Dazzling Knowledge

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Rudy Can’t Believe How Gay New Vince Papale Movie Is

PHILADELPHIA--Rudy Ruettiger, motivational speaker and inspiration for the hit movie Rudy, saw the new Disney film Invincible last night and reported that it was “the gayest piece of crap [he] had ever seen.”

Invincible tells the story of Vince Papale, a 30-year-old bartender who overcomes tremendous odds to land a spot on the Philadelphia Eagles. It echoes Ruettiger’s own story in Rudy, but according to Ruettiger, it's a sad imitation of that movie.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Funny Pictures
For more funny pictures, visit FunLOL.com!

Worlds Worst Halloween Costumes
I still haven't decided on my haloween costume for this year, but I doubt it will be one of these.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Pluto Cut to Clear Solar System Salary Cap Space

People have been asking me about the decision by a council of astronomers to downgrade Pluto from the status of planet. Here are a few of the important issues at play as far as I can tell.

First, why does this matter? It matters because there are alot of objects in the solar system and scientists categorize them. Remember the discovery of the 10th planet? Turns out that there are at least two additional planets in the solar system if the definition includes Pluto, and more are likely to be discovered in the outer edges of the solar system. Having a clear definition of planet that is meaningful and differentiates the true planets from other large objects in the solar system is therefore useful.

Second, what about Pluto got it demoted? Is it too small? Turns out that three criteria are used to define a planet.
1) It orbits the sun. I think this is interesting, because it means that this issule of the definition of planet really only applies to our solar system. There is technically no definition for planets in other star systems.
2) It's gravitational pull is significant enough to form a giant sphere. Note that planets are all round. Giant, oddly-shaped
asteroids need not apply. Pluto qualifies here.
3) It's gravitational influence is significant enough to clear out all other large objects in its orbit.
Here's where Pluto falls short, and it ultimately is about being "too small." Again, consider the asteroid belt. No asteroid is big enough to pull the rest of the asteroids into its own gravitational pull, hence we observe a belt. Pluto is also considered part of a belt, the Kuiper belt, which circles the outer edges of the solar system, and also includes "the 10th planet."

Pluto will fall into the new category, "dwarf planet," which includes objects that are big enough to meet criterion 2, but not 3.

This NY Times article covers the topic nicely.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Happy Snakes on a Plane Day

I saw "Snakes on a Plane"
tonight. I had a great time. The movie was good. Full of cheap scares, gore, and T&A. The scene really made the experience for me, though. I saw the film on opening night, in a pretty full theater. Most of the moviegoers were eager anticipators who provided a good audience. Many seemed to be teenagers who laughed and clapped and hooted at all the right moments. I think that going to the movies is a dying concept. Moviescreens are getting smaller, and HDTV screens at home are getting bigger. Still, I love the experience of seeing some movies with the moviegoing audience, because they really can add to the experience.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Most. Horrifying. eBay. Auction. Ever.

Hat tip to Pocket Change, a site dedicated to things one should steer clear of.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Website of the Day

Allow me to introduce you to Patently Silly, a site dedicated to unusual submissions to the US Patent Office, and to this device for treating erectile dysfunction.

To each according to his needs; from each according to his abilities.

Here's a thought: has anyone come closer to this goal than the societies that have free market economies? Just a thought.

I love the Roomba
I'm sure you know of the Roomba, the robot vacuum cleaner. Well, I love it. I want to kiss it. I got one for my Mom for Mothers' Day. I know what you're thinking: "Isn't it always bad to get your Mom a vacuum cleaner as a present?" But I reply to you, Isn't it always good to get your Mom a robot as a present? Think about that. Anyway, I love the Roomba, but this scares me.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Orgasm or Great Marinara
Play this game. View the slides and guess whether the face is that of a porn star or someone enjoying food on one of those cooking shows.

Friday, August 04, 2006

But who will police the langurwallah police?

An awesome story about how the Indian authorities have hired a langur trainer to use langurs to chase pest monkeys off the subways.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

700 hoboes
About the 700 hoboes project.
In the beginning, there were hoboes. Then, a notable non-historian wrote some lies about them in his wonderful and wholly inaccurate almanac. That man was John Hodgman. The book was The Areas of My Expertise. Amongst the lies was a comprehensive list of notable historical hobo names, numbering 700. After Hodgman read the list into a music flattening device, one Mr. Mark Frauenfelder of the Boing Boing teletyped a suggestion that 700 cartoonists volunteer to draw one hobo each as a public service or for no particular reason. And so it was, more or less, and here they are.

New Theory Says that Fear of Snakes Drove Early Human Evolution

An evolutionary arms race between early snakes and mammals triggered the development of improved vision and large brains in primates, a radical new theory suggests.

The idea, proposed by Lynne Isbell, an anthropologist at the University of California, Davis, suggests that snakes and primates share a long and intimate history, one that forced both groups to evolve new strategies as each attempted to gain the upper hand.

To avoid becoming snake food, early mammals had to develop ways to detect and avoid the reptiles before they could strike. Some animals evolved better snake sniffers, while others developed immunities to serpent venom when it evolved. Early primates developed a better eye for color, detail and movement and the ability to see in three dimensions—traits that are important for detecting threats at close range.

Humans are descended from those same primates.

Whole thing here.

Just imagine how evolution would have proceeded if early primates had encountered snakes on a mutha****ing plane.