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Archive: March 29, 2004

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Interfaith Inventions

Monday,  03/29/04  11:47 PM

Tonight I attended an organization meeting for Interfaith Inventions, Inc, a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate and to enrich the lives of children through interfaith camps for kids.  This organization was formed by my good friend and ex-partner Daniel Jacoby, who passed away recently after a long bout with cancer.  A group of Daniel's friends and colleagues are working hard to make Daniel's vision a reality, including a number of religious and business leaders from the Los Angeles area.

Narrow Bridge

"The world is a narrow bridge, and the key thing is, never to be afraid"

I'll be writing more about Interfaith Inventions as we get further along, but in the meantime if you're interested please let me know.

 

Monday,  03/29/04  11:48 PM

The wrong issue?  The other day I wrote about the right issue, and how Democrats are making a mistake if they make Bush's handling of the war on terror a campaign issue.  (And it looks like I was right; "Despite a week of negative headlines about how his administration handled the threat of terrorism, President Bush's political position against presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry has strengthened.")  So why is Cheney attacking Kerry on taxesThat's the wrong issue.  Each side is picking on the other's strength.  Fascinating!

the reserve armySpeaking of Bush's vulnerability on jobs' creation (we were), the Economist ran a great article about The Reserve Army.  "The unemployment rate is, in fact, a poor measure of economic health."  In fact, a poor measure of anything, since the way it is computed is so subjective.  Nonetheless, look for this to be a BIG issue in the coming campaign.  Why?  Because it is the one issue on which Kerry can really nail Bush.

P.S. Wouldn't it be smarter for Bush just to have Condi Rice testify?  She's so smart and articulate, she'll blow everyone away.  (And blow the issue away, too.)  Whereas by having her not testify, it looks like they have something to hide.

P.P.S. The Command Post reports on military deaths and injuries in Iraq to date.  In total about 500 soldiers have been killed through hostile action.  Any deaths at all are regrettable, don't get me wrong, but that seems amazingly low.  In fact, nearly 200 of the 300,000 or so soldiers in Iraq have died from non-hostile causes (accidents and illnesses).

Victor Davis Hansen wonders: When should we stop supporting Israel?

Dalton Conley in Slate: Two is Enough.  "The U.S. government encourages families to have children, as many of them as possible.  The pro-child policies are based partly on romantic notions about mom, family, and apple pie, but they also have a rational goal:  We subsidize kids so that our next generation of workers is ready to win in the global economy.  Problem is, these two goals - more kids and better-prepared kids - are at odds.  If we really care about kids' welfare and accomplishment, the United States should scrap policies that encourage parents to have lots of children."  Amen.

SpaceX Falcon rocketHey, this is cool!  Aviation Week's current cover story is about SpaceX.  Regular readers know this startup - from Zip2 and PayPal founder Elon Musk - is one of my favorite companies.  The article has a lot of technical detail and a good survey of the higher-priced launch vehicle competition, especially Boeing.  Very positive PR.

NewScientist reports on a robot that can "print" houses.  "A robot for 'printing' houses is to be trialled by the construction industry.  It takes instructions directly from an architect's computerized drawings and then squirts successive layers of concrete on top of one other to build up vertical walls and domed roofs."

Airider hovercraft vacuumRemember the other day I posted a note about the Airider, a hovercraft vacuum cleaner?  That picture was a cad-cam model.  Well, the company sent me an email to point out that they have the "real" model coming out this July.  See pic at right!

There's a new company called Vapore that makes cool capillary pumps.  "A revolution in liquid to vapor technology."  And the control software?  It's vaporware :)

Mark Pilgrim links Robert Read's How to be a Programmer?  I think I've linked this before, but it's worth linking again.  Really good stuff.

car hits boatHave you ever run into a boat with your car?  Don't you hate when that happens?  I hope the boat was okay.  Anyway I happened to see this picture on the web, and couldn't resist posting it.  Looks like a perfect candidate for a Fark caption contest...

 

 

Understanding Engineers, Take 6

Monday,  03/29/04  11:49 PM

Today's attempt in our series to understand engineers:

Three engineering students were gathered together discussing the possible designers of the human body.

One said, "It was a mechanical engineer.  Just look at all the joints."

Another said, "No, it was an electrical engineer.  Look at the thousands of electrical connections."

The last one said, "Actually it was a civil engineer.  Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?"

 
 

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