Upcoming Film

I think the rash of NASA and space related films the last few years may come from a longing in this country for a time when, as a nation, we had higher priorities. The American Space program was, in my opinion, one of our country’s finest moments, and I’m thrilled we are finally getting around to telling stories like this.”Hidden Figures” tells the story of three African American mathematicians and scientists who worked in the space program. And particularly the story of Katherine Johnson the physicist who calculated flight trajectories for the Mercury program. I love stories of people who helped build something greater than themselves.

RIP Ali

He was the greatest, and probably the most know sports figure of the 20th century, with the possible exception of Babe Ruth. Certainly, you should know him.

R.I.P. Keith Emerson

With all that has been going on in my life it seems odd to mention the passing of one of my favorite musicians. Emerson, Lake and Palmer was my first rock concert and my favorite band in high school. Ironic that my brother played them for me the first time and gave me the first album by them I ever owned.

Rest in peace to both of them.

An Interesting Idea

Until an earthquake in 226 BCE knocked it down, the Colossus of Rhodes, a 98-foot-high iron and bronze statue of the Greek god Helios, sat near the harbor of Rhodes, Greece, for 54 years.
It was the tallest statue of the ancient world and really the tallest structure of its time. It was one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. Now a group wants to rebuild the statue, only 400 feet high this time.

One of the grandest structures of the ancient world could be reborn

Happy Birthday Hedy Lamarr

Ah, where are the larger-than-life celebrities today? Miss Lamarr would have been 101 today. One of the most celebrated Hollywood actresses of her day, who was also was a genius who invented some cool stuff. Most notably the frequency hopping radar system that became the basis for most wireless technology. She died in 2000 at the age of 85.

Hedy Lamarr at Wikipedia

The Great Halloween Candy Hoax

I’ve said this in class about Halloween candy. There really hasn’t been a case of tampered Halloween candy. Well, turns out I was wrong, but not by much. There has been one, but that’s about it. Here’s the full story from Reason.com…

Another Halloween, Another Crop of Tampered-Treat Hoaxes

as I’ve said before, we often don’t gauge risk very well. That doesn’t mean a parent shouldn’t check candy (that’s sensible), just that they shouldn’t really worry.

A Special Announcement

Normally I don’t post things of a political nature, but this is quite important if you use the Intenet. The U.S. along with 11 other countries has been negotiating a trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The deal has been negotiated in secret and even most members of congress have not been allowed to see it. This wouldn’t be an issue for my website, except for the provisions that cover copyright and digital media. The following quote is from the website OpenMedia

“Although the full text of the deal won’t be available for a month, recent leaks of the Intellectual Property chapter shows participating countries face copyright overhauls, including: copyright term extensions, new provisions that would allow ISPs to block websites due to alleged infringement, and new criminal penalties for the circumvention of digital locks and rights management information.
“Internet users around the world should be very concerned about this ultra-secret pact,” said OpenMedia’s Digital Rights Specialist Meghan Sali. “What we’re talking about here is global Internet censorship. It will criminalize our online activities, censor the Web, and cost everyday users money. This deal would never pass with the whole world watching – that’s why they’ve negotiated it in total secrecy.”

Internet advocacy groups like The Electronic Frontier Foundation have expressed great concern over this issue, as have many prominent U.S. Senators from both political parties, and many consumer rights groups. It has been announced today that the agreement is completed. All congress must do is ratify it.

Here is EFF’s brief on the subject.
Trade Officials Announce Conclusion of TPP—Now the Real Fight Begins

Please educate yourself on this issue.