Friday, October 28, 2005

The Morning News - Lone Star Statements, by Matthew Baldwin

"Recently, Time magazine published a list of the 100 best novels. But the praise of professional critics hardly matters to the book-reviewing readers at A compilation of the best of the worst… about the best.
The following are excerpts from actual one-star reviews of books from Time’s list of the 100 best novels from 1923 to the present. Some entries have been edited."

Thursday, October 27, 2005 : Dynamic images

"Dynamic Einstein picture

You can change the text on this image to whatever you like. Change the text in the form below, then click on 'preview image'. The text in the image will change accordingly. You can align the text with spaces and enters."

Gawker Shop: Surveys

"Gawker Ts - Pick the Shirts: The Results

Thousands of you voted, and here's what you said. We're printing up a selection of the best, which will be available soon."

Big John

"Features of the Big John toilet seat include:
bullet 1,200 pound weight capacity"

Akihabara News - Toilet MP3

"Japanese toilets are something very special. Everything is raised automatically, the seat is heated and there's even a small Karcher at 180bar (ok, maybe not 180, but it's powerful) for the more intimate parts. And now there is an SD slot and an MP3 player!!!"

RAC Presentation

Nice RAC ppt.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

RealClearPolitics - Commentary - What Congress Did Is Disgusting by John Stossel

"Years ago, interviewing economist Walter Williams for a show ABC News called 'Greed,' I was perplexed when Williams said, 'a thief is more moral than a congressman; when a thief steals your money, he doesn't demand you thank him.'

That was silly hyperbole, I thought, but watching Congress spend, I see that I was naive and Williams was right."

Ian Rowland: The Mindreader, The Mind Motivator. Mr Angry and Mrs Calm

"This page of my site is about an amazing perceptual illusion. The purpose of this page is to provide you with a few different ways to appreciate this incredible illusion."

The Open Library

"The Open Library website was created by the Internet Archive to demonstrate a way that books can be represented online.

The vision is to create free web access to important book collections from around the world.

Books are scanned and then offered in an easy-to-use interface for free reading online. If they're in the public domain, the books can be downloaded, shared and printed for free. They can also be printed for a nominal fee by a third party, who will bind and mail the book to you. The books are always FREE to read at the Open Library website." Comparison/Contrast Graphic Organizer

"One of the most useful things I learned was a great way to create a graphic organizer for compare and contrast writing. We have all given our students copies of Venn diagrams. I always disliked the fact that the middle portion where the circles overlap doesn't have much room, which forces students either to cram information in the space or to leave off points of comparison. Henry taught us how to make a more effective comparison/contrast graphic organizer."

Grid Game

"lovely timewaster"

Monday, October 24, 2005

A guided tour of the Microsoft Command Shell

"On the Linux platform, the text-based shell is the nexus of computational control and the point at which proper articulation of will can transform commands into consequences. The emulated DOS command shell found in Windows is a shallow farce by comparison, and Microsoft has done little over the years to imbue it with greater power. Now Microsoft is prepared to augment its antiquated command line with a revolutionary new shell that will provide Windows users with a whole new level of control. The Microsoft Command Shell (MSH) features a unique object oriented syntax, extensive support for versatile .NET technology, and an adequate assortment of commands. Available for free download from Microsoft's Beta site, the second MSH beta release provides profound insights into the future of the Windows command line."

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Car and Driver - War Wagons - October 2005

"Butt-ugly up-armored M1114 Humvees are a thing of beauty to U.S. troops in Iraq."

'I was asked more than once during my "mini-tour" of duty why a Car and Driver writer was in Baghdad. I answered that since this war has a lot to do with cars—and the petroleum products needed to run them—it was just as appropriate for me to be here as any fancy-pants network anchor. None of whom, by the way, joined us on patrol. Take that, Wolf Blitzer.'

... All Your Base Rhapsody

... All Your Base Rhapsody

Tuskegee Airmen Suit Up, Head to Iraq

"'I think everything should be done to pass their story to future generation of Americans,' said Ted Johnson, 80, who graduated from the Advanced Flight School in 1945 and is considered one of the youngest Tuskegee Airmen.

'It was the Tuskegee Airmen who made America come to its senses,' he said, 'that individuals should be judged on their accomplishments, rather than their ethnicity and color.'"

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Jumping Pandas by NHN Japan Corporation

"korean words"

'I Will Eat Your Dollars' - Los Angeles Times

"FESTAC, Nigeria — As patient as fishermen, the young men toil day and night, trawling for replies to the e-mails they shoot to strangers half a world away.

Most recipients hit delete, delete, delete, delete without ever opening the messages that urge them to claim the untold riches of a long-lost deceased second cousin, and the messages that offer millions of dollars to help smuggle loot stolen by a corrupt Nigerian official into a U.S. account.

But the few who actually reply make this a tempting and lucrative business for the boys of Festac, a neighborhood of Lagos at the center of the cyber-scam universe. The targets are called maghas — scammer slang from a Yoruba word meaning fool, and refers to gullible white people."

Friday, October 21, 2005

Defense Tech: Sign Language

"Back in college I had a Soviet studies professor whose office was decorated with lurid, humorless security posters from the U.S.S.R. I thought they were artifacts peculiar to repressive, secrecy-obsessed regimes -- until I started covering the Pentagon."

"IT'S THE SMELL OF TEXAS HOME COOKIN' -- and I don't mean that beef stuff they pass off as barbecue.

UPDATE: The barbecue-related hatemail pours in: 'The culinary delight that is Texas barbecue obviously exceeds your otherwise good taste. May your in-box overflow until you take those hateful words back.'

Actually, that beef stuff is pretty good. It's just not, you know, actual barbecue."

pink and white spot cool illusion

"If your eyes follow the movement of the rotating pink dot, you will only see one color, pink.
If you stare at the black + in the center, the moving dot turns to green.
Now, concentrate on the black + in the center of the picture. After a short period of time,
all the pink dots will slowly disappear, and you will only see a green dot rotating if you're lucky!
It's amazing how our brain works. There really is no green dot, and the pink ones really don't disappear.
This should be proof enough, we don't always see what we think we see."

Web 2.0 worm downs MySpace | The Register

"It's been a rough weekend for Tomorrow's People. A JavaScript exploit that has been called the first 'Web 2.0 worm' knocked out - and the $500m-valued website, recently acquired by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp - was still struggling to get back on its feet two days later.

The cunning JavaScript exploit added a million users as 'friends', forcing the site offline. Service was restored on Friday but two days later the site was still struggling with the consequences, serving pages at a glacial pace."

Samy, Their Hero

"As reported yesterday, Samy earlier this month wrote a worm that spread all over the MySpace web community – infecting everybody that crossed its path with “instant friendship”, thus gaining Samy more than a million friends before the MySpace team disabled the worm (taking pretty much the whole site offline to do so). The automatically included message “samy is my hero”, however, remains in thousands of homepages. I’ve email-interviewed Samy, who’s from Los Angeles (and likes to stay anonymous here)."

Putfile - PurePwnage WoWisafeeling

"PurePwnage WoWisafeeling"

Oracle Hot Backup

sysadmin article

Thursday, October 20, 2005

[Qemu-devel] [patch] VMDK create support

"[Qemu-devel] [patch] VMDK create support
From: Filip Navara
Subject: [Qemu-devel] [patch] VMDK create support
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2005 06:09:41 +0200

Support for creating VMDK images."

tutorials/ghostinthemachine -

"Virtualizing Your Desktop using VMWare

While imaging my XP system before reformatting recently, I realized that it would be nice to have a copy of my current environment available when I was rebuilding the system. Documents, images, files, etc would all be preserved in an image, but the settings and configuration options for many programs are stored in the registry or in proprietary configuration files that can't easily be accessed from a simple disk image. I decided to figure out how to boot my system as a VMWare virtual machine. The following is a general tutorial – moderate competence with Linux is assumed."

Realtime Fourier synthesis

"Realtime Fourier synthesis - Sound generation

The following Excel application will allow you to synthesize sounds.
Just play with the sliders and enjoy what is happening.

Mathematically speaking the sliders control the amplitudes of the overtones of the base frequency.

We offer Excel workbooks for different versions of Excel, but only for Microsoft Windows."

DBTabasco's step by step latte art slideshow on Flickr

"A short walk through for how some latte art has been made"

How to use Japanese style toilet

"Click picture to next."

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Awarded: $25G in Google-O'Reilly Open Source Awards :: :: Open Source, Linux News & Software

"One person was able to get Python, Perl & PHP people to all agree on something. No small feat. They all agreed on the success of SQlite, and began using it in earnest by being small as well as extremely fast for all the most common database functions. Our server budgets also thank you.

Dr Richard Hipp (SQLite)"

Awarded: $25G in Google-O'Reilly Open Source Awards :: :: Open Source, Linux News & Software

Awarded: $25G in Google-O'Reilly Open Source Awards :: :: Open Source, Linux News & Software: "One person was able to get Python, Perl & PHP people to all agree on something. No small feat. They all agreed on the success of SQlite, and began using it in earnest by being small as well as extremely fast for all the most common database functions. Our server budgets also thank you."


"Click on the Snippy icon – mouse cursor changes to a pen – mark an area of the screen – the marked area is now in your clipboard.

If you want to select a rectangular area, just hold down the Shift key while dragging. You can configure some things like the color of the border and so on by right-clicking on the Snippy icon in the taskbar. One of the things you can do here is to set a keyboard hotkey for activating the capture mode."

Reboot & Remote Power Control via Web Browser: iBoot

"The new Heartbeat Detect feature allows iBoot to monitor any server or PC running either the free Heartbeat Generator Program, or heartbeats integrated into your custom software."

Penguin Smacking

"one of many versions"

Flash » Learn to Dance with Napoleon Dynamite


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Jenga Tower: Sears Tower completed

"This scale model of the Sears Tower is thirty feet tall, consist of over 15,000 Jenga blocks, and weighs over 300 pounds."

Monday, October 17, 2005

"This site will help you to make your own VideoCDs, SVCDs or DVDs that can be played on your standalone DVD Player from video sources like DVD, Video, TV, DV, Cam or downloaded movie clips like DivX, MOV, RM, WMV and ASF. We also have extensive lists of Capture Cards, DVD Media, computer DVD Writers, desktop DVD Recorders and desktop DVD Players with features, compatibility information and user comments."

Intergalactic Medicine Show

"A New Ender's World Story in Every Issue

Orson Scott Card

Sunday, October 16, 2005

LibraryThing | Catalog your books online

"Catalog your books online

* Easy. Catalog your books online (example); no software required.
* Powerful. Search the Library of Congress and over thirty major libraries around the world.
* Free. Enter 200 books for free; lifetime membership $10 (beta special).
* Tagged. Tag your books as on Flickr and (example).
* Shared. Show everyone your library, or keep your library private. You can even put a widget on your blog to show people what you're reading.
* Safe. LibraryThing's not going away, but you can export your data.
* Limber. Import data from Delicious Library, Readerware, Amazon Wishlists—virtually anywhere."

Cathy's World - Serenity

"Whedon got the idea for 'Serenity/Firefly' after reading 'The Killer Angels,' a fictionalized account of Gettysburg. The Civil War inspiration explains why in the TV show representatives of the Alliance, the intergalactic governing body of the future, look like Union Troops, while Capt. Mal looks like a Noble Soldier of the Lost Cause -- without that whole pesky slavery thing, of course.

The 'Serenity' spaceship looks just like the old 'Firefly' one, far from the sleek, impeccably clean spaceships of 'Star Trek' and similar shows. I got to tour the set in its 'Firefly' days, and noticed that funky '70s kitsch combined with mid-century (mid-20th-century, that is) moderne. The books piled in the spaceship lounge included old Judith Krantz novels. Maybe the idea was that even 500 years in the future, garage sale flotsam hasn't changed that much. "

SteynOnScreen - Serenity

"— played by Jewel Staite. That’s right: Jewel Staite. For a space show, the characters all have fairly normal names — Mal, Zoe, Simon — but they’re played by actors who sound like minor parts in Star Wars: Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin. The bad guy is a shadowy operative called The Operative, and he’s played by an actor called Chewitel Ejiofor. Didn’t Chewitel Ejiofor get killed by Mace Windu and Oppo Rancisis in Attack of the Clones?"

BBC - Radio 3 - A Bach Christmas

"A Bach Christmas: 16th-25th December 2005

BBC Radio 3 will be celebrating Christmas 2005 by broadcasting continuously over ten days the complete works of Johann Sebastian Bach.

The composer's entire surviving body of work will be performed by some of the world's greatest musicians including specially recorded performances by Sir John Eliot Gardiner , Yo-Yo Ma , Angela Hewitt , Philippe Herreweghe and Ton Koopman. "

Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise: 1.37 million Beethovens and counting

"By the way, Naxos's $19.95 offer — which gives you Internet access to their entire catalogue for a year — is quite a deal. I signed up when I needed to listen to Bruckner's Fourth in San Francisco, and ended up spending an utterly smashing day with Bax."

Not Exactly Rocket Science: An oldie but a goodie

"'Blasphemous' NC Barbecue (a.k.a. Crock-Pot Piggy)

Time: 8 hours + overnight, largely unattended"

Adriana's Caravan -- search for Szechuan

Adriana's Caravan: "All of our spices are purchased in very small quantities to guarantee freshness. Because these spices are more flavorful, more aromatic, and less expensive than their bottled counterparts, you will never be satisfied with supermarket spices again.

Whole spices keep better than ground spices. Brown-toned spices will retain their freshness for 1 year; green herbs, 6 months. All individual spices are salt-free. All salt-free blends are marked as such. Store all spices and herbs in tightly sealed glass containers in a cool, dark place.
Be sure to check the International Sections for additional spice blends and spice pastes."

Marginal Revolution: The Undercover Economist

"That is from Tim Harford's new The Undercover Economist: Exposing Why the Rich are Rich, the Poor are Poor -- and Why You Can Never Buy a Decent Used Car (don't trust Amazon, the release date is November, not January). This book is one of the very best introductions to the economic way of thinking. 'Required Reading,' says Steve Levitt, what better endorsement could you want?

Here is Tim's home page, including his FT 'Dear Economist' columns. Here is Tim's Private Sector Development Blog. Here is Tim's recent FT piece on Thomas Schelling. "

Friday, October 14, 2005

Comparison of different SQL implementations

"The following tables compare how different DBMS products handle various SQL (and related) features. If possible, the tables also state how the implementations should do things, according to the SQL standard."


"But, also, don't hate me because this Timewaster is dangerously addictive. Arguably the most addictive since the zombie shootout. I can't explain how to play, really, but it's actually pretty obvious once you dork around with it for a minute."

Thursday, October 13, 2005

LILEKS (James) the bleat

"But lo: it’s an iPod that plays video, which is different from a video iPod. Right? Repeat that until your faith in The Leader is restored. As for those of us in Lemmingland, it was fun to see how fast we could flip-flop – or, as they call it in the Beltway, re-nuance our position. We went from “I have no need” to “damn: black or white?” in about 14 seconds. I can only speak for myself, I guess – I would have passed on a big video iPod, because it’s not something I can see myself using very much. But I am in the market for an iPod that can carry around everything; I’d like to have 15 GB of old radio, 15 GB of pop, 15 GB of classical, 5 GB of audio books, and what the hey, why not 10 GB of old movies. I was going to get one anyway, so the video addition is a sweet bonus. Nothing more.

You know what it’s like to have the Kool-Aid not only going in via feeding tube and IV, but shot through a catheter at volumes normally associated with pressure-washers?"

The Innovator's Dilemma


Oracle Finds the Flaw in MySQL's Business Plan

"on Friday, the database behemoth gulped down InnoDB, the development company behind what some people consider to be one of the most crucial pieces of technology in the innovative 5.0 database release."

DOWN IN THE VALLEY: The Uncanny Valley...

"Mori’s research indicated that people feel comfortable or empathetic with non-human creations that are made to appear human only up to a point. Like if you have a robot, he may be a simple mechanical man, and that’s fine; you add some human features such as life-like arms and legs, or maybe a human-looking or even goofy face, and that’s pretty cool; but when you go too far, and the robot (or cartoon) resembles a human being too closely, or just enough to bug us"

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Web Sudoku - Billions of Free Sudoku Puzzles to Play Online

"Sudoku (数独) is the number placing game taking the world by storm - see Wikipedia.

The rules of Sudoku are simple. Enter digits from 1 to 9 into the blank spaces. Every row must contain one of each digit. So must every column, as must every 3x3 square."

IBM Research turns 60 | CNET

"Originally housed in a renovated fraternity house at Columbia University, the then-named Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory has become one of the pre-eminent technological research centers in the world--and it has given IBM an edge over competitors in many fields.

Five IBM employees have won Nobel Prizes for, among other achievements, the discovery of electron tunneling and the invention of a microscope that captures images of individual atoms. Add to that seven National Medals of Technology, five National Medals of Science and four A.M. Turing Awards."

USB Floppy Disk Drive RAID

"I had just set up my 2 firewire drives and thought, 'Can I RAID USB Floppy DRIVES'? I happen to work for Y-E DATA which is one of the worlds largest manufacturers of USB Floppy Drives, so I have access to these things. I had just been going through a pile of returns testing the drives for failure. There are always a few that are fine though, so I got 5 of them for this very important scientific feat."

World's Armed Forces Forum

"Colour WWI photos"

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

MacZealots > Tutorials > Installing WordPress on Tiger

"WordPress is an excellent choice for a personal or professional blog, and the price is right, too. This tutorial will show you how to install WordPress on OS X 10.4 Tiger." » Anatomy of a WordPress Theme » Anatomy of a WordPress Theme: "Here is the list of theme files recognized by WordPress. Of course, your theme can contain any templates, stylesheets, images, or other files you wish to include. Just keep in mind that the following have special meaning to WordPress." » Templates and the “is” Functions

"WordPress 1.3 introduces the “is” series of template functions. These tell you what type of page is being requested. For example, is_home() is true if the home page is being requested. is_category() is true if a category is being requested. Here is the full list of “is” functions and the requests for which they are true."

Miklb’s Mindless Ramblings » “Blank” WordPress Theme

"So, as I’ve begun designing WordPress themes, I found the tutorial over at Urban Giraffe invaluable. They walk you through the dissection of the default Kubrick theme, how to strip it down to bare bones, and start with a blank style sheet. Now that I’ve done that a couple of times, I decided it would be nice to have all the work done, and be able to have all the template files cleaned, as well as a style sheet with all the divs and classes there, simply without the style."

UrbanGiraffe » WordPress Theme Guide

"Dissection of a WordPress theme:

* Part one - Pulling it apart
* Part two - Complete design, header, and footer
* Part three - The sidebar
* Part four - The content"

WordPress Themes by John Godley

"A guide to creating your own themes with WordPress. The guide begins with a short introduction to installing WordPress locally on your own PC, and then follows with a thorough look at how a WordPress theme is constructed. A basic design is established and then expanded upon, ultimately leading to the creation of three example themes. An online accompaniment provides all themes and graphics for download." » Anatomy of a WordPress Theme

"Here is the list of theme files recognized by WordPress. Of course, your theme can contain any templates, stylesheets, images, or other files you wish to include. Just keep in mind that the following have special meaning to WordPress." » Templates and the “is” Functions

"WordPress 1.3 introduces the “is” series of template functions. These tell you what type of page is being requested. For example, is_home() is true if the home page is being requested. is_category() is true if a category is being requested. Here is the full list of “is” functions and the requests for which they are true."

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Have Recessions Absolutely, Positively Become Less Painful? - New York Times

"It had been a busy day for Georgia businesses, and FedEx's regular nightly flights from Atlanta to the company's Memphis hub were overbooked with packages. So the local crew made a call to a sprawling, low-slung room here at headquarters, where people hunch over computer screens showing weather maps and flight plans, and asked for help from the five empty FedEx jets that roam over the United States every night.

The recent birth of that small fleet, at a multimillion-dollar price tag, explains a lot about how the nation's economy has become so much more resilient. Think of it as the FedEx economy, a system that constantly recalibrates itself to cope with surprises."

89.3 KPCC | Perspectives | Sandra Tsing Loh

"The Loh Life™ is Sandra Tsing Loh's weekly take on life in early 21st century southern California."


Fill in the grid so that every row,
every column, and every 3x3 box
contains the digits 1 through 9.

Friday, October 07, 2005

B.C. man aims to earn one million air miles in two months | CP

"Pilot Marc Tacchi is seeing the country the way most Canadians never could - or would.

He is soaring with Air Canada, here, there and everywhere, over and over again. Tacchi is currently a frequent flyer with the airline - a very, very frequent flyer trying to accumulate one million air mile credits, which is equal to 10 round-trip, executive class flights to Australia. He aims to do it before the end of November.

A commercial cargo pilot, Tacchi decided two weeks ago to take Air Canada up on its North America Unlimited Pass offer, which costs the customer $3,500 a month and allows unlimited travel to more than 100 destinations in North America."

go anywhere disposable scrabble game.

"here's a scrabble board that conveniently prints on an A4 or lettter sized sheet of paper. if you are ever stuck on a plane or in a pub with no scrabble board you can use this sheet to get your fix."

"[German, probably from dialectal, term of abuse : obsolete Pumper, breaking wind (from dialectal pumpern, to break wind, from Middle High German, to knock, frequentative of pumpen, of imitative origin) + German Nickel, goblin; see nickel.]"

The Military's Walrus: An Unlikely Flying Machine

"DARPA's Walrus program to develop and evaluate a very large airlift vehicle has moved forward; DARPA announced the contractors for the first phase of the program. Despite detailed early descriptions of 'war-balloons' in late nineteenth century science fiction, this isn't your father's (not to mention great-grandfather's) dirigible airship. According to DARPA's press release, 'the Walrus aircraft will be a heavier-than-air vehicle and will generate lift through a combination of aerodynamics, thrust vectoring and gas buoyancy generation and management.'"

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

This Illiterate Brazilian's Home Speaks Volumes - Los Angeles Times

"A laborer has gathered 10,000 books, giving his impoverished neighbors a window to the world."

My Sandmen: Applying the Principles of War to Harriet Miers SCOTUS Nomination

"MOOSEMUSS is the easily learned acronym that highlights the nine, generally accepted, Principles of War.

M – Mass – Concentrate Combat Power at decisive time and place.
O – Objective – Direct every military operation against a clearly defined, decisive and obtainable objective.
O – Offensive – Seize, retain and exploit the initiative.
S – Surprise – Strike the enemy at a time, a place and in a manner for which he is unprepared.
E - Economy of Force – Allocate minimum combat power to secondary efforts.
M – Maneuver - Place the enemy in a position of disadvantage through flexible application of combat power.
U - Unity of Command – For every objective, ensure unity of effort under on responsible commander.
S – Security – Never permit the enemy to acquire an unexpected advantage.
S – Simplicity – Prepare clear, complicated plans and clear, concise orders to ensure understanding."

The Interactive Nolli Map Website

"The 1748 Map of Rome, by Giambattista Nolli is widely regarded by scholars as one of the most important historical documents of the city ever created. This project is a collaborative exploration of the exquisite Nolli engraving, through its historic significance and contemporary application."

Mr. Sun!: Cool maps.

"Dig maps? I do. The University of Texas at Austin Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection is a relatively obscure gem. For current events, try the Middle East and Iraq sections, but don't miss the incredible Historical maps collection."

Mr. Sun!: Salute to Adam Mclean.

"Give me a man who knows how to go overboard with style.
Make no mistake about this: Adam Mclean is into alchemy."

Artistic Homes of California, 1887-1890

"Artistic Homes of California consists of twenty-seven views of exteriors (and a few interiors) of mansions located in California. Most of the mansions are located in San Francisco. A few are located in San Jose and Oakland. The individual photomechanical reproductions were published by Britton & Rey between 1887 and 1890 as supplements to the San Francisco News Letter."

IGN: IGN's Top 25 Animated Movies of All Time

"Therefore, we came up with an exhaustive plan: we will rate the Top 25 movies for 13 genres in 13 weeks. Starting today, we will roll out a new genre each Friday until we have covered the most important categories of movies, beginning with Animation! "

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Basic Hip Digital Oddio

"Basic Hip Digital Oddio is home to Kiddie Records Weekly, The Online Guide to Whistling Records and host of the Space Age Pop Music broadcast. We collect records from the fifties and sixties, focusing on pop instrumentals, soundtracks and incredibly strange music. We hope you enjoy your visit!"

Kiddie Records Weekly

"I was lucky enough to find this rare EP in beautiful condition and hope you enjoy it's excellent sound quality. Four Ludwig Bemelmans stories combined with the music of master composers, Schubert, Haydn, Beethoven and Rossini. Madeline is right up there with Curious George, Blueberries for Sal, Caps for Sale and The Biggest Bear as one of my all time favorite books as a child. Enjoy this lovely recording!"

Oracle Tip: How to use default values with database columns

"One very common problem is to emulate the Autonumber functionality of other database vendors where a column is automatically populated with some kind of sequence number. In Oracle databases, you cannot specify a sequence number as a DEFAULT value for a column; however, you can emulate this functionality using a trigger. Even if a column is declared NOT NULL, you can still omit the column from INSERT statements to be populated in the trigger."

Diary of Disaster: Riding Out Katrina in the Data Center

"Vacuum-cleaner maker Oreck had the linchpin of its business continuity plan blown away by Hurricane Katrina. Intercosmos Media Group rode out Katrina with half a terabyte of data on the line, guarded by a former Green Beret whose preparations included generators, food, water, a camera and a gun. A day-by-day account of the decisions these companies made and why they made them."

Monday, October 03, 2005

How to Prepare for One Really Quick Getaway - New York Times

"What is the first thing you will grab from your home if your house floods, catches on fire or comes tumbling down in an earthquake? Family photos? The pets? The Hummel figurines?

It probably will not be your financial and medical records, the very things you will need to rebuild your life after a disaster. If you are like most people, you have documents stashed in various places throughout your home, perhaps some under lock and key. And with your mind racing as danger hits, you are not going to have the time or wherewithal to figure out which ones you need."

So what do you have to do to find happiness? - Sunday Times - Times Online

"Are we wired up to be cheerful, or are some of us destined to languish in abject misery? Dorothy Wade reports on the new science of feeling good"

Ray Kurzweil's "The Singularity is Near"

Slashdot comment:

"Rewind your brain 15 years and imagine what you'd think if I told you:

Your computer will be roughly 1,000 faster than what you're using today. You will probably have more than 4,000 times the memory, and a fast hard drive that stores over 100,000 times as much as that floppy you're using. You can buy these supercomputers for less than $500 at Wal-Mart.

That computer will be hooked into a self-directed network that was designed by the Department of Defense and various universities - along with nearly 400,000,000 other machines. Your connection to this network will be 10,000 times faster than the 300 baud modem you're using. In fact, it will be fast enough to download high-quality sound and video files in better than realtime.

There will be a good chance that your computer's operating system will have been written by a global team of volunteers, some of them paid by their employers to implement specific parts. Free copies of this system will be available for download over the hyperfast network. You will have free access to the tools required to make your own changes, should you want to.

You will use this mind-bendingly powerful system to view corporate sponsored, community driven messages boards where people will bitch about having to drive cars that are almost unimaginably luxurious compared to what you have today.

Remember: in some fields, the singularity has already happened."

Lost in Translation

"What happens when an English phrase is translated (by computer) back and forth between 5 different languages? The authors of the Systran translation software probably never intended this application of their program. As of September 2003, translation software is almost good enough to turn grammatically correct, slang-free text from one language into grammatically incorrect, barely readable approximations in another. But the software is not equipped for 10 consecutive translations of the same piece of text. The resulting half-English, half-foreign, and totally non sequitur response bears almost no resemblance to the original. Remember the old game of 'Telephone'? Something is lost, and sometimes something is gained. "

Katherine Kersten: A remarkable man melds faith and reason

"Jesse Ventura famously remarked that religion is 'a crutch for weak-minded people.' Jesse, of course, was a bit rough around the edges. But many more sophisticated people share his opinion. In their view, being a religious believer and a thinking person is a contradiction in terms.

Clearly, these folks have never met Rutherford Aris. Aris is a scientist of dazzling brilliance -- a chemical engineer whose mathematical models revolutionized his field -- and a deeply devout Christian. From 1958 to 1996, when he retired, he was one of the University of Minnesota's brightest stars, a primary reason that its chemical engineering graduate program is ranked No. 1 in the nation by the National Research Council.

'Aris thought in a dimension that none of us ordinary folks were capable of,' says colleague Lanny Schmidt, himself an eminent scientist. A mathematical wizard, Aris went straight into industry at 16 after graduating from high school in his home country of England. He never formally attended college -- getting his degree in mathematics with highest honors by correspondence -- and wrote his Ph.D. thesis in six weeks. As a young man, his groundbreaking papers made waves internationally.

Remarkably, Aris held a joint appointment at the university in the Department of Classics and Near Eastern Studies. An avid lover of medieval manuscripts, he scoured French and Italian monasteries for his work on Latin scripts. Aris is a prolific poet, author of 16 books and author or coauthor of 300 technical papers."