Monday, February 21

Today's links

Did you see the cards you can print and cut out to hand people who are talking obnoxiously on their cell phones?

Dare we hope that peace might break out in the Middle East? Israel freed 500 prisoners as a show of support for Abbas. Syria might pull out of Lebanon. All of this following on a successful election in Iraq. I'm one of the biggest cynics around, don't worry. But I try to be open to hope. Here's hoping...

Who was the greatest president? Lincoln or Reagan, according to two recent polls. I don't feel educated enough to make such a decision. My own views seem based on who history has pushed (Lincoln, FDR, Washington, Jefferson) or my own bias (anti-Reagan). I have positive feelings about what I've learned about Madison, but I couldn't back it up from fact right now. What do you think?

Sunday, February 20

A few more links

Steven Johnson details his research and retrieval system which, frankly, is pretty amazing. You could do this to a smaller degree with a weblog, as Tom has done with his in the writing of the latest book.

Altered HIV Attacks Mice Tumors. This headline blows my mind. Wouldn't it be amazing if we could use AIDS to battle cancer?

Kottke links a blank keyboard. I know from when I switched to Dvorak keyboard that the best way to learn to touch type is to do so on a keyboard that doesn't help you. Even now my QWERTY typing could certainly use such polishing. Course, you don't have to go all the way to a keyboard. You can just get stickers for $14.95. Heck, you could just cut up labels or something and make your own stickers. I will definitely utilize this trick when it's time for the twins to learn touch typing. That is, if we don't have a better technology by then. Here's hoping...

Need to get your email under control? 5 tips.

[all the ideas for these paragraphs came from kottke's remaindered links that i had saved up in Bloglines]

That should do it for today.

It gets worse...

Did you see that the guy who caused the train derailment in LA may have been trying to get his estranged wife's attention? Ugh.

[random news source was the first one that came up in my Google News search]

Bush on Social Security

Question: Why is President Bush so intent on changing Social Security? Politically, it's going to be a tough sell. The crisis point is years in the future. Can he really get it done? Can he gain from this?

Some people will say it's because he believes it,so he's doing it, even if it's going to be politically tough. Alright, but just because he believe is doesn't mean I have to agree with him that we have a crisis or that his plan is the way to deal with it.

More Patriots news

First of all, best wishes to Tedy Bruschi and his family in the wake of his stroke. I wonder if this is football related, like a development from a concussion or something like that.

Second, did you see that the Sports Illustrated NFL Player of the Year was Tom Brady? Sorry Jaq. The article was by Peter King. Not sure how they decided.

Postal Service foray

Uh oh. I'm sure liking the new (to me) Postal Service tracks I've been listening to today. Try out 'Such great heights' (scroll down to the last mp3 in the multimedia column).

Saturday, February 19

Welcome, Barnett readers

Yes, I'm Tom's proof-reader. I'm grateful he put up the link to my weblog. I was reading everything he wrote anyway. I figured I could make myself useful by catching a typo here and there.

So, let me give you some Barnett-esque content: NPR's three-part series on the Web in China:

First episode - China's Businesses Thrive on the Web

The government's offer after Tjiannenmen: stay out of politics and you can do anything else, especially get rich. The Internet brings better B2B to Chinese businesses.

Second episode - Urban China Embraces Web; Rural Regions Lag

This one was about the changes the Internet is producing in social life in Chinese cities, from MMUDs to dating to gay connections to sex to weblogs. Political activity on the web is strictly forbidden. But all of this connectivity in the social sphere, as Tom teaches, will spill over into other area. Another certain one is business (which the next segment is about). China's economic connectivity is moving ahead of its political connectivity right now, but that's OK. We don't need both right now. One will lead to the other. We watched a similar situation peacefully take down the USSR. In fact, a One-party, Capitalist China will almost certainly outstrip Russia. We just need to be a little patient with China, join them where we can, stand up to them when we need to (can't think of anything right off hand).

Third episode - Internet Tests Chinese Political Controls

The Communist Party can censor some sites for now, but capitalism and the Internet will eventually take it down.

More links

Listen to four tracks from New Order's new 'Waiting for the siren's call' album (as well as 'Love will tear us apart again'). I like the first single, 'Krafty'.

I didn't really say enough in my previous post about why I think Eddie Fowler's going to be a better owner for the Vikings. Red McCombs has treated them mostly like a business while he's owned them and not enough like he wanted to win. It seems like Fowler wants to win.

Then the story broke that he misrepresented himself on a resume. To his credit, he has come clean about the discrepancies, though I wouldn't say he took full responsiblity. Still, all people want these days, most times, is an apology. I'm still hopeful that this can be a good situation.

Napoleon Dynamite soundboards

Found a Napoleon Dynamite soundboard in popular del.icio.us, with a master list of ND soundboards by the author. I was really looking for the two 'numchucks' quotes. This board has the first one 'can't fit my numchucks in there anymore' and the start of the second one 'Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills. You know, like numchuck skills,
bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills.' Enjoy. And remember - Pedro for president (and I ain't talkin' Martinez, though I know there's such a shirt).

More from Barnett

Tom writes: 'As I explore in the PNM Blueprint for Action, shrinking the Gap is one big exercise in successfully bringing the population from rural to urban, connecting these people to larger opportunities in the process.'

Once you've done that, you can ruralize a little bit. People can move to less-urban areas and still remain connected. You get people tele-commuting, consulting, etc.

The challenge on the developing world is: can we get them connected up quicker and easier than we connected up? Can we skip certain technological developments that we went through. We're seeing landlines get skipped by cell phones. Great. Can we get wireless internet going well in these places? Can developing nations skip over polluting, degrading developments like coal?

Some of the problems are social: can developing nations (like China, for instance), skip more quicly over sweatshops and child labor and danger to workers, etc?

Tom's got a post entitled Europe's right across the board. The issues he's citing are: negotiate with Iran; rethink the transatlantic relationship (letting Europe decide more); forgive more Gap debt; do more on CO2 emissions; lighten up on China and let EU sell them arms; and be more patient with Russia. That kind of galls, but I don't disagree.

While I'm quoting Tom, I'll throw up this one. He writes that more and more countries are pushing English as the dominant second language. 'And what have we done since 9/11? We’ve made this country a much less friendly place. Why? Out of fear and misplaced attention. We don’t need interdiction, we need identification.'

An SDI rocket launch failed this week. What a waste of money!

If Pakistan can have nukes, why not Iran? Tom snarks.

Tom's going to be involved in some wargaming tailored to PNM. Cool. If I were more industrious I'd do versions of Civilization tailored to both PNM and 'Guns, Germs, and Steel'. But I'm not.

Tuesday, February 15

Thoughts

The new Vikings owner should be better for our team. Here's hoping...

The Grammys and Oscars (et al.) are sorely limited. They can reward excellence. But too often you get someone who hasn't received one of the statues get a de facto Lifetime Achievement Award for a lesser work. Paul Newman's win for 'Nobody's Fool' is one example. Brian Wilson's win for an instrumental is another. Rod Stewart should never get any award.

Wil made the following analogy tonight when we were cleaning out his nose: 'Googs are kind of like daddy penguins. The googs and the germs are like the daddy penguins and the penguin eggs.' SAT format: Googs:germs::daddy penguins:penguin eggs. The intelligence of my children amazes me.

Big find in Kansas. Could relate to the Topper site I logged before. Cue jokes from evolutionists that Kansas doesn't deserve such a cool find because of their stance on evolution in textbooks.

Morning Edition had an interesting piece about the rising cost of college and how to cut it. Short paraphrase: give less taxpayer money to colleges, the same amount or more to students, and let the market work on the problem. I'll buy that. Prediction: my kids do some time in community college (the best value around. Want to chime in, Jason? :-).

That should do ya' for now.

Sunday, February 13

Backlog

I've been thinking about a lot of things to post, just haven't got around to doing it. Now I'm fighting a savage sinus infection. Ugh. So we'll see what comes out here. ;-)

Blogger has a new comment system that's a big improvement over their previous one which shows current comments and you can set to pop up.

In the meantime, I've thought up the end-all for me to keep up with comments. All we need is a little box on the comment page that you check for 'email me subsequent comments to this thread'. Then the email comes, with a link to the comment, and we all keep up better. So, now I release you, my minions, to go lobby your comment system to comply with this new standard. I will take a modest 10% commission. ;-)

Like Barnett (maybe b/c of), I think the Bush Ad. is taking too hard a line on Iran. Tom thinks we should co-opt them.

My gut reaction on the Sunnis in Iraq: they've got some marginalization coming, because of their years of minority rule over the Shiites and their calls for boycotts. Wah! I got to thinking that the insurgency was probably being fought by more-conservative-than Shiite-s, but this article says it's being mainly fought by Sunnis. Now the political 'horse-trading' begins. It's familiar, but there's plenty of that often un-principled compromise that I don't like.

My audioscrobbler page. Man, I've got some great music (especially shown in the 'Top Tracks' (scroll down))! ;-) Mainlining a lot of Xian stuff today since I didn't take my infection to church. Bring your comments.

Lots of interesting Google-stuff going down: the new Maps function, an offer to host some Wikimedia pages, fired one of their staff for logging, switched to getting their definitions from answers.com. Their stock is going through the roof.

Sad the NFL season is over. Funny that both All-Star games are this weekend. Oh well, I'm starting the transition to NCAA basketball in preparation for March Madness. There sure are a lot of Patriot-haters out there, which is fine. I still like'em.

That's enough for now.