Posts Tagged ‘crazy’

Alien invasion or crazy locals?

Posted: 20 September 2007 in Uncategorized
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A meteor crashed in southern Peru last weekend and over 200 locals have been claiming illness. Symptoms include headaches, nausea, and respiratory problems. They claim this was caused by the gas emanating from the crash site, which has been confirmed as actually having been caused by a meteor. Scientists are currently examining the site and composition of the meteor, which was probably iron since it survived entry all the way to the surface. Scientists were quick to dismiss claims by locals. That makes sense since people from uneducated corners of the world often spew some pretty fantastical stories. Is it just good skepticism or does it also display a little bit of prejudice against the uneducated? Doctors are currently thinking that the loud, terrible noise a meteor makes when entering the atmosphere may have frightened these Peruvian villagers, inducing psychosomatic manifestations [source].

I’m not suggesting we just take every crackpot at their word, but to me real skepticism means withholding judgment until evidence begins to accumulate and point in one direction or another. At that point, your confidence in a particular hypothesis increases, but absolute certainty must be withheld forever, because some bit of evidence may present itself. Granted these scientists weren’t claiming that it was not a meteor, but they were quick to dismiss it and come down on the side of no-meteor-and-crazy-bush-people.

Personally, I’m holding out for evidence that the illnesses are caused by an alien viral infection that will soon begin to convert the locals into their mindless slaves, sparking a movement that will sweep the globe. Which reminds me, I want to see The Invasion.

Update

Bad Astronomy just posted an interesting take on this. Rather than being a meteor impact crater, perhaps this was a Peruvian scud missile gone awry. Also, as pointed out on this post, there is no record in the history of meteorites where people have gotten sick by being near the crater and much of the reports from the scene did not sound like the event was caused by a meteorite, which probably explains the fact that scientists were coming down so hard against the meteorite possibility initially. It’ll be interesting to see how this turns out.

Update 2

Pravda online, a Russian tabloid, is reporting that the meteorite was actually a US spy satellite that the Air Force itself shot down.  This is by far the best (read: most hilarious) explanation I’ve seen yet.

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Dog Obsession pt. 4

Posted: 3 September 2007 in Uncategorized
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Daedalus is a sucker for some good sunbathing and stick-chewing. When he should be doing his business, he likes to plop down on some warm grass, grab a stick, and then proceed to gnaw it down until he almost chokes to death on it and I have to rescue him. Once he had a stick jammed between his teeth at the back of his throat and I had to reach in and break the stick in his mouth. This harrowing escape from death behind him, he proceeded to try to grab the shreds of the stick I had just shattered in his mouth and chew some more.

The cute little blighter.

My dog Daedalus chewing on a stick.

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Dog Obsession pt. 2

Posted: 23 August 2007 in Uncategorized
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Daedalus never rolls in the mud, but he will occasionally roll on something stinky. This mess, however, was not his fault. Curious and dopey, he stood by watching a black lab dance in a giant puddle.

My poor dog - Dirty Daedalus

This shot was taken with my new 2.0 megapixel camera phone. Not the best picture in the world, but vastly better than my previous phone, as you can see here.

Crazy CAPTCHAs

Posted: 8 August 2007 in Uncategorized
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English Headwear Blog

They have compiled a great list of nutty captchas caught in the wild. The best is certainly the Russian one, as many others have agreed. Captchas are particularly interesting to me since it looks like I’m going to be working with Dr. Luis von Ahn next semester on the GWAP project (games with a purpose).

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Dog Obsession pt. 1

Posted: 7 August 2007 in Uncategorized
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I mean, aren’t they just crazy cute? Unfortunately they are also crazy. Willow has been dividing her time between dropping balls at my feet, pestering Daedalus (which makes him squirbble like mad), and trying to dig under our couch.  Balls keep rolling under there, so when she’s bored, regardless of whether there’s actually a ball there, she tries to claw her way under the couch.
Willow

Daedalus