Daily Archives: 02/02/2006

Random Links

Some random links from my wanderings across the interweb:

  • SeaMonkey 1.0 Released – The first release of the successor to Mozilla was released this week. If you want an all in one browser suite, here it is.
  • Sonofusion Achieved – Whoa. A team of scientists has achieved nuclear fusion using oscillating sound waves to compress bubbles with intense pressure and heat. That’s cool.
  • Lawsuit Forces MS-Office Users To Upgrade – A lawsuit between Microsoft and an inventor has led to a forced upgrade for Office 2003 and Office XP users.
  • Bigger than Pluto – 2003 UB313, the distant Kuiper Belt Object announced last year as a possible tenth planet, is bigger than Pluto by about 700 kilometers.
  • HIPAA Worse Than The Disease – Here’s a good analysis of HIPAA and how it encourages Luddism among the medical community.
  • Sybase ASE Express for Linux – Free. Seems like all the big database vendors are offering up free versions of their products these days. DB2, Oracle, SQL Server are all available for free now. Guess they’re all feeling the heat from MySQL.
  • The Dakota Diaspora – North Dakota is becoming a ghost land, full of abandoned towns and farmland. Large quantities of the state meet the nineteenth century definition of frontier, and portions of the state qualify as wilderness.
  • IBM Pumps Up National Geographic’s Genographic Project – IBM is providing collection tools, data warehousing, analysis for this monumental study of humanity’s genographic diversity. And over 10,000 IBM employees submitted their DNA to the study. That’s cool.

Debbie’s Good Idea

In 1984, the author Ellen Pall rekindled a friendship with her mother’s youthful roommate. In an uncanny coincidence, Pall’s apartment in Greenwich Village in the 80’s was the exact building her mother and Debbie Sankey live in during the 1930’s. This proved the starting point for a long and fruitful friendship.

From this friendship has sprung a very good idea for introducing readers to the work of unfamiliar authors. Far too often a reader will attempt to read a more inscrutable work of a particular author, perhaps spoiling the enjoyment of that book and any turning the reader off any future readings of other works by that author. Why not create some sort of shared resource where readers can recommend good books to people interested in an author’s work?

Debbie’s Idea is just such a resource. Debbie Sankey died in 2004, but this website will serve as a testimony to their friendship, and her very good idea. It is a sort of literary wikipedia, a reference for the curious reader. It’s a little barren right now, so make an effort to add a few notes and fill in the website. It is a damn good idea.

Just Bloomin’

I watched Sean Walsh’s adaptation of Ulysses last night. Bloom was pretty good, and he made a decent attempt to carve a movie out of Joyce’s famous novel. In an unusual development, the final chapter Penelope is broken into two parts, both at the beginning and the end of the movie. I guess it makes sense introducing here early in the film so people don’t go “Who the hell is she?” when she starts her musings in the final scene of the movie. But it is still the best part of the film, and Angeline Ball pulls off Molly’s notoriously difficult soliloquy marvelously.