Saturday, March 7, 2009

OMG 472 emails

Been using my laptop as my main box has a cold. Checked my mail with the laptop, and found a ton of mail. I haven't checked it in a few weeks. After sorting through the pile I have a lot of catching up to do.

Only a man-friend would be open enough to share a video on "Man-Hugs." If you ever needed instructions on the proper way of man-hugs, this is it.

Jutsu Bowling

The next time the JTI go bowling, that is how we'll do it.

Don't Forget to Set Your Clocks Ahead One Hour Tonight

Time to mess with our circadian rhythms again.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Hudson River Plane Landing (US Airways 1549) Animation with Audio

Kinda cool.

Square Day

A few days ago I wrote about Square Root Day. I looked at my blog's incoming links and found James Aruthur blogging in Square Day. Today is 3/05/2009. If you take the square root of 3052009 you get 1747. So the date today is a perfect square! The next one is April 1st, 2009, but then we have to wait until 2016 for the next one.

What do these mathematical oddities mean? Nothing, but they are fun!

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

A JT Irregulars Entry in Local Parades?

I was reading the Racine Post's article on the upcoming St. Patrick's Day parade in downtown Racine (, when I started thinking, "Gee, I have a trailer . . . "

The trailer is a small, old, wooden one with only a 4' x 6' bed, but a couple or three people could easily be seated in there, with a couple more up front in the truck waving. There's a really long tongue on the trailer, too, so even more people could sit on the truck's lowered tailgate. Or we could fill the trailer with manure (it holds a yard and a half), and I will stand in it in hip-high waders, shoveling out crap to the populace, thus doing literally what the local paper does symbolically.

The possibilities are endless. What are your ideas for a JTI entry in local parades?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

CNBC: Fail!

Why does a comedian have to point this out to us?

One of his best bits they realize video recording technology has been invented and we can, um, go back and watch what they said in the past?

Press One For English

Pretty much self explanatory!!

Rock and Roll Revival

Hello everybody! Welcome back, to another exciting week of Rock and Roll Revival! At the last JTI Christmas Party, I asked our favorite coordinator, Lizardmom,to what music she liked. She likes music with a message. Immediately, this song can into my mind. I first heard heard this song when was about eleven years old,when my folks gave me their copy of Kansas Leftoverture album. Although the rest of the album is excellent, The Wall hit me to my soul. The message I got from this song was no matter how dismall things may be, there is a light that shines through. Sometimes there is a "wall" in front of you; you just have to get to other side. This song is very close to my heart. So my friends, is there a song out there that is close to you? A song that draws out your emotions-weather you're happy, angry, sad, or just plainly having fun?


Daylilies beginning to emerge after winter, up against my building's foundation (where it's warm), on the west side.


From the "Even More Crazy People in Florida" Dept....

And if they forget the ketchup, I'm calling in an air strike!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bring me up to date

While I was off acting like teenager and dancing the night away, what was happening? Anything interesting that I really missed? Bring me back up to speed, please!

Searching For Other Earths

We have been finding planets orbiting other stars for a while now and have found well over 300. The first ones were all what are called "hot Jupiters". Hot Jupiters are large gaseous planets that orbit close to the Sun. They were not observed directly, but rather by measuring the movement of the star as the planet orbtited. We measured the Doppler shift and could see the star move toward us and away from us as the planet orbited. This technique works well for large planets close to a star.

We have gotten better at measruing Doppler shifts and have observed for longer periods of time. We have found smaller planets orbiting farther from their stars. We have developed other techniques for finding planets as well.

The transit method measures the brightness of a star continuously. When a planet passes in front of the star, it blocks a little bit of light and the star gets dimmer. This only works for a tiny fraction of the planets since you have to be lined up just right to see a planet cross the face of the star. The advantage is you can find planets that are small much easier and you can even get a measurement of their sizes.

The Kepler mission, scheduled to launch this Friday from Cape Canaveral on a Delta II, will search for Earth like planets through the transit method. Kepler is a .95 meter telescope attached to a sensitive 95 megapixel CCD camera. It will stare at one part of the sky (in the constellation Cygnus) for 3.5 years. It will continually monitor the brightness of about 100,000 stars, looking for the telltale drops in brightness. Kepler will undoubtedly find variable stars and lots of larger planets. The goal is to find planets that are the size of Earth and in similar orbits...orbits where liquid water could exist on the surface. For a planet orbiting a star similar to our Sun at about the same distance, the star will decrease in brightness by about .01%, not an easy measurement.

Yet we can do it. Kepler will not orbit the Earth, but rather orbit the Sun (in an Earth trailing orbit) to eliminate light from the Earth. The part of sky was carefully chosen to have a lot of stars, but not too many that they run together. It was also chosen so Kepler could observe the patch of sky continuously without the Sun getting in the way (and don't forget about maintaining contact with Earth so we can get the data!)

This mission will tell us a lot about our place in the universe. How many Earth-like planets are out there? How many could support life as we know it? Even if we find none, that is still a very important result. It would tell us that we are rare indeed. No one knows for sure how many we will find, but from everything I have read, a few dozen would be a reasonable estimate.

Kepler won't tell us if any of these planets have life. That will have to wait for future missions. We are already testing techniques that we can use to measure characteristics of planetary atmospheres and have had some success with larger planets. Kepler is the an important step on the road to answering the question of how common life is in the universe.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my darling little pansies. How are you? Warmer, then a little cold again, but then even a little warmer, a little longer . . . spring must be right around the corner. I can hardly wait. I have a few things I want to plant, permanently.

Our first messáge today comes from the delightful Ms. Beejay, who writes:

My vacation in Barbados!

Mdm Zoltar, why did you not warn me of the obstacles I was to face on this trip with three other women! Why did you not tell me I would be dancing like a teenager and acting the same way? That my room would be given to cricket players (and I thought they were bugs??? What is that about). And you did not tell me that the coach would keep his profession a secret and try to flirt with me. Had I known that, I would have killed the creep for stealing my deluxe garden view room and leaving me with what appeared to be an upgraded Motel 6 room! What did he do on the sheets that were supposed to be mine??? Ooooh, on second thought, I don't think I want to go visual!

And what the hell is cricket other than a bug??? Okay, so I had fun anyway...however, I was deprived of a cabana boy!

And now let me know if what my travel agent is hinting at is true? A free trip to another island with three people of my choice???

My dear Ms. Beejay, I’m so glad that you had a good time. I knew you would. I also knew that if I told you about the “obstacles,” it might ruin your trip. Of course, dancing and acting like a teenager is what vacations are all about, no? It’s only natural that men flirt with a babe like you. Too bad about the cabana boy. I’ll try to make it up to you next time with a hot, Latin lover.

As for cricket, I believe that you know a little more about that than you’re letting on, dear. You certainly know when something is not cricket, like an offer that sounds too good to be true. Or any offer that says “free.” I would check it out very carefully. And make sure they throw in a cabana boy this time. ;)

The next missive arrives from the esteemed Mr. SER, who writes:

Dear Madame Zoltar,

Belly button fuzz, rotten egg that make your “petie” hard, a mayor trying to hide out, global warming, people bust’in their ass when they fall and I don’t even wanna talk about those damn illegal aliens.

Now they don’t want me to cuss, well kiss my ass. A new president who cannot keep his promises, when will it all end.

Madame Zoltar, please send me the winning numbers for the lottery and I will treat all JTI bloggers to a party that will blow their socks off!

I know I have asked before, but the numbers just haven’t worked out...yet!


I feel your pain, Mr. SER, literally. I channeled it. You are one of my favorite irregulars, you know. I am willing to oblige your request. Like last time, I must transmit the winning numbers to you telepathically in order to avoid possible interception by treacherous individuals. As of this blog’s post time, 4 AM, I will be transmitting the numbers to you throughout the course of the day. I have a sort of auto-dialer for brain wavelengths. All you need do is relax, clear you mind, and let the numbers seep in.

I’ll also expect the customary 10% donation of your winnings to Madame Zoltar’s School for the Psychically Challenged.

And here’s a prediction for everybody: the race for mayor in Racine is going to be more fun than the 4th of July. Just about as crowded, too. And definitely noisier.

Don’t forget, if you have a hot tip, an uneasy conscience, or a burning question, contact me at:

Soon those little buds will peek out of the ground and on a few shrubs. Then the cold will come along and nip some. Don’t get nipped – stay warm, kiddies. Thank you for reading my blog.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

why men should never be allowed to order the wedding cake

No explaination needed!!

That Near Miss Meteor

I have had several people ask questions about this, so I figured it was time to blog it. On Monday, a meteor about 100 feet wide passed pretty close to Earth. Pretty close in this point is 40,000 miles (about twice as far away as geosynchronous telecommunication satellites). It was discovered merely two days before closest approach by Rob McNaught in Australia.

What would this type of object do if it were to hit Earth? Well, we have a pretty good idea since it is roughly the same size as what hit over Tunguska in 1908. Fortunately Tunguska is not very populated as the energy output is easily into the many megaton range (~10 megatons is a commonly cited figure). Not enough to wipe out life on Earth, but you sure don't want it to hit near a major city. It could easily kill a few million people if it were to hit a major metropolitan area.

These asteroids are small and dim. They are difficult to find as we don't have the telescopes to search the whole sky on a regular basis for the. That is changing. Pan Starrs, a series of four 1.8 meter telescopes in Hawaii, each with a 1.4 gigapixel camera, will be able to scan the entire sky about every four nights. Around 2014 or so, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, an 8.4 meter telescope to be build in Chile, will be able to image even fainter asteroids and scan the sky ever three nights.

Fortunately, we are looking for them and getting a lot better at finding them. I expect news of these near misses to become increasingly common (because we find more, not because they hapen more frequently!)

There is a group called the B612 Foundation working on the problem. Their ambitious goal is to alter the orbit of an asteroid by 2015. Contrary to the movies, blowing up a nuclear bomb isn't a good option. We want to be able to make sure the asteroid misses Earth and that it will continue to miss Earth in the future!

We are smart enough to find the rock with our name on it...and just about smart enough to do something about it when we find it.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophyscist Blog.

Saturn, the Rings, and the 61st Moon

The Cassinin spacecraft at Saturn continues to do remarkable work. Today they announced the discovery of a small "moonlet" inside Saturn's G ring. The G ring is one of the outer rings, very thin and dusty. The G ring was also an oddball since it was the only one of the dusty rings not to be affiliated with a moon...until now. Here are the discovery images (click to embiggen).

A new moon in Saturns G Ring.
A new moon in Saturn's G Ring. Image Credit NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

The Moon is shedding material which makes a nice bright arc near the moon. That arc is about 150,000km (90,ooo miles) long or about one sixth the circumference of the circle. The moon is too small to see directly, only about 500 meters (1/3 of a mile) across. These images are 46 second exposures, so you can see the moon as a small streak (the other streaks are stars. You can see how much the moon and stars moved in 46 seconds. The camera tracked the rings so the rings would appear to stay still in the photos). For the record, Cassini took this image from a distance of about 1.2 million km.

Although it is very small, so small they sometimes call it a moonlet, it is a source of material for the G ring. But it might not be the only one. There is evidence other objects up to 100 meters across may reside in the G ring. Cassini will be making a close pass in 2010 so stay tuned for more.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Happy Squre Root Day

That would be today, 03/03/09, when the day and the month are both the square root of the year. The next one will be 04/04/16, so enjoy it while it lasts!

Rumor is Gary Becker now Resides at Lincoln Lutheran's Atrium

Bay Pointe at the Atrium, 3950 N. Main St. In his mother's unit. She moved in with his sister to accommodate him.

The rumor also is that other residents of the facility are aghast at this turn of events. I wonder what sort of provision allows someone to just move in to a unit leased to someone else?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Breakfast with Bambi

For all you nature lovers out there, this is pretty cool to watch......

Breakfast with Bambi

German twenty-somethings prefer Internet to partner

"HANOVER (Reuters) - German twenty-somethings would ditch their spouses and do without a car in a heartbeat if they had to choose between having them or Internet access or a mobile [cell] phone, according to an industry study.

"In a survey by German broadband association Bitkom around 84 percent of respondents aged 19-29 said they would rather do without their current partner or an automobile than forego their connection to the Web.

"Living without a mobile phone was also unthinkable for 97 percent of those questioned in that age range."

If I had to choose between TV and the internet, the net would win. I don't think I'd give up my wheels for the net, but we don't have much of a mass transportation system here. I don't care about a cell phone - don't have one. I don't have a current "partner," but I'd hate to think that I'd throw her over for the web. However, I already "do without" in some areas so that I can do the internet at high speed. And I'd probably cut back even more in other areas before I'd cut back on the net.

How about you?

This was me this morning...(last friday )- UPDATE

This is now I started the morning...

I got to work around 3:30am, took a step out of my car,
and proceeded to do a very crooked rendition of the splits
at record speed.
I stayed on the ground bewildered and in pain,
deciding whether to attempt getting up or waiting for
somebody else to get to work and help...

I made it up and in but it took a LONG time,
I have a very very very unhappy back leg muscle,
very unforgiving, being old sucks!

Hope your day has been a better one!!!!


I went to the DR today, thanks again Abby,
my dear, ailing chauffeur!!! You're wonderful!!!
I tore a not-so-nice part of my back leg muscle,
bring on the good drugs, I have 4-6 weeks to be in pain :(
Happy Monday to me.....

Pres. Barack Obama & Democrats Amnesty Bill 2009

This is America? What happened to helping Americans?

No Frakkin' Cussing Week

At lest in Los Angeles County. The LA County Board of Supervisors votes tomorrow to declare the first week of March No Cussing Week. What lobby is behind this declaration? 15 year old Mckay Hatch, a student South Pasadena High School. Hatch is founder of the No Cussing Club and has appeared on television and even has a DVD.

And I must show you the No Cussing hip hop song. Warning...I made it through less than 30 seconds before I was vehemently cussing at it!

Microsoft's New Table

The Best Liar Wins

"WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will break a campaign pledge against congressional earmarks and sign a budget bill laden with millions in lawmakers' pet projects, administration officials said."

He wasn't going to use Washington insiders. Time for change. Yes we can.

Yes, we can do the same old thing.

Meanwhile, they've given AIG, the original party guys who went out and celebrated after their first bailout, another $30 billion of our dollars.

Have a nice day.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Another Freaky Fish with Weird Eyes...

This time is is the barreleye fish (which I heard about listening to the most recent episode of the Geologic Podcast). The barreleye fish live deep in the Pacicif and, until recently, were only known through dead, mangled fish caught in nets. Finally, researchers at the Monteray Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) got a live one to study . Let's take a look at the fish in question.


This strange fish has a transparent skull! Those two things in the front that you think would be eyes are used to detect smells. Those two green spherelike objects under the transparent skull are the eyes. The eyes can rotate to look upward, forward or any direction where the skull is transparent.

I am just loving the unique adaptations that fish use to survive and see at depths where little to no light exists!

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Off to the Bone Yard

When they took the plane out of the Hudson they ended up having to detour through East Rutherford NJ

A Touching Video

This is a touching video and I urge everyone to watch it, it is a couple minutes long but well worth viewing.


Born Again American

She's everywhere

Journal Times Makes Excuses for Gary Becker Molesting Children

In a major insult to the people of Racine and their children, the Journal Times has published a fluff piece on sex addiction and Gary Becker. They are making excuses for the poor man and are desirous of our understanding at this difficult juncture in his life.

Nowhere, absolutely nowhere, does the Journal Times mention the child victims of Gary Becker's crimes. They don't even hint at them, as if they do not exist. (And believe me, as far as the powers-that-be are concerned, the children do NOT exist. They will be silenced. I know this from personal experience.)

It is difficult for me to find the words to express my rage, disgust, and sorrow at this stomach-wrenching turn of events. Mostly sorrow. I have been stunned and depressed into silence for days following the decision to allow Becker to vacation in Pennsylvania while his victims are ignored, abandoned, forgot.... I have been mourning them, and my own losses years ago.

The efforts of the Journal Times and the good old pigs to rehabilitate Gary Becker's image at the expense of the children he has destroyed represents everything that is wrong with Racine, everything that I abhor. They are vermin, and they deserve extermination.

If You Don't Like Cats, Skip This Video

"Give me a bath."

"No, you give me one."

"No, you."

"No, you."