Critical Section

Tuesday,  12/30/08  11:11 PM

balloon stack!Well I had a nice day; drove down to Vista to check on the troops, successfully implemented a balloon stack of a colleague's office, and reviewed Aperio's Q4 results which are gratifying, especially in view of the stiff economic headwinds.  Finished off with a nice ride and had a wonderful experience with an elderly Duck.

It's football watching season, which means eating, which means riding if I don't want to turn into a balloon myself.  Fortunately the weather is wonderful.  And riding is the perfect complement to my other pastime in the final days of the day, reflection...  I love Southern California!

...and so as 2008 winds down, we find...

twin twinsCheck out these twin sets of twins.  Born seven years apart to a white mother and black father, each set features a "black" and "white" twin.  Remarkable.  If that doesn't blow up your perceptions of race, what would?

Jeff Atwood has a simple question: "You met someone who told you they had two children, and one of them is a girl. What are the odds that person has a boy and a girl?"  This is a great variation on the Monty Hall three-door problem.

oystersThe year-end issue of the Economist has a great article on oysters.  Did you know that in addition to being great to eat, they clean the water?  "A single oyster can filter about 50 gallons of water per day."  Who knew?

chilisAnd in the same issue, an article entitled Global Warming, about how the world has taken to eating chilis.  "In the same way as young people may come to like alcohol, tobacco and coffee (all of which initially taste nasty, but deliver a pleasurable chemical kick), chili-eating normally starts off as a social habit, bolstered by 'benign masochism': doing something painful and seemingly dangerous, in the knowledge that it won’t do any permanent harm. The adrenalin kick plus the natural opiates form an unbeatable combination for thrill-seekers."  Whew.  Pass the chili, please!

racing a DN iceboatEnjoy sailing but find that it is a bit cold in your parts?  Well then, how about some iceboat racing?  Sailing Anarchy has a nice post about DN sailing, including a pretty compelling video...  this is something I've always wanted to try.  Unfortunately opportunities for doing so in the Los Angeles area are a bit limited :)

Joel Spolsky chest beats about Fog Creek's new office.  I like Joel, but I wish he would drop the "holier than thou" attitude, like Fog Creek are the only ones who have figured out how to build software...

Martians!From BoingBoing: Ray Bradbury on Mars.  "The interviewer said, 'Mr. Bradbury, how do you feel about this landing? Where are the Martian cities and where are all the living beings?'  'Don't be a fool,' I said. 'WE are the Martians! We're going to be here for the next million years. At long last, WE ARE MARTIANS!' That was the end of the interview."  I love it!

John Gruber links The Man Who said No to WalMart, about how "Jim Wier, then the CEO of high-end lawnmower company Snapper, who went to WalMart’s corporate headquarters to inform them that he was pulling Snapper’s entire product line from WalMart.  He concluded - correctly, it seems - that it was incompatible with Snapper’s high-quality strategy to sell their products in a store where the only important factor is price."  This is the insidious thing about the WalMart's of the world; they commoditize everything, even when there is distinct differentiation.

Energy Ball personal wind turbineFinally, check out Inhabitat's top ten "green design" stories of 2008.  The great thing is that they are unranked; you get to vote.  I voted for the Energy Ball personal wind turbine, pictured at right...

About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
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
the big day
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?