Archive for the 'Nerdery' Category

29
Aug
11

Hail Sagan!

Advertisements
08
Mar
11

Shameless Self-Promotion

I’ve been bored. So I made a few cartoons. You can watch all three of the current episodes here. I probably be adding more of these over time, whenever I feel inspired (or bored enough) to spend the time.

Enjoy!

07
Mar
11

A Fitting Tribute

As the Space Shuttle Discovery left the International Space Station for the last time today, the crew and the ship received a tribute from William Shatner:

“Space, the final frontier,” Shatner said in a prerecorded message. “These have been the voyages of the space shuttle Discovery. Her 30-year mission: to seek out new science, to build new outposts, to bring nations together on the final frontier, to boldly go and do what no spacecraft has done before.”

Damn right.

16
Feb
11

Bias

Megan McArdle has a great post up about bias in academia, which is a problem that most academics would like to pretend doesn’t exist. The whole article is worth reading, but here’s the money quote:

One of the things the legacy of racism has taught us is just how good dominant groups are at constructing narratives that justify their dominance.  Somehow, the problem is never them.  It’s always the out group.  Maybe the out group has some special characteristic that makes them not want to be admitted to the circle–blacks are happy-go-lucky and don’t want the responsibility of management, women wouldn’t deign to sully themselves in commerce, Jews are too interested in money to want to attend Harvard or go into public service.  These explanations always oddly ignore the fact that many members of the out-group are complaining about being excluded.

Think about that the next time someone tells you there aren’t any conservatives in academia because they’re “more interested in making money” or “would rather join the military” or, as some studies would have it, are simply too stupid and closed-minded to make the cut.

20
Jan
11

Are You… What? I Mean… Err… Huh? Does Not Compute.

Steampunk Sarah Palin comic book. Featuring “Robama” and John McCain with a cyborg arm.

I’m going to go huddle in a corner in the foetal position for a few hours and try to puzzle this one out.

16
Jan
11

King of Speed

I found this on the Internets this morning and couldn’t help but repost it. This is an excerpt from Sled Driver, a book by a former SR-71 Blackbird pilot Brian Shul. (If you’re not an airplane nerd, the SR-71 has held the record since 1976 for fastest air-breathing, manned aircraft, capable of reaching speeds over Mach 3.)

***

There were a lot of things we couldn’t do in an SR-71 Blackbird (The Air Force/NASA super fast, highest flying reconnaissance jet, nicknamed, “The Sled”), but we were the fastest guys on the block and loved reminding our fellow aviators of this fact. People often asked us if, because of this fact, it was fun to fly the jet.

Fun would not be the first word I would use to describe flying this plane – intense, maybe, even cerebral. But there was one day in our Sled experience when we would have to say that it was pure fun to be the fastest guys out there, at least for a moment.

It occurred when Walt and I were flying our final training sortie. We needed 100 hours in the jet to complete our training and attain Mission Ready status. Somewhere over Colorado we had passed the century mark. We had made the turn in Arizona and the jet was performing flawlessly.

My gauges were wired in the front seat and we were starting to feel pretty good about ourselves, not only because we would soon be flying real missions but because we had gained a great deal of confidence in the plane in the past ten months. Ripping across the barren deserts 80,000 feet below us, I could already see the coast of California from the Arizona border. I was, finally, after many humbling months of simulators and study, ahead of the jet. I was beginning to feel a bit sorry for Walter in the back seat.

[…]The predominant radio chatter was from Los Angeles Center, far below us, controlling daily traffic in their sector. While they had us on their scope (albeit briefly), we were in uncontrolled airspace and normally would not talk to them unless we needed to descend into their airspace. We listened as the shaky voice of a lone Cessna pilot who asked Center for a read-out of his ground speed. Center replied: “November Charlie 175, I’m showing you at ninety knots on the ground.” Continue reading ‘King of Speed’

02
Jan
11

Quote of the Day

This is food is like… halfway between Asian and Indian… No, no, no… listen to me. I know what I’m talking about. I’ve read about it. It’s Pakistani food.

– Overheard in a restaurant about 30 minutes ago. No Pakistani food was on the menu.