John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

  • Music:


  • As many surmised, my Friday list was inspired by real-life events. Nothing serious, though. I'm pretty sure it was just something I ate disagreeing with me, because after a day of eating and drinking nothing but water and a good night's sleep (and, of course, the vomiting), I was back in fine fettle. Thanks for the concerned comments.
  • Finally, we're getting some appropriate weather! On my way to church this morning, I noticed a very thin coating of ice on Lake Joe, which was the first time this season I've seen ice form on any body of water larger than a puddle. And now it's snowing. Actual snow, with accumulation and everything! Looks like we've got about an eight of an inch out there now, so I imagine they'll be canceling school any minute now.
  • Interesting piece in the Washington Post this morning about a design contest sponsored by the ETC Group, a Canadian grass-roots lobbying organization concerned about genetically engineered crops, synthetic biology, intellectual property, and other such things. They wanted a universal warning sign to indicate the presence of nanomaterials, akin to those used to mark biohazards or nuclear radiation. They received more than 400 entries; six judges have narrowed the field to sixteen finalists. There are two things I find interesting about this. First off, as far as I can see there's no compelling evidence to suggest that there is any such thing as a nanohazard. That's not to say there isn't, or that someday there may be, but it seems to me that at this moment in time, we're in as much need of a nanohazard warning sign as, I don't know, a law banning the use of unregistered laser pistols. Second, most of the designs are really, really terrible. The fundamental principal in designing something like this, as set forth by Charles Baldwin, who developed the biohazard symbol, is that the symbol should be unique, memorable, meaningless, and easily reproducible. Most of the designs submitted for the nanohazard contest fail on one of those standards, and a remarkably large number of them fail on all four.
  • My brother was telling me the other day that he had introduced my niece Libby to many classic Sesame Street bits (such as "Lowercase n" and "Ladybug's Picnic" via the YouTube. Which is all well and good, but what I want to know is, why aren't there more Electric Company clips up? Sure, they have "Lolly" and some Spider-Man clips, but why oh why are there only two "Adventures of Letterman" videos? I need to see the one where Spellbinder turns the bassoon in a baboon. Need to!
  • And while I'm griping about things not being uploaded to the Internet as quickly as I want them, why doesn't NPR upload the Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me podcast on a more timely basis, dammit? This is making me cranky.
  • There is no number six. Actually, there was, but I'm going to post it separately. So there.

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