The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Sharon suffers major stroke

MSNBC is reporting this hour that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has suffered a "significant" stroke:

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a “significant” stroke Wednesday after being brought to the hospital from his ranch in the Negev desert, a hospital official said. Minutes later, a hospital official said Sharon had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage.
Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, director general of Hadassah Hospital, said Sharon was put under general anesthetic and was receiving breathing assistance while doctors assessed his condition.
Cabinet Secretary Yisrael Maimon said Sharon’s authorities have been transferred to Vice Premier Ehud Olmert.

More as developments warrant.

Kill-a-Watt

My cousin Matt just sent me information about a portable power meter that you can use to see how much electricity your appliances are actually using. It's pretty cool.

It might be interesting to see how much power things use when they're off.

Zeta may become first-ever January hurricane

The National Hurricane Center reports this hour that Tropical Storm Zeta, only the second January tropical storm ever recorded, may become a hurricane. It probably won't, but it's already so close as to make the distinction irrelevant to any ships in the area.

I'm putting this in the Politics category as well as the Weather category because I believe it's one more example of the increased tropical activity predicted by the global warming hypothesis and ignored by current U.S. policy.

For those of you dying to know what the next tropical cyclone will be named, the NHC says the naming season begins January 1st, even though the "official" hurricane season begins June 1st. So the next Atlantic tropical storm will be named Alberto, even if it forms tomorrow.

Happy New Year!

Welcome to another year of the Blog.

Anne and I wound up at the Majestic Hotel right in the middle of our old neighborhood, and then we rang in the New Year at a (relatively) new bar on Clark Street, whose name escapes me. Lots of fun. Forgot the Champagne, though.

New Year's Resolution: 1024 x 768 (I'm using my laptop).

Complaints about the weather: None from me. It's 4°C (40°F) right now, which for a Chicago New Year's Day is delightfully warm. However, this guy that I saw on the way home from the El this morning would probably disagree:

Silliest news story of the day: Yesterday, a pack of chihuahuas attacked a cop in Fremont, Calif. The police officer received bite wounds to the ankle. No word on how far the chihuahuas got punted.

Don't forget, the holidays aren't over yet. Tonight is the last night of Chanukkah. Sunset in Chicago tonight is at 4:31pm; you can use the Weather Now calculator to find your city's sunset time. Check back later for a photo of the world's ugliest menorah in full bloom.

Another good article from the Tribune: Barbara Botman writes about New Orleans at New Year's. I recommend it.

Inner Drive Technology Comprehensive Testing Facility

For my last post of the year, I'd like to announce that the Inner Drive Technology Comprehensive Testing Facility is now complete, except for the Lab Cam, which should arrive from Logitech in about two weeks. (The dead one is visible in the upper-left corner of the photo below.)

Inner Drive's World Headquarters is now ready to face whatever challenges we may in 2006. Happy new year, everyone!

Runs in the family, apparently

I'm not the only one suffering techno-poltergeists this week. Anne just got this message from Google:

Lockdown in sector 4!
Our system indicates unusual usage of your account. In order to protect Gmail users from potentially harmful use of Gmail, this account has been disabled for up to 24 hours.

Jerome Leitner, my Wills professorGoogleing the email found that Google's own tools can trigger this lockout.

Did anyone notice the theme of all the technical issues we've had lately? An SBC router crashed, a Webcam fried, a voice-mail account deleted? They all have something in common, something my Wills professor would call "the Omnibus Explanation:" "The Omnibus Explanation, the thing that explains what logic and rational thought cannot, is stupidity."

Technological purgatory for a day

From 5pm Thursday until 9pm Friday, machines hated me. I do not know why.

Thursday afternoon, I added my dear mother to my mobile phone plan. This is her first mobile phone. I suppose she was waiting until they perfected the technology. Clearly they haven't; but my carrier, T-Mobile, uses GSM technology, which is the most advanced available commercially at this time.

Clearly, however, giving my mother a mobile phone caused the Anti-Technology Gods to frown upon me.

First, T-Mobile deleted my voicemail account. I've been so busy, and as far as I could see no one left me any messages (because, you see...well, yes, you do see...), so I just discovered this now. So if you've called recently, and weren't able to leave a message, it's T-Mobile's fault.

Then there was the fritzy Webcam.

And to cap Erev New Year's Eve for me, SBC Global (now, apparently, part of AT&T again) dropped Inner Drive's DSL for five hours (to the minute, which is suspicious). They don't know why. Nor did the first two support techs believe me when I told them exactly which router was down. (I've been here before.)

Now, everything seems to be working. And the year is almost over. So, happy new year, and I hope the Anti-Technology Gods are appeased.