Wednesday, January 28, 2004

The Run Down

By: Michael Akerman

I figured I should do a quick run down of some recent news items that warrant opinions, but since I don't have anything amazingly revealing to add to discussions, I'll just make a post of

Thoughts in Brief

The Dean Dance

As we all know, Dean made a fool of himself at the Iowa caucuses, committing primary election suicide by alienating the elite primary voters by revealing himself as immature and lacking self control.

I personally think this is a large part of why he's losing in the primaries and caucuses, where the voters are party elites who want a serious candidate with an actual campaign, rather than Dean's "campaign" of "Young People R0X0R."

Spaced Out

Now, I'm a big fan of space exploration. The space program literally pulled America to the forefront of science and technology, energizing research into polymers, food, sleep surfaces, powdered drinks, duct tape, aluminum foil, and countless other modern conveniences. Also, space is really cool (not just temperature-wise) and it's a great thing to learn more about. So, when there were rumors of a new Bush space initiative, I was excited. I looked forward to media coverage of physical testing of today's astronauts, amazing discoveries in science and technology, and pictures from orbit.

Yet Bush sorely disappointed me. The plan, it turns out, calls for a new space vehicle in ten years, and calls to land on the moon in 15 years. Allow me to reiterate: 15 years. Almost as long as my entire life so far. Let me point out that the original space program under Kennedy, started in 1960, took only 9 years to reach the moon... in the 1960s. With 40 years of advancement under our belt, we should be able to reach the moon next week. Then there's the 10 year span until we get new space vehicles. Prototypes for the "Next Space Shuttle" have been around since before the First Space Shuttle, and the current fleet of space shuttles is getting extremely old, as space vessels go. It's no wonder that people worry about safety on the shuttle.

Also, the Hubble telescope is going to be shut down in (IIRC) about 5 years, two years before the next telescope goes up. This stuff really shouldn't take that long.

MyDoom is YourDoom

Another virus is traversing the net with astounding speed, called by most "MyDoom," but officially titled W32.Novarg.A@mm (MyDoom is catchy and short). I think this worm is hilarious, because, as one news site said, it really was made by "some disgruntled Linux user." Linux users are, frankly, pissed at some company named SCO (I have no clue why), and one of them made the MyDoom virus to target them.

MyDoom comes in your email inbox (by the way, when did it change from e-mail to email?) looking like a bounce-back from your email server, as in, one of those EMAIL ADDRESS NOT FOUND emails. But it comes with an attachment (I got two today. Mine were error.txt, I think, as the attachment) that people keep opening. I have to say, these internet users are... dumb. Seriously, why would you care what the error log says on an ADDRESS NOT FOUND error? People need to learn to think.

And you thought your cell reception was bad...

Several days ago (weeks now?) the Mars rover Spirit lost contact with Houston. The control center was trying to contact it, but the only response they got were acknowledgement beeps, saying the rover got the messages. No images. No data on environmental surroundings. The media was abuzz.

Apparently, though, they think they've solved the problem. I was watching CNN, and they said that NASA scientists think that the rovers hard drive became overloaded. It essentially ran out of the free space necessary to create messages and carry out orders. You'd think a Mars rover would have terabytes of hard drive space to store all the highly detailed information. High quality technology there...

Happy Birthday to Me

Yep, I'm now 18, and as a birthday gift, God gave me nearly a week off from school (could be a whole week. Need to see what happens today and tomorrow.), because He loves me more than the rest of humanity. That's right, I said it.

Anyways, this year I get to vote (important year, too. Presidential elections and all) and... smoke cigarettes and... go to... strip clubs and.......... 18 is more boring than I expected. I even get to sign up for the draft (Stupid Uncle Sam, always sticking it to the little guy).

So, those are the things I think are most important about the last couple of weeks, except the Guilford County School Board removal of Indian mascots. For in depth opinions on subjects like this, see my post on the Race Card.

...also, Guilford County Educational Television (Channel 2 on Time Warner Cable) plays some really good music...


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