Friday, January 27, 2006

Revenge Is A DIsh Best Served At High Volume

This is just beautiful. Read to the bottom for the payoff.

Right for the Wrong Reason

While I agree with his thesis, I think his arguement is actually wrong.

Fortunately some folks help out in the comments section.

The technical term for this phenomena is called "Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

A good rant on the physics of "go" verses the physics of "stop"

If anything, 4 wheel drive merely allows you to get yourself into more dangerous situations. We saw a Porsche 911 fishtailing all over the road. He was aware of his limitations in the snow and was going 30 mph. His torquey, rear wheel drive system had little in the way of traction in the snow -- and he knew it. He crept along in the right lane and still ran into some trouble. (On the other hand, I drove our rear wheel drive SLK home from White Plains Christmas Day 2002 in 6 inches of snow -- it took 3 and half hours versus the usual 60 minutes. I had no problem, but that's mostly because I am not an idiot.)

Now back to our 70 mph snow fools: In the event of loss of traction -- not too hard to imagine in 4 inches of snow -- you are merely a two ton hunk of steel sliding across a frictionless surface until you either regain directional control or run into some mass which stops you. Your Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) is useless when your tires cannot make contact with the pavement. Modulating brake lock up when snowplaning on a 2 inch cushion of white stuff does you no good whatsoever. The technical term for this phenomena is called "Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Singularity (again)

Article by CertCo alum Frank Sudia posted over at KAI

If you worked for CertoCo and are scratching your head over who this is, I wouldn't be surprised. But if you were at Steptoe&Johnson or delt with the patents, then you know Frank.

Also, I must confess, despite the fact that I am not willing to take the existance of the singualrity as an obvious, forgone conclusion, I had thought of something very much like this.
That is to say me, and everyone else on the planet who has read David Brin's Earth.

Bumper Sticker == Serving In Iraq

That bastion of all that is right in Red State Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum:

“And yet we have brave men and women who are willing to step forward because they know what’s at stake. They’re willing to sacrifice their lives for this great country.
What I am asking all of you tonight, is not to put on a uniform. Put on a bumper sticker. Is it that much to ask? Is it that much to ask to step up and serve your country, to fight for what we believe in. To fight for the values that have made this the country the greatest count- we got her not because we were doing things really wrong, that our traditions and our morals were way out of whack, we got here because we were a good decent county. A country guided by divine Providence.
We will only stay that great country if we continue that fight. I’m asking ya to help me do that. God Bless you. Thank you.”


Where do people get ideas like this and why do they allow these people in public without their meds?

This pretty much sums it up for me.

If She is the Wonkette, is He...

the Wonker? Glenn Reynolds is subbing in for Ann Marie. Does he capture the irrepressible libidinal rauchieness that is the Wonkette and her charm?
You be the judge:

I'd say largely, yes!

How to Answer The Door

Here, although you have to read a bit to tget to the funny part.

The Temple got its name from an early commercial that my group, KU SOMA, shot for the college local-access TV station, to advertise our existance. The commercial was called "How to Answer the Door", and was made largely in reaction to a rash of door-to-door religion salespersons who had been causing quite a bit of amusement in our secular (read "lost") liberal town of Lawrence, Kansas.So we took advantage.

Cue the first shot, a standard old house in this town, with a cute front porch and a big white door. A narrator's voice booms, "How to answer the door, presented by KU SOMA."In the first scene, my girlfriend and I dressed up as a classic Southern Baptist televangelist and his dutiful wife. I hairsprayed my curls up into the most appalling bouffant hairdo I could manage, and held up a Bible to the spikey-haired SOMA chick, Becca, as she answered the door.

In my worst southern accent, I screamed at her, "DO YEW HAVE PRUH-TECK-SHUN FROM THE E-TURNAL FAHR!?" (Do you have protection from the eternal fire) In answer, she pulls back, grabs a fire extinguisher from beside the door, and blasts us with it. Let me tell you, THAT was fun to film!! As we throw up our hands amid the blast, the screen freeze-frames, and a red circle-with-slash graphic comes up over the scene, a buzzer sounds, and a voice admonishes, "NO!"

No! Bad Atheist! No Donut!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Centralia PA made the news quite a bit in the late 70s and early 80s when I liven in Pennsylvania, famous fo rthe undergorund fire that had been burning for almost 20 years at that point.

It's good to know that, in the intervening 25 years the free market has finally solved the problem, the fires are out and land value in Centralia is on the rise.

Oh, wait a minute...

In 1983, there was fire under about 350 surface acres. By 1991, this area had been increased by about three-quarters. Worst case scenario would be about 3700 acres and possibly a hundred years. Finally 26 homes along Route 61 west of town were bought in April of 1991. There were no further plans to fight the fire. The population of Centralia as of 4/18/97 was 44 people and has dwindled since. There are just a few scattered homes today remaining in the town along with the borough hall. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania owns the remaining homes. The monetary value of each property is in escrow or tied up in the legal system. Until the remaining people move, the future of this town is unknown. The State is being very lenient at this time. The State owns the homes but the remaining people are still paying the property taxes on the houses.

Looks like neither the government nor the free markets have a workable solution here.

Jesus Quiz

I picked this up from Nick who got it from Travis.

I tried to answer honestly but many of the questions conflate 2 or more ideas making it hard to give a single answer that make sense.

My result:

You scored as Pelagianism. You are a Pelagian. You reject ideas about man's fallen human nature and believe that as a result we are able to fully obey God. You are the first Briton to contribute significantly to Christian thought, but you're still excommunicated in 417.

























Chalcedon compliant




Are you a heretic?
created with

I note that there is no Atheist, Diest or Unbeleive category. This seems flawed but the framework of the test seems to presuppose belief.

The Picard Song

Quite hypnotic actually and a use of the Sims 2 I would not have thought of.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Conservative Zappa

Frank Zappa strongly influenced my views around liberty and "conservatism".

Here is a terrific piece with him defending the conservativism from the religious right on Crossfire in 1986.

Here it is 20 years later and we've largely lost this battle. The religious advocate is spouting the same big government, anti-free market solutions which make the positions of the far left equally unworkable.

Watch it all, it's worth your time (plus it has a young Robert Novak)

Sci Fi News

Some good bits over at this week's Sci Fi Weekly:

Sci Fi Channel to air new Doctor Who:

SCI FI Channel announced Jan. 12 that it will air the first season of the BBC's hit SF series Doctor Who, starting in March. The 13 episodes, starring Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and Billie Piper as Rose Tyler, will air as part of SCI FI Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

This is excellent news, as the new series is superlative.

Serenity Might Fly Again?

Loni Peristere, visual-effects supervisor for the SF movie Serenity, told SCI FI Wire that there's hope for future flights of the cast and crew of the movie, which just came out on DVD. Director Joss Whedon—who also created the canceled Fox TV show Firefly, on which the movie is based—expected that the movie might draw the low numbers it did in its theatrical release, Peristere said in an interview. But he added that the movie's sales on DVD, which came out on Dec. 20, are running neck-and-neck with the hit comedy Wedding Crashers, which bodes well for a possible Serenity sequel.

I've still never seen Firefly or Serenity, but I've stopped admitting that in public. Too many times my admitting of this lapse has been greeted with that slack-jawed, bug-eyed, lip-flapping, I-cant-believe-you-took-a-shit-in-the-confessional-and-now-I-have-to-go-in-there look I know so well.
I'll catch it on DVD.

OTOH, the Sci-Fi gods give with one hand and take with the other:

WB Nets Its Aquaman
After a three-month search, The WB has cast 28-year-old newcomer Will Toale as the star of its upcoming Aquaman series, created by Smallville producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, Variety reported. The Florida-born Toale worked as a model before landing a supporting role in A Streetcar Named Desire at Broadway's Roundabout Theater alongside Natasha Richardson and John C. Reilly. Toale beat out 400 contenders in England, Australia, Canada and several U.S. cities, Gough told the trade paper. The pilot will shoot in March, probably in Miami. The series is expected to be a signature offering next fall for the network and Warner Brothers TV. In the show, the aquatic superhero will be Arthur Curry, who owns a dive shop.

They could do worse than casting the hottie that played Aquaboy in the Smallville episode, but the casting directors never listen to me...

The Two Precent Company

Got there following a thread leading to this, but overall it's a good site and now on my browser favorites list.

Someday, you may be robbed at gunpoint. If that happens, will you call out to Batman to help you?

Some others say: "Who knows what I might do in a time of extreme stress — maybe for a moment, Batman might seem like a good option." Our response here is to acknowledge that sometimes terror can overtake logic, but that in the end, when the stressful situation is over, it's important to return to your senses, and understand that there really is no Batman.