Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Given the lack of enthusiasm for the new stadium previously expressed by Cedar Fair, I'm guessing this is more of a ploy to legally extort conditions and concessions from the City of Santa Clara. Cedar Fair may feel it needs more money from the city simply because the new stadium site is a direct neighbor to the theme park. Here's the funny part. Even though Cedar Fair does own Great American, the City of Santa Clara actually owns the land upon which Great America rests. The City of Santa Clara is the landlord to Cedar Fair. Santa Clara has already bent over backwards to make Cedar Fair feel at home. Cedar Fair now seems to be abusing their position as our guest and interfering in our business. Is there a San Francisco connection, as SF City Hall tries to buy yet even more time in their uber-pathetic effort to keep the 49er's in San Francisco? They've already had over 1.5 decades to do something.
Frankly, there could also be a Sac connection, since some big names in our state and even the Federal government are against the 49er's moving to another city in the Bay Area. Again, there is another funny part to this. If the 49er's do not find a new home in the Bay Area, they have suggested that the will leave the area completely. So, all this effort to pin the 49er's down in San Francisco could backfire by slingshotting our team to another state altogether! How embarrassing would that be?
And now a new wrinkle. Cedar Fair was just bought by a private firm that has yet to comment on their position. My hope is that they do not interfere with local economic endeavors, and instead help boost the local economy by supporting the new 49ers stadium.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
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Friday, December 25, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The eco-friendly Gocycle is a hybrid electric bike that weighs a mere 16.2 kg due to its special composite material. This folding bike is designed for city living. It converts from human power (peddle power!) to electric with the push of a button. Will it save the world from eventual doom? Only time will tell.
I know whenever I here the word "Nanotube", my ears perk up. Imagine how excited I am to see a recent article about vibrated nanotubes used to filter water so well that anything larger than a water molecule is removed! Imagine how fresh and tasty such pure water would be. Wait...technically, humans cannot taste water, right?
So far, Epoch-Fail awards have gone to particular unsuccessful ventures. Today, I'm handing an Epoch-Fail award to something that does seem to be successful. Why? Because I dislike the trend. This week's Epoch-Fail award goes to every city council that is banning plastic bags from the grocery stores! Aren't we destroying enough trees? Need we bring back the stone age paper bag and pretend it is from a renewable resource; when the reality is that the resource is not being renewed? Sure, plastic clog our bogs, and choke our rivers, but hey, they are more reusable than paper bags! And what of reusable canvas bags? Heh. Guess what. You have to buy them. They get very unsanitary very quickly. Wanna guess how many patrons are not washing them regularly? There are reasons behind our strict food handling guidelines, and canvas bags now represent a very weak link in food safety.
Monday, December 21, 2009
The major issue is with the transmission. Over time, my G8 GT developed a clunking when I would shift from reverse directly into drive. It was inconsistent. It was more pronounced when the car was cold started. Every once in awhile, the car would actually jerk forward so much that I had to get into the habit of pressing very tightly onto my brakes before moving into drive.
When I first reported the issue to my dealership at 6000 miles, the service dept said that there was no bulletin on the issue even though I did get the service manager to reproduce the issue. I didn't make a stink at that time, though I prolly should've. The problem got worse from there. It got so bad, I couldn't let anyone else drive it.
So, at about 8000 miles I had enough. I took it in. The dealership was claiming that they could not reproduce the problem to the degree I stated. In addition, they claimed that a bulletin from GM (just issued a month before) said that clunking transmission was "normal operation". To me, this was not just operation, but safety (since the behavior of the car was actually dangerous). I insisted that the issue be addressed. I had to include the involvement of the general GM customer service department. After I insisted they keep the car and keep trying, the dealership was finally were able to reproduce the issue and finally realized that something needed to be done.
A lot of time was supposedly wasted because the GM technical service didn't have the staff assigned to handle any issues in the NorCal region (something to do with the restructuring that was going on at the time). Finally, an engineer was assigned to the case and determined the issue was mechanical. The dealership followed Detroit's instructions, replacing a bunch of parts deep inside the tranny.
All said, the dealership had my car for two weeks. The issue was much less obvious afterward. There is still some tendency for the tranny to engage a bit aggressively when going from reverse to drive, but at this point, that seems to fit the "normal operation" mentioned in the GM bulletin. At least I don't have to be concerned with it jerking forward.
Now that the car is over its 10K mark, everything seems to have broken in.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
My abode, my great adventure
Your heights and lowlands
Wonderous poppy fields
Grand shoreline joggle
Mysterious moving desert rocks
Canopy carpeted mountains;
Become my surprize and discovery
Myself exploring your vastness
Beauty, peaks, crashing calm waves
Enjoying the mastery of possibilities
Sky filled canyons
Sun kissed waters
Ample journey roads
Your glory, your grace
Gratifying my wonderlust;
California, my world
Saturday, December 12, 2009
- Clairsentience (feeling or touching) is the acquisition of psychic knowledge primarily by means of feeling or touching. It can relate to the feeling of the vibrations of lifeforms. Different degrees of clairsentience range from the perception of diseases of other people to the thoughts or emotions of other people.
- Psychometry or token-object reading (knowledge gained through touch) is the acquisition of psychic knowledge about an individual by making physical contact with an objects that has been in contact with that person.
- Clairaudience (hearing or listening) is the reception of psychic knowledge by paranormal auditory means, such as a voice or music with no physical source. The ESP auditory sensation may come from within one's mind, inner ear or perceived as being external.
- Clairalience (smelling) is the paranormal experience of a odor, scent or other smell with no physical source.
- Claircognizance (knowing) the intrinsic acquisition of psychic knowledge. This is the ability to paranormally know something without knowing how or why.
- Clairgustance (tasting) is the ability to paranormally taste or perceive the essence of a substance without it coming into contact with one's mouth.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Monday, December 07, 2009
Tips Calculator by KajaBo Mobile is a simple tip calculator based on the bill before tax. Most tip calculator apps do not determine the tip based on the pre-tax bill, even though this is customary. This app even calculates how much each person owes for multi-party bills.
GPS Speedometer by Char Software, Inc. is a cool little app that keeps track of one’s near current speed (in the car), average speed, and a few other data points.
Quick Settings by Sergey Shafarenka allows the user easy access to basic Android smartphone settings on one screen.
Google Sky Map by Google Inc. displays are real time image of the night sky constellations based on whatever direction the smartphone is pointed.
Thinking Space by Charlie Chilton helps in developing and recording thoughts and ideas. This is helpful for abstract problem solving or getting through writer’s block.
Ringdroid by Ringdroid Team let’s you splice up your MP3 and iTunes music to create custom ringtones.
Barcode Scanner by ZXing Team will read any barcode. If the product is found in the database, it will show information and reviews.
AttachEmail by gasoline allows the user to attach files to emails being sent from the Android smartphone.
GDocs by WildArt will access your gmail GDocs account and the documents you have stored there.
Superpages by Idearc Media LLC is the link what some may call real yellow pages online these days.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
The suds cover your body
The water running down every curve
Juicy, sexy, hot, mmmhmm
Nakkid girl in the shower
I want to touch your wet skin
Caress your nipples and ...
just a minute...
...she's inviting me in!
Friday, December 04, 2009
According to Paul Thurrott,
AT&T, of course, is the exclusive US carrier for the Apple iPhone, and—as any iPhone user will tell you—AT&T's 3G network is tiny, ill-equipped to handle the iPhone's voluminous data traffic, and often completely unavailable.There has been several news stories in the Silicon Valley area (home of Apple and Google) which have highlighted AT&T's much complained about network, including non-3G problems, such as frequent dropped calls (issues that may have been carried over from the Cingular days). Among 3G complaints, speed (slowness) is one of the major issues. AT&T has said they are in the process of upgrading their network right now. However, why would a company put forward such a poor product at the heart of one of the world's technological centers?
It almost goes without saying that the lawsuit was thrown out of court (already!). Can't sue the truth away from the public eye!
Paul Thurrott concludes,
[AT&T's] 3G network is widely considered the be the shoddiest of the major wireless networks in the United States, a fact that was coincidentally confirmed this past month in the latest issue of Consumer Reports, which rated AT&T's overall cell phone network as the worst of the major carriers.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Use NASA technology to zap your zits away with the new Zeno family of devices.(available discounted on Amazon.com) The iPod look-alike contains a heating element that is resistant to human oils and acids. With clinical trials showing 90% success rates, this may end teenage embarrassment one zit zapping at a time. No word on if there are plans to make a version that plays MP3s.
There is an artificial intelligence that involves integrated planning. This allows an operator (human or fellow robot) to establish a telepresence that may be able to control remote units (for example, another robot) at great distances (another planet) to provide feedback (suggestions) about the instructions it is receiving. Who's controlling who?
The Northeast Passage opens because our planet is slowly getting hotter. But trade routes won't come easy if shippers want to travel across the Arctic Ocean. The planet hasn't thawed enough to sail north of Russia without the need for ice-breaker class ships along with a fleet of support ships to break up the ice that's still there. Pesky environment keeps getting in the way of progress!
Monday, November 30, 2009
The Samsung Moment is a good Sprint smartphone that runs on the 1.5 version of the new Android OS. One great function is that it offers direct syncing with the user’s Google accounts. However, for some reason, Sprint didn’t include enough applications on the Moment. It is fully functional off-the-shelf, but it just seems to be missing stuff that experienced smartphone users would want. Fortunately, the Android Market has more than enough apps to quickly add most (if not all) functionality that one might expect from an advanced smartphone.
This is my Ten Most Useful Android Apps for Samsung Moment (and really any other Android smartphones) in no particular order:
- Android Backup Tool by Marigold backs-up a multitude of data from the smartphone to the SD Card, including Contacts, SMS, browser links, settings, etc.
- Star Contact by StarObject provides advanced Contacts search functionally that is missing from almost all smartphones (even Palm).
- Easy Dialer Premium by UIP ($) does cost a small nominal fee, but it is worth the chump change! It provides a well designed speed dial interface that really should be the standard for any Android smartphone. There is a free version with small and unintrusive ads called Easy Dialer. Another free alternative is Speed Dial by CRinUS. There is no interface to speak of in Speed Dial. It simple allows the user to put speed dials directly on the home page as links.
- Where by where is highly rated and updated frequently. It provides up-to-date information and reviews about restaurants, movies, local news, weather, friends, etc.
- Dolphin Browser by MGeek is a great Android internet browser that has powerful and time saving capabilities.
- OI File Manager by OpenIntents is a good and simple file management utility for the SD Card. It allows for the renaming and copying of files.
- Wikidroid for Wikipedia by Sirius Applications Ltd is a rapid and simple alternative to just loading the Wikipedia website directly. It loads articles very quickly without all the extras that weight down Wikipedia in an internet browser.
- ASTRO File Manager by Metago is another powerful file manager. It has different functionality than OI File Manager, so I really recommend installing both until one app starts including the functions of the other.
- AirPlaneSwitch by C-LIS Crazy Lab. is a simple application that allows the user to switch their phone over to Airplane mode without having to navigate into the smartphone’s settings.
- TwitterTweet Twitter Client by MEDIAFILL LLC is an underrated app that allows the user to efficiently and simply sync their Twitter account and feeds to their phone.
Sync Android with Outlook
Sync Android with Outlook
Right now, a PC application that syncs the Moment with Windows Outlook is not included. There is a fairly good Outlook plugin which will sync your contacts, calendar and notes with your Google account. The plugin works great as it allows your smartphone to be updated without ever attaching it to a computer! The plugin is called gSyncit for Microsoft Outlook by David Levinson. It is available at http://www.daveswebsite.com/. It costs $14.99 and does have unusually strict licensing for installations, so I will be keeping an eye out for free or more customer friendly licensing. For now, this plugin provides a much needed service, so I do recommend the investment if you have any Android smartphone.
Many trace cases are often of evidence left by very small objects that are less than one meter in size, such as reports of white globes. Incidents involving white globes are often at very close range. Such devices have been involved in a wide variety of encounters. One such incident resulted in residue being left by a rotating orb that scraped by a car while it was being driven down a road. Upon being studied, the residue was found to be a mixture of unidentified metallic substance and organic matter.
Landing locations of flying saucers often leave evidence of three landing legs. When witnessed, these objects are seen to make ground contact. Sometimes humanoids are witnessed at landing locations.
Egg-shaped, Cylinder, Oval
Observations have been made of ojects that are often described as egg-shaped, cylindrical, or oval. These are reported to have a metallic appearance, being 5 to 6 meters in length. When these objects make ground contact, they often leave evidence of 4 landing legs. Dimunitive humanoids are often reported nearby the landing site.
Domed devices are objects that are often estimated to be about 2 meters to 4 meters in diameter. They rarely make ground contact; instead the hover a few feet above the ground. Evidence left by these objects is often swirl formations found in vegatation under where the device hovered.
Some info sourced from: Center for Physical Trace Research (now a dead link; try this similar site: http://www.angelfire.com/mo/cptr)
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
As for Wyoming, I'm sure its citizens enjoy that state. I, on the other hand, will be very selective as to when I visit it in the future.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I miss you.
I am over you
I will love you my entire life
I am alone
You are near, but not here
I am in the wrong place
I am not alone
What once seemed wrong, now seems idyllic
I am released
I love you
I have learned to not yearn
I regret this and take proud in it too
I once felt like the desert without you
I am now a wandering sailor on wild seas
This prose is about me
I am becoming again
That is was I am suppose to do
I fear new love
I want to experience it
I want to be selfish
I am generous
Love is generous and selfish
I am love
I fear myself
Nervous at life’s mundane moments
Confident when sublime engulfs me
You engulf me
I feel you
Love becomes without finale
This prose is my search for you
I am contradiction
I became because you are in my life
I become again because you are not now here
You are near, guiding
She has not come yet
I am waiting to become with her
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
- Water dependent and carbon based.
- Chemosynthetic (chemical based energy synthesis) or photosynthetic (light energy synthesis).
- Heterotrophic and predators of heterotrophs (food chain of lifeforms).
- Passively or actively mobile to seek out optimum conditions. As such, body plans will evolve something similar to what we would identify as a head, with arrays of sensory organs.
- Sessile (non-mobile or anchored in place).
- Powered flight (birds, some insects, bats, pterosaurs), or at least directed gliding (flying squirrel, flying fish).
- Parasites, which on Earth account for over 65% of the total number of species.
- Genes will be selfish, and natural selection will spawn adaption to the environment.
- Will have senses, especially sight, sound, touch, heat detection, etc.
- Motile, organisms will have natural attraction and repulsion to stimuli.
- Large bodies of water will foster a wide variety of lifeforms, which may independently evolution similar adaptions.
Source: Skeptic Vol. 14 No. 2, 2008 - Predicting Evolution
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
There's been many inventions and innovations that have been profiled at the various SolidWorks World conferences. This week's Tuesday Two covers to wind power winners that are getting notice.
Magenn has an innovative balloon wind power generator which goes by the name Mageen Air Rotor System (MARS). It floats far above the ground to take advantage of wind that is more reliable than ground based turbines. Here's an ancillary article in Design World on material used to make MARS.
Jeff Ray gives us an update on MicroWind Technologies which makes relatively small rooftop wind turbines called MicroWind Residential Turbine which will be able to produce 3 kW. They also have the MicroWind 300W which can be lamp post mounted.
The Smart car that just isn't all that smart. It is not much bigger than a go cart, while only netting 41 MPG highway (which is worse than many real cars already on the market). Too much is sacrificed in both functionality and safety for no real gain; and don't get me started about the price for the "well equipped" version! For that, it recently ranked as the worse car of the 2000's by Cars.com, not to mention it wins this week's Epoch-Fail award!
Monday, November 09, 2009
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Thursday, November 05, 2009
13 types of irritating coworkers
13 Types of coworkers we like
In these articles, David R. Butcher explores the best and worst traits in our coworkers (and ourselves) at work.
His likes and dislikes may seem a bit arbitrary. He complains about the suck-ups in the first article, but lauds the jokers in his second. He makes the obvious observations regarding the positive coworker; yet in a sense of irony, he complains about the complainers. It's a fairly entertaining read.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
The particular world discovered by the scientific team orbits a start about 300 light-years from our Solar System. It's orbit is likely as large as that of Venus around our Sun. According to current estimates, it most likely is made up ice and rock.
As more worlds are found, it seems to me that human understanding must accept that there is a very high likelihood that life exists beyond of Earth. There may come a day in our life times when such existence of life becomes completely undeniable.
Source: Astronomy Sept 2008 - Another super-Earth discovered
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Find your way back to me
I've missed you
Bring back the happiness
Our care for each other
Oh my Bevie
Find your way back to me
You never leave my thoughts
My lost one
I'm here for you always
Oh my Bevie
Find your way back to me
Strange, so strong, yet fragile
Love uncommon on Earth
Oh my Bevie,
Through this life, yes I am
I do live my own life
Oh my Bevie
Find your way back to me
have of a life of their own
for them renewed again
Oh my Bevie
Find your way back to me
We have lost to this gap
Life goes on in tragedy
Oh my Bevie
Find your way back to me
Sunday, October 25, 2009
So far, SETI has been looking for messages from other alien civilizations in the form of "Anybody out there?" However, it may soon be looking for any signs of other alien civilizations by attempting "to eavesdrop on stray signs of intelligence leaked accidentally into space by other civilizations", says Steve Nadis in his Astronomy article titled Eavesdropping on E.T.: Could Changing Channels Tune Into Alien Civilizations?.
There is a quiet zone in the EM spectrum between 1 and 10 GHz. Fewer objects in the universe naturally transmit in that frequency range. If other alien civilizations know this, they may choose to intentionally transmit signals at that level. However, it may be easier to look for signals that alien civilizations naturally put out. The problem is that there is so much background noise at other frequencies, both from the Universe and Earth itself (our own civilization). Some scientists hope that a new radio-telescope coming on line in Australia called Murchison Wide-Field Array (MWA) will allow them to find anomalies that may be leaked transmissions of other alien civilizations. Though MWA is really meant to study the end of the Universe's Dark Ages (when stars began to form), it will also be able to find transient signals that may be signs that something else is out there.
Earth has been broadcasting its presence since the 1920's. Maybe another civilization has been doing the same for much longer? We will soon see.
Reference: Astronomy May 2008, Eavesdropping on E.T.: Could Changing Channels Tune Into Alien Civilizations?, by Steve Nadis
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Get nearly perpetual power with these little energy cells that can recharge by harvesting ambient energy, such as kinetic, electromagnetic, heat, radio frequency, and light. This may change everything from hand held devices to desktop computers.
In real life Star Trek technology news, there's a phrase (not phaser) translator called the Phraselator which will translate statements into one of several languages. It's one-way translation today, but with two of these, you just might be able to carry on a short conversation about the weather with just about anyone on the planet.
To prepare you for your American Idol debut, the Perpetual Kid website (purveyer of many potential Epoch-Fail canidadates) has the Shower Mic Sponge.
Friday, October 16, 2009
In the main entrance hall, the visitor can view a sizable restoration shop with its menagerie of old equipment and tools. The shop is bigger than some machine shops. There are also many scaled airplane models dangling from the ceiling. Let's not forget the rather sizable souvenir shop. Yes, I bought the t-shirt. :)
The main viewing room is the entire right side of the building. It houses many full scale and scaled air machines, with some original airplanes mixed with replicas. Where there's space to fill, you'll find an airplane or parts thereof.
One of the more interesting facts promoted at this museum is that there where successful attempts at powered flight long before the Wright Brothers. The Herman Avitor Jr. (or just Avitor) was powered by a 1-hp steam engine that drove twin propellers. It was was the first successfully flown heavier-than-air aircraft to employ a three-axis control system. It was built in San Francisco, CA. In 1869 it took flight near the modern day SF Int'l Airport. Sometime after its first flight, the contraption was destroyed when it caught fire.
Another interesting exhibit was the Pepsi Skywriter, used by Pepsi to promote their product for a few decades starting in the late 1920's. I'm not sure if this is a replica, but it is interesting to see the old Pepsi logo and figure how long ago companies where using inventive new marketing techniques to promote their products.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
for my baby, whom I adore
Run to me, my love, kiss me
and feel my heart beat for you
Lean your head on my shoulder
I am your support for life
Guide your heart to my harbor
I shall protect you from storms
Open your places hiding deep
and I will handle with care
Your dreams have haven in me
Our dreams we share as you sleep
These flowers represent all
of my expressions of love
Copyright ©1999, 2001 & 2003 Matthew Lorono All rights reserved
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Plants on Earth are green because they contain chlorophyll. The chlorophyll is green because it absorbs mainly blue and red light in order to produce food for the plant via photosynthesis, while reflecting the green light frequency.
Scientists at NASA point out that if the stars for other planets were in a different state than our sun and if the light frequency that reached the planets' surface was different, then the plants would have also evolved a different type of photosynthetic pigment (other than chlorophyll). This pigment would be dedicated towards the different light frequencies received by the planet. This would cause plants to appear a different color from green, such as red and yellow.
According to recent studies, no photosynthetic plants would be blue-colored. This is because blue light provides some of the highest photosynthetic yields in the light spectrum. It is important for blue light to be absorbed rather than reflected. This is based on the physical quality of different frequencies of light produced by known types of stars.
One terrestrial example of energy conversion based on something other than ordinary light involves radiotrophic fungi that convert high energy gamma rays into useful energy using the melanin. (In most organisms melanin is used to protect the organism against ultraviolet and solar radiation.) Even still, ordinarily fungi derive their energy from decomposing other biomass, rather than by converting radiation into energy for itself.
It could even be possible for photosynthesis to occur using infrared light. In such an environment, plants may actually appear black.
It is fascinating to image the variations of life that are possible, even if life is based on the same fundamentals as our own.
Reference: Wikipedia article; Wikinews article; NASA - NASA Predicts Non-Green Plants on Other Planets; Dadachova, E; Bryan RA, Huang X, Moadel T, Schweitzer AD, et al. (2007). "Ionizing Radiation Changes the Electronic Properties of Melanin and Enhances the Growth of Melanized Fungi". PLoS ONE 2 (5): e457. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000457; Candace Lombardi "NASA: Plants on other planets not green". CNET, April 11, 2007; Julie Steenhuysen "New hue: Plants on other planets may be yellow, red". Reuters, April 11, 2007; Ker Than "Colorful Worlds: Plants on Other Planets Might Not Be Green". Space.com, April 11, 2007; “The Color of Plants on Other Worlds” by Nancy K. Kiang, Scientific American April 2008
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Saturday, October 03, 2009
The idea is based on the fact that silicon has valence number of four. This means that silicon atoms can be arranged in rings and in long chains that may be useful to create structures upon which biological molecules could be built. However, there are many drawbacks that must be overcome for life to efficiently use silicon as its basis.
Silicon based lifeforms would not have organic molecules used within Terran life. DNA would not be the basis for such life. However, the silicon based molecules may not be stable without an added level of complexity because silicon has a larger atomic radius and mass than carbon. It also has more difficulty forming stable molecules, particularly where water is present.
Even still, it is a possibility. For some reason, many Sci-Fi depictions show silicon based life as being rocklike in appearance. I'm not sure where this idea comes from. It's a bit like assuming carbon based lifeforms look like a lump of coal. I have a feeling that if we do discover silicon based lifeforms, they may resemble us more than many expect.
Reference: Wikipedia article and “Are Aliens Among Us?” by Paul Davies, Scientific American December 2007
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Qiu Jin was a seminal leader in both the revolutionary movement and the struggle
for women’s emancipation.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday TwoIn robot news, Josh Lowensohn explores the Rovio, a $250 robot that acts like an internet controlled telepresence guard dog. Let's hope they never hook this thing up to Skynet. Terminator's primitive cousin has been born!
On the biotech front, the cleverly named Institute of Food Research made an announcement about genetically engineered bacteria that does what it is told to do just by eating a rare sugar called xylan. Sounds just tasty. I'll have two!