Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Here are two fulfilled wishes that I liked:
- a child dream to be Bill Gates for a day as Microsoft's CEO.
- Christmas Wishes.
You better watch out.
By far this was the most animated PI lecture I’ve ever seen. I’m sure that you’ve guessed why. It’s the controversial nature of lecture’s subject; so controversial that PI’s director Howard Burton (the official moderator) had hard time controlling the spirited audience. The lecture looked interesting from the beginning when Howard shared with the audience some obstacles PI had in organizing the event.
During the lecture, Miriam presented some notable whistleblowing cases and put the audience in the situation to judge them. I will not enter into details since each case requires careful analysis and research. Since there were situations when whistleblowers were wrong the subject of their motivation was touched. While some of them act out of conscience there are others that are motivated by the revenge, and these are usually wrong. Miriam’s advice for potential whistleblowers was to consider carefully the pros and cons of each situation. Blowing the whistle in science is a dramatic act since the conscience has to be weighted against the consequences. Miriam pointed out also the complexity of whistleblowing phenomenon due to globalization. While it is legal in North America to blow the whistle, in France it is illegal.
The funny part was during the question time when some members of the audience started questioning Miriam’s book (The Drug Trial) even though it was obvious that they didn’t read it. Each time Howard (amazed by the audience’s high interest in Miriam‘s book) had to step in and focus the questions on the subject of the lecture. In the end Howard used his irony to announce the PI’s next public lecture “Are You Conscious?” given by Jay Ingram. He expressed his hope that the audience will express for the next lecture the same interest in Jay’s book, Theatre of the Mind, as in Miriam’s book :)
Saturday, December 17, 2005
The world's most famous Christmas Tree.
Other links of interest:
- Tree facts.
- Tree lighting..
- Nice Pictures.
US National Christmas Tree.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
103 years of electrical Christmas lights.
adding shimmering beauty to the Christmas tree and its ornaments. Everyone is taking them for granted. Do you know though the beginnings of Christmas lights?
Their history relates to that of the world’s biggest company (General Electric) and its founder Thomas Alva Edison, one of the greatest inventor of all times. While Edward H. Johnson (Edison's business partner) was the Christmas lights inventor, it was Edison who first made them available (pre-wired) to the general population in 1903. Here it is the first report about Christmas lights use and how Edison's company, General Electric, commercialized them.
It is interesting to learn about the evolution of the wiring technology of electrical Christmas lights and that Edison started promoting to rent them in 1890. We learn also that they were used for the first time on the White House Christmas tree in 1895.
As we all know since 1903 the use of Christmas lights was not limited only to Christmas trees. Houses, trees, fences, parks, neighborhoods and communities are beautified during Christmas time or entire winter.
For the last 103 years Christmas lights are bringing the joy of Christmas in the houses and communities around the world.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
As Time Goes By, online.
Other notable references by minutes:
9:00 - the importance of the general relativity theory.
9:25 - beginning of the reference to Paul Johnson consideration about Einstein and the beginning of the modern world.
12:45 - Einstein as a symbol of science.
15:20 - famous story about understanding the general theory of relativity.
18:00 - Einstein famous reply about the correctness of its theory.
25:30 - the contents of the presentation.
25:40 - Clifford’s confession that he is not going to dance when the "space-time twist" is explained at minute 44:24.
29:20 - Wills' law about total solar eclipses.
33:00 - funny audience voting experiments.
34:50 - gravitational lenses as Einstein's gift to astronomy.
49:26 - gravitational waves Einstein prediction.
60:36 - warp of time and its application in daily life in GPS, General Positioning System (minute 62:20).
69:09 - concluding remarks.