Friday, May 31

Google stuff:

Have you seen Google Answers?

Google had a contest and banked a lot of free R and D. Pretty savvy move, and ethically ok, too, I think.
Sort of goaded on by Scott, I'm back into 'The Brothers Karamazov'. It's wonderful! I can't believe I haven't read it before. I'm about 400 pages in. Now if I only had more time to read it...

For awhile, I didn't read much serious literature, because I honestly felt like I couldn't take it, pschologically. But then, last week, I thought 'Maybe I could pick 'The Brothers Karamazov' back up.' and it felt okay, so I ran with it. Cool.
Attack of the Js: Jason and Jaquandor have added some really good commentary to the Mars thread.
One win away. That's right. Go Nets. Go Kings.

Tuesday, May 28

Water on Mars. Good news for interplanetary exploration.
Interesting article on next generation soldier technology: Land Warrior (via Steven)

Friday, May 24

Hmm. Insomnia looks like it has potential. I hadn't heard of it until today.
The rumors of Loudcloud's demise may have been exaggerated. They gave their CEO a raise, after all. (This is Marc Andreesen's latest company.)
J's got a post about Buffalo wings. I've thought about the unhealthiness a lot. The healthy way to go is buffalo sauce and blue cheese on a chicken breast/strips. i had that combo one time on a hamburger at Eat'n Park and it was delish.

Wednesday, May 22

Interesting essay by Steven on the science of mining the moon (in light of China's recently-stated goal).
Pure fun: VH1's 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders. There are some great songs in there, to bad the performers never had any more. What's your fave? Mine's probably 'Take On Me' by a-ha.
On this Google search for Meade, interact comes up 9th.
Again, to be fair, Jaquandor has another Episode 2 rave.

Tuesday, May 21

Scott posts the 100 best works of fiction (via rebeccablood). Some really good stuff here. Let's see, I've read

Jane Austen, England, (1775-1817), Pride and Prejudice
Albert Camus, France, (1913-1960), The Stranger
Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881), Crime and Punishment
William Faulkner, United States, (1897-1962), The Sound and the Fury
The Book of Job, Israel. (600-400 BC).
William Shakespeare, England, (1564-1616), Hamlet; King Lear; Othello
Leo Tolstoy, Russia, (1828-1910), Anna Karenina
Mark Twain, United States, (1835-1910), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

and parts of:
Dante Alighieri, Italy, (1265-1321), The Divine Comedy
Geoffrey Chaucer, England, (1340-1400), Canterbury Tales
Jonathan Swift, Ireland, (1667-1745), Gulliver's Travels

That's 10 (just the full ones, including 3 Shakerspeares). How many have you read?

Update: I'm posting a similar question over at MeFi.

(and props to Scott for finally fixing his permalinks. I figured it was something like that.)
I'm not going to take this on at MeFi. I might get murdered. But the thread on family planning and abortion is crazy. To wit:

- we should promote abortion to curb human population to save species from extinction (with very little acknowledgement that these extinction numbers are always up for grabs.
-a quote: 'Less talking, more abortions.' Obviously I can't stomach the assumptions here, either, with no acknowledgement that we're talking about very serious issues here. I can't countenance this kind of condensation of all of the nuances of this debate.

Hey, I'm sympathetic to helping limit human overpopulation through family planning. Why can't we meet in the middle and promote contraception without abortion? Couldn't both sides give a little on that?

'Just as Walt Disney used the works of the Brothers Grimm to produce some of the best of the Disney stories, so too should the next Walt Disney be able to build upon the stories told by Disney.'

As pumped by Matt and Jason
I noticed that all of the Google links on Daypop were in their labs. Check it out. The new Glossary looks especially good.
Hmm. World Wide Message Tribe has changed their name to The Tribe. I missed their last two albums. Might have to catch up, as I really liked 'Heatseeker'.

(Incidentally, I like the design on their page pretty well. It's Flash or something, but tasteful.)
The Vikings' owner wants more money: the economics of professional sports. Gag.

Monday, May 20

hmgovt started an interesting thread over at MetaFilter about text entry on keypads. He was interested in this new model, which looks pretty cool to me. The MeFites also suggested thumbscript, among others.
Like Jason, I too have gotten some weblog targetted email lately re: Spider-Man and Mars Hill Review (which is actually a pretty good journal I got for a while but never did make time to read.)
I noticed that sheauga from Sassafras commented. There's a link over there to Ecotopia, which I was talking about just yesterday. Cheers!
Jaquandor's Episode 2 rave gives me some hope.
Godspeed, Creative Commons. (Matt's the designer.)
Matt writes about problems with cable and satellite monopolies, among others.

I totally agree. This is the price we pay for corporate globalization. The economies of scale allow them to monopolize, and this is highly unattractive to consumers.

Saturday, May 18

Jim has some really nice links, quotes, and articles lately.

One of them is Voice of the Faithful, a lay group within the Catholic church working for change, especially in light of the priest/abuse scandals. Their motto is 'Keep the Faith, Change the Church.' Sounds good to me.

Take the Which Spider-Man Character Are You? quiz by ZyberGoat

Friday, May 17

Don't you dare claim this is just politics when you yourself are a the beneficiary of the political process.

I'm not saying President Bush did anything wrong. But righteous indignation when people call his behavior into question is unacceptable.

I actually think that the point about the threat of hijacking being different from the threat of kamikaze is a pretty good one.

(Incidentally, there's a good timeline over at CNN (no permalink. it's a Java launch.) if you're interested in the facts.)
Welcome those of you looking for that new, young Star Wars lead.

I'm not going to mention his name, or I might become even more of a search destination.

I referred to him below. Nothing against him personally, but I really don't like him playing AS/DV. Too 'pretty'.

And, no, I haven't seen it yet.

That is all.
Everyone knows the de facto NBA Championship is happening with the Western Conference Finals between the Kings and Lakers, either of which could beat both the Nets and the Celtics.
Mike Dunleavy might leave Duke early.

That stinks, but I can understand why he might. Looks like he's got a pretty good head on his shoulders.

Does he really have enough potential upside to justify picking in the top 5?

Then again, Shane Battier, also of Duke, had a really good year in the NBA that I didn't expect.

Don't get me wrong. I really like Dunleavy. As a matter of fact, I once thought of registering in his honor, as a banner carrier for us (before I put on 20 pounds).
Giant Navy Ship to Be Sunk Off Florida Keys

I saw the headline and thought 'Yikes!'.

Turns out everyone likes it. A huge Navy transport is going to be sunk to creat a coral reef. Sounds good to me.
I said the Army didn't want Crusader (based on a Reuters article). It looks like that wasn't accurate. The Pentagon cancelled it, and Rumsfeld is in support, but the Army still wants it.

Wednesday, May 15

Interesting Newsweek article on skyskrapers (via Byzantium's Shores).
Scott's got an informative post about the single-sex school stuff.
Remember that ANWR post I put on MeFi yesterday? Don't bother going there. It turned up no discussion.

Was it my fault? Did I simply not create a compelling post? Is that topic tapped out over there? Has the discourse on MeFi fallen off that far? I don't know.
Are you a pen-spinner? I am. I've never seen a link on it before, though. This one looks pretty exhaustive.
Cool article on solar sailing (cue Tron theme)

Tuesday, May 14

Jason's got an interesting interview with Nick Sweeney that talks about the dynamics of MetaFilter.
I like Eric's post about the Farm Bill.
It seems pretty clear from Matt's post today that the BlogRoots project is tied to the new book project.
If you know much about Sports Illustrated, you'll believe me when I say the best treatment of the ANWR controversy that I've seen was in the May 13th issue (sorry no link to the article). Some of the salient points:

The Wall Street Journal called ANWR a 'moonscape', which it is not.

There are many good economic reasons not to drill. The nonpartisan Rocky Mountain Institute says drilling 'could not be justified on economic...grounds.' You have to get at least 16$ a barrel, which is not a sure bet.

There might be 80 B$ in there, which could be taken out of our trade deficit. It would also generate several B$ in federal and state taxes.

ANWR oil will not reduce our foreign oil dependency appreciably. ANWR could probably only supply 3.2 B barrels, only a 166-day supply for the US.

If cars, SUVs, and light trucks became 4 mpg more efficient, it would be equivalent to developing an oil field 10 times the size of ANWR.

The real clincher, as the article points out, is what do the people of Alaska want, especially the Natives? Many want the much expanded quality of living that oil money brings. In my mind, it's hard to refuse them the right to exploit the resources available to them.

The article closes with a pitch for saving ANWR. That's not necessarily my conclusion. Sure it's beautiful, and that counts for a lot. But it's not the priority claim. And it can't be proven that massive damage would be done, or that species would be endangered. If the people who live there want the income, I find it hard to refuse on the grounds of evironmental claims which are not absolute.

(I posted this at MeFi, if you're interested in the comments.)
Bleah. The Mavs lost. Oh well. I like the Kings. They made a big upgrade when they traded Jason Williams for Mike Bibby. And Chris Webber's a great player. Now I'm pulling for the Kings to win it all. They'll have to get by the Lakers first.

Friday, May 10

from Jorn: spoiler-filled pan of Episode 2. When combined with my own reading of the books at Barnes and Noble:

Don't dare to hope that the 'Forbidden Love-story' will work. I don't know whose fault it is: Hayden Christenson, George Lucas, Natalie Portman, et al... Question: Do you girls like Christenson? I sure don't. Too trying-to-be-pretty. I've already seen him way too much in too much make-up.

Ewan McGregor will probably help make the film worth seeing.

The plot is too busy (try to count the planets visited) while not doing enough development.

I still don't buy that the so 'hard to see the Dark side is' that Palpatine could hide under their nose, along with all the Sith, etc.

I wish someone could take the Star Wars universe that I love and do some kind of alternate history with a decent plot and decent dialogue and decent Jedi that doesn't venture into lame.
Laugh of the day:

John and Jennifer are in their luxury kitchen.
Jennifer examines the remains of a loaf of Hawaiian bread she had made in the bread machine for John the night before. Some bizarre yeast accident caused the loaf not to grow very much resulting in a short cake-like bread which did not stop John from using it to assemble a Cobb sandwich.

Jennifer: Hmm. It looks like cake.
John: That is what I told you last night!
Jennifer: I was agreeing with you.... jerk.
John: If you were agreeing with me, how come you did not put a "Master" on the end?
Jennifer: What?
John: "You were right about the cake bread Master!" or something like that.
Jennifer: I am not going to call you Master.
John: Not yet anyway.
Yeah. If anyone wants to pay me to write a weblog on their corporate website, I'll happily consider it.
This dominates: some guy improved a highway sign in LA and no one noticed for 9 months.
I like the new EU barcode logo:

Okay, we've got a problem.

The Army doesn't even want the Crusader. And our senator (Inhofe) is trying to save it.

I'm thinking about the 12 steps again. They are obviously powerful for changing lives. I want that kind of change in my life. And I think more Christians need it. Not enough of us have really experienced life change. We haven't 'bottomed out' enough to get better. We don't really see ourselves as sinners. I'm not only a sinner, but someone who has tried repeatedly to 'do the right thing', to be a disciple, and has repeatedly failed. We need 'Sinners Anonymous'. I need it. Therefore:

12 Steps for Sinners who want to recover

1. Admit that you are powerless over sin, that your life is out of control. ‘I am powerless over sin. My life is out of control.’
2. Believe that God can restore you to sanity. ‘You can save me from sin.’
3. Decide to surrender your life to God’s care. ‘I surrender my life to You.’
4. Take a complete and fearless moral inventory.
5. Confess the exact nature of your sins to God, yourself, and a trusted friend.
6. Submit to having your character faults removed and your character grown.
7. ‘Lord, please remove my character faults and grow my character.’
8. Make a list of all the people you have harmed, and be willing to make amends to all of them.
9. Made direct amends whenever possible, except when doing so would cause further injury.
10. Continue to take personal inventory. Admit wrong promptly.
11. Improve conscious contact with God through prayer and meditation, praying for His will and the power to carry it out. ‘Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’
12. Carry this spiritual awakening to other sinners, practicing these principles in all of my affairs.

(Somewhat disappointingly (though not surprisingly), someone is using for their pagan homepage. Oh well, it's a free world.)

Wednesday, May 8

More MetaFilter fun good for a laugh: the thread on four word movie reviews. It made me laugh. It made me smile. That's worth a lot.
Miguel started a fun thread about songs that take over your brain. I wrote:

the worst of these for me is when i get a classical song in my head with words from some cheesy jingle, eg: that Downy commercial about camp, McDonalds to Beethoven's 'Fur Elise'. similar is the adaptation of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata in 'You're a Good Man Charlie Brown'. 'Do you know something Shroeder?'

i take it back. the worst is songs from the children's video 'It's Potty Time' featuring 'I Use My Potty (When I Have to Pee)', 'She is a Super-Dooper Pooper', and more.

my brother says 'La Bamba' can drive any song out of your head. therefore, i call it the universal musical sorbet.

'Para bailar a la Bamba...'
Go Nets. Go Mavs.
A couple of environmental principles:

NIMBY - Not In My BackYard
There is no such thing as 'away' (as in 'throwaway').

Everybody but Nevada wants to build a nuclear waste dump there.

If no one wants the waste, maybe we shouldn't make it.

Tuesday, May 7

Stuff I read today (with little comment):

The Matrix Reloads
'Don Quixote' Crowned World's Best Work of Fiction

Monday, May 6

The 13 Labs Spider-Man raves.
Local news:

Oklahoma could be a site for a new spaceport.
Oral Roberts gives last commencement address.
(note: Oral has said and done some goofy things. But he's basically a good man. And I know a lot of great people who graduated from ORU.)
Rolling Stone put up their Coolest 50 and Uncoolest 50. However, they are not the arbiters of cool for me. They don't have to be for you, either. I didn't have any of the albums on either one of those lists. I own albums I like.
Eric writes, in response to my post about Congress' support for Israel last week, that part of the reason we don't hear about the suffering of the Palestinian people is Arafat: he walks away from chances at peace and he promotes violence.

In diplomatic terms, I don't disagree. If you're a regular reader here you know I don't support Arafat.

Another thought reflecting on Eric's post: Not too many truths can fit on a bumper sticker. But 'If you want peace, work for justice.' is pretty good. Peace is not the only goal in the Middle East. Peace will be more sustainable the more it's founded on justice. Some folks over there on both sides will not be satisfied no matter what. It will remain a place of violence. Is there any hope of agreeing largely on what would be just and then internally prosecuting those who violate that agreement? I doubt it, but it's about the only hope I see for peace.

My boss says he could see Israel going to an Iron Curtain-type resolution. That's probably a pretty good guess.
Abercrombie and Fitch sells sex to kids.

Friday, May 3

I think when I grow up I'd like to live at Jesus People USA.
Since someone got here from a Google search for 'Renovation of the Heart', let me give a brief review.

It's wondeful. I'm about half-way through and it's even more approachable and practicable than 'The Divine Conspiracy'. Highly recommended.

(Incidentally, I'm the only proper return on Daypop. You read it here first, folks!)
MetaFilter love-fest. I'm in.

'But you don't participate in MetaFilter anymore.' you say.

Right, but I read it 100% more than all the other websites mentioned in Anil's post.
I'm really looking forward to Spider-Man, more than to Attack of the Clones. There isn't as much to live up to. It's okay that Spidey looks sproingy (via CGI). It's a simple, fun, popcorn summer movie. Maybe we'll get to go tomorrow night. Otherwise, we'll just wait.

More on the MeFi thread.
Rave review.

Thursday, May 2

Know what I realized? I haven't really logged anything of substance recently. So here you go:

Congress to Express Solidarity with Israel

This situation is so much more complex than Congress is saying in this statement. It's infuriating.

Then again, they're only 'saying something'. And what they're saying definitely is in keeping with the money we send to Israel and our support for them and nonsupport for beleagured Palestinian citizens.

Problem is, they may shape/reinforce uninformed public opinion by their statement.

Wednesday, May 1

You are an AKMA.

You stand out from the crowd because of deeply held beliefs in the unknown.

You ponder endlessly and treat everyone, even ****nozzles, with respect.

WWAD (what would AKMA do) guides your actions.

Take the What Blogging Archetype Are You test at

I held off doing this quiz for a while, until Scott posted it in MeTa. This guy looks pretty cool.
So what do you think of the Webby Award nominees? I'm not familiar with all of them, so it looks like a good place to mine, if I feel like branching out some.