Thursday, December 14, 2006

John McCain hates bloggers!

I know. That title is pretty weaselly. I'm sure that McCain doesn't hate bloggers, but he wants them to be under the same restrictions as large organizations who devote huge resources to preventing copyright violations. He wants bloggers to police comments. Violations could cost the offending blogger $300,000!

I don't have $300,000.

Think Progress

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Super Lettuce Turns Sour Sweet

It has been almost ten years since I tried "miracle fruit" and I'll never forget it. The little red berry, the only fruit on the bush, was split three ways. It tasted like, well, nothing. I didn't think it was much of a miracle.

After consuming a large bowl of lemons, followed up with another bowl of oranges, we were convinced of the miraculous nature of that fruit. Those were the sweetest lemons I have ever had.

I've since tried to explain the situation to others, and even to find information on the fruit on the internet to no avail.

Until now.

It seems that Japanese scientists have engineered lettuce to contain the protein that binds to your taste buds and make sour things sweet.

The protein is called miraculin, and the fruit it occurs in naturally is called Richadella dulcifica, or "miracle fruit".

Super Lettuce Turns Sour Sweet

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

McGyver this!

Well, I misspelled McGyver as 'McGuiver' and now Farrer Commons comes up as number three when searching for the mispelled name on Google.

Anyway, I have another nice little life-hack for you.

When you've dropped something into the toilet, and don't relish the thought of toilet water all over your hands, then try this.

Take a plastic grocery bag and place your hand inside. With your hand covered, reach into the toilet and get the missing item. Then, still holding the item, turn the bag inside-out and you can toss it into the trash.

If you dropped some valuable jewelry, you may wish to reconsider throwing it away.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Get an R.S.S. reader

It looks like half of the readers of my blogs (i.e. Davis County Watch, and Farrer Commons) are using Internet Explorer version 6 which means that they are probably not taking advantage of R.S.S. There are plugins available to allow I.E. 6 users to see feeds.

There are a few that have made the jump to I.E. 7 which has a built in R.S.S. feed reader. Although, I haven't heard great reviews of version 7 itself.

About 30% are using some version of Firefox which has a number of R.S.S. feed readers. I use Sage.

I'm sure that Safari users have Feed readers. However, I've never used Safari.

If you don't use R.S.S. and are an internet information junkie, then you should get yourself a feed reader for R.S.S.

R.S.S. stands for Really Simple Syndication and is the best way, at present, for keeping track of all of the websites that you frequent. If you don't want to have to trouble yourself to visit each and every website in turn, that you like, to see if they've been updated then you want an R.S.S. reader.

Only a small number of websites don't use R.S.S. feeds. All Blogger blogs have an option to publish feeds.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving 2006

We just got home from St. George where we spent most of Thanksgiving week. We had great time there with our family. We also learned about our own little family while we were away from home.

Two nights ago my daughter awoke in a panic--It was likely a nightmare, but she couldn't express herself. All she could do is cry and gesture desperately, behind her, in the direction of the single window in the room.

It was likely going to be a long night.

We had no explanation for her terror. It occured to me to ask her if she'd seen something terrible. I asked her if she'd seen someone in the window. She nodded in agreement with her head buried into my shoulder, and instantly fell asleep.

We too could return to sleep. And I had one final thought as I closed my eyes. We all feel safer when we feel that someone is aware of us. When they listen to our thoughts-our fears, the world is a better place.

Friday, August 18, 2006

OneUtah:Questions for a Neocon

OneUtah has an interesting exchange in the comments between myself and one of another mind. The original post was by Cliff (the guy that looks like Adam Clayton from U2).

Thursday, June 22, 2006

MAKE: Blog: Gas Powered Blender

I've always wanted one of these! It adds an extra kick to a smoothie.

MAKE: Blog: Gas Powered Blender

Friday, May 26, 2006

Invisibility cloak moves a step closer | The Register

I just love the opening line on this article, and the implications of the science!

"After generations of being effectively invisible to the opposite sex, physicists have finally laid down blueprints for a functioning invisibility cloak."

The future is here...We just can't see it.

Invisibility cloak moves a step closer | The Register

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

My Blogging style

I made a solid decision when I started blogging that I wasn't going to put images on my blog. I just want everyone to know that it isn't for lack of knowledge that I rely, alone, on text to get my message across. This is a matter of style. But, everyone's doing it so I have to give you something.

Here is a picture my wife took of our daughter rendered as ASCII. Isn't she a cutie?


Monday, May 08, 2006

Lightcone RSS: Which stars light have reached me since my birth

I just subscribed to a new RSS feed telling me to which stars I have become visible in my lifetime. So, just eight seconds after my birth, light would have had enough time to reflect off of me and make it's way back to the Sun (It's a boy). Every day the feed is updated to tell me how far my influence has traveled into the universe.

Hat tip: BoingBoing

Monday, April 03, 2006

TCS Daily - Avoiding a New Isolationism

"Thirty years ago, Henry Kissinger observed that America oscillated (his term) between poles of "crusading and isolation" in its engagement (or non-engagement) with the world. The challenge in building a popular (and stable) basis for American engagement comes in forming a consensus around a policy that lies between these two extremes."

TCS Daily - Avoiding a New Isolationism

Friday, March 31, 2006

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Isolationism Redux (03/31/2006)

Playing on a theme of foreign policy, the National Journal has a great article explaining the evolution of isolationism in America. It even paints President Bush as an isolationist turned outward, although, not entirely.

Hat tip: RealClearPolitics

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Isolationism Redux (03/31/2006)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

AEI - Short Publications

The AEI has a brilliant speech by Charles Krauthammer defining the Unipolar world in which we now live. This, as opposed to the world that existed before the fall of the Soviet Union. He enumerates the pros and cons surrounding different schools of thought on Foreign policy. He, of course, drills down the list to one philosophy, explaining why he think that it is best. He illustrates how the framework for these ideas changed after the fall of the Soviet Empire, and became important after the events of 9/11.

No matter which camp we, individually, may be in it is important to recognize the positive aspects of each approach. However, we would be deluding ourselves if we think that we can cherry pick the approach we use in foreign affairs, based only on a whim, and not suffer the mixed consequences of such an approach. Generally, it is best to pick just one philosophy and run with it. I have fallen into a category that Krauthammer does not give the blue ribbon, but I find his arguments compelling. I confess there is an inherent weakness to the approach that I espouse. I don't think I'm revealing too much to say that I fall into the 'Realist' grouping. A good way to find out where you stand would be to take this test. But, don't take the quiz until you read the article below. (Note: I took the test almost 2 years ago)

AEI - Short Publications

Thursday, February 23, 2006

New Scientist Quantum computer works best switched off - News

Quote of the day:

"A non-running computer produces fewer errors."

-Onur Hosten, member of team that produced a non-working computer that works.

New Scientist Quantum computer works best switched off -

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Various and Sundry Dartmouth Studies.

"When do we reach adulthood? It might be much later than we traditionally think."

--Graduate student, Craig Bennett, at Dartmouth Medical School

Science Daily: Brain Changes Significantly After Age 18


"Even parents who give their child a clear message that smoking is not acceptable run the risk of having that message undermined if they allow their child to see R-rated movies with a lot of smoking."

Mike Beach, Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School.

Restricting R-Movies Linked To Decreased Teen Smoking, Drinking

Friday, February 03, 2006

gazelem: Thomas Jefferson Education

My wife and I have discussed sending our kids to private school since we are not enthused about the job that public school is doing today. Although, we are both products of 'Public Education', we don't necessarily want to subject our children to it.

There is one problem. Money. So, I've come across a post by Gazelem who is a self described as "obsessive", and he's talking about reading the same books as his children and then talking about them, or writing, or both. Now, I know that sounds like this would require an "obsessive" person to pull off, but methinks a dabbler like myself just might be able to do it--and still send the kids to Public School.

Now, what this accomplishes in my mind is places the primary responsibility of educating the children squarely on the parents. The kids can also be a part of a much larger culture that can be had at a public school. I want kids who are independent thinkers, but can play well with others. The balance I'm trying to strike is between raising elitist snobs, and, alternatively, common (and sometimes ignorant) folk.

On a side note, Gazelem credited me, in an earlier post, for getting him hooked on Geocaching. I'm afraid I may have dangled the carrot, but he turned his own nose. I just can't be blamed for his Geocaching at 4 AM on a whim! That's just crazy and it's time to have an intervention.

gazelem: Thomas Jefferson Education

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Forgotten Methane Source

Save the World! Cut down a tree.

Turns out that plants emit all sorts of terrible, evil, corporate sponsored gasses.

The Forgotten Methane Source

The Prejudice Map

The World according to Google: You are where you're from.

Well, not really. Just type " are known for*" into Google and you'll see how it works.

The Prejudice Map

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Hacking Matter: Wil McCarthy's ebook

I just finished reading my first real ebook. Wil McCarthy made his, popular, Hacking Matter available for free. Unfortunately, it appears to have been slashdotted, so you'll have to try back later.

The experience of reading this book is mind bending. Imagine living under a roof that can morph from a 40%+ efficient solar cell to a battery, to a skylight. The windows move when and where you move at your whim. When the sun sets, the walls, ceiling, floor, and tables begin to glow providing all the light you'd need. Cars, chairs, even people hover. These are just some of the things described in the book that have an analogue to today's lifestyle. All these will soon be made possible by a man-made substance that has been dubbed Wellstone.