Technology & Science, Travel

The New California Academy of Sciences

11.30.08 | Permalink | 1 Comment

Last weekend our family visited this great new museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park (near the De Young Museum) and had a blast. We went with the family of one of our daughter’s friends; the visit was to help celebrate the birthday of the other family’s child. She really enjoyed it too I think.

After the museum visit, we enjoyed a nice lunch at the Park Chalet and then the girls ran around playing flower fairies in the flower garden by the old windmill in the west end of the park. They would yell “Turn off all of your electronic devices, sit down, the show is about to start!” It was very cute…back to our museum topic.

The museum is very popular (good, it will be around. bad – too many people!) The new California Academy of Sciences hosts the Steinhart Aquarium, the Morrison Planetarium, the Kimball Natural History Museum, a 4 story tall rain forest, a naturalist center, two cafes, a 3D theatre, and much, much more all in a single living building. The roof itself is two acres of native flora.

If you’re in San Francisco, visit. It’s worth it. Also, get there early because it is crowded!

Here are some photos to give you a taste of the experience:

View of the structure from above, notice the two roof humps

View of California Academy of Sciences from above

View of the De Young Museum from the structure’s roof

View of the De Young Museum from the structure's roof

Close up of a roof hump (the rain forest is below this one, the planetarium is below the other)

Roof hump hiding the rain forest below

90 foot planetarium dome – see the 30 minute show, it’s very good – sit near the center if you can

The planetarium dome

My daughter was scared of this full-sized T-Rex

T-Rex skeleton

Notice the sharp teeth (that’s what she said – and why she was scared)

Close up of t-rex head

Here’s an Albino Alligator – first I’ve seen one of these – find his well hidden friend if you can

Albino Alligator

Philippine coral reef display, very impressive

Philippine coral reef display

A very shy fish

A very shy fish


What the Hell is going on with TARP?

11.29.08 | Permalink | Comments Off on What the Hell is going on with TARP?
TARP’s plan for homeowners…
TARP's home owner relief plan, buy a TARP for each foreclosure.

Via Information Arbitrage:

Start-up guy: “I’ve got this start-up. I’d like $10 million to get it going.”

Investor: “$10 million for a start-up? That’s a lot of money. Can you tell me about it?”

Start-up guy: “No.”

(Amused) Investor: “Do you have a business plan?”

Start-up guy: “No.”

(Less amused) Investor: “Do you know think there is a market for your product?”

Start-up guy: “I have no idea.”

(Irked) Investor: “Then why do you think you know enough to succeed?”

Start-up guy: “I don’t.”

(Irate) Investor: “Do you really think I’ll fund you?”

Start-up guy: “Yes.”

(Incredulous) Investor: “How could you possibly think that?”

Start-up guy: “Because you already have. Check your bank account.”

(Apoplectic) Investor: “#$%@&*>@#”

Read the whole entry…

I excoriated the CEOs of the Big Three automakers for going to Congress with this attitude – the reality is, why shouldn’t they? At least they make a product. All I can see the financial companies doing is cover their own asses. They’re not helping homeowners, they’re simply keeping the cash so the financial institutions in question have a market capitalization (Citi is trading at bailout fund infusion value for instance.)

So government, what’s it going to be? Are you going to bail out your buddies, kill the American car industry, and screw homeowners? So far, that appears to be what TARP is all about, screw the taxpayer. At least be clever enough to buy a tarp for each foreclosure that happens – there’s at least a government program I understand, $35,000 tarps – kind of like $500 hammers.

I’m not happy about this…

President-Elect Obama, where are you on this farce?


Things to be Thankful About

11.27.08 | Permalink | 1 Comment
Good Fortune – Something I’m really thankful to have had
Good Fortune - Something to be thankful for
  • I don’t have to use Windows as an operating system.
  • Someone with an IQ greater than room temperature will be at the helm in less than 60 days.
  • Carpool lane stickers – don’t know how I ever lived without them.
  • Internet Protocol – I couldn’t have made a living without it.
  • Struggling with weight. It’s much better than the alternative of trying to find enough food.
  • Air travel. As much as I bitch and moan about it, being able to visit loved ones for a few days is priceless.
  • Friends and family. Believe it or not, I have both!
  • Having a job. I can’t imagine the stress of finding something new to do in this economy at this time.
  • Options and opportunities. By virtue of birth, nothing more, nothing less, I’ve been given the opportunity to create a great life.

There are clearly many, many more things to be thankful about. But that’s a good list. I’m most thankful for the unlimited affection of our dog, my beautiful, smart, healthy daughter, and my most lovely, intelligent, patient spouse. Hope you all enjoy a nice Thanksgiving!


Darwin Just Misses in New Mexico

11.26.08 | Permalink | Comments Off on Darwin Just Misses in New Mexico
Near Darwin Winner runs over himself in drunken flight from the law

Ah, the season for Darwin Awards is upon us and this young man nearly took the prize. However, he lived (through no fault of his own…) and that disqualifies him from the competition.

HT: Deborah – Via Yahoo News….

SANTA FE, N.M. – A 21-year-old man was accused of driving drunk and leading police on a chase that finally ended with him running over himself. The man was treated for minor injuries at a Santa Fe hospital and booked in to the Sandoval County detention center on charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated, fleeing a police officer, careless driving and two other outstanding traffic warrants.

A tip to the state’s DrunkBuster hot line Sunday afternoon alerted authorities to a possibly drunken driver. State Police Officer Grace Romero spotted the man’s pickup truck swerving across both lanes of a highway, driving slowly and then fast. He refused to stop.

After narrowly missing other vehicles, police said the suspect drove through a ditch and a barbed-wire fence before stopping. He tried to put the truck into park, but it ended up in reverse. Police said the man fell from his open door and both of his legs were run over by the front driver’s side tire.

Business, Humor

Black Friday Deal

11.26.08 | Permalink | Comments Off on Black Friday Deal

Get your slice of the bailout by buying one of these great toasters!

HT: Dan

Black Friday Special, bailout coupon! Buy a toaster, get a bank!

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