News You Can Use

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 16, 2009 by Arne

The only TV news I watch because it’s the only news I trust is the PBS Newshour. Unfortunately, for the last few years, it’ s been broacasting at the ridiculous time of 6 PM. Impossible to watch when you’re trying to have dinner with the kids. But when I do manage to tune in, I find it to be an island of sanity in a sea of media sludge. The best example of this sanity for me are Brooks & Shields, who , whether you agree with them or not, manage to express mostly moderate view points, usually based on facts, and who can tolerate disagreement with their counter part.

There are a number of interesting articles in the month’s The Atlantic on the state of the media, most memorable a piece by Robert Kaplan “Why I Love Al Jazeera” that you should read.


Living in a Land of Morons

Posted in Uncategorized on September 15, 2009 by Arne


 I can’t help but wonder what’s up with all those morons demonstrating in the street against socialism in the US. Where do these people come from ? Do they know what socialism is ? Do they know how to spell socialism ? Do they read the newspaper ? They can’t all be living-dead talk-radio victims wandering the streets under the spell of some right-wing FM frequency… This is absolutely nuts. But, sadly, if ever there was a time I worried that some political whacko would try to whack the President it’s now. I’m sure the Secret Service is doubling up on body guards.

Yosemite Climbing

Posted in Rock Climbing with tags , , on September 15, 2009 by Arne
















First time climbing in Yosemite over Labor Day.

1) The place should really be called Cracksemite !
2) Rock quality is second to none !
3) The average pitch is loooooooooooooong.
4) The routes are busy but not crowded. (Bring your French/Italian/Swahili phrasebooks)
5) The rest of the park isn’t crowded but a ZOO ! – (really the only spoiler to a magnificent place)
6) I learned more about climbing (and how to survive it) in 4 days there than in years, yet …
7) I’m probably still not much of a climber.

Last Economist Standing (feed the MBA’s to the hogs…)

Posted in Uncategorized on September 15, 2009 by Arne

Ok, if you haven’t read Krugman’s piece How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?”, read it. If last year’s economic bang didn’t faze you, maybe this ain’t new to you. But it’s still worth reading because it lends weight to your hunch that a whole bunch of economists or those calling themselves such (not to mention the hordes of MBA discount experts) are crazies.

Tree Hackers Go Home !

Posted in Uncategorized on July 2, 2009 by Arne

stumpIf there is something that makes me mad, it’s people who cut down trees on their city property. My neighborhood is no different. It seems people do so mostly for 3 reasons:

1) They don’t like leaves under the influence of gravity.

2) They are worried about their lawns suffering from too much shade.

3) Their trees are not as beautiful as plastic Xmas trees.

All I can say is: get a life. If you can’t deal with trees and leaves, get an apartment. There should be a penalty for cutting down a tree that is not in imminent danger of falling on someone’s house. “Hey, it’s my property !” you say. Well, we don’t let you dump oil and radioactive waste on your property either, nor are you allowed to start a gravel pit there, we even tell you when you’re allowed to water your yard when you’re the one paying for the water ! So make a law protecting trees from chain-saw frenzied city dwellers. Trees were there before they built the homes ( at least in my 1950s neighboorhood – dont’ get me started on pre-construction tree razing in modern suburbia !!!!)

Weird Stock Market

Posted in Uncategorized on June 25, 2009 by Arne

It’s become a bad habit of mine to watch the DOW 9 to 5, and it’s becoming clear to me that the performance of the stock market is inversely related to the quality of economic news. Good news usually makes for a slide, bad news makes it soar. I don’t get it. But I’m almost ready to start betting money on it.

GIS File Formats

Posted in Uncategorized on June 19, 2009 by Arne

I was googling and found this wikipedia summary of GIS file formats with a number of links.