June 30, 2006

Redesigning your website?

Then the time breakdown in the graphic below should look very familiar to you. Click on the thumbnail below for a larger image:

time_breakdown

Found via this guy.

Posted by: Physics Geek at 09:23 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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June 28, 2006

A new disease rears its ugly head

Received via email this morning:


Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder: IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU!

Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. - Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.

This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden.

As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

As I start toward the garage, I notice mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first.

But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only 1 check left.

My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke I'd been drinking.

I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over. The Coke is getting warm, and I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye--they need water.

I put the Coke on the counter and discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I'll be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I set the remote back on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:

- The car isn't washed

- The bills aren't paid

- There is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter

- The flowers don't have enough water,

- There is still only 1 check in my check book,

- I can't find the remote,

- I can't find my glasses,

- And I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day, and I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.

Do me a favor. Forward this message to everyone you know, because I don't remember who I've sent it to.

I'm not laughing. Add in picking up children's toy and books and this pretty much captures my Saturdays.

Posted by: Physics Geek at 02:45 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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June 23, 2006

Exercise program for those getting on in years

I thought I would let you in on a little secret I've found for developing my arm and shoulder muscles.  You might wish to adopt this regimen, 3 days a week.
 
I started by standing outside behind the house, and with a 5 pound potato sack in each hand.  I extended my arms straight out to my sides and held them there as long as I could..
 
After a few weeks, I moved up to the 10 pound potato sacks,  then to 50 pound sacks, and finally I got to where I could lift a 100 pound potato sack in each hand and hold my arms straight our for more than a full minute.
 
Next, I started putting a few potatoes in each sack.   But I would caution you not to overdo it at this level.

Posted by: Physics Geek at 07:57 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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New technology

A new aid to rapid--almost magical--learning has made its appearance. Indications are that if it catches on all the electronic gadgets will be so much junk.

The new device is known as Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge. The makers generally call it by its initials, BOOK(tm).

Many advantages are claimed over the old-style learning and teaching aids on which most people are brought up nowadays. It has no wires, no electric circuit to break down. No connection is needed to an electricity power point. It is made entirely without mechanical parts to go wrong or need replacement.

Anyone can use BOOK(tm), even children, and it fits comfortably into the hands. It can be conveniently used sitting in an armchair by the fire.

How does this revolutionary, unbelievably easy invention work?

Basically BOOK(tm) consists only of a large number of paper sheets. These may run to hundreds where BOOK(tm) covers a lengthy program of information. Each sheet bears a number in sequence, so that the sheets cannot be used in the wrong order.

To make it even easier for the user to keep the sheets in the proper order they are held firmly in place by a special locking device called a "binding".

Each sheet of paper presents the user with an information sequence in the form of symbols, which he absorbs optically for automatic registration on the brain. When one sheet has been assimilated a flick of the finger turns it over and further information is found on the other side. By using both sides of each sheet in this way a great economy is effected, thus reducing both the size and cost of BOOK(tm). No buttons need to be pressed to move from one sheet to another, to open or close BOOK(tm), or to start it working.

BOOK(tm) may be taken up at any time and used by merely opening it. Instantly it is ready for use. Nothing has to be connected up or switched on. The user may turn at will to any sheet, going backwards or forwards as he pleases. A sheet is provided near the beginning as a location finder for any required information sequence.

A small accessory, available at trifling extra cost, is the BOOK(tm)mark. This enables the user to pick up his program where he left off on the previous learning session. BOOK(tm)mark is versatile and may be used in any BOOK(tm).

The initial cost varies with the size and subject matter. Already a vast range of BOOK(tm)s is available, covering every conceivable subject and adjusted to different levels of aptitude. One BOOK(tm), small enough to be held in the hands, may contain an entire learning schedule.

Once purchased, BOOK(tm) requires no further upkeep cost; no batteries or wires are needed, since the motive power, thanks to an ingenious device patented by the makers, is supplied by the brain of the user.

BOOK(tm)s may be stored on handy shelves and for ease of reference the program schedule is normally indicated on the back of the binding.

Altogether the Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge seems to have great advantages with no drawbacks. We predict a big future for it.

Posted by: Physics Geek at 07:55 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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June 16, 2006

Beer column

Are you familiar with Bruce Cameron? He's the guy who wrote 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, which, in turn, became a sitcom. Anyway, he's been writing columns for a lot of years now and I just stumbled across the one where Bruce decides to take up a new hobby: brewing beer. I've reprinted it in its entirety here, along with the link to Bruce Cameron's website.


Ale's Well That Ends Well

Copyright 2001 W. Bruce Cameron http://www.wbrucecameron.com/

Believing that maybe it would help my relationship with my 12-year-old son if
we had a common hobby, I bought him a beer-making kit. My wife seemed to think that the situation called for female incredulity.

"You got your son a BEER-making kit?" she demands. "Are you out of your mind?"

"Hey, you were the one who said we needed to do more things together," I point out.

"So you picked drinking beer," she scoffs.

"Of course not. He'll only make it. I'LL be the one drinking it,"I respond. I hold my hands up in a representation of harmonious balance in the universe.

She fixes me with a scorching look that I recognize from early in our marriage, when I tried to train her to bring me snacks during football games,
but I will not be deterred. "It's very scientific," I declare. "Fermentation. Carbonation."

"Intoxication?"

My son is even less enthusiastic. "It smells bad; you DRINK this stuff?" he sniffs, stirring the batch of malt and hops.

"Yes, but not until there is alcohol in it," I explain with fatherly wisdom.

"Alcohol is a by-product of fermentation," he quotes, looking through the little handbook. He squints at me. "You'll be drinking yeast pee."

"Real men don't read directions," I advise.

When we're finished, my home brew sits tightly sealed in a plastic keg.

"This is the pressure valve," I lecture my son. "The yeast builds up carbon dioxide, which escapes out the valve; otherwise there would be an explosion that would level houses in a four-block area."

I'm hoping this will excite him, but he's been reading the manual again. "Carbon dioxide is another waste by-product," he intones.

"Yes."

"In other words, yeast farts."

For three days, the mixture sits implacably inside the plastic vessel, as exciting as a bucket of paint. Concerned, I sneak in a little more sugar to get the yeast motivated. "You're not supposed to do that, Dad," my son warns.

The next day, the yeast have suddenly sprung to life, bubbling and hissing as
they busily produce waste products. Impatient, I pull on the little tap, pouring an ounce of muddy liquid into a glass and taking a sip.

"Does it taste like beer?" my son asks anxiously.

"Maybe beer that's already been through somebody," I respond ruefully.

That night my son prods me awake. "Dad, the beer is calling you."

My wife gives me a frown, as this is exactly the excuse I give her whenever I
meet my buddies at the sports bar. "What do you mean?"I ask him.

He shrugs. "You sort of need to come hear it. It's making noises."

My wife puts her hand on my arm. "Could it be dangerous?" she inquires anxiously.

I laugh. "Of course not. How could beer be dangerous? Beer Is Our Friend."

I follow my son out into the kitchen and, at his urging, put my ear to the plastic keg. He's right: There is some sort of creaking noise emitting from the seams around the edge of the thing. Through the thick, dark plastic, I can see that the yeast has rioted, filling the vessel with foam.

"Maybe you put in too much sugar," he worries. "Should I start calling people
in a four-block area?"

"Nonsense. More sugar just means a higher alcohol content. How could that be bad?" But his question has drawn my attention to the filter, which should be allowing yeast farts to escape. Instead, it looks locked in place, a little button that should be bobbing up and down.

I reach out a finger.

"Dad " my son starts to say.

The moment I pry at the valve it fires straight up like a bullet, the little button gone in an instant. The entire contents of the keg follow half a second later, a thick spray of foam coating everything in the kitchen. I don't even have time to blink and it is over, except that a steady rain of gooey sludge comes down on my head from the ceiling.

Tilting my jaw, I'm able to catch a few drops in my mouth. My wife bursts into the kitchen and stares at me, shocked.

"Not bad," I tell her, licking my lips.

Posted by: Physics Geek at 08:53 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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