Short bits

A sidebar at Amazon.ca: “Great Savings in Loonie Deals”, “Browse our Loonie Deals store for great savings on hundreds of titles, from former bestsellers to fun discoveries.”

The book pictured next to these words? Why, a tome of hers with Oprah Winfrey prominently on the cover.

Truth in advertising, I say.

(I shall not consider the possibility that “loonie” might have been used as a synonym for “Canadian”, this being Amazon.ca, since (a) Our Lady of Indiscriminate Woo is not Canadian, and (b) that would collapse my joke.)

* * *

“The good Christian should beware the mathematician and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of hell.” —St. Augustine

And when the Catholics finally (round year 999) got a mathematically trained pope, Sylvester II, he “was so widely-educated that his contemporaries said he must be in a league with the devil.”

You gots what you asks for.

And the covenant? Coming along nicely; thanks for asking. There’s just a bit of haggling over whether we’re willing to pay France for the solution to the P-NP problem. (Paying all the firstborn for the Riemann Hypothesis was easy, mind you; the problem’s that the P-NP conjecture is computer science, and that’s icky impure though kinda interesting.)

* * *

If they have a “reader’s own page” over at Ars Technica, is it “My Ars”? (For maximum effect imagine this said in a Dara O’Briain voice.)

* * *

Here’s a new fear for you: You’re drinking from a vacuum cup — means a thick cup, usually made of metal, with a vacuum between the inside and the outside to keep your drink hot. Suddenly, there’s a breach! Air and all else are sucked into the vacuum inside the cup! You end up with half your face scalded by hot coffee, and four inches of your tongue wedged tightly and painfully inside the cup, and the thing is stuck.

Just a thought; came to me while I was drinking from one such cup. Imagination’s a wonderful thing.

* * *

Just a thought from doing too much blackboard gymnastics: Tolkien wouldn’t have been such an utter bastard as to have Saruman, the scholarliest of the wizards and the wisest of the wise, adopt a chalk-white hand as his banner because after a spell at the blackboard… ehh, no way.

* * *

Funny how all this talk of nude scanners — and for some reason that sounds like a very lecherous special unit of Cylons — has instead of all kinds of indignant rage aroused just one thought in me: the adaptation of such devices would be, I’d say, something and hopefully also the only thing that’d get me moving around with unmentionable plastic devices in my unmentionables.

Not for the erotic pleasure supposedly associated with such antics, mind you; what variety I have I much rather keep inside my cranium; but just because I’d like to see the scanner operator falling back from his screen screaming and crying.

It would be worth it, maybe.

Or if that’s too much (or even much too much), one could always have a nice vest of some dense material, with air holes cut to form somewhat unflattering words; a shirt over it, and only the operator shall see the guy with the letters “DONTLOOKATME” traced over his torso.

And then there would be probing, no doubt.

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