Saturday, April 29, 2006
Friday, April 28, 2006
Thursday, April 27, 2006
A friend of mine just clued me in to the most most amazing use Google Maps (or similar service) that I've seen. Zillow allows you to enter an address and then view estimated home values superimposed on a satellite photograph of the neighborhood (along with the values of all the other houses in the neighborhood). It's a major time-suck, as I couldn't resists checking out our house, the homes of people I knew, and the neighborhoods where we are hoping to move. Fantastic.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
I would describe myself as a left-leaning moderate. I lean right on economic issues and I strongly support free trade and responsible budgetary policy (something that used to be called conservative). On social issues, I lean a bit much more to the left. As you might imagine, the Bush years have been particularly hard on me.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Monday, April 24, 2006
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Well, this has been a crazy weekend. All of my son's aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents came down to visit for a combined Easter/Baptism celebration. I love my relatives, but with the return of the little boy's ear infection, I was getting pretty stressed out over his well-being and the chaos in our house.
But now that everyone has left and my boy is on the mend, things are settling back to normal. Last night, my wife and I watched the only Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode that we had missed. Strike that, it was probably the only episode that I had missed. I'm fairly certain that she hasn't seen every episode. Strike that again. I'm fairly certain that she doesn't know if she's seen every episode. I'm the true geek in the family and I am the one who can actually identify the episodes by season and title.
The episode was the Lies My Parents Told Me. It featured various Spike flashbacks (Victorian England and 70's New York). Since we were such big fans of the character, I'm surprised it took so long for us to finally get to the episode. We've had the 7th season DVD for almost 6 months now. I guess I blame it on Netflix and the new baby. Every time we finally have time to watch something on TV, it's usually a movie on Netflix that we failed to see on the big screen.
Anyway, did anyone else notice that Spike's mother's doctor was Dr. Gull (from the various Jack the Ripper conspiracy theories)? And what was up with the actress who played Nikki Wood? Was she the same actress that was in Fool For Love? She had a vary odd look about her.
Friday, April 14, 2006
And do we want it?
For the uninitiated, Synthehol is a Star Trek creation - an alcohol with none of the negative side-effects of real alcohol. In this article, Professor David Nutt, a psychopharmacologist at the University of Bristol in the UK, believes that there is no scientific reason why it cannot be created now.
I must admit my thoughts are mixed on the subject. In general, I'm all in favor of technological solutions to problems. And the problem of hangovers, liver damage, and memory loss due to alcohol consumption should be no exception. But if we had an alcohol with none of the side-effects, I suspect people would drink more. This would increase drunk-driving incidents and I have no idea what Synthehol would do to alcoholics. I'm not one to moralize about chemical recreation, so long as it doesn't put other people in danger. But it's probably going to happen, so I should stop worrying. And we've had many years of really educating people about the dangers of driving drunk, so perhaps this wouldn't really add to the problem?
For myself, I wonder about the effect on taste. It doesn't sound like you make Synthehol beverages in the same way as good old-fashion alcoholic beverages. I don't expect fine syntheholic wines or beers.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Sign me up for cool Regeneration Powers!
This article in the NYTimes (registration required) surveys the work to exploit the power of regeneration that is present in most animals, to some degree. Oddly, it fails to mention the exciting work done with the Murphy Roths Large (MRL) mouse, which has a Highlander-esque ability to recover from injury. Not familiar with Connor MacMouse of the clan MacMouse? Check out this article on the BBC.
Monday, April 10, 2006
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Monday, April 03, 2006
The government, which succeeded in getting broadband Internet into 72 percent of all households in the last half decade, has marshaled an army of scientists and business leaders to make robots full members of society.
If all goes according to plan, robots will be in every South Korean household between 2015 and 2020. That is the prediction, at least, of the Ministry of Information and Communication, which has grouped more than 30 companies, as well as 1,000 scientists from universities and research institutes, under its wing.
"My personal goal is to put a robot in every home by 2010," said Oh Sang Rok, manager of the ministry's intelligent service robot project.