(Click here for posts on geophysics and the energy industry.)
Houston Business Journal: New Baker St. Pub opens in The Woodlands.
Have you seen the comet? --
Wikipedia: Comet McNaught.
This got me kind of excited about Vista --
Slate: Is Windows Vista Any Good?
"... after two weeks slogging through Microsoft's checklist, I found plenty of reasons to go Vista. If these six items sound appealing, you should strongly consider an upgrade."
> There are other opinions, of course --
IntelliAdmin: The 5 sins of Vista.
> I'll probably wait until I upgrade computers in a year or so...
> ... assuming they release a version that runs on Intel Macs.
Wikipedia: Ultra-high-energy cosmic ray.
"The Oh-My-God particle ... is the nickname given to a particle observed on the evening of October 15, 1991, over Dugway Proving Grounds, Utah, estimated to have an energy of approximately 3 x 1020 electronvolts.... [I]t was a subatomic particle with macroscopic kinetic energy equal to that of a baseball ... moving at about 27 m/s (60 mph)."
Everyone has some "boy" in them. That's why you can't resist clicking on this link --
"Take the number 800,000.... [O]nly 115 were ‘stereotypical kidnappings,’ defined in one study as ‘a nonfamily abduction perpetrated by a slight acquaintance or stranger in which a child is detained overnight, transported at least 50 miles, held for ransom or abducted with the intent to keep the child permanently, or killed.’"
My kids thought this was cute --
The picture at right is a real object, not a photoshop creation. Here's how it was done.
Washington Post: Climate Experts Worry as 2006 Is Hottest Year on Record in U.S.
"Climate experts generally do not make much of temperature fluctuations over one or two years, but Lawrimore said the record 2006 temperatures were part of a long and worrisome trend. For instance, NOAA said, the past nine years have all been among the 25 warmest years on record for the continental United States."
USA Today: El Niño gives USA its hottest year in '06. Climate change enters as a factor.
"Residential energy demand for heating was 13.5% lower than normal for October through December, the center said."
NYT: Mr. Noodle.
"Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. Give him ramen noodles, and you don't have to teach him anything."
The End of Money: The United States is Insolvent.
"Our combined federal deficits now total more than 400% of GDP.
"That is the conclusion of a recent Treasury/OMB report entitled Financial Report of the United States Government that was quietly slipped out on a Friday (12/15/06), deep in the holiday season, with little fanfare."
More cheerful news --
Discover: 20 Ways the World Could End.
> My favorite is "robots take over" ...
"Whether this counts as the end of humanity or the next stage in evolution depends on your point of view."
> ... but I must admit I spend a lot of time worrying about the "gamma-ray burst" scenario.
Fun game last night --
"As a college coach for 11 seasons, at Toledo, Michigan State and Louisiana State, he did not have a losing season. At L.S.U., he was 48-16, which included a national championship in 2003."
Cool Science Facts: Pi.
"... if you had a circle the size of the observable universe, and you wanted to compute its circumference with an accuracy equal to the size of a proton, the number of digits of pi that you'd need is only 43."
"The marchers called on governments and the UN to stop time's ‘mad race’ and declare a moratorium on the future."