The freshmaker!

You can ignore the gushy science-groupie parts of this post (it just makes me blush, and wonder where all these girls were when I was single*), but the movie—which is on a completely different topic altogether—but the imbedded movie is hilarious.

*It was so long ago, they probably hadn’t even been conceived yet, I know. It’s OK, though, I found my science groupie, and I only really needed one.

If it weren’t for those feminists, maybe Gilder would be on our side (thank you, feminism!)

You know, I really can’t stand George Gilder. He’s one of those pompous poseurs who pretends to be a fan of science and technology, yet whenever he opens his mouth you discover that he doesn’t know jack about the subject. I’ve excoriated Gilder before (a whuppin’ so cruel that Gilder’s daughter and then Gilder himself showed up in the comments to complain, and he was still publicly complaining about his brutal mistreatment a year later), but now he’s back with yet another rambling whimper about evolution.

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Kansas, please stop screwing up

I like Kansas and Kansans—I’ve got a copy of Oceans of Kansas(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll) on the coffee table at home, I think the paleontological history of the region is wonderful and represents a great opportunity for the residents to learn. And then there’s this news: a major meteorite find, and what do people in the area do? They declare a meteorite festival! How cool and science-friendly is that?

Well, unfortunately…

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Minnesota and Texas have something in common

Lindsay makes a factual error: Minnesota does not have a state fossil. We had a bill introduced almost 20 years ago to make Castoroides ohioensis, a 6-foot long, 250 pound giant beaver, our state fossil…but some people objected to the fact that it’s named after Ohio, and I suspect there might have been some concern about the beaver jokes.

We do have a list of potential nominees. I’m rooting for Endoceras proteiforme, myself—a giant nautiloid would be perfect!

Coulter, plagiarist

Normally, I’d get indignant at plagiarism and any student who tries it with me is likely to get axed on the spot. In Ann Coulter’s case, though, while not disagreeing with the assessment, ripping off “33 word passages” and such just doesn’t get me worked up. That she literally transcribed scattered chunks of her book is nothing compared to the wholesale intellectual dishonesty of the work. Why get upset that she lifted a sentence, when whole chapters are exercises in numb-skulled vacuity?

I flunk students out of a course when they plagiarize. When they do things on a level of stupidity similar to Coulter’s book, I take them aside and recommend that maybe they need to switch majors. Actually, that’s not fair; I’ve never had a student as horrible as Coulter. In that kind of case, I’d probably gently suggest that not everyone needs a college degree, and maybe there’s a world of satisfaction out there away from the life of the mind.

The internet is a series of tubes

This is helpful. Senator Ted Stevens explains how the internet works.

And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a truck.

It’s a series of tubes.

And if you don’t understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

Stay with this idea, please, because it is how I’m going to get rich. My plan is to install peristaltic pumps on fiber optic cables, and working on the same principle as a tube of toothpaste, it will squeeze data through. Now as you know, it’s far easier to squeeze the toothpaste out when the tube is full; when it’s nearly empty, you have to work at it, and you have to roll the tube up from the bottom, and no one else in the family ever does it, so I’m the one who’s always stuck with trying to scrape the last little film of toothpaste out…and, dang it, what was my point again? Oh, yeah, it works better with a full tube. So this is why we need more stuff dumped on the net, and why you need to buy my special SqueezyNet™ Internet Accelerator.

Next week, I’ll tell you all about my secret for getting even faster internet performance: keep your hard disk nearly empty, creating what I call a Data Vacuum™, so it helps suck your data in over the internet cable.