The passing of Kepler's Books, Menlo Park, CA

In todays San Jose Mercury News I saw a very sad item. It announced the closing of a very good, fabulous even, local bookstore in Menlo Park. I've been happily shopping there since I first moved here to Silicon Valley, and I'm very saddened about the closing of the store. I'm very surprised as every time I visited they were very busy.

Something in the article stood out, though. One of the people quoted, a former employee if I remember right, claimed that amazon (amazon.com that is) killed them.

Why is it hard to find a place to host Java based web applications?

I love Java. Lots. It's the neatest programming language I've used over the past 30 years, bar none.

However ...

You'll notice this web site is based on drupal. If I love Java so much, why don't I use a Java equivalent? And, as noted on these two blog postings, why are the PHP based web applications so much more popular than the Java equivalents?

Exciting breakthrough in nanotubes

For several years nanotubes have been an up-and-coming new thing which was supposed to revolutionize lotsa things. But I don't know much about them, other than they are made by forming carbon atoms in a particular geometry that can be strung into long molecules with great strength. The geometry is related to the information Buckminster Fuller taught (he invented the Geodesic Dome out of the same geometry).

Researchers produce strong, transparent carbon nanotube sheets (August 18, 2005, physorg.com)

The Buteyko method of breath retraining

The Buteyko Institute and its member practitioners are committed to advancing the management of asthma, sleep apnoea and other breathing related disorders through research, development, promotion and application of the Buteyko Institute Method.

That's a pretty interesting set of claims, especially to me who is a long time snorer.

An interesting way to 'premier' a movie - bypass the distribution chain, and go to the people

For over a century the movie industry has been controlled by the distribution chain. You can make a movie, but if you can't get it distributed you'd have wasted your money. Michael Moore almost experienced this very publicly in 2004 with Fahrenheit 9/11 when the studio refused to distribute the movie. Fortunately someone with deep pockets bought out the distribution rights, and the movie got seen.

This is like right out of "Raising Arizona"

You remember that 80's movie, [amazon-item:6305499128|Raising Arizona]? Nicholas Cage plays a recidivist (that is, repeat criminal) who falls in love with the woman who takes the pictures of prisoners. I guess he goes through the judicial system often enough that they're on speaking terms, and soon they get to more than speaking terms as she falls in love with him.

That leads to ... well ... first comes love, then comes ... you get the picture.

Anyway, what leads me to this isn't a rememberance of that silly movie .. but ... real life.

Extraterrestrial life and Drake's Equation

Obviously if E.T. exists, then "life" must exist on other planets. Several decades ago Astronomer Frank Drake assembled a group of other Astronomers to debate the possibility of life elsewhere, and they came up with an interesting equation. The equation a predictor of the number of intelligent civilizations in our galaxy.

N = R * fp * NE * fl * fi * fc * L

The terms are defined as follows:

Tolkein & the Lord of the Rings

Like you I've forgotten how many times I've read the Lord of the Rings. And if you didn't spend many hours of your younger life reading and rereading the Lord of the Rings, so much the loss for you, I say. I recently re-read the series and as an adult recognize it as a deep critique of modern society, the horrid consequences of the industrial age, the unrecognized value of the natural world, the tendency of those in power to destroy in the process of gaining more power, and more.

Review: The Tibetan way of Life, Death and Rebirth

For a long time I've been attracted to the Tibetan religious practices.

Trademark abuse

He Says He Owns the Word 'Stealth' (Actually, He Claims 'Chutzpah,' Too) (By COLIN MOYNIHAN, Published: July 4, 2005, NYTIMES.COM)

This is the story of a man who is making a living through enforcing trademarks he owns, including on the word 'Stealth'. So much so that he claims to own the word 'Stealth', and several other words.

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