Monday, March 31, 2008

It could all be over in the blink of an eye

A court in Hawaii will be hearing a lawsuit claiming the agencies building the large hadron collider, expected to go online in May after 14 years and $8 billion worth of construction, haven't done enough to ensure the collider won't produce a tiny black hole which will swallow the earth.

In the event of the unthinkable, however, this author predicts that we will not be inconvenienced for longer than a few microseconds.

Luckily there are people already thinking ahead to a course of action should a black hole ever come looking for us.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Eastern Europe Salutes Skynyrd

If this isn't the weirdest thing you've seen all week, then you've had a pretty strange week.

This is Finnish rock group, The Leningrad Cowboys, performing in Moscow with the Red Army Choir.

Soccer Mom Shuffle

One of my favorite viral videos.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Ornery Atheist Survives Hindu Witchcraft

Another shameless poach from Jason's blog. An Indian man survives nearly 7 hours of black tantric magic completely unharmed. On national TV in front of millions of his countrymen, many believers in tantric black magic. News at 11.

Parkinson's cured in mice, using stem cells

Well, ok, I don't know about cured, but they've definitely been able to repair much of the damage and reduce the symptoms. I'm guessing that since this doesn't address whatever is killing the brain cells in the first place, that a real treatment for humans would require ongoing infusions of fresh brain cells.

In Italian.
In English.

Cost of Decision Making

The next time you spend a half hour trying to decide where you can grab a "quick" lunch, think about this. I can also think of some opportunity costs we've incurred at my job due to slow decision making processes.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

make a bad one good, make a wrong one right

Kenny Loggins. His soundtrack work is like magic. You can't deny it. You know you don't flip the dial when "Danger Zone" comes on the radio. Kenny is one reason why I'm excited about the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Not only does it feature (writing & starring) Jason Segel, its got Kenny's "I'm Alright". As for Jason Segel, he played Nick the bumbling stoner musician in Freaks & Geeks...remember "Lady L"?! If you're not a fan, I feel sorry for you. It really was the best television show of all time. PS: Jason is currently writing a Muppet movie. Can you dig that?

In (very) related news, I think I'm more excited about Pineapple Express (NSFW). Seth Rogen & James Franco play...what else...stoners! The icing on the cake is that Seth signed on Huey Lewis to write a song ala "The Power of Love" for the movie. Anyone who tips their hat to Back to the Future is a friend of mine. Isn't it about time for a Huey comeback? Doesn't popular culture work in 20 year cycles? Will Lil Mama be sampling "Workin' For a Livin'"? Only time will tell.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Here's an article from a few years ago about the guy who wrote WinAmp, Gnutella and other stuff like that. I've been dicking around some with his latest creation, Reaper, in the studio. The thing I like about it is I can try the full version for free until I decide that it really is useful to me, and then I can pay for it. Yeah, it's the honor system and some folks will definitely game the system, but on the whole I think it's better karma to not your treat your customers like potential criminals. So far it seems to work pretty well. I'm not ready to abandon Cubase for it, but I'm probably not going to pay Steinberg for another upgrade--I like Cubase's interface, but they're writing some sloppy, buggy code over there and I've gotten pretty tired of it.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bullshit Proof

Time and time again Barack Obama faces down what sadly passes for political discourse in this country and responds with reason and intellect in language that is persuasive, elegant, and easily understood. No one, in my liftetime, has ever managed to pull that off. I predict Obama is going to be on our money some day before I die.

The by now famous speech on race.

One day later, a killer one on Iraq.

I've signed up to help register voters here in NC. I'm waiting for someone to contact me, now.

C'Mon Steve

I mean, seriously?

What's the Weather Underneath Titan?

Like peeling an onion, scientists think they have discovered what lies underneath the icy crust of Saturn's largest moon, Titan. Water, of course. By observing how features on Titan's surface have moved over time, scientists have intuited that Titan's crust, made primarily of ice, is probably floating on top of an ocean of water which decouples it from Titan's rocky core. The observations come from data obtained by the Cassini probe, a joint venture between NASA and the European and Italian space agencies.

Data obtained from the Cassini mission had previously led scientists to discover weather on Titan, with hydrocarbons, mostly methane, evaporating, precipitating, and flowing over and pooling on Titan's icy crust in a process very much analogous to what occurs on the earth with water as it flows over and pools on the earth's rocky crust. But whereas the earth's crust is only 10-20 kilometers thick, depending on where you are, the crust of Titan is more likely about 100 kilometers thick. So you would have to go pretty deep before you hit liquid water.

Of course, this is all exciting to news to scientists, since liquid water and hydrocarbons are the stuff of life. Could there be something alive down there? Who knows? Obviously, no sun light is going to make it down there, so you would need a different energy source to fuel it. The vast majority of all life on earth is ultimately solar powered. There is some evidence, though, of very deep ocean ecosystems--too deep to get much, if any, sunlight--that actually run on geothermal--they derive their energy from deep ocean volcanoes. So, you never know what could be going on down there.

Article in English
Article in Italian

Brazil Nuts

So I was chowing down on some brazil nuts I bought to keep at the desk here at work when I vaguely remember something about them being toxic in large doses. After a little Googling I did uncover some reports of selenium overdose due to brazil nuts. Reports I read after having just eaten I don't know how many brazil nuts. I wasn't counting, really. Is my current queasiness psychosomatic or real? No idea. Uggh.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Don't forget the lava lamp

I like how this ad includes a desk with enough room for your lava lamp. (Not included, apparently.)

Dextrous robot

This video is totally rad. The video is of the Big Dog, from Boston Dynamics. Of course, odds are, now, that when "they" finally do come for you, it will be killer robots.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Pretty awesome...

Berlusconi's economic stimulus package: "Marry a millionaire."

For many years, it's been a toss up. Who's the bigger asshole? George Bush or Silvio Berlusconi? It might be hard for some to imagine, but I think Berlusconi just might have pulled ahead in that race. While campaigning for the upcoming elections, Berlusconi appeared on the television show, "Punto di Vista," and fielded this question by a female student: "How is it possible to raise a family without the security of a job or a fixed income?" The response of the "Cavaliere"? "As a father, I would recommend that you marry one of my sons, or someone of similar means." Unable to control himself, he added, "And with a smile like that you shouldn't have any problem."

News article in Italian.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

File Under Pet Peeve

Dear speakers of American English,

Can we please eliminate the phrase, "my bad," from common parlance?

Humbly Yours,

Early release on grounds of obesity.

A Sicilian mafioso has been released from prison to house arrest because there are no jail cells large enough for his corpulent frame. Among the logistical problems posed by Mr Ferranti to the Italian penal system was the inability to fit through the door to the bathroom.

Italian version.

English version (much less information).

During my search for an article in English I ran across Mr Ferranti's one and only review on Amazon. I don't know if that's the same guy, but it sure is funny to think it is.

Monday, March 10, 2008

What is matter? No mind. What is mind? No matter.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to welcome our new robot overlords. (Sniped from Jason's blog.)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Yeah, yeah, I do.

This is just bizarre. Not the whole marriage in absentia concept, which I get. What is absolutely ludicrous, to me, though, is the fact that they actually perform the ceremony, even though neither spouse is present. Why not just sign some paperwork and be done with it? This is supremely silly.

Experience and leadership

If this is how she runs her campaign, do you really want her running the country? My friend, Dave, sent me this tidbit. In short, enough is enough. Let's finish this already.

Friday, March 7, 2008



Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Decisions, decisions

Life without Garfield

Gary Gygax loses saving roll and dies...

The originator of every nerd's secret junior-high obsession, Dungeons & Dragons, and the man responsible for millions and millions of 10-, 12- and 20-sided dice passed away earlier today. Dust off your Monster Manual and read up on frost worms and kobolds in his honor.

He may be out of hit points, but his wisdom is still a natural 18 in my book.

Reporter Zapped

The controversial "pain ray" (officially called the "Active Denial System" by the feds) could be used for crazy-style evil, but when used to zap lovable reporters it seems fun, even playful.

Dynamic Mars

NASA just got it's first glimpse of an actual, in progress, geological event on Mars. Read about the avalanche here.