China intercepting the weather

“When next summer’s Olympics roll around, the Beijing Weather Modification Office will be poised to intercept incoming clouds, draining them before they get to the festivities. No fewer than 32,000 people nationwide are employed by the Weather Modification Office — “some of them farmers, who are paid $100 a month to handle anti-aircraft guns and rocket launchers” loaded with cloud-seeding compounds.”

Sourced from Marginal Revolution.

Rubber ducky, you’re the one!

After 15 years, the ducks will finally land.

29,000 plastic yellow ducks, blue turtles and green frogs broke free from a cargo ship 15 years ago.

Since then they have travelled 17,000 miles, floating over the site where the Titanic sank, landing in Hawaii and even spending years frozen in an Arctic ice pack.

And now they are heading straight for Britain. At some point this summer they are expected to be spotted on beaches in South-West England.

The ducks have traveled as far as Alaska and the Artic circle. In fact,

So precious to science are they that the US firm that made them is offering a £50 bounty for finding one.

See the map below for their path.

Headphones = Microphones

I learned that your iPod headphones may be a low-quality microphone today. I plugged my headphones into my desktop’s microphone line-in jack, and talked to Roh over gtalk. I had to have the headphones practically in my mouth, but it worked. There a few sites discussing this:

Earphones and microphones are constructed on a very similiar concept, just that earphones are optimised for hearing, and microphones are optimised for recording.

Some guy even made a completely unnecessary video.
Yes, Roh, you were right. I concede. And make my previous-disbelief-turned-appreciation public for the world.

Dentist guilty of urinating in surgery sink

Story here.

LONDON (Reuters) – A British dentist was found guilty Thursday of urinating in his surgery sink and using dental tools meant for patients to clean his fingernails and ears.

A medical tribunal said it was satisfied the evidence showed 51-year-old Alan Hutchinson, who routinely did not wear gloves or wash his hands, had risked the health of “himself, staff and patients” for more than 28 years.

A dental nurse who worked for Hutchinson for 16 years said she had caught him urinating in the sink more than once.

“He was tucking something into his trousers before zipping them up hastily. I walked over and I was behind him. He moved to the left and I could smell urine,” the nurse told the tribunal.

The tribunal determined that the dentist’s poor hygiene habits made him unfit to practice and struck him off the dental register, banning him from work.

“You urinated into a sink in your surgery following which you did not wash your hands and then proceeded to treat a patient. This behavior was clearly inappropriate and is completely unacceptable,” the tribunal chairman said.

Santa suit

Yesterday we noticed today that the city had put up signs that prevented street parking on our block and the next block up. Today we decided to go out for coffee in the freezing wind and snow, and noticed a large number of trailers the next block up, near the park and the old Park District building. We decided to change course and investigate.

It turns out that the trucks were movie trucks. We noticed a tall man outside, smoking a cigarette and chatting with a security guard by the Park District building entrance. The tall man was dressed head to toe in a Santa outfit. Another guard told us that that that man was Vince Vaughn, and the movie was Fred Claus.

Wish I had a camera with a good zoom lens on me.