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Top 10 Reasons My Faster-Than-Light Car Rules:
10) Stephen Hawking always wants to carpool.
9) Breaking the laws of physics is only a misdemeanor in most states.
8) Traffic enforcement is pretty much limited to cops with Ph.D.'s in Quantum Physics.
7) Bugs - they never see you comin'.
6) I can get to the good hookers before Charlie Sheen.
5) I made a fortune selling pizza with the slogan "It's there before you order or it's free!"
4) I sleep until noon and still get to work by 8:00am!
3) I'm never in the car long enough to hear an entire Madonna song.
2) My cigar butts don't land in the back seat, they land in last week!
... and the number one cool thing about my faster-than-light car is ...
1) I get a license plate that reads "ME = MC^2"
What Cool Scientists Are Listening To - Click Links Below
:: Cash - Being Simple
:: Viva K - Does It Matter?
:: The Ark - One Of Us Is Gonna Die Young
:: The Donnas - Roll On Down The Highway
:: Billy Joe Shaver - Georgia On A Fast Train
:: Phish - Gin And Juice
:: The Whigs - Technology
:: Marit Larsen - Only A Fool
:: Euphoria - Back Against The Wall
:: Richard Swift - As I Go
:: Snowglobe - Rainbow
Get all the Cash you can stand.
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Making The World Safe For Science - One Supermodel At A Time




I Have Moved


I have moved to www.scienceandsupermodels.com.
Please update your bookmarks.



Of course, if you want profound science from me and other legendary internet scientists, come see me at ScientificBlogging.com.



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posted by Buckaroo at 10:07 AM |

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Bond. Cash Bond



People who have known me for a long time know that when I am not dazzling the world with scientific brilliance, I am a Formula One race car driver who also solves mysteries on TV. What the rest of you may not know is that I was also the star of a major motion picture.

It was a different take on the James Bond story - I played an American spy who pretends to be a scientist and the movie was about what would happen if all those spurned women from my adventures got together for revenge. They kept the title simple and to-the-point: Cash Must Die. Sadly, this movie lost its financing during production ( Chopper Chicks In Zombie Town III went over budget and they diverted the money, those bastards ) and the script is tied up in legal so this movie poster is all that remains.

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Anyway, given that history, some people have thought I was a little hard on the new James Bond because of resentment. Not at all. I had no problem that a short guy with one third my intelligence was getting the role of a lifetime. My skepticism was based on facts, like the fact that he only got the role after experiencing the magic of Sienna Miller's career-enhancing vagina. Something I was not allowed. That Lady Scientist is such a cock-blocker.

Other people echoed my skepticism. I was not the only one to write criticisms that he couldn't take a punch or, even worse for James Bond, that he couldn't drive an Aston-Martin.

But I am here to say, my friends, that sometimes I can be wrong. I should have known that bringing back Martin Campbell, the guy who directed one of the greatest Bond movies of all time would outweigh anything else. And they took Bond back to the basics. I never said Craig wasn't a good actor and he certainly did a terrific job here. By the end of the movie he could well be the best Bond of all time.

Also, if for no other reason, you should pay money to go see the guy who does the free running stunt in the post-title sequence. He is something spectacular to behold. They should give that guy his own movie just so we can watch him do that.

So my apologies to you, Daniel Craig. I was wrong. But I wasn't wrong about everything. The movie is not without its flaws. I said the girl they picked to be Vesper was basically about as attractive as a French bag lady, and my suspicion was confirmed:

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posted by Buckaroo at 11:27 PM |

2 attempts to be as funny as a scientist

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Surest Sign Of The Apocalypse - No More Blondes



According to this article, researchers at the World Health Organization have claimed that the last natural blonde will be born in Finland in 2202. And the BBC version tells us German scientists have claimed this is due to decreasing frequency of the recessive gene for blonde hair.

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The SkyNet article states that when the last Ice Age ended 11,000 years ago blonde hair and blue eyes were developed as a competitive advantage in getting a caveman. That's right, with men in short supply some girls had to use manipulation in order to get one of us - and even then blondes were known to be more fun. The Germans say the problem is racial mixing - yes, Germans speaking out against racial mixing. Whoda thunk it?

Anyway, I like the WHO version. You have to admire the chutzpah and fun-loving nature of any girl willing to change her genetic makeup to please you.

I happen to be a caveman if, by caveman, you mean someone who grabs his woman by the hair and throws her over furniture on occasion, so I can verify that the WHO study makes sense. Following that same reasoning, men are a lot more plentiful now than 11,000 years ago so fewer blondes are being born.

Women just don't need the advantage these days because we aren't going off on dangerous hunting trips like cavemen did and the only combat I have witnessed consists of staring at photos of women lovingly cradling automatic weapons big enough to shoot down the moon.

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As you can imagine, this article sent me into a frenzy. I am on the prowl for junk science under the best of circumstances; if you suddenly start claiming delicious blondes will be extinct we are going to throw down. Or I am writing a letter to Congress. Something.

So I did some research and this turned out to be ... a hoax. Yes, a fake. But the BBC, Sunday Times, Canadian Press and the entire World Wide Web was duped - mostly because a lot of fat-ankled editors at those news services wanted it to be true. I am not pointing fingers at any popular junk science of today but ... well, remain skeptical. If politicians tell you only their election can avert a worldwide scientific crisis, remain doubly skeptical.

Anyway, that isn't to say the article didn't show there was a lot of concern about this topic. Do not panic. As always, science has the answer. By 2202 we'll have figured out ways to make all women at least 5'8" tall with long blonde hair, unquestioned fidelity and the dangerous undercurrent of a deviant streak. And girls, if you are lucky, all men will be like me.


posted by Buckaroo at 7:06 AM |

3 attempts to be as funny as a scientist

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The Mens Guide To Dating A Geek Girl V 1.0



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Let's face it, sometimes we get tired of dating models. Sure, they clean up well but it gets annoying having to tell her she's beautiful a hundred times a day and the cocaine bill gets expensive.

You might think you have no hope of getting an attractive low-maintenance geek girl and I am inclined to agree ( that you can't anyway ) but I would rather light a candle than curse your darkness, so here are my tips to try and help. I present to you Version 1.0 of The Mens Guide To Dating A Geek Girl.

Getting Your First Geek Girl


So you've seen a geek girl. She's got the Tina Fey glasses on and the hair is thrown up in a mess, she's wearing clothes just frumpy enough you can't tell what kind of body she has. Trust me, my friends, if she's like any geek girl I have ever known, she has a better body than Eva Longoria. She just doesn't need to flaunt it because Pete Yorn would never date Eva Longoria anyway. Now you just have to talk to her.

1. Be direct.

No matter what she looks like, geek girls are no different than geek guys. She will likely seem a little aloof, maybe even defensive. She is just baffled that you can't see inside her to the geek she is and wonders if this is a prank.

2. Open with something memorable.

"No way a hot girl like you has such mad skillz," is worth a shot.

Alternate: "If I ever get to redesign keyboards I will put U and I together." She will likely respond that they actually are already together on keyboards, which means you let her be smarter than you and she will find your clumsy pick-up attempt charming. Nicely done.


3. Ask which Yahoo chat room is her favorite.

If the answer is anything other than "I don't go into Yahoo chat rooms" find a different geek girl. Geek girls don't hang out in Yahoo chat rooms so kick this twink to the curb. IRC is okay.

4. Learn to play Half-Life.

I know it's old. Chicks still play it. Science has no answer for that.

5. Stevie "Killcreek" Case comparisons can never be wrong.

Geek girls know their gaming history.

6. Do not ask her if she prefers Python because it's a more "feminine" language.

She probably does. But it's a bad idea to say it.


The Geek Girl Relationship


Some men want to be teachers. They like feeling worldly and prefer a companion who sits childlike and listens to their stories while wanting their women to have a history that would make the Virgin Mary feel promiscuous. If so, a geek girl is not for you. Geek girls, like geek guys, take a while to open up but, when they do, they are total hellcats. This is mostly because they are well-read and your geek girl trusts you and she thinks relationships should be fun but you, my friend, are not her first relationship. This does not make her a whore but it probably does mean you can call her one during sex without suffering physical harm. That said, to keep a geek girl truly happy you should also note the following:

1. Figure out which Star Wars character you are.

Let's face it, she wants either Han or Luke. If she wants one, and you are the other, exit the airlock quickly. You're not Don Quixote.

Alternate: However, a well-timed "You truly belong here with us among the clouds" Lando Calrissian impression will enhance any geek relationship. If you happen to surprise her with that in front of her geek friends and they laugh, you are totally going to hit that.


2. She had a life before she met you.

Because she is a geek girl, she is on the internet. Trust me, if she is funny and smart, she has been propositioned online more than Marilyn Monroe at a Kennedy luncheon. She may keep a few dorks around who say nice things and pump up her ego, but it's okay to trust her. She's with the person she wants to be with.

3. There is a significant chance she is smarter than you.

She's not going to flaunt it but if you try to patronize her and her eyes narrow to slits that look like something Cylons fire laser beams out of, believe me, they will become slits firing Cylon laser beams if you don't stop your sentence and run quickly from the room, waving your arms and yelling "Danger, Wil Robinson! Danger!" or something else to make her laugh. Do it quickly. The downside to having a geek girl smarter than you is she has figured out your weaknesses and can make you cry.


Keeping Your Geek Girl


1. You still have to dress the part.

      A. Keep it simple. Just because she's a geek girl doesn't mean she will tolerate you wearing a Pokemon shirt with barbecue sauce on it from dinner three nights ago. Jeans that fit and a shirt are all you need for hanging out. You want to look like you haven't put any thought into it but make sure you have.


      B. Do not wear a sports jersey. Unless you are a player on the Pittsburgh Penguins.


2. She wants you to respect her smarts but she has been told how intelligent she is all her life.

      A. She's still a woman. If you don't think she's sexy, why are you hanging out with her? Switching this on and off is key. Getting all neanderthal when she's up to her eyeballs in Python is a bad idea. But occasionally grabbing her by a belt loop as she walks by and pulling her into your lap for a quick kiss on the neck is going to pay geek dividends later.


      B. Do not tell her she's cute. 7 out of 10 geek girls are cute - and they are sick of hearing it. Sometimes they want to be beautiful, exotic or drop-dead gorgeous. She owns a little black dress for a reason, my friend, and that reason is because it does not radiate 'cute.'


3. Sometimes you should treat her like she's a guy.


Jumping up to take a box away from her is likely to get you a snippy comment such as "Thanks, but I've been genetically engineered to lift things that weigh five pounds." If she is carrying a refrigerator, use your judgment. Opening doors is always okay.

In Conclusion


I hope this small effort on the part of science to add to your geek seduction repertoire finds you in a happy place with a geek girl in 1/nth time it took me to learn this sage wisdom the hard way. This list is by no means comprehensive. Should you feel I have omitted any key strategies. let me know for Version 2.0. And geek girls, if you have any advice, try and help the fellas out.

posted by Buckaroo at 10:33 PM |

10 attempts to be as funny as a scientist

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Face Recognition, Emotions And Why I Will Be The Next Jackie Chan



Dynamic face recognition may be one of the last frontiers for quantifying why some of our simplest brain functions have difficulty being matched by computers.

As a kid, when computers were more basic, it was easy to see the differences between my brain and the power of a computer. When I played baseball I knew the instant the ball was hit whether I had to run back or forward. This was a spectacular amount of mathematics done in an instant with the only programming being my amount of practice. A computer has to be able to define a parabola before it can tell me which way to run - by the time it could tell me where to run, the ball will have landed. The only reason I bothered to show up for trigonometry was to figure out a methodology that could help me write a computer program to catch a baseball without having the computer know where the ball was going to be hit in advance.

Facial recognition today faces similar obstacles. If you look at your favorite scientist's irritated face while his supermodel storms out because he did not tell her she was beautiful for the requisite hundredth time that day, it looks a certain way. If he then looks happy because he finally got some peace and quiet, it looks another way. To you, it is easily the same person but a computer has a very difficult time with that operation.

A three-year old child can look at a real chicken and then a cartoon chicken and say, "That's a chicken." A computer has a very difficult time with that also. Snd good luck getting a computer to tell you who is more attractive, that girl from "Veronica Mars" or the live action model of Lara Craft, Tomb Raider:

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In the late 1970s research began to kick into gear, mostly because of vision research. Scientists wanted to determine how much information was essential for visual recognition. Similar to hearing, we can determine frequencies of interest for vision. In this case, the frequencies are spatial and the research was done by AP Ginsburg.* He used bandpass filters to determine which spatial frequencies carried the most information and therefore could be isolated to make recognition easier. He narrowed down the important range of frequencies but, also important, he discovered that different spatial-frequency sets supplied the information for different perceptual and cognitive functions - like emotions.

It's only now that home computers will contain the horsepower to do this kind of number crunching. The field of identity recognition is easily covered today but emotional recognition - the kind of thing that allows a computer to recognize me regardless of my supermodel irritation level - still has some way to go.

I've tried to find some legitimate modern research that makes this big improvement but so far it just involves brute-force techniques and more computing power to identify and match grid-by-grid; hardly an elegant solution.

Yet while emotional variance recognition is still lacking ordinary face recognition has grown tremendously. I went to a site called My Heritage and tried their tool. The demo version allows you to input your picture and tells you what celebrities you look like. Naturally, I had to give that a try. So I threw in my picture and it comes back with the four people in the graphic.

MyHeritage.com said I am a combination of Trent Rezner, Scott Bakula and Jackie Chan. I wasn't sure how that Colin Firth guy fit in there but I remembered he nailed Keira Knightley in some movie or another, so it makes sense now.

They think I am a rock star, a quantum physicist and the greatest martial arts action hero of all time? This software is so accurate it is almost spooky.

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*Ginsburg A.P. "Spatial filtering and vision: implications for normal and abnormal vision." In Clinical Applications of Visual Psychophysics. LM Proenz, JM Enoch, A Jampolsky (ed) Cambridge University Press, 1981, pp 70-106. I can't find an online link.

posted by Buckaroo at 8:42 AM |

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How Math Can Save Your Marriage - An Interview With The Author Of Geek Logik



Ever have someone tell you a certain pesky question can't be answered scientifically? Garth Sundem is here to help. He's the author of Geek Logik and it's his business to help you mathematically solve life's most pressing problems.

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Garth has created plug-in numerical solutions that help you make decisions while completely abdicating accountability for your actions - because you can always claim the numbers said it was the right thing to do. It's like the Taguchi Method, only with real algebra and a lot funnier. Here are the kinds of life-altering decisions Garth can help you make:

"How many beers should I have at the company picnic?"
"Should I go to the gym?"
"Do I have a snowball's chance in hell with him/her?"
"What IS a snowball's chance in hell?"


I first stumbled upon Garth when I read Esquire this past summer and saw he was able to answer the question "Should I apologize to to my girlfriend?" with the following equation:

D[Rp(Ra+P)+D(Ra-Rp)=A

Each of these variables has a 1 to 10 scale. D is the severity of the issue (1 being "I forgot to take out the trash before work" and 10 being "I left the kids with matches and forgot to turn off the gas before leaving on vacation"), Ra is your actual responsibility for your crime, Rp is your perceived responsibility for your crime, and P is how pissed off she is. A is, of course, apologizing.

If A > 1, you basically apologize and numbers higher than 1 mean you have to buy her better presents. Anything below 1, you tell her to kick rocks and wait for her to come crawling back and bake you pies.

At first I saw it and thought, "How quaint. I want that 15 seconds of my life back" but I had a pencil nearby so I put on my best Six Sigma game face and decided to tackle a "should I apologize about this?" issue of my own. I don't remember exactly what the issue was now but I think I slept with her sister or something equally minor and she was making a big deal about it and telling me I should apologize. I was firmly thinking she should apologize to me for all of the yelling she did about it.

So I filled in the numbers and the equation told me I should apologize, because A was actually greater than 10,000. I thought maybe his formula was broken so I contacted him and he assured me that, while he had never seen a number that large before, he was confident that her rage had peaked well before 10,000 and I couldn't make things any worse so I should just go ahead and apologize. That decision, combined with a lot of jewelry, turned out to be the right thing to do. So I knew he was on to something.

The next time I saw his work was in a New York Times article by John Tierney showing us how to predict the demise of celebrity marriages. ( subscription required ) and after that I was a believer and a Garth Sundem book owner. Why? Because he's eerily accurate.* The formula is below:

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P is the celebrity couples combined number of previous marriages
Ab is his age in years
Ag is her age in years
Gb how many millions of hits when his name is Googled
Gg how many millions of hits when her name is Googled
S is the number of pictures in her first 5 hits that make you think of sex
D is the number of months they knew each other before marriage ( fractions are allowed )
T is years of marriage you want to see - so if you want to see the the likelihood of them lasting 1 year, use 1 and for 5, use 5, etc.
Bliss is the percentage chance for the number of years you chose.


Why is this relevant today? Because I just saw that Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe are getting a divorce so I figured it was time to dust off the Unified Celebrity Theory and crunch some numbers.

What did the Geek Logik method say about their marriage?

For Reese and Ryan at 1 year: statistically certain the marriage will be intact

For Reese and Ryan at 5 years: 88% likely to still be married.

For Reese and Ryan at 15 years: 25% likely to still be married.

Actual marriage length: 7 years. The equation gives them a 69% chance of making it seven years and a 61% chance of making it eight. That's not just amazing, it is bordering on the supernatural.

I contacted Garth to discuss this and he wrote, "These are actually some of the strongest numbers I found for any couple outside Johnny Cash and June Carter, due mostly to relatively small combined fame (Reese certainly isn't a nobody, but she's not a media darling like Angelina Jolie), low skin in Reese's first five Google hits, no previous marriages, and similarity in ages."

So it's not just that the formula is accurate, it's that his method for creating the formula is astounding. I feel a lot better consulting his equations about how many cups of coffee I should have now (11, it turns out.)

While I had his attention I figured I would take the opportunity to have him answer a few questions about Geek Logik and quantifying life:


Cash: You came from a mathematical family, but what inspired you to go into this kind of work?

Garth: Geek Logik started on a plaid couch at Cornell. My geeky friends and I spent way too much time on this couch, much to the detriment of our GPA's, and needed something concrete to tell us when it was time to get off the couch and actually go to the library.

Being geeks, we made an equation—based on how long 'till the test, how much studying we'd already done, how hard the test was going to be and, of course, how many beers we had already consumed. Much to our geeky delight, the equation worked! Since then, I've made equations whenever the need arose, most successfully in the area of dating and romance.

Empirical testing has centered on allowing geeks to lessen the occurrence of girlfriend-genic flying dishware by performing at or near societal norms in a variety of social settings such as when to apologize, should they go to Vegas against their girlfriend's wishes, and should they bring their new girlfriend home to meet their embarrassing parents.


Cash: Which of the equations in Geek Logik is your favorite?

Garth: Strangely, my favorites include some of the more mundane equations, because these tend to be the most useful on a daily basis. For example, "should you stop to put gas in the car," or "should you eat something scary from the back of the 'fridge or just order Chinese again?"

These, really, are the central questions of our time. Or at least they allow geeks to make it through the day with a relatively small disaster coefficient.


Cash: Given what you know about my site, the overall audience and me, how many people does your problem solving prowess predict will read this interview?

Garth: Ha! We'd have to take into account your average blog-reading demographic, which I think is safe to say leans a little toward the geek (no offense; I include myself), and the news with which this is competing.

Luckily, I think the average American is 102.34% sick of midterm election news and looking for something a little on the light side. Also, this is an easy topic to spam to friends (a way of saying, "yes, you are whipped and now the numbers prove it").

So, we bump up your average a bit with demographics, a bit with timeliness, and a bit with "S" the spam-a-rific factor, and end up with about 107.72% of your average readership. The numbers here, I have to admit, aren't quite as hard as they were with celebrity marriage, which we all know is governed by definite rules of math and physics...


See? He made sure to endorse physics. I told you he was a smart guy.

Got some geek math thoughts of your own? Reach the Geek Logik website here.


*And see a sample of his celebrity marriage predictions here.

posted by Buckaroo at 10:48 PM |

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Guns, Guitars And Greenpeace



As a younger man, I was a big fan of Greenpeace.

As time went on, I thought they lost their focus by branching out from protesting nuclear weapons to whaling and trees and basically hanging out a shingle that said, "If you send us money, we will protest for you."

I watched them change from instilling their people with scientific literacy to educating their people on political activism. Then I watched them turn on me because I was a scientist who didn't much like exaggerated evidence in the name of fundraising and because I was a sportsman and because I was a businessman.

I've always believed that sportsmen - hunters, hikers, mountain climbers - are natural allies of the environmental movement.

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I watched them turn on hunters because of the gun issue. I watched them turn on businesspeople because of the logging issue. I watched them devolve into silliness ... hijacking ships, funnelling money to political groups, ramming a French sailboat competing in the 2003 America’s Cup and finally, in the absolute depths of their Klondike Kop level incompetence, running aground on Tubbataha Reef Marine Park off the coast of Manila last year, which they were supposedly visiting because they were worried about global warming. They paid a $7,000 fine and said it was an accident and the millions of dollars in damage done are still not fixed. I imagine the environmental movement wouldn't have been so lenient if, after the Exxon Valdez accident, Exxon paid a token fine and left the damage.

But I have noticed a change - in the environmental movement in general and in Greenpeace in particular - that may be telling me they are welcoming their natural allies back home. This crazy business of teaming up with Trotzkyites who are somehow with Stalinists who are all selling Che Guevara shirts and complaining about Israel certainly wasn't helping the environment.

I care about the environment. I recycle, I flip paper over and re-use it in the fax machine, I kill and cut and eat a lot of my own meat, I waste a lot less fuel than Al Gore does. I just think government needs to waste less money and stay out of things that aren't in the Constitution. I found out a few years ago I was a "granola Conservative." Hell, I didn't even know people like me had a name before then. And I don't think Greenpeace looks at me as the enemy any more.

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What really made me turn the corner in my thinking on them is that Greenpeace has now decided to work with business rather than against it. They're not doing it with press releases, protests or threats. They're doing it by bringing in their natural allies and discussing issues and working out a plan.

A few years ago, the guitar industry was the enemy. Guitar makers were both in business and they used wood - and therefore they were evil. To me, and maybe to you, people who make guitars are not evil. No one goes into the guitar business to get rich, they go into the guitar business because they love music and they love wood and they love beauty.

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One of my favorite guitar companies is Taylor guitars. They're not one of my favorites just because of their guitars - I don't think my high-frequency hearing is good enough to hear the true "brightness" of the Taylor sound - but also because of the way they do business. They send out a quarterly publication to me. They send it to all of their customers, past and present and maybe they'll send it to you if you ask them. It features tips on caring for your guitars, on their seminars and their workshops. But every issue, the founder and CEO, Bob Taylor, talks about wood. When the last Liberty Tree from the Revolutionary War suffered hurrican damage and died and they were ready to cut it down, Bob Taylor flew there and bought it so he could make guitars. If you own one of those, you have a work of art and a piece of history now.

Bob is not in the guitar business, in that sense. Bob is in the wood business. You can't make a good guitar out of bad wood, no matter how skilled you are. Bob Taylor is not the enemy of the environment any more than I am and Greenpeace finally figured it out.

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They brought him and people from Martin and Gibson and Fender to southeast Alaska to talk about the Sitka Spruce and figure out a way to make sure wood is used responsibly.

You can't plant a tree and get a guitar 40 years later. You can't plant a tree and get a guitar out of it 100 years later. It takes between 300-500 years to get the wood you need for a guitar. These guys aren't worrying about their a 500 year plan for their companies but they care about the environment just as much as any political group.

The environmental movement has historically waged the kind of public relations campaign I don't much like. They make it sound like some evil American conglomerate is doing the logging. Sitka, in southeast Alaska, is Native American land. It's primarily owned by Sealaska, a Native American corporation. All the protesting in the world can't stop a sovereign nation from doing whatever they want but they will listen to their customers. And that's what Greenpeace is trying to accomplish. It's a good idea.

The American guitar industry in total uses about 150 spruce logs per year. That's what a sawmill cuts in one day. I don't know how many sawmills there are but I know there are a lot so you can see that the guitar makers are not the enemy. They're also not a huge customer in a raw materials sense but guitarists, and guitar companies, are vocal about wood and the environment.

I'm glad that Greenpeace has finally figured that out and has begun working with business on a responsible managed use plan. There may be hope for those guys yet ... as long as they learn to steer their boats properly.

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posted by Buckaroo at 8:23 PM |

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Science Determines The Media Is Just Too Darn Suggestive These Days



With all this business about girls dressing like tramps and articles stating that 140 incidents of sexual behavior occur on prime-time network television each week I am starting to worry that the media might be a tad over the top.

Sure, you will automatically dismiss that kind of talk as an aging guy romancing the days of his youth. I usually think that also. I know we had suggestive TV when I was a kid. And R-rated movies. We didn't have the Halloween costumes some of these girls wear but I can't say that is going to tank our culture. We had Porky's and civilization didn't end.

So I sit down next to Lady Scientist to discuss it with her. You know, get the female perspective. She's watching Veronica Mars on the handy Replay DVR. It's a rerun but I haven't seen any of them since the first season so it's new to me even if it's from last spring. We are chatting along and suddenly I hear them make reference to a Clint Eastwood movie and then a Mexican comic book character. I guess because the guy she is talking to is a latino cop.

I grab my laptop.

"Are you blogging again?" she asks. "These people can't possibly find you that interesting."

"Noooo, I am googling Dirty Sanchez. He was a comic book character. Mexican or something. I can't remember."

"I don't think that's what they're talking about."

"That's why I am Googling it. If you don't know, and I don't know ... Google."

"I didn't say I didn't know. I said that's not what they're talking about."

"You know?"

"Of course," she says, "I'm an aerospace engineer."

????

But I let that go and she tells me what it is and why it is on TV during prime time and explains that TV networks aren't reflecting the mores of society these days, they are creating them. In order to be edgier and more relevant to the target youth market they have to go out of their way to be a little more flagrant each year. It doesn't help that cable is exempt from censors either.

"Okay, at least explain to me why they think teenagers want to do this Sanchez thing."

"No one actually does it," she says. "They just talk about it. So if 2% of kids talk about it, desperate TV writers will stick it in their show in order to appeal to the insecure kids who want to feel cool. Didn't you just do a whole rant on why NY should ban KFC? You should go after TV."

"Actually, I was against the KFC ban. But yeah, if New York people care about kids enough to ban optional food they should certainly frown on TV references to comic book characters doing stuff that I can't even see on stage in Tijuana."

But just to be sure it wasn't old age I decided to check some of my old comic books and see if they were as bad when I was a kid and I scanned in the one you see below.

Nope. Nothing suggestive here:

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posted by Buckaroo at 11:36 AM |

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New York City Declares War On Good Food



It looks like the bibs are coming off in New York City. The thing that advocates of good food have long feared is about to happen; New York City will be the first to ban trans fatty acids.

Know why McDonald's fries tasted better when you were a kid? Trans fatty acids - and a lot of salt. Do they taste as good today? Of course not. The only people who think they taste just as good today hated them all along. It's like people who eat veggie burgers telling you they're just as good as beef. Or that Rocio Guario Diaz is just as good as Adriana Lima:

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Well, maybe they have something there.

Now this isn't a done deal yet. They're going to hold a public hearing, blah, blah, blah. This is just a formality. People who want to eat trans fatty acids are going to be at a Burger King gorging themselves on Big Mac's or whatever the hell they serve there so the only ones showing up for this hearing are crazy activists who pretty much exist to make the rest of us miserable. That means the ban is going through.

I believe in keeping power with the people so I walked outside and stopped some pedestrians and asked what they thought of the idea:

"I am against it," said the man on the left. "I believe in freedom, not government oppression."

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"I am all for it," said this woman. "KFC is icky. Give me half a grape and a GNC vitamin supplement any day. It tastes just as good."

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Clearly these kinds of social issues are too big for scientists to decide. When it comes to optimizing antennas or banning Emo haircuts, we are okay making the call ... but for the big issues like this, you'll have to decide.

posted by Buckaroo at 12:12 PM |

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Science Has Bad News For Goth Chicks - Vampires May Not Be Real



Groundbreaking - and heartwarmingly unessential - research done by University of Central Florida physics professor Costas Efthimiou has attempted to confirm what a generation of suicide girls has always feared - that vampires do not exist.

His reasoning? On Jan 1, 1600, the human population was just over 530 million people. If one vampire existed on that day and bit one person per month, and then each new vampire also bit one person per month, by 1605 the entire planet would be nothing except vampires.

Now, I am okay with there being no vampires, though I think the world would be poorer without that cinema classic, Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter.

And, without vampires, I would not be able to spend 4 seconds scouring the internet and find pictures like this:

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So we can't just let someone claim they have wiped out a millenium of folklore by doing simple ( very simple ) math. First, let's deal with the premise behind his numbers. Professor Efthimiou's research assumes that each vampire bite results in another vampire being created. People, if there's one thing I know, it's vampires ( and Thai transvestites, but hey, that is a post for another time ) and I need only point you to the definitive work on the matter, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, to state unequivocally that vampires don't always create more vampires. They only create vampires out of people they really like, or who have waistlines like Vampira:

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Yes, she looks as all women should look; like a sexy, zombie skeleton.

Additionally, back in 2000, in the British series Ultraviolet, it was clarified that vampires wouldn't feed themselves to extinction any more than we would keep on killing buffalo until they were almost gone.

This was on TV, people. If you can't believe what you see on TV, I can't reason with you.

Professor Efthimiou's simple and surprisingly jingoistic math and logic errors mean that there is still at least some statistical chance that vampires could exist. However, there is also some statistical chance I am a Chinese jet pilot. Yet, since the chance exists that vampires are roaming the earth, it can't hurt to have a vampire slayer handy. Everyone goes for Buffy. I'd rather have a little Faith.

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posted by Buckaroo at 9:09 PM |

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AstroGlide - The Video Game



If there's one thing I hate it's rumors about me and women I am not actually nailing. And, frankly, this thing about me and Kate Beckinsale has gotten out of hand. I am not responsible for the collapse of her marriage, no matter how bad it looks.

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Okay, because your opinion of me is important, here is what happened: I happened to be in an internet cafe in Japan and Kate is noodling away on a computer. Now, this is Japan and it ain't like any of these people watched Pearl Harbor at the multi-plex, if you catch my political humor, so they don't recognize her. And all Americans look alike. Especially the English ones.

And danged if I don't look over her shoulder and she is at the Astro-Glide website playing a video game. Now, I don't know about you, but it isn't every day a girl is at a sexual lubricant website playing something called Astro-Blasto, which seems to involve nothing but some blobby thing spitting at some other blobby things. Kinda hot now that I think back on it.

Anyway, she is getting clobbered at this so I say, "Hey Spongebob, howzabout I show you how this is done?" and I scoot her over with my hip and she looks over at me in some sort of shock, like I am supposed to be in awe of her because she was in Uncovered and whatever other crap littered her career.

So she kinda laughs at my audacity and, well, I am the only other American within 5 miles, so I tell her, "Nice teeth. Bugs Bunny wants his smile back." Which is what every beautiful women wants to hear. The Bugs Bunny comparison, I mean. Not the 'nice teeth' part.

So anyway, that was the extent of our Astro-Glide shared experience. I even forgot to ask why she was at their website, but I did learn all about the product and that they have free samples you can request too. For those lonely nights when you need to 'mimic' strawberry-flavored female lubricants.

I'll be a tongue-tied mackerel if I can tell you how strawberries and women are related, but I am willing to learn.

So now you're asking yourself; why did the pimpiest guy in science not hit on Kate Beckinsale when he had the chance? She was surprised too. But when Alessandra Ambrosio is on the trip with you, you tend not to look at other women.

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posted by Buckaroo at 7:40 AM |

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When Good Girls Go Bad



I guess the NY Times is just discovering that Halloween is the perfect time for women to let out their inner tramp.

Men knew this. Hell, we invented Halloween many years ago for no other reason than to get Celtic women out of those ill-fitting robes and into some cool outfits.

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Even seeing that picture makes me feel all piratey. If she were here I'd totally make her surrender her booty.

“It’s a night when even a nice girl can dress like a dominatrix and still hold her head up the next morning,” said Linda M. Scott, the author of Fresh Lipstick: Redressing Fashion and Feminism and a professor of marketing at the University of Oxford in England.

Here's some news for Linda. Every day is a good day to dress up like a dominatrix, whether you can hold up your head the next morning or not.

Should any of you happen to have good pictures of you dressed up like a dominatrix for Halloween, be sure to send them over and I will do a special "Hottest Halloween Girls Of Science" post and make you famous. Don't bother to send me fake ones. I have them all.

And should any of you happen to own one of these outfits, I will marry you right now*:

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*Marriage offer not available to residents of planet earth or the ethereal plane.

posted by Buckaroo at 1:18 PM |

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Scientists Discover An Underwater UPS Truck from 2300 Years Ago And Other Shipping News



The best stuff happens with Greeks. An undersea robot has discovered a Greek ship from 350 BC containing ceramic jars of olive oil, wine and whatever else Greek ships carried back then. Imagine that advertising slogan: "We deliver in six weeks or it's free!" We know that buried ship isn't carrying the head of Medusa because Teri Hatcher is wearing it on her neck:

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And to add to the goodness that is Greece, archeologists have discovered a huge ancient tomb from 400 BC. Except for pictures of Rocio Guario Diaz ( me - Sweety ) I can't think of a single thing that excites me more than archeological ruins in Greece. Except maybe Cheez-Doodles. We all know how much those excite me.

Back to the US and shipping, I got Netflix in 1999 because I thought it was a good idea. And they were good to early customers. But I dropped them two years ago because they are scamming you with their shipping policies. Told ya.

If you want to ship your children to Hong Kong Disneyland, I discourage you from simply throwing them over the fences and into the park. No matter how badly you may want to.

Back to our regularly scheduled humor later today. Meanwhile, take comfort in the knowledge that Heidi Klum will not be grabbing your butt again this year.

posted by Buckaroo at 7:02 AM |

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Science Wants To Give You Better Orgasms



There was a time when the vagina was not in vogue. It was all 'clitoris' this and 'clitoris' that for female orgasms. Scientists have a healthy distrust of politicians and activists so we were afraid to stand up against the clitoral orthodoxy but in a secret enclave ( known as "New Jersey" ) a group of neuroscientists have been reverse engineering the female orgasm for the last two and a half years.
And they think they have discovered that the vagina has underrated by clitoral activists.

Obviously you can't just make that claim. Tests have to be done. Orgasms have to be studied. While scientists have caused plenty of orgasms most of us haven't studied them. How do you study them? I wanted to know. Apparently the first step was to create a Calibrated Vaginal Stimulator, basically something you could attach to a transducer to measure the force that women apply to the vaginal wall. Then you could know what is really happening.

"A Transducer?" I ask. "Are we at Bose?"

"Women self-stimulate," explains Rutgers neuropsychologist Barry Komisaruk, "and we use functional magnetic resonance imaging to look at which parts of their brains respond."

Ummmm ...

"Basically," Komisaruk concludes, "it's a magnetic dildo."


"Now you need a test subject, right?" I ask. "How about Claudia Black? I kinda miss Farscape and you'll never see a scene like this on Stargate."

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Komisaruk nods his head. "That's my secret fantasy too, except she's also wearing a Pocahontas outfit. But this isn't about us. We're just in it for what the magnet can tell us."

He's not kidding. I can barely say the word 'vagina' without giggling like a schoolboy and he spends his days with college-age girls jacking off while he examines their brains.

"This is Vicky," says Komisaruk, "We got excellent data from her."

Vicky is important because she can "think off." That's right, she can climax just thinking about it. This is important, it seems, because even the slightest movement will mess up the fMRI results. A woman in the throes of passion - for example, any woman in bed with a scientist - will scream and move far too much and they will miss important data.

"Vicky solves that problem. First, she lies on the bed and we strap down her head ..."

"Wait," I interrupt, "this is not supposed to be sexy, right?"

"... then she stimulates herself by contracting her vaginal muscles rhythmically and controlling her breathing for 26 minutes."

"Basically, my head is strapped to a board in an extremely loud machine, and I have to let them know when I am about to come, so they can mark it on the computer," Vicky laughs. "Whoo - so sexy!"

I guess it depends on perspective. It doesn't sound like a bad way to spend a weekend.

The end goal of all this is to figure out how to make a female Viagra. Focusing on the male vascular system worked for men but for women you need to concentrate on brain flow rather than blood flow. Because, as they will tell you, they are on a higher plane of existence than we are.

Most men know this is true. To get a man aroused, a woman pretty much just needs to get naked, whereas to get a woman aroused you have to appeal to something deeper. I have found renting Under A Tuscan Sky does the trick with Lady Scientist. Everyone knows that's porn for yuppie chicks.

posted by Buckaroo at 9:33 AM |

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Science Shows You How To Determine If Your Girlfriend Is A Tramp



Trust is an important element in any relationship. How do you establish trust? Naturally, you have her followed and break into her email.

But what if the paranoid wench drives like Steve McQueen and doesn't use her cat's name as her password? What then?

Science would rather light a candle than curse your darkness so I have devised a handy Tramp Calibration Meter. All you have to do is feed in some of the things she says about you and the Tramp Calibration Meter will tell you whether or not she is going to be faithful.

Let's test it out. I picked Scarlett Johansson because I just read an interview with her and we can go step-by-step and see how the Tramp Calibration Meter works. For each statement of hers I will tell you what it registered.

"Josh is very sweet. He's a good boy."

Tramp.

"Contrary to popular belief, I'm not promiscuous."

Not a tramp.

"Yet I wouldn't say I'm a serial monogamist, either."

Tramp.

"I mean, I went through periods of time when I was, ah, single."

Tramp.

"But when I'm in a relationship, I'm in a relationship."

Not a tramp.

"I do think on some basic level we are animals, and by instinct we kind of breed accordingly."

Tramp.

"I work really hard when I'm in a relationship to make it work in a monogamous way."

Not a tramp.

"I get tested for HIV twice a year."

Tramp. Actually, there should be a triple-point alarm for that one. I'll fix it in version 2.0.

And the final determination of the Tramp Calibration Meter for Scarlett Johannson is:

Tramp wins 5-3!!

Want to find out if your girlfriend is a tramp? We have a whole building full of scientists waiting to test her out so send her over this weekend. Have her wear something slinky.

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posted by Buckaroo at 12:06 PM |

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Science Helps You Plan Your Weekend



Here Are Your Options:

1. Die In A Cocaine-Fueled Orgy Of Gayness

Just hang out with German nobility. A gay guy in Germany jumping from a balcony while hopped up on drugs during an orgy barely made the news in the U.S., because it is so unsurprising. Cocaine and gay orgies in a party thrown by a German Count? Next we'll hear they pissed on each other. Yeah. Big shock.

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2. Work For World Peace

Use trial and error to act out your favorite scenarios for making the world a happy place. Since you don't want to spend money on real dictators, use puppets. No one's afraid of puppets ... even puppets with nuclear bombs.

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3. Learn About World Cultures

Iranian Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Khameini has his own website ( better brush up on your Farsi if you don't like the fuzzy-wuzzy 'religion of peace' English version ) and he answers your most pressing questions about Ramadan.

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Example:

"If somebody masturbates during the month of Ramadan but without any discharge, is his fasting invalidated?"

The helpful Ayatollah responds:

"If he do not intend masturbation and discharging semen and nothing is discharged, his fasting is correct even though he has done a haram (forbidden) act. But, if he intends masturbation or he knows that he usually discharges semen by this process and semen really comes out, it is a haram intentional breaking fasting."

Okay, I am an infidel and I probably deserve to be put to the sword for asking this, but how in the name of Allah is it masturbation if I don't intend it? In fact, how is it masturbation unless, you know, you actually masturbate?

Read more helpful Ramadan insights here.


4. Laugh At Aging Hippies

Oliver Stone blasted President Bush Thursday, saying he has "set America back 10 years."

I assume he means because of things in Iraq. But 10 years ago Clinton was President and Oliver Stone still had some chance of making a decent movie. Does Olive Stone mean that's a bad thing?

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Nothing makes me giggle more than brain-addled hipsters who stop inhaling long enough to say really funny things. Well, maybe Emo haircuts make me giggle more. Those are pretty funny.

5. Save The Environment By Killing An Animal.

Half of the bacteria in the wild comes from animals. In the Potomac and Anacostia rivers only 16% and 24% respectively comes from humans.

Look for environmentalists to start protesting against animals real soon.

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6. Watch The New Season Of Battlestar Galactica

Because it has not one but two blonde chicks. Just as God intended.

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posted by Buckaroo at 7:35 AM |

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