Tuesday, July 31, 2007

"A person is eccentric if his behavior deviates from normal. Jesus Christ expects His disciples to be eccentric, since living a Christlike life is not normal in this world (Titus 2:14). Likewise, in mathematics, conic sections are eccentric if they deviate from a circle. Eccentricity is a measure of this deviation. The eccentricity of an ellipse (e) is the ratio of focal distance (c) to the length of the semimajor axis (a): e = c/a. Since c and a are distances and c < a, the eccentricity of any ellipse is 0 < e < 1."
-- Precalculus for Christian Schools by Kathy D. Tilger and Ron Tagliapietra

Monday, July 30, 2007

"I've had nothing but thumbs down from them. I got one thumb up for Munchausen. Fuck 'em."
-- Terry Gilliam on Siskel & Ebert, on Criterion Collection Brazil DVD audio commentary

Sunday, July 29, 2007

"There is no Osama Bin Laden! Osama Bin Laden is portrayed by a New York actor called Charles E. Lynwood! Look at his IMDB page! He lists 'Osama Bin Laden in 9/11 Conspiracy' as his top credit!"
-- Red State Update

Saturday, July 28, 2007

"Your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions."
-- Albert Einstein, according to a sign at the parking entrance of the Paseo Colorado mall

[I am very doubtful that Einstein said this insipid thing]

Friday, July 27, 2007

"-ee, suffix. [...] In a few words, as bargee, devotee, the suffix is employed app. arbitrarily."
-- Oxford English Dictionary

Thursday, July 26, 2007

"I thought I was a fairly easygoing, happy person until I reached Tech. Since then life has been one long exercise in how not to be angry and why not to be bitter."
-- Irene Ying

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"When I saw that Pop Tart all I could think was that he would be fighting the other Pop Tart who would be dark on the left side and light on the right side."
-- Maribeth

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

"Isn't the Hough transform a fancy name for brute force?"
-- Dima Kogan

Monday, July 23, 2007

"Before he discovered black holes, it was any swirling thing that sucks you in. Even when he was three months old, if he saw a ceiling fan, it was the only time he would be quiet. He was just stare at that ceiling fan. I know a lot of babies do, but he just was obsessed.

"Then when he was three, he had an imaginary friend, but it wasn't a boy, it was a fan. But this one was called Bad Bad Fan. Its blades were teeth, and it had these little tiny eyes and little tiny feet at the bottom, and it would kill people. It would just blow on people, and that would kill them, because its breath was filled with teeth."

-- "Black Hole Son," This American Life.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

"If we take a terrestrial globe and examine it carefully we must be struck by the fact that almost all the large land forms taper to the south, while the great waters narrow towards the north. In other words, the continents are V-shaped and the oceans A-shaped. Look at Africa, Arabia, India, Australasia, North America and South America among the lands, and at the North Atlantic, South Atlantic, and Indian Oceans among the seas. What does this mean?

"The triangular forms of land and water set geographers thinking, and they came to the conclusion that an arrangement so general could not be the result of accident, but must be governed by some law. Much attention has been given to the matter in recent years, and men of science believe that the theory that best fits facts is that the earth is becoming tetrahedral in shape. [...]

"As a matter of fact, the Tetrahedral Theory is the only one that explains the three fundamental facts of physical geography - the opposite positions of the continents and seas, the triangular shapes of lands and seas, and the excess of water in the Southern Hemisphere with an elevated continent at the South Pole. [...]

"The question may be asked why the earth in cooling should tend to become a tetrahedron, and an interesting answer is given by men of science. When the earth was first formed it was spherical, and a sphere is the shape which encloses more space for a given surface than any other figure. As the earth began to cool, the surface solidified, and a crust was formed, the core being still hot. But this core continues to lose heat, and as it does so it must necessarily contract and occupy less space. The hardened shell of the earth, however, is unable to contract: being already solidified, it must continue to maintain the same surface area, and the way it accommodates itself to the shrinking interior is to change its shape to one occupying less space for the same surface area.

"Now, while the sphere is the figure occupying the greatest space, for a given surface, the tetrahedron occupies the least space for an equal surface, and therefore, mathematically, if the process described goes on, the earth should one day become a tetrahedron."

-- "What the World May Come To," My Magazine, May 1918.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

"You're always going somewhere. Except when you're cruising. Even then, you're looking for chicks."
-- Dima Kogan on whether a robot car might ever be driving without a preprogrammed route in mind

Friday, July 20, 2007

"Having watched movies and TV shows in which people are rendered unconscious instantly with a chloroform soaked rag, I was intrigued and figured I'd try some. I did a quick search on the internet, and about the only thing I pulled up was that it is very hepatotoxic and nephrotoxic. Well i figured that since I was only doing it once I would probably be alright and brought some home. [...]

Chloroform is almost identical in effect to nitrous or some alkane solvents, except that this substance gave me a pounding headache. Except for the pleasant aroma and sweet taste, I can't imagine using this substance in doses large enough to be an anaesthetic, it would seem that gasoline could be used with the same effect."
-- drug experience report #9582 in the files at Erowid.org

Thursday, July 19, 2007

"There's a Yiddish proverb: If you're going to eat pork, let it run down your face."
-- Jerome Vered

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

"When did Harry Potter become a gay porn star?"
-- Maribeth

[Daniel Radcliffe releases photos promoting his upcoming appearance in Equus.]

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

"'When did I go crazy?' she would ask.
She wasn't crazy. She had many minds.
They all made sense, just like a word
on a fragment of papyrus means something
even when you know the rest are missing.

My mother would think I had children,
that she was cooking a roast, that dad was still alive,
so our conversation often ended up
like Scrabble in zero gravity."
-- Eloise Klein Healy, heard on KPCC

Monday, July 16, 2007

"Whereas vermouth by itself is nasty – if you ever find yourself with a tumbler full of vermouth and you proceed to drink it because there’s nothing else in the house, well, it’s time to admit that you’re an alcoholic."
-- Michael Swanwick

Sunday, July 15, 2007

"God does not make mistakes. We were put here with the desire to eat animals, and animals... Maybe the dinosaurs..." (rest of broadcast inaudible)
--Woman on the AM band in the radio-forsaken wastelands east of Joshua Tree