Monday, November 28, 2005

Will aluminum foil protect us?

A few years ago, I had a Halloween Party with the theme "Alien Invasion." I invited people to come as aliens from other planets prepared to rule the world. Alternatively, they could come as humans prepared to defend Terra against its off-world encroachers. I suggested to the latter group that a suitable costume might involve an aluminum foil helmet worn to protect the brain against harmful rays emitted by the aliens and their strange weaponry. Delightfully, some accepted my advice and we had a great party.

Memories of that party came rushing back to me today when one of my readers pressed the palaver link to the right of this article and in a state of some concern asked what protection I might suggest as a defense against the White House's orbital mind control satellites.

"I know that the gubberment has radios floating overhead that can zap us and destroy our will to fight (and give us a rash!) Is there anything I can do?"

The answer is a qualified and well researched yes. How do I know that?

I read On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets: An Empirical Study

Thanks to the clever (and over stimulated) students at MIT who used a quarter of a million dollars worth of equipment to determine what, if any, protection is offered by easily constructed aluminum foil hats, I know that my family is safe from most government rays as we slumber in our very own aluminum foil helmets.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Michael Brown is a Disaster

Michael Brown, who proved himself unable to to run the Federal Emergency Management Agency during an actual crisis apparently feels that his spectacular failure during hurricance Katrina has been such a valuable life lesson that he has decided to go into Disaster Planning Consulting.

It might be noted that professionals evaluating Brown's performance during Katrina declared him "untrained" and "out of touch." Not willing to let his detractors, or a complete lack of skills stop him, Brown has now opened his own consulting business under the name of Michael D. Brown LLC.

When asked for references, Brown is quoted as saying:
"My wife, children and my grandchild still love me. My parents are still proud of me."

Apparently, neither Mike's wife, children, grandchild, nor parents have had the heart to tell him that it is unlikely that successful business people would pay him to visit his particular brand of incompetence upon them during a crisis.

qv: AP: Ex-FEMA Head Starts Disaster Planning Firm

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here is to hoping that you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

H. R. Pufnstuf was about drugs?

I don't think I knew anything about drugs in the 1970s, but I sure do remember all of the swell Sid and Marty Krofft shows that populated Saturday morning TV. I loved those shows. I remember being especially fond of Lidsville, the story of a boy trapped in a world of giant, talking hats, with Charles Nelson Reilly as the over the top, evil magician named "Hoodoo." Come to think about it, how is it that I didn't make the connection to drugs? Nevermind. Do check out the retrospective at NPR, though. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy like a brand new pair of pajamas with matching bunny slippers. (Which I have never owned.)

qv: NPR: 'Sigmund' and Other Krofft Shows Resurface on DVD

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Bonfire Night!

We don't celebrate Guy Fawkes Day in the US, but I think we should. I mean, we don't care anything about the plot to blow up parliament, or the conspiracy, but we could get another weekend of parties after Halloween! (This will definitely be on my to-do list for next year.)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Hey! I'm a columnist...

I've been writing technology articles for a variety of groups and publications for a number of years, but for some reason it never felt quite real until today. With the 10/31/2005 edition of GSABUSINESS, my technology column is now a regular feature of GSABUSINESS magazine.

I guess I should stop, take a breath, and celebrate the moment.

Nah, I'll start thinking about what comes next.... more papers!