Saturday, July 30, 2005

Do you have a Google HomePage?

I believe I've mentioned this before, but Google has a neat tool that will create a Home Page with the news you'd like. You can find it at the Google Labs page.

Photo of the Day
sumac or sumach (shu-'ma(k, su-'–) , common name for some members of the Anacardiaceae, a family of trees and shrubs native chiefly to the tropics but ranging into north temperate regions and characterized by resinous, often acrid, sap. The sap of certain of these plants—especially poison ivy and related species of the New World genus Toxicodendron—contains an essential oil that can cause dermatitis.

The fruit form dense clusters of reddish drupes.

The hairy covering of the drupes is harvested and used as a spice in some Middle-Eastern countries. In North America, the smooth sumac, Rhus glabra, and the staghorn sumac, Rhus typhina, are sometimes used to make a beverage, termed "sumac-ade" or "Indian lemonade" or "rhus juice". This drink is made by soaking the drupes in cool water, rubbing the active principle off the drupes, then straining the liquid through a cotton cloth and sweetening it.
Click on photo for full sized image.

Quote of the Day
Mitch Hedberg - I was walking down the street with my friend and he said "I hear music." As though there's any other way to take it in. You're not special. That's how I receive it too. I tried to taste it, but it did not work.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Over There

Over There premieres tonight at 10 pm Eastern on the FX Channel - Steven Bocho' s take on the war in Iraq.

Konfabulator has been purchased by Yahoo. And it's now free - so check it out and have a few useful Widgets decorating your desktop. Don't know what I'm talking about? Click on the link. You can have the weather, stocks, clocks,search engines floating on your desktop and constantly updated - nice tool - all the rage now, as you can create your own as well. But all is not perfect - there are some negatives . It's up to you (and your memory) as to whether it's worth it.

Quote of the Day
Mitch Hedberg - I've had the AIDS test four times. And that shit is scary, doesn't matter what you've been doing. So I don't get the regular AIDS test anymore, I get the roundabout AIDS test. I call up my friend Brian and say "Brian, do you know anyone that has AIDS?" "No." "Cool, cause you know me."

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Benefits of the Space Program

I had a friend question me on the benefits of the Space Program, wondering if the expense was worth it when we have starving people here at home. Of course, I knew the space program had provided many technological advances here on earth, but I must admit they weren't flowing off my tongue. That made me curious, so I went in search of the answers. This link provides some of the answers and the web page of the Ethical Atheist provides us with many more. This article on Health from CNN provides us with some of the breakthroughs of medicine gained by utilizing technology from space exploration.

Did you know the following? - Out of a $2.4 trillion budget, less than 0.8% is spent on the entire space program! That's less than 1 penny for every dollar spent. The average American spends more of their budget on their cable bill, eating out or entertainment than this yet the benefits of space flight are remarkable. It has been conservatively estimated by U.S. space experts that for every dollar the U.S. spends on R and D in the space program, it receives $7 back in the form of corporate and personal income taxes from increased jobs and economic growth. Besides the obvious jobs created in the aerospace industry, thousands more are created by many other companies applying NASA technology in nonspace related areas that affect us daily. One cannot even begin to place a dollar value on the lives saved and improved lifestyles of the less fortunate. Space technology benefits everyone and a rising technological tide does raise all boats.

Much of this can be found by doing a Google for "Benefits of the Space Program". Do these advantages make the program worth it? Feel free to comment below. If you've followed the links, hopefully now you have a bit better idea of what some of these benefits are.

Bloody Hell - It's HOT,HOT,HOT!

Why does my AC have to break when it is pushing past 90? And then some bozo repairman sits on it for a week before he admits he's an idiot and doesn't know what to do with it and then suggests that if I could pony up $150, he can work on it. No thanks - hell, a new one only costs $195! Just another case of impeccable service. I should go strap the dude in my recliner and make him sweat.

I'm not seeing many folks click on the links inside the posts - how ya going learn anything if you don't click the links? Man, it must be HOT, cause I'm getting cranky. Figure I'll have a few more moments before my Intel Temp Warning system starts beeping insanely and telling me that the insides of my computer are cooking their brains out. Goes off every day without an AC unit running. And how come my Trillian Messenger tells me the outside humidity is 38% when inside this house it registers 80%? You may comment below on that phenomenon.

Space Mission
Before I got all cranky, I had the chance to watch Discovery blast off - a thing of beauty. Perfect takeoff. Some very neat pictures from the craft that we've never seen before. Miles O'Brien at CNN has a blastoff blog - he's a true space nut, so he's the guy to watch.

You might just want to consider letting your doc know what pills you're taking that he doesn't know about - The big man was slumped over his breakfast tray, face cradled in a bran muffin, silent and blue Geez.

Darfur? What's that? According to monitoring by the Tyndall Report, ABC News had a total of 18 minutes of the Darfur genocide in its nightly newscasts all last year - and that turns out to be a credit to Peter Jennings. NBC had only 5 minutes of coverage all last year, and CBS only 3 minutes - about a minute of coverage for every 100,000 deaths. In contrast, Martha Stewart received 130 minutes of coverage by the three networks. Well what did we expect from a nation of sitcom watchers? Damn, it's HOT!

Quote of the Day
Mitch Hedberg - I went to the store to buy eight apples and the clerk said "Do you want me to put 'em in a bag?" and I said "Oh no, man, I juggle. But I can only juggle eight, if I'm ever here to buy nine apples, fucking bag em up!"

Monday, July 25, 2005

Anthony Bourdain on the Travel Channel tonight

If you happened to read or listen to the book "Kitchen Confidential" (a great listen, as the author reads the book), then you will know that Anthony is one wild and crazy guy (language would be x-rated in his kitchen). He's got his own series on TV starting tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern on the Travel Channel. That's 277 if you have DirectTV, if not then you will have to look that one up in your cable guide. Just thought I'd pass that along - I'll be tuning in to see if it is as good as his book. Will no doubt be a bit strange. A preview of the show appeared in the NY Times today. You can read it here

Computer Tips

If you need an easy to run and free Anti-Spyware tool, you might try Microsoft's which has had good reviews. I installed it and ran it and it found a few items I didn't realize I had and that were undetected by Search and Destroy. You can download and read about it here - Microsoft Windows Anti-Spyware (beta) It will remain free through the end of the year and then I don't know for sure what their plans are - we shall see. In the meantime, it never hurts to have an additional spyware program onboard.

Updates for Computer programs

It's always hard to keep up with what is the latest version of software you're running. You might want to go to File Hippo and there you will find a page with tons of updates and the links to them. Quite helpful. Tip of the hat to Signpunk who passed that site on to me.

Shuttle Launch
Discovery is set to go off at 10:39 am Eastern, not 10:30 as I reported yesterday. (Hey, where are all my fact checkers !?!?)

Quote of the Day
Mitch Hedberg - A waffle is like a pancake with syrup traps

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Discovery back on schedule?

NASA managers today cleared the shuttle Discovery for another launch try Tuesday, weather permitting, on a critical flight to service and resupply the international space station. The decision came after senior managers agreed on a strategy that would permit blastoff even if - and only if - the shuttle experiences a fuel sensor problem like the one that grounded the ship July 13 .

Blast off is set for 10:30 a.m. with a 5 minute window. Let's hope this goes off without a hitch. To keep up on the status of the flight, follow along at SpaceFlight Now

Lance says Goodbye

Image hosted by Lance Armstrong cruised to a 7th Tour de France victory today. No matter what you think of the guy personally, his accomplishments, (considering his fight against testicular cancer that spread to the brain), are astounding. And he did it drug free, something other athletes should make note of. If you have satellite or cable TV, you might check to see if you get the OLN (Outdoor Life Network). Most likely, they'll be showing a repeat of the final leg tonight.

Photo of the Day

The flower-flies or hover-flies are a family of flies (Diptera), scientifically termed "Syrphidae".

As one of their names suggests, they are most often seen around flowers; the adults feed mainly on nectar and pollen, while the larvae (maggots) eat a wide range of foods. In some species, the larvae are saprophytes, eating decaying plant and animal matter in the soil or in ponds and streams. In other species, the larvae are insectivores and prey on aphids, thrips, and other plant-sucking insects. Aphids alone cause tens of millions of dollars of damage to crops worldwide every year, and so aphid-feeding hover-flies are being recognised as important natural enemies of pests, and potential agents for use in biological control.

Some syrphids mimic bees or wasps in appearance, in some cases bearing an alarming resemblance, both in shape and coloration. It is thought that this mimicry protects hover-flies against falling prey to birds and other insectivores which avoid eating true wasps because of their sting. Adult syrphid flies are important pollinators. Canon 20D, 100mm EF 2.8 Macro USM, ISO 400, 1/20th@f5.6 - tripod

Some words from Molly

The U.S. is over $7 trillion in debt (no problem); China buys $1 billion worth of U.S. treasury bills a day (thanks for floating us); Americans love the prices at Wal-Mart (made in China, cute!); the Chinese save 50 percent of their domestic product; the average American has $9,000 on his credit cards; our economy is fueled by a fragile housing bubble; the minimum wage is $5.15 per hour ... ; taxpayers who earn over $1 million saved $30K under Bush tax cuts; the war in Iraq costs $9 billion a month; by 2040, our kids will be unable to do more than pay the interest on the national debt ... ; bankruptcy reform makes it impossible to escape your debts; in Darfur [Sudan], people earn $1.25 a day. .....

It is a curious thing that as the disadvantages and, indeed, perils of globalization become clearer and the subject of ever-more worried books by respected economists, the mainstream media keep treating the whole problem as though it were about a bunch of protesters in turtle costumes at the G8 summit. If it were not for Lou Dobbs on CNN, one would never even hear it mentioned on television.

Sounds like a promising future, eh?

Molly Ivins article

Quote of the Day

Mitch Hedberg - "I tried to walk into Target, but I missed. Damn. I think that the entrance to Target should have people splattered all around, then when I finally make it in the guy will say "can I help you sir" and I'll say "Just practicing"