Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Scale of the Universe


(And for those who might have missed it: Cell Size and Scale).

Thursday, January 28, 2010

One expletive-laden translation of the SOTU

One expletive-laden translation of the SOTU is here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Krugman: Same as he ever was

On the proposed discretionary spending freeze:
"rhetorically, it’s a complete concession to Reaganism."
There was a lot of delusion among progressives who convinced themselves, in the face of clear evidence to the contrary, that Obama was a strong champion of their values. He wasn’t and isn’t.
Read the entire 4 paragraphs at the link...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Also. How Rob Petrie ruined Lance Mannion's life.

Lance relates and we learn:

I learned a lot about real life from The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Too much.

I took it all literally.

Like that briefcase.

I learned the wrong lesson from that.

It convinced me that it was possible to own a briefcase like that, and all the middle-class accoutrements, and encumberances, that it symbolized, and still hope to be a writer and spend my working days in the company of other writers and beautiful actresses with or without apricot bows.

As they say, read the whole thing.

Tomorrow's the SOTU

Wonder what Mr. Freeze will talk about?

The early depression FDR-ish / Reagan-ish / OMG a Republican won Massachusetts discretionary spending freeze / kabuki theatre?

Or the outsourcing of NASA?

Or maybe he'll have some other thing to talk about...

We can't wait!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hey, RV has a blog!

Check it out here.

Also, not as much of a big deal, but he also has a book. It's almost published.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Weekend Politics

Sing it, kd

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Don't go back to Rockville...

Disclaimer: This not a comment on any employment situation!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Time to move east or way west...

Or back to Worcester... Worcester is nice. Or Nantucket or the Vineyard.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pat Boone wants you to vote for Scott Brown

Tattoo your cat! It's the newest coolest thing!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


It turns out that TV really is bad for you... And it's bad even if you're exercising adequately!

Watching TV shortens life span, study finds

Watching television for hour upon hour obviously isn't the best way to spend leisure time -- inactivity has been linked to obesity and heart disease. But a new study quantifies TV viewing's effect on risk of death.

Researchers found that each hour a day spent watching TV was linked with an 18% greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, an 11% greater risk of all causes of death, and a 9% increased risk of death from cancer.


Researchers found a strong connection between TV hours and death from cardiovascular disease, not just among the overweight and obese, but among people who had a healthy weight and exercised.


"What we showed was that irrespective of a person's exercise level, sitting for four or more hours watching television was linked to a significant increase in risk of death compared to watching lower amounts of TV," said Dr. David Dunstan, lead author of the study and professor and head of the Physical Activity Laboratory at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Victoria, Australia. "The message here is that in addition to promoting regular exercise, we also need to promote avoiding long periods of sitting, such as spending long hours in front of the computer screen."
Certainly this has no bearing on Internet use, or having a modern, sedentary job...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

35 is the new 40

From The Telegraph we learn that we've all become older due to "economic worries".

While 40 was once widely considered the milestone that defined middle age, this has been lowered to 35, according to research by the Philips Center for Health and Well-Being.

"Thirty five is the new 40 as Americans feel the pressures of middle age earlier than ever," the Amsterdam-based centre said in a statement.

Katy Hartley, the director of the centre, which aims to improve quality of life, said stress about the economy and healthcare that you would typically associate with turning 40 is starting at a younger age.

"The data suggests the new age for middle age is 35," she said in an interview.
I thought I've felt older since about 2008...

Friday, January 08, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, Iris Dement

(Parental Advisory...)

Born near Paragould, Arkansas, the youngest of FOURTEEN children... (On her father's side, but still).

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Cats Are Just Misunderstood

From the AP:

Cats are "nasty, stinking creatures," says Mark David of Warrensburg, Mo. And dogs? They're noisy, disruptive and "lick you and themselves," counters Sanford Reikes of Louisville, Ky.

Clearly, there are dog people and there are cat people. But it's not much of a contest: 74 percent of people like dogs a lot, and only 41 percent like cats a lot.


"Cats are 1,000 times smarter than dogs," said Bonnie Hanson, 77, of Sioux Falls, S.D. She and her late husband had a black Siamese cat, Kitty, that she said "always wanted to comfort people, anybody who was ill or unhappy."

"My husband would have chest pains and wouldn't tell me. But Kitty would come and look at me and I'd know. We called him our psychic Siamese," she said. "Every cat I ever had was a help and a comfort."

About 59 percent of American households own pets, according to the poll. About 74 percent of pet owners polled said they had dogs, and 47 percent said they had cats.

On the other side, the BBC has video of a dog with a vocabulary of more than 340 words - so here again, we get into a discussion of exactly what the nature of intelligence is. And who knew that cats were empathetic?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

El Dorado was real?

So says The Guardian...

It is the legend that drew legions of explorers and adventurers to their deaths: an ancient empire of citadels and treasure hidden deep in the Amazon jungle.

Spanish conquistadores ventured into the rainforest seeking fortune, followed over the centuries by others convinced they would find a lost civilisation to rival the Aztecs and Incas.

Some seekers called it El Dorado, others the City of Z. But the jungle swallowed them and nothing was found, prompting the rest of the world to call it a myth. The Amazon was too inhospitable, said 20th century scholars, to permit large human settlements.

Now, however, the doomed dreamers have been proved right: there was a great civilisation. New satellite imagery and fly-overs have revealed more than 200 huge geometric earthworks carved in the upper Amazon basin near Brazil's border with Bolivia.

Spanning 155 miles, the circles, squares and other geometric shapes form a network of avenues, ditches and enclosures built long before Christopher Columbus set foot in the new world. Some date to as early as 200 AD, others to 1283.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!