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Saturday, May 31, 2003
Quite A Tool Collection - If you have a question about ZIP or Area Codes, you likely can find the answer with this slick set of lookup tools. It will even pinpoint the occurrances of a given street name, either within a selected state or across the entire country. Link via RefDesk.

Friday, May 30, 2003

    A Taste of Omar (The Good One)

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

'Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days
Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays:
Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.

Players Of An Online Game - Got to experience a Little Dose Of Reality where it wasn't really expected. The make-believe world of a popular multi-player game, Shadowbane, was hacked and turned into a much crueler place to be than one might wish, sort of like things here in the "real" world :)

Thursday, May 29, 2003

     Haiku For The Spring

Spring leisure--
wandering through the garden
leaning on my cane

These Are Almost Perfect Looking - Photos of Ice Crystals. All they need to make them irresistible is a couple of ounces of Grey Goose :)

24 Percent Down Is A Good Start :) - It looks like SCO's greed may just turn out to bite them in the ass. Their claim to the ownership of Unix System V was the basis for their suit against IBM for incorporating portions of "their code" in Linux. One small flaw in their claim appears to be that Unix System V is actually owned by Novell who only sold licensing rights to SCO.

Friday, May 23, 2003

    A Taste of Omar (The Good One)

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

While the Rose blows along the River Brink,
With old Khayyám the Ruby Vintage drink:
And when the Angel with his darker Draught
Draws up to Thee-- take that, and do not shrink.

A Beautifully Rendered Site - No, it's not photos of his begonias, nor of his tomato plants. My Tiny Garden is an outstanding photo essay on the little creatures that inhabit his garden, sectioned into those that fly, walk or crawl their way through.

Were We Viewing The Same Eclipse? - I don't know about your area, but here in CA the Lunar Eclipse last week, although pretty nice, didn't look nearly this spectacular. Perhaps a bit more than the modest amount of digital enhancement they admit to.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

       Haiku For The Spring

Through the morning
I watched the cherry blossoms
grow old

Orders Of Magnitude Improvement - This microscope does the job with 1000 times the resolution of previous scanning technology! So powerful the researchers claim to be able to actually Monitor The Flow Of Electrons in micro-circuits.

Isn't Technology Wonderful? - Actually this "Shocking" Jacket sounds like a pretty good idea, but I think they should crank the amperage up a notch or two :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2003
An Awesome Undertaking! - What a concept: they want to post a photograph of every integer Latitude And Longitude Degree Intersection position on the planet, excluding only those locations in the oceans and some near the poles. Link via RefDesk.

Feel Like Testing Yourself? - A pesky section of many aptitude tests are those darn partial sequences where you are asked to Provide The Next Term, this site has a few such head scratchers. However, a very nice addition is the clickable answer link. It actually takes you to this Huge Collection Of Sequences where you can enter one of your choice and it will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about it.

Let's See If I Got This Right - The swell folks that want to gift us with Total Information Awareness feel it won't be perceived as such a bad thing if they re-christen it "Terrorism Information Awareness". Odd, I believe if Webster's renames S*** to Shinola most of us would still recognize the aroma and wouldn't intentionally smear it on our shoes.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

        Haiku For The Spring

Each time the wind blows
the butterfly finds a new home
on the willow

Damn! At First Blush It Sounds Horrific - But one might ask, who/what would have the time, ability and discernment to actually Cull The LifeLog for meaningful, predictive information? What it likely could and would be used for is to help shore up the case against anyone who did something untoward. Not exactly the sort of thing imagined in Minority Report, more like Columbo on steroids :)

Another Nice Collection - Has been made available at The World's Famous Orations. Chances are that those of us (un)educated in the US are blissfully unaware of the vast majority of these so here's our chance for some remedial enlightenment. Link via RefDesk.

Monday, May 19, 2003

     Haiku For The Spring

The retreating shapes
of the passing spring--

Perhaps Doctors Really Do Earn Those $$$s - Color me overly sensitive perhaps, but this isn't exactly what I would call A Dream Career :)

Is Sun On The Right Track - With ACE, their graphical Java Development Tool? The concept presumably is that it will allow non-programmers to readily construct at least the bare bones of a Java application. RAD tools are fine, but putting sophisticated programming tools in unskilled hands simply sounds like a quick & dirty way to build unsophisticated applications.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

    Let's Read A Haiku Together

The plum tree blossoms
the nightingale sings
but I am alone

I Guess I'm Too Visually Challenged - To see the embedded picture. I've looked at This Damn Thing until my eyes watered, but there's just no way that the supposed image resolves.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

      Let's Read A Haiku Together

Birds build
not knowing the tree they chose
is the one to be felled

Life Imitating Art - This eerie Picture From A Spacewalk In 1997 evokes memories of 2001: A Space Odyessy or even the great Sci-Fi Magazine cover art of Chesley Bonestell from the '50s and '60s.

Friday, May 16, 2003

    A Taste of Omar (The Good One)

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

And if the Wine you drink, the Lip you press,
End in the Nothing all Things end in-- Yes--
Then fancy while Thou art, Thou art but what
Thou shalt be-- Nothing-- Thou shalt not be less.

A Steady Diet Of SPAM - Seems to be in our future for some time to come according to this longish, and rather bleak, 7 part JamSpam Report.

Good Neighbors Don't Need Fences - Of course, you can't have fences that are too high, strong and secure where The Neighbors Are Bad. The question becomes, I guess, bad in what sense and in whose eyes? A short, interesting take on some current borders and the means of protecting them.

Shhh, Someone May Be Listening - Clearly it hasn't been much of an issue up until now, 1358 wire taps is a drop in the bucket. The interesting thing here is how Ineffective Available Voice Encryption is. In the past that was just bad news for a very few bad guys, but if/when Poindexter & Co. really get rolling it may be a cautionary for a lot of people.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

    Haiku For The Spring

With each falling petal
they grow older--
plum branches

A Very Innovative Approach - To photographing a lunar eclipse: would you have been able to Guess What This Image Shows? We'll get a chance to try our hand at it tonight.

What The Hell Is Going On Here?! - It seems that it's not all beer and skittles in the eyes wide open World Of Open Source. SCO Group, the grinch of Unix, is now drawing a bead on the Linux distributors. Their bitch is that their "intellectual" property rights are being illegally embedded in Linux. Code they sweat blood and brain cells developing? Nah, stuff that for the most part they picked up in 2nd generation acquisitions from the actual development teams.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Bringing Star Wars Down To Earth - You have to hand it to science, there seems to be no end to the ever bigger and more destructive weapons, followed by equally grandiose countermeasures. The idea of a brobdingnagian Neutrino Particle Beam to zap nuclear weapons, although a delicious thought at first blush, has obvious drawbacks of cost and scale. Worse yet however, it would seem fairly easy to counter given the narrow focus of the beam - just don't leave the damn nukes lying in place :)

Stupid Is As Stupid Does - It seems somewhat pathetic that the ever escalating look-at-me ploys have devolved to this level of Self Mutilation. One would think that this nonsense would be self-limitating by de facto opting out of the gene pool, but sadly that doesn't seem to be the case. Oh well, ultimately this too will be passe and perhaps the morons will eventually move on to emasculation, that should do the trick :)

Now That's A Scorcher! - An amazing image of The Surface Of Venus captured by the Magellan Probe using radar to see through the thick cloud cover. Talk about a "greenhouse effect" - the surface temperature runs about 700K (or ~800F for those of us who don't think in terms of Kelvin), which is hot enough to melt lead.

Do They Seem A Tad Out Of Touch - With the public's well deserved skepticism? The Public Relations Geniuses At M$ want to assure us that Palladium will be a security blanket we will sleep under safely. Odd, they haven't built security that works into any of their mainstream products yet, why should we expect this to be different? Perhaps because it shifts a lot of control to the content providers (and guess which market M$ wants to dominate next.) I suspect Palladium will be a good thing - For Linux :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2003
An Interesting Collection - Although far too brief to do more than peak one's interest about various people, issues and events connected to the harnessing of nuclear energy. This snippet on J. Robert Oppenheimer from the biographies section gives the flavor of the collection.

Whew! - I Feel Better Now - After seeing that poor, beleaguered California isn't even in the running in terms of Serious Earthquake Incidents. Now perhaps we can simply concentrate on our broken economy, uncontrolled border, polluted air and waters, failed criminal justice system, grid-locked "freeways", run-away taxes and the sad fact that our legislature and statehouse are controlled by congenital idiots. Link via RefDesk.

The RIAA Strikes Back? - Nah, I doubt that they have enough regard for technology to actually employ it as an offensive weapon, but it is Interesting & Provocative that Kazaa's shared files folder is being targeted by the virus "Fizzer". That Look Out! is also implicated is no surprise at all :)

Radical, Dude :) - An innovative use of flash to present some pretty nice Skateboarding Images. Stuff likes this makes me regret my vintage and oh too brittle bones. Link via mefi.

Monday, May 12, 2003

   Haiku For The Spring

Nobody home--
the warbler strolls
through the garden

Better Than TiVo For My Money - This sounds like a Must Have Item for folks like myself who spend more time with radio than TV. The downside of TV IMHO, aside from the abysmal quality of most of the offerings, is that it keeps you tethered to the tube. Radio on the other hand is simply a pleasant adjunct to whatever else I may be doing at the time, indoors, outdoors or driving in my car.

We All Love Google - In fact, M$ loves them so much they Want To Be Google. A great read about everyone's favorite search engine from

Sunday, May 11, 2003
Happy Mother's Day - As with many things in life, it shouldn't just be a month, a week or merely a day when we reflect on our appreciation of, and debt of gratitude to, special people, but on at least this day Remember To Say Thank You. Link via RefDesk.

Saturday, May 10, 2003
Slip Into The Past - With this very nicely rendered Java Slide Rule. For those of us who went to school in the neolithic the slipstick was required for any serious math/science class.

An Oddly Named Nebula - For some reason it's been named The Helix Nebula, but to my mind, in this lovely picture at least, it bears an uncanny resemblance to a giant eye in the sky.

Friday, May 09, 2003

    A Taste of Omar (The Good One)

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

For in and out, above, about, below,
'Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show,
Play'd in a Box whose Candle is the Sun,
Round which we Phantom Figures come and go.

A Great Reference Site - For the full text of Countless Sacred Texts. The volume and diversity does beg a question though. If God intended to share Truth with mankind, couldn't She have managed to do so uniformly across time, place, language and culture without the points being garbled by the biases and egos of the chosen mediums? Just a thought...

A Great Picture - But the scale is a bit deceptive. In the image, The International Space Station is 1000 times closer than the Moon, but it almost appears to be dropping down for a landing.

Thursday, May 08, 2003
Who Will The Real Winners Be? - When M$ rolls out their next OS, now referred to as Longhorn, one might question the business decision to incorporate the Data Control Envisioned For NGSCB. Touted as a security "feature" it sounds more like a big ass kiss for the content providers and a big kick in the ass for the poor souls who buy a NGSCB (dis/en)abled PC. The big winners just might be Apple and Linux :)

What The Hell Is Really Going On? - Saddam, dead or alive?...WMD, found or not found?...Liberation, Occupation, Exploitation or what?... and the latest question: Was The Museum Looted, Or Not? It seems the only thing certain about Iraq is continued uncertainty.

Some Good News Out Of Iraq - It's starting to appear that Saddam & sons will be as elusive as Osama B, but at least one Missing Person Has Returned, Salam Pax of Where Is Raed? fame.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

   Haiku For The Spring

The nurseryman
left behind
a butterfly

Another Version Of "Reality" - It's never possible to glean the "truth", whatever that is, from the news, but this version of The Jessica Lynch Story is so far removed from the popular myth that one has to wonder what really happened. Link via mefi.

I'm A Blogger, I'll Believe Anything :) - What with the war angst pretty much dissipated the blogosphere was more than ready for a New Topic Du Jour. They picked a doozy this time and apparently some folks actually buy into the story.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003
See, Using Computers Is Dangerous! - Forget about carpal tunnel syndrone, that's child's play. Imagine this poor fellow's surprise when a Meteorite Smashed Through His Ceiling and his PC had the mother of all hard crashes :)

Monday, May 05, 2003

   Haiku For The Spring

Until they bloom
no one waits for them--

Isn't Science Wonderful? - From the "who ever would have guessed" department: these geniuses have deduced that Songs With Violent Lyrics engender aggressive feelings - duh! I wonder how much money that study cost the taxpayers?

Crashing In Slow Motion - No, not the stock market (actually, it's crash wasn't all that slow) - this composite Hubble shot shows Two Galaxies Colliding.

Sunday, May 04, 2003
Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? - Tacoma, Washington certainly has a lot to answer for considering All Of The Red Flags that were raised with regard to their "Chief".

Now That's A Boom! - APOD has resurrected a picture of an Actual Sonic Boom. If you somehow missed it before, now's your chance; if you've seen it before, it's well worth a second look.

Saturday, May 03, 2003

   Let's Read A Haiku Together

The plum tree
keeps its heart tranquil--
see the green leaves

Don't Get Mad, Get Even - Or so seems to be the new mantra of the anti-music sharing folks such as the RIAA. Interesting, I wonder just what kind of Nasty Countermeasures they plan to unleash - be careful out there :) Link via Drudge.

It Would Be Good News Were It True - That DSL prices are dropping, but that's not exactly the case for many users. Here in CA, SBC (formerly known as Pacific Bell) is only offering Reduced Rates For New Customers, and even that is only "guaranteed" for the required 1-year service agreement. For the rest of us the only thing dropping, especially since their pointless alliance with Yahoo, is the "quality" of the service - caveat emptor!

Friday, May 02, 2003

    A Taste of Omar (The Good One)

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

But leave the Wise to wrangle, and with me
The Quarrel of the Universe let be:
And, in some corner of the Hubbub coucht,
Make Game of that which makes as much of

Interesting Resource - I'm not overly fond of sites that require registration, but more and more have gone that route. In any event, if you have An Interest In Mathematics you might find this collaborative information base useful.

What Type Brain Do You Have? - No, not your IQ, the composite of Two Little Quiz Scores is supposed to reflect whether your brain type is essentially masculine or feminine.

Thursday, May 01, 2003
Not Likely, But One Can Always Hope - That enough people here have seen the light to finally get us Out Of The (dis)United Nations. Link via mefi.

The Real Masters Of The Dot-Com Universe - They struck early and they struck often and everything that looks bad to the RIAA still looks good to the Internet Porn Purveyors, the one group of entrepreneurs who understood how to make money from the day the Internet was launched.