Thursday January 8, 2015


The best place to be in an earthquake is where you can say "What was that?"
-- Rick & Ruby, 1970s comedy group

I have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since Sept. 1984. I've noticed several small earthquakes and one large (the Loma Prieta, in 1989). Earthquakes are "normal" here.

Buildings are designed to withstand earthquakes. We don't always succeed; every quake is different. But every time we have one, the earthquake safety code is updated and construction is improved for the next time. We know there will be a next time.

We have earthquakes in California. California has had 133 earthquakes (measuring M1.5 or greater) in the past 7 days, 547 in the past month. We "know" earthquakes here. They're as familiar as thunderstorms in Georgia. ...
       Continue reading "Quake?"

Quake? - posted at Thu, 08 Jan, 14:21 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday January 26, 2007

Three Links - Two Cute and one Big Awwwwwww

Escaped Chimp Gets Snack, Cleans Bathroom — Little Rock, Ark — Wednesday, January 17, 2007

An escaped chimpanzee at the Little Rock Zoo raided a kitchen cupboard and did a little cleaning with a toilet brush before sedatives knocked her out on top of a refrigerator.
       Continue reading "Three Links - Two Cute and one Big Awwwwwww"

Three Links - Two Cute and one Big Awwwwwww - posted at Fri, 26 Jan, 22:50 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday August 4, 2006

Study Illuminates How Babies Learn to Speak

A high-tech machine that monitors infants' brain cells as they listen to speech reveals a key element in how babies go from hearing sounds to speaking them.
Read the article (or listen to audio) at
Study Illuminates How Babies Learn to Speak - posted at Fri, 04 Aug, 21:04 Pacific | Comments (0)

Tuesday March 28, 2006

Lost and Found

The Journal of Robert Hooke

A manuscript "charting the birth of modern science" and misplaced for more than 200 years, has been found, sold to a private party, and will be housed at Britain’s Royal Society. ...
       Continue reading "Lost and Found"

Lost and Found - posted at Tue, 28 Mar, 22:05 Pacific | Comments (0)

Sunday March 26, 2006

How to Get Happy

Happiness, it seems to me, consists of two things: first, in being where you belong, and second -- and best -- in comfortably going through everyday life, that is, having had a good night's sleep and not being hurt by new shoes. — Theodor Fontane

What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life. — Leo Buscaglia

People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within. — Ramona L. Anderson

Harvard University is offering a new Psych course this semester which has become the most popular course on campus. Psychology 1504, or "Positive Psychology," purports to teach the psychology of happiness.

       Continue reading "How to Get Happy"

How to Get Happy - posted at Sun, 26 Mar, 00:05 Pacific | Comments (0)

Wednesday March 22, 2006

Patently Ridiculous

Those of us who work in the technology industries know that the US Patent and Trademark Office has been in trouble for years. The PTO seems willing to grant just about every patent application they receive — for algorithms, genetic sequences, and ideas, as well as "real" inventions. ...
       Continue reading "Patently Ridiculous"

Patently Ridiculous - posted at Wed, 22 Mar, 12:34 Pacific | Comments (0)

Tuesday February 14, 2006

Happy Anniversary, ENIAC

February 2006, marks the 60th anniversary of ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) a 28 ton behemoth able to handle 5000 additions per second — far faster than any device previously invented. ...
       Continue reading "Happy Anniversary, ENIAC"

Happy Anniversary, ENIAC - posted at Tue, 14 Feb, 00:19 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday February 11, 2006

Narrowband Connectivity

In the News...

China will pass the US in Broadband Lines by late 2006. US Broadband Penetration Breaks 65% Among Active Internet Users.

The US has fallen to 19th overall in household broadband penetration, and is in danger of being passed by Slovenia in early 2007.

Slovenia?! ...
       Continue reading "Narrowband Connectivity"

Narrowband Connectivity - posted at Sat, 11 Feb, 08:00 Pacific | Comments (0)

Wednesday February 8, 2006

Low Fat Diet Debunked

In the News

The largest study ever to ask whether a low-fat diet reduces the risk of getting cancer or heart disease has found that the diet has no effect.
       Continue reading "Low Fat Diet Debunked"

Low Fat Diet Debunked - posted at Wed, 08 Feb, 19:31 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday February 4, 2006

Smog Blog

In the News

It was only a matter of time. After Google started using Pigeon ranking, naturally the pigeons would start campaigning for their own blog! ...
       Continue reading "Smog Blog"

Smog Blog - posted at Sat, 04 Feb, 08:00 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday February 3, 2006

End of An Era, Final Telegram Sent

From a cheap hotel in Dallas on a cold December day
A telegram was traveling on its way
Like a sad old song from somewhere in the distance of a dream
Flashing across the darkness on the telegraph machine.

It said, “From Billy,” at the bottom, “to Baby,” at the top
“Western Union Wire, please help me.” — stop.
“Western Union Wire, don’t leave me.” — stop

Western Union Wire
(Kinky Friedman)

The world's first telegram was sent on May 24, 1844 by inventor Samuel Morse. Over 150 years later, effective January 27, 2006, Western Union has discontinued all Telegram and Commercial Messaging services.

The decline of telegram use goes back at least to the 1980s, when long-distance telephone service became cheap enough to offer a viable alternative in many if not most cases. Faxes didn't help. Email could be counted as the final nail in the coffin.

[ Era Ends: Western Union Stops Sending Telegrams, in LiveScience, January 31, 2006 ]

Did you ever send (or receive) a telegram? ...
       Continue reading "End of An Era, Final Telegram Sent"

End of An Era, Final Telegram Sent - posted at Fri, 03 Feb, 08:05 Pacific | Comments (0)

Wednesday February 1, 2006


One of the strangest satellites in the history of the space age is about to go into orbit. Launch date: Feb. 3rd. That's when astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) will hurl an empty spacesuit overboard.
"We've equipped a Russian Orlon spacesuit with three batteries, a radio transmitter, and internal sensors to measure temperature and battery power," says [Frank Bauer of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center]. "As SuitSat circles Earth, it will transmit its condition to the ground."

NASA Science News for January 26, 2006

If you have a police scanner or ham radio rig, you'll be able to listen to it "talk" as its orbit passes over wherever you are.


SuitSat - posted at Wed, 01 Feb, 08:08 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday November 5, 2005

DST: Looking forward to 2007

I have always thought that the decision to end Daylight Saving time on the last Sunday of October was misguided and ill-considered. That puts Halloween in the "standard time" (early dark nights) part of the year. With all of the kids out and about, crossing the streets, this seemed wrong to me.

Things will change, however, not next year but the year after that.

In most of the United States, DST presently begins on the first Sunday in April. It ends on the last Sunday in October, when clocks return to official standard time. That's about to change. In 2007, according to a law passed earlier this year, DST for most of the United States will begin 3 weeks earlier—on the second Sunday in March. And it will end 1 week later—on the first Sunday in November.

[A Change in Time, Science News for Kids, Oct. 26, 2005]

I wish they had chosen the 1st Sunday in March for consistency... but this is the government after all.

DST: Looking forward to 2007 - posted at Sat, 05 Nov, 09:42 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday October 8, 2005

Re-opening Tanforan

Ba Tanforanls

Tanforan Park, our local shopping mall, closed for renovations in 2003, immediately following the 2002 holiday shopping season. (The original plan had apparently called for closing before Christmas; dumb!).

The mall was 30 years old and had slowly been declining. We liked it, but we could see that some of the stores had closed and not been replaced. It was bringing in less money... and, apparently, the new owners thought it looked like it was built in the early 70's (which, of course, it was.) ...
       Continue reading "Re-opening Tanforan"

Re-opening Tanforan - posted at Sat, 08 Oct, 11:38 Pacific | Comments (0)

Sunday June 19, 2005

Sugar Shock

Soft drinks have overtaken white bread as the main source of calories in the U.S. diet...

[Soft Drinks as Top Calorie Culprit, ScienceNews Week of June 18, 2005; Vol. 167, No. 25


Odilia Bermudez, from Tufts University, studied data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2000, for nearly 1000 adults. She discovered that two-thirds of the people in the survey drink more than twenty ounces of sweetened beverages (sodas and fruit drinks containing less than 10 percent fruit juice) a day, on average. That's a lot of liquid sugar. ...
       Continue reading "Sugar Shock"

Sugar Shock - posted at Sun, 19 Jun, 08:37 Pacific | Comments (3)

Friday June 17, 2005

Blogger Meet-up (and I missed it!)

Is the "traditional media" doing anything like this where you are?

The personal media revolution came to the KRON 4 studios Saturday [June 11] when more than 100 members of the Bay Area blogger community accepted [an] invitation for a meet-up.

[ Bay Area Blogger Meet-up ]

KRON 4 ("The Bay Area's News Station") is one of our local television stations and a big player in the "traditional" media channels. I find it intriguing that a television station is interested in connecting with weblogging; I would have expected a newspaper to do something like this.

KRON 4 recognizes the importance of the blogosphere in connecting with our local communities. If you don't have a web log or "blog" yourself, chances are one of your friends or neighbors does. Bloggers take the time to post their thoughts on virtually any subject imaginable. Their efforts are already changing the media landscape.
In the coming days and weeks, will be launching two major new initiatives designed to support the Bay Area Blogosphere. We will be posting and maintaining a comprehensive list of Bay Area blogs. Also we will be launching a new aggregator that will allow you to come to one place to see the latests posts from local bloggers.

Kinda cool...

I missed the meet-up (I vaguely recall seeing and discarding the evite) but I got the second notice, sent both as email and posted on the KRON-4 website. (Hmmm. They found my weblog :-)

They're asking for feedback. I'll have to think about what I want to say.

Blogger Meet-up (and I missed it!) - posted at Fri, 17 Jun, 08:12 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday June 3, 2005

Riding in the Back of the Bus

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, "drove six [school] buses of various ages on a total of 16 runs along actual routes in and around Los Angeles. On about half the runs, the bus windows were open." During the runs, scientists used a nonreactive tracer gas, fed through the exhaust systems, to measure the amount of exhaust particles that would reach passengers and be inhaled.

On average, they learned that the rear of each bus' interior is one-third more polluted than the front. Older buses and buses driven with the windows closed showed more onboard air pollution than other buses.

For example, with the windows open, a 30-year-old bus in the study generated twice as much onboard pollution as a 10-year-old bus did. Closing the windows slightly increased passengers' pollution exposure on a 3-year-old bus but tripled it on the 30-year-old one.

[Science News, May 21, 2005, vol 167, no. 21]

Ugh. (And recall the study was done in LA, where opening the windows is not necessarily a wise thing to do!

Riding in the Back of the Bus - posted at Fri, 03 Jun, 07:37 Pacific | Comments (0)

Thursday June 2, 2005


A few months ago I read an article about three obese sisters who had gastric bypass surgery (March 2005, Prevention magazine). One of the interesting points of the article was that people who have this surgery aren't ravenously hungry, even though they are physically able to eat very little.

The reason is due to a hormone called ghrelin, produced by the cells lining the stomach. Ghrelin (named from a Hindu word for "growth") triggers feelings of hunger. When the useable part of the stomach is reduced by gastric bypass surgery, less ghrelin is produced.

I thought - could this be a non-surgical way to counter obesity? Could we find a way to reduce the production of ghrelin? ...
       Continue reading "Anti-ghrelin?"

Anti-ghrelin? - posted at Thu, 02 Jun, 22:31 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday March 5, 2005

Giant Cranes Clear Bridge

At 12:50 this morning

With only five feet to spare, two mammoth cranes weighing 1,500 tons squeezed their way under the Bay Bridge (above) on Saturday. Traffic to the span was completely halted.

Huge cranes clear Bay Bridge by 5 feet on trip to Oakland, SF Charonicle, Saturday, March 5

Rich and I had our usual breakfast at Joe's this morning; we went down about noon. As is customary, Rich picked up a paper. We read that a delivery of giant loading cranes was coming to the Port of Oakland today. The Port of Oakland had a previous delivery in 2000.

The cranes come from China. When they arrive, they must first go under the Golden Gate Bridge, then into the bay and under the Bay Bridge. This can be, shall we say, potentially problematic. The cranes are tall. The water could raise or lower. ...
       Continue reading "Giant Cranes Clear Bridge"

Giant Cranes Clear Bridge - posted at Sat, 05 Mar, 20:28 Pacific | Comments (0)

Tuesday November 2, 2004

Did you vote?

There are just over 5 hours left to vote in California. If the polls everywhere are open till 8, they close on the east coast in 2 hours.


Our polling place is (now) at the school across the street. I walked over at 7:15 this morning, then went to the Job.

Did you vote? - posted at Tue, 02 Nov, 14:58 Pacific

Wednesday October 20, 2004


Several of the restaurants we patronize regularly have televisions going - our favorite diner, the burrito place, one of the Chinese places, the Japanese restaurant (that one's at the far end of the sushi bar and more difficult to see). I often find myself watching (especially the one at the diner). I don't want to... not really. But I get sucked in by the colors and motion.

You're staring at a piece of furniture!

People on TV are not your friends. They're not in the room with you. You are alone in the dark, staring at a plastic box. Think about it. This is like a science fiction horror story; but it's really happening. People have stopped living as humans and connected themselves to machines instead.

Does this happen to you? Do you wish you could just turn it off?

Now you can :-) ...
       Continue reading "TV-B-Gone"

TV-B-Gone - posted at Wed, 20 Oct, 17:44 Pacific

Saturday August 21, 2004

Sing a Song for Kitty

It didn't seem like such a weird question, especially considering that I was asking people at Point Isabel Regional Shoreline, a center of pet obsession. At Point Isabel, 21 acres of off- leash dog park, the value of pet accessories exceeds the gross national product of Lithuania, and half the cars in the parking lot sport "Dog Is My Co-Pilot" bumper stickers. So I was a little surprised when people nervously edged away from me, as if I were asking about a perversion.

But, honestly, what is so very weird about singing to your pet? I will fess up first. I happen to sing a new and improved version of "Que Sera Sera" to the dog. I know it's fantastic because everyone who hears it cringes in paroxysms of jealous agony. Surely, others as musically gifted as I provide amusement to friends and family by serenading their pets.

According to the American Animal Hospital Association's Ninth Annual Pet Owner Survey, about 65 percent of pet owners sing and/or dance before their pets, but park patrons were declaring that oh, no, they would never act so weird! Sorry, but when you refer to yourself as "Fifi's mommy" or "Madison's daddy," I'll bet real money that you're doing the macarena in the kitchen for your multilegged companion.

[ excerpt from Dog Ditties , the lead article for the Home & Garden section in the Saturday, August 21 SF Chronicle.]

       Continue reading "Sing a Song for Kitty"

Sing a Song for Kitty - posted at Sat, 21 Aug, 21:29 Pacific

Thursday July 1, 2004

Dump and Run

I grew up in a College town. My Dad taught at the university. Our house was next door to a small apartment building. We found the most amazing castoffs over the years, including a blender, a typewriter, a perfectly functional desk, table lamps... and more. One of the saddest finds was an entire set of stoneware (dinner plates, desert plates, etc) that were discarded the day after trash day. None of the pieces survived being tossed into an otherwise empty dumpster.

According to the June, 2004 Readers Digest, the average College student throws out 640 pounds of stuff each year with 30% of that amount coming in the month before graduation. The castoffs include everything from unused notebooks and working pens to half-full bottles of laundry detergent to working stereos.

Lisa Heller, a Syracuse University grad student, decided to do something about the problem.

"Students were so busy with finals and job interviews they didn't have time to drop off stuff at a Salvation Army". ... So... in 2000, [Heller] founded Dump & Run (, now a national nonprofit that gathers pre-grad unwanted from university bins and drop-off boxes and sells it at events in campus gyms and parking lots.

Last year, participants at 20 universities raised over $100,000 for charities.

Dump and Run - posted at Thu, 01 Jul, 21:24 Pacific

Thursday May 13, 2004

Tiny Feet and Giant Steps

In the news...

Our cats are great spider spotters. We'll walk into a room and notice a cat, staring intently at the ceiling. We look up... and there's a spider, in the middle of the ceiling, equidistant from the four walls. How did he get up there? How does he stay up there?

For the first time, scientists have measured exactly how that spider sticks to the ceiling and also how strong the adhesion force is.

A team from Germany and Switzerland have made the first detailed examinations of a jumping spider's 'foot' and have discovered that a molecular force sticks the spider to almost anything. The force is so strong that these spiders could carry over 170 times their own body weight while standing on the ceiling.

[cf. Institute of Physics press release PR29(04). ]

The paper, Getting a grip on spider attachment: an AFM approach to microstructure adhesion in arthropods, by Antonia Kesel, Andrew Martin and Tobias Seidl, was published on 19 April 2004, in the Institute of Physics journal Smart Materials and Structures. I like the title :-)

If you think the itsy bitsy spider has itsy bitsy feet, think again. Scientists have created a "microscopic walking robot", just 10 nanometers long and made out of DNA.

A New York University team created the robot using DNA legs that move along a footpath, which is also based on DNA.

The legs move by detaching themselves from the footpath, moving along it and then reattaching themselves, New Scientist reports.

DNA is an ideal material to build the robot from, because DNA chains easily pair up.

By re-ordering the sequence of base pairs that make up the DNA strand, the scientists were able to control where each strand attached.

"What we've done is to build a sidewalk to accommodate one step and we've demonstrated quantitatively that [the robot] can take a second step," Professor Nadrian Seeman, of New York University, told BBC News Online.

[ cf BBC News Online ]

Could a spiderbot made of DNA walk on the ceiling?

Tiny Feet and Giant Steps - posted at Thu, 13 May, 19:38 Pacific

Thursday April 29, 2004

Going to the Cats

I was wondering what the latest census numbers were for cats & dogs in the US, so I looked it up. The latest study shows that over half of US homes have at least one cat or dog.


February 13, 2002 -- The 20th Anniversary Pet Food Institute Pet Incidence Trend Report finds that in 2001 a majority, 55 percent, of all American households was home to at least one pet dog or cat. Last year, the study found there were over 75 million pet cats and over 60 million pet dogs in the United States. On average, each cat owning household is home to two cats, while dog owners usually have one canine companion. Developed on behalf of the Pet Food Institute by Ipsos-NPD in Chicago, the Pet Incidence Trend Report stands as the "census" of pet dog and cat populations in the US.

[ cf Pet Food Institute press release ]

Dog-only households still "beat" cat-only households in 2002 but by a narrow margin. Total cat-owned households rose 1.3% between 2001 and 2002; total dog owning households only rose by 0.3% in that time.

In total numbers, there have been more cats than dogs in pet-owned homes ever since 1981; a lot of people have more than one cat in their family.

I feel so sorry for the other 45% of the hooman households, though. I wonder what the 2003 numbers will be.

Going to the Cats - posted at Thu, 29 Apr, 12:27 Pacific

Wednesday March 17, 2004

Spam in my mailbox?

Spam in my mailbox? I cannot utter enough expletives to describe the depth of my revulsion for spam. Spam on my blog? Sailors, cover your ears.

[ cf. Fighting Blog Spam, March 8, 2004 ]

If I never again see an "enlargement comment" I will be a very happy camper. I am so sick and tired of deleting this garbage/slime/crap/encroaching nastiness that has been infiltrating my otherwise happy little backwater weblog.

And now, thanks to Pariah (for showing me the light), and to Jay Allen for sparking the light, the lamp, the torch in the darkness (i.e. MT-Blacklist) my weblog is gonna be MINE all Mine once again.

Pariah - You have my everlasting and fervent thanks!

Jay - Ditto; ( amazing page :-)

Spammers - see a later [sic] ... or never

Spam in my mailbox? - posted at Wed, 17 Mar, 21:41 Pacific

Tuesday March 2, 2004

Commemorative Dr. Seuss US Stamp

04_seuss37_d The US Post Office has released a commemorative 0.37 cent stamp in honor of Theodor Seuss Geisel. Stamps are available for purchase at your local Snail Mail outlet or online (I personally love buying stamps by mail. It's so... logical. Recursive, as it were ;-)
Commemorative Dr. Seuss US Stamp - posted at Tue, 02 Mar, 22:05 Pacific

Dr. Seuss on NPR

National Public Radio's Morning Edition presented A 100th Birthday Card to Dr. Seuss this morning, featuring a verse written by Hart Seely, a reporter with the Syracuse Post-Standard. ...
       Continue reading "Dr. Seuss on NPR"

Dr. Seuss on NPR - posted at Tue, 02 Mar, 21:56 Pacific

Sunday October 26, 2003

Fall Back Day

Daylight Spending Time?

As of 02:00 (am) Sunday, Oct. 27 (less than 2 hours away as I write this), the U.S. is officially back on "normal;" time. Except for Hawaii, parts of Indiana, and most of Arizona, we all "sprung forward" on the first Sunday of April. As opposed to that Sunday, this is one of my least favorite days of the year Sigh.

Summer is officially over. Winter is coming. Autumn is here. The days were already short (too short!). Now the sun will set before I leave work in the evenings. It will be dark as I drive home. The only mitigating factor is that it will (for a while at least) be lighter in the morning when I wake up. (I thought it was bad enough that I was getting up at 6:45 am! Our niece, Rachel, gets up at 5:15. By 6:40 she's on the school bus... That's dreadful!)

I have never understood why, if DST saves energy, the government doesn't just decide to go on DST year-round, as they did during WWI, WWII and the "energy crisis" during the mid-1970s. At the very least, why don't they wait to "fall back" until the first Sunday of November, so as to prevent Halloween from happening "later" in the evening (think of all those trick-or-treaters walking around in the dark after dinner, an additional "hour" after sunset).

Sigh. I'd love to hibernate till February like the groundhog. I'll be looking forward to Spring for the next three months... wake me when it gets here.

Fall Back Day - posted at Sun, 26 Oct, 00:16 Pacific

Friday October 10, 2003

iChat, iSight, iSign

For Melvin Patterson, who has been completely deaf since he was a toddler, communication is a visual experience.

In the past, conducting a conversation using traditional nonvisual telecommunications tools like telephones and pagers was frustrating. Text messages or sign language conversations on jittery Web video screens were a pale substitute for a face-to-face exchange.

But that changed dramatically when Patterson tried iChat AV, new videoconferencing software, and iSight, a new Web camera, which Apple Computer Inc. introduced during the summer.

Read the rest of the article from Monday's (Oct. 6, 2003) San Francisco Chronicle.

iChat, iSight, iSign - posted at Fri, 10 Oct, 23:53 Pacific

Saturday August 9, 2003

Classic Cars

I've always loved "Classic Cars" - cars from the 40's, the 30's... Model A, Model T. One of the nice things about living in the San Francisco Bay Area is that the generally pleasant weather allows Classic Car owners to drive their cars year round - sometimes as their regular transportation. ...
       Continue reading "Classic Cars"

Classic Cars - posted at Sat, 09 Aug, 18:35 Pacific

Saturday July 26, 2003

Primate Programmers?

As legend has it, in 1860 (or thereabouts) Thomas Huxley, pro-evolutionist, argued that "given an infinite amount of time" (and enough paper and typewriters), six of monkeys would eventually recreate the works of Shakespeare. The Parable of the Monkeys has been reconsidered many times since then, as evidenced by these collected quotes.

The kicker is the "infinite amount of time" of course. Recent experimentation using smaller amounts of time have been less than impressive. ...
       Continue reading "Primate Programmers?"

Primate Programmers? - posted at Sat, 26 Jul, 00:42 Pacific

Saturday July 19, 2003

The Pennsylvania State Cookie

According to the August issue of Reader's Digest, listed under "5 Silly Recent Local Government Proposals", in their "Only in America" regular feature, the PA house and senate has been "locked in a fierce debate" ... over whether to choose sugar cookies or chocolate chip as the official state cookie. The initial attempt at cookie legislation was introduced in 1998.
Despite the increasingly bitter debate, [State Sen. Robert] Thompson can envision tackling even more divisive issues in the future.

"Wait until we choose between the square dance and the polka as the official state dance," he said.

Read more in this article from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

And here I thought most of the fruits and nuts were in California...

The Pennsylvania State Cookie - posted at Sat, 19 Jul, 11:06 Pacific

Sunday June 22, 2003

BART is finally here!

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) has finally opened four new stations on the Peninsula, and goes as far as the airport. This thing has been under construction since 1998 and was originally due to open well over a year ago. The Millbrae station also provides connectivity with CalTrain. The San Bruno station is just a bit more than 2 miles from our house.
BART is finally here! - posted at Sun, 22 Jun, 13:12 Pacific

Wednesday May 28, 2003

Local cat saves family from fire

Two people in Burlingame, CA, (two towns south of oours) left a candle burning when they went to bed; the woman put the candle into the sink, but it fell in the drain, burned through the plastic drain, and ignited the chemicals under the sink.

The cat woke them up howling at 2:30 am and everyone got out of the house safely.

Read the newspaper article: page 1, page 2.

Local cat saves family from fire - posted at Wed, 28 May, 13:22 Pacific

Sunday April 20, 2003

Easter Sunday

Today is Easter Sunday in the western Christian (Gregorian) calendar. Eastern Christian churches that follow the Julian calendar tend to celebrate Easter on a different date.

Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox (the paschal moon) — unless that full moon falls on the equinox, in which case it's the next full moon — unless the full moon falls on a Sunday, in which case it's the following Sunday. The reason for the changing date has to do with the relationship of Easter to the Jewish feast of Passover. ...
       Continue reading "Easter Sunday"

Easter Sunday - posted at Sun, 20 Apr, 01:19 Pacific

Sunday April 6, 2003

Spring Ahead

Today is one of my favorite days of the year. Today is the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. Winter is officially over. Summer is officially on the way.

I hate winter. I hate short days and sundown before 5pm. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is real, as is its milder cousin, the "Winter Blues". But in February the days start getting noticeably longer again. The sun isn't down at 5... there's more light. And then, on the first Sunday of April, we shift an hour of that lovely daylight to the evening. Huzzah!

California actually petitioned Congress for year-round DST! Unfortunately, the request was made in May 2001; that was before 9/11 and Iraq so Congress probably has other things on their minds these days :-(

DST saves energy. Studies done by the U.S. Department of Transportation show that we trim the entire country's electricity usage by about one percent each day with Daylight Saving Time. California has a report (PDF format) called Effects of Daylight Saving Time on California Electricity Use. I'm a fan of saving energy... but mostly, I just love the fact that the sun sets an apparent hour later today.

More light. More day! Winter is over for another year.

Spring Ahead - posted at Sun, 06 Apr, 14:18 Pacific