stuff to bring any family/friends who visit me to

Monday, 29 January 2007
  1. David Sedaris at the State Theater (1 April)
  2. Deep-dish pizza at The Nines (sooooo good, probably the best pizza I’ve ever tasted)
  3. Dessert at Madeline’s  (there just aren’t words)
  4. Toughannock Falls (because they are big and impressive)
  5. Rhodes Hall B50  (“Space Systems Design Studio”…robot arms and levitating magnets, dude)
  6. The I. M. Pei-designed Cornell Art Museum (with intriguing exterior acoustic properties)


Friday, 26 January 2007
  • “I’m a Believer,” covered by Smash Mouth
  • The number 36
  • Ten thousand ping-pong balls (and one bowling ball)
  • Ebonics as its own langauge
  • Fountains of Wayne
  • Powdery snow
  • Spot the grammatical error: “I’m going to go lay down.”
  • Gen. Wesley Clark (ret.)

he’s right, I sure didn’t vote for failure

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Here’s my plan for success in Iraq.  (I’m not going to stretch to call it “victory,” I will leave it at “success,” where I define success to mean that the Iraqi government has sovereignty and authority, sectarian violence ceases, al-Qaeda cannot fill a power vacuum, and Americans stop dying.)  This is a draconian plan, yes.  It’s harsh realpolitik, yes.  But how else can you treat a country tipping into a civil war where 10-year-olds join the Mahdi Army to fight the American invader?

  1.  Announce a timetable for phased pullout of combat troops to the Iraqi government.  The pullout should begin immediately, start small, and ramp up such that noticeable levels of American troops are leaving Iraq within six months to a year.
  2. Simultaneously with the combat troop pullout:
    1. Deploy increasing numbers of special forces elements in Iraq, with a specifically counterterror mission objective.  These troops should be inserted in such a way that they are largely invisible to the Iraqi public, and they should be located at secure bases.  They should respond instantly to both al-Qaeda-style terrorism and Iraqi sectarian terrorism.
    2. Scale up the number of military advisors deployed with the Iraqi police and army.  These men should be authorized only to protect themselves if exposed to violence.
  3. Drop aid packages all over Iraq.  Blanket Sadr City with first-aid kits and MREs.
  4. If (hopefully, “When”) the Iraqi government asks us to stop our pullout and assist them (assuming they don’t grow into the role we leave them with and combat sectarian violence themselves), we refuse the first couple of times.
  5. Eventually, though, we need to be prepared to go back with troops.  The idea here is that we enter the country at the behest of the Iraqis, and we enter on a purely peacekeeping mission.  Once the Iraqi police is capable of patrolling the streets, we leave for real.
  6. Back home, we legislate a higher mandatory fleet average fuel economy for automakers, we put strict mandatory carbon-emissions limits on industry, and we pour tons of research money into electric cars, solar Stirling converters, fuel cells, wind turbines, and fusion and pebble-bed reactors.  We make it abundantly clear (and true) that we don’t need to pay attention to the Middle East for energy needs, so that Middle Eastern powers can’t blackmail us into any action.

why I’m okay with having dropped 100 smackeroos at Wegmans five minutes ago

Saturday, 20 January 2007
  1. I got lots of cheap things in cans.
  2. Wachusett Blueberry Ale.
  3. I eat well.
  4. I only go shopping once every 1.5-2 weeks.
  5. Now I can make about five good recipes and kluge together about sixteen more.
  6. My blood sugar was low.

Recipe for research results

Thursday, 11 January 2007
  1. Three (3) alimunum baking pans
  2. Six (6) 6×6″ ceramic floor tiles
  3. Ten (10) 6×6″ slate floor tiles
  4. Nineteen (19) 1″ (long diameter) hexagonal yttrium-barium-copper-oxide high temperature superconductors
  5. One quart (1 qt.) Low temperature epoxy
  6. Several liters liquid nitrogen

Combine bulk superconductors, epoxy, and one tile (material of your choice) in baking pan.  Fill with LN2 until mixture is just submerged.  Experiment at 77 Kelvin till done.

today’s bloggery contains everything from

Friday, 5 January 2007
  • odes a la Stephen Fry via Alden, to
  • Disney meets Ephs.

new things to go to Ithaca with me

Tuesday, 2 January 2007
  1. License plates
  2. “How to Survive a Robot Uprising”
  3. Echo Base-ish parka
  4. Bow case (well, actually, a “scoped rifle case,” but whatever)
  5. Bike rack