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Freedom Isn’t Free

As part of my new-found photography hobby, I was exploring the Riverwalk in Naperville, Illinois. It’s a nice little park with lots of interesting walkways, bridges, and gazebos. It would make a great background for some outdoor portraits. Just before I left, I spotted, across the river, what looked like a whole wall with faces […]

Richard Sherman

Eric Zorn has an article about Richard Sherman who was almost hired to teach science in High School District 211 in Palatine. Last Monday, however, the officials at the District changed their minds and decided that they weren’t going to hire Sherman to teach there after all. Eric Zorn: It couldn’t be–could it?–that officials at […]

VAC, Part 3

I did some more exploration of the local electrical power situation I outlined in my previous two postings. (Part 1 and Part 2.) I drove to another block fed by a different phase of the same three-phase distribution lines that feed my building. After a couple of times around the block, I spotted an apartment […]

Google + Keyhole = Google Earth

Google just released the next version of their Keyhole software. It’s called Google Earth, and of course it’s a beta release. (Update: All I got was a message from a Google email address saying that they were making the beta available to current Keyhole subscribers, which I am. The message included a download URL that […]

Some Relief For Skyway Congestion

People driving between downtown Chicago and northwestern Indiana have for several decades now had the option of taking the Chicago Skyway. This is a toll road built and operated by the City of Chicago, and it’s the only toll road not operated by the Illinois Toll Highway Authority. That’s a bit of a problem, because […]

VAC, Part 2

As I mentioned in my last entry, we’re having a few electrical problems at our house. ComEd is supposed to supply voltage at 120VAC (Volts Alternating Current). That’s just a nominal value, it can vary a bit. ANSI standards supposedly permit 5% variation, from 114 volts to 126 volts. ComEd’s rule book says they may […]


Here’s a question that’s turning out to be harder to answer than I would have thought: What’s the acceptable voltage range for your house? A few days ago the lights flickered and the speakers on one of my computers started making funny noises. Turns out they’re fried. That computer system wasn’t on a UPS, so […]

…The Way to Armadillo

…The Royal Dragoon Guards now carries with it the traditions and history of four of the finest regiments in the British Cavalry; the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards, the 5th Dragoon Guards, the 7th Dragoon Guards and the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons. All four were raised between 1685 and 1689, during the protracted contest between James […]

Wedding Night

Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau should be celebrating their wedding night by now. I think the whole situation is a bit disturbing. After all, they first had sex when he was in sixth grade and she was his teacher. She went to prison for that. I think they’re both a bit crazy. My opinion […]

By Geeks, For Geeks

I have nothing but admiration for the concept: Geek Fantasies (Hat tip: Google Blogoscoped)

A Question of Scruples

Blonde Justice needs you to take this important poll about an ethical dilemma.

Choice: No Fruits, No Shirts, No Service

I’ve been slowly working my way through Choice: The Best of Reason, edited by Nick Gillespie, Reason’s Editor-in-Chief. I subscribe to Reason, and I normally read through each issue over a period of a couple of hours. Then I have to wait a month to do it all over again. Choice, however, is a collection […]

Choice, Reason, and Nick Gillespie

Nick Gillespie sent me a free copy of Choice: The Best of Reason, edited by Nick Gillespie, Reason’s Editor-in-Chief. I’ll be posting reviews of anything I find that’s interesting.

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Making Life Harder For Chicago Drivers

The busybodies in the Chicago city council have banned the use cell phones while driving. I don’t use the cell phone all that much, but my wife is going to be really pissed-off. They say you can use hands-free phones, but since the State of Illinois banned headsets, I’m not sure what that leaves. So […]