Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

Old posts from my weblog.

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


Slate: Sim Cities.

"Waterfront City [in Dubai] will probably be where a lot of Middle Eastern investors will put their money -- and where international architectural stars will build their putative landmarks -- but if little Masdar develops successfully, it may hold much more important lessons for us all."

Good Eats: Dog Diary vs. Cat Diary.


AP: MIT's Edward Lorenz, father of chaos theory, dies at 90.

"He was a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when he came up with the scientific concept that small effects lead to big changes, something that was explained in a simple example known as the ‘butterfly effect.’" ...

"Jerry Mahlman, a longtime friend, noted that the man who pioneered chaos theory was ‘the most organized person I ever knew.’"


Los Angeles Times: New atom-smasher could fill gaps in scientific knowledge -- or open a black hole.

"Michelangelo L. Mangano, a respected particle physicist who helped discover the top quark in 1995, now spends most days trying to convince people that his new machine won't destroy the world." ...

"The CERN collider uses a powerful electromagnetic field to accelerate particles.... The collider will consume as much energy as all the households in Geneva, running up an annual electric bill of $30 million."


I stumbled into this strip a couple of weeks ago, and I've read the entire run over the past two weekends --

Paul Taylor: Wapsi Square.

When it started in 2001, it initally had an unsophisticated style and pretty lame subject matter -- lots of jokes about the breast size of the protagonist. But in time the characters developed and the artwork improved. By 2004, the plotlines and subject matter became distinctly adult...

... and then it veered into the supernatural.

I'm pointing to a strip from July 2003, which is a good jumping on spot for introducing most of the characters. It's not Doonesbury or Calvin and Hoobes, but I'm enjoying it.


NYT: Keeping Priorities Straight, Even at the End.

"As a professor of computer sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, Randy F. Pausch expected students to pay attention to his lectures. He never expected that the rest of the world would listen, too. But today, more than 10 million people have tuned into Dr. Pausch's last lecture, a whimsical and poignant talk about Captain Kirk, zero gravity and achieving childhood dreams. The 70-minute talk, at, has been translated into seven languages...."

> Over the Christmas holidays, I downloaded a copy of his talk to my iPod and watched it with my kids in our den.


Washington Post: Every Click You Make.

"... at least 100,000 U.S. customers are tracked this way, and service providers have been testing it with as many as 10 percent of U.S. customers, according to tech companies involved in the data collection.... [T]he new monitoring, known as ‘deep-packet inspection,’ enables a far wider view -- every Web page visited, every e-mail sent and every search entered."

Walter Kessinger

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