This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.

Lunchtime Diversions for Friday, June 29

Posted by: James Lileks under Technology Updated: June 29, 2012 - 11:53 AM

 

Add this to the parade of indignities visited upon us by the TSA: people in a security line were momentarily exposed to Shat-shanks:

 

Star Trek legend William Shatner was left nursing a bruised ego when his trousers fell down during an airport security check in front of dozens of fellow travellers.
The actor was queuing at Los Angeles International Airport to catch a flight to South Africa when he was singled out for a search by officials.

That makes sense. “Officials” couldn’t recognize William Shatner. In Los Angeles.

INTERNET:You’ve seen the “Hello, this is dog” picture, of course. If you’ve ever thought I bet that’s not a picture someone took for the fun of it, but a frame from a 1980s Balkan movie about the drug subculture, you win. Now seeping into general internet release is an animated gif of the entire dog-talking sequence.

 

 

 

 

Also, re: yesterday’s question of whether Pinterest is mostly for women: this.

  

SCIENCE! Mars has “oceans of water”? Scientists, says the National Geographic,  “estimate that the Martian mantle currently contains between 70 and 300 parts per million of water—enough to cover the planet in liquid 660 to 3,300 feet (200 to 1,000 meters) deep.”

"Basically the amount of water we're talking about is equal to or more than the amount in the upper mantle of the Earth," which contains 50 to 300 parts per million of water, said study leader Francis McCubbin, a planetary scientist at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

We’re talking about a guy in a desert looking at distant planet, which is also a desert, and imagining lots and lots of water. It’s a mirage, friend. Sorry.

Just kidding. They’re studying Martian meteorites, which got here when something large hit Mars, sent chunks into space, which crossed a vast distance and landed on Earth. Odds seem small, but there you go. If Mars has lots of water, then perhaps it didn’t arrive via comets and asteroids, as some suspect. I always had a hard time believing that, really - the idea of water-bearing meteors hitting the planet like some cosmic bucket brigade, filling up the oceans, seems to require a vast number of meteors with the proper composition, steadily bombarding a moving object. It’s like drowning a guy on the fifteenth floor of an apartment building by throwing bottled water at a window that’s halfway ajar.

But, well, the science suggests otherwise, and last year’s experiments suggest the Kuiper belt rocks may have been responsible. Everything is possible over enough time. So it took 10 million years to fill up the oceans? In universe terms, that’s a blink of a hummingbird’s eye.

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