USS Momsen - The USS Momsen is a new BURKE Flight IIa class destroyer being built in Bath, Maine. A cousin of mine is the prospective XO of this new warship. For those interested, here are some pictures of pieces of this ship as it is being built.
Pictures: Destroyer Photo Index DDG-92 USS MOMSEN
Article: New Destroyer Stationed In Everett
Aces Full at the Tables - Last week I played at the 7-Stud tables at Foxwoods. It was a profitable visit, but was not especially noteworthy. However, I did show down aces full of kings (the best possible full house) in one hand, beating out someone with queens full of something. When he hit his fullie he didn't try to bang me back at all (my hand was hidden with only one ace and one king up, and he should have thought he had the best hand at that point), so I was a little disappointed that I didn't make more money off the hand.
The Daily Howler - It's a site which calls out and catalogues blunders in the press. The entry for Monday was: "The WashTimes slandered the NEA. Your pundits, bought off, just don't care" In this installment they point out how some nationally respected pundits have claimed that the NEA website set up to help teachers deal with the 9/11 tragedy is some sort of subversive plot. The site is actually full of speeches by Bush himself and what looks to be some pretty supportive stuff. But through the magic of selective reasoning, quotes are taken out of context to twist the meaning of the site.
I haven't ever checked the Howler regularly, but it appears it might be a good place to stop by once a week or so.
Handy in a logical pinch... - I thought of submitting this link because of the frequency with which I read and hear poorly constructed arguments. The logical Fallacies: Index is a list of logical fallacies you might encounter in everyday life, or even when reading the news. I report that with sadness, but you'll find politicians and the-man-on-the-street alike supporting their opinions with a hefty dose of logical fallacy.
Some favorites are:
But choose your own favorites!
Write in "Jedi" - Two people sent me this story. Does that mean I am a geek?
Australians deluge their census-takers with claims that 70,000 of them are part of the "Jedi" religion. See: Jedi 'religion' grows in Australia
There was a threat to fine these people for giving false info to the census-takers. However, they throw away the name information so it seems like it's logistically improbable that they will be able to figure out who to fine.
Synthetic Spider-Man - Research into why geckos can stick to most any surface has yielded success. It turns out that tiny hairs are responsible rather than any chemical. Researchers have been able to synthesize these hairs and verify that van der Waals forces are able to keep them sticking - even to extremely smooth polished silicon chips.
As soon as they start manufacturing Spider-Man gloves, I'm getting them on preorder. See: Scientists discover what makes geckos stick.
Dude... it's just a wedgie! - Okay, giving someone a wedgie is pretty rude and it is a form of physical abuse. However, you don't get back at someone for giving you a wedgie by killing him (see: Salon.com People | Man accused in wedgie case)
It's much better to come up with a creative revenge solution.
Direction - The other day I was stopping by to check on my daughters at soccer camp. I pulled into the school's parking lot area looking for a space and found one on a road that loops around, since the lot iteslf was full. There wasn't much room, so I had to back in. As I put the car into reverse, I looked up and saw a station wagon parked about 40 yards away with a guy fishing stuff out of the back. Standing next to him were (presumably) his preteen daughter and very young son, perhaps 5 years old.
The son was looking straight at me from across the distance, but I don't think he could see that I was looking back at him. However, as he watched me pull into the space he started gesturing with his hands - first making a "come this way" gesture, and then a "go that way" push. I eased into the space and he continued this until I came to a stop, at which point he gave me the "stand pat" gesture. He'd been pretending to direct me in my parking efforts.
I got my stuff together and got out of the car quickly; I'd wanted to wave at him or something to acknowledge his pretend help. By the time I extricated myself from the vehicle, he had looked away to whatever life's next challenge was.
The King of Weird News - If you enjoy Reuters "Oddly Enough" section, imagine that turned up a notch. Daily Rotten: Weird News seems to get even weirder news (and sometimes, a little more disgusting news) than the Reuters folks. I don't know who is compiling ths stuff, but here's a smattering of their current stories just for example:
(Warning: the other parts of "Rotten" are pretty disturbing, so don't wander too far if you have a weak stomach. And I mean that.)
The No-Risk Bet - What happens when somebody steals your debit card and bets on the races? Further, what happens when they win and since they can't produce ID, the winnings are directly depisited back into the victim's checking account? Read this and find out.
Spider Redux - Well, I still haven't seen the Spider on the mirror of my Saturn, but cleaning out my old car revealed a really neat spider lurking on the passenger side mirror there. I was able to get some decent pictures: (1) The spider and its shadow; (2) The spider crawling on the car; (3) The spider and the mirror; (4) A bright picture of the spider; (5) A blurry but decent spider pic
The kids were delighted by the spider, but opening the door ruined his web and sent him crawling on the car. So - what sort of spider is this?
Geurilla Advertising - CNN.com is reporting that Sony Ericsson is hiring beuatiful people to get in the trenches and pose as couples to get the man-on-the-street to take their picture with this new telephone. If asked, the couple will not hide that they work for the company, but I find this to be an interesting development in marketing. Next thing you know they'll be planting guys at bars recommending specific brands of beer, pretzels and condoms.
LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD - Check out this site with interactive politically-inspired art. It's aimed at Bush and Tony Blair.
Worth a trip. Don't forget to click on the little squares near the bottom. They switch the animation among 5 different themes. Bush Wordfinder is pretty funny.