Thursday, August 30, 2007

Another Satisfied Microsoft Customer

Wow... and you thought XP had problems... A ex-cop in the US recently ran into problems installing Vista and struggled to get his old programs up and running. After three hours, his patience had run out but his ammunition hadn't... The unfortunate computer took five slugs to the monitor, a sixth missed, passing through into the next apartment.

I only wish I could get in contact with him and say, "It's OK, we know and understand the feelings and frustration you've been through... All is not lost... You missed the tower case altogether so you can still upgrade to Ubuntu and save yourself a lifetime of aggravation."


Monday, August 13, 2007

Greetings, Fellow Sagittarians

If you have a distorted brain like mine, you've probably wondered about the angle on which the Milky Way cuts across the sky. It's just all wrong.

The Moon orbits the Earth around the equator. Both north poles point roughly in the same direction. In like manner, the Earth orbits the Sun around its equator and, again, both north poles point in roughly the same direction. But neither the Sun nor the Earth are in-line with plane of the Milky Way.

And the question is, why?

The answer is quite astounding...

Over the past couple of billion years, the Milky Way has been devouring a near-by dwarf galaxy we have come to call Sagittarius. The process of colliding galaxies is quite complex and, if you have Ubuntu, quite spectacular (as Ubuntu includes a screen saver that shows you the interactions of colliding stars graphically).

We've always thought of our sun as forming on the spiral arm of the Milky Way. But the reality is, our sun formed from the fragmented ruins of the Sagittarian dwarf as it collided with Milky Way. Rather than being a part of a spiral arm, we're thundering through a spiral arm of the Milky Way. Our Solar System is punching a hole in the spiral arm, passing through it like a bullet (which is not a bad analogy given the phenomenal speed our Sun is moving at).

And the evidence, the proof, has been staring us in the face each night as we've gazed up at the Milky Way. Rather than being on the same plane as our host galaxy, we're passing through at roughly 60 degrees.

Surprised? Find this incredulous? Unbelievable? Remember, all truths start out as heresies...

Curious? You can read more about this from these links...

ABC Science
The Solar System's direction of travel
We Are Not From Here

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Loyalty or Honesty?

Which is the greater trait? Loyalty or honesty?

It doesn't take most people too long to realise you can be loyal without being honest. Yet history is rife with examples of people who were loyal when, honestly, they knew better. The most sensational example of this is, of course, the Nazi's, but the concept hits a little closer to home than that.

Loyalty will always be valued over honesty by those in a position of authority (be it political, religious, secular businesses or social groups) simply because no one wants to be told they're wrong. We instinctively and inherently resent honest notions that force us to justify ourselves. And so, our natural sense of values are topsy-turvy. Someone that's loyal is seen as more valuable, more of a team player, more of an asset. While someone that's honest is difficult, a trouble-maker.

Reality, of course, is just the opposite. The seemingly loyal devotee isn't at all loyal. They're dishonest. While the honest devotee is loyal to principle before position.

If you find yourself in a position where you are challenged to be either loyal or honest, choose the tougher road less travelled and be honest...