Sunday, July 30, 2006

RMBB 5.5

See here for details.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Lo-cal blogging

Eşti gras ?

Well, if so, here's interesting, and surprising (to me), advice, in English, on a podcast, from Michael Zemel, who's a professor at the University of Tennessee Medical School.

You can listen to it on your iPod, while you're out walking around.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Google now has help

Google groups provides some help on Google issues, but it's nice to have an official help site.

Google Code

The boringly-named Google Code is an alternative to Sourceforge. I created the usual project. Do a search for "hello" and you'll discover everyone else did, too.

It's slow to set stuff up (I assume lots of folks are trying it out), but the design seems useable.

Google Code

The boringly-named Google Code is an alternative to Sourceforge. I created the usual project. Do a search for "hello" and you'll discover everyone else did, too.

It's slow to set stuff up (I assume lots of folks are trying it out), but the design seems useable.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Another cheap-calls service

Rebtel appears to offer unlimited calls for $2/week ($1 on each end), to anywhere in the world.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Boy Shortage

I've seen articles that advocate "more of the same" as a solution to the boy shortage in colleges -- sort of like articles that argue because welfare and Head Start don't seem to be showing results, it proves we need more welfare and earlier Head Start.

Solutions proposed are things like, "Boys need to have more male role models in school," and "boys need to play more boy-like games," and "boys need to be allowed to be more disruptive in the classroom."

This article is closer to my hypothesis, which is that boys only do well when schools emphasize scholastic achievement. Changes is the details of social conditioning are, I suspect, irrelevant; it's merely the viewpoint that "school is there to socialize our youth" in lieu of "school is there to educate -- to teach people skills and facts."

Boys tend to focus on a couple of classes, and blow the others off. They have poor group skills -- unless the group is a competitive one -- but will obsess about acquiring a skill that makes them stand out, even when it takes away from other stuff they're doing.

Intellectual and other curves for boys tend to have the same means as those for girls, but higher variance. If you fail to reward them for sailing off the high end of a curve, the only thing boys still stand out in is failure.

Monday, July 24, 2006


The Greek legend of Pandora tells the story the first woman, created as punishment for Prometheus, after he invented fire.

Pandora's curiosity compells her to open a box that releases evils into the world. She shuts it quickly, but later re-opens it and finds one thing left, unreleased: Hope.

In the elementary-school version, the Hope is a good thing. In the darker original, Hope is the worst evil.

Well, I'm not sure what's in the box this time, but it's certainly true that this Pandora opens one.

Thanks for this to my pal, Kevin Cohen.

chopsticks for 4-year-olds

How to make chopsticks work for preschoolers.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Glenn Greenwald, Glenn Greenwald, Glenn Greenwald

God knows, I don't blog for readership.

I blog instead of sending mass, junk emails to my friends and relatives.

"Stuff I find amusing" becomes a pull service. My mailbox doesn't fill with replies that say, "Geez. Could you take me off your damn mailing list already?"

Also, I'm enamored of technology, and I learn by doing.

Still, I can't see this

[Glenn Greenwald is] the Beetlejuice of bloggers -- say his name three times, and he appears. (Actually, say his name once and he appears, but whatever.)

without doing the obvious experiment.


Adam Smith at the United Nations

In this interesting post, libertarian Dave Kopel writes the UN's treatment of Israel off to the invisible hand: the collective effect of individuals each acting in his own political (and, being the UN, financial) self interest.

For example, he says that even the incident in which UN Peacekeeping Forces helped Hezbollah kidnap and murder three Israeli soldiers was, at heart, economic.

Learn Morse Code

For BA: Learn Morse Code Like an Efficiency Expert

Friday, July 21, 2006

Critical Mass: Which City Will We Lose?

A month or so ago, I stumbled on an interesting question.

Many of my friends have the views about the Middle East typical of the American Left. I don't.

Nevertheless, while talking to one of these friends about Iran a few weeks ago, we discovered that we both agreed on a handful of things.

  • Iran is building nuclear bombs.
  • It's unlikely that either we or Israel will stop them before they're done.
  • It's clear that when they're done, they'll use them on Israel and the US.
  • After they do, Israel and the US will flatten Iran. This will be a tragedy, killing lots of Iranians who aren't as nutty as their government, but they'll still be dead.
"So," I asked casually, "which city do you think we'll lose?"

I got an immediate answer: New York.

After I recovered from my surprise, I tried asking other folks -- first friends, finally pretty much anybody. Everyone seems to think it's a completely reasonable topic of discussion and has quick answers.

Washington, D.C., and New York are the most common. Those aren't my pick; we're now watching over those cities fairly closely.

Los Angeles is a more interesting, frequent answer, though I don't think we'd lose the whole city -- it's too big -- so the PR value (a key goal) would be diminished. An occasional, interesting prediction is Las Vegas: sin city.

Try this yourself. Let me know what answers you get.

My bet is on Detroit. It's easy for foreigners to get to because it's close to the Canadian border. It's an international symbol of America and capitalism. And it's right in the heart of American Shia Islam.

"Muslim" is no synonym for "Iranian terrorist sympathizer," but a small fraction of a big number is enough. All that's needed is critical mass.

Electric cars

Popular Mechanics had a nice article on alternative energy sources for autos, and concluded that the best choice, economically, was electric. So, now that they're selling electric cars, let's see if folks buy them.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

World Jump Day

Was World Jump Day a success? There was an unusually heavy downpour this afternoon, and a very close lightning strike. Very rapid results, I'd say.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Free WiFi at PDX

Well, here I am at Portland International Airport where, unlike DIA, they have free WiFi. Good signal, too.

Denver International Airport has fallen for the same charge-for-service sales job that Starbucks did.

For Starbucks, the result is that people with laptops go to other coffee shops. Starbucks doesn't have to care because they have plenty of sales. They don't need to pull in customers. The result is that WiFi is a differentiator, and helps Starbucks' competitors stay in business.

For DIA, there are no competitors, so the result is just that people don't use their laptops there unless they have to. Here, they're abundant.

Pretty simple, really.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Putting your computer to work to fight against malaria in Africa

Here's another worthy project modelled after SETI@home.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Two brothers or eight cousins

Since three daughters have more of my DNA, total, than I do, I've already seen number 8 in this list.

Okay, "husband's," but still.

Educating the educators

The other night, I had dinner with a friend who remarked that few of her friends had ever had any contact with someone who'd been in the military.

I just sent her this article, from The American Thinker.

Well worth reading.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Network news also dying

20% drop in total audience in the last 6 months.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Heavy, man

There must be a good use for this, besides cocktail-party bets.

It never occurred to me that heavy water would be (readily) cheap and available.

Distributed Guarantee of Service

Here's a very nice technical proposal from The Truth Laid Bear.

If you have a favorite hosting site, pass it on.


A while back, I worked for a company that had been suffering under particularly bad management, even for a software company. When things got so bad they could no longer get any more investor funding, the chairman of the board, John White, arranged a sale of half the company, including the management team, to Kodak.

One of my co-workers said, "See? That's why John's a genius. I would have just fired the motherfuckers. John sold them."

Here, Eric Sheie leaps in my estimation by suggesting a similarly inspired way to deal with Hillary.

Classical Values :: Pardon Hillary Now?

Skype, again

First, free calls to the US and Canada. Now Mexico, Great Britain, Japan.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Blogging on a shoestring, er, shoelace.

Ian's Shoelace Site: really cool shoelace knots.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


A pair of booze sites: Extratasty and Coastr

Who says computers aren't good for anything?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

You tube get all linguistic. Yo, yo.

ali g interviews Noam Chomsky


It's not just the NYT, though it's the Times, too.

I had a nice chat with the circulation director of the local paper who says his subscribers are dying. Literally. Subscribing to a newspaper is, like bifocals or reading glasses, a mark of age.

one red paperclip guy got his house

This guy has successfully traded one red paperclip for a house.

If you haven't been following this, it's amazing. No. Wait. Even if you have been following it, it's amazing.

Unsafe at Any Speed. Well, at least at 55.

We are often told, by nanny-state advocates, that such public goods as safety require a loss of liberty. In the case of speed limits and traffic deaths, that just isn't so
If someone notices a problem, shouldn't Congress immediately pass a law to do something about it? Shouldn't we all start by giving up some personal liberties to solve it?

Keep this in mind as you listen to eco-catastrophists tell you the world is "Doomed! Doomed I say! The government must act now!"

Friday, July 07, 2006

Best reader-submitted Windows tip

According to Lifehacker's Contest Vote-off, next to "install Linux/get a Mac," the most popular Windows tip is "shut it down, quickly."

Ironically, the prize for the winner is a free copy of Windows.

We Bring Good Things to Life

GE's free, online whiteboard

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A Web Desktop

YouOS is clunky, but conceptually interesting.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The only good Marine ... ?

Ah, but the Times has a track record of killing Marines.

Of course, since the Continental Marines were constituted in 1775, perhaps the reason we don't have historical headlines like this is that the Times isn't as old as the Corps.

(Powerline's post title comes from the Times' attempted justification that "the terrorists already knew ...," which they may be giving up on.)