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Loop running Wed, Aug 31, 2011
Running on a track has never appealed to me because it feels like I never make any progress.  "Ugh, I'm at the starting block again?"  Same with a soccer field or anything that must be looped many times to gain any amount of distance.  And I'm not really a fan covering the same route twice, like a there-and-back type of thing.  It makes me think about how much more area I could've covered if I didn't have to end where I started.  I like running in large loops, preferably with a few turns and some terrain variation.  I like the scenery change, and it makes it feel like more of a race, albeit one that takes place entirely in my own little world while my headphones fill my head with old school rap. #sports

Liquid Gold Wed, Aug 31, 2011
From a review of the book Liquid Gold
Logically, we should recycle our urine to capture its many nutrients for growing new food.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.  First, I don't personally believe that's a logical thought.  Or at least it doesn't flow (pardon the expression) naturally from my logic.  Second, I honestly wasn't aware urine contained nutrients.  Third, I've definitely never considered using urine to grow food.  So pretty much that whole statement was mind-blowing. #entertainment

Temperature units Tue, Aug 30, 2011
As a practicing engineer and frequent user of mathematics, I do hereby proclaim:  Temperature units are stupid.  With all other units of measurement (time, distance, velocity, mass, angle, pressure, density, etc.), zero is zero, regardless of which system you use.  Zero inches is zero centimeters.  Zero mph is zero m/s.  Zero lb is zero kg.  But with temperature, zero degrees C is 32 degrees F.  And don't even get me started with Kelvin and Rankine.  Why there are four different units for one stupid measurement is beyond the scale of my angry comprehension. #math

Natural disasters and economics Tue, Aug 30, 2011
I wonder if anything more positively impacts the economy than natural disasters.  For example: 
  1. Food.  People always rush out to buy milk and bread.  Wendy bought milk and bread before the hurricane, but only because we literally just ran out of milk and bread and needed a routine resupply.
  2. Supplies.  People always rush out to buy flashlights and batteries.  At this point in the history of mankind, you'd think everyone would have enough of those left over from the previous natural disaster.
  3. Safety.  Declaring a state of emergency and activing the National Guard just sound like expensive propositions.
  4. Cleanup.  Chainsaws and sump pumps aren't free, nor do emergency workers work pro bono.
  5. Rebuilding.  When stuff breaks, you have to fix it.  Somehow this transcends whether or not people can actually afford it.  If a tree falls on your house, you need a new roof.  If your basement is flooded, you need it unflooded.
And the government, with its FEMA and its states of emergency, is just asking for targets to throw money at.  If anything can fix the global economy, it's a global natural disaster. #money

Custom ice cream cakes Mon, Aug 29, 2011
For as long as I've been sentient, ice cream cakes have been made with chocolate and vanilla ice cream.  You either like them or you don't.  No one says, "The ones from X are better than the ones from Y."  They're all the same.  But just recently, I've discovered the wonder of ordering cakes with custom flavors.  I just got one with vanilla chocolate chip and cookies and cream.  I had one with cookie dough last year.  I'm not sure if we ice cream cake consumers have been fleeced into eating plain chocolate and vanilla for years, or if the technology has always existed to make more creative ice cream cakes, but either way it's fairly life-changing for me. #food

Resomation (2) Fri, Aug 26, 2011
It has been suggested (via Neatorama) that the most environmentally-friendly thing to do with your body after you die is to liquefy it by means of an alkali salt bath, which is called resomation.  Casket burials use embalming fluids that leach into the ground, and cremations utilize fossil fuels for combustion.  Or as one commenter added:  "I remember reading [about] a method where the corpse is put in a tub full of crabs, who eat it."  Response:  "Then do all your friends & family gather a week later for a crab boil?" #nature

Uranusquake Fri, Aug 26, 2011
Uranusquake:  An earthquake on the planet Uranus.  Actually, that's not true.  It's still called an earthquake. #nature

Medicine as art (2) Thu, Aug 25, 2011
Wendy went to the doctor for a tick bite, and the doctor gave her some pills.  I went to a different doctor for the same exact thing two days later, and I was told to get a blood test.  When I asked my doctor why there were two different diagnoses for the same ailment, he said, "Practicing medicine is an art."  Now I ain't no medical doctor, but I can't think of something that should be approached more scientifically than the human body and the treatment of its various diseases.  I kind of get the fact that different doctors might disagree on treatment options, but as I said many moons ago, I look forward to the day when doctors are replaced by the following code: 
if (patient.sickness = "tick bite") {
  prescribe_pills();
}
Update:  Health insurer WellPoint will be using IBM's Watson to suggest treatment options.  Boom. #health

Paria Canyon Thu, Aug 25, 2011
This is Paria Canyon in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona:


This picture was found online somewhere.  Someday I'll go here. #nature

Upselling Tue, Aug 23, 2011
I bought a cell phone from a physical store recently, and I fully expected to be upsold to.  Sure enough, I was offered more minutes, a case, insurance, etc.  That makes sense.  Salespeople work off commission, so the more they sell, the more they make.  And I simply walked in off the street.  I didn't pre-order or pre-pay or anything like that.  To them, I was a holder of money, looking to part with said money. 

I also rented a car recently, and like I do every time, I forgot how much they'd try to upsell me.  A bigger car, prepaid gas, GPS, satellite radio, etc.  But unlike the cell phone experience, I didn't just walk in off the street.  I had a reservation, and I chose exactly what I wanted with the exact options I wanted.  I was provided a price quote, and I provided a credit card number in return.  Not to mention the fact that I was traveling for business, and my employer sets the price I can spend on a vehicle, so no amount of upselling could possibly make me change my mind. #business

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