‘Learning Curve’ as Rick Perry Pursues a Job He Initially Misunderstood

Coral Davenport and David E. Sanger, reporting for the New York Times:

Mr. Perry, who once called for the elimination of the Energy Department, will begin the confirmation process Thursday with a hearing before the Senate Energy Committee. If approved by the Senate, he will take over from a secretary, Ernest J. Moniz, who was chairman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology physics department and directed the linear accelerator at M.I.T.’s Laboratory for Nuclear Science. Before Mr. Moniz, the job belonged to Steven Chu, a physicist who won a Nobel Prize.

For Mr. Moniz, the future of nuclear science has been a lifelong obsession; he spent his early years working at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Mr. Perry studied animal husbandry and led cheers at Texas A&M University.

To say that Mr. Perry’s background and education are insufficient for the duties and responsibilities required would be a gross understatement.

It Could Be Funny: ‘Polished Death Star Bathrooms’

Was extremely fortunate to get special guest Chuck Godfrey to join us for our second episode. An expert in all things Deadpool and Star Wars, you can imagine what we talked about…

The Verge: ‘Facebook takes flight’

Casey Newton, reporting for The Verge:

The path forward for Aquila isn’t totally clear, and it’s bound to encounter more bumps along the way. But Zuckerberg is resolute: billions of people who can’t access the internet deserve it. And for Facebook to achieve his long-term vision, everyone is going to need access to more bandwidth than they have today.

Sounds very humanitarian. Until you remember that Facebook makes it’s money through advertising, and can only show year-over-year growth if more users are connected to Facebook than the year before. Once you’ve hit the saturation rate for your population, the only way you can increase revenue is if you can access more population. Facebook has become so enormous, if it wants to continue to grow it’s user base, it has to literally invent the technologies needed to push internet connectivity to the rest of the planet.

Cool plane, though.

NC Senate Proposes Removal of Drinking Water Protections

Jane Porter, writing for IndyWeek:

Scientists regard vegetative buffers as the most cost-effective and fair means of controlling polluted runoff from farms and developments; the Senate budget would have them repealed and would schedule the repeal of state requirements for buffers along the Neuse River, the Tar-Pamlico River, the Catawba River on December 31, 2019— even if no alternative is in place.

“This provision isn’t a tweak, it’s a sledgehammer,” said Molly Diggins, state director of the North Carolina Sierra Club in a statement. “It is as if the Senate has forgotten how important our waterways are for tourism, recreation, and drinking water.”

It’s not that the Republican Senate has forgotten about our waterways, it’s that they just don’t care.

IT COULD BE FUNNY: ‘The One with German Subtitles’

Trying my hand at a podcast. For the first episode, Joe and I discuss speech recognition, artificial intelligence, video games, and Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game by Fantasy Flight Games.

Breaking: National Geographic Purchased by 21st Century Fox

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In a bold move today, National Geographic Magazine has announced a rebranding effort. Purchased by 21st Century Fox, the new “Climate-Denial Geographic” is preparing its first issue detailing the wonders of capitalism, a new sponsored inquiry showing global-cooling, and why some species are being deprecated to encourage thriving populations of more robust, human-friendly species.

To promote the magazine, Glen Beck will be featuring CDG Writers and Real Scientists (TM) on his show. The guests will discuss the magazine and the importance of giving every viewpoint the same amount of media coverage.

For a limited time, CDG will offer a genuine alligator-hide display case for your bookshelf when you subscribe. Sales representatives were clear that the 13-Issue case will indeed have room for the much anticipated “A Very Colder Christmas” special issue. The case is styled to match a similar case offered with subscriptions to Answers in Genesis Magazine, and proceeds from the case will benefit the organization.

The Heritage Foundation called the new branding “…a win for scientific inquiry in the world today”, and speculators anticipate a doubling of profits from the previous quarter. Whether new subscribers will read the first issue, or just tweet photos of themselves holding the covers to run in the monthly Coal Roller of the Month column, remains to be seen.

First attempt at a satire news post. Here’s a link to a real article about this news.

Autonomous Vehicles Are Coming

Cars, trucks, busses, trains, and construction equipment. What does the future hold for these machines? Autonomous navigation and control. Most people would think this technology is far into the future, but the exciting (and perhaps daunting) prospect is that the technology is here and the advantages and disadvantages of it will be a reality sooner than you might think. Continue reading

Gavin Harrison’s New Album

One of my top favorite drummers is working on a new album that reinvisions Porcupine Tree tracks in a big-band style. I play along to Porcupine Tree often, and being a drummer with jazz and swing foundations really makes me excited to play along to these tracks. Very much looking forward to hearing it!

Here’s more about his album, as well as his top 5 tips for drummers.

Bullet Journal

In April of last year, I decided it was time to come up with a better system of to-do’s than the sticky notes and self-emails I had been relying on. With new responsibilities at home and at work, and to-do lists piling up for all sorts of different tasks and side projects, I needed a system that would work for me to keep everything together.

Rather than invent something myself, I spent quite a bit of time researching different methods people use, and even interviewed friends and colleagues for their opinions. While interested in the idea of using something electronic (read: my iPhone), the Type-A personality in me was looking for something with check boxes that could be satisfyingly checked with a pen.

Enter the Bullet Journal. While crediting the many people that have used something similar before, Ryder Carroll presents a take on the Bullet Journal by presenting the concept through website and video tutorials. I made a concerted effort to give it a shot. I started at the beginning of April, 2014 and gave myself a few weeks to see if it would work for me. Weeks grew into months, which continued for the remainder of the year, and by December it was time to order a fresh journal for 2015.

For anyone looking for something similar, I highly recommend it. I think it’s enabled me to be much more effective at getting things done by providing an avenue to track goals for the day, week, and month. I started with the blank Moleskine Classic Large Squared and I like the flexibility this provides.

Below is a comparison picture of my 2014 journal and a new journal, showing how nine months of ink and emotion add significant thickness and weight. The outside shows it’s wear as well, but the binding is very much intact and continues to serve in an archival role on the bookshelf.

Get Started

  • Bullet Journal Tutorial
  • Moleskine Classic Large (black, hardcover, squared)
  • Pilot G2, .7mm Black (my current favorite pen)

New Games

As table top gaming is a hobby of mine, I’m always on the lookout for a new game to test out. I’ve played a few new table top games lately and I figured I would share my thoughts and do some reviews. Here’s the round up: Cards Against Humanity, Ticket to Ride, Glass Road.

Continue reading