28 February 2008


Nothing to see here, move along.....

27 February 2008

I am dee-pressed

Last week I saw that there was a new mercury and laser clock for one second in 14 billion year accuracy. I was happy.
Now I see where the Earth will be swallowed by the Sun in 7.5 billion years. Maybe the marketers can sell it as a lifetime clock?

Wombat Wednesdays

Sorry, Wombat Wednesday is canceled due to the Big Quake® of '08.

What's the problem?

...and I quote
Nearly three out of four Americans — 73% — believe the Second Amendment spells out an individual right to own a firearm, according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of 1,016 adults taken Feb. 8-10.

Protecting your home by any means should never be a problem

Slept right through it

What a trip! A 5.3 earthquake with an epicenter(oops, epicentre), around 28 miles away and I was cuttin' some zzzzz's. Didn't feel a thing. Better check the trash cans.....

Update: 18:30
Everyone else felt it. The BBC story this morning kept showing this small pile of bricks and looking up at a chimney. The reporter said, "It was a very British earthquake." But being a very 'British' earthquake means...claims for structural damage and broken belongings were set to run into tens of millions of pounds.
I couldn't even claim any trauma because I slept through it.
Got home had been downgraded to a 5.2

26 February 2008

What's up with the USA?

I watched the World Championship Team Ski Flying event this weekend. Great stuff! Jumping off a ski ramp and flying 200+ meters, impressive.
Austria, France, Norway, Finland and Germany were there among others. Heck, even Japan was there it being a World Championship and all.
No USA though. Could be several reasons I guess. General disdain for the world or maybe fear of not being able to hang? Just curious.


I never!

25 February 2008

23 February 2008


A man in North Yorkshire won £1,000,000 on a 50p horse racing bet. He correctly picked the winners of 8 races. The horse in the 8th race was named Dream Come True.

22 February 2008

Reality check

Spent £50 on 48.59 liters of car fuel today. No biggie I hear you colonials say, until I do some math for you.
I spent $97.51 for 12.84 gallons of fuel. Read it and watch me weep......

21 February 2008


Was talking about dieting at work today. A colleague mentioned he was on the vodka and beer diet. I said, sounds good! He replied, I've already lost 3 days.....

It's about time!

I am one of those that has my taskbar clock set via the NTP servers. Call me anal, but I will argue seconds with you.
Frankly I have been a bit irritated that the best timekeeping us humans can do loses a second every 30,000,000 years.
Well, scientists at the University of Reno and the University of Tokyo have developed a clock that is laser and mercury driven. Ain't perfect, but they claim it will only lose a second every 14,000,000,000 years.

We're getting there....

18 February 2008

Joint Mathematics Meetings

An exhibit by mathematical artists, held last month.
Very nice!

Musical Monday

17 February 2008

Poker playing dogs

Two of the Poker Playing Dogs series were sold at auction. Suckers brought in $590,000!

Nice view

The last two weeks I have been training for a new job. This is the view of Nottingham Castle from the ninth floor of the building I work in. The locals don't think much of it, but I think it's cool!

15 February 2008

New rules

Thanks George

New Rule: No more gift registries. You know, it used to be just for weddings. Now it's for babies and new homes and graduations from rehab. Picking out the stuff you want and having other people buy it for you isn't gift giving, it's the white people version of looting.

New Rule: Stop giving me that pop-up ad for classmates.com ! There's a reason you don't talk to people for 25 years. Because you don't particularly like them! Besides, I already know what the captain of the football team is doing these days --- mowing my lawn.

New Rule: Don't eat anything that's served to you out a window unless you're a seagull. People are acting all shocked that a human finger was found in a bowl of Wendy's chili. Hey, it cost less than a dollar. What did you expect it to contain? Lobster?

New Rule: Stop saying that teenage boys who have sex with their hot, blonde teachers are permanently damaged . I have a better description for these kids: 'Lucky bastards.'

New Rule: If you need to shave and you still collect baseball cards, you're a dope. If you're a kid, the cards are keep sakes of your idols. If you're a grown man, they're pictures of men.

New Rule: Ladies, leave your eyebrows alone. Here's how much men care about your eyebrows: Do you have two of them? Good, we're done.

New Rule: There's no such thing as flavored water. There's a whole aisle of this crap at the supermarket, water, but, without that watery taste. Sorry, but flavored water is called a soft drink. You want flavored water? Pour some scotch over ice and let it melt. That's your flavored water.

New Rule: Stop screwing with old people. Target is introducing a redesigned pill bottle that's square, with a bigger label. And the top is now the bottom. And by the time grandpa figures out how to open it, his ass will be in the morgue. Congratulations, Target, you just solved the Social Security crisis.

New Rule: The more complicated the Starbucks order, the bigger the asshole. If you walk into a Starbucks and order a 'decaf grandee, half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n'-Low, and One NutraSweet,' ooooh, you're a huge asshole.

New Rule: I'm not the cashier! By the time I look up from sliding my card, entering My PIN number, pressing 'Enter,' verifying the amount, deciding, no, I don't want Cash back, and pressing 'Enter' again, the kid who is supposed to be ringing me up is standing there eating my Almond Joy.

New Rule: Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it doesn't make you Spiritual. It's right above the crack of your ass. And it translates to 'beef with broccoli.' The last time you did anything spiritual, you were praying to God you weren't pregnant. You're not spiritual. You're just high.

New Rule: Competitive eating isn't a sport. It's one of the seven deadly sins. ESPN Recently televised the U.S. Open of Competitive Eating, because watching those athletes at the poker table was just too damned exciting. What's next, competitive farting? Oh wait, they're already doing that. It's called 'The Howard Stern Show.'

New Rule: I don't need a bigger mega M&Ms. If I'm extra hungry for M&Ms, I'll go nuts and eat two.

New Rule: If you're going to insist on making movies based on crappy old television shows, then you have to give everyone in the Cineplex a remote so we can see what's playing on the other screens. Let's remember the reason something was a television show in the first place is that the idea wasn't good enough to be a movie.

New Rule: And this one is long overdue: No more bathroom attendants. After I zip up, some guy is offering me a towel and a mint like I just had sex with George Michael. I can't even tell If he's supposed to be there, or just some freak with a fetish. I don't want to be on your webcam, Dude. I just want to wash my hands

New Rule: When I ask how old your toddler is, I don't need to hear '27 months.' 'He's two' will do just fine. He's not a cheese. And I didn't really care in the first place.

New Rule: If you ever hope to be a credible adult and want a job that pays better than Minimum wage, then for God's sake don't pierce or tattoo every available piece of flesh. If so, then plan your future around saying, 'Do you want fries with that?'

14 February 2008

Happy Valentines

The History of Saint Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day started in the time of the Roman Empire. In ancient Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honour Juno. Juno was the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans also knew her as the Goddess of women and marriage. The following day, February 15th, began the Feast of Lupercalia.

The lives of young boys and girls were strictly separate. However, one of the customs of the young people was name drawing. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man would draw a girl's name from the jar and would then be partners for the duration of the festival with the girl whom he chose. Sometimes the pairing of the children lasted an entire year, and often, they would fall in love and would later marry.

Under the rule of Emperor Claudius II Rome was involved in many bloody and unpopular campaigns. Claudius the Cruel was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. He believed that the reason was that roman men did not want to leave their loves or families. As a result, Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome. The good Saint Valentine was a priest at Rome in the days of Claudius II. He and Saint Marius aided the Christian martyrs and secretly married couples, and for this kind deed Saint Valentine was apprehended and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. He suffered martyrdom on the 14th day of February, about the year 270. At that time it was the custom in Rome, a very ancient custom, indeed, to celebrate in the month of February the Lupercalia, feasts in honour of a heathen god. On these occasions, amidst a variety of pagan ceremonies, the names of young women were placed in a box, from which they were drawn by the men as chance directed.

The pastors of the early Christian Church in Rome endeavoured to do away with the pagan element in these feasts by substituting the names of saints for those of maidens. And as the Lupercalia began about the middle of February, the pastors appear to have chosen Saint Valentine's Day for the celebration of this new feaSt. So it seems that the custom of young men choosing maidens for valentines, or saints as patrons for the coming year, arose in this way.

More here

13 February 2008


"I fell down a flight of steps and on to the case. When I opened it the violin was in pieces. I was just sitting there on the floor," he recalled. "I couldn’t speak and I couldn’t get up. I didn’t even know if I was hurt - I didn’t care."

No big deal if it wasn't a 1710 Stradivarius.

Wombat Wednesdays

Wombat transportation

12 February 2008

Stay off my lawn!

CHILDREN WHO wear hoods are being flushed from the streets of Britain by jittery shop owners armed with water cannons as the war against young people reaches new heights.

The skinny.

11 February 2008

Phone home

I got a new mobile phone today...exciting, huh?
Wouldn't have bothered but the old one was beginning to not do what a mobile phone is supposed to do. Namely, work.
Anyway, I basically got a computer in my pocket and it isn't a PDA. Plays music, video, has a camera, can surf the web, has Skype, MSN Messenger ad nauseum. Is the Nokia N73.
Plus, it has tetris!

10 February 2008


I am fast becoming a fan of Rugby. Man, do those guys hit hard! I know my colonial friends will say the NFL hits harder, and they do, but they also wear armor.
Anyway, I am starting to get a grip with the why's of the game. Is really hard being raised on NFL to see guys dive at the ball and when they hit the ground no one can touch the ball, and the ref is right in it. Is really cool.
I understand line outs and scrums and why they get some penalties. Plus, England won today against Italy.
A note of weirdness, just as I am getting comfortable with what is called Rugby Union, I discover there is also Rugby League or Super League. In League there are no scrums and they get 6 tackles or downs before they have to kick away. Makes for a faster game I guess, but I think I like the original better. It seems there are a lot of Aussies in Rugby League and a lot of Kiwis in Rugby Union, go figure. At least I have a sport I can get into now that American Football is over for the year.

09 February 2008


With the Super Bowl(World Championship game and only one country involved?), still fresh in my mind I watched The Six Nations rugby series today. Whilst watching Scotland v Wales I was struck with how when they were playing the national anthems of each country, their fans were all singing at the top of their lungs. Plus, all the players from each team had their arms around each others shoulders in a line and every player was singing their country's anthem. Flashback to the Super Bowl. I think I saw one player from either team even act like they were singing, let alone even cared that it was being played.

Wales whupped Scotland btw.

08 February 2008

Week 1

Finished first week training in the new job. I have had lots of training courses over the years for various work. This is one of the most comprehensive I have ever had. Feels good.

07 February 2008

Whisky Tango Foxtrot!

The British Home Office has released a report stating that the current level of police officers in England and Wales was unsustainable and has to be cut.
Maybe growing up in the US has made me more tolerant of shows of force as I never see any here. Hence roving gangs of young people are never challenged. Where I grew up if a cop saw 3-4 teens just hanging around doing nothing they would be told to move along or at least hassled a little bit. Here, nothing, they do as they please.
The Home Secretary commented a couple of weeks ago that she was afraid to walk alone on the street at night, and they want to decrease the level of police?

06 February 2008

05 February 2008

"Damn Fluoridationists!"

That is reason Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper gave for taking over his airbase and sending the SAC bombers to Moscow in Dr. Strangelove.
I was reminded of this when I read this story in The Independent.Here is a quote...

But critics say adding fluoride can cause fluorosis, where teeth become stained and pitted, and has even been linked to bone cancer.

Internet fun

Use Bob Dylan to send a video message for you. Is pretty cool.

04 February 2008


From Planet Proctor

A little girl goes skipping out to the backyard where her father is working and asks,
"daddy, what's sex?" the father sits her down and takes a deep breath; I guess it's time, he
He tells her about the birds and the bees. He tells her about conception,
intercourse, sperm and eggs. Then he goes on about puberty, petting, menstruation,
sexual desires, and sexual organs. By the time he's finished, his daughter seems awestruck
and he's emotionally exhausted. He wipes his brow with a handkerchief and asks her, "So
what did you want to know about sex for?"
The little girl replies, "Oh, mommy said to tell you lunch would be ready in a
couple of secs...."

New job today!

Started my new job today. Normally this isn't a big deal. Is only a big deal as the Super Bowl was played yesterday. No biggie, I'll watch the first half. Man, I really want to see Tom Petty. Dang, this is the best Super Bowl I have watched in years. Anyway, I crawled in the rack at 03.45 GMT. Alarm set for 06.00 GMT. Yep...was a really long day, but I haven't done one in forever and I was stone cold sober for the whole game, so just an achy neck and the yawns. Greatest Super Bowl the Cowboys haven't been in!

Night night.

02 February 2008

Give em a plaque!

The Heath and Hampstead Society is in charge of plaques around their part of London. Someone suggested they put one up for the Sex Pistols as they lived in a 'squat' there when they wrote and rehearsed 'God Save the Queen'. Give em one!
From the article...

"We rightly remember the mutinous Sir Harry Vane, whose plaque you can see on Rosslyn Hill opposite Willoughby Road, who was executed for treason in 1662. Why not remember the place where Johnny Rotten and the Pistols composed 'God Save the Queen'?"

The article.

Sex-Ed Saturdays

My friend, David, will love this. My little brother may not be so happy.

Men with the name ‘Dave’ are in for a pleasant surprise, for a poll has revealed that Brit women think that blokes with the title are the best endowed.

But sad news for the name ‘Ray’, as it conjures up the most disappointing visions in the trouser department.

John Sewell, boss of onepoll.com, which questioned 1,000 British women to list the monikers, which sounded most, and least, likely to belong to a well-packaged man.

“It is interesting to see women’s pre-conceptions revealed,” The Sun quoted Swell, as saying.

The list of ‘big names’:

  1. Dave
  2. Paul
  3. Steve
  4. James
  5. Mark
  6. Robert
  7. Chris
  8. Andy
  9. Richard
  10. Dan
The list of ‘small names’:

1. Ray

2. Brian

3. Nigel

4. Frank

5. Keith

6. Jeremy

7. Josh

8. Barry

9. Dennis

10. Nick


01 February 2008

1.21 gigawatts? 1.21 gigawatts? Great Scott!

The Navy has test fired their new electric rail gun. Fires a shot at Mach 7.5 and is traveling at Mach 5(cue Speed Racer music), when it accurately hit's it's target 200 miles away. It generates 10.6 megajoules of muzzle velocity. 306 megajoules=1 kilowatt hour. Seems to me, then, it generates around 3 kilowatt hours of energy when it shoots. Explosive!
To put in perspective, in some future dystopia the Duchy of Dallas can fire a round at the Saxony of Shreveport and pretty much hit whatever they want, in less than 3 minutes from firing.
The Register has a story on it.