Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday Two: saves lives, makes lives

Sipuleucel-T is new treatment from Dendreon that uses the body's own immune system to fight prostate cancer. Each dose is personalized by consisting of the patient's own immune cells that have been trained to seek and attack prostate cancer cells.

Who knew this was even an issue. Broken lobster traps sometimes break free from tethers and wash up on beaches and riverfront properties in Maine. Too expensive and bulky to haul off, Kim Boehm created the Trapzilla as a convenient way to compact the traps to a manageable size.

Epoch fail

The Wedding Countdown Bra puts a clock on a bra to let....well, I'm not really sure what the countdown supposed to encourage. It signifies the countdown to when the wedding ring is placed on the wearer's finger. Ironically, press vidoes and images all show the model with an engagement ring instead. Nothing says "Marry me!" more than a countdown to wedding bells attached to a bra.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Roaming around Boston on the last fair weather weekend of the year

Late last week, I decided to do something to enjoy what some were calling the last great weather weekend of the year in New England. So, while others decided to go see the changing Autumn foliage, I went the oppose route, heading into the heart of Boston.

Not wanting to drive around the city, finding parking spots, paying multiple parking fees, dealing with the traffic, etc, I decided to give mass transit a try. The Commuter Rail ride from Southborough was comfortable. In about an hour, it got me to South Station. From there, Dewey Square was just across the street. This gave me a chance to check out the Occupy Boston camp-in protest. There's a lot of people, but the event is not a big as one might think.

After walking around a bit to explore the surrounding area, I decided to get lunch at Sorelle. The day was so nice, I went for a quick margarita at the outdoor bar in the brand new restaurant at the Russia Wharf. I don't remember the name right now. It has a great view of the inlet.

After that, I rode the T subway to the Museum of Science at Science Park. It's a fairly large museum with a lot of interactive displays and several shows. Some areas are for adults, but much of it is a glorified play land for kids (which isn't a bad thing for the kids).

I then walked over to Charleston and Bunker Hill. Foolishly, I decided to walk to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument, all 294 spiraling steps! The view of Boston from the top was great.

Next stop of Chinatown, so called. It's really just a city block or two. There's a few Chinese style restaurants, but just as many Vietnamese places too. The topper is that there's a McDonald's, two Starbucks and two Dunkin Donuts as well. Yes, TWO! So sad.

However, I did stumble upon my second news item of the day. Sirens where everywhere in Boston. It turns out, they where all heading down to Beach St. in Chinatown. A large chunk of bricks fell off several floors from the facade of a parking garage. They smashed up a car below, damaged some businesses across the street and injured one person who was taken to the hospital.

After that, I headed home, back on Commuter Rail to Southborough. On the drive back to my place, I stopped of to get some ice cream. Massachusetts is a strange place. It's winter about 1/3 of the year, and cold much of the rest, yet there are ice cream parlors (out door window service) almost everywhere, especially in the middle of nowhere! I'm not really sure why they are called parlors if there is no actual entry, but hey, who am I to argue with a great tasting treat on a warm Summer...er...Autumn evening. Anyway, Ulhman's Ice Cream Parlor was a good capper to a great day of exploration.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Bricks fell from several stories up in Boston, injuring one person,damage too

Here's the photo close-up the bricks that smashed the car, injuried one person and busted windows in shops across the street today on Beach St. in Chinatown, Downtown Boston!

Aftermath of parking garage brick falls several floors in Boston on Beach St. in Chinatown

Sirens everywhere in Boston today, and I didn't know why until I stumbled upon this. Bricks from a parking garage facade fell on to Beach St. in downtown Chinatown, injurying on person (sent to the hospital) and smashing a car and shop windows across the street.

Only in Amish land

Leave it to an Amish splinter group to conduct home invasions where they only steal hair, seriously!

Amish Men's Beards Cut Off; Police Suspect Amish-On-Amish Violence

Monday, September 26, 2011

An old tree at the bottom of the forest

I took this today near the apartments where I live. In trying to get this shot, I had to dodge an aggressive mesquito, who got a taste of me before she died by the swipe of my hand. The battle with the natural elements was worth the photo.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Flying over dramatic clouds between Evansville, IN and Chicago, IL

Video of flight over dramatic cloud formations on my flight between Evansville, Indiana and Chicago, Illinois last week. The clouds are beautiful, but let's not think about the rain and gloomy day beneath them.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

McFlurry at Chicago airport

Today, I got a McFlurry with M&Ms at McDonald's here at Chicago airport during a wait for my flight to Boston. This cute elderly guy comes up after me and tries to order it as "give me what he has but plain". The cashier suggested an ice cream cone instead. He was quite pleased with that option, then procedes to tell me about his trip to Rome with his wife who as to use a wheelchair but can still get up to walk around (as she was presumably doing when he came up to the McDonal's counter with her empty wheelchair).

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Solyndra headquarters during weekday, just after bankruptcy announcement

This video is of the Solyndra headquarters in Fremont, California just days after they announced that they are going bankrupt. There's three large buildings around two massive properties.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Funny use for boobs (or turning your breasts into useful tools)

Earlier today, I witnessed something funny at my hotel. This petite young woman with her hands full (shopping bags and luggage) runs ahead of her boyfriend (who's hands are not full) to push the elevator button to go up. Since her hands are full, she tries to use one of her ample and shapely mammary organs to press the button.

She was bumping herself up against the wall panel like a robot that was stuck in one direction. Had she been paying attention, she would've noticed that I had already pressed elevator button just a couple seconds before. As the elevator door opened, I was like, "I got it already...but you were interesting to watch." She giggled. Her boyfriend looked as though he was trying to pretend the episode didn't just happen.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Today Show jumped the shark years ago (Let's make sperm donors evil!)

Today, on the Today Show (NBC's morning "news" program), Anne Curry did a story on sperm donors who's sperm was used to create many children for many different families. They gave an extreme example of one guy whose donated sperm was used to sire 150 kids. Instead of honoring this effort that brings so much joy to the world, they took another bizarre angle.

They interviewed two talking heads that both expressed they were shocked by this number and that something was wrong and the fertility industry needed regulation to put a stop to this. Really? No one ever once said what was actual wrong with donating sperm and bringing new lives in to this world that otherwise wouldn't be here (regardless to the number). The whole point was that something was wrong.

As expected, the line, "Think about the children" was actually seriously used. Really? You mean, all those people who are alive today (who otherwise won't have been) are somehow detrimented! Again, the detriment was never vocalized. I guess they are suggesting that because there's a 1 in 50 chance some medical knowledge about their biological father *might* help one of them, we should stop any of them from being born at the risk of the one offspring not being able to know. Hey, Today Show, by your own logic, you just killed 150 people (for as much sense as any of this makes) to prevent one person the pain of having to go through and extra medical procedure (usually just a genetic test these days)...oh the horror of it all!

Of course, they tried to humanize and already human story by talking about the kids (many of them adults now) trying to get in touch with each other and their biological father. The offspring never say anything was wrong. They just talked about how they wanted to get in touch with each other. ::yawn::

So, what was the point of the story? In my opinion, it's a distraction. Like so many other stories aired on the Today Show nowadays, this story was targeted to get an emotion response without much regard for the integrity of the program itself. The Today Show has gone down the same road as Maury Povich, Geraldo Rivera and others that ended up making trash TV because they didn't have the skill to talk about real issues that are impacting everyone's lives in a way that most people can understand.

I'd rather spend $100 trillion dollars to solve the National Debt crisis than spend one red cent on creating regulation to control the fertility industry just because somebody feels like something is wrong somewhere or somehow.

You know what's wrong? About 15,000 people die each in America year because of drunk driving. 500,000+ Americans die each year due to cancer. 600,000+ die from heart attacks each year. Or, in government concerns, National Debt and deficit is causing the general decline of our country; as that continues, we have much worse problems to dealt within instead of worrying about some guys secretions.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Two months in New England

Two months living in New England has taught me one thing. The weather outside when you wake up is not indicative of how the weather will be by the end of the day. Always, always, always check the forecast before leaving the house for work. I mean, ALWAYS!

I've also learned ...oh wait, nevermind. I already knew what I was about to say.

I miss my wife and dog. They are still out in California. Allie and I talk every day. I can't wait until she gets out here so we can explore New England together.

Has anyone else noticed that New England and North East have the same initials? If you are ever in the area, you must know the difference between the two. North East includes places like Pennsylvania, and New York. New England, on the other hand, specifically excludes New York (and any state west and south from there).

Monday, July 18, 2011

Brief periods of popularity (kinda)

The Information Age is happening everywhere, some ways stranger than others. It is easy enough to start a blog; but how do you get continuous readership in the information overload of our new era? Do you care that you have readers? Well, if your blog is anything like Its Trouble, you'll get a couple readers each day. However, once in a while, there will be a sudden spike in viewership.

Its Trouble has had a couple of those blips on the radar over the years. These blips last for a few days where viewership jumps like 50 times normal. Of course, 50 x 2 is still only 100 unique visits.

The blips usually come from some popular website noting an article I've written. It's been awhile since something on Its Trouble has interested someone with a popular blog. Google has noticed me recently for my review an online travel booking service feature. As of this moment, my review article comes up as #7 for a particular search phrase. It's moved around. At one point, I think it was #3 and then below #20. How much attention does that bring to my website? It's a a couple of extra hits each day.

SolidWorks Legion

My other blog is SolidWorks Legion. It covers topics related to the engineering field, with a focus on the software SolidWorks (a popular 3D CAD application). That site got a major spike in visitors when my article about DraftSight (a new 2D CAD application published by the same company as SolidWorks) when it was announced that they'd be releasing a Linux version last year. The article got picked up by a Linux-focused website. Normal visitors on SolidWorks Legion at that time was about 500 unique views per day. In one day, the number of visits jumped to 1000, then the next day, 10,000. The traffic actually almost took down my website a few times. Links from that Linux website tapered off eventually, but the number of visitors was elevated for a couple of months.

Sail Ship

A recent example of another spike wasn't for one of my blogs.
It was for a photograph that I just uploaded to Flickr.com. Apparently, my sarcastic comment about a ship with sails caught the attention of an author over at reddit.com. The same day that I uploaded the photo, it got 75 hits from reddit.com. For Flickr, that is a ton of attention. The normal hit rate is usually single digits. I was able to track down the actual link to my photo on reddit.com. (The Flickr.com tools allowed me to see that much of the traffic came from there.) Apparently, reddit.com readers are big on all things sarcastic, ironic and humorous.

Monday, July 04, 2011

In flight maps

Many airlines have touch screens on the back of each seat. One of the tools to view on those screens is an actively updated map of where the plane's position is shown along its flight path. This usually includes data such as "ground speed", "distance to go", "altitude" and "outside temperature".

Ground speed is useful, because when dividing it into distance to go, the calculation well show how many hours remain for the flight. Altitude is interesting, but not so useful. The only metric that doesn't really have any value at all is outside temperature. Why show this? Am I going to open a window and pop my head out for a breathe of fresh air? No. The only function this serves is as a reminder of the cabin's warmth (even if air is a bit on the cool side).

What other useless information could be included? How about outside air pressure, so we can be reminded that the cabin pressure is moderately comfortable? Instead of altitude, why not provide "distance from outer space" to remind us of just how close we are to entering orbit?

Something that might be more useful is if the map provided information on the destination, like the "current ground temperature" so I know to pull the jacket out of my carry-on luggage.

BTW, I'm ranting this from the airplane. I'm glad wi-fi is now being included on many flights.