Two Almost Physicists With Almost Something To Say

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Inaugural Linktopus

Congratulations! You are the first person to read this alt-text!

The Linktopus is honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King by tearing a frigate apart.

Here is some stuff that exists.

Words with no English equivalents

5. Zeg (Georgian)
It means “the day after tomorrow.” Seriously, why don’t we have a word for that in English?

7. Lagom (Swedish)
Maybe Goldilocks was Swedish? This slippery little word is hard to define, but means something like, “Not too much, and not too little, but juuuuust right.”

8. Tartle (Scots)
The nearly onomatopoeic word for that panicky hesitation just before you have to introduce someone whose name you can’t quite remember.

Steve Thomas - Mars

Steve Thomas – Mars

This art, by Steve Thomas is really cool. There are a series of solar system retro travel posters being sold as a 2013 calendar that was (unfortunately) already sold out by the time I saw it. Nonetheless, his site is worth checking out, because there are many more things like this excellent poster. And someday, there will be more calendars.

Alt-country rocker Ryan Adams got so sick of people yelling out “Summer of 69!” by 80’s crap rocker Bryan Adams that he finally just performed an aggrivated version of it. He had previously reacted by freaking out and throwing people out of his shows when they said it, which they frequently did. At the end he says “Can it finally stop now, please?” He sounds desperate, and I admire that. I can’t link to the song itself because there seems to have been some DRM weirdness, but you know, there’s google if you really want to hear it: the important part is that you know it happened.


Glee ripped off Jonathan Coulton’s arangement of ‘Baby Got Back’ – Really hard. It’s a cover already, but evidently, everything you change about a song you cover, is thereafter copyrighted by you. And in this case, where Coulton’s arrangement is totally new itself, with a melody that doesn’t have anything to do with the original, it’s extremely obvious it was copied. They even left in his change from “Mix-a-lot” to “Jonny C”…like they just ran this thing off in 15 minutes thinking no one would ever find out. JoCo was never even contacted. Hopefully this further shame the shameful series who’s ear-piercing covers are starting to show up before the original versions on sites like iTunes, to the horror of all right-thinking people.


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Veeping in the Name of

It’s since been surpassed in the news by some kind of medieval shaman revealing to women at long last that they possess hitherto unknown reproductive powers in the category of “ways to shut that whole thing down,” but last week something amusing happened to someone who shares Todd Akin’s pre-Enlightenment views on female autonomy: VP candidate and ex-professional hand model, Paul Ryan.

P-Ryddy got an unpleasant surprise last Thursday, when Tom Morello, guitarist of his favorite band, Rage Against the Machine, and aging Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino look-alike, penned a Rolling Stone editorial that called him “the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against.” He wonders which Rage song is Ryan’s favorite, “Is it the one where we condemn the genocide of Native Americans? The one lambasting American imperialism? Our cover of ‘Fuck the Police’? Or is it the one where we call on the people to seize the means of production?” Rage has got to be one of the most aggressively left-wing bands of the last 20 years, and not just primarily outside their music, like Bruce Springsteen or Avril Levigne—the songs themselves are about the evils of war profiteering and how cool Trotsky’s beard looked. (Fun Fact: “Political Views and Activism of Rage Against the Machine” has its own page on Wikipedia). So it’s kind of funny that a Mr. Burns-level arch-Randian conservative liked their music so much. My theory: he’s missing the irony. Like in ‘Bulls on Parade’ when they sing about “Weapons not food, not homes, not shoes…I walk the corner to the rubble that used to be a library” maybe he just thinks all that sounds like a good idea.

As the campaign puts more scrutiny on Mr. Ryan, we’re going to find out about more of the things he didn’t fully understand. Here are my predictions of the harsh revelations he’s about to receive in the near future:

  • Jefferson Starship was not a real starship.
  • Even though they were both played by the same actor, Han Solo and Indiana Jones are, in fact, different characters.
  • Maize is corn.
  • None of the people in The Crucible were actually witches.
  • ‘Ferris Bueller’ is not Matthew Broderick’s name in real life.
  • “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is only a saying—you can’t just replace Medicare with apples.
  • ‘Rosebud’ was Kane’s sled, a symbol of his lost youth and innocence, not the name of a snowglobe company he tried but failed to acquire during his rise to power.
  • Even though it has ‘America’ in the name, we don’t actually own South America
  • The Eric Clapton song “Cocaine” was about drug use.
  • Cats are not always girls and dogs are not always boys.
  • Nabokov’s Lolita was not primarily a tribute to the motor lodges of the early 1950’s.
  • Crocodiles and alligators are different species. The resulting mix-up during the summer he worked at that zoo was his fault.
  • The music of Public Enemy is not about the supremacy of supply-side economics.