Sunday, October 24, 2010

Senseless Sunday: eyeing time

  • The old statement “a broken clock is right at least twice a day” is meaningless if the clock is digital.

  • The tool used in old shoe stores to measure foot size is called a Brannock Device.

  • The eye muscle is the fastest reacting muscle of the whole body. It contracts in less than 1/100th of a second.

  • The number googolplex cannot be written out since a googol of 0’s (zeros) cannot fit into the observable universe.

No on 20 and Yes on 27 (my personal experience)

As someone who has gone through the applicant process for the Prop 11 Citizens Redistricting Commission, I can say from personal experience that the process is very bizarre. The Applicant Review Panel, which selected the applicants, is not following the constitutional requirements in how they have selected the applicants. They have extended deadlines in direct violation of the Prop 11.

My personal experience have given me the impression that the Panel didn't seem to understand how to assess the skills of average Californians when picking applicants. They have selected a body 60 individuals, many of whom might be described as academic elitists and career bureaucrats. To illustrate this point, the body of 60 applicants (in the current pool that will eventually be narrowed down to 14) is heavily favored towards those who are in the highest tax brackets, and almost all have higher education degrees. Less than 30% of Californians have such degrees and far less have such incomes, yet the current applicant pool almost entirely of consists of college grads, including a high number of PhD's.

It doesn't seem like the current pool of applicants represent the average Californian. This is not in the spirit of Prop 11. I don't believe this is what Californians expected when they voted for Prop 11. Additionally, the semi-final random selection process (random drawing for the first 8 of the eventual 14 individuals) will not be guaranteeing compliance with Prop 11 either!

Prop 11 and Prop 20 might be good in principle, but have just turned out to be yet another Sacramento mess, in my opinion. There has got to be better solutions out there. We are better off not having Prop 11 or 20 right now. Seeing the mess from the inside has prompted me say No on Prop 20 and Yes on Prop 27 this year.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Free Right Turn rule in California

There are a lot of areas of confusion about some California driving laws. This was discussed in article that is part of an on-going series in the San Jose Mercury News that covers readers' questions about driving. The article supposedly provides some final answers about some very common driving questions. Since the article doesn't site many of its sources, it's tough to trust it 100%. The article does make some interesting statements.

One of the biggest questions in California is about something called free right turn. Many larger intersections have right turn lanes that are separated (channelized) from the intersection by a traffic island. These lanes rarely have signals or signs directly associated with cars in the lane. The confusion comes from how to use the lane when there is a red light in that direction. In most cases, a right turn is allowed on a red light only after a full and complete stop. However, when there is a separated lane, the car may treat it as a yield. In other words, it's OK to precede on a right turn as a yield on a red light (if safe) for separated right turn lanes.

Here's the funny part. There is no law on the books in California that actually make this declaration, as far as I know. The free right turn rules seems to come out of the same absence of law regarding the requirement for a stop on red for those lanes. It's important to note that this rule only applies if the traffic signal is after the segregation of the right turn lane (which does make sense).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Alaskan Cruise Day 3

Allie, her parents and myself arrived in Juneau, AK on board the Norwegian Pearl. There wasn't much to see within walking distance of the pier; just some tourist shops. I'm glad we planned ahead for a whale watching cruise.

After a lengthy ride on a bus (with a driver that was more than happy to tell her personal story of how she and her husband ended up in Alaska), our tour group arrived at a small dock in Auke Bay. The tour boat had a heated cabin. We took off from dock and headed out of the bay.


View Larger Map


At first, there were no whales in sight. As we headed north, we began to see spouts of water off in the far distance. The crew finally got us near some humpbacks. Over the next couple of hours, the boat went from one area to another trying to give us a glimpse of the whales. As the day progressed, we had better sightings.


Near the end of the tour, we watched excitedly as a whale lunged out of the water to fill its mouth full of fish. That was an impressive sight!

As we headed back to dock, I asked Allie's mom how many whales she spotted. She excitedly held up her hand showing all her fingers and said, "FIVE!" with as big of a smile as I've ever seen gleam. Everyone had a lot of fun on this excursion.

Navigation: See all Alaskan Cruise articles here

Links to Alaskan Cruise articles

Alaskan Cruise pre-day
Alaskan Cruise Day 1 and 2
Alaskan Cruise Day 3
Video of Whale Watching cruise
Alaska Cruise Day 4: Skagway and the Safari
Alaska Cruise Day 5: Glacier Bay!
Alaska Cruise Day 6: Ziplining
Alaska Cruise Day 7: Not Alaska (B.C.)

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Nice to have authentic burrito

One thing I miss from Salinas Valley is regular access to authentic home cooked Mexican food. There's plenty of good Mexican places in Silicon Valley, but there's something just a little bit better when eating Mexican food closer to the source. Finding places like that require a keen eye and a good memory. Since I'm not likely to get Mexican home cooking these days, I have to be mindful of where to go to find good authentic food. One place I found is Chavez Supermarket on Fair Oaks in Sunnyvale. It is not an actual supermarket. It's a small Mexican grocery store. Go in and walk to the back of the store. Order tacos, burritos or whatever. Then, enjoy.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Tuesday Two: Loonie fingers


Tuesday Two


springtire

NASA and Goodyear teamed up to develop a "spring tire" that can bare 800 lbs without air. It is designed for Lunar and Martian exploration. The tire is more energy efficient and won't blow-out (which sucks on Earth, but would really suck on the Moon.)

cemssys

CEMS Systems now has a portable fingerprint reader, useful for roaming and ad-hoc security checks, such as construction sites or bus boarding.

Epoch-Fail


Remember those obnoxious jerks that used to walk around city streets supporting a loud boom-box on their shoulder? Well, there back! Here's an invention that tells the world that you just don't care about other people around you. It's the Stereo Neckphones!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday Two: Shingles Thermometer

Tuesday Two


shinglepic

Dow will soon make a roof shingle that generates solar power. It's called DOW POWERHOUSE Solar Shingle. Home and business owners will soon have more options to help power their homes, businesses and occasional gazebo. Viva Sol!


pillsthermo

CorTemp Ingestible Core Body Thermometer Pill isn't just a mouthful of words, it's actually a thermometer that you swallow! Once the pill is ingested, a quartz crystal sensor vibrates at a frequency that is relative to the body's temperature. This creates a low-level signal that can be detected outside of the body.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Failed predictions by Sylvia Browne


Sylvia Browne makes a lot of predictions. Every once in awhile, she claims this or that successful prediction. In her book The Other Side and Back, Browne even boosts,

I could fill a separate book with my predictions that have come true...

She doesn't talk about her unsuccessful predictions very often, from what I've seen. I imagine she has many, indeed. I'm not going to get all high and mighty about failed predictions. I'm just going to list a few.

In the book mentioned above, Sylvia has a list of predictions for the year 2000 that did not end up happening or that where so basic that they really don't count (whether right or wrong).

Predictions:
  • Three major hurricanes, with hits in Florida and Carolinas (among other regions). Fail. According to USA Today, "no hurricanes hit the USA" in 2000.
  • Notable earthquake hits Niagara Falls in 2000. Fail. The last notable quake in that area occurred in 1897.
  • Bill Bradley won the presidential election and there was "close competition from the Reform Party". Fail and Fail. Though that election may have been stolen with the wrong outcome, Bradley and the Reform Party were no where in sight.
  • David Letterman quits his nightly show at the end of 2000. Fail. Even after the scandals of 2009, he's still running strong.
  • Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston marry. Success! But is this really a prediction or something that was rather obvious? She also predicted they wouldn't last long. They didn't last, but they did last longer than many Hollywood marriages.
  • In 2000, there would be a new flu strain that would start in the Eastern U.S. Asian immigrants coming into the U.S. would "help quell this flu virus". Fail. Although a new flu strain popped up in 2005 called Avian Flu, and that was actually blamed on an Asian source. So, I count this as a double and triple fail.
  • In the year 2010, aliens will be seen on Earth and act as observers. She also predictions they will teach humans about the anti-gravity technology. I'll make a counter prediction. No aliens. No anti-gravity devices.
There are many other unsuccessful predictions, though the point seems to be made fully.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

gol10dr's butt learns to tweet


@gol10dr: .

@gol10dr: Vkp

@gol10dr: V vn

@gol10dr: Oops! Sorry my phone was in my pocket, tweeting all by itself!  Butt tweeting?

RT @fcsuper: RT @gol10dr: Oops! Sorry my phone was in my pocket, tweeting all by itself!  Butt tweeting?

RT @gupta9665: RT @gol10dr: Oops! Sorry my phone was in my pocket, tweeting all by itself! Butt tweeting? hahahaha. so you both share same id on Twitter ;)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ocean's Edge

Sun sprinkles below
Waves' crests and pitches dancing
Cliffs glorious view

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Astronaut declares government is hiding evidence of aliens

Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, a member of the 1971 Apollo 14 moon mission, has recently declared last year that the U.S. and other governments are concealing evidence of aliens and UFOs. Mankind has long wondered if we're "alone in the universe. ...only in our period do we really have evidence. No, we're not alone," Mitchell said.

He bases this conclusion because he grew up in Roswell, NM and have had individuals come forward to him that admitted to see some of what was going on with the infamous Roswell crash. When even insiders are coming forward, it is hard to ignore the questions regarding aliens.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Tuesday Two


GM Prototype using Lexan GLX PC resinExatec, LLC has developed a glazed polycarbonate material as a lightweight alternative to glass which promises to revolutionize automotive roofs and other exteriors. The material is known as Lexan GLX PC resin.

CPR Training AED's have saved many lives since 1985. There is a myth that the FDA would not approve AED's because the device had to be used on an unconscious patience, which violated a rule that required patience consent. Fortunately, this is nonsense. An AED was actually approved for home use by the FDA in 2004.

Epoch-Fail

The M80 Stilletto is a high speed ship designed for special ops. It has reached over 50 knots during early tests. It represents possible leading technology in future wars. It is also under consideration by the U.S. armed services. Sounds impressive. The problem? It's being advertized. The fact that the makers of the M80 Stilletto are promoting it as a product in a public venue shows that it might not be a military game changer. If this was a serious option for the military, I'm doubtful most of us would have known about it for at least a decade.

Sunday, August 01, 2010