guys spent 5 years restoring in a museum I regularly take my daughter to see, and then see the thing designed to launch it on the bottom of the ocean, buried with the crew who sailed it.
Making the rounds: NASA nuked the moon, and all I got was this soggy T-shirt.
Robert H. gets a no-prize he can wring out into a bucket for being the first to bring us what might be the first discovery that takes us all back to the moon.
Most Alfisti consider the things they drive to be race cars. Others turn theirs into race cars. A precious few talked the factory into building them a race car. By all accounts, it's actually much more fun to drive than it looks. And that's saying something.
Ron gets a no-prize shaped like a crystal egg with a crack in it for bringing us proof that the Bugatti Veyron does not make for much of a boat. Brackish water, no less. Fixable? Probably, but likely only with a complete disassembly.
Roundabouts are supposed to slow drivers down. Frequent readers will note the use of the word "supposed". Hopefully nobody got hurt.
I guess it's just as well I never saw the aerobics dance championship when it first aired. Not that, you know, anything's wrong with that.
Why someone should not be able to own a chimp no matter how well they can care for it.
Just because your state allows it does not mean you should own it.
By using special satellite tracking devices attached to the fish via darts, scientists have discovered great white sharks congregate in large numbers quite near the central and north California coasts during certain times of the year. Considering some of their primary prey items are seals and sea lions, which northern California has in abundance, I'm surprised it's taken them this long to make the discovery. Then again, it speaks well for just how small the danger is of humans being attacked by one of these sea-going predators.
One of my MOST FAVORITE people that comes to see me at work.
Rock on lady! Your new Snow White legs you showed me today are awesome!
It would seem that a mundane gravitational boost has all eyes watching for a predicted error. By very closely examining the velocity of NASA's comet-bound Rosetta probe, scientists hope to test if an explanation of tiny but very significant velocity deviations of other probes is true.
Olivia, shouting over the vacuum cleaner as I was cleaning up the popcorn crime scene she and her mother conspired to create last night in her room: "Daddy! When are you going to be done with girl's work?"
Me, stopping the vacuum cleaner: "Girls work? You think cleaning house is girl's work?"
Me, as I unplugged the vacuum cleaner and prepped it for Ellen's use tonight: "What do you think is boy's work?"
Olivia, thoughtfully: "Oh, sitting on the couch, drinking beer, watching football. My work is to dress pretty and read books!"
They're not kidding when they say, "they start early."
Google has recently announced Go, a new computer language, licensed under a BSD open source license. I guess I must've finally graduated to programming middle school, because I recognize and understand about 80% of what they're talking about in there. I do still love my C# something fierce though, especially after tinkering a bit with VB.
And now, men with mustaches. One of them is traditional, two of them don't look ridiculous. The rest? Well, you'll have to see for yourself.
Meet Mrs. Herald who, at 2'4", is the world's smallest mom. The pictures are freaky, but the story isn't. We all make our own way, and they seem to be doing OK. I just hope they're not on the dole.
From the archives, a piece appropriate for the moment, Unknown Soldiers:
I think I was first introduced to this monument some time in early grade school, perhaps as early as 1976, when the country was going bananas over the bicentennial and you couldn't even see through all the red-white-and-blue bunting. Even though I was only 8, it was easy to take to heart the somber, serious attitude of the thing. You knew immediately just by looking at it that it was important.
The problem I had was that nobody could really explain to me why it was so important...
I know, I know, I should be posting more stuff. Instead, I'm watching Olivia learn to touch type by using Dance Mat Typing. It's a BBC production, so all the characters sound like Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Home row keys, FTW!
Where's your teeth O?
“Nick, you like Alfas? Why don’t you take the 8C for a spin[?]” Yeah yeah yeah. And you don't want that motorcycle, or those coins, or that Chevelle, or those diamonds, or that resto-mod, or to drive down a 60 degree grade into the canyon, yadda yadda yadda. Tell me you don't want this car, and I'll shrug. Say it to my face without glancing away.
Didn't think so.
Mark gets a long-lost no-prize for bringing us news of the discovery of one of the first recorded "lost armies" in history. There's nothing that gives an anthropologist like me, trained in the acid sands and clays of the south, quite the geeky buzz as seeing perfectly preserved skeletons just sitting there, out in the open. The fact that they're more than 2000 years old...
Ok, sorry, had to have a lie down there. Anyway...
An MIT graduate student has used game theory to prove that the Nash equilibrium of complex games belong to problems of PPAD complexity, which is a subset of FNP problems which is a subset of NP problems. Somehow this all leads to the obvious conclusion that, if you can generalize a solution to poker, you can discover the Nash equilibrium of the national economy. The only person in the world I know that any of this would make sense to is now nodding his head sagely, and coming up a with a reply that'll just make my head explode a second time.
Ain't science grand?
Scientists have determined that intelligent life is most likely to evolve around a star about the same size and density of our Sun. While at first glaringly obvious (thank you, thank you, be sure to tip your waitress!), the rigorous theory provides both explanations and predictions which could help us find other planets which host intelligent life.
Valve's on-line gaming service Steam has decided to combine the convenience of advanced download with the empowerment of the nanny state. I became disillusioned with Steam when something went wrong and it decided I'd given my password away for... well, it was never entirely clear why I would be doing that. At any rate, not only did it lock me out of all the on-line games, which would've merely been annoying, but it also locked me out of the off-line games, which was flat outrageous. Rubbing salt in the wound was their, "you're cheating. What did you expect? Get over it." attitude.
So from that point forward it's been brick-and-mortar boxes for me, FTW!
Just in time for the sequel to premiere, we have proof SNL can still sometimes be relevant. And that Taylor Swift is at least as good an actress as what's-'er-name. But since he's not, you know, sparkly, I don't think Amber will be as interested in this one.
What better way to begin this set of year-end lists than with the "best 101 music videos of the decade?" I haven't heard of about sixty percent of the list, and about half of the rest seems to be made up of White Stripes videos. Meh, pop culture fun at its finest!
Two words you never want to hear together: stroller, and amputation. Since they're talking a stroller which cost more than $100, we can happily say Olivia had no chance of sitting in one. It took me some searching to determine this is not related to the team what makes the race cars go really fast.
Recently announced space probes from both NASA and the ESA will target various interesting moons for exploration. So far nobody's seriously proposing anything that'll drill down into Europa's seas, but it sounds like they're doing just about everything else.
Today's Boston Globe Picture Album of Wonder comes to us courtesy of all those fancy orbiters parked around Mars. It's one thing to be told, "our cameras can image the tracks of the rovers." It's quite another to see it.
And in all the world, excepting the occasional landslide, the only sounds are the howling of the wind, and the whirring of two small golf carts.
The article doesn't explicitly say it, however I can't help but think these must be the oldest identical twins alive in the world today. Pretty wild to think these two retired back in the 70s, eh?
Pat gets a sadly predictable no-prize for bringing us the emerging details of the Fort Hood massacre. The Muslim angle is sad, but, now that I think about it, most of these mass-murdering lunatics seem to show clear signs of coming unhinged well before they pick up a gun. The trick would seem to be recognizing them in time.
Scientists have detected antimatter in terrestrial lightning. Apparently the guys who run the Fermi Gamma-ray telescope had enough free time to point the thing Earth, and PoInK!, got a signature for antimatter in a thunderstorm. Just when you thought weather couldn't get any weirder...
The latest grist for the rumor mill is that J. J. Abrams's next project may be a Micronauts movie. I subscribed to the comic for nearly its entire run, and I still have one of the big, complicated battle cruisers sitting on top of my computer in my office. Here's to hoping it doesn't suck!
I'm quite sure there are those on the left side of the peanut gallery who have no problem at all forcing us all to spend $15,000 or go to prison. Regular readers of our site will likely know where we stand on it. And now they're trying to force it through on a Saturday.
By using an innovative technique involving two low-powered lasers, scientists appear to have cracked the fundamental problem of using crystals as an information storage medium. Various groups have been promising "huge-abyte storage the size of a sugar cube" for as long as I can remember, but this time they might mean it.
I've always liked John Ratzenberger, but now I *really* like John Ratzenberger:
"These are Woodstock Democrats," [Ratzenberger] said at the [recent DC Tea Party rally]. "We have to remember where their philosophy comes from. It doesn't come from America. It comes from overseas. It comes from socialism. And socialism is a philosophy of failure."
When I was in high school, this sort of thing would've passed nearly unnoticed. Google maps. Is there anything it can't make better?
Nothing like catching a fish bigger than your boat. Like bow hunting or whaling with hand-held harpoons from an oared launch, I respect this sort of hunter. Skill, risk, and just a whiff of nuttiness is where it's at!
A new study reveals infants cry with their parents' "accent". By analyzing exactly how an infant cries, scientists found strong correlations between things like pitch and modulation and the language of their parents.
This time the Large Hadron Collider was damaged by (spins the Wheel o' Doom) a baguette dropped by a bird. No, really!
Another day, another 40-something Gen-X'er bemoaning "kids these days." Meh. At least watching porn won't give you cancer. Totally SFW.
Imagine trying to wipe your butt with these!
Pretty neat, but the pointy ones... OUCH! I bet they make good cat scratchers though!
There's horse whisperers, and then, well, then there's guys like this.
Via, I kid you not, Instapundit, who I am now convinced reads us all the time. Because this is exactly what we would've linked, if we'd had his connections. Kno'wha'I'mean?
Except Alfas are way cooler than Mazdas. I mean, really...
Fingers??? Who needs fingers?
It's sorta like what I went through getting the Milano's belts back on, only REALLY REALLY fast.
Once again, I get to make a Foxworthy joke about my yankee and emphatically not redneck wife. To wit: "If you can recognize a wrestler, and identify the wrestlemania he starred in, just by the theme song they play...
Me, I called it, "giant costumed white guy chases around skinny well dressed black guy."
And yes, children, at one time that sort of flat top was thought to be cool.
We all know them. now they have a name. And they're taking it back! Bah. I'm not even that cool.
Ok, according to a certain set of scientists, clouds, and the weather that creates them, can be reduced to modest, definable quantities, if you use the right formulas. College friend Bobby will probably nod his head sagely and gasp at how simple it is. I only ask he brings along a broom and a dustpan to sweep up the bits of my head after it 'asploded. I'll take both their words for it.
The preliminaries for a real space elevator contest would seem to be heating up. I always hoped I'd end up seeing what the Earth looked like from orbit. I never imagined getting there would involve a box and The Girl from Ipanema plinking softly from speakers in the ceiling.
Yesterday Fiat finally unveiled its 5-year plan for Chrysler. Looks like it'll be what Fiat's been saying all along: a sharing of technology resources to jump-start the ailing automaker and set it on the road to recovery. Most of the Fiat will be clad in Chrysler badges, and the transition should be complete some time around 2012. Not a whiff of a mention of the ol' Cross-and-Serpent, but hope always springs eternal for Alfisti. We'll see...
Ok, well, when some nut-job hotrods up your car to go ripping around the Nurburgring, maybe we'll talk. Yeah, I know, it's because they're well engineered and nobody wants them anymore. But still!
P.S.: It makes a neat noise, too:
Well I'll be darned, the KATV tower collapsed last year and won't be rebuilt. This thing was a landmark in every sense of the word in Arkansas when I was growing up. Channel 7 was the only station we could pick up at deer camp because of this tower, and it marked the half-way point between Pine Bluff and Little Rock on old Highway 65. Ah well, at least it didn't hurt anyone on the way down.
Another year, another "ahn-tra-pah-noo-ah" trying to book reservations on a not-quite-there space hotel. Yours, for only $4.4 mil for three nights. Reservations are opening for a 2012 stay. Hey, I got checks, that means I got money, right?
Like the Fark headline says, it would appear it is possible to frak someone's brains out. At 59, no less. If freaking out the teenager by doing the nasty upstairs with the wife isn't a benefit of middle age, I'm not going.
I have found college friend Kevin's long-lost brother, driving a forklift in a warehouse somewhere in Russia. Meh. Coulda been worse. Coulda been beer.
I think the ultimate point is that, even after spending millions of dollars on fancy things like pretty people, clever writers, and glossy special effects, network TV still can't do better than a weirdo with one camera. And to think at one point network TV was all there was.
Scientists are now speculating that the mysterious haze recently discovered at the center of our galaxy may be caused by dark matter. Per usual, this is not without controversy, but the predictions made should help figure out just what, exactly, is going on out there.
Somebody somewhere seems to think the CIA is predicting Israel's demise in 20 years. The text of the article is just barely coherent, and reeks of often-mourned Weekly World News. And don't even get me started on the comments.
Everything I've read indicates, if anything is done, as soon as the Israelis finish their wall they're going to scoop up the outlying settlers and give the Palis a state whether they want it or not.
By genetically engineering a rat's brain, scientists have created what is perhaps the smartest rat on the planet. At the end of the predictable and rather long aside into Flowers for Algernon comes the news that this particular alteration seems to last well into old age.
Nothing like a top 10 list of astronomical objects to start the day. Sometimes I'm actually glad we orbit an unremarkable star in a boring corner of the galaxy. There is such a thing as too interesting, ya know?
If nothing else, this site is proof our grandparent's parents were every bit as goofy as we are. Comparing these spectacularly unselfconscious bits of whimsy to the stunts the boomers pulled in the 60s is quite instructive.
No, really, when jellyfish attack! 6 feet across and 400 hundred pounds. If that don't define f'd up, I don't know what does.
The Mars rover Spirit seems to be having a problem with its flash memory. NASA has, per usual, several back-up plans, but for now it seems they're content to wait and see if the problem will rise above the level of basic annoyance.
Scientists believe they've found that the key to avian navigation lies in their eyes, not their noses. Not much else to say about that.
Toyota has developed two flower species which help absorb CO2 and cool their Prius plant. The plants are part of a long-running effort to reduce the carbon footprint of the factory which creates everyone's favorite "smug" emitter.
National Geographic is featuring the first known images of a sperm whale eating a giant squid. Well, looks more liked "eated", since it seems to be an extremely ex-squid.
I don't know which was better, the flow chart on how women shop for shoes, or the fact that Ellen read through the first one and didn't even bother to scroll down to read the second. "I know what it says... 'I need a pair of shoes, I go buy a pair of shoes.'"
So close it's scary.