Mar 30, 2004

Current Reading

It's been a good weekend - extended because my head was pounding today. I've been reading 2 books recently. The collected letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, a wedding gift from my brother-in-law, G, which is actually quite interesting, especially for a fan of written correspondence like myself (looking for pen-pals - any takers?).

The second book is "A Basque History of the World" by Mark Kurlansky... which is absolutely fascinating. He's the author of Salt: A World History, which traces the many important points in which the history of the world has been interacted with this life-giving and taking compound.

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Mar 29, 2004

Bush Gaffe on Tape

In case you haven't seen this...
Presidential Humor in Bad Taste

And here's a great educational video about the issue. Pass it around...
Bush Joke

George W. Bush's Resume

I wouldn't trust everything on here, though. It claims that Bush had a 566 verbal on his SAT. I don't know if they've drastically changed the system since he took it, but I don't recall scores that weren't divisible by 10. So read at your own risk.

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Mar 25, 2004

Trying to get back.

I'm trying to do something with this site again - it's been too long, and I have a lot to say. :)

I actually want to start putting some things together that make more sense as a full website - the blog will have to be a critical part of that. In the interim, for the faithful reader out there (I hope you're still there!), check out this link from a good friend of mine who has been playing around with Flash, and coming up with some great multimedia educational commentary about the 1 year+ old war on the world.



Oh yeah - and for the metalheads out there: The BNR Metal Pages are great. Great resource for kicking it old school (with steel-tipped boots and all).

While I'm at it, this was in the Times today:

Meeting the Googlers - by David Pogue

• This is an old one, but very important: Put quotes around phrases that must be searched together. If you put quotes around "electric curtains," Google won't waste your time finding one set of Web pages containing the word "electric" and another set containing the word "curtains."

• Similarly, put a hyphen right before any word you want screened out. If you're looking up dolphins, for example, you'll have to wade through a million Miami Dolphins pages unless you search for "dolphins -Miami."

• Google is a global White Pages and Yellow Pages. Search for "phonebook:home depot norwalk, ct," Google instantly produces the address and phone number of the Norwalk Home Depot. This works with names ("phonebook:robert jones las vegas, NV") as well as businesses.

Don't put any space after "phonebook." And in all of the following examples, don't type the quotes I'm showing you here.

• Google is a package tracker. Type a FedEx or UPS package number (just the digits); when you click Search, Google offers a link to its tracking information.

• Google is a calculator. Type in an equation ("32+2345*3-234="). Click Search to see the answer.

• Google is a units-of-measurement converter. Type "teaspoons in a gallon," for example, or "centimeters in a foot." Click Search to see the answer.

• Google is a stock ticker. Type in AAPL or MSFT, for example, to see a link to the current Apple or Microsoft stock price, graphs, financial news and so on.

• Google is an atlas. Type in an area code, like 212, to see a Mapquest map of the area.

• Google is Wal-Mart's computer. Type in a UPC bar code number, such as "036000250015," to see the description of the product you've just "scanned in." (Thanks to the Google Blog,, for this tip and the next couple.)

• Google is an aviation buff. Type in a flight number like "United 22" for a link to a map of that flight's progress in the air. Or type in the tail number you see on an airplane for the full registration form for that plane.

• Google is the Department of Motor Vehicles. Type in a VIN (vehicle identification number, which is etched onto a plate, usually on the door frame, of every car), like "JH4NA1157MT001832," to find out the car's year, make and model.

• For hours of rainy-day entertainment, visit Here, you'll find links to new, half-finished Google experiments-like Google Voice, in which you call (650) 623-6706, speak the words you want to search for and then open your browser to view the results. Disclaimer: It wasn't working when I tried it. (Ditto a lot of these experiments.)

• Poke around the "Services & Tools" link on the home page and you'll find some of the better-known lesser-known Google features, if that makes any sense.

For example, there's Froogle (product search), News, Groups (Internet discussion boards), Google Catalogs (hundreds of scanned-in product catalogs), Images (find graphics and photos from other people's Web sites), Blogger (publish your own online journal), Google language translation, Google Answers (pay a couple of bucks to have a professional researcher find the answers for you) and much more.

Pretty soon you'll need Google just to search Google!

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