Friday, August 24, 2012

DC Comics Confirms Green Lantern Comic Book Character Is Gay -

I think that I would have been more subtle about it by dropping subtle
hints over a long period of time so that people get used to the idea.
(And the speculation would have been good publicity. ) Instead it
feels like they are trying to force an agenda. It seems completely
unnecessary and I don't like the lack of continuity with the decades
of character history.

Not that what happens in a comic book is that important, but I like
the movie version of Green Lantern that is clearly heterosexual.

I don't think that the comic book pages are the place to promote
unresolved controversial social agendas.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Using vinegar in the dishwasher.

Monday, May 21, 2012

RE: quotes

"never-never-never-never give up" -- Winston Churchill




              The Devil is in the details, but so is salvation.






    Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.

        Though Rickover quoted this, he did not claim to be the author of the statement. Using it in "The World of the Uneducated" in The Saturday Evening Post (28 November 1959), he prefaces it with "As the unknown sage puts it..." — It has sometimes been attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, but without definite citation.


    You have to learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

        Variations of this quote have been attributed to a number of people, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Samuel Levenson, and Lao Tzu; there is no solid support for any such attribution.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


In Latin, peninsula means "almost island". In some languages it is
called "half island."

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Force

Force (Star Wars)

The Force is a binding, metaphysical, and ubiquitous power in the fictional universe of the Star Wars galaxy created by George Lucas. Mentioned in the first film in the series, it is integral to all subsequent incarnations of Star Wars, including the expanded universe of comic books, novels, and video games. Within the franchise, it is the object of the Jedi and Sith monastic orders.


Lucas has attributed the origins of "The Force" to a 1963 abstract film by Arthur Lipsett, which sampled from many sources.


One of the audio sources Lipsett sampled for 21-87 was a conversation between artificial intelligence pioneer Warren S. McCulloch and Roman Kroitor, a cinematographer who went on to develop IMAX. In the face of McCulloch's arguments that living beings are nothing but highly complex machines, Kroitor insists that there is something more: "Many people feel that in the contemplation of nature and in communication with other living things, they become aware of some kind of force, or something, behind this apparent mask which we see in front of us, and they call it God." When asked if this was the source of "the Force," Lucas confirms that his use of the term in Star Wars was "an echo of that phrase in 21-87." The idea behind it, however, was universal: "Similar phrases have been used extensively by many different people for the last 13,000 years to describe the 'life force,'" he says.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Re: 9/11 As It Happened: First Reports and Second Crash from Multiple Media

A better view of the second plane ...

> First plane:

9/11 As It Happened: First Reports and Second Crash from Multiple Media

I think that this is real interesting. It takes about 90 seconds to
get to the 9-11 coverage. 20 seconds from the end we see the second
plane hit.

Check out this video on YouTube:

Never forget.

Bobby Kennedy anounces Martin Luther King's death, Indianapolic, IN 1968

You have probably seen this before, in which case you might not want
to see this again, but I am blown away by the quality of the impromptu

Check out this video on YouTube:

I think that Bobby Kennedy would have gotten my vote because he was
someone who could deal with racial strife.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Fwd: Billion

From: larry.r.trout@

'What is a Billion?

Since coming to America in 1990, I've never been unable to understand this insistence on redefining what a "billion" is, unless it's to make the national debt seem even bigger.

In England, a million is (or at least it was) a thousand squared. A billion is a million squared. A trillion is a million cubed. It's all very logical. The prefix "mono" means "one", "bi" means "two", and "tri" means "three":

one  million = 1,000,000                                     = one million ^ 1

one  billion = a million million         = a million squared = one million ^ 2

one trillion = a million million million = a million cubed   = one million ^ 3

In the USA, the prefix "bi" seems to be used to mean 1.5, and "tri" means 2:

one  million = 1,000,000

one  billion = one million ^ 1.5

one trillion = one million ^ 2

Can anyone explain the logic in this? A biplane is not an aeroplane with one and a half wings. A tricycle doesn't have two wheels. In fact it has three. And a bicycle has two wheels, not one and a half. This must be the "new math" everyone keeps talking about.

Here's one reply I got:

    Oh, you English people are just silly. Since when does "tri" mean

    "cubed" and "bi" mean "squared"? They mean "three of" and "two of,"

    respectively, of course. By your system, a bicycle would have only one

    wheel (1^2), and a tricycle would have only one wheel (1^3). It's your

    English system that's all screwed up.

    (I'm naturally neglecting an explanation of why a "billion" doesn't mean

    "two of a million.")


    So what name do you give to 1,000,000,000, if it's not a billion?


    Barry E. Brown                                  Internet:

    Sacramento Network Access

    System Administrator/Technical Support/Engineering

    Home page:

I know this is in good humour, but here's my semi-serious reply:

What name do you give to     1,000,000?      Answer: A million

What name do you give to     7               Answer: Seven

What name do you give to     7,000,000?      Answer: Seven million

What name do you give to    10               Answer: Ten

What name do you give to    10,000,000       Answer: Ten million

What name do you give to   100               Answer: A hundred

What name do you give to   100,000,000?      Answer: A hundred million

What name do you give to 1,000               Answer: A thousand

What name do you give to 1,000,000,000?      Answer: A thousand million

Does that answer your question? 1,000,000,000 is a thousand million.

Finally, what name do you give to 1,000,000,000,000?

Answer: A million million, which is clumsy, hence "billion" as an abbreviation for "million twice".

I still stand by my logic, although I'm told that since I left England, even the BBC has given up its standards. Oh well, that's progress, I suppose.

At least the BBC hasn't compromised yet on the fact that the third millennium begins on 1st January 2001, not on 1st January 2000 like the rest of the uneducated masses think... (Don't make me explain it :-)

Another attentive reader sent me the following excerpt from the Oxford English Dictionary:

I checked my copy of the Oxford English Dictionary, and according to their

explanation, the problem was caused by the French. Of course, we should have

suspected this.

    Billion [a. F. billion, purposely formed in 16th c. to denote the

    second power of a MILLION. (by substituting BI- prefix for the

    initial letters), trillion and quadrillion being similarly formed to

    denote its 3rd and 4th powers. The name appears not to have been

    adopted in England before the end of the 17th c. Subsequently the

    application of the word was changed by French arithmeticians,

    figures being divided in numeration into groups of threes, instead

    of sixes, so that F. billion, trillion now denote not the second and

    third powers of a million, but a thousand millions and a thousand

    thousand millions.  Eng. retains the original and etymological use.]'

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Extraversion and introversion

The relative importance of nature versus environment in determining the level of extraversion is controversial and the focus of many studies. Twin studies find a genetic component of 39% to 58%. In terms of the environmental component, the shared family environment appears to be far less important than individual environmental factors that are not shared between siblings.

Eysenck proposed that extraversion was caused by variability in cortical arousal. He hypothesized that introverts are characterized by higher levels of activity than extraverts and so are chronically more cortically aroused than extraverts. The fact that extraverts require more external stimulation than introverts has been interpreted as evidence for this hypothesis. Other evidence of the "stimulation" hypothesis is that introverts salivate more than extraverts in response to a drop of lemon juice.

Extraversion has been linked to higher sensitivity of the mesolimbic dopamine system to potentially rewarding stimuli. This in part explains the high levels of positive affect found in extraverts, since they will more intensely feel the excitement of a potential reward. One consequence of this is that extraverts can more easily learn the contingencies for positive reinforcement, since the reward itself is experienced as greater.

One study found that introverts have more blood flow in the frontal lobes of their brain and the anterior or frontal thalamus, which are areas dealing with internal processing, such as planning and problem solving. Extraverts have more blood flow in the anterior cingulate gyrus, temporal lobes, and posterior thalamus, which are involved in sensory and emotional experience.  This study and other research indicates that introversion-extraversion is related to individual differences in brain function.