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Perhaps the greatest piece of Periodic Table music ever composed. April 11, 2016 11:42

Though admittedly, the competition is pretty light. 

 


This isn't the science you're looking for June 15, 2015 12:32

In addition to our goal of purveying the occasional thought-provoking or humorous accoutrement, we like to see ourselves as fighting the good fight for science. We have a lot of fun poking holes in conspiracy theories (see here), and take a pretty dim view of snake oil products, food woo-woo or other such nonsense.

Today's victims are our friends in the (alleged) science press. This article should give you an appreciation of just how broken science journalism is, with a side dish of corruption in the scientific paper publishing space. Moral to the story? The grey stuff between your ears and a healthy dose of skepticism can be very good tools to keep handy. 

In honor of good science, we draw your attention to one William of Occam (c. 1287–1347). He gave us a problem-solving principle, dubbed 'Occam's Razor', that states that among competing hypotheses that predict equally well, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Other, more complicated solutions may ultimately prove to provide better predictions, but—in the absence of differences in predictive ability—the fewer assumptions that are made, the better.

 

 

For example, there could be a huge, bad-smelling ape-like species roaming the woods of practically every continent, that have for all of recorded history evaded every human interaction, and that carefully bury their dead so that no corpse or other remains have ever been found, but carelessly leave gigantic footprints in the mud. Or there could be some yahoos who have fun strapping big fake feet to their boots and tromping around in the woods, and then laughing their asses off at their ability to fool gullible scientists. William of Occam would probably lean toward the latter.

In his honor, your can now purchase our exclusive Occam's Razors mug, suitable for subtly notifying associates that you rank pretty low on the gullibility scale. 


In tribute to Father's Day... May 26, 2015 18:42

 Yet another important public service from Neurons Not Included


Your Biology lesson for today is... May 23, 2015 20:41


Time to Swing Those Tassels! May 04, 2015 16:12

Of course, we're talking about the mortarboard cap tassel. Get your mind out of the gutter.

Apparently, there is an entire body of work related to the academic tassel. In 1895, a commission of professors (who had enough tenure that they could actually spend time worrying about truly earth-shattering things like which side of the hat the tassel goes on) created a standardized code. Since then, graduates have been subjected to cheap graduation gowns and tassels that are primarily suited for hanging from a rear-view mirror.

Tassel etiquette gets very picky about the side of the cap that the tassel is worn. Undergraduates begin the ceremony with the tassel on the right and move it to the left. However, when ceremonies are conducted outside on windy days, tassel traditions take a back seat to trying to keep ones mortarboard hat - which has strikingly good aerodynamic properties - from flying into the next county.

Here at Neurons Not Included, we celebrate graduation season with gifts for new grads and old teachers that actually have some practical use (the gifts, not the teachers). If you'd like something that your academic won't throw in the back of a closet, look around.


Mr. Dewey would be quite consternated... April 16, 2015 17:31

Here we are at National Librarians Week, or National Librarians Day, depending on which source you check. Which serves to point out that contrary to popular belief, librarians are relevant in the Information Age.

Every Book You've Ever Read Librarian MugThose who practice the honorable art of Library Science have changed with the times. Now they are experts in data manipulation, query techniques and cross-platform analysis. They're the ones to go to when you make that uncomfortable discovery that Google and Wikipedia occasionally get it very, very wrong. 

So seek out your nearest librarian and give them a big hug. Unless of course, that would create a Hostile Work Environment situation. If you're concerned that the hug might be misinterpreted, perhaps you could just give them a small gift of this, this or this

Tin Foil Hat Awards for April 15th April 13, 2015 16:01

Well, a glance at the old calendar reminds us that Tax Day is fast approaching. Amazingly, April 15th is also the day the Titanic sank.

Coincidence? We think not.

Speaking of strange coincidences and the Titanic. it seems even this well-documented event is subject to the conspiracy theorists. One of the most popular theories (if it can be called that) is that the Titanic never actually sank - the owners of the White Star line (JP Morgan, among others) swapped the two ships and sank Titanic's sister ship, Olympic, in a colossal insurance scam. Another theory points to the many 1st Class businessmen passengers were opposed to the formation of the Federal Reserve, and the ship was intentionally sunk by Morgan to remove them from the picture.

In celebration of Titanic Day, we will begin awarding the coveted Tin Foil Hat award for best conspiracy theory. We plan to make this a regular feature of our blog, unless Bigfoot objects. So, in ascending order of number of Tin Foil hats required to force your brain to believe a particular conspiracy, here are our ratings for Titanic Conspiracies:

       Titanic was sunk by pack ice, not an iceberg. Does it matter? 1 hat.
        Titanic sank because of high speed, caused when the crew attempted to put out a smoldering pile of coal by over-loading the boilers. Or they could have turned a fire hose on the pile, but that wouldn't have been nearly so romantic. 2 hats.

        Titanic was swapped for the Olympic in an insurance scam. Sure - how hard could it be to do the old swicher-oonie with two 46,000 ton ocean liners? 4 hats.

         Titanic was sunk by JP Morgan to remove resisters to the Federal Reserve. And how was Morgan guaranteed that the proper resisters would, in fact, drown? 5 hats.

         A journalist secretly concealed a cursed mummy under the car that was in the Titanic's hold, and the curse sank the ship. Don't you think Rose and Jack would have noticed the smell? 5 hats.

So there you have it -  this week's edition of the Tin Foil Hat award. Stay tuned for the next entry, where we will examine another truthy theory.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NEURONS NOT INCLUDED ACQUIRES GRAND DUCHY OF LUXEMBOURG March 31, 2015 13:45

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NEURONS NOT INCLUDED ACQUIRES GRAND DUCHY OF LUXEMBOURG 

April 1, 2015

Neurons Not Included, a ecommerce concern based in Allen Texas, today announced that it has acquired the assets of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (http://europa.eu/about-eu/countries/member-countries/luxembourg/index_en.htm) in a cash and stock transaction. Details of the financial structure of the transaction were not released.

Cynthia Green, Co-managing Partner of Neurons Not Included, announced the transaction today in a ceremony in Luxembourg's Parliament Square. She was joined by Pierre Mentuer, former Prime Minister of Luxembourg and newly named Chief Operating Officer of the newly-established Luxembourg Operating Unit of Neurons Not Included, and Felicia Unwahr, former Foreign Minister and now Executive Director of all European operations of Neurons Not Included.

As part of the transaction, certain cash-generating assets currently held in trust by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg will be sold to the Republic of France. These assets comprise the majority of all Luxembourgs' proprietary superheated methane processing capabilities. Both Neurons Not included and the government of France believe this capability will significantly expand the French superheated methane market position.

Ms. Green said, "We are very pleased to add the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to the Neurons Not Included family. We believe the synergies generated by combining our internet operations with the governmental structure of the Duchy will result in increased competition across the EU, as well as significant operational efficiencies for our both our ecommerce platforms." 

Mr. Menteur stated, "We are excited about the opportunity to work closely with Neurons Not Included. We have always held their ecommerce products in high regard, and this transaction will open up new possibilities for NNI and the citizens of Luxembourg." Ms. Unwahr added, "This transaction has been under consideration for some time, and we wish to thank the staff at Neurons Not Included for their professionalism and attention to detail through the negotiation period. Without their cooperation, many important components of the transaction could not have been realized."

While subject to EU regulatory approval, both NNI and Luxembourg believe that such approval will be rapidly forthcoming. More details of the transaction will be announced in the coming weeks.

For further information, please contact:

Randy Green
Director of External Affairs
Neurons Not Included
randy@neuronsnotincluded.com


Bizarre Celebration Day Entry for March 28 March 26, 2015 22:59

March 28, according to our friends at http://nationaldaycalendar.com/, is National Weed Appreciation Day. Moving beyond the first and most obvious question ("who makes this stuff up?"), we are left to ponder what, exactly, one should appreciate about a weed. Here's is our best guess:

  1. If it weren't for the weed, you would have a bare patch of dirt, which can lead to ugly things like mud, ant nests and unsettling comments about bald spots and receding hair lines.
  2. As a plant, it is a consumer of greenhouse gases and exhaler of oxygen. Ergo, grow a weed, save the planet.
  3. The particularly nasty, spikey varieties can serve as a home defense barrier against very short and barefoot burglars.
  4. Certain varieties (such as dandelions) can provide a few moments of entertainment to children as they scatter the seeds with a strong blow. This teaches the children patience, because in a few months all those seeds will come back and offer thousands more opportunities for entertainment.
  5. Filling your yard with weeds is a good way to meet the landscape committee of your Homeowners Association. Weeds enrich your social life.
  6. Weed can be relaxing, mellowing and induce an appetite commonly known as "the munchies." Oops - sorry - wrong weed.

We suspect, however, that the real reason for Weed Appreciation Day is to give someone an excuse to avoid weeding the garden on that day. March 28th is a Saturday, youmight notice. So when someone 'invites' you to go pull the damn weeds in the flower bed, just let them know that it's National Weed Appreciation Day, and it's against the law in several states and the District of Columbia to damage or destroy a weed on March 28th.

We don't think it will work either, but it's worth a shot.


Almost ready for Prime Time February 28, 2015 19:55

We've been cranking hard on getting this store ready for our Official Grand Open, and all of the Neurons Not Includians are getting bleary-eyed. We've been moving items in to NNI from our Etsy and Amazon shops, and some genius in the group decided now would be a good time to try to standardize things like picture
s and descriptions across all our stores. 

While we all agree that this is a Good Thing, we underestimated the complexity of the project, which may be the understatement of the week. Maybe the decade.

Over the years (we started this business in 2009), somehow we managed to create well over 500 items. While that alone makes our head hurt, we should point out that all of those items are original creations. That gets even more mind-melting when you realize for every creation we list, we probably threw out 5 to get one we liked. I think I need to lie down.

Being naturally ADD (Look! a shiny thing!), trying to stay focused on getting all of the sites to line up has been darn near impossible. Add in a couple of technical mishaps, and we needed an adult beverage more than once, which did not help our organization and focus, but did help keep us from running screaming into the street, which is good because our homeowners association is pretty strict about that stuff.

So, we're getting close. Soon we'll turn this thing on Full Power and see if we can make our little corner of the Interwebs a place people want to visit. Wish us luck!


What's in a name? February 09, 2013 09:49

What's up with the name of this shop? Well, it goes like this...

We are actually refugees from Etsy, which is a fine eCommerce destination. We have a nice little shop there that has been very successful.  There's just one problem - the shop name. See, we kinda named the shop before we actually figured out exactly what we were going to sell in it. So now were stuck with a shop name that has virtually nothing to do with what's actually in it, which is geeky, nerdy, scientific-like stuff.

Off to Yellow Bug Boutique!

Seriously - 'Yellow Bug Boutique"? What were we thinking? It conjures up images of cute little butterflies, happy pastel-colored flowers, big puffy clouds. There's probably a unicorn wandering around somewhere in there. It makes my teeth hurt. 

So we decided it was time to do something about the ridiculous shop name. Then we discovered that there are about a bajillion references to Yellow Bug Boutique scattered all over the internet. Changing the shop name would mean that all those lovely links would be cast into the ozone, dangling around unattached, much like an over-served coed in a beach bar at Spring Break. (side note on the link - nothing good will come of this)

After much thought, we decided to create a whole new shop with a name that was more representational of our product mix. This would solve all our problems with market confusion and branding conflict. Seriously, how hard could it be?

Pretty hard, actually.

It turns out that coming up with a new name is harder than actual childbirth. I can say that because I'm a man and have never actually experienced the wonder and beauty of childbirth. My wife, however, assures me that squeezing a bowling-ball sized object from your unmentionable regions is much harder than naming an internet shop. I think she's just playing for sympathy. I also sleep on the couch a lot.

Eventually we came up with Neurons Not Included.  It has several advantages:

  • It doesn't make you think of unicorns.
  • It's one of the few combinations of words not already claimed on the internet.
  • It doesn't give you the slightest idea of what is actually for sale in the shop. We could be selling hand-crafted motor oil and no one would be any more confused than they are now.
  • It's better than "Geekfurter", which was under serious consideration.
So here it is - Neurons Not Included. Hope you like it!
Next - intimate details on the shop owners. But not that intimate, OK? Get your mind out of the gutter.