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  • Jen-Luc Piquant sez: "They like us! They really like us!"

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As my friends over at NERDS (New England Rubbish Deconstruction Society) say: "This planet needs a lot more kids that think taking a lawnmower's engine apart is more fun than playing video games."

Sure, I've played computer games...back in the 1970's! Since then I've come to the conclusion that actually making them DO something, rather than watching them display stuff is far more interesting.

With the availability of really cheap stuff like the Arduino and parts from abandoned printers it's not expensive and it's a way to learn real stuff, like mechanics, electronics, physics...maybe even see that math and science ARE really relevant.

Sure, simulation of real world stuff like "improve models for real-world systems" is good, but, if you never get your hands dirty, how do you know if your model is correct? You can build all the stuff you want in cyber space, but, unless you build it you just don't know what the issues are. That's why we have cars you need to take the engine out of to change the oil filter.

Yeah, as a child I had an Erector Set...and I still have it! AND, I still haven't played one second of WoW. ;-)

Assuming I am not the only person who has never played World of Warcraft...

I'm a very active player of videogames, though I've pointedly avoided playing the online community games. This article from "cracked.com" finally gave me the justification I was looking for; it is rather creepy.

Hooray for 80's comedies. What do kids these days watch?

Wild! It's like Albert Camus' "The Plague" in videogame form.

Thank you as always for this fascinating blog!

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    Physics Cocktails

    • Heavy G
      The perfect pick-me-up when gravity gets you down.
      2 oz Tequila
      2 oz Triple sec
      2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice
      7-Up or Sprite
      Mix tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and pour into a margarita glass. (Salted rim and ice are optional.) Top off with 7-Up/Sprite and let the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
    • Listening to the Drums of Feynman
      The perfect nightcap after a long day struggling with QED equations.
      1 oz dark rum
      1/2 oz light rum
      1 oz Tia Maria
      2 oz light cream
      Crushed ice
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      In a shaker half-filled with ice, combine the dark and light rum, Tia Maria, and cream. Shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Dust with the nutmeg, and serve. Bongos optional.
    • Combustible Edison
      Electrify your friends with amazing pyrotechnics!
      2 oz brandy
      1 oz Campari
      1 oz fresh lemon juice
      Combine Campari and lemon juice in shaker filled with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in chafing dish, then ignite and pour into glass. Cocktail Go BOOM! Plus, Fire = Pretty!
    • Hiroshima Bomber
      Dr. Strangelove's drink of choice.
      3/4 Triple sec
      1/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
      2-3 drops Grenadine
      Fill shot glass 3/4 with Triple Sec. Layer Bailey's on top. Drop Grenadine in center of shot; it should billow up like a mushroom cloud. Remember to "duck and cover."
    • Mad Scientist
      Any mad scientist will tell you that flames make drinking more fun. What good is science if no one gets hurt?
      1 oz Midori melon liqueur
      1-1/2 oz sour mix
      1 splash soda water
      151 proof rum
      Mix melon liqueur, sour mix and soda water with ice in shaker. Shake and strain into martini glass. Top with rum and ignite. Try to take over the world.
    • Laser Beam
      Warning: may result in amplified stimulated emission.
      1 oz Southern Comfort
      1/2 oz Amaretto
      1/2 oz sloe gin
      1/2 oz vodka
      1/2 oz Triple sec
      7 oz orange juice
      Combine all liquor in a full glass of ice. Shake well. Garnish with orange and cherry. Serve to attractive target of choice.
    • Quantum Theory
      Guaranteed to collapse your wave function:
      3/4 oz Rum
      1/2 oz Strega
      1/4 oz Grand Marnier
      2 oz Pineapple juice
      Fill with Sweet and sour
      Pour rum, strega and Grand Marnier into a collins glass. Add pineapple and fill with sweet and sour. Sip until all the day's super-positioned states disappear.
    • The Black Hole
      So called because after one of these, you have already passed the event horizon of inebriation.
      1 oz. Kahlua
      1 oz. vodka
      .5 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
      .5 oz. dark rum
      .5 oz. Amaretto
      Pour into an old-fashioned glass over (scant) ice. Stir gently. Watch time slow.