Now Where Did He Put…?

Many a time I’ve said to someone: It’s on my blog, look there. The problem is, that only works if it’s on the main page or the post date is known. Neither one is very likely.

Enter the new Search This Site feature. Look over to the right near the top of the page and you’ll find it.

Music Toy

If you know a little music history, MusicPlasma is a lot of fun.  Enter the name of a recording artist and you’ll get a graphical display that shows similar or related artists.

It could be improved as far as performance and layout, but plan to spend some time following the links it shows.

This Land Ain't Your Land

Around a week ago my friend Andy send me a link to a great Flash parody of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land”. You can read about the creators being threatened with a copyright lawsuit, which happened before I could even get around to posting the song here. The very brief article has a link to the song along with Guthrie’s original copyright notice, which basically says to just use it.

Venus on the Half Shell

“The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.” — Kilgore Trout

Once upon a time, before Douglas Adams did Hitchhiker’s Guide in 1979, there was Kilgore Trout‘s Venus on the Half-Shell “for the first time without lurid covers!” (see cover photo) in 1975. The book is a great combination of humor and absurd science fiction.

Kurt Vonnegut created the fictional character Kilgore Trout, who made his first appearance in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. He was featured in Slaughterhouse-Five before becoming the central character in Breakfast of Champions and Timequake. He was mentioned in Jailbird and his son Leon narrated Galapagos. Everyone assumed that Vonnegut wrote Venus, although there was a lot of discussion about who really did it.

It’s old news now, but I just found out that it was written really by Philip Jose Farmer, not Vonnegut. I read his Image of the Beast many years ago, also the Riverworld series (made into a bad movie) and a few others. It’s time for a re-read.

Only 14 Working Days Remaining…

From a letter, Tuesday, July 13, 2004
“With exactly two months and fewer than 14 legislative days before the federal assault weapons ban expires,…” The related news story is here.

Fewer than 14 work days in two months. That’s a schedule I could probably live with.

A Little Pick-Me-Up

“Did you invite all of these people? I thought it was just going to be the two of us.” That’s one sample from The Most Complete and Most Useless Collection of Pick-Up Lines. You’ll probably see a lot of your old, really stupid favorite lines. And then there’s this:

“Okay, so I came over here to ask you to dance, but I’m kind of concerned. I mean, we could hit it off really well, end up having a few drinks, next thing you know you’re giving me your number because I’m too shy to ask for it, I finally get up the nerve to call and we take in a movie, have some dinner, I relax, you relax, we go out a few more times, get to know each other’s friends, spend a lot of time together, then finally have get past this sexual tension and really develop this intense sex life that is truly incredible, decide our relationship is solid and stable, so we move in together for a while, then a few months later get married, I get a promotion, you get a promotion, we buy a bigger house. You really want kids, but I really want freedom, but we have a kid anyway, only to find that I am resentful, the sparks start to fade and to rekindle them we have two more lovely kids, but now I work too much to keep up with the bills, have no time for you, you’re stressed and stop taking really good care of yourself, so to get past our slow sex life and my declining self-confidence I turn to an outside affair for sexual gratification. You find out because I’m careless and a lousy liar, you throw me out (justifiably so) and we have to explain to the kids why mommy and daddy are splitting up. That’s just too sad. Think about the children. For God’s sake, if you dance with me and we hit it off, let’s just keep it sexual, because we both know where it’s going.”

There’s something that’s just so wrong and yet so right about that one.

What's That Stuff?

Ever wondered about what’s really in hair coloring, Silly Putty, Cheese Wiz, artificial snow, or self-tanners? Chemical & Engineering News presents a collection of articles that gives you a look at the chemistry behind a wide variety of everyday products.

Most don’t seem very technical — don’t be afraid.