Family repellant?

Family repellant?
About a week before Christmas I was wandering through Target in search of a last few presents when I spotted this rather unusual product.
At first glance, that bottle looks like it says, “Repel Family.” Interesting product for Christmas time, don’t you think? Evidently someone figured out how to bottle Eau du Fruitcake! 🙂

An honest to goodness superhero

For the past several years, the citizens of Jackson, Michigan have had a real life superhero living in their midst, a hero known only as “Captain Jackson”. Unfortunately, according to a Detroit Free Press article, he’s very much like his comic book counterparts and his alter- ego evidently has a few personal demons to battle. And after he slipped in October, his “secret identity” was revealed.
Captain Jackson is reportedly considering leaving town, which is a shame. His superhero gimmick is definitely corny as all get out (it ranks right up there with dressing in Star Trek costumes when working for a charity), but when you put that aside, his stated goal of trying to deter crime and educate people about working with their local police is really kinda cool.
Whatever he does, hopefully he’ll keep on keeping on.

Dividing by Zero

As it says at the top of pretty much every page, “Division by Zero is not defined.”
Which is to say, I’m not really sure why this is here or what it’s about, but that’s exactly what the world needs, right? One more uninteresting blog about nothing in particular.
The blog’s been here for a few months, but it’s now officially live and linked. Who knows where it’ll be in another month.

Somewhere in the Western Desert

NASA’s Stardust probe is due to return on January 15 of next year, carrying samples of interstellar dust particles. Riding on a set of two parachutes, the probe is due to land somewhere in Utah a little after 3:00am.
Details of the probe’s sample return mission are available on NASA’s Stardust web site, but this got me thinking about what might happen on that day, somewhere in the Western Desert….
January 15, 2006
Dear Diary,
A most peculiar thing happened last night. I was having trouble sleeping so around 2:30 I decided to go out for a quick run in hopes of tiring myself out. It was working and a little after 3:00 I was definitely starting to feel groggy so I headed back to the nest.
Wouldn’t you know it?! Turns out that mean old coyote was out for a jaunt too and, as always, he was hungry. Well I took off at top speed, but like I said, I was definitely feeling tired and I just couldn’t keep up the pace. I could almost feel the coyote’s breath on my back and that’s when it happened.
First there was a popping boom sound – sort of like my usual sonic booms – but like I said, I was pretty tired at that point and starting to slow down. And then, just when I thought I was a goner and the coyote was finally gonna get me for sure, he got conked on the head by this strange metal box that just fell out of nowhere.
I wonder where it came from?
Meep! Meep!

Wylie's experimental theater

One of the useful bits I remember from High School is that when you come up with an idea in science and it seems to make sense, you call it a hypothesis. The next step is to perform experiments and see if the results of the experiment match what the hypothesis says they should be. If they match, then then the hypothesis becomes a theory. This process can be repeated as needed in order to refine the new theory and clear up any inconsistencies between it and the results of the experiments.
I’ve felt badly over the past two years about having to keep Wylie caged when I’m out of the house. The problem is, I’ve sometimes stepped out of the house for less than five minutes only to come back inside and find a couch cushion on the floor.
Over time, I noticed that the cushion Wylie most frequently pulls off the couch is the one by the window. So I formed the hypothesis that perhaps what was happening was that Wylie was jumping on the couch so he could watch out the window and in the process of jumping off and on, he was knocking the cushion onto the floor.
So, next I set out to test this hypothesis. Twice in the past week I’ve left Wylie out of the cage while I went out to run errands. Both times I came back after several hours to find Wylie sacked out on my bed and all the couch cushions exactly where they belonged.
I left Wylie out of the cage again this afternoon while I went out to finish my Christmas shopping. When I came back, I found Wylie curled up on my bed looking up, happy to see me, the very picture of innocent puppyhood.
There are, of course, pieces of couch cushion scattered all over the living room floor.