The Stuff

In the UK, a man named Paul Gibbons tracked down another man named John Jones, after the two of them had exchanged insults online, and Gibbons beat the holy crap out of Jones. Thus, “web rage” is born, and it fills me with inappropriate glee. Maybe this development will take a little wind out of the sails of the army of faceless cowards who seem to infest the comment wing of the blogosphere, those who naively assume a computer monitor is a sufficient wall between their identities and the public. S’all I’m gonna say about it.

Here’s a story about a tongue piercing causing trigeminal neuralgia, one of the most painful medical conditions around. This comment from the forums is priceless:

From: iontrap
Date: 18-Oct-2006 13:28

Sorry, but I thought people who purposely puncture their tongues were brain dead, so I’m surprised to discover that there is some neurons still alive to register pain.

Meanwhile, this report holds that as many as 30 additional countries will soon be ableto make atomic weapons. First, let’s not forget that George Bush (with the collusion of India, among others) essentially rendered pointless the non-proliferation treaty earlier this year; so, once again, blame him for some of this. Second, I’m surprised the number isn’t in the hundreds. I learned the design and theory of atomic weapon-making in undergrad physics, after all, 20 years ago. The hard part is finding the fissable materials; but these days the stuff can probably be found on Ebay!

About 16 years ago, a nuclear physicist friend of mine was approached by a hood, a small-arms dealer, in one of the shadier parts of Toronto’s Chinatown. The dealer asked my friend if he could build him a nuclear bomb. My friend said, jokingly, “Sure, but you’ll have to get me some plutonium.”

The dealer leaned in and whispered, not so jokingly, “the stuff goes missing now and then.”

After that, I stopped going to Chinatown with that particular friend.