Brace yourselves - this is going to be a biggie. I’ve been ‘backed up’ for over a week, and even though I wasn’t posting, I was still bookmarking and note-taking for a good portion of that time. Since some of these bookmarks are a week old, I can’t remember if I found this stuff myself, or saw it on another 'blog. Apologies in advance to those I’m inadvertently plagerizing.

First, a bit of biographical stuff: My hiatus last week was so I could go to my ten year high school reunion (back in Kansas). My wife and I had a good time; I got to see several people that I hadn’t seen in quite a while. I also drank quite a bit more than I’ve been accustomed to. 8^)=. We had about 15 people from a class of 26 (very small rural school; different story) show up, so it was fairly successful in that sense also.

Before I left town, I got to experience one of the worst home disaster things that I think can happen: Wednesday last, my wife and I were watching that night’s Tour stage, prior to packing. Our plane was to leave at 8:50 am the next morning. We heard some gurgling from the bathroom…which turned out to be the sewer backing up though the toilet. I had gotten up to check the noise, and I just stood there, unable to do anything, watching the brown tide advance towards the carpet. Overall, not a good night, and basically the only plus was that we rent, so we didn’t have to pay for the emergency plumber or the emergency carpet cleaning.

Speaking of the Tour, congratulations to Lance Armstrong. In addition to the cancer survivor angle (discussed in Nando Times and Salon), Lance had a marvelous, beautiful ride, despite the spoil sport French sports press.

The Siteminer search box in the right margin appears to be working now. Let me know if there are any problems, or if it’s at all useful.

List of links to add to the Daily Dose:

Feel free to mail me with more; reworking the Daily Dose page is on the list for this weekend.

Joined the new Play music club (or rather, rejoined Columbia House but no longer have to send in those damn cards); got the big CD shipment today. I now have enough Replacements disks to fill my 5 disk CD player, which is a Very Good Thing. The All for Nothing/Nothing for All 2 disk comp is excellent. From the insert booklet thingie:

This isn't a greatest hits disc because, well, there weren't really any hits. Okay, "I'll Be You" did pay a brief visit to the Top 40 and the video was shown on MTV during the average person's working hours. But this is really a collection of would-have been, could-have-been, should-have-been hits, the tunes that some cooler radio stations played or thought about playing or were begged - by us - to play.

Above from Michael Hill, the comp producer. Below, John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls:
In 1991 we got the opening slot on the final Replacements tour, about 10 shows. It was the last show and I saw Paul backstage before we played. He thanked us for doing the tour and told me there was a little extra money for us at the end of the night. I remember thinking to myself, "What a great guy." Then we went to do our set. We got on stage which was blacked out, and then realized that Paul and the guys had covered the stage with sticky backstage passes, gummy side up. Hundreds of them, all over the stage. Obviously, we didn't see them in time. We were barefoot and we had these huge wads of sticky paper stuck to our feet. It looked like Robby and I had snowshoes on. And I remember thinking to myself, "What a bastard." I think that's what made them great - they were half saints-half bastards

I saw a show on that tour, in Iowa City. Good show.

Other notable disks include Superchunk’s On the Mouth and Depeche Mode’s Singles 86-99. (Salon reviewed the Merge tenth anniversary show the other day…)

The Open Source/Open Science kids are having a logo contest, so all you Gimp wizards get busy.

Food for thought: Jorn Barger of Robot Wisdom has a page elaborating on his design philosophy/methodology. I need to start thinking about a re-design for GeneHack; I’ll probably swing back towards minimalistic for awhile, just for kicks. Any suggestions?

If you have trouble remembering the URL for this site, you can also find me at genehack.web.com. You’ll have to look at their little banner doohicky, but hopefully my content makes up for that.

Into the ‘Read at Leisure’ file: The Misanthropic Bitch

Friends don’t let friends code in Perl. (It’s apparently too late for me; I’ve been sucked into the Dark Side. Of course, we call it ${… [That’s Perl humor; ignore it if you don’t get it])

Gengineering news: Hacked trees that have less lignin (a protein that makes trees ‘woody’) allow more environmentally friendly paper-making. As a bonus, the hacked trees grow faster than normal trees. Concerns of environmental groups are mentioned, but not elaborated on; I’d be concerned about the hacked trees outgrowing normal trees. There are large parts of the food web that make a living off eating lignin (and other proteins) from dead trees; the hacked trees could have effects there.

The US government threw around some FUD about strong crypto today, while Mike Godwin hopes Cryptonomicon educates the general population as to why crypto is a Good Thing.

One reason crypto is a Good Thing is so you don’t have to worry about crap like this. (Ny Times link; free reg. req.)

Finally, on Slashdot, a sizeable article about electronic publishing in the biosciences, one of my recent pet subjects. Haven’t had time to read it yet, but it seems as if the author is advocating a Slashdot-like public ‘peer’ review system, something I advocated back in June.
Nice to know somebody listens…8^)=