24 October 2007

Good To Watch

I love television, I really do. Current things I like to watch:

#1 Top Gear (BBC America). It's just good--really, really good. Plus, I'm in love with The Stig.

#2 CSI and/or Law and Order (any flavor of each on myriad stations). Because, no matter when you turn on the t.v., at least one is always on and just entertaining enough to watch while on the treadmill or Nordictrack-thingy. And chances are that I haven't seen whatever episode is on, so that's even better when whiling away the time exercising.

#3 This Old House. One day I will own a house and, thanks to This Old House, I know to call people to fix things, rather than doing it myself.

#4 Hell's Kitchen (British or American). Gordon Ramsey making people cry is good television.

#5 Nova. Science is neato. Alas, I have to wait until summer for the return of Nova ScienceNOW and it's host Neil deGrasse Tyson.

#6 Sunrise Earth (Animal Planet). This is obviously the work of EEEEEHHHHHHH HIPPIES. It's just a camera set to capture nature doing..uh....natural things. No sound track, no voice over.

#7 Classic Arts Showcase. It's a whole channel, rather than one program. Nothing but videos of classical music, ballet, dance, etc. performances. There's some really weird stuff on it.

#8 Big Love (HBO). A poor substitution for other, better HBO shows that I loved but no longer exist: The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, and Carnivale. Big Love is about polyamist Mormons (which normally I'd be fervently opposed to), but it has Harry Dean Stanton in the cast. And I love Harry Dean Stanton more than The Stig, and perhaps even more than Neil deGrasse Tyson.

19 October 2007

Don't Win a Nobel

For all of you science folks out there: DO NOT WIN A NOBEL PRIZE. Obviously, winning one pretty much assures you'll end up becoming completely batty in your old age. Of course I'm talkin' about Dr. James Watson and his recent comments that have caused a deserved uproar. He's also been suspended from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

But, apparently, Crick, of Watson n' Crick fame, also ended up losing it a bit in his old age (according to Dr. Hatcher).

Also: William Shockley, who was pretty keen on eugenics and donated his, uh, seed to the "Genius Sperm Bank". In fact, the book David Plotz wrote on the subject--"The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank"-- is rather good.

So, in sum: strive for mediocre scientific work lest you end up like these cautionary tales.

15 October 2007

Who's in your top 5?

My top five list of living people who would be most interesting to sit around and have drinks with:

#1. Dee Snider, lead singer of Twisted Sister. This is based on one quote: "...I'd like to see Tracy Chapman or Paul Simon plug into two Marshall stacks and ride the lightening."

#2. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Obviously.

#3. Willie Nelson. Because no one is cooler than Willie Nelson. Not even Neil deGrasse Tyson.

#4. Helen Thomas, because I felt I needed a least one woman on the list.

#5. Yeah, not so sure who this would be.

12 October 2007

And speaking of science...

Another reason I will never live in Utah: B. Stanley Pons was once chair of the chemistry department at the University of Utah.

Who is B. Stanley Pons, you may ask? Oh, just one of the two guys that, in 1989, claimed to have discovered cold fusion (not ColdFusion as in the Adobe program, but cold fusion of the nuclear type.) And we all know how THAT turned out: "From Top of Their World to Professional Ostracism"

So, even beyond the whole Mormon-hatin', there's this.

6 reasons I live by "WWNdTD?"

I just want to spend this Friday reiterating how great Neil deGrasse Tyson is and how "What Would Neil deGrasse Tyson Do?" is a great means to sort out ones life: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_deGrasse_Tyson

#1: Neil deGrasse Tyson has a penchant for whimsical vests, as evidenced by the picture above. I mean, really - how can you dislike a guy wearing a whimsical vest?!

#2: Neil deGrasse Tyson was named Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive by People magazine

#3: Neil deGrasse Tyson can dance

#4: Neil deGrasse Tyson doesn't like string theory, which is cool because I don't understand string theory. So now I can just say, "Well, I agree with Neil deGrasse Tyson on the subject."

#5: Neil deGrasse Tyson made a lot of little kids cry. He's the primary reason Pluto isn't considered a planet anymore. Hate mail from second graders! Awesome!

#6: Neil deGrasse Tyson is an agnostic who believes the Intelligent Design people are idiot whack jobs hindering science. In fact, a quote from the man himself: "When people have used religious documents to make detailed predictions about the physical world they have been famously wrong. Science, in contrast, works." Right on, Neil deGrasse Tyson. Right on.

10 October 2007

From 90 to 50 in 3 seconds

Or rather three days. Monday we had the air conditioning on in the house. Tuesday the A/C went off and the windows opened. Wednesday the windows shut, the pilot light on the furnace has been lit, and the heat is on.

Poor Nate was working at home today and was so cold I found him huddled over a single, burning lump of coal, Bob Cratchit-style.

05 October 2007

One Reason I Hate Being a Librarian...

...crap like this:


Many librarians I come across are insufferable enough - what with their cat jewelry, sensible shoes, ever-present knitting bags, frowzy hair, and an overzealous love of Harry Potter (no kidding - there was a 30ish-year-old woman who was in one of my library sci. classes who actually carried around a Harry Potter bookbag). But a whole film made by librarians about the "stereotypical" librarian image? People! It's a job; it's not a life's calling. No one really cares about how librarians think other people see them...except other librarians. *snort*

01 October 2007

A coincidence? I think not

Since some of you already know very well about my deep anti-Mormon feelings, I'd like to point out the following. Not that I was the first to notice this, but it does bear repeating:

Mitt Romney

Sesame Street's Guy Smiley

You be the judge.