September 26, 2006

I Am Become Cyclist

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:56 pm by Ian

I can hardly believe this has happened, but I’m becoming one of them.

The Bicycle Geeks.

You see them out there in the early morning, those electrolytically-charged exotic materially-equipped spandex-hugged welterweights of aerobic exercise. They stick those little dentists mirrors on their helmets. They wear clothing (if you can call it that) emblazoned with vibrant advertisements. They have special shoes because god forbid you simply rest your feet on the pedals. You must become the bike.

And I’m now one of them.

For shame.

At least I haven’t started watching the Tour de France.

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September 22, 2006

Unswingingest State Ever

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:32 pm by Ian

I’m going to be in Bismarck, ND next weekend, and, while I expect there will be family-oriented activities that will take up my time, I decided to look up local dance venues on the off chance that I have an evening (or late night free).

I can’t find any.

I found a page for the NDSU dance club in Fargo, that has dances every few weeks. I found this rather depressing page listing some dance classes in Bismarck. All but one of which require a partner. Who requires a parter anymore?

Like I said, I probably won’t time to go anyway, but this just baffles me. Bismarck has a metro population 90K+. That’s plenty enough to have a weekly dance somewhere.

September 21, 2006

Comics That Always Make Me Smile

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:34 pm by Ian

This one.

Also this one.

September 20, 2006

In Continuation of a Theme

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:52 am by Ian

The itsy-bitsy spider climbed up the shower stall.
On came the spray and washed him down the wall.
Swirling, the runoff spiraled down the drain.
The itsy-bitsy spider will never climb again.

September 19, 2006

A 3Mfestation

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:17 pm by Ian

It appears that, in the absense of their normal diet (houses), termites are drawn to Post-It notes. At least, the ones in my office are.

We have termites in our office. Most of the time they are nicely inconspicuous, staying at home and gradually weakening the building by turning the various wooden bits into sawdust, but every six months or so, they get the Urge to Roam™ and we find them wandering around our offices. And within a few days, the building maintanence guys come around and spray some serious chemicals on them, and they go back to the slow but important task of making more sawdust (also, more termites).

Last year, Mike and I spent about an hour one afternoon watching an epic battle between a half-dozen termites and a group of ants. It was awesome, in that morbid Discovery Channel way, to see how the two hive minds worked against each other. Not very well, in the case of the termites. While the ants were busy running formations and sending primitive communiques, the termites just bumbled around. The only hint of intelligence displayed was the justifiable actions taken when one of them bumbled into some ants, at which point the ants held a hasty ad hoc meeting, elected officers, and dispatched an agent to report back to the hive, while the termite conveyed the following emotion via erratic body language: “Oh Shit!” It continued in this way until the ants called in a coordinated pincer attack with air support.

So far today, three lone termites have been wandering around my office. I saw them up on the ceiling or over on the wall. Every one of them has found its way onto the pad of Post-Its I keep on my desk. Granted, Post-Its are probably more tasty than the average circuit board I have lying around my office, but this still represents an incredibly poor choice of destination. Because all I have to do is fold the top Post-It over on itself, crushing the termite, and dispose of it in the trash. No fuss, no muss.

September 17, 2006

A Shirt of a Different Phrase

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:21 am by Ian

I recently bought this Tshirt and wore it out dancing. But I decided that, whenever someone asked me what it said, rather than tell them what it actually was, I’d just make something up. A few of the things I claimed it said (in arabic, except for the one where I claimed it was elvish):

  • Pizza delivered in 30 minutes, or a free jihad
  • Istanbul not Constantinople
  • I didn’t vote for him
  • Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down.
  • Send butter, not guns
  • I swear, it’s just gatorade!
  • Elvish for “I am a geek”

September 13, 2006

Next Up: Cashews Over Easy

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:30 pm by Ian

Did you know you can boil peanuts?

I mean, obviously, you can. What I’ve only recently discovered is that, after you do, if you eat them, they taste good. I haven’t actually done this. But one of my coworkers, who brought some in today, claims that it’s quite easy. They just have the peanuts right there in the store, and if you offer money, they’ll sell them to you, no questions asked.

September 12, 2006

A Proportionate Response

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:39 am by Ian

For the benefit of those who aren’t on the HMC community-l email list, the following was just posted

Fellow responsible citizens,

As we commemorate the fifth anniversary of September the 11th, 2001,
the day that changed history forever, I think it is fitting that we
ask ourselves a few questions about that day, to remind ourselves what
exactly we are commemorating as 9/11/2006 draws to a close.

First of all, let’s ask the most fundamental question: Why? At the
most basic level, why did the World Trade Center towers fall on
September 11th, 2001? The Bush administration and the mainstream media
would like you to believe it was the airplanes–you know, a pointy
aluminum object loaded with jet fuel smashes into a building, fire
melts the steel, it soon collapses perfectly into its own
footprint–it seems perfectly natural to the average American.
However, a closer look reveals several inconsistencies in the
“official story”: [1]

1) The massive 44- to 47-column steel cores [2] completely
disintegrated as the towers fell, providing no resistance to the
falling upper floors [1], even though they were easily able to support
the towers with 600% redundancy [3].
2) The concrete was completely pulverized into fine dust, which
requires a great deal of energy [4].
3) The dust clouds quickly expanded to many times the volumes of the
buildings, at speeds people could not outrun, which requires an even
greater amount of explosive energy [5].
4) Demolition squibs (plumes of smoke) are seen being ejected from
floors below the crash regions, even before the tops of the towers
began to fall [6].
5) The towers fell at near free-fall speeds, even though in a
gravity-driven collapse they would have had to crush all the floors
below them as well as shatter the steel core [7].
6) As indicated by the black smoke and lack of red-hot steel or broken
windows, the fires did not burn hot enough even to weaken, much less
to melt the steel core and perimeter columns [8].
7) A third building, WTC7, also collapsed perfectly into its own
footprint, supposedly because of fires in the top floor, although such
fires could not be expected to cause a complete collapse, let alone a
precise vertical one [9].

Even more interestingly, World Trade Center buildings 1, 2, and 7 are
the only high-rise buildings ever to undergo total progressive
collapse and disintegration. Other skyscraper fires, such as the much
longer and hotter Windsor Building fire in Madrid in 2005, caused only
a small partial collapse, leaving almost all of the steel frame
standing [10]. In other collapses, such as those caused by
earthquakes, buildings tip over and remain largely intact, rather than
collapsing into their own footprints, and even progressive collapses
leave the pancaked floors clearly visible rather than disintegrated
[11].

So if it wasn’t fires or structural damage, why *did* the towers
collapse so precisely, completely, and quickly? In every collapse
except the World Trade Center, “only controlled demolitions have
caused such buildings to fall vertically into their footprints” [11].
Could it not be possible that the twin towers collapsed for a reason
other than the planes or the fires? Perhaps, as it seems, the twin
towers’ “collapses” were not an exception, but in fact were really
controlled demolitions?

Surprisingly, this is not as far-fetched as it sounds. Apparently,
explosives are normally planted in very tall skyscrapers during
construction to help demolish them when they become too old or
structurally unsound [12]. Indeed, the cleanly-cut steel fragments
make a convincing case for thermite or the plastic explosive C4, as
they could have been placed inside the steel core columns to create
the necessary explosive effect. In fact, a mysterious powder was
placed in the columns by the government during the towers’
construction, and this could well have been thermite or C4. Completely
encasing these explosives in concrete most likely extended their shelf
lives long enough to keep them effective until their detonation 30
years after the towers were built. [13] Also note that neither
explosive would have been accidentally detonated by the fires, because
thermite ignites at 1200 degrees C [14], much hotter than the under
600 degrees C fires [8], while C4 needs a special detonator and will
not detonate even if it is lit on fire [13], thus allowing the
explosives to be detonated later in an exact sequence. In any case,
explosive demolition of the towers would explain many of the
inconsistencies in the official story, especially the sudden
disintegration of the steel core.

Ultimately, tall, rigid towers collapsing into their own footprints is
just plain strange. In New York, there is a 9/11 mural painted by
children on a church wall. It shows a World Trade Center tower that
has fallen on its side and burst into flame, with the words “We never
gave up our power.” Needless to say, these children’s version of the
9/11 collapses is quite different than the vertical collapse and few
visible flames that actually occurred. Nevertheless, if even children
find the official story unrealistic, shouldn’t we question the logic
of what the Bush administration and the mainstream media tell us? Let
us hope that, like these children, we, too will never give up our
power to think and ask questions about September 11th, 2001.

–Aaron Marcuse-Kubitza

P.S. If you would like more information about the 9/11 collapses, I
have created a webpage at listing all the
9/11 sites I have visited.
Also, if you know anyone who would be interested in this e-mail,
please feel free to forward it to them and spread the word.

Sources:

[1] http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/analysis/collapses/index.html
[2] http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/arch/core.html
[3] http://physics911.net/reynolds.htm
[4] http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/analysis/collapses/concrete.html
[5] http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/analysis/collapses/dust.html
[6] http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/analysis/collapses/squibs.html
[7] http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/analysis/collapses/freefall.html
[8] http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/analysis/fires/severity.html
[9] http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/analysis/wtc7/index.html
[10] http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/analysis/compare/fires.html
[11] http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/analysis/compare/collapses.html
[12] http://www.rense.com/general48/chargesplacedinWTC.htm
[13] http://algoxy.com/psych/9-11scenario.html
[14] http://users.tkk.fi/~andres/m44/m44bombs.htm

My response

Actually, it’s far worse than you think.

That mysterious powder the government placed into the towers during
construction was nothing so prosaic as thermite or C4; it was magical
moon dust (from the dark side), harvested during the 70s, and put into
all high-profile buildings to keep the vampiric Saturnians and the
Extrasolar Alliance at bay. Normally, the magic moon dust is just mixed
into the concrete, but since the WTC was already under construction for
the first moon landing in 1969, they had to sprinkle it in. Or bring it
in drums or something.

Now, I know what you’re going to say: We didn’t land on the moon in
1969! That was all faked on a Hollywood sound stage. That’s what they
*want* you to think. And, as usual, in each deception, there is a grain
of truth. Of course the Apollo missions were faked. That evidence is
clear. But what most people don’t know is that a joint US-Cuba mission
to Mars was planned in the early 60s. The Cuban missile crisis was
actually a cover story concocted when photographs of the launch vehicles
for the first wave of astronauticos were leaked. At the time, it was
foolishly believed that the Martians, because of their fascination with
Latin rhythm, would be more open to Cuban diplomats. This also explains
the high-altitude Samba tests that the government conducted in ’58. Once
it was discovered that the Martians had three legs, the tenuous
relationship between the US and Cuba dissolved, and the US was forced to
go it alone in the space race. Lacking the more equatorially located
launch site, we pulled our horizons back to the moon.

And it’s a good thing we did. Because no sooner was the first Lunar
Military base established than we faced an onslaught from Saturn. The
vampires live on the rings of Saturn, which are not made of gas and dust
as you may have been led to believe, but out of crystallized marshmallow
peeps, held in a matrix of evil. Serendipitously, we discovered that the
Saturnians are repelled by moon dust taken from craters that look like
smiley faces.

Moon dust in hand, the government quickly set about securing buildings
in the US. For the most part, these covert teams were successful, but
occasionally they were discovered. The Watergate scandal was one such
casualty. Rather than expose the American people to the horrible truth,
Nixon resigned in disgrace.

Jumping forward a few decades, the supply of moon dust has all but dried
up. Even worse, the rest of the nations of the world are finally awaking
to the fact that their unreasonably high rates of exsanguination
killings during certain phases of the moon are more than just a
coincidence (Fact: More people in France are killed by being drained of
their blood every day than I can fit in my car, including the trunk).
With the incredible flakiness of the space shuttle, it looks like we
won’t be going back to the Moon soon. Even the continual support of our
early warning outpost (the ISS) is in jeopardy. Luckily, in the wake of
the September 11th attacks, and after we’d seen ample evidence of
smiley-face craters there, President Bush made a mission to Mars one of
our highest priorities.

We do know that moon dust is not the only way to repel the Extrasolar
Alliance’s mind-control rays. Wrapping buildings (or individuals) in
aluminum foil is also effective, and the “installation artist” Christo
has achieved reasonable success with large ribbons. But these are merely
buying us time.

Ian

September 7, 2006

At Long Last

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:57 pm by Ian

I have discovered the movie with the single stupidest premise known to mankind. Someday I will be known as the Magellan of Theatrical Logical Inconsistencies. In fact, you’re welcome to start calling me that now, in anticipation. Then you’ll be able to say you were ahead of the wave.

The movie in question is Open Water 2.

The premise is that a bunch of people are out sailing, go for a swim, and then find that they can’t get back into the boat because they forgot to put the ladder down. Then they all turn on each other until they drown, or something.

From the imdb summary and watching the trailers, this strikes me as so totally stupid, I can only begin to list the reasons why.

  • It’s a sailboat, which means that, with no one in the boat, it’s got to be anchored, right, or it’d drift away. So they could climb the anchor line. Actually, it looks like the boat wasn’t anchored. Nor was the sail taken down. So, in reality, climbing the boat would be somewhere on the list of priorities below “catching the boat.”
  • There are, like, six of them, all athletic, and the preview shows that the deck of the boat is only maybe 5 or 6 feet above the water line. It even shows them making desperate grabs and coming up a foot or two short. C’mon, people. Just get the 4 buff guys to boost one of the 110 lb women up to the deck.
  • They all have swimsuits on. Even with the whispy things that the women are wearing, they could tie them together, throw the line across the bow, and climb up that.

Now, I haven’t actually seen the movie, so it’s possible it’s not quite as dumb as it sounds. Like, maybe, right before they jumped in, they were all huffing paint, which would explain their brutally moronic inability to figure out how to climb something five feet high.

September 5, 2006

Are You Worried About Stuff?

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:18 pm by Ian

I was walking downtown with Evan and Rebecca yesterday, and we passed by the Church of Scientology and laughed at the, well, at the whole idea of it. Every once in a while I think about going in for a free “stress test”, just to see what the whole thing is. But I don’t.

Those people scare me.

But, in this particular case, I couldn’t help but notice that the sign was a little overly inclusive.

Are you depressed?
Do you feel stressed?
Are you uncomfortable in social situations?
Do things keep happening to you?

I turned to Evan: “You know, maybe I should go in there. Things happen to me all the time. I had three things happen to me just yesterday.”
Evan agreed: “Things?! Man, don’t tell me about things. There are so many things happening to me, I don’t even know what to do. But, look here. We can get a ‘thorough deep reading’ and it only takes 20 minutes.”
“But will it stop the things from happening?”
“It better. If one more thing happens to me, I might just snap.”
“And that’d be a thing, too.”

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