The Big Think

December 31, 2009

Quoth

Filed under: Quoth — jasony @ 12:37 am

“When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you.”

Pablo Picasso

December 29, 2009

Living up to Your Potential

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 11:13 pm

The next time you feel like things are hard and you’re not capable of doing something, remember that almost anything is possible.

December 28, 2009

Propping

Filed under: Woodworking — jasony @ 11:03 pm

Had a great day in the shop building three big props (well, one big- heavy!- one, and two smallish ones). We’re still not done, but it’s coming together. Needless to say, tomorrow’s forecast of 34 degrees and raining isn’t going to make it any easier.

I really love prop days, but it takes a toll. 12 hours on the concrete floor tossing around 4×8 sheets of 3/4″ plywood makes a body sore! Fortunately, a little Advil and Ace Pear Cider takes care of that. 🙂

December 27, 2009

Classic

Filed under: Music — jasony @ 11:15 pm

Health Care

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 10:59 pm

Looking at the millions of Americans it leaves uninsured, and the millions it leaves with worse treatment and reduced access, and the millions it makes pay significantly more for their current health care, one can only marvel at Harry Reid’s genius: government health care turns out to be all government and no health care. Adding up the zillions of new taxes and bureaucracies and regulations it imposes on the citizenry, one might almost think that was the only point of the exercise.

That’s why I believe America’s belated embrace of government health care is going to be far more expensive and disastrous than the Euro-Canadian models. Whatever one’s philosophical objection to the Canadian health system, it is, broadly, fair: Unless you’re a cabinet minister or a bigtime hockey player, you’ll enjoy the same equality of crappiness and universal lack of access that everybody else does. But, even before it’s up-and-running, Pelosi-Reid-Obamacare is an impenetrable thicket of contradictory boondoggles, shameless payoffs, and arbitrary shakedowns.

That’s why Nebraska’s grotesque zombie senator Ben Nelson is the perfect poster boy for the new arrangements, and not just another so-called Blue Dog Democrat spayed into compliance by a massive cash injection. There is no reason on earth why Nebraska should be the only state in this Union to have every dime of its increased Medicare tab picked up by the 49 others. So either that privilege will be extended to all, or to favored others, or its asymmetry will be balanced by other precisely targeted lollipops hither and yon. Whatever happens, it’s a dagger at the heart of American federalism, just as the bill’s magisterial proclamation that the Independent Medicare Advisory Board can only be abolished by a two-thirds vote of the Senate strikes at one of the most basic principles of a free society — that no parliament can bind its successors.

read the whole thing.

Flak

Filed under: Humor and Fun,Maker — jasony @ 10:42 pm

FPV of fireworks. Cool.

Learning

Filed under: Education — jasony @ 10:02 am

Too many American students simply lack the basics. In 2002, a National Geographic-Roper survey found that most 18- to 24-year-olds could not find Afghanistan, Iraq, or Japan on a map, ranking them behind counterparts in Sweden, Great Britain, Canada, Italy, Japan, France, and Germany. And in 2007 the American Institutes for Research reported that eighth graders in even our best-performing states – like Massachusetts – scored below peers in Singapore, South Korea, and Japan, while students in our worst-performing states – like Mississippi – were on par with eighth graders in Slovakia, Romania, and Russia.

We’ve got a knowledge gap, spurred by a work-ethic gap.

link

It’s common to smugly note that the C students run the world. Unfortunately, that’s becoming less true for the rest of world and more true for America, with predictable and visible results.

December 26, 2009

Warning: Reading May Cause Diabetes

Filed under: Disclosure — jasony @ 12:37 am

As part of our Christmas celebration, Erin and I decided to break out the cookbook and make a feast. We decided to make it semi-Irish themed. It kinda got out of control. Here’s the menu:

Bushmill’s whiskey stuffed ribeye
garlic mashed potatoes
Aged Irish Cheddar herb biscuits
Bibb, bacon, and apple salad with camembert dressing
2005 Stag’s Leap merlot (wow)
and the Piece de Muerta
Chocolate Truffle cake with ganache topping

From start to finish, dinner took about 6 hours. It’s just past midnight and we just finished up dessert and coffee. Everything was scratch made with a silly (but fun) amount of work. It was a blast spending all day in the kitchen together cooking.

IMG_6694.jpg

The really crazy part was the dessert. Here’s the ingredient list:

Cake Mix
1.5 cups of milk
1 cup of butter
8 oz semi sweet chocolate (2 bars)
3 eggs
2 2/3 cups flour
2 cups sugar

Filling
6 tblsp butter
8 oz semi sweet chocolate (2 bar)
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Ganache
4 oz dark chocolate (1 bar)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

It’s an asinine, appalling amount of sugar for one dessert, and if I had really read the recipe before starting I don’t know if I’d have made it. How is it? Divine. Eat my shorts, Cheesecake Factory.

We tallied the calories up for the whole cake. Are you sitting down?

10,707.

Ten thousand, seven hundred and seven calories! Each slice (1/16th of the cake) has almost 700 calories. I’m ashamed. Didn’t stop me from eating it, though.

IMG_6697_2.jpg

IMG_6707.jpg

Pardon me while I roll off to bed. Merry Christmas everyone.

*hic!*

December 24, 2009

Twas the Night Before…

Filed under: Space — jasony @ 10:59 pm

Thanks, I Needed That

Filed under: Disclosure — jasony @ 5:10 pm

Some thoughts on last minute shopping.

December 23, 2009

Ohm Says it’s the Law

Filed under: Maker — jasony @ 11:22 pm

December 21, 2009

And He Built a Crooked House

Filed under: Games,Humor and Fun — jasony @ 10:02 pm

Merry Christmas from Washington

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 10:21 am

A reckless healthcare bill that nobody believes in. And it’s not just one side of the political spectrum either. When high-profile liberal news anchors dare you to put them in jail when they disobey your brain-dead legislation, and when 55% of the public strongly disapprove of your particular solution, it’s time to step back and rethink things.

This bill is a disaster. The Right says it. The Left says it. Various independent, partisan, and non-partisan research groups that have studied the bill say it. And the American people are practically screaming it. But our so-called “leadership” in D.C. doesn’t hear.

Do we need healthcare reform? Yes. Emphatically. Absolutely. Should we achieve it by signing a 2100 page bill that hasn’t been read by the signatories, on the eve of Christmas, crammed through in just a few days, along the most stark partisan lines? Emphatically no. Go back to the drawing board. Act like adults. Take your time with the 1/6th of the economy you’re messing with. Pass something that you understand and that makes sense.

Don’t play politics with our health.

December 18, 2009

Supersonic Rocket Car Crash

Filed under: Mad Science — jasony @ 5:03 pm

Did four more beautiful words ever exist in the English language?

December 16, 2009

Bring on the Future

Filed under: Science — jasony @ 9:45 pm

Scientists decode the entire genetic code of skin cancer and lung cancer. Although this is just a first step in curing these (and other) cancer’s, it’s a huge first step. Equivalent to unearthing the Rosetta Stone in the detangling of Heiroglyphs.

Take Flight

Filed under: Maker — jasony @ 9:40 pm

Tomorrow marks the 106th anniversary of Kitty Hawk.

Maker Video

Filed under: Maker — jasony @ 11:22 am

I just discovered an online version of MIT’s “Machining Skills for Prototype Development” course. It’s a 10 part video series (approx 5 hours) that used to be $800, but MIT is offering it for free. Free! The course covers basic machining skills at a very thorough pace.

I’m building a rather complicated prop (well, costume bit) this year that will require some basic machine work (which can be done on my current drill press and band saw). I didn’t really have a handle on how to do it. These vids will save my bacon. What do they say? When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

Sean, this could be useful for our builds.

Thanks MIT!

*UPDATE* I just discovered I can download them all. Yay!

Keys

Filed under: Computing,Humor and Fun — jasony @ 12:46 am

The secret life of your keyboard.

December 14, 2009

Older than What?

Filed under: Science — jasony @ 2:52 pm

Popular science on how old is dirt.

December 11, 2009

Calling H.G. Wells

Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 5:01 pm

Tunnel to the other side of the Earth. h/t brother Ross.

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