09

2005-09 posts.

  1. 2005-09-01t19:00:24Z. RE: Comics. Conservation. Cyber Tech. Faith; Philosophy;. Geography; History;. Martial. News. Relations [SFW]. Show Biz.
  2. 2005-09-14t16:39:46Z. RE: Comics. Cyber Tech. Engineering; Tech;. Faith; Philosophy;. Health. Life. Math; Science;. Measurements. Money. News. Obituaries. Play. Relations [SFW]. Show Biz. Words.
  3. 2005-09-25t14:34:36Z. RE: Conservation. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Engineering; Tech;. Faith; Philosophy;. Food. Geography; History;. Health. Local. Made. Martial. Play. Quirky [Possibly NSFW]. Rambling. Relations [SFW]. Relations [NSFW]. Show Biz. Words.
  4. 2005-09-27t22:04:06Z. RE: Conservation. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Flow. Health. Make. Martial. Math; Science;. Measurements. Money. Play. Relations [SFW]. Relations [NSFW].

2005-09-01t19:00:24Z | RE: Comics. Conservation. Cyber Tech. Faith; Philosophy;. Geography; History;. Martial. News. Relations [SFW]. Show Biz.
2005-09-01t19:00:24Z

Comics

Conservation

  • Chicago not for elephants, scientist tells aldermen [ChicagoTribune.com/....]
    • Some animals clearly don't belong in captivity, but this sort of topic should lead you to think about what other animals don't belong in captivity and that perhaps greater effort and money should be put into wild life reserves.
    • 'A top research scientist at a national park in Kenya told City Council committee members Thursday that Chicago could never provide elephants the kind of habitat they need to be healthy and happy. "In captivity, elephants become dysfunctional," said Joyce Poole, research director for the Amboseli Elephant Research Project. "In the wild, there are no foot or weight problems, there is no swaying back and forth, and there is no problem conceiving." Elephants stay healthy in the wild because they can travel 5 to 10 miles a day, can socialize with large groups of family members, can keep their feet clean and can stand on softer ground, she said.'
      • Happy feet is very important. Imagine being overweight and having dirty bare feet while standing in on concrete all day and night. Surely the many overweight Americans must empathize with this.
    • 'After studying 2,000 wild Kenyan elephants for 34 years, Poole said wild elephants do not get foot diseases. Lincoln Park Zoo elephant Tatima, however, had a foot infection when she died.'
    • 'Elephants in zoos also stand on hard concrete or rubber floors. "They defecate a lot," Poole said. "Seventeen times a day. Normal dirt floors can't be cleaned properly." Wild elephants also move all but a few hours a day, which prevents arthritis and weight-related infertility problems, Poole said. Captive animals weigh 31 to 71 percent more than wild elephants, she added.'
    • 'Poole has seen two cases of infertility in more than 500 wild animals. And female elephants learn from age 2 how to take care of babies. "In zoos, females don't know what to do," Poole said. "That is the reason we have no maternal rejection or infanticide in the wild." '
  • Apes 'extinct in a generation' [News.BBC.co.uk/....]
    • We've been cutting down on biodiversity for centuries. I wonder when we'll stop?
    • 'Some of the great apes - chimps, gorillas, and orangutans - could be extinct in the wild within a human generation, a new assessment concludes.'

Cyber Tech

  • Holographic Memory
    • These products always seem like they're coming out 1-5 years.
    • 'At the headquarters of InPhase Technologies, where the conference rooms are named after ski resorts, chief executive Nelson Diaz holds up a clear plastic disc, about the size of a DVD but thicker, and pops it into a disc drive. A laptop connected to the drive downloads streaming video of an old episode of Seinfeld as the drive writes it to the disc. Click here to find out more! But this is no ordinary recording process. The disc has more than 60 times the storage capacity of a standard DVD, while the drive writes about 10 times faster than a conventional DVD burner. That means the disc can store up to 128 hours of video content--almost twice enough for the full nine seasons of Seinfeld--and records it all in less than three hours. '
    • 'In holographic storage, a "data beam" holding information is crossed with a "reference beam" to produce an interference pattern that's recorded in a light-sensitive material. To retrieve data from a particular spot, a reference beam is shone onto it, and the combination of the reference beam and the patterned material reconstructs the original data beam, which is read by a digital-camera detector that translates the beam into a series of electrical signals. The recording material is typically either an inorganic crystal or a polymer.'
    • 'By 2007, InPhase plans to release a consumer electronics product, a chip that could hold up to five gigabytes--enough to store a movie or video game. The chip could compete with flash memory and give handheld devices the ability to quickly download and play back high-resolution content on the fly.'

Faith; Philosophy;

  • Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New 'Intelligent Falling' Theory
    • The title alone is worth a laugh. Obviously a play on Evolution v ID (Intelligent Design).
    • 'The ECFR, in conjunction with the Christian Coalition and other Christian conservative action groups, is calling for public-school curriculums to give equal time to the Intelligent Falling theory. They insist they are not asking that the theory of gravity be banned from schools, but only that students be offered both sides of the issue "so they can make an informed decision." "We just want the best possible education for Kansas' kids," Burdett said. '
  • GodTest.com
    • One of the most pathetic sites ever. Apparently people who don't hold this person's view are likely to be suicidal.
  • Blended families [Belief.net/...]
    • For me the baptism is a gift to my Mom. She had 8 kids and struggled to bring us up through Catholic schools. She is quite content as a Catholic and the community that she is a part of. It makes her happy to see her grandkids baptized, and that's why I do it.
    • As far as my personal religious beliefs, here is what I currently have in my About section:
      • I am an agnostic --not an atheist.
      • I am rationalistic and secular --not cynical or anti-religious.
      • I acknowledge emergent experiences, complex experiences, and unexplained experiences that may truthfully feel spiritual. I believe that individuals and groups are at different stages in their own personal spiritual and emotional journeys, so I am generally tolerant and respectful of where people are. I believe that we can benefit from exploring and comparing different religions --and that it is part of our rich human heritage to do so.
      • I believe that there are cultural, and social and/or emotional benefits to committing to a non-secular religious system, but I also believe that humanity is very young and that we will have many faiths for a long time yet, thus it would be beneficial for people of different faiths to participate in a broader secular system. I believe that government should be neutral on religion and that religious convictions must be translated into secular and ethical terms when becoming policy.
      • I was was born and raised a Catholic Christian, but I am only a nominal Catholic Christian. I believe that there are many who participate in their faith more for cultural, social, and/or emotional reasons than for literal mystical reasons.
    • I am not giving away or promising away my children. I am merely making my mom happy.
    • As far as I am concerned, there is nothing legally binding in the ceremony. Since I am only nominally Catholic, I do not feel dogmatically or magically bound. As far as my Catholic relatives and friends, I will always be there for them socially, personally, psychologically, spiritually, etc. but not within the literal definitions of the Catholic system. For me the ceremony is metaphorical, more of a general promise to raise my daughter well physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is to that general promise that I bind myself and give my word, my oath.

     

Geography; History;

Martial

News

  • New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina.
    • It's not often that you see the evacuation of a city as large as New Orleans. 80% of the city is underwater. Lives lost, injuries, flooding, disease, lost homes and possessions, lost business, rippling economic impact, fewer resources linked to the Iraq War, etc.
    • Governor: Everyone Must Leave New Orleans [ChicagoTribune.com/....]
      • 'The governor of Louisiana says everyone needs to leave New Orleans due to flooding from Hurricane Katrina. "We've sent buses in. We will be either loading them by boat, helicopter, anything that is necessary," Gov. Kathleen Blanco said. Army engineers trying to plug New Orleans' breached levees struggled to move giant sandbags and concrete barriers into place, and the governor said Wednesday the situation was growing more desperate and there was no choice but to abandon the flooded city. '
    • New Orleans is Sinking [PopularMechanics.com/.... 2001-09-11]
      • Yep, they've known about the New Orleans risk for years.
      • 'Think of the city as a chin jutting out, waiting for a one-two punch from Mother Nature. The first blow comes from the sky. Hurricanes plying the Gulf of Mexico push massive domes of water (storm surges) ahead of their swirling winds. After the surges hit, the second blow strikes from below. The same swampy delta ground that necessitates above-ground burials leaves water from the storm surge with no place to go but up. The fact that New Orleans has not already sunk is a matter of luck. If slightly different paths had been followed by Hurricanes Camille, which struck in August 1969, Andrew in August 1992 or George in September 1998, today we might need scuba gear to tour the French Quarter.'
    • Drowning New Orleans [SciAm.com/.... 2001-10]
      • Yep, they've known about the New Orleans risk for years. They even had computer models.
    • White House to Release Oil From Reserves [ChicagoTribune.com/....]
      • 'The Bush administration will release oil from federal petroleum reserves to help refiners affected by Hurricane Katrina, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said Wednesday. The move, which was expected later in the day, is designed to give refineries a temporary supply of crude oil to take the place of interrupted shipments from tankers or offshore oil platforms affected by the storm. '
    • Superdome: Haven Quickly Becomes an Ordeal [NYTimes.com/....]

Relations [SFW]

  • Love [W]
    • Nice article on Wikipedia. Here is my one-minute summary of it:
      • Five Ancient Greek loves. C.S. Lewis also included need love & gift love:
        • storge. Natural, familial, affectionate love.
        • philia. Friendly, brotherly, dispassionate love.
        • eros. Sexual, physical, romantic love.
        • agape. Pure, selfless, target-less, love.
        • xenia. Hospitality.
      • Dharmic love:
        • erm/prema/advesa/maitri. Elevated, benevolent love.
        • karuma. Compassionate, merciful love.
        • kama. Pleasurable, sexual love.
      • CJK love:
        • ai. Reciprocated love. Confucian v Mozi?
        • lian. Unreciprocated love.
      • Object
        • interpersonal: people, pets.
        • impersonal: country, ideas, goals, money.
      • Robert Sternberg's Triangular Theory of Love. Intimacy, passion, and commitment form 7 possible combinations of love:
        • Liking or friendship: intimacy
        • Infatuation or limerence: passion
        • Empty love: commitment
        • Romantic love: intimacy passion
        • Companionate love: intimacy commitment
        • Fatuous love: passion commitment
        • Consummate love: intimacy passion commitment
      • Fisher's phases: lust, attraction, attachment
      • Psychology: companionate & passionate.

Show Biz

  • Æeon Flux. 2005-12-02 release. Based on the MTV animated series. "Freedom is in the eye of the beholder". Assassins, futuristic SciFi, Charlize Theron as a hot chick again, ... what more could you ask for? IMDB. Official [AeonFlux.com]. The MTV animated series on DVD [Amazon.com/...]. Trailer [Apple.com/...]. W.
  • The Brothers Grimm. 2005-08-25 release. Cool looking movie loosely based upon the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. IMDB. Official [iramax.com/TheBrothersGrimm]. Trailer [Miramax.com/...]. W.
  • Japanese Beatles [ChicagoTribune.com/...]
    • OMFG! I had no idea that the Japanese music group Puffy (aka Puffy AmiYumi in the U.S.) did the theme music for the Teen Titan show on Cartoon Network! I mean obviously the theme song had such a cool strong Japanese accent and the show had strong anime influences. And obviously the Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi show was based upon Puffy because Ami Onuki (aka "Jane") and Yumi Yoshimura (aka "Sue") do some live action appearances as hosts for the cartoon show on Cartoon Network. But to discover this cross over is just obvious that it's surprising.
    • 'Timothy J. Craig, author of "Japan Pop!: Inside the World of Japanese Popular Culture," says Puffy's multifaceted, deceptively smart sound is vintage J-pop. "The genre displays a huge amount of variety, it's vibrant, it's very high quality," Craig says. "But what I find is the biggest contrast with U.S. music is a total lack of cynicism. J-pop is about having fun." While the music is heavily melodic and produced with a Britney-worthy sheen, it is far from the average disposable teen bubblegum. The songs are wonderfully schizophrenic--leaping from Ramones punk to surf to ska to '70s disco. With 12 albums (including remixes and best-of collections) and more than 14 million records sold, Puffy AmiYumi is a bonafide phenomenon. In Japan, they've spawned action figures, a line of shoes, and, from 1998 to 2002, starred in "Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Puffy," their own television variety show. Known in Japan simply as "Puffy," the two added their first names for their American audience to avoid confusion with that other Puffy--Sean Combs.
      • Avoiding or getting rid of cynicism is important when the product you're selling is heart. Heart and money don't have to conflict but sometimes they do. Other fields have similar conflict/no conflict issues: politics & heart, science & heart, etc.
    • 'A Puffy AmiYumi concert is a sea of twentysomethings moshing in the pit and thirty and fortysomething parents accompanying their preteen and teenage kids. It's a generational free-for-all. That's what happens when you make smart pop music for adults and you have a cartoon that targets 6-to-11 year-olds.'
    • Related:
  • Instinct
    • The other night I stumbled upon the movie Instinct  while surfing on the TV. The draw was the two lead actors, Anthony Hopkins and Cuba Gooding Jr.. It's an interesting movie and there is hope, but overall it's not a cheery movie.
    • The New Tribalism idea is interesting.
      • While I'm saying we should have a New Tribal Revolution, a softer view is probably entirely appropriate. Humans are social animals and we naturally form groups. We have couples, families, teams, clubs, clans, cities, companies, states, corporations, countries, etc. The thing is that we evolved in small tribes and small tribes are what we feel psychologically comfortable dealing with. Our core, our base consists of small groups.
      • Obviously entities such as individuals, groups and larger groups need to form inter-entity rules. The issue has to do with fairness and freedom again. An entity edging another through asymmetry (economic, social, moral, physical, military, sex, etc.) is natural but if done wrong it becomes unfair and is often not sustainable.
    • Movie bibliography: Instinct. Directed by Jon Turteltaub. Screenplay by Gerald Di Pego. 1999. Anthony Hopkins as Ethan Powell. Cuba Gooding Jr. as Theo Caulder. Based upon ideas in the novel Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.
    • IMDB. Amazon.com.
    • W

2005-09-14t16:39:46Z | RE: Comics. Cyber Tech. Engineering; Tech;. Faith; Philosophy;. Health. Life. Math; Science;. Measurements. Money. News. Obituaries. Play. Relations [SFW]. Show Biz. Words.
2005-09-14t16:39:46Z

Comics

Cyber Tech

Engineering; Tech

Faith; Philosophy;

  • Science vs. Norse Mythology [ThePainComics.com/...; comic]. Absolutely brilliant! I was literally laughing out loud.
    [COMIC: Debate between an evolutionists and a Viking]
  • A historian disgraces himself [Pharyngula.com/...]
    • Oops. Another evolution v Intelligent Design article.
    • 'I'm hoping it is merely the most incredibly deadpan English humor, because I've just read an appallingly stupid article on evolution there. It's written by a professor of modern history at the University of Wales-Aberystwyth, one William D. Rubinstein. Despite the credentials, though, the idiocy starts with the title, and it just gets worse and worse. Look upon this title, and cringe with me: The Theory of Evolution: Just a Theory?''
  • Evolution v Intelligent Design rant
    • If you review my posts, I am obviously pro-evolution. However, I want to point out that there are "fundamentalists" on the science/empirical side as well as the religious/mystical side. Some people on the pro-evolution side are also over-zealous. Similarly, some atheists/agnostics are not merely trying to be objective but are actually anti-subjective which in the end is not very pragmatic. (BTW: Confucius is great because he's clearly a pragmatist.)
    • I believe in a clear separation from the Physical and the Meta-Physical. Scientists, evolutionists, physicists, philosophers, engineers, etc. can use their evidence, testing, validation, etc. to do their stuff. Mystics, spiritualists, artists, etc. can use their feelings, intuition, instinct, meditating, etc. to do their stuff. Surprisingly people can do both!
    • The debate is not really over whether Evolution or Intelligent Design is more satisfying, but whether public government funding is used to teach it. Evolution is secular and Intelligent Design is not, therefore only Evolution can be taught in public schools. If Intelligent Design is to be taught in public schools, then the other mystical and mythological theories of the origin of Man should be taught as well.

Health

  • Family prays for child needing surgery [BeloitDailyNews.com/....]
    • My wife was one of many people who treated Evelyn when she was at Children's Memorial Hospital. I am proud and humbled that we can assist fellow human beings in need. I am sure Evelyn's family is taking donations. You can see that Evelyn is a cute and happy child in spite of her condition.
    • 'Humberto and Gisela Dorantes of Darien are praying their niece, baby Evelyn Zagal, will finally get the surgery she needs. Although the 2-year-old has undergone four operations, no doctor has been able to successfully remove the lymphatic malformation on her neck.'
    • [PHOTO: Evelyn Zagal, happy inspite of her lymphatic malformation]

Life

  • Afterculture [Art.Afterculture.org] [Metafilter.com/....]
    • If you can get over the hippie jokes, this site has some interesting stuff. Certainly we with the current price of gas, thoughts of life after oil is floating around.
    • 'The DISCOVERING THE NORTH AMERICAN AFTERCULTURE is a glimpse of a future being shaped, and even lived, right now.
      It imagines the culture that might emerge if we fully embraced a completly sustainable, sacred world-outlook. A diorama, crafted artifacts, paintings and photomurals show a NEW NATIVE AMERICAN people whose life-patterns are healing to a damaged land. They look like us: a mixture of races and backgrounds, and there are hints that much of the knowledge gathered in our time remains alive in oral tradition. But they are also profoundly unlike us. They know themselves as part of the web of life. Seeing the natural world as an expression of the sacred, they have simplified their lives the better to move in balance with it. This is a glimpse of "a future that works:" sustainable, simple, sacred--and anthropologically defensible. But it's not the only possible way we could live: the Afterculture signals a return to the rich "cultural biodiversity" that has characterized the human species for most of its sojourn here, and the viewer is challenged to imagine other versions, other tribes. '
    • Their Timeline is fun. A logarithmic scale would have been more compact but not as dramatic.
    • Too bad the site is technically poorly executed.

Math; Science;

Measurements

Money

News

  • 'Yes, it's another Katrina post - sorry, but... this is a great photo essay from with New Orleans before, during and after Katrina. Besides some really interesting photography, it goes some way to showing just why people didn't leave before, or immediately after the hurricane - the sense of normality is astounding, given what we know now... '
    • One of the best photo essays on the Katrina event. Alvaro covers five days, before, during, and after the hurricane with around 200 photos with captions. It almost gives you a feel as if you were there.
    • 'I stood behind a cop car with another cameraman from the Times-Picayune documenting what was happening as the police just watched. Once again, their mentality was that the looting was inevitable, they just wanted to make sure that nobody got hurt.'
      [PHOTO: Looting in New Orleans as the levee water comes in]

Obituaries

  • Bob Denver (1935-01-09/2005-09-06)
    • Alas! Dear Gilligan has passed away. Thank you for being an American icon. I will always associate Gilligan's Island with hours wonderfully wasted away as a youth.
    • [PHOTO: The complete cast of Gilligan's Island]
    • Opening theme song for Gilligan's  Island: Hear it at http://home.mn.rr.com/classictv/Gilligan'sThemeSong.html [song only plays on MSIE].
      • "Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
        a tale of a fateful trip.
        That started from this tropic port,
        aboard this tiny ship.
        The mate was a mighty sailin' man,
        the skipper brave and sure.
        Five passengers set sail that day,
        for a three hour tour, a three hour tour………
        The weather started getting rough,
        the tiny ship was tossed.
        If not for the courage of the fearless crew,
        the Minnow would be lost; the Minnow would be lost.
        The ship took ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle,
        with Gilligan, the Skipper too,
        the Millionaire, and his Wife,
        the Movie Star, the Professor and Mary Ann,
        here on Gilligan's Isle."
    • Closing theme song:
      • "So this is the tale of our castaways,
        they're here for a long, long time.
        They'll have to make the best of things,
        it's an uphill climb.
        The first mate and his skipper too,
        will do their very best,
        to make the others comfortable,
        in the tropic island nest.
        No phones, no lights, no motor cars,
        not a single luxury.
        Like Robinson Crusoe,
        it's primitive as can be.
        So join us here each week my friend,
        you're sure to get a smile.
        From seven stranded Castaways,
        Here on Gilligan's Isle."
    • Related:

Play

  • Fishing 2005
    • Last month on 2005-08-28 Saturday, I took the wife and kids out fishing with my brother Neil and his son Trevin. It was a fun time that was pretty big for several reasons:
      • We were anticipating all summer.
      • It was the last fishing opportunity of the summer.
      • I haven't gone fishing in years.
      • I knew that it would be a first for my kids but surprisingly it was a first for my wife.
      • I haven't fished at Skokie Lagoons since my youth. I have fond memories of my dad taking the kids fishing there. My most memorable moment was when I fell in water. I was trashing around in the muddy bottom, worried about Alligator Snapping Turtles (macroclemys temmincki, [WhoZoo.org/....]). I finally pulled myself out by grabbing the roots of a tree and luckily we had towels in the car.
    • The trip up there from our house was quicker than I had anticipated. The weather was beautiful --neither too hot or too cold. We had pre-arranged to meet at Lagoon #1, so we parked there and called Neil and he was able to wave at us from the bridge. It was great to be greeted by a field of wild flowers and grass brimming with Monarch butterflies. After we hooked up with Neil and Trevin, we moved to the spot that our dad used to take us to: The northside of Lagoon #3, by Tower Road.
    • The rest of the day was spent was lackadaisical. We brought in our gear. We dug up six worms --one for each fisher. We set up our rods and reels with snap-swivel, leadered hook, bobber, and sinker. The kids were too squeamish to hook their own worms so I did that but Julia managed to do hers herself. York did a lot of practice casting and was getting pretty good at it. We forgot our hotdogs so we had to dine on chips, brownies, and watermelon. There was a lot of running around the woods and climbing logs. I even spotted a toad --he and tried to hide but we peeled the grass back to look at him, but eventually we left him alone so we wouldn't scare him anymore.
    • We had a few near catches but by the end of the day Connie was the only one lucky enough to catch anything. She caught a pretty 15 cm = 6 inch bluegill. Connie was very proud (and so were her parents), but York was very jealous (especially since he had practiced so much). It only takes one fish to make a fishing trip real and we had a great day.
      [PHOTO: Connie's first fish]
    • Later at home, the wife and kids watched me scale, gut, and salt the fish. Then we fried her up and we all got a little nibble of the fish with our meal.
  • The 2004 Superball Incident [Math.Purdue.edu/~CLomont/...; movie]. What would you do with 2000 superballs?

Relations [SFW]

  • Nerds Make Better Lovers [Slashdot.org/...]
    • Well of course! A perfect topic for /..
    • 'The New York Daily News, fine bastion of reporting that it is, released an article today discussing the rise of nerd popularity among women in general, and famous women in particular. Detail is given into the dating exploits of Christina Aguilera and Elin Nordegren (nerdy Tiger Woods' supermodel squeeze), among a bunch of regular Janes. Apparently being a nerd is now in? '

Show Biz

Words

2005-09-25t14:34:36Z | RE: Conservation. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Engineering; Tech;. Faith; Philosophy;. Food. Geography; History;. Health. Local. Made. Martial. Play. Quirky [Possibly NSFW]. Rambling. Relations [SFW]. Relations [NSFW]. Show Biz. Words.
2005-09-25t14:34:36Z

Conservation

  • The Get-Ready Men [TechnologyReview.com/....]
    • On one hand I've become rather pessimistic and I think that things will have to get morbidly bad before people get serious. On the other hand, we conservationists always hope that conservation ideas become popular, so it's fun to see some alarmists books. On the third hand I think it's helpful to have a constant beating of the conservation message by ordinary people as well as organization. National Geographic and science aimed at kids focuses does this sort of drum beat all the time.
    • ' Our particular problem, Kunstler and his colleagues continually remind us, is that we have built a world based on the ready availability of cheap energy. The apocalyptic catch, though, in their view, is that oil was a "one-shot deal," and there will never be another power source as easy to extract, as portable, and as powerful. When the oil dries up, writes Kunstler, "all bets are off against civilization's future." '
  • Urban Agriculture Notes by City Farmer [CityFarmer.org]. Good earth stuff for us city folk.
  • Freegan.info
    • As a matter of taste, I can't do this but it seems like it has some points.
    • '"Freegan" is an amalgamation of the words "free" and "vegan". Vegans are people who avoid products from animal sources or products tested on animals in an effort to avoid harming animals. Freegans take this a step further by recognizing that in a complex, industrial mass-production society economy driven by profit, abuses of humans, animals, and the Earth abound at all levels of production from acquisition to raw materials to production to transportation.'
    • 'Freegans are people who employ alternative strategies for living, based on non-participation in the conventional economy, minimal consumption of resources, and embracing community, generosity, social concern, cooperation, and sharing in a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, and greed.'

Cyber Life

  • Legal Torrents.com [LegalTorrents.com]
    • Free stuff on the Internet? No way!
    • 'a collection of Creative Commons-licensed, legally downloadable, freely distributable creator-approved files, from electronic/indie music to movies and books, which we have made available via BitTorrent'
  • Social software
    • I've been avoiding this term because I associate it with "social network services" such as Friendster.com. However according to Social software [W], the term applies to older and more familiar stuff such as IRC/IM, forums/newsgroups/messageboards, blogs, wikis, MMOGs, peer-to-peer, etc. The term "social software" is imprecise --the only precision that the term has is that it is not "collaborative software" because the latter is work instead of play. In another sense open source software is in between the two since open source is both work and play.
    • I've only recently stumbled upon "social software" of the "social bookmarking" format. In one sense "social bookmarking" has been done long before computers. It is simply categorizing and weighting things in public, but computers and the Internet is very good for many-to-many communication.
    • Here are few sites that fit the "social bookmarking" scheme.
      • del.icio.us
        • I signed up today. If people consistently used delicious, it can weight links to some degree, esp. with del.icio.us/popular/. My whole website is already a bookmark repository, but it isn't weighted. I supposed I could try doing both.
        • The "tags" feature seems to be sort of like the "Labels" feature of Gmail (which I love), except that it seems that you are encouraged to use many tags.
        • 'a social bookmarks manager. It allows you to easily add sites you like to your personal collection of links, to categorize those sites with keywords, and to share your collection not only between your own browsers and machines, but also with others.'
      • MyProgs.net. As del.icio.us is to bookmarks, MyProgs is to programs/apps. It even has popular.myprogs.net.
      • LibraryThing.com. . As del.icio.us is to bookmarks, LibraryThing is to books.

Cyber Tech

Engineering; Tech

Faith; Philosophy;

  • A new theory - Unintelligent Design [DavidGalbraith.org/archives/000912.html]
    • Ha ha ha!
    • 'I have a new theory - Unintelligent Design, which is the same as Intelligent Design, except that the creator is either a moron or Satan.'
    • 'For humans it would literally add insult to injury by suggesting that the genetically disabled had some association with evil. But it is demonstrably a better theory than Intelligent Design since it does not lay the blame in God's hands.'
  • Intelligent design -- theories, laws, and so forth [web.Morons.org/article.jsp?id=6441&sectionid=7]
    • 'Of course, it's worth remembering that "intelligent design" and creationism are not theories at all. In fact, they are not even hypotheses. Hypotheses must be able to be tested, and testing intelligent design is absolutely impossible -- whatever new discoveries are made, intelligent design advocates can just say "oh, yeah, the designer did that, too." '
  • Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster [Venganza.org]
    • Brilliant and funny! I love the responses from the Kansas School Board too.
    • 'It is for this reason that I'm writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories. In fact, I will go so far as to say, if you do not agree to do this, we will be forced to proceed with legal action. I'm sure you see where we are coming from. If the Intelligent Design theory is not based on faith, but instead another scientific theory, as is claimed, then you must also allow our theory to be taught, as it is also based on science, not on faith.'
      [ILLUSTRATION: What would the Flying Spaghetti Monster do?]

Food

Geography; History;

Health

  • What causes a "stitch" in your side during exercise? [Ask.Yahoo.com/....]
    • Such a cute and tidy info bite.
    • 'A side stitch is a piercing sensation just below the ribcage, usually felt when you're running. In the past, several different theories tried to explain the cause: trapped gas, swollen liver, stomach muscle cramps. However a recent and fairly conclusive theory holds that strain on the ligaments connecting the liver to the diaphragm is the cause. The liver "hangs" from the diaphragm by fibrous bands called ligaments. Running exerts a steady downward force on your liver, stretching these ligaments.'
    • In addition, when you exhale (usually as your left foot hits the ground), your diaphragm is pushed up. That means your liver falls with gravity as your diaphragm rises, placing considerable strain on those poor ligaments. The result? A stitch. The cure? Stop running immediately and press your hand just below the pain. This should raise your liver up, relieving the strain on the ligaments. Inhale and exhale evenly as you press down. As a preventive measure, take deep, full breaths while running. If you take shallow breaths, your diaphragm is consistently raised, which wreaks havoc on your ligaments. Exercise is great, but remember to be kind to the rubber bands keeping your organs in place.'
  • The other Vista
    • I submitted the following to Ask.Slashdot.org at 2005-09-22t18:44:02Z (13:44 CST):
      • 'The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) has a nationwide plan to "transition to electronic health records [EHR]--including common standards and interoperability"-Michael Levitt, Sec. of HHS. As part of this roughly 10 year plan, the HHS has formed AHIC, a public-private committee to oversee this transition. Almost simultaneously, the HHS has released VistA-Office, a public domain EHR. VistA is an EHR that has been used by the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs since the 1980s. VistA is also built upon M or MUMPS (either Caché by InterSystem or GT.M under GPL), a "post-relational", highly efficient but largely undocumented B-tree database system built specifically for hospitals in the 1960s. (Such a long release time makes the wait for Window Longhorn/Vista almost seem short.) I'm sure there will be fierce negotiations over the formation of national EHR standards, but what are the thoughts of the Slashdot community on that --especially the possibility of a MUMPS revival?'
      • 2005-09-22t19:10:19Z (14:10 CST): Rejected?!? Bwah-wah-wah!! Curse you Commander Taco!!!

Local

  • FuckCorporateGroceries.net
    • Way cool! Lots of creative options.
    • I stumbled upon it while looking up Chicago Food Corp. (3333 N. Kimball, Chicago, IL, 60618), a store I decided to check out that turns out to be a cool Korean store. I've been to all sorts of Asian stores before but never a Korean one. Korean stores have their own stuff but are like a cross between Chinese and Japanese stores.
    • 'so i decided to spend the next [while] not shopping at corporate grocery stores, living instead on food purchased at neighborhood places. i figure this way i'll save money, explore chicago's independent food sellers, eat better(?) or at least, more interesting food, and i won't be supporting the man. '
  • No miracle on State Street: Marshall Field's to change to Macy's [ChicagoTribune.com/....]
    • Alas. I blogged that this was happening but here it is. O well. In the future my kids will see Macy's but I'll see Marshal Field's.
    • 'Marshall Field & Co., a name long venerated in the history of Chicago retailing, will disappear in the fall of 2006, to be replaced by Macy's. All 62 Field's in Illinois and seven other states will be converted to Macy's, according to today's announcement by Federated Department Stores Inc., Field's new owner.'
    • Related: Marshall_Field's [W]

Made

  • LOGOWORKS.COM RIP-OFFS [BadDesignKills.com/LogoWorks]
    • That's pretty blatant design stealing. It smacks of laziness and audacity.
    • 'Since first addressing this issue I have personally been accused of lying and threatened with a lawsuit by Arteis the parent company of both LogoWorks.com and InstaLogo.com. Many other designers have found other clear rip-offs as well and have posted them on the HOW Design Forum. The below examples show the original logo and define its source and then the rip-off logo created by LogoWorks.com. We have done this for no other reason then to educate the public in regards to online hack-design service.'
  • How We Built the Quintessential Sentry Gun [cs-people.bu.edu/aaron/turret/turret.htm] [via BoingBoing.net/....]
    • Wicked fun! Programming, gaming, and real-life guns all coming together beautifully.
    • 'The idea of this project was to create a fully-automated sentry gun, capable of picking out a human target and accurately tracking and shooting him or her in the heart. Really, the idea was to find a cool robotics project for the summer while I was working at an advertising agency, and I'd only ever seen sentry guns in movies (like Congo) and video games (Half-Life 1, Half-Life 2, Team Fortress Classic). I couldn't find any record of anyone building one, even the military, although it seems likely I just didn't look hard enough. .... If you're here just to see my little brother get shot with it, scroll to the bottom. :)'
    • [PHOTO: A home made automated sentry BB gun]
  • Digital Photography Tutorials [CambridgeInColour.com/tutorials.htm]

Martial

  • Training Breadth and Cross. This was a post I did on a Chicago Swordplay Guild thread.
    • Every child knows to play with every toy and idea you stumble upon.
      Every non-child knows that there are limitations on time and energy, thus you should focus.
      Every fool knows about limitations, thus you should play with every toy and idea that you can while you still can.

      Beginners are usually impatient to get to "the good stuff" but the beginner's content is the best stuff, its the core. The way to your opponent is through his or her sword --you must deal with that sword first-- there is no other way.

      To do anything to a "great" depth takes focus. The thing is to focus more on doing/playing with increasing depth, and less on the magnitude of your depth because any worthy topic can occupy many lifetimes worth of study. Some people lose that perspective, get big headed, and lose their balance. That's why the good instructors and good peers are always showing you just how far you have to go. While you are with a school, it is in charge of your safety and instruction, and it must be able to control its curriculum. Hence the guild regulations. How deeply you get into a topic or how many topics you get into is therefore up to you but also subject to approval of the school. (What you do after school that does not pertain to school business is none of the schools business --unless they're a cult! Ha ha ha!)

      However, once you've played for a while, you want to play at a greater depth or play a different  game or toy. It is the instructor's job to provide the opportunity for depth and differences lest the play become work. (This is especially important in self-instruction lest the the person stagnate.) I've done martial arts for 19 years and I could've gone back for depth in familiar stuff, but there is also depth to be gained by playing different games. I joined the CSG not to be a master but rather to be a beginner. Right now I'm quite content with focusing on the the depths of the rapier for a few years (besides we seem to do more free play than the longsword class! Ha ha!). I'm sure I'll get to all sorts of fun stuff with the guild but in perspective my plate --in and out of the guild-- is already overloaded.

      There are many reasons to be healthy and many ways to be healthy, but if you aren't motivated to be healthy, if you don't have fun and enjoyment, then you won't do what it takes to be healthy. Over the years, no physical exercise has been as fascinating martial arts. The practice, the weapons, the techniques, the mechanics, the timing, the distance, the rituals, the culture, the people, the reading, the history, the violence, the character development, the variety, the gadgets, etc. Martial arts is so much more than chasing a ball.

       


Play

Politics

  • I Miss Republicans [KFMonkey.blogspot.com/2004/12/i-miss-republicans.html]
    • 'Remember Republicans? Sober men in suits, pipes, who'd nod thoughtfully over their latest tract on market-driven fiscal conservatism while grinding out the numbers on rocket science. Remember those serious-looking 1950's-1960's science guys in the movies -- Republican to a one.
      They were the grown-ups. They were the realists. Sure they were a bummer, maaaaan, but on the way to La Revolution you need somebody to remember where you parked the car.'

Quirky [Possibly NSFW]

  • Power-dressing man leaves trail of destruction [Today.Reuters.com/....]
    • Wow. It makes me want to experiment with a woolen shirt and a synthetic nylon jacket.
    • 'An Australian man built up a 40,000-volt charge of static electricity in his clothes as he walked, leaving a trail of scorched carpet and molten plastic and forcing firefighters to evacuate a building. Frank Clewer, who was wearing a woolen shirt and a synthetic nylon jacket, was oblivious to the growing electrical current that was building up as his clothes rubbed together. When he walked into a building in the country town of Warrnambool in the southern state of Victoria Thursday, the electrical charge ignited the carpet.'
    • ' "We tested his clothes with a static electricity field meter and measured a current of 40,000 volts, which is one step shy of spontaneous combustion, where his clothes would have self-ignited," Barton said. '
  • Police extract stolen mobile from woman's posterior [TheRegister.co.uk/....] [via BoingBoing.net/....]
    • Bwah ha ha!
    • ' a strip search quickly retrieved the offending item. Officer Madalin Taranu told local daily 7 Plus: "We've had people hiding things in their bras and knickers before, but this was a new one." '

Rambling

  • Vacations
    • My idea of a vacation is simply having the time to sit down to read, write, and surf (in its various forms).

Relations [NSFW]

  • Lolita
    • Lolita, an ephebophilic novel by Vladimir Nabokov is having its 50th anniversary.
    • Related
      • "Ageless: Why Lolita , now fifty, endures" by Steve Almond [Nerve.com/....]
        • 'There is no need to belabor the plot of Lolita (man meets girl, man seduces girl, man loses girl -- that about does it) nor the oft-cited symbolism (old, refined Europe seduced by young, vulgar America). What matters, in the end, is the heartsick love song of Monsieur Humbert. Here he is describing the boyhood tryst that presages his eventual coupling with Lolita: She trembled and twitched as I kissed the corner of her parted lips and the hot lobe of her ear. A cluster of stars palely glowed above us, between the silhouettes of long thin leaves . . . She sat a little higher than I, and whenever in her solitary ecstasy she was led to kiss me, her head would bend with a sleepy, soft, drooping movement that was almost woeful, and her bare knees caught and compressed my wrist, and slackened again; and her quivering mouth, distorted by the acridity of some mysterious potion, with a sibilant intake of breath came near to my face. '
      • "Does comic relief hurt kids?" By Tony McNicol [JapanTimes.co.jp/....]
        • 'Cute characters and "lolicom" (Lolita complex) themes are a staple of the Japanese pop culture consumed at home and abroad. Many otaku anime and manga products feature sexy school-girl heroines. Some extreme varieties of lolicom manga are clearly pedophilic pornography. Some pressure groups and NGOs suggest a link between a "lolicom culture" that idolizes young girls and social problems such as child prostitution and sexual abuse.'
      • Lolita [Amazon.com/....]
      • Lolita [W]. 'The novel's narrator and main character, Humbert Humbert, becomes sexually obsessed with a prepubescent girl.'

Relations [SFW]

Showbiz

  • Die, Mommie, Die!
    • A few days ago my family and I were surfing the TV and we stumbled upon the movie Die, Mommie, Die! [IMDB.com/....]. What an absolutely delicious and bizarre movie! The channel was LOGO [LOGOOnline.com], which, as we suspected, was a channel for the GLBT community. Surprisingly the channel was very enjoyable.
  • 'Holy Transformation! Watch as Gotham City's favorite librarian Barbara Gordon becomes Batgirl with a only few flashy accessories and a skirt that doubles as a cape! Check out more tv good'n's here. ' -MetaFilter.com/mefi/45268
    • Wicked fun! The TV show needed more Batgirl!
    • 'Meanwhile, Barbara has begun transforming into Batgirl: her suit, which she has on under her regular clothing, her cape, which is actually her skirt turned inside out, and her mask, which she takes off a coat rack and brings with her. Once outside, fully transformed, the now raven-haired Batgirl smashes in through a window into the library, exchanges a few words with Robin, and then defends herself against the thugs. She then frees Batman and Robin with her electronic Batgirl compact with a laser beam, which destroys anything.'
      • Man if I were a kid watching the show back then this would just be so awesome.
  • Supermodel gets nasty rumor off chest on TV [Today.Reuters.com/....]
    • I'd have to physically examine a woman's breasts with my own hands before I could satisfactorily determine whether they were natural or not. :)
    • 'Supermodel Tyra Banks underwent a sonogram on her own television show to quell rumors that she had breast implants.'
    • ' [Plastic surgeon Garth] Fischer said, "I've performed approximately 8,000 breast implant surgeries, I've examined you, I've reviewed your sonogram ... and Tyra Banks has natural breasts." Banks added, "By no means am I against plastic surgery, by no means am I saying that breast implants are a bad thing, but it's just not a choice that I made ... it's something that a lot of people think I have and that is so frustrating to me."
  • Beam me up, Hollywood! [VueWeekly.com/....]
    • 'We count off the greatest beams, lasers, death rays and photon streams in movie history'
    • The Death Star beam is an obvious one, but it's hard to beat the CROTCH LASER from Goldfinger!

Words

2005-09-27t22:04:06Z | RE: Conservation. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Flow. Health. Make. Martial. Math; Science;. Measurements. Money. Play. Relations [SFW]. Relations [NSFW].
2005-09-27t22:04:06Z

Conservation

  • British scientist calls US climate sceptics 'loonies' [TheRegister.co.uk/2005/09/23/climate_loonies/]
    • Yep. As a side: It's not "global warming" but rather "human-induced climactic change".
    • ' The chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, Sir John Lawton, has called climate change deniers in the US "loonies", and says global warming is to blame for the increasingly strong hurricanes being spawned in the Atlantic. In an interview with The Independent, Lawton said that global warming is "very likely" the cause of increasingly intense hurricanes, in line with computer simulations. Click Here He told the paper: "If this [the arrival of Hurricane Rita] makes the climate loonies in the States realise we've got a problem, some good will come out of a truly awful situation." '
    • ' "There are a group of people in various parts of the world ... who simply don't want to accept human activities can change climate and are changing the climate. I'd liken them to the people who denied that smoking causes lung cancer." '

Cyber Life

Cyber Tech

  • Gaming Makes the Grade [TechnologyReview.com/articles/05/09/wo/wo_092705angiolillo.asp?trk=nl]
    • Awesome! Gaming has always been a known pathway into computers so its about time they made it part of the academic curriculum.
    • 'For reasons academicians don't entirely understand, undergraduate enrollment in U.S. computer science departments continues to drop precipitously. ... In its latest effort, Microsoft is funding university projects that rewrite computer science curricula around something everyone knows students like: computer games. This year Microsoft awarded six universities a total of $480,000 to create new kinds of computer science courses in which students learn programming techniques using gaming software models. As part of the effort, teaching modules and entire courses will be offered free to the public in the company's Curriculum Repository.'
  • Free Online Image Editor [CreatingOnline.com/online_image_editor/]
    • Brilliant!
    • 'With this free online photo editor / free online image editor, you can now edit photos online or any JPG, GIF, or PNG image file with no image editing software to download or install! Easy drag and drop familiar interface. Resize, change dimensions, scale, crop, add text, optimize, color correction, adjust brightness, contrast, grayscale, rotate, flip, mirror, add clipart, and set transparency.'

Flow

  • Subvert from Within: a user-focused employee guide [http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2005/09/subvert_from_wi.html]
    • ' It's so tempting to say that anyone who really cares that much about users ought to get the hell out of the big company. I know, having done my time at Sun. But I'd forgotten how to see Microsoft as something other than a Big Company. I'd forgotten (or never recognized) that it's a collection of individual people, and no matter how entrenched the company's views, policies, practices, values, bureaucracy, etc. are, there are motivated, smart, caring, creative people who work there. And these folks have a chance to make a Difference (capital "D") on a scale that most of us will never touch. When Ward Cunningham (inventor of the Wiki, key player in extreme programming, etc.) went to work for Microsoft, much of the software engineering world was horrified that he'd even consider it. But he kept insisting that where better to produce positive change than going straight into the heart of one of the biggest sources of trouble for both users and developers in the software ecosystem?'
    • Here is a summary of his tips:
      • 'Language matters. Frame everything in terms of the user's experience.
      • Be annoyingly persistent.
      • Capture user stories.
      • Speak for real users... not fake abstract "profiles".
      • Be afraid of Six Sigma. Be very afraid. Ditto for most other "quality programs".
      • Never underestimate the power of paper.
      • Get your hands on a video camera, and record some users.
      • Start a subversive club. Right there on campus, recruit and organize your fellow ULA guerillas.
      • Put pictures of real users on your walls. Act like they're as important to you as pictures of family members and pets.
      • When product features are discussed without taking into account how it helps (or hinders) the user kicking ass, adopt a slightly confused, mildly annoyed look...
      • Blog about it
      • Challenge user-unfriendly assumptions every day.
      • Gather facts. Build a rational, logical case that maps a user-centric approach to real business issues.
      • Look for first-person language from users about their own experience. Challenge others to solicit first-person, user-as-subject language.
      • Don't give up.'
    • Everyday life should be something like this for everyone (not just techies). Make a positive difference, add value everyday.

Health

  • The ones that go in/Are lean and thin [MetaFilter.com/mefi/45424]
    • Ah yes! I've been avoiding over-cleanliness over the years. Wasn't this on an episode of Futurama?
    • WARNING: THESE LINKS MAY HAVE A SIGNIFICANT GROSS FACTOR FOR SOME.
    • 'I think I'll go eat... '
    • 'Dr [Joel] Weinstock reckons that's because we've evolved with worms and actually need them. Before gut worms were eradicated in the West 50 or so years ago allergies - caused by the overreaction of the immune system - were virtually unheard of, now in the UK one third of us suffers from some sort of allergy. So scientists are looking to see if there's a connection between gut worms and allergies, they are wondering if gut worms can somehow damp down the immune system to make it easier for them to live in the intestine without coming under attack. He said: "Worms require humans to survive. In essence the worms are part of us and it's possible that we've become interdependent and removing worms has resulted in an imbalance to our immune systems. "People have what I consider an irrational fear of worms. Nobody wants to go to the toilet and look into the toilet and see something wiggle". '
    • [PHOTO: gut worms]
    • Related: The Food Defect Action Levels [http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/dalbook.html]. You may not want to know this stuff --"Ignorance is bliss".

Make

  • Make Your Own Flame Thrower [CarpetMonster.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/fj.htm]
    • Brilliant!
    • 'Like any red-blooded, masculine man of the male gender, I love PVC weaponry. You should too. If the concept of heading on down to the local Home Depot and transforming $100 worth of random pipe bits into a killing machine doesn't appeal to you, you're a frikkin' pansy. Also, you're probably sane and will live significantly longer than I will. Nonetheless you disgust me, and I take comfort in the knowledge that your obituary will be nowhere near as humorous as mine. For those of you who laugh in the face of hypersonic shards of plastic puncturing your spleen, here's an intimate look at how I've kept myself busy for the past week: building a PVC flamethrower. '
    • [PHOTO: A boy and his flamethrower][PHOTO: flame on action]
  • Build your own PVR [BYOPVR.com]
    • Almost makes me wish I had time to watch more TV.
    • 'This is a community driven discussion for building your own PVR / DVR / HTPC (think Tivo without a recurring $ub$cription). Anything from mini-itx, case modding, which video card, to which software package is most advanced is fair game. '

Martial

Math; Science;

Measurements

Money

Play

Relations [NSFW]

Relations [SFW]

  • "The Basic Law of Human Stupidity" by Carlo M. Cipolla [MentalSoup.com/mentalsoup/basic.htm] and [MetaFilter.com/mefi/45429]
    • D'oh! For those without the time, here are the laws in brief:
      1. 'Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.
      2. The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.
      3. A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.
      4. Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances to deal and/or associate with stupid people always turns out to be a costly mistake.
      5. A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person. A stupid person is more dangerous than a bandit.'
    • Here is the classic accompanying illustration by James Donnelly.
      [COMIC: 4 kinds of people: Helpless, Intelligent, Bandits, and Stupid]
      'If Tom takes an action and suffers a loss while producing a gain to Dick, Tom's mark will fall in field H: Tom acted helplessly. If Tom takes an action by which he makes a gain while yielding a gain also to Dick, Tom's mark will fall in area I: Tom acted intelligently. If Tom takes an action by which he makes a gain causing Dick a loss, Tom's mark will fall in area B: Tom acted as a bandit. Stupidity is related to area S and to all positions on axis Y below point O.'
  • Why Geeks and Nerds Are Worth It...
    • O that's so sweet. 15 reasons.
    • 'In the wide world of dating, there are many options. Do you go for the flashy guy with the smooth smile, or the dude in the corner typing away on his laptop? The following are reasons why I think my fellow females should pay more attention to the quiet geeks and nerds, and less attention to the flashy boys. '
Exploring odd subjects including myself. GeorgeHernandez.com
Some rights reserved
CC by-sa 2.5


GH   GH dir   Wiki   Web
Main Body - Site Map - Contact - About

Timestamp on page load:
    
Timestamp right now: ISO 8601 - RFC 822