Tidbits of info

An utterly uninteresting and yet perplexing discussion occured the other day with a friend. She asked me what the plural of "cul-de-sac" is, to which I responded with the knee-jerk obvious "cul-de-sacs". Immediately realizing the odd nature of the question, and its origin from the proverbial left field, I began to rack my head for another possibility. Quick as lightning, spoiling my attempt at uncovering her trick, she responded, "Nope, its 'culs-de-sac'". Damn French… Upon further investigation the source of this woman's information turned out to be the highly reputable (said highly sarcastically) WB crud 'Gilmore Girls'. Not satisfied to let this kind of shoddy trivial fact finding rest, I employed the power of the Internets (all of them) and came to this conclusion: Damn, she was right! And although I found a site or two that backed my original answer, I feel as though this is a battle I can concede. Interesting side story: today, dy had a research day as well, where I learned that an ear of corn is a fruit, while cornmeal is a grain, and corn itself is a grass. Let's see if the bio major knows that!

Heaven on Earth, aka Eating Sushi

Thanks to Gabriel, I have an insatiable appetite for sushi now. Granted, my income does not allow me to partake as much as I would like, but that makes the occasions when I do have some all the more special. For those that also enjoy sushi and the whole experience of eating sushi, this page is considered by Google to be the best page in explaining how to eat sushi, what to look for in a sushi bar, etc… Now I need to find a date who'd be willing to try Fugu (Poisonous Japanese Blowfish)…

Paypal and PHP

Develop in PHP? Want to allow users to pay you on your site, but don't want to pony up the dough for a merchant account? Why not use Paypal, some clever PHP, and whammo bammo, you've got yourself a nice, inexpensive system for accepting credit card payments online. Read this for more…

If You Blinked...

…you missed it. Folks, I think it goes without saying that we here at jamesaimonetti.com, are beside ourselves with excitement with recent events on our site. For those who are not clued in, jamesaimonetti.com is now being powered by the fabtabulous WordPress 2.0. You know you wanted it, and now it's here. The best part? You probably didn't even realize it happened. How's that for seamless? Onward and upward!

I Knew I Was On To Something

One of my football buddies always used to say, "Don't let school get in the way of college." Most laughed and knew he meant slacking off was the cool thing to do. I took it as meaning there is more to college than simply doing homework and papers. While this does not mean to neglect your studies, it does mean to not neglect the other facets of the college experience. Developing the whole man is more important than getting a 4.0 GPA. What does spending an extra hour reading an english book more thoroughly do for you ten years from now? Not much. How about starting your own company from school? Man, that would be sweet. So your GPA won't rest at 4.0; perhaps is lowers even to a 3.0. Who would be the more valuable hire after graduation, the reader or the founder? Paul Graham asked just this question to some fairly important people:

I asked managers at Yahoo, Google, Amazon, Cisco and Microsoft how they'd feel about two candidates, both 24, with equal ability, one who'd tried to start a startup that tanked, and another who'd spent the two years since college working as a developer at a big company. Every one responded that they'd prefer the guy who'd tried to start his own company. Zod Nazem, who's in charge of engineering at Yahoo, said: I actually put more value on the guy with the failed startup. And you can quote me! So there you have it. Want to get hired by Yahoo? Start your own company.

College is much more than high school 2.0. It's about discovering yourself, who you are, what you stand for, where you want to go, and not to take 'safe' classes that will look good when you apply for your first job. Here's the kicker: after your first job, no one really cares about your grades - they care about your production, what you've done. So do well in school, because smart people don't get 2.0 GPAs, but don't lose sight of the fact that a 4.0 won't get you a better job in 5 years. Having tangibles will…

The Wheels on the Veggie Bus

For those interested…

Vegetable Oil Powered Bus Slides into the REI January Clearance Sale! 1/14/2006 10:00 AM As the nation's gas prices continue to rise, the non-profit National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) has found a better way to get around. The school has a 36-foot bus fueled by French fries and other ingredients traveling the country, providing an active, environmentally conscious way to learn about the outdoors. The bus runs on recycled vegetable oil (RVO), a cleaner, renewable alternative to petroleum. So far, the bus has traveled more than 30,000 miles on RVO during its 2nd year journey crossing the country. This approach has saved 3,000 gallons of petroleum, and eliminated sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions while significantly reducing the release of other particulates. The specially adapted vehicle is also equipped with a bouldering wall on the side of the bus, and solar panels atop the roof that power its audio-visual equipment, lights and computers. The bus will be located in the REI parking lot on Saturday, January 14th. Stop by REI and visit the NOLS bus to find out more about the grease system, to participate in one of the many activities, and to take part in a raffle at 2 pm. Score NOLS gear and other goodies! You can visit the website to learn more about the bus program at: Bus Program Location: REI parking lot Cost: Free Registration Required? No.

There Is No Spoon

Fascinating article I've been reading for the last hour or so over at edge.org. The goal of the article was to ask many influential intelligent people what their most dangerous idea is today. The results are…interesting. One in particular that I want to mention here is by Donald Hoffman, a cognitive scientist at UC, Irvine and author of the book 'Visual Intelligence'.

Once one abandons public physical objects, one must reformulate many current open problems in science. One example is the mind-brain relation. There are no public brains, only my brain experiences and your brain experiences. These brain experiences are just the simplified visual experiences of homo sapiens, shaped for survival in certain niches. The chances that our brain experiences resemble some mind-independent truth are remote at best, and those who would claim otherwise must surely explain the miracle. Failing a clever explanation of this miracle, there is no reason to believe brains cause anything, including minds. And here the wolf unzips the sheep skin, and darts out into the open.

Scandolous! And yet interesting. Anyhoot, b-ball restarts tomorrow - go Panthers, huh?!?