31 December 2008

30 December 2008

Chemistry puns don't usually feel this good. I mean in my pants. (too much?)

For some reason this thing has been around since I don't know when but I just saw it today. I was browsing one of the sites from which I "borrow" jokes and links and etc and found this. Not the picture. Just the link. I didn't know what to expect but my commitment to boredom was rewarded with this exceptional work of genius. No doubt there is room for debate here (I'd put Jedi ahead of ghosts in the noble races, and I think the heavy metals at the far left could use a re-org/update), but overall I think it's superb. I think the second row is v. strong; proximity mines are a bitch.

I caught up with an old girlfriend from college* a couple days ago. We met for drinks and had the following exchange:

Her: You didn't treat me very well.
Mr. Super: That's true. But, in my defense, I didn't treat anyone very well when I was 19. So it wasn't just you. That makes it better, right? [smiles hopefully]

Ahhh, that was fun.

We're winding up another year here at GJAW. I doubt I'll do another post before year end (you care) sooooo... thanks for reading. This was the most prolific year ever, with almost 200 posts. Beats the old record by, umm, [too lazy to check a number] several.

* Unexpected benefit of dating hot girls in college is that they are (very occasionally) still hot, 15 years later.**

** Unexpected drawback: They might remember that you were a dick. Girls are funny that way.

28 December 2008

Cat vs. Printer

Can't believe I haven't seen this one yet. Was in the year's best list over on Filmdrunk. Sound is essential. Lance's comment (yeah we're on a first name basis) was funnier than anything I would have written so here you go:

If you read this site often, you probably know that it was only every once of self-restraint I had that kept this entire list from being cat videos. The end of this makes me laugh no matter how many times I watch it. In conclusion, I would bang this cat.

23 December 2008

Moar Science

Here's three more photographs from the California Academy of Sciences. One shows some of the interesting elements of the space (the organic juxtaposed with the inorganic, the interesting linear and curved shapes on offer in the design of the building, etc.), one is a picture I took of a kickass frog, and one is the the most popular thing in the aquarium (at least among staff & volunteers).

I know it doesn't look like much, but that's an adult octopus in a tank with her eggs. She was a new acquisition for the aquarium and a few days after she got into her tank she laid her eggs, much to the surprise of all involved. (Excepting, of course, the octopus herself.) It was a recent development when I visited, and aquarium staff and volunteers were coming by to get a good look at this rare treat. It's not all that uncommon for octopi (octopuses?) to lay eggs in captivity, but they are famously shy and retiring, so the eggs were a huge surprise and cause for much excitement.

That frog will fuck you up. He's all business.

Images posted in their full-size glory because I can. I'll post some of the others over on fbook as I sort through them, fix the levels in pshop, etc.

20 December 2008

Science is good for you

The fat kid spent a romantic couple of days in San Francisco this week. Main purpose was to honor a friend that was finishing his PhD program and moving to the east coast. While I was there I spent some time at the California Academy of Sciences. Had to see what all the fuss was about. And what do you know, it was actually pretty effing sweet. Weather in SF has been bitterly cold, and I was there during the week so crowds were really light. That meant that there weren't as many screaming disinterested kids as usual, and also that I had plenty of time to hang out and see whatever I was interested in. Some highlights:
  • The living roof. I took a photo of it. Full-size image attached in all its glory.
  • The space itself. There are essentially two large spheres stuck inside a rectangle. One sphere houses the planetarium, and the other houses the rain forest exhibit. The bottom floor houses the aquarium and includes their flagship Philippine coral reef tank.
  • The descriptions for most of the non-permanent exhibits (such as the fish tanks) are displayed on little 6" full color LCD screens. Big improvement over the little cards.
  • In an homage to the original aquarium, they kept the alligator pit, although it's a "swamp" display now.
The whole thing is worth the trouble if you're in the area. And a good value at $25 for an adult ticket.

19 December 2008

Get your list on

Field Notes have been featured in this space before. It's become popular to put your field notes to use and add them to a Field Notes Flickr set. I liked this group, and this was my favorite. Also quite liked this.

This is also excellent, too.

They make good gifts, and in my experience the shipping people at Field Notes Brand tend to throw in a little something extra for your trouble. A special bonus to include w/ your gift, or to keep for yourself.

18 December 2008

40 seconds of wiener dog

Occasionally I find out that people come to this space for entertainment. It's a testament to how bored they get in their day to day lives. This video is for my friend's ex-girlfriend Sarah, who gets a special shout-out b/c she is an occasional reader and also shares some of my internet genius with her students, and also b/c she is awesome. Not sure if this video will make the cut, but I'm cautiously optimistic. There's got to be some educational value in there somewhere...

Shocking news you will never believe

Apparently you don't lose most of your body heat from your head. I looked for the original source for more information but I couldn't find it. And the British Medical Journal probably doesn't have it available for free anyway.
Edit: Here's the same info in an easier-to-parse format, courtesy the BBC.

Other myths debunked:
  • There is a cure for your hangover. In fact, the only cure is not to drink to excess. A ha.
  • Sugar makes children hyperactive. Turns out that people rate their children's behavior as hyperactive after they've had some sugar, even when they hadn't.
  • Snacking at night makes you fat. Apparently it depends on what you eat, and how much, and how much exercise you get.
  • The bracts (red leaves) of the poinsettia plant are poisonous, and suicides rise during the holidays. Both are myths, but I had a hard time believing suicide one. I'm guessing their data is at least reasonable for it to be published.
And here's a link dump of 100 top sites for 2008. The Guardian only does a list every other year, so it's worth including here.

(image courtesy icanhascheezeburger.com - it has nothing to do with the post but I thought it was funny.)

17 December 2008

Elegance in Design: Design Observer

If you're a fan of Design (as I am) then there are thousands of places of interest on the web. I've mentioned Coudal Partners in this space before. Coudal's Field Tested Books section alone will kill an hour of your day, while the Museum of Online Museums will put an entire week's worth of productivity at serious risk.

Design Observer is more traditional blog, and it is superb. I particularly enjoyed this piece from Chris Pullman, the former Vice President for Design at WGBH. (WGBH is famous for, among other things, programs like Frontline.) Design Observer works hard at intelligent analysis of design and culture; it's rare that I visit the site without learning something new.


14 December 2008

What You Are vs. What You are Not (message ahead - apologies in advance)

I have become frustrated with our culture's attempts to conflate material goods with actual worth. In other words, much of our (western, consumer) culture encourages you to think that because you *buy* something, you *are* something. There's no doubt that this is an effective marketing strategy. But it's also a lie.

Here is the truth about what you are not:
  • You are not your bank account.
  • You are not your choice of booze. (Related: your choice of booze will not help/hurt your chances of getting laid. I've done a lot of applied research in this area so I know what I'm talking about.)
  • You are not your house.
  • You are not the car you drive.
  • You are not your bookshelf.
  • You are not where you went to college, grad school, law school, or vocational school. You are nothing to do with your school at all.
  • You are not your dog or cat.
  • You are not your religion.
  • You are not your playlist on your ipod, or your favorite band, or your guitar, or whatever.
  • You are not any material thing.
What you are:
  • How you treat yourself.
  • How you treat other people.
These are the only things in your life that you can control completely from the beginning until the end. They are the only things every person on the planet shares with every other person. You 'own' a lot of things in the world, but these are the things you own that matter the most. If you take away all the crap that separates or differentiates you from people that live in other parts of the world, you will still have this.

So don't get too carried away with the material bullshit this holiday season (or any other time).

Love you, and thanks for reading.

(image courtesy the Life photo archive on Google, copyright Time, inc.)

Tasty online treats: Life magazine photo archive

I'm a fan of the computer-enabled time-waster. You can learn something new, see something interesting, or procrastinate for an hour making your bid for desktop domination.

One relatively new source of online superbness is the opening of the Life magazine image archives. It's a joint venture with the Google, so you can search the archives for images, or just browse until you find something that you like. The best part is that the full-size images are available online. You cannot use them for commercial purposes, but fair-use rights allow you to re-post them for private use as long as you credit the source. I got this picture of some fans at the Clay-Bonavena fight from here. Picture was taken outside of Madison Square Garden in December, 1970 by Bill Ray. Photo (c) Time, Inc.


W's big fat go-f-yourself to America

It seems that George W. Bush is doing all he can to suck off big business before he leaves office. In his defense I don't think he has any idea what he's doing. I think he just does whatever his secretaries tell him to do, signs whatever they put in front of him. Coal companies want to make it easier to strip-mine? Approved. Oil companies want to be able to extract oil from shale, even though it's grossly inefficient and spectacularly polluting? Approved. Build highly polluting coal power plants closer to national parks? Hmmm... that's a tough one. On the one hand, you've got coal companies, and on the other hand you've got the national parks, which are the interest of the ENTIRE COUNTRY. Yeah, fuck the parks. Build the coal plants wherever you want. Awesome.

If his people had worked as hard at not being such fuck-ups then maybe things wouldn't be so bad today.

In related disaster capitalism news, remember all the fuss about $4 a gallon gasoline? People were up in arms about allowing drilling off the coasts, so the White House and Congress let the ban expire. This opens up the coasts (which, like the national parks, belong to everyone) to drilling by oil companies that belong to themselves. Big Business: 1; The People: 0. But your gas will be cheaper by as much as 2 or 3 cents a gallon. In the year 2030. Be happy with the money you're saving.

09 December 2008

Two for Tuesday

Tuesday means we get to double dip on some stuff from around the web. First up I'd like to throw a shoutout to the governor of Illinois for being both unscrupulous and really, really stupid. The unscrupulousness is SOP in a politician, but you have to work hard to be as egregiously stupid as he was over the past few weeks. Full credit to you, sir!

And here's a little op-ed piece (from the Newspaper of Record) explaining why Joe the Plumber shouldn't get a book deal. Enjoy.

In case you thought today's link dump was liars and idiots, here's a piece on Wayman Tisdale: former NBA player and cancer survivor. Word around the league for years is that he's been one of the nicest guys since forever, and recent experiences haven't changed him.
okay then.

08 December 2008

Fox apologizes for the dong they showed on TV

I thought this was hilarious.

Photo courtesy deadspin. Go there for the full report. (If you know what I mean. And I think you do.)

Mighty Mites - Martial arts are good for you

Went to a BJJ tournament over the weekend.

The truth will find you in the ring. It doesn't matter if you're 5 or 35. Just ask the Golden Boy, who spent his Saturday night taking a beating so severe he went straight from the ring to the hospital. He also got paid at least $20 million. (Silver linings and all that.) On the other hand, he's now at greater risk of Parkinson's disease and a host of other ailments that come from getting your head knocked around on a regular basis. Also: You can't spend your money if you're dead.

Watching tiny kids compete in Brazilian jiu jitsu was just as entertaining in its own way. The parents scream comments with varying degress of usefulness. E.g.: "DON'T LET HIM TAKE YOUR ARM JOHNNY!" This is not helping Johnny in any way. Try positive encouragement instead. The kids give maximum effort, and their goofy dancing can be hilarious, but if you laugh you might overlook the fact that they are in a fight, and that is no joke no matter how old you are.

I love the intensity of the kids. It's heartbreaking to see how some of them take the losses: tears are shed, hugs received, hard lessons about losing and sportsmanship are learned. Great stuff.

[Photo courtesy Crosley-Gracie Jiu Jitsu, used without permission but with my thanks. The tournament I watched was not at Crosley-Gracie, but they had a good photo of two kids grappling so I used it.]

03 December 2008

Moar Thxgiving

This from a friend:

Over Thanksgiving in Idyllwild, we were feeding the squirrels and this guy came along to pick up his Thanksgiving dinner.

I wanted to post it to icanhascheezeburger but I'm not sure they would love it as much as I do.

01 December 2008

GYWO countdown

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at 236.com.

I think David Rees is shutting down GYWO when Bush leaves office. Enjoy it while you can. (The cartoon - not GW, unless you're into that.)