Wishing for snow…

This summer, Madison was uncharacteristically cool. Now in the late fall, it is uncharacteristically warm. It’s already halfway through November and we’ve only just had our first windshield-frost. Where’s the snow?

In Colorado, however, the snow has already piled up, and Phil Plait got to show off his ubernerdiness earlier than most. Check out his Snow Dalek!

What could I do to top that?


Finally an image that means what I feel!

They may be your friends, or family members. Indeed, there is an almost religious-like following going on which aims to gather your money and send you on an endless spiral toward endless unfulfillment. Is it heavy metal music? No. Scientology? Not this time. Is it the Apple Computers’ have-to-buy-the-next product cult? Yes.

Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy was having a conversation with Wesley Crusher Wil Wheaton about their latest “upgrade”, which made things worse for them. It happens from time to time when newer versions of products come out that are worse than their predecessors. Like Windows Vista. But it is always funny when it happens to Apple because it is the Un-Microsoft. Or is it?

Anyway, this is all just a way to show you the image that Phil made for the occasion that tickled me until I fluoresced:

I have spent my lifetime building up a resistance to the iWhatever.

We wantz too be edyoukators two!

(via Pharyngula and The Thumb) The Institute for Creation Research, which was denied its request to be an accredited degree-granting institution, has decided to sue the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board! It’s 67-page complaint “reads kind of like stereo instructions.” Not only are they suing the members of the board institutionally, but also individually, at their homes. The first couple pages of the complaint are grand, you should check it out, but in case you were thinking to read all 67 pages – there’s a lot of mindless crap in it and your time is better spent searching for lint in your belly button.

They are suing for viewpoint discrimination, religious discrimination, a violation of their first amendment rights, and even violations of interstate commerce! I didn’t know they had a traveling road show – I ought to see it sometime.

Here’s my favorite part of the complaint: Continue reading We wantz too be edyoukators two!

Boston Tea Party for the rich?

Regular readers know I don’t often write about political stuff on my blog. But Monday I got something pretty funny in my inbox. Mass-mailed to all UW-Madison students, the local Republican student club was advertising a local “Tea Party” on April 15th to protest… taxes. Here’s what their slogan was:

Enough raising our taxes.

Enough driving jobs from Wisconsin.

Enough altering our way of life.

Having just completed The Ms. and my taxes for last year, I can safely say that our own taxes have not been raised. Sure, the first-time homebuyer’s credit (w00t) will help us replace the dinosaur of a furnace that burned us at the bank this winter, but even if you cut that out we don’t have anything to complain about.

Nor do many others. Across the board, people are paying less taxes, even capital gains taxes. The only people who could complain about taxes are… those who are making more than $250,000 a year! Maybe I should crash their tea party so I can meet all the disgruntled rich heirs and heiresses?

Oh wait, given that I pay taxes, I have a job. And during that tea party I’ll be showing an undergrad how to do PCR, as part of that job. Dang, it could have been great. Why did they have to schedule it during the day when actual taxpayers are working?

UPDATE 2:30 pm: PZ Myers also posted about the ‘tea party’ – apparently the people planning the event are calling it “Tea Bagging.” Ummm… that already has a meaning. It involves a certain dangly bit of male anatomy and the mouth of a victim. Hey, next time look up what you are saying before you sound like nutbags. This news report is full of win.

April Fools all around

My favorite April Fools in the science blogosphere was in 2007, when The Panda’s Thumb pretended that an idiotic creationist named Michael Egnor was an elaborate hoax played on science bloggers by the intelligent design “think” tank – the Discovery Institute. Using a site designed to look like their media complaints division news blog, the Thumb announced that we were all SUCKERED. It had me going for a bit.

This year had a few good pranks. In a blatant attempt to out-do myself from last year, I decided to have the new Biofortified Blog be taken over by Greenpeace. Go here for the details.

Jonathan Eisen passed around a dubious story about the LHC operating in secret – I know from past experience not to trust him on April 1st. Maybe it was the fact that the NY Times was hosted on his server? What is Jon is the NY Times? Anyway, I gave it a little plug.

On the Thumb, the creationist organization AIG merged with the insurance giant AIG. And PZ Myers laments on how hard it is to tell the difference between extremely insane stuff and hoaxes on this one day of the year. Poe’s Law is indeed alive and well. Living in Jersey, I should think.

A good time was had by all.

PZ Myers gets in an accident!

Greg Laden worried us all with his post this morning about PZ Myers getting into an accident on the road. PZ has recently reported back on his blog that he is OK and will be giving his talk in Michigan as scheduled. Here’s what happened:

It wasn’t bad; little traffic, the roads were icy, but I was taking my time and coping like a real Minnesotan. Then, as I was leaving lovely Glenwood, I saw a truck stopped to make a left turn way ahead — like 4 or 5 blocks ahead. So I touched the brakes to slow down a little more. So I tried to slow down a little more. So I tried very hard to slow down some more. Why isn’t this car slowing down at all? I still had plenty of room, so I started easing over to the right to miss the truck on the shoulder. I tried to ease over. Why isn’t the car turning? I was pumping the brakes and trying to shift over just a little bit, right up until the moment I crunched into the right rear corner of the truck.

Well, I have have it on the word of a very unreliable source that PZ left a few details out. Someone uploaded a video to YouTube:

Continue reading PZ Myers gets in an accident!