Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ron Paul's Portfolio

Teaser:  He's heavily into gold and silver.


The biggest use of Frink is to convert units from one system to another ... liters per killometer to miles per gallon and like that.

Frinks's author, Alan Eliasen, has a Christmas tree ornament for you.  Print it on a color printer.  Allow for glue tabs.  Cut it out.  Crease it in the obvious way.  Fold into a 20-sided ball and hang on your tree.


Here's an intro to his language - very simple.  Convert AAAAA To BBBBB

A fascination document about units 

Welsh Stained Glass

A collection of photos at:

Teaser (St George killing the dragon):

Schubert Songs

Terrific collection at:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

IT Flops

1. Artificial intelligence
Era: Late 1950s to present
The pitch: "Some day we will build a thinking machine. It will be a truly intelligent machine. One that can see and hear and speak. A machine that will be proud of us." -- Thinking Machines Corp., year unknown

2. Computer-aided software engineering (CASE)
Era: Mid-1980s to mid-1990sThe pitch: "The key benefits of CASE are increases in software quality and development productivity. ... The result is better vision and understanding of the business problem and how the system works, and a clearer understanding of the system's design. With their disciplined, highly structured engineering approach and emphasis on rigid design rules, CASE tools verify consistency and completeness at early stages of the development process." -- Douglas Menendez, Internal Auditor  [13], 1991

3. Thin clients
Era: Early 1990s to presentThe pitch: "The financial case is clear: Thin-client computing can save 30 to 70 percent of your IT costs. Centralizing servers and server support staff leads directly to higher utilization levels. Simplified software deployment radically reduces rollout costs. Longer lifetimes of Windows-based terminals reduces capital expenditure. ... All the benefits of centralised servers and support staff are realized as are most of the benefits of powerful PCs on desks, including popular Windows applications." -- Newburn Consulting  [15], March 2002

4. ERP systems
Era: Mid-1990s to present
The pitch: "Enterprise resource planning systems appear to be a dream come true. ... The latest generation of commercially available software packages promise seamless integration of all information flows -- financial and accounting, human resource, operations, supply chain, and customer information. This provides for a unified view of the business, encompassing all functions and departments by establishing a single enterprise-wide database in which all business transactions are entered, recorded, processed, monitored, and reported." -- Elizabeth and Michael Umble  [17], Baylor University, January 2002

5. B-to-b marketplaces
Era: 1999 to 2002The pitch: "By 2005, 35 percent of the Internet b-to-b trade volume will be conducted via a net market or a consortium of buyers or sellers. ... The value proposition of the Internet is on a grander scale for the b-to-b space; the sheer size of b-to-b trade, coupled with inefficient processes, makes the Internet migration of business strategies very attractive." -- Jupiter Research, June 2000

6. Enterprise social media
Era: NowThe pitch: "[Our enterprise social media product] improves organizational awareness and fosters cross-functional workflows in ways that collaboration and social networking software alone never will .... helps organizations view and engage in the 'big conversation' -- the sum of all discussions, content creation, and planning activities taking place ... increases organizational effectiveness by providing individuals a 360-degree view of conversations and activities across previously isolated information silos ... while also meeting the enterprise security and data portability requirements of the most demanding CIO." --Unnamed enterprise social media vendor, October 2009

I've lost the link to this article.

Royal Families Descended from Queen Victoria

  • UK
  • Greece
  • Norway
  • Russia
  • Romania
  • Spain
  • Germany
  • Denmark
  • Sweden
  • Prussia

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is the only reigning monarch in Europe not a descendant of Victoria (Grandmother of Europe) nor King Christian IX of Denmark (Father-in-law of Europe)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

When Did WW I End?

Armistice?  Versailles?  Read this from the (UK) Telegraph:

First World War officially ends

The First World War will officially end on Sunday (2010-10-3), 92 years after the guns fell silent, when Germany pays off the last chunk of reparations imposed on it by the Allies.

The final payment of £59.5 million, writes off the crippling debt that was the price for one world war and laid the foundations for another. 
Germany was forced to pay the reparations at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 as compensation to the war-ravaged nations of Belgium and France and to pay the Allies some of the costs of waging what was then the bloodiest conflict in history, leaving nearly ten million soldiers dead. 
The initial sum agreed upon for war damages in 1919 was 226 billion Reichsmarks, a sum later reduced to 132 billion, £22 billion at the time. 
The bill would have been settled much earlier had Adolf Hitler not reneged on reparations during his reign. 

Hatred of the settlement agreed at Versailles, which crippled Germany as it tried to shape itself into a democracy following armistice, was of significant importance in propelling the Nazis to power. 

"On Sunday the last bill is due and the First World War finally, financially at least, terminates for Germany," said Bild, the country's biggest selling newspaper. 

Most of the money goes to private individuals, pension funds and corporations holding debenture bonds as agreed under the Treaty of Versailles, where Germany was made to sign the 'war guilt' clause, accepting blame for the war. 

France, which had been ravaged by the war, pushed hardest for the steepest possible fiscal punishment for Germany.

The principal representative of the British Treasury at the Paris Peace Conference, John Maynard Keynes, resigned in June 1919 in protest at the scale of the demands. 

"Germany will not be able to formulate correct policy if it cannot finance itself,' he warned. 

When the Wall Street Crash came in 1929, the Weimar Republic spiralled into debt. Four years later, Hitler was elected Chancellor of Germany.