Monday, August 22, 2005

Anyone out there help me with this?

One literary turn of phrase that has stuck with me (unfortunately) is "necrotizing hemorrhoids." Was it used by Hunter Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas? Was it used by Neal Stephenson in Snow Crash? I just can't seem to recall. Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

Almost free books

If you've got an interest in an inexpensive source of books to read, you may want to check out This is a service that aggregates listings of the libraries of it's members, and then allows members to request books from each other. All that's paid is postage. No membership fees. I can't see where they're making their money, but, the about page indicates an altruistic mission:

Why We're Here exists to help you and avid readers everywhere enjoy the satisfaction and convenience of reading the books you want, when you want them, at the lowest possible cost.

Seems pretty cool.

Update: Upon further examination, it may be that part of the revenue model is click through links to Amazon to buy books that aren't available for borrowing. I certainly don't begrudge them the opportunity to make a little cash, since they appear to be charging nothing at all for the service.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Totally useless, but totally cool

While looking for an image of a balloon for use in a presentation, I wandered down this particular rathole. It's fascinating to watch, and makes the idea of inexpensive space access even more exciting. Sadly, the NASA home page that contains this presentation is kind of boring, and doesn't give any easy way to find this cool series of images and movies.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Need a Lift?

Looks like a new article on space elevator technology has been published at IEEE Spectrum. Pretty exciting stuff. It just seems that in this world of billions of dollars being spent on wars and bad stuff that we should be able to cough up a measly billion a year or so for the next ten or fifteen years, and have something to show for it.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Flash from the past

So, I was looking at HackingNetflix, and there was a link to "Statler & Waldorf -- From the Balcony." A series of movie reviews & previews done by Statler & Waldorf, the two old guys from The Muppet Show who sat up in the balcony and heckled the rest of the Muppets. There were a few bits in the three segments I watched that were chuckle-out-loud moments.