Okay, back to the real world. I spent all weekend sailing, and it was wonderful! Yeah, I'm a bit tired and a bit sore and a bit sunburnt, but man it is good to stay away from the keyboard for a while. And Apple on Intel wasn't the only news this weekend, either...
This is like a total embarrassment - Harvard's Diversity Grovel. "Diversity" has to be the dumbest concept in the history of concepts. I don't mean equality - of course that is a good thing - and I don't mean lack of bias - of course that is a good thing - I mean Diversity, as in, it is somehow important and better to force differences in background and gender. I sure hope the pendulum on this bogus concept swings back.
More crap on the political correctness front: School to pay $2 million in marshmallow choking death. "Casey's parents had argued that Glenview School District and teacher Kevin Dorken were responsible for the girl's death because Dorken, who had been supervising the game, was out of the room while the children were stuffing marshmallows in their mouths to see who could hold the most and still say the words 'chubby bunny'." Look, I'm not trying to trivialize this poor girl's death - at all - but in what way was the school district responsible? "This case was never about money" said the family's attorney, Francis Patrick Murphy. Yeah, right.
Two great rants from Victor David Hanson: Our strange war ("Our dilemma is that we have not sought to defeat and humiliate the enemy as much as wean a people from the thrall of Islamic autocracy.") [ via LGF ] and A Dying Europe ("Millions of proud, educated Europeans are tired of being told by unelected grandees that the mess they see is abstract art.") [ via Kehaar ]. Hanson seems to whack the nail on the head every time out. I find myself saying "yeeesss" every time.
The other day I mentioned Etienne Chouard, a French law professor whose blog was influential during the recent referendum on the EU Constitution. Here's a great picture of him, courtesy of the Horse's Mouth. Looks like a painting by René Magritte!
Powerline comments on the EU Constitution rejections: Maybe it meant something, after all. "When American corporations have lost their way and can't figure out how to improve their market position, a common 'solution' is to merge with another similarly befuddled company. I think a similar phenomenon has been at work in Europe, where merger via the EU has been seen as a solution to all sorts of problems that Europe's peoples and politicians lack the will to address in a more meaningful way." Most interesting to me is the speculation that failure to ratify the EU Constitution may affect the future of the Euro.
Randall Parker has a lot more On The Evolution Of Ashkenazi Jewish Intelligence, which I noted the other day. The basic hypothesis is referred to as 'overclocking': "Some hobbyists turn up the clocks on their desktop PCs to them run faster than they were designed to run. This can cause system instability and other problems. In the case of the Ashkenazis in Europe the hypothesis proposes that selective pressures for higher Ashkenazi intelligence were so high that it caused the propagation of mutations that pushed their intelligence up so quickly (evolutonarily speaking) that the selective pressure overrode the reduction in reproductive fitness caused by the deleterious side effects on some of those who received those mutations." I don't know whether the hypothesis is correct, but I am pleased that this type of discussion can take place in a scientific manner, without charges of racism or the blinders of political correctness.
Ever wonder How do space pictures get so pretty? As Slate's explainer explains, the answer is Photoshop! (of course :)
Do you have an old iPod, and wish you could have a new one? (I do, and I do.) Now Apple has a trade-in program: "Bring any used iPod, iPod mini or iPod photo to any of the more than 100 Apple Stores in the US for free environmentally friendly recycling and get a 10% discount on the purchase of a new iPod that same-day." You have been informed.
Hey, guess what? AP reports Mars Rover Frees Itself From Sandy Dune. "The Mars rover Opportunity resumed rolling freely across the Martian surface Saturday after scientists freed it from a sand dune where it had been mired for nearly five weeks, NASA officials said." Very cool. We're definitely in "extra time" with these little guys.
In other Martian news, BBC reports Next US Mars lander gets go-ahead. "The lander will touch down in Mars' northern polar region to explore its climate and geology and to look for signs of life, past or present. Its robotic arm will dig down to the Martian ice layer and deliver samples to the lander's deck for analysis." Wired has more, too. Excellent.
Engadget reviews Akimbo. "Well, basically it’s a new video-on- demand/IPTV service that lets you pick what shows you want to watch and then automatically download them over a broadband connection... Is it worth it? $229.99 for the box and $9.99 a month for the service isn’t completely unreasonable, but it’s hard to imagine a lot of people signing up for a service that isn’t a satisfactory replacement for the cable or satellite TV package they might already have, at least not until Akimbo has a more attractive selection of programming." Interesting that everyone doing this seems to use a dedicated box. And you have to wonder how this will compare to Apple's offering :) [ via PVRBlog ]
The Tour of California - coming February 2006. Awesome! I'm guessing this will be big. A new goal for me :)