03 September 2005

I thought I was pretty good at parsing technical papers, but this one has me stumped. "However, not all trends are rendered conducive by the miniaturization paradigm."

Translations welcome. Reference omitted to protect the guilty.

Posted 04:17 PM

02 September 2005

The international community is stepping up its response to Hurricane Katrina as the scale of the disaster becomes evident. A special shout-out to our friends in Australia, which has donated US$7.7 million to the Red Cross and promised more if needed.

Posted 12:12 PM

The situation in New Orleans makes a compelling case that the biggest difference between developed and undeveloped countries is infrastructure. In most places in the US, the infrastructure just works. Clean water flows out of the pipes, electricity is there when you flick a switch, and food and gasoline are almost always readily available. Less than a week ago, the infrastructure in New Orleans worked, too.

Though New Orleans' location makes it more fragile than many cities, no city is immune to infrastructure collapse. In New Orleans, the levees weren't designed for a Category 4 storm. In San Francisco, neither buildings nor bridges are designed for 9.0 quakes. Such apocalyptic events are rare, nightmare scenarios that keep disaster planners awake, but which the rest of us mostly ignore. As long as the water flows, the electricity works, and the store shelves are full.

The American Red Cross is launching the largest relief effort in its history. In addition to cash, many local chapters are offering training for volunteers.

Posted 10:16 AM

31 August 2005

Yes, I know that there are a lot of bad things happening in the world this week. Typhoons in Taiwan and Japan. Wildfires in Portugal. People crushed in a stampede in Iraq. Yes, I know that the US has plenty of resources to handle a disaster, even one as serious as Hurricane Katrina.

Still, it seems only neighborly for, say, Indonesia, to at least offer to help. I'll bet at least some of the Marines who flew doctors and fresh water into Banda Aceh have family in New Orleans and would appreciate kind thoughts right about now.

Update: Thursday's paper had this article on the global response.

Posted 04:05 PM

I haven't yet seen spam soliciting donations for Hurricane Katrina relief, but I'm sure it's coming. Plenty of human parasites are willing to use a disaster like this to line their own pockets. The Charity Navigator watchdog organization includes tips to make sure your money actually helps people in need, and rates charities on financial standards and governance.

Posted 09:08 AM

28 August 2005

We have temporarily banned all use of profanity here at Thin Film Manufacturing headquarters. We figure the bad words are needed in New Orleans, instead.

If you are among the unfortunate folks in Katrina's path, please head for higher ground. I've been to New Orleans. I love New Orleans. But no one in their right mind wants to be anywhere near the French Quarter during a Cat 5 hurricane.

Posted 12:01 PM

What's a political debate without satire? A group of Pastafarians is demanding equal time for their theory that the universe was created by a Flying Spagetti Monster.

Posted 11:37 AM


This site is Copyright ©2001-2005 by Thin Film Manufacturing. All Rights Reserved