Monday, January 28, 2008

Rounded Corners

For those of you who don't know what TED Talks are, you should go watch most of them.

Here's one for the many new and not so new parents that I know. Its about some of the lessons that kids need to learn that our culture may not think is the safest activity in which they could partake. Aside from replacing "Spear throwing" with "Throwing a ball" because I don't have a spear lying around, I kinda like the list. I can't wait to teach Emily to drive...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Doesn't that look like my old 45?

When I was a kid and CDs first came out, I heard people that were faaaar older than I make an interesting observation. They said,

"We had all these 45 records with all our music on it. Then came the big 33 1/3 record which, besides having a fraction in the RPM, which is borderline unAmerican, were more or less the same as the smaller 45s. but we bought them anyway, replacing our whole music collection. Then came tapes (or 8 tracks, the order isn't the point and if someone corrects me then we'll all know that they're just old). These new music distribution devices had new and interesting features, and the thieving bastards at the recording companies weren't selling the old records anymore so we all dutifully went out and bought the new thing.

Then followed 8 tracks (or tapes, which ever was not in the last paragraph), same story. Then, the ultimate in music delivery media. The magic of digital, the perfection of the recording... music nirvana..."

There are, of course, the crazy audiophiles who will tell you that digital music will never attain the subtle nuance and warm sounds that only analog recordings can offer. But I just can't see spending $25,000 (sic) on the oh-my-bob-that-is-the-greatest-record-player-in-the-universe perfectly weighted turntable just for the privilege of listening to a shard of metal scrape across a plastic groove which sounds more like the inside of a seashell than anything else.

But I digress

The whole point is that the CDs look exaaaactly light the old 45s that were replaced all those years ago. They weren't of course, but the visual similarity was close enough to be amusing.

So you'd think that the whole point of this ramble would be music, right? Or maybe a rant against the RIAA? Not even close.

A German company called SkySail has "invented" this amazing new "green" technology will revolutionize the entire shipping industry. They have invented an ocean going vessel, and I know this is going to sound weird, powered by wind being caught in a huge cloth sheet which pulls the boat!! Eureka! Why didn't anyone think of this bef.... oh wait.

Magellan, eat your heart out. These sails are supposed to decrease fuel usage for big cargo ships from 10-50% depending on wind conditions.

And I swear they look exactly like all those old 45s that I just threw out!!

Nah, I'm just kidding, 45s are for old people.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I guess not everyone is a Giants fan

America's team my left butt cheek.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Plan B 3.0

I regularly listen to the podcast of Science Friday a weekly show on NPR about science related topics.  There was one recently called Brown's 'Plan B 3.0' an Environmental Call to Action which is an interview with Lester Brown, an environmental analyst from the Earth Policy InstitutePlan B 3.0 is Brown's latest book about his "plan to save the planet from climate change. But with calls for a carbon tax and more gasoline taxes, it's not going to be easy or cheap".  The quote was from the shownotes.

The interview itself is an excellent listen with topics ranging from carbon taxation, wind power and, my brother's favorite, bottled water.

Even better, the entire contents of the book are available on the Earth Policy Institute website for free.

Great Wifey Quote of the Day

"Prefaces in books are stupid.  Why are there ever prefaces? They should just call it 'Chapter 1'".

- Wifey

Friday, January 11, 2008

A truly momentous day

Today, my daughter sat on my lap, dunked half of an oatmeal cookie into a class of milk, almost up to the elbow, and ate the cookie.  It is truly a great day.