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Journal: "God" Immune From Eathly Laws

Journal by Mick Ohrberg
Dem. Nebraska State Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha filed a lawsuit against "God", saying "He" is responsible for "widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth's inhabitants.". "God", in a response, says that the court has no jurisdiction, and that "He" cannot be held responsible for the action of man, since "He" "...created man and woman with free will and next to the promise of immortal life, free will is ["His"] greatest gift [...]". The response filing had St. Michael the Archangel listed as a witness.
Space

Journal: Voyager 2 30 years

Journal by Mick Ohrberg
The Voyager 2 spacecraft (part of the ongoing Voyager Mission) today celebrates 30 years of faithful service, by far surpassing the 4 years that was its inteded lifespan. Voyager 2 is today 7.8 billion miles from the sun, placing it almost as far out as the heliopause. At the speed of light that's about 12 hours away, and it's clocking about 1 million miles per day. Voyager 1, launched a couple of weeks after Voyager 2, is at 9.7 billion miles from the sun the farthest man-made object. So when are we going to get around to sending up Voyager 6?
Censorship

Journal: Swedish Police Forcing ISP's To Block TPB? 1

Journal by Mick Ohrberg
As of yet unverified rumors say that the Swedish Police Ministry is working with several Swedish ISP's to block the popular torrent search engine The Pirate Bay, claiming that the reson for blocking TPB is that they contribute to the proliferation of child pornography. You may remember that the site was shut down by the Police once before. Even if this is a false alarm, how long before other similar sites are shut down for similar alleged reasons? And, if it is true - how long before TPB is back online?
Microsoft

Journal: Beware Of 'GWHHMS'?

Journal by Mick Ohrberg
Canopus Research Inc. director William F. Zachmann seems to have a bone to pick with what he calls 'GWHHMS' (pronounced Gwhyms), or Geeks WHo Hate MicroSoft. He seems to categorize all those who do not bow before the Altar of Microsoft as various degrees of Gwhyms, ranging from the Strict Gwhym fundamentalist to the "When Convenient" Gwhym. Says Zachmann:

[...] let there be no doubt: Adoption of the Gwhym faith by an organization is virtually certain to make software more costly, to lower productivity and to delay development.

However, he also states:

Do not put any more money in Microsoft's coffers than you need to and make sure you get real value for however much you do give.

Space

Journal: Second Test Launch of SpaceX Falcon 1

Journal by Mick Ohrberg
The second test launch of the SpaceX Falcon 1 rocket took place today at 6:10 pm PST. After successfully having completed launch, first stage separation (2m 51s), second stage ignition (2m 55s), fairing separation (3m 16s), and reaching an altitude of 300 km, the vehicle was seen entering what is referred to as roll oscillations (4m 30s). Shortly thereafter, telemetry was lost. The second stage is assumed to have re-entered the atmosphere after about half an orbit or so. Says SpaceX founder, Elon Musk:

I think I'll characterize this as a very good day for SpaceX. We successfully reached space and really retired almost all the risk associated with the rocket. So I feel very good about where things are.

Videos of the launch are available for download.

NASA

Journal: What Did Neil Armstrong REALLY Say? 1

Journal by Mick Ohrberg
For nearly four decades, Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong has been living under the accusation of mis-stating one of of the most famous phrases in history: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Now, programmer Peter Shann Ford claims to have evidence (derived using the GoldWave software) that Armstrong did not botch the speech, but correctly included the alleged missing syllable. Armstrong, who found the evidence "persuasive", supports the findings.
Movies

Journal: Alien Resurrection: What The Hell Are They Saying?

Journal by Mick Ohrberg
I was watching Alien Resurrection the other night, and alas! I also remembered one of my big beefs with that movie. There's one scene where Wren, Gediman and Perez have just visited the queen, and we watch them through the glass from the queens' perspective. They keep on talking, but I'll be damned if I can figure out what they're saying.
Music

Journal: MPAA Hacking Torrentspy?

Journal by Mick Ohrberg
C|Net news reports that "A month after accusing the Motion Picture Association of America of conspiring to commit data theft, the operators of a file search engine presented more details regarding the alleged relationship between the MPAA and a man who admits hacking the small company's network."
Communications

Journal: How's Your Online Spelling? 2

Journal by Mick Ohrberg
How much attention do you pay to how your spelling and grammar comes across while typing posts, blogs, emails and such? On a daily basis I see more and more bulletin board posts containing things like "u" instead of "you", misues of "their", "they're" and "there", as well as an occasional "OMG!!1 lolz!!1eleven". Granted, there are some pretty benign misspellings like "teh" instead of "the", while others are a bit more severe. Some (like double-capitalization) are caused by speed, while others (like "for all intensive purposes") are caused by sheer ignorance of the original phrase. A more disturbing trend may be the fact that corporate America seems to be heading the same direction - email from executives containing no capitalizations, or ending with "thx". The question I pose is - is this just regular language development and evolution, or is it a plague and a curse that should be eradicated at all cost? And no, I don't claim to be perfect. In fact, English isn't even my first language.
Biotech

Journal: 20 Years Ago Today: Chernobyl

Journal by Mick Ohrberg
It is today 20 years since the horrific Chernobyl accident, where the unit 4 reactor of the Chernobyl power plant (known as Chernobyl-4) suffered a catastrophic steam explosion that resulted in a fire, a series of additional explosions, and a nuclear meltdown. The accident left death and injuries in its wake from the radiation fallout (which was 400 times greater than that of the Hiroshima bomb and and affected Europe, Scandinavia, and even the USA). The initial evidence in other countries that a major exhaust of radioactive material had occurred came not from Soviet sources, but from Sweden, where on April 27 workers at the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant (approximately 1100 km from the Chernobyl site) were found to have radioactive particles on their clothes. It was Sweden's search for the source of radioactivity, after they had determined there was no leak at the Swedish plant, that led to the first hint of a serious nuclear problem in the Western Soviet Union.
Microsoft

Journal: Office Live Goes Beta

Journal by Mick Ohrberg
Microsoft has released their Office Live product in Beta. Initially, customers can sign up for one of three (all free in beta, one to remain free, two to charge $29.95/month) packages, all consisting of various supersets of your own domain name, easy-to-use design tools, five e-mail accounts, and web site traffic reports. Yes, it looks like Microsoft is doing something pretty cool. However - has anyone read the EULA yet?
Space

Journal: Black Holes - In Our Atmosphere!

Journal by Mick Ohrberg
According to scientists lead by Dejan Stojkovic of the Case Western Reserve University, a high-energy (multi TeV) cosmic ray particle (such as neutrinos) that passes close to particles in our own atmosphere, could create a very small black hole. A newly built observatory (Pierre Auger Observatory) is designed to detect the following shower of particles. Dejan does however argue that the number of mini-black holes created would be fewer than expexted, and that the observatory during its service period (2003 -- 2008) probably would detect as many events as originally anticipated.
Toys

Journal: How Do You Clean A Mousepad?

Journal by Mick Ohrberg
After a period of time, mouse pads are bound to get pretty cruddy. The question now is - how do you clean your mousepad? Mine is made of neoprene, with a (presumably) glued on wrist rest. Do you toss them in the washing machine? If so, will a front-loaded machine work better than a top-loaded one? Maybe the dishwasher? Strap it to the hood and go to the carwash?

One possible reason that things aren't going according to plan is that there never was a plan in the first place.

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