Sunday, March 25, 2018

Eulogy for My Dad

As written and delivered, Saturday, March 24, 2018, St. John the Apostle Roman Catholic Church, Linden, NJ:

Many of you know the story of how my father came to the US and gained his citizenship. It’s a long one, with lots of dramatic twists and funny stories, and my sister Theresa does a much better job telling his story in her documentary film about his life, “Every Day Is a Holiday.”

That phrase comes from one of Dad’s sayings after his time as a prisoner of war: "Every day as a free man is a holiday." I didn’t really, truly understand that until my sister, after years of prodding, finally got him to open up and share his story.

We can also see his story in the people who are here today to pay their respects, many who have traveled hundreds (even thousands) of miles, over journeys lasting many dozens of years: fellow veterans and members of the American Legion; classmates from Manhattan College and University of Bologna Medical School; colleagues from the East Orange VA; neighbors and friends from a long life well-lived.

And of course, his loving family.

As we honor Dr. Paul Yokwah Loong and say farewell to him, we remember many things about him: the pains he endured and the sacrifices he made; his kindness, care, and compassion for all those he helped; and most of all, his devotion to God; his steadfast patriotism for his country; and his tireless  love for his family.

My father rarely had a problem falling asleep, and always slept well. He liked to say that the reason was simple: It was because he had a clear conscience.

Dad is at his eternal rest now, and I know he goes there with a clear conscience.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Why I Haven't Been Around

I've been scarce lately because my dad had a stroke just after Valentine's Day, and I've spent much of the past 3 weeks in a hospital near my hometown trading off days and nights with my family. (Thankfully, my bosses are fine with me working remotely, and the wifi is adequate.)

I'll spare you (and myself) the medical details. After a night in the ER, dad was moved to the Critical Care Unit, surrounded by tubes, wires, sensors, a rotating staff of nurses and doctors, and a general sense of helplessness felt by the rest of us.

A series of tubes.
After a week, he was moved up to a regular room, where we remain (with a brief diversion to sub-acute care until a complication popped up).

Right now, NJ just went through a winter storm (parts of the state got over 2 feet of snow, though our area didn't get nearly that much), so I figured I'd catch up on a few things.

I guess I've been lucky up until now, as even at my age, I haven't had to spend much time in hospitals, either as a patient or a visitor. Though I'm definitely catching up now: Over the years, I guess hospitals figured out that it was better to let a family member stay overnight. Hospitals are disorienting enough as it is; after a while, I was having trouble keeping track of the days.

They're also pretty difficult places to get actual rest, with all the tests, scheduled medications, position changes, and beeping machines. (So much beeping.) A recliner helps, though.

Dad's is pretty much out of the acute phase of things, and we're all trying to figure out what happens next. I won't get into his prognosis, though we're trying to be optimistic and realistic.

Anyway, I figure I'll be spending a whole lot more time in NJ and traveling back and forth. I'm also trying not to commit to anything I can't easily get out of over the next few months.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween 2016 Costume Lessons: Nobody Watches Quantico

I gave up on ABC's Quantico before the end of Season 1 because it got too ridiculous, but it doesn't mean that I couldn't still make a Halloween costume from it.

As many have noted, the trainee outfit is built around a light-blue, long-sleeved henley t-shirt, with khaki cargo pants (optionally bloused/tucked), combat boots, red training gun in holster, and a badge.

There were plenty of reference photos:

Up until now, I didn't realize the male and female cargo pants were different shades.
The onscreen blue henley is four-button, waffle-textured, and way too expensive for a long-sleeved t-shirt, but I was able to find an acceptable substitute for $15 on Amazon. The shade was "eh, close enough."

(Incidentally, if you Google search on "light blue waffle henley shirt," there's an important two-word phrase in there that may pull up some verrrrrrry different search results than you might be expecting.)

I had everything else (after spray painting red the toy gun from my 2010 sheriff costume), and made the badge in photoshop:

The fonts are a bit off, but honestly, who cares?
IMG_6573 IMG_6575

As to the finished product, over three wearings in three days, exactly two people knew what the costume was... and one of them was an actual FBI agent. Also, the holster is a pain to drive in.

So, I've used up my fallback costume, which means that I have a year to come up with something for 2017.

Monday, March 28, 2016

This Is 44

I've been dreading my birthday this year, because it meant having to come up with a whole new batch of 44 factoids with which to reply to my Facebook well-wishers.

Sure, the first few dozen are easy; they're straight pulls from Wikipedia. But then things start getting ugly.

This year, I topped out at about 150 factoids:

F-44 is the NATO designation for JP-5 jet fuel

The Q44 is a vital inter-borough transit link, connecting the Bronx and Queens while providing connections to several subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road.

The Z44 Corvette Z06 427 edition was built in 2008.

HMS Lagos (D44) is a 1944 British Royal Navy Battle-class destroyer

The T-44 is a medium tank first produced near the end of the World War II by the Soviet Union.

S44 is the postcode for Bolsover, North East Derbyshire in the UK

The W44 was an American nuclear warhead used on the ASROC tactical anti-submarine missile system. It has a yield of 10 kilotons.

Z44 is an Italian distilled dry gin

Interstate 44 (I-44) is a major Interstate Highway in the central United States, running from Wichita Falls, Texas to St. Louis, Missouri

V44 is a brand of pure super premium wheat-vodka produced by the Bratislava-based company European Spirits and Liquor.

The Robinson R44 is a four-seat light helicopter produced by the Robinson Helicopter Company since 1992.

Papyrus 44 is an early copy of the New Testament in Greek. It is currently housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

C44 is the chess opening King's Pawn Game

C44 is the FAA code for Toutant Airport in Putnam, Connecticut

The Y44 is an OHV V8, 16 valve, 4 barrel down draught carb engine produced for the Nissan President and since 1975 used electronic fuel injection.

6Q0B44E, sometimes abbreviated to B44E, is a small object, probably an item of space debris, currently orbiting Earth outside the orbit of the Moon.

The Xccelerator X44 is a 4-string electric bass from Carvin Guitars

The M44 was an American-made self-propelled 155mm howitzer

The M44 is a planned motorway in Hungary.

The BMW M44 is a straight-4 dual overhead cam piston engine that was produced from 1996-2001.

The M44 is a carbine variant of the Russian Mosin-Nagant rifle.

The 44th atomic bomb test at the Nevada proving grounds was approximately 25 kilotons and occured on April 15, 1955.

According to Transparency International, Rwanda is ranked 44th on the 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index

Utah is the 44th most obese state in the US, with 21.8% of adults classed as obese.

In the 2016 NCAA tournament, Gonzaga was the 44th overall seed.

44 in Morse Code is ....- ....-

Matthew 22:44 -- "The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?"

In the presidential election of 1964, Lyndon Johnson won 44 of the 50 states (plus DC)

Exit 44 on the Garden State Parkway is Pomona Road in Pamona, New Jersey

The Passage Island Lighthouse in Michigan is 44 feet high.

"44 Minutes: The North Hollywood Shoot-Out" is a TV movie about the famous bank robbery in Los Angeles.

44 in binary is 101100

Ivory Snow soap was advertised as being 99 and 44/100% pure

44 stone Public House is a gastropub in Columbia, MO and has live tap cams

In 2015, the Coast Guard rescued a man who was stranded 44 miles off the Jersey shore, and had been treading water for 4 hours.

Dennis the dachshund lost 44 pounds, going from 56 to 12 pounds

"44 Inch Chest" is a 2009 movie; its IMDB summary is "A jealous husband and his friends plot the kidnapping of his wife's lover with the intention of restoring his wounded ego. "

44º Celsius is 111º Fahrenheit (and 44º Fahrenheit is 6.66º Celsius)

44º North Vodka is made in Idaho from Idaho potatoes.

Fire Station 44 in San Diego serves Eastern Mira Mesa and its surrounding areas. Engine 44's district is 6.58 square miles.

Batman #44 was published Dec. 1947/Jan. 1948, and features the Joker.

This year was the running of the 44th Iditarod sled race, won by four-time winner Dallas Seavey.

The 44th episode of Futurama is "The Route of All Evil", where Dwight and Cubert take over Planet Express.

The 44th National Organic Chemistry Symposium occurred June 28-July 2, 2015 at the the University of Maryland, College Park.

The 44th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) was staffed at the onset of the Korean War, June 1950

Eric Idle was the host of the 44th episode of Saturday Night Live, broadcast April 23, 1977.

The 44th Fighter Group is a classic association partnered with the 325th Fighter Wing at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., as well as a subordinate unit under the 301st Fighter Wing, Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas. The unit's mission involves F-22 5th generation aircraft and T-38A Adversary aircraft.

The Royalton hotel in New York is located at 44 West 44th Street.

The 44th Session of the UN General Assembly ran from Sept 19, 1989 to Sept 17, 1990

The weekly e-newsletter of the New York City Bar Association is named the 44th Street eNews. It goes out on Mondays.

Schumann's Piano Quintet in E flat major, Opus 44 was composed in 1842:

The FCC's Auction 44 occurred between August 27 and September 18, 2002 for the Lower 700MHz Band.

Title 44 of the South Carolina Code of Laws covers Health.

The Powerball lottery is played in 44 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

The No. 44 Society is a book collectors' club at the University Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

NO-44 was a satellite built by Navy midshipmen launched September 30, 2001 aboard the “Kodiak Star”, a Lockheed-Martin Athena I launch vehicle.

44 Interactive is a digital advertising agency in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Route 44 of the King County (Seattle) Metro system runs from Ballard to Wallingford to UW Station

The winner of Best Original Song at the 44th Academy Awards was the Theme from Shaft.

Earlier in 2016, a man posted a video showing himself learning to juggle from scratch in 3 hours and 44 minutes

The Breitling Chronomat 44 Blacksteel retails for $9,930

In 2015, the world's first 3D printed car was finished in 44 hours

The work time in Brazil is 44 hours per week, usually 8 hours per day and 4 hours on Saturday or 8.8 hours per day.

Italian runner Gianclaudio Marengo was found on a subway 44 hours after starting the New York City marathon.

The Newhouse 44 consists of 44 Syracuse University graduates who are experts in the various facets of the communications industry.

The Chicago Board of Trade North Building is 44 stories.

UTV44 (WJTC) is an independent television station located in Pensacola, Florida, that also serves Mobile, Alabama.

The Twitter handle @44 belongs to Menotti Minutillo

The Ferno Model 44 Rescue Seat is constructed of tough reinforced vinyl that is easy to clean and resists blood and bodily fluids.

The Model 44 Aristocrat is a Manley Aristocrat popcorn popper.

The 44th Army Surgeon General is Maj. Gen. Nadja West, the Army's first black female to hold the rank of lieutenant general.

The John Deere Model 44 is a front end loader.

The IBM System/360 Model 44 was a specialized variation of IBM's System 360 computer architecture designed for scientific and real-time computing and process control.

The Model 44 was announced August 16, 1965 and withdrawn September 24, 1973.

In this year's NCAA tournament, Texas A&M came back from 12 down with 44 seconds to play to beat the Northern Iowa Panthers in double overtime.

PBS and PBS KIDS Receive 44 Daytime Emmy Nominations for the 43rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards

Kevin James to Suit Up for Inspirational Football Movie '44'

Psalm 44 begins, "We have heard it with our ears, O God; our ancestors have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago."

U.S. Code: Title 44 is about public printing and documents.

The 44th Annual World Series of Poker was in 2013 at the Rio in Paradise, Nevada.

Expressionist painter Jackson Pollock died at the age of 44.

The 44th day of the year is February 13.

Wyoming became the 44th state on July 10, 1890.

For her 44th birthday, Koko the gorilla received 2 kittens.

The 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference was held in The Woodlands, Texas, March 18-22, 2013.

The Algonquin Hotel, home of the famous Algonquin Round Table, is located at 59 West 44th Street.

The 44th Precinct in New York City contains Yankee Stadium, the Bronx County Building, the Bronx Hall of Justice, the Grand Concourse, Concourse Plaza Mall, Concourse Village and 146,000 residents.

F. Scott Fitzgerald died at the age of 44.

Minneapolis is located at 44°59′N 93°16′W

The 44th parallel north crosses Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean.

The 44th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment was an infantry regiment raised in Virginia for service in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. It fought mostly with the Army of Northern Virginia.

In the 44th Primetime Emmy Awards, Murphy Brown took Best Comedy.

In the 44th Grammy Awards, Alicia Keys won Best New Artist

The Swiss liqueur Tempus Fugit Liqueur De Violettes is 44 proof

A 1.5 ounce shot is 44 milliliters

After drinking 24 shots in less that 2 hours, Michigan State University Bradley McCue died with a blood alcohol level of .44

In the 44th Academy Awards, The French Connection won Best Picture

Super Bowl XLIV was between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts, Feb. 7, 2010.

Expedition 44 to the International Space Station consisted of Commander Gennady Padalka, Mikhail Kornienko, Scott Kelly, Oleg Kononenko, Kjell Lindgren, Kimiya Yui

Herod Agrippa of Judea died in the year 44.

Julius Caesar was assassinated 44 BC

Billie Holiday died July 17, 1959 at the age of 44.

In the year 44, Boudicca married Prasutagus, king of the British Celtic tribe the Iceni.

Marvin Gaye died at the age of 44, one day shy of his 45th birthday.

In the year 44, the emperor Claudius returns from his British campaign in triumph, the southeast part of Britannia now held by the Roman Empire, but the war will rage for another decade and a half.

In the TV series Lost, Jacob and the Man in Black were born in the year 44 on an island in the South Pacific Ocean.

In the year 44, Gaius Sallustius Crispus Passienus (that's one guy) and Titus Statilius Taurus become Roman consuls.

The denomination 44 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Year 44 was known at the time as the Year of the Consulship of Crispus and Taurus (or, less frequently, year 797 Ab urbe condita).

Municipal Okrug 44 is the former name of Moskovskaya zastava Municipal Okrug in the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia

44 figures prominently in the famous Dirty Harry quote:
"I know what you're thinking: "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"
44M Tas Rohamlöveg is a Hungarian tank destroyer design of World War II, derived from the 44M Tas tank

44M Tas is a Hungarian medium/heavy tank design of World War II

In an operation to capture Zulkifli Abdhir and Abdul Basit Usman, 44 of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force died during the Mamasapano clash, they were later dubbed as The Fallen 44 or SAF 44.

Number 44 (Russian: Номер 44) is the Russian localized title for a 2015 American-British mystery thriller film Child 44.

44 is an agent in the American Television series Get Smart. Agent 44 is usually assigned to small, enclosed, unexpected spots to meet Maxwell Smart, agent 86.

There are 44 candles in a box of Hanukkah candles.

Mark Twain's The Mysterious Stranger features Satan's supposed nephew, whose alternate name in parallel works is "44".

Barack Obama is the 44th President of The United States of America.

Wyoming was the 44th state to join The United States of America.

44 is the largest number for which Wolfram Alpha offers a visual representation.

Forty-Four is the name of a blues song, also known as "44 Blues"

44 is the number of the French department (a region kind of like a state)

Vicks Formula 44 is a cough suppressant

In the song 44 fours by Jay Z, he rhymes the words four, for and fore 44 times. This song is a follow up from the song 22 two's.

+44 is the name of the band including Blink-182 vocalist/bassist Mark Hoppus and Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker.

44 is the common name for the .44 Magnum or .44 Special revolver cartridges

44 is a poker game in which each player is dealt four cards down, and four cards are dealt face down on the table in a row. The first three cards on the table are "community" cards and may be used in any player's hand. The fourth card and any card matching it in rank is wild, and can also be used in a hand (each player is guaranteed one wild card). For each of four rounds, one "community" card is flipped up and a round of betting occurs. After the last round, the winner is the person with the highest poker hand.

44 is the name of a mysterious savior of Poland prophesied by the Polish national poet Adam Mickiewicz in his masterpiece dramatic poem Dziady (Forefathers): In scene 5 of act 3, the priest Piotr announces a "reviver of the nation" who is to bring back the lost freedom of Poland, and describes him with these words:
Born from a foreign mother, his blood of ancient heroes,
And his name will be forty and four.

Pennsylvania Route 44 (PA 44) is a long state highway in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania

U.S. Route 44 is a highway that runs from New York to Massachusetts

Interstate 44 is a freeway that runs from Texas to Missouri

44 is the code for international direct dial phone calls to the United Kingdom.

44 is the number of a car once driven by Dale Jarrett in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (then known as the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series)

44 is the Formula 1 driver number for Lewis Hamilton commencing from the start of the 2014 season.

44 was worn by a number of football legends at Syracuse University, worn most notably by Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Floyd Little, and Rob Konrad. Although the number was officially retired in 2005, the legend of 44 remains an important part of the identity of Syracuse University.

Jeff Mullins wore the #44 during his Duke career. The number was retired in 1994

44 is the retired NBA number for Dan Issel, (Denver Nuggets); Jerry West (L.A. Lakers); Paul Westphal (Phoenix Suns); Sam Lacey (Sacramento Kings); and George Gervin (San Antonio Spurs).

44 is the retired NFL number for Floyd Little (Denver Broncos) and Pete Retzlaff (Philadelphia Eagles)

44 is the retired number for former baseball players Hank Aaron, Willie McCovey and Reggie Jackson; the number is sometimes considered to be a "hitter's number".

44 is the Saros number of the lunar eclipse series which began on October 1, 1363 BC and ended on March 27, 153. The duration of Saros series 44 was 1514.5 years, and it contained 85 lunar eclipses.

44 is the Saros number of the solar eclipse series which began on April 30, 1448 BC and ended on June 7, 168 BC. The duration of Saros series 44 was 1280.1 years, and it contained 72 solar eclipses.

The New General Catalogue object NGC 44 is a double star in the constellation Andromeda

Messier object M44 is a magnitude 4.0 open cluster in the constellation Cancer, also known as the Beehive Cluster

44 is the atomic number of ruthenium.

In decimal notation (base 10), 44 is a palindromic number and a happy number.
Given Euler's totient function, φ(44) = 20 and φ(69) = 44.

The aliquot sequence of 44 is (44,40,50,43,1,0).

Since the greatest prime factor of 442 + 1 = 1937 is 149 and thus more than 44 twice, 44 is a Størmer number.

Forty-four is a tribonacci number, an octahedral number and the number of derangements of 5 items.

44 (forty-four) is the natural number following 43 and preceding 45.

The M44 cyanide device is used for the elimination of suspected livestock predators. It uses a spring to propel a dose of sodium cyanide into the predator's mouth.

Navy Capt. Daniel Dusek will spend 44 months in prison for trading classified info for booze, food & sex

In a news story this week, "A Scottish man surgically outfitted with a so-called “bionic penis” has lost his virginity at age 44 with a sex worker who donated the session."

The Federalist No. 44 was written by James Madison and is entitled, "Restrictions on the Authority of the Several States"

"Many believe that, in Sonnet 44, Shakespeare is distraught over the absence of the Earl of Southampton, who was Shakespeare's patron for a time and perhaps his lover as well."

Monday, November 09, 2015

My Runaway JLENS Blimp Costume, Halloween 2015

Although I'd made significant progress on my dad bod, I didn't really have a costume for Halloween this year. Getting down to the wire, I was resigned to buying something off-the-rack.

Then, on Wednesday, October 28, a JLENS sensor blimp got loose.

Inspiration struck. But could I do a costume in less than three days?

The Planning
I didn't have a lot of time to plan. Initially, I thought about using a balloon (and in retrospect, I should have tried harder to go this route), but I couldn't find the right shape, so I decided to make something with paper mache.

I looked at some reference images, and just needed a rough teardrop shape, with fins, and a bulge on the bottom for the sensor pod. I tried making a model out of aluminum foil:


The structure would be chicken wire, though I decided to add some supports, using round foam core discs hot-glued onto a dowel:

Next, came the chicken wire, which was a pain to work with. I eventually got it into a teardrop/bomb/whale shape -- since it was a runaway blimp, it didn't need to be perfect. And it wasn't:

I decided I would wear it on my head. For the mount, I wrapped chicken wire around the bike-helmet-in-a-box mount from last year's Speed Hump sign costume, and then wired the "sensor pod" to the bottom of the blimp.

The chicken wire, painful as it was, was the easy part. Next came the paper mache, which I haven't worked with since... I'm not sure. It was messy. I laid it down in neat rows, instead of criss-crossing all around, so the bottom parts wouldn't stay on and there were lots of gaps. I started about 8pm Friday night, and kept going for about 10 hours, before taking a 2-hour nap.

Eventually, by early afternoon on Saturday, it looked like this. I used white duct tape to patch some of the bigger gaps, and used a heat gun to dry off the dampest spots. (If you look closely, you can see scorch marks.)

The fins were easy -- I made 3 out of foam core, and hot-glued them in place. Then it was ready for painting.
It's a lopsided oblong shape, so if I ever need a whale or Super Guppy cargo plane, I'm set.

Because I built it on the floor, I didn't really get a look at the underside. This would be a problem, because I didn't see what the gaps looked like, and since I'd be wearing it on my head, people would be looking up at them. But it was too late to really do anything about it, so I painted it:

The paint was dry to the touch in about 30 minutes, so that was about it.

The Wearing
To test it, I hoisted it onto my head and buckled the strap. It was a lot heavier than I expected, and wasn't balanced particularly well. But I was stuck with it.

Ultimately, I only lasted about 10 minutes under it -- it was unstable, I had a hard time walking indoors with it, and it wasn't very much fun wearing it. So I switched to a backup costume for the rest of the evening.

Like I said, since the aesthetic was "crashed runaway blimp," I could live with the imperfections (and there were many). But if I had to do it again, I wouldn't do paper mache -- it was too heavy to support with just my neck -- I'd just find a regular balloon, or even just tether a helium balloon to my head. And while I can't say I enjoyed the build process, I did find the experience educational.

Materials list:
* 5-pound bag of white flour (for making paper mache)
* Newspaper
* Foam core board (for fins and internal support)
* 5/8" dowel (36" long)
* Roll of chicken wire
* One can of lacquer-style white glossy spray paint
* Hot glue gun
* Heat gun
* "Bike helmet in a box" mounting system
* Pliers and tin ships for cutting and bending wire.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Greek Way: Fraternities at Duke, 1989-1990

This is kind of random; I'm trying to incrementally declutter my house, which in this case means reluctantly going through things I haven't touched in over 25 years (like I said, incremental), when I found something that I've had since my p-frosh days. (Incidentally, it seems that "p-frosh" is a Duke-exclusive take on "pre-frosh.")

Actually, I don't remember if I received this before setting foot on campus or after, but that's not important. It's a booklet entitled, The Greek Way - Fraternities at Duke, 1989-1990, and it was given to all the freshman males to introduce them to the fraternity system at Duke, the rush and pledging policies, and descriptions of all the fraternities.

I never rushed, so I don't know why I kept it all these years (lie: pack rat), but I decided to scan it and share it so I could throw out the hard copy. It's a forty-page PDF file, complete with advertisements, embedded for your perusal:

Consider it an artifact for the archives, a historical document in an era before Facebook, Snapchat, and email. The pictures in the scan are only slightly more terrible than the actual photos in the booklet (such was the state of printing back then).

I didn't really read for detail, but the most interesting part was the fraternity descriptions, submitted by the fraternities themselves. Some play it straight and dull; others go wacky; some try for a bit of edge. A plurality bemoan the impossibility of capturing the diverse, mold-breaking, stereotype-defying essence of their fraternity in words (so come by kegs, meet some of the brothers, and judge for yourself etc.)

And then there's the stuff that would never fly today (at least not in a publication that features an introduction from the Dean of Students), the standout being this little tidbit from Delta Kappa Epsilon in response to the question, "What is the best thing about being a Deke?" "Beautiful little sisters with no tolerance." (Page 12.)

Anyway, now I can throw out the hard copy. Yay for infinite bits!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Vital Update on My TV Viewing Habits

I was cleaning out space on my DVR (the modern digital analog of the VCR, which as Douglas Adams so deftly noted is a labor-saving device that "watched tedious television for you"), so here's where I am with the summer TV lineup. (May contain nuts. And spoilers.)

"The Last Ship" (TNT) -- Silly as all hell, and enough plot holes to sink the USS Nathan James, but the close-combat fight scenes are very nicely done. Status: Still lasting, but only half-watching until the fight scenes.

"The Strain" (FX) -- Also pretty silly, but still watchable. I like how the show's New York City has gone from complete vampire-denial, to the stringing up of decapitated corpses on Staten Island. I was about to make a similar comment on how much son Zach has grown, even though only a few weeks have passed on the show, but I see he was replaced after season 1 with another actor. He seems older, more sullen, and irritating. Carl, is that you? Get in the house! Status: Still watching, but not straining. Goes good with meal prep.

"Tyrant" (FX) -- I like it, even though I'm still hoping that Barry wins power, then gradually turns heel and becomes a tyrant himself. (I mean, the parallels with Bashar al-Assad weren't exactly subtle. But maybe having an Americanized protagonist break bad like that doesn't work, even on basic cable.)

The latest episodes pretty suddenly introduces the show's version of Islamic State/Daesh, then turns Barry into an insurgent. We'll see how that goes. And when will Barry's daughter get some plot lines? She's like the female version of Bobby Draper from "Mad Men." Status: Still watching, usually while editing photos.

"Killjoys" (Syfy) -- I tried. Really, I tried. But I just couldn't care anymore, and if I wanted to watch "Firefly," I'd just watch "Firefly." Status: Killed joy.

"Dark Matter" (Syfy) -- I tried. Not as hard as with "Killjoys", but I still tried. Not even Agent Curtis could save my interest in the show. (He's still on "The Strain," though.) Status: Doesn't matter.

"Hannibal" (NBC) -- (Boy, not a lot of network TV shows here.) I'm not caught up, mostly because you actually have to watch the show when you watch the show. Status: Still watching. Still cancelled.

"Defiance" (Syfy) -- This is a show that I'm still watching, and I'm not sure why. (Also, see below.) A lot of turnover in the cast since last season. And while I like Lee Tergesen in his scenery-chewing turn as a marauding general, they're really dragging out this season's impending invasion of the town. Status: No wordplay, no idea why I'm still watching. But I am.

"Falling Skies" (TNT) -- This show has been on for five seasons. Five. I've been half-watching since almost the beginning (I still haven't seen the first episode, which annoys me), and I haven't stopped watching. I think it's because I just want to see how it ends, but I'm not sure if that's because of or in spite of the soapiness of the writing. (Blonde arch-nemesis! Brother love triangle! Pope's heel turn!) Oh, and Mira Sorvino seemed perpetually confused that she was on the show. Status: Watching for the fall. Or the fold. As in "while folding laundry."

"Humans" (AMC) -- I almost skipped this show. I'm glad I didn't, it's much better than I expected. Status: Still watching.

"Mr. Robot" (USA) -- Technically, I'm not watching "Mr. Robot" yet, because it's piling up on my DVR. But I'm hoping I'll get to it. Status: Planning on watching.

"Married" (FX) -- I think this is the only sitcom I watch right now. And it's not really a sitcom. I mean, it's more comedy than a dramedy. Maybe it's a "com-a." No, that won't work. Anyway, it's a pretty easy lift and low commitment, since it's only a 22-minute half-hour sitcom. (Fun fact: I think I'm older than everyone on the show except Paul Reiser. Actually, that's wrong -- John Hodgman has me by a year.) Status: Watching.

Anyway, after writing this, I see I could pretty much cut the cable cord if I could get FX, USA, AMC, Syfy, and TNT. (Add in Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, and FXX, and that would pretty much be it, outside of PBS, which I could get over the air.) I'll have to see how that might work.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Fringe Festival Saturday, 2015

Last weekend was the first weekend of the 2015 Fringe Festival at its new locations (Trinidad, near H Street; Brookland; and Gallaudet). Unfortunately, it was also a weekend of scheduled track work on the Red Line, which meant a lot more bus-hopping than usual.

I took the train in, switching to the free shuttle to get to NoMA, then walked to the Logan Fringe Arts Space (the new location of Fringe HQ) for the first show, War and Peas. Actually, I had to run the last few blocks (didn't want to miss a show, unlike last year).

The show itself was mostly dance and puppets; it was okay, but the show is really meant for kids, and there weren't that many of those at the 2:30pm show (even including the one kid who had to leave due to meltdown issues).

I also didn't have time to hang around on H Street (a short walk away), or even at the new Fringe Bar, since I had to catch the Fringe shuttle to get to the next show in the Brookland neighborhood.

I'd never been to Brookland -- its a very suburban-feeling neighborhood, one that's seeing a lot of new, hip construction around the Brookland Metro stop.

The second show was really good: Tammy Faye's Final Audition. The lead actress was great (also, as the play started, I was in the front row of her "studio audience" and she greeted me), but I was also impressed by her co-star, who portrayed four characters, including Jim Bakker and Jim J. Bullock.

Afterwards, I did have some time (though, as it turned out, not as I thought) to grab a beer and a catfish po' boy at the Brookland Pint, at the Brookland Arts Walk:

Brookland Arts Walk sign
My third show of the day was out-of-the-way, at the DC Arts Center in Adams-Morgan (not too far from Amsterdam Falafelshop... my original plan was to get a falafel there, but the po' boy put a stop to that). I got on Metro, but after the mandatory switch to the Metro shuttle, I knew I wasn't going to make it in time, so I got out at Metro Center and cabbed it the rest of the way. Wasteful, I know, but I wasn't going to miss out on another show due to mass transit delays.

As it turns out, I probably could have saved the cab fare (though we'll never know), since the showing of Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom started a little late. The show itself was creepy and I think I missed a twist or two, but it also had a nice use of bloody wound makeup.

So that was my first round of Fringe shows. I have three shows left on my current pass, but I think I'll spread them out a bit more, especially so I can spend some more time on H Street this weekend.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

I Held on to AOL Stock. Which Proves I'm an Idiot

I am stupid and I enjoy throwing away money. This is the only conclusion a reasonable person could make upon hearing what I'm about to post. (It's also the ultimate justification for the name of this blog).
Did you know that AOL was acquired by Verizon for $50 a share? I did. Did you know the deadline for accepting the share purchase offer was midnight Monday, June 22? I didn't. (Seriously, who would have thought? The deal closed in 42 days, making it the 11th-fastest acquisition deal over $1 billion this year.)

Apparently, I still owned some ESPP shares from way back that had been converted from AOL to TWX and back again. And by not responding to the letter in that funny-looking envelope, I missed out on the $50/share buyout offer.

That basically means that I now own shares in a company that no longer exists, and left a bunch of money on the table, because I didn't read my snail mail.

How much? In raw terms, it was... enough to cause flinching and moderate psychic pain. However, as they were ESPP shares, it means some of them were underwater, and the rest just represented years of blood, sweat, and tears. 

In the final accounting, I'll say it cost me more than a modern big-screen TV, and less than a moderately-priced used car. 

Call it a tangible reminder that stupid should hurt (or at least cost).

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Update: I Got Burgled, Got Jacked Up, Got a Job

I Got Burgled 
I woke up extra early on a Saturday morning to drive out to an event, and was so bleary-eyed that it took me a few extra seconds to notice that my driver's side car door was already ajar.

At first I thought, geez, I wasn't that bad last night, was I? Then I saw that the driver's interior light was on, illuminating a mess of junk on the seat and a hole in my dashboard where my ashtray/change holder used to be:

Apparently, I'd left my car unlocked Friday night, and sometime between midnight and 6am, some miscreant took advantage of that fact. I lost a pocketknife and about ten bucks in quarters and small bills. Oh, and the bastard took the damn ashtray, which will run me at least $30 to replace. (I'm sure he -- I'm assuming it's a he -- didn't keep the ashtray to feed the thriving underground market trafficking in 2002 Mazda Protege ashtrays, but I didn't see it laying around nearby. Maybe he kept it as a trophy. You know who else keeps trophies of their crimes? Serial killers.)

Fortunately, the thief didn't get any of the other items in my car that are of nontrivial value, and didn't break anything (unlike that time in Baltimore), so I guess it's just a reminder to be more careful.

I did file a police report online, though it didn't make the police blotter.

Got Jacked Up 
Another Saturday, this time at the gym. Like I posted to Twitter, I hurt my back (again) doing exercises (this time, kettlebell swings) that I was specifically doing to keep from hurting my back again. Textbook irony.

The instant *twinge* let me know that it happened. It didn't feel as bad as I've done it before, so I didn't even have to hobble out of the gym. I stayed most of the weekend in, took a few Advil, and thought I was okay.

Then I woke up Monday morning, and my back was so tight I could barely get up. I had to take a work from home day, and spent all day flat on my back, popping NSAIDs, with my laptop perched on my stomach.

By Tuesday, I was back on my feet, though I'm glad my Thursday kickball game got rained out (controversially). I would have been pretty useless.

Got a Job
Did you notice that bit about taking a "work from home day"? As a freelance consultant for the past few years, that was pretty much every day. But I started a new job on June 8 -- I'm a Senior Digital Strategist (read: Associate) at Booz Allen.

Talk about burying the lede. I've held off on announcing it, and in fact, I haven't yet updated my LinkedIn profile. Partly it was to make sure they didn't change their minds... NO TAKEBACKS! Kidding, as we know, of course, Virginia is an at-will employment statement. Though right now, I'm still feeling my way around and learning the ropes.

It's funny: when I was at Deltek, I had to learn a lot about government contracting, but since I'd never done it, it was all theoretical, abstract knowledge. Now, I am one (well, I'm not on a contract yet), so I'm seeing how things actually work.

Including managing and writing proposals. Wow.

This also means that I'm wearing an RFID-equipped leash again, sporting the worst ID picture I've ever taken, and I'm even wearing it on a lanyard around my neck (which I refused to do when I was at AOL, preferring the pull-starter at waist level).

I'm also commuting to Tysons, just like I did when I first moved down here to work for AOL.

One other mildly amusing thing I've found so far: Most of the internal company sites are subdomains that live off of When they have to pronounce these URLs, employees actually do say "BAH." As in "Bah, humbug."

I haven't yet taken the Metro to work, but I'll have to give that a try soon.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Turning 43 Is Trivial

I turned 43 this week. 43 seems nondescript. It's not a recognized milestone of any sort. It's not even a particularly interesting number. Basically, 43 seems... trivial.

With that in mind, this year, my Facebook birthday greeting response theme was: "43 TRIVIA." For every birthday greeting on my wall, I replied with a hand-curated, randomly selected piece of trivia involving the number 43.

Initially, they all came from the 43 Wikipedia page (e.g. "43 is the 14th-smallest prime number."), which is why the first batch are math-y and not particularly interesting. That vein got tapped out quickly and I had to hit Google. Eventually, I got desperate, and started using any appearance of "43" that I could find, then "forty three."
  1. Forty-three is the 14th smallest prime number.
  2. The previous prime is forty-one.
  3. 43 is the smallest prime that is not a Chen prime.
  4. 43 degrees Centigrade is 109.4 degrees Fahrenheit, or 316.15 Kelvin.
  5. In the year 43 CE, the Roman conquest of Britain began.
  6. 41 and 43 comprise a twin prime.
  7. Movie 43 (2013), is a film consisting of a series of interconnected short stories, featuring some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, which make up the insane storylines a washed-up producer is pitching to a movie company. (It has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 4, which is... bad.)
  8. 43 is the maximum number of cars participating in a NASCAR race in the Cup Series, and, through the 2012 season, the Nationwide Series.
  9. 43 is also the third Wagstaff prime.
  10. Number 43, in Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850), is one of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's most famous poems
  11. 43 is the Saros number of the lunar eclipse series which began on August 27, 1482 BCE and ended on March 15, 70 CE. The duration of Saros series 43 was 1550.5 years, and it contained 87 lunar eclipses.
  12. The chemical element with the atomic number 43 is technetium. It does indeed have has the lowest atomic number of any element that does not possess stable isotopes. Also, its melting point is 2430 Kelvin (2157 degrees Celsius, 3915 degrees Fahrenheit)
  13. 43 is the smallest prime number expressible as the sum of 2, 3, 4, or 5 different primes
  14. +43 is the code for direct dial international phone calls to Austria.
  15. The website 43(dot)com is a parked domain. Facebook deems it a security threat, and wouldn't let me include a link to it.
  16. Over in Asia, during the year 43, Vietnam was designated a province of China.
  17. In the US's National Football League, the number 43 was worn by Jim Norton of the Houston Oilers. The Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans) retired the number.
  18. 43 is the largest natural number that is not a (original) McNugget number.
  19. 43 is a centered heptagonal number.
  20. Joey Savatgy will run the number 43 in the 2014 250MX and 250SX series and is sponsored by Armswag
  21. 43 in binary is 101011.
  22. The New General Catalogue object NGC 43, a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Andromeda.
  23. 43 is the designation of Interstate 43, a freeway in Wisconsin.
  24. "43" is a song on the album Level 42 by Level 42
  25. 43 was the number used by Jan Alston (ZSC Lions, Zurich, Switzerland) from 2001 to 2010
  26. Messier object M43, a magnitude 7.0 H II region in the constellation of Orion, a part of the Orion Nebula, and also sometimes known as de Mairan's Nebula.
  27. 1/2 oz. of Camembert cheese is 43 calories
  28. The aircraft carrier U.S.S. Coral Sea was CV-43
  29. Psalm 43 begins "Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause against an unfaithful nation. Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked."
  30. At the 43rd Grammy Awards in 2001, Steely Dan's Two Against Nature took Album of the Year.
  31. Dennis the Dachshund lost 43 pounds, going from 56 to 13 pounds in January 2015.
  32. 43 is the fourth term of Sylvester's sequence, one more than the product of the previous terms (2 × 3 × 7).
  33. Now That's What I Call Music! 43! (a.k.a. Now 43) topped the Billboard 200 in August, 2012, and featured Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe," Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend," and Maroon 5's "Payphone."
  34. Cafe 43 is the restaurant at the George W. Bush Presidential Center:
  35. 43 in Morse Code is ....- ...--
  36. Acetylcholinesterase, with the symbol ACHE, has a gene ID of 43. (I have no idea what anything on that page means)
  37. According to Pro Football Talk, as of Tuesday, NFL teams have traded 2015 draft selections 43 times.
  38. 43 million streams of “Happy” on Pandora earned Pharrell Williams $2,700 in royalties.
  39. A serving of 6 medium raw oysters is 43 calories.
  40. Celebrities who died at 43 include: John Candy, Natalie Wood, porn star John Holmes, and Lisa Robin Kelly of That '70s Show
  41. Article 43 of the UN Charter says that member nations should make available to the Security Council armed forces, assistance, and facilities.
  42. 43 is a Heegner number.
  43. WPMT FOX43 is Central Pennsylvania’s FOX station serving Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, Lebanon Pennsylvania, and surrounding areas.
  44. Oban 14 (a single malt scotch whiskey) is 43% alcohol (86 proof)
  45. 43 is a repdigit in base 6 (111).
  46. In 2009's Super Bowl XLIII (43), the Steelers defeated the Cardinals 27-23.
  47. The Federalist #43 was written by James Madison and contains the only reference to the Copyright Clause in The Federalist Papers.
  48. The Mark 43 Iron Man armor will appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron
  49. Route 43 is a DC Metrobus route that serves the Mount Pleasant Line
  50. Fairfax County does not currently have a Fire Station 43. (Its newest station is station 42, Wolftrap.)
  51. 43 is the number for Richard Petty's race car when he won his seven Winston Cup Championships. He also won 200 races in his career, 95% of them in the famous #43.
  52. The parallel 43° North forms most of the boundary between the State of Nebraska and the State of South Dakota.
  53. 1⁄2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt with 1 tsp sugar-free strawberry jam (43 calories)
  54. Windows Error Code 43: Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems
  55. At the 43rd Primetime Emmy Awards in 1991, Cheers took Best Comedy and L.A. Law took Best Drama.
  56. 43 is the Saros number of the solar eclipse series which began on April 29, 1513 BCE and ended on June 5, 233 BCE. The duration of Saros series 43 was 1280.1 years, and it contained 72 solar eclipses.
  57. 43 was used by Patrice Brisebois (Montreal Canadiens) from 1991 to 2004
  58. Washington Redskin Larry Brown wore 43; the number has not been used since he retired.
  59. Federalist #43 also deals with the Treason Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
  60. George W. Bush was the 43rd President of the United States.
  61. The Mark 43 torpedo was the first and smallest of the United States Navy light-weight anti-submarine torpedoes.
  62. WASP-43b is an exoplanet discovered in 2011.
  63. Idaho became the 43rd state in 1890.
  64. "43" is a song by Mushroomhead on the album Mushroomhead.
  65. NASA's X-43 was an unmanned experimental hypersonic aircraft using a scramjet engine.
  66. Expedition 43 is the 43rd and current expedition to the International Space Station. The second part of the expedition began with the launch of Soyuz TMA-16M on Friday, March 27, 2015.
  67. STS-43 was the ninth mission of the Space Shuttle Atlantis.
  68. At the 43rd Academy Awards in 1971, George C. Scott became the first actor to reject an Oscar. His Best Actor Oscar was for his role in Patton, which also took Best Picture. 
  69. In September 2014, 43 males students in the Mexican state of Guerrero disappeared, presumably kidnapped and killed by a crime syndicate.
  70. Part 43 of the Federal Acquisition Regulations references Contract Modifications.
  71. 43% of Americans identified politically as independents in 2014  
  72. Here is the episode list for Sesame Street season 43
  73. 43 is the number worn by Dennis Eckersley of the Oakland Athletics (MLB), and has been retired.
  74. 43 is the number used by Ken Block on his rally cars. 
  75. 43 calories is 179.9 joules
  76. Part 43 of the Federal Aviation Regulations covers Maintenance, preventitive maintenance, rebuilding, and alteration.
  77. Duke basketball player Mike Gminiski's jersey, #43, was retired.
  78. The next prime after 43 is 47.
  79. The most recent Washington Nationals player to use #43 was Ross Ohlendorf in 2013.
  80. Licor 43 (or Cuarenta y tres) is a popular Spanish liqueur, which is distilled with 43 different herbs and spices.
  81. On the Washington Capitals, number 43 is worn by right wing Tom Wilson.
  82. In Mac OS X, error -43 is "The operation cannot be completed because one or more required items cannot be found." 
  83. 43 was the jersey number of Brad Daugherty, ESPN NASCAR analyst and retired American basketball player. It was retired by the Cavaliers on March 1, 1997.
  84. 4:3 is the standard television aspect ratio (1.33:1)
  85. The Russian GM-94 grenade launcher fires a projectile 43mm in diameter.
  86. Federalist #43 references a desire that the national government be given exclusive jurisdiction over a new national capitol and provides the rationale for what later became the District Clause of Article I of the U.S. Constitution.
  87. This week, Glock announced its Model 43. The Glock 43 is a single-stack 9mm handgun.
  88. Mark43 is a police records management system
  89. Brad Daugherty's #43 jersey was a number he picked as a tribute to NASCAR legend Richard Petty (whom Daugherty lists as his favorite sportsman)
  90. This is Edvard Grieg's Six Lyric Pieces, Opus 43
  91. In the Yu-Gi-Oh! collectible card game, card number 43 is the Manipulator of Souls
  92. In the South Carolina Code of Laws, Title 43 deals with Social Services.  
  93. The Price Is Right is currently in its 43rd season
  94. Chapter 43 of the Texas Penal Code covers public indecency, with subchapters on prostitution and obscenity  
  95. Huckleberry Finn has 43 chapters  
  96. The GBU-43/B is the MOAB, officially known as the Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, commonly known as the "Mother Of All Bombs"
  97. Title 43 of the United States Code outlines the role of Public Lands
  98. On the Dublin (Ireland) bus system, bus 43 runs from Talbot St. towards Swords Business Park
  99. From June to November 2014, Kim Kardashian's mobile game made $43 million
  100. The 43 Bar & Grill is a sports bar in Sunnyside, NY
  101. On the Fortune 500 2014, PepsiCo is 43
  102. The Code of Virginia Title 43 deals with Mechanics' and Certain Other Liens
  103. 1:43 scale is a popular size of die-cast model cars in Europe, Asia and the US.
  104. The week ending February 6, 2015, the TSA discovered 43 firearms in carry-on bags. Of those, 40 were loaded and 17 had rounds chambered.  
  105. The Nebraska Revised Statutes Chapter 43 deals with Infants and Juveniles
  106. Property sales in Ireland rose 43% in 2014  
  107. 4/3 or Fourth Thirds is a standard created by Olympus and Kodak for digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR) and mirrorless camera design and development.
  108. The world record for data transfer is 43 terabits per second, set by researchers at the Technical University of Denmark in 2014.  
  109. In physical cosmology, the Planck epoch (or Planck era) is the earliest period of time in the history of the universe, from zero to approximately 10−43 seconds (Planck time).  
  110. In 2013, The Monty Python reunion performance at London's O2 Arena sold out in 43 seconds.
  111. 43 Years With the Same Bird is a book written by Daily Mirror columnist Brian Reade. It documents his lifelong following of Liverpool F.C.  
  112. Reportedly, Converse sells a pair of Chuck Taylors every 43 seconds.  
  113. Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans has twice hit his career-high of 43 points, most recently in a March 9, 2015 game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
  114. In an English Premier League game last week, Liverpool's Steven Gerrard was red-carded 43 seconds after entering the game as a second-half substitute for stamping on the leg a Manchester United player.
    Liverpool player Steven Gerrard, with a heat map showing his movements in the game where he was ejected after 43 seconds.
  115. The Little Boy atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima by the crew of the B-29 bomber Enola Gay was set to detonate 43 seconds after release
  116. Section 43 of the Mormon Doctrine and Covenants ends with "Be sober. Keep all my commandments. Even so. Amen."
  117. The height of a stack of 100 one-dollar bills measures .43 inches. (Presumably, a stack of 10,000 one-dollar bills would be 43 inches high.)  
  118. 43 is the smallest prime that is not the sum of two palindromes
  119. There is a blog, Interstate Forty-Three, dedicated to the number 43. It was last updated in 2008, and I didn't find it until this point, which probably would have made this whole exercise much easier.
  120. 43 is the smallest prime formed from reverse concatenation of two consecutive numbers
  121. According to the Mayo Clinic, men with a waist circumference of 43 inches were at 52 percent greater risk of death than men with a 37-inch waist.
  122. 43 is the smallest prime that is not the sum of two palindromes
  123. This is the translation of poem 43 of Roman poet Catullus:
    "Greetings, you girl with neither a little nose, handsome feet, black little eyes long fingers, a dry mouth, and truly tongue not exceedingly elegant. Sweetheart of a Formian debtor, does the province say that you are beautiful? Is our Lesbia compared with you? Oh insensible and coarse generation!"
  124. 43 West 43rd Street in New York City houses a law firm.
  125. 43 is the smallest prime whose index (14) is divisible by the sum of its digits (4+3)
  126. The 43-star flag became the official United States flag on July 4th, 1890. Five stars were added for the admission of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, and Idaho. The flag lasted for just one year.
  127. Division 43 of the American Psychological Association is the Society for Family Psychology.
  128. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 43 covers the Syracuse, Utica and Oswego areas of New York.
  129. When polled, 43% of Americans over the age of 18 replied "what." (Note: not an actual fact.)
  130. 43 is the smallest non-palindromic prime which on subtracting its reverse gives a perfect square (i.e., 43 - 34 = 32)
  131. The 3M Steri-Drape Fluoroscope Drape 1012 measures 35 inches x 43 inches
  132. The 43rd Infantry Division of the U.S. Army was active from 1925-2967.
  133. Forty Three Seconds is a song by the band Swing Kids
  134. 43 in German is "dreiundvierzig"
  135. The top-rated Urban Dictionary entry for 43 claims that the number stands for "LOVE YOU", representing the numbers in each word. A competing definition claims it stands for a similarly structured but less polite two-word phrase.
  136. Latitude 43 is a full-service restaurant and bar located on the harbor in Gloucester, Cape Ann, Massachusetts.
  137. In February 2015, the UK's Daily Mail tabloid reported on model Robert Paulat, who has had 43 cosmetic surgery procedures.
  138. Atkin Guitars' "The Forty Three" is an acoustic guitar designed to pay homage to Buddy Holly's 1943 J-45 guitar.
  139. The Urban Dictionary entry for "forty three" would seem to be of incredibly limited usage.
  140. The Gewehr 43 or Karabiner 43 (abbreviated G43, K43, Gew 43, Kar 43) is a 7.92×57mm Mauser caliber semi-automatic rifle developed by Nazi Germany during World War II.
  141. The USS S-43 was an US Navy S-class submarine used in World War II. Its designation was SS-154, not to be confused with SS-43, which was the USS L-4.
  142. The Circle Jerks' song Live Fast Die Young has the lyric, "I don't want to live / to be forty-three / I don't like / What I see going on around me." The song is 93 seconds long:
  143. This is the entry for "forty-three": adj. being three more than forty
  144. A Metafilter post from 2014 lists 43 Werner Herzog films available for streaming.
  145. This is a book: Cop - Forty-Three Years in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  146. US Supreme Court case 108 U.S. 491 is UNITED STATES  v.  FORTY-THREE GALLONS OF WHISKY
  147. 43 in French is quarante-trois
  148. According to this indubitably authoritative web site, forty-three would represent trial and testing with some divine goal in mind.
  149. The World Socialist Web Site says that more than 43 million US households pay excessive shares of income for housing according to The State of the Nation’s Housing 2013, released last week by Harvard University’s Center for Housing Studies.
  150. 43 Brown Street is a sensational boutique development positioned on the northern side of Brown Street, Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand
  151. Forty-three patients who had been managed with rotationplasty for the treatment of a femoral or tibial bone tumor were evaluated clinically and functionally.
  152. Forty Three is a poem by Wayne Visser.
  153. The 43 Assembly of God Church is in Van Buren, Arkansas
  154. If you want to know how to make the Coffee Forty-Three mixed drink, you should click this link
  155. This is the Unicode Character for "Circled Number Forty Three":  ㊸
  156. Table Forty Three is a restaurant in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
  157. Here's the Pandora page for the band Cold Forty Three
  158. FDNY Fireboat Three Forty Three (Marine 1) was completed in late 2009.
  159. Tibetan Folks Tales: Forty-Three is "The Wily Poor Man."
  160. This is the Shutterstock image search results page for "43"
  161. Here is Confessions Forty Three from the blog Diary of a Zulu Girl
  162. This is how you say 43 in American Sign Language. (It's pretty straightforward):
  163. The First-Person Narratives of the American South project includes the full text of the book The Experience of Thomas H. Jones, Who Was a Slave for Forty-Three Years, printed in 1862 
  164. "Why the Average American Dies at Forty-three" is an article in Scientific American, Volume 116, Issue 14, published April 7, 1917
  165. American Airlines Flight 43 flies between Detroit Metro Wayne County (KDTW) and Dallas/Forth Worth International (KDFW). Flight time is 2 hours, 15 minutes. 
  166. In 1876, the US Supreme Court tried a case, United States v. Forty-three Gallons of Whiskey (I accidentally included two references to this case.)
  167. Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls has 43 chapters
  168. Wesley Lee Fox, a recipient of the Medal of Honor, retired from the US Marine Corps as a colonel after 43 years of service. (Also, he was born in Herndon).
  169. The Web site at is a gallery of stencil work
  170. 170 is the limit of how many bits of 43 trivia I'll dig up.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Why are we so fat? An updated list

The data and my photogenic memory show that we are much fatter than we used to be. Why? Taking the blame this week... emulsifiers:

 What else is making us fat? I did exhaustive research:

Emulsifiers join a long and distinguished list, which also includes:

Antibiotics in people.

Antibiotics in animal feed.






Salt Sugar Fat.



Diet soda.

Regular soda.

Screen time.



Note: Not actually smartphones.



Lowfat food.

Portion sizes.

Yes, this is a shoop.
Cheap food.

Roof pudding.