Thursday, August 26, 2021

Even More Horrifying

 But fortunately it's all narrated.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

This is Horrifying


Huh.  Always wondered what made those sounds in movies.  You can read more about the waterphone at wikipedia.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

NPR's Sci-Fi & Fantasy "Best in Last Decade" Poll Results

 I'd noted the call a couple of months ago, and now here are the results.

No huge surprises, but quite a number of the books and even authors I'd never heard of.  As expected, the authors of the books behind several of the past decade's big movies made the list: Andy "The Martian" Weir, Ted "Arrival" Chiang, and Jeff "Annihilation" Vandermeer were all there.  After that, there are plenty of surprises to unwrap.  Enjoy.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Thought for Today

 The Stockdale Paradox, linked to Wikipedia.

Apply to the current situation as you see fit.

Friday, August 13, 2021

I have no idea.

 Evidently, neither do the various hurricane modelers.  I guess someone between Panama and Greenland had better start boarding up.

Pfft, I've made worse model predictions.  At least they got the right ocean basin.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Perseids this Week

 Read up on how to watch at Bad Astronomy.  I have nothing to add, beyond this one from APOD:

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

If it's a good multimeter...

 ... then it must be a Fluke.           *rimshot*

I've had a little Fluke 101 basic multimeter for about five years.  It worked well, and was the pride and joy of my electronics toolbox.  You can watch Adam "Mythbusters" Savage rant about how wonderful the 101 is here.  It's amusing.  Paid for itself many times over, say in diagnosing a dead dryer circuit.  (FWIW, when the electrician asked "How do you know the circuit is dead?" I held out the yellow Fluke and he just said "Oh, OK, right."  It's kind of like shibboleet.)  The last time I used it was in March.  

So far, so good.  Then I needed the 101 last week, and much to my dismay the batteries had leaked (never trust a Duracell), converting the nearby plastics to something resembling cheddar cheese.  Tried fresh batts, wiggled the contacts in their cheesy-mounts, no power, no dice.

I ended up chucking it and replacing with a slight upgrade to the Fluke 107.  It does everything the 101 does, plus one more trick, it adds an ammeter (you know, to measure Amperes).  That last function is key to tracking down the problems behind mysteriously dead car batteries, something that's occasionally called for in this household.  It also about doubles the price of the meter, so it may or may not be worth it to you.  I briefly considered going to the pro-level Fluke 117, but didn't want to double the price yet again.

Oddly enough, the 107 does not come with any sort of manual.  Oh, there's a quarter-inch thick safety manual in a dozen different languages, but if you need a safety manual for something that runs on 2 AAA batts, sorry, you probably don't need to be doing anything with a multimeter.  Here's a miserable little video that walks through the functions (thumpety music?  really?  why no narration?).  The rest is pretty obvious.  ps: here is the missing manual in pdf

So yeah, Fluke 107 is good, though for many the 101 will be enough.  Just remember to take the batteries out before tucking it away for any length of time.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

It's a Good Sunset

 Further comment unneeded.

11 foot anaconda escapes; caught by Florida Woman

 Sure, why not.  Link to a local newspaper.  Be sure to watch the video of the capture.

Monday, August 2, 2021


 The results from the latest iPhone photo contest are in and they are truly otherworldly.  Have a look over at NPR.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Florida Man wrecks MTB, flips into water, grabbed by alligator

 Details at CNN.

Why do I find this to be a fairly normal turn of events?  BTW, I managed to wreck on a gravel ride yesterday while dodging a snake, maybe there's a connection.  Nothing worse than a skinned elbow and a few bike scuffs, FL Wildlife & Fisheries was not contacted.  And the snake slithered away unharmed.