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Attack of the killer sea pirates [Nov. 29th, 2005|10:46 am]

It's amazing how few people realize that piracy on the high seas is still a major issue. This ongoing problem was highlighted by the Steven Seagal movie Under Seige. Just kidding folks. We shouldn't use Steven as our current events instructor. Seriously, there was an attack on a cruise ship of the African coast of Somalia that actually made the news. Links are here and here.

The problem of piracy along the Somali coast has become enough of an issue that a company by the name of Topcat Marine Security has been engaged to hunt down the Pirates and knock them out of commission. Here's the article from the Beeb on the topic.

I've also scrounged up these other resources from the US State Department on the topic:

-Somalia travel warning

-East Africa maritime warning

-Indonesian maritime warning

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Washing out of engineering [Sep. 28th, 2005|08:14 pm]
[Current Mood |mellowmellow]

This couldn't possibly be more true. I was originally a microbiology major at a school that was _very_ similar to Smartypants U. Eeek!


Now with a business degree, I do work I enjoy without having to study until my eyeballs bled.

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Phoebe G. Caulfield RIP [Sep. 13th, 2005|04:17 pm]
[Current Mood |melancholymelancholy]
[Current Music |Angels Collide-Amy Correia-Carnival Love]

Over the course of the past three weeks or so I have watched my Great Dane, Phoebe, be utterly ripped apart by osteosarcoma. What started out as a minor limp that we thought was a minor case of tendonitis quickly transformed into excruciating pain that kept her from eating, sleeping, deficating or even cleaning herself.

This morning she began to moan while laying on her bed and I knew it was time. Fortunately the sample kit for the University of Michigan study on osteosarcoma in giant breeds arrived today so I went ahead and made the appointment. All of her care providers were excellent and took great care of both of us.

I swear I heard her say thank you with her dying exhale.

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DCX platform advantages [Aug. 23rd, 2005|10:30 am]
[Current Mood |dorkydorky]

In the past I have been a unapologetic european car snob. Japanese cars have always felt a bit tinny to me (Dear Honda- Fix that sound of your damn starter) and a American cars were poor at their worst and benign at best. Driving a rental car 20 or so weeks a year has given me a great perspective on how American build quality has improved. Nevertheless, the cars have been boring to drive.

Then I read something interesting. Apparently, DaimlerChrysler is letting the American parts of the business raid the European parts bin. The outcome of which is that the Chrysler 300C, Dodge Magnum and Charger are built on the same platform as the Mercedes E-Class. If appropriate running gear has been pilfered as well, this means that you can get what is mechanically an E-Class with a 6.1 liter Hemi strapped on to it for less than 35k loaded.

As Daisy would say "Kiss my grits".

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Received the goods [Aug. 17th, 2005|09:36 am]
[Current Mood |awakeawake]

I've received the first course for Trump University and am going to open it tonight. We'll see how good it is....
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Reviewing Trump U. [Aug. 15th, 2005|06:32 pm]
[Current Mood |blankblank]
[Current Music |Jack-Ass-Beck-Odelay]

What is there left to say about "The Donald"? He's a gazillionaire, developer, visionary, TV star, celebrity and much more. Now he's looking to add educator to that list focusing in on real estate. Well now he's heading firmly into my territory. I'm a lifelong learner and a part-time real estate developer.

That's why I'm going to be reviewing each of his major courses starting with the "Wealth Builder's Blueprint". You might be thinking why would I spend the money. Two reasons. Reason One: if the material is valuable than I happy to spend the money to learn how to make more money. Reason Two: He's offering a money back guarantee on all of the at home courses so the risk has been transferred away from me. All I have to invest is my time.

The first course is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday and I'll try to have the review up relatively shortly thereafter.

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Hopping on the bandwagon [Jun. 24th, 2005|03:48 pm]

Stuff for life.
Originally uploaded by furrlouw.

I stumbled onto the whole what's in your bag phenomenon on Flickr last night and had to look at all of the entires. Here's mine.

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Revisiting Nukes (again!) [May. 14th, 2005|08:19 pm]
[Current Mood |hopefulhopeful]

I know that I've written in the past about the need to at least consider that value proposition that nuclear power could bring to North America but I'm discussing it again. Apparently my favorite guys in the Senate, McCain and Lieberman, are floating a draft bill around that would assist in the fielding of some modern reactor designs. (Link at nytimes.com)

I know that nuclear power is no panacea but it does improve greenhouse emissions (nukes create 0) and reduce our dependence on foreign fossil fuels. Of the designs out there, one that I prefer is the Gas Turbine design advocated by General Atomics (link at GA). It's designed around air cooling and uses Helium as its thermal transfer agent to spin the turbines. As you'll remember from high school science, Helium is inert (aka noble gas) therefore cannot become radioactive.

Another design that has great potential is pebble reactor. I uses pebbles of reactive material rather than rods and continuously circulates them through the reactor. The benefit of this is that the pebbles spend a relatively small amount of time in the fission process before dropping out and is analyzed before being cycled back into the reactor thus preventing it from remaining in the core in a weakened state. Pebble bed reactors can also be regulated by managing the composition of the pebbles going into the containment vessel. Heat problems? Overreactivity? Use less pebbles or use a blend that contains less fissionable material. Need more power? Use pebbles with more oomph. Of course I'd advocate flowing an intert gas through this design as well. The downside? It's still a nuke. Get the details from MIT (link).

Regardless of what happens it is clear that the current fossil fuel technologies need to go the way of the dinosaur (pun intended.)

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Bleh. That last patch is giving me gas [May. 3rd, 2005|07:39 pm]
Like a good little geek, I update the copy of OS X on my powerbook every time apple releases a 'new' patch. As a matter of course, I did that exact thing on Thursday night when they release the latest security fix. What a fucking mistake. The latest update has caused me nothing but pain and sorrow.

It's like they broke the fucking stack or something. I say this b/c Entourage, Safari, Netnewswire and many others just randomly take a dump and go into that fantastic state of no workie at random. Existing ssh sessions choke and don't even think about a gethostbyaddr() call. The only thing that restores the stack is a reboot. Ick. How windoze 98.

I should have been suspicious of my friends in Cupertino for release a patch for Panther the day before Tiger comes out. Incidentally I'm waiting for the first round of patches to Tiger before buying it after my tooth cutting pains with Panther. Bleh.
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Why didn't I???? [Apr. 20th, 2005|10:17 pm]
[Current Mood |cheerfulcheerful]
[Current Music |Amerimacka-Thievery Corporation-The Cosmic Game]

As much as I love laptops for their portability and LCD, I've always felt a little cramped hunched over one. Well today I decided that enough was enough and bought myself an LCD monitor and dug out a usb keyboard. This of course begs the question "Why the fuck didn't I do this sooner?"

I'm sitting more than a foot from the display and have a great slouch going that keeps my wrists completely neutral. Ahhhhh I feel GOOD!!!

I did go a bit overboard though... I bought the 23" apple display. Who needs a television when you can get one of these?
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