No, Higgs Boson is Not the Firm that Specializes in Diet Pill Lawsuits

Researchers at a U.S. physics lab have made an important step toward isolating the mysterious and all powerful Higgs boson particle, a particle thought to be so powerful that even Chuck Norris fears it:

The world’s best measurement of the mass of the so-called W boson was made by scientists working at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., a Fermilab release reported Friday.

The new measurement is an important step to discovering the mass of the theorized Higgs boson, the last undiscovered component of the Standard Model of physics thought to give all other particles their masses.

Well, powerful in the sense that it provides a powerful explanation of the underlying causes in theoretical physics. But I bet Norris would still be wary.

Apparently, researchers typically try to either produce the boson particles or attempt to measure other particles thought to be influenced by them; this particular attempt was a measurement trial, and it yielded excellent results:

“This measurement illustrates the great contributions that the Tevatron has made and continues to make with further analysis of its accumulated data,” Fermilab Director Pier Oddone said. “The precision of the measurement is unprecedented and allows rigorous tests of our underlying theory of how the universe works.”

Reportedly, the Devil is very happy; after all, he invented science to lead men astray from God’s truth:

“And demons shall be loosed upon the Earth and they shall consume the flesh of waterfowl paired with a savory vintage; then, with a furious surge, the demons shall construct a model of knowledge that allows for significant explanatory power in the face of questions regarding the natural world. And that knowledge will be called ‘Science,’ and it shall be evil. For men were not meant to know of the world around them; nay, they were meant to have other men read some poorly translated ancient texts and hand down platitudes from on high. Question not, men, for down that path lies only philosophers and devils.”

–Asininus, 28:12-16

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Ditka Versus an Aerial Sniper?

The government of Alaska seems to pride itself on comically stupid ideas, and this next one is no different:

The Alaska Board of Game has approved a plan for state wildlife biologists to shoot black and grizzly bears from helicopters in the middle Kuskokwim River region starting next spring. The goal is to increase the moose population for local hunters.

Yes, in an effort to increase the moose population, the Board of Game has voted to “remove” all the bears from Game Management Unit 19A, an area southeast of Fairbanks that includes several small villages. Ostensibly, the reason for this removal is to increase the moose population for subsistence hunters; right now, the moose population is estimated to be between 2,800 and 5,800 moose. The bear population is somewhat lower, at 135 to 150 black bears, and 10 to 15 brown bears. That’s roughly 35 moose per bear at maximal estimates; personally, I doubt the bears are that hungry.

Of course the bears do not prey upon the full-grown moose all the time; often they take calves and thus harm the breeding potential of the moose population. That, in turn, does threaten the future of subsistence in Unit 19A. Moreover, the moose must contend with wolf populations; however, those wolf populations have been successfully curbed by aerial wolf patrols. But interestingly, the moose population has not risen.

In case you were wondering, the primary logic behind killing all the bears was based on the non-success of past predator management:

An aerial wolf control program has been in place in Unit 19A since 2004. Private pilots and gunners with state permits have reduced the wolf population by at least 60 percent each year since 2005 but moose numbers have not recovered, according to the department’s proposal to the board.

“Adding bear removal to the predation control program should help address this issue,” the department wrote.

Perhaps killing the residents near Game Management Unit 19A would also work, Board of Game! After all, the logical next step in predator management would be to take out the next predator in line. Sorry, Aniak residents!

The option to move the bears (a plan that has been utilized in the past) was nixed; apparently no one else wants the bears around:

Moving bears was not approved in unit 19A because the program is costly and residents from other parts of the state said they didn’t want bears moved to their areas, the department said.

The Board also adopted a measure that would allow pussies to fly in, hop out of their plane, jog about 300 meters–oh, wait, feet–and shoot at black bears who’ve been tempted by bait stations. Yes, nothing says “primal scream of nature” like shooting an unsuspecting bear while it chows down on some bait. You didn’t even have to muss your Carhartt’s, you total badass!

I would like to point out that I’m absolutely in favor of game management. I see no reason not to control populations in humane ways so that a balance can be attained between the needs of the residents and the natural order of the Alaskan Interior. Yet something about this plan twists my balls.

Why not expand the hunting season and sell more bear permits? People would snap those up like a new toy from Apple; moreover, the state would generate revenue for that particular game management area.

Also, if aerial wolf control failed, why the hell would you expect aerial bear control to succeed? Is it really necessary to kill every single bear? That doesn’t seem like balance; rather, it seems like short-sighted bullshit shenanigans perpetrated by political appointees.

Plus, if you’re such a Goddamn nutless turd that you can’t hike into a hunting area, set up camp, and stalk and kill your prey like nature intended, then you have no business hunting. Bait stations are for bitches, and so is aerial hunting. Go back to your Call of Duty, pussy.

Welcome to Thunderdome!

Yes, today is Super Tuesday, and it will quite likely determine the candidate who will go on to challenge Obama in the presidential election. Let’s hope it’s not Santorum. Or Romneybot. Or Ron Paul Kenobi. Or Newton “Fruit n’ Cake.” Actually, let’s hope that all four of them meet up for a grip-and-grin photo op and a meteor strikes them. Yes, that would be the best possible scenario: the meteor that killed the Republican presidential candidate field versus Obama.

Naturally, I’d vote for the meteor; after all, it did more for American politics than Obama ever could.

But since that’s not going to happen, we’ll discuss some actualities. In what appears to be a race to the bottom for Santorum and Romneybot, both are counting on victories in Ohio to propel them to the depths; Ohio is the necessary morale booster for either candidate. Hence all the campaigning and vague talk about “manufacturing”:

At a metal works in Canton and a welding factory in Youngstown, in mailboxes and on the radio, Mr. Romney’s intense focus on these Republican-leaning voters was in evidence on Monday as he made his closing appeal in Ohio – if not as an everyman, then at least as a chief executive who knows how to generate blue-collar jobs and get factories running again.

“Other people in this race have debated about the economy, they’ve read about the economy, they’ve talked about it in subcommittee meetings, but I’ve actually been in it,” Mr. Romney told workers at a guardrail factory in Canton, where he walked among huge coils of steel. “I understand what it takes to get business successful, and to thrive.”

Yes, a predatory venture capital firm is exactly like a factory; really, the douchebags I see outside of Bain’s headquarters at lunch are virtually indistinguishable from the chumps who make sprockets in Bumfuck, Ohio!

Also, there’s no such thing as “the” economy; there are a multiplicity of interrelated economies. When I sell my bike to some hippie, that’s an economy. We’re all in the Goddamn economy, Mittensus. So shut the fuck up.

Santorum, however, was not to be outdone on the pandering front:

Mr. Santorum, who has mixed his faith-based appeal with a workingman’s sensibility born of his Pennsylvania coal and steel country roots, was not about to cede that ground.

At Dayton Christian School in Miamisburg on Monday, he urged a capacity crowd to vote for “a guy who grew up in a steel town in western Pennsylvania who no one gave any chance to be standing here in Ohio in March, because he went out and believed in free people” and in “building a stronger economy based on manufacturing.”

Yes, Rickspittle–your White Christianness and upbringing near some people who worked really hard definitely qualifies you to be president. I grew up in a small farming town; I didn’t farm, but there were some nearby. Thus, I’m not only qualified to talk about farming, but I could also be president! Isn’t democracy grand?

Whether this nonstop blue-collar asslicking will prove fruitful remains to be seen; if the past is any indicator, it probably will. Desperate people are often swindled with vague promises, and in this Republican field, vague promises are seemingly the only mode of discourse available.

But before you vote, blue-collar Super Tuesdayans, just consider this: are you willing to work for $17 a day, where a day lasts 14 hours? No? Then kiss that manufacturing bullshit goodbye.

Also, vote for Ron Paul Kenobi–I’d love to see Emperor Muslimtine crush him beneath his Imperial loafers.

Give it Up, Jackass: The Ladies Don’t Want to See Your A La Souvarov

Well, it looks like that month you spent growing a beard to impress the ladies (and your Williamsburg bicycle club) was for naught: turns out ladies are completely skeeved by beards. That’s right, hippie, your beard is off-putting. Yet many men still decided to deck their chin with a tuft of hair; explanations abound:

Science gives us various theories as to why men are able to grow beards, from protecting the delicate facial skin from sunlight to buffering blows to the jaw in a fight.

It is even suggested that a beard is a sign of a strong immune system. The theory goes that disease-carrying parasites thrive in body hair and so if a man can sport a beard without getting ill, he must be extra healthy.

Women are supposed to be drawn to strong, healthy men but previous research into whether beards are attractive has produced mixed results, so scientists from New Zealand and Canada decided to conduct their own research.

The study photographed 19 men with full beards (six weeks of solid growth), and photographed them while they made angry faces. The men then shaved and were photographed again; afterwards, scientists showed the before and after photos to a bevy of beauties who then rated the shaved men as more attractive.

Interestingly, the study, when conducted on men, seems to show that men prefer other men with beards; having a beard seems to confer a level of status upon a man. Women, too, rated the bearded men as having more presence, presumably because they were simultaneously afraid and excited by the angry, hairy visages.

While the study has a long way to go in establishing any sort of correlation, it would seem that the early results are in: dudes love other dudes with beards, and ladies prefer a clean shaven man. Or near to clean shaven; as one scientist who commented on the trend that women love a 5 o’clock shadow said, “It was almost as if women preferred a man who could grow a beard but hadn’t.”

The layers of meaning in that single bit of analysis beautifully sum up modern relationships.

The Time Has Come to Start Liking PCs Ironically

That’s right, trend-spotters: if you want to be in on the next big thing, it’s time to slap a pair of skinny jeans and Ray-Bans on your desktop computer. Because according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, with the rise of the tablet, your PC just became your most irony-worthy accessory. And he’s not alone:

His forecast has backing from a growing number of analysts and veteran technology industry executives, who contend that the torrid growth rates of the iPad, combined with tablet competition from the likes of Amazon.com and Microsoft, make a changing of the guard a question of when, not if.

This is especially relevant given that Apple’s holiday tablet sales accounted for 40% more revenue than their Mac sales. And as many of you already know, the next iteration of the iPad is nearly here; Apple has planned a press event for March 7, and they’re expected to announce the latest features and improvements.

There is good news, however: PCs still outsell tablets by a wide margin, so you have time to fashion your clever PoMo stance toward that bulky porn-viewing device on your desk. But don’t take too long, because the competition brewing in the tablet market is sure to drive the Curve right to your doorstep.

And when the Curve arrives, if your computer is being used for anything other than some ironic spreadsheet viewing, you’re going to find it very hard indeed to get a table at that gin cooperative down the street.

Utah Will No Longer Tolerate Your Sexy Shenanigans

In a bid to crack down on prostitution (and annoy the shit out of people trying to get a lapdance), the state of Utah recently amended a solicitation law to include boobs and sexy gestures:

Utah law had defined solicitation as a person agreeing to have sex for money. But an amendment last year broadened it to include any person who performs acts such as exposing or touching themselves.

An attorney for the escort services says the law now makes it a crime for a stripper to merely expose private parts during a dance.

Apparently, police officers were having a difficult time busting escorts for prostitution; the officers would do all that they could within the bounds of the law to get the escort to offer sex. Not to be fooled, the wily dancers would ask their clients to expose themselves, which is illegal for a police officer to do.

Now, however, the officers may arrest the dancers for erotic gestures or the exposure of dirty pillows (one arrest has been made, though the case is pending a federal court decision regarding the amendment).

There’s no word yet on whether scratching your ass under the hot Utah sun will be prohibited by the amendment; presumably, it would only be an arrestable offense if you have a nice booty.

Google Would Also Like a Peek at Your Sex Videos

Recent reports indicate that your cat videos, sex pics, and that video you took of that hot hipster on the subway are not safe on your phone if you authorize certain application features. Seemingly, it was only a problem for iPhones and iPads. False! Google’s Android apps are also quite invasive; more so, in fact, than Apple’s:

It turns out that Google, maker of the Android mobile operating system, takes it one step further. Android apps do not need permission to get a user’s photos, and as long as an app has the right to go to the Internet, it can copy those photos to a remote server without any notice, according to developers and mobile security experts. It is not clear whether any apps that are available for Android devices are actually doing this.

“We can confirm that there is no special permission required for an app to read pictures,” said Kevin Mahaffey, chief technology officer of Lookout, a company that makes Android security software. “This is based on Lookout’s findings on all devices we’ve tested.”

So, whether you’re a British secret agent or an amateur pornographer, look out: your phone is no longer a safe place to store pictures that might horrify your grandmother. Or you, if it happens to be your grandmother’s phone. Yikes.

According to Google, the problem has to do with the ways in which the apps were configured to store data; originally, the apps functioned to make transferring data from removable memory much easier.

“We originally designed the Android photos file system similar to those of other computing platforms like Windows and Mac OS,” the spokesman said in an e-mail message. “At the time, images were stored on a SD card, making it easy for someone to remove the SD card from a phone and put it in a computer to view or transfer those images. As phones and tablets have evolved to rely more on built-in, nonremovable memory, we’re taking another look at this and considering adding a permission for apps to access images. We’ve always had policies in place to remove any apps on Android Market that improperly access your data.”

It’s apparently quite easy to configure an application to automatically take your most recent photos and submit them to a photo-sharing website; best of all, the app need mention nothing at all about photos!

Google’s app policy requires that applications be incapable of malicious data theft, but since anyone can publish an app, it’s entirely possible to get one past the goalie.

So, for the love of God, don’t download any apps called “Super Fun Time Love Joy App for Ray of Sunshine,” and make sure you warn your friends and family. Because the last thing you need to see is grandma’s…ahem!…duckface.

The Book of Jewish Sports Heroes Just Got a Bit Thicker

There’s an old joke that goes something like this: What’s the thinnest book in the world? The Book of Jewish Sports Heroes! Hilarious! Well, that book just got a little bit thicker.

The Robert Beren Academy boys basketball team, which recently earned a spot in the state semifinals, will be forced to forfeit their upcoming semifinal game because the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools refuses to reschedule the playing time, which happens to coincide with the Jewish Sabbath. The Head of School, Rabbi Harry Sinoff, has asked TAPPS to reschedule to earlier in the day, but TAPPS refused.

“There should be a really big reason that prevents a team that has worked hard and earned its position before you exclude them,” Sinoff said. “All sports have been improved by inclusion.”

The Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, otherwise known as the Texas Association of Dickbags, claims the schedule cannot be shifted. Not surprisingly, the majority of schools in the dickbag association are Christian.

“We have certain things that we do, not necessarily based on religion, but when TAPPS was founded, there were no schools in it that celebrated their Sabbath on anything but on Sunday,” said TAPPS Executive Director Edd Burleson.

Burleson also noted that Robert Beren Academy knew the rules going in, and joined anyway so that their team would have opponents to play against.

Perhaps most irritating (and unsurprising), is that accommodations have been made in the past: according to Rabbi Sinoff, a Seventh-Day Adventist team was allowed to reschedule a tournament game that would have taken place on Saturday.

Sadly, this means that Robert Beren Academy’s team will forfeit, and Kerville Our Lady of the Hills Catholic School, the opponent that they crushed to reach the semifinals, will play instead. Yeah, it certainly is tough to be a Christian in America.

I hope that Kerville gets scored on more times than Mary in a manger. Mazel tov, bitches!

What Do NASA Computers and Your Mom Have in Common?

They’re both easy to get into! Ha! Although NASA computers appear to be giving your mom a run for her money:

NASA had 5,408 computer security lapses in 2010 and 2011, including the March 2011 loss of a laptop computer that contained algorithms used to command and control the International Space Station (ISS), the agency’s inspector general told Congress Wednesday.

“These incidents spanned a wide continuum, from individuals testing their skill to break into NASA systems, to well-organized criminal enterprises hacking for profit, to intrusions that may have been sponsored by foreign intelligence services seeking to further their countries’ objectives,” Inspector General Paul Martin said in written testimony before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee investigations panel.

Apparently, these wham-bams add up; NASA reports that the intrusions may have cost the agency up to $7 million. One particularly egregious incident involved the theft of an unsecured laptop that contained operational code for the International Space Station. Hugo Drax, eccentric billionaire and radical libertarian utopianist was the leading suspect until he mysteriously disappeared.

In other news, when your mom sits around the house, she apparently sits around the house. Also, your mom is apparently so uneducated that she thought a quarterback was a refund; sources blame growing property tax losses and unfunded mandates for her lapsed academic achievement.

Obama Will Not Be Happy Until Gasoline Prices Reach $10,000,000 Per Gallon

He is, however, more than willing to start with $5 a gallon. That’s right, Emperor Muslimtine wants your family to pay $5 a gallon so that he can finance his dreams of turning America into a theocracy. Oh, wait–that’s this guy. Sorry, I got confused.

In any event, gas prices seem poised to rise even further, which will prompt morons to demand that Obama personally alleviate the hardship caused by their poor decision to buy a used Range Rover. Moreover, because the price of oil is linked to the volatility in the Middle East, the price surge could force some rather blustery rhetoric from neocon chickenhawks:

“If we get some kind of explosion — like an Israeli attack or some local Iranian revolutionary guard decides to take matters in his own hands and attacks a tanker — than we’d see oil prices push up 20 to 25 percent higher and another 50 cents a gallon at the pump,” said Michael C. Lynch, president of Strategic Energy and Economic Research.

For the typical driver who pumps 60 gallons a month of regular unleaded gasoline, a 50-cent increase in price means an extra expense of $30 a month.

I can hear the rich guys now:

“I say, Yarmouth, let’s rile the plebes with this business. An extra $30 per month ought to do it; those poor bastards love to put people in harm’s way for the price of a dinner at Chili’s.”

Oil prices have steadily increased in part because of the tensions with Iran, though demand from China also plays its part. Yet interestingly, demand seems to be but one part of the problem: the other part, speculation:

“The bankers are speculating, protecting themselves from higher prices by committing obligations to buy now, and that starts the ball rolling toward higher prices,” said Sadad Ibrahim al-Husseini, former head of exploration and production at Saudi Aramco, the state oil company.

He added that the escalating civil turmoil in Syria, a crucial ally of Iran, “is bound to increase price volatility and that will drive future speculation.”

So, what we have here is the classic set-up for American politics: the Republitards will blame Obama for rising gas prices, citing his energy policy, and use those prices to rile the idiot base. They will also appeal to the violent, nationalistic instinct present in the American populace and demand military action in the name of patriotism; failure to act, they will claim, proves that Obama sympathizes with Muslims and hates America. Meanwhile, banks with billions of dollars in holdings will speculate on the price of oil, driving the prices ever-higher, which will create record profits for the oil companies that do business with the banks.

And worst of all, because of rising gas prices, you won’t even be able to afford a consolatory dinner at Chili’s. Well, maybe a dinner. But you’ll only be able to get one appetizer. And it’s just so hard to choose.

Damn Obama!

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