Friday, December 10, 2004

- On December 17th a movie called "The Aviator" hits the big-screens. It stars Leonardo Dicaprio as Howard Hughes. I am not a fan of Leo's, but I am fan of Martin Scorsese (who directs the film), and I am a huge fan of Howard Hughes. I may be forced to see this movie. Hughes was a world-class engineer, multi-billioniare industrialist, and held all the air-speed records until Chuck Yeager came along. Hughes was the inspiration for Tony Stark, who is the comic-book character Iron Man, and Hughes is certainly an inspiration to me. He was one of the giants of the early 20th century, until he went stark-raving mad, and became more famous for being a recluse, than for his many accomplishments early in his life. Here is a good article about him:

- When I watch science-fiction movies or TV shows, it drives me nuts to see characters walking around in space-ships as if they had normal gravity. Even Star Wars doesnt bother to explain this physical impossibility. Well, for 40 years NASA has been working on this problem, and here are some of the ideas they have come up with:

- While cruising the internet, you may have come across some strange language such as " r u w8tng 4 sum1? " (translated to "are you waiting for someone"), or "joo r d34d foo" (translated to "you are dead fool"). This bizarre syntax is called "l33t speak", and there is a rhyme and reason to it. In the 1980s, hackers would use this language to obscure their websites from search algorithms and government do-gooders. Now people on the internet, and mainly teen-agers, use it express themselves. I never use l33t speak. I find it obnoxious and a perfectly good waste of time. Nevertheless, given my line of work, it helps to know some of the vernacular. Here is a website that explains l33t speak, and how to read it:

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