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30 April 2006

The human mind is not as easily trained as a computer. What if we could download a new skill, a la The Matrix, imagine the possibilities.

28 April 2006

Another fascinating NPR story. This one about the dreaded Marlberg virus. Some curious researchers decided to give a huge load of virus to two groups of monkeys. Within half an hour, one group received a vaccine of the virus. The other, a saline (inert) injection. After a week, all (most?) of the saline injected monkeys died a horrible death by hemorrhagic fever. The vaccine treated monkeys? They ALL lived. ALL. Every one. That's the kind of nirvana of a result scientists almost never obtain. If this can be translated to to humans, WOW!

My manager passed along an ebook that I'm finding quite fascinating, Getting Real by 37Signals. It's about agile programming and web development. VERY philosophical, which I love. But philosophical in a real way.

21 April 2006

Heard a story on NPR about the response to a research paper out of Harvard on the impact of the Israel Lobby on U.S. foreign policy Here's the link to the papper itself, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. Here's my local copy Δ.

This story took me by surprise because of how readily critics labelled the authors anti-Semitic. The tone and language used by critics reminded me of the statements coming out of Iran about the U.S. I guess such behavior is common to all cutures.

8 April 2006

Watched a fascinating documentary on the Discovery Channel called Amazon Abyss. (Here's a BBC entry with more text.) The film explored the murky waters of the amazon, as well as shorelife in the region. Wildlife filmmaker Mike de Gruy seemed to be leading the expedition, though there were a large number of people and divers. REALLY fascinating piece, though the footage wasn't all that spectacular, except for the fact that the animals they were filming had rarely if ever been filmed before. Target species, the rare and the dangerous. Remember that story about the fish that swims up the urethra and anchors itself in the canal; it can only be removed surgically. Well, they found one. Also an anaconda, piranha, and other assorted freaky fish.

6 April 2006

Found an excellent online book on programming out of MIT called Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programming. Read the first few pages and it looks fantastic. It uses LISP as the instructional programming language, but makes some damn good arguments for the choice. The main attraction is how it relates human thought to computer programming. That's the relationship I'm beginning to be fascinated by. As IA evolves, the possibilities are going to be beyond imagination.

Meredith Vieira is going the Today show. Who cares...though I like here, from what I saw of her years ago on 60 minutes and on some other investigative reporting show. Don't know much about the gameshow/View host Meredith.

MyTreo continues to entertain and fascinate me. Loading lots of ebooks for those down times. A week or so ago I went to an REI class on BirdWatching. Interesting, though I don't think I have the interest in identifying the species of bird I'd be watching. I'd just be interested in watching the behavior. I expect the interest in naming would follow naturally from that.

4 April 2006

Watched an excellent instructional video, Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies with the beautiful and poised Sara Ivanhoe. Very well produced and directed (except for the annoying sound effects used to highlight tips, note, and warnings). Ivanhoe comes across so clear, effective, and genuine. She'd make a wonderful television anchor. Top notch.

1 April 2006

My son loves the Legend of Zelda games and especially the main character Link. Link plays the Ocarina in one of the games, and Paul loves dressing up like the little elf and playing his recently acquired Ocarina. The Ocarina is a hand flute shape like a sweet potato. It has five or seven individually sized holes. Unlike a conventional recorder, the scale is NOT intuitive, but somehow my son has figured it out and plays quite well.