Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Decided To Give Myspace A Try.....


Check me out!

Seems pretty cool so far. Try it, all the COOL kids are doin' it.....wassa mattah? Your mommy won't LET you?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Just Checkin' In..............


Still technically on a semi-hiatus around here, summertime and all. My home computer has officially crapped the bed so I have even less places to post online. I'm thinking of switching to a laptop, and I do get a decent discount from Dell at work so that may be my next step. If anyone has any suggestions/recommendations on Dell Laptops please drop me a line in the comments, any help is appreciated.

There's been some good news/bad news from our Tennessee Titans in the last couple of weeks as the offseason winds down and one can begin to count hours until opening day (which for you Sportsfans is Thursday, September 8th- Oakland at New England).

The bad news first: The Titans #1 Draft Pick, Adam "Pacman" Jones, has begun to display the talents and abilities of an NFL player that would make the Oakland Raiders proud. The problem is he's playing in Tennessee. The bigger problem is that the Titans have been trying to shake the bad boy image that has plagued them over the last couple of years, with a grand total of five different Titans having to spend a day or two in the courtroom on the wrong side of the bench. Pacman is young, so this isn't too unexpected, and from the sounds of things, it appears to have been a relatively minor incident. But still, christ fellas- stay the hell out of jail, is that so hard? You have your millions, get someone else to drive.

The Good news: TRAVIS FREAKING HENRY!!! I'm not quite sure how Floyd Reese pulled this one off, but the thoroughly underrated running back from Buffalo is now a Titan, and we just seriously upgraded the backfield with a powerful one-two combination between Chris Brown and Henry. Brown has yet to show he can stay healthy for a full season, but I still predict that he will one day be a pro-bowler. Having Henry is nothing but good news. Just make sure he stays out of jail.

On to politics- John Roberts is your new Supreme Court nominee. Fin asked me earlier what I think about him, and frankly I haven't read enough to say. From what I have read he sounds primarily conservative, no big surprise there. Of course the central rallying cry for/against his confirmation will be his stance towards abortion rights and whether or not he will be the vote that overturns Roe V Wade. Amazing that one vote can have such an incredible impact. This is what bothers me more than anything. SCOTUS judges are supposed to uphold the constitution by acting as a balance between the executive and legislative branches of the government. They aren't supposed to apply their personal views about society and government in a way that is against the spirit of the constitution. And unfortunately the SCOTUS seems to continually move more towards a political arm of the government rather than a place where the grownups explain to the bickering children in the legislative and executive branches that "No, stupid, that is NOT what the constitution says. THIS is what it says, and THIS is how the LAW SHOULD be interpreted. NEXT."

I'm sure there will be plenty of rational public discourse over this nominee. Just like all the rational public discourse over the other judicial nominees Bush has had so far......*cough*......ahem....

Sure did like his breakdancin' four year old though, kids got some moves....

And on a final uplifting note, a Chinese General said that "If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition on to the target zone on China's territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons," said General Zhu Chenghu-referring to the US's pledge to support Taiwan's independence.

Oh good.

Just in case you wanted to see just how much of this is saber rattling, I direct you towards the following overview from Stephen Den Beste-(Several of the Stephen's pieces are on the reading list at the U.S. Army Command & Staff College at Leavenworth)- Invasion of Taiwan.

So, yeah, unless China has a death wish both politically and economically, I wouldn't buy that bomb shelter just yet.

I'll be back again soon folks, hope you are all enjoying the summer!

Friday, July 15, 2005



"And the livin' is eeeeeeasyy...."

Yes dear readers, it is that time of year where the fish are jumpin and the cotton is....well....high I guess. I never understood that line because a.)I'm from Boston where there is a major shortage of cotton fields and b.) I haven't spent much time in the cotton fields of the south, which by much time I mean well, ANY time in the cotton fields. But I imagine the cotton does get quite far up there during the summer, thus the reason for the lyric. Whatever.

For the six of you who occasionally check in to this here blog you may have noticed a detectable lack of consistent input on yours truly's behalf. I can attribute this to a number of things:

Busy as all hell at work, no time to post during breaks or whatnot.

Summertime is not to be spent in front of computers. It is to be spent drinking and generally acting a fool whilst basking in the glow of the big yellow thing in the sky.

A certain someone who occupies a considerable portion of my free time. No, it's none of your business.

And finally a general lack of desire to comment on the select current events currently circulating the interwebs thingy.

So will go ahead and warn those six folks that blogging will most likely remain light through the duration of the summer, and I will pick it up again once the cotton, um, gets low or something. In the meantime, here is a brief review of the latest news events in the shortest amount of words I can muster and still retain some coherency.

The Space Shuttle: I'd love to go to space as much the next guy, but there is NO FARKING WAY you are sending me up on that particular vessel. The Space Shuttles no remind of Axel Foley's crappy blue chevy nova from Beverly Hills Cop. I'll pass.

This Whole Rove/Plame Deal: Has the democratic party decided that they don't want to win ANY elections anymore? I could not think of a more useless issue to poke at the Repubs with. Christ, It's getting harder to believe this party ever use to win elections at all. Pathetic.

The War, Iraq/Afghanistan, Terrorists, etc.: I'd try to, but I'll let VDH explain how I feel about it, he does a much better job and I'm laaaaaazeee right now. "Our Wars Over the War"

Hurricanes: I was worried about the wildlife in Florida, add the hurricanes in to it, and a New England vacation has a nice ring to it right now.

Hockey Is Back: Please. Don't. Screw. This. Up. You. Frickin'. Meat. Heads.



Enjoy the summer folks, I'll see you in a few days......

Friday, July 08, 2005

Do We Know Any Better Now?.........


He should be somewhere at the state department instead of running his raisin farm in California, but at least we can still read Victor Davis Hanson's words.

What should come as no surprise, VDH nails it again in regards to the recent attacks in London.

The Same Old, Same Old . . .
An anatomy of the London bombing.

The British may react very differently than the Spanish did after Madrid — by doing nothing rather than by retreating from Iraq.

In the corrupt West these days, that is something.

We all know the score of this war now in the near four years since September 11. The London bombings should remind us how the old tired game works.

As usual with VDH, read the whole thing.

I also recommend reading Stephen Den Beste's Strategic Overview for the War against Islamic Terrorists that detailed the reasons for and the diseases of the Islamic Global Jihad.

The thing that we need to remember now that these bastards have once again struck at innocent lives is that this battle has been a long time coming, and there is no point in trying to figure out "why they hate us" anymore.

They don't just hate us. They hate other muslims that aren't as chaste as they are as well. Johann Hari gives us his London perspective-

In the scarred miles between each explosion – walking from Moorgate to Liverpool Street down to King’s Cross – you could see several fights taking shape yesterday that will grip us for years. The fight against Islamic fundamentalism became clearer. Anybody who tells you these bombers are fighting for the rights of Muslims in Iraq, occupied Palestine or Chechnya should look at the places they chose to bomb. Aldgate? The poorest and most Muslim part of the country. Edgware Road? The centre of Muslim and Arab life in London and, arguably, Europe.

Does anybody need greater evidence that these Islamic fundamentalists despise Muslims who choose to live in free societies, and they would enslave Muslims everywhere if they were given the opportunity? Nor is this tit-for-tat revenge for deaths in Iraq: very similar jihadist plots have been foiled in France and Germany, countries that opposed the invasion. Anybody who doubted that the fight against Islamic fundamentalism – a murderous totalitarian ideology – was always our fight should know better now.

We should know better by now, but I wonder. If it confirmed that one of the Londond bombers was in fact recently released from Guantanamo Bay, I would question whether or not we do in fact know any better.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

We Stand With You London............


"Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."
-Sir Winston Churchill, Speech, 1941, Harrow School..

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Well Now, This Sure Would Have Saved Some Time......


Via Chris over at Dangerous Logic, I present to you-

Book A Minute!

"Don't have time to read it all?

We at Book-A-Minute understand that your time is valuable. You want to experience the wonder and excitement of the fine art of literature, but reading actual books requires a significant time investment. We've got the solution for you. Our ultra-condensed books are just the ticket.

From time to time, we even let readers vote on what we read and condense next.

My personal favorite so far-and damn would this have saved me some time summer before freshman year in high school-

Great Expectations
By Charles Dickens
Ultra-Condensed by Conrad Jacoby


Pip: I'm Pip. I'm poor.

(Lots of THINGS happen.)

Pip: My life didn't matter, because I'm still poor and alone.



And don't miss out on the other wonderful time-saving link at RinkWorks-that's right-

Movie A Minute!

"Don't have time to watch it all?

Let's face it. There's a lot of movies out there and very little time to watch them in. Well sit back and relax, because your troubles are solved! We here at Movie-A-Minute have come up with a solution. We've taken several classic and contemporary movies and extracted the important stuff, cutting out all the filler. (You'd be surprised how much filler there is sometimes.) With our ultra-condensed versions of your favorite films, you can experience whole movies in just one minute! As an added bonus, Movie-A-Minute protects against torture by bad movies -- if you don't have to sit through them, well, you don't have to sit through them.

"That's nice," you say, "but I don't believe you." Yah hah, skeptical soul! We've got our collection of ultra-condensed movies right here! We've got everything from Gone With the Wind to Die Hard! See for yourself!"

My personal favorite from Movie a minute-

Pretty Woman
Directed by Garry Marshall
Ultra-Condensed by Greg Smith


Julia Roberts: I'm a hooker, but I don't kiss on the lips.

Richard Gere: I have a lot of money.

Julia Roberts: (smooch)



Now I just saved you like, hours or something. Maybe even days. Don't thank me though, I'm a giver. Enjoy all of your newfound free time!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Congratulations To The Deep Impact Mission Crew........


A job very, very well done-


The hyper-speed demise of NASA's Deep Impact probe generated an immense flash of light, which provided an excellent light source for the two cameras on the Deep Impact mothership. Deep Impact scientists theorize the 820-pound impactor vaporized deep below the comet's surface when the two collided at 1:52 am July 4, at a speed of about 10 kilometers per second (6.3 miles per second or 23,000 miles per hour).

"You can not help but get a big flash when objects meet at 23,000 miles per hour," said Deep Impact co-investigator Dr. Pete Schultz of Brown University, Providence, R.I. "The heat produced by impact was at least several thousand degrees Kelvin and at that extreme temperature just about any material begins to glow. Essentially, we generated our own incandescent photo flash for less than a second."

The flash created by the impact was just one of the visual surprises that confronted the Deep Impact team. Preliminary assessment of the images and data downlinked from the flyby spacecraft have provided an amazing glimpse into the life of a comet.

"They say a picture can speak a thousand words," said Deep Impact Project Manager Rick Grammier of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "But when you take a look at some of the ones we captured in the early morning hours of July 4, 2005 I think you can write a whole encyclopedia."

At a news conference held later on July 4, Deep Impact team members displayed a movie depicting the final moments of the impactor's life. The final image from the impactor was transmitted from the short-lived probe three seconds before it met its fiery end.

"The final image was taken from a distance of about 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) from the comet's surface," said Deep Impact Principal Investigator Dr. Michael A'Hearn of the University of Maryland, College Park. "From that close distance we can resolve features on the surface that are less than 4 meters (about 13 feet) across. When I signed on for this mission I wanted to get a close-up look at a comet, but this is ridiculous? in a great way."

How about dem apples? NASA and crew performed about as perfectly as one could have hoped. The impactor made several autonomous adjustments during it's flight towards Tempel 1, since the 7 1/2 minute delay time between earth and the impactor made it impossible for there to be any adjustments from mission control. The redundant systems on board did not get used and the impactor hit within the adjusted crosshairs almost dead on.

Here are two movies very much worth clicking to get the big picture-

This first one was taken from the flyby spacecraft. It shows the flash that occurred when comet Tempel 1 ran over the spacecraft's probe. It was taken by the flyby craft's high-resolution camera over a period of about 40 seconds. And remember- this is all happening over 80 million miles away.

Movie from the Fly-by spacecraft-

This movie shows the impactor probe approaching comet Tempel 1. It is made up of images taken by the probe's impactor targeting sensor. It goes fast, but again let's remember- the probe was travelling at 10 kilometers per second (6.3 miles per second or 23,000 miles per hour). So the movie goes fast.

More images at the Deep Impact website here...the following pic is I think my favorite- it was taken by the impactor minutes before impact, a closeup of a comet you don't get to see every day...

Again, Congratulations to Dr. Michael A'Hearn, University of Maryland, Rick Grammier, JPL as well as the entire crew at JPL, the University of Maryland, CalTech, and NASA. This was a huge success for the various programs listed above.

Now, we can analyze data for years, and ideally use this information to further our understanding of the universe and the elements that compose the building blocks of our solar system.

There is of course another added benefit, now that we know we can autonomously launch un unmanned spacecraft to a comet millions of miles away, we can now start seriously proposing a mission for the B612 Project. Deep Impact just blew open some doors that were in great need of being knocked open...

Friday, July 01, 2005

Happy Fourth of July Everybody!! Good Luck Deep Impact!!!!!


I'm off of work soon to drink and be merry whilst we celebrate our nations freedom. I will be doing my damndest to avoid any type of computer screen for the next three days if at all possible, besides of course watching the results from the Deep Impact Mission. You know, the one I haven't shut up about for the last year or so. Yeah. That one. With the impactor that's going to hit the comet on the morning of the fourth of july.

Here is the schedule of events for Deep Impact-

Mission Events (Earth-receive time - in EDT)
July 3, 2:07 a.m: Impactor released into comet's path

July 4, 12:21 a.m.: 1st impactor targeting maneuver

July 4, 1:17 a.m.: 2nd impactor targeting maneuver

July 4, 1:39 a.m.: 3rd impactor targeting maneuver

July 4, 1:52 a.m.: (+ or - 3 min.): Impact with Tempel 1

July 4, 2:05 a.m.: Flyby goes into shield mode

July 4, 2:06 a.m.: Flyby's closest approach to Tempel 1

You will be able to watch live updates and streaming video of the latest news and images at the NASA TELEVISION site here..Goo

I leave you for the weekend with an essay from the always inciteful Victor Davis Hanson entitled American Zen, which gave me things to think about and be thankful for this weekend.....

An excerpt-

While the world debated whether an American guard at Guantanamo really flushed a Koran down a toilet, Robert Mugabe may have bulldozed the homes of 1.5 million Zimbabweans.

Few seem to have cared.

To do so would be a messy, complicated thing — lecturing a black third-world leader to stop tormenting his own poor; pleading with other African states not to allow the genesis of another Rwanda; and, probably, being embarrassed by someone who doesn’t give a hoot what a Western elite liberal says.

Mao, whose minions killed somewhere between 40 and 50 million, is still popular in China. That Communist country is deemed by many Western allies as less of a threat than the United States and its elected president, who routinely appears with a Hitler-moustache in European demonstrations.

The new general rule: Global morality is established by the degree the United States can be blamed. Millions of lives lost, vast corruption, thousands of refugees — all that can’t quite equate with a U.S. soldier showing insensitivity or an American detention center with mere doctors, ethnic food, and religious accommodations.

All this is not mere theater anymore, but serious stuff, since we are at war with thousands of troops in harm’s way counting on our support. America should wake up to this near-religious hatred — unless it is so far gone itself that it really believes the arguments of silly university-press books about our own pathologies and pernicious “empire.”

So how does the United States navigate nimbly between its weariness with the thankless role of a superpower and the dangers of a nostalgic isolationism? We need to find a sort of Zen-like philosophical balance that brings both some maturity to our pampered critics and psychic relief to ourselves, without endangering our own security or abandoning our true allies — while in the middle of a war and a polarized electorate here at home.

And one more thing we shouldn't forget this weekend-