Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Morning Schadenfreude

On my drive to work this morning I noticed the vehicle ahead of me is an unmarked police cruiser. I followed the cruiser at a safe distance at about the speed limit. Many of my other fellow motorists did the same.

One motorist did attempt to pass the lot of us. He was able to just barely make it past the unmarked cruiser on the right before the cruiser overtook a truck in the right lane. One might say that the driver cut the officer off. He did signal though, that was nice.

It didn't take long for the officer to pull the passing motorist over though.

That gave me a little bit of cheer this morning.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Approved Software: Clojure Box

I'm playing around with Clojure Box. It's a nice all in one Clojure development environment built on Emacs.

It's much easier to get running than trying to remember the command to get the REPL running. I've only run the command to get REPL running a few times--it's not like I ever close it.

Clojure Box is a nice way to get going with Clojure. I recommend giving Clojure Box, and giving Clojure, a try.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Quick Hit: High Fructose Corn Syrup vs Sugar

I had always believed that High Fructose Corn Syrup and cane sugar were basically the same on a molecular level.

I don't regularly drink soda or other artificially sweetened beverages. When I do, I prefer sugar sweetened soda. I think that it is not as thick or heavy as HFCS sweetened soda.

I found out from a friend that the HFCS sweetened beverages actually raise the blood sugar level much faster in her diabetic son than cane sugar sweetened beverages. She's done the comparisons with the Passover Coke vs. regular Coke and the throwback Pepsi products. She is able to monitor the effects of the beverages with his blood monitor.

I wonder if there are more conclusive studies that highlight the differences between HFCS sweetened foods and those that are sweetened with sugar. There may be something to the theorists who believe that HFCS has a big role in the recent obesity and diabetes epidemics.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Nice Explanation of the Credit Crisis

Jonathan Jarvis, made a really nice video explaining the credit crisis. It runs just shy of 10 minutes, but it's well worth the watch.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Good Read: Teller talks the science of magic

Second to James Randi, Penn and Teller were the most influential magicians in my early years. Good thing they usurped the title from Doug Henning and David Copperfield.

Randi, Penn, and Teller all contributed to forming my skepticism and view of the world. I know that had I not been introduced to their work that my view of the world would be much different than it is.

In this month's issue of Wired, Teller of Penn and Teller discusses The Neuroscience of Magic.

I find it amazing how we can watch a magic trick and know that it is a magic trick and still not see how the trick works.

When I was in college, I had a friend who was a magician. He and his magic friends used to use me as an observer. Over time, I learned to see through some of the tricks. Even with practice, I can't follow a true slight of hand master like Ricky Jay.

I can go over Jay's cup and balls clip and still the trick fools me.