Category Archives: Humor

Inducer of upside-down frowning.

Another Way To Look At It

Have you ever wondered why cars stop running when they run out of gasoline?  “Because cars use gasoline as fuel,” I heard someone say.  Certainly, this is the conventional wisdom, but people who say that are just sheep, parroting what they learned in liberal elite engineering school.  I figured out the truth because I am not burdened by education.

Everyone’s car is built with a demon inside it, and the demon’s job is to stop the car from running.  The demon either can’t or won’t do this in the presence of gasoline, however.  Anyone who has ever run out of gasoline knows this to be true: The car was running fine until the last of the gasoline ran out, and they experienced sputtering, loss of power, and finally a full stop.  While this seems plausible on its own, it does not explain where the gasoline goes, and why it only goes away when the car is in use.  There is some speculation that the demon gets motion sick while the car is moving, and drinking the gasoline makes it feel better.  Another idea is that the demon’s attempts to stop the motion of the car are counteracted by a proportional amount of gasoline, thereby consuming it as a side-effect of the demon’s work.

Now that it seems obvious that demons are used in cars, let’s all agree that it makes no sense to invest in more fuel-efficient cars.  The engines have nothing to do with how much fuel is used.  What we need to do is get rid of the demons, or at least use more efficient demons.  And it should be clear now that the future of cars is not electrical; if you’ve ever wondered why electric cars are so slow, it’s because they have no gasoline in them to stop the demons.  The only reason they move at all is because car demons are forbidden from stopping golf carts but required to stop cars.  Because electric cars lie somewhere in the middle, the demons slow the electric cars halfway “just in case.”  Won’t we be in for a nasty surprise when they figure things out!


ZZ Top’s drummer is the only member of the band without a long Santa Claus beard.  He must have felt pressure at some point to grow a crazy man beard like the others, but he kept his integrity.  I admire that.

Strange Phone Damage

A few days ago, Sun called me.  I didn’t have the Jawbone paired, so I just answered on the RAZR V3 itself.  The first thing she did was sneeze, right into the receiver of her work phone, after which her voice took on a buzzing quality.  From the sound, it was clear that the phone’s ear speaker had done something strange.  Fearing the worst, I tried rebooting it to make sure it wasn’t some temporary condition, but there was no fix to be had.  Just to be very clear:

My wife’s sneeze broke my phone’s speaker.

The phone is about 3 years old, so I’m happy to write it off as the inevitable failure of temporary technology, but “you would think” that a phone shouldn’t be allowed to send a sound loud enough to blow out its own speaker.

Oh well.  I can still use it with the headset, and I was waiting for an excuse to get a new phone anyway.

Botany is Pseudoscience

We have a habit of planting seeds from fruits and vegetables, and I decided to try this with some avocado seeds. My failed first attempt was to stick the large seed in dirt, water it, and see what happened. Then, somewhat in parallel with this, I stuck a bunch of seeds in a clear vase outside. After several weeks, nothing had happened.

Frustrated my my attempts to figure this out for myself, I decided to employ the geek’s last resort, i.e. reading the manual. The prevailing theory is to puncture the rock-hard seed thrice with some soft toothpicks and then – well, it doesn’t matter what the and then bit is, because this is crazy talk, akin to dissolving titanium with your mind. I attempted a hybridization of the crazy instructions and what my wife recommended. She pointed out that seeds like air, and I was depriving my submerged seeds of all the air, so I now have a seed half-in and half-out of water, which has cracked and split and is otherwise showing no signs of becoming useful.

In the meantime, I discovered that my failed first attempt, which I had stopped watering and had put next to all the other pots that can be used for other plantings, had sprouted and produced a 6-inch-tall avocado plant.

If I didn’t know better, I’d say that there’s a vast online conspiracy to thwart efforts to grow avocado plants from seeds. If you’re searching on methods to grow avocado plants from seeds, follow my easy guide:

  1. Rinse the seed in water.
  2. Stick the seed in some dirt.
  3. Water the dirt once a day for 4 weeks.
  4. Give up.
  5. Neglect the seed.
  6. Enjoy your new avocado plant.

Be Consistent About Science Disbelief

Science tells us how old the planet is and allows us to make increasingly-accurate estimates of when past events occurred. That same science can predict future events on the same time scale. For example, if you date asteroid/comet impact craters, you start to get a sense that major impacts happen happen regularly which gives you some ability to blindly guess if the next major impact is due next week, next year, or several million years from now. The same thing can be done with volcano eruptions. The megavolcano underneath Yellowstone National Park (the overkill engine that runs the Old Faithful Geyser) last erupted 640,000 years ago, and experts estimate that we have between 10,000 and 20,000 years before it erupts next. Similarly, estimates of the remaining life of our sun (~4.5 billion years) are intertwined with the data that tells us how old it is (also 4.5 billion years).

Now that we’ve established that, how should you interpret data that suggests the earth is also about 4.5 billion years old, if your religious interpretation compels you to believe that the planet is only about 6,000 years old? Given that science, which is internally consistent on its backward and forward projections of timescales, contradicts your belief, would it be logical to accept that science has the relative ordering of things right and just has the magnitude wrong? To address this issue, I would like to present the science->fundamentalism year converter algorithm.

In principle, this is like converting between Celsius and Fahrenheit temperatures, or converting human years to dog years, and it’s not quite as straightforward as converting between currencies. Let’s start with the age of the planet. Science says 4.5 billion years. Fundamentalism says 6,000 years. So a function to convert from SCI years to FDN years could just divide the science year by 750,000 to get the fundamentalism year. This is an oversimplified model, and here’s why: Using this conversion function, the impact that killed off the dinosaurs 65,000,000 years ago would seem to a fundamentalist to be 86 years ago, and everyone agrees that no impact that large happened 86 years ago. The issue is that scientists and fundamentalists actually tend to agree about the last few thousand years which coincide with the timeline of the Old Testament.

We need an OVERLAP value that is somewhere around 5,000 years, roughly corresponding to the rise of the early Egyptian civilization. If a year is less than or equal to OVERLAP years before today, the science years and fundamentalism years are the same. Otherwise, we deduct OVERLAP years from the absolute value of the year, with “now” being year 0, then do the division, then add back OVERLAP. Unfortunately, this does horrible things to our divisor, since the implication is that somewhere in those (6,000 – OVERLAP) years, the earth formed and became habitable. This means that 4,499,995,000 science years convert to 1,000 fundamentalism years, making our new divisor a whopping 4,499,995 years. On this scale, the impact that wiped out the dinosaurs happened 5014.44 years ago. Now that’s more manageable, and it fits the viewpoint many fundamentalists have that people walked alongside dinosaurs and even rode them.

The implication of this, however, is disturbing. Projecting forward, we still use the new divisor. So when science says that our sun will burn out in 4.5 billion years, fundamentalism says this is really 1000 years from now! Certainly plenty of time for the rapture to take all the good people into heaven, but what about the smaller timescales like the next supervolcano eruption in North America? 10,000 – 20,000 science years becomes between 19.5 and 39 hours. I hope I post this in time for people to escape the imminent eruption.

The algorithm (and pseudoc0de, if you’d like to write it up):

OVERLAP=5000 # must be < $FND_EARTH_AGE

YearsAgo_SCI2FND(years)  {

if (year < OVERLAP) {
return years ;
}  else {
return ((years – OVERLAP) / DIVISOR) + OVERLAP);

YearsFromNow_SCI2FND(years) {
return years / DIVISOR

I leave it as an exercise to the reader to define YearsFromNow_FND2SCI and YearsAgo_FND2SCI.

If You Hated a Dumpster Company…

If you felt a pure, distilled hatred for a dumpster rental company, you could rent their biggest dumpster, fill it with magnets, and return it. Chances are that you would not technically be violating your rental agreement, in that you have caused no damage to the dumpster, and it would probably take them weeks to remove all the magnets.

I wouldn’t recommend this strategy for people who didn’t have

  • intense hatred
  • lots of money
  • lots of time

Programming Injury

No, it’s not carpal tunnel syndrome. I seem to be immune from that because I didn’t learn to type from an idiot.

A couple of days ago, I was actually programming in the same position for so long that I managed to bruise the tissue at the tip of my tailbone. The irony is that I program in a comfy chair which should by no means be capable of such a thing. You really don’t know how often your tailbone is involved in ordinary activities like sitting, leaning, climbing stairs, or sleeping until it’s bruised. Perhaps I need a standing desk to avoid further injury.

Also: How pathetic is it to be injured while programming? On a scale of “twisted ankle trying on new shoes” to “severed nose while bowling” I’d say it’s somewhere around “pulled hamstring while making toast.”

Responsible Cerberus Ownership

If you plan to bring a Cerberus into your home, there are some things you should realize:

  • Each head can have its own personality, complicating and lengthening the training and disciplinary process.  You may often find yourself in a position where you must discipline one head and not the others.
  • You must spay or neuter your Cerberus.  Aggression and scent marking will be the least of your worries if you do not.
  • A Cerberus may instinctively guard entryways, making them great guard dogs, but this can be awkward as guests arrive for your dinner party.  Re-purposing this energy into something productive can be difficut but rewarding.  Food aggression is a common symptom as you make progress.
  • Do not be tempted to saddle your Cerberus.  They are large enough to ride, but neither you nor they would like the experience, and it will ruin the trust you have built up to that point.

If you follow my guide, you can have a great and rewarding relationship with your Cerberus, lasting the full eternity that they live.

Dad’s Take on Beer

My dad can no longer drink alcohol due to medication, but he’s philosophical about it. He said, “I really only drank beer to keep it out of the hands of children.”  So if you care about children, you know what you have to do.