Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bookleggers unite

What can be done to save pre-1985 children's books banned by the government over bogus safety concerns? If you're a bookseller or librarian in east central Illinois or west central Indiana and are going to trash your "dangerous" books, we'll take them. If you know a book-burner, let them know there's a safe and legal alternative. We're, um, members of the Albertian Order of Leibowitz, collectors of vintage books. Drop me a line at minutiae@gmail.com or billw@wolfram.com and we'll set something up.

Mission accomplished

The boys and I assembled one of these this morning, a St Valentine's day gift from Mom for 12-year-old Christopher. I've always disdained these pre-planned Lego kits, but it was mildly entertaining to build it and marvel at the ingenuity of Lego's engineers.

UPDATE: now that the boys are playing with it and I'm the only authorized repairman in our local galaxy, I'm cursing Lego's engineers and their flimsy toy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Elemental empathy

A fascinating consideration of the personalities of chemical elements.

This post's title is a line from my favorite Rush song, which unfortunately sounds like a tired lumbering beast in this bootleg video:

Antediluvian

  • Seven-year-old John: "Did you watch Star Trek The Original Series on computers or TV?"
  • Old, old Daddy: "On TV - we didn't have computers back then."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Detail fail

Every page of an online tax website is an advertisement for the company's competence and accuracy. Quoth Taxslayer.com:

If you received a distribution from a retirement account (such as a pension, annuity, IRA, or even an insurance contract), you should receive a Form 1099-R that reports all of the pertinent tax information. If your distribution came from a Railroad Retiremnt account, the form would not be Form 1099-R, but RRB-1099-R.

If they can't be trusted in little things...

Meanwhile, here's a grocer's apostrophe at taxactonline.com (I'll give them a pass on "guess work" and general fuzzy construction or I'll never finish my taxes)

Donation Assistant let's you accurately track your donations and, based on condition, provides you with certified resale values for nearly 700 items commonly donated to charity - helping you to eliminate guess work and put more cash in your wallet.