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Keep on Truckin’ July 29, 2015

Posted by skinbad in Humor, Technology.
1 comment so far

Not intending to stomp on the rare Humpy sighting below, but I crossed paths with something humorous today and, what can I say besides, GIVER.

The long and winding road goes something like this: I browsed through a recent Popular Mechanics magazine at lunch and flipped to their print version of click bait on how to buy a used car the right way. I always have to look at those. Just like I always have to take a quick look at the “Satisfy Your Woman Every Time” articles. Just to cover my bases, you understand. Sobek? Don’t rush to subscribe to Popular Mechanics. Those articles are in other magazines–and they really don’t help. A friend told me so.

So anyway, one of the short, accompanying car articles was on great, overlooked, used cars. One that caught my eye was the mid-90s F-250s with the 7.3 liter diesel engine.  I like the looks of those quite a bit and they are manly machines. I believe a certain gentleman farmer/sprinkler ninja in Idaho was an F-250 man. My F-150 is from the same era and, though it’s been a good truck, I’ve always been underwhelmed with it’s pulling and passing abilities. They said you could find the big diesels in the $6,000 range so I got on a local auto classified site to see what was out there*.

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Cool. -lauraw July 28, 2015

Posted by anycomments in News.
6 comments

You guys probably already saw this, it’s a couple years old. But new to me. Hat tip to Scott:

Priorities July 27, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
3 comments

The little girl in front has a great future ahead of her at Planned Parenthood:

I Discovered a New Shape July 25, 2015

Posted by Sobek in News.
5 comments

Well, it’s new to me, anyway.

I was working through some trigonometry problems, and there were a whole bunch that boiled down to “you have a seven-sided polygon, each side is x cm, find the area of the polygon.”  I didn’t do very many of those problems before I decided to make a short cut and just work out a formula:

A=(n [d/2]^2)/tan (180/n)

Where n is the number of sides, and d is the length of one side.

Figuring out that formula saved me some time, but as far as I know isn’t super useful.

At one point, I wondered what would happen if I did some weird stuff with the formula. Like what’s the area of a polygon with two sides? That produces a zero in the denominator, so it’s undefined. That makes sense. But what about a polygon with 1.9 sides?  That actually does produce an answer, and so does 1.8. If you set the side length to some constant (I picked 2 so the calculations would be easier), you end up with a dampened tangent/cotangent curve. Even more interesting is that you get holes in the curve at regular intervals.

After all that, I don’t know how to draw a regular polygon with 1.9 sides, but I can tell you how much area it has.

Japanese Role Playing Games, Generic Style July 25, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
1 comment so far

If you’re like me, and you own pretty much every Final Fantasy RPG, as well as a bunch of Dragon Quests and other random Japanese RPG titles, this should be familiar to you:

If you’re not like me, then simply subscribe to my correspondence course, “15 Days to Being geoff,” and you’ll acquire all my vices with no money down.

[H/T: digg.com]

Pooping Cyclist Causes Fire July 23, 2015

Posted by Retired Geezer in Crime, Gardening.
4 comments

Wait, what?

Yep… he tried to burn his toilet paper, you know, for The Environment, and set the hillside on fire.

BOISE — Bureau of Land Management officials say a cyclist who couldn’t hold it is responsible for starting a fire that scorched more than 73 acres in the Boise foothills.

According to BLM spokeswoman Carrie Bilbao, a man was cycling in the foothills when he stopped to defecate in a ravine. Afterwards, the man tried to get rid of the waste by lighting his toilet paper on fire. The man apparently tried to bury the burning waste to extinguish it, but an ember spread to nearby dry grass.

“I guess when you gotta go, you gotta go,” Bilbao said.

Well, at least he owned up to the deed.

Bilbao said the man came forward and told the BLM he might be responsible for the blaze. The man’s story matched “evidence” found at the scene, according to investigators.

Protip: Don’t be burning toilet paper in dry grass on a hot day.

http://www.ktvb.com/story/news/local/2015/07/23/blm-pooping-cyclist-started-foothills-fire/30584071/

Hours of Home Entertainment July 20, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
9 comments

What do you do when you’re at home, all alone with your iPhone, with nothing on the tube?

Well, if you’re an IB dude, you hook yourself up with one of these bad boys:

With iSperm, sperm analysis is easier than ever. Integrated with iPad mini, an optimized optical lens allows for microscopic examination with outstanding optical resolution. Observe and analyze sperm quality. Evaluate sperm concentration and motility automatically with the free App.

I guess it’s true that there’s always an app for that, no matter what “that” is.

Hunh. I always thought they'd have little capes.

Hunh. I always thought they’d have little capes.

About That Obama Recovery July 20, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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Here’s what the St. Louis Fed provides as the real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) median household income for 2003-2013:

RealMedianHouseholdIncome

Recovery? Not so much.

But this graph has an eerie resemblance to my super-duper, vastly-improved-over-the-BLS-U3-number, employment metric:

FullTimeEmpvsCivPopJul2015

Mine goes for another 2 years past the Fed’s database, but the 2 charts seem pretty well matched through 2013.

So if you’re wondering why things seem to be so tough when we’re supposedly recovering, look no further.

Flying Over Pluto July 17, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
8 comments

Ace often asks, “Is this something?” Well, this animation of the surface of Pluto is something.

Amid the constant drum of our disasters, foreign and domestic, this sort of achievement seems all the more miraculous.

The World According to Pao July 16, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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From Ace yet again, concerning the Ellen Pao implosion at Reddit. Ellen had this to say:

Fully 40 percent of online users have experienced bullying, harassment and intimidation, according to Pew Research. Some 70 percent of users between age 18 and 24 say they’ve been the target of harassers. Not surprisingly, women and minorities have it worst. We were naive in our initial expectations for the Internet, an early Internet pioneer told me recently. We focused on the huge opportunity for positive interaction and information sharing. We did not understand how people could use it to harm others.

Jiminy. Seems like most of us realized that the Internet could be a brutal place when blogs first came into being. I’m pretty sure, reading some of the alt. Usenet threads that preceded blogging, that trolling and online abuse have been with us since the early 80’s.

So Ms. Pao is a little slow and quite a bit more tender than the rest of us.

But I’d like to focus on the standard “women and minorities have it worst” complaint. I looked up the Pew poll to see what it really said, and it said nothing about minorities. Here’s what it said about the comparison between men and women:

PI_2014.10.22__online-harassment-03

Yep, women have it worse when it comes to stalkers and being sexually harrassed, but men experience more abuse in every other category, including threats of physical violence.

Ellen Pao offers us a very distorted view of the Pew poll, suggesting that the rest of her self-flattering story is equally distorted.

Trying to Salvage the Recorder With Some Beatbox July 16, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
1 comment so far

Unfortunately nothing can stop the recorder from being one of history’s most annoying musical instruments.

Maybe Shooting Hilary Into Space Ain’t Such a Bad Idea July 16, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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From Ace:

Clinton says she wanted to be an astronaut as a teen & wrote to NASA, which wrote back and said “thank you v much we’re not taking girls.”

Either she’s lying, or she doesn’t have the stick-to-itiveness of these other US astronauts, all of whom were born in the 40’s:

  • Shannon Lucid, b. January 14, 1943
  • Millie Hughes Fulford, b. December 21, 1945
  • Mary L. Cleave, b. January 26, 1947
  • —- Insert Hilary Here, b. October 26, 1947 —-
  • Margaret Rea Seddon, b. November 6, 1947
  • Bonnie J. Dunbar, b. March 3, 1949
  • Judith Resnick, b. April 5, 1949
  • Anna Lee Fisher, b. August 24, 1949

I doubt NASA wrote that letter, but even if they did, a lot of women managed to succeed where Hilary simply gave up.

Whining instead of doing. That pretty much captures the essence of Hilary’s career.

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