Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Southern Cal Fire Resources
This is now the largest evacuation in the U.S. since Katrina:
Donations to help fire victims can be made at SD Foundation or by calling 619-235-2300
Local residents who wish to donate emergency supplies and personal necessities are advised to contact:
St. Vincent De Paul - 619-446-2100
Goodwill - 886-446-6394
Salvation Army - 619-231-6000
Money collected will first go towards supporting the disaster volunteer recruitment efforts for the wildfires. Additional funds will support year-round disaster preparedness and volunteer programs. You can donate online here or mail your donation to:
Volunteer San Diego
4699 Murphy Canyon Road
San Diego, CA 92123
Local Emergency Information:
County Emergency Page:
Monday, October 22, 2007
Pogue’s Tech Imponderables
Longtime NYT and Macworld tech columnist David Pogue has been keeping a list of nagging questions: Pogue's Imponderables:
* Why is Wi-Fi free at cheap hotels, but $14 a night at expensive ones?
* What happens to software programs when their publishers go out of business?
* Would the record companies sell more music online if it weren't copy-protected?
* Do cellphones cause brain cancer?
* What's the real reason you have to turn off your laptop for takeoff?
* Why can't a digital S.L.R. camera record video?
* Wi-Fi on airplanes. What's taking so long?
* Who are the morons who respond to junk-mail offers, thereby keeping spammers in business?
* I'm told that they could make a shirt-pocket digital camera that takes pictures like an S.L.R., but it would cost a lot. So why don't they make one for people who can afford it?
* How come there are still no viruses for Mac OS X? If it has 6 percent of the market, shouldn't it have 6 percent of the viruses?
* Do shareware programmers pay taxes on all those $20 contributions?
* How are we going to preserve all of our digital photos and videos for future generations?
* Why are there no federal rebates or tax credits for solar power?
* Why do you have to take tape camcorders out of your carry-on at airport security, but not the tapeless kind? Couldn't you hide a bomb equally well in either one? (Actually, I have about 500 more logic questions about the rules at airport security, but I have a feeling they'll remain answerless for a very long time.)
* Laptops, cameras and cellphones have improved by a thousand percent in the last ten years. Why not their batteries?
* SmartDisplay, Spot Watch, U.M.P.C., Zune… when will Microsoft realize that it's not a hardware company?
* Why don't public sinks have foot pedals?
* Why don't all hotels have check-in kiosks like airlines do?
* Five billion dollars a year spent on ringtones? What the?
* How come cellphone signal-strength bars are so often wrong?
* Do P.R. people really expect anyone to believe that the standard, stilted, second-paragraph C.E.O. quote was really uttered by a human being?
* Why aren't there recycling bins for bottles and cans where they're most obviously needed, like food courts and cafeterias?
* Why doesn't someone start a cellphone company that bills you only for what you use? That model works O.K. for the electricity, gas and water companies —and people would beat a path to its door.
* Why doesn't everyone have lights that turn off automatically when the room is empty?
* What's the deal with Palm?
* Why are so many people rude on the Internet?
If you know the answers, by all means—fill us in at nytimes.com/pogue.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Twist and Shout-The Beatles Cartoons
I remember these on TV when I was a kid . . .
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Gadget of the Day: Roth Music Cocoon
Roth Audio Music Cocoon
Friday, October 19, 2007
20 timeless money rules
In what has to be one of the most brazen examples of click whoring I have ever come across, is this list of “20 timeless money rules” from CNN/Money Magazine
I won’t lift their copyrighted material, but let me save you the 20 clicks: Here are a collection of quotes that addresses the same issues that CNN addresses:
1. Be humble
When you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it--this is knowledge.
2. Take calculated risks
He that is overcautious will accomplish little.
--Friedrich von Schiller
3. Have an emergency fund
For age and want, save while you may; no morning sun lasts a whole day.
4. Mix it up
It is the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow and not to venture all his eggs in one basket.
--Miguel de Cervantes
5. It's the portfolio, stupid
Asset allocation...is the overwhelmingly dominant contributor to total return.
--Gary Brinson, Brian Singer and Gilbert Beebower
6. Average is the new best
The best way to own common stocks is through an index fund.
7. Practice patience
It never was my thinking that made the big money for me. It was always my sitting. Got that? My sitting tight!
8. Don't time the market
The real key to making money in stocks is not to get scared out of them.
9. Be a cheapskate
Performance comes and goes, but costs roll on forever.
10. Don't follow the crowd
Fashion is made to become unfashionable.
11. Buy low
If a business is worth a dollar and I can buy it for 40 cents, something good may happen to me.
12. Invest abroad
The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
13. Keep perspective
There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.
14. Just do it
It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.
15. Borrow responsibly
As life closes in on someone who has borrowed far too much money on the strength of far too little income, there are no fire escapes.
--John Kenneth Galbraith
16. Talk to your spouse
"In every house of marriage there's room for an interpreter."
17. Exit gracefully
Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
18. Pay only your share
The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that carries any reward.
--John Maynard Keynes
19. Give wisely
The time is always right to do the right thing.
--Martin Luther King Jr.
20. Keep money in its place
A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart.
Never hurts to learn from people smarter and/or more experienced than yourself . . .
20 timeless money rules
Money Magazine, August 7, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Ron Mueck is a London-based artist, makes giant photo-realist Human sculptures: A Ron Mueck Exhibition Opened November 3, 2006 at the Brooklyn Museum.
There is a full run of his work on flickr . . . here are some of the more interesting works:
Here's more on Mueck, via Snopes:
Ron Mueck is a London-based photo-realist artist. Born in Melbourne , Australia , to parents who were toy makers, he labored on children's television shows for 15 years before working in special effects for such films as Labyrinth, a 1986 fantasy epic starring David Bowie.
Mueck then started his own company in London, making models to be photographed for advertisements. He has lots of the dolls he made during his advertising years stored in his home. Although some still have a presence on their own. Many were made just to be photographed from a particular angle -one strip of a face, for example, with a lot of loose material lurking an inch outside the camera's frame.
Eventually Mueck concluded that photography pretty much destroys the physical presence of the original object, and so he turned to fine art and sculpture.
In the early 1990's, still in his advertising days, Mueck was commissioned to make something highly realistic, and was wondering what material would do the trick. Latex was the usual, but he wanted something harder, more precise. Luckily, he saw a little architectural decor on the wall of a boutique and inquired as to the nice, pink stuff's nature. Fiberglass resin was the answer, and Mueck has made it his bronze and marble ever since.
The attention to detail and sheer technical brilliance of his figures are incredible, but it is Mueck's use of scale that takes your breath away..
Ron Mueck's work became world-famous when a poignant sculpture of his dead fathers small, naked body caused shock waves in the Royal Academy'SSensation exhibition in 1997.
His work is lifelike but not life size, and being face to face with the tiny, gossiping Two Women (2005) or the monumental woman In Bed (2005) is an unforgettable experience
Mueck's huge 4.5m crouching Boy was the centerpiece of the Millennium Dome in London and of the Venice Biennale in 2001. The artist's work is becoming ever more intriguing, ranging from smaller-than-life size naked figures to much larger, but never actual, life size.
Consequently his hyper-realistic sculptures in fiberglass and silicone, while extraordinarily lifelike, challenge us by their odd scale. The psychological confrontation for the viewer is to recognize and assimilate two contradictory realities.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
the Sex Life of Robots
Fascinating and bizarre (NSFW)
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
LIRR Commuter from Hell: Courtesy Cop/Train Terrorist
I thought I had taken the courtesy thing about as far as I could push it, with my LIRR Commuter from Hell. It was just anti-social enough to help me deal with the cretins and keep the blood pressure down.
Now, I see another pinhead has taken this concept to a whole new level:
Long Island resident John Clifford has, by his own account, punched one woman in the head and poured his coffee on another. He's interrupted cell-phone conversations and yelled at others who managed to make his morning commute from Long Beach to Penn Station miserable. Clifford says he's tired of rude behavior.
The retired New York City police officer, who is now a lawyer, has been arrested or issued a summons by MTA police eight times since March 2003 for his conduct on trains and at Penn Station. He says his friends call him the "train terrorist."
Through all of his arrests, Clifford said, none of the charges have stuck because his accusers never show up in court. The police officers and train conductors who wrote the formal complaints never witnessed his actions.
But Gerry Bringmann, of the LIRR Commuter's Council says Clifford is "a vigilante" whose aggressive actions should not be tolerated. Clifford has a November court date for his latest dustup, a March incident in which he smacked a woman and yelled at a man riding the train with him. He says all he wants is for the LIRR to designate one car on each train a quiet car, where loud talking and cell-phone conversations would be forbidden.
That's awesome . . .
LIRR 'train terrorist' takes courtesy enforcement to new level
Long Beach - WABC, October 15, 2007) -