Robots, not immigrants, are taking American jobs

April 3, 2017

From the article:

On some not-too-distant day, it will become clear that our civilization has become so reliant on highly efficient, wondrously intelligent machinery that we simply do not need that many people to work in traditional jobs. There will be plenty of wealth to go around, but not that much work. Unless we want millions to starve or go homeless or riot in the streets, our society will need to guarantee a minimum income for everyone by letting all citizens share in the vast wealth created by robot labor.

Robots, not immigrants, are taking American jobs

The World As Seen Through the Eyes of a Trump Voter

August 28, 2016

The 2016 Presidential Election Political Compass is out!

February 4, 2016

It’s finally here. Check where your favorite candidate falls on the official political compass. And, please do click through and read the analysis below the chart. It’s quite enlightening.

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This Little Higgy Gave Roast Beef Its Mass

July 4, 2012

OK. That sucks as a nursery rhyme. However, it is really cool science that they found the Higgs particle. Major kudos to Professor Peter Higgs for theorizing this decades ago and for his good luck in living to see the day the particle was found. Major kudos also to all of the theoretical and experimental scientists at CERN for working together to develop and run the experiments that finally found this elusive particle.

Higgs boson-like particle discovery claimed at LHC

And, for comic relief, here’s a related clip from the TV comedy The Big Bang Theory.

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Excuse Me, I’m Looking for 144 Million Idiots …

June 19, 2012

… oh … never mind. I found them.

In U.S., 46% Hold Creationist View of Human Origins

Remember folks, if you do not believe in evolution, you do not believe in modern medicine.

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West Wing Bible Scene

February 21, 2012

Here’s a scene from the TV show ‘The West Wing’ explaining why the Bible should not be taken literally. I’ve also received nearly identical text via email. I believe the email came first.

(google break)

Yup, snopes confirms that the email came first. Still, it’s somewhat more powerful to see it in a video, even though some of the great text of the email was missed. Specifically, the bit about whether one in the U.S. may own a Canadian is missing.

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Bailey’s, It’s What’s For Breakfast!

January 30, 2012

I’m not trying to turn my blog into a cookbook. Nor am I accepting money from the makers of Bailey’s Irish Cream for this endorsement, but only because they haven’t offered me any money. But, I played around a bit with recipes and had to share these.

Bailey’s Irish Cream Pancakes and Popovers.

If you already know how to make pancakes and popovers, all you need to do is replace half of the milk in the recipe with Bailey’s Irish Cream. It really is that simple. Don’t skimp on the Bailey’s. You want that taste to come through loud and clear, so to speak.

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Glucose Meter Accuracy: (Please Vote) Is 20% close enough for you?

September 2, 2011

Please vote in the poll below, even if only to let me know that I’m being overly anal-retentive.

I only learned recently that the industry standard level of accuracy for blood glucose meters is to be within 20% of lab results. I learned this after a doctor’s visit where I tested my blood glucose (BG) via my home blood glucose meter within a minute of my blood being drawn for lab work. I noted my BG as 82 and thought, good, right on target.

Anyway, this time, I was careful to check very close to the time that the blood was drawn and equally careful to note that particular reading. Again, my meter said 82.

My lab result was 69! This is a difference of just under 19% (((82 – 69) / 69) * 100) = 18.84%, though perhaps I should just round to 19 since I don’t really have that level of precision in the actual readings.

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Time Warner Cable — Worst Customer Service Ever

November 1, 2009

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE: The office of the president has actually responded to our letter. The woman who responded apologized for the bad experience, credited our account for a month, and even gave us her direct phone number (which I will not post here) in case we have future problems. So, the customer service department still sucks, as described below, but the corporate office at least does what they can to fix it if you take the time to write. It’s all we can hope for after that experience. — M. Scott 11/17/2009.

[Please visit for a demotivator for every occasion.]

And now on to the text of a letter that we sent to the president of Time Warner Cable. All I can say is that if you have any other option for your TV and internet access, take it. I don’t. So I’m stuck with this complete and utter load of crap.
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Neil deGrasse Tyson on UFOs

September 24, 2009

Neil is always great for simultaneous education and laughter … an impressive talent.

Thanks to Rich who adds that if you were expecting to see someone bite someone’s ear off, that was his brother Mike deGrasse Tyson. (OK, we sort of came up with that together. I was considering not admitting any part of it.)

Rubber ducks help best with computer science

August 3, 2009

For anyone who doesn’t write code, this will seem a bit strange. For those of us who do, it’s quite normal except for the name being given to it, rubber ducking. Often when some problem escapes a programmer for longer than it should, calling someone over for “a second pair of eyes” is the surest way to solve one’s own problem. The very act of explaining the problem to someone else and walking through showing the code is frequently the fastest way to find the problem, even though the problem may be found and corrected before the listener even fully understands the problem.

Rubber ducks help best with computer science

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Orangutans Join the Ranks of Apes With Medical Knowledge

August 24, 2008

I’m probably a month late and thirty dollars short on this one. However, last month, an article in New Scientist detailed the observation of orangutans self-medicating with an anti-inflammatory topical balm. The observation of rubbing an ointment into the fur is also a newly documented type of self-medication for any non-human ape. I love this type of information. It shows once again that the vast majority of differences between humans and other animals are differences in magnitude, not in kind.

Wild orangutans treat pain with natural anti-inflammatory

Ballet Meets Circus … Beautifully

August 6, 2008

There are a number of things in this video that I could not have imagined the human body capable of performing. The frogs are cute. The swans are incredible. There appears to be a woman in this video who was born without any bones in her body and yet is capable of amazing control and balance.

The Great Chinese State Circus

Thanks to Pam for a great find.

McCain: A Climate Disaster

May 15, 2008

First read this article from the New York Times, McCain Differs With Bush on Climate Change. One thing is clear from this article, all of the remaining candidates want to reduce carbon emissions.

However, what is not clear from this is the magnitude of their differences on the point. Take the following paragraph that I believe to be very poorly written on the part of an otherwise fairly good news source.

In his speech, Mr. McCain advocated cutting emissions 60 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2050; Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama propose cutting them by 80 percent in the same time frame while the Lieberman-Warner bills calls for a 70 percent reduction. Scientists say reductions of that magnitude are needed to slow and then reverse production of the gases, chiefly carbon dioxide, which are heating the atmosphere and causing long-term climate changes.

This last sentence is patently false. Scientists say that a reduction of emissions to 80% below 1990 levels is required to avert catastrophic warming and to avoid a tipping point. The planet will not negotiate on politics. So, let’s see just how different are 60%, 70%, and 80% reductions?

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Dharma Jazz: Blending Many World Musical Styles Together Beautifully

April 6, 2008

I’m not a serious music aficionado. However, I do know when I hear something I like. I also know that in a couple of hours yesterday at the Philoctetes Center, I learned a lot about music.

These guys are incredibly talented jazz improvisation’s. They are blending music from India, Asia, and Africa with Blues and other musical styles. Spend a little time listening to their music on the web. Unfortunately, they do not yet have a CD available for sale.

Read their bios on the Philoctetes site regarding the event Living in the Musical Moment. (Hopefully, a recording of the event will be available on the site. I was under the impression they were filming and would post it, but do not see it yet.) Also, give them a listen on the Dharma Jazz myspace page, which also lists their bios.

Earth The Sequel

March 7, 2008

There is also a description of Earth the Sequel on EDF’s website. There’s a book signing in Manhattan. Details below pasted from an email I received from EDF.

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Science of Chocolate Podcast from NYAS

March 3, 2008

The New York Academy of Sciences has released the podcast of its excellent lecture The Science of Chocolate. Unfortunately, I cannot publish you the chocolate on a blog site. Sorry. However, I assure you it was delicious. The lecture was really great, explaining a variety of health benefits of chocolate and some of its history. Then, it went on to tasting technique and some details of various chocolates. I’d highly recommend this if you have any interest in the subject matter. Yum!! A delicious way to stay healthy.

Global Warming Skeptic Proves Global Warming is Real?!

February 29, 2008

Well, not really. A simple blog post is never going to be much proof of anything. *

However, this blog post has four graphs. Two of the graphs, the third and fourth, are really quite useless. However, despite the author’s assertion, the first two graphs are actually quite a good demonstration that global warming is real. Of course, a longer trend would actually be better. But, even with this 140 year graph, the trend is abundantly obvious. The author has merely misread his own data.

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Assorted Quips

February 27, 2008

I especially love sentences with definitions that really make the point. Here are a couple of my favorites and some other quips that I like for other reasons, sometimes shock value.

  • In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion.
  • In theory, there’s no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there often is.
  • Mammals suck. Cetaceans blow. [ed. note: The former is mine. The latter was added by a friend. Thanks rit.]
  • American Nonsequitur Society: We don’t make sense. But, we love pizza.

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Internet Hell Desk

January 8, 2008

If you haven’t seen this before, it’s hilarious and definitely worth watching all the way through.