Blog Ratings

Online Dating

For any regular readers, I think you'll find this rating somewhat suspect. That said, it is a neat little tool. Thanks, theGameIAm.

Witty, no?
This witty little number is a real ad.
Thanks go out to Mental Floss.


Today's ACTUAL New York Post Cover.
God Bless America.


Space Diving - This is not a joke, it's just in the fledgling stages.

I know most of you don't read PopSci any more. I must admit it is a little intimidating living in a community where SciAm is the bottom end of the intellectual spectrum -- well, that and the general level of humor.

Ahem, on to space diving. This borrows from NASA's original high altitude testing system: A space diver sits in a hot air balloon, travels miles into and, eventually, beyond the air, to 120,000 ft. (3x the average operating height of transatlantic flight). Then...you jump.

[To be fair, at this altitude the oxygen needed for rational thought is long gone and, besides, when you have to worry about the heat shield on reentry of your person you aren't "jumping" so much as moving toward an abstraction below you commonly referred to as the "Earth"]

But wait thrill seekers. This is a practical invention. I know, I sniggered too; but the inventors are touting this as the solution to shuttle orbit escape problems. And for you space tourists looking to climb aboard the EADS space jet...you too could get a (ugh) crash course in the use of these nifty little suits.

"Ladies and Gentlemen. FAA [ESA for the initiated] regulations prohibit tampering, disabling, or destroying essential life support systems. Please keep your seatbelt on at all times while we still within the grasp of earth's gravity. And, in the event of imminent death, your seat cushion can be used to stifle your sobs and cries for help. Thank you, and have a pleasant launch."


This cheeky li'l runabout is H.M.'s answer to the Talibani insurgency. We are sending a transformers promo with a name bearing the same linguistic antecedent as "Supafly." For those keeping up your netflix list, add such "brownsploitation" hits as 'IED Because You ED.'


The Little Cayman Beach Resort
This is my idea of fun.

And, yes, it looks exactly like that.
This, however, is not:

These are actually beautiful creatures. A 5'-er hung out under the boat for a few dives and it was magical. Just floating there eyeing us and scanning for lunch. Of course, a 4.5'-er hunting in the shallows of the lagoon while were snorkeling--that was a different story. Out we go -- call me a wus and we'll just have to toss you in the lagoon and see what you do.


Artificial Pinky. (Follow link for the video).

It appears that little biofeedback is needed. Rather, the mechanical contraption figures out the appropriate curl of the finger based on the angle of the remaining stub -- of course, as in all things, you have to keep your stub.


TMJ - Temporomandibular Joint

Turns out we all have "TMJ." If you don't, you are missing something resembling the bottom half of your face -- a subject we will not take up here.

If you have what is commonly-known as "TMJ," you (like me as of this moment) suffer from a strain, inflammation, and consequent misalignment of that joint. How can you get this? I got it from a car accident and made it worse through basketball. The general answer, however, is: anything. You can do just about anything that causes trauma to the jaw and get it.

The solution: same as for a strained muscle. Rest, ice, and anti-inflammatories. Here we go...


Finally, something that actually looks like the next big thing.

Wireless gadget charging.
This might not be the sexiest thing in the world, but that inventions with the greatest impact rarely are. I think being able to replace your chargers with a simple contact pad is genius. Imagine contact pad outlets, contact pad power for laptops, and so on. No more tripping on cords, no more plugging things in.

It ain't world hunger, but then again, neither is/was the iPhone.


Optimash Prime
What buttered way to celebrate the mashed hit of the year?
Tuber continued...



"So you think NPR has a slant?"

As an NPR junkie, I take more than my share of flak regarding that outfit's editorial position on Israel. First, let me say that NPR news is a small portion of public programming and, incidentally, not the best portion. I listen mostly by podcast (If you see me with my Shuffle on, you're watching a man enraptured by the dulcet tones of Peter Segal rather than the din of Anthrax), which means I'm getting feature programs on science, human interest, etc. that NPR is so good at. Some of the best are "This American Life", "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me...", and "Car Talk."

But I digress. More than NPR, the NYT, and the Berkeley Birkenstock-Ledger combined, the UK media (both liberal and conservative -- I am looking at you The Economist) has a decidedly contra-Israeli stance. Apparently, having long been the oppressors themselves, they are quick to see the same quality in others.

Enter this morning's Times of London Editorial Page, crying out against an academic boycott of Israeli institutions. Why? Because those institutions are bastions of liberal thinking, as they are in most countries. Sure, this is a small move. But it is also a reminder that Europe is not intransigent in its criticism of Israel. A little more humanitarian aid; a little more talk of peace; and the tides of public opinion may turn again.


This is too stupid to pass up
. Up next, jew-fessional. You sit in a booth and your mother makes derisive comments, but you are immediately absolved of guilt.


"Genius Proofing"

The art of creating a product or process that cannot be ruined by overthinking. I have many times proceeded without the directions figuring I knew what I was doing -- only to waste time for having missed a nuance.

Put anecdotally, this is the thinking that stops NASA from spending several hundred thousand developing a zero gravity pen and forces it to use a pencil.

And...a stupid pun: This would be "Occam Soc'em Robots"