Monthly Archives: November 2005

Neat web site

Here’s a site I found a year or two ago. I browsed for a couple of hours, which is unusual for me. I’d like to go back sometime when I have more time. It’s the History Channel’s famous speeches page. Ever wonder how Richard Nixon got out of his first corruption charges? You can hear the “Checkers” speech here. Ever hear about the great speech that McArthur gave when he came back from Korea? It’s all here. How about Albert Einstein, which deplored the use of atomic bombs against Japan? You can hear him in his own words. Paul McCartney in 1969 finally came out and told people “I’m alive and living in Scotland”. It’s a neat page for history buffs.

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Speaking Update

I will be speaking in Chicago Wednesday night at the Bank Of America Building. Here’s the link to the local RUG. The topic will be “Where To Start”. It is aimed at organizations that have bought the Rational Suite but have no idea how to plan the implementation of the tools and process.

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Veteran’s Day 2005

Today is Veteran’s Day in the United States. It is also known as Rememberence Day and other monikers in other parts of the world. Originally it was celebrating the end of the Great War, WWI. World War I ended, strangely enough, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. There’s not many WWI veterans around, as CNN notes today.

Winds Of Change, my favorite war on terror blog, has a great recap of stories about the day.

There’s too much to tell, and I’m not anywhere near eloquent enough to do the telling. It is tremendously important as a nation that we remember those who have served. People tend to forget this sacrifice these have made. It’s not a new phenomenon. I thought perhaps Kipling could speak for them on this day.

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Happy Birthday USMC!

Today is the birthday for the United States Marine Corps. 230 years ago, the congress decided to create the marine corps (yes, this was before the Declaration of Independence. After several attempts by the American colonies to work out some sort of reconciliation between the Crown and the American people, the Colonial Congress decided to take a sterner attitude. A committee of the Congress drafted a resolution to create a new military unit, called the Continental Marines.

This resolution was drafted in a popular Philadelphian inn called Tun Tavern, and was later approved by the entire legislative body. The owner of the tavern, Robert Mullan, was named a Marine Captain, and the owner of another tavern, Samuel Nicholas, was designated commandant of the Continental Marines.

The history of the USMC is varied. Name a major event in the history of the United States, and they’ve been there.

Happy Birthday fellow jarheads, and get some for the folks back home!

S/F

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Giant Gorilla Used To Live Next Door

A gigantic ape, measuring about 10 feet tall and weighing up to 1,200 pounds, co-existed alongside humans, a geochronologist at McMaster University has discovered.

This is why I never look at pictures of the inlaws in the family photo-ablumn. I’m just not qualified to make such a big scientific discovery.

Using a high-precision absolute-dating method (techniques involving electron spin resonance and uranium series), Jack Rink, associate professor of geography and earth sciences at McMaster, has determined that Gigantopithecus blackii, the largest primate that ever lived, roamed southeast Asia for nearly a million years before the species died out 100,000 years ago. This was known as the Pleistocene period, by which time humans had already existed for a million years.

How did humans and the giant monkeys get along? The evidence is not in yet. Rumors have it that the price of bananas reached an all-time high during the period.

“A missing piece of the puzzle has always focused on pin-pointing when Gigantopithecus existed,” explains Rink. “This is a primate that co-existed with humans at a time when humans were undergoing a major evolutionary change. Guangxi province in southern China, where the Gigantopithecus fossils were found, is the same region where some believe the modern human race originated.”

I guess this explains why I keep having dreams of giant monkeys chasing me.

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First Phaser Created

The US government has unveiled a “non-lethal” laser rifle designed to dazzle enemy personnel without causing them permanent harm. But the device will require close scrutiny to ensure compliance with a United Nations protocol on blinding laser weapons.

The Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response (PHASR) rifle was developed at the Air Force Research Laboratory in New Mexico, US, and two prototypes have been delivered to military bases in Texas and Virginia for further testing.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) believes the weapon could be used, for example, to temporarily blind suspects who drive through a roadblock. However, the DoD has yet to reveal details of how the laser works and has yet to respond to reporter’s requests for further information.

Source: New Scientist

I wonder when we’ll get our communicators?

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