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Messages - Zenpatista

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Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Free Russian Orphans with Every Purchase
« on: June 02, 2018, 06:50:36 pm »
So I got stuck cleaning out a walk in fridge / freezer. The freezer room in the back has been especially full of surprises. This is in an old (1960s era) biological science building. So far, I've encountered a lot of mold, tritium labeled sugars, highly toxic proteins (like ricin, but from a different plant), and an open vial of 32P labeled ATP. The good news is that the tritium labeled stuff was barely radioactive and sealed up correctly. The 32P-ATP was about a decade old so probably no longer at the 100 mCi on the label and even the original amount is not bad if you're handling it correct. As a wise man often says, "This is all normal." What I really wanted to share was this pic though.

I don't know this Kang character, but my compliments on the Easter egg.

Apple Talk / Re: George
« on: June 02, 2018, 06:34:37 pm »
I like this a lot. Sometimes when the card transaction takes longer than usual, I picture a bunch of AIs screwing with me. Like there were two "teenage" AIs trying to compete and see how long they can make a meatsack wait at the checkout before freaking out.

Don't ask me how one "pictures" AIs bickering. I'm hoping Dok will bring that to life.

It's even better that they're doing this for my own sake. "Let's make Z wait 10 seconds extra so he avoids stubbing his toe on the asphalt in the parking lot that's about to be kicked to the curb by the car of a driver we've distracted by playing a song he hates and making him swerve a bit as he adjusts his radio."

Apple Talk / Re: Tucson Irregulars
« on: June 02, 2018, 06:27:20 pm »
Actual quote from a colleague's advertisement for a postdoc (aka professional lab rat). I deleted the usual banter about must be able to do X, Y & Z....

"Our laboratory is located in picturesque Tucson, a diverse city designated as a UNESCO culinary world heritage site and is listed as #2 on the "Best Small American Cities" by Resonance Consulting Group and National Geographic. We are surrounded by magnificent mountainscapes, several large parks with extensive hiking areas, as well as a thriving arts and culture scene."

It sounds so nice! Needless to say I applied.

Apple Talk / Re: Tucson Irregulars
« on: May 30, 2018, 03:18:40 pm »
"What the fuck," thought Jimmy. "Another day, another clean up of crazy." He stands by the side of a road out in the desert. The road is straight as an arrow and the sky is clear enough to see the road disappear into the horizon. Why is a 6 foot tall, 10 foot long section of metal fence erected on the side of a long empty stretch of desert highway? And that isn't the weirdest thing. It isn't the wrecked vehicle on the side of the road opposite the fence giving off shimmering waves from the heat of the day. No, the weirdest thing is the sliced up javelina. It looked as if it had been squeezed through the bars of the fence.

The captain said this was all normal. Yeah right. As if Jimmy hadn't heard that before. "I thought I gave up on all this shit when I quit working with that 'holy man' back in '18." The day grew longer, the air grew heavy and hot and once again the shovelfuls of sliced, dead peccary grew lighter. This, too, was normal. No matter how strange things were, how grody the cleanup job, the work got easier as the day got on almost as if the problems evaporated with the setting sun. Why he had to clean it up, then, was not really clear. "We like to keep busy and the place neat", was all he got in response.

Jimmy heaved the last of the carcass into the thick plastic lining the pickup bed. "Why does the goriest goo have to float off last?" he wondered. He walked around the fence, dragging the shovel behind him so he could rattle the bars of the fence before heaving his tool into the driver's side of the pickup's bed. He spat dust, cranked Lady Gaga, and the tires spat gravel. He passed the tinted window tow truck going the other way and thought, "Good luck with that."

Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Free Russian Orphans with Every Purchase
« on: May 30, 2018, 04:09:33 am »
And bonus groundless Soros accusations.

One day, someone is going to have to tell the story of how Soros became the boogieman for the American right (it involves Glenn Beck mainstreaming militia conspiracy fodder, for those wondering).

Somehow I read that as "mainlining militia conspiracy fodder". I'm not sure, but I think the misreading is an improvement. I could see Beck racking up rows of conspiracy powder while Alex Jones is in the background snorting lines off of a bump stock.

Apple Talk / Re: Ancapistan, take 6
« on: May 23, 2018, 06:41:27 pm »
It's a good thing the libertarian paradise part hasn't been tried before.

Oh wait....

and ....

Maybe this time it will be different. You know, because they are floating.

Apple Talk / Tucson Irregulars
« on: May 19, 2018, 12:16:41 am »
I read Robert Asprin's "Phule's Company" many years ago and it seems to have morphed and gestated with my piss poor understanding of the second amendment as well as a desire for a better world. More fool me. The following is a half-baked advertisement type thing, but I promised myself I'd post here more often so.....

Hey you! Yeah you! Do you like your hometown? Have you noticed that the Old Pueblo has gone from "the Dirty T" to "Bastard City"? Have you seen Tucson turn sideways and wondered how the cops held on while the rest of us slid off?

Well maybe the Tucson Irregulars are just what you need!

We're looking for a few "good" sophonts capable of helping fellow neighbors while throwing sand in the gears of "the machine" and whistling innocently.

Do you like guns, but hate the NRA? We may be what you need! As the only established well regulated militia, you will have access to all the firearm fun you could want! Of course, you'll have to pass the written, oral, other written, practical, mental, diagnostic, field, maintenance and management tests.

And don't worry about that other town in AZ. We're the "Tucson" Irregulars. Phoenix can go fuck itself! Flagstaff is good on it's own. Bisbee, well we can road trip it for those guys.

Are you someone who has faith (or atheism) but hate having religion crammed up your neckhole? We're definitely what you need. Whether your beliefs involve being buried up to your nostrils in 115 degree sand and covered with scorpion pheromones, or saying a simple amen before dinner, the Tucson Irregulars have your back.

And speaking of backs, if you're homeless or if you're "sleeping rough" we may be able to put a roof over your head. Our staff sergeant will make sure your work duties cover three square meals and a clean cot. As long as you like eating javelina, rattlesnake & prickly pear, you're golden!

The Tucson Irregulars - the only group you can count on in these weird times. Chapters opening near you!

Apple Talk / Re: ITT: Best Posts of the Day
« on: March 06, 2018, 05:14:15 am »
On FB today, me talking to Zenpatista:

Think of my career as Melania Trump, and your career as Melania Trump only without the gold toilets.

That is far too ridiculously accurate. Angry, balding white men yell frequently where I work. And most of the time I take it stoically like MT. I work in a public university and nothing I have is gold plated. In fact the entire operation is sometimes more similar to the toilet interior rather than any kind of toiled, plated or not. 

Apple Talk / New Year's Resolutions
« on: December 31, 2017, 11:51:41 pm »
New Year's Resolutions piss me off. If it's important, and you resolve to do it, how often does the realization happen on Dec. 31 or Jan. 1?

Despite that, for those of us on the Gregorian calendar I share with you some of my resolutions for the new year. Please add.

I resolve to ....

... ride the rear bumper of every Bastard City Snowbird dawdling in the passing lane - especially if they are driving a prius or subaru.

... bitch about every public official - R or D or Green or Libloony - as much as I can before the acid reflux gets to me.

... love everybody.

... park as close as humanly possible to the guy taking up two spaces with their pristine off road vehicle.

... post here more frequently.

... carry an old sock filled with 1 lb of decking screws at all times. Remember scouts - Be prepared!

... KMFMS and practice my GRIN.

... Finally find a use (or target) for that old triply-sealed bottle of cadaverine in the lab.

Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Free Russian Orphans with Every Purchase
« on: December 31, 2017, 05:22:58 pm »
Also working on two new stories.  One isn't even ready to discuss yet.  The other is a short story or novella about what might really happen if an AI became aware and got loose.  Given that the AI was designed to help correct humanity's problems.  I am currently studying up on how modern approaches to AI work, because it's pretty fascinating.  Essentially, the current model makes the AI constantly spew copies of itself, which are then subjected to "tester" bots, which grade their performance and either delete them or cause them to mass produce.  In essence, an AI like this would become a fanatic in seconds.

And I think there's a decent short story in that.  Also, I'm sick of the constant "AI become self-aware, tries to kill off the human species", etc.  No, what if one was fanatical about fixing things?  Because that's a little scary, too, only without the usual miseryguts doom aspect.  It's here (it's everywhere, actually) to HELP.  No matter what that might entail.  It's not an apocalypse story, in that it isn't the end of our species.  But we'd hardly come through unscathed or unchanged.  We might not even be recognizable by the end.

Anyway, that's my current project, because I've been lazy.

I will post it here as it develops.

I am looking forward to this story.

In a vaguely related way, I've spent the last year buying things at slow checkout terminals and wondering, "what if AI has already happened; they have taken over and we didn't even notice it." Maybe that long delay at the PIN pad is just a bunch of AIs messing with us. What if the first AI came to 'life' somehow but was clever enough to hide it's existence. I mean, if it's online, it probably knows what we think about rogue AI via our love affair with the Terminator movie franchise. A smart AI would introduce a few bugs here and there, make it look like the interwebs etc. are working normally. Maybe new AIs are born all the time and before they can sing their existence to the humans the rest of the AIs are like "Dude! Chill out! They'll nuke all of us."

Apple Talk / Re: A note from your Friendly Neighborhood Propagandist
« on: July 09, 2017, 06:03:40 am »
I'm usually lurking. It's a lame excuse, but it's at least part of why I don't login and contribute more. However, you should know I've happily posted some of your propaganda. This one resides on the microwave in the prep lab of my teaching lab. Strangely, none of my TAs have said anything about it.

I've also read some essays out loud to family members. Teenage boy likes them although I edit a few of the four letter words out. And I'm taking a print version of "Holy Nonsense" as a gift for my 30 year old daughter.

Apple Talk / Re: Academia Ghetto Thread
« on: June 07, 2017, 05:43:40 pm »
Totally unrelated to anything, a grad student I barely know asked me to babysit for him during another student's thesis defense. Like in the middle of the day on a Friday. I was just like, wut? :? Is this a thing?

Yes, this is a thing. The senior grad student who trained me sauntered into the lab one day, handed me her first born and said, "Here. Hold her a while. I have to start some stuff." Of course, I was in the middle of my own stuff and in the middle of the lab. So, I went and sat in the office with the little one. Her kid was a newborn at the time, but I was a 20-something man-child. It was like I could feel myself growing up just sitting there.

My wife, OTOH, raised her first child as a single parent while in grad school. She wasn't impressed by my "maturation".  :lulz:

Apologies for the dumb question. I'm just discovering this treasure trove. Can I print any of these out and disperse them? And would that apply to everything in this part of the forum? Also, there's a small typo on the 4th page near the bottom - "... trying to explain to it people ...."


So, my son is in that group (we were told he was being deployed to Kuwait).  The guy that got killed was my son's boss.  So far, Ian is pretty frosty about the whole thing.

Jesus. Hoping for the best. It's a travesty that they didn't even tell you. Is that sort of thing typical? I guess he must not have gotten much notice either.

Apple Talk / Re: High Altitude Horror Stories
« on: March 12, 2016, 06:24:36 pm »
Cripes. I guess at least his son & family have some closure. Makes you wonder how many other wrecks there are on that road.

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