Category Archives: Science!
Pi In Your Face
Stolen without shame from John C. Wright –
Tomorrow at 9.26 and 53 seconds, it will be
Which is pi.
This will happen only once in the history of time.
The world ends. Prepare yourself.
(unless you are not on military time, in which case it happens twice, am and pm)
A bit more numerologizing at his site. No mention, however, regarding apple pi, American Pi, four of fish and finger pi, or private investigators. Disappointing, as one would expect a man of his intellect and wit to have a finger in every pi.
We saw the movie today. John C. Wright discusses it here, in depth and excellently, but DO NOT read it unless you have seen the movie. In Wright’s own words –
…And here I must draw a line and ask no one to step across it who has not seen the film. My main problem is that, for me, the movie worked on so many levels, as hard SF, as pure storytelling, as religious allegory, I don’t know what to say without spoiling it for the virgin viewer.
So there are spoilers in the following column, and these will diminish your enjoyment of this masterpiece going in, I assure you. Only readers who have already seen the film are allowed to read further.
Go see it. I cannot, can NOT, recommend it highly enough.
Burying The Truth?
…or just dropping it in an unmarked grave somewhere?
A man living as a woman who suddenly passed away from a brain aneurysm was buried as “Geoffrey” not “Jennifer.”
Okay, whatever. I don’t care what name a person wants on their headstone. I don’t think it’s a big deal how the family chooses to lay to rest one of its members, since the deceased isn’t really going to be worried about it at that point. But again, I really don’t care how anyone outside of my own family handles funerals.
But now California has passed the Respect After Death Act –
It requires any official responsible for completing a transgender person’s death certificate to ensure it represents the deceased person’s gender expression, as documented in other government-issued documents, or evidenced by gender confirmation medical procedures.
Masen Davis of the Transgender Law Center, a cosponsor of the bill, said this was a “common-sense bill that will help protect the dignity of our loved ones upon their passing.”
This is where the failure to think ahead comes in. Will the deaths of transgenders make note of their transgender status? If not, more deaths will be statistically attributed to women. For one, suicide rates are abnormally high among transgender people. After this law, will the numbers read as suicides among women increasing? Will fewer women die from breast cancer, statistically speaking? How will this affect statistics and subsequent medical research?
Then again, this might be a Blow For Equality in disguise. Men generally die younger than women… if transgender men are listed as women when they die, that would help achieve statistical Age Of Death Parity among men and women.
Bu maybe this is exactly what progressives want. If women can be numerically shown to be dying younger and more often, feminists can agitate for more government favors.
The Respect After Death Act
Transgender study looks at ‘exceptionally high’ suicide-attempt rate
I find it amusing somehow that the article was posted under Yahoo’s “Parenting” section.
Schooling At 367 MPH
[Or: “Too Cool For JUST School”]
In keeping with what seems to be the New School trend around here these days…
Jet-powered school bus. Everyone should own one.
Watch all the way to the end.
Hat tip to VodkaPundit
There was this man who snapped his poke
In little pieces
And then they drilled holes
And then they put ’em back in there
– The Pixies, “Broken Face”
From here – A 12-year old boy receives the first 3D-printed vertebrae implant.
…the bone implant is made from titanium powder (similar to many orthopedic implants), however this material is considered to be safer and longer-lasting than conventional replacements. Plus, since it’s designed to mimic the shape of the child’s original vertebra, neither cement nor screws are necessary to keep the implant in place, and the healing period should come along quicker, as well. Along with that, the implant includes a series of small holes that allow natural bone growth, turning the implant into a permanent, stable part of the boy’s spine, negating the need for adjustments at any point in the future.
From bullets to guns to houses and now body parts.
The long term success of this is still up in the air, but it’s still amazing. I can already picture the day when this sort of thing becomes commonplace, so much so that people keep backup files for emergency printing on their phones.
John’s XCMVIXXXXVCIIVth Letter To Ecologians
John Kerry says faith and environment are inextricably linked –
Because, you know, the Bible states again and again that global warming is, like, Bad, man. The Beast of Revelation is made of CO2 held together by sugar-laden trans-fats. Look it up.
Always watch these gasbags when they pontificate publicly…. note the gestures and hand motions, the pauses, and the excess of words with four or more syllables. Also throwing words like “profoundly” into grammatically dangerous places to fend for themselves.
There are patterns to these speeches designed to numb the rubes at home watching on television – repeating key words like “duty,” “sustainable,” and “responsibility” to make viewers feel guilty (“Check your climate privilege!”), and using fifteen dollar words that the speaker is sure the rubes don’t understand but sounds really book-smart, to name a couple examples. The gestures recall the Sage Old Professor of bygone days. All profoundly, inextricably linked to bamboozle the ig’nant Joe Sixpacks.
Speakers like that have the package down pretty well but nothing inside the box, like throwing fancy dressing and expensive croutons on an empty salad plate.
Lost In The Weeds
Examining game theory (no, not that type of Game) and K-strategy vs r-strategy by using black market marijuana agriculture as an example – Equilibrium in Local Marijuana Games by Bart Kosko, from the Journal of Social and Biological Structures, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 51-66, 1991
Yeah, it’s a pdf, and yeah it has math.
I first discovered Kosko 15 years ago when I found his book Fuzzy Thinking, which delves into fuzzy logic. It’s a bit off-putting in places though… as one review on Amazon puts it –
…until Kosko gets down to chapter and verse on what FL is and how it works, reader will be put off by the constant put-down of Western logic and philosophy and opposing schools of computer science. But when Kosko is good, he’s very, very good. One comes away from his text with a real understanding of the concepts of fuzzy sets, rules, and systems, and of how they’re applied to make “smart” machines, devices, trains, and planes.
And pretty soon automobiles, at least if Google has its way. No word on whether the computer systems in the cars will have the voices of John Candy or Steve Martin, though.
I can’t say I agree with all of Kosko’s assertions, but it is well worth reading.
A couple years later, I read Heaven in a Chip: Fuzzy Visions of Society and Science in the Digital Age, which raises questions like “Would you still be you if a chip replaced your brain?” and “Who owns the ocean or the moon — or your genome blueprint?” The sort of things I often ponder over breakfast.
If you like science fiction (and probably especially if you like cyberpunk), these are good examples of some fiction becoming fact during our lifetimes.
In The Village
- Number Six: Has it ever occurred to you that you are just as much a prisoner as I am?
- Number Two: …It doesn’t matter which “side” runs the Village….
- Number Six: The whole Earth as the Village?
- Number Two: That is my hope. What’s yours?
- Number Six: I’d like to be the first man on the moon.
It must be “Politics & Superheroes” Week on the internet or something…
[Or: “Alternative Birthstyle”]
Ryan:(drunk) Sorry…. no no, go go go. Songs of the Chiropractor go back many a many years.
Ryan:Yes they were. And I know as a young black child growing up in the Bronx, none was more popular to me than that boogie-woogie hit, “Is That A Bulging Disc Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?”
Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was saying something about progressives having a “pseudo-intellectual worldview and love of scientific sounding formulas over empirical reality?”
I should have said “terms” instead of “formulas.” With formulas, there’s at least one or two numbers involved, which can be held to some sort of empirical, double-checking standard. Terms sound authoritative and don’t leave the little cracks where factualism can seep in.
Today’s fake-authoritative terminology is “infant gender assignment” –
Obstetricians, doctors, and midwives commit this procedure on infants every single day, in every single country. In reality, this treatment is performed almost universally without even asking for the parents’ consent, making this practice all the more insidious. It’s called infant gender assignment: When the doctor holds your child up to the harsh light of the delivery room, looks between its legs, and declares his opinion: It’s a boy or a girl, based on nothing more than a cursory assessment of your offspring’s genitals.
Because, as everybody knows, doctors have secret special words that magically make their opinions into concrete reality.
It’s getting harder and harder out there for a pseudointellectual pimp. The race to set oneself apart as “enlightened” by discovering deeper and deeper levels of fauxlosophy is barreling toward the horizon at full speed and shows no signs of a finish line.
Hat tip to Bookworm
Random Static: Phoning It In
Allamagoosa recently got a new phone.
Even though I was aware of the song, somehow it escaped my notice (or just as likely slipped what remains of my mind) that Kenny Rogers used to be a psychedelic rocker.
Discovered this guy last weekend. He’s posted over one thousand videos of (mostly) acoustic guitar or piano covers of classic rock songs and oldies, like the Beatles, Elvis, Burt Bacharach, Frankie Valli, even some Steely Dan. And of course the Monkees.
He’s also taken requests for songs outside his normal sphere, which results in unusual coolness…
He did songs by Human League and Daft Punk just for the heck of it. There’s a Death Cab For Cutie piano cover in there somewhere. And his voice sounds almost dead on like the singer from Right Said Fred.
I don’t recall if I posted this before or not… this guy is the greatest drummer in the world.
The host blathers until about the 40 second point, but the real show starts around 1:00.
I can offer no explanation about the toilet seat.
I would apologize for the ultra awful Data joke at the top, but I would be lying.