Showing posts from August, 2010

Dead Leaves


I really like my regular readers. They're quiet, that's ok. But they're totally worth it. So here's something that I wanted to share with them alone. America was formed in the 18th Century It nearly self destructed, in the 19th Century It rose to the status of Super Power in the 20th What holds, for the 21st? The internet been around for 16 years Broad public use of the net has been around for about 14 The first generation to use it are now barely adult The second generation is in middle school Go anywhere 'text' has been around 18 yrs, usably 12 The first text was sent in 1992, "Merry Christmas" "Social Networking" applications, 10 years The Term "Genetic Engineering" was coined in an SF Novel, 1951 The following year, the double helix structure was discovered Genetic Engineering has been around for only 40 years The first genetically engineered organisms were plants In 2009 11 transgenic crops were being rai…

Go Pro

How to Win, Part II

I am really, really impressed with the Khan Academy. In a very short while this person's work has vaulted to the top of my surflist. He's a one man show, but he's good. So I thought I might post about winning, part II - where I focus on what people like Salman Khan, and others - are doing in the world and how this helps us win. For better or worse, Salman Khan is a scientist. He's going over the 'important' stuff, and exploring it. I remember distinctly a moment on a ski life where someone I was riding with - made fun of scientists because all of their work is so 'important'. Our society seems to lure smart people into corrupt and highly rewarding careers. For example, if you're good at math - the banks hire you to hide their bank errors. They'll lend out money to people who barely have a credit score (and now, they won't lend money to anyone..) and then come back and when they see the loan is going bad - they'll pay young m…

Notting Hill

There is something about Julia Roberts, that is hard to define. Perhaps its the fact that she is very beautiful - but I think perhaps its something more. In every moment we have choices, direction and a chance to be who we are. To define by our actions and our speech, what we stand for. Julia seems to be someone who is capable of understanding and positioning herself in the strongest part of that moment. In the film "Notting Hill", much of her communication is nonverbal. She seems to be able to hold a restrained smile - to convey a sense of interest without expressing detail - she does not fawn, she simply seems to be living a moment that she truly enjoys. Speaking as a man, that is irresistible to me. For some reason, there is nothing more alluring than to see a woman happy. Its worth everything in the world to see her smile. Even when she isn't smiling. She's like a dream. In a dream, it's easy to change yourself and be whomever you want to be. I wo…

You choose the song and they'll choose the time

Nasa uses a song to wake up the astronauts while they're in space. This year, they're letting you choose the song. Click here to post the song that you want the astronauts to hear when they receive their wake up call in the morning from ground control.

I'm going to go with "Fearless", by Pink Floyd. 'Countdown' by Rush would be my second choice, followed by the John Williams Theme Song from Star Wars. Remember, it's a wakeup call. Speaking of wakeup calls - the guy who runs Post Secret just got two postcards he can't figure out. Here's the image.

Can you help him decode it?

How to Win

We're defining 'Win' , here to mean - how to make the world a better place. After all, America is at peace. Wars of convenience don't count - and the bush republicans that started them are long gone. And the war against Al Qaeda, that we're waging in Afghanistan - is one that for most intents and purposes has moved into a country building stage. And oh yeah - that thing about how muslims are so dangerous to us all, and all that stuff about a mosque near ground zero? Well, our president just took care of that: America stands for religious freedom. There's no culture war between muslims and other people in America: the guy next to you at work is a muslim. You've never fought with him, he's never fought with you. With the sole exception of the weirdos that want to make a mosque being built not even at ground zero - but far away from it - we have no culture war with Islam. Hell, we even share books of the bible with those guys. No kidding. Check out the o…

Cortez the Killer - Neiyon and Sleazy Horse

This song was written by Neil Young, and Crazy Horse. The band playing it is a 'cover band' , but wow what a cover!

A Certain Level of Dissappointment

Ok, I've worked really, really hard these past three weeks. No weekends, 12 hour days, and one day off. I played golf yesterday. It was great. The plan was , that I would come home early today, and take la familia out to do something fun. But instead, my scheming wife told me that my daughter had said that - when I came home, she would be playing video games and not to interrupt her. What my wife was really wanting to do - was make sure that , when I arrived - I didn't just invegetate in front of the screen. My daughter actually said no such thing, and my wife was trying to impress upon me that when I arrived, I should be doing something instead of passing out from exhaustion. Let's do the math - I've only been at work since 7:30 am. But the worst part of it was - that I'd already told them that I wanted to take them out - and that I would take my daughter horseback riding. My daughter blew me off on this point - she wasn't there when we were supposed to l…

275 an Hour


Cutting Away

There was this little dot on my side - almost like a small wart, but not brittle in appearance. It had a red circle around it. I decided the best thing to do with this thing (it was sort of like a small flesh colored mole) was to cut it away. So, at six am in the morning - I took a pair of nail clippers and chunk! ... Wow. It hurt. But nail clippers aren't sharp enough to cut flesh. So I took a pair of scissors and cut the remainder. It hurt. Alot. My first thought afterward was.. wow, for such a small little dot this thing is hot, bloody and raw. Will cutting it away, make it go away? Who knows. But alot of blood. Way more than should be there. Hope I've done the right thing. So, hey - who needs coffee, right? I decided to head on into work. After gathering and placing some work items into my car, I went back inside the house to get a few things. Who should show up but my long lost black cat. I'd been waiting to give her a capstar (this cool pill that kills…

I'm So Tired

I've pulled back to back all nighters all last week, and then worked all weekend and this past weekend, and I'm really tired. The work schedule is - get up at five am, work until seven pm. And today, someone used the key lock on the door to the new building. So the card lock didn't work, and I'm going to be behind schedule. But I've discovered something about work. It expands to consume any available free time. So, while the rest of the world sleeps at six, I'm still going to get the drop on everyone and get at least part of the work done. At least, that's what I'm telling myself. If the guy with the key doesn't arrive in the next thirty minutes, I'll be behind schedule again. I am likely going to make deadline and get everything done by either today or tomorrow and just play golf on Thursday. I really want to take a break, read a book, or go swimming or just do something non work related. But I can handle it. I've found the thing…

Droid 2

I worked with my first Droid 2 phone today, and it was a real experience. The phone is light, fast, and has a great antenna and battery life. The speech rec. is really strong, the browser supports flash - it has an 8 Megapixel camera built in. There are some interesting features for the phone. For example, the flash on the phone is LED , two bank white light. So there's an app on the phone that looks like a lightbulb - turn it on and you have a flashlight. But what's really interesting about the phone is how its tied to Google. There is a central Gmail account associated with the phone. Screw with it, and you have to do a full factory reset. That's notable, because things like contact sync, and calendar sync - depend on it. So your personal data all goes through google. I guess it's a good thing, that Google's company motto is "Don't Be Evil", hm?

Jackie Evancho

Extra Credit: Quiz Number Two

See if you can find the six foot height farming structure carefully hidden in this picture.

Hard, isn't it?

Birth. School. Work. Death.

When you're working all night on a saturday night, after working all week, after working all last weekend, after pulling back to back all nighters the week before. Does it make sense, that I'm worried I'm not getting enough done? It should. And yes, I'm scheduling myself to go into work tomorrow. The hope is I can figure out what to do, and not have to work for a long time. I love it when I can work so hard that my armpits get ionized.

Pop Quiz

Ok, the quiz for today is a difficult one, and I'm not going to accept partial answers for half credit. For full points, see if you can find the carefully hidden monkey in this picture.

Street Mission - U2

Her Birthday Comes Soon

Her birthday comes soon
And I have never seen her
with eyes of a cat
two lids
one to close
and one to protect
one with which I see the day she was born
and the beauty within which she brings the world
back into balance
darkness and light
opened by a mother cat's kiss
of a sandy tongue
the other protecting
from dark songs
and creepy moments
and sharp sticks
and that moment when we may never meet
but when I dream, I sleep
in the softness of her kiss
amber, warm
in the final scene of the film

My Thumb

About a week and a half ago, I hit my hand hard against a drop ceiling. I was up in the ceiling of a building, looking at some equipment and I swung my hand out below the ceiling, with my head into the roof. I couldn't see what was below me. I swung my hand and arm out and around, but there was a drop ceiling below - about three feet down. My hand hit, full speed into the hard edge of that drop ceiling and the impact shot across the side of my hand and thumb. The pain was incredible. But also, almost at the same time - there was a moment where I sort of wondered about the pain. It was a weird feeling. There were layers of pain happening all at once. It hurt almost as hard as if I had broken a bone, but I hadn't. And at the same time.. there was a pain there, that beckoned me to stare at my thumb. I just couldn't put my finger on it. So Mr. Pain moves in, and this goes on for a week. Not really harsh but definitely painful - tricky to move. You were apprehensive…

Passing Afternoon - Iron and Wine [AMV]

Fighting Demons, and Other Chores..

Today I've locked myself into my office and I'm not coming out until a key part of my research is done. A friend two months ago, went through a windshield. It was late at night - and they were driving home down a lonely road in the midwest. She was talking on the cellphone to another one of my friends, when suddenly the line picked up a crash and then the phone made a sound like it shattered and the signal went dead. She had just told her where she was - and so my other friend - my son's best friend's mom - called 911. They went out to the crash site and found her shot through the windshield twenty feet clear of the vehicle. It had careened off the road, and went onto its side. Her hip is shattered, her face is smashed - her leg had to be reconstructed with pins. Her body was nearly destroyed. But the worst part of her injury was that she hit the windshield so hard that she suffered a cerberal hemorrhage - there was no place for the swelling to go, so it pre…

Naked As We Came - Iron and Wine

And The Horse Died Standing Up

The memory of saving a litter of kittens from the loss of their mother is now beginning to fade. The morning their mother did not return from her nightly hunt, I knew something was wrong. I took off work - and got cat milk from the store. This is the mechanical element. You feed the kittens. Eventually, they get to the point where they shove their face down in a platter of cat's milk and get everything all over the place, but they learn to get enough inside of them to survive. They stop wondering where their mother went. But almost as important to them, it seemed - as eating - were the moments I and my children held them. This is the memory that is slowly beginning to disappear. I suppose I can remember six thirsty little kittens, their faces and paws covered in cat's milk. I can remember cleaning them, and making a place for them to sleep. But holding them, and feeling their warm soft fur against my skin - is now almost gone. And strangely, what seems to persist - …

20 IPhone Apps


Wildfire - Michael Martin Murphy

Magnetic Storm

There's a huge magnetic storm on the sun - it just blew off the edge of the solar corona an hour ago, and its heading towards us. If you get yourself away from the city and its attendant light pollution - somewhere north, you may be able to see the Aurora Borealis tonight at around midnight. The storm will take a day to reach us - the explosion on the sun consisted of a stream of charged particles that will blast into earth in another 14 hours.

What's A Girl To Do? - Bat for Lashes

How Pandora Works

Pandora has, at its core - a concept that a musical song comes from a set of genomes. Like our genome, it is built from a simple set of basic elements. In our genome, we're like. A to T and C to G or something like that. But in a musical genome, the song is built from the base characteristics - normally things working together like background vocals, and a lead vocal - or certain types of musical influences that have already been catalogued. It's really just rhythm, tone. A few simple things. Then you combine those into sort of groups -for example, synthesis, electronic backbeat, etc. - and you get an expressed trait. This group is the way that the song gets catalogued and indexed. Here's the patent for the method. It's kind of deep, so hold your breath and get focus. A method of determining at least one match item corresponding to a source item. A database of multiple items such as songs is created. Each song is also represented by an n-dimensional database vector…

Number One in a Series: My Car

This will be a series of things that are mine. First. My car. Yes, I'm on the waiting list. And yes, I'm still waiting. But this is my dream car.


This is kind of a unique blog. You're reading someone who really gets off on science and other stuff - and at the same time I spent a summer working for the artist who wrote the song 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun'. So I wanted to direct a post toward the female reader on the subject, if I may? It seems like , for girls - the world is kind of a serious place. You don't just build tree forts when you're a kid - and then have to deal with the prospect of having the bullies smash them down and give you a bloody noose. You have to deal with things like a rape culture, bias, and really weird concepts of how you should deal with your body. Girls end up maturing faster than boys. So, ok. I think there will be an element of fun that needs to go along with being a girl. So , thinking about what I'd do if I were a girl - for fun - I thought I'd post a warning video about what Surfing might do to your body . As a female, I know you want to take care of yourself (yo…