Angels from Another Pin
(Eschatological aspirations)

<<   <   >   >>

30 September 2002 ::   And the exciting part is that they have no ingredients that a human can pronounce  
A Miracle of Science is updated. This week I gloss over the part of becoming a Real Author where I spend years building a career, and skip directly to publishing derivatives of my work such as compendia, "companion" texts, and dictionaries. I believe I am technically supposed to have a hanger-on like Stephen Briggs co-author the compendium, but I'm willing to forego that in the name of brevity.

permanent link

This one is for my wife (and all the other Buffy addicts out there in the audience): Two-and-a-half seasons worth of scripts for Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

permanent link

28 September 2002 ::   Oh yeah, this is when science didn't have to have any specific purpose  
I haven't quite made up my mind about moving World War 2.5 into Iraq (mostly because no one in authority feels like discussing it with us mere citizen-voters), and my decision-making process is made more difficult when the President lies to me about it.

permanent link

Now that I've finished updating all these pages to .shtml, visitors to this site are going to be getting a lot of page-not-found errors. Under this impetus, I finally got around to updating the 404 page.

permanent link

27 September 2002 ::   Everyone thinks I'm psychotic, except for my friends deep inside the earth  
Service Notice: In order to allow the creation of permanent links to each entry on this page, I have translated Angels from Another Pin over to .shtml files. If you are linking to, please update your bookmarks and links to use, which has always been the preferred link format.

permanent link

Fred Coppersmith notes that he is writing a biography of his boss to be used in the boss's performance review. (Man, I wish I had been able to shanghai someone into writing my self-evaluations when I was a network manager!)

How can a biographical sketch be useful for a performance review if it hasn't been written by the subject of the biography? Using such second-hand information is like determining what's wrong with your car by looking at a photo of it. Unless the issue is "Oh, yes, I see, it's been cut in half with a backhoe," it's not a useful methodology.

I hope Fred's boss hasn't been cut in half with a backhoe...

permanent link

The tiger sanctuary Tigerhomes has a series of webcams pointed into the habitats containing their animals.

permanent link

Dick Armey lives up to his first name in comments made at a campaign appearance in support of Katherine ("Incompetent or Fraudulent? You Decide!") Harris. What is it about becoming a member of the Republican leadership that turns a politician evil, stupid, greedy, psycho-Christian, or all of the above? I swear, there must be something in the booze served at GOPAC meetings.

News flash for Mister Armey: You're a former economics professor. Economics is not a hard science, you buffoon, it's a liberal art. You just called yourself a fuzzy-headed liberal.

permanent link

26 September 2002 ::   These guys are kind of cute when they're not formed into a fiery column of death  
Today, A Miracle of Science updates with a new page of character profiles.

The words "Jedi" and "Klingon" have entered the newest edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, along with "asylum seekers", "asymmetrical warfare" and "spin control".

25 September 2002 ::   Increase the Flash Gordon noise and put more science stuff around  
L'Anse aux Meadows is a site in Newfoundland where the Vikings settled temporarily during their voyages of exploration and tentative colonization of North America. A number of artifacts have been found at the site, which is now a protected historic landmark.

God's frequency is 39.17 MHz (and other tales of religious chicanery).

24 September 2002 ::   The world is going to hell in a dreadfully small hand basket, and this is the top story  
"The near-earth space environment - where most satellites, the Shuttle, Mir, and the International Space Station orbit the earth - is cluttered with man-made debris and naturally occurring meteoroids. Hypervelocity impacts between any spacecraft and this particulate environment can lead to catastrophic failure. For this reason, there is an entire science devoted to investigating and assessing this threat, as well as protecting spacecraft though passive shielding techniques."

Joseph Stiglitz, an insider in the economic leadership of the United States for the last ten years and the winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize for Economics, explains how lucky breaks caused - and how cronyism, greed, overzealous deregulation, and the narrow interests of the extremely wealthy killed - the mad economic boom of the Nineties.

23 September 2002 ::   Allow me to demonstrate with one of my bogus mathematical theorems  
Today's page of A Miracle of Science is in color, where available.

Living in a Neal Stephenson novel, part 3: An unmanned US aerial drone followed the thermal image of hot pizzas as they were delivered to an Abu Sayyaf leader in the Philippines.

The 1507 map in which America is named is in the archives of the Library of Congress.
This 1507 map grew out of a massive project in St. Dié, France, in the early years of the 16th century to update geographic knowledge flowing out of the new discoveries of the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Martin Waldseemüller's large world map was the most exciting product of that research effort. He included on the map data gathered by Amerigo Vespucci during Vespucci's voyages of 1501-1502 to the New World. Waldseemüller named the new lands "America" on his 1507 map in the mistaken belief that it was Vespucci and not Christopher Columbus who had discovered them. An edition of 1,000 copies of the large wood-cut print was reportedly printed and sold. Thus the name "America" given to the new lands by Waldsemüller endured, and his 1507 world map has come to be known as "America's birth certificate."

22 September 2002 ::   Hey, what's he gonna do, borrow a cup of sugar from Satan?  
Dear George W. Bush,
I normally eschew politics in this space, but I feel compelled to comment when an issue is both topical and local. You are visiting Trenton, NJ, tomorrow to raise funds for a New Jersey Republican. You have been doing a lot of political fundraising lately. An awful lot of fundraising. This is a complete misuse of time when there's a war on - possibly a very big war on. This strikes me as a foolish move politically for you, especially since the only thing giving you the chance of a fez at a Shriner convention of re-election is the appearance that you are responsible for the successful prosecution of the war (that, and the silent death of the career of John Ashcroft).
Sincerely yours,
Someone Who Will Definitely Be Voting for Whatever Carbon-Based Life Form the Democrats Run Against You

20 September 2002 ::   Having realized that I do not suffer alone, I shall share my harrowing tale of woe and lost pants  
It must be parody day here at AfAP. We bring you Quidsatz Haderach, part of the Sluggy Freelance parody of Harry Potter.

The magazine Forbes parodies itself with a list of the fifteen richest fictional characters.

If the creator of the comedic horror webcomic Fairview High isn't already working for Disney, he ought to be. Great art, funny writing.

If you have a library card for the computer terminals in the back stacks at Arkham University, you can use Cthuugle, the search engine of the Elder Gods

For $15,000 you can engage in the sport of tossing cars out of a cargo plane.

Matt Smith
Columbus was pompous and longwinded, as shown by the letter written by Columbus on his return from his first voyage to America It is clear from the document that Columbus thinks he has found Asia ("When I came to Juana, I followed the coast of that isle toward the west, and found it so extensive that I thought it might be the mainland, the province of Cathay; and as I found no towns nor villages on the sea-coast, except a few small settlements, where it was impossible to speak to the people, because they fled at once, I continued the said route, thinking I could not fail to see some great cities or towns...")

19 September 2002 ::   God bless mommy, and daddy, and grandpa, and all of my evil henchmen  
Arrrr. (Posted at 11:20 PM EST)

Things to do today: read A Miracle of Science.

The Lovecraft-inspired chess variant called Nemoroth is brilliant, and looks like it might be fun to play on a blustery Halloween.
In Nemoroth a game called Chess was played.

The rules they used were not the rules we know, for Nemoroth thrived when the world was still being built -- indeed, it was in the harbor of Nemoroth that the Moon was made, and the city destroyed by accident when Luna was floated up into the sky.

In Nemoroth, one did not play chess with crude figurines of plastic or wood; instead, the actual creatures were moved about on a vast playing field suspended in the unfinished firmament.

Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity, as published in Social Text, physicist Alan Sokol's 1994 broadside at the soft sciences' inability to tell crabs from crapola.

18 September 2002 ::   "You vibro-shocked three galaxies out of existence! You stole fizzy-lifting grapes! And then you tried to steal my brain!"
"Petty larceny."
Turn on your Java and go control a robot in France! Le beep le beep le beep.

Baltimore news: Self-aggrandizing state-government-hack marketing droid installed to look into why the Baltimore Convention Center isn't living up to its hyped attendee numbers. Dare I suggest it is due to bad management, failure to create an action plan, and the habit of hiring self-aggrandizing state-government-hack marketing droids?

Noel Tominack
17 September 2002 ::   It's all a part of my harebrained scheme  
Part of the story behind why the Twin Towers came down is found in the story of how and why they went up.

I can't make this stuff up: A thief in the Philadelphia suburbs has been stealing bikes and leaving replacements behind. In some cases, the bikes abandoned at the crime scene are more expensive than the ones stolen.

Aliens are abducting our pants!
This is an incendiary statement, a statement that will change the way humans perceive themselves in their relationship to the universe. I know that it is time for the people of the world to be shown the truth, no matter how disturbing. It is also imperative that people understand that things are accelerating, not only the pants situation, but the entire universe is accelerating. Racing towards absolute zero, racing towards the big empty. The aliens know this and have began abducting pants out of anxiety, out of panic. All humans are aware of this acceleration sub-consciously, but their logical minds block the realization from materializing. It is my purpose to educate the masses, for a "society gone psychotic" is unavoidable, but perhaps I can save our pants.

16 September 2002 ::   Attach the grill to the screen using an electron microscope and a flamethrower. If you don't have either of these use Snapple.  
A Miracle of Science: Now with added depth of field!

If you're at all interested in memetics, this exhaustively researched article on the evolution of chain letters is for you. Long, involving, and interesting.

First in an irregular series of commentaries on the area where I live: The worst Quaker meetinghouse sign in America is apparently on Route 452 in Middletown, across the street from Penn State-DelCo, which was on my way to work when I was a wage-slave programmer/admin at Electronics Boutique's world HQ. The best Quaker sign in America is in Gwynedd, up the street (the street being US Route 202) from where my parents live.

15 September 2002 ::   I'm sor...sorr...Aw, ya shoulda ducked!  
Pssst! Hey, Matt! That song is At Last as sung by Etta James.

If you're not Matt, please disregard this message.

14 September 2002 ::   You weren't alive during the Microsoft conflict. We were beating each other with our own severed limbs.  
The Amazing Adrenalini Brothers is my new favorite thing ever. The dozen or so episodes which are up on the Web are a British version of the Roadrunner and Coyote cartoons - lots of mad violence with no (real) speaking.

N11A is located in the constellation of Dorado. This true-color Hubble image is composed of three narrow-band filter images obtained with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 on 17 May 2000. The three images were obtained using a 1040 second exposure through a red filter (ionized hydrogen, H-alpha), a 1200 second exposure through a green filter (ionized oxygen), and a 1040 second exposure through a blue filter (ionized hydrogen, H-beta). N11A is about 10 arc-seconds in size, corresponding to about 8 light-years at the distance of the Large Magellanic Cloud (168,000 light-years).

Glenn Juskiewicz
Another small Microsoft Word bug.

Amanda Babcock
13 September 2002 ::   Do you think Jesus would have rolled over in his grave, if he hadn't risen from it?  
Well, phooey. J002E2 isn't a captured asteroid after all. It is, however, the first known object recaptured by the Earth's gravitational field.

Farscape may have been cancelled, but the Javascript tests live on. I appear to be Crichton.

Link stole--er, borrowed--from fellow former Penn State Monty Pythonner Fred Coppersmith.

Fred Coppersmith
Twenty years ago, the ur-smiley appeared.

If someone tells you the Internet is useless, just point them to this useful test to determine if you were abducted by aliens. From the looks of the questions, if you get a high score on the test you either were abducted by aliens or are absolutely psychotic.

Oh, hey, we haven't had a horrific Windows bug report here lately. Allow me to rectify that.

"'Why was there so little opposition to Henry VIII's break with Rome?' was once a hardy perennial of examination papers in Tudor history. Geoffrey Moorhouse offers us a new, vivid, and colourful account of the rebellion that followed that break which shows up that question for the question-begging humbug it always was.

"'The Pilgrimage of Grace for the Common Weal', as it came to call itself, was the largest armed popular rising ever faced by a Tudor monarch, and reveals the depths of hostility Henry VIII aroused when in his desperation to divorce his first wife - Catherine of Aragon - he separated the Church of England from the papacy and began, in 1534, to alter the religion that had shaped English culture for a millennium."

12 September 2002 ::   I got a stack of things to do, twice as high as a thousand years ago  
Mark and I are the first and second Google hits for the Powerpuff Girls quote "I am filled with solutions." This is strange.

It's really odd to have someone you know quoted in a CNN article. (I used to work with Pete Roithmayr.)

Buzz Aldrin decked a whacko who tried to get him to swear he had actually walked on the Moon. Buzz is my hero.

Another page of A Miracle of Science has been put online for your perusal. Do not taunt happy fun robot.

Some fine people using a computer at Harvard have a system online to test the availability of sites behind the Great Firewall of China.
Starting testing...
Stage one testing complete.
Stage two testing complete.

Testing complete for Result:
    Reported as accessible in China
I wonder if I can get blocked from China by calling Jiang Zemin a jerk...

The Erdös number is Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon for mathematicians.

Object J002E2 is in a fifty-day orbit around the Earth. If it's not a chunk of manmade space debris, it's the second confirmed natural satellite of the Earth. (The asteroid Cruithne, which you have probably already heard of, isn't really a satellite; it's in a near-Earth resonant orbit.)

10 September 2002 ::   Shoot self in foot with water pistol. On big systems, continue until entire lower body is waterlogged.  
Everyone should know the top five astronomy myths.

Humor for the programming geek: A fake interview with Bjarne Stroustrup.
Interviewer: Yes, but C++ is basically a sound language.

Stroustrup: You really believe that, don't you? Have you ever sat down and worked on a C++ project? Here's what happens: First, I've put in enough pitfalls to make sure that only the most trivial projects will work first time. Take operator overloading. At the end of the project, almost every module has it, usually, because guys feel they really should do it, as it was in their training course. The same operator then means something totally different in every module. Try pulling that lot together, when you have a hundred or so modules. And as for data hiding. God, I sometimes can't help laughing when I hear about the problems companies have making their modules talk to each other. I think the word 'synergistic' was specially invented to twist the knife in a project manager's ribs.

Interviewer: I have to say, I'm beginning to be quite appalled at all this. You say you did it to raise programmers' salaries? That's obscene.

9 September 2002 ::   Several Supermen short of a comic collection  
Hand Puppet Movie Theater is a somewhat less slick version of the Thumbnail Theater. Anakin: Bring me Darth Maul's speeder, my lightsaber and some angry-sounding John Williams.

Group minds, culture shock, and lessons in gravity: A Miracle of Science.

Bizarro Reagan: For Secretary of Interior, man who likes strip-mining and air pollution. For Secretary of Education, man who want to destroy department. For Secretary of State, scary man with morals of a styrofoam cup...

In 1783, 20% of the population of Iceland died as a result of the Lakagigar eruption. They starved because their livestock died after eating grasses contaminated by fluorine from the eruption.

6 September 2002 ::   A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing  
It has been a popular theory for some time now that an immense, worldwide wildfire swept the late-Cretaceous continents after the Chicxulub impact 65 million years ago. Now, scientists at the University of Arizona and the Southwest Research Institute have put together an animated map of the probable footprint of the fires started by atmospheric heating.

Happy new year 5763 (as of sundown).

Steven Stankiewicz has rewritten Faulkner's "The Bear" to create "The Rabbit":
And only the outraged mumbled Oooooh that twickster and wascal and dwat that wabbit breaking the intractable miasmic silence of the great woods; and then his (the beast’s) sudden emergence with inscrutable verticality from the seemingly ubiquitous hole without which the very landscape seemed useless and the voice: the words uttered over the chronic and perpetual mastication of the absurd carrot in inexplicable and certainly anachronistic urban nasality: Ehhhhh....... whats up, Doc? exasperating if not in fact infuriating his (the hunter’s) very sense and spirit soul selfness and when he (the hunter) again with furious impotent immemorial frustration squeezed the trigger he (Fudd) never even bothered to not see or perhaps just ignored, neglected, his (the rabbit’s) finger (finger?) in the muzzle, the force of the preordained retrograde blast again suddenly negating destroying obliterating his (the hunter’s) face: the eyes which stared ridiculously out in impotent and static rage of blackened not-face in outraged amazement and amazed outrage and then Come back here wabbit, or Ill bwast ya!
I don't know about Jessica, but I wonder why Stankiewicz didn't just title it "A Portrait of Elmer."

Jessica Gothie
This is kind of cool, in a creepy and slightly insane way: June Huston has set up the Ghostwatcher Web site to watch her apartment for ghosts at all times. She has placed spotlights and webcams all over her house and invites surfers to watch them for evidence of spectral activity.

You've got to wonder what a Navy captain has to do to be relieved of command of an aircraft carrier during wartime.

Update: Both Mark and Jessica point out a CNN article on this which states the captain was relieved of command for failure to keep discipline after several crewmen were arrested for serious crimes, equipment failed because it wasn't properly maintained, and the ship itself was damaged when it struck a buoy in Singapore.

5 September 2002 ::   You are You! Today, you've decided to take over Major League Baseball!  
The next page of A Miracle of Science is up. Boom.

A new Greek law has outlawed video games. At first blush, this sounds like another Internet hoax like the email tax. It's not. It's real. And it's very silly.

Craig Powell
Why I'm glad I never gave in to the dark side:
[Not] too long ago, skilled hackers were rewarded with fat salaries and fancy titles after being busted for their shenanigans.

Now, Max Vision -- a world-famous incarcerated hacker-turned-security-expert once making $250 an hour -- is happy to be getting minimum wage.

4 September 2002 ::   There is an intruder - male, Caucasian, possibly armed, certainly weird - in my kitchen  
Lojack your kids, an idea brought to you by that self-promoting British whacko Kevin Warwick.

Amanda Babcock
Well, Jim Traficant is gone, so someone in politics has to say "Beam me up":
Tim Hagan, a Democrat running for governor against a Republican incumbent with the Taft family political lineage and 20 times as much money, isn't shy about using his Hollywood connection.

Hagan's wife is actress Kate Mulgrew, who commands a loyal following from her days as Capt. Kathryn Janeway on "Star Trek: Voyager."

And on Saturday, a fund-raiser for Hagan's campaign featured Mulgrew along with several of her fellow cast members, including Tim Russ (Vulcan security chief Tuvok) and Garrett Wang (Ensign Harry Kim).

The crew of Voyager was joined by William Shatner, Capt. James T. Kirk of the Enterprise on the original "Star Trek."

3 September 2002 ::   Went all the way to the Gap of Rohan only to find there is no Gap in Rohan. Not even a Banana Republic. False advertising!  
I think these are all perfectly cromulent words: "To readers who think, not without reason, or better, nonsinerationally, that I am an asinusequi (translation bleeped), it can only be objected that I have been a long time revenging myself on those monsters who compelled me to work through the sinuous periods of Cicero to the explosive final word."

If you'd like to report suspicious behavior by yourself, press 4.

2 September 2002 ::   She'll be in jail until 2003. I think the Sixties should be over by then.  
I have no intention of going to see a Jerry Seinfeld movie, but the trailer for Comedian is hilarious.
"In a land--"
"No 'land'."
"In a time--"
"No 'time'!"
"In a land before time!"
"I hate you."

eGray is an extremely clever piece of political advertising. It is probably the best use of the Internet for political campaigning that I have ever seen. Its humor and format will cause it to be spread virally. Its message is conveyed both by short, humorous eBay parodies and by longer articles copied from newspapers, so one can either get the message quickly or browse to get an in-depth view of the propaganda. Very slick.

A Miracle of Science: Coruscating beams of lambent force and extraneous frogs.

"Have you ever dreamed of traveling in time? Now you can experience what you have only dreamed of. With the Hyper Dimensional Resonator you can travel into the past or explore the future. The world will be at your beck and call and you will have all the time in the world to explore it."

At last, a real time travel machine for less than four hundred bucks, well within the reach of the home time travel hobbyist! One with a real flashing light, that runs off of house current!

I would suspect this is a goofy hoax site, but the guy's other sites are also utterly mad.

Civil War slang. It's amazing how much of it is still in use.

1 September 2002 ::   The kind of stupid only dogs can hear  
I am sure the moment will come when you need this list of all documented meteorites that struck manmade objects (or people).

(The Side of the Angels)

A Miracle of Science

Other Pins:
Project Apollo

Glenn's LiveJournal

Alyce Wilson's Portfolio



G. Webber

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Biomechanoid

Radioactive Fanboys

Occasional Fish

House of the Whispering Woods


Maximum Verbosity


Permanent Links


Current Month
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001

© 2001 - 2004 Jon Kilgannon