March 31, 2003

Recording Streaming Audio

TechTV | Capture Internet Audio Streams

So, a few months ago there was a concert streaming on the net that I wanted to record -- nothing illegal with that, as band encourages people to tape their shows....I just happened to be in another state. I checked around the web and finally came up with a worked, but the software was kind of lame, namely the user interface.

This link however, gives you a full range of solutions. Record ON!

Posted by answerguru at 05:28 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

DEA Imposes Hemp Food Ban

Legal Challenge to U.S. Hemp Ban

The DEA is exposing its own idiocy again by imposing the original ban on hemp foods after it had been stayed by the Ninth Circuit in March 2002. Again, the Hemp Industry Association will attempt a legal route to suppress this unneccesary overstepping of bounds by the government.

The DEA's decision to ban hemp foods is based on the concern that a flourishing hemp industry could provide cover for illegal cultivation of marijuana. But it seems to have little public support - some 115,000 public comments were submitted to the DEA against the ban.

Posted by answerguru at 12:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

5 Years in Prison for Encryption - Encryption backers brace for new threats - Mar. 31, 2003

The Justice Department is circulating draft documents that would add 5 years onto any crime committed with the use of digital encryption technology.

"If you went the extra step to keep us from getting evidence, you should pay an extra price," said Jimmy Doyle, a former computer crimes investigator with the New York Police Department."

"Why should the fact that you use encryption have anything to do with how guilty you are and what the punishment should be?" asks Stanton McCandlish of the CryptoRights Foundation, which teaches human rights workers to use encryption. "Should we have enhanced penalties because someone wore an overcoat?"


Posted by answerguru at 12:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 28, 2003

Humor Me State Department

State Department Warns Americans Not To Act Like Americans
By R.O. Whatley Washington, D.C.

In what is believed to be its strongest travel advisory ever, the U.S. State Department today warned Americans abroad not to act like Americans. The advisory was issued simultaneously in Washington by State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, and in The Hague by a man who, in halting Dutch, denied he was U.S. Ambassador Clifford Sobel.

Unlike previous alerts, which have warned Americans to keep a low profile or avoid certain destinations, the new advisory notes that it is now unwise to come across as American at all. As a result, the State Department cautions U.S. citizens to avoid behaviors that could cause them to be singled out as obviously American.

These include:
- the wearing of white socks and tennis shoes.
- complaining if asked to share a bathroom.
- threatening to sue over bad service, television reception, or weather.

In addition, U.S. citizens attempting to speak a foreign language are urged to curb their Americanisms. For example: Correct: Est-ce que vous l'avez aux autres couleurs? Incorrect: Est-ce que vous, like, l'avez aux, like, autres couleurs?

The advisory immediately created turmoil overseas, particularly for U.S. military personnel, who pretended to be French and were forced to surrender.

In an apparent response to heightened fears of terrorist attacks by Islamic militants, the US embassies in Islamabad, Jakarta, Manila, Kuwait City, Riyadh, Bangkok, Saana and Jordan were all proudly displaying the red, white and blue flag of France.

The alert also caused confusion at home, as it seems to contradict the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which has warned Americans not to act un-American. In a press briefing this afternoon, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer attempted to unravel the paradox. "What we are saying is, when you are in America, you need to behave like an American, particularly if you are not American, or are Colin Powell. But when you are outside America, you should not behave like an American, unless you are not American, in which case we urge you to act American. Here I refer specifically to the NATO representatives from Germany, France, and Belgium." The advisory, Fleischer added, applies to all Americans, including President Bush. " "When the President is traveling abroad, he will only act American while aboard Air Force One or in the company of U.S. media. At all other times, he will attempt to come across as Kosovian or Grecian."

Reached for comment in Brussels, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Nicholas Burns said, "Qing wen, ren min gong yuan zai na li?"

Posted by answerguru at 10:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New Sky Survey Online


The 2MASS (Two Micron All Sky Survey) was recently completed and more than 4 million pictures have been put online for public use. To achieve these goals, 2MASS has uniformly scanned the entire sky in three near-infrared bands to detect and characterize point sources brighter than about 1 mJy in each band, with signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) greater than 10, using a pixel size of 2.0". This has achieved an 80,000-fold improvement in sensitivity relative to earlier surveys.

2MASS used two highly-automated 1.3-m telescopes, one at Mt. Hopkins, AZ, and one at CTIO, Chile. Each telescope was equipped with a three-channel camera, each channel consisting of a 256256 array of HgCdTe detectors, capable of observing the sky simultaneously at J (1.25 microns), H (1.65 microns), and Ks (2.17 microns).

The Data Produced

1. A digital atlas of the sky comprising approximately 4 million 8 16 Atlas Images, having about 4 spatial resolution in each of the three wavelength bands.

2. A point source catalog containing accurate positions and fluxes for ~300 million stars and other unresolved objects.

3. An extended source catalog containing positions and total magnitudes for more than 1,000,000 galaxies and other nebulae.

Posted by answerguru at 10:38 AM | Comments (0)

March 27, 2003

Little Photo Gallery

New Roll of Film / New Photo Gallery

Greetings all....just follow the link to find a new set of pics I just posted with a super easy to use photo gallery script written in PHP. Not to bad, simple, but you have to make the thumbnails yourself.

Pics of:
- house I'm renting in Seattle
- Jenn and I hiking and hanging and stuff
- roommate Carly and I skiing / riding
- Peggy and I just after Christmas in Ohio


Oh and about those lines on the prints, just read on.

Damn RiteAid 1 hour photo! Even the picture envelope says Kodak Certified Photo Technicians. BS.

I get them back and sure enough, all the prints are screwed up. Even worse, I discover it's not the prints, it's the negatives that they hosed. How can I tell? There's one picture that you can see both the tracks running through the print and the full image behind. Impossible for that to happen inside of a camera --

1. not enough room for it to happen
2. it happened in the developer because otherwise there would be no image where the film "wasn't"

It took 15 minutes of arguing with the store manager to get all my money back...only wanted to give me the print money back. No way! You screwed up my negatives! She says it had to be my camera, because their machine had never done that before.

I'm sorry, but that's not a reason. That just means it never happened before.

Anyway. Off the soapbox. I got all the money back and a free roll of film. *grrr*

Posted by answerguru at 05:07 PM | Comments (0)

March 26, 2003

Anti-Terrorism signs instill only laughter

Apparently the government has made up a bunch of anti-terrorism signs to help people respond to whatever happens. This site uses those signs to make people laugh.... HARD.

Posted by wengem at 09:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 25, 2003

Anti-War Protestors Changing Their Minds? Inside Cover Story

Arnaud de Borchgrave, UPI's Editor at Large and a member of NewsMax's board of directors, wrote Friday from Jordan:

A group of American anti-war demonstrators who came to Iraq with Japanese human shield volunteers made it across the border today with 14 hours of uncensored video, all shot without Iraqi government minders present.

Kenneth Joseph, a young American pastor with the Assyrian Church of the East, told UPI the trip "had shocked me back to reality."

Some of the Iraqis he interviewed on camera "told me they would commit suicide if American bombing didn't start. They were willing to see their homes demolished to gain their freedom from Saddam's bloody tyranny. They convinced me that Saddam was a monster the likes of which the world had not seen since Stalin and Hitler. He and his sons are sick sadists.

"Their tales of slow torture and killing made me ill, such as people put in a huge shredder for plastic products, feet first so they could hear their screams as bodies got chewed up from foot to head."

Posted by answerguru at 08:38 AM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2003

English AL Jazeera website

Al Jazeera - objective and balanced global news coverage and analysis- Homepage

Al Jazeera, the Iraqi government controlled TV and media organization, has finally posted an English version of their website. In fact, it's only a "special" website focusing on the current war in Iraq.

I particularly like the tagline "objective and balanced global news coverage and analysis" -- just like CNN!!

Posted by answerguru at 11:43 PM | Comments (0)

Iraqi Blog: View from the Inside

Where is Raed ?

Came across this blog, by an Iraqi in Baghdad....always interesting to have a view of someone in the midst of a war....viewpoints, thoughts, and perspectives.

He writes of the news they receive from Al-jazeera, the leaflets dropped by US Psych-Ops, and the bombing damage they see firsthand.

Posted by answerguru at 12:20 PM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2003

Tetris AI via WebCam

So this guy, Colin Fahey, first wrote a 56 page research paper at MIT describing how to program some AI intelligent enough to win the computer game, Tetris.

Now he is running it on a PC that is "watching" another PC with Tetris on the monitor by using a webcam and having the AI software press the keys to play the game. (ok, in fact he just sends electrical signals through the keyboard, but pressing the keys would be a trivial matter mechanical matter)

Too much time on his hands? You tell me. As an engineer, I find it pretty cool.

Posted by answerguru at 09:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Super-Kamiokande

The Super-Kamiokande neutrino detector

Big name I know. Just read this description, then click on the link to see a crazy photograph. Then think about what you are seeing and what they are trying to do.

"The Super-Kamiokande neutrino detector is a large water Cerenkov detector for cosmic particles. The detector is a 50,000 ton tank of highly purified water, located about 1000 meters underground in a mine. Faint flashes of light given off by the neutrino interactions in the tank are detected by more than 13,000 photomultiplier tubes. The inside is shown here during filling, with boats used to clean the photomultiplier tubes.

Kamioka Observatory, ICRR (Institute for Cosmic Ray Research), The University of Tokyo"

Posted by answerguru at 09:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bad Ass Buddy Icons

Buddy Icons at - because your buddy icon totally sucks

Ok, this is hysterical. If you use AIM (AOL Instant Messenger), then definitely check these out. These crazy dudes have over 1,100 icons on their site for your use!

Most of them are very funny and clever.....amazing what you can do when you're limited to 48x48 pixels and a max size of 7kb.

Very cool.

Posted by answerguru at 06:37 PM | Comments (3)

bitch and moan

So I send Jonny a link to add to his blog. Do I get thanks for trying to participate?
Hell no. He gets mad at me for not putting the link in myself. Well I complain right back that I'm not up on all of the technology that the kids are playing with these days and will he give me explicit instructions on how the hell to use it.

Sho'nuff he sent me instructions. Now I'm obligated to try it out.

My first test is a link to a new robot that those crazy Japanese are about to market. Crazy? you say. Uhh yeah. They're marketing this thing as a Grandma-Minder.

Posted by at 03:44 PM | Comments (0)

Geometric Constructions Part 1


Knowing my fascination with geometric constructions, this will be part of a project to catalog many of those sites. Eventually this will be on a permanent page of it's own....

First, a guy who has been at this far longer than I, George Hart.

George W. Hart --- Index

Then we have the Zome Construction Kits. I'm looking into purchasing (or getting as a gift, *wink wink*), the Advanced Math Kit. I've seen the complete kit with the Zone Geometry book on Ebay for $159ish.

More to come as I review my Favorites list...

Posted by answerguru at 01:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Superhero "Jumping" Boots

Powerisers: Bionic Leg Stilts

Strap a pair of these on and jump 6 feet in the air and take 9 foot running strides! They basically add a huge Achilles Tendon to your leg...every time you take a stride/jump you store more energy in the spring -- launching you further each time. Just like gaining more and more height on a trampoline.

That reminds me, one of my favorite screensavers.

I'm buying a pair of these as soon as I come up with the extra cash....lots of fun - just imagine "jogging" around the local running track. Whee!

Posted by answerguru at 01:01 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 18, 2003

Imac Vision Evaporates

Think Discontinued: Apple Retires Its Original IMac Line (

The Imac day is over according to Apple. Seems that the computer was no longer pulling in the numbers and it has been discontinued. Apple sold an estimated 10 million units during its day.

I think that the Imac definitely sparked a positive change in computer design, even if it was mostly from a visual design standpoint. Just look around at many of the PCs for sale today - all trying to look suave and curvy, sometimes even futuristic. The tan box of yesteryear is history thanks to Apple.

Posted by answerguru at 11:29 PM | Comments (0)

March 17, 2003


Rate Beer [ Beer Reviews, Beer Information and Beer Ratings ]

Nice site -- rate your favorite (or least favorite) beers or read up on what others have to say. Handy for all of us beer snobs out there....and I see lots of them in Seattle.

Posted by answerguru at 12:29 PM | Comments (1)

MySQL: Company on the Rise - MySQL: A threat to bigwigs? - Mar. 12, 2003

MySQL is a database server on the rise - I already use it for a number of websites and really appreciate it's stability and simplicity. Look out Oracle....

Posted by answerguru at 08:30 AM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2003

Everything I Know: Buckminster Fuller


Everything I Know Introduction

I just stumbled across an amazing artifact on the web - the complete transcription of R. Buckminster Fullers lectures entitled "Everything I Know". These lectures were recorded over two week period and total 42 (yes, FOURTY-TWO) hours of audio material. It's presented here in text format as well as Real Audio for your listening pleasure.

Apparently around 1975, Fuller made a statement (or claim as it were) that he could explain everything he knew in 45-50 hours. Well, here it is.

After reading the first few pages, I found myself completely immersed in this genius mind....exploring concepts, ways of thoughts, and complex concepts in ways I had never imagined. Despite his unique style of presentation, his real message comes through strong. I think this has reignited some of my younger passion for his work and hope to do some more research into his life, ideas, and principles.

Unfortunately, there is no MP3 format for his lectures - I would love to burn them to a CD for listening in the car. The only copy that they have available is on audio tape. Oh man!

Posted by answerguru at 02:06 PM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2003

TreePad - Kill the Post-IT Notes!

Treepad Lite: Notes Manager / Text Editor / more

This is one of my favorite computer tools - with it you can organize just about any type of information that you may have. Typical database tools aren't very good at just organizing thoughts, random bits of information, or unstructured data.

Treepad lets you organize information easily, in a structure that you create on the fly. It's configured very similar to Windows Exlorer with the organization tree on the left and the data on the right. As you add in new categories a new "blank slate" is created automatically...just type in your info and go!

Personally, I've used it to organize web site designs, web content, internet research, brainstorming sessions, programming notes, and much more.

- easy to use
- completely adaptable to any applications
- compact program, little overhead

- limited linking in freeware version
- limited exporting in freeware version

Of course, I just convinced myself to upgrade to the full version. I use it enough that it's definitely worth the $30.

Feature Comparison List

Testimonial: I use this program on a daily basis and it holds some of my most exciting work.

Posted by answerguru at 03:51 PM | Comments (0)

March 12, 2003

Name that Tune - Humming Query

Wired News: Song Search: A Real Humdinger

Ever have a tune in your head but just can't come up with the name?

What about that annoying category on Cranium called Humdingers where you have to hum a tune for your partner to guess?

Well, the creaters of the MP3 audio format have some software for you. Hum the tune and it will tell you what tune it is. Hmmmm.

At a tradeshow:

"One hummed John Holt's "The Tide Is High," popularized by Blondie and more recently Atomic Kitten.

The correct song title and artist appeared second from the top in a list of 10 possibilities, a good result considering that the software still needs tweaking and that the hummer warned in advance he could not carry a tune. "

Posted by answerguru at 02:39 PM | Comments (0)

March 07, 2003

Railroad Earth: Great Band, New Interview

All Aboard Railroad Earth

Railroad Earth

As referenced in one of my previous logs, this band is phenomenal and is touring the country again this summer.

This is a nice interview with Todd, the bands leader and main vocalist / guitarist. I also happen to be friends with John Skehan, the mandolin player, who I played in the jazz band with in high school. Hadn't seen him in years until I recognized him on stage at one of the first RRE gigs.

Posted by answerguru at 12:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 06, 2003

White House Transcript

The Free Press -- Independent News Media - White House Transcripts

Want a good laugh? Or a shiver to run up your spine? Just read this "transcript" of recent White House conversations with our friends, Shrub, Dick, Karl, John and Tom.

Attorney-General Ashcroft, what an idiot. Oh wait, no...leave me alone...I'm not a terrorist...

PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, at least John here found the time and money to bust those potheads. Indicting all those bong sellers and medical marijuana patients is just what's needed to guarantee our national security. Give 'em hell, John.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL ASHCROFT: Growing marijuana is an act of terrorism.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah, and those ads on the Super Bowl. Nice work, Karl.

KARL ROVE: It's important to keep the public focused on the real threats to our national security, George. Pot. Abortion. Free love. Atheism. Anti-war marches. Liberals. These are the things that undermine our way of life.

Posted by answerguru at 01:48 PM | Comments (0)

Accounting Sucks and So Does the IRS


Accounting Sucks and So Does the IRS. That just sums up my feelings for the day.

Besides the fact that I pay the government and all of its workers to do things that I disagree with. I guess that's the price you pay for freedom, but I still don't like it.

Posted by answerguru at 01:26 PM | Comments (1)

March 05, 2003

Crazy Case Mods

HiTechMODS: Crazy Plexi Electroluminescent Case

This guy has way too much time on his hands, that's all I can say. Craziness.

Posted by answerguru at 06:45 PM | Comments (0)

Biting Political Animation by Mark Fiore

Mark Fiore's Animated Political Cartoons!

Mark Fiore has been a favorite political cartoonist of mine, so I figured I would spread his name a bit. Looking for a comedic look at the current political hot-topic of the day? Check out his clever Flash animations that present his ideas in an easily digestible format.

Animation Gallery

Paper Gallery

Posted by answerguru at 01:57 PM | Comments (2)

March 04, 2003

UK Science Finds the Perfect Pancake Flip

Pancake Flipping: The Science


Random article concerning the ability to flip a pancake perfectly, a very popular menu item for Shrove Tuesday in the UK. Apparently people have a lot of trouble with it, ending up with batter on the walls, floor, or ceiling. Scientists at Leeds University have found the formula for perfect flipping to be:

The angular velocity of the pancake equals the square root of Pi times the gravity, divided by the distance the pancake is from the elbow times four.

Silly Brits. Just use a spatula or pancake flipper.

Posted by answerguru at 03:50 PM | Comments (7)

March 03, 2003

Musings About War with Iraq

So, I forwarded this letter to the editor to Adam (partially 'cause I know it'll really get him going)'s the original and his witty response. Analogies galore and several valid points from both sides.

The Instigator
A letter to the London Observer from Terry Jones (ex Monty Python)
Sunday January 26, 2003

I'm really excited by George Bush's latest reason for bombing Iraq: he's running out of patience. And so am I! For some time now I've been really pissed off with Mr Johnson, who lives a couple of doors down the street.

Well, him and Mr Patel, who runs the health food shop. They both give me queer looks, and I'm sure Mr Johnson is planning something nasty for me, but so far I haven't been able to discover what.

I've been round to his place a few times to see what he's up to, but he's got everything well hidden. That's how devious he is. As for Mr Patel, don't ask me how I know, I just know - from very good sources - that he is, in reality, a Mass Murderer.

I have leafleted the street telling them that if we don't act first, he'll pick us off one by one. Some of my neighbours say, if I've got proof, why don't I go to the police? But that's simply ridiculous. The police will say that they need evidence of a crime with which to charge my neighbours. They'll come up with endless red tape and quibbling about the rights and wrongs of a pre-emptive strike and
all the while Mr Johnson will be finalising his plans to do terrible things to me, while Mr Patel will be secretly murdering people.

Since I'm the only one in the street with a decent range of automatic firearms, I reckon it's up to me to keep the peace. But until recently that's been a little difficult. Now, however, George W. Bush has made it clear that all I need to do is run out of patience, and then I can wade in and do whatever I want! And let's face it, Mr Bush's carefully thought-out policy towards Iraq is the only way to bring about international peace and security. The one certain way to stop Muslim fundamentalist suicide bombers targeting the US or the UK is to bomb a few Muslim countries that have never threatened us.

That's why I want to blow up Mr Johnson's garage and kill his wife and children. Strike first! That'll teach him a lesson. Then he'll leave us in peace and stop peering at me in that totally unacceptable way.

Mr Bush makes it clear that all he needs to know before bombing Iraq is that Saddam is a really nasty man and that he has weapons of mass destruction - even if no one can find them. I'm certain I've just as much justification for killing Mr Johnson's wife and children as Mr Bush has for bombing Iraq. Mr Bush's long-term aim is to make the world a safer place by eliminating 'rogue states' and 'terrorism'. It's such a clever long-term aim because how can you ever know when you've achieved it? How will Mr Bush know when he's wiped out all terrorists? When every single terrorist is dead? But then a terrorist is only a terrorist once he's committed an act of terror. What about would-be terrorists? These are the ones you really want to eliminate, since most of the known terrorists, being suicide bombers, have already eliminated themselves.

Perhaps Mr Bush needs to wipe out everyone who could possibly be a future terrorist? Maybe he can't be sure he's achieved his objective until every Muslim fundamentalist is dead? But then some moderate Muslims might convert to fundamentalism. Maybe the only really safe thing to do would be for Mr Bush to eliminate all Muslims? It's the same in my street. Mr Johnson and Mr Patel are just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens of other people in the street who I don't like and who - quite frankly - look at me in odd ways. No one will be really safe until I've wiped them all out. My wife says I might be going too far but I tell her I'm simply using the same logic as the President of the United States. That shuts her up.

Like Mr Bush, I've run out of patience, and if that's a good enough reason for the President, it's good enough for me. I'm going to give the whole street two weeks - no, 10 days - to come out in the open and hand over all aliens and interplanetary hijackers, galactic outlaws and interstellar terrorist masterminds, and if they don't hand them over nicely and say 'Thank you', I'm going to bomb the entire street to kingdom come. It's just as sane as what George W. Bush is proposing - and, in contrast to what he's intending, my policy will destroy only one street.

The Response
OK Jonny, you asked for it...please forward this on to ANY of your friends who may be confused about the potential upcoming war, as this writer is. The writer of this message is obviously unread and incapable of logical thought. Allow me to give a different perspective on this colorful, yet incorrect analogy:

A few years ago, Mr. Patel, the owner of one of the largest Water distribution plants in my area went to Mr. Smith's Water plant and took over the operation by force using guns. He also robbed and raped Mr. Smith's employees. Mr. Smith is a good acquaintance of mine, so me and some friends went over and forced him out. On his way out of Mr. Smith's plant, Mr. Patel emptied all of Mr. Smith's water tanks into the ground. We were going to take over Mr. Patel's plant, since he is obviously unstable, but some of our friends thought that would be too much. Instead, we agreed to leave him be if he agreed to keep to himself and eliminate any guns that he might have. He agreed. In order to ensure his compliance, we had some of our friends stay behind to make sure that there were no guns.

For a while, everything was fine and my friends found no guns; then one of Mr. Patel's ex-employees told my friends that the guns were hidden and where to find them. As soon as my friends began looking in the right places, Mr. Patel immediately forced them out of his Water plant.

Last week, someone crashed their car into my house. We know that Mr. Ben did it, but we cannot find him. What we do know, is that one of Mr. Ben's closest friends lives in Mr. Patel's plant and has received money from Mr. Patel. Mr. Patel praised Mr. Ben and his associates. Mr. Patel also gives money to families of those who die when crashing their cars into people's homes and admits it.

Mr. Patel says that he has no guns...but he used an even scarier kind of gun on his own employees, killing those who he manages. My friends and I have sent messages and ultimatums to Mr. Patel many times now, but he ignores them. We have even told him that if he does not get rid of his guns (yes, the same ones he used to invade Mr. Smith's plant, waste the water and kill his employees), we will once again come in, and this time take his plant from him. He still refuses to comply. As we get ready to take-over his Water plant, Mr. Patel has let my friends back in to check for guns. In our most recent ultimatum, we required that he turn over the information of where his guns are or how he destroyed them. Instead, Mr. Patel let them in, but showed them nothing. We also have photos of inside his plant, where we have suspicious evidence of guns being there.

Yesterday, my friends found guns that he is not supposed to have. Although they told him to destroy them, he will not.

What are we to do? Does Mr. Patel sound like the type of person you ignore and hope he will go away? I he the person you want in charge of most of your water? Even worse, what if he does take over the neighboring water plants and gains control of most of the world's water? Does that seem like the kind of world you want to live in?

In the 1938, Neville Chamberlain, the PM of Britain wanted peace more than much that he ignored the obvious signs that a madman was bent on world domination and the torture of his own people. Neville Chamberlain even signed the Munich Agreement which GAVE part of Czechoslovakia to the reigning party of Germany, the Nazis. Most of the people of Britain supported this the policy of "appeasement"; after all, it averted war.

In 1939, Adolph Hitler blew off the Munich Agreement and took over the rest of Czechoslovakia, then went on to Poland. At this point Britain had to declare war on Germany.

What will it take for us to learn from our own history?

Many people support the modern appeasement policy. They believe that France, Germany and Russia are standing up for the moral cause. They are wrong. These three "friends" of ours are standing up for the one thing that most accuse the US of...the dollar. The president of France has long been a partner of Saddam Hussein's. He created the original agreement that sold Iraq a Nuclear reactor, which the Israelis fortunately destroyed. France is also very active in the trade of arms. Most of the Iraqi military use French weapons, including the very expensive and very good Mirage jet fighters. In addition, France has additional trade concerns with Iraq, such as the Peugeot automobiles which are no longer sold in the US, but thrive in Iraq. Germany and Russia also have economic ties, such as massive loans that may not get paid back if Hussein is ousted. At least Russia admits it.

Luckily we have friends in the world...yes, it's true. Though some would tell you that we stand alone, more than 41 countries stand with us. One of whom is Israel; many ask why we stand with Israel on this when Hussein has his own issues with them. The answers are that they were attacked without provocation by Hussein in the 1990 Persian Gulf War. In that war, we specifically asked them not to get involved for the sake of the international coalition. They agreed; even though they were being bombarded with SCUD missiles from Iraq daily, they never got involved. That is what I call extreme international cooperation.

I hate to focus on a particular political group, but the situation requires it. The liberals in the US are so concerned with attacking Bush, they are not looking at the big picture. I am not Bush's biggest supporter; not by a long-shot. Where were the Peace activists during Clinton's presidency? I believe we attacked Serbia and Kosovo during that time...not to mention the hundreds of military interactions we had with Iraq.

We as humans have become dependent on Oil. Right or wrong, that's how it is. We cannot have a man such as Hussein in charge of the world's oil and that is what he wants. Those who say no Blood for Oil, I say put your money where your mouth is; discontinue the use of automobiles, oil-driven heat, and all products made with (i.e., plastics) or by machines that use oil.

For those who long for peace above all else, I recommend talking to the Kuwaiti people who did nothing wrong, but were violently invaded by Hussein. Talk to the thousands of Iraqi who have been executed, gassed, tested on and tortured by Hussein. Then tell me that this war isn't just.

The writer of the article below truly displays his ignorance when he sarcastically asks, "maybe the safe thing to do is eliminate all Muslims?". Some of the staunchest supporters of Hussein's removal are Muslims. Bush has done everything in his power to show that this is a war against Terror and those who support it. he has met with the Muslim leaders, spoken at Mosques and reached out to Muslim countries. Whatever you believe the reason to be, when Kuwait was invaded by a violent enemy, who came to help first? Was it other Muslim countries? No, it was the United States. As prejudiced as the writer believes Bush to be is nothing next to the prejudice that this writer and many "liberal spokespeople" display to Conservative Americans.

We should be proud to be Americans; proud to be the ones who turned away from the isolationist policy to come to the aid of Britain; proud to be the ones who liberated France, Germany and most of Europe from the Nazis; Proud to be the ones who showed valor after victory by rebuilding Germany and Japan after WWII (now two of the largest and most thriving economies in the world); Proud to be the ones to come to Kuwait's aid and force Saddam Hussein out; Proud to be the ones to finish the job if we must.

Thank you,

Posted by answerguru at 07:24 PM | Comments (0)

Cheap Lake Methane for Rwanda?

New Scientist

Very interesting article about a new power source for the heavily logged Rwanda. Apparently a Lake Kivu has large amounts of dissolved gases in it - one of them being methane. The plan they have for extracting the gas is actually quite clever, involving a long pipe going into the deep water and then using the natural gas expansion near the surface to bring out the methane. Just redissolve unwanted gases into fresh water and you're left with 85% methane.

Also interesting, another lake in the region, Lake Nyos, killed about 1000 people when it released a huge carbon dioxide cloud back in 1986 and suffocated them all!

Posted by answerguru at 06:22 PM | Comments (0)