Garbage Day

Seriously, the garbage truck needs some new brakes; it’s very squealy today – er, was very squealy yesterday Wednesday. Why are you holding out on me, internets? Why does it take so long to accumulate a linky post?

This has nothing – nothing – to do with Squishy the Valkyrie’s quest to retrieve the Amulet of Yendor. I swear.


This week’s love child will be sired by Amanda Marcotte, for managing to host a discussion on how men can stop rape (short answer: call other men on their shit) that doesn’t completely degenerate into trollishness. Also, class and gender divisions in the welfare system.


Dammit, Dianne Feinstein, why do you hate free speech?

On this day [Flag Day], I renew my support for S. J. Res. 12, a resolution that would let the people decide whether they want a constitutional amendment to protect the American flag.

Sigh. And, y’know, props to my nazis (not terribly on-point but sure made me giggle).


Via About Geology, Dave Stevenson on the physics of earthquakes and tsunamis, which is good fun if and only if you’ve got a freshman physics course or some serious layman’s nerdiness under your belt. But speaking of earthquakes, they’re apparently planning a sequel to 10.5, with a plot no more realistic than the original despite the involvement of fancy scientists. But I can’t wait to see the young earthers pile on to the idea of 150 million years’ worth of plate tectonics happening in a single event.

If I’d known that Sandra Tsing Loh was giving this year’s Caltech commencement address, I might’ve gone – I knew enough of the graduates to have a plausible excuse. Looks like she was actually funny, as opposed to dull and phlegmatic like most commencement speakers:

So by the time I graduated, I had a Caltech diploma entirely made of. . . partial credit, yes– My degree was glued together, faintly pulsing with. . . radioactivity, graded less on a curve than on a kind of wild hyperbola asymptotically approaching. . . some imaginary. . . actual answer. . .

But good news, once Caltech gives you a diploma, apparently. . . they can’t take it away. Rock on! So what do I have to be afraid of?

The wild ellipses come from the transcriber, not me. But what do I have to be afraid of? Nothing! Once you’ve passed through the valley of the shadow of phys 106, you no longer own any fear, not even for fear itself. [via]

And via my mother, Buster the Friendly Nuke. Who I’m not at all afraid of! The answer to nuclear proliferation is almost certainly 1/2. Or maybe √2.


  1. John Vidale wrote:

    I’d better vanillazize that post you linked, I’m sure your page has more readers than mine.
    Did you first read Carny’s link to the Loh speech, or she read yours, or is this one of those coincidences like the simultaneous earthquakes all over the world this week, as some AP reported just tracked me down to ask me about?

  2. yami wrote:

    I stole Carny’s link, as far as I know she doesn’t drop by here to steal mine. Your post looked pretty vanilla to me already, but I can remove the link if you’d rather.

  3. John Vidale wrote:

    It’s fine to leave it up, I made it even more bland; I’m striving to be a real milquetoast. It’s hard to know the norm, when so few geophysicists are in the genre.

  4. yami wrote:

    That’s part of why I like doing this under a pseudonym; my real name is readily accessible, of course, but this at least provides a clear marker for stuff that’s meant to be taken with extra salt.

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