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Archive: November 20, 2013

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exact nonsense

Wednesday,  11/20/13  04:57 PM

science!From Penn Jillette:

There is no god and that's the simple truth. If every trace of any single religion died out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again.

Such a penetrating observation, right?  Imagine another inhabited planet.  Of course, their laws of physics would be the same as our laws, their mathematics, their chemistry.  Even their biology (though of course exact forms might differ).  The science would be exactly the same.  But if the planet evolved intelligent life, what are the chances that their religion would be the same?  Zero.  Some of the concepts might be similar but all of the details would be different.

In fact you don't have to imagine another planet, just use ours.  Science is the same everywhere, in every country, in every culture, but religion differs widely.



Wednesday,  11/20/13  07:15 PM

Yet another day of coding, a good day.  But I am also living an instance of Zero's paradox, waiting for the asymptote to converge.  Will I ever get there?

From the Horse's Mouth, today's surfing pic of the day.  COOL.

The magic of animated GIFs.  It's so weird and so cool that this just happened, way back when (in the old Compuserve days, before the Internet!).  Seems like it could never happen today.  Apple would have one implementation, Google another, and Microsoft a third, and each website would have to implement animation five ways and everyone would give up.

Another thing that "just happened": PDFs.  Amazingly, we can now display PDFs on any web page, with just JavaScript, no plugin required.  I'm trying to think, is this just cool, or also useful?

flying car!American Digest: Where is my flying car?  Oh, right here...

LEGO: Star Wars vs MC EscherLego Star Wars vs MC Escher.  "Escher's work is known for its depictions of architectural impossibilities, but 'Relativity' is one of the few that can, despite its complexities, actually be built."  Excellent.

The Oatmeal: Every time it snows in a big city.  "You call this snow?  I grew up in Bumbelch, Nebrahoma, and we used to get 50 feet of snow a day."  Dead on.

Nikolai Tesla's labSpeaking of the Oatmeal... this is kinda old news now, but still cool: Oatmeal cartoonist helps raise $1M to turn old Nikolai Tesla lab into a museum.  Awesome!

pants-size comparisonYou knew this, but now you really know: A pants-size comparison.  "The thing that most pants do have in common is that the actual measurement of the jeans is far larger than the size printed on the label."

And in other old news, about Tesla's namesake: Tesla repays its $465 million federal loan nine years early.  Yay.

Powerline asks: why should taxpayers subsidize electric vehicles?  The answer is, they shouldn't... but at least the Tesla experiment ended well all the way around.  The GM experiment was less successful, "we" spent 10x as much and got the Volt.

"winter trees"From Aardman (Wallace and Gromit!), The Staves, "Winter Trees".  Very nice.


Holiday Inn

Wednesday,  11/20/13  10:27 PM

Holiday Inn - a classicWatched Holiday Inn tonight, for the kazillionth time, and man is it great.  Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds, great singing ("White Christmas"!), amazing dancing (how well would Fred and Marjorie score on Dancing with the Stars, eh?) and a wonderful feel-good story.  There's even some funny set-within-a-set Hollywood inside baseball.

I've blogged about this before, it all started when we were decorating for Christmas in 2004, and we wanted to hear "White Christmas".  And we found it on iTunes, and poof! we were listening to it, and it was great.

And then again, in 2008 when we wanted to find "White Christmas", the movie, and we did, but then realized that the classic recording of "White Christmas" actually did not come from the movie, but instead came from "Holiday Inn", which predated it by ten years.  We found it on iTunes, and poof! we were watching it, and it was great.

And it still is :)


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About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained