Friday, January 30, 2009


Quote of Note: Barack Obama


President Barack Obama, yesterday [source].

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Thursday, January 29, 2009


Quote of Note: John Boehner

“The consequences of our not acting are overwhelming.”

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), September 29, 2008, referring to Bailout 1.0 [source]. Contrast this with Boehner's instigation of House Republicans on Bailout 2.0 yesterday -- not a single Republican voted in favor. The bill passed the House 244-188. Here's to consequences.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Antarctica, even more photos

More Antarctica pictures.

Adelie on belly.

Gentoo chick gets pre-digested meal

Gentoo also.

Gentoo three.

Fur seals rock

Chinstrap clean.

Here I can say, "literally full of s*!#" and mean it.

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More Antarctic photos

Here are a few more photos from my trip to the Antarctic Peninsula, January 10-24.

Gentoo penguin

Gentoos under water

Icescape with humpback

Giant berg with caves


Ice scape in snow

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Monday, January 26, 2009


Where was isen?

I have been in Antarctica (specifically in the South Shetlands and on the Antarctic Peninsula) for much of the past two weeks. I was not quite off the grid, but Internet access was intermittant, slow, buggy and expensive.

[UPDATE: Blogger Robyn Johnson, who was on the same expedition, has a most excellent series of postings with great photos, notably here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, to name but a few. NICE JOB ROBYN!!!]

Now that I'm back, here are some pictures:

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Friday, January 09, 2009


Live! From Facebook! It's a Social Graph

Stuff like this reminds me that we're just getting started here . . .

(click on the screenshot above and wait, it takes a few seconds to start up . . . then have a blast . . . )

Monday, January 05, 2009


LUS announces FTTH pricing

Some time in the last week of December, Lafayette Utility Services announced Voice Video, Internet and Phone prices. They announced three separate tiers for each of the three services, but subscribers are free to mix and match, e.g., the lowest tier of video and phone service with the highest Internet speed.

Here's the details [source]. LUS claims that there are NO additional add-on fees or taxes. Can they do that? The fine print says, "Monthly rates shown are available to residential customers only and do not include required taxes or fees." (Thanks, John.)

10 Mbps (up/down) - $28.95
30 Mbps (up/down) - $44.95
50 Mbps (up/down) - $57.95

80 Channels - $39.95
250 digital Channels - $63.31
250 Channels and Includes HD and Premium Movie Channels (Suites) - $98.09

$15.95 -- (inludes 3-way calling, call waiting and other features) plus 5 cents per minute continental US long distance
$28.95 -- (extra features, including caller ID) plus 5 cents per minute continental US long distance- $28.95
$43.95 -- many features plus unlimited continental US long distance

Also, check out the Q&A with LUS leader Terry Huval, where I stumbled onto this pricing announcement, hosted by The Advertiser, the local newspaper. I wish the leaders of investor owned telcos would be this candid and open!

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Quote of Note: Oppenheimer Equity Research

"As expected online holiday spending came in below expectations."

Lead sentence in ED Services Week in Review, January 5, 2009, by Oppenheimer Equity Research.

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Sunday, January 04, 2009


Quake swarm in Yellowstone

UPDATE (5Jan09): The quake storm may be quieting down. Here's a seismograph from yesterday, from the Volcanism Blog [link to story], which notes, " If volcanic catastrophe were imminent you would be able to see the face of God in [these] data."

Original story:
The local (Cody WY) newspaper says that there's "no indication the park’s famous caldera is likely to erupt." But in Honolulu, where the reporters know something about volcanos, the paper tells a different story under the headline, Quake swarm at Yellowstone may signal blast.

The Honolulu Star Bulletin goes on
More than 250 small earthquakes occurred in Yellowstone Park between Dec. 26 and Monday.

Scientists wonder if last month's swarm of tremors, the most numerous and intense in this area in many years, might be a harbinger of a larger event.

Yellowstone National Park sits atop a supervolcano. The entire park is the depression of a caldera more than twice the size of Oahu that is the result of an unimaginably large eruption some 600,000 years ago.

By comparison, the caldera left by the explosion of Mount Saint Helens in 1980 is about the size of downtown Honolulu.

Saint Helens ejected 1.4 billion cubic years of ash that was detectable over an area of 22,000 square miles.

The last Yellowstone eruption, which was not even the largest in Yellowstone's history, ejected 2,500 times the ash of the Saint Helens explosion.

Should we be alarmed by this uptick in activity?

Scientists studying Yellowstone from the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Utah and National Park Service at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory say that recurrences of cataclysmic eruptions are not regular or predictable.

A supervolcano eruption at sometime in the future is inevitable with 100 percent probability. Eight supervolcano eruptions are known from the geologic record and there may be even more.

Although nothing, including the recent earthquake swarm, points conclusively to an imminent eruption, the researchers note that Yellowstone erupts about every 600,000 years.

Geologists continuously monitor the inflation and deflation of the Yellowstone Plateau, which indicates pressure changes in the magma chamber that lies as close as 5 miles below the surface in some places.

The elevation of the caldera is 35 inches higher than when measurement began in 1923, and it has been moving upward since mid-2004 at a rate of up to three inches a year - more than three times faster than has ever been measured previously.

Meanwhile, the local Wyoming paper quotes a Yellowstone Park employee saying, "We're not packing."

Hmm. Probably nothing.

[source for picture above]

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Sidebar updated

I've started the new year with some infrastructure work. The meta-meta-datum is that I've revised the metadata in my sidebar, updating links and adding some new friends with active blogs. I've also replaced the mostly-obsolete "people in Iraq" section with a new section that reflects many of my most important non-mainstream news sources. May our other infrastructure efforts be as productive in 2009!

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