Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Fighting the good fight against Morgoth, in Portland

The always excellent Lowering the Bar has a piece about a lady who found herself confronted by a fellow in chainmail, attacking her BMW: Fingolfin Defeated Again

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Using wipe-off forms at a doctor's office

I took my daughter to Groovy Molar yesterday to get a tooth checked out, and it was our first visit there, and they used laminated write-on/wipe-off  pages for all the intake paperwork.

After I handed the forms back to them, they entered the data in their computer system, and no trees were harmed in the process. Nice.

I think it's a great idea so I'm passing it along, even though my own left-handed/hook-handed writing style means that it's a challenge for me to use that sort of thing without smudging all the writing.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Could Heinlein win a Hugo today?

Oh, man, John Scalzi's Metafilter response to the sort of 'Heinlen couldn't get a Hugo today, you dang liberals' complaint is priceless:

...and the reason it is priceless is because it acknowledges that people revere a straw man Heinlein, in rather odd ways:

When people say "Heinlein couldn't win a Hugo today," what they're really saying is "The fetish object that I have constructed using the bits of Heinlein that I agree with could not win a Hugo today." Robert Heinlein -- or a limited version of him that only wrote Starship Troopers, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and maybe Farnham's Freehold or Sixth Column -- is to a certain brand of conservative science fiction writer what Ronald Reagan is to a certain brand of conservative in general: A plaster idol whose utility at this point is as a vessel for a certain worldview, regardless of whether or not Heinlein (or Reagan, for that matter) would subscribe to that worldview himself.

At the market very late

You find the best things on Metafilter:

 "I thought I had more money left," she muttered before bursting into tears. They were not tears of embarrassment. They were tears of desperation and panic and "I don't know what to do anymore."

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Superpowers that really exist

Nice post on BoingBoing about real superpowers, in the sense of abilities that exist in nature in some animals.  But the best one is a real mutation that has occurred in humans:

 There have been at least two documented cases of a mutation in humans that triggers accelerated muscle growth and extraordinary strength right from birth; it happens when both copies of a myostatin-producing gene are defective, is extremely rare, and no one knows what the long term health consequences are. Having said that…the child in whom the mutation was first identified could, at age four, hold two 6.6 lb weights with his arms extended. That’s the equivalent of 3 litres of water. In each hand.

Full story: