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Peter van der Linden
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Peter van der Linden

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OK, who likes beans more than rice?

(Testing the polling feature of Goo+)
18 votes  -  votes visible to Public
I like BEANS more than rice
22%
I like beans and rice about the same
11%
I like RICE more than beans
39%
Never slip a rozzer snide dropsy
28%
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I have known the phrase for some time "Never slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide" - it is very obscure British slang, and I was not at first able to deduce the meaning.  It means "Don't bribe the cops with counterfeit money!"

It was popularized, as a catchall answer, by mad magazine (of course).   The original phrase appears seriously in a Margery Allingham "Campion" novel (Shroud for the Funeral), I learned at the weekend!
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Peter van der Linden

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The Johnson City Power Board in Tennessee has figured out a way to trim the path of a power line by operating a giant chainsaw from a helicopter.    I don't see how they can buy insurance for this.   It's like it's operated by the super-villain in a James Bond movie.  But there it is.
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Where's your white fluffy cat and evil genius chair. You need one of those when coming up with these schemes...
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A map of more than half a million bridges in the US.  Along with a commentary of how to get started on maintenance and repair (one time tax on foreign earnings - seems like a no-brainer, which is why it will get stuck in the current congress).
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It's striking, is it not, the settled population density as analogued by bridge density +Bunny Evans?
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Peter van der Linden

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The erosion of the estate tax is an extraordinary thing: a remarkably large fraction of Americans believe it will affect them even after they are shown the numbers clearly indicating that it won't.

It's similar to the common belief that the marginal tax rate for your bracket is the fraction of your entire income that you pay in taxes: it's completely impervious to evidence, even after people have done their own taxes.
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This started out as the larva of a Monarch butterfly.  It's in the process of transforming itself into the finished creature.  It's pretty miraculous how a caterpillar can manage that.     This specific one was taken a couple of days later by a squirrel, a bird, or Señor Alfonso, my head designer for the grounds, sportsfields, and helipads at van der Linden Villas, my unstately home in the West.
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We used to "raise" monarchs every summer. Unfortunately, they are becoming rare in our area. The ones that do make an appearance are weak with OE spores, i.e. black death, which weakens and kills the monarchs. 

It's sad because there is no better way to teach a child about nature and the cycle of life than with a monarch butterfly. 
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Peter van der Linden

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Hilarious propaganda!   The right claims it just wants you to think.    

Right wing extremists like Sarah Palin, Tom Delay, George W. Bush, Rick "Abolish 3 departments, but I can't name them" Perry,  Texas Rep. Louie "We know Al Qaeda has camps on the Mexican border. We have people that are trained to act Hispanic when they are radical Islamists." Gohmert, are known for their thoughtful wisdom.
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I think they mentioned that theory too - it's been a while since I read Freakonomics.  There was a second book in the same vein, where they used all their "B list" material.  It wasn't nearly as good as the first one.  
Seems like it should be possible to check the plausibility of the "legalized abortion" theory by looking at changes in birthrates, abortion rates, and crime-by-age-of-criminal rates.
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Have him in circles
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Peter van der Linden

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Heard about this engine with a changeable compression ratio.
It's not obvious how to make that happen.  After thinking for a bit, I wondered about having valves or baffles in the cylinder head that can be moved aside (unscrewed out of place) to change the internal dimensions of the combustion chamber.   How would you do it?

Porsche has actually chosen a more difficult approach - they have a complicated mechanical scheme to shorten or lengthen the effective stroke of the piston to cause lower or higher compression ratios.  This approach suffers from the flaw that the piston slides back and forth thousands of times a second, so you are adding moving all that weight to all the work the engine must do.   The journalist is quite wrong when he declares this is a "relatively simple, compact and workable method".
While the fashion in high-tech automotive developments might lean towards hybrids and electrics at the moment, there’s still plenty of scope to improve the good old internal combustion engine. One...
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That Porsche piston looks pretty fiddly.   I can't imagine they'll get 100k+ miles on it.   I wonder why they don't just have a fixed piston at the top of the cylinder that they can lower or raise via a motor driven set-screw from the top of the cylinder.
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Usual deal in this kind of situation - there is one guy who desperately wants the difficult thing done, one cocky guy who thinks and says he knows how to do the difficult thing, and a crowd of slack-jawed, gape-mouthed, monkey-hangers.  They're watching to see if the know-it-all comes out in more than 1 piece.
Here the "difficult thing" is making a lengthy crane traverse a bend that is too tight for it.
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The cooks at Chef Chu's excellent Chinese restaurant relax by carving carrots into fish, crabs, birds, Lisa Simpson's sax, etc etc.  If you haven't eaten at Chef Chu's, I recommend it next time you're in Silicon Valley.
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Detail of Larry Ellison's big boat, tied up on the pond outside his office.  At Christmas, he gives orphans free boats rides on the pond.
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Not sure about the "free boat rides for orphans" - hearing reports that Larry charges them double...
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Have him in circles
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