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Eh. So I’m a banana.

I’ve been wearing this around Second Life for a while. It’s so me.

In SL, you can be anything you want to be. A dinosaur. A flower. An astronaut.

And seemingly 90% of players want to be slutty-looking girls with huge tits. Including the men.

It’s so depressing.

Anyhoo, it seemed like the right graphic to put next to this story from the excellent Watt’s Up With That blog. It’s a timely repost from a February article.

The Cliff’s Notes version: lots of foods are radioactive. Bananas are especially radioactive. Radioactive enough to set off the bomb-detection doo-dads at our ports. Radioactive enough to give you a measurable dose if you stand next to a crate of the treacherous yellow bastards.

So proponents of nuclear energy use the banana equivalent dose as a way of expressing the risk of various radiation exposures. How many bananas would you have to eat to get similarly irradiated?

We don’t have any numbers coming out of Japan yet (and when we do get them, I freely admit those numbers might be bad), but to use an example from Three Mile Island — after the accident, the NRC found traces of radioactive iodine in the milk. I’m sure it was a story at the time. That’s the kind of place you get radiation poisoning — not so much from breathing it, but the stuff gets in the air, gets in the grass, gets in the cow, gets in the milk.

So how much radiation was in the milk? You’d have to drink seventy-five twelve-ounce glasses of contaminated milk to equal the radiation dose from eating a single banana.

A little perspective from a giant animated bruised banana. Good weekend, all!

March 18, 2011 — 11:51 pm
Comments: 24

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Not an Irish bone in my body, but I do drink. So yay!

Changing the subject, if I’m reading this WSJ article right, the New York Times‘ second go at a paywall isn’t as retarded as it sounds.

They’re making around $100 million per annum on advertising (not too shabby!). They didn’t want to screw that up, so they looked at the numbers and worked out that 85% of their readers read 20 articles or fewer in a month.

That’s where they put the cutoff. Free front page and 20 articles a month. Print subscribers get full digital access, so they’re really just trying to squeeze a little juice out of whatever slice of the 15% heavy users aren’t already covered.

They’re asking stupid money, but they’re asking true believers. Non-story, really.

Not like the poor old Times of London. If Murdoch’s paywall was supposed to stop the bleeding, it failed: print circulation of the Times has dropped almost 15% this year. Pretty much on par with everyone else. Plus, their online readership (and the lovely advertising moolah that goes with) has dropped from 20 million uniques a month to to 50,000 subscribers.


March 17, 2011 — 11:09 pm
Comments: 35

A little slice of heaven on a sesame-seed bun

I know I’ve bitched about this before, but if you get hungry between 3 and 6 in the UK, you’re screwed. Restaurants and cafes, from the poshest to the unposhest, open from about noon to three, shut for three hours and reopen from about six to…whenever. It’s maddening.

Except for fast food chains. Good old Mickey D’s.

Got ourselves grievously lost trying a new route into Londinium (exactly as I predicted when I was handed the map and told to navigate). Got there hours late, quickly conducted our business and scooted back home again. Too late for shopping or museums or anything. One Big Mac and out.

So, the usual.

March 16, 2011 — 10:31 pm
Comments: 31

At least the Romans got fiddle music

It’s a metaphor for world events at large, of course. I don’t expect Obama to put on breathing apparatuses and go charging into Fukushima Daiichi his own self.

I do expect the Leader of the Free World™ to act like he gives a shit about anything going on in the big wide. Anything beyond his golf game and his basketball picks.

Dude isn’t even playing president on TV any more.

Update: oh, hey, it looks like Stealie McLightfingers here stole that title from Jim Garaghty (I follow him on Twitter). Man, I hate when I do that. I hate it even more when I suspect I’ve done it but can’t find the true source.

March 15, 2011 — 10:21 pm
Comments: 48

You are…nowhere near here, lucky you

Lumme some maps. I follow international tragedies through maps. The reportage on the Japan earthquake/tsunami thing is more than usually fucked up, map-wise. Stuff changing names and moving all around. When they bother to name places at all.

I understand translation is difficult — especially with languages that don’t use the Roman alphabet — but couldn’t we agree on some conventions before the shit hits the fan?

Okay, well, nobody died and made me Gaia — I got these placements from eyeballing Google maps. But, near as I can figure it, this is the lay of the land.

Sendai is the biggest town in the path of destruction. Downtown is on higher ground and survived okay, but they lost their port. This is one of the places where bodies have been washing up.

Kamaishi is the setting of that amateur video of the wave; the one shot from high ground. The one shot in Kesennuma at street level is even scarier.

Reports about the damaged nukes are alllll over the place, but I’m pretty sure these are the three we’ve been hearing about. Of these three, the bottom one is of most concern (which is called either Fukushima II or III, so I went with Fukushima Daini. I don’t know what that means, but it sounds all Japanese and shit. Babelfish says it means “Daini”).

Despite the all the spectacular images and news overload, the devastation is confined along this fairly small portion of the Japanese coastline. The quake was huge, but the tsunami did the damage.

Still, this would be an pretty good time for Gamera to turn up.

March 14, 2011 — 10:54 pm
Comments: 43

The Singing Cowboy

The Democrats must cringe every time Harry Reid opens his gob. As usual, Michael Ramirez was a day ahead of me and had a better punchline. Dude is my hero.

By the way, I know there are peculiar liabilities to every job, but how many of you have ever thought to yourself, “I’m drawing Harry Reid’s crotch right now”? Yeah, that’s why I gave him a gun.

Oh! And I talked to my chicken pusher this morning. He hasn’t hatched any Pekin Bantams this year on account of it’s been too cold. He’s got some in the incubator now, should be out in a week. I want them about six weeks old (so I don’t have to faff with heat lamps), so we’re probably talking early April.

And having read everywhere that chickens love cabbages — we have kzillions of cabbages that need uprooting before the Spring planting — Uncle B and I chased chickens all around the garden with cabbage today. I think it’s fair to say, they are fucking terrified of cabbage. And completely uninterested, even when it’s torn into little chicken-beak-sized bits.

But it did bring up an interesting question: do chickens fart? The answer is no. Probably.

Good weekend, everyone!

March 11, 2011 — 7:32 pm
Comments: 23

President Firstlady

So the whole Middle East is bursting into flame, the Mid West is exploding in union thuggery, public broadcasting is disappearing up its own asshole, they’re holding hearings on radicalized Islam on Capitol Hill…ummm…two wars, economy in meltdown, and the President of the United States is holding a two day summit on…bullies?!

Are you fucking kidding me?

Is there no-one in his entourage who gets how big the office is, and how small this makes him look? This is the kind of pointless frippery First Ladies wile away their tenure on. He looked more presidential pardoning the freaking turkey last year.

All politics aside, this is not good. These are serious times; an unserious president puts the whole West in danger.

p.s. Anybody who has a disproportionately big brother will recognize this maneuver. My big brother had almost a decade in years, a foot and a half in height and a hundred pounds in weight on me. All he had to do was lay a palm on my forehead, and no amount of thrashing was the slightest use. This was a gambit so effective, the only possible counter was to grow up and move away.

— 12:42 am
Comments: 29

The one on the left, not so much

The Telegraph says chickens are capable of empathy. Huh. They don’t know Mapp.

I got nothing today, so I might as well give you a chicken update. The picture is the girls from last year, but we are hoping to pick up a couple more pullets this month. Gots to get on the phone to my chicken pusher.

We haven’t decided whether to stick with an E.F. Benson theme, or to call the new birds Betty and Wilma or Peanut Butter and Jelly or Sturm and Drang or something. I suppose it’s best to go birds first, then names.

Mixing in new chickens is going to be fun. It’ll be like the Crips and the Bloods out there until pecking order is established.

Oddly enough, Mapp is easily the most aggressive, adventurous and downright manic hen, but gentle Lucia is Boss Chicken. Cluck softly and carry a big beak is her motto.

Got the first egg of the season last week, and three more since. Still pretty sure it’s just Lucia laying, though.

The day something large and hard comes out of Mapp’s bottom, there’s going to be a BE-GACK heard ’round the world.

March 9, 2011 — 11:27 pm
Comments: 29

This will not end well

You know the people who are saying Charlie Sheen might actually do better without his sitcom gig, now that he’s internet famous? Yeah, I entertained the thought, until I saw that last video.

Dude looks like shit.

Old. And sick. And beat-down.

And crazy, of course. The crazy goes without saying. You can be as balls-out crazy as you like, but if you want to hang on to your celebrity status, you simply cannot look bad.

March 8, 2011 — 11:48 pm
Comments: 36

The cheese stands alone

I’ve always found the phrase incredibly sad and disturbing. This is what it looks like in my head.

Poor cheese. Poor damn cheese.

Is that all I have for you today? No, of course not. I also have this.

PocketFart ™ uses advanced flatulence simulator technology to produce custom audio events, anything from a short and sweet toot to an epic monster blast…With just a finger gesture, you can stylize one-of-a-kind farts. Modulate qualities such as fart duration and sphincter tightness, allowing you to produce unlimited combinations!…Many kinds of farts included: O Tight One, Monster Butt and more…Convenient fart playback styles for added flair…

Today’s secret word is cheese.

March 7, 2011 — 7:14 pm
Comments: 25