Thursday, March 29, 2007

Final taste of winter

Although the weather is getting warmer, I figured I'd post a few last wintry pictures. This is what happens when a fire hydrant is leaking and it's cold out.

And this is what happens when your gutter is leaking and it's cold out:

In other news, some time ago I tried selling skis on craigslist. As it turns out, Yoni's comment there turned out to be a good point, and we've since thrown out the skis. However, I wonder if I had included a link to this video if they would have sold quicker:

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

An End to Trivial Pursuits

I will of course start by answering the questions from last week.
1) whiskers, 2) We found this very stupid because all you had to do was look down to solve it, The Jack of Clubs, 3) Canada, that’s right Canada, 4) They are in theory the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, however Strife is not in fact a Horseman the correct Horseman are War, Death, Famine, and Pestilence this is funny because this clearly states that this is talked about in the book of Revelations, however only death is actually mentioned in the bible (even though the King James Version Revelations does mention the Four Horseman what they carry and what the color of the horse is) . 5) 50 miles an hour, wow real fast, 6) The Ides, beware the Ides of March, 7) Three, that’s a lot of a wine a day, of course don’t forget the great Bastille breakout during the French Revolution, after breaking into the Bastille they broke out an amazing seven inmates: four counterfeiters, two madmen, and a young aristocrat who had displeased his father, job well done. 8) A spoon, this was rather odd we were not aware that you had to use a specific utensil to eat squirrel heads, 9) Regardless of the fact that it should clearly be “Meese” it unfortunately remains moose, 10) Elephants do have incisors they are in fact called tusks, Trivial Pursuit however is of the opinion that they don’t. 11) What kind of stupid question is that is obviously a Pitronicon, 12) There were three Earp brothers and a Lump.

To finish all this Trivial Pursuits I will post the last 2 questions that I forgot to ask previously.
1) How many great nephews of Edgar Allan Poe played for the 1899 Princeton football team?
2) On what part of the body, would you find a man's "Mountain of Jupiter" or a woman's "Girdle of Venus"?

The 1899 football team

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Mister Mysterious Monocle Man

I am coming back to America for two weeks starting Wednesday! Very exciting, but before I go I want to share a photo I took of of an actual British Librarian from "The British Library" in London, 2006, wearing his fathers suit.

I spoke to the chap and it turns out he's blind in one eye and far sighted in the other so a monocle is the obvious (and incredibly strange) solution.
Note: Before meeting this dude, I had never in my life seen a real live man with a monocle. Has anyone else?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

We only sell high quality merchandise

When I purchased my HAZMAT suit a number of years ago it got me on a mailing list for all sorts of interesting mail-order catalogs. I never knew there were so many sorts of camouflage clothes, gun slings, etc. But sometimes they organize things in the catalog in an unfortunate manner:

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

An Even More Trivial Pursuit

Last week I asked some question, this week I will answer the questions and due to the popularity of my last post I will ask you some more questions. 1) It was hanging upside down, 2) The answer to this question is in fact crude oil, the answer they gave was coal and while kerosene can be distilled from coal it is very inefficient and no one actually does. 3) No, they employed horses (in a manner of speaking), 4) Manhattan, me and notelon found this quite amusing, 5) Robin Hood, 6) Tiddlywinks, 7) The Walloons speak French, we found it very funny that anyone would be called a Walloon, 8) Eton, 9) the genitalia, we found this one to be very disturbing. 10) Watching TV, giving the national population in 1983 of 233,791,994 people this means that on average each person watched 2.5 hours of television a day every day all year. 11) He got married, he was a con artist he would marry women steal all their stuff, 12) The tick.

Now for the next challenge,
1) SN: what does the typical man cut 94 miles of in his lifetime?
2) SL: What playing card’s depicted on a Trivial Pursuit game board?
3) H: What was the first country in the Western Hemisphere to declare war on Nazi Germany?
4) AL: What’s the better-know identities of War, Strife, Famine and Pestilence, appearing in the Book of Revelations?
5) G: What’s the speed limit on the Alaskan Highway?
6) SN: What was the eight day following the Nones in each month of the Roman calendar called?
7) H: How many bottles of wine were prisoners in the Bastille allowed per day?
8) SL: What kind of utensil is most often used in dining on squirrel heads?
9) AL: What’s the plural of “moose”?
10) SN: Do elephants have incisor?
11) SN: What three-dimensional figure’s volume would you find by multiplying four-thirds by pi by its radius cubed?
12) How many Earp brothers shoed up at the O.K. Corral?

Hint for number 12, here is a picture of the O.K. Corral, you might notice something interesting.

And now for a bit of fun.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Things not within Biking distance of Newark and a Neat Effect

This is a good example of the "ringed glints" caused by blades of grass and spiderwebs. A very similar looking effect working by the same principle can be seen the following way: Sit behind someone driving in a car at night. Look at some light (headlight, taillight, traffic light . . .) through that persons hair (this works best with long haired front seat passenger/drivers). All the little bits of hair curves that are oriented properly will have great reflections, normally full circle like, probably better with curlyish hair. Someone out there should take a picture of this and send it to me (would be apreciated).
The full size picture:

I did ask these guy's permission to take a picture first.

You may be wondering how I was so lucky to get all these pictures in before the sun set. Well the sun never properly rises in winter here so pretty much it take a few long hours to set - which is nice.

Something remotely similar to the following might have been within biking distance of Newark but I still really like this picture cuz of the car shadows so I decided to put it in. Technically in NJ the odds of me coming to this scene with the sun at this angle are so low (unlike in England that I'm alright keeping this posts title).

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Nuclear Physics

One of the reasons that physics is cool, is because occasionally you get to play with radioactive stuff. In the intro to physics lab course that I teach there is a radioactivity lab where the students get to see alpha particles blocked by paper, betas by lead, gammas by nothing, and so on. It's a cute little lab. One of the activities involves finding the half-life of something decaying.
There's a problem with this, however. In order to actually see the half-life of something in one lab session, you've gotta have something that decays quickly. On the other hand, if something decays so quickly, how are you gonna get it shipped to you?
So, enter . . . Plutonium.
YU has this cool toy. It's called a Neutron Howitzer, and they store it in a lead-lined room.
Inside the ominous metal cylinder is PuBe (an unfortunate abbreviation), Plutonium-Beryllium, which emits neutrons, and will make stuff put into it radioactive!
This is the little thingy that allows you to put samples inside without dying. So, a bit of Indium left inside for a while becomes radioactive, with a half-life of around an hour. And the little pre-med students can do their lab.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Trivial Pursuit

Me and notelon play Trivial Pursuit Genus II every Shabbat he comes to my house. As a result we now have an even larger base of totally useless information. Additionally we find ourselves correcting errors on the cards. Over the months we have played I have collected card that where either very wrong or in someway amusing or interesting. I now have 15 Trivial Pursuit cards sitting on my desk waiting to be blogged about. This post will be part one of The Lansey Brothers Blog Very Trivial Pursuit Challenge (LBBVTPC). I will post the questions of amusement or error and you have the opportunity to answer these questions, without the assistance of an online search engine. Next week I will post the real answers and my explanations as to why they where pulled aside. Additionally I will announce the winner of the competition; sorry notelon but you cannot compete due to you being a ringer in this contest.

Categories go as following G: Geography, E: Entertainment, H: History, AL: Arts and Literature, SN: Science and Nature, SL: Sports and Leisure.

1) AL: What did the New York Museum of Modern Art Discover about the Matisse painting Le Bateau after studying it for 47 days?
2) SN: What’s kerosene distilled from?
3) H: Did the Pony Express employ ponies?
4) G: What New York City borough is named for the Delaware Indian word for “a place where we all got drunk”?
5) AL: What’s the better-known name of Robert of Locksley?
6) SL: What game can you “squidge,” “squop” and “pot out” in?
7) G: What language do Walloons speak?
8) AL: What fames English public school in the U.S. Captain Hook’s alma mater?
9) SL: What parts of a deer were Weimaraner dogs trained to attack?
10) E: What did Americans spend 213 billion sedentary hours doing in 1983?
11) H: What did sweet talking Giovanni Vigliotto do 105 times from 1963 to 1983?
12) SN: What onetime astronaut’s middle name is Herschel?
13) SN: What blood-sucking insect, the bane of many a dog’s existence, can live for 25 years and survive starvation for five?

There are a couple of other questions that I have decided to not post now, I will post them next week with my explanations as to why I didn’t post them this weeks. Good luck and remember all the answers should be dated to 1984 when this version of the game was released.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Wooo! New Jersey

So I'm in London at this Natural History Museum, in the calcite part of the rocks and mineral section. Lo and behold they have some fluorescent rocks from none other than Franklin NJ! That's right, read the label.

This particular piece is called Franklinite, named after the town in which it was discovered and is still the best place to find some. There were like five other rocks on display from Franklin which probably came from the Zinc mine which my Blogging Brothers and I have visited on many occasions:

Full circle now, your looking at the rocks former home. If you want to visit the zinc mine now then you might get lucky if one of my kind friends or relatives will comment its whereabouts.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Post-Purim Party Post

Purim was Sunday.
Last week you saw the many boxes of lasagna. Here they are almost done being made into lasagnas:
It turns out, we made around 3 times more lasagna than we actually needed. This was a slight problem, as we only have one oven, and things were perpetually not ready on time. Oh well - live and learn. We also made vast quantities of fish, which eventually got fully cooked:
As an added bonus, along with the fish, you see Stacy in her special Purim Shaitel!
Aryeh came for Shabbas to help out:
And this is not Elon:

Here you can see me in my Purim costume, ready to take out the garbage.
In order take it out, I needed to go past the doorman in our building - and I did that in costume, with notElon (in lab coat, goggles and a maniacal grin) following along. The doorman didn't so much as blink. Very unfortunate. And we didn't pass anyone else along the way, either. Oh well - better luck next Purim, I suppose!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Betrieb Versehentliche Invasion

First, sorry about how late this post is was doing things solid from 7 in the morning to well past midnight; now that I have explained that we are on to the post. Last week we saw the potential start of World War III. This was caused by the first full-scale invasion of a European country by another European country. That’s right Switzerland invaded Liechtenstein. You might be thinking yeah right how big that strike force was; well I am here to give you the true information. The Swiss sent in a force that had a 1:200 soldier to Liechtenstein civilian. This is an unprecedented ratio and I see only one explanation, the Swiss are next planning to invade Luxemburg then once they have conquered these two massively strategic positions and control of most of the natural resources in Europe, they will then proceed to invade Antarctica and teach all that snow that they mean business.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


While observing stonhenge I couldn't help but feel sad for the British folk, this pile of rocks is their greatest ancient landmark. See around the same time that Stonhenge was built the Egyptians were building the great Pyramids. At stonehenge they made a big deal that the big rock were dragged from somwhere very far away . . . in order to stick them on top of one another in a big circle. I felt like patting the ancients on the back and saying, great job guys, you invented the Post and Beam, thats bloody brilliant.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Pre-Purim Party Post

Purim is Sunday.
In related news, I'm currently taking a three-credit sociology course so I can finally graduate from YU. Why is this related news, you ask? Well, because this college level course is really highly reminiscent of second grade. You see, we have a workbook to finish by the end of the semester, we tell stories in class, and yesterday we did arts and crafts! Yes, we spent an entire class making graggers - noisemakers. Now, what do noisemakers have to do sociology, you ask? Well, as the prof. noted halfway through class, "Every culture makes noisemakers." Don't you feel stupid for asking?

Anyway, this Purim, Stacy and I are making a seudah for bunches of people. While I will not divulge any details regarding the feast, I will provide you with a few sneak peaks:

(And this is just some of the cookies...)