Thursday, April 30, 2015

Physics essay - FTW

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Listen to Wikipedia Being Edited - CityLab


Trying to buckle down and work? Noise-cancelling headphones aren't the only mellow way to drown out your co-workers' incessant chattering or the whirring of a coffee machine at your local café. Try listening to the dulcet tones of Wikipedia being edited in real time.

Listen to Wikipedia is a site and app that that draws from Wikipedia's recent changes feed to translate the sum of the tweaks into a chilled-out symphony.

Bells denote additions to a page, and plucked strings represent deletions. Synthesized strings swell and fall in the background as new users join Wikipedia. Larger revisions yield more resonant notes. It uses a pentatonic scale to avoid screeching dissonance. (Think: tones produced by xylophones and lutes.)

As much as the site is about a zen-inducing auditory experience, it's also an aural celebration of collaboration and freedom of speech. It serves as a sensory reminder that people are sharing and responding to ideas all the time, at a mind-boggling pace. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Happy "Perfect Date" Day!


Friday, April 24, 2015

A 10-Piece Set of Stackable Brain Specimen Coasters

Safari browser extension! Now with more geek references!

 Ultimate Status Bar


This status bar extension reveals what links are trying to hide from you — destination, file type and size, the possible presence of Rick Astley. It embiggens shortened URLs, and when you don't want it in your way, hides discreetly out of sight. Fully themed, you can make Ultimate Status Bar suit your look. Now available in Sparkly Unicorn Flavor!


Val Kilmer has become The Dude


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tesla: God of Thunder


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Man fires 8 gunshots into his Dell PC after Blue Screens of Death push him over edge

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Internet of Things?


Monday, April 20, 2015

Star Wars meets Star Trek


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Slightly used Imperial Star Destroyer for sale on Craigslist

 Selling a slightly used Imperial II-class Star Destroyer.

Previously owned by a navigator of a spice freighter, this vessel has been sitting on my moisture farm and needs to be removed before next year's harvest.

1,600 meters in length this bad boy has a maximum atmospheric speed of 975 km/h and an acceleration of >2,300 g. It's got a Class 2 hyper-drive system still in working order with a backup Class 8. SFS I-a2b solar ionization reactor is in good to excellent shape. KDY Destroyer-I ion engine turns over on the first try but may need a new serpentine belt.

As you can see by the picture provided, the deflector shield generator domes are intact. That is a state of the art ISD-72x. 

Fully equipped with LeGrange targeting computers, heavy ion cannons, Phylon Q7 tractor beam projectors, leather bucket seats, and a 15 disc cd changer. 

36,000 tons of cargo capacity, this beauty was ran with a crew of 37,085 but you can pull it off with a minimum of 5,000 leaving you plenty of room to pack in a few extra AT-AT walkers, TIE starfighters, prefabricated garrison bases, Lambda-class shuttles, and jet skis.

This superstructure is perfect for long road trips with the family, discovering new galaxies, picking up girls for dates, and general destruction of your enemies. Have you ever seen what a Star Destroyer can do to the surface of an unshielded planet? Stones run like water and sand turns to glass.

Brand new this beauty of the skies runs at about 145,670,000 credits, but do to some carbon scoring I can be flexible on the price. Realistically, I just need it removed from my property, so all offers or trades will be considered. Make me an offer, no mind tricks.

First come, first serve basis. You are responsible for towing.

    Friday, April 17, 2015

    The Farce Awakens

    Why not vacation on Tatooine this year?
    We have endless beaches.
    Not much water, but plenty of sandy beaches.


    This cannot be Good


    FW: Friday Fun

    The Medieval Book Curse

    In the medieval period, the most effective method of deterring a bibliomaniac from acquiring manuscripts from their proper owners was the book curse. The book curse was not a technological security system but a security system of social context. A book curse reminded would-be book thieves that books were valued and that there were repercussions for taking them without permission.

    There was no individual standard curse that was used in all books, rather scribes were free to design curses for the books they had copied. The colophon was the usual location of these curses and it was the only space in a manuscript that the medieval scribe had freedom to write as he or she chose.

    Book curses used threats of several different types of punishment to invoke fear among those who would take or damage a book: bodily injury, damnation, excommunication, or anathema. The bodily injuries included hanging, illness, and painful death and usually called for more than one physical torment to befall the thief.  James Thompson records one such curse: "Whoever steals this book let him die the death; let be him be frizzled in a pan; may the falling sickness rage within him; may he be broken on the wheel and be hanged."

    more at


    Thursday, April 16, 2015

    Knuckle cracking caught on film for the first time

    Does the sound of cracking knuckles make you flinch? What about a film of the joints in action? MRI scans have been used to capture the moment your joints go pop.

    Gregory Kawchuk at the University of Alberta, Canada, and colleagues used a cable to slowly pull a man's fingers in an MRI scanner until the joints cracked. The sound was thought to come from the collapse of an air bubble, but in the scans the air cavity that formed in the fluid around the separating joints persisted after the noise.

    A mysterious flash also appeared just before the crack. Kawchuk thinks it may be caused by cartilage releasing fluid as the tension on the joints rises.


    Coder's Chant


    I, for one, welcome our Overflying Silicon Overlords

     Smart drones that think and learn like us to launch this year

    Monday, April 13, 2015

    Revisited Myth # 45: The Dutch bought Manhattan for $24 worth of beads.

    New post on History Myths Debunked

    Revisited Myth # 45: The Dutch bought Manhattan for $24 worth of beads.

    by Mary Miley


    Only one period document mentions anything about the purchase of Manhattan. This letter states that the island was purchased from the Indians for 60 guilders worth of trade goods, which would consist of things like axes, iron kettles, and wool clothing. No reason beads couldn't have been included, but nothing tells us exactly what the mix was. Indians were notoriously shrewd traders and would not have been fooled by worthless trinkets. 

    The original letter is in the archives of the Netherlands. It was written by a merchant, Pieter Schagen, to the directors of the West India Company (owners of New Netherlands) and is dated 5 November 1626. He mentions that the settlers "have bought the island of Manhattes from the savages for a value of 60 guilders." That's it. It doesn't say who purchased the island or from whom they purchased it, although many historians believe it was the local Lenape tribe.

    Where the $24 comes from, I have no idea. For what it's worth, I checked a couple of currency conversion websites and learned the approximate value of 60 guilders is over $1,000 in today's money. Some speculate that a 19th-century historian calculated how much a Dutch guilder was worth in his day, and the amount came to $24 U.S. dollars--and that number was never updated to reflect 20th- or 21st-century values. Could be.  

    A little more is known of the purchase of Staten Island a few years later. That sale was also made for 60 guilders worth of goods (must have been the going price for New World islands!), and for this, the Indians took fabric, axes, hoes, awls, kettles, Jews' harps, and beads. It is likely the goods exchanged for Manhattan were similar. 

    Historians point out that North American Indians had a concept of land ownership different from that of the Europeans. The Indians regarded land, like air and water, as something you could use but not own or sell. It has been suggested that the Indians may have thought they were sharing or receiving gifts, not selling. 

    Here is the letter, followed by a transcript in English:


    Recep.7 November 1626
 High and Mighty Lords, 
Yesterday the ship the Arms of Amsterdam
 arrived here. It sailed from New Netherland out
 of the River Mauritius on the 23d of September.
They report that our people are in good spirit
 and live in peace. The women also have borne
 some children there. They have purchased the 
Island Manhattes from the savages for the value
 of 60 guilders. It is 11.000 morgens in size
 [about 22.000 acres]. They had all their grain 
sowed by the middle of May, and reaped by the
 middle of August They sent samples of these
 summer grains: wheat, rye, barleey, oats, 
buckwheat, canary seed, beans and flax. The 
cargo of the aforesaid ship is:
7264 Beaver skins
 178 ½ Otter skins 
675 Otter skins 
48 Mink skins 
36 Lynx skins 
33 Minks 
34 Weasel skins
Many oak timbers and nut wood. Herewith,
 High and Mighty Lords, be commended to the
 mercy of the Almighty,
Your High and Mightinesses' obedient
P. Schagen

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    Friday, April 10, 2015

    xkcd on movie backgrounds


    It's time to wave your geek flag high!


    Wednesday, April 08, 2015

    Listen to Billie Holiday's Rendition of 'My Yiddishe Mamme' – Tablet Magazine

    [April 7th] is the 100th anniversary of the birth of legendary songstress Billie Holiday, who left this world too early, at the age of 44.

     A couple of years before her death, Holiday recorded a gorgeous, impromptu cover of the Jewish classic "My Yiddishe Mamme," which was composed by Jack Yellen and Lew Pollack and popularized by vaudeville star Sophie Tucker in 1925. The song has been covered many times, by everyone from the Barry Sisters to Neil Sedaka to—improbably—Tom Jones, who apparently learned it from his father, a Welsh coal miner.

    (Also noteworthy: this rendition by Ray Charles on the set of The Nanny.) But Holiday's version is something else entirely: with a simple piano accompaniment, it's nostalgic but not kitschy, full of sentiment without being sentimental, evoking both strength and vulnerability. 

    According to the liner notes of the Idelsohn Society's 2011 compilation "Black Sabbath: The Secret Musical History of Black-Jewish Relations," the song was recorded at the New York City home of clarinetist Tony Scott, in an effort to coax his baby into 'talking' into the microphone.

    Another version of the story, by musician Jack Gottlieb, has it that the child was the son of William Dufty, who co-authored Holiday's autobiography, "Lady Sings the Blues."

    In any event, Holiday's crooning is successful—how could it fail?—and the child can be heard cooing toward the end of the recording. It's a delightful, candid moment.

    Tuesday, April 07, 2015

    The Food Babe’s disgusting claims are baloney.


    "I couldn't believe there was beaver's ass in my vanilla ice cream, coal tar in my mac and cheese, yoga mat and shoe rubber in my bread," says Vani Hari, also known as the Food Babe. That's why she started blogging about food additives, she explains in the introduction to her new book, The Food Babe Way. I can't believe it either. But that would be because none of it is true.

    There is no coal tar in mac and cheese, and there never was, even before Hari led her Food Baby army on a crusade to get Kraft to remove tartrazine, a yellow dye, from its products. Bread does not contain crumbled-up pieces of yoga mat and shoe rubber. And there really isn't any beaver's ass in your ice cream cone, though it's the Food Babe way to tell you there is at every turn. I counted more than 60 references to beaver secretions on her blog, and it appears as No. 10 on her book's list of "The Sickening 15."

    full at


    The 3 rules of persuasive speech

    My Junior High English teacher required each of us to stand in front of the class and deliver a persuasive speech.


    This is what I did:


    When my name was called, I walked to the front of the class and stood behind the podium.


    I said, 


    The three key elements of a successful speech are;

    * be succinct,

    * be sincere,

    * be seated.


    Then I walked back to my desk.

    FW: Saw this in Stereophile. ROTFL!

      from a friend

    Great letter to the Editor.
    Loved it, so took screen shot. 

    Monday, April 06, 2015

    I just realized the difference between Easter and Passover

    As you know, during Passover, Jews are prohibited from eating leavened bread.

    So here's the difference between Easter and Passover:

    Easter: "He is risen!" = Good news.
    Passover: "It is risen!" = Not good news.


    McSweeney’s: God Texts the Ten Commandments.

    1.  no1 b4 me. srsly.
    2.  dnt wrshp pix/idols
    3.  no omg's
    4.  no wrk on w/end (sat 4 now; sun l8r)
    5.  pos ok – ur m&d r cool
    6.  dnt kill ppl
    7.  :-X only w/ m8
    8.  dnt steal
    9.  dnt lie re: bf
    10. dnt ogle ur bf's m8. or ox. or dnkey. myob.

    M, pls rite on tabs & giv 2 ppl.

    ttyl, JHWH.

    ps. wwjd?


    Friday, April 03, 2015


    Never bear more than one trouble at a time. Some people bear three kinds -- all they have had, all they have now, and all they expect to have.

       - Edward Everett Hale, author (3 Apr 1822-1909)


    I know exactly where to look... but I don't wanna

    It's not how I'd color them either...


    5 Lesser-Known Free Sites for Watching TV Shows Never-ending Retro Goodness's Movies and Films: Best of the Public Domain

    Documentary Heaven: Compilation of Free Documentaries Even More Free Documentaries (US and Canada only): Little-Known Free Streaming Site

    Bunny Hugger

    Thursday, April 02, 2015



    Throw-Back Thursday

    Yes, back in the 80s I did my own version of "City Slickers."

    Wednesday, April 01, 2015

    FW: This Black-and-White Footage of the Teletubbies Looks Like a Horror Film | TIME


    YouTube user Christopher Brown took footage of the fuzzy little tubbies, stripped out the color, and soon enough Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa and Po were frolicking through a bleak post-apocalyptic wasteland. Add in the downbeat Joy Division soundtrack, and the result is a wildly weird, strangely avant-garde, creepy video that feels equal part Bergman, David Lynch, and Disney cosplay. Clearly it's a must-see.