Critical Section

Sunday,  05/02/04  11:00 PM

Welcome to May!  Already.  Wow is this year flying by...

beyond the Moon to MarsAstrobiology has an interesting review of a lecture: Beyond the Moon to Mars, Man or Machine?  "Nothing can replace the power of the human mind and hand in exploration.  These robots are incredible and currently the only way to do exploration.  But even the builders of the robots agree that eventually we will have to have humans for the next level of discovery."  I wish I could have attended the lecture in person, sounds great.

Mars waveThis is a pretty cool picture of Mars. [ via Xeni Jardin ]  After you click to load the image, hit F11 to maximize your browser.  Cool.  It looks like a frozen wave of rock.

Well, the Lakers are in a dogfight, and they may not win.  Yesterday they were beaten by the Spurs (88-78), there are no excuses.  The game was even until San Antonio put on the jets in the 4th quarter to pull away.  It was an entertaining game - lots of great athletes.  The Lakers played better defense than I thought, but they had more trouble scoring than I thought, too.  Ready for the next one Wednesday night.

So, the Dutch are now the tallest people in the world.  Average male height is 6'1".  I'm 5'10", and whenever I'm in the Netherlands, I feel short; the remarkable thing isn't the height of the men, but how tall women are in Holland.  Their tales are pretty tall, too :)

RIOT monowheelThis is pretty cool; Popular Science has an article on a guy who built a monowheel.  "[James] Lyall's 1,100-pound monowheel monster works on the hamster-in-a-wheel principle: Move a wheel's center of gravity forward and the wheel turns.  Lyall's hamster is a lead-weighted engine, which hangs by bearings off a stationary center shaft and uses its torque to move from 0 degrees vertical when stationary to 90 degrees forward at full blast, continually pulling itself forward around a sprocket bolted to the outer spokes."  Excellent.

Last Friday a group of truckers blocked several freeways in the L.A. area, causing major traffic jams.  This apparent protest over high diesel prices is going to backfire.  I'm sympathetic toward truckers, but not if they engage in these types of tactics.  Oh, and fuel prices are not coming down, so they better get used to it...

The NYTimes ran an article about a creationist theme park.  What!  "Kent Hovind, a former public school science teacher with his own ministry, Creation Science Evangelism, and a hectic lecture schedule, said he had opened Dinosaur Adventure Land to counter all the science centers and natural history museums that explain the evolution of life with Darwinian theory.  There are dinosaur bone replicas, with accompanying explanations that God made dinosaurs on Day 6 of the creation as described in Genesis, 6,000 years ago."  Words fail me.

I wonder if Mr. Hovind is also considering a flat earth planetarium?

Buddhist theme park in VietnamHere's a Buddhist theme park in Vietnam.  Another take on how the world came to be :)  {I wonder if there is any intersection of agreement between fundamentalist Christians and Buddhists?}  By all means click through and check out the pictures, it looks amazing.  Even the furniture is cool.

Ottmar Liebert emphasizes that music involves communication.  Susan Blackmore (the Meme Machine) thinks music evolved as a way for humans to signal their pattern recognition skill.  So there is communication on two levels - the emotional level of the music itself, and the meta-level of the fact of music.  And of course there are layers within the music - rhythm and melody.  I bet if you understood humans' attraction to music, you would be well along toward understanding human intelligence in general.

Matt Webb considers how dogs perceive.  "There's a different between using smell as the primary sense and vision. Vision is all about surfaces, about being outside.  And it's at a distance too...  Smell is all about hints.  You don't smell a lion, you smell 70% of the likelihood of a lion -- is it nearby in space, or in time?  Wherever you are in the field, there's the chance that something will happen."  I wonder if Ottmar would agree that listening to music for humans is like smelling for dogs.

The other day I mentioned Matt Webb's Interconnected as being, well, different.  Here's another data point.  Matt's RSS feed URL is;rss.  Yeah, with a semicolon.  I asked him in email, "okay, I'll bite; why the semicolon?" and here's his response.  I love it.

Adam Curry's cute chicksAdam Curry really attracts cute chicks :)



this date in:
About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained