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Showing posts from August, 2006

Usually I don't post these 'News of the Weird' type stories

But this one is weirder than average. I wonder if it is Xinhua playing at being The Onion.
Chinese state media says a Chinese woman's attempt to teach her dog how to drive proved a costly error, as her car crashed into an oncoming vehicle.
Xinhua news agency reports no one - including the dog - was injured, but both vehicles were slightly damaged.
Xinhua says the accident happened recently in the city of Hohhot, capital of north China's Inner Mongolia region.
The woman, surnamed Li, had noticed how fond the dog was of crouching on the wheel, and thought it should have a go at steering the car.
She herself operated the accelerator and the brake.

IT - least likely to steal your lunch

From the Houston Chronicle, comes this amusing bit on workplace lunch stealing:
So which department is most likely to steal a lunch?
Accounting, Buffini said, drawing on his experience with personality traits at work. They have to do things by the book, but they're often mad in a passive-aggressive way.
Another likely candidate is the customer-service department, because personnel there are under constant pressure and have to handle angry people, he said.
As for the least likely lunch bandits, Buffini said, it's managers because of the scrutiny they're under from all sides, as well as "hero" departments like information technology, which come to your aid when you're down.
And the mellow marketing folks get so many gift baskets that they're not interested in someone else's tuna sandwich, he added.

Lawrence Sutin profile

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune has a short profile of Lawrence Sutin, author of the excellent Philip K. Dick biography Divine Invasions. His other works includes Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley.
His latest book, All is Change, 'tracks Buddhism's influence on Western thought from ancient Greece to modern America.'

I heartily recommend Divine Invasions. It is essential to a balanced understanding of PKD.

HH on the recent history of the DRC

Head Heeb has written a good few posts on the Democratic Republic of Congo recently. The latest looks at the recent history of the DRC as a comparison with present challenges. An excerpt:
The relationship between the DRC and the international community is also a very mixed picture. On the one hand, the end of the Cold War has rendered the United Nations' intervention somewhat less partial and more conducive to state-building. On the other hand, the immediately neighboring countries - Uganda, Rwanda, Angola and Zimbabwe - are as interested in controlling the DRC's natural resources as Belgium was in the 1960s, and haven't been hesitant about using armed force and local allies to advance their interests.

More eyecandy

My blogging of Mongolian ladies seemed fairly well received. And I do cater to please. Anyway: in that vein here are some great photos from DragonCon 2005.

Tribal Networks site

I just learned (thanks to a link in a slashdot users sig file) of this project. This network:
is a group of people who are helping tribal people around the world to own their own means of high-tech communications.
Though the site does not mention many specific projects, this sounds quite promising.

Shanghai Bund - river

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Shanghai Bund - river
Originally uploaded by Alhazred. Photo of Shanghai river taken from the Bund. Can just see Pudong off to the right.

Santa Fe College - sculpture3

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Santa Fe College - sculpture3
Originally uploaded by Alhazred. Snapshot from 1992, when I was staying at the College of Santa Fe dorms.

60th Anniversary 'Autobiography of a Yogi' publication

This work, and Paramahansa Yogananda's life in general, remains a great inspiration to me. And on the 60th anniversary of its publication, Self-Realization Fellowship is planning events to promote its message. Relionnewsblog has the story.

Indian swami Paramahansa Yogananda strode onto the sunny canvas of Los Angeles in 1925 with tales of magic in a far-off place and a meditation technique he said could liberate the soul.The charismatic founder of the religious organization headquartered in Mount Washington went on to introduce America to yoga and, with his "Autobiography of a Yogi," become the 20th century's first superstar guru.
...
"Yogananda was unique in his time; he seemed to be genuinely sincere," said J. Gordon Melton, director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion in Santa Barbara. "He also had a corner on the market. It wasn't until the Beatles hooked up with the Maharishi Yogi in the mid-1960s that Yogananda had any real compe…

Jack Parsons mention in the media

The Los Angeles City Beat features this bus tour, which takes in some local SoCal military sites and is organized by Physicians for Social Responsibility. Here is what the reporter writes about the Jet Propulsions Laboratory part of the tour:

Ammonium perchlorate’s use as a rocket-fuel booster has its origins at JPL, which is now known primarily for its NASA space work. A young scientist named Jack Parsons developed this exotic fuel in the Arroyo Seco and led a short life just as explosive. Parsons dabbled in the occult as a follower of Aleister Crowley, held sex- and drug-drenched orgies at his Pasadena mansion, and lost his wife and money to a pre-Scientology L. Ron Hubbard. At the young age of 37, Parsons blew himself to pieces in his kitchen during an experiment with fulminate of mercury, a gray crystalline powder that, when dry, explodes under percussion or heat and is used in detonators...

USPS benefits from net commerce

I admire the US postal service. By and large I've found them quick, reasonably priced, and efficient. And so I was pleased to read this report in the New York Times that details how the growth of internet commerce has been a boon to the USPS:
“Six years ago, people were pointing at the Internet as the doom and gloom of the Postal Service, and in essence what we’ve found is the Internet has ended up being the channel that drives business for us,” said James Cochrane, manager of package services at the Postal Service.
I hope that other world postal services see an increase in usage from internet commerce.

Mick heart Ubuntu

I installed the latest release of Ubuntu linux on my spare laptop (a Dell Latitude CPi) last night. Not only did it install smoothly, but to my delight the PCMCIA wireless NIC was immediately functional. I'm loving it.
There are still things to work out. Only half the hard drive seems to be mounted. But, no big deal - I'll have fun figuring it out.