Monday, January 30, 2006

[fable] The dog and the scorpion

One of my father's favorites:

There was a dog that needed to cross a river. He stood on the shore, puzzling over how he was going to do that. Along came a scorpion, who also happened to need to cross the river.

The scorpion said to the dog: "I have an idea. Since you can't see when you swim, how about I ride on your back, so I can tell you where to go? This way we can both cross the river"

The dog was suspicious: "That would be an fine plan, but, wouldn't you sting me?"

The scorpion: "If I stung you, I would drown, wouldn't I?"

With that reply, the dog agreed to the proposal. The scorpion climbed on the dog and they started swimming towards the other shore.

But half-way in the river, the dog suddenly felt a great pain on his neck.

"Why did you sting me? We are both going to die!"

"Sorry," said the scorpion as they both sank into the river, "I couldn't help it. It's just my nature"

[muse] Of man and robot

If there are robots out there that talk, act, and feel like humans, would you grant them human rights?

Sunday, January 29, 2006

[muse] Project Management

What are the three most important things in Project Management?

[find] Gorgeous Pictures of China

James pointed me to these pictures. They are so, so, so gorgeous.

Friday, January 27, 2006

[homage] Qantas Airlines Gripe Sheets

[Don't know if this is real. But either way, it's good.]

After every flight, Qantas Airlines pilots fill out a form, called a "gripe sheet," which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems; document their repairs on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight. Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by Qantas' pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers.

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what they're for.

P: IFF inoperative.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

And the best one for last...

P. Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

[find] Fabulous Prefab Houses

These from the latest issue of Wired on fabulous prefab houses with gorgeous modern architecture:

- Boklok:
- Breezehouse:
- FlatPak:
- Glidehouse:

Now I just need a little piece of land ...