October 31, 2007

Halloween math humor

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Halloween images part 2 redux

When life hands you old posts, well, you know what to do.
dr jekyll and mrs hyde.bmp

family reunion.bmp

low carb.bmp

merry thanksgivoween.bmp

peter peter.bmp

who died.bmp

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Halloween images redux

Saw this post from Val and decided to repost last year's stuff. Sue me.

baby ruth.bmpanger management.bmp

bed webber.bmpcant take it.bmp

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Halloween humor

A man was walking home alone late one foggy night, when behind him he hears:




Walking faster, he looks back and through the fog he makes out the image of an upright casket banging its way down the middle of the street toward him.




Terrified, the man begins to run toward his home, the casket bouncing quickly behind him.






He runs up to his door, fumbles with his keys, opens the door, rushes in, slams and locks the door behind him.

However, the casket crashes through his door, with the lid of the casket clapping




on his heels, the terrified man runs.

Rushing upstairs to the bathroom, the man locks himself in. His heart is pounding; his head is reeling; his breath is coming in sobbing gasps.

With a loud CRASH the casket breaks down the door. Bumping and clapping toward him.

The man screams and reaches for something, anything, but all he can find is a bottle of cough syrup! Desperate, he throws the cough syrup at the casket...


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True dat

Lileks is always a treasure. Every now and then though, he really hits it out of the park. Excerpt:

What’s this Bunco thing your wife does? It’s a hen party. They meet at different houses, roll the bones, eat, enjoy cold libations. It is the absolute antithesis of poker. In poker men sit in silence, studying their cards and the other players; in Bunco everyone is talking, and no one is paying attention to the game. You could film six men playing poker, and sixteen women playing Bunco, and you would learn everything you need to know about the difference between the sexes and the nature of each. By our games do we know ourselves.

I'll admit it: I'm a Bunco widower every other Tuesday. ::sob::

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Pumpkin cheesecake (updated)

Michele posted a recipe for a no-bake pumpkin cheesecake, which looks delightful. I think that it's time to repost my yes-bake recipe:

My recipe is pretty old. It was originally for 4 cheesecakes(I used to work in a commercial kitchen), but the quantities have been scaled back for a single cake. When I cooked for a living, almost no one else made pumpkin cheesecakes. Now, it seems like everyone and their brother makes their own, including the big warehouse stores such as Costco. Whatever. This recipe is the best.


1 7/8 pounds cream cheese(worried about the fat? Use some Neufchatel)
5/8 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
5 eggs
3/8 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
5/8 cup sour cream
1/8 cup rum
1 Tbsp vanilla

Approx. 30-49 ginger snaps
Approx. 1/4 cup butter

1) Grind up ginger snaps and mix with enough melted butter to bind together.

2) Cream together cream cheese, brown sugar and sugar. Beat eggs and add to
cream cheese mixture.

3) Add flour and the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. I suggest using the
beater attachment on your mixer, but it's up to you.

4) Grease a springform pan(10" preferred, but 9" will also work). Press the ginger
snap mixture into the pan to form the crust. Pour mixture into the crust-lined
pan; gently shake to remove air bubbles. Bake in 350 degree oven in a water bath
until the center is set.

***Note: If you have trouble with the cheesecake cracking, lower the temperature of
the oven to 300F and bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, open the door for one minute,
close the door and then let the cheesecake sit in it for about 45 minutes. Chill before

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October 30, 2007

Is it live, or is it Memorex?

If you're old enough to remember that commercial, well, welcome to the club. In any event, this article details how to rescale and edit your images, up to and including removing people from them. No more using scissors to cut out the old boy/girlfriend from photos. Simply remove, preserving the lovely background image. Oh, and be sure to check out this video which, I believe, Allah posted a link to over at Hot Air.

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This is why the Second Amendment exists

McQ links to this story which I believe is a great example of the strong armed tactics we'll be likely to endure as a country if we allow ourselves to be disarmed. I'll leave you with McQ's closing thoughts:

They came into the home of American citizens, took their child (5+ weeks old and nursing) into state custody and placed it in foster care. Why? Because the parents, due to their religious beliefs, objected to a test the state had mandated. The child's health wasn't in danger, he didn't need any medical treatment, in fact he is quite healthy. But the state felt that its priorities and decisions overruled those of the parents and drew the child's blood over the parents strenuous objections. Chilling.

Keeping that in mind, imagine, if you will, what powers the state will be left to exercise if it eventually is placed charge of every aspect of your health care.

And there exists a sizeable chunk of people in this country who think that what we need more of is more and bigger government. I'd call them stupid, except that I'd be insulting stupid people.

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I thought that i was the only one

Turns that Glenn Reynolds and I have the same taste in old science fiction shows. Of course, Reynolds watches The Time Tunnel whilst sitting on his dark throne, sipping his puppy, while I tend to opt for a Guiness. To each his own.

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Create DVDs for your home player

One place where Linux still lags Windows is in its (in)ability to create VCDs, DVDs et al complete with custom menus. Sure, there are lots of programs out there, many of which are command line driven, which means that lots of people won't even attempt them. In some cases, you have to manually run multiple programs from within a shell, using lots of gibberish (okay, I actually understand shell scripting, but you know what I mean) to create menus, ISOs and then burn the DVD. Well, not only has someone created the open source software to do such a thing (DeVeDe), someone else has made a detailed tutorial on how to install and use it on your Linux system. Excerpt:

In windows there are many guides on how to create a dvd using your own video files. However this doesn't seem to happen in linux and moreover by using a program with a GUI. In this guide I will describe how to create a dvd with a menu using DeVeDe. DeVeDe is an open source program which allows you to create DVDs and CDs (VCD, sVCD or VCD) suitable for home players. It supports any of the formats supported by mplayer such as mpeg, avi, asf, wmv, wma, quicktime, mov, realtime, ogg, matroska and many others!

There's actually waaayy too much detail for me to excerpt anymore from the tutorial. Suffice it to say that it's a good choice for you Linux users. He also suggest using k3b to burn the resulting image. Since that comes with several of the KDE frontend distros, you won't even have to search for it. If you do, the Synaptic tool will easily find, download and install it for you. And if you don't have Synaptic, you always use apt-get. Now go forth and make DVDs.

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And now for something completely different

Okay, it's not completely different. Rather, it's a topic that I almost never bring up here on the blog. Megan McArdle has a series of posts on vouchers, all of which you should read. I'll excerpt from a couple. Number 1:

Forgive me--I'm about to get testy again--but this thread on 11D really does seem to me to showcase in stunning technocolor the moral bankruptcy of voucher opponents who have pulled their own kids out of failing inner city schools. They have no good answer for why their choice is morally worthy, but vouchers are horrifying; their response to the deep need of kids in failing schools is a slightly gussied up version of "screw you, I've got mine." Their children's future, you see, is an infinitely precious resource that trumps their principles of distributional justice and community solidarity, but they cannot imagine putting the futures of poorer, darker skinned children ahead of sacred principles such as "Thou shalt not allow children to attend schools run by the Catholic Church" and "Supporting the public schools (even when they suck)". I could do a better job arguing against school vouchers.

Number 2:

How many educated people who:

a) Oppose vouchers
b) Have children who do not attend inner city public schools

would still oppose vouchers if they were the only way to get their child out of an inner city public school? How many of them would accept that their child had to be left in that school because the systemic effects of allowing their child to exit that repulsive school would be dreadful?

Respectfully, I believe the answer is "null set".

And the money quote here in number 3:

Empirically, I may be wrong; vouchers may not work. But we know that the current system isn't working. And poor kids should not bear the burden of making affluent liberals feel better about themselves.

I believe that OUCH is the word you're looking for.

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October 22, 2007

Free tacos!

Even if you don't care who wins the World Series, oreven if you don't know what the World Series is, you can still profit from the game of baseball if and when a base gets stolen. I present to you Free Tacos! Excerpt:

There has been at least one stolen base in every World Series matchup since 1990. When the first base is stolen, the unit of Yum Brands Inc (Taco Bell), will announce a Tuesday afternoon when consumers will be able to walk into the chain's participating 5,800 outlets and ask for a free taco. Anyone who walks into a participating outlet during the give-away period would be eligible for a free taco.

It'll be time to make a run for the border soon...

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Making a cat laugh

I swear that this article of 100 Reasons to upgrade to Vista from XP is one of the funniest damned things I've ever read. What makes it even funnier is that the authors appear to be serious. Personally, I tend to agree with this article from IT Wire: Microsoft's Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to Ubuntu, Not Vista. Excerpt:

#8 Your PC can take care of itself
Your days of defragmenting are over. Ubuntu uses a different file system to Windows. It does not really ever require defragging. Don’t just take our word for it; check out geekblog.

No version of Windows can boast such built-in self maintenance. Not even Windows Vista. Perhaps its intended radical new database-oriented file system may have fared better, but it was pulled so the OS would finally ship – so we’ll still have to wait to find out.
#3 It’s the safest version ever
That’s right; Ubuntu is the safest version of an operating system ever. Oh, it’s safer than Windows XP or other prior versions of Windows – and it does it without fading your screen to black and asking you to confirm each operation.

Microsoft have gone over the top with Vista’s user account control, but they have a problem largely of their own making. It’s rare to find a Windows user who logs in under one account, and performs systems administrative tasks under another. Consequently, Windows has a legacy of users running as local administrators who have full control over their machine.

Linux has never been this way; users are always been encouraged to run under a user account with limitations imposed. Because of this, Linux has always made it harder for people to accidently delete operating systems files, or infest their system with virii.
#1 It makes using your PC a breeze.
The cliché literally is true: Ubuntu just works. You install it and it runs. In fact, you can test it out. Without harming your computer in any way, you can boot from the Ubuntu CD and give it a complete whirl on your machine. If you don’t like it, nothing’s lost. You just remove the CD and boot back in to your existing operating system.

Ubuntu is the operating system your granny can use. And what a dutiful grandchild you’d be setting her up with it. Imagine not having to explain blue screens of death, or UAC, or program crashes and lockups.

Thanks, Microsoft, for these top 10 reasons why we should upgrade. Let’s take up that advice. Time to load Gutsy Gibbon.

While I'm partial to the Ubuntu derivative MEPIS (I prefer the KDE interface and I think it's better than Kubuntu), I don't really have anything bad to say about Ubuntu. It's enormously popular, and part of that popularity has to do with the ease of installation and use. In fact, that's probably the best indicator of how robust Ubuntu has become.

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October 19, 2007

Sniffing glue as a career builder

Interestingly, except for the train wreck that is Britney Spears, the videos linked here at Cracked are pretty damned scary. I especially like the description of Affleck's drunken, loutish behavior: Ben Affleck shows off his acting abilities by improvising the lead up to a violent rape. In any event, I give you The 11 Most Unintentionally Poignant Drunk Celebrity Videos.

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Some thoughts and a little eye candy

Anyone else watching Bionic Woman besides me? Apparently not too many of you, which is a shame. I think that the series has shown some promise, although it has been a little uneven in its quality. Good episodes alternate with mediocre episodes. I'm all for setting the stage, introducing the characters, etcetera, but just get going. Right now, the ratings are about what got The Nine killed last year.

What do I like? Here's a small list:

1. Katie Sachkoff plays someone of almost pure evil on the show. Certainly her character on BSG-Starbuck- has elements of moral confusion, but as Jaime Sommers' nemesis she's downright creepy at times.

2. I enjoyed the original series. It didn't take itself too seriously and was a lot of fun. This version is much darker and bleaker. Sort of TV noir, with some comedic elements thrown in.

3. Holy mother of god, have you taken a good look at Michelle Ryan?


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October 18, 2007

A possible future

By Doug Ross@Journal.

These are the politicians that stopped international terrorist wiretaps in a play for political power.

Don't worry: they'll blame Bush. Heck, I always do.

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Quote of the day

And it comes from Stephen Green:

It only took six years of constant, strong growth, record-low unemployment, low interest rates, several years of a housing boom, and new stock market records... for the MSM to finally convince almost half the population that we're in a recession.

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I told you so

I knew that if Bush continued his ban on embryonic stem cell research that we'd have to wait for breakthroughs from other, more enlightened countries like England. Excerpt:

In a study published in October's Experimental Neurology, Dr Paul Kingham and his team at the UK Centre for Tissue Regeneration (UKCTR) isolated the stem cells from the fat tissue of adult animals and differentiated them into nerve cells to be used for repair and regeneration of injured nerves.

Oh wait. What was I saying about embryonic stem cell research? Nothing to see here, just move along. And now I wait for an honest assessment about this research in the news. Do you think that maybe CNN, PMSNBC, CBS, ABC, or NBC will mention this correctly as a treatment derived from adult stem cells? Me neither. Instead, we'll be treated to editorials on how we're falling behind other countries in stem cell research, without bothering to mention that it's not the morally suspect embryonic kind.

Ehh, I blame Bush. Or question the timing. Or whatever brainfucked piece of idiocy gets John Cole and the Kos Kidz through the day.

Update: Welcome Instapundit readers!

Update: And Daily Pundit readers!

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October 17, 2007

Nasty, tricksy hobbitssess

Despite the falling out between Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema over money, the two groups appear to be leaning towards Jackson directing The Hobbit. Since Sir Ian McKellen and one of the favored replacement directors both think that Peter Jackson would be the best choice, I'm going to go out on a limb and state for the record that it will eventually happen, hopefully before Gandalf is forced to use a walker onstage.
Oh, and it appears as though New Line is losing the legal battle:

Another sign: New Line appears to be losing the legal battle against Jackson with regard to Rings profits. Last week, a federal judge imposed a rare $125,000 sanction against the studio for failing to turn over potential evidence Jackson argued could help him prove that accounting tricks cheated him out of tens of millions in profits. New Line has said it won't appeal the sanction.

Yeah, if it looks like you've actually screwed the director of an immensely popular movie out of money, and then you turn around and decide to not hire him because he legally fought for what he was due, you might find that the public won't bother to go see your product. Just a guess, though. In any event, it'll be a few years away at best. In the interim, I'll be waiting for X Files: Need the Geritol to arrive.

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Get well soon

Looks like Susie is back home recuperating from having old vermiform removed. Stop by and wish her well.

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