The Big Think

October 31, 2004

Quoth

Filed under: Quoth — jasony @ 11:41 pm

“If Tuesday goes off as smoothly as the Afghan election, we’ll be very lucky.”
Mark Steyn

Ouch

Three Years!

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 1:28 pm

Today marks the third anniversary of the move-in on our house. And we’re finally getting the place to look good. Lots more work to do.

October 30, 2004

Disney Death

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 10:03 pm

This guy gets a ghostly “burial” at Disney Land.

October 29, 2004

Shuttle

Filed under: Space — jasony @ 5:35 pm

Slashdot has a lead that NASA is considering shutting down the shuttle program. I’m mildly surprised that I actually feel some support for this idea. Shut down the program already. Let’s go back to the drawing board and build the next generation already, or just give Scaled Composites the contract and have them do it in the next six months for the cost of a bag of Fritos and a case of Bud. heh.

Fischer

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 1:09 pm

Good article. Thanks to Robert for the link.

Bulge

Filed under: Disclosure — jasony @ 12:38 pm

A friend of mine sent me the following link today about the supposed bulge in the back of President Bush’s jacket during one of the debates:

NASA photo analysis of bulge (site is not responding right now).

I’ve tried to stay away from politics in my blog lately (not always successfully). I don’t want this space to become antagonistic. Leave that to the instapundits and the Michael Moores of the world. But this story has pushed me Over. The. Edge. Here’s my reply:

It’s one of two things:

We all know that George W. Bush is so dumb (Yale and Harvard degrees notwithstanding), that he could never be president by himself. So the super-secret-stealth device that he risked his presidency by lying to the country about is either a radio so Dick Cheney can tell him what to say, or some kind of control system so that Rove and friends can manipulate him from a distance. Hey, I’ll take the word of some unknown guy over the president of the U.S. I mean, NASA trumps everybody in my book because people who work there are so much smarter and neutral than the rest of us.

It’s much less plausible to believe that Bush is wearing some sort of 1970’s era giant walkie-talkie (regardless of the fact that there are seriously small receivers now), than that it’s a badly tailored shirt. And why haven’t any of these conspiracy theorists mentioned the fact that he didn’t have any earpieces? Both ears were clear, and bone conduction only works when the contact point is relatively close to your ears. If it’s some newfangled hyper-advanced bone conduction system, why marry it to an easy to detect receiver?

Seriously, if Bush wanted to wear a wire, wouldn’t they make is so that you couldn’t see anything? When it comes to photographic evidence, I think the Face on Mars has taught us that seeing isn’t believing, and sometimes a shadow is just a shadow- “enhanced” or not.

This brings me to a subject I’ve been thinking about a lot lately: the rumored stupidity of our president. The guy went to Yale and Harvard! He flew jets in the reserve! He owned a professional sports team and a multi-million dollar company for years. He was governor of Texas, fer cryin’ out loud. If Bush is really as dumb as people portray him to be, he wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning without slipping in his own drool. Now I’m not talking about the funny, over-done comedy type dumb of SNL, which is, I think, understandably extreme- the kind where Ted Kennedy is portrayed drunk all the time and Ford trips over everything in sight. Laughing at our leaders (and by extension, ourselves) is a healthy thing. But it seems like some people actually believe the meme that our President is either a moronic dolt or an evil anti-Christ. Maybe he’s an evil mastermind playing at being dumb! Yea, that’s it.

I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that Bush is smarter than most of the people in this country, myself included. Even if I want to dismiss the Yale and Harvard education as undeserved and a result of family connections, and say that it’s not hard to own a major league team (it probably isn’t… managing is the hard part), and say that he got lots of help from Daddy when he made millions owning his oil company. Even if I want to dismiss all of his life accomplishments as somehow lucky or aided or bought, you don’t learn to fly a jet in the military without an above average intelligence- especially when it’s pre-GPS/LORAN. I mean, have you ever tried navigation by ADF or dead reckoning? Takes more than a head full of rocks, if I do say so myself.

The “Bush is stupid” and “Bush is a pawn” and “Bush is being fed lines by Rove and Cheney” memes are as overdone and wrong as “Gore is a crank” and “Quayle is too stupid to spell”. These popular ideas are an illustration that there is a significant percentage of our population that acts as if they believe any president is illegitimate if they show any sort of personal deficiency whatsoever. It also shows a lack of sophistication on the part of a population that they will allow themselves to believe that one instance defines the whole. If we were all judged by our worst slip up, misspelling, or bad decision, none of us would merit any respect or understanding.

If people disagree with the president because they don’t like his foreign policy or disagree with the war on terror, or hate the fact that he’s run up big deficits, fine. I can respect that. I disagree with it, but I can see how an honest person could come to that position. But if they want to disrespect him by saying that he has the IQ of a monkey and they won’t vote for him because they think he’s a Trilateral commission pawn, that he can’t think for himself, or that somehow he’s the dumbest among us, then I have no time for them.

What do I think it is? It’s a badly tailored shirt.

I can hardly wait for November 3rd.

October 28, 2004

Quoth

Filed under: Quoth — jasony @ 9:46 pm

“I can’t imagine a better time to be a Marine. We’re seeing history written with lightning.”
Bahgdad Marine

Titan

Filed under: Science,Space — jasony @ 9:42 pm

Mysteries unfold out at Titan. link

WikiNews

Filed under: Technology — jasony @ 9:36 pm

Can and open-source, neutral, mass-contributory news channel really work? We’ll find out.

Delicious Monster

Filed under: Macintosh — jasony @ 6:23 pm

This looks seriously cool. And it uses iSight cameras as barcode scanners! Insanely Great.

“Run your very own library from your home or office using our impossibly simple interface. Delicious Library’s digital shelves act as a visual card-catalog of your books, movies, music and video games. A scan of a barcode is all Delicious Library needs to add an item to your digital shelves, downloading tons of info from the internet like the author, release date, current value, description, and even a high-resolution picture of the cover.”

A Future and a Hope…

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 12:22 pm

Lila Trotman 1914-2004
via soup: Lila Trotman, widow of Dawson Trotman, passed away this morning at 90 years of age. The family is planning a funeral at Glen Eyrie.

Total Eclipse

Filed under: Space — jasony @ 2:39 am

So tell me, you DID catch the total eclipse last night, right? I can see why a blood red moon scared the sillies out of our ancestors. oooooooooo

GO SOX!

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 2:16 am

The curse is lifted. Between them and Phi Chi, this has been a good year.

October 27, 2004

And So On…

Filed under: Computing,Technology — jasony @ 12:57 am

Phil over at the Speculist has an interesting post on Moore’s law and the exponential growth of storage. link

Mindless Fun

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 12:42 am

Fun little games over here. Reminds me of the early days of Tetris. Fun and intuitive, requires Flash.

Giant Concrete Ears

Filed under: Technology — jasony @ 12:08 am

Used during WWI to detect the approach of enemy vessels, these giant concrete structures creep me out in the same way that standing on a large levee or at the base of a giant dam does. shiver. link

Xanadu

Filed under: Space — jasony @ 12:04 am

It’s not every day you get to lay eyes on a brand new planet. Cassini’s cameras have taken some beautiful black and white beauty shots of Titan. Scientists have christened the Saturnian moon’s big continent Xanadu.
Beauty shots here.

October 26, 2004

Lego Mario

Filed under: Technology — jasony @ 11:30 pm

via engadget: Lego robot plays Super Mario Bros….. and wins!

X-10nning

Filed under: Hobbies — jasony @ 4:45 pm

Installed a few X-10 switches today in the kitchen. Now all of our kitchen lights, hall lights, and most of the living room lights are computer controlled. Very cool. One of the switches was broken, though, and the very good people at automatedoutlet are kindly shipping me another one. They’re cheaper than Smarthome and have very good service. If you need any higher-end home automation stuff, check them out.
Right now it’s fun to stand downstairs and control everything with a single keypad, and know that the computer can control it all when we’re not here.
On-off-on-off-on-off. A binary house!

The Name Game

Filed under: The Name Game — jasony @ 10:09 am

Robert and I used to have an impromptu game we played back in college. More of a list, really. We kept track of people who’s names matched their jobs. Kept is up for years and got quite a list going, but along the way it got lost. Bummer.
Well, through the miracle of teknowlegee, I’m starting up a new category to do just that here. If you have a link to a person who’s name fits their job, let me know. Hey Robert, did you save the list?

(I’m also tweaking some of the existing categories a bit as well)

Here’s a few to start with:

David M. Wing, former American Airlines Executive
Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost, Professor of Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary
Dr. Roger Keyes, professor of Piano, Baylor University

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