so they're doing some road work in front of our house. specifically, they're replacing some of the sewer lines under the road. so they've made big holes in the street. kinda like giant gophers. with power tools. yih. so anywho, they placed portable road construction signs at the ends of the construction zone. which is cool. except at night. one of the signs is fine. it's retroreflective just like normal permanent streets signs. the other one isn't. yeah sure during the day it's fluorescent orange. but at night it's black. and invisible. and in the middle of the lane. first time driving at night i nearly ran into it. now i look for it. last night i had two 10 year olds in my car. okay, let me know when you see the hazard sign. and what does it say? i see it! road work ahead. it wasn't until we were practically on top of it that they realized it says road construction ahead. hrm. kinda dumb i think. well, it could be worse. it could be marking one of the holes in the road.
so bachmann expressed outrage that we're withdrawing from iraq with nothing to show for it. long pause. well, duh. i mean seriously. big fucking DUH! anyone with 10% of a brain who thought about that whole iraq adventure for an attosecond would be pretty sure that was the inevitable outcome. it's embarrassing that someone with significant political clout took ten years to figure that one out. long slow exhale. no use. still angry. okay. so what the fuck did you expect to get? seriously. what? the oil? did you really think we would get to keep any of the oil? we already had it! jeesum. we were buying the stuff for cheap. really cheap. using force of arms to seize something we were already stealing is pretty fucking dumb. okay if not oil, what? land? were we going to carve iraq up into 10 new states? they're predominantly religiously conservative there. 10 new red states would give the republicans the senate. or we could leave it one big state. call it east texas. if not land or oil, what? were we supposed to bring home 30 million slaves? aw shoot. let's go for broke. take the oil, the land, and the slaves. timmer for best leader.
should life death and taxes be fair? maybe. it depends on what you mean by fair. if you mean, everyone gets equal shares, then pah. forget it. life death and taxes should definitely not be fair. life is a game. someone's gonna finish on top. and someone's gonna finish on the bottom. and there's going to be a few winners and a whole lot of losers. that's fair. oh wait. that definition of fair is different from what we were using moments ago. people who want a fair wealth distribution don't mean they want everyone to have the same balance in their bank account. that'd be stupid. they don't mean they want everyone to pay the same tax rate. they mean, they want everyone to play by the same rules. so if my banker gets a bailout to keep him from losing his bank, then i should get a bailout to keep me from losing my house. that's fair. if i walk into 7-11 with a shotgun, i should go to jail. if my broker lies cheats steals and loses a fortune of other people's money, he should go to jail. not sure if the occupiers have figured it out yet. but this is the source of the rage. it's not that wealth is distributed unevenly. it's *supposed* to be distributed unevenly. it's that opportunity isn't distributed evenly. and it should be.
the beautiful and talented alisa makes these wonderful mini apple pies. last year she made 4 pies. one for each of us. we were all very happy. this year she made 10 pies. i got 4 and everyone else got 2. that's fair. right? heh. no? what do you mean, 'not fair'? you got twice as much pie. it's totally fair. besides, you wouldn't have gotten twice as much pie if i hadn't gotten 3x as much pie. sheehs. eat your pie and be grateful. sheehs. so in completely unrelated news... in 1980, you made $45k inflation adjusted dollars. in 2010, you made $50k. that's +10%. that's awesome! you must feel so rich! how did i do? i did good too. i went from $300k to $1m. a 3x gain. sweet huh? wait. what? what do you mean, 'not fair'? you got 10% more pie. it's totally fair. besides, you wouldn't have gotten 10% more pie if i hadn't gotten 3x as much pie. sheehs. eat your pie and be grateful. sheehs.
so anonymous is going after child porn sites. hrm. seems fishy. okay, so how's this for a conspiracy theory? a bunch of anonymous script kiddies got pinched. in exchange for a slap on the wrist, they have to perform some community service. nudge nudge wink wink. the cops are kinda bound by law. but the vigilantes aren't. everybody wins.
according to newt gingrich, the occupy wallstreet protests are a natural result of a bad education system teaching dumb ideas. huh. what dumb ideas are that exactly? the idea that you should get a fair wage for a fair day's labor? hrm. okay. he's right. our education system should teach smart ideas. like lie cheat and steal your way to the top. there are no consequences. cast aside those christian values. like taking care of your neighbor. he's a mortgage dodging bankruptcy filing lazy good for nothing who can't hold a job anyways. it's all about you. and how quickly you can acquire your mountain of gold. cause as soon as you do, the 99% will do anything to get the the tiniest fraction of it. yep. those are the ideas our education system should be teaching. cause that's today's reality. that whole american dream thing, it's just a dream. go back to sleep.
so the other day, b asked why evidence would ever be inadmissible. i mean, he conceded the point that evidence that could have been tampered with or fabricated or otherwise spoiled should be excluded. but say there is no search warrant. currently, if the cops find kiddie porn on your computer from an illegal search, it's as if it doesn't exist. which is just weird. to b. cause it does exist. you can't just uncreate something with the wave of a pen. his position is the cops broke the law with their illegal search. and should be held accountable. but the evidence should still be able to be used against you. not sure how you'd punish the cops. put them in jail? hrm. fine them? make cops liable for the harm done from their illegal search of your illegal (but profitable!) porn business? hrm. it'd be a very different world. in this one, it seems some people like to make things illegal that other people like to do. and they counter by saying, fine then. but it's illegal for you to catch me doing the thing that shouldn't be illegal. seems like if we permitted but penalized illegal searches, the balance of power would shift to the state. for a while. at least until the criminals who run the country legalize their activities.
g plays rec u12 soccer. he's a star. but doesn't want to play comp. weird. whatever. some of the teams they play are really good. some are really bad. they were playing a kind of in the middle team. kinda like his. one kid got smacked in the face. then went on a bit of a smeegal/gollum monologue (is it really a monologue? hmm) for a while. apparently disparaging the ref. who was within earshot. he got a yellow card. we on the sidelines were wondering what the heck that was all about. never seen a yellow card in rec soccer before. first for me. coach said don't say anything. though the kids switched to whatever language kids who look stereotypically jewish would switch too. it was too early in the morning for our kids. most of em were asleep. but it was a nice morning to sit in the dew. with wet shoes. and cheer. and try to figure out the rules for this level of soccer.
like many self titled "conservatives", herman cain is pro choice for his family. and pro life for everyone else's. sheehs. that puts him in the same political category as dan quayle. zzyeihh. why can't we all just say what we mean? where does this pressure to lie come from? how does one position become part of a platform when most of the members of said platform actually hold the opposite position? it makes no sense. or does he really believe that ideas like this apply to others? so like everyone should pay their fair share of taxes. everyone else that is, not him. now wait just a minute there, son of a slave. what did that declaration thing say? oh yeah. all men are created equal.
bongo brought home a squirrel the other day. he wanted to bring it inside. like, no. you stupid cat. he set it down to meow at us. and it ran off. not real far. just under the grill. it was a half grown squirrel. you'd think it would have no trouble evading a cat. but no. it didn't even seem to try. weird. i was thinking toxoplasmosis. but didn't care enough to dispose of another rodent. maybe if it was closer to trash day. it eventually ended up clinging to the side of the hot tub. not moving. like it was invisible or something. that's when princess came along. dumb cat nearly walked passed it. heh. maybe it was nigh invisible. almost. she had some fun swatting at it. but when it didn't run she kinda got bored. they were content to just watch it. doing nothing. anywho. the beautiful and talented alisa tried to separate the cats and the squirrel. later, i tried to chase it out of the yard. the sun was going down. it seemed to be unable to climb the fence. hrm. a squirrel that can't climb. weird. there were no little squirrel limbs flopping around. it wasn't obviously injured. but maybe. or possibly had a deformity. anywho. it's pretty much that part of the circle of life that supports the other parts of the circle of life.
another study came out on global warming. it's 5x bigger than previous studies. and it gets the same result. gee, what a shock. not. in a stable system, you'd expect half of the measurements to show an upward trend. and half downward. in this study, one third of the weather stations showed it getting cooler. and two thirds warmer. ouch. usually you only need 51% to declare a mandate. heh. anywho, one thing that caught my attention was the heat island effect. it's large real. and mostly irrelevant. cause only 1% of thermometers are in heat islands. you certainly don't want to draw conclusions based solely on readings from cities. that'd be bad. not to mention dumb. i didn't read the actual report. i read the media's report of the report. one thing kinda struck me. you can't just leave out city temperature readings because they're in heat islands. these heat islands are part of the earth. and have to be included in the earth's average temperature. make sense? the report on the report made me kinda uneasy on this point.
what's in a word? heh. everything. ever go to england or australia? they speak english there. sorta. but it's a different flavor of english. same words. different meanings. you can get into a whole peck of trouble saying innocent sounding things. like when b starting calling his brother git. his mother took offense at calling her son a bastard. anywho. science speak is another variation of english. same words different meanings. there's a list over at bad astronomy
. though he got it from somewhere else. and it isn't so great. let's do better. theory in science means proven. theory outside science means not proven. ouch! manipulate in science means process, like data. manipulate outside science means to tamper with and to cheat. positive feedback in science is a closed process that amplifies itself. generally leading to instability and/or destruction of the system. positive feedback outside science is a good job, a pat on the head. (uh oh!) bias in science is an offset. as in, apply a bias voltage. bias outside science is distortion, pig headedness. trick in science is clever manipulation (see above). trick outside science is a nasty surprise. values in science are numbers. values outside science are religious ethics, morals. uncertainty in science is how exactly something is known. uncertainty outside science means unknown. error in science is uncertainty (see above). error outside science means wrong. heh. to recap, theory means not a theory. manipulated means not manipulated. positive feedback is really bad. bias is normal. tricks are not tricky. values are literal. uncertainty means very little uncertainty. error means very little error. got it? good. let's try. what does this mean? the theory is to add bias and use tricks to manipulate values to establish uncertainty.
so how did the neutrinos get from cern to gran sasso faster than light? well, most likely, they didn't. in fact, if there was a hole in the ground and you could see the flash from whatever violence created the neutrinos, the flash and the neutrinos would arrive at the same time. so light can travel faster than light? heh. no. there are four basic explanations. one, the researchers made some sort of mundane error. like failing to account for cable delay. or the device isn't where they think it is. both are kinda far underground. far away from the surface where it's easier to measure location. second, they made some sort of relativity error. special or general. synchronizing clocks is exceedingly difficult. if it can even be done. the two places are at different latitudes. so they're rotating at different speeds. they're at different elevations so they're at different gravitational potentials. three, they've missed some sort of quantum mechanics effect. like they measured the phase velocity of the neutrino cloud instead of the velocity of individual neutrinos. four, something else. science is most interesting when something unexpected happens. cause that's when you know you're making progress towards real truth. and not just sitting on some fake island of "truth" with a false sense of righteous security.
so some scientists measured very precisely a cloud of neutrons as they passed through the earth from cern to gran sasso some 2.4 ms away as the photon flies. neutrinos being nearly massless travel at nearly the speed of light. very nearly. in theory. except there's a problem. the observed speed was slightly faster than the speed of light. wtf? okay there are two possibilities. first, relativity is wrong and things can go faster than light. < 0.1% chance. second, the scientist made a mistake. > 99.9% chance. the question though, is what? these scientist are top of the field. they carefully accounted for everything they could imagine. what'd did they miss? they published their paper. and they held a press conference. for which they took some flack. undeserved in my opinion. they needed help. and this was as good of a way as any to get it. if they just published the paper, someone would notice the ftl aspect and might go apeshit bananas with crank "science". which would be a disaster. so instead they held their own press conference rationally presenting the unexpected results and inviting review. cause they knew it most likely wasn't going to hold up. i applaud them. course i'll recant my accolades if i find out they've filed a patent on warp drives. ;->
supply & demand
jobs jobs jobs. it's all about jobs. harumph. okay. let's look at jobs from a free market position. a job is you trading your labor for my money. except the snooty economics word is capital. woot. right now, there are a large number of people offering labor. and very few people offering capital. which drives down the cost of labor. which makes the laborers poorer because of the lowered value of their asset. and the capital holders richer because they get more for less. which increases the supply of labor and decreases the supply of capital. and round we go. it's an economic death spiral. for most. it's great if you're king. we're not just talking about corporations here. i used to have a housekeeper and a gardener. now i have neither. i am no longer offering capital for labor. anywho. from this perspective it's pretty easy to see how to make more jobs. increase the number of labor consuming capital providers. though that's easier said than done. during the new deal the government played that role in the form of massive numbers of public works projects. and we clawed our way out of a depression. i'm not so sure we can do that again. first the government already is a very large employer. and second, the government's ability to borrow money to pay an increased workforce is seriously limited. pretty much, the only solution left is to cut taxes on the middle class. so they can hire housekeepers and gardeners. and to raise taxes on the holders of capital. ie the ones who are *not* using it to create jobs. then the government can afford to hire and train workers. and we can claw our way out of never ending recession. timmer for president.
don't you hate it when you get a rock in your shoe? yeah, me too. i had a small one in mine the other day. so i did what you usually do. take off your shoe. shake it. put it back on. and of course, i was in a hurry. and didn't get the rock out. so the next time i had a moment. i shook vigorously. man. rock must be stuck. it wasn't real annoying so i ignored it. next time i stuck my hand in there and brushed out all stuck rocks. dang. still there. man, this is one persistent rock. okay, so i finally had time to examine my shoe closely. hrm. the rock seems to be stuck under the insole padding thing. hrm. no hole. how'd it get in there? i didn't really want to tear the glued in padding out. so i turn the shoe over. oh. it's not a rock. it was some sort of fat splinter thing that went all the way through the sole of the shoe and was poking me in the sole of my foot. anywho, it's gone now. and i have happy feet again.
the supreme court declined to hear arguments in a case where the lower courts basically ruled you are bound by the terms of the end user license agreement the moment you purchase software. the fact that the eula is sealed inside the box and inaccessible to you until after you make the purchase, seems to be not important to the court. it's a legal and binding contract. anywho. the case goes like this. grandpa buys 5 copies of abc works for christmas presents for his children. grandpa dies. the kids don't want the software. so they sell it at yard sale that was his estate. an enterprising individual buys them for pennies on the dollar and advertises them for sale on the internets. mind you, they are still shrink wrapped. abc company makes him stop. he sues. he argues, according to well established copyright law, the first sale has been made. and abc no longer has any copyright based rights to restrict the resale of the product. abc argued that they never sold the copyrighted material. they sold a non-transferable license. as clearly stated in the eula. ergo since the first sale never took place, abc company has complete control over who can sell the copyrighted material. seems like legal hairsplitting. which gives me an idea. an evil nasty idea. i sell you some software. which of course means i sell you a license to use my software. a revocable license. at any time. so i demand you return the copyrighted product. packaging and all. and i can charge you to restore the packaging to its original condition. then of course, i sell it again. nasty i know. but the supreme court says it's perfectly legal. i'm gonna be so rich.
when camping with the boy scouts, your sleeping bag needs to be in a water proof sack. which for us means stuff them in a garbage bag and then stuff them in their stuff sack. phooey. so i was helping. i started stuffing the sleeping bag into the garbage bag. then started stuffing the partially stuffed garbage and sleeping bag combo into the stuff sack. this worked pretty well. remarkably well. creepily well. when i was done, the sleeping bag was stuffed into the stuff sack far more compactly than normal. hrm. thought about that one for a while. usually it's a lot of work just to get the sleeping bag stuffed into the stuff sack at all. the garbage bag changed the game. my working theory is without the garbage bag the sleeping bag tends to expand as soon as you let up on it to grab the next handful of sleeping bag to stuff into the stuff sack. it expands by drawing air through the stuff sack. which it can't do when it's inside a garbage bag inside a stuff sack. cool. so if you ever need to stuff a sleeping bag extra small, now you know how. science is my bitch.
so the family left me to go camping. don't ask. work dumped a new project on me. the kind where you follow the instructions. and step 1 doesn't work. so you have to start an email trail to resolve the issue. which takes an hour. then step 2 doesn't work. so i had quite a few idle hours. and no one to give me chores. so i started making a cutting board. i've been planning it for a while. and i had all the necessary parts. projects like this involve getting out the saw. which is kinda like solving a 3d jigsaw puzzle. and it takes up the entire garage. so it's good to do when a car is going to be missing for a few days. anywho. i cut and glued and clamped and cursed. then went back to my job. great! step 3 fails. glue is dry. cut and glue and clamp and curse. step 4 fails. you can see where this is going. so anywho. the family returned (yay!) before i finished. so the car had to stay out of the garage for an extra night. the board needs to be sanded. but it's functional. it has a bread shaped indentation. slap the loaf in the hole. cut along the surface of the board. voila! a perfect slice. now i can cut ummy nummy home made bread as goodly as the beautiful and talented alisa.
so we had a friend over for dinner a bit ago. he told many funny stories. many about his cats. and his contractor. who sometimes catsits his cats. he'd just bought a new house. so his contractor is busy. the new house is 45' from the old house. don't ask. he knows when the contractor's working. cause the cats sit at the window staring hopefully at the treat angel. he's right over there. he's going to bring us treats. we just know it. which is pretty funny all by itself. but treat angel? i would have coined the name treat faerie. but our friend is gay. okay then. treat angel it is.
cats love laser toys. that red dot that darts around on the floor that can't quite be caught. irresistable. completely. so the other day. bongo was sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor with that same rapt focused attention look they get when they expect something really good for cats is gonna happen. but as far as i could tell, nothing was. what ma heck? oh. the dishes are clean. and the red light is on. stupid cat.
what is it with republicans picking candidates named cain? first it was john mccain? he didn't win. now it's herman cain. what makes people think he's going to win? is it that the bible mentions the name? sheehs. don't they know that cain isn't able?
so what's the message of the 99%? the media would have you believe they don't have one. they're just a bunch of kooks protesting for the hell of it. heh. maybe the media doesn't get it. or does and is in denial. or is afraid. my income and wealth puts me in the 1%. but my heart is with the 99%. we are individuals. we think for ourselves. we do whatever the fuck we want. and it's getting oppressively hard to do that. the democrats expect you to march lock step just like the republicans. we're now completely disenfranchised. we don't like to be told we have to bail out our banks. but we can't bail out our neighbors. we don't like to be told we can't own guns or smoke pot. we don't like to be told to take off our shoes to get on an airplane. if you want to look and act exactly like the robot next to you, that's fine with us. this is my yard. go play marching moron somewhere else.
all uh ad bar
remember a few posts ago i had a bit of a peeve on about rollover ads that popped up windows or started playing audio tracks? yeah? good. so this morning i was watching a video commemorating gagarin's historic first orbit of earth. the video was crap. but it was like being there. in the 60s. in a can. in space. with google earth showing what he would have recorded if he'd have had a 21st century camera. i so want to go. it was so pretty. and there was some nice mood music playing. and the subtitles to the staticy russian conversation. i zoomed it to full screen on the rightmost monitor. and kept working on the other two. it was that immersive. until someone started talking. in english. wtf? aw dammit. a rollover ad. and it's not even on the frontmost tabbed page. jeesum crow. so i viewed the page source. ad.doubleclick.com. fuck you. i killed it. here's how. add this line:
to the bottom of c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts. hosts is where you computer looks to resolve a domain name from text, ad.doubleclick.com, to numbers, 188.8.131.52. if there's no entry, then your computer asks your isp to resolve it for you. so what i've done is told chrome to get ads from my computer instead of from the internet. slick huh? but wait. we just fucked with a critical piece of how your computer connects to the internet. like say your bank. isn't that a kind of security risk? why yes. yes it is. fortunately, windows is actually kinda smart. it noticed the next time i shut down the computer. i checked carefully to make sure it was freaking out about what i had done. and then i told it to allow it. voila! some web pages look kinda empty. which is fine by me. i never notice the stupid things anyway. well, not until they misbehave.
so g's birthday was a few days ago. he got a new bike. lucky kid. he rode it to school once. then the rains came. the rains always come around his birthday. it's like celestial clockwork or something. his cake was fun. awful. but fun. it was awful because i bought a really crappy box of really crappy cake mix. but it's got no corn syrup. so that's something. i also bought an expensive box of brownie mix that looks like an expensive box of cake mix. at least enough so to fool the person making the grocery list. oops. my bad. so anywho, we were originally thinking a portal theme. that led to angry birds. which would have been fun. but that led to minecraft. oh yeah. winner. so he got a nice terraced chocolate cake with orange flavored green icing on the top. and a cake. a minecraft cake on top of his uh minecraft cake. heh. i guess that only makes sense to people who play minecraft. or like my kids, watch videos of people playing minecraft. anywho, g and i ran off to baseball practice. b came home from cross country and got the giggles. he asked about scraps. the beautiful and talented alisa thought he meant, to eat. but no. he made a steve. it was quite a nice steve. and if you don't know what steve is, you need to play some minecraft. or watch videos of people playing minecraft. which apparently, is fun.
it's birthday season around my house. my youngest wanted to know exactly when he was born. presumably so he could argue that he should be allowed to open his birthday presents at 2:03 am. on a school night. so then we got into a bit of a discussion about when he turns exactly 10 years old. and what time that would be. and when he gets to open his presents. a year is 365.24 days long. which isn't a whole number. hence the need for nearly regular leap years. that extra fractional 0.24 means you have to wait a full 365 calendar days plus 5 hours 45 minutes and 36 seconds. so your time of birth shifts by nearly a quarter of a day later every year. and then a whole 24 hours earlier when there's a leap year. so i did the calculation for him. turns out his birthday is at 11:39 am. which was right around when we were delivering cookies to his classmates. score. i'm pretty sure the older chiild is going to want to know when his birth time is this year. pretty sure i'm going to make him figure it out himself. muhahahahahahahah!
following up from yesterday, why is politics upside down? well. it could be that their victory criteria is inverted. ie it's not about getting the most laws passed. or the most money spent. it's about keeping *them* from passing any laws or spending any money. sort of a play to annoy strategy. but these are adults. not snerts in a video game. how about this. if you piss off my people, they vote for me. in droves. for self preservation. i get you to piss off my people by pissing off your people. and i drag you into a mutual reciprocative relationship. the problem is everyone's pissed off. except the politicians. they're reaping the votes, and the associated perks, like crazy. which it is. crazy. we'd be far better served by voting for someone who cooperates with the guy who's pissing us of. which is the barrier. sigh.
darn. no chris christie for 2012. bummer. don't know much about him. the only blurb i read about his position was that we need to compromise. like duh. ya think? which would be a really nice change from the line-in-the-sand people we have today. there's something just foolish about the all or nothing strategy. okay, let's put this in terms of cold hard cash. you and bob work all week every week. on half of fridays, i pay you $100. on the other half of the fridays i pay bob $100. on average, you each get $50 per week. you could quit my job and go do the same work for the beautiful and talented alisa. she'd pay each of you $75 every week for the same work. you'd be pretty silly to work for me. yet that's exactly how our politicians are playing the game.
so i was thinking about sex in space recently. and then i read this article about, wait for it, sex in space. and that it'd be hard. as in difficult. hrm. that didn't exactly jibe with my daydreams. so i read further. sex in space would be difficult if not impossible because there's no gravity and no friction. wtf? the role of gravity during intercourse is to squish the two bodies together to make one. gravity is probably the most convenient way to do that. but it certainly isn't the only way. you can have sex while floating in a swimming pool for crying oh! loud. and no friction? wtf is up with that? of course there's friction in zero g. otherwise you wouldn't be able to push off a wall in any direction other than perpendicular. astronauts used friction to stop the spinning hubble. anywho, back to sex. you could replicate missionary position with appropriately placed handles. put hers next to her hips. give him somewhere to tuck his toes and handles near her shoulders. but missionary position? sheehs. why? that'd be like taking an expensive trip to paris and eating at mcdonald's (/plagiarism). seems to me, the lack of gravity creates opportunities just plain not possible dirt side. small forces, ie gentle touches, can have large effects. which is a very interesting sensuous thought. like the floating position. where one partner is not touching anything other than their partner's parts. and the party of the second part uses nothing but the friction between their enjoined personal parts to set up a romantic resonance. kinda like combining sensory deprivation with sensory overload. beam me up scotty.
so international blasphemy day was friday last. we had a dinner party. the beautiful and talented alisa made artisan bread dough for my blasphemous enjoyment. i formed it into the image of the flying spaghetti monster. give us this day our daily fsm bread. his noodly appendage touched me. and i nom-nom-nommed it. body of fsm. given for you. apparently, blasphemy isn't limited to a single day of the year. ramen to that.
i really don't like those roll-over ads. i really wish they'd roll over and die. in a fire. i especially don't like the ones that pop up a window covering up the thing i really wanted to see. i also especially don't like the ones that start playing audio then don't shut up when you're no longer rolled over them. pah. makes me just want to forget about whatever it was that i came here for. course it's too late. they've already got their micro pennies. so take heed. website administrator. i'm not even going to go to your site if you allow that crap.