Daily archives: January 13, 2006

Heinrich Harrer and the White Spider

The author of White Spider and Seven Years in Tibet died this week. Here’s what I had to say about his account of climbing the Eiger after reading it a couple of years ago-

The author of Seven Years in Tibet was also part of the first team to climb the North Face of the Eiger. Here he relates the history of all the attempts on the face up until 1965. A catalogue of endurance and disaster, including some horrendous deaths- those who fell off the cliff were the lucky ones. Slightly stilted, possibly in the translation, and heavy on the facts, but gripping none the less.

The BBC has an article about the mountain’s continuing allure.

Be a Real Man, be Green

Not really the meaning of Thomas Friedman’s piece, but you get the gist of it. Our leaders are content to carry on with the same old same old, pretending that minor variations on old policies and moronic shows strength are new and brave. If they really cared about the future they’d be joining us in looking for new ways to live with minimal impact on the environment.

[W]hen it comes to what is actually the most important issue in U.S. foreign and domestic policy today – making ourselves energy efficient and independent, and environmentally green – [Bush and Cheney] ridicule it as something only liberals, tree-huggers and sissies believe is possible or necessary.

Sorry, but being green, focusing the nation on greater energy efficiency and conservation, is not some girlie-man issue. It is actually the most tough-minded, geostrategic, pro-growth and patriotic thing we can do. Living green is not for sissies. Sticking with oil, and basically saying that a country that can double the speed of microchips every 18 months is somehow incapable of innovating its way to energy independence – that is for sissies, defeatists and people who are ready to see American values eroded at home and abroad.

Living green is not just a “personal virtue,” as Mr. Cheney says. It’s a national security imperative.

via Treehugger

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I always wanted to be a lumberjack!

Who’d have thought librarians were so stressed.

Others enjoyed fulfilling careers that offered new challenges, interaction with a variety of people and room for advancement.

“Although police officers and firefighters find themselves in stressful situations, they are at least able to get out and about, and there is much more variety in their work.”

Librarians, on the other hand feel stifled by constantly stamping and stacking books in silence day after day.

“It seems they are sick of being stuck between the same shelves of books all day. They also found their work repetitive and unchanging, and overall had very little job satisfaction,” said Saddiq

As a result, they were most likely to cut work and take their frustrations out on their families at home.

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Ray Kurzweil on everything

The respected futurologist explains some of his ideas for the future. Some of these ideas merge quite well with my ideas for Mongrels, a webcomic I’m planning.

What’s the future of the computer itself? Once we get past Moore’s Law, we’ll use 3-D molecular computing. [In the late 2040s], one cubic inch of nanotube circuitry will be 100 million times more powerful than the human brain. On the software side, machines [in the 2030s] will be able to access their own source code and improve it via an ever-accelerating, iterative design cycle. So ultimately, these systems will be vastly more intelligent than humans and will combine the advantages of biological and nonbiological intelligence. I don’t see this as an alien invasion of intelligent machines; this is emerging from within our civilization.

Well before that, computation will be a worldwide mesh of computing elements, and anytime you want, you’ll be able to, for example, access 1 million computers for 400 milliseconds.

Early in the next decade, images will be written directly to our retinas. How can you make screens really tiny but big at the same time? Put them in your eyeglasses and beam images directly to the retina.

What do you mean when you say computers will “disappear”? They’ll make their way into our clothing and into the environment, and they’ll be very tiny. We’ll also move away from the idea that the computers we use are spokes into a network but not part of the network, to where every device will be a node on the network, meaning that not only will you be sending and receiving your own messages, you’ll be passing on other people’s messages. It will be continually self-organizing, so that all communication links will be continuously finding the most efficient path.

via GeekPress

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Talking Head

The Talking Head vibrator brings audio stimulation as well as physical stimulation for a complete sensation. A technologically advanced rabbit vibrator with onboard computer chip controls, this vibe is the one everyone’s
talking about. Especially as you can record your own voice, your lover’s or download voices from anonymous strangers to fulfill your most lustful ambitions. All in the privacy of your home. Or office. Because we’re
developing new products for that, too.

That wasn’t on the Perfect Sex Toy list either.

via Fleshbot

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