Tuesday, August 15, 2006

People Don't Explode in Space

When a friend and I were discussing the topic of what would happen to an unprotected person in open space, we assumed it would be something horrible and immediate - like explosion.

We couldn't place why we thought this. Just seemed like one of those things - your space suit breaks and you explode. We thought it might have to do with watching sci fi movies, but couldn't really think of a single instance of people-exploding due to space exposure in cinema. Hmm.

Turns out, you don't explode. Yes, you will die after a minute or so, but it's just kinda uncomfortable before you do so. It is possible to survive for short time.

From NASA:

If you don't try to hold your breath, exposure to space for half a minute or so is unlikely to produce permanent injury. Holding your breath is likely to damage your lungs, something scuba divers have to watch out for when ascending, and you'll have eardrum trouble if your Eustachian tubes are badly plugged up, but theory predicts -- and animal experiments confirm -- that otherwise, exposure to vacuum causes no immediate injury. You do not explode. Your blood does not boil. You do not freeze. You do not instantly lose consciousness

Be sure to check the full answer for some tongue-boiling.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Video Game Tax

Since video games are so violent, and are responsible for the obesity and socialization problems in American youth, Hillary Clinton wants to implement an extra tax on video game sales which will be used to fund child advocacy programs.

Right. Or, we could expect retailers not to sell mature rated video games to minors just like we expect movie theaters not to admit minors to R rated movies. Foolproof? No. But I don't expect my beer to be extra-taxed to pay for preventative alcoholism programs, either.

Further, Clinton fears the increased role in-game adevrtising is playing in the mind-rot of our children. Speaking to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Clinton explored the inevitablility of brain implants:

"At the rate that technology is advancing, people will be implanting chips in our children to advertise directly into their brains and tell them what kind of products to buy," Clinton said at the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The New York Democrat said the country was performing a "massive experiment" on kids who average more than six hours a day with media and advertising, soaking it up through TV, computers, games and iPods. She said the fastest growing advertising market is the 6- and under set, and that children's health is already being hurt by products like Camel's candy-flavored cigarettes and junk food sold with tips for video games - used to sell more junk food.

We're talking about a certain demographic here, no? These young children that have computers, video game consoles, and iPods also come from a family/guardianship that can afford these things for their children. I think then that these parents can also afford to regulate what these children are using computers for, playing on their consoles, listening to on their iPods, and when their children are doing it.

I can afford these devices too, but I'm an adult, and - at least so far in this country - I'm allowed to make my own decisions about the content of my media.

I also find it annoying that Clinton is presenting aggressive marketing to children as a recent threat. According to Wikipedia, candy cigarettes were invented in the early 19th century.

Clinton has put out the call for volunteers (read: PTA moms) who are willing to speak on her platform about their video game concerns. I guess I'm confused. If these parents are truly concerned, like I said, they can regulate their own children's access and content. Otherwise, these parents will be advocating to raise the price of the entertainment they're already purchasing for their children. I suppose these parents may just be pissed and want to ruin it for everyone, not just their own children.

Oh, wait, I forgot about the brain implants that will control us. I guess there's nothing we can do.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Tour de Fat

There's a good chance you'll know where to find me on August 12th: the New Belguim Tour de Fat.

Bikes and beer. Like bullets and guns.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Bunch a Bike-Ridin' Dopers

Dear gawd, the worst news I could possibly hear one day before the start of the Tour is that Jan and Ivan are out of the race due to doping allegations, along with possibly 50 other implicated riders.

Doping has always been an issue in cycling. There have been a fair share of true violators. But there have also been plenty of aggregiously false doping allegations perpetrated by the very people whose job it is to protect the sport from this BS.

If the investigation into these Spanish docs and their clients has been going on for 6 months, why are we suddenly banning riders the day before the Prologue? It stinks of sensationalism.

If Jan, Ivan, and company did dope, well, I guess they'll get what they deserve. Even if vindicated though, at this point the damage has been done. What a shame.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Race to Replace

From The Paceline:

Race with Team Discovery Channel for a Day. Really.

You heard right. As a part of Discovery Channel’s Race to Replace, we are inviting you and other cyclists to race with Lance on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. All you have to do is sign up. The fastest rider will earn a spot on the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team during an actual one-day race at the U.S. Pro Championships in Greenville, South Carolina. Net proceeds from the race event will be donated to the Lance Armstrong Foundation. To get your chance, go to www.racetoreplace.com.

In my last criterium race - through no fault of anyone but myself - I clipped my pedal on the pavement in a tight turn and went down. I'm an idiot. If I were to sign up for this the results could be disastrous. Seriously, I could end some careers. The way I ride George Hincapie could lose an eye.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Matt Awesome, An American Standard

Just learned a buddy from back east might move to Seattle.

Matt Awesome has a blog on which he proves that he is not only smarter than you (philosophically speaking), but funnier, and way more skilled at Photoshop.

Friday, June 02, 2006

666 - National Day of Slayer - 666

Celebrate a day of (ir)reverance on June 6, 2006, the National Day of Slayer.

From the site:

Official Statement on Participation

- Listen to Slayer at full blast in your car.
- Listen to Slayer at full blast in your home.
- Listen to Slayer at full blast at your place of employment.
- Listen to Slayer at full blast in any public place you prefer.
DO NOT use headphones! The objective of this day is for everyone within earshot to understand that it is the National Day of Slayer. National holidays in America aren't just about celebrating; they're about forcing it upon non-participants.

Taking that participation to a problematic level

- Stage a "Slay-out." Don't go to work. Listen to Slayer.
- Have a huge block party that clogs up a street in your neighborhood. Blast Slayer albums all evening. Get police cruisers and helicopters on the scene. Finish with a full-scale riot.
- Spray paint Slayer logos on churches, synagogues, or cemeteries.
- Play Slayer covers with your own band (since 99% of your riffs are stolen from Slayer anyway).
- Kill the neighbor's dog and blame it on Slayer.

NDoS recommends Reign in Blood, but I've always been rather partial to Season in the Abyss. You can't argue with the video for that song. Slayer running around in the desert. Arab dudes and mysterious rituals and whatnot. Torches.