Sunday, December 09, 2007


I started this with a massive outpouring of self-indulgent angst and realised I have a whole other thing going on for that crap.

This blog is all about the facts. And so forth.

Starting with Star Wars Tattoos.

I realised when I saw it that I would probably do this myself given half a chance:

Then I realised that would be kind-of mental and I should just focus on the scarification I want to have done. See also: kind-of mental.

All the bacteria living inside you would fill a half-gallon jug; there are 10 times more bacterial cells in your body than human cells, according to Carolyn Bohach, a microbiologist at the University of Idaho (U.I.), along with other estimates from scientific studies. (Despite their vast numbers, bacteria don’t take up that much space because bacteria are far smaller than human cells.)
Humans Carry More Bacterial Cells than Human Ones: Scientific American

Treefingers is like an anonymous group Twitter. Or something.
"Welcome to the first release of Treefingers, a site that allows you to post, well, anything. The site is an experiment of what people would say in a (mostly) unmoderated environment that does not focus on a central topic."

Fisher/Yates (Knuth) Shuffle: Not a dance, but "an algorithm for generating a random permutation of a finite set — in plain terms, for randomly shuffling the set".

Former ‘No Nukes’ Protester: Stop Worrying and Love Nuclear Power. Obviously somewhat biased, but interesting:
"A family in four in France, where they reprocess nuclear fuel, would produce only enough waste to fit in a coffee cup over a whole lifetime. A lifetime of getting all your electricity from coal-fired plants would make a single person’s share of solid waste (in the United States) 68 tons, which would require six 12-ton railroad cars to haul away. Your share of CO2 would be 77 tons."

I think I support Nukes. Just so you know. As an interim until we get solar working properly. But we have to stop using coal NOW. We can argue about that another time.

Rails 2.0 has been released. I know you're as excited as I am.

Death Star Cafeteria. Oh the joy.

Human History in less than 100 words

Favourite Programming Quotes 2007.
Just so you know the types of things we're talking about:

To Iterate is Human, to Recurse, Divine. – James O. Coplien
My contribution "You're all so embarassing". I also like "Recursion is Funny". Because it ~IS~ funny.

John 3:16. John 3:16 (chapter 3, verse 16 of the Gospel of John) is one of the most widely quoted verses from the Christian Bible. It has been called the “Bible in a nutshell” because it is considered a summary of some of the most central doctrines of traditional Christianity:
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."

The post election afray continues. It's been like some sort of weird multiple orgasm that just keeps going and going and eventually is a little bit painful. They lost, he lost, he quit, they fought over the leadership, everyone now thinks he's been quite bad for the country, and so on.

The End.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Welcome to Planet Earth

Welcome to Planet Earth - The Sunday Hangover - Warren Ellis
Welcome to planet Earth, where, within a few years, we will all have been entrained to raise robot babies that we have designed to feel pain. Soon, they will reach their toddler years, powered by a vast array of monkeys wired up to the internet. We will send them out into the world, where they too will go on to the internet and show the world their chrome nipples and the sleek pink hatches of their robot vaginas before being shanked to death in motel rooms by vengeful, pregnant sea lions.

Warren Ellis channels the future. He is 42 types of awesome.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


This week I have been mostly thinking about Hypothetical Megastructures, as most of my Facebook friends are probably already aware because I've been spamming them mercilessly.

My other obsession is sniggering when I ever I see or hear news about the Liberal party. Sucked in.
Way to implode.

This is like, totally all about the science, I am sorry ... I've been hoarding.

"A megastructure, in science fiction and speculative (or exploratory) engineering, is an enormous self-supporting artificial construct.[citation needed] The definition is often informal and varies from source to source, but generally requires at least one dimension to be in the hundreds of kilometers.[citation needed] Other criteria such as rigidity or contiguousness are sometimes also applied, so large clusters of associated smaller structures may or may not qualify.[citation needed] The products of megascale engineering or astroengineering are megastructures."

Matrioshka Brain
"A matrioshka brain is a hypothetical megastructure, based on the Dyson sphere, of immense computational capacity. It is an example of a Class B stellar engine, employing the entire energy output of a star to drive computer systems. This structure has clear structural analogies to Russian Matrioshka dolls, from which the concept derives its name."

Matrioshka Brain is also an AWESOME band name.

Dyson Sphere
"A Dyson sphere (or shell as it appeared in the original paper) is a hypothetical megastructure that was originally described by Freeman Dyson as a system of orbiting solar power satellites meant to completely encompass a star and capture its entire energy output. Dyson speculated that such structures would be the logical consequence of the long-term survival of technological civilizations, and proposed that searching for evidence of the existence of such structures might lead to the detection of advanced intelligent extraterrestrial life."

Stellar Engine
"Stellar engines are a class of hypothetical megastructures which use a star's radiation to create usable energy. Some variants use this energy to produce thrust, and thus accelerate a star, and anything orbiting it, in a given direction. The creation of such a system would make its builders a Type-II civilization on the Kardashev scale."

Kardashev Scale
"The Kardashev scale is a general method of classifying how technologically advanced a civilization is, first proposed in 1964 by the Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev. It had three categories, based on the amount of usable energy a civilization has at its disposal and increasing logarithmically"

The Decline and Fall of the Animal Kingdom
"The animal kingdom's decline came in the form of a three-page paper that appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Its lead author, Carl Woese, had spent the previous few years trying to find a way to figure out the relationship of all living things, including microbes. A taxonomist can classify a giraffe, a bat and a human as mammals simply by looking at them. They have hair, for example, and they nurse. But microbes are harder to make sense of. They might simply look like a rod or a sphere."

E8 Polytope
"The E8 polytope is a semiregular polytope, the highest finite (and nonprismatic) semiregular figure. It was discovered by Thorold Gosset, who described it in his 1900 paper as an 8-ic semi-regular figure, with "semiregular" meaning that all of its facets are regular polytopes: 2,160 7-orthotopes and 17,280 7-simplices."

Nuke to the Future
Discussions about building what is essentially a nuclear battery. Insane.

Anyway, I am off to continue testing my Mongrel cluster for capacity. Two instances can handle about 30 requests a second. Cool.

Friday, November 30, 2007

First Post

I am starting the Zeitgeist again.

It will be intermittent, rather than on Wednesay. Just so you know.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Last Post

This is the last post.

See you elsewhere on the internet and in the real world.

The End.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007



Not at WorkWork today, so feeling much better, thanks for asking.

I think I've had too much coffee.

I was wondering the other day, while re-reading "Gun, Germs and Steel" for the millionth time, what would have happened if the giant marsupials had not become extinct when humans settled Australia.

What would happen if the Aboriginal people could have fought the English on Giant Armoured Wombats?

Yep, definitely had too much coffee.

“Jamie Langridge, the 2007 Bud Light USARPS champion, made use of several well-known strategies during his Final Sixteen run, but combined and utilized them in a manner uniquely his own. His style of play can best be described as "complex adaptive," as he switched effortlessly between runs of alternating and repeated throws.” - USA Rock Paper Scissors League > Article

How to beat anyone at Rock Paper Scissors

“ITS ROCK-HARD surface can take a full- on assault from a baseball bat, yet remains flexible enough to allow you to kick, leap and roll with perfect ease. Crafted from cutting-edge science, its unique molecular structure means that while providing armoured protection against crude concrete and even barbed wire, it remains light enough to allow you to run at high speed.” - Holy Batcapes The Age Of The Superhero Suit Is Upon Us

See what I did there with the segue?

“A Millwall or Chelsea brick is an improvised weapon made of a manipulated newspaper.” - Millwall brick - Wikipedia

Oh, a rock made of paper you say?
Did you like what I did there too?

In my mind I increasingly sound like Stewie from the family guy.

Psychology Today: Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature. Not sure about some of them.

Crazy Icelandic people drive up a hill for fun:

USS Hunchback - Wikipedia. Best name for a ship ever.

“The investigators at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Cost Analysis Improvement Group say its more like $203 billion to $234 billion in inflated dollars. likely to grow, And remember, that's just for a third of the Army. So the final cost could be closer to three-quarters of a trillion dollars.” - Danger Room - Wired Blogs

“Extra-terrestrial life may well be so weird we would not immediately recognise it, space experts said yesterday.” - Aliens exist, not as we know it

This stunning false-color view of Saturn's moon Hyperion reveals crisp details across the strange, tumbling moon's surface. Differences in color could represent differences in the composition of surface materials. The view was obtained during Cassini's close flyby on Sept. 26, 2005. (via Catalog Page for PIA07740)

Aw, cute:

Stacy, Attack of the School-Girl Zombies. OMG:

The End

Monday, July 09, 2007


My father just got a cat. A 12 wk old burmese kitten called Haiku.
He's slightly mental. My father, not the cat. Although the cat may well be soon.

I won first prize in a Blogging competition. Not for this blog, but for my other blog, which is so geeky you can't even have the link (even though you would then learn all about Transactional Full-Text Search in MySQL 5). I won three tech books from Apress.

The End.