Critical Section


Thursday,  05/06/04  09:46 PM

Have you ever wanted to smash a 635-ton barge into a bridge?  You know you have.  But the consequences are, well, not good.  Ah, but what if the bridge is slated for demolition anyway!  [ via Collision Detection,  an aptly named source ]  Too bad there isn't a really great movie of the crash :)

AlwaysOn considers the looming oil crisis.  This morning the price of crude oil passed $40/barrel, and I don't think it is coming back any time soon.  This could end up being a disaster, with bad timing for President Bush, especially if the Democrats succeed in positioning it as an effect of the War in Iraq (which it is, to some extent, but there are other causes as well, notably growth in US, Japanese, and Chinese demand).

Wow: "the Democratic National Convention Committee is pleased to announce that for the first time ever, bloggers will be offered Convention access through the official media credentialing process."  I hope Dave Winer goes, and takes Steve Garfield with him!  [ via LZBear ]

Check this out!  Tangled Bank #2 has been posted, on the Invasive Species weblog.  Syaffolee posted an interesting item about a researcher who fabricated data in a Cell paper (as previously reported by the Scientist).  What I find interesting is the mock-outrage of which results when fraudsters are outed.  Self-righteousness in any form is repulsive.

Medscape reports Human Brain to Machine Interface May Now Be Feasible.  "Directly using human brain neuronal activity to operate external neuroprostheses may now be feasible, according to a presentation on May 4 at the 72nd annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons held in Orlando, Florida.  This work could potentially benefit patients with quadriplegia or other focal neurological injury who are unable to use their extremities because of a breakdown in connectivity between their limbs and brain motor centers."  Wow.

Apropos, I just started reading Broken Angels, from Richard K. Morgan, a sci-fi thriller which is a sequel to his wonderful Altered Carbon.  In his 25th century world people can have "neurochem" enhancers and prosthesis which are brain-activated.  It might really happen, and sooner than he imagined!

nails in skull X-rayOuch!  That has to hurt!  CNN has a story about a man who ended up with six nails in his skull, due to a construction accident.  Unbelievably, he was okay.  [ via David Pescovitz ]

James Hague: Programming as if Performance Mattered.  Which, of course, it nearly always does.  The authors point of view is that performance doesn't matter, but to me, the piece backfires; he ends up unintentionally reinforcing my view that it nearly always does.  Longhorn team, take note!  "The golden rule of programming has always been that clarity and correctness matter much more than the utmost speed.  Very few people will argue with that.  And yet do we really believe it?"  Uh, no, we don't.

David Hornik engages in calendar calisthenics.  I'm glad to hear he's juggling his time between existing investments and potential new ones...  On the entrepreneur side of the table, I'm juggling mine between existing customers and potential new ones, and between existing products and potential new ones.  Efficient use of time is critical to productivity, which means you have to set priorities.  So why am I blogging?

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