Monthly Archives: August 2005

coincidences

Note: this post was delayed posting a few days for no reason other than the fact that i forgot to publish it.

so i think that i experienced the most coincidental set of events in a single weekend ever last weekend when a friend and i road-tripped up through new mexico and into the durango/silverton region of colorado.

1/ cross canadian ragweed; c created a mix cd for me two months ago with one of thier songs on it; i was listening to that exact song on the way to pick up c driving to durango; we just happened to pick a restaurant (Ore House) Friday night in durango for which we have to wait 30 minutes. While waiting, the place right next to it has Cross Canadian Ragweed playing for 20 bucks. Its rock-country, the kind of stuff that they play on country stations. The dude reminds me of Skynard, and the show was extremely good except for the oklahoma people in the crowd.

2/ Jeep tour. My phone number is the same as thiers. The only difference is the area code. Duu duu duuuuh.

3/ Mesa Verde: Nothing coincidental. Hiking was fun and ruins. Petroglyphs were amazing and well worth the three mile hike (as no strollers or canes could make it up some of the sandrock stairs carved into the cliff you had to trek).

4/ Lost Dog. Nothing there, except for a $15 100% agave tequila shot that tasted like turpentine.

5/ Rafting down the Animas river with the same company as the jeep tour. Nothing special unless you count the fact that the guide told me i could jump in to swim/wade during a wide shallow part and its pretty deep. i do a graceful launching flail dive off the prow of the raft and land in 3 feet of 45 degree water (Farenheit). if it wasnt for my ninja like reflexes and whale like blubber around my midrif, i would’ve broken my neck or gotten hypothermia.

6/ Van ride to Silverton from Durango. C went to a small catholic high school in the ABQ. it turns out that the now local snowburnout driver went to the same high school and graduated 2 years after she did. they talked and tried to figure out mutual people and it turns out that some guy who the driver played water polo with in HS (who we met at shellbacks one night from CS Northridge) taped the guy upside down from a tree when he was a freshman. “dick.” was what he said about him.

7/ There is no coincidence in Silverton. There is almost nothing there. The only cool thing is that there used to be underground tunnels from the nicer hotels to the brothels so that wives couldn’t see thier husbands partake in thier local whores. Although, when it started raining I left my sunglasses on the bar and we ran to the train station. When I couldnt even remember the name of the bar, I had to mathematically deduce the name from its memorized location and a brochure hotel listing. I spoke with the manager of the lost and found, gave them my cali address, so hopefully I won’t lose those sunglasses again.(1)

(1): they did send the sunglasses with a note “if you want to pay for postage, you can send some money to the return address on this box.” maybe open up the brothel tunnels and i will.

personal information search

i know everyone has heard that cnet wrote an article about google’s ceo and included some basic personal information in thier article about privacy and intraweb crawlers obtaining ‘private’ information published on teh intarnets. well, it turns out that while ‘marthaler’ isn’t that common of a name (there should be in about 30 years after me and my 4 brothers have 5 boys each…) you still can’t find too much information about me on the web. it turns out that there is some powerful ceo/business guy in chicago with the same first and last name as me. and that there is a whole wisconsin/minnesota marthaler family. the only way that you can even see how i have impacted the documented world is by searching for ‘physics’ along with my name. and then you only get an article about how i won an engineering competition back in the day.

Well, it turns out that there are better ways of obtaining personal/address/phone number/martial (and marital!)/age information about someone. in fact, when i looked myself up using zabasearch.com i found that they had every phone number i have ever listed/paid for and every address at which i have ever lived. then when i looked you up (i can tell who you are, i have people) i found everything about you too!! I’ll call ya later.

p.s. caps are for people that have shift keys

new phone, moblog/photoblog, and textamerica.com

So i recently upgraded my mobile from a small Samsung phone to a thin flip form-factor Motorola Razor model. This is only the third ever phone model that I’ve had, starting with the smallish Nokia back in 2001. I forget the samsung and nokia model numbers… maybe ill look them up. Nah.

My first Nokia was awesome. The software interface was very intuitive and kept track of everything in a very proper and sensical manner. Up/Down buttons accessed what I wanted things to access and menus were easy to navigate and things just worked(unless I didn’t know better, and just assumed that was the way things worked for all phones). I bought the Samsung because it was the only phone that Cingular was offering in 2003 that was a non-clamshell small enough to be comparable to my nokia. It wasn’t so good.

There was an LED on the phone that would blink. All. The. Time.(1) Granted, you could change the color that it would blink from blue to orange and back to blue, but still, it was annoying sleeping with a bright blue blinking LCD in the corner of your room. And to make matters worse, the software interface was bad. Up/Down buttons didnt work right, the phone didnt split dialed/received/incoming-but-not-picked-up calls. Nor did the phone save outgoing text messages (which means I had no record of drunk messaging you that one time!(2)). And text messaging was a chore: there was no auto-complete feature, and no fast and easy way to enter two consecutive letters from the same key. I wasn’t happy, but I coped.

Now I got this RAZR phone. It is kinda funny. The interface is customizable, but in a way that I can’t get it to do *exactly* what I want. Just kinda close to what I want. The motorola UI is good though, colors are skinnable and the menu items and address book are in ‘proper order’ and make some sense. I’ve never really had a camera phone before, and it only takes low resolution images 480×600 jpegs. I was hoping for larger images, that are clearer when viewed on something other than a phone.

The picture quality really start to bother me when I tried to set up a moblog. MoBlog, I assume, stands for mobile blog or photoblog but i dont know how photo condensed down to ‘mo’. It is an automated service to publish the photos that you take on your phone onto the intrarweb. And, like all good things, it is free. The one that I set up, http://tmarthal.textamerica.com needs a bit of CSS customization (and flaming gifs), but it is handy when I take a picture of where I live and want to share it with other people.

I think that blogger.com offers the same sort of photo upload service (like you can send your pictures to an email address to upload them) but I’ll stick with textamerica well, just because.


(1) The unorthodox internet writer sh0uld never use writing techniques overzealously. This period stopping emphasis, while neccessary, should not be tried by the average blogger.
(2) Which means that it never happened.

marking evolution and intelligent design

In late July, BBC published an article about the process from which one species of butterfly can divert from another. The article’s main point is that two very-similar species of butterflies living in the same geographic area only mate with others of the same species based off of a small mutation which produced marks only distinguishable to butterflies of the same species.

“This has the effect of discouraging inter-species mating, thus encouraging genetic isolation and species divergence.”

Which has always been one of the aspects of that I always found difficult: how could one individual mutate/evolve and then pass its modified genetic information onto its predecessors? How would its predecessors know to only mate with other evolved species? This article and study is very insightful in shedding light into that, and could be (speculation) the divergence between how fish became snakes became lizards became ????.

Of course, I found that article from /. when it was posted a few weeks ago. Of course, with the typical slashdot discussion, people started talking about the news and events of today rather than staying on the topic of the article, and while President Bush hadn’t yet spoke out that should be taught in biology class, the discussion drifted over to Creationism’s successor.

I don’t want to ruin some of the discussion for people, but there seem to be a very intelligent minority over there, and one or two people often provide more succinct information in a paragraph or two about a topic than a media reported can with 5 pages of text. This post brings up ID, and amongst others, this post provides the clearest counter point about multi-animal ‘intelligent design’ done by the same ‘author’.