Archive for September, 2012


Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Hell, no! I’m not going to forget. I was at work when I heard the news. I thought the first plane hitting was a tragic accident, but when the second plane hit, I knew that it was an act of war, and told my coworkers that. I went home, and brought back a small television, which we kept returning to the rest of the day.

I remember seeing the footage of Muslims (Palestinians, IIRC) passing out candy to children and dancing in the streets in celebration. I remember not being able to contact my father, who, although retired, still went to the Pentagon daily, until four days later.

Sarah Hoyt remembers, too.

It’s possible that the president remembers, but it apparently doesn’t have the same meaning for him. Decorum seems to be an area that some Democrats need to work on, also.

This isn’t directly related to 9/11, but it’s another indication of the respect that the Democrats have for the military, and would be the sort of story that the media would beat to death had it been the Republicans who had done it.

Remember the events of the day, the fallen and the heroes. Respect them, and resolve to learn from them.

Miscellany 23

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

My posting has been sporadic for some time, so it’s time to dump the accumulated links.

The Younger Generation

Not all is lost, as shown by this Google science fair winner.

Fun/Funny Stuff

Personally, I don’t think synchronized swimming should be part of the Olympics, but I recognize that some people enjoy watching it. With that in mind, I’d like to present the Russian synchronized swimming team.

I had no idea that lab techs had such fun on the job.

I have a lot of problems with President Obama, but I’m amazed and horrified to learn that he’s covering up jump-gate technology to Mars.

British boy’s comics are not doing well. I used to read a number of them when I was a young boy in England, and for years I kept my copy of the 1962 Eagle Annual, but I think I lost it years ago.

So, this guy in the Netherlands had his FaceBook page hacked by his younger brother. He got revenge.

There’s a song to teach you how to pronounce Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

Want to be a financial backer for a horror film? Here’s your chance. There’s even a pun in the title.

Here’s another Kickstarter project (music this time), but I must say that this one seems a little “off” to me.

Some people have interesting jobs.

Sometimes, a product will garner all sorts of interesting reviews. The “Bic Crystal for Her” pen is one such.

These pens, however, need no amusing review comments. Probably safe from borrowing, too.

Max thinks our society is doomed. I don’t disagree, but I do see the need.

I may have to spend some time at the Museum of Unnatural History.

This is a cruel joke.

Science project genius!

Learning Japanese? Mangajin was a good resource.

I’m not into baseball, but this is a fascinating story.

Cats don’t seem reliable enough for the CIA to use them in surveillance. That appears to have been borne out.

There are no dangerous weapons, only dangerous people.

There are, however, ludicrous weapons.

Some logo designers need to be supervised.

Science and Technology

A dynamic periodic table of elements is a fun toy.

How to make an abacus in an Altoids tin.

A Chinese noodle-slicing robot. Fun, useful, and fascinating to watch.

A hoverbike? I’d love one, but I’d have loved it more when I was younger.

How the Navy taught people about computers in 1962.

Graphene is a fascinating material. It appears that molybdenum disulfide is similarly attractive, and is more useful in certain areas.

Wind energy is not a good deal.

Renewable energy in general is not a good deal.

Printing images at 100000 dpi.

MPEG-H is the new compression standard for video.

Two mammoth skeletons have been found on an Iowa farm.

It appears that fathers (or, more specifically, older fathers) contribute significantly to autism and schizophrenia.

Convergence in inheritance.

Science toys you can make with your kids.

Telepresence with iPads.

Celebrities often get science wrong. Someone has decided to do something about it.

Pickled brains.

This is a fascinating graph on technology adoption rates.

I’ve backed a few projects on Kickstarter so far. Not any of the most successful ones, though, although I did consider backing the Pebble watch.

Harvard scientists have encoded a 53000-word book in DNA. Evolutionary literature?

Underwater living is becoming possible.

The fraternal organization of chimpanzees. No evidence of funny hats, though.

I’m a touch typist. I also have (and occasionally use) Dragon Naturally Speaking, which is a speech recognition input method. Soon, we may be able to dispense with that, also.

I’ve long been interested in 3d displays. I still have a pair of Haitex X-Specs tucked away in my garage. I’m concerned about the durability of this one, however.

Could this have been the source of the stories of Atlantis or Noah’s ark?

I’d be interested in seeing this lecture on safes and safecracking.

I’m absolutely amazed by the size of fairy wasps.

I gave serious consideration to placing this discussion of women’s breasts and a general theory of ogling in the “Fun Stuff” section.

I was aware that we shared most of our DNA with chimpanzees. I was not aware that most of the differences are on the Y chromosome.

I used to have a t-shirt that said, “Montserrat: Land of Beautiful Women and Mountain Chicken. I had not known that Mountain Chicken is a breed of frog, though … I thought it was a nickname.

I’m going to have to watch this film.

This is a neat (and heart-warming) use of 3D printing technology.

Something tells me that this guy isn’t impressed with Windows 8.

Matt Ridley isn’t too fearful of a looming apocalypse.

A lost species has been brought back to life.

And, wood pulp is finding new use as a high-tech material.

Politics and Society

Don’t expect much in this section. This is already a long post, and this section could make it much longer. I don’t see the need to do that, particularly since anyone following politics on the internet has probably seen much of this already.

So, about those nonexistent Iraqi WMD

Do you know how much you’re paying in taxes? Some myths and misconceptions about tax rates are addressed here. Meanwhile, taxes are about to go up. The Democrats have no plan, and the White House says that the only plan out there doesn’t balance the budget fast enough for them?

Larger cuts than are currently proposed can’t balance the budget. The necessary cuts would be incredibly massive, such that nobody would propose them, and nobody else would accept them.

Then again, the Senate hasn’t passed a budget since April 29, 2009. The federal budget hasn’t been balanced at all since 1969.

Taxs aren’t the only thing going up; energy prices are, also.

Media bias is evidenced in many ways. In many ways. Many. Ways. Many. Many. (I feel like I should add “Tekel, Upharsin” here, which is probably more apropos than I originally thought.)

I guess this shows who Obama considers important.

What might we expect if Obama is reelected?

What could possibly go wrong with government control of your personal networking equipment?

What could possibly go wrong with the DOJ preferentially hiring dwarves, schizophrenics, and the intellectually disabled? That’s not the only problem with federal hiring/appointments. Not by a long shot.

Interesting discussion on the gender orientation of television shows.

Those “lice-infested, dirty murderers” … like me?

Another failure of zero-tolerance. The kid gets some geek cred for the claim, “my name is a weapon,” though.

What happened after guns were banned in Australia?