Thursday, June 30, 2005


more worthless junk of the type erin luvs

people waste time trying 2speak somethin other than english

fisherman actually catch giant fish

how well thailand s doin s attributed 2 chicks

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

some day i think

hiya guys

2 many things n the news erin likes that loser stuff

dick nixon was honest

loser wusses cant see the obvious;_ylt=AjmhUMkmgqvZznbP6clGYwlqP0AC;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

a much better place 2 get the news batboy rules!!!!!!

2days weird thing s the most unkosher recipe i could find dont make it though u might get n trouble unless ur n the andes do drugs not human flesh

Monday, June 27, 2005

whatever day now kinda

hey u guys its me bobby awesome erin s gone 4 a few days so im n charge so here goes ok most of whats on this blog just SUXXXX dont it coz all he puts up are stupid things which r nt at all weird so i will do better UR A LOSER ERIN U SUCK!!!!!!!!

today check out this site yeah stick cats n bottles because their useless!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Weird thing of the day 26 June 2005/19 Siwan 5765


Tomorrow through Thursday I’ll be in Toronto for an epidemiology conference. There will not be any weird things of the day during that period.

Today’s weird thing is a story from Emily’s collection, included below. Enjoy.


Dov Kalmanson is an actor - or, at least, he would be if he could get his act together and find a job. He is down and out, and ready to settle for anything, any opportunity. Finally he gets a lead.

He discovers a job described in the classified ads as follows: "Actor needed to play ape."

"I could do that, " says Dov.

To his surprise, the employer turns out to be none other than the recruitment director for the local zoo. The director confesses that owing to past mismanagement, the zoo has spent so much money renovating the grounds and improving the habitat, that they can no longer afford to import the ape they needed to replace Betsy, their previous ape, who is now in ape-Heaven. He then offers Dov the job of playing a real, live ape.

Out of desperation, Dov accepts the offer. At first, Dov is at odds with his new job. His conscience keeps nagging at him, telling him that he is being dishonest by fooling the zoo-goers. And as you might expect, Dov feels rather undignified in the ape-suit, stared at by crowds of observers who watch his every move from the other side of the cage. But after a couple of days on the job, he actually begins to be amused by all the attention. He even starts to put on a bit of a show for the zoo-goers: hanging upside-down from the branches by his legs, swinging about on the looming vines, climbing up the cage walls, and roaring with all his might while beating his chest. Indeed, he begins to become quite a popular attraction at the zoo, drawing a sizable crowd.

One day, when showing off to a group of kids on a school trip, Dov starts swinging about on the vines with the greatest agility, when all of a sudden his hand slips, and he goes flying over the fence into the neighboring cage, the lion's den! Recovering from the fall, Dov lifts up his head to see the lion approaching! Terrified, Dov backs up as far as he can, covers his eyes with his paws, and screams at the top of his lungs, "Shema Yisroel Ad-nai Elokeinu Ad-nai echad!" (Hear Oh Israel, the L-rd is our G-d, the L-rd is one!)

The lion opens its powerful jaws and roars, "Baruch shem k'vod malchuso l'olam va'ed!" (Blessed is the name of his glorious kingship forever and ever!)

"Hush, you fools!" a panda bear mutters from a third cage. "You'll get us all fired!"

Friday, June 24, 2005

Picture experiment and stuff


I just found out that Blogger is now allowing for uploading images to blogs, so I thought I’d give it a try. This smiley face was created for me by my brother Barry and is my official icon.

I still hate the Finder. I’m getting the rainbow pizza far too often. I can’t believe this is a commercial release.

Political update (because I’m in a bad mood): Bush administration political advisor Karl Rove insulted and brazenly lied the Democrats. The Democrats demanded an apology. The White House engaged in making pathetic excuses for Rove’s behavior. All those who think the Democrats will be more cooperative in Congress, stand on your heads.

The Federal Government is cracking down on people who make medical use of marijuana. They don’t care that many states have legalized medical use of marijuana, and they have no interest in whether or not they is any experimental evidence to support its use. If they want to pick on people who are actually dangerous, let them arrest the entire tobacco industry.

The Pentagon is turning into Big Brother for students.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the city may seize your home or business and give it to anyone who will generate more tax revenue. This is a disgusting abuse of the concept of eminent domain, and I hope everyone who promotes such an abuse and the judges who ruled for it all have their homes and businesses bulldozed because of it.

Meanwhile in Zimbabwe, the government is demolishing the homes of poor squatters who support the opposition.

Be scared.


Weird thing of the day 24 June 2005/17 Siwan 5765


Today’s weird thing comes from Emily’s collection and is included below. Enjoy, and Shabbath shalom.


Ode to a Spell Checker

I have a spelling checker
I disk covered four my PC.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot see.

Eye ran this poem threw it.
Your sure real glad two no.
Its very polished in its weigh,
My checker tolled me sew.

A checker is a blessing.
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
And aides me when aye rime.

Each frays comes posed up on my screen
Eye trussed too bee a joule.
The checker pours o'er every word
To cheque sum spelling rule.

Bee fore wee rote with checkers
Hour spelling was inn deck line,
Butt now when wee dew have a laps,
Wee are not maid too wine.

And now bee cause my spelling
Is checked with such grate flare,
There are know faults in awl this peace,
Of nun eye am a wear.

To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should be proud,
And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
Sew flaws are knot aloud.

That's why eye brake in two averse
Caws Eye dew want too please.
Sow glad eye yam that aye did bye
This soft wear four pea seas.

--Author Unknown

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Weird thing of the day 23 June 2005/16 Siwan 5765


Didn’t sleep well last night and got up late. Good thing I wrote this post up last night.

Political stuff: As usual, see Backspin for information on misconceptions and flaming pants. Also see “Japan court throws out tobacco suit, sees no definite link with cancer” for further flaming pants.

Side-note: There ought to be an award for lying, which ought to be called either the Richard Milhouse Nixon Prize or the Flaming Pants Award.

Just flat-out weird news: “Lions Rescue, Guard Beaten Ethiopian Girl”. (I cannot make this up. I keep asking myself if this is made up, I have no idea why lions would do this.)

Today’s weird thing is a story from Emily’s archive titled “Constable Outruns a Car”, which is included below. I checked and discovered that this story is an urban legend, but, still, it’s a good read. Enjoy.


Toronto Globe & Mail March 30, 2004:
In most of the Canadian Provinces, there is a policy of checking on any stalled vehicle on the highway when the temperatures drop in the single digits or below.
One morning in March 2004 about 3AM RCMP Constable Bill Wisen was awakened to respond to such a call of a car off the shoulder on the Trans Canada Highway outside of Medicine Hat, Alberta. Constable Wisen located the car still running, stuck in deep snow alongside the highway. Pulling in behind it with his emergency lights on, Constable Wisen walked to the driver's door to find an older man passed out behind the wheel and a near empty bottle of vodka in the seat. He tapped on the window and the driver woke up, seeing the rotating lights in his rear view mirror and the RCMP Constable standing next to his car. The man panicked, and he jerked the gearshift into drive and hit the gas. The car's speedometer was showing 20-30-40 then 50 KPH, but it was still stuck in the snow.
Constable Wisen, having a sense of humor, began running in place next to the speeding but still stationary car. The driver was totally freaked thinking the officer was actually keeping up with him. This went on for about 20 seconds when Constable Wisen yelled at the man ordering him to 'pull over'. The man obeyed and turned his wheel and stopped the engine. Once out of the car the drunken driver asked about the RCMPs' special training, and just how could the Constable run 50 KPH. The man, Mr. Robert Duport of Medicine Hat was arrested still believing that an RCMP Constable had outrun his car.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Weird thing of the day 22 June 2005/15 Siwan 5765


Political update: I present for your reading pleasure (or disgust) the Downing Street memo, which plainly shows that George W. Bush and Tony Blair were planning to go to war with Iraq, knowing full well that that country had neither weapons of mass destruction nor connections with Al-Qa‘ida.

Language weirdness: I discovered yesterday that the Hebrew word for “mascot” is קָמֵעַ (qamea‘), which literally means “amulet” or “talisman”. Go figure.

Today’s weird thing is a Forbes article on how much it would cost to actually be Batman. (It’s amazing what an economist with too much time on his/her hands will write.)

Criticism: This article lumps treats all expenses as if they only had to be paid once, even though this is clearly incorrect (e.g., Alfred Pennyworth has to be paid every year of his employment), so the actual cost of being Batman would be higher.

Related eeriness: Another silly article on the same site, “The Forbes Fictional Fifteen” reports that supervillain/businessman Lex Luthor was elected president of the United States in 2000. This strikes me as fairly close to reality, in which greedy rich businessmen (Karl Rove, Richard Cheney), did take control of the presidency. If anyone has any information on parallels between the Bush administration and the Luthor administration, please let me know.

Enjoy or be scared or something.


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Weird thing of the day 21 June 2005/14 Siwan 5765


Political update: The Transportation Security Administration illegally collected data on passengers, despite having promised not to do so. Meanwhile, Greenpeace has announced giving its first Golden Chainsaw award.

Today’s weird thing comes from Emily’s collection and is included below. Enjoy.


Flight Instruction

The scene is a newspaper office. The editor says to one of his reporters:

-- There's a fire raging out of control west of town and I want you to get out there fast. And above all, get some good shots. If that means you have to hire an airplane, just do it. Don't worry about the expense.

So, the reporter calls the local FBO and orders a plane. He rushes out to the airport, spots a small aircraft with a young pilot in it, pulls open the door, jumps in and says to the pilot:

-- Let's go, take off.

As directed, the pilot takes off, gets up to altitude, and the reporter then tells him:

-- See that fire raging to the west? I want you to fly over that and get down as close as you can.

Incredulous, the pilot says:

-- You want me to fly over that fire?

-- Sure. I am a photojournalist and that's why I am here, to take dramatic shots of the fire!

The pilot looks over with a quizzical look on his face and says:

-- You're not the flight instructor?

Monday, June 20, 2005

Worthy cause of the day


The GOP is hard at work in Washington, trying to slash funding for public broadcasting. Please sign the latest petition and tell your senators and representative not to kill PBS. Thank you.


Weird thing of the day 20 June 2005/13 Siwan 5765 (Ice Cream Soda Day/Midsummer Night)


I’m feeling allergic, and that’s not going to make printing up business cards for my trip to Toronto next week any easier.

Political update: See the last few posts on Backspin to find out whose pants are on fire. And somebody remind me later to put a link to them in my sidebar.

Weird news update: Gas-guzzling SUV limos are the new “in” thing in certain circles. (Anyone interested in a social engineering project, please make fuel efficiency cool and get those abominations off the road.) Meanwhile, potato farmers in the UK have taken social engineering into their own hands and have protested to have the term “couch potato” removed from the Oxford English Dictionary, claiming it gives potatoes an undeserved reputation.

In honor of Ice Cream Soda Day, today’s weird thing is one of those silly things that is doomed to wander the Internet forever, included below. I got this version from Emily, but I’ve seen another one. Enjoy.


Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream is now available in Israel... in the following
Wailing Wal nut

Moish mellow

Mazel Toff ee


Oy Ge-malt

Mi Ka-mocha.

Soda & Gamorra

Bernard Malamint

Berry Pr'i Hagafen

Choc-Eilat Chip

and finally (drum roll,please).........Simchas T'oreo.

It should also be noted that all these flavors come in a Cohen

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Weird thing of the day 19 June 2005/12 Siwan 5765 (Juneteenth/Father's Day)


Star Wars update: According to the article “Turn On, Tune In, Veg Out”, one of the major problems with Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith is that significant parts of the story (who is General Grievous, what’s wrong with Anakin Skywalker) have been left out. To get that missing information, one has to watch the animated series Clone Wars or read the corresponding novels. If a project to fix the problems in the prequel trilogy ever gets started, this is something that needs to be addressed.

Today’s weird thing is one of those stories that is floating around the Internet. Before I even finished reading it, I knew it deserved to be a weird thing of the day. It has been included below. Enjoy.


Subject: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

Remember the book -
"Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus"? Well, here is a true life
example from the University of Phoenix. An English Professor
assigned his students to a joint writing exercise that quickly
degraded - check it out...

"Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story.
The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person
sitting to his or her immediate right.

As homework tonight, one of you will write the first paragraph of a
short story. You will e-mail your partner that paragraph and send
another copy to me. The partner will read the first paragraph and
then add another paragraph to the story and send it back also sending
another copy to me. The first person will then add a third
paragraph, and so on, back and forth.

Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep
the story coherent. There is to be absolutely NO talking outside of
the e-mails and anything you wish to say must be written in the
e-mail. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been

The following was actually turned in by two of my English students:

Rebecca (last name deleted), and Gary (last name deleted).


THE STORY: (First paragraph by Rebecca)

At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The
chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home,
now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times,
that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs,
keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if
she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So
chamomile was out of the question.

(second paragraph by Gary)

Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack
squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to
think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named
Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago.
"A.S. Harris to Geostation 17", he said into his
transgalactic communicator. "Polar orbit established. No sign of
resistance so far..." But before he could sign off, a bluish
particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his
ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out
of his seat and across the cockpit.


He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he
felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one
woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth
stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of
Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space
Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news
simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window,
dreaming of her youth, when the days had passed unhurriedly and
carefree, with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her
from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around
her. "Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she
pondered wistfully.

--------------------------------------------------------- (Gary)

Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live.
Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership
launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dimwitted
wimpy peaceniks that pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament
Treaty through the congress had left Earth a defenseless target for
the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human
race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the
Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough
firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them,
they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion
missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his
top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the
coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion, which
vaporized poor, stupid, Laurie and 85 million other Americans. The
President slammed his fist on the conference table. "We can't allow
this! I'm going to veto that treaty! Let's blow 'em out of the


This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My
writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic semiliterate

---------------------------------------------------------- (Gary)

Yeah? Well, you're a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts
at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium. "Oh shall I have
chamomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of <EXPLETIVE DELETED> TEA??? Oh
no, I'm such an air headed bimbo who reads too many Danielle Steele



---------------------------------------------------------- (Gary)


-------------------------------------------------------- (Rebecca)


---------------------------------------------------------- (Gary)


--------------------------------------------------------- (Rebecca)


---------------------------------------------------------- (Gary)



(TEACHER) A+ - I really liked this one. Only group to get an A.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Weird thing of the day 17 June 2005/10 Siwan 5765


Today’s post is sponsored, though to my surprise Bobby Awesome did not do the legwork to get the ad.

The Legion for a Better Tomorrow through Promotion of the GOP’s Agenda (formerly the Legion of Doom) is offering generous rewards for information leading to public revelation of secret identities. If you can prove who certain people really are beyond a shadow of a doubt, you may become fabulously wealthy!

The Tick—Bounty: $10,000
Daredevil—Bounty: $100,000
The Flash—Bounty: $1,000,000
Spider-Man—Bounty: $5,000,000
Superman—Bounty: $10,000,000
Bobby Awesome—Bounty: $5

Thanks to Karl Rove, Batman has already been outed. Help us unmask the rest and make the world a better place! Call us at 1-888-LGN-DOOM.

Star Wars update: “'Star Wars' princess inspires royal name in Norway”. (I cannot make this up. It’s not my fault!)

Political updates:One common stunt people pull is overclocking, which is a method to make computers run faster. Today’s weird thing is The Richfiles: TI-Calculator Turbo Page, which describes the much sillier variant of making calculators run faster. Enjoy or be puzzled or something.


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Weird thing of the day 16 June 2005/9 Siwan 5765 (Bloomsday/Fudge Day)


R2D2 finally got back to me. While he still hasn’t gotten around to translating his essay for me, he did direct me to THE STORY OF ANDY'S COMPUTER, in which he stars. However, this page was previously the weird thing of the day over a year ago.

For today’s weird thing, I’ve decided to continue the trend of silly things related to current movies and thus present for you Howstuffworks "How the Batsuit Works". (You’d have thought they’d retire victoriously after explaining lightsabers.) They also have an article on how secret superheroes’ secret identities really are, which shows an interesting extent people will go to in writing stuff. I’m still trying to figure out how superheroes who don’t cover their entire face are supposed to keep their identities secret; maybe they all wear plastic masks from Mission: Impossible...



News update

Good evening.

Late-breaking news:
    Crawford, Texas (not AP) - A tragic fire this morning destroyed the personal library of President George W. Bush. The fire began in the presidential bathroom where both of the books were kept. Both of his books have been lost.

    A presidential spokesman said the president was devastated, as he had almost finished coloring the second one.
Thanks to Mom for forwarding that joke report to me. And now onto the real new news (in no particular order).

Sanhedhrin update: We have two articles titled הסנהדרין: הבג"צ פוגע שיטתית וזדונית בתורת ישראל, עם ישראל וא"י, one from June 9 and one from June 10. Both articles report that the proto-Sanhedhrin is displeased that the Israeli government is sticking its collective nose into religious matters, such as conversion, Shabbath, kashruth, and personal status; violating the human rights of Jews; and encouraging assimilation. Add this on to the proto-Sanhedhrin’s already noted opposition to disengagement. Intuition suggests that if Sharon is not kicked out of office or assassinated, he may be excommunicated.

Food update: Back when the Weird thing of the day was only a mailing list, I reported on an alleged spat between the Florida Tomato Committee and Santa Sweets over whether it was OK or not to export UglyRipe™ tomatoes from Florida. I finally have an update on that: apparently the alleged spat has been resolved, since UglyRipes can now be ordered on-line. I still haven’t tasted an UglyRipe, so if you order some and don’t like them, it’s your own fault you paid over $2 per tomato.

Political update: The number of refugees planetwide rose about a million last year. War, the chief cause of refugees, is doing a great job of causing famine, too, in Africa. All those who think the UN is going to intervene in Africa in any meaningful way, stand on your heads.

That's all for now. Nighty-night.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Weird thing of the day 15 June 2005/8 Siwan 5765


Right now I’m busy catching up with everything that has happened in the last two days.

Today’s weird thing is the article “No cure, no pay may be new model for selling drugs”. Enjoy, and thank God for some hope for more responsibility on the part of the drug companies.


Sunday, June 12, 2005

Oh, before I forget...

I have to get this Star Wars update off my desktop: Princess Leia Organa has claimed that George Lucas has ruined her life. Enjoy.


Weird thing of the day 12 June 2005/5 Siwan 5765 (Day 49 of the `Omer/Magic Day)


Tomorrow is Shavu‘oth, the anniversary of the giving of the Torah, which means practically that we have a two-day gap in the blog. There is a custom to eat dairy products on Shavu‘oth, but oddly enough no one seems to have taken this to the logical conclusion of eating pizza, which is the pinnacle of dairy development and definitely better than blintzes. Go figure.

The Darwine Project has announced that WINE, which allows Windows programs to run under Linux, will work under Mac OS X for Intel machines. Thus it looks like my prediction that my next Mac will be able to run Windows programs is correct. That ought to scare the heebeejeebees out of Microsoft.

Today is Magic Day, and the nearest things I have to magic in my Weird thing of the day source folder are on Rubik’s Magic Cube, more specifically two Cube-related LEGO projects: 1) JP Brown's Serious LEGO - CubeSolver, and Maarten Steurbaut - Rubik's magic Cube. Enjoy, and hagh sameah.


Friday, June 10, 2005

Weird thing of the day 10 June 2005/3 Siwan 5765 (Day 47 of the `Omer/National Yo-Yo Day)


The slides for my presentation for Toronto at the end of the month are coming along, and I’ve found out that the Hebrew word for “parallelogram” is מַקְבִּילִית (maqbilith).

I could not make up today’s weird thing: “Nerds make better lovers”. This is good news for the human race, since if the trend continues people will tend to get smarter and less shallow over the generations.

And now for some shameless self-promotion: Naturally, this is also good news for me, your bookworm/computer geek blog-writer, since it means I will have good prospects when I get out of Charleston (God willing). Eligible bachelorettes reading this may want to check out my profile on Frumster. I have had thoughts lately about migrating pages from my old Web-site to this blog, and I am going to take this opportunity to start with the page with information about me specifically, which contains a lot of the same sort of stuff as in my Frumster profile and more; if all goes well, it should show up in the sidebar soon.

Enjoy or be scared or something, and Shabbath shalom.


Worthy cause of the day and other politics


MoveOn PAC has another petition for us: Tell the Truth About Iraq. The aim of the petition is to demand from Bush that he stop sticking his head in the sand over the “Downing Street Memo”, which shows he knowingly fabricated intelligence in order to have a reason to go to war with Iraq. If you have not signed the petition I mentioned yesterday, please sign either and send the message to our illegitimate president that ignoring bad things does not make them go away.

Other political stuff: The US has a really hypocritical policy that any Cuban refugees who reach our shores get to stay, but if they’re intercepted at sea, they get sent back. (Is Cuba a place one can morally send people or not?) The Security Department is not backing up its data, thereby risking devastating data loss. And in Israel, less than half of the populace supports disengagement in Gaza. This puts him a further step into the political danger zone since he now has 1) a minority government, 2) much of his own party against him, and 3) support from only a minority of the country. I’m surprised he hasn’t been toppled by a vote of no-confidence or assassinated already. Since he still seems determined to go ahead with the withdrawal despite his dwindling political support, one of these may yet come to pass.


Thursday, June 9, 2005

Weird thing of the day 9 June 2005/2 Siwan 5765 (Day 46 of the `Omer)


Sanhedhrin update: הסנהדרין: להכין תוכנית לבנין המקדש. Nothing new here; just another article about how the proto-Sanhedhrin wants to prepare for rebuilding the Temple.

For some reason, I find myself wishing to know what Hebrew for “parallelogram” is, but I haven’t been able to find a translation yet.

Today’s weird thing is a hacked PowerMacintosh G3 with a Pentium 4 inside the case.



Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Weird thing of the day 8 June 2005/1 Siwan 5765 (Day 45 of the `Omer/Ro'sh Hodhesh/National Taco Day)


Political update: There have been a lot of noteworthy articles on Backspin lately. Needless to say, the Stateless Arabs (“Palestinians”) are making a mockery of the notion that there is a truce between them and Israel.

Worthy cause of the day: John Conyers, Jr. -- Letter to Pres Bush Concerning the "Downing Street Minutes". It’s a petition demanding that George W. Bush clarify the accuracy of a British government document indicating that Bush and Blair were planning to go to war with Iraq no matter what and make up intelligence to justify doing so. Please sign and put the heat on our illegitimate president. Thank you.

I’m resisting the temptation to create an icon of Steve Jobs’s head on a silver platter. However, I expect that the next Mac I buy (probably in a year or two) have Wine pre-installed and run Windows programs as-is. If Mac OS X is moving to Intel hardware, Apple might as well erase any alleged advantage there might be for ever booting into Windows and scare the heebeejeebees out of Microsoft. Running 80x86 Linux binaries as-is, too, would also be cool and is definitely feasible.

Today’s weird thing are still Intel-related. 1) We have the tagline “I are Pentium of Borg. Division is futile. You will be approximated.” 2) We have Weird Al Yankovic’s song “It's All About the Pentiums”. Enjoy.


Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Weird thing of the day 7 June 2005/29 'Iyyar 5765 (Day 44 of the `Omer)


Religion news: “New Tech Protects Ancient Torahs”.

Weird sports news: “Semifinalists Named in Desert Robot Race”.

As mentioned yesterday, Apple Computer has decided to switch to Intel microprocessors. In derision of this bad decision, today’s weird things will downright poke fun at overly hot, faulty chips which happen to be backwards compatible with a 4-bit calculator. This is probably more functional than my initial thoughts on the subject, which involved sending an angry mob after Steve Jobs. 1) “Cyrix Hotplate Howto” tells you how to turn seven such CPUs into a functional hot-plate. 2) I have dug up a classic set of jokes about the most derided Intel chip, the Pentium, included below. Enjoy.


Q:  How many Pentium designers does it take to screw in a 
light bulb?
A: 1.99904274017, but that's close enough for non-
technical people.

Q: What do you get when you cross a Pentium PC with a
research grant?
A: A mad scientist.

Q: What's another name for the "Intel Inside" sticker
they put on Pentiums?
A: The warning label.

Q: What do you call a series of FDIV instructions on a
A: Successive approximations.

Q: Complete the following word analogy: Add is to
Subtract as Multiply
is to:
1) Divide
4) On a Pentium, all of the above
A: Number 4.

Q: What algorithm did Intel use in the Pentium's
floating point divider?
A: "Life is like a box of chocolates." (Source: F. Gump
of Intel)

Q: Why didn't Intel call the Pentium the 586?
A: Because they added 486 and 100 on the first Pentium
and got 585.999983605.

Q: According to Intel, the Pentium conforms to the IEEE
standards 754 and 854 for floating point arithmetic. If
you fly in aircraft designed using a Pentium, what is the
correct pronunciation of "IEEE"?
A: Aaaaaaaiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeee!


9.9999973251 It's a FLAW, Dammit, not a Bug
8.9999163362 It's Close Enough, We Say So
7.9999414610 Nearly 300 Correct Opcodes
6.9999831538 You Don't Need to Know What's Inside
5.9999835137 Redefining the PC -- and Mathematics As
4.9999999021 We Fixed It, Really
3.9998245917 Division Considered Harmful
2.9991523619 Why Do You Think They Call It *Floating*
1.9999103517 We're Looking for a Few Good Flaws
0.9999999998 The Errata Inside

Sanhedhrin update

Good evening.

I found three articles today on the proto-Sanhedhrin. הסנהדרין תקים ועדת פוסקים ואדריכלים להכנת תוכנית לבניית המקדש and דובר הסנהדרין: ההחלטה על כינון הוועדה היא מתנה ליום ירושלים report that the proto-Sanhedhrin is forming a committee to prepare for building the next Temple. (This is something the State of Israel should have done the moment the Temple Mount was back in Jewish hands.) “Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz Elected to Head Sanhedrin” reports that the proto-Sanhedhrin has not only elected a nasi’ (literally “prince”, in this case the leader), but a total of seven rabbis who will act as spokesmen.


Monday, June 6, 2005

Weird news update


I’m feeling seriously weirded out right about now. I just found out less than half an hour ago that Apple is now planning on transitioning Macintoshes to Intel chips. Needless to say, lots of people are furious, if for no other reason than Intel chips are junk. (Anyone else remember that the early Pentium chips could not do floating-point arithmetic properly? I’ve done assembly language programming for 80x86, and believe me, the architecture only makes sense when you realize it was designed to be backwards-compatible with a 4-bit chip meant for use in calculators.) What effect this will have on the future of the platform is a big question. To me this whole thing sounds like an April Fool’s Day joke about two months late.

Political update (because I feel like it): Apparently the US recently spied on Israel. (Pollard allegedly spying for Israel on the US is practically an unforgivable crime, but the US spying on Israel is OK?) The French newspaper Le Monde has been found guilty of propagating anti-Semitism and has been forced to apologize publicly. The ruling is unprecedented, but the media has decided to ignore it for some reason. (Shared guilt?) And finally, today, without provocation, Arabs stoned Jews visiting the Temple Mount. Abbas blamed Israel; apparently he is under the false impression that Muslims own the Temple Mount and that anyone else who does anything that can even slightly be interpreted as contradicting this view is worthy of death. All those who believe that the alleged truce there is now means anything, stand on your head. I feel reinforced in my view that 1) the Temple Mount should be repossessed by the State of Israel and the Temple rebuilt as soon as possible, thereby putting a major dent in Muslim successionism and making a real peace more plausible and 2) that for there to be any peace treaty with the Stateless Arabs (“Palestinians”), who have broken every treaty they have made, Israel should accept nothing less than unconditional surrender and total disarmament before lightening up on them even in the slightest.


Weird thing of the day 6 June 2005/28 'Iyyar 5765 (Day 43 of the `Omer/Teacher's Day)


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Today is Teacher’s Day, and in recognition of that today’s weird thing is a teacher-related story, included below, from Emily’s collection. Enjoy.


The teacher gave her fifth grade class an assignment. Get their parents to tell them a story with a moral at the end of it. The next day the kids came back and one by one began to tell their stories.

Ashley said, "My father's a farmer and we have a lot of egg-laying hens. One time we were taking our eggs to market in a basket on the front seat of the pick-up when we hit a big bump in the road and all the eggs went flying and broke and made a mess."

The teacher asked. "And what's the moral of the story?"

"Don't put all your eggs in one basket!"

"Very good," said the teacher.

Little Sarah raised her hand and said, "Our family are farmers too. But we raise chickens for the meat market. We had a dozen eggs one time but when they hatched we only had ten live chicks, and the moral to the story is, "don't count your chickens until they've hatched."

That was a fine story, Sarah.

Michael, do you have a story to tell?

Yes, ma'am, my daddy told me this story about my Aunt Karen. Aunt Karen was a flight engineer in Desert Storm and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory, and all she had was a bottle of whiskey, a machine gun and a machete! She drank the whiskey on the way down so it wouldn't break, and then she landed right in the middle of 100 enemy troops. She killed seventy of them with the machine gun until she ran out of bullets. Then she killed twenty more with the machete. And then she killed the last ten with her bare hands.

"Good heavens," said the horrified teacher, "What kind of moral did your daddy tell you from that horrible story?"

"Stay away from Aunt Karen when she's drinking."

Sunday, June 5, 2005

Weird thing of the day 5 June 2005/27 'Iyyar 5765 (Day 42 of the `Omer)


I didn’t sleep well last night, and I’m feeling rather blah.

Political update: There are Gazan Stateless Arabs (“Palestinians”) who don’t want Israel to pull out of Gaza.

Weird sports news: “'Pig-Ball' Soccer Match Staged in Russia”.

I thought I was done with Star Wars stuff for a while, but then the nice man in the dark suit and holding a lightsaber insisted I make Science Fiction Case Mod Contest: The First Winner! today’s weird thing. Enjoy.


Friday, June 3, 2005

Weird thing of the day 3 June 2005/25 'Iyyar 5765 (Day 40 of the `Omer)


Weird botanical news: A titan arum may bloom soon!

A nice tall man in a dark suit with a lightsaber has suggested to me that I finish off my Star Wars-related weird things of the day with the blog The Darth Side: Memoirs of a Monster. Enjoy.


Thursday, June 2, 2005

Weird thing of the day 2 June 2005/24 'Iyyar 5765 (Day 39 of the `Omer)


Political update: There is some interesting discussion in “Can the rich, famous save Social Security?”

Back onto the Star Wars theme. Today’s weird things are Star Wars songs. Weird Al Yankovic has two: “The Saga Begins” and “Yoda”. In the process of looking these up, I found out about another, “Living La Vida Yoda”. Sorry I don’t have links to actual recorded music, just lyrics. Enjoy.


Wednesday, June 1, 2005



My first epidemiology paper, which is essentially specific aim 1 of my doctoral dissertation, has been published by the British Journal of Cancer. It has been available on-line since May 10, and now it has received a full reference, indicating it is now published on paper:

Adelman, A.S., McLaughlin, C.C., Wu, X.C., Chen, V.W. & Groves, F.D. (2005). Urbanisation and incidence of acute lymphocytic leukaemia among United States children aged 0-4. Br J Cancer, 92, 2084-2088.

For those of you with proper access through an academic institution, the URL to the paper is


Weird thing of the day 1 June 2005/23 'Iyyar 5765 (Day 38 of the `Omer/Doughnut Day)


Mac OS X 10.4.1 commentary: Man, the Finder still sucks. It’s way too easy to get a rainbow pizza cursor for no apparent reason. There is also no apparent way to back out of a search in progress. If someone knows of a good, preferably free/open source, Finder substitute, please let me know. (And I just know Junior Crabtree is going to be sarcastic enough to suggest using the Terminal for everything, so don’t go there, please.)

Desktop-cleaning update: Yes, this had to happen sooner or later, but I'm keeping it short by choosing two articles which I deem sufficiently weird. “Saudi Columnist: We Must Discuss Why We Hate the Jews” expresses bafflement at Muslim anti-Semitism, noting contrary historical behavior all the way back to Muhammad. “What Arabs Really Think” reports on a survey which claims the Arab street’s opinions of what is wrong with their society do not conform with government propaganda.

Since today is Doughnut Day, I am breaking away from out recent Star Wars theme and presenting the somewhat relevant “NEVER SAY TO A COP...” instead as today’s weird thing. You can find it included below. Enjoy.



1. I can't reach my license unless you hold my beer. (OK in Texas)

2. Sorry, Officer, I didn't realize my radar detector wasn't plugged in.

3. Aren't you the guy from the Village People?

4. Hey, you must've been doin' about 125 mph to keep up with me. Good job!

5. Are You Andy or Barney?

6. I thought you had to be in relatively good physical condition to be a police officer.

7. You're not gonna check the trunk, are you?

8. I pay your salary!

9. Gee, Officer! That's terrific. The last officer only gave me a warning, too!

10. Do you know why you pulled me over? Okay, just so one of us does.

11. I was trying to keep up with traffic. Yes, I know there are no other cars around. That's how far ahead of me they are.

12. When the Officer says "Gee Son....Your eyes look red, have you been drinking?" You probably shouldn't respond with,"Gee Officer, your eyes look glazed, have you been eating doughnuts?"