Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday Cephalopod: Octu Vishnu

I hope Greg Laden doesn't think that he's the only one who can muscle in on PZ's territory.

Octu Vishnu from the 2008 Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Louis CK is great!

I've been a fan of Louis CK for quite a while now. But I was just reminded of him by this latest post by Phil Plait. (I highly suggest that you watch the Conan interview on Phil's post!) Anyway, the video below (I can't remember if I posted it before) is the reason that I first became a Louis CK fan. Anyone who can make me laugh so hard that I cry, just by making fun of the Catholic Church (Dave Allen, RIP), is a genius in my book.

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by The Darwin Report. Here are the rules of the tag game:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Geez Louise!!! OK, I've faithfully completed the first two assignments, let's see how well I do on the others.

6 arbitrary facts about myself:

1. Wait a minute! Wasn't I supposed to post 6 random facts about myself? Indeed! Arbitrary fact #1 is that I hate it when people use the word random when what they really mean is arbitrary. Clearly, if I'm picking the 6 facts, then they're arbitrary. The only way that they could be considered random would be if you defined random to mean unrelated. But that flies in the face of most common usages of the word. (It might also work if I picked the facts out of a hat, but then which facts to put into the hat was still an arbitrary decision. So I guess in that case, the facts would be both random and arbitrary.) These facts are just arbitrary. I guess that means that technically, I broke one of the rules. (It won't be the last one I break.)

2. I sleep with a pillow between my legs.

3. I make my own wine. I make it from kits, so no growing or crushing of grapes, but who knows what the future will hold.

4. My grandfather's name was Darwin. My great-grandfather was Irish Catholic, and my great-grandmother was Protestant. Back during the turn of the century (not this latest one, but the one before) this kind of mixed marriage was frowned upon and my great-grandparents were quickly disowned by their respective families. They became Unitarians and named their son Darwin. I'm guessing that part of the motivation for the latter had to do with my grandfather being born in 1909. Anyone following the festivities planned for 2009 will recognize the significance of that date. This certainly wasn't lost on my great-grandmother who was a big fan of science and nature and history (or at least I'm told so).

5. My nephew is named Darwin. OK, so he hasn't been born yet and Darwin is his middle name. (His first name is Rafael--also a family name: from my father's side. Or maybe my sister named him after a turtle.)

As a math buff, I would so love the beautiful numerical symmetry of young RADAR being born in 2009. However he is due before then, and I certainly don't wish an extra half month of pregnancy on my sister for the sake of symmetry. Or dooo I?

6. This evening, after a really nice lecture by Janet Browne, I was stood up by PZ Myers! After promising to show up for Drinking Skeptically, he decided to ditch us instead. In all fairness, he did warn me that he would be late, but the word late implies actually showing up! PZ did no such thing! Can you even begin to imagine my shame? Several people at DS asked "Do you think that PZ Myers will show?" I assured them all that since I had just spoken with him and he said he would be running late, that indeed he was going to show up. What a fool I was! Fool me once, call me a ... er... won't get fooled again. ;-)

Back to the instructions: Consider #'s 5 & 6 to be done. That leaves #4 (Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.) to resolve. Once again, I'm going to break the rules. I had several people in mind (including a fellow whose surname is spelled just like the al Quaida kingpin, but he's surely busy counting votes), have decided to tag only one other. I tag PZed Myers!! It is well known that he has an unhealthy obsession with spineless creatures, but will he pay his penance and not be spineless himself? How dare he skip out on our skeptical night!! We had great conversations about physics, philosophy and Religulous, all of which you missed out on.

PZed! You (at the very least) owe us a "6 facts" tag post! Get on it!!!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Fail for the Win!

This video is predictable, but hilarious!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008



In the meantime, here's a little Randy Newman-esque song from the Code Monkey dancer.