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Nothing New Under the Sun February 16, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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I had made a lot of progress developing a turbo encabulator, but then found out it had already been invented nearly 40 years ago:

Great article on the backstory of the turbo encabulator at ComputerWorld.

The Bomb and Heavy Water February 15, 2016

Posted by skinbad in Heroes, History.
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Since I have the day off, I’ll assuage a little guilt and post something. My wife had a new book related to her job with some of the yutes at the local school and started reading it to me as we drove about doing the family errands a few weeks ago. It seems to be aimed at young adults, and is on the history of the creation of the atomic bomb. This is it (centered appropriately):

Product Details

Oppenheimer is kind of the hero of the book and I learned quite a bit about him. The scientific explanations are also pretty good (IMHO). So, I recommend it as a fast read. BUT, the story that jumped out to me that I had never heard of was the fight over the control of a heavy water production plant in Norway. The Germans wanted the heavy water as they were in a race with the U.S. for the atomic bomb. The allies were determined that they not get it. It’s an amazing story of bravery and sacrifice. As my wife and I were looking for something to watch on Netflix last night, what did we come across, but this:


It’s a six-part miniseries done by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. We watched the first couple of episodes and it’s well done. Whether you read about it or watch it, it’s a story worth knowing.

At Last! The Fifth Element is Here!! February 15, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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Fans of Fifth Element have no trouble recalling the machine that reconstructs Leeloo from a single live cell (though the thermal bandages are probably even more memorable). Well, less than 20 years later, it looks like that technology is being born:

Researchers at Wake Forest University in North Carolina say they have created a 3D printer that can produce organs, tissues, and bones that could theoretically be implanted into living humans. The group’s work was published in the scientific journal Nature Biotechnology today.

According to the paper, the researchers’ printer acts much like most 3D printers do, using a computer-controlled nozzle to extrude layers of materials in a very precise pattern. The layers eventually harden to produce whatever you’re trying to print. But unlike with most printers, which put down layers of molten plastic or metal, Wake Forest’s printer lays down what are called hydrogels—water-based solutions containing human cells. The university’s printer has multiple nozzles, some extruding hydrogels, others biodegradable materials that are used to give the tissue it’s printing structure and strength. When the supporting materials dissolve and tissue finishes incubating in the machine, it could be potentially implanted into a person.

The new millenium is really starting to rock.

A Tutorial on Running Garb February 14, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.

Doing it wrong:

Men wearing high heeled shoes

A shot of participants in a Guinness World Record attempt at “Most Runners in High Heels.” (Melbourne, Australia) From The Telegraph.

Doing it right:

Contestants wearing their underwear take part in Cupids Undie Run in Melbourne, Australia
A shot of contestants in the Cupid’s Undie Run (Melbourne, Australia). From The Telegraph.

Aaaannnddd It’s Official February 13, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.

We’re in Cold War II:

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said his country is in a new Cold War with the U.S. and its allies, underscoring the tenuous level of trust that’s putting a day-old plan for a truce in Syria at risk.

I guess when Hillary presses a “Restart” button, she really bears down.

Nuts and Bolts February 13, 2016

Posted by Retired Geezer in Economics, Love.

Mrs. Peel can probably Womansplain this to us.


A Brief Review of Deadpool February 12, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.

Very vulgar and very funny. Hard to hear some of the lines (particularly in the first third of the movie), so I’m going to have to buy the Blu-Ray to watch it again with subtitles. It was that funny. Archer funny.

Good action and, well, really funny.

Priorities February 12, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.

Presented w/o comment:


What a Difference a Day Makes February 11, 2016

Posted by Retired Geezer in Family, Music.

An amazing performance by an eight-year-old girl.

The White House’s FY2017 Budget: Deficits February 11, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.

Yesterday we saw that the government spending was going to increase to over 22% of GDP and seemed to be continuing upward. You might well ask what that bodes for deficits. Well, it turns out that the White House is not projecting a significant increase in deficits – only about 2.5% in the future:


The only way this can be true is if they’re projecting a lot of revenue, which they are:


The White House’s FY2017 Budget: Outlays February 10, 2016

Posted by geoff in News.
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You’ve probably heard that the president’s spending budget for FY2017 is a record-setting $4.1 trillion. But the number itself doesn’t tell you much – you need to compare it to the GDP for it to be meaningful. And of course looking at the number for one year doesn’t give you any context.

What you need, my friend, is a chart:


Yes, the Obama administration is happily projecting expenditures that, with the exceptions of the Great Recession and WWII, are among the highest we’ve ever seen. And they don’t seem to be temporary like the previous high points – it looks like they’re here to stay.

[Over the next few days I’ll be posting on some of the other aspects of the budget.]

A Philosophical Defense of the Right to Bear Arms February 8, 2016

Posted by Sobek in News.

I present to you an essay that I started formulating in my head as I read about a Danish teenager who is being fined by her government for fighting off a rapist.  This is an essay in six parts, entitled, “A Philosophical Defense of the Right to Bear Arms.”