Saturday, January 24, 2004
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
Monday, January 19, 2004
CRIBS, TRAILER PARK EDITION: What a great idea for a new MTV reality show. Celebrity crib trailers. We could see our white trash celebrities with their dream trailer homes. Let's see, Britney, Eminem, Kid Rock, Billy Bob. Or we could make it a monster house trailer park edition show. I think there's a lot to mine here. Chime in.
Saturday, January 17, 2004
CHOCOLATE COVERED PRETZELS: To me the perfect metaphor for the difference between men and women is the chocolate covered pretzel. No man I know will even try the thing. The basic logic being: "What's the deal? I either want something sweet (chocolate) or something salty (pretzel.) Not both." To which all the women I've spoken to regarding the issue retort: "That's the beauty of the device, you get something sweet and something salty." Men stay focused and know what they're after. Women basically want it all, convention be damned. I was raised on the belief that you can't have your cake and eat it too, but my wife (bless her) feels that you can please all of the senses, all of the time. Sigh, I'm envisioning late night trips for pickles and ice cream in my future.
Friday, January 16, 2004
Thursday, January 15, 2004
A SPARK: I just read a John Phillips (of Car and Driver) article on Jesse James of Discovery Channel's Monster Garage and an idea popped into my head. James is such a badass, why doesn't Discovery pay to have him and some friends ride their wild creations through Iraq, a badass place. I think the locals would be too startled by a bunch of muscle bound, tattooed freaks with odd facial hair and bizarre wheeled creations to even contemplate shooting at them. I strongly suspect the natives would actually like Hell's Angels and their ilk. FYI, I am not being sarcastic, I actually think it would make for some enjoyable TV. What the hell, if the wife makes me sit through another episode of The Bachelorette, I could at least make her watch this!
Monday, January 12, 2004
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
CATASTROPHIC DECOMPRESSION: I've been reading about the brouhaha surrounding the new US requirement that foreign (airline) carriers be ready to supply armed air marshals for US-bound or US overflying aircraft. Classically, the big stink about allowing firearms on board an aircraft is the fear that a bullet will pierce the skin of the craft, causing catastrophic decompression. For a short lesson on catastrophic decompression, try sticking a needle into an inflated balloon. If the balloon is fully inflated, it will probably burst. This is a classic metaphor for what can happen on board a commercial jetliner flying at altitude. You may not realize it, but airplanes are pressurized at altiitude, as the air is quite thin up there. Think of the plane as a ballon and a bullet as the pin and you start to get the idea. Now, there are ways to minimize the chance of an explosive decompression. If for example, you tape the area of the ballon you are about to pierce with the pin with, say, duct tape, and then prick the balloon, it should hold together and slowly deflate instead of shatterring with a loud pop. Similarly, I wonder if modern airframes were designed with this capability in mind. Keep in mind that in commmercial air travel, weight is the enemy, so any additional strengthening of the fuselage will add up to a higher fuel bill, which will raise the price of a ticket. I was thinking somewhere along the lines of a layer of kevlar sheeting between the interior wall and the load bearing cylinder....
Tuesday, January 06, 2004
OFFSHORE: Chris Kenton has an interesting article in BusinessWeek on the perils of offshore (programming) development. I can relate to everything he says. Essentially, you need to be very strong managerially to reap the benefits of using offshore development. Here in the US, we can use our social proximity and cultural similarity to paper over weak managerial practices that are magnified with an offshore job. A good read.
Sunday, January 04, 2004
NO TREO: I cancelled the Treo, which is backorded for awhile & went with a standard Sprint phone -the Sanyo SCP8100. It's a camera phone & fully Sprint Vision compatible. Vision, which is Sprint's full network offering, is quite interesting. Alas, Sprint has no simple SMS interface, so, to send a simple message, I have to log onto Vision on the phone and click through several links before I can send a message. What a pain, Hopefully Sprint will fix this soon. Suprisingly, the service so far, has been notably superior to T-Mobile in the NY/NJ areas that I've been to. The infamous dead spot between West End and Riverside on the UWS has excellent Sprint coverage, which is why I switched plans in the first place. PAINFULLY: My local pet store still has no new Goldfish babies. They won't part with any of their adorable Panda Telescopes, which their keeping for their own enjoyment. So Zippy still has no new playmates. Hopefully they'll have some nice new babies in on Tuesday. I've travelled all over Manhattan looking for quality babies and haven't had any luck. I did see some enormous specimens in Chinatown. If you ever want to see some amazing aquariums, go to Mott street and walk around. I got Zippy bloodworms and a cone feeder last week, so he's more than happy slurping up the worms like spaghetti. I swear, he attacks the cone full of worms like Jaws in a beach full of vacationing children. I'm such a proud Papa!