Mar 04

Comet Lovejoy photographed by Dark Energy Camera

Nasa’s Dark Energy Camera, the worlds largest digital camera, took an accidental shot of comet Lovejoy. Download hires versions here.

c2014-q4-lovejoy-des-lg (1)

Mar 04

What’s your definition of “harmful?”

The Kansas City Star has this article about a bill passed by the Senate which would prosecute teachers for passing “harmful” schools to a student. These materials might include “controversial works of literature or about human biology,” and as an indication, “Earlier in the week, Rep. Joseph Scapa, a Wichita Republican, called a book by Toni Morrison, a Nobel Prize-winning author, pornographic.”

Now in a lot of instances, you could count on lawmakers from a higher chamber or the governor to say, stop this for being too vague, but this is Kansas, and it did come from the higher chamber, and the governor is Sam Brownback. So, I guess there’s little hope this won’t happen.
Unless some people speak up. Like, maybe Democrats. But…

Democrats had planned to fight the bill Tuesday when it was up for debate, but because of confusion and the absence of a few key members from the Senate chamber, – one of whom was in the bathroom – no Democrat spoke against the bill or posed questions about when it could be amended.

Mar 04

Crocodilian with the strongest bite ever

Meet Purussaurus brasiliensis, a crocodilian with a bite force twice that of a T Rex. 

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Not only that, but it grew to 41 feet long. I’m waiting for the Syfy channel movie now.

io9 has more

and the full article is in PLoS

Mar 03

The Cartoonist has no idea how Net Neutrality works

John Hodgman has found a number of political cartoons about Net Neutrality that are obviously written by idiots (or shills for idiot Republicans) and replaced the dialog with appropriate remarks.

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It’s frightening how many of these cartoonists there are. You should write to each of these people to let them know they’re idiots.

They appear to be

Bokbluster.com

Mike Lester of Washington Post Writer’s Group

Trever of Albuquerque Journal

Lisa Benson of the Washington Post Writer’s Group (twice)

Beeler at the Columbus Dispatch (three times)

R. McKee (?) dist. by Darren Cagle (Cagle seems to be a good guy. Kind of disappointed at this)

and Eric Allie

 

 

Mar 03

Drew Curtis of Fark for KY Governor

Fark.com is one of my favorite news sources. It is eclectic, scathing and has its own culture.

Drew who founded it also got sued famously for a patent violation and beat the trolls, and did a TED talk about it.

Now he’s running for governor, and here’s a sample of how he’d govern:

A bill just cleared the Kentucky Senate that would allow students to sue schools when they witness something happen—not direct involvement, just when they see something. A $2,500 penalty would be assessed per student, per infraction. Plus of course damages for emotional distress and attorneys’ fees.

If this becomes law, trial lawyers will have a field day. The $2,500 fine notwithstanding, there is potentially a lot more money in play depending on what a jury thinks “emotional distress” is. And thanks to the attorneys’ fees clause, trial lawyers could file thousands of lawsuits because it’s a risk free proposition for them. It could bankrupt our entire school system in short order.

More in his post How Bad Laws Get Made.

I seriously recommend if you’re in Kentucky, you vote for this guy.

Mar 03

110 tabs open

Yeah, I’m a little behind. Life has a lot of moving parts right now, and I haven’t engineered them down to normal. Here goes.

Feb 22

WWI Trench Cello

The BBC has a brief article on what is likely the last surviving Trench cello from WWI.

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An instrument like this is proof that art is fundamental to human existence, that in the miserable experience of the trenches, we still took it upon ourselves to create this terribly impractical-in-war instrument.

Feb 22

Glow in the Dark Dragon Jewelry

Etsy Shop Papillon 9 makes glow in the dark jewelry that is fantastic. Not just cool, but very well done.

d31d41

Feb 21

Slow Motion Rockslide

This Rockslide has been happening for a year and a half. It’s geological time for rockslides.

Feb 20

My Next Guitar

I have no idea how tongue in cheek this is. Certainly Martin must have permission to issue this, and they aren’t the type of company to make a joke of religion, or at least don’t have a track record of doing so, but still, it’s not like the Louvin Brothers are big artists.

D-28_Louvin_Brothers_x

Photo from Martin Guitars.

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