NASA: Making it as difficult as possible to get the data you need

It's becoming clear to me that many (perhaps not all) NASA web sites and web services are set up in such a way that it's damn near impossible to get the information you need out of them without chanting the correct incantation and sacrificing a chicken. It's a bit frustrating, and a bit like the web c. 1999.

"Have I got one helluva human interest story for ya"

That was the start of the phone call in which I received the 'hot tip' that resulted in this story.

When he pulled the shaking, nearly lifeless bird from of the marsh, it was clear what was holding it down: A large clam had closed on the bird's foot, and it didn't let go until B.J. pried it off with a knife.

"It felt like there was a huge anchor on him," he said. "That clam was as big as my hand, and this little egret was just a baby. It was the biggest clam I've ever seen."

Helpful tips for email productivity

I'm amazed at how poorly people communicate in the workplace. I blame much of this on email, where a lack of direct contact is coupled with a lack of accountability, and the fact that most people can't read or write for shit anyway, to form a seething clusterfuck of lost productivity and angry coworkers. So, gentle reader, I bring you:

Chris's helpful email tips

Hmmm... what's missing from this picture

Sitting on the floor makes Betsy sad.


If I'm not mistaken, there used to be a couch sitting there!

But it's not here now, cuz the folks at 24e, purveyors of supposedly 'High End' furniture, and their repair subcontractors took it, after three months worth of phone calls from us.

A quarter inch plastic part on a zipper broke, which apparently required the couch to be carted away by two guys in a truck.

When will this style end

There are a multitude of trends I wish would just go away - women with giant sunglasses, for example. Another is those silly "sophisticated-narrow-ass-line-art-cartoon-woman-with-no-pupils" drawings that seem to show up on the covers of books the wife buys, in girlie magazines (not that kind of girlie mag, perverts*), and now, apparently on 'prenatal' vitamins.

Damn europeans get all the cool stuff

[img_assist|nid=221|title=335d Touring|desc=|link=url,http://www.channel4.com/4car/ft/bmw/3-series+touring/8234/1|align=center|width=440|height=305]
38 mpg diesel. 0-60 in under 6 seconds. Room for five and a couple corpses lots of luggage in the back, and kayaks on the roof. 6-speed manual. But BMW won't bring it here, because Americans won't buy enough of 'em.

I guess too many wouldn't be caught dead in a station wagon, and all the cool kids have them SUVs.

Note to Fat Cats in Munich: bring it across the pond, and I'll take mine in white, please.


Like, you know, um, kinda bad

What do you get for your $46,050 per year tuition to Duke University? Apparently not any classes on public speaking.

General and specific rants from an irritable traveller

Rant #1: First, don't trust any review you read on Google Local (aggregated from yelp, tripadvisor, et al). Case(s) in point. Yesterday, we went to dinner at an Italian place called La Caterina Trattoria that only got three out of five stars, and was panned by about half the reviewers. As it turns out, the food was quite good, and the desert (tiramisu) was fantastic.

Software is hard, part 2

Following up on an earlier post with a quote from a slashdot post of similar name.

Here's an interesting observation apropos to my current situation, and I'll leave it at that:

by osolemirnix (107029)



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