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Cosmos: Done

Last night, we finished watching the Cosmos series. I remember watching the Carl Sagan version as a child. It you weren’t affected by it, you weren’t paying attention. The new version is wonderful as well. We watched it as a family. The kids got different things out of it, and didn’t understand many things, but that’s fine. We had great discussions, and turned on some curiousity. It was also a rare setting where my geekiness is a plus. Speed of light? About 186,000 miles per second or 300 million meters per second. Distance to the sun? About 93 million miles. Etc.

Near the end, there was a bit on the “Pale Blue Dot” of Earth. It is well worth watching in full.

Since seeing this, I have felt a bit distant myself. It is awesome in the literal sense. And of course this view is still within our solar system, it does not begin to show the true size of the universe. The show should have ended right there.

pale blue dot
The Earth is the small dot about halfway up the stripe on the right. (The stripe is an artifact of Voyagers’ photography, it does not exist in reality.)

Links o’ Interest

Welcome back to the blog! As a reward, you get a big batch of links.

World Cup: Traffic during USA Germany game

Ten brands to rule them all

Skydiver almost hit by meteorite

Oh my god

Alex Trebek makes a funny

I wish this didn’t make me laugh

Kafka’s joke book

That is a wonderful wedding cake

You can make a Buckinghams Palace guard smile. What makes it even better is the guys name is Yankel.

Donald Sterling at his best

Evolution

Goals

Which Harry Potter character are you?

Zebra

Fathers Day win

Funny baby bib

The Spongebob theme song is terrifying when played slowly

All hail the champion

Beach messages are temporary… a beautiful one in the sands.

The search for the end of TGIF endless appetizers

Joaquin Phoenix’s Forehead (rotated). Hypnotic.

John Cleese’s response to a young fan, and Michael Palin’s followup

Serious links:
Animals you didn’t know existed

Why the Meyers Briggs test is a waste of everyone’s time

The wreck of the Santa Maria has been found
Why you shouldn’t be in left lane driving slow and also driving me out my mind.

The correct way to dry your hands, with only one paper towel. I have adopted his methods. They work. Most impactful Ted talk yet.

My Latest Favorite Song #10

I read Mick Fleetwood’s autobiography. I’ve always loved Rhiannon, and hearing the back story and how they used to do it live got me curious. They were awesome at it. Just awesome. Watch the video below, particularly around 2:30 when the dynamics and jam start up.

Here’s a couple other good versions:

Didi Benami shows the good side of American Idol

This girl shows the bad side. Uch.

I’ve never heard of Brooke White, but I’m going to keep my eye out for her now.

And of course the official studio version.

I’m Back!!!

It has been an epic struggle. I am back. I have lost anything posted since March 18th, but that is a small price to pay. Thanks to Sid, and thanks to the fantastic tech support people at GoDaddy.

My Latest Favorite Song #10

Okay, it’s not a new one for me. But this particular version kills. Just kills! Simon playing wah-wah adds so much. This seems to have been the highlight song from that tour. Eminence Front was unworldly at the Atlanta show “l’il bro” and I saw. I don’t think there is any other Who song with a steady backing track that Pete goes lead guitar nuts on.

Links o’ Interest

This is a very nicely presented video on wealth inequality in America. Among other things, compares peoples perceptions of how it is with their opinions on how it ought to be, and puts those both against reality. A bit slow, but eye-opening for most.

A nice legal response from the Cleveland Browns.

This petting zoo is giggle-worthy

Hey Kool aid!

Understanding Infographics

Judge Judy rules in 20 seconds. You got to love the dumb criminals.

I want one of these amazing rings. It must be magic.

A little neglect goes a long way

Bill Gates is awesome in unexpected ways.

I’ll have to call you back

How to death metal

30 for 30 covers Space Jam

Even The Dark Knight makes mistakes

Fun with Google Translate

Like a Rolling Stone – an interactive video. Clever.

Sir Nicholas Winton meets the lives he saved.

My Latest Favorite Song #9

I like Kings of Leon. They tend towards the harder side of rock and roll, but I also enjoy their quieter songs. Here are a pair of songs from them that I can play over and over. They are easy to sink into.

Kings of Leon are great craftsmen. They don’t do solos. Every note is carefully planned out. They are not stunning instrumentalists. The drummer is particularly very good, but for the most part they are all professionally competent. And you have to say the singers voice is… not so amazing. It’s a Bob Dylan or Jimi Hendrix voice, an acquired taste. From these ingredients, they have made a wide variety of really good songs and a couple great ones.

Distractions in Cars

There are a few auto accessories that ought to be illegal. (Or if they already are illegal, enforced.)

1) The fancy rims. The rims keep turning after the vehicle is stopped. That gives false visual information. At some level it appears that the vehicle is moving when it isn’t.
2) CDs and pendants hanging from the mirror that scatter and reflect light. Not only does the glare get in my eyes, but it does so in a random pattern making it difficult to adjust to. Everyone understands that having your brights on is rude. An old friend used to keep an enormous spotlight in his car, and if anyone behind him had their brights on too long he would shine right in their eyes. Those folks wised up quick.

Visual clutter and disinformation is an actual issue. A friend of mine got in a car crash. The car in front of him was stopped, but the brake lights weren’t on, and he plowed right into it.

None of this is because I am anti-bling. I am pro-bling, it amuses me. For instance, I am in favor of huge crazy spoliers on Honda Civics, and neon all over the undercarriage. It also amuses me that probably no one who has that kind of bling calls it bling anymore. There’s a more current term by now.

Thomas Covenant

I’m going back to the past. I haven’t read these books for over twenty years. They were some of my favorites back then.

So far they are worse than I remember, but better than I expected.

Bodily Fluids Analysis

I took two readings on my scale. I took them 1 minute apart, the only difference was my morning pee. Thus, I can now state scientifically that my morning pee weighs 8/10ths of a pound, and increased my body fat by 0.4%.

Science has spoken! No skepticism will be tolerated!

The State of Political Discourse

Living in the South, my political views are a minority. I’m used to that. But I will never get used to the lack of subtlety. I respect the directness of the view. But yet. It lacks any sense of message of anything beyond Me-good-you-bad. Where is the beautiful wit of the “F the President” sticker?

These are the people who outvote me.

Critical Thinking