Thursday, June 22, 2006

Flotsam and Jetsam

No big theme today, just random thoughts to get me back on the blogging "horse":
  • The Vernon budget referendum failed again Tuesday, and I was sincerely bummed. But yesterday I went a picnic thrown by the Vernon Democratic Town Committee (the website is under construction), and attended by the mayor and several Democrats from the Town Council, and I ended up feeling hopeful. We face frustrating opposition fed by the culture of selfishness the national Republican Party fosters, but it's good to know that some people in town are committed to fighting back. In addition, a representative of Joe Courtney's campaign was there, and he had encouraging information about the fight to replace Republican Rob Simmons in the Congress.
  • The Reminder, a weekly community/shopper newspaper, finally printed its story on the citizens' budget forum, quoting both me and Mara... but the article didn't appear 'til the day of the next referendum vote, so it can't have had much impact on the outcome.
  • Steven Berlin Johnson told us that Everything Bad Is Good For You, but who knew that included porn?
  • This afternoon we learned that Joe Lieberman will be visiting Pratt & Whitney tomorrow, and he's going to be in our area. Sadly, I'm afraid it would be a career-limiting move to wear my Ned Lamont button.
  • Hey, I like hot girls on skates as well as the next guy, but do we really need a resurgence of roller derby?
  • Finally, one of my fondest culinary fantasies was destroyed last week when, while participating in a comments thread on Pharyngula, I learned that giant squid is inedible. I'd been dreaming of fried calamari rings the size of hula hoops!
Unit of the Day: The microflick has nothing to do with how you get a tiny piece of schmutz off your fingers; instead, it's a unit of spectral radiance used in optical and communications engineering. It's equal to 10-6 flick (what else, eh?). Radiance is the power radiated per unit solid angle per unit of emitting surface. To measure radiance's variation with wavelength, spectral radiance is defined as the radiance per unit of wavelength span. In practice, spectral radiance is typically in microflicks, which are mathematically equivalent to 10 milliwatts per steradian per cubic meter. Now try to work that into a conversation!

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