Saturday, March 31, 2012

Quick Question

I've been posting some awesome stuff at IMAO lately.

Do I need to start cross-posting it here, or do you guys already go there?

Friday, March 30, 2012

How to Get Tomato Soup Out of the Can

Via There, I Fixed It, this is pure brilliance right here. If you've ever made canned tomato soup, you need to watch this:


[Vimeo direct link]

AP Wins Oxymoron of the Year

Yahoo News:
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's plea to Congress to end $4 billion in tax subsidies to oil companies was rebuffed Thursday as the Senate turned back a Democratic bill to repeal the tax breaks.

Subsidies are when the government cuts you a check. Tax breaks are when you cut the government a smaller check. The terms are not synonymous.

Fire the editor who approved that.

The Constitution's Imagination Clause

From Fox News, Democrat Congressman Rob Andrews explains why the Commerce Clause applies to people who aren't engaging in commerce, i.e. not buying health insurance.
"But when someone's in commerce anyway because they use the hospital emergency room if the need arises... the person's in commerce already"

That's right - he just said you're engaging in commerce because he can imagine you might someday.

Yeah, this is one of the sooper-genius typewriter-monkeys that wrote Obamacare.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Obama's Lawyers Are Insane

Because they can talk about Obamacare's "provision that says everyone has to carry insurance," then in the very next breath claim "we're not forcing you to buy a product."

Really not sure how these monsters sleep at night.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Chopsticks for White People

Via There, I Fixed It



I would totally use these.

Or at least I would, if my people hadn't already invented the fork.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cake For One

From Now That's Nifty.

(Normally I'd just link this, but just in case NTN ever goes away, I want to have this handy)
______________

Recipe for "3, 2, 1 Cake:"

Ingredients:

1 box - Angel Food Cake Mix
1 box - Cake Mix (Any Flavor)
2 Tbsp - Water

Directions:

In a zip-lock bag, combine the two cake mixes together and mix well.

For each individual cake serving, take out 3 Tablespoons of the cake mix combination and mix it with 2 Tablespoons of water in a small microwave-safe container.

Microwave on high for 1 minute, and voila - enough cake just for you.

Always remember, that one of the cake mixes MUST be Angel Food. The other can be any flavor. The Angel Food is the cake mix that has the eggs whites in it.

Yield: 1 serving

This recipe is called 3, 2, 1 Cake because all you need to remember is: 3 tablespoons mix,
2 tablespoons water, 1 minute in the microwave.
______________

Wonder if this would work with brownie mix?

Testing If the Eyes Are the Window to the Soul

I don't want to mock, because this really was an interesting experiment:
[Researchers] designed their experiment after a conversation in which they discussed intuitively feeling as if their consciousnesses were "located" near their eyes, and that objects seemed closest to them when near their eyes. "We set out to test whether this was a universally shared intuition,"

But... 2 things.

1) The eyes are the only sense organs that both move and have a small, specific location, so there may be some bias here.

2) Nobody bothered asking blind people where they thought the soul was located.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Marketing Gimmick

Every day I hear of some new product with the word "smart" in its name.

In my head, I just replace it with the word "smug". It seems more accurate.

Think about it next time you're stuck in line behind some woman sipping Smug Water while talking too loudly on her Smug Phone.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Distance

Unbelievable shenanigans in Florida:
A local atheist organization made a splash on Saturday when they symbolically washed away a blessing placed on a major highway into the county one year ago.
As a non-evangelical atheist, I would like to condemn these actions. They do not speak or act for me.

And I certainly don't understand the point of what they did.

If atheism is right, then the blessing was meaningless, and they washed away nothing.

If atheism is wrong, God will give precedence to the original blessing over their childish antics, and they washed away nothing.

All they accomplished was wasting time and clean water while pointlessly annoying people who never did them any harm.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Off the Milk Carton

Long-lost blogdaughter Tammi (formerly and again of Tammi's World) is back blogging again.

Hooray!

Go on over & give her some chick talk.

I Learned Something

That removing Haloscan/JS-Kit/Echo comments from new & improved Blogger XML-based templates is more complicated than dumping it from the old HTML templates.

Thanks to Kelly of The Lady in the Pew for offering me the opportunity to help continue to remove this scourge from the blogosphere.

Unlock Your Car Door With A Shoelace

This is actually somewhat similar in principle to what the tow truck guy did last time I called AAA for help getting my car door unlocked - pry the door open a crack & hook it:


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #1,200,846)

He had a fancier tool than a shoelace, though.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Derek Kinzett - Wire Sculptor

If someone asked me if I wanted to go look at sculptures made out of wire, I'd just assume they were modern art trash-heaps and decline the offer.

In the case of Derek Kinzett, I would be wrong.



Lots more at the link above, including a motorcycle.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fixing a Flag Flap

A flag featuring Obama's face in place of the traditional 50 stars was seen flying outside the Lake County Democratic headquarters.

Some folks took offense:
Nearly a dozen veterans went to the door and aimed to take it down.

"No. This is private property. This is private property. You're not allowed to touch anything. I'll call the police," Democratic Party chairwoman Nancy Hulbert said.

Yes, it's private property.

The veterans should be arrested for trespassing.

Then fined $1.

Then given medals.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fate of the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) After Decommissioning in 2013

Looks like they're considering 2 different options. Neither pleasant.

Either quickly chopped to bits:
The Navy preferred alternative suggests that once PSNS receives the Enterprise, it immediately take apart and dispose of the reactor compartments. Shipyard workers would also take apart the hull of the ship and recycle the remnant sections.
Or left to rot in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard:
A second option, called the no-action option, involves receiving the defueled Enterprise from Newport News and storing it indefinitely and intact at PSNS. Waterborne storage would call for mooring the Enterprise on the west side of Mooring Alpha.
And that place is more a graveyard than a museum.

Sadly, I don't really have a good excuse to go to the Seattle area, but I may have to make one if I can find someone with enough pull to get me aboard the Enterprise for a look-see. I'd love to see it again.

It's Either VERY Cool or Just a Silly Idea

Double-barrel pistol:


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #170,961)

I can't imagine it's the most accurate thing in the world, yet somehow I just can't help not caring as I scream "WANT!" at my computer screen.

Speaking of Carriers...

Despite being 1000 feet long and weighing 90,000 tons, aircraft carriers are actually quite maneuverable:



That's actually the USS Nimitz (CVN68) (which I didn't serve aboard), not the Enterprise (CVN65) (which I did).

By the way, that red line at the bottom? Normally you're not supposed to be able to see that at all, much less 10 feet of it.

The Cold War

It existed. It was real. It wasn't a shouting-match. It wasn't a difference of opinion. It was life or death for millions. I waited for the Russians to blow me up or drown me during it.

No picnic for the folks back home, either.

Because I'm a Sentimental Fool

Here's the petition to name CVN-80 the USS Enterprise, so that the Navy still has a ship with that name when CVN-65 gets decommissioned next year.

Ya know, it's not like there haven't been long stretches of time in American history when the Navy had no Enterprise.

It's just that since Star Trek embedded the name so deeply into the American psyche as a shared symbol of hope for the future of mankind, it would seem almost un-American to do so now.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Translation

Obama's "I'll save you gas money" stump speech:
"Now, because of these new standards for cars and trucks, they're going to -- all going to be able to go further and use less fuel every year. And that means pretty soon you'll be able to fill up your car every two weeks instead of every week -- and, over time, that saves you, a typical family, about $8,000"

Translated for factual clarity:

"Starting in 2016, gas mileage requirements will start rising to 55 mpg by 2025. If you buy a brand new car in every year that the requirements go up, you will save a $8000 on gas over the course of your entire life. This will not offset the cost of the cars, and you won't see any benefits during the term for which I want you to reelect me. Vote for me in 2012."

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Final Voyage of the USS Enterprise

Since I served aboard her from 1987 to 1991, this makes me a little bit sad:
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The USS Enterprise has set sail on its final voyage.

Officials say the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, which was featured in the film "Top Gun," left Norfolk, Va., around noon on Sunday.

The ship with more than 4,000 crew members has been a part of history over the past 50 years. It was involved in several wars and played a prominent role in the Cuban missile crisis. It also served as a spotter ship for John Glenn's historic orbit of Earth.

The Enterprise is the longest aircraft carrier in the U.S. fleet. It is also the oldest.

The ship is both old and one-of-a-kind, meaning maintenance can be tricky. Crew members acknowledge life at sea can be tough because they often have to build spare parts from scratch.

"maintenance can be tricky"

Now THERE'S an understatement.

See, the Enterprise was the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, so they modeled it after the old oil-burners, which had 8 boilers making steam to keep the propellers turning.

The good news about having 8 reactors - at least one of them will always be on line to keep you moving.

The bad news: at least one of them will always be down for repairs.

Fortunately, the boys in fabrication were top notch, and were always able to whip up anything we needed.

Sad to see it go.

At least we'll still have the VSS Enterprise.

Remember

3/11

Carousel Microwave Cooking - Center or Edge?

I've always used center.

Then I heard someone insiste that the edge cooks faster.

Random Googling shows this is a minor debate - certainly not on the "toilet paper: over or under" scale, but sizable - filled with opinion, prejudice, and stubborn conjecture.

Enter a man of science:
Two identical mugs were filled with 100ml of water. The temperature of the water was noted at 17.5oC.

One mug was placed at the center of the turntable, the other at the edge of the turntable. The microwave oven was set to 750 watts and 90 secs.

The experiment was repeated with fresh water for a period of 120 secs.

The experiment was then altered to microwave one mug only at the center of the oven, then one mug only at the edge, each for a period of 60 secs.

Results

Exp. # - Centrally placed mug - Edge placed mug

1 - 31.6ooC 33.5ooC
2 - 38.4ooC 40.9ooC
3 - 35.2ooC 35.2ooC

Evaluation

It appears that there is no difference when placing an item at the center or edge when microwaving a single item, but when microwaving multiple items, those on the edge will heat faster than those at the center.

Oh, and toilet paper should go "over".

Friday, March 9, 2012

Not a Movie Review

Saw "Act of Valor" today.

It's been a long time since I've seen an action movie where nothing bigger than a truck blows up.

I mean a REAL long time.

And they didn't use CGI as a crutch to make up for a lack of plot or character development. They DO use it, but judiciously, and only to give you a clearer view of what's going on.

They also didn't bog down the dialog with a bunch of too-clever lines. Very straightforward storytelling.

It's like if, instead of going out and eating dinner at some fancy $100 a plate restaurant, you stay home and grill up some steaks.

Simple. Rewarding. Satisfying.

Almost off-topic, I've heard complaints that it's a "propaganda" movie, because there are unambiguous good guys and bad guys. After all, modern-day heroes are supposed to be flawed & morally gray.

Well, the Navy SEALs in this movie drink and swear.

Flawed enough for me.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Croonchy Stars!

Due to being stuck on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the Indian Ocean during its limited production run - I missed out on perhaps the greatest breakfast cereal ever created.


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #71,977)

Monday, March 5, 2012

No, No, It'll Work THIS Time

Dateline: Rhode Island (emphasis added):
A Rhode Island judge says he imposed a lifetime driving ban on a 17-year-old boy after a serious car accident because he wanted to send a message about reckless driving.
[...]
[the boy] was driving with a suspended license at the time of the accident, according to The Westerly Sun.

Driving without a license? Then we'll super-duper take it away.

Yeah, that should solve the problem.

Courtesy Linkage

I participated in Right Wing News's Pre-Super Tuesday Blogger Poll. My answers were as follows:

1) If you had to pick the GOP's 2012 presidential nominee today, which of the following candidates would you select?
Newt Gingrich - not for any particular liking of the man, and taking into account his many policy inconsistencies, but he's at least articulate enough to make a believable case for governmental fiscal responsibility.

2) Which of the following candidates would you prefer as the GOP's nominee?
Newt v. Mitt: Newt - same reason.

3) Which of the following candidates would you prefer as the GOP's nominee?
Ron Paul v. Mitt: Ron Paul - sure, the terrorists will beat us up and take our lunch money after Paul pulls all American troops out of everywhere, but at least we'll have a balanced budget.

4) Which of the following candidates would you prefer as the GOP's nominee?
Mitt v. Santorum: Mitt: he's got prettier hair, so the girls will vote for him. Just have to pray that a rabidly tight-fisted Republican Congress will keep him from spending us into oblivion.

5) Which of the following candidates would you prefer as the GOP's nominee?
Mitt v. "as of yet unknown candidate selected at a brokered convention" - Mitt: after watching the hatchet job the media did on Palin, I'd prefer a candidate whose closet has already been thoroughly checked for skeletons.

6) Which of the following candidates would you prefer as the GOP's nominee?
Newt v. Rick Santorum - Newt: See above

7) Who do you think is more likely to win in November?
GOP v. Barack: GOP - I think it depends entirely on the price of gas and the level of unemployment, but I don't see either getting low enough to keep Obama in office.

Of course, I didn't think Obama could beat a war hero while we had troops in Iraq & Afghanistan, either, so I'm not betting my paycheck on this one.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Still A Better Artist Than Picasso

Painting a beautiful landscape image in 90 seconds with one finger.


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #11,360,271)

According to one comment:
"This guy sells his paintings in the streets of Barcelona (Spain). After this video went viral, they talked about him on the news. Each of those paintings is sold for 3 euros, a little more than 3 dollars."


A little Googling, and it turns out his name is Fabián Gaete.

His website (in the original Spanish) (Google Translate English)

And a nice article about him (in the original Spanish) (Google Translate English) which, contrary to the commenter, says he sells his paintings for 6 euros each or 3 for 10

About the title: I'm not generally a huge fan of Impressionism in painting, but I like it WAY better than Cubism, and I'm VERY much a fan of people who can do things very well while making it look easy.

Like the guy who came over to fix my furnace the other day. 24 years old, never had any secondary education, started working for the company at 16 and just worked his way up. Said he likes repair more than installation because well, yeah, it's more money, but he also likes the challenge of making something broke work again.

He had my mysteriously malfunctioning firebox diagnosed & repaired in under half an hour, while simultaneously explaining in detail how a furnace works (I was curious because in my Navy days, I worked on heat exchangers, which run on exactly the same principles.)

He's a better artist than Picasso, too.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

African Americans for Obama



Yeah, this is a real thing.

There are 2 reasons this is obviously racist.

First, there's the use of that split-letter font in "African Americans", which is stereotypically used to label African jungle safaris.



Second, those cute little lines around the word "for"?

Straight out of the 1920's:



Cue Al Jolson singing "Mammy" in blackface.

Whoever designed this thing probably owns a garden-full of black lawn-jockeys.