Unix Geek Humor

Thursday, 31 August 2006, 16:48 | Category : Geek Stuff
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It’s been a long day. But this is funny. At least if you’re a Unix geek.

h/t to Dave.

Saturday Morning Walking

Saturday, 26 August 2006, 22:28 | Category : Walks
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My Saturday morning walks are usually less hurried that my weekday walks, and often longer. This morning I decided to take my camera along and see if anything inspired me. I took a different route, past one of the few remaining undeveloped pieces of land in my small ‘burb. I had noticed this fence before, it seems out of place in a town that seems to consist of endless new developments featuring French Provincial or Tuscan architecture, but there it was alongside a small subdivision:

I had this picture in mind when I saw took this picture. The connection between the two is mainly in my mind, although both do consist of leaves, and small branch, and a tree trunk. Beyond that… it’s mainly creativity theft from Loren.

A little further along was the undeveloped property. I decided to slip around the gate and wander through it, and found a small pond with this patient fisherman (I have no quarrel with them when they’re not in my goldfish pond!)”

These berries look like serviceberry, but the leaves are different. More investigation to follow…

The last picture I took before the camera batteries failed was this goldenrod. When I noticed the gold against the blue of the morning sky, I had to take the shot. But because of the batteries I only got one chance.

Interview With Clyde Tombaugh

Thursday, 24 August 2006, 13:56 | Category : Stargazing
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A Kudzufiles exclusive – you won’t see this anywhere else. Following the news that Pluto had been demoted, I interviewed Clyde Tombaugh, the discoverer of the ninth planet, which we now know he didn’t discover.

KF: Mr. Tombaugh, I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the International Astronomical Union has decided that Pluto, which you discovered in 1930, is not a planet after all, but is just a “dwarf planet”. How does that make you feel?

CT: Well, I’m sure they had their reasons. I’m sure they gave the matter very serious deliberation, before deciding they way they did.

KF: Would you have preferred that instead of removing Pluto’s status as a planet, the IAU had instead decided to add Ceres, Charon, and 2003UB313 as planets?

CT: Well, Ceres is only half the size of Pluto; I’m not sure it should have been inlcuded. And Charon revolves around Pluto, how could it be a planet? 2003UB313, that’s what messed up the whole thing. Pluto was fine, sitting out past Neptune, most of the time anyway, not bothering anybody. It gave a sense of closure, the period at the end of the solar system. Now what? We’re supposed to see Neptune as the last stop on the solar trolley? It just doesn’t seem proper. I found Pluto because calculations showed that Neptune was being influenced by something further out!

KF: But astronomers now say that those calculations were in error, because the mass of Neptune was incorrect. Voyager 2 showed us that. Using the correct mass for Neptune, there are no orbital disturbances.

CT: They can say that. But if it was an error, how did I find an orbiting object right where it should have been? What are the chances that it was just coincidentally where it was? Percival Lowell was a pretty smart man, and he nailed it’s position.

KF: Well, he expected it to be much bigger.

CT: Bigger, schmigger, It was there, man!

KF: Your wife Patricia said today that if you were still alive, you would understand and accept what they did.

CT: Patricia didn’t sit up all those nights looking at photographic plates! DO YOU KNOW HOW COLD IT CAN BE IN FLAGSTAFF IN FEBRUARY, AT NIGHT??

KF: She said “Clyde would have said, ‘Science is a progressive thing and if you’re going to be a scientist and put your neck out, you’re apt to have it bitten upon'”

CT: Back and forth, back and forth, over and over. None of these little jerks were there. What the hell do they know? Most of them never even look through a telescope, just sit in front of computers in nice warm rooms. Pluto was mine!

KF: You seem upset by all this.

CT: Well how would Newton feel if somebody just decided gravity didn’t exist? This was what I was known for. Nobody cares about asteroids, and that’s basically what they’re saying Pluto is. I found fourteen asteroids, does anybody remember me for that? No! Pluto. Pluto was what I did. Now what will they say on Wikipedia? That Clyde Tombaugh discovered fifteen asteroids? Did I mention it was cold? Back and forth, over and over?

KF: Do you have any final thoughts?

CT: Damn that 2003UB313.

Terror In Florida Waters

Sunday, 20 August 2006, 19:34 | Category : Southern Stuff
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You know when you’re at the beach in Florida, to watch out for sharks. In the Everglades, in some lakes and ponds, you know to watch out for alligators. When you’re on the Suwanee River, did you know to watch out for leaping sturgeon? The National Geographic reports that sturgeon are jumping out of the water, and in some cases colliding with boats and jet skis, in some cases injuring people. It sounds funny, until you realize that an adult sturgeon can be 8 feet long (maybe even bigger!), weigh 200 pounds, and leap 6 feet out of the water. And they have these armor plates along their back. But at least we know the incidents are accidental:

“These are random collisions

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Flying Spaghetti Monster Caught On Film!

Thursday, 17 August 2006, 10:27 | Category : Other Stuff
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No doubt emboldened by the defeat of the Loony Wing of the Kansas Board Of Education, the Flying Spaghetti Monster was photographed in broad daylight recently:

(via Boing Boing)