Cadaver calculator  

Thursday, June 28, 2007

$5375.00The Cadaver Calculator - Find out how much your body is worth

Hey, that beats spending 10 grand burying me. I don't think my husband would go for it though.

(via Pharyngula)

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The Secret  

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Since I first heard about The Secret, I've known it's a big bunch of bullshit, but this video puts it all into perspective. It's fun to watch just for the comedy factor.

Chas: Cheers
Store Onwer: What are you doing?
Chris: Oh we.. no we believe we own them.
Chas: These are ours.
Chris: See? Zzzzt. I own them.
Store Owner: I don't know what you mean.
Chris: The universe has given us these clothes.

(via onegoodmove)

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Plant Advice Needed  

I really have a tough time with plants. I have a couple that have survived my care for five or six years, but most of my plants die within the first 5-6 months of having them.

Recently I transplanted a plant that I'd been given by a co-worker a few years ago. It really, really needed it. The plant had split off a couple of times, but I waited too long and the roots of the individual plants were massed together into a mess. So I teased on out and put it back in the original pot. I put the three others in a much larger pot and brought it back to work.

A couple of days after I brought it into work I noticed little gnat-like bugs in the plant. I don't mind bugs in my plants when they're outside, but this is in my office cubicle. Soon there were 10-15 little gnat things and it was, well, disgusting. Now the soil I used for transplanting was Miracle Grow, purchased at a garden store locally. And the plant only sat outside overnight. So either the bugs were in the soil or they migrated to it during that brief time.

I've sprayed the plant several times with a pesticide, actually to the point where I'm worried about breathing in too many fumes. The plant looks healthier than it has in years, but I'm still worried that I'll kill it off. And even after a few weeks the little bugs keep coming back. Is there a good way to get rid of them or should I take the plant home and re-pot from scratch (although I'm not sure I can get the bugs completely out of the roots)?

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Review: Harsh Times (2005)  

The poster makes this movie look like a gang movie, but although there are a few scenes of gang violence, this movie is really about a mentally tormented man either on the verge of pulling his life together or becoming a psychopath and tearing apart the lives of everyone he knows.

Jim is an ex-Ranger, trying to find a good enough job in Los Angeles so that he can bring his Mexican girlfriend to America. Mike is his best friend, seemingly settled down with his own girlfriend/wife, until Jim comes around to pull him back into a life of petty crime.

My main problem with the movie is that none of the characters were likable. It was hard to feel sorry for someone who was messing up his life so completely when he was aware that what he was doing would screw him up. Mike was a little more sympathetic, but he was such a follower that it was difficult to feel bad for him either.

The movie managed to hold a tense pace throughout, leaving the viewer expecting the tumble from the precipice at any moment. And I think it actually redeemed itself in the end, but it was a painful process. I enjoyed director David Ayer's Training Day much more, maybe because Ethan Hawke's character was so earnest. In Harsh Times the hero was missing which might feel more authentic, but it's also much less entertaining.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Wanderin' Weeta has a new edition of Good Planets up, this time with the theme of Fragility and Durability. The photos are lovely as are the words behind them.

Also, The Uncredible Hallq has the 69th Carnival of the Godless up at his place.

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What is this blog rated?  

Thursday, June 21, 2007

What's My Blog Rated? From Mingle2 - Online Dating

Mingle2 - Blog Rating

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

* death (3x)
* drugs (1x)

Surprising, but I guess good when you consider I often blog from work. I should uh, change that habit.

(via Janet)

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Blogger Missing  

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Well, I'm not really missing. I was sick over the weekend and I'm still looking for motivation to write. And, even though I caught up on blog reading, I'm sorely behind again now. I think I need to read fewer blogs!

Saturday we went out to one of the best restaurants I've been to in KC - La Bodega. We ended up getting there late for lunch, around 3:00, but luckily for us they were running a happy hour special with half-priced tapas and drinks. And, even though I was sick with a cold, I ordered sangria. Which later turned into another sangria (they're half-price, right?) and later into a few glasses of wine.

So I didn't end up taking good care of myself Saturday and I felt worse on Sunday. And even though I was drinking a lot of water, somehow I think I got dehydrated. I called in to work on Monday and slept most of the day in a NyQuil-induced haze. But I did sneak in a little Wizardry 8 late in the day and I finally saw Little Miss Sunshine.

Matt brought home some Gatorade with him when he got off work and that seemed to do the trick. Within an hour or two I was feeling a lot better.

I'm back at work again today and I'm caught up on work. I still have a bunch to do for the week, but it's not as jarring as it was when I came back after my parents visited.

I still have several reviews I want to post. Hopefully this week I'll be back with some real posts at regular intervals. I hope you all had a great weekend!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Carnival of the Godless is up at Action Skeptics with an accompaniment to the 10 commandments.

Also, the 62nd Skeptics' Circle is up at Polite Company.

Both are excellent reading. Take a few minutes to click on a couple of links and see if it isn't true.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

My absence has continued even though my parents left days ago. At least, I think they left. They were supposed to leave Thursday morning. They wouldn't have stayed without telling me, would they?

I haven't done much blog reading and writing because I haven't felt motivated to do anything lately. I feel completely drained. Well, today I probably feel completely drained because I didn't sleep well last night. Other days, maybe my brain is still asking for a vacation.

My parent's visit was less stressful than expected. We didn't really do a whole lot other than visit, which is fine. I always want to plan something out for us to do, but it's too frustrating. My parents don't adhere to any kind of schedule, which doesn't bother me for the most part. They're retired. They should do what they want to do. But when they want to do something, say go see a local landmark and I tell them the operating hours, they can't seem to get going soon enough for us to make it there. The few times I tried to plan something it was too late to do anything by the time we got together.

One morning while waiting I installed Wizardry 8. Big mistake. I'm re-addicted now. It's been 4 years or so since I've played it. Long enough to forget much of the story. Even with old graphics though, it's still fun. Maybe it sucked my brain out of my head and that's why I'm feeling completely uninspired.

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Which Action Hero Would You Be?  

Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

You scored as Indiana Jones, Indiana Jones is an archaeologist/adventurer with an unquenchable love for danger and excitement. He travels the globe in search of historical relics. He loves travel, excitement, and a good archaeological discovery. He hates Nazis and snakes, perhaps to the same degree. He always brings along his trusty whip and fedora. He's tough, cool, and dedicated. He relies on both brains and brawn to get him out of trouble and into it.

Indiana Jones -- 67%
Maximus -- 67%
Lara Croft -- 67%
Neo, the "One" -- 63%
Batman, the Dark Knight -- 63%
The Amazing Spider-Man -- 58
Captain Jack Sparrow -- 58%
James Bond, Agent 007 -- 50%
The Terminator -- 42%
William Wallace -- 38%
El Zorro -- 13%

(via Sylvene)

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Book List for June  

Monday, June 04, 2007

So, I didn't get a whole lot read last month. I am almost done with The Planets and I'm halfway through American Gods. The books I've read recently have really made me appreciate The Last Colony. It was so effortless and so enjoyable.

Read in May
How Do You Know It's True - Hy Ruchlis
The Last Colony - John Scalzi
Letter to a Christian Nation - Sam Harris

Currently Reading
The Planets - Edited by Byron Preiss
The Blind Watchmaker - Richard Dawkins
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
The End of Faith - Sam Harris

Coming Up Next
Lost Languages - Andrew Robinson
War of Flowers - Tad Williams
Darwin's Ghost - Steve Jones
Heart-Shaped Box - Joe Hill
Seasons - Robert Frost
A History of the End of the World - Jonathan Kirsch
Spirit Gate - Kate Elliott
Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea - Carl Zimmer
Dark Tower - Stephen King

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Innocent? Bah!  

Sunday, June 03, 2007

You are White Chocolate

You are White Chocolate
You are sweet, caring, and truly very innocent.
Whether your naive ways are a bit of act or not, people like to take care of you.
You are a quiet flirt, and your power is often underestimated!

(via Janet)

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Away for a few days  

Friday, June 01, 2007

My parents arrived in town today. I haven't seen them yet, but I expect to be spending a lot of time with them over the next 5-6 days. It's a chaotic time of lots of "no one wanting to make plans" and "waiting expectantly for a phone call." Posting is likely to be sparse unless I do a lot of the latter (unless I watch the first season of Doctor Who instead).

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

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For the climate skeptics  

Gristmill has an article up about How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic. It's a really good article, linking to many skeptic objections and answering arguments to those objections. Here are a few from the article.

Global warming is nothing new!

If you have look at this graph of temperature, starting at a point when we were finishing the climb out of deep glaciation, you can clearly see that rapid warming ceased around 10,000 years ago (rapid relative to natural fluctuations, but not compared to the warming today, which is an order of magnitude faster). After a final little lift 8,000 years ago, temperature trended downward for the entire period of the Holocene. So the post-industrial revolution warming is the reversal of a many-thousand-year trend.

It's the sun, stupid
According to PMOD at the World Radiation Center there has been no increase in solar irradiance since at least 1978, when satellite observations began. This means that for the last thirty years, while the temperature has been rising fastest, the sun has not changed.

What about mid-century cooling?
If you look at the temperature record for the 1990s, you'll notice a sharp drop in '92, '93, and '94. This is the effect of massive amounts of SO2 ejected into the stratosphere by Mount Pinatubo's eruption. That doesn't mean CO2 took a holiday and stopped influencing global temperatures; it only means that the CO2 forcing was temporarily overwhelmed by another, opposite forcing.

Natural emissions dwarf human emissions
It's true that natural fluxes in the carbon cycle are much larger than anthropogenic emissions. But for roughly the last 10,000 years, until the industrial revolution, every gigatonne of carbon going into the atmosphere was balanced by one coming out.

What humans have done is alter one side of this cycle. We put approximately 6 gigatonnes of carbon into the air but, unlike nature, we are not taking any out.

Thankfully, nature is compensating in part for our emissions, because only about half the CO2 we emit stays in the air. Nevertheless, since we began burning fossil fuels in earnest over 150 years ago, the atmospheric concentration that was relatively stable for the previous several thousand years has now risen by over 35%.

So whatever the total amounts going in and out "naturally," humans have clearly upset the balance and significantly altered an important part of the climate system.

(via Pharyngula

Also, read George Monbiot's response to Alexander Cockburn on global warming.

(via denialism blog

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