Thursday, February 28, 2013

D.I.Y. Funeral

It's My Own Funeral by Dana Lyon.

This book appears to be the story of a newly undead man who says “Dammit, if you want something done right you have to do it your self”.  No being content to amble around looking for  brains like the other zombies, he believes when you're dead you should be lying down in the ground.  By jingo he's gong to show the other zombies how it should be done even if he has to dig the hole himself.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Hair Limp Forever

Despite previously deciding to move away from misheard lyrics, I find I'm posting another.


It's My Life was released as a single in May 2000, the song hit #1 across several countries (although it only reached #33 in the US), giving the song the distinction of making Bon Jovi the only 80s hair metal band to reach the top 40 in the 21st century.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Jawa Cockroach

These South American cockroaches by the name of Lucihormetica luckae glow under a fluorescent light.  The glowing is a result of a bioluminescent bacteria populating pits in the roaches shell, but what's more scientifically important is that they look exactly like Jawas, even right down to the little bandoliers.
Bioluminescence is thought to be rarer on land than in the sea and land-dwelling luminous creatures emerged on the planet more recently, with in the last 65 million years. But these cockroaches are different, they travelled here a long time ago from a galaxy far, far away.  An analysis of the roaches bioluminescence shows that they, and their cousin species, glow at the same wavelengths as a toxin-producing beetle that lives in their area to avoid getting picked off by predators.  So they have evolved to mimic a deadly neighbour, just like Mr Funny-shoes.
Unfortunately the only known specimen of the insect was collected in 1939 on the slopes of Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano, and the site was damaged when the peak erupted in December 2010.  Although the fact that no specimens have been found in ages may be because they decided to return to Tattooine.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Optimus is Primed

That's taking their relationship to new levels.  Just so long as no one thinks they are robosexuals.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


The latest unusual word I have encountered is pogonotomy.

No, it has nothing to do with the anatomy of a pogo-stick.  It is in fact the act of cutting a beard.

Beard levels:

Once your beard hits max level it stops levelling up.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dodging Bullets

In theory any moving object can be avoided given the right time frame.  Now assuming we don't have super speed, what's the minimum distance needed to successfully dodge a bullet?  We're also going to assume we move the right way not the wrong way on reflex.
Here's the maths:
Average human reaction time is 0.19 of a second, for visual stimulus.  So yeah, with this theory you have to actually see the gun fire.
Activation of muscle fibre averages at 0.008333 of a second for humans, so the total reflex time is of 0.198333 of a second.  Let's round that up to a tidy 0.2 of a second.
The bullet speed of a 9mm pistol is 340m/s.  .2 of 340m gives a 68m minimum distance to dodge a 9mm pistol bullet.
Alternatively, given that distance and pistol accuracy, you may be better of just standing sideways, sucking in your gut and hoping for the best.
Now, here's the distances of some other firearms to try not to get shot with:
.22 pistol/rifle fires at 290m/s giving a 58m minimum dodge distance.
Magnum fires at 460m/s giving a 92m minimum dodge distance.
The average assault rifle fires at 920m/s giving a 184m minimum dodge distance.
Well there's the mathematics for the theory, good luck trying that out in the field.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Neil Young and the Jawas

Rust Never Sleeps by Neil young & Crazy Horse.

An unremarkable album cover for one of the most pivotal albums in music.  This month it's not the picture on LP cover that draws my attention but the album title and story behind it.  Rust Never Sleeps earned Neil Young a new generation of fans, it renewed his standing as a musician and the album became the influence of many future grunge bands such as Sonic Youth, Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Powderfinger to name a few.
Upon its release, Rust Never Sleeps was hailed as a commercial and critical revitalisation for Neil Young, and the successful, bizarre tour featuring oversized amps, roadies dressed as Jawas from the then new Star Wars film (called Road-eyes by Neil), sound technicians in lab coats, audio recordings from Woodstock played from disintegrating tapes:
As the house lights were extinguished, Jawas from Star Wars swarmed the stage, moving equipment into position as Coneheads took their places at the mixing boards on stage. The feeble house public address system blared out Jimi Hendrix's guitar version of the U.S. national anthem while three Jawas dragged a ten-foot tall cardboard replica of a 1926 Electrovoice microphone to centre stage, struggling to right it “Iwo Jima” style. Hendrix's "Anthem" suddenly swirled into the Beatles' "A Day In The Life." The large blue instrument case up stage left was lifted to reveal a prone human figure in foetal position clutching a Guild 12-string. The figure rose and broke into the song "Sugar Mountain"...
Neil also released a film version of the album under the same title. Later on in 1979, Neil Young and Crazy Horse released the album Live Rust, a compilation of older classics interweaving within the Rust Never Sleeps track list.  My Dad actually had, and still has, an original Rust Never Sleeps poster from the album tour. I remember looking at the poster when I was a kid wondering why there were Jawas on the stage with the band.   The thing to keep in mind about the Jawas in Star Wars is that they are scrap dealers, so they were symbols for the tour and LP.  Neil has confirmed that he got the phrase "Rust Never Sleeps" from Mark Mothersbaugh of the band Devo, the title is borrowed from the slogan for Rust-Oleum paint (a rust inhibitor) and is also an aphorism describing Neil Youngs musical self-renewal to avert the threat of irrelevance.  The Jawas are a representation of that idea.
Not so surprisingly, George Lucas threatened legal action at the unlicensed use of his characters, however, this was settled amicably out of court with little fuss.  Suspiciously though, a few years later in 1982, a story appeared in The Empire Strikes Back Monthly comic (issue156 by Marvel UK) about scrap yard droids and Jawas which had the title "Rust Never Sleeps", giving a subtle nod towards Neils music album.