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Saturday, July 26, 2003

Summer events in Charles County, MD:

Friday, June 06, 2003

We are headed home from the Cape today and I needed some cat litter [tips]. (Elizabeth would not let me by some grass sod to try out with the cats.) In terms of some really good pets, see the NY Peregrine Cam. If you cannot afford real pets, try a friend's bath towel menagerie [see]

We are constantly on the prowl for small business resources [Link] for our friends. To see what happens if you do not turn off your PC at night, look [here].

Today's quote: ""You only get three face-lifts in a lifetime." [link] and what it takes to be a phone psychic. [link]

Saturday, May 24, 2003

For fun: The Deck of Weasels (I had a similar idea, details to come)

And from the "in case you were wondering file":
>> Playing cards were issued to British pilots in WWII. If captured, they could be soaked in water and unfolded to reveal a map for escape.
>> The human body contains enough fat to make seven bars of soap and enough iron to make a single one inch nail.
>> Gordon Sumner, the rock star and actor known as Sting, got his nickname from the yellow-and-black jerseys he used to wear, which fellow musicians thought made him look like a bumble bee.
>> They live an average of 77 years and have the longest lifespan in the United States - nuns.
>> A state once attempted legislation rounding off the value of Pi from 3.14159265... to an even 3. [article]
>> Until 1890, Vatican choirboys were castrated to keep their voices from deepening.
>> In 1879 a drug was introduced to treat morphine addiction. The drug: cocaine.
>> The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra's "Its A Wonderful Life"
>> If you toss a penny 10,000 times, it will not be heads 5000 times, but more like 4950. The heads picture weighs more, so it ends up on the bottom.
>> If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in
the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural
>> "111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321"
>> The bones of a pigeon weigh less than its feathers.
>> At 90 degrees (F) below zero your breath will freeze in midair and fall to the ground.
>> The average person is about a quarter of an inch taller at night.
>> Charles Lindbergh took only four sandwiches with him on his famous transatlantic flight.
>> 3000 cows are needed to supply the leather for a year.s supply of NFL footballs.
>> The Hewlett Packard computer company.s first product was an automatic urinal flusher.
>> In a survey of 5,000 U.S. nurses, 40 percent said they would not
recommend the medical facility where they worked to a relative.
>> No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple.
>>When the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers play football at home, the stadium becomes the state's third largest city.
>> The only real person to be a Pez head was Betsy Ross.
>> The Sanskrit word for "war" means "desire for more cows."
>> It's impossible to snore in the weightlessness of space.
>> On a Canadian two dollar bill, the flag flying over the Parliament Building is an American flag.
>> 101 Dalmatians and Peter Pan (Wendy) are the only two Disney cartoon features with both parents are present and don't die throughout the entire movie.

According to British law passed in 1845, attempting to commit suicide was a capital offense. Offenders could be hanged for trying.

Mailing an entire building has been illegal in the U.S. since 1916 when a man mailed a 40,000-ton brick house across Utah to avoid high freight rates.

A Boeing 747's wingspan is longer than the Wright brother's first flight.
All the gold produced in the past five hundred years, if melted, could be compressed into a 50-foot cube.
It has been calculated that in the last 3,500 years, there have only been 230 years of peace throughout the civilized world.
In Turkey, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, anyone caught drinking coffee was put to death.

In Victorian times, there was an intense fear of being buried alive, so when someone died, a small hole was dug from the casket to the surface, then a string was tied around the dead persons finger which was then attached to a small but loud bell that was hung on the surface of the grave, so then if someone was buried alive, they could ring the bell and whomever was on duty would go and dig them up. Someone was on the clock 24 hours a day- hence the grave yard shift.
A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours.

In the 19th century, the British Navy attempted to dispel the superstition that Friday was an unlucky day to embark on a ship. The keel of a new ship was laid on a Friday, she was named H.M.S Friday, commanded by a Captain Friday, and finlly went to sea on a Friday. Neither the ship nor her crew were ever heard of again.

All of the officers in the Confederate army were given copies of Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo, to carry with them at all times. Robert E. Lee, among others, believed that the book symbolized their cause. Both revolts were defeated.

A person uses more household energy shaving with a hand razor at a sink (because of the water power, the water pump and so on) than he would by using an electric razor.
Colgate faced a big obstacle marketing toothpaste in Spanish speaking countries. Colgate translates into the command "go hang yourself."
Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history. Spades - King David; Clubs - Alexander the Great; Hearts - Charlemagne; and Diamonds - Julius Caesar.
Each of the suits on a deck of cards represents the four major pillars of the economy in the middle ages: heart represented the Church, spades represented the military, clubs represented agriculture, and diamonds represented the merchant class.
Each of us generate 5 pounds of rubbish a day; most of it is paper.
Every year, over 8,800 people injure themselves with a toothpick.
Hallmark makes cards for 105 different relationships.
How valuable is the penny you found laying on the ground? If it takes just a second to pick it up a person could make $36.00 per hour just picking up pennies.
If done perfectly, any rubix cube combination can be solved in 17 turns.
If you lace your shoes from the inside to the outside, the fit will be snugger around your big toe.
In 1990, there were about 15,000 vacuum cleaner related accidents in the U.S.
In order for a deck of cards to be mixed up enough to play with
properly, it should be shuffled at least seven times.
Ivory bar soap floating was a mistake. They had been mixing the soap
formula causing excess air bubbles that made it float. Customers
wrote and told how much they loved that it floated, and it has
floated ever since.
Wild turkeys have been sighted in Manhattan [picture] [article]

So I missed Arbor Day again this year, but I did find a hardiness zone page to see what trees grow well in my area. The areas are interesting in how they map to the US states. [link]

The 150th Anniversary of Central Park brings up interesting parallels to the rebuilding of ground zero. [article]

I don't know if I can believe this story that was reported by Netscape and BBCi:

Miracle Baby Grew In Liver, Not Womb
Her name is Nhlahla. In Zulu, it means "luck," making it the perfect name for this miracle infant who developed in her mother's liver instead of the womb. This is how lucky Nhlahla is: Out of 14 documented cases of a baby growing in its mother's liver, she is only the fourth to survive such a pregnancy. BBC News Online reports that doctors in Cape Town, South Africa performed the difficult delivery on Tuesday.

Although the baby required oxygen at birth, she is now breathing on her own and weighs a very healthy 6.17 pounds. The mother, 20-year-old Ncise Cwayita is also doing well. Liver specialist Dr. Jack Krige, who helped deliver the baby, told a South African newspaper: "She is the real thing. She is truly a miracle baby." The BBC reports that in about 1 in 100,000 pregnancies, the fertilized egg falls out of the fallopian tube and can implant anywhere in the abdomen. Although such an occurrence is extremely rare, the embryo can attach itself to the liver, a very rich source of blood. The baby is protected inside the placenta, but since it doesn't have the added protection of the womb, it is more at risk. [article]

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Forgotten staues of NYC:

Work of RPI Graduates from 1931 Book

Friday, April 11, 2003

For the funniest take on the current unemployment trends: see: oddtodd. [Parental Advisory: Foul Language]

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Brooklyn Bridge Facts:
- Brooklyn Bridge Talk & Walk
- Opened on May 24, 1883 at 5 PM
- The Caissons were made of wood.
- The Brooklyn Brewery
- Steve Brodie claimed to have made a plunge - July 23, 1886
- Brooklyn Restaurant: River Cafe
- Brooklyn Anchorage

April 1st, 2003 was the start of the NYC Cigarette ban.
April 7 is the 70th Anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition--Beer was Banned for 13 Years!
April 11, 2003, is Poem In Your Pocket Day. What poem will you carry?

Restaurant reports needed:
- Fetch 1649 3rd Ave @ 92nd 212-289-2700

Other Events:
- Brooklyn Bridge Park Summer Film Series - Thursday nights, July 10, 17, 24, and 31

Public spaces diagram, benefits

New sport: Extreme Ironing

Monday, March 31, 2003

Swopped ASCII

I received a newsgroup posting in Australlian swopped ASCII, it was fun to decode it:

Message: 5
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 13:12:33 -0000
From: "oo1pouep"
Subject: swopdoms

'uoos pass*d aq `mou qnd umop ,u!ddod *

((-: 'uep

¿ wexa esuaw e ssed I p!p I moH
'e!qoydouaX 'sa!waua papaauun - us!zeu pue ws!uo!Z

'hseaun pue sno!xue w,I 'papaau s! wopsiM `suo!u!dO 'ouunp I
(¿paeuaodqns) sans auO ¿adop e ysnq s! ¿uew paq e weppes sI
- auo ppo ue moN

('adou ¿a!zzne ue ays sI) 'epun umop `zo u! s! s!s hw se umop ap!sdn
op I
[II)SV paddoms u!] z!nb e
- eh e,peaye heM

I 96 11 89 68 I
I 88 ?¿ 91 ¿? I
I 61 86 ?¿ 99 I
I 19 98 66 81 I

Way ahead'a ya -
a quiz [in swopped ASCII]
I do upside down as my sis is in oz, down unda. (Is she an auzzie?

Now an odd one -
Is saddam a bad man? is bush a dope? One sues (subpoenaed?)
Opinions, I dunno. Wisdom is needed. I'm anxious and uneasy.

Zionism and nazism - unneeded enemies. Xenophobia.

How did I pass a mensa exam ?

dan. :-))

* poppin' down pub now, be p*ssed soon.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Today was a good day. I attended a webinar on recruiting and a live networking event from HumAchieve. They're nice people (even though their domain name is tough to spell).

I found a new toy at" PlagiServe. It's a site where professors can upload a paper and see if it's been stolen from the internet somewhere. Registration is a pain in the neck because it gives you anumeric user ID, but it's interesting to see where stories are paraphrased from.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

In my perusing of the web, some interesting things pop up, like this company posting its own resume:

I am finding it hard concentrating on prospecting when the war coverage is so riveting. CNN's coverage is starting to feel like a movie of the week: "War on Irag - The Embedded Story"

A strange experience came to me while walking home from an appointment this morning: A woman was riding a bike in NYC with her left arm raised. Normally when I see this, it's a bike messenger giving a rude gesture to a cab or a bus, but she was actually signalling a left turn, a gesture I have not noticed since high school. It's a pity that the polite thing is not the expected thing.

P.S. "The early bird gets the worm, ... , the patient cat gets the bird"

Saturday, March 15, 2003

I just read an article on speaking in techno-babble: [READ]

Part of the problem that technical people face when trying to be understood
may be the education system in the US. Most school
students learn only one language and do not possess the "get your point
across" skills that help people think like the other person.

An interesting anecdote is that during some international space missions,
the etiquette was to use the other person's primary language so that you had
a better understanding of what you were trying to say to them instead of
them trying to catch up with you in your native tongue.

This works well for me as I look for new jobs and consulting projects. Most
headhunters do not understand the job requirements that they are trying to
fill and do not realize that TQM and Six Sigma have so much overlap, or that
the CMM and Software Process Improvement are complementary skills. (I can
send translations if needed).

Another issue is that so many people are lazy, not active listeners. The
listener should ask questions if they do not understand; the speaker should
not hold this against them since they are taking the time to listen. An
English teacher taught me a great lesson: never pass a word that you do not
understand without looking it up, or saving it for later. All the people
who buy a word a day calendar would be better served by reading the Wall St
Journal or NY Times with this rule in mind.


QOTD: "It's a damn poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a
word!" - Andrew Jackson

Monday, March 10, 2003

It's a slow week so far, I m planning on going to a few of the millions of networking events in NYC this week.

Does anyone have any recommendations?

1) Quote of the Day: "Reality is for people who can´t handle Star Trek"

2) Dave Johnson is still on survivor

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Links for Homeland Security:

CIA Factbook

Duct tape blues: [play]

How to use duct tape: [read]

Friday, February 28, 2003

Latest Employment Figures Make A Strong Case For New York City Receiving Special Aid From Albany And Washington
By Jonathan Bowles

"The Center for an Urban Future today argued that the latest federal
employment figures make a strong case for New York City deserving
special financial support from Albany and Washington. The Center, a
non-partisan Manhattan-based policy research institute, pointed out
that while many local governments across the state and throughout
the country are also struggling with budget problems, the city's
economic and fiscal problems are of a much greater magnitude—-
largely because of the September 11 terrorist attacks. So far,
according to the Center, proposed state and federal budgets have not
taken this into account.
The Center said the latest employment figures released by the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (for the period ending in December 2002)
show that New York City has taken a much greater economic hit than
every other part of the state and almost every other part of the
country. For example:

New York City accounted for 43,400 of the 44,800 jobs lost in the
state between December 2001 and December 2002—96.8 percent of the
total employment decline.

New York City accounted for 175,700 of the 197,100 jobs lost in the
state over the past two years (from December 2000 to December 2002)—-
accounting for 89.2 percent of the state's total employment decline
over the past two years.

The percentage declines far exceed the city's share of total state
employment. In fact, only 42 percent of all jobs in the state are
located in the five boroughs.

The city accounted for an incredible 17.6 percent of the 246,000
jobs lost nationwide over the past year (December 2001 to December
2002). The city only makes up 2.8 percent of all jobs in the U.S.

The city accounted for 10.6 percent of the 1,652,000 jobs lost in
the U.S. over the past two years.

The city also accounted for 96.2 percent of all jobs lost in the New
York metropolitan region over the past year and 98.5 percent of all
jobs lost in the region over the past two years.
"State and federal officials need to come to grips with reality and
finally acknowledge that New York City's current economic and fiscal
woes far exceed what other localities are facing," said Jonathan
Bowles, research director of the Center for an Urban Future. "So
far, the budget proposals unveiled by the governor and the president
treat the city as if 9/11 had no impact on the city's economy or
fiscal situation. The truth is, the city is in a dire situation and
deserves help now."

Sunday, February 23, 2003

The RPI Club of NYC has a monthly Happy Hour to gather and discuss ideas for upcoming events. Here's the current list of planned meetings and ideas:

March 4th - Dean Simon in NYC
March 20th - Monthly Meeting/Possible kick-off for Ski Trip/Ski Club
April 17th - Monthly Meeting: Titanic Anniversary (4/14/1912 -
May - Brooklyn Bridge Anniversay
Dec - Williamsburg Bridge Anniversary

Current RPI Events are listed here:

Dave Johnson '01 will be a cast member on the newest installment of the
popular Survivor reality series. Survivor: Amazon premiered on February 13th
on the CBS television network. Johnson, who earned a bachelor's degree in
mechanical, aeronautical, and nuclear engineering, works for NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Full Story:

Saturday, February 08, 2003

New favorite links from

Undocumented Google Features!, read more here and here.

RPI Trivia:
Walter M. Saladik, RPI ’47, was the designer of Cape Cod’s bike trail, a former project engineer, National Park Service, named Citizen of the Year, 1989, in Haddonfield, N.J., and Navy veteran.

>>> From John Perez <<<

N. E. P. Live - With John Perez on Guitar.

> (Some of) You folks wanted to know when I was playing with my band in
> Manhattan:
> I am playing live on March 12th at the Village Underground in Manhattan.
> The name of the band is N. E. P.. (Don't ask what it stands for.) For
> directions and address information on the Village Underground, see
> We are currently scheduled to go on at 8 PM for a 1 hour show. $5 dollar
> cover charge is normal, it could be 7 dollars - I don't know yet. No Drink
> Minimums.
> Music is Alternative Rock. We're doing stuff from Stone Temple Pilots, U2,
> Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, The Black Crowes, Radiohead and other such bands.

> John Perez
Welcome to the Ameres Blog. I finally decided to take the plunge and start writing. (It's really tough to decide what to write and what to publish. I guess I should read more blogs before putting pen to paper and foot to mouth.)

It's early and I am the first to wake up, so I have some time to share with you. (and all of a sudden, I can't think of what to say.)

Please stay tuned for more as I get my act together. I will probably post short articles about things that I find useful and interesting like,, and my new friend

I am also interested in NYC stuff (since I live here):

I am also trying to figure out an easy way to post the national threat level, currently high to my web site, but the gov't does not have an easy way to do it. Currently I have a NYC water level indicator, but since we are out of the drought currently, it's not very interesting.

Stay tuned, Mark