Thursday, August 31, 2006

The problem with studies...

You Can't Judge an Alga by its Color | Science Blog

These sort of problems are the biggest problems for figuring out things like Global Warming. The people that write the reports assume that they have perfect data. They assume that everything is pretty simple. The problem is that it is EXTREMELY complex. The lack of iron in some algae leads to them being more green than they are supposed to be. Scientists miss 1-2 billion tons of CO2 per year. (one side note, isn't that a big range? you have the top end double the low end!) . Each bit of data needs to be analyzed down to this level, and I don't know that that is possible. This doesn't even cover how the models are made or what assumptions they make. The data that is generated is not always the truth, as assumptions were made. In this case, they assumed that the algae are homogeneous in their growth rate as a function of color in all of the oceans. This is clearly not the case as growth rate is effected by environmental factors.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Recent happenings

I was walking to school on Tuesday, and I had to walk through sprinklers to get to the bus on time. This girl was watching me walk through the sprinklers, and just as I made it through and shook off the water the sprinklers turned off. I thought this was hilarious, and I think the girl thought I was crazy.

I bought a domain name last night. This means everyone can forget about remembering my ip address, and when I move around, I can keep everything the same, just change the DNS info in one place.

... found out I therefore need a DNS server. So I'll be setting that up soon.

TONS of reading to do.

I got Notre Dame tickets for the block, we got 29 tickets. Come and get them if you didn't already.

I got my international version of the book we needed for class today. It was about 40% of the cost of the US version.

A pellet gun can shoot through aluminum beer bottles made by Budweiser.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Fun Sunday

Saturday night we played Settlers of Catan at Nic's. Afterwards we went to find a drunken Adam that we left to wander Nic's apartment complex while we played. He was sleeping by the pool. We left to Homepark for the Rugby party and an Indian party that was supposed to help cancer.

I didn't have more than one drink on Saturday, so Sunday was able to be a good day. I was planning on doing some homework, but you know how that goes... I went with Sara and Erin to Noodle, had the customary Thai Peanut Noodle (w/ a coconut sauce). We got a group together and went to the pool at Sara's place. Nic, Todd, Alex, Sara, Andykerr, Erin, and I were at the pool. We played some frisbe, drank a bit, and played with aluminum beer bottles. Those bottles are pretty neat. Can't crush them with the pressure of 8 ft of water.

After the pool we went to Nic's because they have a good BBQ place. We got brauts and burger meat. Good times eating grilled food, chips, and cokes. Back to Nic's for some large-tv Pirates of the Caribbean.

Now I am going to camp out near the stadium for the Notre Dame game, tickets come out tomorrow morning. We got a 26 person block right now.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Bomber Evolution

021105-O-9999G-003.jpg (JPEG Image, 800x604 pixels)

Bomber Evolution goodness. mmmmmmm. Ten points to the first person to identify what is on the back o f the B-52.

Friday, August 25, 2006

College Campus Gun Laws

Arming citizens could help security

I tend to agree with that article. A "gun free zone" on a college campus does not really help anything. I can not recall any "gone postal" incidents at a college, only at middle or high schools. All of the "gone postal" incidents at middle and high schools could have been stopped sooner if the students did not have to wait for the police. I am not advocating arming underage people, but the teachers are also banned from any sort of protection.

I could not own a firearm while I lived on campus, and that contributed to me moving off campus (and it was waaaay cheaper). I probably would not carry on campus if I could, but I would feel better knowing that Sam is.

Improv Everywhere Mission: Slo-Mo Home Depot

Improv Everywhere Mission: Slo-Mo Home Depot

I have been seeing more and more of these lately. There was the best buy people, that all wore blue polo shirts into Best Buy. Its interesting to watch, and they aren't doing anything illegal.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Gamasutra - Feature - "Too Many Clicks! Unit-Based Interfaces Considered Harmful"

Gamasutra - Feature - "Too Many Clicks! Unit-Based Interfaces Considered Harmful"

This is a pretty good read. It may seem like this guy is just complaining about the Civ UI, but I think that it has farther reaching elements to it.

One idea that I came up with as I finished the article was that the game should "evolve". In some games it you almost have this ability. For example, in WarCraft III you can group units. This allows you to make "squads" that change the nature of the battles. As you play, you can direct these squads instead of individual units. A better example of evolving would be the game Spore. I have not played Spore, but you start out in a microscopic view and end with a view of the universe. Obviously you will not be controling the universe at a microscopic level.

The bigger thing to take from it is that 5-9 rule. It is normally true. Anything you do, you have to try and keep ~7 things happening for it. This does not mean that you can not be a general and a fire squad leader, but you will have trouble if you wear both hats at the same time.

Wired is scared...

Wired 14.09: START:

"Ionosphere Heater
Here's an idea: Build an array of 180 antennas in Alaska to beam radio waves at the ionosphere - the upper layer of Earth's atmosphere - creating an electric field that interacts with charged particles. Operated by the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, this disruption can raise the temperature of the ionosphere by as much as 30 percent over a 9- to 40-kilometer radius. It's targeted global warming."

So that one doesn't really scare me that much, but it should scare other countries. From other reading, I was under the impression that it was not designed to impact the weather. The intent was to study the effects of different radiation on communications to improve reliability and things of that nature. Who is to say, though, that it isn't being used to test ways to degrade other people's communication, or make it so that only our signals can get through? I would welcome the US having new technology that could be useful for a deterrent. I know of some plans to try and weaponize the weather, it would be neat if this tied into it. I mean, the x-woman Storm get to control the weather, why can't I?

Dark Matter Exists | Cosmic Variance

Dark Matter Exists | Cosmic Variance

Pretty good explanation of the whole "dark matter" thing that has been in the news lately. I was wondering how they "proved" that dark matter exists. One thing to remember is that this analysis is based on the assumption that all of the Einstein-ish stuff is correct and his assumptions are valid.

It is interesting to consider that any manipulations to the data assume a certain model of the universe. What if we used a different model?

Conspiracy - woah....


Hard. Core. Crazy.

This lady is insane. I am glad this case was dismissed "sua sponte".

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Confederate Yankee: Iran Assaults Oil Rig, Captures Crew

Confederate Yankee: Iran Assaults Oil Rig, Captures Crew

Interesting. Halliburton gets a Romanian company to drill for oil in Iran? wtf? Or is Ahmadinejad still crazy?

Monday, August 21, 2006

JonBenet Ramsey suspect in L.A. jail - Yahoo! News

JonBenet Ramsey suspect in L.A. jail - Yahoo! News

This news article is full of descriptions of what the dude ate, who he sat by, etc. Interesting facts about the man such as his medical needs of the future, what color shirt, etc. But the news article doesn't really tell anything beyond "This dude is going to LA, and he is doing so in an airplane". When I read this link earlier, it talked about how no real facts about the case were known, and that LA did not know of a extradition case that was being rushed. Just was a weird news article, more like something out of People magazine.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Belmont Club: The Usual Suspects

The Belmont Club: The Usual Suspects

Good read, maybe slightly long. But definitely worth it. We need the will to use our weapons. And we need the will to show other people that we have the will. Some wars have been fought almost solely for this aim, to prove that you have teeth, and that you bite.


The situation is dire. Today is the last day I can write you in this condition.

For tomorrow, I go commando.

Please support "Joe doing laundry"

In other news, we have six people together for Snakes on a Plane. In alphabetical order: Andy, Josh, Nic, Sara, Todd, and myself. Any other people interested?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Camping Trip to Panther Creek

Last Thursday-Friday I went on a backpacking/camping trip with Sara. I'll save the pictures for last. The pictures are in no particular order. They were all taken with a shitty camera, and most by an incompetent camera operator (me). Higher resolution would be desirable, but I think that you guys are seeing them at full res.

So we headed out, after getting everything together. We bought gas, water, gatorade, and batteries at a gas station. It was easy driving, but when we got to the start of the trail we found out that the trail was closed. I think that the rangers finally went down the trail, from reports it is as bad as it was last year after the severe weather, so we COULD have hiked it. We decided to go to the other side of the trail. Panther Creek Trail is point to point, about 5.5 miles (or so they say. 3.5 miles to the falls the way I normally go, and 2 miles the other way. So we head off with vague directions, "go north on 184 from Toccoa, stay on 184 as it becomes Yonah Dam Rd, and take a left onto Panther Creek Trail." We get to the town of Toccoa and end up stopping at the local museum/information place. We get a local (town) map, and a slightly more useful area map that gets us on 184. We took Alt 17 from US 441 to Toccoa.

Once on 184, we found the point where it becomes Yonah Dam Rd. 184 continues into South Carolina, and we ended up about 500 ft into South Carolina before we turned around. In taking Alt 17 south, we went by Tallulah Gorge and stopped at that store with a view of the gorge. So you go down Yonah Dam Rd, and I start singing the song from Deliverance with the Banjo. We go down the road until it ends (at Yonah Dam) and can't find Panther Creek Rd. We pass this road that we thought could be it, but all it had was sign to some weird Baptist church. We go back to where 184 and Yonah split. That is the first place we could get cell reception. I called Matt O. , but maps don't go to deliverance country. The sherif came by, and ended up showing us where to go. He starts driving and turns down the street with the Baptist Church by Pastor (something). I start wondering if we are going to be dinner for the north georgia church canibals. Is the Sherif in on it?

We finally find the start of the trail, and some people are camped out right there. We start down the trail, and after maybe an hour run into an old man. He didn't make it to the falls, and warned us about a big hill. There are many millipedes on the trail. We start up this hill.


Think of your worst stair master experience. At the end of it, add a turn. As you pass the turn, add MORE HILL. It wasn't that bad, but it was a looooong way up. It wouldn't have been so bad, if it was up and down, but it was up. and up. and up. As we are fighting the hill, loud thunder almost became drum beats driving us forward. The sky looked ominous, but luckily we never got wet. We got to the falls and no one wass there. We setup camp with the new tent that my mom bought and change into swimsuits to swim. We hiked up the trail a bit, to get to the "top" of the falls, but decided that the swimming was better in the big "pool" at the bottom of the falls.

Sara and I went to the sandy area and tested the water. It was sort of cold and we waded for a bit. I spent the time gathering courage to dive into the unknown dark water where you could not see the bottom (or the Panther Creek Falls Monster). We ended up swimming to the sand bar in the middle of the pool, and then to the falls. We hung out in the falls, holding onto the slippery rocks and moss.

Ate, played cards, and decided to remove the rain fly. That way you could see the trees and sky in the tent. It did not look like it was going to rain, and we were feeling brave. A couple around our age showed up from the "closed" side. We didn't notice them for a while, we were in the tent hanging out and hiding from the mosquitoes (I forgot the DEET). I got out to talk to them, and asked about the trail. Seems like we could have taken that route, I bet it was not much worse than last year.

We found some crawfish claws on a rock, so I took a picture of them. In the morning we packed up and headed out. The big hill uphill became the big hill down hill. This is when we decided to record the slope of the hill, using a water bottle and my knife. About half way through we met three older men that were going to the falls. I warned them about the hill, but I don't think they listened. Lots of spiderwebs in the morning when you are hiking, I swished a stick in front of me to get them before they hit my face. We brought plenty of water, and had extra when we stopped. We went back to Atlanta the way that we came.

Unplugged in the Park (99X)

So I went to the free concert by 99x on Sunday, and had a good time. Blue October was playing, and played at the end. You might know them for the song "Hate Me". We hung out, listened to the music, then walked around the park to kill some time. Next time, I need to bring a cooler, and sit out on the grass and have drinks/food.
Other than the fat girl behind me that kept bumping into me (it was gross, ask Todd) and the three girls that just couldn't stop talking in high pitched whiny voices, I had fun. Sara, Todd, and I were there. I think I saw someone from my high school, but I forgot her name. She won a free burrito.

Peter Pan Party

The Peter Pan party turned out to be a good time. They had a three story tree house (although the crow's nest was off limits during the party. The tree house had electricity and a pole to slide down (like a fireman's pole). I had an epic battle with a blue bean bag chair in the driveway, and the concrete won. You can see it is just a scrape, but it also is bruised underneath. I tore my pants, and also wounded my palms and one elbow. The good news is that I did not spill but a drop of my drink, even after the tuck and roll maneuver. I had an eye patch and was walking backwards. I was a decent pirate, I think Todd and Andy had better costumes though. Eye patches suck, you lose depth perception and if it is made from cardboard and duct tape it gets annoying.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

And everything stays the same...

Israel to halt war in Lebanon on Monday - Yahoo! News
So everything stays the same. There is a "cease-fire", but with complications. The Hizbollah side vows to continue fighting while Israeli troops are in southern Lebanon. The Israeli side says that they will stay in southern Lebanon until the UN forces arrive. These are mutually exclusive, so the cease fire will be used by both sides as an excuse to keep fighting. Israel gets to say it "tried the diplomatic route", and Hizbollah can say that it would have followed the UN resolution if only Israel hadn't stayed to continue fighting.
I hope that France actually has the authority to shoot both sides if they do not comply. I would prefer dead Hizbollah, but this is sort of a "test" for the UN. They really haven't done anything useful for resolving conflicts in a while. I doubt very much that the UN is going to be able to disarm Hizbollah, but time will tell.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Great summary of the pictures issues...

Just read it, nothing much to say, other than don't believe everything that you "see".

Reuters Photo Fraud

They are remaking Conan the Barbarian!!!

HA! YES!....


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

You know things aren't working when...

Ailing Castro's Cuba signals crackdown on pirate TV - Yahoo! News
You know things are not working very well when the government has to limit the flow of information. If the people were happy, it would not be a problem to let other sources of information exist. If Cuba was to have TV that I could get, and it was all talking about how good it was to live in Cuba, it wouldn't matter that much to me. I kind of like living here. If it sucked, and everything cost alot, and I wasn't getting any recognition for what I do, I might care if the other side was greener (or pretending to be greener).

Friday, August 04, 2006

I ate a bean

I ate another bean, with garlic salt and pepper. The fruit of my labor!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Been gone, Here is some congress...

As I was going through my daily routine, I started sending some bills to Josh and decided to share with you guys too.
Thomas is where I get this information.
Anyway, here we go ...
Congressman Mike Thompson had this valuable bill "H.CON.RES.399 : Recognizing the 30th Anniversary of the victory of United States winemakers at the 1976 Paris Wine Tasting."
Congressman Tom Davis from VA, "H.R.3682 :
To redesignate the Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia as
the Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge." I wonder what Mason Neck did to piss people off. ... seems it is a peninsula, so that is not as funny.
Let's not forget the important summer break... Congressman Tom Davis from VA, "H.CON.RES.467 : Providing for an adjournment or recess of the two Houses."
I haven't listed the numerous "lets play rename the post office" that seems to take up most of their time. One year, I want to count how many post offices get renamed.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Is this telling?

Bahrain, Jordan, UAE. And that is only people buying American. Saudi Arabia added more money on monday toward tanks and helicopters.

US DSCA Issues a Flurry of International Arms Sale Notifications (defense acquisition, defence purchasing, military procurement)