Monthly Archives: December 2001

Early Christmas

The CoBM got its card printer this morning, woo woo:

Ooh! A big box! It's the printer. In all its glory. Guts! Accessories! Amputation machine!

Now let's just hope it actually works. No printer cable or drivers came with it (that's not unexpected), so I'll have to go out and get a cable and then download the drivers… I don't know if they have w2k drivers, so I may have to set up one of my old cruddy boxers as just a printer machine, but that's fine.

We also got some cards in the mail:

Score! Thank you! Two cards, a two dollar bill (haven't see one of those in a while), and a nice donation! And we got a card from Jenny as well!

OOOOH! And I just checked my wishlist and I got some more presents… Gourmet Cannabis Cookery: The High Art of Marijuana Cuisine, The Best of Jams, Jellies & Relishes from Amish and Mennonite Kitchens: From Amish and Mennonite Kitchens, Successful Small-Scale Farming: An Organic Approach, and The Earth-Sheltered House: An Architect's Sketchbook. Whoever got these, thank you! These are going to be very useful!

Oh, and more good news! It looks like the land deal is accepted because they liked the offer enough to try and get us to buy the neighboring lot as well. I wish I'd known before that you could just offer the owner to pay them off in installments — it's soooo much nicer than dealing with banks!

Anyway, experience update later today!

Time for work

My landlord woke me up this morning because they needed to get something in the basement. First he freaked out because there was a box from the cleaning blocking the hallway (a firehazard). Then when in the basement he started to yell at me that I'd stolen his storm windows. Luckily his English-speaking son was there and was able to explain to him that his construction people had moved them. They soon found them and were on their way, bringing us to now.

A monk told Joshu: 'I have just entered the monastery. Please teach me.'
Joshu asked: 'Have you eaten your rice porridge?'
The monk replied: 'I have eaten.'
Joshu said: 'Then you had better wash your bowl.'

At that moment the monk was enlightened. (more…)

…and on that note, I'm off now to work on an image update.

Miraculous? Apocalyptic?

This has been in the science media a couple times already, but anyone with a medium to big sized brain should read this article. The first section on “utility fog” is an extension and probably more realistic approach to Drexler's ideas about nanotechnology from the 1990s…. But the section titled “Quantum dots could create Camelot” is a big step more exciting to me.

Basically (and now I'll make clear my simplistic understanding of physics), you take an electron and confine it (laser pointers do this among many other quantum well devices) in three dimensions. At this point it is a quantum dot, which behaves as a standing wave or a probability density function or even just a cloud of electric charge.

The electrons trapped inside a quantum dot organize themselves like in an atom (but without a nucleus of course) — what they emulate is defined by the number of electrons and charges we apply to them. Also, quantum dots interact with other quantum dots in a way similar to atoms, but not limited to the same rules as atoms (so for example, rather than stable atoms limited to 92 electrons, we can build FAR larger dots). As they say in the article, “That's virtual chemistry, baby!”

We now know how to create a substance that can change it's physical properties! On a simplistic level, this means a few things:

  • Superstrong substances — strong enough so we could build an elevator into space, reducing the cost of spacetravel to a millionth of what it is now.
  • Superefficient solar panels — imagine a world where we need neither nuclear or fossil fuels.
  • Weapons of unimaginable destructive abilities, coupled with shields of enormous strength.

I could go on and on. Read the article and start dreaming…

Going too far?

Sudeep Das (an Indian living legally in New Jersey) got arrested because of his NAME! He booked a ticket with a shuttle bus company, and later that night found the police at his door.

Police: “How did you spell your name to the bus company?”
Das: “D as in David, A as in America, S as in Sam.”
Police: “No, you said D as in Destruction.”

And then they arrested him and threw him in prison. He was charged with disorderly conduct and harassment, and was eventually released on a $25,000 bond. Let's assume that he really had said “D as in Destruction” — is that really something a person should get sent to prison for? It's certainly in bad taste, but arresting people for this makes me think the war on terrorism makes about as much sense as the war on drugs. (more…)

Oh, and since people think I'm only posting these leftie stories, I thought I'd link to an article written by Rep. Ron Paul (a Republican from Texas). He makes a very good point:

Even if you are a Bush supporter and think he's a genius and has done everything right, do you trust the next president? Do you really want them having this much power? (more…)


Ouch! Guess which bad dog tried to run away and has lost her ride-in-the-car privledges for a week? I scraped up my hand catching her…

Yee-haw! Check out the CCoBM stamp that Rev. Gary had made up for us. For those of you that don't already know, Gary's the guy that gets your member packs out to you and is your first point of contact into the Church.

People have been terribly upset that most of the “bad” news that I link is about the US. Overall, I link to two kinds of stories. Stories about various human rights violations, and stories about various scientific and technology issues. Most human rights violations (including war issues) that are in the news right now (and that includes the US news like the NY Times and the Washington Post) are about America. At least a third of the tech articles are about the US as well. I link them as they come.

Anyway, I tried to go out of my way today to find a few relevant stories that were not US based. I've mentioned recently that documents were finally released positive linking the US government to the East Timor attrocities. On a similar note letters have been revealed showing that the British attempted to cover up the horrors of Boer War death camps.

A long time ago (my great grandfather on my maternal grandmother's side) my family was “in charge of” Papua New Guinea. As such news about it always seem to catch my eye… What I'm mentioning now is not new news at all, but just something I thought some people here would appreciate. This is from the website of The Liberation Army of the Free Papua Movement (TPN/OPM):

We are not terrorists!
We do not want modern life!
We refuse any kinds of development:
religious groups, aid agencies, and governmental organisations
Just Leave Us Alone, Please!

Anyway, do take a look at their site. It's a very interesting approach to the battle that indigenous peoples all over the world have experienced.