[Reuters] Breath tests may help diagnose schizophrenia. “Breath tests and skin patches could become standard tools to help doctors diagnose and treat schizophrenia, researchers said on Tuesday. … The experiments showed dramatically increased levels of ethane and butane in the breath of diagnosed schizophrenics.” This could add a new twist to the ole’ breathalyser … No sir, you’re not intoxicated. However, there is someone I would like you to speak with about something else …

Rafé notes that Salon has an article discussing gross historical inaccuracies in The Patriot. If you’re going to mix history and fiction you should label it as such – fiction. Gibson seems to be doing this more frequently, in addition to playing up the demonizing of the ‘enemy’ in previous films like Braveheart and now The Patriot.

Susan wants to drive the Mother Road. Audrey stopped at the Route 66 museum in Oklahoma a month ago on her way to do her Geology Field Camp. We’ve been talking about a pilgrimage too. Route 66 went through the heart of the Mojave. Flagstaff, Arizona – don’t forget Winona, Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino …


I hope all the Americans had a good Memorial Day weekend and fostered some recognition of why we do this to our children. I was a little surprised at how many people (adults) I knew asked about the red poppy on my shirt that I got for contributing to the Veterans today.

OK, I’ll tone down the Manila Express entries. Its just too easy to add links this way! I miss the of bit extra thinking that takes place with multiple cutting and pasting … I’ll adjust.

John at Curmudgeon contributes his personal experience with The Lessons of a Lost Career. “College administrations do not always have academics as their first priority. (A bit tangential, but …)” and of course, that is where it gets interesting.

[have browser] Jim Roepcke is having major problems with his wisdom teeth. I’d watch out for that lower right one too! Ow! Been through that, more on the way elsewhere in the mouth.

[CNN] Rare Mars meteorite discovered in Middle East (a couple of days old but new to me)

A meteorite hunter combing the deserts of Oman found a stone thought to have originated on Mars. Of the 20,000 known meteorite discoveries, the brownish gray stone is only the 15th identified as coming from the red planet, scientists said this week. <…> The rock has chemical similarities to a Mars meteorite found in Antarctica in 1984, which some NASA researchers said exhibits fossilized signs of microscopic life.

more [CNN] Rocker Eddie Van Halen receiving cancer treatment Apparently its an experimental preventative treatment for cancer of the tongue. Man! Another guy my age battling the big C.

David Anderson at Montana News Daily writes: "James V. Smith, the editor of the Shelby Promoter, has written a fine reflection on Memorial Day. Lots of good stuff in this piece. Here’s a teaser:

We disdain reflection in others and fear it in ourselves.

We pack our lives with ferocious activity as if that will somehow give worth to living. In fact, what do we say about somebody not being busy? That he is wasting his life away.

But do not equate activity with achievement, nor reflection with idling and most importantly, do not fail to reflect on Memorial Day.”

They Write the Right Stuff: The right stuff kicks in at T-minus 31 seconds.

At T-minus 6.6 seconds, if the pressures, pumps, and temperatures are nominal, the computers give the order to light the shuttle main engines — each of the three engines firing off precisely 160 milliseconds apart, tons of super-cooled liquid fuel pouring into combustion chambers, the ship rocking on its launch pad, held to the ground only by bolts. As the main engines come to one million pounds of thrust, their exhausts tighten into blue diamonds of flame.

Then and only then at T-minus zero seconds, if the computers are satisfied that the engines are running true, they give the order to light the solid rocket boosters. In less than one second, they achieve 6.6 million pounds of thrust. And at that exact same moment, the computers give the order for the explosive bolts to blow, and 4.5 million pounds of spacecraft lifts majestically off its launch pad.

It’s an awesome display of hardware prowess. But no human pushes a button to make it happen, no astronaut jockeys a joy stick to settle the shuttle into orbit. <…> What makes it remarkable is how well the software works. This software never crashes. It never needs to be re-booted. This software is bug-free. It is perfect, as perfect as human beings have achieved. Consider these stats : the last three versions of the program — each 420,000 lines long-had just one error each. The last 11 versions of this software had a total of 17 errors. Commercial programs of equivalent complexity would have 5,000 errors.

The space program has always been a part of my life. I stayed home from school in the first grade to watch John Glenn fly the Friendship 7. I stayed up for three days in the middle of July 1969. I wept for several hours and was depressed for days after the Challenger disaster. These folks who write the software for the Shuttle are fantastic purveyors of their craft. One error. Wow. For whatever reason it reminds me of an interview I read once with Reinhold Messner. He was a high altitude climber who did his climbing solo. He soloed Everest, Denali, and a number of peaks in the Hindu Kush, as well as a lot of ice climbing (waterfalls in the winter, that sort of thing). He was asked if he made mistakes climbing solo in these extreme conditions and he replied: "I don’t think so, You only get to make one."

[Book Notes] A Happy 25th Anniversary to the Jensen’s!

[Book Notes] “I’m reading A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. I mentioned it last Friday as a title I was adding the Books as Characters project.” What a fantastic book! As a Science Fiction reader, I love that book. As an archaeologist I love it even more, not only as a reminder that the past (in this case the book’s far past is our present) should be spoken of with care, but that we can never fully imagine what ir was like then … Or as Anne McCaffery wrote in the Dragonrider series – somewhen.


Jeremy’s CyberCafe and Beer Haus is up for sale, but what’s really cool about it is that it is located just outside of Joshua Tree National Park in the Southern California desert, and they have a full T-1 line that they’re selling along with the business. Hmm…T-1 access plus nearby national park? Maybe we should take up a collection and buy it ourselves? 🙂

I couldn’t agree more! I’ve given some thought to doing CRM archaeology based out of Joshua Tree but the nagging question is “is there enough work there and in the vicinity?” Still, … a cybercafé in the Mojave desert!

I just posted that with Manila Express – This is very cool. Thanks!

[Manila Express] Earlier today Brent released Manila Express for the Macintosh. Manila Express makes it easy to add links to the home page of a Manila site (like this one) without having to go there. Brent has written a How I Did It piece to help us get set up.

Dave notes that Themes are in the pipeline, also largely due to Brent’s efforts.

Al at View From the Heart used a term in his weblog this morning that is new (to me at least) and is so self-evident I don’t understand why its not more widely used in the lexicon. EditThisPage friends. Yep…

Careening towards Ostara

Dave at Scripting News has been talking a lot about the whole patent debacle and I have to say, I couldn’t agree with him more. Again. The is also a strong undercurrent of Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia in the last several days. Dave characterizes himself as “a hippie writing software” I’m a hippie doing science, I’ve know that for a long time. “To me, being a hippie means having a mind and a heart, and remembering to dance when you get the chance.” -Dave on Scripting News. Right on! Absolutely!

So Dave, if you read this, know that there are a lot of non-software people that are still tech heads of a mildly different stripe out there who read and agree. It may not appear that we’re doing similar or compatible things, but I think we are. We’re both following our path with heart, trying to find that balance between head and soul with a lot of people saying either ‘its not going to be that way’ or ‘you can’t do that’. And frankly, I miss Jerry too. A lot. I will survive.

I’m gonna be late, gotta go to …

[Burnt Rock Mound] Today is a day with soil expert Doug Merkler. This is a chance to fill in some gaps in knowledge and technique, a fun day. I’ve been looking forward to this one for some time.

It seems appropriate as we near the Spring Equinox to be deep in the earth, covered with it in fact, as the traditional growing season begins. The Spiral Dance continues as we circle toward the center, passing through the cycle again, arriving at the same place in the circle but farther in the spiral heading towards the center where all things are known.


STS-99 is wrapping up the mapping mission from space with Endeavour‚s crew scheduled to wrap up operations early Monday morning at 5:53 Central Time. As of noon today, 99 percent, or about 47 million square miles of the target area had been mapped once. More than 87 percent of the target area – nearly 42 million square miles – has been mapped twice. Read more at CNN, or from NASA.

And now for something completely different: Warren Zevon has a new CD out called Life’ll Kill Ya. He’ll be at the House of Blues in Las Vegas on March 25. I’ll you there. Obligatory list of Zevon links: The Official Warren Zevon Website!, The Zevon Fan Web Page, The Warren Zevon Other Page, A Zevon Page, Warren Zevon. Lyric snippet from Ain’t That Pretty at All, from the 1982 album The Envoy. Its one of my favorite songs, best sung with sufficient enthusiasm that your voice that will hoarse for the rest of the week:

I’d like to go back to Paris someday and visit the Louvre Museum
Get a good running start and hurl myself at the wall
Going to hurl myself against the wall
‘Cause I’d rather feel bad than not feel anything at all…

BBC News: Most distant object in Universe found. A newly discovered quasar deep in the constellation Cetus the Whale is by far the most distant single object ever found in our Universe.

“As soon as we saw the spectrum, we knew we had something special,” said Dr. Daniel Stern of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “Quasars can look very much like stars, but a spectral analysis of a quasar’s light reveals its true character. This quasar told us that it was ‘An Ancient’ – one of the Universe’s first structures.”

NYT: Detection Claimed for Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) by the University of Rome. "The claimed particles weigh as much as a nickel atom, and could turn out to be the dark matter that astrophysicists have sought for so many years. All you touch and all you see may be only 20% of the universe" (slashdot). The full story is here (registration req.). slashdot, where I first saw this and the previous story, also pointed me to the TBTF Log (Tasty Bits from the Technology Front) for further discussion on the subject. Currently, discussion is about the search for the missing mass. The main link to the TBTF blog is here. Yet another excellent blog!

I saw this in the February 16

Scary article from Fortune magazine about Abercrombie & Fitch. Some lowlights:

“The beautiful people don’t do much…greeters get minimum wage to have fun — to listen to Smash Mouth, to be carefree and breezy, to radiate charm. Why? Cool, great-looking guys attract cool, great-looking girls, who attract…”

“During peak selling periods like Christmas, other workers–less cool and less good-looking–come in after hours to do the grunt work of counting inventory, restacking tables, and unpacking boxes, lest these mundane chores get in the way of the beautiful people radiating a good time. ‘They’re not here to fold clothes or to make money,’ says director of stores David Leino about his hip helpers. ‘It’s a status thing. They can say, “I work at Abercrombie.””

And people wonder why Columbine happened.”

I think that just about speaks for itself.

Greg Knauss in the February 15 suck has some excellent comments about last weeks DoS (Denial of Service) attacks. Perhaps the best I’ve seen. As though you’re not sick and tired of hearing about DoS attacks. Also first seen at

From Marc Stiegler Introduction To Capability Based Security.

We who use the Web are daily bombarded with warnings about viruses, computer breakins, and other ills that befall those foolish enough to communicate electronically. Reading the news media, one would conclude that all our computer systems are horrifically vulnerable to computer [c]rackers … That much is indeed true; we are all so vulnerable today it is more a joke than a question. But reading the media would also lead one to conclude that, not only is that the way it is, but that is the way it must always be, forever.

It does not have to be this way. The technology for defeating computer hacking was actually developed decades ago, by men and women of great insight working with mainframe computers. … However, in the rush to the PC, the knowledge was forsaken.

It’s still there in Un*x and the variants! Here’s a quarter kid, get yourself a real computer. I first saw a pointer to this at Hack the Planet Prime.


Part 4 of the Indiana Jones saga? Harrison Ford says he wants to do it. In a perfect world, Karen Allen would return. Read about this latest scuttle at Excite/E! Online. [archivist– lost link, sorry] They have a script already, all that really needs to happen is for everyone’s schedule to align for the project.

Ralph Nader is going to run as the Green Party candidate for President. . [CNN]

Today is the day for the Windows 2000 release.

Wired has a great take on the ‘people who use the internet are socially isolated’ non-study that everyone seems to be talking about.

An obscure university study, but a study nonetheless, reveals that Americans who have dogs spend the time with their dogs instead of said time watching TV, visiting with friends, sleeping, going to movies, surfing the Internet, and doing nothing.


Mozilla will be Communicator 6.0? I’m confused! Link from slashdot.

Tom Landry, Famed Coach of the Cowboys, has died. My mother is greiving. Story at Yahoo News, CNN.

Musician Screamin’ Jay Hawkins dead at 70 in Paris. Link from Yahoo News.

The Shuttle crew begins the data acquisition for the most detailed 3D maps ever produced from space. Read more at NASA, CNN, Yahoo News.


I expect there will be more Kenniwick Man news, as well as more on Microsoft …

I’ll be your teaching Assistant …

I'll be your teaching Assistant …:

I saw this on slashdot:

The Matrix is now the focus of an introductory philosophy class at the University of Washington in Seattle. According to Sci-Fi Wire, instructor David Nixon based the class on the philosophical themes and religious archetypes of the film. Nixon got the idea after seeing the film five times in theaters and realizing that it served to illustrate such concepts as perception, the mind and free will.


Went to a matinee of GalaxyQuest today. Even if you’ve never seen Star Trek and have no identity as a fan of the show(s) or Gene Roddenberry’s universe, I think you’ll appreciate this movie, its really fun. Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Daryl Mitchell, Enrico Colantoni, Sam Rockwell, Missi Pyle, and some others who, I apologize, I can’t remember the actors names, are great. Everyone seems like they’re having fun, the special effects aren’t overdone, and tag line jokes aren’t overdone. I really enjoyed this movie. can you tell?
The Internet Movie Database page on Galaxy Quest is here.

What would it be like to live in the Star Trek universe Gene Roddenberry created? I’m talking about the original series universe and as it was revised during the early part of ‘Next Generation’ while Gene was still alive, not the later stuff. Fanboy stuff I know. I suppose I should say I’m a big fan of Babylon 5, Star Wars, and science fiction in general. really?

The Mondays in this Millennium seem to resemble the Mondays in the other Millennium a great deal. 🙂

Don’t forget to visit the Hunger Site and click on the ‘Donate Food’ button.

Thanks to John Martello, there is a new Warp Core as of Sunday 1/2/2000.

A delightful new Graphite iMac DV SE came to live here on Friday 12/31/1999. The fourth Macintosh (the fifth Apple) in the lineage here. sweet!

The fourth Macintosh (the fifth Apple) in the lineage here.