The Spark That Creates Life

Frankenstein and DNAI was cruising The Drudge Report for some brain relief after five hours of focus and came upon this article on creating synthetic life forms.  The article is about a scientist named Craig Venter who is trying to create life from scratch.

Craig’s credentials are pretty good.  Previously he helped sequence the first privately-held map of the human genome.  This time he’s trying to construct a working genetic sequence using a process called synthetic biology

The article raises the question: how do you go about sparking life once you’ve put the pieces together in the right way?  I suggest referring to Mary Shelley’s synthetic biology research in her thesis entitled "Frankenstein."

A flippin' sweet liger, click to buy this on a flippin mug right now.The idea of wanting to create your own customized creatures isn’t new.  Back in 1926 Stalin had the bright idea of creating his own army of half-human half-monkey super warriors to fight the capitalists.  Yes, you read that right.  Monkey Super Warriors.

If Craig and his bookish gangstas are successful they could be able to to safely make environmentally friendly industrial chemicals, create a limitless supply of clean energy and build something to make superman walk again.  My hope is that they are successful and are also able to create the liger my brother wants for Christmas.

Google Search Packaged for Sale

anti-googleJust a quick note to point out that Google is not your aunt May who bakes you muffins and tucks you in when you’re sick.  While it has earned the mass belief that it is the best way to find information, it has also somehow aquired the golden halo that mac users feel towards Apple’s iPod.  This is a mistake.  Google is on the verge of capitalizing on all of its database, which includes an understanding of your financial situation, the decision making process you use to purchase products, your personal information, and most importantly how you aquire new information. 

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Portland Santacon 2005 – Cacophony Society Descends Upon Portland

Santa HipAbout ten minutes ago about two hundred santas descended on 23rd avenue on their way to the Gypsy lounge. They’re part of the 2005 Portland Cacophony Society.

According to their official webpage, anyone can join in the herd, so long as you wear a santa suit. Includes “A coat, a hat, a beard, red pants and accessories. Gifts and candy for the kids, cash for bars and strippers.”

At their last stop before hitting the bar, I snagged a video of them chanting, “Santa needs a drink!” at the top of their lungs.

Check out a few pictures of Portland Santacon 2005 on my flickr page.

Why My Sony Walkman D-NE320 is Better than your iPod Could Ever Be

The iPod SucksI have a long-standing rant against Apple’s iPod and iTunes system of consumer enslavement, and have managed to stay well away from their products.  I’m afraid things have not gone as well for my friends.  I’ve wanted to explain my hatred for the iPod in so many words for some time and my recent purchase of the Sony Walkman D-NE320 has provided a reason.

I like to listen to mp3’s.  A lot.  I download several hundred dollars worth of music a quarter, and that stuff has to be listened to.  Most of my listening has been done on the computer or at work.  [Have a look at my Last.fm profile to see what I’m up to recently.]  I usually burn cd’s to pop into the magazine of my BMW, but this has become a problem since I had the battery replaced.  See second post of this CODE WAIT thread.

I have been hungrily eyeing a number of Sony Walkman cd/mp3 players at the local Fred Meyer, but have never been able to bring myself to drop the 40-80 bucks they wanted for one.  Enter my father, who was in the Christmas spirit this week.  He hooked me up with a Sony DEJ001, which turned out to be not so great.  It was priced at $39.99 and had a crappy little lcd display on the side.  the DEJ001 requires two double-A batteries which makes it heavy.  It comes with a pair of incredibly shitty ear buds–it just sucked.  (note: I picked it out on impulse when he said I could get one more thing.  And yes, I am a spoiled brat.)

Sony D-NE320So I took it back and exchanged it for the Sony Walkman D-NE320.  Now this is a really cool player.  It has a big nice LCD on the top of the player that shows a little animation while it is reading the disc the first time.  It displays its progress as it scans the disc and has a GUI that shows folders and songs inside them. (Album and song names are read from ID3 information imbedded in the mp3s)   Rather than worry about some more crappy ear buds, I went ahead and got a pair of Sony Walkman MDR-EX51LP ear buds.  They were overpriced at $35.00.

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