Monday, March 21, 2005

Automotive Pioneer dies

Back to the Future fans saddened

John Z. Delorean died this weekend. His story, from starting his legendary car company on his own, to his conviction after a federal sting operation, to his rocky marriage to model Christina Ferrer, and his legendary status in Ireland, make for a great life story.

Plus his cars are pop culture icons from the early 80s, to be certain, immortalized in all three "Back to the Future" movies.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Blah-g

Hmm. My marketing gurus told me that a blog, with content and frequent links to my site(s), would be helpful. But the following article may mean that it's not as helpful as we all think. Read on:

Gallup Probes Blogs, Finds Most Americans Have Never Heard of Them

NEW YORK Media and political types are currently obsessed with the newfound influence of blogs, but is the trend being overhyped? According to a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, relatively few Americans are generally familiar with the phenomenon of blogging.

Three-quarters of the U.S. public uses the Internet at work, school, or home, but only one in four Americans are either very familiar or somewhat familiar with blogs, Gallup reports.

More than half, 56%, have no knowledge of them. And even among Internet users, only 32% are very or somewhat familiar with blogs.

Theres no question that blog popularity is spreading by leaps and bounds. But as of late February, when this poll was conducted, only 3% of Americans said they read blogs every day. Fewer than one in six, 15%, read blogs at least a few times a month.

Not surprisingly, there is an age gap here. About 21% of those 18 to 29 read blogs at least monthly, but only 7% of those over 65 do so.

Gallup found no gender gap but some political angle, as 24% of liberals say they read blogs at least monthly while only 15% of conservatives do.

In a separate question focusing on those who read blogs that cover political issues, Gallup found that 2% of all adults read them every day, 4% once a week, 6% once a month, and 11% less than that, with 48% never reading them.

Among all those prone to visit blogs in general, 7% said they visited poltical blogs once a day, 13% once a week, and 20% once a month.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Mysteries to be Cracked

Mysteries to be cracked

Artist James Sanborn likes to tease art lovers by putting coded messages in his sculptures.
In 1990, he placed a hidden message in the middle of the CIA. The first three have been solved, but now, everyone is pounding away at the last of four coded messages in Kryptos, a coded Sanborn sculpture at CIA Headquarters. Another sculpture, written in cyrillic, sat on the grounds of the University of North Carolina for years, and was finally cracked. The solution was a newly de-classified KGB document, completely in Russian.

You can find a transcript of the Kryptos puzzle at elonka.com/kryptos/index.html.

Another mystery, still uncracked, are the espionage numbers stations. If you have ever tuned a radio beyond the medium wave band, you will hear the “Spy Number Stations”. These do not officially exist and no one has ever explained what the purpose of these stations are. They consist of the most boring content imaginable. A strange automated non-human voice reading out series of numbers, sometimes accompanied by weird tones or odd melodies, with pitch changes that make them sound eerie.

It's speculated that they correspond to paper thin code books, the pages of which can be eaten or burned after transcription. After obtaining the code, an agent will obtain a frequency, or code message, that can be used to obtain further information. The one time nature of the code books make this code almost impossible to decode.

Some Americans even use them as background music (they even turned up in the film "Vanilla Sky"). You can read more, or hear recordings, at:

http://www.dxing.com/numbers.htm

Monday, March 07, 2005

Welcome!

Louis Eduardo Miller entered the world at 11:31 p.m. on Friday, March 4th (03-04-05), at 6 pounds, 5 ounces, 20 inches long!

Oh, and he's damn cute, but that's just a proud papa speaking. More later -- we both need to recover after a long weekend learning what seems like everything in the world, not to mention a 22 hour labor that started in Ventura, of all places.