February 19th, 2008


[links] Link salad for a Tuesday

dionysus1999 reacts to Mainspring Powell's | Amazon | Audible ]

Frog from hell — New fossil unearthed. (Thanks to frabjouslinz.)

Planet-hunters set for big bounty — Rocky planets may be (relatively) common.

prof_brotherton on English as the unofficial language of science — Interesting read. I'm particularly interested in goulo's comments on this.

Violins and Starships — A rather entertaining blog with some hilarious links. (Thanks to Interrupting Gelastic Jew.)

McCain pulls a fast one with public finance — Maverick Senator John McCain, Mr. Integrity, promised in a binding contract to stay in public financing to repay his campaign loans if he was losing but to drop out of public financing to repay his campaign loans from donations if he was winning. Your Republican Party: where the ethics run good.

Time in saddle: 0 minutes — At hotel, planning to walk extensively at airport this afternoon
Last night's weigh-out: n/a
This morning's weigh-in: n/a
Not with me at the airport Currently reading: The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image, by Leonard Shlain Powell's | Amazon ]

[help] Deep thought required

Two questions have crossed my radar in the last day or so, neither of which I know the answer to.

tillyjane writes:
In the dishwasher or on the drainer, how come the plastic things still have lots of water beads after the glass and ceramic things are dry?
This must have something to do with the physics of water and surface slickness, but that's the best I can come up with.

frankwu writes:
If alliteration occurs when the first consonant of two successive words matches, is there a word for when the last consonant of a first word matches the first consonant of a second word, like "football league" or "vampire ritual" or "office supplies"? The matching consonants make the words really flow together, making the text more poetic, but I'm wondering if there's a name for that.


[photos] The Hanford site

Some other photos from our visit to the Hanford site last Friday (also known somewhat mysteriously as the Department of Energy's Office of River Protection). We saw the tank simulator, the origami bulldozer, armed men, big fences, huge buildings of forbidden purpose, dead submarines, a nuclear reactor tug, a laser range finding black hole detector (well, the outside of the building for that sucker) and a bunch of old, cool tech.

My favorite thing was the radioactive underground railway. Apparently in the early days of plutonium processing, one of their solutions for disposing of contaminated equipment was load it onto railroad cars and push the cars into a dead railway tunnel leading away from the site. Now there's a tunnel full of highly radioactive rolling stock they need to remediate. There's something very poetic and weird about that. Talk about the subway to Hell.

The tour was a lot of fun, and chock full of story ideas.

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As usual, more at the Flickr set.

[travel] Being cranky at DIA

Let's see...DIA, where the rental car center is in the next county. Check. Where the tickets and IDs are being checked by an anal-retentive with poor reading comprehension skills. Check. Where the TSA screening is apparently running on code Red+++. Check. Where Lake's Law of Power Outlets is in full force. Check. Where some poor child is continuously wailing its grief over causes unknown just behind me. Check.

God, travel is romantic.

Home tonight, working tomorrow, off to South Carolina at the crack of crack Thursday.
  • Current Music
    cantata for wailing child and PA system
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[writing] Progriss riport

42 pages of Madness on the plane home.

Did I mention the twit blocking the sidewalk at DIA who found it very rude of me to ask him politely to move so I could pass by? That's right up there with people who are offended when you ask them to stop talking in theatres.

On the other hand, I'm happy to have spent several hours inside the book.

[contest] ARC contest

thexmedic won an ARC of Escapement a while back, which I'm going to send him as soon as I'm home long enough to deal with that. However, the rest of you now have a chance.

Here's the fabulous contest. In either a limerick or a haiku, tell me in comments why you should receive an ARC of Escapement. Props for being mad funny or over the top.

As usual, there will be a voting poll to decide the winner.

I will also invoke judge's discretion and award an Audible.com gift card to my personal favorite. The card can be used for two Audible titles, including Mainspring Powell's | Amazon | Audible ] or any other title, including Old Man's War, A War of Gifts: An Ender Story or any of the Dune books.

Note that under these rules, someone might win both prizes...