Real Moxie

Woebegone troglodyte hermitage.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Optical illusions

The optical illusions on this page are amazing. They prove that our color perception depends on context.

There are more illusions here.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Mind reading

I keep running into people who seem to think that they have mind reading capabilities. They will confidently state what other people must be thinking, based on the skimpiest of evidence.

I am the sort of man who is not hard to read. I say what I mean and I mean what I say. Nevertheless, I sometimes hear people try to tell me that I am thinking something completely different.

People seem to do this mind reading without even realizing that they are doing it. And they don't seem affected by the contrary evidence.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Audio greeting

this is an audio post - click to play

One-legged sea gull

On a recent trip to the local wharf, I spotted this one-legged sea gull.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Computer programmers are geeks

Jay Leno just said:
Microsoft's Bill Gates says it's puzzling to him why more kids don't want to become computer programmers. I don't know -- I think maybe it is because at some point in their life they'd actually want to have a girlfriend!
He's got a point. I have a hard time getting a date when I say that I am a computer programmer. We have a bad image, I guess.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Hot in Las Vegas

I went to Las Vegas last weekend. Not for the gambling or the 120 degree weather, but for a meeting of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. They have all sorts of interesting views. Curiously, they think that global warming will not be a disaster.

The highlight of the trip was flying in an indoor wind tunnel. It simulates free-fall sky-diving by blowing a lot of air straight up in a cylindrical room. I highly recommend it, but I suggest that you go during a cooler season.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Ankle xray

I just got my cast off my leg. Here are a couple of xrays of my broken fibula, with a steel plate holding it in proper position.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Cholesterol test

I enjoy eating a lot of dairy and other high cholesterol foods, and occasionally someone gives me a lecture on how I am ruining my heart. I just had a medical test, and I have a total cholesterol of 161 and an HDL (good cholesterol) of 58, for a ratio of 2.8 to 1.

The optimum ratio is 3.5:1, and medical action is often recommended if the ratio goes above about 6:1.

As far as I know, there is absolutely no medical reason for anyone with a ratio below 4:1 or so to pay any attention to dietary cholesterol at all. A change in dietary cholesterol is unlikely to even have any effect on blood cholesterol.

My blood pressure was measured at 100 over 78. This is low, so there is no known harm to eating excessive table salt and some of the other things people worry about.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Mecca for lesbians and whiners

The Si Valley paper says:
In Santa Cruz, many single women have a problem with the single men. Well, three problems, actually: Too many young college students. Too many surfer dudes and starving artists. And too many men who, well, aren't interested in women. ...

``Women around the world complain about the lack of datable men, but nowhere do they whine more than in San Francisco and in Santa Cruz,'' said Gosse, a former Catholic school teacher who's been in the dating industry for 27 years. ``In San Francisco, women say, the men are either married, gay or dead. In Santa Cruz, they're either young and still in college, gay or too poor.'' ...

``I hate to say this, but a lot of men in Santa Cruz lack a work ethic,'' said Margie Kudrav, a former Santa Clara Valley resident who moved to Santa Cruz County 12 years ago. ``It's a different world than San Jose. . . . I haven't dated in four years, but I never stop trying.'' ...

``It's the women who are gay,'' said Boudreau, referring to Santa Cruz's national reputation as a lesbian mecca.
The article describes a failure in an attempt to bring out-of-town men to meet the local Santa Cruz women. The explanation seems obvious -- Santa Cruz women have a reputation for being whiners and lesbians.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Disabled parking

I have a broken leg, and I have to get around on crutches. I got a temporary disable person parking placard from the California DMV so I can park in blue spaces.

I didn't realize what a privilege the placard is. Not only do I get to park in blue (handicapped) spaces, I can park indefinitely in the 20-minute green spaces and I don't have to put money in a parking meter! Furthermore, at gasoline stations that have full-service and self-service pumps, I am entitled to full-service gasoline at the self-service rates.

I realize that I am a lot more disabled than most of the people use these placards, but I still feel a little guilty taking advantage of the rules. (Some people really need the blue spaces, but they are a small minority of the placard users.)

Monday, July 04, 2005

Within my own reality

I just talked to a women who said, "I am conservative within my own reality".

I was asking her out on a date. She wanted to tell me how liberal she is, and how she tolerates homosexuals, dope-smokers, interracial dating, etc, but she didn't want to imply that she does any of those things herself.

I've heard of people who call themselves bisexual just to show how liberal and broadminded they are. They would never have a homosexual relationship, but they don't want to be accused of being homophobic either.

A new study claims that there is no such thing as bisexuality.
"To claim on the basis of this study that there's no such thing as male bisexuality is overstepping, it seems to me," said Dr. Gilbert Herdt, director of the National Sexuality Resource Center in San Francisco. "It may be that there is a lot less true male bisexuality than we think, but if that's true then why in the world are there so many movies, novels and TV shows that have this as a theme - is it collective fantasy, merely a projection? I don't think so."
Whatever sexual orientation means, don't believe that movie characters are representative.