Thursday, July 31, 2003
IDAHO POTATO HEADS: For those of us without cable television, NBC aired Queer Eye for the Straight Guy last week. Viewers were treated to the makeover of a mountain man by five gay men with varying talents. But if you were truly a mountain man from Idaho, you would not have seen the tips from the “Fab 5” because the Boise, Idaho NBC affiliate, KTVB, decided not to air the program. KTVB station manager Doug Armstrong told the Idaho Statesman that the decision to pull Queer Eye was based on the fact that the NBC station in Pocatello, Idaho, was going to air the program. KTVB aired an encore presentation of Donny Osmond hosting the game show, Pyramid. At least two other NBC affiliates nixed the airing as well. —
Monday, July 28, 2003
CHARLOTTE WESTNEY - Nature
ARKive has the only surviving film of the extinct Tasmanian tiger.
© ARKive / Zoological Society of London
A huge digital storage project called ARKive is offering safe haven to images and film of the world's most endangered animals and plants.
Photos, footage and soundtracks are often as threatened as the creatures they document. Some, like their subjects, have already been lost forever. ARKive aims to give these valuable records a permanent home and make them publicly accessible through several websites.
Sunday, July 27, 2003
Scientists report that the Lost City, a bizarre cluster of limestone spires rising from the peak of an ocean-floor mountain, is at least 30,000 years old.
Lost City's hydrothermal vent field is located in the mid-Atlantic about 1500 miles off the U.S. east coast.
The 'city,' on top of a mountain about as high as nearly 3-mile"
Saturday, July 26, 2003
Welcome to the extraordinary world of competitive toe wrestling. It's like arm-wrestling, but, well, with toes. It's a sport with a history, albeit a fairly short one, having been invented in an English pub in 1976, and there have even been efforts to elevate it to an Olympic event. We sense that toe wrestlers are more likely to be the kind of people who hang around pubs rather than honing their athletic prowess, and as if to prove this point one of the photographs in the picture gallery shows a contestant dressed in a jacket made of beer mats. There is some disappointing news for netsurfers who fancy a chance at competitive toe wrestling - the tenth Annual World Championships have just been held, so you'll have to wait a year if you want a tilt at champions Alan "Nasty" Nash or Karen "Kamikaze' Davies".
Friday, July 25, 2003
Ms. Mariann Simms -
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
I like riding my horse.
I like riding a hundred miles on my horse.
Riding fifty miles on my horse is okay.
Riding twenty-five miles on my horse is okay.
But, I REALLY like riding a hundred miles on my horse.
I have other horses. One, I don't like to ride at all. Some, I just
like to groom and feed sweet cookies to and watch them grow.
I love horses.
Some people are okay, too, but I LOVE horses.
Monday, April 28, 2003
Alfred Carlton Gilbert was born on February 15, 1884 in Salem, Oregon. As a young boy, Gilbert developed an interest in magic and athletics. In 1892 he moved with his family to an area near Lewiston, Idaho where he soon set about organizing an athletic club for his friends. At one field event he fashioned winners' medals out of the backs of his father's old watches. Later, he ran away and joined a minstrel show until his father retrieved him 20 miles from home.
After his family returned to Salem in 1900, Gilbert attended Tualatin Academy in Forest Grove where he set world records for running long jump and pull-ups. He later attended Pacific University and went on to earn a medical degree from Yale University. Gilbert helped pay tuition by performing magic tricks--often making $100 per night. His athletic training and skill won him a gold medal in the 1908 Olympics in London where he set a world record in the pole vault using a pole he invented. After judges questioned the use of the pole, he repeated the vault with a standard pole and still won.
Despite his athletic successes and his medical degree, Gilbert focused on manufacturing magic sets after he and a partner formed the Mysto-Manufacturing Company based in New Haven, Connecticut in 1909. The inspiration for a new toy, the erector set, came to him after seeing steel girders used in construction. His partner chose not to pursue the opportunity so Gilbert marketed the toy himself in 1913. By 1915 the new A.C. Gilbert Company was producing the girder-based erector sets, which soon became very popular.
The genius of the invention was its versatility. Over the years, the engineering sets used various sizes and combinations of parts that appealed to the imaginations of boys everywhere. Buildings, trains, steam shovels, ferris wheels, and numerous other sets were produced over the decades (see examples). Many included small electric motors. By 1935 over 30 million sets had been sold. Gilbert also developed chemistry sets, microscope sets, and several other educational toys. During his years as a leader in the business, he founded the Toy Manufacturers Association of America and accumulated 150 patents for a wide range of inventions.
After a 50 year career, he retired in the late-1950s and died in 1961. Perhaps his greatest legacy is one of reinforcing the central role of play in the learning process.
A.C. Gilbert Discovery Village
Thursday, April 24, 2003
Subject: Alert, Alert . . . C-nile . . .
Just got this in from a reliable source.
It seems that there is a virus out there called the C-nile Virus. Even
the most advanced programs from Norton and McAfee cannot take care of
this virus, so be warned, it appears to affect those who were born
Symptoms of C-nile Virus: Causes you to send same e-mail twice. Causes
you to send blank e-mail. Causes you to send to wrong person. Causes
you to send back to person who sent it to you. Causes you to forget
to attach the attachment. Causes you to hit "SEND" before you've
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
You will probably never see your other selves. The farthest you can observe
is the distance that light has been able to travel during the 14 billion
years since the big bang expansion began. The most distant visible objects
are now about 4 X 1026 meters away--a distance that defines our observable
universe, also called our Hubble volume, our horizon volume or simply our
Saturday, April 19, 2003
The Lemelson-MIT Program celebrates those inventors who have turned their
ideas into accomplishments. We foster an enthusiasm for asking?and
answering?the questions that change lives. Learn how our acclaimed awards
and outreach programs inspire the next generation of inventors, and explore
our unique Invention Dimension.
(two idaho guys are there!!:)
Philo Farnsworth conceived the world's first all-electronic television at
the age of 15. By the time he died, he had earned over 300 US and foreign
patents for electronic and mechanical devices.
Luther Burbank (1849-1926) - The "Idaho" Potato
Luther Burbank had only an elementary education, but was always an avid
reader. At the age of 19, he was profoundly impressed by Charles Darwin's
treatise The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication: "It opened
up a new world to me." At 21, Burbank purchased a 17-acre plot of land; he
went on to become one of history's most inventive and productive breeders of
Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the US, a
depressing statistic made all the more tragic when you consider that a large
number of those deaths could have been prevented with regular screenings and
a better understanding of symptoms and methods of prevention. In an
(admittedly kooky) effort to drop some knowledge on a colon-ignorant public,
the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation is sponsoring the Colossal
Colon Tour - no, not a series of Liam Gallagher concerts but an educational
exhibition with a four-foot-high, 40-foot-long mock-up of a colon that
visitors can crawl around in to get close up views of cancer and various
other afflictions affecting that part of the body. The gigantic colon will
be visiting 20 US cities now through November; hurry to the official site to
see if your town has made the list. If you're disappointed that the colossal
colon won't be making a stop near you, don't fret: you can experience a
virtual colon crawl at the site as well.
It doesn't come to Idaho, but you can take the on-line tour!!
It sounds almost like a Hollywood plot about secret invasion of Earth: a
killer alga with no natural predator escapes from an aquarium into the
Mediterranean. A marine biologist warns of dire consequences. Authorities
ignore him for years in spite of growing evidence. Within two decades, the
pestiferous plant has a chokehold on waters off southern Europe and has
spread to Australia and California. Problem is, it's true. At the companion
site to its Apr. 1 broadcast "Deep Sea Invasion", Nova describes the enemy,
Caulerpa taxifolia, as "a bright green seaweed with fernlike fronds that is
used to decorate saltwater aquariums." This invader looks harmless, but its
inherent toxin kills fish and invertebrates. Apparently the only thing that
slows it down is a massive dose of chlorine, which also kills everything
else around it. Nova has the grim details, as well as background on other
invaders such as comb jellyfish and the water hyacinth that threaten other
species with extinction. Chilling.
The Museum of Unworkable Devices
What do Bob Fludd's 1618 closed-cycle mill design and M.C. Escher's
"Waterfall" lithograph have in common? They both look nice - and they're
both impossible. Like alchemists, who hoped to transmute lead into gold,
perpetual-motion machinists have been around for centuries. So far, nobody's
ever built one - although some claim that nature is rubbing our noses in the
fact that free, non-polluting energy sources are all around us. To the claim
that perpetual motion is impossible because friction can never be entirely
eliminated, the defenders point to the atom, in which electrons circulate
around the nucleus forever. Umm, OK. The Museum of Unworkable Devices, while
largely geared to lengthy debunkings of perpetual motion machines, does
provide at least a limited venue for those who disagree. It may be an
unbalanced approach, but it seems somehow appropriate for a site dealing
with perpetual motion to be out of balance - maintaining a state of
imbalance has been key to so many proposals for perpetual motion machines,
MetaFilter, the popular community weblog, has opened MetaFilter Music, a
section through which members can share their own music with the world.
Participants are encouraged to make their work available under the Creative
Commons license, thus bypassing what many acknowledge is the badly broken
legislative music licensing framework. The site is so new, there's not much
content yet, but the meme propagated by MetaFilter is more significant than
the music. What will happen to the music industry if a large number of music
producers choose to ignore the licensing framework that's currently so
heavily skewed to the benefit of large record companies? Also, note the use
of Andromeda, a low-cost, cross-platform, professional music-streaming
server. It's something to consider if you want to host your own music Web
MetaFilter Music: http://music.metafilter.com/
US Government Backs Software to Evade Chinese Net Censorship
An agency of the US government admits it has commissioned software that
individuals can use to circumvent censorship blocks like those used by the
Chinese government. The International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), the US
agency in question, broadcasts the well known Voice of America over radio
and Internet feed, which are routinely jammed by various governments,
notably the Chinese. The IBB commissioned famous anti-censorship activist
Bennett Haselton of Peacefire.org to create an easy-to-use proxy program
that would enable anybody to circumvent such censorship. Haselton's program
works only under Windows XP and Windows 2000 and is certainly less complex
than alternative proxy software, which is generally designed for experienced
sysadmins. The irony - given all the laws that Congress has passed to censor
the spread of information, like the DMCA - is delectable. CNET has more.
Super-DMCA Laws Outlaw Common Net Technologies, Stifle Research
Niels Provos is a Ph.D. student at the University of Michigan who studies
the security-related technologies of steganography and honeypots. Now, as a
result of a law that just took effect in Michigan, he's had to move all
information about his thesis to servers in the Netherlands. The new law,
part of a spate of similar so-called "Super DMCA" legislation recently
enacted in several states at the behest of the film and music industries,
makes it a felony not only to possess software capable of concealing the
existence or source of any electronic communication, but also to tell others
how to do it. This in effect outlaws common Net technologies such as NAT and
firewalls, and has forced Provos to move his research materials - which are
all about concealing communications - offshore. SecurityFocus has the story,
while the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has state-by-state
information about such laws.
Internet-Generated Attack on the Physical World
An interview of "spam king" Alan Ralsky happened to mention his hometown.
Seizing upon that bit of info, the Slashdot crowd figured out Ralsky's home
address and decided to spam him back, with junk mail. Collectively, they
signed him up for tons - literally, tons - of catalogues and other junk mail
delivered by post. Ralsky's home mailbox was buried by the subsequent
avalanche of junk. Web search engines make it easy to find catalogue and
other mail lists; Google alone turns up over 250,000. Some relatively simple
scripting through the Google API interface can automate the job of signing
people up to them - and that means you don't need a large, motivated
community to pull off this postal spam attack. Three researchers have
written a paper that shows how to do it, and note that they've known about
this type of exploit for years. Crypto-Gram has the story, Slashdot the
discussion. Avi Rubin, one of the paper's authors, supplies it.
Friday, April 18, 2003
A mobile operator in Hong Kong has launched an interesting location-based
service that alerts people when they're in the vicinity of a building
where evidence of SARS has been found - the service pings the user with a
message if they pass within 1 kilometer of the location. The free-for-now
service has people dialing a number to access information posted by the
Department of Health - they can then choose to receive location alerts as
well as information on places SARS patients are suspected to have visited.
O?Connor Kelly, the former privacy officer of New York-based online
advertising firm DoubleClick. Kelly will be responsible for protecting the
privacy rights of U.S. citizens, ....
Thursday, April 17, 2003
Q: Who cultivated the first potatoes?
A: Over two thousand years ago, Peru?s Inca Indians began to cultivate the potato. Spanish explorers discovered the nutrient-rich potato and brought it back to Spain.
Q: How many potatoes does the average American consume annually?
A: Each year the average American consumes 137.9 pounds of potatoes, including over 16 pounds of potato chips.
Q: What are some unusual potato recipes?
A: Potato Nachos, Potato Chocolate Cake, Jalapeno-Ham Stuffed Potatoes, Mini Idaho Potato Zucchini Pancakes, and French Fry Quesadillas.
Q: Where does the Idaho Potato stand with potato consumers?
A: According to a recent survey, eighty-two percent of American consumers prefer their potatoes to be grown in the great state of Idaho. "Potatoes" are more closely identified with Idaho than Florida and oranges, Washington and apples or California and grapes.
Q: How many calories does the average potato contain?
A: The average potato, which is fat free, contains approximately 100 calories.
Q: What percent of America's potatoes does Idaho produce?
A: 13.8 billion pounds, or 30 percent, of U.S. potatoes are grown in Idaho and sold around the world.
Q: What makes Idaho potatoes special?
A: The world's greatest potatoes are produced in Idaho due to unique growing conditions, such as Idaho's rich volcanic soil, clean air, mountain runoff which helps irrigate, sunny days, and cool nights.
Q: Is there really a potato museum in the United States?
A: Yes, the Idaho Potato Museum, located in Blackfoot, Idaho, is home to the world?s largest concrete potato. The museum, which offers "Free Taters for Out-of-Staters," displays the world?s largest potato chip (twenty-five inches in diameter), a tribute to Mr. Potato Head, and a burlap tuxedo.
Q: What are some unusual potato uses?
A: According to scientific evidence, the placement of raw sliced potatoes on broken bones promotes healing. Potatoes are also shown to prevent rheumatism and indigestion.
Composed with Newz Crawler 1.4 http://www.newzcrawler.com/
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
, which is associated with PBS's "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer," are among
the most conspicuous practitioners of a new hybrid online genre ? part daily
journalism, part education ? that has taken shape during the war. They
produce daily online news stories and lesson plans intended to help teachers
respond intelligently to student demands for classroom discussion of what is
going on in Iraq.
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
Monday, April 07, 2003
Dear Mr. President
First, I would like to introduce myself. I am Elvis Presley and admire you
and have great respect for your office. I talked to Vice President Agnew in
Palm Springs three weeks ago and expressed my concern for our country. The
drug culture, the hippie elements, the SDS, Black Panthers, etc. do NOT
consider me as their enemy or as they call it The Establishment. I call it
America and I love it. Sir, I can and will be of any service that I can to
help The Country out. I have no concern or Motives other than helping the
country out. ...
"Unloading dry farm wheat" By George W. Ackerman, Washington, 1925
Monday, March 31, 2003
Ogg Vorbis is a fully Open, non-proprietary, patent-and-royalty-free,
general-purpose compressed audio format for mid to high quality
(8kHz-48.0kHz, 16+ bit, polyphonic) audio and music at fixed and variable
bitrates from 16 to 128 kbps/channel. This places Vorbis in the same
competitive class as audio representations such as MPEG-4 (AAC), and similar
to, but higher performance than MPEG-1/2 audio layer 3, MPEG-4 audio
(TwinVQ), WMA and PAC.
Vorbis is the first of a planned family of Ogg multimedia coding formats
being developed as part of Xiph.org's Ogg multimedia project.
OUT THERE, in happy family homes, in the offices of corporate executives, in
toy stores through out the globe, is an army of robotic dogs. These
semi-autonomous robotic creatures, though currently programmed to perform
inane or entertaining tasks: begging for plastic bones; barking to the tune
of national anthems; walking in circles; are actually fully motile and
AWAITING FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS.