Critical Section


Sunday,  11/30/08  11:00 PM

Five-O T minus 3...  today was not a good day...  happens every four day weekend, I luxuriate in having all that "free" time, and then Sunday comes, and poof, it's all gone, and there is much I wish I had done which is still undone.  Well so be it.  It was a nice holiday, and I did enjoy three beautiful days.  This is going to be quite a week, and my turning Five-O will be the least of it.  Onward!

And meanwhile, it's all happening...

Keith RichardsYou may have seen this print ad featuring Keith Richards - happens to be for Louis Vuitton - what a fantastic picture!  What an amazing face.  What a story is told by that picture...  (click to enlarge!)  {Of course, what does Keith or that picture have to do with Louis Vuitton?  No idea.

Britain's blame flagThe Economist examines Britain's blame culture.  "An excess of blame - blind and unthinking as it often seems - can be as dangerous as a deficit of it.  Vitriolic blame can wreck morale in institutions such as hospitals (or, indeed, in social services).  It can inhibit decision-making and worthwhile risk-taking.  And it can be both intellectually lazy and delusional."  Bush haters, take note...

The First-time CEO's Recession Survival Guide by Glenn Kelman (CEO of Redfin).  Follows up his previous Flip Side of Entrepreneurship by Glenn Kelman, on Guy Kawasaki's blog.  Among others he makes the point that entrepreneurs are inherently conservative; he who has very little takes close care of it.  And that spirit is back :)

So we are in a recession, but CNN reports Holiday Sales up over Last Year.  "Stores and online merchants were busier this weekend than they were a year ago, according to figures out Sunday, but signs persist that holiday shopping will suffer in the weakest economic climate in decades."  How weird is that?  And note that CNN are rooting for things to get worse, there is no evidence at all in the article to support "signs persist".  They forgot Obama won already; no need to keep bashing Bush...

Tomorrow afternoon I'm flying to Chicago to attend the RSNA conference; interesting, it turns out that the RSNA attendee badges have RFID transmitters in them, used for tracking which booths you visit!  Whoa.  That seems like a hideous violation of privacy, particularly as it is undisclosed.  I have nothing to hide, but I do not want my whereabouts in the exhibit hall tracked...

Oh boy: half-foot of snow predicted for Chicago.  That will be really fun...

China vistaCheck out this amazing picture from China.  Wow.  (click to enbiggen)

Are we approaching Peak Population?  A great discussion.  I love this, and totally agree with it: "empowering women is the best climate change technology" (because it reduces birth rates and hence population).  [ via Cory Doctorow ]  This whole discussion is very reminiscent of Unnatural Selection; reducing birth rates in general also reduces the decline in average IQ...

Related: Barack Obama and the politics of Nuclear Waste.  "Despite all the inspiring talk about windmills & solar panels, it's difficult to see how Obama will reach his goal without relying on nuclear power. Commercial reactors currently provide 20% of the nation's power, but accounts for 70% of the country's emission-free energy."  I think Obama's a pragmatist; he's going to embrace nuclear power because it makes sense.

Also related: Eugenics cuts Down's Syndrome in Half in Denmark.  "A new national screening strategy in Denmark has halved the number of infants born with Down's syndrome and increased the number of infants diagnosed before birth by 30%, according to a study published on bmj.com today."  This really makes sense; too bad it is impractical to promote something like this in the U.S.; the religious fanatics would go crazy.

plumes from EnceladusInteresting news from Saturn: Supersonic plumes of water erupt from Saturn's moon raising hopes of micro life under surface. "When the Cassini spacecraft flew through a gigantic geyser of dust and gas close to the surface of Enceladus, it collected samples of ice and gas.  Astronomers say the plumes may be erupting from an underground ocean, which would make Enceladus the third place in the solar system suspected to support life, even if only microbial organisms."

APOD: "Atlantis to orbit"I love this picture, linked by Gerard Vanderleun: Atlantis to OrbitBeautiful.

BTW this afternoon our peaceful day was briefly shattered by a sonic boom, as the Enterprise landed at Edwards Air Force Base.  At first I thought it was an earthquake, but there was no shaking, only the initial bang.  I understand it costs $2M to fly the Enterprise back to Florida when it has to land in California, wow, that's an expensive detour.

This is excellent: Slashdot reports New Asimov Movies Coming.  "Two big budget Isaac Asimov novel adaptations are on the way. New Line founders Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne are developing Asimov's 1951 novel Foundation, the first in Asimov's classic space opera saga, which has the potential to be as epic as Lord of the Rings. At the same time, New Regency has recently announced they were adapting Asimov's time travel novel The End of Eternity."  How cool is that, I can't wait; Foundation would make a great LOTR-style epic...

 

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