Tuesday, January 02, 2007

2007 is here!

Well, hope you survived the new year celebrations. I did, though just barely... We had a few bottlerockets go astray that ended up doing a loop which brough the flying projectiles rather close to our heads! Not to mention exploding near a parked car! But all is fine. I brought in the new year also by drinking wine instead of beer, so my two glasses of wine I hope are going to bring me a mellow 2007. (I had a Benziger Syrah red wine that was pretty good.)

ok, I have a few random websites I want to post here.
This one is about an article in the Washington Post about how spies are posting their secret messages out in the open (encrypted of course). I can't remember if I blogged on this topic before, but I was caught up in this for a day or two about 6 months or so ago. There was an advertisement on Craigslist (that had been pulled after it became popular) that was a mysterious ad that said to call a toll free number. When you called it was a strange sounding voice that would repeat a series of numbers. Kinda creepy. When I read that some people were speculating that these were possible messages to spies, I stopped snooping around the internet. Next thing the M.I.B. will be showing up, and I'll be locked away in a cell trying to say "But I saw it on Craigslist!"

I was complaining previously about 2006 being fraught with diebold, and possible fraudulent e-voting machines. Well, we're not even into day two of 2007 and there are new reports coming in about how a Judge in Florida has stompped out a request for a candidates attempt to read the source code of the machines used in the election that they lost. Turns out the Judge ruled in favor of the company saying that their "trade secret" code is more important than a little thing called "democracy". The Techdirt article has some interesting comments too. One has got me curious because it says we are not in a "democracy" but a "republic" and that I have to know figure out what the difference is. I tried reading a wiki article today at lunch but I got lost and confused. Just google "Democracy vs Republic" and you'll see what I mean.
Here's another article over on aol.com that has another recap of the judges ruling.

Lastly (for now anyway)...
I have thought about this in my head many times... Just today I find an article that apparently I'm not the only one! (which shocks me a little). How do airplanes fly? I know... the answer that is always given is pretty simple. (a wing has a curved surface on the top, and that when wind rushes over the longer top surface it creates a "vacuum" above the wing, thus creating LIFT, which PULLS an airplane up.) Well... I'm not buying it. I don't agree with this. I think the reason a plane flys is much more simple... It is the air that is underneath the wing that PUSHES the plane up. I'm not denying that the lift part exists, but I don't think that force is strong enough. Well, here is an article that talks a little more about this (and probably more eloquent than I can).
Here's a quote that should peak your interest:
How can aviation be grounded in such a muddy understanding of the underlying physics? As with many other scientific phenomena, it's not always necessary to understand why something works to make use of it. We engineers are happy if we've got enough practical knowledge to build flying aircraft. The rest we chalk up to magic.

Well, enjoy the beginning of your 2007.

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