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Tag Archives: Science



Will Quaid’s name really travel to Mars?  Or is it all just a dream?  (Spoiler Alert: It’s not a dream)

You can go to Mars too (h/t The Daily What)

A related Time-Waster with a SFW version of the titular* chick? Sure.



I thought this was pretty cool.  Courtesy of The Daily What, a List of the Ten Oldest Still Inhabited Cities.  Topping the list is Damascus, Syria, which has existed in one form or another for 12,000 years.


Huh.  I always thought the oldest city was Palm Beach, Florida. (Zing*)




p.s. It turns out the oldest continuously inhabited city in the continental U.S. actually is in Florida.


A friend of mine recently wrote me an email including the sentence:

"Texas tacos are better than cali’s without a doubt"

(Take note of the capitalization of Texas and subsequent non-capitalization of Cali typical of the geographic-inferiority-complex-afflicted Texan).

Like all other Californians, I’m a pretty laid back kind of guy — but this sort of blatant libel against the great state I call home (and the great tacos contained within) simply will not stand. So I present to you a simple, objective, mathematical analysis of the plausibility of the above statement:

California tacos

California tacos

2008 population of the state of California[1] 36,756,666
2008 population of the state of Texas[2] 24,236,974
2006 % of California’s & Texas’ population of Mexican descent[3][4] 25%
Total legal Mexicans in California 36,756,666 * 0.25 = 9,189,167
Total legal Mexicans in Texas 24,236,974 * 0.25 = 6,059,244
Estimated illegal immigrant population of California (2006)[5] 2,830,000
Estimated illegal immigrant population of Texas (2006)[6] 1,640,000
Estimated % of illegal immigrants (in all states) from Mexico (2006)[7] 57%
Total illegal Mexicans in California 2,830,000 * 0.57 = 1,613,100
Total illegal Mexicans in Texas 1,640,000 * 0.57 = 934,800
Total Mexicans in California 9,189,167 + 1,613,100 = 10,802,267
Total Mexicans in Texas 6,059,244 + 934,800 = 6,994,044
Total Mexicans in California and Texas 10,802,267 + 6,994,044 = 17,796,311
Percentage of total Mexicans in California and Texas living in California 10,802,267 /
17,796,311 * 100 = 60.7%
Percentage of total Mexicans in California and Texas living in Texas 6,994,044 /
17,796,311 * 100 = 39.3%
Delta in percentage of total Mexicans living in California versus percentage of total Mexicans living in
60.7% – 39.3% = 21.4%

The fact is: California has a 21.4% chance of having better tacos than Texas by virtue of a 21.4% greater population of people who make tacos.

In every day terms, that means that for every 5 tacos you eat in California that are fantastic, slightly less than 4 would have been fantastic were you in Texas. As someone who eats 3-6 tacos per day on average I can safely say that the above constitutes mathematical proof that California is, in fact, the best place in the world.

I know this is an ipod, shut up

So I finally decided to join the cool kids and get an iphone.  Why?  Because the sweet new 3Gs is out?  Heck no, I got it because they knocked the price of a regular old 8-GB 3G iphone to 100 bones.  That makes me: 1) cheap, 2) the definition of a “late adopter.”  The reasoning is akin to someone deciding in 1984: “I’m not spending a fortune to go see Air Supply Live in Hawaii, I’ll wait for a later, cheaper, more local show.”  It’s like, yeah, you still get to see Air Supply, but your buddies totally already saw Air Supply first and were the first to try all the sweet Air Supply Applications.

I’m a poor analogizer.  But I’m not here to talk about Air Supply anyway.  (Ed. Note: Yes he is.)  I’m here to talk about the iphone, specifically about a new application that caught my eye.

Read More »



I ain't afraid of no regrets
(212):  So I just woke up to find my roomates shouting at canisters of pink goo and now their playing music to make it dance

(917): Your roomates are the best


(212): Remember that chick Dana I’ve been macking on? I went to her house last night and she got freaky. kept calling me the “Keymaster” and basically tried to rape me.

(1-212): Tried?

(212): I make it a rule never to get involved with possessed people


(917): Dude, the museum is covered in goo and everyone is singing and the statue of liberty is walking down the street

(1-917): I love New York


(646): We just crossed streams and it was bad news

(212): It usually is

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Rules for Time Travel.

Always fun, although I have a couple of issues with the rules:

Rule Zero: No Paradoxes, because, according to the author, no true paradoxes can exist in the real world, only as concepts.  Someone tell that to the pre-observationally equally alive and dead Shrodinger’s Cat. (dealt with later in Rule 9: Parallel Universes…but I still think quantum superposition negates this rule)

Rule Five: Black Holes ≠ Time Machines, but wormholes could be. (Correct) Unfortunately no one knows how to make negative energy to keep them open (Incorrect).  We can’t manufacture Negative energy in sufficient quantities to make working wormholes…but we can make tiny amounts through the Casimir effect)

The article is still fun though.  If you like “Lost” you’ll recognize Rule 6: Whatever happened, happened (note: read that in the whispery nerd voice of Daniel Faraday)

(Sweet article from awesome science blog: Cosmic Variance)


If you ARE going to travel back in time, and you don’t mind creating a messed-up parallel universe, this might come in handy

Hey Gang!  Your trusty science correspondent Dr. Snerpus, here, with an exciting new development in science:  The discovery of a 47 million year old, remarkably well-preserved primate fossil that is possibly the precursor to everything from lemurs to humans.  (Synopsis here.  Full Scientific Paper here)

An artist's rendering of the "Missing Link" creature based on scientific evidence

An artist's rendering of the "Missing Link" creature based on scientific evidence

It should be noted that the study appears flawed in a few respects.  The fossil is probably only about 3,500 years old, and it didn’t “evolve” into men, it died out for worshipping false idols.