Gongol.com Archives: August 2006
Brian Gongol

August 11, 2006

Humor and Good News How to deal with the pain of flying
"I'm going to turn up at the airport with just my underpants and a book." Others are less copacetic.

The United States of America Governors getting angry about Federal over-reach
As the Federal government concentrates more power in Washington, it puts the country at risk

News Reuters confirms that photos were doctored

News Knife attacks on upsurge in Britain
A reminder that it's one thing to try to control tactics and tools (like knives, guns, or "terrorism"), but it's quite another to actually address and curtail the causes of crime and violence. Tactics and tools change and evolve.

Business and Finance Congress approves pension reform
Will push for more automatic participation in defined-contribution plans. As un-libertarian as it may seem, free economies appear to require compulsory plans for old-age savings.

Threats and Hazards Irish terrorists don't appear to get it
Terrorism doesn't win sympathy anymore

Computers and the Internet $150 bunny reads your e-mail out loud
Count this one as another fad

Health CDC concludes human transmission of H5N1 bird flu might be harder than thought
Doesn't mean they think a mutation making the flu into a human pandemic is impossible -- just harder than they thought before

Water News NRDC sues EPA over dirty beach water

Graphics Spring Fresh

Threats and Hazards Plot against airliners defeated by undercover agents
Once again, just like in the plot against the Sears Tower, human intelligence defeated a terrorist plot. The larger a conspiracy, the greater the risk that someone involved will turn out to be a traitor to the cause. That's our most effective means of disrupting terrorist activity -- not unauthorized domestic surveillance. The attack that was derailed yesterday was first brought to police attention by a member of the community who reported suspicious activity to the police. The reaction of some is intriguing. Related: It appears that, so far, the eleven Egyptian students who didn't show up as expected at Montana State University are being found without great anxiety.

Business and Finance Gas vouchers and other incentives to boost tourism
States need to be realistic about tourism: It's nice, and it's a good way to import cash from other states, but it's not the kind of thing to stake your state's economic growth on. Only a few places (like Hawaii) can really survive on tourism dollars, and events like oil price spikes and terrorist threats against air travelers can make that supply of cash less dependable than an economy really needs.

Science and Technology Is bad architecture the end of civilization?
Strangely alarmist editorial in engineering magazine says that the proliferation of big-box stores is a problem on a scale of the things that brought down Greek and Roman civilization

Computers and the Internet Department of Homeland Security wants you to upgrade Windows
The patches released on Tuesday are of special interest to the Feds -- suggesting they're extra-serious