Wednesday, April 25, 2007

This is the age of miracle and wonder...

Holy crap. The ESO just released findings of an earthlike planet. Only 20 lightyears way. This is ridiculous.

The first extra-solar planet was confirmed in 1992. That's just 15 years ago. In a decade and a half, we've gone from no knowledge whatsoever about the existence of these things, to being able to say that this new planet is in the right orbital zone to allow liquid water.

I mean, damn.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Big Numbers

So just in case you ever wondered if we really needed names for all those huge numbers like a quadrillion or a sextillion, consider the Hungarian pengoe. Hyperinflation after World War II was so bad that 100 quintillion pengoe bills were produced. That is 1020, or a hundred million billion. Damn. Now aren't you glad we have a word for that number?

Happy New Year, all ya'll.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Spanish songs in Andalucia...

Last week I took a trip to Granada with Victor. It was awesome. You know you've been in England too long when you say things like "It can't be five, the sun's still out!"

This was my second trip to Spain, and was very different from the first, but just as good. Whereas before I was in Barcelona, de facto capital of the northern region of Catalonia, now I was down near the southern coast. The moorish influence was definitely visible, even beyond the Alhambra towering over the city. Most restaurants served, for example, couscous, and the population was much darker-hued than other parts of Spain.

The Alhambra was unbelievable. Not only is it a massive freaking fort, impressive in and of itself, it also houses several ornate palaces, most fairly well preserved. There'll be pictures up later, but for now I'll just say dayum.

Also, props to random old ladies who put up with my shit-awful Spanish and help me figure out how to get to airports. Seriously, they rock.

A few random notes (some Spanish, some not):

There's apparently a major market in Granada for bootleg CDs. Or so I must infer from all the guys trying to sell them to me when I'm in a cafe.

It's so much better to convert from pounds to euros than dollars to euros.

Airports should not remind me architecturally of CostCo.

Heated lube is a bad idea.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Some random points...

You don't appreciate twenty-four hour stores until you don't have any.

It's amazing the things people'll write on a math test. Especially when they know they've gone horribly wrong. Corrolary: five hours of grading is more tiring than you'd think.

It's surprisingly easy to become someone's hookup/middleman.

Double beds are an underappreciated luxury.

Life just works out sometimes...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

How 'bout them Yankees...

So after grumbling and groaning, I've decided to start this thing here back up. Watch this space. Or don't. Either way.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

So This is the New Year...

...I don't feel any different.

That's a lie; actually, but it's a good song.

I'm the luckiest person alive. It's easy to forget that when I lose my passport (since found) or have to sleep in a French halfway house. But really, I'm getting to travel around Europe, and see cool stuff, and meet random Frenchmen who speak English (Hi Roman!), and in general have adventures. And then I get to go to Oxford, unless I fuck up real good between now and October.

Fuckin nuts.

New pictures, random mess.

Happy New Year, Merry Christmas, etc.