Proud Member of the Reality-Based Community.
Friday, April 29, 2005
Thursday, April 28, 2005
I can get to 3.14
Keith was discussing someone from his high school the other day who apparently memorized Pi out to 800 digits. That seemed darn impressive to me, until David Letterman had a guy named Daniel Tammet on his show last night who had recited the number out to 22,514 places in a time of 5 hours, 9 minutes, 24 seconds. What's even more amazing is the fact that he's not even the world record holder: Hiroyuki Goto got to 42,195 digits on 18 Feb. 1995. Another impressive feat is Andreas Lietzow's - reciting Pi out to 1088 places while juggling 3 balls.
Math Problem of the Day
Roo Party Sweeps Election
U-NEWS, UMKC - An unprecedented number of students turned out to the polls in last week's Student Government Association (SGA) election, voting for a change in leadership. Students elected all four candidates from the Roo Party: Fresh Faces and New Ideas to the SGA's executive council.
A total of 1,696 students voted in the election, 775 (47 percent) of which cast ballots for Marcus Leach and Sofya Galich, the presidential and executive vice presidential candidates, respectively, for the Roo Party. Sharan Srinivas was voted in as administrative vice president from the Roo Party with 817 votes (53 percent), and Nhu-Ouynh Hoang Tran was elected as comptroller with 707 votes (44 percent).
Nearly 1,000 more students voted in this election than did last year, in which 741 students cast ballots; and 1,318 more votes were cast than two years ago, when just 378 students voted... All told, voter turnout was about 12 percent, with nearly an even number of votes coming on paper ballots (860 votes) and via online voting (853 votes).
Congrats, Roo Party! UMKC is on the right path!
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Republicans Can Be Right Too
"There are some people out there who are Christians...who believe that homosexuality is a sin. You know what? I'm a Christian. I do believe that it's a sin. You know what else? I believe divorce is a sin. Guess what? I've been divorced. Guess what? Jesus talks about divorce a lot more than he talks about homosexuality. I don't know why people obsess over it so much, but they do. Wait a second, I do know why they obsess over it. Because they get votes bashing gays." ~ Joe Scarborough
Monday, April 25, 2005
US NEWS & WORLD REPORT - New Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean is no Terry McAuliffe. . . Dean is almost a seminarian in his approach to the post. And, oddly, his style seems to fit with the party's bid to build its blue-collar base -- just as McAuliffe's meshed with the DNC's need to raise gobs of money and go high tech. . . McAuliffe would limo around town, dropping in at the Palm to huddle with Washington big shots. The 2004 presidential hopeful, by contrast, takes the bus or subway, buying his own $1.35 ticket. Sometimes he bums rides from staffers or walks the four blocks to the Capitol for meetings. "Please Call Me Howard" never flies first class and always carries his own bags. Other signs of the ex-guv's modest style: He eats at his desk, stays in a cheap D.C. hotel, and likes oxford shirts and penny loafers. Affectionately dubbed a "geek" by pals, he's often glued to his cell phone and loves e-mail.
On the path to feeling comfortable....
No notes, musical or otherwise, in the air
Just the whir of a tape machine
In the dark
What could I say now
That might be enough?
Words cheapen, lack meaning
But so much
There lies within
I've seen it, I've sensed it
Two pairs of feet
'Prints to the center of your soul
Accepting, I don't know why
You love things just because
Beautiful cartoon bird
Let me hear your song tonight
Could I possibly steal your soul?
We'll aim for the sky
Or maybe the ceiling
Away with me, you'll soar
A million questions
None come now to mind
Please forgive me this
My heart is open and far ahead
The rest, trying ever to catch up
The flicker of an eyelash now
Tangles of hair
No, none of that
Feeling, at last.
Friday, April 22, 2005
BBC - Cavers have ventured deeper into the Earth than anyone has been before. A Ukrainian team has reached a record depth of 2,080m (6,822ft), passing the elusive 2,000m mark at Krubera, the world's deepest known cave. [more....]
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Away Message of the Night:
2.5 servings per pack? Who eats part of a pack of fruit snacks and puts the rest away?
Douche bags, that's who.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Ahh, this brings me back to 8th grade English class...
Ultimate Warrior Email Exchange
Monday, April 18, 2005
Motorist's Nose Broken by Sausage
BBC - A driver is recovering after a frozen sausage was thrown through the window of his moving car, breaking his nose...
"The man said he was making his way home after work and had the window down because it was such a nice afternoon," the spokesman added. "He said he saw a car coming the other way and felt a searing pain in his nose. He managed to stop his car without hitting anyone else. His nose was undoubtedly fractured.
"I feel very sorry for him - it must have been an incredibly lucky or unlucky shot to get the sausage through a moving car window. I have never seen or heard of anything like this before."
Police said they were investigating.
Saturday, April 16, 2005
...and now a random fact about Vin Diesel:
After a loud and lengthy argument with Bob Barker at a late-night Hollywood eatery, Vin Diesel has become a strident opponent of pet birth control, ending every movie he stars in with a heartfelt plea to viewers to "Let your cats and dogs fuck all they want!" 8^D
Friday, April 15, 2005
Blood Type B Men Have Rough Time in S. Korea
REUTERS - South Korean magazines, TV shows and Internet chat rooms have been buzzing about blood types for years. But, these days, the subject of attention is just how difficult it is to strike up a relationship with type-B men. Scientists say there is no link between blood type and personality. But that hasn't stopped self-proclaimed experts from declaring, for example, that type-A women, with their shy ways, should avoid type-B men, who are likely to be cads.
Associating blood types with personality traits has been going on for decades in North Asia. Most of the original interest started in Japan early in the 20th century and it has also taken off in South Korea.
There are many characteristics associated with type-B people, but the bad rap going around about type-B men in Korea is that they are selfish, mercurial and absolutely useless as caring and devoted boyfriends. . . [In one book] Type-O people were described as outgoing, expressive and passionate. (yep, that's me... phew) ;^D Type-A were considered introverted perfectionists while type-AB were an unpredictable, distant lot.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Monday, April 11, 2005
2 for 2 Today
I guess I recognize quality talent when I see it. While watching two completely mindless television shows this evening with the gang, I was pleased to find that my "favorites" at the beginning of each ultimately ended up winning their show's respective title.
1. Miss Washington, D.C. - Miss Fear Factor
2. Miss North Carolina - Miss USA
Aside from reminding me of how amazing my powers at prediction are, these shows helped me realize something else too: though they may not be basking in the glow of stage lights and television cameras - equipped with sashes, tiaras, and never-faltering smiles - the women in my life have infinitely more charm and natural beauty than do the cardboard-cutout girls they parade around on TV. Oh yeah, and just so he doesn't feel left out: Keith, you're pretty hot too. ;D
HUMANIST SOCIETY OF WESTERN NEW YORK - A joyous alternative to religions that believe in a supernatural god and life in a hereafter. Humanists believe that this is the only life of which we have certain knowledge and that we owe it to ourselves and others to make it the best life possible for ourselves and all with whom we share this fragile planet. A belief that when people are free to think for themselves, using reason and knowledge as their tools, they are best able to solve this world's problems. An appreciation of the art, literature, music and crafts that are our heritage from the past and of the creativity that, if nourished, can continuously enrich our lives. Humanism is, in sum, a philosophy of those in love with life. Humanists take responsibility for their own lives and relish the adventure of being part of new discoveries, seeking new knowledge, exploring new options. Instead of finding solace in prefabricated answers to the great questions of life, humanists enjoy the open-endedness of a quest and the freedom of discovery that this entails.
A Perspective on Faith
Want to understand my point-of-view? I think this is worth reading.
SAM SMITH, PROGRESSIVE REVIEW - As far as the government and the media are concerned, the world's fourth largest belief system doesn't exist. In number of adherents it's behind Christianity, Islam and Buddhism but ahead of Hinduism. Globally it's 85% the size of Catholicism and in America just a little smaller than Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Lutherans put together. Perhaps most astoundingly, given today's politics, in the U.S. it is roughly the size of the Southern Baptist congregation.
Its leaders, however, are not invited to open Senate sessions. Our politicians do not quote them and our news shows do not interview them. And while it is a sin, if not a crime, to be anti-Catholic or anti-Semitic, disparaging this faith is not only permitted, it is publicly encouraged. The media acts as though it doesn't exist. You'd need an exceptional lawyer to sue your employer for ridiculing your belief in it. Its adherents are repeatedly and explicitly excluded from the category of "people of faith" even though they are among the most steadfast and well-grounded in their beliefs. Finally, if one of its major figures dies, you will probably not read about it, let alone find the president, two ex-presidents and Brian Williams flying off for the service.
So completely is this belief system excluded from our national consciousness that we do not even have a name for it. So let's give it one, at least for this article: shafarism - standing for secularism, humanism, atheism, free thought, agnosticism, and rationalism.
Shafars are 850 million people around the globe and at least 20 million at home who are ignored, insulted, or commonly considered less worthy than those who adhere to faiths based on mythology and folklore rather than on logic, empiricism, verifiable history, and science....
Further, omnipresent evocations of American religiosity ignore some basic facts. Such as the Harris poll that shows about half of Americans go to church only a few times a year or never. In other words, they are at best what is known in some Latin American countries as navi-pascuas, attending only at Christmas and Easter. And among these, one reasonably suspects, are numerous closet shafars, silenced by the overwhelming suppression of skepticism and disbelief. In fact, the same poll found that 21% of Catholics and 52% of Jews either don't believe in God or are not certain that God exists.
Such facts are blatantly ignored by a media which happily assigns absurdly contradictory roles to God in stories such as the recent shootings in Atlanta. In that case one was led to believe that religious faith saved the hostage, even though the abductor professed belief in the same almighty, as presumably did at least some of those killed by the perpetrator. But who needs journalistic objectivity when such cliches are so handy?
None of which is to say that mythology and folklore are necessarily evil or that the non-religious necessarily earn morality by their skepticism. I'd take a progressive cardinal over Vladimir Putin any day. The thoughtfully religious, expressing their faith through works of decency and kindness, are far more useful, interesting and enjoyable than lazy, narcissistic rationalists. There have been times, such as the 1960s, when the church not only lived up to its gospel but proved to be one of the most desirable institutions around. And there are tens of millions of people who act as good Christians, even when their Pope or other leaders make it difficult.
But faith in religion is just one type of faith. Atheism can be called faith in evidence, agnosticism faith in doubt and science faith in logic. These are no less human faiths than those in an unseen God. Then there's deep ecology, a faith motivated, as one evangelist put it, by belief in creation rather than creator. Whether you call it God or Nature, argued Thor Heyerdahl, "the disagreement is about the spelling of a word."
Sunday, April 10, 2005
Best Buy Has Man Arrested for Using $2 Bills
WORLDNET DAILY - A man trying to pay a fee using $2 bills was arrested, handcuffed and taken to jail after clerks at a Best Buy store questioned the currency's legitimacy and called police.
According to an account in the Baltimore Sun, 57-year-old Mike Bolesta was shocked to find himself taken to the Baltimore County lockup in Cockeysville, Md., where he was handcuffed to a pole for three hours while the U.S. Secret Service was called to weigh in on the case. . . After Best Buy personnel reportedly told Bolesta he would not be charged for the installation of a stereo in his son's car, he received a call from the store saying it was in fact charging him the fee. As a means of protest, Bolesta decided to pay the $114 bill using 57 crisp, new $2 bills. As the owner of Capital City Student Tours, the Baltimore resident has a hearty supply of the uncommon currency. He often gives the bills to students who take his tours for meal money.
"The kids don't see that many $2 bills, so they think this is the greatest thing in the world," Bolesta says. "They don't want to spend 'em. They want to save 'em. I've been doing this since I started the company. So I'm thinking, 'I'll stage my little comic protest. I'll pay the $114 with $2 bills.'". . .
According to the Sun report, the police arrest report noted one employee noticed some smearing of ink on the bills. That's when the cops were called. One officer reportedly noticed the bills ran in sequential order.
Said Bolesta: "I told them, 'I'm a tour operator. I've got thousands of these bills. I get them from my bank. You got a problem, call the bank.' I'm sitting there in a chair. The store's full of people watching this. All of a sudden, he's standing me up and handcuffing me behind my back, telling me, 'We have to do this until we get it straightened out.'. . .
Secret Service agent Leigh Turner eventually arrived and declared the bills legitimate, adding, according to the police report, "Sometimes ink on money can smear."
Friday, April 08, 2005
Another Theorem for Your Consideration
thanks to RT ~
Dilbert's "Salary Theorem" states that "Engineers and scientists can never earn as much as business executives and sales people."
This theorem can now be supported by a mathematical equation based on the following two postulates:
Postulate 1: Knowledge is Power.
Postulate 2: Time is Money.
As every engineer knows: Power = Work / Time
And since: Knowledge = Power And: Time = Money , it is therefore true that Knowledge = Work / Money
Solving this equation for Money, we get: Money = Work / Knowledge
Thus, as Knowledge approaches zero, Money approaches infinity, regardless of the amount of Work done.
Conclusion: The less you know, the more you make.
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Dick Vitale's Popapalooza 2005
Choose Your Own Adventure
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
REUTERS - The more television 4-year-old children watch the more likely they are to become bullies later on in school, a U.S. study said on Monday... Bullying can now be added "to the list of potential negative consequences of excessive television viewing along with obesity, inattention and other types of aggression," said Frederick Zimmerman who led the research.
Delivery Man Stuck in Elevator for 3 Days
REUTERS - A Chinese food delivery man was found trapped in a broken elevator Tuesday, more than three days after he was reported missing, police said. Ming Kung Chen, 35, who worked for the Happy Dragon restaurant in the Bronx, was reported missing late Friday when he did not return an hour after setting out on a delivery. Police said he was found about 6 a.m. on Tuesday and was hospitalized with dehydration.
Red ink falling out of favor with teachers
AP - The color has become so symbolic of negativity that some principals and teachers will not touch it. "You could hold up a paper that says 'Great work!' and it won't even matter if it's written in red," said Joseph Foriska, principal of Thaddeus Stevens Elementary in Pittsburgh. He has instructed his teachers to grade with colors featuring more "pleasant-feeling tones" so that their instructional messages do not come across as derogatory or demeaning...
"The human eye is notoriously fickle and is always searching for something new to look at it," she said. "If you use a color that has long been used in a traditional way, you can lose people's attention, especially if they have a history of a lot of red marks on their papers."
Purple may be rising in popularity, Eiseman said, because teachers know it is a mix of blue and red. As she put it: "You still have that element of the danger aspect -- the red -- but it's kind of subtle, subliminal. It's in the color, rather than being in your face."
Google Maps has added Satellite Imagery. It's pretty nifty.
Monday, April 04, 2005
Final Standings - NCAA Brackets
1. Lucas_______121_______43______N. CAR <-- ME
2. Keith________98_______38______N. CAR
5. Justin_______89_______37______N. CAR
6. Nick_________80_______38______OK St.
How many 5 year-olds could you take on at once?
Help for L2's Report
Sunday, April 03, 2005
From Mr. Q....
Saturday, April 02, 2005
Quick Psychological Test - Find Out Your Big "Issue"
Read the situation and then answer the question. Answer the question before you click on the comments link to read on.
A woman, while at the funeral of her own mother, met a guy whom she did not know. She thought this guy was amazing, and so much her dream guy, she believed him to be just that! She fell in love with him right there, but never asked for his number and could not find him. A few days later she killed her sister.
Question: What is her motive in killing her sister? Give this some thought before you answer, then click on the comments link to get the answer.
Friday, April 01, 2005
METAFILTER - Soon, the College of Cardinals will assemble to choose [the pope's] successor. Even in death, however, this pontiff will exert extraordinary control over the process, having elevated an unprecedented number of clerics to this body. The choice of Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, archbishop of Havana, would continue John Paul II's legacy of opposition to communism and totalitarianism. Another frontrunner is the socially conservative Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze. Arinze would continue John Paul II's cultural legacy while recognizing the demographic reality of modern global Catholicism. Also mentioned as a frontrunner is Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras, a strong proponent of third world debt relief. Progressives would welcome the elevation of German Cardinal Walter Kasper, an advocate for religious tolerance and pluralism, or the moderate Italian Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, a frequent stand-in during the Holy Week ceremonies. Conservatives favor Columbian Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos. Hoyos shares the Pope's traditionalist vision of a church at odds with modernity. But the smart money, is on Dionigi Tettamanzi.