Critical Section


Sunday,  01/04/09  08:21 PM

loose gravel!Spent today quietly working upstairs next to the fire, watching football and listening to the wind howl.  It finally died down and I went for a slow ride in the dark, opting for cold[er] over wind[ier], and survived a flat.

It has now been a month since my big Five-O birthday, which has gently receded into memory and now seems like no big deal.  Actually I can't believe it was only a month since my visit to RSNA in Chicago.  It was an eventful December!

Posting Daniel's photographs prompted me to search for him in my archives, and unearthed my post about Aperio's participation in Relay for Life last August.  I'd forgotten about that, how cool to have captured the memory.  It was an incredibly moving experience for me, and rereading the post brings tears to my eyes as I recall walking in the dark, surrounded by those luminaria.  One of them had Daniel's name on it...  I should have written Endurance on it, and next year I will...

A Water Warning from Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman of Nestlé, part of The Economist's preview of The World in 2009.  "The rise in the price of basic food has had devastating effects on the most vulnerable - the poor who spend up to two-thirds of their income on food. Some of the measures taken in response, such as export restrictions, have been highly counter-productive. In 2009 the world needs to reflect on the underlying causes of the food crisis and start addressing structural factors, in particular the link to biofuels and water."  Interesting...

Also in the same issue, Piece of Mind from Paul Allen, co-founder of the Allen Institute for Brain Science (an Aperio customer).  "The mystery of how the brain works is the most compelling question in science. We can discover new planets around distant stars and find water on Mars, but over 95% of the workings of the brain remain unexplored and unexplained."  They're doing important work, and it is all being done open source, publishing all findings and making them available to everyone.  Excellent.

duct tape is silverToday I was carrying around a roll of duct tape, and Shirley asked what I was doing... "going riding, of course".  There are only two essential tools, duct tape and WD-40, because there are only two essential repair actions, sticking stuff together, and pulling stuff apart.

This week we have the Gates-less CES conference and Job-less Macworld.  Scoble says this is Ballmer's big moment: "What must he do?  Introduce Windows 7 to us and make it seem a LOT cooler than Vista."  Riight.  TechCrunch thinks Ballmer's CES keynote promises to be a snoozer, and I tend to agree.  Although I am rooting for Windows 7!

Leaner Kahney: Three reasons I'm actually looking forward to Phil Shiller's Keynote.  I must confess I'm actually looking forward to it also, if only for the train-wreck potential.

For me the exciting news at CES will be Palm's announcement of a new phone with a slide-down keyboard and large touchscreen.  And hopefully it will run an updated version of the Palm OS, not Windows Mobile.  Now that will be cool.

Important work: the physics of pole-vaulting.  Efficiently converting horizontal motion into vertical motion by temporarily storing the energy in a long bendy pole.

active.com's slimy marketingThe 'net is full of slimy marketing tactics; one of the worst is to make a "yes" choice way more prominent than a "no".  Any company who does this is conceding that they have to trick you into a "yes".  I encountered a great example of this on Active.com's website today while registering for a bike ride; check out the picture at right.  Slime!

I must tell you, since watching Yes Man the other day I've been saying "yes" spontaneously to many things and had some great experiences as a result (skiing in Mammothwatching the Chargers).  But to this kind of bogus marketing I say NO.

ZooBorn: baby elephantZooBorn of the day: a baby elephant.

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