Archive for May, 2005

Silly Song Game

May 31, 2005

The Llama Butchers unearthed a fun game at Impenetrable Prose and Poesy.
1. Take the lyrics to a favorite song.
2. Go to Babelfish, translate the lyrics into German, then from German to French, and finally from French back into English.
3. Post the results verbatim.
4. Invite friends to guess the song based on the interesting new lyrics.
Here goes:

There is unrest in the forest,
There is disorder with the trees,
For the maples want more sunlight lamp
And the oaks is unaware of to their pleas.
The disturbs with the maples,
(And they’ Re quite convinced they’ Re right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light.
Drank the oaks can’ T help to their feelings
If they like the way they’ Re made.
And they wonder why the maples
Can’ T Be happy in their shade.
There is disorder in the forest,
And the creatures all cuts fled,
Have the maples scream “Oppression!”
And the oaks just shake to their heads
So the maples formed has union
And demanded equal rights.
“The oaks are just too greedy;
Give We will make them custom light.”
Now there’ S No more oak oppression,
For they passed has noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axis, and saw.

Answer (and original lyrics) below the fold:

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Happy Memorial Day

May 30, 2005

Well, we’ve finished our BBQ brisket and pork rib lunch.
I’m sure a lot of people are eating similarly, enjoying some time outdoors in the late Spring weather, and spending time with family.
While we enjoy the freedom to do these things, let’s remember the reason for this holiday.
Happy Memorial Day.

Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake (De Havilland Buffalo)

May 29, 2005

I apologize for the approximately month-long hiatus in this feature. Let’s kick it off again with a bit of an odd duck suggested by Alan Brain.
We start with the conventional, versatile cargo/transport airplane, the De Havilland DHC5 Buffalo. Here is a typical shot of the aircraft:
(Image from
In the 1970s, NASA contracted with Boeing to modify the DHC5 to investigate new technologies for STOL aircraft.

Boeing rebuilt the plane with new avionics, new wings and tail, and a quartet of jet engines mounted above the wing to generate “upper surface blowing” in order to increase lift. The plane made its maiden flight at Boeing’s Seattle plant in 1978, then flew to Ames for continued flight tests. The short takeoffs and quiet operations of the aircraft yielded much information for application in both civil and military design. One intriguing series of tests led to a successful landing and takeoff from an aircraft carrier– the first four-engine jet plane to accomplish this feat.

The result was quite interesting:
TARV02P05_12.jpgC8A Buffalo Augmentor
TARV02P05_09.jpgClose-up of top-mounted jets
Full-sized, restricted, and watermarked photos available here.


May 27, 2005

If not, you will be after reading what Helen has to say.

Fatal Flaw in Fatal Attraction

May 27, 2005

Pete at A Perfectly Cromulent Blog has been going through the movies on Bravo’s list of The 100 Scariest Movie Moments. He posted comments on many (but not all) of the 100 today.
But that’s not really what my post is about. Go read Pete’s post, if the 100 movies are what you’re interested in. Instead, I wanted to talk about something that’s always bothered me about #59 on the list, Fatal Attraction. One thing necessary to make a good story is a willing suspension of disbelief. And I never could suspend my disbelief in Fatal Attraction, for the reason so eloquently stated by Pete in his post:

Then again, Adrian Lyne’s AIDS allegory makes you think twice about something you shouldn’t be doing in the first place. Namely, fooling around on the toothsome Anne Archer with the mannish Glenn Close.

That fatal flaw undermined my ability to get into this movie at all. I just simply couldn’t believe that any man would be stupid enough to cheat on:
Gimme a break.

Movie Meme

May 26, 2005

I’ve been doing a lot of these lately, just to keep some sort of writing flowing here. Rhianna tagged me with this one:
1) Total number of films I own on DVD/video:
We currently own 55 DVD titles (give or take). I am counting multiple-DVD sets as a single title (so the Special Edition of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King counts as only 1 “title” rather than 4, for example). I won’t count our aging VHS collection, which would add quite a bit more. We subscribe to Netflix, so I usually only buy titles that I want to watch more than once.
2) The last film I bought:
The original Battlestar Galactica series.
3) The last film I watched:
The last “film” I watched was Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. The last “movie” I watched — on DVD — was Racing Stripes, tonight.
4) Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me (in no particular order):
When Harry Met Sally (sappy and silly, but very similar to the story of my wife and me: old friends who became lovers and got married)
It’s A Wonderful Life (we watch it every Christmas season, along with the original Miracle on 34th Street and the George C. Scott Christmas Carol)
Star Wars (I would love to watch the untainted original version, but even the “special” edition that Lucas monkeyed with in the late 90s retains a fair amount of the original’s charm)
Silverado (one of my favorite Westerns of all time, and one of the best ensemble comedy-dramas I can think of)
Toy Story (Pixar at its innocent best; a movie that takes me right back to my eldest child’s toddlerhood)
5) Tag 5 people and have them put this in their journal:
I’ll take volunteers instead of conscripts this time.

Future Rock Musicians

May 26, 2005

Rob the Llama Butcher recounts a cute “from the mouths of babes” story about his 5-year-old’s desire to be a rock star someday.
My second son also would like to be a rock star someday, and I’ve got pictures to prove it (one below the fold).
Don’t worry, Rob, he’s only eight, so he probably won’t be interested in your daughter and her van full of guitars for another 10 years or so. [This is where I would insert a smiley-wink if Rob believed in emoticons, but he doesn’t, so I won’t, enjoying the fact that he will now lie awake at night worrying about the designs of 18-year-old rock musicians on his 15 year old daughter]

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May 26, 2005

Teal is your Lightsaber’s color.
The color Teal signifies trustworthiness, devotion and healing. It is also the indication of a spiritual guide and natural teacher.
What Colored Lightsaber Would You Have?
brought to you by Quizilla

Cool Music Blog

May 25, 2005

I recently discovered Music thing (thanks, BoingBoing!) Lots of very-cool vintage gear and odd bits of music technology on parade at this site. A random sampling:
Build your own analog synth for around $100.
A psychedelic French modular synthesizer for kids. (Really).
Some first-rate pR0n for synthesists. (Mmm. Electronic cheesecake…)
And lots of other really super-neat stuff.

Well, Crap.

May 25, 2005

One of my favorite bloggers is hanging up his spurs.
Timothy Sandefur was one of the first bloggers to link to me, so there is a sentimental side to seeing him quit now.
As a lawyer for a public-interest libertarian foundation, he works to increase liberty in our country; he doesn’t just talk about it. But when he does talk about liberty, he does so lucidly and persuasively. Check back through his archives for some of the most clear and concise explanations you can find online of the moral and philosophical foundations of our legal system, of classical liberalism, and of objectivism.
Though Timothy may no longer be blogging on his personal website, keep your eyes peeled for his name. He’ll continue to write for Liberty, and I bet his name will crop up from time to time in other areas, as his writing is too good to escape recognition over the long term.
Best wishes, Timothy.