March 30, 2005

Double stroller

Top twenty by search....

%category
45.4double stroller
7.7double jogging stroller
4.6graco double stroller
4.1double umbrella stroller
3.4double baby stroller
2.5peg perego double stroller
2.4eddie bauer double stroller
1.7maclaren double stroller
1.4double jogger stroller
1.2combi double stroller
0.9best double stroller
0.9jeep double stroller
0.9evenflo double stroller
0.8double stroller travel system
0.7double stroller review
0.7double stroller with car seat
0.7lightweight double stroller
0.6schwinn double jogging stroller
0.5baby trend double stroller
0.5schwinn double stroller

...and the rest

%category
0.5side by side double stroller
0.5double doll stroller
0.5double jog stroller
0.5kolcraft double stroller
0.5laurel creek double jogging stroller
0.5cosco double stroller
0.5sit and stand double stroller
0.5used double stroller
0.4double baby jogging stroller
0.4instep double jogging stroller
0.4emmaljunga double stroller
0.4double jogging stroller swivel
0.4double decker stroller
0.3double schwinn sport stroller utility
0.3chicco double stroller
0.3double tandem stroller
0.3cheap double stroller
0.3peg perego tender double stroller
0.3double snap n go stroller
0.3double and triple stroller
0.3mountain buggy double stroller
0.3baby trend double jogging stroller
0.3inglesina double stroller
0.3discount double stroller
0.3graco duoglider double stroller
0.3double stroller canada
0.3twin stroller double
0.2safetech double stroller
0.2graco duoglider lxi double stroller
0.2bugaboo double stroller
0.2double stroller sale
0.2kolcraft double umbrella stroller
0.2safari double jogging stroller
0.2instep double stroller
0.2infant double stroller
0.2baby doll double stroller
0.2mountain buggy urban double stroller
0.2expedition double jogging stroller
0.2double stroller with infant car seat
0.2used double jogging stroller
0.2eddie bauer manchester double stroller
0.2double stroller rain cover
0.2double jogging sc900 schwinn stroller
0.2light weight double stroller
0.2double stroller rating
0.2swan double stroller
0.2jeep wagoneer double stroller
0.2mcclaren double stroller
0.2consumer report double stroller
0.2aria double stroller
0.2safetech double jogging stroller
0.2valco double stroller
0.1safety 1st double stroller
0.1safety first double stroller
0.1double snap and go stroller
0.1double jogging review stroller
0.1baby jogger double stroller
0.1compare double stroller
0.1kidco double stroller
0.1mclaren double stroller
0.1deluxe double jogging schwinn stroller
0.1instep safari double jogging stroller
0.1double jeep stroller tandem wagoneer
0.1zooper double stroller
0.1aprica double stroller
0.1double jogging stroller rain cover
0.1graco saratoga double stroller
0.1kelty double jogging stroller
0.1aria double peg perego stroller
0.1double fisher price stroller
0.1graco metropolitan double stroller
0.1safari tt double jogging stroller
0.1double jogging stroller swivel wheel
0.1sit n stand double stroller
0.1avalon double stroller
0.1double stroller travel bag
0.1double jogging stroller with swivel front wheel
0.1baby double expedition jogging stroller trend
0.1in step double jogging stroller
0.1perego double stroller

Posted by torque at 9:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 28, 2005

What is "highly correlated"?

The term "highly correlated" is vague. When are two variables or to datasets considered highly correlated? Correlation is often computed using the product-moment correlation coefficient or, in some circles, Pearson's correlation coefficient. This measure outputs a value between -1 and 1, i.e., negatively correlated to positively correlated. That's fine and good, but what do you call 0.78? Thanks to Savannah State University for giving a citable reference on this issue:

"r" ranging from zero to about .20 may be regarded as indicating no or negligible correlation.
"r" ranging from about .20 to .40 may be regarded as indicating a low degree of correlation.
"r" ranging from about .40 to .60 may be regarded as indicating a moderate degree of correlation.
"r" ranging from about .60 to .80 may be regarded as indicating a marked degree of correlation.
"r" ranging from about .80 to 1.00 may be regarded as indicating high correlation [1].
Pretty arbitrary* huh?

References
[1] A. N. Franzblau, A primer of statistics for non-statisticians. New York,: Harcourt, 1958.

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* It may be arbitrary, but at least I didn't say it!

Posted by torque at 11:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 27, 2005

Christ the Lord is Risen Today!

Charles Wes­ley, 1739

Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Lo! the Sun’s eclipse is over, Alleluia!
Lo! He sets in blood no more, Alleluia!

Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia!
Christ hath burst the gates of hell, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hail, the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail, the resurrection day, Alleluia!

King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing and thus to love, Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

But the pains that He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
Now above the sky He’s King, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

Posted by torque at 7:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 25, 2005

Regulations concerning the sacrifice of the paschal lamb

From the Babylonian Talmud, Book 3, Chapter 5,

MISHNA: The continual (daily) offering 1 was slaughtered half an hour 2 after the eighth hour, and sacrificed half an hour after the ninth hour; but on the day before Passover, whether that day happened to be a week-day or a Sabbath, it was slaughtered half an hour after the seventh hour, and sacrificed half an hour after the eighth hour. When the day before the Passover happened to be a Friday, it was slaughtered half an hour after the sixth hour, sacrificed half an hour after the seventh hour, and the Passover sacrifice celebrated (immediately) afterwards.

Posted by torque at 10:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Universal Soul Circus

What is the Universal Soul Circus? Amazingly, in all of Google Groups there is one entry in soc.culture.african.american.moderated. We glean that they

  • visited Houston, TX in November 1999
  • have a web site
It certainly reminds me of Cirque du Soleil.

Update
I found the website - information was lacking because I was using the wrong search term. The right term is "UniverSoul Circus" not "Universal Soul Circus". It looks like fun, though PETA is less than enthused. Kevin Chappell wrote an article in 1996 in Ebony entitled "A circus with soul - Universal Big Top Circus".

Posted by torque at 8:41 PM | Comments (312) | TrackBack

March 24, 2005

Air Mattress

Our queen-sized Aerobed, purchased in-store at Costco, is the most comfortable air mattress I've ever slept on. It comes with its own motorized air pump, a pillowtop "comfort quilt" cover, and a carrying bag to boot. It inflates in about 60 seconds and deflates in 15 seconds. I would say that the Aerobed rivals most reasonably priced mattresses. (It is absolutely more comfortable than college-grade beds.) While a little bit heavy, it is definitely portable. Stats (per Costco):

  • Puncture resistant, heavy-gauge PVC vinyl
  • 7" thick - twice as thick as standard mattresses
  • Coil-constructed base provides firm, lasting support
  • Patented One Touch® comfort control adjusts bed to any firmness
  • Powerful, plug-in pump provides hands free inflation in less than 60 seconds
  • Fully deflates in 15 seconds with patented Quick Air Release Valve
  • Rolls up easily into carry bag for storage and transportation
  • Fits standard size sheets
  • Inflated dimensions: 60" W x 78" L x 7" H
  • Warranty: One-year limited
I can't remember the exact price now, but it was somewhere between $80-100. If you are in the market for an air mattress, this is the one to get. More reviews at Epinions.

Posted by torque at 2:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 22, 2005

Jerusalem - 1967

Daniel's seventy weeks begins with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem. The prophecy itself concerns "the holy city". Many eschatologists point to May 14, 1948, when Israel became an independent nation, as "the budding of the fig tree". For the purposes of the seventy weeks, though, some have pointed instead to June 7, 1967, when Israel regained control of Jerusalem from Jordan. The BBC has a wonderful set of maps detailing control of Jerusalem before and after the Six-Day War. The region under Jordanian control before the war included the old walled city containing all the important Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious sites.

On the third day of the war, June 7, Jordanian forces were pushed from the West Bank across the River Jordan. Israel had annexed all of the West Bank and Jerusalem, opening up the old city to Jews for the first time in 2000 years. A UN arranged cease-fire between Israel and Jordan went into effect that evening. [1]
In Luke 21:24, Jesus says "...and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." It is crystal clear that the times of the Gentiles were fulfilled June 7, 1967.

What then shall we do? In the same chapter, Jesus advises us:

And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. - Luke 21:34-36

References
[1] The Six Day War - Part 1: June 5-7.

Posted by torque at 9:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Laminate flooring - Cleaning & Maintenance

One of the biggest advantages of laminate floors is that they are made to look good for many years with a minimum of effort. Most laminates come with a 10 to 25 years residential warranty against staining, wearing and fading, depending on the brand. All you really need for cleaning are a vacuum cleaner, a dry mop and a damp towel for more difficult stains. Laminates are built to stand up to wear, but to keep them looking like new, here are a few recommendations.

Be aware that large pieces of sand or rock can cause visible scratching. These are usually easy to catch by having floor mats and foot brushes at outside doorway entrances. Dirt which gets pass the mats and brushes can cause invisible scratching that eventually leads to dullness. So, vacuum and mop regularly to keep grit off the floor. For dry cleaning, vacuuming is usually sufficient. Microfiber pads are also quite effective and, if available, lets you avoid involving fluids. Never clean with abrasives, scouring powder or steel wool.

Damp clean laminate flooring using a vinegar or ammonia-based solution. For example, you can pour 1/4 cup of vinegar into a 30 to 32 ounce empty spray bottle filled with plain water for a quick solution. Then, dampen a terry mop or a Swiffer with water and mop, spraying the floor as you go along. When damp mopping, avoiding standing fluids so you do not saturate the floor. Wipe immediately! Other possible cleaning fluids that have been suggested include:

  • vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and water (equal parts)
  • 1/3 white vinegar, 1/3 rubbing alcohol, 1/3 water, and 3 drops dishwashing liquid (1 quart total)
  • Swiffer WetJet wood floor cleaner
  • Windex
Here are some tips on spot cleaning: To remove oil, paint, permanent marker, tar, rubber heel marks, use a neutral cleaner on a clean light colored cloth. If needed, use alcohol or a nail polish remover containing acetone. To remove blood, fruit juice, wine, beer, soda pop, pasta sauce, use warm water. If needed use a neutral cleaner on a light colored cloth. To remove candle wax or chewing gum, first harden with ice and then scrape very gently. Wipe the rest with warm water on a clean light colored cloth.

If your laminate is scratched, see if you can buy a touch up stick from your manufacturer. The area you repair will look, hold up to traffic and wear just like the rest of the laminate floor.

In case of more severe damage, which is unlikely to take place in most of the homes, a trained professional can be called to replace a plank. The new plank should be almost indistinguishable from the rest, if done properly.

For more tips on cleaning and maintenance from a community of laminate flooring enthusiasts, visit laminate flooring | oncloud8.

Posted by torque at 7:42 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 20, 2005

Jerusalem Latitude and Longitude

Jerusalem is located 31° 47' N 35° 13' E. Why is this useful? To get sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset information. The Navy, for example, has an interesting tool* which gives complete sun and moon data for one day from any location in the world. Jerusalem is two hours east of Greenwich.
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* It turns out that the Naval calendar does not accept 32 AD and automatically maps it to 2032.

DISCLAIMER: Be careful the following section - parts of it are quite wrong. Passover is celebrated on the night before the 15th of Nissan, not the night before the 14th, so April 6, 32 makes the crucifixion on Friday not Thursday...

Assume for the moment (1) that Jesus's trimumphant entry into Jerusalem was Sunday, April 6, 32, Nisan 10 and (2) that the first Passover dinner would have been eaten Wednesday night (the eve of Nissan 14). That would mean that Jesus was crucified Thursday, April 10 (the day of Nisan 14) and "buried" that same day. According to the Adventist calendar**, that day, the sun rose at 5:35am and set 5:53pm. Matthew 27:46 indicates that Jesus passed away at about the ninth hour, at about 3 in the afternoon. I found a nice synopsis by Lori Eldridge with a frame-by-frame analysis of everything that happened on Nisan 14.

Update
I'm not sure about the April 6th date. I just found a counter-argument to Anderson. Nevertheless, the tools are starting to come together.
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** No promotion or approval is intended any other information on the Adventist website.

Posted by torque at 9:58 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

New moons, Jewish calendar and dating the crucifixion

I wrote earlier about the Rosh Hashanah and the necessity of two witnesses confirming the new moon. Just so you don't think I've been brainwashed by crazy websites, here is a Jewish resource stating just that. Also, this afternoon, I had a chance to confirm this with my neighbor who so happens to be a rabbi. One of the problems with dating via witnesses is that there was always a chance that the year may be incorrectly shifted by a day. As a result, orthodox Jews ended up celebrating the major holidays twice! Even today, many Jews celebrate two Passovers back-to-back. This answers a question that I had last night about whether Jesus ate the Passover dinner or whether he was crucified on Passover. I believe the correct answer is both -- over two days! Why is this significant? First, it cleans up confusion regarding whether or not Jesus died on the Passover. Second, my conjecture is that upon careful investigation, it will be found that Jesus was crucified on the real Passover.

Posted by torque at 9:38 PM | Comments (302) | TrackBack

Hosanna

From answers.com,

Middle English osanna, from Old English, from Late Latin ōsanna, from Greek hōsanna, from Hebrew hôša‘-nā’, deliver us

Posted by torque at 7:52 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

March 18, 2005

Annular eclipse - 3 Oct 2005

According to the BBC, on October 3rd this year there will be an annular eclipse viewable from Europe, Africa and southern Asia. What is an annular eclipse? In an annular eclipse, the Moon is further away from the Sun than normal, thus the Moon's shadow will not be large enough to cover the Sun. The Sun appears as a ring with a dark centre. Fred Espenak at NASA has a detailed review of the event. The greatest eclipse will occur over Chad at 10:31:42 UT (GMT). You can figure out how the event will look from different locations using the solarscope.

Eschatalogically interestingly, it falls on the eve of Rosh Hashana. Originally known as the Day of Blowing or Yom Teruah, it is referenced in Numbers 29:1 and Leviticus 23:24. Endtime enthusiasts are often quick to point out that Yom Teruah is "the only festival that no man knows the day or the hour in which it begins." According to bibleprophecy.org,

Yom Teruah is the only festival that no man knows the day or the hour in which it begins. This is due to the fact that it begins on the new moon. The new moon was sanctified when two witnesses see the new moon and attest to it before the Sanhedrin in the Temple. This sanctification could happen during either of two days, depending on when the witnesses come. Since no one knew when the witnesses would come, no one knew when the Feast of Trumpets would start. On the 30th of each month, the members of the High Court assembled in a courtyard in Jerusalem, where they waited to receive the testimony of two reliable witnesses. They then sanctified the new moon.

Posted by torque at 10:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 17, 2005

Restore and rebuild Jerusalem

"...from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem..." - Daniel 9:25

  1. Cyrus - 537 BC
    • Ezra 1:2. Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah
    • Ezra 6:3. In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices...
  2. Artaxerxes - 458 BC
    • Ezra 7:13. I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.
    • Ezra 7:15,16. And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem, and all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem.
  3. Artaxerxes - 444 BC
    • Nehemiah 2:5-8. And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it. And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah; And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wallw of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.
    • Nehemiah 17,18. Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.

I agree* with Thomas Ice [1] that the third decree from Artaxerxes to Nehemiah is the only one which matches the description of a decree to "restore and rebuild" Jerusalem. The first and second decrees have more to do with restoring the temple and the temple functioning than restoring the city. Nehemiah himself speaks of "how Jerusalem lieth waste".

Dating the third decree
Nehemiah dates the decree in 2:1 to the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king. The question naturally arises as to whether or not we can pin down the date to the Julian calendar. I found* a rather curious site** by "Zachary" [2] who has claims to have scientifically dated the decree to March 14, 445 BC using a combination of astronomical data on eclipses from Ptolemy and marriage records from Egypt. This is interesting, because the 444 BC date I cited above, more precisely March 5, 444 BC, comes from Harold Hoehner, a Professor at Dallas Theological Seminary who rather successfully argued [3] with Sir Robert Anderson, a British Bretheren. Anderson, using the Jewish calendar, also set Artaxerxes' decree at March 14, 445 BC.

Let's take the 445 BC date first. Based on the 69 weeks in Daniel 9:25, we compute 69 x 7 days => 69 x 7 lunar years = 69 x 7 x 12 x 30 days = 173880 days from March 14, 445 BC. According to Anderson and Zachary, this takes us to Sunday, April 6, 32 AD, when Jesus rides triumphantly into Jerusalem.

More to come in another installment... it is bedtime.

Reference
[1] T. Ice, The Seventy Weeks of Daniel, Part V.
[2] J. Zachary, Using Astronomy to Date Biblical Events with Scientific Accuracy, Harvard House.
[3] T. Ice, The Seventy Weeks of Daniel, Part IV.
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* Except as noted in the text, I do not endorse, agree or claim as truth any other statement by this person.
** As a disclaimer, I'm immediately suspicious of any site which uses the animated gif flame - as I used it myself about 10 years ago on my first few websites. I also note that harvardhouse.com is a Network Solutions Private Registration. Why all the secrecy? Finally, John Zachary has made a prediction of October 4, 2005 being a very significant date. Hmmm.

Posted by torque at 9:43 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

What is Phood?

Phood, according to phrases.org, is pharmaceuticals + food, food "enhanced with nutritional supplements that promise a bevy of health benefits." While a new trend, the concept isn't new at all. Baby milk powder, for example, is very much enhanced. Also, consider Morton Salt, with iodine. Packaged Facts places total retail sales of phood, including beverages, at $16.2 billion in 2004. They actually tracked $7.3 billion, a quarter of which were beverages. I wonder, does vitamin-C enhanced Hi-C count? Clif and Luna Bars certainly do.

Posted by torque at 10:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Paid search market shares revisited

ZDnet reports that, per ComScore Networks, market share for paid search is dominated by Google (35%), Yahoo (31.8%) and MSN (16%). Who owns the remaining 17.2%? How do they compute this? By revenue? By clicks?

Posted by torque at 9:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 16, 2005

Palo Alto real estate - the competition

I'll have to admit, it has its appeal. In Palo Alto, where the average dinky 2 bedroom 1 bath single family dwelling* goes for about $1 million in about a week, 3% sounds very sweet. But, before you start studying for the California real estate exam, consider the competition. The chart below shows the number of real estate licenses per month issued in the State of California since mid-2001. Astounding isn't it?

dre.PNG

From June 2001 to January 2005, 171,918 brokers and salespersons were added to the ranks for a grand total of 423,315 licensees. The estimated population of California in 2003 was 35.5 million. That makes 1 out of every 100 people you meet a real estate broker or a salesperson. How does this match up to, say, physicians? According to USA today, there are about 2.5 active physicians per 1000 residents.
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*May require some fixer-uppering before being actually dwellable.

Posted by torque at 6:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 15, 2005

Wiriting IDC Flashes...

I'm missing the boat writing this blog. As some of you may know, the new DVD format, Blu-Ray, has been in the news as big players like Apple join the gang. Just out of curiosity I checked out book offerings on Blu-Ray - two IDC flashes, by Danielle Levitas and Schelley Olhava, each one page, electronic, $1500. Yowsahs...

Posted by torque at 4:24 PM | Comments (92) | TrackBack

March 14, 2005

Yoga... at the National Pastors Convention

Think I'm kidding? Special thanks to MacSwift for pointing to the National Pastors Convention itinerary. Every day, between 8:00 and 8:45, you could have chosen either "Contemplative Morning Prayer Exercises" or "Sustainable Life Forum: Stretching and Yoga (Shelly Pagitt)". What's yoga? Om.

Interesting, they even had a labyrinth. Years ago I walked the one at Grace Cathedral...

The labyrinth is a large, complex spiral circle which is an ancient symbol for the Divine Mother, the God within, the Goddess, the Holy in all of creation. For many of us the feminine aspect of the Divine has been painfully absent from our lives, our spirituality, and our Western culture. - Rev. Lauren Artress [1]

References
[1] L. Artress, "Q and A with Lauren," Veriditas, Vol. 1, no. 2, Summer 1996, p. 18.

Posted by torque at 6:14 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 11, 2005

Days of Glory, Seasons of Night

Tim Stafford has a piece in ChristianityToday on Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision. The story is absolutely heartbreaking. Pierce, in 1947, with just enough to get to Honolulu, set forth to bring the gospel to China. He was met with tremendous success, thousands coming to Christ. At the same time, he was struck with the suffering he saw in Asia. "Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God," he wrote on his Bible. In 1950, armed with suffering on film, he launched World Vision. Incredibly intense, he spent 10 months out of the year traveling... at the expense of his family.

I've made an agreement with God, that I'll take care of his helpless little lambs overseas if he'll take care of mine at home.
Tragically, this would not be the case. His daughter Sharon, depressed, committed suicide while he was traveling. He separated from his wife, and spent the remainder of days, except for one family reunion at a restaurant, dying alone with leukemia. What happened?

Resources
[1] T. Stafford, Imperfect Instrument, Christianity Today, Mar 2005.
[2] S. Gertz, Tsunami Catastrophe: "Let My Heart Be Broken…", ChristianityToday, 28 Jan 2005.
[3] D. Pollock, The Deal God Never Made, Lamb & Lion Ministries.
[4] Bonnie, Whose heart is broken?, Off the top, 2 Feb 2005.
[5] M. Dunker, Days of Glory, Seasons of Night, 1 Apr 2005.

Posted by torque at 10:08 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Forbes hacked?

I followed a link from Yahoo to Forbes this evening and, huh? Hello, World! This is now server 192.168.1.87

Who is 192.168.1.87?

OrgName:    Internet Assigned Numbers Authority 
OrgID:      IANA
Address:    4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330
City:       Marina del Rey
StateProv:  CA
PostalCode: 90292-6695
Country:    US

NetRange:   192.168.0.0 - 192.168.255.255 
CIDR:       192.168.0.0/16 
NetName:    IANA-CBLK1
NetHandle:  NET-192-168-0-0-1
Parent:     NET-192-0-0-0-0
NetType:    IANA Special Use
NameServer: BLACKHOLE-1.IANA.ORG
NameServer: BLACKHOLE-2.IANA.ORG
Comment:    This block is reserved for special purposes.
Comment:    Please see RFC 1918 for additional information.
Comment:    
RegDate:    1994-03-15
Updated:    2002-09-16

OrgAbuseHandle: IANA-IP-ARIN
OrgAbuseName:   Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number 
OrgAbusePhone:  +1-310-301-5820
OrgAbuseEmail:  abuse@iana.org

OrgTechHandle: IANA-IP-ARIN
OrgTechName:   Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number 
OrgTechPhone:  +1-310-301-5820
OrgTechEmail:  abuse@iana.org

# ARIN WHOIS database, last updated 2005-03-11 19:10
# Enter ? for additional hints on searching ARIN's WHOIS database.
From this it seems more as if there was some router or nameserver issue. I checked the domain registry and, as you might have guessed, forbes.com is well registered, with an expiration date in 2014.

Pinging the domain takes you to 63.240.4.17.

SAVVIS Communications Corporation SAVVIS8 (NET-64-240-0-0-1) 
                                  64.240.0.0 - 64.243.255.255
EBC SAVV-S214013-2 (NET-64-240-4-128-1) 
                                  64.240.4.128 - 64.240.4.255

# ARIN WHOIS database, last updated 2005-03-11 19:10
# Enter ? for additional hints on searching ARIN's WHOIS database.

Update. Hmm, maybe it is just me. I checked using a shell account and I can reach the forbes site using lynx using both forbes.com and 64.240.4.179. Interesting, forbes.com uses imrworldwide.com, a.k.a. RedSheriff, Nielsen's baby. Back to topic though, I checked using Remote Desktop from my work, and the site works fine. I think there is something funny with my computer. Reboot?

Update 2. It has something to do with the local network I am on. Both my desktop and my laptop are showing the same message. Strange.

Posted by torque at 9:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A few helpful tips on plotting in Matlab

Every few months I find myself having the same questions on plotting in Matlab. It's time to stop being so unproductive. Here are a few tips for my future reference and yours.

Automating "Fill page". How many times have you clicked "fill page" under Page Setup. If you are like me, the answer is many times too many. To automate this, you need to set the PagePosition property of the current figure.

set(gcf, 'PaperPositionMode', 'manual');
set(gcf, 'PaperUnits', 'inches');
set(gcf, 'PaperPosition', [.25 .25 8 10.5]);
If you need to switch to landscape (the default is portrait), you will want to edit the Paper Orientation property.
set(gcf, 'PaperPositionMode', 'manual');
set(gcf, 'PaperUnits', 'inches');
set(gcf, 'PaperOrientation', 'landscape');
set(gcf, 'PaperPosition', [.25 .25 10.5 8]);
If you are exporting the figure for other purposes, you will want to remove the border from PaperPosition. See Ben Hinkle's Exporting Figures for Publication for more details (and exportfig.m).

Changing plot color and linestyles. If you are tired of the standard plot colors and linestyles, and don't really want to specify them for every line, you can edit DefaultAxesColorOrder and DefaultAxesLineStyleOrder. Matlab cycles through all colors before moving to the next linestyle. This seems to be unchangeable. Colors are specify in a 3 by n matrix, where n is the number of colors. Linestyles are specified in a string using the standard linestyle characters, separated by "|", e.g., "-|--|:". As an example,
set(gcf,'DefaultAxesColorOrder',[0 0 0 ; 0 .1 .9]) set(gcf,'DefaultAxesLineStyleOrder','-|:')
cycles through black and dark blue solid then black and dark blue dotted.

Annotating the plot. From time to time, you may want to write data or comments on to the plot, or perhaps next to the plot. I used to try to cram information into xlabel, ylabel and title. No more. The appropriate command is annotation, which itself is quite rich. I will be illustrating the textbox annotation.

An issue with textbox annotation is that coordinates are specified with respect to percentages of the figure. To make the placement neat, leverage subplots. I wanted to make a page with four rows of two plots each with a box to the right detailing, well, the details. Here's how I did it:

subplot(4,5,1:2);
% setup first plot %
subplot(4,5,3:4);
% setup second plot %
subplot(4,5,5);
annotation('textbox',get(gca,'Position'),'String',...
  mystring,'LineStyle','none');
What's going on. After switching to the target subplot, I used get(gca,'Position') to fetch the dimensions of the subplot in percentages of the figure. This way I don't have to guess where the textbox should be. LineStyle is set to 'none' to eliminate the default border. For formatting, I found the section on the String to be quite helpful. To enter a multiline string, separate the lines using cells, e.g.,
mystring = {sprintf('[%s]',EEG.tu.label)...
  ,sprintf('wC4-dT6: %.1f%%',100*dryrate)...
  ,sprintf('wC4-wT6: %.1f%%',100*wetrate)...
  ,sprintf('nTest = %d',EEG.chanlocs(1).nTest)}

Posted by torque at 4:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 2, 2005

For a scoop ice cream...

Would you sell you name, age and email for a 2.5 oz scoop of ice cream at Baskin Robbins? To celebrate its 10 year birthday, Yahoo! is asking you to do exactly that. Publicized as a "free scoop", the promotion requires that you log into your Yahoo! account and register with your city, zip, email, age and birthdate.

Posted by torque at 12:11 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack