Friday, June 17, 2005

Frist Misdiagnosed Schiavo

Bill Frist, continues to be plagued by his Senate Floor misdiagnosis of Terri Schiavo. He, of course, denies that he actually diagnosed her. But he told us, at the height of the debate, that he was "speaking more as a physician than as a U.S. senator ... There seems to be insufficient information to conclude that Terri Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state," Frist continued, "I don't see any justification in removing hydration and nutrition."

Now, of course, Dr. Frist is bearing false witness: "In a Thursday appearance on ABC's Good Morning America, Frist insisted: 'I raised the question, 'Is she in a persistent vegetative state or not?' I never made the diagnosis, never said that she was not.'" Of course you didn't, Dr. Frist. Must have been the God complex kicking in.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Another Thing to Thank Apple For.

Apple's iPod is being cited as a reason for a rennaisance in radio, where corporate ownership and increasing concentration of the industry has decimated the variety of programming available. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that stations are beginning to greatly expand their playlists to win back former listeners who now simply pop their iPod in their car and go. 99X, the local Atlanta alternative station owned by Susquehana, had been losing listeners for years after going after trailer trash with a lineup of Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park and Godsmack. Now it is reinvigorated, playing "Alternative" standards from the 1980s and 1990s as well as modern music.

In fact, 99X DJ Steve Craig recently began stealing a march on the competition by having his own iPod randomly play any of 1,100 '80s songs every Monday for an hour at noon. (This week, his iPod spit out new wave group OMD twice, along with obscure tunes by the Buzzcocks and China Crisis.)

99X has increased its playlist by 20 percent. Other stations, like DAVE FM, have also been increasing playlists. DAVE has gone from about 500, when it was known as Z93, to over 700. Of course, some stations, especially those geared towards middle-aged women, haven't followed suit.

B98.5, a Cox Radio property, sticks with 300 well-researched songs — mostly from the '80s and '90s — 24/7. (B98.5 is part of Cox Enterprises, which also owns The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.) Since February, the soft rock station has made just three changes: two adds (Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved" and Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway") and one subtraction. (Sheryl Crow's "First Cut is the Deepest.")

Much unlike an iPod, no? Then again, I bet middle-aged women are the worst iPod demographic.

Do Astronauts Sign a Waiver?

I wonder if astronauts' families can sue NASA or its contractors if they are negligent. Challenger was apparently done in by an O-ring that everybody knew would become brittle in near-freezing weather. Did the astronauts sue NASA or Morton-Thiokol? I was only 12 at the time of the Challenger disaster, so I don't recall.

This bit of morbid curiosity is brought to you by the news that the Shuttle Discovery will be launched in July.


This administration and its supporters are wrong on just about every issue that they have considered. Whether it is the excessive tax cuts of the first term, the war in Iraq, the economy, the cost of the prescription drug benefit or how to handle nuclear threats in North Korea or Iran. The latest bungle by these doofuses is the Terry Schiavo matter, in which the Pasco County medical examiner has vindicated the position of the Courts, every treating physician, the husband and any person who rationally considered the matter. Just look at the backtracking:

Bill Frist (who apparently left medicine for politics because he stunk at the former):

Then: "That footage, to me, depicted something very different than persistent vegetative state." - on March 23, after reviewing a videotape of Schiavo

Now: "He never made a diagnosis." - Amy Call, Frist's spokeswoman. The senator said he looked forward to reading the autopsy report.

Mel Martinez:

Then: "Several of Terri's caregivers ... feel that, with proper therapy, she may even be able to learn to eat without a feeding tube." - in a March 16 column for National Review

Now: "I've had second thoughts as to whether a federal review was the right way to go or not."

I'm glad these people wasted the money of the U.S. and Florida taxpayer and raped the concept of Federalism by dragging this stupid thing through the federal legislative and judicial process.

Update: The Vernon and Petunia Dursley of the movement apparently aren't swayed by science, logic or common sense.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Merlin Ported to Intel in Four Days

Project Wizards is a company that makes project management software for Mac OS X. Apparently, they've been busy during Apple's World Wide Developers' Conference, because they have announced that their flagship Merlin product runs natively on Mac OS X for Intel. Hopefully there will be a number of other announcement like these to follow. If there are, it will encourage other developers to move their code to Universal Binaries and bode well for next year's transition.

I don't know how complicated Merlin is. But I do know how complicated Mathematica is, as I am familiar with it from my days at the University of Illinois' Calculus and Mathematica program. The fact that Theo Gray ported Mathematica in two hours is more than impressive. It is shocking. Hopefully Mathematica and Merlin are the first drips out of a gushing faucet.

Update: It looks like another developer has gotten their software to port over, too.

Update 2: Yet another port: Unreal Tournament 2004. And other games, as well.

Update 3: Here's a list of finished ports and commitments.