The Facts We Hate

I forgot to call last night.
Did it make a difference?
Could I have saved it?
I could have tried.

I must not think bad thoughts.
When is this world coming to?

How would Delegate Hubbard or Delegate Valentino-Smith have voted?  There was no vote. HB 175 was shelved until next year.

Next year?  Next year? How many people will have their rightful inheritance taken from them in that time because they weren’t married when their partner died? How many will be turned out of emergency rooms? How many excluded from their partners’ health plans, pension plans?

I’m guilty of murder
of innocent men,
innocent women, innocent children,
thousands of ’em.

Would my call have made any difference?

I give up,
why can’t they?

I called when the Senate was voting.
It passed.
I called when the House Judiciary Committee was voting.
It passed out to the House.
I didn’t call when the House was voting.

My planes, my guns,
my money, my soldiers,
my blood on my hands.
it’s all my fault

My call, my vote. Delegate Hubbard would have voted yes. Geraldine, no. I voted for a bigot, and I forgot to call and tell her that.

I must not think bad thoughts

The Future Begins Tomorrow!

Okay, Macs Cue 2 is out; the future is here. Time to upgrade this bad boy to a more modern platform. Who knows what that’ll do to things. I’ve already lost a couple comments due to a bug in WP. Hopefully it all transfers to the new version.

Then I guess I have to come up with some stuff to say.

Update: updated.


Ooh, a blog entry about Black Swan. But I gotta write about something. Hey, spoiler warning!

So yeah, I finally saw it. And it gave me nightmares. Nightmares where I had written a script that was really dark and gritty and parallel to a classic work, but in the end was just a bunch of stuff that happened. So I guess it must have been a good movie, to affect me that much, eh?
Continue reading ‘Blackened’

Things that Matter to Those on the Rim

  • Thing the first:  It’s not the glass.  It’s never the glass.  It’s always metal.  Sharp, pointy metal.  The last flat I got, was from like a little piece of 28 gauge steel wire.  Tiny little thing; I see how it could poke you in the finger ow dammit, but all the way through a tire?  Not a road tire now, a cross tire.  If I tried to stick that through a sheet of saran wrap I’d have to work at it, and it goes all the way through my tire and tube?  Not that anything got me today, it just occurred to me as I was crunching over glittering fields of glass on my brand new Vittorias.
  • Thing the front and rear:  Is that a good brand?  Well it’s good in that it was on sale at Performance.  Which, since I bought that pair of Novara shorts at REI last month, I’ve felt a lot better about.  Performance, that is.  Their house brand shorts beat the pants right off the Novaras, for the same price.  Anyway, the Vittoria Randonneur seems like a decent mid-range cross tire.  It certainly corners better than what my bike was born with.  And I think they weigh about the same.  I like the reflecty sidewalls, and the reviews all say they’re way puncture-resistant.
  • Thing the sad:  I totally missed the very short season for the snack bar alongside the trail in that little development across from the race track in Bowie.  The snacks were just getting ripe last month, and now there’s nothing left but thorns.
  • Contextual silliness:  Why is it that, when there are people who spend their working lives actually studying the best wording for road signs, we end up with things like:
    • Yield to trail users Well that’s content-free. If you’re on the trail, you’re a trail user. So everybody yield to everybody else. And more me in the monitors.
    • No unauthorized vehicles beyond this point Yes, I knew that. Since it’s always true, everywhere.
    • Road closed Um, what?  No it’s not.  I can see houses on it, with driveways and stuff.  And there’s those stables down the bottom of the hill, next to the trail.  There’s nothing blocking traffic from the road, and it looks fully maintained.  Just a white sign on the side, Road Closed.  They used to do that in Connecticut when working on the interstates, put a big sign on the side: “Road Legally Closed:  Pass at your own risk.”  Does that actually have any legal meaning?
  • Gotta get my timin’ right: The bridges on the WB&A are slowly rising, relative to the trail. Glad I wasn’t on sewn-ups when I mistimed the jump onto the High Bridge Road bridge.  BAM! Man, if I had a million dollars, I’d buy a paving machine. Oh, wouldn’t that be fun! And all the fanciest pavement. Dijon pavement!
  • Course I should be on my way to Maine, but it was a nice ride, so no complaints.

Space Science is a Soft Science

So in honor of the return of Hayabusa, with (one hopes) a few little bits of Itokawa, how about a quiz.  Which one is cuter?

Emily Lakdawalla
Emily Lakdawalla
her crocheted Hayabusa?
her crocheted Hayabusa-kun?

— OR —

And why aren’t you reading the Planetary Society’s about blog entries about Hayabusa?

Seems to be the best place to learn about it.  I mean, here I am at the ISAS campus, and I’m still reading the blog to find out the latest.

Sadly, I’m leaving on Friday, which is when the sample capsule gets back to ISAS from Australia, where it landed.  So I get to miss most of the fun.

Some of my colleagues were locked out of their offices because there was an open house on Sunday so they went around closing all the office doors.  Which is rare enough that not everyone carries their keys around.  Apparently.

Anyway, congratulations to JAXA for Hayabusa making it back home after lots of terrible trouble.  I sure hope the capsule managed to capture some asteroid material.

Gliding Part 2

So, while we’re on the subject of unexpected but successful glides, next up is clearly Mr. Sullenberger.

Sully the magic man
Vanished some gooses
Right into the blue.

And as a finale, he
Conjured from nowhere an
Airbus canoe.

Gliding (first in a series)

Volcanic ash having been on my mind of late, I felt like I needed to do this:

City of Edinburgh.
Powerless, windowless,
Taking a dive.

But captain and crew instead
Crawled up a badger’s arse;
Landed alive!

12-bar Whine

This goes out to Brian Morton, aka Diego Natividad de la Estafa, aka Dinty the Moor.

Well I woke up this mornin’,
My lower back was in pain.
Well I woke up this mornin’,
My lower back was in pain.
I knocked my glasses off the counter,
Lost my contacts down the drain.

I went to have my breakfast,
My knees were creaking’ down the stairs.
Well I went down to have my breakfast,
My knees were creaking’ down the stairs.
I got a sunburn on top of my head
Right there in back where I used to have hair.

I did some magic at the street show,
A little dance, a little song.
I did some magic at the street show,
Juggled and danced and sang a song.
Went back home to take a nap and,
Damn kids were all over my lawn.

Well I woke up this mornin’,
A breakin’ ache all in my spine.
I woke up this mornin’,
A breakin’ ache up and down my spine.
I guess I better face it:
I got that 12-bar-blues whine.


Crap * 500 Still Equals Crap

So a while back I was debating a climate change denier friend of a friend on Facebook.  Now, when I say “debating”, it was only a hole in the ground covered by a piece of twig, but it was a debate to her.  As evidence that AGW isn’t real, she provided the following:

  • A quote from Christopher not-even-a-scientist Monckton.
  • A link to a conference sponsored by the Heartland Institute
  • A link to some guy’s blog with his thoughts about the hacked CRU emails.
  • A claim that the word “trick” is nefarious
  • A link to an unpublished paper by professional curmudgeon Richard Lindzen, in which he whines for 30 pages about how much better science was in the olden days, but no actual science.
  • Two links to blogs claiming the IPCC had admitted exaggerating effects.  (Yep, the 2035 Himalayan glaciers mistake and the not-actually-wrong-after-all 40% Amazon sensitivity.)
  • A link to a lawyer’s blog entry about the same two things above.
  • A link to a conservative physicist’s blog entry quote-mining John Houghton.
  • A link to Monckton being shredded in a debate with an actual atmospheric scientist. (that was funny)
  • A link to the standard quote-mine claiming Phil Jones says there has been no global warming since 1995, by yet another person who doesn’t understand the meaning of statistical significance.
  • A quote from Phil Jones in which he accuses McIntyre and McKitrick of getting stuff wrong.  As this was later proved to be true, it’s another funny one.
  • A claim that it was not up to her to provide actual scientific publications refuting AGW.
  • A link to another article about the two one errors in the thousand-page IPCC 4.
  • A claim that she had supplied “plenty of info”.
  • A claim that the retraction of Siddall et al (2009) actually supports her side
  • A link to a blog entry by a materials physicist claiming to falsify Vermeer and Rahmstorf (2009), but not actually published anywhere. And nothing about Pfeffer (2008), which supports Vermeer and Rahmstorf, or the fact that the retraction of Siddall et al was because their sea level rise values were too small.
  • A link to a blog discussing the Zorita letter, in which Zorita explicitly says he thinks AGW is real.
  • A list of non-climate-scientists who think the APS is too strong in its policy statement on AGW.
  • A claim that anything that can be found on is automatically wrong.
  • An assertion that I am a wanna-be engineer, and thus not to be believed.
  • A second claim that it was not up to her to provide actual scientific publications refuting AGW.
  • An assertion that the truth must be in the middle.
  • An assertion that I am an alarmist engineer, and thus not to be believed.
  • An assertion that I have no science training, and thus am not to be believed.
  • An assertion that I am a non-science person, and thus not to be believed.
  • A request to Run along now and play with your circuit board. Leave science to scientists.

And, finally, the first link to actual peer-reviewed literature!!

I was not impressed by the start, and didn’t have time to look at it much, but here I am trying to stay up late so I can sleep on the plane on my way back to my pitiful miserable little engineering life.  So let’s just see how far through that list I can get.

Continue reading ‘Crap * 500 Still Equals Crap’

United by Confusion

Oh look, email.  Let’s see what we got here…

Click here for Online Check-in for: United 9195 – April 17, 2010


Travelport View Trip is providing you direct access to the United Easy Check-In Online ® service.From here, you can check-in online for your flight quickly and easily.


EasyCheck-in: Flight status

A flight in your itinerary has been cancelled. To rebook, please contact reservations at 1-800-589-5582, see a United Representative, or use an EasyCheck-in kiosk at the airport.
Flight From To
United 947
Boeing 777
Upgraded flight

Flight cancelled
Amsterdam, Netherlands (AMS)
Apr 16
Scheduled: 12:15 PM
Estimated: 12:15 PM
Washington, DC (IAD)
Apr 16
Scheduled: 2:31 PM
Estimated: 2:31 PM
Confirmation #: ZKGJ5Y Looking for a different itinerary?

Sweet!  The new itinerary is tied to the old itinerary, what’s been canceled.  But hey, at least I got the automated message that the new flight is ready for online checkin!  So, thanks for that.

Not that either Schiphol or Frankfurt are likely to be open tomorrow anyway.