Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Teri and Paul go a Cruisin'

Teri and I spent seven days aboard the Carnival Glory, touring the western Caribbean. We saw Mayan Ruins, snorkeled above a barrier reef, and rode a zip line. You can get all the details at the blog I created, Teri and Paul at Sea, which chronicled our adventure.

I never thought I was the kind of person who would take a cruise, and now that I've tried one, I'm still not sure. I created a Squidoo Lens to share my advice about cruises called Cruising for People Who Hate Cruises.

Monday, August 7, 2006

My Financial Management wish comes true: Yodlee

I was telling Teri that I wish I could log in to a single web page and see all of my financial accounts at one time. Well, along comes Yodlee (I read about it at Stop Buying Crap).

I haven't opened an account yet, but I'm gonna try it out real soon now.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Ultimate Secure Home

George alerted me to this over-the-top, off-the-grid, most secure home ever. Here's an excerpt from the website for the Ultimate Secure Home:

"Strategically located in the awesome San Juan mountains of Southwest Colorado, this patented steel-reinforced concrete earth home was built to withstand almost any natural or man-made disaster you can name. It is more secure, safe, and functional than any conventional house could ever be, yet still has a level of comfort that one might not expect to find in an underground home."

It is completely off the grid, relying on solar power for all the electrical needs. It has a safe room (i.e., "bomb shelter"), and is hardended against almost anything.

In an apocalyptic mood? Get it now for just $495,000.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Safari Bookshelf Update: Head First Books Added

I've subscribed to O'Rielly's Safari Bookshelf for a few years now (George has, too), but I was always disappointed that possibly their best series of books was not included: The Head First series.

If you want to effectively learn a new programming technology, nothing comes close to the Head First books. George recently completed the HTML and CSS book ,and I'm interested in the Ajax one.

I just read a post over at the O'Reilly Radar blog that these books have been added to Safari! For a minimum subscription of $9.99, you can have access to all of them. You can try the Safari Online Bookshelf for free for two weeks.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

It's Time to Save the Internet

Save the Net Now
The House of Representatives has already killed an amendment to a bill they passed on Thursday (the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act of 2006), so now it is up to the Senate to stop this bill, or amend it. Large telecom interests have spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress to gut "Net Neutrality."

Companies such as AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner, want to give their own content preferential treatment on their own networks, and tax content providers for the privilege to be carried on their networks.

The concept of Net Neutrality ensures that the network simply moves data, without considering what it is or who is providing it. If these companies succeed, it will be good for them and bad for everyone else, especially YOU.

Visit SavetheInternet.com to learn more, and to find out what you can do.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Do your grocery shopping at... Amazon?

Aparently so. I discovered that Amazon is now carrying tens of thousands of non-perishable items in their Grocery section.

I immediately searched on my favorite energy bars (Balance), and found that they sell the 15-bar boxes for $15.35. This isn't the best price I've every found, but it beats the non-sale price at my local grocer (better selection, too).

I also looked for the new Kashi cereal I've been eating, and while the price is reasonable, it only comes in cases containing 6 boxes. So, it might be more like shopping at Costco than Safeway.

All items in the Grocery Store qualify for Super Saver Shipping, as well as Amazon Prime.

Friday, June 9, 2006

Micro$oft Beware: Google Spreadsheets is here.

Take your browser on a spin over to


I signed up for an invitation to be part of the limited evaluation (it's a new addition to Google Labs), and got my invitation only a couple of hours later.

It works just as I thought it would (i.e., the interface is intuitive and Excel-like). I'm very excited about this. You can share them with other people of you choose, even have multiple authors. VERY COOL.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Keep your Towel Handy on May 25th

May 25th is Towel Day, which helps to keep alive the memory of Douglas Adams (author of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series). Bring your towel with you wherever you go!

For more info, click the banner below.

Douglas Noel Adams, (March 11, 1952 - May 11, 2001)

Towel Day :: A tribute to Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What's This? New Lunch Notes!

Yep, it's true... I've posted new lunch notes. It's not as if George and I haven't had lunch since August of 2004, but I just haven't had the time to write up the notes. And a lot of those intervening lunches featured much more interesting stuff than this one... but they may never see the light of day.

I was motivated to post the notes this week by the delightful new restaurant where we ate.

Here are the May 23rd, 2006 Lunch Notes.

Monday, May 1, 2006

The Time for Action is Now.

On Sunday night, I took my daughter and her friend to Tucson to attend a "Save Darfur" rally at the University of Arizona. There were some pretty inspriational speakers, including survivors of the genocides in Rwanda and Darfur, Sudan.

I already knew a fair amount about what was going on in Darfur, but the rally caused me to resolve to do more. Upon my return to work today, I spoke to a few friends and co-workers about how my daughter had asked me to take her to the rally. I was stunned by the unanimous response:

"What's Darfur?"

I could not believe it. I was stunned! I'm not holding these people responsible... that lies elsewhere. The responsibility lies with the media for failing to provide sufficient coverage (a total of 18 minutes of primetime news was dedicated to this story in all of 2005, compared to 86 minutes for the Earthquake in Pakistan), or perhaps it can be traced back to the lack or priority given to the genocide by our own government.

Either way, things need to change now. I was heartened by the positive response I received from everyone-- once they knew what was happening in Darfur, they agreed that action was required and that they wanted to help.

Here are the minimal facts:

  • Government-backed militia are destroying village after village, killing children, raping women, and driving those who survive out of their homes.
  • 400,000 innocent civilians have died in the past three years
  • 2 Million have been displaced
  • 3 Million in the Darfur area and across the border in Chad are hungry, with many dying every day.
  • On Saturday, the UN announced that due to dwindling donations, they were cutting food rations in half for the refugees in Darfur.
If you would like make a difference, visit SaveDarfur.org. This coalition of over 100 organizations is coordinating efforts to raise awareness and provide assistance to Darfur.

When your grandchildren ask you what you did to stop the genocide in Darfur, what will you tell them?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Evidence Found of Life on Mars... in Eqypt?

Researchers at Oregon State University have found possible evidence of life on Mars in a meteorite discovered in Egypt 95 years ago.

They have found a series of microscopic tunnels within the meteorite which closely resemble the tracks left in Earth rocks by hungry bacteria. The tunnels appear to have been formed approximately 600 million years ago, the same time when the rock was exposed to water.

Read the complete story at Space.com.

Holocaust History Project

I saw a post at evolgen about the Holocaust History Project, and the lengths to which skeptics of the Holocaust ( or perhaps just anti-semites) will go to silence them.

On March 6, an arsonist set fire to the Holocaust History Project's facility, causing extensive damage to their offfices (read the Press Release). It isn't the first time someone has tried to stop their message:

It was just the latest in a series of attacks with the apparent intent to silence THHP. For the past 18 months, the THHP website has been under an unprecedented Distributed Denial of Service attack. This cyber attack began on September 11, 2004, and is being carried out by a specially modified version of the MyDoom computer worm, programmed to target the THHP web server.

The Holocaust History Project is a free archive of documents, photographs, recordings, and essays regarding the Holocaust, including direct refutation of Holocaust-denial. It serves as an excellent educational resource.

I'm posting this not only because it's an interesting story, but also to render moot the attempts to stop their message. If I can help spread the word, it creates the opposite outcome of that desired by the arsonists.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Impeach the Fool: April Fool's Party

The anti-Bush web is full of proposals to raise the issue of impeachment on April 1st ths year. I also heard a few voices suggesting April Fool's Day parties to stage letter-writing campaigns to members of Congress.

I've created a new page on Squidoo to provide support for this effort: Impeach the Fool.

If you've had enough of George W. Bush, here's one way to help send him packing.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Shop at Whole Foods This Tuesday (Jan 24)

George and I discussed "Free Farmed" certification back in 2002. It is awarded by the American Humane Society to food producers who treat their animals humanely. Currently, there are nine certified farms and dairies in North America, which doesn't seem like nearly enough.

Last week, George sent me the following:

But it seems Whole Foods Market is taking up the slack and then some. I had read that they had instituted humane-treatment standards for their suppliers, and today I saw a poster there for the Animal Compassion Foundation, which was started by Whole Foods Market and is funded by a day each year when 5% of customer purchases are donated to the Foundation.

Tuesday 1/24 is the day this year, so if you have anything that you might want to stock up on from Whole Foods that might be a good day to do it.

I agree! Be sure to stop by your local Whole Foods Market this Tuesday.

Find out more about Whole Food Foundations, including the Whole Planet Foundation.

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Prime News

Almost three years ago, George and I talked about the discovery of what was then the largest known prime number. Back then, the newly-discovered prime was 213,466,917-1, which has 4,053,946 decimal digits.

It was
reported Tuesday that a new champion prime number has emerged:
230,402,457-1. This one has over 9.1 million digits!

In both cases, the prime numbers were identified as part of the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, an effort involving people around the globe who contribute spare processing from their own computers.

Mersenne primes are special prime numbers which are powers of 2, minus 1. Also, the exponent is itself a prime number.

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Another Million-dollar Idea

George alerted me to someone else's million-dollar idea: The Million Dollar Home Page. This Reuters story gives all the details, but the bottom line is that some college student found an easy way to make a million.

21-year old Alex Tew wanted to make money to pay the bills, and decided to create a web page 1000 pixels high and 1000 pixels wide. He then sold advertising space on the page, with each pixel selling for $1. For a spot 10 by 10, you would pay $100 (and there is still space available).

I don't know if readers are flocking to the site, but enough advertisers have that Alex won't be having any trouble paying the tuition.