Don’t Look Down

May 23, 2018

A daredevil climbs the outside of 450 foot tower and stands on the very tippy top without holding on. These videos both captivate me and scare the living bejeezus out of me…


Earth-Moon Fire Pole

May 22, 2018

What If is back! Well, that’s not really true, the website What If never left, but the RSS feed broke for a while. And since it’s a site with about a post a month, without RSS I forget about it. (if you don’t know what RSS is, read this). The RSS feed is back working and the site is as delightful as always.

If you don’t know what What If is, it’s a site by the same guy who does xkcd, described as Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions. The latest post, Earth-Moon Fire Pole, is a perfect example, with a question from a five year old (kid questions are great ones):

My son (5y) asked me today: If there were a kind of a fireman’s pole from the Moon down to the Earth, how long would it take to slide all the way from the Moon to the Earth?

In typical What If fashion, he first explains why such a pole is impossible:


But then proceeds to say:

But let’s ignore those problems! What if we had a magical pole that dangled from the Moon down to just above the Earth’s surface, expanding and contracting so it never quite touched the ground? How long would it take to slide down from the Moon?

and follows with a lengthy discussion of the physics. From the Moon you’d initially be sliding “up” so you have to start by climbing, but gravity is low so that’s possible. But it’s really far before Earth’s gravity takes over so you can start to slide down. And then you start sliding crazy fast, etc. etc. Crazy fun and scientific all at the same time.


Now I have to go back and read all the posts I missed…

World’s Coolest Dog

April 25, 2018

Amazon Apologizes for Shipping Ten Thousand Copies of Comey’s Book to White House

April 12, 2018

Nice one by Andy Borowitz at the New Yorker.,,

Calling it a “regrettable accident,” Amazon apologized on Thursday for shipping ten thousand advance copies of James Comey’s book, “A Higher Loyalty,” to the White House.

The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, called any speculation that Trump had ordered Comey’s book “absurd,” adding, “The President does not order reading material.”

Bezos said that shipping the ten thousand books back to the company’s warehouse would not be overly costly for Amazon. “We get an amazing deal on postage,” he said.

Morning Patterns

April 9, 2018

My youngest daughter has an early school bus and my older daughter has a 7:38 bus. So every morning I get my youngest to her bus first and then I take my oldest to her bus stop (on the corner) and walk to work. So my schedule is quite regular. I can walk to work different ways, but I always start by walking two blocks down Atlantic Avenue. So that’s about 7:38 – 7:42 every day.

Pretty much every morning, three things happen in those two blocks.

After about a half a block, I hear little kid style running footsteps. A small girl passes me sprinting. I hear more footsteps and her slightly older brother passes me. She’s always first so I’m thinking he gives her a head start. The first time it happened I instinctively turned around to make sure a parent was watching, but now I know their mom is right behind. And they always wait at the corner before turning right.

Then a short boy walks past me in the opposite direction. I originally thought he was about 12, but he’s actually heading to my daughter’s bus stop and must be 15 because they are in the same grade. He’s always late. The bus is usually a little late too, but occasionally the bus has left. But since it comes in his direction he flags it down and the driver is nice and stops for him. He plays hockey and is occasionally carrying a bag of hockey equipment as big as he is.

In the second block a guy walks past me walking his short stocky dog. It’s a cute dog with a bandana around his neck. He must walk his dog at exactly the same time, we literally pass each around the same spot on the block every morning. It’s one of those things where we’ve started doing the silent head nod acknowledgment, even though we’ve never spoken and probably never will.

Mornings in Brooklyn…

Name Dominoes

March 21, 2018

Regular readers know I’m an fan. This one falls into the category of, “damn, how long did this take him?”…



February 27, 2018