Gongol.com Archives: July 2006
Brian Gongol

July 27, 2006

Agriculture The extremely complicated relationship between feeding ourselves and having water to drink
By far the biggest contributor of nitrogen to Iowa's Cedar River watershed is nitrogen fertilizer, but the resulting nitrates in the water make it hazardous for human consumption -- specifically for children

Weather and Disasters Still trying to figure out what went wrong in New Orleans

Humor and Good News I thought turkeys could fly
(Video) Classic scene from "WKRP"

News Why it's important to put things in writing
Safety officer on Boston's "Big Dig" wrote a memo in 1999 indicating serious concerns about whether the concrete panels forming the tunnel ceiling would hold. They didn't, and someone died.

Iowa Is it Earthpark or Pork Forest?
Pella and Riverside are competing to get Earthpark, the environmental project that's been through at least three name changes in the last three years.

Computers and the Internet Zero-day exploits now morphing into "fuzzing" attacks
Zero-day exploits happen when someone discovers a security flaw and tells the world on the same day they tell the maker of the product that has the flaw. But new tools that help identify security flaws are being used by crooks who then turn around and just start using the security holes immediately. Their practices, though, make them hard to detect, since the security holes they discover and use aren't headline news, even in the tech world. More evidence that the manufacturers should use incentives to gather information faster than the bad guys. It's also a reminder that people should run computers on limited-access accounts.

Graphics Dollar Signs

Humor and Good News "Wikipedia celebrates 750 years of American independence"
The Onion cuts right to the chase, and the results are hilarious

Weather and Disasters Lightning-strike mortality
A few observations: 30% of people struck by lightning are killed, and 3/4ths of those who survive have permanent disabilities as a result

Computers and the Internet Firefox released
All Firefox users should get the upgrade; the new release fixes seven "critical" vulnerabilities and five less-severe ones

Water News Emergency water supplies at home

News New leadership improves UK Conservatives' polls without changing line on policy

Threats and Hazards South Korea's "reunification minister" blames the US for North Korea's missile launch
Suggested that North Korea was angry that the US wouldn't send an envoy to nuclear talks recently. Seems like a peculiar conclusion to draw. Others think the situation may be getting on China's nerves. The situation will certainly be discussed in the ASEAN talks this week.