November 3rd, 2006


Troy Ounces per Ton

Today I went to give a small presentation at the client's newly acquired headquarters. It's awesome. It is totally Scorpio's think-tank/laboratory/lair. Built in the mid-60's up in the California hills, with more than a hint of case study house #22 about it. Perfect green lawns with expertly manicured trees set among chapparal-covered ravines. I'd tell you more, but the bossfella had to write down the serial number of the laptop he brought with him, not to mention the scans of our driver's licenses that they took. If I told you more, no doubt something would go wrong with the explosive neck-collar I have to wear for the next month. The meeting went pretty smoothly, and I basically gave the whole presentation. Then I got a free sammich and fries at their cafeteria. I win!

One project down, now on to the next, having to do with chemical analysis in mining. You'd think that mining has come a long way over the centuries, but you'd be wrong. It's still basically alchemy. You take your crushed and powdered ore, add a flux containing litharge and also some flour to aid the reduction in the furnace. After removing the slag and cooling your button, place it into a pot made of bone ash and pop it in the athanor for a thorough cupellation. Then apply aqua regia. Finally, your gold is ready for the inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer. Okay, that last bit goes somewhat beyond alchemy. You may think I'm joking, but only one of the preceding terms was fudged.

And now I know that bone china is actually made of bones. Yay, I learned something new today! I win!

Christian Bashing

Kent "Dr. Dino" Hovind, creator of a creation science theme park, was convicted on all 58 counts of tax fraud, and now faces possible jail time measured in centuries. His wife is in a similar pickle. IIRC, she would suck out thousands of dollars of cash from the bank (always just short of the $10K that triggers an investigation) so that they could pay their employees under the table without withholding taxes (or paying the employer share). Neither the IRS nor the court was impressed by the 'doing God's work' defense.

I was withholding comment on this next one until more facts were known, but now it seems it's appropriate to do so. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals and chief pastor of New Life Church, was accused by some skeezy male escort of having indulged in a three-year homosexual affair. Though he has denied the accusations, Haggard has resigned his presidency and stepped down as pastor. Now, the latest word comes from the acting pastor: "There has been some admission of indiscretion, not admission to all of the material that has been discussed, but there is an admission of some guilt." If only we lived in a world where a pastor could publically admit that he liked a little cock every now and again, then maybe this wouldn't be headline news. But since Haggard has been a prime mover in ensuring that such a world doesn't exist, I can't work up much sympathy for him.

(In other news, the escort failed a polygraph test carried out on local radio. Then again, polygraph tests are practically useless even under the best circumstances.)