Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Worst Thing Ever

This summer, I tried to think of the worst thing any human could ever possibly do, something that would make me give up my life and devote it to hunting them down and strangle them to death by hand.

What I came up with was horrifying. If anyone can think of anything worse, please, let me know.

Someone goes to Darfur refugee camps, gathers together the orphans, and makes them bulimic.

Seriously, that would be the lowest of the low.

Pretend to Be a Time Traveller Day, 2008?

I feel like this was one of the most brilliant ideas to come out of the internet in 2007, but unfortunately I missed it. I'm determined to not miss it again this year, but it seems as if all material relating to it is from last year.

Are we seriously going to only have this as a one-time thing? Come on!

Although it hasn't received much publicity, PTBATTD 2008 will be on December 7th 2008 (that's a Sunday).

Here's the info:

Saturday, November 29, 2008

An Open Plea to StumbleUpon Users

I am a big fan of math and science, and so ! have many mathematical and scientific topics in my SU queue. However, as of late, I have been stumbling to an inordinate number of pages listing nothing but an expanded of of the constant pi. Just now, I have been to several pages listing upwards of a million digits of pi.

I personally have memorized about 140 digits. That is enough for now. If I need to learn a million digits of pi, I am capable of Googling for them myself. I have nearly crashed my browser several times now with various pages that clog my bandwidth. Please stop.

Thank you.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Neighborhood Friends

As I write this, a well-known man in my neighborhood is doing his nightly rounds. Our local 9/11-truther is out preaching about Bloomberg's secret plans with the government to stage the September 11th attacks.

On the same level is the really old Catholic preacher who does round in my neighborhood. He's been out in the streets for as long as anyone can remember with this bible older than John McCain screaming all day long about "JEEsus...JEEsus...he LOVE you he LOVE you JEEsus HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH!"

Oh, and the old Jehovah's Witnesses in the subway handing out pamphlets on the secrets to success and happiness.

Last Macy's Rickroll Post, I Swear.

I'm just posting some pictures from outside my friend's window. I saw Rick Astley live. Yay!

Funny Picture

I saw this on 5min Life Videopedia, and I laughed. I never knew the related feature was so dead-accurate faulty.

Side note: If you go to the "How to Spot a Pervert" video, the first related result is "How to Survive PMS."

Rick Astley Watch, Update

Now everybody knows, but I was extremely excited as I wrote that last post.

I was there. I was at a friend's house, I look out the window, and I watch the floats go by on Central Park West. All of a sudden, I see Rick Astley standing on a float. Oh shit, I think.

25 minutes later, Mr. Astley's float arrives in Macy's Square. The rest is now history.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Rick Astley Watch

Breaking News! I'm watching Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (what's more American than that?) from a friend's house, when the great Rick Astley appears. As I write this post, Rick Astley is RickRolling every major USA news channel in America. Yes!

Video is going up on YouTube!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wow, time-shift

Has it really been a week since I last posted? Oh well, I guess it doesn't matter since no one really reads this blog anyway.

But I suppose it is important to maintain a steady rate of posting.

And why do we put up with the fuzz concerning Pez dispensers?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Timing Nim's Island

I recently happened to see Nim's Island, which I found to be rather interesting, and slightly funny, if rather unlikely. However, my favorite part was about 5 minutes in, when the father receives supplies. Among the stacks of book sis a bunch of magazines. The magazine on the August 25, 2007 copy of New Scientist.

Way to try to date the film by giving everyone 5-to-10-year-old Macs, and then give the father the latest copy of NS. Couldn't the OCD author just have used Google Earth to find the island?

View Larger Map

Could that be Nim's Island?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Immortality and Black Holes?

Time dilation occurs in the presence of gravity. Near a black hole, time dilation approaches infinity. If you were fall backwards into such a black hole, you would see the cosmic movie seem to speed up faster and faster until the infinity of time passed before your eyes in a fraction of a second. To an outside observer, it would simply seem that it was taking you an infinite amount of time to reach the event horizon.

Meanwhile, tidal forces between the top and bottom parts of your body relative to the black hole wil normally tear you apart. However, in a large enough black hole, the forces difference between your head and your feet is less, meaning that you survive for a longer period of time.


Now to the questions:

1. What is the minimum required mass of a black hole to allow you to reach the black hole without tidal forces tearing you apart? For simplicity of calculation, assume the maximum force your body can sustain is your weight (a.k.a. your mass and earth's gravitation acceleration of 9.801 m/s^2)

2. If you were to fall into a black hole of at least the size calculated in question 1, and the universe flashed before you, does that not mean that the black hole will have ceased to exist as well? If so, how can you fall into something which has ceased to exist? Have you outlived the universe and are you an infinite amount of time in the future? Does this count as immortality?

3. If the black hole vaporizes along with the universe, it must first get smaller, which will increase tidal forces. What are the required parameters of minimum black hole mass and initial velocity into the black hole to cause the following situation: time dilation is great enough so that the time (from your perspective) during which the tidal forces exist that are strong enough to kill you is short enough to prevent the atoms in your body from separating to dangerous distances?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Observation of the Day

Very few people have ever eaten a marshmallow in more than two bites.

I took a dozen bites out of one, and in slow-motion. The effect was amazing.

Send in videos of yourself eating a marshmallow in small bites and slow motion!

(Not that anyone reads this blog anyway ;) )

Flash Work

I've created a Flash app that realistically bounces a ball on a line which you make. It's pretty cool. I've also made a Newtonian physics engine, which is downright awesome. It's built directly from Newton and Kepler's formulae, and it works beautifully. I actually cheered when I got a sun-planet-moon system working.

User interface is in production, and hopefully it will be uploaded soon.


1. Ben & Jerry's Dough Balls

Google bless the person who came up with this: a chocolate-covered hunk of cookie dough. For a dollar.

2. "Whatever, Martha!"

It's quite hilarious, especially from the point of view of someone whose monther watched/watches Martha obsessively.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Videos, 11/11/08

Happy Angola Independence Day everyone! I can't really think of anything right now, so here are soem videos I've been watching:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hacking in SoHo

I went to SoHo yesterday, and lucky for me, it was a beautiful day, and almost no one was out. I stopped in one of the many furniture design stores in the area, and noticed that they had numerous computers set up to allow the customer to view more merchandise. I wanted to check something on Google, but they had set up strict parental controls.

Let the fun begin. Fortunately, the store, looking for the more upscale look, used Macs for the info consoles. It's harder to block certain actions on a Mac, so after a little experimentation, I found that the Command+Click system had not been deactivated. A few clicks, and I was on the desktop. From there, I was able to open up Time & Date, navigate back to System Preferences (many of the normal routes were blocked), and deactivate a few blockers. Then, back on the desktop, I made a new file, and started to rename it to

..when an attendant started walking over. I quickyl went back to the screen, pretended to ponder the merchandise for a few minutes, then walked out.

I had, however, left them a little present: I changed the display's sleep settings, so it goes to one of Apple's nice screensavers every 5 minutes. After all, what's a hack without a signature?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Car Alarms

Seriously, car companies turn out new cars every year, but it seems that no one has run a cost-benefit analysis on car alarms since they were introduced.


1. A disturbingly high number of false alarms. Seriously, any other product with this many false positives should be pulled.
2. The duration of the alarms. Why is it that about 25% of car alarms fail to turn off until someone actually jacks the car and tears out the speaker wires in desperation?
3. The intensity of the alarms. Why must they be so loud?
4. Chain reactions. This comes from #3, where one alarm is loud enough to set off another alarm. Actually, this could get rather humorous.
5. The sanity of the surrounding peoples. 'Nuff said.

Benefits: If you happen to live in a remote area with no neighbors for miles around and the alarm goes off, you might have a few seconds extra to reach for your shotgun.

Then again, I might just use the shotgun on the cars anyway.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Global Democracy

I was wondering: what if the entire world, not just Americans, voted in American elections? Would that help prevent us from electing people who would hurt the world at large? I imagine that foreign policy would become a much larger issue.

Nice, Mr. Olbermann

Obama is now President-Elect, and November 4 has come and gone. On his show, "Countdown with Kieth Olbermann," Kieth has overhauled his show's graphic design for the occasion. [Note the sarcasm.] He has gone from this:

to this:

Great show, Keith, but seriously, how much work did you spend in changing the date?

Woah. Mr. Wheeler, you have changed the world.

New Scientist posted this article on the concept of "flexi-laws" over a year ago, but it's the picture in the article that amazes me:

Don't you get it, sheeple? We have been duped! This experiment has changed something in the past, thereby breaking off a new timeline. We are not the original universe. We have created new timelines.

Matrix moment. There's only one thing that can help: xkcd. (Of course, not the original xkcd.

And now for the biggest shock: there is a very good chance that John Wheeler did the experiment one more time, and split off another timeline. However, in this timeline, he didn't do the experiment. So there is a good chance that there is another, more recent universe than ours.

We're obsolete.

More xkcd:

The last three panels are the really relevant ones.

So, I say to all: we are obsolete. Let's burn the world! (Or at least make me king.)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I couldn't stop laughing and crying at this.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Be Prepared: Yahoo!

News came in just a little while ago that Obama has taken Ohio, along with PA. According to, there is no way for McCain to win now.

Yahoo! has reflected this with a new homepage:

Here is the URL of that picture of a confident Obama:

Naturally, I changed "barack" to "mccain," and found this picture:

I guess it doesn't hurt to be prepared.

UPDATE: I found some other pictures.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Palin - Wurzelbacher 2012

My own post inspired me to remake my favorite sticker in Photoshop. Yes, I suck at Photoshop, but the point of the image is clear.

Wow, am I scared.

The Greatest Costume to Ever Grace Halloween Politics

(cue the drama)

Check out my costume!

It's a swing voter, get it? Swing voter? *pauses for laughs*

Anyway, reception was fantastic. However, my favorite part of the costume was the back:

In case you can't read that, it says "Palin - Wurzelbacher 2012." Tell me that there's nothing scarier. Very appropriate for Halloween.

Also, check out my tribute to the internetz in the last picture.

Thank you, good night! (Oh, and I'm currently scaring myself by turning on the TV, watching commercials for future programming, and thinking about how I will most likely know who the next president is when that show airs.)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Screwing with the English Language

I have invented a word which I, on the completion of this post, will submit to Urban Dictionary.

Behold: the world's first self-referential word.

tad‧stoop \'tad-stup\ adj : A person who does not know the definition of "tadstoop."

"You're a tadstoop."
"A what?"


On a different note, think of all of the common phrases that we say that make no sense whatsoever.

1. "Thank you"/"Bless you"/"Damn you"/"F*** you"/etc.: Without the subject in there, this almost sounds like a command, in which case it should be "___ yourself." Is it so hard to squeeze that "I " in there?

2. "Thank God": Similar to #1, but it's even more strange. I would expect this one to be more common among the fundies.

3. "No thank you": This is even worse than #1, because the "no" doesn't even belong there. If you want to throw out the subject, still, it should be "don't thank you." Alternatively, if you want to keep the "no," it shoudl be "no thanks for/to you."

4. "You're welcome": Welcome to what? It makes even less sense when looked at in context:
"Bless you."
"Thank you."
"You're welcome."
What? I'm welcome to sneeze on you? I'm welcome to be thankful to you?


One last thing:

Check it out. I tried feeding the least sensible paragraph in my knowledge (Miss South Carolina's abysmal response) into it, and got this:

i purson@lly belive taht u.s. americanz0rz r unable 2 does zo b/c, uhmmm, some peepul, outs thar n are nation don’t has maps en uh, i believe dat oor, i, education liek such az uh, sourff africa, + uh, tehz iraq, everywere lyk such az, anbd i believe taht thae shud, uhhh, are education ovr hear in tha us shud halp ff' u.s., uh, should halp souff africa, itz should halp iraq and da asian ocuntriez sew we wiull b able to bild op our phuture, phor us.