Sunday, April 30, 2006

What's special about this number? (1)

If you like both linguistics and math, check out 16.

Google does Arabic

Is this Google's contribution to Project Harmony?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Finding it with both hands

Now that Europe has Google maps for driving directions, will it begin to find its way?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Talking Heads

This is cool.

Most Popular Words 2006

For Kevin Cohen: Most Popular Words 2006

A quick perl script finds that "kerfuffle" is in the top 1% of comers -- words that have increased in frequency since 2003.

Red states Indeed

Joe Felsenstein once observed that the only important evolutionary variable must be temperature, because all population genetics experiments seem to measure something as a function of temperature.

And, of course, the level of civilization in a country can be measured from its sulfuric acid production.

Do gas prices play the same role for politics?

Here's a USA National Gas Temperature Map.

Brings to mind the observation that President Bush's popularity has waxed and waned in response to gas price fluctuations, too.

Now-socialist Europe has gas prices double to triple ours. And, of course, there was the Carter presidency, when gas stations had to tape prices on the pumps because the pumps made at the time didn't go high enough to display them.

On the other hand, gas in Venezuela costs $0.19/gallon.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Wearing Short-Sleeved Shirts to Work

Tattoos haven't always been fashionable, especially in business settings.

Some still aren't. When I saw a guy behind the counter of my local bagel shop with his head a perfect copy of The Great Omi.

I quickly called my sister, Jo, whose husband, Tim, apprenticed with Don Nolan.

"You won't guess what I saw today ...."

"Where does he work?" she asked.

"At a bagel shop."

"Yeah, and that's the only place he'll ever work, too."

It's long been standard practice to make sure your tattoos can be concealed by suitable clothing.

Master jeweller, Larry Copeland got his first tattoo as a guest of the German government, who objected to his dropping bombs on their cities. Only after he retired did he began letting his tattoos creep out above the shirt collar and out past the shirt cuffs.

Tattoo Art >Here's a way that he could have had all the tattoos he wanted, and even been able to wear short-sleeved shirts.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Where Have All the Quakers Gone?

Eastern Colorado.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Spell-check Your Romanian

For Maria.

Cheap at Half the Price

You get what you pay for. Still, the price is right, so who knows?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Kitty Porn

Is a bad pun better than no pun at all? Judge for yourself.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

How Geeky Can I Get?

Pretty geeky. Here's a Wikipedia entry on illegal primes.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Phones for the deaf

I'm a technology watcher, and enamored of new stuff, but my gut reaction is that this technology is not a winner.

It's interesting, but I think it's not enough bang for the buck. I suspect that most deaf folks would be better served with text messaging and chat software, which are there, now, and much cheaper.

I'm guessing these, not videophones with interpreters, will replace TTYs. The article even almost seems to figure that out.

Video conferencing should be, however, a great win for deaf-to-deaf communication, and video-cell-phones seem like they're just around the corner.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Free Diamond Buying Guide Video

It turns out the adjective
"Free" modifies "Video" not "diamond." Oh well.

The Passover Parade

In case you aren't Jewish, Passover is a holiday on which children hunt gaily painted little kreplakh, hidden by Dos Pesakhn Kinigl -- the Passover Bunny.

For those of you launching into your first multicultural seder,
Uncle Yankl offers up this Passover Tip.

Friday, April 07, 2006

About time

I finally got an invitation to join the Yahoo! Mail beta. At this point, I've been using Gmail for so long, it's not clear to me that it makes sense to switch, but I'll play with it.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Show me the data

This looks useful.

But I'm just a data-kind-of-guy.


Is bad taste better than no taste? Decide for yourself, here.

HT: Amazon Lori

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Party, and other, preferences

There is a clear-cut sexual dimorphism in party preference: Men tend to be Republicans, women, Democrats.

This suggests that difference is acquired, not genetic.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Special Geek Event

Andy writes, in email:
Like an astronomer appreciating a rare celestial event, a computer geek might appreciate this hundred-year event coming up in the early hours this Wednesday. The time will be:

01:02:03 04/05/06

I, for one, plan to reflect quietly on life for that entire second.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


My grandmother's gardener, Bud Johnson, worked for her family from the time he was a young teen. He enlisted in the Army, in WWII. My mother told me they cured him of congenital syphillis.

After he got out, he went back to being a gardener.

I spent part of fourth grade in Louisiana in 1958. The schools were still segregated.

Here's a thought-provoking pair of pictures that underscore the change during my lifetime.