Archive for December, 2004

Preparedness, Sort Of

Friday, December 31st, 2004

I read the following text from a tsunami story in a New Zealand paper: Within 15 minutes of the earthquake, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii sent alerts to 26 countries, including Thailand and Indonesia, but struggled to reach the right people. “We tried to do what we could,” said the centre’s director, Charles […]

Possible Area of Scientific Inquiry

Friday, December 31st, 2004

Recently my older son alerted me to fainting goats. This is technically myotonia , a condition due to a combination of recessive genes that causes the goats to stiffen and/or fall over when startled. Fainting goats can show varying degrees of myotonia, and some, when startled, will fall to the ground with their entire bodies […]

Tsunami In Perspective

Friday, December 31st, 2004

Today, as one might expect, the lead story in the Star Tribune was on the relief efforts in Asia trying to deal with the impact of the tsunami. And, there was a large collection of related articles elsewhere in the front section. Also on the front page of the Star Tribue, at the bottom of […]

8 Might Be Enough

Friday, December 31st, 2004

There was a story in the local paper this week about potential additions to the Schwan’s Super Rink in Blaine. This is actually a complex of ice rinks, the only place in the world with 4 Olympic-sized sheets of ice. The article said plans are under way to add two or four more ice surfaces, […]

We’re #4 (or so we thought)

Friday, December 31st, 2004

Last night I watched part of Cal’s bowl game against Texas Tech. Cal had finished the season ranked #4, and many thought it was a shame that a team ranked that high did not get to play in a BCS game. Much to my surprise, Cal got blown away by #21 ranked Texas Tech. It […]

Totally Devoid of Clues

Saturday, December 25th, 2004

Yesterday the Vikings lost to the Packers on a field goal on the last play of the game. With about 4 minutes to go, the Vikes led by 7, but then Favre threw a touchdown pass on fourth and goal to tie the game. On that play, the middle linebacker of the Vikes, E. J. […]

Song Confusion

Tuesday, December 21st, 2004

In this morning’s Star Tribune, there was an article about favorite Christmas songs. Much to my surprise, the article indicated that Jingle Bells was written by James L. Pierpoint for a Thanksgiving service. The article noted that the lyrics never mention Christmas. This is the biggest musical shock since I learned that the University of […]

Exploding Zamboni

Tuesday, December 21st, 2004

There has been a story in the local press about an incident at Duluth’s Peterson Arena on Sunday. Apparently the Zamboni exploded while resurfacing the ice, injuring broomball players and sparking a fire that pretty much destroyed the arena. In an interesting twist, the article in this morning’s Star Tribune said that Zamboni drivers across […]

Huntin’ & Dancin’

Saturday, December 18th, 2004

About a month ago, there was a sad incident in Wisconsin where a hunter shot 8 other hunters, killing 6. Wisconsin requires hunters display their hunting licenses on their back, and this helped lead to the capture of the assailant within a few hours of the shooting. One of the victims wrote down the shooter’s […]

Missile Defense System

Wednesday, December 15th, 2004

This week there was a test of a US missile defense system, but the test did not go well. On the same day these results were reported, I saw the following on a computer science oriented web page: There are no exceptions to Gall’s Law: “A complex system that works is invariably found to have […]