October 2004 – Page 2 – chris nelson dot ca
Oct 152004
 

Had my eyes measured the other day for LASIK & wavefront. I have very good night vision, so I figured my pupils were fairly large. They are a ginormous 8mm – that’s a fancy medical definition for you. The average pupil size is around 5-6mm. There was some early evidence that with the larger pupil size comes an increased chance of halos at night – the theory being that your pupil expands outside the treated area, giving you some blur. But some recent studies have shown that it is more to do with the way you heal and how bad your eyes are before you go into it. I am about the right age for the surgery, and my prescription isn’t that bad, so those factors are good for me. I think it is worth the risk.

There are other risks of course, but I’m not too worried about dry eye or contrast loss – that sort of stuff usually only happens when you have a preexisting condition. I should be a pretty low risk for that stuff. It is funny how I’ve gone from zero knowledge about eyes to a very good understanding of the eye, different laser treatments, and procedures. Always good to know what you are getting into when they are using a knife on your eye :)

They said someone could watch the surgery, but Anna might be a bit too squeamish about it. She has this weird thing about knives and eyes. Strange, I know.

After the test I wandered over to the consumer mecca of UTC and ordered myself a lychee boba tea. It was so good I didn’t even care I was wearing dorky glasses to protect my drugged out pupils.

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New malaria vaccine raises high hopes – 30% reduction in general infection, 60% less likely to develop severe forms. Very good news for a lot of the world.

Interesting article: Glad to be asexual

Wired looks at us burdening the futureFor most of history, this question didn’t matter much. Before the atomic bomb, we couldn’t really break the future. And before deficit financing, we couldn’t easily bankrupt it either.

An interesting assessment on your life: The Clean Sweep Program. I can’t say I agree with it all, but it is a thought provoking concept.

Google search for PC desktops, is it any good?

Oct 142004
 

Busy busy. Even a simple wedding is a lot of work.

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Wow, check out the picture: World’s pollution hotspots revealed from space

Cheese or security. Answer, cheese! Airport security agency cited for lavish banquet, bonuses

$140 billion corporate tax bill – “the worst example of the influence of special interests that I have ever seen” Good thing the fiscally responsible republicans hold the majority in the senate, eh?

Interesting stuff: The NanoWater congress, which kicked off the Aquatech 2004 water-technology trade show, outlined how nanotechnology can create drinking water from contaminated water, salt water and all forms of waste water

Diesels + Hybrid = Greener.

Oct 132004
 

I am going to get my eyes measured today for wavefront LASIK. I have wanted to do this for a while, but waited until the 3d technology was affordable ($2400). Surprisingly, the costs in Calgary were about the same for this kind of surgery. I guess the equipment costs take a while to recoup.

I’ve done my homework on my doc of course. He likes to travel and teach, always a good sign.

So if you see me wandering around today with pupils the size of dinner plates, don’t worry.

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The Sun is a great magazine. If you asked me if I would subscribe to a thin literary mag, I would have said ‘Put me on your do not call list’. Well, actually I would do that anyway, but the point is, I didn’t even know I would be interested in it.

This month there is an amazing interview with Daniel Ellsberg (Crusade Against The Abuse Of Presidential Power, From Nixon To Bush). They have a pdf link to some of the story here. I highly recommend it.

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Ah Monsanto, about time someone smacked you down: EPO revokes patent on Indian wheat

Interesting… The influence of sexual orientation on vowel production

Evidence of ‘jungle yeti’ found.

And to go with the above, Dinosaur tracks found in Swiss mountains

Seems that homeland security is freaking people out: The US Attorneys were informed that without a doubt an attack was going to be perpetrated in the US within the next 6 weeks, prior to the elections. Link.

Lastly, bitter irony: Iraqi nuke site looting after the war is putting materials back on the black market.

Oct 082004
 

This will be a busy weekend. Little Italy festival, Ray at Night, and One Nation at the Whistle Stop. Too bad I have so much work to do :(

There are few travel shows out there, and even fewer that I like. Recently I have added Michael Palin’s shows to my very limited play-list (which is mostly A Cook’s Tour and Lonely Planet). His new series is on The Himalayas, and is quite amazing. I will not miss the other 5 episodes.

We all knew it, but now it is official: The latest and most definitive findings came this week from the head of the U.S. weapons hunt in Iraq, Charles Duelfer. He concluded that Saddam did not have stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons, had no programs to make them or nuclear bombs, and had little ability to revive the banned weapons programs.

Bush now says Saddam had the ability to make weapons and give them to terrorists, an assertion he repeated Thursday. But Duelfer and other experts now say that is probably is false as well.

Archaeologists have unearthed the site of Genghis Khan’s palace and believe the long-sought grave of the 13th century Mongolian warrior is somewhere nearby

I just tried this out, pretty cool: Google SMS

For all you ipod nuts: iPodder

Underground SDSU station nearly finished

Oct 072004
 

Wired covers the 70mpg Smart Fortwo car and their future plans in the US. Gizmo also covers some of their other designs. I want a smart fortwo cabrio, that thing looks fun. The articles are disappointing though. The only model they are bringing to the US is a Smart SUV. Uhg. As if the market needs more SUVs. Look at the prius – if you give the people an alternative, they will take it.

Anyone who has seen a full sized moose in real life is surprised by it’s size. But how about a giant deer with 88 pounds of 10.5 foot antlers?

Oct 022004
 

My links of the day:

Stealing a nation – A new documentary by John Pilger, to be screened next Wednesday, reveals how in the 1960s Britain secretly and brutally expelled the inhabitants of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean – so that the US could build a military base there. Good times.

He is the conservative bastion of the US supreme court, a favourite of President Bush, and a hunting partner of the vice-president. He has argued vociferously against abortion rights, and in favour of anti-sodomy laws. He also thinks Americans ought to be having more orgies.

This was an interesting project. A guy handed out 32 disposable cameras to some kids in the Rocinha favela in Brazil. Some interesting photos, this one is just too funny.