Beard Role Models


Using rigorous scientific methods I have produced the above graph detailing the beard preferences by gender. Shame on you if you do not know who Grizzly Adams is.

(Funny) Permanent Link made 7:55 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)


Wait, I didn't realize George Michael had a beard?... was this because Maebe mentioned she liked beards?

Posted by: Nate at December 30, 2008 9:16 AM

Ok, I just got that.

Posted by: Don at December 30, 2008 5:42 PM

If I could grow a real beard, I would have wanted to be Dan Haggerty. You have to be a true fan to know who he is w/o using Google or Wikapedia.

Posted by: Mark at December 30, 2008 6:19 PM

Dude- Grizzly Adams is on the graph.

Posted by: Don at December 31, 2008 7:48 AM


Posted by: six at February 7, 2009 1:18 AM

Solstice turns out to be real


I started the day convinced that the Winter Solstice was merely a myth invented by pagans and picked up by atheists in an attempt to make themselves feel better during the darkest days of the year. A crutch to give them something to celebrate in the face of overwhelming hopelessness.

The source of this conviction was the data I have been collecting regarding sunrise out my kitchen window. The data is plotted on the left. As you can clearly see sunrise is continuing to get later and later well past the alleged "winter solstice" of 12/21.

My position now, later in the day, is that the winter solstice is, in fact, a real event, but much more complicated than a simple pagan could possibly comprehend (not withstanding Stongehenge). Or perhaps more than I can possibly comprehend. All the tools online agree that the 12/21 is the shortest day in the year, and they also agree with the data that I have collected which indicates that although 12/21 is the shortest day of the year, sunrise will continue to get later until sometime in mid-January. It's just that sunset stopped getting earlier on 12/21 and started to get later faster than sunrise was getting later. (It's kind of like a payment-option mortgage back in the good times)

So right now I don't quite understand why the sunrise and sunset don't increase and decrease symmetrically. Why doesn't the sunrise get earlier when the sunset gets later? Is it because I'm not in the middle of the timezone? Lazy internet, wikipedia has failed me, what do you say?

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*gets comment party started*

Irvine, CA-specific data from corroborates the traditional story. Posted at . How, exactly, doesn't it mesh with your data? Also, methods?

Running hypothesis: you perceive light differently, pre-morning coffee.

Posted by: Sam at December 30, 2008 12:09 AM

Just realized/was shocked that this means you wake up before sunrise.

Posted by: Sam at December 30, 2008 12:16 AM

I do wake up before sunrise (gasp!)

And I think that table does mesh with my data. My sunrise times won't be the same because I don't have a clean horizon. I'm timing the sunrise over Bonita Canyon. The trend, though, is consistent. Coffee notwithstanding.

In your data the sunrise continues to get later even after 12/21. Same with my data. Before this experiment I would have thought that on 12/21 the sunrise would start getting earlier and sunset later. That isn't the case in my data, or the data that you posted.

Posted by: Don at December 30, 2008 10:26 AM

From a private response from an Astronomy Professor at UCI Irvine:

"I can give you a shortish answer and maybe explain it better the next time we run into each other. It has to do with the fact that clocks are set using mean solar time (the time it would be if the earth's axis wasn't tilted with respect to its orbit around the sun, and if the orbit were perfectly circular).
     The 23.5 degree tilt and the fact that the orbit isn't quite circular both work to make local high-noon later than a clock's noon in the early winter. This shifts both sunrise and sunset later relative to the clock (note that without this effect, sunrise will become later and sunset will become earlier, as you might originally think). This systematic shift in both sunrise and sunset messes up your expectation that they should expand uniformly around clock noon.
     Why does this happen? Before solstice the sun is moving slightly slower to the east than it would if the earth weren't tilted. After solstice, it goes the other way.

So I read this as: the earths orbit is not round and clocks assume that it is.

Posted by: Don at December 31, 2008 12:14 PM

Two books I've read during the break

Crash Proof: In which I learn that the perfect storm has come to the U.S.

And... Home Cheese Making: In which I learn that to survive the economic collapse I must learn how to make artisanal cheeses in a cave which I dig out of the hillside in University Hills.

(Stuff That I'm Messing With) Permanent Link made 9:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


The nearest library with Home Cheese Making is in Cerritos! *outrage*

Posted by: Sam at December 27, 2008 3:55 PM

A Whiteboard Christmas

O Holy Night, The whiteboard is brightly shining....

(Stuff That I'm Messing With) Permanent Link made 5:56 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


WHOA. You just blew my mind. That was the most magical testament to Christmas I think I've ever seen.


Posted by: lilly at February 7, 2009 1:29 AM

Ode to Joy by Beaker

Beaker is so awesome! Ode to Joy performed by the muppet's number 2 geek.

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Request Danny Boy for St. P's day.

Posted by: Nate at December 18, 2008 4:52 AM

Starbucks DoubleShot Energy Plus Coffee


Oh my gosh! The poor lethargic masses! Which amorphous slab of flesh is so desperately in need of energy that they would consume a 15-oz. can of chocolate, espresso, guarana, ginseng, and b vitamins? What is in this? Did they squeeze the essence out of a kindergarten class and can it?

(Signage) Permanent Link made 8:31 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


Coming soon to a vending machine near you.

Posted by: Nate at December 16, 2008 10:08 AM

Open Letter to Dentists


Dear My-Dental-Office,

I know that you think about teeth 24 hours a day. I know that any redness or swelling is the death knell of gingivitis. I know you make your money on extra services. But can I please be clear: I do not care if I have "celebrity white teeeth" or not. Please stop trying to bring me into your world. I don't want my teeth whitened.

Sincerely, Dr. Mr.-off-white-teeth

(Funny) Permanent Link made 8:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


World of Goo


We've been having fun at home playing an amazing game called World of Goo. It's a physics simulation based game, but done with really great graphics and music. I convince myself that it is okay for my kids to play this with me because I'm *really* teaching them about engineering in the process. The game feels like an interactive Dr. Suess world.

(Cool) Permanent Link made 7:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


This game is the secret reason I never get anything done. :-)

Posted by: Sam at December 13, 2008 7:01 PM

Automated Targeting System: Update 3


Download my report

Ok. Another update on my ATS profile. I went through my 19 pages of super-sekret information and self-censored my credit card information, and dates of birth. I left phone numbers and addresses in there because they are all mostly wrong now. The black censored stuff is what the Department of Homeland Security did for me. I put pink post it notes over the things that I censored and then wrote in red what I was censoring. Unfortunately my scanner didn't pick up the pink post-it notes and all that remained was a blank spot and some red writing where I censored things.

Oh lazy internet, I invoke thee, take a look at my report on the left and see if you can find anything interesting or concerning.

My race is in there as are email addresses and IP addresses. Some information on whether I was cooperative during security screens. What else?

() Permanent Link made 8:26 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)


How about this one, on page 14:

"Shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die."

Posted by: John Krumm at December 9, 2008 12:52 PM

Yes it certainly bothered me to see that in there. I think it was simple database mix-up though. They simply mistook a "Fare Quote" for a "Johnny Cash Quote"

Posted by: DJP3 at December 9, 2008 1:09 PM

It's quite obvious that you fit the travel pattern of a terrorist. However, on the last page, it's appear's they've concluded you're low-risk and thusly have only assigned you 1 asset for further surveillance.

Posted by: Nate at December 11, 2008 9:29 AM

Office Hours

office hours joke
A joke about office hours from GraphJam

(Funny) Permanent Link made 10:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


Automated Targeting System

Thank you lazy internet (Matt in this case), for bringing to my attention the fact that among all the private data the Department of Homeland Security felt that it was important to black out, my credit card number was not one of them. So within the 19 pages of travel information that they had on me, which I requested via FOIA and then posted on Friday, was included my credit card number, expiration data, security code, and home address (albeit incorrect) .

So for the time being I pulled my dossier. I'm not sure what to do now. Maybe I'll self-blackout that info and repost.

(Stuff That I'm Messing With) Permanent Link made 6:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


Automated Targeting System


Download my report (see this post)

Request your own:

For a long time I have been musing about the role of databases and data collection in our collective present and future.

Well the saga that started in September 2007 has come to an end. At that time I submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Customs and Border Protection Agency for all the information related to me in the Automated Targeting System. The Department of Homeland Security uses this system (with unknown effectiveness) to determine who are criminals and terrorists.

My request returned a 19 page dossier on me (!). Interestingly enough, a lot of information on the report was blacked out. I find it curious that there is so much information on me, especially the stuff I'm not allowed to see "to protect my privacy".

I'm posting my report on the left. I invoke the lazy Internet to find out anything interesting about me from the document. If you ask me it looks like there is a lot of information in the report that would be good for a forensic analysis after the fact, but I don't know that my trip to Osaka and email address are going to do much to stop terrorist attacks. If a plane blew up in Osaka, then, sure, you could find out that I was on it, but that doesn't require the ATS.

If you would like to request your own information I've posted the letters I used on the left also. The letter originated from a post on the Consumerist blog which has since disappeared.

(Stuff That I'm Messing With) Permanent Link made 12:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)



From Blind Man's Misery

"The foolish things, they will shame the wise.
The strong boast, the weak survive.
And what we see, our faith believes.
The world's turned by things unseen"

(Musings) Permanent Link made 8:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


Post-Modern Devotional - "Unity"

One by U2

Is it getting better
Or do you feel the same
Will it make it easier on you now
You got someone to blame
You say...

One love
One life
When it's one need
In the night
One love
We get to share it
Leaves you baby if you
Don't care for it

Did I disappoint you
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without
Well it's...
Too late
To drag the past out into the light
We're one, but we're not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other

Have you come here for forgiveness
Have you come to raise the dead
Have you come here to play Jesus
To the lepers in your head
Did I ask too much
More than a lot
You gave me nothing
Now it's all I got
We're one
But we're not the same
Well we
Hurt each other
Then we do it again
You say
Love is a temple
Love a higher law
Love is a temple
Love the higher law
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl
And I can't be holding on
To what you got
When all you got is hurt
One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should
One life
With each other
One life
But we're not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other


Phillipians 2:1-5

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

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