Thursday, September 20, 2007

My Library On Google

This is pretty cool. I had a horrible cold last weekend, so I spent a lot of time entering books into Google's library database feature. What's neat is that some of the newer books are searchable, so if I remember reading something but I'm not sure which book it's in... presto! I can Google my own "dead tree" library!

I've only got it partially entered. My estimate is that my wife and I own maybe 700 or 800 books. Probably by year-end I'll have it completely loaded. I'm not going to post my comic book collection; if I did Bubba might break into my house to steal them.

This would be a great tool for small school or church libraries especially since it's free to the user to create a library. You just do a search on author or title, or you can enter the ISBN number. I did find that not all ISBN numbers are entered and there were a few books which I couldn't find, about 3 out of 284. Those were all from very small publishing companies, however.

"They change their minds everyday..."

Murtha Elevator Interview

Courtesy of Hot Air. All hail the camcorder generation!

Mark Shea on being "appalled" versus being "shocked"

I thought this post from Mark Shea in reaction to this post from Rod Dreher was really perceptive. It's worth reading; I've always said that when Mark is on, he's really on. Here's an excerpt:

[Y]ou can trust Holy Church completely. But only a fool would trust its members merely because they are its members. To be sure, we extend each other the normal charity we should extend strangers. We don't presume the worst. We don't live in constant paranoia. But at the same time, to uncritically assume that Fr. Whosit or Bishop Whatsit could not *possibly* be liars, scoundrels or incompetents is to treat them like gods, not men. At the end of the day, they are men. So the Scandal appalled me, but it never *shocked* me as it shocked Rod. It caused no crisis of faith because I never "believed in" the various culprits. To be sure, there are people I believe in. But that's because I followed the command to be wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove and to "test everything" and hold fast to what is good....

I think Mark is onto something by noting the contrast between being appalled and being shocked. For example, Our Lord is appalled at Judas's betrayal, urging him to get it over with, but having seen the sins of all mankind, he is most likely not shocked and instead says rather bluntly "One of you will betray me." I am appalled at the priest scandal, but in response I've chosen to fold my hands in private rather than wring my hands in public.

Good comments to Mark's post by Tom (natch), Scriblerus, Red Cardigan and Jim Scott 4th. Please feel free to add your own comments here.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Who's going to teach the Saudis to surf?

This ought to make Sponge Bob the next Donald Trump.

A former broadcaster has reportedly discovered that salt water will burn when exposed to certain radio frequencies, raising the possibility that sea water could someday be used for fuel.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported over the weekend that cancer researcher John Kanzius - who once owned a radio/TV combo in Erie, PA - discovered while experimenting with a frequency generator that the hydrogen in salt water can burn with a 3,000-degree flame when exposed to radio frequencies.

Penn State University chemist Rustum Roy told the Post-Gazette that he was able to re-create Kanzius' results in university laboratories. Roy called the discovery "the most remarkable in water science in 100 years."

Kanzius once co-owned what is now WQHZ-FM in Erie (formerly WJET-FM).
He and partner Myron Jones also owned WJET-TV in that market. Jones was CEO and Kanzius was President of the licensee of both stations, The Jet Broadcasting Co.

If sea water can be used as fuel then I suppose rising sea levels due to global warming will be a good thing. Makes sense. But I'm more excited about the possibility of thumbing our noses at the Arabs while we fly down the highway blasting Jan & Dean tunes on our sea powered Hummers and other "land yachts".