Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Links: December 20

You've heard of Absolute Zero. There's also Absolute Hot. It's 255,021,300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000° F. [link]

I've been pillaging this site for old radio shows to listen to in the car. [link]

Most tragic headline ever. [link]
I know, it's not really the most tragic. 

This picture is from an experiment where they take out all the cells of a heart, leave the connective tissues, then repopulate it with cells from the organ recipient. The idea is to prevent tissue rejection. [link]

Buy their water bottles! [link]

Evidence that Mars likely once had an oxygen rich environment. [link]

An unsettling cartoon. [link]

Batman versions of Christmas movies.

Rethought MST3K. [link]

I wanna see this world developed into a book or movie. [link]

The universe could be collapsing. [link]

A high quality Sherlock and Doctor Who crossover fan film.

Where all these damn squirrels came from. [link]

This guy thinks we should be eating more nuts. [link]

Following the bit about where shirts come from, here's where they go after we're done. [link]

AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon are pushing legislation that allows them to kill landlines entirely. [link]

Metallica has now done a concert on all 7 continents. [link]

What the new female GM CEO is up to with the company. [link]

I've got a lot more links to sort through, but I'm stopping there, this week.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Santa Park

I have a vision for a short cartoon. In my head it looks rather South Parkish.


Picture this, the Army sets up a Santa display in an Afghani town, which one isn't important. The display has a big throne on a platform covered with fake snow, a Christmas tree and a couple of giant candy canes as a backdrop, and a couple of conspicuous soldiers, maybe Secret Service, with machine guns standing guard on each side. Santa walks out from behind the backdrop laughing and holding his belly. He moves to sit down and bellows "HELLOoooo, CHILL... ...dren." hesitating noticibly when he finally looks at the crowd.

Flash to the crowd. There's about a thousand, three foot tall, kids all glaring at Santa. I can't decide if I should make them all turban wearing and with long beards or add in a decent mix of three foot tall black shrouds with eyes that would be little girls. None of them are moving or making a sound. It would be a bit like when Buzz Lightyear first saw the field of green, three eyed aliens, in the claw machine.

Flash back to Santa swallowing hard, glancing over at a stern looking man in dark sunglasses, dark suit, and an ear piece who nods at Santa.

Santa grins a big toothy grin.

Santa sits.

Patting his lap, Santa calls up the first little kid. The kid gets lifted into place and Santa asks "What's your name little boy?"

A closeup of the child. The child blinks.

The beard opens up and stream of "Mujabalasalafaladalasimsalabim!" pours out causing Santa to jump.

"My, that's a mouthful. And what would you like for Christmas?"

Screaming "To crush the American imperialist running dogs, to drive the godless infidels from my home and Allah's chosen land, and a pony." At which point the child's mouth opens covering most of his face so we can see his tonuge wiggle as he lets out "ALALALALALALALALALALALALAL..."

Cut to the crowd where all the little boys have their heads opened up and are yelling similarly and firing uzi's into the air. If I include girls in the crowd their eye will be whipping back and forth nervously.

Flash to the man in black who puts his hand to his ear and says "Mr. President, Operation 'Christianize Afghanistan' is not, repeat, is NOT, going strictly according to plan."


Mind you, I wrote this in the early years of the invasion of Afghanistan when Bush was in office. I can totally see him trying to convert a nation by introducing Santa and Christmas.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Links: December 13

Bee deaths are being blamed on the pesticide ingredient neonicotinoids. It's the only theory I'm hearing these days so I guess they've finally settled on just one thing. Here's a list of pesticides that use neonicotinoids. [link]

Oldest globe in the world. [link]

Good guy Satanists show jack ass Christians the error of their ways. [link]

Toddler that kicks ass at basketball. [link]

20 things the rich do every day. [link]
Written by someone who doesn't understand what "poor" means.

20 things the poor do every day. [link]
Written by someone who does.

The last VW Type 2 Microbuses are being built. [link]

The Fallout 4 website was a hoax. But Fallout 4 IS under development. They're looking for voice actors. [link]

The US sold off the last of its GM stock this week. They took a loss on the stock, but came out ahead economically. [link]

Tell this site what Lego sets you have and it'll tell you what else you can build. [link]

Lost Egyptian city found underwater. [link]

Radiolab Live. It's two hours and I haven't watched it, but I'm sure it's worth it. I'll watch it soon.

Another option for using your Dougmas Jars. GiveDirectly to a family in Kenya and Uganda. [link]

Depressing holidays. [link]

Massive Finnish nuclear waste disposal site. [link]

This year marked the smallest increase in medical costs in more than a decade. But hospital costs are still exorbitant. [link]

Could you pass a citizenship test? [link]

The Blues Brothers mall chase scene done with Legos.

And then check out their channel.

Video of the Moon orbiting the Earth.

If different wavelengths of light are affected differently by fluctuations in space/time then the Big Bang may not have happened. [link]
What do you mean IF?! I've been operating under that assumption for decades!

The viability of sex as exercise. [link]

Why is it harder to come out as an atheist politician than as a gay one? [link]

Brooke Shields got her old car back. [link]

10 frame animated photos. [link]

Cats really are ignoring you. [link]

Stolen cobalt-60 recovered. [link]

20,000 people applied for 400 Ikea jobs. Spain has an unemployment problem. [link]

There's a bit more than just the sounds of fingers on a table.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Why I missed class

Back in college I was in an electronics class putting together a circuit on a breadboard. In front of me was a multimeter/oscilloscope that started making a horrible noise. I gave it a whack and it shut up. A few minutes later it started again. So I whacked it again. This repeated a few more times until I realized that it wasn't the multimeter, but an alarm clock. I was actually in bed and it was time to get up and go to class. But I was purple and spherical. I knew this. I had been purple and spherical my whole life. In fact, I was a giant grape. I realized something then. Fruit doesn't have to go to class. Because it's fruit. So I turned off my alarm, rolled over, and went back to sleep.

Now, imagine later that afternoon as I walked into my second class of the day with the teacher whose class I missed. I went over and explained to her why I missed class and the test that morning. She looked at me for a long time and said "I wish I was a giant grape." I got to make up the test.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Both Christmas trees, both Christmas trees

I made another Christmas "Tree". It's actually a bunch of silver christmas ornaments hung from fishing wire in rings to form a cone. The strings are attached to a window screen attached to the ceiling. I should have done two more rings, but I didn't.

Next year I'll use foam core draw rings, and staple the strings to the foam.

It's based on this design. [link]

Monday, December 09, 2013

Quantum Santa

The question of how Santa Claus manages to visit every home in the world in a single night has long baffled children of all ages. To answer the question we must look to the other conditions of his visit. Specifically the idea that you must go to bed before Santa will come.

Santa's visit goes unseen year after year. Searches for his Arctic toy factory have similarly been unfruitful. Not because it's not there, but because it can't be seen. You see, Santa exists in a quantum state.

Subatomic particles exist not as a point but as a probability cloud. Observation of the particle causes the probability waveform to collapse and it's position to be set. Working along similar lines, come the early morning of December 25 Santa exists in millions if not billions of homes simultaneously. If he were seen his waveform would collapse and he'd exist in only one house. Obviously he'd never meet his schedule if that happened regularly. He must exist in all those places to get the job done. Children must be in bed and asleep so they won't risk seeing Santa before he can manifest in their house.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Friday Links: December 6

Han Solo's blaster going up for auction. [link]

Modern vintage movie art. [link]

A chem lab Christmas. [link]

Mangafication of "classic" movies. [link]

Video of an avalanche hitting a warehouse. [link]

The degradation of quality of a copy of a copy of a copy holds through YouTube just as it did on a VCR.

Eagle steals camera.

High school demonstration of Einstein's gravitational space warping model.

Weak password for nuclear silos.

How to be a feminist according to stock photography. [link]

A recent history of US/Iraq relations and what's in the nuclear deal. [link]

RIP Scott Adams' father. Scott wants everyone who denied his father a peaceful death to die horribly and slowly. [link]

I'm unsure how this works, but it's impressive log splitting.

Animals WERE harmed during the making of these movies. [link]

Efforts to get a chimp legally recognized as a person. [link]

8 basic life saving skill everyone should know. [link]
Really? "You appear to be having a heart attack. Have some aspirin!"

Planet Money makes a T-shirt and shows you the whole process from growing to delivery. [link]

A quick summary of what's possible and happening with 3D printing.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Obligatory Dougmas post

It's the Dougmas season again. I'm greedy so I'm claiming the whole month. The ultimate expression of the spirit of Dougmas is to say fuck you to the Salvation Army with a Dougmas Jar.

Take a jar and place it where you set your keys when you get home. When you empty out your pockets put all the change in the jar. Mind you, these days you might have to make some extra effort to use cash in December just so you'll have the change. At the end of the month you take that money and give it to your favorite charity that isn't the Salvation Army. 

The Salvation Army is pissed that they can't discriminate in their hiring practices, but they do still put the care of (and proselytizing to) the needy above their own bigotry. But, where legal, they do turn away homosexuals for aid and refuse to hire them. A good deal of the money given to them is spent in lobbying efforts to make them exempt from these laws both here and internationally. More money is spent on bibles and other material used to try to convert those who need their help. This year their leadership even admitted that their official stand on homosexuals is that they should all die. Seriously, it's in their handbook.

Some of our preferred charities are
* Solar Electric Light Fund (
* Trees for the Future (
* Wayne Foundation (
* Dian Fossey Gorilla Foundation (
* Save the Rhino (

I also encourage you to plant a Douglas Fir. Considering that the ground is likely frozen and hard to dig it is acceptable to wait until May 25, Towel Day, to plant your tree. The world needs all the trees it can get.

But above all, try to find the time to spend with family and close friends this month. It doesn't have to be near the solstice or New Year or any other date, but you're more likely to be able to get days off around then.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Faux Christmas tree, faux Christmas tree

I just set up Grandma's Aluminum Christmas tree. It's older than I am by about a decade. The lighting is from color change LED strips I got from Ikea. They replace a lamp with a motorized spinning color wheel that came with the tree and I've never seen. And since my library is under renovation I threw up a spare section of wall panel behind the tree to hide my shame.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Holiday shit list

Now that we're into the Dougmas season I should give you this years list of businesses and charities that don't deserve our money.

Hobby Lobby doesn't sell stuff for Hanukkah, because fuck Jewish people. [link 1] [link 2]

The Salvation Army steps it up this year by stating that their policy is that gays should be put to death. [link]

Chick Fil A still thinks gays are horrible and shouldn't marry.

The Christian Children's Fund refused $17,000 raised in memory of Gary Gygax (in 2008). They didn't want money donated by Dungeons and Dragons players or that was raised by selling D&D merchandise. The poor children that might be fed or provided with clean drinking water were better off hungry than fed with dirty gamer money.

I still don't know if they followed through, but Christian Charities threatened to stop providing aid in Washington, DC if they were forced to obey local anti-discrimination laws. They did stop providing support to spouses of employees when DC legalized gay marriage. They also gave all foster care duties to another organization so they'd never have to adopt out children to gay couples.

And I'm still pissed at for being patent trolls. They patented 1-click ordering back in the mid-90s despite the fact they didn't invent it and were one of several websites using it and then started attacking the other sites. It wasn't long ago they also patented social networking sites. But, I won't get on your case if you cut them some slack. The other ones, I'm going to give you a disappointed look if they see your money.