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Wednesday,  12/17/08  11:48 PM

A really  l o n g  day, whew; up at oh-dark-hundred, drove down to Vista (3 1/2 hours in the rain, blech!), meetings all day of various kinds with various people (some excellent, some, er, not so, but one was pretty great), including one over lunch, and one over dinner, and finally drove back home in the rain.  And blogged!  Somewhat.

Note to self: December 17 will be a turning point.  Note to you: I'll explain later, if I'm right :)

I've been thinking about this a lot: what's the population of the Earth going to be in 2050.  I plan to be alive in 2050 - I'll be 92 - and I'm more worried about the average IQ of the world at that point than the number of people, although of course they're related.  Given the current differential birth rates between the two ends of the bell curve, to a first order the more people we have in 2050, the dumber we'll be overall.  And the more problems we'll have.  What can be done?  Well, a first step would be getting everyone to recognize the problem

Sailing Anarchy on class warfare between one-design classes.  Yes, Laser's rule (especially the Radials, which can be sailed competitively by smaller-sized people like women and kids).  I was surprised to see Lightnings and Thistles so high up the list, those are old classes.  And two of the classes I've spent time racing are on the list too, Snipes and Lidos.  What's striking is that there are no "performance" classes; 505s didn't make the list, for example... 

Some local color: for 13 years the Westminster Presbyterian Church here in Westlake Village have staged The Bethlehem Experience, a first-century village scene complete with a bustling marketplace, farm animals, Roman soldiers and a manger.  Local residents volunteer as actors in the play.  It's really very cool.  Of course, it is a performance of a play, not a reenactment of a historical event :) 

This is pretty cool: CNN reports Mekong Delta a 'treasure trove' of 1,000 newly discovered species.  Including a hot pink cyanide-producing "dragon millipede".  Just when you think you've seen it all...  you haven't see nothing yet. 

The Scientist considers the Moral Mire: "FDA scientists are increasingly unhappy, due to in-house pressures and public criticism".  Not a good situation considering the importance of their work. 

Netflix is coming to TivoHD boxes.  Yay. 

It's the End Game for I, Cringley; his last column on PBS, after 603 over 11 years.  Whew.  He also reviews his predictions for 2008, and makes new ones for 2009.  Nothing earth-shattering in there, I'm afraid; the uncertainty of the economic situation makes fortune-telling even harder than usual... 

Here's kind of an interesting read from Eric Raymond: Eric and the Quantum Experts (a cautionary tale).  "If you think you have spotted something fundamental that all the experts missed, don’t ignore it. Because, after all, you might be right."  Schrodinger's Cat makes an appearance. 

Picture of the Day: waterspouts at sunset.  Whoa. 

And finally the ZooBorn of the Day: white lion cub.  Cute overload.