I love my family

Because they do things like this.
I'm chatting with my sister from my basement, and she send me this: "Immured in her ivory-ivy turret, the maiden used her wondrous powerful silver box to send secret messages to her brother in the dungeon below..."


Pomegranate Folly

So, I finished a fairly long day of work, with lots of cable-running, wire pulling, drilling through 2x4s, chiseling through concrete blocks, driving in an unair-conditioned car, and I finish up in Wilmette. So I'm thinking about the long drive home, on the tollway, in rush hour traffic, when I see a Starbucks.


So I go inside, thinking of the rich, lush flavor of Pomegranate iced and mixed into cold refreshing goodness...and they don't carry Pomegranate Frappuchinos anymore.


However, they do still have tangerine, which is a good substitute. So I make my purchase, carry it to my car, and am in the middle of calling a friend to tell her about my good fortune in finding such relief, when I pull out of the parking lot, and time slows down as momentum inexorably pulls the top heavy cup over, out of the tiny cup holder, and as it tumbles through the air the contents spill out slowly, the cold ice crystals spraying delicately onto the floor.


So, as I drove home through the rush hour bumper-to-bumper traffic, in my nonair-conditioned van, I got to savor the sweet tangerine smell which reminded me of the cleaning I'd have to do when I got home. Mmmmm.


Newton: Pride cometh before a fall

I found a draft of this while looking through my old posts, and realized I had written it four months ago and forgotten to post it.
Here you go:

Yesterday was a triumphant day in lab class.
One of my classmates, who has a reputation for thinking that he knows better than the authors we read what they ought to write, and is fond of attempting to correct the argument of Aquinas, was doing a prop in lab. We've gotten used to his overbearing manner, but this time it was insufferable. It might have been that he was showing off to his little brother, who was sitting in on the class, but his attitude was driving the rest of us into the wall, by constantly using such phrases as, "this is so obvious I don't even know why he bothers to say it," "It is manifest that," and "It's the most obvious thing possible." Our tutor, Dr. Decaen, at one point asked him about the third line from the bottom. The student answered a question about the fourth line from the bottom, whereupon Dr. Decaen pointed out that he had asked about the third line, although the student was right, and the actual question had to do with the fourth line. Whereupon our villain responded, "Well, I thought you couldn't be asking about the line, because only an idiot would question that." At this point, the entire class was just shocked at his pompous, arrogant manner, too stunned to reply.
Next, he mentioned that, "while Newton's way of proving this works, I've devised a better and simpler way of doing it. Here, I'll show you." And he proceeded on his merry way to destruction.
Unfortunately for him, his proof involved claiming that the areas of triangles are in the same ratios of their height. Each one of us learned freshman year that they are in the duplicate ratio of their height. However, most of the class wasn't even playing attention by this point, so we didn't notice, but something about the way he said, "You'll grant me that..." bothered me, and I stared at the line for a bit. He was proceeding to the next line when I stopped him by pointing to his line about the direct proportion and stated, "That's wrong."

It felt like there was a collective gasp from the class, followed by surreptitious high-fives and grins.

"Triangles are in a duplicate ratio to their heights," I continued.
He fell deeper into the hole he dug.
"No they're not, they're in duplicate ratio to their sides, and as I wrote, in direct ratio to their heights."
"But in a right triangle.." I postulated... He cut me off, hastening his demise.
"Just look at this triangle," he said, drawing exactly the right triangle I wanted on the board for me. "here's the first triangle, and I'll draw the second on top, with double the side. See? The area is in the ratio of the height."
I leaned from my seat, sketched two lines across his drawing, and quipped, "No. Four times the size, duplicate ratio. It's the most obvious thing possible."
As his face fell, I heard Dr. Decaen muttering causticly to himself behind me, "No, actually it's Ex Aequali that's the most obvious thing possible, as Mr. B said earlier, because even I don't understand it, and I've got a Phd."

"Well, then, I'm not sure what's wrong," wondered the student, "It has to be in a direct ratio, otherwise my proof wouldn't work, and it proved the same thing as Newton's."
"Actually," Mr. Decaen observed, "If you took that up it would prove the opposite of Newton's, violating the law of non-contradiction." (which is a sacred truth at our school, because if you question that...well, you've got some things to work out, shall we say)
"However," I continued, "If you use a duplicate ratio there, that mode of proof would work perfectly, in fact agreeing with Newton completely."

We spent a few minutes discussing how it would work, and which points of the proofs were shown off by the different methods, but it seemed like the wind had left Mr. B's sails, and his brother left the room shortly after. I had actually not known his brother was there, I just knew a visitor had walked in, but didn't know who.

After class, several of my classmates congratulated me, and told me that this was the one day everyone in my section loved me. Except for Mr. B, of course.

Latin Jokes FTW!

I actually think the guy he's interviewing has a good point, except I disagree about Halliburton being the "barbarians at the gates." They don't seem to be doing anything except spending large amount of government money, as opposed to the terrorists, who attempt to blow us up and change our culture, or the illegal immigrants, who seems most like the Goths and Visigoths, because they move in and take advantage of some corrupt parts of our society.


Women, Know Your Place!

Notus Bene
Main Entry: sat·ire
Pronunciation: 'sa-"tI(-&)r
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin satura, satira, perhaps from (lanx) satura dish of mixed ingredients, from feminine of satur well-fed; akin to Latin satis enough -- more at SAD
1 : a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn
2 : trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly

Links Wednesday June 20

Catholicism, Science, Religion, Newton, and Colbert!

"Particles of bodies are attracted in proportion to their mass."
Ah, memories of Junior Lab. :D

Fallen Angel - Pilot Protects Downed Helicopter

Linked from BlackFive

Democrats attempt to end Secret Ballots
I really don't see what kindof argument can be made for this, other than "it helps the unions coerce people to join." Secret ballots have been recognized for quite some time as the best way to honesty get people's opinion, and the standard of democracy is lowered when they are not used, because people are more easily pressured to vote or sign one way or another. So why do the unions have trouble with people actually voting for what they think should be done? Because they wouldn't be able to force more people to pay their union dues to support political candidates?

I've Got a Crush on Fred Thompson's Politics

Dig the politics. The music...not so much.
Hat tip to The Jawa Report

A Wonderful and Generous Idea


Link, Tuesday, June 19th

Because I know I haven't been posting at all, and because summer hasn't been that interesting, I think I might start having posts consisting mainly of links to news and other things online I find interesting, perhaps with commentary.

Tesla Roadster
Picture Gallery
As compared to most of the other hybrid cars, which, as Scott Adams has pointed out, look like they're screaming out, "I'm a pathetic environmentalist nerd!", this car actually looks really cool. And 0 to 60 in four seconds is nothing to sniff at, nor is the equivalent of 135 mpg. The only downside seems to be the sticker shock that might be caused by the $92,000 price tag. But it still looks really cool.

Harry Reid: "The Surge has failed!"
Guys from the Surge: "But...we haven't started yet..."

Jimmy Carter on why we should've recognized Hamas
Remind me what the difference is between recognizing Hamas (a democratically elected terrorist group, that's remarkably well organized and efficient...at killing people), and recognizing the Nazi government in Germany (a democratically elected terrorist group, that was remarkably well organized and efficient...at killing people).
Normally Nazi analogies seem hyperbolic, but in this case, it seems to fit rather well. They both even have stated goals to kill Jews (although currently the Palestinians seem too busy killing each other)
"But they organized the attack so well! They showed superior skills and discipline in murdering civilians and engaging in terrorism! Jimmy Carter must have been so proud ..." - Captains Quarters

Fred Thompson #1 in most recent national poll
"The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson earning support from 28% of Likely Republican Primary Voters. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani attracts support from 27%. While Thompson’s one-point edge is statistically insignificant, it is the first time all year that anybody but Giuliani has been on top in Rasmussen Reports polling. A week ago, Thompson and Giuliani were tied at 24%."
Surprise! Give the Republicans the option of electing a real conservative candidate, and they'll vote for him! Who'd a thunk it?