Random Thoughts

Tangential Science: it's not necessarily science, but it's still funny.

1. The Japanese have responded to the persistent outrage of Greenpeace over their whaling efforts by seeking to enrage the anti-GMO contingent as well.   Up next; a new line of 'super tuna' that will be possible thanks to the awesome power of genome sequencing.

Super tuna?   That's the best they could do for a name?  It makes Aquaman sound positively masculine.  'Super' and 'tuna' just don't go together.  This is why there are no cool Japanese superheroes.
Thanks to video we can bathe in the thoughts of the now undead Richard Feynman.  This is a brilliant, yet accessible, expression of how scientific approach affects one's world view. 

Do not fear doubt and uncertainty.  Priceless.
On Geek Love

On Geek Love

Jul 03 2009 | 0 comment(s)

I'm out of town today, so I'm doing a break from my usual work.  Instead, I thought I'd share these tales of geek love.  First up is a nice fluff piece by Ashley Nelson, 4 Reasons Why Women Dig Geeks. Only 4 reasons (you may ask)? There must be more than a dozen reasons why geeks rock!

Colonial Williamsburg is basically a theme park about colonial days in America, the time in the 18th century before and around the establishment of the United States. It can be somewhat kitschy[1], but it can also provide a good bit of education about U.S. history.

New Global Best-Seller

"The Terrorist Hunters" is a new book by Andy Hayman, C.B.E., Q.P.M., former Assistant Commisioner of Scotland Yard, and one-time head of the Yard's head of Special
Operations.  It is set to become a global best-seller.

Following a precedent set by a previous inept British government in the matter of "Spycatcher", the British Attorney General, a direct political appointee of Gordon Brown, the soon-to-be-outgoing British Prime Minister,  has obtained an order banning sales of the book in the UK.
It's late, but still morning in my time zone:

Agnosticism is not a creed, but a method, the essence of which lies in the vigorous application of a single principle. Positively the principle may be expressed as, in matter of intellect, follow your reason as far as it can carry you without other considerations. And negatively, in matters of the intellect, do not pretend the conclusions are certain that are not demonstrated or demonstrable. It is wrong for a man to say he's certain of the objective truth of a proposition unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that certainty.

- Thomas Huxley, Collected Essays, vol. 5 p. 237

Tangential Science: It isn't necessarily science, but it's still funny.

1. Want a business card made out of meat and lasers? You're in luck! Meat Cards is having a contest to win one. All you have to do is recreate a classic Frank Frazetta poster and you can win, you guessed it, a meat card, which is basically beef jerky with laser writing on it.   I kind of wish I had thought of this first.

Maj. Frazer: Just how much do you think human lives are worth, McCabe?
Marshal Guthrie McCabe: Whatever the market will bear! No more, no less.
-Two Rode Together (1961)
Well, I don't know how much a human life is worth or what the market will bear, but I do know what the value of a Twitter follower is.
Improvement makes strait roads; but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius.

- William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Proverbs of Hell #66

Michael Jackson had a voice which was sublime, other worldly for it's softness and notable for it's soft childlike qualities even when he was in his 40's.  Castrati were castrated  men who by nature or human action had similar voices and were common in the 17 and 1800's. 

His voice  did not change much from "ABC-123", to Thriller.  He got bigger, his voice got bigger, but it never really broke.  His songs were timeless and there was much more to him than just a singing voice.  His creative genius, hard work and love for his art make him an unparalleled talent.  His music will be listened to and enjoyed for the next 500 years.  We were all privileged to have lived in the same era as he.