moldybluecheesecurds 2

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Klobuchar, Franken cheer potential filibuster reform | MinnPost

Klobuchar, Franken cheer potential filibuster reform | MinnPost:

The minor changes on the table could have monumental changes in the ability of the federal government to solve public problems.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

This one image comparing Google and Apple Maps provides a pretty...



This one image comparing Google and Apple Maps provides a pretty compelling reason why NOT to use iOS 6 if you like good mapping. 

Seriously, different colors for highways and surface streets is so 1960 map tech.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Skills Don’t Pay the Bills - NYTimes.com

Skills Don’t Pay the Bills - NYTimes.com:

Training for a manufacturing job doesn’t help much if it’s starting wage is lower than McDonald’s. 

A Failed Experiment - NYTimes.com

A Failed Experiment - NYTimes.com:

Letting the rich run away with wealth makes for a poorer society. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sleight of the 'Invisible Hand' - NYTimes.com

Sleight of the 'Invisible Hand' - NYTimes.com:

A very thoughtful piece on the false notion that Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” implies a lack of government intervention.  Rather, he felt that the invisible hand was the unexpected social good from private action made possible by industrious hard-work and proper precedence of the public good in politics.  In other words, he’d probably see Goldman Sachs as a bunch of lazy wastrels.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Why Buses Have Vertical Steering Wheel Columns

Did you ever wonder why a bus has a big, horizontal steering wheel instead of one more like a car’s?  Me too, so I asked Metro Transit in Minnesota why bus steering wheels are designed that way.

Here’s their reply:

The answer to your question lies in the fact that the room available in the front of the bus is very limited.  Because the engine, transmission and other driveline components are in the back of the bus, the front area is kept as short as possible in order to increase space for passengers.  At the same time, this area has to be large enough to accommodate the bus driver and the equipment needed to operate the bus.


One way to help maximize the driver’s area while keeping the front of the bus compact is to mount the steering column in a vertical orientation.  I believe that all transit bus manufacturers use this strategy to accomplish this.  Just so you know, the steering wheel can be tilted and it also telescopes to fit the needs of various operators, so the vertical orientation is not as much of an issue as it might seem.

Thanks, Charles Wurzinger of Metro Transit!

More evidence that diet, not lack of exercise, is fueling obesity epidemic | MinnPost

More evidence that diet, not lack of exercise, is fueling obesity epidemic | MinnPost

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Fixing the "could not activate cellular network" problem on iPhone

This problem randomly hit recently.  Phone calls worked, so did wifi.  But I could not get on the cellular data network with my phone.

Forums suggested the following hierarchy of fixes:

  1. Switch to airplane mode and back
  2. Soft reset (hold sleep/wake button until red slider appears and power off)
  3. Hard reset (hold sleep/wake button AND home button until Apple logo appears)
  4. Reset Network settings (you lose all wifi passwords): Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset Network Settings
  5. Restore phone

I did 1-4 without any luck and wasn’t thrilled with the idea of #5, but it turns out the fix was easier than that. 

Fix: using a paperclip, I popped out the sim card tray, dumped out the sim card and then put the card back in the tray and the tray back in the phone (see video for play-by-play).  Success!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The evolution of a creationist | StarTribune.com

The evolution of a creationist | StarTribune.com:

I’m not sure “we can’t explain, therefore, God exists” is a winning argument.  Why not just agree it’s all about belief and not fact?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Jack Abramoff: Of course campaign contributions are bribes | MinnPost

Jack Abramoff: Of course campaign contributions are bribes | MinnPost:

An interesting take: society cultivates a sense of indebtedness and gratitude so that we act civilly toward one another.  It means that campaign contributions are inevitably asking for something in return. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Goddamit, NYT, do your job

In a story about Republican plans to extend (again) tax cuts for the super rich, the NYTimes lets the #3 House Republican say this in print:

“The president said if you pass the stimulus, unemployment would never go above 8 percent,” said Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the No. 3 House Republican. “We’ve had a 41-month experience that that is not true and hasn’t been effective. One thing Republicans have always said is that they want a form of accountability.”

But if they had just Googled that first sentence (without quotes), they would have found this Politifact coverage of that statement, ruling it MOSTLY FALSE.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The long struggle: vaccines versus malaria | Ars Technica

The long struggle: vaccines versus malaria | Ars Technica:

A good lesson that not all scientific goals can be achieved with a “moon shot”

Recyclers disagree on impact of glued-in Retina MacBook Pro batteries | Ars Technica

Recyclers disagree on impact of glued-in Retina MacBook Pro batteries | Ars Technica:

This is really interesting article on the philosophy of eco-design versus consumerism.  On the one hand, Apple’s devices are harder to separate into their component parts, but on the other hand, they have higher-quality materials (like metal) and their users keep them longer. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"The Glaxo case is the latest and biggest in a series of Justice Department prosecutions of Big..."

“The Glaxo case is the latest and biggest in a series of Justice Department prosecutions of Big Pharma for illegal marketing prescription drugs. … The Department says the prosecutions are well worth the effort. By one estimate it’s recovered more than $15 for every $1 it’s spent. But what’s the point if the fines are small relative to the profits, if the wrong people are feeling the financial pinch, and if no executive is held accountable? The only way to get big companies like these to change their behavior is to make the individuals responsible feel the heat. An even more basic issue is why the advertising and marketing of prescription drugs is allowed at all, when consumers can’t buy them and shouldn’t be influencing doctor’s decisions anyway. Before 1997, the Food and Drug Administration banned such advertising on TV and radio. That ban should be resurrected. Finally, there’s no good reason why doctors should be allowed to accept any perks at all from [drug] companies… It’s an inherent conflict of interest. Codes of ethics that are supposed to limit such gifts obviously don’t work. All perks should be banned, and doctors that accept them should be subject to potential loss of their license to practice.”

- Economist’s View: Bigger is Not Always Better

Economist's View: 'The Market Has Spoken, and It Is Rigged'

Economist's View: 'The Market Has Spoken, and It Is Rigged'