Google TV

What will Google come up with next?  In the beginning it was all about search.  Then Google transformed email with the launch of Gmail.  Recently Android has stepped up to provide some competition for Apple’s iphone.  But the latest-and arguably the coolest Google product launch is Google TV.

What is Google TV?  Gizmodo explains it pretty well, as does Google’s tour of the product. Basically its combines your web, cable, TV, and smartphone and makes it all searchable on your TV Google style. Tired of flipping endlessly through the cable menu – finding nothing at all to watch?  Then Google TV is probably what you’ve been looking for.  The only downside right now is that unless you have a brand new Sony Internet TV- you are going to have to put another box in your living room.


Discus Madness

We’ve kept 6 Discus (Cichlids from the Amazon) for over a year now.  They are named after characters in my favorite Coen Brothers film, The Big Lebowski (The Dude, Jackie Treehorn, Walter Sobcheck, Maude Lebowski, Jesus, and of course little Bunny Lebowski.)

We just got a new tank for them- 65 gal.  I recently built an aquarium canopy out of red oak based on a look I saw at City Aquarium. My wife and I treat them like our children (they are getting a X-Mas card. Not sure what to put in their stockings though…)

Yes those are individual christmas stockings with their names on it.

Discus are apparently some of the most difficult fish to keep- even though they are freshwater – because they require such high water quality.  But we’ve never kept fish before, and they are still alive & happy.

If your thinking of getting Discus do your research – make sure you start with at least 6 fish.  They need to school and will fight eachother to the death if put in a small tank with fewer than 6. (55 gal or bigger is a must- you really should have 10 gal per Discus.)

A friend of mine let me know about a great new site called Flavors.me – in about 10 minutes anyone (even Mom) can setup a customizable website that aggregates all their existing social media sites into one place (LinkedIn, Facebook, Vimeo, Filckr, blogs, etc)- creating a personal website that can act as a business card of sorts.  There is a good Vimeo Video that shows off its functionality.

It is currently in Beta testing, so you will have to ask for a code to start your own… mine is here.  Once they get customizable URL’s this will be a killer site.

Jackie and Walter are discus fish- which are known to “recognize and interact” with people.

Gov. Corzine is slated to sign into law ‘New Jersey’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act‘- making the garden state the 14th state in the nation to allow medical marijuana patients the right to safe access to their medication. Two years after the bill was first introduced, the NJ State Assembly voted in favor of the bill, 48-14, and the Senate approved by a vote of 25-13.  A decided victory for NJ patients rights – but nowhere near the laws passed in the 13 other states.

The NJ legislation is the strictest one yet.  It limits access to only those who suffer from severe chronic conditions including “cancer, glaucoma, positive HIV/AIDS status or other chronic, debilitating diseases or medical conditions that produce, or the treatment of which produces, wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, or severe and persistent muscle spasms,” according to the Senate news release.  So conditions such as “stress” or “anxiety” will not make the cut.  Sorry… everyone else in NJ.

Medical Marijuana. Silver Haze to be exact.

Patients who are given Medical ID cards will be able to buy up to 2 ounces of cannabis a month at state-monitored dispensaries called ‘alternative treatment centers‘.  They will not be able to grow their own, and insurance will not cover the medication.  It will take time for the bill to take effect, as various state divisions and departments figure out how to regulate and distribute the medicine to patients. Baby steps… Baby steps.

Arguing with those who deny global warming can be frustrating… (they tend to be older and conservative) So how do you convince them?

Well you start with the facts.

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of the facts and evidence” -John Adams

If you are going to objectively look at the evidence, start with the scientists (97% of climate experts agree human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures)

The climate experts also agree:

  • It is “very likely” — a 90 percent chance or better — that burning fossil fuels caused unnatural temperature increases over the last half-century.
  • Temperatures are likely to rise from 2 to 11.5 degrees by 2100. (The world has warmed about 9 to 12 degrees since the depths of the last ice age 20,000 years ago.)
  • Sea levels are likely to rise 7 to 23 inches by the end of the century, although an additional rise of 3.9 to 7.8 inches is possible.
  • Oceans will keep growing more acidic.
  • Arctic Sea ice will disappear by 2100.
  • Desertlike conditions will expand in the Sahara, South Africa, and Mexico. In general, poor countries will take the worst direct hits.
  • The number of hurricanes will decrease, but stronger storms are likely.

Sources: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; University of Washington Climate Impacts Group; The Associated Press.

By the way if it snows randomly in Miami, that does not mean global warming is therefore debunked.

Seeing the effects of climate change via extreme sea ice loss (using time lapse photography) may help make the evidence that much more apparent. Extreme ice loss is the canary in the coal mine, folks.

See TED talks video below featuring some jaw-dropping images -Scientific Measurable Proof of global warming, (click ahead to the 9 minute mark, or the 7 minute mark if you want a quick overview of global warming science as well)

It is happening. We have a duty as Americans to acknowledge that fact and press our government to make the necessary changes.

Bottom line-pretending that global warming is a hoax drawn up by creator of the internet Al Gore is just plain silly- I mean the science isn’t new:

Here’s the NY Times’ Andrew Revkin on the video, and what it signifies:

The basic idea [of greenhouse gas-driven warming], of course, goes back more than a century, but the real number crunching started in the 1950s, and even drew the attention of the filmmaker Frank Capra, who produced a series of television programs on science (in the post-Sputnik days when science was a high priority), that included “The Unchained Goddess,” a remarkable 1958 film on weather and climate.

You would think that there are some things ALL Americans could agree on- like “hey… terrorist attacks are bad… for everyone”. But if you listen to the conservative right, you might hear some wishful thinking…

Just last night Bill O’Reilly warned his viewers saying “The issue of terrorism could bring down the Obama administration; one more successful attack on this country and all hell will break loose…if there is one more attack and there are dead American children it will ruin the Obama administration.”

Bill- do you hear yourself?!  You seem to be goading terrorists so that after an attack you can point the finger at Obama? Practically begging Al Qaeda to attack this country again so that “all hell will break loose” and the administration will look “weak on terror”…  Well, for everyone’s sake I certainly hope you don’t get everything you wish for.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney aka Satan’s lapdog continues his fear mongering campaign warning that there is a “high probability” that terrorists will try to launch a catastrophic nuclear or biological attack in coming years, and worries the Obama administration’s policies are weak on terror and will make it more likely an attempt would succeed.

Counter terrorism adviser John Brennon calls Cheney’s remarks ignorant.  Ignorant and uninformed is one thing- but borderline hoping for a terrorist attack on US soil and criticizing the administration on national security issues only for political gain is dispicable.

Cheney conveinently forgets that it was his administration that released detainees to Saudi Arabia, who later traveled to Yemen to participate in the attempted Christmas bombing.

I think this t-shirt pretty much sums it up.