Saturday, March 19, 2005

CNN calls it 'texting' and uses quote marks, too

CNN says that this new texting thing is on the rise. I guess we'll leave the term "SMS" for people who use kilograms and A4 paper. "A quarter of American adults who have cell phones have used the devices' text-messaging features within the past month, a new study finds."

Unfortunately, the study seems to lack a control question. I bet if you asked people if they used a fictitious "BFD" feature of their phones, you would get at least 15% saying yes just so they don't appear dumb. They also didn't ask if text messaging was used accidentally, and for those who did use it, if they were actually successful in making contact with someone. I bet those numbers are much lower. And if you throw out the people who then called to find out if the text message got through, we're down to just the nerds.

On a similar note, would it count to say you've taken a photo with your cell phone even if you didn't know how to get the image back on the display an hour later?

Friday, March 18, 2005

Hands-on leadership in Thailand

It would be nice to see this kind of accountability from Washington. Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, expanding on a cloud-seeding technique he patented in 2002, will personally oversee the use of two aircraft to seed warm and cold clouds at different altitudes. Southeast Asia has been pretty dry since January, but the drought in Thailand is especially bad.

His Majesty was born in the same hospital where I once had an MRI scan, and his biography says he has applied MBWA (management by walking around) to a whole country: "traveling throughout the year to the provinces and rural areas of the kingdom to visit his people, talk to them and, perhaps even more important, listen to them. He learns first hand of their needs and their problems and then sets about trying to find a way of giving immediate help; later these problems are studied in depth to find a permanent solution or way of assistance." No word if the villagers he listens to have been pre-screened or provided with scripts.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Bill & Liz's Excellent Adventure

OK, it's more about talking to total strangers than bicycle riding, but one of the bikes is a Trek.

Workers sandblast Disney concert hall

What could possibly be wrong with highly polished stainless steel as a building material?

The beams [of reflected sunlight] from a portion of the hall have also roasted the sidewalk to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to make plastic sag, cause serious sunburn to people standing on the street, and create a hazard to passing motorists, according to a report from a consultant hired by the county to investigate the problem. . . .

Major urban buildings routinely undergo modifications once construction is completed, said John Kaliski, a former principal architect for the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency now in private practice.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Instant concrete building

An instant concrete building is a good idea, but carbon fiber would be even better.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

BBC: Kimchi cures bird flu, SARS

As powerful as kimchi is, it doesn't seem to have done much for my stomach bug last week.