Original Radioactive Jam

Just a dollop, on a donut with SPAM® Spread* ==>==>==> We've moved!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Genius At Work

someday I'll look back on this and laugh. Not.
This quote from Tech Wench's site sums up what's happened at Blog Nouveau: If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is.
Ten characters, that's all it takes. Ten ordinary alphanumeric symbols, entered in just the wrong place by someone with administrative access (that would be "me") and a perfectly good WordPress weblog turns into a server-trashing juggernaut.

In case you were, you know, wondering.


Famous last words: "Seemed like the right thing to do at the time." Anyway, I hope to have things going again sometime today.

Update: Kinda-sorta back to life at http://radioactivejam.com/. Should get All The Way Back later today.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Relocative Jam

So far so good. New stuff getting posted on the new site, drop in and say hi. [Link]

Monday, October 10, 2005

Migratory Jam

prelude to the inevitable Dear Blogger letter
I'm in the process of changing... well, pretty much everything: domain, blogware, templates. What lies ahead looks good to me; I'm interested in learning what you think of the new Stuff. For a preview, go to http://radioactivejam.com. Might want to bring your safety glasses and hard hat.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Smaller World

digital compression
A strong earthquake destroys remote villages in Pakistan. The quake damages buildings in Islamabad and was felt in three or four countries. Already the death toll is numbered in tens of thousands.

Seeing the headlines my first thought was I know someone who lives in that area; I hope she's okay (she's fine, family and friends okay too). I expect we've all had similar experiences with personal connections to significant events outside our immediate environment. Why this one is different for me: I "met" this person through her comments on someone's weblog.

Caring about people whose paths cross mine through posting and commenting - most of whom I've never met - this seems easy and natural, not some great or uncommon thing. For me, the surprising part has been Diversity. I'm not suprised by the existence of such diversity in the blogging community; instead I'm amazed how readily and easily our paths cross...and overlap.

Anaglyph might tell me (again) I need to get out more, and he's probably right. But if I did-- no. Make that when I do, I want to visit your part of the world. There's so many places Radioactive Spouse and I haven't seen. Seriously: if there's ever a Radioactive Jam World Tour, we'll be heading your way. And if you find yourself in central Florida some day let us know; we'll do lunch. Or dinner, dessert, tea, the beach... whatever.

So that's my thought du jour. As my world expands the World gets smaller, and it's all because of this blogging thing, an activity started as a lark/experiment less than six months ago.


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Summit's Wrong with this Picture

letting the words go out to play
I've been enjoying Scroobious' accounts of her adventures in the Land of the Swiss Army Knife. She mentioned having climbed a mountain called The Jakobshorn. Curious about the peak I ran a quick search, but stopped when I saw this truly disturbing picture of The Jakobshorn Summit. If you click on the picture below a larger view should open in a new window; you might want to do this to see what I mean as you continue reading below.
At first I thought Ha, those hosers. What kind of fool do they think I am? This scene is not even from Planet Earth: I'm pretty sure our sun hasn't yet imploded and gone supernova. Then I remembered this was a Swiss mountain-top scene. And what are the Swiss famous for producing besides those awesome Army Knives, bristling with impractical yet irresistibly alluring tools? You guessed it: instant hot chocolate mix. With mini-marshmallows! Yum!

But that's not why the sun looks like an ornament from the galactic Christmas tree. There's yet another special something made by the inimitable Swiss. Here's a hint: it sounds like "microscopic black holes." Can you guess? ...Wow, you're a really good at this.

I suspect a few of those frisky little singularities busted out of their containment fields, and took a vacation in the Alps before heading to the Earth's core to suck the planet into oblivion. You know the old saying, "All work and no play make Jack* a dull antimatter generator/annihilator."

Where was I? Right. The sun couldn't help but get noticed by the bureaucracy** of frolicking singularities; they have a knack for finding and absorbing pretty much anything that exists near them, the bigger the better. Though the sun is tiny - it's smaller than say, the moon - it's relatively heavy, so the singularities decided to "soak up some rays," i.e. eat. The sun. Yes, when this picture was taken, the sun (our only sun! waah!) was getting drawn into the bureaucracy.

"But RaJ," you ask, "why is the sun all pointy, like your head?" Ignoring your veiled insult to the sun I gently explain, "Remember? Singularity? Microscopic point?! Hel-lo!"

Let's acknowledge the Way Of The Cow and ruminate on the sun for a moment. Basically the sun is a big, bagless gasbag full of helium and hydrogen. Helium is... well, light. Plus it makes your voice sound really funny when you breathe it. Hydrogen is of course not helium. Because of the famous Led Zeppelin song "Stairway To Hindenburg" we know hydrogen is flammable. This is why the sun is both hot and bright. (Aside: ever wonder how the sun got "started?" I know how: some idiot wandering around in space, checking out the sun (our only sun!) probably started goofing with the helium, somehow caused a spark and started a solar hydrogen fire which pretty much instantly got out of control and went thermonuclear on his colorful metaphor. The idiot got fricasseed but we got sunlight; like they say, all's well that ends well.***)

Back to our not-so-idyllic mountain scene. So far I’ve explained the sun looks whacked since it’s getting pulled into a bureaucracy of microscopic black holes, all of which are named Jack because a troop of monkeys can be taught to pound one another senseless for trying to get bananas. As to the photo, there’s some disturbing elements here and I don’t mean snow. First – see the girl standing in the right-center? She’s about to be attacked by some kind of fur-covered creature perched on her shoulder. I can’t tell if it’s the carnivorous high-altitude member of the woodchuck family or a Tribble, but she’s doomed either way. If she’s lucky the thing will crap on her shoulder and steal food from her tray; if she’s not lucky she’ll end up dead like her boyfriend.

“But RaJ," you ask. “What boyfriend? There’s two other couples. Do you mean she’s in some kind of meringue-of-toes?” Ignoring the veiled insult to the Swiss delivered in your near-flawless French I gently explain, “What part of ‘dead’ did you not understand?”

One moment he’s standing by the railing, sipping his drink and enjoying the view; next moment he’s riding the open-air express elevator, heading for the ground floor. Poor guy didn’t even finish his drink. He may have jumped but most likely he “slipped,” with a little help from his two so-called friends smirking in the foreground. True, they don’t look like Bad People (though I do not want to know what the guy is doing with his right hand). I suspect they were driven to commit murder by the demon in fur now poised to assault Dead Guy’s girl. And she has no clue! She thinks he’s at the snack bar getting her some hot chocolate. Honey he went for ice instead, but not from the snack bar. Now he is the snack bar,**** a few meters over and a couple thousand down.

Mark my words: monkeys orchestrated this mayhem, from runaway black holes to surreal mountain-top scenes.***** I’ve been hearing rumors of horrific experiments and mutant monstrosities; I can’t say more, not yet. When I know… you’ll know.

I’m just glad Scroobious and her beloved survived their visit to the deadly summit of Jakobshorn.

* ISO Standards specify all manufactured singularities must be named "Jack." No one understands why this is so, but everyone complies with the specification. For a monkey-centric example of this phenomenon see [Link].
** Collective noun used to describe multiple singularities, e.g. herd of elephants, pride of lions etc.
*** Not exactly; seems the idiot left a pet monkey at home. When the food ran out the monkey went bananas and left the house in search of-- well, bananas, mostly. Ended up at a gas station where it was found by a kind though naive stranger. The monkey messed with the stranger and then started a war using thermonuclear weapons. Kind of ironic, really.
**** A veritable feast for carnivorous high-altitude woodchucks (and Tribbles).
***** Lounge chairs?! Let me guess: beach trip, Swiss style?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Hey Kids!

reinventing cuddly
10" Plush Spiders.*
One word: adorable. Any other words come to mind?
* For some reason these two words are not often associated.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


I rather enjoy making up words
Remember when I stopped driving the lovely yet fuel-hungry 4X4 pickup, and started driving the odd-shaped little Civic with its custom fadeaway paint job? I expected the fuel-sipping Honda to get 35-40 miles per gallon, and cut my commuting fuel comsumption in half. Turns out my estimate was off by more than 25%. I hate when that happens.

Not so much in this case though, because this morning I logged a mind-boggling 54 miles per gallon from my little red friend. "Happy" doesn't begin to describe my emotional state. Mostly though I'm stunned. This car is almost fourteen years old. It didn't cost a lot in 1992, and it didn't set me back much, either; well under $2000 US after tax, tag etc. 54 miles per gallon! In simplest terms this means each gallon of fuel now takes me almost three times farther than before.

Did I mention I'm beyond happy?

Seems like hybrids are all the rage these days. I bet many of those nice, expensive hybrids are burning more fuel than I am. Why is this? I'm not complaining but there's something wrong with this picture. My car predates hybrids by more than a decade. Fourteen years, technology and engineering improvements out the wazooty, automakers roll out these high-tech (read: expen$ive) hybrids and I'm supposed to go, "Ooh, Ahh, where do I sign?" It is to laugh, i.e. ROTFLU, CUBAG.* Anyone else get the feeling automakers have been taking us for a ride, so to speak?

* Rolling on the floor laughing uncontrollably, coughing up blood and guts. In case you were, you know, wondering.