Critical Section

Archive: September 28, 2003

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Sunday,  09/28/03  09:39 PM

the Lorax

I am the Lorax
I speak for the trees.
I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues

The Lorax has been each one of my kids' favorite story at a certain point.  Meg is six, and it has been her favorite for about two years.  This amazing story by Dr. Suess (Theodore Geisel) was published in 1971, but its message rings as loud and true 32 years later.  Amid Suess' usual whimsical rhymes, delightfully original creatures, and weirdly undulating illustrations is something more - a powerful ecological message.  I've read it dozens, maybe even hundreds of times, but each time I find my voice more emotional than usual, and I always pause when I reach that sickening smack.  "Then we heard the tree fall.  The very last Truffula Tree of them all!"

The best thing about this story is its positive ending.  Yeah, the Truffula trees were wiped out by the Once-ler, but there's still that one seed...  In addition to enjoying the story for what it is, a story, I do believe my kids "get it".  I hope so.

UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.
It's not.


Sunday,  09/28/03  09:49 PM

I sailed today.  The wind was blowing, the competition was great (no, I didn't win, sigh), and I'm smiling.  Nothing beats a day on the water.

Go-l logo #1Go-l logo #2Remember the Go-l computers?  Really cool laptops, desktops, and servers.  Well, they have a cool logo, too.  "So, what will yours look like?...  Every time you receive your new computer or product, there is always the extra surprise factor on the looks of the logo on your machine.  Because they are different on every one.These logos really rock!  (sorry :)

Three Google engineers have posted a paper on The Google File System.  "Component failures are the norm rather than the exception.  The file system consists of hundreds or even thousands of storage machines built from inexpensive commodity parts...  The quantity and quality of the components virtually guarantee that some are not functional at any given time and some will not recover from their current failures."  Pretty cool, check it out.

Ariane moon blastoffEurope's First Moon Mission Blasts Off.  "The Ariane-5 rocket carrying the SMART-1 moon exploration probe and two commercial satellites blasted off at 8.14PM from the European Space Agency (ESA) launch center at Kourou, in French Guiana on the northeast coast of South America.  The probe will provide data on the still uncertain origin of the moon and has been described by ESA as an important instrument 'to unraveling some of the secrets of our neighboring world'."  Cool.  Unmanned probes are really the way to go for this type of exploration; far less expensive than manned probes, and able to go places men are not.  The BBC discusses the technology of this rocket, which uses an ion stream from charged Xenon for propulsion.

ZDNet Australia reports Brains Can Have Wireless Upgrades.  (It is harder and harder to tell "real life" headlines from the Onion.)  "It could well be the ultimate in hands-free adaptors: A researcher claims that in a decade, people will have wireless networks in their heads."  I don't know about the timing - ten years seems optimistic - but there is no doubt this will happen.

The other day I mentioned iBlog, a blogging front-end for Mac OSX.  Just want to be clear this is not an Apple product - yet! - but clearly endorsed by them.  John Robb thinks it is a "try before you buy" situation.

Nokia medallionHey, digital jewelry!  Why not?  Nokia has brought out this medallion, which displays pictures "beamed" to it from compatible Nokia bluetooth phones.  I don't wear jewelry, but for this I could make an exception...  Seems like the front edge of something big, doesn't it?  [ via Xeni Jardin ]

Wired expresses amazement at Zagat's new WiFi Hotspots guide.  I did too, when I found it inside the latest issue of The New Yorker.  Not exactly a geek mag, either; WiFi is becoming pretty mainstream.

Getting ready to buy an HDTV?  Not so fast, here comes UHDV, with a resolution sixteen times greater.  "UHDV displays images with 4,000 horizontal scanning lines, compared to the 1,000 offered by the current state-of-the-art high definition television (HDTV) technology and just 625 for standard TV broadcasts.This truly is Reality TV.

The MPAA is calling for a ban on "screeners"; preview copies of movies sent to Academy voters.  This is an admission that the Academy's own members are a major source of file-sharing "piracy".

Often when a movie is on Kazaa before it has left theaters, it's a screener...

Via Gizmodo: "An overzealous cop in Australia arrested a man for talking on his cellphone while driving a horse and carriage.  The coachman, Dean Crichton, was going a dangerous 2mph when the policeman pulled him over and field-tested him for alcohol.  A judge ended up throwing out the case."  I love it.

overloaded Somali truckThis truck seems to be slightly overloaded...  A Somali truck laden with corn.  A great picture for a caption contest...  [ via Cory Doctorow ]



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this date in:
About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained