Category Archives: Humor

Things we find funny

Starting work at 4am is a mixed bag

Step 1: Wake up at 3AM

You remember your youth? Going to bed at 3AM after having a lot of fun? Maybe playing video games or drinking at a bar? It felt a little rebellious and irresponsible to be up that late (it’s almost early #LOL). Maybe if you had a late class or a flexible work schedule, you did these shenanigans on a weekday! Those were fun times. This is the exact opposite of that. Try to go to sleep at 7, but fail. Go to sleep at 9 instead and wake up barely able to function.

Step 2: Protein

Cereal over the age of thirty is a bad idea. Even bran cereal. That’s just sugar, and sugar wants to take up squatter’s residence on your belly. It’s harder to evict than your derelict former roommate, Martin, who ate your eggs, but doesn’t feel bad about it because they are not free range and factory farm cruelty excuses theft, apparently. Cook an egg for breakfast because you are a grownup.

Step 3: Coffee

Using a clean coffee maker, brew up 8 to 10 cups of Walmart’s Great Value Medium Roast. It’s a great value! There are no calories in a cup of black coffee but there are 100 milligrams of caffeine (It is by will alone I set my mind in motion). Drink a cup (or three!) to get you started and put the rest in an insulated container to nurse over the rest of the morning. Coffee kept hot on a hot plate will taste like death in less than an hour.

Step 4: Go to work

To start the day, read a nice think piece about your work. There’s no need to jump right in to the real work of the day. You’re in at 4AM. If you read for an hour to get your head on straight, you’re still ahead of the game. For God’s sake, don’t read the news. Not even as a joke. Block that on your own computer if you have to, like NetNanny for adults. Yes, there is an app for that.

Step 5: Panic at 6AM

Holy crap, have you  been at work for 2 hours? What have you accomplished? It’s the equivalent of 11 AM for anyone on a non-insane schedule. Have you written anything? A blog post, at least? Part of a paper? Code? What’s the point of getting up before dawn? You could have “slept in” until 6AM. That’s a statement that is absurd on its face. Maybe you should meditate or something.

Do you prefer your morning routine parodies in video form? Here you go:

 

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Amazon is inadvertently making sexy science

A hilarious thing happened about 2 weeks ago and now again today.

I wanted to build an instrument for making emulsions. Commercial equipment for generating emulsions can cost up to $10,000. I want to build something for more like $200. My ad hoc homogenizer could also be used to lyse cells or break up tissue. I want to use it to make polyacrylamide microspheres. I have some worries that the resulting microspheres will not be sufficiently uniform so it would be a shame to pay a huge amount of money for the equipment which might subsequently turn out to be useless.

Anyway, I need a reciprocating saw and some method to attach a micro-tube to the end of said reciprocating saw. Reciprocating saws run about $100. The adapter runs about $15. I can then 3-D print a micro-tube holder that will attach to the adapter. This all is looking fine.

Here’s the hilarious part. In addition to attaching scrub brushes and metal files to the end of the reciprocating saw, this little adapter has (evidently) been used “frequently” to build makeshift sex toys. 2015-01-15 17_01_51-Reciprotools RCT-A10 Reciprocating Saw Adapter - Reciprocating Saw Accessories - 2015-01-15 17_02_19-Reciprotools RCT-A10 Reciprocating Saw Adapter - Reciprocating Saw Accessories -

Thank you, Amazon, for that fascinating view into the lives of my fellow customers. I did end up buying the speed controller, though. That was pretty insightful.

It happened again today.

2015-01-29 14_10_37-Amazon.com_ rocker platform

I wanted to order a “platform rocker” not “rocker platforms.” Keep making science sexy, Amazon.

I guess this is a common phenomenon: Amazon has been accidentally making starter kits for drug dealers, too. I noticed something along these lines when I purchased a little milligram balance. “Did you want rolling papers with that?” No, Amazon, I don’t. I don’t want rolling papers or spiky high heel boots. But it’s nice to know that you are so non-judgmental.

Bachelor Chow, revisited

Bachelor Chow:
1 bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats
6oz light yogurt
$1.22 per meal

Breakdown:
Miniwheats: $27 for 4x18oz (0.37 /oz), 1 Serving = 24 biscuits = 2 ounces or $0.74, 200 calories; Yogurt: $2.88 6x6oz (0.08 /oz), 1 Serving = 1 container = 6 ounces or $0.48, 90 calories. Sub total: 1 serving, 290 calories, $1.22 per serving
Daily total: 7 servings, 2030 calories, $8.54

Ultra-Cheap Bachelor Chow:
1 cup rehydrated dry milk
1.4 ounces multigrain hot cereal
$0.52 per meal

Breakdown: 1 cup rehydrated dry milk has 80 calories, requires no refrigeration, and costs $0.29/cup. Multigrain hot cereal costs 2.92/lb or 0.23 per 1.4 oz serving with 133 calories. So total 213 calories per serving and $0.52 per meal for a final cost of about $5 per day. You just need hot water.

Men, Goats, Good and Evil

I just saw the Men who Stare at Goats. I was actually impressed. Here is a part of the opening monologue:

Life is just too short to waste any chance of true happiness… [My life] seemed like such a tragedy the time. We couldn’t see past our little lives to the greater events of history unfolding our there in the world. I was like a child or a hobbit safe in the shire or a blond farm boy on a distant desert planet, unaware that he was taking the first steps on a path that would lead him relentlessly towards the heart of a conflict between the forces of good and evil. I did what so many men have done throughout history when a woman has broken their heart: I went to war.

I suspect that it sums up most people living in terrible circumstances. They want their life to be a part of a greater struggle between good and evil. And if, when their hearts are broken, they can not find a war to which they can go, then they create an imaginary one.

-Peter

New Printable RFID

According to Wired, a new nanotube-based ink allows RFID tags to be printed directly onto packaging materials. The end result would be that no bar-code scanning, just wheel a cart of gorceries through the exit, and you’re good. Plus, if your credit card is RFID enabled, then you could, in principle, have your account debited at the same time! No human interaction required at all. Pretty sweet. I can’t wait to see what the Fringe has to say about this.

Cheers,
Peter