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Showing posts from February, 2008

A.W.A.D. - Whose What

Last year we featured a week of terms in the pattern "x's y", for example"busman's holiday" (a vacation spent doing things as at work) or "widow's peak" (a v-shaped hairline at the top of the forehead). Terms that answer the question "Whose what?" generate a huge response from readers. Perhaps that's because each of those phrases has a story behind it.
Last month we featured a week of such terms coined after animals, such as a dog's letter (the letter R) and a mare's nest (a confused mass; a hoax). This week we'll discuss terms named after specific persons.
Buckley's chance
(BUK-leez chans) noun
No chance at all (or only a very slim chance).

Also called "Buckley's and none" or "Buckley's hope".

[The origin of the term isn't certain but the most popular story pins it to William Buckley (1780-1856), a British convict transported to Australia. There, he escaped and found refuge among the Abo…

Leap Day!

Let's face it, how many Leap Days do you get? This is my eighth one, I think. Not many... so might as well make the most of this one. It has been a good day, I really cannot complain. And it closed on a really high note.

Last night was not so good - I dragged myself across the street to do rig check and was very tired with a breaking voice. At five minutes to 1900, we were blown out for an MVA on Route 46. We raced down there and upon arrival, went to the rear-ended car... at least, that's what Ptl. Griffin told us. I didn't believe him for a split second - he's a great guy and I wouldn't doubt him but there was not so much as a scratch on the bumper. Not even paint transfer...

I went to her, and opened the door, telling her to not face me and stay right where she is. She said that she has nech and back pain (I'm mystified as to what the pain was from, still). So I got in the back seat and did head stabilization, and Bob was collaring her. Rob must have checked o…

A Great Day Again!

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This is quite a nice experience. Once again, the joy of a good intern helps considerably. He worked madly and did a great job. He got all the term files revamped and put away and now there are no more stacks of terminated employee files out, lying in wait to trip the unwary (me!).


I got everything waiting for me on my list done, which was nice. Despite more interruptions and explaining things to my intern, I still managed to complete the couple of tasks open from yesterday and close out all but two of today's - but I just finished them now.


In fact, I have even begun some of tomorrow's work.


Sometimes, even though it is painful at the time, that slap in the face is what is needed to really put things into the right perspective. I missed six days of work but thanks to me using the tools I have, the brains I have and really sticking to this, I am managing to get everything done and then some and feel really, really good about it, too!

I Miss the Triplets!

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Little hot water bottles of love: These are the girls (and one boy, Ollie, the light brown one): On the top, with glowing eyes, is Dixie, whom Ray calls Vivian - he says she looks like a Vivian, the next one down is Belle, then Ollie and then Velvet. They are the dogs of two sisters and they almost always come as a package. We love having them. They are wonderful and I think that they are as crazy about me as I am about them. And Ollie, who belongs to my parents, is my baby. I hope they will always have at least one Dachshund. If I wanted to own dogs, this is the type of dog I'd get!
Here is Dixie, looking for attention. Tell me that this is not the cutest thing in the world! She does this and we just melt. Yup, the cold, heartless bitch who fires people turns into a puddle with the triplets.
Here we are again, relaxing in front of the fireplace to warm up. Sunday wasn't as cold as it has been, but it was cool and wintery and the fire was lovely. I really enjoy sitting in front …

The Sun will Destroy Earth in 7.6 Billion Years

This is what keeps me up at night...

Not really...

"There currently isn’t a sun cream in existence with sufficient factor value to counteract the upcoming bombardment our solar system’s star will eventually unleash upon the Earth, according to predictions issued by astronomers at the University of Sussex.
We can only hope that 7.6 billion years of evolution, which is how long those astronomers are suggesting it will take for the expanding Sun to absorb the Earth, is sufficient time to see mankind long since gone amid the stars.
According to Dr. Robert Smith, Emeritus Reader in Astronomy, previous calculations related to the expansion of the Sun indicated that although the Earth would be burnt to a crisp, it would likely be spared from total destruction. However, the university team now believes that the outer atmosphere of the dying star will actually cause Earth to drift into the Sun.
“We showed previously that, as the Sun expanded, it would lose mass in the form of a strong wind, m…

Wikipedia - Featured Article - Europa

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Europa (pronounced /jʊˈroʊpə/ yew-ROE-pə listen (help·info); or as Greek Ευρώπη) is the sixth-nearest and fourth-largest moon of the planetJupiter. Europa was discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei (and, some say, independently by Simon Marius), and named after a mythical Phoenician noblewoman, Europa, who was courted by Zeus and became the queen of Crete. It is the smallest of the four Galilean moons.
At just over 3,000 kilometres (1,900 mi) in diameter, Europa is slightly smaller than Earth's Moon and is the sixth-largest moon in the Solar System. Though by a wide margin the least massive of the Galilean satellites, its mass nonetheless significantly exceeds the combined mass of all moons in the Solar System smaller than itself. It is primarily made of silicate rock and likely has an iron core. It has a tenuous atmosphere composed primarily of molecular oxygen. Its surface is composed of ice and is one of the smoothest in the Solar System. This young surface is striated by cracks …

God Put a Smile Upon Your Face

Where do we go
Nobody knows
I've gotta say
I'm on my way down
God gave me style and gave me grace
God put a smile upon my face

Where do we go to draw the line
I've gotta say I wasted all your time, honey honey
where do I go to fall from grace
God put a smile upon your face, yeah and

Ah, when you work it out I'm worse than you yeah,
When you work it out I wanted to and
Ah, when you work out where to draw the line
Your guess is as good as mine

Where do we go
Nobody knows
Don't ever say
You're on your way down
When God gave you style and gave you grace
And put a smile upon your face, ah yeah and

Ah, when you work it out I'm worse than you yeah,
When you work it out I wanted to and
Ah, when you work out where to draw the line
Your guess is as good as mine

It's as good as mine it's as good as mine
It's as good as mine as good as mine

Where do we go
Nobody knows
Don't ever say
You're on your way down when
God gave you style and gave you grace
And put a smile upon your face

This Company Has Rocks In Its Head!

My husband's company, after 25+ years, has finally decided to get some HR input into their works and develop better corporate standards.
Towards that end, they are developibg a handbook. Luis is weeding through it and reading bits and pieces to me. It actually states in there that employees will be paid vacation upon termination. WHAT?!
They are giving employees five personal days and three sick days. That's generous, but in the wrong order. It should be five sick days, three personal days.
The vacation package is a little strange... two days for the first year of service (STINGY), one week until three years of service, two weeks until seven years of service. Who came up with this?
I wonder about them all the time. They have alcohol on the premises, they allow harassment of the worst kind, they are just so ignorant of the issues that these things can cause. And they have an enormous harrasser working there.
We shall see how this works out.

A.W.A.D. - Short Words

The sharper the point of the needle, the more easily it goes through. The thinner the blade of the sword, the more swiftly it cuts through. Often the same goes for words. A short, potent word helps convey the idea in just a few letters. This week we'll feature a few single-syllable words, and in the spirit of this week's theme, we'll keep this paragraph short.
cairn
(kairn) noun
A heap of stones set up as a landmark or a memorial.

[From Scottish Gaelic carn (pile of stones).]

wax
(wax) verb intr.
To increase, to grow, or to become.

[From Old English weaxan. Ultimately from the Indo-European root aug- (increase) which is also the source of auction, authorize, inaugurate, augment, august, auxiliary, and nickname ("a nickname" is a splitting of the earlier "an ekename", literally, an additional name).]
weald
(weeld) noun
A woodland.

[From Old English weald (forest).]

echt
(ekht) adjective
Authentic; typical.

[From German echt (genuine, typical).]

lea
(lee, lay) noun
A grass…

The Gods of Lunar Eclipses Were Good to Me!

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The shrouded moon was crystal clear and so was the entire night sky when I finally put on enough layers to get outside to see the Moon go into totality at 2226. It turned a pale orange colour, was momentarily pink, then the slightest sliver appeared on the southwestern most edge. At 2252 it began to leave the umbral shadow.
The gorgeous full Snow Moon will be coming out of the umbral shadow fairly soon and will not be completely out of the penumbral shadow until 0009 (or 2409). Then there will be no more total lunar eclipses visible here or anywhere, really, until December 20, 2010. There will be, I hope, a partial or two eclipses here for us to see. There is a partial eclipse slated for August, but disappointingly, it will not be visible anywhere in the North American viewing area. At least that would be something!

Not So Hopeless!

I woke up on the couch just ten minutes ago (it's 2043) and searched the western sky for a single sign that the skies are possily clear. It did not look too good. I wandered over to the eastern facing window... slowly bent over... and well... there was a light in the sky... unmistakeable... oh! The Moon! The full, beautiful moon, which is just entering the penumbral shadow. It is very fuzzy, as it is shining through the cloud cover. I hope it clears up more by 2226... but I will take what I can get! I'm holding off on going to bed just yet. I will go in to work a little later than 0600... I am not on call tomorrow night so I can work until I'm done. Or until I run out of energy. Whatever happens first.
I'm hopeful! Think clear skies for me!

Follow-up to "An Interesting Morning"

We went to the urologist today and he thinks that the rest of the passage should be easy. The stone got stuck at the bottom of the tube going from the kidney to the bladder and here's some Flomax and that should help relax the muscles both at the top of the urethra and the bottom of the passage into the bladder. From there, he said, it will be very easy, most likely. We both liked the doctor immensely.

Surgery could be a road to take but it seems to be very, very unlikely. The only less-than-positive note was that Luis' chance of getting another stone is 50% in the next decade and 90% the rest of his lifetime. Still, those are odds I can live with and we certainly know what to do should it happen again. But the doc thinks that this will pass uneventfully after this.

My father had his gall bladder removed a year ago right around this time... Let me see... Wooooowwww... I did not post a thing about Ray's being in the hospital for his gall bladder. It was super-easy. Two days t…

Be A Mind Leader

This is an article by Steve Gilliland, a motivational speaker that I have seen and thoroughly enjoyed! Oddly enough, to my friends; but unsurprisingly to my coworkers!
"If only Joe Friday, the no-nonsense officer from television's Dragnet series, could be the voice inside our heads, reminding us to focus on thefacts. Instead, the voice inside our heads sometimes is more like George Costanza, the paranoid, oversensitive, and over reactive character from television's Seinfeld series. Some days it is as if a tornado is happening in our head. There are thoughts soaring around everywhere, your boss to please, family to think about, friends to consider, bills to pay, schedules to keep and on and on and on. We've all had those days. Intellectually we know we can't change or control the circumstances of the day, but shouldn't we be able to be in command of those voices in our head, direct what they say and do, both to and for us?
Managing the voices in your head is not …

Bridzillas - the World's Stupidest Women

I haven't seen a single "Groomzilla" so I would have to imagine that this is a form of insanity that is strictly for women. Men can't understand the big thing about weddings and quite honestly, neither can I. (My friend Daniela, who is very much like me in things like this, can't understand it, as well.)
Bridezillas are an industry-wide term among wedding planners to refer to women who turn into absolutely evil wretched monsters like Godzilla that have to have everything just right, get involved in every little bit of minutae, torture their fiances, friends and family (and sometimes the wedding planner) and ay far, far more money than I would even consider for a lifetime of parties, forget just one.
I always maintained that our wedding, should we ever decide to go that route, which seems unlikely, would have a guest list about 20 people long. One bridesmaid, one groomsman. A place to have dancing and a nice dinner. No religious stuff, a JP (justice of the peace) or…

Tomorrow's Eclipse Not Looking Too Positive

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It is supposed to get cloudy tomorrow around 1000, then snow from noonish to 2000. Around 2100 it should mostly cloudy.


Not good.



Tomorrow is the last total lunar eclispe until 2010. I realise that two years is not that long. But even so. I like to see them twice yearly and last year neither worked out well. This one has to count. But the eclipse begins at 2043, enters the umbral shadow at 2201, reaches totality at 2226, exits the umbral shadow at 2251 and the moon exits the penumbral shadow at 0009. I can manage to stay up through the first part and into totality and then it will be off to bed at 2230. I will be perfectly satisfied to see the moon turn that lovely red shade, get some images through the telescope and then be off.




I need that eclipse. Please think good thoughts about the sky clearing up earlier rather than later!

An Interesting Morning

I can finally return to work on Thursday. I hope I am more up to it.
I went to the doctor yesterday and I have the flu and a sinus infection. What a winning combination that is. I feel so drained of energy but totally full of mucus! And the cold is now moving into my chest, so I will soon be coughing a lot. It takes most people three weeks to shake the cough... which means it will take me the better part of six weeks to kill it off.
Luis gave me quite a scare this morning. We were both awake after midnight and Luis had been to the bathroom a hundred times (it seemed) in a short period of time. He kept going in there and I finally asked him if he wanted an Immodium (for diarrhea) - I figured something must be wrong. Well, something was wrong. He kept feeling a very urgent need to go to the bathroom. Around 0110 he said to me, "I need to go to the hospital: I now have pain." We got dressed and EMT took over and I drove a steady 80 MPH to Morristown Memorial Hospital. I dropped h…

Lunar Eclipse Wednesday

You do not have to be an astronomy buff to appreciate the lunar eclipse coming up on Wednesday night, the last of its kind until 2010. Yet, if you are one to mind local folklore, legend has it that pregnant women should keep to their beds during eclipses. It is warned that women with child should refrain from looking at eclipse or from moving at all. The "old wives" tale suggests that pregnant women should sit or lie still for the duration of the event, or risk the baby being born with a scar or defect. The Caribbean Institute of Astronomy (CARINA) has advised that the celestial spectacle will begin at 9.43 p.m., local time, when the moon is high in the sky. A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon, in orbit around the Earth, passes into Earth's shadow. The shadow has two parts, because the sun is not a point of light-the inner, darker umbra and the outer, lighter penumbra.
If the whole moon enters the umbra, the eclipse is total. If the umbra hides only a part of the Moon, t…

Eclipse to Darken Wednesday's Moon

The Riparian Preserve's observatory will be open Wednesday night for a lunar eclipse. The viewing will be from 6 to 9 p.m. at the preserve, at Greenfield and Guadalupe roads, with the best viewing time between 8 and 9 p.m.
"The moon turns to blood in a sense," said Claude Haynes, president of the East Valley Astronomy Club, who will be present at the viewing, along with other club members. "The sunlight angles through the earth's atmosphere causing a reddish-orange color to form. It's almost like a sunset."
The moon will be full, Saturn will be closer to the moon, and the Earth will cast shadows on the moon, and there will be less conflicting or reflected light, causing it to be darker, Haynes said. The lunar eclipse should be viewable in the Western United States, Haynes said. "Anyplace you happen to be, you can see it where you are, that part is rare," Haynes said. "Next year, it could only be viewable in the summer in China. "The ne…

The Best of Friends

Some friendships have the most unusual dynamics and they work so well.
Yes, I really do love the show Boston Legal. In it, there are two characters: Denny Crane, an older, very experienced nutter who must always be in the limelight, has an ego the size of Texas, is so conservative it is painful and falls back on Mad Cow disease (instead of Alzheimers) to explain hideous lapses in judgment. He is well-played by William Shatner.
And then there is Alan Shore: a younger, cocky, very liberal, fight-for-the-underdog kind of guy who has the sexual morals of an alley cat but very strong morals for right and wrong: he will happily torpedo his own case if he cannot get on board with what it fights. He cannot commit to a single relationship but will do anything for Denny Crane.
These two men have the most unique and unusual friendship. Denny is a total homophobe but there is a dance scene in the second season episode Helping Hands. Denny has on a fast-paced salsa song and Alan stops in to talk to …

A.W.A.D. - Words Related to Medicine

The human body has been described as the most complex machine around. No wonder Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, said, "The life so short, the craft so long to learn." This complex machine has an equally bewildering number of terms to describe its various conditions, symptoms, cures, effects, and side-effects. This week we review five of them.
sequela
(si-KWEL-uh) noun,
plural sequelae (si-KWEL-ee)
A pathological condition resulting from a previous disease or injury.

[From Latin sequela (sequel).]

nosology
(no-SOL-uh-jee) noun
1. The branch of medical science that deals with classification of diseases. 2. A systematic classification or list of diseases.

[From New Latin nosologia, from Greek nosos (disease) + -logy (study).]
idiopathy
(id-ee-OP-uh-thee) noun
A disease of unknown origin or one having no apparent cause.
[From New Latin idiopathia (primary disease), from Greek idiopatheia, from idios (one's own, personal) + -pathy (feeling, suffering).]
sternutation
(stur-nyuh-TAY-shuhn…

Sicker Than Imaginable/Old Soldiers

Yuck.

I'm home, laid low with the flu. Good to see that $30 copay I spent on getting the flu shot was SO worth it. Ive got the whole nine yards - more mucus than can be believed, a raging headache, sore throat and a burning fever. And just for fun, I had to go to Newark with a coworker for a hearing.
I had been fighting some heinous bug for the last week, but I guess whatever contagion Luis picked up wasn't going to give up so easily, so here I am... NOT at work. I miss it but on the other hand I'm too tired to care.
The hearing went well, especially since the idiot in question did not show up for his part of it. I find that amusing - all the time. Danny and I had a good time, and we had enough conversation going that I was quite distracted and wasn't constantly thinking about the agonising time I was having... getting comfortable in those chairs designed by Torquemada was not fun!
I'm home now, I got in around 1130. I stopped and picked up a slice of pizza on my way h…

HUMOR FOR LEXOPHILES

(LOVERS OF WORDS)

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.

The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.

The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.

The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.

Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking.

We'll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.

The math professor went crazy with the blackboard. He did a number on it.

The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes…

Vagarities of the English Language

For those who love the philosophy of ambiguity.... ( as well as the idiosyncrasies of English)

1. Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

2. One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.....

3. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

4. If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?

5. The main reason that Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.

6. I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, 'where's the self-help section?' She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.

7. What if there were no hypothetical questions?

8. If a deaf person signs swear words, does his mother wash his hands with soap?

9. If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

10. Is there another word for synonym?

11. Where do forest rangers go to 'get away from it all?'

12. What do you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?

13…

How a Lunar Eclipse Saved Columbus

On the night of Feb. 20, the full moon will pass into Earth's shadow in an event that will be visible across all of the United States and Canada.
The total lunar eclipse will be made even more striking by the presence of the nearby planet Saturn and the bright bluish star, Regulus.
Eclipses in the distant past often terrified viewers who took them as evil omens. Certain lunar eclipses had an overwhelming effect on historic events. One of the most famous examples is the trick pulled by Christopher Columbus.
Shipwrecked
On Oct. 12, 1492, as every schoolchild has been taught, Columbus came ashore on an island northeast of Cuba. He later named it San Salvador (Holy Savior). Over the next ten years Columbus would make three more voyages to the "New World," which only bolstered his belief that he reached the Far East by sailing West.
It was on his fourth and final voyage, while exploring the coast of Central America that Columbus found himself in dire straits. He left C�diz, Spai…

Partial Solar Eclipse

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Travelling half way around the world in the hope of seeing a solar eclipse is nothing new for Jay Pasachoff, who managed to get a perfect view of the phenomenon from Nelson on Thursday. Mr Pasachoff, a professor of astronomy at Williams College in Massachusetts, travelled to New Zealand to view and photograph Thursday's partial eclipse, where the moon passed between Earth and sun.
It was the 46th solar eclipse he had seen, in a quest that has taken him around the world to places including Papua New Guinea, Antarctica, and now New Zealand.
While full lunar eclipses could be studied for scientific purposes, including getting a closer look at the sun's 1,000,000degC outer surface, partial eclipses - such as Thursday's - offered little scientific value, he said. But it did have value as it offered practice for documenting full lunar eclipses, as well as getting people interested in astronomy.
He said it was amazing that he could sit at his desk in the United States and figure out…

Ten Signs a Book Has Been Written By Me:

This is kind of a strange thing... I've never put together something quite like this!
1. It starts out normal but continues on and on. I'm thinking it will be a trilogy comprised of five books (think David Eddings)
2. The title has to be something witty, like Lumps in the Sugar

3. The mian character is me, but will have a different name and not only by intelligent but not so ADD and physically stunning; dark hair, hybrid but deep eyes, a face that can support tons of thick curly hair like Julia Roberts' in Pretty Woman, and a killer body!
4. The pages are uneven parchment with old style font numbers

5. The font has to be Garamond. Or maybe Old Bookman

6. It will come out on tape with the voice of James Earl Jones or maybe the guy on Boston Legal who plays - oh, yes, James Spader
7. The cover jacket will have the stunning me in a Renassaince Festival outfit
8. The extreme religious right will burn it, but that's okay, it will be the number one best seller so they can't buy …

Wikipedia - Golden Plates

Oh, the irony. I should probably call this is post "The Bizarre World of Mormonism Part III"... When I rebooted my computer at work this article came up on Wikipedia:

"The golden plates, also called the gold plates or the golden bible (an antiquated reference), are described as a set of engraved plates, bound into a book, that Joseph Smith, Jr. said was his source material for the Book of Mormon, a scripture of the Latter Day Saint movement. Smith, the founder of that movement, said he obtained the plates on September 22, 1827 on Cumorah hill in Manchester, New York, where they were hidden in a buried box and protected by an angel named Moroni. After dictating a translation and obtaining signed statements by eleven other witnesses, he said he returned the plates to the angel in 1829.
According to the Book of Mormon, the golden plates were engraved by a pre-Columbian prophet-historian, from an early American civilization, named Mormon and his son Moroni (who after death pr…

A.W.A.D. - Words Related to Sleep

Sleep has been called temporary death, but there's so much that goes on during that time of repose. While visiting that other world one might walk, talk, grind teeth, and sometimes dream. Your brain is more active while you're asleep than when watching television.
And that's even when you don't walk or talk in sleep. No wonder our language is rife in sleep-related idioms. You can sleep in, on, out, around, with, and over. You can lose sleep over things. You can go without food for a while but you can't cheat on sleep. It demands its dues. According to a report, you would be 25% less alert on just an hour's loss of sleep.
This week's five words are all about sleep.

somniloquy
(som-NIL-uh-kwee) noun
The act or habit of talking while asleep.

[From Latin somni- (sleep) + loqui (to speak).]

diurnation
(dy-uhr-NAY-shuhn) noun
The habit of sleeping or being dormant during the day.

[From Latin diurnus (daily), from dies (day).]

soporose
(SOP-uh-ros) adjective
Sleepy; in an unus…

Klinger's the Best!

In M*A*S*H, Maxwell Q. Klinger is always smiling and ready with a quip or joke. I love people who are happy and real (not that false paint every cheery even when you really can't). He's great.
I'm watching the episode The Birthday Girls, where a wounded cow is immenently giving birth to a calf and Margaret Houlihan's upcoming birthday is supposed to be celebrated in Tokyo. Klinger started to drive her to Kimpo to catch her flight, but the roads were out and the jeep keeled over and they were stuxk out in the wild. At one point, Klinger left her a bran muffin with a burning match to celebrate her birthday...
She came over to where he was sitting behind the jeep and said, "I have half a bran muffin going cheap."
He responded, "I have a half a flask of cheap Scotch going fast."

Gotta love that.

He's always smiling, and I usually am, too. And I'm lucky in some ways, I'm fairly easily distracted by other things. People smile at me and I smile back…

Scientists Explain Big Vapor Plume on Saturn Moon

LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists on Wednesday said they have an explanation how one of Saturn's moons can spew out a giant plume of water vapor, adding to evidence a source of life -- water -- lies beneath the moon's frozen surface.

Using a computer model, German researchers showed the temperature at the bottom of surface cracks on Enceladus has to be about 0 degrees Celsius, the so-called triple point of water where vapor, ice and liquid water all can coexist.
"This makes this moon very interesting for further study because there is a connection between liquid water and life," Sascha Kempf, a physicist at the Max Planck Institut in Heidelberg, said in a telephone interview. "This is the kind of thing planetary scientists hope for." The scientists published their findings in the journal Nature.

Mars, Jupiter's moon Europa and Enceladus are the only places in the solar system with direct evidence of water. Finding organisms different from those on Earth may p…

Wife Swap - Where Do They FIND Them?!

This show started out well, last season or whenever it began. Now, it's gone waaaaay downhill, but with the writers' strike, beggars can't be choosers - anymore. We keep hoping this will end, but it seems the writers can hold out longer than we the viewers can.
This week's families:

The overwieght mid-Western woman with an absolutely useless husband who is into truck-pulling. Good gods. Every time I think they've hit a new low in hayseed digging (this guy is a mental midget), they find someone dumber and more self-absorbed than the last one. The woman does everything and Mr. Useless has ripped apart the kitchen and bathroom and did not do anything to put them back together. Seven years that kitchen has been under construction.
This guy started things off by saying, "In this family, we believe in finishing everything we've started." LYING sack of--- well, you so get the idea.
The other family is a little odd, but not as dysfunctional. The mother, Cory (may…

Wisecracks Benefit Workplace

I loved this so much I gave it to all the managers:

"Study finds occasional jokes enhance creativity, cohesiveness, performance
Kidding around at work is commonly thought of as perilous, as the hit sitcom "The Office" often explores to wincing extremes.
Now intense research finds light humor at work is a good thing.

In their study, "The Case for Developing New Research on Humor and Culture in Organizations: Toward a Higher Grade of Manure," researchers analyzed theories on humor, emotion and mood from several hundred studies in the fields of psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy and communications.
"There's an Ernest Hemingway quote we relied on for our title — 'It always seemed to me that in those who make jokes in life the seeds are covered with better soil and with a higher grade of manure,'" said researcher Chris Robert, a psychologist at the University of Missouri at Columbia. "The double entendre there is that people who u…

Starman

I'm sitting here watching Starman, the part where she is explaining to the starman about love and how her husband is dead. How do you explain that to someone from another planet? Actually, how cool would be to have to explain anything to an alien?! I would love to meet someone from another world. That would be amazing.
I think I would be a great first contact emmisary. How hard could it be? Well, I meet people all the time and I do it with a smile and make them feel at home. The things I could do to promote us as not being savages! Of course, once any alien saw our television viewing habits they'd be outta here like a shot. I know I feel that way when I see what most people watch!
This movie is one of the best, though. When he brought that deer back to life, I cried. Joyous crying, but still! I get the hunting thing, but I wouldn't and couldn't do it. I have no idea if I could do it for survival. I really don't know what I might do for survival but I hope never to fi…

An Evening of JoCo

I love this man's music. Well, he looks like a kid with excess hair. Luis would look like without the facial hair (although the baldness has enough aging qualities by itself...)

Jonathan Coulton, baby, the guy who wrote The Presidents (see last night's last posting). He's wonderful. Writes the most amazing songs. Right this moment, I'm listening to Soft Rocked By Me, a love song but still with that witty sense of humour that I have to adore... Intelligent humour is so hard to find. But almost all of his songs have funny lyrics. Some of my favourites are up : Code Monkey, Chiron Beta Prime, etc. There's one called W's Duty, which he doesn't sing - it is just clips of George W. Bush's voice saying, "Duty, duty, duty, do your duty." There are plenty more lines in there, but they all have the word "duty" in there... a particular favourite of this moron's.
I get to badmouth the President. I live in the free country of the United States

The Presidents

One of the best songs by JoCo:

Washington came first and he was perfect
John Adams kept us out of war with France
Jefferson made the Louisana Purchase
In 1812 James Madison kicked the British in the pants

James Monroe told Europe they could [suck it]
John Quincy Adams looked just like his dad
Andrew Jackson got rid of all the Indians
Van Buren served one term but he wasn't bad

William Henry Harrison died early
John Tyler annexed Texas from Mexico
James K. Polk fought Mexico to keep it
Taylor was a Mexican war hero

Philmore gave a boat to Commodore Perry
Pierce repealed the Missouri Compromise
Buchanan saw the Civil War beginning
Lincoln saved the Union and then he died

Andrew Johnson just survived impeachment
General Grant enjoyed a drink or two
Rutherford B. Hayes ended reconstruction
Garfield was assassinated in 1882

Arthur suspended Chinese immigration
Cleveland made the railroad people squirm
Harrison signed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act
Grover Cleveland served another term

McKinley kicked the Spanish ou…

A Follow Up to the Bizarre World of Mormonism

A friend sent me this:

"Hi Aislinge,
I was going to put this in the comment box on your blog and then thought I better not because if your new eBay friend reads it, she might be insulted.
Altho you might too.... but here it is anyway.
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I must be reading this wrong as my first thought was... wrestling... how strange a sport. Let's see, there was the Undertaker, Hulk Hogan, Papa Shango, the Boogeyman, etc. etc. and while I've never liked the sport even in the least, 2 seconds of it on t.v. and you've got to laugh. Maybe the version kids do in high school doesn't lead into a liking of the t.v. variety or vice versa but it's still at the very least about power and control over another human being and the comment 'our child kicked some serious Mormon ass' to me seems just as problematic as how some feel the Mormon lifestyle is. While I don't know much about Mormonism and would probably not…