Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Taj

Last Sunday, we had dinner at The Taj with some British friends.  I was honored (or should I say "honoured") to be the only native born American in the group.  As Ruth put it: "Good food, great company."

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Guinness: Arizona Great Dane is tallest dog ever

Guinness World Records: Giant George from Tucson is the tallest dog ever on record, standing 3 feet, 7 inches from paw to shoulder.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Clojure, Compojure, Google App Engine and Emacs

Restaurant web sites that use Flash

There's unnecessary profanity in the linked post, but the sentiment is widely shared.  On second thought, it's hard to avoid swearing when you see Flash web sites...  (via

Here's a clue for restaurant owners: you need a simple web site that gives your address, phone number and hours.  For bonus points, add an HTML version of your menu.  Save the background music for the actual restaurant.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Google Sitebricks

You can never have too many web frameworks:

Sitebricks is a simple development layer for web applications built on top of Google Guice. Sitebricks focuses on early error detection, low-footprint code, and fast development. Like Guice, it also balances idiomatic Java with an emphasis on concise code.

An article on using Sitebricks:

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Savannah River Site tour

Lisa and I took a tour of the Savannah River Site near Aiken, SC.  The facility was started in 1950 to produce nuclear materials for weapons during the Cold War. The SRS complex covers 310 square miles.  Six small towns, with 6000 people, were taken over to built the site.

Originally known as the Savannah River Plant, the facility became the main site for handling tritium and was also an important source for plutonium.  The five nuclear reactors are now shut down, but they still process and store radioactive materials on site.   At one point, they employed over 25,000 workers.  Today, they have about 12,000.  A new Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication plant is currently under construction. Naturally, the buildings are spread out around the site for security and survivability.  They have a paramilitary security service provided by Wackenhut.  

They told us to arrive a half hour early to get through security, but they didn't actually start checking us in until the scheduled time of the tour.  We had a talk in a conference room about the history of SRS, and were given a lovely gift bag with a pamphlet about the facility, SRS note paper and a pen, plus my favorite item: a small spray tube with hand sanitizer.  I think it was infused with tritium, which explains why my hands glow in the dark now.  (Just kidding.)

After the introductory talk, we took a bus tour around the complex.  I was surprised to find out that they have an ecology group on site.  The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory is operated by the University of Georgia (I know, wrong state).  They showed us some of the local animals such as salamanders and snakes.  According to their research, the nuclear work has not produced many negative effects on the local wildlife, beyond what any large scale development would have done.  I confess that I was a bit disappointed that they had not found any ten-foot spiders or giant insects.

It was an interesting day out.  Not bad for a free tour.

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Choosing The Best CSS Framework: A Complete Guide

Which framework you choose is really a personal decision. There is no one “best” framework on the market at the moment. Different frameworks are better for different types of designs, and for different designers.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010