January 31, 2007

Firefox tricks

I added this blog to my blogroll a couple of months ago because, hey, learning how to use OO properly is good info. What I didn't know is that Solveig also teaches Firefox tricks. Excerpt:

And here's an additional tip I just picked up. If you close a tab that you didn't mean to close, type Ctrl Shift T to get it back.


F6 (or Alt-D or Alt-L) = switch focus to the address bar and highlight address. So you can hit F6 and then start typing the address immediately

Ctrl-PageUp and Ctrl-PageDown = move to next or previous tab. You might find it easier than Ctrl-Tab and Ctrl-Shift-Tab

Hold Alt while scrolling a page to scroll one line at a time instead of three.

Cool stuff. And if you're interested in something other than a pricey upgrade to Vista and Office 2007, you really need to check out this blog. However, if you're related to Bill Gates, I understand your dilemna.

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I've probably asked about 1,000 women whether or not they like the Three Stooges. At a conservative ratio of 99 to 1, women loathe the eye-poking trio, whichever edition is on. Anyway, Michele illustrates my point here. Excerpt:

Maybe I don't like slapstick humor. I like my jokes subtle. Low key. I like humor that makes me think. Slapping someone upside the head forty times in half an hour only makes me think "Who the fuck is lauging at this and when did he get that lobotomy?"

There was an old episode of Mad About You where Paul Reiser's character had run to his studio to avoid a squabble with his wife, played by the yummy Helen Hunt. Anyway, she shows up and sees that Paul is watching old Stooges videos and exclaims, "They're not even funny!" Paul immediately replies, "We're not going to have this argument again."

Am I going somewhere with this? Not really. I was trying to figure out a way to work the lyrics to some other piece of disco crap into this post, but I couldn't quite swing it.

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January 30, 2007

I've got a fever

And the only cure is more cowbell.

Michele correctly notes that disco got what it deserved. Unfortunately, the rest of us have horrid, horrid lyrics seared- seard, I tell you- into our memories from that thankfully gone era.

How badly seared? Check out what I can do without using a search engine. And then weep for me.

I'm glad you're home.
Well, did you really miss me?
I guess you did by the look in your eye (look in your eye, look in your eye)
Well lay back and relax while I put away the dishes.
Then you and me can rock a bell.

You can ring my be-e-ell, ring my bell.
You can ring my be-e-ell, ring my bell.
You can ring my be-e-ell, ring my bell.
You can ring my be-e-ell, ring my bell.

The night is young and full of possibilities.
Well come on and let yourself be free.
My love for you, so long I've been savin'
Tonight was made for me and you

You can ring my be-e-ell, ring my bell .
You can ring my be-e-ell, ring my bell .
You can ring my be-e-ell, ring my bell .
You can ring my be-e-ell, ring my bell .

You can ring my bell, you can ring my bell, ding, dong, ding, ah-ah, ring it!
You can ring my bell, anytime, anywhere, ring it, ring it, ring it, ring it, oww!
You can ring my bell, you can ring my bell, ding, dong, ding, ah-ah, ring it!
You can ring my bell, anytime, anywhere, ring it, ring it, ring it, ring it, oww!

You can ring my be-e-ell, ring my bell.
You can ring my be-e-ell, ring my bell.
You can ring my be-e-ell, ring my bell.
You can ring my be-e-ell, ring my bell.

I would pay good money to have that erased from my brain.

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Through the looking glass

Alexandra Pelosi takes a walk through Jesusland with her camera. Much like a chimpanzee reading Nietzche, she has zero understanding of what she sees.

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January 29, 2007

The hard truth

I haven't mentioned the trial of the tow US border agents before this, figuring that I'd heard too many conflicting "facts" to make up my mind. Until, that is, today. Andrew McCarthy lays down the actual law and figures that the verdicts and sentences are correct. Excerpt:

It should be enough to say that the job description for federal agents solemnly sworn to enforce the law does not include the commission of felonies like obstruction of justice and making false statements (in this case, quite intentional, highly material omissions on official government reports). But to state the obvious does not do this matter justice. Not even close.

Here’s the dirty little secret the agents’ partisans never tell in their relentless media rounds. You want to be mad about a miscreant like Aldrete-Davila getting away with importing scads of marijuana into Estados Unidos? Then be mad at … the “heroes.”

The rogue duo had two easy opportunities to arrest Aldrete-Davila: First, when he attempted to surrender and Compean decided it would be better to smash him with the butt of a shotgun than to put cuffs on him, as it was his duty to do; and then, when the “heroes,” having felled the unarmed, fleeing suspect with a bullet fired into his buttocks, decided to leave him there so they could tend to the more important business of covering up the shooting.
The preponderance of the evidence established that Aldrete-Davila was unarmed. Besides Compean and Ramos, there were several other agents on the scene. None of them believed Aldrete-Davila posed a threat to their safety; none, other than the two defendants drew their weapons; and Compean and Ramos neither took cover nor alerted their fellow agents to do so.

More to the point, Compean admitted to investigators early on that the smuggler had raised his hands, palms open, in an attempt to surrender. This jibed not only with Aldrete-Davila’s account but with that of another Border Patrol agent. Compean opted not to take surrender, not to place the smuggler under arrest so he could be prosecuted.

On that score, for those over-heatedly analogizing the border to a battlefield, it is worth noting that even under the law of war, quarter must be given when it is sought. Compean, to the contrary, tried to strike Aldrete-Davila with the butt of his shotgun. But it turns out the agent was as hapless as he was malevolent. In the assault, he succeeded only in losing his own balance. The smuggler, naturally, took off again, whereupon Compean unleashed an incompetent fuselage — missing Aldrete-Davila with all fourteen shots.
More significant than strategy, Americans need to know that there are not two justice systems: one for corrupt public officials and one for everybody else. Everybody else, especially upon declining a generous plea offer, gets hit with the most serious offense. Treating these agents differently would have been very difficult to justify.

Who will the people turn to if those sworn to uphold the law break it at their whim? No one, that's who. You would have societal breakdown, as the government would have broken faith in its social compact with the people. So I'm okay with these agents going to jail for their lawless behavior.

Then there's this part about the drug smuggler:

For what it’s worth, I believe the treatment of the smuggler is more disturbing than the sentences imposed on the agents. The agents got more time than they would have without the mandatory minimum, but what they did here patently merited imprisonment. The alien narcotics smuggler, to the contrary, gets off scot-free, plus, thanks to another congressional statute, he can actually sue the United States — and is reportedly seeking $5 million in damages.

That is ludicrous. We can swallow hard and accept the cold reality that the government needed to make a strong case to get rid of bad agents who would otherwise still be on the job — potentially endangering others, including their fellow agents. We can understand, even though we resent, that the only way to obtain the testimony of Aldrete-Davila, who was in Mexico, was to promise that his statements would not be used against him. We can perhaps even abide that the drug dealer was not prosecuted. He was, after all, shot and wounded (albeit while fleeing to escape justice); he could have stayed in Mexico rather than agreeing to return for the trial; and the agents’ misconduct had left the case against him nigh impossible: the government says that none of the agents could make a physical identification based on their fleeting and chaotic interaction with him, that the marijuana-laden van did not yield forensic evidence tying him to it, and therefore that the only way to establish guilt would have been a confession — which the feds had to provide immunity to get.

Yes, all that is infuriating, but we regrettably realize that’s the way things go sometimes. What cannot be countenanced, however, is that an illegal alien’s criminality is not only excused but rewarded — and rewarded based on the fiction that the trespasser has rights under our Constitution.

Extend the same rights to illegals as those of US citizens? Uh, no. I don't think so. Should some weenie judge make a ruling otherwise, I believe that the proper response by the US government would be to give the judge the finger.

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January 26, 2007

Food for thought

From this week's Sportspickle:

Ponder This...
Phil Mickelson bragged in the lead up to his season debut at last weekend’s Bob Hope Classic that he had dropped 25 pounds in the offseason. Little good it did him. He fired a final round 6-over 78 and finished in 45th place, 10 shots behind the leaders. Clearly Mickelson just doesn’t get it. We don’t watch him in hopes he’ll play great golf thanks to his physical fitness. Just like no one would like Pamela Anderson any more if she took acting classes or began wearing tasteful and conservative turtlenecks. Phil, we watch you because in the midst of a four or five hour broadcast in which dorky men stroll past our screen in khakis and polo shirts, you offer us delicious eye candy in the form of bouncy, voluptuous breasts. Once you lose those you’re nothing but another shmoe in Dockers who loses to Tiger Woods every week.
Here is my Page 2 column from Monday. I should mention that I’ve always had a certain perception about the average, rank-and-file Boston sports fan – both from firsthand interaction and from observing them from afar through the media. And the perception is this: the average, rank-and-file Boston sports fan is an insufferable douche bag who leaves much to be desired in the intelligence department. But I have always been one who is willing to admit when I am wrong. So today I will do that, as the e-mails I received from Patriots fans in response to the column above showed me the error of my ways and I must apologize. The average, rank-and-file Boston sports fan is not an insufferable douche bag who leaves much to be desired in the intelligence department. Far from it. They are actually very nearly mentally retarded, if not legitimately disabled, and for that they should be helped, not vilified. (Seriously, Boston douchery – you didn’t pick up on that column being tongue-in-cheek? You honestly believed I really Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will never win a Super Bowl, even though they have won three already? Really? Wow. Just wow.)

This one's gonna become a weekly read, just like TMQ.

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Men are just happier people

Received via email:

Men Are Just Happier People-- What do you expect from such simple creatures?

Your last name stays put.

The garage is all yours.

Wedding plans take care of themselves.

Chocolate is just another snack.

You can be President.

You can never be pregnant.

You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.

You can wear NO shirt to a water park.

Car mechanics tell you the truth.

The world is your urinal.

You never have to drive to another gas station rest-room because this one is
just too icky.

You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.

Same work, more pay.

Wrinkles add character.

Wedding dress $5000.Tux rental-$100.

People never stare at your chest when you are talking to them.

The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.

New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.

One mood all the time.

Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.

You know stuff about tanks.

A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.

You can open all your own jars.

You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.

If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.

Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.

Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.

You almost never have strap problems in public.

You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.

Everything on your face stays its original color.

The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.

You only have to shave your face and neck.

You can play with toys all your life.

Your belly usually hides your big hips.

One wallet and one pair of shoes -- one color for all seasons.

You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.

You can "do" your nails with a pocket knife.

You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.

You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.

No wonder men are happier.

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January 25, 2007

What he said

Ace types a letter to Paris Hilton that echoes my own thoughts.

I know what you're thinking: you were a physics geek in college; you'd have hit anything. While that sounds reasonable because, umm, well, physics majors and girls are the twain that don't meet, you'd be wrong because logic is a physicist's forte. And logically speaking, I wouldn't hit something that makes the a $10 dollar crack whore on the street corner look reputable by comparison. PH reminds me of the girl who effed the entire football team in high school and then followed that up by humping the team mascot: a pot-bellied pig. Poor pig.

Let's face it: PH has the morals of an alley cat on Spanish fly, the muscle tone of a cadaver and enough creepy crawlies in and around her cooch to kill most of the first, second and third world. The fact that some people think she's sexy disturbs me quite a lot.

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January 23, 2007

Bring out yer dead!

Or your flesh-eating zombies. Or your psychic head exploders. Or whatever scared the crap out of you, or simply made you laugh while being scared.

Ehh, maybe I misread the topic. Anyway, Faster Than the World wants your nominations for the best horror movies of all time.

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You don't know Jack

But everyone here seems to. Check out the latest Carnival of Bauer.

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Nude body oils

And edible, crotchless panties worn by ALL NUDE!!! ALL THE TIME!!! Jessica Alba and Angelina Jolie Jello-wrestling. Okay, so it's not up to this guy's standard of Google baiting. Then again, what is?

Now I'll start checking Sitemeter every 10 minutes.

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January 18, 2007

Free information

Tired of paying for each call to information? Try this on for size:

Tired of paying $1.50 or $2 for every directory assistance phone call? Then don't. There truly is such a thing as free directory assistance, though it may cost you a little in time and patience. Jot this down:


A Boston-based company called Jingle Networks offers this free alternative to expensive 411 calls via your cell phone or land line. How and why do they do what they do for free? Just as radio and TV shows are supported by advertising, the directory assistance service is sponsored by companies advertising with the service. So, yes, that means you may hear a short, audio ad when requesting a phone number, but not every time.

When I tried it out, the automated system got the name I was requesting wrong, but a live operator quickly came on the line and found the phone number. I heard (and ignored) an ad for a credit card before I got my number, but it didn't drone on too long. Generally, you'll hear ads related to businesses you're requesting to contact and will be given the opportunity to connect to the advertised business. But an ad here and there seems worth saving $1.50 a pop.

Cool. May the Verizon and Sprint 411 operators rot in hell.

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January 12, 2007

Things that make you go WTF?!

From Chuck Shepherd's column that, sadly, my local newspaper no longer carries, comes this little tidbit:

According to prosecutors, Irenia "Lamb" Cotner, 34, managed to enlist four adults in rural Claremont, Ill., to help her murder a pregnant 16-year-old girl, by convincing them they all had hexes on them that could only be lifted by killing the girl before a candle with her name on it melted down. (They failed, but a man died fighting off the attackers.) One defendant said the hex was real because she got migraines every time Cotner came by. Another defendant said he learned about hexes and spells so that people would like him and said Cotner planned the murder for a remote location so that the gates of hell could open for the mother's and fetus's souls. In December, Cotner was sentenced to 57 years in prison, and two others go on trial soon.

Other bizarre crap:

I don't know what the class was about. but a student handed in a disc containing kiddie porn as his final examination.

If he ate the soup, then I want the special.

Today, January 12, is Feast of Fabulous Men Day. Apparently crack has become more ubiquitous than I thought.

The Restaurant At the End of the Universe is one step closer to reality.

No word on whether Cop Rock was on the air at the time.

A blowtorch is not an FDA approved insecticide.

When asked by reporters if Governor Crist found the typo embarrassing, he replied "Not at all" and then proceeded to feed the entire press corp with a pack of M&Ms and a can of Diet Coke.

And let me finish with this thought.

Hey, how did that get in here? More to the point, how can more get in here?

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Best beer in the world selected

And it wasn't because of the taste.

European men are flocking to Bulgaria to buy 'breast-boosting beer' after EU accession led to customs duties on the drink being abolished.

The millet-ale called Boza which is made from fermented wheat flour and yeast is being snapped up by bar owners, shopkeepers and shoppers from across Europe.

They are said to be keen for their wives and girlfriends to benefit from its reported ability to make women's breasts grow.

Constantin Barbu crossed the Danube from Romania to buy Boza in the Bulgarian border town of Ruse.

He said: "I've bought a case for my wife to try out. I really hope I see an improvement."

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From the actual reality based community

And to any Kosmonauts that stumble onto this blog, the title of this post does not refer to you.

Anyway, I've followed Michael Graham's career since he had a radio show here in Richmond, VA. His current show isn't available for me to listen to, but his website is. Here are his determinations as to what will happen when the US bugs out of Iraq:

1--The Islamists get another country, and its one with lots of oil generating lots of money to fund lots more terror.

2--America is defeated in the Middle East. We lose, and we lose in a region where the brutal tribal culture values strength over all. People in the region looking to back a winner have yet another reason to back the whackjobs. More whackjobs who want to kill us will have more power, and the moderates will have less. Or be dead. Which brings up point #3:

3--Blood in the streets. LOTS of it. You think 1,000 Iraqis killed in a month is a lot? You're not paying attention. Rwandans died by the thousands per day, and they only had machetes. Imagine how ugly a real religious cleansing campaign would look. Are you prepared to say "Yep, 100,000 Iraqi women and children had to die in 2007 because we weren't sure we could win?"

Go read the rest.

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January 11, 2007

Blue Devil hoops

Duke basketball is going through a dry spell this year, which should please everyone in the country who doesn't root for the Blue Devils. Anyhoo, I've got February 7 and March 4 marked on my calendar. I'm certain that Cal Tech Girl does, too.

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On to the next batch

Well, since my previous posts on brewing were so widely read, I've decided to post more stuff that will be of interest to one person only. Fortunately, that's the only person whose opinion I care about so, you know, I've got that goin' for me.


I just received the ingredients to make two batches of beer. One will be a clone of Breckenridge Brewery's Christmas Ale which, I expect, many of you have not tried as yet. I highly recommend it. Hopefully, my batch will turn out alright; I have no desire for more Swimming Pool Ale. The other batch will be a Fosters Lager clone, albeit one brewed at ale temperatures because no lagering ability at my house. I think that I'll call it the Fosters Steamer, in reference to brewing lagers at ale temperatures, a method popularized by Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco in the production of its fabulous Anchor Steam Ale.

Which one will I brew first? It's hard to say, but I'm leaning towards the Steamer because it will become drinkable more quickly, giving me plenty of homebrew to drink while the Christmas Ale ages. Regardless, I'll post my recipes and brewing logs as I go along. Feedback and/or questions are welcome.

See y'all soon.

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Computing history

Peter Coffee has compiled a list what he considers the top 25 Killer App's of All Time. Wanna know something scary? I was familiar with all of them- except Electric Pencil- and used all of them when they came out. Truly, I am a geek god.

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January 10, 2007

Got space?

A one terabyte hard drive for $399.

Full disclosure: my first computer didn't even had a hard drive, as I couldn't afford one. I had two floppy drives and used one for my OS. I then stripped a lot of application software to their barest minimums to run on a 1.44Mb floppy. Wordperfect 5.1 for DOS worked great without a lot of the frills installed. Anyway, I might be looking at a new drive soon.

Posted by: Physics Geek at 11:32 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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Linux and Windows, sitting in a tree...

One of the flaws of the Linux Live CDs to date is the lack of ability to write to NTFS partitions. For those of you not living in your parents' basement, that's the file system used by Windows XP. Most Live CDs have had read capability, but not write capability, which limited your ability to handshake Linux files with Windows files. However, ntfs-3g solves this problem and works with one of the more popular Linux distros, Ubuntu's Edgy Eft. Excerpt:

Normally Linux systems can only read from Windows NTFS partitions, but not write to them which can be very annoying if you have to work with Linux and Windows systems. This is where ntfs-3g comes into play. ntfs-3g is an open source, freely available NTFS driver for Linux with read and write support. This tutorial shows how to install and use ntfs-3g on a Ubuntu Edgy Eft desktop to read from and write to Windows NTFS drives and partitions. It covers the usage of internal NTFS partitions (e.g. in a dual-boot environment) and of external USB NTFS drives.

Some of the info is excessively geeky. However, you don't need to understand it much to be able to implement. Just read and follow the directions; you should be alright.

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