Thursday, July 15, 2004

I haven't put much of my private live into this blog, so it seems odd to start writing a travelog, though it certainly has been interesting here. In lieu of that, though, and to let anyone who's wondering know that I'm not dead (yet?), an odd curio from inside my own luggage: I am now the proud owner of five pills of Ambien (down one from the prescribed six), which informs me that the drug may cause drowsiness -- in chase, perchance, I should happen to forget that that's the whole friggin' point.

For what it's worth, the one pill was for the first night off the plane, and it has helped considerably with jetlag -- I was still a bit drowsy in the afternoons the first few days, but nothing like the catatonia that hit me on a couple of trips to Europe. Your mileage may, of course, vary; consult your doctor; don't take medical advice from anonymous zhlubs on the net.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Quote of the day. Barbara Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, explains why her group opposes scientific studies of sexual behavior:

"There's an arrogance in the scientific community that they know better than the average American."
One of the lesser-known fiascos of the Cold War is the case of the Chinese rocket scientist (literally) Tsien Hsue-Shen who helped found the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech, but subsequently wound up losing his job there and getting imprisoned when red-baiters in the United States government started to question his loyalty. There is no evidence that he'd actually done much to help the Chinese communists before this episode, but after he got deported there, he started designing missiles for them, leading fairly quickly to the rather productive Silkworm program.

Cut to today. A New Zealand tinkerer declared about a year ago that it was possible to build a cheap cruise missile, and to make the danger plain to governments, he was going to do it. The response of his government, at least according to the guy, was to illegally drive him into personal bankruptcy. And gosh, you'll never guess what happens next.

You'd hate to think he's a liar. But given what he's talking about, you'd also hate to think he's telling the truth...

via slashdot.