Thursday, March 02, 2006

See you there

There are things I just can't help, including being an engineer. That means things like riding something at Disney World and looking around for the fire protection sprinkler heads to see how they managed to meet codes without ruining the effect.

Or on a cruise, I'd be the guy who'd want to look around in the engine room and other auxiliaries.

So I guess that means that if I make it to Paris, I'll probably have to take the tour of the sewers.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The ultimate cellphone add-on

The Gun Phone.

Yes, our intrepid guardians at Homeland Security are aware. Cell phone mods are nothing new.

Actually, this device doesn't really function as a cellphone.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Hot stuff

The Midwest is not known for spicy food. I seek it out to an extent, but I found out years ago that there's hot and there's HOT.

And then there's this. Someone has isolated and packaged pure capsaicin, the active ingredient in peppers. The result is *8000* times hotter than Tabasco sauce.

(Yes, they measure this, originally in Scoville units. It's based on how many units of sugar water it took to dilute away the "hotness". It turns out that 1 part per million of capsaicin is about 15 Scoville units)

Why develop this? Well, he has sold the stuff, but only to people who have signed disclaimers. Manufacturing it must be right up there with nerve gas in terms of personnel protection.

My favorite part of the story was why the developer started fooling with hot stuff in the first place. He discovered that the easiest way to get drunks out of his bar at closing time was to give them free chicken wings dipped in a very hot sauce. (Could it be that Buffalo wings were actually invented in NJ?)

Sunday, February 26, 2006

It's settled

If we proved anything with this edition of "Dancing with the Stars", it shows that the show's public voters aren't particularly worried about good ballroom dancing when they vote for winners.

And IMO it shows why in most pro-am competition, male amateurs compete with male amateurs only and likewise for the women. Since the roles are different, the two groups are to some extent incommensurable.

I haven't seen any reports on the show's demographics, but they must not be particularly woman-friendly. Even when the first comp went to Kelly Monaco, they decided to run a rematch which John O'Hurley won. And O'Hurley was just George Hamilton less a few years - about 90% presence and 10% dance.

So now we've seen Stacy Keibler tossed from the show, leaving only two men (Drew Lachey and Jerry Rice. Yes, *that* Jerry Rice). Which must be perversely comforting to some who were tossed earlier, because this is the nastiest screwing of the whole exhibition - this makes it clear that the contest was not about skill.

The fact is that JR doesn't belong in the same room with Drew (or Stacy, or Lisa Rinna) when the dancing starts. Hell, *I'm* better than Jerry is (and given that I've probably spent a lot more time working on it, I should be).

Well, they're about to open the envelopes...

What do you know? - Drew won. Maybe there is some justice.