News Unfit

All the news that's unfit to print!

02 August 2006

Recliner review

The most comfortable types of chairs are recliners! Now you can take a look at Bizchair and buy one for yourself. The website has a really good selection, from traditional leather loungers, to a modern two-piece swivel chair with separate ottoman, and sleek microfiber chairs in between. The pricing is excellent for the quality and luxury that you're getting, starting at $300 and ranging to in the $600's for their top-line models. And believe it or not, they come with free shipping! For something that big, that's great, you'd pay as much as for the product if you had to pay shipping. I think the most amusing chairs on there are for the Nascar fans: You can get a recliner chair upholstered in plush fabric in the colors of your favorite driver, and with his car number too. Insane! I really wish I had the space for one of these, as they look so comfy and cool for the summer. I enjoy putting my feet up, leaning back with a good book, or just curling up for a nap.

Heat wave

It is really REALLY hot out here. And the first two stores I checked out, Lowes and Home Depot, were entirely out of air conditioners. I finally went to the Home Depot the next town over and found an AC - there were 4 left after me, and the woman at the checkout said they had gotten in a shipment of 300 that very day. OMG. Unfortunately, it's waaaaay too heavy for me to install myself, so I'm waiting on my landlord for help. :(

01 August 2006

Free football schedule

I may not be a sports fan, but just about everyone else I know is. And while I couldn't tell you if more people watch baseball, basketball, or football, I do know that at least once a year, right around my birthday, everyone's watching football. If you want to know when that is, check out this free College and NFL Football Schedule, shipping not included. It's 120 pages long, so it's gotta include something more than just the schedules, and lo and behold, they say it also has exclusive articies. Whee! Right? That's a good thing? I think...

Out of the loop

This's been such a busy summer for me, I'm so out of the loop. Mel Gibson made racial slurs, the Middle East is falling apart (again), and the great and terrible Castro temporarily stepped down due to major surgery. I better try to catch up before school starts again in the Fall!

Solar lawn lights

The product of the moment, Solar Lights, doesn't require a spin, so I get to say what I really think! And really honestly, I'm of mixed opinion on a product like this. On the one hand, I am all for solar energy (and it's at a decent cost too, at $12-$30 for a single light). We have limited resources here on the Earth, and most of the energy in the US comes from burning coal, a non-renewable fossil fuel that also adds CO_2 to the atmosphere (a major greenhouse gas, contributing to global warming). So solar lights are better than non-solar lights.

However, I'm also an astronomer, so I'm against outdoor nighttime lighting. I just spent two weeks in the middle of nowhere at an astronomy camp, including one week of New Moon, and even by just the stars and the lightpollution from the next town over, I could see well enough to avoid obstacles and recognize people by face. You really just don't need that much light. No studies have ever shown that simply increasing lighting increases safety (International Dark Sky Association), so the common belief that lighting will cut down crime isn't substantiated by facts at all.

But if you've just gotta do outdoor night lighting, here's what I suggest you get from Solar Lights: scroll down the page and you'll see a few solar lights on stakes or posts with little shields over the tops. These are your best choice: you're not adding to your electricity bill or the CO_2 in the atmosphere or depleting the fossil fuels, and with the shade on the top the majority of the light you're creating goes straight down to the ground where it's needed, and not upwards into your eyes or into the night sky. It'd be better if the shades went down even lower, but they're pretty good as is.

"Mercury rising"

Oh great, nothing I like better than a news article that obliquely references astrology. The article's really about the heat wave in the Eastern US, but they have all these cheesy lines about "Mercury rising" that it just drives me nuts! I just spent two weeks at astrocamp trying to defuse crap like that! I had four arguments against astrology:
  1. If you read your horoscope from a previous day, there's no way you can distinguish it from the 11 incorrect ones. Astrology's predictive powers aren't.

  2. The sun wasn't actually in your constellation on your birthday. It's called precession kiddos.

  3. The amount of time the sun spends in each constellation isn't equal. Some astrologers counter with "oh, we use houses, not constellations" but that's to ad hoc-y to me.

  4. What about Ophiuchus?

Keep your car cool!

Today I'm writing to tell you about a cool summer product, the Auto Cool Solar Car Fan! You know how when you park your car in the sun and leave the windows closed it gets really really hot throughout the day? Scientifically, that's because the energy from the sun is instead going into the motion of the air molecules trapped inside your car - that motion is what we call (in English) heat! (Of course, in physics we'd call it temperature, or maybe instead say that temperature is entropy, but that's a different issue for my other blog, Modern Science.) The Auto Cool Solar Car Fan instead takes that solar energy pouring into your car and uses it to power a fan - so it absorbs some of the energy that's being wasted on heating your car, and then uses it to keep your car cool, a double whammy. The whole concept is a lot more proactive than just putting up sunshades, and anyway in my new car (2006 Honda Civic) it's going to be hard to find sunshades big enough to fit the whole huge window. The Auto Cool Solar Car Fan is one of those "as seen on TV" items, and it looks to be a decent price at around $15, so why not give it a try?

blog status

As you can see, I haven't written in this blog much at all lately. If you really want to get more news, I write in my LJ more, and you can check out what I write about news there. I may start betraying you all by selling out to the man, but it's not like there's any of you actually reading this, so it won't matter. :-P

01 October 2005


I grow bored of this blog. I'm not writing on it all that much lately, I seem to be spending more effort on Strange musings and Modern Science. heck, my own boyfriend mocks me for having multiple blogs. well, he photoblogs, so there T$! :-P Maybe I'll start throwing it all back together, or at least he infrequent news.

14 September 2005


Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti Jr. has charged Mable and Salvador Mangano Sr., St. Rita's Nursing Home, New Orleans, owners, with 34 counts of negligent homicide. The defendants claim that since they were never informed of the mandatory evacuation, they independently decided that for the safety of the frail patients, it was better not to move them. They called all the families of the patients and informed them of the nursing home's decision, and gave the families the choice to evacuate the patients themselves, which was done for six of them.

Perhaps the blame should be shifted to those families that didn't pick up the patients -- after all, the families are the legal guardians and make the decisions for them. While it is somewhat tragic, it's not overwhelmingly so to me as these are elderly people who didn't have much time left anyway. I want to see the parents of children who drowned get charged -- not that I think they need more pain in their lives, but because once in a while I like a good drama!

Meanwhile, remember that family that stayed behind b/c they couldn't bring their fourteen pets? And then the grandmother died and the wheelchair-bound mother tried to get her daughters to commit suicide with her after three days? And in the end they only saved two of the dogs, but had to leave them behind anyway? Can we bring THEM up on charges please? Negligent homicide, attempted murder (the mother of her daughters), child abuse/neglect, and cruelty to animals. If they had left, abandoning the pets, we'd only get to charge them with cruelty to animals. Man, that'd make a hilarious row on TV.

Yes, I do know I'm going to Hell.