Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy International Quirkyalone Day

Yep, while smug couples go out to dinner tonight and laugh at what they think are lonely single people, we are turning the tables on them by celebrating International Quirky Alone Day.

"Above all, IQD is a celebration of romance, freedom and individuality. It celebrates true romance (as opposed to the fake versions presented to us in reality dating shows), independence, creativity, friendship, and all kinds of love--including love for yourself."

So who the heck are these souless, anti-love, and anti-capitalism (hey, we don't spend enough money on flowers and chocolates so we must be communist, right?) America destroying individuals? A quirky alone (QA) is defined as

Quirkyalone noun/adj. A person who has the capacity to enjoy single life (but is not opposed to being in a relationship) and generally prefers to be alone rather than dating for the sake of being in a couple.

So how will I be celebrating tonight? I will be performing improv as part of the Penis Monologues at the Live Theater Workshop in Tucson. In other words, doing something I love with old friends. What better way to spend any night?

Kisses unleash chemicals that ease stress levels

"Just in time for Valentine's Day, a panel of scientists examined the mystery of what happens when hearts throb and lips lock. Kissing, it turns out, unleashes chemicals that ease stress hormones in both sexes and encourage bonding in men, though not so much in women."

Oh yeah. I get a lot of kisses every night:

Group Seeks Driver Certificates for Illegal Immigrants in Wisconsin

"'We're not talking about criminals here, . . .' said Tony Baez, president and CEO of the Council for the Spanish Speaking."

No, they're not criminals. They broke the law with their very first act in the United States, but they're not criminals. No. And they continue to break the law with every day that they spend in our country illegally, but they're not criminals. No.

And the people who steal from you are not criminals, either. In fact, all the people who break all the laws all over our country are not criminals. No. They and what they do may be technically "illegal," but they're not criminals. No.

What a dolt I am to think that breaking laws makes you a criminal. Boy, my parents sure screwed up when they taught me right from wrong.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The End of the Rainbow

There is an interesting discussion about rainbows going on over that the Orange County Register (a former student of mine sent this to me and asked my opinion) involving a picture that some think shows the end of a rainbow. Some are questioning if the image is photoshopped. You can see the picture in question on the right.

Okay, rainbows do not have an end. If you have ever been in a plane, you can see rainbows form complete circles! I have seen this and it is pretty cool. What they mean obviously is the point where the rainbow hits the ground. To me, I see what they call the "end" of a rainbow all the time. Sometimes it appears over a mountain, others over the ocean, sometimes over a house.

Let's back up. In order to get a rainbow, the Sun must be low in the sky. There must be rain on the opposite side of the sky from the Sun from where you are standing. Sunlight passes through the raindrops and reflects off the back. However, as sunlight passes through the raindrops, it also bends due to a phenomena called refraction. Blue light refracts more than red light. Therefore, when the reflected light heads back to you, it has been split up into different colors. You can see the path light takes through a raindrop in the image on the left and notice how the colors separate.

You can fine the center of the circular rainbow by drawing a line from the Sun and through yourself and extend it away on the other side. This will show you the center of the circle somewhere underground (except for rare cases when you see a rainbow right after sunset). The circle forms a cone with you at the tip an an angle of 42 degrees to the rainbow.

So let's go back to the photo. It was taken on highway 241 North in California at 4:59pm on February 7th. The GPS cooridnates are given on the OCR site. I popped them into my computer and found the Sun was 15 degrees high in the sky at an azimuth of 239 degrees. The center of the rainbow is at 59 degrees putting the left side of the rainbow at about 17 degrees (slightly east of north) which jibes well with someone driving north on 241 seeing this site. Since the Sun is low, we see almost half the circle and this rainbow has a nice steep arc which also agrees well with the time and geometry of the situation.

Some in the discussion argue this is a "sparybow" created by spray kicked up by the car tire (which also gives the nice illusion of the end of the rainbow). It does appear the tires are kicking up spray that makes the bottom of the rainbow brighter. However, the person who took the picture says they say an entire arc of the rainbow. That single car could not kick up enough spry to create a rainbow that extends that high in the sky! I suggest you could call it a hybrid...the bottom part may be a "spraybow" but you definitely have a rainbow there as well.

So what do the people in that car see? They see a rainbow in front of them! As you move toward a rainbow, it continually moves away from you. You can never reach the true end of a rainbow no matter how hard you try. In fact, everyone sees their own personal rainbow. The light I see entering my eye comes from a different set of raindrops than a person standing next to me becuase the angles between the person and the Sun change!

So enjoy the rainbows...but don't go chasing that pot of gold!

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicst Blog.

Far Out!

I will get in on the video act here. George Hrab's video Far is now up on Youtube.

An abbreviated version of this song is the them for the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast. Be sure to check out the Geologic Podcast if you haven't done so yet...especially Huck...I think you would enjoy it.

And now for something completely different . . .

If you watch the entire 5 minutes and 18 seconds of that, then you need a life worse than I do.

How to Tell You are Going to Jail......

this will do it for sure....!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Racine Post: "Something 'Big' Still Out There" on Becker

Dustin Block reports: "Gary Becker's legacy may not be through. Sources say there's something 'big' still out there simmering. So far, no one's saying what's what."

So, what do you think is the "something big" simmering on Becker's back burner?

A. He's a transsexual.

B. He's a zombie.

C. He's ratting out someone/thing in return for a deal/plea bargain. (If he has any chips left, now is the time to play them.)

D. All of the above - he's a zombie transsexual ratting out someone/thing.

E. None of the above.

Please, share your theories.

The Marking up of Gasoline.....

Federal court strikes down Wisconsin’s cheap gas ban

A very interesting article posted by Lisa, from our friends at the Daily Kenoshan.

the government can no longer threaten Wisconsin entrepreneurs

Satellites in Collision

There have been small objects colliding in space before, but now we have two full fledged satellites that have run into each other. An Iridium communication satellite collided with an old Russian Cosmos Communication satellite. This collision created hundreds of new pieces of debris that could in turn collide with other satellites. The collision occurred about 500 miles over Siberia.

The first thing most people are concerned about is the International Space Station or Hubble. Both of these orbit a lot lower, so they are not in immediate danger from this debris. However, there are a lot of satellites in similar orbits to these to that are now at increased risk of collision with space debris.

A company called Analytic Graphics created a pretty neat animation of the collision and the resulting debris cloud (based computer models of course).

You can see the debris spread out fairly quickly. When they add all the other objects up there it starts looking pretty crowded.

You can even listen for radar echos from the debris cloud. Spaceweather is streaming the Air Force Space Surveillance Radar signals from Texas. The next time to listen is 11:56pm to 12:07am EST tonight.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.


A new element was discovered: Lawrence Livermore Laboratories has discovered the heaviest element yet known to science.

The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 100 assistant neutrons, 435 deputy neutrons, and 10000 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 10536.

These 10536 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from four days to four years to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2- 6 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.


Please toss me an E. I defragged my hard drive and lost everything in Outlook. I'm pretty bummed as I had a lot of data in Emails.

Happy Darwin Day!

I have to give a shout out to my fellow scientists who decided to study biology by wishing everyone a Happy Darwin Day! This is a biggie as it February 12th, 2009 marks 200 years since the birth of Chalres Darwin.

Darwin is sometimes called the Father of Modern Biology. His legendary trip to the Galapagos Islands on his ship the Beagle led him to his Theory of Natural selection. He published his ideas in the book On the Origin of Species, arguably one of the most influential science books of all time.

Celebrations are taking place all over the world. There are a couple of events in Milwaukee. The U of Arizona's event includes a Darwin Look Alike Contest (I thought sure they would get the U of A improv troup, The Charles Darwin Experience, to perform).

200 years later, our knowledge of biological evolution is getting to the point that we can apply it in fields such as food production and medicine. Biotech has the potential to revolutionize our lives in the next century.

Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A smooth transition of power

No explaination need here.......

Where Does All The Money Go????

This is really sad...shame on them!!!

OH NO...more pictures.......

Northern Lights and Fire Rainbow over Yellowknife , Yukon , Canada




The JTI in Wordle

No, that's not a typo. Wordle is a web site that will take text and make a picture out of it. The words are sized relative to how much they are used in the text. You can cut and paste text in there or you can enter an RSS feed. As you can guess, I entered the JTI RSS feed to create the following picutre.
I set it to eliminate what they call "common English words" which I assume is why words like "the" and "a" are nowhere to be seen. I am not sure how far back it goes into the RSS feed to create the image.

Based on the image, we don't have any words that stand out as being used a lot so we must have a nice diverse vocabulary amongst us!

Modine Manufacturing defaults on debt

From the Journal Sentinel:

Meanwhile, here's the Journal Times' take on the economy: Michael Burke: What would recession sound like, musically?

ESPN: Favre to retire

" is reporting this morning that New York Jets quarterback Brett Favre plans to retire."


Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my darling JuJuBees! How are you? Hasn’t this warmer weather been nice?

The inbox hasn’t been very active this week, so I thought I’d just put together a little potpourri for you. A few odds and ends. Mostly odds.

First, here’s an interactive video where you rub the crystal ball to get the answer to a yes or no question.

You should also try out Gong Hee Fot Choy Oracle Readings: Those cards are uncanny at predicting your future.

Other predictions, from other times, appear in the video below, about what women will wear in the year 2000 A.D.

Oh my, before we laugh too hard at that, check out what they’re calling the fashion of the future today.

Finally, confidential to Ms. DogAddicts: Time changes all perspective. You have a wealth of friends that you don't know about who care deeply and are there to support you in any way they can. All you have to do is ask. Remember, the box is never the gift; it is what is inside that counts.

That’s it, my friends. Don’t forget to send your comments and questions to me at:

I’ll see you next week, sweeties. Don’t let old man winter get you down. He’s almost out of here. Ta ta.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009