Friday Thoughts

I get a monthly email from the aptly named  Project Gutenberg and as of December 2008, it has 32,552 e-books, in its library. Project Gutenberg is the life work of Michael Hart, who wants to make available free e-books for the world. He started in 1971 digitizing out-of-copyright books. Since then, he has volunteers from around the world, scanning, reading, proofing, books and making them ready for the world to access for free.

I downloaded the Sherlock Holmes series a few years ago and most of Edgar Allen Poe’s stuff. Great reading! It’s fun just to browse through the catalog. If you like reading, you will find a treasure trove of goodies. You can also get audio books and CDs. The only downside is that you can preview so much that you will be lost for hours. If you have children or grandchildren in school, it might be easier to get them to an online library like this one.

“I’m not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb. . . and I also know that I’m not blonde.” – Dolly Parton

Sony’s new camera for $500 has web access to send your photos instantly from the camera to the web. The only thing that doesn’t seem to have web access these days is the toilet. We have shower screens to check email in the shower (what geek came up with that one?), TV screens behind the mirror so you can get your fix while you shave or put on your makeup. Refrigerators and ovens have built in screens, cars have direct access, phones can do everything. Next, they will probably put GPS, phone, and email in rifle stocks so you can find out where you are and tell the world what you just shot, send a picture, and call your friends to help you drag the poor critter back to the truck – all in real time.


More health woes – Experts worry about recession weight gain with numerous studies linking obesity and unhealthy eating habits to low incomes. Health professionals worry that the current recession will spur weight gain. Experts are concerned people will cut back on healthy, but relatively expensive items, such as fresh fish, fruit, vegetables and whole grains, and instead purchase cheaper foods high in sugar and saturated fats.
So, we eat too much when times are good and we are too prosperous and we eat too much when in a recession. Why do these fear mongers always have to tie the economy to everything? We eat what we like, what’s to study? My only fear is that the new Obamarxists will begin to outlaw what is bad for us. I’ll give up my potato chips when they pry them from my cold dead hands.

Sex cures headaches. Endorphins released into our bloodstream when we have sex not only give us pleasure, but also act as painkillers. Useful information for the next time your partner uses a headache as a reason to say no.

Global warming wrong, again – The recent acceleration of glacier melt-off in Greenland, which some scientists fear could dramatically raise sea levels, may only be a temporary phenomenon, according to a study published last January.

Researchers in Britain and the United States devised computer models to test three scenarios that could account for rapid (by the standards applied to glaciers) melting of the Helheim Glacier, one of Greenland’s largest.

Two were based on changes caused directly by global warming: an increase in the flow of water that greases the underside of the glacier as it slides toward the sea, and a general thinning due to melting.

A team led by Faezeh Nick of Durham University in Britain found that neither of these scenarios matched the data. “They simply don’t fit what we have observed,” said co-author Andreas Vieli in an interview. “The third computer model, which hypothesized that melt-off was triggered by changing conditions in the confined area where the glacier meets the sea fit like a glove. You cannot maintain these very high rates of peak mass loss for very long. The glaciers start to retreat and settle into a new an relatively stable state,” he said. The Helheim Glacier, along with several others in Greenland, started to slow down in 2007.”
Guess the slowing of the melt-off doesn’t fit the algore model of scarem and snarem fearmongering.


Digital TV – Had to sneak this one in from Yesterday. You probably know by now, the analog TV shutdown mandated by Congress to free up space in the airwaves for other services, is scheduled for Feb 17, except Wilmington, NC, which started last September. Hawaii’s change started yesterday so analog transmission towers can be taken down before the nesting season of the dark-rumped petrel, a volcano-dwelling endangered bird. (How cute)

The federal government has run out of money for $40 coupons to subsidize converter boxes, so President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team (this team of vultures is un-endangered) has asked Congress to delay the shut-off. No word on approval yet. Stay tuned.

PS – If you are planning to replace a ‘tummy TV’ or other old TVs, make sure the new one can handle digital without the box. I have been looking for one to replace my 34 year old Trinitron in my bedroom and found a number of cheap HDTVs, but the specs show that they are only NTSC compliant, not the new ATSC for digital (meaning I would have to buy a box or add it to cable). Caveat Emptor.

It has been determined the most used sexual position for married couples is the doggie position. The husband sits up and begs and the wife rolls over and plays dead.

A smile starts on the lips, a grin spreads to the eyes, a chuckle comes from the belly; but a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, overflows, and bubbles all around.

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