athelind: (coyote durp durp durp)
... "sick mind" as in "staying home sick today with weird sinus-related wooziness", which is leaving my brain making strange, dissociated, random observations.

And I get to share!

Have you ever noticed that people who vehemently insist that the new century/millennium began in 2001, and you're an illiterate idiot if you suggest that any other opinion might possibly be valid, will still refer to a movie made in 1980 as an "Eighties Movie"?


athelind: (ufo)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

Do you believe in UFOs? Do you have a gut dis/belief or do you rely on empirical proof?

Cheese and rice, who vets these questions these days? Here's another one packed with vague terminology and unwarranted assumptions.

Granted, these are common assumptions, but no less unwarranted, and no less inane.

First and Foremost: UFOs are not a matter of belief or disbelief. I have no doubt whatsoever that there are Flying Objects that have not been Identified, and I suspect that there are those that will flatly deny Identification in the foreseeable future.

Second: the Little Gray Man that accompanies the question on the LJ Home Page carries the implication that "believing in UFOs" conflates to "believing in the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis". In short, it assumes an implicit Identification of the "Unidentified".

"I don't know what it is, so it must be a space alien" is only one possible explanation of Strange Lights In The Sky That Defy Conventional Explanation, and it's not even the most exotic.

And let's not even get into whether you can use "empirical evidence" to prove a negative, since it's entirely unclear as to what is being "proved" or "disproved" here.


athelind: (Warning: Existential Threat)
A rooster starts laying eggs, and not one person, either in the main body of the article or in the comments, even mentions the potential for a catastrophic biohazard.

Alas, the comments are closed on the original article, so it falls to Your Obedient Serpent to spread the alarm!


athelind: (AAAAAA)
I'm not in the mood to watch TV, not in the mood to mess around on the computer, and it's too danged early to go to bed.

The box of "Feed Your Head" books hold no appeal, nor do the Lankhmar books that I put in the same box. Of course, the rest of my fiction is all tucked away in [livejournal.com profile] quelonzia's garage, awaiting the purchase of satisfactory bookshelves.

I finished the last of China MiƩville's "Bas Lag" trilogy last week, and dropped it off at the Santa Clara library. I think I need to cruise back by there and pick up a Stack of Random, just to have something to occupy my brain in these late hours.


athelind: (Default)
I'm not in the mood to watch TV, not in the mood to mess around on the computer, and it's too danged early to go to bed.

The box of "Feed Your Head" books hold no appeal, nor do the Lankhmar books that I put in the same box. Of course, the rest of my fiction is all tucked away in [livejournal.com profile] quelonzia's garage, awaiting the purchase of satisfactory bookshelves.

I finished the last of China MiƩville's "Bas Lag" trilogy last week, and dropped it off at the Santa Clara library. I think I need to cruise back by there and pick up a Stack of Random, just to have something to occupy my brain in these late hours.


athelind: (coyote laughs)

Yet Another Power Failure Knocks Out The Large Hadron Collider!



This makes me a little nervous; I'd joked earlier that the last few LHC glitches coincided with the escalating assaults on my late, lamented Grape.

I have a NEW car now, dagnabbit!


athelind: (Default)

Yet Another Power Failure Knocks Out The Large Hadron Collider!



This makes me a little nervous; I'd joked earlier that the last few LHC glitches coincided with the escalating assaults on my late, lamented Grape.

I have a NEW car now, dagnabbit!


athelind: (Default)
Everything's better with Moar Dragons:

At a flea market months ago, a dragon toilet paper holder. on Twitpic


Found by [livejournal.com profile] andreal
athelind: (Default)
Everything's better with Moar Dragons:

At a flea market months ago, a dragon toilet paper holder. on Twitpic


Found by [livejournal.com profile] andreal
athelind: (Warning: Chaotic System)
A couple of years back, I made a few posts about Louis Michard's Atmospheric Vortex Engine, a plan to use the waste heat from nuclear power plants and other industrial heat sources to produce artificial tornadoes and harness them for energy.

(I'm sorry. That's just so over-the-top that I can't type it without italics.)

Today, I found an article on Inhabitat from about the same time period. It's the only one that points out the possible flaw in this system that pushes it into True Mad Science territory:

A 200-meter wide tornado might just have enough power to start absorbing heat from the surrounding area all by itself (something which would be a problem if one is hoping to keep it contained, as once the tornado achieves enough energy, there would be very little to stop it from escaping, so says Nilton Renno a professor at the department of atmospheric, ocean and spaces sciences at the University of Michigan).


And remember, the optimal place for an AVE is right next to a nuclear reactor.

Wheeeeeeee!

The hallmark of the best mad science is when making a disaster movie about it becomes redundant, because the whole thing plays out in everyone's mind as soon as they hear about it:

Dr. Renno: "You've got to stop this project! My calculations indicate that the vortex could become self-sustaining and break free of its confinement!"

Dr. Michard: "Nonsense! You're just one man flying in the face of progress! Increase the power!!"

(Indicator lights rise on the status board. Howling winds increase outside. The technicians spout technobabble. And then... red lights flash and klaxons sound.)


athelind: (Default)
A couple of years back, I made a few posts about Louis Michard's Atmospheric Vortex Engine, a plan to use the waste heat from nuclear power plants and other industrial heat sources to produce artificial tornadoes and harness them for energy.

(I'm sorry. That's just so over-the-top that I can't type it without italics.)

Today, I found an article on Inhabitat from about the same time period. It's the only one that points out the possible flaw in this system that pushes it into True Mad Science territory:

A 200-meter wide tornado might just have enough power to start absorbing heat from the surrounding area all by itself (something which would be a problem if one is hoping to keep it contained, as once the tornado achieves enough energy, there would be very little to stop it from escaping, so says Nilton Renno a professor at the department of atmospheric, ocean and spaces sciences at the University of Michigan).


And remember, the optimal place for an AVE is right next to a nuclear reactor.

Wheeeeeeee!

The hallmark of the best mad science is when making a disaster movie about it becomes redundant, because the whole thing plays out in everyone's mind as soon as they hear about it:

Dr. Renno: "You've got to stop this project! My calculations indicate that the vortex could become self-sustaining and break free of its confinement!"

Dr. Michard: "Nonsense! You're just one man flying in the face of progress! Increase the power!!"

(Indicator lights rise on the status board. Howling winds increase outside. The technicians spout technobabble. And then... red lights flash and klaxons sound.)


athelind: (weird science)

Emission of extremely strong magnetic fields from the head and whole body during oriental breathing exercises.



I have no idea what to make of this, but it's fascinating. This is mostly a reference post; this is exactly the sort of thing I like to crib for SF stories.

The abstract says that "One subject emitted a magnetic field at the level of 200-300 mT (2-3 mGauss) and the other at 0.13 mT (1.3 mGauss)."

This gives two different conversions of Tesla to Gauss -- the correct value is that one Tesla is 104 Gauss. I think the HTML converter for the site may have screwed up converting the µ symbol; I'd try and figure out what's what, but it's after midnight, and my brain's ability to slide decimal points around shut down about an hour ago.

The human nervous system normally generates 0.1 - 1.0 picoTeslas, so even if that is supposed to be in µT, we're looking at a field eight orders of magnitude more intense.

More Benchmarks.
athelind: (Default)

Emission of extremely strong magnetic fields from the head and whole body during oriental breathing exercises.



I have no idea what to make of this, but it's fascinating. This is mostly a reference post; this is exactly the sort of thing I like to crib for SF stories.

The abstract says that "One subject emitted a magnetic field at the level of 200-300 mT (2-3 mGauss) and the other at 0.13 mT (1.3 mGauss)."

This gives two different conversions of Tesla to Gauss -- the correct value is that one Tesla is 104 Gauss. I think the HTML converter for the site may have screwed up converting the µ symbol; I'd try and figure out what's what, but it's after midnight, and my brain's ability to slide decimal points around shut down about an hour ago.

The human nervous system normally generates 0.1 - 1.0 picoTeslas, so even if that is supposed to be in µT, we're looking at a field eight orders of magnitude more intense.

More Benchmarks.
athelind: (YAY)

The Florida legislature has approved religious-themed specialty license plates.



They didn't get to see them before the vote, but here's a pic:



Tasteful, aren't they?

That big gap in the middle makes coming up with appropriate personalized plates a challenge that we rose to meet.

Cut for tasty, tasteless sacrilege! )
And now it's your turn!

That's what Comments are for!


athelind: (Default)

The Florida legislature has approved religious-themed specialty license plates.



They didn't get to see them before the vote, but here's a pic:



Tasteful, aren't they?

That big gap in the middle makes coming up with appropriate personalized plates a challenge that we rose to meet.

Cut for tasty, tasteless sacrilege! )
And now it's your turn!

That's what Comments are for!


athelind: (weird science)
You know, for years, I've referred to "the inverse of Clarke's Third Law" when discussing fantasy literature, but I never really quite hit upon an elegant way to phrase it.

Thank you, Phil and Kaja Foglio:


"Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science!"


athelind: (Default)
You know, for years, I've referred to "the inverse of Clarke's Third Law" when discussing fantasy literature, but I never really quite hit upon an elegant way to phrase it.

Thank you, Phil and Kaja Foglio:


"Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science!"


athelind: (furries for obama)
This made me happy.

(...I also really want to play in that game setting.)

athelind: (Default)
This made me happy.

(...I also really want to play in that game setting.)

athelind: (Superboy Punches The Universe)
When it comes to apocalyptic scenarios, why do I find the discovery of Xibalba more plausible than firing up the Large Hadron Collider?
athelind: (Default)
When it comes to apocalyptic scenarios, why do I find the discovery of Xibalba more plausible than firing up the Large Hadron Collider?

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