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That Dentist May Have Shot a Lion, But… July 29, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
8 comments

…Obama ate a dog.

Cool. -lauraw July 28, 2015

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14 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.
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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.
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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.
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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]

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.
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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.
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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

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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.

Bugs vs. Men July 14, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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I don’t live in a city because I don’t want to live like a bug. I live in the suburbs because I can live like a human, with other humans who feel the same way. And I’ve got aspirations: the hope that someday I can move into a gated community with a mongo house and pool and live the country club lifestyle (one of many aspirations, I’ll admit, none of which are particularly close to being realized).

So the idea of HUD exporting bug-style living (high density housing) to suburban communities, and destroying local zoning laws, doesn’t have much appeal to me.

I mean, the point of living in suburbia is to live in a low traffic area with: no fighting for parking; short lines at stores; adequate property tax base for schools, fire & police; low crime; and a high regard for respecting and maintaining property. A safe, well-kept, low-stress lifestyle.

People who want to slap high density housing into that environment are just destroying the environment, not helping the refugees from the cities. Past experiments have shown that expatriates from bugville don’t fare well when dropped into suburbia – they don’t fit in, don’t understand the culture, and aren’t happy to be away from their friends and neighborhoods.

And the income disparity is a problem. I wouldn’t move to my dream gated community even if someone handed me a house there, because I don’t have the income to hang with those folk. I’d just feel uncomfortable and inadequate. That, I suspect, is the same feeling that low income people would feel when they’re dropped into middle-class suburbia.

Lastly, there’s good old “pride of ownership.” You see that phrase in real estate ads all the time, and I’ve always wondered if it really meant anything. But in this context it does seem to apply: it’s an inescapable truth that people don’t’ value things that are given to them as much as things that are earned. You can see this in public housing all over the country. Not really compatible with the “white picket fence” mentality, which implies maintenance and regular painting of that fence.

This policy is not only a federal intrusion on the rights of local government, but is rank communism as well. The feds are requiring local government to fund low-income housing for people who aren’t currently part of their communities. Basically they’re taking from those who have, and importing have-nots to receive the takings.

Exporting the bug lifestyle and forcing suburbs to pay for the ruin of their own lifestyle is the sort of evil communistic genius that didn’t exist in this country until we elected a community organizer as president.

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