you can always count on gravity

“Evidence-based Medicine”: sounds like a good thing, until you realize that sometimes collecting the data required causes more problems than it solves. These guys took this argument to an extreme:

“Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma related to gravitational challenge: systematic review of randomised controlled trials”:

bq. Conclusions As with many interventions intended to prevent ill health, the effectiveness of parachutes has not been subjected to rigorous evaluation by using randomised controlled trials. Advocates of evidence based medicine have criticised the adoption of interventions evaluated by using only observational data. We think that everyone might benefit if the most radical protagonists of evidence based medicine organised and participated in a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled, crossover trial of the parachute.

I’m sure they’ll get _lots_ of volunteers for the study… :-)

posted at 7:25 pm on Wednesday, September 03, 2008 in Health, Humour, Links, Science and Technology | Comments (2)
  1. Bob says:

    That article is brilliant! A bit over the top and stretched the analogy to breaking point but does make a valid point.

  2. chk says:

    Hey! you read my weblog! cool! :-)

The bonding gene

bq. …it’s too early for men to blame their inability to commit on a single gene, although Lucas guesses it’s an excuse that’s “certainly going to be used.”

“A study of Swedish twin brothers found that differences in a gene modulating the hormone vasopressin were strongly tied to how well each man fared in marriage.”:

(via “Diane Duane”:

posted at 7:50 am on Tuesday, September 02, 2008 in Health, Humour, Links | Comments Off on The bonding gene

weakest link

The Weakest Link

The Weakest Link

I thought I had posted this photo a long time ago, but I can’t find it now, so here it is again. (It came up on Fairly Oddparents this morning).

I first saw this on “Bruce Scheier’s security weblog”:

(As it turns out, I had uploaded it to Gallery, but still never linked it here. Must have been distracted. Damned kids, get off my lawn! :-)

posted at 9:11 am on Thursday, August 07, 2008 in Humour, Links, Security | Comments Off on weakest link

Dr. Horrible

Neil Patrick Harris is a god of understated comedy. Nathan Fillion is a perfectly over-the-top dumb hero. I loved the first installment; waiting for the next two!

Check it out at before Sunday, after which you’ll have to pay. Of course, you should pay anyway to support the artists, but free lets you choose…

posted at 3:47 pm on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 in Links, TV | Comments Off on Dr. Horrible

Dr. Horrible

Coming soon to an Intertube near you:

Neil Patrick Harris! Nathan Fillion! Felicia Day! and, of course, Joss Whedon!

First episode goes live (and free!) on July 15th; second and third are each two days later, and the whole thing goes away (ok, behind a “give us money!” link) at midnight on July 20th.

posted at 4:01 pm on Wednesday, July 02, 2008 in Links, TV | Comments Off on Dr. Horrible


you’ve all heard of “lolcats”: by now, right? Well here are new, never before captured photos of “lolgrues”: in teh wild…

(well, I laughed… :-)

posted at 9:03 am on Saturday, April 12, 2008 in Humour, Links | Comments Off on lol

episode one

“Episode One”: of “Shadow Unit”: is up. In case you were actually thinking of getting work done today…

posted at 11:24 am on Monday, February 18, 2008 in Links | Comments Off on episode one

steven wright

I found “wright house”:, a site that has a long list of so-called Steven Wright jokes. The difference? They’ve annotated the list; they mark jokes as authentic, or else name the comedian who actually said them.

“what’s another word for synonym”?

posted at 10:06 am on Sunday, January 20, 2008 in Links | Comments Off on steven wright


A completely over-the-top review of a Bic pen: M. Williams “Matt Wil…’s review of Bic Crystal ballpoint pen, medium point, b…

Some of the comments on this review are equally hilarious:

bq. I often use pencils to write notes on paper, but have been thinking about changing to a pen. Is this pen a good starting point for a novice?

and so on…

posted at 11:11 am on Monday, December 10, 2007 in Humour, Links | Comments Off on giggle

120 calories

What does 120 calories look like?

(hat tip: “Jeremy Zawodny”:

posted at 5:07 pm on Monday, July 30, 2007 in Links | Comments Off on 120 calories

no corn syrup

The no-corn-syrup diet | overstated

I love the venn diagram! (hat tip: “Jeremy Zawodny”:

posted at 5:06 pm on Monday, July 30, 2007 in Links | Comments Off on no corn syrup

Outsourcing the Picket Line –

I’m not sure if this is irony or hypocrisy. The Carpenter’s Union is outsourcing its picket lines to random people off the street, paying them $1 above minimum wage ($8/hr) to protest … low wages.

Outsourcing the Picket Line –

posted at 2:18 pm on Wednesday, July 25, 2007 in Current Events, Links | Comments Off on Outsourcing the Picket Line –

potter economics

Megan McArdle: Harry Potter: the economics

bq. The low opportunity cost attached to magic spills over into the thoroughly unbelievable wizard economy. Why are the Weasleys poor? Why would any wizard be? Anything they need, except scarce magical objects, can be obtained by ordering a house elf to do it, or casting a spell, or, in a pinch, making objects like dinner, or a house, assemble themselves. Yet the Weasleys are poor not just by wizard standards, but by ours: they lack things like new clothes and textbooks that should be easily obtainable with a few magic words. Why?

An interesting touch on the subject. It seems true that in the Potterverse, magic is free, something that never works very well for story telling. C.S. Friedman just published _Feast of Souls_, the first book in a trilogy based on the opposite extreme; the source (and cost) of magic is life force. in _The Magic Goes Away_, Larry Niven deals with magic as a finite resource, to interesting effect. There are lots of other examples in SF&F literature.

So why don’t we care about this inconsistency in Rowling’s work?

posted at 1:22 pm on Tuesday, July 24, 2007 in Current Events, Links | Comments (2)
  1. Nita says:

    Because nowadays, dissing Rowlings works in public is much like going to Rome and picking on the pope?

  2. Greg Wilson says:

    I think it goes something like this:

    1. Magicians can conjure up anything, so why would any of them be poor?

    2. Hey, if they can do that, why would any muggles be poor either? Or have diseases?

    3. Hm… Why are so many people in the real world poor/hungry/sick, when we could clothe/house/feed/cure them if we wanted to?

    4. This train of thought is making me uncomfortable, so I’m going to stop worrying about it and get back to the story.

lessons of history

From Bruce Schneier’s security weblog:

bq. Here’s a “clip”: from an Australian TV programme called “The Chaser”. A Trojan Horse (full of appropriately attired soldiers) finds its way past security everywhere except the Turkish consulate.

bq. At least they remember their history.


posted at 7:30 pm on Monday, July 16, 2007 in Current Events, Humour, Links | Comments Off on lessons of history


This sounds familiar:


posted at 10:58 am on Monday, July 16, 2007 in Links, Personal | Comments (1)
  1. Nita says:

    A-yup. Painfully so.

tab dump

Not worth blogging individually, here is a bunch of links that I wanted to share:

* “Binary marble adding machine”: – watch the video!
* “Chore Buster”: – Web 2.0! enter people and chores, and it will automatically generate a ‘fair’ schedule and email it to you weekly!
* “flotsam”: – rubber duckies travel from the pacific to the atlantic via the arctic ocean! – see also “Beach Comber’s Alert”:
* “War on Clutter”:
* “Teach Your Kids to Clean Their Own Rooms”:

posted at 3:03 pm on Wednesday, July 04, 2007 in Links, Personal | Comments (2)
  1. Helge Koch says:

    Friday, 20 July 2007, Globa and Mail lead article on page two, all about the rubber duckies arriving in England. This is getting global and more fun. May be on the Globe website, but I cannot find it. Helge

  2. chk says:

    I found this article in the Daily Mail, as well as numerous others…

steam trek

Star Trek meets “Steampunk”:


If I knew more about 19th century Science Fiction I could use this as a campaign seed… :-)

posted at 10:19 am on Saturday, June 09, 2007 in Gaming, Humour, Links | Comments Off on steam trek

Fantastic Toronto

Toronto is a happenin’ place! A list of SF&F stories set in Toronto:

Fantastic Toronto

Someday I’ll have to go through the list and figure out which ones I’ve read.

I liked the thematic lists at the end of the page:

bq. *Vampires*: Nancy Baker, “Cold Sleep,” “Exodus 22:18,” The Night Inside and Blood and Chrysanthemums; Stephanie Bedwell-Grime, The Bleeding Sun; Robert Boyczuk, “Doing Time”; E.L. Chen, “Fin-de-siècle”; all of Tanya Huff’s Blood novels plus seven related stories; Karl Schroeder, “Dawn.”

bq. *Werewolves*: Kelley Armstrong, Bitten and Broken; Don Bassingthwaite, Breathe Deeply, Pomegranates Full and Fine, and As One Dead; Sara Joan Berniker, “My Mother in the Market”; Tanya Huff, Blood Trail.

bq. *Zombies*: Kelley Armstrong, Broken; Tony Burgess, Pontypool Changes Everything.

posted at 7:07 pm on Tuesday, May 29, 2007 in Books, Links | Comments Off on Fantastic Toronto


I’m apparently totally out of the loop these days.

Bill Amend announced that he was pulling back, moving Foxtrot to Sunday Colour only as of December 31, 2006, and I only just noticed this week!

Universal Press Syndicate: News Release

posted at 1:24 pm on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 in Links | Comments Off on foxtrot

high power job

This guy has an unusual and amazing job: inspecting operating power lines. The video is cool enough to share: – High Power Job

(via “Ned Batchelder”:

posted at 8:19 am on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 in Links | Comments Off on high power job
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