Thanks to Catherine for pointing

Thanks to Catherine for pointing out the article on time travel. Because I am reading Bill Bryson’s Short History of Everything right now, I’m more attuned to popular science writing. I’ve also seen in passing various headlines about time travel. No, it’s not possible. Oh, not so quick….maybe it is possible. And so on.

Was pleased to see this "Remembrance of Things Future" article today. It’s been a while since I really followed the topic of time travel closely, but it’s still close to my heart. There’s a short story percolating in my head about it, if I can ever get it out in a comprehensible form.

[Good Texan]

A sidenote: if you want to have links to the New York Times that don’t expire after 7 days, make use of the New York Times Link Generator. I generated the following link for the article in question: Remembrance of Things Future.

suggest gratuity on bills




suggest gratuity on bills

Originally uploaded by Raymond Yee.

I find it interesting that increasing number of restaurants are providing tables of suggest gratuities. Not surprisingly the minimum is 15%. (There is no entry for 10% or 12%, for instance.) Neither is than entry for 17%, which is the minimum acceptable tip for decent service according to the Shitty Tipper Database.

I am glad to see that the figures are based on the pre-tax bill and not the post-tax bill. I’m particularly annoyed by restaurants that charge a 15% gratuity on top of the tax and then present the amount as for the customer’s convenience.

BTW, the buffet at India Palace was a really tasty.

I don’t quite get this bumper sticker

“Plants & animals disappear to make room for your fat ass” is the phrase for this bumper sticker. To be honest, I don’t quite get the message bumper sticker is meant to convey in this context. The phrase can’t be an anti-car message — otherwise the “fat ass” could end up being self-referential. Is the sentence an anti-SUV message, in which case the “fat ass” is that of big cars? Maybe the driver is really thin, so possibly fewer plants and animals died for the driver’s thin ass.

Anyone help me understand this?

CD Sampler at Barnes and Noble


























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visual screen for the CD sampler

At the local Barnes and Noble, I came across a gadget that let customers sample any CD in the store by swiping the barcode reader with the CD of choice. My initial reaction was “cool!”; I was lulled into believing that I can listen to any CD and everything on it. Too good to be true: 30 second clips; not every track was available. The reality made more sense than the fantasy of having a celestial jukebox at the local bookseller. Even though I could listen to more music than before, I was still disappointed that I could not listen to everything that I wanted to.

housing bubble?

TechnologyReview.com – Housing Bubble:

    Didier Sornette’s and Wei-Xing Zhou’s analysis differs from just two years ago, when there was no sign of the faster-than-exponential growth characteristic of a bubble. Their conclusions are strengthened by their successful prediction of a housing bubble in the United Kingdom in 2003, where housing prices began dropping in July 2004. Their analysis is nifty, and the mathematics are simple and straightforward. “Soon” might be a good time to sell.

I’m planning to read Zhou’s and Sornette’s Is There a Real-Estate Bubble in the US?. I’m really scared to buy a house right now — but it’s also scary not to!