Archive for July 7th, 2010

Mobile intestines

| July 7, 2010 | Reply
Mobile intestines

Several new species of deep sea creatures have been discovered. It’s incredible that any form of life can survive at such depths. I couldn’t help but think of the phrase “mobile intestinal tracts” when viewing some of these. I’m sure that’s oversimplifying, but based on these images, some of these creatures don’t seem to have much more going on than a stomach that moves. Which is how I think of some human beings . . .

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Climategate scientists vindicated

| July 7, 2010 | 2 Replies
Climategate scientists vindicated

Another inquiry has determined that the “Climategate” scientists’ “rigor and honesty as scientists are not in doubt.” Not that this will slow down attacks on inconvenient science.

Perhaps the biggest lesson illustrated is that when you show know-nothings that they are wrong, it has no effect on their opinions. For an equally good example, read about the “Lenski Affair,” where the scientists had conducted 20 years of rigorous experiments that clearly demonstrated evolution of E. coli in the lab. Evidence just isn’t good enough for zealots.

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Huffpo gives platform to Discovery Institute

| July 7, 2010 | 2 Replies
Huffpo gives platform to Discovery Institute

I follow the Huffington Post carefully on political issues. It’s credibility is far lower on health issues and, as Alex Pareene points out at Salon.com, Huffpo has completely dropped the ball in allowing a high ranking member of the Discovery Institute to publish a post blaming Charles Darwin “for eugenics and the Nazis.”

Shame on Huffington Post for allowing such anti-factual drivel.

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700,000 Facebook fans

| July 7, 2010 | 2 Replies
700,000 Facebook fans

How does a person end up with 700,000 “Friends” on Facebook? Here’s how.

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Affordable Failures

| July 7, 2010 | 4 Replies
Affordable Failures

Much like Erich’s recent “Lecture to myself“, I’ve had a few things go wrong lately. I am also able to be philosophical about it. Tire Patch Kit

I’ve had 3 flat tires in the last week. One was on a dolly that had left the factory with patched inner tube last year. The patch failed, and I was unable to get another patch to hold after 3 tries. So I went to the hardware store, and was told that a replacement tube had to be ordered. So back home and to the internet. The replacement tube is in the mail to my house for a little less than the hardware store sells other ones. Another was a bicycle tire that patched pretty easily. The third was a tubeless wheelbarrow tire that was slightly off the rim. These are a bear to refill once empty. I am currently stretching the tire across the outside of the rim in the sun so that it will hold to the inside of the rim in a couple of days, allowing me to fill it.

The left rear pedals on our tandem bicycle stripped out this week, so I had to replace the pedal and crank. The left “Captain’s” crank is a specialty item that had to be special ordered by length and tooth count. Fortunately, I saw this coming, and had the parts on the shelf before the pedal fell off.

The vent hood over my stove, a must-have for us non-centrally-air-conditioned folks, finally died. The motor hums, but won’t turn. It had a good life; well used for two decades. It is a non-standard size that had to be ordered from the factory. Back when I got it, that meant going through a specialty kitchen store. Now, I ordered it direct online via a local hardware store to be delivered to my house for less than it cost me in 1990. I’m not particularly looking forward to the half-day job of dismounting the old and installing the new. Even if it does actually fit.

My laser printer has been getting streaky. This is a problem for MrTitanium, who prints bar-coded labels every day. I tried just replacing the toner kit with a factory original unit (instead of my usual after-market bulk refill). It cost four times as much, but did fix the problem (whew).

I recently found out that, due to a paperwork mix up, we have to pay a lawyer five grand to hand us some inheritance money that my parents had already paid a lawyer more than that to prevent it from having to be paid now. As with parking tickets, it is simpler and cheaper to pay it.

And we recently got three parking tickets in one stop that were arguably contestable. All during a brief stop between picking a used car up from the seller and dropping it off at the inspection site. One ticket was for expired plates. The next for expired inspection. And one for being in a handicapped spot. That last, most expensive one may be our fault. The back foot of our car occupied the front foot of a 30′ long handicapped space on a tree lined residential street. My wife didn’t see the rusty little blue sign facing rearward as she parallel parked in front of the car fully in the space in the rain. The car behind the car behind us occupied a foot or two of the handicapped space, as well. But it didn’t get a ticket. Let that be a lesson to you; always remove the plates when you buy a car!

A couple of months ago I had to get a couple of crowns (that I wrote about as To Tell the Tooth). This was my first expensive dentistry since my wisdom teeth were yanked in college. But back then I was covered by insurance. I pay out-of-pocket for all dental work these days.

But we have the wherewithal to deal with these nuisances of modern life. This Wednesday (from Woden’s Day) it seems that Woden/Wodan/Wotan/Odin likes me. I suspect that tomorrow (his son Thor’s Day) will be the same. Or is it more proof that Gods smile on those who disbelieve in them?

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