Elements, My Dear Watson!

Victorian supersleuth Sherlock Holmes has become the first fictional character to be granted an honorary fellowship by Britain’s prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry… The Society awarded Holmes a medal, which they hung around the neck of a statue of the detective. The man chosen to convey the honor was Doctor John Watson, a present day fellow of the society and namesake of Holmes’ hapless sidekick. (full story)

Interesting, but I wonder how the flesh‐and‐blood chemists who can’t gain entry feel now…

Sounds Like They Were Members of the Stanford Band

The Pope is outraged that a Russian individual rented church property and turned it into a brothel, complete with prostitutes dressed as nuns.

For some reason in puts me in mind of the LSJUMB and their relationship with Notre Dame. In case you didn’t know it, Stanford’s band has been banned from many campuses: at one time including the entire state of Oregon, Notre Dame (in perpetuity), and our own campus. That’s right–Stanford’s band was even banned from Stanford in 1997! (source)

Cougar Trumps Cardinal

Stanford gets stomped by Wazzu, 36–11.

Wow–the Cardinal was just trounced by the ignobly‐named Wazzu, with a final score of 36–11.

Paula and I were able to attend because I did the morning devotional for the Wazzu team (the team chaplain is the Steve Barke, the Chi Alpha director up in Pullman, and he asked me to fill in for him while his team was on the road).

In any event, they gave me a pair of comp tickets right in the middle of the fan Cougar section. Not only did we see Stanford get spanked up and down the field, but we did it while sitting in front of a former cheerleader and her slightly inebriated companions who let the whole world know what they thought of Stanford’s lack of prowess.

It was a sad, sad day for Cardinal fans, but the Cougar fans must be ecstatic.

On the up side, the opposing coach had a nice comment to make after the game: I feel like this Stanford team is about ready to explode and do really well on offense, so I think our defense did a nice job of keeping them at bay. It won’t be too long before Stanford gets their offense going. I think their penalties were a result of a lot of frustration on their part. They’re going to spoil somebody’s Saturday real soon, and I’m just glad it wasn’t ours. (source)

Talk About Having No Stones To Throw

UPDATE: this is an urban legend! Read the debunking.

A man suffered a heart attack when he hired a prostitute from an agency and his daughter showed up at his door. His wife was quite upset when he got home and explained the whole sordid affair. Read it online: “Hi Dad, Says Call‐Girl At The Door”.

Broadening out from the immediate story; remember, it’s always someone’s daughter (or son).

UPDATE: this is an urban legend! Read the debunking.

Stanford: What An Amazing Campus!

Yesterday Paula and I had the chance to get together with Stanford Law Prof Jeff Strnad (who’s quite a swimmer).

Anyway, we were walking through White Plaza on our way to meet him, when all of a sudden we were confronted by a clipboard‐wielding graduate student asking us if we wanted to ‘talk to a robot.’ We looked around and saw a Dalek‐like construct sitting outside, apparently engrossed in conversation with a student. I was extrememly interested, but we were almost late for our meeting with Jeff and so we passed.

We had a great lunch at the Stanford Faculty Club, which has great food a cheap prices (but you have to be a member or the guest of a member to eat there).

As we were leaving, Jeff mentioned that the guy at the table next to us was a Nobel laureate in the field of economics. I didn’t catch the name, but I figured it would be easy to go online and figure out which prof at Stanford had won a Nobel in the economic sciences–I didn’t count on 8 laureates in one field!

Overall, Stanford lays direct claim to 23 laureates (14 of whom are still living), and indirect claim to many more, among them novelist John Steinbeck, who attended Stanford but got a C in his freshman English class and dropped out before graduating.

Wow–what a school!

What Celebrities Think About God

Hmmm… The Onion has an article collecting the comments that many celebrities have made about God over the course of their interviews.

Some were articulate, some were stupid, most were puzzled. A few were humorous, in a sad sort of way:

Chuck Palahniuk wrote Fight Club and four other novels, including the new Lullaby.
The Onion: Is there a God?
Chuck Palahniuk: Yes.
O: Care to elaborate?
CP: Boy. Let me get back to you when I’m dead.

and

Stand‐up comedian Steven Wright is known for his deadpan delivery and absurdist one‐liners.
The Onion: Is there a God?
Steven Wright: Ahhh… You’ll have to ask Jesus.

and the kicker

America’s greatest living writer, Neal Pollack is the author of The Neal Pollack Anthology Of American Literature.
The Onion: Is there a God?
Neal Pollack: God does not exist, unless you are my mother‐in‐law and are reading this, in which case I definitely do believe that He exists, and will raise my children accordingly. But if you’re not my mother‐in‐law, and she’s not reading this, then He does not exist.

Read them all.

Some People Have Entirely Too Much Free Time

Three Lego pages have caught my eye with their outlandish display of ingenuity.

The achieving the impossible award goes to the Andrew Lipson’s Lego Page, which features clever engines and reproductions of M. C. Escher works. That’s right–he’s recreated those impossible drawings in 3D.

The we could make beautiful music together award goes to Henry Lim’s Lego sculptures for his functional Lego harpsichord. Wow!

Finally, the service to humanity award goes to the Cool Lego Site Of The Week. Get your need for geeky Lego ideas met here!

Nobel Laureate Graduated Last In His Class

Masatoshi Koshiba, who just won 25% of this year’s Nobel Prize in physics (I didn’t even know you could be a 25% winner), graduated last in his class at Tokyo University over 50 years ago.

He only made two A’s in his last two years of college, both of which were in lab classes where the grade was based on attendance.

Hmmm.… makes you think, doesn’t it?

Evidently he took the Teacher’s words to heart: “Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.” (Ecc 12.12b, NIV)