A couple of links I stole from ML.

Swimming in syrup is as easy as water: "It's a question that has taxed generations of the finest minds in physics: do humans swim slower in syrup than in water? And since you ask, the answer's no."

3D Painted Rooms: These rooms produce amazing optical illusions when viewed from certain angles.

Maid in Japan

Mrs. turtle found out about an amazing store: "Besides serving diners from a menu of inexpensive cafe fare, Hinaka also offers fully clothed massages, and for 9,000 yen ($75) customers can chat with her in a private room cluttered with comic books, character figurines and animation DVDs."

Medical malpractice and insurance rates

The Washington Monthly:
These kinds of volcanic eruptions in insurance premiums have occurred three times in the last 30 years ā€” in the mid 1970s, again in the mid-1980s, and then again following the year 2001. The cause is always the same: a severe drop in investment income for insurers compounded by underpricing in prior years. Each time, insurers and the health care industry have tried to cover up their mismanaged underwriting by blaming lawyers and the legal system. To buy this position, one would have to accept the notion that juries engineered large jury verdicts in the mid-1970s, then stopped for a decade, then engineered large verdicts again in the mid-1980s, stopped for 17 years and then did it again beginning in 2001 ā€” only to stop once again. Of course, this is ludicrous and untrue.

This has been known for a long time, but I guess that insurance companies are more powerful than people who need insurance. I am puzzled about why doctors always side with the insurance companies, though. Why did doctors (in general) get upset over malpractice lawsuits and not get upset about insurance companies raising rates in a manner uncorrelated with medical malpractice lawsuits?


Bush's approval rating is at 34%. That's gotta sting!

It's a Pudu!

Baby or adult? With pudus, you never can tell.


Steven Seagal is a rebel, a renegade, and he doesn't like to follow directions. But he does like saving lives. As long as he's not told to.

On an unrelated note, I saw part of Exit Wounds today. It's a return to form for Seagal, who cut off the ridiculous ponytail and lost a lot of weight. Whether that is good or bad depends on how much you liked his old movies.

Timing (linguistics) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In a syllable-timed language, every syllable takes up roughly the same amount of time when pronounced... Spanish and Japanese are examples... This metronomic rhythm is sometimes called machine-gun rhythm...

In a stress-timed language, syllables may last different amounts of time, but there is a given amount time (on average) between two consecutive stressed syllables, and that time is roughly a constant. English, German and Dutch are typical stress timed languages. Stress-timing is sometimes called Morse-code rhythm. When spoken faster, a stress-timed language usually shortens, obscures, or drops vowels to carry more syllables between two stresses without changing its rhythm so much.

This is one reason why non-native speakers sometimes speak with strange rhythms, and why people complain about English speakers swallowing sounds.

Of course these patterns can change over time or be borrowed from other languages. For example, Mexican Spanish, due to close contact with American English, shows a marked tendency towards stress timing. There are reports of Mexican people pronouncing "los Estados Unidos" as two "syllables", which actually means the speaker marks two beats or stress peaks (over /ta/ and /ni/)... Mexican Spanish under this influence shows signs of vowel shortening as well.

And it's contagious!

The Truffle Shuffle

I love this little movie:

Do Chicken Have Teeth?

Some of them do! Here's a more technical explaination.

Might I have some toilet water with my Coke?

Gross! Student finds toilet water cleaner than ice at fast food restaurants.

The Adventures of Karate Man

Hilarious! You need the Google movie drivers to see it, but it's well worth the download.

How stupid we are

Fun Facts:

  • 58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school.
  • 42% of college graduates never read another book.
  • 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.
  • 70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
  • 57% of new books are not read to completion.

  • Drawings of Scientists

    Some seventh graders drew pictures of scientists before and after meeting real scientists at Fermilab. Here, for example, are David's before and after pictures:

    Crazy Asian Drinks

    It's the Crazy Asian Drink Lads! Be sure to check out what they think of Pocari Sweat. Might not be work-safe, though.

    A special weather report

    David Lynch (yes, that David Lynch) gives a weather report for the Los Angeles region every day.

    He's offended

    Crooked Timber:
    Iā€™m offended. Those people, by their actions, have demonstrated the essentially corrupt nature of their society and culture. Their behaviour, which all right-minded people should be offended by, should be universally condemned. If anything shows that we are right and they are wrong, this is it. And I call upon all of those who agree with me to take action, while there is still time. To those who say that our side has also erred, I agree: there have been errors of judgement. But if anything our mistake has been to do too little and too late. We now need to wake up and respond to the danger that confronts us. In any case, to suggest that what we have done bears comparison with what they have done is itself deeply offensive and such sentiments betray the inner corruption of those who utter them. Some principles are absolute and this is one of them.


    The replacement toner I ordered took a strange path to get here:

    Ft. Lauderdale , FL
    Ft. Lauderdale , FL
    Miramar, FL
    Orlando, FL
    Wilmington, OH
    San Francisco, CA
    Fresno, CA
    Redwood City, CA

    Open the window!

    "When God closes a door, he opens a window." Does that mean God made a stinky?

    UCF Rules

    The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) has some interesting rules. I think these partially explain why certain strategies are better than others in UFC matches.

    1. Butting with the head.
    2. Eye gouging of any kind.
    3. Biting.
    4. Hair pulling.
    5. Fish hooking.
    6. Groin attacks of any kind.
    7. Putting a finger into any orifice or into any cut or laceration on an opponent.
    8. Small joint manipulation.
    9. Striking to the spine or the back of the head.
    10. Striking downward using the point of the elbow.
    11. Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation, grabbing the trachea.
    12. Clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh.
    13. Grabbing the clavicle.
    14. Kicking the head of a grounded opponent.
    15. Kneeing the head of a grounded opponent.
    16. Stomping a grounded opponent.
    17. Kicking to the kidney with the heel.
    18. Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his head or neck.

    Colbert Speaks

    Stephen Colbert | The A.V. Club
    Truthiness is tearing apart our country, and I don't mean the argument over who came up with the word. I don't know whether it's a new thing, but it's certainly a current thing, in that it doesn't seem to matter what facts are. It used to be, everyone was entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. But that's not the case anymore. Facts matter not at all. Perception is everything. It's certainty. People love the president because he's certain of his choices as a leader, even if the facts that back him up don't seem to exist. It's the fact that he's certain that is very appealing to a certain section of the country. I really feel a dichotomy in the American populace. What is important? What you want to be true, or what is true?

    Make your own props

    This guy makes his own science fiction movie props. Except that they're just for fun, not for a movie. In any case, they look pretty nice.