Tag: Thunderdome

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Willie: Welcome to another edition of Thunderdome! Boy oh boy this time we’ve got a real treat for you! We’re broacasting live from the History’s Sneakiest Bastards Connive-Off Invitational, and let me tell you we’ve seen some really underhanded dealings today. The skullduggery is only going to get better from here so stay tuned! As […]

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Why a Wall?

 

“…and I’ll make Mexico pay for it!”

Who cares if Mexico pays for it? We’re arguing over $5,000,000,000 in the budget; it’s an unimaginably huge amount in terms of my pocket book but the federal government wastes that much money on nothing every day. Yeah, I darn well would prefer if the feds didn’t waste all that money all the time. Border defense constitutes one of the fundamental duties of the government, and I’m willing to pay for it. The question then becomes what’s the best way to go about it?

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Recently the comment was made that if Ricochet ends, we won’t be figuring out who was the winner, and my thought was “Well not with that attitude it isn’t.” I followed that up with some more thoughts about how I would go about determining who is in fact winning Ricochet, and this post is the […]

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This one’s for all you dorks who walk alone. And while you’re walking your dork road you can take comfort in the fact that while you may be dorky you’re in good company. Well, company at least. I mean look at these dorks. Ladies and Gentlemen, prepare yourselves for the Dork Contest results! But first, […]

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Group Writing – Eliminate the Negative (Of Your State)

 

The reminder for this post came from this comment, although the idea’s been an idle dream for at least a couple years now, and with the election, now seems an appropriate time to bring it up. For those who don’t want to click the link, the plan is that given the power to redraw state borders, Chicago, Madison, and Milwaukee and the surrounding area would become a state, and Wisconsin would take the Upper Peninsula from Michigan.* There are a couple variants on that plan, but that’s the basic idea. As far as names go, I’m thinking that the new state would be known as Superior, or that it would stay Wisconsin and that the C-M-M combination would come to be known as Megacity One.

That got me thinking: I know about the movement to break up California into several states, in some cases with the addition of land from Oregon, but I’m sure that there must be other proposals that I haven’t heard about, or that people in different areas might have thoughts on how they would like to get rid of annoying parts of their state.

The Map, the Model, and the Territory

 

The Map

Let’s start with a simple question. How long is the coastline of Lake Superior? Here, let me google that for you. “Shore length 1,729 mi (2,783 km) plus 997 mi (1,605 km) for islands”. Thanks, Wikipedia! Right away we can see a problem. Are you counting those islands or not? I’m saying count every last thing. All of it. Okay, include the islands. What other complications are we going to run into?

You’re Out of Your Element

 

A few weeks ago, I was watching Young Frankenstein. About halfway through, I realized that to the best of my knowledge, I hadn’t seen it before, yet due to the sort of people I associate with, I was already aware of all the most-referenced parts. It was not the first movie I’ve seen where previous secondhand knowledge somewhat diminished my enjoyment.

On the other side of the ledger, @hankrhody referenced Bartertown at work. In a group that could be expected to have known and asking other people afterward, he was only able to find 1.5 out of 19 people that knew who run Bartertown. (The half point was for knowing the movie.)

How to Build a Computer Part 2 of N: Crystallography

 

Last week we saw how to turn sand into silicon. This week I was planning on showing you how to turn silicon into a semiconductor. I mean more of one than it already is. Unfortunately my brief notes on crystallography went long. This week we’ll discuss crystals, next week we’ll do doping, and the week after that we’ll finally get to transistors. Unless I wax even more loquacious, which is the way the smart money is betting.

In a crystal every atom is slotted neatly into an ordered lattice, and every spot in the lattice has an atom in it. With some exceptions. Actually those exceptions are most of what we’re going to talk about today. Let’s assume this is a perfect silicon crystal:

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This post was inspired by a hypothetical batch of cookies. When it comes to gift giving, there are in my opinion three generally accepted categories: expensive, thoughtful, and the backup. Backup gifts are given when you don’t have the necessary resources to give a gift in the first two categories, and includes things like alcohol, […]

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How to Crack Excel Files

 

This all starts with Mike Mahoney. Mahoney was the Excel guy, two Excel guys ago. To his credit, he wrote pretty good stuff. His macros don’t break often. Everything would have been cool except he was writing these things when Excel 2003 was the hot new thing. Mahoney was also excellent about locking things down from accidental damage. Trouble is, nobody remembers his passwords. Breaking through his protections makes an excellent case study on how to secure and how to bypass the security on an excel workbook.

Not even swordfish works.

Quote of the Day: On Compassion

 

“I didn’t figure the fans wanted to sit through a sudden death. You can’t say I’m without compassion, although I’ve been accused of it.” — Vince Lombardi, on going for a touchdown to end the 1967 NFL Championship Game between the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the football game known to history as the “Ice Bowl.” With wind chills reaching -38°, it was the coldest title game played in NFL history.

Women: Why Bother?

 

Laid up with some injuries, figure I might as well write something provocative so I can enjoy the show.

I’m a single guy. Let’s assume that I do want to get married and have kids. Safe assumption. Let’s walk through the process as modern feminism has wrought it.

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In the past couple weeks, I’ve seen the phrase “Donald Trump corrupts/kills everything he touches” with increasing regularity. If we accept this as a given, it seems to me it would make more sense to just start over with a new country. I spent some time thinking about what the new United States would look […]

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