(published march 28th, 1999)


Oh, where to start…so many things to talk about…

My report on yesterday’s Biology Career Day is on the Rants’n’Raves page.

I finished Open Sources. Overall, it was a good read. It was interesting to note how people with different public prescences wrote differently. In general, the more well known people (Linus, Larry Wall, rms, esr) were much easier to read, much less overtly technical, and much more enjoyable (in terms of pleasure reading). There’s probably an interesting corrollary about achieving success (or at least being well known), but I’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader. 8^)=

On Friday, during the 11 hour marathon of bathroom upgrades, I caught a mini-documentary/ad/fluff-piece on the making of the upcoming movie The Matrix. The plot-line sounds like a blatent rip-off of Jack Chalker’s The Wonderland Gambit series, right down to the Alice in Wonderland references, and I’m interested in seeing the credits, to see if he’s mentioned at all. The effects, however, looked astounding! Heavy use of that stop-action-and-pan-in-a-circle popularized by the recent series of Gap ads. Nice CGI stuff. Some BladeRunner-esque disutopic backgrounds (shades of Giger, really). However, I think my once-a-year movie theater pilgrimage is going to have to be dedicated to The Phantom Menace…

Cool Science: This story reports on a Molecular Cell article presenting results which suggest that measles, mumps, HIV, ebola, and a host of other virii may share a common evolutionary origin. I haven’t seen the research article, but I’m initially skeptical. Horizontal gene transfer has got to be ruled out to make this conclusion firm, and it’s not clear how that was done, or even if it was questioned. Regardless of the evolutionary aspects (interesting to only a few bio-geeks), this opens the possibility that HIV treatments may be useful for blocking the spread of other viral species.