Category Archives: Other Stuff

Friday Musings 03/03/2006

Posted by Lex, on March 3, 2006

 

Eight years, four months. That’s what “the Duke” got for selling his office in a time of war. Could have gotten 10 years. Maybe ought to have. But that’s a long fall for a former Navy fighter pilot, Vietnam ace and oh, yeah: US Congressman.

Greek tragedy? Nah. Obscene venality.

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Revelations on the Nature of Music

By Lex, on Sun – June 13, 2004

The Kat has access to the Apple app “Garage Band” at school, allowing her to make and mix music right there on the machine. She loves it. School is over.

So now we have Garage Band at home.

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A Good Ride

By lex, on January 11th, 2012

I had intended to push out from Sandy Eggo at around 1000 yesterday morning, but between one micro-crisis and another didn’t get rubber to road until nearly 1230. As it turns out, Highway 405 presents quite a different aspect through Los Angeles after lunch time than it does just before or just after, the entire trip was done in three hours and I didn’t even have to lane split. Much.

Mentally I break the ride up in three segments, home to Laguna Niguel is the first leg, then the 405 through LA with a brief jaunt west on the 10 prior to the final leg: Highway 1 – the Pacific Coast Highway – from Santa Monica to Ventura County through Malibu. Due to the grinding nature of the traffic through LA on the 405, it’s the central leg I dread the most.

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Supply and Demand

Posted by Lex, on March 14, 2011

By lex, on March 14th, 2011

The Somali pirates are reacting to market pressures * :

Somali pirates said on Sunday they would lower some of their ransom demands to get a faster turnover of ships they hijack in the Indian Ocean.

Armed pirate gangs, who have made millions of dollars capturing ships as far south as the Seychelles and eastwards towards India, said they were holding too many vessels and needed a quicker handover to generate more income.

“I believe there is no excuse for taking high ransoms. At least each of our groups holds ships now,” pirate Hussein told Reuters from Hobyo on the Somalian coast. He said the pirates were holding more than 30 ships at the moment.

“We have lowered the ransom only for the ships we have used to hijack other ships. We sometimes release these ships free of charge for they generate more (money). But we shall not lower the ransom for the bulk ships we are sure can bring bulk money.”

What a pathetic mess.

* 05-04-18 Link updated – Ed.

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Check Six

By lex, on March 13th, 2011

Some World War II-era gun camera footage *  of planes, trains and  ships under attack, courtesy of occasional reader HornetGunner.

Most of the air to air targets obviously never saw it coming.

Belly checks are still in fashion.

* 05-04-18 – Link Updated – Ed.

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A New Tool For Big Oil

BigOilsNewTool

Courtesy Wall Street Journal / BP

Here I am all ready to call it a night – it is 0051 – and I come across an interesting article [Paywall] in the WSJ on a new tool the big oil companies are using to aid in exploration: Super Computers.

In my programming career, I came from an era where the true mainframes were starting to fade away, and the upstart micro computers were taking over.

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You Are Almost Certainly in a Simulation

Posted by Lex, on September 1, 2010

 

The universe, many physicists agree, is “fine tuned” * for life. If any one of a number of different of fundamental, physical constants  * were altered only just a little, life – at least as we know it – would not be possible.

One of these fundamental constants is the so-called “fine structure”  * constant, so named because by multiplying a number of other fundamental constants together a pure, unitless number is attained. The fine structure constant, known to physicists as α is elegantly dimensionless, and utterly mysterious, as quantum mechanic Richard Feynman  * wrote:

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