Gongol.com Archives: September 2007
Brian Gongol

September 6, 2007

Graphics Graphic of the day: Outbreak

Humor and Good News Barenaked Ladies: "Brian Wilson"
(Video) One of the best acoustic rock songs of the 1990s. The video itself is pretty awful, but the song is stellar. As it turns out, a couple of the band members have done a series of "bathroom sessions" - literally, acoustic recordings videotaped in a bathroom.

The United States of America Current crop of Presidential candidates act ignorant about the future
They're also pretty short on good platforms on economics, too. But they can sure talk your ears off about a whole bunch of other nonsense. Related: David Broder seems interested in a Hagel-Bloomberg ticket, which would certainly represent a different set of ideas than the re-hashed old stuff we're currently getting.

Computers and the Internet September's Patch Tuesday will include one "critical" update
The patches will be released on September 11th

Health Can technology save us from emerging infectious diseases?
It certainly seems possible. A conference in Japan suggests that lots of new individual technologies -- like a "flu chip" that determines what strain of influenza a person has in a matter of hours, GIS means of tracking the spread of disease, and faster genetic sequencing, among many others -- can be combined in the next five to fifteen years in ways that will significantly improve human ability to stop the spread of disease. A good example might be the Real-time Outbreak and Disease Surveillance Laboratory at Pittsburgh, which is developing open-source computer programs for tracking outbreaks, among other things.

Business and Finance Pensioners in Czech Republic say they're getting screwed by pension rules
Since the Czech Republic and Slovakia split up, people who earned their pensions in one but who now live in the other say they're getting shorted

Business and Finance Sinclair plans huge refinery expansion in Tulsa
60% more gasoline and diesel by 2010

Agriculture Researchers think a virus has been killing the bees
A quarter of US beekeeping operations were hit by colony collapse disorder (CCD) this past winter and spring, and the consequences could be pretty dire if whatever's causing it ends up spreading to other colonies. Bees are extremely important to US agriculture.

Science and Technology Volvo will show plug-in hybrid car at Frankfurt Auto Show
Some fascinating features: The car has a combustion engine, but only to recharge the battery -- so whenever it's in use, it's in full use (rather than wasting time in idle or running when the car is moving downhill). That's efficient in and of itself. But the car has no drivetrain; each of the four wheels has its own motor. That reduces friction losses throughout the transmission. A three-hour charge is enough for 100 kilometers of driving without the engine ever kicking on. The future is coming at us, full-speed.

Water News No fluoride in New Orleans water

Aviation News Goat sacrifice doesn't really fix planes
Nepal Airlines sacrificed two goats to appease a Hindu god whom they thought might've had a grudge against their Boeing 757