17 December 2010

RIP Van Vliet

Don Van Vliet, a / k / a "Captain Beefheart", has died.

He was a friend and collaborator of Frank Zappa's, and a pretty far out, if you will, musician in his own right.

Damn you, SyFy

I don't pretend that anyone in the position to change these things reads what I'm putting out here on the Internet, but this is my forum, I chose the color scheme, so I'm going to blow steam, even if no one is listening. At least I'll have registered my displeasure in the open.

08 December 2010


I think it's been well established herein that I love me some coffee.
I recently went without for a few days recently while I got over a sore throat, suffering through with tea
To celebrate my return to black gold in a cup, (and inspired by this post*) here is how I order my americano:

When at Starbucks, I keep it simple: triple short americano, with room.  Yes, this amounts to 3 shots of espresso with a splash of water, but that splash is important.  It's like a splash of water in your scotch - allows you to enjoy the flavors of the beverage that much more.

When at other coffee shops, like our favorite Higher Ground in Hagerstown, MD (On the Dual Highway, check them out, good stuff, promise),  I get the smallest possible with an extra shot and ask them to leave some room.

But why room?  you ask.  Because the barrista dumps in the hottest water she can find, and I don't like my coffee hot enough to power space probes, so leaving room means less steel-melting water poured in.

I should probably just ask for room temperature water, but I don't want to be a pain.

*I'm not a normal reader of the linked blog (yet?), but that post was called out special for me by @smplnerd.

Nature vs NASA

     The recent announcement of arsenophilic bacteria discovered by NASA is being increasingly refuted.
     I know the entire mechanism for research has become entangled with getting media attention for your work so that when it comes time for more dollars to continue your work you can point to something in print that will impress the purse-holders, but I would consider it a superior and inherently more logical course for research be conducted, analyzed, and published in a scholarly journal.

     With publication other researchers could then attempt to replicate the experiment a few times, and only after this process is complete, and assuming that the initial results are still correct,  this information can be fed to science journalists so that lay persons such as myself with a dilettante's interest in these things gets an accurate picture.  Not NASA trumpeting from the hills that we have met ET and he is us only to be refuted (see above) within days.

     That's just embarrassing, folks.

     On an entertainment level, I know where to get all the SF I want; only pull me up for air when the science has been proven.

     On an academic / professional level, we're facing the same problem that plagues too much of our thinking as a society - the short term.  What do you have for me now, in 6 months, 18 months?  What damage are we doing to ourselves as a species that out current dominant mechanism for progress (money) is applied in a manner that so often neglects the long term?

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