Sunday, July 29, 2007

what i'm reading:
29 sayers, a peter whimsey, the one where his brother the duke is accused of murder.
Ah, Clouds of Witness, says google. This link is to a video. havent checked to see if this is public domain yet. better link.
28 teleny. not very good victorian novel, possibly cowritten by oscar wilde.
27. Finished Howard Stern's Miss America. 2nd autobiogaphy, lightweight, a bit about who he is, is coworkers, his job.
Not highly recommended, but I wanted something lightwight and it fit the bill, worth the $1 I paid for it while getting a $2 haircut.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Fair and balanced medical politics update:
Now that Bush is back from having his asshole tuned up,
Cheney's in the shop to have his robot heart replaced.

Back when I had my relocation web site, we got hold of some zip-code level marketing data. When I looked for purchases that correlated with affluence, hardback books was one of the strongest.
Rich people read. Books.
I'm not surprised to hear that.

Not so fast. The data show that rich people buy hardbacks. Doesn't show they read them.
Substitute goods include paperbacks, used bookstores, the library, the internet.
Rich people have been known to buy books as gifts, to buy books in bulk for their employees, to buy books as interior decorating accessories, for their not so rich kids, or even to read them. It might be useful to correlate how often these rich people, having bought volume 1 of a series, go on to buy volumes two and three.
Most American adult males are functional illiterates, but the rich may be an exception. I'm not saying the rich don't read. I'm saying the data don't properly indicate reading ratios.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Collapse illustrated:
This was the last tree in the desert, but somebody ran into it.


I for one department:
Cute japanese snowplow robots.

WSJ on Heinlein.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese girls born last year can expect to live to an average age of 85.8 years, making them the longest-lived in the world, according to figures released by the government on Thursday.
That has to be wrong. I don't know if the error comes from Reuters or the government. People (women) today are living to 85. Or rather people (women) who are dying today were born on average 85 years ago, not counting deaths of the unborn.
People born today don't know how long, on average, they will live. There are too many undeterminables. 2007 + 85.8 = 2092.8.
By then humans may be extinct or immortal.
Hydrogen bombs, cloning, the grey goo problem, advances in medicine, asteroids, raptors, plague, none of this provides the kind of certainty to support an 85.8 figure.
Maybe something was lost in translation.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ward Churchill fired from CU, finally.

seen at covance, hypotamoose.

Gibson has written a sequel to Pattern Recognition, which I liked. I once has a brief romance that started from my borrowing her copy of Idoru.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Set in the same high-tech present day as Pattern Recognition, Gibson's fine ninth novel offers startling insights into our paranoid and often fragmented, postmodern world. When a mysterious, not yet actual magazine, Node, hires former indie rocker–turned–journalist Hollis Henry to do a story on a new art form that exists only in virtual reality, Hollis finds herself investigating something considerably more dangerous. An operative named Brown, who may or may not work for the U.S. government, is tracking a young, Russian-speaking Cuban-Chinese criminal named Tito. Brown's goal is to follow Tito to yet another operative known only as the old man.
Currently reading: Miss America, Howard Stern.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Dead presidents department,
Dateline Madison WI-
Mad hatter bank robber exposed.. as James Madison.
Back when I used to litigate anonymous political speech, I knew a guy named James Madison who agreed to be one of my plaintiffs. This is a different one.

Jargon of the day: dike.
Dike Diagonal cutters, see Gordian knot.Indeed, the TMRC Dictionary defined dike as “to attack with dikes”. > magic/more magic switch > xkcd store stickers > xkcd > arbitrary ardvark.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Court upholds 120 year sentence for the guy who tried to kill me.
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld the 120-year prison sentence of a teenager who killed a Near-Eastside couple.

On Jan. 29, 2004, Lonnie Hall -- then 15 -- broke into the home of Manual Aguiar-Gonzales, 49, and his wife, Mayra Perez-Gonzales, 48. The couple, who had recently moved to the United States from Cuba, were found bound with tape and stabbed to death.

Hall was tried as an adult, and a Marion Superior Court jury in March 2006 found him guilty of two counts each of murder, robbery and criminal confinement, and one count of burglary. Judge Tonya Walton Pratt sentenced Hall, then 16, in April 2006.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Next new book I plan to buy: Rainbow's end. wiki.

Word of the day:
Sriracha wiki

The xkcd forum is expanding my vocabulary - about once a day i run into a new word. I eat this stuff, in small doses, but didn't know what it is called. A recent xkcd comic was about "citation needed" protesters. Sometimes instead of "citation needed" people say "source?" which gets corrupted to "sauce?" and people put up this picture.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Lady Bird Johnson died today. I was in a bookstore in Madison Monday and decided not to get her journal of the White House years for $20. I did get "The Vantage Point" by LBJ for $10, and probably would have liked Lady Bird's book better, but I'm cheap.
Lyndon was a crook, a drunk, an adulterer, a monomaniac, and possibly a great American. Lady Bird was humble, a hard worker, a good person, except that she was Lyndon's number one enabler. She was what Hillary Clinton isn't.
She was a strong capable woman. She ran his congressional office while he was off on WWII junkets. She ran the radio and TV stations that LBJ funneled his millions through. She ran the ranch, and drove a station wagon a few times a year between DC and Texas while Lyndon flew. My father's mother, and my father's sisters, are from that kind of Texas pioneer stock - my father was born in Wichita Falls in 1929 while his father worked for oil wildcatters. My uncle Bob lives out somewhere not too far from the LBJ ranch. The mixed feelings that I have about LBJ are related to the mixed feelings I have about my father. Everything from Texas is a little bit larger than life.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Lately, I've had a lot of free time to waste on the internet, which is what i do as a way to keep my brain busy not noticing that i'm not getting any work done; otherwise i'd be angsting about that, and i don't like angst. it's why, before computers, i was a bookworm. even today i have a good shot at reading another 50 books a year this year, as long as we count the ones like "todd and the talking pinata", where was i, oh, a lot of free time, such that just keeping up with my usual links, which can usually suck up a good 80 hours a week, hasn't been enough and i've been surfing further and further in order to have something entertaining to read. had a point when i began this entry, lost it awhile back, anyway the websnark has not only been blogging again but has a new blog for fictional stuff. i was literally laughing out loud, but not rolling on the floor, from his starbucks rant. I thought doing this blog entry would help clear my thoughts enough to be able to make a webcomic, but it hasn't.

Friday, July 06, 2007

What I'm reading: finished "Grace", about Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco.
Just started Murder in the Gunroom by H. Beam Piper. Wikipedia. A comment at Volokh mentioned that Piper's works are now public domain. He shot himself in 1964, money troubles I think.
Finished Murder in the Gunroom. Detective protagonist is a lawyer, historical gun expert, with a working knowledge of General Semantics and science fiction writing.
Fairly standard hardboiled whodunnit.

1 The American Black Chamber, Herbert Yardley.
2 Marco Polo if you can, William F Buckley.
3 Living History, Hillary Clinton.
4 Maui Revealed.
5 Another day in the frontal lobe.
6 Me, Katherine Hepburn.
7 The Rainmaker, John Grisham.
8 Todd and the Talking Pinata .
9 The Firm, Grisham.
0 A Confederacy of Dunces. - didn't like it, didn't finish it, it doesn't count.
10 Chuck Taylor: All Star, by Abe Aamador.
11 Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman
12 The Covenant, by James Michener,
13 At Ease: stories i tell to friends. Dwight Eisenhower.
14 How to get invited to the white house, Humes
15 John LeCarre, the Honorable Schoolboy.
16 All's Fair, by James Carville and Mary Matalin.
17 Reel Futures, By Forest J Ackerman. (not in order, read this in march)
18 And still I persist in Wondering,Edgar Pangborn
19 Virtual Light, William Gibson.
20 A Holiday for Murder, Agatha Christie.
21 Wild Talent, Wilson 'Bob" Tucker.
22. The Justice Story. True Crime stories from the new york Post.
23. Out of the Furrow, Autobiography of Kalamazoo's first Pediatrician, H. Sidney Heersma.
24: A book about Japan
25. Grace.
26. Murder in the Gunroom.
So I've only read one book in the last month, unless I'm forgetting something.
I got bogged down in the Japan book for awhile, still haven't finished it.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

< img src="http://www.grapenotes.com/images/drgr02a.jpg" >
Dr Graper and grapenotes. meme nostalgia inspired by discussion of today's kxcd. These were our computers circa 1981.
Images won't display for some reason.

NASA to launch rocket to vesta, ceres asteroids tomorrow. Related: Hyperion, a moon of Saturn, is probably mostly water. That could come in handy someday.

Monday, July 02, 2007

.buıoqbuıoq ʎ11ıs

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Singularity watch:
Based on the buzz at boingboing, the iphone is the next big thing, it's what the segway was hyped to be but wasn't. It's a computer, a camera, a phone, a music player, a whole bunch of things that we don't know about that will emerge from user behavior and smarts hacks added on. I won't be an early adopter.

Found a new webcomic, via the xkcd forum. http://www.yourmometer.com

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