28January2004 - A new
German study (at the University of Luebeck) found that sleep
is essential for creativity & problem solving. Duh. I could
have told them that. I thought this was common knowledge.
I've been interested in the subject of creativity for
some years now. While working in an industry where adhering to prescribed
procedures is necessary (& boring), and where creativity is viewed
as dangerous, I decided to explore new horizons, beginning with Julia
Cameron's book: The
Artist's Way, considered by many the bible of creativity.
Here in Laguna, an
artist's community, you can overhear people on the street talking the
creative lingo. If you visit the RADIFIED splash
page, you'll find this quote posted there:
Against the ruin of the world, there is but one defense:
the creative act.
Be creative, save the world.
I like that quote because it references the notion of entropy
law of thermodynamics), which contains the idea that the universe
is in a state of continual decay (from order to disorder).
There's even a philosophical argument for the existence of God (the
that employs the concept of entropy as its premise. It goes something
like this (the Radified version):
The remainder of today's drivel on this topic is posted here:> Creativity,
Sleep & Entropy.
26January2004 - Updated the Windows
XP Installation guide to incorporate comments & suggestions
made by various readers from around the planet.
Ordered a new espresso machine today: the Solis
70. Currently have the Saeco
Classico, but after several years of heavy use (abuse), it's plum
worn out. Been having to drive into town
for our daily fix at the local coffee house. I've actually begun to
sound like one of those coffee-snobs: the kind they make fun of on television,
telling the girl exactly how I want her to make my cappuccino. But no
one can make a cappuccino as good as you can make
The Solis has a larger (9- vs 5-ounce) & more powerful boiler
(1088 vs 930 watts), and a more powerful pump (50 vs
41 watts). Supposedly, it also has better reliability, which is nice,
cuz we abuse our machine on a daily basis. This way, I'll be able to
compare the two models, which are two of the finest semi-automatic units
designed for home use. Might even write up a little review if I find
The remainder of today's drivel on this topic is posted here:> New
24January2004 - I love Google,
or I wouldn't have incorporated their search function into my home page
(for your searching convenience). What makes their search engine stand
out from others is the relevance of their search results. Usually.
But I hate when I have to wade through pages of commercial
sites when searching for *information*. In fact, several articles I
read suggest that Google favors commercial sites .. that, if
your site is selling something, Google automatically ranks
So, a few weeks ago, I wrote to the
boys at Google and suggested they incorporate a [button] that would
allow users to filter out commercial sites when searching
for info only, and don't want to buy anything (which is most of the
time). Their response arrived today:
Rad, Thanks for the suggestion. All of us here love your site
and really appreciate thoughtful feedback from our users. We'll keep
yours in mind as we work to improve Google.
The Google Team
Well, from that less-than-enthusiatic response, I don't give my suggestion
much chance of ever seeing the light of day. But, what-the-hey, I gave
it a shot. And I am aware that some (not many) commercial sites are,
in fact, very good sources of information.
23January2004 - Updated the Freeware
page. I try to give the most attention to the most popular features,
and this one has become surprisingly popular. Fixed dead links. Added
some clarifying comments and programs recommended by others. General
sprucing. Should be good for another few months.
Seems that the movie I mentioned on 20jan2004
(Touching the Void) is not being screened in the area .. which suks.
Can't find it anywhere.
Lots of mail today regarding yesterday's comment about the donor
dot. To be honest, I am afraid they are going to start yanking
my organs before I die. People have been mistaken for dead before, and
they are under pressure to harvest organs quickly as possible. When
I try to hurry, I make the most miztakes.
I know this is an irrational fear, and I certainly understand the value
of donated organs, and if I ever needed one, I would pray that people
see the light on this issue. But I just have a phobia about it.
Yesterday's (donor-dot) comment was made flippantly, cuz I am uncomfortable
with the whole subject. Actually, the form says, "To refuse
to donate, fill out part "F" and carry this card with your
license. This card is a legally binding document" .. which
makes it sound like they will start yanking organs if they find you
at the scene of an accident and can't locate the card.
I posted similar thoughts on this subject in the comments section from
(scroll to bottom). I don't create a blog
entry for every day (like yesterday), or if I am in a hurry. But I probably
22January2004 - Picture-perfect day here
in sunny SoCal. 72-degrees F (22C).
Not a cloud in the sky. Almost broke a sweat. Not bad for the middle
Received my first official correspondence today with Arnold's name on
it, when my driver's license (valid 'til 2009) arrived
in the mail. In the upper right-hand corner of the accompanying paperwork,
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor
State of California
After all the publicity, it still struck me as odd to see his name there.
It hit me that Arnold is actually the governor. That whole recall election
fiasco wasn't just entertainment. Might take some getting used to.
They also include a pink "donor-dot" that you can stick on
your driver's license, along with a little credit-card-sized form to
fill out and keep in your wallet. You can donate all
or part of you body/organs, for either transplant or
medical research. Never noticed that before. I don't plan on dying anytime
soon, so I didn't use the dot.
21January2004 - I don't know about where
you live, but here in SoCal,
people drive strangely. By that, I mean they will drive at a regular
speed, until you try to pass them, at which point they'll speed up.
Have you witnessed this behavior? You can actually watch the speedometer
climb: 45, 55, 65. Soon as you take your foot off the gas and let them
keep the lead, they will slow back down: 65, 55, 45.
I've been studying this phenomena for many years. I even applied for
a government grant to document it (but they told me to get lost and
stick to my web site). Anyway, after many years of exhaustive research,
I have discovered what I believe to be the cause of this bizarre driving
behavior. I call it: THE SPERM EFFECT.
You see, we all began as little sperms. Now I know some girls refuse
to admit they were ever a sperm. But it's true. Ask your sex education
teacher. And, when you were a sperm, the only thing you cared about
was being in the lead position. Because the sperm who came in second
place got no prize. No cigar for that boy. All of us were *first* to
mommy's egg. If we weren't, we wouldn't be here right now.
The remainder of today's drivel on this topic is posted here:> The
Sperm Effect on Driving.
20January2004 - This Friday (the 23rd),
the movie Touching the Void
is scheduled for release. True story, based on the
book (hard to find right now) of the same title, by Joe Simpson.
Two guys climb a 21,000-foot peak (6,400-meters) in the Peruvian
Andes, when things go bad. Very bad. Trailers posted here
(but they suk).
BBC review here.
Seems that *everybody*
likes this film. In fact, I have never seen a film reviewed at Rotten
Tomatoes without a single negative comment.
I am *so* excited to see this movie that I can hardly stand myself.
I don't know why I get so excited by the idea of mountaineering.
I mean, I have never done it. The closest thing was hiking
to the top of Half Dome.
But that involved no harness. Maybe it's because I'm so terrified by
the idea of hanging off the the side of a mountain, a thousand feet
up. Yet, every night, before bed, I read a little of Freedom
of the Hills (reviews posted here):
the mountaineer's bible.
The remainder of today's drivel on this topic is posted here:> Touching
19January2004 - Updated the guide to Hard
Drive Partitioning Strategies. Nothing major. Just the usual pruning
and polishing. It has been seeing increased traffic lately, from a number
and I try keep the popular
guides spruced up.
Here in the States, today is celebrated as Martin
Luther King day. What I admire so much about the man, is not what
he was able to accomplish, but, rather, what he was able to accomplish
in spite of the opposition he faced. I mean, it's one thing to climb
Mount Everest. But it's another thing to climb Everest with a Volkswagen
tied to your ankle. And like most people who try to haul a Volkswagen
to the top of Everest, it killed him.
I also like to read his speeches and quotes. If you visit my Linkage
page, you'll see that I keep a link there of his prophetic speech titled:
to the Mountain Top (03april1968). An eloquent man. This is how
his last speech ended:
Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has
its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do
God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've
looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there
with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will
get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried
about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory
of the coming of the Lord.
17January2004 - In keeping with the ongoing
theme of 'debate' from these last few days .. I was
invited to a dinner party last night. A guy there mentioned seeing the
Last Samurai, starring Tom Cruise.
I told him how I thought it was interesting how the film alluded to
a parallel with the native American Indian, how both groups of noble
people got screwed (wiped out) by their respective governments .. not
intending to start a political/philosophical argument, mind you. (I
have already discussed some of my thoughts on this topic in the post
This guy's wife immediately chimed in, saying to him, "See!
see! I'm not the only one who thinks that." It was obvious
they had already discussed the issue, and disagreed. He claimed to be
a Political Science major, as if that somehow qualifies one
to make such judgments. We did not discuss the issue long, not wanting
to ruin the party for others, but I was genuinely curious about how
he arrived at his conclusion.
His two, main premises were:
1. This was nothing new. Nations have been conquering
other nations for thousands of years.
2. The Indians were fighting amongst themselves for
hundreds of years before we arrived.
The remainder of today's drivel on this topic is posted here:> Did
the Native American Indian get screwed?
16January2004 - Speaking of controversy,
I noticed there are heated debates on-going in reference to the posts
made concerning California
grocery store chains being on strike, and also the Vector/Cutco
'Work-for-Students' marketing scam.
software I use (Movable Type)
allows me to see the IP address of the people posting in those threads.
I noticed that many of the pro-Vector posts in the Vector/Cutco thread
originate from the SAME IP ADDRESS, indicating they were made from the
same computer (traced to a Verizon-DSL connection located somewhere
in Los Angeles), and probably by the same individual,
logging in under different names/aliases. Seems deceptive and deceitful,
which has been the main gripe about Vector from the beginning.
I couldn't understand how all these people were finding these posts,
but if you search for the terms: vector+cutco,
15January2004 - Yesterday's
post, which referenced the French publication Le
Monde diplomatique, generated a number of comments, not all of them
nice as this one:
Wonderful. I've found yet another European publication that
comments on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict from a skewed mirror
upon a celestial perch. No thanks, Rad. I prefer articles with a solid
foundation in actual historic events rather than holier-than-thou
rhetoric and biased ideals. I was hoping LMD would be a source of
refreshment but it is yet another site that panders to the Arab/Muslim
view of Israel. Thanks for the interesting source of this morning’s
Unfortunately, this reader did not recommend a more enlightened publication.
And I hasten to add that there's nothing intrinsically wrong with exposing
yourself to positions and arguments with which you disagree. Personally,
I find it helpful. There's an old adage that says: "God bless
our enemies, for they tell us our faults."
First, let me say that I do not recommend LMD, specifically. As I stated,
I was merely mentioning the two mailing lists I subscribe to, and that
I feel those of us who reside here in the States, where the little guy
has no control over the media, nor its content or expressed opinions,
should expose and avail ourselves to non-US perspectives .. WHATEVER
that source might be, in order to understand how the rest of the world
feels about various topics.
Secondly, I freely admit that I am *not* well-informed on the subject
of world politics, especially the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. I mean,
people much smarter than I (including several US presidents) have already
tried to unravel that political rat's nest (and failed miserably).
The remainder of today's drivel on this topic is posted here:> Two
Sides to Every Story.
14January2004 - <rant> I loathe mailing
lists. They're easy to get on & difficult (or impossible) to get
off. Well-meaning friends include me on their massive Joke-of-the-Day
mailings and other such nonsense. Next thing you know, one of the recipients
adds me to their own mailing list. And so on & so forth.
Now, people who I have never met are sending me daily emails containing
their political tirades. Netiquette
dictates that names on a mailing list (other than close family &
friends) go into the blind copy (bcc)
box .. to protect the privacy of those on the list. </rant>
I use several different email addys, and have to change them periodically
due to spam and similar nuisances. I only subscribe to two mailing lists
• Merriam-Webster Word-of-the-Day
to help build my fledgling vocabulary (daily)
• Le Monde diplomatique,
a French-based political news letter (monthly)
I think it's important for us here in the States
to be exposed to political insights from abroad. Not that we would agree
with everything we read there, but to get another perspective.
It's like looking at yourself in a mirror. Sometimes you can see yourself
more clearly if you take a step away from yourself. It's not like we
can dictate what the media here feeds us.
Speaking of Le Monde, they recently published an interesting
document titled Gaps
in the Net. It mentions how, last month, the *first* world
summit on Information Society was held in Geneva,
at the request of the United Nations.
The remainder of today's drivel on this topic is posted here:> Another
13January2004 - I noticed that Shoutcast
topped the 100-K listener mark today. This statistic
can be found in the site's upper right-hand corner. I'm sure they topped
the 100-K mark before, but I never noticed until today.
When I posted the article on Internet
Music back in 2001 (January), there were less than
1-K listeners. So you can see there has been exponential
growth (similar to the increase in how fast rain forests are being destroyed,
or the increase in the federal deficit).
I traded a few emails with the folks who run some of these "streams",
such as DJ Ari at Digitally
Imported radio. He says peak listening time is around 12:30 Pacific
time, which would be 3:30 Eastern, and speculates this time corresponds
to the lunch break at Silicon Valley. Most of these guys assert that
the growth of Internet music mirrors the growth of broadband technology,
which continues to grow at a rapid pace.
The remainder of today's drivel on this topic is posted here:> Shoutcast
Breaks the 100-K Listener Mark.
12January2004 - Went to Disneyland
yesterday: Happiest Place on Earth. I go every year to celebrate
my birthday. It's right up the road, about 30 minutes
drive. If you stop in City Hall when you get there, and show
them your ID, they'll give you a special name tag to wear, so that all
day long, everywhere you go, people greet you by name with a rousing
"Happy birthday!" People you don't even know .. from all over
the country. Happy people.
While waiting in line for one ride, I met an adorable 6-year
old girl, who was also there to celebrate her birthday. (It could be
argued who was acting more maturely.) I usually try to go mid-week,
when it's not as crowded, but yesterday wasn't too bad. And the weather
was absolutely gorgeous. Last year it was bone-chillingly cold. (Here
that means the temperature dropped below 60-degrees.)
The remainder of today's drivel on this topic is posted here:> Disneyland
11January2004 - Had a discussion today
with some friends about world religions. (It's Sunday.)
What are the three taboo subjects one should never discuss? Religion,
politics and money? Anyway, we noted how there exists many different
world religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam,
Judaism & Christianity. And how, within each of these, there exists
many different denominations and sects.
Regrettably, I never took a class in World Religions. But I
have friends who have. And I like to pick their brains about what they
learned in these classes, just to be better informed. The remainder
of today's drivel on this topic is posted here:> World
10January2004 - Finally saw Lord
of the Rings last night: The Return of the King
.. on the giant IMAX screen at the
They made a big deal at the beginning, about how this film was being
displayed using *regular* 35mm projection equipment,
and was therefore *not* representative of a "true IMAX experience".
Real IMAX films are shot on 70mm film and cost $2
more to see than regular films. I guess this is why they only charged
me the regular admission price ($9.50).
I've been looking forward to seeing ROTK since it first came out. But
every time I asked someone if they wanted to go, they had already seen
it. So I went by myself. 3½ hours. Dang. It was
almost 1AM when we finally got out.
ROTK got rave
reviews. It is the first movie in a while that I felt like I got
MORE than my money's worth. By now, most of you have either seen it
already, or have no desire to. So I will simply say that my favorite
line was by the Ork: Certain chance of death; small chance for success.
What are we waiting for?
The remainder of today's drivel on this topic is posted here:> LOTR
- The Return of the King.
09January2004 - January has traditionally
been one of the site's busiest months. I'm not sure
if this is because people have more free time now, or if they are merely
trying to figure out how to use the new toys
they got for Christmas. Either way, the mail box has been filling with
kudos and other
Speaking of Christmas gifts, I found a yoga membership
under the tree with my name on it. Between you and me, I hate feeling
like a "new guy" .. (which is probably why I learned so much
It's not like I've never taken a yoga
class before. It's just that I'm such a "noobie". Nevertheless,
I look forward to enrolling and someday becoming a yogi. Soon as I attain
I will share with you the meaning
On a more mundane note, today is a digital maintenance
day: download drivers
and program updates.
and create a Ghost image. Feels
like a trip to the car wash.
06January2004 - Saw Cold
Mountain last night. It was good. Very good, even. But didn't knock
my socks off. Maybe because my expectations were too high going in,
after reading all the glowing
Some parts seemed slow, especially in the beginning. The last third
was the best. Cinematography in the last third of the movie was absolutely
gorgeous. Especially after the snowfall, when the scenes contained a
mix of white snow and dark buildings. It almost seemed as if they brought
in a new cinematographer to film the end. I like it when movies end
strong, and don't peter out.
The remainder of today's drivel on this topic is posted here:> Cold
On another topic, this is old news (22dec), but you should know that
court has acquitted 'DVD Jon' - a second time, and that Norwegian
authorities have decided *not* to take the case to their Supreme court.
DVD Jon (Johansen) was accused of 'breaking into' DVDs that he legally
purchased and owned, and then sharing his findings on the Internet.
01January2004 - Happy 2004!
I noticed some news commentators calling it "twenty-oh-four"
.. instead of "two-thousand-four". I kinda like that. Doesn't
make me feel as old.
RADIFIED set a new record last month, with over 1.4
million hits. (See here.)
It wasn't long ago when
the site didn't get that many hits all year.
The *real* news here in SoCal
today is the Rose
Bowl game: pitting the USC
Trojans (ranked #1
in the nation) against Michigan (2PM PST). Everybody
is talking about it. In the cafes downtown, it's all the buzz. We were
running the beach yesterday at Crystal
Cove (a New Years eve-day tradition) and you could hear guys discussing
it as they ran by.
If you've read the Film School Chronicles,
you know I spent some time at "SC" the last
few years, and have grown fond of the university (home of the world's
best Film school). Tickets to the game are impossible to get. I can
usually find someone with a spare tik. But not for this game. People
aren't even returning my calls.
And if you've read the entry from the 28th of December,
you know I just got back from a Christmas trip to Michigan. Had to bite
my tongue there. Lots of blue
fans .. wearing the colors & everything. They are ranked #4.
Can hardly wait for the game to begin. What I wouldn't do for a ticket.