Wednesday, July 29, 2009 Life | How cooking makes you a man Life | How cooking makes you a man: "Cooking doesn't change the actual number of calories in food -- meaning that, if you take two portions of raw vegetable or animal product and cook one of them, when you blow it up in a bomb calorimeter and compare the two, you'd get the same number of calories. But there are two big things that cooking does. One is that it increases the proportion of the nutrients that our bodies digest, and from the data I reviewed -- for instance, in the case of egg protein it goes from 50 percent to 90 percent -- it looks as though that effect can make an enormous difference. And the second thing it does is that cooking reduces the costs we pay to digest our food."

Wow, even bigger then I thought.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

See You in a Hundred Years | Logan Ward

See You in a Hundred Years | Logan Ward: "Their mantra was, ‘If it didn’t exist in 1900, we will do without,’ and they did—no electricity, no telephone, no computer."

Hmm. I'll have to look at this.

Chrysler Destroys Its Historical Archives; GM to Follow? | The Truth About Cars

Editorial: Chrysler Destroys Its Historical Archives; GM to Follow? | The Truth About Cars: "Over the following decades, the automaker centralized and organized its archives, records dating back to the very beginnings of the American automobile industry. And then the company’s new owners decided history is bunk. Cerberus eliminated its archivist position. They stopped funding the documents’ maintenance. The company limited access to their archives and then stopped it altogether.

Worse was to follow."

"And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'"
- George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 3

Monday, July 27, 2009

Do You Have These Core Human Skills?

Do You Have These Core Human Skills?: "If you’re interested in improving the quality of your life and work, there are the 12 primary areas of “Core Human Skill” you should focus on developing…"

Good stuff.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

$190,000 withdrawn in $20 bills - national |

$190,000 withdrawn in $20 bills - national | "His message to Westpac: 'If you don't support the community, the community won't support you.'"

Universities and Economic Growth

Universities and Economic Growth: "The days in which the U.S. could get richer without getting smarter are over. In 1970, a group of U.S. workers did not have to compete with workers in China or India. There was no container shipping. International phone calls were cripplingly expensive. Internet connected only a handful of computers. The Crash of 2008 is the first economic downturn from which the U.S. will have to dig itself out in the face of genuine international competition."

This is a great article. His ideas for changing schools to be more worthwhile are so radical they might just work.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The calorie delusion: Why food labels are wrong - health - 15 July 2009 - New Scientist

The calorie delusion: Why food labels are wrong - health - 15 July 2009 - New Scientist: "Secor fed the snakes one of four options: intact raw steak, intact cooked steak, ground raw steak or ground cooked steak. He found that cooking or grinding the meat reduced the cost of digestion by 12.7 per cent and 12.4 per cent respectively. When he fed the pythons steak that had been both ground and cooked, the combination lowered the amount of energy needed to digest the meal by 23.4 per cent."

So it boils down to a quarter pounder has as many calories available as a 5 oz steak.

I knew cooking food was powerful but this is way more then I thought. I still think a raw food diet would be undesirable in the long term, but as a weight loss strategy it might be a very good way to go.

I hadn't thought of hamburger as a "processed" food like a Twinkie, but it looks as though that might be the case.

The UN is too lazy to fix this problem, thinking it will cost too much for the benefit. First that tells just how important they think nutrition actually is to them. and Second, of course, it would be too hard for them to do, they are a governement type agency.

Stone-age innovation explains ancient population boom - life - 21 July 2009 - New Scientist

Stone-age innovation explains ancient population boom - life - 21 July 2009 - New Scientist: "Petraglia and his colleagues contend that the beginnings of a global ice age pushed ancient populations of Indians into closer contact – and competition – with one another. 'They need to develop new strategies to produce new resources. They invent microlithic technology and it spreads very rapidly.'"

Something as simple as a good and easy to manufacture stone knife may have allowed India to support the population it now has.

Oh, and it was because of global cooling. lol.

Monday, July 20, 2009

PRESS KIT - From Sand to Silicon: the Making of a Chip

PRESS KIT - From Sand to Silicon: the Making of a Chip: "View this graphic presentation offering a high-level demonstration of the process for manufacturing a central processing unit (CPU), which operates in every PC today. Here you can catch a glimpse of some of the amazingly sophisticated work going on daily inside Intel's cutting-edge silicon manufacturing fabs."

It looks pretty easy, but it is way hard. Rebuilding this capability would be hard.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

NASA - LRO Sees Apollo Landing Sites

LRO Sees Apollo Landing Sites
: "NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, has returned its first imagery of the Apollo moon landing sites. The pictures show the Apollo missions' lunar module descent stages sitting on the moon's surface, as long shadows from a low sun angle make the modules' locations evident."

Have we forgotten how to do this yet? Not quite, but to forget that we put a man on the Moon will be one of the saddest things to forget and that must be prevented.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Walter Cronkite, Silent Key

Walter Cronkite, Iconic Anchorman, Dies at 92 - Media Decoder Blog - "Walter Cronkite, an iconic CBS News journalist who defined the role of anchorman for a generation of television viewers, died Friday at the age of 92, his family said."

He was a Ham Radio Operator, also The Most Trusted Man in America

"1984" goes down the Memory Hole

Some E-Books Are More Equal Than Others - Pogue’s Posts Blog - "This morning, hundreds of Amazon Kindle owners awoke to discover that books by a certain famous author had mysteriously disappeared from their e-book readers. These were books that they had bought and paid for—thought they owned."

Irony, thy name is Amazon right now. Could a worse author have been chosen to do this too? The level of irony here matches the national deficit. The only other book out there that could even come close would be "Fahrenheit 451."

I am sure this kind of stuff happens semi-automatically, a publisher calls telling them that the copy they are sending out is unauthorized and they have to stop, but surely there was some person there having to pull the trigger on it, who really should have bumped it upstairs just to let them know this was a bad idea and maybe they should work something out.

First they came for the audio features, then they limited the downloads, now they yank back the books completely!? Are they trying to destroy the Kindle?
The only thing I can relate it to is Kryptonite locks, you know the ones that were impossible to defeat unless you happen to have a cheap ball point pen handy. That brand imploded hard. I bet there are lots of investors shorting right now.

Really it isn't about the book it is about trust and that has been shot to heck and a minor price drop is not going to help at all. They just showed in the most ironic way possible that you don't own the book but only lease it. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

It's funny, just in a creepy way, with a slightly hysterical edge to it.

I think I'll take a harder look at the iLiad by iRex.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Microsoft hosts Feynman lecture series • The Register

Microsoft hosts Feynman lecture series • The Register: "When you are Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, you can own just about anything that you want. And as it turns out, Gates owns the rights to the seven-part lecture series given by Feynman at Cornell University in 1964."

Amazingly valuable ideas.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Abundance is powerful in unexpected ways

Why Moore’s Law does not apply to Digital Photography: "So why do I say that we are near the limit? The diffraction limit of our lenses is larger than the pixel size on some sensors"

That may well be true but that also means we can start wasting transistors and doing something else with them that can help with making a better picture.

I have no idea what but I do remember when RAM cost $1000/MB, yes thats MegaByte. Now you can get a GB or about $50. When I was at Novell they had a $1 million computer for high speed testing, the only thing special about it was the fact it had 1GB of RAM, the cost of the rest of it was inconsequential. Now computers come with at least 1 GB of RAM as standard equipment.

The main problem was yield was really low <20% so RAM was expensive because of all the testing and waste and the whole thing had to be perfect to work.

I was in engineering school at this time and then all of the sudden the price of RAM dropped and kept dropping. It turned out that some smart guy figured out that there are lots of sections of the chips that were just fine only small areas usually were damaged in some way. So they threw even more transistors at the problem to route around any damaged areas. Suddenly yields jumped to 80+% and so the prices cratered.

When you have a lot of something you can waste some of it to create something far more valuable. That is the big effect of the Agricultural Revolution extra calories that was could waste on things like seeing what happens to this rock if you put it into a really hot fire or what is beyond that sea or desert. If making food doesn't take up so much time then you can begin philosophizing or making something new out of the other things you have a lot of.

There was a story of a family that was in trouble in the Midwest but they had some land and after a big wind a huge pile of tumble weeds so they created a website and started selling them. Now there are 182,000 hits for "tumbleweed for sale."

Works and Days Print The War Against the Producers

Works and Days Print The War Against the Producers: "So our electrician senses that despite his newfound, sizable contribution to the public good, he will a) not be thanked but only further ridiculed;b) see his money diverted from his own wise use of it, to anonymous agencies’ liberal expenditures of it: the money will not be just lost, but invested in things that will make things worse, not better, through subsidies of failed programs and the destruction of incentives; c) see that the world under Obama is now unfair in Orwellian fashion: the Citibanks and AIGs, in Robert Rubin fashion, are so well connected to both parties that they will suffer little for their mistakes; the Ivy-League and Washington technocratic class that is to run all this is happy with its government perks and does not think new taxes and compliance apply to themselves (cf. Dodd, Rangel, Geithner, Daschle, Murtha, etc.)."

And the road to hell is paved with what?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Richard Wrangham's Catching Fire.� - By Christine Kenneally - Slate Magazine

Richard Wrangham's Catching Fire.� - By Christine Kenneally - Slate Magazine: "Similarly, the more cooked food we ate, the less industrial-strength digestion we had to do, and the smaller our guts became. In the same way that our bodies evolved to better walk on two legs, our bellies changed to better handle well-done over rare. This had two enormous payoffs. First, as our guts got smaller, this freed up energy for our brains to operate on a larger and larger scale. (Leslie Aiello and Peter Wheeler first discovered the relationship between gut size and brain size, dubbing it the Expensive Tissue Hypothesis.) Second, as we spent less time eating, we had more time to do other things with those rapidly expanding brains."

Food production and cooking are foundational to our civilization. I am getting more and more annoyed at those who seek to restrain and control this more basic cornerstone of our humanness.