Monday, December 5, 2022

Impossible?

They should call it the Unnecessary Burger. To me, fake meat is stupid; there is no reason to expend resources to come up with half-assed ersatz versions when it’s so easy to just forgo some menu items. There are a lot of delicious things to eat that aren’t meat. So here’s a parallel: As we try (half-heartedly) to reduce fossil fuel dependency, maybe it’s not necessary to come up with greener private cars, sustainable airliners, eco-friendly skyscrapers. Maybe just live different lives. It’s crazy to think that we can change everything while surrendering nothing. Hey, whaddya know? An actual rant!

Monday, November 28, 2022

Liechtenstein

If you were to encounter the word “Superfosfatnyy” in the course of your research, you might assume at first glance that it signified some arcane process which purified certain important chemical elements which had heretofore been lost in previous refining operations but in future would be made available in bulk as an essential ingredient of some important component in an emerging technology that was destined to accelerate our journey toward a cleaner and greener energy-efficient future. You’d be wrong, though. Superfosfatnyy is a district of the city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan, one of only two doubly landlocked nations on Earth.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Affectionate Spectrum

Some people, you like them so much that it would be okay with you if they moved permanently into the spare room as long as they did their share of dishes. There are some people who are welcome to pretty much walk into your house whenever they feel like it, whereas some other people are totally welcome in your house but you would like to invite them ahead of time. And then some people, you try to invite them over to visit strongly enough so they know you like them but not so much that they actually ever show up.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Popular Science

Physicists break down the forces that drive the universe into four fundamental interactions. As I understand it, the strong force is what makes it so hard to get plastic five-gallon buckets apart while the weak force is all that’s keeping you from eating all the cookies. A third force, the electromagnetic interaction, only occurs when a grade school teacher has you wrap wire around a nail. Under no other conditions is this force to be observed in day-to-day life. The fourth force, gravity, is when you try to keep a straight face while somebody explains their paleo diet to you.

Monday, November 7, 2022

Six strings good, four strings better.

I always say you can play the guitar but you have to work the bass. The strings are fatter, the amplifiers are bigger, and you have to stand in the back watching guys with better hair get all the glory while you doggedly hold the music together. I remember one time, while we were playing, somebody actually tossed ladies’ underwear at me. It landed at my feet. And I’m like, “I loaded all this heavy crap in, I’m up here working my ass off so you can have a good time, and now you expect me to do your laundry?”

Monday, October 31, 2022

Tallebudgera Alleygators

Hey baseball fan. Are you dreading the end of the World Series, after which you’ll have no reason to watch your television? Let me offer some alternatives: Caribbean baseball is a great option, thanks in large part to a man named Pedro Miguel Caratini, whose namesake cocktail consists of gin and carrot juice. And for the adventurous there’s Australian Rules baseball, which is played during their summer, when it’s winter here. It’s a very similar game to our own national pastime. The biggest difference is that, as a result of Coriolis forces, they run the bases in the opposite direction.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Baby steps

We’ve talked about binding energy, right? About how all matter tends over time to undergo fusion or fission into Iron-56 (or Nickel-62, which sounds like a crappy alt rock band) and how absolutely everything will turn to iron in the far future. The really far future. The really, really far future. Right now the universe in which we live is about 14 billion years old, give or take. Which is old, sure, but nothing compared to the 1015,000 years or so it might take for its final conversion to nothing but iron stars. We live at the dawn of time.