Monday, June 30, 2008

Robotic surgery

I've been vaguely aware of the use of robots in surgery, but I didn't realize how potentially stunning their impact could be until I read this part of a brief article in the June 21, 2008 Economist:

A team of researchers at Germany's DLR Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics believe their new robotic-surgery system will be able to operate directly on a beating heart. They are using a new lightweight robot called MIRO. This can follow the motion of the heart muscle as it contracts. Meanwhile, the endoscope captures "a virtually stationary image" so that the surgeon can focus on a heart that appears to have stopped—but is actually beating as normal.

Emphasis mine.

That is amazing.

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Perception is not reality?

Studies of itching and perception (warning: slightly disturbing) suggest "perception is the brain's best guess about what is happening in the outside world." It can be confused, tricked, or manipulated. Our brains are complex, amazing, and imperfect. Fascinating stuff.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Blackout windows

If you have, say, a 3-year old* who has trouble sleeping when there's lightning out, you can use painter's paper and painter's tape to improvise a quick opaque window covering. The 3-foot wide paper is perfect for our windows. That only really works as a one-off. If it comes up more frequently, just get some big sheets of cheap, stiff, opaque material like paper board or poster board. Assemble a single piece exactly the right size to fit inside the window frame, and just squeeze it in. Or you can make it big enough to fit all the way around and over the window frame. Then just tack, tape, or hook in place (if you need it a lot, mount hooks in the wall).

* She didn't have this problem before 3, so don't assume you're safe.

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Carl Lewis, Olympian

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Friday, June 27, 2008

A secondary loan market for Prosper

I've been dabbling in peer-to-peer lending at Prosper for a couple of years now. It's an interesting experiment, but I think it needs a couple of economic cycles to validate the idea; it's been a little worrisome for me seeing the spike in late accounts recently.

One thing that Prosper lacks is a secondary loan market. I cannot transfer the loans owed to me to another party. I like the idea of secondary markets in general; I think they're a natural and healthy thing. More practically, it means that I can't quit Prosper. I can't liquidate my holdings; I have to wait until the term is up. Hopefully they'll eventually add that.

For the time being, one could potentially work around that missing feature by borrowing an equivalent amount through Prosper at a lower rate. That's no guarantee, but there's no guarantee of getting a "fair" value for loans sold on.

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No, Tanya with an 'a'

There is a Tanya Harding on the Australian Olympic women's softball team. I wonder if she carries her bat around in case anyone makes a stupid joke. People always think they're the first ones to notice.

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Suspected email issues

I'm getting the sneaking sense that some of the emails I've been sending out haven't been reaching their intended destinations. If you haven't gotten any emails from me in a while, and you think you probably should have, let me know. I don't ignore people who send me email. Since my regular email may be unreliable, you can try me at, first name + first letter of last name.


A lovely shot of Hillary Clinton

Taken from this article.

I've always wondered if the media uses pictures like that to show people who's really in control. There are too many unfortunate photographs that appear in the media for it to be anything but intentional. On the other hand, the NY Times doesn't seem likely to take shots at Hillary Clinton, given she's one of New York's senators, and they endorsed her in the primary...

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Economist on Senator Jim Webb

"He looks like an angry potato."

p.46, June 21, 2008 issue.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Birds of Summer

Looks like the herons have taken off. Except one. An old, picked-over heron carcass appeared in our backyard today. I don't know how, because the thing was just feathers and bone now. I hope whatever happened doesn't keep the rest of them from coming back next year.

Update (June 27): Turns out at least one live bird remains. It's an adult.

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Easy ways to encourage saving gas

"Gallons per mile" is more intuitive than "miles per gallon".

One thing I'd like to see is a real-time mileage (gallonage?) display in every new car. Some new cars come with them, like the Toyota Prius (obviously) and the Honda CR-V (less obviously). Driving habits can make a huge difference. Giving people instant feedback is a lot more likely to alter driving habits than giving a bunch of tips. That and shock collars for people who keep their foot on the gas when the light ahead is no longer green.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Disadvantages of an Elite Education

Universities exist to make minds, not careers. At present, they can foster a sense of entitlement, insularity, and narrow-mindedness.
A quote:

Being an intellectual begins with thinking your way outside of your assumptions and the system that enforces them. But students who get into elite schools are precisely the ones who have best learned to work within the system, so it's almost impossible for them to see outside it, to see that it's even there.

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Stupid political reactions to high oil prices

Eliminate "speculators." Restrict futures trading. Levy windfall taxes on oil companies. Open up more areas for drilling. They're all dumb ideas that might actually get implemented as Capitol Hill tries to fix a problem they should stay out of. None of those will work.

Eliminating speculators reduces the liquidity of the energy market. That increases risk. Ditto for restricting futures trading. Both make oil prices more volatile and less predictable. When the outlook is risky, people tend to reduce their exposure, i.e., produce less oil.

The same applies to windfall taxes. Why should Exxon invest in more production and refining capacity, if the profits of those investments will just get taken away from by the federal government? It's hardly an incentive for them to do something that would really increase oil supplies and cut prices.

Then there's increasing drilling in places like the California coast and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In the best of scenarios, those supplies will reduce oil prices by a couple percentage points in a decade, but more likely in 15-20 years. If it's going to take that long, we might as well just build nuclear plants.

I'm starting to see a silver lining here, though. Oil prices are not a concern for me at this time. What is a concern is oil use. If Congress wants to waste its time pursuing measures that are ineffective or counter-productive, that's actually not a problem. It means less production at higher prices, and thus lower use. That means less pollution and a bigger market for alternative energy sources.

As such, I'm less worried about Congress doing something stupid, and more worried about them doing something stupid that has broader costs. Any policy that directly or indirectly encourages using more coal, for example, is a net loss. Drilling in environmentally sensitive areas is also a no-go. I certainly don't want to expand subsidies, either on the producer side or the consumer side.

There's certainly going to be a cost to some people of the "acceptable" stupid policies. I don't mean to overlook that. Realistically, though, they'll be fine. Wall Street will find other places to play, and the oil companies will adapt their financial models. Congress may end up inadvertently hastening the end of the oil era.

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Transcoding Canon SD400 videos for Google Video

Google Video has been glitchy lately when I've uploaded the .AVI files I get from our Canon SD400. Every time I uploaded one, it would just give me 2 silent seconds of grey. I did a little poking around and came up with the following mencoder (part of mplayer) incantation to transcode to MPEG-4 (with MP3 audio):

mencoder -o out.mp4 -oac mp3lame -ovc lavc -srate 11025 \
-channels 1 -af-adv force=1 -lameopts preset=medium \
-lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:vbitrate=2048 in.avi

That gets Canon's slightly weird format into something Google Video can handle, at a pretty good quality level. If you've got a batch of files to transcode, you can use the following shell script:


for f in "$@"
mencoder -o "${f/%\.[Aa][Vv][Ii]/.mp4}" -oac mp3lame -ovc lavc
-srate 11025 -channels 1 -af-adv force=1 -lameopts preset=medium \
-lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:vbitrate=2048 "$f"

That will create X.mp4 from X.avi without altering the latter. As a plus, it will drop the size by about 85% to 90%.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

The smarter side of Sears

Sears has actually turned into a pretty decent place to shop. They have a wide selection of items, good prices, and they've finally addressed most of the failings of what was once a pretty crappy web site. You can shop in person, order online for delivery, or order online for pickup within an hour if you're in a hurry.

They also sell books and music. Their book prices are nothing special, but their CD prices are significantly cheaper than Best Buy, and they somehow manage to be cheaper than Amazon, too, even with sales tax and shipping.

On top of the decent prices, you can usually find Sears gift cards for 10%-15% off through eBay, Card Avenue, or your local Craig's List. You'll get a similar 10% directly from Sears, but you have to give Sears your entire tax rebate check.

I was rather surprised by Sears, which is why I'm posting about it. I'm more than happy to see it if only so that Amazon, Target, Kohl's, and Home Depot have to compete harder for my business. Maybe I should buy the stock...

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A minor Firefox 3 enhancement

Previous version of Firefox asked if you wanted it to remember a login right after you entered it. The page wouldn't load until you made a choice. I would often end up telling it to remember, and then discover that I entered the wrong login information.

Taking a page from Opera's book, Firefox 3 now asks the question as soon as you submit the form, but lets you delay answering until the page loads. That way I can see if I actually got it right before saving it.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

My Law of Ranking

If someone tells you that they're a top N something, and N is not in the set (3, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, etc.), then they're the N-th. For example, my manager just pointed out (knowing how silly it sounded) that Bank of America is a Top 2 bank. This applies for other things. For example, if some coal mine claims they've had only 2 deaths in the last 323 days, you know a dozen people died 324 days ago.


The Geopolitics of China

Fascinating insight on China's geopolitics, indirectly from the smarties at Stratfor.

I would totally subscribe to the service if it wasn't so expensive ($349/year), and if I thought I could keep up with the reading. The Economist is pretty good, but Stratfor outsmarts them. They're based in Austin... maybe I could get a job. All I need is a Master's or Ph.D in fields I know almost nothing about. Ah well.

Update: I have a minor quibble:

The United States intervened, defeated the North Korean Army and drove to the Yalu, the river border with China. The Chinese, seeing the well-armed and well-trained American force surge to its borders, decided that it had to block its advance and attacked south.

The US Army of the Korean War was a far cry from the efficient killing machine that won World War II just 5 years earlier, as described by (among others), David Halberstam in The Coldest Winter. Certainly they were better than the pathetic North Korean forces, but the Communist Chinese had been fighting the Japanese for 8 years and then the Nationalists for another 4 years, only achieving victory over the mainland in 1949; the American troops sent to Korea had a lot of fast and bloody learning to do to be able to match the battle-tested Chinese. This is hardly a significant issue, but it's Stratfor... they're supposed to be perfect.


An engineer's best friend?

The end is near for the diamond jewelry industry.

The largest single-crystal diamond ever grown in a lab is about .7 inches by .2 inches by .2 inches, or 15 carats. The stone isn't under military guard or at a hidden location. It's in a room crowded with gauges and microscopes, along with the odd bicycle and congo drum, on a leafy campus surrounded by Washington, D.C.'s Rock Creek Park. Russell Hemley, director of the Carnegie Institution's Geophysical Lab, started working on growing diamonds with CVD in 1995. He pulls a diamond out of his khakis. It would be hard to mistake this diamond for anything sold at Tiffany. The rectangular stone looks like a thick piece of tinted glass.

Emphasis mine. The whole diamond jewelry thing is rather absurd. I'll be happy to see it go, though it won't go down quietly:

The diamond-mining companies have been fighting back, arguing that all that glitters is not diamond. De Beers' ads and its Web sites insist that diamonds should be natural, unprocessed and millions of years old. "Diamonds are rare and special things with an inherent value that does not exist in factory-made synthetics," says spokeswoman Lynette Gould. "When people want to celebrate a unique relationship they want a unique diamond, not a three-day-old factory-made stone."

People might be dumb enough to buy that initially. I give that a few years. The thing is, you can't tell, especially from casual inspection, what's natural and what's lab-grown. All it takes is a couple of women in a social circle to be willing to accept a lab-grown diamond triple the size of their friends' natural rocks at the same price, and the levee will burst.

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Requiem for a day off

It doesn't have the novelty impact of Shining, but it's still a fine effort. "Lux Aeterna" was a nice choice, if obvious, considering how Hollywood as leapt all over it.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Huge, Ever-growing Brain That Rules From the Center of the Ultrawiki

I got a tip a while back from Rich to set up a wiki for personal/family use. Use the magic of Web 2.0 to run your life. I finally got around to doing it a little while back. My web host makes it really easy to set up MediaWiki, the software that powers the ever-more-awesome Wikipedia.

I've taken to using it more and more as I get used to it. Some stuff that used to go in my little now goes in there on a scratch page. I'm probably going to buy some glasses online soon, so I have a wiki page to track candidate frames. We have a page of home improvement projects, both completed (for reference at sale time) and TODO. I keep track of URLs that I discover at work that the censor proxy won't let me see, as well as URLs I discover at home that would be more easily read at home.

At some point in the future, we're going to move to a new house and buy a new car, so I've compiled a list of notes on both as I think of criteria and candidates. I've started tracking books I've read* on there as well. We'll probably start a page of movies to see, with indicators for movies we both want to see and ones just one of us wants to see. I won't link to it right now because some of the pages are private, and I haven't gotten around to fine-tuning the permissions settings.

That's just the list of things I've been putting in it for the last few months. It's handy because it's accessible from nearly anywhere, while also being easy to use and reliable; Dreamhost does daily backups for me. If you don't have a web host already, or don't have one that easily supports a wiki, or just don't want to bother, there are hosted solutions out there, like Google Sites (formerly JotSpot) and PB Wiki. You can see a more complete list of options at Wikipedia, in a nice little bit of circularity. Give it a shot; it'll change your life (if only a little bit).

* Still planning on posting here, but until I do, I need to record them somewhere.

PS - unembeddable reference

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Drivers with more bumper stickers are more aggressive

Article. In short, bumper stickers are a way of marking territory. The more territorial you are, the more bumper stickers you have. The more territorial you are, the more aggressive you are. I wonder if that holds true for people whose cars are covered with bumper stickers, of which there are at least a few in every town.

For the record, we have no bumper stickers on either car.

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Paging lists of results

Reddit (I only read it for the articles) implemented their pager to remember where you last were, so you don't lose your place. I should explain that more.

Any site that presents lots of items, be they links, pictures, or goods, will break them up into pages. It's easier on them and easier on you (assuming the number of items per page is reasonable). Usually the way it works (roughly speaking) is that they sort by some value, like a price or a name, and then give you, say, the third group of 25.

That's all well and good for result sets that don't change much. Page numbers in a book make sense because the book doesn't change once it's printed. Web sites aren't books. Reddit gets new things constantly. If I'm on page 3 one afternoon, then the next morning when I click to page 4, I won't get what would have been yesterday's page 4. I might get page 3 again, the previous page 2, or a page of results that didn't even exist before.

What Reddit does instead is keep track of the last item on the page. When you click to the next page, instead of saying "grab the 25 links on page 4," it says "grab the 25 links after 't3_6ngfy'." That way you never lose your place. It's better for me, and quite likely better for them, too.

This isn't necessarily the right thing to do for everything that pages. Reddit to my knowledge never deletes links from their results (under normal circumstances). A retailer might do that relatively frequently, in which case this wouldn't work. It would be disastrous to refer to a section of a book by the quote that preceded it. This is not at all a brilliant technique. It's notable because it's different from the default. The Redditors realized that people use their site differently, and adapted accordingly.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Panama Canal

Though it connects the Atlantic on the east to the Pacific on the west, the Panama Canal goes from Colon in the northwest to Panama City in the southeast.

View Larger Map

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Friday, June 13, 2008

A flock of herons

Wednesday night, while I was taking out the recycling, I got stared down by no fewer than 7 Yellow-Crowned Night Herons. At least 3 of those were juveniles, one was still chicky, and 2 were clearly adults. They grow fast; it's been only a month since I found the barely-hatched (or hatched-on-impact) chick on my lawn. At least one of the juveniles can fly. I'm guessing they won't be around much longer; this is about the time last year when the initial pair of juveniles came and went.

Maybe next year will see a whole flock settling on my street. I don't know if that'll be a good thing; their poops are enormous. There's a gross white oval about 4 feet across on my front lawn directly underneath one of the nests.

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I'm tempted to get one of these for Uma. Get her indoctrinated good and young. Not tempted enough to pay $20, though.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008


If you like to fiddle with the stuff you own, you know that it's harder to put things back together than it is to take them apart. You end up with extra screws. You forget which part faced which way. It's tricky. My suggestion is simple: set up a video camera and record yourself as you take the thing apart. Then if you have any trouble, you can go back and see the way things were before you screwed them up.


Freedom is just too much work

A bill to authorize the previously-illegal NSA wiretapping program is stalled in Congress, meaning the government will have to revert to the previous, i.e., legal, way of doing things:

A return to the old rules, they said, would mean that government lawyers, analysts and linguists would once again have to prepare individual warrants, potentially thousands of them, for surveillance of terrorism targets overseas.

Telecommunications companies would also have to spend considerable time shutting down existing wiretaps, and then start them up again if ordered under new warrants, officials said. In some instances, the broad orders given to the companies starting last August cover tens of thousands of overseas phone numbers and e-mail addresses at one time, people with knowledge of the orders said.

My goodness! Are they saying it would take time, effort, and possibly even paperwork!?!? We might as well surrender now.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Billy Jean is not my Ice, Ice, Baby

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iPhone price isn't cheap enough

I was tempted for a fraction of a second by the announcement of the $200 iPhone. Then I remembered that the phone without a plan was worthless. The cheapest plan you can get from AT&T for the iPhone is $60/month. Taxes, surcharges, fees, and other dodgy tricks will bring that up to almost $80/month. That's nearly $1000 per year for the cheapest plan. Oh, and you're locked in for 2 years. From where I sit, the price went from $2500 to $2200. That's not nearly as exciting.

Of course, a lot of people look at just the price for the device, which makes me wonder if the iPod Touch is going to stay at $300 and up. Isn't the iPod Touch just an iPhone without the phone and the GPS?

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Eat locally?

Only 11% of greenhouse gases from food production are due to transportation, according to a new study. More important than transportation is the quantity and amount of food. Red meat, for instance, is highly-energy intensive. The American style of agriculture could be thought of as a complicated process for converting oil into food, and meat as an highly inefficient way of turning one kind of food into another. Eat less meat and dairy, and both you and the planet will be healthier, no matter where they come from.

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Enough with the staples?

Alternate explanations I've come up with for the fasteners in my head:

  1. I got a bottle broken over my head in a bar fight

  2. a souvenir of a bad day at the bomb squad

  3. A new fashion trend: scalp piercings

  4. That's where the CIA put the mind control chip

  5. It's the zipper for the skin suit

  6. I'm a Cylon, and that's where the interface cable goes

The doctor took pains to assure me that removing the staples would be free, but I still have to make an appointment. I thought they wanted to make sure I let them do it... I'm getting really tempted to take these out myself. They're itchy and a little sore. I certainly have a lot of tools that could do the job.


Sunday, June 8, 2008

I thought I couldn't be shocked...

Friday, June 6, 2008

McCain Compromises on Principles, Episode 354

John McCain claims that the post-September 11th warrantless wiretapping was legal. He used to be someone you could admire, but now he's methodically disposing of everything that made him admirable.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Wind advisory

It has been astonishingly windy in Austin these last few days. The winds are strong enough to slam a car door shut. I don't know why it's happening. What's especially strange is that it's 95 ° and sunny while it's happening. We'll occasionally get windy days when a front moves in, but nothing like this. Very strange.

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Italy is the world's top producer of Kiwi fruit, growing some 42% of the world's crop. The Kiwi is native to China, and is the national fruit of that country, even though it isn't even in the top 10 producers.

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Speculator scapegoats

It has become fashionable to blame "speculators" for the rise in oil and food prices as well as the sub-prime mess. The Almighty Economist cogently explains why that is mistaken, at least if you care about facts:

Investment can flood into the oil market without driving up prices because speculators are not buying any actual crude. Instead, they buy contracts for future delivery. When those contracts mature, they either settle them with a cash payment or sell them on to genuine consumers. Either way, no oil is hoarded or somehow kept off the market. The contracts are really a bet about which way the price will go and the number of bets does not affect the amount of oil available. As Mr Harris puts it, there is no limit to the number of "paper barrels" that can be bought and sold.

That makes it harder for a bubble to develop in oil than in the shares of internet firms, say, or in housing, where the supply of the asset is finite. Ultimately, says David Kirsch of PFC Energy, a consultancy, there is only one type of customer for crude: refineries. If speculators on the futures markets get carried away, pushing prices so high that refineries run at a loss, they will simply shut down, causing the price to fall again. Moreover, speculators do not always assume that prices will rise. As recently as last year, the speculative bears on NYMEX outweighed the bulls.

The speculators by definition do not consume these commodities. They don't hoard or stockpile them. They merely hold temporarily hold the rights to them. The end result is roughly the same amount of product delivered at the appointed time for a price acceptable to the eventual buyer.

Indeed, because the speculator cannot actually take delivery (lacking tankers or silos), they are in some sense at the mercy of consumers because they absolutely must sell their rights before the futures contract's delivery date. These people are taking risks, risks that could blow up in their faces. That possibility of total loss to the speculator keeps them reasonable.

Is it possible for that price to be higher than it would be without speculation? Yes, but it is also possible that the price is lower than it would otherwise have been. This kind of financial maneuvering can help reduce risk to both producers and consumers, and thus stabilize price and supply.

Of course, the logic is different when these outsiders get into the business directly. Different, but with the same result. If these people are paying too much, they're going to get hurt by it. If they're getting a good deal, other people can get that deal, too. Worst-case scenario is that there's volatility and then things return to normal. The best-case scenario is that our agricultural infrastructure gets a lot better. I can live with that.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Regarding medical staples

You usually have the option of getting anesthetic. My advice is to take it if you're getting more than, say, 5 staples. Otherwise, skip it, because the needle hurts more than a staple or two. With lots of staples, though, it gets worse as you go. At least the needle is quick. In other words, pain(1 needle) = pain(5 staples). Optimize accordingly.

The doctor seemed to think it was very important to remind me that I should come to the office to have the staples removed, and that there was no fee for this service. I guess he thought I was indigent. I did dress kind of like a bum, which was partly due to the early hour, and partly because I was dripping blood.

The doctor said, "you really opened yourself up." I'm always a little gratified when I hear something like that. I need medical professionals to tell me I'm not being a wuss and wasting everyone's time with a tiny scratch.

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Cow magnets

Domesticated cattle often ingest small bits of metal in their feed, called tramp iron, like staples, baling wire, or nails. These can cause damage to the digestive tract in a phenomenon known as Hardware Disease. The incidence and severity of this condition can be reduced by feeding the cow a device called a cow magnet. This gathers together all of the loose, dangerous bits of metal together and prevents them from moving around and causing damage. This magnet cannot be passed, and remains in the animal until death.

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The culprit that did the deed


Specifically, the bottom right corner.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

The Swedish/Finnish border

Sweden and Finland have a land border to the north of the Gulf of Bothnia. Less well-known is the uninhabited island of Märket in the southern part of said gulf. Part of the island belongs to Sweden, and the other part to Finland. And the border isn't even a straight line.

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I don't understand why this keeps happening

I was in the office this morning (uploading some very nice pictures) and realized the baby monitor wasn't on. I bent over to turn it on to find that Kieran was already awake and crying. That startled me and I stood up too fast, banging my head on a wire mail sorter we have mounted on the wall. This was the result:

Jessica thinks that the impact split open my scalp at the weak point of the scar I got last time, and I'm inclined to agree. It was kind of a mess:

There I am on the phone getting an appointment at the Austin Regional Clinic, where my doctor is. Do I look like someone who suffered a head injury?

They were super-fast. I was in and out of the office in less than 15 minutes. That beats the ER. I remember from the last time that the anesthetic needle hurt a hell of a lot, so on medical advice, I took the staples without it. It hurt like, well, something that hurts a lot. It may have hurt less than the needle, but at least with the needle I wasn't getting increasingly tense and anxious with each successive one. Tough call. Anyway, this is what it looks like now:

Last time I got 7 staples instead of 6, and the gash was only half the size. It looks a lot less like a zipper this time because they're not so tightly grouped. Anyway, that was my morning. Here's hoping that's the worst thing that happens to me this week.


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Shady dealing from Sylvania

I had to replace one of our car's headlight bulbs. I noticed a selection of compatible bulbs at the store, including a "standard" bulb and the XtraVision for $2 more. In the little comparison chart on the back of the box, it got 3 bars for brightness, as compared to just 1 for the standard bulb. That's a lot brighter. Then I saw the fine print:

Headlamps dim by 20% or more and timely replacement results in increased lighting performance. Claims based on measured comparison between XtraVision product family at 100% light output and standard halogen bulbs at 80% light output.

W. T. F. They rigged the test and implied triple brightness for two products that might actually be identical. That's terrible. According to Sylvania's own web site, the XtraVision
standard bulb both output about 1000 lumens and use about 55 watts. About the only thing I can guess is that the color temperatures differ, but they don't publish those numbers for the standard bulb. I have no idea what the extra $2 buys.


How many islands?

How many islands does Thousand Island Lake (in California) have? According to Wikipedia, "many."

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