Monday, September 30

Just one of the reasons I read Paul: a really nice piece on getting his heart back from the East River.
You won't believe the two squares are the same color (optical illusion via kottke).
The new Two Towers trailer is out. Commentary:

Miranda Otto beats Liv Tyler with a wooden bat.

I'll say it again: Elrond did not lose hope. He did not try to dissuade Aragorn or Arwen. He set the price high. He said he would not give her to anyone less than the king of men.

The final shot of Aragorn in response to Arwen's claim that there is hope is cool (even though that's not how it went).
There's no doubt his hatred is mainly directed at us. There's no doubt he can't stand us. After all, this is a guy that tried to kill my dad at one time. George W Bush on Saddam Hussein

I don't know that this necessarily makes it personal (that's Matt's conclusion, and I respect it), but this is, at least, a dumb thing to say.
Greg is funny, and he's posted something to EOD. If you ever loved him, go check it out (and look at that red hair!) (via Matt).
Wow, did we have an amazing wine tasting dinner Friday night.

We opened up with Sangria and tapas - fried calamari (squid), manchego cheese, banana and cheese empanadas, olives, and almonds.

Dinner was green salad and paella with Marques de Caceres White Rioja, Montecillo Red Rioja, and Pesquero Ribera del Duero.

Dessert was flan and sherry.

It was amazing. Every course was great. Every wine was great for what it was - some 11.50$ and one 40$.

Wednesday, September 25

Jared Diamond wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning 'Germs, Guns, and Steel'. He gave a talk encapsulating that book's thesis entitled Why Did Human History Unfold Differently On Different Continents For The Last 13,000 Years? The thesis of the talk:

The broadest pattern of history — namely, the differences between human societies on different continents — seems to me to be attributable to differences among continental environments, and not to biological differences among peoples themselves.

This was fascinating to me and very readable.

More summary work: Eurasia produced the toughest germs and the most persistent technological cultures because it's the largest land mass and it has a massive east-west axis that is most germane to the spread of domesticated plants and animals.

Then, if you like that talk, and have time, read his How to Get Rich, which develops the same themes with more specific examples and with the (somewhat misleading) intent of educating people on what history teaches us should produce the best financial ventures.
Shot by shot account of the coming Two Towers trailer.

Too much Aragorn-Arwen-Elrond made-up stuff. They're making Elrond too much the disapproving father. Though he was deeply greived at his loss of Arwen, he also loved Aragorn like a son and raised him.

Shot of Sean yelling 'No!' at brief shot of Arwen in Helm's Deep.
Of course I didn't believe it when a friend told me that Mister Rogers was a Marine sniper. Google to the rescue. There was an urban myth that Mister Rogers was an Army sniper. This post (in Google cache) gives the lie to it.

Tuesday, September 24

Steven's got an interesting entry on the longbow in military history.

Makes me think about a Robin Hood/Green Arrow-type who continues to use a longbow to incredible effect long after most people use guns.

Then it makes me think about Legolas.

Remember when I wrote about the question of Tulsa spending 100k$ on a study for building a soccer stadium to bring pro soccer to town. Some anonymous donor gave the money. Interesting.
Yahoo's putting ads on the Companion now. I'll be keeping the Companion, b/c the bookmarks are such a killer app (unless someone knows a better one...), but I've about had it with Yahoo.
Eric keeps pointing people to my site. That's nice. We have a mutual admiration society of two.
John has an unbelievable post on ancient Greek technology. It got me started on my own little journey. The link I read of the many he posted was The Antikythera Mechanism: Physical and Intellectual Salvage from the 1st Century B.C.. It had some really cool assessments of Rhodian technology. Rhodes is part of the Dodecanese Archipelago ('Dodeka' is Greek for twenty, thus 'The Archipelago of Twenty Islands'). You know Rhodes had the Colossus ((+1 with misleading picture at top.).

It makes me think of Archimedes in Syracuse on the SE corner of Sicily. There's pretty good evidence that, among many other amazing things, he used mirrors to light the sails of attacking ships on fire.

That makes me think of the Lighthouse of Alexandria.
The Vikings totally suck. They are 0-3 despite having talent on offense and the defense doing a passable job. It's mental and leadership at this point. They could easily be 0-3 going into Seattle, who really sucks, too. Rats.
The University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane football team has the longest losing streak in the nation, at 14. To show you how bad they are, they just lost to Baylor (via Scott).
Paul has a poignant vignette about city life and its griefs.

Monday, September 23

Don't even try to resist going and getting your pirate name. Mine is Captain Sam Cash:

Even though there's no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you're the one in charge. You're musical, and you've got a certain style if not flair. You'll do just fine. Arr!

(via Scott)

Speaking of pirates, what's the 18th letter of the alphabet? R! What's the 9th letter of the alphabet? I!
Google has advanced their news page, and it's looking really nice. I hope to leave My Yahoo for My Google soon.

I was fumbling around at RandomWalks and found their Knight Rider Wiki. I defy you to find something cooler today than this.

Wednesday, September 18

Eric has a good post about the coming war in Iraq and the rhetoric.

I agree with Eric in the main, though I have a small, parenthetical quibble: Yes, all action in this case is fraught with violence. However, it need not be the case that we make this decision solely on a utilitarian basis - Which course is less violent? It's possible that one course might be more right. (This will of course depend on your view of what constitutes right, but it's possible that an objective standard of right exists. We will certainly struggle with agreeing on what that standard is, but it's possible, and I would even say actual.).
My Lawrence Lessig number is 1 (thinking of the Oracle of Bacon).

Matt works with Lessig on Creative Commons and Eldred vs. Ashcroft, and I once had dinner with Matt.

I was reading about Lessig last night in the latest Wired. I'm not totally alarmed yet that the day is over for our digital freedom unless we win Eldred vs. Ashcroft, but Lessig makes a compelling case.

I'm going to contribute a little by placing a button here on my website.

Interestingly, Matt had a post about a month back about Lessig's big speech at the O'Reilly Open Source Conference. He linked another guy who rewrote the speech (critique first, scroll down for rewrite in italics) in what everyone agrees is far more compelling form. You might want to read it to get a good, quick sense of what's going on.

Tuesday, September 17

Steven mentions follow-on wars to the war in Iraq and then writes (e.g. Saudi Arabia).

Emotional response: holey cow. Is anyone really thinking about such a thing? Are we going to take out every fundamentalist country? I certainly hope not.
Many of us have noted 9-11 anniversary feelings. I don't plan on keeping this up, but Paul had an interesting one, and he lives in NYC.
Scott commented on Chris's post to Collaboratory, and it got me going. Issue: do we all need to generalize a little bit more. Scott's answer was 'That's the way I like it.'. Here's mine:

aren't we all generalists? isn't that why we do this - log? some people like my teaching and say 'don't you want to teach at a seminary/university?'. answer: yes, but i'd have to get a PhD, which is all about specificity. i don't want any more esoteric knowledge. i want application. i want understanding. i want life lived.

Monday, September 16

Jaq has a nice post about how we should remember (prompted, he writes, by my post below). He makes a good point. I love many things about our culture, art this country has produced.
Scott also has a really good post about the Tulsa race riot, on of the largest and worst in our country's history, and one that hardly anyone knows anything about.
We should remember the terrible things that happened on September 11th. We should remember those who died with honor.

However, we also have to look at the causes. I have said all along, though discreetly, that US foreign policy is to blame for much hate toward us. It is not that people hate our freedom. They hate how our freedom takes advantage of them.

Scott has a good post on some of these issues. One things he brings up is our dependence on oil. Just this morning on the way to work I saw a GMC Tahoe with a bumper sticker that read 'America Needs America's Oil'. We do because we drive inefficient boats like a Tahoe. That kind of stuff makes me furious. Many people here in Tulsa, connected to the oil industry, have a very vested interest in serving up as much gasoline as possible.

I also saw a bumper sticker that said 'God Bless America, To Hell With Our Enemies'. To quote JB Philips: Their God is too small.

Wednesday, September 11

How should we remember?

I've been looking around a little bit this morning, and nothing really appeals to me to link.

This is going to seem so self-serving, but at least the most personal stuff for me is the stuff Jason's doing over on Collaboratory.

I will say I like Yahoo's color change, though not the rest of their stuff. I like their color change better than Google's small ribbon. Google should have done the color change.

Tuesday, September 10

Did you see Glenn's assessment of Sweden relative to liberal economics and government? It was interesting. Everyone points to Sweden as the hallmark of liberalism. He takes that notion on and has lots of stats and links. Conclusion: Swedish liberalism is not a slam-dunk for those of us who lean left. It's at least debatable.
I don't feel like I'm hitting the ball very well in most areas of my life right now, but...

I crushed in the first weekend of fantasy football in my league. Not only did I beat my opponent, but I scored the most points of anyone in our league. Priest Holmes was my big guy.

Monday, September 9

Eric has a nice post about listening to St Olaf chapel on the radio. One of the main points was that 'liturgy' comes from Greek words meaning 'work of the people'. Ask yourself 'How is worship the work of faith?'.
Strategy Page's brief on plans for attacking Iraq (I forget where I got this. Robot Wisdom? Clueless? Instapundit?)
Matt's trying to lose some weight. I've been thinking about this a lot. I'd like to lose about 30 pounds, too. But I think I need to get some other things in order first before I prioritize that. But I'm not sure I can wait.

Friday, September 6

A further post in my fascination with all things Google:

Kottke mentioned Googlecooking: you Google the ingredients you want to use, then pick a recipe that looks good. (Judy logged it first, and Meg passed it on.)
I got on a Civilization kick today. It started at Instapundit, who linked to Brad DeLong. Brad had three articles referrencing his children's play of Civ: Democracy is way too hard (which included Sid Meier on Defeating the Taliban (in the comments, at the bottom) , Never build the Manhattan Project unless you have to, and Fundamentalism is perfect for the 20th Century .

A search turned up freeciv, a GNU deal I may just have to check out.
There's actually a lot of additional local news today:

Great Plains (local subsidized airline) needs more aircraft, but has no money.

Someone is poisoning trees in Tulsa that block billboards.

Should Tulsa spend 100,000$ on a study of building a soccer stadium to bring pro soccer to town?

Gaylord donates $12 million to complete OU stadium project.
Here's something crazy: I sat next to Senator Jim Inhofe on the plane last night. I didn't know it was him until we landed and I struck up a conversation with him. He knows my boss really well, so that was easy to talk about. He seemed like a decent, sincere guy. We basically agree on some issues.

I disagree with him on some issues, though. I'm against the Farm Bill because wealthy farmers get too much. I think we need to move toward other sources of energy, and shouldn't explore ANWR for that reason (though a local desire to develop it for financial well-being is probably legitimate).
Add the T-Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition to my PDA/phone wishlist.
By the way, we're back. We had a pretty good vacation. It was good to be away from work for a week, and, this time, Christine was with me to ride herd on the kids. Consequently, we all had a pretty good time (I think).
Weblog Wishlist - owing to Blogger ads:

1. Blog*Spot Plus - 50$/year
2. Blogger Pro - 50$/year
3. while I'm at it, I might as well wish for my own server and T1
4. none of this stuff is going to happen. there ain't no way i can justify it (except maybe Blog*Spot Plus, when interact comes due to revew ad-free hosting at 15$/year. we could move it and twinlog and collaboratory there for about the same money. maybe i should just look into other hosting. but how can you beat 5$/month?)