I’m going to go for it, I Kid You Not!

…even if Branson and the Google gang are in some bar snickering “April fools” over their Stella Artois every time some wide-eyed reporter approaches them. Have two. Or ten. Like buying a lottery ticket, it’s a license to dream big.


“For thousands of years,

the human race has spread out across the Earth, scaling mountains and plying the oceans, planting crops and building highways, raising skyscrapers and atmospheric CO2 levels, and observing, with tremendous and unflagging enthusiasm, the Biblical injunction to be fruitful and multiply across our world’s every last nook, cranny and subdivision.

“An invitation.

Earth has issues, and it’s time humanity got started on a Plan B. So, starting in 2014, Virgin founder Richard Branson and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will be leading hundreds of users on one of the grandest adventures in human history: Project Virgle, the first permanent human colony on Mars.

“The question is, do you want to join us?

Ever yearned to journey to the stars? You can learn how to become a Virgle Pioneer, test your Pioneering potential, or join the Mission Control community that will help develop the 100 Year Plan we’ve outlined here.


R. I. P., Arthur C. Clarke

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke, futurist, inventor, writer extraordinaire.
Taken by the author at The Spinnaker, Portsmouth, England 

Today is All Saints Day

My motto: Celebrate all holidays.


Job opportunity

Job Fair


Drug dealer. Sells illegal substances to addicts, schoolchildren, and undercover cops.

  • Excellent prospects for promotion due to rapid turnover of gang membership (people get killed, go to jail, or are severely injured quite often.)
  • In a four-year period, you can expect to be shot twice, arrested six times.
  • One-in-four chance of getting killed.
  • Starting wage: $1.70/hr.
  • No benefits
  • No relocation for this position
  • No education required.
  • Must provide own transportation.

Credit is due economist Steven Levitt and sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh. See Levitt’s excellent book Freakonomics.

You kneedn’t worry about whether it works…

The National Institutes of Health says total knee replacement has come a long way since it was first introduced in the 1950’s. I expect so. They didn’t have CAD/CAM or selective laser sintering technology in the ’50s.

Artificial Knee Implant

I had my right knee replaced in May of this year, and so far, so good. More than good, actually. I can walk without pain, climb stairs, and lift weights without seeing stars.

And gee, they give you this little card that you can show to airport security when you set the metal detectors off.

Bob’s your homunculus.

All body parts are not created equal, as far as the sensory cortex of our brain is concerned. It turns out that certain parts have a much higher level of neural processing power devoted to them.

Here’s a translation of the body’s sensory map, called a homunculus by neuro-science:

Sensory Homunculus

Just goes to show – not all the important stuff happens in the in the sensory cortex, eh?

Speaking of Fish and Chips

There is none better anywhere, I aver…

Fish and Chips

…than the cod at Corries on the Isle of Wight