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Weekly round-up

Here is a weekend round-up of stuff I’ve been meaning to blog about for a while. Hope you find it interesting.

  • Ever wanted to buy or at least ride a Segway? If you don’t want to ride one across the United States like these guys, maybe you should consider building one yourself. Some UMich engineering students built one for $1750 in two months. Check out the video here (complete with cheesy music):
  • Another cool YouTube video here. Someone takes apart a common “Intelligent Design” argument by showing that in fact, it’s quite reasonable to expect a theoretical box of clock parts to assemble into a clock. It’s fairly straightforward math-wise, using genetic algorithms. I learned and used the same technique back as an undergraduate to calculate optimal satellite orbits in order to conduct “fly-bys” of particular planets within particular windows. Good stuff.
  • Great quote here.

    “I suddenly understood with great clarity that nothing in life—except death itself—was ever going to kill me. No meeting could ever go that badly. No client would ever be that angry. No business error would ever bring me as close to the brink as I had already been.”

  • If you have to use Outlook, first of all, I’m sorry for you. But to help ease your pain, try out Xobni. (Inbox spelled backward.) It will revolutionize the way you work in Outlook.
  • These are great rules to live by: (from Scott Berkun)
    Rules.jpg
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Random notes and weekly round-up

Here are a few notes and links from this week…

  • I think I’m an 80%’er. From Simple Bits:

    […] I mentioned a fantastic book: Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard. Yvon founded the expensive-but-awesome clothing company, Patagonia.
    […] The book covers the history of the company, Yvon’s philosophy on design, and being a reluctant business owner. It’s a great read, with a lot of insightful head-nodding.

    One part stood out in particular, when Chouinard talks about how he sees himself as an “80 percenter”:

    I’ve always thought of myself as an 80 percenter. I like to throw myself passionately into a sport or activity until I reach 80 percent proficiency level. To go beyond that requires an obsession and degree of specialization that doesn’t appeal to me.

  • Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman are dating, but perhaps not much longer! 🙂 (From the Elapsed Time blog.)

    And Matt Damon’s done this kind of thing before… here’s a clip from the film Eurotrip:

  • This is not something I would want to run into, even if it has been extinct for ~390 million years.
    GiantScorpion.jpg
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I’m supporting Obama in ’08

Ever since his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, I’ve been a fan of Barack Obama. Even before that famous speech I had known about him, given the chaos and mess of the 2004 Illinois Senate election. He had won the Democratic nomination, a bit of a surprise if I remember right, and then became the obvious favorite once the Republican candidate dropped out of the race. (Even at that point, no Republican wanted to join the election halfway through, running against a charismatic Obama.)

I was excited to hear that he was interested in running for President, and even more excited when he actually announced his candidacy. From the news I read and the people I talked to, I thought he would do better than the media was predicting.

After Barack won Iowa and South Carolina, people have really started looking at him anew. Just in time for Super Tuesday!

I’m supporting Barack Obama for President in 2008. As an American that lives abroad, I don’t really get a chance to vote for him in the primary, but certainly look forward to voting for him in November. I’ve also put a poster-pic in the right sidebar of this blog.

If you haven’t already seen it, please play the video below. It’s the kind of video that could be a true phenomenon in this years’ election.

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A reminder of (submarine) times past…

I spent three years on the USS Hartford (SSN-768). It was a fantastic experience, though I always talk about it in Dickensian terms…

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

– A Tale of Two Cities

I recently saw a video that reminded me of some of my more fond memories of the boat… watching dolphins play in our bow wake. This video is from the USS Wyoming (which has a higher sail than the Hartford, we were a bit closer to the surface) and is something that many submariners have seen at least at some point in their careers.

So here’s a little taste of submarine life.

Dolphins playing on the bow of the submarine USS Wyoming

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