Otters holding hands

This is the cutest thing ever. Make sure to watch all the way to the end, and try not to squeal too loudly.

A Guide to Snowflakes

Password security checker

From Microsoft. It's fun to play around and see what it thinks makes a secure password.

Gangster who built world's tallest log cabin

Make Your Home Unattractive to Thieves

Fact or Fiction?: A Cockroach Can Live without Its Head

The Dark Side of Prairie Dogs

Living Tables

Subprime Mortgage Meltdown

This is an interesting post on the subprime mortgage market, discussing the causes of the current problems, and proposing solutions. It's pretty long, and he tends to repeat himself, but it's very informative.
In summary, lack of sensible supervision and regulation of banks, mortgage lenders and other financial institution – partly induced by an ideology of free market fundamentalism – has been the core cause of this private sector created disaster, not excesses of regulation or of government policy. Thus, to minimize the fiscal costs of cleaning up this mess, use of public funds should be carefully managed and targeted to help the true victims of this mess – borrowers duped by predatory lending practices – while avoiding any bail-out of the culprits of this mess. Privatizing profits in good times while socializing losses in bad times is another form of reckless corporate welfare that generates moral hazard while fostering new bubbles.
He has some interesting ideas for bailing out homeowners while not rewarding the lenders, because simply helping homeowners with their mortgages effectively rewards lenders for distributing mortgages indiscriminately.

Transit of the Moon

There are two spacecraft following Earth's orbit, STEREO-A and STEREO-B. STEREO-B is following 1 million miles behind the Earth, and STEREO-A is leading 1 million miles ahead of the Earth. Both of them are looking at the Sun and can combine their data into a 3-dimensional image of the Sun.

Recently, the moon passed between STEREO-B and the Sun. When that happens on Earth, it's an eclipse. By coincidence, the size of the Moon and Sun are almost equal when seen from earth, so the moon fully blocks out the sun. From STEREO-B's position, though, the Moon looks much smaller than the Sun, just a small black circle.

Here's a picture. If you click through the link, they have a movie of the Moon passing in front of the Sun.

Awesome Bento Boxes

There are more through the link.

Be Popular

The Popularity Dialer will give you a call whenever you specify. Anticipate a meeting the you want to get out of? Have the "cousin in need" give you a call.

Straight outa Stanford

This guy is a grad. student in the Stanford CS department, but I never met him. It's a really, really funny song, but there are some naughty words, in case you're at work. Also, it's only really, really funny if you're a programmer.


I've still got some extra weight to lose around my flanks, but my turtle tummy isn't that big anymore. And the weight lifting has gone well enough that I'm not embarrassed by the skinniness of my arms in the gym anymore. It's nice to lift respectable weights again, even if they're not large in absolute terms.

The job hunt continues... Not much to report there.

Although turtles do have a pretty swank setup inside our shells, as seen in many cartoons, we also like to rent apartments. The apartment that Mrs. Turtle and I share is a mess from weeks and months of neglect, but it's slowly getting better.

We went to Dallas last weekend, and saw the Sixth Floor Museum, the museum at the spot where JFK was shot. It was quite touching. One of my favorite parts was the report of one witness as taken by a policeman or FBI agent: "My name is N________. I attend B_________ High School. My wife and I were at the Book Suppository to see the President and his wife." (approximately verbatim)

NZ fishermen land colossal squid


Pancakes for dinner!!!

We had homemade pancakes for dinner tonight! And fried Spam!! All smothered with syrup!!! I think this must be what dinner's like in heaven. *sigh*


Cool close-up pictures of insects that had unfortunate collisions with windshields.

P.S. The site is in German. Apparently "weiter" means "next".

Repo Man

This guy has an exciting job. He's a repo man, but not for cars. He repossess ocean tankers.