Thursday, December 30, 2004

TRN's Top Picks: Technology Research Advances of 2004

From slashdot, this article on the top science and engineering advances of 2004:
TRN's Top Picks: Technology Research Advances of 2004:
Lots of cool stuff, including:

The burgeoning field of nanotechnology -- the quest to build devices and materials from infinitesimal metal and semiconductor particles and even individual molecules -- continued its fast pace this year.

A pair of significant developments each had researchers taking DNA for a walk. Scientists at Duke University and the University of Oxford in England put together a series of DNA stations that can automatically pass a DNA fragment from one to the next. California Institute of Technology researchers improved the gate of a bipedal DNA walker originally designed by researchers at New York University from shuffling, with one leg always trailing the other, to leg-over-leg walking.

Nanotubes continue to be a promising nanotech building block. Researchers from the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) found a relatively simple way to manufacture tall, dense, vertically-aligned stands of pure nanotubes. Nanotubes produced using the method are orderly and pure enough for use in medical implants as well as electronics. "

The Energy stories are really intriguing and I hadn't heard of half of these.

Energy research ranges from finding ways to power microscopic machines to developing renewable energy sources for global consumption. Many research teams are working on solar and hydrogen energy systems, and there have been several significant developments this year.
Scientists from Toin University of Yokohama in Japan built a single, compact device that converts solar energy to electricity and also stores the electricity. This is an improvement from today's combination of solar energy devices that harvest the energy from light and batteries that store the energy. The device is also relatively efficient at harvesting ambient light; it could eventually allow people to recharge cell phones, for instance, using indoor light.
Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers found a way to double a solar cell's potential energy production by using the energy of a single photon to move two electrons rather than just one, and researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the University of California, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineered a single material that is capable of capturing more than 50 percent of the sun's energy from across the solar spectrum.
On the fuel cell front, University of Wisconsin at Madison researchers found a way to use carbon monoxide, a fuel cell waste product that ordinarily degrades cells, to produce more energy. Researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Patras in Greece devised a way to extract hydrogen directly from ethanol, which is produced by converting biomass like cornstarch to sugar, then fermenting the sugar.

Euro Trash - Even drug dealers are giving up on the dollar.

After reading this slate article, I wonder if the US will start making $500 and $1000 bills again:

Euro Trash - Even drug dealers are giving up on the dollar. By Daniel Gross

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

MORE NEWS Most Popular
• Tsunami death toll by country | Thailand toll increases
• Hundreds of Americans believed missing
• Tsunami aid effort gathers speed | List | How to help
• Survivors face disease threat | Tsunami Special Report
• Stingy Americans?: U.N. comment hits nerve
• Scientists: Quake shifted tectonic plates
• Swimsuit model survives tsunami
• Tsunamis shatter celebrity holidays

Glad that swimsuit model is ok, but it seems other celeb holidays have been shattered. Bummer.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Putin hints at China alliance for Yukos oil / Home UK - Putin hints at China alliance for Yukos oil
updated: working link:
Putin hints at China alliance for Yukos oil

Also, check out this nytimes article about how China is going after Alberta oil sands.

China in Line as U.S. Rival for Canada Oil

updated, working link:
LP: China in Line as U.S. Rival for Canada Oil

Quiz: Art or Crap

Here's a fun little art quiz. Pretty easy for anybody that's ever read Janson's or Gardner's.

Quiz: Art or Crap

Monday, December 20, 2004

Basic Choices and Constraints on Long-Term Energy Supplies

While I think the following article is a little too optimistic about fossil fuel reserves, it is overall a good summation of a lot of key points. Physics Today July 2004- Basic Choices and Constraints on Long-Term Energy Supplies

There's also an article in this month's issue about Tranforming the Electric Infrastructure, but I haven't had a chance to check it out yet.

Friday, December 17, 2004

The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies

This book, The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies, makes for a great stocking stuffer and read. The reviews on amazon are pretty good too. Heinberg does slide over some things that his hippy nature is sure to loathe, like nuclear fission power for one. But, overall, it makes for a great introduction to looking at human civilization from an ecological and thermodynamic point of view. e.g. he rarely mentions oil in the first 50 or so pages of this book, instead he methodically lays down all the important concepts like carrying capacity, the laws of thermodynamics, etc. Heinberg is also in The End Of Suburbia, which is a pretty interesting documentary.

Check 'em out!

A book that Heinberg mentions that I'd really like to read now is The Collapse of Complex Societies (New Studies in Archaeology) by Tainter et al. Anybody read this?

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Another Random Post With Absolutely No Redeeming Value

I love seeing the random searches that lead to this page. Petrolium [sic], tommy westphal mind, snoop dog sayings, ratherisms. Those last two have a lot in common actually.

Last 20 Unique Search Engine Queries
Time Search Engine Query
12/15/04 @ 09:24am Yahoo: snoop dog sayings
12/15/04 @ 09:23am Yahoo: snoop dog sayings
12/13/04 @ 01:37pm Google: tommy westphal mind
12/11/04 @ 08:02pm Google: nanothoughts
12/10/04 @ 10:46am Alltheweb: kath bloom come here mp3
12/08/04 @ 05:58am Alltheweb: kath bloom come here mp3
12/06/04 @ 10:06pm Google: opinions take a ride to exurbia
12/05/04 @ 12:06pm Yahoo: take a ride to exurbia
12/04/04 @ 01:05am Msn: liquid petrolium gas
12/02/04 @ 03:29am Yahoo: heatkernel
11/30/04 @ 02:37pm Google: ratherisms
11/28/04 @ 10:50pm Google: homicide life on the street tv theme songs
11/26/04 @ 10:30pm Yahoo: dan rather 2004 election video ratherisms
11/26/04 @ 08:03am Google: clevernothing
11/25/04 @ 01:10pm Alltheweb: download dan ratherisms
11/19/04 @ 10:51am Google: snoop dog like a dog without a bone
11/18/04 @ 12:45am Google: life is a rock %2b mp3
11/16/04 @ 02:47pm Google: plastic operator folder
11/15/04 @ 12:55pm Google: life is a rock mp3
11/14/04 @ 06:51pm Google: life is a rock mp3

Piled Higher and Deeper

I haven't posted in about a month. Here's partly why: Piled Higher and Deeper

Although my weekly meetings are on wednesdays and not thursdays.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Boing Boing: Snoop Dogg's new track debuts in-game

Like a dog without a bone, An actor out alone. Apparently the big story here is supposed to be that the song is debuting in a videogame, but I think Calvin Broadus teaming up with Krieger/Mansarek/Densmore is the moment that I never though would occur. I guess he's the Dogg King now; he can do anything. (And yes, they did misspell Snoop Dogg's name, but that's ok, I guess.
Boing Boing: Snoop Dog's new track debuts in-game
Here's the nytime text with all the 411. Remember the cypherphunk.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

The New York Times Op-Ed: Take a Ride to Exurbia

The NY Times ran an OpEd piece by David brooks on Nov 9th:The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Take a Ride to Exurbia. He points out that the Republicans, led by Karl Rove, understand suburbia. I'm not sure anybody really understands but it sure does look like they've got the Republican voters, as Robert Lang points out in this letter to the editor about Brooks OpEd piece (his is the 3rd one down). Lang is the director of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech, (an institution dear to my heart). Their blog called BlogOpolis can be found here.

Friday, November 12, 2004

EW's 25 greatest hip hop albums - What's the greatest hip-hop album? - Nov 12, 2004

I won't argue with Eric B. and Rakim making the top slot, but I think it's interesting that De La Soul are in the number 2 slot. I'll be interested to see the full list. If anybody knows where it is, please leave a comment.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Vegetarian Snacks

Can anybody recommend some good vegetarian snacks?

I know there are a lot of sites devoted to this, but I was curious about individual peoples opinions.


On Wikipedia, mudslinging spatters Bush and Kerry

Another reason why true wikis probably won't ever work: On Wikipedia, mudslinging spatters Bush | CNET

I guess wikis which protect and/or "lock" their articles are gonna probably end up to be the best way to handle the editability/reliability balance.

Bonus random junk: Recent search terms which led to this site, amazing brainteasers, weephun pictures, patricia schultz 1000 places to see, pcf 94, and 2004 political tv ads.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

On a Lighter Note, Random crap

If you want to see a great movie, check out Pressburger and Powell's The Red Shoes (1948). Simply put, it's the best movie about ballet ever. (Even better than White Knights.) It's loosely based on the short story by Hans Christian Andersen. For a guy that died in 1875, he has a rather extensive writer filmography, don't you think?
Here's a less profilic filmwriter, but he's been around for a tad bit longer. Notice his trademark is dactylic hexameter verse and please add estate info if you can!

Test your browser for popups: Popup Test - Free popup blocker test, download and top 10 rated

I like to click that "Go To Next Blog" randomizer button, but these spam bloggers are starting to really annoy me.

And finally, over on PolySciFi, Thason posted about TV theme songs a while back. This got me interested in looking up some TV stuff and how the run of 167 (so far) TV shows exist in the mind of autistic Tommy Westphal, who was the son of a Dr. on St. Elsewhere. You can read more about this at your local library or in the comfort of your own browser at: Homicide: Life on the Street Crossovers & A Multiverse Explored. One thing to note from all this are some of the amazing crossovers:
Not only did Arnold and Mr. Drummond considering purchasing the Banks' family home on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, but so did George and Weezie Jefferson!
Both Colonel Klink and Lurch appeared on Batman.
Newhart was a figment, but this show's run was a dream by Newhart, so it was actually a double figment (as were all shows connected to it).
Although NBC has the two central shows, ABC seems to be the big crossover whore with The Drew Carey Show in particular being connected to an inordinate amount of shows.

Suspicions grow that Arafat is dying of AIDS

Hmmmmmm. israelinsider: diplomacy: Suspicions grow that Arafat is dying of AIDS
Well, if it's on the internet, it must be true. And here's the speechwriter
David Frum's Diary that the first link cites.

On a related note, it's good to know that Wangari Maathai has backed off her comments suggesting that HIV was bio-engineered. (At least that's what wikipedia says, and unfortunately I trust that site less than most news sites on the internet.)

Friday, November 05, 2004

Prognosticating oil supplies - The Washington Times: Editorials/OP-ED - November 03, 2004

Two days after the election, the Washington Times has an editorial on peak oil: Prognosticating oil supplies - The Washington Times: Editorials/OP-ED - November 03, 2004, I quote: "A rather alarming theory about oil supplies — which had been discussed mostly among fringe economists and on quirky Internet Web sites — has recently received much broader attention. Signs of the theory being taken seriously include a recent front-page story in the Wall Street Journal and advocacy by Matthew Simmons, a much-respected investment banker and former Bush energy adviser."

Matthew Simmons is much-respected, huh? Maybe because he's the head and namesake of the #1 energy investment bank in the world. That might have something to do with it.

At least Michael Duffey mentions him, the CNN/Money article omits him entirely: Peak-oil fringe group gains mainstream attention - Nov. 3, 2004

I'll post more about this later.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Boing Boing: Spammers react to election

From Boing Boing: Spammers react to election, we have this funny spam:

From: "Mia Wang"
Date: November 3, 2004 9:28:10 AM EST
To: Taylor
Subject: Bush Gets Re-elected
Reply-To: "Mia Wang"

With 4 more years of Bush coming you need some prozac. Get it here.

Trust me, it'll make you feel better.

Don't those singers dislike playing carelessly?
Did Roy love working on the top of the mountain?
I didn't dislike cooking at home.
tomorrow i will wash my hair and go to the salon

Voting Technology

Although I'm not naive enough to think that voter fraud doesn't occur, I'd like to go on the record as saying that I believe the outcome was legitimate on Tuesday. However, I am still distressed that there is no paper trail for some of these voting machines. It seems that a redudant electronic and paper trail would help immensely. Here's a good overview article by the Economist from a couple months ago and another from earlier in the year.
Also, in the intro to Jay Nordlinger's Impromptus on National Review Online, he writes:
The most disturbing aspect of the morning was the ease with which I voted — and I'm not talking about a laudable ease. I gave my name, gave my address, and that was it. No ID, no nothing. How did they know my name was Jay Nordlinger, and that I lived where I said I lived? True, I had to sign my name under a previous signature of mine — but such things are easy enough to copy. So too, I'm fairly sure I could have written "Mickey Mouse" and waltzed right in.
The whole setup seemed to me an invitation to fraud.
Speaking of which, an informed Michigan source told me they were "passing out provisional ballots like candy," and, moreover, running them through — counting them as votes, contrary to the rules. This misbehavior was rampant, said my source, amazed and disgusted. I know that I, personally, as a citizen and as a journalist, have been far too ignorant about the mechanics of Election Day. If I had more discipline (and time), I would read John Fund's Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy.
Maybe I will.

(This book he mentions is a partisan hackjob and is paired by with the extremely subtle: If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat: Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends on It by Hugh Hewitt. Hopefully, there are some more even-handed takes on election techonology out there. If anybody knows of any, let me know.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

It's pretty obvious Bush has won re-election

even though all the news organizations are too scared to admit it. Congratulations to him. I wonder when the Democratic party will learn how to campaign effectively. It's pretty sad how inept they are and how few people actually vote. I'm already wondering who the nominees in 2008 will be. Keep on rockin' in the free world.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Dan Ratherisms

Dan Rather is always spouting strange verbiage, but he's in rare form on Election night. Here are some of his sayings from tonight. (I'm paraphrasing most of them.) I'm taping CBS for the rest of the night so I may have more later.

about polling "it's more complicated than the wiring diagram for a hydroelectric dam generator dynamo"
"even if you see the exit polls, you still vote. you know we have guys fighting in iraq and afghanistan and if they can do what they're doing, then you can get off your duff and go vote and come back to the couch and watch us."
about lockhart saying they have a chance to win every battleground state: "reminds me of the phrase 'don't taunt the alligator til you've crossed the river', i guess joe doesn't prescribe to that."
"bush is sweeping through the plains like a giant combine"
about Colorado: "...when Kerry wrote Santa he asked for Colorado for Christmas"

Election Day 2004

Well, today I voted for Kerry and it went very smoothly. The wait was about 5 minutes which was fine with me. In a state of 700,000 I guess the lines shouldn't be too long. It will certainly be interesting to watch the results come in tonight. Hopefully we'll know who the winner is before tomorrow morning. Peace.

Fantasy Politics Entry

This is my entry for a friend's contest:

1. The number of electoral votes collected by the winner of the election. (4 points per place.) ---293
The official electoral tally will be taken as a measure of the number of states won by the winning candidate. At this time, the number will not be subject to the whims of faithless electors.

2. The number of states won by the winner of the election. (3 points per place) ---22
For the purposes of this question, Washington, D.C. is a state. Of course, the election winner can win fewer states than the election loser.

3. John Kerry's percentage of the national popular vote. (2 points per place)---48.83%

4. George W. Bush's percentage of the national popular vote. (2 points per place)---47.67%
Your responses to questions 3 and 4 need not total 100 percent. Of course, the election winner can have the lower percentage of the national popular vote.

5. John Kerry's percentage of the popular vote in the state of Texas. (1 point per place)---38.51%

6. George W. Bush's percentage of the popular vote in the state of Massachusetts. (1 point per place)---34.24%

7. The number of states in which any 3rd party candidate collects more than 3 percent of the popular vote. (2 points per place)---3

8. The winning candidate. (The number of points awarded for 1st place in question 1.)---Kerry

If the election is close, this question may have to wait to be settled until the electoral votes are counted by the Congress. This question could be subject to the whims of faithless electors.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Red Sox win World Series and Total Eclipse of the Moon

"Once upon a time, I was falling in love...." oh, nevermind. Seriously though, how awesome was it that the moon became the color of blood on the night the Red Sox won their first World Series since the Soviet Union was a year old?

Technical detail: The photo is not from last night's eclipse, but you get the idea.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Clever Nothing, site feeds, openp2p, 1000 places, common dreams, adult comics and searches

My friend Brandon started up a Fark-like message board called Clever Nothing after getting banned or something from Heatkernel is a frequent poster there.

And in case you need an RSS or Atom XML feed of nanothoughts, the site feed link is on the sidebar. (I know all 3 readers will be dying to do this.) Also, you can add to by clicking on the banner in the sidebar. is now linked in the sidebar too. p2p is the future, folks. I just wish I knew more about it. hence the link.

And I recently received Patricia Schultz's 1000 Places To See Before You Die. There are way too many hotels and restaurants, but overall it has a really good assortment of interesting sights to visit. I'll post more about it later when I get through more of it. Right now, I'd give it a B+ for the average reader and an A for travel buffs. The best thing about the book is that it introduces the casual reader to travel ideas they might not have contemplated before. e.g. Easter Island, the North Pole (which Norway technically owns), Horseback riding in Mongolia, and climbing up to super remote villages in Bhutan. Here's an MSNBC article about it.

Here's a pretty radical progressive site called Common Dreams that r e g a l introduced me to. Here's an interview between Kurt Vonnegut and Kilgore Trout.

My friend Ron from high school runs a couple sites for "adults". Here's into certain niche markets, like Adult comic books, superheroes etc. and Adult games like strip poker, memory, breakout etc. . I told him I'd mention them, so there ya go. Try and see if you can see some boobies or what not. Speaking of breasts, I think I'll mention that Lindsey Lohan isn't that bad. When does Hilary Duff turn 18? (Shameless attempt at to generate site traffic.)

extra bonus: some recent searches that led to NanoThoughts:
weephun, clevernothing, peak hubbert opponent, nanothoughts, metabolite benzoyleconine, plastic operator folder, life is a rock mp3, cypherphunk, lyrics down the walls of heartache. Eventually I'll start to blog about nanotechnology, nanograss and all things nano.

New side pic

I got bored of that Bierstadt, so I put up a Roy Lichtenstein
Still Life with Goldfish Bowl and Painting of a Golf Ball
Oil and Magna on canvas
52 x 42 in
Private collection

Planet Simpson, Mindball, Brainteasers, and more Prince songs

Anybody read/seen this book?
Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Documented an Era and Defined a Generation? here's an excerpt that I lifted from here:
Real Life Notes from Fox Censors (according to Matt Groening):
- To discourage imitation by young and foolish viewers, when Homer begins to pour the hot wax in his mouth, please have him scream in pain so kids will understand that doing this would actually burn their mouths.
- Although it is only a dream, please do not show Homer holding a sign that reads KILL MY BOY.
- After Marge turns off the light, please substitute a line that's more general, such as 'get away from me' or 'stop that,' instead of 'get off me.'
- Bart's line 'Sod off' and Willie's rejoinder 'I'll give you something to sod off about!' are not acceptable. This phrase refers to sodomy despite your set-up about resodding the lawn.
- It will not be acceptable for Itchy to stab Scratchy in the guts and yank his intestine out and use it as a bungy cord.'

I'm linking to the UK Amazon because they have this book as its "Perfect Partner." It's a bidirectional best hit to boot!

Not sure if this is fake or not, but looks cool:Mindball, pong played with brainwaves basically.
Hmmmmmm:Gizmodo : Sushi USB Flash Drives What's worse, biting a flash drive, or trying to shove some maguro in your USB port?
I'd love to get one of these: Inventor Rejoices as TVs Go Dark
But, I'd prefer this (assuming American Airlines still exists in say 10-20 years. AAirpass aka Fly on AA the rest of your/its life for only $3 million.

Nice mathematical brainteaser page:
Nick's Mathematical Puzzles

Top 5 Prince Songs You've Probably Never Heard

...songs that the casual fan has probably not heard because they either weren't released as singles, were on albums that didn't sell that well, or are generally weird enough that an initial listen might turn the casual listener (i.e. program directors) off.
  • "Endorphinmachine" from The Gold Experience
    4 minutes and six seconds of high energy rock, the energy of Let's Go Crazy, but at a slightly slower tempo. Punctuated by some amazing guitar, it features a Prince scream of amazing intensity and duration. It even has cowbell too for all you Bruce Dickinson fans.
  • "When You Were Mine" from Dirty Mind
    Covered by Cyndi Lauper on her She's So Unusual album, this song has an amazing groove. Sadly, Cyndi omits that groove. Prince's version is catchy as all hell (even with quirky lyrics like "you didn't have the decency to change the sheets")
  • "The Question of U" from Graffiti Bridge
    Twenty second intro, one minutes of lyrics, and three and a half minute outro. Bluesy hypnotic electric guitar throughout.
  • "She's Always in My Hair"
    The flip side to "Raspberry Beret". Three and a half minutes of pure B-side joy. "Maybe I'll marry her, maybe I won't." Indeed.
  • "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore"
    I did a google search for this b-side to "1999" and the first gazillion hits were for Alicia Keys. Apparently it was the third track on her first album. She update his "it's just one lousy dime" line to "quarter." Wait until VOIP takes over. Anyway, this is the ultimate Prince piano song; those jazzy chords will knock you out. We all know that the best jazzy piano chords in a pop song belong to Van Morrison's "Moondance", but trust me these are a close second. (I'm pretty sure they're jazzy piano chords anyway.)

  • Monday, October 25, 2004 new car buying guide, avoiding dealer scams, new cars, used car buying, selling

    I just got a new car and I found this site to be extremely useful. Read as much as you can on here before going into battle. Trust me, it will help you immensely. new car buying guide, avoiding dealer scams, new cars, used car buying, selling

    Gay Robot @

    This is from Adam Sandler's new album. Be sure to check out the song "Secret" too. Funny stuff. Gay Robot @

    Tuesday, October 19, 2004

    Florida 2000: The Sequel - Five ways the election could end up in court, again. By Richard L. Hasen

    Let's hope none of these scenarios actually occur: Florida 2000: The Sequel - Five ways the election could end up in court, again. By Richard L. Hasen: "jurisprudence The law, lawyers, and the court.

    One dude in the Fray posted the following. Can you imagine if Bush was re-elected and Kerry was his Veep? Man, oh man.

    "If the electoral college ties 269-269, or if one state simply cannot decide who it elected, then the twelfth amendment sends the election of President to the House voting in state caucuses, where Bush wins. The vice president to the newly elected Senate. There may be 51 or more Democratic senators after this election (especially if Jeffords votes with the democrats). If Bush is going to be President, who do the Democrats choose for vice?
    (a) Cheney, since the President should have his choice in the position.
    (b) Edwards, since he got half the votes for Vice President.
    (c) Kerry, since he got half the votes for President
    (d) Some compromise candidate, perhaps McCain
    For a bunch of Senators, this will be their very first vote. Some of the Democratic Senators will come from Bush-voting states. interesting . . ."

    Monday, October 18, 2004

    I Love Bees Game a Surprise Hit

    Ok, at first I saw the title and thought it said "I Love Bee Gees a Surprise Hit" and I thought "hey, why should that be a surprise, the Bee Gees are cool." Then I started reading it and seeing how crazy everything is getting and amazed that people are so into these things, but then again, here I am wasting time blogging about it, so to each his own I guess. On page 2 I realized it's a marketing campaign for a video game that I've already pre-ordered (first time ever doing that), Halo 2. Does that mean I'm partly responsible for this? Reminds me Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind's Lacuna Inc. and AI's promotional web campaign, which is mentioned in the article. Need to do a post tying this together with RealDoll, BladeRunner, The Sims, Virtual Reality Tourism, etc. As for now, I'm off to erase my memories...

    "The instant I went from Preston Thorne, trying to play a game and answering a bunch of telephones, to Lt. Weephun, crew member of the Apocalypso helping Melissa complete her mission, it was a huge epiphany, and it made the game a lot more fun," he said. "And if we had any direct communication with the Puppetmasters, it would be less fun."
    I Love Bees Game a Surprise Hit

    Saturday, October 16, 2004

    Bush, Without a Doubt

    "In the Oval Office in December 2002, the president met with a few ranking senators and members of the House, both Republicans and Democrats. In those days, there were high hopes that the United States-sponsored ''road map'' for the Israelis and Palestinians would be a pathway to peace, and the discussion that wintry day was, in part, about countries providing peacekeeping forces in the region. The problem, everyone agreed, was that a number of European countries, like France and Germany, had armies that were not trusted by either the Israelis or Palestinians. One congressman -- the Hungarian-born Tom Lantos, a Democrat from California and the only Holocaust survivor in Congress -- mentioned that the Scandinavian countries were viewed more positively. Lantos went on to describe for the president how the Swedish Army might be an ideal candidate to anchor a small peacekeeping force on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Sweden has a well-trained force of about 25,000. The president looked at him appraisingly, several people in the room recall.

    ''I don't know why you're talking about Sweden,'' Bush said. ''They're the neutral one. They don't have an army.''

    Lantos paused, a little shocked, and offered a gentlemanly reply: ''Mr. President, you may have thought that I said Switzerland. They're the ones that are historically neutral, without an army.'' Then Lantos mentioned, in a gracious aside, that the Swiss do have a tough national guard to protect the country in the event of invasion.

    Bush held to his view. ''No, no, it's Sweden that has no army.''

    The room went silent, until someone changed the subject.

    A few weeks later, members of Congress and their spouses gathered with administration officials and other dignitaries for the White House Christmas party. The president saw Lantos and grabbed him by the shoulder. ''You were right,'' he said, with bonhomie. ''Sweden does have an army.''"

    This story was told to [Ron Suskind] by one of the senators in the Oval Office that December day, Joe Biden. Lantos, a liberal Democrat, would not comment about it. In general, people who meet with Bush will not discuss their encounters. (Lantos, through a spokesman, says it is a longstanding policy of his not to discuss Oval Office meetings.)

    The New York Times > Magazine > Without a Doubt
    Remember, for all your login needs, use cypherphunk/cypherphunk.

    Nice article by Ron Suskind, the guy that wrote the book about Paul O'neill leaving. The main thesis isn't trying to spread the incorrect Bush is a dumbass meme (I don't believe he's a dumbass either. Nor do I reallly believe in memes, but that's another story.) It's that he so sure of himself and his faith that he's not getting as much guidance as he could. check it out.

    Friday, October 15, 2004

    There's Something About Mary

    I think it's tacky at best and pretty offensive at worst how Edwards and Kerry both brought up Mary Cheney in the debates. First of all, I don't see what she has to do with this election at all. If they're trying to point out inconsistencies in the Republican camp or trying to trip them up, it isn't going to work. CHeney's response during his debate was something like "The President makes the policy and I support the policy." which I read into as saying: If I [Cheney] were president, i wouldn't necessarily set that policy, but I'll always stick in my boss's corner despite personal differences." Anyway, I think the bottom line is that Kerry's "handlers" are being complete idiots about this and I thought Edwards was enough. I can't believe Kerry brought it up. Freaking idiot.

    On another note, Bush has a great sense of humor. I wish he still drank, cuz I'd gladly split a 12 pack with him.

    Thursday, October 14, 2004

    Movie List

    Found this on the net: Ken Jenning's Top Movies List
    I recently finally got around to seeing "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly", it's a good guy movie, but I haven't a clue how it got to be 24th on the IMDB list. Just another example of how bogus that list is.
    Also saw "Bottle Rocket", Wes Anderson's first film. If you liked The Royal Tenenbaums or Rushmore, you'll dig it. Check it out and don't forget that The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou will be coming out soon. (I'll add hyperlinks later.)
    And finally, "The Station Agent" which is set in rural New Jersey and stars Peter Dinklage, who happens to be 4 feet 5 inches tall. Nice quirky, character driven film. Don't expect much plot or a nicely tied together ending. ANother art house type piece. I've heard the little guy gets mad ass, not sure if that's true or not.

    Friday, October 08, 2004

    Great Flash Animations

    Just a random post about some of the best ever flash animations:
    Star Wars Gangsta Rap
    All I want is Bang Bang Bang
    Group X's Super Mario Bros tribute
    Strongbad email: Trogdor the Burninator
    Joel Veitch's "We Like the Moon"
    Mr. Wong's first episode
    not flash, but great nonetheless: Carl Lewis Music Video

    Tuesday, October 05, 2004

    Bush to give major speech. | Metafilter

    Metafilter has a thread about Bush's speech tomorrow: news article

    These two comments cracked me up: (Note though, that this speech won't be televised.)

    This promises to be the electioneering equivalent of the Star Wars Kid: there he'll be, puffing and posing and thrashing away at an opponent who conveniently isn't there. Jesus, we've all had our "I shoulda said" moments, but this is pitiful. When do I get this kind of do-over?
    posted by George_Spiggott at 1:26 PM PST on October 5

    "This will be the first nationwide broadcast of l'esprit d'escalier in American history."
    posted by jkilg at 1:41 PM PST on October 5

    Sunday, October 03, 2004

    Cooking Blog

    There are a bunch of cooking blogs out there, but Cooking For Engineers is one of the more interesting ones. Check out the dude's rectilinear recipe boxes (which apparently he is copyrighting). Lots of well done photography and a glossary of cooking terms to boot. His most recent post isn't a recipe but instead is an off topic digression on Orange Juice Shelf Life

    Friday, October 01, 2004

    Fair and Balanced: Fox News Pulls Item With Fake Kerry Quotes - from

    Fox News Pulls Item With Fake Kerry Quotes - from

    Let's not forget that some AP reporter made up the story about booing at a Bush rally when Clinton's heart condition was brought up. Will either side ever learn?

    Tuesday, September 28, 2004

    Eritrean Food

    Had my first experience wtih Eritrean food at a restaurant in Oakland (called Asmara) yesterday and wanted to report to everyone that it is AWESOME. They give you a plate of several dishes (such as seasoned bean purees, potatoes or spinach in a sauce) and salads on top of this spongy pancake-type bread called injera. You also get a plate of pieces of the injera and eat everything by tearing off pieces and dipping it in those dishes or salads. The seasoning is really good, not as hot as Indian food, but seems to be mixed with very great skill. Will have to go back there soon and try some other things. BTW, I believe Ethiopian cuisine is similar. Google "eritrean cuisine" for webpages with more info.

    The End of Suburbia

    If you can possibly make it to this documentary, I would definitely do so. It goes along nicely with The Corporation, a film I mentioned in another post. The reason is that so much of what the modern corporation has done to transform the world in the past century has been enabled by the availability of cheap energy in the form of light sweet crude. The End of Suburbia very clearly lays out the case that the past 50 years in particular have been a one-time "party" fueled by the bubble of cheap petrolium. This "party" is coming to an end in the near future, not because oil itself will run out, but because its production will peak while demand continues to grow unabated. For example, the whole current system of production of consumer goods in mass quantities in China, followed by their transport across the ocean in petrolium-powered container ships and distribution by gas-guzzling big rigs, on roads built by gas-powered heavy equipment, is predicated upon this supply. Not to mention the system of production of food for billions of people (a bloated, unsustainably large population) in which petrolium-based fertilizers and pesticides take the place of human labor. The film is also good at rebutting the polyanna-ish assurances that the free market will compensate and take care of our energy problems. In the case of power generation in North America, the free market's response to growing demand and decreasing output from coal and nuclear has been to build more natural gas fueled plants. The problem is natural gas almost has to be produced on the same continent on which it is used, because of the difficulties of transport. And North America is certainly going to run out of Nat. gas way before the rest of the world. I can't summarize everything here, just advise you to check it out if you can (see the web page linked above for where it's playing). Then start preparing yourself for life in the post Hubbert's Peak age.

    Top 12 songs in my head right now as i post

    Mark Ronson "Ooh Wee"
    Al Stewart "Year of the Cat"
    Basehead "Not Over You"
    The Beatles "Blue Jay Way"
    Pearl Jam "Wishlist"
    Paperboy "Ditty"
    Plastic Operator "Folder"
    The Postal Service "Suddenly Everything Has Changed" (Flaming Lips Cover)
    Taco "Puttin' On The Ritz"
    Kath Bloom "Come Here"
    Lou Reed and John Cale "Work"
    Outkast "ATLiens"

    Saturday, September 25, 2004

    PhysicsWeb - News - Law-breaking liquid defies the rules (September 2004)

    This could be a major breakthrough in materials science. Incredible. Anybody have any cool applications come to mind?

    Swift Boat PCF-94

    This is pretty wild: Swift Boat PCF-94

    Check out some of the other missions here.

    Thursday, September 23, 2004

    Firefox 1.0

    The new Firefox 1.0 has been out for a week or so now. It's great and I highly recommend it. Especially the All in ONe Gestures extension. They makes browsing very ergonomic in that you don't have to click on browser button but instead right click and move the mouse to the left if you want to go back. Opera has these too. Not sure if IE supports them, as I don't use that security compromised browser anymore.

    For the record, Firefox is the only web browser endorsed by nanothoughts.

    The Onion | 2004 Election Guide

    Nice to have all the articles in one place. A couple are hopelessly out of date now, like the June 9th article "Kerry Names 1969 Version of Himself as Running Mate":
    The Onion | 2004 Election Guide

    Keep on Rockin' in the Free World.

    Wednesday, September 22, 2004

    Viscerally stunning.

    That's what this game is.

    Burnout 3, recently released by EA, is the best racing game I've played. The ordinary race modes are pretty cool, but what sets this game apart are the "road rage" and crash modes.

    Road rage is just that. You run enemy cars off the road.

    Crash mode is every psychopath's video game dream. You are at the controls of a vehicle. You run(or jump) it into oncoming traffic, and score points based on the dollar value of the destruction you cause. Nothing like soaring a fire engine into a tanker truck...

    Anyways, I got Roger hooked on the game a few days ago. You guys should all go out and get it so you can get addicted too. And then maybe we can all road rage each other online.

    Vanity Search Results

    I love how this: Google Search: nanothoughts
    says: Did you mean: nasty thoughts

    Stumbling Drunk

    Try to keep the stumbling drunk from falling over. Oddly, he speaks English. Die Wagenschenke - Das Partyzelt am Albanifest in Winterthur.

    84 meters is my best so far.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2004

    Are poker bots raking online pots?

    yet another reason I no longer play online. Really though, poker bots are the least of your worries.
    From MSNBC: Are poker ‘bots’ raking online pots?

    Monday, September 20, 2004

    Picture of the week/month etc.

    To liven up the blog a bit, I'm going to have a photograph or painting in the sidebar on the right. The first one is by René Magritte and titled La condition humaine, (1933)
    oil on canvas, 100 x 81 x 1.6 cm (39 3/8 x 31 7/8 x 5/8 in.)

    If you'd like to see it up close and personal, visit the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. You can read their writeup of it here.


    When I first saw Wikipedia about a year and a half ago, I wasn't impressed.

    Flash forward to september of 2004 and now I'm sold.

    Wikipedia is the future. Count on it.

    Friday, September 17, 2004

    Pet Shop Boys present Battleship Potemkin in Trafalgar Square

    I don't know about you, but watching Eisenstein in London with the PSB orchestrating sounds kinda cool to me:
    FT - New York London Paris Munich
    Apparently, Finlo Rohrer of the BBC didn't like it though.

    Thursday, September 16, 2004

    Liveblogging of Libertarian candidate Badnarik

    Jody and Thason give their co-commentary over at PolySciFi Blog on a speech that Bruce Boxleitner, er Michael Badnarik gave at Virginia Tech on Thursday. (Interesting that the first image one notices on his page is a roulette wheel.

    My favorite line from the commentary is: "Was that a heckler on the issue of eminent domain? Have those words ever been typed in the same sentence before?"

    Kids and private enterprise.

    Man, they never had these suckers when I was a kid. I feel left out.

    Wednesday, September 15, 2004

    Top Ten songs of the Moment (in my head)

    1. Bohannon "Let's Start to Dance Again"
    2. Afrika Bambaata "Metal"
    3. Plastic Operator "Folder"
    4. Jay-Zeezer "The World has Changed Clothes and Left Me Here"
    5. Sir Mix-a-Lot "Game Don't Get Old"
    6. Terror Squad (f/ Fat Joe, Mase, Eminem, Lil' Jon) "Lean Back (Remix)"
    7. Morrissey "My Love Life"
    8. Johnny Johnson & The Bandwagon "Breaking Down The Walls of Heartache"
    9. Kanye West "Thru the Wire"
    10.Terry Jacks "Seasons in the Sun"

    Music blogs

    Ok, so I've really been into music/mp3 blogs. here are a couple to check out and choice songs:

    Bohannon's "Let's Start II Dance Again" can be found at The Number One Songs in Heaven, great site filled with a lot of fonky stuff.

    An interesting song by Plastic Operator called "Folder"
    , it's a dance/love song about a computer or shared network romance.

    Tofuhut, this guy post songs according to a theme, i think. curernt one is
    drinking, or as I like to say "drunk drinking." Scroll down and check
    out number 7. It's a Tupac live track where he's drunk in the studio:
    7. Tupac Shakur - "Untouchable Freestyle ('Drunker'n a Motherfucker')"

    and for the bubblegum lovers, head on over to the bubblegum-machine:
    Here's a song called Life is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me) - Reunion ,
    a 1976 chart hit which was an ancestor of "It's the End of the world as we know it", "we didn't start the fire" and "one week." Aka, all those ultra-fast name droppers that you either think are catchy as hell or as annoying as all f***.

    That should keep you busy for a while. hehehehe. happy listening and let me know if you dig.

    Tuesday, September 07, 2004

    Yo quiero un PUTA computadora?

    or as Gizmodo put it Product Branding is a Bitch

    Furthermore, it's odd that the company is called Atacama, you'd think they'd have more of a Spanish language sensibility. Let's hope they aren't gonna try to market it in Spanish or Tagalog speaking locales: PUTA

    Also, I wonder if anybody in the marketing department ever read Gulliver's Travels

    The New York Times > Week in Review > A Global War: Many Fronts, Little Unity

    I think this article touches on some important points. e.g. that Hamas and Al Qaeda have two very different aims/outlooks. Lumping all these movements together might in the end be counter-productive.
    The New York Times > Week in Review > A Global War: Many Fronts, Little Unity Registration required. Or, just use cypherphunk/cypherphunk.

    Sunday, September 05, 2004 Books: The 100 Most Influential Women of All Time: A Ranking Past and Present

    Just saw this on amazon: Books: The 100 Most Influential Women of All Time: A Ranking Past and Present

    The companion book to this which is a pretty cool book :
    The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History

    (Actually, it's not really a companion book, but instead from a different series.) Still, The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History is a really good read.

    Not sure if this book is related:

    The Scientific 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Scientists, Past and Present (100 (Paperback))

    Putin's speech

    Transcript of Putin's televised remarks at the Kremlin on Sept. 4th:

    It is a difficult and bitter task for me to speak. A horrible tragedy happened in our land. During these last few days, each one of us suffered immensely, having all that happened in the Russian city of Beslan run through our hearts. We were confronted not just by murderers, but those who used their weapons against defenseless children.

    In the first place, I am addressing today those who lost the dearest in their life, their children, their kin, their closest. I want you to remember all those who died at the hands of terrorists in the last few days.

    There have been many tragic pages and difficult trials in the history of Russia. Today we are living in conditions formed after the disintegration of a huge, great country, the country which unfortunately turned out to be nonviable in the conditions of rapidly changing world.

    Today, however, despite all difficulties, we managed to preserve the nucleus of that giant, the Soviet Union. We called the new country the Russian Federation.

    We all expected changes, changes for the better, but found ourselves absolutely unprepared for much that changed in our lives. The question is why. We live in conditions of a transitional economy and a political system that do not correspond to the development of society. We live in conditions of aggravated internal conflicts and ethnic conflicts that before were harshly suppressed by the governing ideology.

    We stopped paying due attention to issues of defense and security. We allowed corruption to affect the judiciary and law enforcement systems. In addition to that, our country, which once had one of the mightiest systems of protecting its borders, suddenly found itself unprotected either from West or East.

    It would take many years and billions of rubles to create new, modern and truly protected borders. But even so, we could have been more effective if we had acted in timely and professional fashion. We have to admit that we failed to recognize the complexity and danger of the processes going on in our own country and the world as a whole. At any rate, we failed to react to them adequately. We demonstrated weakness, and the weak are beaten.

    Some want to tear off a big chunk of our country. Others help them to do it. They help because they think that Russia, as one of the greatest nuclear powers of the world, is still a threat, and this threat has to be eliminated. And terrorism is only an instrument to achieve these goals.

    As I have said on many occasions, we have faced crises, rebellions and terrorist acts many times. But what has happened now - the unprecedented crime committed by terrorists, inhuman in its cruelty - is not a challenge to the president, the Parliament or the government. This is a challenge to all of Russia, to all our people. This is an attack against all of us.

    Terrorists think that they are stronger, that they will be able to intimidate us, to paralyze our will, to erode our society. It seems that we have a choice: to resist or to cave in and agree with their claims; to give up and allow them to destroy and to take Russia apart, in hope that eventually they would leave us alone.

    As president, as the head of the Russian state, as a man who gave an oath to protect the country and its integrity, as a citizen of Russia, I am convinced that in fact we do not have any choice, because as soon as we allow ourselves to be blackmailed and to panic, we shall immerse millions of people in a series of bloody conflicts, similar to Karabakh, Trans-Dnestria and other well known tragedies.

    We cannot but see the evident: we are dealing not with separate acts of intimidation, not with individual forays of terrorists. We are dealing with the direct intervention of international terror against Russia, with total and full-scale war, which again and again is taking away the lives of our compatriots.

    All the world's experience shows that such wars do not end quickly. In these conditions, we simply cannot, we should not, live as carelessly as before.

    We must create a more effective security system, and demand from our law enforcement agencies actions adequate in level and scale to the new threats.

    But what is more important is a mobilization of the nation before the general threat. Events in other countries prove that terrorists meet the most effective rebuff where they confront not only the power of the state but also an organized and united civil society.

    Dear fellow citizens, those who sent terrorists to commit this horrible crime had the goal of setting our peoples against one another, to intimidate citizens of Russia, to unleash a bloody feud in the North Caucasus. In this connection, I would like to say the following:

    First, in the near future, a complex of measures aimed at strengthening the unity of our country will be prepared.

    Second, I consider it necessary to create a new system of forces and means for exercising control over the situation in the North Caucasus.

    Third, it is necessary to create an affective crisis management system, including entirely new approaches to the work of law enforcement agencies.

    I would like to stress that all these measures will be implemented in full accordance with the Constitution.

    Dear friends: Together we live through very hard, mournful hours. I would like to thank all those who demonstrated patience and civic responsibility. We shall always be stronger than they, by our morale, courage and our humane solidarity.

    One could see it today and the night before. In Beslan, soaked with pain and grief, people expressed even more care and support to each other and were not afraid of jeopardizing their lives for the sake of the lives and safety of others. Even in the most inhuman conditions, they remained human. It is impossible to reconcile the pain of the losses. The trial has brought us even closer together, made us re-evaluate many things. Today, we have to be together. Only thus we shall defeat the enemy.

    Thursday, September 02, 2004

    Web Fads

    This is only Part 1, but it's a good list so far. Seems to be in alphabetical order, except Mahir is first, go figure. I remember all of these fads fondly. Check it out. The Book of Ratings: Web Fads, Part 1

    Wednesday, September 01, 2004

    Rog's 2004 Fantasy Football RB Rankings

    This list is based on predicted statistical performance, injury issues, depth chart considerations, personnel and coaching issues, and whether or not they possess, attempt to distribute or smoke/snort dope. (Please note, I make no moral judgment if they choose to do so. In fact, I think the NFL's drug policy is really screwed up, but that's another post altogether.)

    Gotta Take 'Em
    Priest Holmes
    LaDainian Tomlinson
    Ahman Green

    2nd tier
    Fred Taylor
    Deuce McAllister
    Clinton Portis
    Edgerrin James
    Shaun Alexander
    Jamal Lewis
    Domanick Davis

    3rd Tier
    Brian Westbrook
    Chris Brown
    Kevan Barlow
    Corey Dillon

    4th Tier
    Curtis Martin
    Marshall Faulk
    Stephen Davis
    Rudi Johnson
    Duce Staley
    Kevin Jones - R
    Michael Bennett
    Tiki Barber
    Travis Henry
    Quentin Griffin
    Lee Suggs
    Moe Williams

    5th Tier
    Thomas Jones
    Charlie Garner
    Julius Jones - R
    Tyrone Wheatley
    T.J. Duckett
    Warrick Dunn

    6th Tier
    William Green
    Eddie George
    Garrison Hearst
    Jerome Bettis
    DeShaun Foster
    Steven Jackson - R
    Tatum Bell - R
    Justin Fargas
    Onterrio Smith
    Willis McGahee

    Handcuffers and the Don't Bothers
    Ron Dayne
    Troy Hambrick
    Michael Pittman
    Richie Anderson
    Anthony Thomas
    Musa Smith
    Kevin Faulk
    Amos Zereoue
    Artose Pinner
    Greg Jones - R
    Emmitt Smith
    Lamont Jordan
    Zack Crockett
    Tony Hollings
    Najeh Davenport
    Chris Perry - R
    Shawn Bryson
    Aveion Cason
    Mike Alstott
    Tony Fisher
    Derrick Blaylock
    Jerald Sowell
    Mack Strong
    Ladell Betts
    Larry Johnson
    Cory Schlesinger
    Maurice Morris

    Rog's 2004 Fantasy Football QB Rankings

    This list is based on predicted statistical performance, injury issues, depth chart considerations, and personnel and coaching issues.

    1st Tier
    Daunte Culpepper
    Peyton Manning

    2nd Tier
    Aaron Brooks

    Brett Favre
    Chad Pennington
    Donovan McNabb
    Jake Plummer
    Marc Bulger
    Matt Hasselbeck
    Michael Vick
    Steve McNair
    Tom Brady
    Trent Green

    3rd Tier
    Brad Johnson
    Carson Palmer
    Jake Delhomme
    Jeff Garcia
    Joey Harrington
    Tim Rattay
    Tommy Maddox

    Everybody Else
    AJ Feeley
    Byron Leftwich
    David Carr
    Drew Bledsoe
    Eli Manning - R
    Jay Fiedler
    Josh McCown
    Kerry Collins
    Kyle Boller
    Mark Brunell
    Philip Rivers - R
    Quincy Carter
    Rex Grossman
    Rich Gannon
    Vinny Testaverde

    Convention Stuff

    Here's Michael Moore's take on the Republican National Convention and for equal time, Jonah Goldberg's take on the Democratic National Convention

    Also, I saw a bit of Bono on O'Reilly, not enough to really comment though. Anybody else see that?

    It's really interesting how Fox News slants toward the Republicans and CNN slants toward to the Democrats, but in the end it drives me nuts. I wonder how many Americans are having the wool pulled over their eyes.

    Monday, August 30, 2004

    Don't let Serge see this!

    California man's HIV diagnosis turns out to be wrong

    He just might use it to bolster his claims that HIV isn't the causative agent of AIDS. But, much like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, I keed, I keed, Serge uses very good evidence to support his assertions. (Remember, they are not beliefs! Those are for religion!)

    Thursday, August 26, 2004

    Cocaine's A Helluva Drug

    The navigation, um... blows, but otherwise, it's a great site when you're up late at night high on Honey Nut Cheerios:

    Better living through chemistry, that's what I say. Oh, and please note that Jason has never done cocaine. Well, that's what I heard anyway.

    Some excerpts: "The world's first drug-testing scandal occurred in 1876. Competitive long-distance walking had become a popular sport. American Edward Weston challenged the English champion to a 24 hour race. The contest was held at the Agricultural Hall in the North London Borough of Islington. The effete Englishman gave up after a mere 14 hours and 66 miles. The American carried on walking for the full 24 hours and 110 miles. It later transpired that Weston had being chewing coca leaves - 'Peruvian marching powder' - throughout the race. There was an outcry; but Weston kept his title."

    According to Internic records (1998), contact details for the domain still belonged to the CIA, although the accuracy of the whois record has been challenged.

    If cocaine is consumed on its own, it yields two principal metabolites, ecgonine methyl ester and benzoyleconine [sic, should be "benzoylecgonine" I think]. Neither compound has any discernible psychoactive effect. Cocaine co-administered with alcohol, however, yields a potent psychoactive metabolite, cocaethylene.

    Cocaethylene is very rewarding agent in its own right. Cocaethylene is formed in the liver by the replacement of the methyl ester of cocaine by the ethyl ester. It blocks the dopamine transporter and induces euphoria. Hence coca wine drinkers are effectively consuming three reinforcing drugs rather than one.

    Ok, so this site and others are part of David Pearce's so-called Hedonistic Imperative whose mission statement, that I vehemently disagree with, is:

    The Hedonistic Imperative outlines how genetic engineering and nanotechnology will abolish suffering in all sentient life.

    The abolitionist project is hugely ambitious but technically feasible. It is also instrumentally rational and morally urgent. The metabolic pathways of pain and malaise evolved because they served the fitness of our genes in the ancestral environment. They will be replaced by a different sort of neural architecture. States of sublime well-being are destined to become the genetically pre-programmed norm of mental health. It is predicted that the world's last unpleasant experience will be a precisely dateable event.

    Two hundred years ago, powerful synthetic pain-killers and surgical anesthetics were unknown. The notion that physical pain could be banished from most people's lives would have seemed absurd. Today most of us in the developed world take its routine absence for granted. The prospect that what we describe as psychological pain, too, could be banished is equally counter-intuitive. The feasibility of its abolition turns its deliberate retention into an issue of social policy and ethical choice.

    Wednesday, August 25, 2004

    Primal Man? - by Jack T. Chick

    Primal Man? - by Jack T. Chick
    You make the call! What a cruel hoax! And to think of all that silt disappearing every year!


    Please note the disclaimer on this page: Google

    Google is not affiliated with the authors of this page nor responsible for its content.

    Nice. Got it from this slashdot thread.

    Aside from a shoutout to PolySciFi...

    Considering who posts on this blog and that one, I think a quizbowl match between the two blogs would be very amusing.

    Thursday, August 19, 2004

    Common Courtesy and Fast Food

    I've been trying to avoid fast food ever since reading Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, but today I was in Subway doing my best Jared Fogle impression. The guy behind the counter was new I think and probably foreign, but oddly in a western, northern European sort of way. So, he shortchanges me about 30 cents on my meal, but I don't press the issue cause the guy isn't having the best day. (He's also profusely apologizing every 30 seconds or so as well.) I'm sitting there enjoying my Baked Lays and this guy in line is being a complete asshole to this poor dude and finally says something like "Forget it, I'll go elsewhere where people can understand me." and storms out. Whatever he said, I can't remember exactly right now, it wasn't even that nice. I was on my way out right about this time and I thought about following the guy and either telling him off, or better yet slugging him, but as the proverbial copout goes "I had work to do." In summary, let's all try to be nice to people who have to take shit all day from all the dickheads in our "society". I'm no saint, but this is a pet peeve of mine. Ok, that's all now. Look for Prince concert review soon!

    Monday, August 09, 2004

    PolySciFi Blog

    I wanted to give a shoutout to Jody's blog:
    PolySciFi Blog
    Him and his team offer "Random musings on political science, science fiction, and anything else that strikes our fancy."
    He gave me some advertising a few weeks ago and now that I have more than two or three sets of eyeballs on mine, I thought I would return the favor.

    Libertarianism and Poverty

    Only 87 footnotes, Dennis? Well, at least it's a prime number.Libertarianism and Poverty

    Thursday, August 05, 2004

    CIA Asks Bush To Discontinue Blog

    Be sure to click on the link on the left of the page for a pic of the blog.

    The Onion | CIA Asks Bush To Discontinue Blog

    Good stuff.

    Thursday, July 29, 2004

    Fox "News" Channel and The DNC

    Here's a tip: one of the best ways to watch the Democratic national primary is to watch it on the Fox "news" channel. Especially for the after-speech reaction. It just makes the whole experience more interesting. Here's a good sample of what I saw last night:

    John edwards "....thank you, good night, and God bless America!"

    [applause -- music fades into Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke"]

    Fox pundit "well I think that was a very powerful speech. Now he said he was going to try to be positive and not make any ad hominym attacks, but on 3 separate occasions he attacked Geirge W. Bush directly. I don't think that kind of language has any place in politics." [etc.]

    Other Fox idiot " well I agree with you.....uh...hmmm.....well apparently, the democrats have a plan......a....method in place to prevent any of the new correspondants from being heard after the speeches. What do we have going on down there??"

    First idiot "looks like a rap group is blasting away down there on the stage. I'm being told it's the Black...Black Eyed something. Peas. Whatever they are, they are certainly interrupting our broadcast, so lets just let them play for a while and watch."

    [cut away to shots of the black eyed peas, whose female singer, honestly, looks a little too angry for a semi-professional gathering such as the DNC. anyways, the camera shots are all of young democratic female capaign volunteers, all dancing and shaking it. Presumably supposed to enrage the old folks at home. Song eventually ends]

    Fox 'Journalist' "Well, I think we can clearly see what they helped to lend to this occasion...they certainly spoke to a certain.....element...of the democratic party."

    Next loser "yes. I think Kerry especially likes the positive message they have sent. Especially the part where they sing "ya-ya-ya-ya-ya" I think that really gets Kerry's point across to his constituents."

    [all of the onscreen white republicans share a hearty guffaw]

    Anchorman "...OK new they are playing another song down there, but the Black Eyed Peas are off the stage. They are playing something a little more well-known....a little more mainstream, something by the Isley Brothers. I think it's "you know you make me want to shout."

    Others "yeah I recognize this one. Good song..."

    music and movies has recently redone their site and it's pretty badass, check it out.

    also, i've seen a bunch of movies recently including:
    Amores Perros, 25th Hour, Identity, Permanent Midnight, The Red Shoes, Man Bites Dog, Rosemary's Baby, House of Sand and Fog, and Boiler Room. I'll be reviewing some of these in this space in the weeks to come.

    Monday, July 26, 2004

    Wednesday, July 14, 2004

    Mexico attorney general gets microchip implant

    More than a little freaky, if you ask me.
    Mexico attorney general gets microchip implant

    Election Projection - 2004 Edition

    Here's a pretty cool site detailing how the electoral college would play out with recent statewide polls:Election Projection - 2004 Edition

    Sunday, July 11, 2004

    Canoeing across the Panama Canal

    This is just a stupid little joke article about it.

    Also, what do you think would happend if there were no locks? How much of one ocean would flow into the other?

    Thursday, July 08, 2004

    Quinoa, a Protein Powerhouse from the Andes

    Quinoa, a Protein Powerhouse from the Andes

    I had some of this stuff out in San Fran a little while ago. This stuff is awesome. Season it with some spices like curry etc. and it is dynamite.

    Wednesday, July 07, 2004

    Political TV ads

    This is a great site archiving a bunch of political ads from 1952 onward:
    Living Room Candidate

    Be sure to check out the legendary Johnson ad that aired once:

    Daisy Girl

    Tuesday, July 06, 2004

    Iraqi group threatens to kill al-Zarqawi

    I don't want this to necessarily become a political blog, but this article really caught my eye.

    Of course, the truly cynical might assert that this group is merely a puppet of the US or something, which it might be, but I bet that there truly is a lot of homegrown Iraqi resentment at all foreign fighters no matter what movement they are fighting for.


    This will be a blog for thoughts of all sizes. However, because we live in such a fast moving world, nanothoughts are to be preferred.

    Thanks for reading,