Gongol.com Archives: December 2009
Brian Gongol

December 23, 2009

Business and Finance The world's largest companies in 1999 and in 2009
After the Internet bubble burst, market capitalizations shrank. And stayed, well, shrunk.

Science and Technology 1,000 circles form a giant sand sculpture in Nevada
And it's not a crop circle hoax -- "crop circles" are hoaxes -- it's the result of 15 days of deliberate labor. And it's quite beautiful.

Humor and Good News Car darts
(Video) One of the funniest things they've ever done on the television show "Top Gear". And considering that the incoming snowstorm will probably cause a lot of wrecks in Iowa, it's nice to see damage being intentionally done to cars, rather than just by accident.

Computers and the Internet Political protest spreads far easier in the Internet age than ever before
(Video) Protest songs were a staple of Sixties culture in the US. But today, anyone with a computer and a microphone can put together a music video and post it on YouTube for the entire world to view -- tens of thousands of times over -- and the subject could be anything, though it's no surprise that technologically-savvy people are producing modern protest songs over things like proposals to crack down on Internet service providers over file-sharing. It should also be observed that school children are often smarter than the network administrators who try to control what they see on the Internet, so we should reject any expectation that governments will be any more successful at controlling what appears online in the future than their phenomenal lack of success today.

Humor and Good News Last-minute gift idea: The laptop steering wheel desk
Lots of feedback has been shared by "satisfied customers" with a sense of humor. But the supply of bad ideas shouldn't overshadow the growing supply of good ones, like the planned $75 laptop from the One Laptop Per Child organization that wants to put computers the size of loose-leaf paper in the hands of children worldwide.

Aviation News Always pay attention to emergency-exit procedures in an airliner
An American Airlines jet just skidded off a runway upon landing in Jamaica and at least 40 people were hurt in the process. But nobody was killed, and that's the good news. It's been estimated that 30% of plane-crash deaths could have been avoided through better attention to instructions and smarter (often calmer) responses. As much as anything else, people need to learn to count the rows to the two nearest exits.

Health Study of 95 drinkers concludes that bourbon creates a tougher hangover than vodka
Meanwhile, a study of all of the world's drinkers finds that a few glasses of water during a night out will ease the next morning, no matter what they drank

Water News Omaha utility says environmentalist group took cheap shots at their water