Saturday, March 13, 2010

This Rings SO True...

Via my mom:

A U.S. Marine Colonel was about to start the morning briefing to his staff.

While waiting for the coffee machine to finish brewing, the colonel decided to pose a question to all assembled.

He explained that his wife had been a bit frisky the night before and he failed to get his usual amount of sound sleep.

He posed the question of just how much of sex was "work" and how much of it was "pleasure?"

A Major chimed in with 75-25% in favor of work.

A Captain said it was 50-50%.

A lieutenant responded with 25-75% in favor of pleasure, depending upon his state of inebriation at the time.

There being no consensus, the colonel turned to the PFC who was in charge of making the coffee and asked for HIS opinion?

Without any hesitation, the young PFC responded, "Sir, it has to be 100% pleasure."

The colonel was surprised and as you might guess, asked why?

"Well, sir, if there was any work involved, the officers would have me doing it for them."

The room fell silent.

God Bless the enlisted man.

Who'd Have Thunk...

...that moose could be cute?  Via my mom:

Toyota Defects...

Megan McArdle (my favorite economics blogger) does what the lamestream media won't do: some investigative reporting into the Toyota defects, using publicly available data.  She was suspicious of the hype around the reported defects, and indeed she found several things that raised her doubts even higher.  Perhaps the most interesting discovery is shown at right: most of the incidents occurred with drivers over 55 years old.  As Megan points out, “...however advanced Toyota's electronics are, they're not yet clever enough to be able to pick on senior citizens.”

Read the whole thing.  And if you're in the market for a new car, do consider buying a Toyota: we've had four of them, and we've been very pleased with them...and they're an especially good deal right now...

The Hummers Are Back!

Yesterday our hummingbirds returned in large numbers, draining the feeder in a matter of a few hours.  We still have no idea where they went, or why – but they're back!

It was a real pleasure last night to break out a second feeder and to fill them both up for our tiny friends...

Jamul Alert...

I have a “Google Blog Alert” running; if anyone uses the word “Jamul” on a blog, it sends me an email.  This morning I got this one:
Google Blogs Alert for: Jamul
Women in Islam: The Position of the Beard in Islam
By Iman Bendjedidi
In Mu'jamul-Kabeer (11/41), there is a narration by Ibn 'Abbaas (radiyallaahu 'anhu), “Indeed, the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever disfigures his hair, there is no share for him with Allaah. ...
Women in Islam -
This is obviously not about the town of Jamul, but I was intrigued enough to go follow the link. The Women in Islam site it links to is, for a non-Muslim, a window into the beliefs and practices of Islam, without the usual hype you'd find in a news story.

One of the links I found on that web site was to an Islamic search engine, on which I searched for jihad.  The resulting set of links is rather frightening, and in my mind puts the lie to the meme that Islam is the “religion of peace”.  Unless, of course, their definition of “peace” is much different than mine...

You Learn Something Every Day...

Though a little more intensely this morning than usual...

A few minutes ago Debbie came into my office and asked “What's that smell?”  I hadn't even noticed, but she was right – there was a smell that was a little like burned hair.  Whatever it was, we could be certain that it was Not Good.  Debbie's first thought was that our heater (which is running on this cold morning) had broken somehow.  I went on a little exploration, following my nose.

Straight to the kitchen, where some time ago Debbie had started to hard-boil four eggs.  That's some time ago, as in long enough for all of the water to long since have vaporized and for the pan and its contents to heat up enough to start decomposition at the molecular level.  The hydrogen and oxygen in some of the organic material had disassociated and gassed off, leaving mostly carbon behind.  Evil fumes were hissing out of various cracks in the former eggs.  A couple of the eggs had popped like popcorn, turning almost inside out.

I turned off the burner (which was on “high”, naturally) and carefully inspected the saucepan.  It is a very nice ScanPan, and it looked to me like it should be safe for me to pick up and take over to the sink, as the handle is very well insulated.  Our sink is stainless steel, and I planned to set the pan down into a film of nice cold water.

So I picked the pan up (sure enough, the handle wasn't hot at all) and started toward our sink.  About halfway there, there was a loud BANG! – another one of the eggs exploded, this time with the force of a large firecracker.  Tiny fragments of carbonized egg and eggshell rocketed out in all directions at hypersonic speed.  My face was covered with egg fragments, and a dozen or so shell fragments embedded themselves slightly into my skin.  Fortunately the fragments cooled a bit before they hit me, and I wasn't seriously burned by any of them – it hurts a bit and I have some red “freckles”.  Even more fortunately I was wearing my glasses, so there was no injury to my eyes (that could have been bad).

The part of the kitchen where I was standing had taken on an interesting aspect.  There were pieces of extra-hard-boiled egg everywhere.  On the floor.  On the cabinet sides and tops.  On the ceiling.  Over the entire front of my body.  In my hair. 

The dogs were quite excited about this.  They sensed an opportunity that was unlikely to repeat itself – eggs on every lickable surface.  We kept them out of the kitchen; while we cleaned up, they sat in the doorway with very sad expressions.

I finally did get the pan into the sink, and cold water eventually cooled it down to room temperature.  In the process it generated a very impressive amount of steam.  I'm not sure how hot that pan got, but it was definitely much hotter than we've ever seen before in our kitchen!  We're still not sure if the pan is salvageable – we're giving it a good soaking before we attempt to clean it...

What did I learn from all this?  Well, the most interesting thing is that eggs make a reasonably good explosive.  Who knew?!

Recycling – a Scam of Epic Proportions...

Penn and Teller, in an episode of Bullshit! below, do a nice takedown on the recycling scam.

I was introduced to the recycling scam myself about 15 years ago when we lived in Chula Vista.  I accidentally discovered that the vast majority of the trash I so carefully sorted and placed into recycling bins on the curb was simply loaded onto trucks and taken to landfills.  At that time, the only trash that was actually recycled was the aluminum cans.  The carefully sorted plastics, glass, paper, etc.?  To the landfill.

The problem was that there were no customers to buy the recyclable materials – and there were no customers because despite all the environmentalist hype, there weren't enough profitable ways to use all that material.  My understanding (confirmed by Penn and Teller) is that today the situation is even worse.  That is, the ratio of the available recyclables to the market for those recyclables is even higher now.

To add to the idiocy, all that sorted “recyclable” trash was simply dumped into the same trucks with all the other trash, too.  All those bins, all that forced labor to do the sorting – all for nothing but show.  Oh, and a great deal of money for the city and the unions...