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February 5, 2013

Superman Cape with Integrated Mug

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Just like with Coke and Pepsi, there are Superman and Batman camps which don't recognize the other.

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For those not in the Batman camp, I offer this take on a legendary superhero.

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$20.

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[via Nicole Wakelin and thatsnerdalicious]

February 5, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Top 10 Most Dangerous Driving Songs — Don't touch that dial!

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It's been patently obvious to me since I got my license that the right — or in this context, wrong — song at the right time in a speeding car is a recipe for craziness.

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Now it's quantified, which doesn't make it any less true.

Some believe if you can't measure something, it doesn't exist: I'd argue the opposite, that once you measure something it pretty much ceases to exist and instead becomes reality road kill.

But hey, what do I know?

I'm just a brain-dead treadmill-walking blogging anesthesiologist. 

Wait a sec... didn't I say that already today?

Never mind.

[via recombu and Heather Russell]

February 5, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Engineer's Pocket Sheet Metal Bender

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Just because it's called that doesn't mean you have to be an engineer to use it.

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Goodness knows most of us have occasion to bend metal precisely on a daily basis — if that's not the case for you, you may be visiting the wrong website.

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But I digress.

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From Make: "There are several ways to bend small pieces of sheet metal. A quick option is to use a mallet, a clamp, and a wooden block, but this method can lead to large-radius and unsightly bends. A metal bending brake is your best bet for sharp, good-looking bends, but even the smallest and most economical brakes must be mounted to a dedicated spot on your workbench."

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"This compact SUS420C stainless steel Japanese-made hand-held sheet metal bender can be used to bend aluminum up to 1.5mm (0.06") thick and 5cm (2") wide. It works on brass or copper sheets up to 1mm (0.04") thick. It's ideally used for making small brackets, holders, and enclosures that require clean 90° bends."

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Because of its limitations in size and design, the Engineer pocket bender is more of a specialty tool than a general purpose one. Even so, it produces better bends than those achieved without a bench-top brake."     

$58.95.

I can say with 100% confidence that my crack L.A. correspondent will be adding one of these to his batterie de workshop in a City of Angels yoctosecond.

Yo GRO — am I right or am I right?

Thinking about this assertion as I type this at 7:45 a.m. today, it occurs to me that — to a limited extent and in special cases — it is quite possible for anyone, not just a fool like me, to predict the future.

It doesn't take a Nostradamus.

Think like a brain-dead treadmill-walking blogging anesthesiologist.

February 5, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Blast from the past: "If time travel is possible, then there is no such thing as time"

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Yesterday in the course of a Twitter exchange with someone, I alluded to Episode 1 of this post, which appeared on April 25, 2005. 

In the course of reading it I thought "Hey, that's pretty interesting."

Once upon a time I had something to say: at this late date I can still recognize things worth a moment's thought.

Without further ado, then: the original post.

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"If time travel is possible then there is no such thing as time"

That sums up the book I finished last night, "A World Without Time: The Forgotten Legacy of Gödel and Einstein," by Palle Yourgrau.

The ostensible subject of the book is the deep friendship between Kurt Gödel and Albert Einstein in Princeton, New Jersey.

Both were early members of Princeton's Institute for Advanced Studies, where the greatest minds in the world were paid to be themselves and simply think about things.

No teaching, no publication requirements, just do what you like each day, forever.

Sounds a lot like bookofjoe, actually, apart from the "greatest minds in the world" part.

There are those who might argue that producing eight posts a day seven days a week is somewhat akin to a "publishing requirement" but I would counter that producing bookofjoe is who and what I am and so not a requirement at all, and certainly not onerous once considered in that light.

Here it is worth noting a definition of work coined by a University of Virginia psychiatry professor years ago, still the best one I've ever come across:

"Work is what you're doing when you'd rather be doing something else."

So if this is my favorite thing to do and what I prefer above everything else then it could hardly be termed "work" and doing it regularly likewise is in no way meeting a "requirement." But I digress.

Yourgrau believes that Gödel's 1949 paper proving that there are possible worlds described by Einstein's theory of relativity in which time — as we ordinarily understand it — does not exist, upended the world of philosophy.

Gödel went further: if time is absent from those theoretical universes, he showed, time does not exist in our world either.

Einstein instantly recognized Gödel's paper as a breakthrough but an overwhelming majority of physicists, mathematicians and philosophers have spent the past half–century–plus trying to either ignore or find fault with Gödel's conclusion.

Neither strategy has succeeded.

Gödel's reasoning, compressed, was this: he could mathematically demonstrate a universe that was closed and rotated on itself.

In such a universe time travel was not only possible — it was inevitable.

If, in that universe, time was travel was possible, and by this Gödel meant precisely what you and I think of as time travel, i.e., the ability to go back and see the past as often as desired, then that past wasn't over: in fact, it never disappeared, since you could go back and find it whenever you liked, exactly as you can travel to Paris as often as you like and expect to find it there in all its reality.

Since the past was there, not having gone anywhere, then there was no such thing as time in the sense that we think of it passing, since nothing had passed at all — it was right there, always accessible.

    From the book:

    From his discussions late in life ..., it emerges that Gödel believed that the proper philosophy should capture axiomatically — though not purely formally — the fundamental concepts that underlie reality, which he took to include "reason, cause, substance, accidens [a traditional Latin term], necessity, value, God, cognition, force, time, form, content, matter, life, truth, idea, reality, possibility."

    The goal of the great logician was not to make room in physics for one's favorite episode of "Star Trek," but rather to demonstrate that if one follows the logic of relativity further even than its father was willing to venture, the results will not just illuminate but eliminate the reality of time.

    Gödel wrote, "I love everything brief, and find that in general the longer a work is, the less there is in it."

    Gödel argued that if it was possible to return to one's past, then what was past never passed at all.

    It is provable that time fails to exist in the Gödel universe.

    It cannot, therefore, exist in our own: the final step is taken, and time really does disappear.

 Odd, that I should have read the second half of this book in one sitting — or rather, one reclining, as my reading spot of choice (below, with the square red pillow bearing the indentation of my head)

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requires assuming the [supine] position, with my legs covered with a chenille blanket and elevated on at least three pillows, thus returning as much oxygenated blood as possible to my cerebral cortex, which needs every last molecule it can get, trust me on this... but I digress — into the late hours, after watching Robert De Niro in John Frankenheimer's 1998 film "Ronin" on DVD.

Usually after a movie I go to bed, or read magazines or easy material, not books deconstructing the work of Kurt Gödel, considered by many the greatest logician and philosopher since Aristotle.

My smart time, if there is such a thing in bookofjoe world, is in the morning, as a rule: I get stupider as the day goes on.

But last night I was compelled to go at this book, and once I got going I was like a cat with fluffy furniture and no owner at home — I just couldn't stop until it was all done.

February 5, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

4:01 a.m. Bottle Opener Series ('I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy") — Episode 17: Hand-Crafted Cthulhu Bottle Opener

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From Neatorama:

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"Nothing livens up a party like the Lovecraftian undead. So to avoid the horror of a boring event, pop open a cold one with the Great Old One!"

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"The Cthulhu Bottle Opener is made on the sacrificial altar of Odd Art Fabrications, a team of independent artists who specialize in making really neat stuff.

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From the device's website:

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• This sculpted bottle opener, made from tough urethane resin and solid steel, looks like the tentacles of Cthulhu

• Unique: no two are exactly alike — paint details vary as these are hand-painted in the U.S. by local artisans

• Perfect for Cthulhu and horror lovers!

• 5" x 1.75"" x 1.5"

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$12.95.

February 5, 2013 at 04:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Led Zeppelin Italian Style — "The cover of Rolling Stone"

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Above, the latest issue of the Italian edition, with cover art by Shepard Fairey.

[via Coverjunkie]

February 5, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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