Archive for October 29th, 2003

Dolphin Slaughter Creates Red Sea in Japan


Fishermen work on a boat filled with freshly caught dolphins while a
diver prepares to submerge in the blood-filled water near the fishing
town of Taiji in Wakayama Prefecutre in this photo taken Friday, Oct.
6, 2003 by American anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Fishermen in this western Japanese town regularly conduct dolphin hunts
during the October to April season. They’ve caught more than 60 striped
dolphins so far this year under the government quota system which allows
22,275 to be caught. The meat is usually canned and sold in supermarkets.(AP

the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Rupert Murdoch Threatens to Sue Own Show


The Simpsons
creator Matt Groening says Fox News threatened legal action after an
episode of the cartoon poked fun at the channel.

The episode, on Fox Entertainment, featured a "Fox News Crawl" at
the bottom of the screen, which parodied items featured by the news channel.

The cartoon ticker read: "Pointless news crawls up 37 per cent …
Do Democrats cause cancer? Find out at … Rupert Murdoch:
Terrific dancer … Dow down 5000 points … Study: 92 per cent of Democrats
are gay … JFK posthumously joins Republican Party … Oil slicks found
to keep seals young, supple …"

from Ananova

Digital Info Explosion Doesn’t Save Trees



NEW YORK (Reuters) – All those e-mails — junk or otherwise — are
adding up.
In 2002, people around the globe created enough new information to fill
500,000 U.S. Libraries of Congress, according to a study by faculty and
students at the University of California at Berkeley.

The 5 billion gigabytes of new data works out to about 800 megabytes
per person — the equivalent of a stack of books 30 feet high — the
study by the university’s School of Information Management and Systems

Although film-based photographs have dropped 9 percent since1999, paper
documents, including books, journals, and others, have grown by as much
as 43 percent. Lyman said that much of the content is accessed on computers,
but users print it out.

from Reuters

Feds Grant DMCA Exceptions


The Library of Congress created on Tuesday four narrow exemptions to a controversial digital-piracy statute but faces criticism from free-speech activists, who had hoped for more exceptions.

As part of a regular process of reviewing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, regulators created four new instances in which it is legal to crack digital copyright protections. Such protections can now be broken to access:

Thoughts on a Rainy Day


on my back on a starry night, counting the uncountable, it seems
as though mankind’s noble aspiration to migrate out of the gravity well
is bound to succeed, allowing us to assume our rightful place among the
pantheon of intelligent species surely scattered throughout the galaxies.

On a rainy day like today, however, the Dowbrigade feels like a member
of a measly malevolent species in the terminal phases of plundering
our planet, that any really intelligent life in the universe would
avoid like a guest shot on Survivor: The Leper Colony.

Solar Flare Update


Unlike yesterday’s educational diagram, this is an actual photo, from NASA, of the solar flare which is scheduled to reach earth any minute now. While it only takes about 6 minutes for light to get to Earth from the sun, this electromagnetic radiations seems to take a couple of days, which is how long they’ve been warning us about it.

”This is the real thing,” said John Kohl, a solar astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge. ”It’s headed straight for us, like a freight train.”

Boston Globe Story (foto from NASA)
Solar Flare Update: (noon) We just lost power in one of our classroom buildings here at BU and it looks like a whole segment of Commowealth Avenue is out. Solar-related? We are investigating, but as of now no classes have been cancelled….

Dowbrigade for Dummies


or false — From ”Calculus for Dummies”: Regarding the infinite, if
you consider the series 0.1 + 0.01 + 0.001, etc., and if you go out far
enough, you’ll find a number with so many zeros to the right of the decimal
point that even if each zero were as small as a proton, there wouldn’t
be enough room in the entire universe to write it down.

from the Boston

This article got me thinking about other Dummies and Idiots books I
would like to read. The Dowbrigade has MUCHOS areas that need work, and
fits the description to a "T".

1) Complete Idiot’s Guide to programming your VCR – Just in time

2) How to find the G-Spot for Dummies – With a road map for guys
who hate to stop and ask for directions

3) Procrastination for Dummies – I know I’d read it sometime

4) Complete Idiots Guide to Getting into Harvard – I have numerous candidates
to author this one

5) Ventriloquism for Dummies – Turnaround is fair play

6) Running for Office for Dummies – A wealth of experience to draw on

7) The Complete Idiots Guide to Divining the Future – This one actually
exists, but the title was so good I included it anyway.

8) Complete Idiots Guide to Admitting You’re Wrong – desperately needed

9) Complete Idiot’s Guide to Hip Hop Lyrics – Is Mack good or bad?

10) Enlightenment for Dummies – I’ve been trying to crack this nut for