Beta Culture: Bridges and War and All Things Daft

Bush & Bridge

I know there are people who don't like driving across long, high bridges. I'm one of them, I guess, but my job requires me to gird my loins and cross the huge, 3-mile-long, almost-60-year-old  Tappan Zee Bridge across the Hudson River near New York City twice a day.The collapse of the Interstate 5 highway bridge in Mount Vernon, Wash., on Thursday, brought that roaring to mind over the past few days.On days when traffic is slow and you're standing still on the Tappan Zee — like yesterday … [Read more...]

Congratulations! You May Already Be A Wiener!

Powerball Jackpot Winning Ticket Purchased In Florida Here’s the truth: One person is going to win the Powerball Lottery. The other hundred million ticket purchasers (or however many there were) have already gotten screwed.I make no secret of the fact that I despise lotteries. For so many reasons, but this main one: Government sponsored “games of chance” engineered to sucker hapless victims out of their money? Really? Really??The lottery is one of those things – like smoking, or beating … [Read more...]

4th Grade Quiz: Four Ways Not to be Fooled

Science Quiz

"What do you get when you cross an elephant with a rhino?"  goes the old joke. The answer: Elephino (hell if I know)!To the question of whether the attached image is the real thing, that's the best I can figure out. (Click to see it full-size.)I saw it this morning on the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Science and Reason Facebook page, a link shared by J.O., commenter from Gothenburg, Sweden. The original image appears to be from Imgur.The Imgur side-caption says the picture was … [Read more...]

Disturbing Early Morning Thought

If you lived with someone who had done EVERYTHING, say a superstar father or mother – a famous author or adventurer or actress or athlete – how would you gain a sense of your own worth and value? How hard would it be to chart your own life course? To find and develop your own talents?Would you live your whole life feeling inferior and lesser? Knowing that you could never do or be anything unique, that you would always live in the giant shadow of their spectacular accomplishments, that by com … [Read more...]

Adventures in Cholecystectomy Land – Part 2

Argh. Survived. Recovering. Also caught a cold, so that makes it extra fun.Maunderings on Facebook and elsewhere, before, during (sort of) and after:After my cholecystectomy tomorrow, I expect to make medical history by being the first person ever to suffer the gallbladder version of PLP (phantom limb pain).A few hours sleep, then up early for surgery, something new and scary in my life. Dang it, wish I could talk to my Dad. I really am a little bit scared, and he'd tell me "You're gonna … [Read more...]

Interlude, With Gall Bladder

If you’ve been wondering why I haven’t been posting, I’m having a certain amount of pain pretty much every day, and it’s sharply diminished my writing output.I feel like a sissy saying it, considering what Greta Christina and Ed Brayton have gone through recently (and kept writing!), but ... you know, you have deal with your own experience, and this has been a low-level but definite ass-kicker.In a few days, I’ll be going to the local hospital for the preadmission tests. My gallbladder and I … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X