the bible is the word of god. so is the koran. and the torah. and the origin of species. what!?!? heh. we ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge. adam and eve didn't suddenly know everything. they got the ability to learn. and learn we did. we learned to listen to the voice of god as he patiently explained how he does everything that he does. cause what is science if not the study of how god does things? if you want to tune your moral compass, grab a bible. well, the new testament. if you want to feed the world, grab a biology textbook. don't get them confused. or you'll end up like dr frankenstein and jenny mccarthy.
if you want sex, get a job. that was the takeaway from a recent post by a buddy of mine. i'm too old and confrontationaphobic to rip people new ones on their own blogs. so i'll do it here. in the safety of my own. with comments off. so there. ;-> anywho, he expects women to keep their legs together until their man can afford to marry them. or at least pay for their birth control. he didn't actually say, but i assume an employed slut could pay for her own birth control. fellas have three routes to sex: pay for it, pay for the birth control, pay for the consequences, hook up with a rich slut, and/or get married. so dirt poor but married homeless folks can have as much unprotected sex as they want. producing as many dirt poor children. which don't get preventive health care. so they end up in the emergency room. which is by far the most expensive way to do things. which by the way, is another rant of same buddy. weird huh? it doesn't take very many of these families to suddenly make free-birth-control-for-everyone look like a really good idea financially. if not a really good idea in general.
pirates steal onboard your ship. they capture your cargo and hold your crew ransom. it's a small fraction of the value of the business. what do you do? it's expedient to pay. but it's a bad idea in the long run. okay switch topics. there's a movement to ensure that employer based insurance can't refuse to pay for birth control. even on "moral" grounds. a presumed threat is that these fuckers will overrun our social, welfare, and emergency programs if we don't pay. almost like they hold these programs hostage. which sounds like the pirates. there is a very big difference. if you pay the pirates, next season you get more pirates. if you pay the fuckers, next generation you'll have fewer fuckers. which is what we want. we do not want to give a young woman and her boyfriend an excuse to drop out of highschool. we do not want them to drop out of college. we do not want her to drop out of the workforce until after she's had a chance to find the man of her dreams, get married, and start their family when they can afford it. the businessman republican should ignore the religious zealot republican, open his wallet, and hand planned parenthood a blank check.
so the other day i was talking to b about a contest scientific american ran a long time ago. martin gardner convinced the magazine to offer up to a $1 million dollar prize. which was huge amount of money 30 years ago. you can enter as many times as you want. type a positive integer on a 3x5 card using a typewriter and normal spacing and kerning. alternatively type an expression that evaluates to a positive integer. that number is the number of chances you have to win. the prize amount actually awarded to the winner is the $1m maximum divided by the sum of all of the numbers sent in. if the sum is zero then the magazine keeps the dough. as mg expected, it quickly turned into a contest to see who could send in the biggest number. the sun is some 150 million kilometers away. that's an astronomical number by definition. even in meters it's also a measly 12 characters, 150000000000. easily fits on a 3x5 card. if any one person sent in an astronomical number, the prize awarded would be a tiny fraction of a penny. b came up with filling the card with 9s. the number of particles in the universe is something like 10^90. 90 such nines would easily fit on a 3x5 card. presumably normal word (number?) wrap rules apply. this would be a universe sized number. however, people sent in numbers much larger than that. much much much larger. the one i remember is a 9 followed by as many exclamation points as would fit. a few hundred bangs. as in 9 factorial factorial factorial factorial factorial factorial. google says 9!! is infinity. i estimate it has some 10,000 digits. much much much larger than a universe scale number. on the spot, i coined the phrase a god sized number. which is any number bigger than a universe sized number. readers sent in many god-sized numbers. which was the biggest? i have no idea. neither did the mathematical gamer. and sciam was off the hook for prize money.
i had an english teacher in high school. miss somebody. she made me read kurt vonnegut's story about ice nine. as if i wasn't going to read it anyway. my mental skills had already manifested and showed no signs of abating. obviously, i was going to do great things. she wanted to make sure i didn't destroy the world. okay, so i came up with a way to produce clean cheap energy. but i'm not going to. but but but why the fuck not? blame the english teacher. i thought about just like she said to. and the world would not be a better place. it'd be on the brink. just like today. except instead of 6 billion souls. there'd be 60 billion.
g and i ran a bunch of errands one day. he needed a haircut. and some bandages for the road rash on his leg. and some wrestling shoes. i grabbed a backpack. the beautiful and talented alisa made sure we were properly outfitted with coupons and an extra bag. hrm. okay, so haircut. check. bandages from target. check. wrestling shoes from sports authority. check. i never planned to put the shoebox in my backpack. so after making the purchase, i removed the shoes and stuffed them into my backpack. they didn't quite fit. so i removed the extra bag. there. perfect. almost. i used the backpack principle to get the extra bag into the backpack too. which is good. cause it would have been embarrassing to have had to have used the extra bag solely because we had brought the extra bag.
there was a meteor shower scheduled for saturday night. so we made it part of our date. put some reclinable chairs on the back lawn. grab the binoculars and a blanket or two. and a warm cat. at least that was the plan. i opted for my desk chair. cause it's so damn comfortable. it's also 20 years old. so when i picked up its top parts, it's bottom parts stayed put. and its middle parts scattered all over. its greasy middle parts. great. cleaned up the mess in the morning. also reassembled it. sorta. the middle bits are kinda worn out. i should replace it. i look when other errands take me to the office supply shop. but the chairs aren't as comfortable. i wonder if i can just replace the rolly telescoping part of my chair. hrm...
i broke down and bought myself a bike a while ago. i decided my knees are too old and the schools are now too far away to skate there and back every morning. it's a giant 29" bike. so it starts slow but goes pretty fast pretty easily. which is good. cause the young buck pedals like mad as soon as his classmates get in sight. anywho, i needed a lock for my bike. i had choices. i don't like my wife's lock because i'm often lining up the numbers on the wrong side of the lock. pah. i picked the one where the line-em-up marks are obvious. it also had really big numbers on the tumblers. my eyes are just as old as my knees. sigh.
bonus post! lucky you. so last night the giants defeated the cardinals 9-0. it wasn't as bad as it sounds. at one point, top of the ninth with two outs, the cards had the tying run on first base. if only they could get him in. and on base again. and back in again. doh.
the boys went camping with the boy scouts and a bunch of webelos over the weekend. they had fun. so did the beautiful and talented alisa and myself. we had a date. went to see argofuckyourself. was fun. had indian food for dinner. it was good. though they didn't bring the iced tea alisa order. they also stuck us in the kiddie room. which was okay while the kids were occupied shoving food into their faces. but wasn't so much fun when they got to the screaming to get out of the chair state. hello!?!?!? we're on a frikken date here. we managed to get *away* from our children. we really don't want to be subjected to someone else's. thank you very much.
trouble likes to be fed. he makes it very clear. he's hungry. and it's time to feed the cat. he's a polite cat. you know how cats normally rub against your leg that ends with a tail swipe flourish? well, trouble's tail swipe is vigorous. like he could play lineman in the nfl. anywho, you have to be careful when pouring the food into the bowl. cause trouble gives your hand a thank you headbutt. oh thank you thank you for the food. con gusto. like with enough gusto to knock your hand so far out of the way you end up pouring food all over the floor. i've taken to waiting until after the headbutt thank you before turning over the cup. now i only spill the few kibbles that slosh over the side.
he's not a rapist. he's an uninvited sex partner.
obama should stop referring to his base as the middle class. his rhetoric would be much more effective if he called them wage earners. middle class reminds people there's an upper class ruling them. middle class implies mediocre average mundane uninteresting. it's kinda insulting. wager earners implies you earn your wages. like, duh! it reminds people that the rich guys didn't earn what they have. they inherited it. or they stole it. or they lobbied for it. which is effectively the same thing. the tax rate on wage earners starts at 13.4%. then you tack on income tax, which jacks a wage earners tax rate up to 20% give or take. that's on every single dollar of everything the wage earner earns. compare that to the 10% give or take paid by the guys whose income isn't earned through wages. and that 10% tax is only on that portion of their wealth gains that count as taxable income. most of their wealth gains don't count as income. truth. it's no wonder they call you the middle class.
yeah, i know it's a bit early. but i'm going to call this one for romney. he's got momentum. he's taken a huge shift to the middle. and totally blindsided obama from the left. well played. course i still don't know which romney will occupy the white house. i'd be okay with mitt the governor. but not with mitt the guy with ten digits who'll sign anything grover norquist puts in front of him. yeah i know obama's still the 2:1 favorite. so why am i calling it for romney? is it because democrats answer pollsters but don't actually vote whereas republicans don't respond to pollsters but do actually vote? well, maybe. but no. the real reason is that friends of republicans control the voting machines in the swing states. now, i'm not saying that republicans cheat. or even that friends of republicans cheat. i am saying that there are outliers in every population. given a large enough population the outliers will get way way the fuck out there. sandusky is a christian, for example. if you give enough people access to the voting machines, where they could cheat, and the chance of getting caught is non-existant, and the greater good justifies the means, some outlier will tweak things just enough to cap a reagan sized upset.
so five of us went to lunch. and of course we started talking about the latest video games. the youngest said she played too much recent-popular-mmo in college. the next youngest said he played too much less-recent-mmo. the middle aged one said they didn't have mmo's when he was in college. my turn. we didn't have video games when i was in college.computer screens were monochrome character based things. no color! heh. of course we had color. you could get white text. or green text. or amber text. sheehs. we played computer games. but they weren't really pixel based video games. i played too much rogue when i was in college. we all looked at the last guy. he said, i wrote rogue.
so my teenage son wanted to know what caused acne. so i told him. it's spiders. microscopic spiders that live in your pores and eat the oil your skin produces to be healthy. they come out at night to have sex on your face and make more spiders. they don't have anuses so all that oil they eat sorta fills them up until they burst. filling your pores with spider shit. puberty means you're growing really fast. and all that new young skin needs lots of oil. ie spider food. more food. more spiders. more shit. and sometimes there's so much shit the pores get clogged. and the immune system jumps in to clear the mess. voila! a pimple erupts. EEWWW! GROSSSSSS!!!! definitely. is it true? i have no idea. but it got him to wash his face.
at science getaway, someone made the assertion we could solve most of our electricity needs by installing 4 million windmills. he might have said energy needs. but i won't go there. i and the rest of the audience giggled. first, you don't control the wind the same way you control the trains that dump coal into a coal burning power plant. you have to do something with the power when you get it. which means storing it and releasing it on demand. no one has figured out how to store 100 TWhrs of electricity. which is what it'd take. alternatively, we can predict when the wind will blow and power up our factories then. that's a huge modification to society. but yeah okay. let's ignore that hurdle. okay so some ballpark numbers. a 100m wind turbine might be rated at 10 megawatts. of which in practice it will average 1 megawatt. it will also occupy about a square kilometer. the us is about 10 million square kilometers. of which maybe 1/3 might be suitable for wind turbines. so right off the top we see that 4 million wind turbines just barely fit in the us. yes, we could place more smaller turbines. but they'd produce less power per land area. in this case bigger really is better. okay so 4 million megawatt average windmills would produce 4 terawatts of power. which is the current us energy consumption. so myth not busted by the back of the envelope. course it's only plausible with the greatest of imaginative dexterity. too bad jamie and adam don't have an infeasible or impractical result. now, if we could build windmills with a rotor diameter of a kilometer...
our internet connection was pretty shoddy. it's been slowly slowly getting worse. the fix was to loosen and tighten all of the coax cable connections. there are a total of 8. that usually kept us online for the rest of the day. usually. i called comcast to check. the guy was pretty amazed that our weekly failures were in the double digits. he didn't get more specific than that. it sounded bad. even for comcast. so the guy shows up. and he measures 17db coming into the house. and 3db coming into the modem. that's kinda bad. so he crawls around under the house looking for the splitter. even though i told him there's no splitter under the house. it's a really unpleasant place. and he eventually quit. he called his manager. between the two of them they ran new coax from the office to the box outside. that was two weeks ago. i've noticed no failures since then. the beautiful and talented alisa saw her wireless connection go down once. we didn't check if it was the comcast modem. so damn. i think they actually figgit. the old cable was at least 20 years old. so yeah, it could stand to be replaced. gonna call the cable guy and say thanks for doing the job right.
You have an appointment scheduled for Wednesday, Sep 26th between 71 PM and 10 PM. oh. well then. i better hurry.
the flight home from c-lazy-u ranch was okay. except for one small thing. THE ANNOUNCEMENTS WERE REALLY FUCKING LOUD! like painfully loud. i put my fleece shirt over the speaker. the nice flight attendant told me to stop. i didn't. i stated it was painfully loud. and asked if they could turn it down to a less painful level. she stated the other passengers needed to be able to hear the announcements. apparently me ineffectually damping my speaker somehow reduced the other speakers to inaudible levels. i stared at her like she had just said something really stupid and i was trying hard to be polite. she told me there was a federal regulation that requires a certain volume. i looked it up. there's no such thing the federal aviation regulations. there is a generic one that says i must comply with the instructions of the flight crew. so yeah, she could have had me arrested when we landed for failing to comply. go for it. i'm pretty sure the legal definition of assault includes causing pain. course i didn't have any solid evidence that the noise level was above 125db. and potentially causing permanent damage to my hearing. when i got home i downloaded a decibel app for my iphone so i can actually measure how fucking loud the announcements are. but for the rest of the flight i didn't cover the speaker with my shirt. i leaned into the aisle and stared at the flight attendants. i didn't have any trouble hearing the announcements with my fingers stuck firmly in my ears.
in recent posts, i've made the science getaway vacation sound wonderful. and it was. really the only bad part was the first night was the altitude sickness. i was very careful to drink lots of water. and i was pretty careful to not eat too much. even though it was really good. but i still failed. after dinner i had this yucky feeling in my tummy. i got rid of it. but it really spoiled cuddle time. sigh. i'm really sorry sweetie. i really tried! what's weird is i didn't get altitude sick in cuzco. which was nearly twice the altitude. maybe that was difference. both times we traveled from sea level in one day. hrm. course that's in the southern hemisphere. so the world's rotating the opposite relative direction. maybe i have a left handed equilibrium system. so spinning clockwise is okay. but spinning counter clockwise is not. hrm. more research required.
i fear i'm becoming a dirty old man. actually i think i've just packed on too many years to pass myself off as a perma-teen any more. sigh. okay, so the geologist and science getaway was young and fit. probably from hiking to remote rock formations and smashing them with hammers. anywho, she gave a demonstration during her first talk using books and layers of (clean) clothes to demonstrate how the geologic forces formed the formations in the lovely c-lazy-u valley. it didn't go as well in production as it did in her imagination. the clothes didn't fold. she tried to help bend them with her face. but that didn't succeed. was entertaining though. we got the idea anyway, using our imaginations. afterwards, before the ecology hike, she was talking about the demo fail and said she needed bigger boobs. actually she said books. but i swear she said boobs. i'm not sure how bigger books would have solved the problem. bigger boobs on the other hand...
going through security on the way home was the longest line we had to wait in for the entire trip. and it wasn't very bad at all. there was a woman wearing high heels in front of us. later we saw she had removed her shoes to go through the scanners. but she was still walking around on her tippy toes. it looked kinda strange. made me wonder. does she wear super high heels so much that her calf muscles are so tight she's lost the ability to flex her feet? she hates being short? she didn't want to get her heels dirty? heh. i read on the internet, so it must be true, that women can wear high heels all day long and not get fatigued. but as soon as they take them off, the tiredness sets in. it may be a real physical phenomenon. or it might be psychological. or some of both. i'd try it for myself. but there are social norms against such behavior. but but but science! maybe if everyone wore high heels... ooo. the end of the month *is* halloween. hrm.
the flight home was the first indications that the vacation was over. sigh. the rental car agreement states we must fill up the tank within 16 kilometers of the rental car facilities. course denver airport is more than 16 kms removed from civilization. so we had to fill up at the gas station on site. and pay monopoly prices. wee. still cheaper than home though. strange but true. the gas station was, you guessed it, under construction. the nice building that will eventually house the cash registers isn't open yet. and the shack on the other side of the immense lot can't do credit card fill-ups. great. the shuttle bus ride took us to half the airlines. everyone got off except us. including someone we knew was on the same airline. weird. construction forced the shuttle bus to backtracked through all the pedestrian traffic. then it drove to the other side of the same building. and fore-tracked through the pedestrian traffic leaving the other set of airlines. then backtracked to the shuttle bus stop. we were deposited 100 meters from the doors. so yeah. all that carsickness inducing bus driving got us a whopping 100 m closer to the check-in line. where we had to use the kiosks. cause i didn't pre-do the qr thing. ah well. next time we fly to denver we'll know the tricks.