New Location...Pardon Our Dust! - Aces Full of Links is moving to a new location: www.drmomentum.com/aces/ to become part of my new website, at www.drmomentum.com.

So, for a couple (or few?) days, I'll be importing the content here into that new site. And for a while after that I'll be changing the look of the blog, so please bear with me. I don't want to change it too much, but I need to accomodate some new features that will take up space. (At the time I'm typing this, the new blog is still using the default look that comes with Movable Type, so it is completely different from the Aces Full you are used to.)

Why am I moving?

Let me count the reasons.
  • I'm sick of Blogger. I have to admit, Blogger gave me my start in Blogging, it's improving in reliability and features, and it is extremely easy to use. But I want more control over my blog, and Blogger is now too limiting. I wasn't sure I;d ever reach this point in blogging, and some might say that having only 5 or 6 readers doesn't justify much in the way of effort, but I have an urge to improve the blog and have some fun with web content management (if possible).
  • I got my own domain! No longer do I have to host my site under blogspot.com - the drmomentum.com domain is registered to me.
  • All the cool kids are doing it
  • Not because of the oil, but because of the WMDs
  • Because I can
  • The comment system I use here is very slow. My new system will be integrated with the blog and will be much speedier.
  • Speaking of speed - the plan is to make the whole site load faster by replacing the external services like the commenting system. A very good thing.
  • Better archives
  • Those of you who use a tool to aggregate RSS feeds will now be able to subscribe to Aces Full of Links with your aggregator, since I will be syndicating my blog!
  • There are probably more reasons, but aren't those enough?
Stick around. The fun is just beginning.


Artsy Friends - My friends are going all artsy on me.

Rui is in Vancouver studying the skills related to computer game design (animation, modelling, etc). He sends along a link to the group he’s working with at school… "Chunkyheads". They’re designing a game called “Meziah” and they even have a trailer for it. Is that Rui himself I see at the end? Don’t lose your head, Rui!

Jim sent along some nighttime snaps that are creepy as hell. I’m not sure what I like best about them, but I think it’s the nightmarish X-Files quality. The drugged-out blurriness allows the bright shapes, some of which suggest human figures, to be more ominous and foreboding than the looming dark shapes that tower over the scene, blotting out the indigo sky.

So, what the heck have I done lately?


Skunk Rendezvous - Last night I was coming home from poker and video games, late as usual. I finally got a glimpse of the source of the overpowering and horrible smell that wafts into the house every week or so. A huge skunk was in the middle of the yard.

At first, I thought it was a big pile of rags someone had left in the yard, but it moved in the headlights and I realized what it was. Skunks are very amusing when they walk - a kind of fluffy shambling.

I turned the car as it walked out of my headlights to keep it illuminated. When it disappeared behind our hill, I went after it with a flashlight. Yes, I had had a couple of beers, but that had been hours before.

Skunky "the Skunkster" was just on the edge of the hill, waiting for me to come around to where it was dark. Proving that I was not insane, I decided it was not worth getting a better look. Also, I saw another pair of glowing orbs a few yards away in the darkness. Another skunk? I wasn't prepared to take that on, even if I did want to know where they were living.

We seem to have a lot of diversity in our small yard. "Rusty," another of our uninvited borders, is a gray squirrel we've sighted on a number of occasions.

"Look kids it's a gray squirr... waitaminute. Why is his tail all red?"

He's some sort of mutant reddish gray squirrel. Sure, all squirrels seem to have a little brownish-red cast to their fur (except for the mutant black ones). But this one was really reddish. Which makes sense, now, since his name is "Rusty."


SEED Science Center - I found this site, the SEED Science Center while looking for information about cornstarch and water experiments. It's neat! There are a lot of activities like the cornstarch one, and they put effort into giving you the theory behind the experiments in a useful form.
Bush VS. Bush - While it doesn't have the camp of "Godzilla VS. Mothra", it's more timely and relevant.

"The Daily Show" put together this mock debate between President GWB and Governor GWB circa 2000. (The video is in RealPlayer format).

This footage is a must-see, in my book.
Flour Go Boom - Years ago I read about an experiment to demonstrate the effect variable surface area has on combustibility. It involved a metal can, some flour, a candle flame and a long tube. The idea is to simulate a carburator, but with flour instead of gasoline.

Particulate matter can become very dangerous when mixed with air in the right ratio. All those little surfaces have ready access ot oxygen, making a raction happen quickly and with considerable force. This is what makes an empty grain silo so dangerous.

So I finally got the motivation to look for some online references to this phenomenon, and I found one or two.

And then there was this article which contains references to the belief that explosive particulate matter may have been responsible for the Great Fire of London.

Ed tells me that he saw this experiment in high school, but with a paint can. The lid of the can shot up to considerable height. You can bet I'm going to try this.


V Returns To Small Screen
CNN has an article on an upcoming television movie sequel to the 1983 miniseries (and subsequent miniseries) "V."

I was a teen when the original miniseries aired, and I haven't seen it since. The followup series wasn't very good in my humble opinion. But the media hype for the first one was big and I thought the series did a pretty decent job delivering as a TV event. It was "The Pianist" for the Sci-Fi crowd.

I hope they go more serious and Sci-Fi with this sequel, rather than action-oriented. The main lasting impact of the first miniseries was how some humans fell right into line and helped the "visitors" round up people.
Neocons: WMD Claims Erroneous? - NewsMax reports that William Kristol was heard on Fox News Sunday to state that the President may have given a distorted view of the Iraq WMD threat leading up to the war. Unintentionally, of course.
But the leading neoconservative writer and former chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle added, "I hope [the WMDs] are found but I'm very skeptical.
No harm no foul, right?
Nigerian Scam Fun - What - you don't know what the Nigerian Email scam is? You haven't had them take an email swipe at you yet? Read all about it at snopes, so you'll get the jokes.
Indy On DVD - Amazon.com is now taking preorders for the boxed set of Indiana Jones movies on DVD. Wish-list, here I come.

They are released in November. After my birthday! I'm not picky, though. You won't catch me complaining about a late birthday gift.
No-Miss Technology - It occurred to me this morning that contact lenses were a no-miss technology. Things are all blurry before you put your glasses on. You look in the mirror in the morning. "Hey, I look pretty good without glasses. You put your glasses on and "Bah! I look terrible with glasses!." Turns out, you just look better blurry.

The names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Go Analog - Jim sez:
Why settle for a $2 notebook when you can get the Bare Bones Personal Analog Device.


Incredible - One of the best things about Finding Nemo this weekend was this trailer for the next Pixar film... The Incredibles.
Blowout! - Had my first tire blowout on the way in to work today. It's amazing what a tire can look like once it finally gives up the ghost.

Funny thing - last Wednesday my cousin Jonathan was telling us about his recent experiences with a blown out tire and last night on the way to Finding Nemo we saw a guy blow out his tire.

Well, maybe that isn't all that odd.
Exercise - Trying this exercise. Riffing on the creativity block theme of the last post.

a blank page
brow kneaded and red
fix it… fix it…
working… working…
blank DVD. blank CD. blank check. No video. No audio
No outcome. No income
No motion. No emotion
pencils new and getting newer

butterfly Post-It notes.
the adhesive long gone, they flutter out of reach
try to stamp and staple them
can’t bring them back alive
keyboard stained where they bled ink
fed to the machine

Office As Vampire - love my home office. It's got most of what I need within easy reach. It's pretty comfortable, and it's somewhat configurable. The kids have their own space, and Margaret's usable workspace has quadrupled.

But sitting here in the morning, I almost never have any ideas about what to post in the blog. The office is like an idea-sucking vampire. Maybe it's because it's comfortable and doesn't challenge me. Maybe it's because I'm surrounded with all familiar things that don't get any new synapses firing. This isn't where I get any of my new ideas.

I get my new ideas while I'm driving, or mowing the lawn, or walking. My problem is that I often don't remember those ideas later when I'm conveniently at my desk. This is probably why some people carry PDAs and laptops. Heck, I carry a PDA. But the PDA isn't much help while you're driving. If i were smart, I'd dig up my handheld tape recorder (it's around here somewhere, but was moved when I set up the new home office). That has worked for me in the past when I was designing online course material. One silly obstacle to that solution is my voice. I hate to hear my voice recorded and played back. I hate the way it sounds. So, when I’m recording my voice (even when I’m alone) I’m self-conscious of what I’m saying. Later, I don’t want to listen to what I’ve recorded.

So my entries tend to be very short reminders of my ideas, rather than elaboration (except where elaboration is necessary). Sequential tape is not a good way to organize a bunch of reminders. But I’d really better dig that tape player up, try to loosen up a bit, and not be so self-conscious.