Sunday, June 30, 2013

That's Just Eeeeevil

Today's Foxtrot cartoon.  But it's also, I suspect, the business model for a lot of net software companies.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Rough Week; Data Dump

Rough week, didn't post much but I did have three ideas swimming around in my head.  I usually try not to post more than one or two a day (need to stretch things out some) but this week got the better of me and I'm plopping them all down at once.  Enjoy!

Tonight's Guest: The Spiders From Mars!

Those of you who know me also know that I am given to bouts of insomnia.  One easy cure is to simply ride it out while listening to a certain late night radio show that features all kinds of odd topics.  Generally I can drift off within a hour or so, the show is usually at least entertaining, and occasionally I even learn something.

So I was recently asked why I bother pulling in the show over nighttime skywave AM from 550 miles away when there's a perfectly good, clear FM station broadcasting it from about 40 miles' range.  The only real answer I could come up with was that it's just more fun with all the ionospheric ripple in the sound, which I explained with a quote from an old David Bowie song, "the bitter comes out better on a stolen guitar."

Coincidentally, the next line is "you're blessed, we're the Spiders from Mars."  Which, if you manage to mis-hear sounds a lot like "Tonights guest, it's the Spiders from Mars."  Honestly, it's not all that far from that show's usual fare.

Why singular "guest"?  Dunno.  Maybe the Spiders from Mars have some kind of hive mind thing going.  Just guessing, really can't help beyond that.

New Pixies Song

First one in a while too.  Bagboy.  Scroll down for a high-quality sound version, or just listen to it on youtube while watching the video.

Uh, sound like the Pixies plus a few recent influences.  You'd swear that was Kim Dial in the background vocals, but evidently not.  Nice to have the Pixies back anyway.

Dark Side on BBC

A new Tom Stoppard radio play based on Pink Floyd's 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon will air on August 26th.  No clue as to what it's about, but here are articles at the NYT and the BBC's web site.
It seems unlikely that it'll be played on the BBC World Service's West Africa/Ascension Island transmitter, but I'll be watching the schedule nevertheless.  No doubt that it will be floating around the web on mp3 soon after the broadcast.

radio play?  Wow, how often are those produced these days?  Definitely worth digging for.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Another Good Day on the Bike

A tad over thirty miles at DeSoto.  A little wet, a lot of hot.  Yellow flies are cranking up, but so far no ticks.  Wrapped up before noon, got out of the woods while it was still bearable.
Bike as seen at trailhead.  Not shown actual size.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

First Video of 50th Anniversary Mustang Prototype

Maybe.  Probably.  Judge for yourself here.
Lots of cover on that prototype, and not a lot to see other than one concerned test driver thinking "Hey, is that guy in the car next to me videoing this?  Well crap.  I'm in trouble with the boss again."

Brought to you by Mustang6G, where there are many more cool but highly speculative guesstimates of what the 2015s will look like.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Today's xkcd was kind of long.  Didn't quite finish it because I've got to rush off to work now and do a bunch of Monte Carlo calculations.  (Really should get a radar detector so that I can drive to work faster.)  If anybody manages to read the whole thing, could you pls post a summary in the comments below?  TIA.  kthxby

Monday, June 17, 2013

How to Work a Physics Problem?

Over at Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

I've already covered this, in twelve fewer steps and "become a poet and be happy" is not one of them, however tempting it may be.  Personally, if I got so frustrated as to quit physics I think I'd just go be a mullet fisherman.  Here's how to – no foolin' – really do it.

Nonetheless, it is a good cartoon and you should go read it now.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Putting the jerseys away until September.

With the heat index now regularly over 100, it's time to turn on the air conditioner when riding bikes – namely, time to wear cotton tank tops.  Sure, they get heavy with sweat and rain, sag, stretch and all that, but man are they ever cooler!  And in this heat, a rider needs every edge.  Maybe not UCI-compliant, but then the UCI doesn't want to know about where I ride.

Here're a couple of gratuitous bike-in-the-woods shots from today:

30.9 fun-filled miles of mayhem.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cool Physics: bouncing lasers off mirrors near absolute zero.

A short video clip over at PhD Comics.  Very unexpected things happen.  Well worth your five minutes.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Good News, Everyone!

Wait, did somebody else already use that line?  Anyway, there is good news and here it is: You drink a lot because you're supersmart, study says.

Well, I guess it's news to some people.  It is gratifying when a study backs up your long-standing hunch.

Bizzarre Experimental Planes

Seen here.  Worth the ten minutes' tour.

BTW, it's over at one of the Mythbusters' sub-sites,  It's kind of like the Smithsonian Air & Space, you could spend days there.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Hobbit Part 2 Trailer

The Desolation of Smaug

Got to re-read The Hobbit before the second part comes out.  Target release date is December 13th, so there's plenty of time.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Drink Notes

Why coffee is sometimes called "joe", over at Quartz.  Huh, this even sounds plausible.  And Crooked Letter Brewing from over in Ocean Springs has a coffee-and-chocolate brew called Mystery Romp that is darned tasty.
Which, by the way, the Mockingbird now keeps on tap.  Things are definitely looking up in and around the Bay.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Saturday Recap

Re last Thursday's post, the free "beer" for biking in was PBR but on the other hand Idewild String Confederation was very good and everybody had a good time.  End of show, they handed out freebee homemade CDs and that was a really great and unexpected bonus.  It was a good evening.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Evolve Me Mama

Chasing down links regarding a certain song's development, from a few comments about the evolution of the song Wagon Wheel during an interview with Old Crow Medicine Show a few weeks ago.

  1. Big Bill Broonzy: Rock Me Baby
  2. Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup: Rock Me Mama
  3. Bob Dylan: Rock Me Mama No. II
  4. OCMS: Wagon Wheel
Nothing deeply profound here, but it is interesting to see how these tunes and lyrics get around.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Upcoming Music

Just when I get down to moping about the lack of good music down at the Mockingbird, they up and book Idlewild String Confederation for this Saturday and Bronwynne Brent for Thursday the 20th.  Things are definitely looking up!

ps: and as if I needed more inducement to bike downtown to listen to good music and drink good beer, we now have...

Offer accepted!

Movie Review: "Now You See Me"

My review: three out of four stars, it's a bunch of fun, we were entertained solidly for two hours, and it's pretty much a living definition of the term "movie magic."  There were enough puzzles, twists, plot-hole-or-did-I-blink?, and pure-damn-spectacle to keep things hopping the entire time.  If you want more details, I don't have to type any more because here's a review that already says whatever else I'd say.  Hell, I'll even toss in another quarter-star for the constant wry insights on human nature, so make that 3.25/4.
Oddly enough, it's only getting about 45% favorable reviews over at Rotten Tomatoes.  Guess it didn't have enough social commentary about the downtrodden Freedonian polar bears or such for some people.

One thing I'd change though is the poster.  All that gray makes it look way too serious.  Give the subject and all the action, the poster should be a riot of primary colors.  Ah well.  Weekend's coming up, have some fun and go see the damn movie already.

ps: trailer at youtube.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

News from The Bay

Les Fillingame retains mayor's seat, other election news at The Echo.
Fourth Ward Cleaver, June issue is up.
And summer is off and running!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Hot Pepper

Things are cranking up with the garden now.  Cayennes are starting to produce.
Tasty, and the lower half wasn't hot at all.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Get Up and Go

After a down time weekend, here's some get up and go music: 65DOS's PX3.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Down Weekend

Just... downtime.  Worked on the garden, worked on the truck, paid bills, and took naps, worked on the garden some more, listened to blues on the shortwave, insulted my yard with the weed-whacker.  Acquired a chicken head mask courtesy of the Darling Daughter.  (cross-ref to a certain song)  Watched entirely too much Outer Limits.  Sorry if that's not enough excitement for y'all, but rest assured that I'll be back at my usual misadventures this week.

And if you've just got to have some action right now, here's a picture of Chuck Norris modeling his action jeans.  Good enough?
Yeah, I thought so.  All this and more over at Retronaut.