Yes, kiddies, there is a reason I really fucking HATE this picture.

An erection!

The caption may as well be "An erection!"*   If there is anything I remember Gene Wilder for, it's his performance in Blazing Saddles, where he laughs in the face of his hardships.   I get that anxiety is a potent source of comedy--mostly because that's where my bite comes from--but I don't necessarily want to remember a great only in terms of his ennui.

These are two sides of the same coin, and we need to celebrate both of them.

(To be fair, most of the obituaries I've read have been pretty fair, I just really, really hate this picture of Gene).

*From Waiting for Godot: Vladimir and Estragon are waiting for the eponymous Godot, and the following exchange happens.

ESTRAGON: What about hanging ourselves?
VLADIMIR: Hmm. It'd give us an erection.
ESTRAGON: (highly excited) An erection!
ESTRAGON: Let's hang ourselves immediately


Watching your idols

At the time this was aired, he was my idol, and when he died two years later, I was genuinely crushed.  Since then, I see some of the silliness he lampooned in his satire becoming malevolent, and find it hard to recognize the humanity of those that foment it.

I want to laugh at the guy trying to show us photos of the woman attempting intercourse with the pony, but knowing that Carl Paladino is out there makes it very difficult. 

Anywho here's an asshole: *


Destructive testing and Goodbye Blue Monday did not make it to this post, but because I'm not the literary genius I pretend to be, my first exposure to Vonnegut was the Breakfast of Champions movie, starring Bruce Willis as Dwayne Hoover; though it didn't follow the plot precisely, so it left out the significance of "Goodbye Blue Monday," and  "Destructive Testing"; but still left a fairly open stage for Elliot Rosewater and Kilgore Trout.

So the point is, here we are, watching our reality unravel on TV; and all because a bunch of uneducated hicks insist upon perpetuating their ignorance.  I fear this Huffingtonpost article may be correct, but I really hope it isn't.

And Mr. Hoobler would have been gunned down by the police by now.

EDIT: since context matters, I was driven to seek out this 10+ year old interview of Kurt Vonnegut, after finding out that Gene Wilder has passed away.  They don't exactly occupy the same space in my mind, but Willy Wonka really isn't so far from the ideal I imagine from Vonnegut's oeuvre.  (Not to mention Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, See No Evil Hear No Evil)

EDIT 2: And for the record, I fucking HATE this picture:




The animation in this video is flat our hypnotic.

If it sounds a little familiar, it's because it's from the creators of this earworm:

(which is one of the featured tracks in Audioshield, so that's how I know it.  Also, it doesn't hurt that has the best thighs this side of Taylor Swift)

EDIT: because I can't go on an [obscure?] European pop tear without hunting for the matchless Noémie Wolfs, here she is pronouncing her name at the beginning of this video.

Noy-MEE Wol-UHFs.


On the cheap

The above is a CFM 56, if you can't be bothered to maintain it properly (or are so cheap that you cut corners).  Thankfully, nobody was hurt.

Rich Asshole

This will restore sanity to the internet.   Screenshot:

Even better:

I am having way too much fun with this.   Somehow, the NY Times shows "this rich asshole":


My new favorite show

Just an example, but Rick and Morty is pretty much the funniest thing I've ever seen.  Especially when it gets all existential.

And yes, they did show how that came to pass.  It involved Cronenburg people (and yes, think of the weird shit in Videodrome and eXistenZ and you'll get an idea of what became of that particular reality, how it happened, well...).

Also, google "meeseeks," that'll give you a good idea of what this show is all about.


Twilight Zone

I really have a love-hate-hate relationship with Schenectady.  On one hand, (most of) the people are smarter than the generic hicks found elsewhere, on the other, they walk in the middle of the fucking street....but I digress.

Today is garbage day, which for me is not my favorite in the world--and I am somewhat prone to overreaction, which doesn't help matters.

I put this tv stand out to the curb a few hours ago.  It has three glass shelves, the topmost is permanently attached, but the other two are panes of tempered glass that sit on the shelf frames.  Here's a picture of it in its former habitat.

Note, it's only the tv stand, not all of the junk on it.

A few years ago, I recovered from "apartment mode" and realized that I could actually mount stuff directly to the wall, so I replaced it with this, pictured below.

Between these pictures is the incident where the television in the first was stolen in a robbery, and a significant upgrade in the audio department also happened.  The point is, now, the TV is mounted directly to the wall.

Or is it? (the point, not the fact the TV is mounted to the wall).  No the point is, as is likely to happen on garbage day in Schenectady, scavengers roam the neighborhood.  This does bother me somewhat, but only in the privacy dimension;  if I put something out to the curb, then I really believe that if somebody wants it, they can certainly take it.   Which is what happened.

Except, and now the Twilight Zone part; they took the frame, with the integrated top shelf, but they left the glass pieces that make up the middle and bottom shelves.  In its place, they left three green plastic deck chairs, seemingly in perfect condition.

Frankly, I hope they come back for them; it's no skin off my nuts if they take it away, since I'm throwing it out anyway, and they might as well have the whole thing.  And frankly, I'm pretty sure the chairs were left behind to make room for the entertainment center; I don't need them, so I'll leave everything as is

Bottom line: no harm, no foul.  Come back and get the missing shelves, and your chairs.

UPDATE:  They did indeed come back for the chairs.  Somebody certainly did anyway, because they were gone when I left for work this morning.   Glass shelves were still there though.


Because somebody on the internet posted a .gif of Austin Powers ripping (badly) off this scene:

One of the best movies ever made.


Good Summary

For the most part, I hate Salon.com.  Most of their authors peddle nothing but self-righeous specious arguments, like--to borrow from sadlyno--toddlers who reach into their pants, pull out a dingleberry or two, and dance around proudly before, your know, eating them...

But the exception is Amanda Marcotte, who ended up there after more or less establishing herself is a good blogger at pandagon.  She's rational, and unless he piece is one of those dog-awful interviews where they make absolutely no effort to differentiate between the interviewer and interviewee, she's quite insightful.

Blah blah blah, Howard Stern is insightful...She's not a broken clock....

Anywho, this summary of the past couple years of the Puppies and the Hugo Awards presents a very good overview of what's been going on between the alt-right, and some fairly obscure award in science-fiction literature.   There are more comprehensive pieces out there that really pick apart the phenomenon, and a piece or two of my own that rage against it in various degrees of effectiveness (or coherence), but this is pretty much the best single page summary of the issue I've seen so far.

On the bright side, the reactionaries are losing.  The art and new ideas are winning, race/gender/identity of the authors notwithstanding. Over the past few years I've read the Hugo winner for best novel, and I haven't been disappointed.  

Furthermore, the act of protesting against an alleged slate of award candidates chosen by identity politics, by presenting one's own slate of awards based one's own identity politics is pretty clearly the definition of hypocrisy, not to mention irony.

This is bad news.

VanCurler Music is shutting down.  It is literally the only place I'm aware of where they stocked actual sheet music (which, since I was a tuba major, and very involved in the high-school band/orchestra, was important to me).

And it didn't hurt that one of my mild high-school crushes worked there for a time.

I believe I bought this there, and since the link is Amazon, it kind of proves the point.  

That book was very tough, btw.



More of this

Though I'm very critical of the adversarial relationships police departments have fomented with their communities, I think it's helpful to call attention to those instances that go against the trend.

Such as this.

FRANKLIN, Ohio (AP) — A southwest Ohio police officer who bought a meal for a 7-year-old boy who authorities say was trying to sell a stuffed animal to buy food says he's surprised to get so much praise and even a marriage proposal.
The praise is well-deserved, I think.  Treat your community with respect, and you should be respected in return.   Just like in Wichita, this kind of display of humanity by the police can only improve the relations between police and the rest of us.

And to clarify: I'm not saying there should be more starving children out there trying to sell toys for food, but more compassion for the downtrodden shown by those in positions of authority.

Firecrackers: the silent killer.

I miss Phil Hartman.


FAIL! Black Hole Edition

The Washington Post can't help itself! Headline:

Are black holes really all that black? A new study supports Stephen Hawking’s theory.

A little deeper into it we have the lead in to a description of the experiment. 

Now, Jeff Steinhauer of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, said he has created an artificial black hole that produces Hawking's proposed glow. His study, which could provide the most convincing evidence for Hawking's theory to date, was published Monday in Nature Physics.

Oh really, tell me more...

Steinhauer – notorious for doing most of his work solo, which is unusual in the sciences – created a black hole analogue that pulls in sound the way black holes are thought to pull in light. Now Steinhauer reports that his model black hole still lets out particles.
FAIL!! (emphasis mine)

The problem here is sound is compression waves propagating through a medium, and light...isn't either of those things.

So basically, he pulled an experiment out of his ass, got a result similar to a completely unrelated theory, and said "AHA! What a genius I am!"

Sorry, but he might as well have devised an apparatus whereby a goat carcass is secured to a tree (to simulate "gravity that stuff can't escape from") and if he can still smell the putrid, rotting flesh alee from the setup, declare hawking radiation is real.


Does that seem right to you?

How is it that a video game titled Final Fantasy is gearing up to release the 14th sequel.  Does that seem right to you.


Marry Me!

There is beauty in the silver singin' river, there is beauty in the sunrise in the sky
But none of these and nothing else can touch the beauty that I remember in my true love's eyes
Yes and only if my own true love was waiting, if only I could hear his heart softly pounding
Yes and only if he was lyin' by me, would I lie in my bed once again

Yes, this is a Bob Dylan song, but it really, really works gender-swapped.


Obla di Obla da

An improvement.

Bier Abbey to Reopen

Not sure I'll give them a second chance.   Once a tax cheat, always a tax cheat.

Maybe if they sold it to somebody who isn't morally bankrupt.
"We are reopening on Thursday at 3PM for business as usual. We may be a little less than 100% getting back up to speed but you should expect the same level of product and service moving forward. You will begin to see some changes over the coming months as we reinvent what we are doing. We hope you will come back and see us again soon!"


So I'm working on the questionnaires that I'll need to send on to some of our HPC focals for WTF they actually do with their stuff, and this came up in my shuffle:




All natural and technological
Processes proceed in such
a way that the availability of the
remaining energy decreases

In all energy exchanges, if no energy
enters or leaves an isolated system
the entropy of that system increases

Energy continuously flows from being
concentrated to becoming dispersed
spread out, wasted and useless

New energy cannot be
created and high-grade
energy is being destroyed

An economy based on endless
growth is unsustainable
(breaks into dubstep from there--full wubwub digital flatulence).

Anywho, this really pisses me off, because it's essentially the christian apologetic argument against evolution (and for raw, unbridled creationist horseshit):  That entropy always increases, and by rhetorically equating entropy with the colloquial understanding of disorder, attempting to prove a creator is involved because second law!

So There!

The problem with this argument, in the context of say, a planet orbiting a sun, that has life on it, is that the 2nd law of thermodynamics describes entropy increasing in a closed system!  

Earth is not a closed system.  We are being constantly bombarded with energy by some giant glowing ball in the sky.  You might have seen it once or twice in your life time.

Entropy of the entire system increases, so localized decreases are more than accounted for elsewhere, such as in the fusion process in the sun itself.

It's also why the Maxwell's Demon thought experiment is flawed. The demon must be considered part of the system, and must therefore expend energy measuring the momentum of the gas particles and manipulating the door that sorts them.

So no, the 2nd law of thermodynamics is not some trump card to automatically win a sustainability debate either.



Because why not?

Behold my mediocre photoshop (in this case GIMP) skills:

Wow, mind blown!

The New York Times has a quiz where it challenges readers to guess which sport an athlete participates while providing a picture, height and weight.

One is a man with no arms.  One of the choices is archery.  You can guess where this is going:

Never in a million years would I have imagined that somebody without arms could every fire a bow.  I'm kinda glad to be wrong.

BTW: I only got 6 right out of 16.  


Dear Internet

You deserve this:

And also (not so much asshole in this one):

Wood Wide Web

Thanks to Radiolab, I have a new (to me) scientific discovery to be excited about: The Wood Wide Web!  Yes, it's a thing!

(Seriously, listen to the Raidolab episode, it's awesome)

Basically, trees share.  That is, they use a network of underground fungus to transfer resources around.   The Atlantic describes the discovery this way.
When trees photosynthesize, they use the sun’s energy to refashion carbon dioxide and water into sugars. In this way, they assimilate the carbon from the gas into the molecules of their own leaves, trunks, and roots. To study this process, Körner’s team exposed their trees to a special blend of carbon dioxide, depleted in an isotope called carbon-13. These depleted levels acted like a label that the team could use to track the flow of carbon through the trees, from leaf to root, from tip to toe.

And beyond.

When Tamir Klein joined the team in 2012, his job was to see how much of the labeled carbon had made its way from the canopy to the roots. Sure enough, when he dug up the spruces’ roots, he found that they had low levels of carbon-13. But, to his surprise, so did the roots of surrounding trees, including other species like beech, pine, and larch. Somehow, the labelled [sic] carbon had not only moved from the canopies of the five spruces to their roots, but also across to unconnected trees.
This is really cool.  Not only is there a hidden underground "economy" that links the trees in a forest to each other, but it is also facilitated by an organism that is in an entirely different Kingdom than the trees themselves!

This is nothing like the Rush song:

Although scientists caution that it might not necessarily be the trees intending to share, still, the idea that trees are more interconnected than we first realized is very cool.
“We don’t think there is any intention of a tree to help its neighbor,” he cautions. You could equally view the exchanges as smaller trees stealing carbon from larger ones, or as the entirely incidental side effect of mycorrhiza growing on multiple trees. But whatever the slant, it’s clear that  “even a very mixed forest is much more connected than we thought,” says Klein.

Ugh, work

It's getting very busy in here (and by here I mean at work).

The global megacorporation I contract for decided to roll all of its high performance computing operations up under my team.  So now we have to set about devouring a bunch of Linux clusters, like an adenoid terrorizing Edwardian London.

If only it were so simple.  Needless to say, I hope, is that posting will be pretty light during working hours.



Watch this kid do the robot

This kid is 3!  About midway through, it goes from cute to amazing.  Watch the whole thing.

When I dance my Mama laughs.  Mama says laughing is happiness.

Fuck you Jesus!


Dating Advice for Nazis by Nazis

This is funny as hell.   Basically, and online support group for resentful omegas has announced plans to form an "army"...and also to provide dating advice.
While the local cells will be “boys only clubs, not singles meet-ups,” Anglin assures potential recruits that they will learn to “hunt and capture your own women as part of the [club’s regular] operations.”
Notwithstanding the utter misogyny of the "hunt and capture" metaphor, at least the word women was used instead of females.

And some of the advice is prescient, such as the following.
As I have said many times, I believe the concept of meeting girls who share your beliefs is idiotic, based mainly on Jewish romantic comedy films. You should instead look for normal girls, with whom you will joke around with and not talk about nazism.
Assuming, of course, that the swastika tattooed on your neck doesn't betray your intentions to seem "normal." 

So step 1 boils down to: pretend not to be a nazi.

Though I question this next bit.
The best way to meet women is to approach them in public places during the day time. And this is a lot easier to do with other guys – both for confidence reasons, and because the girls are more into it. You being part of a group marks you as higher value to a girl, instinctively. She recognizes that if she is with you, it won’t just be you protecting her, but your whole crew.
Basically, all of the people I know love being accosted by packs of strangers.  And the whole group thing seems to me to be an inept application of wolf-pack behavior to human social interactions, which makes sense, given the MRA tendency to sort people into alpha and beta buckets.

And if that's the case, why not just advise these guys to start by sniffing her asshole?



This is really fantastic.  Shows just how small we are in the grand scheme of things (though I could do without the multiverse speculation at the end, I'm not sold on the multiverse theory).

There are some objects in the scale that are new to this kind of demonstration.   For example, the dwarf planet on the far left is Ceres, which is the largest object (known so far) in the asteroid belt.

I think the International Astronomical Union reclassified Pluto as a dwarf planet, it was the right call. I understand how many people think this was a demotion of Pluto, but it was really a promotion of the other dwarf planets.   Now we get to learn about Charon, Makemake, Eris, maybe Sedna, and many as-yet-undiscovered dwarf planets, all as deserving of our attention and curiosity as Pluto.

Not to mention the extrasolar planets inserted for comparison.

Even more amazing than these new participants in the circumsolar dance, is how we manage to discover them.


PSA: What difference one letter makes




Where was I again?

Right, some pareidolia out of Hawaii.

Quite inviting isn't it?

Somehow that lead to a hunt for potato chip pareidolia, but that was mostly Jesus and Johnny Carson trolling.

Somehow I ended up with old advertising, so apropos of nothing:


Seems like using children to plug stuff they should never be left alone with was A-ok at some point.  Anywho French Seppuku Pig Approves!