Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What Happened to all the Holy Water

One year ago (February 26 2006) I became and ordained minister, my official title if I choose to take it would me The Reverend Andrew Lansey. I am legally allowed to perform basically any religious service (excluding circumcision), these include marriages, funerals, and exorcisms. I also realized I can make Holy Water, now the officially definition of Holy Water is water that has been blessed to use in a baptism, I have slightly modified this to water that I have simply decided to declare as being holy water. The plan is to first bless a ton off water and freeze it during a full moon that way all the werewolves slip and fall and break their necks. But to make it even better the Holy water than evaporates and when it rains it will eventually kill all the vampires. This is much faster than running around with silver bullets and stakes. But of course I warn you to beware of unholy water (black ice). The following picture is one I took of my bike on the ground after I crashed after hitting a big piece of black ice.

Also don't forget to contact me for any religious needs (I can even absolve your sins).

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Random Thatched Roof

So I was roaming Leicester one day and I happened upon a "cottage" with what appeard to be a very moldy roof. Now everything in england has moss, but this had an unusual amount. Look carefully, its got a thatched roof.

According to the nice old lady in the purple coat, this house is just lived in by a random family (it is not a museum) and it looks really nice in summer when the flowers bloom (expect followup blog). Until a few years ago there was an identical house right next to it, oh well. Can't say for sure how old this one is but a waterspout on the side dates back to 1767, and it looks like it came with the house

Here is the cottage from another view, because its just that cool.

Here is a closeup of the thatches in case you don't believe me.

I personaly wouldn't want to live in a house with a thatched roof because I'd be afraid of burning down like a village from Warcraft II. Would you want to live under a thatched roof???

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Although Washington Heights is sorta part of Harlem, the area we live in is different. It is inhabited mostly by yuppies. One advantage of this, aside from the lack of window-shattering subwoofers on the streets, is that people throw out really nice garbage. Like skis.
We picked up three pairs of skis at the side of the road, figuring we'd sell them on Craiglist. This is the text of the Craiglist posting:
We have three pairs of skis (with bindings!), and one set of poles (you can never have too many poles!) They are in admittedly fair to poor condition, but a low commitment item, great for "emergency backup" skis - for all those times you don't want to ruin your good skis - or for a new abstract art project, or some other devious purpose.
Hopefully we'll get rid of them at an infinite profit, and who knows - perhaps we'll see some exciting new stupid people on skis videos on YouTube soon.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Look Out Below

I have in the past on numerous occasions mentioned the AIAA such as here, here and here, this post will be no exception. Last year I won both the Build your own airplane competitions (as you can see the linked posts I did blog about them). Last Thursday we had yet another build your own airplane competition (I missed the one last semester do to a wedding), because I am the Co-Design Team Leader I could not actual compete so I decided to have a bit of fun. In other words I played around outside of the constraints of such things as rules. Here are all the pictures from the competition that I posted on Facebook. This is a video we found of last years plane actually in motion the person who runs out to get the plane is my friend Sergey. Finaly this is the article that was front page news in The Daily Targum (look for my quote).

This is the picture of the winning plane.
This is my plane, just a little bit bigger than the other ones (just for my wing I used twice the material they got)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Univeristy Elections and Stumping People

Telemarketers used to call us all the time in NJ, if we were bored, we'd have some fun with them, if were were in a rush we'd say "this is a fax line" (Mom's idea) and since this response wasn't in their practiced book of things that are said like "I'm not interested," they would trip up and let you off the hook.

A related story:
There are student elections here at Leicester University this week. The fan clubs of various candidates have been very active in getting people to vote for their mates, by way of accosting you as you walk by. Not unlike telemarketers. I'd tell them "I'm not a UK citizen so I can't vote," and they'd go, awe and let me off for a second, only to come running after me "Wait!! you *can* Vote, the day is saved!!" Am I evil for getting a kick out of this reaction?

Your only real defence is to say that you voted already by getting one of the "I've voted" stickers from someone who voted already.

I happened to notice another sticker that looked very similar, but not quite the same wording as the former sticker. I would just point to the sticker, get a yard or two away from them before I heard footsteps and a "Hey wait, what did that sticker say?!?!"

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Batman on the Volga River

Holy Russian folk music, Batman!
I was recently watching an episode of the 1960's Batman TV show series called "The Ogg and I." While that entire series was slightly ridiculous, in this particular episode the writers clearly flipped their gourd. Egghead and Olga, the Cossack Queen (?!?) from Bessarovia (?) kidnap Commissioner Gordon and hold him ransom for an egg tax. While Batgirl, with Alfred's help, sniff around Gotham city for the scent of curry root in Gordon's aftershave, Batman and Robin get caught by Olga, et. al., and are being prepared to be cooked in a traditional Bessarovian Wedding Borscht "made from captured prisoners." Oh, and Olga refers to Batman and Robin as Batushka and Robonchick. And Egghead uses as many "egg" puns as possible (eggstatic, eggsquisite, eggcetera). Truly, truly absurd.
Now, all this is fine, ridiculous, and dandy, but hardly bloggable. However, whilst preparing the borscht, the cook starts singing:

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[Direct MP3 link, 298kb]

Yes, "The Volga Batman." Some long-time readers may recall a post from over a year ago, when I discussed the "Gremlins from the Kremlin" song, a.k.a "Song of the Volga Boatmen." Well, this is the same song, but with different words. And, keeping up with the usual string of terrible puns and alliterations on the show, the cook switches 'Batman' for 'Boatmen'. Terrible.

But it gets better. Batgirl shows up to save the day, and we get the fight scene, complete with "Pow!"s, "Zap!"s and "Oof!"s. But the background music is noteworthy:

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[Direct MP3 link, 468kb]

This is a Batmanized version of Glière's Russian Sailor's Dance, from his ballet "The Red Poppy." I had actually heard something that I thought was reminiscent of this song elsewhere in the episode, but this part was unmistakable. Compare it to the original Russian Sailor's Dance:

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[Direct MP3 link, 3MB]

After these two bits, I can't help but wonder if the other Russian sounding soundtrack bits are other Russian songs, that I just don't know.

And, if you'd like to watch the whole episode, here are YouTube links:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3 [The key bits are in this part]

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

LDTMTCFS (Looking Down the Tunnel to Make the Train Come Faster Syndrome)

This weekend me and my parents where invited to Eli, and Stacy’s apartment. My parents drove from where they where and I was forced to take the train. To catch the train that would get me to them a decent amount of time before Shabbat I ran out of my last class on Friday, rushed home, threw my train reading material into my backpack and ran out the door. I bought my ticket and jumped onto the train as the doors where closing. I then spent a fun train ride reading on how to test objects in slow speed wind tunnels, while the other people in the car talked about pointless things. When I got to Penn Station I rushed to the A train subway stations rushed on the platform and was greeted by the following announcement “Due to an incident earlier today there will be no A trains running for at least 15-20 minutes”, immediately people on the platform started looking down the tunnel. As the announcements continued people continued to look down the tunnel as if some how if they all inhaled hard enough at the same time they could create a vacuum in the station and suck the A train out of the tunnel. 25 minutes later I was greeted by the happy announcement “There is now an A train at the 14 St. Station, instantly people where looking down the tunnel to anticipate the train as if they could see the 20 blocks to the 14 St. Station and then be able to see the train coming. They where all silly, the train was packed, and I saw a whole bunch of Dwee subway rats.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Lesson 3 on British Signage

A "way out" sign, such as this one in the London Underground station at Kings Cross, tells of a suggested escape route. Why they don't always use normal exit signs, I don't know.

This sign in Birmingham is here to tell pedestrians that they were going the wrong way.

This sign below warns that if you go into an abandoned mine shaft, for example, you are liable to be struck by a huge bolt of cartoon lightning . . . and killed. Learn more about this sign and "Meet Dave from the Danger of Death Sign" here.

Review signs for a railway station Lesson 1, and signs on the English Motorway Lesson 2.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

How old are you now?

Recently, out of curiosity, I clicked on an ad in GMail which brought me to the "RealAge" calculator. Now, this RealAge calculator thingy is clearly designed for older people, worried about their age. I, however, am not particularly worried about my age. But I figured it would be amusing to try it out and see what it gave me. After filling out a lengthy survey (and telling them about 10 times that, NO, I don't want to get emails from them about how to improve my health) I got the final result! I am . . . 15.8 years old!
While gaining 7.8 years is exciting and all, being 15.8 isn't. At least I can shave now.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Read at Risk of LARGE Amount of Wasted Time

If you are wearing shoes with laces read on at your own risk . . .

So due to a temporary lull in budgeting activities I am discovering some of the breath of website topics currently on the internet. Earlier this week, I was reading a Japanese Castle website, because a co-worker came back from Japan and brought me a tiny model of Nagoya Castle. As a side note check out the Wikipedia article to see how well avodah zora will protect you from fire! Me thinks the concrete will do better to that end.

But this morning I found the mother of all inane websites that is actually fascinating! If you have a LARGE amount of time to waste please make haste to Ian's Shoelace Site. This site is FABULOUS, for the scientifically inclined, it has calculations to estimate the length of your shoelaces, it has artistic methods of lacing and my personal favorite is Ian's Knot. This is a super fast way of tying your shoelaces, possibly making up for some of the hours you spent reading the website and learning the technique. I have spend most of the morning trying it on the strings attached to my skirt and it really works! I can only imagine the effect of this website on someone wearing shoelaces at the time of discovery. Don't say you weren't forewarned!!!

Happy surfing.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Modified Kirchhoff Loop Laws = Lansey Loop Laws (LLL)

There is a lecture hall in the Rutgers Engineering Building; I say a lecture hall because there is only one lecture hall in the whole building (that I am aware of). This room is called B-120; it is smack dab in the middle of the Engineering Building. It has four doors in and out of it, however most people only know about two of them. You see this is a two story lecture hall in a two story building, it is the only place I have ever seen a sign for a room in the 100 level right across the hall from a 200 room. Most people don’t know about the doors in the back of the room, they are recessed in little hallways in they way back of the room. I happened to be sitting in the very back of the room and needed a drink of water so I exited the room from the back. I got my drink and found that the door wouldn’t open from the outside, so I was forced to reenter the room through one of the two front entrances. When I walked in I got a couple of weird looks from people who hadn’t seen me leave. I decided it would be fun to exit the room from the back and reenter the room from the front a couple more times to see what peoples reactions will be. I did it about 5-7 times, once every approximately 5 minutes. I got a ton of great looks from people who couldn’t figure it out. You may ask why I did this and my answer is when you are in an extremely boring class for 80 minutes you need to find some way of entertaining yourself. On that note today I am going to do the opposite exit out the front of the lecture hall, then exit it 5 minutes later without ever coming back into the room; it should be fun. For the record the class is called EEE, see if you can figure out what that stands for.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Platform 9 3/4

Ubeknowest to the magical world, I have spotted Platform 9 3/4 at Kings cross staion, London, in between platforms 9 and 10. This means of course that JK Rowling didn't make any of it up, its all true! It also means that I have hidden magical powers. (Be sure to notice the cart [trolley] halfway into the wall).

In other news, on some English trains they bring a cart down the aisle calling out "refreshments" like in the Harry Potter books. I asked the man for a Chocholate Frog, and to his confused looks I said "they come with a little Wizard card." He laughed but didn't think I was joking.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Bridge

I have previous blogged about the view from right outside our apartment. Today, a short photo montage of George Washington Bridge: