Posts

Featured Post

Allergy

John studied himself in the mirror as best he could through tears. Red, puffy eyes stared back at him, a running nose already leaked just a minute after using a tissue. He couldn't do his job well if he always looked like this. He readjusted his coat and a sneeze caught him unaware. At least he had an appointment with the doctor today.

***

 "Mr. Filner, I am afraid that the results were inconclusive." Dr. Snozuk came bustling into the small room a clipboard in one hand with papers folded over the top and a pen in the other hand. "We only found one thing that you seemed to have a serious immune response to, and it simply doesn't grow in this environment."

"But if I am not allergic to anything else why do I have all the symptoms?" He tried not to wipe his nose on the jacket sleeve. Dr. Snozuk must have noticed John's involuntary half-lift of his arm because he grabbed the box of tissues behind him and set it next to John.

Dr. Snozuk waited while…

Integrated Memory and What It Means

Can we see the next thing in computing from here? I don’t mean just the next fastest processor or the next larger memory, but a true turn like smartphones were, now that we are living ex post smartus. That is the issue, will it be soft electronics? A totally new way of non-invasive interface that allows us to control the new technology that might be around the corner?
As an unpublished, except for this blog, science-fiction writer I have to say that it frustrates me at the same time it intrigues me. I have written stories about nanotechnology, others about genetics, especially AI, as well as space travel and the differences it may make in our lives, or how it might not be as drastic as we all hope or fear.
So let’s start with a simple, but gargantuan advance: Integrated memory. IEEE reported on a new technology that Intel is releasing soon. It is basically the RAM of the computer integrated into Non-Volatile Memory. Or to put it simply, the entire state of the computer could be saved in…

The Odd Case of Charity Lending

I would ask what hole you are living in if you don’t know what micro-lending is, except you may see, soon, that I would like to join you. Basically micro-lending is set up like a charity where you give money to someone, but you know who it is, what they are trying to do, and you expect them to pay you back. This is so you can lend again, and again.
Let’s take Kiva for example: It has funders, like me, who put in $25 per person to fund an enterprise (farmer, banker, mechanic, store owner, etc.) Kiva takes this money and forward it to in-field institution, Field Partner, who is responsible for distribution and collection. The debtor pays this loan back and you get a portion back until the entire loan is paid. If you have multiple “investments” in your “portfolio” then you may get the $25 to relend sooner and be able to add to your portfolio.
This is great for a few reasons: you are getting capital investment to parts of the world that want to make things better and you have a tenuous but …

Another Attempt

Image
Or, I got really self-righteous writing an attempt at this post, or at least righteous.
So what am I doing now without two classes to keep up with? First, my wife is really happy that I am contributing more to chores. It is amazing how much she likes that, even with understanding just how much work school is. So if I don’t kill myself trying to do two classes maybe I can keep up more than just a token effort on chores.
And speaking of helping I was able to get her research back on track after five minutes of fiddling with the configuration files. It is nice that she can bother me without feeling guilty.
I really want to go fencing. This time for sure, no stopping me, we have all the gear.
More outdoor exercise, oh wait it dumped snow on us last week, just the walk to work was a workout. But the wife and I built a giant snow monster:
More birdwatching. Birds are coming to town! But it snowed and we’ve had some of the coldest weather of all winter. I am afraid that March regressed toward th…

Dust - Expedition

“Whoa! She crumbled” Jared stared down. 

Of course he had to touch it, Elena thought, men can’t appreciate anything they can’t touch. “Didn’t I say something about not touching anything.” 

“I didn’t.” That sounded a bit plaintive even for him. “I just wanted to look at something on her skin.”
It was a good thing that her eye roll didn’t add a chorus to her already restrained sigh. She shook her head and walked back out of the house on the outskirts of a town that must be abandoned. Nothing moved, not even a breeze. Elena was glad that she had photographic evidence before Jared breathed it out of existence. “Come on, and try not to stare too closely at the art next time, however weird that it was in a tub.” 

Elena didn’t understand the grumbled reply, and frankly didn’t want to make a big deal of it. They were already tight on their schedule, so many new places to go with a new satellite making its way across the surface of the Sphere, they had five hours allocated to explore this town an…

Blogger and CSS

My wonderful audience may have noticed a few swaps in my blogger theme, something is really broken on my posts with spacing between paragraphs. Since I can't use tabs without tabbing out of the editing interface I use an extra line between paragraphs, pretty standard for lots of internet content these days. However, blogger's new "improved" themes broke this for many of my old posts.

I tried to edit '.post-body' css but it seems that I will have to back through by hand and edit the html, per post. I really don't want to spend the time migrating to WordPress, but it is looking even more likely now. I was hoping to do more writing and save my developing time for more fun side projects.

Phyton: Episode 5 - First Report

Previous Episode

Airports on the receiving end were just as nightmarish as the sending end these days, Al thought as he pulled his suitcase from an old fashioned belt.  Anyone could grab luggage if they wanted to. The security was terrible too. So many uniforms jostling to look closely at you, your bags, and a suspicious mustard stain if you had the misfortune of spilling lunch.
Back before the purge the entities had monitored from afar with others delivering your luggage directly to you, no mess and fuss of people crowding the belt. Now the security gap left by the entities felt unfillable, all of the personnel seemed frustrated by the number of people milling around and the occasional raised voices of people arguing over similar luggage or trying to convey just how important their lost luggage was to a harried worker.
Al found Jeff already in the crowd as he trundled his decidedly unresponsive luggage away from the chaos.
“You got yours, well that gives me hope. I’ll see you at our firs…

On Why Quitting is Terrible Failing

Image
Many failures may precede success, but failing within an institution is just failing.

I am trying to suss out what is an acceptable level of failure. I grew up with the idea that failing at anything was bad: school, piano, that stupid cake-walk back in cub scouts, and many other venues. I’ll just say that I was so upset at the cake-walk they gave me some consolation pie. But back to the point: failure was unacceptable and very upsetting.

School was and is the prime place of failure being unacceptable. In some ways I envy the kids that don’t care when they fail, but in many others I don’t, since I would be very surprised if they are more successful than myself. Though I am certainly not a paragon of success, just very comfortable.

What does failing lead to within school as an institution? Retaking a grade at the worst save dropping out. I never failed in primary or secondary with my worst grade a C. This kept me from having a free ride through UW. The only fear of failure ever was on spec…