Archive for January, 2005

Handheld DNA Scanners to ID Species Instantly?

Monday, January 31st, 2005

I saw an article on the web today with the above headline. The article talks about how one could use this technology to see if the mosquito that just bit you (and which you subsequently whacked) was a species that could spread a serious disease like the West Nile virus. Intriguing use case. When I […]

Perhaps Single Flaw in Plan

Monday, January 31st, 2005

A local columnist wrote this morning about the problems with the Timberwolves, suggesting that the problem was, at certain positions, age. He thought that a good idea would be to trade point guard Sam Casell, forward Latrell Sprewell and one of the centers, for a younger point guard and a more functional center. He conceded […]


Sunday, January 30th, 2005

Saw an interesting tag line in a post on a photography forum: “Never argue with an idiot…they’ll drag you down to their level and beat you on experience!” Rather liked that.

5-6 Innings a Game for the Twins

Sunday, January 30th, 2005

You hear that an aging veteran might only be able to give the club 5-6 innings a game, and your natural reaction is that this is going to put additional pressure on the bullpen. Not in this case, however. Legendary Twins public address announcer Bob Casey, who is 79, was recently released from the hospital, […]

Need to do better when selecting terms

Friday, January 28th, 2005

Saw a news report today that had the following headline: Mad cow disease found in French goat This obviously suggest that the term “mad cow disease” was not a particularly good choice. Rather reminds me of the time, some years ago, when I learned that it was possible to come down with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, […]

Animal-Human Hybrids Spark Controversy

Thursday, January 27th, 2005

The above is the actual, verbatim headline from a story at the National Geographic News site. My initial reaction was that someone was taking the name Wolfman Jack way too seriously. Reading the article showed that it was dealing with issues much more dramatic: “researchers at the Mayo Clinic created pigs with human blood flowing […]

Shepherd’s Way Farm

Tuesday, January 25th, 2005

Yesterday there was a massive fire of suspicious origin at the Shepherd’s Way Farm in Nedestand, Minnesota, which killed more than 350 sheep. This was a real tragedy. The story in the Pioneer Press notes that this had been the “largest farm in North America that produces cheese from its own sheep milk.” The owner […]

Critter Search

Tuesday, January 25th, 2005

The Supreme Court ruled 6-2 this week in Illinos v. Caballes that use of a trained dog to sniff a car for drugs during a routine traffic stop is not an unconstitutional search. I have some serious concerns here. I can see a situation, in the not too distant future, where law enforcement officials could […]

Football Alternative

Sunday, January 23rd, 2005

Minnesota has 9-man football for the smallest schools. I believe they narrow the width of the field to 40 yards. I understand that California has 8-man football. What if there was professional football that used just 8 or 9 guys? On a regular sized field. Appreciate that players these days are bigger and faster than […]

Wind Chill and Other Winter Phenomena

Thursday, January 20th, 2005

There was an interesting article in Slate a few days ago about wind chill. The article explained how wind chill had originally been calibrated for the impact of wind speed on the rate at which pans of water froze. The research was redone a few years ago to obtain a better measure of how cold […]