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BS: The Mother of all BS threads

Amos 19 Dec 06 - 05:31 PM
Acme 19 Dec 06 - 11:09 PM
MMario 20 Dec 06 - 08:26 AM
Amos 20 Dec 06 - 09:24 AM
MMario 20 Dec 06 - 09:28 AM
Rapparee 20 Dec 06 - 09:28 AM
Amos 20 Dec 06 - 10:10 AM
Acme 20 Dec 06 - 11:06 AM
Acme 20 Dec 06 - 11:08 AM
Rapparee 20 Dec 06 - 01:02 PM
Rapparee 20 Dec 06 - 01:03 PM
MMario 20 Dec 06 - 01:12 PM
Amos 20 Dec 06 - 04:14 PM
Acme 20 Dec 06 - 05:12 PM
Amos 20 Dec 06 - 06:20 PM
Rapparee 20 Dec 06 - 08:50 PM
Amos 21 Dec 06 - 01:43 AM
Rapparee 21 Dec 06 - 08:45 AM
Amos 21 Dec 06 - 09:18 AM
Acme 21 Dec 06 - 02:10 PM
Amos 21 Dec 06 - 04:47 PM
Acme 21 Dec 06 - 05:37 PM
Amos 21 Dec 06 - 09:18 PM
Rapparee 22 Dec 06 - 12:28 PM
Amos 22 Dec 06 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,MOM 22 Dec 06 - 01:55 PM
MMario 22 Dec 06 - 01:58 PM
Amos 22 Dec 06 - 05:38 PM
Acme 23 Dec 06 - 12:27 AM
MMario 23 Dec 06 - 09:06 AM
Rapparee 23 Dec 06 - 01:22 PM
Acme 23 Dec 06 - 02:00 PM
Amos 23 Dec 06 - 02:26 PM
Amos 23 Dec 06 - 03:31 PM
Amos 24 Dec 06 - 12:29 AM
Acme 24 Dec 06 - 03:05 AM
Amos 24 Dec 06 - 10:48 AM
Rapparee 24 Dec 06 - 02:02 PM
Amos 24 Dec 06 - 02:11 PM
Amos 24 Dec 06 - 03:28 PM
Acme 24 Dec 06 - 09:30 PM
Ebbie 25 Dec 06 - 04:00 AM
Rapparee 25 Dec 06 - 11:30 AM
Acme 25 Dec 06 - 02:32 PM
Amos 25 Dec 06 - 09:36 PM
Acme 26 Dec 06 - 01:04 AM
Amos 26 Dec 06 - 10:56 AM
Acme 26 Dec 06 - 12:20 PM
Rapparee 26 Dec 06 - 01:35 PM
Amos 26 Dec 06 - 01:50 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 19 Dec 06 - 05:31 PM

I am happy to report the universe is not going to implode thanks to the Casimir effect: (Click for image).

Explanation: This tiny ball provides evidence that the universe will expand forever. Measuring slightly over one tenth of a millimeter, the ball moves toward a smooth plate in response to energy fluctuations in the vacuum of empty space. The attraction is known as the Casimir Effect, named for its discoverer, who, 50 years ago, was trying to understand why fluids like mayonnaise move so slowly. Today, evidence is accumulating that most of the energy density in the universe is in an unknown form dubbed dark energy. The form and genesis of dark energy is almost completely unknown, but postulated as related to vacuum fluctuations similar to the Casimir Effect but generated somehow by space itself. This vast and mysterious dark energy appears to gravitationally repel all matter and hence will likely cause the universe to expand forever. Understanding vacuum fluctuations is on the forefront of research not only to better understand our universe but also for stopping micro-mechanical machine parts from sticking together.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 19 Dec 06 - 11:09 PM

That explanation was under the photo, Amos. What you needed to do was explain what it means, not just repeat the text!

Those crampons looked like 10-pointers. The guys up on Mt. Hood should have had 12-pointers. It might have helped. (Two extras on the front for kicking into ice walls or kicking steps on hard icy slopes).


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: MMario
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 08:26 AM

it means one should not use mayonaise as a lubricant in moving parts.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 09:24 AM

In other news, being of two minds is apparently not new:

"A remarkably well-preserved fossil of a two-headed reptile has been discovered in the Early Cretaceous Yixian rock formation in northeast China.

The tiny skeleton of a hatchling choristodere ? a group of extinct aquatic reptiles with long necks ? has two heads and two necks, fused at their base. The 120-million-year-old specimen is thought to be the oldest example of a developmental anomaly known as axial bifurcation.

While rare, this type of malformation has been seen before in living snakes, crocodiles, lizards and turtles ? some of which have survived for several years in captivity.

However, judging from the extreme juvenility of the fossilised skeleton ? its proportionally large head and eye orbits ? the tiny creature did not survive for long, say its finders Eric Buffetaut at National Centre for Scientific Research in Paris, France, and colleagues."


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: MMario
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 09:28 AM

hah! obviously the skeleton is mis-classified. It is actually the skeleton of a juvenile HYDRA.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 09:28 AM

I once hit a huge pothole and suffered axle bifucation. Her old man almost caught me too, and him with a shotgun and marriage license.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 10:10 AM

But Stilly!! The text already explains what it means!! It says so right there at the start!! "Explanation", it says. What am I missing here? ;>)


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 11:06 AM

Even plainer English and no hot links, thank you very much! I prefer my links and salsa on the mild side. . .


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 11:08 AM

*5 points to MMario in Gryfyndor for the observation about mayo.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 01:02 PM

Hydra?   Or
hydra?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 01:03 PM

Hey, I've been to Mayo!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: MMario
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 01:12 PM

hydra

a little known fact about the life cycle of the Lernean Hydra. The juveniles are hatched from eggs, taking roughly 9 years to grow to maturity, and on hatching appear to be a slightly larger then normal snake. The age of a juvenile hydra is easily established as it gains 1 head per annual molt until the full adult (nine headed) form is attained.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 04:14 PM

Humph! I am cast down by such brusque condemnation, madame, and shall endeavour no further to delight you with the periwinkles of scientific discovery!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 05:12 PM

At least, that is, until the next Scientific American article that catches your eye. . .

Meanwhile, I must say the Mudcat Tavern has gotten off to a heckuva start this time round!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 06:20 PM

Nay, nay, seek not to coax me, I am not to be so lightly tempted nor foxed. I shall preserve a dignified silence the like of which you will find most admirable and delightful.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 08:50 PM

Now, THIS is cool!

RELATIVE TOPOLOGY OF REAL ALGEBRAIC
VARIETIES IN THEIR COMPLEXIFICATIONS

Yildiray Ozan

We investigate, for a given smooth closed manifold M, the
existence of an algebraic model X for M (i.e., a nonsingular
real algebraic variety diffeomorphic to M) such that some
nonsingular projective complexification i : X → XC of X
admits a retraction r : XC → X. If such an X exists, we
show that M must be formal in the sense of Sullivan's minimal
models, and that all rational Massey products on M are
trivial.

We also study the homomorphism on cohomology induced
by i for algebraic models X of M. Using ´etale cohomology, we
see that mod p Steenrod powers give an obstruction for the
induced map on cohomology, i∗ : Hk(XC, Zp) → Hk(X, Zp), to
be onto, if we require that X is defined over rational numbers.


You'll want to read the entire article in Pacific Journal of Mathematics 217 (2004), 291-302. I mean, this is cool stuff!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 01:43 AM

We also study the homomorphism on cohomology induced
by i


Speak for yourself, Sirrah! I have never induced any such thing on any cohomology anywhere.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 08:45 AM

Amos, you are a obviously heretic who has rejected the mod p Steenrod powers. Should you ever come near the American Mathematical Society's annual meeting you will be burned at the stake, and every mathematician is required by blood oath to turn you in to The Court of Justice and Heretical Neutralization. At the very least you will be be added or subtracted from both sides -- at the worst divided, but in any case you will never be allowed to multiply again.

You CAN STILL repent and save yourself! I'll have to tell you how tomorrow, as today I have to fly away to DC. Frankly, I'd stay away from all mathematics until you repent. Don't even use a calculator or try to add a column of numbers with paper and pencil. The C of J and HN will know.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 09:18 AM

Here's a diagram of the Casimir effect experiment.

Humph.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 02:10 PM

I was going to send an image of the "Big Bang" I'd like to get for christmas (see Google ads, bottom of page) but I think I need to clean out my computer. An image search on "male model" seems to bring up a lot of . . . material.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 04:47 PM

I guess "Big" is a relative term, huh?


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 05:37 PM

Let's just say that the popup ads are effusive.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 09:18 PM

Well, good pop-up has to be part of the much-wished Big Bang, doesn't it?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 12:28 PM

Ahem. I am sitting here, just outside the Seat of Government, the Nation's Capitol, the Federal City. And I find that NO ONE has cared enough to bring Mom back to The Top! No one! I could not do so yesterday, since I was flying Eastward.

Just goes to show, Mom....


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 01:49 PM

Well, I can't do it ALL by myself. I was waiting for Still to return a reply to my scurrilous but witty rejoinder, but she has again deemed me Unamusing. Sigh.

Hi, Mom. I am thinking of running away and joining the Foreign Legion. What do you suggest?


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: GUEST,MOM
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 01:55 PM

AMOSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Walk


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: MMario
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 01:58 PM

I'll remind you; Mom is no danger of falling until 24 hours goes by. And Rapaire posted after only 14 hours and 50 minutes. Pleanty of time.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 22 Dec 06 - 05:38 PM

Yeah, he just saw an opportunity to brown-nose a little. I'm surprised he didn't cook her that fancy breakfast list he keeps in a file somewhere hoping we won't recognize it next time, just to make himself look good.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 23 Dec 06 - 12:27 AM

Besides, some of us actually have to WORK, and sometimes that activity does take us away from our computers.

I hope your arms didn't get too tired with all of that flying.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: MMario
Date: 23 Dec 06 - 09:06 AM

Morning, Mom and sibs. I'm off to 1842 again. Hope to be back for Christmas - but you never know, the Tardis may get stuck in traffic.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 23 Dec 06 - 01:22 PM

Wanna have some real Christmas cheer? Go to the PX/Commissary at Walter Reed Medical Center (Forest Glen Annex) and see a guy whose lost both legs and has a hole in the back of his head out with a friend. Both smiling.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 23 Dec 06 - 02:00 PM

Put some more punctuation in that sentence so we can make sense of it. What does "without being a friend" have to do with Santa at Walter Reed or with someone who was apparently shot to pieces in Iraq? Does this person who was injured play Santa and welcome you even if he doesn't know you?

I saw a Santa standing on the highway overpass this morning waving at north-bound lanes near downtown Fort Worth.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 23 Dec 06 - 02:26 PM

WInter makes the best of us grumpy, doesn't it?

Go to the PX/Commissary at Walter Reed Medical Center (Forest Glen Annex) , and see a guy who's lost both legs and has a hole in the back of his head, out with a friend. Both smiling.

Smiling back atcha,


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 23 Dec 06 - 03:31 PM

In other news, scientists are facing the possibility that they will have to rethink the minimum requirements for organic life, based on the discovery of new microbial organisms in the wastewater from a highly acidic abandoned mine in Shasta County, California.

I think it is a good thing, something we should all occasionally do, to review the minimum requirements for life.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 24 Dec 06 - 12:29 AM

Philosophical bunch, eh? Don't all talk at once. Mom gets annoyed.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 24 Dec 06 - 03:05 AM

Sorry, but SOMEONE has to bake the christmas cookies. That someone seems to be me!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 24 Dec 06 - 10:48 AM

Yummmy!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 24 Dec 06 - 02:02 PM

Just back from a tour of Arlington Nat. Cemetery, visiting my FIL's grave (and a bunch of the rest of the family).

The guy at WR had lost both legs, one was already replaced with a c-leg and the other wasn't there. The hole in the back of his head was covered with a bandage, about 4x6 inches, and he was in a wheelchair. He and his friend were in the Subway sandwich shop at the PX, and both were smiling.

I think I'd have a hard time smiling if I were so wounded.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 24 Dec 06 - 02:11 PM

Mom:

Merry Xmas!!

I made these perfect chocolate chip cookieas for everybody.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 24 Dec 06 - 03:28 PM

Mom.

I am off to friends for a day. God rest ye merry and stay above the line, okay???

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 24 Dec 06 - 09:30 PM

Hey, Mom, I did my annual christmas eve trek to the neighborhood garden center and asked if they'd sell me a tree for $10 today since they'll be on the curb after tomorrow. They always do. This one was originally $130. Whew! Who can pay that kind of money for a dead tree? I put it up this afternoon--we had an absolutely spectacular trees a couple of years ago, and this isn't going to rival it, but it is nice. They prune them too much causing such dense foliage that the ornaments can't hang from the branches. Anyway, I've not completed my baking either. I need to eat a regular meal, all I've done is eat an occasional cookie as I bake. The kids will be back later tonight, later than I like, but this is how they do it, xmas eve at their dad's and xmas day with me. A boyfriend will be here this time.

The tree will be up for a couple of days and we'll have it down before New Year's. They're a fire hazard, though this one doesn't seem to be too dry. There was another one there that was great as far as branches, but I was afraid the base was too fat to fit in my tree stand, plus it had some pretty bad holes in the bottom couple of whorls. A real Charley Brown tree. They had been asking nearly $250 for it--I guess no one took a look at that one except the customers who walked past it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Ebbie
Date: 25 Dec 06 - 04:00 AM

Good lord. A couple hundred dollars for a Christmas tree? I have never lived where I couldn't gather my own tree if I wished.

Sage lives in Texas though-

My nephew was living in Amarillo and one day he called me here in Juneau. I asked him what it was like there in Texas and he said, Just a minute. I'll take the phone and go to the window.

A moment later he said, OK. I can see about 7 miles and there is ONE tree.

Impressed, I said, Whoa. You better hope no one goes crazy with a chainsaw.

Right, he said. Or there goes my view.

:)


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 25 Dec 06 - 11:30 AM

We have two pre-lit Christmas trees*. Never did see a need to chop down a perfectly good tree for Christmas. Of course, the tree for my first two Christmases was unreal, too.

I wish everyone here good Christmas Cheer, and lots of it. And if you can't get around to the Cheer, try beer. Either way, I have to go get the laundry in the dryer now.







*One upstairs and one downstairs in the basement sun room.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 25 Dec 06 - 02:32 PM

Ebbie,

I grew up in the land of christmas tree farms--Washington State had the market cornered for a lot of years. I always pass on the pines for a holiday tree, they don't look or smell right to me, but down here I also have to pass on the Doug firs. They were the trees of my childhood, but they get too dry too fast and they frankly don't do well when they're pruned to be christmas trees--the branches are too dense and they're ugly on the inside of the tree. In true firs the whorls are better distributed and parallel to the ground. If I lived in Washington still I'd probably go cut my own tree, and I'd get a Doug fir or a silver fir. The ones I usually get down here are noble fir and a lot of them seem to be grown in B.C. and Oregon nowadays.

Regardless of the type, I don't leave them up too long because I spent several years with the Forest Service putting the darned things out.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 25 Dec 06 - 09:36 PM

We made the leap to an artificial tree after Barky went to college, and it saves a lot of hassle, sits quietly in a box until needed and looks fine. Was a time I would have shuddered at the thought, but I am wiser and more tolerant than I was back then...


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 26 Dec 06 - 01:04 AM

There are some good looking artificial trees--I saw some at Lowe's and Home Depot this year. But they'll go fast tomorrow and there is no way I'm heading anywhere NEAR a retail establishment in the next week. Let the loonies finish their shopping.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 26 Dec 06 - 10:56 AM

I think we should make an artificial tree that just automatically rolls out on, say, Dec 20, all lit trimmed, and then rolls up back into a tube on January 2, and serves as a combination hatrack and wireless WAN relay antenna the rest of the year.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 26 Dec 06 - 12:20 PM

Good suggestion! Let us know when you've perfected it.

I've been up for a couple of hours cleaning and doing laundry while my children sleep all snug in their beds. And in the name of reform (after so many cookies yesterday) I had a warm bowl of oatmeal and an apple for breakfast.

Say, Amos, while you're busy inventing, would you invent a faucet helmet that dogs can't tear off and play with? My backyard pooches have gone through two styrofoam covers and this morning they unwrapped the towel I put over the faucet last night when I realized it was going to freeze. (They were so cute this morning--I walked out to get the towel and they both ran and cowered near the porch--but when I held it like I do when I'm going to dry a wet dog they charged over and were very happy and frisky to be "dried" even though no one was wet.)


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 26 Dec 06 - 01:35 PM

Leave the faucets drip. Works like a charm to prevent freeze up.

Of course, other problems might possibly occur.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 26 Dec 06 - 01:50 PM

Funny -- I'd never heard of a faucet helmet before. Under the circumstances (65 coastal, 75 inland today) you can see why. But if it were I, I'd use something more durable than styrofoam, maybe a small bike helmet or a foam-lines outdoor switchcover box or the like. Betcha home depot would have something you could adapt to the requirement. Couple of lag bolts and no more dogchew.

In other news, it has been determined that squirrels can tell the future.

" December 22, 2006 @ 11:35AM (From Ars Technica).

Squirrels breed for the future


We tend to think of plants as being a passive food source for anything that decides to eat them, but, like anything else, the relationship between plants and their predators is subject to the same Darwinian arms race that rules most things in life. One strategy that trees have evolved is called "masting," and involves the synchronized production of excess seeds. Because the predator population should be reasonably constant, a sudden burst of seeds should swamp the population of whatever might eat them, allowing more seeds to successfully start a new generation. By the time a predator breeds in response to the excess food, the seeds are gone, and the new offspring will be threatened with starvation.

This whole strategy, of course, depends on animals not being able to see the future and breed more in advance of a mast. But research that appears in this week's edition of Science indicates that both European and American squirrels can do just that. Female squirrels can have either one or two litters of varying sizes during the reproductive season, but that season ends well in advance of seed production in the autumn. In theory, to adjust their reproduction to the season's food supply, squirrels would have to know in advance of the amount of seeds that would be produced. Apparently, they do. When researchers tracked populations of squirrels and their food supply for up to 15 years, they found that both litter size and the number of litters per year correlated with the amount of food produced later that year. The more food that was going to be available, the more pups the squirrels produced.

How do the squirrels sense the future? That remains unclear. It's not simply that a mast year is signaled by an earlier abundance of food, as the authors could supplement the food supply in the spring without upping the number of pups produced. Presumably, the squirrels are attuned to some aspect of tree biology that hints at a coming abundance. The authors suggest a number of possibilities for how this works, but haven't managed to test any of them yet. "


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