What I learned this week, March 29, 2013

‘Voodoo Chile’ on a Gayageum

I think these are really cool… but then….

The 12 Most Controversial Facts In Mathematics


You Are Not a Unique Snowflake: Desk Jobs Suck Everywhere

Decorating a Barren Memory Palace

Recently, at the suggestion of my son, Lee, I read Moonwalking With Einstein, the book about memory by Joshua Foer.

Now it appears that some of the memory “tricks” might be useful in treating depression and other mental illnesses.

Annals of Justice, Division of Jury Duty

Our government, I am more and more convinced, has degenerated into a mechanism whose most palpable effect (not its purpose, of course) is to irritate citizens by wasting their time and requiring their collusion in an endless bureaucratic paper chase.

My Tech Top 10
An interesting list – Actually, I only agree with one of his choices. Bet you can guess which one.

The only way to drop into Rio. I’m glad I was able to watch this on youtube – now I don’t have to do it myself.

Don’t try this at home, kids.

The Bizarre History of Insect Head Transplants

The entire process seems to have started in 1923, when a biologist named Walter Finkler reported that he had managed to successfully transplant the heads of insects. He’d been working with water boatmen, meal worms, and common butterflies – both in adult and grub form. The transplantation process was not complex. He’d grab two insects, cut off their heads with sharp scissors, and switch them. The fluid that the insects themselves leaked cemented the new heads in place. After a little time — a 1923 article says a few weeks — the insects were healed up and doing whatever their new heads told them to do. Finkler claimed that the heads of female insects on male bodies continued female behavior, and the head of one species of butterfly kept the habits of its own species, even when its body belonged to a different species.

3 Great Horror Films You Might Have Missed

All of which are available on Netflix.

FAA Evaluating the Use of e-Readers on Airplanes

CREE LED light bulb demo at APEC

OK, I know this song is very popular… and the video is over 54 million hits. But I really like it so I’m putting it here so I can find it.

If for some odd reason you haven’t seen it, you can thank me.

Risk and Reward

15 Mid-Century Modern Dream Homes that will Kill Your Children

Salad is more dangerous than beefburgers, leading food expert warns

Is alcohol more dangerous than ecstasy?

Alcohol More Dangerous Than Heroin

Combining Energy Drinks with Alcohol More Dangerous Than Drinking Alcohol Alone

Tanning indoors is more dangerous than tanning outdoors

Lack of Trust is More Dangerous Than Terror

Bottled Water Is More Dangerous Than Tap Water

Processed food business is more dangerous than tobacco industry: expert

Madison King at the first Patio Session

Madison King at the first Patio Session

What I learned this week, August 26, 2011

“I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit,” Hemingway confided to F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1934. “I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.”

Out came this girl, dressed in a scarf and a sneeze,
she did a little dance that made me weak in the knees.
she danced just like her back had no bones.
while the band played a tune they called the Main Street Moan.
She smiled a smile the whole world could see.
and then She turned around, and looked staraight at me.
I must’ve jumped at least six feet in the air,
and when I came down, that girl wasn’t there.
Oh Sharon, what do you do to these men?
You know the same rowdy crowd that was here last night is back again.

—- David Bromberg / Oh, Sharon

You can make your own cola,

and ordinary humans have done it and it is good.

Rick Perry has never lost an election; I’ve never won one. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with the world. On the other hand, I’ve long been friends with Bill Clinton and George W., and Rick Perry and I, though at times bitter adversaries, have remained friends as well. It’s not always easy to maintain friendships with politicians. To paraphrase Charles Lamb, you have to work at it like some men toil after virtue.

I have been quoted as saying that when I die, I am to be cremated, and the ashes are to be thrown in Rick Perry’s hair. Yet, simply put, Rick Perry and I are incapable of resisting each other’s charm.


These days, of course, I would support Charlie Sheen over Obama. Obama has done for the economy what pantyhose did for foreplay. Obama has been perpetually behind the curve. If the issue of the day is jobs and the economy, Rick Perry is certainly the nuts-and-bolts kind of guy you want in there. Even though my pal and fellow Texan Paul Begala has pointed out that no self-respecting Mexican would sneak across the border for one of Rick Perry’s low-level jobs, the stats don’t entirely lie. Compared with the rest of the country, Texas is kicking major ass in terms of jobs and the economy, and Rick should get credit for that, just as Obama should get credit for saying “No comment” to the young people of the Iranian revolution.


God talks to televangelists, football coaches, and people in mental hospitals. Why shouldn’t he talk to Rick Perry? In the spirit of Joseph Heller, I have a covenant with God. I leave him alone and he leaves me alone. If, however, I have a big problem, I ask God for the answer. He tells Rick Perry. And Rick tells me.

So would I support Rick Perry for president? Hell, yes! As the last nail that hasn’t been hammered down in this country, I agree with Rick that there are already too damn many laws, taxes, regulations, panels, committees, and bureaucrats. While Obama is busy putting the hyphen between “anal” and “retentive” Rick will be rolling up his sleeves and getting to work.

A still, small voice within keeps telling me that Rick Perry’s best day may yet be ahead of him, and so too, hopefully, will be America’s.

Kinky Friedman – Kinky for Perry

When I was younger, I used to enjoy riding roller coasters – but I can barely watch this, let alone ride the thing. It’s interesting how they have worked to increase the terror factor – the part at 2:00 where they are hanging and then drop….. That spot boasts the world’s steepest drop, 121 degrees – well beyond vertical.

Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.

—- Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love (1973)

Always had a soft spot for optical illusions… this is a doozy.

“Warning: If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this useless fine print is another second off your life. Don’t you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can’t think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all that claim it? Do you read everything you’re supposed to read? Do you think every thing you’re supposed to think? Buy what you’re told to want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you’re alive. If you don’t claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned.”

— Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)