These are quite creative. I wonder who invented them?
These are quite creative. I wonder who invented them?
It was spotted in Utah, of course (note the mountains in the background).
Yeah, we had that family living next door to us for a while.
Look closely, it appears not to be a claim for a polygamous family . . . oy. Surely, it is a joke.
A lot of punchlines possible, e.g., ‘if the squirrels weren’t slow, maybe they wouldn’t be endangered.’
Still a rather unique sign, no?
I wonder where it is? This sign marks habitat in the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland for the Delmarva fox squirrel.
Update: Well, maybe not wholly unique; World Wildlife Fund has this one — again, without a note about location.
No, we’re not joking.
May 11 is the anniversary of the birth of Richard Feynman (born 1918, died 1988).
In 2014, his birthday falls on Sunday, Mothers Day. Mothers Day is one of the designated-by-law days to fly the U.S. flag — so fly your flag! You can tell your mother it’s for her — but it’s also for Richard Feynman.
Why Feynman Day? To celebrate invention, physics, interesting characters, and that essential, American quality of je ne sais quoi.
In addition to his winning the Nobel Prize for Quantum Electrodynamics (QED), Feynman popularized the critique of science and other enterprises with what we now call Cargo Cult science, or education, or whatever, where people follow the dance steps, but without the rhythm and music.
Those two things alone would make him a remarkable man. But, like a product offered for $19.95 as a good buy in a 2:00 a.m. infomercial, with Feynman, there’s more. With Feynman, there is always more.
I got alerted to Feynman in the first days of the old Quality Paperback Book Club, when they featured his new memoir, Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! QPBC was hot on the book, and with a title like that, how could I resist? When I got the book a week or so later, I read it within two days, while attending law school and working full time. I remember Feynman.
Norton published the book — and their description, alone, should make you want to read it:
A New York Times bestseller—the outrageous exploits of one of this century’s greatest scientific minds and a legendary American original.
In this phenomenal national bestseller, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard P. Feynman recounts in his inimitable voice his adventures trading ideas on atomic physics with Einstein and Bohr and ideas on gambling with Nick the Greek, painting a naked female toreador, accompanying a ballet on his bongo drums and much else of an eyebrow-raising and hilarious nature.
All true, and that’s not even the half of the outrageousness, all done with great good humor, about a life lived in great good humor through what should have been a memorable age, but often was just terrifying.
I think sometimes that Feynman’s calm, alone, borne of that great good humor and insatiable curiosity, may have gotten us through the birth of the atomic age and the Cold War.
Feynman was a giant, and we don’t revere him enough. Consider:
A special postal cancel was authorized by the USPS (United States Postal Service) to honor the 80th birthday of Richard Feynman. This cancel was used in Lake Worth, Florida. For this special day the post office was renamed “Feynman Station.”
The Feynman Diagram used for the postal cancel on this envelope depicts what is known as a “bubble process.” It shows a high energy particle, for example, a cosmic ray (a) from a distant supernova, which emits a high energy photon, for example, a gamma ray (b). The photon, in turn, creates a particle (c) and an anti-particle (d) that exists for a brief moment and then recombines.
As Feynman liked to point out, an anti-particle is the same thing as a particle with negative energy traveling backward in time (which is why the arrow at (d) points backwards, i.e. to the left). So you could say the photon created only one particle that, at first, traveled forward in time (the bottom semi-circle) and then reversed and went back in time (the top semi-circle) and annihilated itself! By inventing diagrams like this, Richard Feynman made it much easier to understand what is going on in the interactions between sub-atomic particles without getting lost in tremendous amounts of tedious math
There’s more — a lot more. Feynman outlined our current generation of computer memory devices — in 1959. No, he didn’t patent the idea. He did patent an idea for a nuclear-powered spacecraft. Another delightful story.
Feynman served on the board that approved science books for the California school system — his stories of that work will shock some, but it will make others shake their heads as they recognize the current crop of cargo-cultists and political bullies who dominate textbook approval processes, knowing nothing at all about what they are doing, or why.
No, I didn’t forget his brilliant work on the commission that studied the Challenger disaster, for NASA. There’s so much stuff to glorify!
In history, Feynman should be remembered much as we remember Thomas Jefferson, as a renaissance man in his time, a man who put great intellect to great work for his nation and all humanity.
The sages say we shouldn’t have regrets, but I do have one. When the Challenger Commission was meeting in Washington, D.C., I was working on another commission up the street. I knew Feynman was ill, but our work was important, and we’d heard his disease was in remission. I didn’t goof off a day and go to any of the hearings to see him, to get an autograph, to meet the man. I though I’d have other opportunities to do that. Now I regret not having met him in person.
In print, and in film, I know him well. In our family, reading Feynman is something everybody does. Feynman’s memoir was one of the last books I read to our son, Kenny, as he was growing up, and growing into reading on his own. Even reading about Feynman, together, was an adventure. Our son, James, took us into the real physics of Feynman, and though I struggle with it more than James, we still read Feynman, for humor, and physics.
What would be appropriate ways to mark Feynman’s birth? At some future date, I hope we’ll have public readings of his books, showings of the documentaries about him, recreations of his lectures, perhaps. And then everyone can get in a circle, beating drums and singing about getting some orange juice, before sending postcards to our friends in Tuva.
Richard Feynman, we still need you, and miss you dearly.
There will always be “More” about Richard Feynman, if we’re lucky:
Much of this is an encore post.
Found on Twitter:
Maybe there’s a John Waters movie in the story.
Jerry Vile strikes again. The artist (and volunteers) stuck about 100 plastic lawn flamingos painted to look like vultures — one can imagine Vile lovingly glueing on the feathers — on the front lawn of the Detroit Institute of Arts. A banner was also erected, reading “Happy Bankruptcy: You’re Getting Flocked! Vultures by the Scads, LLC.”
It’s Vile’s latest prank that targets Detroit’s bankruptcy and the threat of selling the DIA’s artwork to appease “creditor vultures.” Within the past year the artist has put out an ad for Detroit’s liquidation in Metro Times, rolled out an oversized can of Crisco in front of the Joe Louis fist, and placed price tags on public art throughout the city.
The only statement the artist has made so far about the vultures is a post on his Facebook page that says, “Sssssshhhhhhhh. Can’t wait to get a look at Beal’s face when he pulls up to work tomorrow.”
Negotiations are ongoing in regard to an $816 million so-called “grand bargain” — funded by numerous foundations, the state, and the DIA itself — that would spin the DIA into a new nonprofit and prevent the sale of any city-owned art. Meanwhile, Lansing is setting up a board that could oversee Detroit’s pensions and finances for 20 years, and also potentially appropriate $194.8 million from the state’s rainy day fund toward Detroit’s bankruptcy.
Cartoon from Tom Toles at the Washington Post, April 2, 2014:
Why you need to know a little history to get good jokes:
Yogi Berra is famous for his sayings, some of which sound foolish at first, but which generally pack a lot of wisdom or sharp observation.
Berra grew up in St. Louis, which has many famous restaurants. On some occasion, someone suggested the group should go eat at Ruggeri’s, and Yogi’s reply became famous:
On why he no longer went to Ruggeri’s, a St. Louis restaurant: “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”
Peel your eyes, you can find signs in real life better than any punchline you could dream up for one of those fake sign sites.
Comes this story from Minnesota Prairie Roots (with more details there): Harriet Traxler of Carver, Minnesota, drove U.S. Highway 212 between Chaska and Cologne, Minnesota, coming on a sign at a garden store, selling food for a Boy Scout fundraiser — we guess.
Minnesota, in the summer, you don’t sell just hot dogs. You sell brätwurst. Bräts. Or, if you don’t have the letter with the diacritical markings over the top in your sign kit, “brats.”
Oh, you see where this is going, don’t you?
Ms. Traxler notes the sign was gone the next day. Sold out?
We hope they hit their fundraising goals, but we might worry about just what it was they were really selling.
Punctuation and diacritical markings! They can prevent horrible misunderstandings!
Of course you remembered that today is pi Day, right?
Oh, or maybe better, π Day.
We’ll start with the brief post from a few months ago, and then build on it with some activities and posts from around the WordPress-o-sphere.
Make (and Eat) a Pie – These pie recipes for Pi Day from NPR’s McCallister look incredibly tasty. But, there’s no shame in putting a frozen store-bought pie in the oven, or picking up a pie from your local bakery. Any kind of pie is great on Pi Day! If you’re making your own, get inspired by these beautifully designed Pi Day Pies. Tell us on Facebook: What’s your favorite kind of pie for Pi Day?
Hope your π Day is complete as a circle, and well-rounded!
How are others celebrating? A look around WordPress:
Today is March 14th, also known as “Pi Day” for us math geeks out there because March 14th (3/14) is the first 3 digits of π (3.14159…). To celebrate “Pi Day” I highly recommend doing something mathematical while having some pie at 1:59 pm. I recommend Yumology‘s S’mores Pie as it has 3 main ingredients (chocolate, marshmallow, and graham cracker) and about 0.14159 other ingredients like sugar, butter, and stuff. If you are not a math geek, its okay…you can still eat pie and count things like how many stop signs you pass on your way back to work from lunch. Or you could go to the library and take out a book on something fun like binary code. As we like to say, “There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those that understand binary and those that don’t.” Seriously, binary is as easy as 01000001, 01000010, 01000011.
So besides being the cause of much techie “irrational” exuberance, Pi Day is a great way to get some engagement with students.
Marymount High School has several activities, last year they had a design competition incorporating pi; the students then made and sold buttons of each design, proceeds going to the Red Cross.
Hmm- math subject matter, design, production, sales, accounting.
Sounds like what we do in manufacturing.
Maybe celebrating Pi Day is not so irrational as first thought.
Free said his pie is peach.
On March 12, 2009 your lawmakers passed a non-binding resolution (HRES 224) recognizing March 14, 2009 as National Pi Day. It is one of the more legit holidays we discuss here, and it is actually an homage to geeks everywhere who see the date as a reason to celebrate due to its mathematical implications. We say any reason to celebrate anything is just fine by us.
Since we are predominately about food we will suggest a few places to actually enjoy a pie.
If you followed us at all this week you may have seen the pie at Bowl and Barrel pop up on our pages. This is the uber delicious Butterscotch Pie served as the solo dessert at the bowling alley and restaurant. Go eat one of these.
He’s got more pi pie, if you click over there.
Gareth Branwyn at MakeZine offers more pie and a mnemonic:
By way of sci-fi author and mathenaut Rudy Rucker’s Facebook wall comes this:
One way to remember the first few digits of pi is to count the letters in the words of this phrase:
“How I need a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics.”
[Image via FreakingNews]
b.love offers this clock image (is this clock for sale somewhere?):
Chirag Singh explains his “passion for pi.”
Daniel Tammet, “Different Ways of Knowing:
Geeks are really out in force today, flaunting pi for all they’ve got.
Brilliant work from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.
This cartoon is witty and funny — and it is a wonderful illustration of how people need to know enough to see the humor, or cheat.
Don’t catch the gags? See here.
You may discuss the cartoon at the SMBC blog:
August 26, 2011
Well, this record may stand for a while. 57 panels, baby.
Or discuss it here at the Bathtub.
The cartoon reminds me of so many lazy or not-up-to-par students who would stay up late inventing ways to cheat on an exam, when a bit of study would have paid so many more dividends.
It’s harder to cheat, most of the time, that to be honest and learn the stuff.
It’s an interesting town, Dinosaur, Colorado 81610. It’s on the south side of US Highway 40, a very short distance east of the Utah border.
The town of Dinosaur was originally named Artesia; the current name was adopted in 1966, to capitalize on the town’s proximity to Dinosaur National Monument. The monument headquarters is located just east of the town on U.S. Highway 40.
It’s a setup, a straight line waiting for a good comedian.
Brian Switek, the science writer now based in Salt Lake City, suggests one area ripe for comedy:
Wait. What? Dinosaur Baptist Church?
Brian Tweeted that he wasn’t looking to ridicule, but: “I just imagined thyreophorans, maniraptorans, sauropodomorphs, and their ilk in the congregation.”
That might produce even more comedic situations.
It’s a Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated congregation. Aren’t you curious how Sunday school goes for dinosaur-crazy kids in such a church, in such a town?
Signs of life, signs of the times, signs of something!
From a different angle, one can see that the church is just a couple of blocks off of Stegosaurus Freeway. Wow.
Still, it’s fun to imagine a nice, small town church, with dinosaurs in the back pews singing along. (Instead, Chris Clarke suggested, they are hiding in the Rocks of Ages . . .)
Ha. I am amused at people so anxious to take material from this blog, or complain about something I’ve written, that they can’t be bothered to look around for names of the blog, or author, or otherwise look for proper attribution.
I’ve been called “Tim Panogos” several times, “Tim Pagonos” a few. I’ve had a few zombies from Santayana’s nightmares insist on calling me Millard.
This is to note that the humor will continue: Now my photos are credited to “Tim Pangos.” To be sure, it’s posted by LatinaMom. Happy to be able to hold on to multicultural appeal.
For the record, the URL of this blog features the name of that great Utah landmark, Mount Timpanogos. I do not intentionally use the pseudonyms “Tim Panagos,” “Tim Pangos,” nor any other derivative from the mountain’s moniker.
Jimmy Kimmel’s crew put together the trailer for the new, GOP-edition of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Tip of the old scrub brush to Frank Milewski, and the “real communists of Bedford Falls.”
It’s a wonderful life, Christmas, Capitalism, Communism in America Politics.