Day: December 23, 2010

“Ford Focus swaying leftlem to right snow/ice normal?”

TOP TIP: Next time you’re screaming at the clueless fuckwits driving too fast or too slow* in the snow and ice, calm yourself down by remembering that they’re akin to theoretical physicists when put next to chris20051 from AAM, Fianna Fail Voter #1.

* You may feel you have to crawl your crapbox up the hill and on-ramps – you really don’t – but I drive a RWD, and can’t. I need a run at it. Move over, speed up, or stay at home, dickheads.

8-Year-Olds Publish Scientific Bee Study

I want my kids to go to a school that has neuroscientist parents in to talk to the kids, that encourages them to build scientific models, and write papers for publication in peer-reviewed periodicals. Does such a thing exist in Ireland? Can we replace the catholic crap with this please?

A group of British schoolchildren may be the youngest scientists ever to have their work published in a peer-reviewed journal. In a new paper in Biology Letters, 25 8- to 10-year-old children from Blackawton Primary School report that buff-tailed bumblebees can learn to recognize nourishing flowers based on colors and patterns.

“We discovered that bumblebees can use a combination of colour and spatial relationships in deciding which colour of flower to forage from,” the students wrote in the paper’s abstract. “We also discovered that science is cool and fun because you get to do stuff that no one has ever done before.”


“They’re made out of meat.”

Found this via a spoof on Boing Boing, had no idea who wrote it but I’ve always loved it. Turns out it’s by a sci-fi writer called Terry Bisson, who I shall now be adding to my wish list. I love sci-fi shorts!

Terry seems ok with it being reposted on the web, but I’ll just post the start here, please visit his website for the rest, and have a look around when you’re done.

“They’re made out of meat.”


“Meat. They’re made out of meat.”


“There’s no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They’re completely meat.”

“That’s impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?”

“They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don’t come from them. The signals come from machines.”

“So who made the machines? That’s who we want to contact.”

“They made the machines. That’s what I’m trying to tell you. Meat made the machines.”

“That’s ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You’re asking me to believe in sentient meat.”

“I’m not asking you, I’m telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in that sector and they’re made out of meat.”

“Maybe they’re like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage.”

“Nope. They’re born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn’t take long. Do you have any idea what’s the life span of meat?”

“Spare me. Okay, maybe they’re only part meat. You know, like the weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside.”

“Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads, like the weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They’re meat all the way through.”

“No brain?”

“Oh, there’s a brain all right. It’s just that the brain is made out of meat! That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you.”


Why do I always get the sloooow line?

Well, you don’t, however your probability of getting a slow line (in the example below) is 66%, which is why you always seem to come out worse off. Here’s a great video to explain, via Lifehacker. (Young ‘uns, you might want to read this first.)

(Every time I stand waiting at the Tesco self-serve checkouts, I wish they’d formalise the combined queue. I actually map out the rope barriers in my head…)