Gongol.com Archives: February 2006
Brian Gongol

Science and Technology (2006.02.28)
Capacitors Instead of Batteries?

Humor and Good News (2006.02.28)
Live Cameras in New Orleans

Threats and Hazards (2006.02.28)
UN Representative: Palestinian Territories Could Collapse
Accuses Israel of withholding tax revenues, pushing the Palestinian government close to insolvency. An Israeli observer says Gaza and the West Bank are splitting apart, creating two different Palestinian regions. All of this is a reminder that until the Palestinian territories get their economic act together, relations in that region will remain unsettled and sometimes violent.

Humor and Good News (2006.02.28)
Good Advice for Bad People
A little disturbing, but Alex Kern is a funny writer

Weather and Disasters (2006.02.28)
5-Year Anniversary of Big Seattle Quake
A reminder that the city really isn't ready for an even bigger earthquake, which is certainly a possibility

News (2006.02.28)
CIA Projections of World Religious Adherents
Populations of Christians, Muslims, and Hindus all expected to make significant growth between now and 2025. A reminder that tolerant pluralism is the only acceptable route forward.

The United States of America (2006.02.28)
Indian Expatriates Find Returning Home a Big Boost in Relative Wealth
Tens of thousands have returned to India after working in the US and elsewhere. The cultural ramifications are significant and probably pretty favorable -- you can't live in a place like the United States for long, then move elsewhere, without making your new (or old?) home a little more American.

Water News (2006.02.28)
Testing Markets as a Means of Dealing with Water Shortages
UNL experiment will gather 48 irrigating farmers and have them bid on rights to water in a hypothetical market, but they'll be rewarded with real cash

Humor and Good News (2006.02.28)
Mark Cuban Offers Howie Mandel $1 Million
Will go to Mandel's favorite charity if he can get Donald Trump to inflate a rubber glove over his head on "Deal or No Deal"

Weather and Disasters (2006.02.28)
Static Electricity High as Midwestern Humidity Drops to Near-Record Lows

The United States of America (2006.02.28)
US Tsunami Aid to Indonesia Bought Significant Goodwill
Public opinion of the US still relatively good there, largely due to aid, even one year later. The economic consequences of donating to disaster relief are a mixed bag overall.

Computers and the Internet (2006.02.28)
Jeeves Gets the Boot from "Ask Jeeves"
Now it's just Ask.com, with a clean, minimalist interface that's probably more user-friendly than Google's

News (2006.02.28)
Leader of UK Conservative Party Adopts the Bush Model for Government Intervention
"We have begun to show what we mean by modern, compassionate Conservatism"

The American Way (2006.02.28)
Wal-Mart and eBay Have Their Way With Britain
Free trade and arbitrage push prices down in the UK, leading to a consumer bonanza. But one subtle question lingers to the side of inexpensive goods: If their quality is lower, causing them to wear out more rapidly, leading shoppers to have to replace them more often, isn't that rather like renting goods from the discount store rather than really buying them? A slight premium for quality may be the difference between sharecropping your shirt and really owning it.

Health (2006.02.28)
German Cat Catches Bird Flu
Not a punchline. Some have mapped the threat of pandemic and others have created "mess maps" of the threat, though the latter contains so much junk ink that it's hard to interpret and would probably be better-suited to presentation as a clear, ten-page technical report.