Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Airplane Teaser

Airplane Teaser on Boing Boing has both the original poster and commenters showing their ignorance of physics. You can read the teaser there. The short of it is, no air moving past wings means no lift, period. Conversely, the wheels could bloody well be locked, and if you put that plane in a wind tunnel, it would lift, even if it ended up flying backwards. ;)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Our parents

The parent-child relationship is a complicated thing. Parents are gods to their children. As such, every little thing our parents do that might trouble us are enormously magnified. Intellectually, as adults, we accept our parents as being human, but it's hard to grant them that status emotionally. Once we do, though, the relationship gets much easier.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Another mutilation of English

performant is a performer. It is not an adjective. It is not a valid substition for high-performance.

Monday, July 31, 2006

A culinary mistake to learn from.
I made a blueberry pie, today, and I got a bit impatient with the difficulty of working the pastry dough. I added to much additional water. Now I need a pair of scissors to cut through the crust.
On the plus side, I also made Alton Brown's Pocket Pies, with my standard mushroom, onion, ground beef, and sausage pasty filling, and they came out quite nice. I'll be eating those the rest of the week, I think.
Boing Boing: Noise can make you smarter
I don't know about smarter. However, when I was in grad school, I found the background noise of people make for some good white noise, and I got a lot of work on my dissertation done in the student cafe. That being said, it only worked for a while. First I had to move to the smoking session to avoid my friends, and then smokers became friendly with me, so I had to find another place to work.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

CNN.com - Dobbs: Why is the president ignoring our laws? - Jul 26, 2006
Here, here. Rule of law used to mean something in this country.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

C.W. Nevius.blog : Sorry, but Zidane doesn't get it
Zidane has many defenders. Sometimes, it's not about just yourself. However provocative Materazzi's comments, the consequences of Zidane's reaction were not just to himself, but to his team, his country, and all the fans watching. His reaction was selfish. But perhaps he's too good to "take one for the team". He says he's just a man. If he can't take the consequences into account before he acts, no, he's still a child. And if he did indeed take the consequences into account, that means that his own pride takes precedence over team, country, and "the children". How classy is that?
UPDATE 3-Soccer-Zidane says Materazzi insulted mother and sister | Reuters.com
Says Zidane: "But I was the one who was provoked and I reacted. It is always the one who reacts who is punished, never the one who provokes and this is not fair."
Is it just me, or does this sound incredibly childish?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Drama - Then a Gimmick - July 10, 2006 - The New York Sun
I've been trolling the net for a little more on why Zidane did what he did, and came across this piece of silliness. I wonder if this guy ever actually played, and if he did, doesn't he remember? It was obvious that both sides were pretty exhausted coming into the game. Italy had played 120 minutes to beat Germany. And he faults teams for focusing on the fundamentals. It doesn't matter how pretty you play if you can't defend your own goal. If they want to open up the game a bit more, then either the games have to be spaced out further, to give players time to recuperate, or more substitutions have to be allowed. Why not take the approach of basketball, and allow unlimited substitutions, with players being able to come back in after a rest? Fresh legs will do more than anything else to liven up the game.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Penny Arcade! - Fine Distinctions
Seems the Penny Arcade crew is talking up Steven Brust's Jhereg. I found the entire series to be quite enjoyable, and worth an occasional reread.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Backs to the Future
It looks like the trolls of Terry Pratchett's Discworld have a human counterpart with respect to their spatial metaphor for time.

Monday, June 12, 2006

"Do the needful?!" I get countless emails from people whining about what problems they are encountering, ended with the vacuous, nonsensical, phrase, "Please do the needful." If you are going to ask me to do your job for you, at least do it politely in grammatical, well-formed English.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Having read a bit more about the bill in question, I would have to agree that the debate is kind of silly. Of course, this silliness got started by SBC declaring that Google was making money off SBC's back. Cable competition is good. SBC charging content providers for higher QoS is regressive.
» Net neutrality extremism versus common sense economics | George Ou | ZDNet.com
Oy, and this is more of the same. Here's the basic thing that both these guys are missing: without net neutrality, the free (as in both beer and speech) internet disappears. Right now I pay a flat fee for all the content and interaction I can eat. If I have to pay for content, I go somewhere else where it's free. The Markey Ammendment might be a bit extreme. I think the bandwidth providers should have the ability provide QoS according to packet type. But as soon as you allow them to restrict by content provider, poof!, the internet as we have known it disappears, and we go back to the world of AOL, Compuserve, and the BBS's, and we go back to a homogeneous, lowest-common-denominator media stream, instead of an interactive, empowering communications medium.
MercuryNews.com | 06/09/2006 | Network neutrality? Welcome to the stupid Internet
Welcome to the world of oversimplification. The argument about net neutrality hasn't been about type of content, but whose content. If Yeehaw!'s search results are just OK, but you can get them in one third the time of GaGa's results, most people will go to Yeehaw! for their search. The worst case scenario here is that I will have to choose my ISP based on what content I want, after the companies that can't or won't submit to the robber barons' tolls disappear.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Pulp novelist Dan Brown has been taken to court over apparently plagiarized research. That confirms my view, after reading Digital Fortress, that he either doesn't do any research, or is incapable of understanding what he "researches". The errors in his understanding of cryptography, if rectified, would have eliminated the plot of Digital Fortress altogether.