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Wednesday,  04/30/08  11:16 PM

Greetings!  Did you have a wonderful Queen's Day?  I hope you did, and that you "thought Orange" all day.  Being Dutch is much more than a nationality or ethnic background, it is a state of mind.  After all, you can tell a Dutch person, but you can't tell them much :)

I had a nice day myself, though a long one; worked through some of niggling details.  Satisfying.

(You will notice and appreciate, I hope, that I am not going to dignify the whole Obama-Wright thing by commenting on it.)

This is fascinating; over an GNXP Razib has analyzed a bunch of data to figure out What predicts creationism?  Put another way, what factors correlate to a disbelief in evolution...  Nothing shocking but the data are nice to have laid out so cleanly.  Of course the other factor which correlates strongly, not considered this time, is intelligence. 

I don't know whether to think this is cool, or spooky, or weird, or what: ghost bikes memorialize accidents.  "A Ghost Bike is a white-painted bike that is placed at a location where a cyclist has been hit."  I'm trying to imagine what it would be like to have a ghost bike on a daily ride.  I sort of have one now; a couple of years ago a neighbor was killed while riding on a street near my house, I know the exact spot it happened, and pass it several times a week.  Maybe the main reason to do it would be for cars, so they would be more careful. 

One of my quarterly delights is reading the latest issue of Caltech's Engineering & Science, which always has some great articles about the doings there.  The tone is resolutely old school, harking back to the days of white-shirted engineers with slide rules and pocket protectors, quietly reinventing the world.  I am always interested in the obituaries; reading about these great people and their lives and accomplishments, such as Seymour Benzer, who pretty much invented modern genetics.  One of the obits in the latest issue is for David Elliot, professor of History emeritus.  I remember taking classes from Professor Elliot thirty years ago; I can still hear his Scottish brogue and cheerful enthusiasm, as he endeavored to teach history to a bunch of science students.  He taught me how to write, one of the most important things I've ever learned.  Thanks, David, see what you did :) 

Speaking of how to write, and people who can; check out Regret and Time Travel, from Mark Elliot (no known connection to David).  "So, I can have no regrets and I can assign no blame, unless I am willing to invalidate and betray what I have gained."  Well said and thought provoking...  (You will notice and appreciate, that I am not going to dignify the whole Obama-Wright thing by pointing out the analogy.) 

Remember when Microsoft Mesh was announced, I couldn't get interested enough to investigate?  Well, Joel Spolsky investigated, and concludes the Architecture astronauts take over.  I actually didn't even realize there was a difference between Microsoft Live Mesh (Hailstorm revisited), and Windows Live Mesh (Groove revisited).  Now that I've enjoyed Joel's skewering, I'm even less interested.  And meanwhile they are trying to buy Yahoo to, er, what?  Get technology?  Users?  Programmers?  Good ideas for new products, maybe... 

Well here's a surprise: Schmidt says Google still scratching head over YouTube profits.  Remember when Google bought YouTube, we all wondered how in the world it could be worth $1.5B?  Well, it wasn't based on normal business metrics like cash flow.  Of course it was based on abnormal metrics like the amount Google's stock appreciated in value... 

Meanwhile YouTube has become the total standard for things like this: The best Rube Goldberg Ever.  I don't know about best ever, but it is pretty good.  [ via my daughter Megan, who is a sucker for these things, and who asked "who's Rube Goldberg"? - turns out he was a cartoonist... ]