Friday, December 29, 2006
As Barbara says in her post,
Though constantly wronged by those about us, our hands are tied as seeking to get even is frowned upon in our society
--we're supposed to be civilized! Consequently, tales of vengeance appeal to a wide audience. ...
- An old lady who is about to die.
- An old friend who once saved your life.
- The perfect man (or) woman you have been dreaming about.
Which one would you choose, knowing that there could only be one passenger in your car?
This is a moral/ethical dilemma that was once actually was used as part of a job application.
- You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first; or
- you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect chance to pay him back.
- However, you may never be able to find your perfect dream lover again.
The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) had no trouble coming up with his answer.
WHAT DID HE SAY? - Think for a minute
He simply answered:
"I would give the car keys to my old friend, and let him take the lady to the hospital.
I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the woman of my dreams."
Sometimes, we gain more if we are able to give up stubborn thought limitations.
Think "out of the box."
(this msg from an email I received about 5 years ago)
Thursday, December 28, 2006
- Minnesota became the 32nd state on May 11th, 1858 and was originally settled by a lost tribe of Norwegians seeking refuge from the searing heat of Wisconsin's winters.
- The state flag of Minnesota consists of a blue background upon which sits a design best described as "how a 7-year-old city girl would draw a picture titled "Life on the Farm".
- Minnesota gets it's name from the Sioux Indian word "Mah-nee-soo-tah", meaning "No, really, they eat fish soaked in lye".
- The state song of Minnesota is "Someday the Vikings Will... Aw, never mind"
- The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota covers 9.5 million square feet and has enough space to hold 185,000 idiot teenagers yapping away on cell phones.
- Madison, Minnesota is known as "The Lutefisk Capital of the World". Avoid this city at all costs. ("Lou T. Fisk" picture to the right)
- "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" was set in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was Mary's first real acting job since leaving the "Dick Van Dyke Show". The show, about a single woman's struggle to find happiness in the big city, was originally titled "Life Without Dick", but that was changed for some reason.
- The state motto of Minnesota is, "Where even a man who wears a feather boa can grow up to be Governor."
- Downtown Minneapolis has an enclosed skyway system covering 52 blocks, allowing people to live, work, eat, and sleep without ever going outside. The only downside to this is that a Norwegian occasionally turns up missing.
- Cartoonist Charles M. Shultz was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was the only artist to accurately depict the perfectly circular heads of Minnesota natives.
- The Hormel Company of Austin, Minnesota produces 6 million cans of Spam a year, even though no one actually eats it.
- Water skis were invented in 1922 in Lake City, Minnesota by Ralph Samuelson. Sadly, he drowned shortly afterwards, as the motorboat hadn't been invented yet.
- St. Paul, Minnesota was originally named "Pig's Eye", after French Canadian whiskey trader Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant . Its "twin city", Minneapolis, was known as "Pig's Colon".
- The stapler was invented in Swingline, Minnesota by a chubby, mumbling man named Milton in 1899. The city was mysteriously destroyed by fire later that year.
- Pelican Rapids is home to a 16-foot-tall concrete pelican, which subsists on a diet of 4-foot-long concrete fish.
- In 1973, Olivia, Minnesota erected a 25-foot tall fiberglass corn cob to celebrate its rich, agricultural heritage. Then in 1974 it was eaten by a 50-foot statue of Babe the Blue Ox.
- Yes, Minnesota has a LOT of problems with statue cannibalism.
- Minnesota license plates are blue & white and contain the phrase "Blizzards on Independence Day - You Get Used To It."
- Frank C. Mars, founder of the Mars Candy Co. was born in Newport, Minnesota. His 3 Musketeers candy bar originally contained three bars in one wrapper, each filled with a different flavor nougat - chocolate, Spam, and lutefisk.
- The first fully automatic pop-up toaster was invented in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1926, Minnesota's stringent bread-control laws currently only allow residents to own semi-automatic toasters.
- Tonka Trucks continue to be manufactured in Minnetonka, Minnesota, despite the thousands of GI Joe dolls killed by them annually in rollover accidents. No airbags, no seat belts. These things are DEATHTRAPS, I tell ya!
- Author Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, and was famous for writing the "Little House" series of books, as well as inventing the "Spam Diet" - which consists of looking at a plate of Spam until you lose your appetite. Much like the " Lutefisk Diet".
- The snowmobile was invented in Roseau, Minnesota so as to allow families a means of attending Independence Day picnics.
- Singer Judy Garland was born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. All gay men are required by their religion to make a pilgrimage there at least once in their lifetimes.
- Minnesotans are almost indistinguishable from Wisconsinites. The only way to tell them apart is to ask if they voted for Mondale.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
I am working in the Technical Development group, largely involved with the data side of the wireless network. If you've connected to the internet via your mobile phone or used some of the services that the data network supports, like VCast, you'd be touching the technology that I'm involved with.
Please keep in touch, whether we have business or personal dealings. I will continue to write here and in my technology blog, and I appreciate your comments.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Saturday, December 02, 2006
First, Scott Adams and "Why is Music Legal" today really had me smiling, in that "If the plural of goose is geese, why isn't the plural of moose meese?" sort of way.
Don’t forget – music is a gateway drug to harder stuff. Music attracts dancing. Dancing attracts alcohol. Alcohol leads to unwanted pregnancies. Unwanted pregnancies lead to abortion. If you believe life begins at conception, you have to believe that music kills babies.
This last bit of logic is like the humorous Tequila post from last month (link here)
But I digress... back in the early part of the last century, some people actually believed that music was bad for people, leading up to "Elvis" and those hips. Actually, it may have been the conservatives amongst us who were upset about it, and more to the point, they were frightened because they couldn't get their viewpoints foisted upon us, i.e. those with minds open for a lifetime of learning. Truthfully, I myself have a real problem with the lyrics in rap music, but the music itself is particularly popular with kids, and then the baby and bathwater things comes up.
Wil Wheaton reminded everyone that yesterday was World AIDS Day.
Over the years, I've just assumed that, as a species, we were moving toward eliminating or at least reducing the spread of HIV and AIDS. It turns out that I am wrong. For example, I didn't know that people in the UK know less about HIV transmission now than they did five years ago. Here in the US, our good pals in the religious right have been frighteningly successful in keeping people ignorant and afraid, and replacing facts with agenda-driven propaganda. This is real scary, because nothing helps spread a disease quite like ignorance, and AIDS doesn't care about your race or class or religion; it just wants to kill people.
Books like The Immortals by Tracy Hickman or Darwin's Children by Greg Bear touch on these same human issues and give us a frightening picture of what can happen.
As it turns out, yesterday Greg Bear noted in his blog that "that anyone who's been in power too long, starts to stink. And anyone who plans to keep our system a one-party system forever ... needs to spend some hard time in the ol' woodshed." I edited his comment for space, but I want to say that I agree with his point and this hard line conservatism is at it's core, what's been wrong with the last few years. Even in church, and the "you have to be on a mission" attitude ... I'm just saying, is this what Jesus really wanted?
Because this is what is all comes down to, the use of the religion, especially in these conservative circles, to accomplish the group's goals, to be in power, to have the most members, to have the most money, to have the most followers, to have the most votes.
What was that Golden Rule again? from Golden Rule Radical, some excerpts:
Christianity - In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets. Jesus, Matthew 7:12
Buddhism - Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. The Buddha
Confucianism - One word which sums up the basis of all good conduct....loving-kindness. Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself. Confucius, Analects 15.23
Islam - Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself. The Prophet Muhammad, 13th of the 40 Hadiths of Nawawi
Judaism - What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary. Go and learn it. Hillel, Talmud, Shabbath 31a
Wicca - An it harm none, do what you will
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension -
Buckaroo Banzai: Hey, hey, hey. Don't be mean. We don't have to be mean because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.
I added the last one, there, it's not really at that golden rule website... I guess here is the final summation of what I would like to ask any person on a "mission" - after you've accomplished your great mission
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Earlier this year I had listened to this article's summary on the ABC Science Show. Dr. Piers Barnes was explaining how many shots of the group you'd have to take in order to have captured one without someone in the group blinking during the shutter exposure.
Piers then figured out how many shots I'd need to be 99% certain of getting a good one. He found that photographing thirty people in bad light would need about thirty shots. Once there's around fifty people, even in good light, you can kiss your hopes of an unspoilt photo goodbye.
Piers also came up with a rule of thumb for calculating the number of photos to take for groups of less than 20: divide the number of people by three if there's good light and two if the light's bad.
Having just come back from the photography studio for our family holiday "photo shoot" I can attest that for our group (4 people) these probability calculations hold up.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Friday, November 03, 2006
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
What is interesting about this video is the fact that at first, the funnel at the ground is almost invisible, because has just started to pick up debris (the road's gravel and some soil).
I wonder why or what conditions could have spawned the cyclonic action without pulling down the clouds type water vapor we often see in these.
Courtsey of jimreedphoto.com
Friday, October 06, 2006
People who wander around aimlessly and always seem to get in your way in stores and supermarkets, chatting on their cell phones and paying no attention to their surroundings.
I would have been here ten minutes earlier if I hadn't been stuck behind that meanderthal.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Remember this from college topology?
Link to a firm that will sell you one.
Interesting instructions are included for filling and drying out the bottles, which include drying in a medium oven, microwaving, rinsing with alcohol (since it evaporates faster), using an aquarium pump and hose, and my personal favorite: expose the water, but not the glass, to a beam of pure antimatter.
Reproduced here is the frightening instructions to clean inside, or is that outside?
I suggest swishing around a small amount of Windex or alcohol. Use Vodka for a Klein Stein. For tough marks on the "inside" (which, of course, is the same as the "outside"), use a pair of small flat rare-earth magnets, each wrapped with soft velcro or cotton, and wet with Windex.
Keeping one magnet on the "outside" (which, of course is the same as the "inside") and one on the "inside" (which, of course is the same as the "outside"), you can scrub both sides of the glass at once. Since both sides are really the same side, so you're really scrubbing two sections of the same side -- a nice labor-saving method that also works on Moebius Loop Conveyor Belts.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Neighbors scoop up fun and friendships - Concord woman's essays wins her a neighborhood ice cream party from Dreyer's
Julia was pictured in the print version of this article today.
The reporter for the CT was Kellie Applen ( firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
This is largely your federal income tax (since SSI and Medicare, etc., are coming from other tax sources) behind this spending.
In this interactive form, the data is much easier to grasp than in those boring tables.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Draft 1 of which, is available here
I'll post updated drafts at the above link as I get this corrected.
***Update*** - related to the topic, Mike Yamamoto at CNET posted a link to the Cassini mission photographs showing a picture of the Earth taken from the Saturn neighborhood.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Saturday, July 22, 2006
We are having record heat out here and the only thing that is keeping the brown-outs and power outages from being a problem are the long term power contracts that Governor Davis signed and took so much "heat" over that he lost the election to Arnold.
Friday, July 21, 2006
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Internet Weaponry Episode #47
Leo and I trace the history and rapid growth of Internet Denial of Service (DoS) attack techniques, tools, and motivations over the past eight years. We discuss many different types of attacks while focusing upon the distributed bandwidth flooding attacks that are the most destructive and difficult to block.
From this website
http://media.grc.com/sn/SN-047.mp3 - a 30mb audio file you can play on your computer
http://media.grc.com/sn/SN-047-lq.mp3 a smaller audio file (8 mb) a little less quality
http://www.grc.com/sn/SN-047.htm the written transcript of the audio, in case you'd rather read than listen
Friday, June 16, 2006
maybe not what you would think, right out of a science fiction movie, but this may be useful.
This Fukuda’s Automatic Door , opening to fit the person or object's shape coming through.
Its motion-detecting portal saves energy by keeping a door from having to open and close all the way, which helps to maintain a stable temperature in a room, and can prevent dirt or other materials from entering.
check out this video of the prototype (Real Audio Video stream)
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Their announcement of the winners of this year's annual Fierce 15, a list of the hottest, "fiercest" companies in the WiFi world for 2006.
4 of the 15 are in Israel, 5 are in Europe, only 4 are in the U.S.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Question from the 250 lb guy in line, in front of me, talking to the woman beside him:
Five pounds? Isn't that a lot for a notebook?I'm thinking:
If you're incapable of carrying around a 5 lb object, perhaps you should consider moving to a planet with lower gravity.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Todd Underwood, who works for Renesys, writes about his experience of monitoring his Germany/US flight via the wifi connection onboard that very flight. It's kind of geeky, but an interesting read.
What I found rather freaky was this comment a little later after Todd's post, where someone supposedly used the IP address for the plane and... well you can read for yourself...
"Oh this is so cool. I just tried to telnet to 220.127.116.11 and I get a prompt like this:
RR Port Engine 2 - NCC Rev 2.4
* FAA Warning: Plane must be grounded, electronic devices switched off and seatbacks upright before this option is used.
Anybody knows what this is?
Posted by: lostgweilo April 28, 2006 10:35 PM "
Someone crank up the security a bit, please...
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Monday, May 08, 2006
The travel I requested was supposed to be SFO-JMS (probably connecting in Minneapolis). JMS is a small regional airport in North Dakota. Well, the counter "offer" was not for more money, but for SFO-DFW. I don't think Dallas is in North Dakota.
I pointed this out in two separate emails to Priceline's customer support staff. These two separate people, Pooja B. and Neeraj S. The response is both cases was identical:
"Thank you for taking the time to send us an e-mail. We understand that the counter offer we provided was for a trip to Fort Worth, Dallas, whereas you would like to travel to Jamestown, North Dakota.
As explained earlier, if you do not want to accept the offer we provided, simply disregard it and do nothing..."
Ignoring the fact that Dallas is not a state, perhaps we really have a much more basic failure here, a
failure to communicate
I think I will take them up on the offer and "do nothing" - at least with them.
Friday, May 05, 2006
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Friday, April 14, 2006
$200, in third world countries (usually due to malnutrition)
$75,000, in advanced nations (cancer screening)
$120,000, in USA (highway safety agencies, better highway dividers, easier on-ramps, etc.)
$1,000,000, in USA (to avoid one case of deadly lung disease by having better air pollution controls)
$5,000,000, in USA (to eliminate natural radioactivity in drinking water, which is why we don't do it)
$2,500,000,000, in USA (for nuclear plant safety)
For about 600 times the cancer screening rate, or $50,000,000 per year, killer asteroids could be identified and eliminated from threatening the earth.
Gregory Benford, F&SF, March, 1995
Does anyone have updated figures for the mid-2000’s???
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Station: San Jose (Station No 1), CA
Theodore J. Chu, M.D.
Head(s): Theodore J. Chu, M.D.
Date of Pollen and Mold Count:
Pollen & Mold Count
Trees: 365 - High
Weeds: 0 - Absent
Grass: 0 - Absent
2719 - Low Severity
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
This will never happen again.
This leads me to believe that not everyone in this world is "too busy", or, perhaps they were paid to be this observant.
Friday, March 24, 2006
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Saturday, March 11, 2006
I've been introduced to this website (and it's RSS feed) through the Skepticality podcast. I heartily recommend you include the feed in your reader or put the website in your "favorites".
Friday, March 10, 2006
The wind blows softly
Through the leaves of autumn. Wait,
That's just the mainframe
Which of the two is preferred?
Either way, convert
IOB and TCB
Control blocks are fun
But not too much, or it will
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Later, a grey stray cat scared him away, but when Julia and I were delivering Girl Scout cookies, we talked about him with the neighbors, and it turns out he's been visiting 2 of them as well.
One neighbor had put out some corn for him, but nothing was eaten.
Have I mentioned, that we also have had bees in a tree?
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Careful!, there is a new way for these crooks to charge your credit card, and the beauty of this sceme is that you help them!
Read above at the reference link
Friday, February 17, 2006
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Friday, February 03, 2006
Friday, January 20, 2006
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
short answer -- safe, but it is easy to circumvent, so it's only a deterrent for elss sophisticated users.
Monday, January 16, 2006
She doesn't know which one to get so she just grabs one and goes over to the counter.
A Wal-Mart associate is standing there wearing dark shades. She says, "Excuse me, sir. Can you tell me anything about this rod and reel?"
He says ,"Ma'am, I'm completely blind; but if you'll drop it on the counter, I can tell you everything you need to know about it from the sound it makes."
She doesn't believe him but drops it on the counter anyway.
He says, "That's a six-foot Shakespeare graphite rod with a Zebco 404 reel and 10-LB.Test line. It's a good all around combination; and it's on sale this week for only $20.00."
She says, "It's amazing that you can tell all that just by the sound of it dropping on the counter. I'll take it!" As she opens her purse, her credit card drops on the floor.
"Oh, that sounds like a Visa card," he says.
She bends down to pick it up and accidentally breaks wind. At first she is really embarrassed, but then realizes there is no way the blind clerk could tell it was she who farted. Being blind, he wouldn't know that she was the only person around.
The man rings up the sale and says, "That'll be $34.50 please."
The woman is totally confused by this and asks, "Didn't you tell me it was on sale for $20.00? How did you get $34.50?"
He replies, "Yes, Ma'am. The rod and reel is $20.00, but the Duck Call is $11.00 and the Catfish Bait is $3.50.
Friday, January 06, 2006
Thursday, January 05, 2006
For a Just-So Picture, Today's Knob Twisters Call It Calibration - New York Times
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
wamu.org : Programs : The Kojo Nnamdi Show : The Computer Guys: "The most recent Internet Report published by The Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California's (USC) Annenberg School reveals that more than 50% of home wireless users have used it from the bathroom.
Have you ever used a wireless notebook computer in a bathroom?"
32% Yes. After all, magazine, sports section, laptop computer...what's the difference?
1% Yes, but only in the bathtub, never while...well...you know.
18% I'd never admit it, just like I'll never admit that I've used my cellphone in the bathroom.
49% No -- I've never done it, and I don't even want to talk about it.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
The Sanborn Sentinel - Dec 1, 2005
When I walk to the post office from my place I usually have to stop and rest at the locker plant where they have benches to sit on.
The other day as I was sitting there I started reminiscing about how Main Street looked many years ago.
Across the street on the corner of the block stood a house belonging to Harry Brazle. Next to the north was Ada Otto's house. Then north of her house was a long narrow building that Minnie Haak lived in. Her husband had a shoe repair business in front. Next was a service station with gas pumps and later turned out to be a produce that Herb Zimmerman ran. Later Armin Robinson ran it. Then came the post office with the south half of the building being a barber shop run by E. J. Kilpatrick. Then came the City Cafe on the corner.
Across the street on the corner was a gas station run by Harry Brazle. Then came a pool hall that Moe Stock ran and later Mike Becker. Next was Bert Peake's grocery store. Then came Yaeger Pharmacy. John Yaeger worked for Erwin Yaeger and Erwin had a soda fountain in front, and we boys would make different ice cream dishes. Then came the Dietz Fairway Store grocery and dry goods. Then came John Hageman's harness shop, a place for farmers to come in and shoot the bull. Then came Posz Hardware, a place for lots of loafers to hang out. Then the garage run by Eddie Graff. Then the Becker-Shonka Meat Market. You could go in and get four wieners for a nickel when you went to the river for a cookout. Either the wieners were cheap or they had a soft spot in their heart for us kids.
Then Streich Hardware and Implement in two buildings. Across the alley was Duley Implement with their house to the north. Next to the railroad track was the stockyard where fanners could bring in live-stock for shipping by rail.
Across the tracks was a gas station run by Ray Kansanback.
On the west side of the street south of the railroad tracks was the Farmers Elevator. South of the elevator was Lampert Lumber Yard. Across the street to the south was the Dine-a-Mite Cafe. Then came Hornick Hardware. A small building for a grocery store and later the Arnold Code Barbershop. Then the Farmers Bank. Later after it closed, Floyd Simpson turned it into a liquor store. Across the alley was Ted Hensch's grocery store, which in the 1930's burned down. He built the present building with the fire insurance; John Leopold used the building as a bakery. That went up in smoke also.
Then came the Sanborn State Bank. With a liquor store on the corner and Eat-a-Bite across the street to the south was a big Buick building. The Nu Way Grocery run by Bob Hageman in the south half of the building was the Sanborn Sentinel and a barber shop run by Dubby Yackel. Then a garage run by Pete Pint. Next a blacksmith shop and then a house owned by Charley Gumto who had a shoe repair shop and gas pumps in front. Then the Steinberg Creamery and finally the opera house where the school had plays and graduation. The Legion put on plays. There were dances and Bob Hageman had silent movies. There were meeting rooms upstairs used by the Legion and Masons. Later Pete Bassett bought it and made a locker plant out of it.
When I come down Saturday morning and see so few cars on Main Street, it makes me sick. Saturday was our busy day.
Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly.