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Nov. 28th, 2008

Odd Lots

  • A couple of people wrote to ask for a photo of Jackie, the gawky, lovable 26-pound bichon I visited yesterday. See above, at the right end of the group. (Compare the size of Jackie's head to that of 10-pound Aero standing next to him.) Jackie is also the only bichon I have ever seen who routinely hangs his tongue out of his mouth.
  • I have wondered, at times, why today should be called "Black Friday." Now I know. Egad. (Remind me to stay the hell out of Nassau County.) Thanks to Pete Albrecht for the link.
  • This is an important article if you now have or expect to develop hypertension. Solid studies appear to indicate that nothing works quite as well as ancient, dirt-cheap diurectics.
  • I happen to believe that if we do not convert essentially all our coal-fired power plants to nuclear (with solar and wind to fill in the gaps) nothing else we do matters at all in preventing climate change. Small nuclear reactors are one solution to a lot of the rational objections to nuclear energy and here's the best intro I've seen to the topic.
  • I like this discussion of the possibility of re-creating the woolly mammoth from DNA scavenged from long-frozen mammoth hair. (I did not know that there was viable DNA in hair.) If Russia did the heavy lifting here and established a Pleistocene Park in Siberia, they could reap billions in ecotourism dollars. First mammoths, then mastodons, then glyptodonts, then...dare we hope...giant beaver?
  • And how would the ethics sort out if we tried reassembling the DNA of a Neanderthal and using a chimpanzee or bonobo as a host species rather than a human? Saletan's good and I read him religiously, but this is a subject he could have gone much deeper on.
  • While we're dithering about re-creating the woolly mammoth or Neanderthal humans, those crafty Brits have re-created a full-size and completely accurate replica of a long-extinct steam locomotive, of which no significant parts (not even hair) had survived. (Thanks to Jim Strickland for the links.)
  • Pete Albrecht pointed out that NewEgg is now selling 1TB hard drives for under $100. Is there any common use of that much storage other than movie rips?
  • Also from Pete is a pointer to Palmer Bolt, a source he recently discovered for odd size nuts, bolts, and other small hardware.
  • I sorted my sock drawer today. I really did. I am not being funny or in any way metaphorical. It's just that it's almost Christmas (when New Socks Happen) and my habit of throwing away individual socks with holes in them had made matched pairs a little scarce.