Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

Old posts from my weblog.

(Click here for posts on geophysics and the energy industry.)


Rutgers: Bertelsmann, Napster to Develop Music Service.

"The companies said they would seek support from other music companies to establish Napster as a widely accepted membership-based service."

A record club???

O.K., but it better be really, really cheap.

And no junk mail!


WSJ: Individuality conquers information overload as Weblogs proliferate.

Bloggers of the world unite!

If you don't have a subscription to the Wall Street Journal, this article was reprinted by New Jersey Online. [pointer via Scripting News.]


Top 20 2000 College Slang Terms.

I read the Today's Papers column in Slate everyday. Here are some factoids relevant to Madeleine Albright's meeting in North Korea yesterday:

"... A recent famine [in North Korea] killed 2 million of the country's 22 million people.

"Albright spent much of yesterday with Kim at a mass outdoor performance at May Day Stadium, and the NYT and the WP make the most of the incongruities involved in an American secretary of state having to sit through it all, smiling. The NYT's Jane Perlez writes that the `gargantuan spectacle of about 100,000 performers ... celebrated the cult of her host,' and that among the `several images in the show that must have unnerved Dr. Albright' was `one depicting the launch of a long-range ballistic missile.' And then there was the closing scene titled `We will support our powerful nation with rifles.' The Post has the missile launch, too, plus a women's brass band playing a toe-tapper called `The General and People Are a Single Mind.'"

That is so bizarrely Orwellian that it gives me this weird "I've been transported back to the 1940's" vertigo.

I also noticed this, two-thirds of the way into that Today's Papers column:

"... births out of wedlock in America -- 31 percent of all babies born..."


Science News: Invisible Universe: X-ray astronomy opens a new window on the most energetic cosmic events.

"Supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies weigh several million to several billion times the mass of the sun....

"Says [Richard F.] Mushotzky [of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md], `The big thing we've learned in the last 2 years from the Hubble and the Keck telescopes [in Hawaii], and now Chandra, is that massive black holes and the galaxies [they reside in] are intimately related to each other.' Exactly how remains a mystery. `Does the galaxy come first, or does the massive black hole become the seed around which the galaxy will originate?'"


Overtime experts: LSU tops Mississippi St. in Baton Rouge tussle.

"LaBrandon Toefield scored on a 13-yard run on the first possession of overtime to give LSU a 45-38 victory over Mississippi State (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today, No. 13 AP) on Saturday night."

My brother called tonight to gloat about his new DSL hook-up. Yeah, I'm envious.

I forgot to mention that my dad was released from the hospital Friday afternoon.


My father was moved out of the ICU yesterday evening. He's still at Lafayette General Hospital, in room 715.


My father had heart surgery yesterday in Lafayette, Louisiana. He's in the ICU at Lafayette General Hospital today.

Yesterday I received an email advertisement from Travelocity which included the following blurb:

"An entirely different holiday experience can be found in Jerusalem, a city held sacred by followers of three major religions.... Jerusalem maintains an air of dignity and solemnity it's had since King David walked its streets. Home to such holy attractions as the birthplace of John the Baptist, the Via Dolorosa, and the El Aksa Mosque, Jerusalem is a great place to get in touch with the real meaning of the holidays."


A blurb includes a link to an article on the history of Jerusalem. It is so sad that this little piece of Earth has been the focus of so much death and killing.

A couple of weeks ago, it seemed that the entire issue of peace in Israel had been reduced to the problem of control of the Old City in Jerusalem. But no one had a solution to the problem, and now whatever window to peace was open has been closed.


How cool! Jack Kilby won the Noble Prize for physics!

He used to hang out around HARC a lot. Literally. He would stand outside the front door, puffing on cigarettes with the other smokers. Then one day the weenies in administration sent everyone a memo saying the smokers had to walk around to the back of the building, because they weren't projecting a "professional appearance." Anyway --

Jack Kilby is a very tall man. We called him "Lurch", after the character in "The Addam's Family" (not to his face, of course). In spite his imposing physical stature, he always seemed like a nice guy.

I say "seemed like" because I didn't hang out in the front of the building with the smokers, so I never really got a chance to talk to him. We'd just nod and say "hi" when we passed in the hall. Actually, I'd say "hi." He would just nod - and kind of look at me - like that Lurch guy.

Another brush with greatness.

And you thought they were faking it. Here's proof, in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, that Al and Tipper will lip-lock anytime and anyplace - even in the Oval Office during a meeting with Madeleine Albright.

[via Today's Papers.]


New York Times: Niche Radio Finds Its Footing on the Internet.

"... many radio stations with loyal but small followings have in recent years expanded into Web broadcasting as a means of transcending their traditional boundaries. And not only have they found a market hungry for their idiosyncratic programming, but many have begun reaping financial benefits."


WSJ: Napster, Record Labels Face Off Before a Panel of Three Judges.

"No ruling was immediately issued by the panel and a written order in the case isn't expected for a month or so."

Another month! Maybe I can hurry up and install DSL and a RAID disk array.


The LSU victory over Tennessee last night was a *really* great game. Davey is the man.

Walter Kessinger

Stale Thoughts Archive Walter's Home Page