Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

September 19th, 2008:

Odd Lots

  • Do not—I repeat—do not buy the Greenlee Cablecaster if you're faced with running wires through difficult places. I'm running a 65-foot shortave antenna in our attic, basically throwing cords for stringing two wires from the center of the structure to each end along the long axis, and the unit was a total botch. In every single case, the fishline tied to the nifty glow-in-the-dark dart broke under the force of the spring that throws it. (I wisely tried it out in the street before I took it up in the attic.) After narrowly resisting the urge to stomp on the damned thing, I drilled a hole in a tennis ball, threaded a contractor cord through it with a large cotter pin, and lobbed the ball myself. It worked. And here's what I was dealing with. I got the ball through that maze with my own right arm, though it took fifteen minutes of bad throws. I now know what pitching practice must be like.
  • Alluva sudden, egg and onion matzo crackers have simultaneously vanished from all the local supermarkets. I have not seen any for two months, after reliably seeing them in all kosher sections throughout the five years we've been here. They've been my favorite soup cracker for 25 years. I cannot figure this; if there's been a change in kosher rules or something like that, it has not reached Google yet.
  • An article in today's Wall Street Journal reports studies indicating that atheists are four times more likely to believe in Bigfoot, ghosts, and the Lost Continent of Atlantis than people who go to church at least once a week. (31% vs. 8%) Faith appears to be inborn, and if you don't believe in God, well, there are plenty of other things to choose from in the marketplace of unprovable phenomena.
  • I'm not sure this is proven, but I sure wish it were: A study indicating that eating vegetables shrinks your brain. (Thanks to Brook Monroe for the link.)
  • And if broccoli-induced brain shrinkage isn't enough to scare you off the Whole Foods wagon, consider that organic soils are often just as contaminated with heavy metals as soils used in conventional agriculture.
  • Off-brand 16GB SDHC cards are now down to $35 at NewEgg, and even name brands like SanDisk are in the $60 range. Three of those will carry every bit of data I have except for ripped ISOs, and according to a friend of mine who works in the industry we still have no crisp idea how long the data will last.
  • Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. I dunno; it seems mighty quiet somehow. Wait a sec…the pirates all had subprime mortgages on their ships—and they're all now underwater!