Friday, June 27, 2008


How badly has President Bush damaged the Republican brand? Damn badly! So badly Dino Rossi, republican candidate for the govenor of Washington State is refusing to have the word "Republican" next to his name on the November ballot!

On Monday on FOX News Dino Rossi was caught trying to trick Washington's voters. You may have heard that Rossi and 27 other Republican candidates in our state will not allow the word "Republican" to appear next to their name on the ballot. Thanks to the new Top Two primary, candidates can choose what party label they want on the ballot in November. As we reported on June 11th, Dino Rossi will have "Prefers G.O.P. party" next to his name, which is clearly a scheme to avoid having the word "Republican" next to his name.Or as one of their candidates admits in this newscast:"There's 30 percent of the people in this state that would not vote for a Republican no matter what, and we want to get around that..."

here. wow!

I know democrats prefer the term "Democratic Party" over the Presidents mangled "Democrat Party" and foolishly made an issue of it in 2006 (If you don't like being called "wedgie boy" don't go up to the school jerk and tell him that idiots!). Will the republicans make a similar fuss over the word... republican? This has high entertainment potential.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Free Computers

We had a flood 2 weeks ago in our building. A chiller pipe feeding the second floor lab burst and flooded the entire first floor to a depth of 2" or so. My office and the department I run are on this floor and it was, to put it bluntly, a disaster. We've been filing insurance claims for the better part of two weeks now and, after new dry wall, new carpet and some paint, things are largely back to normal.

I lost a pet goldfish and the strainer from my teapot in the accident.

While odd, that is not an important detail.

The week before the flood, one of the other departments was getting new computers, quad core, 8GB HPs. They were queued up in boxes in the halls when the water came, ruining some boxes and doubtless some of the machines. Because of all the construction, the team stored them in a large closet off the kitchen until things settled down. Today they decided to take them out and inspect them. This would not be interesting except that a) my building as a sense of humor and b) they used union labor.

So, rather than move all those computers back into the hall, which was 30 feet away, they decided instead to just move them into the kitchen, blocking the coffee, sink, fridge and water. The total volume of material was a large fraction of the total kitchen space, and this was highly annoying since, if they had moved them 10 more feet, they could have had their inventory and not stopped the flow of coffee (my company is, largely, a machine for turning coffee into programs, so blocking the coffee pot harms productivity greatly). Lazy but within union rules.

One enterprising programmer decided to have a little fun and sent out the following email to most of the building:

"Free computers in the kitchen! Get them while they're hot! :) "

There ensued a short spike of computer, cookie and cake jokes, as well as some lame puns around eating hot chips. Standard.

About 20 mins later I needed coffee, so I went to the kitchen and discovered three things:

1) They weren't kidding, there really were computers in the kitchen (good ones too!)

2) There was a very large crowd in the kitchen wondering how true the "free" part was.

3) The computers were filling about 25% of the available space in the kitchen, blocking the coffee.

I was there for a few minutes, mostly thinking about how to get at the coffee makers , when the union boys returned from their mandatory 30 minute break (which they had taken in the neighboring building because, as I might have mentioned, they blocked the coffee makers). They came in, saw the pile of computers in the kitchen and COMPLETELY FLIPPED OUT! Totally lost it, swearing in some language only Navy Seals and poets full grok. "Why?" you may ask. OSHA safety inspector? Union pit boss? Immigration? Sadly for them, no. They were having a total meltdown because when they had left 30 minutes earlier, the boxes had filled 50% of the available space, not the mere 25% I was looking at. So, counting on their fingers and toes they realized some computers were missing! Not So Good.

Emails flew fast and furious for the next few minutes as they sent out increasingly unrealistic threats starting first with firm demands for the return of the machines, escalating rapidly through threats of termination, briefly peaking with dark hints of beheadings and anal rape, then finally collapsing into pleas of mercy lest *they* be fired for losing $50,000 worth of high quality machines. Then their managers send emails. Then our managers send emails. Then the poor schmuck who sent out the original email sent out a series of messages pleading for the return of the machines, more than hinting that the beheading and anal rape options were not entirely off the table, at least for him, should the machines not be returned.

Finally, by then end of the day, all but three of the machines had been returned but the emails only slowed. Police were being summoned, terminations would be forthcoming and the poor joking schmo would have to pay back out of his own pocket. All looked dark until...

someone checked the trunk of the car of one of the union guys. Or so am I told. You see, the emails have stopped and all anyone will say is that the situation is "resolved".

What's the lesson?

"Don't send joke emails?", "Crime doesn't pay?", "Anal rape is an effective threat?"


It's "Don't block my access to coffee and do remember to lock your car you fucking union jerk."

Things I Am Glad I was Not Asked During My Quals

Unruh Radiation.

I should probably have known this and it would have been well within the committee's rights to ask me about it. To be fair, I did understand it immediately when I read it, but I had never heard of Unruh Radiation before today.


The Gay Plague

New evidence around male gay genetics suggest:

It is fixed at birth
It can't be eliminated from a population
and it isn't contagious.

Why are there gay genes at all? Why haven't they burned out of a non-reproducing population? Because gay men are a side effect of a different process which makes the female relatives more reproductively successful creating positive feedback.

First, it implies natural limits to homosexuality. You don't need to worry that gay teachers or television characters will "convert" hordes of boys. Sexually antagonistic selection is self-limiting and impervious to postnatal cultural factors. The authors' computations show no scenario in which male homosexuality spreads throughout a population.

Second, by the same token, you can't culturally eradicate the gay minority. It's sustained by genetics and natural selection.

Third, if the authors are correct, we're not really talking about genes for homosexuality. We're talking about genes for "androphilia," i.e., attraction to men. The importance of the genes lies in what they do not to men but to women, by increasing reproductive output so powerfully that these women compensate for the reduced output among their male relatives. You can't isolate gay men as a puzzle or problem anymore. You have to see them as part of a bigger, stronger, enduring phenomenon.

See? god knows what she's doing.

See also for why gay men should carry guns.

Holy Toast!

The World's best toaster.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008


At the request of some readers, I have turned anonymous comments back on. I reserve the right to shut them back off or edit away insulting or crazy things.

Jump the Snark

As most of you know, I am a) kind of a jerk and b) enjoy going to websites with radically different viewpoints than my own. I do this for 2 reasons; first, because I like to constantly challenge my view point on things and second, because it occasionally pays off in spades with real, total meltdown craziness.

In that spirit, I invite you to check out the Texas Darling (although she is actually from SoCal).

During the dem primaries this spring I was wandering through the various websites trying to form an opinion on Obama. Almost site I went to was so pro-Obama I naturally had an allergic reaction. I did not think I would ever vote for another Clinton, but I wanted to check out what her fans were saying and see if there was any merit. I found MyDD which was strongly pro-Hillary, and had some members which were just this side of crazy. The primary got settled and the Hillary folks, disappointed and a little bitter, began to fall in line. I started to lose some interest since the blog was no longer an outlier.


TexasDarling has her own site and immediate dived off the deep end, satisfying my need for nonsense like a Snickers Tree to a starving man. At MyDD she was a frequent, somewhat shrill and monotone poster about Hillary and I kind of formed the opinion she was a GOP shill. But no, she's much more interesting than that.

If you need some craziness, go over there and you'll find:
How she and her followers have taken a low-rez jpeg of a reproduction of a web-issued birth record, called it a 1961 birth certificate and immediately found that, a jpeg of a document doesn't match a high rez photo at all! Must be a fake!

Political Prisoner (and wanted felon) Larry Sinclair is being suppressed in wide ranging conspiracy to keep his story of gay sex with a black man claiming to be Barak Obama out of the papers.

and much, much more!

What you wont find are any cogent arguments for voting for Hillary Clinton, which is probably what you suspected all along.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008