Firefox 1.5

If you need a reason to upgrade to Firefox 1.5, I think this site is it.

The site uses SVG and some javascript to simulate a planet and gravity. Enter in a launch angle and velocity and watch it go.


A Sad Milestone

It’s only a matter of time before the U.S. executes it’s 1000th prisoner. Virginia spared what would have been #1000, and that “honor” will likely fall on NC.

I had wondered what state had carried out the most executions since 1976, when it was reinstated. Actually, I knew it was Texas, but was curious what the margin was between Texas and the rest of the country. From

    Texas – 354
    Virginia – 94
    Oklahoma – 79
    Missouri – 66
    Florida – 60

On average, Texas executes a prisoner once a month. Now I’m not necessarily against the death penalty, but it seems like it is used too often, and doesn’t really deter crime. On the bright side, there are 17 states that haven’t executed anyone since 1976.

Another sad fact – there are 3400 people on death row now.


I Hate I-81

Why is there always construction on I-81 somewhere in Pennsylvania? Now I don’t travel on it a lot, maybe once or twice a year on my way to NY. But without fail, there is some major section of I-81 that is under construction. Many years ago, it was under construction around Scranton. Now that that’s complete, they’ve moved south.

Now I-81 in Pa. is not alone. Here in Greensboro, I-40 was had been under construction for several years when I first moved here. It was finally (mostly) completed last year, and there’s already plans for more road work around here. But I-81 is horrible. I can’t stand it.

Do you have a road you just absolutely hate?

News Random

18-year-old elected mayor

An 18-year-old high school senior was elected mayor of a town in Michigan. The other twist – he was a write-in candidate.

This reminds me of my “infamous” campaign for GM several years ago. Unfortunately, I don’t have any of the posters that we had. Our campaign was pretty crude, and we didn’t get a guest appearance on Letterman. Oh yeah, and we really weren’t serious about getting elected, just poking fun at the whole process. (What would actually want to do that work?)


iPod headphones

nano headphones
I have finally found the elusive Bluetooth headphones for my iPod. This, after waiting patiently announced it, but I guess it was just vapor.

The same site also had some headphones that you can plug an iPod nano directly into. I know that a nano is small, but would it really be comfortable with one on the side of your head?

Photos Random

Mr. Bush, Meet Einstein (The Robot)

bush and robot

I saw this picture online of Bush shaking hands with an Albert Einstein-headed robot. The caption of the photo says the robot stands 54″ tall. So that makes the guy in the background all of what? Five feet tall?

Also, why did they put a head modeled after Einstein on top? To make it seem more human? All it looks like now is a robot with a silly head on top.


Alkulukuja Paskova Karhu

I have no clue how to describe this, nor know why it was created.


Google Weather Maps

I normally use the NOAA site to get my weather information. I pay taxes, and my tax money does go to pay for the NOAA and NWS. And it doesn’t have any ads, either. Just the weather in a simple and easy to read format.

I did notice this on Weather Underground – combining Google Maps with personal weather stations that upload data. The result is pretty neat. Not terribly useful, but still neat.


Fight the good fight?

Didn’t the President say the mission was accomplished a couple years ago? I guess it really wasn’t, since he says that our troops will stay in Iraq until the mission is complete, and we have “achieved victory”. What is he calling victory now? Treading water for the next three years so he can dump this problem on the next president?

At this point, we can’t afford to pull all the troops out, because chaos will probably break out. But we also need to know that there is a plan to bring the troops home. And right now, it sure doesn’t feel like there is.


College is Hard

A was surprised by these stats: Only 54% of students that enrolled in 1997 graduated within six years, and only 44% of Hispanics and 39% of blacks graduated.

This strikes me as surprising because I know a lot more than 54% of my classmates graduated in less than 6 years. The article also said that elite schools had higher graduation rates. So does that make RPI an “elite” school?

In any event, why do so few students graduate? I think that a lot of people who go to college shouldn’t really be going there. There’s also students who go for a semester, then decide they really don’t like college.

Sadly enough, when people don’t graduate in six years, the chances they graduate at all are pretty slim.