Tuesday, January 23, 2007

One of the coolest websites ever.

I ran across this awesome search tool for airline prices. You can look up historical data for up to two years, to see what's a good price.

You just need to play with it a bit to see what all it can do. To get the old stuff, click on the graph once you plug in the two cities you're interested in.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Friday, January 05, 2007

Gravity. It's a bitch.

Spaceship Earth collapsed. Thoughts?

My favorite comment:

"How can stone collapse by itself?" [Finnish-born sculptor who goes by one name] Eino asked.
"gravity" It's a basic characteristic of the space ship named earth.

Posted by: Wickedpinto at January 4, 2007 20:08


How.... odd.

"Imagine having six times the sensitivity of your entire hand concentrated in a single fingertip."

Read more here.

Not too many hotels come with it's own missle-defense system...

But this one does.

10,000 Gs? Definitely don't try THIS one at home...

Sounds like fun.

Yes, I am bored at work...

I love his rating on this one...

Don't try this at home.

I'm very excited about this one...

Drillers Tap into Foundation of Earth's Crust

In April 2006, geologists reported that they had successfully drilled into the bottom layer of the ocean's crust for the first time—and so have come a step closer to understanding how the foundation of the world takes shape.

New crust forms at midocean ridges where the sea floor spreads apart. Lava leaking from the ridges creates the crust's upper layer; beneath that lies a second layer, composed of the fossilized channels that once piped molten rock to the ridges. The formation of the lowermost crust, made up of a dark, magnesium-rich rock called gabbro, is still largely a mystery, one that holds the key to the workings of the magma source that feeds the whole process.

Douglas Wilson, a geophysicist at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and his colleagues traveled 500 miles west of Costa Rica to an area of ocean floor that formed 15 million years ago. There they found just the right piece of crust—not too hot, not too thick, and not too crumbly—to drill down to the gabbro. In 2006 they released their findings: After drilling through nearly a mile of sediment and crust, they finally hit the gabbro layer for the first time. Wilson hopes to drill deeper into this third layer by 2009. Then he will truly plumb Earth's deep secrets.

Anne Sasso

The scientific research drilling ship Joides Resolution is exploring the hidden structure beneath the ocean's floor .


Here's another one...

Fuzzy Math: The Wine-Dark Seas
By Alex Stone
DISCOVER Vol. 27 No. 06 June 2006
Take a magnum of wine and dump it in the ocean, wait until it has mixed completely with the waters around the world, then refill the bottle. What is the chance that the bottle now contains one of the original wine molecules? Answer: The odds are 100 percent. This surprising answer is the result of a simple consequence of statistics. The odds of randomly picking a wine molecule from the ocean is tiny—about 10 -21—because the volume of the bottle is so small relative to the volume of the ocean. But the bottle holds 1025 molecules, which means you get 1025 "tries" to nab one molecule of wine. After that many attempts, the highly improbable becomes destiny. By the same logic, every breath you take contains air molecules you have breathed before—guaranteed.

Not sure I quite buy his logic here...

Fuzzy Math: Reproductive Roulette
If a father of two tells you one of his children is a boy, what are the odds that the other child is also a boy?
By Alex Stone
DISCOVER Vol. 27 No. 08 August 2006
Let's say a mathematician and father of two tells you one of his children is a boy, then asks what the odds are that the other child is also a boy. It may seem obvious that the odds are 1 in 2, since the chances of any given child being born male are the same as a coin toss. But the correct answer is 1 in 3. Why? The reason is that the father is effectively asking what the odds are of both children being male, and we already know that (at least) one of them is. This actually creates three possible scenarios: two boys, a younger boy and an older girl, or a younger girl and an older boy. Both children are male in only one of these three scenarios, so the odds are 1 in 3. If the father had instead told you that, say, the older child was a boy, then the odds would indeed be 1 in 2 because in this case there are just two possibilities: The children are either both boys or a younger girl and an older boy—and two boys are just as likely as one child of each sex.

Now that it's a possibility again...

Now that Darrell might be headed over to Iraq again, I find myself paying more attention to things 'round the 'net. I know I should be anyway, especially since my best friend's husband is in Baghdad right now, but I've been playing the ostrich with my head in the sand, pretending the issue isn't an issue.

But, it's time to pull my head back out of the sand and deal with reality.

I ran across this weeks ago. Not sure exactly where I did, but that doesn't much matter.

Some selected sections:

Would you trust a Hurricane Katrina report datelined “direct from Detroit”?
Or coverage of the World Trade Center attack from Chicago? Why then should we
believe a Time Magazine investigation of the Haditha killings that was reported
not from Haditha but from Baghdad? Or a Los Angeles Times article on a purported
Fallujah-like attack on Ramadi reported by four journalists in Baghdad and one
in Washington? Yet we do, essentially because we have no choice. A war in a
country the size of California is essentially covered from a single city. Plug
the name of Iraqi cities other than Baghdad into Google News and you’ll find
that time and again the reporters are in Iraq’s capital, nowhere near the scene.
Capt. David Gramling, public affairs officer for the unit I’m currently embedded
with, puts it nicely: “I think it would be pretty hard to report on Baghdad from
out here.” Welcome to the not-so-brave new world of Iraq war

The real IZ represents opulence in the midst of war — with terrific chow, huge post exchanges that stock an amazing array of products, the best medical care in the country, and large, sumptuous swimming pools built for Saddam but now open to anybody who works in the zone. Nor have the grotesque exaggerations of the dangers of the IZ gone unnoticed by soldiers and their loved ones. “Dear Chain-smoking, Unwitting Stooges,” military blogger Jason Van Steenwyk began an open letter to the Baghdad press corps. “So how come we can get mortared several times a week out here and it never makes the news, but the pogues [rear-echelon soldiers] in the Green Zone can catch three measly mortar rounds and I get my dad emailing me asking why the Baghdad press corps is covering it like it’s the second Tet Offensive?”

Ah ha! That's where. I read Jason's blog daily...


The sad truth is that the mainstream media have no interest in covering the
Iraq War for what it is, observes Dollard. He says they are interested in Iraq
only so far as it is useful as a weapon against their self-imagined mortal
political enemy, George W. Bush. The embeds, however, want the real picture —
and we want to tell the truth about it to the world.

And so it goes. I started reading Jason's blog when Darrell was over there the first time (since I'll assume he's headed there again). He was a company commander for a National Guard unit that operated in the same place that Darrell was at the time. While I don't agree with all of his politics, I appreciate his experience and candor.

In any case, I still don't know how I feel about the war. Or when and how we should leave Iraq. My feelings are irrelevant. What matters now is how I support my friend while her husband is there. How I support my husband as he mentally prepares himself to go back. And how I support the rest of the military - both servicemembers and the families they leave at home - when it isn't "our turn."

I do wish the media would do a better job of covering Iraq, not just the war. Darrell has told me many stories about the good things we're doing over there. I've seen bits and tiny pieces of what we've accomplished for the people trying to live normal lives. After my time in Bosnia after that war was over, I am anxious for the Iraqis to get to the point the Bosnians were - hopeful optimism. Children of different religions playing together peacefully again. Adults, while not embracing their neighbors of different faiths as a rule, at least tolerating their differences and realizing that perhaps those differences didn't matter as much as they were led to believe.

But unfortunately we're years from that place in Iraq. And until we pull out our military, many of my friends and loved ones will keep going over there to help get there.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

He's getting the hang of it...

Finally, after many failed attemps and half-eaten meals, Kaden is getting the hang of eating baby food. He powered through a size two container of apples and cherries tonight. Power on, babe!!

Ok, so NOW what??!

Darrell logged on to AKO today to show something to someone else and saw that his Korea assignment had been deleted. This is good news and bad news at the same time.

It's good that he's not going to Korea, but the reason they're not filling Korea is because they need his MOS and rank stateside to fill the units being deployed.

Great. *sarcasm* So now instead of him spending a year in a relatively safe area, albeit on the opposite side of the planet, he'll be who knows how long in a war zone somewhere again.

Double great. *sarcasm* We weren't expecting to move the rest of us until August-ish 2008 when he came back, but now we might need to move August-ish THIS year. That means we need to work on getting the house ready to be sold sooner rather than later. And with the market around here, with houses not moving fast, it could get to a point where we need to rent it out. I was hoping to avoid that.

OR, we could stay here, depending on where Darrell goes, and how soon they'll be deploying. We won't have an idea where that might be until April at the earliest, and possibly not even until a month or two after that. If we do end up needing to move, that doesn't give us a lot of prep time.

Just this morning, I put in an application to get Justin into another school and/or program within the school district. While I'm not going to pull it out of the running, it looks like we may not need it. We don't find out about that until mid-March anyway, with the decision deadline coming before we know when/where we'll be going next.

Wow, life just got really interesting really fast. (Sam, I'm still pulling for Riley!!)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

We're back.

An update will have to follow later. Our house looks like a tornado went through it.

A great time was had by all. Work starts up again tomorrow. School starts up the day after that. Back to normal....