Tycho Brahe Had A Word For It

The word was “hose.”

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The King’s Days Off

Yesterday, I drove around doing errands. I stopped at the exterminator’s, to renew my service contract. I picked up my order of logo’ed work shirts from the local embroidery shop. I filled up the car, then stopped off at Subway to do likewise for myself. I visited Ace to pick up a replacement for a broken light fixture. My final stop was at the Post Office to fetch the mail.

But wait—there was no mail, and the Post Office was closed. Ah, that’s right—it was Columbus Day, a national holiday.

We live in a time when even national holidays have become perverted. The “little people” work their jobs to earn what they can to stave off the bill collectors and the tax man, while the “holiday” serves as a handy extra day off for the ruling class and the overpaid government employees. Seriously, what fairness is there in declaring “holidays” that only the government (and their regulated, captive industries such as banks) get to enjoy?

Arizona was branded as racist for refusing (for many years) to adopt Martin Luther King Day as an official holiday. But could there have been another reason? Namely, that nobody really needs another “holiday” that means time off for our “public sector” rulers, and squat for anybody else? Surely I’ve never gotten a Martin Luther King Day off work anywhere I have ever lived—how about you?

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Last Call at The Last Mall

About once a week, I get email from Sam’s Club listing “this week’s top sellers.” I am constantly flabbergasted to see this item appear right up at the top of the list at least three out of every four weeks:

Survival Food at Sam's Club

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Paste and Paste

Vampires, werewolves, witches, voodoo priestesses — I’ve never been intrigued by the whole “urban fantasy” fad, which in my opinion mostly consists of hackneyed horror movie clichés marinated in estrogen. I’m reminded of the Simpsons episode where Lisa’s fantasy novel is cookie-cut by a committee until it is nothing more than a copy of everybody else’s.

So when I saw the following catalog page in the monthly Science Fiction Book Club mailer, I had to wonder:

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Are captchas capsizing?

Out-of-control captcha

I mean, come on. Really?

Put some effort into your product, guys, or just stop offering it.

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L.A. Times: No gun bias here, move along

Joe Zamudio gained unexpected, instant fame as the first armed (non-police) responder during the shooting at the Gabrielle Gifford rally in Tucson. You’ve probably already heard of Joe as “that crazy Arizona gun nut who almost shot the wrong man.”

As Mark Twain once noted, a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on. Here, in Zamudio’s own words, courtesy of American Handgunner Magazine, is what really happened:

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How to Succeed in Monkey Business

While Googling for a hard drive upgrade for an older laptop, I encountered an site called ePartsGiant who was selling 80GB 7200RPM Travelstars for half the price of the competition. They were advertised as new, in-box, with a 30-day warranty. Intrigued, I investigated to see if there were similar bargains in larger drive sizes. I found the original drive listed under two different prices, both marked new, in-box. I also found a 100GB 7200RPM Travelstar listed under the same two prices, both marked new, in-box. Strange.

Since I’ve found shipping to be cheaper and quicker from nearby vendors, I clicked on the “about us” link to see where these fellows were located. The page was blank, except for the title and a vaguely disturbing indication of English illiteracy (“A Giant Store for Hard Drives, Memory, Power Supply, Processor & System Board” and “Term of Service.”) The “contact us” page indicated an unconvincing address in New York.

Warily, I tried their checkout screens. The left margin contained logos for “PayPal Verified” and PayPal payment services… but there was apparently no way to pay with PayPal. You entered your credit card information, or you didn’t play. Now I was growing dubious.

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