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Archive: December 15, 2008

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the sound of rain

Monday,  12/15/08  08:43 AM

...rain...I love the sound of rain.  I haven't been sleeping too well (thanks to the scrapes from my wipeout) and it was so pleasant to lie in bed last night, listening to the rain failing... 

This morning I've cracked my office window just so I can hear the drops falling outside, at the cost of a bitter cold draft.  I'm actually looking forward to riding today - yeah, it will be cold, and I will be slow (probably even will do it on my mountain bike) - but the sound of rain is so delightful. 

I wonder why that is?  We humans must be pre-programmed by evolution to like hearing water, we even build fountains just so we can hear it flow...



home grown feeds

Monday,  12/15/08  10:23 PM

Today I was looking through my RSS feeds and suddenly noticed that Wired News' feed contains ads!  So you know what that means, yep, I made a home-grown feed for it...  I have a little cottage industry here reformatting feeds and scraping home pages to include entire content, include direct links, synthesize permalinks, and eliminate ads.  Here's my current collection:

site site's feed my home-grown feed why I did it

Ann Althouse

eliminate ads and other cruft

Cycling News

make a feed for daily news

Digg - science

link directly to content

Digg - technology

link directly to content


entire content including embedded links


entire content, eliminate ads and cruft

Sailing Anarchy

make a feed for posts; support permalinks


link directly to content

Wired News

eliminate ads and other cruft

You're welcome!



Monday,  12/15/08  10:57 PM

So I did take a ride in the rain, on my mountain bike, and it was great.  Yeah, it was wet and cold, but I loved the sound and the smell of the rain, the peace and quiet, the simple beauty.  There is a field I ride by in Hidden Valley, it was freshly plowed a few days ago, and today the entire field was covered with sprouting grass!  A beautiful light green against the dark brown earth, glistening in the rain.  Anyway it was great, I hope it keeps raining...

Elsewhere it continues to be freezing cold; I saw where Montana set a new record at -29.  Now that's seriously cold.  And it was 0o in Madison.  This whole year - and now winter especially - seems colder than usual.

Oooh, I like this!  From Rich Kaarlgard: Turning Around America - A Modest Proposal.  "Here is how.  Let’s put every elected federal official and appointee and bureaucrat on a stock option plan.  The value of these options would be tied to the health and wealth of America.  Half the options would vest over two years so as to spur politicians to make immediate changes.  The other half would vest over 20 years, so politicians could build a framework for enduring success and be rewarded for it."  Yes!

Dogbert explains financial marketsScott Adams: Financial markets explained.  "In my capacity as cartoonist, I feel an obligation to simplify complicated discussions until two things happen simultaneously:  1. Absurdity is achieved.  2. The reader feels as if it all makes sense."  Suddenly I feel all savvy :)

the LoraxCool!  The LATimes says there is New Popularity for Dr. Suess' 'The Lorax'.  How excellent, one of my favorite stories of all time.  (Unless...!)  I read it to each of my daughters like a million times.

BusinessWeek reports Palm Pins its Hopes on Nova.  "The smartphone maker debuts its new operating system, code-named Nova, at January's CES.  Palm says its phones for it will bridge the BlackBerry-iPhone gap."  So be it; I'm rooting for them but I'm not hopeful.

what's black and white and dead?Jeff Jarvis links Jon Stewart:
What's Black and White and Dead?

From the "truth is stranger than Onion" files; CNet reports Our April fools jokes turn into real products.  "Back in 2007, we put out two April Fools' Day posts chronicling fake and absurd start-ups.  One was a Google Maps mashup for rodent sightings in New York restaurants.  The other was a prenatal version of Twitter where unborn children could post status updates.  A few readers took the bait in the comment sections, but it appears our ideas weren't so far off, as both have come to fruition just a year and a half later."  I love it!

Just when you thought Elon Musk was busy enough - what with Tesla and SpaceX - turns out he is also Chairman of SolarCity, a company which leases solar panels.  Wow...

Tesla Top Gear test driveSpeaking of Tesla, Top Gun's Jeremy Clarkson gives it a test drive, comparing it on a track to a Lotus Elite.  He likes it!  It is faster in a straight line than the Lotus (and faster off the line), but corners slower due to the extra weight of the batteries...

Speaking of being green, the Economist notes species banking, in Biodiversity.  "The most fundamental question is whether species banking works.  Imagine that an endangered species remains in only ten acres of private land.  If ten people each own one of those acres, in theory five could build on their land in exchange for promises of conservation in perpetuity from the other five."  What an amazing concept... it could work!

keyboard kitty!Finally, the cutest picture you'll see all day, or maybe all year...  keyboard kitty!








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electoral fail
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