Saturday, February 28, 2009

Gmail fails, signals tech apocalypse | Webware - CNET

Webware - CNET: "But then these are gloomy times, and we're not talking about Twitter, which swoons dead away on a regular basis: this is Google, the bedrock of the Internet. What if we really are facing the Big Blue Screen of Death? What will be the signs if a higher power does hit CTRL + ALT + DEL on our technology-dependent world?

We decided to look for answers in the Bible. The Bible is sort of like God's user manual, and everybody knows you don't crack open the manual until something's gone epically wrong, so we just did what we always do and Wikipedia'd it instead.

According to the Book of Revelations, there are seven stages to the end of the world. These are seen in visions by a chap called John, who is called by an angel to document the end of days. Which he'll film on his Flip Mino and then Twitter about, presumably."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hmm: Obama Plan Would Reduce Charitable Deduction for Some Wealthy Donors - "President Obama today proposed to cap the rate that high-income taxpayers can use to claim charitable deductions as part of a plan to finance changes to the country’s health-care system.

In a document outlining his 2010 budget plans, the president proposes to limit the tax rate for itemized deductions at 28 percent for families making more than $250,000.

That would reduce by as much as 20 percent the amount wealthy taxpayers could reduce their federal tax payments for charitable donations. Under the current system, taxpayers who are in the 33 percent or 35 percent tax brackets use that rate to claim deductions."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Her Christmas List

Right before Christmas my 10 year old daughter tore off a strip of wrapping paper and wrote down here wish list. I reproduce it here to enjoy her whimsy.
  1. LPS Digtal planer
  2. phone
  3. Ds game
  4. Wii fit board
  5. fairy wings
  6. Super power
  7. more metal string
  8. littile sister
  9. cook book
  10. liberty
  11. my own holiday
  12. peace on earth
  13. Garden
  14. Seeds
  15. more allowence
  16. own company
  17. lot of money (10,20)
  18. poputary
  19. to be skiny
  20. fairy God parents
  21. puppy
  22. laptop
  23. condo
  24. active
  25. nicer schools
  26. credit card
  27. car
  28. free School coupon
  29. 3 snow days
  30. cousin to come in summer or Christmas

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Why believe in Science?

The Constant Nature of Science: "There is no logical necessity for a universe that obeys rules, let alone one that abides by the rules of mathematics. The speed of light measures the same 186,000 miles per second, no matter if the light comes from a child's flashlight or a star that's galaxies away. Mathematically, there is an exact speed of light that doesn't change.

Physicist Eugene Wigner confesses that the mathematical underpinning of nature "is something bordering on the mysterious and there is no rational explanation for it."3 Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize winner for quantum electrodynamics, said, "Why nature is mathematical is a mystery...The fact that there are rules at all is a kind of miracle."4

This astonishment springs from the recognition that the universe doesn't have to behave this way. It is easy to imagine a universe in which conditions change unpredictably from instant to instant, or even a universe in which things pop in and out of existence. Instead, scientists cling to their long-held faith in the fundamental rationality of the cosmos.

Physicist Paul C. Davies comments, " be a scientist, you had to have faith that the universe is governed by dependable, immutable, absolute, universal, mathematical laws of an unspecified origin. You've got to believe that these laws won't fail, that we won't wake up tomorrow to find heat flowing from cold to hot, or the speed of light changing by the hour. Over the years I have often asked my physicist colleagues why the laws of physics are what they are? ...The favorite reply is, 'There is no reason they are what they are--they just are.'"5"

Interesting Stuff