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Another kick at the cold fusion dream…

Nearly 20 years ago, some scientists observed something that looked like room temperature fusion, or “cold fusion”. If such a thing actually worked, and generated net positive energy flow (I.E.: you get more energy out than you put in to start and maintain the fusion), the world could be changed in amazing ways. Unfortunately, […]

I’m not fat, I’m just economical…

I came across an interesting post on Wired today, referring to a Dutch study that just made me shake my head. The study found that obese people actually save society money versus healthy, thin people. While they are alive the fat people cost more, but since they die younger they end up being cheaper […]

String Theory

I spent an hour or so today looking at xkcd, which is a stick-person comic for geeks.  Some of the humour is somewhat esoteric: math and statistics jokes, for example.  But there were plenty of gems.  This one is my favorite so far:


Product Warnings

Product warnings are getting silly. “Warning: product in this container may be hot!”…on a cup of coffee or a hot apple pie. Or how about “Warning: side effects of this product include drowsiness” on a sleep aid.   Its all about litigation: someone sued the product manufacturer once, and probably won, so the warning on the container is intended to prevent other idiots from saying they weren’t smart enough to figure out that coffee might be hot. Its all part of the gradual dumbification of our society…the assumption that we must all be freaking idiots, because there is so much evidence to prove it.   I was reading a little “joke” posting on Slashdot today, which lead me to the Enchanted Mind site, which I found has some interesting humour. But the thing that got my attention today was their list of warnings based on modern physics, which I shamelessly repeat here.   NEW CONSUMER LAWS The combination of modern physics and consumer protection laws leads to a new wave of product labeling.   NOTICE: Due To Its Mass, This Product Warps Space and Time in Its Vicinity.   WARNING: This Product Attracts Every Other Object in the universe, Including the Products of Other Manufacturers, with a Force Proportional to the Product of the Masses Divided by the Square of the Distance Between Them.   CAUTION: The Mass of This Product Contains the Energy Equivalent of 85 Million Tons of TNT per Net Ounce of Weight. The Manufacturer warrants that this product is to be used only as matter and will not be responsible for injury or damage if it is converted into energy.   HANDLE WITH CARE: This Product Contains Minute Electrically Charged Particles Moving at Velocities in Excess of Five Hundred Million Miles Per Hour.   CONSUMER NOTICE: Due to the “Uncertainty Principle,” it is impossible for the User to know precisely and simultaneously where this product is located and how fast it is moving.   ADVISORY: There is an Extremely Remote Chance That, Through a Process Known as “Tunneling,” This Product May Spontaneously Disappear from Its Present Location and Reappear at Any Other Place in the Universe, Including Your Neighbor’s Domicile. The Manufacturer Will Not Be Responsible for Any Damage or Inconvenience That May Result.   READ THIS BEFORE OPENING PACKAGE: According to Certain Suggested Versions of the Grand Unified Theory, the Primary Particles Constituting this Product May Decay to Nothingness Within the Next Four Hundred Million Years.   THIS PRODUCT IS 100% MATTER: In the Unlikely Event That This Merchandise Should Contact Antimatter in Any Form, a Catastrophic Explosion Will Result. The Manufacturer cannot be held responsible for resulting injury or damages.   PUBLIC NOTICE AS REQUIRED BY LAW: Any Use of This Product, in Any Manner Whatsoever, Will Increase the Aggregate Amount of Disorder in the Universe. Although No Liability Is Assumed Herein, the Consumer Is Warned That This Process Will Ultimately Lead to a state of “Warm Death” of the Universe.   NOTE: The Most Fundamental Particles in This Product Are Held Together by a “Gluing” Force About Which Little is Currently Known and Whose Adhesive Power, therefore, Can Not Be Guaranteed Indefinitely. No responsibility is therefore assumed for the structural integrity of this product.   ATTENTION: Notwithstanding Any Listing of Product Contents Found Hereupon, the Consumer is Advised That This Product Actually Consists of 99.9999999999% Empty Space.   NEW GRAND UNIFIED THEORY DISCLAIMER: While the Manufacturer is Technically Entitled to Claim That This Product Is Ten-Dimensional, the Consumer Is Reminded That This Confers No Legal Rights Above and Beyond Those Applicable to Three-Dimensional Objects, Since the Seven New Dimensions Are “Rolled Up” into Such a Small “Area” That They Cannot Be Detected.   PLEASE NOTE: Some Quantum Physics Theories Suggest That, When Unobserved, This Product May Cease to Exist or May Exist Only in a Vague and Undetermined State. Therefore all warranties are in effect only while this product is under the direct observation of a human being.   COMPONENT EQUIVALENCY NOTICE: The Subatomic Particles (Electrons, Protons, etc.) Comprising This Product Are Exactly the Same in Every Measurable Respect as Those Used in the Products of Other Manufacturers, and Competitors’ Claims to the Contrary are neither Justified nor Legitimate.   HEALTH WARNING: Care Should Be Taken When Lifting This Product, Since Its Mass, and Thus Its Weight, Is Dependent on Its Velocity Relative to the User. The manufacturer cannot be held liable for injury or damage resulting from relativistic mass increase.   IMPORTANT NOTICE TO PURCHASERS: The Entire Physical Universe,Including This Product, May One Day Collapse Back into an Infinitesimally Small Space. Should Another Universe Subsequently Reemerge, the Existence of This Product in That Universe, and its performance and suitability for any purpose, Cannot Be Guarantee   […]