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07.14.2002

Seattle Is Doomed

We spent all day yesterday circummotoring the Olympic Peninsula in a little Ford Escort. A beautiful drive, with eagles and cedar forests and foggy views of British Columbia across the Juan de Fuca strait. I had been re-reading John McPhee's Annals of the Former Worl…

07.09.2002

Women. Hah!

On the drive home from work today, NPR talked to us about fireflies. Specifically, the femme fatale firefly, who blinks at her own species' frequency just long enough to find a mate, and then switches to the frequency of another kind of firefly. When those guy fireflies come a-courtin', she eats them.…

07.08.2002

Lance Armstrong Is Fitter Than You

I've been working today on creating a latent semantic search engine that searches mass spectra for some common organic chemicals.

Poisons, actually. It turns out to be easiest to find on…

07.07.2002

The Future is Boring

Here is something that really irks me about Microsoft. They hire a boatload of amazing people to do research, including some geniuses at natural language processing, and yet their vision of what the Computer of Tomorrow will be remains stultifyingly dull. That is, when it isn't downright Orwellian.

For example, at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, we saw an impressive demo…

07.05.2002

Scandal At Nathan's Hot-Dog Eating Contest

Scandal strikes the Nathan's hot dog eating contest! On the surface of it, it seemed to be a routine rout by the Tiger Woods of hot dog ingestion:

The 24-year-old Kobayashi, who weighed 113 pounds before the contest and almost 120 pounds after, bettered his 2001 world-record performance by half a hot dog.
<…

07.05.2002

Segfault

I got my first segmentation fault today. Learning C++ feels like trading in a big old Continental for some cramped Italian car with a stick shift. Sure, it's faster, if you know how to use the thing. But all I can do is lurch forward in bunny hops, and there's this strange grinding noise coming from the gear…

07.01.2002

Hot

Picking up some odds and ends at my mother's house tonight, I caught sight of myself in the mirror and casually remarked to her how much my face had changed lately. I looked older. And she said to me “My son, with every minute that passes and breath you take, you draw inexorably closer to death.”

A pretty typical worldview for anyone who has had to spend the last few days here w…

Idle Words

brevity is for the weak








Greatest Hits

The Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel
The story of America's most awesome infrastructure project.

Argentina on Two Steaks A Day
Eating the happiest cows in the world

Scott and Scurvy
Why did 19th century explorers forget the simple cure for scurvy?

No Evidence of Disease
A cancer story with an unfortunate complication.

Controlled Tango Into Terrain
Trying to learn how to dance in Argentina

Dabblers and Blowhards
Calling out Paul Graham for a silly essay about painting

Attacked By Thugs
Warsaw police hijinks

Dating Without Kundera
Practical alternatives to the Slavic Dave Matthews

A Rocket To Nowhere
A Space Shuttle rant

Best Practices For Time Travelers
The story of John Titor, visitor from the future

100 Years Of Turbulence
The Wright Brothers and the harmful effects of patent law


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