Showing posts from October, 2012

Devolution of the Diary

The question "How many people keep a daily journal" on  Askville by Amazon provoked responses that range between "more people" and "less than half". Whatever the real number, people have been keeping diaries for hundreds of years. Wikipedia says that a work called To Myself by Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius could possibly be one of the first diaries ever written. One might think that keeping a diary is a more feminine passtime. However, the appropriately named website,, provides a short list of famous men who kept a journal: Theodore Roosevelt Thomas Jefferson Charles Darwin Benjamin Franklin Lewis and Clark Andrew Carnegie Ralph Waldo Emerson Captain Cook Winston Churchill Sir Edmund Hilary Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton gives three main reasons to keep a journal: Your children and grandchildren will want to read it. It can bring you to your senses. Journaling grants you immortality ( Woody Allen :

[Private] Enterprise: Going Where No One Has Gone Before

In a conversation with the Mars Curiosity team at NASA, US President Barack Obama asked them to call him if they find aliens . Later on he said: It’s really what makes us best as a species – the curiosity we have, yearning to discover, the pushing boundaries of knowledge. But these sentiments don't jive with his proposed 2013 budget, which includes drastic cuts to NASA funding . In his opinion, government-funded space research and exploration (even with its valuable tie-ins with military advancement) should not be the government's concern. Despite the obvious advantages to the economy and defense, space is just not a priority. But Obama has badly misread the landscape. The world is abuzz with space news: the Curiosity mission to Mars (Aug 2012) the death of Neil Armstrong (Aug 2012) the international space station (Sep 2012) the retirement of the Space Shuttle Endeavor (Sep 2012) amazing images beamed back from Voyager 1 from the edge of interstellar space (S

Hyundai i800 CRDi 2012 Review

For the past few weeks I've been zipping around town in my brand new Hyundai i800 CRDi 2012. The nine-seater car was converted from the commercial version to a passenger vehicle to accommodate a pneumatic wheelchair lift. The back panels were removed and tinted windows were installed. A proper floor and ceiling were put in the back, along with air conditioning and seats. For all intents and purposes, you can't tell that this was once a commercial vehicle.   Purrs Like a (Large, Overweight) Kitten The i800's build quality seems very good. The internal fittings are simple, but the car seems to be constructed solidly. The only rattling sounds come from the wheelchair lift, which has so many moving parts, it can be forgiven for groaning a bit when I hit a bump in the road. Road noise is higher than I would have expected, and the diesel engine isn't very quiet, but it's by no means a loud car - at least from the inside.   Leviathan The car is a beast to drive.