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Archive for November, 2012

Cooler than you

“THANK GOD THE CHRISTMAS MUSIC IS OVER,” said the asshole in the grey hoodie. I was standing behind the bar at work and he was about to pay. It hadn’t been Christmas music. It had been Cheek to Cheek. Before that was Everybody Loves Somebody. And before that At Last.

“Dost thou even joust?”

“It wasn’t Christmas music,” I said. “It was Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Etta James.”

“It sure sounded like it,” he smirked, handed me some crumpled bills, and walked out with his grinning posse of no-good punks.

“Do you even know who those people are?” I shouted after them. The door slammed.

At that moment I flew into a rage and chased them down the street in my dressing gown, flailing my cane about. Since I know Cane Fu, I gave those young rapscallions a sound beating.

And so it has come to this. A generation who knows the greats only by their Christmas songs.

This post is devoted to you, kid in the grey hoodie. Here are two men who are cooler than you’ll ever be:

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HAVE YOU EVER IRONED A SHIRT while bungee jumping off a bridge? What about while parachuting? Snowboarding? Right now you’re asking: “Why the hell would I have?” Because extreme ironing is a sport, goddamn it, a real sport . . . Or a “performance art” . . . or something. No one is sure. But it actually exists.

The sport/art/thing was invented in England by Phil “Steam” Shaw in 1997. It combines the thrill of well-pressed clothing with the thrill of extreme outdoor activities, such as rock-climbing or diving. How do you iron underwater? Not very well, I assume. In the beginning, extreme ironers used long extension cords to power their irons, but now the Extreme Ironing Bureau recommends Starch and Hotplate battery powered irons.

Ironing is already kind of extreme for me. So hats off to these people for taking it to the next level.

There is a breakaway, rival group, called Urban Housework, centred around vacuum cleaning. They can vacuum my room if they like. It’s more extreme than you’d think.

Extreme ironing has also inspired the invention of extreme cello playing.

More examples:

“I’ll iron this shirt if it’s the last thing I dooooooooooo . . . “

Now you’re just getting cocky.

“I was so sure this would work.”

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Hi. As you know, the world is ending on December 21, 2012. I had a lot of plans to complete before then. As if turns out, I don’t have enough time to do all of them. That makes me pretty sad, but there’s no time to waste on sadness. I have a new plan. You’ll see. I thought about what was most important to me and based my plan around that. I encourage you to do the same. Take this as your last month and make it count.

– N

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HAVING FEELS is nice.

There are good and bad feels though.

When we have lots of good feels, we tend to forget bad feels; and vice versa. Sometimes when we have bad feels, we don’t want feels at all. We need more good feels.

Here’s a good feel:

So many feels:

All the feels:

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Fucking aliens

GREAT. Just when we thought that asteroids, solar flares and black holes were all we had to deal with in the end times, now there are aliens.

This UFO was filmed flying over Denver last week:

A news crew from Fox affiliate KDVR investigated, setting up a professional camera that recorded the same images (1:48):

The FBI
Not making this up

The FBI released this official statement:

“Holy fucking shit. We have no fucking idea what these are.”

The report added: “But for sure, aliens.”

It gets worse. Doubtful News points out that in fact, these dots look a lot like bugs. As this article adds, the fact that a camera represents three-dimensional objects in two dimensions means that small, close things can look like big, faraway things. Watching the videos again with this in mind, you can see that the dots buzz to and fro just like flies and other insects.

So now we have aliens the size and shape of bugs buzzing about, indistinguishable from regular bugs. They’re flying around Denver fucking shit up, probably conducting experiments and committing crimes. Buzzing about heads and being really annoying, for example. Harassing some sheep maybe. If we can’t even tell the aliens apart from insects, WHAT DO WE DO? HOW ARE WE GOING TO WIN THIS WAR?

. . .

Oh yeah. DEET.

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Earth: part II

From my notebook.

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The Earth is divided into a core, mantle and crust. The core, hot and iron-rich, consists of a solid inner and liquid outer core. Convection in the outer core creates the magnetic field. The upper mantle and crust constitute the lithosphere, broken up into tectonic plates that ride the asthenosphere, a viscous region of the upper mantle. The science of this movement, plate tectonics, developed in the mid-twentieth century, superseding the idea of continental drift.

71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water. 97.5% of this water is saline. Of the 2.5% fresh water, 68.7% is ice. The Sun drives the water cycle, a continuous exchange of water within the hydrosphere through evaporation, condensation, precipitation, infiltration and runoff. The gravitational force of the Moon and Sun cause tides, the cyclic rising and falling of the ocean surface. Most places experience a semidiurnal tide: two high and low tides a day. A diurnal tide is one high and low tide a day. The Earth has five oceans: the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern and the Arctic. The planet experiences periodic ice ages which include colder glacial and warmer interglacial periods. It is currently in an interglacial period of an ice age known as the Quaternary glaciation. The most recent glacial period of this ice age was the Last Glacial Maximum 20 ka.

Earth has had three atmospheres. The first was helium and hydrogen; the second carbon dioxide and water vapour from volcanic outgassing and bolide collisions. The water condensed into oceans. Photosynthesis created the third atmosphere, consisting mostly of nitrogen, oxygen and argon. The atmosphere is divided into the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere. Most weather occurs in the troposphere. The stratosphere contains the ozone layer, which absorbs ultraviolet light. The mesosphere is where most meteors burn up. The thermosphere includes the Kármán line, the working definition for the boundary between the atmosphere and space, 100km above the Earth’s surface. The sky appears blue due to the atmosphere scattering sunlight, a phenomenon called Rayleigh scattering.

The increasing luminosity of the Sun will end most plant life within the next 600 million years. In 1.1 billion years, the oceans will evaporate. In five billion years the Earth will be swallowed by the Sun.

Scholars in the Western world have known that the Earth is round since the ancient Greeks.

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Earth: part I

FROM MY NOTEBOOK, also titled Things to Keep in Mind.

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The Earth is the third planet from the Sun. It formed from the solar nebular (the disc-shaped cloud of gas and dust left over from the formation of the Sun) 4.54 Ga. The Earth is the densest and fifth-largest planet. It orbits the Sun at an average distance of 150 million kms and an average speed of 108,000 km/h. The planet is rotating eastward at an equatorial speed of 1,670 km/h (1970 m/h). This rotation causes the Coriolis effect, impacting oceanic and atmospheric circulation.

The Moon was created when the protoplanet Theia collided with the earth around 4.5 Ga. The blow also produced the 23.5 degree axial tilt responsible for the four seasons. Due to changes in the orbits of the gas giants, the Late Heavy Bombardment followed from 4.1 – 3.8 Ga. During this period, the inner planets were bombarded with meteorites. These might have brought much of Earth’s water.

The Earth: bitch-slapped by a girl

I can haz oxygen?

Life appeared at least 3.5 Ga. By this time Earth’s magnetic field was in place. Photosynthesis caused the Great Oxygenation Event of 2.4 Ga, which in turn triggered the Huronian Glaciation from 2.4 – 2.1 Ga. This glaciation might have been a Snowball Earth, as in those that occurred around 650 Ma. In 530 Ma, the Cambrian explosion saw the rapid appearance of most animal phyla. The movement of tectonic plates created the supercontinent Pangea around 250 Ma. Dinosaurs appeared about 230 Ma. In 65 Ma, a meteorite crashed into the Yucatan Peninsula, causing the K-T (Cretaceous-Tertiary) extinction event. The genus homo appeared about 2.3 – 2.4 Ma.

Things smashing:

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