Friday, April 27, 2012

The Higgs Boson Explained

Over at PhD Comics.
What?  You didn't thing that I was going to explain it here, did you?
Anyway, it's a 7 minute video that sketches things out in terms most anyone can understand.  Worth your time.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Maybe I should put one of these up down the street.

Tsunami high-water marker, as seen at the Mail Online:
Seems like a good idea.  No good local stone to carve the marker from though.  Guess I'll have to make it out of old Lazy Mag bottles.
OK, so the article's a year old.  Better late than never.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Another Fine ACME Product

As seen at the BBC.
ACME Motors: accept no substitute.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

More on Dick Dale et al.

And it was a great show.  The classics were played, the crowd rocked.  The Wedge, Ghost Riders, Let's Go Trippin', all the ones you know (even if you can't name the song right away), with the show ending on Misirlou.  And he makes it look easy.
The rest of the band was there in support, holding up their end: Jimmy Dale  as the steely-eyed madman-in-control on drums, and Sammy the bass player (no last name given) bouncing around with equal parts enthusiasm and skill.  And that was it for backup.  Nothing else needed.  Dale was generous with directing the crowd's attention toward them, but there was no getting around the fact that everyone was there to hear him on guitar.  No worries, lots of showmanship and interaction between all three.
It's fun watching Dale cary on.  One minute he's helping out the bass player with a balky strap and going on about how you get the best guitar strap bits at the hardware store and the best straps from old airplane seat belts, next minute he's intently concentrating on his guitar, then the next he's gently berating some bevis in the crowd for smoking dope – then grabbing a stage fan to blow the smoke back at the guy.  At the show's end, he handed his guitar to a roadie and did a mock shaky-old-guy walk for a few steps.  Yeah, he's up there (be 75 next month) and he knows it, laughs about it, and ain't slowing down.
Here's a link to his web site's tour schedule.  Take a look, he may be coming by you soon.

And not to shortchange anybody, here's some more on Debauche, the warm up band: at Offbeat and China Shop.  Interesting outfit.  And these pics pretty much sum it up.  I'm glad they're local, and can see making a trip back to New Orleans soon to seem them again.  Gratuitous picture:
Funny, I never knew that yetis could play acoustic bass.  And yes, despite eyewitness accounts to the contrary, the yeti in question actually was climbing onto his bass while playing it, we have photographic evidence.

Finally, pre-show we had supper at Parkway Bakery and Tavern.  As fine a shrimp po-boy as can be found in the known universe.  More write-up on Parkway here.

An evening out.

Went to see Dick Dale at The Howlin' Wolf.  Opening act was Debauche, a self-described "Russian Mafia Band," whatever the hell that is.  What it all was: fun.
Wooh, you see the time?  Got to sleep.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturn SW2, R.I.P.

Probably a warped head or blown gasket.  Or both.
It's a 1997, bought used in August 2000.  By the time it was all done, I got nearly 300,000 miles out of it.  With a roof rack and ample cargo room, it delivered many good mountain biking trips.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Dangerously close to how I ran things.

As seen at Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:
I'm not saying that I ever had to actually ground my kids when they were younger, but I still have the rod and clamp around here somewhere.  And they never pressed matters when I'd mention the old adage "spare the rod, spoil the child" either.  They knew better.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Look familiar?

Family will recognize this, at least everybody who can remember the 70's.  Saw this one on ebay, but I didn't bid.

US Citizenship Test

Just like last week's scientific literacy quiz, this is at the CSM.  96 questions, need 58 or more to pass.
Me?  Ain't sayin', but I do get to stay in the U.S.  In fact, I did better than on the scientific literacy test.  Does this mean that I should quit science and go into government?  Not likely.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This is what the future looks like, Part 2.

"Two US rocket companies are readying the first privae space missions to the International Space Station (ISS)."  You can find the rest of the story at the BBC.
Private companies.  Free people.  Yeah, there's some government in the mix too, but nobody's getting sent to a gulag here.  We rock.

This is what the dead-end past looks like.

Launching an obsolete rocket to commemorate a dead dictator's 100th birthday, while the population remains shackled in the kind of poverty that only a police state can provide.  Quaint.
Stories at CNN and Reuters.  More on the diplomatic reactions at CNN.

Monday, April 9, 2012

This is what the future looks like.

And we're already there.  A snapshot of a robotic cargo rocket docking with the International Space Station, from an article at CNET:
Even if it's not exactly a Bonestell scene, it's damn close.  Except this in real life.
Many, many things about this future business are... suboptimal.  Take a minute to read about something that's both inspiring, and quickly becoming automated and semi-routine.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Back to NOMA

As I'd mentioned in a blog posting last month, I finally got back to NOMA to finish seeing Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial.  Afterward, there was a showing of the documentary Mr. Dial Has Something to Say (short blurb here, five minute trailer here).  It was a lot to take in, largely because Mr. Dial does in fact have a lot to say.
Other info: Wiki entry (note: inaccuracies reported, see comments), and an article at Whitehot.
Good stuff.  It's at NOMA 'till late May.  See it if you can.

Well that was the main reason for last Friday's trip to NOMA, but Self-Taught Artists from NOMA's Permanent Collection runs through early June.  Seeing that again will be the focus of the next trip.

So much to see and do, it's great.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Beer: Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

It's like drinking a Guinness stout & vodka boilermaker with dark chocolate on the side, except that this all goes together.  Here's a link the beer's page at the brewer's site, North Coast Brewing.  Amazing stuff.  Beware, it's a 9% beer.  The extra alcohol really opens up the flavor, but it can open up other things as well.
See that upraised right hand?  One bottle and Old Rasputin is giving you a blessing.  Two and it's a karate chop.  Three?  He's raising that hand to give you Last Rites.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Science Quiz – give it a try.

Courtesy of the CSM.  Usually these sorts of newspaper quizzes are a bunch of trivia ("How many left toes did Charles Darwin's cat have on his front right paw?"), but this one is actually a pretty good test of general science knowledge.  Fifty multiple-choice questions.  (With a very annoying answer page to flip through between each question.  But if you have a fast connection, it's not too bad.)  Worth the ten or fifteen minutes.
My score?  Huh, I saved the image if anyone really presses me about it, but I'm too modest to say here.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Good for Something.

Dead flies in Dead Fly Art.  More like "dead fly cartoons," but you get the idea.  Also see whimsical.