Good-Bye Mister Hawking

Goodbye Mister Hawking. Sorry that you never got my letter. 

When the news of your death hit the InterWires, I cried. Sure we’d joked about those races up and down Virginia Avenue. Loser hahaha. Faced with my Diet Coke and Menthos powered chair you stood no chance! Maybe you shouldn’t have spent so much time on that fusion engine ya know?. *  During those hours of build time you once told me to look at the stars, not at my feet. It was so easy! I hadn’t seen my feet for 20 years. But seriously Steve…

Hawking cover

Most folks are already aware of your brilliance in helping to explain the universe the stars and our planet. Extracting the mysteries of the galaxies. There’s much more though.

You were a vocal advocate for the disabled.  Maybe vocal isn’t the right clickity clackity word. Ratting out the NHS. Several years back Professor Hawking stated that without his wealth and fame, he’d be dead already. There’s currently a year waiting list for a wheelchair. You go Britain. Right up there with the U.S.

For the first time a beam was shone on physics, science and all things space oriented. A Brief History of Time was amazing. Have an admission though Steve: it took two tries to read the book through. It was worth every stutter and stammer. Nothing personal.
Just like a real friend you began by leading me to many more authors. From there to new ideas and places. I haven’t stopped.

Why did you leave with no goodbye? What the hell brainiac dude? Thought there was plenty of time to write a letter to you.



Professor Hawking, you were hysterical and serious by turns. Your dry humor, obvious intelligence, and ofttimes snarky wit confidently hid an unimaginable emotional pain.  Fun to watch the pundits filled with greed and political agendas attempting to stutter back. Your Humanist comments reflect the best in logic and peace. You never did hide behind your computer.

A mind filled with curiosity, yet insight combined with knowledge of a short life.  Mister Hawking, you didn’t miss this new age of exploration and scientific discovery beginning. Space flight for citizens is possible! Richard Branson offered you a free ticket! Dammit I could have been your plus one.

Good-bye Mr. Hawking and thank you.

Your Pal,

Rachael B.


Three Favorite Stephen Hawking Quotes

  • Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up
  • I believe alien life is quite common in the universe, although intelligent life is less so. Some say it has yet to appear on planet Earth.
  • The thing about smart people is that they seem like crazy people to dumb people





YoYo-Dyne Loves Physics and Music

This is fabulous. Not just because it has to do with physics, quantum ideas and some of the best scientists on the planet, but you can dance to it.

GAH,  already wrote this blog and was cut off by a power outage. That is the real reason. Not going to re-write the brilliance which was the fist post. So here’s the juice of it.

I can only say that Science Symphony rocks and this is the most recent tune  they have drawn my brain into.


WARNING: IF you watch a shitload of TV and/or collect baseball cards just move along…

The Remainder of The Day…

Put a classical, Yo-Yo Ma, or soothing  CD on the stereo or iPod.
Relax your entire body.
Sit back, close your eyes, and come with me to enjoy: The Remainder of the Day…





Thank you. thank you very much.  Tip your waitress and don’t forget to try the veal

~Miss R

Physics Explained!

We here at YoYo-Dyne apologize for the cancellation of our guest speaker tonight.

Stephen Hawking could not be here as he has discovered that his local Chinese restaurant now offers online ordering.
Frankly, once he gets going he may never leave his chair. Too bad he had already vacated the one at Cambridge. Probably far more comfy.

So tonight we will be dark and doing investigative research work on the top secret branch of the Reno Manhattan Project.

Manhattan Project

~Miss R

Stephen Hawking is a Fucking Crybaby

This morning I’m sitting outside on the deck, as the sun comes up over the mountains, cup of coffee in hand. Living at 6000 ft is a high.
Being your typical girl my thoughts turn to sound waves and the principles of Van Eck phreaking.
The concept is simple: using radio waves to literally see the screen of another computer user’s CRT.

Here’s a brief explanation from WikiPedia so it’s fairly crap:

Information that drives the video display takes the form of high frequency electrical signals. These oscillating electric currents create electromagnetic radiation in the RF range. These radio emissions are correlated to the video image being displayed, so in theory they can be used to recover the displayed image.My brain was having a problem comprehending the exact mechanisms for this.
So I decided to call Stephen Hawking.

“Steve! It’s Rachael. Get your lazy bragging wheel-chair bound ass out of bed.”
All I can hear on the other end of the phone is a bunch of flopping and thudding.
Jesus. It’s not as if the guy needs his damned beauty sleep. What does he do all day but sit on his ass?

After a moment I hear “Rachael? What time is it? 6:30 in the morning?”
Except I hear it in that stupid machine voice with all the annoying clicks from that damned box he uses.

For all I know he’s pissed but really who cares. It’s not like he’s got a fucking hike scheduled this afternoon.

I explain my questions about the Van Eck phreaking theory. Sometimes Steve is sorta slow up the uptake so I use really little words.

Before I’m halfway through he starts whining about the last time he was over at my house; he’s still holding a grudge after I filled those ten Diet Coke Bottles with Menthos, attached them to the back of his wheelchair, and sent him blasting off into traffic on South Virginia Street.
It’s not as if an accident is going to incapacitate him. Hell he’s already a crip. Jesus dude get over it.

Anyway, after he gets his shit together and back on track I ask why a computer, which is not a radio last time I checked, is emitting radio signals.
Stephen explains that it’s all a consequence of computers being binary (everything is run on transitions from zero to one and back again).
Computer bits are achieved by regulating back and forth from 0 volts (representing binary 0) to 5 volts (representing binary 1). This manifests as a square wave. Grab an old physics textbook off the shelf if you don’t remember what one of these looks like. I’ll wait.

Okay? Well, it seems that in reality these square waves are not ‘perfect’. In other words they don’t have the nice sharp angles and flat lines shown in books. So now take that goddamned textbook and throw it against the wall. I’ll wait.

Actually the waves have interference in them, even though they jump from 0 to 5 with rapidity. So the square wave actually has lots of really tiny peaks and valleys (smaller waves in the larger square wave) and the lines are not literally flat, straight or exact at all. They look like a kindergartner drew them. Or Stephen.

The little tiny peak and valley waves are called ‘ringing’.This ‘ringing’ between the actual binary numbers resonate within the circuitry of the computer. Since it’s bouncing around looking for a value it emits electromagnetic waves.
Ah ha.

“So Steve what you’re saying is that this resonating turns every wire and metal cable in the computer into a kind of radio transmitter? That whenever the computer is on it’s sending out radio wave emissions?”
“Yes” click click. It sounds like the bastard is gargling with fucking tacks.

I asked The Gimp-Meister how a person determined which emissions represented the signals from the screen hardware and screen buffer. After all if every ringing is being emitted that’s a hell of a lot of information and most of it has got to be just noise.
Steve said that there are very few predictable signals but one of them is the ticks of the CRT monitor reading horizontal and vertical retrace intervals. Note: that last refers to the way a CRT scans the screen to retrieve information from the screen buffer. Go look it up yourself. I can’t do everything. Sheesh.

The bottom line is that by isolating the radio signal pattern from the CRT a person could literally see, on their own computer CRT, what was on the desktop of someone else.
Oh god I’d better not tell Tinfoil Hat Guy Web Client about this. Aiiiii.

Now you have to realize that this conversation took for-fucking-ever what with Steve whacking on his voice keyboard and me constantly saying “What? What? I can’t understand you Dude. Can’t you enunciate for goddsake?!”

The point is that I now have a better understanding of Van Eck phreaking.
Sadly, being just a girl, I’m not certain that my sophomoric explanation can impart this idea to you. Hopefully it can.
It’s pretty damned cool.
Too bad my curiosity doesn’t pay the bills. Stephen probably would have offered to let me stay with him a while except he’s broke right now.
Something about buying a new wheelchair after crashing his into a parked car on South Virginia Street.

Steve. Lighten up. Have a Coke and a smile.

~Miss R

Currently listening:
Tale Spinnin’ [LP Vinyl]
By: Weather Report

Release date: 1975

hey teacher!

For the love of Goddess I cannot stop writing. Putting words to thoughts is the only thing that quiets the voices in my head, takes away the pain and keeps me from doing something regrettable and irreversible.

I make it a point to learn something new every day.
Here’s what I have learned over the past several days:

1.    If I eat nothing but Dreyer’s frozen fruit bars and an occasional piece of cheese for 3 days I will lose 5 pounds
2.    The incidents of pirates operating on the seas is increasing and a center in Kuala Lumpur exists to report cases of piracy
3.    I don’t want to go to Boston alone next week but I will
4.    Light from modern synchrotrons can be a billion times brighter than our sun
5.    I hate sleeping alone and it scares me when I awake
6.    Schrödinger’s cat really is dead. Oh please. Ra-DIE-ation. oh shut up I like my spelling here.
7.    Of all the words in the English language, the word set has the most definitions
8.    I have some fine friends
9.    There are no scientific studies on the effects of crying on dehydration. I have personally noted that in the past 72 hours I have consumed 9 One Liter bottles of Sparklet’s sparking water. Oh yeah I’ve been crying a river.
10.    All women think that they are fat even the eccentric, gorgeous and talented. All men think that their dicks are too small.

There you have it. Words of absolutely no wisdom.
Now go forth and celebrate cocktail hour with your intoxicant of choice.

~miss r


Currently listening:

Avalon By: Roxy Music

I used to be disgusted but now I try to be amused.

Character defects are something everyone has in abundance.
Well except for me of course. -cue laughter from backstage-

Am attempting to incorporate three salient points, as opposed to Salinger points, into today’s musings and meditations

Never confuse boredom with serenity (Easy)
Never confuse drama with human interaction (VERY Difficult)
Never play cards with a cheating cat (Impossible)

Speaking of peculiar behavior (which is a specialty in these here parts) it was time for the monthly chat with Dr. Haveasquishy.
Sadly it’s a bitch to be honest with someone you don’t respect. Hell, I have a problem vocalizing feelings, terrors and thoughts to people I DO respect for fear that my less than brilliant contemplations will offend them and propel them screaming into the night.
We did have a decent session today and I was as honest as I’ve ever been with him.
Progress not perfection.
Am still suicidal and not yet homicidal so I need more couch time. Nothing like being the progeny of a psychiatrist AND growing up in L.A.
Nobody walks in L.A.
They all have therapists though.

Okay here’s what I learned this week:

1. If I am going to re-wire the end of an extension cord the white wire is the common, black is hot and green is ground. I don’t HAVE to use the green either.
2. Never dwell on a hurt or slight whether real or imagined. Mention it immediately and see if you’re being obsessive, overly sensitive or you’re right.
3. Raleys on Mayberry hires every tard in Old Southwest Reno. Surreal.
4. I’d forgotten how talented the singers of Manhattan Transfer were
5. A hub and a switch work differently. A computer on a switch runs faster (albeit imperceptibly) because packets traveling through a hub have to determine if the different computers connected to it actually receive that particular packet of information
6. The first dinosaur bone discovered in America was found in West Virginia and when presented in a scientific paper promptly ignored. The bone was given to a museum and promptly lost.
7. Experience is something you don’t get until just AFTER you fucking need it
8. Master of the House from Les Miserables is evilly tenacious and will not release your brain. UNLESS someone puts on Overkill by Men at Work which will immediately fuck you off with it’s insidious tune and lyrics.
9. Discontinuing a medication which has been in your system for 12 years without weaning down the dosage slowly puts your body into severe physiological and psychological withdrawl.
nausea, uncontrollable weeping, dizziness, stomach cramps, vertigo, inability to concentrate and it just gets better!
Especially Effexor. Especially if you have not had organic chemistry since college and are not a doctor.
10. My Work is maintaining a tan for the benefit of all mankind
11. I need new business cards made up:

Rachael C. Black
Exectutive Ne’er Do Well

12. All the tinfoil in the world will not keep my whack-ass client from contacting me. if only he was a real client. If only I had not lost all of the tinfoil to lizzie in that poker game last weekend.
13. Lizzie Borden cheats at poker. This with no opposable thumbs. Bitch.
14. A teenager forgives pretty quickly and will begin to say I Love You again.
15. Do not walk behind me, for I will only lead into temptation. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just leave me the hell alone.
16. If you have to lose sleep, don’t do it alone
17. No matter what happens, there is always someone ready to tell you that it happened according to his/her pet theory.
Rachael’s Corollary I: No matter what happens, there is always someone ready to misinterpret what it means. A few times it’s been me.
18. Directly spraying kitchen ants with Clorox does NOT kill the bastards
19. Stephen Hawking can’t swim for shit
20. My mother saves every goddamned picture she ever took and today I find that I had a super fine do in 1985 -yark-

Yours in Suicidal Ideation and Non Sequiturs,

~The Still Fabulously Deranged Miss R

Dammit I forgot one. Thanks TK

if you’re hungry eat

if you’re thirsty drink
if you’re happy dance
If you’re tired… watch court tv 

Currently listening:
Living In Oblivion : The 80’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 1
By: Various Artists
Release date: 23 March, 1993

Executive Whack-Job

I got a puppy!
Not really.

This is true though:

January is:
National Clean Up Your Computer Month
and National Poverty in America Awareness Month

So please let me come over and de-frag your computer and clean up those temp files. In return you can laugh at my penury.

Thank god that National Healthy Weight Week doesn’t start until the 21st. There’s still plenty of time for ice cream at 2:00 am and chocolate for lunch.
Speaking of weight it seems I’ve inadvertently lost 4 pounds in the last two weeks. Well they’re not really lost per se since I don’t miss them and have no intention of finding the fuckers.

In other odd news:

I may have a job as an outside contractor for a site build-out and design, and maybe more work to follow.

On to the heart of the blog…

The other day I mentioned the strange emails which appear in the ol’ Inbox.

Continue reading

life on mars

So let’s talk about Space, Mars, and Science today. Beats yakking about the weather.

This morning I read two interesting Bulletins on Mars and space exploration from a friend I respect very much. We tend to disagree on specifics of issues but concur on the big picture. As ~A said to me…. Same Yo-Yo Different String.

In a typical synchronistic fashion I’d actually been following the recent news and photos from NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor.

This week’s images suggest that Mars may really have once been a hospitable planet for life. Theories for this have been spoken since our first explorations there of course. This new batch of photos shows that the topography has changed from NASA’s original images taken 1999 to 2001. Specifically that deposits on two craters in the southern hemisphere, of possibly mud, salt or frost, were left there when water RECENTLY cascaded through. The gullies have changed configuration.

Here’s where things get weird:

Continue reading

Rene Descartes Was a Drunken Fart

The Boredom of Recovering from Surgery is sucking away my will to live.
Or write. Or change the channel

This was pointed out by a writer friend whose blog I regularly investigate. Reading and writing go hand in hand for me. Or rather pen in hand, or keyboard in hand. Just give me a hand. Ah crap. Evidently I’m afflicted with Cabin Fever.
There’s a reason this was the name of my former retail store. Lookee, here’s my Logo. It must be true!

Cabin Fever Games was the retail website. Lots of time spent designing graphics and building that baby

Watching hours of television may be the direct cause of my writer’s block the last few days.

Sure, I’ve been watching DVDs from Netflix (worth every penny whether you’re under house arrest or have had major abdominal surgery) but this still implies a passive existence.
Conversely, reading stimulates the brain.
A book may be so poorly written that I throw it with a satisfying whack against a wall. Conversely a tome may exalt me or give the impetus to write a piece dealing with the same subject. Taking a tertiary point from a great writer’s pages and running with it is a favorite past time. It’s the little and seemingly insignificant ideas that permeate my being and send it off on thoughts and ideas of it’s own.
Either way it’s exercise, whether of the brain or throwing arm. Unfortunately even when healthy I throw a book like a girl. Some day I’ll throw a book like a woman.

On Monday the pain from the hysterectomy became worse and I developed another frightening symptom as well. This scared me. In fact it scared me so much that I actually DID stay in bed and follow the doc’s instructions for 3 days.
Hence the seepage of cognizant thought from my frontal lobe and the apparent successful coup undertaken by the limbic portion of my brain.

Limbo in the Loo!

Y Mon, everybody Limbic!

So it’s Day Four since the above mentioned day and a half of Scary Effects That I Probably Brought On Myself.
Felt much better by last night, the pain is back to manageable and nothing else is amiss.
So today’s To-Do list includes arming myself with fresh reading material.

My favorite books are non-fiction, especially biographies of obscure historical figures and those dealing with science and physics. Granted the latter have to written on a level of my understanding, but there are more and more fabulous books every year. No longer shackled to unreadable dissertations on quantum theory or Scientific American articles my interest in these subjects has grown.

Here are a few recommendations for all of you shut-ins.

There’s a brilliant blog that I read regularly: Bad Science. The writer has a scientific background (Oxford educated M.D.) and a sense of skepticism and irony that makes me laugh out loud.

I’ve plowed through 4 great books on things physic since my surgery and for your own edification here they are:
1. Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain
–wonderful book by Antonio Damasio. The author kicks Descartes’ ass in regards to the theory that the logical mind is separate from the emotional. This is great for anyone silly enough to have obtained a degree in Philosophy (or Music) or cunning enough to have a degree in the sciences.

2. Einstein’s Universe: The Layperson’s Guide
–by Nigel Calder. Simple to understand and a pretty short read. This is great for reiterating the foundations of physics AND the amazing work of Albert “The Chick Magnet” Einstein. Found this one used for under a dollar. Check the local thrift stores for this. I’d have paid full price for it.

3. First You Build a Cloud: And Other Reflections on Physics as a Way of Life
— The author of this book, K.C. Cole, writes in a style that is as accessible as that of Brian Greene. Thank god. Great bios in here of famous physicists. Straightforward examples of every day occurrences and situations which she correlates with specific theories and disciplines. Tres Cool.

4. The Universe in a Nutshell
—by Stephen Hawking. What can I say? Stephen Hawking helped rekindle my enjoyment of science, which had lain dormant since microbiology in my junior year of college. The graphics are great. Not only are you able to ‘hang with Hawking’ but you’re learning and contemplating some of the newer theories in science. Did I mention how I loved the illustrations? You know, I only read Playboy for the articles too. Okay sure, the pictures are a bonus.

After devouring these books my brain was full and for some idiotic reason it whispered ‘You are cured. Ignore suggestions for abdominal surgery aftercare. Go forth.’ Cured. Amen Brothers and Sisters!
At this juncture I began doing everything which was contraindicated for a neurotic woman recovering from a serious operation. I BROKE THE LAW! If only it were the law of gravity I could stop playing hackysak with my boobs.
Shredding the doctor’s orders I emerged from the sepulcher. A trip to the market (no, I didn’t drive) and walking too far among the aisles. Followed by lifting more than 5 pounds. Bending over, albeit slowly and not all of the way, to pick up everything my daughter drops in her daily oblivion to housework. I’m thinking that her algebra book alone probably weighs 7 pounds.
Conclusion: I broke the law and the law won. Stupid song. D’oh.

Strangely enough my body rebelled and the last four days were a living semi-coma (akin to a semi-colon and initiated with the same frequency) of passive Television/DVD/Blank Wall observation and Oxycodone.
On day five of my crime against nature spree I summoned my best indentured farmer voice: I got bett-ah.

To paraphrase Descartes:
(okay can’t help myself singing at this point “Rene Descartes was a drunken fart who was rarely ever stable, Eidecker Eidecker was a boozy beggar who could drink you under the table….” Go find the Philosopher’s Song by Monty Python and then you can sing along with me next time.

I write. Therefore I am.
and I’m always write

~Miss R


Miss R at work

This is my desk at work. Those are my feet. Arbeit macht frei motherf**kers!