Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Who killed the electric car?

Extremely interesting movie. The logic of the whole electric car story escapes me.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Longer days, consumerism, books, time, state of the union.....

First things first. Nice ones, for a change. The days are getting longer, yay. I am going to California. Which isn't necessarily yay, but it'll be in the 60 and 70, which beats the teens in MI.

Lately I've been reading about people writing books about their "year off shopping". I try not to buy unnecessary things, but going to a bookstore is always a danger. I went yesterday to get one book, and came back home with 11. Now I just need to stop spending time at the computer, and go back to reading. Not too long ago, I decided that I've watched one too many episodes of Law and Order, so I canceled our cable and went back to reading. It felt great. Should I cancel my high speed internet? Hmmm..... I need even longer days.

My breathing hasn't been too great lately. The doctors say it's stress induced. I expect to discover how long exactly I can go without breathing later this evening. Why? The State of the Union has become stress inducing lately. If you count 5 years as lately :)

There was something else I was going to mention, but it escapes me. Oh, I got it. The Jesus Camp. Again. Well, this is the reason. I have to see the dvd now, really curious about extra scenes. But more importantly, half way down I saw a link for Friends of God: A roadtrip with Alexandra Pelosi . Yes, that Pelosi. Well, not that one, but her daughter. Anyway, the movie is on Thursday, and luckily I'll be in a hotel that has HBO and will be able to see it! Yay.

A friend is making pasta with truffles, so I better go help, since he was kind enough to come in and cook at our house :)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Precision and war

Mark is on the documentaries binge. The latest one is Why we fight. My favorite snippet is the United States of Amnesia. An interesting statistic is: In the Gulf war about 7% of the bombs were precision guided. That number rose to 63% in the latest Iraq war. The estimated number of civilians killed during the Gulf war is 3 500, while the estimated number of civilians dead in the FIRST MONTH of the Iraq war is 6 000. How's that for precision?

On an unrelated note: is one's subscription to a membership of an organized religion connected to their altruistic motives? You may read a BBC's blurb or if you prefer check out Nature Neuroscience's article.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Newest insanity

How is this for having high opinion of one's genes? I wish people would consider not sending their children to war instead of trying to "bring them back form dead" once they die.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


After I wrote the post below last night I finally figured out what was wrong. My code had .jpg files while the files on my server were .JPG. That still does not explain why the whole thing worked on my laptop. Anyway, I was thinking that so far I've mostly complained. I do lots of that. Good thing I don't live in Helsinki, they'd make me sing, and I can't sing.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I decided that my website wasn't cool enough anymore, and since I've got some time, I was going to change it. It looks pretty good except for one little detail. I was stealing some pretty snazzy looking gallery code(can't really be called stealing, the guy said anybody could have his code), and I made it work on my laptop. Looks really neat. So, then I transfer all the files involved to the server and half of the page works the same, but two tabs don't display the photos they are supposed to. Now this is totally mysterious, as I had transfered all the images. I tried changing the code, then I erased all the jpegs, and put the new ones in (if I open them one at the time, they are there and fine). It does not work. But it does if I open local files. Argh!!!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Wisdom of history

It is amazing how little we learn from events of the past. I highly recommend watching Sir! No Sir!, and listening what people had to say during and after Vietnam war. It probably should not have come as a surprise that lot of what was said sounded rather familiar and current.

On an unrelated note, during dinner hosted by a friend of mine not too long ago, his colleague, whom I hadn't met before, argued that global warming did not exist. His argument was that he had read all the scientific papers written on the subject and found their statistical analysis to be crap, which led him to the conclusion that the global warming did not exist (now that I think about this I am hoping I do not remember this event properly, because, as a mathematician, he should know better than to claim that the existence of global warming was disproved in this way). Anyhow, since I had not read scientific papers in question, I could really not argue with him. Anyway, it is middle of January in Michigan and I picked up huge clumps of hair off my

dog (the white one) last night. Global warming or not, she is not supposed to start sheding in mid January!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Where is humanity in humans?

Last night we watched War Photographer. Humans are truly despicable. It remains a mystery to me as to how the word "humane" came to mean: marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration for humans or animals.

This evening we were going to do what humans do best: not think. In the process we were going to watch something funny. Meet Little Miss Sunshine . Funny it was, but in a scary kind of way. Kind of way where you're laughing and thinking "I can't believe people do this. What are they thinking?". They aren't. So sad.

Monday, January 01, 2007

The end of faith

My dear friend Renzo tells me that I am not particularly tolerant of religious people. He basis that opinion on the fact that, if asked, I tend to tell members of any organized (or unorganized, but those are rare) religion that I do not see how any intelligent, educated person who uses their brain for any purpose other than regulating necessary bodily functions in this day and age could possibly believe in the existence of god. Hopefully you were able to navigate your way through that sentence. So, a while back I started reading The End of Faith by Sam Harris . Work and the fact that he was laying little too hard on the muslim world (I simphatize with the underdog, but also don't really see much difference between average muslim and average christian. If you have any doubts you might want to check out Jesus Camp that's coming out on dvd's in about a week) stood between me and the book for a few months. I've picked it up again after reading his Letter to a Christian Nation . Anyway, I am just barely into it, but I constantly wish I had his way with words. I'm sure I'll be adding things as I go through this book, but here is to Renzo:

Religious moderates are, in large part, responsible for the religious conflict in our world, because their beliefs provide the context in which scriptural literalism and religious violence can never be adequately opposed.

Oh, and Happy New Year!