Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

Old posts from my weblog.

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


Adam Curry: The MTV Chronicles.

"There probably isn't a single performer, band or group you can think of from the 80's and 90's that I haven't interviewed, met, encountered or hung out with. I have plenty of stories."

> If you didn't know, Adam Curry, the late 80's/ early 90's MTV VJ with all the hair, was a true Internet pioneer.

> When I discovered the World Wide Web back in 1993 -- yeah, that's right! I discovered the World Wide Web! -- um, what was I saying? Oh --

> Back in 1993, Curry created and owned the web site. It was primitive by today's standards, but it was the first popular semi-commercial site that I knew anything about. In late '93/ early '94, and the NCSA "What's New?" page were the only two sites I remember frequenting on a regular basis. In fact, those were the only sites I knew that regularly updated their content!


Karma Ghost. [via Wil Wheaton]


We now return to our regularly scheduled program ->

Washington Post: Scientists Unearth Prehistoric Crocodile Remains.

"The crocodile was a silent stalker, as long as a school bus and weighing almost 18,000 pounds. It cruised the primeval rivers of what is now Saharan Africa, looking for unwary dinosaurs to snatch and grab."


Here's my updated CV.


Holy Crap, I just got laid off!

Paradigm announced this morning that their revenues will fall $7 million short this year. Eight people in the US office were let go, and I'm one of the lucky eight. (My group, which earlier this year was rolled together with R&D into the Technology group, was especially hard hit.)

Anyway, I still think Paradigm has terrific technology, and I have nothing but the highest regard for the company. In this business, these things happen.

And if you know about any positions for an exploration seismologist, particularly one with extensive depth imaging experience, please let me know. I'll be evaluating my options in the real near future. :-)


A Message From Boeing To Osama bin Laden.

(It's a 1/2 Mbyte PowerPoint file. You have to download it, unzip it and open it. Zip is a PC thing, so it should work for all of you PC people. (and Mac people with Stuffit.) If you can't find it after it downloads, look in "My Documents," or wherever you PC people put things. Let me know if you can't open it. (What, you don't have PowerPoint? What are you, some kind of freak?)

We received this email last week. My email program had flagged it as junk mail, because it was broadcast to 30 address, apparently all belonging to people named Kessinger. I'm posting it here in case you are a Kessinger who didn't get it ->

Subject: A heart felt apology

Hi my name is Tom Garven,

PLEASE don't get freaked out by this missive, (I know I would be). I found your address' by searching online using "Kessinger" as a qualifier. I apologize for any inconvenience I may have caused you. Believe me, I won't contact you again.

I'm trying to find Lynn Kessinger, who used to live in Edina MN. around 1969. Lynn K. was a girlfriend of mine in 1969, and the way I broke up with her in Junior High has troubled me ever since. She was (and I know still is) one of the nicest, honest and lovely humanbeings I have ever had the honor to know. Her parents got transfered somewhere, and I lost track of her. If you know Lynn, I would be forever in your debt if you would PLEASE give her my e-address, or if she doesn't want it, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE pass on my heart felt apology for being a young and uncultured punk. It is my hope that she finds out how deeply sorry I am. Thank you in advance. Sincerely, Tom Garven


Science links ->

Science News: A Cosmic Crisis? Dark doings in the universe.

"... researchers can infer the cosmic abundance of baryons, which include the protons and neutrons that make up all atomic nuclei, ... account for less than 5 percent of all the matter in the universe. The rest must be some sort of exotic material that no telescope can see. Indeed, astronomers have come to think of luminous galaxies as mere bright flecks embedded in a halo of dark material."

Scientific American: The Milky Way's Hidden Black Hole. A giant x-ray flare from the heart of our galaxy is helping researchers test ideas about a black hole they believe lurks there.

"Prior to this discovery, researchers could not rule out other explanations for the 2.7-million-solar-mass gravitational field at our galactic center."

Physics Today: The Origin and Evolution of Planetary Nebulae.

"Today we know that planetary nebulae represent a transitional stage in the life cycles of many stars, during which a formerly cool, distended red giant star sheds much of its mass, baring the hot stellar core, which in turn illuminates, ionizes, and heats the newly created circumstellar gas cloud. This phase lasts only 10,000 - 100,000 years, a mere blink of an eye in the typical lifetime of a star, which is measured in millions or billions of years."

MSNBC: 8 planets found around distant suns.

"The latest discoveries, reported Monday, bring the total of known planets outside our solar system to around 80. More important, their circular orbits reinforce a growing realization that at least some other planetary systems are similar to our own."

Science News: Dolly Was Lucky.

"Although Dolly's birth has inspired a few maverick researchers to want to make human cloning a reality, the often-disastrous results of animal cloning have convinced many scientists that an effort to clone a person is unthinkable at this time."

Richard Dawkins, Council for Secular Humanism: Sadly, an Honest Creationist.

"Kurt Wise ... volunteers that, even if all the evidence in the universe flatly contradicted Scripture, and even if he had reached the point of admitting this to himself, he would still take his stand on Scripture and deny the evidence. This leaves me, as a scientist, speechless. I cannot imagine what it must be like to have a mind capable of such doublethink."


Oh-oh, Regina:

I've been a fan of Icelander Björk for at least twelve years, going back to when she fronted for the Sugarcubes.

The new video for her beautiful song Pagan Poetry is an R-rated homage to body piercing.

(Oh, my, this entry is going to generate some interesting refers in my access logs.)


I'm still reading a lot of WTC/Afghanistan stories (who isn't?), but I'm trying to limit my linkage here so that it doesn't take over my blog. After all, I don't think anyone is having trouble finding news on those topics.

If you want pointers, though, here are a few rags I like to scan:

The New Republic.

Slate. (I'm not a bleeding-heart liberal. I just like to think occasionally.)

Wall Street Journal political weblog. (Opinions are free, WSJ only charges for news.)

Finally, I want to point to Raymond van der Woning's weblog. Raymond is a Canadian, and he's clearly further to the right on the political spectrum than I am. But dammit, sometimes it's nice to find an ally that acts like an ally!

Just in case you were following this story ->

WTAE-TV Pittsburgh: Mold, Not Body Part, Found In Punch.


The Register: The world will end tomorrow - official.

"This is not a circular its from me and was told to me from a reliable source. tell all your friends."

> ... and email a copy to everyone you know!

Wall Street Journal (subscription): Twin Tower's Chief Engineer Stands Up for His Masterpiece.

"Since the destruction, Mr. Robertson says he has had trouble sleeping, wondering if there had been a way to make the buildings stand for `those extra minutes.'"

> I read this article two days ago, and it has really stuck with me. Worth the read, if you're a WSJ subscriber.


I Gave My Cat an Enema. [via Jill Matrix]


Slate: Bush's Favorite Afghan.

"As it happens, the lead National Security Council official dealing with the region is one Zalmay Khalilzad, an Afghan-born scholar of both the Middle East and military affairs. Judging from things he has written in the past, this little-known defense intellectual is playing a central role in the administration's emerging strategy for combating Islamic terrorism."

> BTW, I think the Bush administration has done an excellent job of conducting this affair thus far.

> This might seem like an odd thing to say at the beginning of a military campaign, but I can't help feeling that this is an opportunity for us to use our power to make the world a better place for a lot of people.


Houston Business Journal: A little sensitivity goes a long way in working with Muslim colleagues.


I spent the past few days at my in-laws' house so that my kids would get a chance to visit one set of grandparents. My wife's folks live in San Antonio, so we also took the kids to Seaworld one day. Nice trip.

I'll be in catch-up mode for a couple of days.


Reuters: At Age 30, E-Mail Matures to Adulthood.

"But back in the autumn of 1971 -- Tomlinson says he can't recall which month -- e-mail was a relatively small success. That is, he added, simply because there were just a few hundred users of the ARPA Net that could put it to use."


I'm in a rambling mood this afternoon.

For the last week, we have had beautiful weather in the Houston area. Cindy and I took advantage of the good weather on Sunday and took our kids to the Houston Zoo. It was Kenneth's first trip, and he enjoyed it greatly; he has requested "back zoo!" several times since.

After lunch today I strolled around a couple of downtown parks, idly checking out the cow parade. I noticed a very large young Hispanic man being pulled from one fiberglass cow to the next by an excited three-year-old girl with long dark hair.

As much as I love my boys, sometimes I still feel a little wistful about the daughter I'll never have. We planned to name her Kim, or Kimberly, Kessinger.

Oh well. Maybe someday I'll get a granddaughter.


WSJ (subscription): Microsoft Launches Ad Campaign In Hopes of Snaring Apple Loyalists. (here's a free link to the same article.)

"At a technology conference in San Francisco last week, Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive, also offered support, noting that Microsoft's Office v.X `could end up being the poster child for what a Macintosh application should look like.'"

> Now that Mac OS 10.1 and Mac Office X (ten) are both almost available, I'm almost ready to buy a new laptop. If only Apple would update the graphics processor in their Powerbooks ...

Walter Kessinger

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