Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Physicist Sean Carroll has an excellent post about evolution being "just a theory", with good comments to boot.

Monday, September 19, 2005

On NPR's Science Friday for last week:
The [Dover, Pennsylvania] school district made headlines when the board voted to require that science teachers in the district teaching evolution read a statement dealing with the idea of 'intelligent design'—an idea that holds that the world's life forms are too complex to have been created without the aid of an intelligent designer. Critics of the idea say that it is merely creationism in another guise, and has no place in the science classroom. With the new academic year underway, another legal skirmish in the story is about to occur. We'll check in on the goings-on in Dover.
You can listen to the broadcast at the link above. This case represents the first public test of the "Intelligent Design" movement. Hopefully, it will also spell the beginning of it's end.

Friday, September 16, 2005

One of the greatest film directors of the last generation, Robert Wise, has died at the age of 91. He said one of his favorites was The Haunting (no, not the cheesy remake).

Thursday, September 15, 2005

A book seller in California has found a copy of my first novel, which I circulated in pod and pdf, and is selling it for... $69 (as if!).
Rafat Ali says:
Apple's iTunes Adds Video Podcasts [by rafat] : So says this WSJ story: Apple has quietly added video to its recently launched podcasting integration. It is allowing podcasters to submit video programs, in addition to audio, to the iTunes podcasting directory.

The latest version of Apple's iTunes software, released last week, allows users to subscribe to these video podcasts, just as they can with audio podcasts. When users subscribe to podcasts, iTunes automatically downloads the freshest shows when they become available.

Monday, September 12, 2005

But every one trying to crack the iPod's dominance is missing a really important point: Third Party Hardware Developers. The iPod has scads of hardware developers cranking out toys at a furious pace, the other guys have none. The reason for it is pretty obvious if you think about it. Developing for the iPod is dead simple compared to the other folks.

First, let's look at cases. If you want to design cases for the iPod, it's really simple. If you started today, you'd have three cases to design for. (Four if you wanted to get the Mini crowd.) The case for the current iPod will work on pretty much every click-wheel version. if you had a lot of requests, you might consider the older versions, but it's not a pressing need. So, 3-4 templates, and you're set. You can download the engineering drawings of the iPod with ease from Apple, so you can get the specs with absolute accuracy. At that point, it's just color, pattern, and materials. Apple gives you everything you need to start making cases, you don't even have to join their developer program.
John Welch has more. (via Rafat Ali)
Glenn Reynolds has a nice piece (if I do say so myself) in the latest issue of Popular Mechanics on the DV revolution in independent movies. Yours truly gets a word in.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

"Why the hell is everyone cheering?" asked a guy in an Alex Rodriguez jersey,and it's a hell of a good question. We have grown used to the sound of Yankeesfans engineering hostile takeovers of Shea Stadium during Subway Series.We have even heard the occasional night in the Bronx when Mets fans can out-shoutthe natives.

But Red Sox fans? Here?

Next thing you know there'll be dogs and cats...living together...total chaos....

A stunned NY Sports writer.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

This just in: Al Franken turns out to be...a liar.

Wow. What a surprise....

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Adam Kushner's thoughts on his home town:
The levee and flood-control system itself represents the city's losing battle with nature. It has been built in fits and starts since 1724, and it was still not done when Katrina struck. The cost has been immeasurable, and the failures innumerable. Moreover, the section that protects against hurricane surges--begun only 40 years ago--has sunk below the height designed to bulwark against a Category Three hurricane (Katrina was nearly a Five). For decades, models have shown that, if a Category Five were ever to crawl up the mouth of the Mississippi--a scenario known to New Orleanians as "the Big One"--it could lift 25 feet of water into the saucer and leave New Orleans submerged for months. This week's cruelest irony is that New Orleans survived something like the Big One only to succumb to shoddy engineering: The city was soused the day after the storm, when levee collapses dumped 20 feet of water into the city. It met its demise by an act of man, not an act of God.
Article here (registration required).
Contributing to Katrina. Fast and easy right here.
According to Peter Jackson:
"Piracy has the very real potential of tipping movies into becoming an unprofitable industry, especially big-event films. If that happens, they will stop being made," said Mr. Jackson in an e-mail message from New Zealand, where he is putting the final touches on his version of "King Kong." "No studio is going to finance a film if the point is reached where their possible profit margin goes straight into criminals' pockets."
I wonder if that would be the case if he was able to produce King Kong for $15 million instead of $150 million. In other words, maybe this high-tech, savvy digital piracy plague is really a wake-up call to Hollywood (along with its recent woes at the box office) that it is wasting too much money on super stars, ego projects, and remakes that provoke yawns even before they've opened at the box office.

Just a thought.