Thursday, February 28, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Though the blue whale produces the loudest noise of any individual animal in the sea or on land, the loudest natural noise of all is made by shrimps.
The sound of the "shrimp layer" is the only natural noise that can white out a submarine's sonar, deafening the operators through their headphones.
Below the layer they can hear nothing above it and vice versa. Hearing from below can only be accomplished by raising a mast up through it.
The noise of the collected shrimps amounts to an earsplitting 246 decibels, which even adjusting for the fact that sound travels five times faster in water, equates to about 160 decibels in air; considerably louder than a jet taking off (140 dB) or the human threshold of pain. Some observers have compared it to everyone in the world frying bacon at the same time.
The noise is caused by trillions of shrimps snapping their single oversized claw all at once. Snapping shrimps, members of the various Alpheus and Synalpheus species, are found in shallow tropical and subtropical waters.
But it's even more interesting that in sounds. Video shot at 40,000 frames per second shows clearly that the noise occurs 700 microseconds after the claw has snapped shut. The noise comes from burst bubbles, not the shutting of the claw itself, an effect know as cavitation.
It works like this. A small bump on one side of the claw fits neatly into a groove on the other side The claw is shut so rapidly that a jet of water traveling at 62 miles per hour squirts out, fast enough to create expanding bubbles of water vapor When the water slows down and normal pressure is restored, the bubbles collapse, creating intense heat (as high as 20,000 degrees celsuis), a loud pop, and light - this last being a very rare phenomenon called sonoluminescense, where sound generates light.
Shrimps use this noise to stun prey, communicate, and find mates. As well as ruining sonar, the sharp, hot intense noise makes dents in ships' propellers.
Shrimp: The Endless Quest for Pink Gold
--Taken from "THE BOOK OF General Ignorance" by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson. (I got it for Christmas, thanks Chris!)
Friday, February 22, 2008
I go to great lengths to insure your blog viewing satisfaction. The battery on my Olympus went dead right after this picture, so I never got the full eclipse. Sorry - next time.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Phillies Pitcher Kyle Kendrick Punked - Watch more free videos
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
A photo by Wiggum03 on Flickr. This is his commentary on it:
"Well, it took me a while but I finally figured this one out… I saw a version of this shot about a month ago and wanted to get my own, so I headed over to California Street one morning and looked all along the cable car line for this view. No luck – there didn’t seem to be a spot where the cable car rose right up like that with the Bay Bridge in the background. I even tried reviewing a map of the cable car system to see where this view might be. Still no luck.
It didn’t dawn on me until this past Sunday that I probably had the right idea, I just didn’t have the right angle. So I went back to California Street, stood on that hill by the Mark Hopkins hotel and drew an imaginary line from the Bay Bridge tower, through the spot I was standing on, all the way back until it hit the spot where I’d have to be to take this photo: the top of the hill at California and Gough.
The catch is that the place where you can take this photo is a long, long way off. So I had to use a serious telephoto lens (400mm + 1.4x extender) and heavily crop the image. It was taken from far enough away that you can really see the atmospheric distortion. To further complicate things the best place to stand to take this shot is in the middle of the road, so you have to time the cable car cresting the hill with a red light on California Street. Glad to finally get this one."
This is the outfit that Grandma and Grandpa S. got for Paige for Christmas.
Paige is in heaven! She kept on asking "Daddy, do I look JUST LIKE Jasmine?"
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Survival Of The Fittest
Date: 2007-08-30, 2:03PM EDT
Whenever I get a package of plain M&Ms, I make it my duty to continue the strength and robustness of the candy as a species. To this end, I hold M&M duels.
Taking two candies between my thumb and forefinger, I apply pressure, squeezing them together until one of them cracks and splinters. That is the "loser," and I eat the inferior one immediately. The winner gets to go another round.
I have found that, in general, the brown and red M&Ms are tougher, and the newer blue ones are genetically inferior. I have hypothesized that the blue M&Ms as a race cannot survive long in the intense theater of competition that is the modern candy and snack-food world.
Occasionally I will get a mutation, a candy that is misshapen, or pointier, or flatter than the rest. Almost invariably this proves to be a weakness, but on very rare occasions it gives the candy extra strength. In this way, the species continues to adapt to its environment.
When I reach the end of the pack, I am left with one M&M, the strongest of the herd. Since it would make no sense to eat this one as well, I pack it neatly in an envelope and send it to M&M Mars, A Division of Mars, Inc., Hackettstown, NJ 17840-1503 U.S.A., along with a 3x5 card reading, "Please use this M&M for breeding purposes."
This week they wrote back to thank me, and sent me a coupon for a free 1/2 pound bag of plain M&Ms. I consider this "grant money." I have set aside the weekend for a grand tournament. From a field of hundreds, we will discover the True Champion.
There can be only one.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
For some reason, my mother and I always end up talking about it when we see each other.
Here is my favorite from this week. Ooof.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
- "I don't want to like slander anyone on national television- but her girlfriend is ugly as hell."
- "I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous, everyone hasn't met me yet."
- "The greatest possession you have is the 24 hours directly in front of you."
- "When god closes a door, he always opens a window, because you can't throw yourself out of a door."
- "Life all comes down to a few moments. This is one of them."
- "If you need a friend, get a dog."
- "The 1961 Ferrari, two-fifty GT California. Less than a hundred were made. My father spent three years restoring this car. It is his love, it is his passion...It is his fault he didn't lock the garage."
- "The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing. Only a person who risks is free."
- "You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 today and we don't know where the hell she is."
- "Have you ever noticed? Anybody going slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac."
- "Every man dies. Not every man really lives."
- "Maybe there is no actual place called hell. Maybe hell is just having to listen to our grandparents breathe through their noses when they're eating sandwiches."
- "Did you ever walk in a room and forget why you walked in? I think that's how dogs spend their lives."
- "Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?"
- "Honesty may be the best policy, but it's important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy."
- "To alcohol, the nights that you'll never remember, with the friends you'll never forget!"
- "You must be the change you wish to see in the world"
- "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that."
- "There's no present. There's only the immediate future and the recent past."
- "A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking."
- "I am so busy doing nothing... that the idea of doing anything - which as you know, always leads to something - cuts into the nothing and then forces me to have to drop everything."
- "There's very little advice in men's magazines, because men don't think there's a lot they don't know. Women do. Women want to learn. Men think, "I know what I'm doing, just show me somebody naked."
- "Retail is for suckers."
- "Did you ever hear one of those corny, positive messages on someone's answering machine? Hi, It's a great day and I'm out enjoying it right now. I hope you are too. The thought for the day is 'Share the love. '"Beep." "Uh, yeah...this is the VD clinic calling...Speaking of being positive, your test is back. Stop sharing the love."
- "If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?"
- "When someone asks you, "A penny for your thoughts" and you put your two cents in . . . what happens to the other penny?
- "Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things?"
- "You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive."
- "No one ever says, "It's only a game" when their team is winning."
- "Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?"
- "Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist but a person who drives a race car not called a racist?"
- "PA State Cop: Pull over. Harry: No. It's a cardigan. But thanks for noticing. Lloyd Christmas: Yeah. Killer boots man."
- "Airport Clerk: Sir, you can't go in there! Lloyd Christmas: It's ok, I'm a limo driver!"
- "Lloyd Christmas: Nope. My friend Harry and I are saving up money for a pet store. I got worms! Mary Swanson: I beg your pardon? Lloyd Christmas: I got worms! That's what we're going to call it.
- "Harry: Check out the funbags on that hosehound."
- "Lloyd Christmas: So where are you headin'? Mary Swanson: Aspen. Lloyd Christmas: Hmmm, California! Beautiful!"
- "Would you like to dippasize your meal for 25 cents more? How bout I punchisize your face-for free?"
- "Do I look like a cat to you? Do you see me jumpin' around all nimbly bimbly from tree to tree? Do I lick milk from a saucer?"
- "It stinks like sex in here."
- "You wanna take this one Rod? Hell yeah. I bet you do"
- "Sunshine on my god damn shoulders John Denver!"
- "Pull over! I'm already pulled over! He's already pulled over, he can't pull over anymore! I'm freakin out man!"
- "Do you know why we really pulled you over? Littering and ..littering and ? Littering and.. Littering and.. Littering and.. smokin the reefer!..now we're gonna make you boys smoke this whole bag right now!"
- "It's not so funny meow is it?"
- "That was the first time in my life that I wanted to be Chuck Norris."
- "Maximus: My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.
- "Kathryn: Eat me, Sebastian. It's okay for guys like you and Court to fuck everyone but when I do it, I get dumped for innocent little twits like Cecile. God forbid I exude confidence and enjoy sex. Do you think I relish the fact that I have to act like Mary Sunshine 24/7 so I can be considered a lady? I'm the Marcia fucking Brady of the Upper East Side, and sometimes I want to kill myself."
- "Hey, how exactly is a rainbow made? How exactly does the sun set? How exactly does the posi-trac rear end on a Plymouth work?-it just does." - Joe Dirte (pronounced 'dear-tae')
- "A good friend picks you up when you fall...a best friend laughs her ass off, trips you again, and calls you a slut."
- "(Ted) "Surely you can't e serioius." (Dr. Womak) "Yes i am serious, and don't call me Shirly." - Airplane"
Monday, February 4, 2008
Denny Hamlin's new car:
Sooooooooooooooooooo, I bought a 2007 Toyota Camry last week. Cccccccccorect as David would say! Went up to Dick Milham on the 30th of the month (good sales trick) and worked some magic.
The special thing about my car is that it's a hybrid and will get 45 miles per gallon at the peak of efficiency. Since the hybrid does better in the city than on highways - my usual driving should lend towards the best gas mileage. I'll tell you this, she rides like a dream. I'm glad we're together. My baby. (that's so gay) (not that there is anything wrong with that)
The Lehigh Valley Grand Prix was hopping. I would say there were 40-50 people there racing, in the party room and watching. The deal is that you get 8 minutes of racing for $18.00 (with a membership), and you are racing against the clock. During our heat, there were maybe 15 people on the track at the same time. Needless to say, I may have found *another* expensive addiction!