Saturday, January 26, 2008

What Do These Things Have In Common?

Before I say anything I just want to make sure that all of you saw the post preceding this one. It is certainly worth the scroll down. I'll wait...

Ok. I was applying to health insurance today (finally) and during the application there was a question that asked if I worked in any of the following fields. I found this list of careers so wonderfully diverse that I thought I should share. So be forewarned, insurance may cost more if you are a:

Crop Duster
Hazardous Materials Worker
Inter-State Trucker
Motor Vehicle Racer
Off-Shore Driller
Police Officer
Fire Fighter
Professional Athlete
or a Roofer.

This is their list of hazardous careers. Some of them make sense but there are some real surprises there. 


My New Hero

Wow, this guy is my hero. When he comes on the screen he is everything I could hope and more.Also, this is Chuck.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Arcs and Sparks

Well, Matt may have taken pictures of lightning striking the Sears Tower, but I took one of a "bolt from the blue" destroying my trailer in my back yard, right next to my palm tree.  Yeah, that's a lie.  But, Kane Quinnell of Australia did take that picture, and almost die.  That picture is of so called "positive lightning," which is often 10 times more powerful than regular lightning.  One interesting thing is that this lightning bolt, in a sense, goes from the ground up.  That is, a "leader stroke" (or several) travels from the ground up to the top of a cloud.  Then, the huge electrical discharge follows the leader stroke of least resistance back to the ground.  If you look a the above picture, you'll see a leader stroke that comes right toward the base of the palm tree.  It's faint and out of focus, but it's there.  If the main stroke had followed that leader, our intrepid hero would be a dead intrepid hero. 

Anyway, you should really check out this website, Arcs and Sparks, that has photos and videos of amazing electromagnetic phenomena.  Among other things, there are transformers exploding and "captured" lightning:

That's a photograph of a static object.  Cool.

- Seth 

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Graham Cinema

I've been hesitant about posting this here, but I've decided that until we get a few thousand more readers it won't be a problem.  You should all know about The Graham Cinema.  It is a very old theater located in Graham, NC.  All seats are $2, and it's best if you show up late so that you don't have to see the condition of the place with the lights on.  But, that's not the point. The point is that you have to call this phone number:

(336) 226-1488

That's "Tim-Bob's famous joke line."  If you want to know what's playing at the Graham Cinema, you call this line, and it takes you to Tim-Bob's voice mail where he spends 5 minutes telling you about the movies that they're showing.  He usually hasn't seen them.  Then, he spends a while telling you some jokes.  Whether or not they're funny, it's always entertaining.  Seriously, call that number.  You'll see.  It gets updated every week or so.  The reason I was hesitant about posting it is because there is only one line, so if it gets too popular, you won't be able to call in.  But, I don't "too popular" is our problem.

I should mention that the Graham Cinema hotline is excellent for hitting on women, or so I'm told.  Suppose you're trying to mac up on this girl, and it's not going that well.  She's probably trying to make some excuse about why she's got to leave because you're creeping her out, but don't fear.  Just try the following:

You: Wait, before you go ... have you ever called the Graham Cinema?
Her:  No.  I have to leave.
You:  Hang on now.  This will be worth your time.
Her:  Fine, but it better not take long.
You:  Sweet.  Check this out.

You dial the above number, put it on speaker phone and wait.

Her: I love you.

The thing to remember is this: it doesn't matter how drunk you are, or how much you've already embarrassed yourself in the evening; you can always save the situation and get the girl by using this secret weapon.  It's better than a guitar ... well it's close.

- Seth

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

So Much Potential

I saw this mentioned on BB today and I got all excited because it seemed like it should really be amazing. Some guys in Italy dropped a bunch (half a million and article said) of bouncy balls down a famous flight of stairs in Rome. They are imitating the Bravia ad where they did it in San Francisco*. But the video of these guys shoveling tons of balls off the top to the steps sucks. They couldn't find a bigger hill? Or a longer flight of stairs? It even looks like they started the balls half way down the stairs instead of at the top. Lots of potential, big fat flop.


*Also the mention at BB seemed to indicate that the Bravia ad was faked. But like so many things in life (jugglers day, Santa, kick-ass ping pong ball tricks, etc.) I choose to believe because it makes me happier and isn't hurting anyone.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Clever Solution

I don't chat online very much. When I do it is with people I already know. However there are tons of people out there who meet in chat rooms and on IRC channels to discuss stuff with other people. The concept seems sound enough right. You go to some IRC channel and can find a bunch of people who are all there because of a common interest. The problem is that most people are idiots and almost all people are idiots when they become a part of a large, anonymous crowd. On the few times I have been on IRC (for whatever reason) I have found most of the chatter mindless and the people rude and exclusive.

The guy who writes xkcd apparently has an IRC server for talk aobut the strip and he just recently installed a bot that requires that each new line must be original or else oyu are not allowed to talk. I have to get going to work but check out his description. It really seems like a clever solution to a difficult problem.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

In Case You Were Wondering

North Carolina has really decided to jump into the primary process this year. I would say that the Old North State will be the linchpin in this campaign, deciding which candidates should truly be taken seriously.  As Matt already pointed out, many folks are considering February 5th, The Tuesday of Destiny, to be when all will be decided.  The well informed among us know, however, that it won't be until three more months have passed that we'll know anything at all.  That's right, North Carolina's primary will be held on May 6th.  That's 3 days after GUAM.  I can't wait until I live somewhere where I can take advantage of this "democracy" thing.  Our primary process is such crap.

- Seth

Friday, January 11, 2008

Everyone Loves A Good Prank

Here is a list of 100 nice ones.  I found these two pretty entertaining, in particular.

#40: Internet Spring Cleaning
In 1997 an email message spread throughout the world announcing that the internet would be shut down for cleaning for twenty-four hours from March 31 until April 2. This cleaning was said to be necessary to clear out the "electronic flotsam and jetsam" that had accumulated in the network. Dead email and inactive ftp, www, and gopher sites would be purged. The cleaning would be done by "five very powerful Japanese-built multi-lingual Internet-crawling robots (Toshiba ML-2274) situated around the world." During this period, users were warned to disconnect all devices from the internet. The message supposedly originated from the "Interconnected Network Maintenance Staff, Main Branch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology." This joke was an updated version of an old joke that used to be told about the phone system. For many years, gullible phone customers had been warned that the phone systems would be cleaned on April Fool's Day. They were cautioned to place plastic bags over the ends of the phone to catch the dust that might be blown out of the phone lines during this period.

#52: Thomas Edison Invents Food Machine
After Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, Americans firmly believed that there were no limits to his genius. Therefore, when the New York Graphic announced in 1878 that Edison had invented a machine that could transform soil directly into cereal and water directly into wine, thereby ending the problem of world hunger, it found no shortage of willing believers. 
Newspapers throughout America copied the article, heaping lavish praise on Edison. The conservative Buffalo Commercial Advertiser was particularly effusive in its praise, waxing eloquent about Edison's brilliance in a long editorial. The Graphic took the liberty of reprinting theAdvertiser's editorial in full, placing above it a simple, two-word headline: "They Bite!"

- Seth

Monday, January 7, 2008

Sucks to be you, Matt Grosso

For crying out loud ... a quick Google search will show that I share my name with a bull rider and bluegrass fiddler. (Nice work Seth Hoppers of the world!) Of course my Abstract Algebra homework is still the top hit. Nice. Well, a search of Matt Grosso shows that this man:

shares your name.  You've got to go to this site and check out "The #1 Mattew Grosso Show," where you can hear him pronounce your name Gross - Oh.  Oh, it's grossly beautiful.

- Seth