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?

Enjoying my 3-day weekend

I’m two-thirds the way through my 3-day weekend, and I’m loving it. Plenty of time to work on stuff in and around the house, write furiously, and make grand plans for the near future. Yesterday I finished digging out a trench to add some drainage to a planter, and I got a start on a scratching post for the cat. Today I will be painting a bee table and putting a second coat on some recently-bare concrete, and maybe a little filming if I can fit it in. Lots of things related to the Haus Haro von Mogel to keep me busy.

But there’s something else I’ve been busy with as well. Over the last few days I have written a few posts about genetic engineering over at Biofortified:

I have a pile more to write, some half-finished in drafts, but they are taking a backseat position to an entry I am writing for th Ashoka Changemakers. They’ve got a contest about educating the public about genetic engineering, and although they have gone to a great effort for this contest, but as I point out here, there are a couple issues. Nevertheless I’ll make a showing later, but first, a bucket of paint and a powerdrill awaits!

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.

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!

Cool, but not.

Anytime there’s an exodus of talent from a major player like Disney (Pixar, Dreamworks), or in this case, Google, it gets a lot of attention because it usually means someone’s going to make something good. The internet story du jour (and discussed during a picnic at work today, too) is the new search engine Cuil, pronounced cool. After checking it out, I have decided that although it has a few nifty features, it seems almost useless compared to the Big G. Continue reading Cool, but not.

Things not to do with your spouse’s email account

Like send death threats to public personas, or anyone for that matter. It turns out that one of the death threats sent to PZ Myers has resulted in a swift firing of the 1-800-flowers.com employee who owns the account, Melanie Kroll. Apparently it was her husband who sent the threatening email from her computer. You could hem and haw about whether or not she is liable for the email since her husband sent it, probably without her knowledge. (Hey honey, can I threaten the life of someone with your business account?? OK Thanks!) But the short answer is that she’s out of a job, and he confessed to the crime.

Upon reflection, and reading many of the comments made, I feel that no matter how mad I was, it did not make it right for me to use the language or tone I used. In fact, I think there would have been many more constructive things I could have done, the angry email was just the simplest way.
And I’m sorry.

But then his confession turns bizarre and he starts talking about Muslims… who ever mentioned Muslims in this issue? Continue reading Things not to do with your spouse’s email account

PZ Myers posts his death threats

Due to a recent scuffle over sacred sugar free cookies, science blogger PZ Myers has received a ton of hate mail and calls for his job. Of course, no one surrenders the freedom of speech when they become an employee of the government. You just don’t get to claim that the government institution that you work for supports your statements. Nevertheless, there’s been a lot of intolerance coming in the name of tolerance.

In addition to all this, several emails PZ has received contained death threats, and he has just posted two of those emails to his blog, including full IP addresses, headers, email addresses, and everything. Apparently, one of them sent this email through their work email, so now we know that they work for 1800flowers.com! Doesn’t look like they will be working there much longer. Continue reading PZ Myers posts his death threats

Watch. Colossal Squid. Now.

It’s time! The squid dissection is underway. In case you haven’t heard yet, a 500 kg (1,100 pound) giant squid was caught by a fishing ship, and it is being dissected today. Well, tomorrow, but tomorrow in Australia is today. (It’s a crazy, mixed-up upside-down world) Right now, they’ve got the cameras on, and are streaming the footage live via webcast. You can point your media programs at it by clicking here. Right now they’ve got the lights off and they are pointing a blacklight at the thawed squid. I’m keeping Ariela entertained by playing some crazy disco music from the original Battlestar Galactica along with the Blacklight scene! It’s a party!

It’s so big, yet so cute! Are those little swim floats on the tentacles of the squid like those you put on the arms of little kids?

Anyway, get off ye bums and have a lookie. Crikey!

(I have now moved on from the bad BSG music and am playing something more mature and fitting, like SeaQuest DSV by John Debney.)