lead poisoning from pipes did not cause the downfal of rome

So some very bright person I overheard today was telling a friend in loud english that lead pipes destroyed the roman empire because they all went mad and down went Rome. So aside from that being absurd for lots of historical reasons it's also chemically unlikely. As many of us may remember from the REACTIVITY SERIES of METALS. Lead is way way less reactive than calcium, so so It could never displace it from solution. Roman water has tons of aqueous calcium in it, and it would actually cake over the inside of the pipes because calcium oxidizes with water really easily. So it's very unlikely that enough lead would be exposed to get leeched into the water to drive the entire ruling class of a large empire mad. And yes, I'm a bit of a nerd


Advanced manuvers in euro-style

So I've oft joked about, and once posessed, albeit accidentally, the ridiculous faux hawk. But today I saw not less than 3 examples of what must be the most advanced manuver in eurostyle I'veever seen. The euro-mullet + faux hawk, yes kids it's 80's party in the back with a 21st century party in the front. Not since back to the future 2 have I seen hairstyles this cool. As if that weren't enough, one of the people I saw managed to up the stakes even more by pairing it with the quebecois tuxedo ( candadian tuxedo of jeans avec denim jacket, but the jeans were super tight). I can't even imagine what's next, but I new it had been too long since I'd been to Europe. Luckily I'm only here for about a week so it's likely I won't come to see this style of dress as acceptable. Athough, I am already sporting 5 days of stubble, 3 days of which were pre-grown just so I felt comfortable when I landed.

The "Weaksauce" Generation

I joke about it, but on some level, I'm not just getting old, I'm becoming crochety. The other day I found myself in a conversation about how "kids today just aren't right." Even with a meager 25 years of existence under my belt, I definitely think there's something to the statement. The culture of self esteem and entitlement delivered in schools ( and you can see if on their myspace profiles) is producing a generation of people who expect to be rich and famous because they were told they can do anything they want,and along the way, but someone forgot to mention all the hard work and bootstrapping it'll take to get there.

This is really scary because combined with the huge dropoff in the amount of engineers, scientists, mathmaticians etc, we are going to end up with a shortage of americans who can perform certain jobs when the boomers leave the workforce, and a glut of college educated kids with no marketable skills. At least McDonalds will have an endless supply of drones competing to ask if we "want fries with that." Forty to fifty years ago, people respected vocational education for skilled trades, now it's seen as laughable to be trained to ach as a plumber, carpenter, or technician. Ah well, something had to give sometime, but at least the world still hires engineers.