Critical Section

Archive: December 11, 2017

 

Archive: December 11, 2016

 

Archive: December 11, 2015

 

Archive: December 11, 2014

a few fallacies

Thursday,  12/11/14  10:46 PM

correlation vs causalityA few fallacies, for your consideration...  #1 is my personal favorite, correlation vs causality.

Speaking of fallacies, Minimum Wage, Maximum Ignorance.  "Once upon a time, the minimum wage, like free trade, was a basic test of whether you were awake in the first week of econ 1."  Of all the liberal economic canards, this one is my favorite.  Socialism does not work, period.

[Update: Elizabeth Warren: Minimum Wage Would Be $22 An Hour If It Had Kept Up With Productivity.  This is a beautiful example of both fallacies highlighted above, combined!]

Paul Graham: The Final Pinch.  "There may be nothing founders are so prone to delude themselves about, as how interested investors will be in giving them additional funding."  Ouch.

[apparently] sinking tablewareThis is pretty cool: Tableware appears to sink into the table.  These mats could be useful for explaining gravity :)

Ev Williams, founder of Blogger, Twitter, and Medium, [re]launches a venture fund called Obvious Corp.  Cool!

skiing line of the year = batshit crazy!And finally, I agree with Kottke: this skiing line of the year is batshit crazy.  Just when you think you've seen everything, you realize "everything" is so much more than you thought.

 
 

Archive: December 11, 2013

 

Archive: December 11, 2012

 

Archive: December 11, 2011

 

Archive: December 11, 2010

 

Archive: December 11, 2009

 

Archive: December 11, 2008

w-w-w-wipeout!

Thursday,  12/11/08  07:02 PM

I managed to have a pretty nice wipeout this afternoon, was descending Decker Canyon at about 30mph when I hit some gravel and blew my front tire, ended up skidding across the road into a ditch.  Nothing broken, just lots of bruises and road rash.  It only hurts when I sit :P  my dancing form will be a bit modified at the Aperio Holiday Party tomorrow night (but the way I dance, nobody will be able to tell :)

 

 

of stupid stickers, plastic, and cases

Thursday,  12/11/08  09:30 PM

stupid PC stickersThis is a public service announcement: it is okay to remove those stupid stickers from your PC.  You know, the "Designed for Windows" and "Intel Inside" and "Centrino" and all the rest.  Who knows how it started that all those companies could pay all that money to stick all those ads on your computer, but once you own it, guess what?  You can remove them!  Really really.  This seems to have escaped most people so I just thought I'd tell you.

iPhone plastic wrapAs long as I'm on the subject, in the same category we have that protective plastic that wraps new electronic toys.  You are allowed to remove the protective wrap after you own the device!  Like your iPod or iPhone.  I have a colleague who left the protective plastic on his iPod Touch so it would protect his device, and now it is all peeling off and curling and tattered and looks like hell, but I guess it is still protecting his device - just not from looking awful.  Again, not obvious to some, so I thought I'd mention it.

And finally, since the people who make iPhones and so on do their best to make them thin and beautiful, why use a case?  It just makes the device thicker and uglier.  Trust me, in 100% of the cases (p.i.) the case looks worse than the device.  You might think you are making a statement, but you might not realize that the statement is "I didn't know I didn't need a case".  You are allowed to stick your phone in your pocket or purse without a case, and no babies are gonna die!

You're welcome.

 

 

Thursday,  12/11/08  11:14 PM

Ouch.  Sore from the wipeout.  Otherwise happy; Christmas Cards mailed, Team Aperio 2008 mugs all packaged and wrapped ready for me to distribute them tomorrow (!), and anticipating our Christmas Holiday Party tomorrow night, should be fun. 

Meanwhile, let's make a pass on the blogosphere, shall we...

Yay!  Auto bailout bill stalls in Senate.  I do not want my taxes used to bogusly subsidize UAW workers making cars nobody wants to buy.  What is it with these "bailouts"?  If I screw up my personal finances, or Aperio screws up its finances, nobody is there to bail us out...  but if Citibank or General Motors screws up their finances, we taxpayers have to jump in to save them.  I don't get it.  Let the companies fail and the chips fall where they may...  let the markets work.

biggest full moonLook, up in the sky!  It's a bird!  It's a plane!  No, it's the moon!  Tomorrow night will be a full moon, and it will be the biggest full moon in 15 years (because the moon is closest to the Earth).  Be sure to check it out!

Siemens vaskemaskineMike Arrington thinks this is the best commercial ever made; hundreds of Danish women skydiving topless to spell out the name of a Siemens washing machine.  So be it.  I know sex sells, but does it sell washing machines to women?  Somehow I think it is more effective when selling beer to men...  but what do I know.

I must say I kind of feel bad for Mike; his site TechCrunch grew rapidly by chronicling the Web 2.0 startup boom; now that the boom has busted, there's a lot less to report.  Hence, Danish washing machine ads featuring topless women :)

I see the same thing with Engadget and Gizmodo, and Techmeme...  less going on means either less content or a lower signal to noise ratio...

shuttle piggybacks on 747The other day I noted the sonic boom we heard when Endeavor landed at Edwards air force base, and the fact that it costs $2M to transport a space shuttle back to Florida.  Well this is how they do it; see the picture at right, the shuttle rides piggyback on top of a specially modified 747.  How cool is that?

This spring Lance Armstrong will ride in his first Giro d'Italia, and it happens to be the 100th anniversary of that event.  He says he's not the favorite, and likes Ivan Basso, who's back in the peloton after a two-year suspension.  Among other things, the route features a 67km time trial (about two hours).  Should make for some great racing...

ZooBorn hippoCute overload: ZooBorns, a blog about baby animals in zoos.  How awesome.  Subscribed!

505s!Sailing Anarchy links this promo piece from the 505 class...  I think this is the toughest class of them all, in addition to being a fantastic boat to sail.  If you can win in a 505, you can win in anything.  About twenty years ago I raced in the 505 worlds, in Kingston, Ontario, and finished about 40th out of 100 boats, and I count that among my best finishes in sailing.  And one of the most fun regattas, too :) 

 

 

 
 

Archive: December 11, 2007

 

Archive: December 11, 2006

 

Archive: December 11, 2005

 

Archive: December 11, 2004

visiting Titan

Saturday,  12/11/04  10:00 AM

I've decided I have one "out there" goal for my life; before I die, I want to visit Titan.  This is the largest of Saturn's 33 moons, larger than Mercury and Pluto, and has an actual atmosphere.  It is a bit cold (about -290°F) but it is really cool, too.  Next Monday the Cassini spacecraft is going to make another close flyby of Titan, hopefully taking more "cool" pictures (check out this one of Saturn; it just doesn't look real, does it?)

Here's an amazing composite of all Saturn's moons...  If you go to this page and click Moons, you'll get an interactive version with mouse rollovers that tell you about each one; they are each fascinating in their own right.  The big orange one is Titan:

Saturn's moons

Why Titan?  I could say why not, but really Titan is an interesting destination; there is a mystery about its composition and atmosphere.  It is more complex than most moons; it appears to be "alive", with active geology, weather systems, etc.  It even looks a bit like Earth, doesn't it?  One could imagine some sort of alien life living in its Nitrogen clouds...  It is the only moon in our solar system with an atmosphere, and understanding it better could help us understand Earth, too.  Here's a comparison of Earth's and Titan's atmospheres:

Earth's and Titan's atmospheres

This image from the mission pages explains "why explore Titan", and shows a visual comparison to similarly-sized planetary objects in the solar system:

exploring Titan...

This page explains the Cassini mission in more detail.  NASA did a terrific job with this website; how great is it to have this kind of information available online?

On Christmas Day, the Huygens probe will separate from Cassini and begin its voyage to Titan's surface.  It will reach Titon's atmosphere on January 14, 2005, and who knows what will happen after that?  Here's a picture of Huygens, which was built by the European Space Agency:

Huygens probe - heading for Titan's surface!

Looks like something from Myst, doesn't it :)

Cassini recently captured a bunch of high-resolution images of Titan, which have been assembled into a mosaic for this full-disc view [ via Gerard Van Der Leun ]:

Titan - Saturn's largest moon

(click image for full-size interactive viewer)

Be sure to hit F11 to maximize your browser's window so you can see as much of the image as possible.

As usual with big images, I upsampled it and am serving it with Aperio's image server software.

 
 

Archive: December 11, 2003

 

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