Thursday, February 17, 2011

Potpourri CLX

Somehow I got caught up on my ISDC and Science Cheerleader-related emails. Exciting stuff ahead for both activities, but you'll just have to wait and see. Might as well take this operational pause to clear out more of my blog files. So sit back, pour yourself a glass of decent wine (or not decent, they're your taste buds), and prepare for a little gratuitously nerdy surfing.

Let's start with the work situation...or rather the budget situation, which controls the work situation. A Democrat lawmaker from NY added--and got passed--an amendment to the 2011 Continuing Resolution to cut $298 million from NASA's budget and spend that instead on a federal program on local police forces. Someone at work pointed out that if there weren't so many engineers out of work, there might not be as much crime in the first place.

From Lin:
  • The accompanying commentary deserves to be included with this one: "The United States Coast Guard has just opened an awesome new can of whup a** that should have narcotics smugglers worrying."
  • A warning about "geotagging." Note that I turn this feature OFF whenever possible.
  • A good review of a study on educational outcomes.
Artificial intelligence vs. humans on Jeopardy. This is a little creepy. When the computers start writing better fiction or providing better responses to women than I can come up with, I'm going to start mistrusting my iPhone. When Ray Kurzweil says, "Technology can be dangerous in the wrong hands," I want to shout (and did, when I watched the video), "How do you determine whose hands are the right ones?!?"

Also from (why do all these tech sites sound like they were named by six-year-olds?):
  • An interesting sushi ad.
  • A simulated "retro" game based on The Great Gatsby. Gotta admit, I'm intrigued.
From Twila: I still hear complaints that NASA is too expensive. After all, there's crime on the streets, a war on, healthcare to provide for every living being, etc. Launching bright, shiny objects HAS to be expensive, right? Well, for perspective, check out this article on what the average family contributes per YEAR out of their federal tax dollars to do all that NASA does. (Hint: it's not a whole lot.)

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