Our first pet Chervolet

The Roomba rocks!

Double Rainbow in Missouri

These pictures were taken by Dan Bush of Albany, MO.
Really awesome!

Leaving Seattle

Sunset at Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park

Original Apollo moon landing film lost !

Buzz Aldrin landing on the moon?
Man, isn't this amazing. The original moon landing film is lost, and NASA has been searching unsuccessfully for it for the past year!

Original moon landing film lost [Washington Times]

One would think that if for nothing else, these particular films would be saved! Beside the unrivalled historical value, some of these could be useful for future missions to the Moon?
& nobody cared to take care of these magnetic tapes? I guess, having studied enough about "computer" peripheral devices, my hopes are not that high about their state that many years after these recordings were taken...

Very sad.

& given all this, why exactly should I not join the people who suspect that there was a conspiracy here and nobody really landed on the Moon?

"The original film footage of astronaut Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon, one of the most important artifacts of the 20th century, has been lost.
The television broadcast seen by about 600 million people in July 1969 is preserved for posterity, but the original tapes from which the footage was taken have been mislaid, most likely in NASA's vast archives at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.
The footage could transform our view of the moon landings, offering images far sharper than the blurred, grainy video shown around the world. It also could lay to rest the conspiracy theory that the landings were faked on a Hollywood soundstage.
Despite its iconic status, the television footage was the equivalent of a photocopy of a photocopy. It came from a camera that had been pointed at a black-and-white monitor on Earth. The image on the monitor, in turn, had been stripped of much of its detail.
Rather than prizing the tapes as vital recordings, NASA simply filed them away. As personnel retired or died, the location of the tapes was forgotten. "

P.S.: And talking of astronomy, I will miss Pluto! They decided to downgrade it from "real planet" to "dwarf planet" yesterday :-(.

A sad but vivid example of Darwinian selection (poor duck chicks)

I saw this picture in a talk by Eric T. Wang on "Accelerated Evolution in Recent Human History" / paper Global landscape of recent inferred Darwinian selection for Homo sapiens.
[I googled duck and ducklings after that, & here the pix was on google images of course]

Really memorable. "Bad parenting mother duck leads ducklings over drain".

From the web site, apparently in this particular case the ducklings were rescued. However, the talk was on natural selection - the Darwinian type of selection. The picture really brings home the importance of changes in the environment and their effect on selection and what the spiecies might be "selected" for.

P.S. This site seems to have a video of probably the same event, but I can't easily see it here right now http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5139410/.

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SandDisk's Sansa e280, iPod Zune & other mp3 players

I am planning to get a music player of the iPod type. I want a very small thing, with lots of memory :). But also want to be able to add easily music which I have not bought (for example, have a cheap monthly subscription or just radio music). So for right now I have not found anything that fits that description - I like Yahoo Music, but it can not be listened to on an mp3 player as far as I understand.

Nevertheless, here is my first entry of a device of interest for the future, in addition to the Apple's iPod & Microsoft's Zune:

SanDisk's Sansa e280

August 30: New cool news:
Universal Music to Offer Free Downloads

What this means is, maybe by the time Zune comes out, this will be available & I'd be able to listen to the music exactly the way I'd like to? That would be soooo awesome.
Btw the article mentions that the SpiralFrog service will not be availabe to iPods. So one more reason against getting an iPod. This is some serious war between the music providers (& remember all these cars which will come equiped for iPod usage next year or so?)

The water market in India ( investments )

Excellent article which I want to read, but don't have time right now.

Water - India needs massive investments

Btw, this had a link to this
might or might not be worth checking

also: Investing in India Blog: http://investinginindianews.blogspot.com/

Improving Windows (XP) performance (cutting on visual effects & optimizing memory management)

This post is mostly for my own future records.

When one starts to worry too much about improving Windows XP performance, maybe all this really means is that she needs a new laptop...
However, while this is not an option (as is my case right now), this information is very useful:

Steps You Can Take to Increase Windows XP’s Performance

In my case both the memory management (switching to "System managed size") as well as removing Visual Effects really made a difference.

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My Favorite Quotes

My favourite quotes

"You can't wait for inspiration। You have to go after it with a club."
-- Jack London

"Ships are safe in the harbor, but that's not what ships were made for."

"If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well. If it is worth having, it is worth waiting for. If it is worth attaining, it is worth fighting for. If it is worth experiencing, it is worth putting aside time for."

"And if it feels good... Feel it!"

"I can resist anything but temptation."
-- Oscar Wilde

"The only way to have a friend is to be one."

"Common sense is the sum total of all prejudice deposited in the human mind prior to the age of 18."
-- Albert Einstein

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
-- Gandhi

"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself."
-- Emerson

"Happiness is not having what you want. It's wanting what you have."
-- unknown

"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
-- Abraham Lincoln

"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up."
-- Mark Twain

"Life is 10 percent of what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitudes."
-- Charles Swindoll

"It is perfectly possible to get what you think you want and be miserable. It's possible too, to never get it but deeply enjoy the process of trying. In this world, there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it."
-- Oscar Wilde

"Great dancers are not great because of their technique; they are great because of their passion."
-- Martha Graham

"Good judgement comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgement."

"Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted."

"The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat."
-- Lily Tomlin

"If you're still in control, you're not going fast enough!"

"If the going is getting too easy, maybe you're going downhill!"

"It's a matter of confidence, just like everything else."
-- Max Frisch

"It is a scientific fact that if you stay in California, you lose one point off your IQ every year."
-- Truman Capote

"Sleep is a poor substitute for caffeine."

"Your conscious mind is very intelligent, and your unconscious mind is a hell of a lot smarter than you are"
-- Erikson H. Hilton

"I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it."

"People are strange, when you are a stranger....
Faces come out in the rain, When you're strange......"

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices."
-- William James

"We figure great careers aren't made. They're experienced."

"Those who desire to give up Freedom in order to gain Security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for continuing the practice. According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people from murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times"
-- Isaac Bashevis Singer, Nobel Laureate

"Mayr speculated that the human form of intellectual organization may not be favored by selection. The history of life on Earth, he wrote, refutes the claim that "it is better to be smart than to be stupid," at least judging by biological success: beetles and bacteria, for example, are vastly more successful than humans in terms of survival. He also made the rather somber observation that "the average life expectancy of a species is about 100,000 years."

"Following the path of least resistance is what makes men and rivers crooked."

"I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best."
-- Oscar Wilde

"It's your ability to inspire and uplift other people that matters, not your ability to outdo them."

"A true friend is one who overlooks your failures and tolerates your successes."
-- Doug Larson

"The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for."
-- Allan K. Chalmers

"Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of others, but from doing something worthwhile."
-- Wilfred Grenfell

"The sun is alone, but it is strong."
-- think Chinese, not sure

"If U are not living on the edge..then...U are taking too much space."

"Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero."
Baio's trusted translation: "Seize the day, put no trust in the morrow!"

"Any fool can turn a blind eye to reality. It takes a special kind of idiot, though, to ignore a dream."

"Nothing is worth more than this day."
-- Goethe

"Stand facing the sun and the shadows fall behind you."

"Life is like a finger, pointing to the Moon. If you look at the finger... you will miss all the heavenly glory."
-- Enter the Dragon, Bruce Lee tells his pupil

"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."
-- Susan Jeffries

"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."
-- Leo Tolstoy

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."
-- Closing Time by Semisonic

"We do not stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

"Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there's always tomorrow."

"One of the hardest things in life to learn is which bridge to cross and which bridge to burn"

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."

"Learn to differentiate between ignorance and stupidity."

"The best people to work for are me, myself and I."

"Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others."
-- Oscar Wilde

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
-- Edmund Burke

"If you want to make people smile, say cheese."

Hummmm. Interesting: "Make it possible for programmers to write programs in English, and you will find the programmers cannot write in English."

"Evil is "live" spelled backwards."
Not so in my language, though :)

"If you don't care where you are, you're not lost."

"If the human brain were simple enough to understand, we would be too simple to understand it."
-- developer of Prozac

"History is a set of lies that people have agreed upon."
-- Napoleon Bonaparte

"A woman is like a tea bag, you never know how strong it is, until it's in hot water."

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men - true nobility is being superior to your former self."
-- an unattributed quotation from the radiohead site, and now from Pete's site :)

"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
-- Martin Luther King Jr.

"Logic is the art of going wrong with confidence."
-- Morris Kline

"The search for truth is more precious than its possession."
-- Albert Einstein

"The surest protection against temptation is cowardice."
-- Mark Twain

"Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong."
-- Oscar Wilde

"People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid."
-- Kierkegaard Nikoga

"You never know when you are winning & when you are losing."

"For humans, honesty is a matter of degree. Engineers are always honest in matters of technology and human relationships. That's why it's a good idea to keep engineers away from customers, romantic interests, and other people who can't handle the truth."
-- Scott Adams, The Dilbert Principle

"Freedom is not just another word for "nothing else to lose" - it is also another word for "nothing left to fear or feel intimidated by"."
-- forgot where I took this from.

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes

"Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."

"If not now, when?
If not me, who?"
-- From the Motion Picture, Freedom Song

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."
-- Mark Twain

"You see things and say, "Why?" but I dream things that never were and say, "Why not?"
-- George Bernard Shaw

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes."
-- Marcel Proust

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did."
-- Mark Twain

"When you are in a hole, stop digging :)"

"People say true friends must always hold hands, but true friends don't need to hold hands because they know the other hand will always be there."

"People come into our lives for a reason, season or a lifetime."

"Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your kids. :)"

"To see farther, you must climb higher...."

"To double your successes, you might have to double your failure rate."

"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission."

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
-- Mahatma Gandhi

"A typical personality for a Linux kernel developer is ego-driven, insanely competitive, and combative. The typical way of making a design decision is for opponents to humiliate each other (with code and design arguments). Being an active developer requires a thick skin and the willingness to argue a lot."
-- hum, should this be in the group of funny or the group of serious to live by quotes? :)

"Happiness itself is the way to dance and to live. It isn't something you try to get from dancing or living. Happiness is something that you bring to dancing, and to life."

"Don't compromise yourself. You're all you've got."
-- Janis Joplin

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
-- Margaret Mead

"Everything should be in moderation, including moderation inself."

"If you want to be a warrior, you have to train."
-- Denzel Washington in one of his movies, i reckon The titans?

"Sometimes, as the saying goes, it's better to light a candle than curse the darkness."

"Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer's personal itch."
-- Raymond

"The difference between theory and practice tends to be very small in theory, but in practice it is very large indeed."

"Being the best of the best means you make mistakes, and you go on."
-- Top Gun

"The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim."
-- Edsgar W. Dijkstra

"[The moral is that] Whether Computer Science is finished will primarily depend on our courage and our imagination."
-- Dijkstra

"Brave people may loose their life; ...the non brave... :) never had one."

Recent Ones:

"Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them."
-- James Baldwin

"Speak softly and carry a big stick". ;)
-- ain't sure from where i got it...

"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved."
-- Victor Hugo

"We are optimists, until we are not."

"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change."
-- Charles Darwin, 1835

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Google and Biology / Genetics


Google turns its search power to the hunt for genetic drugs

Here is actually a longer version of the excerpt on which this was based:
The Google Story: An Excerpt, Chapter 26: Googling Your Genes

The above is from November 2005. This is a newer report, says as is the title ;)
Google and Venter Mum on Collaboration Reports