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Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Timewaster

Super Planet Crash, wherein you build a planetary system. The idea is to cram as many planets as you can inside the 2 AU limit and keep the system stable for 500 years.


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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Juevos Diablo



That's my new swear phrase: "Lucifer's testicles!"

Uncle Jerry

How one crooked rent-a-cop rigged McDonald's Monopoly promotion for seven years before he was busted by the FBI. But it's not rigged now, of course. Oh, nonono. Go play... Really.

Glassy-eyed

Google offered Google Glass up for sale for a single day on April 15th. Apparently a bunch of people had fifteen hundred bucks burning a hole in their pockets, because they sold out of at least one model, "Cotton White". [insert tampon joke here]

I wonder if they come with an app that helps you spot incoming hipster mobs?


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Hat-tip to Banduar for the rioting hippies links. Rioting hippies... That's funny.

Jail Cat

Thursday Tunes

Hanamizuki. I know absolutely nothing about this piece or the artist. It was a totally random find on YouTube. But I love listening to well-played acoustical guitar and this boy has some serious talent.




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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pitstops: Then & Now

'Member dat catfish

Very realistic...

Singin' the Blues

If this doesn't make you smile you're in a really bad way.

Overvalued

More like the same:

The name Stradivarius has been synonymous with musical excellence for three centuries with instruments selling for millions amid claims that their sound quality is unparalleled. However it may pain purists to learn that professional violinists cannot actually tell the difference between the antique instruments and modern models.


I've always suspected this to be the case, but I lack the experience with the real instruments to say it definitively. While brands and marques do sometimes make a difference, the more esoteric the product and the further up the financial spectrum you go, the less likely the differences are to be relevant or even noticeable. It's the same with wine; the guy who won a tasting competition with "Two Buck Chuck" proved it.

Most of the time, people who have something expensive and fancy are trying to convince everyone -- most especially themselves -- of their perceived importance. Do you really think there's a $200,000 qualitative difference between a Bentley and a Chrysler? Of course there isn't, but the guy driving the Bentley will never admit it, because he has a quarter million clams wrapped up in a car. He's not just financially invested, it's emotional, and that makes it personal. In the case of the Stradivarius, the instrumentalist playing it expects the sound to be better, so he perceives it to be true. Confirmation bias, placebo, call it what you will, it's not worth a million bucks.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Out with the new

The pack of "Progressives" who staff Google are notorious tinkerers. Sometimes this results in good things; other times, not so good. Take, for example, the new Google Maps interface. This unintuitive pile of electronic dog poo is a prime example of why newer is not always better. Just attempting to use it is guaranteed to spike your blood pressure 30 points. So don't.

Classic Google Maps. You're welcome.

OCD

Nishinoshima

A new island is forming in the Pacific. Must be global warming climate change, huh?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Handjets

Handheld "jet engines". What could possibly go wrong here?



They aren't actually jets, of course; they're electric turbofans. I suspect, however, that the difference becomes purely academic after you face-plant on a downhill at 100 mph.

The Most of US





Note that this is based upon 2010 census data. Since I can't swing a dead cat without hitting a yankee or California license plate these days, I'm assuming that Texas would now occupy about a third of the map. Click through for the numbers.

The n factor

Common Corruption

Very rarely will I link to the New York Times. I think this may be the second time in the nine years I've run this blog. But this so perfectly illustrates the problem with Common Core and standardized testing, it must be done. From a teacher in NYC:

I’d like to tell you what was wrong with the tests my students took last week, but I can’t. Pearson’s $32 million contract with New York State to design the exams prohibits the state from making the tests public and imposes a gag order on educators who administer them. So teachers watched hundreds of thousands of children in grades 3 to 8 sit for between 70 and 180 minutes per day for three days taking a state English Language Arts exam that does a poor job of testing reading comprehension, and yet we’re not allowed to point out what the problems were.


That's it in a nutshell, people: it's all about money. Standardization = state control = corruption. The politicians and testing companies couldn't care less if your snotty-nosed snowflake can read or not, because they've got a 9 a.m. tee time at Liberty National.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Don't see that every day...

Thursday Tunes

Hayling by FC Kahuna is the epitome of relaxing, downbeat techno -- or "chill" as the kids like to call it.

Don't think about all those things you fear
Just be glad to be here


Good advice.





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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Rigging the Game

So as it turns out, the country club RINOs and elitists within the RNC did indeed rig the GOP nomination process to favor Romney in 2012. I never had any doubts personally, but here's the smoking gun.

The irony here is that by changing the rules to favor Romney in 2012, the RNC have made it nearly impossible to run the table this time around. The rule change, which cannot be altered in the 2016 nomination period, has effectively created a free-for-all situation which will make it possible for an ideological candidate to storm the convention Reagan-style. Now we just need a candidate willing to do so. There are several possibilities, people with strong leadership skills and resilient personalities who don't quail at being criticized. Christie and Jindal and the two most obvious choices, but there are others.

Let's hope somebody does it, because business-as-usual, it's-my-turn politics have put us far into dangerous territory. It's time for the greed to stop and the governing to start. Note to the hard Right: that doesn't mean you're going to get Jesus-on-a-Stick as your candidate. You may have to vote for somebody who has a different god or God than you and who may or may not be opposed to abortion, homosexuality, [insert pet moral cause]. GET USED TO THAT IDEA RIGHT NOW. Roll it around in your head. Take a long shower with it. Get comfortable with it and prepare to take it behind the curtain with you. Because so help me, if you blow the next election as you did the last one, if you sail this country further down the river of socialism/fascism based solely upon your selfish desire to live forever and your personal viewpoint of who runs the Universe, I WILL hunt your asses down and administer a motherfucking blanket party.

Chicks



Thus our bathroom with two vanities. Mine is a small-but-adequate sink-and-mirror affair wedged between the shower stall and the linen closet. My wife's vanity takes up the entire opposite wall and is roughly the same dimensions as an ocean-going yacht. Both are cleaned by the well-compensated maid. Everybody's happy.