Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

Old posts from my weblog.

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


A really good picture of a solar eclipse..


Washington Post: Quake in Indonesia Kills at Least 3,700.

"Fearing a repeat of the 2004 tsunami that killed 100,000 Indonesians, some villagers fled inland when the quake struck around 6 a.m. Others, fearing it was an eruption from the nearby Mount Merapi volcano, headed toward the coast."

PC World: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time.

"1. America Online (1989-2006)"


Attending a funeral today --

Beth S. Wallis.


A long read, but easy to follow --

Scientific American: The First Few Microseconds.

"By smashing heavy nuclei together in mini bangs that briefly liberate quarks and gluons, RHIC serves as a kind of time telescope providing glimpses of the early universe, when the ultrahot, superdense quark-gluon plasma reigned supreme. And the greatest surprise at RHIC so far is that this exotic substance seems to be acting much more like a liquid -- albeit one with very special properties -- than a gas."

Houston Chronicle: It's easy to get lost in our big, fat, hot, polluted city.

"Houston was named MapQuest's hardest city to navigate Wednesday."


NYT: Some See a 'Pyramid' to Hone Bosnia's Image. Others See a Big Hill.

"The true genius of Mr. Osmanagic's discovery may be the difficulty of disproving it without a costly excavation, allowing a mythology to grow up around the hill. A hotel in Visoko has already renamed itself the Pyramid Motel, and merchants are doing a brisk business selling miniature pyramids."


Gotta love USAT. They break the year's biggest story, and they do it with their own unique style --

USA Today: Questions and answers about the NSA phone record collection program.

"Q: But I'm not calling terrorists. Why do they need my calls?"


NYT: Moussaoui's Move to Recant Guilty Plea Is Denied.

"Mr. Moussaoui is expected to be moved shortly to a maximum security federal prison in Florence, Colo., where he will be kept in solitary confinement for the rest of his life. There is no parole in the federal system."

> I don't have any problem with this -- even though the government's case was a joke, and Moussaoui was clearly lying about his involment in 9/11 during his testimony.

> Hats off to the jury for not being a bunch of dupes by giving this moron the death sentence he wanted.


Slate: Could MSG Make a Comeback?

"The ingredient is simply hiding in plain sight. It thrives in the industrial food world, where it is known affectionately to scientists as E621. The next time you eat your favorite binge-inducing snack ... lick the flavor dust off your fingers and read the ingredient label. You're quite likely to find MSG.... ‘Some would say that the public's widespread distrust of MSG has deeply moved food makers--not to take glutamate out of their food, but to find ways of delivering it under unassuming pseudonyms.’"

Forgot to mention this last week --

Houston Chronicle: Mexican drug reform is likely dead. Plan to allow personal use of narcotics caused an uproar in U.S.


NYT: U.S. Makers Facing Glut of S.U.V.'s as Gas Rises.

"Last month, big S.U.V.'s and pickup trucks were among the vehicles that had the sharpest sales drops. The Ford Explorer was down 42 percent compared with April 2005. Sales of the Jeep Grand Cherokee declined 41 percent."

LA Times: Mexico to Allow Use of Drugs.

"The list of illegal drugs approved for personal consumption by Mexico's Congress last week is enough to make one dizzy -- or worse.

"Cocaine. Heroin. LSD. Marijuana. PCP. Opium. Synthetic opiates. Mescaline. Peyote. Psilocybin mushrooms. Amphetamines. Methamphetamines."

> I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that Mexico is going to enjoy a huge popularity surge as a vacation destination.

Walter Kessinger

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