Thursday, May 28, 2009

Interesting Facts 1

According to Wikipedia, Mosman, Sydney, was the site of the attempted assassination of Australian politician, Arthur Calwell. Only the second attempted political assassination in our history. Long may it be so.
Calwell is also notable for being only the second victim of an attempted political assassination in Australia (the first being Prince Alfred in 1868). On 21 June 1966, Calwell addressed an anti-conscription rally at Mosman Town Hall in Sydney.

Bemused by Vista hate

I still don't get why I see so many posts or hear so much criticism of Vista. It gets better all the time. I installed the SP2 update last night, an experience which was utterly painless.
SP1 was another story, but that might have been because I forced the installation. Up to that point, I had been spending way too much time dealing with crashes, stalls and other manual maintenance. [Hence, the rush to install something that might actually fix the problem.]
Since SP1 though, the experience has vastly improved.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The industrial policy debate returns

Gotta love it. Not a perfect examination of Industrial Policy in the US and Japan, but the very fact there are Americans discussing it and re-examing the issues causes a flutter of excitement.
Listen to it from here (NYT: Today's Business With Steve Lohr 19 May 09 (mp3)).

UPDATED: The related article can be read here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A natural interest in learning

Experience suggests I am the exception to the rule here, nevertheless, it never ceases to amaze me (and I say that without hyperbole) how I can surprise people with my knowledge of subjects and ideas that they assume I should know nothing about. Leaving aside people tainted by the realms of Spinbound - admittedly a constantly shrinking field - why is it that so many view the world so narrowly?
For me, the desire to learn is a given. Being inquisitive is a normal state of being. I want to know how something works. Not because I have to in order to survive (be that earn money, do business or get that next job) but because it is there.
Sadly, of course, I can't know or learn everything. The number of hours in the day that can be given over to learning are naturally limited, and even further limited by other important commitments. Still, I always want to know why something is, how something is, what makes it tick. I may not always have the time to find out, but once something has piqued my curiosity, I find I add it to the list of things I want to build up my knowledge about. Sometimes, I can't do that all at once, sometimes it may be years before it moves back on to the front of my agenda.
At the very least, I am always trying to gather as much as I can about those things that interest me, that may be of some use to me or applicable in some way at some time, or are just purely interesting in the scheme of things.
Is this so rare?
Perhaps it is. But, I find it disheartening to believe that it really is so.
(I have a few theories about why this may be -- next time.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Vit C

This is going to sound preoccupied and silly -- but there is a reason -- and if anyone has any sensible advice I would really welcome it.

In some younger women's magazines these days you may see ads warning against drinking too much orange juice. Sound silly? The reason is that too much OJ consumption (or more specifically, too much of the acidic/vitamin C element) can irritate the stomach and over time cause stomach problems.

As someone who is well and truly guilty of the above, I used to live on the stuff, I can attest to that exact outcome. Over time, I became less and less tolerant, nowadays, I may drink a glass of OJ once a year, if that.

More significantly, I began to instinctively shy away from foods that irritated my stomach. Coincidentally, a number of these contain Vitamin C.

At the same time, I was finding myself more and more susceptible to colds and the colds would last for longer.

At various times, I have tried adding Vitamin C pills to my diet. Each time, the end result has been fewer colds, more stomach irritation.

Before anyone jumps all over the cause and effect 'obviousness' of these statements, try and take a step back. There is no scientific proof the two are linked.

But, last year, I did significantly increase my daily dose of Vitamin C. And, last year, I had no colds.

I did, however, have several significant stomach issues.

The doctor's advice? Try and find a balance.

So, I have decreased the amount of Vitamin C this winter, and apart from a bad flu early in the season (which was more flu than head cold) the daily sniffles are well and truly back, although no bad colds as yet.

Still, having spent last winter pretty much sniffle free, I am left wondering: were the particularly large doses of Vitamin C the solution?

Are Vitamin C injections a way of avoiding the stomach issues? Do I even want to consider injecting anything? [Answer: NO - I hate needles.]

Or do I just go on, trying to find some balance...

As I said, serious suggestions are more than welcome.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Innovation in newspapers

A good thing surely, this innovation thing. But when that innovation screams 'we just don't get it" isn't there a problem?
Read this here and see if you agree.
The most hilarious quote of my day so far:

"Readers with an internet-connected computer and a webcam will be able to go to a purpose-built website and hold up papers ... to the webcam to view exclusive 3D animated content from the movie on their screen."


To state the obvious, if I have an internet-connected computer (and I don't even need the webcam) and can see movie content, even purpose-built 3D content. I don't need the newspaper at all to do that.

So, thanks for the chuckle. And innovation in newspapers is a wonderful thing, but innovation that pushes the envelope forward is, generally, the kind of development that people will pay attention to. The Daily Prophet in the Harry Potter books was cute, but I doubt it is a good match for the future of newspapers in the real world.

Newspapers are out of date too quickly, they have very limited revenue streams and they are printed on a costly resource -- paper. They have a limited remaining lifespan. Accepting that is probably the right step for everyone involved. Clearly, that is proving harder for some than others.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Marilyn French 1929-2009

The author of 'The Women's Room' died on the weekend. Read more here.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Big Kindle

The NY Times is reporting Amazon may soon announce a larger sized Kindle for magazine and newspaper readers. See the article here.
The article suggests users will only get once a day updates for papers etc. There is still no video or colour...
The target may be the traditionalists who want a larger screen (and font?), but I can't see this really being the iTunes/iPod solution for newspapers.