Monday, November 19, 2012

The Man in the Arena

Here is one of the shortest and most inspirational speeches that I have ever read.

Theodore Roosevelt

"It is not the critic who counts,
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled,
or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena;
whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly;
who errs and comes short again and again;
who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course;
who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly;
so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Conservatives and The Empathy Gene

I made this YouTube video where a liberal newscaster laments why conservatives don't see the undeniable logic of her positions. Frustrated, she casts about looking for an explanation. In a moment of clarity she arrives at the fact that conservatives lack the "empathy gene". I made this video before Chris Mooney came up with a book called "The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science--and Reality".

So in the truth is stranger than fiction category, someone is actually trying to explain how conservatives' under-developed brains explains their "illogical" behavior. You can't make this stuff up. Actually, I did make up the "empathy gene" video as a joke, but Chris Mooney is not joking, which is why his ideas are so funny!

It boggles my mind that book this was even attempted. I read a lot of the reviews on Amazon, and they fell along political lines, although a few on both sides tried to think this through.

After three books attempting to make his political points, each of which gets more "serious" and less scientific:

Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming 
Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future 

The Republican War on Science 

My guess is that Chris finally gives up and just says, "oh, f**k it, let's just call them brain damaged and stop trying to convince them with argument. Which was the point of my video. After struggling to figure out why the conservative don't "see the light", the conclusion is just that they have a genetic deficiency that needs re-education and Obamacare to fix!

I remember as a kid when on the losing end of an argument, I just would make a personal attack, like "you wouldn't know a good (insert whatever we were discussing) anyway!!

But really? Just think if this were flipped around, and we were told that there is a "bleeding heart liberal gene" and they just can't help themselves from being stupid and putting in place policies that hurt the people they are trying to help. How long would it take before that was absolutely crushed by the mainstream media?

Picture Rush Limbaugh saying "The reason that liberals are climate liars is that they don't have the capacity to understand science". Wow would they be on him like white on rice!

Anyway, this all smells of desperation by liberals to explain why conservatives don't agree with them. Maybe it's as simple as they don't have the same worldview, or maybe I am wrong and they really DO lack the empathy gene! Or maybe liberals really do have a "bleeding heart liberal" genetic defect. I wonder who would write that book?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Understanding the size of the U.S. National Debt

The national debt is at its current legal limit (the "debt ceiling") of $14.3 trillion dollars. Big number. Incomprehensible number. Lots of zeros...  $14,300,000,000,000.

Let me put it in perspective that we you can relate to.

There are approximately 80 million single family homes in the U.S. The average value is $170,000. Multiplying, that comes to $13.6 Trillion dollars.

Think about this for just a minute. The Uniited States government, with our alleged consent, has deemed it appropriate to borrow money "on our behalf" equal to the entire value of the single family housing stock in the United States!

So, to get an idea of the magniture of this borrowing, if you were to fly a plane from San Diego (California) to Boston (Massachusetts), looking out your window at house after house after house, know that the value of each and every home, large and small, new and old, added together and all sold (to whom?) would not pay for the national debt that has been accumulated by our government.

This is staggering, and it would be criminal for anyone else to do this except the elected government.

And for those of you who spend 40 years paying off your home mortgage, it will take the same amount of time, 40 years, for most Americans to pay off the National Debt.

Or you could have purchased a second home, but that may not be possible, and for the people who can barely afford one home, that will be out of reach, due to either increased taxes or sufficient inflation to wash away the debt.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Amazon's Appstore for Android is Brilliant!

The Amazon Appstore for Android lets you try out an app on your computer before downloading it. It is a fantastic simulation of the way the app will look on your device. It supports screen gestures, like finger swipes, by using a mouse drag across the screen. In my tests, it worked identically to how it works on my Android device. Brilliant!

Here is my Heian Shodan karate app with the Test Drive Now option (click here to go to the test drive).

Here is a short video of the "app simulation" directly from the Amazon App Store. The "finger" on the screen is actually my mouse moving left to right.

How do they do it?  I wasn't sure, so I checked on the Amazon website and found this:
Clicking the “Test drive now” button launches a copy of this app on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), a web service that provides on-demand compute capacity in the cloud for developers. When you click on the simulated phone using your mouse, we send those inputs over the Internet to the app running on Amazon EC2 — just like your mobile device would send a finger tap to the app. Our servers then send the video and audio output from the app back to your computer. All this happens in real time, allowing you to explore the features of the app as if it were running on your mobile device.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Android Kata App

I have ported the Heian Shodan kata app over to the Android platform. It work identically to the iphone version.

It is now posted to the Android Market.

Next up will be Heain Sandan, Heian Godan and some Iaido kata from Barry Poitras.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Shotokan Kata Apps for the iPhone and iPad
Heian Shodan Shotokan karate kata shows the kata move by move by swiping a finger. It also lets you look at the kata from all four sides to see the moves from different directions.

With your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad in your hand, you can review the moves of the kata in slow motion, then practice at full speed.
There are buttons to repeat a move, go backwards and start over.
The benefit over a YouTube video (and we have these, too, posted at is the ability to easily stop and go back just one move, or work on 2-3 moves over and over again.
This approach offers students a way to learn the movements of a kata at their own pace, or the ability to review a kata outside the dojo, then be able to practice it in class without worrying about the moves or the sequence, thus allowing more attention in the class to correct performance of the techniques.

Heian Shodan Shotokan karate kata performed by Frank Paolino from Master Matsuyama's DoShiKai karate school.

Frank Paolino had the original idea for this app. It was designed jointly by Frank Paolino and Poul Williams

View App on Apple Appstore

DoShiKai website

Monday, March 28, 2011

Reinventing the Pizza Box

Reinventing the Pizza Box

Who would have thought that the pizza box could be reinvented? I have seen hundreds of these over the years and the thought never occurred to me to ask "could this be designed any better"? Well, ecovention has done it in a creative way, using parts of the box as a serving dish and the remaining part as a small storage container that fits in the refrigerator.

BTW: I am a fan of pizza, and made my own pizza oven: