Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Tierney and Simmons bet

In a redux of Julian Simon's Bet With Paul Ehrlich about metal prices, John Tierney and Matthew Simmons have bet each other about whether the price of a barrel of oil will be more or less than $200 in the year 2010: I've been encountering people on-line who claim that Simmons is shooting fish in a barrel, and wish they could be a part of it, too. When I offer to take them up on it, they suddenly stop. (Incidentally, if anyone wants to do a $10,000 to $25,000 version of the bet, drop me a line and I'll pay your legal fees.)

Monday, August 22, 2005

WaMo college rankings

Washington Monthly has come out with a ranking of colleges based on national service, social mobility, and production of academic minds and research. I thought it was an interesting concept even before I saw my alma mater as number one. Following up on other comments on WaMo's blog about the differences between MIT and Harvard, I related a tale of my own:
When I go back to the MIT campus, I'm a little concerned by the student body. They all look happy and healthy and well-dressed. It's scarily like Harvard. I'm worried that they are drawing too much from the upper-class. This could absolutely be my own blindess; when I was a student I didn't pay any attention at all to fashion, so I may simply have been blissfully unaware if most of my classmates were good dressers and I was the exception. (I mostly worried about keeping my hair out of my eyes.) Also, MIT is explicitly trying to make their student body more suicide-proof via the admissions office. High-strung? Kind of a loner? Don't say so on your MIT admission form.

.NET Framework leaks memory "by design"

Well, not quite. But it's still funny: The .NET Framework keeps XML meta-data in memory, and doesn't provide anyway to unload it. Official response: "This is by design. ... Caching and retrieving all of the various potential arguments passed to this constructor would be quite complicated." yay.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Felis Catus There's currently an edit war happening at the Wiki over the definition of "cat." So you might have to use this special link to see the version I'm referring to:

Thursday, August 04, 2005

New listing, new interest

So I've got a new listing for my condo up at MLS #70235596, and already within 12 hours I've scheduled 3 viewings. I'm asking slightly less and offering slightly more to buyer's brokers, so those could be factors. But I think it's much more likely that my new lister (Omega Real Estate) is actually forwarding the information onto me. I knew that sucks. I didn't realize just how much.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Jon Tierney has another Op-Eds in the NYTimes today, following that of last Saturday's, about going to Mars. And Tierney harps on a particular bugaboo of mine, the tendency for NASA to ignore alternatives to artificial gravity when they can instead spend money figuring out that zero gravity is bad:
For decades NASA's doctors have been trying to find some physical therapy to mitigate the effects of weightlessness, but astronauts can still barely walk after six months of it. Meanwhile, NASA has largely ignored an obvious alternative: redesign the spaceship instead of the human body. Artificial gravity could be created during the flight to Mars by twirling the ship.
Hopefully this will help build momentum for Mars missions.