Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Sahara as a Tourist

I never thought about visiting the countries that occupy the Sahara until I saw Sahara with Michael Palin. The variety of cities could make for a very interesting trip. CNN has an article covering some of the tour companies that specialize in the Sahara. One of the most interesting places to visit according to Michael Palin is Libya. The coastline has a lot of Roman ruins to walk through. Maybe someday I'll get there, and I hope some of you get there sooner.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


New puppy pictures and videos at my flickr and youtube places. Check out the links on the left side of this page.

More real posts soon.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Latest Casualty of Global Warming

Something must not like natural syrups. First honey is threatened by an unknown die off of honey bees, and now Vermont maple sugar seems to be threatened by "global warming". What's next? Just to be safe, stock up on everything!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Boring Financial Stuff

Here is the most cynical economic predication ever. The commentator is negative on:

The Stock Market
The Current Business Expansion
The Inverted Yield Curve
Corporate Earnings Growth
The Housing Downturn
and ... the fact that more people are optimistic about the stock market makes him pessimistic (a clear contrarian)

So if you want to read a classic contrarian commentary then this is the one.

Monday, February 19, 2007

This Is Awesome

I don't have a good title for this or really a good description. Just read this story at the New York Times. If you do much traveling, especially overseas, you will just start to giggle at what this reporter was able to do in a Chinese airport. Pretty awesome.

Cold Fusion News Warms Up

Cold Fusion isn't a dead science it seems and happens to be in the news today. New Scientist has a story about research results achieved in 2002, quickly thrown into question by peers, that has been found to be confirmed by independent verification. Cold fusion first entered the public consciousness in March 1989 when researchers Fleischmann and Pons announced that they had discovered cold fusion. There was much controversy in the science community and in the months to follow what ended up in the news was that the Fleischmann and Pons results could never be verified by other researchers so Fleischmann and Pons research must have been faulty. Since that time Fleischmann and Pons have continued their research in France and other researchers have quietly been doing work on the cold fusion problem as well. Some have even claimed to have duplicated Fleischmann and Pons results. This is where the most recent story comes from. A researcher working on "bubble" fusion reported results, had the results poo pooed at, and finally had his research confirmed. None of this probably makes the main stream news because once news organizations felt that cold fusion was debunked they stopped reporting anything about it.

It is a very elusive subject to follow. Is the science real? Maybe no one can really be sure yet so it is good that research continues. It is the kind of topic that gives conspiracy theorists wet dreams, because there is so much there to think that a conspiracy must exist. I usually don't believe in conspiracies (and I don't now) because I don't think people can keep secrets in today's world. I love stories like this though. I keep hoping one day we will wake up and hear/read about some incredible breakthrough in something that will change the world. Curing cancer, discovering a clean energy source, something along those lines that would immediately start changing the world. I can dream can't I. I'll leave you a last link that concerns different possibilities of cold fusion. It is a little old, but it's angle plays into the research as being outside the mainstream while giving some hope to the possibilities involved if real results are accomplished.

Romantic Attachment Quiz

This is a pretty good quiz that tries to tell you what kind of romantic attachment style you have. Apparently I am a "avoider". What are you?

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Year of the Pig could be a pig of a year

The Year of the Pig is almost upon us and one feng shui expert is expecting the worst. A lot of gloom and doom quotes. Not good times ahead if he is correct, except for a special child born on a specific date at a specific time mentioned towards the end of the article. Have a great year!


The puppy has a name and it is Monty. Here is another video. Frank is mostly not playing with Monty. Wouldn't it be great to have the flexibility of a puppy.

Mile High Club Update

It seems more details are emerging in the "did they join the mile high club" story involving Ralph Fiennes and a Qantas flight attendant. The Daily Mail has the story.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


My close friend has a new puppy. If you are ever feeling down spend a little time with a puppy. So much fun. For pictures and more videos check out my flickr and youtube links on the left side of the blog. Frank is the black and white dog (a jack/shitz). He has no interest in playing with the puppy. This puppy will be much bigger than Frank very soon so Frank's days in charge are numbered and I think he knows it.

The Grammy's

Bill Simmons does a running diary of the Grammys. He is usually a sports columnist with a fan's perspective, but occasionally he does a non-sports column. He calls himself the sports guy and his wife the sports gal. A very funny read. Enjoy.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Dog Show Takes Center Stage

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show begins in New York tonight. It airs on the USA Network. Enjoy the show.

Stock up on Honey

Honeybees are dying on mass and no one knows why. Many stories out there, here is the link to the NY Times story. Is this a subtle sign that the environment is in worse shape than anyone realizes or just an isolated incident? There must be another example of 50 percent of a species population dying in less than a year (sarcasm intended). Good luck to the bees still hanging on.

Mile High Club

MSNBC has a story about how Ralph Fiennes may have tried to join the mile high club and has gotten a flight attendant in trouble.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Researchers Running Out of Things to Research

UC Berkeley researchers believe that male sweat causes female hormones to rise. The study was done with bottles of sweat, not actual sweaty men. I'm guessing that the sight of 99% of sweaty men out there in the world (the one's that don't look like Brad Pitt) will offset any up-tick in a woman's hormone level. Visual stimulus outweighing the nose every time.

Is Wind Chill All In The Mind?

Researchers are beginning to believe that the idea of "wind chill" isn't really scientific. An interesting read and to sum it all up, wear a hat and you'll be fine.

Mice Are Cured Of Everything!

Well, not quite yet, but at the rate research is going mice will out live us one of these years. The latest thing cured is a particularly nasty type of autism called Rett Syndrome. Diabetes cured in mice last year, autism this year, what will be cured next year for the little white things ... maybe cats!

Hand Drawn Animation Isn't Dead Yet

It seems Disney isn't giving up on hand drawn animation yet. Computers will just have to wait a little longer to completely conquer the big mouse. Thank you John Lasseter.

Happy Anniversary to the 747

Amazingly enough, the first test flight of the Boeing 747 was 38 years ago today. There is one problem with the linked article. At the end of the article the author implies that the 787 (currently in design and taking orders) will be the replacement of the 747. But that isn't the case. There have been many different versions of the 747 since that initial test flight, and Boeing will continue that evolution with the 747-8. I can't wait to fly on it.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Spend Baby, Spend!

The NY Times has a story about how much money an average person may need for retirement is exaggerated by most financial planners. This news comes from a small minority of economists scattered around the country. The main point is that the vast majority of companies saying "save, save" are also the very companies who earn more money as more money is put into savings and investments.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Creative Housing Loans Drying Up

The New York Times is reporting on a few loan companies going under and whether it is the beginning of a larger trend. Here is the link.

It's Not Just Me (more on housing)

Rex Nutting at has a commentary today about how the chief economist of the National Association of Realtors continues to make positive predictions amidst negative numbers. Some actual facts to back up my previous post (what a concept!).

Economists are on Drugs

Not a week goes by without an economist or two predicting that the housing slump will end this year. Either they are paid by companies with financial interests in real estate (and want more positive news in the press) or the economists are simply on drugs. I say this because common sense says that the only way the housing slump will end is by interest rates dropping and/or by people getting larger raises (not the typical "keep up with inflation" raise). Houses aren't affordable. The last 2 years of the great housing boom was accomplished by lenders getting extremely creative with home loans. This was needed because interest rates were going up. The housing market finally hit a point that the creative loans couldn't sustain sales price growth. Most people couldn't afford a house, and many couldn't even afford a condo (or didn't have any interest in living in an overpriced condo). People looking to flip houses and people who actually want to live in a house are going to wait (mostly because they have no other choice) until prices are lower. That is reality. Until economists and housing market journalists discover this reality I suppose we will continue to read how "the housing slump will end this year."

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Michael Vick would be a perfect Raider

I don't know if Michael Vick was the victim of a really overzealous TSA employee or just got really lucky. For now, he is out of trouble. Obviously he didn't know that you can't take bottled water onto a plane anymore (in the U.S.). Maybe he was sold something that he thought was marijuana but really wasn't. Maybe the TSA person never went to college and therefore doesn't know what marijuana smells like. SO many unanswered questions.

All this tells me is that Michael Vick would be the perfect Oakland Raider. Before games he and Randy Moss could swap their favorite hand rolled ingredients. He could bring great "chemistry" to the quarterback/wide receiver relationship.

The Raiders have the first pick in the draft and Al Davis drools over strong armed quarterbacks (Actually, he probably can't stop drooling considering his age. It's like he has aged in dog years.) By now Atlanta must be thinking about the best way to part company with their enigmatic QB. This trade needs to happen.

the Penny may become the Nickel

An economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has suggested that the penny be revalued to 5 cents. The main reason is because the price of copper has gone up dramatically causing the intrinsic value of a penny to be more than 1 cent. The concern is that groups will illegally ship coins overseas where they can be melted down and be sold. This is a problem in countries like the Philippines. What i want to know is, why skip 2 cents and go straight to 5?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Government stops warrantless domestic surveillance.... do we believe them?

Last week the government announced that it will no longer operate domestic surveillance without a warrant. Is this a big deal? The reason I ask is... Do We Believe them?!? This administration has been in office for almost exactly 6 years now and if we have learned only one thing about them it is that we can't take at face value anything this administration officially says. For the next 2 years (at least that long, no gaurantee things will change once a new administration is in office, regardless of the party) we can't believe anything that is announced coming out of Washington.

Possible competitor for Survivor found

This woman would dominate Survivor. So dominant in fact that she would get voted off the show first.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

At long last I'm Back

My blog is finally back online. I attempted to get it forwarded to a sight set up by godaddy and I failed miserably. After a week of it being invisible I was able to get it back at blogspot. More posts that no one is reading soon to come. I'm so happy now.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Rosie and The Donald

Rosie O'Donnell thinks Donald Trump is obsessed .... with her. Not with his TV show, not with his wife, not with his various real estate holdings, not with his kids, ... but with her. Maybe Rosie O'Donnell is obsessed ..... obsessed with herself.

Russell Crowe is at it again

If you want to get on Russell Crowe's good side (if there is such a thing) make sure you have some chicken satays with you. If no prepared poultry is near at least make sure no potential projectiles are near as well.

Lots of New Videos

I posted a lot of videos to my YouTube account this weekend. Please check them out at your leisure. There are currently 26 videos of mine posted online.

An Uproar Over Breasts in China

An eruption of controversy has popped up in the middle of Gong Li's breasts. In case you aren't aware, Chinese cinema is quite conservative. The new movie, Curse Of The Golden Flower, overwhelmed critics with it's wardrobe. Many are calling the movie "Curse of the Corset" instead of the movie's proper name. The controversy has lead some concerned citizens to call for a movie ratings system. All I am wondering is, what exactly is "The Golden Flower" in this movie?

Sunday, January 7, 2007

What Global Warming?

The warm weather in the East may be coming to an end, but it has given many a glimpse at what global warming may bring. India and Pakistan may argue against the idea of global warming in the face of the record lows they are experiencing. I'm afraid that there is no "normal" anymore.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Still sick .... another lazy post

I'm still sick and quite annoyed about it. I have nothing worthy to post so I am pulling out a journal entry from 2005, my trip to Singapore. (My evening has been a waste, with some bad football followed by a mediocre movie called Robots.) Goodnight.

Singapore Trip March 2005

LAX 3/22/05 8:28AM

Time for another trip. Probably the last one for a long time. I am off to Singapore for this trip. I still have 2 hours until boarding begins. I am flying United. I didn’t exactly have to pay for the trip. Last year United and American Airlines had a bizarre promotion, I’m guessing to do whatever they could to generate revenue. It involved flying 2 coast to coast (ex. Los Angeles to Boston or NY) roundtrip flights within a certain period of time. I did this and by doing so earned a free roundtrip flight to anywhere in the world that United flies. I chose Singapore. And here I am, about to go there. And now I think I will read the paper for a while.

11:05AM (4:05AM Tokyo - tomorrow)

On the plane now. This plane goes on to Tokyo and then on to Hong Kong. I’ll be switching planes in Tokyo and then make my way on to Singapore. Part of me wishes I was just going on to Hong Kong. I really enjoyed it there last year. There is much more to do and more importantly I had such a good feeling there. It was very easy to be there and to spend time there. I felt completely comfortable walking and going wherever I wanted.

This isn’t a criticism just a statement of fact. American air carriers have the oldest flight attendants in the sky. They could all be grandparents. I don’t think it is healthy for any job to not bring in new blood. People can just get too complacent without some internal competition.

Back to the trip. I could have easily gone back to Hong Kong, but I think forcing myself to go somewhere new again is healthy for me. I have a habit of doing the same thing again and again. If it is comfortable I will just keep doing it. I do this in restaurants all of the time. Once I find something I like I will just keep ordering is again and again.

A week alone in Singapore should be interesting. Not just for the travel part of it, but to see how well I do in forcing myself to get out and do things. I have no insider tips on what to do. Having insider knowledge of Hong Kong made it that much easier to make the jump for that trip. This trip to Singapore has much more unknown quantities to it. Once I arrive in Changi airport I will have to look around for a tourist center and for a place to get a subway pass. For my first full day in Singapore it would be nice to just get on the subway and to venture out to the different neighborhoods and see what the whole island is like. Or maybe on the first day I will get out to the main tourist areas and see what they are like. I might be a zombie on the first day and shouldn’t try to do too much. Possibly the second day will be good to take all the subway lines to see the different parts of the island. I also might go to the spa on the first or second day. I still need to look more at the city tours. I will probably do at least one of them. And a web site mentioned cooking classes available. A chinese cooking class should be fun.

11:41AM Takeoff ..... weeeee!

1:18PM (Tokyo Time) 3/23

4619 miles done and only 915 miles to go. I haven’t slept at all. We’ve watched 3 movies (the rest of the plane and I). Flying during the day makes it hard to sleep. Plus, these seats are so small, too small to really sleep for very long. I think it is 8:25PM back home. Really hard to get my head around the fact that I have spent all of this time on the plane. Almost 10 hours since boarding the plane. I think 2 more hours to go.

1:40AM Merchant Court Hotel .... Singapore

I’ve just reached my room. I left my house to go to LAX 27 hours ago. I must be insane. I’m here now and this will be fun.

7:37PM Brewerkz Restaurant, Clark Quay area (Quay is pronounced “key”)

I think this was a good day. I got a pretty good feel for the area. As I suspected, what might look like a long walk on a map really isn’t.

I must say, the Muslim women here are very dedicated to their religion. Even though the heat index is over 100, they go right on wearing the head scarf as well as long pants and a long shirt. I know in this part of the world it is very hot and there are a lot of Muslim countries. But in most of those countries it is Muslim or else. No choice in the matter. In this country the women have a choice. The Muslim women here choose to be so, and end up being really hot. So I’m very impressed. I sweat in shorts and a T-shirt and they wear clothes more appropriate for 50 degree weather, not 100.

I’m starting to get sleepy now. It’s been a long couple of days. It’s about 8:20PM and I feel like I could be in bed by 9. But it is my birthday so part of me is saying to go out and find a club to dance in. I think my sleepy side will win out as I sit here at the restaurant on the edge of the river in Clark Quay. I might try the river cruise tonight. The temp. is perfect.

A fair amount of construction going on in this city. Even now a construction crane is moving about. I wonder what they are building.

3/26 8:40AM Singapore Botanic Gardens

There is a 1 hour guided walk starting at 9AM. I read about it on the internet. I think I am the first to sign up. To get here I took the subway from the hotel. At the next stop I changed to another subway line. 2 stops after that was the Orchard Rd. area where I got off. I then caught a taxi to make it the rest of the way. It cost about $5.70 for the taxi. Maybe a 5-10 minute ride. On the road leading to the Gardens we passed some houses. The first I had seen here. This must be a very well to do area. The houses were nice, not huge or overdone. The cars give them away however. In one driveway was 3 jaguars. Others had an H2 hummer, and quite a few Mercedes. A lot of people jogging in the Gardens. Many of them white. I wonder if they live in the neighborhood or drive here to be able to jog in the Gardens. I also saw a police vehicle for the first time. It was a bus and from the looks of it outfitted to transport inmates. Not many police to be seen in general. With the reputation of Singapore you would think no one would do anything wrong. I was actually surprised to see that police bus. Almost time for the tour. It should be an hour. Afterwards I will go by the Orchard Gardens.

3/27 Sunday 5:56PM

We’ve gotten some afternoon rain the last 2 days. I was hoping for a cool down effect, but it didn’t really happen. I was in the subway yesterday when it happened. Today I got a little wet but it didn’t really matter. I dried off pretty quick.

The buildings aren’t as air-conditioned as Hong Kong. In HK my glasses would always fog up upon going outside. Here that doesn’t happen.

I’m killing time in the hotel’s bar right now. I’ve signed up for a night tour and the pick-up time in in 25 minutes. It is the first time I’ve taken an organized tour on this trip. Hopefully it will cover some areas of the city that I haven’t been to yet. it should also include a river tour.

I got a pretty bad burn on my legs so I’m trying to get out of the sun a little more, compared to the first two days. I put on sunscreen each day so I must have gotten the burn from sweating off the sunscreen and from being out in the sun longer than the lotion’s effectiveness. It is really bad on the insides of both of my legs. Somewhat bad on my arms. The legs are already starting to itch. I am putting on aloe vera gel at night, but it isn’t working as much as I’d like. The first two days I was outside walking a lot during the worst part of the day. Since then I’ve been trying to get inside from noon to 2 or 3PM. Either get to a mall or get back to the hotel.


On the tour bus. Leaving right on time. Everything has been on time

3/28 9:28AM

I’m on my way to the Jurong Bird Park. Also in the area is a Chinese Garden and a Japanese Garden. I’ll try and get to those depending on the time and weather. Since I received a pretty bad sunburn on my legs on either the first or second day here I have been trying to avoid going out in the noonday sun. I figure it must be at it’s worst then.


Here i am at the end of the East/West subway line. It seems to be the oldest of the lines. No “please mind the gap” voice on this subway. Once we got away from the city center it became an above ground train. Pretty flat country. Lots of apartment blocks and school. Now I’m going to try and catch a taxi to the Bird Park.

Instead of a taxi it looks like I will be taking a bus. There is a huge bus terminal here. Extremely well organized. At least 1 bus stops at the Bird Park. Right now it looks to be a cloudy day. I don’t mind at all. It’s probably a bit cooler because of it, but not much. Rain always a possibility it seems. Quite like Florida in the summer.


The bus worked out well. Very popular. Everyone got off at this stop. There is also a reptile park in the area, but most or all seem to be heading to the Bird Park.


I just passed a family who brought a snack with them. A snack of hard boiled eggs. They are eating eggs in front of the birds. How Rude!


Back on the subway now. Taxis were waiting at the entrance to the Bird Park so I couldn’t resist taking one back to the MRT station. Only 4 dollars. I just didn’t want to wait for the bus. The clouds started to burn away about an hour ago and the sun really started to make it’s presence felt. There is a nice little lake at the Chinese Garden stop. It looks like a nice place. Right now I don’t have anything to do tomorrow morning so I could come back out here, but I doubt I will. Most likely it will have to wait until the next trip to Singapore.


Back to the subway. I’m off to the Night Safari. Basically a zoo with lights. The brochure says to expect the journey to be around an hour.I will change subway lines twice, which means I’m going to end up on all 3 lines on this trip. I could go a way in which I only end up on 2 lines, but I think I will be further away from the Night Safari at that subway station versus the way I am going. Once I get to the subway station mentioned in the brochure I will take a bus or taxi to the zoo. If it is as convenient as the Bird Park then I will take the bus.


I’ve made it to the first subway. It is just pulling in.


Waiting at the bus stop.


On the bus and on our way.



3/29 1:45PM The Coffee Connoisseur

Trying to figure out what to do today. I had a lazy morning. I went to bed after 1AM since I got back from the Night Safari very late. I probably didn’t get down to breakfast until 9:30AM. After that I did some packing, some reading, and catching up on the news. I didn’t feel the earthquake last night. Apparently some in the north and west did.

I just had an excellent creamy corn soup. This is a bit of an upscale coffee place. Some high end coffees from around the world with prices to reflect such hard to get coffee. A Blue Mountain is $9.90 a cup. I don’t know how big the cup is. No Kona on the menu. Many espresso drinks, hot and cold, as well as liqueur added coffee drinks. Nice salads, sandwiches, and other food offerings.

I think I will try and get to 3 ethnic shopping areas today using the subway. I don’t know if I will get to them after I do happy hour. I want to try a Singapore Sling before I depart the island.

I had the typical traveler anxiety today. I thought to myself what if my departure was actually today and I had confused the dates. I checked and of course just some silly anxiety. I arranged for a taxi to meet me at 4:40AM for my ride to the airport. This is my only option for getting to the airport at such an early hour.

3/29 sometime after 5PM - Equinox, the bar on the 71st Floor of the Stamford Hotel

I was told they served Singapore Slings for happy hour, but apparently that is not the case. They are full price, $21.50. I will have a different drink instead. A Stamford Tower, only $10 during happy hour. No food here so i don’t plan on staying long.

I forgot my watch (and my lip balm), so I have no idea what time it is. I only know that I left the hotel a little before 5PM. After this I will head towards one of the places that I want to shop at and I will keep an eye out for a happy hour bar that has food. I feel like I should have a Singapore Sling before I leave. Now it is a quest. Apparently it is a gin drink. I haven’t had many gin drinks in my life. This Stamford Tower is a run drink. Some blueberry flavor is involved.

3/30 9AM Tokyo

We’ve only been in the air for a few minutes on our way to Tokyo. About a 6 hour flight going in this direction. I might try and get some sleep once brunch is done with. I’m not sure if they will serve it right away. The goal on flights like these is to try and keep myself distracted so I don’t think about the time remaining.

I wasn’t able to find a happy hour yesterday after I left Equinox. I didn’t have a Singapore Sling during the entire trip. Something for next time. I only had 2 drinks the entire trip. One on the first night and one on the last night.


Push back from the gate at Narita. In the air about 4:20PM. It is 11:20PM in LA. I wonder how much nighttime we will have. I’ll try to write down when it gets dark and when we get a sunrise.

12:30AM LA time

Just about sunset. Pretty quick since we are going East and some nice color to it.

I started to see the dawn a little after 5AM. I didn’t really sleep much.


Well, that is it. I didn’t write anything else on that trip. I never want to fly to Asia in coach again. Flying to Japan and then to Singapore was too much. 2 very long flights back to back. If I wasn’t on a restricted free flight I would have done it a different way. Stopping for a day or two in Tokyo would have been much better. But next time I will probably be back to fly on EVA Air. A step up from coach, which makes a tremendous difference.

That is all for now.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

UFO visits Earth (is it the same one again and again?)

I would just like to say that I don't not believe in UFO's. Having said that, it is getting harder to believe recent reports of a UFO sighting at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago because of one simple fact... no images. How is it possible that in today's world a UFO appears in a public place and no one takes a picture or video of it with their camera phone? I'm not sure I will be able to ever again consider believing that something seen by many people really happened if there isn't an image (preferably multiple images) of the incident. It's a sad day, because I want to believe, I really do.

That's going to leave a mark

Has a celebrity ever intentionally had surgery to try to get better P.R.? Lindsay Lohan is in the news again, this time because she is going to have surgery. Apparently she needs an appendectomy. I wonder how big a scar that leaves, and would you tip the surgeon and nurses if it ended up being a really small scar? She's too young to stop wearing bikinis, but I suppose there are other surgeons to help out with those types of cosmetic problems. I enjoyed Ms. Lohan in A Prairie Home Companion and certainly hope she gets through the surgery with the tiniest scar possible.

Sacha Baron Cohen Interview

Sacha Baron Cohen was interviewed on Fresh Air with Terry Gross today. Hear him tell stories about the making of Borat, his character Ali G., and other aspects of his life. One tidbit from shooting Borat was that the number one rule during shooting in the U.S. was to make sure he didn't get arrested.

Nice timing CNET

A rumor popped up yesterday that Apple may introduce a laptop using LED technology. A big deal right? Apparently not a big deal because Sony has already done it. CNET has the information.

Another rumor that has been floating around in the internet ether for so long that it may turn into an urban legend any minute now is that Apple will introduce a phone. CNET contributes to the rumor today with some comments and a link to an article at the Guardian. (I am linking to an article that is linking to an article.)

If you want to know how I think Steve Jobs should introduce the phone, read my earlier comments here. (My very first blog post.)

The big hope (not a new hope) for Macworld 2007

Macworld Expo 2007 is fast approaching and the rumors are really starting to get interesting. My big hope for the show is that a 30th Anniversary Macintosh will be announced. Apple did a very cool 20th Anniversary Macintosh. (The other shoe is in mid-air.) It was also $7500. The closest I ever got to one was watching it on Seinfeld. (In the back of Jerry's apartment near the window was a little desk that always had a computer on it. The last few years of the show it was an Apple computer, with the models changing each season.) One rumor I read today suggests that Apple will introduce a laptop using LED technology. New technology like that screams that a specialized anniversary uber computer is on the way.

Why some fake goods may not be so fake

Anyone who has gone overseas, especially to Asia, has shopped in 'night markets' or 'ladies markets' and wondered how a rolex or prada could be so cheap. One thinks, "They can't be the real thing, but some cheap imitation, done far from the real production line." (Yes, an actual quote from my brain thinking.) But is it possible that the only thing keeping that counterfeit from being counterfeit is the time it was made, something called the 'third shift'. Don't be surprised if that cheap prada on ebay (of course it can't be real) is closer to real than you think.

A Chinese twist on GPS navigation

Not too many days pass without a mention in the news about counterfeiting and China. What isn't mentioned much is that Chinese companies often 'borrow' technology and designs from other Chinese companies. If you buy a cheap motorbike from company B that 'borrowed' the design from company A (who's motorbike is more expensive since the design cost money) the motorbike will most likely still work fine for you. If however you are riding your new motorbike and pull out a cheap GPS navigation device (who's maps are counterfeit) you may be in a bit of a problem.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

What is up with Europeans?

Europeans seem to have trouble trusting technology a little too much. (And yes England, I include you .... wake up, you are part of Europe!) You would think that since Europeans get enormous amounts of vacation time they would be able to pay attention to the world around them the rest of the time.

Apparently not. Some point soon we may have to take GPS devices away from them. If you live in the village of Crackpot or Luckington you already know that some people trust their navigation devices a little too much.

This brilliant duo went 200 miles out of their way and blamed it on the GPS. This is so far fetched that I think they just wanted to go on a long drive and knew that their patient (did I forget to mention that this is about an ambulance crew?) wasn't in a hurry.

All of you Europeans not reading this blog are wondering why I included the rest of Europe when all I have mentioned so far are instances in England. A German set the standard for GPS problems (yes Germany, you were first). (Thank goodness for the BBC to have an archive going back to 1998. No way a U.S. company would be that forward thinking.)

This last mention isn't GPS related, but it is technology and geography related. Here in the U.S. we are known for having geography problems. (In short ... we don't know where we are and we don't know where you are, which is probably a good thing because we might attack you if we did.) Germans are suppose to know geography, but apparently one German man hasn't learned that you have to double check things you do on the internet every step of the way. At least he gets to say that he has seen Oregon now ... and Montana. Unfortunately he wanted to go to Australia (check those plane tickets before boarding.)

Science fiction or real science?

Imagine a bad science fiction movie where a mad scientist goes around infecting men with a parasite that makes them stupid while making women seem more attractive. Apparently it isn't fiction. An Australian researcher seems to think it is true. (Except for the mad scientist scenario, people get infected all on their own.)

Australians come up with some hardly believable ideas that turn out to be true so I will try to reserve judgement. After all it was an Australian researcher who figured out that peptic ulcers are caused by a bacterium and not by "spicy" food. Imagine if we knew this in the early 70's, half the story lines of the Odd Couple would be moot.

As an aside, we know there are conspiracy theories for almost everything, and I found a link to one here. Apparently someone thinks a drug company tried to keep the fact that a bacterium causes ulcers a secret.

The New Year is here, less than 2 months until the New Year

Happy New Year everyone (yes, I am late). In less than 2 months from now a portion of the Earth's population will be celebrating the new year. February 18th will be the date for the New Year in the Chinese calendar this year (It changes every year.) Coming up will be the year of the pig. Enter your birth date and the date of someone you like to see your compatibility. This is a great time killer at work.

Once you find out your sign go here to find out the best and worst signs for you in case every person you like comes out as a bad match on the previous link.

Liquid on Titan

Radar images from a Cassini flyby in July are being released this week. Some analysts think the images are seeing liquid lakes on Titan. The Full Res image is 23MB (a smaller version is also available). Have fun analyzing it yourself.

Liquids do what?

A New Scientist blog has a short list and description of some really unusual liquids. You can run on one of the liquids, just don't stop, because you will sink. Run Forest run.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Small Sea Things

I have no idea what these are. I guess I should have taken notes while at the aquarium.

Fish school

See the fish going 'round and 'round and 'round.


Big jellyfish.

Fish and tiger shark feeding

Here is a diver with his own microphone feeding the fish and tiger sharks (and yes, I know sharks are fish) in the kelp forest exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Some of the divers that feed the fish can't walk, but can still dive. Pretty cool.

Colorful Fish Things

Continuing on the Monterey Bay Aquarium there here is some sort of colorful fish things.

Flat Fish?

This is another video from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. This might be a flat fish or maybe it is just called "weird" fish.

Baby stingray at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Here is a video I shot at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It is a little stingray (I think a baby, but I am no marine biologist.) I ended up shooting a lot of videos at the aquarium because I could shoot the videos in focus. It was very hard to get a picture in focus with all the subdued lighting and a camera's flash doesn't go well with trying to shoot something through thick plexiglass. Eventually I will post more videos from the aquarium.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Plane landing on a short runway at Boracay

Here is a plane landing at Caticlan. This is the closest airport to the resort island of Boracay in the Philippines. It was a great small plane. The takeoff was so quick and used such a small amount of runway that I wasn't able to record it.

This is the first video I have posted that is mine.

Saint Barth landing on a nice small runway

This is a cockpit view of a nice landing on a really small runway.

Saint Martin and it's airport runway

If you like to fly and like planes this is the airport for you. I'm going to try to embed video for the first time. Let's see if I do it correctly.