Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lego illusions

Mighty Optical Illusions is an always interesting site to visit. Some of my favorite illusions at their site are there Lego illusions. They have a page which links to samples of optical illusions made out of Lego blocks that they have gathered.

However, while the illusions are fascinating, I can't help but wonder how many Dads swipe their kids Legos on Christmas morning so they can play M. C. Escher with them?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Chistmas Mystery

First off, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to my fellow Yargbees and our readers.

Now, on to the mystery... my wife and I gave our son the statue pictured to the right as Christmas gift (as you can tell, nothing is too good for our boy).

It is a pig, with an apple on a little spring suspended above its back. It has a banner draped over it on which the following is written, "Make us one people united in praising you."

What that is all supposed to mean we don't know, nor does anybody we've shown it to have the slightest idea what it is about.

Does anybody out there have a notion or theory as to what it might mean?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

An outcast among her geology friends

“I started getting on to wine and other stuff for a while, but I became an outcast among my geology friends,” said geologist Laura Webb of the University of Vermont. ”So I had to retrain myself to drink brew.”

Apparently Geologists are a bunch of beer drinking drunks. I confess, given that news, I'm liking them better than the humorless nags in Climatology. Wired Science has an article Why Geologists Love Beer which discusses their drink of choice and theorizes as to why it is so popular with them.

“Every other convention assumes that if you have a beer, your brain goes soft,” said Kathy Sullivan, who has been serving beer at the AGU meeting for 26 years. ”But not the geophysicists. They think if you have a beer, you can still learn things. So they do.”

Friday night beer sessions, called variously Friday Beer, Liquidus and who knows what else are common rituals in Geology Departments. Beer is also common at the end of the day during convention and seminars.

Theories have been put forward as to why beer is so popular, and so much of a part of the culture, with Geologists. The most popular is that field work is hot and tiring, and the work is often being done in areas with unsafe drinking water, and so it is the best thirst quencher.

“You have to think outside the box, you’ve got to release your inhibitions, and beer is one way to do that,” Saltus said. ”Anything that helps you get to that epiphany, that realization of what’s there in the rocks and not easy to see but there to spin a story from.”

Others argue that beer drinking aids science in that it frees up inhibitions and encourages conversation. A third theory believes it is just a tradition handed down from advisor to student for years.

By the way, I can't say for certain, but I'm pretty sure those are real Geologists hoisting tankards in the picture. Then again, maybe they're physicists. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

From Nosferatu to My Bloody Valentine 3-D

The website Honkiat has a post, Evolution of Horror Movie Poster Designs: 1922 – 2009, that uses over 50 movie posters to show their evolution over the past 90 years. My only quibble would be that they skipped the 1950s entirely, which is a shame because that era has such a strong graphical style.

At any rate, above I show the first and last of the posters in their sequence above. There are many more at Honkiat.

(via iheartchaos

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

I wonder how much this would cost us?

In legislative news today some House subcommittee or another approved a bill that would establish a playoff system for college football. The bill was sponsored by Joe Barton, R-Texas and Bobby Rush, D-Ill. It passed on a voice vote with only one 'nay' coming from John Barrow, D-Ga. Good for him.

Reacting to crticism that the bill was a completely frivolous waste of time Barrow, the subcommittee chairman said, "We can walk and chew gum at the same time."

Well, perhaps, but the question isn't about walking or gum chewing, it is about wasting time writing insane laws. If for no other reason, exactly when did creating playoff brackets become a Federal matter? At any rate, the bill has little chance of passing.

However, in my overheated imagination I began to wonder what would happen if it were to dawn on the present group of Congress Critters that once playoffs were mandated they would then need two or three new Departments to regulate the whole affair. A mere 10 or 20 billion dollars later and we would end up with office buildings stuffed full of brandy-new bureaucrats pushing pencils and suckling off the public teat.

Then I suppose they would have to tinker with the sport to make it more politically correct. Soon, just like in youth sports, all of the players would get trophies for participating, because egos must not be bruised.

Oh well, I don't watch college football anyways.

By the way, the picture are diagrams by Red Grange of his T-Formation from the Cool Collections of the University of Illinois library.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Utter insanity

The Wall Street Journal reports that, as expected, the EPA has just declared C02 to be a pollutant.

We have unelected bureaucrats making decisions that will impact the entire U.S. economy. Worse, we all know this was done so that Obama can strut around the collapsing Copenhagen Conference and act like a savior.

We know that in a week or so Obama will sign off on some sort of lunatic World Carbon tax to transfer Western money to Third World kleptocrats. The Senate would never agree to such absurdity, but I suppose a puffed up bureaucrat who knows best will be found.

A million here, a billion there, a trillion over yonder... step by foolish step these people are trying their best to impoverish me in my old age. Disgusting, absolutely disgusting.

How have we allowed this to come to this pass and what can we do about it?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Sequel

My earlier post Weird Corner of the Internet featured people holding up album covers so that the pose and the cover art blend into a single illusion. Today's sequel features people blending in with their money. I guess you can never have too much of a good thing. Even though the ears on it are messed up I particularly like the Lincoln one.


More Money Faces.