Tuesday, September 30, 2008

100% Energy!

I saw on a can of Rockstar energy drink a claim that it was "50% juice, 100% energy." I was wondering how it could be made up of 150% of anything. Also, the 100% energy bothered me...I mean, it looked like it had some mass...I think we've got a case of false advertising on our hands here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fun Fact #24

People photocopying their butts cause 23% of all photocopier faults worldwide.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Yesterday, I walked into Karen's office & she had a cute little kitten in there. She asked if I knew anyone who wanted one and I replied that Sarah would love one. I called her and she confirmed that she wonts for a cat. Karen took it home, gave it a bath and some other grooming stuff (flea medicine and the like). Sarah picked it up today and is enjoying Watson (double helix, y'all) thoroughly.

Watson is a very friendly, skinny little kitten. He's curious and sweet and doesn't scratch people and he's funny and can entertain himself. Sarah said that she showed him the litter box once and he has used it exclusively as a depository to evacuate his excrement. I like him. Maybe a pic coming soon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Not So Fat

I was under the impression that I am fatter now (in terms of body composition) than I was a year ago. I went in today to participate as a guinea pig in an exercise physiology study and they found that I'm now 7.1% body fat whereas I was 7.4% a year ago. I also found out that I burn fat almost exclusively when I'm at rest. Now that I know my composition, I don't have to worry about being a fat body any more (I thought I'd be up around 8.5-9% right now).

If you want to participate in this study, you just have to be able to run for an hour. Contact Jacob at jmw06x[at]fsu.edu to set up a session.

Sleep is the Best Caffeine

I've been using caffeine on Tuesdays and Thursdays to get me through my first couple classes. I am taking an energy drink during the first class. I don't think it's a good idea to continue relying on drugs to get you through, but I figure that it can't be too bad for me to shock my system twice a week as long as I don't keep it up indefinitely.

I don't drink it if I'm functional enough to not need it. This usually happens on nights after I get a lot of sleep. I think that sleep is way better than caffeine for producing an alert mind and responsive body. It's just that sleep's a lot harder to get than paying a couple $$$ for a stimulant.

I've tried a few different energy drinks and my favorite is by far Rockstar's Guava flavor. It comes in a purple can. You should try it if you're so inclined.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pick #94

Flogging Molly - "The Light of a Fading Star" from Within a Mile of Home

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fun Fact #23

Every day, 7% of the US eats at McDonald's. Gross.

A Week Without Gas

Last Friday, September 12th, people rushed the gas stations in Tallahassee after hearing news that gas prices would jump up to $5/gal due to Hurricane Ike. I was riding bikes with Tri people when I saw the first station like this. It was on a corner and there was a line coming from both roads. I thought they must be selling gas for $1/gal or something like that. I was confused when I saw that the price was $3.729/gal. My riding buddies informed me of the situation. It was the same scene at every gas station in town that day. There was no gas on the following day or Sunday. During the past week, there've been stations getting gas then rapidly selling out. I think that we're finally getting to the point where stations are starting to be able to not sell out, but there's a bunch of stations still closed down.

I'm really surprised both at how much traffic I saw on the road this past week and at how many bike I've seen popping up lately. I guess it sucks if you don't have gas and there's not a good way to go on a long trip that you need to make. However, I hope that this situation introduced a bunch of people to the bus system or carpooling or alternative modes to the personal auto.

You expect me to go on a rant now about how price gouging laws are bad and they're what caused this shortage of gas in Tallahassee. I guess I'll be brief. If the market price was allowed to be charged, then people with 3/4 of a tank wouldn't flip out and fill up. People also wouldn't be wasting valuable gas by sitting in lines that are 20 minutes long while they let their car idle. Also, it's not like gas stations could charge whatever they want. At $100/gallon, I doubt they'd get anyone to buy any gas, let alone fill up their tanks. People will not pay more for a gallon of gas than it is worth to them. Hence, the price cannot be too high. Higher prices will reallocate the gas to the people who value it the most (instead of the people with the most amount of disposable leisure time that they can afford to wait in line).

Friday, September 19, 2008

Buckle Up for Yourself

I saw some dude with a "Buckle Up" bumper sticker on his truck, presumably encouraging random other people to wear their seat belts. I can understand why the state would want people to be more well protected in their cars, but I don't know why individuals would want other individuals to buckle up. I do understand encouraging your friends and family to buckle up because you derive utility from their well being.

As far as other people go, I'd rather that nobody else on the road with me was wearing their seatbelt. They'd be safer drivers if they took off the safety belt. In The Armchair Economist, Landsburg suggests that roads would be the safest if everyone had a spear pointing out of their steering wheel straight at their heart. Imagine how safe you'd be in that precarious position. The fact is that seat belts are a form of insurance and wearing them causes moral hazard...people are willing to do crazier things when they're wearing a seat belt compared to when they aren't wearing one, and that raises the probability that they'll be in an accident (with you!).

The same moral hazard problem is present in cyclists. One study found that cars pass helmeted cyclists with 3" less space than riders not wearing helmets. Also, a cyclist is more likely to pull out in front of cars or do something else stupid if they're wearing a helmet because they'll be more protected in the case of an accident (thus reducing the helmeted riders' costs of taking the action while the benefits are the same for riders with and without helmets).

So, I might make a bumper sticker that says: "Please don't buckle up." Actually, I probably won't do it and I don't put bumper stickers on my car anyway.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hawking's Bettings Bollocks

Have you heard that Stephen Hawking bet $100 (I think it was 50 pounds sterling) that the Large Hadron Collider will not discover the Higgs boson (aka the God particle)?? WTF?? What kind of pussy bet is that? I would wager that it means he's not sure.

I often use the size of a bet to indicate my certainty level. If I'm 50-50 on a bet, I might bet $5 or 10, but I'll bet up to a thousand if I know I'm right with upwards of 95% certainty. I'm sure Hawking's got more $$$ than I do. I've seen news of this bet before the LHC was fired up earlier this week and I think that too much of a deal was made about it. In fact, I'd be more likely to believe Hawking if he didn't put any money on it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pick #93

They Might Be Giants - She's an Angel

Computer Follow Up

It turns out that my computer ran the checkdisk utility after I restarted it. It was able to repair everything that went wrong with F: and I don't have anything that's lost. This made the horrible feeling in my stomach go away, but I don't think it changes the fact that I don't want to purchase any more Microsoft products.

I think I might write a program on my Ubuntu computer that automatically backs up all the important stuff once a week. I should be more vigilant in doing this on my Windows machine, but having to do it manually and waiting forever for it to work is not what I'd call making it easy.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


HBF...my computer was getting slow and I decided to reformat. I have 2 hard drives, call them C: and F:. I reformatted C: and now my F: has a couple corrupted folders that I have found already. One is my "CD Audio" folder that has rips of (almost) every CD that I own. Luckily, I have a backup copy of that folder. Another corrupted folder is "Install Files" which contains the .exe files to install just about everything that I want to put on my computer now that it's formatted. E.g. OpenOffice, Firefox, AVG, Desktop Weather, other stuff that I probably forgot about.

I know that I should have been safe and unplugged F: before formatting C: but I thought that the Windows XP PRO-FUCKING-FESSIONAL CD could handle a simple task. This incident made me vow to never purchase Microsoft products again. I'm learning that there's a lot of open-source stuff out there that's just as good and I just need to learn how to use it.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Old BMWs vs. Old Mercedes

Have you ever noticed that old Mercedes always look classy while old BMWs kind of look crappy? They both look good when brand new, but somehow the years aren't as kind to Beamers.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Energy Audit

Yesterday, I had an energy audit from the city of Tallahassee. I didn't do anything wrong. In fact, I requested the audit. Just call 891-4YOU and you can schedule one for yourself. They came out and checked on some stuff then told me some things I already know. They also told me a few I didn't. I had them check the level of insulation in my attic because they have a program where you can add insulation to your attic and they will pay 80% of the cost! You should be able to make your money back in under 6 months from energy savings. I'm going to schedule an appointment with a local contractor to come and spray in more insulation in my attic and it will cost me $77 while the city pays the rest.

The city also gave me a sweet goodie bag. It had a couple 20W (75W equivalent) CFLs, 2 thermometer stickers...yeah, stickers that tell you the temperature, some literature, and a low-flow showerhead manufactured by AM Conservation Group. I installed the new showerhead and it has a ton of pressure.

Anyway, my point is that it's worthwhile to schedule an energy audit, especially if your insulation isn't up to par.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Anti-Life v. Anti-Choice

I've been getting a couple emails from moveon.org. Too many. I unsubscribed. Anyway, one thing that really bothered me is that they call pro-lifers "anti-choice." Ok, I guess they're pro-choice, so the other side is anti-choice. That's only fair if pro-life can use the same logic and call the pro-choice crowd "anti-life."

I don't think that either of the anti- labels sound very good. I think that anti-life probably sounds worse than anti-choice, but I'm not sure. In either case, I think it just makes you sound like an asshole to call someone anti-choice.

If you don't already know where I stand on the abortion issue, I guess now's a good time to find out. I think that it's important to have legalized abortion. If abortion becomes illegal, then there will still be a demand for abortion. Pregnant women will go to dark alleys to get coat-hanger abortions and that's not good for anyone. It shouldn't matter how you personally feel about abortion...if you don't like them, then don't get one (much like gay marriage). What's it matter to you if someone else has an abortion?

Further, it has been shown that the presence of legal abortion lowers the crime rate. For a simplified version of this demonstration, read the chapter in Freakonomics. It doesn't make sense to force someone to bear a child.

I believe that contraception is much more acceptable and practical than abortion. Abortion should only be used as a last resort. I believe that this is the case. What kind of woman would rather go through the humiliation of such a procedure instead of taking some much cheaper and more discrete Plan B?

Losing Touch Is Easy

...maybe even easier than losing hope. Anyway, I haven't been very good recently at keeping in contact with people whom I care about. Sorry about that. When I'm busy, I sometimes have to cut our conversations short when you call or I might not call you back. It seems that other things in my life have been taking the front burner positions. If you care enough to religiously read my blog, then you probably know about some of the excitement in my life. If you want to find out more, call me and hopefully I'll need a break or I'll have the opportunity to multitask.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Effects of Underage Drinking

One time, Mani got caught underage drinking in the dorms. He got in a little bit of trouble and one of his punishments was to write an essay on the effects of underage drinking. He told me about this and I had a great suggestion for his paper topic: how underage drinking stimulates the economy. The premise was simple...imagine how much consumption goes on (it has to be $30,000 per week in Tallahassee alone) and how that money then moves through the economy (the Keynesian idea of a multiplier effect). He said that probably isn't what they're looking for and that he might not get out of trouble with an essay like that. He wrote it about some bad stuff that happens when underage kids drink (like hooking up with ugly chicks or something).

I guess this suggestion stems from an interest I have in giving an answer that's correct, but not what the authority figure is looking for. In class, I love to give an answer that is correct, but isn't the one the teacher's looking for. Same thing with interviews...don't go with the obvious choice. Fun times.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fun Fact #22

Coconuts kill about 150 people each year, which is more people than sharks kill.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Fun Size

I don't know why they call tiny candy bars "fun size." I think that fun size would be something you could pole vault or joust with. I mean, how cool would it be to walk into a party with a 6' long snickers bar? A lot more fun than walking in with one that's an inch square. It's like one of those things where the name is designed to make you feel better. "Here's a tiny candy bar, but if I say it's fun sized, then it won't be so bad getting the smaller version of the food." Kind of like "You're not a janitor, you're a sanitation engineer." Personally, I'd be offended if I was an engineer. I'd also be offended if I made big candy bars & couldn't call them fun size.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

This Isn't Where I Parked My Car!

So, today about 40 minutes into my IO class, some cool cat wearing stunna shades walks in. He opts to take a seat which requires him to walk the length of the classroom between the students and the teacher instead of taking the seat closest to the door. Obviously he's not in our class. He sits down and pulls out a notebook. I don't think he was taking notes. He certainly wasn't taking off his shades. People were trying not to giggle too loud when he sat down. You could see that it affected the professor's composure. The kid left about 5-8 minutes later in the same cool fashion that he entered with. This time it was impossible to keep the laughter inaudible. Seriously...how do you not realize a mistake like that sooner? Oh well, thanks for the entertainment.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I'm Making Bio Fuels

I was talking to Andrew the other day about things we could do to help out the environment. He said that we should plant a rain garden and maybe use rain barrels to filter runoff before it goes to the storm drain and collect it before it gets there, respectively. That's a little ways off from now and both things would require an investment in startup expenses. Andrew said that he'd contribute to those things if we decide to do them.

In the meantime, we had an idea about the fat we collect from cooking meat and the vegetable oil that's left over after cooking in it. A friend of mine has a biodiesel Jetta and I was curious if she could put that waste in her car. Turns out that she can. I'm going to save it until I get at least a half gallon then call her up to come get it. I collect this stuff anyway instead of dumping it down my drain. It's nice to be able to put it to a good use instead of throwing it out. If you have friends with a biodiesel, then you should consider doing this for them!

Pick #91

Ratatat - "Seventeen Years" from their self-titled album

Monday, September 1, 2008

My Skills of an Artist

So, I'm not very artistic. Sarah & I tag-teamed this splatter painting. I think she likes it better.