.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Am I The Only One?

Sunday, August 29, 2004

The Sexiest Woman on the Internet

I am quite certain I've found the sexiest woman on the internet.

No, she isn't a singer or a reality TV show contestant, nor is she an Olympic beach volleyball player. She isn't a mud wrestler or Dallas Cowboy cheerleader or an actress from American Beauty or.... an Olympic beach volleyball player.

She is Deborah, the "outtabodymommy" web blogger. Every time I visit her sassy journal she shares another chapter in the ongoing drama of building a new house with her husband, and every time she makes me laugh. Laughter can be sexy.

And no, she does not post any nude pictures of herself. Wait a minute... none that I've found, anyway... hmmmm... maybe she plays beach volleyball and wrestles in mud, too....

I'm adding Deborah's blog to my list of links.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The Future That Isn't

Don't you just hate living in the future?

After all, today isn't exactly the tomorrow that we fantasized about yesterday. We went to Disneyland's Tomorrowland when we were kids, we saw the automatic kitchens, so we knew what to expect from adult life. And yet somehow, with the exception of a few innovations like the Internet, we got gyped by yesteryear. Where's my Dick Tracy wristwatch video phone? Where's my personal robot? Where's my flying car?

The flying car, actually, is in the news these days. Maybe we will see one by 2019. Or maybe I will be writing another column in 2019 about the long wait for flying cars.

In the mean time, can we take a moment and think about what we really want from our modern devices? Take the PDA. I've used the fancy new PDA's which moonlight as a cell phone, a pager, and who knows what else -- but they are either a pretty sorry PDA or a beast of a cell phone that is too big to fit into the device pocket of your geek-chic cargo pants.

What I am waiting for is a Laptop / Cell Phone / Wristwatch system that actually works together. The laptop would be about the size and depth of a standard leather notepad cover, and would weigh no more than 4 pounds. Perhaps it could even be bound in leather. The cell phone will be appropriately-sized for a cell phone, but still with Mobile Windows, a color screen, and small pop-out stylus. The tastefully-styled watch would feature be a mini-PDA and would contain all your schedule information, phone numbers, addresses, and alarms. And all three are connected wirelessly by Bluetooth.

Now listen close and cue the futuristic Euro-techno music: When I get a voicemail from a colleague informing me that the meeting has been moved up to 2pm, I can look at the screen on the cell phone and click the 'Accept Change' button, which automatically connects to my watch via Bluetooth and updates my reminder alarm for the meeting. The next time I walk past my laptop with either device, the change will be synchronized to it as well. I can use my laptop to notify me when the stock price of GOOG hits 125, and later in the day during my run, my watch beeps with GOOG's new price. I use my watch to select 'Buy'.

When I get back from my run, my laptop tells me that I received two phone calls today from unknown numbers, and would I like to add them to my Outlook contacts? I click 'ok' and the information is bluetoothed to my watch as well.

Perhaps we are not too far away from this. Perhaps. Or maybe I'm better off just holding out for that personal robot.

Random Sample From NPR: NPR was doing what it does best this morning when they brought us "Climbing Big Trees To Understand Them" (listen), a story about an Oregon man who is raising awareness of old growth forests by leading tourist to their top branches for an overnight stay. Bias: None.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Rebuilding Update

The fine folks over at everybody's favorite "building-spacecraft-as-a-hobby" outfit Armadillo Aerospace have posted an update on their rebuilding efforts after the crash two weeks ago. Congratulations to John Carmack (the group's leader) and his wife on the birth of their child this month as well.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Viewer-Produced TV: What Digital TV Should Offer

About 6 months ago I took the plunge in the Digital Cable. Hundreds of channels, video on demand, even a DVR for a TiVo-like experience. And like so many of today's high-tech toys, it was great at first. But then the more I saw what digital TV offered, the more I saw what it didn't offer.

Let's say you're watching football. I want to be able to setup a main TV monitor, surrounded by about four smaller LDC monitors. My cable box should support up to, say, 10 monitors. Each sports program should have about 20 video feeds, and all of them should be streaming to hard disk in real time.

So as I'm watching the main broadcast, I can use my remote to put a menu of replays in one monitor, a live player statics in another monitor, and maybe the end-zone camera shot in a third monitor. In fact, I want to be able to pick the view from any of the cameras in the stadium, including the quarterback's helmet-cam.

Think of the experience for auto racing. Each car could have three cameras installed which together provide a 180-degree forward view from the car. You see what Indy 500 champ Buddy Rice sees as he drives. You could arrange your smaller monitors in a semicircle around you for a surround-video experience. Bam! Watch out for that wall in your right-hand monitor.

You should also be able to pick from 20 different in-car views, and change them at will. If I want the shot from the blimp from 30 minutes ago, it should be at my fingertips. I want to see driver profiles without having to use a separate Internet device, and I want to see telemetry data (like G-force loads and RPM) for any car, in real time, in any monitor.

The DVR start-n-stop phenomenon raises the possibility of viewer-directed production. Let's take Survivor, for example. We only see about 44 minutes in each episode, but there are hours upon hours of footage left on the floor of the editing suite. As I watch the show, I should be offered small menus on the bottom of the screen which will pause the broadcast and show me 2 hours of bonus footage which pertain to that moment of broadcast. I want to see the whole argument between Rupert and Tom, for heaven's saks, not just 15 seconds. I want to pause the tribal counsel and watch the entire voting sequence in real time, then resume the broadcast to see the vote.

Survivor does, in fact, have a very nice section on their web site with bonus "Survivor Insider" footage. But I want all of that, plus even more features, at my fingertips during the broadcast.

I realize that I have unrealistically high expectation of today's technology. But let's just say that I'm a visionary.

Random Sample From NPR: Scientists may have found a way to reduce the spread of malaria by genetically modifying the mosquito that carries it. But, who wants to be biten by a frankenstein insect? NPR explores both sides of the issue in "GM Mosquito Offer Hope in Fight Against Malaria" (listen) Bias: none.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Is There An Althouse in the House?

Writer / blogger Ann Althouse, who recently returned home from a car trip, blogs today about the various theories put forth by other bloggers on which way she is going to vote in the presidential election. When I look back on my voting record, I have to say that there is a difference between who I wanted to vote for and who I voted for. Even the Libertarian candidates are generally not viable. Why can't we find good people to run for president? Maybe because the good candidates are smart enough to know not to run.

Random Sample From NPR: Several very good stories with no bias whatsoever, followed by commentary from Juan Williams. He was not introduced as "liberal commentator Juan Williams", even though that's what he does for his bread-n-butter -- he provides the view from the left for Fox News. NPR is always careful to introduce conservatives as "right-wing commentator so-and-so". I'm sure NPR is honestly blind to the inconsistency. Bias: slightly left.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


They really need to stop assigning male names to hurricanes . Once they started doing that, we got clobbered with Andrew, Mitch, Hugo and now Charley.

Want to blow your mind? Some hush-hush researchers have claimed that they may have found the key to anti-gravity. One determined journalist spent months chasing down the facts: read his long and fascinating story here.

Random Sample From NPR: In W. Va., a New Generation Goes Underground. Thousands of unemployed are finding new jobs in the coal mines of West Virgina, and NPR details the dangers that these new miners will face. (What happened to being worried about the equally-hazardous jobs being lost in states like Michigan?) Bias: Slight left.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Spin The Dial

I have always enjoyed listening to National Public Radio (NPR). While other stations have 10 to 15 second news stories followed by minutes of commercials, NPR has thoughtful and colorful 8 minute news stories that truly give the listener a greater understanding of the issues.

However, NPR's left-wing bias is heavy, permeating, and rather obvious. It's the price we centrists have to pay for good news coverage, and generally I find it an acceptable trade-off. And it wouldn't be so hard to stomach if NPR didn't look the other way when the subject turns to bias.

Case in point: Jeffrey Dvorkin, the ombudsman for NPR's listeners, who writes a column for NPR.com addressing NPR's journalistic bias. You might want to grab some popcorn before reading his articles because it's quite a show.

In Internal Contradictions at NPR?, Dvorkin agrees with a letter-writer who objects to NPR's use of the term "transfer of sovereignty" in Iraq, because Iraq was technically sovereign before last June and therefore "the [Bush] Administration has used this terminology, even though its lawyers know it is wrong, to make ... us look good by doing a favor for Iraq."

Dvorkin is probably revealing his truest feelings in Is FAIR Being Fair About NPR?, gently challenging a study by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), a left-wing action group accusing NPR of, yes, a conservative bias:
FAIR is concerned whether the pendulum has swung too far [to the right]. That's my concern as well. I think it may have and NPR needs to do a better job in general and especially in an election year -- to make sure that the range is both wide and deep.

Sorry. I should have warned you not to take a sip of coffee before reading that quote.

I could go on, but instead I am going to try a small experiment. I will take a random sample from NPR (taken most likely from my morning drive in to work) and post it on this blog, and over time we will see if a bias emerges. Of course, this experiment itself is biased since it relies on my interpretation, but what the heck. It's my blog.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

X-citing Stuff

Last month the world watched the first commercial space vehicle soar into the blackness and return for a landing in the Mojave desert, earning the pilot a set of Astronaut wings and a place in the history books. The organization, Scaled Composites, is one of several vying for the Ansari X-Prize, a $10-million prize for the first privately-funded organization to launch a 3-person vehicle 100 km high, and then do it again with the same vehicle within a two-week period.

I'll admit it up front, I'm geeked up on this amateur space launch stuff. Scaled Composites has the early lead, and it can't hurt to have Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen funding the project. But the really fascinating teams are the lesser-know ones. In other words, all the other X-Prize teams.

Or at some were unknown, until this week.

One team from Texas, Armadillo Aerospace, is building a hydrogen-peroxide propelled vehicle -- pretty cool stuff to use on a budget. I've been following their test this year, and their prototype consisting of a tank of propellant mounted a custom-made nozzle system. A hand-made on-board computer system with GPS controls the attitude of the craft, allowing it to raise off the ground and hover in place.

On August 8, the fine folks at Armadillo sent their prototype almost 600 feet in the air before it suffered a fuel failure and the vehicle crashed back to earth. Although the vehicle was a total loss, the team can build the prototypes fairly quickly and expect to be testing again in about 5 weeks.

In the mood for something a little scarier? Another X-Prize team from Washington state is building a rocket for about $20,000. This is supposed to carry a human into space, mind you. On August 11 this team tested their rocket on the Olympic peninsula, with a spectacular lack of success.

And yes, the pilot for Space Transport says he's still behind the team's efforts and ready to go. Brave man?

Oogling Google

Responding to my Aug 3rd blog wherein I wondered when Google would get around to indexing my site, Smithers offered this good advice:
You might want to register with Google as opposed to waiting for them to add your site. Also, Sitemeter.com can help you track visitors to your site. Good luck, keep at it.

I did submit my URL (i.e. http://nevermoreblog.blogspot.com/) to Google using the Add URL page (http://www.google.com/addurl.html). Is there a better way to do it? Google seems to make clear that using that page does not mean that your site will show up in Google anytime soon:
We do not add all submitted URLs to our index, and we cannot make any predictions or guarantees about when or if they will appear.

I will look into Sitemeter.com. Watch this space!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


I think my favorite word right now is "Snarky".

Monday, August 09, 2004

Some Terrific Women

I love blogs written by women. They are sometimes personal, honest, almost earthy. And there's nothing sexier than a well-articulated woman's experience.

Here are two of my favorites, from right here at blogspot.com:

  • Ann Althouse - This university professor maintains one of the best-written blogs on the Internet. Bravo!
  • Breast Intentions - Chronicles the feelings and reactions of a 20-year-old woman who has decided to wait until marriage for sex -- and still seems to date quite a bit.

The Greatest Internet Site of All

It's Ebay.

Why? Because it's a vast, teeming pool of entertainment and business that shows no sign of stopping. Anything and everything is for sale.

Want to buy a tumbleweed? How about a cat-tail from a marsh? Or what about women's soiled undergarments? (no kidding) There was much ado about human body parts available on Ebay a few years ago, but they have put a stop to that. So there is a line there, apparently.

Ebay is, and has always been, a Seller's tool. People get caught up in the thrill of winning the auction and bid $157 for something used they can buy new for $149 at Amazon.com. The thrill of the winning bid helps the seller every time.

I've been passively following the online market for soda pop cap codes on Ebay. Soda companies run promotions where they print a code on the bottom of soda bottle caps, and these codes can be redeemed for prizes at the company's website. The hottest cap code program this summer was Moutain Dew's DewU program, where for 550 cap codes you can get a limited-edition green Xbox.

It was fascinating to watch an open market develop for these free codes. You could browse over 100 DewU cap code auctions, and as each auction finished, the prices paid for these codes were pretty consistent -- about 25 cents per code, or about 20 cents per code in groups of 10 or more codes. The worldwide market of buyers all seemed to agree on the a value for these codes, just like a mini stock market. There's a doctoral thesis in there somewhere, all you MBA students.

I keep wondering what kind of Internet business will show up to replace Ebay as the place to buy and sell, but so far I can't imagine what would.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Dear Mr. Kerry: Huh?

John Kerry is going to be the next president of the United States. And he may prove to be a very good one. That said, do the rampant contradictions bother anyone else?

Last summer, President Bush helped pilot a war plane on route to a speech to declare an end to open combat in Iraq. He jumped out in military garb similar to that which he wore during his service during the Vietnam war.

This summer, Candidate Kerry helped pilot a war boat on route to a speech to accept the Democratic nomination for President. He jumped out in military garb similar to that which he wore during his service during the Vietnam war.

This was less than a year after John Kerry widely criticized Bush's carrier landing, declaring "I cannot wait to stand up and remind him [Bush] that having a skilled Navy pilot land you on an aircraft carrier in a borrowed suit does not make up for losing 3 million jobs." (Aug 5 2003)

Since Kerry then performed almost the exact same stunt, I wonder what he is trying to make up for?

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Who Are We to Judge?

Today I read a news story with a name that I have not heard for a very long time: Mary Kay Letourneau, the elementary school teacher that was jailed for having sex with one of the 12-year-old boys in her class back in 1996. She got pregnant from the encounter and was sentenced to 6 months in jail, after which she was released -- only to get together with the boy again and become pregnant a second time. Letourneau was then jailed for 7 1/2 years.

The story begs many questions... What led a married mother of 4 to have sex with a 12-year-old? And if she's going to cross that line, why on earth didn't she use birth control? And didn't it occur to her that if she continued having sex with the boy that she might get pregnant again?

But none of that is what I'm thinking about today.

The story got me thinking about the recent nationwide push for same-sex marriage and moral relativism. The argument goes that the government has no right to prohibit two consenting adults from marriage, and that the days of so-called Judeo-Christian mores are behind us. It's time to update the definition of "marriage".

But I wonder... who gets to write the new definition? The recent same-sex marriage proposals would define it as the union between any two consenting adults, which would certainly leave Letourneau out of luck, since the boy -- Vili Fualaau, now 21 -- was not a concenting adult at the time. If we change the definition of marriage to include same-sex unions, aren't we merely replacing one moral restriction with another? Aren't the same-sex marriage advocates guilty of judging the pedophiles?

If this seems a little far-fetched, rest assured that there does seem to be an element of sympathy for Letourneau. One paper printed headlined the story, "Teacher Accused of Rape Freed". Accused? Isn't 'Convicted' a more accurate word? And then there are web sites that present her case gently: "In the case of Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau, both parties agree that Vili initiated and enjoyed sex with Mary Kay. But because the child rape law in Washington State is gender neutral she is legally a rapist and he a victim." (source: crimelibrary.com)

Was Fualaau a victim? Does one need to be in some sort of observable distress in order to be called a victim? Moral relativism would say that it's up to the individual to decide, which is why moral relativism doesn't work in a civilized society. Society agrees on a general set of rules, like stopping at red lights and paying taxes, which together form our ethics and keep us somewhere in between absolutism and anarchy.

I believe that marriage is, and forever should be, the union of one man and one woman. This view is not based in pop-American Judeo-Christian beliefs, nor in absolute morality, but rather on societal ethics: one man and one woman is the most basic self-contained unit which, left to itself, can propogate the species. Place one man and one woman on a deserted island or on another plant, and humanity will go on. And the thing is, the same-sex marriage proponents don't disagree with me entirely -- just where to draw the line.

As for Letourneau, don't worry about her. The courts have cleared the way for her to sell her story to the highest bidder.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Small Red Dot

Signs of the Times... Terror Alert at 'Orange', Michael Moore's propaganda film plays to packed theaters in Cuba, and Mary Kay Letourneau is released from prison. Hmmm... I'll have to post more thoughts on that last item later.

One hundred years from now, none of that will matter. What may matter, though, is the discovery that there is likely microbacterial life on Mars today. When we colonize Mars in a few decades, I wonder what will happen to this native life when exposed to our own earth bacteria? Perhaps there's in a movie in there somewhere.

Joseph has the honor of posting the first feedback to this blog. Have a look at his blog Me, Myself, My World.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

All Quiet

I wonder how long before someone discovers this blog? It hasn't been picked up by Google yet, and that may take a very long time from what I understand. To any readers out there, the Feedback area is public -- you do not need to sign up in order to post -- so drop me a note in feeback, or send an email (nevermore68@yahoo.com).

Until then, I will continue this rather odd practice of writing entries that no one reads and no one knows exist. Once I am famous and beloved I'm sure I will look back on this moment fondly.