May 20, 2004

Eat Butter, Not Margarine - Did you ever get the feeling that 'the experts' just don't know what the hell they're talking about? I remember, years ago, the great push toward margarine. Advertising expounded on the health benefits of eating margarine instead of butter, saying it was better for you. Granted, we're talking 30 years ago, but some of those reading this will surely remember. Well, now, with the advent of the Atkins and other low-carbohydrate diets, margarine is now considered less healthy than butter. And, of course, studies are going to back up this conclusion as well - Looking at this article in Nature Magazine: Trans-fats come under fire: Nutrition experts call for ban on hidden food villain.:
"Evidence for the harmful effects of trans-fats has mounted, however. In 2002, a US expert committee charged with making nutritional recommendations concluded that there was no level of trans-fats in the diet that could be deemed safe."

Wow, that's strong language for talking about our food. What the article is talking about is hydrogenated vegetable oil. That's the ingredient in your Country Crock(tm) or other margarine that lets you spread it around the same way soft butter is spread. What gets me is that we have spent years and years on processing foods in this country to make them more available, more accessible and more desireable to the majority, so that they could be mass produced and mass sold. In doing so, we've removed the food value, and instead have created a supermarket full of food that is going to end up killing us.
Disclaimer: I have lost 25 pounds on the Atkins diet and am a proponent of healthy alternatives for processed foods, where possible.

May 13, 2004

In New Scientist, an article I'd like to bring to your attention mentions the use of auditory signals from a CPU being used for cryptanalysis in a recent study. So, on top of Tempest considerations, now we may have to worry about high-frequency sound filters for classified and sensitive cryptographic devices.

May 12, 2004

I got my degree! I'm finally legal after 20 years! My Associate of Arts Degree from Limestone College - here it is:

May 11, 2004

Tried this - it didn't work: :: the dot org era
This didn't work either: ATI sponsors 3d cards :: :: the dot org era
Is this a possible fix for ATI Radeon problems with Blender?
"After removing 'atioglxx.dll' menus draw correctly. Performance depends on system speed now."
. Will have to check tomorrow. Blender is even faster on an old 400Mhz laptop than my 2.4Ghz machine with an ATI Radeon 7000 VE card.

Well, I checked it - it didn't fix the problem - Blender still is shit-slow drawing menu items.
IIS 6 Error: "Unable to read configuration for Microsoft Internet Information Server" while trying to add FrontPage Extensions 2002 to a new web site. The solution was in this article on Usenet (thanks Google). Basically, Sharepoint Portal Services, which is web-based, is required to make this installation. Sharepoint had been stopped on the server (by me) due to our 'if you don't need it, disable it' policy. Well, turns out you need it. So, if you have this problem, there's your potential solution.

May 10, 2004

A friend of mine, not a friend of ours, but one of mine, asked me to post a link to his website. Alright, it's my son, and he's learning to build a website using Tripod's Site Builder. So give it a visit at He's got some games on there and a comic that he drew. Feel free to send me any comments you'd like to pass on. He isn't old enough for his own email address yet.

May 09, 2004

Andy Kaufman: Dead or Alive? The Associated Press and the Newspaper Network of Central Ohio bring you this news of a welcome back party scheduled for Andy Kaufman next Sunday, just in case he was faking it. If you don't know who Andy is/was, go out and rent yourself the movie: Man on the Moon, starring Jim Carrey. The movie is an external biographical account of the comics life, and covers pretty much everything the public knows about Andy. Unfortunately for the world, lung cancer took "Latka Gravis" away from us twenty years ago. Before dying, Andy promised that if he were faking his death, he'd resurface in twenty years. So, next Sunday his manager is going to hold a bash just in case.

Having been blessed with watching "Taxi" in the 80's, and having appreciated much of his work, I can tell you that I'll be keeping an ear out to hear how the party turns out. At the same time, I woulnd't expect anything, although if I was Bob Zmuda, I'd have done the same thing. Cheers to you, Bob, for keeping the dream alive. But if our boy doesn't show, let's not keep him going as long as Elvis, alright?

May 05, 2004

From the Dumb Crooks Department comes this article: / News / Odds & ends / Computer glitch gives out free gasoline: "They discovered that because of a computer glitch they could swipe their drivers' licenses instead of credit cards to gas up for free at the pumps outside the Meijer chain" - Now, this can't be a good idea, can it? I mean - if you swipe your license, you're giving your information to the chain, and they can track you down and be punished, right. Well, it looks like 107 people did not figure out that there might be just such a consequence, and the police ARE hunting them down. The scary thing is that many of these 107 were college students. That's right, people supposedly intelligent enough to go on to a higher education stole gas from a gas station, and swiped their personal identification into the computer so that they could be readily identified. I don't even need to add a personal comment to that. It practically stands on its own.

May 02, 2004

Dedication and Love Overcomes Dermatitis and Kills Deadly Virus!
In this article from Sky News: "Deadly hospital superbug MRSA may have finally met its match - a lotion developed by a humble trucker". This is just amazing. You have to read the article for the full effect. But, it's incredible that this man developed this lotion on his own, just to help his wife's dermatitis. If I were a religious man, I would have put odds on that (G)od himself rewarded the trucker for his hard work through the secondary use of this lotion. Even as a solution to dermatitis, this lotion would have been worth developing, but to have it also fight a deadly bug is a great bonus.
The End Is In Sight! As of Friday, the semester is done. I've five classes remaining before I finish my B.S. in Computer Science/Programming, and of those, only 2 are required classes. The next semester begins Monday, and I'm taking Database Programming (SQL) and Educational Psychology (an elective). I should be finished taking classes this year, October 22nd. Then I'll shop around for a Master's program, meaning I should think about studying for the GRE, etc. If there is one thing I'm learning from this experience, is that my mind is getting old, and it's hard for me to study material that is completely new to me. Along with everything else in my life, it's hard to study for exams and keep up with the amount of work that is required in some of these classes. Thank god for my experience in some of the field, making some of the classes easy.