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February 18, 2003

 
Opera 7's news panel is useful, but it's only a idea half-done. Aggregators which present feeds as HTML (like Radio and AmphetaDesk) should probably construct a similar "Explorer Bar" for Internet Explorer. A left-hand treeview like NewsCrawler's, or even one like Syndirella's, would be a great addition to these aggregators.

 

 
If Google owned Pyra, it would have known that the news that Google had bought out Pyra was breaking on the Internet much before it in fact found out, via major newspapers, that Google was buying out Pyra. Neat, eh?

 

February 11, 2003

 
Germany (and France) is the new Russia, which was once the new Germany. History is fractal...

 

 
If the Swiss have their private banks, which accept lucre no matter how it was obtained, why can't Canada have its automotive electricians who build bombs out of the goodness of their heart for customers who are eager to blow up cars, bridges, or 'something heavy' in their home country, which conveniently happens to be miles away from Canada?

In other news, Al Qaeda's bomb making division is planning to relocate to Canada. "Canada offers exciting opportunities to bomb makers from around the world to source materials for explosives and deliver these into the right hands with relatively little fear of prosecution", it said in a press release. "As long as they don't arm them, of course. Or know the people who do." A visibly excited Canadian Trade Commission spokesman said, "Forget Afghanistan and Iraq. Canada is the place to be for sourcing explosives." Prodded by an aide with about something that sounded suspiciously like a mumbled "war on terror", he hastily added: "As long as you don't actually use the darn things here, of course. I mean, you ought to only use them in places we don't care very much about. Like India, or maybe Djibouti. Or France."

 

February 01, 2003

 
Here's an old article about Kalpana Chawla, the Indian American astronaut who was on board Columbia, from India's The Week. Space.com has a recent bio.

 

 
Glenn Reynolds covers the shock of the crash, as well as an excellent response to the tasteless 'arrogance' mudfling from the CBC. It comes, surprisely enough, from a weblog called Moderate Left:
Well, if this is arrogance--exploring space for science, pushing the envelope of the human experience, doing what our species has always done--then I support it. If it is arrogant to want to learn, we are arrogant. If it is arrogant to want to explore, we are arrogant. If it is arrogant to risk our lives for the possibility of a better future for all mankind, we are arrogant.

Mankind is arrogant. We believe foolish things--that we may one day cure cancer, that we may one day develop new forms of energy, that we may one day walk on Mars. We believe these foolish things, and we dedicate ourselves to achieving them. How ridiculous. How arrogant.

And people die for these things. And people are injured for life. The astronauts of Apollo 1, and the Challenger, and now, sadly, the Columbia have died for the arrogant belief that we can be more than we are, that we can walk on the moon, that we can touch the stars.

So call us arrogant for building the space shuttle. Call the men and woman who gave their lives today arrogant for believing they could fly to space and return to tell about it. But don't call us wrong. For this arrogance defines humanity. And I would rather our species be arrogant than afraid.

Yes!

 

 
Columbia breaks up over Texas. This thread (via Scripting News) probably captures the horror of those tracking the shuttle best.

RIP, Columbia. Someday flights into Earth orbit will be routine (and as safe as a airline trip today), and that will be the most fitting tribute to the heroes who lost their lives today.

 


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