2.29.2004

Happy leap day?

Just had to throw an entry in here for the leap day...it's only every 4 years I get to do it, and first time with the blog. Have a nice read about why "Learn [whatever] in 21 Days" books never work. Enjoy the extra day!

2.28.2004

Tooth for an eye?

Ok, in light of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" movie just out this week (very moving film to say the least), I was reminded of the "tooth for a tooth, eye for an eye" passage from the Bible. But how about a tooth for an eye? Strange.
A blind Thai teenager is undergoing an operation in Singapore that involves implanting parts of his tooth and jaw into his right eye in an attempt to regain his sight, media reports said on Thursday.

The tooth-in-eye technique, pioneered in Italy 40 years ago, is considered a last resort for patients with severe cornea damage and for whom conventional cornea transplants will not work.

2.27.2004

Spiders, and termites, and lizards, oh my!

What would the world look like if God thought like Stephen King? How about this story from Berlin, Germany:

A MAN who lived in his own “zoo” of lizards and insects was fatally bitten by a pet black widow spider - then eaten by the other creepy-crawlies.

Police broke in to Mark Voegel’s apartment to find spider Bettina along with 200 others, several snakes, a gecko lizard called Helmut and several thousand termites had gorged on his body.

A police spokesman said: “It was like a horror movie. His corpse was over the sofa. Giant webs draped him, spiders were all over him. They were coming out of his nose and his mouth.”

Police described it as a cross between a botanical garden and the butterfly breeding ground in the serial killer movie The Silence Of The Lambs.

2.24.2004

Rant time...marriage and stuff.

Ok, I have to rant on this one, which is the sort of crap that will seal Bush's fate this November:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush said Tuesday that he supports a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage to "prevent the meaning of marriage from being changed forever."

<soapbox>
....blah, blah, etc, etc. Anyway, I find it humorous that politicians like to have vauge meanings of words when it's convenient for them (see also: Clinton-Lewinsky "meaning of 'is' " ordeal), but "marriage" has to have an absolute meaning (assuming Bush could spell it right). My thoughts (which I haven't heard from either side of the debate, ironically) are that even though the pure "separation of Church and State" is a myth, the government cannot, under the constitution (Article I), make any law "respecting an establishment of religion" (i.e. marriage), which is what both the divisive Defense of Marriage act and Bush's proposed amendment are.

I agree with the Massachusetts courts that the "civil union" thing is probably very "separate but not equal", so why not just make every government-issued license a "civil union", regardless of gender? Someone tell me why that won't work? What if I'm atheist and I want to get hitched with my woman, but have nothing to do with any religious "church" of any sort?
</soapbox>

2.23.2004

Earth v2.0

Neato. Remind you of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, anyone? Slartibartfast is heading up the project, I hear:
"The US Army is building a second version of Earth on computer to help it prepare for conflicts around the world. The detailed simulation will be drawn from a real-world terrain database and will be drawn to the same scale as the original."

2.17.2004

Blogging from the West Coast!

Yep, finally made it out here to San Diego, CA. Only a business trip for the week, but heck of a lot better than the 30 degree weather back home. Hopefully, I'll get some pictures up during the trip, so check back...might be a work in progress. Otherwise, I should have them up Saturday...if I decide to come home at all. ;^>

Ah, crusing down Pacific Highway....what a perfect breeze. Long flight, though....time for some shut-eye!

UPDATE: Well, wireless access at the hotel is another 10 bucks a night. Maybe some pics tonight, or you'll just have to wait until Saturday. Sure is nice having daylight here at 4:00 when my body thinks it's 7 at night. (Check out the timestamp on this post...I'm not usually blogging at 3 AM!)

UPDATE #2: Yeah, got some pics up...check em out. On an unrelated note, read about a star getting ripped apart by a black hole in only a few hours.

2.14.2004

Celestial "bling-bling"?

Wow, now that's a nice rock for the lady. Sorry, Katy....I think it's outta my price range. ;^>

If anyone's ever promised you the sun, the moon and the stars, tell 'em you'll settle for BPM 37093. The heart of that burned-out star with the no-nonsense name is a sparkling diamond that weighs a staggering 10 billion trillion trillion carats. That's one followed by 34 zeros.

The hunk of celestial bling is an estimated 2,500 miles across, said Travis Metcalfe, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

2.12.2004

Goofy mistake?

From www.fark.com, the headline of the day for this article:

"Costumed Disney World employee ran over by float, killed during parade. Disney spokesperson attributes incident to goofy mistake"

2.06.2004

Moo?

Word of the day:

mu: /moo/
The correct answer to the classic trick question “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”. Assuming that you have no wife or you have never beaten your wife, the answer “yes” is wrong because it implies that you used to beat your wife and then stopped, but “no” is worse because it suggests that you have one and are still beating her. According to various Discordians and Douglas Hofstadter the correct answer is usually "mu", a Japanese word alleged to mean “Your question cannot be answered because it depends on incorrect assumptions”. Hackers tend to be sensitive to logical inadequacies in language, and many have adopted this suggestion with enthusiasm. The word ‘mu’ is actually from Chinese, meaning ‘nothing’; it is used in mainstream Japanese in that sense.


Kazaa down under?

Aussie offices of file-sharing software Kazaa got raided this morning. My favorite take on it, from the fark.com discussion:

Thank God the world is so safe that cops in all nations can spend their time breaking down doors to look for those two tracks of "Yanni Live at The Acropolis" you downloaded before you realized you didn't want the CD.

Next thing you know, there will be a waiting list to buy a CD burner, and you'll have to register your burner with RIAA. Then RIAA will subpoena the list of people who rent CD's from libraries, cross-reference it, and break down your door looking for burned CD's.


2.04.2004

Dark Tower VI updates...

Interested in the cover to Song of Susannah?

Thought you would be interested. Matches with the cover style from book 5, but I still wish then matched my first 4 in the series...ah, have to wait for the boxed set, which I'm sure will cost mad $$$. More info on the book here. (WARNING: the text blurb with it has some PLOT SPOILERS...not that some of you can't see it coming anyway.)

I desperately hope King doesn't go off the deep end, although it seem like he already has opened the door to the inevitable paradox of his characters running into himself. (...poll time!) Lazy un-creative writing, or just total insanity? You decide.

I originally liked the Dark Tower series because of its un-King-like epic style, but he's just getting back into his rut now, and while good reading, kind of a let down. Ah well. Ka.

Back in the political arena.

Ok, time to get back on the political soapbox.

Sort of hoping my boy Dean would take the Democratic nomination, but after last night's sound defeat, looks like John Kerry is gonna be the man. I'll probably end up voting Libertarian again, on principle, but hoping that Kerry can smack Bush outta there. I've had enough of the pre-emptive strike wars....don't need to give terrorists more reason to hate us. Just remember when Kerry repeals the tax cuts to fix the budget, then spends it on more social programs....don't come cryin' to me. </soapbox>

2.03.2004

Lawrence Lessig and Janet's "wardrobe malfunction"

Yeah, I'm blogging an entry from another blog. Sue me. Anyway, censorship rears it's ugly head again...an excerpt from Lawrence Lessing's blog (nice Professor of Law at Stanford, defender of our intellectual rights among his hobbies):

We Americans need to rethink whether CBS and its parent company Viacom should continue to be trusted to broadcast on our publicly owned airwaves.

First, CBS turned down an ad by MoveOn.org discussing the budget deficit because it was too controversial for the Super Bowl. Then it proceeded to air an obscene halftime show produced by MTV. The show included Nelly urging women to take off all their clothes, and Janet Jackson performing with dancers wearing leather fetish outfits and lingerie, and then closing her performance by exposing her breast. MTV’s website promised on Jan. 28 that Jackson’s performance would include shocking moments, so it is clear that this was planned.

CBS deliberately suppressed and censored political speech and public discourse, the core reason behind the First Amendment, yet saw fit to air sexually exploitive performances during a family event. We cannot tolerate such failures in judgment.