March 28th, 2006

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Lesson of the Day

Alrighty people. It's time that you all learned something useful and that may actually come in handy if you're ever playing trivial pursuit and land on a science question. Here's a summary of what Schrodinger's Cat is all about, and provided in rhymme to boot by Cecil Adams of The Straight Dope.

Schroedinger, Erwin! Professor of physics!
Wrote daring equations! Confounded his critics!
(Not bad, eh? Don't worry. This part of the verse
Starts off pretty good, but it gets a lot worse.)

Win saw that the theory that Newton'd invented
By Einstein's discov'ries had been badly dented.
What now? wailed his colleagues. Said Erwin, "Don't panic,
No grease monkey I, but a quantum mechanic.

Consider electrons. Now, these teeny articles
Are sometimes like waves, and then sometimes like particles.
If that's not confusing, the nuclear dance
Of electrons and suchlike is governed by chance!

No sweat, though--my theory permits us to judge
Where some of 'em is and the rest of 'em was."
Not everyone bought this. It threatened to wreck
The comforting linkage of cause and effect.

E'en Einstein had doubts, and so Schroedinger tried
To tell him what quantum mechanics implied.
Said Win to Al, "Brother, suppose we've a cat,
And inside a tube we have put that cat at--

Along with a solitaire deck and some Fritos,
A bottle of Night Train, a couple mosquitoes
(Or something else rhyming) and, oh, if you got 'em,
One vial prussic acid, one decaying ottom

Or atom--whatever--but when it emits,
A trigger device blasts the vial into bits
Which snuffs our poor kitty. The odds of this crime
Are 50 to 50 per hour each time.

The cylinder's sealed. The hour's passed away. Is
Our pussy still purring--or pushing up daisies?
Now, you'd say the cat either lives or it don't
But quantum mechanics is stubborn and won't.

Statistically speaking, the cat (goes the joke),
Is half a cat breathing and half a cat croaked.
To some this may seem a ridiculous split,
But quantum mechanics must answer, "Tough @#&!

We may not know much, but one thing's fo' sho':
There's things in the cosmos that we cannot know.
Shine light on electrons--you'll cause them to swerve.
The act of observing disturbs the observed--

Which ruins your test. But then if there's no testing
To see if a particle's moving or resting
Why try to conjecture? Pure useless endeavor!
We know probability--certainty, never.'

The effect of this notion? I very much fear
'Twill make doubtful all things that were formerly clear.
Till soon the cat doctors will say in reports,
"We've just flipped a coin and we've learned he's a corpse."

So saith Herr Erwin. Quoth Albert, "You're nuts.
God doesn't play dice with the universe, putz.
I'll prove it!" he said, and the Lord knows he tried--
In vain--until fin'ly he more or less died.

Win spoke at the funeral: "Listen, dear friends,
Sweet Al was my buddy. I must make amends.
Though he doubted my theory, I'll say of this saint:
Ten-to-one he's in heaven--but five bucks says he ain't."
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dance centipedes vagina

It's certainly not monopoly

So I was bored and wandering around on BoardgameGeek today and stumbled over a GeekList that was right up my alley. I don't recall the exact phrasing now but it was basically one about contraversial games that spark outrage. I took a look around and it had the obligatory Darkies in the Melon Patch and Juden Raus (Jews Get Out), but people had also added some more recent games that are more humorous than hate crimes in the making.

For instance, it had an entry for Let's Kill, the stickfigure drawn serial killer game that I had bought a copy of only a month or two ago. I had been trying to replace a copy of guillotine and was surprised when thoughthammer didn't carry it. When I mailed their customer service, I was informed that they chose not to carry potentially offensive games like that one and Let's Kill. Phrased that way, it was almost a guarentee I would look up the latter and then purchase it.

The list also had some other entries for games that struck my funny bone. Pain Doctors, the game of recreational/unnecessary surgery and Prison Bitch, where you try to not be the one to pick up the soap off the shower room floor, to name a couple. In the end, I actually went and bought a copy of Hentacle, the tentacle monster card game. It sounds hilarious but I'm not sure that it would be a real big hit at Meetup gamedays.

Woot! I just bought a copy of Suicide Bomber the card game.
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Oh noes! Those fools will kill us all!

World Jump Day seeks to change the earth's orbit by having everyone in the western hemisphere jump at a specific time, around 16 weeks from now, based on their timezone. It's madness I tell you, MADNESS! Sure, sure, they claim that this new orbit of ours will 'stop global warming, extend daylight hours, and create a more homogenous climate' but God only knows what sort of horrors it could inflict. These treehugging hippie bastards could send all of us spiraling into the sun or out into deep space!

Luckily, they seem to be short their target number of 600,000,000 bulletheaded jumpers for the time being (though they have found 464,308,014 morons willing to participate as of March 13, 2006). We can't count on the good sense of people not to jump on this potentially suicidal bandwagon however. The only thing to do is start organizing a counter-jump event. What we need to do is find enough people in the EASTERN hemisphere willing to jump at exactly the same time, or at least enough of them to cancel out the morons jumping in the western hemisphere so that they fail to reach the magic number of 600,000,000.

This is a matter of life and death. We can't let these hippie wankers muck with our orbit, god damnit.

In case anyone out there might actually believe this could work (I'm looking at you jeanie3 for some reason), you can read here about the actual effect a buncha people jumping at once would actually have.