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Friday, August 25, 2006

Flying Ice, MySQL Antics, and Teenage Stupidity

It's been a while since I've posted so this will be a spattering of some of the interesting things I've encountered over the last several days. Sometimes you never realize how interesting life really is until you stop and look back on what has happened lately. So here's some of the headlines since my last post.

Flying Ice

Ever since I can remember knowing anything about the solar system, there have been nine planets. Well, not anymore. At least officially. A few days ago, at a meeting of top astronomists, phsycists, and general nut jobs somewhere in the European Union (Prague to be exact), whatever wacked out international body it is that makes those kind of decisions, voted to demote Pluto from its decades old status as a planet. In response, it suddenly disappeared into thin air (and I mean thin, this is space we are talking about). Clandestine scientists rushed to their encyclopedias, and to their horror, it no longer showed up there either. They quickly tried to reconvene to undo their dastardly doings, but it was too late. Pluto is gone forever (GASP!!!!).

Come on folks. Is that really gonna change the fact that Pluto is what it is and that's a planet. I mean, I'm fairly certain that the only people that went home and broke the last planet off their solar system model were the wack jobs that decided not to call it that anyway. On my way home from work, I listened to a piece on NPR (Yea, yea, I know. I'm still in my twenties and I listen to NPR. I also occassionaly watch documentaries and eat at Chuck-A-Rama, but no gray hairs yet.), which I found to be somewhat comical. Basically, the way it described the summit, there were so many blundering idiots arguing over how to define "planet" that the resulting resolution had a ton of contradictory statements, including a footnote that specified the 8 official planets, even though some of them didn't really fit the "official" definition. In the end, to avoid being ridiculed by the world for not being able to agree on something, they finally voted to accept the resolution, thereby turning Pluto into nothing more than a flying ball of ice (officially called a "dwarf planet").

Really, I want to know how this all got started anyhow. Rather than spend their time and public funding on actually furthering science, why not spend it arguing over how we can best nullify everything the world's school children have already learned about it. Sounds like a great use of scientific resources. Well, I'm not buying into this whole thing. Someday, when he's old enough, I am going to sit down with my boy Will and have a serious man-to-man talk about what really happened with the moon landing, and also what will surely by then have become one of the great mysteries of the universe. The fact that there really is a ninth planet and its inhabited by little cosmic midgets called plutonians.

MySQL Antics
Jer sent out an email today pointing me towards a very interesting posting about MySQL. It is an interview with MySQL CEO Martin Mickos where Guy Kawasaki asks him 10 questions about MySQL and its roots. Some of the enticing tidbits shared include how MySQL has been successful as an open source company, what types of customers they seek, who fixes their defects, and what are some strange and hefty uses of the database. Amazingly, Oracle's FAQ page utilizes a MySQL database! It was also interesting to hear about some of the massive clusters that have been utilized to leverage MySQL's simplicity and power. I was impressed with the way the company has modeled itself to take advantage of the many benefits of OSS and the community, while still being quite profitable at it. Definitely worth a read if you are at all interested in open source.

Teenage Stupidity

My final piece of happenings involves some fairly idiotic behavior on the part of a local teen. I was on my way to work the other day, and when I was only a few blocks away, I passed a pair of police motorcycles with their lights on who were stopped next to an SUV that had crashed into a vinyl fence surrounding an orchard. As I drove by I tried to determine what had caused it to careen off of the quiet residential street.

As I surveyed the scene, I noticed one of my coworkers (stuthewise) across the street snapping some digital pics. Upon arriving at work, I asked him to send me copies of the images. Check them out below.

The crash scene:

The fire hydrant across the street:

And that's where I thought the story ended. I figured someone must have had a seizure or something and passed out. Well, I was kind of right. A couple days later, my picture snapping friend pointed me towards a posting on the Daily Herald website describing what really happened. It reads:

UNCONSCIOUS DRIVER -- An 18-year-old Mapleton man passed out as he was driving Wednesday morning on 800 East at 1100 North. Two Orem police officers watching traffic in the school zone on 800 East reportedly witnessed Josh Tyler Kendrick, 18, drift off the road to the right and take out a fire hydrant, phone box and several mailboxes. Then his car veered sharply to the left, across oncoming traffic, and drove into a rail fence on the other side of the road. He became unconscious as he drifted off the road.

Orem Lt. Doug Edwards said there was evidence in the car that the driver had been inhaling computer cleaner, and was likely unconscious from those fumes. When police ran to his car to check him for injuries, he had regained consciousness and said "Wow."

Kendrick was booked into the Utah County Jail on charges of DUI, reckless driving and abuse of psychotoxic chemicals. He posted the $4,260 bail.

All I can do is quote Josh Tyler Kendrick by saying, "Wow." What an idiot. They are all around us, and as this lesson has taught me, much closer than you think. Good thing I was a few minutes late to work that day.


Blogger StuTheWise said...

Pluto: I'm a nutjob because I haven't considered Pluto a planet for many years. I didn't just rip it off my solar system model, I freakin' ATE IT FOR LUNCH! Thankfully, it was made out of marshmallow balls and crushed graham crackers.

I have many reasons (all of them 100% legit) for not considering Pluto a planet. Reason #1: I never understood why Goofy could talk, but Pluto couldn't. I mean, they're both dogs, right? What the crap?

Faked Moon Landing: The world is also flat:
Flat Earth Society

Damn your overwhelming evidence to the contrary! Some crazy person tells me the Earth is flat, then I believe it! Just like I believe the moon landings were faked. Ummm... yeah.

Teenage Stupidity: Thanks for the creds!

Sorry for the long comment. But hey, long post, long comment!

6:48 PM  

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