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Archive: December+10,+2008

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Wednesday,  12/10/08  10:12 PM

Hi y'all; wanted to share some reading from the Economist with you...  the latest issue contains their Technology Quarterly, and has lots of good stuff.  Recommended:

  • wind powerThere's a nice article on wind power: Wind of Change.  I still don't think this makes much sense, you just can't generate much power this way compared to say nuclear plants.  They are uneconomical without government subsidy.  And although it doesn't pollute in the sense of generating waste, you can't say all those windmills are attractive.
  • An article about stove technology: Fresher Cookers.
  • A protein extracted from cows blood that heals wounds: A stitch whose time has come.
  • New laser technology for movie projectors could make digital projection a reality: Moving images into the Future.
  • A quantum-mechanical effect used in hard disks may hold the key to the development of a hand-held biology laboratory: Spinning a Good Tale.  This seems particularly promising for in vivo research on candidate drugs, potentially shortening the development cycle.
  • Satellites that beam solar power to earth: Let the Sun Shine In.  This seems like it will never work, but who knows?
  • And finally an article about Sergey Brin: Enlightenment Man.

That would be enough, but there's more in this issue, too:

  • nuclear powerWill France continue to lead the global revival of nuclear power?  Power Struggle.  One of the many things to admire about modern France is their leadership in this area.  Anne Lauvergeon, CEO of Areva (the French government's power company), is my hero.
  • He conducts just one symphony, Mahler’s second.  But Gilbert Kaplan has radically changed the way Mahler is perceived, both by audiences and other musicians: Desperately Seeking Mahler.  Really fascinating, I wouldn't know Mahler from Adam, but the complication of bringing a symphony to life is amazing.
  • And...  the Obama-Clinton soap opera is set to run for another few years: Head of State.

You're welcome!



Wednesday,  12/10/08  11:14 PM

Well today was warmer than yesterday (which isn't saying much) and was less windy (also not saying much), and I felt less barricaded in my office.  I even escaped for a rather slow, cold ride, blowing around the road wondering what the heck I was doing out there.  This afternoon Megan and I selected a beautiful tree, which was duly delivered and admired, and tonight I accomplished something crucial: our Christmas Cards are ready to go, signed, sealed, just not [yet] delivered.

BTW let me put in a plug for WinkFlash, the online site which printed our cards, it was really cool and really easy.  Just uploaded the pictures, used their AJAX photocropper which shows exactly what the cards would look like, and poof!  Only took about four days to get them, amazing.

Okay, let's see what-all's happening in the blogospherium:

It is now predicted that by 2010 cancer will supplant heart disease as the world's #1 killer.  So be it.  This probably has more to do with a reduction in heart disease than an increase in cancer...

Idiot of the century: Cholera spreads in Zimbabwe, as Robert Mugabe denies the problem.  "The delusion of Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe, appears to know no end.  In a televised speech on Thursday December 11th he announced that a cholera epidemic, which continues to ravage Zimbabwe and to spread to neighbouring countries, is over, just as the World Health Organisation had reported that 783 people have so far died of the disease and that over 16,400 people have been infected.  As he spoke, officials in South Africa declared a disaster area in a part of the Limpopo region on the Zimbabwean border, as a result of desperate refugees spreading cholera."  It would be hard to choose anyone who has done more harm to more people than Robert Mugabe.  Not to mention he has destroyed Zimbabwe.

ColdplayJoe SatrianiDid Coldplay plagiarize Joe Satriani?  View this YouTube video and decide for yourself.  (The answer is YES.  Wow.)

How excellent, Slashdot reports Nobel Prize Winning Physicist As Energy Secretary.  "Officials close to the Obama transition team say that Physics Nobel Laureate Steven Chu is the likely candidate for Energy Secretary."  Wow, someone who could actually comprehend the issues.  Nice.

Wall-EWow, this is cool: L.A. critics wired for Wall-E.  "Disney/Pixar’s robot love story "Wall-E" was named best picture of the year by the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. on Tuesday, marking the first time in the org’s 33-year history that an animated film has taken the top prize."  Could it really win an Oscar?  It will be interesting to see...

"Wizards of Winter" house lighting award winnerHere we have this year's contender for the "Wizards of Winter" house lighting award.  Wow, that's just about all I can say.  (You must click through to watch the video :)





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