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roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus).  click for another pic Two stories of creation out of nothing.

Where stuff came from:

In the beginning there was nothing,
but only approximately (Heisenberg)
so nothing didn't stay nothing for long.

Where numbers come from:

Allowing the notion of set, i.e., apprehension or grouping,
define zero as apprehension of nothing: the null set {} .
Zero is now a potential object of apprehension.
Define one as apprehension of zero: { {} }
and so on.

Our buddy Heisenberg said observation is tied to uncertainty.
As apprehension is observation, the two stories have a common flavor.

The stuff story is my whimsical summary of Lawrence Krauss.
The number story is also not my invention. Saw this dude crossing the road this afternoon.

the end that bites the end that rattles
blank expressionsRedacted photo of a cryptography class,
from a declassified NSA article.
Yes, I am easily amused.
Storm Thorgerson, designer of many great album covers, died of cancer yesterday at age 69.

Several articles (e.g., the one linked to above), in mentioning his artwork for Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, refer only to the front cover with the burning man. That image deserves to be considered in context, as it was one of four thematically related images on that album's (inner and outer) sleeves. Each sleeve face depicted one of the (Greek) classical elements, interpreted not just by a photo but also as if coming forth from the paper itself. Earth and water pour out of holes; fire shows the paper burning; air is invisible and thus implicit. All four photos show human(-like) figures, men in the fire/earth/water pics and a topless woman hidden behind the red veil in the air-themed photo.

I'm partial to Thorgerson's covers for Houses of the Holy and Atom Heart Mother (the latter subsequently imitated by a bootleg recording, The Dark Side of the Moo).

Those were the days, when recorded music went hand-in-hand with artwork. I make slotted frames for hanging album covers on the wall; if you want one, lemme know.

Happy nineteenth, everyone.
Still image from a movie I like.

It's a reference to another movie I like, although they may have screwed up.

(I woulda put it near 33, not 3.)
Charley Varrick (1973)
Singapore has a male-only sodomy law, like Texas did before Lawrence. But Singapore's High Court recently refused to overturn the law. To summarize parts of the 92-page ruling:
  • criminalizing male homosexuality but not female doesn't violate our equal protection clause (long story, but equal protection in general is subject to interpretation)
  • we don't overrule the legislature without a really strong reason; the longer a law has stood, the stronger the argument required
  • male-specific homosexuality prohibitions go way back
  • Singapore is a traditional society; as a proverb says,
    (there are three unfilial acts, the greatest is to not have a son);
    being homosexual will disappoint your parents, especially if you're male because males propagate the family name
  • although it may be "legally untidy" to keep a law that we don't actively enforce, it's important to keep it as a "moral signpost", lest we put homosexuality on par with heterosexuality.
Prominent in the ruling was the judge's preference that such matters be settled by the legislature rather than the courts. About Boeing and the 787:
The company said it would analyze the results of several weeks of testing, which included blowing up the batteries in labs, and then forward the results to the Federal Aviation Administration, probably early next week.
Someone at Boeing has a nice gig. Most of us only get to "test" (also my preferred euphemism for blowing up) electrical parts for sport.