Monday, July 31, 2006

Hard to Pass Up

Watch out there folks.

There is a new scam in town and it is coming after you. The following quote gives you all that you need to know:

People were persuaded to buy a powder which they could allegedly turn into "Magic Cheese", said to make skin look younger and to be highly valuable.

So watch out there folks and don't let anyone slip this one by you.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

To Buy or Not 2by

. : Technology : .

So I have fever... and the only cure is a cool laptop. That's right, I have the 'buy a cool toy' itch. What is it i want, only a laptop / tablet pc. That is one that has a normal screen that flips around. Here are a couple examples:



So now all I need is the 1500 bucks to get one of these bad boys!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pure Genius

. : Politics : .

I read an interesting article on how it is near impossible to stop the forces of the market. One of the prime examples used was the former Soviet Union and its many black / gray / off-white markets. However, this story applied to public schools that ban junk food. This smart kid is making 100 bucks a day selling junk food at school! According to the article:
William Guntrip is a 13-year-old boy whose central England school banished vending machines and snack-shop food in favor of nutritious offerings at the cafeteria. Guntrip spotted a market opportunity and has been buying soft drinks and candy and reselling them in his school playground. The school is trying to stop him and claims that most students are happy with the new regime, although if that was true then Guntrip wouldn't be making nearly $100 a day.
Here's two thumbs up for William! Way to stick it to the man.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Eye Candy

. : Technology : .

Yah, you know you want this. Go buy it for only $7,500! I probably will never get this... but I would like a good set-up soon. What kind of extreme gadget are you looking for?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Global Warming !?!?!

. : Special : .

"What is the deal with this heat... Its the worst ever"

So what is the actual fact on it? Is this the hottest year on record in an ever increasing trend? I personally remember 1998... and playing tennis all summer long. Well lets put a Dallas perspective on it:

Year, number of 100-degree days, highest temperature that year.
  • 1980, 69, 113

  • 1998, 56, 110

  • 1954, 52,109

  • 1956, 48, 107

  • 2000, 46, 111

  • 1952, 44, 108

  • 1951, 40,107

  • 1963, 38, 105

  • 1978, 36, 107

  • 1943, 34, 110

Source: National Weather Service

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Free Market Works

. : Politics : .

I wanted to point out a very good article that was written recently by Thomas E. Nugent over at the National Review. It explains in fairly simple terms how lowering tax rates increased overall taxes collected. It is a fairly simple equation of give more back to the people and see what they do with it.

What they do with it apparently is invest it. This is a most beneficial mechanism for many reasons. First, we give more control back to the individual over what their money is used for. Second, with all of this extra cash, individuals are able to invest in many things. Now some of you are sneering most likely that they are investing in their own retirement. True, but in their own selfishness they fund things such as medical research, technology growth, education, and many other worthwhile things. Third, an increased wealth allows for greater dollar amount of personal giving. Once again the synical will point to people that hoard piles of gold. I don't know how everyone else uses their money, but I know how I and many others do and it is in a way that is beneficial to many others. A mainstream example of extreme wealth gone good is Warren Buffet's recent donation of 40 billion dollars to help fund medical research and other worth causes. He is specifically targeting the poor and is no doubt going to be able to make a great contribution to the entire world.

The Bush tax cuts are up for renewal and need to be passed in order to continue this level of growth for our nation.

There are many other things that I could say about this system of macro/micro economics. If you have a specific question / critique, please leave a comment.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Wild Wild East

. : Sports : .

That's right! The AL East is the most competative division this year in baseball. It is virtually up for grads between 3 teams. What is that you say? I thought only Boston and New York were good in that division. Well don't forget about those pesky Blue Jays. Toronto has been somewhat quiet this year since they have no led the division. But they still have a legitimate MVP candidate who has plenty of offensive help and a perenial Cy Young candidate leading the staff. They are only 4 1/2 games back right now and I see them taking advantage of a Red Sox and Yankees shootout. With 3 teams competing for one playoff spot, this could be fun.

Now some of you National League fans are probably screaming right now that the NL West is the most competative division. And I see a legitimate cause for such thoughts. However I am going to redefine competative to mean in terms of the entire major leagues and not just intra-division. Inside the NL West it is closer than Randy Galloway to the race tracks. Outside the NL West they hardly crack the top half of the pros.

Friday, July 14, 2006

It's 5 o'clock Somewhere..

. : Free Day : .

Several thoughts come to mind today. But the first is that it feels like the Middle East is about to go nuts. It appears to me that Iran is funding people in order to bait Israel into attacking everyone. That way they have an acceptable excuse to retaliate. My only reaction is that this escalation is scary as all get out.

For the umpteenth time someone thinks Weezer is done for and never going to play again.

The Texas Rangers decided to hit once again. Since they are in a wide open division, look out! This might encourage the ownership to open up their pocket books.

I just finished the book State of Fear and would recommend it to you. I give it a 4 out of 5 stars. The language and adult themes kept it from 5 out of 5. It is a story that really emphasizes a need for a paradigm change among the entire environmental movement. It points out that there is a lot more phantom doomsday reports and a lot less constructive advances. It also is heavy into scientific proof behind any such theory. The action in the book is what really makes it good. Every chapter keeps you interested in spite of the huge amount of scientific data presented in the book. I hope you get a chance to read it.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Video Game Re-Runs

. : Technology : .

Microsoft is giving XBox360 users the ability to download old games on the new system. The folks over at gamasutra have part of the release schedule:
  • July 12 – Frogger

  • July 19 – Cloning Clyde

  • July 26 – Galaga

  • August 2 – Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting

  • August 9 – Pac-Man

I havn't been this excited about a Tiger Uppercut in a long time!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Justin the Martyr

. : Religion : .

In preparing for a discussion that I am leading tonight, I ran across a lot of information on Justin the Martyr. I find this guy to be quite articulate for his time and quite bold.

I read through his apology and got a good sense of 2nd century Christian beliefs. For those of you who are not familiar with him, he lived between 100 and 165 AD. He grew up in the area of Samaria but traveled all over the place. Around 150 AD he wrote to the Emperor and defended Christians from widespread persecution. I found several quotes from him to be fascinating.

This is his response as to why Christians allow themselves to be persecuted by the authorities. I found it to be a great statement of faith.
And concerning our being patient of injuries, and ready to serve all, and free from anger, this is what He said: 'To him that smiteth thee on the one cheek, offer also the other; and him that taketh thy cloak or coat, forbid not. And whosoever shall be angry, is in danger of the fire. And every one that compelleth thee to go with him for a mile, follow him two. And let your good works sine before men, that they, seeing them, may glorify your Father which is in heaven.'

I find this next statement a particularly bold statement in regards to who we worship. He basically says, I will give you everything you ask except my faith and worship.
Whence to God alone we render worship, but in other things we gladly serve you, acknowledging you as kings and rulers of men, and praying that with your kingly power you be found to possess also sound judgment. But if you pay no regard to our prayers and frank explanations, we shall suffer no loss, since we believe (or rather, indeed are persuaded) that every man will suffer punishment in eternal fire according to the merit of his deed, and will render account according to the power he has received from God, as Christ intimated when He said, 'To who God has given more, of him shall more be required.'

And lastly, he describes the 'church services' that he is used to participating in.
And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Not Above The Law

. : Politics : .

The Court system and namely Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan did the citizens of the united states a great service yesterday. He upheld that politicians are not above the law once they take office. He ruled that a legal subpoena is not null and void if you are a congressman. According to

Jefferson's theory of legislative privilege "would have the effect of converting every congressional office into a taxpayer-subsidized sanctuary for crime," the judge said.

I was particularly disgusted that members of both political parties supported this immunity. I guess I should not be surprised, but I thought one or both parties would stand up with some sort of high and might tune and denounce corruption. Instead they both acted like they themselved had something to hide in the process. Again according to

At issue was a constitutional provision known as the speech and debate clause, which protects elected officials from being questioned by the president, a prosecutor or a plaintiff in a lawsuit about their legislative work.

So are you argueing that being corrupt and taking money on the side is part of your 'legislative work' ? Give me a break.

On a lighter note ethics sometimes seem to mirror the following cartoon:

Monday, July 10, 2006

Vittorie dell'Italia

The mighty Azzurri have conquered the French!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Take Me Out

. : Friday Free Day : .

... is a great song by Franz Ferdinand and a beast to play on Guitar Hero.

... to the ballgame tonight. Getting to see the Texas Rangers and the Minnesota Twins tonight from around row 20. Should be fun.

For Sports I have 2 thoughts.
1. It is a shame that Justin Verlander did not make it to the All Star game. He is pitching quite well and is dominating, especially for a rookie.

2. It is great to see Italy in the World Cup final. Roots for them to kick the socks off of the French.

For Technology I want to recommend Thinwire to you. It is very versatile web framework. It makes writing web application easy and makes them look more like desktop applications than online forms.

In Politics, check out this National Review paragraph on the 9th circuit appellate court getting smacked around by the Supreme Court for just plain stinking.

On the home front I got a request to talk about how on Earth I handle conflict resolution now that I am married. This is quite a good question and one that I am learning more and more about each day. Once you become married you have to learn to switch from a What do I want? to a What do we want? mentality. This is much easier said than done and takes time to develop (2 years is not nearly enough for me). You have to learn that you can't ignore problems. For instance, I can't avoid an argument by skipping out to play golf and come back to find it resolved. It will still be there and it will still be an issue until I/She/We figure something out. I have also found out that in order to not go completely batty, you have to learn that is ok to do things separately. As in, I don't have to go to scrapbooking nights if she doesn't have to go the Mavericks game. And if you can coordinate those on your own activities to occur at the same time, all the better. I am rambling now but feel free to send more specific questions.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Deep Space Travel

. : Technology : .

I think that space travel is quite fascinating. I guess you could say that it is my blood since I have a grandparent who was big in the industry. Ever since people latched on to Asimov's idea of hyperspatial travel, people in general just assumed that pretty soon we would be trouncing around the galaxy. Shows like Star Trek gave us the idea that jumping around our quadrant was an everyday occurrence. The Jetsons made us think that it would be right around the corner. Even the movie Blade Runner gave us the idea that after the year 2000, space travel would be the norm.

The reality however is that as fast as technology has accelerated, it has not been able to catch up with the special effects department of Hollywood. Getting to the moon and back is our best accomplishment to date for human travel. While this took a great amount of new ideas and new technology, it pales in comparison to science fiction. A fun but probably slightly outdated read can be found here.

What we do have is a lot less glamorous, but in my mind it is equally cool. The Gravitational Slingshot method was used to send the Cassini-Huygens probe to Saturn. I found the picture below on Wikipedia which demonstrates how we used the gravitational pull of the sun and several planets to accelerate our way out to Saturn.

Cassini Interplanetary Trajectory

This is the limit of our current technology. Even if we were able to travel at the speed of light (which we are nowhere near close to), it would take several years to get to another star. I think the learning curve on safe and ordinary space travel that has been dangled in front of us for years will be much slower than touted. However that does not mean that we should slow down or give up. There is enough to explore right here for now.

The Format

Ok, in order to keep this thing both informative and not long-winded, I had come up with the following format for your enjoyment. These will be the daily topics that I will contribute.

Monday:        Sports
Tuesday:       Politics
Wednesday:  Religion
Thursday:     Technology
Friday:          Viewer Requests

Send any and all stories / topics for Fridays to

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Where Did I Go

Hey, guess who forgot they had a blog... yah that would me.

I was reminded by my friend Ted that I had one so now I am thinking about using it once again. I have a lot of junk... I mean information that I will be dispersing here.